Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Weeknotes #692-693

Week 692 was fast and slow. The Sunday saw a trip to the National Crafts and Design Fair at the RDS; I have to say it was underwhelming compared to the last time we went two years ago, but at least we found an Xmas present or two. Plus some lovely jars of chutney. You can never go wrong with some chutney.

Monday to Wednesday was spent on production on the final newspaper of the year, which was as variably paced as usual, hectic hours broken up by periods of waiting, whether for copy or adverts or corrections or what-have-you. But the pages got to the printer on time, without headaches or hair-pulling. I was supposed to have some extra work prepping for stuff in the new year by the end of the week, but it never materialised, so my Xmas hols started early.

Not that I’m completely ‘on holiday’. Once the paper was put to bed, I switched gears to freelance work and spent some time catching up on web news updates. That proved a bit difficult on the Thursday when my ISP suddenly had a fit connecting to the CMS, but all was fine the next morning so I could post my backlog. I hope to keep my usual stream going till the end of the month.

In the midst of all that, I got a flat in my rear bicycle tyre, probably because it was flat-spotted so much it was basically bald. A trip to the local bike shop fixed that and now I’m back on the road again. And what a relief that is! I’m so used to getting around on the bike now, I really miss it when I can’t just hop on and ride to the shops or whatever.

Week 693 was more settled work-wise, starting off on Sunday with a morning out with Bee to a screening of the Annie reboot at Cineworld, plus some final gift-getting. The rest of the week was mornings of work and afternoons of TV, promo listening and note-taking.
But it was also a serious downer for me. It rained most days midweek, clouds blocking what little sunlight there was. Grey and dull at the best of times, at worst oppressively dark even at two in the afternoon. I was not in a good place in my head, feeling bloated but comfort eating regardless, the fog only lifting on Friday when the sun and blue skies returned. It also helps knowing the winter solstice has just come and gone, so the days can only get longer once more. And in hindsight I’m properly considering one of those SAD therapy lights for next winter.

I’m sharing this here because there shouldn’t be any stigma about mental health. I don’t know how a doctor would have diagnosed my symptoms, but I do know I did not feel good. At all. And if it persisted any longer I would have been at the local surgery the next day.

Finishing off these notes on another grim afternoon, I’m grateful that I’m in a better place now. Our weekend trip to the zoo helped a lot, too; there’s something about sharing a moment with a baby Sulawesi macaque, or seeing a male mallard pretend to be a chicken, that I can’t quite put my finger on but whatever it is, it works.