Productive Day


Where have I been and what have I been up to? That’s what you’re asking, and now, SHAZZAM! I’m going to tell you. Just like that.


“Anne and her family lived alone on an island. She enjoyed having tea time with her friends the spiny lobster and baby hawk.” (National Geographic, August 1938)

Well, today, obviously, I’ve been having tea with my lobster and baby hawk. Dammit! I want a lobster and a baby hawk! This should most certainly be my life.

Today one of the random people I say good morning to gave Poppet a giant piece of meat! It was raw! She sniffed at it politely, recognizing it was a present, but wouldn’t pick it up. So I picked it up with a poo bag and told him I’d cook it. Which I didn’t. I threw it in the bin. Am I a bad person? Oh well. There’s more. I threw out some recycling Ten was hoarding, as well. And I hoovered and mopped. I’m now lying on the bed with the dog listening to Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle on youtube and writing to you, m’chums.

Yesterday I saw a swan family – mum and dad and two actual cygnets. These are the first ones I have seen all year, and they were pretty massive – about half the size of their parents and grey and fluffy. I can only think that the feathered beasts who hang out here all year consider this not to be the best creche. I’ve also only seen one canada goose family and a couple of duck families. WHERE are they keeping all the babies??? Anyway, I am glad there are some. I’ve seen a cunning looking M Reynard on the opposite bank, and there are not only the usual rowers and canal boats this year, but during the Olympics there was a very rude and horrid ferry service. So they were better off out of it. Whereveritis they are hiding.

Hey, I just made you a little tumblr post!

My word, what a productive day!

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


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



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.


last day of migraine awareness month, olympics TM, and whither now for our blogs?


Migraine Awareness Month #30: Blogger’s Pick. Choose your favorite blog from any of this month’s prompts from someone else’s blog to share with us and tell us why it’s your favorite.

i liked this post from the pained brain. it’s about ‘big fears’. she talks about the next big migraine and also about letting people down. who among us can’t relate to those hell realms?


since this is our last day of migraine awareness month i thought i’d sign off with this;

i have been very lucky to have found myself on effexor – quite by accident on the migraine front, since it was prescribed to manage my unsurprisingly tricky mood situation. on the wikipedia page it says that effexor can either make migraines worse or better. for once in my life i was on the winning side. i went from having to take triptans nearly every day to being able to have several days in a row without them. just as long as the weather didn’t mess me around, nothing happened and all other things were equal. 

now that i have this little bit of elbow room i am considering this thorny issue – and do weigh in with your opinions. is chronic migraine a disease which needs all the drugs and whatnot to manage OR is it really because of medication overuse? if i put myself through the next few migraines without medication will i end up suicidal or will i start to break free of needing triptans?

this graphic suggests that chronic migraine is because of medication overuse. IF so, and that is a big “if”, is it reversible? OR is this just another stick to beat ourselves with, and possibly quite a dangerous idea, causing needless withdrawl pain and perhaps unmanageable mood issues and possibly a lack of self care prompting even more migraines?

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


here on the tottenham riviera, on the banks of the lea, we await the olympics with an expectation of some restrictions, some extra noise, and absolutely no intention of using public transport if at all possible for several weeks.

i have also been following the protests. this has become the most policed, most corporate event, it’s ridiculous. seriously, LITERALLY the army have been called in. there will be rocket launchers on council flat roofs. and i think the protests will rival the G8 protests, but that remains to be seen. certainly, people are already being harassed for doing such nefarious things as carrying a camera in the local boroughs.

mau mau


so, what are we all doing about blogging from tomorrow onwards? i have noticed that quite a lot of people have set up blogs just to cover migraine awareness month. will you all be disappearing now? or have you caught the blogging bug? my strategy over this month has been to blog (nearly) every day, and to provide two other topics as well as covering the group’s prompts. this means that i have posted on 14 topics a week apart from migraine. were i to carry on like this i think i would find three topics hard, but not if i didn’t do it every day. blogging legend has it that it is a good idea to pick certain days to post, since then your readers look forward to reading on that day or days.

