30 April 2013

a visit from the black dog

I'm still not really in a writing mode, and I'm not sure why. All the writing I've done over the last few months has been so helpful to me. I've been able to work through the thoughts in my head and try and do that sharing thing that is actually ridiculously hard, but very helpful.

I'm worried that the motivation was only there whilst I had the medication and now that I don't then my mind is closing me out again and that maybe I wasn't as ready as I hoped to come off it. The trouble at the minute is that I seem to have gone back to letting things build up in my head etc.

I think this is probably a sign that I do really need to go back to the doctor's. I know it's not an admission of defeat or weakness to say that I need help still, but I'm a little disappointed in myself that at this point in my life I need to have medication just to stay on an even keel.

I've been trying to stick to my routines and I haven't given in and ordered take-away instead of sticking to my meal planning and making us fresh food every day. So I guess in some respects I am better, but I think I still need that background helping hand that the Prozac seems to give me.

To be honest it does it's job fairly well without me even noticing it, it's just my own personal thing that I don't want to be on it. Having a dad who's a Psychiatric Pharmacist doesn't help that I guess!

I have vivid memories of being on holiday in various foreign countries with my dad wearing a Mr Prozac t-shirt... the number of strangers that used to come and talk to him about it... My mum had to ban him from wearing it before she'd had a coffee!

But I guess it really is a miracle drug for some people.

I just wish I didn't need it. I want to be in control, not have some drug do it for me. I want to know that my decisions (no matter how bad they might be) are my own.

I'm aware that I've been hiding from the world a bit again at the moment, I know that I had gotten out of that (though not the no phonecalls thing *shudders* I hate phonecalls!). So I guess it's time I went back and tried again. Give it a bit more time, give myself more of a break. I will get better though, I know it.

I know that I am starting to be me again, so I know I can. Just want to be able to be me. It's weird not knowing yourself or how you've got where you are. People with depression often describe it as a black dog. And I guess I'm not sure that's how I'd picture it. But the blackness is certainly true.

It's as if I'm trying to run from the nothing, you know, from the Neverending Story and I guess it's a longer marathon than I'd thought.

29 April 2013

this post is not in use

I apologise, it's a bit of a case of complete writers block for the last couple of days. I have nothing to say, but a need to stay in touch with you all.
I'll try and write something tomorrow...

27 April 2013

Guides can cook (sort of)

Last night's Ready Steady, Cook challenge turned out to have been quite good fun. The Guides all used their ingredients to create some interesting concoctions. And the leaders got to join in and had a good time with our own creations.
We chose to make a selection of bruschetta with various toppings and also a melon boat thing for the centrepiece.
Team 1 of the Guides made a sharing platter that went on to become the eventual winner.
Team 2 made the most enormous sandwich and then tried to explain how it would be served. It was quite funny!
We did ask them, just before we judged the offerings, how many of them had washed their hands first (we didn't tell them to). Depressingly only about 4 of them had... Think we'll be doing some basic food hygiene with them next week.
I'm aiming to get them all up to date with their challenge badges and to start getting them thinking for themselves a bit more. I'm hoping that I may have instilled some initiative into them by the end of their time with us.
I think that's it for today. Been having a fairly lazy day so far...

26 April 2013

on Guides and their cooking

Apparently I have to start by apologising for my horrendous grammar yesterday! I'm useless at punctuation and was a victim of apostrophe overdose. I do try, but I've never been any good at it. Neither has my dad I might add, but my spelling is usually ok.
I have been having a couple of days of butting heads with madam and its getting very tiring/boring. She is refusing to do anything that I ask her to and I'm doing my best not to throttle her. She spent most of today naked as she refused to get dressed. Lovely.
I have achieved very little today but I have managed to get the ingredients for the Guides to have their Ready, Steady, Cook challenge tonight! I have got them some French bread, mozzarella, ham, tomatoes and melon. They'll both get the same bags and 20mins each to prepare something with it.
We attempted the same idea last week and let the guides bring their own ingredients which was fine to a certain extent, but they did very little with the things they'd brought and we thought they could have put some more effort in. So this week I hope they'll have to think a bit harder.
I did also buy them a box of chocolate fingers as a prize :) I totally think the leaders will be knicking some of those. I have got the same ingredients for us to have a go as well! I'm guessing we'll not be allowed to win though :(
I'm guessing we'll be going outside to play some rounders as well.
I'm watching Pointless whilst I'm writing this and being depressed as usual by the literary knowledge of the contestants. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are not from Sense and Sensibility. And apparently only 26 of the hundred knew where they were from *weeps*
This is why more people should read!
Or at least watch the TV adaptions ;)
I have got a letter from the courts telling me that they're applying for me to be removed from my property in 14 days. This is after I've filled in a form and posted it back. I also can apply to have it extended to 42 days. Yay.
Life can be so fun sometimes.


