It’s been a while since I did a week in pictures. Mainly because I have not been doing anything all that exciting. I have had a few family dos of late, so I’m doing a share.
First up was my youngest nibling’s first birthday party. The first year of these baba’s life has gone at lightening speed. They have been an absolute delight from day one and continue to be wee darlings. They are now very much on the move, starting to find words and full of fun. Their party was lovely. The babies enjoyed their new toys, grown ups enjoyed a cuddle and bigger kids loved running riot.
Following on the family fun theme I had a gorgeous Easter lunch with my Mum, Sister & her boys. My sis made a superhero afternoon tea with plenty of vegan friendly options for me. The boy opened some Easter gifts and then we set off to his swing park for a bit of carry on.
After all that activity, I required a wee bit of rest. I had a quiet few days at home. Wore my comfies, tried to finish some work and painted my nails. I also had some yummy comfort food & bought Bronan some new catnip, which went down well. Strangely it also increased his paper fascination.
Thursday brought some Auntie time. My sister needed me to watch the boy for a few hours in the morning. This worked out perfectly as it gave him an opportunity to try out the blocks that Geomag* kindly sent me. I had intended to get a few of my littles to try them out, but this boy fell in love with them. He played all morning, took them home to play all afternoon too. The Magicubes are magnetic blocks that connect and hold on all six sides, meaning kids can build anything with them. I’ll definitely be buying more for the rest of my nibling gang.
I finished off the week with blood boost. A transfusion can be a nuisance, but necessary. Ultimately I am very grateful to have access to the medical care I need. Plus it gives you a good excuse to stay still and listen to a podcast all afternoon. I came home to huffy cat (annoyed that his dinner was late) & a lovely sunset. Not the wildest Friday night, but I’ll take it.
I’m having a rough time. Everything is a bit of a struggle at the moment, so I’m going to do a wanky, hippie dippy post. Feel free to clock out because I’m about to deep dive into gratitude.
All the Basics
I have a safe, stable home. Food in the cupboards. Running water, central heating. Access to healthcare. A comfortable bed & wardrobe full of clothes. My basic necessities are taken care of and that’s more than a lot of people can say.
And WhatsApp, messenger, zoom & all the other clever doo dahs that allow me to keep in touch with folk. A friendly face or some carry on helps brighten my day.
Bought on a whim. Incredibly ugly, but oh so kind to my joints.
Aloe Vera is a genius plant. First & foremost it’s hard to kill. If you don’t have plant mum skills aloe is for you. It looks good, it adds oxygen to your room & it’s even easy to grow more from cuttings etc. Added bonus, our bodies love aloe. Need a moisturise, got sunburn, heat rash, a blister? Cut open a leaf and whap it straight on. Upset tummy, mouth ulcers, bad breath, ibs? Add a teaspoon to a glass of water. Wonder plant*
I have a lot of issues with no permanent cure. Hence I have grown to appreciate a temporary solution. Diazepam is certainly not for long term use, but it bloody works for a day or two when your brain thinks the world is attacking you. Jane Austen will not fix my life, but she will soothe things for an hour or two. Whilst mint tea can’t cure my stomach disease, it can soothe the spasms attempting to eat lunch caused. They will return, but the minty goodness will buy me enough time to get home. Temporary solutions are various & abundant. Hugs, hot baths, sex, lidocaine patches, a big glass of wine… Moments of respite are better than none at all.
Everything about the sea is soothing. The never ending expanse of it, the smell, the sound of the waves lapping. I always feel calmer by the shore. I can breathe deeper and see more clearly. Pretty lucky that I live on an island. The dazzling deep blue is never too far away.
My lovely big loyal boy. Always gentle. My own living hot water bottle. An adorable wee tyrant who has me wrapped around his paw. Who doesn’t want to be awoken by a meowing creature in their face at the crack of dawn every morning?
I like how brooding he is and that head moving to maintain eye contact thing he does on Law & Order. He seems like he’d be clumsily kind if you were feeling bad. He’s always despicable when he plays a baddy, which I like, no half measures. I get completely absorbed in the character when I watch him. I always believe it. Also, good name.
Summer Rain Showers
I like the ones that come on heavy, but run out of juice quickly. Summer rain smells good, it freshens everything up and gives me a good excuse not to hang the washing out.
It is really bad for me, but it tastes soooo good. Big icy cold gulps. I don’t know how to quit you, Diet Coke.
Statement specs bring me joy. If I have to wear glasses every day they are going to be splendiferous. Big, colourful, can’t be missed face furniture is the only kind I will consider.
