Sunday, 31 March 2013

Open my eyes

Apologies for the lack of blogging. I'm having a bit of a love/hate relationship with my blog at present. I think perhaps I need to pour some energy into this creative hub...either that or just stop doing it altogether.

But I'm somewhat reluctant to do that, as I feel its a promise I've made to myself and to others...To keep blogging, to keep telling my story, and to keep that burning light of hope alive.

Depression and anxiety can be painfully isolating, and through the power of the Internet, I hope to continue reaching out to others, reminding them that they are not alone.

So maybe I will be a little more strict with my blogging in the coming weeks. Actually, strict is not the right word, and I hate following rules (even if I make them myself!) I think what I mean is, I will try to approach things in a new and fresh way. Possibly try and do a bit more structured writing time within my day.

A(nother) or new beginning.

Absolutely no idea how I'm going to achieve this of course. So it will probably be the same old drivel...We shall see.

For now though, I will leave you with 2 passages that I conjured up in a creative workshop last week.

Once again the bleeding sky hung over me. Like the palette of paints on my desks, reds and blues absorbing one another. Heavy and swirling, forcing my eyes skyward.

Memories of pictures I've painted fill my mind. Layers of colours, brushstrokes and paint. Red and purple. Yellow and black. Covered in dust, never to be seen again.


Thursday, 28 March 2013


Time for a bit of brutal honesty today.

I'm stuck in limbo land, unsure where to go and what to do next.

Do I carry on writing this blog?

I've been feeling so frustrated with my writing recently. My blog just seems to be like an add-on to my day, I'm not thinking about what I write (not that I ever really have actually...) but I cant seem to string sentences together very well at the moment.

I just seem to be in repeat mode.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Good day.

Bad day.

Blah blah blah.

I mean, what is the point?

I had an art and writing workshop yesterday with Tiny Monuments, and everyone elses writing is so mind blowingly amazing. Mine just felt like a Roger Red Hat book (remember those?)  in comparison.

Last week I attended a workshop hosted by Creativity Works on 'Progression and Development'. I helped to contribute to one of the presentations, which I guess was positive, but those words 'progression and development' have haunted me all week. What do they even mean?

Where do I go with this?

What shall I do next?

Is there even a 'next'? Or am I forever condemned to this purgatory?


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mr B's bday in Brizzzzle

I'd better start this blog off wishing my ever so slightly crazy boyfriend a very Happy Birthday. Not that I'm likely to forget as he's been singing happy birthday to himself all day long....

But he is rather ace, a true top banana...and so definitely deserves a mention on the celebration day of his birth.

Twas slightly too chilly for our planned day at Weston, so we became tourists in our own city, and enjoyed all the fascinating bits and bobs down at the Bristol GAllery And museum.

 When I say bits and bobs, of course I mean fascinating artefact's and stuff from thousands of years ago. Along with an interesting exhibition including work by Ai Weiwei. Do check it out if you get chance, it's free and everything. And who doesn't love a freebie?

Still haven't completely settled down in myself since the exhibition, although I really feel like I should have by now....I'm trying as best as I can to focus on the present, and to be mindful within each moment I'm given.

Struggling to write this on this teeny iPad, so I will say cheerio for now, but don't fear, I will be back...


Monday, 25 March 2013

A Monday in March

Sat here wearing approximately 10 layers of woollen jumpers, plus my very fetching red beanie hat. I may look like the Michelin Man, but at least I'm warm.

As a true Brit, I feel it is my right to have a good old moan about the weather. We're all a little bit obsessed with it, but really, these temperatures are ridiculous! Where has Spring disappeared to? Perhaps its lost, or something. Maybe we need to get Spring a satnav in order to reach the British Isles asap. I don't know...

Although, my new theory is, cold spring, hot summer...This Meteorology theory of mine has no real scientific facts or figures to back it up...However, it does have memories of sunny Aprils in the past few years, followed by freezing Augusts. So, in conclusion, I could be right. Yes. Yes I could. One has to hope really. For without hope, where would we be? Stuck inside for the next 6 months moaning about the weather most likely...

Anyway, enough of that.

I have a big list of things to do and as always I'm struggling to get through it...My mind and body just wants to sleep all afternoon...Zero motivation.

Still being plagued by this mysterious bad back. X ray came back normal and so now the Dr has booked me in for and MRI scan and physio. Eeek! Also got some more powerful painkillers so I'll be even more drugged up than normal...Its been going on for 8 weeks now, and so fed up of the constant pain and the anxiety that seems to go hand in hand with it...


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Stuck to my seat

Anyone else being incredibly lazy on this rather dull Saturday morning?

I cant seem to unattach myself from my beloved dressing gown yet. It appears to have sewn itself onto my skin....

