28 February 2013

who knows where

Been having a struggle again today as I seem to have reverted to being just as poorly as I was at the weekend. I can't stop this hacking cough and it's making the whole of my chest hurt again. As my antibiotic course is nearly at an end I think I may need a repeat!

I have spent a large part of today asleep as madam has caused chaos around me. She has also been fridge raiding and had a somewhat interesting combination of foods so far. I've not eaten anything, too unsure whether I'll keep it down. I'm also suddenly roasting hot!

I more of my story written last night, but I've lost a bit of focus as to where it should go next.
Basically I've been a bit all over the place for the last couple of days since I was at the counsellor.

Yesterday my mum and I wrote a letter to send to my landlord in the hope that it'll persuade him not to evict me. He lives all the way down in Kidderminster so it's not surprising he doesn't manage the property himself. I've sent it to the lawyer who's overseeing my case and she's approved it. Just need to send it off now. Gulp. This sort of it. If it doesn't work we'll have to move. Again. *cries* I haven't got the strength to start again, I just haven't. And I'm terrified about where we might end up... I'm going to have to throw myself on the mercies of the council. Which could mean I finally get a home with a bit more stability to it (I'm unlikely to be evicted from it) but there is the question of where I might end up living.

My fear is that I'll have to leave my home town, that I will end up even more isolated than I'm feeling already. I can't be placed in a village as I have no car so that's something of a relief. But there are plenty of towns big enough to shove us in. Goole, anyone?

27 February 2013

an empty space

I left the counsellors yesterday feeling emotionally drained. I was right, I did cry. I knew we'd been getting closer and closer to that sore spot that I try so very hard to hide. And I knew that it was her job to poke it. But it still hurt.
She and I are dealing with my inaction over all aspects of my life, and finding why I seem incapable of finishing projects. And she kept picking away at it until I knew why it was that I do it. And now, finally, I think I might.
I'm afraid of something, that much is obvious from the inaction. But my inability to even complete things that would be of benefit to me is the real sticking point in my life. I am building my wall of things around me, but it's not to keep people out, it's to give me something to fight against. I constantly have an internal battle going on, wherein I hate how I've let things pan out, but then don't finish off fixing them.
Because what happens when they're fixed?
What happens when it's just me?
Do I have to deal with my emotions then?
And then, only then, can I admit to the great modern problem. I am alone. My stuff fills my home so it's not empty, my worries fill my head so it's not empty. But nothing can fill that empty space in my heart I hide. I am alone and so, so lonely.
I'm a strange mixture really, in most cases I would chose to be by myself, I follow mostly solitary pursuits. Reading, knitting, crochet etc. and I enjoy the inner peace they help me find. But there are moments when all the inner peace in the world wouldn't be as welcome as just someone to give you a hug.
This is how the husband worms his way in with me. I need the warmth that he seems to exude. But I'm staying strong. I haven't phoned him once since our return from Bristol at new year. Not even just because hearing his voice is enough for me. I don't want to be in his thrall any more. I want to be strong enough.
But now that I can admit to being crushingly lonely I wonder how you fix it?
It's not like you can magic it so that all the lovely people you spend time talking to on twitter can actually be with you in your living room (and given how untidy it still is, I don't know where I'd put you all!) And I can't suddenly not be a parent so that I could go to more of the social activities that interest me in an evening.
So what is the answer? I'm afraid I don't know yet. But I think knowing the problem might at least start to help me look...

26 February 2013

a happy heart

I was on a high after my success yesterday morning and was determined to not let anything get me down. This meant that when I collected madam from school and she was quite obviously full of a cold (she had her "I'm poorly" face on) and feeling all tired-y I elected to deal with it in the way that I'd like to have been treated.
So I made her walk to Tesco and we went to sit in the cafe, have a drink and then we would get the bus home. We also got her a new DVD for her to watch whilst she lay, pathetically, on the sofa making my leg go to sleep.
We happened to bump into some friends of ours who manage to have the interesting ability of always making me feel like I am so much more in control of my life than I know I really am. Sadly, the reason for this is because her life is even more out of control than mine. But yet she's still smiling and always manages to give me good advice and help when I need it.
So whilst we nattered our two kids did what all modern children now seem to do, played on the apps on our phones! Then we shopped, I bought a proper digital thermometer as I'm sick of the guesswork of a fever strip, the DVD I mentioned and an awesome t-shirt with a rhino on :) If any of you are wondering if I got anything out of this shopping trip (the t-shirt? No, don't be silly...) I got laundry detergent and stain remover. Woot! Oh well, least I have something to wash the laundry mountain in now...
Madam and I loved the DVD! It's called The Lorax and it was made by the same people who did Despicable Me (one of our joint favourites) and it was just as good. I do like Dr. Seuss although I was unfamiliar with this story. It's all environmental and worthy, without you feeling like you're being preached to (stand up Happy Feet, you're fired!). The grandmother is now my hero. I'm sure we're way behind and everyone else has already discovered it, but I heartily recommend it.
And then last night I finished off chapter 5 of Storm in the Shadows (check it out, there's a link here ). I am soooo pleased with it. I think I might have made the story much harder for me to write now, but still! This, I suppose is only a first draft...
And then this morning crashing reality came in. Boo... We both overslept (me because I'd spent so long with my brain on fast forward last night, her because of the cold) and then we just couldn't. It was all so much effort. I did manage to not be shouty mummy as I was aware that she wasn't feeling 100%, but she had no temperature and seemed a bit more herself than she had been. She insisted on the new t-shirt and I figured it wasn't worth an argument. Then we slowly, slowly, slowly walked to school. I merely handed her over at the front door and then headed for respite.
I am at my counsellors later on, don't know where this week will go. There might be crying, I'm just feeling that way out today...
Oh, and this little blog of mine has now topped 1000 pageviews! I'm so inspired and awed by your support.
Thank you. From the very bottom of my heart and soul. Thank you.

