The Menopause Diaries

Ever since I had my jab on Wednesday afternoon I have been waiting for myself to go off like a giant, hormonal bomb of menopause. I have woken up every morning undergoing a kind of inventory. Moustache? Nope. Hot flush? Nope. Dried out husk like appearance? Nope.

It has only been two days, but the consultant was quite firm in listing side effects, general menopausal effects and the idea that rather than drip feeding me the menopause over say, two years, I would be getting it all in one big blast. I don’t think she quite meant within forty eight hours, but better safe than sorry. Don’t want any sneaky symptoms creeping up and taking me by surprise.

So I have been prodding away at myself suspiciously, like something the cat has dragged in, and it is mostly making me laugh at myself a lot. I am not very good at medication and apart from over the counter migraine medication I don’t take anything, ever, so I have a lot of preconceptions about what drugs will and won’t do. It seems I think they are like a medical magic wand.

I have had some symptoms, but then I am five days away from a period, so this is not entirely surprising. What is surprising however, is how mild the symptoms are. Could this be because of being jabbed in the arse with a giant needle on Wednesday afternoon? If it is, they can jab me in the arse every Wednesday from now till kingdom come if they want.

So far:

Mild and sporadic nausea rather than not being able to cook/eat or sit in the same room where food is being consumed.

Sore boobs – meh. I can live with, do live with this. Feeling like my tits have been trapped in a drawer is not great, but it’s on the tolerable end of the spectrum.

Mild cramping and that weird sense that the world is going to fall out your vagina.

A headache which is heading into its 24th hour, which is unpleasant, but which is only a headache and not a migraine.

This is all. Everything. The lot.

Seven days before my last period I felt like the world was going to end. Emotionally I had had it and physically things weren’t in much better shape.

God knows if it’s the drugs, but right now I don’t care and I’m counting my blessings, every last one.

 

 

Gynaecological Wonder

I had my gynaecology appointment at the hospital yesterday. Those of you who are still reading may remember that a few weeks ago I had an empowered moment when I went to see the GP for my self imposed yearly whinge about how my menstrual cycle was less of a cycle and more of a crazy, bat shit monster trying to kill me. It ended up with me finally being referred to a hospital instead of accepting the ‘it’s normal’ schtick or the ‘you’re being difficult’ routine.

I had my suspicions that I may have a form of what is known as PMDD, or Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder. I had met a wonderful lady called Nancy at the Radio 5Live programme last year who has it, and a lot of what she said rung bells for me. Then, after blogging when things got very bleak last month, I had a message from someone who also has it in a slightly different form to Nancy and what she said also made sense in terms of what I have gone through.

I couldn’t get the GP to refer me to an endocrinologist, which is who I thought I needed to see. So I settled for a gynaecologist in the belief that at best they would be able to refer me on to the right person. I expected that it would be a drawn out, frustrating experience in which I was not taken seriously and where PMDD would also not be taken seriously (it is a relatively new discovery). I did some homework and spoke to some medic friends, and armed with my mum and some scribbled notes I set off yesterday prepared for the worst.

It did not happen.

Nobody was more surprised than me.

Especially given that the consultant was running 45 minutes late, and prior to seeing them I had to first see a junior doctor in training who was practicing taking case histories. That’s not to say it was terrible, because it wasn’t. 45 minutes is no time at all in a system that is operating to capacity. And the junior doctor was very nice, and by the time we’d finished, slightly overwhelmed, given the amount of history I had to give her. I was really impressed with the fact that she listened properly and was not patronising. I was even more impressed when she actually asked me what I wanted as an outcome from the consultation. But I was still sceptical that anything useful would happen.

When I finally got to see the consultant was when the surprise really kicked in. She was straightforward but not at all patronising. She discussed everything with me as an equal, but clearly knew her stuff, so there was no danger of me panicking about her ability. She checked in to make sure I was up to speed with what she was saying without being patronising. She had clearly grasped all my symptoms and didn’t dismiss any of them as having nothing to do with menstruation. She was particularly clued up about menstrual migraines which is not something I’ve come across before except in those of us who actually suffer from them. She was also pretty good on the depression aspect and the difference between my regular depressive episodes and menstrual ones.

She knew about PMDD in enough detail to show me she hadn’t just been Googling it while I was in the waiting room.

She also asked me about what I wanted as an outcome. I said I wanted to explore the possibility that I might have PMDD and/or that what I was struggling with every month was hormonally related.

