Tag Archives: charity

Got to be grateful

I have a bunch of friends, mostly online but there some friends that I once knew offline when I lived in London, but maintain contact with them online only these days.

Quite a few of these friends are new age, hippies, gothic, artistic or writers of some description or another and at least two thirds are part of the LGBTQ community – nearly half of which believe in doing one thing regularly;

Being grateful or finding gratitude in things, no matter how hard they might be.

This is something I have never really thought about for myself.

Ungrateful cow, eh?

But some of my friends are encouraging me to become grateful even for the hard times, because it will result in healing old wounds.

They have claimed it has helped them somewhat.

Becoming more self-reflective is key to understanding the pains and turmoil’s of the past, so you can then sweep the negative space clear and put in a positive vibe via gratitude.

Nobody has ever really taught me to be grateful, not in the way I have always tried to encourage Henry to be.

It’s funny that – how I’ve always made a point in ensuring Henry is always grateful for what he has, yet I never practised what I preached there for myself.  Well, to tell the truth, I am grateful for what I have now, even though it is much less than what is comfortable and much less than what I used to have – but I am grateful I am not in a worse situation than this, I’ve always have been.

I am very grateful for living in a country that cares for its poor and sick like they do, I am very grateful not to be a situation of many other people in the world.

I am also grateful for no longer being in situations I used to be or having certain people in my life anymore.

But that’s just generalising and in order to do this properly I shouldn’t generalise, I should be more in depth about what I am grateful for.

Things from my past;

I am grateful that although my mother wasn’t the best, she at least had one personality trait which stopped her being much worse than she was – that is the fear of what others thought of her.  This always held her back from doing the things she really wanted to do to me, because she would often tell me exactly how she felt, but how she wouldn’t do it, because of so and so.

But she was still who she was, despite this.  Imagine if she was more self-assured, what my life could have been like if she had been more confident to be herself.

I am grateful for the situations my family put me into, living amongst addicts and drunks and domestic abuse temporarily and then moving me onto more stable homes, so I learned to appreciate what my true home life was like in comparison!

I think that’s why my mother did that – move me around a lot to different people for weeks on end, to show me, that in the scheme of things – or in the scheme of what is available in the family, our house was a haven in comparison.

Even if it was a prison, it was quieter, more predictable and physically safe if you did what you were told.  In some of the other homes I spent time in, it didn’t matter if you were good as gold, if they were inclined to hurt you, they’d hurt you!

I was always grateful for how clean, organised and fresh the main house was in comparison to some places I was sent to live, where their houses were infested with rats and beds weren’t made, they had no bottom sheets and in the winter in order to keep warm you had to snuggle up with the kids you shared the bed with and the dogs just to keep warm!

It’s funny looking back at how those places were actually considered my happy places, my favourite places to go to, to get away from mum.  The people were nice, but poor, much poorer than Paul and I – this is something to be grateful for.  I don’t have to scrounge around at neighbour houses begging for 50p for the electric metre like the mother of the house did and then go to her dad’s house to get them fed, because her husband drank away the food money for her and her 5 children and an extra to boot!

It’s one of the reasons why I am tired of sausage and beans, it was a staple there.  My mum tried to teach me to be grateful by showing me we are much better off, because we would also have sausages and beans, but with chips and fried eggs and buttered bread and double portions to them around twice a week on average.  Good living, she thought, though she could afford more, it was laziness more than anything when she was home cooking. 

This is why from the age of 7yrs, she insisted I would be the main cook of the house as she had night shifts to do and couldn’t spend the time to cook for everyone, so left it to me – because it’s normal I her family that the eldest or only daughters are fully domestic by 7yrs old and can take a mothers place at the drop of a hat.

I learned by 9yrs old, there is one thing you should never do as cook of the house and that is ask dad what he fancies for dinner as it will almost always be steak and chips, pie and chips, fish and chips or a full English breakfast!

By the time I was 11yrs old I learned lots of recipes from other relatives and I diversified our diet a lot, mum pushed against it for a while, until she learned that some of the food I was making was actually nice.  She never had a Bolognese before I was 11 and it became one of her most favourite meals of all time ever since!

As time went on the diet got healthier, for them.

I am very grateful for the freedom I had in choosing what I cooked in my main home.

Always had compliments throughout all the family over the years about being “the proper little housewife”, someone who didn’t laze around, always willing to help, someone reliable and dependable.

It’s why it’s hard being here now, where I feel like I am not needed by anyone and if anything in the way!  Its poles apart from the life I used to have, where I’d skip from relative to relative, living with them temporarily and cleaning and cooking for them.

Everyone was happy to have Tina over for any length of time, I was a treat for them, I even remember my mum setting up rota system, and it was almost like a bidding war to get me to stay with them at times!

My maternal grandmother, Uncle John, honorary aunties Gina and Anna (which turned out to be distant cousins), Cousin Jenny and neighbour Debs, honorary granny Esme, got me the most though!  Seems a lot of people but actually weren’t a lot to me.  Mum wouldn’t let me stay anywhere more than six weeks in case I bonded too much!

I am grateful that I had that kind of life, shifting from person to person, it made me broadminded and adaptable, it also taught me how to change like a chameleon – I suppose it taught me acting skills.  Because each household was different, some were really poor and I mean this in the best possible way – but common, others were posh, others middle row and you had to adapt your behaviour and speech to where in the country you were going and the class of people you are going to socialise with the most at the time.

It really was adapt or die, or at least have a hard life there!

This even meant my religion had to change to whom I stayed with as many of these people went to church, the cathedral, the JW meetings and so forth.

I remember going to stay with some relatives where egg and chips is a luxury, you wear jog suits and hoodies, you have to be into RNB and rap and you have to play console games and learn how to talk about football.  If you didn’t you didn’t get to have friends, you were ignored in the corner as the weird posh girl.

I also remember going to other places where I have to groom horses and talk about horse racing, horse breeding, dog shows, dog breeding, gardening and sitting in watching cousins learn gymnastics and ballet – I wanted to join in but my mum wouldn’t give my relatives the money for me to participate.  Do you have any idea how humiliating it is seeing your thin beautiful cousins doing all that, whilst you are the fat girl sitting on a bench watching grumpily whilst the tutor tries to talk you into making your mother part with cash so I can join in for the benefit of my health and being told umpteen times at the age of 9yrs old that I am responsible for my weight, not my mother?

It’s really humiliating actually! 

Just as embarrassing is being the only fat person in a household of half-starved poor kids, especially as I was the most vocal about being so hungry all the time!  I feel bad for them now, back then I was very selfish upon reflection and didn’t have much empathy for them, I was entitled I guess.

I sometimes wonder if the universe is cruel enough to punish people for their lack of insight as children when they are much older… like living here in poverty like this with Paul is some kind of karmic debt?

But I was never mean or rude about it; I was just self-absorbed that’s all – I mean, isn’t every child?

I know I was ungrateful back then for a lot of the kindness I got.  I remember thinking sometimes that their dog ate more than we did in some of those homes.

I even remember saying this once half-jokingly and the mother said, we have to feed the dog he works!  The dog belonged to her husband who was a security guard and the dog went to work with him every night!

It’s a funny contrast too, when you are with the richer families who are super posh and they seem more self-absorbed than you – but on Sundays they go to do charity work as a family at soup kitchens etc. and you tag along to help them.

