Drift like a cloud through the festival crowd…

On Monday the Toyboy & I headed off for our annual (it’s the 2nd year, that counts, right?) trip to the Edinburgh Fringe. Three days of exhausting, but fabulous adventures ensued.

Our first show of the 2018 fringe was Phil Jupitus is Porky the Poet in Living in A World Where They Through the Ducks at the Bread . That title is quite a mouth full as was some of this show, but in a good way. I’ll be honest, I only really knew Jupitus from Never Mind the Buzzcocks & it turns out I like his poetry much more than I liked that programme. His poetic style is silly & witty & heartwarming. His in between chat is also all of the above. I’m a spoken word/poetry fan, but I think even poetry virgins would enjoy Porky’s words. Oh & bonus I got a free badge that sums me up fairly accurately.

Troubled poet badge

Voodoo Rooms is a perfect example of example of Edinburgh Festival venues. It’s down a lane, riddled with stairs & you’re packed in tight enough to lose circulation in your extremities. We made the mistake of trusting directions of a stranger (male, why can they never admit they don’t know?). We walked around in a massive circle before discovering the venue was about 2 minutes from where we started & on arrival I realised I had actually known where it was all along; I just didn’t know the street name. Anyway, what I’m trying to tell you is this is a quintessential festival experience. Finding most venues will become a magical mystery tour of possibly the least disabled friendly city in the world. Everything is up a hill & 3 dozen stairs. Spoonies beware or budget for a lot of taxis!

We acted the tourist for a little bit; had a lunch from a food truck & bought Edinburgh rock. Then I tortured the TB with outfit pictures before an outfit change & catching up with some Edinburgh based friends. After a few cocktails & much hilarity we headed off to our last show of the day.

ly h Kerr Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Edinburgh Fringe 2018 random sights

The Waverley is just off bottom end of the Royal Mile. It looks like it hasn’t been decorated since 60’s & feels like it might house a tiny part of real festival spirit. In the upstairs room there was a sparse audience & a life size cut out of Billy Conolly declaring ‘This is where I started’. I’m not sure if that’s inspiring or just a kick in teeth to those playing a quiet room, but the woman we came to see gave it a spirited try. Becky Fury (that’s her real name) hinted that she perhaps wasn’t having her best night, but she did have some interesting takes on current state of politics. I suspect the show that emerges from her Edinburgh run will be more polished than Lip Salve for the Soul. In the meantime her Star Wars movie via Corbyn memes was funny. Her visual display of how dehumanisation happens, somehow Hillary Clinton faired worse in polls than terrorists, was insightful. Plus her off the cuff material on my breasts was actually pretty fucking amusing. Anyone who can make ‘that’s how genocide happens’ a punchline & get me to laugh when the size of my tits is publicly discussed has got to have talent. I’d say book early for her 2019 show, it’ll be a cracker.

Billy Connolly edfringe cardboard cut out

With only two shows under our belts we grabbed some very expensive fast food & headed back to our apartment. We needed a bit of rest because Tuesday was jam packed. Stay tuned for everything from medieval disco theatre to serial killer book podcasts all viewed with eyes adorned in razor sharp liner.

ly h Kerr & Toyboy

Dancing in the streets…

You know that thing when you just can’t be bothered, but you make yourself & you end up having good time? I did that yesterday. I finally got pain to a manageable level with temporary meds & some other interventions. I was still knackered & feeling pretty meh, though. I did my hair, painted my face & pushed myself out the door. What do you know? My city & my man made it worth my while.

ly h Kerr

The Toyboy wanted to hit some street markets/parties that were happening in the city centre. We started with Music Moments mini festival as we knew one of the bands playing (Dope Sick Fly). We enjoyed their set & TB partook of some cocktails in the piano bar before moving on. We made a quick dinner pit stop before checking out the many craft stalls in merchant city.

Project Post it at Music Moments Festival TriBeCa vegan burger

Our last stop of the day was the Electronic Glasgow street party. Comprised of tonnes of food stalls, DJ’s blasting 80’s dance & all the bars setting up outside on street. We were lucky to grab a table outside one my favourites, The Brunswick & had fun people watching. Glasgow folk are always entertaining. Even more so when fruity ciders are imbibed, the music is thumping & you’re in the company of a cutie.

