Since I last posted I have:

posted a fic here.

got new glasses - my prescription had changed, and I got to do the flashy-lights field-of-vision thing which I never had to do before, that was exciting.

bought two bras! It took me ages to get round to it but I was actually down to only one that fit. The whole thing was actually surprisingly painless.

bought a new laptop, which was just last night, actually, I have been poking at ebay for while and finally picked a T60 ThinkPad (I am currently using a T23, and it has been irritatingly slow and does not do DVDs or have a touchpad).

posted some pyrography pictures here.

Actually I have bought quite a lot of stuff recently, I realised money was building up in my account and went, hey! I could actually buy things! So, some books, and a hat, and some crafty stuff. Quite a bit of crafty stuff, actually, I have a whole pile of stuff waiting to be burned on. Oh well what the hell.
"Come and sing," says my sister G.

"Yeah, ok," say I.

G didn't mention the part where she was one of the people organising it, and thus I was automatically drafted to carry things hither and yon, and watch the ticket table for a bit. I didn't mind, really. The whole thing was quite fun, we were singing Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen, which is generally reasonably simple with some tricky bits, so we managed quite well on just a few hours of rehearsal. Also various people talked to me. (Also some people thought I was G until they got closer.) Also I drew a bit, which is something I have been trying.

I finally got to meet her cats, as well! Random was fairly aloof; about the closest I got to him was when he emerged from under my bed. Cassie was willing to share her couch with me (and is kind of a slut for pettings).

Also I was reading books about proper diet and such and today when I got back I ate a pack of meringues and a big bar of chocolate. Hmm. I have been trying to be wheat-free, and I thought it wouldn't be a problem this weekend because G has a bunch of intolerances; but every day I was there, I was too tempted - chocolate cake, a little sponge cake with awesome icing, yorkshire pudding. Maybe two weeks mostly-free was enough and now I am trying it again? I dunno. But I am quite worried I might have to give up flour, because apparently if you crave something particular it might well be bad for you, and I do love my bread. And cakes. And biscuits. :(

Also we watched the new Sherlock Holmes film, which I didn't get round to seeing in the cinema, and I have little to say except omg Holmes and Watson with the snark and the kickass and the clothes-sharing, yes please.
So, my neighbour plays this sleep-music. At least, I assume that's what it is, because I've been hearing it at night; and I only hear a bit of it, and it's only when it's quiet outside... but that's when I'm trying to sleep, and it bugs the crap out of me.

So I'm wondering if it would be politer to write a note or to knock on the door and attempt talking. Because maybe he's trying to drown me out and we're getting into an escalating situation; I mean, I doubt it, but maybe my music was a little loud earlier, I dunno.

Crap. Bugging. Bugging the crap. Part of the reason I stayed up horrendously late last night and so wound up sleeping all day today instead of going to Key. Agh.
Have voted.

Also went to Ikea and now have half-assembled bookcase lying on floor.

I have been reading Star Trek fic. Now I want Spock-goes-to-IKEA. Just because.

I may have been writing a little as well but I doubt it will see the light of day.

Meh.
Seem to be coming down with a minor plague. Sigh.

Am now doing three days a week at Key. Am a bit worried my dept will run out of things for me to do and I'll get turfed over to put things in folders one day a week, or something. Maybe I will start taking in my own projects on Fridays.

Had dinner with parentals, it was surprisingly painless - I guess it is easier to tolerate the blah-blah-blather when it is not every day.

Next-door-neighbour's loud girlfriend is visiting. She is American - I know this because I can hear her through the walls. And he seems to use some sleep-music, or something - I've heard it a couple of times, just the top notes coming through, which means it's repetitive and irritating and if I'm trying to get to sleep at three a.m. I need to get some white noise going to block it. At first used radio tuned to static, but this site is useful; I like the brown noise best.

I have not been knitting since I finished the bloomers - I am going to pick one of my yarns out of the stash and find something to make with it.

But right now I am going to attempt sleep.
If you would like to see them, there are about fifty photos from Colonsay on flickr.

Here are three. )

I have been thinking about my, like, philosophy of photography. I don't generally take pictures of other people, because I know I don't like having my picture taken and I just assume other people hate it as well. But when I take landscape photos, I like having man-made things in. Like, I was going to take a picture of a hill, and then a tractor started coming down the track, and I was delighted. I like juxtapositions, and combinations. I also like water, and reflections, and clouds, and shadows, and broken things. I like the play of light. I guess for some of that, it is the idea of capturing an instant, because things change from one minute to the next, and even if someone is standing right where I did, they still won't get exactly the same picture.
I got back from Colonsay a few days ago. Since then, I have mostly been sleeping, but today I went to the shop and to parentals for dinner. I have a few hundred photos and I will upload the best at some point soon, but cannot be arsed right now.