You try to tell these people, you know the soup they need should contain noodles, meat chunks or vegetable chunks, not be pureed within an inch of its life, it’s not filling.  They look at you and rightfully challenge “what would you know”?  Because they didn’t think I had other lives with other people who were like the people they were helping, they thought I was like them and they didn’t know any better!

I remember telling them once about what I have experienced, they laughed raucously and told my mother about the funny little stories I make up and how I definitely will be a writer some day!

Mum never told them the truth, just laughed along with them agreeing!

I will always be grateful for whatever food or shelter I get, whatever warmth I get, whatever attention I get and whatever help I get.  My life has taught me never to take anything for granted, because you never know how long it will all last.

You can be the richest person ever and lose it all over night due to a storm or a thief or anything, but you can also be a pauper and strike it lucky and find your feet and soar.  I’ve seen it happen to the best and worst of people – I am grateful for having such an enriched life full of varied experiences, no matter how painful they were.

I learned a lot.

I have learned what I am comfortable with and what I am not comfortable with and the types of people that make it better for me in the long run.

I’ll admit I prefer the comfort and mindlessness of buying a whole bowl of fruit without pinching the pennies, I would love to go back to the place where the idea of choosing blueberries or pomegranates this week is laughable, just stick them both in the trolley, don’t be silly, we’re not that bad off!

Of course, anyone would! 

I remember spending £25 a week on just a handful of different magazines, £50 a week on take outs, £20 a week in lunch money, £20 a week in bingo with gran and anything up to £75 a week on books and clothes – this is a dream these days!  Those days died out for me fourteen years ago! 

I can’t buy any magazines anymore, not even once a month.  Take outs never more than £14 once a month if we can afford it or cut back on other things for the treat, we can’t spend money on the lottery anymore let alone bingo – £40 is our average food bill for the whole household and there is nothing spare for books and clothes, clothing money goes to creditors through catalogues if we’re desperate. 

I suppose I should be grateful buying things on credit is an option, especially as there are rumours the government wants to ban those sorts of enterprises. 

Thanks for reading…

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Filed under About Me

A habitual creature

I haven’t given up my project AD, but writing it in this environment is increasingly hard for me – there is little respect for my time for doing this and Henry keeps having a lot of time off from school due to sickness.

When Henry is home it is almost impossible to just simply function like normal, because Paul and Henry are constantly sniping and screaming at each other for one reason or another.

I would love to start a YouTube channel very soon, but to be honest, it may have to be in twenty minute snatches of time, because that’s as long as they go between slanging matches with each other. 

My project AD is definitely developing a lot in my head, I just wish I could get it down in writing – it is starting to give me a headache as I can’t do as much as I want to anymore.  There are times, like now, I have only written four short paragraphs and that is enough for me to lose my flow and have to come back an hour or so later to try and add more, because someone has decided to scream at another person 3ft from my ear.

Thankfully though, right now, it’s not so bad – it’s not the usual problem, but it could soon escalate. 

Project AD is developing into a gothic-noir in my opinion, though there are comedy elements in it and it is written for children I am seeing the artwork as quite similar to those found in movies such as The Crow, Batman or Tim Burton style.

I am loving the comedic scenes I am seeing in my head and there will be more humans in the story than I originally planned – normal humans, children specifically, which help the mutated animals come to grips with the post human ruled world, by learning how to adapt to their mutations.

All I need to write just one novel is two hours a day over six weeks for each draft, that’s all and I can’t even do that in this environment.

The irony is, I lived in a violent family where I was constantly stressed in London when I lived with my parents; but it was quiet a lot of the time and I always knew at specific times without a shadow of a doubt that things will definitely be quiet, because my family were creatures of habits and they didn’t like going outside of their routine.  So I always planned my writing around them.

For example, my mother would be out of the house between 10am and 1pm at least 3 days a week without me, which was writing time.  Then I knew she was addicted to her soaps on TV for 4 evenings a week, meaning that between 7pm and 9pm I was free to write again.

If I was lucky she’d want to watch a movie at 9pm till 11pm that I wouldn’t be interested in and that meant more writing could get done.

Which meant for me that I was writing an average of two to eight hours per day when I lived in London, compared to twenty minute snatches of time, now!

There is no routine in this house that is stable and it kind of drives me insane.

No TV schedules for other members of the household, no going out at regular intervals, it is all up in the air and uncertain all of the time! 

The only thing I can guarantee on (if Henry isn’t sick) is that on a Tuesday evening every two weeks Henry will go to a charity for young carers for three hours after school.  Young carers deal with much more than just children who care for their parents, they deal with kids in poverty who have experienced being around a lot of people who are disabled or sick and are helping them to learn how to cope mentally with that.  Henry specifically has experienced a lot of death in the family since he was very small and it is taking its toll on him.

What bothers me is there are so many other new stories I want to write as well and it is driving me bonkers – I just want two hours a day and apparently that is too much to ask for!

My attention span has always been really bad – but since living in this chaos it is nearly unmanageable.  I can write posts for my blog, because if I lose my flow it won’t be as damaging as when I am writing a novel.  If you get me?

This is probably why some of my posts seem to be all over the place and repetitive, because I am interrupted a lot.

My best posts are usually written when people are in bed.

I am getting so emotionally drained by all of this tension that I am not reading as much as I used to, I am falling asleep watching YouTube in bed and all sorts of places.

As my spirits have been trying to tell me, caterpillar you need to sleep as much as you can because soon you are going to transform into a butterfly and you need all the energy you can get to fly!

Anyway, thanks for reading!

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My life in work

What work experience have I had?

I have been mostly unemployed in my adult life due to ill health, but I have worked in numerous organisations and I have a variety of skills that are not pertaining to creative pursuits.

I also want to clarify one essential thing here – I am not a drop out, because a drop out is someone who chooses to drop out of their own accord – I was pulled out and labelled a drop out by my family to other people.  But you must understand that my family were aggressive manipulators and I had to obey their wishes, because I was so sheltered I honestly thought, until I was twenty seven that a mother can’t be arrested for mental abuse, blackmail, brain washing and manipulation! 

My first ever unpaid job was a classroom assistant at an infant school in North London, I was there only for six weeks before the law changed that you had to have a minimal qualification in GNVQ level 1 or be a parent in order to continue working with children.  The head teacher was sorry to see me go, because she had also been my very first teacher when I was small.  She had intended to employ me after this work experience trial but due to law changes had to decline. 

I was in and out of school most of my childhood because my mother was inconsistent in maintaining my attendance score for scores of reasons!  The best score I ever had was 38% I had attended no less than fourteen individual schools between the age of five and fifteen and for as little as three days to eighteen months in attendance to them.  Most averaging three months, with long bouts of home education.

It really pained her to tell me I couldn’t stay in employment with her and was sure I’d go to university and become the primary school teacher I wanted to become.  My mother had different ideas.

You will find throughout my life until I broke off with my mother in 2012 that there were lots of different occupations I had trained for or endeavoured to have, but because she never approved of it, I never had a longstanding career in anything and lost many a job due to her behaviour.  But this is a post about my work life, not my obstacles pertaining to it!

My second ever occupation was working as an assistant at a hairdressing salon, for a family friend; because there was big issues and input in what I would and wouldn’t do according to my mum and my big brother, the idea of eventually becoming trained to work with this friend was ludicrous, because according to my brother only people who don’t have brains become hairdressers and I certainly have a brain he said and he intended that I use it!  Ouch, what a horrible comment to the beauty industry!  I know a lot of very clever and even academic ladies who are beauticians and hairdressers, it’s such a horrible stereotype what he said!

