Thursday, 30 September 2010

Home of the Heart

In the Uk we have a programme called Grand Designs. It is probably shown all over the world but for anyone who has never seen it, it is a house building programme. Kevin, the guy who presents it is lovely and really knows his stuff architecturally. Projects vary from conversions to experimental new builds and everything inbetween. This programme has never ever made me cry before though.

Last nights programme began as normal. Kevin visited the house builders, a particularly lovely young couple with kids and looked at the site and discussed the plans. Except there was a twist, the husband had been diagnosed with stomach cancer one week before this first filming. He died six months later.

The wife decided to carry on with the build. The change in circumstances required a considerable redesign. The husband was able to see the final plans before he died.

The finished house was beautiful. A real home.

Listening to Kevin and the wife talk about the finished house was moving. Te wife had found herself incorporating finishing touches that were to the husband's taste rather than hers, like the patterned tile sin the kitchen. It was clear that he was very much present in the house, as all the familar things had been bought to the house.

Kevin added to this though and stated that the husband was in the very house itself, in it's design, it's walls. This sent shivers through me. The house was such a strong statement of love and caring, from him to her. A desire to safeguard his family and help them live happy lives once he was gone.

One of the children had had nightmares ever since his father had died. He moved in to the house and they stopped, straight away.

What a lovely family. What love.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Reasons to be Happy (Mostly - not the wing thing though)

I am feeling warm and snuggly. I am sat with my legs up on the sofa, with a duvet over me. Little Dog is asleep between my legs, once of which is bent up to support my laptop above Little Dog's head. She is lovely and warm and whenever I wish I can reach over and caress a silky ear.

I am also pretty tired. I did a bit of Wii before work and a bit after. I have doodled a little. Work is on downtime s i started a spiral based doodle on an A4 sheet. A looong way to go with that! I like them. I find them quite satisfying.

I received some beautiful yellow beasties in the post today and a Happy Birthday banner, all drawn by the beautiful and talented Savannah! Thank you lovely lady!

I bought some dragonfly stickers to add to a happy sticker page in the Happy Book. The stickers did not however make me very happy. They were very hard to remove from the backing, rumpling wings and carapaces and even ripping the occasional wing. I am not sure I will ever be able to look at those stickers without thinking of ripped wings *sigh*

I also decided I didn't like my purple page. It did not give me pleasure.. So I found a chocolate foil wrapper - the inner one with no printing on it - in a lovely purple colour which will be my new purple page....

I like dragonflies... they look a bit like fairies and they are named after dragons.... They also come in some of the most beautiful jewel colours.

One more day and I have a day off...... Yay!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


I started talking about work and trying to explain stuff but there is no point. Those moments are gone and I have no desire to hold on to them.

I was sat with F earlier, with the TV up loud to cover up the sound of banging of a bulding sort from next door. Then we heard the tumble of stone into our fire place... F got up and had a look and ended up having a chat with the guy net door through a little hole!

I went over to say Hi which was interesting... I got to see inside my wall and explore the current causes of damp. But mostly they seemed nice and the whole thing was amusing. The hole will be swiftly filled up and they will no longer look for fireplaces! They don't have any!

I have been playing with my Happy Book a fair bit, on and off. Not just the pages we are doing in the book group. I have stickered pages, finger painted, listed games, talked about where I want to be five years from now... Some stuff I will post properly but I wanted to talk about games a bit....

I realized writing out a list of games I liked as a kid, how many games we used to play. Very few of these were computer based, even though we had a BBC computer. These games were also pretty social. Many of them were for large groups, some for four or less, a few for two and only a couple for one. It made me realise how social games should be. The more solitary the game, the more puzzle-like it is.... Patience, Solitaire, Mahjong....

As kids, games bind us together, they are how we have fun, how we learn. Why do we stop playing games? Or rather, why do we start playing different games? Do we change as adults or has the nature of games changed? Games are becoming more complex and computers are evolving so that they can also be highly social.

We all need a little fun in our lives here and there.... Where is the fun in mine? Often it feels like it missing.... I feel bored. I don't have to do anything... This weekend I did finger painting for the hell of it.... We all need to play to have fun. This is the fine line with craft - when is it play and when is it work?

Play... I need to play more....

Last night I started doodling...

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Fish Food

So... I thought F had not managed to get last night's shift covered but at the last minute he told me he had and we were going out.

He took me to a lovely restaurant, perched on the cliffs. We had a lovely window table with a beautiful view of the town and headland.

We ordered nibbles rather than starters, italian bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, a platter of meat with toast, picallili, gherkins and olives. So lovely, simple....

Then we had our main course. I chose mackerel and F chose Swordfish. I didn't really think about the fact it was a whole roasted fish... It came out with head and tail attached. I had no idea how to eat it and of course there was a lot of bones as it came with skeleton as well. There was pomegranite seed and french fries along with sauces. We also ordered veg but two portions was way too much! After a while I braved the fish and it was slow eating but delicious!

F's Swordfish was to and it came with what looked like little eggs but were actually hot minty water in gelatine.

Then I had a creme brulee and F had sticky toffee pudding followed by hot chocolate and coffee.

It was all sooooo lovely.

It definitely counts as a posh restaurant! This reminds me of my 101 in 10001 and I figure there are a couple of restaurants from the holiday to add and I can not remember all the ones I recorded from last year either... I can only think of 5 posh restaurants. The Castle, Rick Stein's, The Lakeland Gourmet Pub, The Lakeland Boutique Hotel and the Birthday Clifftop Extravaganza. oooh and I just remembered the sixth - the Golden Pub by the Lake.

So I had a lovely birthday and feel like doing absolutely nothing today. Although I did spend some time on my Wii Fit.... It seems I put on a pound last night? Surprised? not really....

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Mii Fitness

In the past, I have made many stabs at getting fit and trying to be more healthy. F has also had his fair share of dastardly plans. I think it is very hard for fitness professionals to get the right level of exercise for the very fat and unfit. There equipment is not geared up for us, nor their routines.

When we signed up at the gym I discovered some of the easiest aerobic routines given me were virtually impossible and as for some of the machines - I had to use them with no weights. Surrounded by the ultra fit and all those mirrors, i soon stopped going. It would have taken a lot of determination for me to carry on down that route.