25 April 2013

it's a plethora of old photo's

I've spent today sorting some technological stuff out. When I got my new phone last year I was also still using my old PC and not this netbook. So all the photo's are consequently still on there. More significantly, most of my music is too. Today I finally downloaded the old phone to the netbook.

Which means I now have such photographic gems as this available for blogging!

This was Halloween 2010 :) She was just 2. I made the little ladybird dress for her. I  was very proud of it... shame she ruined it!
And this was the dress I'd made for her 2nd birthday the week or so before
I've also got photos of everything I've knitted for her, which I won't bore you with now! But I think I might just have to share this one with you as it makes me giggle! This is madam at her most madam-ish
She didn't want to leave the swimming baths. So this is where she hid! I's too cute for words... Oh, and I couldn't resist this one of her with her Mr Potato Head smile!
There's never a dull moment when you have a madam in the house! 

I hope you appreciate her choice of favourite DVD behind her... This was right after we first moved to the house we're in now and before daddy came home. I'm not entirely sure I remember what the towel was for... Hmm... Anyhoo, she's a law unto herself!
I've also got some lovely photo's from our road trips and things. It's nice to have them all in one place. And I finally have the photo of her with the Olympic torch again. We were standing at a handover point and the next runner was there waiting and happily posing with anyone who wanted. Lovely chap.
We had a really nice day for it and apparently one of the biggest (proportional) turnouts of the whole relay. 25,000 of the towns 29,000 were thought to have turned up for it. It was a total party atmosphere in the town, it was great.
I also went to see the Paralympic flame when it came through (we were one of the very few places it did come through) and that was far more low key. The Paralympic flame itself is much smaller and in a little lantern. Shame, I was hoping for the same pomp and ceremony. It deserves the same respect in my opinion.
I apologise for the photo quality on this one, he was walking quite quickly and the camera on this phone is a bit pants!
I think I've bored you enough for today. Time for madam to finish her 'nastics now anyway!


24 April 2013

World Book Night :)

Yesterday was World Book Night and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 20,000 who gave out 20 copies of their book choice. I chose The Reader by Bernard Schlink.
It's an awesome book and I really enjoyed it when I read it a couple of years ago. Some of you may have seen the film which had Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes in. You can see the trailer for it here. 
I chose to give the books out at the gates of the nursery madam goes to. This was because I figured most of the mums (and dads) get little time to read and it's easier to have someone give you a book and say "Here, this one is really good" than try to pick something.
I didn't have anyone that refused to take one, which I was thankful for. I did have people asking for a book after they'd all gone which made me wish I'd had more to give. And I got one mum who said she *never* read books but would give it a go!
There were a couple of people who'd heard of the film and it was nice to have a chat about the themes of the book with them. I didn't warn anyone about any of the content as I was giving to grown ups, but after one of the discussions I had I did wonder whether I should have warned them. But I didn't know when I read it...
A full list of all the titles for this year can be found at that clinky link. I know a couple of my friends were giving out books too. Over at Small Print Larger they gave out The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Which apparently also involved a small amount of guide dog harassment. Not cool people, not cool.
I can't believe there are still people who don't know the rules about assistance dogs. And don't respect the owners. Or let their dogs attack them. No wonder guide dogs (and all the other amazing assistance animals) only have short working careers. I'd want to retire too if that were me.
Teaching madam how to behave with dogs and why assistance dogs are different wasn't exactly hard. And she's hard to train about anything! ;)
Oh, she's gone to school as Goldilocks today. Cause, you know, why not... 


23 April 2013

it's been six months already

It appears that blogging keeps me sane. I don't like missing a day, it makes me panicky and stressed. This might not be entirely healthy. But I am off my Prozac which probably explains it.

I decided that I had to just come off it and see what happens. I can always start it again if I feel I need to and at least now I'm less worried about asking for more. But I like knowing that my feelings are all my own again and nothing is being fiddled with.

I think the blogging helps me to organise my thoughts in a way that I'd tried to do by writing them out before. But that never seemed to work for me, and I never seemed to be able to keep it up. This way, where I know people are reading what I'm thinking, encourages me to keep sharing.

I've had a couple of people get in touch to say that this blog is helpful to them in small ways and that fills me with joy. I know it's hard to keep going every day and I know it's hard to understand how other people are really feeling.

I think that being able to share some of the things that lead me to my way of thinking and what the procrastination really is can only helpful. My procrastination is the big curse of my life, but I'm much more aware of what it is and how it's actually a way of helping me. It's just a false friend and I need to learn to conquer it.

Because who needs a friend who helps you get into more trouble but makes you feel comfortable about getting there. Even if I never learn to "just do it" as some of those terrifying really organised people advocate, I do want to change and learn and grow. I'd love to at least get better at the whole organising thing!

The one thing I have noticed is that my sense of humour seems to be coming back to me. I use humour as a defence mechanism and always have done, but having not had a reason to just let loose and have fun I've not been just my usual self for ages.

