Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Last Hurrah

One of the main reasons I decided to move back home was because I was suffering major flatmate burnout. Gus and I had a huge row one weekend, one that we will no doubt laugh hysterically about in the not too distant future, and I decided it wasn't such a good idea us living together. Of course people said "told ya so" but I have a tendency not to heed the advice of others. So after all that debating about what to do with the bonus I received from work I ended up using it to live a solitary, carefree month by myself. It was awesome but at the back of my mind I still had the niggling worry about who the next flatmate was. I then had a flurry of interest in the room and every single person was unsuitable. So I thought, as I often do in these situations; What Would Jesus Do? He'd go back and live with Mary and Joesph, or in my case, Mary and Bert.

I gave in my month's notice on the flat and then I really enjoyed my time alone. Well, for about 3 weeks, and then I felt that I had O.D'd a little watching the Bad Girls Club and I was, in fact, wanting to revert back to 'bad girl' tendencies and get drunk on Tequila and suchlike, and so on and so forth. I was tired of my own company. Ready to live communally again. As it happens, Nellybert's social life is far more prolific than my own and there's always a hive of activity but the option of solitude if needed.

But, alas, after 3 weeks I got a week off work and then I created my own hive of activity. Dirt Bird joined Nelly, the dogs, and I in Fanad and we had a wonderful time chilling, chatting and childhooding, which is a made-up word to make this sentence sound more punchy but basically means getting in touch with our inner child. We saw a Lookout Cow which we saluted and we mostly ate, cheese, bread and foosted fruit.

Thursday was my last night in the flat and the bad girl within me could not be contained. Jakers had been round picking some stuff up from me and I tempted him to join Ziggy and I for a drink at the pub. As always, everyone remembered Ziggy but wasn't quite sure who I was. It's always the nights you least expect it that turn out the best. We played guitar and chatted until the early hours of the morning and then it was Moving Day which went by smoothly enough considering my fragile state of being. The Super Duper Lovely Mels came to hang out and her mum took us to Mount Stewart the next day. Ziggy tried to take on a hissing swan with young cygnets. This would be Ziggy the dog who goes to pubs, listens to BBC Radio 4 and, quite frankly, should know better.

So that's what I've been at. Now here's a photo of a lily I was particularly endeared by :)

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Unexplained Bleeding From The Ears

One thing's for sure and that is I've been sleeping better at night. I'm guessing because I've eliminated a large amount of stress out of my life. That said, I did wake up out of my sleep last night and needed to go to the toilet. I switched the lights on in my bedroom and hallway to see where I was going but, for some reason, I was spooked. I've lived on my own before and I'm just not that easily scared in anymore. I'm so uneasily scared that when something does startle me and my heart races, I really like it. Because I know that I'm alive.

When I was a little girl I was scared of the dark. I could only sleep with the light on and when I woke up in darkness I hated it. I was also scared of sitting on the toilet seat as I imagined that a hand might come up and grab me and pull me down to the sewers. And I was petrified of mirrors. I did not dare to look into a mirror because I was convinced that something would move behind me, or my reflection would be an evil Hannah. The fear of mirrors came directly from movies I watched as a youngster. Cannibals I could handle, weird happenings in mirrors, I could not. Last night all three of these fears came back. My short trip to the toilet was an anxiety filled one. I imagined being pulled down into the faecal pit of doom. I didn't like turning the lights off behind me and letting the darkness catch up with me. I had to pass the mirror in the hall and I averted my eyes. I didn't look back once, just went straight back to the safety of bed where Zigatron would protect me. I was sleeping again within minutes, the residue of a thought on my mind; why was I so spooked?

It was much later today that I recalled the dream I was having just before I awoke. I was at work and it was announced over the tannoy that a body had been found at the front of the store. Then all the staff members were evacuated because they were going to have to quarantine the store. Epidemics play into one of my biggest fears. At least, I think I'm scared of them. I'm definitely fascinated by them and had been watching a show called Stranger Things last night and they were quarantining a research centre and I thought, "Yaaay! I love a good old 'outbreak' plotline, I hope there's some unexplained bleeding from the ears!" So I guess that's why I was dreaming about it.

I have to say, I actually kinda enjoyed feeling scared last night. I've had bad dreams before that have left me with an unsettled feeling all day long. They are dreams that also play into one of my biggest fears and that's when everyone hates me and they won't tell me why. I'm sure Freud would have a field day with that.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Way Forward

I haven't managed to do much writing for the Writing Project. It is a work in progress though and probably won't be ready for publication until sometime in 2045 when I'm a crazy old rat lady. So why, pray tell, have I not been blogging? I have developed a terrible addicition to a reality TV show called The Bad Girls Club. The name says it all really. It's trash TV but I am convincing myself it's for the purposes of counselling training. And so it is, kinda. I might not always like what these girls do but I can understand why they behave "badly" and I know they come from a place of hurt. Reality TV has always been fascinating to me because people are fascinating.



There has been a rather exciting development in my life. I've made the decision to move out of my flat and back home to the Dreen. The past four years have been incredibly unstable, challenging, rewarding and beautiful. It has been an absolute roller coaster with many, many ups and downs and all the way rounds. The wind has knocked me off my surfboard, I've clung on to the edge by my fingertips and I've sailed in the calmest seas of tranquility. I've broke down, cruised and crashed. I picked myself back up and brushed the desert off my hands. And my decision doesn't mean that I won't face troubled waters again but it will enrich the quality of my life for this stage of the journey. And it gives me back a little bit of control over my destiny. I was stuck for a long time. Still progressing in a lot of ways but stuck in a life that was stagnant. All because of money really.

I'm heading into the future with excitement and hope and a desire to wake up each day with a purpose; be happy, smile, work hard, stop and smell the roses, love, grow, be. Finish the final year of my course, get 150 hours, graduate. Learn to drive, save money, go travelling again. I only plan to go for 3 months and Ziggy will have been living at mum's for a while by then so it shouldn't be as big a shock to his system. I need something to look forward to and I can't think of anything better than the prospect of going away. My heart is warmed because Ziggy's life will be so much better too. He'll never be on his own when I'm at work, he can run and exercise all day long, eat calf shit, chase cats and run wild and free through the fields. Things are on the up!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Still Dreamin'

I've started a new writing project. Because, y'see, I haven't given up on my dream of one day becoming a published writer. At this stage of the game I think it mught be a more realistic dream than becoming a rock star. I'm not entirely throwing that notion out of the window either though.

The palace has been looking a bit drab of late so here's some pictures of dogs and a video of me singing about being broken.




Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Analogy

Imagine the whole world was a human body. Every part of that body, every organ, every limb, every cell, represented the people of the world. Mostly the body is working together to keep itself healthy, but there are parts of that body that don't function so well. Say, for example, the little finger on the left hand of the body wasn't quite right. There was something wrong with that little finger and it wasn't fully connected to the rest of the body. It was made up of 'bad' cells. And one night when the body is sleeping the little finger of the left hand attacks the ring finger beside it. So the rest of the body suffers the loss of it's ring finger because of the actions of the little finger. What does the rest of the body do? It gets rid of the little finger because it doesn't trust it to not damage other parts of the body. What was disconnected from the body due to, let's say, a 'glitch' becomes fully disconnected from the body because it was amputated because of the fear of further risk. And a body can survive without the little finger on the left hand. And it can also survive the loss of it's ring finger.

Let's say though, that when that little finger was disconnected from the rest of the body it just withered away to nothing. It rotted and decayed until eventually there was nothing left. That's pretty much what happens to things like that. But do the 'bad' cells just wither and rot and decay until they too disappear? Probably not. Because those 'bad' cells are part of the body as a whole, not just the little finger. So the finger is gone but the 'bad' cells just find a new part of the body to reside in. They go to the big toe on the right foot. The same thing happens and the body is now missing two fingers from the left hand and two toes from the right foot. All of a sudden the body doesn't trust itself. Where organs used to work together for the greater good they now fend for themselves and trust no other parts of the body as they may contain traces of the 'bad' cells. But they don't work so well on their own. They were designed to work together. The whole biological system of the body is in chaos. Limbs are amputated until the body is immobile. Eventually everything fails, with the heart the last to give up.

How can the body prevent this from happening? How can the body cut out the 'bad' cells without becoming completely disconnected from itself? How do we stop the little finger from starting all this nonsense. I guess I don't know anything for sure but maybe the little finger felt disconnected for a reason. Did the rest of the body stop to think about what that reason may be, or did it act quickly and impulsively out of fear and a necessity for self-preservation? Did it do a good job of preserving itself? Did it believe that the little finger would surely act again and so it was better off amputated? Did it ever stop to think that, since it was the same body, connected to the same heart, that maybe it was just as responsible for the actions of the little finger as the little finger was? Or did it find blame and fear easier to comprehend than compassion and understanding?

So the body is the world, and each organ and limb are the people in the world and they are all connected, except some don't feel or understand that connection so we get rid of them because we think they're going to poison and spoil eveything. Except that the 'bad' cells are part of the body as a whole, not just specific limbs and organs. And when things get tough, complicated or scary, instead of trying to understand where these 'bad' cells came from we try to eradicate them by any means necessary, until eventually the whole system collapses, because we don't know how to understand or look after ourselves. Not really. We don't see that we are all just one big body connected to one big heart and, one day, if we don't try to start listening and understand each other, that heart will stop beating.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Milestones

The weekend pleased me. I accomplished everything I wanted to whilst remaining in a relaxed, zen-like state of mind. The chicken was cooked and it has fed Ziggy and I for several days now. I finished Life of Pi last night and I'm trying to decide whether I should finish off Shantaram, another half read book, or start on the Stephen King one lent to me by Bilrus. I am erring more on the side of Stephen King right now. I read a lot of his novels when I was younger (much younger, perhaps, maybe too young) and there's a familiarity in his style of writing. I am feeling nostalgic and want the comfort of familiarity. I dreamt last night of the cast of New Girl. I had watched all 5 seasons back to back and felt a little hollow when it was over. So hollow, in fact, that I then trawled youtube for blooopers, interviews and anything involving those actors that had become like a family to me. This is maybe why I haven't watched TV shows in so long. I get horribly attached. Let's not forget the rollercoaster ride that was Karl and Susan Kennedy's marriage in Neighbours. I became too involved. I cared too much. I cursed the evil Isobel.

I reached my 30 hour target last week for the counselling course. It was a tremendous feeling. To think that I was on the verge of giving up in April. To think that I, while holding the metaphorical gun to my head, nearly pulled the trigger. Training to be a counsellor is not an easy feat. Due to the nature of emotional complexities it requires you to look deep within yourself. We're not always prepared for what we might find. We can lull ourselves into a false sense of security by thinking that we have got our shit together but, as when peeling an onion, we discover that there are layers upon layers of 'stuff' that rears it's ugly head just as we feel we've accomplished something.

I also passed my exam and coursework. Not exactly with flying colours but considering how much tougher it's all been this year I am happy with my results. Just one more assessment to hand in and that's me going into 3rd year with the rest of the crew. And while I feel relief and happiness there is also a large dollop of mental exhaustion thrown in for good measure. I'll be glad when this course is behind me. Though the training never really ends. The liklihood of me walking straight into a job when I graduate is slim. I50 hours is required to complete the course but 450 hours must be completed before I can become accredited by the BACP and this is what most employers will be asking for. If only I could count all the many hours I have clocked up counselling friends and work colleagues!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Roastin' Roosters

Since I got back into reading I have been mostly finishing books that I started a long time ago and lost interest in. One of them was a book by Anneliese Mackinstosh called Any Other Mouth. It was a charmingly transparent collection of short stories about the author's strange and beautiful coming of age memories. I identified very much with the author for her unashamed honesty. I'm now reading Life of Pi which I started before I went to Thailand several years ago. It just didn't grip me. I kept trying sporadically but all I could ever manage was about 3 pages every few years. It's meant to be a fantastic book so I've decided to persist this time and now that I've got to the stage where Pi is stranded on the lifeboat with a tiger I'm getting more into it.

Tonight I have a lovely evening planned. It involves bathing Ziggy because he is in dire need of one. It also involves playing guitar and starting a new jigsaw. It might involve watching some kind of comedy show like New Girl or Arrested Development. Today I bought a whole chicken. Unfortunately not a pet. One that goes in the oven. I am 34 years old and I've never roasted a chicken. Or a rooster. I felt like it was time to make that transition into adulthood. I also bought a bag of spinach and have eaten a handful of it raw. It was rather displeasing but I need green stuff in my diet.

The GCDCs have collapsed again. There's a whole back story that is completely insignificant to anyone but me but it's for the best right at this moment of time. I told one of my mates in work and he said he was going to make a meme. This meme would say "One Direction Have Split Up" and people looking mildly disinterested, then, "The GCDC's Have Split Up" and crowds of folk wailing and crying. Y'see, it was more fun for me to tell people that I was in a band than actually being in the band. What started off as a tongue-in-cheek joke became a reality. The GCDC's should have stayed in the Museum of Good Ideas.

Having said that it was an interesting learning experience for me. It spurred me on to be more creative and it gave me confidence in my singing and playing. The boys were always really encouraging and supportive and it truly is something special to hear other people playing along to your song. I most certainly haven't given up on music, that's for sure.