It may be Messy but I do it all for You

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Made a little tumblr for ya, on elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2014/01/18

And I’ve been updating the Mnemonic Mujer blog weekly, although it took a couple of go rounds to get it set for GMT, but I’ve done it now, and the next one will be Monday at 11.11am. Most pleasing.

AND, and, I have made a MM tumblr to complement the main blog. The blog posts are featured, but there will also be extras, and you can follow either or both or neither or whatever you damn well please. Both this blog and the wordpress MM blog are going through to the elaine4queen facebook page. And twitter. There are tweets. I have it mostly covered, but there is always room for improvement. My online presence is frankly messy.

Doormat Redux

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A propos of I Am Not a Doormat (my previous post) I just thought I’d share with you what happens when a wordpress post’s first picture gets reblogged on tumblr. Before anything else, let me tell you that if you click on these three images you will go to the reblogger’s page… and some of that shit is NSFW and I’m really not kidding. So, despite Yahoo’s policies, don’t assume tumblr has gone all Pinterest, because it hasn’t.

So the thing is that when I hit ‘publish’ on WP all sorts of magic happens. I get an auto generated tweet, elaine4queen on Facebook goes into action, and I get *something* on tumblr. It looks like this when it comes into your dashboard (reading page) and not much different when it pitches up in my tumblr, because I have a ‘one at a time’ kind of theme – which, if you ever click through to my ‘collections’ you’ll know about because you’ll have scrolled to see pictures much as I do on my dashboard, one at a time.

 

This is not always the case. I don’t make a massive effort to get reblogged, I virtually never post pictures I have taken unless they happen to be the first image in a WP blog post. And even then, that’s not my choice, it’s just how tumblr metabolizes what it gets – shows the first pic, a few words, and some tags.

When I am scrolling through my dashboard I see when someone has reblogged something, and often click through to see what company the image is now keeping. A lot of  the time it’s a picture of Poppet keeping company with other dogs. Here’s what Angie’s “I AM NOT A DOORMAT” is rubbing shoulders with this week.

 

sex, music, violence

politics, poetry, emo

smoking, drinking, emo

More when I have a brain cell. OH WAIT! I’ve been having a bit of fun on fb this morning with 7 Ways to be Insufferable on Facebook which I can recommend as a funny read.

Mass Obs Me

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Background info.

I am a 50 year old unmarried woman. I live in Tottenham, on the Ferry Lane Estate. I have a garden flat which backs on to the River Lea. I will have lived here two years  come September, having spent the last 20 years in the east end. I have a dog, a rescued staffordshire bull terrier called Poppet. I am not working. I was a lecturer in art and design for 12 years. I became too ill to work 10 years ago. I have fibromyalgia and chronic migraine. I have started having Botox injections for the migraine, and that is partially successful. I am working on reducing medication and have applied to do a PhD. Yesterday I wrote to volunteer to teach meditation on a weekly basis. Botox is not expected to reduce migraine much, but to enable the person to lead a fuller life. I have paid for treatments so far, but my GP is applying to the Primary Care Trust to pay for continued treatments. At £2000 a year, it is quite a lot for a person on a low income to pay. NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) have recommended the treatment, so applying to have it paid for is a bit of a test case.

***

I woke up at about 6. I have just stopped taking Quetiapine so that might be why. I have substituted a melatonin supplement, but I don’t know if it’s helping or not. It’s supposed to be good for migraine, so I’m trying it for three months. I got time release ones, which might have been a mistake, since I don’t mind waking up early, I just mind fighting my duvet for hours before I go to sleep. It’s day two of the new regime. Actually, I did get to sleep easily, but that might have been because I took a diazepam for my aching neck, since that is a precursor to migraine.

Back to today. It’s 8.30 right now, and although I did Mass Observation last year I didn’t even know it was on until I was reading facebook and someone else mentioned it. When I woke up I took my stomach med, to protect myself from subsequent pain killers, then turned the hot blanket on and cuddled my dog and fell back asleep for a bit. Half 7 I got up and made tea for myself and Ten who was sleeping in the other room. I start the day with my emails and facebook, and now we’re going to listen to something on iPlayer and have a little snooze.