And it's always when something comes back that you realise that it had gone in the first place. A bit like when I had my breakthrough at the end of last year and spent the night dancing around to very loud music (on my headphones). I realised that in the 6 months since I'd moved into that house this was the first time I'd blasted music and just danced.

I'm a dancer in my soul. I used to do ballet as a child and all the way through my teen years I danced in my bedroom, singing into a deodorant bottle pretending I was on stage in front of a massive audience. I still let loose and sang and danced whenever I had the house to myself right up until when I had madam. Then, obviously, I was never alone.

But I would put the music on my headphones as I walked her round for her afternoon nap in her pushchair when she was tiny. And I found myself dancing around the aisles of various shops mouthing the words only I could hear. In fact I'm doing chair dancing even as I type this!

And when she got big enough that I couldn't even have that headspace whilst she had an afternoon nap (and she stopped going in the buggy by the time she was 2) I danced at night when she was in bed, before I went mostly. I would put my headphones in and some slow songs on whilst I got ready for bed and then by the time I was upstairs and putting my pyjamas on I was on to the fast stuff and a quick dance before bed.

Sometimes that quick dance round my bedroom would last a couple of hours!

And then we moved house and somehow, with all the stress of moving and then himself coming home and then leaving again I lost that bit of myself too. All those little bits of yourself that you don't even know were the things that you needed to keep your sanity...

And I lost them. I lost my sense of fun, my music, my inner voice, my sleep patterns, my vague sense of cleanliness, my hope, my confidence. Just little bit by little bit. And I didn't even notice them going until they were lost. And I was in a café crying because I just didn't know how I was going to get through.

And then I was picked up by my friends, who hadn't known how bad it was. By the medical profession who helped me find that even keel again, by the Citizens Advice Bureau who showed me how to start. And by my parents who'd been worried but hadn't known how to approach me (I can be very stubborn).

So, as it is six months since I started on the road to being me again I guess it's time to start being me. No drugs. Just me.

Hello. How're you?

22 April 2013

obsessional blogging is bad for the health

This blogging thing is bad for my health. I have no time to write a proper entry today so instead I shall leave you with this to watch.

Cups (When I'm Gone)

I am obsessed with it. It's from the Pitch Perfect film and is itself a cover of a Lulu and the Lampshades track which is on permanent rotation on my iTunes atm.

21 April 2013

on country walks and puddings

I managed to go for my nice walk with madam in the sunshine yesterday. We went down to the Humber Bridge Country Park and walked part of the Pond Trail as we'd promised to go and see if the flooding had subsided.
It had indeed (finally) subsided back down to pretty much normal levels. The last couple of times we've been the ponds have been so flooded you couldn't get to parts of the path and the picnic tables have been completely submerged. So as it's been dry for a week or so we were hopeful.
The path was complete and madam could get down to the edge of the pond and join in with the other kids (and adults) who were skipping stones over the water. The main thing we noticed was the hide water line that was visible on all the trees around the edge of the water.

There was some suggestion that this white deposit could actually be limescale! The surrounding land is all pretty much chalk, so it wouldn't surprise me. Madam was having a great time throwing stones in to the water and we managed to find a spot near some deep water so she could make some really big splashes! Here she's trying to skip stones like the bigger kids...
She didn't exactly have the correct outfit for it on, but that didn't stop her! We all got to a far too hot point and decided to head for home and get an ice lolly :)
Madam and I then took her scooter out and had a quick trip to her new school so she could see how far away it is from our house. It isn't far at all, she was just worried it was. Hence the need for the walk. We then pottered (scootered) into town and got ourselves some yummy things to make pudding with from M&S. Along with some nice salad to go with our meatballs.
I made us some rather good dessert with our ingredients and some plums we've had in the fridge for a few days. They're called watermelon plums, but taste just the same as normal ones! Lovely deep red on the inside though :)
Slightly random display I've got going on there, but taking a photo into the bowl proved highly unsuccessful...



