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...

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

And NOW I have SAND in my pants.

Note to USA readers: by pants, I mean underpants, shorts or panties, ok? ;) (LOL)


A few years ago I was listening to a Saturday morning show on Radio 4, one headed up by the late John Peel. A theme had been forming over the previous weeks, on family sayings.

It had started out as different names for the remote control. For example, I call it the bodger, as did all my family. My partner calls it the yolk, which meant remote in his family. You get the idea. (What do you call yours?)

OK. This particular morning produced the weirdest saying of all: "And NOW I have sand in my pants."

The listener who had written in with this one explained that, as a youth, he had been dragged off to a Venture-Scout Outward-bound weekend. Everything went wrong, starting with having to go against his will in the first place.

When they went for a run, he tripped. When they climbed, he fell over. He forgot to pack his lunch. When they went canoeing, and had to tip over upsidedown, his glasses fell off. He followed them down and crawled about trying to find them. Crawling up the riverbank, spluttering while his friends all laughed, he said, with complete seriousness and utter venom, "And NOW I have SAND in my pants!"

And so, among his family and friends, from that day on, this was the phrase people used when they meant that they had met the very last straw. The final insult. The cherry on the cake of blah.

Good, isn't it?

Anyway. That news I got yesterday was the sand in my pants. I've had a bad week or so and the effect on my brain has been to shift into a lower gear. Those out there who've been there will know what I mean. If you don't, imagine when your computer goes wrong and will only open up in safe mode. This means only the very essential processes will function. (Oh, and they throw it into black and white, too. You never thought you'd long to see that microsoft blue did you? But in safe mode it's like when you've missed a period- Oh God, please, no, I promise to be good from now on, just make it come back, pleeeeeeease!)

Sheez I just remembered my partner's mum visits here. Ooops. Hullo!

Where was I. Oh yes. Here's another saying: I used to know someone who would call the week I'm having "a week to throw sh*t at". And she wouldn't have used the star.

But maybe things are changing. I checked my email and my little brother (little as in 10 inches taller but 9 years younger) has got a job. Horray! He had been looking for a few months and was getting sooooo depressed.

I think it may have been a desperate call from him last week that started all this actually. He sounded so low, I was seriously worried about him and begged him to see a doctor. He said, "What for? Pills? No! That's YOUR way of dealing with it. Not MINE." It knocked me back, it really did. Antidepressants have been a necessity round here for a long long time. I won't accept any stigma about it. If I had diabetes I'd have meds. If I had a heart condition I'd have meds. I have depression, I have meds. Big deal. Move along please, nothing to see here....

I went to bed earlier but my head was too busy. So I'm up sipping tea and eating crunchy nut bars and watching Law & Order with the subtitles on. I wonder who does those? Maybe I could get a job doing that. Maybe I wouldn't have to leave the house then, and I could lessen the danger of getting sand in my pants ;)


david mcmahon said...

And Bob T Bear too? I'm a journalist - I have to ask the tough questions!!

Helena said...

Bob's in bed. He hasn't seen this post yet. I think I can predict his response to the title :)

BumbleVee said...

well, maybe your subtitles would be more fun...

Roz said...

2am???? Get to bed earlier woman!

I call ours the zapper... not very original is it?!

Love Roz x

Dragonstar said...

Oh dear, the hours between 2 and 4 am are the worst ever invented! It's the people we care for most that hurt us most - I hope you can feel more positive about him now.
I'm not a very creative person - I call ours the remote (unless it's a day when I call everything the thingy!)

Lynda (Granny K) said...

DH is King of the Remote Control for the TV. It's called the Remote-atron or the Thingy. I am queen of the DVD Remote-atron(cos DH can't work it as well as me!) and that is known as 'the other one'.
They both look very similar and chaos ensues if they get mixed up or are used upside-down (when we're not wearing 'ready-readers').
I love the subtitles! I often have them on just for fun!
Hope you are back up again real soon. Hugs. Lynda

mrsnesbitt said...

I am on them right now and feel so so much better! (((((HUGS))))) great news about your broth!


Anonymous said...

We call ours "The Clicker".

Suburbia said...

I love the way you write. And I love that we get family sayings like that. The sand on is perfect...can I adopt it please?!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Helena, I read your comment on I Beati and wanted to wish you my sincerest in feeling better. There
should never be a taboo on depression. It is real! Petra
Oh and I wanted to ask about the Santa post? Can you enlighten me?
I thought of participating but don't know what the essence of it is? Thanks, Helena.

