Monday, 28 February 2011

Ancestral Food Lore

In my recent readings I came across an example that adds weight to what i have been learning about foods recently. I feel we have to look towards the original cultures that ate those foods in order to make them nice and tasty, but it goes further than that.

I had never heard of Pellagra before. Why should I? Maize is not a staple of our diets. It is not an illness of the modern world because we understand it now.

Pellagra is a deficiency of niacin than results in the four D's, diarrhea, dementia, dermatitis and death. It became common at the turn of the last century in countries such as Italy were corn had become a staple as well as amongst the immigrant communities of America. It took some time for the fact that it did not affect the native American population to be noticed, which was unfortunate....

Traditionally the grain was treated with lime. It is now understood that this alters the niacin in the corn to make it available, reducing the chance of Pellagra. When corn became a staple within other communities, this treatment was not understood and not adopted.

So yes, looking to the communities that eat foods is a very good idea.

Maybe I should look at how my ancestors ate wheat?

Food Flair

Some parts of me feel uncreative right now, as if I have turned my back on it all and walked away a little. Just because of time and energy. Well maybe not just, because I am thinking too, and readjutsing my life, again.

I have gone back to basics, food.

And there is a huge amount of creativity mixed up in food. I stand there with the raw ingredients in my pan and I look at my spice collection and my fingers fly to this pot and that pot. One night my ingredients might find themselves being Mediterranean, another they look further East.... Sometimes they take heart from the Americas.... Whatever I feel like.

but as my intuition takes me to herbs and spices, is it just about taste or is there more? Is there something of the self-diagnosing kitchen witch here? Am I prescribing myself things I need?

I find two things often creep into my food - paprika and fennel. These two probably more than any others. oh and black pepper.... that gets everywhere! I have just discovered that too much chilli does not agree with me at all.....

Apparently fennel seed is protective, very protective. It helps with negativity and harmful spells....

And paprika - harder to find as magic and paprika brings up lots of reviews but apparently it is for overcoming obstacles. I also know in a health sense it is good for firing up the metabolism a bit, so raising energy levels feels right. I guess it helps us jump over the obstacle.....

So if I had to prescribe myself two herbs knowing all the properties, then these two would actually be top of my list. But I didn't know all this and there they are in my food....

I am creating a new food basis for my life. for my health. not necessarily the most exciting thing to write about but. but I need it. It tops my list right now....

Also how can I write about the number of times I am undoing my crochet. A friend started a granny square for me in some icky coloured wool they had spare. Once I can get my granny square properly started, I will be off and running, poor tension and all. Really not exciting to talk about. A lot of effort for slow progress, but my last starting attempt was beginning to look as it should.....

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Division of Labour

Work calls hard at the moment, an elevn hour shift yesterday taking my working week 45 minutes short of 50 hours. I spend 59 hours a week sleeping. This in theory has left me a very generous sounding 59 hours to myself this week...... Except it isn't.......

Each morning is swallowed in an hour of getting myself and food ready. A further half hour in eating my breakfast as I have a quick net surf, then about 20 mins getting to work. The remaining ten mins between waking up and getting to work is spent fussing the dog before I get up. so 59 minus 10.

Take awat another 2 for the drive home which always takes longer as the traffic builds taking us to 47. Then the average of an hour each night spent preparing food for the next day and that evening, leaves 42. Take away a couple more for shopping and longer nights cooking and that leaves 40.

A bit of a lie in takes another hour and my remaining time is down to 39. 16 of these stretch between my lie in and bedtime today and the other 23 split themselves between each week evening and last night after work, except I forgot the getting ready and getting to and from work yesterday so call it 22.

Of these, the last hour before bed each night is dead time where my brain struggles to keep going. TV is generally the answer here, or maybe a book, but nothing strenuous. The day will have left me too tired to do much else. so this leaves 2 and 3/4 hours each evening to do as I please, often while eating food, so cal it just over two hours each week night to really do as I please.

That precious weekend day will be taken up with a little cooking, some washing and what other household tasks I can bear to do. It is a time when i feel too tired to do much else and I need tojust chill in order to survive this next week, because this next week will be worse...... no precious Sunday to recover, work will call me both days for a twelve hour shift and as many hours as I can physically muster on the Sunday, probably around ten as that is normally my limit by then......

In that week, work may even call on me for a few extra hours in the week, maybe. i hope not.

So what i want to know is this. How do people with kids manage? How do people who exercise as well manage? how do people with tidy homes do it? How am I supposed to have th energy to be creative as well? How on earth are we supposed to lead balanced lives?

There are people out there who work these crazy long hours every week. How? Why?

I don't think this is right.... Maybe in the old days when a man had a woman at home to do all the other stuff so home time was just DIY, gardening and relaxing.... maybe then there could be balance..... maybe....

I want out of the rat race. I want to sleep less too....... I want more balance. I want a tidy house. I want to be thin and fit and healthy. I want to feel like being creative every week.

