Tuesday, December 30, 2008

home again and about to move

Whew! I'm back in Cambridge after Christmas with one set of grandparents, followed by a few days with the other set. I got back this afternoon with Debs and HP who graciously agreed to help me pack and move house. I'm moving again, not too far away. Some of my stuff got shifted this afternoon, but there's still at least a couple of car loads to go. I hate packing, but fortunately Debs likes it (and is very good at it. Thanks for the a-sister-ance!). I do like unpacking. I'm looking forward to organising my stuff into a new place.

Before that, sleep, New Year's Eve celebrations, a New Year's day walk. Funness!

Good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

That was cryptic, wasn't it? No, I'm not explaining. Just things that popped into my head that I wanted to record.

Today was been a good day. I spent most of it working through steps to Freedom in Christ. Lots of praying and renouncing stuff and forgiving people. It feels like God's lifted a huge weight off me and I feel relaxed and free. And very tired. :o)

This evening I've been out to run errands and meet knitters in the pub. Now I'm sitting in my room listening to carols on the radio and contemplating packing. Tomorrow I'm off on the train to join my parents and sisters at my Grandparents' house and the day after that, it's Christmas day!

Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

tales I could tell but probably won't

The frightened pig and the man who peeled mushrooms

The confused pig, the sea urchin and the egg-head

The pig, the acrobat and the Tigger who saved the day

The pig who walked by herself and fell over

The pig, her hook and how she got unhooked

The pig and her friends

How the pig learned to fly

well well well

So here we are at Monday again. I am really very tired. Too much fun. I went to a party Friday night, Nathan was here over the weekend, church carol service was last night.

I'd happily curl up and go to sleep, but I'm hoping the anti-squirrel man might turn up soon.

I had my hair cut. Maybe I'll show you.

I've been watching repeats of the last series of Doctor Who. Christmas special soon, yay!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

what day is it?

I'm losing track of what day it is. I keep being a day out. Last night I was fairly sure it was going to be Friday when I got up again. Alas, no.

I do know it's a week until Christmas! And that this is my penultimate day at work before Christmas. And that the weekend (beginning with Friday) will be filled with fun things.

This cold's still dragging on. I think it's contributing to the feeling of timelessness. I slept through the night last night which was a lovely thing. For someone's who's recovering from post-viral fatigue and also has a cold, I think I'm doing pretty well. There were almost tears between work and an evening do yesterday, because I felt so tired and didn't want to go out again, but when I did, I enjoyed myself. And I got home at a reasonable hour and went straight to bed with hot lemon and honey.

These diary posts aren't exactly thrilling, are they? I wish I had more exciting/profound/amusing things to say, but I just don't at the moment. I'm not reading any books, not doing much other than sleeping, eating, working, knitting, seeing friends.

Talking of books, can anyone lend me Little Dorrit over Christmas? I loved the BBC version and would like to read it. Or try. I'm hoping Dickens is escapist enough (and unlike Ian McEwan enough) for it not to cause me to panic.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday

Yesterday went OK. The people who were supposed to turn up, turned up. There were no panics. Today I don't have to be in til lunch time.

Yesterday, the beasties in the loft were identified as squirrels. Which is sort of better and sort of worse than rats. I'd rather not have rats running about above our heads, but squirrels are harder to eradicate. Still, knowing your enemy is progress, I suppose.

Today, a man is here to fix the bathroom floor. Hooray! We've only got the one loo, so he's going to do his best to put it back in before he goes today. I do hope so. Eek!

Today it's not raining, though it looks cold. I am still coughing. I am not surprised, having learnt last week that the average cough lasts 21 days. I wish it would hurry up and go though.

Monday, December 15, 2008

what a girl wants, what a girl needs

Things Bekki needs:

sleep

a haircut

food to take to a picnic (indoor obv.) tomorrow night


Things Bekki wants:

her cold to go away

her throat/ear/head to stop hurting

snow at Christmas

everything to go well at work tomorrow

chocolate

Saturday, December 13, 2008

this week I have been mostly sneezing

At least, that's how it feels. I've got the sniffly lurgey that's going around and I've spent the last couple of days lying on the settee feeling sorry for myself, producing large quantities of snotty tissues and watching stuff on iPlayer.

Last night, I slept well and didn't wake up at 3am like I have the last few nights. Hooray! I'm feeling a bit more alive this morning, though I'm still coughing and sniffling. I hope by tomorrow morning I'll be feeling even better and be ready to sing at church.

Christmas is coming up fast. One good thing about being ill is that I've had lots of time to knit, so my gift knitting is under control. Christmas shopping on the other hand, hasn't happened at all. I don't think I'm going to attempt any today - town will be packed. Maybe Monday.

And there are Christmas services next weekend to sing at and invite people to. And then it's Christmas proper. Yay!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

frost and sunshine


frost and sunshine, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I've been away for the weekend with lots of lovely people from my church. It was a wonderful time. I wasn't feeling very happy on Friday night and expected to spend a lot of the weekend crying. But God had other plans and instead I spent lots of time smiling and relaxing and being filled with peace.

This morning the frost was beautiful. I went out and took photos around the grounds of the place where we staying; details of leaves and views across the valley below. More on flickr.

Friday, December 05, 2008

splinter birds

There's a tree in the next road over that's often full of magpies and sometimes jays. I like jays. They remind me of the Splinter Birds in Rebecca's World by Terry Nation. The splinter birds are extinct at the beginning; they're an almost mythical species of birds with long beaks who can be called upon to remove splinters from fingers. It's been a while since I read Rebecca's World (Memo to home: Can someone bring it when you next see me? It better not have gone in the great book clear out.) but I remember bits of it very clearly, especially the illustrations; Rebecca with her long curly hair and long ruffled dress with pockets, the shiny Mr Glister. At a time when I was far too scared to watch Dr Who, I think I read a Dr Who novel I found in the school library because it was also written by Terry Nation. (I wonder what it was?)

I still love fantasy stories. Not everything, but well crafted novels which draw you into a parallel or surreal world. Gormenghast, The Never-Ending Story, The Box of Delights, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (though probably the former more than the latter), Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams. (I think a taste for HHGG probably helped me survive years of male-dominated physics lectures and practicals. If you share geeky humour, you can fit in by being an honorary bloke.) I briefly considered doing an MA dissertation on Neil Gaiman and Hope Mirlees' Lud-in-the-Mist but decided I didn't really know enough about either.

I'm fond (possibly too fond) of escaping into books. I didn't like 'teenage fiction' when I was younger because it was to much like real life. I wanted my books to be unreal worlds, to take me away from the life I knew. In the last few months, I've gone back to that feeling. I've been avoiding serious hard work books (i.e. anything that might be relevant to my MA) and instead reading silly ones, detective stories, fantasy, children's books. Anything to escape. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

Footnote: While googling to find some explanatory links, I found this page which suggests Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris as a similar book. Er, how, exactly?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

almost midnight

I should be asleep. I'm sitting in bed, blogging. I was trying to be asleep, but too worked up about stuff to relax.

It's been another rollercoaster of a week. Yes, I know it's not over yet. But my working week is over.

I wish I were different. I wish the world were less screwed up. I wish people didn't hurt each other.

I'm going to lie in bed and read Psalms to get some perspective.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

today I finished a camel


completed camel, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I didn't make the camel, but I did make the saddle and all the cargo.

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's December!

Hmm, shall I stop this daily posting thing or not? Let's see how long it lasts.

I've been doing more singing at the Rev Christmas concert. Twas fun.

December always seems to creep up on me. I forget that it comes straight after November (despite the fact that it happens every year) and suddenly get surprised by the fact that it's December and not many weeks until Christmas. Yay! I like Christmas. But I do have a few things to do before then, like Christmas knitting and present shopping. And packing to do, and a conference to help organise and lots of other things too.

Better get to sleep then.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

ooh look

It's the last day of November! And I managed to post at least once every day. Yay me!

Though I don't think every post was exactly wonderfully contentful, I have enjoyed the challenge of finding things to write about. I'm going to aim to continue blogging regularly. Maybe not everyday, but more than the once a week or so I have been doing.

