Thursday, November 26, 2015

Last night's pumpkin moon, robbed from a fellow dog walker.

I suspect my pie isn't going to taste great, it smells... unconvincing. Ah well, I bought two cans, there's no law against making another one.

Now I've to feed the child (the other child doesn't eat other than her One Oreo Milkshake a day, believe me, I'd feed her if I could) go to yoga, come back, make mushroom soup (with my student who's babysitting for me), which is thankfully easy, have pie, and then hopefully go to bed.

You know when you've invited people over, and you feel worried about whether or not they'll go home? Isn't it great when people go home? Sometimes it's too early for me, but I still love that feeling of 'AAAAAHHH' when the place is your own again and you can take off your bra. Today is a day of entirely too prolonged bra-wearing.

Do you notice people spelling 'wary' as 'weary'? Is it an auto-correct thing? I hope it is. I'll pretend to myself it is, just in case it's not. Also 'defiantly' for 'definitely'. That defiantly has to be auto-correct, right? RIGHT?? :)

I got a really great party invite for a really, really great party in the post today. It's next October, that's how great it is - invite nearly a whole year in advance. I am planning. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Just listening to some Stone Roses there.

You know what's nice? When you listen to some music from the Past, but it wasn't your music, so while it's lovely, and familiar, it has no emotional resonance for you - you never lay in bed in the dark with a friend or a lover or a friend/lover while it played, you didn't listen over and over to it through your early teenage anguish. It wasn't 'your song' with anyone, it wasn't breakup recovery music. You were just happy when it came on at the disco or on the radio, it's only redolent of light and dance. That's nice.

I'm afraid I do favour the music of the early nineties, the music of my formative years, or that while I learned about then. The music that defined me before cars or houses or kids or marriages or their aftermath existed. The music that was me. But while these songs bring a friend of mine to tears, I'm all good. I like it, but I don't feel anything when I hear it other than happy and a little bit dancey.

Which is nice :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

me me me me me me me me me

This all sounds like ME alright. Bleh.

*must shut up more*

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


It came home to me while Madeleine McCann was missing, that otheres didn't have the same vivid emotional images of the possible plights of others that I did. They didn't envision a child in the dark, calling for her mother, listening to with terror to the approaching footsteps of her captor.

Far from it, my friend found it bizarre that I did.

Is it a choice? Even when I don't actively think about the parents who are promising their children it will be alright, only to lose them to cold, dark waters or violent crushes at borders, the constant unerstanding of the millions of terrible, unimaginably awful scenes that are playing weigh me down.

Is it empathy that hampers me so much, or just depression? Or a mixture of both?

I could just stop looking at the news, unfollow the stories. But imagine if you'd been through all this and no one read your story, because it was distasteful, upsetting, they were too delicate? And meanwhile their governments turned you away, to go back and live in the shelled ruins of your house, in the rape camps, pushed you back onto the knife.

It's unbearable.

How do you bear it? I feel so raw.

And I'm trying to sign Olivia up to secondary school and it feels so impossible. The weight of having a child with these needs that I can't meet, the guilt of it, of what it does to my other child, the way it could be if this disorder hadn't visited our lives... It weighs so heavily.

Maybe it's just depression though.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


What do you think when you see this photo? I think it's utterly life affirming, full of joy and love and beauty.

Maybe some people see middle aged butts and feel affronted, disappointed, disgusted?

I don't know. People are odd.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine liked/shared/commented on a face book picture. I like this person, but I don't like their face book feed or a lot of their opinions - they make me feel uncomfortable, frustrated sometimes. This particular picture was a gif of a close up of a white woman's tanned fake boobs being slowly unzipped from their stretch top. You know the sort of thing. Then the picture changes at the last minute before the reveal and all of a sudden you see the rear view of a fat woman in only a t-shirt doing a cartwheel on the grass. And it's captioned 'definition of disappointment' or something like that.

I forgot to copy it, mostly because I was so pissed off at the mentality behind it. For me, so many levels of wrong.

I'm as guilty of lookism as the next person (well, ok, maybe not *as* guilty, but definitely guilty.) I've a very muscle bound cross fit  French guy in my class who stretches all the time, and it's ... distracting. We're all attracted to beauty. Who doesn't love the sight of a purty butt?

