Love is real, real is love…

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. I like Cary Grant movies & bittersweet love songs & Jane Austen novels. My heart forever swells for romance. It’s just that as I’ve gotten older my idea of true romance has changed.

I remember watching interviews of John Lennon talking about how he never wanted to be apart from Yoko & thinking I wanted to be in love like that. I thought the idea of wanting to spend every moment with someone was beautiful. Now it strikes me as frankly, unhealthy. The first time I saw Renee Zellweger translate ‘you complete me’ & moon over the signing couple, I melted. These days it’s more like boaking. It’s actually a bit weird that I ever internalised that version of love. I’ve never been someone who wanted to be around others all the time. My own company has always been valuable. My ‘hobbies’ are fairly solitary; reading, writing, swimming. I’m not really a joiner. I have lived alone for most of my adult life. When everyone else was still living with their parents or a bundle of flat mates I had already figured out that I quite liked closing my front door & knowing I am alone. I believe a part of me still thought when the right person come along that would change. Their breath would make my air sweeter, their presence would be essential. For a while there I actually thought that a soulmate might just make me whole. Now I look at the sentence & cringe. The right person is amazing, but a great love adds to one’s life. It’s an extra. My mug is full of me, a relationship is just the delicious cream & mallows on top. I can’t reach the peak potential of me if I spend every second of my life with someone else. By default I’d never put own needs first. I know now that love is not all encompassing; it’s vital to leave a little room for me.

In days gone by used to take note of dates. Anniversaries and so on. I knew the day I met exes, first kisses & I love yous. It mattered to me that we mark those days with flowers or dinner or whatever. I loved rom com’s & the big dreamy gestures. I thought I hankered for that kind of romance. I planned aspects of my theoretical future wedding. Thinking that the perfect music & public declarations would make it more concrete. Turns out none of it really matters. There isn’t a bouquet big enough to make you forget that someone didn’t come home for three nights. No public display of affection makes up for a routine lack of consideration. If a relationship doesn’t have a daily beating heart, the Hollywood bits won’t keep it alive. Which is not to say that some folk can’t have both. I know happy people who’s loving partners do big time classic romance & that’s fantastic. It just doesn’t seem that important to me anymore. The Toyboy & I don’t have an anniversary. Neither of us thought to take note of our first date & when it comes down to it, we don’t really care. We do all the things you might do in anniversary whenever we feel like it. What does it matter? Maybe we’ll get married someday & maybe we won’t. I’m not bothered as long as I’m happy. The gown & first dance & piece of paper won’t actually change what happens between him & I. On reflection the romantic cinematic moments that have really stuck with me aren’t the flashy ones anyway. They’re were quiet, intimate interactions. Like when Bill Murray whispers ‘ I’m not worried about you’ to a sleeping Scarlett Johansen in Lost in Translation. That sets off my butterflies. Likewise in my life, it’s the everyday romance that sets my heart a flutter. Rubbing tiger balm on my sore bits or drinking fizz in the bath with me. Co opting each other’s turn of phrase & bringing me vegan treats. Wrapping a gift creatively to please me. Knowing my sushi order & that I always want Diet Coke. Carrying my bag. Sitting by my hospital bed. Saying what you mean. And a million other real life indications that I matter, that I’m known, are what I need.

So, yes I love romance & I love that St Valentine’s Day reminds us to cherish & treat our one & only. I just don’t think it has to be wrapped up in hearts & shouted. The wee moments count. To get back to Lennon, it turns out love is real & real is love.

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When the bee stings…

It’s been a dick of a week. Debilitating fatigue followed by intolerable pain & some vomming to top it off added up to a big NO. However, antibiotics, oramorph & a good night’s sleep have made a big dent in my misery. So, excuse me if I get a wee bit Julie Andrews on you, but I wanted to talk about the random things that get me through. 

Whiskers on kittens…

So, starting by just lifting straight out of the song. The whiskers & everything else in one specific feline are definitely one of my favourite things. Some folk think I’m daft, but Bronan really does take care of me when I’m struggling. He’ll stay snuggled up beside me for days. He will wait for me to wake on my own rather giving me his usual breakfast call at 6am. He sits on my feet whilst I’m throwing up in the toilet & gently paws my face when I cry.  He’s a darling. Call me crazy cat lady if you like; I believe my cat has my back. 



Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings…

We don’t get a lot of wild geese around my way, but the moon can lift my spirits. Be it a dazzling full moon, spooky cloud shrouded moon or rare coloured one; I love the moon. It can be so striking & yet peaceful. Don’t get me wrong, the moon isn’t curing anything. It’s just nice to have something beautiful to gaze on whilst I feel like shit. 


