Sunday, 30 April 2017

An Armoire: Not A Wardrobe

Bollocks!   I'm going through one of those periods in life where nothing is straightforward.   The wardrobe pallaver that is going on right now is a case in point.  I bought this beauty from Ebay the other day as I've needed one for the spare room since I moved into the house nearly two years ago.   'So what's it doing in the dining room?'  You may well ask.  The bloody thing doesn't fit up the stairs!

It looked like it was held together with hundreds of screws, like a posh flatpack.  So I took them all out. The wardrobe remained resolutely intact.  A closer inspection revealed some nifty joints and a hell of a lot of very strong glue indeed.  Arse!   All efforts shed my fishwife capacity for swearing were going out of the window.

My boys call themselves my poofter warriors, on call to lend a helping hand and defend me to the last against marauders.  So that's why I called Mr Metrosexual.   'I need a burly poof!' I cried, using the term fondly as a term of endearment.    'I'll pop round' he said.

When he arrived he was cross.  I've been used to being self reliant for years and, ignoring manual handling advice, had tried to take things into my own hands.   Consequently my utility tallboy that had been in the dining room alcove was on the landing halfway up the stairs.  It was a  bit of a squeeze to get past   A lovely old gentleman's wardrobe that normally sits on the outside Louis'  loft room was wedged on the bannisters.  'What the f**k!' he exclaimed.  It was his turn to get sweary.

I'm resigned to the fact that I've bought an armoire.  It's very French to have something that looks like a wardrobe in your kitchen-diner.  And maybe it's not such a bad thing.  The door of the cupboard under the stairs is always open because the coats aren't a good fit.  And there's always shoes in the hall.  They could go in there too.  So I thought that Louis' wardrobe could come down from the attic and go in the spare room and he could have the tallboy to replace it.  He never hangs anything up anyway.

The combined efforts of me and Mr Metrosexual were not sufficient to effect the change around although the wardrobe is back in the attic and the tallboy is now in the spare room.  The job is half done.  I'll show you the transformation once all my furniture is in its intended spaces in the house.  All I need to do to achieve that is find a burlier helper!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Book vs. Kindle

'Okay Joo,' you might be thinking.  'If you're writing a post about books, kindles and the like, then why have you got a picture of a gramophone.  Ah ha!  There's a tenuous link.  Apparently record players have made a comeback among today's young people.  And I read somewhere that the experts don't think that this is a craze. They're here to stay.

So vinyl sales are up even though I'm happy myself to stick to Spotify.  Never in my wildest imagination as a teenager did I think that I could have instant access to all the music I could ever want.  It is a dream come true. But even though I favour hi-tech when it comes to my music, I've never been that way with my reading material.

Although I've downloaded a few books to my phone I've never be a Kindle owner. Give me a good old fashioned paper book any time.  I spend enough time staring at screens as it is.   The only time that I think I'll possibly favour e-books is when Louis leaves home and I resume my wilderness backpacking adventures.   A book was always the luxury item that I carried but only ever one.  It was torture if I'd finished it in the middle of nowhere.  A tablet based library would solve that problem and be lighter.  For the weight that is carried is constantly on the mind of the long distance hiker.

I was super pleased to read in this Guardian article that sales of proper books are on the increase too.  Long may it last for they are tactile beautiful things that smell lush when they are new.  As if to confirm the trend I nearly bumped into a very funky young girl the other day.  She was not looking where she was going.  I wouldn't have given it a second thought if she'd be staring at her phone but no.  She had her nose in a book.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Brock at Bedtime

A dream the other night involved a badger.  It was snuggled up in a bed of leaves peeping out of the entrance of his sett.  Funny because the day before I'd popped into Social Services and they'd been rooting through a book about dream interpretation.  Some of the stuff they'd been reading sounded like it had been made up whilst someone had been guzzling a gin and tonic....or three.

'I bet that book has nothing about badgers.'  I said as I waltzed back in to see my colleagues.   Their office is somewhere that I frequent often as  I often get peckish and they're seldom without chocolate.    I make up the lamest of excuses for visiting.   To my surprise those furry black and white faced critters were featured.  Their nocturnal appearance has something to do with perseverance in the face of hardship.  That figures.     The nest was a good sign.  It means my problems will be solved by determination.  It seems the odds are much better for me than poor Linda who'd dreamed about a rampaging lion!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Tweet Tweet

I'm late blogging today.  My computer decided it was really important to spend two hours updating Windows without a by your leave or with  your leave! In olden times I would have caused me to go into meltdown but I'm more philosophical these days  For being fretful and impatient only causes inner suffering. So I've turned my morning around instead and have already meditated and been out for a chilly run.  Weird weather we're having. It was snowing in Brixham on Monday when I arrived home.

I thought I'd give you an update of the little business, Dementia Consultant, that I'm trying to get going alongside full time NHS employment.   Of course I'd like things to move faster but  only have so many hours in the week.  It seems that I can't move quickly enough with the time I've got.  The need for patience and acceptance seem constant themes in many aspects of my life.  Best go with the flow.

I've got a little document where I jot down everything that I achieve towards building my business empire.  I review it on a week by week basis and it helps me to see how far I've moved forward.  After all a couple of months ago the website didn't exist.  This week I've already chosen an accountant, blogged ahead and declared my business interests to my employer.  That last one is important.  I'm keen for everything to be above board.  That's the boring stuff.  What I got really excited about it was that for the first time one of my blog posts that I put on Twitter got retweeted.  Not just once but fifteen times!

Even though my posts from  Lovely Grey Day go over to Twitter automatically I've never paid it much attention.  But Salty Dog, my social media guru, said that it was important to build a following and so I obeyed.  And I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying it.  I love reading what other people have posted and get quite excited every time I get a new follower.    If you're a
tweeter too, follow me.  Go on, it will make my day!  And just in case you're interested here's the link to that post that was shared multiple times in the tweetosophere.   It's about the importance of the language that we choose to use.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A Year On

Yesterday I realised it was a year ago to the day that I returned to work after a three month bout of depression and anxiety .  It wasn't all bad.  It taught me extremely valuable lessons, most importantly around how to demonstrate greater compassion towards others. That would have been hard to learn by any other means.  As I'm a paranoid, whinny arse when I'm ill  it's easier to accept and forgive others when they are acting in ways that would not dream of doing if they were well. Sure I see extreme examples of this all the time because I work with people with the most severe mental health problems.  But maybe the penny hadn't dropped when it came to my personal life

I also discovered that I wasn't invincible.  I didn't know that.  Each human being has a limit to what they can bear.  My threshold for stress is set very high but there was still a breaking point. Consequently I'm careful of what  I take on these days and I don't beat myself up when I need to rest.

And it's important for me to do everything possible to stay well, not just for my own sake but for Louis'.   For me being ill affected him enormously.   I could barely look after myself let alone a child as well.  Thank goodness that my co-parenting arrangements meant that I was able to take time out.  It must be almost impossible if you're a single parent coping with mental illness alone. Here's a little video that I've seen a couple of times in recent months, most recently on a safeguarding course last week.   I wish I'd know about it when I was poorly as I think it would have been helpful to share with Lou.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


Photo:  Ted-Ed
Long gone are the goth inspired days of my late teens and early twenties when I had a wardrobe full of grey and black garb.  I love using colour these days in my house and in what I wear.  It makes for a much cheerier world.

Maybe that's why I was drawn to this work by scientist Tal Danino. You can read about it here on the Ted-Ed Blog.  When he's not doing research  using bacteria to fight cancers he persuades the little critters to go forth, multiply in their petri dishes and make very intriguing art.

Monday, 24 April 2017

A Weepie

In the course of working on getting my fledging business up and running over the weekend I came across this clever little film by Ryan McCarvill .  It's only short so you can all watch it in your coffee break.  But I'll warn you.  You'll need tissues.