But I don't believe for a second we owe strangers on the street or on the internet anything in terms of the way we look. We don't need to work to keep our butts firm for the greater public gaze. If cellulite or flab offend you, look the other way. Humans are not built for your obhectification.

I don't even need to go on, do I?

The other issue is more personal. The cartwheeling woman could have been me, if I could do cartwheels... I mean, her body shape was my own. Now, I'm pretty much the greatest critic of
my own body that will ever exist. Chances are no one else is ever going to see it again in as much detail as I see it myself. I haven't reconciled myself to loving it unconditionally yet - I hope I get there before I die. It's exhausting, self hatred. It's a full time job that saps you of energy and motivation. I wish the kind of people who evince disgust at random strangers for how they look could understand that.

The thing is, that woman doing an unashamed and joyous cartwheel, celebrating her strength and ability and aliveness in the sunshine - that picture was so much more beautiful that the Californian cliche of the silicone boobs and sunbed tan and extreme thinness that the media offers us as the ideal.
It's cold outside the bubble of body positivity I sometimes frequent on the internet.  It's hard to see how little we're developing as human beings.

And so... poo to the stupid fuckers who think they're deserving of clich├ęd stripteases and need protecting from the happy butt of a chubby lady. An antidote in the form of the Adipositivity project

Friday, November 13, 2015

A slightly amazing thing happened today. I had a work review, or appraisal, as they're known. Disturbing, as it's Friday the 13th. However, I seem to be flavour of the month, as I got offered an exam class for the first time (which isn't a big deal, it's not like extra pay or anything, but it's sort of a sign of being favoured, and also an opportunity to develop your skillset a bit).

But the gobsmacking thing is that I'd been dreaming of getting the school to send me on some sort of counselling course so I can be the person in charge of pastoral care for the students, perhaps someone who can listen to their issues and put them in touch with relevant services. I didn't think it would come true, as there's not really anything in it for the school - but I guess since my experience with the pregnant 17 year old and now the troubled Brazilian, the need for such a role has hit home and my director has just suggested it to me - she says she's going to look into it and see if their might be a viable course they could send me on - ! I won't hold my breath, of course, but it's such a good idea. And could grow into something more for me in the future, if it did come to pass.

So... whether it does or not, that was nice.

And it's Friday, and the sky was blue and fresh and cold (though then the light went weird and it hailed). My Brazilian girl got out of hospital this morning and is back at home here with a new appreciation for ... not being stuck in hospital. I brought her on a dog walk with me. And it was freezing - it's been ridiculously warm recently, it was actually nice to have a properly cold day.

I've just weathered a PMS week without anti depressants, only Vit B complex and D and magnesium and I seem to have done ok - everyone's still standing, though I was viciously bitchy to a couple of my colleagues and had to apologise. But still. I've made it through.

And I'm so glad it's Friday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

ah crap

It's Axl's birthday today. He is still not smoking, and he hasn't had an acid attack since he started taking the pills they gave him, so it looks like it was acid rather than gall stones.

We also went to the shopping centre together last Sunday and he got jeans (size and a half smaller than he expected) and boots and was all pleased with himself. Then we ate deliciously in Wagamama. Tofu salad for me with some sort of sticky terriake (sp?) sauce and damn, it was tasty. And now I feel like I've seettled my 'need to go out to eat, poor me' yearnings for a while.

Listen, people - don't slave over birthday cake if you don't feel like it. Jamaica ginger cake, currently €1.50 in Tesco, get three. Buy vanilla icecream - it could be the good stuff, but the kind that stays softer is actually a bonus here. Slice the cake thinly, eat the ends with your son.

Put cling film in a medium sized bowl and layer the cake around the sides. Use the squishy bits sticking to the wrapper to squish into any open holes left behind. Half fill with icecream. Lay a cake layer, fill up again, and make a base that fits in to the walls. If you know what I mean. Just like making a summer pudding or what have you.

Freeze it.

To serve it, pull no the cling film slightly and push a table knife in a little along the side of the glass to separate it. Invert it onto a plate and give everyone big, delicious, cold, creamy, chewy, spicy slices. If you wanted to you could make your own ginger cake, of course - I would, it's just this commercial one is so delicious, there's no point. You could make your own icecream too, of course... my mother made the most amazing vanilla icecream... I was tempted to make some warm custard to pour on top, but my family vetoed the idea.