This is where things got surreal, and a bit scary and brilliant.

She said that she agreed with much of what I had said in terms of thinking that many of my symptoms indicated PMDD. She also said however, that PMDD symptoms usually stop once bleeding starts or if a person falls pregnant. My symptoms do not automatically stop when bleeding starts and they worsen during pregnancy. As a result she suggested that we explore the issue by putting me in chemical menopause for the next few months and seeing what happens.

I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. I think she took this for  disappointment as she went on to say that if the results indicated it at the end of the process, she would not be averse to giving me a hysterectomy, but given how major it is, it seemed sensible to go down this route first.

I wasn’t disappointed. I was amazed. I really could not have hoped for a better outcome. I simply hadn’t thought that what she was suggesting would be possible without months of fighting my cause, if at all.

Then, to put the icing on the cake, she said they could start there and then if I wanted? I was still in shock, but not enough to refuse. I snapped her hand off. Within minutes I had a prescription for the drugs and an appointment to see her at the end of August. Hours elapsed while we filled the prescription and sat in the emergency gynaecology ward waiting for someone to administer the jab, but that was a small price to pay.

If you’d told me that this would be my position yesterday morning, I’d have laughed you out of town. In all the years I’ve been desperately going backwards and forwards to doctors, begging for help this has never, ever happened to me before.

And the best moments of all? Not the actual getting the treatment, weirdly. Although that is brilliant. No. The best thing of all was being treated all the way along the line with dignity and respect. Every single person who looked after me yesterday, from the nurse who weighed and measured me (not sure what this has to do with gynaecological function, but hey), to the nurse who, knowing how long we had been waiting to be seen (emergency gynaecology, is, quite rightly, a triage based system and I was, also quite rightly, very low on the pecking order), commandeered an office space in order to give me the jab so I could go home, was lovely.

I was particularly overwhelmed by the consultant and junior doctor, who never once made me feel stupid or wonder why I was there wasting everyone’s time. Nobody I encountered tried to trivialise or down play my experiences or tell me that what I have been going through is normal, or have I tried eating less beetroot, or manning up. I felt like they actually saw me and heard me and were genuinely engaged in the process of trying to help me. I’m trying not to think that it was because they were women, but the thought persists.

It was the most singular medical experience I have ever had, and that is both sad and wonderful.

So, I have no idea what the next few weeks will bring. I’ve canvassed friends who have been through menopause, regularly and chemically, and amassed a rainbow of symptoms and experiences and no doubt, given how I react to almost everything that happens to me, I shall do something entirely different and unique to continue to baffle modern science.

I am somewhat scared about all this, mainly because it has all happened so quickly, but I am hopeful, and I have not been hopeful about this particular issue for a very long time.

World Poetry Day

Spring Cleaning

 

de Lord is my shepherd

I shall not want

 

an she scraping

de las crumbs

aff de plate

knowing ants will feed

 

maketh me to lie down

in green pastures

leadeth me beside de still

waters

 

and she han washing clothes

spotless

lifting dem outa de water

drying she han careful slow

pon she apron

 

restoreth my soul

 

she mixing

sugar

water

lime

she filling she favourite jug

de one wid de cool palm pattern

 

yea though I walk

troo de valley of de

shadow of death

 

she opening de fridge

de cowl stapping her breath

for a motion

 

I will fear no evil

 

she put een wah she want

tek out wah she want

shut de door

 

for thou art wid me

thy rod an thy staff

dey comfort me

 

an she looking wid a far eye

pon de picture a de children

side a de almanac

pon de wall

 

surely goodness an mercy

shall follow me

 

she pick up de broom

an she sweeping

 

all de days of my life

 

an she sweeping

 

an I will dwell

in de house of de Lord

 

she sweeping out

sweeping

out

 

shake de broom

in de wind

dus fly

she beat it gains de fence

dus fly

she cup she han

unda de pipe

an she sprinkle water

roun she

stan up

hans akimbo

 

she watching

all de dark spirits

departing wid de dus

 

sunrise in er eyes

 

forever

an ever

 

Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze

List of Kindness

Last week was a better week in that I functioned almost normally for the whole week. Less crying, more doing, but also more tiredness and less emotional bandwidth for stuff that could and does tip me over the edge into not being able to cope.