Can anyone honestly say this life is healthy?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Book Porn

So my folks sent me some money for Christmas, money I was going to put towards my new wardrobes. But I had a letter from the power company which showed I was in credit following the winter. I called them and the money they are going to refund is enough to cover them. What with the considerable overtime in the coming month and my Christmas money, things are looking good....

We are aiming to get ourselves straight this year but i figured I could spare a little for luxuries for myself given that I can now reach my target of the wardrobes and all...... So I did a little shopping today. I bought some things from Lush, mostly the necessities which will last a long time and are expensive but cost effective in the long run (plus better for my skin and all) as well as some nice treats.....

I also bought books. but there was a slight coincidence. I was flicking through my old blog and I ended up reading a post and looking at the comments. In there was some book recommendations, Jamie Sans Medicine Cards and Dancing the Dream along with Supernatural by Graham Hancock. In to the basket they went. (Thank you Suzi) It only took a year or two but I get there in the end and coincidence is not to be sniffed at.....

I have been lusting after a book called Tender. It comes in two volumes, one on vegetables, the other on fruit. They are big hardback cookbooks, full of juicy ideas. not cheap but oh so tempting. in they went to.

And if we are talking about expensive book lust then this one has to be the most expensive book I have bought in a loooong time. A book of magpie ecology. I have a thing about magpies. I spend a lot of time watching them and their behaviour intrigues me and sometimes puzzles. I want to know more.

None of these books are ones I would have bought unless a little flush. I spend a bit of money each month to meet my fiction needs, but this is a lot more than I would normally spend.

If I were rich, my house would be full of books.....

Thursday, 24 February 2011

What Grows Beneath

On the surface, everything is normal. Life is work and diet, world of warcraft and attempting to crochet. Nothing abnormal, but there is something sliding under he surface.

My last moon board was unusually simple, three main images, a wreck festooned with marine life, a diver in a door way. A cave in that has created a hole in the jungle, a caver stood on an island in a pool of water at the bottom of the hole. An underground chamber lit by candles with a graffiti wave painted on the walls. In addition a feather and the word under.....

Everything is blossoming in the deep. Hidden in the depths. not immediately visible to the world.

I have a repeating dream theme going on. It started with a golden man - I helped bring him into the world somehow, he was/is important. Then there was a dream that I was pregnant. Now there is a second pregnant dream, apparently I was just beginning to show.....

Then I also had another dream, I missed my plane to Mexico because my dad was late getting back. I got very angry so i pushed him over and broke biscuits over him. I think Mexico means freedom somehow as it is always where people want to escape to in the westerns..... And Dad, well it was not quite my Dad, so I think this is about patriarchal authoritarian stuff. I missed my flight but there is always another flight.....

Something is coming, something is changing. something is being born. All is waiting and growing underneath, waiting to explode into being. Something. Life is going to change.

I am not sure if I am looking forward to it or hoping I am wrong......

Monday, 21 February 2011

Wheat Waste

So the last few days I have been making a real effort food-wise.

I have been looking and thinking about alternatives to wheat. Why do we eat soooo much wheat and not so much other stuff?

Well, wheat is cheap and plentiful and grows well in certain places, such as England. It was right there when man first domesticated cereals and it's domestication is what allowed us to build cities, along with barley.

Wheat is not the most grown cereal though, rice has that priviledge, followed by corn and then wheat. Corn or maize however is used in animals more than wheat so wheat is the second most consumed cereal by humans.

What gets me about these cereals, is the sheer inventiveness that has been turned to them. Look at wheat and all the uses we have made of it - bread, pastry, cake, biscuits, tortillas, pitta breads, pasta and muesli and I am sure there are more.....

And rice.... rice is eaten as is or ground into flour which is used in baked goods as well as to make rice milk and sake. It is also popped and well, we humans have found many ways to make it tasty.

Maize has many uses as well but is used less for baked goods as it has no gluten so does not rise as well as wheat.

But these are just three of many. When I was in the supermarket the other night I found two things, firstly potato farls and secondly bags of grains for use in salads and soups etc. The potato farl is made of mashed potato mixed with a little wheat flour. I tried them previously and was not overly impressed. This time they had better serving suggestions on the packet so I did not eat them as they came, I lightly fried them and they were soooo much nicer!

There were several different mixes of grains and I added a mixed grain to my stew yesterday and it was nice. Looks a little like frog spawn but pleasantly soaks up flavour. I like this as a way of bringing other cerals into the diet.

It doesn't matter if I have a little wheat, I just can't eat very much, so both of these are perfect for me as options. The thing is, we were not meant to eat one thing exclusively. And that is the problem for me, I need variety. I can't eat potato farls all the time or barley filled stews. I need change to be healthy. But this quest for variety is why humans have quested to find so many ways of cooking them.

But there are so many cereals and other carbohydrate based foods that are staple parts of peoples diets. There is so much inventiveness out there, so many people have experimented to find tasty ways of cooking them up. Why does it have to be wheat, wheat, wheat? Maybe with a bit of corn and rice thrown in? Supermarkets are making us unhealthy. They give us an illusion of choice but in reality they often take it away.