It’s very sexy when a person is that good at anything. He exudes the confidence of knowing he’s top of his game. He can slag off the bad guys with impunity because he leads a pretty decent life. He is cute and funny and incredibly smart. I’ve always been fairly sure that he has a huge, beautiful dick too.
This might be where my sincerity gets too much for you. I care not. Life really wouldn’t be worth much without love. Giving or receiving, it’s wonderful. All those little thoughtful things a person does because they love you. Tiny gifts, texts, snapping a pic of something you’ll like. It all feels good. The warmth of knowing I’ve made someone smile or that they wanted to make me smile. Being able to comfort with your words or a cuddle. Sharing milestones & cups of tea. Love is the point, right? How can we not feel grateful if we have it.
A new thing for me and I like them. Wearing a pair to bed is so much better than using a tampon & worrying you might sleep too long. Likewise, so much better for those last days when you’re not quite sure if your period is actually finished or not. I can’t stand the feel of sanitary towels. Nor do I relish the sensation (or risk) of pulling dry cotton from my body. Period pants are a comfy godsend.
I’m so happy to live in a time (& place) of choice. So many aspects of my life offers abundant options. I can access almost any song in the world from my phone. Look up current affairs, trivia, what time the chemist closes by pressing a few buttons. I have films, shows, games, podcasts, strangers & friends at my finger tips. Whatever food I fancy can be delivered to my door. In theory I can pursue any career I’d like. I can vote how I choose. Do as I please with my body. Get married or not. Sleep with who I want. Wear what I like & go wherever I want (pandemic aside). Choice is not to be sniffed at.
Hallelujah for folk who will sort the garden in exchange for money. I am physically & constitutionally unsuited to maintaining outside spaces. I do however enjoy utilising them. I also like not stressing about ever encroaching weeds. I will never underestimate the peace securing a good gardener brings.
I have seven perfect niblings. My oldest niece is the smartest, coolest, kindest 11yr old you will ever meet. She will always be my little muffin, but she has grown into a person who makes me so proud. Then there are my brother’s boys who are his complete mini mes. His oldest is so patient & protective with his little brother. It is gorgeous to watch. My sister’s boy is half rascal pirate, half total love bug. He is a joy to be with. My bestie’s big girl is so cute & sassy. She may only be three, but that girl knows what she wants. Then there are her brand new little brother & sister. Newborn twins are a hand full but man alive are they adorable. I am so lucky to be part of their lives. Helping them become the people they want to be is an honour.
Parking spaces, toilets, seats right by the door on trains. I love them all. Anything that takes into account that every step hurts is a life saver. Extra space, bars to hold onto, not having to wait, all make my life immeasurably easier. Disability can rob you of dignity in so many ways. Things that allow me to navigate public spaces without being humbled are magnificent.
Sister Tik Toks
I love it when my sister and I send each other tik toks. I feel very seen when she sends me clips that make me laugh out loud or that relate to some shared experience. Having a sister is a lovely thing. Having a sister who gets you is even better.
Life has turned out to be harder than I had imagined. Amongst the struggle it helps me to acknowledge all the little & enormous things that make it worthwhile. I know it’s cheesy, but give it a whirl.
*Not a cure or medicine. Speak to your dr about any health concerns.
If you enjoy my writing you can support me on Ko-Fi
It’s been another weird lockdown month & i’m only just catching up with myself. I’m getting round to my charity of the month at the last minute (again).
For March I have chosen to support the PDSA. As animal lover I’ve always thought the PDSA do excellent work, but recent months have shown me just how essential they can be. Bronan, my cat, was diagnosed with Diabetes about 8wks ago & man alive are those vet bills adding up.
I’m lucky to have pet insurance, even with what I thought was a comprehensive policy, there is so much that isn’t covered. It’s really highlighted just how much an ill pet can cost. With insulin, needles, sharps disposal, regular blood tests & examinations I can easily see how it could quickly become unaffordable. I am so glad the PDSA are able to step in for those in financial need. I can’t imagine being forced to make treatment decisions for a much loved pet based purely on finances. Given covid & all its implications so many more people are likely to be in this position. Hence, the PDSA are feeling the strain. Please give whatever you can spare.
Since we’re talking about my beautiful boy I’m want to share the symptoms that first raised the alarm. The problems he had were fairly minor & I would never in a million years of thought they indicated such a serious issue. The first thing I noticed was him limping on his back right leg. Next he began to go outside much less & was just not quite himself. My first though was that he had injured himself. When he didn’t improve after a couple of days I thought perhaps it was wear & tear on his joints. I consulted my vet mainly thinking he needed some pain relief. I am so glad I acted quickly. The longer it takes to diagnose diabetes the more damage can be done. So, here are some signs to look out for.