i also have my DAILY WAFFLE blogging to consider. i agreed to provide a column just before migraine month kicked off, and soon realized i’d never manage it this month, so i am looking forward to doing that, and will have to consider how to weave that into my week, too. since i am a chronic migraineur and don’t have much going on in my life i am rather amazed that i find so much to write about. so, thanks everyone for the great reads this month. it’s been lovely to meet new friends and read about how everyone manages.


tea for two, goslings arrive on the lea, and les mis, the film


Migraine Awareness Month #2:  Tea for Two. If you could invite someone (any living person) to your home for tea for the purpose of explaining Migraine disease to them so they would truly understand it, who would it be and why?

okay. i can see that i am going to hit a brick wall with some of these prompts. if i could invite someone, any living person, to my home for tea WHY THE HELL WOULD I WANT TO TALK ABOUT MIGRAINE??? i’m sorry, disease, i’m just not that into you.

of course, i’d like doctors and benefits agencies and the NHS and the Govt who are currently hurting disabled people so much to understand what a chronic condition actually means, and it would be great if employers and public places and trains and buses could do something about their evil lighting, but really, do i want to EXPLAIN myself again to anyone? no. no, i do not. if someone, any living person at all, were to come to tea i would want to talk about anything BUT migraine. i really really hate explaining why i can’t do things. it’s boring as hell and i won’t have it. so, come to tea, whoever you are, and lets talk about any subject you like apart from ill health. that is all.

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


NOW! baby wildfowl! at LAST!

this morning i woke up with a recently persistent sense of dizziness and sicky feeling and so ten offered to take the dog out. it’s usually my job to do the first outing, but i felt yucky and not really up to wrangling the dog. but while he got dressed and pops got excited i thought, “but i would like to go too.” so i got dressed and we all went out en famille.

over the past few weeks i have been a bit alarmed at the lack of ducklings, goslings, and cygnets on our stretch of the lea. i’d heard that the olympic related digging that has been going on on the marshes has released a lot of toxic crap that had been buried for a long time, and i also saw a foxy boy on the opposite bank surrounded by a glum looking phalanx of geese the other night, and i wondered what was the cause of our dismal lack of spring chickies, considering we have, what? 30 swans? 20 odd canada geese? a few other kinds of geese, many ducks and a few random others who are regulars on this stretch.

a twitter correspondent reassured me, however, that she had seen babies in the reeds where she was, and not on the canal, so i dared to hope a little, while secretly thinking DEATH! DEATH! DEATH!

but my misgivings turned out to be all wrong. or at least, on our way back from the park i saw two canada geese with many many chicks between them in single file enter the canal like a little military flotilla.

hurrah! now, come on all you others, bring your babies, i need to see them. STAT.


ooh! did i forget to tell you? les miserables is going to be a film (again). this time with the west end music in it.

i am unreasonably excited about this. i worked on the west end show many years ago. i was a ‘stage showman’ which is a fancy term for stage hand, and i also made a prop before i left. i always liked the music and was grateful to work on a show that didn’t grate on the nerves too much.

the prop i made was a big ivy to disguise the fact that the same gates were used for the factory scene in the first act, and jean valjean’s house in the second. i went to see the show after i finished, and, reader, my ivy was beautiful.

of course i don’t have a photograph. damn the analogue days.

libraries, poppet, art stuff, colourbox, scottish referendum, gardening, instapaper, tea, workfare, cooking.


1. soooo… ANGRY at this. sneaky FUCKERS. and not in a good way. what body of people moves *things* at 2am when they feel comfortable and legal and whatnot with their decision to do it?

almost particularly when those *things* are BOOKS. BOOKS! people! stripping a whole library at 2am. and now i am really going to swear.


2. poppet all better, and taking the best seat in the house (well, garden).


she’s doing well. i think the ear with the stitches in it might get itchy at some point and i will have to put the lampshade back on but she’s mostly NAKED and happily putting it all behind her. and yesterday we went out with mark and charlie, so she had lots of bull terrier fun with her young luvvahboy.

3. these look like some groovy sites for sharing your creative journey. not being active in the visual art world i hadn’t heard of most of them, but i have seen the colour one before. big fan of colour/color.

4. play some more of that colourbox stuff again!


