A plan, lost time and mindless jealousy

Going back to my post about social media from the other day, I have decided today to make a list of people to watch on social media to try and make me more social with the people I love speaking to and getting replies from.  It will help me manage things better, I am a person surrounded by endless lists for things because my illness can make me too preoccupied with trying to manage my symptoms such as coughing mucus several times an hour and that sort of thing, that I can often forget to do important things such as drinking fluids, eating and even socialising.   

Paul has suggested in saving up to get an Alexa for me, so that it can remind me every half an hour to take a sip of my drink because it is becoming a big problem for me and he thought as well that this can remind me to eat and even socialise.  I sometimes go two weeks between reading emails too, because on bad days (and I am getting more and more of them) two weeks can feel like two days to me, there are times where I haven’t spoken to my favourite cousin online for six months, but to me it feels like two weeks, when I look at the last time stamp I apologise profusely for the time span between our last chats and overcompensate by talking for three hours when I do finally get to contact them again.  It is bad to consider that I make more posts for my blog than I do in contacting people I know in reality.

I really do lose such big chunks of time because of my illness, I go into a groundhog day whilst the entire world moves on and have normal different days and they get to partake in the events of the future whilst I am still struggling to breath and thinking its Sunday.  Henry comes into my bedroom to shake me awake as I am too deaf to hear him say good morning until I put my hearing aids in and I ask him;

“Why are you wearing your uniform on Sunday”? 

“It’s Thursday mum” he says.

“Oh that happened quickly”, I say whilst trying not to fall back to sleep.

But a lot of the time I don’t go back to sleep for twenty minutes because my chest needs clearing and I have to go to pee, but it is a struggle to get there whilst choking and I have a bucket midway between the bedroom and the bathroom because I often choke so bad I vomit.

On bad days those coughing fits don’t calm down for nearly two hours before I can rest again.  It is difficult to be like this when my personal doctors surgery is only opened for 8am to 4pm every day and they prefer to use after 12pm as emergencies only – I never really had a planned appointment from the doctors because my personal GP rarely works the emergency shift and if I want to see him I need to wake up around 5am just to clear my chest, get dressed and eat then rest for an hour after eating just to get to see him for 10am, they are aware of this but I am sure they think I exaggerate!

If I get the flu it lasts for 4 to 8 weeks on me because by the 5th day it always turns into bronchitis and by 2 weeks it goes into borderline pneumonia or pleurisy, doctors are worried by this, it is happen too often and I am showing signs of antibiotic resistance too!  

To all those people who work full-time and hate on people like me who rely on benefits to live and often say venomously how they wished they had my life sitting back watching TV all day instead of working – well I beg your pardon, most of the time I am too deaf to watch too much TV because of severe ear infections and I can’t hear music either during my bad days, all I get to do is read or be online and sitting at a desk is tiring, so you want my life huh?  You can have it if I can have yours!  I’d love nothing better than to work if it means I get great health with it and a great social life!

Welcome to my life for the last seven years, pretty isn’t it?  Yes, please do be jealous of this so-called lazy fat bitch, because my life is great isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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characterising real people

Sometimes people ask me about my past and what my family was like growing up and there are very simple ways to describe some of the people from that past.  The best way to describe people I have always found was to think of movies and TV series which might be familiar to the person and tell them exactly how I would portray that person based on characters from them, how in ways they are alike to that character and how in ways that they are not.  I have noticed that people relate better to the concept of using known characters rather than telling them about a fresh real person as their traits, it is a strange thing to me.

I am going to discuss today how I would portray my parents and myself and Paul as parents based on known television characters.  I will also tell you how Henry portrays me himself, because it is very interesting to look at other viewpoints rather than always concentrating on the bias opinion – mine.