20 April 2013

clothing the small child

I've been debating a "what my child is wearing" section to this blog, but I think that might only encourage her. Today she is wearing a dress which is black and white printed and I think looks like birds but she says looks like leaves. It has a neon pink ribbon belt and she has a pink cardi on. She has a butterfly headband on that I made her from a kit the other day and purple star print socks.
It is quite a sight to behold. For once I'm not allowed to take a photo of her, so I can't show you... The outfit in the picture is what she's going to wear to her cousins wedding.
We will be going up to the Country Park this afternoon as it's a lovely day and madam will need some form of exercise. She's not entirely appropriately dressed, but it'll be fine... We want to see if the flooding has finally abated. Madam was seriously amused by the fact there were picnic tables completely submerged last time we were there.
Currently she is glued to Mister Maker on Cbeebies so we're all getting a few minutes peace and quiet! She's really into making things and made a really quite good bee at nursery last week. Then, obviously, she has to write her name on.
Her handwriting is pretty good for someone who's not at school yet. She is encouraged to write whatever she wants at nursery and they do teach the letters of the alphabet. But they don't actually teach them to write. Or specifically to read either. Madam  is starting to do that, too. Slightly concerned she'll have nothing to do when she does get to school!
***I have to laugh, there is currently controversy as Mister Maker just drew a rainbow with the colours the wrong way round. So the red was on the inside and the violet the outside... She is not impressed.***
I have a parents evening to go to at her new school on the 4th June. I'll get to meet her teacher and have a look around the school. This is kind of exciting as it's my old school, which I mentioned the other day and I haven't been at the school since. It'll be nice to see just how much it's changed in 24 years! (It can't have been that long ago, can it?)
Then madam has two sessions to go and join in and get to meet her teacher and classmates. We have done an unintentional useful thing by having a blue gingham school dress which is actually school uniform standard. So I'll give you 3 guesses what she'll be wearing... That and her days of the week socks! ;)
I'm a little annoyed by the uniform as they're insisting she needs logoed stuff which costs a bomb. I'm pretty sure they're not supposed to do that. I should be able to just get some cheap stuff from the supermarket! I think we'll just be getting the jumper. I refuse to buy 2 cardigans for her when they're £13.45 each. It's bad enough the sweaters are a tenner!
And you know she needs two as she'll be having school lunches and will be wearing her lunch as well! Fortunately they look like they're quite generous sizes so hopefully they'll last a couple of years.
I actually hadn't really considered just how much stuff she'd need for school. There'll be a major buying session coming up, I can tell... There is all the other stuff on top of the uniform. She has an indoor and outdoor PE kit to get, a pair of indoor shoes and they want her to have a school PE bag and book bag as well!
And then I have to name it all... Oh joy.

19 April 2013

more dressmaking rambles

I have become completely addicted to the Great British Sewing Bee over the last few weeks and will mourn it's end next week. I have (along with many others) been inspired to get my sewing machine out and have a go at making things again.
This has been mainly hampered as I still haven't quite got round to replacing the broken treddle for my machine. I really fancy trying to make myself a couple of things. A jacket is actually my big desire at the moment.
Lovely Tabatha Tweedie is a great inspiration too. She makes such lovely things and I have much dress envy. She doesn't like her cute gingham shirt dress as much as I think I do. Maybe if she had some ruby slippers to go with it... ;)
I'm also still obsessing over the lovely Tilly and her sewing blog. I have been reading more of it and debated buying the pattern for the cute blouse, but I think I might try something a wee bit simpler for my first go.
I also need to try and source some pretty material that I can use and be inspired by. I want to have something that's fairly cheap though as if I go wrong I won't cry too much!
I fancy something orange-y or peach-y. They're my new colours of choice this season. I have a very floral blouson top that is those sort of colours and I'm totally in love with it. It's from Asda, as is most of madam's wardrobe!
Lauren from the sewing bee is opening a new shop in Birmingham and I would love to go, but it's awfully far. I shall have to settle for drooling over her website instead. I absolutely loved the toddler dress she made for the week 3 pattern challenge. I don't know whether it was just because of the fact I have a little girl or that it was so cute and small!
Anyway, this morning I spent a good hour or so going through madam's old toys. We have loads of old ones that we just don't need any more or that are broken. I got one big bin liner full of toys to junk and a storage box full to donate. I also got her old scooter and her old bike to go too.
I've done it without her knowledge as she would scream if she thought I was getting rid of things. This way she probably won't even notice as I did try to make sure I didn't take things she actually played with. Of course, I will have got rid of one thing she will be mad about. It's almost guaranteed.

They've all gone down to the Scope shop in the middle of town who were really pleased to get them. Madam will find out later when we get home after I've been to Guides. I've forgotten my uniform today, so I may have to pop home and get it quickly.


18 April 2013

Fun with friends

Had a lovely couple of days with friends. Friend H took a break from manic cycling training for her charity cycle ride in a fortnight to come and have a sleepover with madam. She's cycling in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Huddersfield Town AFC Youth Academy and I'm very proud of her.

We have arranged with my parents to go and watch her cycle into Hull on May 1st and madam is really excited about it already!

H has been a super influence and helped with the tidying up no end. We also did some experimental baking and made a rich chocolate beetroot cake that has turned almost every piece of equipment in my kitchen pink! It tastes very nice though and although not completely perfect it was a good first attempt.

We did some new lunch type experiences too. We went to El Taco Loco in the St Stephen's centre in Hull on Tuesday. It was sooooo tasty! And not as spicy as I feared (I really am the most horrendous wuss when it comes to that kind of thing). We resolved to make friend V have it for lunch on Weds, but agreed to head for the rather yummy Rolando's instead.

We then had a lovely lunch and afternoon with V and H. Madam almost managed to behave, but I think the excitement of having two whole visitors rather overpowered her at moments.

