Thursday, 17 December 2015


I think I have a touch of depression going on here, which I only mention because Jo was wondering the other day if we should talk about that kind of thing, and I think 'Yes, we should'. I'm not trying to bring anyone down and I doubt I will by saying that, but I know what a difference it makes to me when other people blog about their black monsters. Mine is making me sleepy all day just now. It's making me choose wrong foods and a blissful glass of wine at night, when really what I need is vegetables and sleep. It's making me dread going out for a run, even though when I finally do get out there it feels like bliss and balm and tonic and healing. It's making me bitch at people I should be friendly to. It's making me want to watch tv instead of going to the shops and finally getting some fruit (I shared the last tiny pockmarked apple between two fruit boxes this morning).

Ah, but I have a plan! I will run later, and I will take Jack with me. We have a very healthy dynamic going on where neither of us wants to stop running because we don't want to be weaker than the other. (It works, shut up.) I will have a warm shower and feel grateful for it. I will read Zen Habits. I will go to the shops. I will buy green things and red things and yellow things which look like they have come from the earth rather than a factory. I will come home and I will chop these things up and cook them with love for my family. I will listen to BBC Radio 4, starting with Woman's Hour in fifteen minutes. I will finish knitting the cushion cover I abandoned a couple of days ago. I will maybe even do some ironing. Perhaps. I will try to listen to Leo Babauta (yes, Zen Habits again) when he talks about the obstacles to creation and how to overcome them. I will pay particular attention to the bits which deal with self-doubt and failure and inner negative voices. I will try not to have a beer while I'm cooking later. Not even if all three children are whining. I will have a healthy snack at the ready. Nuts, fruit, sparkling water. I will get to bed at a reasonable time. Ten. I will not watch tv before I sleep. I will be kind to myself about feeling sleepy and sad and grumpy. I will try my very best to be kind to myself.

What do you do to get back on top of life? I could do with some extra ideas.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Best shitty comment ever

Well so I got this anonymous comment yesterday on an old post I did about Dutch toilets, the most salient feature of which is that they have a shelf built in which displays one's product for one's admiration before flushing (if you have never visited such a toilet, I recommend you click that link - it has a picture and everything (of a clean toilet, not of a product-filled toilet - it is safe))*:
I have a problem with Dutch toilets. I eat a lot of fiber, and commonly produce semi-rigid logs approaching half a meter in length. When I'm in the Netherlands, I find that I often have to squat on top of the rim just to have enough clearance to drop a load. I love almost all things Dutch, but the toilets are not my favorites.
--- anonymous
I think that comment by itself is almost enough to make this whole blog worth it.

I'm a little bit jealous of this person, who obviously is in control of their life enough to eat plenty of fiber and not get distracted by - ooh, chocolate, and ooh, white bread... Also, they are enjoying more food than I am - unless they are not regular, of course. With the amount I allow myself to eat these days to sustain my healthier weight, I could not produce anything that might merit the description 'semi-rigid log' unless I only went once a week, and then it still wouldn't be half a meter long. I do notice the visitor said 'commonly produce' rather than 'regularly produce' - perhaps (it is after all a travel-related comment) they are a fellow sufferer of safe toilet syndrome, one of my many maladies. A fellow sufferer then with strong thigh muscles, another thing I am slightly envious of, as I see a mention there of squatting over the bowl, a trick I have never been able to pull off. I have attempted it on numerous occasions, but I have always had to resort to painstakingly covering the entire seat in toilet paper, sometimes even in two layers when the paper is too thin, or the locale too disgusting.

I felt the need to share that with you. I will just leave it here, unflushed as it were. It's funny how blog posts are like poos in many ways. Just when you think you will never again produce one, and everything hurts, out it comes.

* If you are, like I am, a toilet connoisseur, may I also refer you to the delights of this one - my ultimate love in all things lavatory.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Ah well, fuck it then

So I thought I might get published and now I'm not, and that is fine, because really I am happy to spend time with the children, but at the same time I must admit I got ALL my hopes up and it's never fun to have them crushed and then shat on and then for good measure laughed out of the room. BUT but but butt butt I'm not giving up, and I get knocked down but I get up again, and what doesn't kill me makes me stronger, and all the other wisdom I have picked up along the way. It will be fine. I don't know where my happiness will come from. And I'm very happy being home with my children and taking care of them. And writing. Which I will keep doing. And I will just have to think of an even better plan to convince an even better publisher to take me on.
(I never got laughed out of the room. Got quite a bit of encouragement, really.)

Moving on. I am. Really.

My shoulder keeps hurting and my neck, and my arm and hand keep going numb, and now I'm wondering if it's cancer in my lymph nodes, my breast or my brain. It's tiring sometimes being a hypochondriac. And it makes me not sleep. Which is another reason why it's best that I didn't get published because who wants to put on clean clothes and get in a car and go anywhere when they can do the ironing (or watch tv) in tracksuit bottoms or in trousers with a tomato stain on them. Really? But I've moved on from that.

As I write this, I have a nearly-teenager who keeps coming past and scowling at me. I'm so nasty, making him empty the dishwasher while I'm at the computer doing absolutely no chores whatsoever. Life is so unfair!!!

I just needed to come here and complain a little because that's why I couldn't write here any more, and now it's out and I hope maybe other things will come.