Thursday, 30 May 2013

Wedding eve eve and other stuff....

Tomorrow morning I am travelling to deepest darkest Devonshire, and as I'm not sure if they have the Internet down south, I thought it probably best to tap a little something out now.

(I'm only jesting of course, I know they have Internet in Devon, just not entirely sure if its reached the country lanes where I'll be residing...!)

And so I have a rather long journey to make tomorrow. Two trains and about 5 and a half hours. Which is kind of my worst nightmare.

But fear not, I am well prepared.

I have snacks, a selection of films, games, and a good juicy book too. I just hope I don't need a wee. Weeing on trains is my least favourite place to wee. Well, not on the actual train, in the designated toilet bit of course, I obviously don't believe in weeing all over the carriage. Can you imagine. Actually, I don't want to.

I just hate how the train keeps on jigging around making you almost fall down the toilet. You wee in fear of the lock not working and some poor passenger finding you with your knickers round your ankles (I've heard tales of this happen.) Oh and there is always loads of wee on the floor because of all the train jigging. So then you have wee on your shoes. YUK. And there's never enough paper towels or soap. AND they always smell bad so you have to spend the whole experience holding your breath, which unless you're a diver and practised at holding your breath is really rather hard.

Maybe I'll stop writing about wee now. I think you get the general gist of how much I dislike these toilet trains. I guess I will either have to not drink anything for the entire journey and end up absolutely parched, or just get over my whole train toilet phobia. Neither option seems very appealing.

Anyway, the whole reason why I'm going down to Devon is for Marianne and Wills wedding. Hurrah. Its very exciting.

I get to be a bridesmaid and everything. That's right, moi! Who would believe it. Not I.

Which reminds me, I must read up on my duties. These include concentrating particularly hard on not tripping on Marianne's dress as she walks down the aisle. That would be nothing short of a disaster.

Wish me luck!


This entry was intended to be something heartfelt as I approached the eve of my very good friends nuptials. However, it seems to have turned into a blog mostly about wee. I do apologise.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Mind swings

My mind is currently swinging violently between being super relaxed, and ultra anxious.

Like one of those weird pendulum silver ball things that you see on doctors desks.

It goes click click, tap tap, swing swing.

Actually I have never seen one on a real life doctors desk, only on the telly, but that doesn’t really matter.

I may have to start writing a few more lists and mini plans, to ease some of my anxiety. Also tempted to reorganise my sisters wardrobe for her, as that kind of thing usually soothes me.

Originally I offered to colour code her CD’s or her DVD’s but she wasn’t so keen on that idea. I don’t think she really understood how wonderfully ordered and beautiful her collections would look once I got my hands on them.

Which makes me think, I wonder if anyone else would like me to colour code their CD’s or DVD’s for them? It really is the best system and looks so much more visually pleasing to the eye (and my brain.)

That’s all the writing I’m going to do tonight, no more wittering.

I’m super tired and I smell like biscuits ‘cuz I’ve had a spray tan…(bridesmaid engagement no.1 on Saturday.)

So I think I will go and snuggle up and dream of digestives or something…


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Young ones

Wowzers, 56,999 page views ladies and gentlemen! Just a click away from 57,000 hits ...

Hadn't checked out the blog statistics for a while, so for a rainy Tuesday afternoon that was really quite exciting.

I'm in Nottingham this week visiting my lovely sister and family.

My 4 year old (actually, he would probably appreciate it if I said 4 and a half, the half is terribly important...) nephew is keeping me thoroughly entertained.

So far we have rolled down a grassy bank (in hindsight, this wasn't great for my hay-fever..), bounced on the trampoline (also not great for my bad back.. oh I feel old), pretended to be moles eating worms, hunted for mini beasts, turned into seal lions swimming in the sea, and had a few highly intellectual conversations.

Sometimes I wish I was 4 and a half again.


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Strangers aren't strange

Sometimes the unexpected happens when you're talking to a stranger.

Mr B often giggles at me when I tell him the tales of the people I meet on the bus or in town. And today was one of those days.

In some social situations, I find it incredibly hard to talk to strangers. My mouth becomes dry, my body wants to run away, and I find myself bored by my own words. I doubt the things that come out of my mouth, instantly comparing myself to others around me.

Its perhaps the forced conversations that I find so difficult. When I know I have to make conversation and be polite, I find myself putting on an old mask, and I hate that.

It reminds me of my years in retail, when I spent days talking nicely to customers, bowing to their every need even when they were insanely rude to me.