There's been rather a lot of soul-searching/moaning going on in the last month. That's because that's rather the way life is at the moment. Good things are happening too. I'm moving house sometime after Christmas. This is because my landlady's leaving the country next year, which is both exciting and sad, 'cos I'll miss her. I'm moving to my church small group leader's house, which feels like home already since I've been there at least once a week for the last 2 years or so. I have a temporary job at least until Christmas, possibly on into next year. It can't last forever though. I need to find something more permanent. I'm unlikely to go back to my MA in January. At the moment I'm assuming I'll restart it in September 2009, unless there's a good reason not to. My GP suggesting starting to limber up for study again by trying to read useful things for half an hour a day, or maybe half an hour a week at first to get my brain back in the habit of studying. There are lots of exciting changes happening or about to happen at church. Even if I don't know what I'm doing careerwise, I think I'm in the right place at the moment with church and friends.

I don't know what 2009 is going to bring. I hope it's going to be good.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

independence / get over it!

HP said "And we always thought you were the independent bear!!!".

Yeah, maybe I was once. I'm so used to doing everything myself. It's partly fear, I think. Fear of explaining myself to someone else, so I do it myself. Trusting someone else is scary, and involves having to think clearly about what I mean and communicating it.

Sorry, this doesn't make any sense, does it? I'm trying to untie a knot (a particularly Gordian one) in my head. I don't want to be lonely anymore. Specifically, I'd quite like not to be single any more. I don't know what's a legitimate thing to do about that. Where do I look? What do I do? It's as if I'm not allowed to be independent in looking for a man. Not allowed by whom? Myself, mostly. If I'm looking for someone to lead me, I don't want to take the lead in finding him. I want him to find me.

I'm almost cross with men in general. It's as if we women just have to wait in line until the guys get their act together, chose their woman and woo her. Nothing we can do but wait to be picked. And if no-one picks us? Tough! Nothing you can do about it, but feel inadequate and unattractive.

I think that's what's been making me tearful and irritable this week. I'm not quite sure of the way out. If you're the praying sort, please can you pray for peace in my head and heart and for me to trust God on this one.

And if you've got any advice...

whoosh

And Saturday's rushing past me. Not in a bad way. I helped move Rachel across town, read the paper and went to a choir rehearsal. Suddenly I'm feeling very tired. I think it's the light - as soon as the sun goes down I get very sleepy.

Tonight I'm off to have dinner with Liz. Yay!

Friday, November 28, 2008

friday night

It's been an odd week. I've been happy, sad, exhausted, well rested, busy, bored and everything else in between. This afternoon I've been feeling homesick, for what I'm not exactly sure, but like something's missing. I think I just need a bit of being with friends time. Soon, friends will arrive for dinner. My housemate and I have made a lasagne and it's about to go in the oven. The oven wasn't co-operating and decided not to work for a while, but now it seems to be OK again. Most odd.

Tomorrow, I'm helping a friend move house and going to a rehearsal. Probably lots of other things too. It's the weekend, it's mostly unplanned. I hope good things happen.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

solos and duets

I've been singing again, so it's on my mind. Indulge me.

I rarely sing alone. Even if I'm singing solo, there's generally an accompanist with me. The relationship between singer and musicians is key to how good the music sounds. There's always an element of uncertainty singing with somebody new - will we get on? Will we understand each other? Are they any good? Am I any good? What if it all goes wrong? But when it's good, it's great. There are some people that I love to make music with - they know what they're doing, we trust each other, even if it goes wrong, we'll have sorted ourselves out before the audience has noticed. I especially love singing duets and improvising harmonies. When you don't quite know what's going to happen, but you weave melodies round each other and it just works. It's so much fun! (And I think people like it.)

In music, and in other things too, I work better when I've got a starting point and and a structure. I love singing jazz because you take the tune and fiddle with it, ornament it, play with the rhythm and the melody and the words and sometimes just end up with wordless noises, but it's all fitted into the progression of chords and the pattern of verses, choruses, bridges and middle 8s. I'm not good at designing knits from scratch, but give me a pattern and I'll change it as I go to make it fit better or look different. Essays work much better when I've got a starting point to argue from or a statement to disagree with.

Yes, you can read into this that I would love to have a duet partner for life. Someone to do life with, to bounce ideas off, to argue it out and improvise with. My own accompanist and fellow troubadour. And yes, I would love for him to be a fellow musician. But also, I don't work well alone, no-one does. I need people around me to relate to and have fun with and to be loved by and to love.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

sing sing sing

I like singing. I love singing. I will sing anywhere, anytime, for no reason whatsoever. Singing makes me happy. Occasionally I get paid to sing, but I'd do it for the fun of it anyway.

I'd love to sing more. I sometimes wish I could make a career out of it. I haven't got a clue how. I don't know where to start and the world is full of young women who think they can sing, most of them prettier than me.

Still, if you're in the Cambridge area and looking for a singer; I'd love to.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

shadows


shadows, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I've been to the woods again. The leaves are almost gone and the trees are bare.

Monday, November 24, 2008

nothing much


sillhouette, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I've got nothing much to say today. I am (guess what) very tired. I went to Rev and came home again after two songs. I hope a good long sleep will sort me out.

Here's a photo from a couple of weeks ago. I was playing with my camera and using the colour highlight setting to pick out the blue of the sky and put everything else in black and white. It's a little hard to tell since the trees are almost monochrome anyway.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

sunday night

It snowed in London today. I didn't take any photos though. In fact I didn't take any at all over the weekend. Sorry.

I did have fun being with my family and friends. I knitted lots, did crosswords with my mummy, mixed Christmas pudding, drank coffee, ate pork chops and fajitas and sausages (not all at once), and generally enjoyed myself.

Now I'm back in Cambridge. I was going to go out this evening, but it's cold and I'm tried out. Early bed, I think.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

E17 Saturday

I've been enjoying being at home. My mum and I went to the Jubilee church prayer meeting this morning, which is always brilliant. I went to a craft fair at St Mary's and then wandered down the market, looking for (and failing to find) some material from which to make pyjamas. It was cold! I love the fact you can buy almost anything on Walthamstow market - fruit, veg, clothes, toys, pots and pans, tvs, dog leads, jewellery, you name it, it's there somewhere. Except, apparently, interestingly striped cotton suitable for Bekki pyjamas. Ah well.

This afternoon I've been knitting and watching Henry V (the Branagh version). If you're interested, there's an old post of mine about the Branagh and Olivier films of Henry V. I'd like to finish the jumper I'm knitting so I can show it off at church tomorrow, but I doubt it's going to happen.

Back to Cambridge tomorrow afternoon, but I'm enjoying this E17* interlude.

*E17 is the postcode for Walthamstow. As made famous (for good or ill) by East17.

Friday, November 21, 2008

off to London

I'm making the most of a long weekend (I worked Monday to Wednesday this week and will probably do Wednesday to Friday next week) by going 'home' to London. Well, to the house I grew up in, which is still sort of home, but sort of not anymore. You know how it works.

I'm taking my knitting and my camera. I hope there will be knitting progress. I expect there will be photos.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

how to tell if you're dreaming

If you're flying above a beautiful coastline on a white melamine piece of furniture which is not readily identifiable as table, chest of drawers or bookcase, which keeps bucking and threatening to throw you off.

This may be a dream. However convinced you are that it's white melamine, furniture in the real world tends to have an identifiable form and to stay in one place.

If you're in a aeroplane on the edge of space with hundreds of other people and are being shown a system of intelligent radio stations which can play you just what you want to hear and are labelled with words like 'amazing', 'mellow' and 'super'. And then you notice that each one also has a shape label of 'rectangle' or 'diamond' or 'oval'. And you naturally wonder if this is for synaesthetes, to identify the music by its visual shape, but the manual reveals that this is merely the name of the server the radio station is using at the time.

This may be a dream. The radio stations are all in overhead boxes with speakers that play outloud simultaneously and that would be of no practical use to anyone.

If you're in a therapy session, but you're not exactly sure how long it's been going on and the clock is moving faster than usual and outside the world seems to be spinning round and you decide this must be a dream and start screaming to make yourself wake up and the other people are looking at you like you're mad and eventually, they change places or names or haircuts and even though you're still shouting, you haven't woken up yet, so you just give up and go with it.

This may be a dream. No-one would actually bat an eyelid if you did start shouting in therapy.

