Tag Archives: gardening

AD project update

I am conflicted with my main project AD (anthropomorphic dystopian idea); I had wanted this to be the one that goes out to agents in October and that might still happen, but I feel I am not ready for that on a personal level.  What I do feel ready to release in October potentially could be another project I am halfway through, which is my Christmas story.

Why am I so conflicted? 

Because I want my AD project to be a graphic novel and I also want to do the art for it too, but my art is not good enough for what I want it to be yet.  So, I am making it something I don’t want it to be – a series of novellas.

I want to stay true to my heart, but some friends who have had big hints about the work want this project out there now!  I feel I owe it to them; so many people are excited for this project.

But do I want to renege on my plans for it to be a graphic novel and make a series of novellas out them at the risk that someday I might re-write it in graphic novel form and get it published again in that format, or should I wait?

My heart tells me two things – hurry up and practise your art work and how to write graphic novels professionally and get the work out there ASAP, but it also says, it’s not realistic just yet, give yourself another year, you can always send out your other works which don’t need so much from you!

The problem comes with the fact that one of my friends is so excited about the idea, that it has stirred a desire in them to make something similar, based on hints I’ve given them about the plot.  They can’t plagiarise it, as it is very vague, but the vague outline I have given is enough that it could be a direct competition.  They have promised not to create their urges just yet, but they have said to me that they may not hold back after spring 2023 if I haven’t sent it anywhere – because they have to presume that I am not really interested in a career by then, if I hold back for a few more months… yet again.

I am serious about starting a writing career at the end of this year.  In October I am going to turn forty and I am determined to get something out there at least.

If an agent doesn’t want to represent whatever work I put out by January 1st, then I will personally publish an anthology of my poems through Amazon and start looking towards writing magazine articles and short stories whilst still on the lookout.

I am very interested in approaching a British gardening magazines because of my in depth knowledge about gardening organically and so on; this is something I have wanted to do for a few years now.

Paul wants to collaborate with me as well for wildlife photography magazines etc.

So all of this starts by the end of this year, I wasn’t ready for it before now, but now I am – particularly as my health is stabilising and I am getting more good days.

Another friend knows my dream is mostly to write for movies, that although I love books and being creative, my dream is for my ideas to be televised in some way.  They’ve put me into contact with someone who has put me on a free screenwriting course and so that’s on the go as well at the moment!  Henry is honing his skills with the computer to create special effects etc., so we can make snazzy YouTube art movies together, based on my ideas and a friend has suggested I start attending short film festivals.

All of the above will be documented here in this blog as it happens, so expect better content in a few months’ time!

So for now, project AD is still being written, but it is in a state of limbo – should I or shan’t I send it to an agent in October?

Who knows what I will do!

Happy reading!

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What do I do?

What do I like to do when I am not writing or doing art?  Strange to say, that creativity is such a big part of my life it is actually really hard for me not to be in creative mode in one way or another.

Outside of actually physically writing, I do think about things to write almost on a constant basis I am a chronic daydreamer!  I can’t hold conversations very much travelling in a car because I zone out to daydream and for me, it’s just as well because it is my coping mechanism for car travel sickness – hence why, I have never learned to drive.  I am actually going to try next summer to have my first ever driving lesson, but I don’t think I’ll have more than three before deciding that driving isn’t for me!

I like to talk about sceneries when travelling on trains, I love trains, but again I daydream a lot on trains.  Unless the conversation isn’t specifically towards the scenery I tend to zone out on people.

It’s easy for me to zone out completely and sometimes it takes a person shaking me by the shoulders to come back to reality again!

But outside of this one big daydream of mine, what do I do?

I like tending to the garden, but I am never without my creative quirks there either as I imagine faeries or trolls peeping out at me from behind bushes and dark corners and so forth.  Whenever I garden, I garden with nature and unseen forces in mind; I have to have fruits, herbs and vegetables every few feet, because it helps the fair folk, animals and birds.  It’s either my active imagination or my witchy roots and shamanic past that allows me to see things that others say aren’t there.  I have never decided which is true…

But whatever I grow in the garden to eat, I always ensure that at least a quarter of what I grow is never harvest as because I don’t want to be seen as greedy and because I feel that you should leave things for nature, to go to seed or for the fair folk.  Did you know in actual fact that ancient humans used to always farm and garden like this until humans developed more of the greed gene? 

I am not a tidy gardener, I am a cut and drop type and I have the healthiest soil for miles around because of it; I know that some diseases and weeds should not be cut and dropped and I am wise to those things and they go either in a bucket of water to rot down or they go into a bonfire at the end of the month.  I have a special area for the bad stuff.

I grow with companion planting in mind and bio warfare – I am completely 100% organic and chemical free, what I do is I learn about nature and what feeds on what and I try to mimic the natural balance in my garden by trying to encourage pest killers into a problematic area.  If I grow nasturtiums the nasturtiums tend to encourage caterpillars and they generally leave my cabbages and other things alone, if I have an influx of aphids on my peas I grow sweet peas that are inedible nearby and umbellifers such as dill, fennel and yarrow to attract ladybirds and lacewings which eat aphids, as well as calendulas… no calendulas don’t eat aphids, they attract the things that do!

I am loved by frogs and toads and it used to freak my mother out every summer about how they’d hop or crawl after me if I was near the pond, because I had nurtured them since tadpoles and they became tame enough to be touched (make sure your hands are wet before you touch them as your skin can burn theirs).

