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...

Thursday, 26 April 2012


I have only one excuse for why this is a day late- yesterday, I didn't know what day it was. OK there IS a second excuse- I didn't remember till the middle of the night that, as well as bins having to go out on Wednesdays, I should blog about a book, too,.

Ooops. Well the rubbish is piled up for another week, but the book thing I can correct!

The Tao Of Pooh
by Benjamin Hoff
Pooh rubbed his nose with his paw, and said that the Heffalump might be walking along, humming a little song, and looking up at the sky, wondering if it would rain, and so he wouldn't see the Very Deep Pit until he was half-way down, when it would be too late.

The author, Benjamin Hoff, thinks that Pooh has a certain way about him that is strangely close to the ancient Chinese principles of Taoism....."While Eeyore frets and Piglet Hesitates and Owl pontificates, Pooh just is."

It's a lovely book. Thre is also "The Te Of Piglet" too!

Sorry for being late!

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Thanks to everyone who joins in with this, btw!

If you want to join in too, pick up any book, go to page 52, then go to the 4th line. Give us whatever sentences cross the 4th line. i.e. you may have to go back a bit or forward bit, but the 4th line is your guide!

Either put your finding on your blog and tell us in the comments to this post, or just write the entry itself in the comments. Simples!

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Thursday, 19 April 2012


Like echoes bouncing back from distant cliffs, questions return to me.
During steady rain and rebellious sun,
I looked out and felt the lift.
Giggling like girls, 
mum and I followed their climb with wonder.
I, with busy camera,
She,with clapping hands.
And then she asked me,
"Where do they come from? do they come out of the earth?"
I stopped.
Everything inside me,
She didn't notice my intake of breath,
my sudden remembering of her diagnosis.
Too busy admiring, still smiling,
excited at this miracle.
I tried to explain, simply,
about sunlight and water.
She didn't care by then,
not much.

Today, after dinner,
she asked me why spoons made your face look up-side-down.            

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Wednesday again already!!!!! And a very rainy one, here, too.

Notes From An Exhibition
by Patrick Gale
There was the ladylike gold watch she never wore for long because she claimed the ticking got on her nerves and, all around it, in such absurd quantities they were almost spilling over the drawer's edges, were hundreds of pills, almost all the same size and innocent shade of white.
This is an amazing book, which I can't believe I hadn't spotted before. I found it last week in a charity shop. The image of the painter on the cover drew the eye. On my version there is also a review from Stephen Fry on the cover, "This book is complete perfection". Hmm. Well that was enough for me to investigate....

Rachel is a painter who lives with bipolar and this book shows the effects this has on her creativity, the ups and downs, the bursts of inspiration interspersed with periods of dryness.

It also shows how the condition affects her husband and children, and how the people around her adapt, adopt, and sometimes suffer or run away.

I've only got as far as page 80. So far there have been flashbacks which I can find annoying in books but in this case it's fascinating to see how Rachel's story began and what certain people around her  were like when they were younger. You see her as a young woman, and then jump forward to see her children as middle aged.

I'm constantly obsessed with age. I'm constantly looking back, counting, and then looking forward and trying to estimate how quickly the time between now and the age of 60 will pass. Only 15 1/2 years to go, and see how fast the last 15 1/2 went?? It frightens me. Every day.

I get so angry when older people aren't treated with respect. By doctors, nurses, or just members of the public, people in shops.... they forget that this elderly person was once young, clear faced, beautiful, full of ideas and ambitions. All they see is a shell. More and more I'm learning that even though you get older, you stay young on the inside. This is why I find the flashbacks in the book so poignant.

I can't wait to see how the rest of Rachel's story unfolds.

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Thanks to everyone who joins in with this, btw!

If you want to join in too, pick up any book, go to page 52, then go to the 4th line. Give us whatever sentences cross the 4th line. i.e. you may have to go back a bit or forward bit, but the 4th line is your guide!

Either put your finding on your blog and tell us in the comments to this post, or just write the entry itself in the comments. Simples!

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My anti-virus software threw up a warning that a 'mal ware' threat was coming in through the link associated with the picture of a signature that I've had coming up automatically at the end of my posts.

