My week in pictures…

I am currently an utterly exhausted mess, but for once it’s for good reasons. Last week was busy & wonderful. Comprised of friends, little ones & spontaneous fun. Plus some stunning sights. I have been snapping away like crazy. 

After many calendar conflicts I finally got through to Musselburgh to see friends. Lisa has been enducing hilarity & giving me heart warming hugs for over ten years now. She now comes with the added bonuses of a lovely husband & beautiful son. It doesn’t do any harm that she lives minutes away from this most amazing beaches either. Anyway, I always have the best time when I visit & this trip was no different. 

We went to the most picturesque village for lunch. It had a very Austen vibe & the tea shop served me a delicious vegan sandwich, top marks. Next stop was the perfect beach at Tynningham. Accessed by a short walk through a scenic forresr, I fell in love the moment I saw the sea. Once little James had terrified me with a crab a shell, we settled on a rock to watch the tide come in. I don’t know why, but the sea always soothes me. I left the sunny east coast feeling revitilised & full of love. 

I caught up with my bestie & got to hear all her latest pregnancy news. I also got a wee feel of her bump. I am bursting to meet her little one. I already have so many fun ideas for when this bundle arrives. 

I finished up the week chilling with the toy boy. Or trying to chill until he marched me all over town, I made the worst sushi in the history of the world & we embarked on a spontaneous day at The Fringe.


Highlights of our flying festival visit were Suky Goodfellow’s spoken word show, Political Acid Trip. She blew me away. Her fringe run is finished, but check her Facebook for more events. You will not be disappointed. 


Last stop was high above Princes Street. After years of wanting to take a ride on the Giant Wheel, I finally made it. It exceeded expectations. The views up there are startling. ​​

Words are flowing…

Words have always been my religion. Wether my love of the beauty you can create with words made me a writer or what I could say when I wrote made me love words is my own personal chicken & egg. Regardless, the fact remains, I worship words. In that adoration lies a certain obsession; from worrying over a sentence for an hour to finding affinity in a someone  else’s perfect phrase. Which, is exactly what I want to tell you about. 

In the past week I’ve come across two such phrases that at different points in my life seemed made for me. Across the Universe is one of The Beatles songs I immersed myself in as a teen. I still love it, but the words have become so familiar that they often just wash over me. Well, on bus last week for some reason I was really listening. When I reached the chorus, one line flooded me with feeelings from times gone:

‘Nothing’s gonna change my world’ 

I vividly recalled being 15 & completely believing that nothing could shake me. I had at that point lived a charmed life. A life of love & safety & competence that had formed a girl confident she could take on the world. And win. 

I look back on that version of me with such mixed feelings. I’m proud of her; she was the weird girl that managed to be popular. The smart girl that partied. Even at 15 she knew her convictions mattered & those who felt threatened by that could fuck off. It takes a specfic kind of teenage courage to own that you are different & to celebrate it. Oh, the plans she had. It never once occurred to her that anything could knock her down. 

I’m welling up writing this because I know what happened next. It took years of therapy, but I can finally feel compassion for that cocksure girl that fucked it all up. Now, after years blame, I want to protect her. A story of my history & evolution in 5 words. 

A few days later, in a fit of insomnia, I was flicking through tv channels & found Girl Interrupted. The first time I saw this the description of suicidal thoughts clicked. 

‘Once you’ve posed that question, it won’t go away’

I hadn’t heard anyone else voice this cold fact before, but it was true. Once I had seriously considered suicide, it never really went away. Killing myself became the solution to every problem. So many of Susanna Kaysen’s words rang true. Hearing my terrifying feelings expresssed out loud somehow justified my pain. 

All I ever heard about suicide or self harm was don’t do it. People often talk in well meaning platitudes. They’ll tell you that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Life will get better, they insist. It’s all meaningless. When you are in that hole, getting out doesn’t seem possible. More over, even if you believe that someday, you might be happier, it does nothing to assuage your current pain. Severe depression is torturous. There is a comfort in knowing an escape hatch exists. For a long time the knowledge that if I couldn’t take anymore of life I didn’t have to was the one thing that kept me alive. 

Watching that film again brought back those dark times. More than that, Kaysen’s words brought a sense of peace. In my suicidal days, having my daily struggle with those thoughts acknowledged was powerful. Now, realising that suicide is no longer my default trouble shooter is compelling. 

Sometimes it takes a glance at the past to see how far I’ve come. I know those feelings can return. Which is why these words still resonate. Another example of a handful of words spelling out the story of life. 

Everybody wants to be a cat…

I had a lunch date with my Mum & sis on Saturday, which seemed liked a good opportunity for an over due outfit post. It turned out to be a day of surprises, but very nice ones.

Anyway, back to the fashion. I combined my love of cats with my fondness  for swing skirts & donned this kitch beauty. 