10.00 Well, so much for snoozing through the blah blah blah of a R4 offering – we listened to a dramatisation of Sam Pepys’ diary entries about the fire of London. Although I have read it, I didn’t remember all the conspiracy theory stuff – immediately, despite the start of the fire known to be an accident, theories abounded about it being started by the Dutch, the French, and the Papists, along with the year, 1666, being interpreted as the 666 of the apocalypse. Nothing changes, does it? My main memories of reading it were about how he buried his Parmesan cheese in the garden and took some of his possessions to Bethnal Green for safe keeping.

Ten’s gone out now, with the dog, who was extremely patient, considering I usually take her out at half 9. I’ve had my porridge and a coffee, but am exhausted, suddenly, so happily gave the walk up to Ten. I am running my bath, which he will have after me. I will have to have reduced screen time today since my eyes are aching.

12.00 So much for less screen time. I’ve had my bath, but basically spent the past couple of hours looking at twitter and playing WWF (words with friends). Need to dry my hair now and get dressed. Ten’s getting ready to go home. He spends about half the week here.

14.05 Had lunch, bacon, brie, salad leaves, garlic, oil, followed by raspberries, blackberries and cream. Between inactivity with the fibro, tackling the IBS with a low oxalate diet and the medication I am on I have ended up doing the Atkins diet. It’s not cheap, but then again, buying an entire new wardrobe isn’t cheap either. Low carbs suits the migraine, at least. After that I would have liked a lie down but Poppet was wandering round hopefully with a ball in her mouth, and since Ten was leaving I thought I might as well get it done even though it was quite early for an afternoon outing. We went to the park and played. It’s been too hot to play during the day lately, but today is cool and windy. A neighbour got me involved in a dispute he was having with his upstairs neighbour over a BBQ – I had to leave them to it.

Back on the bed now, for a little rest and an episode of Prison Break. I like long series with a long story arc because I can’t always read and don’t have much energy. I also listen to radio plays and audio books a lot, since my eyes often ache, and it’s tricky to watch TV with a migraine, too.

16.00 In between watching parts of episodes I have hoovered the bedroom, emptied the dishwasher, emptied the washing machine and loaded the dryer. I wouldn’t be able to do these sorts of chores all at once, but pacing it with lying down gets me moving around and gives me enough rest in between times.

18.00 I’ve done most of the hoovering. Dying to take medication, my head keeps threatening migraine, but so far so good, today. Next up, I have to make something to eat, then I can take meds.

18.30 Done now. Had the most boring meal that I am eating right now. I don’t have much energy to cook, so keep prawns in the freezer. One pack steamed is enough to get by on as an emergency meal. I am also having some pure cocoa in water as a treat because I feel headachey and sorry for myself. It won’t be long til I ‘officially’ go to bed – but I will have to take the dog on her last pee walk first, and I will leave that as long as possible.

20.00 Dog walked, exhausted, bed.

Sent to the Mass Observation Archive 13/05/2013

ETA Last year’s here.

Margaret Thatcher – a good body to bury bad news under

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Margaret Thatcher ran this country for 11 years (1979–1990). I was 17 when she came into power and 28 by the time she left. In my childhood governments came and went every few years, swinging between Labour and Conservative. I cannot express the pall over this country during the interminable Thatcher reign. It was like when you were a kid and you knew something had gone terribly wrong, and you had no power to do anything about it, just watch the car crash of it all  in slow motion.

here i am reading in the bath – while utterly doomed (probably taken by Hazel McQueen)

I have actually met someone who was part of the 80’s “boom” – he worked in the City and made money. It is perhaps telling that when we watched Slumdog Millionaire together he was visibly shaken and upset – somehow he had managed to make it to mid adulthood without seeing anything remotely disturbing.

I digress. Although the UK never did consumerism quite the same way the US did, my parents were both working class kids who did well at school and my dad did some engineering training, and they both worked in offices. They met, married, and bought a semi detached home. My mum gave up work and had babies and we had new and quite nice furniture. My mum left my dad around ’71 when I was nineish and we left for Scotland and a life of fairly seriously penury. Although my mum worked she didn’t make much money and we often ate rather badly. When I left school jobs were scarce and Thatcher had just come into power. Higher Education was free, and if you were from a sufficiently poor background you got a full grant. I literally went to art school because there was nothing else to do. It was probably one of the least worst things I could have done at the time, although unlike my then boyfriend, who came from a very different background to me, and went off to work for the Guardian, I never had any expectations of getting any work on the back of my degree. Which was probably just as well because although I did hooch up a career out of it, it took a while. I finished art school in the mid 80’s and went back to Scotland, and onto my second government work programme. (The first had the dismal advertising of a badge that declared “Youth Opportunities Programme – It’s Going To Work!”) (it wasn’t, and it didn’t).