If you've got up and out of bed, but five minutes later find yourself still in bed, so get up and out of bed, but five minutes later find yourself still in bed, so get up and out of bed, but five minutes later find yourself still in bed, so get up and out of bed, but five minutes later find yourself still in bed, so get up and out of bed, but five minutes later find yourself still in bed, tired and confused and feeling like you've been wrestling a bear.

This may be a dream. There are no bears in Cambridge.

I think I'm awake now. The furniture's not moving, the room isn't spinning and there aren't any unexpected people or bears about.

Still, you can never be too sure. What will happen if I start screaming to wake up now?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

...and zonk!

I think yesterday's wooziness was caused by tiredness. Today I am just as tired and about to have an afternoon nap.

I'm frustrated with getting so tired. I've worked three mornings this week. I did have a relatively late night on Monday, but in theory I've had enough sleep and mostly it was good sleep. I'm tired of being tired. I don't know what to do differently. Most fresh air and exercise? Different food? Go to bed even earlier?

Grrrr.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I am not ill! I am not ill!

Repeat until convinced.

I'm tired, my head hurts, my throat hurts, my neck is achy, I feel floaty. I hope some sleep will help.

How do you feel today?

In case you hadn't guessed already, last night I went to the Flying Pig. I liked it. There were pictures of pigs all over the walls and ceiling, interspersed with concert posters and silly things. I tried to take some pictures, but the ambiance was impossible to capture (i.e. it was too dark). We sat around and chatted and drank our various drinks and played with balloons until someone batted one at a glass and caused a loud crash. (Not me, I was engrossed in the Guardian crossword with Poppy). Although I suppose I did provide the balloons. Does that make me (ir)responsible?

Monday, November 17, 2008

no dead mice on the lawn today...

...just a mushroom. I suspect my housemate (whose lawn it is) will be unimpressed.

The weather feels very late autumnnal, almost wintry. The trees I've been admiring on my way to work have almost lost all their leaves and look woebegone and naked. The sky is overcast and everywhere is damp and drizzly.

Still, today is also the birthday of one my Cambridge friends (Happy Birthday Lizzie!) and tonight we're off to a wonderfully named pub which I probably should have visited before now. Can you guess what it's called?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

sociable sunday

Today I...

...went to church

...had lunch at CB2

...sang in a mini concert

...chatted with friends

...drank port for the first time in ages

...got wet in the rain

...was startled into giggles by Marge and Homer Simpson

...ate ice cream

...went to bed before 10pm

Saturday, November 15, 2008

dead mouse


dead mouse, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

It says something about my state of mind this morning that all I can think of to post is a picture of a dead mouse.

I think it's a rather sweet and pathetic dead mouse. A memento mori perhaps.

I am tired.

Friday, November 14, 2008

the stuffness of stuff

In just over a month, I'm going to be moving house again. (Not very far). I'm looking around my room and wondering about all the accumulated stuff around me. How much of this stuff do I actually need? How much is just sitting there? How much is still in boxes from the last time I moved? (Quite a bit, I've realised). Part of me would love to travel light. Part of me can't bear to get rid of anything, especially books.

As I pack, I'm going to try to think critically about my stuff and get rid of some of it. Some to the bin, some to other people, some to charity shops. I don't think I need all this stuff.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

musings on Morse

Last night I was watching Inspector Morse on ITV.com catchup. I had very vivid memories of this episode (Cherubim and Seraphim), from the opening image of a girl dancing in front of flashing lights to the final rave scene in a country house. As I watched, I tried to work out why I remembered it so well. It was originally aired in 1992, when I was 12, nearly 13. I think it represented to me a teenage culture I didn't like the look of and which scared me. Rave culture and acid house was frightening to me. Loud music, too many people, drugs. Not that I actually ever experienced it, but it was in the air. Or perhaps it's just in retrospect that I project what I know now onto my memories.

Rave is just as baffling to Morse. It's amusing how naive the ordinary policeman seems about dance parties in this story. Even the drug squad are under-resourced and short of information. But there's also an innocence to the ravers. They just want to dance. The drugs are about having a good time, feeling blissed out and loving the world. The tragedy of the story is that the ultimate high leaves people feeling empty and pointless, as if after they've experienced the most wonderful thing in life, there's nothing left to live for.

Perhaps the episode is a snapshot capturing a particular moment when rave was young and innocent, when the police were interested, but not concerned, before the crackdowns and mass arrests. Or perhaps Julian Mitchell and Danny Boyle who respectively wrote and directed the episode were painting an overly innocent picture. I don't know. Raves have never been my thing, though I can see the attraction of just losing yourself in music and dancing for hours.

I was happy to see this episode again and see different things in it: the fragments of baroque music sampled in the dance tracks stood out more, I could appreciate the subtleties of Morse's musings on parents and children. Marilyn, the girl who commits suicide, isn't his child (though I did spend quite a lot of the episode wondering whether it was being hinted that she was. Since her mother is Morse's step-sister or half-sister, that seems unlikely), but she is the nearest equivalent he has and his recollections of their conversations about literature suggest a close relationship and shared personality traits.

Some TV programmes I enjoyed when I was younger don't stand up to repeat viewing or only serve as nostalgia triggers. Morse is an exception. Even if I've seen it before and remember who did what to whom, there's usually something I didn't notice the first time around or a new subtlety to be appreciated.

(I have never, however, been able to spot any of Colin Dexter's Hitchcock-like cameos.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

stop!

I'm supposed to be not rushing around too much. I am failing to do so. I was going to go to the cinema tonight to see Quantum of Solace but instead I shall be staying in and going to bed early. Oh, the excitement.

I am getting better at stopping to be. This year I've noticed that I've noticed autumn in a way I'm sure I haven't for the past few years. I was excited about waiting for the leaves to change and about watching them shade into different colours. I allow myself longer to get out of bed, dressed and breakfasted and out of the house which means I've got much better at finding time to read my Bible and pray in the morning. Sometimes I'm managing to take time to hang out with other people and not do much, just breathe the same air and chat. I'm doing 3 mornings a week at work, which I can manage. I'm not sure whether I could manage more. That feels strange. I used to be able to work a full week, do lots, miss out on sleep and eventually recover by collapsing in a heap. I can't anymore. Maybe that's a good thing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

soft things

I've never really thought of myself as a soft toy person. Well, not since I was very little. Apparently my cot was so full of toys there was hardly space for me. But when I moved from a cot to a bed, the toys stayed behind. (Instead, there were books under the pillow, but that's another story). Some toys got adopted by my sisters (notably Baby Teddy who was re-christened Teddy David by Debs) and others drifted into boxes or disappeared. Some still survive. Today in my room live:

Piglet, who for a long time wore a knitted dress belonging to a doll (I don't know why) but now wears a natty jumper I knitted from sock wool a couple of years ago.

Alexander, a small jointed teddy bear (3.5 inches high) who occasionally gets worn as a brooch, who is wearing a yellow ribbon and a miniature cashmere scarf.

Growlie, a very ancient growling teddy with a slightly intermittent growling action. He's a very old friend. The growling mechanism stopped once when he fell (or was pushed) downstairs. A repeat fall brought it back again, but he sounds more like a cow than a bear.

Donkey, a very recent addition. I think he's supposed to be the donkey from Shrek. I keep meaning to mend the seam in his back which is splitting.

Also around at the moment are a camel and a small knitted boy who are just passing through en route to a story sack at church.

Perhaps I'm more of a soft toy person than I thought. I don't want any more though.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday

It's raining, it's pouring
I don't like Monday morning.
I want my bed, my eyes are red*
Why did I get up this morning?


*Actually they're not, but it scanned nicely and they are sleepy.


Big yawns! My arms ache which I suspect is due to lugging chairs around yesterday. Or knitting. Or both. I've been doing admin-type things. I'd like to get out of the house, but it's raining and I don't feel like getting wet. So I'm staying in and yawning and grumping.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

windy evening

It's one of those autumn nights when the wind is howling around outside and I'm warm inside with a blanket and a hot water bottle. It's been a good weekend, lots of time chilling with friends and just being.

Right now, I feel good about life. I'm enjoying the lack of deadlines and stress. I have work, but I can just turn up, do it and go home again. I've got lots of time to think and sleep and knit and pray and be. Perhaps I haven't got as much energy as I'd like, but I'm trying to be sensible with the time and energy I do have. I have good friends and family who love me.

