Month: August 2015

Enough time

Now that August is almost over, I’m considering lifting the self-imposed media blackout that’s been in force here in WeeGee Land for the past few weeks. I got tired of reading about the ‘migrant crisis’, which, in days gone by might have instead (and indeed more accurately) been described as a ‘humanitarian crisis’. And please don’t get me started on the omnishambles that is the Labour Party leadership contest. As a general rule I consider it my duty as a citizen of planet Earth to keep up to date with the news of the day but there’s something about the news during August in general and this August in particular that makes me want to punch faces…. lots of faces.

An ode to Tony Blair

Other than a growing sense of unease I don’t have a lot to show for August – it just sort of came and went in a haze of thoughts and ideas. It was my birthday at the start of month and that, I think, has been the most significant thing to happen because there’s something about turning 36 that makes you realise you really are stuck on a slippery slope: destination GROWN UP.

Its funny how it creeps up on you, this being an adult thing. All the way through my twenties I was completely oblivious to the fact that time was passing because it didn’t seem to matter. I suppose, looking back, I enjoyed the time I spent being old enough to know better but young enough to go ahead and do it anyway. Now I find myself confronted by a growing body of evidence that, not only am I not young anymore – at least not in that optimistic, oblivious way I once was – I am actually a proper, bona fide GROWN UP. I mean, I own a gravy boat, it matches my dinner service AND I inhabit a life that necessitates gravy boat ownership. If that doesn’t make me a grown up, I don’t what does.

Of course, there’s humour in realising that you’ve turned into a grown up – mostly I suspect because you have to laugh at yourself if you hope to get by. And so listening to radio four, and acquiring a skincare REGIME, and reading the care labels on clothes before you buy them, and worrying about the dexterity of your joints, and realising that all of your favourite albums are so old that they’re either considered seminal or have been forgotten by everyone save those who share your age and musical persuasion becomes the subject of those knowing ‘in-jokes’ you share with your peers over mid price French wine that you bought by the caseload because it got five stars in the Waitrose Weekend Magazine.

At the same time, being a grown up has been bothering me of late. Its not a vanity thing because getting old is inevitable and I have every intention of doing it completely disgracefully. More I think, it’s about sadness: sadness for the time that has passed and the things I won’t have time to do.

Recently, I’ve been struck by the fact that there are things that, for one reason or another, I will never do again – like spending my wages in a record shop on pay day and then having to borrow my bus fare to work the rest of the month. You know, important stuff like that.

Funny adult

And then I think about how the more time that passes, the less time there is. I’ll always remember realising that even if I’d started reading books the very moment I was born and had never stopped until the day I died that I wouldn’t even have managed to have read all the books that were published in my lifetime, let alone any of the books that had come before. It feels like a heavy realisation to me and I guess it applies to life in general. There just isn’t going to be enough time.

I suppose it occurred to me that I don’t have all the time in the world and that I can’t do it all. Which means, I think, that you have to take the time you have and keep on filling it with as many of the things as you want to. And that is what I’ve worked out in the August that I didn’t watch the news, turned 36 and realised I am a grown up: you can’t do it all, but you will do some of it. You have plenty enough time for some of it and that is just AWESOME enough for anyone.

Life is short

Meanwhile in other news I was left alone with a television for one night and managed to grow it into a brand new obsession with a certain TV chef. Nothing else to report save that I discovered today that Amazon deliver to the UK on BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY and as a result I am quite happily working my way through the Rick Stein back catalogue as I write.

That’s all from me for today. I hope you’re all fabulous and fantastic and full of awesomeness. Here’s a song to match the title of the post just to tie the whole thing up.

Love you all lots like jelly tots

WeeGee xoxox

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Share your world week 34…..

Without further ado, here’s my contribution to Cee’s Share Your World Challenge for week 34…..

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so?

