Last week I tried to cheer myself up with a change of scene and mini treats. I had a little work in Edinburgh, so I booked a hotel and mixed business with some pleasure.
I received an exciting offer that included a photo shoot. I wasn’t sure I was up to doing a big scary thing, but pushing myself was a good idea. I definitely needed a reminder that other people recognise my talents. Work aside I took the opportunity to see a couple of my Edinburgh people whilst I was through. I spent an evening each with a couple of my favourite men and even got a tad drunkity two nights in a row. I rarely do much past 6pm these days. It was bloody lovely to get dressed up and have some adult fun. Cocktails & carry on was the perfect distraction.
It was also amazing to relax. Stepping away from my day to day life made it possible for me to temporarily shut off the falling apart portion of my mind. Crisp white sheets, starting my day with a swim and a yummy breakfast (that I didn’t have to make) all did me good.
Back in reality I tried to not to kill off my sapling of good cheer. I took my baby nephew swimming, it’s almost impossible not to feel good around that boy. I’ve taught him to say LaLa, what I what I called myself before I could say my name. Believe mewhen I tell you, my heart skips a beat every time he utters those two syllables. I bought myself beautiful flowers and delicious smelling candles. Ruffled the feathers of fuckwits with my radical accessories. Then indulged in some soppy, feel good films, tried Greggs’ yummy vegan sausage roll and attempted to not to stress about the mountain of tasks I didn’t conquer. It’s the little things in life, right?
February has been a fairly insular month. It’s very cold outside & I’m not much in the mood for socialising. I’ve hit the Netflix & actually chill a little harder than usual. It’s been the month for distractions & these have been the most effective.
I’ll just dive right in with the Netflix shows that have definitely been diverting if not entirely relaxing. Abducted in Plain Sight is insane. It’s documentary covering the abduction of a girl by a family friend. The behaviour of almost every adult in the entire tale is beyond explanation. If the story was fiction it would be dismissed as ridiculous. Also horrific, but in a completely different way is The Bleeding Edge. Another documentary, this one about medical devices & implants that highlights a terrifyingly lax regulation process. Watching this doc probably did not help my insomnia, but it may save me some future medical catastrophe. Last of my Netflix trilogy is also billed is scary. Since I’d never trust a man I’d only known 6 weeks never mind marry one, this one isn’t keeping me up nights. Dirty John is based on the true story of a lying, cheating nutcase. Whilst it’s doing nothing to raise my opinion of the menfolk it is worth a watch. I have been watching one series that does make me feel warm towards humanity, Catastrophe. Everything about it is exceptional; hilarious, real, romantic, tawdry & I liked. The final episode had me in bits, in a good way.
An insomniacs best friend is a good book and I’ve been rattling through them in the last few weeks. I opened the month with The Tattooist of Auschwitz which manages to do the almost impossible by making a story about a death camp hopeful. Having said that it’s not very well written & really doesn’t live up to the hype. Giving a book about the holocaust a tepid review feels harsh, but there are better books on this topic. Oyinkan Braithwaite’s take on the serial killer genre was a better choice. My Sister, the Serial Killer is creepy and yet almost playful. You know exactly where the story is headed, but you still want to get there. I’m currently digging back into the Patrick Melrose novels. I re read the first two in the series last year and then got sidetracked. Some Hope is probably my favourite of the five. If you haven’t read these St Aubyn classics, you should.
My cute little record player was an excellent purchase. It offers distraction on two fronts, great sounding bath soundtracks & an excuse to go rooting in second hand shops for cool records. The latest of which is The Jesus and Mary Chain. Psycho Candy gets me with it’s relaxed trippiness. It is extra beloved for being on the Lost in Translation soundtrack & just thinking about that last kiss in the street makes me smile.
Bronan really likes it too. Every time I put a record on he sits right beside it & purrs like mad.
Back on the digital side I have had one song in particular on repeat. No Pressure by Mahalia just speaks to me. It’s one of those songs that I just adore the cadence of. I was alerted to it’s greatness via Meghan Tonjes’ insta stories. Meghan herself has also been featuring on my Spotify most played list. Her collaboration with Daren on Count Me Out is a sentiment I can get behind.
When I have ventured out it has been to see my glorious little people (& their creators) all of whom breathe colour into my life. My littlest monkey had his first birthday this month. My big nephew is going through an adorable dinosaur phase. Madison’s curls just keep getting cuter & my not so little goddess is texting now. She just loves to send her old auntie freaky gifs.
Not sleeping also gives me endless hours to paint my nails. I hate to have bare nails. These have been my February favs.
