5 things this week: 13.9.2015*

1. We have entered the phase of needing to find space for TWO sets of weird "craft" projects. Behold what Dude made at spielgruppe. Given a large bucket of tiny toys to choose from and glue onna plate – animals, mini groceries, all sorts – he of course grabbed ALL THE WHEELS.

(That racing car didn't stay stuck down very long. He is absolutely thrilled with what he "bought" at spielgruppe. Art for art's sake isn't really his thing, it seems.) 

2. I went for a drive. Just an unplanned, purposeless pleasure drive because we'd dropped Elf off at her thing and Dude didn't want to go home yet. I headed towards Baden, a direction we never have cause to go in; turns out, that way the Furttal (the wide, shallow valley we live in) is deliciously green and gorgeous, and yesterday afternoon in particular, glowing in that gorgeous late-afternoon, pre-storm light that comes from heavy iron-grey clouds and low sun. I kept it short (turned well before Baden) because we were pushing rush hour, and we got home just as the first raindrops started to fall. Within 10 minutes I was enjoying a spectacular thunderstorm from the coziness of home. Perfection.

3. Impromptu lunch with a neighbour turned into a long chat about the anxiety of looking for work again after baby break. Honestly, I'm bitterly jealous that she even has jobs to apply for (without language barrier or industry crisis to worry about), but still, we share the same fears. But it was a difficult conversation, with my weak German. I found myself stumblingly trying to describe my feelings about being without work for so long: how, although I know it's ridiculous, my self-image has taken a huge knock; I feel like I'm not a grown-up, I have nothing to offer. All the while, friend is frowning at me intently, and it's not clear whether she can understand me, in any sense. "Robynn," she says at last: "Ich bin HUNDERD. PRO. ZENT. DA."    

4. Fit of baby gift knitting has confirmed what I did suspect: I am Not A Toy Knitter.

5. Dopamine has been much on my mind. Specifically, the two nuggets that humans get a dopamine hit from new information; and that rats will hit a dopamine-delivering switch constantly, if allowed, even when starving to death and in the presence of food. Twitter is an addiction, we all know that, but somehow having that little biochemical explanation of how the addiction works makes my own idiocy that bit clearer. It's not that my particular brain is so starved and craving for contact and stimulation. I just want the dopamine. Oops. (Logical conclusion => quit Twitter? Hold on now hold on, that's just crazy talk...) 

* This is a journalling/bloggity thing I picked up from somewhere years ago and did for a while. Right now I feel like doing it again – just noting 5 things I want to share and remember. It may or may not stick.