I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say that my school days were the best of my life, but I liked them well enough. I was fairly bright, I did well academically, my friends were a pretty cool bunch and I was reasonably popular. So yeah – school was easy and I did well. Whichever way I look at it, I was lucky because school opened doors for me and, in one way or another, got me to where I’ve gotten to so far.

Me (far right, for the only time in my life) and my school pals

Me (far right, for the only time in my life) and my school pals – on the last day of school.

By the time I got to university I was really struggling with what was happening in my head and I hadn’t quite figured out how to get the support I needed – most of my darkest days happened between 1997 and 2000. That said, I still loved learning and again, I was lucky enough to have awesome friends in my life.

Some kind of shenanigans with the University folks. I'm second on the left.....

Some kind of shenanigans with the University folks. I’m second on the left…..

My undergraduate degree was difficult but I pulled myself through with an awful lot of help from my friends and family. I left university with a good honours degree DESPITE being well and truly bonkers for the duration of my studies and I’m proud of that.

I went on to get my masters degree and another undergraduate degree into the bargain so, safe to say, I like learning…..

What is your favourite animal?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that my favourite animal is a penguin because I do so love them. My mild obsession with penguins started with the book ‘Death and the penguin’ (I can’t recommend it highly enough) and just sort of spiralled in that uncontrollable way that all mild obsessions do. Here I am feeding some baby penguins:

Penguins 1

Me. And some hungry baby penguins.

One of them shat in my shoe and it hardly grossed me out at all. THAT’S how much I love penguins.

Nevertheless, no matter how much I love penguins I will never love them more than I love this not particularly little guy:

Gryff 8

Gryff: the best cat in the world

Gryff is the apple of my eye, and the love of my life and a VERY NAUGHTY CAT. But of course, that’s half the charm…..

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather have glasses or contacts?

I’m extremely short sighted and I’ve been wearing glasses since I was fifteen years old. Every so often I come over a bit vain and decide I’m going to switch to contacts but I feel slightly naked without my glasses now. They’re pretty much a part of my face……

Name at least five TV shows, past or present, you enjoyed

I chose ten – WeeGee’s top ten ‘TV box sets that will change your life for the better’. I’ve listed them in no particular order, apart from the first one which is the BEST piece of television ever made and is therefore deliberately at number one:

  1. Breaking Bad (see above)
  2. House (I resisted watching this and then I started and I COULDN’T STOP)
  3. Monk (This has a special place in my heart)
  4. Dexter (Don’t bother watching the last episode. Your imagination can do a better ending)
  5. True detective (The good one. Otherwise known as the first one)
  6. Orange is the new black (and not just because I am a little bit in love with Ruby Rose)
  7. The Walking Dead (because ZOMBIES and because…. Just because)
  8. House of cards (The original BBC one is just as awesome as the Kevin Spacey one)
  9. Jonathan Creek (and not just because I am a little bit in love with Alan Davies)
  10. The thick of it (Never gets old)

What are you grateful for from the past week and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This past week I have been grateful for my friends, family, and of course, Mr Awesome Thing Number Five who fits in to both categories. I’m looking forward to the Bank Holiday next week, because what’s not to like about Bank Holidays? Plus it gives me a perfect excuse for this:

That’s all from me.

Love you all lots like Jelly Tots,

WeeGee xoxox

Walking the fine line

Since last I wrote I have mostly been being angry. I don’t know why I’ve been being angry; it was just one of those feelings that came along without warning and made a nuisance of itself for a few days.

Anger is probably my least favourite of all the feelings because I don’t know what to do with it – it just sits there in my chest and throbs against my rib cage and makes me wish there was a way to smash the whole world up because, for example, there is an annoying person on Bargain Hunt and I CAN’T COPE with how ANGRY it’s making me….

Apart from being furiously angry with nothing and no-one in particular, all is well here in WeeGee land. I suppose I’m feeling a little more solitary than usual but I think that’s okay because sometimes I need to spend time alone with my thoughts and I can do that without coming over all bonkers.

