Kate’s Diary – Sunday 2nd December – I do believe I will be getting a visit from three ghosts

Eugh.  I slept on the sofa again last night.  Dave was snoring (even more so than usual because he went out drinking last night and left my boys to babysit me).  It was cold.  And cramped.  I’ve woken up with a stiff neck, stiff back and the temper from hell.  We were supposed to be putting our tree up today, but the way I’m feeling, the tree will be going up alright – right up Dave’s ass.

I’m not feeling Christmas this year.  Usually I’m really excited and dying to put the decorations up and play Christmas music and go Christmas shopping, but I do believe that this year I have turned into Ebenezer Scrooge.  I think it’s lack of sleep.  No matter how many days holiday I book off work, I still seem to feel constantly burnt out.

Christmas is a stressful at time at best isn’t it?  I’m so worried.  We’ve struggled with money this year so I haven’t really had the extra cash to put to one side to save up for presents and now it’s creeping up on me and I’ve bought very little.  It’s so expensive and I’ve so many people to buy for.  I’ve been losing a lot of sleep over it.  The stress has caused the meaning of Christmas to become a bit obsolete for me to be honest.  I can’t wait for it to be over, and that makes me really sad because I used to adore this time of year.

I’ve spent a lot of my time playing Red Dead Redemption with my best mate Z and Fallout 76 with my bois Nova and Noodle.  I’ve had fun.

It’s so cold outside that I made a cuppa.  Then surfed Instagram and saw my neighbour put a picture up of a cake and a cuppa.  Now I feel like my tea isn’t going to be the same because of lack of cake.

And I’m rambling.  I should go.

Kate’s Diary – Sunday 25th November – It’s getting harder and harder to relax

I’m annoyed.  I just told my Google Home to “play Anitra’s Dance”.  It’s a classical tune, by the way.  My favourite piece of music.  It always reminds me of a mischievous cat for some reason.  Google decided I didn’t know my own mind and decided to play some rap music instead by someone who didn’t sound anything like Anitra.  It was rubbish.  I told Google to “shut the fuck up”.  She said, “okay, no more yapping!”, rather too happily for my liking, the smug bitch.  I hate when technology thinks it knows better than me.  As if it knows what I should be doing or listening to in order to relax.  Well it doesn’t and so help me God, that woman will learn to know her place in this house.  Always butting in when we’re watching TV, randomly telling us the football scores, interrupting conversations, like she was ever a part of them.  We don’t even really use the bloody thing to be honest.  Maybe that’s why she’s so insistent on being part of the family.  Maybe she feels lonely.  I know the feeling.  I have lots of people check in with me every day but I still can’t help but feel alone sometimes.

I feel as if we haven’t stopped for months.  We’ve had so much going on for so long that Dave has only recently got his sleeping pattern back, which means, unfortunately for me, that he also is back to snoring his arse off every single night.  Very loudly, I might add.  Which means I’m awake for the whole night.  Unless I go and sleep on the sofa downstairs, but it’s too small for me and I end up cramped up with a dead leg.  Unpleasant.  So I’ve been struggling by with around an hour and a half sleep every night for the last month or so.  I also went to visit my sister last weekend and did a lot of driving, which also tired me out, then I went to work and blah blah, you know the score.  Basically I burnt myself out.  I couldn’t even summon the energy to stream last week.  I was trying to keep to my regular routine of work, home, tidy up, prepare for work tomorrow, sort kitties out, stream, read, bed, but there was just too many things on the to-do list and I couldn’t keep up.  If I had been a Sim, I would be getting told “Kate’s queue is full” right before breaking out the nearest mop, drawing a face on it and talking to it with a crazy look in my eye.

I spoke to one of my friends who I deem a very practical and reliable “grown up” (as I see him), and he told me I should be relaxing and taking a break and that the people around me wouldn’t see it as me letting them down.  That they would be very supportive.  And they really were.  I was thankful for it.

Friday gone was spent playing old-new games with my fake little brother in South Africa.  He always makes my brain want alcohol (I mean, even more so than usual) and I may have been a tad over-generous with my measures of gin to tonic.  I woke up feeling extremely delicate on Saturday.  But I still put my computer on and streamed a bit of Fallout 76, which I was enjoying right up until the point that my stream crashed and ended and I hadn’t even noticed and continued playing and talking to myself for a further two hours.  When I realised, I was miffed to say the least.

