Chilin wiv ma boyz

Seeing Mac and Horatio earlier this week, I realised that I’d forgotten how cats manage to make themselves both cuddly and sleek at exactly the same time, though when it came to giving Mac belly-rubs, I was relieved to discover that I’d lost none of my timing vis-a-vis the getaway…!

Horatio - 30 March 2010

Horatio - 30 March 2010

Mac and Horatio - 30 March 2010

Mac and Horatio - 30 March 2010

Mac - 30 March 2010

Mac - 30 March 2010

I miss having cats around.

So much so, that I’m going to ask my landlords if I can have Queenie here. When I first moved in, they said it wouldn’t be wise to have a cat as they’ve got a semi-feral one who nearly killed the last to live here. However, I’ve been keeping a eye out and I’ve never seen her on “my” side of the farm, so I’m thinking that it’s worth taking the risk.

I’ll speak to them before making any decisions, but I do miss having a cat around the place.

Online … at home!

I spent yesterday and today up in Oxfordshire, visiting B (my ex) and the cats, Mac and Horatio, who are looking sleek and positively radiant. It was lovely to the boys – and B! – and we spent a lovely evening curled up in front of the TV, stuffing our faces with curry and watching Up on DVD. And can I just say that if you haven’t yet seen Up, then get yourself a copy RIGHT NOW as it is simply fan-tastic.

Anyway, after a lovely 24 hours up in the ‘shire, I headed on home and was almost knocked over by Snipe and Midge, who I’d left with Ally for the duration. It was the first time they’d spent a night away from me for two and a half years so it was both good and bad to discover that they’d been absolutely fine during my absence and hadn’t pined at all 🙄 😆

But even better than doggy-kisses was the discovery of a parcel on my doorstep …

I am thrilled to report that TalkTalk, the bastards, have finally sent me my router and connected my broadband.

Yes, you read that right. It may have taken them six weeks but I am finally online and can officially state that anyone in possession of their right mind should do anything, anything rather than sign up with these gits.

But … I’m just happy to be re-connected to the wibbly web at long last. I’ll be even happier if they make good on their promise and give me two months free line rental to make up for their ineptitude!

The truth, it hurts it does

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that there is a massive difference between confiding in someone you know and trust, and baring your soul to a complete stranger, especially when their name is prefixed with the title “Dr” and their profession is psychology.

Some of my nearest and dearest are (horribly) perceptive and hiding anything from them is nigh on impossible but in that case, sharing is a relief, an opportunity to shed grief and distress, to be comforted and cared for.

On the other hand, there is something extremely uncomfortable about sitting in a warm and spacious room while said doctor expertly probes her way through the bones of your life, picking up on every signal, pressing all the right buttons to get the response you didn’t know was on the tip of your tongue, waiting to be confessed like a shameful secret.

Afterwards, drained and exhausted, you stare in horror at the truth you have been forced to admit, wondering how the hell you will ever learn to live with this new and unpleasant knowledge about yourself.

Old ghosts return to haunt your thoughts and you realise that the bogeyman hiding under your bed was, after all, as real as your shadow.

They say that the truth hurts.

They weren’t kidding.


Not that I spend any time talking to myself or anything, but I have come to the conclusion that either I slur my words – or Midge needs her ears cleaning out.

She is a keen hunter of El Rodent and gets extremely excited whenever you say the R word. So I tend to avoid it, which is yet another good reason to be grateful that Roland Rat is off the airwaves…

Anyway, like I said, not that I spend any time talking to myself or anything, but it turns out that in addition to the usual rhyming suspects (“Snipe, put down my hat. Immediately!”), Midge was also driven into a ratty-frenzy the other week when I tried to dissuade the Yellow Buffoon from treating the living room as her own private playpen (“Snipe, for crying out loud, calm down and relax!”) and then again when I was pondering the contents of my fridge (“Oooh, I’ve still got some of that chilli sauce left. Pasta for lunch!”).

If this continues, I suspect that there will be one of two possible outcomes. Either I’ll go (even more) potty or the R word will lose all meaning and peace will descend. Two days later, I will, of course, be faced with an rodent infestation of Hitchcock or King proportions…

Sometimes, you just have to abuse your overdraft

When I sent the five pigs off for slaughter, the sale of one paid for all the slaughter costs, one went to the guys for the rent on the field and the other three were divided up between five friends. I’m still waiting to be paid for one and a half, but the rest of the money went into the bank, and I originally intended to use it for useful and practical things like buying food or paying off debts.