I looked up potato farls online and discovered they were part of a traditional Ulster breakfast. This led to the different types of cooked breakfast in the UK. And I discovered there is a lot of variety to the carbohydrate portion. Tattie scones (potato scones), oatcakes sit alongside bread. If you look further afield the variety becomes more marked, galettes, grits, home fries and all sorts of other things.

The important thing when experimenting is to make use of the existing knowledge. People already know what goes well with these things..... How to make them tasty....

But there is a whole world of foods out there..... I just need to find it..... (and the time)

Barley, sorghum, rye, quinoa, oats, millet, fonio, buckwheat, spelt, teff, amaranth, wild rice..... all of these are eaten as foods and there has to be at least one tasty way of eating each one? surely?

Other starchy foods such as sago, tapioca, potato, squash, yams and taro have potential. I have an entire cookbook on potato's, I think I need to give it another look.

I think potato and maize are things I need to look at further..... to begin with

Friday, 18 February 2011

Love is....

Connie over at Dirty Footprints Studio is having a party.... An art journal party all about Love.

And this is my contribution.

The paper underneath was journaled with a pink marker - all about love and the little (and big) things that are examples of this really hard to pin down thing. I figured F would like to keep some of the personal things I love about him hidden so i dripped brown and pink silk paint on then swabbed it around with a sponge then scribbled with pink pastel. I then did a sheet to go over the top, covered in black electrical tape, silver pipe tape and some pretty pink lace tapes. I then cut two words into it with my trusty knife.....

Thursday, 17 February 2011

What the Mouse Did

I am tired. A long week with the IBS....

So I am going to talk about the Mouse.

The Mouse is someone who has come in to my life recently. It is kind of hard to say very much about this person at all. They are so very, very quiet and shy. At what point does this become rude? i think that depends on how laid back the people dealing with the Mouse are.

If you walk into a room of people and say hello, the Mouse will not answer unless you say their name. Barely a word is said all day. They will not answer the phone, they don't feel comfortable, it could ring all day and their head would not even turn. but they work, they work soooo hard, talk about focus! And they have a brain in that odd little exterior.....

But it is hard on the people around. A conversation feels like an interrogation. So it ends up that the Mouses presence is ignored. There is no joining in.

I can feel the patience of some of those around me starting to fray a little. The Mouse doesn't bother me. If they want to sit quietly in the corner and work, all day, then they can. And i don't want to explain why i can let her behaviour go....

... i don't want to share my experiences of agoraphobia and nervous breakdown. It may be well over a decade ago. I may not remember the mental anguish as pain is not something, thankfully, that stays clear in our memories with time... The Mouse may not have the issues i had. I think the issues here are probably very, very different....

but I have sympathy. Life is going to be very, very hard for the Mouse. Not very easy to find a place in life these days for those who wish to be separate. but maybe they don't actually wish to be separate? Imagine being trapped there?

I knew what I wanted and I had people around to help me get there. i had books. I had the knowledge that life could be different. I had had different examples in my family life.

The Mouse is passing through my life, they probably won't be in it too long. Who knows what effect I will have on their future?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Rock That Fell

I have been happily eating junk for a while. lazily buying breakfast and lunch at the supermarket on my way to work. Spending a fair bit of money. Not exactly putting weight on, but really not losing any either. And my IBS has been quiet, oh so quiet....

Then I think, why am I not making sandwiches? cheap and nice food! Save lots of money. Better for me probably too....

So I make a New's Years resolution and get to it and.....

.... why the hell did I choose to forget that I have a wheat or gluten intolerance? ARGGGGHHHHHH!!!!


I found some time ago, that if i couldn't manage to stick to avoiding problem foods 100% of the time then avoiding them was not worth the effort. That 0.0001% failure would make me so ill that actually eating the bad foods in small quantities irregularly was actually a good thing. Occasional minor illness but tummy relatively happy.

And then i start stuffing huge doorsteps of white bread every day, with a bowl of cereal in the morning. Things slowly start to go down hill.... i semi-listen and start on brown bread. Things continue down the hill..... i semi-listen a little more and buy some wheat and gluten free bread and then BAM! The rock lands and squishes me.

I was so ill last night, so very ill.

My problem is, I can not do cheap food and get the variety i truly need. I can be lazy and buy varierty that does not help my health at all or I can be good and start doing it properly. But it costs money and takes time.

Cooked up mushroom and egg fried rice tonight and accompanied it with some salad, goat's cheese and smoked mackerel. very healthy really. and I have some for tomorrow's lunch but it was 7.30 by the time i even got to sit down. For someone who sleeps at 10 this is hard. very hard.

Why can't I be normal and save money by eating nice cheap home made sarnies every day?

but I am fed up of the rock falling. I need to learn to look up. I should have listened to the hints my body was giving me sooner. a lot sooner

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Love and Food

I may be inept in some ways emotionally, but F isn't, it is his forte. He is really good with people and we are really good together. We just get on. We make each other happy. Not that everything is always perfect. I get tired and grumpy for instance and of course, sometimes we argue.

but he makes me a better person. I make better sense with him in my life. He makes me more socially able as well somehow, together he hides some of my rough edges.