Today I’ve been doing grown up things, like buying kettles and those things you put your tea, coffee and sugar in.  I’m a great lover of cute and quirky and, as sad as I am, and will even admit it, I sat looking at them for ages after putting them on the kitchen bench.  It inspired me to do some more housework and make my house nice and cosy so I could cuddle up with my cat and watch some more episodes of ‘The Last Kingdom’ before reading then bed.

Usually I play games on a Sunday.  Or I hang out with my best friend.  Wednesdays and half Sundays are usually our days.  Instead, tonight I decided to focus solely on trying to relax and unwind so maybe I sleep tonight and maybe I will be good for something in the morning.  My house is tidy and cosy, I lit the tealights, decided to blog and vent and I’m sat in my PJ’s all snug with my Bug (my cat – he’s called Bug – after the main protagonist from the movie ‘My Soul to Take’ – cos that guy always got ganged up on and bullied, and so does my cat – I realise this sounds utterly mental).

I guess I was feeling mostly okay but right now I just sort of feel a bit lonely.  I’ve been asked by my friends to come play Fallout with them and I know my other great darling of a friend G would suggest I hang out in Discord or something but I just mostly don’t really know where to put myself.  I feel a little empty.  Like a part of me is missing.  I should probably go give my head a shake, make a cup of green tea and think of something worthwhile to actually blog about…

Kate’s Diary 19th October – A rare vlog

So, um, I don’t usually do this. I kind of like to maintain the happy upbeat persona. But when someone you love is sad or upset and you feel helpless, you can’t help but be overcome with your emotions. They kind of spill out, no matter how hard you try and keep them in.

Today was Dave’s dad’s funeral. His dad wrote his own eulogy. He mentioned me. It broke me. And Dave broke. He never cries and it hurt so much to see him like that because I couldn’t do anything about it other than hold his hand and be there. This is the hardest thing we have been through together and we’ve been through a lot.

I make a lot of video diaries that never see the light of day. But I wanted to share this one because I found it easier to express my feelings in my body language and facial expressions than words.

Kate’s Diary 18th October 2018 – It’s been kinda hard

Wow it’s been a while since I posted!  There has been so much going on / gone on that I’ve kind of had to prioritise and whilst I would have loved to have blogged to vent, I struggled to find the right words.  So I streamed instead.  I put a good deal of effort into streaming.  And when I wasn’t streaming I was trying to be there for my boyfriend, whose dad sadly passed away a fortnight ago so everything was a bit up in the air, we didn’t know whether we were coming or going and both our schedules went to pot really.  It was hard.  It was also exacerbated by the fact that my grandad also passed away and I wasn’t able to go to his funeral due to work commitments.  I’ve felt a little lost with ideas for blog posts to be fair, hence this one of mostly rambling.

I’ve met a lot of new people who have joined our little community of gamers so I have made a lot of new friends, which I am grateful for because they have all checked in with me regularly and made sure me and Dave are okay, especially godsendss and 50cal so I’m genuinely really really grateful to have them around.

We have the funeral to attend tomorrow so I’m not really sure what kind of mood either of us will come back in to say whether I will be blogging properly or whether we’ll just be chilling watching TV or whether he will stay out and get drunk and give his dad a good send off.  Either way, if I drop off the radar for a bit, you know why.