She was very sad to see both of our guests go and is counting the days until we have another visitor to stay (she did request that auntie V move in with us). I'm just happy she's managed not to destroy all auntie H's hard work (yet).

So we are mainly going to be eating choc beetroot cake for the next few days and working on making the house more like a showhome. I have resolved to throw even more stuff out and I'm going to get rid of a load of madam's old and/or broken toys tomorrow morning whilst she's at my mum and dad's.

I also need to have a really good review of just how many books I can realistically fit in my house. I love books, and I believe a home is a better place with them in. But perhaps we don't need all of madam's baby books. And I know I have books on my shelves that I don't think I'll ever read again. 

I shall try and keep only the ones I know I will definitely miss if they went. Because I think there'll be so much more I could fill those shelves with instead! A long time ago I made a decision not to buy new books, just secondhand ones and I've mainly stuck to that. But I need to give back so that other people will have the ones I don't need. Seems only fair.

So, I think I might also need to go through my magazines and sort out which ones I actually need to keep (I do only keep knitting/crochet ones) and which ones have no patterns in that I will ever use...

Maybe I might even get round to cutting the patterns out and only keeping those bits. But it might take a while for me to get round to that bit...

17 April 2013

School results

Hello! I have had my email at last. It actually came through at about midday but I didn't get chance to come back and update the blog to let you know! Sorry...
So, I didn't get madam in at my first choice school which didn't actually surprise me that much as we aren't in catchment and they only have a very small intake. According to my friend who's little girl did get in, there were 25 places allocated within catchment and the other 5 went to people who already had siblings at the school. So Madam basically had no chance!
Instead madam will be going to my old school which I am equally as happy about. The only reason it wasn't actually my first choice is because we have to cross lots of very busy roads to get there. With no proper crossing points... We will mainly be doing a lot of standing, waiting and then mad dashing. Never mind.
They have built a treehouse in the playground since I went, which can only be a good thing. They also still have the big playing field which we used when I was there, good stuff. I feel slightly bad that I didn't put it first, but I was never fussed if she did go there.
Anyway, apparently I only get limited free wifi here, so I shall post this and get gone!

16 April 2013


Today's post is delayed until I receive my school admissions email! Watch this space...

15 April 2013

A weekend of activities

I'm listening to the rather splendid writing soundtrack put together by YellowLittleDragon at the moment. Very soothing... I had a bit of an epic weekend. Need some chilled space in my head.
Firstly, the husband had in fact come up to visit. He came on Saturday afternoon and we took madam to Honeysuckle Farm out at Hornsea. And then, because he does actually have seemed to work out that what madam most needs from him is shoes and clothes, we went to the Freeport. Madam needed new shoes as her feet had grown again, so she's got some black patent school shoes and some sandals for if the weather stays nice.
Then we dropped round to see older brother (so kind of us!) and had a cuppa whilst madam played on his x-box. We then went to find some dinner and himself took madam for a new summer wardrobe at Asda. She has insisted on dresses (she's so girly in summer) and has now got about 5 different ones and a couple of tops, a tutu skirt and a little shrug.
But at least she won't need anything else now. Just hope the weather is nice for a few weeks at least!
Yesterday (Sunday) we went to church en famille although madam insisted on me coming to Sunday school with her so we left him by himself for the majority of the service. We then headed into Hull and went to the cinema. We watched The Croods which was really good and very funny. Well, that's what madam and I thought anyway...
We then decided on a trip out to Scarborough as the weather was so nice. Luckily madam slept most of the way there and woke up just as we arrived. We visited a couple of K's friends and then popped round to madam's godmother's. We got there just as they were having their tea so only had a quick hello and then we went to have ours. 
Forced ourselves to have fish and chips and then we got an ice cream from The Harbour Bar because it's aces. Madam then discovered the joys of the 2p machines and played until she'd won not one but two silly plastic owls. We totally missed the chance to go back and see her godmother as we were so late by that point.
She also managed to get a hoody made with her name on it. In rainbow foil letters. With sparkles. *sighs*
It's ma-hoo-sive on her (bit like the one she got years ago from Meadowhall when we went with her auntie H) but I'm not worried as she sure isn't getting any shorter. And it means she'll get the wear out of it. It's a fab purple colour, I heartily approve.
In fact I think we've avoided pink quite well this weekend. Good going for us, given how she still insists it's her favourite colour. So here she is, modelling it whilst she poses with that gorgeous sunset behind her. I had to make him stop so I could take pictures of it. It was just so glorious, it makes me miss Scarborough so much and so glad I'm from Yorkshire!

13 April 2013

Sunshine and springtime

Here's my finished Sidney pattern that I got with Let's Knit magazine. There is a whole album of reader's photos on their Facebook page. There are some really cute ones.

According to madam ours is called Lovely and she is still waiting for her stuffing, so I haven't added her to the gallery yet... But my mum has the worlds biggest bag of toy stuffing leftover from when she made madam a knitted doll the other year so we're going to just use some of that.