He is my Valentine.

Last night we went and ate beautiful food in a restaurant perched on a harbour wall. We talked. We passed the time happily. We ate lobster for the first ever time. delicious!

And with that meal, I finish one of my 101 in 1001 days. To eat in ten posh restaurants..... And a varied bunch they have been, from gastro-pubs to hotel restaurants. Starred and unstarred, famous chefs and well traveled chefs. Good service, bad service and snotty service. But not a bad meal amongst them......

Alverton Manor
An amazing building which used to be a covent, the banqueting hall is grand with an incredible arched ceiling. Only ever had mass catered Christmas meals there - but they do mass catering wonderfully! How they cook for so many and make it sooo amazing I have no idea.

Carn Brea Castle
A tiny little hunting lodge. bare stone walls. An amazingly genial host and beautiful Jordanian food. I love it here so much.

Golden Lion
A lakeside pub with a lovely conservatory restaurant. There used to be a view of the lake but as the garden has grown more beautiful.... Lovely food and offers for locals and regulars.

Lewannick Lodge
Beautiful and funky with sea views across to the lights of Newquay. Fantastic food with dtylish twists.

Pier House Hotel and Restaurant
Lovely location but the building is old and not designed to make the most of the views. A little too up too date inside, not funky or old fashioned, this is very well styled and could be anywhere.... Lovely food! Go for lunch in the Summer and sit outside!

The Quay in Flushing
A lovely location. Flushing is right across the harbour from Falmouth. The building however does not hint at the wonder of the food! The decor is homely but the food could grace any hotel in London..... A secret gem.

Rick Stein's
Celebrity fish chef who was promoting his new book with an out of season lunchtime cheap set menu. Incredible service, truly amazing. Beautiful restaurant. Incredible food but I wish I had ordered differently.

Sawrey House Hotel
A beautiful manor house, fantastically styled as a boutique hotel. A bit up it's own **** though. The manager was a bit rude and it wasn't quite as good as it liked to think it was, although it was good.

Tower Bank Arms
A lovely gastro-pub featured in the Bearix Potter books. Great food in a spruced up pub interior which has kept it's charm and tradition while being brought stylishly in to the present. Friendly service and great value.

Treleigh Arms
Good food but the owners left their staff to struggle and the service suffered.

Inept Emotions

Sometimes I am inept, very, very inept. Socially inept. A lot of social etiquette is not logical. Logical explanations of feelings and reasonings don't help others understand where you are coming from. It may be what I would want and deal with best when I am trying to work through confusing things but other people do not work quite like that.

The problem is, for most people, there is nothing logical about emotions, not really. Whereas for me, logic can govern my emotions, after the fact a lot of the time. In fact it has taken a lot of time for me to learn how to feel some emotions. For instance anger.

Anger was deemed bad. I used to lose my temper when i was young and see red. I hated it. I used to cry a lot afterwards. A few years later and my logic had my anger under control. It was a few years before I felt truly angry again and then only after some traumatic events and counselling.

But still, I struggle with some social cues, some subtelties of emotion. I am not autistic or anything but they say we all fall on the spectrums somewhere and have some traits, maybe these are them....

Sometimes the internet accentuates these things, in writing there is no facial expressions to help judge how words are meant. When in doubt I resort back to logic and sometimes that just makes things worse. Sometimes I should just leave things alone, because opening my logical gob makes things worse. An emotional happening needs an emotional response, logic seems to demean emotion somehow. It tends to make things worse.

This happened with my sister many, many years ago. At the time I was undergoing a nervous breakdown, she was suffering from a marital breakdown shortly after the birth of her second child. We couldn't deal with each other at the time, and resentments brewed. i sent a loooong letter detailing my mental state and my understanding of the situation. I expected this to be reassuring, to clarify, to clear.

Not what happened at all, instead, it gave much offense and made everything worse. I was very confused. I hade hoped for a letter back, explaining her point of view. I eventually got one a few years later and it was a horrifying letter of hate and anger and emotion. No explanation, no cause and effect, just plain emotion. It didn't help me either, that emotional out pouring did not make sense, there was no understanding or insight to be gained.

Except that looking back it kind of starts to make sense. It took time but after that letter, the emotions my sister had towards me slowly subsided. It took a lot of time but now, years later we are friends. Sometimes there is a slight fragility to it. But, my sister is a lady of emotion and I am one of logic, how could our methods of reconciling difficult situations be the same? We got there in the end, but our methods of reconciling these events were actually pretty damn painful to the other person.

Friend who I wrote about the other night is someone who would pride himself on being logical and intelligent but that with him is surface, he has an entirely emotional core and it colours his logic because he does feel so very strongly. I tried to deal with the emotion with explanatory emails, logical diatribes of my feelings and reasonings. They were largely ignored, except for snippets which lead to even greater offence and became the focus of new hurts and arguments. The overal sense of what I was writing was never examined, never grasped. This olive leaf of reasoning and insight I am moved to offer those I care about, never seems to be understood for what it is.