Kate’s Diary – September 28th – I’m having a party and you’re all invited

Today is the Macmillan Coffee morning at work.  Except I had tea instead.  Five cups of it to be precise.  And that was before 10am.  I started work at 8am.  So to say I’m now on a caffeine rush is a bit of an understatement.
Usually we all bring cakes in, but none of us are really cake people and we thought this year that we’d stop being morons and eat something we all like.  So we got toast and crumpets (so British right?) and we ate them and drank tea (VERY British right?).
I started this morning feeling really, really, inescapably down in the dumps.  I recently lost a friend and it’s hit me almost unbearably hard for weeks.  I fought and fought but it wasn’t enough and this morning I have had to finally walk away and say goodbye forever.  Everyone must have noticed I was bummed because people have gone out of their way to cheer me up and make me smile.  It’s worked.  I feel better.
I decided to stream tonight because I’m really enjoying Stardew Valley and I really enjoyed the company I received when I streamed it last.  It was good fun and I laughed and smiled.  They say laughter is the best medicine and by God they are right.  I feel better when I am in front of my computer, and in the company of like-minded people, joking around and talking about nothing and everything.  So I’ll be streaming over on my Twitch channel at 6pm GMT tonight.  If anyone wants to stop by and keep me company on this Friday evening after a long week, I would very much appreciate that.  I’ve carefully chosen an upbeat playlist just for the occasion so you can all come, drink alcohol and sing with me.  Let’s have some fun 😉
Hopefully see you all there 😛
Keep being spiffy everyone!

Learning new languages! Apparently it’s more common to want to learn Klingon than anything else…?

I love learning different languages.  Back in the day, when we still had dial-up and a buttload of time on our hands, I used to sit for hours in front of Encarta ’97 (I’m sure it will be long before your time) flicking through all the different languages and learning the basics of tons of them.  This love for languages eventually made me broaden my horizon to a program sort of like Rosetta Stone but a damn sight cheaper, where I decided I would start learning Spanish.  To this day, where the hell I thought I was ever going to slip “the donkey is bad” into general conversation with a Spanish person escapes me.

I’m one of the rare English people who really feel extremely ignorant when I’m in another country and I don’t know a single word of the language (or very little of it) and am basically expecting to get by, by speaking in English and expecting everyone else to speak my language.  I honestly feel terrible.

Last year when I joined my old guild on Elder Scrolls Online, I met a guy from South Africa.  You may know him, he has been in a couple of my streams.  His name is Novadoam.  He speaks better English than I do and has the single worst South African accent I have ever heard in my life.  Honestly, I was expecting full Leo DiCaprio when he started talking and I was completely taken aback.  He sounds like someone talking American with a foreign accent.  He tells me (I felt so stupid when the realisation hit me) that naturally, people who live in South Africa, speak Afrikaans primarily, not English and that he learned a lot of English from American daytime TV shows.  It’s not like people walk around talking like they’re on the set of ‘Blood Diamond’.  How silly of me.

Anyway, I do so love him, he’s adorable, like the little brother I never had and always wanted.  (That’s a bit of a lie because I actually always wanted an older brother who would beat bullies up for me and instead ended up with a little sister who kicked a boy called Martin in the balls when she was four and he was six because he was mean to me). I digress.  Yes, I love him and I thought it would be really thoughtful if I could speak to him (even occasionally) in Afrikaans.  So I downloaded the Duolingo app, which I’ve had a lot of success with before and when it installed, I searched the long list of languages for Afrikaans (which to be honest, I didn’t think was too obscure a language to ask for, in the grand scheme of things).

You can imagine my surprise when it wasn’t in the list.  At all.  Of course, there were the usuals, Spanish, French, German, blah blah blah.  Amongst this list, if I had been walking whilst searching I would have done a double take.  As it was, I scrolled down, then up, then down again, hardly believing my eyes.Screenshot 2018-09-27 at 19.25.11

Apparently, with the aid of Duolingo, you can now learn ‘Klingon’ or ‘High Valyrian’.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Game of Thrones as much as the next half-arsed person; not so hot on Star Trek, but I’m not nerdy enough or have as much time on my hands enough to warrant learning either of those languages.  And also, which country would I be visiting where either of these languages would get me a drink in a bar?  The scary thing is that 490k people in the world are using Duolingo alone, (that’s not counting in any other method of language learning) just to learn High fucking Valyrian.  It occurred to me that at this rate, English will be a second language to English people and the most widely used language, worldwide will become a fucking made up language from a massively overrated TV show.  Grrr.  I have a bee in my bonnet about this, so sorry.

I was absolutely devastated by this.  I’m really fussy with learning techniques and I bin things off very quickly if the method of learning is not sinking in or is boring me.  I know Duolingo works for me and it’s great that it even checks your pronunciation.

Sigh!  Uber sigh!  How very UN-Spiffy!

