Tag Archives: health

Price of ink and financial rants

My situation is such that when I write I will print off as I go along, because I don’t trust clouds and data saving technologies, because they have failed me numerous times before.

Recently my finances have become worse and this has affected my novel writing more than anything, now I am able to get back into novel writing since I had Covid, it has meant that because of the decline in my finances I can no longer print the seventy pages a week I used to, I can only afford to print twenty a week at most and one week in the month, nothing at all.

If it is novel writing, I will print it as I go along, because of two reasons – I do not trust data saving technologies and I find it difficult to read and edit from a screen, whether I create a blue background to read from or not.

It’s frustrating because I want to write towards four ideas immediately and I can’t write by hand anymore because my arthritis is getting bad.  Every time I write more than an A4 page of handwriting, my hand swells up to the extent I can’t properly hold the pen anymore and if I ignore it, the cramps come on.

My arthritis has meant I have had to give up my knitting hobby altogether, because not only does it exasperate the arthritis, but it has also reawakened my carpal tunnel problem too!

I miss knitting, because of the style of gloves I used to make for myself and the scarves – because the style and colours I like can’t be bought cheaply, like it can be made!

I don’t have the money to buy a knitting machine or else I would do that, I also liked making toys for children I knew, but now I have been thinking about learning felt crafts or sewing the toys instead – because for some reason or another sewing doesn’t affect me.

At the moment we have a printer that is breaking down, because it appears not to be getting a hundred pages per cartridge anymore and we can’t afford to replace the printer for at least a year.  The cost of the ink is always £15, cheap in comparison, but for us it’s three days meals.  We’re near the brink of needing food bank help again – and no Lee Anderson, I can actually cook thank you very much, in fact I cook most things from scratch and manage left overs very well so there is never food wasted here!

Amongst my cooking skills are homemade pies, cakes, soups, casseroles and pasta dishes, not to mention the fact that I have been fakeaway cooking at least ten years before it became “fashionable”!  But when your colleagues Mr Anderson insist that because I have a bus stop outside my house which is within the walking distance I can do without an asthma attack they cut my mobility money by £100 a month, which meant that I could no longer afford to manage the finances which included getting medical help to try and get me back on my feet (in order to work), because you took the money I needed to travel to the local hospital 20 miles away in another town, which costs me £20 a time and I need treatment around twice a week quite a lot of the time – which meant I had to decide to become anorexic and get treatment, or just give up fighting to get my life back and make sure my family doesn’t starve to death!  Which one would you choose? 

Because when I had to do the above we had £10 for the week for food and I often had to cancel at last minute the doctors, because I couldn’t afford to get there – because doctors don’t house visit anymore, no matter how poor you are!

Along with this, we’re still not getting a lot of free stuff sending our child to school.  We had to cancel his eleventh birthday last year and all household birthdays and have the crappiest Christmas ever just to save up to get him school uniform for his new secondary school, because you can’t get it free here and there was no way in getting second hand, we checked.  The child gets reprimanded at the school if their uniform is not complete, whether you can prove poverty or not!

We would love to give up the internet in order to get £6 a week more in our pockets to eat better and maybe get some medical attention – but that would mean my son can’t do his homework so losing the internet is not an option for us!  The irony is, they say that they are doing more and more for kids in poverty these days, honestly I don’t see it!  His meals aren’t free at school; it costs him an average of £3.50 a day for a hot meal in winter.

Don’t you dare blame the poor for poor management!

Free schools, meals in schools, the NHS was all originally created for the poorest in the community, but these days the poorest in the community are not reaping the rewards of yesteryear, it basically is slowly turning back to how it used to be.  Everything is slowly privatising again and they think we don’t see it!

I don’t normally turn my posts into political rants, but this Lee Anderson has a lot to learn and remember about the society he is trying to lead!

Funny thing is, despite being bed bound and housebound sick for around twenty weeks of the year, I could work, at the pace I can.  There is some work I could do, but the problem comes with practicality – I’ve tried slogging on looking for a job outside of the house whilst managing my sickness and nobody wants me!  No one wants someone part time three hours three days a week, even on a check out, because I have ailments which embarrass the company!  I have what appears to be a permanent streaming cold!