Then I did something fairly sensible – a teaching certificate. And I volunteered to teach at the art school for free to get my hours. I got the gig, and was subsequently given more hours and pay, which was awesome. But I knew I wouldn’t get more work there, and there were only four art schools in Scotland, so I left for London where there were and are hundreds of art courses. Only I went via Australia, which I didn’t really have the money for, so when I got back I had to get out of debt, and I made props for a living, mostly for West End theatre.

When Tony Blair got in in ’94 I was part the way through the MA which was to get me started on my teaching career. Like today, amid glee all around, I was non plussed. When Blair got in he literally stepped over the corpse of John Smith, who was a man I had some faith in. While Labour being in power gave me that felt sense of a lift from the grey defeatism of Thatcherism and it’s petering out under Major, I was never a fan of Blair. “Whoever you vote for the government always gets in” was never truer. And today I know people on the left are celebrating, but really celebrating what? The woman was unable to influence policy for years due to her deteriorating brain function, and not only that, her death and probable near “state” funeral might give rise to a surge in love of all things conservative.  I don’t want to be too much of a doomy gloomy, but really, the next few weeks will be murder in broadcasting and newsprint – neither of which I have direct contact with, but facebook and twitter had the story immediately, of course, and the hysteria either way won’t die down until well after the funeral. Spin doctor, Jo Moor said that 9/11 was a “Good day to bury bad news” and I think the extraordinary suffering caused by the recent cuts to benefits and the health service and legal representation (goodbye Legal Aid) which would have been the top stories for weeks to come will now be buried by ‘reaction pieces’ to the life, death, and funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

Work done, we may now rest

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We were running out of poo bags so I tipped the whole basket of Poppet things on the floor to fish out any that were left straggling.

Poppet, on the other hand, decided to help herself to various balls and toys, take them into the bedroom and work on their annihilation. I didn’t even know she’d be particularly interested in toys indoors any more, but it seems she is.

***

Meanwhile, I have been working hard on getting a PhD proposal in, and managed to hit send one hour before midnight on the day before the deadline. It’s still not perfect, but it looks a lot more like a proposal than the noodly jazz style of writing I started off with.

This is what I ended up with;

Desire Lines – Creating the Sustainable Digital City

In Finland planners are known to visit their
parks immediately after the first snowfall,
when the existing paths are not visible.
People naturally choose desire lines, which
are then clearly indicated by their footprints
and can be used to guide the routing of paths.

Earls Court Project Application 1 | Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Cultural Strategy | June 2011

The concept of digital personhood is of a piece with an ongoing discussion within discourses about ‘what is identity’. We are individuated from others and we identify with others, and in our online groups, as in any subculture, we have ways of expressing who we are within multiple groupings. Unlike physical culture, however, we do this through the ether, using an ever mutating linguistic metre, and through a digitally specific mode of ‘sharing’ (Kleon 2012). We reblog and share everything from political information and mobilization to Lolcat macros and animated gifs rather than, for example, expressing ourselves with dress and going to a particular night club or cafe (Hebdige1979). What is unique to digital identity is it’s location online and it’s freedom from geography and from the embodied self. How that manifests in the digital realm can be as unelaborated as the daily rapport I have with my dad playing Words With Friends (without ever engaging in any kind of conversation) or as proliferated as having continuous dialogues with individuals all over the internet using more than one username each. Over a variety of IFTTT (IF This Then That) pathways, for example you can have your activity under one name show up in a stream you have under another name and host discussions of a single item through various blogging platforms with different audiences. 

One’s own set of digital identities can be confusing as can keeping up with those of our friends. I have been on Facebook long enough now that I have forgotten who I knew primarily from Livejournal, and who else they might know from there until someone from one part of my life comments on someone who feels like they are from another part of my life’s post. I can then have a small moment of having my mind blown that someone I know tangentially from a visit to New York is actually quite friendly with someone who I now know in person who lives in Kirkintilloch, and they don’t know each other through me. 