I only worked in the hairdressing salon for two months, because my brother hit the roof about it.

My third job was labelling glue bottles for my dad’s boss; it was a temporary job to get me over a summer break in college, where I was made to learn IT for two whole years, only for me to be pulled out in the last two months with no qualification! 

It wasn’t until I was twenty years old that I realised that my parents didn’t teach me that between jobs I could be getting money from the job centre and other disability benefits and I didn’t have a national insurance card until then either, because I wasn’t in education at the time either.  I had no idea that what my mother got me into was actually illegal, working without declaration and I was going to get into trouble for it!  When my mother let the cat out of the bag and explained what happened and how I genuinely was ignorant to what happened, things smoothed over – but mum had to fork the bill!

I have no idea to this day what the blazes happened in that office, other than I knew that if mum didn’t do whatever she did that day, we’d both have ended up in jail for fraud and I had no idea why and still don’t! 

My fourth job was working for my brother in his business as a receptionist for a few weeks before that fell flat due to his own customer service skills and lack of general dedication to the work!

My fifth job was working for MENCAP as a front desk receptionist and creative therapy assistant, my longest reigning job that lasted nearly two years, part time, three times a week for two hours in the morning; I absolutely loved that job but mum demanded more money from me and made me pull out of that for something that would financially improve her life!

My fifth job was working at The Camden Society, after being a client of the charity for eighteen months, because of severe PTSD affecting me finding work elsewhere, something horrible happened to me between these jobs.  This charity employed me themselves as a front desk receptionist for four months, before giving me a job as a key support worker for the charities café which is run by people with special needs.  I worked here for nine months in this role before being asked to leave due to financial cuts.

My sixth job was a two week wonder as a TESCO home shopper. 

My seventh job was for Christmas only at Marks and Spencer’s cashier.

My eighth job lasted two days due to interference from my mother – I became a fully trained health and safety officer and I couldn’t keep the job because my mother followed me to venues of observation and caused scenes.

My ninth job if I can call it that, was when I was trained to train security dogs and then get employed after the training, but after the training my mother made me give it up, because she didn’t want me bringing my work home with me!  Two German shepherd dogs twice a year, once trained I would lose them!   

My tenth job was a language support worker for Chinese children in a school in North London, I had this job only for two weeks, because I was uncomfortable with the boss and then my mother said something to him!

My eleventh job was a telephone tarot card reader, at home – the job lasted three days before I lost it due to complaints from the company I worked for that my mother could be heard at the other end of the phone berating my readings.

The last job I ever had was self-employed as an eBay seller, this stopped because my mother wouldn’t let me sell my things!

I gave up the last two years I lived with my mum and I let her control my life even more, because I just wanted to get on with my life and keep a job, so I left myself entirely in her hands!  I never had a job the whole time and I attended six different courses only completing two to certification and then I decided I had enough and left her.

I then became pregnant which held off employment because I wanted my son to be able to talk to me about what carers might have done to him before I got a job, by then, I had got too sick to work and lost further hearing in my left ear which makes telephone conversations impossible!  Along with this I also have splenomegaly and several auto-immune diseases, such as rheumatic arthritis, IBS, IBD, lupus, inner ear auto-immune disease and recently, doctors have me on a waiting list to confirm MS.

So there you have it, my life in work!

Thanks for reading!

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Staying true to my goal

I have set my main current words in progress AD (anthropomorphic dystopian project) to be finished by October 2022 that’s to approach an agent with the work – however, there are many obstacles between now and then which will make this particular deadline hard; I am determined to stick to my word!

One thing is, that I want this story to be destined to be a graphic novel series eventually – at the moment I am writing it as a novel, so then I can see the story easily and re-edit with graphic novel in mind.  Whilst this is happening I am studying really hard how to make this work as a graphic novel, by reading books and watching videos on how to. 

I am not sure whether or not I need to produce the artwork for this graphic novel or whether or not I should just provide details for an artistic team to do it for me through my agent?  But that’s what I am learning for, to find out!

I have to have dental surgery, which could make me drowsy for up to two days, because I don’t do well on anaesthetic and it’s not a normal injection in the gum, because of my anxieties and other health problems, I need to be pretty much out of it entirely! 

Also, three days after this dental surgery I have a relative moving in with us on a long-term basis as she needs support through her pregnancy and isn’t confident in becoming a mother.  She doesn’t mind that I share this here; she told me she would like that and would like me to document her stay with us so she can then feel confident to create her own blog eventually about her life as a new mother.

So yes, a new baby will be coming into the household around spring not sure of the date yet it’s very early and she won’t go to midwives without my support, she is panicking! This is probably the reason why I am getting broody too lately the idea of babies always does that to me!  I always wanted a huge family, but it didn’t work out.

I am partly expecting her not to come because there is another relative who is also offering support, but we’ll see.  She wants to come here because she feels that Paul could do with some help around the house because I am getting absorbed in writing and I am often too sick to do much anymore anyway, especially as movement is painful with an enlarged spleen!

We’ll see.

Also Henry is having a lot of hospital visits starting at the beginning of October, there is a huge concern about his health and we’re very worried actually.  I can’t say much until October, it really does depend on the paediatrician because they’ve found something in his samples and they want to investigate further.

Whilst we’re unstable with knowing what’s going on with his health, the school he goes to has been hugely helpful in sending Henry out of class regularly for respite and sending him to charity days out for helping him mentally to cope with potential changes in his life and also generally his mental health as Henry is under tremendous stress because my sickness is scary for him at times.

I have a lot of breathing problems and certain other health concerns of my own, which can often mean I can’t eat much in a day without problems!  This terrifies him, especially my asthma attacks when I go blue due to lack of oxygen at times and so this is why he goes to Young Carers, Circles Network, Rise CWMind and Forest Schools Association.

Along with all of this he is also struggling with his identity and is generally unhappy about not being able to change from boy to girl whenever he likes; he is trying to find peace with his gender. 

It is likely that Henry’s physical health is psychosomatic and bought on by anxiety; in fact the doctor thinks it’s a high chance, but as a precaution he needs further investigation.  As I’ve said, there is something in his samples.

It really isn’t the right time to contemplate a new career to start this autumn, but I have planned it for so long Paul has defied me to skip for another year, he wants this badly for me as much as I do.

So doing this at this time will be a very bumpy ride, but I can’t break my promise to myself anymore, I simply have got to do this!  I’ll be turning forty this October, October the 3rd, and I truly do believe that life starts at forty!  I am determined to make big things happen in my life from here on in, I am tired of putting myself aside time and again.

But you see, it’s not a selfish thing what I am doing, I am doing this for Henry too – my success will smooth out his future that is if I can make myself a success; you can’t succeed without a good team helping you!  I am not fool enough to believe I can do it all just because I want it bad enough, I need a team that believes in me and my work or else I can’t succeed can I?  Well not to the extent I have in my dreams and I dream big!

Though I am terrified to become a famous face, because I love my privacy too much (as in, not having people in close proximity to me crowding me if they are strangers) and I am prone to extreme anxiety attacks myself, I know in my heart, I really want my work to be out there for people to play with my ideas and to enjoy them.

The idea that people would like my work enough to change their lifestyle for cosplay occasionally, or spend hours of their time absorbed in fantasy worlds I have made for them to play in.  It’s an amazing thought!