Lovely things happened. My brother and I took our mum and dad out to Glynn Purnell’s in Birmingham to eat a nine course tasting menu to celebrate early mother’s/father’s day. It was delicious, although I did have a gigantic hot flush on the way home which saw me leaning out the window with my tongue out all the way up the M6 while sweat rolled off me in waves. I’m just glad it happened on the way out. I hate it when stuff puts me off my dinner.

I went to see Elbow last week. It was the closest I’ve come to a spiritual experience (that didn’t involve food) in years. It was everything I hoped it would be and more and I just loved it. I’d like to go again and again, only I know that would be greedy. I’ve been driving everyone mad listening to their new album on heavy rotation ever since.

My own lovely bunch took me out to my favourite Thai restaurant for lunch yesterday (Thai Orchid, Banbury) as an early mother’s day celebration. It was fantastic. I also went out with my friend Caron on Friday to eat fondue. It seems that everyone is intent on fattening me up for posterity, which is good, although I will have to stop sometime soon as the seams are beginning to creak alarming. My own and my clothes.

I also went to lots of meetings last week and took many notes and fired off emails and attempted to appear slightly efficient, only marred by turning up for a meeting at one site when it was at another site entirely. Although I did make it eventually despite wanting to chuck it all up and go home, particularly after spending twenty minutes circling a car park, swearing and waiting for a space. Nevertheless I count all these things as small victories.

Today is the first day of spring. I celebrated it by eating toast with a friend, wandering around doing errands in the pouring rain and falling asleep wrapped in a blanket on the sofa this afternoon. It is, apparently,also international happiness day. I am celebrating it by not reading the news and not telling myself off for falling asleep.

Tallulah’s school is celebrating a whole week of being kind to each other. The girls have all been given a list of things they could do to be kind to each other this week. It is slightly concerning that the school are obviously not comfortable in the knowledge that they might be able to figure out how to be kind to each other without a list. And that a week is about as much as can be expected of them on the kindness front.

As expected, the list is hideously embarrassing and was clearly given out by a teacher who goes by the moniker, ‘Call me Dave.’ He probably sits sideways on the desk rather than in a chair, and almost certainly does social science of some kind that means he can claim to be down with the kids.

If the kids were on Noah’s Ark.

One of the suggestions for kindness was to write a lovely note and slip it into another pupil’s backpack for them to find.

Tallulah has put a note inside one of her friend’s back packs.

It says: ‘Dear Nadiya. You have a delightful pancreas.’

Maybe they did need a list after all.

(Incoherent) Rant must equal feeling better

I am currently reading Attack of the Fifty Foot Women by Catherine Mayer, courtesy of the Amazon review programme. Mayer is one of the co-founders of the Women’s Equality Party of which you will know I am a member.

I’m only half way through the book so far, but I am finding it absolutely compelling. The reason I haven’t finished it yet is simply because in between every chapter I have to go and kick the wall and wait for my teeth to stop grinding long enough to start again.

It’s not an angry book, mind you. It’s thoughtful, thought provoking, intelligent and says many of the things I try to say  when talking about the issue of equality, but without the tongue tied, impulsive, expletive ridden phrases that spring to my mind.

Or the need to give up, go away and drown my sorrows in a vat of gin, because God forbid anyone would actually listen to what you are saying rather than assuming you have said what they want you to say so that they can trot out all their fears, prejudices and set party pieces instead.

After all, who the fuck would want to listen to a girl anyway? We know if a women speaks 25% as much as a man in a meeting, they are considered to have ‘dominated’ the conversation and be talking ‘too much.’ Why would it be any different in real life? Good job here I’m mostly talking to myself. I shall dominate away.

The gist of this week’s conversations boil down to.