Electronic Glasgow, Brunswick stCitation, Merchant City

I couldn’t find a thing to wear on Saturday, so ended up digging through the deepest darkest regions of my wardrobe. Hiding in the back was this beauty. I had completely forgotten I even had this dress. I’m very pleased to have rediscovered it because it makes me feel gorgeous.

ly h Kerr

Do I wear you out?…

I’ve had another really bad week pain wise. It feels like I’m been having a lot of bad weeks recently and I’m tired. So very tired.

Life goes on, though. Nothing stops because I’m in pain. So, I try to keep on going too. It’s exhausting. Pain wears you out. Even before you attempt to do anything, just being in pain is tiring. I’m not sure that many people know that. You start the day fatigued. Every single task you perform from that point takes enormous effort. You’re fighting the pain and the growing exhaustion.

Drs will tell you to rest, but complete rest isn’t feasible for very many people. I can’t rely on or expect other people to take care of my life for me. My house will stay dirty if I don’t clean it, my fridge will stay empty if I don’t fill it, my bills won’t pay themselves, medical treatment doesn’t come to my house, my cat needs fed and my teeth, hair, body won’t clean themselves. Those are just the very basics of life, but they can be overwhelming when every move you make is agony. It’s a no win situation. If I neglect these basics my quality of life is seriously impacted. My stress levels soar & mood plummets. Trying to keep up with daily life saps all my energy. Pain is exhausting & exhaustion lowers your ability to cope with pain. It’s a vicious circle with no obvious escape.

Plus living is more than one’s basic responsibilities. There has to be human contact & stimulation. Unfortunately those can be just as tiring as the daily dirge. I love writing. I love swimming. Both are good for me, body & mind. Doing either involves a string of wearying steps. I have to wear myself down in the hope of benefits that are never guaranteed. I have a wonderful friends & family. Excellent relationships I don’t want to lose or neglect. However, just making myself fit to be in company is sometimes a mammoth task. I don’t even mean appearance wise. My people will accept me with no make up & greasy hair. They can handle the days that I can’t walk very far or do very much. For which I am grateful. What I can’t ask of them is to soak up my ill temper. Pain makes you snappy & negative & frankly unpleasant. No one wants to be around that. Also, no one wants to treat the people they love that way.

What do I do? I monitor myself. I constantly keep a tight grip on that grump. Take a deep breath & swallow it down. Let me tell you, maintaining that front, is exhausting. Also, essential. I don’t want to be a nasty bitch. I want to treat people with respect. Of course I gain from this; my life is immeasurably better for having date nights & sister time & lunch with my bestie & joyous mini people in it. Pain is absolutely not an excuse for being a fuckwit. It’s right that I censor myself into being nice. It’s just that it’s incredibly draining. It is the same catch 22, don’t push myself to do these things and my life would be empty. Do them & I pay the price.

None of this is anyone’s fault. There isn’t really anything anyone can do to change these things. This is just my life. Oh & a lot of other people’s too. I have this idea that maybe if we understand each other’s experience we might understand each other a little better. I think that would probably be a good thing. Further more, I’ve been trying to hold in all my grump & I am very tired.

** Apologies. I know this is not my best writing. I’m really sore & really tired.

I’ll be there for you…

I’ve had a hard week. Pain is hitting a consistent 7/10, I’m getting hardly any sleep & of course I have tonnes of stuff to do. So, when I had a free afternoon I really wanted to be still & rest. Alas, my pesky little sister really wanted to go to FriendsFest. She was so right, it was awesome.

The 90’s was my decade & Friends was the ultimate must see tv in those days. Stepping onto the actual sets of the famous apartments was really cool. All the other Friends themed attractions were spot on & tonnes of fun.

ly h Kerr FriendsFest

All the details were perfect & messing around with the interactive scenes was amazing.

Friends set

My sis was the perfect person to visit with as we spent a lot time watching Friends together when we both still living at home. We used to play a game where we’d give each other a random topic & we had to come up with a Friends related quote. Now that I’ve written it down that story looks kind of tragic, but we did cool stuff too.

Pivot, Vegas wedding, meat trifle

You probably shouldn’t marry your sister, but if you do try to have a sister who makes the ugly wedding dresses look cute.