5. so much for 2012. you’d think it was the END OF TIME the way people are going on about it. there will be life after the olympics, and there is a whole nother EVENT to look forward to. or, at least, there is for those that are interested in these things. september 2014 heralds a referendum on scottish independence. the debates are starting now. you can read a bit about it here if you’ve a passing interest.


i don’t live there any more, as you know, so will not get a vote. on the one hand, it will be bad for england if scotland becomes independent, at least in the short term, because MANY more people vote tory here. on the other hand it may radicalize people even more than the occupy/banking crisis/workfare stuff is doing already. and if scotland did become a kind of english speaking scandinavian country that would be kind of cool.

for them.

however, there is another side of NATIONALISM. as amy from lucy’s football  likes to say “what have we learned?” well, we have learned that nationalism can get a bit RACIST. yes it can.

think ON, scotland.

6. i’ve had my mum visiting, for the past few days, from scotland. we’ve been having a heatwave and have spent most of the time in the garden. this has meant that i have started FIDDLING with things. i’ve moved plants around, de-strangled some of the things i’d like to live, and banished the ferny thing to the bit where there is just london clay and pebbles. nothing else will grow there anyway, and it looks nice. you just can’t let it ENCROACH is all.

ferny thing. nice enough, and welcome in the pebbly clay, but a bit of an encroacher.

most things that i have moved have seemed happier where i have put them. all except a really sad poppy which hung it’s head tragically post move. it may rally overnight or it may not. i’ve not moved a poppy before.

i’ve put in some of my neighbour’s herb robert, and am excited about it. you can have the leaf tips as a tea.

7. you know what i like? instapaper. can’t remember where it was recommended, but i have been using it lots. it’s great for people who end up with more tabs than they can even see on their desktop. with it, you can just save a page for later IN THE CLOUD and happily close some tabs. it’s like having a good memory. most pleasing.

8. here’s something for our ken;

it isn’t credited on tumblr, which usually means i won’t post, but it’s too good not to show at least my blogging homies. 21,059 reblogs, as well! i wonder if the OP even knows that… no hits on tineye either.

9. you may notice that i yammer on about ‘workfare’ now and then. if you are not in the uk you might think ‘what on earth is she banging on about?’ especially if you don’t realize i am seriously unable to work for a living. here is a guardian column in which the writer covers quite a few of the things that make me worried and ballistic by turns.

10. sorry to whoever i nicked this from on twitter, but here is a hilarious tumblr pipcooksthebooks where the eponymous pip shows us the difference between the ‘showroom’ version of the dish and what it actually looks like when a normal person tries it. you have to click through. i’m not even going to try to find my favourite.

i’ve got klout


klout is a very humbling site. no matter how much i use it i have never really understood it.

as far as i can usefully see, it’s, i don’t know, some sort of marketing thing? anyway, you are supposed to be able to measure how influential you are in various topics, which might be impressive? to someone? (either someone who has heard of klout and knows how it works or else someone who has never heard of it and who is easily blinded by the sheer effervescence of internet thingumyjigs.) if i use it at all it is to try and give someone K+ points for something silly which klout doesn’t have, so twisting their categories round for fun.

in the meantime, i have lots of KLOUT. i am just hooching with it. i have a steady score of about 50. whatever that means. apparently my ‘true reach’ has gone down. aaw. it’s gone from nearly two thousand to under one thousand. why and why? as fun as it may or may not be to look at graphs that mean nothing to me, i have to say, my favourite thing is the randomness of my TOPICS.

i am currently influential about 20 topics. thankyou thankyou thankyou.

top of the pops, in at number 1 is…

tea.  well, this is reasonable enough, since actual people have given me K+s in tea. so it makes sense. plus i do mention tea a fair bit on twitter, and klout gets it’s info on me from twitter and fb.

libraries are next highest on the list. now, it is possible i might have posted an article about libraries on fb? otherwise i don’t know how i got all the klout. it went straight in at number two with no people giving me K+s. it’s a mystery. i did review a book on goodreads that i read about 20 years ago, d’you think that’s what it was about? i mean, i like libraries, but i haven’t used one in years.

