I’m incapable of taking an eyetest and not all news is good news

My left eye is a menace. It refuses to behave in eye tests so I’ve been to the optician 4 times during my ‘holiday’ and have had new glasses made twice; I’m still not convinced that the correction is right. I’m to give it another few days before I’m allowed a third test with a more experienced optometrist….I’m getting all the spiel from the regular staff about adjustment periods etc while I’m sat there wondering just how far away they are from my face and how bad the cross eyedness will be when I remove them this time. The first left lens was the wrong power and I suspect the second has a marginally wrong axis or centre of vision does not align, or, y’know, both, or neither. Lets face it, I don’t like change. 

The staff clearly think I’m some kind of nutter…the way this should work is, you get your new glasses, accept everything’s been done perfectly and just deal with the headaches, you don’t tell them all about it for god’s sake, and not repeatedly! I hope they are right and I don’t fall off my bike tomorrow.

What a nice headache-inducing way to spend my time off work. Sigh.

………..

It was my intention to be creative these two weeks, make something, create something, but inspiration has not been abundant and playing ‘ori and the blind forest’ took precedent. I’m shite at computer games at the best of times, but one on a PC without a controller is well beyond my skill level even on easy.much swearing has passed. 

So instead I downloaded a karaoke app that lets you record yourself singing along to the songs on your phone. So I did that, and recordings  (so far only k’s choice) are only available for a laugh on request because I kind of hate my voice and don’t want it here for posterity. I will say though that it’s annoying how few contralto alternative, indie and (+/-pop-) rock singers there are out there to copy ;p

………..

Also the depressed, anxious and otherwise unpredictable and neurotic dachshund who I was playing with, picking up and generally bonding with last week viciously bit the damned gardener on the leg on my birthday so considering her age and deteriorating behavioral problems, she was sadly wished all the best in her journey to the doggie afterlife 😦

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It is upsetting but being small and cute doesn’t mean a dog is immune from being dangerous. Responsible dog ownership means making difficult decisions. In a weird way, I’ll miss my mum’s snappy, growly little fluffball, but not nearly as much as she will.

………

In other news, for a change and to build my confidence, I rode the Highland pony today while my friend rode ‘the beast’ that is Buster, but they were both like lazy angelic horses the whole ride so that was lovely and relaxing for all. 

Now thanks to said pony my knee injury that I’ve been trying to ignore for a few weeks is niggling again. Dammit. 34 and griping about my joints and singing karaoke at home alone. How did it come to this??? 

Restricting for the good of my gut?

It’s been a while since I’ve felt the need for a sprawling rant about how everything is pissing me off, but such a mood has descended yet again.

The issue is my damned digestive system. So you know about the drama with the failed endoscopy, for which I have to go chat to a specialist on Monday, but that’s not the issue right now, the big problem is that for ‘ibs’ symptoms I have to do a low FODMAP elimination diet for 4 weeks. You probably don’t know what this diet is and I hope you never have to find out in detail. You have to cut out certain types of food including wheat, dairy, some fruits and veggies, plus onion and garlic. This on top of the no coffee, alcohol or citrus that my stomach requires. It’s basically a torturously strict set of dietary rules with the result that you can basically only eat potato and rice for 4 weeks. Maybe I’m exaggerating but today is day one and I’m utterly fed up. Being vegetarian plus low FODMAP and lactose free is a big challenge, and one that I do not relish. We went to the supermarket especially to stock up of special foods for me, only for me to realise today that a few of them I’m not actually allowed to eat because they have a banned ingredient hidden in them (no fair!!) the strawberry jam was a particular disappointment and I nearly smashed the damned jar right there and then for containing fructose syrup. The wheat-free cake (contains milk) and dairyfree icecream (contains lupin) are currently at risk of violence because I  chose them specifically, I want to eat them, but I can’t. I’ll have some vegan cola sweets instead and give my teeth and blood glucose a nice surprise. I’ve discovered that rice noodles are no substitute for wheat noodles and that gluten free bread is a whole other food group that appears to only contain dry, slightly sweet non-doughy produce. If I’m required to dine out this month I’ll be restricted to a gluten free pizza or a baked potato with a glass of water….how very exciting indeed. I have to attend a wedding and didnt tell them I was going to be wheat-free and onion and garlic-free so I’m going to have to just suck it up and eat what I’m served unless it’s literally onion soup with bread because, no, that really doesn’t sound very clever….and cue rolling around on the hotel room floor waiting for the abdominal pains to pass….

