A nice day out
Friday, Jul. 19, 2019 - 4:12 pm.

This week dragged past me so slowly, as Bowie would point out. We have solved none of the concerns that I mentioned in my last entry, regarding being potentially cut off from our scholarship. It's just as well. Andrew and I have been there for each other, and we've managed to calm ourselves, and enjoy what's left of our current life.

In fact, last Saturday we took a train to the Peak District, and we had one of our best days out ever. The weather was perfect for a walk: cloudy but dry, not cold, not warm. We packed sandwiches and snacks, and we made our way through the Hope valley, into a small town that gave us amazing memories, including seeing Jarvis Cocker front row inside a cave.

By the way, when we walked past that spot, I noticed a poster that announced a Bowie impersonator playing in that cave, but the show had been last week. I kicked myself for missing it. I'm not a fan of Bowie doubles (their wigs tend to be terrible), but this I would have killed to see.

Anyway. Andrew and I took pictures, engaged in fun chit-chat, enjoyed the silence and the views from the top of the hills, laughed at the sheep bleating like people. We bought a piece of amethyst from the mines in the area, as a gift to ourselves. We bought gifts for other people, too. We got ice cream, and we finished our walk drinking coke in a beer garden. We got tear-eyed when we turned back for one last glance of the cozy village with hills at the end of its main road.

The effect that this day had on our spirits was astounding. While we were out, we forgot all about our worries. It's easier to boost one's mental health (provided that one's problems aren't overtly complex or chronic) having such vast, green land to get lost in. We arrived home exhausted but in a wonderful mood, and life did seem a little easier after that.

Over the week, we had our good friend Stan sleep over, because she stayed in town overnight to see Matrix with Andrew and our friend Eric. A few days later, Andrew and I went for lunch and impromptu coffee with Eric. Tonight we're having dinner with the couple who are very much the patriarch and matriarch of the Chilean community in the city. They welcome new students all year round and make sure everyone's taken care of. They're going on a trip soon, so it's our thank-you and farewell to them tonight, with the hopes that we'll meet again some day.

At the moment, I'm riding the wave of having had my monthly article published in the online news outlet. This one was about how online harassment has increased lately, in part thanks to the president's online behavior. As I expected, I've received a landslide of trolling. Or so it seems, I haven't read a full tweet and I mute every jerk that pops up.

I was in a bit of despair last night, due to my own anticipation of how badly I'd feel over the reactions once the article was posted online. I have made sure I'm safe, though. This week I reinforced assorted accounts, and I was ready to mute and block, having set up a plan of only checking Twitter at specific intervals. I thought I would want to curl up on the floor, but I've been laughing over the last few hours. My compatriots' faulty thinking is so hard-wired.

This will pass, anyway. And I have Andrew, who was so kind to check my mentions, without me asking him to, to make sure I wasn't receiving vitriol that might fuck me up. He said things "weren't *that* bad", meaning, no hard insults nor threats of sexual violence; he knows my triggers. At the most, he said, there were people accusing me of getting paid to write the article. Boy, do I wish I got paid for writing.

Something even more important that the topic above: my manuscript. Last time I mentioned it here, it was to celebrate that it had been recommended to the editor of a big, well-respected publishing house, by a former editor of mine, bless him. But for all I know, the manuscript remains untouched in the editor's mailbox.

I'm starting to wonder how much time should I let pass before asking what's up with that, to know if I should move on and submit the story somewhere else. Maybe wait until September? It may seem rude to ask. I don't want to be rude, and I'm aware that this is a favor that someone's doing for me, a major one at that. So the next best thing I can do about my manuscript right now is pour my anxiety over its fate in this diary.

I'm getting a 7-months late birthday gift from Andrew this Sunday, when we'll go to a spa (it's a promo he found online, but it took us a while to find a suitable date to go). Actually, I'm a little anxious about that because... I don't know, it's a spa. How do I behave there? Do I take my bathing suit? Do I need to shave? I'm getting a massage, and I love massages but I don't like people touching me. It should be fun, right?

OK! I'm gonna go make some comics. I haven't done that this week, and I miss it so much. It's my happy place.

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