June 1st

2021

I have the day off work today and so for some apparently unknown reason my mental health decides to nose dive and I’m in floods of tears.

I was going to go cinema, but its took me all morning just to get my laundry on. I simply can’t face buses, town or people today.

So I’m sat with some new books and Casper Cat, deciding to write my way through… Whatever this is… And the date helped me realise something that could simply explain this flood of emotions.

Friday 4th is Dad’s Birthday

Monday 7th is Mum’s Birthday

Perhaps my brain is simply, unconsciously, connected to these dates and decided I needed a good hard sob. That being said, I’ve decided to take the rest of the day as a be kind to myself day. So new books and Casper Cuddles is the answer and allow myself no shame and no guilt for having a rest day.

Sometimes the body and the brain just needs a little time off and a bit of TLC…

5am Thoughts

On Bank Holiday Monday

No idea why I awoke so early, but it’s nice to be back in my own bed, well one corner of it anyway, as the cats have sprawled.

On my journey home yesterday I realised that at one point last year it felt so surreal just to go the three short miles into town, when my own city centre felt alien to me and my own little home became my whole little world for several months.

To finally return to London after nearly a year and a half felt just as surreal as that first trip to town. I expected it to be a little more peaceful, yet found it just as manic, with several large protests and football matches, both of which drew huge crowds. Top that off with sunny weather and a Bank Holiday weekend and you have hordes of families in tourist attractions, placard wielding protesters at Westminster and the pubs were full of footie fans.

So I’m pleased to be home once again, surrounded by my cats and listening to the pheasants outside my hatch cluck and call as they attack the bird feeders with greed.

It’s warm enough to have the windows and hatch open, yet cool enough to snuggle under blankets. Hotels have such dry stifling air and no opening windows. However they do supply complimentary coffee… But if I want one now I got to drag my ass out of bed, don’t suppose that’s a bad thing, I can put some extra seed out for the birds too…

Question is: will there actually be any bed space left for me upon my return? Or will the cheeky kitties spread out into the warm spot?

Have a safe and beautiful Bank Holiday xx

Solo Travelling

The Kid Enigma

I’ve often been plagued with the ‘when are you going to settle down and have kids’ question, sometimes even from random strangers. Not that it’s any of their beeswax, but my choice to be child free is a personal one and not something I need to explain.

Though sometimes it is tempting to address strangers with an army of misbehaved brats if they know what’s causing it yet… But usually they appear too self absorbed with their phones to even notice what their little darlings are up too…

I speak only from experience and observation.

Travelling alone has its advantages and disadvantages. Glancing around from where I’m sat, I appear to be the only person sat alone, I’ve noticed this frequently over the last few days. Having only seriously been aware of only one other solo lady at the Natural History Museum, sat alone, people watching at the cafe. Which is pretty much what I was doing at the time.

One particular attraction I was keen to do this weekend, I could not get a single ticket for as they were only selling then in pairs to reduce social distancing, even though I was travelling alone… Which appeared a bit odd, but there’s never a lack of things to do in London. Even for the lone lady.

I think my favourite thing to do is sit with a drink, rest my toes and simply watch people.

I find the dynamics between people interesting. The couples who sit together yet are on their phones and hardly lift their heads to look at their partner.

The families and friends of families travelling together in a great pack of adults are rioting children. The women chatting over the mayhem, the men folk with their pints of Stella, the kids all over the place. Lying on adults, on tables on the floor on each other…

Then one moment of pure beauty, where I watched a small girl pay for her parents drinks with her own pocket money, without any prompt or reason. I was simply stood behind them as they placed their order and she simply got her little purse out and boldly claimed that she would get these…

People watching is a curious occupation of the line traveller, I think that is what keeps us, well… Curious…

That twinge of sadness

When traditions are hard to forget…

One thing I loved so much about travelling was that moment when I got home and before heading over the bridge, no matter how shattered I was from my trip. I would always drop into Dad’s boat first for a cuppa tea and a good chat.

I would actively make a mental note throughout my adventures upon things I saw or heard which he would find amusing. I would share these tales, show my photos, always get him a silly gift, display my own goodies and just talk for what felt like forever. Before finally dragging my ass over the bridge and collapse in my own boat to rest.

It is such a simple act. A tea – a chat. But it held so more than that, we would share hopes and dreams, ideas and memories, inspiration and amusing stories that never grew old.

I still think of things I want to tell my Dad, I still miss the way he made tea – in an old tea pot and left to brew.

Today I would be telling him about the old operating theatre, about police horses and protests. About my stupid step count and my impressive lack of blisters. All simple mundane moments.

I would tell him about the Elephants on the park, Elephants were his favourite animal and even the punk in Candem, I guess they’re my favourite animal!