I drank lots of tea. I got wet and muddy on a regular basis. My hands have suffered brambles, burns, lots of pulling plants (the sides of my index fingers are callused), and wind-burn; I did have gloves, but they weren't waterproof, so most of the time wearing them was kinda counter-productive. I have a few dozen bruises on my legs. All my clothes smelled of smoke, and it was smoke from rhododendrons and griselinia which smells weird. I reached exciting standards of cold, involving visible breath and hurting nipples (and this was inside the house). My knee has been sore for about a week; it stops hurting after I've been moving for a while, but it goes sore again pretty fast when I stop. Sometimes it was sunny. I saw some pretty cool old stuff of various oldnesses. There were quizzes. I ate a lot. I had someone knock on my door because I was late for breakfast four or five times; I had my own room because of odd gender numbers. I bitched out one of the guys and spent a few minutes shaking afterwards, but he said after that he wasn't upset. I pulled, lopped and sawed a lot of plants. My boots are probably now beyond saving (they were already cracked). I did some cross-stitch. I saw lots of geese and sheep, some cows, various other birds and goats. I walked up and down hills. The ferry was over two hours each way; I like the sea. There were eleven other people and I liked them in varying degrees but I don't think any of them are friends for life. Also I don't think I was the least-liked/most-annoying, despite my failings.

It was a good holiday.

I have seen DW and liked it quite a bit. I like Amy more than Eleven so far, but I liked little Amelia even more. But yes, promising, I think. I have not really caught up with flist, it gets weird. And I think now moar sleep.
Earlier, I went through my post for the last, uh, two or three weeks, which is not much, but included train tickets for Monday, a bill I'd forgotten about, a letter for a neighbour, a threatening note from TV Licensing and a cold weather payment (woot!). Then Dad came over and took me out for a pint.

craftinesses - chainmaille and pyrography )

Also I have been taking pictures. Not many, and generally not when people are around, but still. There was something about shame-reducing exercises in a self-help book I read recently, and I think photos could work for that, maybe. Maybe. I should not be embarrassed about taking photos even if it is of random things; people seem to think I am artistic, I can totally pretend.

Also I have strimmed my hair again.
I realise this is terrifyingly anal of me, but does anyone know the 'authentic' spelling of the first line of To A Mouse? I plan on burning it into a bowl and now I am having conniptions, mostly over cowran vs cow'rin. I've just about decided I prefer sleeket to sleekit. But things may still change. The bowl, y'see, is kind of lumpy, and one lump looks rather like a mouse-face, so that, just sketched out, and then a few stems of wheat-ish-stuff, and the quote running round the rest of it. I think. Ho-hum.

Also I am looking for a quote on touch; frustratingly, a simple search leads mostly to quotations about 'a touch of genius' or the like, instead of the tactile sense. Oh, now I am finding tantric ones, that's helpful; well, closer, but not exactly acceptable.

On the way home, thinking about mirrors (seeing myself and not instantly recognising; the mirror self; that syndrome from that CSI ep with the woman who did not recognise her own reflection; you can touch the mirror but not the mirror self; oh yeah, cats get confused by that all the time) - I was working on one, and walked past a couple.

Also composing philosophical bullshit about the fascination of change to excuse my taking pictures of a demolition site; also the role of photographer as historian rather than artist.

Also now I really ought to sleep as have been awake for over 21 hours. Silly me.
At Key I have been burning things, also known as pyrography; I am not very good at it. One of the guys complimented my work, and asked how I could say (as I had earlier) that I wasn't artistic; but I'm a perfectionist.

I have missed both the Friday choir rehearsals so far, mostly out of apathy. They will not kick me out, though, because they are pretty short on tenors. On the way to rehearsal last night I saw a fox, pretty much in the middle of town. It was pretty cool, ran out of a side street just in front of me and trotted across the road.

I have been watching quite a lot of telly - iplayer, downloads, etc. Most of it has at least been semi-decent; but I did at one point watch Antiques Roadshow out of desperation for distraction. I tried to tell psych-man how much of me is distraction but I'm not sure how well it got across. Maybe I should take knitting to a session.

ETA: I have bought train tickets for my holiday, and ordered a new simcard as the company my phone is on has been taken over or some shit, and I've been getting texts about it for, um, a while now. I should probably look into prices but I have been organised enough for today, I think. I have done dishes and everything.
Today at Key I was the Only Person In My Department as the bossman is off on holiday. So the boss from woodwork kept looking in on me, and showed me how to use the spray gun, which was good fun. (The Spray Booth is... not exactly forbidden territory, but there's no reason to go in there unless you are spraying something, and only the bosses tend to do that.) And I got to play my own music instead of Smooth Radio, hah.