That isn't other peoples fault. We are all different. My way seems to be the more unusual. And I am learning. *sigh* I write thse blog posts and I learn as i write, therapy in action and I am learning as this post writes itself, as the logc follows through from initial impulse / problem to understanding and conclusion.

Friend has no interest in letting me off the hook and I am fed up of that. A six month break from him and still the old hurts linger with no desire to move on, to forgive. I can't keep groveling at his feet for forgiveness that never truly comes. My views were never considered, my hurt never understood. The anger and emotional outpourings I endured for our friendship hurt, and these were the things that started our downfall which my logical letters made worse, but the root cause has been clouded by all these and never faced, never dealt with, never exposed. There has to be a desire to get beyond all this and I don't feel that desire is truly there on the other side so I am backing away.

The reason I am writing about all this though, is recently I have had a written misunderstanding with a dear friend. I think I misunderstood things and my logical reply was then misunderstood too i think and possibly gave offense. And now I feel a distance. This may or may not all be in my head. It may be an emotional thing that is gone soon, I have no idea, i don't work like that. I wish I did sometimes, I think i would find people easier and possibly math a little harder..... because I just don't understand.

but the important thing is I am still a good and true friend and my heart is full of nothing but fondness for my dear friend. Everything I wrote in my long logical email is true and factual, not emotional and I think that lack of emotion can be taken as.... some less pleasant emotion maybe.

I see this at work - logical discussions to get to the truth, the solution at work and afterwards my Boss is all, did they offend you with that tone? The answer is always no, because those conversations come from logic, not emotion, which is why I am comfortable and my Boss is not. I am more at home there than with emotion, I am learning though. I also fool people quite well. I don't always come across as a socially inept geek, butoh, in my heart, I am....

So friend, I am probably doing it again. Too much explanation, too much logic, too much self examination offered on a plate as a glimpse of my soul, but I can not help myself and these words are inspired by the emotions I have been feeling. Sorrow that I hurt them. Confusion and guilt. But mostly sorrow.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Friendly Fire

I have a situation. Sometimes situations take you by surprise. You don't see them coming. You can't change the way you feel and there is just something.... hard to swallow.

I shall explain because this is where I right my garbage so as to help myself work things out.....

I play an online game called World of Warcraft. I have played it on and off for years.

F was introduced to it by a colleague at work and for a short time I had a character on his account. He played with his mate and some of his mates and it was all very male... I played alone. I think by the time, the guys realised I was playing seriously and suggested I join them, it was too late. I had gotten my own account and signed up on a new server, brand new and sparklingly empty.

It was lovely there. Roleplay was the rule not the exception as it is now. You played your character and acted out, but I had a lot to learn.

I met a guy one day, we grouped to do a quest and he suggested I join his guild. I did and it was good. A roleplay guild, where I had some fun but.... the guild was disolving under the weight of itself. A very small group of people from that Guild was bought together to form a new guild.

F liked the idea of it and he joined as well.

We became very very close but there was a problem, the guild was too small and recruitment too selective for the guild to survive indefinitely. A couple of people stopped playing for real life reasons and I think only four of us were playing. The guild dissolved and four of us moved to another, larger guild.

We had a very good friend who had been absent from the game and he came back to find our beautiful little guild dissolved and he was somewhat upset. He refused to join the new guild for reasons I never really understood.

I was not happy there. There was a lot of pressure on me, because of the sort of character I played, some people had unrealistic expectations of me. I caved under the pressure and an ugly scene occurred. I never went back.

F, friend and I went and played elsewhere in the worlds of WoW. We ended up back where F and I started and all joined up with his old work colleague and his mates. It was fine but I eventually stopped playing.

F and friend played other online games together. This friendship spanned years. Then friend started loking at forums and things and discovered that a friend or two had returned to the game and had ended up in a new guild with some of the people we liked best from the second guild and all the remaining original members of the first.

We went back and were greeted with much happiness and all was good....

Except over time, our friendship with friend suffered. He has always been temperamental, with a very good memory, he always remembers every slight, every word, but chooses to forget that what he remembers is coloured by how he felt at the time. He can be amazingly lovely but slowly i found myself increasingly at loggerheads with him.

A lot of the disagreements are sooooo petty and daft, I can not really understand why they got so big. I can not understand why he can never let them go though. Every argument follows us into the future.

A lot of the arguments involve matters of principle with regards to roleplay and the game. He asserts his right to play his characters and be true to them, even if it means that they are less than pleasant. However if your character should act in a way that forces his character (because of their personality and history) to behave in a way that he finds unpleasant to roleplay, then God forbid!

And he will not back down and sometimes his characters pick fights. For instance, most of F's characters have been the target of a fight made by friend's characters. This can be unpleasant and difficult. I have often felt that Friend has a soft spot for me, that despite his friendship with us both, he resents our happiness in our relationship.