Lorianna said...

My kitties send purrs and headbutts and I send gentle hugs.
We make up all kinds of silly names and expressions too. (actually I'm the one who comes up with them because my brain just works that way, but they go along with it.)
There are several college students around us and when ever one of the young "ladies" gets rather loud after a few, she is "drunken Mary". It doesn't matter which co ed either, if she's loud she's Drunken Mary. :) The tv remote is "mote". I call the tv the telly sometimes, but I got that from Spike on Bufffy the Vampire Slayer. ;)
I'm sorry you didn't sell your cards. I'm new with crafting and even I know about the "angel thingy!" They were very rude to not call you and I'm certain you are not the first person they have done that to. Soon they won't have any submissions if they continue. grr!
I'm glad your brother has a job. I really hope you are feeling better. As winter approaches I will probably be starting an anti depressant again. I'm trying to hold off but the lows are getting lower at times...
Please take care. You are in my thoughts. Snuggles for your kitties.

Helena said...


yep, especially at Xmas, when I've been on the Bailey's :)

Helena said...


Haha I did go earlier but got up again! It isn't getting to bed that's the problem it's staying there!! My head gets full of stuff- what to write, what to draw, what to make, then I think oh! AND I need ac up of tea, too! And that's it!

Helena said...


days when you call everything the thingy! ROTFLOL!!!!

Helena said...


sometimes the subtitles are essential- like on House, when I can't hear all the diseases they reel off. Except for Lupus of course. it's never lupus.


Helena said...

Ahhh Mrs Nesbitt. I am glad to *see* you smiling!!! I was just thinking about you- I added PDA to the list of shops in my side panel thingy. Column! COLUMN! THAT'S the word. Oh, thank God. It's serious if I can't remember shapes.

Helena said...


that would excite Dilly, as it sounds insecty.

Helena said...



Be my guest. Have sandy pants. :)

Helena said...

Hullo Petra!


The Santa thing is a card swap for blogger peeps who want to make and swap a Christmas card, an Artists' Trading Card or some other papercrafted arty thing.

I asked people to say if they could do it and got 16 people included myself. After putting everyone's name into a hat Dilly pulled them out and matched people up. Then I emailed each person to say who they were making something for. It's secret who is getting theirs made by though. If you see what I mean.

They are all to send their cards to me by 25th November, then I'll send them all out to people. We have peeps from UK, USA, Canada, France, Japan.... so it's a lovely international swap.

The list closed last month but I'll be doing another one for Easter, I hope. Or if other people who missed it want to get in touch I can do another draw and put you in it -????

Sorry you missed out! :(

There are a couple of people I haven't heard from- i.e., I don't even know if they got my confirmation emails- shall I bear you in mind if anyone drops out????



(I bet that's all as clear as a muddy puddle)

Helena said...


Thanks for your lovely thoughts and kitty purrs and hugs :)

I am sorry you might be dipping a bit too. The earlier nights definitely make a difference don't they? I try to see the good things, i really do- like, as the leaves fall, I get to see where the birds have nested :)

I think I might do some posts on books that are good on depression and/or help when you're down. I could ask people to write a little review or send me links to their favourite books on Amazon, let me know what has helped. It's an idea still milling about in my head but it might happen.

Read any good books lately? :)

Bear Naked said...

I have been meaning to put *your* blog on my ever expanding list of blogs that I follow and today I will.
Here in Canada we have a public service announcement on the television every once in a while stating that depression is a REAL sickness and that family and friends and the patient themselves should all realize this.
I am sending you gentle bear hugs from over the pond and please know that I think you are an amazing talented and artistic lady.

Bear((( )))
ps: I call our remote the thing-ah-ma-jig sometimes shortened to the thingy.

Adventure Mother said...

Our remote control is the Ballie Bleeper! It's amazing how many people post at such unearthly hours - I'm sure you're not alone!

Anonymous said...

Hello Helen! I'm here from David's POTD that I share with you...isn't it a great thing, not only the honor but the fact that he searches out and puts us all in touch with blogs we might never otherwise find.

Our Remote is called the Dinger.
Depression is in our family and it 'aint funny. JP has Diabetes and could not cope without insulin..BP is caused by a lack of a chemical...ergo, replace it.
Sadly there is still a taboo about mental illness...education, education, education could be the answer. Fine blog, I shall be following

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Fab post!! well done you, over from Davids, he is discerning at the very least...

