So, back to work today following my unexpected derailment with a kidney stone yesterday. That was my body telling me to be sensible in hot weather (like the whole of Saturday at Pride and then a glass or two of wine on Sunday). Cue a day of painkillers, a hot water bottle, and the consumption of my own bodyweight in water to flush everything through.
I had (mostly) meetings spread through the day, but also got asked to put my Staff Network hat on to write up the corporate Pride report for the network. It seems to now be an annual tradition to get me to write such things, and as I was halfway through doing something specifically for the library intranet anyway it was only a quick skip and a hop to turn it into something more extensive and stick some photos in there.
That made for a positive end to the day at work, and since then I’ve caught up on TV and started to set up for a second D&D group to run monthly, with some colleagues from work. That’s a nice little side project. With any luck we’ll also be back into the adventures of the DDC this weekend as well.
So, I forgot yesterday that it was a Bank Holiday and that seems to be setting the tone for the week. Very little got done yesterday, but that’s fine.
This morning I woke up in excruciating pain and recognised it as a kidney stone. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised after the heat and direct sunlight of the weekend and drinking at a barbecue round the ex-Mrs M house along with the Charleesi.
So so much for getting anything done today. I’ve mostly been semi conscious under the influence of some very strong painkillers and a hot water bottle. Oh, and many pints of water to help flush it through.
I think the worst is past now, but I’m completely wiped out. I have at least been entertained by the flow of pictures from Pride on social media. There’s lots I remember, but so much more than I saw while we ran the stall. It was a fantastic day.
I was wearing three metaphorical hats today and no physical ones as a sunny day dawned on Pride in Surrey at Camberley’s Recreation Grounds.
Eight in the morning saw me assembling the library stall as part of a wider group putting together stands in the Surrey County Council marquee and there was very little let up from that point.
My metaphorical hats were those of being one of the Library Group Managers, of being co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Staff Network, and part of my extended polycule as we coordinated various vehicles and modes of transport to get there. Somehow the plate spinning didn’t get out of control and I was able to slip between the competing roles with ease, which was helpful.
The whole day has been amazing – a much bigger site than last year at Godalming and thankfully all on a level rather than the entertaining slopes we coped with previously. The route of the parade was also far longer, weaving through the town and shopping centre before heading through residential streets to the park. Barring one very small group of teenage boys trying to be edgy we also had nothing but support and cheers from the crowds who had turned out. If there were counter-protestors (as had been threatened) they didn’t disrupt or dismay anyone.
Instead I was able to support colleagues, network with politicians and other organisations, mind our library mascot for their appearances, and still spend time with my loved ones and the assorted children we had with us.
We may even have persuaded our political portfolio holder to get his face painted with flowers and he very gamely let us decorate him in celebration of his being a fantastic ally both of libraries and the lgbtq+ community.
I’m home now, footsore, slightly sunburned, but fed and watered. Everyone has been delivered home to where they need to be, and I’m having my last cuppa to round out the day. It’s been a good one, and so’s the cuppa.
I’ve recently started wearing some bracelets made of wood, leather, and fabrics following our trip to Alton Towers. They’re similar to a similar set boy s is wearing addition should be no surprise therefore that there’s the link. In addition there’s a bracelet that was a gift during lockdown from Mre B that has a small reserve mental spoon attached to it.
We’ve talked about doing something like this for a while as a casual marker of our relationship – and the styles are eclectic enough to appeal on an aesthetic level but I’ve found it difficult to wear things on my wrist for years.
In large part it’s a holdover from when I was attacked – memories of wrists being held making it very uncomfortable – but the work I’ve been doing in therapy has contributed to putting some distance in recently.
I’m choosing instead to use the sensations at my wrist as a focus. On the one hand it’s a reminder of the boy. On another it helps to imagine all the skin crawling anxieties gathering there in one place rather than uncontrollable and everywhere. In effect it can be imagined as a shield
It’s a whimsy, it’s a way of focusing. It’s a distraction, and it’s a statement. I take them off at night before bed so I can settle, metaphorically removing the cares of the day. It’s a small and positive ritual that brings a measure of calm.
And I think they look good, and I enjoy seeing the counterparts on the boy
Even with having a part in preparations for work’s presence at Pride In Surrey this year I’m still feeling unready – but mostly because I’m not sure how I’m actually going to get there. There are train and bus disruptions so I suspect I may have to get a taxi, and this just considering me. Somehow we’ll get the whole Entourage there
In the meantime I have a stack of flags in my bag to use as table cloths on the day. So that’s useful. I need now to start thinking of what I’m going to wear on the day and use as props. To be fair if these are the biggest worried I need to deal with I’ll be fine.
Then next week starts my Leadership training, which I’ve gained access to with my Network Chair role as well as my managing and mentoring a group of managers in the day job. While I’m not expecting anything life changing, I am looking forward to it, and it is already opening doors.
Now, if the anxiety and depression could all nip off down the shops and not come back, that would be helpful.
I was at a social gathering last week when someone mistook a filtered photo for something that I had drawn. While complimentary it tweaked that perfectionist side of me that looks at what I currently do when input pen to paper.
Now, the second image is something I’m a lot closer to these days since I started using brush pens and trying some new things in the sketch book. It reminds me of some of Tim Sale’s artwork but not, perhaps, as clean with some of the lines.
So my new challenge to myself is to practice until I can create something similar freehand, just to prove to myself I can.
Shouldn’t be too difficult to make that leap from where I am – but then doing it consistently whole cloth from imagination rather than from a reference will be the step that will make me happier.
I’ve loved being away despite my wobbles – but there’s still nothing quite like that first shower when you’re home, and the settle back into your own bed. The silence was briefly unexpected and then I remembered this was a good thing and all was well.
We of course hit the souvenir shop on our way out the door, and have some nice odds and ends snuck away for presents as well as for immediate gratification.
Fortunately the traffic and weather was good for the return trip, and I did have one of those quiet moments of sublime happiness at seeing my partners asleep in their seats as I drove for a while. Its no secret I’m a soppy soul.
As a bonus, I have tomorrow off as a planned recovery day. Sleep is very much on the agenda
The grand outing to Alton Towers has had, if you’ll pardon the pun, its share of ups and down with amazing rides, humour, silliness, and some mealtime stresses
The weather has been kind, with only minor showers once or twice, and comfortable temperatures and breezes. The banter and cheer has been great for recharging batteries and passing time in queues.
My anxiety however has been through the roof on occasion, mostly around mealtimes and things connected to that not going to plan. We’re also crammed a little sardine-like into two hotel rooms: four adults and three children. With no aircon it’s all a bit close-quarters.
Still, I’m choosing to be positive and reminding myself of all the positives despite by brain doing its best to sabotage me.
We’re off on out for a couple of days – myself, Lady M and the boy s with assembled kids. I’m not saying he’s excited, but the cub has not stopped exclaiming in his stream-of-consciousness babble all day, and it’s only the first morning.
We definitely need the time together. The last few months have been remorseless in their grind and we’ve really not had much quality time together. Rollercoasters and silliness seems a good excuse.
There might even be some opportunities for some sleep at some point – a commodity that has been in scarce supply of late. I have driven the first half of our journey, and now Lady M is completing it. A snooze may be in order.
In todays list of things my brain decided to turn into a storm in a teacup was a quick spin on the existential mortality trap of comparing where I am now with what my father was doing at my age. This was duly mixed with an unhealthy dash of “how am I 50?” and a selection of general inflated perceived inadequacy.
Then I shook my head, got a sense of perspective, realised I was feeling gritty from the heat of the day and therefore uncomfortable in my own skin, and had a good hot shower which helped immensely.