Friday, 13 November 2009


Richard has been blogging more than me. I can't have this. I haven't been doing my OU work, either, which is worse. Work this afternoon. Work is getting better. Still not great, but I do have days where I enjoy what I'm doing. It's when I get home and remember all the little things I've done badly or not fast enough that I start to think I don't want to go back again. I wonder how long that's going to go on for.
As for the stupid pill. It was fine for a while (Richard even commented on how nice I was to be around, if you can believe that) apart from a little side effect that abolished the system of periods and instead established the 'whenever I fucking feel like it, you're having a Dolmio day' routine.

N.B: The Dolmio thing is Laura's joke, I can't take credit.
N.B: Dolmio is a fucking stupid word.

It did say in the leaflet that this might happen. So I waited patiently, and while I waited, I put some weight on, got some bad skin, and got GRUMPY. Not just grumpy. Outraged and emotional. Defensive. Ridiculous. At the moment, I am still functioning like an Italian restaurant, and I have a pizza face. But this is good. This means I have a very good reason to shove the implant up someone else's arse. (For the record, I am aware that this is not where they usually implant the implant.) It also means I've tried enough of the fuckers to demand something better, regardless of how much it costs the NHS. That's what I involuntarily wedge chunks out of my income for, is it not?

Dear me. The topic of my blog has become my battle with hormones.

Sorry about that.

Oh. I got 71 for my first creative writing TMA. Oh, yeah.
The heating is broken, the part for it cost about £90 including VAT and postage and all that shit. Don't even know whether that'll actually fix it.
We got some new (second-hand) sofas. We painted the dining room a lighter colour to avoid depression.

Oh yeah, it's been a while - I'm going to be a Godparent. That's right. And I've just finished reading The God Delusion. Oh, fucking yeah. I intend to smile sweetly in my white flowery dress (and red heels; I'm not sure how they'll go down) and answer all the questions and agree to look after Alfie's religious and spiritual wellbeing. But not mention that I haven't been christened, myself. And afterwards, present him with a massive encyclopedia, hopefully with a really fat section on evolution. And 'The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark', because the dream catcher isn't working and he can't remember what his bad dreams are. Dolmio Laura said this would be the only legitimate time for me to wear wings. Fairy Godmother. I have a necklace on which is a heart with one wing, so that'll be a start. I might save them til later. I might make ALL the godparents wear them, that'd be fun. Richard wouldn't protest, but Shaun might...

Having burned myself in front of the gas fire, it's time to get dressed and walk this gurgling dog. She's being a dogfood snob because I've had homemade pizza for breakfast.

Have happy times. x

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Dur Brain

I'm watching videos. I love how Michael McDonald's beard makes him look like his mouth is just opening and closing without forming shapes when he sings. Like a restricted fish. I think it's just the top lip. Or maybe he doesn't actually move his mouth much. Who knows. It's amazing how that voice comes out of such a little escape hatch.

Anyway. About half an hour ago, I was at the doctor's. Maybe more like an hour and a bit ago. Losing the plot. It's a fallacy that your host is able to talk to anyone in any situation. I used to be all wibbly around authority figures but that's largely disappeared from my repertoire now, and I'm known for being able to talk absolute shit to absolutely anyone and feel like I'm making a positive imnpression. I should add that it all gets deconstructed later and I actually become myself and get to know the other, and once this has happened I never remember how I behaved when I first met the person. The one exception to the confident codshit rule is the minute I walk into a doctor's surgery. I immedately feel like I won't be believed and I shouldn't be there anyway. I get so nervous I can't speak and I have to fight back tears. TEARS. From the woman who wishes she cried like she used to, instead of getting angry, which is what she always does now and always used to wish she could do. Self-pitying and self-righteous don't really come into it. I think hormones might. The doctor (Hakes? It's another new one) heard and probably saw enough to recommend changing my pill. They're pushing the implant there, though, and this new pill is constructed very similarly, so it's basically a trial run, and if I don't die, they'll tell me to get a piece of plastic in my arm.