Limping, unsteadiness particularly in hind legs.
Increased appetite & thirst.
Issues passes urine/ unusual toilet behaviours.
Sleeping more often than usual.
Take care of your four legged friends & if you can make a donation to help the PDSA look after lots more.
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.
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.
There was a wee overnighter at CitizenM. It’s the perfect place to relax in your pants after a busy day.
I did a little random appreciation of my city.
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.
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.
Today kicks off Sleep Awareness Week, which aims to highlight the importance of good sleep. As a chronic insomniac I am of course acutely aware of how important sleep is. I’m writing this at 4am, so I haven’t found the cure for sleepless nights. I do though have some semi successful strategies.
My relationship with sleep has flipped from one extreme to the other. In my youth I could drop off anytime, anyplace. I loved to snooze and had zero issues dropping off. I was the queen of the long lie. Sleep became a problem when I first experienced mental health problems aged 19. Unfortunately, I have never managed to regain my easy breezy relationship with slumber. Almost twenty years on I have become accustomed to functioning on a few hours a night. Chronic pain has done little to aid a peaceful night, but an inability to calmly shut down is still a major obstacle in my quest for rest.
A decent night’s repose can affect everything from heart health to sex drive. It goes without saying that exhaustion also has a massive impact on mental health. The NHS advises that most of us need around 8hrs sleep to function properly. In fact, lack of sleep can so massively impair cognitive faculties that experts suggest driving after only 5 hours sleep is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Everyone should be mightily relieved that I cannot drive.
The long-term effect of insufficient sleep is grim. The anxiety of going to bed each night knowing achieving sleep will be a battle is wearing. The more you worry about not sleeping the less likely it becomes. Constant fatigue makes getting through daily tasks difficult, which adds to one’s stress levels. This in turn pushes that magical 8 hours even further out of reach. Long sleepless nights are lonely. There’s rarely anyone else awake leaving a busy mind way too much room to mull over worries. Throw pain into mix and you have a recipe for despair. Moving through the world in a worn-out shuffle will grind you down, which is why I offer my extensively tested tips on getting some god damned sleep.
I’m not going to waste your time with milky drinks and lavender under your pillow. Everyone knows the basics and they aren’t going to cure hardcore insomnia. I don’t have a failsafe solution, if I did, I’d snoring now. However, these are the things that I have had some success with over years.
Keep your bedroom cool. Lowering your body temperature helps the body prepare for sleep.
In theory that’s why a hot bath should aid sleep, but I find any sleepiness gained from the temp drop is lost during the process of getting dry and organised for bed. If you do less faffing post bathing it might work better for you.
No tv in the bedroom. This is a definite for me. I find a television to be the opposite of relaxing. I need my bed and bedroom to be a completely chilled out zone. Which sits nicely with my next point.
Try to make your bedroom as pleasant as possible to be in. Obviously, that means different things for different people. For me it’s nice sheets, subtle scents, comfortable mattress.
Black out blinds are your friend. I could not live without mine.
Invest in one of those huge maternity pillows. They give so much support if you have back or joint pain. Plus they’re just super comfortable.
I use sounds machine apps. I like heavy rain/ thunderstorm type sounds, but experiment and see what works for you. Something about being safe & protected from the elements I’m hearing sometimes helps me drift off.
Soothing music (whatever that means to you) at a low volume can also help. I like to mouth the lyrics and focus on words I enjoy rather than my own thoughts. Getting the volume just right is key for me, so again, you might need to experiment. Select specific songs and make a playlist beforehand. You don’t want anything that unexpectedly bring unpleasant or stimulating associations to mind.
I should probably have started here, but lack of sleep melts your brain. So, you’ll have deal with my disjointed thinking.
These are all evident. I’m going over them because sometimes you miss the obvious when you’re knackered.
Don’t eat too close to bedtime.
Don’t watch, read or listen to anything that will bring up stimulating emotions (nothing scary, disturbing, sad, triggering etc).
Avoid arguing or deep conversations right before you hit the hay.
Smoking, caffeine, some meds (check with gp/pharmacist) are no goes before you attempt sleep.