I am trying to decide where we're going this afternoon as it's finally a lovely day and it would be such a shame not to go out and enjoy it. The sun is shining and it's hinting at finally being Spring. Marvellous. Spring and Autumn are my favourites...

I managed to find a sun hat for madam that will actually go over her hair (much easier now her hair is shorter) and they had a special offer on so she's now got some sparkly hair clips with coloured plaits attached to them. She's thrilled, which is all that matters really. We also had to get her some emergency socks as there were issues with her tights!

There is reason for me to suspect the husband has come up this weekend even though I didn't want him to. Though he isn't at the house, which is the main thing! He keeps ringing me. I'm ignoring him, mature I know...

I suppose I ought to find out as we could at least go and spend the afternoon in the sun with him. I could cope with that I guess... Well except now he's not answering his phone. Helpful!

Yeah, I know, complete hypocrite...

I think I shall give it another go after we've had lunch. If he's sleeping (which is the most likely option) he might have woken up again by then... until then I seem to be stuck watching CBeebies!

Oh, leading on from my post about Guides last night I did at least manage to get the first part of the project started! It amazed me just how long getting them to decide whether 12 statements were true of false took! It also seemed to sink in that some of the statistics I told them were quite frightening. 

The funniest part was asking them whether they thought boys could be part of the solution. They came up with a resounding "NO" even though I had to explain that they would be important really. Their opinions on the ability of boys to be helpful was very telling of how old the girls are!

I don't think they're still at the all boys smell stage, but apparently not far off!  

12 April 2013

Guides and my attempts to guide them

I'm back at Guides tonight. This fills me with slight trepidation as we've been losing numbers recently. This makes for various problems not least of which is the fact that the less Guides there are, the harder it is to do things with them.
This sounds counter-intuitive I know, you'd think it would be easier to organise less teenagers tan more. But the problem comes from the way Guides runs. We organise an activity for them to be getting on with now, if there are lots of them the odd one that doesn't want to take part isn't too much trouble. But If you only have 10 Guides and 3 are being difficult it makes it a constant uphill battle.
There is also the wondering about why they are coming every week if they don't want to participate. They don't want to do the things we organise and they don't (won't) organise things for themselves so what are they getting out of it?
I'm currently pushing for our Guides to take part in one of the Girls in Action projects that are available for us. We've been looking at the Plan UK project and I'm hoping we can finally get it started tonight. The last meeting we had there were so few Guides that it wasn't worth it.
I have to confess to a slight obsession with badge accumulation. This is a leftover of my time as a Guide myself. I loved getting new badges for things and even though I loathed sewing them on it never put me off. I'm currently putting my badges on a blanket but I think I might sew them onto my jumper...
We need to try and recruit more girls somehow. But we're in a catch 22 at the moment. We can't do very much with the Guides as there are so few of them, and we won't get more girls if we don't do anything. We can't even organise a trip to the cinema with them as they won't all go to the same film! It's crazy.
I think I might start planning an end of half-term trip for us now. We don't have a meeting on the last Friday of term as a lot of our Guides never seem to come from that meeting. But I shall organise something with Small Print Larger who is a Young Leader with our troupe and then at least we'll get to go to the cinema even if no-one else comes!
I quite want the Guides to have a go at some planting for the Beverley in Bloom project. This would mean our name would go on a plaque somewhere around town. Help get our name out there at least.
I really enjoy the time I spend at Guides. I just wish that our Guides seemed to have a bit more enthusiasm sometimes.
I have been making madam a knitted owl that came as a free kit on the front of Let's Knit magazine. It's incredibly cute and was really easy to make. I'm half planning to use the leftover wool from crocheting the blankets for my friends twins (due in June!) to make an owl for each of them... Think it'll be really cute to have them match the blankets...
I'm glad that I've done some knitting as it's been a while since I have done any. I want to make madam a cardigan and I need to get back into the swing of it...


11 April 2013

when a birthday comes along

Ah, birthdays. Always a time of self reflection. I am indeed now into another year and I feel as though I am no wiser and really no further in my life at all, frankly. But in this last year I have discovered an online community of friends that I could only have hoped of.

