Monday 13 June 2016

Orlando Remebered

My heart and prayers go out to the victims, their families and friends. It is hard losing a loved one especially in such circumstances. It is hard to know what drives people commit such atrocities, how hate can be so strong to kill innocent people. I guess we will never know. It saddens me to hear such things go on in this day and age.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Saying a Final Goodbye to Dad

Today, well technically yesterday seeing as though it is past midnight, I said my final goodbye to my dad, it was hard, but at least I know that I have said what I needed to say & that my dad was coherent enough to understand what I was saying & was able to respond, he may not have been able to say much in response, it was his physical actions that made it clear that he understood what I was saying. He put his hand to his heart when I said I loved him & held my hand when I said I was proud of him & there was a tear in his eyes. I still managed to make him laugh too which was my mission to make him laugh at least once every time I had been round.

It may not be the last time I see him alive, but I knew I needed to say something whilst he was still coherent & that he knew how I felt about him. It know leaves me feeling safe in the knowledge that I can now talk about things that may seem inconsequential & still be funny & try & give him as normal a sense of life as possible, knowing that I have said what is important. I also cooked for him too, giving him a new taste sensation of Swedish meatballs with mash potato, I used to enjoy cooking with him as a kid & I'm glad that I got to cook for him one last time.

Today I also had the rather novel experience of eating my dinner whilst sitting on a commode, don't worry I wasn't having a shit at the same time.

Saturday 11 April 2015


I try to keep the amount of rubbish I throw away or put in recycling to a minimum but it appears that political parties the 2 main ones in particular don't realise that constantly bombarding you with more & more fliers is going to start pissing you off. My cardboard & paper recycling bag is full already mainly with party political leaflets & we don't get our recycling taken away until Thursday of next week.

Guess what I have already made up my mind about who I'm voting for & sending me endless campaign leaflets is not going to sway me. I watch the news, I have gone onto which political party suits you best websites & they all come out as saying I should vote for the party I am going to vote for, predominantly because I give a damn about how the country is won. For those that don't shoving endless leaflets through there door will just end up as yet more rubbish. You want to cut carbon emissions & make Britain a greener country start by not cutting down trees for people to then have to recycle. You want to cut spending, stop making so many unwanted & mostly unread leaflets. The only use I have for them is some make good templates for my craft projects & I have also used a couple for kindling as I needed to burn some privet that was chopped down.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

When is Helping Out Being too Clucky

I visit my mum & dad once a week, with my dad not being in a good state, unable to string a proper sentence together & finding day to day tasks harder to do so that he has carers around to help him shave, shower & get him changed I do feel protective of him, but I also don't want to appear clucky or for that matter too distant or unhelpful. Finding that delicate balance is difficult. I try to be helpful but not mollycoddle but sometimes I'm wondering if I am not doing enough. I help when he is indicating something by either pointing or putting together as many words as he can, but he can be hard to understand now as he will lose the words he is trying to think of which sometimes aren't clear. The problem is, is distinguishing what is the frustration of not being able to communicate & physically cope with things as well as he used to from the frustration of being fussed over, seeing as though he was very independent.

Through all this though I try to keep the humour up & try to make him laugh at least once when I am there & talk to him as if we're having a normal conversation as I feel that it is important as he loves a good wind up, good jokes & a decent conversation, without talking down to him as he is still the same person. I help out with some housework too, so hopefully it is of use too both of my parents who are struggling at the moment, but there are times which I feel I should be there more, but would that mean I'm becoming a nuisance as other friends & family members come to visit & I don't to crowd him, plus I realise I can't put my life on hold either. i guess I'm just venting trying to find out my place in all this, thanks for listening.

Thursday 2 April 2015

Comfort eating

I will have to admit to comfort eating recently, I'm not sure when I started to associate food with comfort, but I dare say it was a while ago. It didn't help that my family are not exactly small eaters, but having said that my sister is a big eater & yet she is a UK size 10 even after having a child, she does in fairness eat healthier than me as she has a dairy intolerance & has also recently been finding yeast, wheat & sugar an issue. I'm not the most unhealthiest of eaters either, I have very little processed food in my diet, possibly because I can be a bit of a fussy eater as I don't like my food too salty or too bland which most convenience foods fall into. My biggest issues food wise has always been sweets, biscuits cakes etc. I do have a sweet tooth, but have also got a thing for cheese, well some cheeses anyway, the ones that aren't too salty tasting or smell heavily of feet. On the upside I do get cravings for vegetables if my diet has been lacking them & the morning doesn't seem right if it doesn't have not from concentrate fruit juice. I have been finding that anything more than 2 glasses of wine have also been giving me indigestion of late so I'm overhauling my diet & hoping I can stick to it such a stressful time. I have swapped my sweets for fruit I am going to make sure i am properly hydrated by drinking water, as sometimes your body tricks you into thinking it is hungry rather than thirsty.

I did delay my start date twice but now it is here, This morning I had cut down on portion size of my breakfast as I feel that cutting down on it as it was a larger portion than was needed & I did find myself feeling a little sluggish. I am waiting 20 minutes at least after eating before bringing out the sweet (which is now fruit rather than biscuits) from the main meal so I actually feel full having eaten less as I have given my body a chance to digest & realise it has had food. So perhaps it is not so much a diet but a change to the way I'm eating.