I try to ensure a lot of mini ponds around the garden or makeshift ponds in the forms of buckets and ponds half inserted into the ground for them, because they kill slugs and snails and also we have a family of five hedgehogs in our garden most of the time, we’re quite lucky because our garden is small really – but we have so much life here!

My back garden is only 30ft wide and 50ft long, my front garden is 20ft wide and 20ft long, so it really is quite small for what it gives us!  We get a lot of food out of it and there is plenty of nature here – we always get comments from people in our neighbourhood about how we’ve bewitched wildlife and stolen it from their gardens because they don’t get all the bees and butterflies we have and they’ve never seen hedgehogs or woodpeckers in their gardens!  I just simply smile, shrug and say – plant more, get rid of your horrendous decking and fake plastic lawn and grow wildflowers, and then they’ll come to you.  Most snobbily sneer at the idea and look disgusted at my suggestion, but there has been one or two who have listened and nature is spreading, as it does and as it wants to and as it should!

When not gardening, I am bonding with animals, either in the form of pets or those in my garden; I am known to be quite mad by some neighbours because I click at magpies to call them down from the trees and some eat out of my hand and give me presents of egg shell and the prettiest stones they can find!

My magpies are my biggest influence in my writing, they are the main characters of a particular book series I am writing and they are based entirely on magpies I have befriended in reality.

I know it sounds nuts, but my life has been saved by a crow I cared for when it got heat stroke, this crow has long since died, but its family remember me and watches out for me.  I am profoundly deaf with inner ear auto-immune disease, which means a lot of the time because of ear infections I can’t wear my hearing aids at all, so I become completely deaf regularly – but one day I didn’t hear a car coming after I thought the coast was clear, it was one of those young teenage drivers who were racing down the long road and they nearly ran me down, but my crow, the one I saved earlier that year swooped down knocking me off balance just as the car nearly hit me, making me fall out of the way of the hit!

This crow and its family gets upset if they don’t see me for more than three days at a time and will shout their caws loudly and fly around the house until I either open the window so they can see me or go outside for a few minutes just to let them know I am OK – Paul is fascinated by this, but to me it’s normal!  They quieten down once they see me!

See it’s hard to have a “normal life” when I live the life I do.  My life is certainly not normal for everyone out there (points to the world) but it is normal for our ancestors and tribal people.  I consider myself an ancient human trapped in modern times.

I find it hard to have a “normal life” and talk about “normal” things.  I think normal is very suggestible, different to everyone and it hurts me when people feel they have the right to judge someone like me!  Because, in reality, had humans maintained their tribal existence and had maintained living as nature intended, then based on that, my way of life would be considered normal and conservative… it would be strange, not to be like me!

Other than having my head in the clouds and playing with nature like some kind of Disney princess, I do like movies and I do like doing puzzles.  I love 1000 piece puzzles and have a big collection of them and I have a love for word games, scrabble and codebreakers, that sort of thing.

I love feeding people too, I love to cook and I am often accused of making people fat when they stay here for more than a week!  Most people have to go on diets after visiting me, because they grow an addiction to my food!

I make as much as possible from scratch, including various jams, chutneys and sauces.  I am not scared of making pastry and I often cook too much deliberately, just to freeze them for later.  That’s how a home cook can manage their life better, cook and freeze – it’s safe, probably a lot safer than bought produce.

It’s funny but I get comments from people about how unsafe it is to put my lasagne in the freezer if nobody eats it all, but then they go out and buy microwavable frozen lasagne meals… the irony is both sad and laughable.

I find it hard to make friends with regular people; it’s easy for me to make friends with witches and creative people though.  Unfortunately I live in an area that is famed for its culture, but most of the people who live around me are science based workers, unemployed or in catering.  For the creative folk I have to be in the centre of town or a village five miles south from here, that’s where the creative folk are.

Paul is a scientist, he is a little bit creative because he used to be a photographer and he did once become a lecturer for art history in a university; but he is really a doctor of geology and that’s what he has been most of his life.  So he fits in here in our village, because a lot of people who live around us are doctors or nurses.

But he admits, though he loves some of my work he doesn’t love it all and it is hard for him to be enthusiastic in partaking an active role in being creative with me and brainstorming with me or even encouraging me beyond his scientific “get on with it” kind of way.  He is rather picky about what he likes and what he doesn’t like.

It is hard for me, because I am the type of writer that when she writes her stuff for the day she wants to share it with the person she is living with, immediately, because I am a person who likes to brainstorm with others – I like to talk about what I have done, because I am emotionally shallow and needy.    I am easily knocked off my perch if I think someone is disinterested, this is the hardest thing about me being a writer, since moving in with Paul.

My mother on the other hand was very good at feigning interest to buck a person’s creative confidence up, but Paul doesn’t like to even pretend and I appreciate him for that – but it is also frustrating for me.

So, what do I do outside of writing?  Basically play with animals, do puzzles, gardening, fatten people up and just generally connect to my inner being and nature.  I think that’s entirely me… I do love music, I love art, I love practising on my various musical instruments, but when I do that – I tend to go back into creative play again, then write songs and compose music!

So that’s me!  A creative child of nature; surrounded by a multitude of other species; that is spiritually connected to her little world and loves to entertain people with food, story and poetry.

Hope you enjoyed an insight to my weird little life!

Thanks for reading! 

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The vulgar subject

People sometimes ask me if I ever became successful, what would I spend my money on? 