So what else is there for people like me? Not sure really.... But helath and fitness things seem to be much more about those who already have a bit of both than those that have none at all.

This is why I wanted a Wii Fit and today the Birthday Fairy delivered one. Complete with all sorts of little extras.

I already love it. For starters with it's focus on balance as well as BMI, I didn't come out so bad, because it seems my balance is pretty darn good! I actually came out with a younger age than F, even though he is way fitter than me.

So I set it up to do four routines - warm up, leaner Mii, overindulgence and relaxation. Each of the three activities that made up these was tailored to my fitness level and it was pretty dead on. I worked up a glow. That nice sheen of perspiration that means you have worked but not killed yourself. And then it told me I had burnt 244 kcal.

It graded my performance in each activity. This included calling me a couch potato and other delights, but really, i can not disagree! It did however rate me really highly in some of the yoga things and even called me a yoga trainer - less strenuous poses only! but it made me feel good without embarassment, risk of injury or overdoing it. I achieved something.

I have a couple of sports games for it as well but there is a dance one out at the mo that I will probably pick up as well. I wish there was a tai chi one.

F liked it to.

Not a cheap pressie but one that i hope we don't turn in to a fad. If we let it, it could make a real difference.

Friday, 24 September 2010


Well the Boss was off work, so I had alovely day at work. People were able to help me cover for my missing colleague who shares my job, because they didn't mind being in the office with me, as my Boss was absent. This meant less stress and more fun.

So my Friendship Cake was ready to go out into the world....

So Friend 1 lives near where I work. Except we have not seen each other in a year and her sister quickly told me she had moved out! But bizarely was on her way over and had been talking about getting in contact only that week! The sister kept me talking till she got there. She is a a lovely lady - with a huge mouth! It is difficult for her to be quiet. She has thoughts on everything. She is such a live wire! I love her and always have fun with her. Having two of them there is double the fun - but possibly would quickly become exhausting! *laugh*

Friend 2 is an older friend in both senses of the word. A Grandmother who looks younger than me. I got there and gave upon getting in and was about to leave her cake mix on the back door when I realised she was hoovering. A cup of tea and some good chat later it was time to go....

Her hubby had discovered half my wing mirror on the road when he was walking the dog, which saved me running over the bits. With some jiggery pokery, F was able to fit it all back together just fine when I got home.

I then discovered F had been busy today! He baked me cup cakes! His first ever attempt and they are lovely! He never ceases to amaze me! (This is the same man that nearly burnt our kitchen down last night, leaving the hob on for two hours....) I like having a non-perfect man though, it gives me an excuse not to be perfect!

So life is good!

It felt good being able to drop in and surprise friends like that and feel so welcome and wanted. It felt good to give them that cake mix

Thursday, 23 September 2010

House of Dreams

Some interesting stuff in Bloglandia again today. Pushing through fears. Walking your true path. Kali.

In work today I dreamt of Wetherham and the dreams shifted, it almost felt real. I felt as if I really did live there. As if F and I were really were stashing a van full of Ikea flat packed furniture in the garage and coming back to this house to sleep for the night before going back to put it all up.... Filling up the coach house, our new home while we work on the renovation life project that is the main house.

I guess my problem is that my dream needs some help in order for me to be able to live it. Maybe I have made my dream too specific. Maybe I have made my dream so real as a way of avoiding ever having to do anything about it. Well i don't care, it is still my dream. I fell in love with that house and maybe I never will get to live there. I just hope that whoever does really appreciates the spirit of that place. I hope they understand what a valuable gift they have been given.

Who knows, maybe it is the energy I have put into my dreaming of Wetherham that has stopped it selling. The owners had an article written about the house in a national newspaper, the wife has cancer and they wish to sell as they wish to live closer to where she can be treated. Cornwall is a large area with a relatively low population density, we have hospitals but not the degree of specialist care you can find in the cities.

I release Wetherham. I release any energy I have poured in that is preventing people moving on. if it is meant to be my home then maybe one day it will be, in this life or the next... or maybe it was in a previous life. I am still going to dream though! Wetherham is my muse, my dream hideaway.....


I guess that was timing... I just went to check up on the house and discovered a sold sign.... Fare thee well, sweet Wetherham. XXX

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Last night F M-i-L called and I couldn't avoid talking to her. I wasn't mean, but I wasn't too nice. I didn't avoid saying what I thought. It didn't make me feel any better. You can't change people and I am not sure I achieved anything. There are none so deaf as those who will not hear.

Does that make how I handled it right? I have no idea!

Actually I did achieve something - no phone calls tonight!

Work was better than expected today. It seems likely that there will be no redundancy announcement this year anyway.

This is not the note I wanted to begin my new year on but then I guess I have a couple more days.

I am kinda glad I have a tiny, tiny audience for this blog. I found before that I felt a pressure to be worthy on my old blog. The more people read it, the more I wrote about my life, the more I tried to be a perfect person. I was still me I guess but not me, warts and all.

This striving is a good thing, a lot of growth can come from it. Life got too much though. Maybe that was part of what my illness was about? Thhis last year feels a bit like a non-year. A set back year. Swimming fast to avoid losing as much ground as possible. I learnt a lot, but it has not been a positive happy year, although I have not been too unhappy. bad things have happened and I have been reminded of the inner strength I have.

I got better. I survived the redundancies. I survived my Boss bullying me and I am still there, and the team has closed ranks around me so we are all closer than ever and my Boss, well she is a little out in the cold. We are not rude or unhelpful but she is not taken into our confidence, we have more of a relaxed laugh when she is not in the room.... She could not destroy me! Because I refused to let her. While it is ongoing, we both know that short of getting me sacked, there is nothing else she can do, because she already tried.

So yeah, I want to be more comfortable in my skin, scars, flab, everything including all my negative emotions. Sometimes ager is a good thing. So last night, by being a little more honest, I may have upset the f m-i-l, but maybe I helped the person who was bearing the brunt of her insensitivity, gave them a little breathing space and they could probably really use that. No I don't particularly like that person, but that doesn't make me insensitive to their plight.

Sometimes a little honesty is good but too much can be bad. The balance is the hard thing to find and completely subjective

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

*Frowning Face*

OK, I am still tired and grumpy, so maybe it isn't just the hormones, maybe there is something here to be grumpy about...