There are lots of uncertainties too. I don't know how long this particular stage of life is going to last. My job is temporary and life feels equally temporary. I don't know what I'm doing next. This past year hasn't quite been what I expected. Since I haven't a clue what's going to happen next year, that will be equally unexpected!

Still, right now, I'm alive and OK.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturdays are for...

...friends: I invited myself round to a friend's house to spend the afternoon knitting and then invited another friend to join us.

...knitting: actually I was outnumbered 2:1 by crocheters.

...fun: Much fun was had by all as we chatted and created and did crosswords.

...food: Large quantities of tea and Battenburg were consumed, curry was cooked and eaten.

I like Saturdays.

Friday, November 07, 2008

brown and gold


brown and gold, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I've been wandering in the woods again.

The colours are beautiful, breath-taking. I met someone else who was wandering round with a camera, trying to capture the beauty of the brown carpet, golden canopy and connecting grey-green trunks.

Beechwood has two parts, one older than the other. The younger part was golden before the older, but now the leaves are gone and it's in its winter bareness. The last time I was in the woods, the newer part of the wood was shut off for work, so I hadn't seen it for a fortnight or so. It was a shock to walk through the gate from one part into the other and go from rich golds to stark greys. Everything changes.

As I walked, I thought about how I've changed since I discovered these woods early this year. It's been a tough year. Nothing exactly went to plan. I'm still waiting for life to resolve somehow and make sense. I've been waiting for autumn to come to my woods and make them beautiful and now it has. That gives me hope that life will get better; change has come and will come and is coming.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

winter of a dormouse

I feel like a dormouse today. No, not for dinner. I feel like curling up somewhere warm and cosy until it's spring again. Actually I like autumn, and cold weather's OK when you've got heating and warm duvets and a hot water bottle, but it's so dark and gloomy I don't want to do much.

This week I have managed to do three mornings (10-2) at work, which feels like an achievement. I've also been out doing things on Monday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday night. All of which might possibly be contributing to feeling the need for hibernation.

I'm staying in tonight, where it's warm and cosy and snuggly.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

hearts in the sky


hearts, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I went, I saw fireworks, I ooh-ed and ah-ed. I took pictures. This is my favourite. More on Flickr.

fireworks!

It's bonfire night! I'm off soon to meet up with friends to watch the city firework display. I will take my cameras and see what interesting photos I can take.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I made a hat.


sily pink hat, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Started yesterday, finished today.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Who am I?

This afternoon I've finally got round to opening What Colour is Your Parachute? and making a start on some of the exercises and some online tests. So far, I've discovered that my interest colour and usual style are blue (Princeton Review Careers Quiz) and my Myers-Briggs type is INFJ. Which doesn't really tell me anything I didn't know before. The jobs suggested by some of these tests include writing and editing, teaching, counselling, clergy, musician and actor. An article by Marina Margaret Heiss suggests that "overall, INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole by their career paths." Clearly that's the problem; I don't know what I want to do, because there are too many options. :o)

The thing is, I think part of the problem is I'm scared. I'd love to write for a living or edit books or research in libraries all day, but I'm not convinced I'm good enough and I don't know where to start.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

sunday

Well it appears I have at least 2 readers. Thank you guys!

I've just spent the afternoon sleeping which is a terrible waste of a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. My excuse is that having heard Dave Devenish speak at church this morning, I really want to hear him again at Blaze (our 18-30s evening) and I knew I wouldn't be awake enough if I didn't have a little nap first.

Some of us were talking over lunch after church about faith and plans for the future and about Psalm 37v4: 'Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give the desires of your heart.' The verse seems ambiguous. Is it that God gives us the desires or what we desire? Not that that's really the point - the point is the first bit, 'Delight yourself in the LORD', not in anything else. But sometimes God does give us things we desire, even silly little things. I remember thinking at one point in my life how nice it would be to live somewhere where I could cycle to work, which was small enough not to have to spend ages on the train to get anywhere. I never pursued that dream consciously, but that's where I've ended up. Funny. :-) So if God can give us the small desires, He can be trusted with the big ones too.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

windows

What does this blog say about me? I'm not too sure. There's not been much intellectual content to it for a while. Mind you, there's not been much intellectual content to me for a while either. I'm reading, but mostly silly things (in the last couple of weeks, The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss and The Titian Committee by Iain Pears). I put so much of my identity into being clever and reading intelligent literature that when I can't do either, I don't know who I am. How sad is that? So, right now, the blog's not a book review page or a place of cultural comment.

I am taking and posting photos. I've got a new digital camera, so I expect there'll be a lot more of that happening. They aren't brilliant photos, just OK, occasionally good by a fluke. I like speaking in visuals.

I am endeavouring not to moan too much on the blog. It's boring and achieves nothing. Sometimes there are happy things to say and I say them.

Blog readers (anyone out there?) what would you like to know? Maybe if you ask me questions I'll answer them (no promises, mind).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

secret's out

If you want to know what's making me all smiley, go here.

(For those in need of clarification, HP is my sister.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

grinning


grinning, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

This is me today. Can't tell you why, it's not my secret. But I expect you'll find out soon enough.

Monday, October 27, 2008

If you go down to the woods today...


scrunch, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

(Or if you had earlier. It might be a bit dark and scary now.) You might have found me, scrunching leaves and taking photos. It was a beautiful sunny day and I had the Teddy Bears' Picnic stuck in my head.

(There are more if you follow the photo onto flickr.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

home again


posing pigeons, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I've been down in Exeter for a few days having fun with HP and Steve and t'other HP.

These pigeons were hanging around like delinquent yoof in the middle of the Guildhall Shopping centre. There were loads of them on the wall and even more on the roof of St Pancras church. The church itself is a little corner of quiet surrounded by shops and people.

(It has a sign on the door: 'Please shut the door to keep out pigeons'. They'll just have to worship outdoors.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I &hearts singing

That is all I have to say.

Good night!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

slow down, you move too fast

Thanks for all the lovely birthday greetings!

I'm having one of those days when it feels like someone says "Go!" when you get up and you're rushing around all day. I need to sit and breathe and calm down a bit, I think. Actually, my timetable for the day isn't all that pressured and it will be fine. It's just having three points in one day where I've got to be somewhere at a certain time that's making me feel stressed.

Breathe! Chill! It's going to be fun!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday!

Actually it feels like it's been my birthday all weekend, what with my family taking me out for lunch on Saturday and spending yesterday with lots of friends, eating good food, walking in the sunshine and enjoying the beauty of autumn.

But today it really is my birthday. Yay!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

stuck in my head today

We used to sing this in primary school. I'm reminded of it on beautiful autumn days like today.

Autumn Days by Estelle White

Autumn days, when the grass is jewelled
And the silk inside a chestnut shell
Jet planes meeting in the air to be refuelled
All these things I love so well

So I mustn't forget
No, I mustn't forget
To say a great big thank you
No, I mustn't forget.

Clouds that look like familiar faces
And a winter's moon with frosted rings
Smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces
And the song the milkman sings.

Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered
And a swallow curving in the sky
Shoes so comfy though they're worn out and they're battered
And the taste of apple pie.

Scent of gardens when the rain's been falling
And a minnow darting down a stream
Picked-up engine that's been stuttering and stalling
And a win for my home team!*

*This line was always shouted as loud as possible.

I had a look to see if I could find a school choir singing it on YouTube. I couldn't, instead here's an instrumental version with illustrative pictures.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I could have danced all night

I probably should have been in bed hours ago. But I've been out, having fun, all dressed up in Bugsy Malone style finery and dancing in a friend's living room at the beginning of a weekend of fun. Tomorrow my family are coming to Cambridge for the day, on Sunday I'm going out for lunch with my friends and on Monday it's my birthday. Which, come to think of it I haven't actually planned anything specific for, but will probably be fun anyway.

I like birthdays! I love this time of year, the light, the colours turning on the trees, the sunny fresh days. I wonder if I'd love it so much if it wasn't my birthday? But it is and I do.

Maybe I should go to bed now.

Night night!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thursdays are better than Wednesdays

Wednesdays don't like me. Or I don't like them. Today was better. I started a new job (I'm working Thursday and Friday mornings). The people are friendly, the work's straightforward, I'm earning money again. It did tire me out though. I came home and slept in the afternoon. Four hours of concentrating and new people and new surroundings after several months of not doing much can do that to a girl, it seems.

I went for a walk with my friend Liz this evening, as the sun was setting. Stourbridge Common on an autumn evening is beautiful. And after that fresh air and exercise and a good long chat, I think I shall sleep well tonight.

Good night!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

words don't work

I'm having one of those days.

Words aren't working. Books don't work, it's like something's broken in my reading system. Talking to God seems pointless, I can't make the words express how I feel. I'm a word-junkie, I live for books. How can they seem so pointless, so empty?

The most meaningful thing I did all day was to lie on a bench, looking up at the sky and listening to the wind in the trees. I can't describe the feeling of the roar of the wind in the trees. It's more an image, a drawing, a scribbling on the atmosphere.

I give up on words. Today, they don't do anything for me.

I want a hug, a kiss, a squeeze, a shoulder to cry on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

ready for bed


ready for bed, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Curling up where it's warm to sleep.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

me right now

me right now

Tired at the end of a busy, but fun weekend.

As seen on blogs by Rosie, Anne and Mary deB.

1. Take a picture of yourself right now.
2. Don’t change your clothes, don’t fix your hair…just take a picture.
3. Post that picture with NO editing.
4. Post these instructions with your picture.
5. Add it to the Pool.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

to sleep, perchance to dream?

I am STILL having weird dreams. I'll try fiddling around with when I take my drugs again, but I'm not sure it makes much difference. It's what happens to me in the early morning I can't take. It's more like hallucinations than dreams. I'm sleeping lightly, but as soon as I close my eyes I'm in dream world. It's as if I have to chose between being awake and sleepy or dreaming and confused. And the unreal stuff seems so real, so tangible. This morning I dreamed I was writing and when I opened my eyes my hand was waving about in the air, writing. So strange.

In other news. I am knitting lots. I've finished the fronts of a cardigan. I have an interview for a part time temp job tomorrow. It's only 8 hours a week, but I think it'll be a good first step back into working. On Friday I'm going to London to the 900th anniversary celebrations of the church I grew up in and went to until I went to uni. It'll be good to see some old friends again.

Life is weird, but God is good. I am still alive, and there are people who love and care for me, for which I am very grateful.

I need to make myself write more. Probably not on the blog, but I keep coming up with ideas I want to get down on paper and work out and then being too scared to sit down and write. So my head gets stuffed, and things don't get sorted out. Not good.

I think I'm scared of reading too. Which is daft. But it's like I can't read any serious books, because I won't understand them, or be able to talk about them properly. I'm not sure. But there's definitely fear there. I dreamt the other day that I was talking to someone about books and they started on a subject I knew nothing about - French poetry, I think - and I just had nothing to say, so I laughed and said something like, "I recognise all those words, but I have idea what you're talking about." Which is totally not what I'd do in real life. I'm a terrible bluffer; I hate to be wrong or to be found wanting. Maybe there's a solution there, to be able to admit when I don't know stuff and laugh about it. And learn. I may not know everything, but I want to. Is that a useful aim in life, or am I just setting myself up to fail? I suppose one can keep learning to the end of life.

What about beyond? Will we still be learning in eternity?

I shall stop now and lay my befuddled head down to sleep. And pray for deep and peaceful rest.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thank you!

To the lovely anonymous person who paid my next month's rent: Thank you so much!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Thursday

I thought it was time the last rather plaintive post got moved off the top of the blog. Some days I'm OK, some days I'm not. Actually, the good days mostly outweigh the really bad days. But then not many days are free from hopeless moments.

Yesterday was good. I went swimming first thing in the morning with a couple of friends and then had breakfast in a cafe. I hadn't been swimming in ages and it was good to do some exercise and brilliant to spend breakfast chatting to Lizzie and Rachel. I was fairly worn out for the rest of the day though. I sometimes forget how tired I can get, do too much and wear myself out. It's frustrating. Still, it was good to be tired out by exercise rather than tired out by doing nothing.

I'm doing a lot of knitting, in between looking for and applying for jobs. I'm spending a lot of time on Facebook and reading blogs. I'm barely reading any books. That feels really strange. I've always been a bookworm, but now I seem to have gone off reading. Maybe my brain just needs a break. It's probably getting enough escapist entertainment from my dreams (still vivid, but mostly not scary unless I'm worrying about something.) I'm supposed to be having a break from studying, so I shall just wait and not force myself to read when I don't feel like it. It's just odd.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I don't know what to say

I am alive. I am breathing. I am sad. I am trying not to worry.

I'm going out for a stomp in the woods.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

things I would like to do

A list written in the middle of last night when I couldn't sleep. Some of which are achievable, some of which are dreams.
  • Find a job
  • Do Pilates
  • Lose weight
  • Go to the gym
  • Sing more
  • Go to Rev again
  • Take more photos
  • Have a dinner party
  • Laugh more
  • Paint my wall
  • Get rid of stuff I don't need
  • Ride horses
  • Find a husband
  • Go dancing
  • Go for more long walks in the countryside
  • Walk to Ely
  • Go swimming
  • Cook for friends
  • Go to parties and not be scared
  • Go to parties and not stuff my face
  • Listen to God more
  • Sing prophetic songs
  • Knit another jumper I wear as much as Forecast (Of which that is a very unflattering picture)
  • Find some perfect jeans
  • Make people happy
  • Visit friends
  • Go out and socialise more
  • Not be scared
  • Not be afraid or ashamed of being me

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday, achey

It's been a strange week. I'm sure it must be Saturday already? I'm very very tired and achey, think I'm going down with something. :-(

Still, on the positive side, there have been lots of fun times with friends and family this week. I'm getting lots of sleep. I've hardly had to cook for myself all week. (Actually I mostly like cooking, but I've not had the energy for it much lately). I have filled in forms and registered with agencies. I'm not quite completely broke, yet. I have lots of lovely friends, here in Cambridge and elsewhere in the world.

Can I go back to sleep now?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

what next?

I've had a few days of fun and relaxation. Now I'm back to being stressed again. The weird dreams seemed to have gone, before returning with a vengeance last night. I suspect the fact that I knew I was planning to start job-hunting properly today made me feel tense and my sub-conscious reacted by producing scary monsters and a set of disconcerting nested dreams I kept trying to shake myself awake from, with no success. Why does my brain do that? Just when I could do with a good night's sleep, it goes crazy and weird. :-(

Today, I have been mostly filling in temp agency forms and trying not to pick fights with Americans. Tonight, I'm helping Liz strip wallpaper. Tomorrow, who knows?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

finishing things

Today I finished my last essay for a while. The next one is my dissertation, which I can't face at the moment, so I'm taking some time off and coming back to it in February. Or later. Or maybe never. Who knows. But today I filled in the forms to intermit for a semester.

Today I also finished the video editing and uploading I've been doing at the place I worked for until a year ago. So, approximately a year after I left, I actually finished working there.

Next week, I must start looking for a job in earnest. For the next few days I'm going to relax, sleep lots and generally flop.

Monday, September 01, 2008

technicolour dreaming

I have been having the weirdest dreams. Super-vivid glorious technicolour dreams directed by Cecil B. deMille or Busby Berkeley or George A. Romero. Dreams so vivid they seem more real then reality sometimes. I keep flashing back to things I remember and can't quite work out whether I dreamt them, or they really happened. So far, I've not misremembered or invented anything important, but it's getting harder to tell.

Sometimes my dreams are entertaining, mostly they're odd, occasionally they're downright disturbing and distressing. I wake up frightened in the middle of the night or so unsettled I can't sleep. In the morning, I'm more tired than when I went to bed. I almost dread going to sleep because I don't know what's going to greet me, monsters, wombats, shrinking houses, bullying armies or giant slides. For a while, it was funny, but now it's not. I'm not sleeping properly, I can't concentrate.

I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow and I'm going to tell her about my dreams and see what she suggests. I suspect it might be a side-effect of the anti-depressants I'm taking. If so, then perhaps switching to something else will make the dreams go away. I hope so.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

a walk in the woods

There's a little patch of beech woods I've been visiting about once a week since about March this year. When I first went, the trees were bare and bleak, black silhouettes against a clouded sky. I've seen the first leaves appear, bright zinging green, seen them sway in the wind and shade me from the summer sun. I've been there in the rain, in the sunshine, on cloudy days. I've sat and been miserable there and been just about OK and been happy and been barely holding it together. I've drawn what I can see. I've drawn what I can't see. I've drawn how I feel. Now the trees are covered in dark green leaves, but I can see them beginning to turn yellow and brown. I'm looking forward to watching the autumn colours sweep across the trees. Already, there are blackberries on the brambles and beech masts crunching underfoot. There are brown speckled butterflies and huge snails climbing slender twigs and squirrels doing acrobatics. Once I stood under a tree and watched and listened to a blackbird singing on the topmost branch.

It's my place to be. Just be, breathe, watch, wait, listen.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

holiday!

I'm off on holiday today! I'm getting a train to Wales. The sun is shining, right now. It's a good day.

I suspect I'm unlikely to post anything for the next fortnight. See you when I get back!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

better wednesday

It's Wednesday again and I'm feeling OK. I've been sleeping better the last few nights and though I'm still very tired (and soooooo ready to go on holiday. Just a few more days to wait) I'm feeling positive. Yesterday I finished an essay (woo hoo!). I might try to finish another one by the end of the week. Not going to push it though. There are lots of little pottery things I want to do in the next couple of days (that's pottery as in pottering about, not pottery as in ceramics) like make a laptop case, tidy my room a bit, pack, obviously.

Yawn! So ready for a holiday!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I don't like wednesdays

Or they don't like me. Wednesday always seems to bring a dip in energy. Today I'm tired and tense. I didn't sleep very well last night or the night before. Last week, Wednesday was my worst day. Maybe my body objects to working more than two days in a row? I had two good getting up and going to the library days on Monday and Tuesday and now I'm flopping.

What have I done? I went for a walk in the woods, had a snooze, had some lunch. Maybe I'll venture out now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

sleepy thursday


sleepy thursday, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I should go to the library. But I'm sleepy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ray of light

I've been away for a few days in Kent, on the Isle of Sheppey, where the family of my friend Lizzie have a holiday cottage. It's been wonderful. The sun shone, the sea was warm(ish), the beach was quiet. I've been doing lots of nothing much, sitting around reading books, playing a bit of tennis and scrabble, swimming in the sea, stroking the dog and lying in the sun.

It all felt like a lovely break from Cambridge and worry. I was so tired last week. I'm sleepy now, but in a relaxed sort of way, rather than feeling exhausted. Plus I had a long day travelling yesterday and my arm muscles are still aching from tennis. Today I'll take it easy, maybe get to the library this afternoon, but not try to do much. Tomorrow, back properly to my essay, which was going pretty well last week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

sleep, busy, sleep

That's not how life is supposed to be going, but sometimes it feels like it. How did it get to be Wednesday? I'm trying not to do too much, but still end up feeling exhausted by the end of the day. Sleep isn't exactly refreshing when you dream that you keep being woken up or beaten up by random people. (I think last night it was Billie Piper demanding that I tell her where to find the Doctor. Weird).

Today I went to the UL, which is a little energy-sapping in itself. At least it didn't nearly make me cry this time. I had a bit more of a clue about how the classmarks worked and managed to find what I needed first go. And I found the photocopiers and bought a card and copied the articles I wanted, so that's an achievement. Now I actually have to read what I've copied. Maybe not tonight though. Tonight I flop.

Monday, July 14, 2008

talk to the bear


talk to the bear, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I'm hiding in my cave.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

sunday night in purple


sunday night in purple, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I remember reading a book in which the heroine (a princess) had amethyst eyes. The Ordinary Princess maybe? Or was her name Amethyst? Anyway, the idea appealed. My eyes aren't purple, of course. They're blue-grey, sometimes greenish, depending on the light and what I'm wearing. If I did have amethyst eyes, would I have to have green skin to match?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday night photobooth

It's Sunday night. I like Sundays. They're full of praise and worship and people and fun and general good stuff. I'm wearing purple sparkly eyeliner because it's that sort of day.

Tomorrow is Monday. I'm feeling a little trepidatious about Monday. I want to go to the library and do useful work. So that is what I shall try to do. I'm scared though. That's what I tried to do last week. I managed to write stuff on Monday and Tuesday, freaked out and barely tried on Wednesday and Thursday, got to the library and wrote about one sentence before panicking on Friday. Still, in the previous umpteen weeks, I'd done nothing, so that's got to be progress, right?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

twirly

It's silly o'clock in the morning and I'm awake. The birds are singing and the sky is getting lighter.

I ache a little after getting knocked off my bike yesterday. I was overtaking another cyclist, who turned right, straight into me. I flew off, scraping my knees and elbow and smacking my head on the tarmac. Fortunately it was on Trinity Street, so there were no cars and I was wearing my helmet, which saved my head. I think I sort of went over the handlebars though, since there's a painful bruise on my stomach.

I'm not sure if pain woke me up, or strange dreams. I'm having lots of vivid dreams at the moment. This one was continuing the book I was reading yesterday. (The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill.) It's good, but a little more scary than I'm used to, somehow. Stopping in the middle, before anything's had a chance to be resolved is probably a recipe for unsettled dreams.

Curiously, in my dream, I knew it wasn't real. I knew God was in control and everything was going to be all right. Which is very comforting.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I wish I knew how it would feel to be free

It's a bad day. I'm sitting in the library, staring at a computer screen, staring at my notes, my hands, my books, wondering what the point is. Today my brain feels fuzzy, my throat hurts. I feel unreal, as if everything I can see is an illusion, a mirage my hands would slip through if I tried to grasp it.

When will this end? When will I feel real again? When will the sun shine?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

iLove


photo booth pic, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Hello there! I'm still alive and I now have a shiny shiny MacBook.

Thanks to everyone who's praying for me and being friendly. I'm still up and down, but on the whole more up than down and much better than I was a month or so ago.

Monday, June 16, 2008

can wombats swim?

Wom's been on his adventures again. Go and see.

monday morning comes around again

It's Monday. I woke up late this morning and I'm still sleepy. It's sort of sunny. It's been a good weekend. Spent Saturday knitting on Parker's Piece and listening to poetry. Yesterday was church and lunch out and an afternoon hanging out at a friend's house.

Life is still up and down. I'm very tired. Sometimes I'm OK. Sometimes I'm sad and fed up with life. There's not much else to report. I felt so much better after the lakes weekend, I thought things were going to be all better from there. But then I did too much, I think, made myself tired, went downhill again. Everybody's telling me to take care of myself, and I'm trying as best I can.

I'm still alive. I'm still breathing. I can still smile, sometimes. I wish I could cry.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

decobwebbed

I've had a lovely weekend. I went up to the Lake District with lots of friends from church for a weekend of walking. I was a bit worried that I'd be too tired to enjoy it, but actually I had fun. I didn't push myself too hard and went slowly, but still managed to get up some steep hills and feel the wind in my hair. Sunday was the best day. We walked along Hay Stacks, above Buttermere. It was an incredibly windy day, the wind whipping up water from the tarns at the top and occasionally almost blowing us off the path. It felt so good to be blown about in the wind and to see all the beautiful hills and lakes. I felt more alive than I have in ages.

Now I'm back in Cambridge, feeling tired, but tired because I've done lots, rather than because I've done nothing much. I'm still going to take things slowly and not rush back into work and studying, but it does feel like I've turned a corner and things are getting better.

Monday, May 12, 2008

powered by prayer and prozac

Hello. I'm not dead, still alive. And the above is true, though when I say powered, I mean just about OK if a bit tired on a good day and hanging in there but exhausted and tearful on a bad day.

