It feels like a thousand years since I went on holiday. I thought the first week back would be hectic because taking two weeks out of life will do that to a person, but it feels like I’ve not stopped since the plane hit the tarmac, and we’ve been home for three weeks now.
We’ve been so busy we only just managed to have Oscar’s birthday tea yesterday and it’s been a month since his actual birthday. I’m just grateful we got it in before having to think about Christmas to be honest.
It’s ridiculously late and I have another crazy week ahead of me, so I’m not going for polished prose here. Just another marker to say I’m still here and try to remember some of the things I did.
In work related news, I have added a whole load of things to EBay in an attempt to shore up the coffers somewhat. I also did an interview on Radio Leicester about what I do, and am going to be on again in a couple of weeks talking about organising your wardrobe. I am helping a lovely lady called Tammy Reynolds, who is a very talented hairdresser to style models for some of her hair competitions and photo shoots. She has won some awards recently and her photographer also won an award for a photo he did of her fabulous hair and my fabulous clothes, so that’s all very cheering. The chaos that is my stock room is not so cheering, but I am making tiny dents here and there. I have given up ironing again. I loathe it so much and am so singularly bad at it, it’s not worth the effort even pretending I can do it, so if you buy something from me, it will be crumpled. Don’t @ me, as the kids say.
I have been doing quite a bit of health campaigning work of one kind and another. I have attended a significant number of very boring meetings, largely run by men who invite you along to share your experience with them and then spend the entire time telling you their experience and also what your experience should be, and that the actual experience you have had is wrong. If you ever manage to say anything they will acknowledge, they say sorry (sometimes) and do nothing whatsoever except tick off on a spreadsheet that they had that meeting, thus avoiding random and inexplicable fines. I attend these meetings and then I write letters to people about them. Sometimes, very occasionally someone reads my letters and something is done. Largely nothing is done, but I am amassing enough evidence and letters that if something heinous happens I intend to sue everyone involved and build a community hospital, library and tea room with the proceeds. You are all invited – but not the men who make me go to the meetings and listen to their self indulgent waffle and have to look at their terrible suits.
Maybe I should take some stock and try to shift a better class of suit?
In health news, my blood pressure seems to be holding its own, which is most exciting, in a calm way. My gynaecological life rumbles on tiresomely and I go for a pre-op this week and another attempt at a hysteroscopy and smear test next week, only under general anaesthetic instead of with no pain relief and a bite on this twig, devil may care attitude. I am not looking forward to these things, but I am hoping they will render conclusive results which means that people will stop attempting to rumble around in my under crackers for at least a year, so it may be worth this last ditch attempt.
I am sleeping terribly, night terrors, teeth grinding, nightmares, etc, but it is to be expected after the year to date, gynaecologically and otherwise, and better out than in as my granny used to say. This fractured sleep makes me somewhat tetchy from time to time, but the lack of hormones means that I am less murderous than mildly annoyed and prone to dribbling.
I managed to give myself two blisters this week, one on each elbow. This has never happened to me before in my entire life. I have no idea how they came to be there, but they are extremely painful, and it is annoying how many things elbows jam into that you aren’t aware of until you have two raw blisters on them. I wonder if I have elbow scurvy. Perhaps the smear test will tell us.
I have been reviving my social life, which spent the summer parked up in a lay-by with a do not disturb sign round its neck along with the rest of my life. Since we got back from holiday I have attempted to be more of a seize the day sort of person. I think I mentioned that I went to see The Dresden Dolls. I have also been to see The Prodigy and am off to see The Levellers this week. I went to see the lovely Sue Perkins talk about her new book, courtesy of my friend Nicki. I have been to see the new Fantastic Beasts film with the children. I start a drawing class this Friday with my friend Kim, and went to my first ever life drawing class last week with Tilly. I’ve also managed to go to the pub quiz and not fall asleep in my wine.
I have been reading things. I have read the new Tom Cox book, ‘Help The Witch’, which I pledged for on Unbound and which has my name in the back. This is very exciting and it was rather good. If you like eerie, macabre folk stories with a ghostly twist, it’s for you.
I got a tranche of stuff from Netgalley. I absolutely loved The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz. It was so clever and funny and Sherlockian. If you like an old fashioned whodunnit with a modern twist, it’s for you. It was definitely for me.
I didn’t like Homegrown Hero by Khurrum Rahman. I chose it because Ben Aaranovitch wrote a blurb for the dust jacket, and the synopsis read like a Rivers of London kind meets Four Lions kind of vibe, but honestly, it was not for me. It’s the second book in a series about a man who accidentally gets drawn into the world of terrorism and counter terrorism. It says that it’s funny, but I found it really traumatising and upsetting to be honest. It was well written, tense and with a good plot line, but it wrecked me.
I just finished M for Mammy by Eleanor O’Reilly. It was very good, but a bit heart breaking. All about families and how they communicate and what happens when the worst things you can think of actually happen. It’s clever and absorbing and the characterisation is great, but not for you if you’re having a rough go of it.
I’m currently reading The Lost Properties of Love by Sophie Ratcliffe, and really enjoying it. I’m not entirely sure yet what it’s about, but it’s beautifully written and is full of strange little facts that are keeping me intrigued. So far I’ve learned a lot about Tolstoy and handbags. I’ll keep you posted. I have to finish it quickly because the latest Rivers of London by Ben Aaranovitch (Lies Sleeping) gets delivered tomorrow and I have to read it immediately it hits the door mat.