First up is me, I like to think of myself as this kind of mother…

  1. Daniel Hilliard from Mrs Doubtfire and yes, I know this first one is not a female character, it is male, but I don’t think the media portrays mums as fun and flimsy like they do some dad characters and there are mums like him in the world, I know, I believe I am one of them!  I believe it because I am the kind of mother who would throw a party for Henry just for the sake of it; For example, we are planning that the next time we get any spare money to throw an unbirthday Alice in Wonderland themed party for Henry around late autumn some time, not sure if it will be this year, but it is on the cards and we have been making lists for it! I throw caution to the wind if it means fun and making that child happy!  I would indeed hire a city zoo to come onto my property on his birthday if I had the money.  I am very well-known as well to forget the bedtime regime entirely by two hours because we are having too much fun together.  Some people will call this irresponsible; I call it creating happy memories!
  2. Kirsty Allsop, I know she isn’t a character, she is a real life person herself, but to me that counts. I am a very creative person who loves nothing better than to just simply make things, just because.  Anything from homemade felt making to sugar craft animals, sewing, knitting and more.  I am also addicted to carboot sales, markets and country fairs.  Every special occasion deserves new handmade decorations and baked from scratch goods and this is something Henry and I try to do on my good days.  Any reason whatsoever to make crafts, bake cakes or trying new recipes and yes, my Henry will sit down and embroider and knit with me, he loves it and often insists we do it!  We often invent our own board games too.  We once created a Harry Potter board game based on the spells from the movies and made a good game out of it – Henry wants us to sell it, but I said we can’t because of copyright issues.  We also have a different version of beetle we play, it is teddy bears.
  3. Third person I would consider myself to be perhaps, Aunt Adelaide from Nanny McPhee. I can be very (in some people’s opinions) too strict about certain rules of etiquette and traditions.  There is a certain manner people must uphold and if my child is slack there are usually ramifications and readjustments!  I am a stickler for pronunciation which is similar to Aunt Adelaide and I am also country hardy and so you can imagine how it drives me around the twist being in bed so much and ill.  I would never call myself posh and I am not too bothered by loose vowels as she would call it, but I do get rather irked if water and other mispronounced words are misused.  Henry deliberately mispronounced words because he likes riling me up a lot!  He will purposely over emphasise war-ah when he asks for water and if he is not doing that, then he is licking his knife and using the knife as a spoon.

Henry views me differently but not much.  He believes I am like these characters…

 

  1. Mrs Mason from Grandpa in my pocket, a mother who is always starting a new hobby, a new language lesson, a new craft project and so forth and a mother who always smiles even when she is in pain and poorly.
  2. He believes I am also like Mary Berry, a mother who bakes nice things occasionally, speaks well, dresses nicely and is glamorous and friendly.
  3. He also thinks I am a lot like Rosemary Shrager, a country woman who cooks, talks nicely, a little on the large side and tolerates no funny business! He also believes she is a traditional lady who tries to uphold traditions as much as possible; he enjoys watching both her and Mary.  Upon reflection I suppose I am like Rosemary Shrager because I like countryside living, I am often abrupt and assertive and quite aggressive in the kitchen and just like Rosemary I will sometimes gesticulate with the knife I am using which often worries people!  Paul would even add I am a lot like Fanny Cradock in the kitchen too!  I am quite proud of that actually because I would love nothing better than to be an amalgam of Fanny Cradock, Penelope Keith and Rosemary Shrager. 

I can almost hear my grandmother saying “Hoity Toity” in the background at this confession.

How I view Paul as a father. 