But then I had a thought. (Yes, just the one. You at the back, stop giggling.)

Since I have this whole panic-attack-when-I-leave-the-house thing going on, I need stuff to keep me busy and/or occupy my mind when I’m in said house and there’s only so many times a day that you (ie me) can do the washing up – or any sort of cleaning, for that matter.

I’ve always loved reading, and rarely need an excuse to cram some more novels onto the bookshelves, and so I spent a wonderful afternoon browsing the book sections of some local charity shops, in addition to the ones I got for my birthday.

However, I’m having a few concentration issues, in that my mind tends to wander after about twenty minutes or so, so reading isn’t always the answer.

DVDs, on the other hand, are spot on, especially TV series.

And that is why I recklessly and shamelessly abused my overdraft and am now the proud owner of, amongst other titles, the complete Friends box set, the complete Buffy box set, seasons 1-5 of NCIS, the complete Band of Brothers, and season 4 of Bones.

Yes, I know. But in my defence, each and every one of those was a bargain!

What’s more, every penny I spent on them has been justified. I already owned the complete West Wing box set and have worked my way through that, leaving the final season for another time, just to make it last (*sniff*). I’ve watched seasons 1-3 of NCIS and the same for Friends.

I’ve decided to give crime and comedy a break and am now making my way through Band of Brothers, a show I wish I’d watched much, much sooner.

However, my timing was slightly off as I didn’t realise it starred David Schwimmer. The last I saw him, he was picking between Rachel and Bonnie at the beach house, then I went to cook up some sausages and scrambled eggs and hey presto, Ross had gone back in time and was Captain of Easy Company. And no, I don’t know what I put in those eggs…!

It’s where I go next that’s got me puzzled. Should I sit down with Bones, or go back to NCIS, Friends or The West Wing? Alternatively, I also own seasons 1-3 of Bad Girls, which I haven’t watched for years, so I could always settle down with Nikki and Helen…

But what about Buffy, I hear you cry…

Well, Ally’s husband, B, has been muttering something about his data projector and the rather large wall in their living room. Which sounds great to me, just so long as he realises that I saw Willow first. 😀


There are not enough words in this universe to describe my current feelings towards Talk Talk. They managed to forget to set up my broadband. Twice.

At first, it was early March.

Then the 19th.

Now it’s next week.

/presses the publish button before saying something that will get me banned from wordpress…


Maybe it’s the depression, maybe it’s a reflection of my life as it is, maybe they both feed off one another, but I seem to spend much of my time feeling as though I’m going nowhere, fast.

During the bad patches, I’m simply fighting for my survival and am beyond caring about anything. The rare good moments are another time when such philosophical thoughts are immaterial, as feeling good feels so good that nothing else matters.

But the rest of the time, when I’m somewhere around the “ok” mark: that’s when it hits me. I don’t have anything meaningful in my life, I’m simply drifting with no idea of where I’m going or any control over how or when I’ll get there.

On an ordinary day, I wake up at any time from five o’clock onwards. I put the dogs out, make a coffee, and take it back to bed with a book.

During the course of the morning, I make several more coffees, dividing my time between reading, watch a DVD on my laptop and simply lying in bed, feeling like crap. I try to force myself to get up before midday but sometimes it’s early afternoon before I get dressed.

The thought of starting the day paralyses me, so even though I tell myself to get up, I often have to promise myself that I can go to the loo, make another coffee and then get back into bed: that I don’t have to get up. Otherwise, I just lie there, trapped by my own brain chemicals.

Once I’m eventually up and dressed, I force myself to make the bed (so that I can’t get back into it) and then take the dogs for a walk. We weave in and out of the rows and rows of apple trees in the orchard, so that we’re out for half an hour or more. Then it’s back inside, open the post, make another coffee and settle down on the sofa with the laptop and a DVD. At some point, I make lunch (I generally have breakfast but not always), then it’s time to walk the dogs again, watch another DVD and then take the dogs out for their final walk at sunset.