25 February 2013

living room wars

I had a bit of a wobble last night where I started questioning my worth. I couldn't see the point of why I'm here. I just felt like I'm a waste of a space in the world and that my life is meaningless. I don't work, I don't contribute, I don't have a purpose.
I just feel like I'm letting something amazing pass me by and I'm too busy hiding from it to enjoy it. Life can be so beautiful in so many little ways, but when you find yourself locked in a battle of wills with your 4 year old again, it becomes harder to see.
I suppose this all comes about from my having been feeling so crappy the last few days. I don't make a good poorly procrastinator. Mainly because I can't just lie on a sofa with someone looking after me. Because I am alone. And no, for these purposes, my madam doesn't count. She may have been doing her best to look after me, but she still needs me to look after her. And the constant need for attention she has is draining at the best of times.
She was playing up yesterday as she's also got a cold and no-one was being sympathetic enough for her liking...
And then last night she hijacked me as I got into bed so I got absolutely no time on my own in there and instead had her coughing and spluttering down my ear whilst I tried to ignore the rattle in my own chest and get some sleep. So I'm tired, too.
But today was D-day, or maybe L-day would be better. Today, with the help of my timer I started on the living room. I was terrified and I didn't know where to begin. But as my fridge is in my living room due to the space constraints in my kitchen and I can barely open the freezer for clutter. That corner won the first 15 minute block. And I decluttered enough from that one small area to fill a whole bin bag. I also found goodness only knows how many of madams odd socks that have been lost for an age!
There is now a small laundry mountain forming in there, but this doesn't frighten me as much as it might once have. Because I have a technique in place to cope with that.
And tomorrow we do a bit more...
The results of todays session:

24 February 2013

feverish twaddle

I'm still fairly poorly, though I do feel better than yesterday. And more importantly I got to go to the chinese with everyone :)
I'm feeling rather spaced out still so I apologise if this is even more rambling than usual. I went to bed at a completely chaste 10.30 last night and didn't get up until 8, but I still managed to fall asleep for an hour on the sofa whilst madam was making me watch Happy Feet.
If you've not seen it then I wouldn't rush to... It's very right on and worthy, and really long for a kids film!
I've realised I didn't do a favourites list on Friday, this was mainly cause I totally forgot, sorry! If you'd like to submit suggestions for this Friday they will be greatfully received!
This week is the big week for me. Me and Fly Lady are finally on to the living room. I'm really not looking forward to this task, but it's time. I shall gird my loins, as they say...
Oh, and yesterday I found out I've been picked to be a World Book Night giver! I'm going to to be giving away 20 copies of The Reader. Which I absolutely loved when I read it the other year. I'm not allowed to give them to habitual readers or in places where lots of readers might be (bookshops, libraries etc). But I'm really excited about it. Now, if you haven't read The Reader, I *do* recommend you give it a go.

23 February 2013

a poorly procrastinator says what...

Today is not going very well for me, I'm really feeling under-the-weather. I've spent a couple of hours waiting to see an emergency doctor and get some antibiotics for this stupid cough of mine.
Only it's not just a cough, I have a fairly high temperature and I've spent most of the morning trying not to fall asleep where I've been standing/sitting.
Fortunately for me we are at my parents house today so they are madam sitting and I am in bed. As mentioned I've been struggling not to drop off for the majority of the day, but now I'm in bed, I'm wide (ish) awake...
The other pain about me suddenly being unwell today is that we're supposed to be going to the Chinese for a birthday tea for my older brother. It's sort of a "congratulations on the new job" meal as well. So far I haven't eaten anything today so I'm hoping by tonight I might be able to manage some soup and maybe a chicken dish of some description. I'll be so disappointed if I have to stay here in bed and miss it!
My little girl has been playing nursemaid for me and making sure I have everything I need. It's incredibly sweet to have her clucking around me, but I'm also glad my parents have now made her stay downstairs whilst I rest.
I'm all ache-y and spaced out, oh, and what do you know. I think I might have that sleep after all...

22 February 2013

the long and winding road

I had a slow day yesterday, couldn't seem to get going. But after kicking myself up the bum I managed to get some laundry in and some more cleaning done. I was mainly interested in trying to unearth my college notebook (which seemed to have wandered off into the wilderness) and a college library book (likewise).
I did manage to find the notebook, but I have no idea where the library book has hidden itself. I've paid the fine on it, so it could be worse... I also tried to get some more of my assignment sorted out, but without the notebook I didn't seem to be getting very far.
Madam and I went into town and topped up the meters, we then headed for my parents house and madam fell asleep just before we were due to go out to gymnastics. I decided to just let her sleep as she'd been cultivating a cold and I figured it must have finally struck her. I made good my escape and went to college.
I spent a while faffing about and printing out the stuff I'd done but getting no new stuff under way. I am cross with my inability to improve my time management skills and guilty that there are others in the group who managed to get everything finished on time. They must have some resentment that they meet deadlines and I don't.
I am still pleased that I turned up and accepted my fate rather than running and hiding as is my preferred response. I enjoyed the session we had on beliefs and values and was interested to here other peoples takes on the same issues.
I had to pick up some medicine for madam on the way home as we'd run out after her last cold and I also treated myself to some ice cream for getting through a hard day without caving in. I then collected madam, took her home and finally got her in bed.
I then spent the rest of my evening staring at my computer screen not quite knowing what I was going to put next in regards to my story. How would I feel about certain things happening to my characters and am I going to change them a bit, etc.
What I think would be quite helpful would be if I could get a picture drawn of each character so that I can visualise it a bit more easily.
Might have to consult one of my lovely artistic-type friends!