No one wants to work alongside someone who is sniffling all year around and then needing three weeks off four times a year because she can’t even get to the bathroom she’s so sick!

So I told the benefits OK, there are other things I can do, I can write, I can do art, I can upcycle things to sell, help advise me in how to set up my own business to do that and teach me what I need to know to run a business from home.  They won’t.

But understood only this… you said you can work?  OK we’re taking your ESA away and making you go to job search centres five days a week all year around and if you don’t turn up for three consecutive days because you are sick, we’ll pull your benefits again and it will take six weeks to reapply for benefits again, meanwhile there is no transitioning money…

So, who is going to opt for all their amenities to be switched off and starving your family for six weeks solid?  What sort of incentive is there to actually get your ass off benefits if you are sick?  What kind of incentive do they give the sick to try and work out their own ailments in order not to be a scrounger?

Because seriously, this is how it is here!

So people who call sick people on benefits scroungers, talk to your government about their crackpot schemes, and don’t go attacking us!  It’s not our fault!  Most of us would love to be independent and work and get even £5 extra a week in their pockets, because no one likes going through those humiliating interviews every year!

Paul and I had thought about going to Ireland as they take care of artists and writers on sickness benefits more than they do here in England – but lately we’ve seen the news, there are political issues cropping up – will we be welcomed in Ireland?

I know my great grandfather was Irish (from Roscommon) and I know that genetically I would be accepted with opened arms, but it’s still looking complicated…

I am very frustrated, because there are lots of things I need in order to get myself a job and there is absolutely not help at all and the money is being cut again and again, to the extent, that I haven’t impulse bought a thing since 2017 and I am losing a huge amount of weight, but can’t afford to replace my clothes as the weight falls off and I am looking ridiculous!  I have lost four dress sizes in nearly a year.

Doctor says that they don’t find that a worry because I was so large to begin with.  I was a size 28, I am now nearly a size 20, they won’t worry until I am a size 12 potentially – potentially I might be dead by then, before they investigate why!

They know I have an IBD because of my high markers, but they won’t investigate until I literally start screaming in pain at A&E, seriously, been told that, NHS is so badly stretched financially that they are now only dealing with life threatening conditions as they appear, cancer not one of them, government recently warned the UK that if you get cancer now, you are more or less fucked if you rely on NHS!

Also, I have a new cholesteatoma growing in my left ear, but my ENT specialist said his department is in so much debt right now, he will not deal with it until it is life threatening! I have been through this before when I was a teenager, I really don’t want to go there again, but I have no fucking choice, because he won’t help me! That means, if the worse comes to the worse again, I won’t be able to physically care for myself bathing wise for nearly three years again nor bend down! I will also be 100% deaf!

Anyway, I am going to close this rant up, because people are home now.

Happy reading everyone… if it was that kind of experience, which I doubt. 

P.S sorry for being an Eeyore today!

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I’m about to fall

Have you ever had a bad mental health day where you feel so down that when you walk around, you feel like you are about to pass out or that whenever you hear yet another bad thing turn up in your or your loved ones lives, you feel like you are about to drop where you stand?

I’ve been living in this kind of state for about a month now and it’s getting worse.

 I suppose if there has to be a positive note about it, at least I am not as suicidal as I was between 2013 and 2017, I suppose that is something.  But I can’t describe exactly why I feel on a constant state of near fainting, just because of mental stress…

This is one of the major reasons why, in spite of being physically ill, I have struggled to put words to paper for a while.

I have had two nervous breakdowns in the past, this is not like that, it feels different and the difference is scary!

It’s scary because it feels like I am so down in the dumps that my own heart is starting to pack up – because I have palpitations and my blood pressure is sky-rocketing even on Ramipril!

No I haven’t spoken to a doctor about it, because I don’t want therapy (of the mental kind), it makes things worse (experienced it, thank you).

The thing is, I have identified my problems, I have acknowledged what they are and worked out a method of overcoming them, but it is totally impractical right now, when I am too sick to do those necessary self-care essential things and what is more, I do not have the money to make one major difference possible.  You might say that money isn’t everything, but you know, for me, right now, it is a matter of if I have more money; I have a means to move out of one home and into another.