Mixed media & preening aside it’s been an equal split between baths and sunsets. Both bring me comfort and earn a 5 star rating.
I’ve been taking is rather easy during this most confusing period of the year. I say confusing because I cannot keep track of what day it is or even what time day it might be. All the usual markers are skewiff.
No one is at work when you expect them to be. Regular tv scheduling has been abandoned & I haven’t cooked an actual meal in days. I mainly been soaking in hot baths, watching old movies and reading whilst curled in a cosy ball. On the few occasions that I have removed my pyjamas it has been to ogle a bigger screen and cuddle some cuties.
On Boxing Day I saw Mary Poppins with my sis & her boy. I absolutely adored the original Poppins and was skeptical about her return. I was relieved to discover it wasn’t a remake, but one of the other Poppins stories. Also, further comforted when I learned they’d used older style animation & that an old fav was making an appearance. The film is utterly enchanting. It keeps to spirit of the original and is beautifully done. Dick Van Dyke is a highlight, but the whole thing delighted me. The baba was impressed too. He as been to the cinema before, but I think this is first time he was really watching. His little face was a picture of astounded mirth. The entire experience was, as the lady herself would say, practically perfect in every way.
This evening I saw Aquaman with the Toyboy. The TB & I take turns to pick the film; tonight was of course his choice. He likes nothing more than a superhero caper. I on the other hand, find there are entirely too many comic book crusades on the go these days. The underwater worlds in Aquaman are very beautiful. Otherwise it’s a standard good vs evil, handsome hunk saves the day type of affair. In keeping with my current air of laziness I wore the same outfit for both cinema trips. Slight accessory reworking and I was good to go.
Dress – Boohoo
Cardi – M&S
Earrings – Gift
As the year draws to a close I am
grateful for these days to laze around & enjoy my loved ones. 2018 has been a slog. On the world scale it’s been bleak. On personal level there’s been a bunch of grey with some startlingly bright spots. I have reason to believe that 2019 could be a bloody good one for me. I hope the same applies to everyone reading (& the global scene pulls its socks up too). I wish you all a happy & hopeful New Year. Brace yourself, we’re about to start all over again.
Last night I asked a women I thought was a waiter for our bill. From the confused look on her face I immediately realised she was not staff. In my embarrassment it occurred to me that my brain (& body) makes daft mistakes like this all the time. Also, ridiculous things just seem to happen to me. I have no idea why I am so bloody silly, but it certainly makes for some entertaining stories. Provided you give me a few years to recover from the humiliation that is.
For starters there was the time I was in hospital and one of junior surgeons who appeared on rounds was a guy I had dated. I didn’t recognise him right away. To be fair I was full of morphine and we’d only gone out for about 2 months 15years previously. Also, at that time he was a bus driver. Thus I didn’t expect to see him amongst my surgeons. Anyway, I was lying there, knickers exposed having my stomach felt when I thought a face in the crowd looked familiar. Skip to him returning to take blood and asking if I was ok with him being on my team. Then me slowly dying as he (re) introduced himself & it dawned on me that this man had seen me naked. Worse still that everyone clearly thought I was the kind of woman who slept with hot drs and then promptly forgot them. I mean, obviously I am precisely such as hussy, but I could have done without a barrow load of medical professionals being privy to that information.
Next was the time I turned up at work wearing odd shoes. They were the same shoe, but in different colours. I had done my standard fling clothes on & rush out the door morning routine. It was a dark winter morning & I didn’t notice I had on one red & one pale nude ballet pump. I didn’t notice all day long either. It wasn’t until I was on the bus home that my mismatching foot wear became apparent. What’s worse is when I asked my colleagues the next day how no one had noticed, it turned out they all had. They just assumed it was fashion choice I had purposely made & left me to it. Which probably sums up how I was viewed in that office fairly well.
There was the time I went on a date with a work mate without realising it was a date, which I suppose could happen to anyone. However, I suspect most folk wouldn’t have gone on the second date still oblivious that they were dating. Or the time I emitted the loudest, foulest fart seconds after concluding some of the hottest sex I’d ever had. Completely ruining my reputation as a sex kitten. I fell asleep during a lecture once and slept talked so loudly the professor thought I was asking a question. Oh & that time I burnt cookies in the Haagen Dazs kitchen, set off the fire alarm and caused an entire 12 screen to be evacuated.