I got five different white-ish/yellow-ish goopy/runny/sticky substances on my hands, at least two of which are "avoid contact with skin". That does not include snot, which was successfully contained in a number of tissues. My back is not very happy with me, as I was working on the demon desk (which is very nearly finished!) and thus bent awkwardly a fair amount of the time. It is bloody annoying working on something wobbly, even though it is not nearly as wobbly as it was the first day I sanded it.

That is all that is happening with me right now.
I have not gone to choir because I am coughing and sneezing and do not want to infect people. This is the fourth rehearsal I have missed so technically I am supposed to talk to, um, someone, to let me be in the concert after missing so many; but I am a tenor and they've been begging for more of us so I doubt it'll actually be an issue. (I missed one out of not realising it had started, one out of laziness, and one out of sleeping through it. Yes, it is an evening rehearsal.) I have been awake all day, it is terrible.

I have read three of my library books, here are a few comments.

The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine by Roszika Parker. Read more... )
The Archimedes Codex by Reviel Netz and William NoelRead more... )
Normal by Amy Bloom Read more... )

I went to psych-man today, it was not bad, but sometimes I feel like we are repeating outselves; and just because I know something intellectually does not mean I believe it, and he seems to expect otherwise, which is just silly. Some interesting thoughts about self-narrative, how I represent myself as opposed to how others experience me, etc. And I was on time, for once.

Ugh, I have been awake All Day (since before nine in the morning!) and my nose is sore and my throat is tickly and my Lemsip is three years expired, I don't know how that happened. ETA: Now I have run out of tissues. Sigh.
Would anyone like a green jewellery box? Quite old dark-green velvet interior, recently stained green exterior. It has been one of my projects at Key and they said I can have it but I already have jewellery boxes.

I am putting off going to sleep because I have psychotherapist tomorrow. Do Not Want.

I went to the library on the way home to print out a pattern for a woman at Key; I came out with five books. Surprisingly, all non-fiction. One knitting, one self-help, one historical/mathematical, one gender issues and one feminist perspective on the history of embroidery. And one or two bits of info that may be worth following up on; a lecture and a competition.

This morning I nearly went back to bed; I'm kinda glad I didn't. But I didn't want to get up - snooze button like whoa - and I knocked down my glasses and the lens popped out, and then my shoelace broke. And I got the bus into the centre instead of walking because I was running late, and then I actually walked into someone - I thought he was stepping forward and he was stepping back - and then getting off the bus, the driver didn't notice me and I had to say something. And I'd actually been thinking as I walked to the front that something like that happening would just confirm that I should have stayed in bed. Sigh. But a somewhat cute guy on the bus asked me the time, that was ok.

Urgh. OK. Sleep time now. Or at least lie-down-and-close-eyes, because they are not optimal.
ups and downs, ups and downs

Sometimes I think I'm doing OK, then I fuck up again and I just... agh. Today I had an appointment at the jobcentre, and I knew about it and stayed up so I wouldn't miss it; and then I checked the card and found I'd mis-remembered the time and it was already past. The 'stayed up' is because yesterday I stayed in bed until after midnight (missing a choir rehearsal in the process) for no particular reason. I actually woke up at, like, half-seven in the morning, and went 'ugh' and proceeded to sleep another ten hours, at which point I thought about getting up for choir but instead went 'urgh' and slept some more.

Monday was a good day, though. I got told that I am getting an extension of my time at Key; I was supposed to finish soon, and so had previously had a meeting with boss-lady in which I told her I had nothing to do afterwards, and she talked to me Monday and said I had been doing so well it would be a shame for me to backslide and she had wangled me an extension. Which is good! and happy-making!

I need to go to the shop for caffeine and actual food, and I need to bring the bin in. Oh, and I need to pay for the bin.

Oh. It is snowing. Usually that would be joyful and excited, but not after this winter. I should go now so I beat the people leaving work. Sigh.

ETA: I went, and I have eaten (a microwave burger, so I'm not sure it counts as proper food, but it's as close as I usually get) and had some caffeine (thus reducing the withdrawal headache) and feel better. I always forget how badly not-eating can affect me until I eat and suddenly feel a great deal better. I really ought to get organised and try actually cooking, but I am lazy, and I get bored easily, so I keep messing things up and it's just too much effort anyway. Hm, I think I will have that cake now.
The other day - late on Sunday evening, actually - I woke up to find my hand was oddly red. I think it's a reaction to the dye on my pillow, or something, but it's made me pretty glad I sleep with the pillow that way up, because otherwise it would be my face; and my hand is still red. It looks and feels quite like a sunburn, so I have moisturised and hope that will help.

I did not go to therapy today even though I was awake. Last week kinda sucked. I'm not even sure what we were talking about any more, but there were tears and awkward silences. I just remembered he's on holiday next week, woo. I spend a lot of time avoiding thinking. This is probably not good for me but last time I lay quietly and thought, it was about getting another tattoo and/or piercing just for the endorphin buzz, which is basically self-harm that also hurts the wallet. Ugh. This is why I don't have a brain any more, I use too much of it stopping other bits of it from doing anything. And there isn't even anything particularly bad in there.