To be honest, I feel like I’m learning a lot about the fine line between a symptom of poor mental health and a character trait that is perfectly ‘normal’ if not universally popular recently. As soon as my mood, or my feelings or my behaviour veer slightly from the antidepressant fuelled middle ground there’s a tendency towards panic because what if WeeGee is going off her rocker again? Thing is, I’m not going off my rocker – I’m just feeling angry and a bit anti social and before you ask YES I AM STILL TAKING MY MEDS.

Meanwhile in other news I’m on the hunt for my next box set obsession if anyone has any ideas? It’ll have to be a REALLY good one because the last one was quite possibly my biggest obsession yet. Nothing else to report save that the Great Richmond Court Recycling Controversy of 2015 is really starting to hot up and I might even be forced to WRITE TO THE COUNCIL about it….. Anyhooo, here’s a wee song for old times sake:

Hope you’re all super-duper great.

Love you lots like jelly tots,

WeeGee xoxox

It’s still raining in England (Share your world week 33)

Since last I wrote I have mostly been being fine, thank you very much. If I had a complaint it would be with the weather but, like all good Brits, I know that complaining about the weather is an activity reserved solely for passing the time of day with people you’d rather not be passing the time of day with. And you guys definitely don’t fit into that category…

Anyhoo…. it’s week thirty three of Cee’s share your world challenge thingymadoodle which is why I’m here, so let’s go!

  1. What are some words that make you smile?

I’m something of a logophile: I love words for the way they sound and the way they feel and of course, for what they mean. Lots of my favourite words make me smile, including these ones:

words

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Sunday started with a bit of a KERFUFFLE (I can’t imagine what the neighbours made of the HULLABALOO) because he didn’t even have the GUMPTION to bring me a cup of tea. I kid you not: the RUDDERLESS SKINNYMALINK had the cheek to wake me up at 7am on a Sunday without so much as a by your leave or, more to the point, a cup of tea. I called him a SCUNNER and worse besides and, get this, he had the brass neck to take UMBRAGE and call me a CANTANKEROUS old COWBAG. I’m willing to concede that I was INCANDESCENT with rage but who wouldn’t come over a bit BILIOUS if an IDIOT-FACE-FEATURES who didn’t even have the good grace to arrive with tea woke them up at 7am on a Sunday morning?!

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Before you ask, yes. That is based on a true story……

  1. You’re given $500,000 tax-free. What would you spend it on?

By my reckoning $500,000 works out at around 320,000 of our Great British Pounds, which isn’t quite enough to buy a modest three-bed family home (with a garden I can grow roses in) here in the South East of England.

Thusly, since I wouldn’t be able to do the sensible thing with the money, I’d be forced to blow the lot on sex, drugs and rock n roll. Or maybe just loads of really nice speciality tea.

Rock and roll

  1. Would you rather be stuck in a small plane with bad turbulence for two hours or be a passenger in a car racing in the Daytona 500?

I have to confess that I have no idea what the Daytona 500 is. I could Google it and find out, but it has something to do with dudes driving fast cars, and I really truly couldn’t care less if I tried. Therefore by default I’d plump for the two hours of feeling nauseous and concerned for my life….. On the upside I could be in Lisbon in two hours and it might not be raining there.

  1. What are you grateful for from the past week and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This week I have been particularly grateful for my umbrella and I’m looking forward to the sun coming back out next week.

That’s all from me folks.

Love you all lots like Jelly Tots,

WeeGee xoxox

WeeGee’s no nonsense guide to surviving a serious case of the doomy gloomies

The important bit at the beginning

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First thing’s first – you need to know that this post makes a (tongue in cheek) mention of suicide and suicidal thoughts. Please be aware of the subject matter and proceed with a level of caution appropriate to your state of mind.

If you need help with thoughts that put you at risk of harm please get in touch with someone. ANYONE will do, but contacting the Samaritans is as good a place as any to start.

