Sunday, 14 June 2009


I'm sort of uncomfortable about discussing this topic, especially as it relates to me. I've recently been diagnosed with major depression and have been on antidepressants (Citalopram) for the last 2 months to get back to my old self. My friends (the few close ones I have) have been very supportive, but others seem to think I should snap out of it and get back to work.

I didn't think there was such a stigma surrounding this as their used to be, or maybe it's a lack of understanding on people's part. Stress plays a large part of it, but stress and depression may be similar in symptoms, but the two are very different and shouldn't be confused. I've been battling depression for nearly 5 years now. Never told anyone about how I was feeling because for the last 5 years i've had to be the carer, I've had to hold everything together. So each day I put on my mask when I go to work and people don't see how much i'm hurting. I've done really well keeping my 'secret' under wraps all this time, no one would look at me and say, "Oh you look depressed." It's something that's never been associated with me, as I always seem in control of my actions, my feelings. That was up until a few months ago, when my mask started to slip and my emotions were starting to come apart.

I'd ignored all the health warnings my body was giving me, palpitations, suspected heart attack, tearful, stressed, letting the things I once enjoyed doing I let go. I was losing weight regular each week, and lost 28 pounds in the last few months. Now i've been told, that because i've not listened to those subtle sounds, my body is screaming for me stop and reevaluate my life or lack there of.

I've been on valium for a month aswell as tamazapam and Citolapram, none of which have been any good. I still don't sleep well, primarily due to my hands going completely numb, yes the valium relaxed me, but they were only a short term measure. I'm hoping this Citolapram I take each day will hopefully help along with some cognitive behavioural therapy will get me back on an even keel and start enjoying life again. I miss smiling and laughing and my writing.

Looking at my house (which is in a serious state of dissaray) I just don't have the willingness to even clean up. My boss and my mom are asking me what i'm doing with my time since i've been off work. While i've made some progress in getting my other house ready for sale, my mom's house looks like i'm living in a pigsty and i'm so embarressed I won't answer the door, or invite people round.

I know time heals all wounds, and i've been told to take it day by day and learn to relax, but i'm not used to it. I've had to cope on my own for all this time, and care for others, but I don't know how to relax and care for myself. I guess it's time to learn. I just wish I could bounce back to my old self.

If anyone wants any information on Stress/Anxiety or depression here are some links. If you feel like sharing your story, i'm a good listener. :)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


After 6 months, I finally decided to get my fourth tattoo. This time I got a Japanese cherry blossom as a band around my ankle. There are differences between the Chine version and the Japanese version. The Japanese one holds more significance for me and my life, but a lot of people don't realise the significance, and to be honest a lot of girls just like them. :) If you want to know the difference, here it is.

The first one I got was when I was 15, and it was done in one of the bouncers kitchen from a nightclub I used to attend when I was *cough*underage*cough*. It helped tremendously that I developed at an early age. ;) The tattoo I got admittedly was the most impulsive thing i have done as a teenager... sort of. The tattoo was of Charlie Brown with the words saying "Good Grief!" Whatever possessed me, I have no idea, and it is the only tattoo I regret, but I did get an offer to pose for a nudy mag at the time.. but I was a lot slimmer in those days. Needless to say I declined as I was only 16 at the time.

The other one I got when I was 22 and is a Chinese symbol on my hip. I eventually told my mom at age 25 that I had two tats and she promptly told me to wash them off... you gotta love her for that. Believe me it took lots of convincing to tell her they were real.

The third one I got is my most beloved tattoo, I had it done 2 years ago a couple of years after my Dad died of cancer. During my time of looking after him, it was the most stressful and rewarding time of my life. My Dad needed me, he was scared and vulnerable, as was I at losing him. During that time as you know my mom was in intensive care at Walton neurology, and there were times I just thought I cannot do this anymore. But the perseverance was well worth it, as was the 2 and a half hour sitting getting it done on my back! It was how I felt and still sometimes feel even years later, and I adore it. The tattoo was done at Triballife tattoo (now called Memento moiri, based in Liverpool, and he was a great artist and conversationalist. To be honest I thought it was going to be excruciating, but really it was a walk in the park. Maybe because of the meaning behind it? The aftercare of my tattoo went so smoothly, no scabbing, scarring. I took good care of it, and still to this day I adore it, and have no regrets.

During the last 6 months, I thought about getting the cherry blossom tattoo and the artwork and the placement is fantastic. However, my god I never understood how painful it would be afterwoods. My ankle has swelled to twice the normal size, it is a bit inflammed and hot. I have been cleansing it as instructed, and now have it elevated. But oh my goodness, even walking is agony. Hopefully it will settle down in a few days.

Here's some links on aftercare if you decide to get a tattoo done.

As soon as the swelling is settled i'll add some pics. :)

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Natural Photography

I'm trying to get into my new hobby, photography using the Nikon D5o. Still not quite sure how to use it, but i'm trying out different styles.

