Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Saturday, 28 July 2007



I remember we need onions.
I remember my keys.
I remember the library closes early.
I remember to cross at the traffic lights.
I remember the bus is due.
I remember her face.

I feel the rain on its way.
I feel the cold seat in the bus shelter.
I feel the list in my pocket.
I feel the fare in my hand.
I feel the stuffiness of the bus.
I feel the shock of being hit.

I see children coming home.
I see birds flying south.
I see a man folding an umbrella.
I see a dog sniffing chips.
I see the lights changing colour.
I see a red handprint on my thigh.

"Keep busy. Carry on. Smile.
Turn off the bad thoughts."

I remember we need onions.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

One Haiku Is Not Enough For A Friend

One Haiku Is Not Enough For A Friend

I watch my friend rest
at my side, paws curled in sleep,
eyelids tightly closed.

A flicker of tail,
a shudder ripples through the
fur, betraying dreams.

What night-thoughts does he
see, that stay out of my reach?
Mice and birds and hunts?

Perhaps it was just
a shiver of old age, a
warning to me: be

ready for the time
when I shall search for movement
through tears, and in vain.

Never mind. Rest now.
I will not let that future
sadness soil this peace.

And so, I watch him
stretch, yawn, pad, roll, sigh, curl back
into precious sleep.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Oh, happy bee

Took this in my mum's garden a fortnight ago. I use a digital camera nowadays. I abandoned my trusty 20 yr old Pentax P30 because I'm short sighted now, but not equally so in each eye. This makes manual focus difficult.

So, my Luvbug offered to buy me a camera for Christmas last year. At first, I was a bit reticent about it being a digital. But it is so convenient. Not only for sharing on emails and blogs, but also the way you can take 15 shots of one thing, just to get one good one. You don't have to worry about wasting film in the process. So this is what I often do.

In this case though, the bee was there, and then he was gone. This was a one-off.

It being a digital, I feel I can't take much credit for this picture, but it still makes me happy, as it was so lucky to catch such a lovely scene!

Saturday, 21 July 2007


©Rachelle @ Pasture Musings

This is Pasture Musings latest family addition. Follow the link to her page to learn more.

Just had to put her here- she made me smile from deep down inside when I saw her!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Oh. My. God.

See this fella? A common black ground beetle. Just short of an inch long. Did you know that if you put this wee fella's name into google-uk you get 290,000 hits? (I mean "common black ground beetle", OK? You don't need to know he's an Alan or Keith or anything...) So they are really interesting little fellas, right? And apparently they have fans.

But what I want to know is, what I really want to know is, why have I found 4 of them in my house this week? Or to put it a tad less subtley: "OH MY GOD! WE MUST HAVE A NEST! WHERE'S THE NEST? WHERE IS IT? HOW MANY ARE THERE? 5? dozens? HUNDREDS? WHAT WAS THAT? DID YOU SEE SOMETHING? CAN WE MOVE?"

Thursday, 12 July 2007

When "real" is too real

I've just realised that, even though I'm not drawing much at the moment, I still look at things with a "sketcher's eye".

Sometimes I'll see something so odd, or so perfect, I know that if I drew it, no one would believe I didn't make some of it up.

Take sunsets, for instance. The other night I watched as the sky out my back window turned into strips of orange, purple and green. There was no "blending" or "bleeding" of one colour into another. Just stripes of bold, glowing colour. If I had painted that, any viewer would have sighed and said, "Hmmm... nice colours. Wouldn't happen like that, though."
Then their companion would chuckle and say, knowingly, "No! A bit of poetic licence, there, I think!"
And yet it WAS like that!

I've experienced the same with pictures of animals. A cat picture can look alluringly tempting to draw, then I realise, hang on, where's his other leg? Tucked under his belly, of course. But it doesn't look ODD in a photo, because the brain accepts it as a true reflection of what was there. In a sketch, though, it might look like I forgot his other leg.

Photography has been around how long? Say, about 140 years, give or take? We giggle at the naivety of the Victorians for being taken in by so-called photographs of ghosts and fairies. But it was a new medium. Our brains are still set-up to accept a photo as true. But we take it further- if it isn't a photo, it might be "wrong": the sunset must be exagerated, or the sleeping cat might be missing a leg.