I’d use my step count to justify a glass of wine when I’m usually 99% t-total and we would make plans. Some happened, some we failed to find time for…

I’d like to think he’s still listening, in my heart, where his memory lives on…

A moment of clarity

Duke of York Square

I love these moments that enter your life randomly and just spark this awakening deep within your soul.

I sat down at Duke of York Square and suddenly realised that from where I was sat, I could go wherever I wanted next, do whatever I wanted to next, didn’t need to ask anyone else what they thought, what they needed to do. I could just follow my own path.

Walk back to the tube station? Walk around the square? Stop for lunch? People watch? Read my book with the sun on my back? Do nothing, do everything. Sleep and rest or walk until my blisters had blisters.

I choose to go to Candem from Chelsea, because I could, because I craved to experience the change in society that you find between a few tube stops. But most importantly, because I was free to do so.

Menopause Moments

Well this is an interesting stage of life…

I do not believe that any two women experience this change exactly the same. There are no written guidelines or structure to follow that will help the process. In fact, I don’t even fully understand what is happening to my body, I kinda feel like I’m being dragged along for the ride.

Some months the symptoms are very obvious, then they all vanish and I think it was a false alarm, which lulls you into a false sense of security and wham! It’s back with a vengeance and you feel like a seething pile of hate or want to curl up an cry with a face full of chocolate.

I have absolutely no way to describe how I am feeling at times, these are all strange new emotions that I’m dealing with. I wonder if my experiences will be different from women who have had children? Is there a difference? My hormones would be different, I think?

Apparently menopause leads to lots of mental questioning and nonsense. But it has shifted the way I feel about my body, especially living with an ED. I have decided to no longer hate my body, even though it doesn’t fit in with the social norms of attractive standards. I’m not living my life to attract others into my life. I’m focusing on myself, which means I need to take more care and attention to myself, for myself.

So I can ride this crazy hormonal ride, heal my relationship with food and take better care of myself as I have more adventures planned and that is encouragement enough to prompt positive change.

The manic energy of re-discovery

And the quiet depression of a new reality

Last October I bottled out of a trip away, looking back I’m annoyed that scaremongering dampened my adventurous spirit, but with lock down (number 3 – I think) so soon afterwards, I feel that my instincts influenced my anxiety at that time and perhaps travel wasn’t the wisest of ideas.

It is May and I am finally back in London again after not visiting since February 2020. For someone who considers London one of her second homes, this is a long period away from the capital.

My anxiety waiting for the coach this morning was incredibly uncomfortable. If it wasn’t for the lady stood next to me singing, I think I would be caught the bus home. But her singing was so soothing and as soon as we got on the M1 my anxiety lifted.

London has changed yet stayed the same while I’ve been away. It feels the same, but it’s different. The most intensely noticeable change I found was in Leddenhall Market, in the heart of the business centre, loomed over by towering skyscrapers this gorgeous vintage market was a rich and beautiful centrepiece, filled with high class stores full of expensive fashion, cigars and other such indulgences of the elite.

Now reduced to a shell of empty shops, windows dusty and forgotten, businesses that didn’t survive, even in the rich environment. I think this was the most painful change I have witnessed so far. I’m pleased an art installation has used up these empty shops, but the bright neon only highlights the dust and neglect and the bankers still flock to their favourite pub, flourishing among the graves of former neighbours.