They give me guidance and support whenever I'm feeling low, particularly helpful after what's been happening in the last few days. They spur me on when I'm faltering and they prod me (virtually) with sharp sticks when I need that kick in the bum.
I feel as though my life has been enriched through these friendships and although I have only met a couple of these lovely people in real life (aside from the people I've known for years!) they are helping me feel less lonely.
I've been really struggling since Tuesday and it's events but the thing that has been proving hardest has actually been madam. I put in a lot of effort to try and get my house sorted, but madam just constantly destroys things. Or deliberately defaces things. I'm just not sure what to do with her any more.
It would be nice to think that I had another parent to help me and keep me going through this extraordinarily hard time. And as I've said before I couldn't imagine life without her. But oh that need for a break can be overwhelming sometimes.
Even today, when I just wanted a day without yelling we still ended up having a fight. I know that part of it is that constant, enforced, company we spend with each other. I'm often glad I don't have two to deal with, but a sibling would be nice for her as a distraction.
Yesterday as I was trying to get on with something she had gone into the dining room (which has a latch on to stop her) and opened a bottle of white spirit which had a child safety top and emptied it all over. How do I get around that kind of behaviour? The naughty step doesn't really work on her, confiscating things seems to have little effect. I hate myself when I lose it so much I slap her, because I keep telling her how wrong it is to hit people. Not a great example...
I got a Kindle today as my gift from my parents, I'm now going to fill it with as much free stuff as I can. Also, someone suggested you could add music, now I'm not sure whether that's possible on mine, but I'm gonna give it a good go!
Ok, just a short post today... Got a birthday to pretend to be excited about :)


10 April 2013

Eviction is a four letter word

photo from twitter @EarthPix 

Yesterday was a somewhat mixed bag. I went to the job centre for my Work Focused Interview wherein we agreed I'm just going to concentrate on finishing college and then when we meet again they might be able to actually help (I don't believe this, I have no faith in the job centre to do anything).

Then I went home and set about the end of project "please don't evict me". I tidied, hoovered, mopped and generally cleaned my little bum off. I don't profess to be a tidy person, so this is really hard for me to spend a whole day doing. But I did my best and the house is transformed from what it was.

However, the nice man from the agency said he was going to recommend my landlord seek possession. And I just don't get it. I know that my version of clean is not perfect, but it was tidy. It was clean. I just don't know what else they want from me. They just tell me it's not acceptable.

Perhaps a big checklist that told me exactly what they wanted me to do to the place might have been an idea. Leave me alone with no guidance and I can only do my best. I'm really upset (as you can imagine). It feels like all the work I've been putting in has been a complete waste of time and I might just as well have left it the way it was.

I'm really pleased with how the house is. It's my house after all, until I leave it again. And apparently I'm going to have to pack my life up and move on again. Especially traumatic as I've read an article somewhere which says how bad that is for small children. This is our third house since she was born already. Number four hopefully will be more permanent.

It makes me feel like such a lousy parent to not even be able to keep a steady roof over my child's head. I find out on Tuesday which school I've managed to get her into. I don't even want to contemplate the fact that just because she has a place somewhere doesn't mean that'll be where she goes.

I really wanted to just bury my head and cry in bed all night. But I persuaded myself not to. And, for the first time in weeks, I actually had my bed all to myself all night. It was so nice to get an uninterrupted sleep... I did slightly console myself yesterday by buying some MJ memorabilia. And chocolate. I really need to get my eating back under control, but it's just not possible while I'm upset.

I am making beef and mushroom pie for dinner tonight. That's sort of healthy at least... I'm very much looking forward to friend H coming next week. It'll be nice to have someone else in the house. And she has good cheering up skills!

My lovely owly friend from twitter posted this link yesterday, which came at an opportune time. It's about how to keep it together when depressed and reading it was good for me. I still am worried that my façade will crumble in an embarrassing fashion in front of someone who doesn't know how hard it was to even get out of bed today.

But I've put on the face that I keep in a jar by the door and I've watched my new favourite TV show the Great British Sewing Bee and I'm going to get through today. It's not going to be pretty, but I'm going to do it anyway. Moment by moment, breath by breath.

Oh, and if you also like the show and don't already know; the lovely Tilly has a blog Tilly and the Buttons. It has some great tutorials and patterns. I've not finished exploring it yet. But I really want to have a go at making the Mathilde Blouse, which she made a version of in the program.

Just need to see if I can get a new peddle for my sewing machine first! Or maybe a new sewing machine... Mine is very small...

Oh. I do wish I had someone to cuddle. I nearly made madam come into my bed last night so that I had that company. I decided against it, and I'm glad. But I'm wary of what will happen if the husband does come to visit this weekend. I'm determined to try and put him off...

It seems ludicrous to have him come up for a birthday weekend with me when I have to try so hard to keep myself on an even keel when he's here. For madam's sake at least. I don't think I could manage it this week, and he absolutely cannot stay at our house this time.

Too many things... Just too many feels... 

7 April 2013

Sunday update

Yesterday I bought more storage boxes. Now this is a good thing for the most part as it helps with my tidying, but I'm meant to be getting rid of stuff not just making it neater... I filled the first one with my overflow yarn stash that I'd got out of the living room. So that was totally necessary.

I haven't decided what I'm putting in the second one. Fairly sure it won't take me too long to work it out. Madam has tried to claim it for toys, but that isn't happening. I've been thinking it's probably going to end up with my patterns and things in...

I let madam make my mum and dad an anniversary card for my parents last night. She spent ages covering it in stickers and then very carefully did writing on the inside and on the envelope. It was really cute. She has such a great concentration face, complete with stuck out tongue...