1) Future m-i-l
Oh my! I wish she would stop calling us! message after message. And she calls when F is at work, why hasn't he called back? Because he is working for the next two days! Leave me alone! And can F actually do much about the thing she is calling about? No! She has been pestering the person who she needs to talk to but strangely, they seem to be avoiding her calls (can't think why). That person is going through a tough time right now and I find these continuous calls to them really rude and inconsiderate, even though I don't much like the person involved.

The thing is, these calls are all over S. Who is just fine and getting old enough to make his own choices in things. He is also having a really, really tough time right now. F has allowed him not to come over to see us because he understands that this is not where he needs to be right now. S does not need future m-i-l fussing and nagging and surely it has to be counterproductive? Very very soon he will be old enough to be able to stay home alone and have full choice on where he wants to be. Respect that! And stop calling me!

2) My Boss
So work is not fun. hasn't been for a while. I love my colleagues, all except one, the one who holds power over us. She is a piece of work and since we all compared notes on her and realised the extent of her game playing, she has become much, much more subtle in her nastiness. So now, the person who shares my job is encouraged to take holiday at the worst times of the month, leaving me to deal with it all. She encourages colleagues to work on training so I am left no support while covering for my colleague. And where is she? Off talking to cute guys....

And the last few days the whiff of redundancy has started getting stronger. My contract is up for renewal (not that I ever received my last contract to since!) and no one is saying anything. My Boss even asked me about it at my appraisal, as if she doesn't know way more than me... She asks if I am in the union. And conversation with her starts to have that whiff. Now there is a scheduled works meeting where staffing levels is on the agenda. Hmmmm. And how much do i care? Not much, getting the toe would let me off the hook and get me moving but I don't like the atmosphere and the redundancy process brings pain for so many people.

And what can I do about any of these things? Dealing with the future m-i-l is not for me, not really. And there is nothing I can do right now about work. Really I just want to win the lottery and buy the lovely Wetherham..... Please? Can I?

Monday, 20 September 2010


I am still grumpy. My hormones are doing their rampaging worst right now and I just want them to get started. I am tired.

I am teasy as....

All sorts of little things. Few of these things will be important in a weeks time. They are not even really important now, they just feel it. I feel unable to tell people what I think as well. For so many different reasons. I think it is those trapped words that make me feel so antsy at this time of the month.

My words growl in me.

There are times to growl at people and times not to. There are people who can take a growl and people who can not. I would lose more than I would gain growling right now. But I do know my time will come, one day.

So Mabon is nearly here and then immediately after, my birthday. Let's look forward.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


Stopping playing the computer has made me realise how lethargic and lacklustre I am. I have so much I want to do each weekend but I manage very little. I sleep a lot and slouch in front of the pc and TV a lot but achieving? Not so much.

I know being ill last year really set me back (did it really set me back this much?). I know trying to diet again but not being able to settle into a routine is not helping me feel great (am I really going to have to cut most dairy from my diet?). I know my Boss gets me down (am I suffering from depression?).

Well, I know exercising more would help and I have asked for a Wii Fit from the Birthday Fairy. Any parts of it that prove to much for the fairy will be bought by Santa I guess or by a bit of overtime heading my way next month. Maybe that will help?

I did do a few things. I made a friendship bracelet and I finished painting a scarf I started a year ago.... But not a lot and as the return to work looms I can feel my spirits start to sink.

Of course my moon time is on it's way and that always affects me considerably. I hope next weekend will find me in a different place and that the Birthday Fairy will bring some joy and energy into my life. For me, the year is about to turn into a new one and maybe my life will turn sometime soon as well. Maybe I can turn myself so that I am actually in alignment with my life. Maybe I can turn myself so i can feel well. I can not remember when I last felt truly well - twenty years ago? but even then... my health issues began when I was 7 - 8....

I am not sure I know how to be well

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Little Dog

Tonight we watched Marley and Me. Oh I cried sooo much. F said he had a lump in his throat but he looked at me and saw all the snot and tears and laughed.... The lump went away.

It made me think about Little Dog and Big Dog. Big Dog was on the edge of old age when he was diagnosed with bone cancer out of the blue. I still miss him.

Little Dog is about 5, so she should have years and years before we have to face any unpleasantness.... The longer the better, the more time we have with her that she is happy and in good health the better.

Both dogs would not be described as entirely normal. Not as insane as Marley was perhaps but I don't think F and I are drawn to nicely behaved normal dogs. Part of that is that we go for rescue dogs. An abused dog is always going to have quirks. Big Dog never lost his for sure!

Little Dog was never abused (as far as we know) she just was tooooo much for all her previous homes. She had had five when we got her at seven months! She is just too clever to not have had an owner when she was little who was prepared to be dominant.

We found it hard. Big Dog needed bringing out of himself. He needed reassuring that uncrossing your legs was not a sign he was about to get kicked. He had to learn that a raised voice was not so scary as to require he wet himself. He did learn. You would always get the stranger who would say 'oh I am good with dogs' and charge straight up to him, despite you saying that he wouldn't like it. He could move pretty quick being a greyhound....

Little Dog was never like that. She was insane from the start and I struggles in a way I never have with any abused dog. We read books. We cried. We suffered. Eventually a friend got a dog psychologist friend who worked with a charity to call us. We explained that raised voice meant nothing to her, that a tap on the nose was a call to play.... How do you train a dog to understand what is wrong when you can find no punishment or way of effectively expressing displeasure?

He told us to exclude her whenever she was behaving other than we wanted. She wanted to be part of the pack and not being part of it would be a far more effective punishment. I remember the first time we shut her in a different room. She went mad, scratching the door. She did learn.

I sit here on the sofa now, with her fast asleep, nestled between my legs, using my foot as a headrest. I know that at some point in the night, she will join me on the bed. Maybe before F comes to bed, maybe at the same time, maybe at some point in the night when she feels a little cold, but when I wake she will be there. Stretched out into a long thin line between us, completely snug. She has no problem with being squashed, or covered in duvet, sometimes her head will burrow under us and you have to wonder why she likes that when it is obvious she can't really breathe!

As she sleeps I can pick up her paws and move her legs. If she is in a deep sleep I might get a growl as she wakes but she is the most malleable dog I have ever known. Her greyhound flexibility makes her an excellent contortionist and with her smaller collie sized frame, she is not too long and boney to be comfortable in those positions. She is so laid back.....