But its impulsive conversations that you have whilst waiting for a bus, or sitting on a train that I really find interesting. (In my life, these conversations seem to involve public transport!)

I probably should say at this point, that of course, I love talking to all my super friends and family. Don't want anyone to get offended if I ever start wearing a blank expression.....(I'm probably wanting to spark up a fag...)

And today, as I was standing outside Bristol station, I got talking to a chap about various bits and bobs, which resulted in him saying something rather profound.

It is a phrase that I have read and listened to many times in the past few months. When I have been doubting my existence, my role in life, what the hell I'm going to do. A phrase that can sound cheesy, and can be so easily glossed over, but for some reason, today, it has actually stuck in my brain.

"We all take different paths in life. And sometimes it takes people longer to find which path feels the right one for them."

Well, when the chap said this, I could of patted him on the back and bought him a pint. Obviously I didn't, as he was wearing a backpack and I wasn't in a pub. But you get my drift.

Why did the stranger tell me this? He didn't know me, or anything about my life. Yet his words have had a positive impact on my outlook for today. And perhaps tomorrow, and the next day. You never know, it might last that long.

Now, I have my own theories about these little incidents, when your world spontaneously collides with someone elses. But tonight is not the night for sharing these theories.

Instead, tonight is the time to bask in the wondrous glimmers of hope that we are all are passing onto one another.

Strangers unaware of the glorious power they carry.


Friday, 24 May 2013

Mind games

Trying my best not to think about the 3 hour train journey tomorrow.

Or even the 30 minute journey to the station, which will involve dragging large amounts of my luggage around on a bus.

Whilst checking on a minute to minute basis that I have my ticket, my wallet, my phone and my brain.

Not forgetting looking at my watch on a second to second basis, because I have already forgotten what time it is.

Oh the exhaustion.

Instead, I will be trying to focus my mind on the funny dream I had this morning. (I had a nightmare before that, which I'm hoping will disappear from my thoughts soonish...)

I know it can be really boring listening to other peoples dreams.  

So let me just say this, mine involved cuddling a Koala bear, going to a circus, and seeing Parrots perform magic tricks. Wow.

I'm tempted to go back to sleep just so I can find out what happens next.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Its not about the fox poo

After a day of list making, and getting things ticked off, I now feel like I can breathe again.
This morning my anxiety was spinning out of all control, but throughout the day I have been able to rein it in a little.
A walk in the sunshine also helped.
Apart from getting fox poo on my hand.

It was definitely a warning not to stroke a dog who has just been scampering in the woods again.


I’ve washed my left hand about every 10 minutes since I’ve been home.

Just in case any fox poo residue has seeped its way into my skin.


Anyway, I didn't really mean to write about fox poo for so long. I do apologise if you're tucking into a tasty snack.

I've recently discovered this new photo editing app thingy, and I've been having fun turning my shoddy photographs  into something more beautiful.

The photo below is 2 pages from my 'happy book' that I made last week. I've just cropped it and added an effect thing, and now, I'm kind of in love with it. If you can be in love with a photo?  Maybe that's weird. But I think you can.

It just looks like a soothing, magical summer evening.

With a hint of mystery and warmth added in for good measure.

I want to get my head, stick it in the picture and be transported into that world.

Smell those roses.

Dance in that beautiful dress.

Feel the sun on my forehead, and the breeze through my hair.

Touch the spiky palm trees and be reminded of tropical beaches.


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Keep fighting,

Reluctant to write anything tonight, as I'm still feeling crappy. I feel like I should be doing better.

I've done lots of nice things over the weekend, the sun is shining, I should be in a happy smiley place. But I'm not. I'm somewhere else.

Where my glasses have been taken off me again and the world is all blurry and distorted.

I'm trapped in a black bubble, that refuses to be popped.

Swimming against the tide.

Why do I always have to be strong and fight this?

I'm so tired of fighting.

I don't want to be all preachy, but sometimes, when I feel so weak and exhausted, I can find comfort in God. There is a verse in the Bible (I think its Corinthians, but I'm not too sure), that says something like this, "When you are weak, that is when I am most powerful."

And man alive do I feel weak.

My depression and anxiety eats away at my mind and body. I feel like I have used up all my resources, all my juices,  there's nothing left in me.

That's when I have to trust that God is working through me. In whatever weird way possible (cuz there's no point trying to guess.)