I put the subtitles on, a lot as my Husband says I have it too loud...laptop, tele etc...my hearing is perfect lve checked..but watching when all is in bed or I cant sleep....or with west wing, you dont want to miss a syllable or the prose there..I'm with you on this!

Sandi McBride said...

Subtitles on Law and Order? Mac hates subtitles, says he can't watch the action...yes, sand in your pants, I knew what you meant right off. I don't know if it was the four wonderful glorious beautiful years we spent in that lovely country of yours or not...and I am not being sarcastic...I miss it still..,Congratulations on Post of the Day...I got here not on the M40 but the Via David McMahon!


VP said...

Tee hee - that phrase ought to be adopted more widely :)

Thanks for stopping by over at my place. As for meds and your brother. If he doesn't need them, fine, but there isn't a one-size fits all approach to this and he should know better. Sounds like you have a level headed approach to getting well.

Good luck with the cards - a certain bear tells me you're having a second bite at the cherry, so I hope they're more discerning than the last lot were.

VP said...

PS - I find loads of stuff in my head at 3 in the morning too. Most of it turns up at my blog in one way or another. Some would say that it shows!

leslie said...

Congrats on making David's POTD!!! You really deserve it! Well, you know about my daughter (remember?) and now she's got sand in HER pants, too, because on top of everything else, she's come down with Bell's Palsy and is in terrible pain. Talk about a day to throw sh*t at!

Amy said...

Heheheh, that makes me giggle.

Thinking of you, hope you are ok. *hugs* Hang in there!

Helena said...

Bear Naked, I wish they had announcements like that on UK TV. Thanks for adding me to your list!!! ))))hugs((((

Helena said...

Adventure Mother,

Thanks for visiting- I'll get to visit you as soon as I can :)
I get loads done in th emiddle fo the night, btw!!! I am virtually nocturnal. LOL!

Helena said...


MOANnie? I shall have to come and see your blog and check this out! LOL! Bear with me I shall get there. Thanks for visiting. I had no idea I was POTD. Wow!!! I haven't really done a *written* post for so long. It's nice to feel people read it and liked it. Wow!

Yep, there shouldn't be a stigma to ANY illness.

Helena said...

Fat Frumpy and Fifty (well that's me too, btw, except for 40 not 50, and that goes up in a few weeks as well...)

Subtitles are brilliant. They had that old film about men and dinosaurs on once. What is it? xx years BC or something. Really old. Anyway, there was no script as such, just uggg. But they still did the subtitles. So when the terradactals flew over it read "caww caww caww" and when the men were 'talking' it read "Uggg.. Ugg! Ugg! Ugggggg!"

I'm sure they did it cos they knew it would go out at 3am and would cheer people up! LOL!

Helena said...


It's nice here at the moment as we have the start of the autumn colours but not the cold weather. Trouble is, the UK is right bang in the middle of 6 weather systems, so it really can change very suddenly. I did a sponsored run in May and it was up in the 80s degrees F. Then a week later we had coats on.

"4 Seasons in one day" is more than song title round here :)

Helena said...

VP thanks for your comment - I agree, I think he wasn't being fair, but I make allowances because I can see the depression in him. Not that I don't go round apologising if I think depression has made me hard to live with. I had no apology from him but wouldn't expect it as to him it would be embarrassing beyond being bearable to do so. Funny what you just let go when it's a member of your family isn't it ;)

Ah! So you've been hanging out with the Bear, have you...?

Helena said...

Leslie, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter- my Mum had Bell's Palsy twice. I'm afraid she didn't get a diagnosis or treatment soon enough the first time and it left her vulnerable to it- she still gets pain on that side of her face if she is in a draught because of not getting treated quickly enough. I', sure your daughter will be ok as I'm talking about over 30 years ago and doc's are better now! But I am sorry for her -and you too, as I know how worrying it is when someone close has that.

Helena said...

Amy! Hullo! We sent your parcel yesterday, so you should get it by next weekend, I hope!!!

Rachelle said...

How like a man to not get help when they desperately need it!

I am proud of you and they way you've managed your condition, there are many people out there who don't take responsibility for their mental health and just go about hurting others with their behavior. I know, I've had first hand experience with that as I know you know.

Hugs for you, and as long as we're able to throw the flashlight down for each other when we're in the dark, we will be fine, right?

LOL, since I can't remember ANYTHING, the remote is the "makes correct hand gesture for what the item does" usually. I swear if my brain deteriorates at this rapid pace for a few more years it'll be all about the sign language baby!!

VP said...

Helena - it's more like 'lurking with the bear' plus you and Dilly at the moment ;)