...except when she is play mode. Then the rough and tumble rat dog is still very much there. I fight with her on the bed. We have a whole variety of games. Roll on the dog. Catch the hand. Trap the hand or foot under the duvet. All have infinite variety and end with a cuddle.

My favourite has to be when she goes upside down. Being upside down is always a sign of happy relaxation with her. Teeth stick out and she appears to be grinning. She lays her head back and exposes her long whit neck for tickling. Legs stick up in the air and she exposes everything for a good stroking. Her white under fur is so soft. But she does look so completely daft!

She is a dog in a million. She is mine.

Friday, 17 September 2010

This Week's Happy

I often read a few blogs before I go to work so I went to work having already seen the Happy Challenge for Week 4. I like this week's challenge, it feels like a happier, less daunting one for me. I struggled with this week's. Anything a little tricky, I seem to have to sit on for a day or two and then the weekend is done and I then struggle to feel awake enough to do tricky things after work.

So... gratitude letters.... sounds easy right? Maybe I like to make things too fancy and complicated. Maybe I need to keep things simple and straightforward. I will get too this task, just not quite yet.... I like the idea of putting together a collection of happy packages for my sister with a difficult life, more than I like the idea of thanking her for instance (She is a single Mum with two beautiful, very non-average children and an ex who pays her nothing so she works as well - not an uncommon situation, true, but few would claim it was easy or expect it to never get them down)

But the music.... I can do this. So at work, I asked a colleague (young, pretty, hectic life) what song really makes her happy and want to dance. The answer was Insomnia by Faithless.

Only thing was, then she wanted to know why...

So I told her.

Which led to me telling her about Mina and the trip to the supermarket and the cheese display. (last week's happy offering)

Which led to Wreck This Journal and taking my journal for a walk through muddy puddles and all, tied on a piece of string.

I had her in hysterics.

And then two other colleagues came in and she was like, tell them, tell them....

So I did (the four of us are quite close and lucky unpleasnat bullying Boss was no where close so I didn't mind)

They too, were in hysterics. It was a good afternoon.

But they also told me their favourite happy dance around like a noonar songs of the moment Crash by The Primitives (40 something ex Goth / Armed Forces guy) ....

...and I Know You Want Me by Pitbull (40 something rocker). OK so the second one seems an odd choice but the reason he chose this song is that he last played it while his daughter was over and danced around to it and embarassed her a lot and everyone had a great time. (including the daughter, not that she would admit it!)

So, after all that fun, here is my favourite dance around happily song, one of my special happy songs. Something Good by the Utah Saints

And the delectable F chose Katrina and the Wave's, Walking on Sunshine. He actually played this to to me, when we first woke up after the first night I stayed at his place. (He doesn't remember, this is unusual for us, me to remember something and him not...)

Feel the happy! XXX

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Friendship and Cake

I got home today and was about to step on my doorstep to open my door, when I realised there was something there. A bag, through which I could see a note on tope of something else. I took it in.

I read the note quickly and discovered I was being given a Herman!

A pot, full of a yeasty mixture, covered with foil. A sheet of instructions, lots of stirring, occasional feeding and then.... after ten long days! Herman gives birth! To four baby Herman's and one full grown cooked Herman! The baby Herman's need new homes very quickly....

I have never received a friendship cake before but I am really looking forward to doing this.

I called the friend who left Herman for me and we had a nice chat. She sounded doubtful as to whether I would like the whole Herman thing or whether I would find it a bit odd.... Maybe I need to let some of my blog life out in to the real world.... If she had seen my Wreck This Journal or my Happy Book (which is pretty empty at the moment).... As if I wouldn't like a friendship cake!


I sat and did nothing for four hours last night before bed. Just surfing the net and watching TV. I had stuff to say, just not the energy to say it....

Since coming back off holiday I have felt tired. I have been trying to get back on the healthy eating thing. All it seems to be doing though is making me feel tired and some days my stomach puffs up like a balloon and all I can do is gurgle.

Yesterday I had a little event - a gross one for sure but hey, it is a clue in my health problems. I sneezed a was shocked when a lump of stuff flew out and hit my hand. Seems I had a tonsil stone! Never heard of them? Well neither had I.... I looked on wiki and one of the causes can be dairy intolerance..hmm

On my good days I have smoothies topped up with yogurt and some days porridge topped with yogurt. Maybe I need to experiment and see if my gurgly tum days relate to yogurt. It seems odd the timing of the stone and all, so just maybe this is an answer.

When I first got IBS, I tried an exclusion diet and by gradually reintroducing things I discovered that cream and oranges were really, really bad (and still are) and that gluten and dairy were fairly bad. I excluded them which was great but pretty tricky. I struggled to stay with it and when I didn't I would be real ill. I slowly discovered best to eat them in small amounts rather than exclude, then I was not so ill when I did have them.

It seems this might not be an answer with all dairy.... Maybe I should experiment and see which types I can get away with eating and which I can't... and how much I can eat.

I need that calcium though...

So if this is the answer, maybe in a couple of days I will start to have a bit more pizzazz.... I want mroe of that for sure!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Chocks Away!

I have not really created much this last year. The occasional adventurous tea. A little bit of writing. Not much else.

My crafting corner has been neglected. My table piled high.

This weekend I cleared it somewhat and I sat there and used it and various things around it for Mina the Mouse's modeling session.

I started to realise how many half finished projects I have. I also began to realise how many things I have bought for projects I never even started....

Bells and green wool for some druidy bell stick thing...

A marbling kit I have never used....

Some second hand glass candle sticks I bought to paint a la Misty to make cheap stained glass...

A length of peach and crystal beaded rope....

Silk scarves waiting for paint and one with the first coat of paint applied....

Half finished journals with blank gesso'd pages, including a book I made for my niece....

Painted pieces of fabric for charm bags and a piece of braid completed to tie one of them up...

My rowan staff which has been drying for a very long time....

And there are all the half started beading projects in my bead box....

Books that I have never read, films I have never watched. Things everywhere, half done or ignoreed completely.

And then there are the half finished books.... My Wreck this Journal, My The Artist's Way, The Joy Diet (which I never started)....

Past expectations, commitments, desires, dreams, past me's all over the place.

