Solstice and Shenanigans

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Seasons greetings, whatever theological or tribal stripe you may be, on this, the Solstice, the nadir of the year. It will reach it’s very zenith at 17.11 GMT. Unfortunately, that does not mean that sunny days are ahead. They are, but they’ll be a long time coming. We will have to content ourselves with incremental increases in daylight hours.

Here is a beautifully crafted art work of festive cheer from Poppet’s oeuvre.

And here is a weird Victorian Christmas card.

In time travel news, here’s a picture from July 2012, but it is just as apt this very day, since WE’RE OFF TO BRIGHTON, YO!

However, just because we’ll be away from home, it doesn’t mean I won’t be cracking on with my new hobby, LEARNING ALL THE LANGUAGES.  I can’t remember who put me onto it (WHAAAT? it was all the way back a few DAYS I can’t be expected to remember EVERYTHING) but I am now big into duolingo.com which is a free software for learning languages. Not ALL the languages, but SOME languages. I am currently virtually fluent in Spanish as long as I only want to talk about apples, bread, water, milk, eating, drinking, a man, a woman, a girl and a boy. Still, I reckon I could get by on that. But there’s more! So much more. And it’s a bit like playing a game. I’m very excited.

Ten has just taken Poppet out for the shortest walk in the history of going outside, and I can hear him telling her she will have SOOOO MUCH FUN today, but I’m not sure she’s interested in tenses.

Gotta get ready to travel – in the meantime here’s a little tumblr I made the other day elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2013/12/14

Foam Slippers Redux

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I am not good at anniversaries. Even my 21st birthday was spent in the cab of a lorry in France. My friend Helen had got me a bottle of Orangina. Orangina was GREAT. We didn’t have anything as nice in the UK. As a kid I thought the war was AGES ago, but as the years went by I realized that even in the 80′s we were still very post war in lots of ways.

i was given these to wear in hospital. i kept them and brought them home to photograph

Anyway, last year I took an overdose of pills and ended up in the local mental hospital. Via the general hospital, I am told, I don’t remember it. My memories of that time are vague and very partial.

I’d had a hard year. Every year since I got ill has been a hard year, and I thought I knew hard years. I don’t suppose I was ever entirely at home with myself, but I had some good times, and with health comes the promise of future. Without health, well, not so much. I’d moved house in the early autumn. Ten had done all the stuff I couldn’t, and the difficult summer seemed to hold that seed of hope that moving might improve things. What I didn’t expect was a flare up of every single thing that fibro had ever brought me. Weeks of being bed bound with cystitis, constant running migraines, all sorts of everything. What had happened on top of this was that this time the previous year, going into the hardest part of the year I had started having a lot of suicidal thoughts and had gone to the doctor’s in a panic. I needed some support and was given it, and then had it taken away again. This played out over a few months, and in the early summer I saw a psychiatrist who said that I was taking too many different medications, so I started coming off them – unsupervised. The psych was on a ‘rotation’ I was supposed to see another one but that never happened. I moved without medication, knowing I was spiraling and since I was moving boroughs not only did I have to sign up with a new GP but would have to start from scratch with psych services.

It was hard to get appointments. I had rising panic. I felt like I was shouting for help – who knows, maybe it was just a whisper? Or maybe my shouting is someone else’s whisper. At any rate, eventually I had a home visit from *someone* – I forget who. I told her I needed a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) to supervise me going on meds, since I was afraid of becoming manic. She told me that I wouldn’t get one unless I was hospitalized. By this time I heard ‘hospitalized’ not as  ‘turn up at hospital and tell them you need in’ but as ‘take an overdose and you’ll either die or get help’ which sounded like a win/win scenario to me.

This time last year, or, to be more specific, a bit later than that… I wrote this post and made light of it, rather. I was ready to show but not to tell.

I wanted to write this for two reasons. One, in a show of solidarity with all the other people in the UK who are currently literally being hounded to death by the current government’s sickness and disability ‘reforms’ and another to say thank you to everyone who helped me through that very dark time.

