Designing and Updates

We’ve got a cluster of family birthdays happening at the moment, and yesterday was a pre-birthday online gathering of the clan which generally turned into a catch up. I was pleasantly surprised to hear my parents praising the redbubble shop to everyone as part of the proceedings. I’m not sure why surprise is the reaction I’ve taken away from it, as proud parental statements are not exactly a scarce thing. At the same time, I can’t remember direct recommendations and praise of my stuff to my family happening recently in such a direct way before.

As a result I kind of feel even more embarrassed to talk about things I’m doing in front of people than usual. Its the sort of adaptive cringe I’ve adopted over the years and have been fiercely trying to overcome and mitigate in recent times.

So this evening, as everyone is generally feeling quite grim, I’ve just been doing some more designs and updates of existing ones while we chat away on Discord. The file sizes are huge so I’ll not be posting the originals here, but I will do a mini gallery at some point. For now, here’s a link to the most recent one:

https://www.redbubble.com/i/t-shirt/A-Flick-of-the-Tail-by-Ludd72/50585999.1YYVU?asc=u

Workspace Shenanigans

I’ve been rearranging my home working space today to take advantage of Lady M getting a second screen from work so that I can reclaim my aging Xerox monitor (17 years and counting). I have daisy-chained screen adapters from digital to vga to hdmi to work with my very cut-down aging laptop, and have grabbed a spare stool in the spare room. I’m using one of the glass-topped desk units that came back from Switzerland with Lady M just tucked inside the room – so the real test will be tomorrow when it’s time for D&D.

Why all this effort? Well my leg is still spasming and generally hurting every time I’m sat for any length of time on our sofa, so I’m hoping that a slightly different seating arrangement will help my leg heal properly. We’ll see. In the meantime I’m carrying on with setting up items on the redbubble site and have finally managed to get Amazon to accept my financial and tax credentials so that I can sell Kindle writings and potentially more merchandise through them

Fingers crossed, and all that.

Spoons Management

I’ve been reviewing staff risk assessments over the last couple of days, checking how people have been coping with being back at work. Its part of an ongoing one-to-one process we’ve been doing as we get the libraries reopened to ensure that we are able to properly support people’s physical and mental health during this extremely unseated time.

I am very lucky that the people I’m managing are pragmatic and well-motivated. There are one or two who have needed more support than others for a variety of reasons, but without fail each person in the review to date has been positive and expressed a relief at how smoothly things have been going. For the most part everyone has been relieved to find that their worries have not materialised. Dare I say it, but we’ve even had smiles.

I have to say that I am exhausted, but its not from the day to day of the library. Instead we are still in limbo at home waiting on Lady M’s MRI, which we just learned was cancelled as the hospital accidentally discharged her when they let her come home. For some reason it is now up to us to chase and rearrange it so we can get a clear picture of what’s going on. Lady M is bearing up as well as you could hope for, but the worry is taking its toll on both of us.

For my part I’m just exhausted, all the time, and a bit numb when I’m not. Understandable really, but its not depression, its just what my counsellor calls over-saturation and I call running our of spoons. Catnaps and an early night beckon to rebuild my energy for tomorrow. And in the meantime I distracted Lady M with a new Funko that I knew she’d been admiring

Quiet Sunday

One of the first things Lady M said to me this morning was how tired she was and how she wanted to go back to sleep. Seven hours later, she just did. I did quip about it being a day of rest, which made her blink and say she thought that was the first theological comment I’d made in our time together. I’m pretty sure that’s not true, but there you go.

So we’ve mostly pootled around, played games, and made cuppas today. This evening’s DDC game is just going to be a general natter while I stream doing some art or we play some games or something. Everyone is just a bit tired – but at least Lady M got her signed Liverpool ball inflated at last, so she’s a happy bunny.

In other good news, myr s has got a job offer, the Charleesi has a new project to work on, and her boyfriend is moving in with her at her mum’s house while they job hunt and save to rent somewhere together.

Oh, and my parents have apparently bought a Roomba-style cleaning bot.

Graphics, graphics everywhere

I had myr s half jokingly beg me yesterday to stop putting up new pieces on https://ludd72.redbubble.com because there was no way they could afford to buy everything.

Never not drawing

I don’t know about that; there’s something very viscerally satisfying about seeing something I’ve created printed on a physical object. Even if I’m the only one who uses it as a print on demand service, its worth it to me. That said if you do like anything on there enough to buy it then know that you will be fuelling my coffee consumption, not just stroking my ego.

Yes, I am already drawing inside this

Its a great distraction from everything else going on in the world at the moment, so there’s very little chance of my not continuing to put more items up to tempt, bemuse, or entertain you all

Just like this

A Long Week

Well, what a week that’s been, and there’s still more to go. We’ve had libraries reopening, the wait for an MRI still ongoing for Lady M, aches and pains, and life going on.

I can tell the Lady M is starting to feel a little more comfortable as she’s making noises about logging in to work again. I still see her getting very drained very quickly so we’ll see what her management say about some limited hours. Hopefully it will stop her brain exploding a while.

The library reopening has so far gone smoothly enough, with the public largely pleased to see us, even with the limited service available. It’s all new, and a bit odd, but its working. I’m back in on Friday and I know the time will just fly by.

And myr s has an amazing new haircut, having had their first experience of a barber’s shop. They also got a new job confirmed today that I think they’ll really enjoy, so a great day all round on their front.

I’ve even heard from the Charleesi, who is decidedly not resting on her laurels but is trying some freelance writing while the job hunt continues. She’s a grafter with a lot of talent and determination so there’s little doubt there’s success to follow.

And me? I’m exhausted, but there’s nothing new there. I’m worried for Lady M, and missing myr s something fierce, but we’ll get there in the end.

A lovely exchange

I got a bit carried away with some online retail therapy earlier following a conversation with myr s about needing to clean their chain maille collar, so could they swap to their lighter leather one for a while.

This was of course not a problem, and is a normal item of conversation in our dynamic, but it did put me in mind of getting something else as a lighter alternate collar. In part this would be a morale-booster for holding up so well under lockdown; and a lighter and looser token for hot summer days to come. A more gender-neutral appearing collar would also be a kindness with a regard to dysphoria.

And so I placed an order for a little something via Etsy, and was in short order contacted by the seller. A very sweet brief conversation then took place around some of the detailing of the piece. As a result, a slightly customised item will now be made in the next couple of days to ship by the end of the week. The maker was delighted to hear some of the whys and wherefores of the piece, and that extra element of love will no doubt be manifested in the final item.

And Now We Wait

Lady M is in continuous pain, with limited pain relief because Ibuprofen triggers her asthma, and codeine triggers cluster headaches and thunderclap migraines. Paracetamol dulls her pain a little, but not nearly enough.

Fortunately her GP has now prescribed some good stuff that I’ll pick up in the morning.

Now all we can do is wait for the emergency MRI slot to become available. Lady M is at least able to sleep away from a ward – even if we have been advised to self isolate her just in case the MRI unit is having a picky day.

Meanwhile, the libraries are starting to reopen but I can really only spare cursory attention right now. My manager is being very supportive so I can focus on Lady M, and I am trying very hard not to feel guilty about doing so.

Are we worried? Yes, very, but we’re trying not to dwell on things until we know what we actually have to worry about.

What a year…

She’s Home

I wasn’t expecting it but finally got the call from Lady M that she was going to be allowed home while they waited for an MRI slot to become available. That could take a couple of weeks. Then they can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

They’re talking surgery, but until the MRI shows them exactly what they’re dealing with they’re not leaping to conclusions – which given the range of possible diagnoses we’ve had this week as they tested and tested is a relief.

So she’s back, she’s sleeping, and I’ve been able to relax for the first time this week.

Still in Limbo

Lady M is still in hospital while the doctors battle to get her condition under control. There are a number of opinions on the exact extent of the infection but surgery is being actively considered. We think the plan is to see if her condition has improved enough by the morning to decide how to proceed.

Not being able to visit is frustrating, but understandable, but we did get one bright moment in that the hospital was able to accommodate both myr s and myself as next of kin under the heading of partners. Its a small thing but it does make a difference.

People keep reminding me to take care of myself too, prompted in no small part in how I appear not to have slept in a couple of days. I’m keeping busy, but work have been very good as and when I’ve needed to slip away every now and then.

Onward!