‘You forget, young lady, feminism is not what you say it is to you, it’s what I want it to be so that I can tell you you’re wrong and how you’re not as important as me and your ideas are stupid. And what you need to remember is that feminists don’t actually want equality at all. Even though they say they do. It’s well known that women lie, which is why you can’t be trusted. And don’t forget, equal rights for women is not as important as, ooh, I don’t know, any other thing on the planet that benefits everyone except women first, because there isn’t really any tangible benefit to liberating women from oppression. As if women are ‘actually’ oppressed anyway. Come on! We live in a world of equality now. The fact that 86% of the austerity measures since 2010 have been shown to burden women means nothing. The fact that nobody has ever been prosecuted under the equal pay act is irrelevant, despite the gender pay gap, which is a myth anyway. The fact that we’re the fifth biggest economy in the world and girls in Liverpool are missing school because they can’t afford sanitary towels just shows that they’d rather spend the money on trainers and live on handouts, not that women are suffering and that we could actually do something to alleviate it, but we won’t. It doesn’t matter that women have never been truly liberated so I have no evidence except my fear and prejudice to back up what I’m saying against your actual statistics. It doesn’t matter that studies show that actually, in the small pockets where equality is encouraged, it has a positive impact on everyone. I haven’t got time for experts and data because then I wouldn’t be able to wilfully ignore evidence in favour of getting really angry with you and wheeling out a list of denigrating labels to squash you with. Why would you want equality for women and by extension, equality for all when you can just have my boot smashing into your face forever?’

That. Forever. Basically.

One of the things the book is particularly good at is looking at equality as an issue that affects and benefits everyone. I’m finding this particularly relevant this week after trying to talk to various people about it and finding myself hitting my head against the brick wall of them believing that when I say ‘equality for all’, what I mean is ‘superiority for women.’

I raise my head from that brick wall only to smash it against the further wall of the fact that they also assume that when this happens, women will be as punitive to men as men have been to women for hundreds of years. They seem absolutely incapable of grasping the idea that this is not about revenge, and that just maybe, women won’t be invested in kicking men to the curb, because if we have equality, women will have better things to do with their time than think about bloody men all the time. The ego truly does know no bounds in some cases.

An example I was given to prove I am wrong is that this is what ‘women’ do now. Women in positions of power now apparently just want men’s balls on a plate and are actually more horrible than men, so who would want a matriarchy?

I pointed out that perhaps women (not all women (ha ha)) behave in this way because they are being forced to operate in a patriarchy, and that if things were equal, truly equal in terms of opportunity, they wouldn’t be, because they would be living and working in a completely different environment, and given that we’ve never had that environment before, it’s impossible to predict how they would behave, or men would behave, but I would be willing to give it a try. I also pointed out that a society which operates under the terms equality for all, is not actually a matriarchy.

We talked about the ‘fact’ that women  cannot be true feminists if they think this, that or the other or don’t support every single cause that men think women who are feminists should support. I say talked about. I was told this is true. I was then ignored when I pointed out that I don’t think men are inferior men if they don’t support the issue of spiralling male suicide, or express their maleness by naked drumming in the woods, or whatever, because it’s not up to me how a man wants to label how they define themselves. I am also able to separate the word men from the word patriarchy and accept that the patriarchy is a way of oppressing everyone, men and women, and that by wanting to smash the patriarchy it does not automatically follow that I want all men’s balls on a plate. I just want my girls and my boy to grow up in a world where they can do what they like without being shoved into gender appropriate boxes that deny them the richness of a fully lived life.

I am perfectly capable of, and frequently do understand and demonstrate my understanding that not all men do all things so why should people think that all women do or should do all things?

Why should women have to be responsible for the whole of woman kind in order to be a ‘good feminist’? Whatever the fuck that means.

 

The answer?

‘You forget, young lady, feminism is not what you say it is to you….boot in face forever. Libtard, snowflake, quinoa eating, Guardian reading, vagina bleeding retard. Label, label, label, sweeping generalisation that allows me to feel angry, sanctimonious and right about everything. You know nothing about being oppressed because whatever you say your experience is is a lie because it’s not my experience and you can’t possibly understand my experience because you don’t ‘know’ anything. And if you’re the slightest bit more economically comfortable than me, you’re obviously akin to Marie Antoinette in Versailles lording it over the peasants, rather than someone who pays a bit more council tax than me but still gets the same shitty schools and bin service. And that’s handy because it lets me dismiss everything you say, think and feel because that’s what I ‘know’ you’re doing to me, even though I actually don’t ‘know’ because I’m too busy getting angry at what I think is true to actually listen to anything except my own prejudices about you.

I win even though I lose and keep losing and what I lose hurts me more than everyone else.