21 February 2013

purple is the word

The observant amongst you will have noticed I didn't post anything yesterday. This was not through choice and it annoyed me all day. I had a rather hectic morning and then just when I thought I'd found a few minutes in the afternoon then something else came up! Very frustrating on my part, I assure you.
I was feeling quite chuffed with myself yesterday (and today too really). I have been getting into the swing of my routines a bit more and managing to accomplish more from them. I have almost entirely managed to get on top of the kitchen, despite having a slight plumbing hiccup on Tuesday night.
I noticed the kitchen floor seemed to have developed a puddle and was on my way to blaming madam for it when I emptied the washing up bowl down the sink to be met by a flood from inside the cupboard. Not good. I had a look and couldn't see where the water had come from, so decided getting madam in bed before I dealt with it would be the best plan.
So, managed to get madam into her bed at a fairly reasonable time. And came back downstairs to see what I could organise. I managed to dry off the floor enough to be able to get my head into a better position to see what was going on and put the tap on very slowly to see if I could locate said leak.
I managed to work out that one of the pipes had become detached at the back and having plugged it back in again all was fixed! See, I am totally capable of looking after myself! (Because my first reaction was that I would have to call my dad...)
I then washed up the stuff that I'd had to leave to soak earlier and was not left with wet feet when I emptied the bowl. Success.
Yesterday I decided that I really did have to get a pair of indoor lace-up shoes like Fly Lady keeps insisting on. I had a look in a couple of places and then found the perfect ones in new look. Why were they perfect? Because they're purple and everything FlyLady is purple. Serendipity calling, I think.
I put them on last night after we got home and busied myself in the kitchen again with my timer. I don't know if they really make that much difference, but I feel like they're another supportive presence when I'm struggling.

I even managed to tidy one half of the hob as well as do last nights washing up in the 15 minutes I'd given myself. This means I know I can get the other half done this evening, no excuses. And then my kitchen will be mine again. And I will have found a little bit of peace to add to the collection I'm making.


19 February 2013

writing for britain!

One more day got through, one more day further forward. I was having quite a good day really, yesterday, but I'm just so exhausted at the moment I feel like I'm wasting these good days and should be doing more with them.
My daughter was back at nursery yesterday and for the first time this year we managed to get ourselves up and organised and out of the house actually on time. We even got to school early! I feel better knowing that we're not rushing so much in the morning, it was much less shouty and we were both in much better moods to start the day.
I did the weekly shop with my parents and came home and actually stayed in the house for a bit rather than my usual trick of chucking the fridgeable stuff in the fridge and then going out to avoid the chaos.
I'm trying to get myself into that habit as, if I can at least face the chaos, then maybe I can make a decent start on it. I had some lunch and pottered a bit then escaped towards the free wifi and safety of caffe nero!
I picked madam up, trooped her home and she fell asleep leaning on me on the sofa. It's a rare event now really, her napping. And I love it so much as it gives me some peace and quiet (I was writing some more of my story) and gives me an excuse to nap too!
I think I got a good 45 minutes snooze in, but she managed 2 hours. And yes, she did pretty much go to bed as usual last night. We even got up on time again this morning. I'm so impressed with us :)
Last night I had my writing head on again and wrote and wrote and wrote until I was happy enough with chapter 3 to be able to share it with you all. (The links for it are around somewhere if you fancy a read).
But I'm going to have to stop writing what I want to write and get on with writing what I'm supposed to be writing. My college work in particular. I'm not behind on it, but I'm not really on top of it either. And the end date seems to be approaching fast. I have my next assignment to finish and then I have the worksheets to bring up to date and my reflections journals too. It's quite a lot of individual small bits of work and if I don't tackle it, it'll turn into a monster.
Now, I have always been a do it all at the last minute kind of person, but this course is really important to me and I don't want to cock it up because I'm rushing.
To that end I came up to college this morning so that I could concentrate on my assignment and get some really good progress made. But I didn't bring my notes with me. D'oh! Useless.