Now this is where the big Catch-22 comes into play!  You see, I know I need the money to do the major thing that will uplift me, but I am too sick and depressed to motivate myself to do it.  So until I decide at some point that I must suffer through the work in order to get some money, I won’t get through this!

I don’t have a support network that I can lean on and say… remove myself for a respite break from my current situation and get my thoughts together, then come back to it in a month or two – otherwise that would be exactly what I would seek out right now, someone who’d tolerate me for a month or two.

Because I don’t have that reprieve, I am more or less stuck, until my depression allows me to do the work I need to.

I am not using my depression as an excuse not to do the work, but if you knew how my depression is presenting itself right now, you would know that I am sleeping thirteen hours a day because I dread waking up each day, I wake up with the instant thought of “oh fuck it, I survived the night, how delightful” with the most sarcastic stance you can think of!

“Why, oh why, couldn’t I have drowned in my COPD mucus during the night?  What other kinds of shit experiences does the universe want me to experience today?”  Yes, I wake up with such enthusiasm.

Then I am made to feel guilty at 8:00am when my son bursts into the bedroom full of smiles and love for me and wishes me a great day, as he skips off to school!

Conflicted – much, I stay alive for him you know…

I think he knows it, he has planned as soon as he leaves school to become a father, so I must care for his grandchildren as a glorified unpaid babysitter for him.  Oh joy, no that’s not sarcasm, that is sincere, but then when can I feel that nobody needs me so I can just die?

That’s how I feel these days, I am literally plodding on like a zombie, one that is about to falter at any moment and it’s scary, but it is also exciting because… have I gone so far in my depression my body is finally going to give out?  Because, though I want things to get better for me, I feel hopeless, so in a big way, I am excited about death.

For those with a dark sense of humour you may find comedy in the fact that despite what I am saying here, I am drinking eight glasses of water a day, reducing sugar and fat wherever possible and has a mostly plant based non-vegetarian diet, meaning I do eat meat but it’s like 25% of my diet.  On good physical health days, which are not often, I do try and partake in high intensity interval training (HIIT) on my exercise bike and jogging or skipping on the spot five to ten times a day for 3 minutes a time.

To say I am not at war with myself would be laughable.

But that’s how it goes.

Thank you for reading!

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Why tardy?

The name of this website is called TardyCreative for many reasons, one being I am renowned for being very tardy about updating social media posts and this blog – but why?

Mostly as you all can guess (or at least those that have followed me for a while now), that one of the main reasons is ill-health, now I am not just talking sniffles and worries here, I am talking full on bedbound and housebound style sickness!  The kind where I get the influenza that knocks you off your feet type of illness, but I get it for twenty weeks of the year on average – yes, that’s my average, not just small sniffles, full blown knock out!  What’s funny about all of this is that by and large I am considered hardier than most with things, definitely hardier regarding pain than most others, to the extent a doctor was concerned that I had a problem with pain receptors, but I don’t.

Another reason for my tardiness is that I am easily distracted, I have what Paul thinks is undiagnosed ADD and ADHD.  I have issues concentrating for prolonged periods and do things in fifteen minute spurts, outside of this and I wander off mentally and can get tired easily.

I can hold many conversations at once, in fact I thrive doing that, but hold me on a subject for too long without a break and I get stressed and sleepy!  Sleepy is funny because normally outside of being forced to concentrate for longer than I can, I actually have problems sleeping because I am generally quite a hypoactive person, health provided.

I am easily distracted by windows and animals, plants, TV, and ideas.  I can be sitting down watching my favourite unmissable TV show when an advert for Warcraft comes up and I am researching the latest of the game or the movies on my phone and the next thing I know is I have missed fifteen minutes of my show!

I write my stories and overhear a conversation between Paul and Henry about ancient Britain and I pause to answer questions or research things we’re unsure about.

I have never been able to focus for long; this is why when I work on my creative pursuits, it is essential I have more than one thing going on.  Because when I get distracted it breaks my roll and when my roll is broken on one thing, it is hard to get back on it the same day!