I lose because I’m so busy pushing everyone into tinier and tinier boxes that show just how far away from me they are that I haven’t got time to think about what would happen if I wasn’t. I haven’t got time to think about what might happen if I stopped shouting and reached out to people in a way that doesn’t infer they are mentally subnormal if they don’t agree with me. I haven’t got time to think about what would happen if I listened. I haven’t got time to think about the fact that by shouting and boxing, boxing and shouting, I’m doing to others exactly what I am shouting that others are doing to me. I haven’t got time to think about the fact that if I want the world to be a better place, maybe I need stop looking into what I think is the face of hatred and derision, when all I’m actually doing is looking at my own reflection. I haven’t got time to think about the fact that if I changed, the world around me would change, and that reflection would be different and I could stop shrinking the world and start opening up. I haven’t got time to face up to the fact that actually it’s not you I’m angry at or scared of, it’s me, and that if equality for all really did exist, then I wouldn’t have anyone else to blame for my stuff but me.’

Or, in a nutshell.

‘Take your feminist agenda and fuck off.’

 

Anyway. Read the book. It’s great.

 

 

 

Enough for today

Good day yesterday, bad day today.

What’s the difference between them? Only my head, that’s all. It’s that simple to understand and yet it’s that hard at the same time, as most things tend to be.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, or where I’ll end up, but I’m just going to write, because I have to.

I like things to be as near perfect as I can get them. At times this verges on the manic. I like to start a job and then finish it in the same day. I don’t like messy edges. I don’t like saying I will do something and not being able to finish it to my satisfaction.

At the moment that isn’t possible. It’s probably a good thing that it isn’t possible. Life is messy. There are many things in life that don’t start in the morning and finish the same evening (life itself for a start – thank Fuck). There are many things that are better for the wait, or revisiting. Bolognese sauce is a prime example here. There are many things you just have to learn to live with because as soon as you’ve done them, they need doing again.  How many times can a kitchen floor be swept is a question I like to tease myself with regularly. There is no such thing as a finished to do list, and I learned long ago that being competent at stuff only leaves time for people to give you more jobs to do.

I’m having to let go of more things than I’m comfortable with at the moment, and that’s hard. I’ve got self imposed deadlines I’m not meeting. I’ve got things I’d like to do that I’m not doing. I’ve got things I don’t like to do that I’m not doing. I’m hating that I’m having to take baby steps with this stuff or even no steps at all. I thought today, as I gave up something because I just couldn’t concentrate anymore on what it was I was trying to do. I thought that this must be a bit like what someone who has had a stroke feels like when they have to try and relearn walking and talking. A massive sense of frustration and the annoying, ever present knowledge that they used to be able to do this stuff without even thinking about it. It probably isn’t, let’s face it, but I am in the business of melodrama at the moment, so that’s as coherent as I’m getting.

I learned a long time ago that it’s ok to let go of things other people think are important and I used to think were important. Things like ironing, having clean windows, using wrapping paper, sending Christmas cards, having neatly mown lawns. All this stuff I’ve given up really doesn’t bother me any more. It’s liberating in the main. I don’t miss those sticks I used to beat myself with. And I am here to tell you that my life is much richer for having put them down and walked away from them.

But there are other things I’m still learning to let go of. My weight (although I do not regret for one moment throwing out the scales), my body image, my fear of failure, my need to be right, my anger both at myself and others, my guilt. My shame, my feeling that I need to be ‘doing’ things to justify my existence. My fear. The worry of being/feeling stupid.

Those are tougher. Particularly at the moment. I pick those things up and put them down about a thousand times a day right now. I spend a lot of time telling myself that ‘I can’t.’ and then telling myself that ‘I can.’ All the things I talked about in my last post are helping. Some days they help more than others.

Today I couldn’t bear myself for a while. I paced around the house. I cried. I did domestic jobs. I read my book. Nothing helped.

In the end I went out into the garden. I didn’t want to walk today, but I knew I probably needed a change of scene and some fresh air. The garden is a wreck after the winter. The deck is slick with mulchy leaves. The sycamore saplings are pushing up through the stones. There are tree branches kicking around from storm Doris. All the pots are full of dead things and the raised beds are full of weeds. A badger has dug holes in the lawn and the bark chipping. If my garden were a house, you’d say it had been ransacked by burglars.

I looked at it, like I’ve looked at it for the last few weeks, and felt the same overwhelming inability to do anything. Everything was too big. Everything was too complicated. And when I’ve done it, it will need doing again, and again. Forever.

And then I thought about it like I think about things like the poverty that gets me donating to food banks, and the inequality that gets me campaigning for WEP and the endless meetings and work I do around the NHS. I know I can’t solve world hunger, or legislate for equality for all, or save the NHS, but I can do my bit, and doing my bit is better than doing no bit at all. And doing my bit might tip the balance, might spark bigger change, might mean someone else does their bit, and I do that stuff in the full knowledge of how hopeless it seems and yet I am optimistic and I do it anyway.

And I don’t have to enter my garden for Chelsea, and I don’t have to make it perfect. I just have to do my bit, and today, my bit was to weed out a few hundred sycamore seedlings, and pick up some branches, and sweep up some leaves and I spent about an hour and a half out there, and you can barely tell where I’ve made changes, but I have made them. I might do some more tomorrow, and I might not, but I will do it again, and again, until it is done, and then when it needs doing again, I’ll do it again, imperfectly, from time to time, in my own way, and it will be change enough.

And I don’t have to be mentally well all at once, and I don’t have to do it anyone else’s way and I don’t have to do it perfectly and I can take a break and be as mad as a hat for a while, but I know I am doing my bit, and my bit is enough because I am turning up and I am doing it, even when it’s overwhelming and it feels like nothing will ever be different. It already is. And that’s what I keep telling myself and that’s enough for today.

Uppy Downy

Another week bites the dust.

It has been better, on the whole. I have slept less, laughed more and turned up for more things than I’ve turned down. My period has finished. I had some of the best cheesecake of my life. I went to see What the Butler Saw.

In the spirit of honesty, it has still not been great. I had another menstrual migraine which was a bitch and a half. I am sad more than I am happy. I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror at the moment. I am overwhelmed more than I am whelmed and I am constantly misjudging how much better I am, which leads to moments of deep fucked-up-ness in which I realise I would really have been better not doing this or that.

However, I have not lay down on the floor and wept, or burned anything down, or punched myself or anyone else, so this is all positive. I also keep on knowing that this will pass and all will be well again. Sometimes I don’t know how I know that, but I always do and that’s a blessing.

I have been thinking about things that have been helping.

Breaking the time up into manageable chunks. I do not have to do ‘this’ forever. I just have to do this for the next moment. I only have to sit here for another five minutes. I will only feel like this until I fall asleep. I will only have to interact with this person for the next ten minutes. Whatever I can cope with. Whatever is easiest for me to achieve. I just keep breaking down the difficult bits so that they don’t feel eternal.

Telling people what is actually happening if I have to explain stuff. Even people I don’t know very well. People who get it behave excellent well. People who don’t get it but are fundamentally nice people behave excellent well. People who don’t get it tend to panic and behave pretty well albeit it in a rabbit in the headlights way. This may be because they fear you’re going to go postal on them. I don’t care, as long as they do the decent thing. I haven’t come across any dickheads yet. If I do, my plan is to either cry on them or punch them, or punch them whilst crying. I think it will be cathartic.

Crying. Even though it doesn’t feel like it’s helping much. I know it is. Better out than in, as my granny always used to say.

Getting out of the house. Yesterday when I was recovering from my migraine, I wrapped up in a blanket and dragged myself into the garden. The cat and I sat on the big wooden table we have out there. She told me she was protecting me. I took comfort in the lie and scritched her ear. I drank coffee and blinked down the sunshine. I ignored the thousand small jobs that needed doing and just existed in the moment. It was nice. It was simple and uncomplicated. Walking to school to pick the boy up is good too. Saying hello to all the cats in the road who have unilaterally decided it is spring and the pavements belong to them, ambling through the church yard and over the stream. I can do that. It is good.

Reading. It’s the door out of my own thoughts. Always. Thank God for something that gives me time off from myself that isn’t illegal and doesn’t give me a hangover or diabetes. I am reading Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood. It’s absolutely the best thing I have read so far this year. It’s totally strange and genius and very funny and it is helping.

Avoiding the Internet. There’s just too much stuff in my head at the moment for me to safely add a whole lot more I don’t know what to do with. I pass through. I read emails and your comments. I check in, and then I leave. For a long, long time, the internet has been my place to hang out, but right now it’s all a bit complicated. I’m sticking with the garden table for a bit longer.

Really hot showers. Just standing in the middle of a boiling hot, needle sharp cascade of water. I don’t know why. I don’t really care.

The cat. Her utter indifference to human suffering is an object lesson to us all. Also, sometimes when she falls asleep on the arm of the chair, she forgets she’s on the arm of the chair and falls off, which is always good for a smile.