Category: Other

Take Me To the Moon (by )

So I am doing a lot of research into the moon landings and stuff for various events this year to mark 50 years since Apollo 11 but with came the shock that somehow until last night I had never given up on my childhood ambitions - top year of infant school we did an assembly and we had to say what we wanted to be when we were older - I had three things I wanted to be:

1) an Opera Singer - my reasoning for this was you get to sing, act, dance, make and wear awesome costumes, write plays and songs and create amazing sets and props (I was 7 and had massive problems with my hearing)

2) Be an archaeologist and palaeontologist - I even took a fossil with me that a teacher informed me wasn't a real fossil as it was just an indentation - I already knew more about fossils than the teacher. (ironically I knew that the two fields of archaeology and palaeontology were distinct but related things but not that opera singers didn't make their own dresses).

3) An Astronaut - I kind of assumed I would at least get to go to the Moon and Mars to look for fossils and that I would then write books on it. I even resisted a diagnosis of asthma because I knew that would exclude you from the space programme.

I have managed pretty much all the first two options to some degree or other though stretching it slightly as I've only ever done Light Opera ie Musical Theatre - though I did get to sing with a proper Opera Singer at the Royal Festival Hall when I was a teenager.

Last night I was awoken with the realisation that I am actually never going to go into space - somehow I had still been holding onto the notion that when I was older I would somehow be fit enough and good enough to go. I was born with a heart murmur so there was actually never any chance of me going even if the space programmes had continued to send people up (though I think they could have done a lot of the moon stuff a lot differently and safer but it would have taken longer). It was that thing where I realised I am the sort of age of those original astronauts, when they were flying to the moon and back.

The closest I ever got to space was the meteorites at the Natural History Museum and then a lunar meteorite at Birkbeck/UCL but I never got to finish that project due to my health so actually worry that me blasting the thing with lasers actually made it less of a useful sample to others who came after me - I still get to say I blasted moon rock with green lasers I suppose.

I like collecting sets so am finding my inability to be an astronaut incredibly frustrating!

The Minecrafter is BACK!!! (by )

enchanting table Minecraft

So one of the big frustrations with the head injury stuff was that video/computer games became something I simply could not do - I love my games - I am not really what would be called a "gamer" I suppose - I love what I love and that is sliding block puzzles like Tetris and junk jewels/candy crush and hexic, arcade type games like Peggle where you are basically playing electronic pin ball, puzzle solvers like Oh No More Lemmings and Worms, platform games like the old Mario Brothers, racers - either simple race tracks or as space ships dodging things and trying to beat others for time, simulation games like Vector Tower Defence and Lux. But though I loved things like Street Fighter I have always struggled with the more immersive shooters etc... so Call of Duty and even games like Portal - I simply always failed to be good at playing them - I do like watching others play them - but normally only the fist time round - for me they become a slightly interactive movie in real time.

Without Halo and the like I would hesitate to say I was ever a "gamer" I do like games however of all types, including board and and card games so I would say I am a GAMER and bring it on anyone who disagrees!

The absence of computer games was heart breaking I couldn't even do the Connect Adventure stuff which was such an amazing boon when we got the xbox 360. There were multiple reasons for this - I'd knocked my optics out during the head injury and have a blind spot in my left eye I have had to adapt too, brain processing power being limited meant a 10 min screen season left me drained and then the visuals and motion gave me motion sickness at best and increased my chances of seizures.

Every now and then I would try again and found last year that I could get on with Peggle (the pinball game) and proceeded to work my through the challenges I had left uncompleted in all the variants I had on the xbox. Hexic I have to be careful with still but can play a little bit but the one I was missing - the one I write stories about, the one I knit and collect the toys of... the one that is a family obsession and the one the kids kept asking me to play with them was of course MINECRAFT.

So I have been having a little go at it again, I have to have the sensitivity set so that the visuals don't fly here there and everywhere and I am still having to heavily limit time on it but everyone is helping me and it has been great fun 🙂

My original world Gia is very out dated and somethings in it are broken due to the updates and the lack of certain biomes. I had made another world which was and will be an adventure map with Jean when we were hopeful the head injury stuff wasn't going to go on and on but it took too much out of me - she is now fretting that no one plays the adventure maps anymore but we have been designing it off line (yes I have note pads of scared paper - bite me!) so one day in like a decades time I'm sure we will complete it!

