Idle Musings

My motivation to blog continues to be all over the place, but I’m largely blaming that on being a busy little bee, and in usually being in the middle of something when a blog idea occurs. Alternatively I write something and then donate it to someone else – like the blog article I wrote about a week ago and gave to Lady M for her TWITT blog. 


That means that I’ve been thinking of updates and commentary on a blog post that will be posted next month some time. It started as a random observation along the lines of ‘Things Lady M says’ and turned into a slightly rambling rant about unconscious bias and our inability to spot our own blind spots. I may have been a bit tipsy and in a weird mood at the time. I’ll link to it when it goes live and then we can all laugh about it together.

That, and a chat with Lady G about writing, led me to have a long discussion in my most recent counselling session about not wanting to rely on drinking to cue writing sessions when inspiration is in sparse supply. The stereotype of the alcoholic writer exists largely because of the disinhibition that comes with even a small amount; and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there were occasions where a looming deadline had been met with the aid of a glass of scotch or two. 

On those occasions I found I was winding myself up as a perfectionist and paralysing myself with a fear of even starting. A bit of alcohol helped me not care enough so that I could just make a start. Tidying it up afterwards was simple enough once I had something to edit.

My concern was that this not become a habit or to be under any illusion that it was necessary. I’m all too familiar with how what seems to be an effective tool can become a crippling necessity from my experience with self harm. There were parts of that nightmare that at times felt as much like addiction as a horrendously flawed survival mechanism. I have no desire to revisit them. 

It’s not even as if I need alcohol to come up with ideas, as anyone who’s seen my brainstorming notes on Twitter can testify. The surreal and eye-catching tends to come easily (yay me!), and as one of my oldest friends once remarked: my humour is insidious in how it tends to creep up behind you, tap you on the shoulder, and then summon dread Cthulhu to tapdance in your cerebellum. I have no idea quite what they meant, but it sounds hilariously squamous.

Incidentally, my counsellor agreed I don’t have a drinking problem, problematic drinking, or even a difficult relationship with alcohol. We will no doubt be spending more time on why I feel the need to worry about the possibility and what it says about my self-confidence in continuing to recover. Either that or I’ll engage in sarcastic diversion tactics while she skewers me with painfully direct observations that send me spinning after my own tail. Well, as I said to someone recently: I do appear to be the human incarnation of a labrador at times…

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Are We Nearly There Yet?

I’ll be glad, as my grandfather used to say, when I’ve had enough. Of what? I hear you ask. You could probably take your pick of a number of things ranging from a non-stop day at work; the effort taken to not resort to blatant sarcasm with stubborn customers; or of seeing people I care for having a rough time. As of the time of writing, let’s just go with 2016 as an arbitrary measurement of sidereal time. It was with no small amount of amusement that I noted today’s date and thought: “Yay! We’re over halfway through until this year’s done and dusted!”

Surely, you say, this would have been a better post to write on June 28th (the 179th day of the year), rather than the 222nd? Well, I’ve been a bit busy, and don’t call me Shirley. I’ve just had to explain that reference to Lady M, but to be fair she has just taken some very strong painkillers. I’m just letting off steam; I figure I’ve earned it and seeing as I have my own soapbox I might as well use it. Lady M has also graciously volunteered me another in the form of contributor rights on her TWITT blog, and so you can expect some rather more pithily targeted observations over there from time to time as well.

What’s the worst that could happen, right?

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Adjustments

It’s late and I have to be up to open up a library in the morning so I’ll keep this reasonably brief as an update. Life has continued to be pretty full-on recently (oh who am I kidding, it’s not been a year for giving us much of a chance to get a breather), and I’ve really been struggling to find the inspiration to write. That includes this blog, and pretty much any of my other projects. I wish I could say it was as simple as just being writer’s block.

Without going into too many details, Lady M has finally got an answer to a number of health concerns that have been niggling away at her. While it’s not anything with a fatal outcome, she does have a debilitating chronic condition that she will have to manage for the foreseeable future. As a result I’ve been worried for her and trying to support her as best I can. The writing has taken a back seat to that the last couple of weeks.

There are all sorts of fears and worries that I hold on to right now. The best adjustments that I’m trying to do are those that allow me to balance being there for her while also making sure that I’m able to function too.

So bear with me if I’m a bit flaky or selfish from time to time at the moment. It’s me trying to do the self-care thing, and I’ve never been too hot at that. 

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Sometimes I wander

And never more so now that I’ve started playing Poke Mongo (oh alright, Pokémon Go if you’re going to be boring about it). Today for example I’ve walked some 18000 steps straight after my weekly yoga/Pilates/body balance class and it’s only the intake of large glasses of gin that I’ve just finished that has me not caring too much about how tirehoI suddenly am. 

For your information, a couple of fingers of Hendricks Gin, with three or four fingers of Robinson’s Apple and Pear Fruit and Barley, a generous top up of Tesco tonic water with cucumber and a plug or two of coconut water in a tall glass makes a lovely Sunday post-exercise antidote. All credit goes to Lady M for the recipe.

I’ll save the moody introspection that’s rattling around my brain for later posts. For now, go enjoy your Sunday and try mixing it up with your gin if that’s something that appeals…

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Not Dead Yet

Despite it being hot enough that I swear I saw a pigeon melt earlier today, I haven’t disappeared into the ether. Life’s just been hectic between work and personal stuff. Proper blogging will continue to happen, especially now I have a bit of time off.

On the work side of things I’ve been busy setting up the library for this year’s Big Friendly Read – which is inspired by the work of Roald Dahl. I’ve assembled a number of displays to encourage children to read six books over the summer break. Photos will follow, probably next week. I’ve also been leveraging my old business analysis skills to help out with a wide ranging review of the restructure review that the library service went through recently. For the most part I’ve been engaged in deriving quantified data from the reams of interviews and survey questions answered by staff. Not a lot I can say on that front, but it’s been a fascinating exercise even if there are few surprises.

The gaming sessions are continuing, despite a spate of tech issues and the occasional week where real life has intervened. I shall get the game write-ups completed sooner or later…

Oh, and then there’s this strange game where we poke Mongo. He seems not to mind, and Lady M and I have enjoyed some late night walks recently in the cooling night air. We’ve met and grinned at an interesting selection of people of all ages, and it’s not doing our general health any harm. Next week sees my diabetic review, so I’m in hope that the enhanced fitness regime will be reflected in the results.

Other than that, we’re just bumbling along, flirting and teasing a few people, checking in on those who are close to us, missing others who have grown apart, redecorating the flat and trying to be kind to each other. Here’s to a good summer now it’s here.

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Fiction Fragment: Dawn Chorus

A quiet morning was broken by the sound of the church clock exploding again. No one was entirely sure why this kept happening, but as yet no one had the heart to just give up on replacing it. Sometimes it melted, just for a bit of variety, and on one memorable occasion it had turned briefly into a sundial before launching itself at the duck pond.

Today was pretty restrained by those standards – a short shower of sparks erupted from the central mechanism and a brief gout of flame scorched the clock face with a dull boom. Bits of ironwork and masonry sprayed across the carpark in front of the church shortly afterwards. Fortunately it was empty at the time, mostly because it wouldn’t be time for the school run for another couple of hours. A skip hired from the council for just these sort of occasions was the only casualty, taking a direct hit from a high velocity iron number three that punched a hole in the side.

There was a few stunned moments of silence, and then the dawn chorus piped up, guaranteeing that the now wide awake vicar had no chance of getting back to sleep. He briefly wondered if someone, somewhere, was trying to send him a message. If so, he hoped they could learn a less oblique way of doing it soon.

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Groggy Morning

We had a grand adventure yesterday – a last-minute expedition with the Charleesi and two out of the three Ladies M to visit the Magnum pop-up store just off Bond Street. We managed to converge in the right place despite the best efforts of the rail network, which saw platforms 1-14 out of action at Waterloo for much of the day. 

Unlike last year, when the pop-up had been in Covent Garden, the venue is in a quieter side street. This meant we were able to walk straight in without queuing. It was the first time that the ex-Lady M and Lady G had been to one, so the Charleesi and I quickly educated them and we soon had the confections pictured here before us: as delicious as the company one might say.

With our sugar fix sorted for the day we then started a long ramble through London, taking in Foyles, Forbidden Planet, and perhaps the occasional drink along the way to keep refreshed. By mid afternoon we started to go our separate ways, as the Charleesi started to flag, so Lady G and I went in search of a nice gin bar pop-up we’d seen back in Covent Garden before we did battle with public transport again.

We eventually got back to Maidment Towers, to find Lady M more recovered from her horrendous migraine attack, and so over pizza we nattered away into the small hours.

I’ve had to be up early to open the library this morning, but despite only four hour’s sleep it feels totally worth it. A grand adventure in good company. What more can you ask for?

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