My belly already feels a bit better and this pisses me off because I don’t want to have to cut out any of these things indefinately. That and I’m hiccupping like a motherfucker so I guess it’s just a choice between reflux or ibs these days. 

If anyone is reading then please send moral fortification because it’s not yet been 24 hours and I want out from this restrictive hell hole! 

On an unrelated topic, my latest manuscript got accepted and the next edition of pickledsparklymooseprincess et al will appear soon In a biology journal near you. I will celebrate this weekend with some strong rooibos tea and oat biscuits maybe followed up with a gaviscon chaser. Living the dream. 

Don’t even think about eating apple pie in front of me right now, I won’t be held accountable for my actions.

On finding unexpected pockets of pain, and dreading how the story ends

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I’ll start with stories. I love to read stories. I become irrationality and unnecessarily emotionally involved in stories and the encapsulated characters. I just spent the better part of three weeks living in a world conceived by someone else’s mind, learning to love the (at times irritating) characters, and just as the final book is coming to a close, the fucking kick-ass protagonist gets killed off, leaving an intense love dangling limp, lending an unsatisfying and depressing void where a happily ever could have been. I’m looking at you Roth. Why did you have to do it?! It’s like Alice Morgan all over again. Abandoned as I am by the untimely departure of a strong and unique character who I have at times, wished I could be.

Endings suck. I always want the story to keep on going, taking me further into the dream world, letting me live in the intimacy of someone elses fantasy.

Yes, endings are, generally speaking most comprehensively unsatisfactory.

As for the pockets of pain, well. I found one in a hotel. I found a whole hotel brimming with dread and memories and the fear that if I stepped foot inside, I’d break the spell and lose what I had when I was last there. I remember how we had tea together by the window, chatting about how beautiful the city is, how much they loved it here. Smiling and joking about how the restaurant was so dark that they couldn’t see their food! That was the last place I saw them that is not tainted by what came after. It was preserved in my head as a time capsule of memory, Something to revisit in my head, but never in person. Thinking about going there just reminded me of the pain that I’ve been tying down, dampening with anything I can grab a hold of but grief can find some peculiar times to remind you that you are still bearing a gaping hole in your life that no-one else can ever fill. The tears dried up before I set foot inside and it looks and feels like a different place now. I’m not afraid to go back tomorrow, but I’m still trying to stop playing the images over and over and mourning my losses. They would want me to remember, but not to be in pain.

Someone recommend me a damned good book with a happy or at least neutral ending please. I need some literary hope!

Contracting to a place that I can’t breathe

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I am beginning to question the identity of the creator of this, so ornate a cage, around me.
I know I did it before.
I spent years spinning brittle bones out of my spirit to form an ever creeping interwoven and impenetrable prison.
Because I needed it. Out there was too bright, too hopeful and too dangerous for words, and I had so many precious words that I had to keep them all to myself because without them, nothing else mattered. Nothing else could make me feel, except the fire, and I wasn’t selling tickets to that show. I had years of silence, carving feathers and runes into those bones, making amateur art from the grotesque.
I don’t know when, precisely, the pressure shifted and the creaking bars began their retreat. Sucking their own marrow back into my psyche. The clouds began to peek through the lifeless and hopeless remains of my chamber and in that moment, just as the words gushed out, the warmth bled in. Fire and bones and hope were reunited with the hungry sky.

Yet here I am chastened again. Bound in this swaying cage with no recollection of its crude construction. Confused and irreconcilable because all I long to do is reach out and touch you. I trace the bars with my jagged nails knowing the only way out is to bleed the words, but what if it’s not my words that must undo the spell this time? Or worse, what if it is and I’ve been wasting my months waiting to be saved?

“What wasted unconditional love
On somebody
Who doesn’t believe in the stuff
Oh, well”~fiona apple, oh well

Grace and the barely concealed teeth of stasis

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Visits home to Mum’s house always feel a bit strange. Especially these days with Gran gone and two houses in disarray and the dog flitting between affection and savagery. No, this is certainly no place for the feeble or unrelated right now.

It’s alright for me as I listen to the national in my backwards facing train seat, watching the drizzly fenland shrink into nothing in the distance but someone had to stay here and live inside the cocoons of weirdness that have been spun here. I’m sad to leave but I’m glad to be able to breath again.

Two dilapidated museums, strung with bells and wind-chimes, crosses and constant reminders of what came before. Dust making unfounded claims on the remnants of another life, unperturbed by months of indecision and tentative rearrangements.