The new world is called Aqua-Ma'am and is essentially going to be my Aquarium world - mainly I got all excited because there are DOLPHINS!!! And sea wrecks and stuff. The biomes were set small and the hardness made easy - I only play in survival and I began to dig - issue - my eye sight is bad enough I can't read the stuff on the screen which is a bit of a pain but something I am hoping new glasses can sort but also a bit worried about as current prescription is not a million miles away from having me technically blind :/

Back to the minecraft - there are lots of different minerals and animals - I've found Lammas and bunnies and so so many fish!

There is also a whole host of new monsters or mobs for me to jump out of my skin and fret about! Alaric pointed out that I am the guy from I am Legend where the Drowned are concerned. These new water zombies are new to me and one of my little bothies/half way houses is right near a load including baby ones which sadly I took out. I do however now have a clam shell - none of us really know what to do with it as the kids play mainly in creative using it as kind of electronic lego and Alaric had gotten bored and wandered away from it a while ago but has been helping me, Jean, Mary and my Dad with our worlds over Christmas and is getting back into it.

In my orig world the entire thing had been centred on me building a giant pyramid , when coloured dies where added it became a rainbow pyramid - it was supposed to have all you needed within including the farms - this has been scuppered as I have lost the ability to tame pigs and other animals simply will not spawn there due to the lack of biomes - I think I have four? Including the Mushroom island. I had not wanted to use creative mode to fix things but may have to - I have a great art gallery in it 🙂

Aqua-Ma'am is all about the fish - plans include an enchanted ice palace, a sandcastle hyper beach (though may not have enough sand for this), a giant glass pyramid at the very centre of the map and floating aquaria spheres in the sky, along with a research centre and theme park and underwater observation domes and maybe a ship or two - this is glass heavy so we will have to see how far the resources stretch!

It is tiring enough that outside of the holidays as we are now it will have to be restricted to weekends :'(

So far Dad has helped me mine resources so I had iron for shears so I could make beds without killing the sheep so that I could explore and uncover my map. Jean has chopped down trees and is my fount of minecraft knowledge, Mary has dropped me down holes in the ground and collected a load of snow balls for me and helped me tame my dog - currently called Dog. And Alric has been doing stints of exploring tunnels for me.

I have built myself a series of little mud, stone and plank huts around my world, and started some basic farming. I uncovered the map - got lost a lot, am now not entirely sure where all the bothies are but have now found pumpkins so have grown them, carved them and produced jock-o-lanterns so that I can mark where the houses are better than my little torch trails. I am trying not to waste any resources - and spent far too much of last week playing!

Finally seeing everything on the map meant I could choose what was going where - I appear to only have one village and a haunted house - this will be the research centre and grand library. I am hoping more stuff is going to be hidden in the vallies and under the sea. In my snow zone I have begun work on my enchanted ice castle and chiseled all the way down to the bed rock, collected lava and made a place to build the first of many enchanting tables - I am also farming the sugar cane though not yet cows needed to make the books (books are paper plus leather and paper is made made from the sugar cane). Turns out Alaric's farming techniques are a little bit out of date and my farm is a little higgled at the moment 🙂

I decided to fill in the uneven bedrock floor with obsidian so had to retrieve lava in buckets - Al got the first lot for me and I accidentally destroyed a source block - boo hiss but once laid we build mud around and poured water on it. It had to all be lava source blocks as flowing lava becomes cobble stone.

Lava cross Minecraft

Obsidian cross in the bed rock Minecraft

I have enchanted my sword as I need to go mob hunting - so far all I've killed myself are downed :/

Really enjoying it and hoping I can remember what I am doing at the weekend when I get to play again!

New Years and Slither Moons (by )

Moon, Birds and Morning Star

It is the 7th of January and not the 1st - this year I specifically didn't push myself to blog, post, reply to emails or even write in my diary. The intensity and exhaustion of Christmas meant that I wanted and needed to spread things out. So that is what we have done.

New Years Day we did our walk to welcome the New Year - something I did not manage last year and that too is ok. It was a dreary dark day but there was fire and lights and beautify in the glome. I have already formulated some of the pictures into a twitter poem. And will hopefully get around to posting all the worthy pics - a lot are blurry due to light levels but are keepers due to the compositions and thoughts had whilst taking them!