Once we’re back inside, I close the curtains and ponder the options for dinner, watch yet another DVD, feed the dogs at around nine, do the washing up and put the dogs out for the last time from ten onwards. Then it’s back to bed with my book and the radio until I fall asleep. I may or may not wake up once, twice, half a dozen times during the night.

And then the sun rises and my day begins all over again.

And that is also why I find it so hard to get up in the morning: because once I’m up, the day has officially begun and I prefer to delay the prospect of doing nothing for as long as possible.

Every so often, I get to break up the monotony with laundry or cleaning or a bath but it’s generally one long drudge after another. And as each empty day goes by, so the minutes get longer and each hour takes an eternity to pass.

I’m almost at the point where I welcome the periods of agony and misery and self-loathing as whether I’m self-harming or curled up in a ball, time stands still. In fact, I step outside time. If I’m lucky, I step out of myself and am released from feeling anything at all.

The worst thing isn’t how I feel, it’s the fact that I’m so powerless to change it. I need something that gets me out of the house but I can’t afford to go shopping every day or go to a café or the cinema or whatever, but neither am I ready to take on a job or even a voluntary role. Apart from the terror that fills me at the very thought, I’m unreliable. My mood and state of mind is as variable as the weather and the smallest thing can plunge me into despair.

So I sit here and watch the world pass me by and as each day drags into another, so I feel more and more disconnected from it and the people on it.

I’m hoping that once I finally get broadband installed, I’ll be able to reconnect with my friends and the big wide world. Facebook chat, message boards, emails: they’re all things that will not only pass the time, but will allow me to engage in human contact, no matter what my mood.

Mmmm, waffles!

I had a mixed reception to the post this morning. On the one hand, there was the council tax demand (£1000 for a one bed annexe? Really?) and a letter from Sparky informing me that I’ve got an appointment with the CPN later this month, just a few days after my appointment with a head shrinker from the DWP, and that my therapy isn’t due to start until June.

On the other hand, there was also a rather unexpected parcel, which travelled all the way from Cardiff. She might be a rotten tease, and not only knows far too much about me, but gleefully uses said knowledge against me for her own amusement, but I have got one hell of a good friend in a certain author of Jennieworld Today.

As well as a crochet hook, two whatsits of yarn and detailed instructions that I’m assuming even a numpty like me can follow, she also sent me a bag (fairtrade,no less) to keep said objects safe from Snipe’s “ooh, new toy” mentality, which presumably explains the dog treats (posh ones!). And a large bar of Divine chocolate. And a box of Fingers. And a pack of waffles 😀

Yup, Jennie is a wonderful human being, especially since she took the time to write a note on the labels of the yarn specifying which one should be used for dishcloths and which one should be used to make a scarf… 🙄 😆

Thanks, Jennie. Hurry up and buy that train ticket, you are very much missed xx

What’s in your bathroom cabinet?!

Last week was particularly rubbish – so much so that I had a home visit (yes, you read that right!) from one of the GPs at my surgery. I’d not seen him before but I liked him, mainly because he had a no-nonsense approach to people (“well, if that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel”) and didn’t bat an eyelid at the fact that having greeted him, Snipe firmly positioned herself between his chair and the bed, just in case. I love my dog!

Anyway, Dr T has put me on yet more drugs – but these ones have a street value, which being the country bumpkin that I am, amuses me no end. My bathroom cabinet is now home to Lorazepam (sleeping tablets and anti-anxiety) and Propranolol (anti-anxiety / panic). The Lorazepam doesn’t seem to work very well, or at least that’s my assessment of a sleeping pill that takes over two hours to knock me out. Unless it’s not meant to do that? Hmmm…

However, I am rather fond of it, if only because it’s the only thing I’ve taken thus far that I can actually pronounce 😳

In other news, I have got a psychological assessment thing coming up later in the month – and I am officially Sick And Tired of paperwork and forms.

AND … despite ordered broadband over a month ago, Talk Talk now tell me that mine won’t be active for another week or so. I now rather grumpy but was forced to conclude that even if I cancelled my order, I wouldn’t get broadband from anyone else before then, so I’m stuck with them. And horribly internet-less.


Talk Talk can, quite frankly, go and talk talk to my arse.

They should just make socks … because they’re crap

Many, many thanks to Town Mouse for sharing this short video: