Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dr. Smarty Pants

Yesterday I went to the doctors. I'm not even sure what these people do. I think they might just enjoy looking in your ears, poking your stomach and then telling you there's bugger all wrong with you and give you a prescription of smarties. Yes, I'm pretty sure that's all they do.

No, no, I know they are a bit more useful than that but, often that's how I feel after visiting them. Baring in mind, I'm 33 and I only go to the doctor when I absolutely have to. In the past this has mostly been to deal with depression. Same thing normally happens, they ask you a few questions "Do you feel that life is worth living?" which is pretty much a more sensitive way of asking "Would you like to top yourself?" and then they weigh you and tell you you're underweight and that diet and mood are directly linked and how are you meant to feel happy when your body has nothing to feel happy with. So they prescribe you some smarties to put on weight.

I'm being very unfair though. Some doctors are better than others and I have dealt with some very decent ones. The one yesterday didn't seem to take my sinus problem overly seriously though. I tried to point out to him exactly where I thought the tumour was growing in my frontal lobe and the swelling it was causing all down my eyes and nose (I think hypochondria runs in my family...I never actually mentioned anything about a tumour on my frontal lobe but if he had been a fit doctor to practice he would have noticed it straight away). So off he sent me with a nasal spray and some smarties. The tumor told me last night it would have preferred skittles but. seemingly, they are more expensive to produce.

Whilst I recognise that we are lucky to have any kind of system in place that provides us with free(ish) health care often I wonder would I not just be better taking the medicine that nature had already provided for us. Homeopathy all the way!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

In The Hedgerow

Music night was quiet last night with just Jakers and I blasting out a few tunes. I played him a new song I'd written and he was very sweet with his feedback. I still don't take it too seriously because all I have are the bare bones of song writing. Then again, isn't that how all songs start out?

I've started to do a bit more writing in general which is good. Every once in a while I feel very passionately about my writing and I want it to "go places". Where, I'm not exactly sure because the world is getting so full up of stuff that sometimes it feels like there's no room for any more words, or songs, or pictures. After spending time in Connemara I realise that I could happily retreat there and plug into the wild, rustic nature to inspire some kind of book. I think I'd like to live in a hedgerow.

As always, when I fill my days with creative pursuits there is not so much left over for my blog. My wee dried-up diary! And isn't it funny how I have grown to become so affectionate about it? I speak of my blog as an actual 'thing' when all it really is is a part of me. So, I guess it's kind of good and positive to feel affectionate towards it.

Here's a picture of the treehouse drawn by me and coloured in by M.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Back To Work :(

It seems that the more one enjoys one's time off from work the harder it is for one to go back to work. Getting back to reality after the roadtrip was hard. Well, no, getting back to work was hard. In the wilderness the energy is pure and serene. In work the energy is toxic. But this week also brought with it the start of my second year of my degree. Scary times ahead. Scary because of the financial commitment and the deadlines. Everything else is the 'unknown' and that kind of excites me. My motto for this year is something I told myself a while ago. The only person that's pointing a gun to my head is myself. And it's not so much a gun, more like a brain-jobby-poking-stick-device to wiggle in my ear and stimulate my senses.

On Tuesday night we had a few more faces to our jamming session. One is a fella named Jobe (I probably shouldn't give him a nickname that so closely resembles jobby but I like the name Jobe and I like the guy so that's what I'm gonna call him). Jobe is an actual proper bassist so that's always handy. The other guy is called Tobe (I'm feeling uninspired at the minute) and he's an actual proper guitarist so that is also very handy. Since I now feel completely inadequate as a guitarist I have been forced to pick up the saxophone and convince myself that it won't take long before I'm a jazz funkist.

Music night is always different. When Gus is here it is a goofball session. This is when we do really bad covers and play our own ridiculous songs. When Jobe is here we take ourselves a bit more serioously and try to perfect the covers that we can sort of play. When Tobe is here we get all inspired about writing our own songs that are not ridiculous because we have an actual proper guitarist who can write music.

Other than music night the week has been rather lacklustre. Work is sucky. I'm broke and feeling drained. On the plus side, I managed to save myself £200 by using my common sense. My guitar was sounding awful and I thought I was going to have to buy a new one. Instead I bought some new strings and now she's playing like a dream.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Road Trip

I didn't get a chance to blog before Ziggy, Mel and I headed on our roadtrip. We are back now and an awesome time was had by all. We started off on Saturday night by sleeping in the treehouse. It was dark when we arrived but we had a cosy fire and a few drinks to warm us. We settled down for the night, blew out the candles, switched off the lights and it suddenly occurred to me that it was actually roasting. I looked at the pot bellied stove and said to Mel "Is it just me or is that fire so hot the stove's actually glowing red?" Mel concurred, it was glowing red. I opened the windows and kept checking Ziggy's head to make sure it was cooling down. I didn't want to start the roadtrip with a dog that had been fried during the night.

We woke in the morning, lit another fire while we had coffee and then bundled ourselevs into the car where we made our way to Connemara. There was much fun and excitement on the drive down. Ziggy had no idea what lay ahead of him. I had no idea that Actons Eco Campsite would be so nice and peaceful and picturesque. We arrived in the evening and pitched our tent. That was our home for the next two days and a lovely home it was too. One sad thing did happen here but, really, it wasn't that sad at all. I had bought Ziggy a brand new orange ball and we were playing with it on the beach. I threw it into the sea in the hope that Ziggy would bravely retrieve it. He didn't. I kept trying to encourage him as I watched the orange ball floating off in the direction of America. It was only sad for me however, Ziggy didn't give a hoot (which was just as well as we ended up stepping into unkown territory that completely forbade "hooting"). I consoled myself with the belief that the ball would float to America and a little Jack Russell type pup with a 'kerchief around it's neck would find it and be so very proud.

As we were leaving Connemara we stopped off to take some photos of a very oppressive looking Church type building. Mel noticed a dog running down the road chasing a car. We thought perhaps the dog was crazed, rabid even, and then it disappeared. We spotted it in the car it had been chasing. I think it didn't take kindly to being left behind and had proceeded to chase it's owners.

We were a little disorganised in Sligo (although that was kind of the plan-to have no plan) and we ended up staying at a campsite on the beach. It was ok. We couldn't have a proper campfire and there was absolutely no shelter from the sea spray. We'd also put the tent up rather haphazardly and so poor Mel woke up with wet tent flapping around her head. We left quickly and made our way to Fanad in Donegal.

Fanad was pure bliss. We had a caravan to make a proper dinner and we had foraged plenty of wood for a decent beach fire. We sat on a blanket drinking, playing geetar and looking up at the night sky where the stars were so bright and magnificent. My soul felt completely at peace. Ziggy roamed the beach and paddled in the water. Mel and I discussed matters of importance and matters of complete shite. The next day we went to Ards Forest park and forgaed for more wood. I stopped off at an old disused bakery and took photos of creepy things. We spent another night on the beach star gazing and playing music.

Then it was time to come home. We made up a comfy bed for Ziggy in the back seat as we knew he'd be so tired. He was. We stopped at Every Woods and had a poke about. We stopped in with Mum and Bert to tell them all about our adventure. Bert particularly liked the 'no hooting' story. We were driving around Sligo looking for somewhere to pitch the tent and we saw a sign that said "No hooting". We both thought it rather odd. Mel thought it meant 'no looting' and I thought it meant no hooting your horn but it didn't really sit right with me. Then we came upon another sign that said "No Shooting" and Mel exclaimed "Awww, we definitely can't camp here, we can't do anything here, no hooting, no shooting!" I pointed out that it was very likely that the no hooting sign was a no shooting sign without the S. We decided against camping there anyway.

I've included a picture of our adventures. It doesn't include everything but it does show why it is so important for me to find someone to illustrate my stories. The midgies at Connemara National Park were not kind to us. The bigger dog is the crazy, rabid running dog and the small dog is the 'kerchiefed Jack Russell waiting in America for his orange ball.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Happy Birthday

The Palace of Heavenly Pleasure is 10 years old today. Wow! 10 years of my life that I might not have remembered had I not documented all the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, the joy, the pain, the adventures, the failures, the people who left their mark on my heart, the triumphs. There was the incident with the potato and leek soup. There was the time I climbed through someone's window and the other time I climbed through someone's window. There were many adventures, many relationships and many lessons to be learned.

There were the times I didn't write, the times I wrote to pretend that everything was ok and the times I wrote directly from my heart. I know which I prefer. There's been off beat poetry, posts about nothing and the building of a treehouse. There have been many guest posts written by very talented dogs and probably twice as many animal epitaphs. There have been a whole host of business plans that never came to anything (though I am reluctant to give up on my enterprising) and I am still waiting to pass my driving test and do all those other things adults do.

It has most definitely been emotional. Many tears fell from my eyes and I fought through waves of hopelessness. Travels didn't always go according to plan, relationships didn't work out, friendships grew apart, there were fights, worries, fear, sadness. But I wouldn't change any of it for the world. Not one iota. I chose certain paths and I walked the road less travelled. There were thorns in my paw. But I met so many amazing people who helped me squeeze the thorns out. So many amazing people. And I always, always had my family, a very loving and supportive family. I can't say for sure that my blog will last another decade but, even still, it's the most committed I've been to anything my whole life so that has to count for something. Happy Birthday my wee blog!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Through The Blowhole

Gus and I broke up last week. Nobody likes to read about break ups. People don't even like to hear about them. They assume that all break ups lead to heartbreak and that's not always true. When someone gets to a certain point in their life and they become romantically involved people tend to think "Oh, that's great, they've found 'the one'" I didn't assume anything about my relationship with Gus and I think that's why I was able to look at it with such clarity.

Another thing people tend to assume when there's been a breakup is that is was somebody's fault. I try not to look at things in terms of whose to blame. Gus and I were both completely open and honest throughout. There was no gameplaying and no bullshit. It was simply a case of it not being right for us at this particular time.

I am loathe to call it the'perfect breakup' only because people don't believe such things are possible. And, of course, I can only tell you how it is from my point of view. I am not Gus and I can't speak for him. But after some of the messier breakups I've had in life, it feels so much kinder and caring. Gus and I truly are good friends. We don't want to hurt each other and we know enough about human psychology to recognise the patterns that can develop when a relationship isn't right.

If Carlsberg did relationships it would have looked a lot like ours. We talked about surfing the blowhole. Maybe one day I can try to explain what the blowhole signified in our relationship. Although it sounds like it might be sexual, it's not. The blowhole is simply the cosmic channel through which the universe is created. It started with hair and spunk but I promise you it has nothing to do with sex.

But, yeah, we surfed the blowhole and it was fun. Then we had to be adults and I think we passed the test. Now we are just friends again and I feel very lucky to have had such a fun summer without too much bittersweetness. I am very much learning to enjoy these experiences for what they are at the time. I feel no need to cling onto something and mould it into what I think it should be, because then, it ceases to be what it was.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Worm Juice and Copulating Flies

I am at one with mother nature. So much so that insects like to do their business on me. I was holding a worm in the palm of my hand when I noticed it had secreted a yucky yellow liquid all over me. I couldn't tell you what the substance was I didn't see which end of the worm it came out of. Sitting at mum's today and she says "Hannah, there are two flies shagging in your hair", which I didn't mind until they fell out of my hair onto my biscuit.

Flies were the order of the day. Both mum and I swallowed one when we were out walking with the dogs. It was tremendously tickly. I thought I was going to cough out my spleen and mum said she felt her fly was doing ballet in her throat and she kept making noises like a cat does when it's hacking up hairballs. Mum stopped at a shop to get a drink and I suggested that ice cream would be a far superior remedy for fly inhalation.

We went to the monastery car park to eat our ice creams and do a spot of people watching. Mum remarked on the woman that walked by woth an army of children, "Wow, five kids, she's some doll....shit! The window's open". My mum is a careless people watcher.

Yesterday I fixed my washing machine. The pump was clogged full of blue tissue that had been in the pockets of my flatmate's trousers. There were a couple of times during the repair process that I thought I was going to have to call a man but then I realised that all the men I know are not the fixing washing machines type of men so I just got on with it myself. One more week and one more day at work and then it's Roadtrip time :)