I often get flustered with too much stimulus, I was settling down to bed last night and watching YoutTube to calm me down, some art tutorials, when an advert gave me the idea for a new story and art project and I ended up writing by hand for an hour longer than I wanted to and didn’t get to finish the art video I wanted to watch! 

I was then distracted halfway in writing my notes because Henry’s gastric flu is still quite bad and he had another bout of sickness at 3:30am when I was trying so hard to wrap things up for me to go to sleep!

When Henry’s little bout finished, I tried to continue my notes, but I put them aside and just as I thought about turning the TV off finally to go to sleep, I started thinking about fairy art projects and picked the note books up again.

The thing is, it isn’t just my creativity I am tardy with, I am like this in all areas of my life and I am often met with aggressive impatience by others, who hate my dithery behaviour!

I am easily lured by anything that sparks an interest in me, which is why shopping is a nightmare for people who are on tight schedules, because I am worse than a child in a candy store if I walk past something that is vaguely anything I like!

The problem is, despite being sick, my mind wanders off so much that I do not realise how much I am actually exhausting my body with my antics, until I literally pass out!  I used to faint a lot, be warned, why don’t I do so as much anymore?  Because Paul is incredibly strict when he sees me wandering or being too physical beyond my bodies capabilities, people who don’t understand my situation can think he is off for how he seemingly dominates and talks to me, but it is necessary, he knows that I will pass out if he doesn’t do or say something harsh!

Why I am like this?  I don’t know!

But it is me in every single sense of the word.

I am just that, I am tardy because I can’t help it; I am tardy because I am too interested in everything and want to do everything at once all of the time!

If I had a magic wand, I would find a spell to split myself up in thousands of different bodies and do everything that distracts me, so I can at least be more dedicated to them, than I currently am!  But then again… would I be?

Thanks for reading, I will try and post again soon!  Stimulus willing!

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Sickness and feng shui

Covid hit my Henry in the first week of April, then it hit me a few days later, because of this I have been functioning at zombie level, because not only did I have Covid at the time but I was recovering from a non-Covid chest infection and gastric flu – which coincidentally, happened again just a couple of days ago.  More gastric flu hit the house on Wednesday and apparently gastric flu is spiralling in and out of everybody’s lives a lot in the last few weeks or around here in any case.

Because of all of this, I haven’t written a word towards a novel since the 2nd February 2022, ironic considering this was going to be my hardest working year in writing and I wanted to start as I meant to go on for the year.

I am exhausted but recovering slowly, my asthma seems much worse these days and my bronchial tubes seem to be permanently filmy and half opened, along with this it is also a bad hay fever allergy year for me.

Just existing is difficult these days, but I am trying to push through and though I have never been a huge coffee drinker, Covid has made me become one of the worlds many addicts as it seems to be one of the main things which is helping me through it all!

I don’t know if it is my neurological problem or Covid which has made this happen, but recently I am struggling to walk in a stable manner and I am finding it hard to sit up from a laying down position.  My legs feel like they have weights on them, however the weird thing about it is, it is as though I am walking on air at the same time, or that the ground has become marshmallowy.

My appetite has decreased further, where a simple dish of a small salmon fillet and half of a small a jacket potato with nothing else, is a feast to me!  This has meant, finding highly nutritious and varied foods on a small scale has become hard to manage.  I literally need micro-meals, I don’t mean microwave meals either, I mean small meals, miniscule for an adult, perfect for a 5yr old and I need to eat at stupid times.  I now regularly have to have a small meal at 10:30 pm just to get enough calories and nutrition in the day, which doesn’t help the insomnia.

A positive thing though, is I have discovered I am not actually lactose intolerant at all – I have found I have issues with gluten and lactose purely because those foods contained soy, since eliminating soy completely from my diet, I am now able to eat gluten and lactose again and let me tell you, its pure joy!  Though being a Chinese food addict means I can’t indulge in that anymore unless it is homemade and without soy!

I found out because twice I accidentally consumed things containing milk and then expected a bad night of gastric like proportions, but no, nothing happened.  Then I had another food which had milk and soy and I reacted, Paul thought that maybe it’s because I ran out of enzymes, but then we noticed that my lactase pills were not working for certain food items.  So I began a soy elimination diet, as suggested by a friend.