I guess I have to decide which of these are still me and which are not and those that are not part of me, I should let them go.

I still want to clear up my list a little. I think some of the half finished things will go to their intended homes as they are, the energy that began their creation has gone. Others I still want to finish and yet others I want to start again. Some I want to demolish and use their parts in other projects and others will languish, their status changed to finished, even though they did not get where they were meant to...

Time is always the issue. Working full time and being someone who needs much sleep, there is so much time available...

And I don't want to spend all my free time looking backwards, I have so many new things I want to start on!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Reasons to be Happy

I don't much like my job. Mostly because of my boss but some days it just is so routine and dull. If nothing exciting happens, I spend my days entering data. Today I feel really tired, not sure why, but things are fine...

I have many reasons to be happy.

1) My Boss was absent today! Yay and yay again!

2) My Happy Book finally arrived and it is lovely..... So many lovely ideas and things to do and think about. So much joy within one book....

3) I spoke to F earlier in the day and knew he was doing tea. I had no idea what he would cook. When I met F over 7 years ago, he didn't really cook. I can take no credit for his learning, he is a pretty determines sort of a chap! So what did he cook? Lasagne... Not with sauces out of a jar or anything, he cooked the sauces! he made a white sauce! I so have noooo idea how to do that.... It was so lovely!

4) There is left over lasagne so that I can have some for lunch as well! Yay!

5) My Mum found my trollbead bracelet (no beads as yet but a lovely bracelet, tree troll catch and safety chain). I thought I had lost it but it seems I left it in a pot on the dressing table in the spare room.

6) My dog is all cute and cuddly and keeping my feet warm.

7) My hair isn't showing orange quite yet...

Oh and have some cows! These made me smile today!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Apple Musicini

I have spent much of the weekend playing with my iPod. I wish I had known what I know now, back when I started my iPod adventure.

I would have ensured any tracks and albums it did not recognise had their details properly entered. I would have ticked the compilation box for all those CD's with the work of more than one artist. I would have removed references to disc numbers from the title of albums so that multi disc albums sat comfortably in one slot rather than several. I now have just under 70gb of music on my iPod - nearly enough to listen to continuously for a month with no repeats... Except there would be quite a few because tracks appear in more than one place a lot of the time - compilation albums....

Sorting out my music retrospectively takes time.

I learnt that you can only sync from one computer without losing everything. So I bought a hard drive and moved all my music on to that. Now, as long as I have plenty of time, I can sync from any pc I like. It also saves me from having all that music on my pc or my laptop (not sure my laptop could actually contain it all).

but not all the music made it's way on to the hard drive so I had to wade through and find which files I had missed. I had added much music since the last time I had synced so it is taking quite a while. I have also been sorting out playlists, because the music collection is so vast now, finding similar tracks can be tricky....

I knew when I bought my iPod Classic that I would not fill it (at least, not this year) but that I needed that size.... the idea is that all these CD's will find their way in to boxes and move out of the way (if we get the attic boarded, they can go up there). Can you imagine what it was like trying to find a single CD amongst all of them? Finding a single song can sometimes be tricky but I can sort and search now!

I thought that I would start downloading music rather than being wasteful and buying CDs. This is not to be anytime soon. Buying CDs is very much cheaper than downloading music. I know they justify this by saying it is a licence for five copies but I don't want five copies. I would use up one of my licences no doubt just getting the file where I wanted it to be! I remember a friend telling me they lost all their music just by changing their computer over the years.....

I hate the thought of losing my music collection - if something happened to my hard drive... *shudder* but at least I can always go back to the beginning if anything happens and download all my CDs again. OK so it took me weeks.... But I can do it if I have to.

I have come to resent and admire apple in equal measures. They have secured their future for sure.... Would I buy another iPod? Not sure. I had to buy an iPod and a hard drive to not clog up my pc, I believe other music thingies allow you to move the music in both directions. How much easier is that? I understand why Apple set things up the way they did, they were very creative. They make millions...

I sit here and plot what gaps in my music collection I am going to plug with the help of Amazon. I am in love with music... And looking at what I like best, maybe I should have been a punk! I remember as a kid being in a town square with my Mum and staring at the punks with awe and amazement, I loved their multi-colour mohicans. My Mum would very quickly tell me to stop staring....

Oops.. I was supposed to dye my hair blue this weekend.... The purple is fading and the bleach streaks will soon show their true orangey colour.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Magnificent Adventures of Mina the Mouse

I started a little late so I decided to combine both exercises in one, with my lovely little friend, Mina the Mouse!

Mina had to spend a lot of time in my bag while I worked, because she just didn't have the security things sorted out... By the end of the week, she confided in me, that she felt more at home in my bag than in her own bed....

One night after work we decided to visit the beach.... She was amazed how big the sky is over the sea! (That is her pointing at the sky in the bottom left)

Mina discovered that cliffs have toes (yes they do!)

She played in the sand and made a beautiful circle out of pebbles with a sand spiral in the middle.

We admired the way the sparkle of the sea...

She was feeling a bit hot and sandy after all that so she had a little paddle, but it was a bit fresh! (It may not look like it, but the sea is trying to whisk Mina away! She was a little scared but she won't admit it...)

(As I walked back across the beach, I had to giggle a little as I realised a wet, sandy mouse tail was hanging out of my bag)

Back at the house, she was feeling full of salt and sand so she decided to have a nice bath to relax and get clean...


Mina even visited the supermarket with me! She was overcome with awe when we reached the refrigerated aisle. All that cheese! Yum! She had to go and touch the packets and have a sniff to make sure it was all real... (Oh my did I find this one embarassing! I was not sure that I would not wimp out)


We went for another walk, another evening. Along the cliffs in the gloaming to enjoy the wind. Little Dog raced around with the wind up her tail. Mina loved it too! Although she found the trees a little startling! The wild winds keep them small and these thorn trees have not dared to grow very tall at all. They are either buckthorn, blackthorn or hawthorn. She had to climb a thorn tree lining the path.... (It was not as dark as it looks)

When we returned home, Little Dog and Mina had a cuddle on the sofa.... Isn't that just full of heart?