For know here are the embedded tweets:

Then I woke on the 2nd to crippling period and a beautiful down of moon slither, morning star (Venues) and birds flying here there and everywhere. I wish it was a better picture but it was a grab and snap before camera battery died with no time for tripods. The image was stark and dynamic, ancient and new and I felt I needed to capture it as a memory.

2018 was an up and down year with AMAZING things like the Aethelflead Festival and being involved with so many festivals and activities - finding out about family history etc... but it was also HORRENDOUS with miscarriage aftermath, another miscarriage, deaths of family members and hospitalisations of others - friends going through hard times and feeling powerless to help - this is the double edged sword of being from a large extended family and having so many wonderful friends. There is much love but also lots of pain - I can't and wouldn't choose not to love or care but sometimes it downs you.

I got to do more acting in 2018 and would like to do more of that in 2019, I also made and created lots of things but didn't complete stuff that should have been completed - not sure if that can be remedied in the coming year - all I can do is try. Already having ideas to try out.

There will be a big push for the publishing and writing side of what I do in the coming year. There are several large projects that have been simmering on back burners that will hopefully get to bloom (mix those metaphors baby!).

But I am not tying the year down to have toos because I can't and it if I try it will just lead to misery. I have put on a lot of weight this last year - I am attempting to shift it - it may take a while it might not be doable but general fitness I can try and sort. I just wish I had more energy in the first place - there is so much I want to do and feel stifled by the restrictions. Jean is helping me - there is apparently an app for everything. Already seen how much my periods affect my strength which was interesting - it was very marked.

Attempting less Facebook but more blogging, twitter, Pinterest etc... I really don't like FB but am tied to it but the fact that many people only interact/contact me via it. I will probably fail at this and end up posting every five mins!

Craft wise there are a lot of projects to finish off, and lots of photos to sort, and picture to draw/scan and music to make (actually practicing some of the instruments I have would be a start).

I will get around to making a proper plan for it all but probably not until my birthday weekend. And talking of birthdays this year is Alaric's 40th so there will have to be something major for that - I am looking forward to theming some sort of get together but he is dallying!

Oh and we have a new kitten - Potassium - she needed rehoming after the council did their Tennent checks and arrived on Christmas Eve much to the children's delight especially Mary who had quiet literally been praying for a kitten!

I will try and submit more work this year and look forward to growing more things at the allotment - issue currently being that the mild weather means the beans that should be coming up late Feb decided to germinate - not sure they will survive but have so far.

So I am heading off into this new year with some trepidation but a good scoop of hope too.

Slither Moon and Morning Star

Periods and Political Dreams (by )

Womb of DOOM is giving me periods where I can hardly walk for sharp pain along the base of my c-section scar combined with a mix of heavy clot loss and headaches - they are not heavy heavy like in the past but to be honest the first day is full of contraction pains where I am struggling - I am hesitating to call them bad - I'm a little nauseous but am not throwing up or passing out etc... and it's only lasting like this for about a day so I suppose they are an over all improvement? But people panic if I double over sweating and I myself am not sure how much will... er... flow with each contraction like pain so this is my third proper period since the last miscarriage and I have a fever and am struggling to walk... hence I am not going into town for my business networking event and am very relieved it didn't hit me when I had a workshop or performance as it it is exhausting to try and still function and hide the pain. As I said I've had far worse periods but the pain tended to be at a stead level not whamming me and retreating so I forget about it and then whamming me again.

In other period news - I've been using a lot of pads due to irregular bleeding since Mary was born (almost 8yrs ago now) and sometimes they make me sore and I end up have to just use cloth when lightly spotting. Then whilst going through old diaries I discovered that I'd planned to make cloth ones for use at home before I had Mary but then my bleeding was so ridiculous and then I had the head injury... yada yada yada... that I forgot. Upshot of this I don't have to make my own or ask my mum too - they make them these days in multipacks - so I have bought a set and we shall see - not sure how they will handle fist fulls of black jelly but then my normal (the most absorbent ones I can get and the longest) fail with that one.

