The leaves are changing, the nights are cooler, and our heating clicks on instead of staying silent through the evenings.  

We’re still in a perpetual state of waiting. Is that even good English? I am too tired to care. I feel like things that can be tough for folks to deal with on their own have happened to us all at once this year.  Whether I am coping or not coping changes by the day.  Does this mean I’m super strong? I don’t know. People don’t seem to notice that inside I’m screaming. Maybe they are too. 

The stress levels may wane but it never goes away. There seems to be a never ending list of things that need to be done before Christmas and a never ending list of problems to solve. Money, time, heavy decisions.  I am waiting. 

I feel like I have been waiting all year. For answers to big questions. 

I feel like I’ve been stressed for a few years straight. 

Give me a pool and a book and nowhere to be.  No one that needs anything from me, no tough decisions to be made. 







How bout a bit of positivity around here? And a bit of an update to get the ball rolling on blogging again.

Reading:  I have probably said this before, but I like to re-read the same books over and over, usually. However, I’m reading a great book recommended by Jolie, called When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. Seems apt.

Thinking about:  Everything. Do you ever feel like your brain is trying to digest everything in life at once? That’s what it feels like right now. Our first goal is to get the house on the market, and then try and tackle other things going on.  Work is still kinda insane, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I think the relief when everything comes together later in the year will just be immense. I’ll be writing 2016 down as a tough year that hopefully helped us to achieve some great things.




Listening to:  I’ve got a playlist right now of about 25 songs that I’ve just had on shuffle constantly. I’ve recently got into CHVRCHES and Broods thanks to Chris, and I’m really into Rihanna’s Sledgehammer, the track from the new Star Trek film.  Also still really loving Joy Williams and Vanessa Carlton’s latest albums – playing them a lot.

Watching:  We’ve caught up with a lot of shows/they’re on hiatus, so we’ve been watching a lot of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I’ve started Stranger Things and will need to start it again so Dave can see it. It’s like Twin Peaks meets E.T. with a side of horror and worth a shot.

Trying:  To let go of things.  Nothing is set in stone in any aspect of my life right now, and that’s one of my biggest issues. It all just feels a bit out of my control. The uncertainty, the not knowing.. it’s a killer. I am super sad to be leaving Scotland at some stage, but at the same time, being home is going to give me a sense of calm, I think.

Loving:  Sorting my house to sell has actually been quite cathartic. I’m finding so much crap I’d forgotten about, and getting rid of so much clutter. It’s good for the soul.




Celebrating:  We’ve got so much coming up over the next few months. We’ve got a wedding this weekend, a visit to some of my mother’s family the following weekend, then August a wedding in Aberdeen, then September will bring the show I’m involved in, and other fun things, such as…

Making me happy:  I’ve planned a great trip for myself in September, which will be my last trip to London, and my last travels on my own for a while, I imagine (I do enjoy travelling solo, but I miss D).  I’ve got TCGTE in Edinburgh on the Wednesday, then on the Thursday I go down to London and stay in Stevenage for the night to go to FriendsFest (yes, I am a big nerd). Then Friday and Saturday nights I’m in London proper for the London TCGTE shows, then back up on Sunday.  I was always going down for Complete Guide, but now I’ve tacked on FriendsFest, it’s a bonus.

Anyway. How are you?






I’m gonna be honest. This has been a tough year so far.

I’ve not been avoiding blogging because I didn’t want to talk about it. I just didn’t know quite what to say.

Apart from my marriage, most other parts of my life haven’t been going so well. Work has not been a positive place to be for a very long time, but I’ve been stuck for quite a few reasons. I’m basically biding my time there and weighing my options.  My debt is the worst it’s ever been and it’s terrifying and crushing even thinking about spending any money.  I’m the heaviest I’ve ever weighed, which I can live with, but it’s affecting my health.. and my health has been a nightmare.

We are working to sell the house and of course have taken far too long to get that ball rolling so we’re now panicking our way through decluttering, cleaning, and painting. At least selling the house will fix the debt issue.

I officially have hypothyroidism, which is honestly quite a relief after a year of Crohn’s testing and struggling with lots of little health issues which all now make a lot more sense when you realise that a vital part of your body – glands that regulate almost everything – is broken. I’m medicated for that now and obviously it is extremely manageable and not life-changing or life-threatening, but it still sucks. I feel sluggish and clouded and dopey at times and waking up takes forever and I’m always cold and I look at food and gain weight and it increases my anxiety and depression but it’s not cancer, you know? There are bigger problems people are dealing with.  Hell, I have bigger problems – I can deal with this. And I’ve always had some sort of health issue so it’s no surprise, and with my busted immune system, you kinda expect it from me really.