Fuck off.

Anyway #2. My bank balance is, for me, extremely good. Before that provokes an outcry, it's not good per se. It's just really good for me, because I'm on target. And you have no idea how unhappening that happening usually is.

To quote Brook: In other news...

Fizz had her lady parts removed yesterday and is recovering on the sofa. She was a zombie dog last night. She didn't even wag her tail when I came home, which she had done for Rich, who took her to the damn vets' in the first place. My god, the guilt I felt when she left yesterday morning, full of excitement at the thought, could it be? A first-thing walk. Before breakfast, even. As time would have it, the vets' didn't open at half 7 like it said online. It opened at 9. Richard sent me a picture of Fizz out and about, which I must have read in my sleep because I found it last night, looking to delete my messages.
This morning, she ate sardines out of my hand then got up to select the best bits from her bowl, mainly the cheese and liver, and have a drink. Relief. And not just for me, I'd imagine. Her belly was going bonkers last night. The poor thing was just managing to grow her beautiful coat back and now she's got a bald ... bit. I'm not sure what that particular part of her is called. Back belly. Abdomen? Phneh. I know it's necessary. It's just not pleasant seeing your first lady dog in pain, out of it.

Dur brain is what my brothers and I called each other when we were kids. It's how I felt after I messaged Rich to tell him what an utter flid I'd been at the Doc's. And now I know how Joan of Arc felt, la la la la. The image is a total steal but I love it. It's what happened when I typed Dur Brain into google images. It's a sign that I have to turn my dur brains into iron mans. Definitely.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

I have many small unconnected things to say.

Which begs the question, why am I doing this if I don't feel like I have anything to write? Well, writing is a pig. Sometimes you stand in front of a closed door wondering why you don't see any action outside it. You need to force something forwards before things start rushing in towards you. So that is why I'm writing on here, and it's also (one of) the reasons I've boycotted facebook. Because I have one of those switches in my head that, once it's on, is happy for me to sit and click - click - click - click - through. Through anything. For no reason. Obsessions are born through tedium and mindless repetition. If it's mindless, it means nothing, including no harm.

It's the most dangerous form of semi-involuntary action there is. I was going to say apart from sneezing while driving, but I don't think that's voluntary at all, unless someone's cleverer than me and has figured out how to do it for fun.

Another reason : I sit and think of one-liners in the third person, arbitrarily. "Natalie just saw a Dalek in Hathersage" was one, the other day, that I caught myself composing. (For the record, I usually put full stops at the end of my status updates because not doing so would equate to shredding the last of my dignity for the online community to see. Not that they'd notice, or particularly care.)

Another reason: I find myself lying and saying I read something on a blog or that someone sent me a message, so that I don't have to say "I was on facebook and my brother's friend said..." particularly to my other half, who thinks I'm a loser internet addict charity shop addict nincompoop anyway. I just googled nincompoop and I now want to watch the nincompoop championships on metacafe. See? SEE? He's right.

Nik is right, too. I was most offended when she called me a loser that spends her whole life on facebook. In my defense, at the time, I was starving and it was a distraction from eating all the food I'd made for friends that were late coming over... it calms the waves of my brain. It's that dull repetition thing again. It's better than tetris, absolutely. But it had to come out some time. Better that there was a valid excuse (not that Nik had any of it) and I could bow out gracefully before it was too late. HAH.

Natalie has not been on Facebook since Nik called her a loser that spends her life on facebook.

I think this is an achievement.