There is a kind of organic density in the darkness here that lighbulbs simply cannot penetrate. Leaving space in the shadows for doubts to multiply and lending every motion to slurring like amateur stopped-motion.

The radio shouts out emphatically about the grace of god like this god could fix things, or make it OK that people suffer so. All I can see is a surface of bright shiny foil covering whatever is really underneath, and can you please tell me why must they keep on focusing on the polishing the shine and not nourishing the foundations of the tangible. I don’t somehow think that jesus is coming to save her from this mess but maybe having something paper-thin and shiny feels like the armour that she needs to wear.

It seems unfair to be leaving, to leave someone behind in this treacle that they have thickened even by themselves – to just walk away from a household in such need of care and hope and vitality.

I’ll be back soon, and I’m bringing my armour to help slay these tenuous webs of guilt and uncertainty. No-one should have to breathe such toxins in every day.

I’m under the gun again,
I know I was a 45 percenter then”

~the national, I need my girl

I’m allowed to be a dragon right now…

If you ask anyone who knows me what my favourite things to eat and drink are (assuming there is no nutritional judgement going on) and they’ll tell you chocolate, coffee and red wine.

Ok.

Now, if you ask my stomach how it currently feels about those items you will get a terrible response.

As my stomach and brain are at odds I have to bow down to the needs of my digestive tract because its getting in the way of thinking etc. Sadly the knock-on effect has been caffeine withdrawal to accompany the already established gastritis that has made a home in my body.

It’s really lovely because personally I enjoy nausea, heartburn, reflux, abdominal pains and more, and it’s a Particular delight when teamed with caffeine withdrawal. So the end effect is that I feel like I’m having a perpetual hangover – lethargic, pounding headache, nausea, depression..

Are you feeling sorry for me yet?

No?

Ok well maybe if I get medical with you for a moment. I have inflammation of the stomach lining that is aggregated by excess stomach acid. It is worsened by alcohol, caffeine, spices, fat, citrus fruits and stress. Which is a bugger because I have health anxiety…so I spy a bilious and vicious circle.

It gets worse…I couldn’t go horse riding because my body protector pressed into my tender stomach, and, to top it all off, I have to give a poop sample to the doctor to check if I have some funky spiral bacterium called helicobacter that burrows into your stomach lining (doubt it, I didn’t have it the last two times and I haven’t knowingly been eating other people’s poop….oh God, what if I DO have it and caught it from a restaurant or something…ewwww!!). If it was anyone else I’d be sniggering but it’s me, so it’s no laughing matter. Ok? I mean, I’m not going to discuss the logistics here but there are some things you should never have to learn to do.

So it has been a sad, painful weekend of coffee and chocolate cravings, and feeling like i’d drink a bottle of tequila, but without any of the fun bits. I’ve been a total dragon and didn’t shower for nearly two days. Sorry world, my adenosine receptors are having a party without my consent.

Now my GI tract is getting a bit less rebellious, I’m still struggling with the deeply unpleasant caffeine detox and I’m not sure which is worse…but caffeine will be waiting for me when this crucible is over, and if I hadn’t given it up for the timebeing I’d be staring down the barrel of an ulcer some time soon.

“You said I began
This messy state of love affair
And I drink too much and smoke too fast
And this city’s cleared my innocence”~Emiliana Torrini, heartstopper

Fevers and Dust

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I have, at times been my biggest disappointment,
Expecting the superhuman, inside and out,
But finding the dregs of a lacklustre animal,
Rolling their eyes and then rolling on over.

I guess I rolled over for you too.

The fires were bright for some time,
Burning out the rot,
And the stars inside and out,
Almost aligned,
So that I was almost content with who I’d grown to be.

And there was always you, holding my hand.

I don’t know when the cleansing fires burned out,
And the mildew enveloped me once more.
An organic tide change when it all started
To come apart.

But you thought I chose it.

That content so sought was buried,
The assurance drowned in the night,
And nothing but fevers and dust,
Could live up to expectations.

Not yours, and not mine.

Am I your biggest disappointment,
Your one big regret?
Am I nothing but a constant reminder,
That you are tethered to something so frayed?

This dust just won’t settle.

And unless your words are sent to crush me,
And keep me in the shadows,
Then why don’t you accept my failures?
Please help me mould them into something new.

And If you won’t,
Or if you can’t , then who am I
To trap you
In this perpetual monumental disappointment?

I know I will never be enough