So I’m not the most positive right now, and to be honest, I’ve been putting on a happy face for quite a long time. I do have happy moments and silly moments and I’m still trying to power through – I think the only way I can do that is by staying as positive as I can as often as I can, though that is tough sometimes.

The anxiety is quite rough, and I’m thinking of talking to someone about it. It’s not just stress from so many areas of my life – I can’t remember the last time I felt really relaxed. I cry at the drop of a hat, lately.

There are other private issues thrown in there that I don’t want to put out there, but yeah. I have been struggling. But I am here and I am getting shit done and all of it is being improved in small steps and soon?  Soon the clouds will clear.






2016. Let’s rock this shit. Who has goals? I have a few goals.

I gotta get healthy. For my sanity, my body, and my wardrobe. But I’m doing this by:

  • eating more vegetables
  • drinking lots of water
  • sleeping more sensibly (i.e. not more, just earlier on week nights etc)
  • yoga every damn day
  • less sugar

(rather than obsessing or doing crazy crash dieting crap)



I gotta write more.  So this means:

  • scheduled music time
  • gigs!



Other goals:

  • declutter
  • sort the house for sale in the summer
  • work on my stress levels (either through changing jobs or finding time to let it go – more meditation maybe?)
  • more spiritual time for me
  • more Scotland travel, also maybe a few more European jaunts


You got goals? Let’s kick ass.






Hey, friends. Back after a wee hiatus – work and life have been busy, and it’s hard keeping up with routine. I thought I’d post a currently catch-up. It’s December! The year is winding down! It’s weird. 2015 feels like a blur.



Reading:  I’ve been catching up on The Walking Dead comics – I’d only read up to #120, so now I’m catching up to #145. I love the twists and turns in the story and seeing where the show goes with it as well.  I’m also about to start Rise of the Circle, the 3rd book in my buddy Tom Reynolds’ Meta series. If you like superhero YA fiction, it’s worth a read.

Thinking about:  This year, man. It has just disappeared on us. It has been a really important year. And now 2016 is peeking its face around the corner. Everything is starting to become super Christmassy around here, even though we don’t have a tree to decorate just yet. It’s so dark again (3:45pm sunsets, anyone?) and some heavy snow hit other parts of Scotland over the weekend. None for us yet, though I did get snow boots on Saturday..


Listening to:  The Christmas tunes are creeping in, but in all honesty I’m probably listening mostly to podcasts still. The list is below…

My favourites:

The Complete Guide to Everything
Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4: News Quiz
The Indoor Kids
The X-Files Files
Sword & Scale
Rhod Gilbert’s Best Bits
The Nerdist (selectively)
The Dollop
Gilmore Guys
If I Were You

Yeah, this is a lot, but I listen all day at work! I may do a post at a later date with some more info and some suggested episodes to start people off. Podcasts are one of my top passions in life.

Watching:  I’ve become a bit obsessed with Flesh and Bone, a new ballet drama which is a hell of a lot darker/twistier than any ballet drama I’ve seen before. We’re also watching The Man in the High Castle. Compelling stuff!



Trying:  To get back into craft after a long break. I’ve bought a bunch of fabrics and sewing patterns, and plan to use my winter break to make some new dresses. I’m a slow dressmaker, but I do enjoy it, so hopefully I can get very crafty with my 2.5 weeks of freedom (and then we go to Berlin!) and also I’ve been back into cross-stitching. It’s so calming. I need some new patterns/ideas, though. Going to crack into a book a friend gave me over the weekend.



Loving:  All the sparkle! As I said earlier, it’s getting so dark so early now, and the lights/festivity really break it up. January is pretty depressing when they turn them all off, but hopefully we can keep some lights up until we take our Germany trip.  When do you decorate? I just love this time of year.


Celebrating:  I have two weeks left at work! Then a huge break – I can’t wait for 3 weeks off. I’m going to be super lazy for one week, productive for one week, then we go to Berlin in the final week for Dave’s birthday. Woo!

Making me happy:  Christmas is coming. Yes, I’m the worst Jew ever. I love Christmas! I can’t wait to enjoy all of the sparkly specialness that is on the way. And we’re hosting this year. Should be an experience!