I reviewed my novel so far and have decided that chapter 7 is better than I had thought. I shall put it on the site in a bit. I also managed to remember a couple of things I'd put in earlier chapters that I need for later on! The next chapter has progressed some, but I need to think of the next clue and I don't really know what to do this time.

I can't decide whether to make another riddle or use a different idea this time. It would be nice to inject something else so that I can get the two parts of my plot to converge for the final part. I appreciate that if you haven't read chapter 7 you won't realise there are two parts to the plot yet! ;)

I've nearly reached 20,000 words and I'm worried that if I'm nearly halfway through I'm not going to have enough material to make my 50,000 word count goal. Especially as my total words I'm aiming for is 63,500 as I'd written 5 chapters before we started. Oh dear.

It's nice to know that my writing has inspired a friend to give it a go to. I don't think she's ready for a camp just yet, but there's another one in July she might like to try! You don't have to write 50,000 words either, there are a few people in my cabin that are aiming for much lower figures.

Last night, after having written for a bit I had to then do some crochet. Madam has asked me to make some pockets to put on her cardigan and also a couple of little flowers to spruce it up a bit. It's nice to see that she's getting into the customisation bug nice and early. I've been adding bits to her clothes since she was tiny.

I did, at one point, sew her name in teddy bear letters onto the back of one of her hoodies. I need to unpick all the letters before I get rid of the jacket as she wants to keep them. This was not something I had thought hard enough about at the beginning!
I started this post before lunch and it's now about 4pm. I have been shopping with mother and we've got madam a really pretty dress from Monsoon with a matching shrug. So that's her wedding outfit organised as well! She is going to need some shoes to go with it, but I'm guessing that won't be too hard. Even if we can't get matching she could wear white or silver...
I have also food shopped. Without a menu plan this week... I'll have to do it in reverse and hope I got most of the things I'm going to need, though obviously, I can top things up. I am going to be making easy pea and ham soup at some point, cause it's my favourite and I've got a hankering for it.
As I have spent far to long on this post I better share it with you all, I suppose!
Oh, and madam is currently in a shower cap with her hair slathered in conditioner and then mum and I are cutting it off. It needs done, she won't let me look after it properly and if we can start over it might be easiest. 

6 April 2013

On writing, anniversaries and birthdays!

I picked a front cover for my novel :) I'm suffering from major writers block at the minute and progress is being ridiculously slow. But at least I have an idea of what the cover will be for if it ever gets finished!
I did try and write some more last night but only managed about 250 words or so. I think I might have to re-read everything and remember all the things I set up already and then do a bit of planning in the notebook I bought specifically for novel planning which is currently empty!
I need to focus a bit more on the characters I think, at the moment they're somewhat 2-dimensional and I think it might be time to get some back story going. For example, I've introduced some characters from my Imp's past and have mentioned something he did. It might be worth writing it out (even if I don't necessarily include it in the novel).
I have been trying to sort some playlists on my iTunes to give me a bit of chilled background music to write by, but I'm suffering from a distinct lack of choice. I set up a playlist that plays the least played tracks I listen to, but that just means it's very random! And also tracks I'm more "meh" about.
My parents are celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary today. This means next year I have to remember to provide a decent present and card! I have an idea to get them a nice piece of glass made by my friends at Gekodesigns and using the millefiore beads they were given on their last trip to Venice.
This is probably a better idea than some more artwork or something as the picture I got them for their 30th is still waiting to be hung! It's really cool too, an orange Chinese dragon on a dark blue background... But I'm not bitter!
They are going for a meal tonight at the lovely Rolando's restaurant. I have had several very nice lunches there (though we're still in mourning for the pear and pecorino sandwich). And we did have a nice evening meal with my aunt and uncle when they were here for madam's 3rd birthday. I am relieved of taxi duty on this occasion as it's only local :)  
For the rest of today I think I will mainly be trying to occupy madam. My parents have to go and do boring things that utilise the car so I can't leave them to babysit whilst I escape to the cinema with Small Print Larger! Curses... (though I don't think my parents are particularly talking to madam after the nail varnish incident). Might give it a go for tomorrow though... ;)
I also have to fathom out what I'm making for dinner, I think I have lots of things in the store cupboard that I could utilise. I then need to do my menu planning for next week. I get to be really busy on my birthday, so I doubt I will be doing much celebrating... Though I will get my Kindle! I shall mainly be playing with that and seeing if I can indeed transfer music onto it :)
I will also be downloading various things for me to read...
I am slightly undecided about this birthday. For the second year in a row it will be being overshadowed by external events going on around it. Whilst I am of an age where I'm not that fussed about the actual birthday, I would like a calm one next year! I also would like to have a meal at the Japanese restaurant in town as I've never been :) 
I shall also attempt to overcome this blooming writers block soon! 50,000 words is an awful lot!