Finally, my crowning glory of embarrassing moments. I was Christmas shopping in a fancy department store (if you’re local, it was Frasers). This place is an old building with a grand staircase which leads down into a beauty hall. They go all out at Xmas. Twinkly lights & decorations galore. This particular year they had a lush potted poinsettia at either side of each step. Step forward a sweaty & harassed me, carrying a million bags. I fainted at the top and rolled down the entire staircase. As I tumbled I knocked over every poinsettia one side, shedding items from bags & red petals as I went. I landed in a soil covered, tight laddering heap in front of the Chanel counter. My knees were grazed, but my pride took the real battering. The lovely staff wanted to fetch me a seat and maybe call an ambulance. I was so mortified that even if i’d broken both legs I’d have been out of there in flash.
There are of course a million other occasions of misspeaking & farting & generally falling around. Laughing uproariously at myself is definitely the only way to go. So, I offer these stories for your enjoyment. If i’m going to me be a clumsy mess I might as well entertain folk.
I’m a sucker for a mini break. Give me a nice hotel with a good pool and I’m a happy girl. Throw in a massage & I’d be delighted even if the hotel was located in hell. So, the Toyboy’s birthday treat of a few days away was a winner.
He choose Dundee because he knew I really wanted to see the new V&A, but it proved to be a cool wee city. We had some tasty food, took in some sights & indulged in soothing spa treatments.
We stayed at the Apex City Quay which was a delight. We had a gorgeous big room with a view of city quay & it’s cool water sports. The complimentary bubbly was a lovely welcome & the really late check out was a great goodbye. The Apex took care of our every whim inbetween.
The Japanese style Yu Spa is apparently award winning; I haven’t checked that, but it was excellent & I believe them. It comprises a lovely little pool, deliciously hot hot tub & the usual array of incredibly hot rooms (steam/sauna et al). I’m a big kid so I was particularly pleased the submerged colour changing lights. There are also more adult plus points in form excellent showers, Elemis toiletries & quality hair dryers in the changing rooms. The actual treatment area is a tranquil heavenly smelling space. My hot stone massage was divine. The Toyboy’s ‘devil’s delight back treatment’ was everything he had hoped for.
Like I said, Dundee was charming. It has some impressive architecture, quirky pubs & really awesome food. The McManus Art Gallery looks like a cathedral from a Disney film. It had the most stunning stone staircase I have ever seen. I bet those steps have seen their share of blushing brides. The D C Thomson building also looked spiffing all lit up. My favourite Dundee aspect ended up being cowering under the Tay road bridge watching the wind make the river run wild.
Food wise, Dundee did really well with my fussy vegan needs. Special mention goes to Tahini. I was initially dubious, but we were running out of time & I bowed to pressure. I am so happy that I did. Tahini offer a three course Lebanese Tapas experience. You just tell them any allergies/restrictions and they bring you amazing food. I was a little scared of not picking exactly what I wanted. Partly because of my very persnickety eating, but also because I am terrible at relinquishing control of even unimportant matters. Anyway, I learned a lesson. I must relax a little because the food was so fucking good and it did not stop coming. Go hungry, these people really feed you!
I’ve had a pretty blue day. There’s proper storm blowing around outside & I am incredibly tired, which definitely hasn’t helped. Mostly though, I feel shit because too many people have been horrible to me this week.
I had a very small day surgery on Monday, which went smoothly & really wasn’t a huge deal. It was on my dodgy leg & in a spot when stitches are very easy to burst, so I was told to be careful. With that in mind I got a taxi to the train station early on Tuesday morning (I watch my nephew on Tuesdays). The station has a little car park at one side, but that is not the platform I get the train from, so I need the taxi to stop on the main road. I say need because I mean need. If I get out in the car park I have to go out up a big flight of stairs to street level over the tracks & then down a smaller staircase to the platform. Getting out on the street means navigating one smaller set of stairs (which is hard & sore & slow enough). The taxi driver of course did not want to stop on the main road. He was annoyed that he’d have to go a little further down the road to turn at a roundabout & he didn’t want to pull over on a busy road. He argued that it made no sense when the station had a car park. Now, maybe I’m a bitch, but in my mind part of the convenience of paying a taxi to take me somewhere is that I don’t have to explain myself & I get to go where I want to go. I don’t relish having to explain my disabilities & why I can’t do certain things. Especially when I walk with a stick & it’s bloody obvious that stairs are not my friend. I did however tell the driver why I wanted to be dropped in that specific spot, but he still wanted to argue. Thus I had to say either drop me where I say or take me home and don’t get paid. With much muttering under his breath he did as I asked, which probably took less than 5 minutes more & was basically zero hassle to him. This, my day is off to a crap start & I’m already tired of just trying to move around in the world.