Instead I'm going to print off some information on what I need and then hopefully that'll be enough to at least make some progress...
Although, given this is a library, there's quite a lot of distractions in here and I'm having trouble concentrating. I shall persevere until lunch, but then I shall head out. The thing in here that is emitting a high pitched beeping is going right through me...
A bit of positivity for your day. Watching a four year old choose an outfit for her day is a really great way to start your day with a smile. She chose to put her schooliform on in the end, but we did go through some interesting options first! :)

18 February 2013

when angry, rant

I had a bit of an epic chat with my mum about my divorce yesterday. We were standing in the sunshine at the park watching my little girl zoom up and down the zip wire. It seems a strange place to talk about something so sad when there were children laughing and happy (looking) families all around.
But it's the next step to help me move forwards. Sort out the debts, sort out the hoarding and get rid of the marriage that's holding me down. I'm looking forward to a future where all my decisions are only for me (and madam, obvs). I know that technically the divorce will be fairly straight-forward.
Husband and I don't own anything together, we don't have joint finances though we may have some joint debts. We never owned a home and we (I) sold both the cars when we moved back to my home town.
He pays me no maintenance and I genuinely don't think that, even if a judge ordered him to, he actually would. And I don't even want it. If he's paying for me then we're still connected and I want as clean a break as I can manage. I want my daughter to be looked after, of course I do, but he never has, so why start now.
The only thing I can take away from the 10 years that I gave him is my daughter. And if he tries to take her from me, he's going to have one hell of a fight on his hands.
How can he tell me he'd provide for her when he doesn't now? How will he put her needs before his own when he hasn't so far? Where does he think that they'd live? Madam has always been here (that she remembers), always had her nana, grandpa and uncles and aunts around her. She has a massive family that love her lots and support me amazingly.
And he shares a house with men I don't know. Not exactly a good environment for her. If he doesn't see her it's his fault for having moved a 5hr trip away from us.
He has done nothing but get in his own way. I'm not for one moment professing to be perfect,far from it, but I am trying.
I spent all those months getting up in the night (cause even before he was in the US he never did) and it was me that had to teethe her, wean her, deal with her tantrums and destructive streak.
She overwhelms me at times, but I will never give up as that was the choice I made when I saw those two blue lines on the pregnancy test. A child is for life, my child is my life. And he doesn't care enough to even phone her once a week.
She's too intelligent to let him mess her around. She worked him out the moment she saw him punch me. She's worked that angle to get everything she wants from him. And some days, when we're both particularly shouty and annoying to each other, she says she's going to live with him.
The solution to this? Point out that if she lives with daddy, mummy won't be there. She can't imagine that.
I'm sorry,this wasn't ment to be a rant. I'm just trying to process my feelings. And I guess I'm not quite in a rational place yet.
No-one should cross me if they know what's good for them. In the words of Bruce Banner, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
She stole my heart away, and look how she knows it! (she's less than 24hrs old here)

17 February 2013

sunshine just makes everything better

I've been really struggling to sleep for the last week. Partly this is to do with my cold and the annoying need I have to cough up my lungs when I lie down. Partly it's to do with the depression. I can't get to sleep until much later than I want to, then I can't get myself out of bed either.
It's a vicious circle. But I'm hoping being back into the swing of taking madam to nursery will help. Things always get worse in the holidays as we lose our routines.
I have been trying to get madam into some of Fly Lady's habits too. She's been making her bed in the mornings and I've been rewarding her with a marble for her jar. We've also been trying to make sure we use a calendar to help us with our scheduling. I've divided it into columns (it was a cheapo family planner kind of thing I got in the sales) and she has hers and I have mine. We then both have our own sets of stickers that we've put on the days where we're doing things.
So madam has a sticker for every Thursday when she's at gymnastics and I have them from for college days and Guides days. I've also marked the weekly shop on for each week and any other appointments that we might have (counsellor, hairdresser, doctors, dentist etc.)
It makes it look like I might be a bit organised, even when I don't feel I am.
Yesterday I mentioned that we were going to go for a walk and look at the snowdrops. We had such a lovely time and the sun shining on us seemed to make it even more magical. The weather has been horrid both the years we've been before.
It always amazes me what a difference a bit of sunshine makes to everyone's mood. A little bit of warmth creeps back in to everyone's hearts after the long, cold, dark winter.  Snowdrops have always been one of my favourite flowers. I love seeing them appear as they signal the end of winter being in sight. 
Next up will be the daffodils sunny yellow trumpets adding that dash of colour that's been so lacking in the shorter days of the year. When I see them begin to bloom, and the sides of the roads locally seem to be lined with them, I always think of friend V. I don't know why, but funnily enough she said the same thing about me!
Now, I need to leave you in the company of these guys. They look to me as if they're auditioning for Saturday Night Fever or something! I think they're great and they really make me smile... Enjoy :)

16 February 2013

baby-steps to happiness

I had an OK day yesterday, bit of excessive nothing in the morning, but I managed to get going in the end. I've sorted the blog so links to other pages etc now show up in a different colour to my main text. I included all the trailers for the films I chose on the blog yesterday. Do check them out :)
I have (finally) sorted the bathroom sink out. I did this straight after I got out of the shower which was probably the wrong way round. But the steam in the bathroom helped lift off some of the really stubborn marks.
I've stalled somewhat on the de-cluttering as I've been feeling under the weather and bending down to pick the crap off the floor has been making my ears and sinuses hurt. It's a bit of a rubbish excuse, but I've been trying to make sure I'm keeping up with everything else I'm supposed to be doing. I'm getting into the routine of getting up, doing my swish and swipe a la Fly Lady, making my bed and shoving a load of washing in. I don't always achieve the laundry bit, but baby-steps are baby-steps and I'm getting there.
The bathroom and kitchen are slowly being reclaimed from their previous state. But I really haven't started on the living room yet. This is partially as I'm following Fly Lady's zones and we haven't done that one yet, and also because I still can't bring myself to tackle it. Next week I'm tackling my bedroom. It's probably about time I did some sorting out in there. Nothing has been organised since I moved last April. I want to organise the storage I have in there, I have lots of empty drawers and an empty wardrobe plus a massive pile of clothes on the floor.
Ah, the filing system of my youth resurrecting itself...
As mentioned, I've not been feeling that well for the last few days and it's meant I've been doing nothing in the evenings. I've started on the second blanket I'm crocheting for my friends twins, but haven't actually got very far. It's making me feel a bit crappy that I'm not making any progress when I enjoyed making the first one so much. I'm totally in love with the colours I eventually chose and think it'll go nicely with the blanket I already made.
I have written the next chapter to the story I posted. But I haven't uploaded it yet as I want it to link from the page I've already posted, but I haven't figured out how to do it yet...
This afternoon I'm going on a snowdrop walk with madam and my folks, I'm hoping the weather holds up and I get some good photos. I'll stick them on instagram later, I'm sure ;)
Have a good day, whatever you're doing. 