Sunsets fall into a similar spot. A sky alive with colour can be momentarily distracting. Pink skys are always my favourite as they remind me of my muffin. When in Australia I spent most evenings on the deck with my niece watching the sun go down. Every night we frolicked whilst pink hues faded into darkness. It was magical.


Bright copper kettles..
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Alas I don’t own a shiny copper kettle, but I do love a steaming cup of tea. Mint tea is my drink. It’s a great digestion aid & can help settle reflux. It’s basically an extra med in delicious form. Besides that nothing beats the comforting warmth of sipping a big mug of tea. 

From here I drift away from the sound of music & onto a few more fav things that don’t have Sister Maria’s seal of approval. 

A good book…

I’m a reader. A good book relaxes, distracts, thrills, comforts & engages me. Curling up in my big comfy bed with some quality literature is one of best things in the world. 



A bath that goes with a bang…

Of course I am referring to bath bombs. Sylvia Plath said 

‘there must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know any of them’

Whilst both she & I know that’s not true, a hot bath can be a wonderful thing. Add a bright fizzy bath bomb & you can’t lose. Baths serve so many purposes for me. Hot water eases muscles pain, they relax me, help clear my head & leave me feeling fresh & clean. If you can do all that plus be left with sparkly skin, why wouldn’t you??

Nail (works of) Art…

I don’t know why, but I feel better when my nails are on fire. Maybe it’s because my mum always had glamorous nails. Or maybe it’s because it makes my stubby fingers look more elegant. Regardless, I find it easier to face the world when my nails are a work of art. 


Flower power…

I love to buy myself flowers. I love the scent & how pretty the make any room. Most of all I love the feeling of treating myself. It’s great to know I don’t have to wait for someone else to buy me flowers. Giving yourself something beautiful just because is an excellent feeling. Try it. 

A week (ish) in pictures…

It’s been more like 3 weeks & they haven’t been the most productive. I finally painted my nails today & I have some appointments set up this week for oPeration BoPo. Life goes on & so do I. So, there will be more exciting & uplifting posts coming soon. For now, here’s a wee photographic glimpse at my quiet days. 


Bright days, escapist movies & lunches with my sis have been soothing.


Spring flowers & spring cleaning (it still counts if you pay someone to do it, right?) have helped with that starting over feeling. Pretty skys, my pretty cat & effective drugs have also done their thing.


Easter treats, thrifting, lazy days & random sights have helped to ward away the deep blues. My puss cat in both snuggle & grump mode is a tonic. Oh & look at my nephew’s face; it doesn’t get more life affirming than that. 




Rest, dancing light in my home & the beauty of my own fat arse have given me a boost this weekend.  I’m hoping it will carry me through the week.

After all, as Scarlett O’Hara would say, tomorrow is another day. 

My week in pictures…

 

It’s been a fairly rough week filled with more Dr’s than I would have liked. There were some amusing moments & cool snaps, hence I am sharing my hospital expoilts.

It all started last Monday with a pain in my lower back. By Tuesday it had spread around my side & all over the right side of my stomach. The pain had intensified to such an extent that I had to see my gp. Dr suspected possible upper uti infection, but wanted to rule out pancreatitis,so off to the hospital I was sent. Not, however, before I had to pee in a tiny bottle & was given two injections in my bum. One was for pain, which had no effect. There other for nausea, which was entirely counter productive as shortly after leaving the surgery I began impressively vomiting. 

I founf myself waiting to be assessed in hospital. For some reason I was surrounded by babies & their parents watching me repeatedly throw up into those horrid little cardboard hats. Once again it’s a round of peeing in various receptacles & being prodded by numerous medical personal. The result being I was admitted with probable kidney infection.

After another two injections in my arse (their is no dignity in being ill) my behind was now feeling a little tender & turning some vibrant colours. My nurse was unable to get any blood despite trying both arms & hands. A Dr was then summoned to attempt to draw blood. Much to my embarrassment the Dr who arrived is already known to me. I had a fling with him many years before. So, I find myself lying in a hospital gown, groaning whilst a very attractive surgeon who has seen me naked pokes me with needles. Only I could end up in the medical care of an old shag.

  
Anyway, blood is finally collected & kidney infection confirmed. I stay in hospital for a further day 1/2 for Iv  anti biotics & pain relief. On Thursday I walk free & consider my ordeal over.