Ten, Hazel & Che, BJ, Lottie, Ian, Al, Lucy J, St Ann’s Home Team, my lovely friends on the interwebs, everyone who came to my birthday, Steven next door, my dad who wasn’t told at the time, but who takes me as I am whatever state I am in, my mum, my brother, Julie, who gave me holiday time in Brighton, and my darling little Poppet, this one’s for you:

This year has been so much better. Many difficult days, but better, always better than last year.

This Year, Last Year, Sometime, Never

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austin kleon

And good morrow to you! I take it we have all given up on resolutions? Good.

GrrrlFever Zine Issue #1

I reject virginity and I reject nominal ‘New Years’. Since I am a bit of a howler what I don’t reject is the full moons and the shiftings of the year. Straight after the solstice I was heartened to think that the days will, though still dark, be getting lighter forthwith.

I am not good with anniversaries of any kind. I find them… implausible? I keep a count of how many years I have had Poppet – it’s easy because I went to get her on xmas eve three years ago. I know I am fifty, but when I was forty I had to be 39 twice because I’d lost a year somewhere. This is as it should be, in my opinion.

And now I give you a tumblr collection by way of a new year’s gift elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2013/01/03

donald edwards

dog day holiday

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quite naturally, i failed to either bring my camera charger or simply charge the battery, so this post is brought to you by the letters FFS and the number LOW RES camphone. or it could be more about the weird picasa configuration on this netbook. I DON’T KNOW!

good morrow

poppet is having the BEST time. we are visiting with another staffie, the tiny diva.

here, diva, aged 105 in human years, accepts small pinches of chappie hand fed to her. she is so old and picky it’s hard to get her to eat anything, and she is well disposed towards being fed by hand.
the two dogs have become lovely friends. i hope to get some sort of snap of them being sweet together, but it’s a bit of a lottery.

picasion

picasion.

here’s hazel and pops AT THE PUB!!!! yes, this truly is poppet’s dream holiday.

(and i am enjoying it, too)

when we first got here we took her into the garden, but now it’s pretty much out of bounds, since there are two guinea pigs which she spent a solid day obsessing about.

last night the usually reticent diva decided to show us THE BEACH. poppet was transFIXED. she stared at the sea through the railings like some sort of dog beggar girl glimpsing a fabulous banquet.

this avo we walked up to the racecourse, which she enjoyed, and I, gentle reader, HAVE HAD NO MIGRAINES! (and i have even had glasses of wine!)

two more whole days to go. and a bit. ten is in the kitchen kicking up a storm, while we watch the opening of the olympics.

che took this little gem

holiday time! botox for migraine, and waffling on about the olympics – and a poll! many good things!

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we’re going to bri-ghton! we’re going to bri-ghton!

we were going to wales, but i got an appointment at the migraine clinic bang in the middle of our proposed travelly time, and had to cancel. wales is too far to go for less than a week. brighton, on the other hand, isn’t. in m’previous post i linked to a little tumblr i made with the purpose of fishing for holiday swapsies. i didn’t get the swap i constructed the thing for, but it occurred to me to show it around to brighton peeps, and one such friend actually happened to need a dog/house sitter for the latter half of this very week.

so excited. the doggy we are visiting is the one who inspired me to adopt a staffie. she is an old girl now, but i’ve known her since she was a pup, and she’s a lovely girl.

do not fear. THERE WILL BE PHOTOS. oh yes.

i don’t know if we will see everyone this time round, but i do know there will be group dog walks. that’s it. i don’t know anything else.

we will go look at the sea, too. but i don’t know the summer dog on beach rules, so we will have to find out about all that.

and, “hollybags”? don’t ask me. i think it was one of the kirsties who coined it. or at least, passed it on to me. for safekeeping, like.