As I mentioned before, i'm trying to cheer my mom up, so have been waiting for a nice sunny day to mow the lawn and take some pics of the garden. Next week i've plans to get them blown up to poster size so that I can put them on her ceiling, and something else to look at apart from artex! I've also arranged for Sky to be put in, even though I bought freeview box for her at Christmas. Hopefully she'll get a better reception. I read an article today, the author must have read my mind about the caring system. Here it is if anyone is interested.

Anyway, I finally mowed the lawn, got up at 6AM to take some pics of the sunlight hitting the trees and I hope she enjoys it. I also nearly blew myself up when I cut right through the mower cable when it was on. Oops! The people at the store said I was very lucky to not get electrocuted. Glad to see i've still got some luck on my side. So whilst at the garden ship, i've been wanting to buy something for the birds. We already have a box for the bluetits that visit the house every day, but haven't really done more than that. So I bough a victorian type of stand along with nuts, seeds, worms and peanuts. Since then i've had an influx of birds of al varieties, which is just what I wanted.

I've seen a red finch, blue tits, lots of pidgeons, a black bird that's stealing moss in a plant pot for it's nest and a few sparrows. I've managed to take a few pics behind the glass doors, some turned out well, others didn't. Judgin by the seed feeder that seems to be the most popular, so i'll have to top that up as soon as possible.

I'm heading off to the house again tomorrow to sort a few things off... yeah had all these plans to get stuff done this week and i'm still procrastinating... so tomorrow!!

Enjoy the pics.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Caring - An antiquated system

My mom

For the last 5 years, i've had to be involved with medical personel, hospitals, doctors, nurses, social services - the whole kit and kaboodle. After seeing an entry in today's news about an OAP that was killed, it stirred something within me. A fire that's been brewing for a long time.

There has always been disparities within the health system, and nursing care standards, along with the old age post code lottery. For me though my story is probably not disimilar to others out there. My dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer in August 2004, and within 2 months he was dead. During those two months, we had the support of Macmillan nurses, the Queenscourt Hospice in Southport whom were wonderful with dad whilst he was there during his last few weeks. I had support from nurses, doctors, because of the word 'Cancer'. With other people, like my mom who is just 55 years old - a young women whom has Ankyosing Spondylitis, Osteoarthritis, and Osteoporosis, she's unable to feed herself, care for herself and has been bedridden for 3 years, I receive no support. I'm not just talking about monetary support, i'm talking about physical support, emotional support. People's wishes when they're seriously ill and whom are not suffering from cancer appear to be discriminated against. A person with cancer is allowed to die at home and receives such support and services to allow them to fulfill their personal needs. Why then is it so different for people of other illnesses?

My mom is dying slowly, she wants to come home to die, and the only way I can manage to do that is to pay some agency fee of £700 per week, plus the costs of Social services. But because of costs it's too expensive to bring her home, when nursing homes are £500 per week (minimum). So mom has no choice but to stay there against her wishes, against my wishes. Have you ever heard someone cry for years on end because they want to go home? How hard it is to try and say that 'i'm trying'. Working all the hours to try and save that sort of money. For it to be gone within a year. Then what happens after that year when the savings are all gone? They sell their home that they've built their whole life working for.

I know my mom and I aren't the only ones in this position, but too much power is now at the hands of others instead of the needs of the individuals, and it needs to change. Help for carers needs to change. The whole system is so antiqauted that it's no longer fit for purpose. So where do we go from here. How do we stop the discrimination from this point on?

Friday, 8 May 2009

Classical Music - Rondo Veneziano

Ever since I was a child I have been interested in all kinds of music. People who've browsed through my iPod, can't quite figure out which genre I fit into, which is fine with me. I'm pretty much an eclectic when it comes to music. It has to reach me on an emotional level for me to love it. I remember a song from probably going on 20 years ago that I heard and has stuck with me forever. The song was Notturno in Gondola by Rondo Veneziano from the album Venice in Peril. I do have the LP somewhere, but had trouble getting it onto disc. High and low i've searched for this particular song to put on my laptop/iphone/ipod etc. And now i've finally found it.

I'm not quite sure what it is about the composition that I love so much. It's such a haunting piece that just gives me goose pimples.

As I sit here trying to relax (thanks to some hefty meds from the doctors), I get a sense as I close my eyes that i'm wandering in a meadow of yellow flowers and at the end of the field is an old shack. As I walk towards it, I see an old gentlemen just sitting on his porch in this brocken down building, only sheltered by some beams of wood overhead. The man is of black origin and aged approximately 80ish originated from the southern states of America. And he sits in solitude, his head bowed in contemplative silence as if waiting for something or someone to find him.

I don't approach him, instead I stop and sit, watching this man from a distance and this music is what I hear, a haunting melody of emotions that emanate from him. His sadness, whomever he is, is lonely and longing for something. Or maybe it's me who is longing for something. Where this has come from, I really have no idea, but if someone can explain it to me, i'd be very grateful. Is it just vivid imagination, or is it something i've seen before? I don't know. I've uploaded the music for you (hopefully it works). All I ask is when you listen to this music, what do you see, what do you hear, what do you feel?