  1. A Ray Mears sort of person, he often takes Henry on long walks and discusses certain survival techniques and so forth, what wild things are to eat, such as identifying dock and complaining about the rubbish he finds in hedge groves, teaching (and rightfully so) about being environmentally aware, how rubbish harms nature and us and how it is all a big cycle.
  2. He is also a lot like Gordon Ramsey; as much as he would hate me say it. No, Paul doesn’t swear at all, never heard him do it – but what is similar in my opinion is how he spends time teaching Henry how to cook and will often teach Henry how to complain about things when he is out and about to get things done or corrected.  He doesn’t like being taken advantage of when money is concerned and Paul is a very health and safety conscious person who will complain if he feels a company has something about them which is unsafe to the public, Paul has earned a lot of local respect for this.
  3. Despite the walks and the cooking and moral lessons, there is also a lot of Abraham Simpson in him too. Grandpa Simpson from the Simpsons, I say this only because Paul can be overly critical with Henry, often ignores the best things about Henry and because he is too busy with chores and caring for me, Henry can sometimes get side-lined and doesn’t get to have too much personal time with Paul outside of the kitchen and walks.  He complains a lot about most things too. In general.

How I view my own mother as characters.

  1. She is very much like two similar characters in one, Carrie’s mother from the novel Carrie by Stephen King and The mother from The People under the Stairs. My mother uses religion to justify how she treats me.  She gets very aggressive about her religion a lot of the time and talking about her roots.  (I suppose it is because she really does believe she lives in sin because she is the result of a mixed religion marriage).  My mother’s ancestry on her side alone means she is born of three religions.  My grandfather was considered a sinner by the catholic school he went to, because his mother was Jewish and converted to Catholicism when she married my great grandfather.  My grandfather from this marriage married an Anglican Christian to make matters worse and my mother often spoke of how the church viewed the family.  Because of the mix of religions in my family, I often asked questions which apparently I shouldn’t have.  For example, why do you hate and blame the Jews for killing Jesus when Jesus himself was a Jew?  I never got a proper answer only that it is absolutely correct that they killed Jesus and my questions could send forth the wrath of God and I was told to shut up lest I curse the house we are in with Gods temper.  Social isolation was also another factor, though not as severe as Alice from People under the stairs, but it was still very difficult to live shut away a lot of the time.  Ironically in the past few months, I have shut myself away because of illness; I just can’t even get downstairs these days let alone go out and to think, I ran away from my mother aged 27yrs to get a life and socialise only for fate to be as cruel as her and make me bedbound.  She is also a closet/hypocritical racist, I say hypocritical because she will socialise with other races but behind closed doors she is vicious in her criticisms of them and their races.  Which again is hypocrisy as I found out last year that my great grandmothers, grandmother from 1840 was an American mixed race black/white lady from Boston from nans side of the family.  Nan had always said we aren’t all as white as we seem, I haven’t found the evidence of the Hindu great grandfather yet though, like Nan claimed we have. 
  2. Second character she is like is Jane Fonda from Monster in Law.  She really does struggle giving any of her children, to another person that they may love.  She does everything in her power to stop them from creating and maintaining a relationship.  She isn’t like this with Robbie because when a relationship broke down when he was very young he was extremely distressed and Robbie being her favourite child, she couldn’t cope with that, but to hell with the rest of us.  Robbie has to be happy, us others however, well, not unless she agrees first and my mother has always let it be known to me, she will never agree to any relationship that I want and any grandchildren I may give her are unwanted because she feels that I am a foolish person to have children as they will ruin my life!  So that’s what she thinks about us deep down huh?  Yes, people have seen my mother supposedly dolt on Henry and spoil him when he was born, but it wasn’t without its venom behind closed doors with me.  The things she said were evil, such as when I said I am too sick to have more children she practically threw a party and said great, I don’t want you having more, I hope you do have that problem!  When I announced my pregnancy with Henry, my dad congratulated us happily and he was admonished by her and she turned to me and called me a stupid girl and gave me a long rant about how much I have damaged any future I may want.  She often opened cupboards to accidentally on purpose hurt Paul in the early days of our relationship and tried to scare him and several other boyfriends before him off by mentioning the time I was in a children’s asylum failing by the way, to tell them she was the reason I was in it.
  3. The next character is another male character which really does represent my mother a lot and that is Robert De Niro in Meet the parents. She would stalk and investigate anyone in my life, she must approve of anyone in my life for any relationship to work and she will send spies (friends) to watch where I go occasionally.  She would also text me around 30 times a day if I am out all day.  She has even lied to people who regard her highly in order to bring me back into submission to her, by claiming all sorts of outlandish things about me in order to get them to go and do her dirty work and go and fetch me or watch me or have long discussions about how I am making her ill with worry.  She also will take anyone aside, a platonic friend or a boyfriend and talk in private with them without me hearing a thing.  Often I find out they are threats, warnings and so forth or little snippets of information she is passing to them about my mental problems as she would refer to them as.  She would also remind them of how many brothers and close male cousins I have and how they don’t like anyone upsetting the family.

