How Not to Have a Sex Life and Other Stories..

I have had a long day but thought to blog about some of the things I missed out yesterday.  No photos this time though.. (well, maybe one).

Firstly , and astoundingly,  I am mentally well for the first time in ages – this is wonderful and I am trying to enjoy every moment.  I had been having a go with a new antidepressant called Sertraline (a SSRI also called Zoloft), which seemed to work well for me.  After a while however I ran into a wee problem that is apparently common for many of us poor bastards on SSRIs, and is also responsible for large amounts of people not completing their course of treatment. Which is what has happened to me, except I have stayed well – long may it last!!

I had been meaning to  write about this problem for some time but could never get my head around exactly what I was going to say without giving too much information.  Then when I was paying a visit to one of my favourite bloggers  I came across her post on the same subject – and here it is. .  Why reinvent the wheel huh? And she says it so much better than I could.  It is really interesting reading some of the post comments as well.

I first came across Dooce’s (Heather Armstrong’s) blog when I became aware after four years, that the mystery illness I was suffering from was actually depression.  She had been through the hell of post-partum depression and was so badly affected that she had ended up in a psych unit.

I love her blog for many reasons, not the least being that she shows it is possible to be on  depression meds and still have a lovely life.   Also because she and her husband John strongly remind me that not all Americans are bonkers – Oh and because she takes photos of her dog Chuck with objects balanced on his head.. well maybe she is bonkers, but in a nice way..

Chuck

One of the most helpful things that I came across in my research about depression was information about mindfulness, which is why I go on about it so much.  The book I probably found the most helpful is called The Mindful Way Through Depression,  another is called The Noonday Demon – An Anatomy of Depression by Andrew Solomon.    This weekends Guardian bought an article by Tim Parks who has just had a book published called Teach Us To Sit Still, A Sceptic’s Guide to Health and Healing, which I found really interesting for his discovery of how mindfulness/meditation helped him with his illness.  It is on my Amazon Wish List.

Sunday’s Observer bought a wonderful interview with Christophoer Hitchens which can be read here, for anyone who is a fan of the man..

And last but nowhere near least, is the podcast which features Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Wilson in conversation on the subject of folklore.  So if you are after a little insight into the writing of the Discworld Novels  and/or just plain fascinated as I am, in how humans seem to really need to invent and tell ourselves stories, go and have a listen.

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Sparkling..

A sparkling day today… one of those days that seem to be trying to make up for the fact that it was minus seventy billion degrees celsius last night and there is still, at 10.30am, enough frost on the pavement to make walking on the road a safer bet.

I set out to do a few essential tasks, mostly enjoyable, filling in my time sheet at work, visiting the bank, picking up fresh sour dough buns from Kate our own personal baker around the corner.  Took a few photos while I was out, just to show you – nothing special mind, just where I live..

The last of the photos are to show you some of the rest of my day.  Our Ikea trip last weekend was highly successful and our house is now full of shelves.  Which have all been erected but not without the odd melt down or two and a threatened divorce.   I spent part of today setting up the lights I got along with the shelves – still on a quest to fill our little house with light.

My good friend Julie is arriving on Wednesday night.  She is from New Zealand but spends several months each year working in Norway, this time she is stopping off on her way home to spend a week with us.  I can’t wait – it will be so good to see her.  I will be busy for the next couple of days getting the house ready as well as working.  Not long to go..

One of the shops I used to work in
The sister shop I used to work in as well - twenty paces down the road from the other one
A little dog who would like to get out and meet the other little dog who has just trotted past..
Henry the seventh on the Cheese Market wall has been joined by Christmas decorations already up for the big turn on in two weeks

Mouse Castle woods from the top of my road. I have been watching it slowly turning golden and rusty.
My quest to fight the dark goes on - this is my new glass lamp from Ikea

More Ikea lights - the ones against the wall that is.
Spiced apple chutney made by my own fair hands this afternoon..

be here now..

Enough

by Jeffrey Harrison

It’s a gift, this cloudless November morning
warm enough for you to walk without a jacket
along your favorite path. The rhythmic shushing
of your feet through fallen leaves should be
enough to quiet the mind, so it surprises you
when you catch yourself telling off your boss
for a decade of accumulated injustices,
all the things you’ve never said circling inside you.

It’s the rising wind that pulls you out of it,
and you look up to see a cloud of leaves
swirling in sunlight, flickering against the blue
and rising above the treetops, as if the whole day
were sighing, Let it go, let it go,
for this moment at least, let it all go.

Autumn - Hay Castle

This ancient building is at the heart of our small town and believe it or not there is a enormous book shop in the other, not so ruined, end of the castle.  For more information about it go here

Autumn - Hay Castle

Tardy With The Pumpkins

I learned a lesson last weekend – never leave your Samhain (Halloween) pumpkin buying till the last day.   Two weeks ago the foyer of our local Co-Op was jam-packed with massive orange pumpkins.  On the day itself there were only a few sad, manky ones left.  The first Samhain I have been without orange hands for many years, and I didn’t even have a swede to make do with 😦    😉

So my friends from our local  Stitch and Bitch let themselves loose on the defenseless town of Hay-on-Wye last Thursday.  In celebration of Samhain they yarn graffitied all over the place.  You can check out photos of their exploits at my friend Emanation’s blog Yarn Craft Revival.  Take a particular look at the fourth photo on that post – I spotted the same devil hat in the pub on Saturday night.  The wearer was very happy to claim it for his own when he spotted it on its pole.

Nick and his new fiendish hat

I myself was not with the guerrilla yarn grrrls that night, as I was still suffering from the longest bought of flu I have ever had.  Have only just got rid of the cough now – it feels really good to feel fit and well again.

I have still not managed to get to Ikea, both times I was meant to go my friend backed out, so finally my darling Mr T has said he will come with me this Sunday.  I can’t wait to finally have some shelves to unpack our books and my craft gear.   Also we will get a table so that when my friend Julie arrives the week after next, we will be able to sit and eat dinner around it.  Cool bananas.   Also of course on Sunday, Tude and I will be able to scoff Ikea meatballs 😉

Daylight saving finished in this country on Sunday and the clocks went back an hour – man does it get dark early now! At work on Tuesday afternoon I watched in amazement as  the lights in the shops across the road grew bright in the dimness – it was three pm.  Because of that I am getting a tad obsessed with bringing more light into our little house.  I’ve got my bright, plastic flower fairy lights going and will look for more fairy lights at Ikea.  I’ve got candles galore, just not many candle holders yet, or the shelves to put them on but it’s happening.  It will be a huge pleasure making a bright, warm haven against the dark and cold.  Remember I have just had two summers in a row – winter is going to be fun.  I have my fur lined boots out and have found a full length, wool, mans overcoat in the charity shop which needed to come home with me.   Bring it on..

Making it bright

In my spare time I have been attempting some hand embroidery.  Ever since I discovered subversive stitching it’s been just another one of those things I wanted to do but never got around to.  Well – no time like the present, and I can do it while watching a program or listening to the radio, I have massive amounts of tray cloths, doilies etc so I figured that they would be a perfect  canvas for a few choice words..

be here now - a reminder that I need constantly