The end of the important bit at the beginning.

 —–

This post began life as an on-going conversation with my psychotherapist, Mrs Mountain. I have fortnightly appointments with Mrs Mountain* and we talk about all the mental things that live in my head so I can figure out how best to live alongside them. For the past few months we’ve talked a lot about reducing the impact of any future ‘bad patches’ on my life, or in other words, we’ve been making a grand plan for the next time WeeGee goes bananas. It looks a bit like this:

WeeGee’s no nonsense guide to surviving a serious case of the doomy gloomies

  1. Don’t kill yourself

It has been scientifically proven that killing yourself dramatically reduces your chances of surviving, ergo, if you hope to survive a serious case of the doomy gloomies it is VERY IMPORTANT that you don’t kill yourself. The best way to avoid killing yourself is to NEVER, EVER try to kill yourself: no matter what your broken brain is telling you, no matter how easy it seems, no matter how desperate you feel.

The simple fact of the matter is that you will NOT feel like killing yourself forever, because the feeling you have is like all of the other feelings you’ve ever had: temporary. Being dead, on the other hand, is not temporary at all – in fact, being dead is just about as permanent as it gets.

The doomy gloomies suck, for sure, but being dead is WAY suckier and, unlike the doomy gloomies, being dead won’t go away.

Don't kill yourself

  1. Don’t buy an Audi on hire purchase

Make no mistake about it: the doomy gloomies will fill your head full of nonsensical nonsense. And this nonsensical nonsense will make buying a brand new Audi on hire purchase – or giving your worldly possessions to a cat shelter; or running away to the circus; or embarking on a single-handed round the world trip in a homemade cardboard canoe – seem like a great idea.

Of course any one, or indeed all of these ideas may be COMPLETELY AWESOME, but while you’ve got a serious case of the doomy gloomies it really is best if you get a second opinion before you make any big decisions about your life.

You’ll have to live with your decisions long after the mental has left the building and it’ll be tough enough to put your life back together without having to worry about finding new homes for the 32 baby penguins you adopted because you thought they would take your mind off things.

bad decsion 1

  1. Don’t stick your head in a giant vat of red wine

Sorrows float, or in other words, you CANNOT drown a serious case of the doomy gloomies in gin and tonic.

Self-medicating is tempting and, for a little while, alcohol may well help you forget about the horror living in your head; it may even make you feel better for a time. The trouble is, any relief you get will be short lived because of that thing about sorrows floating. Add to that the impact that alcohol has on all kinds of important things like sleep, and appetite, and general state of mind and it doesn’t take much working out that far from helping with a serious case of the doomy gloomies, sticking your head in a giant vat of red wine is only going to make matters one hell of a lot worse in both the medium and longer term.

drunk 1

  1. You think therefore you’re mental

Whenever I get a serious case of the doomy gloomies I find myself wishing that I could find a way to make my brain stop. The doomy gloomy thoughts never stop, they just seem to rattle round getting louder, and more intrusive, and more distressing until it feels like they are going to explode out of my ears and into the atmosphere.

Needless to say, I’ve spent a long time searching for the elusive pause button but if I’m completely honest I don’t think it exists and since you can’t stop the thoughts the only thing for it is DISTRACTION.

There are all kinds of ways to distract yourself: I once spent an afternoon marching round my flat singing “I can do this, YES I CAN” to the tune of Bob the Builder and it worked a treat because I managed to not jump out the window.

It doesn’t really matter how you distract yourself, but when the thoughts start taking over it’s really important that you do SOMETHING:

  • Make a cup of tea
  • Take a shower
  • Watch TV (quiz shows are particularly good because they make you think about something different)
  • Clear out your wardrobe
  • Walk around the block
  • March around your flat singing “I can do this, YES I CAN” to the tune of Bob the Builder.

thinking

  1. It’s good to talk

Tell someone you are in the midst of a really serious case of the doomy gloomies because it shouldn’t be a secret, and because they might have something sensible to say, and because – despite what your brain is telling you – YOU DON’T NEED TO BE ALONE WITH THE DOOMY GLOOMIES.