How I view my father.

  1. He is a very shy and quiet country sort of person. Very much like a more obedient and housebound Howard from Last of the Summer Wine.  He is despite how he comes across very nervous of my mother and displeasing her.  I remember times when he was sent on an errand to buy groceries or a take away without her accompanying him and I would go with him to help him as sometimes he would get nervous and forget things, that if the shop didn’t have what she wanted or the take away was closed at that specific time; my poor dad would literally be on the verge of tears and would often say to me he doesn’t know what to do as she will be upset if he doesn’t go home with it.  Paul has also witnessed this behaviour.  My dad cooks, gardens and cleans much more than is traditional for a man to do so and I remember often that if he didn’t do it on time, mum would remind him that she doesn’t have to keep him and he would get scared and get up and do it immediately.
  2. Despite this my father is also a bit of a Victor Meldrew. He complains a lot about things but I often believe it is because it is something he thinks my mother would like to hear, she is an avid complainer.  Because when she isn’t around he is quite a cheerful tolerant person.  He is also extremely nosy about the neighbourhood and any gossip going around and often worries about anything negative he has heard that has gone on locally.
  3. He also reminds me of Travers Goff from Saving Mr Banks. He was a daydreamer and often liked to play with me imaginatively, we would re-enact our favourite stories, rhymes and television shows and it would be very realistic.  My father loved comedy and often had a comical stance to most games we played.  He often recited funny limericks and songs which are mostly for an adult audience but it made me laugh none-the-less.  He could sometimes be over the top playful and often had to be calmed down by the energy sapping atmosphere of my mother and her harsh words.  He was also a betting man and a man who loved the countryside a lot that he often dreamt of going rural again someday, but my mother would never hear of it.

 

This is how I view myself, Paul and my parents by using character descriptions.  I know there will be a handful of people reading this which will not approve, but it is my opinion of what I believe these people are like and I don’t have to ask your permission to verbalise anything anymore.  It is my truth and that is all that matters.

 

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Who are they?

Who are Henry and Paul?

I’ve never really been sure if I had ever made it clear who exactly they are to me, so here we go!

Henry is my nine year old son who is a young carer as my illness affects him mentally in a bad way – as well as the knowledge that his father is approaching an elderly age, so young carers gives him the opportunity to learn to cope and have fun and have someone to talk to every two weeks.

Paul is my common law husband as the older generation would call it, we are not officially married and have lived together for twelve years, and Paul is 27yrs my senior and is a former officer of the royal navy who has served in the Falklands when I was a toddler.  He is also my primary carer.

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The kelp dragons and the fairy coronation

In the land of the kelp dragons all mossy and green

The creatures are preparing a coronation for a new fairy queen

Her dress is green felt embroidered with ferns and her crown is gold apricots that won’t spoil or turn

She rides to the scene with an elegant mare, that’s decorated with blueberries, apples and pears

The dragons sit around protecting the queen

Nothing can harm them, they are too supreme

The fairies all gather around in the fen

As the dragons give their blessings to the queen and them

Before the dawn comes all have fun at the ball

The royal procession is fun time for all

Before the sunrises, the queen kisses goodbye, to all the kelp dragons and tries not to cry

Because she won’t ever see them again, as they only come to fairies if its coronation time again

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I try to (for Henry’s sake)

Although I seem to rot away

I try to stay so bright and gay

To help your miseries stay away

I hope that someday pain will allay

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

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

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

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

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

That’s my situation. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ho hum, there you go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Social media following corps

This post is about what I call “The social media following corps” and how I feel about social media in general – it is not a rant, it is just an opinion and one that many people find both interesting and strange regarding my view of it all.

I have many social media accounts purely to try and network if I can, usually my time whether sick or not, dictates that I don’t really have time to squeeze in too much conversation with people who may not ever actually be involved in my offline life.  Many people, who follow me on the social networks I am on, are lucky to get a reply from me about once a month, but certainly over two thirds of my followers don’t even get that much attention from me.  It is confusing for me to understand how many people in the world of social media have full-time jobs, families, write as a side-line and still have time to spend twiddling away on mobile phones talking to thirty individuals a day and manage to remember and even get upset if someone has not replied to them for a set time frame and will go to the extent of deleting the said individual.  Where do people find the time to do all this and remember thousands of individual on their social media following page?  I can’t be like that – no more than I can do what my aunt and cousins constantly request of me, which is to take photographs and videos all the time on my mobile phone to prove to them that this certain day was as great as I said it was, that I did indeed go to the Severn Valley or Dudley Zoo, they want photographic proof all the time and I am just too busy living the moment to remember to pull out my phone every five minutes and I am made to feel alien because of it.  Is it really so weird to enjoy the moment without pushing buttons and capturing it all for the world to see?  Must I really take a photograph of that gluten and lactose free cheeseburger I found in Rugby that time?

I feel the world of social media can sometimes become too silly and compulsive.  By trying to capture the moment it often ruins the moment and makes the moment less personal – it’s that way for me anyway!

I like checking twitter and seeing who has made effort to try and communicate with me and I do try to reply to those I feel have something worth replying to.  Most of the time however I just say thanks for the heads up or thank you, or whatever it is usually just short and sweet and usually I hardly get anything back other than the same old same old.  I will always praise where I feel praise is truly due, I will not make a polite comment just to boost someone’s ego that is not me, I am very honest about my opinions of other people’s work.  I am not just nice for the sake of it, if I comment nicely to you, then you in my opinion are worthy of that comment and you should feel proud of yourself for doing great work.  My criticisms are there to help you along, improve you and I don’t usually bite that hard when I do so, I am tactful.  I am not like the guy who once told me that they believe that something I wrote was a one night bender after booze, that is just rotten and cruel and not very specific and constructive, it is just criticism for criticisms sake.

I have never understood the culture of follow Fridays.  I like and appreciate that people share my name with their followers, but I often wonder why?  I don’t do that myself and some people have unfollowed me for it as I rarely mention other people in my tweets unless I am specifically talking about them or to them.  I only follow people I find interesting and that goes for all social media and blogs, if I am following you, I genuinely like your work and I am interested in you as a person.  I am also quite an introvert with new people so it can take me awhile to try and make a conversation if I am the first one to start any kind of conversation.  I am a cautious person when conversing with new people because I have been raised in a very aggressive, uptight and insecure environment, where a relative of mine had their throat cut once just for looking at a person and allegedly smirking at them.  So you can understand my caution.

I am not anti-social, I just find it difficult to meet thousands of people’s expectations all of the time, every single day, when they are not actually involved in my personal offline life.  I always try to visit other bloggers who follow me here, but sometimes it is not always easy to get around some of their blogs and I am a bit of a luddite, if technology is difficult I don’t give it much time before I think “ugh, I can’t get my head around this, I have to go” because complicated technology makes me quick to anger.  Some people over complicate their blogs and that is where I think a lot of bloggers go wrong.  They hide things behind this tab and that tab and every time you go to their page their oldest introduction page is the first thing you see – whereas really it should be your latest post.  Because some people have so many tabs that their latest post could be hidden behind any twenty of those tabs, not the one you think it might be.  It is a crying shame as there is a lot of talent out there with people who just don’t know how to present their work appropriately.

