My week in pictures…

It’s been a hectic week. I did some utterly lovely things & some necessary tedious things. Predictably by Friday is was unable to move. Still in recovery mode, but it was worth it.

I kicked things off with a wee hotel stay on Monday. My sis, the baba & I enjoyed a couple of days of chilling out (& carrying on) at the Westerwood Doubletree. The boy loved the pool and just like his auntie, he is a fan of a hotel breakfast. The grown ups did some relaxing and then undid it all by watching Chernobyl. Amazing tv, but quite possibly the most terrifying thing I have ever viewed.

Westerwood Hotel & Spa

I had to do a little trek to Gourock, which turned out to be a lot prettier than I remembered. Then hopped on the ferry to Dunoon, which although quaint was much less interesting than I recalled. I did however enjoy the fresh air & the (almost) sea air.

Gourock Dunoon Pier

Hump day saw me buzzing from hospital to hospital to attend various clinics. I had my first go at a new treatment, dome boring maintenance & a whole lot of waiting around. Such is spoonie life.

Iv treatment New southern general Glasgow

Ootd wise I seem unable to kick my yellow habit this week. Clearly I am seeking a little extra cheer; yellow tones fit the bill.

Ootd

Thursday I was back to rascalling with the boy. We did all our messages & fed some birds before checking out the suspension bridge. I used to be a little scared of them, but I’m so attracted to their splendour that I cowboyed up. The boy was delighted with all he could survey from the bridge. Ducks on the water, trains on the bigger bridge & especially our new tiger friend.

Suspension bridge, River Clyde Tiger street art

View from bridge, River Clyde

By Friday my body had decided it’d had enough activity. I could barely get out of bed. I did the resting thing. Saturday was more of the same. Today I finally made into the bath, fresh jammies & onto the sofa for a cuddle with my cat. I even managed to owing my nails before retreating back to bed. Go me.

Stuck in bedBronan ly h Kerr rainbow nail art

My weekish in pictures…

The last few weeks have been a mixed bag. Some good, some bad; all of it exhausting. C’est la vie!

I revisited some Glasgow landmarks with visiting friends & got some of best hugs from the lovely Lisa.

Glasgow spots with friends

Dippy at Kelvingrove

Did a fair bit of duck spotting with the Baba. Ducks are his absolute favourite. He would be in the pond giving them cuddles if we didn’t stop him.

Swans & DucksDuck spotting with the baba

There was a wee overnighter at CitizenM. It’s the perfect place to relax in your pants after a busy day.

CitizenM boutique hotelLegs in the sun

I did a little random appreciation of my city.

Finnieston crane, Scotland st school, Glasgow street art

I attended the Pro Choice Demo in George sq as I do every year. Catholic groups on the city who are funded & adopted by American ‘pro life’ groups continue to harass vulnerable people with their hospital vigils. We have to stand up to these bullies.

Glasgow Pro Choice Demo

Unfortunately I had a couple nights in hospital too, which has resulted in some down time. What to do when stuck at home resting? Paint my nails & snuggle with Bronan of course.

Cat snuggles & nail art

And look cute in my new specs.

ly h Kerr, where.light

My week in pictures…

Last week started yuck with a viral bug, got a bit rocky with with hospital nonsense & finished up with a lot of lovely relaxing.

I’ve done a fair bit of lying in bed. Which might have led to a little bit of feeling sorry for myself shopping. Oh & eating bowl after bowl of broccoli soup to appease my damn stomach.

Soup, hospital band, soup, spunk rockstar

New hat

I had a hotel overnighter on Thursday & took advantage of being right in the city centre to get out a little. We saw a movie, spread some #projectpostit wisdom & snapped some pretty sights.

Wagamama lightsPoint a hotel, project postitly h KerrCineworld, ice blastNaked with socksGood things, primark Glasgow

And of course my wee paw monster has been cheering me up with his cuteness.

Bronan Kerr

I’ll be your clown or your puppet or your April fool…

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.

ly h Kerr, hospital

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.

House of Fraser Glasgow

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.

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.

Friday quickie…

It’s been a tricky week mostly taken up with hospital adventures. Thus most of my plans were scuppered. In amongst all my stomach misery a gem arrived; my new specs!