I've also been meaning to write on here again for ages... and I met a girl yesterday who told me she writes. "I used to do that." Yeah, she carries a notebook everywhere with her. "I did that, too." Add to that the fact that she was overweight but didn't care, that day at least (look, I'm a woman, I know, it's knowable, visible, OK?), pretty but wasn't flaunting, and had moved to Sheffield because she was sick of home, with no job, during a recession and just got on with it... I know she didn't realise how much of a happy heroine she was for me yesterday. When I think, actually, back to how much I actually wrote, I remembered that my mam did my washing and I didn't have a dog (or rent to pay, actually, never mind a mortgage). I didn't even wash up. I was just driven insane by constant dialogue, with no mundane tasks to distract me. Mainly through laziness, not because my mother was stupid. Anyway, threads of thought that I couldn't ignore. So you can see how that could be re-shaped to fit the facebook mire. The trick is, to sit down with one and catch it. Follow it. Move it around, force it to stretch, link it up. Do that with the rest, too. It's a mini miracle. It's taking little fragments, and making them multiply and morph. Not very exciting words to describe such a subtle chancy process, I know. But I could definitely feed five thou' or so with my words. Nourish some people. I've heard a similar story somewhere.
Some of the things I've written in the right frame of mind, that have been lost because they were sent in emails or messages to people, have occasionally been quoted back to me (thanks, Robbo) and I'm a fucking awesome word machine! I'd give a specific example, but I'd have to log onto facebook to pick up the quote and I'm still too sensitive. It's too soon. And anyway, I'm stubborn. Even if I have a reason, I'm not going to go back there.

This still hasn't explained why writing is a pig.

I used to call my brother a pig when we were little. I would whisper it in his ear. He would tell my dad, and I'd say I didn't call him a pig, I said he was pink. Writing is pink. No, writing is a pig. My brother was very sweet. Now he's covered in tattoos, but he's still very sweet. And better at drumming than me (but only because I haven't played for 7 years and he has his own drum kit).

Writing is a pig because as much as it clamours, it also stuffs you up. It fills all the gaps like water. Makes you heavy. Sluggish. And it's all there, but you're not making it move, so you don't really know it's there. It is a stubborn pig. And sometimes, it's all come out, and you've not managed to make it bend to your will, so it just looks like you threw some water on the page.
Or something.

Hey, I tried.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Ginger and Sweet Potatoes

Afternoon, all.

I have a headache, so forgive and forget if I can't be arsed.

Last night was weird. Nausea and Doctor Who/work mish-mash half-asleep dreams. David Tennant and poo. When I was awake, I tried very hard not to think about butter, because for some reason, that was the key to me not being sick. Now, like I said, I have a headache. In fact, my neck and shoulders are playing along to the same tune, I've just noticed. We shall just un-notice that.

Today, firstly, my Mum 'phoned at about half nine. That woke me up. Then Lindsay sent me a message shortly after, wanting to meet up. I took the dog with me, after dressing like some sort of old woman/old man/child combination; the Pokemon Trainer T-shirt I bought years ago and stitched to fit, my new black lace up granny shoes, brown striped Hobbs skirt (charity shop - I think Hobbs might be posh), a flat cap from a men's department somewhere. When I feel rubbish, assembling silly outfits that somehow manage to look pretty good makes me feel better. I had orange tights on last week to make myself feel better about my kidneys hurting and having to get up early for work.

So, I left with Fizz, and walked to the park. Fizz put her mush on every bit of fruit outside the grocer's, despite not liking fruit. I saw Lindsay, not so fresh back from New Zealand, and Craig, who hasn't been away, so was sweet (and fresh) enough to take Fizz for a wander while we sat on a bench and chatted. Long flight. I wish I could've seen a bit more of her. But, I did get a manuka honey lip balm from her, as well as something shared with Richard that I haven't opened yet, and The Sweet Potato Of Friendship in jade form. It's around my neck. We don't know why the sweet potato is a symbol of friendship, or how the sweet potato resembles this green swirl on a string, but it is and it's supposed to, so we're going with it. I'm leaving it on. It's on a massive cord so it won't shorten to a high position, but I won't fuck with the Maori magic of New Zealand. It can stay there.

As for the ginger, I got in and decided that porridge was in order. I doused it in powdered ginger, put some sugar on it, and a bit of butter, the application of which left me feeling a bit like I did watching Richard cut up raw pig's heart last night. I lived through it, though. In fact, my stomach is much happier. I just need to load up on some more pain relief and perhaps drink a bit. I'll be right just in time for my seven day stretch at work, starting tomorrow. Lovely. But David Tennant won't be there, I don't think. Well, it's hard to tell sometimes.