Another thing which sort of upsets me regarding social media is the idea that because I am a writer, I must have had a book published somewhere, anywhere and that I must promote it to these other writers who are following me and if I never do that (and I never have) they question my authenticity as an author.  “Oh, but your profile says you are a writer and you follow me and you have retweeted my promotions I need to do the same for you”, yes but the problem is I am unpublished formally and I unlikely to have anything published within the next two to three years, realistically.  So they start to tell me how Amazon is a great medium for becoming published or other self-publishing places, I keep telling them I am not yet ready for this because there are some personal issues I need to clear up first but they never understand.

You see, I have been told that there are some medical conditions the doctor suspects I have, but our area has a two year waiting list to investigate anything let alone get to have a first appointment with a consultant – nobody is ready to hear that because they want my work and they want it now and these are just other writers, they are not even agents, publishers or anything like that.  It is both confusing and frustrating.

There are agents and publishers who know of me and like what little they know of me so far and they do try to send me prep talks from time to time, but really they know my situation too.  For the past several weeks I have been confined to my bed and house, my illness, whatever it is, is taking such a big toll on my body I can barely move these days.  So, I am fearful of many things because of this – as I spoke about yesterday, I am fearful of death.  I do fear that something has a tight grip on my body that maybe nobody will see the novels I have finished or half finished, the only thing the world will ever see is whatever I can manage to stick here on my blog. 

I am that sick that I am not even planning a future anymore.

Things should improve in about two or three years’ time, I don’t know why I have this idea that it will, because there is something at the back of my mind which keeps telling me that in 2023 everything will improve.  I don’t understand what it is, maybe it is the subconscious realisation that in three years’ time I will be forty and I have always heard people say and I have always believed it to be true as I have witnessed several women in my past, that life begins at forty.  So, maybe it is that, maybe it is something in the universe telling me it is just a health blip which will correct itself in three years’ time or maybe I am just being dumb.  But there is definitely something biting at me that my life will vastly improve by 2023.

 

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Fear, death and Dracula

Spoilers included of the new BBC Dracula series that was on at Christmas 2019.

I would have written this sooner, as it has been a week now since the BBC’s Dracula was aired on our TVs and I must say, of all the vampire movies and series I have ever watched, this is the only one which had played into four of my most dreaded fears.

Regarding horror and the realms of fear, I am not known to be a sensitive person, but, like all human beings, I do have some sensitivities which make me fear aspects of life and some scenes in this Dracula did affect me badly in some way or another – though saying that, I would watch it all again. 

One thing of the four must have been so pronoun that I have forgotten it entirely, I just remember at the end of episode three that I knew there were four things I had to list about this series here – I did write it down but it must have been amongst the papers where I spilled orange juice when I had a coughing fit the other day.  (I lost a lot of works in progress that evening and I am upset about that, they were hand written in my sick bed).

One of the scenes which upset me was the “something in your eye” moment with Jonathan Harker and Sister Agatha, where sister Agatha paused in her conversation with Mr Harker long enough for him to remark what was wrong?  She pointed out that there was something in his eye and indeed there was a fly crawling on the eyeball of the eye, which is bad enough but then the next thing that happened was he blinked and looked sideways and the fly found itself behind the back of the eye of Jonathan Harker whom at this point was going through what I can only describe as a “Vampire in Brooklyn” body falling apart and dying, ghoul stage.  He had no idea what was happening to himself, and then he asked Sister Agatha if it had gone?  She gulped and said yes, but it was still behind his eye.

Eye scenes unnerve me a lot, anything to do with eyeballs affect me in horror.  Usually the gouging of them or the stabbing or eating of them, such as the scene found in Mrs Peregrines home for peculiar children – that sort of thing really makes me shudder.