If you only do one thing: tell someone about it because, after all, it’s good to talk.

not alone

  1. Look after your life

Of all the lessons I’ve learned about surviving a serious case of the doomy gloomies this one is by far the most valuable:

Keep on doing all the right things, even if it doesn’t feel like doing all the right things is helping, because eventually all the right things WILL come together and help.

As a bare minimum surviving a serious case of the doomy gloomies means:

  • Keeping yourself nourished: you feel doubly mental when you’re hungry.
  • Getting enough rest: the doomy gloomies are exhausting so give yourself a chance
  • Taking basic care of yourself: showers, fresh air and exercise KICK DOOMY GLOOMIES IN THE GONADS.
  • Taking your prescription meds: White coat dudes know what they’re talking about
  • Keeping a roof over your head and paying the bills: because ADULT and because roofs are nice.

You need to take whatever energy you have and make sure these things keep happening. Trust me on this – make a checklist, take all day to do it, get help if you need to, but, no matter what you do, MAKE SURE THESE THINGS keep happening.

Do the right thing

  1. Start again tomorrow

Tomorrow always comes – it doesn’t always feel better, but it arrives without fail and it gives you a great big ginormous chance to start over again. Wherever the doomy gloomies took you today, draw a line under it and take your chance tomorrow. Start again, keep on keeping on, don’t give up and HOLD ON TIGHT. You’ve got a life time’s worth of tomorrows to play with and there’s NOTHING the doomy gloomies can do to change that

Tomorrow

Love you all lots like jelly tots,

WeeGee xoxox

*If you’re wondering how I swung that on the NHS I didn’t. But that’s a whole other story.

Do not adjust your set (Share your world 2015)

Hello, good evening and welcome to my cosy little corner of the Internet where it’s all sunshiny and sparkly and CAPITAL LETTER AWESOME.

Please don’t worry – your eyes do not deceive you and there is no need to adjust your set: it’s another WeeGee post already. What can I say? You spend months waiting for WeeGee to get around to writing a post and then two come along pretty much at once….

Since last I wrote I have mostly been doing grown up things like roasting gammon, and buying duct tape, and re-potting plants, and going to the bank and generally being out and about in the world playing at being an adult. I do a pretty good impression of one when I put my mind to it.

Bank adult

I’ve also been hatching plans to blog more often, because it’s something that I LOVE doing (or at least, something that I used to LOVE doing) and I’m putting a lot of my effort in to making sure that I’m using at least some of my time to do the things that I LOVE.

I expect it’ll take me a while to get back into the swing of this whole blogging thing again, so I thought one of those challenge thingymabobs might be a good way to get me going on my jolly little way.

I came across Cee’s Share Your World challenge by way of the super duper awesome Bipolarcalico and thought, ‘do you know what? I’m going to give this a bit of a whirl’

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Here’s me, giving it a WeeGee style whirl:

Are you a collector of anything?

I collect a great many things, some of them deliberately.

My largest collection of all is books mainly because I CANNOT STOP buying them. I’ve recently started a side line collection of antiquarian and ‘collectable’ books which is growing more quickly than I anticipated because I CANNOT STOP buying them either. Here are some of my treasured books:

Books

My smallest collection of all is art pottery – currently a handful of pieces, including a rather beautiful Poole Pottery vase:

Vase

My favourite collection of all is my collection of vintage jewellery. I tell myself purchasing vintage jewellery is an investment and that the pieces I buy are the antiques of the future. This may, or may not, be true.

Jewels 1

What is your biggest fear or phobia?

More than anything, I fear endings because they mostly break my heart (which makes me wonder if what I really fear is a broken heart……)

Do you prefer reading coffee table books (picture), biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational?