I've removed this now, and done a full scan- couldn't find anything. But not worth the risk!!!
If you have a signature on your posts linked to a site called 'live signature' I'd advise you remove it and do a scan of your program files, just in case.

I've been unable to remove the signature from my old posts, but my anti-virus isn't putting up a warning any more, so I guess all's ok.

I'd been moved onto the 'new interface' by blogger. I couldn't find a way to remove the signature till I put my blog back onto the old style blogger. I was very pleased to find I could do this as the new one was driving me mad!!! 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Been scribbling, going low a bit.
Don't worry it's probably just hormones.
This is what came out-

There is caustic blood flowing round my head.
It’s different from the stuff in the rest of my body, this.
Maybe that’s the problem:
Maybe my head blood doesn’t travel enough.
It stays in my head.
Round and round,
Never cleaned,
Never pure,
Collecting thoughts upon thoughts,
Spinning them,
Colouring them
Darker and darker
In a septic cycle of
Spiralling circles..
No way to get out
Of my head.

 Oh, time for an Earl Grey and off to bed I think.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Hey, I'm not paranoid but even my hair is out to get me!

My hair's fight for the right to be white grows ever more militant. Time to reach for the L'Oreal (or whichever was on offer) box of tricks.

I've dyed it since my early thirties at least so you'd think I could do it blindfolded by now wouldn't you? Uh-huh? Read on...

OK you get the same in every box- sheet of instructions, gloves, colour activator, colour, conditioner. You mix 1 into 2, use, wait, wash out, add conditioner, wait, wash out, dry, then sit in front of a small mirror squinting as you pull out all the white ones that the concoction missed.

All was going well. I had my gloves on and had mixed the two potions. I had even remembered to cover up anything in the bathroom that could get stained. I was dividing my hair into sections and speading the stuff all through my parting, along the roots, down the back..... it smelled really nice. In fact I KEPT THINKING how nice it smelt. No smell of ammonia. Mmm. This is nice. And there is TONS of it. Spread spread spread.... WOW enough to go through all the rest of my hair- this will be nice and even! Tum te tum... oh what's that other bottle? Oh yeah, that one's the conditioner.... carry on...... tum te tum......mmm does smell nice this one. Hmm. Come to think of it, the conditioner isn't usually in a bottle. It's usually in a tube, like the one I squeezed into the activating fluid and..... OH SOD.

Yup, I had slathered activating fluid + 6 doses of conditioner onto my head. Didn't end there. I KNEW it was just daft, and I don't know why I did it, it never couldhave worked, but something made me put the dye solution all over my head THINKING THAT THE REST OF THE STUFF WAS ALREADY THERE SO WHAT THE HECK, I'LL JUST MIX IT UP ON MY HEAD!!!!

It didn't sting, not for a full 40 seconds it didn't!

I rinsed and rinsed, some of it went in my eye OUCH and it took ages to get the lot off my head.

Now, it's all dry. I have clean, glossy, soft shiny hair. With glowing white ones. I swear they would be giggling if they could.


Saturday, 14 April 2012

Yet another psych-doc who doesn't take medication side effects seriously- or even know about them...

I just poured all this out on Facebook, which I'm not sure was the right place :( maybee I should keep things happy over there. I don't know. Only opened Facebook a/c a few weeks ago and I haven't got the hang of how to be myself is both place. To be the same, or different? That is the question! Well this is a follow up to what I thought had been good appointment with a psych-doc on Wednesday:

The new doc the other day recommended a drug that she thought would get rid of my worse bipolar symptoms PLUS help even out the ups and downs so maybe I could actually start to feel I am living and not pedalling fast to stay on one spot all the time. I specifically asked her, WILL THIS ONE CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN??? Her reply- "No, it isn't one that's noted for it." GREAT!!! I was so enthusiastic and excited to try it. So was K.
So I picked up the scrip. Opened the leaflet that comes with it. Scan down to side effects...... WEIGHT GAIN is there, and listed top as 'VERY COMMON'. WTF?????????????????
Look it up- SEROQUEL It interferes with your production of histamine and makes you ravenously hungry. Some people take it last thing at night and go straight to bed and hope to avoid the onset of the hunger, but some still wake up in the middle of the night starving.
It ALSO interferes with your blood sugar and tryglceride levels. There is even a class action in the USA against the makers of the drug, on behalf of hundreds of patients having got diabetes while on this drug.
If you google it you'll find hundreds of pages, hundreds of stories from users. One I read was from someone who had put on so much weight on another drug- cipramil (I was on that in my 20s and that's when I stopped being slim!!) that she had a gastric band fitted. Now on serequel, she is gaining weight- even though she can't physically overeat. This pretty much puts pay to the patronising advice from doc's that oh, just eat healthily and go for walks, you'll be fine. Yeah right. NO I WON'T.
I cannot put on another 20lb, let alone more, so I am not taking these pills. I am overweight, I have high cholesterol and my mum has vascular dementia from blood clots- in the leaflet it says not to take if there is is a history of blood clots in the family- the doc knew this!
ALSO, this drug interacts with LORAZEPAM, one I am on, and which the doc told me to keep taking!
I AM SO ANGRY THAT THE DOC WAS SEEMINGLY TOTALLY IGNORANT ABOUT THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THIS DRUG! What are we, just little guinea pigs, here take this, swallow and go away? FU*K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Interesting links here-

This is about the manufacturer downplaying weight gain as a side effect- read here

Quote from wikipedia:
"Weight gain can be a problem for some patients. Quetiapine has been found to cause more weight gain than fluphenazine, haloperidol, loxapine, molindone, olanzapine, pimozide, risperidone, thioridazine, thiothixene, trifluoperazine, and ziprasidone " -and yet my doctor knew nothing about it.
Here's a health forum on which someone asked about gaining weight on the drug. There are over 200 replies... http://bipolar.about.com/b/2007/11/06/seroquel-and-weight-gain.htm

I repeat- I asked the doctor if this drug caused weight gain, and she replied, "No, it isn't noted for it." What if I had been too low to research it before taking it, like last year, when I took pregabalin blindly, and gained an extra stone?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


Went to a book fair on Monday :) there was a stall covered in children's books.

I spotted Mrs Pepperpot- I used to love those stories! But I couldn't stretch to the £7 they wanted.
I did find a copy of Issi Noho, the magical panda. The author, Keith Chatfield had even signed it. I was very happy to part with £2.50 for this visit to my childhood reading....
I also had to buy Green Smoke because I can't come home with a bear book unless I also have a dragon book, and vice versa...

 ISSI NOHO by Keith Chatfield

His first journey to the bathroom each morning was always taken in a twilight daze.

The panda's name comes from the letters left on a packing case that he shelters in. The full notice said "THIS SIDE UP" and "USE NO HOOKS". But the only part still ledgible is IS SI NO HO.

Unlike in other children's adventure books of this type, the children don't come upon their magical new friend gradually, a few paragraphs or even chapters in: ISSI opens the book himself with the words, "Excuse me, but I suppose you wouldn't have such a thing as a bamboo shoot about you?"

It turns out that ISSI has magical cards which give him exciting powers but his spells often go wrong because he's not very good at adding up the numbers on the cards.

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Thanks to everyone who joins in with this, btw!

If you want to join in too, pick up any book, go to page 52, then go to the 4th line. Give us whatever sentences cross the 4th line. i.e. you may have to go back a bit or forward bit, but the 4th line is your guide!

Either put your finding on your blog and tell us in the comments to this post, or just write the entry itself in the comments. Simples!

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******LOOK!!******* Grab this bargain while you can!

I recently bought this book for 1p, brand new!

The postage was £2.80. It only took a couple of days to arrive and was spotless; it was even sealed in cellophane.

By The Batch: Creative Cards, Postcards, Envelopes & More by Judi Kauffman 
 Published 2006, 128 pages, usual price USD19.95 or GBP12.99

I'd really recommend it to anyone looking for some inspiration with card and stationery making, if you are a bit bored and want to see something different, getting back to creating, no 'Magnolia', no ribbons, die cuts and bought embellishments ;)

If you follow the link you'll be able to flick through a few pages online to see if it appeals.
 LINK: But hurry- as I type they have only 2 copies left!!!