I have answers to that, but first I want to ask why do people believe that just because someone has become rich for whatever reason, that for the rest of their lives all they will ever do is try to spend it and that they must and often do so? 

It’s just puzzling, because for me, I have known rock bottom poverty and the idea of squandering money when I get it, is not something that I am comfortable with!  Though saying that, I do resent having money when I know someone else is suffering and I tend to give generously when I do have it – never privately, I do it through charities and campaigns, because I wasn’t always poor you know?

It’s a weird thing about life and me, my relationship with money has always been boom and bust to both extremes.

Now for what I tend to do when I get lucky.  I tend to gift people I haven’t been generous to for a while, such as close friends and family if it is a special occasion and I tend to splash out on a nice group meal either cooked at home or out.

My next tendency is to buy things to improve my pets quality of life and things for my garden; then books in my “to buy list” and then little curios from spirituality shops, like crystals, mythological ornaments, tarot cards and Feng shui specific things.

I reckon if I won the lottery in life or literally win the lottery, my ideas would be to get myself a bigger menagerie of pets (domestic and small farm ones only) and a property with a lot of land so I can practically live outdoors in my edible forest garden, whilst playing with crystals and tarot cards and making miniature worlds with miniaturisation hobbies, I can never afford to get into currently.  I love miniatures!

I am also with Henry in the idea of all these train sets, purely for the joy of making miniature worlds for the trains to go through and little towns scattered here and there – if I had the room and the money! 

I don’t intend to grow up, I am and always will be childish and playful and for me its bills first, then fun then education then I will contemplate other grown up things like clothing and furniture. 

Weirdly enough, clothing is something that is way down on the list, despite my love for fashion!  I love fashion, but only if it’s not too expensive and only if it’s comfortable and I like it – comfort is essential above everything else, I don’t like to suffer whilst looking good!  I do like big brand names like Moschino and Alexander McQueen, but I look at the price tag and I think… well… don’t be stupid, the amount of beautiful giant crystals I could get with that or a lovely playhouse for the rabbit in the garden for the summer, or Henry a lovely trip at Severn Valley and yet another Hornby trainset special edition I could buy instead!

I’ve never understood the people who say enjoy your life, spend 10k on a dress and get yourself a yacht and go on five holidays a year mind-set!   A yacht would be wasted on me as I get home sick after five days away, after two weeks of being away I have more or less rooted myself elsewhere and don’t want to go back.  It’s the gypsy in me; my maternal grandmother was half Romany, hence the love for crystals and tarot –she taught me when I was 7yrs old – they say don’t teach kids that before that age as they are not strong enough to fend off spirits who may try to make changelings out of them!

This is the same grandma who watched horror movies with me and wrestling, as I was growing up – she was a cool gran, but completely and utterly non-domestic, couldn’t cook to save her life, in fact she’d daren’t cook, it was safer not to!  A complete anomaly to her gypsy roots, where every woman polished their brasses daily and knew umpteen recipes off by heart!

But I think the most lavish thing my money would ever be spent on is lots of temporary homes everywhere I am likely to visit regularly, just so I don’t get home sick, if that makes sense? 

The second elaborate thing would be 5k on giant crystals or getting a new pony or a goat, but other than that – I am pretty simple in my hopes and dreams for life.

All I really want is The Garden Of Eden; a lot of love from lots of close relationships, good food, lots of snuggles with animals and wildlife in the garden, freedom to be myself and peace.

Once I have that, I will feel in paradise and I won’t need to die.

I’m a natures child who is very kooky, playful, childish, sensitive, have too much love to give and who needs a garden of organic edible wonder, an animal enthusiast and a tardy creative, because I get side-tracked in my daydreams.  But I am also fierce and passionate and I hate injustice and ignorance and I was the kid who got beaten up because she saved the other ones who weren’t strong enough by taking the blows for them – that’s me, nothing more and nothing less!

Happy reading!

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The wonders of technology

I have been learning a lot about what to do with the technological gadgets I have; I have always had various social media accounts, but never really got to grips with how to make the most of them.

I have only just realised that the “notifications” I get in twitter are not all messages the public give to me, but are actually random posts from people or subjects I follow.  It was very confusing for me for a lot of the time and my wires got crossed a lot!

I have since learned how to tell if something is actually for me or a random public post and it has destressed me a lot!

One thing I am still not clear on in regards to twitter is how to reply to thank someone for retweeting something without having to go to their actual profile page to do so?

I didn’t fully understand the value of twitter as a writer until recently either.  I was always told that as a writer you need a social media presence, but I didn’t understand why.

I realised it’s not all about self-promotion at all, like I was told by other writing friends – It’s all about your personality and who you are.  It’s fascinating to think that I have gained over sixty followers this past week, purely on a heated topic I took part in earlier this week on twitter about gender identity.

I really didn’t think that people really cared about a writer until they’ve read copious amounts of their work and then decided to become a fan.  I didn’t realise in this day and age, your personality accounts for a lot.  People are really into this “influencer” ideology and I have been behind the times for years it seems.

It’s opened up a whole new world to me, I didn’t know this was a thing until I actually bothered to research all this stuff as I am preparing myself for a career in art and writing and I am taking it all very seriously!

I was distraught the other day when I learned that Goodreads was taking away their ability to recommend books to friends option – but then, when mooching around the site I found that there are three little buttons at the top of every book I’ve read where you can share your book on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest; why get upset then?  I can merely click one of those buttons and do it another way anyway!

Although I had a Pinterest account, I had never really wanted to use it as a proper social media until Goodreads took away the recommendations options.  I have made new boards on Pinterest about the kinds of books I read, so my followers can go there and have a look and perhaps get inspired to read something that inspired me.

I have since learned that Pinterest can be monetised without ruining your follower’s relationships and it will earn you a passive income – this is something I will delve into more deeply later on in the month, to see if it’s something I may or may not do.

I have had an Instagram account for a few years now and have never posted a picture on it – but again I learned it can be monetised without affecting follower relationships too, again earning you a passive income each month.  I got an Instagram account because I was friends with a lot of artists who wanted to share their artwork with me and a couple of relatives who like to show their holiday pics up there too.

I have wanted to start doing short poems, art and wildlife photography to put up onto Instagram, maybe with a few inspirational quotes as well?  But not sure when I will take the plunge on that yet! https://www.instagram.com/tardycreative/

I will share my profile from Instagram but you will see its empty more or less.

I am @CreativeTardy on twitter these days.

My Pinterest is https://www.pinterest.co.uk/naturescreativecomrade/ it is called NaturesCreativeComrade because that is my account on google and will be the name of my up and coming YouTube channel.

I bought the webcam and microphone a year ago and still haven’t learned how to set it up; I really ought to get around to it! 

Why did I choose that as my YouTube name?  Because my YouTube channel is going to be about my journey as a writer and an artist, but also a gardener and wildlife photographer; I will also include pet care in the videos.  Writing is not my primary focus on this channel – it will be about my relationship with nature and how it inspires me to become creative.

I focus a lot of my gardening on permaculture, polyculture, food forest, no dig ideologies and completely 100% organic, I heard the bad neighbour is moving by the end of summer, so hopefully I can get back out there – saving the world starts at a garden a time, after all!

Thanks for reading!

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Truth of a luddite

Where the blazes have you been woman?  I suppose that is something you all have been thinking since learning about my forays into technology?

Truth is, I rebelled against my much older brother for years as he demanded that I learn everything about technology and be a techno-head like him.  I pushed against the idea that technology really will drown the old world out and replace it to such an extent that money will eventually become extinct for cyber points instead etc.

We’re close to that kind of society now and it is a sobering thought, because as much as I pushed against it, I am being dragged in by the tidal wave of millions of people who are going in for all of that!

I really believed that more and more people will think like me, drag themselves away from the zombie mind-sets of technology and run for the hills to save the environment from the onslaught of iron, plastic and wires and being pounded by invisible waves of energy because they’ll see the damage it is doing.

I’m sad to say they haven’t and it’s been a long time.

Where have I been indeed?

The honest answer is curled up with a book in the corner of a room, until the bad neighbour came, I would venture into my garden growing everything organically and in permaculture style and trying my best to stick to traditional life.

But I want a writing career and I am not going to be that successful in it, without all the technological stuff. 

Though learning it is fun, I still learn it with pangs of guilt that I am not being true to myself – my nature – my environment and beliefs.

I just wished that technological advancement was more environmentally friendly, healthy and inclusive with nature; instead of drowning out the sounds of nature to the extent the birds are going deaf to each other because of human noise and infrasound.

I want to be trendy like other people, knowing all the new gadgetry off by heart and going with the flow, but I also crave the old ways – the self-sufficiency, the living at one with nature, not fighting with it for space and resources.

This is what I have been struggling with for nearly two decades and I am giving in, I am giving in like all the other millions of people around the world have – but I hope that I still hold true to some traditional ways in spite of this.

I’m not an Amish, but for years I have come close to being like one.  Gardening in traditional ways, no electrical tools, no poisons like pesticides and herbicides, walking barefoot in the garden, knee deep in soil and eating fruit straight from the bushes and trees without thought;  I don’t really want to change that much and I am likely not to.

But I like having a social media presence.

I know I am quiet, but I am one of these strange people in the world who don’t like to talk unless I have something to say or that I feel the words that come out of my mouth have to have some kind of meaning… I don’t like engaging in very negative conversations or gossip, so this makes me an anomaly to many.

I don’t follow people just because they’ve followed me, I have to like what they have to say, I have to connect somehow – if I don’t, I won’t follow, because I don’t believe in boosting a person’s ego and presence, unless there is something about them I like. 

Why?  Because I am old fashioned, I believe your connections represent who you are as a person and if I connect with the wrong kind of person, because I don’t really know who they are, then that could be damaging to me.

I think this is something that is wrong with social media; people don’t understand that association can affect your own reputation.  It might not be like that these days, but to me it still stands.

These are what have made me hold back with technology a bit.

But I am open to change; I am not that stubborn or stupid.

But I do have a big hang up on my looks, I believe I am hideous and I struggle on an emotional level to share photographs of myself.

But I have to get used to it.

It’s the way of the world now.

I am not happy in my own skin and I would appreciate some love as I have had way too much abuse and negativity in my life, that it’s darkened me as a person, my light is almost going out – I need to regain my spark.  It went years ago.

I am very apprehensive online and I make loads of mistakes when trying to chat with people, by sending posts before they’ve finished etc.

Thanks for reading!

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Sunflower solution

Today Paul and I have thought about the sunflower oil and sunflower lecithin crisis that has hit the world, because last year was a very bad year in sunflower production due to climate and weather disturbances but now there is another factor that has affected sunflower oil production – the war on Ukraine; this war has contributed to the sunflower crisis because Ukraine produced 46% of the worlds sunflowers and safflowers.  This means that the sunflower oil crisis has certainly lengthened, but it also poses a threat to people who have food intolerances like me.

Without the use of sunflower lecithin in products they will now use soy or flax and I am sensitive to both of those things, which means it has affected me directly!  My diet is going to become further reduced as a result of it.

Paul and I are uncertain whether or not I will react to flax lecithin’s, because so far as we know, I am mostly affected if I eat whole flax seeds or linseeds, so whether or not I will be ok in other forms, time will tell!

We do know that I am no longer severely gluten and lactose intolerant, that it was products that contained soy, that didn’t make itself obvious until recently.

We know that gluten causes a slight rise in my blood pressure if I eat, say more than a sandwich worth of bread in a day of wheat, but that it does seem to be mostly a wheat rather than gluten problem potentially…

Lactose only really causes an issue with my digestive system if I eat too much fat in one day, but I can now drink a milkshake or have a chocolate bar with no ill effect, if I am easy on other fats throughout the day!

So this has helped improve my diet choices again and there is a noticeable increase in my health since going back to these foods.  But it is not anything to celebrate really, as the changes are still rather small, just a change in hair, nail and skin quality and deeper, longer sleep sessions.  I am more tired these days, but we’re not sure why.

Because of the sunflower crisis, I told Paul that when we get some money, it might be worth investing some of that money in sunflower farming?  But Paul feels that many other farmers are already on the ball with that and may neglect wheat farms to do so, meaning that he feels there could be a wheat shortage soon as people literally chase what they think is a golden opportunity.

I am not happy about doing wheat farming, I am not into grasses because of the lack of biodiversity and Paul failed to remember that my sunflower farm would not be a monoculture, because you can grow other things underneath the big blowsy heads of flowers!  Beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn and squash for example are excellent companion plants for this crop.

Because aphids are attracted to sunflowers on mass, ants will actually farm those aphids for their honeydew and therefore the crops underneath the sunflowers would not be affected by the aphids as much as they would have without them. 

Because ultimately any farming or self-sufficiency I do is 100% organic and polycultural.

Not only this but farming the sunflowers like this would also bring in the three sisters philosophy too, corn, squash and beans, corn in particular increase their yield when planted next to sunflowers it is just a matter of alternating plants, sunflower, with a block of corn, sunflower, block of corn, you get it?

So it would be a very productive system in my opinion, so I guess, in a manner, Paul gets his way when he suggests we really should consider a grain…

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Gardening was a help

My depression was getting better and the suicidal thoughts were abating on a huge scale three years ago, because of gardening.  Last year my neighbour has got into a new relationship with a man who is creepy and weird and likes to harass and make me uncomfortable when in my garden to such an extent I haven’t touched or been in my garden to do anything since September 2020. 

The thing is, Paul says there is nothing we can do about a neighbour who is like that unless he becomes an actual physical threat, unless we record him on film doing things.  We don’t have the money to set up cameras with microphones to keep tabs on his behaviour so Paul more or less has a shrug it off attitude about it.  So I don’t garden anymore.

I miss it a lot and I wish we could move away, but Paul just can’t.  We can’t afford to for one thing and for another, this house is suffering from rising damp and the roof is broken in two parts.  We also have persistent black mould, which we have to constantly clean away.  The house is worth good money, but we have to knock 40k off it because of its condition, there are no houses in this area we could buy with what would be left for us, on the sale of this.  Well, not a house in which I could have a garden, there are houses but their gardens are literally 10ft by 10ft, they are basically courtyards of townhouse terraces.

It wouldn’t be so bad but this neighbour is also wilfully destructive, he will lean over the fence and literally cut anything he sees peeping up, whether it is leaning into his garden or not.  He has leant over the fence quite a lot on some cases and nearly fell into our garden to do so in order to cut branches of our pine and ash.  He has started to do something I don’t like as well, which is he is trying to reach over to get my blackberry and train it on a chicken wire netting he has placed on his fence, but Paul keeps going out to snip it just as he thinks he has a chance to get it.

He is a rotten man, there are other things but I won’t mention them.  He also accidentally on purpose stumbles off our shared garden path in the front garden to stomp all over my forget-me-nots, dahlias, lilies, nasturtiums and I have caught him trying to take tomatoes, strawberries and mint from the garden too.

He doesn’t like birds sitting on the fence; he will scare them away or spray them with hoses.  He knows we have two bird feeders and like birds in our garden, but he makes sure they don’t stay long!

My cousin taught me a saying once and I laughed at it, it really does apply to this man “that I can’t believe he was the sperm that won”!

Ugh

I miss gardening and I miss lounging in the garden for hours on end reading from April to October every year.

I really have a strong desire to create a food forest garden, but with a nature hating neighbour like that, it is not going to be easy.  Our gardens are 30ft wide and 50ft long in the back garden; he has decked three quarters of his garden and terraced it making the other bits just lawn. 

He is also an insect squisher.  It is hard for someone like me who loves nature and wants to protect it and rewild spaces with my silly hippy idealisms, to see that someone like that exists only to be destructive as it would seem. 

I am particularly sad that I am very passive and I am not known for being particularly assertive, for me to live with a man who is the same.  I feel there is no defence against such a rotter and I have heard him loudly proclaim in big raucous laughter to his brother and friends that we don’t care what he does to our garden and that makes me feel very hurt and angry and sad.

I asked Paul to get some kind of advice about this, but he seems to think it’s all hopeless, there is no one and nothing we can do against such a person.

So I don’t know what to do.

I hope he doesn’t stay there, but it looks like he might be there for a long haul.

Happy reading I suppose.

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Defining self update May 2021

Since 2012 I had been trying to learn how to define myself – why?  Because I had such a suppressed, isolated and abused life before that time that I had never developed my true personality, likes and dislikes etc; because I was never allowed to be nurtured as an individual.  I was literally born to become a facsimile of my mother’s dreams and wishes and because her dreams and wishes went against a lot of my own instinctive nature, both of us were very unhappy with the result and neither of us got exactly what we wanted from my existence.

Where it was my nature to sit quietly, drawing, cutting & pasting, playing Barbie dolls and watching cartoons, it was my mother’s nature to force me to listen to pop music, watch top of the pops, worry about fashion, gossip and EastEnders and to try and teach me to give certain people Hell on Earth. 

When I was bullied by other children, it was my nature to ignore them, but confide in my mother and hope that she would try and help to advise me or complain to the parents or head teacher on the rare occasions I went to school; but instead she responded with the concept that I had to play dirty and hit them back or I was considered weak and therefore would only get bullied continuously.  There was a situation with my mother’s close friend, where her two children bullied me and pushed me off my own swing in my own back garden, I ran indoors crying and both my mother and their mother dragged me outside with a broom and told me to hit those kids as hard as I could or else I would get it instead.

Looking back I still can’t believe how both my mother, her friend and her children would sit back and laugh in recollection of that day, especially as I chose not to hit the kids with the broom and instead scarper upstairs as fast as I could and bolted my bedroom door up with my bed to stop any punishment of my supposed cowardice.  I stayed in my bedroom for the rest of the day, because I knew once my dad came home my mum couldn’t continue her plans, as dad had a sweet nature and wouldn’t allow it.  A trick I had learned to use for most of my life – hide till dad gets home.

I had to learn to be partly how she wanted me to be, as long as it didn’t go against my personal morals within reason.  I am glad to say, I have a higher standard of morals than she does.

The amount of times she had tried to train me to be violent, it had worked in some cases, but in others it only taught me how to literally close my emotions off at dangerous situations.  I easily phase out when there is a dangerous violent person around me ranting and raving and throwing things around, I go blank, close down, and become almost robotic.  It is something I have been told I need to alert the doctor about, but I won’t because I feel that they might try to think it would be helpful to keep me switched on.  A lot of people state that switching myself off emotionally during these times can be very dangerous, a sign that I could become a dangerous person, but I am by my very nature, quite passive unless provoked too much!

I just want a quiet life where I am loved, that’s all.  I want happy people who dislike drama and just want to get on in life, not bored, arrogant people who thrive on bullying and drama.  That’s not for me.  I don’t want that kind of attention.  I just want love, peace, getting on with my art, games, gardening and pets.  That’s all.  Boring I guess to a lot of people, but I would be very happy.

I am learning that a lot of things I thought I loved when I lived with my mother are actually things I was taught to love because she liked them.  Since moving away, on every context of my life, I am unrecognisable.  I don’t hold myself the same way anymore and I certainly don’t have the same voice anymore, strange I know, but even my voice has changed a lot!

There are a few things I wanted to be, do and have, when I lived with my mother, that I still want to be, do or have now; but not much of it. 

I still want to be a writer that gets her books published, but I understand that for now, it is best not to get published before Autumn of 2022, for certain personal reasons.

I still regard myself as bisexual, something that I have never been open about to any member of my blood family, due to stigma, my mother has a problem with gay people – she wouldn’t hurt them, but she is ridiculously avoidant of them and I have heard the kinds of things she says behind their backs!  The rest of the family are kind of open to homosexuality, but they are very Catholic too, so it is a stiff subject to rise with them.  Some of those family members will now most definitely know, because I know they read this blog.

Despite being sick, I have always wanted a homestead or a smallholding.  But I have to be realistic with what I can physically do, but I am trying hard to find a way in keeping to this dream, but working around the disabilities too.  I don’t have a big enough property yet, to do it, but I am researching a lot about chickens and food forest permaculture style gardening and that sort of thing.

I used to regard almost shamefully how much of a gamer I am, but these days I am starting to feel a part of a proud community of gamer nerds.  It is becoming cool to be a gamer nerd these days and it is a huge boost to my confidence about admitting to people my love for PC games in particular.

I also used to feel slightly ashamed at being a reader, because in my mother’s side of the family in particular, to be a reader, was regarded as weird as you admitting that you are a lifestyle Klingon who actively understands the whole of the Klingon dictionary!  Actually I know some Klingon words, an ex-online long-distance boyfriend of mine was a lifestyle Klingon who moved to USA and became pretty famous for it… so there you go!

I have always wanted to be a larper too, which is something that Paul has always wanted to be too, so we might do that together someday.

But there is a whole host of other stuff I never knew I liked before recently.  Really strange things that are even starting to raise Paul’s eyebrows in confusion as to…. Why is this interesting?  But I honestly can say, I don’t know why I am finding life of bacteria, soil health and microbiology so fascinating lately; as well as the entire lifecycle and habits of bees.  I also read a lot of books on cosmology and physics and this is puzzling to Paul because I can’t do math, don’t understand any of the maths involved in all of this and therefore only understand the non-mathematical parts of the stuff I am learning.  I have dyscalculia, it is dyslexia for math, and it has been confirmed professionally by the OU.

I have been thinking about joining SkillShare to see if there are videos that would help someone like me learn math to as high as I possibly can despite this problem.  But I won’t be able to afford that for a while, until the debts have been bought down a bit.