I prefer reading to almost any other activity in the world and I read a fairly even mixture of fiction and non-fiction. I suppose if I was backed into a corner and forced to choose, the non-fiction would probably just edge the win. But I might answer differently if you asked me again tomorrow.

read all day

Complete this sentence: if I must be reincarnated, in the next life I want to be….

If I must be reincarnated, in the next life I want to be a penguin. Because PENGUINS.

Penguin

What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up

Last week I was grateful for the book I’m reading: The Burley Cross postbox theft by Nicola Barker because it has taken me into a quirky little imaginary world and helped to keep the real one at bay.

Next week I’m looking forward to getting my hair cut because it’s beginning to take over my head and it’ll be nice to be able to see again.

Haircut needed

———

That was fun, wasn’t it?

Meanwhile in other news I’m seriously considering ordering me some cheese on toast by post because I NEED TO KNOW what turns up in the mailbox when you order cheese on toast by post. Nothing else to report save that I can’t help wondering WHAT(THE FUCK)EVER NEXT.

Love you all lots like Jelly Tots

WeeGee xoxox

Not dead yet

So…. safe to say it’s been a wee while: a fair few months since my last post, and a fair few more months since anything approaching regular blogging. I could try and explain where the silence came from but that would take a VERY long time and it isn’t particularly pertinent to anything I’m planning on writing about and, if the truth be told, the explanation would make for a REALLY boring blog post. As in EVEN MORE really boring than usual and nobody wants to read an EVEN MORE really boring blog post that usual so I vote we just draw a great big line under the silence and get on with it.

Blog two

Sorry. Here is the line:

_______________________________________________________________________________________

The last time I popped up I was all “boo hoo, I hate myself and I want a pie.” As I recall, it was a mood that lasted for a couple of days before being replaced by a spot of putting one foot in front of the other because, when it comes down to it, what else is there to do? Curling into a tiny quarter circle and pulling the covers up over your head until the world goes away doesn’t seem to work, and I can say that with some considerable authority…..

Blog three

Mentally I’m pretty good, you know, for a mental person. I take my meds every day, eat well, sleep when I’m supposed to and keep myself as grounded as I can. Sometimes my mood is low and sometimes my mood is high and I don’t always know what mood I’m going to get when I wake up in the morning, but – and this is the important bit – the moods don’t persist and my feelings aren’t the boss of me. This, I guess, is what you would describe as a ‘good patch’. I like it well enough and the white coat dudes seem happy enough with the state of affairs here in WeeGee land. AWESOME, huh?

Blog six

It wouldn’t be WeeGee land if the rug wasn’t pulled from under my feet every once in a while, and of course, there are still some things that I’m ‘working on’. I’m starting to work through all the shit on the shelves – the things that I shoved in boxes when I wasn’t well enough to deal with them. Little by little I’m figuring myself out.

My focus at the moment is on the way I use my time. I’m working hard to make sure that I do the things that I need to do as well as the things I want to do and I’m trying to get used to balancing that with the things that other people need and want me to do. Needless to say, it’s the whole balance thing that presents the greatest challenge, partly because I tend towards being a bit of a doormat, but also because of the whole ‘all or nothing’ thing I’ve got going on here. There’s a whole post in the ‘all or nothing’ thing which I fully intend to write at some point in the future, perhaps when I’ve started to understand the time I’ve got and the way I’m going to fill it. For now, I had a bit of time on my hands and I decided I wanted to write a post. So I just went ahead and used my time to write a post. Go me.

Anyhow – THIS IS WEEGEE LAND CALLING THE LAND OF BLOG. Is there anybody there? Are you all shiny, happy and super awesome? I really do hope so…..

I figured we might as well finish, in the time honoured tradition of WeeGee land, with a little SIR FRANK TURNER song. Because FRANK TURNER.

Love you all lots, like jelly tots,

WeeGee xoxox