Monday, 13 July 2009

A strange night. Dogged, faithful return to the toilet every half hour, knowing my stomach has nothing left in it to force out. My body is very good at making me get out of bed when it has a point to enforce.

Look after yourself.

To be honest, I got the message fairly quickly.

But my stomach wanted to make sure I really understood.

Sorry to do this, but...

Look after yourself.

Look after yourself.

Or this will keep happening.

Yes, I know you're tired... keep listening.

Look after yourself. You know how, now.


And it's not over today. I'm not being allowed to treat this as a rest day, an activity day, a lazy day. I'm very aware of the meaning of this constant neck ache, the head ache, the restlessness, the knowing I have to just wait. Attend. Attune. It's a painful process. Seeing that this isn't the first time I've been told, it's obviously been extended this time, for memorability. It humbles me, every time, but it's time for some hard work now. Or rather, tomorrow. For now, I'll be held hostage some time longer.

I don't know whether it's relevant, but I dreamt I'd woken up and lost part of my leg. A straight cut, diagonal. I plonked it back into position, but not seamlessly. And it needed attention before it died off. I wiggled my toes. Still semi tangible. That didn't make sense. Were the nerve tissues still touching, like copper wire? Richard wouldn't take me to hospital. 999 didn't work from my mobile; I eventually figured out I had to dial 086. The woman on the other end of the phone was useless and hung up on me. I didn't think, for a second, that it wasn't real. When I woke up, it was like coming back from a long trip away, from somewhere that definitely existed. I wiggled my toes again. I'm now unafraid of losing a limb, but can't make any other connections. Feel free to deconstruct that one for me while I sup my chamomile and surrender to the superior authority of the body that allows me to move in the world.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Pirate Craft Legionnaire

Phew for rain.

I have a languid dog poking me in the back with her stretch legs. I have my dressing gown on.

Hello.. :)

It's day-off day. Tomorrow, it is Saturday. Today might be Sewingday. Or Drawingday. I haven't decided, but Rosie (new friend from work) has inspired me to not be angst creative, just make stuff and not mind what happens. In her words, 'the more you make, the more ideas you have'. Like Sly Stallone saying 'DO IT' but differently. Thus endeth the "Chicken-egg-chicken-egg, oh I'm in a scramble, what to do?" - that thing. She has a soft spoken way. And she really likes making stuff, but is not stupidly young and out to prove her identity, so there is none of this:

"I am creating something.
I want it to be better
and cooler
than anything
or anyone else
is doing.

Look at how alternative I am.

I hate the term 'alternative'.
I prefer 'pirate craft legionnaire' as a definition of my role in the arts world."

(You know who you are. I don't really mind you. You're quite funny when you're not trying to be funny.)

Friday, 22 May 2009

Class Fizz

I have a finishing day.

Finishing days are mightily important, but also quite personal... I get a little bit- I can't think of the word,
so I am going to say POOKED - when people say, "Oh, you're leaving, are you excited/going to miss me/nervous?" and it spoils it a bit. Don't you think? It's something you relish quietly, after all those times you plodded on because you knew people were tired of hearing how much you needed to get out of a place. Still, the people are good at listening (to a point, but that line is important too) so it's probably only fair to humour them in these last days.

I have a finishing day..... yes :)

AND I was called today to ask if I want to increase my shifts by five hours a week, which is excellent because I was worried about making sure I made up the shortfall with overtime every week. Super mega bonus, thanks. And my boss to be always seems so happy when he calls...

MOST IMPORTANTLY - As s.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.n as I leave that place, we are getting FIZZ. Racing name: Clash Fizz; dam - Clash Eliza, sire - Teds Jo. This is important, pay attention. Born 4th September 2004, retired from racing February 17th, 2009. Visited (and reserved) at the Sheffield Retired Greyhounds' Trust on Saturday 16th May, last week, by Richard and I.