I have however managed to listen to my favourite radio slot, 'Grilllll Graham'. If you haven't heard it, its on radio 2 every Saturday morning at 10:30. Listeners write into Mr Graham Norton with a problem or dilemma, and then fellow listeners try and solve said problem. Its all very jolly and fun, well, except for the person who has a deep and personal problem and has everyone else chuckling quietly in the corner, thinking smugly that their life isn't so ridiculous. (Not me of course, I would never be so mean...)

But I probably should be in the shower now instead of finding old music I like on you tube....

I suspect no-one remembers this old country tune...however, Daddy Pig used to have it on one of our great mix tapes made by Uncle Steve (fellow family country music lover..)

And suddenly I'm transported to car journeys with my Dad. Its a Saturday morning in 1996, the sun is shining, he's just picked me up from dance class in Congleton, and I'm singing at the top of my voice and smiling with my Papa...

Enough memories....I really must move my bum off this seat!


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Times like these

I shall not bore you all with my witterings tonight, but instead share with you some lyrics from the genius that is Dave Grohl...

Lyrics from a song that I have loved for many years, but somehow seem to resonate with me even more nowdays...

'Times Like These' by The Foo Fighters

I am a one way motorway
I'm the road that drives away
then follows you back home
I am a street light shining
I'm a white light blinding bright
burning off and on

it's times like these you learn to live again
it's times like these you give and give again
it's times like these you learn to love again
it's times like these time and time again

I am a new day rising
I'm a brand new sky
to hang the stars upon tonight
I am a little divided
do I stay or run away
and leave it all behind?

it's times like these you learn to live again
it's times like these you give and give again
it's times like these you learn to love again
it's times like these time and time again


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Almost avoiding politics

Oh dear.

I think I've made a drastic error in judgement.

I've just eaten a huge bowl of pasta, in an attempt to give me energy... Mainly because in the next hour I'm off to my first dance class in flipping yonks.

I have a horrible feeling I may be seeing this pasta fly through the air at the dance studio, as I hurl my guts up mid body-pop.

I'm pretty anxious about putting my dancing shoes back on after such a long time...But fingers crossed I wont be too terrible. Just ridiculously unfit I think. Running for the bus this morning even gave me stitch, so who knows what an hour of street dance is going to do to me. Heart attack most likely.

I think I will resume my usual position on the back row of the class. That way I can sneak around and make as many mistakes as I like without anyone seeing 'cause I'm just so titchy.

Is it just me or am I writing really long sentences tonight? Bad grammar Susie.

Pretty pleased that I've managed to get this far through my blog without moaning about those twits (replace 'i' with 'a' if preferred) George Osborne, David Cameron, and Michael Gove though. Would dearly love to slap them all in the face with a wet wriggly stinky salmon.


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Today, yesterday, tomorrow

Good evening and a  very happy Tuesday to you all. I do hope you've had a spiffing day.

However, if you're day has been totally pants, fear not my friends, because tomorrow is a new day.

Hurrah to that.

I've been struggling over the past few days, but I've been trying to channel my negative energy into little activities and generally take things slowly.

Its tough. Sometimes it feels like I'm fighting a never ending battle.

I tried to do some painting on Sunday, but ended up pretty much trashing the canvas, as I got so frustrated and hated what I'd done. All part of the creative process...?!

Still trying to digest and reflect on all the exhibition stuff...its going to take a while methinks.

Got a few fun things planned in the next few weeks though. Having stuff to look forward to really helps me get through each day. On Saturday I'm going to my first ever boxing fight night thing! I know I dont exactly look like the typical boxing fan, but I'm mega excited and cant stop singing 'Eye of the Tiger'. Really want to get a big yellow foam finger too. Maybe Mr B will just let me paint his hand and chop it off instead...


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Black bubble

Theres nothing like a bit of country music to soothe your soul.

Songs full of sorrow, pain, heartache and memories.

Their stories of the past rarely end in happiness, yet I still feel empowered to listen to them. (I know sometimes I'm my own worst enemy...I once lent my ipod to my sister who complained that a lot of my music was rather depressing. Ah well, what you gonna do!)

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, June Carter, LeeAnn Womack...just a few of my favourites...

Through music, books, paintings, and photographs, we can reach into someone elses soul. They allow us to make connections through sound and words, even when we feel disconnected from everything else around us.

An obvious statement perhaps, but sometimes when you're struggling through the darkness, you need every connection possible. Even if it is right in front of you.

You can probably tell I'm not having a great day. Or couple of days really. Its like walking around in a dark bubble, and despite various efforts, the bubble just refuses to burst.