But despite this, the recent fights seem to have been between him and I. And one of the problems is that i can't remember all the twists and turns of them, they have gone on so long and my memory is so poor. I can never win and the argument is never done. i got fed up of nodding my head politely to his grumbling and those words can never be taken back. The words surrounding them, he choses to forget, out of context you said this and i just can't remember. And I look at the old emails and I see honest words trying to explain my thoughts and feelings. He never addressed any of the valid points, just remembered those words he wanted to, to perpetuate the hurt.

And it is all pathetic, all of it. He has no job, most of the time and Wow becomes his life and all consuming, an obsession. Unhealthy. But on the surface he is a lovely bloke, a great chap, one of the best. Just underneath..... Simmering resentment and anger.

One row I remember..... One girl within the guild was having problems with another. One (A) was all hard edges and spiky words, the other (B) all wounded whiny soft hurt, when she wasn't endlessly bouncy and hyper. The two were never going to get on, but they sniped at each other, carefully, when no officers were around to witness it.

A and B were of similar ages but vastly different sorts of life. A always had huge dramas, she came out a lesbian, a manic depressive and an ex-alchie. B was the golden child, who never left home and has not yet learnt that sometimes life can not be made pleasant and your parents can not make everything right. Chalk and cheese.

B would complain to the officers that she was being bullied by A. Maybe she was, maybe she wasn't this is not about that. Friend waded in and started stirring B up. In the end both of them stopped playing within the guild for a while and friend was highly critical of how everything was handled and dealt with and very disparaging of the guild leader. i disagreed strongly, I felt that the officers had really really suffered trying to handle the situation, had done their best to be fair to both and find a solution.

I talked B in to coming back after a while and friend followed along, still resentful of the guild management.

Things limped on between friend and I, he stopped playing altogether because of the way things were between us, it only lasted a few hours before he was back.

When things got bad at work, I stopped playing, in part because I couldn't be bothered to deal with any emotional stuff online when things were hard outside. I went back after a while and friend and I side stepped cautiously around each other. one last cautious chance.

The character I play at the moment may not be everyone's cup of tea but I designed her to be light hearted and fun. She has been making me smile and I know others have been enjoying her too. It began to appear that friend didn't entirely like her, his characters started making the occasional play that made this apparent, little things. So I asked him and he said that she was a pain in the arse. I replied and made light of it, he said nothing, I said something else, maybe one or two things and as he said nothing, I started to get upset. Making a statement like that and then saying nothing else, ignoring me? not calculated for kindness.

I got upset and then I told him that, he went all superior, how he was sorry, hadn't wanted to say anything but I kept asking and he knew how it felt because of things that had happened with previous characters of his. Like I say, never lets things go - I had been unhappy with the way his characers focused on falling out with F and were so focused on what ever lady was the subject of his affections that sometimes he neglected us and was not so nice to us..... The last instance was nearly a year ago.

For me, it was the end of the friendship, the final nail in the coffin. Not an active falling out, just a decision that I no longer wanted to bother side-stepping around him. I role play with his characters a little, if they start something but I have had no personal chats with him and he has made no attempt to talk to me either.

My first character is the wife of F's first character, who he still plays. One of friends characters accused F's of having an affair. F was pissed off, both in character and out of it. The day after my friendship with friend ended, friend apologised to F and they have been a friendly again ever since. I was a little hurt, but well..... *shrug*

And then i got a little repetitive strain in my elbow, because I work on a computer all day, i have been gaming less and then tonight, i look on the forum and friend has been made an officer. It feels so hypocritical after all the trouble he caused for the officers, not that they know what he was up to. It feels horrible.

It was alright to ignore him when he was equal to me, but not so easy now he isn't and is celebrating his new status. It hurts. It feels like a kick. I feel sad.

I know this will pass. I know it will be fine. It just isn't right now.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Golden Promise

I hate hormones sometimes. I wish we truly could live our lives in tune with our rhythms and that of the world around us.

Hibernation is a good thing with hormones sometimes, but not others.

Dreams flowed the other night. A promise. A repeated theme.

The one, a while back, I chose to be involved in raising a golden man. A special being. There was several of us. And then when he was ready, he went out into the world. he offered me one thing as he left and I chose love. I chose a hug.

Then the recent dream. I procreated with a God, a pagan God but one all the same and I became pregnant. A child, part divine, part me.

Now, these dreams are symbolic and the fact that their message has been repeated makes it more important. My dreams seldom repeat. So, something new is coming and it is a gift. It is important and will grow beyond me. It is a gift. Divine inspiration maybe. Who knows what it is that is coming.

But then I have been waiting so long for change. Sometimes it is hard to believe.

And..... timescales are hard. The promised thing could be the manner of my death as much as the manner of my life. It could happen when I am 80 or even a hundred, or tomorrow. WHo knows?

Change will come, is coming, is happening every day, every second. Whether or not it is a gift, is a matter of perspective.