15 February 2013

thank film it's Friday

Hooray! It’s Friday. This doesn’t really make any difference to me as I’m unemployed and even when I did work I never got weekends off, but none-the-less there are people out there who do!

So, today I shall write you my list of favourite films. And oh, the sweet agony of choosing just 5! I wrote down a quick top five off the top of my head and have tried so hard to stick with that. But there are so many different types of films I enjoy I think I could do a top 5 for each of them and still be struggling.

And, as we did last week, reverse order it is :)

        5. Musical – West Side Story. I love a good musical and this, to me, is still one of the greatest out there. I know the story is totally stolen from Shakespeare but I’m quite happy to forgive Bernstein for that just for the Tonight medley alone. Some of the songs are just beautiful; I can never watch it without crying over Somewhere. The humour, the dialogue, the joie-de-vivre and incredible angst are just wonderful. If you’ve never seen it, give it a go.

        4. Weepy – Steel Magnolias. It’s totally 80s-tastic, the big hair and the dodgy clothes. But, oh, the heartbreak of M’Lynn and the depiction of anger and grief. The fabulous Sally Fields can never do wrong and the rest of the ensemble cast are pretty spectacular too. I love the relationships between the women and how realistically they’re portrayed. There is real humour and heart to this film. I love a good weepy when I’m down; it’s cathartic to have that release. Perfect for a girly night with some chocolate and wine!

        3. Comedy – Elf. Oh, this was such a hard choice. I went with this in the end as I can share it with my daughter. I know that I’m really immature for laughing at a man burping, but it’s more that my daughter laughs too. It lets you be a kid. There’s that wonderful sense of escape. And I <3 Zooey Deschanel as Buddy’s love interest. I also recommend 500 Days of Summer if you’re a fan of hers…

        2. Drama – Black Swan. I’ve only just discovered this film, but I love it. I’ve watched it repeatedly and I’m finding new things to love each time (so far!) I’ve got to admit that part of my attachment to this film is to do with the music as I’ve been a big fan of Swan Lake for years. But I think the creative use of special effects and the swirling confusion which mirrors the main characters is both intense and exhilarating. I think I like it for its darkness as much as anything. I like a good horror film and although I wouldn’t class this as one it does walk a fine line with some of its scenes.

And finally we come to (for the sake of list making) my favourite film. I had such trouble picking the individual films and then trying to put them into an order that I think their final positions on this list would change on a daily basis if I was allowed to keep tinkering with it!

1. Horror – The Devil's Backbone. I love all Guillermo Del Toro’s films he has a very powerful visual identity. The films he makes are beautifully shot with seamless effects. The reason I pick this as my favourite is it’s the first ghost film I’d ever seen where the ghost was truly creepy. There’s that sense of menace and tension missing from so many of these films. They seem to have become all about gore and thinking of gruesome ways to kill people. But a good horror film is one that leaves things to your imagination. There is nothing more frightening than being left to fill in the gaps. The effect is heightened as its set in a boy’s school come orphanage and the boys all make up their own stories about the ghost. I heartily recommend it to anyone who likes horror which, sadly, rules out most of my friends!

So, that’s this week’s top five. I’m quite sure lots of you will disagree with some or all of my choices, so tell me what I should have put! :)

14 February 2013

cake is all you need

Today is Valentines day and I've been thinking about where I am in my relationships.
My lovely little girl has given me a card and lots of kisses and cuddles. We've had a lovely day at our friends house making cakes and decorating them. Never leave kids alone with icing and sprinkles. Well, not if you're a neat freak anyway :) The kids have had such a good day and have (for the most part) played really nicely together.
We've been having nice girly chats but both my friend and her friend who'd also turned up for cake making fun are well and truly loved up. I'm not at a point where I'm ready for a new relationship, but I did feel a bit like I was the odd one out!
I am, still in a state of limbo regarding my relationship with K. I want to get divorced but it's way down on my list of important jobs at the moment. The whole out of sight, out of mind cliche. He's miles away and he's not particularly bothering me. I can cope with seeing him in short bursts, but the further I'm getting in my self analysis/recovery the more I know it's got to be finalised. For him as much as me. He works on the basis that I'm just kidding and I'll forgive him like I've done before. But I'm not going to. Not this time. I don't think he's ever really seen my stubborn side, I always just gave in to him for an easy life. It's time I started making some big decisions and made some steps towards progress.
 Until then, I'm just going to eat this cake and keep ignoring it.
Now, where'd I put that icing...  