So this morning, Mina woke up quite early and did her normal morning things. She ate her cheese and drank her milk and curled up in her nice warm bed to read the Mouse Times, her favourite newspaper. She was a little distraught to hear the moon has no cheese, as confirmed by some valiant mouse explorers and she was angered when she read the theory that cats had gotten there first (Little Dog offered to help Mina hunt cats as revenge). Mina then noticed the photo of Miss Glamour Mouse 2010! And so began Mina's photo shoot!

Miss Mina Mouse and her treasure! Cheese! She was very polite about the jewels but she was very firm that cheese is where it is at...

Um... Probably the less said about this picture the better... It's red... The items she is posing with are probably what you think they are... Yes she is surfing and er.... Mina is a very liberated female mouse whom the sufragettes would have been proud of! (This photo made me giggle, I hope it does you to!)

Mina gave me a big hug to celebrate her week (although she is a little glad to retreat to her shelf, with her books, where she can watch everything.... Can you see her smile?


Go see what everyone else has been up to this week!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Happy Haunting

Today one of my colleagues ended up talking about ghosts. She had ended up living in a house in which the previous owner had died. She experienced two incidents - an attempted strangling when she first moved in and then a lot of banging of doors just before she moved out. This sparked further conversation. Colleagues told of shadowy figures at the end of their bed that vanished in the blink of an eye. They told of a strange non-solid figure running across the road, seen by more than one person....

It makes me wonder why I have never seen a ghost. but then most ghosts seem a little unhappy about something or other, maybe not seeing one is no bad thing really.

I always hoped big Dog would come back and visit me. I do believe he came back and visited, but not me. I believe he visited Little Dog.

Big Dog used to bark and howl as soon as he heard F or I outside. He would go completly crazy and make such a ruckus. Little Dog was so quiet when she first arrived here but big Dog soon whipped her in to shape. Before long, her crazy howling yip / yelps joined his and this crazy canine chorus always made me smile as I waslked to the front door.

Little Dog stopped singing for us after Big Dog died. She was still just as happy to see us, but she no longer had her chorus leader. I still miss the canine chorus. In the months soonest after he died, she did however sing twice more. F and I were both in the house and no one was outside. She sang alone and she sang in greeting of someone she completely loved. Maybe Big Dog sang with her those last two times or maybe she sang for him as she sensed him near by, but i believe he came for her.

Tonight I took Little Dog to the cliffs to enjoy the wind (which was warm rather than wild, I wa slooking forward to wild). I realised that probably the last time I was there was shortly after Big Dog left us. It was where F felt closest to him. I still miss him. but I believe that he has moved on now.... and so have we. Memories always live in the heart.

The only real experience I have had with a spirit was very different. Some black entity was stalking me for a while. It got dealt with.... but... I remember one incident. I had traveled from Cornwall to my childhood home to visit my family. While I was there I had a wierd sort of vision of the black thing. I realised it was stood at the gate, unable to cross over the threshold. The power of this home was such it could not even enter the garden. I have always felt so safe there. I will sadly miss it when my parents move. We moved in on my first birthday.

So I was sat there today, wondering why I never saw a ghost. Why my family home wasn't haunted. People must have died there. The house was two tiny farm labourers cottages, now joined together and has existed for over 400 years. Surely there must be a spirit or two lurking around?

Then I remembered the incident with the black thing and the visiting Big Dog. Maybe there are many, many more ghosts around than we think. Maybe those who manifest briefly in anger, fear or any other powerful emotion may appear the stronger spirits. Maybe those that quietly watch and haunt us with happiness and love, that is far more constant and no less powerful than the emotions their negative cousins send us, maybe they are far more common than we can ever imagine. Maybe they are all around us.

I think I grew up surrounded by ghosts. Happy ones. Loving ones. Protective ones. They had no powerful message to deliver, no reason to manifest. But I think they are there all the same. I shall ask my Mum to light a candle for them at Haloween I think. They deserve my thanks, who knows how many things they protected me from, they sure dealt with the black thing.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Hair Today

I have long, thick, dark brown hair which is mostly straight. There is the older silver hair and a feathering of silver at my temples. My hair maybe gets a cut once a year - if it's lucky. I used to dye it with henna every so often but had stopped doing even that. My last lot of henna languished on the shelf unused. I use a lush shampoo bar and an occasional deep conditioning. Some days I don't bother to brush it but somehow it always looks fine. I don't blow dry or straighten it and I don't bother with styling products either....

But occasionally i do something a little radical to it. A few years back, I got hold of F's clippers, set them to the longest setting and sheared the lot off. F was distraught. I was too when he asked me to marry him a few weeks later! No way did I want to get married with hair that short.....

I always wanted blue hair. Working where I do now, I have nothing to do with the public or presenting any sort of image. No one cares what my hair looks like. Time for my hair to turn....

I tried dying it cosmic blue but unfortunately it was more black than blue and although I like my hair black, it wasn't what I wanted.

I dropped a hair sample at the hairdressers. They recommended extensions rather than bleaching as my hair was rather dark and blue would take a lot of maintenance. I had extensions. They didn't really allow enough time to do them so I didn't get that many, and they were not cheap. So I had a tiny bit of expensive blue.... But two came out after a week. I also realised that the extensions really weakened your hair and I didn't much like that.

I went to hunt down proper blue hair dye eventually. I found some in a little shop where the guy serving had a big blue streak down the middle. He recommended getting a streaking kit and then added that he reapplied the blue several times a week. A daunting proposal.

I decided not to go blue before the holidya as I would have no way of reapplying it.

But I did bleach my hair. i got nowhere near the root and it left my hair that nasty orangey bleached colour but it didn't matter as I had some nice purple dye all ready. It looked fine but the purple was quite dark. As it slowly washed out, it looked better and better. At the beginning of this week it was looking the best it has, but I always knew this was a fine line. I can see the first wee hint of orange.

i think it is time for some nice blue streaks.... They might not be blue though, given they are a light purple right now.

I like bleaching streaks and I like having different colours. I wonder what other colours I could go..... And how many streaks I should have....

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


I feel guilt...

I drift in the breeze.

I leave things behind.

I find new things.

I get blown back towards some things.

What do you do if you get blown back towards things you left abruptly?

I did kind of explain my vanishing but I have felt too much guilt to announce my return. I don't feel i deserve my blog friends back. I left a lot of things half done.