It’s also exciting to think that people may become inspired because of my work and it will spark something in them to do something just as amazing and big! 

It’s wonderful to think that my stories can become movies and plays and that if I am lucky enough to become really popular, those stories could someday become so big in society that everywhere I turn, I could see posters or merchandise of my characters all around me and become a brand almost.

I know it’s egotistical of me, but we all dream big things like this don’t we?  Only some aren’t brave enough to grab it by the balls, I don’t want to be one of these people who dream but never chase those dreams down and hold them tight!

I visualise this daily and I do believe in cosmic ordering and it’s an exciting thought.  But as I said, I sometimes feel a churn in my stomach when I remind myself that popular things like this tend to make their creators life Hell with personal invasions from both their fans and the media and it puts a bit of a dampener on it a bit.

I know for a fact that if I were to become this famous, I will be regularly in the newspapers for fainting or vomiting publicly because of the stress of it all – I know I am like that now, without the fame aspect as it is!  Yes, I am very socially awkward with strangers, but when I am comfortable with someone I can feel too at ease with them – but how on Earth will I get comfortable with millions of people?  I will become skeletal with the anxiety attacks as I won’t be able to keep anything down!  I’m struggling with that as it is! 

Sobering thought really, but as I said, I am a worry wart and I pretty much know that someday my body will cave in and I will embarrass myself in front of a camera by puking up my tense emotions!

Weird thing to admit though, I am don’t have stage fright; I have been known to give lectures to more than fifty people when I was in work and it didn’t bother me like my colleagues.  But it’s when people are really physically close to me and I don’t know them, which I get frightened and that makes it worse is, when I am frightened I lose self-control and can slap around a bit to get away!  This is because it triggers my post-traumatic stress problems, in the past when people have crowded around me like that and I am not comfortable with them I have been brutally beaten up and so, crowds of strangers just trigger that survival response in me… that’s what is really scary about my anxiety attacks! 

Let’s see if I am going to do it by October, or at least by Easter 2023!  If not by Easter 2023 I don’t think I could live with disappointing myself again.  So it is essential, for my mental health, that I finish my work to send to an agent.  I won’t be so hard on myself when I approach agents who reject me and not get my work into the world because of that – but I will be very hard on myself if I don’t at least try!

Happy reading everybody!

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TBR this fortnight

TBR (to be read) this fortnight list includes only fiction books, not the non-fiction that I am also reading;

I, Lucifer By Glen Duncan

Goth girl and the ghost of a mouse By Chris Riddell

Goth girl and the fete worse than death By Chris Riddell

I endeavour to try and read four books per month from now onwards that are fiction and read less non-fiction, because I feel I am getting out of touch with the fiction world a little bit.

I think this has something to do with the fact that I am making more contacts with people who are avid readers and they tend to read a lot of the newly published stuff whereas I don’t. I am feeling outdated and I don’t particularly like it. I know the books I have chosen to read this fortnight are considered old stuff, but they have been on my TBR for ages.

I don’t have access to very modern books unless the library gets them in for me, because I don’t have any spare money per month to buy non-second hand books. So this will always be a problem for me anyway, because quite a few of my reader friends are able to spend an average of £50 a month on new books that they get to keep. But then saying that, they are also able to consume more books than I can too, they tend to read a novel in less than two days, I can’t do that generally, a 300 page tome will usually take me three or four days if its good.

Before I got sick and therefore financially insecure, I was just like them, in fact probably worse as I would spend £25 a week on books. I don’t like to buy second hand books for two reasons, one is that usually the author doesn’t get the money for it, and two, I am fastidious about the care of my books, most of my read books look untouched. But having to resort to second hand books because I have been in a ten year financial slump, my books are irritatingly shoddy with cracked spines and torn sheets and stains because I get them from charity shops on good months.

I, Lucifer was bought from a charity shop around eight years ago and only just got around to reading it now. That’s not unusual for me because I have nearly two thousand books in the house and at least 60% are unread. I think its primarily because I am a paranoid supporter of libraries – scared that if I neglect the library that I will inadvertently add towards their demise. I cant afford to buy new books, but I do at least have a budget of £3 a week to pre-order things from my local library and I do so religiously.

Happy reading all!

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Filed under Defining myself

It’s my birthday and I hope for better things!

It is my birthday today I am thirty nine and I hope that the saying “life begins at forty” is a true one!  I hope so much that with these emergency appointments I have at the hospital etc. is going to fix something and that I can have a normal life again!

There are so many things I want to do with my life, but when it is a tiring task to just get dressed and maybe vacuum a room in a day at most, it is hard to see past that.

Things I would love to do if only the health was there… obvious one would be study and work outside of the house.  I miss people interaction and I love jobs where I am in the service of others, not just my creative pursuits, of course I love my creativity and it would be lovely to have a job where creativity is a must, but generally I love jobs where I feel I am needed and relied upon for things – particularly hospitality.  I am a lovely meet and greeter, always happy to help, with a bubbly personality, professional manner and experience as head of admin and customer services. 

I often wonder if Sue Holderness remembers me, during my short time as Christmas staff at Marks & Spencer’s she would always gravitate towards my till because she said I was pleasant and she often added points to my services as Marks and Spencer’s have a point system in play for their staff to see who is performing well.  I was only there for a few days over one particular Christmas; I doubt she’d remember me!

I used to love work and if I had been allowed to keep my jobs in the past I would have.  It sounds funny to say that, because it is not a normal thing to say – but it is true, in the past many times I had a lovely job I loved dearly, but I was forced to give it up as it didn’t sit well with my mother.  For those who are new to my blog, I was micro-managed within an inch of my life by my mother who tried to isolate me for years and I only managed to get her out of my life fully in 2013, when I was twenty nine, just shortly after Henry’s 3rd birthday in fact.

Thinking differently these days, I may not go into hospitality if I had the health back though, I have other ideas.  I am not sure if starting university for a science degree and to have a science career would be something someone my age should really consider.  But it is interesting; I have an unnatural curiosity and obsession with microbiomes; but maybe that is more of a hobby thing… like gardening?

I had thought, what I would do if I found out my health problems are actually curable even if it is by 50% – I had thought what would I do with my life now?

Obviously still write and do art, but what else? 

I had thought about the concept that my lungs may allow me to once again do music and singing again and if it did, I have to say musical theatre pulls me;  Particularly writing operas or comedy musicals for the stage.  One of the things I have neglected about myself a lot since becoming ill is my love for music to the extent of practising my instruments and composing becoming non-existent.

I miss musical composition more than I miss the idea of sitting down to write a full length novel, to be honest… well a full length non-vampire or dragon novel that is.

I do know I miss sport a lot too, I was very active before getting sick – walking an average of nine miles per day, just for the fun of it and also because I am a cheapskate and walked everywhere for the sheer economy of it.  I love bowling, basketball, jogging, and cricket and wanted to take up rock climbing, to name but a few.  But one thing I did really want to get back into and that is dog agility training and judo.  I am also a true water baby and twice I nearly got into the commonwealth games in my life, once for swimming and once for judo, but shit happens.

The commonwealth audition was cancelled due to emergency life-saving mastoid surgery, which consequently ended my judo career before it even had a chance!

The swimming for the junior games was cancelled because my mother wouldn’t let me go and stay the night away from home without her and made me decline.

I know I have to think about practical things, but I do like working for charities, at least half of my previous jobs were helping disabled people, particularly those with mental learning difficulties or brain injuries.  I have a passion for helping people and fighting for their rights to lead a dignified life!