FriendsFest was a blast. I felt like I was half dead & I managed to have great time. If that’s not a rave review then I don’t know what it. Oh & yes, I did look cute. A swing dress plus red lippy is the quickest way I know to take yourself from drab to fancy.

ly h Kerr, Lindy Boply h Kerr rainbow petticoat

Dress – Lindy Bop

Rainbow Petticoat – Lindy Bop

Necklace – Fuck the Tories.

Don’t even try to tell me you wouldn’t watch this show.

ly h Kerr, opening credits

My week(ish) in pictures…

I know it’s boring to talk about the weather, but can you believe what’s going on outside? We’ve had almost 6 weeks of solid sun & it’s still showing up everyday! Needless to say I’ve been trying to make the most of it.

The Toyboy surprised me with a wee spa break last week. As you can imagine I was delighted. Fancy hotel, lovely treatments & yummy cocktails. Oh & of course it wouldn’t be a hotel stay without some sexy lingerie. Hotel sex is the best, right?

ly h Kerr, stockings & cocktails

I can’t really handle too much heat, so indoor fun is essential if I want to avoid fainting. Yellow Movement Saturday at The Clutha was perfect as it is technically in doors, but the glass ceiling & tree in the middle of pub give an outdoor feel. The music was good, company even better. My particular favourite was Fnuf. If electronic reggae with a french hippie vibe sounds appealing you should check him out.

Project Post it at The Clutha

This weekend we took a trip out to Musselburgh to see some lovely friends & enjoy the sun. Lisa gives the best cuddles in the world, little James was cute as ever & Gordon revealed his wicked side during a game of Cards Against Humanity. Bar a bit of sunburn (I missed a bit with the sunblock) fun was had by all.

There has also been a dinosaur filled midweek movie, bubbles on the mound, project post it & lots of nail art.

I went swimming with my sis & bestie plus their adorable babies. Purchased the most incredible blue lilies & we did a spot of babysitting.

ly h Kerr, blue lilies ly h Kerr

My cat remains the cutest, I continue to snap random pictures, Oh & I had a really porny pudding.

ly h Kerr, porny pudly h Kerr, Project Post it

I hope you’re enjoying the summer as much as I am. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

My week(ish) in pictures…

It seems like we are actually getting summer in Scotland. It’s been sunny every day for week & shock horror, we’re getting used to it. I’ve been taking full advantage of the weather (& my sister’s maternity leave) to get out & enjoy my beautiful country.

Living in Glasgow is amazing. The city is a hub of culture; great architecture, food, bars, shopping, museums. Oh & Edinburgh is almost as good & just down the road. Plus 30 mins drive from the city centre is the stunning Loch Lomond & loads of other equally beautiful places. We really do have the best of both worlds & I’ve been exploring them.

I’ve been taking in stunning views, soaking up the sea air & swanning around my city rocking my summer wardrobe.

ly h Kerr, Balmaha

ly h Kerr, bath st, Glasgow ly h Kerr, National Gallery of Scotland

There have been movies & yummies with my favourite people. My nails have, of course been killer. Obviously #projectpostit has been getting around with me too.

Project post it, Glasgow

ly h Kerr, the toyboy

ly h Kerr, Tarbert, Kilberry bay

Ringo came to stay, Bronan continues to be the perfect meow. My little people light up my life & make me laugh so hard I look like a walrus. There was also a tiny bit hospital fuckery.ly h Kerr, Ayr, seb

Light, sky light, bff,

ly h Kerr, Nail art

I even fitted in a wee stint as a luxury bitch. The Toyboy & I had a night in a fancy hotel. Plus some general lazing around. You gotta take it easy in this heat.

Why don’t you mind your own business?

I had an interesting twitter conversation this week. Some people wanted to know how I deal with strangers asking questions about my scars. Unfortunately this is a thing that happens & one the reasons many people feel they must conceal their scars. Fortunately it is not an everyday occurrence & you can learn to handle it. I wanted to quickly share some tips that I hope will help you do just that.

First of all I feel it’s essential that you realise that no one has the right to ask you these questions. It is rude & intrusive. You do not owe these people answers, you don’t even owe them a polite response.

I totally understand that depending on a variety of factors unexpected questions about your scars can strike different chords. Sometimes I feel enraged, other days I panic & sometimes I’m just over it. Thus, my responses can differ. That’s ok. You are entitled to feel however you feel. You are not obligated to be nice or to hide those emotions from ill mannered strangers.