I never finished my Wreck This Journal. Even worse, I still have a fellow Wreckers page. Even worse, I have finished with it and just needed to post it back.

I never did all my blog candy. Some is half done, some not started. They have waited a loooong time now.

I never paid it forward....

Commitments failed that I still want to finish. I guess I feel I need to finish the things I said I would all that time ago, before I deserve to possibly reopen that lovely bloggy friendy dialogue....

Is that reasonable or am I just being mean to myself?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Time Out

Not sure I have much to say but for some reason, when I blog, I feel I have to check in everyday.... This is a bad habit. I ended up feeling like I had to post and then BOOM! I stopped altogether. I do seem to have a boom or bust personality. All or nothing. Frequently, nothing.

I did have a little fun today. I took my Happy Book mascot, Mina the Mouse to the beach (more on that later this week). The bit that amused me the most was as I was leaving the beach. I suddenly realised that the bag on my shoulder had a long damp, sandy mouse tail hanging out....

I realised on the beach that I have not spent enough time, stepping out of time. That bit of time at the beach was separate, No pressure, no stress. Just sun, sand and sea.... F is on the wrong shift today for me to see him at all, but just the right one so I felt no guilt about not going home. He finished work as I started and then started again as I finished.

This meant I didn't need to worry about Little Dog. Although I did feel guilty but I couldn't have taken her as the dog beach ban is still active for a few more weeks.

I need to do things like this more. And now I have broken free from World of Warcraft again, I need to ensure F breaks free now and again....

On that note, I found a really fun event for Halloween and F is up for going to, maybe with S as well. The Eden Project's Skate and Scare... The Eden Project is an old gravel bit that got taken over and turned in to a tourist attraction. It contains environmental educational things with two biomes - one tropical and one hot and arid one. They have a funky artistic sort of style and collaborate with various charities. They regularly do new things - such as put up a skating rink each winter or host pop concerts.

The Skate and Scare is an evening event for over 12's involving the biomes in pitch dark.... (and maybe some ice skating as well) oh what fun that sounds... F agreed.... Yay!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Lost in Music

I stopped listing to music.

There are so many reasons for this. Old tapes gone bad. Splitting up with an Ex with such a good music collection that I had not bothered buying any in a long time. F having so many CDs that mine got lost amongst his (and a lot of them are toot as they were freebies). No working tape or CD player in my car. Lack of money to buy the music I wanted on CD.... and it goes on...

But then I got a new car... with a CD player... and a little socket for plugging in an ipod.

This sparked my interest in music. Finally I had somewhere to listen to music of my own, whether F liked it or not. (This isn't meant to make F sound bad but I do have a slightly less mainstream interest in music than he does and I adore hi so much that sometimes I let things slide when I shouldn't. F actually likes far more of my music than I ever suspected!)

So I bought an ipod and started filling it with F's huge number of CDs. All of a sudden I could find my music again! Then I started buying music again and I also discovered colleagues with similar tastes in music to me and their suggestions helped as well.

All of a sudden my musical world has gone BoooOOOMM! And it is really quite nice, because I always loved music and I have no idea how I forgot that.

I grew up on old style rock really I guess. Some with a more up to date slant, such as Bon Jovi, but I grew up listening to all sorts from Hendrix to Poison, Pink Floyd to Yes. So many trends in rock to explore...

Then I met a boy who was a year or two older than me, my first real crush. Unfortunatley it did not end well but he did make me a mix tape and exposed to me to some really interesting music that my sheltered life had not thrown my way.

My sister was a Goth by this time with a love for the Cure, All About Eve and the Primitives. I followed in her footsteps but that tape threw me onto the alternative side of things. I discovered the Pixies, my most favouritest band ever. They have since become a cult band to the next generation and my old vinyl is probably worth a bit now.

Then I started my A-Levels and my world opened up. Grunge exploded into life - Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Garbage, Alice in Chains. Indie was sooo strong then, fuelled by the NME and Melody Maker, before Brit pop stole it's name and it began to die. Rage Against the Machine. These were the groups I listened to as I turned into an adult. Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More and more, but I still loved gothy stuff and the Sisters of Mercy and the Cult were big favourites.

Then I left home. Other influences hit me. Rave and techno. Orbital and the Prodigy to begin with. A couple of years later i fell in love with a Raver. He had gothy mates as well as raver mates from Uni and six varied individuals lived in a houee together with additional boyfriends and girlfriends in residence. They included DJs amongst their numbers.

At this time Goth and Techno shared a lot, which may surprise people now, I don't know. There was a crossover and this spawned cybergoth. It's influences are seen in other areas such as Steampunk i think as well.

Shortly after this I left the city and moved and lost contact with my music. For a time...

..but music sings in the soul and is always waiting there for you, when you want it.

So has my taste changed? Not as much as you might think.

Has music changed? No, all of a sudden many of the aspects I loved the most have been given new life with Emo, Skate Punk, Twilight and Vampires. That industrial vibe is alive and well and living happily with cybergoth and steam punk in a huge burst of creativity fuelled by manga.

So the music that sings to me has not grown stale and old but has found a voice in a new generation and I love it all. I love the mixing of rock with dance. Linkin' Park, Crazytown, Good Charlotte.... I love the vibrancy and energy and still, my tastes are not quite the norm...

So what does my music say about my soul? That I feel intensely and I like to dance...

Sunday, 5 September 2010


I am not right....

Friday evening was windy and I went walking on top of a hill wearing a short sleeve top with a low neck. One of the dog owners I met was wearing a long sleeved top and a body warmer....

Yesterday I felt tired and had to have a snooze in the afternoon before going out. We went out and I wore a vest with one of those thin chiffon tops over the top, again with no sleeves. I was hot. We had to walk to and from the car and on the way back it was raining and I was still hot. For the second outing of the evening we dumped the car back home and walked into town and back... Still hot. I had to shower when I got back in.

Today I struggled to wake up and went back to bed for three hours this afternoon.... And then I came over all hot this evening.

The holiday was too manic. Too much crammed in, no down time. Work is too frantic, no down time. My weekends are all about recovery, not about doing what I want to do or even about doing what I need to do (i.e. tidy my house, organise my wedding)

I want to do two things this week. I want to eat healthily and I want to do my Happy Book tasks... That's it... that's all I ask, jsut that much time and energy... Mostly the energy. Is it too much?