13 February 2013

remember, counsellor knows best

So I had a rather heavy chat with my counsellor yesterday. We moved on from dealing with my hoarding as, well, I'm getting on top of that by myself. So that means we might have to start on some of the stuff that actually *causes* my depression as opposed to one of the symptoms of it.

You know, like getting the antibiotics in when treating the symptoms isn't curing it.

One of my main issues (for many years) has been the level of debt I'm in. Now, I'm lucky, I don't have a massive overdraft or many credit/catalogue bills. But the trouble is, having been on benefits for four years now (yeesh...) I've not been able to pay stuff off, or even cover the interest in some cases. And given that I'm aware of what priority debts are I have always tried to keep up with those and let everything else fall by the wayside.

If I never open the letters or answer the phone (I *loathe* answering my phone) then it just goes away. If I spend all day out of the house I don't even have to see any letters arrive.

It's that head in the sand attitude that's got me where I am today.

But I've made a start by going to the CAB about it, I've worked out all my debts and how they can be dealt with. I've got a massive envelope that I need to deal with. But I'm going to do that in the same way I've been doing the cleaning. I'm going to set my timer for 15 minutes and get it all out and go through it. I bet I'll have time to spare, but the idea and the job have magnified in my head to being something enormous.

If I can get this dealt with it's a massive stress taken from me.

It's almost like I've lived with it for so long that I'm afraid of what my life will be without it. In some kind of weird Stockholm syndrome type of effect. I think I might be mentally deficient somewhere!

My friend L told me yesterday that I was only human. I said perhaps I had been assimilated by the borg mainframe (that's a Star Trek reference, culture fans). But what I meant was that I may look and sound human, my thoughts sometimes seem to be being controlled by someone else. I shall battle on and regain my control. I will get myself back to who I think I was before.

My counsellor gave me a survey on positive personal attributes. I've been given one for someone else to fill in also. Any takers?

12 February 2013

the end might be over there somewhere

Yesterday I went and bought a timer so that I could keep track of my 15 minute bursts. I also got some microfibre cloths. I think I might have found a new thing that I can collect/hoard... I'm pretty sure this is not what I intended to happen.

This week, according to FlyLady, we are in our bathrooms and one other room. She suggests the home office. I don't have one, nor do I have anywhere that may serve to be the equivalent. I think I may just have to focus all my energy at my bathroom for the week and hopefully it'll be spotless at the end of it.

I also got some yarn so I could start on the second of the blankets I'm making for my friends unborn twins. I've done the orange one and I'm thrilled to bits with how it turned out. I used 3 different shades of yarn and have been searching for the same in red for this version (she asked for one orange, one red). This had been a sticking point as I just wasn't happy with the yarns available to me at my local shop. But yesterday I finally made the choice and I'm quite pleased with what I've ended up with.

If you follow me on instagram be prepared for a (further) flurry of blanket progress pictures!

I'm going to see my counsellor in a bit and I'm starting to let myself get nervous about it again. I don't understand where this feeling comes from as I'm fully aware of how nice she is and that she isn't there to judge me. But none-the-less, that little voice comes back, telling me I haven't done enough, that I haven't succeeded.

It's tiring being so emotionally on edge all the time.

I've been half thinking about what I might write for this weeks Friday favourites blog and I'm really struggling to make the choices. I've written a very quick list that I'm going to try and keep to. But I've started with the pressure on myself and how might choices might be wrong. How my choices could be wrong, when it's me that I'm choosing them for I've yet to work out *sigh*

I wrote some more on my story last night and have got to the end of the first chapter, I've also jotted down some notes about where the next chapter is going. Can't believe how organised I can be about some things when I can't do it about others!

Enough of me for now, positive thought?
If I can envision the end, I can make it there. And I think I can see the end of my recovery. It's a long way off, but I can see it...     

11 February 2013

write, good woman, write!

I spent most of last night writing the start of a story. This is a novelty for me because I've thought about it a few times and then never done anything about it. One or two of my twitter friends have mentioned enjoying my writing which is what pushed me to give it a go.
Now under no circumstances do I think I have the first idea about how to map out a story. And in fact I spent quite a lot of time last night reading aloud what I had written to see if it still made sense... But I think I've made a good start and was considering sharing what I have so far with you.
I mainly just started writing and let it take me where it wanted. I only knew my lead character was a girl in her first year of sixth form and that she was a bit of a loner. Apparently I've also made her the youngest in her family with three older brothers who she looks up to.
She feels like an underachiever even though she is academically quite bright. She has one close friend who I haven't really fathomed out yet. Oh, and she sees something unusual and is trying to work it out...
If you'd like to read it let me know. I don't want to thrust it upon you unnecessarily! Not that I'm paranoid or anything! Oh, and I need to figure out how to attach it to the blog...
Being able to write this story is actually something I'm really pleased about as it means I managed to focus on something for an extended period that wasn't just me recounting stuff. It means that the fluoxetine is working and I'm hopefully on my way to recovery.
I have a meeting with my counsellor tomorrow and I'm actually quite looking forward to it this week. I know that I'm making progress at home and that I'm not going to be judged for any failings I've had (This is called unconditional positive regard, counselling fans). I find it hard not to analyse what we talk about in the sense of what I'm learning at college, but given this poor woman has probably been through at least 5 years more training then me I'm not sure I really am at liberty to do so!
Todays positive thought for the day? I'm not sure I can think of one... Oh, but did you know that if you put your hand on a flat surface with the second and fourth fingers tucked under your palm you can't lift your middle finger?!