I ordered them a few weeks ago & had honestly forgotten just how fabulous they were. I stuck with my favourite cat eye shape, but amped up the embellishments. Man alive, do I love them.

These beauties are from where.light. They have an incredible range of styles at very reasonable prices. Delivery takes a few weeks, but they are really worth the wait. I haven’t found anything of a similar quality & WOW factor in this price range. I’m already trying to work out which frames to order next.

Try to comprehend that which you’ll never comprehend…

In the midst of a wonderful weekend at the Edinburgh Fringe I had two really inspiring experiences. Both of which fuelled in me a desire to share some writing that hasn’t seen the light in quite some time. On Sunday I saw Neil Holborn perform his stunning poetry. He is very open about his struggles with mental illness & includes his own experiences in much of his work. The power of his honesty & the emotional response he received to some of his pieces really struck me. He reminded me of the power of sharing the dark reality of mental illness. Later that day I was introduced to a friend of my boyfriend who also talked openly about his past mental health struggles. This led to a discussion of how helpful it is to talk about these issues; how more often than not other people will then share their own experiences of mental illness. We talked a little about how that realisation that mental illness is actually really common relieved so much shame. It reminded me how important it is to talk frankly about my experiences, so that those in the depths of illness can see that they are not alone. Equally important is to reach those who have never been touched by mental health problems. Letting people see that this can happen to anyone, that the pain is intense, debilitating & uncontrollable lifts stigma. I really believe that the way to fight ignorance is information. Not just statistics, but brutal insights into conditions often misunderstood. It is so much harder to dismiss mental illness when you have been confronted with it’s reality. 

With this in mind I decided to review work I produced in my darker days. For those unaware I have battled with PTSD, depression & self harm for most of my adult life. Although my mental health is much improved from the time of this piece, it remains a daily struggle. One is never cured. The best I can do is learn to live with what I cannot change & fight for what makes my life beautiful. I am profoundly grateful to no longer be actively self harming. I am also aware that urges still exist. It takes work to maintain my current life. I make a daily decision to keep fighting & I am far from alone. 

I know these words may be disturbing to some, but I ask you to read them anyway. I share this because I passionately believe that a deeper understanding defeats stigma & grows compassion. 

i had another little crisis

despite a transfusion in late december,

my haemoglobin had again dropped to 6.6

causing doctor’s to get jumpy

&

prompting talk of another transfusion.

this fuelled  a panic in me

i do not like having blood transfusions

i feel incredible guilt.

other people are more deserving of this blood

someone selflessly gave of themselves.

i will waste it

i know it will feel horrendous inside me

i do not want it.

i don’t really have the option of

saying

no

they will call in a psych consult

which could lead down a road

i can’t

even

think about

my first stupid reaction

is

i must cut

whilst the dr’s decide

i will blood let

i know it doesn’t make sense

to most

but

there is method in the madness

my hb is already low

i may as well be hung for sheep as a lamb

i will hate myself less for shedding my own blood

if i lose enough blood

do enough damage

i may feel sated for a while

with this in mind i set to work

after two disappointing nights

of

slicing

&

producing inadequate wounds

i got angry.

on the third day,

the gp called to say they had decided to go with an iron infusion the following week.

i considered myself free

to

paint the town RED

i felt it couldn’t be that bad

if i didn’t need a transfusion

i had still better fit in as much damage

before treatment

&

truthfully

after two pitiful nights

i needed it

so,

feeling enraged with myself

i set to work

i chose a spot on my slightly less scarred right forearm

i cut vertically

downwards

towards my wrist

everytime i reached a depth i could live with

i elongated the cut

&

started to work down into it again

i got into the most dangerous mindset

where

i just can’t resist

a little

bit

more

i ploughed through the layers of my flesh

fascinated

with what lay beneath

i watched three distinct fountains of blood

flow into one

sticky

hot

pool

i pulled the wound apart to make the blood spurt higher

i sawed through

some

tough,unknown inner material

and

thrilled

as the spray soared out

and hit my face

when i was finished

i watched

for

i don’t know how long

long enough to become dazed

i had created a gaping trench

the entire length of my foream

that continuosly filled with blood

and

spilled over, flooding the floor.