I have been in a situation myself where I have been in special needs schools for a few months in between home schooling, I also have a long history of mental health where for four years I had to go to a day care centre at Napsbury hospital for treatment as a child and schooling as well as being in a very physically vulnerable state with sensory deprivation for nearly two whole years!  I have seen two sides of people who are supposed to be “carers, in caring jobs” and it is not all good.

I went through a time as a child where I was absolutely terrified of all men, except male relatives who were close to me, I wouldn’t speak to anyone if they were a stranger for at least ten or more visits and I went into strange bouts of bulimia, anorexia and compulsive eating throughout most of my life – this cooled off a lot when I met Paul.  I was spiralling into food obsession for three years before I met him.

It is totally weird how, now I am away from the stresses which dictated my eating habits, that I have developed a sickness where I can’t eat a bunch of specific foods without pain and vomiting and some people who remember my past, have asked me on the quiet, “it’s not your old thing again is it”?  I still maintain some friendships distantly via facebook and pen palling with some of my day care compatriots, who remembers a the time where I ate half an orange and a quarter of a cheese sandwich without rushing to the bathroom and they celebrated it for me, whilst I just sat there frowning and grimacing at the fuss and the taste.

I will say though, that I am becoming more and more of a picky eater despite the dietary restrictions I am under because of my intolerances.  This does worry Paul, because with our current budget, he is struggling to provide for me.

I must maintain a gluten free and lactose free diet, I cannot eat flax seeds, I can’t have too much sugar in a day, I minimise citrus fruits, I can’t have soy, I can’t have vinegar unless I want pain (who does?), I may have a mustard intolerance as recently I am reacting against mayo and a couple of other sauces which have mustard in, I can’t have pineapple and I can’t have anything too fatty and if it is fatty it has to be because of olive oil, I must be careful with eggs, no more than 3 times a week!  I can’t have too much coconut produce either; I can only eat small amounts of beef and no more than twice a week!  I shouldn’t have tomatoes everyday either, but that one is a hard one to surrender as I like tomatoes almost with everything!  But ideally I should never have them according to doctors.  I can only have two Brazil nuts in one sitting before strange things happen to my mouth! I can only have a beverage with tannin no more than once per day and preferably not at night. So, yes, I am not fussy about all of these, this is just the foods I can’t have because my body will hurt me a lot if I do!  Because of all of this, I have according to the doctor a very low salt diet, because I don’t add salt to my cooking and he told me I need to start, because my levels are too low at times and could account for the cramps I get!

So, as perplexed as you all are, I know you are, because I have seen the faces of offline friends when I mention this to them – what the fuck do you actually eat then Tina?  Food, to put it bluntly, proper, wholesome, mostly unprocessed food, weird isn’t it?

It’s the reason I love sauerkraut so much, the salt my body needs, the cabbage is really good for you too and you get added microbes for your gut!  Ironically, my health is slightly improved for the gherkins (dill pickles) and sauerkraut I eat these days, without that being in my diet three times a week, I would actually be a lot sicker!  I know, I tested it out for a whole month and it thwacked me hard!

I think the unhealthiest thing I eat these days is the local chippy once a fortnight, because I don’t eat their battered fish, I prefer their kebabs without the bread that is!  They have their own oily sauerkraut with gherkins and pickled jalapenos and its sheer heaven with their homemade chilli sauce!  Their meat is also homemade, so they guarantee it has no gluten and lactose and they don’t spice it as much as the places in town, so it’s just like fatty lamb pates really.

My most usual food to eat for dinner is gluten free pasta with homemade chicken arribiata, pan fried salmon stir fry or sausage and bean casserole with mashed potatoes.

My most usual food for lunch is, fried tomatoes and mushrooms with gluten free toast, a smoothie, vegetable frittata, or Ham & lacto free cheddar cheese ploughman’s sandwich with gluten free bread, I know the sweet pickle has a bad product for me, but it is so little my body hardly notices too much.   I don’t have celiac disease apparently, it is an unidentified IBD.

My most usual breakfast is, air, or very rarely cinnamon gluten free porridge or just homemade fruit salad.

My snacks are nuts, celery, carrot sticks, lactose free Nutella with gluten free digestive biscuits or rice cakes, pancakes with said Nutella or lemons or honey or maple syrup or fruit compotes, fruit, or smoothies, rarely jellied pick n mix and crisps purely for the low salt days. 

When finances improve, I am excited to ditch a lot of the above for things I really love!  Such as honey nuts, dark chocolate with fruit in, fruit leathers, chicken legs, kimchi, , king prawns and the expensive fruits and veg like avocadoes, coconuts, pomegranates, figs, chickpeas, mange tout, things someone on my budget consider birthday or Christmas treats!

Well it’s a life I hope that will happen anyhow, I am trying my best to fight through it all and get that life, even if my body does seem held bent on killing me!

Happy reading!

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What is luxury to me?

I have always loved reading books about cosmic ordering and creating your own reality and yet still I haven’t mastered my own mind enough to make the realities I want – happen.  I am not at all surprised at my financial status for two reasons, I am sick and don’t work and therefore live on benefit handouts, I do try and do something to help change this, but sometimes it can become too much to handle with all the daily symptom managing – also I am not at all surprised at my financial predicament because of another matter… the fact that I find money one of the biggest evils in the world, so therefore, it keeps away from me because of that mind-set.  Well that is what cosmic ordering experts would say anyway.

So it is my own fault for two reasons.  One I believe that money is a source of evil and two I am too sick therefore can’t work, therefore the universe adds more sickness to keep me in that reality.  It is pretty screwy stuff, but I actually believe it to be true, which makes it all the worse for me I guess?

I am in what I call a ground-hog day of sickness and poverty and I have the knowledge that my own beliefs can change that.  So, why can’t I favour money in a more benign light?  Because I would be lying to myself, that is why and for me, lying to my-self is an even worse evil.

I have always been by nature a very philanthropic person, therefore I have tried to think about who could benefit from my future wealth, when I get it?  There is always someone in need and I always want to help, but I am not a sucker for a sob story unless there is evidence for it first.  So I have tried to concentrate on benevolence regarding money, because as evil as money is, in the current social climate it can be a blessing for many.  I have another belief about finances too, whether or not it contradicts my former belief that money is evil or not, remains to be seen.  But I have always lived by this financial code of conduct (before benefits came into my life) that 33.3% of my earnings go to me and my needs, this includes bills and essentials and fun, 33.3% goes into savings and 33.3% is invested in some way.  Now to me an investment doesn’t have to go towards a personal gain for me, it can be an investment for a charity of which I will not benefit from – to me, it is a social investment, bettering the society I live in, I deem an investment.  Not many people can understand where I come from stating this, but to me it is quite simple, the more money you put into your local charities and amenities, the more you will benefit and future generations will benefit.  It is a shame people recoil so much from taxation and donating, they just don’t see how it can benefit their local area, and they can only see what benefits them, unfortunately they don’t always see it as a positive circle which could include them eventually.

Currently we live in a world where the idea of a no money system is a non-starter; as much as I hate it, I have to come to terms with it and work out a system for my-self which will make me and others around me happy.

I have never really wanted huge extravagances, but I have wanted comfort and happiness – I mean, who doesn’t?