10 February 2013

admin is boring

I think I might have worked out how to get my real name off this account... Procrastinator General rules!

good day

I had a pretty good day yesterday. Went into the market in town, pottered about, drooled over a few handbags (purple, satchel-style) and got some stuff for lunch. Went home to the parents, let them make lunch for me and madam and then escaped for a nice walk just as my dad started yelling at the poor rugby players on the TV. It doesn’t seem to matter to him that they never do what he tells them to… This being a Six Nations match and my dad’s team having lost last week we were working on the basis there would be even more yelling than usual.

We headed down to our local country park and let madam run wild for a bit. We were lucky that enough of the flooding had disappeared that we were able to make a good circuit round some of the paths, though the ponds at the top end had become something more along the lines of one giant (and really quite deep) lake. We did stop madam from jumping in as I didn’t fancy having a soggy child in the car all the way home again. We did stop off for hot chocolate on the way home but that was mainly so we could make sure the rugby would be finished before my mum got in!

I have done no more de-cluttering for a couple of days and I’m not really sure why. I’m starting to get into some of the routines I’d like to keep a hold of. I am making sure I do my “swish and swipe” every morning. I’ve been keeping my sink shiny and I’ve actually brushed my teeth every night this week. I got out of the habit of it when I was pregnant as I threw up every time I tried and it’s proved to be something I’ve really struggled to get back into doing.

I know that depression affects the way you look after yourself so I don’t think that’s been helping. I really love having clean teeth again! I’ve never had any dental work barring a couple of routine extractions when I had braces fitted as a child. I had an overbite which was my own fault (thumb sucking) and a cross bit which was not. I’m not sure if any of my friends remember how addicted I was to my thumb! I think L might be the only who knew me pre-braces! I do still suck my thumb when I’m really tired, if I know I won’t get caught anyway…

I was telling one of my college friends about the daily routine I get emailed and she was quite fascinated that anyone would need to be reminded to get dressed properly and brush their teeth. I tried to explain how depression makes you feel like you’re walking through treacle, like your world has sped up all around you and you’re always running to catch up. So if you’re not going out the house that day why get dressed? And if you haven’t got enough time in the morning because you just can’t get out of bed then you skip brushing your teeth. Being reminded that these are important jobs to do is a step towards recovery again. I can honestly say that the period of time when I couldn’t even get dressed in the mornings was probably one of my lowest periods. I made the decision, on my own, a couple of years ago that I had to make myself get dressed otherwise I would get nothing done, ever.

Now I’m just going to have to keep reading the emails I get sent and try a little harder this week to follow all the instructions. I’m going to see if I can get a proper timer to help me as it’s the one thing my phone won’t do! I genuinely couldn’t believe how much I could get done in just 15 minutes. It made me feel empowered.

That’s such a good feeling.

Random fact to end this post on: you can’t hum if you hold your nose.

And now you’ve probably just tried to! ;)

9 February 2013


I wasn't really going to write a post today as I did two yesterday... But I've been itching to write so I gave in to it.

I don't even think I have that much to say today, so instead of random rambling I shall keep it short and sweet.

After discussions with friend H yesterday evening in which the topic of cake managed to rear its head (as usual ;)), I've come to the conclusion that I might use Fridays as a day I post lists of my favourite things... Next up will be films. This is a marvellous excuse for me to watch lots this week :)

Um, yeah, so that's kind of it for today... Now where's that cake recipe...

8 February 2013

books, books, books!

I mentioned in another post that my list of favourite books probably deserved special attention. This is not because I think I have read some deeply important books that you won’t have, more because I wouldn’t be able to pick just one if asked.

I think I better limit myself though. Maybe I should do two top 5’s: Kids/YA and adult. I need to do this as two lists as I read quite a lot of the kidult books that have been coming out in recent years. I am including whole series of books as 1 book in some cases. And in the best of traditions let’s do this in reverse order!

        5. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials trilogy. I enjoyed these books tremendously and have read them all several times. Not something I tend to do very much anymore. I like how they’re not afraid to deal with big, seemingly quite adult, themes in what is essentially a children’s book.

        4. Anna Sewell – Black Beauty. I, like many young girls, went through a phase where I was really big on anything to do with horses. I remember this book really touching me and even though I haven’t read it in a really long time I wouldn’t want to not have a copy of it in the house.

        3. Garth Nix – The Abhorsen trilogy. I actually would like to single out the middle of these 3 books, Lirael, as being one of the best fantasy books I have ever read. It is a truly great book and can be read without having read the first in the trilogy. I find Garth Nix to be a really great story teller with some great places to take his readers. These books are just so beautifully written that I often lose hours to them without even noticing.

        2. C. S. Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve placed these books ahead of the Abhorsen trilogy mainly as they were a childhood favourite and the others I only read as an adult. But I loved these books. I remember reading the first one by myself when I was 7. It was the first book I ever picked out of the junior school library. My mother had read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to my brothers and me as a bedtime story but this was the first I even knew that there were other books in the series. The Magicians Nephew along with Voyages of the Dawntreader remain my favourites in the series. And I still read my original copies fairly regularly.