The virtual world is thus threaded together with lines of code running without much respect for geography. It’s boundaries are elsewhere. Underneath the user interface is the code – what is secret to the user manifests as strongly delineated fields where one may or may not interact. What is given and what is created are in constant flux, and are more or less transparent to us depending on whether we are conversant with, happy with given constrictions, or whether we want to cut across the field.

The coders and content creators of the past decade or so are frontierspeople as well as early adopters. What is interesting to me is that this generation of people are effectively a liminal group – they are people, for instance, who may have learned analogue recording techniques and photographic techniques before digital technology existed and had to work out how to digitize before scanners, digital cameras, and monitors, for instance, were in common use. But it is not just professional artists and developers who interest me, but simply the creativity of everyday life (de Certeau 1980) as manifest online. Oral histories from this group of individuals would constitute a unique archive. The age group I am looking at will be anywhere between 30 and 60 years old right now, and are a distinct group from digital natives largely through having engaged with rapidly emergent and changing technologies. 

The City/The City

Digital culture reveals itself in two ways. First, the ‘hardware’ and it’s real time and real space relationship with buildings, cities, countries, their economies and international relations, and secondly the ‘ghost in the machine’ – how we, ourselves, connect, express ourselves, and maintain social connection through work and leisure online. 

The ‘digital city’ wouldn’t even be possible as a metaphor, were it not for the time we spend there voluntarily. We can ‘work, rest, and play’ online. 

I will argue that the internet already hosts a multitude of cultures beyond the hegemony of Google, Mac and Amazon which posit the ‘user’ merely as ‘customer’. I will use Marx’s theory of Cultural Reproduction and the later developments thereof to show that despite big business and governmental wishes individuals will use the internet and it’s elaborations in surprising ways and to their own ends.

At it’s simplest, Marx says ‘every schoolboy knows’ that any viable culture is only viable if it contains within itself it’s means of reproduction. As in the petri dish, so in society. Further elaborations include Althusser’s ‘ideological state apparatuses’ which show how power reproduces itself, and Bordieu’s more culturally inclined ‘cultural reproduction’ (Jenks: Routledge 1993)

If the internet is a city, then by extension we can use it as a source of extended metaphoricity. Grounded as it is, we can map it, we can look at various ‘boroughs’ we can consider places we work and play there, and we can consider infrastructure – the very brickwork and plumbing it relies on, its’ highways and byways, and its’ social spaces.

We can consider how it mirrors the development of ‘the city’ with the emergence of the coffee house, for instance, and how tea mediated women’s society, and compare these to the social spaces online.

Imagining the internet as a city implies stratification, routedness over rootedness (Gilroy) social mobility, spaces for interactions, all the conveniences and advances of ‘civilized’ life, and like the advent of civilization itself, we are often inventing as we go along.

If this is a city then it has been a gold rush Wild West city but perhaps it is becoming another kind of city, a Soft City (Raban, Harvill Press 1974) a non linear city with direct lines to the past, personal memories and indeed legend itself. It is a city with underground passages, secret codes and worm holes leading us blinking back into the half light of a repurposed town hall for a meeting of Dorkbot. This, then, is a city where we can invent and reinvent ourselves, meeting others who share our interests or online modalities. 

Situated Knowledges/Digital Personhood – Groups and Identity

From the Cartesian selfhood of being human because we are neither machines nor animals, to Haraway’s cyborgs, we have traveled a long road. From the startling inception of the use of the fork at table to using our iPhone to identify a leaf on a ramble, we are human because we are somewhat animal and somewhat machine. If you read through to the end of Pepys’ diary, for instance, you will discover that he did not write his diary all the way to the time of his death, but abandoned it for want of a technology many of us take for granted – eyeglasses. 

All of human life is here, and it uses the technology in whatever way is transparent and useful to their needs. In the event of governmental or brand lockdowns other means are found. Agency flows through the structure stopping only to notice it when it’s annoying and either doesn’t work properly or there is any element of learning to be done. The general fuss whenever Facebook changes something is extraordinary when you consider how little it takes to adapt to a new iteration. 