Against Accepted Wisdoms
I’ve consulted many Drs, Psych’s and other practitioners over the years and some of the oft repeated advice they’ve given me has turned out to be just plain wrong for me. If you find something that really does or doesn’t help, even if everyone is telling you the opposite, do you. For me this includes:
Looking at my phone in bed. Putting it on night shift mode to alter the light tone to yellowish rather than blue is a must. Otherwise I find aimlessly scrolling can be very helpful in getting me sleepy.
Reading in bed also works for me. I can’t fall asleep without reading. I find that if I just keep going until I literally can’t keep my eyes open, I have a good chance of getting into a proper sleep. I think it’s because my mind is occupied with the content of the book rather than whatever mess is in my head. Clearly, it’s important to choose the reading material with reference to my previous points.
Sharing the bed with pets. So many people have cautioned me against this. I find my petting my cat and hearing his purrs excessively relaxing. Thus, I ignore such warnings.
I hate to be that person, but occasionally the esoteric route gets you there.
A constellation lamp in a dark room can offer something uncomplicated to focus your attention on long enough to get to sleep.
Gentle yoga – clears the mind & stretches everything in a pleasing manner.
When you’ve been attempting shut eye for hours and are reaching the point of hopelessness; get up. By that point you aren’t going to sleep. Every toss & turn just raises anxiety levels. I find it much more productive to get out of bed and stop forcing it. Do whatever you can manage and if you get drowsy try again.
Medication – You need sleep to operate. There comes a point when discussing medication options with your Gp is the sensible thing to do. I have tried several sleeping pills over the years. Most didn’t work for me. Most are not a suitable for prolonged use due to addictive and/or tolerance building properties. There are some drugs that can be used for longer periods. I have been prescribed one such medication. It doesn’t have a 100% strike rate, but when it does work it knocks me out all night.
Sleep when you can in extreme cases. Often napping is counterproductive when fighting insomnia. However, when you haven’t had more than a couple of consecutive hours sleep in weeks that goes out the window. When my sleeplessness is at its worst, I will get so completely exhausted that my body will crash. That doesn’t always happen at bed time. Take that sleep. You need it. Sleep all day if you must.
Last but Not Least
Sex and orgasms in general are brilliant for sleep. Sex works on so many fronts. You can tire yourself out, all those feel good hormones chill you out and of course it’s the perfect distraction from any negative bullshit you have going on. Flying solo releases all that lovely oxytocin and melatonin too, so don’t be shy about giving it a try.
All the Christmas falderal is over. Presents are opened and food is munched. It’s the last week of the year and no one wants to do much of anything.
I get it. I’m spending most of my time in my Jim jams and pretending the real world no longer exists. It’s a massive luxury to be able to do so. Which is why I’m taking a minute to consider the plight of less fortunate creatures. Plus plug a little seasonal giving one last time. My last act of Xmas giving is aimed at puss cats. I know lots of folk object to animal charities and think people should come first, but I see no reason not to help both. I’ve always been an animal lover. Cats have always been my chosen companion. Thus, I’m encouraging you to support the lovely people at Glasgow Cats Protection. They do amazing work of rehoming and caring for thousands of cats. Each unwanted cat brought to them is vet checked, neutered, vaccinated & treated for fleas etc. They provide a safe loving environment for cats who would otherwise be uncared for. The weather is rough at this time year. I hate to think of strays trying to fend for themselves on our cold climate. You can help in a number of ways. I decided to buy some items from their Amazon Wish List. If you can spare a few pounds the felines would be very grateful.
As Hogmanay approaches this is also the last of my festive nail art. This week a very nose centric Rudolph and some candy canes featured.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The weeks seem to be flying in, but no matter how many go by it is still winter. I feel like spring will never come. Anyway, the weather freezing weather keeps on, so there is less excitement to share. Nevertheless, I thought I’d give you a peek at my highlight reel.
The Toyboy put on a charity punk vs funk gig to support medical aid in Palestine. I wouldn’t have said that either genre was really my thing, but I actually really enjoyed some of he bands. Dopesickfly & Velveteen Riot being my favourites. I recommend you check them out. The night was a raging success, thanks I’m sure in no small part to my incredible purple lippie.
There have been the usual mix of clinic appointments & nights on the sofa. All that time hiding from the cold has given me plenty of opportunity to do my nails & the occasional trips out have been good Project Post it opportunities. Excursions have mostly consisted of eating & cinema. Both are excellent comfort activities. Vegan eating on high street continues to get easier. I am loving this shift because it indicates that veganism continues to rise, but also as it means I can have chocolate cake.