To me a luxurious life would come across very basic, plain and simple to a lot of people of today.  My main desires for a happy and indulgent life is determined by how big a piece of land is that I will personally own in order to grow my own food, raise my own chickens and geese, build an adventure playground for my children, entertain guests with lovely BBQs or alfresco dinner parties, a very large area for rewilding, as I love wildlife and want to save it.  I have thought if I ever became rich that I would buy woodlands just to make them a nature reserve, stopping logging companies and housing from using the land. 

For me a luxurious life means I would be able to afford natural fibres for my clothing, I dislike all the plastic in my clothes.  I would be able to afford a very healthy allergen free semi-paleo diet – why semi-paleo?  I like legumes; I like vegan cheeses and gluten free grains that’s why.

My idea of true happiness is the ability to care for animals too.  To have the pets that I desire, though I will not be one of these horrific pet hoarders like most people who know me personally think I could be if my finances were better, I am not like that; I will never take on more than I can manage.  Despite my dreams about running a small holding or a farm, I know and realise it is just a dream, even for when I am better off, because I know my physical limitations, and unless I can afford staff to help me run things, then I can’t live exactly how I want to.

For me, luxury is being able to go out to town and choose something to eat without worrying about the cost.  Without worrying that my trip to town on a bus and a lunch would actually take half of my week’s food bill away – which it currently does, hence why I rarely see the doctor, despite needing to see them more often than I do.

Luxury also means that a zoo trip won’t be negotiated with Henry about whether or not, if we go to the zoo, we may not be able to go to the Severn Valley this year or have a birthday party, and to me luxury would mean that we can do it all that year and go to other places too, such a beach – we’ve never been to a beach as a family before.  I haven’t been to a beach since I was fifteen years old!  I have only visited the beach twice in my entire life!

I have never had a proper holiday, the only thing that came close to it was a four day camping trip in Yorkshire with some spiritual friends, but that is the only real holiday I have ever had.  I am curious about a few places in the world, but I wouldn’t say I have a strong desire to travel; I am very boring regarding this.  I get home sick by day four; I can’t be away from home for more than four days at a time.  I am a home stayer and lover.  For some reason people think this makes me a recluse?

Unfortunately the places I would like to go to are so remote, it will take four days to get to them, I have researched, and so by the time that I would have got to those places, I would be pining for home again.  I find it a struggle to be in hospital for more than three days.  I know that isn’t exactly a holiday, or a hotel, but the ten day stay at hospital when I was having Henry was very emotionally difficult for me that they felt the depression was postpartum and very nearly kept me in longer because of it, until I had almost broken down and burst into tears explaining how I have never coped being away from home for too long.  Then they had to release me.

I think I know why I am like that.  In my past when I have been away from home for more than four days, I have come home to big changes that were always uncomfortable.  Also after around two weeks of being somewhere something strange happens mentally, where I feel like that new place is a new home and unless I leave that place quickly, I will start to pine for that too.  There are many places in the UK I pine for, even to this day, because of stays longer than four days.  Not holidays, family visits that were prolonged.  I don’t include a six week stay in Cheshire with an aunt as a holiday, funnily enough.  As a child being sent to this person and that all the time for varying lengths, I guess I have a nomadic heart, but I have always been bought back to base as it were.  I get itchy feet, but I don’t like to stay away for long.  It is all rather difficult to explain.

But generally the longer I stay somewhere the more I will pine for my actual home, then the longer I stay in that place, the more likely I will start to pine for that, like home.  Basically going somewhere new will be difficult for around ten to fifteen days, and then I readjust and think that this new place is another home.  I have homes everywhere in my head, but none of them are actually my homes.

Shrugs* I am mad I guess?

But yes, I miss a lot of places.  I miss a few places in London – Burnt Oak, Hammersmith, Hendon, Brent Cross, Wembley, Barnet, Finchley, Whetstone, Enfield, Northolt, Kingsbury, Edgware, Portobello Road, Camden Town, Kentish Town, Swiss Cottage and Kensington.  I miss Luton (I know who misses that?  Well – me), Dunstable, Aylesbury, Leighton Buzzard, Wickford, Basildon, Margate, Crewe, Leeds, Market Drayton, Telford, Manchester, Halifax, Sheffield, Sunderland, Scarborough, Derby, Seven Sisters, Maidstone, Barnstaple, Battle and whatever that little village on the Welsh border was (I never knew I was a kid when I was there for a while) same as a small village in the Scottish Highlands too, Crawley, Radlett and Slough.  Imagine if I did have houses in all those places, I would need to be rich just for them!  It would be ridiculous to purchase houses in places like these though and selfish.  But for me there would need to be three homes in specific locations, because of how long I know I would stay in specific areas for, because to me they are too much like home.  A house somewhere in Barnet or Hammersmith & Chelsea, London; and a house somewhere in West Yorkshire or Cheshire, as well as something suburban or semi-rural around Rugby, Warwickshire.  I could stay at either of these areas until I start pining for the other, then, instead of constantly pining for places I can’t even afford to visit for the day, like I do now.

I make do with wherever I am put though.  I get on despite my pining’s.  I don’t mean to sound depressing or down-hearted, but I have got used to disappointments and discomfort, as my mother always made sure I never felt settled in any regard in life.  Therefore, she has made me resilient to change and adaptable to most hurtful and life changing situations – by making certain things happen so regularly I eventually became numb to certain types of sentimentality.  In a bad way too, in one particular thing; that I have learned that nothing is permanent, I must always expect things to change drastically and quickly, things such as people dying.  Don’t get too attached to organic things such as people or animals, because they can die.  I will mourn an animal more readily than a human, despite how much I may deeply love that human and I have always been afraid of losing Paul or Henry, because, I am not known to cry for human passing’s.  It could be because my mother was very aloof about it all when I was growing up and if I was to shed a tear she would berate me and make me feel humiliated for being sad about a person’s death.  It could also be because I am clairsentient, a strong clairvoyant.

I don’t usually talk about that part of me.  It weirds people out, but it is a true part of me.

Some people when they die can take ages to visit in the spirit world, some people don’t understand that.  There is a cleansing process for spirits when they first die, some can visit us literally within minutes of dying because they don’t have that much baggage, others can take years before they start visiting the living again.  My grandma, Dolly, took nearly nine years before she started visiting me, whereas grandad only took a few weeks.

But generally to me, luxury is comfortable natural fibre clothes, the ability to travel across the UK whenever I like without financial strain, to eat a healthy diet, to have a lot of family time, gardening organically and for wildlife on a large scale, the financial ability to fund continued learning in desired subjects, charities and pets.  That’s all I really want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My lifestyle for food, skin and health (or what little there is of it)

A few people will be astounded to learn I am nearly forty as a few people believe that they think I am in my mid-twenties, I don’t look my age apparently.   Have been told by a lot of people that they believe me to be incredibly young, three or four years ago were the last time I tried to buy alcohol and was asked for ID because the seller felt I was seventeen, which wowed me.  Maybe he just fancied me?  But I have had straight female friends who are much younger than me have their mouths drop open when they realise I am fifteen years their senior.