I tend to have ready made responses for the most common comments. They range from just shutting someone down to embarrassing them the way they tried to embarrass me. (Note : most people who ask already know what your scars are. They know their questions are akward & unkind).

So, let’s get to it. I’m going to give my to go to answer to my most often asked questions.

Q/ What happened to your arms/legs/body part?

A/ What happened to your manners?

A/ Shark attack.

A/ Me.

A/ Exactly what you think.

Q/ Why did you do that?

A/ Why do you think it’s your business?

A/ Why are you a nosey bitch?

Q/ Why don’t you cover those up?

A/ Why don’t you mind your own business?

A/ Why don’t you cover up your horrible personality?

A/ Why don’t you fuck off?

All of these responses are blunt & let nosey people know you are not all impressed with their questions. I refuse to pander to other people’s rudeness, but I know there are times when you don’t feel confident or just want to avoid a possible confrontation. I find the perfect answer in those instances is ‘it’s a long story’. It’s vague, but it is also obvious that you have no interest in pursuing the topic.

Whatever you say the important thing to remember is that you don’t need to reveal details to anyone unless you want to. It’s not your responsibility to make strangers feel comfortable & it’s certainly not your job to safeguard the feelings of people who don’t care about hurting yours. Shut them down & live your life.

My week in pictures…

I had a few rough weeks, but I’m slowly getting back into the whole life thing. I have done some pretty cool things & knocked out some damn fine outfits this past week. Unfortunately I’ve entirely failed to get any photos worthy of an actual outfit post, so I’m giving you a mish mash medley of my doings.

Last weekend was a bank holiday & the sun decided to show up. Of course the entire of population of Glasgow rushed outside to soak up the vitamin d & shed their clothes. I happily joined them. On Sunday the Toyboy & I headed west to check out another Overheard in the Westend. Before enjoying the spoken word & music in the cavernous Inn Deep we had a drink by the river. All in all a perfect holiday Sunday in the sun.

ly h Kerr

Pinafore & Kimono – Asos Curve

West End, Glasgow

On Tuesday we ventured out to see my all time favourite comedian Luisa Omielan. Her feminist, body positive routines are both inspiring & hilarious. Her latest show Politics for Bitches (for BBC3) goes even further. She’s taking comedy to new places by talking about our political landscape, the inequalities that created it & what we can do to grab back some power. The show in classic Luisa style is empowering, but with poignant moments as she shares her experiences of her mother’s brutal cancer journey & tragic death. She is filming in various locations, check her out if she hits your city.

ly h Kerr

Dress – Forever 21

Luisa Omielan, politics for bitches in Glasgow

I had to squeeze in a little medical treatment this week too, which left me tired & my body very tender. The rain arrived along with my fatigue meaning it was time for a cinema day. So, I ditched my underwire, slipped into a soft dress & met my fav Mummy & son pair at Cineworld. We saw The Guersney Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The film was good; made me blub a little, but ultimately a happy ending. However, the best moment was definitely my nephew loudly filling his nappy during the big romantic scene. I love that boy. The film is worth a watch if you like a bit of period romance with stunning scenery & excellent retro fashions.

ly h Kerr

Dress – Primark

Cineworld, silverburn

Now for the random likely section. I did a little thrifting this. Also a wee bit of bargain shopping. My bigger nephew turned 2, but is on holiday, so I prepped for his return. I obviously painted my nails, made some faces with my niece & clicked pics of generally pleasing things. I hope you likey too.

Project post it, Glasgow Nail Art by ly h Kerr

Ring – Glad Rags

Bronan Kerr

Trigger bang bang…

Anyone who spends any time on social media will have become familiar with the term triggered. Over the last few years it has entered the public lexicon. Unfortunately, it’s meaning has been incorrectly implanted in the public consciousness.

Triggered is actually a psychological term usually related to PTSD. A trigger is an external stimuli that produces a very uncomfortable emotional response; most often panic attacks or flashbacks. However, varied symptoms can result from the triggering of a traumatic memory. It absolutely does not mean offended or hurt. I’m sure most people will have come across the correct explanation of the term. I have certainly witnessed many try to explain why using the term as an insult or a vehicle for mockery is not ok. Yet, the misuse continues. It occurred to me that perhaps what is needed is an accurate representation of what happens when a person with PTSD is triggered. Maybe if people understood the reality they wouldn’t throw the word around so carelessly. So, I thought I would share what triggered means to me.