Somewhat tragically, this went down way better than my actual cake does. Ah well - it's far easier!

We also had a walk and an Indian Takeaway. Sadly Olivia is back in day sleeping mode, and didn't join us at all. I'm not going to talk about that much at the moment, I'm too pre-menstrual to deal. I should be mestrual, but it takes my period about three days to start these days. What that about?

And then... just as I was settling in for the night - I checked my teacher face book page, and there was a photo from my troubled student I blogged about a couple weeks ago - a photo of a big handful of pills on her bedspread. I know she's taking sleeping pills for insomnia - over the counter ones, it seems. What can a picture of a collection of pills mean if you're not planning to take them all? And the photo was from 2 hours before. I called my director, who called the woman who liases with accomodation, but they didn't have her contact details. I got my student on Facebook, but she was making no sense - which was extremely worrying. So I went up to her house (I normally would never know where it was but I'd dropped her home before) and she was there, slurring words and falling around the place. She said she'd taken 19 pills and been sick, He two shocked Brazilian friends and her landlady took her to hospital - sadly the local one A&E at 6 these days, so the one much nearer town. She was falling around the place and not speaking clearly. They thought she'd just gone to bed. The were all shocked. Her landlady: Why did she take 19 pills? What was she thinking?
Me: she's depressed, she was trying to kill herself.
Well, what do you say? I'm low on delicate subtlety these days, I'm operating on Bitchqueen levels of anti-social irritation. I'm getting in trouble in work for biting people's heads off. What was good was everyone's assertive commitment to brinnging her to hospital. Truth is, I wasn't sure I should respond to the photo. Really glad I did, though.

This is the first time I've been involved in something like this. The photo and the puking do suggest she didn't really want to go through with it. I'm conflicted about suicide. I kinda believe people have the right to die. But at the same time... I don't know that we have the right to ignore cries for help based on that assertion. And I also don't believe it's ok to dump this stuff on people.

And yet it's hard... you know you should ask for help, so you do, but then you feel bad about dragging people in/down. And also, you can ask once, but you can't keep asking every day, or in the middle of the night and all the time, can you? So you should, but you also shouldn't. And then there's the fact that a cup of coffee and a chat don't cure you of your abuse experiences, or teach you how to handle your brain chemistry or your pain. But once people know you, you owe them not to mess their lives up with your suicide.

I'm not artculating anything very well here. I feel tired and stressy. I feel a desperate responsibility to help everyone be ok, when I'm so far from helping my daughter, who is actually my responsibility.

I feel a weird combination of defeat and ... hmm, panic? That's not quite the right word, but I'm tired.

The Syrian refugee crisis is wearing me down. I could do with a little holiday from humanity's machinations. A little bubble holiday in a mountain retreat with massage and yoga and cuddle therapy, plz.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

creaking blog update

Ughgh, I don't have the motivation to tell you the minutiae of my boring life. In brief, because I can't be arsed and I can't imagine you are either;

Last night Axl took himself to A&E (ER if you're American) because his burning, pressing mid-chest pains that happened this time last year (clear scans, went away in the end, he thought he'd inhaled battery acid at work and google told her the symptoms were identical, long story) were so bad. I'd been trying to get him to go to the GP, but in fairness, last year the GP was clueless.

Despite hours of waiting in boiling heat that made him have to go throw up (isn't tropical heat in hospitals rather germ-encouraging?) he got a couple great doctors. They ruled out heart issues and pointed out that the diapraghm area of the pain is not his chest, but his stomach (all good, though, as chest pains get you seen quicker). So, it's acid. That was something we considered, but as heart issues are far scarier, we obviously focussed on that... He's been given a prescription and if it doesn't help within ten days, he has the joy of swallowing a camera to look forward to.

The good: He hasn't had a cigarette since Tuesday. And he's conceded that he should probably stop living on cheese and white bread sandwiches. I'm relieved.

I need to stop being hypocritical and make a breast check appointment. I'm having pre-period  tenderness in one boob (the one that always has things change in it, hmmmm) and with post breastfeeding, ageing boobs it's hard to tell what's lumpy and what's just ducts and whatnot. So back I will go to my lovely Boston gynae Deirdre and let her feel me up. She's the only person I've had intimate physical contact with in the last five or six years, imagine that? I even shave myself and wear matching underwear for her.