How, then, do digital technologies mediate self expression, self curation, and perhaps even self deception? I will look at how we define ourselves as individuals separate from ‘the group’ and as part of groups, utilizing interdisciplinary methods from sociology, anthropology, linguistics and literature. Though historical analysis, action research and ethnomethodological epistemologies I propose to study how digital culture might reproduce itself, and how digital personhood is constructed through processes of forming and norming in social spaces online and how restrictions and regulations are mediated by individuals and groups.

***

I wouldn’t have thought of applying for a PhD except for two factors. One was that I was asked to submit, albeit casually (on Twitter, in fact!) As an art/social science kind of person I wouldn’t have thought of applying to something put out by a ‘Faculty of the Built Environment’ anywhere at all, and perhaps even more particularly Heriot Watt, which is a uni I would never have got into as a young thing.

The other reason is one you may be familiar with – the ongoing and increasing duress that people on the ESA are being put under. I’d thought if they sent me to work it’d be fine, because I’d be stretchered out within a couple of days anyway, but it’s not that simple. The whole thing is super stressful – if you read my recent post about half an hour spent at Reed then you will know that I can’t deal with this kind of stress very well, and it’s set to increase.

A recent Panorama docco, The Great Disability Scam investigated the companies carrying out the ‘work’ for the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) highlighting these firm’s policy of cream and park. A spokesman for the DWP said this;

…which is not how the private companies commissioned to roll out “support” are doing it.

currently too ill to work – not something they give any quarter to.

the right support- yeah, right. These companies are staffed by sales staff. They are not specialists.

when they are well enough - from April we will be treated as jobseekers, with all the proving you are seeking work and appointments that that entails.

gradually – we are being pressured into taking a self employment route which will be supported for one year if taken before April.

One of the firms employing these functionaries was ratted out by an ex employee who told Panorama  “Triage call their disabled clients LTBs (lying, thieving bastards)” It is interesting to observe that in order to dehumanize their clients enough to justify their cruelty the Triage ‘workers’ employ hate speech.

“Monsters exist, but they are too few in numbers to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are…the functionaries ready to believe and act without asking questions.”
― Primo Levi

Were I to be accepted for the PhD it would take me out of this war of hatred against the vulnerable for three years. At least if I got the thing, if things are as bad in three years time I can insist on them calling me Doctor.

Goodbye to All That, New Year Navel Gazing, and PhD or Poundland

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Okay, Christmas is over, people, lets get on.

Diane Arbus, Xmas Tree in a Living Room, Levittown, L.I., 1963

It’s December 29th! Lets do a little Navel Gazing!

Year on year I don’t really seem to make many advances migraine wise. Yet I wouldn’t go back. So… something is good. Or better. Maybe increased insight is worth having even if the net result on migraines is actually nil. I do feel like I am getting somewhere. And little things matter to me. And if you can take pleasure in small things then life is a LOT sweeter. Frinstance, yesterday I blogged about Die Antwoord which is something I have been meaning to do for weeks, and changed up my tumblr theme – again something long overdue. AND I changed all my links on this blog, twitter, and tumblr to #2c749e which is a lovely blue – replacing a hot orange (so last year, my dear). I haven’t done a tumblr post for a long while – I should rectify that – but I am pleased to say that at some point wordpress decided to Xpost to tumblr, and my wp posts have been reblogged several times, which means possibly new readers – fingers crossed!

I also hoovered and mopped, which left me with a bad back, a difficult night and a migraine in the  morning, but with Ten gone the sitting room is READY for me to do stuff. The stuff I have to or want to do includes boring paperwork (urgent), painting (haven’t done any in a little while, need to get into a rhythm with that) and AND and a PhD application.

That’s right, you read it here first. Or second, I’m pretty sure I have mentioned it somewhere already. Anyway, I was in conversation with someone on twitter, and he was promoting a funded PhD. I said it wasn’t quite my thing, but I’d share and he ended up encouraging me to apply. The deadline is end of January, so I will have to look sharp. Thing is, that I had really given up the idea of doing such a thing some time ago but in practical terms it could be the very get out of jail free card that I need. At any rate, I will write a proposal and see if it flies.

So, the way they put it was about ‘Creating the Sustainable Digital City’ which, from the blurb looked like it would be rather about politics and hardware.

