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melting but not down

Sunday, 28 September 2008


Don't know what all the fuss was about ha ha. Thankfully I'd done most of it months ago, before the depression really kicked in and turned my grey matter into soup. SO glad to have slain that particular dragon. Now to persuade husband to let a professional do it for this tax year.


I am finally tackling finishing the books for my husband's business. My brain keeps fusing. Maybe I should stop trying to pretend I know what I'm doing and just do my best and let the accountant sort it all out. Yes, good plan. Here we go then...

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Goodbye x

Make that 3 steps back

Well, I'm inhabiting a topsy-turvy world at the moment. Intermittently soooo tired during the day that nothing much is getting done, least of all finishing husband's business books that I've been promising to do for weeks. Today I went back to bed after breakfast and was still there when he came home at lunchtime. Eventually got it together to meet him and friends in the pub at tea-time and when we returned home, got stuck into sorting out our entire photo collection that has been all jumbled up for years. I finally got to the end of one of the piles at about 1.40am, long after husband had gone to bed. Attempted to join him but the snoring catapulted me into the spare room. Shortly afterwards, heard him go to the bathroom so sneaked back into our bed but more of the same. Eventually found myself itchy and wide awake so got up, took an anti-histamine, came downstairs and made a cup of tea and here I am, at 3 am, tippy tapping away. Must get back into a sensible routine before work on Monday.

I've decided to let my hair go grey. It has a very fetching silver flash at each temple and under certain lights, is twinkling away at the roots. I rather like grey as a colour, it suits me. Time will tell whether vanity will win the day.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Prozac - 10 weeks - 2 steps forward, 1 step back

Seems like I was a different person at the weekend, as the number of posts then and the lack of them until now, suggests. Then I was buzzing about; yesterday and today I've been so lacking in energy, not exactly tired because I can rise to the occasion when something needs to be done, but during periods of inactivity I could easily fall asleep. Also, it's somewhat irking that having stopped the short course of steroids which did zap the eczema, my skin is itchy again and has flared up in patches. My own fault, I admit, as I grew complacent with the steroid-related improvement and stopped applying the ointment so often. Still, it's not as bad as it sounds - with the help of the super anti-histamine I'm sleeping well and the itching is nowhere near the torment it was.

The WW2 research I did for mum went down well, she has re-read the information a number of times and told me today that she remembered a lot of the people whose names were listed as serving at her old airbase. I'm hoping it brings back new memories as she always says the happiest time of her life was when she was a WAAF. It was shower and hair washing night tonight. I found it quite strange and awkward at first, as an adult you don't expect to see your mother naked, but now I quite like being able to help her in this way. In fact, I feel closest to her when she's resting her hands on my shoulders as I shampoo her hair, her vulnerability and trust is touching. She's like a little bird, at her last weigh-in she was 36kg which I reckon is not much over five and a half stones. Thinking of her like this helps me to find some balance in what has been a difficult relationship with my mother for most of my life.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Because I'm worth it

Mower repaired (loose wire) and 3 lawns de-pooped and mowed despite having to tighten up the mower frame several times to stop it collapsing and folding over. Also 3 laundry loads washed and hung on the line to dry, one already brought in and airing in the kitchen on the pully thing that falls out of the ceiling if you raise and lower it too much (I don't touch it any more but streeeeeeetch to put the clothes over the bars). I'm not going to do another housewifery thing now, so there!

snicker, snort

The fuse has blown in the hover mower!

Nearly 3 hours later....

...and I'm still sitting in front of the computer in my pyjamas, having been distracted from my intention to cut the lawns by a 'quick' surf of the net for stuff relating to mum's wartime memories of being a WAAF at Middleton St George. Have found quite a bit that might be interesting but the grass has grown another inch in the meantime. Right, I'm going to get dressed now, I am, really.

Deja vue, again

Ok, I know it's probably vainglorious of me to do this, but one of the things I regret about deleting previous blogs, is losing favourite posts like this....

Doppelgangers across the centuries
When we went to Florence a few summers ago, we saw a painting in a museum that I thought was quite extraordinary - it showed a group of men from about the 15th century, among whom were dead-ringers for a young John Cleese and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The human connection between the centuries made the picture come alive for me; it suggested that the artist had not produced some stylised, fictional portrayal of the good burghers of the town but had used real people with real people's complicated lives to sit for him. Some time later I came across this painting....

<--Portrait of a Young Man by Franciabigio 1482-1525

and the lovely Joachim Phoenix -->

Saturday, 20 September 2008

The best laid plans...

So much for an early night. Bloody PhotoScape!


Not a bad day at all on the bargain front. The long grey Next merino wool cardigan I'd 'won' on ebay arrived and is absolutely lovely and from my one of my favourite charity shops, for £17.56 only, I bought a grey M&S cashmere jumper, a cosy cherry red Next hooded sweatshirt and two lightly gilded, cast iron ornate photo frames. Even Morrisons with mum wasn't too bad and gave rise to another gem...on paying for her groceries and being asked if she wanted cash back, mum replied "yes, £3 in five pound notes please"! It must be all the excitement, but I'm feeling distinctly shattered now so may have an early night. Oddly enough, after lunch my heart was really thumping beneath my ribs, wonder if the two are connected/something to do with the Prozac?

Prozac - 9 weeks

A welcome new development - yesterday and today I woke up and hit the ground running instead of dragging myself through the first few hours of the day. This is more like it - I feel like my old self again!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Every cloud has a silver lining

True, mum is getting deafer, more forgetful and more easily confused by life but sometimes this combination can result in rather heartwarming moments of silent hilarity (on my part). Today has provided two such examples:

1. Whilst waiting in the doctor's surgery, mum announces loudly "I hope I don't have to strip off for the doctor - I'm not wearing a bra."
2. In a rather busy Boots....
Mum: Ooh! Two for the price of one!
Me: No, they wouldn't be any use to you, mum
Mum: What are they?
Me: Durex.
Mum: What are they used for?
Me: (chickening out) Don't you remember?!

And the nice thing is, thanks to Prozac, I can enjoy these little eccentricities without becoming totally self-conscious and embarrassed....as I was that time in the hospital when mum focused on a lady sitting on the opposite side of the room and in a stage whisper said to me "she's fat isn't she?"....(pause)....please don't say any more mum, she might not have heard.... "I'd rather be skinny than fat."

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Messing about on the computer - 1, visiting old friend - 0

Sweet 'watercolour' portraits of young son and daughter - 2
Preliminary unsatisfactory attempts at above - double figures
Rather Vettriano-like treatment of clinch with husband in the days when I had a waist - 1
Equally unsatisfactory versions of same - you guessed it
Number of hours spent on all this ocular abuse - 6
OCD - me?

Are we downhearted?

Curiously, no.

I had today all planned out...lie in, tidy up a bit, relax, get ready to pootle down the motorway for a romantic evening and breakfast with husband, then straight to mum's tomorrow and await the lady bringing her new stick before taking mum for a mooch round Guisborough market.

And what has actually happened is....was up by 8.30, messed about on the computer for a while, couldn't get the photo-from-mobile-to-computer programme to work, washed up, washed clothes, ironed, put clothes away, had phone call confirming mum's new stick would be arriving tomorrow somewhere between 10 and 4 (?!) then had another phone call to say all change - they need her wrist to floor measurement before they can supply the stick, which means we have to go back to see the nurse at the surgery tomorrow. Then, when I texted husband to say I'd be setting off in an hour and expected to arrive around 6, he replied somewhat unenthusiastically that he would probably be in bed as he'd 'had a session' with workmates. He was quick to agree that tonight's rendevous was probably not a good idea, so that was that. Ah well, am having fun creating watercolours out of photos on the computer.

I think if it weren't for the Prozac, I'd be curled up in bed feeling sorry for myself by now. As it is, I plan on going out for tea with lovely daughter then dropping in on an old friend that I keep promising to visit but never get round to it.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


I've just discovered a brilliant, free download for a photo editor called PhotoScape that's way better than the old image editing programme that came with my computer about 8 years ago (it disappeared when we redecorated the back room). I've only scratched the surface so far with oil paint and watercolour versions of favourite snaps, but already the chances of an early night are rapidly decreasing! I downloaded PhotoScape quickly from the site in the link without any problems, although I would recommend saving it to computer and virus checking it first before opening it (I did, it was fine.) Here's a gorgeous colour engraving treatment to the original photo above....

Monday, 15 September 2008

Good day

I've had a lovely day today and I think I would not have organised/enjoyed it so well without the magic tablets. First I had a little lie-in then phoned the hairdresser who managed to fit me in at short notice, with the result that I now sport a very snazzy tapered bob that I didn't even have to fiddle with when I got home! (I have spent the past 2 hours attempting to put a photo of said masterpiece into this post but decided in the end, even having altered it to look a bit like a misty oil painting, it was still too personal to feel comfortable.)

Anyhoo, still in town, I managed to snaffle a few bargains - a great padded jacked from Boyes for winter/dog walks and a book about Philip and Elizabeth from the charity shop for my mum (she's mad for the monarchy, especially if there's scandal involved). Off to mum's after lunch and phoned a gardener for an estimate on some work she wants doing - he came round within an hour! (Although I doubt mum will go for it, at the very least he was quoting £300 for the front and back and she is very careful with her money.) Then took mum to Stokesley to see whether the Boyes there had a jacket to fit her (it didn't) and back home for tea. Escaped early as I'd left my penicillin tablets at home, but she didn't mind because I'd promised to go round tomorrow morning and help her with her washing.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Time for a change

I decided the old blog looked too depressing, too pre-Prozac so - to mark the demise of the nettle devils, the improved sleep, the coping with mum, the enjoyment of a lazy Sunday spent lying in, watching Countryfile and then daughter, dog and I having fun in the sun, sand and sea at Saltburn - welcome to a more cheerful layout! Also - I finally worked out how to upload photos from my phone!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

brownie points to TK Max

Have just bought a snuggly pair of pyjamas, a bra and a blouse from TK's and carried them out the door in my arms like a really cool shoplifter. TK now have a policy of not giving you a carrier bag unless you pay 10p for it, to reduce consumption of plastic bags, and are quite happy for customers to take their purchases away, unwrapped. More of it I say!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

I'm so excited!

Saw a new doctor this morning, lovely chap, who has filled me with hope for the future. Firstly he reassured me that I would be on Prozac for a year which is good news as I wanted to get really grounded before weaning myself off it again. Then I showed him my eczema patches which have been so troublesome these last few months and told him of the deleterious effect the itching has had on my sleep, also the problem with not being able to slather myself in the rather greasy ointment and moisturiser on a morning in case it seeped through my blouse at work. He has diagnosed nummular or discoid eczema (which I'd never heard of before despite having suffered from eczema since childhood) and given me a week's course of steroid tablets to zap the condition. He's also given me a non-steroidal moisturiser, an antihistamine that will knock me out at night, ointment for my persistent eye infection and antibiotics for my throat/chest infection. My mother moans constantly about having to take 5 tablets on a morning and 2 on a night. Pah. In addition to those mentioned, I am also prescribed medication for asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and fungal toenail (I blame husband's feet straying in the night). Then there's the evening primrose, fish oil and vitamin tablets....shake me and I'll rattle. That's if you can get a grip without my slipping through your fingers. Now I just need to study how each prescription has to be taken and I'm on my way to being a new woman!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Irony #1

Today I used some lieu time to take my mum to the doctor's for her blood tests and B12 injection, chase up her walking stick referral, make a hairdresser's appointment for her and keep her company until returning to work after lunch. This meant that for the first time in absolutely ages I could go straight home from work, chill out and spend quality time with my daughter. We went to Tesco's and spent an absolute fortune on food, washed the pots and cooked and ate tea together and chatted and watched TV. Bliss. I have an early doctor's appointment tomorrow to renew my Prozac prescription so when it got to nearly 10pm and I was really tired, I thought I'd be relaxed enough to go to bed and have a good night's sleep for once. You'd think so, wouldn't you. I could not get comfortable, no matter what combination of pillows I tried, my shoulders wanted to be under the covers but my feet wanted to be outside, my brain would not switch off and my legs were performing Riverdance. (According to this article, it may well be something to do with the Prozac.) Then the dog wanted to be in so I plonked her on the bed thinking a solid warm presence would be soothing and conducive to sleep. She jumped off two seconds later and went back to her own bed. So here I am, hoping a mug of hot chocolate and the whirr of the hard drive fan will do the trick.

Friday, 5 September 2008

The public is an idiot

I can't believe more people voted for arrogance, sweetness, flirtation and confidence than for the insecure, explosive, romantic, articulate, funny and talented complex enigma that is Darnell. I despair. And if I were thirty years younger, I would.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Sooooooooo tired

I look like I feel, absolutely knackered. More later x

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Prozac - a patchy 7th week

I've noticed something odd this week, the Prozac seems to work when I really need it to but doesn't maintain a constant effect. For example, at a Sunday lunch with friends I found myself unusually chatty and sparky when first meeting up, making a special effort with folks I didn't know so well, then ran out of steam by dessert and felt ready for bed by early evening. It's the same at work; the brain copes admirably with the daily mental and practical tasks (ok, we'll ignore the tedious 3 hour meeting I nearly fell asleep in several times) but as soon as I reach the end of my list of things to do, it's as though someone has pulled the plug and I grind to a halt. I could just go to sleep now and may have to catch a quick nap soon as it's going-to-the-pictures-with-best-friend-night. On top of that, the reduction in stress levels still doesn't seem to have brought about an improvement to my skin, if anything the eczema is even worse. Thank goodness it's mostly out of sight. Have started taking a multi-vitamin tablet to see if that helps.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Kat is evicted.....

.....which just goes to show, you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Darnell to win dude!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Don't you just love living in the country?

I left my bedroom window open today, also my wardrobe door. While I was at work, someone has been muck spreading. Now everything in my bedroom smells of pig poo. I have to go to a meeting with my boss tomorrow. I wonder whether anyone will sit next to me?