I believe it has something to do with how I treat my skin and what I like to eat and drink.  I took Honour Blackman’s advice when she was on a show when I was around eleven years of age that she has never washed her face, she uses only moisturiser with some cotton which she dabs and never rubs.  I do indeed wash my face but never put soap on it ever, I wash with plain filtered water, hot first then ice cold, I do use a moisturiser about once a week which is Nivea crème, I use this crème on my face, elbows and knees, my elbows and knees are as smooth as a child’s.  I drink cranberry or raspberry juice twice a day, I drink a lot of water with very, very watered down fruit juice concentrates, I have never really been one for tea or coffee, I never grew up.  I drink around six pints of fluids a day if I am not having a bad day, on bad days my body can’t keep fluids down.  I drink green tea about three times a week and a hot honey and lemon most days.  I love berries and eat them daily, prunes, raisins, dates when I have sugar cravings.  Chicken and fish being my main meats with lamb once a week if I can afford it; lately lamb is a once a month treat.  I love pickles and sauerkraut and I aim to eat a whole cup full of green leafy vegetables per day.  My diet has to be gluten and lactose free because of intolerances which make my illnesses much worse, two years ago I was hospitalised with bronchitis only to find out that with other symptoms I had, I had severe intolerances and my health has improved vastly since shifting onto a free from diet.  I consider my diet to be a semi-paleo, Mediterranean and Asian diet these days.  I say semi-paleo because I like beans and pulses and I will eat gluten free rice, pasta, oats and potatoes, hard-core paleo dieters will slap my wrists for those.  Despite all of this I am very overweight still, though slowly losing the weight since the shift.  I am around forty pounds lighter than I was before the lifestyle change.

I will admit that temptations do set in and I often sneak in gluten and lactose into my diet with severe ramifications which affect me for three to five days after eating them, I have done this around once a month since the change.  I am getting tired of this and getting to the extent that if I don’t have enough fruit and vegetables in my day I actually feel really ill, so it has got to the extent that I need to eat around five pieces of vegetables and a fruit a day in order to feel relatively ok in comparison.  I am happy recently that I have found free from Paninis, hot dog rolls, burger buns, naans and tortillas which don’t take like cardboard, so the idea of becoming totally gluten free permanently is more doable.  I have found lactose free whipped cream and single cream, which also helps and the other day on TV I learned that Hotel Chocolat does lactose free options which is exciting, because I love truffles, which they do lactose free – I generally don’t like chocolate much though because it clogs my ears up sometimes, so chocolate is a once a month treat and it is usually only about three or four mouthfuls. 

I am impossible to cater for food wise because of my allergies.  I am intolerant to gluten and lactose, allergic to pineapple, flax/linseeds, camomile, thyme, shouldn’t really eat eggs as it gives me wind, should avoid binging on chocolate due to ear blockages, there is an unknown spice at the local take away which also causes my mouth to burn and swell, never knew what that was!  Beef can affect me in a bad way if I eat it more than once a week; I eat starchy foods but not too much because that affects my body too.  Certain candies can make me extremely hyperactive mentally and sometimes physically which can be dangerous when ill.  I am really difficult to cater for since discovering these allergies and reactions.  When explaining to a friend at Henry’s school a few months ago called Dee, she shook her head looked at me and asked “what do you eat”?  At the time I was good for seven months solid, without breaking my free from diet at all and I had 9 weeks of what I call, normal health, then I caught a cold and thought fuck it all!  I never did get that streak back.  Purely because the government cut our benefits by £200 a month, so the above diet I had is no longer possible!  At the time it was very strict, I only had gluten free products once a week to satisfy beans on toast cravings or ham and pickle sandwich cravings.  I still ate eggs a lot though, but it was a windy time.  I had health, but I stank, but that was OK for me, unless I was on a bumpy ride on a bus.  I ate fish, poultry and lamb, salads and vegetables, I made sauerkraut three times a week, I had lactose free cheese and omelettes with samphire and spinach.  It was tasty, but boring and predictive and being on benefits I can’t afford to eat as regularly as a normal person should.  I can’t afford it on a strict paleo diet, whether it benefits my health or not, I do not have the money for three prime optimum meals per day.  My doctor is concerned with the lack of certain vitamins my body isn’t having because of food cost.  In fact so much so, we’ve recently become members of a food bank, referred by my son’s young carers group.  They’ve recommended the only food I should buy is the food I need, the food for my son and Paul should come from the food bank.  It is a sorry arrangement, but something we can’t refuse at this stage. 

That’s my situation. 

It baffles me that I eat all these fruits and veg with a piece of meat or fish a day and yet I am still not getting enough nutrients.  I can’t afford nuts, I can’t afford to have meat more than once a day, I can’t afford, seeds, I can’t afford red meat, or canned fruit, or exotic fruits which are highest in vitamins.  I can’t afford avocados, or shrimps etc. 

What I can afford and have almost always in my kitchen available to me are chicken legs, cans of tuna, sweet potatoes, potatoes, gluten free pasta, gluten free rice, gluten free porridge, prunes, dates, apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, spinach, kale, carrots, peas, onions, ham for sandwiches, gluten free bread, sweet pickle (not entirely allergy free), mayonnaise, baked beans, parsnips and sweetcorn, swede and cod fillet.  That’s all we can afford for me.

I have eaten this diet and only this diet with the occasional food from Paul and Henry, such as crisps, biscuits and fish fingers (not allergen free) for about a year and it is sending me insane.

I could afford better food if my doctors were able to get a grip on many of my symptoms.  My illnesses dictate that I need tissues for my sinus problem and I need an average of 12 to 20 boxes a week just for the sinus and chest problem!  That is how much mucus I produce in a week, 20 boxes worth; I get no extra financial support for this.  I also need regular sprays for sore throat, Vaseline because my nose gets sore and dry, hay fever tablets because of my other allergies; I need approximately 12 to 20 painkillers a week.  I was told by my consultant that I need to have Canestan ear drops (as they do them as ear drops too) as often as possible but they said they won’t pay for more than a certain amount but you can buy them over the counter at £5 a week on average.  I need to have these drops all the time and I am not overusing them apparently, despite my fears.  Because my ears seem to have a permanent inner skin infection, which in layman’s terms means I have a permanent ear infection, try living with that!  Because of my digestive problems I was told to bulk up on specific vitamin pills which the NHS cannot provide, so again, I need vitamin C, calcium, for some reason kelp and zinc primarily and have been recommended to double doses per day.  I need a psoriasis medicated specific shampoo and body wash, again unavailable on the NHS and this costs me £12 a fortnight for the strength I need.

So when you look at all that, you can see how I can easily come into debt and cannot afford a better diet, whilst being on benefits.

If doctors got a handle on my symptoms I would instantly become £45 a week richer.  I was told recently that our local NHS is struggling to the extent they no longer do hearing aid repairs, so I was told to go to boots, so I guess I will be paying for that too?

Ho hum, there you go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When the bell of life rings

Even the kindest of people can be unthinking and careless with your needs

Never be dependent upon another and their kind deeds

For one day they might go away, walk away or die

They say you mustn’t think of such things, but when you are in need – why?

It is essential to think the worst for what will happen if it does?

You can’t underestimate the power of fate, that even the strongest die

Although many can’t help being needy, like me

It is a scary concept to be in

But you can’t brush it all away under a carpet verbatim

What will happen if I am alone?

Who will care for me?

I can’t rely on charity, to always rescue me

It is a selfish thought I know, but what will happen, where could I go?

Nobody really cares or knows

We are not to talk of such things

No matter how close we are to when the bell rings

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Stifled writing and a look into my brain! (WARNING – it is not for the faint-hearted)

People who write can often get bogged down with the concept of finding that great idea which will earn them money and quite often when they do this, they lose themselves and in some cases, even lose the love for writing itself.