I don’t know why I want to learn math, especially as I don’t really plan to do anything with it, other than learn stuff I don’t really need to learn because I won’t have a career in microbiology any time soon.  But it is fun stuff the bits I do understand.

I am very geeky, I admit it.  But there you go.

Another thing my family will not recognise is my eating habits.  I don’t eat like how I used to because of medical reasons.  I can’t eat lactose (dairy) at all unless it is vegan, because my stomach can process it anymore.  I shouldn’t eat gluten (wheat) because it irritates my skin and asthma, but I do slip that in more than I should and I should avoid eating more than 2 eggs a week.  Because all of this can aggravate my problems; my main diet looks like this – 70% vegetables and the rest meat or fruit.  I have less than half a plate of my usual dinner size meal per day, for the whole day.  This is regarding what my mother would expect.  When I lived with my mother it was normal to consume 4500 calories per day – since cutting out a lot of the allergen foods and because of my illness, I can barely manage 1500 calories most days.  I am on high doses of most vitamins and minerals because I can’t process a lot of them.

My mother would think I am starving to death if she saw me eating 1 chicken fillet with a Mediterranean style salad and 2 roast potato halves, which is my usual meal and often only meal of the day.  Because I just can’t physically cope with more than that anymore.  Weirdly, I am just not losing weight, but I am losing inches.

Funnily enough doctors aren’t too worried about this because according to blood tests, my iron is the best levels they’ve ever been my whole life, lately!  I used to have constant anaemia when I lived with my mother and even was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called pernicious anaemia too.  I have problems with B vitamins or something, which is now worse because of the lack of gluten in my diet, bread is rich in vitamin B, but I can’t have normal bread.

The new me is becoming very different to how I imagined I would be.  A lot of the things I thought were my deepest desires are now considered things I no longer want.  I wanted a large family, but because the cosmos has contrived to make my family as tiny as possible I have gave up fighting for it and no longer want any more children.  I never wanted to live in a rural area, I always wanted to be a suburban homesteader, but now I want to be as rural as I can get, whilst maintaining at least an hours journey from a major British city, London or Manchester.

I never wanted to become vegan, but I have to say, that my body is doing better with a plant based diet than not – though I am not giving up meat anytime soon, just yet.  But I am surprised that my diet is literally 75% plants, whereas before, it was around 20%

I am having a problem with sugar lately and I am finding candies less enjoyable than berries and vegan vanilla ice-cream.

All these are in my opinion are major changes.

I had very little respect for certain types of art and music and now I love them and will even fight for them.

I am becoming so very, very different; it is both exciting and scary!

I am shocked at who I am becoming.

Thank you for reading.

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A tardiness update

Hello everyone, long time no writes, I know, sorry about that!

I want to say that I have been having a lot more infections than usual and a lot more chest and breathing problems which are not Covid related; I have not been infected with Covid luckily.  I have completely self-isolated since March 2020, I have only left the house twice in that time for dental appointments – I have been scared of Covid especially as I have a history for chest infections and pneumonia anyway!

Other than dental appointments I must admit I have steered clear of all doctor clinics and hospitals because I think that if I go, I am more likely to get infections – now this is frustrating because before Covid the doctor could care less for my health problems and whilst Covid has been a factor I have had to turn down huge amounts of appointments because the doctor is now ready to try and solve them… it is like the world is conspiring to trap me to get Covid lol!

I think there is one good thing about the fact I was isolated all of my life by my mother, that is, Covid19 isolation is literally a doddle for me as I have always learned to cope with what I have and make the best of being at home.  But it is also deeply depressing that again, I feel like the world is conspiring to keep me cooped up for all of my life!

I have mental health issues because of my past and so many people have been concerned for how Covid isolation may be affecting me mentally.  But they don’t understand that it is normal for me, I have been so used to it for so long that it is second nature.  So unlike the rest of the world that has always had some kind of freedom, I don’t go stir crazy just because I can’t leave the house for a time.

Staying at home or even cooped up for prolonged periods inside a single room really doesn’t bother me as long as there are things I can do.  If the room was empty, that could be a completely different matter, I may go crazy after a few days, but I would make do with meditations, visualisations and if I were not causing trouble to do so, singing and reciting poetry etc. 

The thing with me is, imagination is easy.  Imagination is my friend and I have learned to harness it on command for any situation.  I do meditation and visualisation so well, that there has been times I have been hungry and I have visualised eating a meal and I have come out of meditation not feeling hungry anymore!

It’s amusing really that I am overweight; when I consider that I can do this.  But I will be completely honest with you; I am overweight for only three reasons.  As part of the abuse I have been victim of, a large part of that was being fed constantly, my abusers were feeders.  I have lost a huge amount of weight since being away from them, but not enough to be of healthy weight.  Secondly, I am addicted to caffeinated sodas such as cherry cola and Pepsi, but still, not as bad as I used to be.  I have gone from a 5 litre a day habit to only 1 litre now -still trying to fight the addiction.  Third reason – the biggest one of them all is.  I lost a majority of the weight I had because when I moved in with Paul and got away from the abuse, I started to religiously walk 9 miles per day and I that was doing the trick with normal eating.  Since becoming sick back in 2012 I then walked only twice a week for about 2 miles and since Covid I walk nowhere at all, except around the house.