The second and third things which played on my mind a lot in Dracula was the two things which scare me most about death and dying.  Since becoming ill around seven or eight years ago, I often have nightmares and thoughts about death and what may or may not happen during or before death.  One repeated nightmare I have had is that my body is rotting away and literally decomposing whilst I am still conscious and that there is nothing I or anyone else can do about it, then because I have rotten sufficiently enough not to move or talk, people presume I am dead and then bury me, whilst I am still alive and conscious and that this never ceases.  There are scenes in this Dracula where anyone bitten by Dracula is immediately a decomposing animated being forever and ever and that they eventually beg to be killed by him so they that no longer have to suffer rotting consciously as they are.  I had thought that I am a weird person for thinking such things and that not many people have done so, I had wanted to write this as a story, but now I feel like it would come across as copying. 

The third thing is another death fear.  My mother had always tried to talk me into accepting the idea of being cremated when I die because graves cause more pain to the visitors than if I was literally turned into dust and thrown away somewhere.  I had always told her that I fear to be cremated, because what if I wasn’t properly dead?  What if someone got it wrong?  There are neurological conditions out there which can render people in a dead like state but are still in fact perfectly alive – how awful it would be to be woken up by being burned to death in a sealed container where no one can hear you scream?  She always called me silly for that, but this was another scene that Dracula portrayed and it did so incredibly well.  Oh and yes, I still hold firm that a burial is a better option for me, I have discussed this with Paul already as I am convinced I am dying of something or another but I just haven’t been told because if doctors commit to diagnosing me they might have to commit their money to try and save me and I really do believe that some doctors won’t tell patients the truth.  I am to be buried in a lovely place on the outskirts of Rugby town, it is a newly planted forest, a tree is planted for everyone who dies and is buried there, the tree will sit on top of a bio-gradable coffin with me in it and you can choose any native species of tree to have on top of you with a plaque on it – yes, I want to be buried in a haunted forest.  I would like anything that helps the most life of the woodland – an oak I have been told is the best, though I had thought of having a berry tree of some sort, like a rowan and then I thought of the avenging spirit of the elder and birch trees, I can see me becoming someone who would help others find justice if I were to become a ghost.  Protecting victims of the forest, the animals, and children, anyone who might need my help, fiercely, like some mythic forest guardian.

It was such a very good adaption to Dracula though I must say in some places it quite lost the plot.  I liked how they portrayed death as unsexy and how it showed the harsh reality of what death could potentially bring to the unwary or to the ignorant young romanticists.  I did not, however, like how it portrayed Dracula as a greedy, untidy eater.  I am pretty sure that drinking blood as a vampire would be similar to indulging in tomato soup, you do so neatly, you don’t just pick up the bowl and pour it into your mouth without a care of how much dribbles down your chin and clothes, especially when you are as well dressed and polite as he was.  Aristocrats are not slobs, vampires or otherwise!  It does seem to be a thing these days, I know Christopher Lee often dribbled when he played Dracula, but this day and age they act like bloody vultures, literally, they may as well tear the stomach in half of their victims and shove their heads into the cavity for what mess they blooming make.

I always imagined vampires to be discrete and clean creatures, you can’t walk down the street in the middle of the night looking like Carrie fresh from the prom – it isn’t done, especially nightly!

Well that’s my two cents on the matter.

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Happy New Year & update

Happy New Year everybody!

This is just an update on what has been going on with me;

Today has been the first day since the 21st December 2019 that I have been able to actually leave my bed for more than an hour, flu hit me hard and fast and without warning and then it turned as it always does into a chest and double ear bacterial infection. (I pre-scheduled some posts for the holidays in anticipation for this) I have been on antibiotics but there are still bubbles in my chest so, I may have to go back to the doctor again on Friday about that.  Thankfully my chest has not been as bad as it usually is this time of year and that could be down to the fact that I am taking care of myself better – I literally did confine myself to my bed all this time and have been drinking something akin to 3 litres of fluids a day to keep myself hydrated.  My vertigo and asthma has been bad though.