In other health news, my last 6 month prescription of anti-depressants is done, and I haven't gone to the new doctor I want to go to to renew it. I'll probably have to have an appointment to do so, and I'd rather spend the €75 on the breast  check than the €65 on the appoinment. I'd quite like to keep making the dietary and lifestyle changes that will feed my brain right and see if that helps at all, rather than continuing to take the pills indefinitely. I'm sure I'll change my mind in the next week of PMS though. They do block all the crying, which is kind of boring to deal with daily off them... but part of me thinks that like being on the pill, you need to build in a period every now and then instead of stopping it happening. What happens to all the tears if you stop them being shed?

I went to a financial advice session about building a trust for your dependent child on Wednsday. You can bet I cried there. We have no one to be guardian for the kids, have a talked about that before? No one who knows their daily lives, accompanies them to their events or appoinments (not that we really have those). And to ask anyone to take on Olivia would be to ask them to ruin their lives... we have no one we can ask that of. Optimism is so dangerous. What the fuck was I thinking, having children? I know - I was thinking that things would work out. Improve. That I would be able to become the person I wanted to be. That I would be loved. That I would realise my potential. These positive idealism are encouraged. Beware of them. Perhaps knowing your limits is important if you are not a limit-busting person. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015


I'm not particularly consumerist, though I'm sure if I had money I would be. What I am is materialistic. Things, I like things. I get a lot of pleasure out of them. I comfort shop. Sometimes this is wasteful and just compounds my clutter problem, sometimes it's just a simple good in my life.

I think my attitude is quite Taurean, though I can't lay claim to all the skills described here. It appeals, though, and sounds like a better me.

Recently, I've got two things that area making me really happy. First, after a year of having no car of my own, and driving Axl's Toyota Avensis around, I've bought one. I've had it a couple months now, and it's great. It's an '03 Corolla, and I had planned to go up a few years, but it had 72 thousand miles on it, far less than any of the 04/05s I was looking at did. Axl did the hard bits for me, test drove and negotiated for it. It feels thoroughly mine to drive now - at first I wasn't sure, but now I feel like hugging it every time I drive it. It's a 1.4 so it's a bigger engine than the car I had before, it's smooth and strong with great acceleration and the most exact and powerful brakes. It's small and neat enough to feel zippy and is really easy to maneuver. The Avensis was like a boat, I scraped the crap out of its corners and wrecked the bumper - I feel so bad about that :( It's amazing on the motorway, smooth and quiet and fast, but so is my lil Corolla, heh.

I also  got a dog guard, so Derry is confined to the boot. This is a good thing - no more drifts of dog hair and mud.

The only downside is that it's silver, which I find a bit of a non-colour in a car. A bit anonymous, invisible. I wanted a black or dark green one. But! Beggars can't be choosers, and I've lucked out in all other ways so I can cheerfully give up on the style issue.

The other thing is that I've wanted a new phone for a good while now (I won't say needed, my last phone could make calls perfectly well). I wasn't sure what to get - I've been very dissatisfied with my last two cheap Samsungs and the stories of how they treat their workers are awful, awful.

Also, I'm cheap, so I've been keeping my eye on my upgrade status, because I basically wanted something good... and free. Finally last week, an Alacatel Idol appeared on the page. Free, 16mp camera (last one was 5!), no change to my very low monthly rate... all good. Ethical score over twice that of a Samsung, and at the upper limit of all the phones listed. It'll do. It arrived, and it's cool. It feels like a real smartphone, helped by the fact that I've finally got an up to date SIM, so everything fits on it. I can have Whatsapp now! If I want it. Do I want it? It's cool. It makes me happy to have it. Which is not such a good thing, I recognise. Things Are Not The Answer. But it's not just about having a Nice Thing. It's also about having a working thing, Having the car thing hanging over me was stressful, driving Axl's, worrying about buying one, for a whole year. It now feels like things are in place. Settled. As they should be. And I'm grateful and happy to have these little moments of enjoyment in my mundane day, to feel happy and right as I go around corners. And it's a 12 year old car, it's not like I bought something new or extravagant. But I do see it as a luxury too, of course. Not everyone gets to have a car. And some people live in theirs... I know this.

I know having a smartphone is neither the be all and end all or even positive - but again, at least this one was free, so I don't think I need to feel guilty about it :)

So, how many times did I use the word 'thing' in this post?