In my humble opinion I need to lose a lot more.  I have tried to go on a diet, but diet alone is not working at all.  I have stuck religiously to a diet for 3 months and I haven’t lost a pound!  It’s only going to go via exercise, which this body just can’t cope with right now.  Every time I try to exercise I get weird symptoms of lower back shakes and unsteady shaking legs and hands.  I am residing myself to the fact I can’t garden anymore, not for longer than 15 minutes a time.

I have to make do with trying to think about what I want to do versus what I can realistically do these days.

I love gardening, but short of sitting at table with pots, that is something I can no longer do the exact way I love the most – which is to kneel down with my hands in the dirt, pulling and pruning and chipping and replanting from ground to ground in true food forest garden fashion.

I have to reside myself to the idea that someday, if I get a little money, I can get someone in to pull my whole garden out for  me and make me hip high raised beds with seating around them, so I can sit and garden the lame man’s way.  Sorry, but to say I don’t feel bitter about not being able to do it the usual way, would be a lie!

My disabilities are affecting my creative crafts too sometimes.  Hand shakiness (presumably not Parkinson’s) are sometimes affecting me using utensils when eating as often as once a week, as well as hand cramps and so therefore drawing and painting on those days is a no go. 

My writing can sometimes be affected on bad pain days; sometimes pain is so bad I misread things, miss-type things, mispronounce things and even have spoonerisms coming out of my ears!  Hand shakiness and pain can affect how much I read in a day too as well as depression.  On a good week without much pain or shakes I can read about three books, if the depression isn’t there.  I think I mentioned this before.  You can more or less tell how I am doing by how much I am reading on Goodreads.com

But don’t be overwhelmed with sympathy for me not getting down to my art and writing however!  There are other factors besides health which leads to my tardiness – the phases I go through.  I tend to find it hard to narrow down precisely who I want to be.  So I go through weeks at a time being so involved in one thing or two and then move on again. 

For example; Between October and April, I have got into the phase of watching around 3 hours a day of YouTube videos from people who are homesteaders and food forest permaculture gardeners, as well as food preservers and artists.  February and April 2021 I have gone through another spiritual soul searching phase.  I have read books based on spirituality and cosmic ordering and I have been thinking about my self-definition a lot.  Since the start of April I have re-established my love for The Sims 4 and have been playing that daily for literally 6 hours a time.  Disgusting I know.  But I have still been practising my art approximately 3 days a week for an hour a time, which is becoming a record now, because that too, used to come in phases!  If this is an unusually long phase, then I have been in this once since last summer!

Writing is on a severe back burner, I am writing about 90 minutes three times a week since March, whereas I wrote a lot more, before then.

On a very positive note however; my art practises are for the very reason that I have decided to make a children’s picture book series and I am practising my art to get the same characters right in several different poses.  Now I know, you are all thinking that I am not a children’s author and that would be very true!  But something happened in my mind, where I just have to have this children’s series about a dragon in true infant picture book form.  I don’t know why this is happening, but I am going with the flow!

But I will tell you now; my main genres are dark fantasy and dystopia that will never change!

Until next time, thank you for reading.

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Filed under About my work

Gardening & writing plans & books – oh my!

I have only written about one page towards a novel this week, because of sickness, but also because I am reading a little more than normal – mainly magazines based on gardening and permaculture.  I have no energy to garden yet and it is actually quite unlikely I will do much in the garden this year, but I am learning as much as I can whilst I am out of sorts.  I have reinjured my leg twice in the past two weeks and so mobility is now getting affected, I have an old break that never healed properly and the two separate injuries were heavily on this old break.

I have written approximately 5 pages towards the plans of a new novel for April’s NaNoWriMo as I do intend to participate this year.

I have also started writing a non-fiction book based on my current knowledge of gardening and self-sufficiency, hence the extra research too, I want to be thorough as I realised there is not enough of the kinds of information I want out there readily available and I wanted to make it easier for others like me to find.  So far I have written approximately 10 pages towards that.

All of this whilst sick with a chest infection, injured leg, ear infection and the extreme depression caused by the harassment I am getting from my neighbour, which is actually making me scared to go into my own back garden these days.

I am planning to start selling my artwork around the end of the year; there is a local opportunity for me to take up positions in the local art gallery and I am going to snap those up.  I won’t be ready until autumn.

I have also done four half done pieces of artwork this week, there are plans for 6 more, I am trying to do them fast, but they require a lot of layers and drying time so that can be frustrating!

I am also starting a junk journal for the first time.

Whilst I am updating you all, I may as well tell you about some of the books I have read this month.  I have read “Conversations with God” as a non-believer in mainstream religions; I found it refreshing, because to me, it proves all the instincts I had about God growing up are true and valid.  But I had all those ideas beaten out of me because my family can be quite radical about this sort of thing.

I have also read “The library of the dead by T.L Huchu” which I absolutely loved, it was about ghosts and it is a mystery, a sort of detective for the dead sort of supernatural thriller/fantasy.  I found some parts of the story very gory, but it was a fun read and I look forward to reading more from this series – as I think I heard it is a series now?

I read “The Spooks Apprentice” by Joseph Delaney, which I felt was not really suitable for children under the age of 14.  I found it too disturbing in some parts and my son and his entire classroom had this read to him during school lockdown online and most of the children were asking the teacher not to read it to them because of nightmares!  So there you go!  I enjoyed it, but I found it too quick paced.

I am currently reading two other books I got from the library, so I will update you all on those soon.  The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor!

So this is a condensed down and short as possible update for you all, hope you all are well and I will hope to post again in a few days’ time.

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