i could not stop the blood

nor, could i think straight

i wrapped a towel around my arm

put a huge jumper on top

and

took the bus.

yes,

the bus

to a&e

i trailed blood into reception

& collapsed in the triage room

i was so ashamed

dreaded trying to explain myself

lay in a cubicle

crying

i had done this many times before

but somehow

i couldn’t control my fear or self loathing.

i received 21 stitches

a transfusion

and

was hospitlised again for three days the following week with chest pains & breathing difficulty 

requiring

another

two units

&

suffering from severe pain

i spent those 3 days in & out of a morphine

induced altered reality

Junior dr’s were too scared to take blood from my arms

apparently experience is required

to find a vein in this network of scar tissue

the consultant was overly kind

fellow patients

stared & whispered

i lay there in

shame

pain

fear

all of which added up to

another attempt

to stop.

11 days

and counting……

20/03/2012

Blood on a mirror

Keep on keeping on…

It doesn’t make any sense, but I think before I went into hospital I had fragments of hope. Delusions might be a better word. I knew the pregnancy was over, but a part of me hadn’t accepted it. I couldn’t bring myself to take any pain relief, sleeping pills etc because I felt that I’d be betraying my child. Even as I write these words they aren’t comprehensible. My thinking just seems crazy. 

Now, I feel certain it’s over. That’s awful, but necessary. Accepting that intervention was essential has given me a sense of finality that I needed.

The flip side of that is the very things that brought about that clarity will be with me forever. I’ve already had some nightmares consisting of images that also intrude on my waking hours. 

Delicate grey tissue & stained blue gloves.

Bright red urine samples & bloodied speculums.

Flashes of gore have imprinted themselves on my already traumatised brain. I don’t know how to wipe it clean.

I think I am ok & then I’m just not. I feel fragile & sad.

But

Also so angry.

There’s nowhere to put this fury. I was doing alright. Life was a manageable feat with some unexpectedly sweet incentives. Now it’s tip toeing & coaxing myself into normal. Often, it’s trying not to want that baby more than I want to breathe.

Ultimately, it’s all very simple. I just keep going. One day at a time, right? Weird that the biggest, emptiest seeming cliches are what get you through. 

Pause to breathe…

I had to go into hospital for a little bit for some treatment to complete things. I also have a kidney infection, my body likes to do fun things like this. Anyway, I am physically & emotionally exhausted. So, I’m just going to rest for a while & will be posting things that were completed before this happened. 

My body, my choice…

I spent my Saturday shouting at holy people in rain. Not just for kicks, but because the religious anti-abortion group 40 Days of Light are again spending lent protesting choice outside a Glasgow hospital. As you can imagine, I find such actions repugnant & wanted to join the counter demo. 


4o Days of light began their Lenten campaign with a sparsely attended event in George sq. They sought to attribute their protests to a desire to spread truth & offer choice. Yes, they’re actually trying to sell their aggressive tactics as supporting of choice. The little of the speeches that could be heard above the chanting of my fellow pro choice protesters consisted of lies, religious indoctrination & the kind of emotional manipulation expected from such groups. 


Glasgow is a progressive city & it disturbs me to see these extreme conservative tactics taking hold here. This is 4o Days’seconds year protesting outside the new southern general hospital in govan. They plan to hold 8hr ‘vigils’ on each day of lent. The hospital has no power to prevent the protest as they will happen directly outside hospital grounds. They will however no doubt add distress to those attending the hospital as well as generally interfering with the daily business of the enormous hospital. 

On Saturday I was sickened to hear a speaker talk of her fond memories of last year’s protest. Apparently, she delighted in harassing vulnerable people in a difficult situation. This revelation was followed by woman railing against a ‘pro abortion society that coerces woman into terminating pregnancies’ before moving onto tired and irrelevant tales of how she felt whilst pregnant. The event ended with an attempt to say a decade of the rosary, which I am pleased to say was drowned out by chants of my body, my choice. 


I can’t state strongly enough how much we must fight this move towards a campaign of lies & shame. The only humane & just option is choice. Pregnant individuals must be allowed safe & legal abortions. They must also be offered support to access such services. Please join me in letting 40 days of light know that there is no place for their harassment or lies in our civilised society. 

Check for details here.