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

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

letter from poppet, birthday pics, and richard o’dwyer extradition petition

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Migraine Awareness Month #25: “Through My Children’s Eyes.” Write a letter to yourself from your children. 


i don’t have children as such. of course, i do have my lovely dog, poppet. she doesn’t care about migraine though she does like a cuddle.

der laine,

i laik the fud. also walk in park. is saf to et squirls? i’m nevr sur.

party yestiday was kite gud. not sur abot dog, she laiked eting from thi bin, and that is mine.

nao can i go bak to slep? yu intruptx a god drem.

lov, popit.

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.”

***

now then! birthday!

happily, i had a proper photographer on hand, because i am not one for taking pictures in company. ellis took these. pictures of people mainly came out blurred – damn camera was probably on manual, it’s an awkward beast. still, he got some good shots of CAKE and so on, which is the main thing.

i asked stephen from next door to bring in his piano since we had so many musicans handy, and he brought in a couple of guitars as well. so we had sing songs which was lovely.

i had the best day. i love bringing people together. it was a nice mix – nearly everyone knew more than one other person and everyone had lots in common. i had a little lie down about threeish, and then rallied. in the evening stephen, ten, poppet and i watched limitless, which was just the sort of tosh we were fit for.

***

this kid is being threatened with extradition to the US

“Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has made a rare political intervention to call on Theresa May to stop the extradition of British student Richard O’Dwyer to the US for alleged copyright offences.”

click through here to read the full article and sign the petition – pretty please!

wishes, birthday news, and heartfelt thanks

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Migraine Awareness Month #24:  “Dear Genie.” Put together a wish list for your life. 

okay, this is going to have to be quick. it’s my birthday TODAY and i slept late and we have people coming soooooon. yes, yes, i know i should have done this in advance. darling, we know about this.

i probably wish the same sorts of things as any chronic migraineur. i wish i could travel without fear, i wish i could work, i wish i didn’t have to consider my labyrinthine needs every which way. and most of all i wish the migraines would just GO AWAY.

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.”

***

yes! i am FIFTY this very day. fifty whole years old. incredible. weird. surreal. of all the round numbers i think only 100 could be more mindblowing. people make a fuss out of forty, but let me tell you, fifty is HALF A DAMN CENTURY! i am literally made of history. ask me anything. i am now officially an ORACLE.

mind you, i don’t claim to be any more mature as such. for instance, i picked at something on my body and am now running with blood. it seems that i have never learned to leave these kinds of things alone.

must dash, got people ARRIVING in a couple of hours and i am sat here before my bath POSTING NAKED to you.

Heartfelt thanks for reading.

normal services resumed soon. x

daft ideas, wake up! it’s time to think, and call the midwife

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Migraine Awareness Month #23:  “I Drank the Kool-Aid!” We all try things out of desperation, even when our common sense is telling us they’re not going to do anything. Share your experience with this.

i have tried a LOT of drugs for migraine. and not only have they not worked, but also sometimes i have suffered awful side effects including anorexia and suicidality. possibly the wackiest idea i have had i would still do if i had the chance, but i don’t think there’s a doctor in the world that would help me out with it. i get a lot of body pain as well as multifarious head pains including chronic migraine and my clever idea was this. what if i contracted leprosy and let it work on me for a bit and then took the medication.

what? it’s a great idea! what on earth could go wrong?

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.”

***


Ana Peñafiel Marcano

here’s a little tumblr for ya – entitled wake up! it’s time to think!  elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2012/06/22

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in birthday eve news i did a fair amount of tidying yesterday, and paced myself well. i spent a goodly amount of time finishing off watching call the midwife.

i didn’t watch it when it was on the first time round because it didn’t look nearly murdery enough for my tastes, but i was bored so i watched the first episode. it was rather good, and what was more, MIRANDA, who i LOVE, was going to be in subsequent episodes. well, that changed everything, dear reader! i ganneted up the whole series with relish.

you can see it on youtube, so i’m not just taunting you with something you can’t see outside the UK.