I am at fault of doing this as much as anyone, particularly in the past five years, this is because financially I am suffering to the extent that birthdays and Christmases have been disappointing and not as traditional as I am accustomed to.  In fact recently I found an old Christmas shopping list, which included food, presents, games and décor and basic normal food to last for two weeks over the festive period so we can focus on more family time and that list was five pages long with two sections on each page; this year it was only 3 pages long with only one section as when I write in an excited state, my letters get bigger than my usual handwriting – which is a bizarre idiosyncrasy that I have.  My lists are quite methodical, I will list food from Tesco, Food from ASDA and food from other places separately within the list; I will list where to buy certain presents too and for whom, which shops, so we kind of plan a shopping map in our minds whenever we go to town.  Along with this list will be a separate length of what kinds of decorations or traditional Christmas stuff we need, such as crackers from B&M and purple bauble at Wilko, you get the idea?  We usually do a massive buffet on an old pasting table in our living room and fill it to the brim with food and drinks as well as the coffee table, because Christmas Eve is the only time in the year where we can guarantee an influx of visitors and we like to feed them – this year it is a no go and I am embarrassed that this may come across as too inhospitable compared to what they are used to, as everyone usually got a bag of food to take with them either for snacks at home that night or jars of homemade stuff, which we just can’t afford to do this year.

I hate pleading poverty, but lately it is getting me to a state of breaking down.  I went for advice on my ESA benefits two weeks ago to a lady who is very kind and runs a charity, I was so embarrassed detailing my struggles to her as she was helping me fill out the forms that I was shaking and my teeth were chattering so badly with the humiliation of it all.  She thought I was freezing cold, but I told her, it’s just that I am so embarrassed by it all and she said that it was OK, but it really isn’t though is it?

Usually I am very good at being calm and self-composed, despite anxiety issues, but lately I just can’t keep it together, I am struggling to hide behind a façade like my normal self would.  Most people can’t tell that I have anxiety issues because I masked it so well, but lately I break out in tears over the smallest of things and what is worse is that I am getting short tempered with it, with people I feel are cold or unfeeling and I have this awful feeling that I will say something out of character at my next medical which will make me lose the benefit.  I am very scared about it.

If I could get a job I would, but no one is going to employ someone with the health issues I have.  I did struggle a few years to get a job, before it got too bad seven years ago.  All of this makes me try to push myself to create something just to get out of this mess, but it isn’t working, it is stunting my creative growth badly because I am not writing what I really want anymore.  I am writing the lesser ideas I have which are the most popular amongst my nearest and dearest and unfortunately what I love to write about, they hate immensely.

What I like writing about are dystopian stories similar to Mad Max, I am Legend and Tank Girl.  I enjoy writing about vampires and their sired offspring as I call them and histories as a massive saga dating back to the Ancient Sumerians and contemporary times too, how they live and how they lost loved ones.  I enjoy writing inane pun infested comedy fantasies where you meet mermaids and trolls with a very Monty Python meets Discworld air to them and I enjoy writing horror that touches taboo subjects.

According to those who are in the know, the only type of book up there I have mentioned that they can barely stomach is the comedy fantasy, not my main love of in depth vampire soap operas and dystopian tribal warfare.

Yes I love my fantasy comedies, but whenever I discuss my writing with those who are privy to them, they always get more excited about any updates on that genre than anything else and I feel if I don’t write this genre more than the others, I am failing to please this specific audience.  I am one of these people who find it really hard to talk to people about my work, those I do are precious to my motivation, if I don’t talk about my work, I can’t do the work.  But unfortunately my discussion circle seems far too niche and not entirely me.

I used to mix and mingle my genres a lot and had a wider circle I trusted to talk about them to, usually as dinner party discussions but since moving to Warwickshire, I don’t have that anymore.  London is a very different place, with very different people with mind-sets very different to Rugby’s.

I have mentioned vampires and horror to people up here I thought I could trust with my writing, but they recoil or give sideways glances to those next to them and simply state “Oh, right, not my cup of tea really”; Then I share my fantasy comedy ideas and they feel that fantasy is strictly for children, surely I should write something nicer for them?  Not drunken elves and mermaids who rip eyes out and swear profusely with such corny puns as well!

Apparently my personality must reflect my work and because I don’t lark around like some tomfool jokester all the time and I seem a pretty calm deadpan person in real life, I can’t be taken seriously in comedy surely?  Won’t I come across as some kind of fake?

Now that hurts, but it has been said to me before and I find it amusing that comedy must be serious… really?  I wonder how we all laugh at serious comedy!  Should we laugh at flippant tragedy then?  I don’t know what kind of world I have tripped into a hole of, but it is certainly quite different here to where I am from, I can tell you!

I think if I was to walk up to my favourite British comedian of today and say “Darling, you are not taking your comedy seriously” he would choke laughing and crying at how stupid that sounds.

*passes a dictionary to said people and points to the word “comedy” for reference*

So, though I am currently in quandary over my work, my main quander is this – “how can I develop a trusting relationship with people online so that they can become my beta readers and I can learn to trust the online community with my plans and outlines”? 

I’m not sure I can.  I am very protective of what I share with people because I have often had entire ideas stolen and published behind my back and that someone became very successful with my ideas and have not produced work since I eliminated them from my social circle a decade ago.

I have thought that maybe signing up to a free creative writing course with the OU would help me discuss work and improve my skills with an online tutor?  But not sure if that is really what I want – improved skills are always good, but not sure if I want straight laced professional opinions which are bias regardless of genre and content.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking about just writing whatever, whenever and go back to my scatty ways that were long lost a decade ago.  Paul tried to organise me too much I think?  Tried to get me to focus too much that I lost my way; I don’t really have a way.  I am higgledy-piggledy and mentally a mess when creating.  Paul often said if a hypnotist was to delve into my mind for just five minutes he would run out of the room screaming “get me out here, she is completely insane, she is such a mess, she is so confusing, help me, help me…. And oh, pass the paracetamol that gave me a headache!”

Why the drama?  Because I will have seven documents up at the same time, one is a horror about a cat, two are vampire novels concentrating on two entirely different characters, one is a comedy fantasy with tiny people, and one is a dystopian story based on a religious concept of the apocalypse and angels, the other document is writing notes to eventually put into any work in the future, along with research papers and notes, scribbled papers and notes off the computer, and Wikipedia up on the internet with another internet page looking for the history of Thracian warfare.  If that is not enough, I am also meddling with playlists on Amazon music flipping through them depending on which scene and novel I am working on in those few seconds, whilst daydreaming about food and what it might be like if I was the size of a peanut in my garden.

You get the idea?  That’s my brain in just five minutes.

I am like the dog who is in the garden playing fetch with you then all of a sudden I have ran away chasing squirrels, then coming back to you wondering where the ball is and oh look sausages!

With a mind like mine, it has been said by people before – is there any reason to wonder if I will ever find it possible to get anything finished?

I pass them some books I have indeed already finished and I do so quite proudly.  Then I announce, they are not for sale, they are not edited and they are not good enough.  The person looks through them, finds they do indeed need editing but are absolutely wonderful, why not publish them? 

Because they are mine!  Then I grab the books and hug them close to me with a snarl!

I am like this even with the art I paint too.

Thing is, there are ideas I do want to sell.  But I am scared that those private stories reveal too much about my inner workings.

I feel psychologically exposed, basically.  It brings about the kind of feeling in which I can only sit back and think, it would be better to be physically nakedly exposed than that, then Paul tells me to stop being weird and dramatic!

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