Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bird watching at the office

I work in a new office for a couple of months now and it's in a quiet green(er) neighborhood. Last year I bought the Phillips bird guide, the Romanian edition. So now I'm always on a lookout for nearby birdies. And as a very junior birdwatcher I'm starting with what I have around. 
One of the first groups I started to follow in fascination was a fluttering gang of bullfinches (Pyrrhula pyrrhula). I couldn't miss them due to their adorable red chest and short fat beaks. They've been away for a couple of days, every day I could see them at lunch through the window. 
Now it's the time of the blackbirds (Turdus merula). I meet them in the morning, they like to snack around the nearby school and they seem to have become more and more accustomed to me. I still can't get a decent picture of one, though. I can't wait to hear them singing again.
A quite common presence is the great tit (Parus major). I can hear them when I come and go but they're restless little creatures. I think I'll never consider them to be common birds. That unusual green is nothing but special in the grey city.
Every morning there's a whole wire of puffed up carrion crows (Corvus corone corone) lining up the alley. They're also hanging around a lot in the trees I used to see the bullfinches on. There's always a lunch fight going on must mostly it looks like fun play. Their cousins, the hooded crows (Corvus corone cornix) are a bit more shy for some reason. In the country I remember they were quite used to having humans nearby all the time.
Aaand while I was stalking some blackbirds for a photo I happened accross a woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) going about its business. He did notice me for he was always going around the tree so I couldn't get a decent picture. 
Somehow we always think we are used to all these neighbors but we are strangers. Honestly, I couldn't name all of the birds when I first met them and I had to double check I got the species right. They are amazing resilient creatures in such cold days. 
I put up a bird feeder on my terrace but I think they're too shy to come so close to a home, especially when there's a river nearby where they can search the bushes and trees for food. But here close to my office they are living their little lives a bit closer. I'll keep looking at new places in the city and away for more and more birdies to watch and "collect".
*I didn't take any of the pictures - they're internet finds. But I want to start getting good at this. Hope I can soon use my own.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

In 2017 I'm an island

The more 2016 progressed, the more my anxiety grew. I'm now not sure whether I have heart problems or just a very fucked up manifestation of that anxiety. The first day of holiday - bam! I have left side chest pains and pains in my left arm. The ER says my life is not in any danger but they can't put a finger on whatever it really is.
The thing is, I am aware my anxiety has now reached a new peak. I no longer find it strange I worry about things because semi-consciously I think if I don't those things can happen. Well, I know for sure they can also happen if I worry so that gives me even more to worry about. Yeah. But that's just the light part.
I've been worrying about the future, but worrying for my life and safety, not just if I graduate or pay my bills. It's all in the light of recent international events. My life has been great. 2016 was a great year for me. Doing the work I like, traveling a lot, being married to the man I love, seeing my friends and having a good relationship with family, having a nice home and an increasing income and upward professional career, and I've been pretty healthy as well. But I'm terrified as fuck because now I have all these things to lose.
I'm making myself sick with all this worrying and fuck this shit I'm done with caring and following what goes on in the world. My husband is serene. He does his thing, he thinks about the bridge when he gets to it and generally he does what he feels like doing and it's a recipe for success in his life. He gets shit done and is happy. But I read the news, I follow the economy, I stress about nuclear war and financial depression and cancer. And I can't really do much about most of these things. The factors are so many and the mechanisms so complex, I can't even grasp let alone handle them.
So this year my resolution is to not give a fuck. I will do my things. But I will be an island. Fuck I'll dig that moat as deep and wide as I can. How? Well, no more TV. Today we got Netflix. Star Trek, cooking shows, crime series, that's all the TV I'll get. I'll try to stay off Facebook. As much as I can. I want to enforce a no Facebook at home rule. And even when I do go there, I'm unfollowing all bearers of bad news. However much I love them. Generally, I'll try that for most social media.
But I'll try to hang on to this blog. Because I need focus. And I want to focus on the stuff I care about  inside my castle - books, cooking, games, staying healthy. These things I'll need to keep me busy. In 2016 I've had too much time to worry and think about shit. I have podcasts and budgets and people to see. I have kilometers to run and swim and weights to lift. I have learning and writing to do.
This is the real fucking world. This is where I live every day and I don't even look at it because I live in my head. I want to take up bird watching. And bird feeding. And go hiking again. What the fuck point is it to worry about the nuclear winter if I can't really enjoy right now the stuff it would wipe out (here it goes again). But really, look. This is the real fucking world and I intend to live in it. As an island. I want to know my island and love my island and enjoy it. I want to get strong and fast and handy and fearless.
In the end, this is what I'm after. This amazing freedom that comes with peace of mind and being able to set aside, chase away fear. I used to work in the news. Not anymore. I now research people who grow things - food and life. And I intend to do the same. And if it takes a lot of shoveling to get me going, if it takes some horse glasses to finally see what's right in front of me, dammit, I owe myself to pull up my sleeves and go to work.