obscure asks

obscure asks – off Tumblr

  1. what’s your favorite way to dress? – Jeans & T-Shirts
  2. if you could change anything about yourself, what would it be? – My Weight
  3. what movie/game/etc. helps you calm down? – Big Trouble in Little China
  4. what does your room smell like? – Incense
  5. do you like to organize? – I always like to tidy up at the end of the day.
  6. what kind of music would you listen to if you could only choose one? – Metal.. or K-Pop… Honestly I don’t think I could limit myself to one genre of music again – I lived like that for too long…
  7. what song is your aesthetic? – Anne’s Song – Faith No More
  8. what colour do you think goes best with your personality? – Pink and Black
  9. do you believe in auras? – I think so? Yes, No, Maybe…
  10. what do you wish you hated, but actually like? – Cabbage
  11. vague about your crush(es) – I don’t understand this question?
  12. is there someone you have mixed feelings towards? – Yes! and they’re all 2D fictional characters who do not exist.
  13. talk about an au or story you came up with – I don’t understand this question either?
  14. do you like makeup? – I do, but I am severely allergic to 99.9999999999% of makeup.
  15. do you prefer space or the ocean? – Well… I’ve never been to space!
  16. if you could pick any planet besides earth, where would you live? – Beetlejuice
  17. what form of government do you like the most? (capitalism, socialism, etc.) – …………………………………..
  18. what animal would you keep as a pet, if you could? – I have 3 cats.
  19. what do you think our purpose is in the universe? – ………………………………………………
  20. do you believe in god(s)? – Goddess!
  21. is there a song you can’t handle listening to, even though you like it? – Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
  22. what ex do you miss the most, if you have one? – ……………………………………………………….
  23. do you like soft, fluffy blankets or rough/smooth blankets? – What an odd question?
  24. what is your favorite thing to learn about? – Bookbinding
  25. what country’s history do you find the most interesting? – Japan
  26. what do you think about genderbent ____ (insert someone here) – I don’t get it?
  27. what breakup was the hardest, if you had one? – …………………………………………………………………………….
  28. do you have someone where you can’t decide if you like them romantically or just as a friend? – NO
  29. what do you think about tumblr discourse? – The what now?
  30. what instrument do you wish you could master? – Violin
  31. how easy is it for you to be honest? – dunno?
  32. do you have any strange interests? – I make monsters
  33. do you have any strange fears? – Pedophobia & Tokophobia
  34. what food do you binge on when you’re lazy? – Pizza
  35. when you get angry, how do you show it? – I hide myself away
  36. do you have any impulsive movements? (twitches, ticks, flapping, etc.) – wut?
  37. what do you listen to music on? – Divoom Ditto
  38. are you left brained or right brained? – both work well together I find.
  39. earbuds or headphones? – Headphones, hate anything inside my ears …
  40. do you like light blankets or heavy blankets? – what is this interest in blankets?

Please note any questions followed by ………………………………………….. I refuse to answer! – Thank You x

What am I doing with my Life?

Because I don’t know…

I used to think I had life mapped out; go school – get an education – get a job – get married – buy a house – have a family – live happily ever after … Now, near 50, I am more bewildered with what I am doing with my life than ever before. I thought I had my shit together, then everything fell apart and each time I scoop down to pick up the pieces something kicks me in the ass and I’m back on my knees again, barely clinging onto my fractured remains, trying to hold it together with positive quotes and good vibes – like that works!

The last year (and a bit) has me reflecting on the past and trying to tone the present into some form of future for myself. I suspect there are a lot of people who have seen this last year as a life changing opportunity, out of desperation, boredom or frustration – I know I am not alone when I am sat questioning my life on a lunch break.

I think that is why I am looking at various areas of my life – from my relationship with my Mother to my eating disorder – my obsession with making monsters and this underlying fear that I never have enough time to do what I want to do while also procrastinating like a professional. At school, I did not know what I wanted to do when I grew up – I still don’t know what I want to *do* when I grow up – but I know what I want to *be* … Happy!

As an introvert, you can be your own best friend or your own worst enemy. The good news is, we generally like our own company, a quality that extroverts often envy. We find comfort in solitude and know how to soothe ourselves. Even our willingness to look at ourselves critically is often helpful.

Laurie Helgoe

Living in the shadow of my Mother

The Legacy of Family

It’s actually been 5 years since I lost my Mother, though it really doesn’t feel so long ago in my mind. During her lifetime, especially as a teenager we clashed and looking back, I’m not even sure why? It took moving out and into my own home to establish a proper relationship with my Mother and although we did not agree on many topics I loved her, deeply, and that’s all that mattered.

My Mother was bi-polar, depressive and agoraphobic – Some of this did not come to light until after her death as she refused any medical attention or even acknowledge that there was an issue. She would sit in her corner, surrounded by clutter and chaos, seething hatred to wards the TV that she was heavily addicted too – while as soon as guests turned up on the doorstep, she was the life and soul of the party.

My Father and I both expressed how terrified we were of here extreme mood swings, as she would fly off into violent rages that would end up with her confined to her bed for days refusing to eat or talk until she had calmed down.

However, having said all that we still loved her unconditionally and she was well loved by all who knew her, unaware of this darker side to her personality. I think if we had better understanding of mental health in the past this would never had been an issue. Thankfully times are changing and awareness means that people can speak openly and (hopefully) get help.

Whether this has had a lasting impression on myself? I don’t know, but I do dream about my Mother a lot…

My dreams are nearly always the same, in regards to my Mother, I will somehow end up at a gated garden. beyond the gate in the garden I see my Mum, she’s gardening, pottering around with plants, surrounded by animals, before this old stone cottage, roses dancing up the stones. I give a happy wave and my dream continues as before. The cottage just there one moment gone the next, appearing in some random places in the middle of unrelated dreams. I don’t understand any dream meanings personally, but I like to think of these brief viewings as that she has found peace after struggling so much with her mental health in life…