To fill you in. I had a fluey illness in late March, which wiped me out pretty completely. I've not really had much energy since then, I've been tired and feeling like I'm made of lead and fairly low. I first went to the doctors a couple of weeks after I first got ill because my cough symptoms were taking a long time to go and I knew something wasn't right. The doctor I saw then listened to my chest, told me I was fine and not to worry. So I went away. But although the cough went away, the tiredness and fuzziness and downness didn't. So I went back again a couple of weeks ago, saw a different doctor, told her how I felt, physically and mentally and she listened. A few weeks and some bloodtests later, we're beginning to make progress. It looks like the illness I had in March was glandular fever which would explain how much it wiped me out then and how tired I am now. I'm on antidepressants, as of a few days ago, so it'll be a while before they kick in. I'm applying to delay my uni essays until August since I haven't been able to do much work. On a bad day, I can barely read. I'm asking for help wherever I can, and getting it. Most of all, I've got lots of lovely friends around who are looking out for me and praying for me and being encouraging.

I'm still very up and down. I had a tiring weekend, with lots of walking and standing around on Saturday for Debs' MA graduation, singing in the worship band at church yesterday. I didn't sleep very well last night and woke up early, as usual. I think today may be a sitting on the settee not doing very much sort of day. It's going to take time to get better. Still, having admitted that life isn't OK right now and asked for help, there's a certain feeling of relief that I'm not on my own and I don't have to bottle stuff up inside and deal with it all by myself anymore.

I don't really know what's going to happen next. There's a PhD studentship I want to apply for, but the deadline is Friday and right now I'm not in the best frame of mind for selling myself as a wonderful research prospect. I can't even think coherently about my MA dissertation, yet alone a potential PhD one.

All I can do is keep on breathing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

clipped wings

The blog's been intermittent for a while now, hasn't it? It's probably going to stay that way. I hesitate to declare it dead. It may yet revive. But posts will continue to be light, until I feel a little better about life. I could use it to document how I feel, but that might become a little monotonous and I'm not a great sharer of my privacy.

If you want to say hello and don't already know where to find me, my email address is in my profile. Prayers and hellos gratefully received.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

eating surrealists for breakfast

This morning, I seem to have lost all logic. My brain is working slowly and with a high degree of nonsense. This makes half-listening to the radio rather entertaining. If you half listen to Women's Hour with a fuzzy brain, they could be talking about anything, flying fish, lobsters, sheep. At the moment they're talking about women in the army, but I can't make it make sense. It's a sort of stream of sounds with the occasional noun which sticks out. You know the bit in Mrs Dalloway when the birds are speaking Greek? Today, that makes total sense to me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

ooh look, a book

Anna Broadway's blog Sexless in the City makes me laugh and scratch my head and laugh a bit more, being about the trials and tribulations of love and dating as a Christian girl. (The head-scratching is caused by my lack of knowledge of American dating culture, mostly). She hasn't blogged much for ages, but we'll forgive her because she's been writing a book (which you can pre-order here from Amazon.com. Not available on Amazon.co.uk currently. Dunno if it's going to be published over here, but maybe if enough people look interested...)

(And she's running a draw for a free copy if you mention her book in a blog post.)

And there's a book soundtrack on iTunes too. (Again, iTunes.com not iTunes.co.uk). Which intrigues me. It's rather UltraWordesque.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

see pigs fly

If you go to Debs's blog you can

a) Tell her how lovely she looks

b) See if you agree with her about whether she needs a haircut

and

c) See the flying pigs I painted on our parents' dining room wall.

Friday, March 28, 2008

so tired

Tiredness seems to be the story of my life at the moment. I was sleepy at the beginning of the week, by Tuesday, sleepy had become ill. I spent Wednesday and Thursday mostly curled up inside reading Bleak House (which I can thoroughly recommend, ill or not). Today I'm a bit better, back in work, but rapidly running out of energy. I think I may be back on the settee with Esther Summerson this afternoon. So much for all the essay writing I was planning on doing. Maybe next week?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

a very snowy Easter

The weather forecast threatened snow. I didn't believe it, until yesterday, driving to Melton Mowbray for a family lunch to celebrate my Grandad's 80th birthday, when we drove through patches of every kind of weather you can think of - rain, hail, snow flurries, bright sunshine, a low fuzzy rainbow across the motorway.

This morning, I woke up early and looked out to find the world covered in whiteness. I cycled to church slowly, enjoying the quietness of the roads, making the first tracks on the cycle paths.

By the time I left church, the peaceful atmosphere was shattered as the snow began to thaw into large slushy puddles. It wasn't what you expect to happen on Easter Sunday, but then, neither was the first one.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the internet cannot tell you who you are

Having a down and grumpy day, for no particular reason. So I'm sitting here playing with blogs and facebook and email and somehow expecting that to make me happier. And it doesn't. So I shall turn off the computer and go away and find something to do that might. Preferably something NOT involving food.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I went for a bike ride


beeches - roots, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

and I found a hill and some beech trees.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

frustration

Life is mostly OK at the moment, but I'm frustrated by the fact that my back STILL hurts. After about 6 weeks. It's not as horribly painful as it was in the first couple of weeks, but I'm still not sleeping well and sitting is painful, which doesn't help my work get done.

On the positive side, I have a physio appointment on Monday morning, which is much sooner than I expected. And I do have some stuff to take at night which is supposed to deaden the nerve activity, though it hasn't noticably kicked in yet.

Patience, Bekki, patience.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

earthquake?

I got woken up by an earthquake last night. Which is the sort of thing I'd expect my friend in Indonesia to blog about, but no, there was an eathquake in England last night. According to the BBC News website "The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the epicentre of the 5.3 magnitude quake was near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire."

I woke up because my bed was shaking. I wasn't entirely sure whether I was dreaming or being woken up by a large lorry going past or something. I checked the time, just in case it did turn out to be an earthquake and went back to sleep. So this morning, it was people's statuses on Facebook that confirmed what I'd felt and then the news. (hmm, what does that tell you about my media habits? Probably that on radio news you have to wait for headlines or news summaries to find out everything that's going on. Whereas with social networking, events that concern a large number of people in the same locality get reported almost instantly, like a small bunch of snapshots from your immediate locality.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

whee!

Yesterday was so much fun! I met a bunch of really interesting people, I wasn't (too) scared. I came away with loads of idea for my MA dissertation and (hopefully) future PhD. Yay!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

struwwelpeter fingers

I'm feeling nervous and stressed. Whenever I do, there's this ache in my fingernails, like they're growing longer and longer with the tension and perhaps if I could just cut them off, the tension would go. (It doesn't, I have tried).

I'm nervous about the conference I'm going to tomorrow, not for the conference itself, but for the meeting I've arranged at lunchtime. I feel like I've got too many things to worry about and I don't know where to start, so I worry about which one to worry about first. Most of the things I'm worrying about involve reading, writing or both and worrying impairs my ability to read.

I need to remember Matthew 6 v25-34

25 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

(ESV Bible Online)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

fuzzy photographic proof


too early butterfly, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

cameraphone pic.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

meet Wom

My sister HP and her boyfriend have a blog, Tales from Exeter, which sometimes chronicles the life of Wom the wombat. You really should go and take a look.

Part 1: Wom: A Life

Part 2: Wom's Grand Day Out

butterfly update

I found it under the radio when I was dusting. It was folded up and not moving. I thought it was dead, so I opened the window and threw it outside. It instantly wove up and fluttered down to the ground where it rested on the grass for a while. I hope the sunshine lasts long enough for it to find somewhere warm to sleep again before the cold gets to it. It's not really warm enough for butterflies yet.

Friday, February 15, 2008

february fluttering

I've just been surprised by a butterfly fluttering around my room. According to the UK butterflies website, it's a Small Tortoiseshell. Reading the page about it, it might have been hibernating in my room all winter and has now decided it's warm enough to emerge. It spent a few minutes flapping wildly at the window and is now settled between the radio and the window. I wonder what it'll do. Should I open the window and encourage it out or just leave it be? I don't regularly open that window at the moment, it's far too cold.

ETA: It's gone now. I don't know where.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

you what?

Ashes to Ashes*, right? Silliest thing ever or pure-dead-brilliant-style-over-substance-must-watch tv? Can't decide.

Can't wait for the next episode.

*Yes, I'm a bit late, I'm catching up via iPlayer again.

fooled again

Just when you think spring is just around the corner, the weather changes its mind. Today I've been surrounded by fog all day. It's wet and it's cold. Urgh!

Still, it can't last forever. And the crocuses and daffodils are coming up regardless.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

signs of spring


crocuses, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

As I cycled past the backs today, I noticed the crocuses were out behind St John's. Spring is coming!