Kat’s Scotland Guide: Longer Journeys




2 hours + from Edinburgh:

Glencoe (top, above) (2.5 hours) – featured in the Bond film Skyfall, stunning mountain ranges and just an incredibly-beautiful drive overall! I love this drive so much.  Take the route that is M9-A84-A85-A82 – enter the Glencoe Visitor Centre as your destination (GPS postcode PH49 4HX).
Glenfinnan monument & viaduct (bottom, above) (3 hours-ish north-west) – featured in Harry Potter etc, and a very pretty drive up there indeed, it’s about 3 hours from Edinburgh. Generally the west coast is just beautiful.
Oban (2 hours 45 north-west) – a very pretty seaside village with a coastal garden called Inverewe (below, top) which is an adventure to get to (single track roads!)
Inverness/Loch Ness (3 hours north) –  Inverness is the best vantage point for getting to Loch Ness.  You can get a cruise from Inverness or drive to the loch yourself. If you get the cruise they often drop you off at the ruins of Castle Urquhart which is a good visit. Inverness also has the famous Culloden battlefield.
Culzean Castle (below, bottom)


(2 ¾ – 3 hours south west) – Culzean Castle (pronounced Cul-ain) is a beautiful castle on the west coast looking out towards Arran. It is surrounded by stunning gardens and is just well worth visiting if you’re heading south, or if you just fancy it for a day.



I hope you enjoyed this wee series. Any questions, hit me up and I’d be happy to update the guides or put up a Q&A.




On faith


I have a lot of complicated feelings about faith lately.



There have been a few changes. It all started, I think, at the end of 2013, when Brigadoon started to consume my life. I went to shul infrequently, pushed aside everything apart from the show. Rehearsing 3x a week was exhausting but fulfilling, exhilarating but stressful. And when the show was over in early 2014, I just needed a break. From most things in life, other than my (almost) husband and my bed.



I’d been feeling a bit detached already. After months of no activity, I realised that my feelings associated with shul were not 100% positive. I was a little turned off by some of the attendees, and by the fact that after attending for 6 years, I still felt a bit like an outsider. The people I enjoyed seeing were my age (with a few exceptions), and I continued to be involved and engaged because of them (and services with the wonderful Rabbi), rather than anything.  My studies/group participation was minimal, and it was so easy just to drift away.



I started to feel resentful, and tired, and excluded, even if it was of my own making. This year, I didn’t go to High Holyday services – the first time since 2009.  I reflected and acknowledged these important days at home, but I couldn’t shake the feelings of guilt. I still have these feelings now. But do I want to go out of guilt? It shouldn’t be guilt and obligation that drive you to do anything (unless it’s from your mother on her birthday, amirite?), and us Jews? We’re amazing at guilt.

I realised that my only reason for attending this year would be to be seen to be attending. And the spiritual/religious elements of it would not be the sole purpose. And for me, they are the purpose.



The tough thing for me about Judaism, and particularly Liberal Judaism, is also one of its strongest selling points: belief doesn’t matter.  Belief in a God that has any involvement in our lives is not a requirement to be a good Jew, a good person, a good member of the community. Many do not believe in anything other than the elements of the Torah that tell us to be the best person we can be: be involved in your community, be good to others, help those in need, and give to charity.

But for me, it’s lonely.  I don’t necessarily feel that God is moving us around like pawns – in fact, I don’t believe that at all. But I sought out a community because I was tired of being Jewish on my own. And I get that connection with other Jews when I go, but I don’t get that connection of belief. And I sometimes struggle with that.  Sometimes Christianity seems easier and more fulfilling – a community of people who all so strongly believe in something and feel that joy in their hearts when they worship together.  This is most likely a carry-over from my days as a Christian, but I miss that joy. I miss that communal excitement and love and happiness. And sometimes I can’t help but listen to my old Christian music, just to feel that love for God swell through me (ignoring the Jesus ones, still!). Celebrating that joy of belief isn’t really the Jewish way.



I still think Judaism is the right fit for me, religiously. But it has been a struggle for a long time and I don’t know where to go next.  I feel like I wish to step up my home observance, but I’m not sure where it puts me in the community (I don’t think this is the end of my time with them just yet), and I’m not sure how it will affect my family and children in future.  One thing that is always weighing on my mind is our limited time left in Scotland, which I’ll explain at a later date..



Another big change as that I slowly but surely decided not to keep kosher anymore.  It wasn’t sudden, and it was a bit weird – my brain was telling me I had no good reasons to continue, but my habit/sentimentality was telling me that to hold on to my decision from years ago.  I started keeping kosher at 19 as a way to bring more Judaism into my life, as an element of it that I could control, but. That doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is my intention and my heart.



I can’t bring myself to eat bacon in a fry-up, that seems like a step too far, and I probably won’t be mowing down on any pork chops anytime soon. But I’ve been having things like carbonara with a bit of pancetta, chorizo in basically everything (that’s the best so far), sausages without checking for pork contents, etc. Small changes.



One thing that hasn’t changed is my strong belief that beliefs are personal. You do what’s best for you, what feels right to you, and what honours your gut instinct.  Even if that sometimes means stepping away for a while.



Have you been in this struggle? I’d love to hear your thoughts.