So I had been spending £18 a month needlessly on lactase pills, because it wasn’t a lactose problem at all, it was a soy one!

Despite being ill a lot this year, there is a noticeable improvement in other areas of my health, since going back onto lactose and gluten.  My skin and hair have improved a lot and a couple of other personal issues.

Henry is currently sick with very bad gastric flu and his fever broke earlier today, he had a temperature for so long that the doctor had said that on Saturday, if there was no improvement, he would have had to of been admitted, so there is a lot of relief there that the fever has now broken!

Because of all these health issues and so on, I decided that I should reconsider the house in a feng shui style, I knew certain aspects about feng shui, but not a lot, and I realised that things were better in certain years when furniture was in different places and worse when it was moved in other places.  Considering this, I read some books about what I did right back then, but was doing wrong now.  I found that there is a lot of blockages in areas that was good, particularly the health – which explains why we’re sick potentially.  The health centre of our house was established around the time I started to get sick eight years ago as a laundry pile area – not good feng shui, also we have small mirrors which we glued around each other so our reflections are always fragmented and cut up into bits, again not good feng shui!

Also I noticed that I moved dragon ornaments away from the places that they would like to be according to feng shui, we did better financially when a dragon and a tortoise was in the south west corner of the living room, but things have changed since I put them both in the south area of our bedroom!  Effectively moving them from the transformation area to the career area – career wise things may have improved as we are developing good contacts, though have not dedicated ourselves fully into creating a career just yet – so we will not move them back to the transformation area, but instead, move a spare dragon from another area to the transformation area and then move the tortoise out of the bathroom, which is a bad area to keep it according to the practise, especially as the bathroom is half in the health area!  Because our health centre is split into two rooms, which is unusual and complicated in Feng shui terms!

I love Chinese culture a lot, I believe a lot in the Chinese astrology and I do not like western astrology, I believe Chinese astrology to be more accurate in my life.  So, the idea of throwing me into Feng shui as well, I think, is a good idea!

My grandmother always said there was Chinese in my family, but I found out that she was slightly wrong about the nationality; they were actually Vietnamese and Singaporean ancestors, which kind of explain my so-called throwback eyes as some people call them (I actually think it’s kind of rude, but there you go).

 I would love nothing better than to move the furniture around again, but at the moment the family is sick and the areas I want to move would cause bad things to happen moreso this year, because those areas are all the areas of this year’s sha chi, which means if you move those areas outside of good construction days (according to chinese astrology) you will activate the bad energy there and make things much worse.  So we can’t make improvements until the 9th of May or the 23rd and 24th of May, as per the household’s astrology signs.

I am a water dog, Henry is a metal tiger and Paul is a fire monkey!

Anyway, thank you for reading and maybe in the future there will be more about the feng shui as I learn more.

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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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Home update, diet change & differences

I am still writing and I still intend to get published in the future, but my timeline has had to be shifted dramatically because of a lot of new things happening in my life.

An old friend has reacquainted themselves with me and along with this I am also preparing the house to take in Ukrainian refugees, as well as trying to manage the worsening symptoms of my disabilities.

Also with this, Paul has bought it to my attention that we may also move house within the next few months and so there will be an even bigger upheaval.

My original publication goal was to send my work to an agent at the beginning of autumn of this year, hoping to be published within the next two years – but with these new events going on, it may be pushed back further, because I am very dedicated to working to the best of my ability to help the Ukrainians settle in and feel at home.

We’re unsure whether or not I will get a brood bitch for the service dog charities and do that this year, because of all the other things going on now.  But I hope to definitely be a brood bitch carer sometime in the future.

Also my hearing has got far worse, even with a hearing aid I am struggling and my hearing is now at 6 hertz, very low, without a hearing aid.  Because we are unsure what is happening with the refugees we will be taking on, we are holding off approaching a charity for a hearing dog for me, but it is something we have thought about.