        1. Roald Dahl – Matilda. For a person my age to not include at least one Dahl book would be weird. And this book is the one that spoke most to me. It told me I was ok to have my nose constantly in a book. It taught me that intelligence was a thing to nourish. But most of all it gave me a female role model who I hadn’t found in books until that point. She had a fabulously naughty streak and ingenious ways of getting back at her vile parents. She had awesome powers that I could only envy. She beat the horrid head teacher and got the happy ending she deserved.

I think the fact that she existed gave a generation of girls the confidence to be a reader of books. This is exactly how it should be.

So that was kids’ books, and it hurt me to leave out so many of my old favourites and just focus on those I chose.
As I was thinking about my mum reading Narnia to us it brought back some of the other books she shared with us (The Phoenix and Carpet, Five Children and It). I’m so glad that I was always around books and that I have a love for them that will never leave me.
I try to instil the same in my daughter and have read copiously to her since birth. She loves a good book and the moment reading clicks for her there will be no stopping her.

So, onto the adult books I picked for my top 5. And boy, was this a hard choice. I tried to restrict myself to one from each genre I read most…

        5. Terry Pratchett – The Discworld series. This is almost certainly cheating a bit as there are so many of them. But I couldn’t pick just one and I couldn’t leave him off the list though it was an incredibly hard choice between him and Douglas Adams. I will single out the Wee Free Men books as a particular pleasure. And any about Death; Hogfather and Reaper Man being two that instantly spring to mind.

        4. Stephen Fry – Making History. If you haven’t read any of Stephen Fry’s books I would heartily recommend this as a starting point. It’s a book that postulates what would have happened if Hitler hadn’t been born. The world would be so much better, right? It’s a wonderful piece of writing and I have included it as I’ve lent/recommended it to so many people.

        3. Audrey Niffeneger – The Time Traveller’s Wife. An amazing book, a not that brilliant film. It’s a bit like Pulp Fiction in the sense the beginning is also the middle and the end. I can’t imagine how she managed to keep track of where her main character was on his own timeline as he moved up and down it. It was just such an interesting take on the love story that I couldn’t leave it out.

        2. George Orwell – 1984. I first read this when I was at university. It appeared (along with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World) at the bottom of my reading list for my Leisure 101 class. I was so intrigued at getting actual novels that I’d read both of them before the semester even started. This was my favourite of the two and ended up helping me to the highest mark I gained in my first year. I don’t get tired of reading it over and over and feel like I find new meanings in it every time I do.

        1. Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre. Picking just one classic was a nightmare too. I could happily have had most of the Bronte’s entire catalogue (barring Wuthering Heights which I find dull and Shirley which is a bit meh too). And there was no room for lots of other favourites, too. So why pick Jane Eyre specifically? I think Mr Rochester is the first literary character I fell in love with. He’s so hard on the outside with seething passions within. Lovely ;) I read this for the first time when I was about 13. I found the mystery of who was in the attic a real page turner. It’s a real great mixture of a novel and I still try and read it about once a year. If I could only have one book to take to a desert island, I’m pretty sure it would be this one.

did you know this?

I feel like we’re getting into a nice rhythm now. I ramble on and then my lovely friends send me DMs on twitter about stuff. Works for me. But thank you very much for those of you who’ve left comments actually on the blog. I haven’t replied as I haven’t worked out how to protect my identity on replies. Think I might need to set up a specific account to reply with J

The reason I like to keep things as anonymous as possible is for my own privacy and that of my daughter and anyone I might mention. There is a chance that in years to come my daughter may even read this blog and I don’t want her embarrassed at the stuff I’m talking about.

My friend, on her blog, used a post to reveal the contents of her bag. Now I was brought up to respect the privacy of the handbag so I won’t be doing that but I thought you might like to know a few things about me.

Ø  I am in my mid-30s.

Ø  I was born and raised in Yorkshire but am fiercely proud of the Scottish bit of my ancestry and feel my spiritual home has always been in Edinburgh.

Ø  I have the most impressive cough you’ve ever heard. It does, however, frequently make me sick. It comes all the way from my balls as one of my Uni friends once told me. Yes, I am a girl!

Ø  I become obsessed by things frighteningly quickly and do them as much as I can where possible. I have been asked to teach people some of my crafting skills even though I’m still an amateur.

Ø  I read as much as I can, though it’s much less than I like as my concentration is really affected by my depression. My list of favourite books could probably be a post in its’ own right… ooh, there’s a thought ;)

Ø  I never have learned how to do long division properly. Oh, and I can’t whistle through my fingers, which I always wanted to do.

Ø  I can curl my tongue, make it turn all the way over in my mouth and make it undulate from back to front.

Ø  I have a frighteningly large capacity for seemingly useless information. Example? Did you know that koalas sleep more than sloths?

Ø  My favourite colours are blue and purple and have been for as long as I can remember. I also associate certain colours with certain people.

Ø  My favourite seasons are spring and autumn. I love the temperature. I love the fact that you can see the world changing on a daily basis. Daffodils make my heart sing and there is nothing better than kicking through leaves on a crisp autumn day.

Ø  I speak pretty good French and rather rubbish German and Greek. I love learning about languages and words. The meaning of people’s names fascinates me. It does mean that I think my real name is boring though. And though I’ve never particularly liked my middle name, I do like what it means.

Ø  Although I seem incapable of putting them into action I’m brilliant at planning things. I’m very much the ideas person in a group.

Ø  I am awesome at sleeping.

So, that’s probably enough random stuff about me. Is there anything else you want to know?