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Lounging About

I am sat here not doing an awful lot.... I want to do more but my body is crying out for a bit of a breather. Our holiday was so jam packed and while very enjoyable it was certainly not restful! I want to do more though...

I have done a bit... I cooked breakfast and sliced up a melon for future use and made smoothies. Then I finished off the herringbone bracelet I have been working on for my Mum. Part of me wants to go out and take photos for the TNC scavenger hunt but the other wants to crawl back in to bed and have a snooze...

i had an idea about the scavenger hunt - I missed photographing my mascot so why not combine the two? I could even find things from the point of view of my mascot....

It doesn't help me want to do things, knowing I have a full evening ahead of me. We are double booked (how does this happen when we don't actually go out that often?). So we have to go for a meal in one town and then out to the pub in another. I know I will have a lot of fun but I also know I will be tired tomorrow and perhaps have a headache.... *grin* oh and then S is coming over.

So is it a bad thing that I want to do nothing? Probably not....

Limp is the word.

Now do I have the courage to choose a mascot and embarass myself in the pub by taking a picture of it boozing? hmmm

Maybe I should go have a nap...

Friday, 3 September 2010

Happy Heart

My horoscope informed me I was either coming down with flu or thoroughly and completely disheartened.... hmmmm....

Being completely and utterly disheartened isn't a big shock. Being back at work is horrid really. Really, really depressing. One of my colleagues has admitted that he has not gotten back in to it since returning from his holiday - nearly three weeks ago. So this malaise infecting me isn't just about me.

I need perking up - I need to refocus from work to outside of work if I am to be happy any time around about now.

After work, Little Dog and I went for a walk on Big Hill. Although there was blue sky and sun, there was also haze. All the landmarks - towns, other hills, the far cliffs were hazy or invisible. I felt like I was up there all alone. I wasn't - I met two other dogs and their owners.

Little Dog and I also had an incident. As we approached the car, there was a van parked there as well, with the window open and a trace of chip paper sticking out. Little Dog in true unruly fashion raced up to the van, drawn by the smell and jumped up to look in the window. I called out to her and made the lady in the van jump.

It was a little embarassing but kind of funny... I apologised a lot and got a glimpse of a little boy and a man and ran for my car. Little Dog meanwhile was running around and being as fast as she is, I couldn't keep up with where she was... I opened the door and called her and then turned around to see if I could spot her, but before I had even turned around, I heard the sound of dog behind me leaping into the car. I could hear the little boy and the man talking about where she was... Oh there she is, no, she's there!

At least she helped me make a swift escape! The lady gave me a grin as I pulled out...

So I came home and was on the prowl in Bloglandia when I came across Jamie Ridler's The Next Chapter about The Happy Book this time. I have done previous book things in Bloglandia and all sorts of other things too... In fact I took on a little too much for some one who need slots of sleep and works full time. But maybe this little one would be good for me... Getting me to look for the happy in things...

I ordered my copy...

I need a lift at the mo. Work feels too hard to be entirely happy....

Oops.. forgot to add a link! Go here...

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Dish with Nine Lives

Have you ever cooked a truly vile dinner? One that should have been lovely but just goes wrong?

I failed to parboil the potatoes enough. I put the spices in too soon and they started to singe so I turned the heat down. My attempt to fry my veg before adding the stock and tomatos was therefore a failure....

I failed to realise all this though.

So then I had to add water and chop up all the potato much smaller.

The food went from a pan to a wok as the volume increased with all the water to my stew pan as I realised it was all wrong.... A second kettle full of water and a load more spices as the water evaporated and took the flavour with it....

And STILL it cooks!

For so long now, it has been cooking in one form or another.


And still the potato has a bit of that uncooked-ness about it. And I know that if I had cooked it as a stew it would have been done ages ago!

No idea what it will taste like when it is finally done but the taste I just had was rather bland - despite an earlier accident with the fennel seed jar. Thankfully F is not here and waiting for his tea....

Over two hours of cooking and all I have is potential waste so on I doggedly cook...


I don't understand this dish. How come the number of potatoes I have seems to be reducing but yet I still have some crunchy-ish potato and carrot!


Well, finally i got to eat - about 3 hours after I started!

...and it was good!

All those spices added at different times seems to have given it layers of taste. It is lovely. I am sure I must have boiled out all the nutrients but hey! so I was aiming for large lumps of potato and veg with a think tomato based sauce lightly covering them... and I got a thin soup with smallish lumps of veg

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Flight of the Magpie

I have often noticed that themes emerge in life. Bloglandia seems to really, really show these up. The blogs I have on my list and have just started reading again have very little to do with each other. Most might not know the others exist. Coincidences of what they choose to right about really are random.

Today seems to have a theme. Finding the magic in the moment. Spotting the magic all around us. Wishes. Asking for what we desire. Following our old dreams.

So here I am... wishing...

I daydreamed about the magpies I watched from my car outside of work. Dreamt I had magical magpie blood a la Charles de Lint and could fly away with them and then step into the spirit land.

I have a contract at work. Well sort of I do. I was told my contract would be renewed but no contract ever materialised for me to sign. It is nearly over but I suspect they will forget is is even due for renewal. I noticed today that the last day of my contract is the day before the next stock check.

Technically, I could leave the day before stock check without saying anything and just not turn up. I imagine my Boss calling to find out where I am, her impotent fury as she realises there is nothing she can do. And I giggled.

I shared this vision with a colleague and he found it funny too. Then I shared with F and he laughed. Such poetic justice. Such perfect timing on the calendar.

I unfortunately noticed that the one day felting course I was interested in falls over stock check weekend. Now can I please win the lottery, walk out of work without having to give any notice just before stockcheck, go to my felting workshop and leave nice cheques for those colleagues I work most closely with (and who conincidentally would be the ones most affected by my walking out, but would leave my Boss a big fat zilch oh and maybe a headache because that is all she deserves from me - me leaving within the rules she sets down and no deliberate nastiness.... just nothing...). It isn't pay back or vengeance.... and maybe they will get better at renewing contracts for other poor employees...

Nice dream.... Nice wish... So here is wishing.

Oh and the mansion I fell in love with is back on the market... it was under offer... I want to win enough to buy it and do it up and live in it... But that is being deliciously greedy!