***

the national migraine centre is a private charity, not part of the NHS. it’s been run by a famous Dr, Anne MacGregor, who has dedicated herself to researching the part hormones play in migraine. when i went to see my neuro at whitechapel last year, for what i assumed would be the last time because i was moving out of the borough it turned out that he was moving on, too. Dr MacGregor is off to concentrate on research at barts, and he, Dr Giles Elrington, is taking over at the migraine clinic. I’d stopped going there because being a chronic, paying every visit wasn’t an option. He told me he would waive the fee for me, though.

giles. he’s so posh he really does wear a bow tie.

the suggested donation is currently £100. so, not inconsiderable. what i will be happy to pay for, though, is the botox treatment. this is his hobby horse. it’s been approved by NICE (national institute for clinical excellence – our FDA) but the NHS trusts all have to decide whether to bank roll it, and they are taking their sweet time.

at £600 a time it’s not cheap (which i don’t really understand, since botox is actually not expensive in itself) but if you are a chronic like me then neither is almost daily use of triptans, and in a more general way, an inability to do a day’s work. i think i cost the state a good deal more than £600 a quarter.

IF he can whip out the needle on tuesday i will be very pleased. i have had botox before and it worked really well. apparently you need to give it a couple of goes to see if it’s not just a placebo effect, but it could become cost effective if it meant i could work. what i would work at is a whole other question. of course, i have the fibro to contend with as well. my attempt to swim myself well not only sparked more migraines than i could cope with, but also quite a bit of IBS related flare ups. and then there was the fatigue… so it’s not a cut and dried situation, but bloody hell, i am sick and tired of being sick and tired, so lets give it a whirl.

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i’m slightly weeing myself with excitement over what possible escapades protesters might get up to during the olympics. people are being arrested for the slightest thing at the moment, though, so they’ll have to be smart. i’ve written a whole waffle about it, but it’s not been posted yet.

and, speaking of waffling, you may note that i am writing like a normal person over there. i felt it was the way to go. trouble is, now i am all sixes and sevens about capitalization. what do YOU think?

my online life

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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

i am proud to announce my first post as a daily waffle writer! here it is to click on;

how to make a dog smile.

i feel a little bit NOIVOUS. i feel a bit of a fraud constantly categorizing and tagging this blog with “HUMOUR”, and i felt very bambi trying out his first steps writing even such a short thing and using the FUNNY WAFFLE category. cheeky me! after all, is it really for me to say that i am bringing the funnies? well, at least the picture is worth a smirk. if not a LOL. in a sneak previewy sort of a way i am going to tell you something about what i want to do in the future on the waffle – i want to do some drawings. nothing fancy, but you know, i feel perfectly free to gank images for this blog, but i do feel that copyright infringement starts getting a bit naughty at a certain point. and it gives me an excuse to wield a crayon. i did a little one for this blog last week. it was the star i used to illustrate the idea of ‘gold stars all round’.

i didn’t really like the stars i found when i did an image search, so i just drew one. it only took me a few minutes. okay, it doesn’t actually glitter, and it’s not really gold. but i drew it on top of my crayon box which is a kind of grubby gold.

anyway, that’s the plan, and you heard it here first.

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now, you may remember that i got a nice award recently, but i didn’t pay it forward because, for starters no one, NO ONE even accepted the last one that i did, and for nexters i was in the middle of migraine awareness month and my birthday and i wasn’t keeping up with reading blogs.

however! this has now been rectified, and i can tell you that i have read some great blogs over the past few days. one such is from a blog called ‘becoming cliche’ and the post is called it really works and it is all about how dieting in the style of a cat is the new atkins. i thought it was very funny so click through if you like a laugh.

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just in case you’d prefer to be bummed out, there’s this from my facebook feed;

“The armed forces are already providing up to 13,500 personnel for the Games – split between the venues and back-up for police. Under the contingency plans, this could reach 16,500 – 7,000 more than are being deployed in Afghanistan.”

so, erm, you know the UK is supposed to be quite *free* and a *democracy* and all that? well, not content to arm the police (our police weren’t at all armed until fairly recently, then there were ‘armed units’ which were only to be deployed on actual specific missions and yesterday when i went to buy a bra in M&S there were two policemen just standing around at liverpool street station HOLDING BIG BLACK MACHINE GUNS. i’d go back and take a picture but i am too scared – i don’t want to be arrested or shot.) we are apparently now going to have the army not only manning ground to air missiles on the top of residential blocks in the borough, but also policing the damn games!

read more here Olympic security: army reinforcements called in to fill G4S shortfall if you can bear to, that is.

BLOODY GREAT BIG SADFACE.