Breakfast, Dinner, Tea and Supper.(Click for larger)
“Dearest – Thanks. I love you, my own beautiful darling. Long be with you always. Thou art mine and I am thy faithful devoted lover till death and beyond” (click for super larger)

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I went home last weekend! I feel like every entry is starting this way. The truth is I have been spending a lot of time at home because I have needed to. I’m depressed right now. There, I came right out with it. I’m not clinically depressed, but I’m feeling really low right now. My disordered eating is bad, my anxiety is bad, and I cry a lot and struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. There is not so much to write about there. Deadlines are piling up and no matter what I do, I never seem to get close to completing anything. It’s making me feel very overwhelmed and anxious.

This is why I’ve been going home so much, of course. I didn’t admit it to myself until recently – but I need help right now. I need people around to make sure I’m eating properly and doing my work. I need looking after. I need my cat. (Please don’t judge me for that one.) And it has been working for me; I had fun during previous trips home, and on my latest two trips back I also had a great time. I managed to get lots of work done, whilst also being able to relax and get out the house a few times to take my mind off things. My cat also stuck to me like glue, and is there anything to make coursework more palatable than a warm, purring cat sleeping on your lap? (Well, apart from her little claws digging into my thighs.)

The previous weekend it was just my sister and I, which was a lot of fun. With my sister breathing down my neck, I got a lot of work done. Whilst also being able to spend time with her, spend a lazy Easter Sunday in Costa with my best friend, and give my cat lots of cuddles.

Last weekend, I was mostly with my mom and dad. I mostly stayed at home and ploughed through some work, but we did go out as a family (minus my sister) on Sunday to a local stately home and gardens to have a wander around there. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the place was already very busy despite getting there early. We decided to head into the mansion first, in order to try and avoid the crowds that would surely come later. Besides, it had been years since we’d been to this place and it had recently been renovated, so we decided to have a thorough look around.

The mansion was partly set up as a war time hospital and we first had a look at those rooms. It was really interesting reading about the early medicine, which was actually a lot more advanced than I realised, and they also had some old newspapers on display which fascinated me, especially the personals as shown above. Life without cell phones, right? I love the woman looking for the person she met on the train, and the love notes are also beautiful. They did however have a bunch of actors wandering around the hospital in character as people from the time which was super creepy. You can see an injured soldier up there browsing through some papers… The rest of the mansion is set up as it would have been lived in, which was also interesting. I fell hard for the library especially, and spent some time enthusiastically talking to the guide in that area. Apparently, books were sent to the house unbound, and if accepted were sent away to be bound with the house’s personal crest on the spine. They also have some very old books, with one dating right back to 1539 although I was disappointed to learn that was not on display. Either way, working in a bookstore has definitely turned my love of books into a sickness.

After the house we went to the cafe for a hearty lunch at the ever wonderful National Trust Cafe’s – I had a delicious vegan spicy bean soup. Then we went to look at the gardens. I had been dying to see the bluebell wood, which always reminds me of I Capure the Castle, but unfortunately we came at an awkward time as the things we wanted to flower were either finished (my bluebells :( ) or yet to bloom (the lovely new rose garden). It was still very pretty. I was taken with the Chinese Red Birch and there were some beautiful tulips, cherry blossoms and magnolia trees in full bloom.

I also liked having my parents to myself, selfish, but whatever. As the younger, quieter sibling it is nice to have their attention without having to fight for it. We had a braii later and again, it was nice and relaxed and pleasant to be at home, with my family and my cat. Monday passed quietly with more work, and then Tuesday much the same, except that evening I went to Paint Nite with my sister. Paint Nite works like thus: you get given paints, a blank canvas and loose, casual instructions as to how to paint a certain picture and then you can do what the hell you like. There is a bar close by, and drinking is encouraged (although neither my sister and I wanted to.) My painting is shown above – I’m pleased with it but the lack of planning shows, I wish my background was stronger and that my cherry blossoms had a logical shape! Either way it was great fun, very casual, not competitive, and I’m planning to go with my sister again sometime. It was great to have a night off and to truly forget about university for a few hours. And to be honest, I had not painted since high school and I had forgotten how much fun it was. My dad drove me home after that, and thats where I’ve been since. This week has been bad, because once I don’t have my parents around to watch me I slip easily back into bad habits.

Apart from that, nothing much. Nothing much at all. Still learning to drive, with my test coming up in June. Still working at the book store and mostly enjoying it. But most of all I’m just trying to get through these last few weeks of university, and mostly failing, but at least it will soon be over. I pray for it to be over.