After two cancellations (at the behest of Covid) & almost forgetting the rescheduled date, I finally got to see Rachel Fairburn on Sunday.
I’ve been cracking up at Rachel’s chat on the All Killa No Filla podcast for a couple years now. This was my first time seeing her stand up. I wasn’t disappointed. Her show was hilarious. If you like gobby, feminist comedy you should definitely check her out.
I think this may have been my first night out since before the pandemic, so I wanted to look tip top. I have this banging dress that I bought to wear on my 40th birthday, but Covid scuppered that plan too. I haven’t had anywhere to wear it in the year since & it needed an outing.
Sunday night comedy didn’t feel like the right event for the dress, so I experimented a little. Teamed with my favourite velvet trousers and some trusty leopard print the dress took on a whole new vibe.
I felt super cute, Rachel was on top form & I had an excellent night with my sis. It was exactly what I needed.
It’s been another insane blur of year. The pandemic has given me lots of time & motivation to do big picture thinking. There’s been so much talk of the impact on parents & kids. The decisions to be made about keeping children safe, healthy & happy get trickier in times like this. You’re not here. Neither are your siblings. Being forced to stay home alone for extended periods really rams that fact home. I still think about what I would do. How I would make sure my children would be ok. I don’t think that will ever stop. I’ve thought through how I’d handle every stage of your lives; agonised over choices that are entirely theoretical. I can’t help it. I’m always going to be your Mum on the inside.
This year I will be spending your day doing something joyful. It came about purely by chance. Pandemic rescheduling dropped an activity unexpectedly. It feels strange. It’s not a thing I would have planned, but I think it is good. I’m trying to see it as a celebration of you. Of the tiny amount of time we had & all the wonderful that could have been. I know you would have given me so much to rejoice in.
I have shared some of my pain management techniques in the past. Recently I’ve been experimenting with some new methods and I thought I would share how I have been getting on.
First is a product I have mentioned before, but have only recently been able to properly try. Lidocaine Patches are hard to come by in the UK. They’re expensive and so can only be prescribed by the NHS for a very limited number of conditions. They’re mainly used inpatient and for short periods. I had been able to try them for an incredibly short period of time a few years ago. I found them helpful, but wasn’t able to get a longer term supply. The surge in my pain levels this year sent me into research overdrive. Time and again I read articles & personal accounts of how amazing lidocaine patches were for arthritis & fibromyalgia. I discussed it with my GP who agreed that they would be a good option for me, but she wasn’t permitted to prescribe them. After much searching I found a way to source the patches and bought them myself. They are not cheap. I had mine sent from Canada, 10 patches were approx £60. For me, they are proving worth it. The patches offer excellent relief for my joints. They don’t eliminate pain altogether, but they do vastly reduce it. Patches can be applied directly to the skin and remain on for 12hrs. They offer pain relief for that entire period (the last few hours you can feel their effect lessening). I have also found the patches ease my more extreme period cramps. My approach is to use the patches on my very worst or most active days. I wish I could afford to apply them everyday, but with head to toe pain, that’s just not possible right now. I’m not happy that NHS treats chronically ill & disabled patients this way. Tying a Dr’s hands & leaving then to prescribe treatment that they know is ineffective is utter bullshit. I am however crazy happy that I can now access the patches. I know that not everyone has the means to buy things like this themselves (I won’t always). There is much to be done in the fight for disability rights. In the meantime I am doing what I can to get by.
I’m late to the simple concept of squared breathing. In all the therapy, meditation, pain management sessions etc I have done it’s strange that I didn’t learn about before. I’ve tried umpteen breathing exercises. All touted as a wonder cure, none ever succeeded in doing anything but annoy me. Imagine my surprise when the simple act of breathing in for four, hold for four, out for four, hold for four and repeat actually worked. Squared breathing doesn’t reduce pain, it reduces the panic I feel when my pain starts climbing out of control. Holding off that panic is game changer. All the tension that comes with freaking out increases pain. The whirring fear severely impacts my ability to make clear decisions. In short, the panic makes a horrible situation worse. Carving myself a little bit of time to think with this exercise actually makes a big difference in those unbearable moments.
Finally, we have CBD. Not a new or unknown thing. This is another one I tried before, but only recently perfected. In the past I tried cbd gummies & oil. I didn’t have much success with either. I found the huge array of products overwhelming. I couldn’t quite work out what strength & how much I needed to find relief from my symptoms. The gummies had no impact. The oil was a little better, but the taste made me gag (& sometimes throw up). The after taste contaminated my mouth the whole day. Every site I looked at seemed to offer different advice. I became confused and favs up. A couple of months ago I tried some disposable CBD vapes. A very knowledgable member of staff in a local shop helped me. In no time at all I had finally worked out the right strength for me. I have now invested in a refillable vape & stocked up on oil. I’m using 10% organic vision cbd oil with a minty fresh flavour, which is very palatable. It’s helping with headaches, muscle pain & stiffness.
As always, I want to remind everyone that I am not a medical professional. I am only describing what has worked for me. Please consult your Dr before making changes.
Some of you may be aware that you can leave me a tip on Ko-Fi if you enjoy my work. Well, as of today you can also subscribe for exclusive content for a small monthly fee.
I will of course continue to blog as usual. My writing will also still be appearing in various publications. There will be no shortage of free material to consume, so worry not. My Ko-Fi membership tier is just a little extra for anyone who really loves my work & would like to give my freelance coffers a little boost.
August’s donation needed very little thought. I obviously felt compelled to help those faced with impossible circumstances in Afghanistan.
I can’t even begin to imagine how anyone deals with their world crumbling overnight. Especially when every single gain has been so so incredibly hard won. Our interventions in this country make this mess our responsibility. We must help those we have left behind. If you can please give whatever is within your power to one of the following organisations.
I am incredibly excited to be working* with the amazing Wilde Mode again. They make the best knickers (& more) in the entire world. Handmade, perfect fit and the coolest prints. What more could I ask for?
Well, let me tell you. Inclusive sizing (xxs – 10xl), eco friendly materials & packaging, diverse advertising, all staff earning a living wage, gender neutral, vegan owned, zero fabric waste & they even plant a tree for every parcel they send. This is exactly the kind of small business we should all be supporting.
Plus, the products are as good as their ethics. I simply can’t get enough these high waisted knickers. I don’t know why but having a big FU on my knickers makes dealing with rotten days so much easier.
If you need even more incentive, there’s still time to grab a bargain in the summer sale. Go!
I have been spreading myself a little thin & it’s starting to show. Hence, I’ll be taking a little break. I have a few posts I made earlier so I’ll be popping out of hiding periodically. In the mean time if you miss me you can check the links.
I love a good slogan t shirt. However I’m not really into the sensation of anything too restrictive around my neck. Enter, my shaky customisation skills.
I’ve hardly worn this tee because the crew neck felt uncomfortable. After some chopping & sewing I think it’s going to get much more body time. Add the comfiest velvet trousers, a spot of leopard print & you’ve got a look.
Do you believe in the one? I did. When I was young the idea felt intoxicating. A perfect match. One day I’d wander into the path of my heart’s desire & we’d trip right into love.
I loved all those classic romantic destiny type stories. I still do. Hugh Grant fumbling adoringly & Cary Grant being impossibly charismatic. Real life lacked such charm. I had false starts and wrong turns. The one who wrecked my poor heart. The one I wasn’t ready for, the one who wanted too much and all the ones who were just no good. That thrilling ideal became more complex.
My first big crazy disaster was followed by some close calls. Flirtations & flings. Trigger shy, right? I fell for Mr Big and Mr Darcy, but didn’t do much falling in real life. I skipped, through experiences good & bad. Some were lovely, though didn’t quite fit. Others were terribly misshapen mistakes. Most were relatively easy. Sure there was some hurt, but no devastation. I started to think that old soulmate theory was a ruse. In a world packed with variety perhaps there were multiple probable mates. Many flavour combinations that could work with a little customisation.
Then there was Mr Almost. Nearly all the things I’d always wanted. I think I recognised the difference the moment he entered my life. It wasn’t easy. He was complicated & stubborn & damaged. I am too. It was real, though. He made me feel perfectly at ease & totally alive. I wanted to climb into his brain and study him. I was frustrated, excited, soothed & challenged. I’d have turned myself inside out to make him entirely happy. I couldn’t of course. He couldn’t do it for me either. There are things that can’t bend. And yet, it still felt like fate. The spark never wained.
Grown ups have to do the grown up thing. You accept reality. Move along. There are new people; attention grabbing for a while. Until they pale. Comparison will dull the shine on a new beau. There’s making do, which isn’t as tragic as it sounds. You can have a lot of fun with someone who isn’t your destiny. There’s something to be said for building a life with a person who wants what you want. Happiness probably doesn’t stem from fierce passion. I wish I was the kind of person who could believe that with feeling. That steadier, softer, simpler kind of love is actually really nice. If only I hadn’t felt the wild & raw variant, it might be enough.
So, now I don’t know about one true love. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. There are lots of possible matches for everyone, but we don’t get unlimited chances to find them. What I’ve learnt is while the idea of ‘the one’ is alluring. The reality of ‘the one that got away’ is much more powerful.
On Friday our original adventure was rained off, so it was up to Paw Patrol to save the day. The little ones absolutely adored it.
The adults were relieved to discover the puppies big screen debut wasn’t as bad as we imagined. I also managed to curate a cool look & even apply mascara. Big win all round.
The star is the show are these amazing leopard print tights from Snag. I’ve had them for ages, but Covid & then the heat delayed their first outing. I’m completely in love with them. Expect to see much more of them.