It’s being hosted by the department of “The Built Environment” at Heriot Watt university. Not somewhere I would naturally think of applying. I like that I have a month to get it together, though. Plenty time, but a short enough deadline to get me moving on it. If what I come up with loses steam quickly I will know it’s not for me – and same goes if they reject it. If, however, I got in, not only would I not have to live in Edinburgh, but I wouldn’t need to stay put at all, and I could go all global and travelly. Always assuming I got through the next firey hoop – applying for AHRC funding for a grant. It wouldn’t be do-able otherwise, and the great thing about being on a grant for three years is I could get out of this hell hole of being on benefits during a Tory hate campaign against the disabled.

Whether I would be up to the job is a whole other question. PhDs seem to make people ill and mental, but given that I am starting from that point things could either be just fine or go horribly wrong quite quickly. A better option than waiting to be sent to work at Poundland, anyway.

A Blog a Day, Miranda goes Climbing with Bear, and Taking Poppet out with Ken

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By the powers vested in me by the existence of blogging, my internet connection, and the fact that i can read and write and have a laptop I AM GOING TO BLOG EVERY DAY FOR NOVEMBER!

Last time I blogged every day it was for migraine month. I think it went pretty well. In order not to alienate my existing readers and also not to bum myself out too much I stuck to a formula for that whereby I posted three things – one from the migraine prompts and two others, just to give things a bit of balance. I don’t set out to be a ‘migraine blogger’ or any other kind of a niche blogger either.

“I should be driven desperate if I knew who I was. I meet somebody who says “you’re this or that”, and I feel like I don’t want to be anything.” - Virginia Woolf  Selected Letters

I don’t know what the prompts for this NaBloPoMo are going to be like, I only just took a look at it. It was a bit of a faff doing all the linking and whatnot for the migraine month, but once I got the hang of it it was okay. Still trying to work out the ins and outs of this one, though, so bear with.

It would seem that wordpress always have a daily prompt. I would not usually be interested in such a thing, being the raving snob that I am, but I am suspending disbelief for the duration of this month. So here goes;

Daily Prompt

When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?

Nice. Just jump straight in, won’t you? Weasel away at my deepest darkest private moments, please, just go for it. So there’s no dipping a toe in here is there?

Gently does it, then. OR NOT!

This is going to sound absolutely pathetic, but I feel absolutely bereft whenever I’m not with my dog. If I go somewhere without her I feel like something is missing – even if that thing is having my shoulder joint pulled out for the duration. ALSO, sometimes Poppet goes a little holiday to visit my good friend Ian, if, frinstance, I am too ill to look after her. She is what is known as a ‘velcro dog’ because she doesn’t often take alone time, so I am used to having her nearby at all times.

I’ve not been away from Londinium much over the past couple of years, but if Poppet is not invited or, say if I would have to go to somewhere abroad or whatever, I would be discombobulated to the max.

perhaps not the most glamorous shot, but a bit of a favourite of mine – pops relaxing on her back creates the most mad face. and for maximum funsies simply turn your monitor upside down. see? super funny.

I think the last time I had to go somewhere without her was a hospital appointment. I could have used her support. It was a psych appointment and I had to really let it all hang out. Which was alarming. I should have dressed her up as some sort of person… that, or make her a fake service dog outfit. I heard tell of someone who actually did that. Took her dog into shops and her untrained dog would wreak havoc, much to the annoyance of her friend who has a real service dog. Also, the outfit was really badly made. ::snork::

***

When I said bear with I was referencing Miranda Hart’s show Miranda in which she has a friend whose habit it is to pause the conversation with an authoritative “bear with” while she is on her phone. Typing it in to yootoob I didn’t get the example of her comedy stylings that I expected. What I found was a whole programme of her doing mountaineering with Bear Grills. You can see it here;

Which I think is rather good. If you like your survivalists mixed up with your comedians. Which I do. I mean, I get most of my news filtered through the medium of comedy, so you can imagine this is rather up my boulevard. If I must watch people battling the elements I’d rather at least one of them was a professional comedian.

***

So, what have I even been up to? Well, one thing I have been doing is playing hostess to one @lahikmajoe who is away on a wander with his mother up north and expected back sometime soon. He wrote this blog post to suck up to me.

ken had the idea that if he came with me to bethnal green we could take poppet. he and pops hung out here at lock 7 while i went to my appointment.