I should be much better by the end of next week if all goes well – which makes this illness thankfully short in duration.

There has been a suggestion that my post nasal drip and chest problems could be COPD, a friend is convinced I have to have this looked into.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be that because my mother and other relatives have this condition, though I have never known them to be so severe for so long.

I am also convinced that the lumps I get in various parts of my body are not what my GP calls “folliculitis” at all, because these lumps come up within hours or a day or two before I get hit badly with infections, colds and flus, I told this to them but they seem to be smarmy enough to know more than I do about my bodies reactions!  Whenever I get badly sick, doctors are always surprised at how swollen I am everywhere, but still, the warning lumps as I call them are only folliculitis, not a sign of anything else at all.

Goodreads.com annual reading challenge I set myself for 2019 was 75 books and I managed to read 119 (and a half). 

Goodreads challenge this year for 2020 will be 104 books.  Which, health willing, I should be able to totally smash by August.

This illness is making me go off of food lately.  I am really begin to dislike food, I don’t enjoy it anymore and I don’t think it is just the illness as this has been coming on slowly for the last couple of months – but since this flu started I have virtually not wanted a thing at all.  I think I have lost a lot of weight in the past two weeks, my pyjamas are very big on me and there seems to be gaps in places I haven’t had in a while. 

I don’t normally watch a lot of TV but this illness has dictated that I have watched an average of 10 hours of TV per day since the 21st – watching a lot of stuff that has been giving me a lot of inspiration but unfortunately too tired to write most of them down.  Mostly I have watched Minions and Shrek, fantasy movies and wildlife documentaries.  I like the new BBC Dracula series that’s on this New Year, but then again it is vampires, why am I not surprised?

Over the past few months I have been lulling over two ideas based on the novel Dracula, which is unusual for me, as my vampires are usually unique characters designed purely by me, but these two particular ideas I have are entirely based on the original novel by Bram Stoker.

One idea of which is based on the viewpoint of Dr Van Helsing and it is based on the future rather than the past.  It is based on a post-apocalyptic world.

The other idea I have is based on the viewpoint of the three brides of Dracula, there is a big twist though with one of the brides, based on European history and so forth, so it is more than I let on.

A couple of days before the flu struck me down, I did more genealogical research on my family and found out I am a descendant of someone in history I have always particularly hated – typical isn’t it?  I found out I am descended as a 23rd great granddaughter to Ralph DeNeville through his daughter Philippa.  Since discovering this, I have been getting ideas based on these times as well, with a fantasy twist of course.  I have been thinking about writing alternative historical fantasy fiction.  I am very keen on history so I think I could make it come across very realistic, the thing is, I will not leave fantasy out of the equation, so there will be a lot of strangeness to the stories and quite possibly comedy.

There is a lot of history in my vampire novels, particularly around the Roman, Tudor, Renaissance and Victorian times, so I already have some skill writing about that. 

I don’t want to lose the concept of comic fantasy though, I have recently heard that comedy fantasy is very sought after and hardly anyone is taking the bait for it – so hopefully if I took myself more seriously as a writer, I should have an open market for what I have to offer.  I am not cocky enough to presume that it will be a doddle for me to get published at all, I really don’t believe I am all that great – despite what people have said to me, but the market is appears to be less crowded?

Well I can only hope in the least.  I nearly forgot to write those six stories I wanted to do for the magazine as well, I will get on that in the next couple of days – I have settled on a mermaid story for that as my first entry.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Filed under About my work

When the bell of life rings

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

Never be dependent upon another and their kind deeds

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

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

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

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

Although many can’t help being needy, like me

It is a scary concept to be in

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

What will happen if I am alone?

Who will care for me?

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

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

Nobody really cares or knows

We are not to talk of such things

No matter how close we are to when the bell rings

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Filed under Poems V - Z