I spent the rest of the week pacing around as kidney pain is worse at rest. I tried my best to rest & even ventured out with my sis at the weekend. We were treated to perfect spring weather. It felt good to be out in the fresh air surrounded by new blooms. 

  

  
As this week began all felt well. I was still a little tender, but otherwise much better. I probably over did it catching up with house work & errands on Monday. Meaning that by dinner time I was exhausted & needed to have a nap. And, that’s the last thing I remember until I came round on the hall floor in dark. My face hurt & I was very confused, but otherwise unharmed. My first instinct was just to go to bed, but after consultation with my sister I realised I had to return to hospital. Que scans, X-rays & a night of observation. Luckily I only have a mild concussion and a bashed up nose. I had no encounters with long lost lovers and I pray I have reached my hospital limit for quite a while. 

  
Oh & my squinty nose is real sexy. 

I go a walking…

My body has been up to mischief again this week. My kidneys decided that what I really needed was another infection. So, it was more hospital antics & anti biotics for me. 

Somewhere around the 2nd kidney infection I discovered that pacing was by far the most comfortable stance. Having thoroughly scunnered myself with traipsing up & down my hall I thought perhaps I should take my restless body outside. My trusty sister & Seb came to the rescue with a slow walk around the park. 

  

Spring is putting on a fine show & getting out was a good call. Seb had a rare time sniffing, whilst Lauren & I talked about the mens. 

  

I was aiming for heavy on comfort, easy on frump outfit wise. With that in mind I teamed my favourite flowing maxi with waist cinching belt. I also turned to some red lippy to further perk me up. I don’t know why it helps when I feel dreadful, but it sometimes does. 

  
  
Dress – Primark

Belt – AsosCurve

  
  
  
Lippy -Barry M

And they’ll come true, impossible not to do…

I was inspired by my darling sister’s 35 before 35 post to get some goals down in black & white. However, as I’m only 3 months from the mid 30’s point I had to raise the age bar. So, here it is, the 40 things I really must get done before I enter middle age.

1 Finish my tattoo collection. I have three more designs that need to get out of my head & onto my body. 

2 Develop my stigma fighting business plan.

3 Have babies.

4 Take a ride in a hot air balloon. 

  
5 Learn to drive. Yes, I am a 34yr old woman who is terrified of driving.

6 Buy all the Irregular Choice shoes.

  
7 Rescue animals from factory farming.

8 Perform in a burlesque show. Chorus line would cool.

9 Visit Jenna in Philadelphia.

10 Master Japenese cooking. I need to know I can have yasai gyoza whenever I feel the urge.

11 Visit Tagalooma with Athena.

12 Adopt a retired greyhound.

13 Lots & lots of surface piercings.

14 Execute the cutest pregnancy announcement ever.

15 Cook Xmas dinner for my entire family.

16 Take a break in one of those beach huts on stilts in the ocean. 

  
17 Write for Skorch.

18 Mix my own perfume. 

19 Teach Billy to swim properly.

20 Get a book deal.

21 Check out those big heads on Easter Island.

22 Send the perfect family xmas cards. 

23 Make Danilo go on the big romantic xmas wheel. 

  
25 Perfect one ballroom dance & trot it out at every single occasion.

26 Take a romantic break in a Scottish castle.

27 Learn Sign language.

28 Fall utterly in love with more nieces & nephews. Get to it, siblings!

29 Get a professional portrait painted of my beautiful Bronan. 

  
30 Rock the Big Apple with my girls.

31 Find miraculous cure for all my health issues. 

32 Take my little ones to Disney World.

33 See Morrissey live.

34 Finish Athena’s books before she gets too old for them.

35 Try synchronised swimming. 

36 Finally see Much Ado About Nothing performed at Bard in the Botanics. 

37 Send random mystery flowers to folk who would appreciate them. 

  
38 Learn to code (at least well enough to snazz my blog).

39 Take my Mum to Austria to do the Sound of Music tour. 

40 Be the best Mummy ever!

Any advice or suggestions on who to achieve my goals is most welcome. Wish my luck. 

with my red nail polish…

Painted nails have always been my thing. Growing up, I never saw my mum without immaculate nails. In fact many of my friends should to think she was very glamorous in part due to her beautifully manicured & painted nails. So, I suppose that’s where I caught the bug. Gorgeous nails are a big part of my personal brand.
Now, pretty as my hands are, my darling little sister has taken manicures to the next level. Her nail art is amazing (you can check it out here). Her creativity has inspired me & I invested in some nail brushes. I am far from skilled, it’s going to take some practise, but here are a few of my first experiments.

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