It's on Amazon, but it's a MarketPlace trader, not Amazon themselves.

Good luck!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

****2 UPDATES***** Eat, Scooter, eat!!

Had a lovely day yesterday; met up with Beanie and we went to the Tower of London :) I'll post about this properly another day.....

Was meant to have a friend over today as well, and we were going to go to a country fair. But I cancelled. Scooter hasn't eaten much since Friday, hardly a thing, and I wanted to spend a quiet day trying to get him better. He has been kept warm by the fire all day and been offered:

  • Whiskas steamed cod flavour chunks in jelly,
  • Thrive 99% chicken slivers
  • real fresh chicken, raw,
  • real fresh chicken, roasted,
  • fresh haddock, steamed,
  • his usual- and favourite- biscuits 'Purina One Sensitive'
  • HighLife chicken flavour chunks in gravy

All sniffed, some licked, all refused.

He has drunk a little water.

No medicine taken, as it is usually hidden in the food.

I opened his mouth (he hated that) but couldn't see any sores on his tongue.

MIGHT be a wee bit constipated, judging by the lack of use of his poo patch in the garden! Then again, there isn't much in there to come out....


Vet not back till Tuesday.
Maybe it's just a tummy ache. But he is showing interest in the food when you present it to him, sits up, excited, wants to see what you're bringing. But he won't eat.

Any cat owners out there with any ideas?????

He is purry and responds to being stroked and talked to.

by the fire today with his bunny

mum trying to coax him to eat by hand


About half passed midnight Scooter ate a few mouthfuls of biscuits. After a while I managed to tempt him with some of the HiLife chicken sachet too. He had a doze by the fire, now he's off out, mousing. I hope he keeps down what he's eaten. I'll double check the poo patch when he comes in. I wonder what my neighbours think about me sculking round the borders with a flashlight late at night?

Tuesday 10th April:
I haven't been able to get his thyroid tablet down him for 3 or 4 days so this evening I had to force it on him :( I had to put it in his mouth, hold it shut, tickle his throat till he swallowed.... ahuh yeah, ok, not quite. I had to do this four times cos the first three he pretended to swallow but then spat it out as soon as he was released. Of course, each attempt made him more wound up! My wrists and forearms are scratched so bad it looks like I've been self-harming and Scooter hates his Mummy. Bad Mummy. Bad, bad Mummy.

He is still eating less than normal, sticking to his favourite biscuits and a little fish. The poo patch is looking surprisingly normal. He's ok, touch wood. But I have been in tears wishing he were 4, rather than 19..... I don't want him to go....

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


the Creative License
-giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are
by Danny Gregory

It can be as big as a table or it can fit in your hip pocket. It can be kept on 300lb. imported watercolour paper, on the ruled pages of a Grade School composition book, or on a sleek website.

-In this chapter the author is talking about art journals, particularly that there are no real rules about what they are or what they look or feel like.

A few years ago someone gave me a gift voucher for Amazon as a joint birthday and Christmas present. I really enjoyed spending it! This was one of the half dozen or so arty books I bought. I have just started re-reading it. I never finished it before. No matter how 'hands on' art books try to be, I still feel slightly in awe of these pristine examples of someone else's work. That was until a few nights ago, when I awoke with a start and knocked my glass of water flying. I cleared up what I could, sleepily and halfheartedly. "Oh well it's only water," I thought, one eye shut. I felt around to check that nothing electrical was damp, then went back to sleep.

So...........now................. my copy of this book is all bent and bubbly from water damage HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and in being so no longer has a halo to be respected. The gloves are off. I feel some inky doodling coming on.... :)

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Thanks to everyone who joins in with this, btw!

If you want to join in too, pick up any book, go to page 52, then go to the 4th line. Give us whatever sentences cross the 4th line. i.e. you may have to go back a bit or forward bit, but the 4th line is your guide!

Either put your finding on your blog and tell us in the comments to this post, or just write the entry itself in the comments. Simples!

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