On the movie front I’m giving a thumbs up to 3 billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri & Black Panther. I am also very much in favour of the reclining chairs at Odeon Luxe. Catch up Cineworld, those seats are a dream for my poor spoonie body. The lazy nights in have yielded recommendations for Britannia & Critical. Both take a minute to get into, but persevere; it’s worth it.
The last week or so has been fairly cocktail laden. Birthday drinks for a friend gave me a chance to finally taste a Candy Floss Martini. A thing I have been hankering after & which absolutely lives up to expectations. Get one. Right now. Some high stress nonsense led to homemade strawberry margaritas with a lot of tequila. Admittedly not a great long term solution, but certainly an ideal way to temporarily let off some steam.
I got flowers from my Mum, a card from my man & rocked some damn cute looks. I also captured a few beautiful winter moments. Yes, this season can be stunning, but it’s still too bloody cold!
2017 was a tricky year. I came really close to my version of happily ever after, but it wasn’t to be. I did however face the worst possible thing & I wasn’t destroyed by it. I welcomed a wonderful new person to my pack & said goodbye to people who deserved longer. I’ve been sick & sore and still produced work I’m really proud of. Best of all I still have a loyal & fabulous troupe who are willing to dance in my storm. That one of them is a rather lovely man with a delicious arse only makes my life better.
I have high for 2018. There will be new nieces/nephews to adore, exciting work prospects & who knows what else. I am ready for a brand new year & it is off to a great start. What’s better than celebrating that by sharing with you all. So, here it is 2018’s inaugural week in pictures.
The Toyboy & I made the last minute decision to spend Hogmanay at the last ever Club Noir. Thus, we rung in the new year with loads of burlesque shenanigans. It was excellent. I am so sad the Club Noir is no more, but very pleased I got to witness its last hurrah. TB & I also decided we should definitely see more burlesque shows. If you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments.
After a remarkably hangover free New Year’s Day spent on the sofa eating junk in my pants, I was totally ready for a little shopping. I met my Mum & Sis for the best kind of retail therapy, baby shopping! I wish I could say we were one of those perfect families who are always on the same page, but we are so not. Me, my sister & our Mum all have our very own views on what’s gorgeous in infant wear. Luckily we can all see the funny side of our disagreements & a consensus was reached. Next up on the little people front was my beautiful little Madison. I highly recommend having a best friend with a baby. I can think if no better way to spend an afternoon than talking about every last thing with my bff whilst cooing over her mini me. 4 months is a great age & Madison is a great baby. Talking of great babies, there’s my nephew. Although, to be honest Kevin is fast outgrowing the baby moniker. My little superbaby is walking, talking & totally time obsessed with birds. I spent Thursday evening playing & getting ready for bed with him and my absolute favourite part is when he brings me a book & climbs up in my lap to listen to the story; even if he does get impatient for the pages with the birdies on them.
This is the best thing I have ever bought.
I finished up the first week of the year with a wee sneaky hotel stay. The TB & I were visiting friends for a b’day in a slightly out of the way place, so we decided to make a getaway out of it. We had a problem with our shower & ended up with an upgrade. Our new room had the most romantic skylight directly above the bed. Falling asleep below the stars is definitely a treat. I sn big believer in a nice hotel to chase away the January blues. You don’t have to go far, one look at the fancy bathroom & breakfast in bed menu will whisk you away from your daily drudge. Being a luxury bitch does everyone a little good.
And as always here are variety of other things that pleased me.
I hope 2018 has found you well & continues to treat you right.
Welcome to crimbo limbo. It’s that time of year when it is totally acceptable to wear your jammies all day long & ignore all the usual food (& drink conventions). Do you want champagne for breakfast? Have it, just bung a little fruit juice in. Fancy a piece & potato? Knock yourself out, carb on carb is GOOD. It’s anything goes & I love it.
I have had the loveliest Xmas, but there was was a lot of running around & really late nights followed by early mornings. So, I’m enjoying a little down time. Before I turn off entirely I thought I would share a little of my Christmas.
Dress – SimplyBe
Xmas #ootd was one of my gifts from my lovely Mum. She hit it out of the park with this one. It’s so sumptious. I am in love.
I did Xmas eve in the pub with the toyboy & his friends, but retired to mum’s house early. Jim jams & old movies is the way to welcome Xmas day.
We got a tiny bit festive for Xmas eve drinks.
Mum & I rocked Xmas day together. Seven brides for seven brothers, delicious vegan dinner & a lot of my new highlighter made for a good day. I spent the evening at the TB’s parents. Christmas bauble cocktails, even more pressies, a freestyle Mary & Joseph rap and multiple Santa suits completed my day.