Also I am getting fever dreams for the three or say days before the period hits along with night sweats :/

Last nights fever dream - I was trying to mediate between May and Corbyn with all the politicians/MPs watching in a kind of Roman amphitheatre but it wasn't working very well so I gave them all the friendship bracelets I'd made and took them to a larp/cosplay/gaming event where I lost them amongst all the teenage uni students - then I gave all my left over bracelets to my friend Layla (probably should mention she is a Lib Dem MP) and promptly realised I was wearing no trousers and someone had stuffed my children in the back of a lorry and I had to go and rescue them and all the others and then had lots of kids I had to try and find homes for/return to their homes because there wasn't any children services or police. May insisted on shaking my mothers hand whilst she sat bemused on her mobility scooter and it all got very awkward. Really really not sure what was going on with this on :/

autocorrect changed LARP (live action role playing) to lap as in lap dancing 0.o

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (by )

Yesterday we went to the allotment to begin the slow down for winter.

preparing the planter for raspberry canes

Preping the allotment for some fruit canes 🙂 and broad beans, finding frogs which are now safely in Mary's container/fairy garden, digging up the last few root veg that were ready - all yay!

raised bed prepared for broad beans

We also have late tomatoes which are still producing green tomatoes so it is time for more chutney making!

Late green tomatoes awaiting the chutney process

Discovering someone has stolen two of my galvanised herb pots turfing my rosemary plant which I grew from seed when we first moved to the cotswolds >:( They left the third so I think they must have gotten interrupted. Big boo >:(

There was also wood smashed up and thrown into one of our planters and the grumpy man who is sometimes there came and stared at me and the kids for a while before moving on :/

Ending with the frog pics because they are cute - Mary has named it Slimey unsurprisingly. It is in the Fairy garden because a) cats b) streamers.

Mary's friend Slimey the Frog

Slimey is pictured her in the empty worry trays that I use for weeding.

Slimey the frog

Last night was the only opportunity we had to take the kids to fireworks but I hadn't slept properly and then had failed to have a nap so decided not to go with Al and the kids - he say's the fireworks would have been borderline for me as there were a lot of flashing crowns and wands and shoes and I hadn't had a lot of sleep so I made the right decision in not going - I want to get through this November without a seizure as they set me back so far and it's like I've hit my head all over again so I am being extra cautious because I am so much better that I just don't want to risk it - but I felt like a bad parent not going but Al would have had to carry a fold up seat and stuff for me as well and I think it would have made it miserable for everyone if I had gone - we toasted marshmallows over candles when the girls got back and I managed to cook my first meal proper with little mess and no burning or mess ups since the head injury (this is cooking on my own rather than with Al or Jean) - so pretty pleased with that.

Toasting marshmallows over candles

However...

TW: miscarriage

Having nightmares at the mo - the next week is going to be tricky but I have craft supplies and have already made a bazzilion cards and keyrings - my plan is to bulldozer through - this is the day last year where I left the house walking and excited about all the awesome stuff I had planned for November and had to be brought home by a friend as thing started to go wrong very quickly and I couldn't even walk properly and felt like I had been hit with the flu hammer - nightmares are of course all hospital based or searching for lost babies/kittens/cute things or failing to rescue them no matter how hard I try - very grateful to the NHS and very aware I wouldn't be here if they hadn't worked so hard - I ended up with a server BP crash and seizure fortunately I was already at the hospital - this one has affected me far harder than the one in the summer - but it was a pregnancy that was older and it was far more traumatic. Trouble is I get cascade so the memories of that hospital trip flash to others including the trips to A&E whilst half way through Jean's pregnancy.

Big irony about this is that I can recall peoples birthdays and I even struggle with things like Christmas but this and the ectopic are burned into me. I accidentally woke Al up crying last night which I wanted to avoid :/

I'm also getting hacked off with myself for still being so drenched in this - it doesn't help that the pelvis has just not really recovered so I have a reminder every time I walk - I basically gave birth to the placenta which was the size of a small baby.

It's eating at my core partly because I fear it was perhaps my last chance to have a baby.

My craft obsession:

Card making is a big thing for me when I am feeling too frazzled or sick to do much else. Alaric bought me supplies, including a Christmas gift box colouring in book.

christmas crafting supplies

I've been making cards including ones of my St Oswold's picture I did in the summer.

St Oswold's greeting cards

Last night when I couldn't sleep I remembered I had lots of split rings to make keyrings with - so I combined them with my bracelet charms.

snowflake keyrings

I am making lots of lucky dip pouches to go in the treasure chest.

keyrings in silver style

I have to end the post with my guardian cat - Hydrogen has been through the mill of life and still likes to sit with me and purr. Here she is being a Dragon Cat with her horde of keyrings.

Dragon Cat and her hoard of keyrings

WordPress Themes

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales