Pokemon, Flatmates, And Jaffa Cake Deficits

Pokemon, Flatmates, And Jaffa Cake Deficits

I’m now properly moved in, even if there’s still a miscellaneous box of things to be unpacked which I’ve covered with a towel in the hope that it’ll magically sort itself out. I’ve stuck posters on the walls, accidentally napped through an entire mealtime and cooked dinner at 9pm, and mourned the lack of a TV license that prevents me from watching Poldark this evening. Yup, I’m back at uni.

My Iron Man poster stayed on the wall for all of about five minutes before deciding to leave and start a new life on the floor. I didn't bother trying to stick it up again.
My Iron Man poster stayed on the wall for all of about five minutes before deciding to leave and start a new life on the floor. I didn’t bother trying to stick it up again.

My flatmate arrived earlier today. I’ve yet to ask how she feels about being mentioned on my blog, so for now I’ll leave names out of it and refer to her as The Flatmate, or possibly Flatmate, depending on how I’m feeling towards the definite article at any given moment. I’m not big on talking about people I know in real life in a negative context, so it’s just as well I only have positive things to say! (So far — but I’m not getting the impression this is going to be the passive-aggressive note type of flatmate relationship, which is a relief.)

She seems nice, and we have quite a lot in common: we both love the film Pride, for example, and were big fans of Steph (and of Holtzmann in Ghostbusters). We’ve also got a certain amount of family history in common, even if my branch of the family left behind its links to the Jewish community of London’s East End some time in the last century. And we’ve both got socialists, feminists, and other politically motivated folks in our family history. It looks like we probably won’t be disagreeing on politics too often.

I don’t see any reason that we won’t become good friends, but I also don’t want to be over-eager or pushy or anything, especially when Flatmate has only just arrived and hasn’t had a chance to meet people yet. That said, she went clubbing this evening, so I think she’ll be okay at the whole socialising thing, certainly better than me. She’s also a History student which is great because so is my best college friend: I’m looking forward to introducing them.

Over the last couple of days I’ve been taking advantage of the fact that Cambridge is absolutely full of Pokemon. I recently reached level 22 (on Wednesday), and at home, it would have taken me weeks to get the 100,000 XP needed to get to the next level. Here, I’ve been able to catch so many Pokemon, and evolve others, that I’m already at 65,312 after a couple of days of relatively chilled out playing. Admittedly, I was out late last night taking over two of the nearby gyms, but I haven’t been obsessively playing for hours at a time — my body wouldn’t let me walk that much anyway.

Here, a uni shelfie for you. Complete with mugs, daylight lamp, and mead, because I only bring the essentials, right?
Here, a uni shelfie for you. Complete with mugs, daylight lamp, and mead, because I only bring the essentials, right?

I walked for what felt like miles today, though. My parents took me to Tesco yesterday and we stocked up on gluten-free food, but they didn’t have the gluten-free jaffa cakes I usually buy. Made by Kelkin, they’re not half as good as the real thing, but they’re the only type I’ve come across since my coeliac diagnosis and I’ve definitely lowered my standards over the past year, too. No problem, I figured, I’d just buy some in Sainsbury’s. But I went to Sainsbury’s today, and they had none. I went to the Sainsbury’s Local near Parker’s Piece, but there were none there, either. I walked most of the way to the station to the small Co-op and Tesco down that road. Nothing in either of them.

Well, apart from a school friend I definitely wasn’t expecting to see in Cambridge, who was shopping in Co-op — that definitely made me do a double-take, because while I recognised her, my brain couldn’t process what she could possibly be doing in Cambridge. It turns out that School Friend (keeping on the theme of descriptive pseudonyms) is doing an internship here, so we’ll have to try and catch up at some point.

I’m not sure whether the universe has it in for me personally, or if Cambridge as a city has decided to boycott jaffa cakes, or what’s going on there, but it was with dismay that I surveyed the fifth unsatisfying shelf and faced the reality of a good couple of weeks without jaffa cakes. I might have to get the parentals to send me some.

While the search was definitely fruitless where jaffa cakes are concerned, it at least added a couple of kilometres to my Pokemon Go count, and I’m most of the way to hatching another 5k egg. Priorities: I have them in the right order. I think what I like most about Pokemon Go is that it makes even unproductive errands feel less of a chore and more of a game. If I hadn’t been playing, it would have been a complete waste of time and energy to have walked all that distance, and I would have been much more disappointed not to have got the food I went for. As it was, I could at least feel pleased with how many Eevees I caught in a short space of time.

It's hard to get a good picture of my desk when it's so backlit, but I'm enjoying my arrow bookends that appear to be skewering my notebooks. And my Pride flag, of course.
It’s hard to get a good picture of my desk when it’s so backlit, but I’m enjoying my arrow bookends that appear to be skewering my notebooks. And my Pride flag, of course.

One less positive thing has been that I’ve got a trapped nerve in my neck, which got much worse yesterday evening to the point where I had pins and needles in my entire body and felt like I was going to throw up every time I moved. It eased off after a good night’s sleep, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep it under control until I sort out whatever’s wrong with my neck (I think my shoulder is slightly out of place and it’s throwing the whole lot out of whack). Neveretheless, you could say things have really been getting on my nerves lately…

Tomorrow, things start to get real: I’ve got a meeting with my Director of Studies (DoS), which isn’t a big deal, but I’m kind of pathetic about authority figures. Last year I came out of that meeting basically in tears and when my friend came to find me ten minutes later, I was facedown on my bed sobbing. I should emphasise that my DoS really isn’t mean or anything: I cry when I’m overwhelmed, when I’m intimidated, and when I’m embarrassed. I was also stressed out because it didn’t help at all to tell me I needed to do more work — I knew that, and simply couldn’t because of my health, so that meeting was a symptom of the issues that caused me to take time out.

BUT that’s not going to happen this year. For a start, my DoS now knows that I’m a fragile creature who needs to be treated a little carefully, but more importantly, I’m not going to let my anxiety beat me again. I’m fed up of it, to be honest. I know that my physical health will always limit me, and that my mental health will do its best, but I’m not going to let it do so without a fight.

Boom. Take that, anxiety.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m out to catch some late-night Pokemon.

4 thoughts on “Pokemon, Flatmates, And Jaffa Cake Deficits

    1. I’m actually doing work today, despite the building work racket happening outside! Someone put a hold on one of my library books, so I have to give it back on Thursday — I’ve been making notes so that I don’t need the book any longer.

  1. Interesting update! Would love to see more Cambridge/Uni updates here (or maybe even the occasional vlog) if you feel like making them. Do you feel like you have some more support strategies of some kind in place this year? Wishing you well!

    1. Thanks! I’m pleased to hear you find it interesting — I’m never sure, when talking about my own life, whether there’s anything of interest in it to anybody else, but I’ve recently been thinking that loads of people talk about writing and books but I’m the only person living my life, so I might be more original if I draw on that. Heh. I’m hoping to make some vlogs before too long, but there are building works happening outside my room, so daylight hours tend to correspond with too much noise for vlogging — and when it’s not daylight, there isn’t enough light in my room for a decent video. I might have to save them for weekends or something, which ought to be possible. But I’ll keep giving updates here periodically, depending on workload and so on. I’ve got a few support strategies in place, yeah, from the college and from the Disability Resource Centre. To a certain extent, you know, there’s only so much they can do, but hopefully it’ll make things easier anyway.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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