When the hormones talk, i find it hard to see sometimes....

Monday, 7 February 2011


Last night I went to bed and I slept.

F was working and Little Dog woke me up a couple of hours later whining to come in - she normally comes to bed with him and if he isn't there, she waits up just in case.

I was actually glad that she woke me up because I was having nasty sleep. I have had a lot of unpleasant dreams since the Solstice but they have not felt nasty, just shocking. I have felt that it is symbolic rather than nastiness named at me.

Not so last night. It was nasty. My sleep was fitful but I never woke up enough to do anything about it until Little Dog came to bed.

Once awake I tried meditating and it wasn't clearing the feelings so I decided that the feelings were nothing to do with me, cast a circle, fell asleep and slept the night through happily.....

Then this morning I looked at my horoscope.... It was all about bad dreams and working through them before beginning the day so they didn't affect the day and cause upset through my own lingering bad feeling. To say I was surprised would be an understatement!

But anyway.... This may not be the way a circle should be used but why not cast one if you feel under attack somehow? The elements have always answered me with peace when I have called them. It is not something I have done very often, two maybe three times, and each time was a time when my pysche felt under attack.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Lampshade Love?

It all began with Pinterest. A wonderful, wonderful site which acts as a pinboard for all the lovely pictures you find while surfing the net. And also for all the wonderful pictures everyone else finds to... I found this one and this one.

And they gave me ideas....

So I took out cheap and nasty lampshade down and ripped it apart to get the wire frame.

I then added thick modeling wire and wrapped it in place with a network of thinner wire.

Then I started chopping up old clothes in to strips and tying them on to the frame. I used an old nightie, old pyjamas, fabric that a bunch of flowers came in, an old cocktail dress and it's lining, the underskirt to my Bridesmaid's dress for my Sister's wedding (long since divorced), and a silk blouse. I almost felt guilty for tearing up good clothes I no longer wanted but.... they are mine, why shouldn't I reuse them as I see fit?

Then I used fire and crimps and a variety of clear and silver beads to create a few dangling strings of beads.

When I put it up and lay underneath, I liked it, I liked the way the light shone down through it.

But then I stood and looked at it from the door and.... it is very large and really fills your view as you come in the door. I need to get used to it. No idea what F will say when he comes home tomorrow and finds it in his face..... What do you think of it?

I do need a daylight photo though so you can see the colours properly...

Other Things From the Past

Papier Mache mask. Cardboard base with wire, card and masking tape forms. Tissue paper on top.

Scarf painted in light dyes, then celtic knot stencilled on using clear gesso, then finally pained with a darker dye.


A variety of jewellery. Some old, some new, recently photographed with F's vastly superior camera....
Wire of two sizes twisted with buttons and seed beads.

A herringbone bracelet and a necklace featuring cane glass beads.

Beaded bead necklace and peyote bracelet.

Lariat made on bead loom with tiny tiny beads.

Lariat in two colours of triangle beads sewn in circles connected together.

Peyote stitch bracelet where the bead sizes have been varied to give three dimensional shape.

Full Moon Dreamboards

I did a fair bit today, including taking pictures of all sorts of stuff.....

First up are two dreamboards.

First up is the Solstice Dreamboard. Oh my, what a month that turned out to be!

January's Full Moon Dreamboard. A board of beginnings, hopes, dreams. moving forward and having a little fun too.... I hope!

Sea and Dreaming

I am planning a re-do of my bedroom. The room has a bare painted wooden floor at the moment and is full of furniture, that while lovely, is not what we would have chosen and is completely inappropriate for our house. It is big dark wooden pieces, that take up room. They also do not encourage air circulation and have started to suffer from our dank Cornish atmosphere, as well as from one two many moves. I could carry on listing issues with this stuff.....

Despite being my Grandmother's, they need to go.

I intend to get a new wardrobe. This is based on hanging elements between poles, fixed to floor and ceiling. We will keep draw elements to a minimum so the hanging rails and shelves will allow air to move as well easy clean. Lovely! I have measured and priced and it will probably be next monthnow before I buy, but it is coming.

So I plan in my head and I wanted to list my projects, as intended right now.....

Remove all furniture except the divan base and bedside tables.
Paint room white
Paint floor blue
Make two blue long thin rag rugs for either side of the bed
Paint furniture white, maybe with some blue showing through (chair, bookcase and print case)
Window decoration
Beaded tie backs
New curtains in window and in front of wardrobe - dye
Paint old trunk and place in window
Gather and make nice things for bookcase and print case

not much there then! Some of these things are going to take a loooong time!

I had planned to move today but Little Dog has curled up an gone to sleep on my legs and I have David Attenborough's Life of Birds on TV...... Shame my behind is a little numb!

Saturday, 5 February 2011


We were good today. We took a load of junk from around the house and went, via a truck stop for a fry up, to the tip. First time in ages we have done something useful like this together of a weekend. All was going well....

But then I realised that F is working rather a lot.... I thought he was just doing day shifts but no, he went to work this afternoon and will not be home till Monday morning.