tumblr is at number 3. fair enough. i am on tumblr, and i tag posts where i mention it, so that is fair enough. am i INFLUENTIAL though? possibly. i remember helping someone once with a question about tumblr… oh! wait! i wrote a blog post called pinterest v tumblr so – where’s my damn klout in pinterest, eh?

at 4 is photography. back in the game here with an actual person, our ken, of lahikmajoe fame (his blog is right there on the side bar, no i am not linking to it, just look yourself!) gave me K+s in photography. which is kind, since he can obviously actually do photography in a way in which i am not even a good amateur. i know what a good picture looks like, but cameras are way too technical for me. i tend to turn the flash off, and that’s about it for my technical skills.

klout believes i am influential about the olympics. well, okay, i’ll bite. it is true that i have posted a number of articles and blogs about the snipers and missiles and the protests around the olympics. bless them for thinking that that IS the olympics. or maybe they are ahead of the curve, maybe the social unrest and private police forces ARE the olympics, now?

oatmeal. really? oatmeal? do you mean PORRIDGE? klout, this may be the first time i have ever mentioned porridge. ever.

animals. klout believes i am influential about animals. well, if you count posting pictures of laughing foxes and videos of talking dogs as being INFLUENTIAL then yes. yes i am!

berlin. i have mentioned berlin in this blog. i posted a photo of the cosy wasch next door to my hotel, once. i went to berlin ages ago to have an operation to fillet the frown muscles out from over my eyes. the woman in the next bed got 100% better from having this operation. me? nada. i got nothing but a couple of chances to practice my schoolgirl german.

oh yeah, and a face like this for a week.

hunger games. well, i have actually done a whole blog post about the hunger games so that seems reasonable. though whether i actually influenced anyone with my review i would rather doubt. still, nice of them to notice. i put rather a lot of work into that.

for some reason i am equally influential about peanuts. have i ever mentioned peanuts before? i strongly doubt it. unless i am leading some sort of jekyll and hyde existence and THE OTHER ME is posting stuff about peanuts. you would tell me, right?

next up is blogging. i feel i do know some things about blogging, though i would not call myself a social media expert. i have failed, so far, to comprehend or use even a tiny bit storify, which i would like to do. i have started an account. i am following people. i want to use it, i do! frankly, storify frightens me. i need someone to literally show me how, i think. and not on a yootoob video either. i have tried looking at them and they make it worse.

klout believes i am influential in meditation. that’s nice. i would like to be more influential in meditation. i would like to hold a class. but i have to be content that i have managed to put one meditation online. the bodyscan i put on soundcloud has had 90 listens and 14 downloads. i wish i would get off my arse and do more.

dogs. fair play. i do have a dog and talk about her all the time. poor poppet was bitten on the ear today. its made her all trembly. she’s really wary of me because i keep wanting to look at it. does having a dog make a person influential? possibly, a bit.

wikipedia. sj! why am i influential about wikipedia? you gave me K+s!

social media. well, i use it. er… so does everyone else. don’t get that one, although, to be fair, klout only believes i have about half a centimeter’s worth of influence.

japan. ken has given me K+ in japan. why? ken? why?

books. it is TRAGIC how little influence i have about books, tragic.

fashion. even less for fashion. and that’s after i had a healthy score for fashion then it dropped off my list and I had to put it back on there MYSELF. it’s barely hanging on!

bacon. THANKS SJ! it’s nice to be in with the bacon crowd, even if it is entirely undeserved.

and all the way down at number 20 is ‘pets’. why i am influential about dogs and animals and not so much pets i don’t know. there was a time when klout believed i was influential in ‘cats’ which was sad because poppet had just been involved in the manslaughter of a cat. it was a sad passage in our lives. she never learns. she looked into the canal at the dead cat as if to say ‘we’re not playing anymore then?’

so, that’s all my klout topics reviewed for the moment. it’s all very gripping. give yourself some K+ in some sort of topic which implies tenacity if you made it this far. you won’t be able to have ‘tenacity’ itself, that would be way too simple. i once tried to give ken K+ in dog vomit because he’d heroically made a dog sick who had eaten a load of chocolate. i had to give him K+ in chocolate instead. disingenuous? perhaps. welcome to the world of klout.