Skirt – Lindy Bop

Vest – Forever21

Cardi – John Lewis 

Necklace – Gift

It wouldn’t be a ly outfit without an injection of colour, a box my Pom poms perfectly ticked. Oh & my eye make up helped too.



The food was yum, the news was good & my mum even treated me to a colourful new skirt. Saturday win.

I ain’t buying it…

I was planning a wish list post when it dawned on me that I had already procured most of the things I had been wishing for. It has been an accidentally/couldn’t help myself spendy few weeks. So, instead I thought I’d knock up a list of the over hyped things that I just don’t want. The things blogs & insta are packed with that I just can’t get excited about. 

I am totally used to being the odd one out, but I’m thinking there must be even one other person out there as puzzled as I am. 

1. Highlighter for yourVulva 

The Perfect V is a company who make beauty products for your vulva. Their line includes, yes, highligter. Listen to me, your genitals do not need make up. Nor does your vulva require exfoliation rejuvenating serums or specialised cleansers. Your bits look exactly as the should. Please do not succumb to this internalised misogyny. Shades of V is a £35 yeast infection. Your lily does not need gilded. 

2. Urban Decay Heat Palette

I’ve never been a massive make up girl. Don’t get me wrong I love my slap, but I don’t wear it everyday. In fact, most days I wear none at all. So, new make up releases do not generally excite me. However, the hype on this palette was massive. Everyone was talking about it before it was released & i’m still seeing exhilarated blogs, weeks later. Here’s the thing, it is a collection of warm neutral eyeshadows.  You know, like almost every other palette you see these days. Is there a make up wearing person left on earth who does not already have some shimmery brown eyeshadow? Maybe it’s me, but I don’t get it & I definitely don’t want. 

3. Matcha 

It is in everything & I don’t like it. The tea tastes yuck so I don’t want it in my cakes, ice cream, toothpaste, lip balm or bloody cocktails. Bye matcha. 

4. Bralettes

Suddenly no one wears a bra.  It’s all slivers of lace & whispers of sexy fabric. All prettier than most clothes & encasing beautiful pert breast.  Ok, truth, I only hate bralettes because my tits damn near need the finnieston crane to hold them up. They do sell bralettes for big boobs, but they are LIES & I am BITTER. 


5. Mac, Avon, Nars…

and every other brand that caved to China’s brutal animal testing policies. In case you aren’t aware, china requires products sold there to be tested on animals. For some big name cosmetic companies that means going back on their word to ditch animal testing. Profit is more important than ethics for some brands. As far as I’m concerned cruelty is for cunts. 


You can find cruelty free alternatives here.

6. Gin

I have a pathological hatred of the stuff & it’s everywhere. A couple of years ago folk cottoned onto how cheap & easy it is to make gin. Then PR people went mental. Now I have to wade through swamps of gin everytime I want a drink. I know it’s being marketed as coolest tipple, but I’m not buying it. 

Doctor, doctor…

The universe obviously thought my life was going a little to smoothly, so she threw me a little kidney shaped drama. 

I woke in the night with excruciating upper abdominal & chest pain. Violent throwing up followed by passing out left me a tad perturbed. It was actually a little scary as the chest symptoms mirrored all the things you read in heart attack warnings. More passing out & worsening pain led to a call to NHS 24 who swiftly sent an ambulance. 

The paramedics did a heart trace & found me to be more tachycardic than just pain could account for. To be honest I think the culprit for my racing heart was sheer panic at finding myself in a bloody ambulance. Anyway, an empty a&e and some very nice medical folk soon led to a diagnosis; an inflamed kidney. 


At the just kill me stage.

I had yet another kidney infection, which had caused my kidney to become in inflamed with sheer indignation. I can’t really blame my poor kidney. The number of kidney & urinary tract infections I’ve had in the past 12mths is ridiculous. I was admitted to surgical ward, given fluids, morphine & monitored. 

It looks like I might have tiny kidney stones. These little bastards are causing all the trouble. I need to have a detailed scan later this week. If there are stones lurking they can be broken up with ultra sound waves. Which, overall is good outcome. I am always delighted when drs can give me answers. 


Progressed to I can stand the pain, but I hate hospital stage. 

For the time being I am glad to be home & reallly hoping this will spell an end to all the kidney issues. Another hospital stay & resultant recovery time has put a serious dent in my productivity. So, I am currently stressing about the enormous backlog of tasks I have. I’m behind in everything from housework to writing, personal grooming to fundraising. Spoonie life is anxiety ridden. 

Oh, serious brownie points to the toy boy for taking excellent care of me. Big tick in all the boyfriend nursing boxes. He brought me jelly, fed my cat, fetched me fresh knickers & listened to hours of my morphine addaled chatter. He even got me a cute get well card. Thanks, babe. 

Come on baby light my fire…

A few months ago I found a cool remote controlled light bulb. It changes colour  & has a gazillion settings to suit my every whim. It has one small problem, it doesn’t really light the whole room. Which, is actually quite a big problem when shedding light is your only job. Enter Dandelion Interiors & my excellent new lamp.*


My interior style is a bit of a pick n’ mix. I love scouring antique shops & house clearances for beautiful old pieces of furniture. I also love a bit of mid century retro & any number of quirky bits found in second hand shops.  My living room is a total mish mash, hence I could not find the right lamp. That was until I came across Dandelion. 

This gorgeous piece combines my old & newish tastes whilst still having a very simple design. I love the huge bulb & bell jar cover. It’s so much cooler than everything else I considered. And, hey, it looks perfect on my slightly battered table with my array of random bits. 

* this item was gifted, but opinions remain my own. 

No compassion…

I’m 36yrs old, chronically ill and a size 22, I am no stranger to a bit medical fat shaming. Sadly, I have had to develop a thick skin when it comes to interacting with the medical profession. Drs & nurses will say things to me that no one else would dare to. I have had to learn to advocate for myself when necessary & brush off a whole bunch of bullshit along the way. To be honest I thought I was fairly untouchable. I am entirely comfortable with my size & though often tiring to hear the same fat phobic lectures, it doesn’t hurt me. Infuriate, yes, but I never felt unable to deal with it. Until recently. 

Earlier this year I had a miscarriage. It was not my first loss. My previous experiences of pregnancy & miscarriage were hugely traumatic and in fact played a major part in my mental health struggles. Losing another baby was horrendous. I had some complications and ended up having to spend a little time in hospital. The one small blessing was the support system I have in place and the kindness I was treated with whilst inpatient. Once home & physically recovered I visited my GP to discuss my general health & how to proceed fertility wise. That she wanted to talk about weight loss was not entirely unexpected. I know standard advice for anyone overweight talking about having a baby is lose weight. I know drs still hold rigidly to the BMI scale & that there is an upper limit for fertility treatment. I know fat women often have their pregnancies labelled high risk. What I wasn’t prepared for was this gp’s insinuation that my weight caused my miscarriage. So, unprepared was I that I convinced myself that I had misunderstood. I pushed it out of my mind & continued trying to process my grief. However, when I returned a week later and she still only wanted to talk about diet plans, what I ate, what I weighed now & how often she could weight me,I was more explicit. I explained my history of borderline eating disorders, of starvation diets & losing vast amounts of weight only to regain it. I told her I did not and would engage with rigid diets or weight loss programmes. Her response was given my multiple miscarriages, I might want to re think that. I enquired If she was saying I miscarried because I was fat & she confirmed that she thought it likely.

 

I walked out feeling a rage that quickly melted away to sadness. I was left wanting to crawl into bed and never get out again. I have struggled with PTSD for many years; my original trauma was an emotionally abusive relationship & my the circumstances surrounding my first miscarriage. It has taken me literally my entire adult life to get control of my shame and guilt. Years of self harm, debilitating depression, panic attacks, flash backs and nightmares all centred around how the loss of my child and subsequent illness was all my fault. One thoughtless dr had thrust back into that damaging thought cycle. On top of that I have fought to reclaim my body as acceptable. I have had to work to enjoy my life in this fat scarred body. My history is well documented in my medical records and I have personally discussed it with the dr. That truth is she wants me to be thin more than she wants to me be happy & healthy. Her complete disregard for my mental health was cruel. That she hadn’t even bothered to investigate my history before speaking is unacceptable. A cursory glance at my notes would have revealed that I was not over weight at the time of my other pregnancy losses. She would also have seen that I am currently taking a medication for PCOS that causes weight loss. The drug is harsh on my already inflamed digestive system meaning that I throw up daily. In addition one of it’s major side effects is appetite reduction. Hence, I have been slowly shedding pounds since I commenced this treatment. I also have diagnosed gynaecological issues, which are much more likely to play a part in my inability to carry to term. The conversation she forced upon me was not only insensitive, but entirely irrelevant. That said, it is never ok to blame a vulnerable women for the loss of her child.

I have chosen not to see that GP again. I attend a fairly large practise and as a freelancer have the freedom to wait for appointments with another dr. I have yet to confront the issue as it still feels so raw. However I feel a strange sense of duty; I feel I must tackle this to prevent it happening to someone else. I recognise that there were times in my past when this dr’s assertions would have entirely destroyed me. I hate that the responsibility to educate & challenge falls to people like me. I cannot understand why a profession who swear to ‘do no harm’ are so married to fat phobia. Why is care and compassion is so often disregarded purely because a patient is fat?