Friday, 15 March 2013

Uncomfortable consequences

Just enjoyed a mini jamming session with Daddy Pig. He was rocking out on the guitar, I dusted off the cobwebs from my flute, and attempted to blast out a tune. I must admit, it was rather fun and reminded me of my musical days gone by....

Anyway, enough reminiscing, because there is something particular on my mind.

I had a counselling session this afternoon, which was much needed, as I'm still trying to digest everything that happened last week.

The word that I keep repeating is, 'overwhelmed'. Because, quite frankly, I cant think of another word, and I don't have a pocket thesaurus on me.

The spotlight was certainly shining brightly on me last week, and it felt really strange. I didn't expect such a positive reaction. I wasn't a star who had come out onto the stage to dazzle the audience. I felt like someone who had been pushed onto the stage to find the spotlights blinding, turning my face into a wrinkled frown.

I was uncomfortable. I wasn't used to the attention. I don't feel like I deserved it. I cant really believe that people actually came and saw my work. Its just surreal. I can't connect to why people made such an effort for me. I'm so thankful, overwhelmingly (there I go again) grateful. However, try as I might, I cant get rid of this uncomfortable feeling.

I strive for perfection in so many areas of my life. I give myself unrealistic targets, that are completely unachievable. I know I'm not perfect, but I still feel like a failure for not getting there. I put so much pressure on myself to be the perfect daughter, sister, auntie, girlfriend, friend, acquaintance even. Its crazy really, but I just cant seem to stop myself.

I channelled so much energy into the exhibition, I worked tirelessly on my paintings and on the publicity. But I didn't really expect my part in it all to be success. I was striving for perfection again, but I was expecting to fail. So now, somehow, getting so much positive feedback and encouragement, just seems unreal. Like a dream.

I want to enjoy the success of last week, I think thats what I should be doing. But there is a big black wall stopping me from doing that. A part of my brain just wont let me...


Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Just been reading through a few of my recent blogs, because I didn't want to start today's with, "I'm so tired", again.

But I kind of just did, so nevermind.

Needs must. And I cant really get many other words out at the moment.

I have that tired floppy head syndrome at the moment. I look like a newborn baby who hasn't formed its neck muscles yet. My head just keeps on flopping around and falling asleep. I must look rather strange.

Oh well. If my head happens to flop onto your shoulder whilst travelling on the bus, please just gently move it to one side.

I had an x-ray yesterday, which built up my anxiety levels rather quickly. Its nothing serious, I've just had a really painful back for about 7 weeks now, and its not getting any better. People tell me that its probably just a trapped nerve, and I'm trying to believe them....

I just hate hospitals. I mean no-one likes them I guess. Why would you? They remind me of illness and death and pain and germs. I cant stop thinking about all the germs. All the death  and suffering. The weird smell that hospitals always have makes my stomach churn. Last time I was in this particular hospital was when I had taken an not the happiest of memories. Just nightmarish surreal memories.

I'm wittering now.
Time for a rest.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Reorganising for brain pleasure

Last night I reorganised my parents DVD collection into colour order, using the colour on the side of each DVD box. Black to white, grey, then blue to green, then yellow to red, and finally pink.

Oh it had been bugging me for so long.

White had got mixed up with red. The blues were all over the places, and don't even get me started on the pinks. It was a colour conundrum.

My own collection are organised in this way, and it make my brain very satisfied, so please don't question my method.

I then started on my Dads CD collection. Despite my pleas he would not let me use my colour coding in the same way, and made me do alphabetical instead. He told me that not everyone remembers what colour the box is for every CD they buy. Is it weird that my brain works in this way? I think maybe its part of my synesthesia.

I was so knackered last night and still am today, but these kind of weird reorganising tasks just make my brain feel so much better. My bedroom may have last weeks sock strewn over the floor (amongst other things), but at least the CD and DVD collections are colour co-ordinated....


Sunday, 10 March 2013


I think I've discovered something new today, despite what others may say, it is possible to sleep standing up. Its also possible to sleep whilst cooking a meal, watching the rugby, and trying to converse with your parents.

And sleeping is all I intend to do this week.

My mind and body have officially collapsed, and my voice has once again disappeared.

However, it was well worth it.

Had a fantastic last day at the exhibition, and Supernova has now gone to live with its new owner.

Still in an overwhelmed, dreamlike, can't believe whats happened mode. Need to reflect and digest everything that has happened this week. But most importantly, remember that I haven't failed. (Insert mini high five)

This photo is taken from the Bath Chronicle website, which is why it has the swirly bit in the middle, but I kind of like it anyway...!


Friday, 8 March 2013

The grasshopper who sang all summer

Before I forget, for anyone who would like to, click on the link below to have a 'virtual tour' of the Tiny Monuments exhibition.....(Mine are the 4 canvas's in the corner, 2 either side of the round window, and two next to the fire extinguisher!)