And then I read the essay that a internet friend sent him to be corrected for English and I volunteered me for. Pages and pages about a High School massacre in the US. Well written but not guaranteed for laughs...

So by the time he actually went to work, I wasn't feeling motivated to do anything at all. Still not feeling motivated. or overly cheery.


I have recently joined a lovely social network, a home for creative sorts of any and all disciplines. There are some truly lovely folk over there and a lot of talent... Some of it is too much for me. I am just a tad to logical to quite get some of the writers works. I know they are good and wonderful and creative and I know very much so, that some random part of my brain just doesn't quite allow me to get it.

I have lacks in other areas to. Some people at work had been raving about a comedy series and this afternoon I watched a couple of episodes.... and well... I just don't get why it is funny. Not the first time for me, not by a long stretch.

I know there is a lot out in the world I just don't get, but by the same token, there is a lot I do, some of it stuff others struggle with. I have too much logic so some of the more lateral connections of art and humour slip by me. I can see them and I know that I am not getting stuff and it is good stuff.... but I still don't get it....

The other thing about the network is that some people are just sooooo talented! It can be daunting.... but nicely being cross - discipline, it means there is room for everything and everyone....


Now despite being logical and a science geek, I know there is more in this world than can be explained by science and I have faith. So I am no disbeliever in the possibility that all is not as commonly believed. In my 'real life' though this sometimes sits uncomfortably though, because it is not always being two opposites at the same time (the joys of being a Libra through and through, soooo many planets cluster there for me).

This week i found myself in a conversation which started off as an innocent chat about acquaintances, prgressed to government conspiracy (I have no doubt governments get up to all sorts they keep secret from us, the real story is cunningly hidden) and from their alien control of the Earth crept in... and at that point I started to get uncomfortable...

But one interesting thing was the mention of current news. The events in Egypt as a precursor to events of 2012. The Solstice was odd, and things have been odd ever since..... Strange weather. I didn't mention the Solstice, or the odd weather. Mostly during the conversation I just listened. Is that cowardly? Or is it fine that I keep my doubts out of public? Is it a good thing to not engage the fanatic whose views go just a little (or a lot) to far but are quite interesting......?

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Healing Pain

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.

The little tiny twinge in my elbow has gone but now most of my arm hurts, mostly the lower part. I guess it will take a day or two to fade, this is all in the muscle now and has no reason to stick around. I do wish my job didn't involve sitting at a computer clicking a mouse all day though...

But then that is what has done this anyway.

Anyway, time to sleep....

Maybe it will hurt a little less tomorrow....

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Touch Talks

I went for a massage tonight.

I went last month and that was the first time since I had been badly ill months and months before. Despite the gap in time, the lympathic was not painful and it seemed my body had been doing well. Except my ankle, which is what drove me back, that was out of alignment and needed putting back....

This time I knew it would be different - my IBS had flared up and the lurking virus. And it hurt, my word it hurt! But by the end, my stomach had deflated and I could feel things were happier.

Going to her has helped me understand that bodies need to be touched and manipulated in order to deal with aches and pains. Left un-tended they turn in to huge problems. People live with the lingering affects of accidents and they don't have to...

So now when I go, I tell her where every little twinge is and then they go away. The pain in my back - twisting my upper body while sat at my desk and reaching at the same time. The niggle in my elbow - excessive computer time and mouse clicking. Then they go away. Sometimes, she shows me some stretches to help avoid future problems. Sometimes I use them to, when i can feel a problem brewing.

At the end though, she turned to me and said that she wished she could get me the tests I need, the sympathetic medical practitioner I require to find out what is wrong with me. My body sends little messages, all is not well, but I don't know how to find out what it is that is wrong. One day, I am going to cost the NHS a lot of money. I am heading towards so many health problems. And they themselves will be mere symptoms of some subtle unhappiness in my body.

Maybe one day I will be rich and able to afford to go private.....

But why can's Doctor's touch injuries? Surely touch is important in diagnosis? Why are there no answers? Why do scientists and medical practitoners care about finding answers for me? Why can I not find them myself?

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Flux Friends

This last week has been an odd one. Friendships in flux (and acquaintances to)

I feel in flux.

I so often do though. To live is to move, we can not live and not move. Our hearts beat, neurons fire in our brains, oxygen does it's thang and travels around.... So I guess feeling in flux isn't so very odd, really....

Sometimes it is hard to let go though. Sometimes even though you are letting go, the person is still in your life. Letting go is an emotional thing. Sometimes you feel let go of.

Sometimes too much happens between two people. No matter that they may be a good friend, an old friend. One or both just can not let go of old hurts. They simmer below the surface, unresolved and unresolvable, dragged out everytime bad feeling rises. Sometimes you just have to accept a friendship will never be right and happy and that it can blow up any time, normally when you least expect it.

A friendship can be drowned or strengthened by history.

Other friendships feel effortless, time is no barrier, they are just always friends, whether you see each other or not.