Every night I fall asleep to the sound of the ocean. Not the real ocean, sadly, just recordings I can stream through YouTube, but it is enough that those recordings were the ocean once, washing gently across some distant shore. It’s either that or a (mild) tropical storm, because the distant rolls of thunder and lashing rain make me feel warm and cosy and far away. White noise in general makes me feel calm in a way that total silence never can. I never sit in totally silent rooms in libraries, for example, it’s just too disconcerting somehow. I like hustle and bustle to remind me there is life outside of my own mind and the object of its immediate focus.

Moments of calm, like deep and restful unmedicated sleep, often prove elusive to me, but their pursuit is a greater priority this New Year than dieting or rushing to the gym. Sleeplessness and anxiety are a vicious cycle because the one aggravates the other indefinitely. View Full Post

In the week before returning to university, I had so much work to do that I decided the best course of action was to do none of it. Better to have a week to properly switch off, rest and relax, than continue to work constantly without achieving much, getting frustrated and bored and tired without being productive. Illogical, yes, and I probably shouldn’t encourage such a lax attitude to work and responsibility, but it works for me.

Instead, I enjoyed lazy days of late starts, big breakfasts, fresh coffee, travel magazines, baking, lounging, wine-drinking, film-watching, and nights of long deep sleeps uninterrupted by alarms.  This tart was a product of that week, and I enjoyed a large slice (or two) whilst watching Casablanca with my mum one evening.

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