I just have to hope that I will be filled up with strength once more. That my batteries will become recharged (rather like the Duracell bunny...) and I'll have the energy to fight again.


Friday, 17 May 2013

A happy book.

In my art group, Tiny Monuments, we've been learning how to make little books.

This week, as I have been feeling particularly low, I decided to make myself a 'happy book'. Its full of things that make me happy (obviously, but still felt the need to point that out..)

The lines are a bit wonky, and there is rather a lot of glue marks, so I guess its got that authentic homemade look... I've used bit of crafty stuff that I collect, along with some favourite photos and cards that I've kept from birthdays.

Its kept my mind busy, and my anxious hands working. I'm going to carry it around with me, and have a little look at it whenever I can feel the black veil covering my mind.

If it feels right for you, why not have a go. The amazing thing is anything you create is completely original and individual. No-one else will have ever made the same thing before.

Don't worry if its not perfect, just enjoy the creative process of making and let it wash over you.

If you're nosey (like me) you can have a snoop at my happy book below....Enjoy!


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Dementors and depression.

Having a bad few days, trying my best to battle through, but it’s so draining and frustrating.


I’m sure my next comparison has already been made by someone much more eloquent than me. And I apologise to those who have never read a Harry Potter book. But it seems that the Dementors who torture the innocent in those well-loved books, bare some resemblance to my depression.

I won’t try to explain much more, instead let me put you in the safe hands of J.K. Rowling:

Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them. Even Muggles* feel their presence, though they can’t see them. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory, will be sucked out of you…You’ll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life…’ *non magic people pg. 140, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K Rowling, 1999.

Do you understand what I’m wittering on about? Sounds very similar to that wretched  black dog.

However, for those who have read the adventures of Harry, you will know that all is not lost...

‘a Patronus is a kind of Anti-Dementor – a guardian which acts as a shield between you and the Dementor…The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon – hope, happiness, the desire to survive – but it cannot feel despair as real humans can, so the Dementors can’t hurt it…It will only work if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory.’ pg. 176, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K Rowling, 1999.

So, in conclusion, I need to find myself a wand, a happy thought and conjure up a Patronus.

All magical help gratefully received.
Expecting a visit from Dumbledore any day now.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Treading water

Despite my best intentions, I did feel guilty about not achieving anything yesterday. Humph.

Sometimes my days just seem to drift into one another, months and years go by, and still the dark days persist.

Yes they are less frequent, yes I have made progress. But the numb veil of depression still persists to cover me.

It makes the world blurred, like you haven't got your glasses on. I'm thankful that I can recognise that this distorted vision isn't reality, but it still continues to pull you down.

I've been worrying so much recently about what people think of me . I imagine that everyone is so fed up and frustrated of me moaning about things that seem so insignificant in the grand scheme of life.

 I don't want people to think that I'm totally self absorbed, because that's so far away from the truth. If anything, I try my utmost to put other peoples needs above my own. And I find it really difficult to think about what is best for me, without thinking of other people first.

I feel bad for not getting in contact with people, or not doing enough to help them.

I worry that I'm letting people down by not having a job, by not achieving anything. The exhibition was such an outward sign of my progress, but what next? It raised the bar of expectation, and I cant match it.

It feels like I'm treading water in the middle of a choppy ocean, using up energy, limbs flaying, but not really getting anywhere.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Step back

2013 is most definitely the year of the wedding. Today I received my 3rd invitation, for another spectacular event. It’s all very exciting.

 Now I do remember a time when my sister had 8 weddings one summer, so maybe 3 isn’t really that many. But there certainly seems to be something in the water.
And I’m very honoured to be bridesmaid at two of these events. I know I’ve mentioned it previously…!

Although, I sometimes can’t quite believe that I’ve been asked. I keep wanting to say, “Are you absolutely sure? You really want little old me?! I may trip over your gorgeous dress and do a potential nose dive down the aisle.” (Or something equally embarrassing.)

Anyway, back to today. Monday 13th May, a day specifically designated for doing nothing. A nothing day.

Do nothing.
Say nothing.
Go nowhere.

Get nothing done.

Wear nothing interesting.

And I’m not going to feel guilty about it. (Well, try not to anyway.)