I had no choice but to trawl the Internet and go back to my old fashioned learning method, which is seeing something written down, writing it down myself and then replaying the pronunciation over and over until I sounded partially right in my own head.  So far, I can say, (and I thought this would be incredibly useful when Nova tries to get cocky with me) “I don’t speak Afrikaans, I don’t understand”, “How are you?”, “What time is it?”, “I am tall”, “He is short” and the most important one, “Are you married?”.  Sadly, I couldn’t find anywhere where it could tell me how to say “the donkey is bad” so I’ll have to ask Nov to get me up to scratch with that one.

I think he was quite taken aback when I told him what I was doing but I could almost hear a smile in the messages.  He has said I can practice when he’s next online, so naturally, I’m looking forward to making a fool of myself, forgetting everything and having the pronunciation (which I actually have down pretty well now) all go to pot.

I shall endure!

Cars, cars and more cars – how many crappy ones can I go through before I get a decent one?

My goodness, I suck.  I mean, you know, not at everything, but definitely at choosing the wrong cars.  To date I have had eight cars.  I have been driving for twelve years.  Out of those eight cars, seven were ten years or older.  I have never been able to afford a relatively new car so I keep saving up and buying these absolute sheds that are fine when I get them, then, like the Jonah that I am, within a couple of months, things start to go horribly wrong with them, I end up plying thousands into them, probably enough to warrant getting a decent car, but you know how it is – you drop a couple hundred quid into a car and then you think it’d be a waste of money if you got a different one because you’d already put money into it, so you put more money into it to get more repairs done and it ends up being a viscous cycle that costs you a lot of money.

My most recent car is a cute little yellow Fiat 500.  They’re quite popular these days and I looked into literally hundreds of reviews about them – parts are budget, tax is cheap/free, insurance is really really, ridiculously low, fuel costs next to nothing, etc. etc.  Plus they don’t take up much space on your drive, so, bonus!

So, I took out a loan for £3750 and went to a garage that sold a little yellow sport edition Fiat 500 (2008) and I part ex’d my red Beetle (complete with huge golden Legend of Zelda Hyrule symbol decal across the bonnet) and I bought it.  I got £300 for my Beetle, which had multitude of problems and was a 2000 edition, so it was pretty darn old.

The garage fixed a few niggly things here and there for free (naturally) and for a fair few months (around eight) I was trouble free and I thought I’d finally found the car that would have little to no problems and not taunt me with its very existence.

I did have issues with its size, to be fair.  The car I had before my Beetle was a huge Honda HR-V that made me feel MASSIVE and really really safe.  So going to the Fiat started to make me feel a little uneasy after a while, especially on the motorway.

So far I have had new bulbs, four new tyres, a full new exhaust and brand spanking new brake discs and all the jazz that comes with your regular MOT fails.  I’ve spent a fair bit of money on repairs.  So imagine my absolute devastation when my car suddenly starts overheating when we’re stuck in traffic one day and what did it boil down to?  A coolant leak somewhere in the radiator which has now got so bad that I drive it to work (three miles) and by the time I get there, the coolant, which I filled to the max before I left, is empty.  It also has a multitude of electrical faults and I’m just really losing my patience with the stupid thing.

None of this was a problem really transport-wise, because I live so close to work and can get a lift in with my boyfriend, however, we found out recently that our depot is moving to the other end of the district, across a lot of country roads (and uphill) and I am now one hundred percent certain that my little crappy car will definitely not get me to work every day.  If I don’t have my car, I don’t have my job.  Simple.

I want to sell it and get a car that’s only a couple of years old, on finance.  Trouble is, I can’t sell it until I get the repairs done because obviously, I have to use the money I make from selling it, to instantly pay back the loan I took out to buy it.

So.  This brings me to my next, extremely forward topic.  They say up North, “shy bairns get nowt” so I’m just gonna put it out there and outright ask.  I have set up a donation button on my Twitch page and will be placing a donation ticker in my stream tomorrow if any kind Samaritans feel like helping a very unlucky girl out with some financial aid that will go towards fixing my stupid car so I can get rid of it once and for all before it ends up killing me, since it basically a bloody deathtrap.

Any help is massively appreciated and I will send hugs.  In fact, I’ll send hugs even if no one helps.  Just cos I love hugging people.