So the latest batch of comfort eating has come about from my dad's deteriorating condition from his brain tumour. I thought I was being emotionally quite strong but then I noticed the amount of chocolate I was consuming was going up & not just by a little. I think I was becoming addicted to the warm fuzzy feeling of serotonin as well as the sugar rush. Added to this was an increase of meat, cheese, takeaways and fried food & then I realised something was going wrong. I have started to meditate, do more craft work, I'm visiting my parents more to lend a hand so I am finding more pragmatic & helpful ways of dealing with my situation. As the weather improves I also hope to spend more time on the vegetable plot too.

Thursday 18 September 2014

Coping with PTSD Whilst When your Father is Diagnosed with Terminal Brain Cancer

It has been a while since I posted anything but things have been a little fraught over the summer period & I can only now feel I can write about my experiences. It is hard coping with my PTSD at the best of times which tends to catch up with me in the summer sending me spiralling into depression with the flashbacks & nightmares leaving me struggling to even to muster the energy to get out of bed in the morning. 

This summer has been especially hard on me mentally. I have had to not only muster strength for myself but to support my family. There is no convenient time to hear such news but when it happens at such a difficult time it can seem that somehow life is never going to be happy or better. When hearing for the second time that my dad had had a seizure I had prepared for the worst which may have seemed morbid & almost paranoid at the time, when the news came about I had done my crying for him, did my time of feeling less than strong & was feeling more able to cope with the situation when it came about, leaving me able to be there for not only my dad, but my mum & my sister too.

But because of having dwelt in my melancholy through the summer I felt that I needed to try & get things back to normal. I am trying to not fuss around my dad as it can seem to stifling from someone who needs more of an escape from what is happening rather than dwelling on it. When the news was broken to friends & family though they were very supportive & it did kind of felt like my dad was the most prayed for atheist known to man, with Christians & Pagans alike. 

But what I felt really helped was the support of my partner & friends so I'd like to say an enormous thank you. You have been amazing through a tough time, many of you reinforcing my faith in friendship. I am grateful to you all & I think shall finish writing it here as I started to not be able to see through the tears & I need to get some tissue to blow my nose as I have got to admit it not my most flattering of looks.

PS sorry for the lack of a catchy title

The Tale of Two Concerts

It has been a very musical few days for me as my Birthday present was to see Arcade Fire at Earl's Court last Friday & yesterday for mine & Richard's 10 year anniversary we took in a CBSO concert at Symphony Hall Birmingham. Two venues are very different in both size & age with Arcade Fire being the last concert being hosted at the event because it is now going to become luxury apartments. I somehow think that the Economy of Earl's Court suffer because of it.

So on with the critique. Arcade Fire were supported by Owen Pallett on the day I attended, which I was very looking forward to as I do think his music is genius normally using only a violin, keyboard & various pedals & pick ups, I was surprised to see he was joined on stage by a guitar player & a percussionist,which although were good felt like it was a step away from what I had seen of him. Unfortunately I thought the venue was either to large or too empty at the time or both to get a good appreciation of his work due to the reverb as played tracks which I have seen recorded in smaller venues that sounded awesome, but at this concert seemed to be slightly disjointed by the echo. This leads me on to one of my pet peeves why do so many people only turn up for the main act, I have been at some awesome concerts with some pretty amazing support acts which I have come to follow greatly & would have missed if I hadn't turned up to see them. Arcade Fire were on top form,provideding me with one of the best concerts I've ever been to, there was a sense of art & carnival about the whole concert & even though it was their Reflektor Tour they played a lot of their older tunes too, to make it fully immersive for the crowd who had been with the band from their first album which in my opinion was their best, in fact I would say my favourite to least favourite album goes entirely by the order in which they released them. They involved the crowd,but not only that but also made it that the people who were seated also had additional things to watch rather than just the main stage, with dancers in drag, in skeleton suits & one in a mirror ball suit, along with the lighting effects, ticker tape & glitter cannons it made for a very entertaining evening. Iwentin knowing someof what to expect but this exceeded expectations.

The CBSO concert was a change of pace starting with Ravel's Mother Goose Suite which was beautifully played & I very much enjoyed. The Gerald Barry Piano Concerto was indeed a stark contrast to the Ravel it was discordant it did have some moments of genius where the piece held it together & you could see what he was trying to do but soon as you moved into that space he careened of it leaving you feeling a little disappointed. the Francisco Coll No seré yo quien diga nada première was almost just a cacophony of noise with a couple of bursts of genius but it was a case of they were fleeting, I don't mind modern music but to create noise with what seems little purpose is frustrating & to me smacks a little of that will do rather displaying a finely crafted piece which makes sense. I found myself applauding the talents of the musicians & conductor who had the rather thankless task of not only playing such discordance but also had to suffer rehearsing them & feeling that the composers really could have done better. The final piece was Thomas Ades another contemporary composer although had played with sound & its structure took you on a journey it had moments where yes it does challenge structure but does it effectively so you can follow it & fully appreciate it & understand where it was going & what it was trying to say, it stirred up the emotions, was assertive in its tone & totally blows you away pushing the boundaries to a sensible level so it is enjoyable & understandable. You get a feeling that he is a well rounded composer willing to be contemporary but knowing when it is going far enough to not lose the audience.