Something that we all need to do from time to time. And I know I’ve suggested this before. A nothing day is particularly important when life has been a rather hectic. We need to step back, unwind, and just do

Thursday, 9 May 2013

I have a need

Thursday; a tiring day, followed by a relaxing evening.
Sporadically interspersed with moments of anxiety. (A high pitched squeaky ‘eek’ sound would be appropriate about now.)
My mind has been thinking about the next couple of weeks when my diary appears to go a little crazy.
Not quite sure how I’m going to cope with it all. But for now, I’m trying to push it all out of my mind, and instead focus on the present.
On this moment.
Listening to a great song by Mary Chapin Carpenter that helps me do this. It’s called "I have a need for solitude."

Why not take a moment, and reflect on these soothing words and melody….
"I Have A Need For Solitude" by Mary Chapin Carpenter

I have a need
For solitude
I'll never be
Safe in crowded rooms
I like the sound
Of silence coming on
I come around
When everyone has gone

I have a need
For cool, verdant spaces
Beneath the trees
Secret empty places
Nobody knows
So no one will intrude
I have a need
For solitude

But you can find me, when the light is changing
At that time of day when there's
Little day remaining
You can find me where I've been waiting
Waiting here for you

I never was
The pretty girl in school
I never was
Fast, tough and cool
All I was
All my life it seems
Was hard to love
Harder now to keep

But you can find me, when the light is changing
At that time of day when there's
Little day remaining

I have a need
For solitude
I'll never be
Safe in crowded rooms
I like the sound
Of silence coming on
I come around when all the rest have gone...

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Hold on tight

Sat here looking a little bit like I've been dragged through a bush. But I simply must write this before I forget. (Simply must; I'm turning into a character from a Jane Austen novel...)

Anyway, two things I don't want to forget.

1. I actually love the sunshine. And it makes me so sad when I remember 2 summers' ago when I HATED the sun. I was like the most miserable panda in the sunny weather because I was so poorly in my brain. I just wanted grey skies, rain and general darkness, because that's what I felt like.

So now, I seem to appreciate the gloriousness (is that a word?!) of the sun even more. Every ray of light, every glimmering sunbeam, seems to mean a little bit more now. I appreciate it on a different level. Yes.  A different level. And not just because I live in England and it always rains.

2. It feels good to be back in my studio (the posh name for the spare garage that I've semi convereted.) To paint. To have space. To get lost in my canvas. Top banana all round.

Oh and...

3. This song from the glorious ELO.....

"Hold On Tight" by ELO

Hold on tight to your dream
Hold on tight to your dream
When you see your ship go sailing
When you feel your heart is breaking
Hold tight to your dream.

It's a long time to be gone
Time just rolls on and on
When you need a shoulder to cry on
When you get so sick of trying
Just hold tight to your dream

 When you get so down that you can't get up
And you want so much but you're all out of luck
When you're so downhearted and misunderstood
Just over & over & over you could
  Hold on tight to your dream
  Hold on tight to your dream
  When you see your ship go sailing
  When you feel your heart is breaking
  Hold tight to your dream.



Sunday, 5 May 2013

Laughing is ace

Just enjoying a glass of wine, some dairy free cheese and crackers, accompanied by a few chuckles from Peter Kay.

That man cracks me up.

Almost fell off my chair earlier. That’s what I call a good time.

Nobody falls off there chair from frowning now do they? It’s always because they’re having the time of their life.

In fact, he’s making me laugh so much I’m having trouble writing. All I want to do is repeat his jokes, which obviously wouldn’t sound as funny coming from me, so I do recommend you watch it.

Laughing, is, of course, one of my favourite activities.

I should probably schedule it into my daily routine.
Especially if I’m having a wonky brain day.

 So before I go off to sleeps, perhaps I'll tell you one of my favourite jokes, courtesy of the Ha Ha Bonk Joke Book (they don't make them like they used to...)
How do you hire a horse?
Put 4 bricks under it!
Why was the sea cross?
Because the sea weed!
Chortle chortle!
Perhaps a career in comedy isn't the way forward for me, but at least I made myself laugh...


Friday, 3 May 2013

Back in the waves

I’m sat here still thinking about the sea.

My mind has gone totally sea crazy.
Its drawing me in, and I cant get away from it. Just like in the 'Voyage of the Dawn Treder' when Lucy and Edmund are looking at a painting of the ocean, and suddenly find themselves drowning in its waters.

I started painting the sea on Wednesday, and the image of waves have just been overtaking my mind.

It’s not a calm sea, but a restless sea.

Waves changing, tides turning.

I’m not flowing forward with the surf, merely floating along in the swell.
This painting by Van Gogh has always fascinated me. And once again I am drawn back into the moving ripples of the water...

Seascape at Saintes-Maries, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888