Whenever I have been pregnant I have been unable to wear my regular perfume. I wear the same scent everyday in life, but some weird olfactory sensitivity means during pregnancy it makes me nauseous. Thus, I change it & the scent I wore I during my first pregnancy is a major trigger for me. Triggers can be anything & no one has any control over what might become one. I experienced a million sights, sounds & sensations during that time, most of them hold little power over me. That scent, though, is potent.

Snow patrol, blue sky

Formidable enough to render me a sobbing wreck. Being taken off guard by that scent whilst shopping forced me to run shaking from a book shop to vomit in the street. All the while struggling to breath & bring myself to the present. A nurse who had too liberally applied the fragrance sent me shuddering back 15 years. Leaving me so panicked I crawled behind a chair & hid. I stayed crouched on the floor desperately trying to claw my way out of the worst day of my life. Completely trapped in my own personal horror film until some kind soul got me some diazepam & did me the kindness of handing it over without questions. That heady aroma has caused nightmares so vivid that I’ve woken myself with my own screams. Dreams so painfully real that I’ve had to keep myself awake for days. Sitting in the company of someone wearing that perfume once contaminated me. On returning home I could not rid myself of the smell. Real or imaginary it lingered until I smashed my hand with a marble pestle. So tortured was I by the memories the scent brought to life that I ploughed that pestle into my hand until I broke two fingers. The cracking of bones a welcome jolt back to the here now.

Diazepam 10mg

Triggers are uncontrollable. It is not within the power of a traumatised person to select what reactivates their trauma. Nor can they choose not respond. Our minds shelter dark territories & they’re all one way roads. Once you’ve slipped in, you have to press on through. Being triggered isn’t a foolish over reaction. Nor is it the hurt feelings of the overly sensitive. It is the raw & brutal reality of those who have dealt with the unimaginable. It’s a battle scar on the brain.

I can’t stop anyone from misappropriating a word. Ignorance abounds. The only tool I have to fight with is honesty. The truth is that trivialising a serious symptom of illness hurts. It stifles the conversation & prevents people seeking help. It makes vulnerable people feel weak & ashamed & stupid.

So, no, I’m not triggered by your cheap dig. I’m just tired of the stigma. Very, very tired.

I’m so fancy…

I have been plagued with another bout of hardcore insomnia & my mood has taken a little tumble in general. I’ve been fed up & feeling pissed of with world, which is not my beautiful life. So, I decided to take affirmative action & book myself a little bit of fancy.

Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

There was a distinct lack of planning & I was trying to do last minute booking for a holiday weekend. Thus, it become more of a grab what you can than select your perfection. I did well, regardless. I secured the historic & fairly recently renovated Grand Central Hotel. We had plans for Sunday night so properly getting away wasn’t an option, but I was determined to be a luxury bitch even if I was doing it in my hometown.

If you feel kind of blah spending some time in a fancy hotel is good medicine.If you have a silly man to accompany you, the resulting carry on will perk you right up. Grand central gets points for massive bathroom, impressive staircase & general, well, grandness. The Toyboy gets points for remembering to get me an easter treat, drunken nonsense & carrying heavy bags.

Staircase chandelier

ly h Kerr

ly h Kerr

On Sunday night we nipped over to Inn Deep for some drinks & culture. Overheard in the Westend was an elective mix of live music, comedy & spoken word. The venue was perfectly suited for the event & the acts were top class. I highly recommend you keep an eye out for upcoming happenings. Also, Inn Deep do vegan bar snack, big thumbs up!

Project post it, Glasgow

Suitably inebriated we returned to the Victorian splendour of our hotel & enjoyed our huge bed. I am big proponent of just treating yourself. Waiting for other people to fulfil your needs (or wants) is a fool’s errand. If you have the means to make yourself happy, do it! Whether that’s buying yourself flowers, cooking yourself a 5 star meal or indeed booking a fancy hotel. Don’t hope other people will satisfy your whims; please yourself & then anything else is a bonus.

ly h Kerr

Rested & full of hotel breakfast I sprung into the new week. Productivity lasted until around 7pm Tuesday night when my stomach decided to revolt. Spoonie life, eh?