Category: Wholesome Content

Wholesome Content: Halloween Edition

On Sunday a small group of us gathered for Matt’s birthday at his place to hang out and carve pumpkins. As I’ve mentioned before, the last time I did this exact activity (as a group and not at work as part of a competition) was when I lived in Vancouver.

We put on music and got to work, all coming up with something pretty impressive considering. I chose two tried and tested designs, AKA different Jack Skellington faces while the others did Mike Wazowki (of Monsters Inc.), a scene from Lord of the Rings, some more traditional skull designs and one with marijuana eyes. It’s funny how satisfying it is creating something from nothing but an oversized vegetable – particularly on my favourite holiday – and particularly around people I like so much.

Halloween hasn’t even arrived yet but I’m already excited for the next one. It has been rather a wholesome one this year. The Halloween party was a sober one for me, which meant no hangover but lots of people approaching me to make sure I was okay. It’s still baffling how awkward people are around non-drinkers at social events. I was just happy to people watch for a bit and grab a Burger King on the way home.

Tonight I caught trashy horror Countdown as one of my #31horrors (review no doubt coming soon) and we’re planning a very low-key home-with-the-family Halloween evening on the 31st. I plan to be in my pyjamas with a pile of snacks by 6.30pm.

What are you up to? 🎃

Inktober 2019

This year for the first time, I decided to take part in Inktober. My friend Silvio suggested it and since I like a doodle as much as the next bored office worker, I thought why not? Well, I’ve learnt a couple of things about myself by Day 17 and I shall wax lyrical about them below.

First up, I have no natural talent (or maybe I have something natural but it isn’t talent per se). I see those illustrators that do the crude yet stylish drawings (looking at you, David Shrigley) and I think: I can do that. Then I realise I really can’t, they may look amateurish but they are still technically good drawings and more than that, they’re executed well. Mine, not so much.

I draw like a child and this leads me to the second thing I’ve learnt – it’s totally okay to really enjoy and love doing things you’re rubbish at. In fact, it’s almost better because then it just is what it is – nobody’s going to take it from you, or try and make you monetize it. There’s no demand for a badly drawn skeleton dressed like Dani in Midsommar after all and that’s grand. It means I’m free.

There’s also been the realisation that although I’m not technically a good artist, I do very much have my own style and that is also pretty cool. People seem to like my little drawings and I’ve loved sharing them.

Here are a handful of my personal faves:

Overgrown, Wild, Dragon and Ornament

For every day of October, you get a one word prompt. Sometimes inspiration strikes immediately, other times I’ve spent a considerable amount of time scratching my head. Usually I come through and am happy with the end result. I have started being harder on myself, revealing a worrying perfectionist streak that might bear exploring at a later date.

But all in all, I’m enjoying myself. And my favourite to date has been this little number:

I Stan a Legend

There are still 11 days left in the month so who knows what will climb out of the recesses of this imagination and onto the page? I’m interested to find out.

How’s your October going?

Wholesome Content: Confessions of an Adult Journal Keeper

I’ve started ‘journaling’ and it’s weird. It feels angsty even though there’s no real angst in it, not like back in the day when all I cared about was boys and fitting in. Now I can’t abide most men and am far less concerned with fitting in. In fact, the less the better because fuck anyone who doesn’t accept this. Oh yeah, and there are more swears. 

What I’m trying to do with this whole daily journal malarkey is be honest with myself. Like, brutally. I try here but this is still an edited version of my thoughts, people from work read it, I can’t reveal every dark feeling. Nobody wants it. I know I mention anxiety a lot and I try to be truthful about it but there is a limit. 

I’ve only done a handful entries so far but it turns out the adult me, subject matter aside, is not so different from the teenage me. I’d probably be more devastated if someone found and read my diary now. Why journaling though? Well, there are thousands of arguments for why it’s good to get down your feelings, especially if you suffer from mental health issues. It’s supposed to help order your thoughts and help you work through them.

I don’t know if this will work. If I’m honest, I’m already two days behind and I promised myself I’d put an entry in for every day, even if it’s just a sentence. I’ve been doing this for less than a week and I’m two days behind. I suppose with everything, I just need to make sure I put time aside. Time for me is one of the things that makes me feel most anxious, I put so much pressure on myself to juggle free time with doing things, it makes me feel quite ill sometimes.

Anyway, watch this space!

Do you keep a diary? If so, how does it work for you?

Wholesome Content*: Colouring Between the Lines

Sometimes the only thing I want to do is come straight home from work, make a cup of tea and sit on the sofa doing my colouring. This isn’t a euphemism for a heinous new sex act, I’m afraid. I actually mean colouring shit in. On my phone. For hours on end.

Or rather, if I had my way it would be hours on end non-stop but my wrists start to seize up after the third or fourth picture – and I have to go and shake it off for a few minutes. Which reminds me of the time I got tennis elbow from being on my phone too much. What a modern condition!

So yes, I’ve swapped my first nights in Brighton in LGBT+ clubs, drinking shitty Spanish red straight from the bottle – to colouring in on an app in front of the BBC iPlayer. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. Like most things we really enjoy doing, it is wonderful for good mental health and really helps me relax.

When I first got into colouring, I did it the traditional way, I bought a mindfulness colouring book and some fancy-arse felt-tips, and it was good. I upgraded to a rude one that had pretty patterns curling around the ‘C’ word – that was the one I had to hide at work.

But I’m a weird perfectionist in no other area beyond this one – if I made even the smallest mistake, if I slipped and went outside the line, or the flow of the felt-tip stroke was off – then I had to start a new one.

This means somewhere on my desk are half a dozen colouring books with half-finished pages in them – it’s a terrible waste. And then I found my app.

We (the Happy Color Massive) get ten new pictures a day and often, for an extra special treat, I will save up a couple of days’ worth so as far as the eye can see I have fresh drawings to paint. There’s no freedom in colouring this way, the colours and where they go are decided for us – but I kind of love that structure in my life.

You never know how a picture is going to look until you’re finished. Sometimes you can doubt it will be all that and then – boom! – a highlighter or a dark outline comes along and it turns out perfectly.

You can’t go over the lines because you’re just tapping sections on the screen, so you don’t get ink on your new mani. The colours never run out and the app is 10% free – unless they release a very rare colouring pack – there hasn’t been one of them for a long time.

If you ever wonder about your life and how maybe you need to get one – remember this post in which I managed to type just under 500 words on the joy of colouring in. And you’ll feel better.

What are you doing to relax?

*Guess I’ve got a new series featuring all my favourite Wholesome Content then!