The cat at the top of this post is lovely, but so perfect it would be difficult to draw faithfully. With his tuxedo, tie and crooked whiskers, he looks like he's been out on the town all night. Never mind. I wanted to share him with you anyway. Hope he makes you smile.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Charity can be cruel

Carol at Shrink Wrapped Scream is doing a post on pushy charities today. In it she mentions the little collection boxes that children bring home from school. She ends up with four.

This isn't a new thing. I remember getting one when I was about 10 (er... circa 1977!). Looking back, I hate that they gave it to me. I still remember my child's eye view of it-

The boxes were given out in assembly, you had no choice whether or not to take one.

Well, my family just never had anything to put in them. We kids didn't get pocket money, and mum just had no spare pennies. I remember finding her in tears one morning and when I asked her why, she said, she didn't have enough money for both- she needed to buy our breakfast (porridge oats) but also some sanitary towels for herself. I was too innocent to really understand what she meant. I went next door and asked if we could have some oats. I'm glad I decided on the oats and not the ST's...

Anyway, it was a Catholic school and we all went en masse to Mass every Wednesday morning. One Wednesday the whole Mass was arranged around each class processing up with their filled boxes, lots of coins for kids in the third world. We had rehearsals and it was drummed into us how bad it would look if we didn't have a box, 'cos we'd still have to go in procession. Well ours had been thrown away months before.

That Wednesday morning was the only time I ever played truant. I just walked round and round the estate till I thought Mass would be over. Got there just as they were going into class. I just sneaked in line. A girl asked where I had been, I lied and said the dentist. My class-teacher overheard me. I looked up and saw him. I can't describe his expression, but it said that he knew I was lying, but wouldn't do anything, 'cos he understood. Maybe then, at least one teacher saw how potentially cruel the practice was.

The shiver of fear that went up my spine as I spotted him came back as I was typing this.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

What a good idea!

The other morning I lay feeling groggy after another sleepness night, listening to one of the financial stories of the day: the decentralization of council funds so that each area had a "community kitty".

Well, I didn't hear ALL of this report. But, given my love of all things feline, my ears DID prick up on this last little phrase.

Soon enough, in my mind, this wonderful idea was developing.
Just imagine- you're in town, your bus was late, it's raining, the machine in the wall won't give you any money even though you know there's GOT to be SOME in there, but wait! Don't get stressed! Nip along to the Town Hall and give the Community Kitty a cuddle. Ahhhh........ now sniff his cheesy toes......... hmmmmmmmmm............... now listen to that purrrrrrr.............. feeling better?

Imagine the savings to the NHS: lower blood pressure, fewer heart attacks, fewer panic attacks, less road rage, less depression. The Community Kitty. What a good idea!

I put this to my partner. Straight away he saw through to the problem in the plan- what about the weeks leading up to Christmas? Alas, the poor cat..... what state would he be in???

On reflection, maybe not such a good idea. I think the poor thing would end up looking like Ernie, on the cover of his excellent book...

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Here's a little ditty I wrote...

This poem fell out of my head about a month ago. I'm on a creative writing course run by The Open University. The latest section was on poetry. I wrote this for an online tutorial. What do you think? I love it. And I don't love everything I write. I contribute vast quantities to the council's paper recycling scheme...

My tutor? He stomped all over it.

Young Blackbirds

Young blackbirds were dancing
this morning, in the rain.
I'd never seen that before,
so watched, standing there
in my new black suit:
young blackbirds, fresh and new.
Spilling the puddles,
immune to grief.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

A Portrait, An Explanation.....

Oh dear!

I'd been waiting for the cloud to lift, to be able to post lots of newly-drawn pictures, or at least to write something better than this. But the truth is, I've been too low lately to contribute to this blog!

After 26 years of going through it in cycles, depression's side effects still come out of the blue to me (pardon the pun). Specifically, the way it sucks up my creativity like a big, black, merciless, dehydrayted slug.

However, if the light isn't dawning too well in my head yet, it at least shone on my new pencils for a few hours last week.

During a visit from my partner's sister, she gave us some lovely photo's of her daughter. I forget how old she is, four, I think. Anyway, I forgot to ask permission to put her photo here, so you won't be able to compare this one, I'm afraid. But here goes....

I don't think I quite caught her. But she still looks happy!