Now I am going to choir to sing loud things; that is good.
Today I left the house and ate with familials, it was actually quite nice. Then I went to shops and could not get the music I wanted (so have ordered off internet and paid for fast delivery) (and did not impulse-buy a treble recorder and music, but have now bid on ebay for same) and bought (only) two balls of yarn (Debbie Bliss cashmerino chunky in dark grey) (but there was an awful lot of Donegal Tweed in the bargain bin, I wonder...)

Also I have offered a thing I knitted on help_haiti, here. Oddly scary.

Um, stuff. I have been sleeping too much and not eating enough actual food. But my drains are still working, so that's something.
*iz ded*

Got up at eight, which is an obscene time on a Sunday morning, to find toilet overflowing. Finally got the pipe working again around half-eleven, at which time dad arrived (it was kinda spooky, actually) and wanted to start work on the other pipe, so I hung around watching and fetched and carried. I have been up and down those stairs at least two dozen times today and I am TIRED. Yes, I know I am unfit, I plan to work on it, but this is not the way to do it. Also five of those trips were carrying a big bucket of water down to the drain in the road. Anyway. Dad left a bit after one, having unblocked that pipe as well, and bought me some more gas, which is good. I have poured warm salty water down the sinks. The bathroom still smells bad.

I am just back from the shop, because I was in dire need of caffeinated sweeteners (aka diet coke) and food with instructions on it. My legs are sore. I may take a nap now. Of course, a nap now could turn into sleep until tomorrow, but I am a bit incompetent without enough sleep. Last night I nearly gassed myself because I went downstairs and found the blowtorch not working because of cold, so I brought it back up, and forgot to actually turn it off until I smelled it. Sometimes I think if I was braver I'd totally have won a Darwin award by now, because I may be intelligent but that depends on me actually thinking about things.
I just went outside twice and up the close once (which is not that far from outside, really, given the non-existent back door and broken window).

Not because it is snowing again (though it is). Not because there is a loud party across the way (though there is). No, the plumbing situation has deteriorated. Previously the toilet still worked, but I found it with the bowl full of water (found it by sitting down and getting a wet bum) and so I scooped water out and emptied the bucket in the drain grating round the corner. And then did that some more and got some of the water out of the shower as well, and emptied that. And then put notes through the doors of both neighbours directly above me. I probably should have done that Thursday night; or, actually, gone and said something, because I had a big flood which I'm assuming was someone emptying a bath - it seemed like a lot of water all at once. But the fear happened. Sigh.

My much vaunted independence has taken a blow in light of the lack of toilet facilities. Oh well.
Ohhhh my. It is cold. It is very cold. I just discovered I have ICE on the INSIDE of my front windows. Admittedly the heating has only just come on, but seriously. Ice. Inside. That's not fair.

Also not fair: I went out about nine this morning to go to Key, only to be told when I got there that they are not open. (Also, one of the staff called me 'petal', and I can think of very few women less petal-like than myself.) So then I came back via the shops, which is good because now I have money on the gas and more food. I did not fall over but there were a few slippy bits.

I have been out the last two days but that was in the afternoon, which was cold, but not quite as bitter as this morning, which was quite a shock to the system.

The drains are not working very well, so I emailed my landlord aka father and he as suggested I could go stay in their house until the weather improves. That would be warmer, but then so would the fiery pits of hell. Probably I will not tell him about the ice inside the windows as then he might try to insist and that could be unfortunate.

I am going to change my heating strategy. I have had it on full, only part of the time. I think it would be better to have it permanently on low, with more as and when. *nods*

I hope you are all warm.
So, Christmas has been and gone. I have been online a fair amount but not talky. Stuff. Sleep patterns non-existent, being around people, etc.

Day was nice; am at sister's house, were five of us (two sisters plus husbands) now other sister and hubby have returned to Aberdeen; I am going home tomorrow. Dad visited unexpectedly on Christmas day, which was good because I sent most of my presents home with him, including the ironing board.

Have taught both sisters basic crochet, and cramped up my hand doing crochet all day, because I'm not that used to it, but I do seem to have developed a smooth motion, and now I have made a hat.

I just started looking at job stuff again ten minutes ago and already I feel like shit. "But what do you really want to do?" asked the woman at the job centre, and I looked at her blankly. What do you mean, 'want'? What do you mean, 'enjoy'?

I would talk to my psychiatrist about it but I now haven't seen him in five weeks, only two of which were my fault. I don't know if I'm supposed to go this week but I'm going to assume not. And he'd just ask how it made me feel, anyway.

:(

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June 2012

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