I’ve been looking forward to this third residency weekend for ages (I always do) – I’m surrounded by other passionate and HUGELY interesting people doing very insightful and inspiring things. This UNION programme has been absolutely brilliant so far, and I’m genuinely gutted that we’re over half way through it now… only two more weekends left!

The theme for this week was ‘Working from Within’. I find it really helpful to write about what we did because I’m really forgetful (it’s an under-researched symptom of recurrent depression, I’m sure) and it helps me to remember things. Also, it allows me to share with you some of the things I’ve learnt about!

As many an adventure starts, it started with a train journey. I got into Manchester Piccadilly, and after I nearly had a panic attack at the station because I couldn’t find the bus stop I needed (why is it not clearly signposted!?), I arrived at The University of Manchester’s Whitworth Halls, which is where we were staying for the weekend. We stayed in student dorms and OH MY GOD… I’ve never seen a room like it. I’m always grateful to have a paid-for bed but they were hot, musty cells complete with mouldy curtains. Everyone’s room was like mine (except others also reported giant spiders!) but we all seemed to take it in relatively good cheer, finding the humour in it. I never did the ‘staying-in-uni-dorms’ thing so it was an experience, but two nights was enough – I couldn’t imagine being 18 and staying there for a whole year though!

Anyway, we then got ourselves to a restaurant called Kim by the Sea, which is nowhere near the Sea. It was this hipster-y restaurant with a really nice vibe, though I got given my meal with a bajillion olives on (which I don’t like) and jalapenos (which I can’t handle). We had some really interesting conversations around the table.
First was about Enneagrams, and some of us did an Enneagram test – I was pretty happy with my result really (Type 4), although I think some of the wording is a bit unfavourable…

The second stand-out conversation I remember was about these cultural differences our conversational group experience, including the similarities and differences between Indian/British Sikh, Turkish and White British. We spoke a lot about our families (mine was deffo the least interesting lol) and experiences growing up. I really loved and valued that conversation, ladies, just so you know :)

Although I was shattered, we went to the pub after with some of the UNION gang before returning to my cell.