We're getting a dog!
I'll put a picture (or several) up once we have her home, no doubt.


Thursday, 14 May 2009

What goes on at night...

The night before last, it was a lizard, outside a window on the sill. The window was below ground, with a trench all around and soil reaching up past the top of it, the grass just showing at the surface. The lizard was on his way off to the surface again. Half-formed, with no skin pigment. Like a tiny axolotl, pink with blue and yellow tones.

Last night, I had a baby. I went to sleep expecting and woke up with a baby wrapped up next to me. I couldn't remember the birth. He was born on Alfie's birthday and wanting to tell Shelley as soon as I saw her. It wasn't his real one, I realised this morning - October 13th. That was because, in my dream, when I'd woken up, it was today, the 14th, and he'd been born in the night. October, I'm not so sure about. I do like October, and it is the start of the new year on some calendars, which makes more sense to me than the 'traditional' new year... that's just postulation. I've left it too long now, I think, but I remember I walked around a shopping centre, in my jeans, thinking about my age, holding the child, thinking about how this was the end of my old life. Feeling sad, grieving for that girl. It was too soon. But loving the baby. He was mostly asleep. I wondered when Richard would appear. I thought, it wouldn't matter whether he was there or not, this was such a huge change, it was impossible to communicate. I was alone with this baby. My family were there, around, my mum particularly, who told me the birth had been rough. I remember moving cautiously, feeling very little soreness, checking out my stretch marks (three small ones on the right, more on the left), trying to remember having a swollen belly. Thinking maybe it was premature, though he didn't look it. I laughed at the thought of my birth being so traumatic. I'd blanked it out, like I was Wolverine. I imagined myself tied to the hospital bed, metal claws exposed. I think I was waking up at this point. One other thing... there were strange nappies, split at the front. George (Richard's dad) had no problem with them, made them look ingenious in fact, we discussed what a good design it was. I couldn't get them on when I was alone. They seemed huge, they didn't split in the right place, I couldn't figure out where the legs went. Someone else had to do it. 

Every time this happens, I'm grateful when I wake up. It's preventative (there's that word again). When you think it's real, you feel how you would feel. The only difference with these things is the suspension of waking reality. It makes it easier to explore the things you daren't think about during the day in case you convince yourself, wrongly, that you want something, and make a mistake... People assume, understandably but incorrectly, that this is as a sign of being broody. Really, I'm being allowed to do something for a while without the genuine consequences that arise. Other people don't really matter in a dream. The whole thing focused on the immediate experience, literally waking up and discovering I was a mother. Holding the baby, being able to feel sad. It's better than the in-laws saying, not yet, but perhaps one day. Whether or not you agree, that's nobody else's decision. Maybe it's not even your own.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Preventative Medication

I have taken the painkilling precautions necessary for when the anaesthetic wears off. Last trip to the dentist for six months, finally. This appointment turned into a race against time at the end because the first (worst) tooth took a little longer than expected... the back of it broke away a few weeks back, while I was eating a cheese and onion pastie. I was informed by Dr I that it wouldn't matter much at this stage what I was eating, the clip it was in (nothing to do with the crusty bread then, phew). 

Those jaw injections cause three different types of pain. Needle: Ow. Influx of numbing stuff which ironically, causes pain to the tissues it flows in to... then the jaw realises it's being invaded and the deeper, ear-bound swell of brown, wincing chronic stuff begins. Fortunately it doesn't last long, since it precludes anaesthesia. It's the type of instant-headache pain that you get when you really whack your head against something, or get punched. Problem is, it doesn't actually go away. It waits for the numb to subside so it can express itself fully. And that precautionary dose of ibuprofen wasn't administered soon enough, it would seem. 

I couldn't think of any word other than 'actioned' then. 

That's not even a word. 