Paul gave me some good news the other day that the bad neighbour may be moving out soon with his girlfriend because her daughter wants more independence around her house and she is tired of the conflict he is causing with her neighbours.  It still means that for this year I have lost another prime growing season, but hopefully next year I will be able to do my gardening again – it is desperately needed as things are overgrown to a very anti-social level now, primarily due to the fact that I feel sexually harassed by the neighbour when I am out there as he stalks me and acts lewdly around me – lewd for me is something that will shock people who know me well… because… well let’s just say, I am not known for being a prude!

This may mean if he moves out before Paul’s timeline, we may actually stay after all!  As we were only going to move out because of the bad neighbour, because I need the freedom to go in my garden without harassment and bullying and hearing him make loud speculations about my life to whoever is visiting him at the time – often crude and outlandish speculations at that!

Henry has been very distressed to the point of suicide because of bullying at school and the fact he may have to leave what he feels is his ancestral home, because of another bully next door!  Henry’s family on Paul’s side has lived in this house since 1956, that is 66yrs that this house has been in the family and Henry is proud of that, because also the family has lived in this village for 325 years next summer!

Not many children this day and age in the UK can claim such a heritage and Henry is not happy about breaking these family traditions of remaining in the area, even though it is Paul and I’s dream to move to a more secluded region.

We have a double bedroom available for Ukrainian refugees, we feel that we could put in a bunk bed, with a single bed and a cot, but whether or not whoever is arranging this for us, will agree to that, we do not know!

But hopefully whoever comes does not have a pet fur allergy as we have a house rabbit and would like a dog.

I have always enjoyed learning languages, I know French and Italian to better than tourist level, but not fluently and I am willing to learn how to speak Ukrainian to help them.  But Paul is all in for integration and has been coaxing me not to learn Ukrainian so that they have to learn English.  I have learned some words in Ukrainian and found that it is very similar to Slovakian, my sister in law is Slovakian and some small words she taught me are actually the same in Ukraine.

I have Latvian, Russian and Lithuanian friends, who live in this street, so they will have people to socialise with, readily. 

We researched the culture of Ukraine and I was delighted to find that the diet they have is exactly like or very near to my own personal diet – because my diet is much different to Paul’s and Henry’s because of my multi-cultural heritage.

Paul was delighted to find that too, because a lot of the food here is often thrown away as I can’t eat enough of it, and he and Henry don’t like it so won’t touch it – this means less waste for us!

I home make sauerkraut, pickles, I eat a lot of baked or pan fried fish, I have a lot of different soups and I make bone broth for myself a lot and I use paprika in 75% of all my dishes and we have crepes with berries at least twice a week, they’ll feel at home, basically!

Paul and Henry try to eat the Italian side of my heritage along with Paul’s English food, but other than that, they don’t really eat what I eat.  My personal diet isn’t very English – if I have a roast I have things that English people only have at Christmas time, cranberries and apple sauce for example, which Paul has got addicted to recently – the apple sauce – he isn’t too keen on cranberries.

He is starting to get used to the idea of paprika and or cinnamon in everything too!  I am trying to get him into the habit of remembering to use fresh herbs when he roasts meats and to baste with the herbs some of it, but that needs more coaxing!

I won around five years ago, to move him away from boiling veg to steaming or pan frying instead and cutting out salt in almost everything; though I acquiesce you need salt on some potatoes, sea or rock salt though!

I don’t think I will ever get him to like beetroot though – not even in crisp form.

I have recently learned that a lot of my food intolerances and allergies were not the things that I thought they were… this have opened doors for me again! 

I found out I was not intolerant to gluten or lactose, but I was intolerant to the products that contain soy or soya instead!  This is amazing and also I found out that I need a reduced fat diet because having fat too much in one day can make me react like a person who has lactose intolerance, so now I have managed my diet to include lactose and gluten, but I must remain strictly soy free and low fat!

I would never have found this out if it weren’t for my re- acquaintance to my friend Frank, who was very concerned at the prospect that I was becoming malnourished and were visibly losing muscle density.

So now I may eat lactose and gluten again, but I must avoid all soy and soya products, unfortunately it means no Chinese food, until I can home make them soy free!

Soy is in everything though, so though it has opened a lot of doors to me, I must check everything I buy to eat like some kind of paranoid creature because as Paul has found out… one product will be soy free, but the same product in another store from another factory may not be!  We was caught out the other week with Snickers, they were soy free and I had 9 bars in a multi-pack, but then we bought a single bar in a different store and I reacted badly that night, confused, we dived down the bin for the wrapper to find that it does contain soy!  But not all Snickers do!

It’s odd.

Anyway, thanks for reading – there will be an art update soon!

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Embarrassed by being overly optimistic

This is embarrassing, but for the past few weeks, life here has been difficult and almost non-existent;

Henry became ill and had a lot of time off from school, this made my vulnerable immune system become overloaded with new bugs to deal with and I had a chest infection (not covid) that was so bad, I sprained all the muscles in my chest and back so badly all I could do for the past four weeks was sleep or just remain in bed.

I am still not over the infection, but a majority of the pain is leaving and I am able to be on my desktop for no longer than an hour a day now.

I have tried to write my stories on the laptop but I am still not used to typing at my speed in a different angle and it isn’t working as well, I tried to go back to my preferred writing method of handwriting, but my hands are swelling and holding a pen is becoming difficult.

Along with this my appetite is minimal and I am barely able to consume more than 1000 calories a day anymore, without purging, to say the least, I am becoming sicker by the day and I am still determined to fight whatever it is doing this!

But my ideas about timelines of productivity may just be an over optimistic approach which will inevitably lead to more failure than I am willing to tolerate.

I am trying despite the challenges.

I must admit that I am afraid of becoming a published author, simply because my health dictates to me already that I do not have the energy or the health behind me, to even maintain my own house and personal relationship commitments, let alone going out and having to commit myself to marketing and book signing events.

So with this as a factor in my life, I know, I may be accepted for publication, but I may not ever make it the big time, simply because my health dictates that I am housebound almost all the time and bedbound for around 12 to 16 weeks a year!

With that said, I do hope that I will find a compassionate team to work with some day and maybe, perhaps, I won’t need to stress myself out about failing people within the publishing community.

Hopefully there are agents and publishers I can work with, who fully understand the complexities of disability and failing immune systems, I mean, there are authors who manage to have a career in prison, so why not someone like me who is housebound through sickness?

Thank you for reading and take care!

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Neurological problems

Why have I started to schedule myself so rigorously?

Because I would like to be more productive in writing my stories and actually sending them off for the first time to an agent for representation and to start a career as a writer, instead of having the lifestyle of an unpublished writer!

I am also doing this because I am getting scary neurological symptoms, which look likely that my ability to write, may not last long.  I know that may mean that agents will be very reluctant to take me on, because potentially my writing career could be short, but I hope that I get enough books out there, that I would have felt that I have at least done that.

What neurological symptoms have I been getting? 

The inability to realise I have said wrong words in a sentence and even wrote wrong words in a sentence.

I have also struggled to pronounce easy things and jumbled words up, for example, I have never had problems with literacy, ever, and it has always been my strong point.  But I may, in my speech say something like this…

“I waked to the ships today” instead of “I walked to the shops today”.

I am also making huge nonsensical writing errors, such as….

“They needed to zit down and drink about things” instead of “They needed to sit down and think about things”.

This is not too regular, but it is increasing in its regularity as months go on.  This started around 10yrs ago, but it was fun back then, because I thought it was just the odd spoonerism, but the odd spoonerism, which would happen around twice a week is now a three or more times a day thing on average.

I am also finding it hard to focus on conversations and answer questions quickly.  My son is causing issues with this, because he is impatient and bad tempered and he wants quick fire answers to his quick fire questions all the time!  I get muddled and I come across as offensive because I am confused.

For example he rambled off ten questions in the space of two minutes and then, my brain hadn’t caught up.  He told me he is upset with this life and he is becoming a bad negative person over it and he hates himself, then wattle on for a couple of more sentences then he said to me…

“Oh by the way, dad just said my test is negative, are you happy I am negative”?  I said that I wasn’t happy he was negative because he needs to find something to be happy about.

But before I could finish the sentence, Henry screamed and ran away and slammed the door, I was confused by this.  Paul explained that I didn’t understand what he tried to say to me, that Henry now thinks that I am not happy that he is Covid free and my god that felt awful!

But it is things like this, which seems to be making me feel like I am going around the twist!  It is one major factor as to why I am not writing as much as I used to for the blog.

I have noticed a lot of huge errors in past posts!

Thing is, my brain is changing so much that I don’t even recognise the errors even when I read after I wrote.  It can take one of my good days, when I am not so ill, to realise what I have done.

I am scared, but there is nothing I can do about it, because hospital appointments during Covid are almost non-existent now, even if the doctor has put me down for emergency scans and so forth.

I am scared because MS, motor neurone disease and early dementia are rife in my family on both sides.

Happy reading everyone!

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Crazy mind

My mind is above a joke lately.

I am getting so many new ideas for writing and art projects that it is affecting productivity in the past few weeks!

I have no idea what has happened to my brain, but today alone I have written down synopsises of nine new stories and I have too many ideas for artwork too!

But one thing is clear; I am becoming predominantly a science fiction and dark fantasy writer; if there is such a thing as dark science fiction, well I think I am that too!

I have only managed to write plans down in the past few weeks, because of intense pain and medical emergencies – the laboratories seem late in the results, I only hope there isn’t another laboratory accident as that would be the fourth one in the last five years, where I had have to have tests redone!

I have never known a hospital that is so accident prone!

Sitting at a desk is agony and the sofa is not that good either, but it is much better than the dining chair or office swivel chair.

I am trying to force myself to work on my writing and this is scaring Paul, because I am pushing myself a lot and I have been near collapse.

I am sedentary and yet I still can’t cope?  I don’t get it, I don’ know why the pain is getting so bad, but all I know is, it is getting worse every few days!

One of the stories came to me at 3:30am on Tuesday; a Christmas fantasy in Christmas tradition and that took me two hours to write by hand, the next day my hand was swollen.

I wrote three chapters since to that project, but I wouldn’t call it hard work, because the chapters are small for me. 

Usually I’d write 3k words in a day towards an interesting subject, this Christmas story is only around 1k at the moment, Paul reckons it looks like it could be a children’s book the way I am writing it, as it is very child friendly so far.

I love the story, but I am worried about how long it should be if it is deemed to be a children’s book?  I don’t know… I am not known for writing specifically for children!

Paul thinks it could be a slightly larger than average children’s picture book, because he would like to see a lot of pictures in this story – I am uncertain personally.

I know the story has the potential to be very popular, but I am not confident on how to market this.

Anyway, thank you for reading and if I don’t post before then, have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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New Desk update

The desk is set up now, but the chair is very uncomfortable and has been causing me pain since I have been using it the past week now.

I need to find a more comfortable chair to work in, because the pain in my lower back and hip is making it hard to concentrate.

I may resort to going back to the adjustable small laptop table and sofa again for a while, if things do not improve!

I have decided not to write until Thursday the 18th November, because for the past few days I have suffered from migraines, back and hip pain which has added to quite a severe bout of depression, so I need to step away from writing for a couple of days – or at least, writing on the new desk.

I know it sounds silly, but I think part of the depression and the migraines are due to my sudden and abrupt cold turkey to caffeine, since having a good dose of the stuff today the headaches have subsided quite a bit.

I have done hand notes in bed and I have been thinking about the adjustable table again, so I may go back to that, but tomorrow is very busy in this house anyway, so not much writing will get done purely because of that – hence the need for a couple of days off.

I should really take time off until after the weekend, because of a doctors appointment on Friday, but I don’t want to commit to that much time off – Paul thinks I am pushing myself too much, but then he always does!

I know I said I won’t be doing Nanowrimo but I have been updating the site and I have approximately 17k words so far, but it is not a first draft to a novel – well not a proper first draft, it is mostly just footnotes and ideas, so I guess that’s cheating to some – but for me these are pre-first drafts!

No, I am not writing an epic! I have 17k words of alternative ideas, I have been trying to decide which direction I prefer before I commit to writing the story from beginning to end. Last night I surprise myself with a new alternative and I like this alternative very much and Paul is excited by this idea and that’s saying something!

Happy reading all!

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