(This picture is from last year.)

Friday, February 01, 2008

I'm OK

Thursday got better. Friday's been good, apart from an inexplicable face-ache which lasted about an hour and then went away again. A reaction to the cold wind? Sinus pain? I've no idea. Anyway, it went away and hasn't come back, so far.

I have finished knitting the jumper I started at Christmas! It's currently drying after a good bath. This should really be on the knitting blog, but that's currently on hiatus until I find a workaround to the not having a camera problem. Ho hum.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

this must be thursday

It's not been a good day so far. The bad day actually began last night when I came to unlock my bike and discovered the lock was stuck. In a very silly, but impossible way. There was little point trying to fix it in the dark, so I left it until this morning. Today, I woke up later than I intended, managed to break a necklace and send beads all over the floor and in the process of clearing it up, knocked a vase of flowers over and spilt water all over the floor. When trying to throw the flowers in the green bin, I discovered the keys to the back door were at work because I'd discovered them in my pocket yesterday, not recognised them and decided someone at work must have put them in my coat pocket by mistake. (Seemed logical at the time, but rather less so now.)

I have now freed the bike, using nail clippers and tidied up the mess, but the whole business has left me feeling stressed and frustrated and unsettled before I've even done anything. And it's windy and raining, so I'm staying in the warm until the rain goes away, hoping nothing else breaks.

Friday, January 18, 2008

fear of museums

Yesterday I went to London for the day* and went to the Horniman Museum and Tate Modern. The Horniman is an intriguing museum in Forest Hill with an odd mixture of things - natural history displays of stuffed animals, ethnographic/anthropological collections, a huge collection of musical instruments, a lovely aquarium in the basement and lots of other stuff. It was the first two I found unsettling. I'd forgetton how much museums can freak me out. It's stuffed animals mostly, especially when there are cases close together, so that there's always another case directly behind you and when the lighting level is low. I know it's irrational, but it's a real effort to make myself walk round corners and look at things. I gave up on the natural history cases pretty quickly, although I did have a good look at the case of extinct birds (Dodo, Great Auk, Passenger pigeon etc, all with their sad stories) and the huge over-stuffed walrus. (Its skin is naturally loose and folded, but the person doing the taxidermy didn't know this and produced an immense beast which a smooth skin, which now sits proudly on an iceburg shaped plinth in the middle of the gallery.) The anthropological stuff in the centenary Gallery wasn't much better. Too many plaster heads and statues and more close together cases and low lighting. I fled in the end, much earlier than I'd meant.

Having rediscovered my museumphobia, I wondered again why I love the Pitt Rivers so much. It has everything that I ought to hate, not much room between the cases, low light levels, shrunken heads and statues. Maybe because it's a sort of test to myself to go in there. Maybe because it knows it's a bit scary and revels in it (there's a brilliant Tim Hunkin collection box in which anthropologists with red eyes point accusing fingers as you approach.)

The Tate is rather less scary on the face of it, but potentially just as unsettling. I duly followed Doris Salcedo's Shibboleth along the turbine hall floor and then wandered the galleries. I tried to resist finding old friends and look at new stuff. I spent a long time watching animations by William Kentridge. They're beautifully made with drawings in charcoal and pastels (I think), each drawing changing and dissolving, as bits are erased and redrawn, leaving palimpsests behind them as characters or objects move about. The short films are set in South Africa in the 80s and 90s, surreally depicting the activities of an exploitative businessman called Soho Eckstein. One memorable image is in Mine (1991) in which the plunger of a cafetiere pushed down by Eckstein lounging in bed pushes down and down, becoming the mineshaft, drilling away and creating the structures of slavery - the infamous plan of a slave ship, a half built pyramid, the showers and bunks of the mine.

Finally, I went and stared at a Mark Rothko. I don't think I've ever done that before. I remember one of my OU tutors talking about Rothko and saying of sitting and staring at his paintings for a long time "The damn things move!". I can see what he means now. I didn't spend as long as I'd have liked, the gallery was closing, but as I stared and moved round the painting and looked at it from close to and far away and from different angles, it seemed to change and shift. The gallery blurb describes the paintings as 'brooding', which seems fitting. Next time you're in London, go!

*Saying that feels weird. London's my home town, but it's not home anymore, Cambridge is. Last night someone asked where I was from and I said Cambridge because that's where I live now. It's true, but it feels odd.

ETA: One lovely thing about the Horniman is its gardens. Green spaces in London are always special; this one is at the top of a hill, with a gorgeous view across London, has a bandstand and an enclosure with goats and geese and chickens and a rabbit and lots of bits of interesting garden and sculpture. I sat on a bench and ate my lunch admiring the view. It was a little bit cold and damp, but I sat on a plastic bag and braved the odd stares of parents with pushchairs and dog walkers.

Another lovely thing is the aquarium, which was full of very small primary school children getting excited at fish and crabs and frogs (especially the bright blue poison arrow frogs.) My favourite thing in the whole museum is the jelly fish tank. There's a large white rectangular window with curved corners, inside which white moon jellyfish swim around against a deep blue background, illuminated by blueish (maybe UV?) light. The effect is simple, beautiful and abstract, fitting these gorgeous, otherworldy creatures.

Monday, January 14, 2008

it's done now

Despite all the obstacles, the essay's done, printed and handed in. Phew!

And I've been watching Dr Who. Don't even blink! Brilliant!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

displacement

I have an essay which is due in tomorrow. It needs work. I've already had one deadline extension (just as well, I had no brain from Tuesday to Friday or thereabouts). I really need to get it mostly finished tonight so I can tidy it up in the morning.

So naturally, I'm blogging.

Hmm.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

can I have my brain back please?

I think somebody stole it. I've spent another day feeling woozy and energy-less. I did do an hour's scribbling, but that's as close as I can get to working on my essay. I can't seem to focus properly. Probably I shouldn't even be trying, but even with a deadline extension to Monday, it feels like it's never going to get done.

Maybe another good night's sleep will help? I don't know. I'm beginning to despair of ever feeling normal again, but it can't last forever.

At least I can fill in time with my new favourite thing - BBC iPlayer. (Only, why does it not work with Firefox? Grr.) Last night I watched Sense and Sensibility and Pop! What is it good for?. Tonight, probably more of BBC4's pop analysis stuff and maybe some Dr Who. Comfort TV has got to be better than comfort eating.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

the trouble with Austen

I do love a good costume drama romance. The current BBC adaptation of Sense and Sensibility being a case in point. I wonder though, whether they're quite good for one. However tangled and supense-filled the romantic upsets and twists and turns, there's always a happy ending, the heroine always finds her man, although she usually learns some important lessons on the way. Do they paint a picture that's too neat, too hopeful, too much certainty of finding love and marriage? Perhaps. But the process of learning is important too. Jane Austen's heroines don't get their husbands on a plate, they must learn and change first, whether that means leaving behind sily notions of gothic romance or wrong first impressions. It's the humanity of the process that makes the novels more than silly romances and that makes them last, as well as Austen's wit and narrative voice. Perhaps they're not a bad impression of finding love after all. I think it's just the apparent inevitabilty of the process that worries me. Hmm.

a little more time

I asked, I got an extension 'til Monday. I've been in bed all day, too woozy to read, so knitting. I hope an early night tonight will help too and I'll be able to do a bit of work tomorrow.

Hmm, this is a really boring blog at the moment, isn't it? Sorry.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

fuzzy fuzzy clouds

If you're well enough to write coherent sentences but not well enough to structure an argument, are you ill enough to get a deadline extension?

If I don't feel better by tomorrow morning, I think I shall ask.

Friday, January 04, 2008

locked in the library

Not literally, but I've been here all day, working on the essay that's due in on Monday. I've made pretty good progress today. Nearly at 4000 words, another push tomorrow and it should be done, with a day in hand to tidy it up. At least that's the plan.

I now know more about Bartholomew Fair, William Poel and the Elizabethan stage company and Renaissance lath and plaster than I did this morning. And I have a slightly sore feeling throat which I hope is just the result of too much dry air conditioned air and not the start of something nasty.

My brain is quite tired. Home soon to wind down with knitting or a (non-work) book or just sleep.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's 2008!

Happy New Year everybody!