here she is in her own show

plans and spontaneity, birthday navel gaze, and hoxton train

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Migraine Awareness Month #22:  “The Game Changer.” Tell us about a time your plans changed due either an unexpected Migraine or an unexpected Migraine-free experience.

i am the sort of migraineur who gets migraines because i made plans. and then on the other hand i am really bad at spontaneity because if i don’t plan things i might forget one of my needed things or i might forget that the crazy spontaneous outing has some sort of fatal flaw that involves a world of pain. so i don’t tend to do either.

on sunday it is my birthday. birthdays have been cancelled before because of migraine. there was one year, some time ago, that my then boyfriend booked a table at a restaurant so fancy that the next day’s news was full of the story that blair and clinton had dined there that night. but not me. i was at home with a migraine.

so. what does one do about the FIFTIETH birthday? well, one does not arrange to go out. one arranges to have friends come by in the afternoon, and if one is pushing one’s luck towards the end of the day they will either have to all leave or else i will have to take myself for a little lie down. this is an entirely plausible thing to do, since everyone knows what a fragile flower i am.

wish me luck! 

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.”

***

so, yes! happy birthday to me! T – 2 days. the flat really needs tidying up for visitors and food and things. on the other hand, i seem to be in bed and not exactly getting on with things.

i am looking forward to all the visitors, even though i am also nervous. i’d like us to be able to use the garden but i think it’s going to be rainy on sunday. never mind. i am not entirely sure how many people will come, but i can squash quite a few people into the living room. you’d be surprised.

the other thing is this business of being 50. it just seems surreal, really. on the one hand yeah, whatever, i seem to be this age. on the other, it feels like i fell through some sort of wormhole.

***

this guy’s work turned up in my tumblr stream. i really like it. the idea of urban watercolours seems very fresh to me. the scenes are familiar, mostly the streets of london if i am correct, and certainly, this image arrests my eyes. both familiar and unfamiliar – the scene very familiar, the medium understated but totally odd in this context. NICE WORK.

 Rob Adams. Hoxton Train.

drink more water, accepting an award, and a quote

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Migraine Awareness Month #11:  “Say What?!” What’s the most ridiculous thing ever said to you about Migraines, who said it, and under what circumstances?

for me, it’s not just the STUPIDNESS of the thing, but also very much the context. a lot of the time i am interested in people’s suggestions, just because it’s usually simple things that are helpful (and i have fibro and possibly? a stand alone mental health condition, so i need all the help i can get) but there are some times when the “helpful suggestion” is just so annoying. and it’s usually when i think someone should know me better.

the time i am thinking of, in particular, was when some helpful soul suggested i drink more water. now, depending on how this is put or the timing of it, this can be a good idea. HOWEVER! in the ten years plus that i have suffered from chronic migraine i do think i have tried drinking more water. really, it’s not an obscure idea.

what pissed me off about this incident was that it was when i was involved with the buddhists in such a way that i was in a close knit group. you’d think that buddhists would be quite mindful and, adding insult to injury, this person had chronic pain issues too. i do understand that people often can’t bear my pain, most especially the fact that it is unlikely to go away. i get it, but the way i was told “drink more water” was so dismissive. as if i were a naughty person who deliberately didn’t drink water in order to give myself constant migraines! I’LL SHOW THEM HAHAHA! – let me be ILL ALL THE TIME! WHAT FUN!

no, it doesn’t work like that. thank you for your input.

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.”

***

and, breathe.

missus tribble offered me this award yesterday. thank god! i thought. not because i was desperate for recognition, although i am a fiend for praise, but because, crikey bongo! isn’t blogging every single day hard?

so having a TASK is a relief. only thing is that this one is a bit un-tasky because it requires me to tell you seven random things about myself, which still leaves a lot to me. however, it does at least let me extemporize in a way in which i might not have felt free to do otherwise. isn’t it weird, we have this space in which we can put pretty much anything, and yet we can still feel some sort of pressure. i don’t know when i became a monkey on a unicycle, i really don’t.

anyway, at the risk of having my precious award whipped away from me, the other half of the award equation is that of passing it on. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH EFFORT I MADE DOING THIS THE LAST TIME? DO YOU? loads, is what, and i think a grand total of zero bloggers accepted the award. so this time i am keeping the damn thing to myself.

so! on with the show!

seven random things. let me see.

1. my dog just grunted. she does that a lot. it’s the sound of contentment.

2. i need new glasses. these are totally wrong for my eyes now. this task involves going to an optician and having an eye test. neither of which mix and match well with this perma migraine i seem to have had the last fortnight or so. but having the wrong glasses on could easily be giving me headaches, so BLAH.

3. i will be 50 this month. i have mostly asked for cake, but my friend lottie asked me what else i wanted, so i sent her a list. mostly of things i wanted someone else to come with me to do. and we are going to do the first thing next friday, which is swimming in my local pool. AND what is more, friday is her day off, AND it is also a women only time at the pool, AND there is a poolside steam and sauna. mixing it UPUPUPUPUP!!!!!

4. ten claimed he found a wart on my side. i said ‘how do you know it’s a wart?’ and he said BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN WATCHING WITCH PORN. reader, it’s just as well i have a sense of humour, is all i can say.

5. i officially resigned from the buddhist things i was doing just after i moved here, in september. i am still more or less a buddhist, but probably in the same way as someone who says they are “C of E” is a christian. for those who are not in the UK, C of E is short for Church of England. saying you are C of E is more or less an admission of being fairly comfortable about not going to church, though might well marry in one.

6. when my mum visited recently she tried to help me hang the laundry. i let her, but it took ALL my restraint. odd thing, perhaps, but i like to hang my laundry myself. it’s not exactly a work of art, but i find it very comforting.

7. i like silence. i hardly ever listen to music. i used to love music. i think it’s the fibro. i especially can’t bear more than one sound source at a time.

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My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.

Edith Sitwell
English biographer, critic, novelist, & poet (1887 – 1964)

blogs on fire

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well now! i have been given an AWARD. because i am ON FIRE. well, at least rosewinelover thinks so, and who am i, mere bigheaded mortal that i am, to disagree? she describes me as “Long-time friend, lover of Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Sweet, adorable lunatic.” which goes to show she knows something about me.

ahem. so here’s the award, which i have already proudly emblazoned on my sidebar

and here’s what i have to do as a recipient;

SEVEN secrets and EIGHT nominations.

i don’t make the rules, bubs. (as SOMEONE* might say…)

okay, not secrets so much as some things you might you not know about me… let’s see…

1. i recently commented on a product I HAD NOT BOUGHT on amazon. i can’t remember who posted the link to it, someone on twitter, and i got itchy fingers. i’d never written anything on amazon before, and i did wonder if they might come to my front door and vaporize me for saying;

“We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.”, March 29, 2012

This review is from: My New Pink Button – Bettie (Health and Beauty)

“We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.”

well, GOOD.

who even thought of this? it is dismal. completely offensive. it actually epitomizes the self hatred we are encouraged to feel. don’t hate yourself enough yet? buy our product and watch a little piece of your soul DIE.

***

unbelievably, to me, this product is for making your private parts pretty. with makeup. because that’s what we’ve all been longing to be able to do, right?

some of the other reviews are actually VOMITINGLY funny. and i can thoroughly recommend the thrill of joining in. i meant to blog about it before, but the hunger games got in the way.

2. on klout i am ‘influential’ about 16 topics, one of which is klout itself. this is insane, because of all the interweb things in all the world i understand klout the least. topics real people have given me klout in are; tea, blogging, chocolate, and vaccines.

through the mighty power of whatever spying software it employs, klout also ‘believes’ i am influential in; klout, animals, meditation, coffee, books, birds, horror, facebook, bacon, pets, cats, and dogs.

among the bizillionty one other things that confuses me about klout, there is also the fact that there was a time, gentle reader, when klout believed that i was influential about fashion. now, i took this PRETTY DAMN SERIOUSLY. so i wrote this post about my fashion predictions for 2012, and a further one because, you know, I AM INFLUENTIAL ABOUT FASHION. but in the meantime klout have WITHDRAWN fashion as a topic. so i added it back just now. because, you know, me and fashion – we’re LIKE THAT. so. 17 topics, now. take THAT, klout!

3. the closest i have ever come to being anywhere near viral was with this picture;

which i posted on tumblr ages ago, and which turns up reblogged regularly. i don’t usually tumblr my own photos or artwork because i am not currently active as a visual artist. i enjoy clicking through and seeing what other pictures the rebloggers post it with. i follow them if i like what they are posting.

4. i once went to a club night dressed up as frida kahlo

my friend grace took the picture. the theme was “night of a thousand sombreros”. people literally treated me as if i actually was frida kahlo. as if i was famous. i wasn’t! i was DRESSED UP as someone famous! people are mental.

5. i will  be 50 this year. FIVE – OH!!!!!!! fifty. so weird. soooo weird.

i will have some friends round. my friend BJ was visiting yesterday, and she asked me what i wanted for my birthday, and i said CAKE.

because, cake, right? i didn’t even think about  it, and it is an awesome idea. i am friends with some very good cooks. my place is probably pretty comfy for a dozen people, so i can only invite a handful plus their significant others. makes it pretty easy to know who to invite. it will be the people who have been in my life over the past year. people who helped when i moved, when i was ill, and when i was mental. if i could have everyone i wanted i would, of course, want to invite the internet. well, not everyone on the internet, but bloggers and tweeters and the like. i will have to do some sort of birthday blog.

fifty, people. that’s half a damn century. only two of mes takes you back to the titanic sinking. think of that.

6. i have mucked out pigs. this is pig poo;

it’s like big rabbit droppings. my cousin has a bunch of rescue animals, two of which are BACON pigs. they are nice chaps, but don’t get between them and food, is all.

7. the first place i posted regularly was citynoise.org. and it was peter from cn who taught me how to gank images and make hot links. and that is how much html i have ever needed to keep all my blogging free for a decade. thanks, peter!
this;

‘robot building’ prompted a great thread.

so, that’s my seven things, and here are my eight nominees for the BLOG ON FIRE award. of course, this is going to be VEXED. largely because i follow quite a lot of blogs who either don’t follow me back or else never comment, have themed blogs which they would never deviate from. so, what to do? i probably don’t know eight bloggers who would want the award, half the people i read are not even blogging publicly. here’s the deal. i am going to tell you about blogs i like reading. just that. there may be one or two who pass the badge on. but i’d rather tell you about blogs i like than try to get a full quota of people who might reblog.

here goes.

1. so the SOMEONE  i mentioned thusly * is lucysfootball. wisecracking frizz haired amy, who blogs EVERY DAY! every single day. it’s like blogging is her superpower.

2. my favourite tumblr blogger is @mariskreizman at  slaughterhouse90210 as with a lot of really good creative projects, hers is a simple idea which no one else thought of.

3. ‘have a go’ blogger lahikmajoe has a blog about tea, but his wp blog has bits about all sorts in. he’ll blog about anything from the political stramash about gunter grass’s poem about israel to trying to blog in lowland scots, a dialect which most scottish writers avoid, so tricky is it to get right.

4. i want to nominate a ‘magazine’ now, souciant.com. my good internet friend charlie bertch set this up with his chums, and it’s pretty great. this is what he wrote about the hunger games, and here is a really interesting piece on the gunter grass furore. you can follow this in the wp reader, so i am counting it as a blog.

5. chiller writes about all sorts. her recent post on watering the garden may have saved my garden’s life.

6. this piece by sj made me laugh. i mean, we’re bloggers, right? we are going to like a rant about blogging.

7. eldon is hilarious. that is all.

8. i don’t write novels but i follow noveldoctor because he is clever and funny. and if you write anything it is useful to read stuff about writing. i read stephen king’s on writing recently, and it was really interesting. and useful. and so is this blog. he also tweets @noveldoctor.

and, see? once i liberated myself from the thrall of trying to think about who would like having this award, who would follow the memey bit of it, all that stuff, and just recommended some blogs i got through it really fast and could go on. this list doesn’t even replicate my blogroll. i know! crazy, right? who knew a blogger might read loads of different blogs?

live and learn, people. live and learn.