Other than the dentist's, then. Got a job! Got a good job, too. Finally. Support work, kids with disabilities, through the council, get in. A good tonne and a half has lifted from my lithe little shoulders. The agency is to blame for non-words like 'actioned' creeping into my lexicon. Bye-bye mickey mouse bank, bye-bye bigger jumped up building society with tacky bells on. It feels like I'm leaving the credit crunch behind. 

Having said that, everyone's forgotten, haven't they? Sneezing pigs abound. The result of another type of preventative medication that should never, never, never have been allowed. I got a book when I was six called 'The Young Person's Guide to Saving the Planet' which explained to me, among many things, why giving livestock antibiotics with their tea was, is, a bad idea. That was nineteen years ago (my Dad wanted to get me good and angry about the destruction of Gaia at a young age, it'd seem). Nineteen years ago. It's not much on a grand scale, but it's definitely enough time for something to be pencilled in for changing, looked at a bit more, grumbled about, pushed, and at least started. And they were still going on about it by the time I was doing GCSE Biology, so some people remember and thought it should be included in a national program for indoctrinating children. What's going on? I feel for the pigs, that's who I feel for. Sod the humans. It doesn't seem to be that serious ('scuse me, just sneezed) but it ought to be. It's definitely a warning, a rumble before the biggie. A chance to prepare and start to alter the way livestock are maintained before anything ridiculous happens. Personally, I'm convinced the next one will be zombie infection. My brother happens to be an expert on survival during zombie attack, so I'll be moving to Leeds to hide behind him the moment I get wind of THAT catastrophe. Whaddaya know little Rick, a media degree has its uses in the wide world after all. 

One final thing. Rita is still missing, has been since the 18th of April. The last mouse I left out has a strangely distended belly, which it didn't have before (I should note that it's dead, therefore should not be growing, and also male, so definitely doubly should not be swelling with child)... I'm scared if I touch it a multitude of maggots will spurt forth and bite me. I'll probably become the first zombie. Best get Richard to do it.

Thursday, 1 January 2009


I seem to be just about the only person that didn't take a camera out with me last night. I think I thought about it, but then I forgot. I had a good night. Things that would normally get on my wick slid past... I wasn't overly inebriated, but drank; mostly gin, plus a cocktail made for me with lemon juice and a bit of lime, I was told by Mr Trenholme... A martini in a tall glass; I think that's what it was. Probably three cocktails in one. The event that sticks in my mind the most was being cured of hiccups instantaneously by mark, who rolled up my coat sleeve (I was about to go and inspect the wood burning stove in the garden that people were huddling around) to the elbow and pressed his thumb on my upward-facing forearm, somewhere on the fatter part of the muscle on the outside, above the outermost bone. Gone. Just like that. I still can't decide whether it was that itself that worked or the perplexion at what he was going to do; I thought for a flash of a moment he was going to take my pulse and was a bit distracted while I tried to work out why... I doubt I'm cured indefinitely, and apparently you can't do it to yourself, but my hiccups are monstrous, acidic sick-makers. Thanks Mark, and Happy New Year. I should say thanks to Matt too, he tried to do the same but with my hands and gave up in the end... I did point out to Rich later that Matt has caught me (physically, not just in the act of,) swinging off various rocks, and I farted just above his head while he spotted me on a difficult problem in Fontainebleau... so the mild disturbance of the comfortable social norm was completely absent. I walked outside and told Matt (king of fire) what had just occurred; he responded by shattering my gentle delight, declaring: 'You know it doesn't really work, don't you?' I told him I did, knowing what that really meant... honestly, it was nice they both gave it a go. Even if it was just to shut me up when it became a bad joke... Finally, Simon kissed the hand I proferred in manly gesture at the end of the night. He was mostly asleep and there's a good chance he won't remember. None of these gentlemen are the charmers they would seem, on reading this post, I should point out. They're all perfectly nice people, but I see then as naughty little boys, so I'm delighted by it all, I really am. Even Timmy Tom was on his best behaviour, but then, he wasn't drinking. There it is. Rich was intrigued by Trenholme Senior, drunk and beautiful, and I love him.