Okay, so the music thing didn't quite work out as i'd planned. So i've put the link to the music at the bottom, don't worry there's no virus's and you don't have to download anything unless you wish, just simply press play on the required file and let me know what you think.

Notturno in Gondola by Rondo Veneziano

Monday, 27 April 2009

Cats and Computors

My cats have serious issues with my PC and my using it, and will use mostly any tactic to get in the way of my surfing, typing or reading. My older cat (Gemma) is 17 in a couple of months and has become even more clingier than usual. She adores cuddles, and will most often just plonk herself either on my chest, the laptop or on my hands. Either that or she just wants to feel the heat!! Bella on the other hand is still very kittenish at 2 years old, she still drags her blanket around everywhere and adores being tickled on the belly, very much like a dog. With the PC her mannerisms are very different to Bella's in that she'll attempt to sit on the laptop and refuses to budge. Worse still she's such a drooler, and it goes everywher, once she starts that's it. Puddles on the keys on my arms, and quite frequently she suckles my ear and drools down my neck. Now i'm told that they normally do that if they're taking away from their moms too early, and they should grow out of it when they're about a year old... i'm still waiting!!

Unfortunately my previous laptop didn't fair very well with the girls in that they became so jealous, Bella kept repeatedly headbutting the screen until it eventually fell off. Needless to say my insurance agent, had a good laugh and refused to pay. Fingers crossed this doesn't happen again!

Anyway a couple of pics to show you the lil tearaways.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Nikon D50

Well, I've finally been ordered to relax and take some time off for a few weeks to get my blood pressure down to a more manageable level; lest I end up having a stroke! So with that in mind. I've had to learn how to chill out. Given that i'm one of those people with Type A personalities, i'm not quite sure how to relax. So my boss has set me work plan objectives on relaxing. She's advised me to read at least 3 books before I go back to work, to get a sun tan and chill out in the garden, to do some writing (which i've been extremely neglectful with for the last year), and to go out and take some pictures.

So, with my orders firmly in hand, I took a first tentative step and attempted to be a tourist for the day. As you can see from the snapshots with my Nikon D50 (200mm lens with UV filter), they're of the funfair and pier nearby. I seem to have this thing at the moment about wildlife, specifically ducks... i'll tell you about it some other time. I think the pictures came out quite good, and i've now got a telescopic lens which I hope to use when I go to Portugal in June. A whole week of swimming, chilling and drinking. Can't wait!!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Long time no post

I can't believe it's been nearly a year since I posted here. To tell you the truth things have been exceptionally hectic, and i've barely had two minutes to do anything more than just sleep once work has finished.

After a health scare... or three, i've decided that I have to start making some changes to my life, which means having fun a lot more, and leaving as much stress behind me as I can. I miss the good old care free days when the only thing I had to worry about was if I should get up at 11am or 12!

With work as stressful as it is, and mom begging me to come home i'm finding myself more and more out of sorts. So to try and gain that bit of life that should be fun i've decided to get out a bit more and enjoy life. Even if it's little snatches here and there. With that in mind I got myself a new camera (well, Ebay new) and some zoom lenses and went down the road to test out my new camera. Some pics i've been surprised with, and thought they'd turned out really well, particular the close up shots. Others i've thought 'meh' I definately need more practice, but practice makes perfect. The other part of my buying a new camera was for the trip to Bedford in February to see that cast of Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis. It was definately interesting for Joe I think when he realised Linzi and I were there for the cocktail party. I didn't think he'd remember me, but he did, and it was funny seeing him do a double take when he first saw Linzi.

So that was the first reason I bought the Nikon D50, the second reason was my love for cherry blossoms. I don't know why i'm drawn to them, but absolutely love the spring when they all come out and will finally get that tattoo on my ankle of the Japanese variety as opposed to the chinese version; primarily because they have two differing meanings. With mom still very poorly and deterioriating each day, she's not got much to look forward to, or to see given her bed ridden status and her being paralysed. So as she has little to no movement from the neck down, instead of simply being turned onto her back and seeing the ceiling, I want her to have a little piece of home. So once i've mown the lawn and the blossoms in the garden are out in full. I've arranged for my photo's of the garden (from start to finish) to be blown up to poster size and then arrange them on her ceiling. So the times when the nurses turn her on her back, she doesn't have to look at a blank ceiling. It's something at least. If anyone has any other ideas, i'm open to them.

I know I never posted my write up when I visited the set, but you can find all the details and some photos here. It's been so long since we went to the set, but I can still recall it with absolute clarity and fondness. I'll post some pics here of our trip to Canada and some shots I took today with my new camera if anyone is interested. Now that SGA has ended, I feel quite lost and empty and sad... good job I can look back at shirtless Shep and smile, grateful to Mr M for finally relenting and giving all us fangirls a long lasting squee moment. Let's hope we get some more when the movie comes out!

If anything this post was quite cathartic. Hope you enjoy the pics.