I struggle down the steps just in time to heave myself on to a packed train. The train is headed into town & it’s 7.45am, of course there are no seats left. I make my way to the seats that are reserved for the disabled, elderly etc and everyone sitting there avoids eye contact. I don’t know why people do this because not looking at me does nothing to reduce my need to sit down. All it achieves is putting me in the horrible position of having to ask for seat. This, I duly do. I politely ask the women in the closet seat if I can have her seat if she is able to stand. I am met with huffing & puffing as puts her jacket back on and a glare as she vacates the seat. I thank her anyway because I have some bloody manners & sit whilst others who previously avoided looking in my direction now recover their ability to see me. They now make full use of this rediscovered function to gawk at me for most of the journey. I’m sore & tired & anxious & very conspicuous. It isn’t even 8am. I arrive at central station & have to buy a ticket. There was no ticket inspector on the first train & I have to get a second to complete my journey. The ticket office on the platform has the barriers set up to control the queue. I have to walk around it to get into the queuing area & follow the barriers to actually reach the end of the line. I’m slow, i’m conscious of not messing with the wound on my dodgy leg & I am worried about this queue because I’m really not sure I can stand that long. Roll on more rude people. As I follow the path made by the barriers people just barge right past me. One women even does a little run just as I near the end of queue so she can get in front of me. What kind of dickhead rushes to skip a disabled person who is clearly having difficulty? I don’t know, but I can tell you there are too many of them & I don’t always have it in me to let them know that they’re a knob.
Anyway, I get my ticket. I locate the platform of my next train. I find a seat because I can’t go any further until I’ve had a rest. I eat a lovely banana, check my messages & listen to some tunes whilst I gather myself. When it’s time to to head to the train I have recovered some equilibrium. I’m thinking today can be saved. One train journey & I can cuddle my gorgeous wee monkey. This is what I’m thinking as make my way along the platform & a large man barges right into me. He took me completely by surprise, I had nothing to steady myself on & went flying. Mr ‘catching my train is life’ didn’t even stop. No apology, no let me help you up. Kept marching right on & boarded his train. Incidentally his train was my train & it wasn’t leaving for 9 minutes. Whilst he presumably found a good seat I was lying on the platform bleeding. A nice ticket guy helped me up & onto the train. He even radioed someone the description of the guy who knocked me over, but to what end I have no idea. I’m not sure what anyone could really do other than tell him he was a prick. That surgical wound I was being oh so careful with is now bleeding furiously. I didn’t want to remove the dressing on the train, but I’m sure the stitches have burst (they had). So, I’m applying pressure & being watched by other travellers (again) as I try to put myself back together. I was pissed off, but focusing on gathering myself & getting where I needed to go.
Mr nephew was, as always, a delightful little bundle & I got through the day. I arrived home last night utterly exhausted & dropped into bed almost immediately. After a fitful night of sleep I awoke feeling just as tired. My leg is swollen & the wound can’t be restitched (it’s been open over night & restitching would be an infection risk). It will heal, but slower & messier. I had things to do today, but I didn’t do them. Partly because I was in a fair bit of pain and exhausted. Mostly, though, because there was a strong wind & yesterday shook my confidence. The accumulation of the rudeness, arguing, staring & knocking me to the ground was that today I was acutely aware of my disabilities. I didn’t feel up to dealing with the world & perhaps ending up worse for wear again. That realisation made me feel like shit.
I don’t like to think of myself as fragile or incapable. I know my limitations & I try really hard to work around them. I have to think ahead. I do things a bit at a time & I sometimes have tackle things in ways that might not make sense to others. I know I can be awkward. I know that the accommodations I need can be a pest to others. All disabled people know this. We aren’t asking for seats or giving specific instructions for a laugh; it’s the only way we can live in the world. I already feel stressed & anxious about needing these things. I am certain I’m not alone in it that. So, when you force me(us) to explain ourselves it’s horrible. When you make a fuss about being stuck behind me as I move at glacial pace, you are making my life a nightmare. Your stares & sighs can ruin my day. Limping along with a stick at 37 is not my ideal life situation. Fainting on public transport is not a thing I relish. I did not choose to hurt all the live long day. I do not want to have to ask you for anything, but I can assure if I was in your shoes I’d offer my seat with good grace.
I’ll heal. I’ll give myself a shake & force myself back out the door again. I will hold my tongue (most of the time) as you push past me & roll your eyes. I shouldn’t have to, though. Living with my disabilities is hard enough. I don’t want to manage your arsehole tendencies too.