Ooh, isn’t their website nice? lock 7

Right. I am now going to try to see if a) I have done this right at all and b) I can bear to do whatever it takes to be *in* whatever this thing is…

bear with.

***

ETA I just found the NaBloPoMo prompt page which is here. I used the wordpress prompt for this, which is here. So, two totally different things. HOWEVER! all is not lost, since yesterday’s NaBloPoMo prompt was

Thursday, November 1, 2012
Tell us your favourite quotation and why.

and I just so happened to have included a quote! SPOOKY, RIGHT?

So! I am on course. As you were.

help a chronic, a tumblr post, and my new goggles

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Migraine Awareness Month #29: “More Often that Not.” Today is Chronic Migraine Awareness Day. People with chronic Migraine have a Migraine more often than not. Think of and share a random act of kindness that you could do for someone with chronic Migraine.

okay, well i am that chronic migraineur of which you speak, so it’d be really easy to get super bogged down with this. let me give you a piece of advice when approaching the likes of me – keep offers specific. don’t be vague. “can i do anything to help?” is far too big a question for someone stumbling from migraine to migraine.

i am always happy when my friend hazel helps me out because she never says “would you like something to eat?” even. she will think of something specific to eat and ask if i want that. “do you want some rice pudding?” is a much easier question to answer. even i know the answer to that one.

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

***

i’ve made a little tumblr for you this morning elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2012/06/29 featuring, as it does, this image which some kind soul posted a link to on twitter, only for me to forget who it was. SORRY [insert name].


Heather Benning

***

i know you are waiting with bated breath to see what i look like in m’new goggles.

i feel i am channeling all the very best comedy and cleverness in them. also good is the fact that they are varifocals so i don’t look too NHS in them with the bifocal line effect, AND i can walk around with them on, despite the info on them saying i couldn’t. they are specifically for book and laptop, but there’s enough long distance vision to get around the house without having to take them on and off constantly. i have to say, i am very pleased.

my friends, news on cats, and a WTF moment on twitter

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Migraine Awareness Month #27: “In my Head and Heart.” Who inspires you to keep trying and not give up, despite your Migraines?

ten and poppet, of course. also, all my friends, both IRL and on the internet.

having been a migraineur for – oof, it’s got to be a decade – i have pretty well whittled down my real life friends to people who “get” me. or they whittled me down. in any case i have quite a few very old very good friends, and i have new friends who never knew me any other way, so they tend to be super easy since they don’t expect me to go shopping or hiking or anything.

and i really like those little daily connections i have with people when i walk the popster.

also, though, my virtual friends are super precious. keeping me going day by day with little interactions via the twitter or facebook or BY COMMENTING HERE – YES! DOOO ITTTT !!!!! I LIKE ITTTTT !!!!!!

so, yes. team effort. go team!

ten’s camera shy, but look at the poppet. wouldn’t this little bobbin keep anyone going?

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

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you may remember i asked for help rehoming these two cats?

well, on my birthday i thought to ask my friend emma if she would take one. she had to give up her cat because he brought rats onto her bed, and she’s not really able to make her own bed, so stripping it and doing a wash was an epic challenge too far for the frequency of “gifts”. she missed kitty company though, and it so happened she was already thinking of getting another cat. she chose to take on pearl, the black one. pearl’s a quiet indoorsy girl, so perhaps a better fit.

hannah has had a trip to the vet’s recently, and, sadly, has only been given a few months to live. despite her kittenish demeanor she is quite old, and it seems she’s not terribly well. the reason they had been looking for new homes was that their owner was moving in with her elderly mother, and it was thought that the cats could be quite dangerous underfoot. but given the situation, keeping hannah seems to be for the best. you can keep an eye open for one cat fairly easily, and it would be a shame to try to rehome her now.

so, mixture of good news and bad, but neither cat is being put down, so a result, i’d say. and also probably better than trying either of them with poppet. i’d love pops to have a little kitty friend, but i think the best chance of NO SAVAGING would be with a kitten. she has a mothering instinct which might just override her prey instinct.

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since i am not feeling terribly glamorous and i can’t be bothered doing anything about it, you will have to take my word for it i got my new specs. so then i thought, well i have to find something else to blog about to round off this post.

between facebook, tumblr, and twitter, there’s usually some little gem to share. this one is more of a WTF than a gem, though.

ah! life in the UK. such fun.