I am completely wiped out tonight. Feel as if someone has got a hoover, put the tubey thing on my arm and sucked all my energy juices out.

Perhaps 200 cans of diet coke and a couple of bottles of lucozade will get me through tomorrow.

I knew this week would be mental draining... I just thought I'd be able to manage it by now....*big sigh*

I don't want to sound like a grumpy chops, 'cuz I'm so blown away by everyones support and encouragement. Had more friends in to see the exhibition again today which was ace.

This morning my bestie Laura sent me some beautiful flowers, which made me cry lots of happy tears. I think it just suddenly hit me...the crazy journey I've been on over the past 2 years...and the amazing people who have pulled me out of the darkness... Thank you Lozalozalozaroonie :)


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Hello me.

Just a little, mini, teeny tiny, ever so small blog tonight, as I need to jump into my bed and get some beauty sleep. Yawn.

The irony of being part of an exhibition called 'My voice in the City' and then completely losing my own voice, doesn't seem so funny anymore. Just frustrating, annoying. And generally a little bit shit.

When I push my mind and body to its limits, I always get ill and lose my voice. Its like some sort of curse. An evil old germ pops up and says, "Ha ha you're starting to wilt, I will come and pounce on you and make you poorly." If you see that germ anywhere, please squash him. I reckon he has an evil laugh and a shifty look in his eye (if you needed a description...)

My voice is almost returning though, so hopefully I will be able to go back to stewarding tomorrow afternoon and Saturday.

Totally bummed at missing good friends who came to see it today though. Evil germ kept me in bed and away from the world. Boo.

For those who have yet to see them, a few pics from the private view on Monday. Ended up on page 14 in the Bath Chronicle today. Massive wowzaroonie, and totally overwhelmed at being mentioned in the same article as J K Rowling. And just overwhelmed at seeing my face in the paper really. Crazy. Its a positive article, so do have a read.....

 But for now, I will say goodnight.

I'm expecting the paparazzi on my doorstep tomorrow morning and I simply must look my best......


Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Oh dear, Susie has no voice.

Squeaky Susie has returned.

Think all the speech giving and hob-knobbing yesterday must have taken its toll on my vocal chords.


Still feeling spectacularly overwhelmed by the amount of support and positive feedback for my work. Merci to everyone, you are all top bananas.

During a meet the artists discussion circle today I was momentarily thrown by a question ..I had just finished talking about my paintings, (which was quite an achievement in itself...!) when I was asked this:

"Considering what you have been through, do you now feel equipped to notice the warning signs of a bad period of depression coming on? Do you feel you could deal with that again?"

Well, it certainly made my stomach churn.

Mainly because this is something that I am absolutely terrified about. 

But I cannot live in fear of this happening. This fear could paralyse me, but I won't let it. I live my life knowing that the black dog may come barking at any moment, but most importantly knowing that I can fight back. I will not be in the same place again. History does not repeat itself. Hope and love are tattooed on my skin, and I will never let go of them. 

I have to have faith.
I need to hope.
I will always love.


Monday, 4 March 2013

I believe in you

March 4th 2013.

A day to remember.

The private view for the Tiny Monuments exhibition went spectacularly well.

Full of people, a vibrant buzz and bursts of positive energy swept through the room.

The Chairman of Bath and North East Somerset, Councillor Rob Appleyard, is a top banana.

Mr B turned my frown upside down. He surprised me at the launch, making me grin like a Cheshire cat.

I can now call myself an artist without feeling like a fraud, because I actually sold a painting. My dream came true.

The Bath Chronicle appeared and took photographs of the artists, including myself. Wowzers.

So proud of everyone in the group who was also exhibiting their work.

Proud of myself. Little old me, Susie P.

Massively overwhelmed and walking around in a dreamlike daze.

It feels unreal.

Is it real?

Have I really done this?

Am I here?

This is what happiness feels like. This is where I am.

Must hold onto this feeling, bottle some of it up and shove it up the black dogs nose when he starts barking.

Thank you wonderful people, I couldnt of done all this without you. Your texts, emails, tweets, hugs, messages and prayers all gave me the strength to carry on. Thank you for believing in me.


Sunday, 3 March 2013


Final, but equally important decision to make before the opening of the exhibition.

What shall I wear to the private view tomorrow?

A beret?

Some paint splashed garments perhaps?

When setting everything up yesterday I noticed that the sun beams rather brightly into the room.Which means that the navy cashmere dress I was thinking of wearing has been dismissed. Hot flush central.

Oh its a tricky one.

Yesterday was exhausting but worth it. The paintings, photographs and poems look great.

I just wish I didnt feel so nervous about tomorrow!