February 2018

February 2018. AKA Financially Draining February.

Well that was definitely another busy month, my word. Let’s see…

  • I had my annual check up scan to see what the pesky endometriosis has been up to and it all looked very good, confirmed by the surgeon who I also saw this month. I get to stay out from under the knife for another year at least, pending any surprises.
  • A friend and I went to the amazing Welcome to Night Vale All Hail the Glow Cloud live performance at the Astor Theater. It was a great night and introduced me to Erin McKeown who is an amazing singer songwriter that you should all check out on Spotify.
  • The first of two friend dates saw us at Run Amok in Freo for tasty hot dogs, then onto San Churros for a sugar overloaded dessert.
  • My parents came up with their trailer again for another session of “take away as much crap as possible”. My patio area actually looks like it could be used as a patio area now! Parents also took an older recliner sofa that I never used and was taking up a good chunk of space. Although now it’s gone, there does seem to be a rather big empty patch in my house!
  • This month’s “Crafternoon” was spent crafting characters for our inaugural session of Starfinder in March. Having built a Pathfinder character from level 7 when I joined our Pathfinder group a few years ago, it was extremely strange building a level 1 character with almost no weapons, skills or HP. I have this horrible feeling that Hai Minh won’t survive the first session…
  • I booked some time off work in conjunction with booking a skip for a few days. Turns out that I was too organised in my preparation work and had the skip completely filled with my decluttered bin bags of stuff before breakfast on day 1. So I enjoyed the rest of my time off relaxing, and going out for brunch with my parents.
  • Second friend date involved wings and fries, and the first watching of The Black Panther. A most excellent movie that demanded a second viewing later the same week. If you haven’t already, go and see it. It doesn’t require prior knowledge of the Marvel universe so don’t worry if you’re not “up to date”. Just go and see it.
  • To celebrate a friend’s birthday in late February, we had plans for a trip to the Cat Cafe and Whisk. Plans were slightly derailed by Birthday Girl being far too ill to leave home but we celebrated in her honour and she enjoyed vicariously through pictures. Again, it was so good to get out and do something – and another thing I should do more of this year. We did manage to celebrate with Birthday Girl, with a games day.
  • I started buying and receiving the presents for my 2018 Advent Calendar. A couple of years ago, I bought myself 24 little items that I’d been wanting for a while, wrapped then and opened them in the lead up to Christmas. The good thing about having a below average memory, is that if I buy things early enough in the year, I’ve a good chance of not fully remembering everything I bought so there are some surprises in there. This year is going to be a full on year, so I am definitely treating myself to some great little gifts. And the process started this month – I think I got about half, so I’ll finish off the list in March.

So why was it a financially draining month? With my scan and specialist appointment, combined with the cats’ vaccinations and lots of nights out, it was an expensive month. But that’s not what I remember about February.

What I remember is all the time spent with friends, the progress I’ve made on some of my big 2018 plans, and food. There was a lot of food involved in February. So I should probably re-title this post to Friends and Food February?



January 2018

I’ve been told I should blog more. And I would like to blog more. It’s just that I don’t want to over commit myself and I don’t want to just ramble about utter bollocks, good at that though I may be.

So I thought I might try for a once a month, month in review, what I did this month, what I accomplished this month, monthly blog. Published kinda monthly. At the end of the month. After I have done the things in the month. (That word has now lost all meaning to you. You’re welcome.)

So January. A new year. A new start. A beginning. A wiping of the slate. A reset.

Yeah. Cool cool.

I do have some “goals” for this year. I don’t like the term “New Year’s Resolution”, but I do have some things I want to achieve this year. There’s some big things, and some relatively little things. Some I’ve actually achieved this month, yay me, huzzah verily.

So what did I do in January that’s noteworthy, mildly interesting, of no consequence whatsoever:

  • With my parents’ help, I deforested some of the front garden (required purchasing a chainsaw, but you always need a chainsaw on hand for the upcoming zombie apocalypse). This has increased the light into my bedroom – step 1 of “Turn bedroom into an oasis” project. It also means that the movement of the shrubbery in the wind doesn’t wake me up in the middle of the night in a mild panic that Cthulhu is trying to get in my windows. Bonus!
  • I finished reading the Harry Potter books and watched all the films. Yes, I’m very many years behind pop culture, and I only started reading the books as part of an agreement with a friend that she fill one of her cultural gaps by watching Star Wars. How am I friends with this person who hadn’t watched any Star Wars until late last year? How was she friends with someone who hadn’t read HP until late last year? A mystery for the ages.
  • I enjoyed an amazing night out with friends starting with cronuts at Whisk, a trip to Cat Café, chocolate wonderfulness at San Churros, hanging out at a friend’s with cats and dogs, a late night Maccas run and finding a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. I’m not sure which part of it I enjoyed more…
  • I finally got my tax return done and treated myself to a set of hard cover HP books which should be arriving in the next week or so.
  • I finally got the cats vaccinated. My three are generally very healthy which is just as well as they were a little neglected (check up and vaccinations wise) while I had such big vet expenses with Tia. Now I can get all three of my cats up to date and fully checked out. The verdict: great condition, don’t change anything, wonderful cats. Aww, thanks Mr Vet. Step 1 of another project done.
  • I went out somewhere new and met new people. It was mildly terrifying but also very rewarding. I really felt like I had met “my people”. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends, but it was great to meet new people and feel so wonderfully accepted straight away. It has really helped me to be more accepting of myself as well. Alright, enough of that. Next!
  • I completed a cross stitch! I’ve got a list of small projects to do this year alongside the BAPs (big arse projects) so I can get that sense of accomplishment throughout the year, and I finished the first one this month. Yay me etc etc!
  • I took some time off work at the end of the month with the intention of decluttering various areas of the house. Unfortunately, an injured back derailed my plans. And how did I injure my back, you were probably not wondering? I was moving my new mattress. What new mattress? The new one that went into my completely refurnished bedroom. Which was step 2 of “Turn bedroom into an oasis” project. With so much thanks to my loyal and wonderful friends who sacrificed a Saturday to lug furniture and battle Ikea instructions.

Phew. I certainly started the year with a bang, and I can tell you looking at the calendar for February, it only keeps going.

Let’s see if I can remember to do another post in 4 weeks!



Words lie.

It hurts me to type those words, because I love words; I love reading them, I love writing them, I love hearing them spoken. But words lie.

I know this because my words lie all the time. I’ll say “I’m fine” when I’m anything but. I’ll say “I’m just tired” when really my head is so clouded by pain that I can barely focus on things. I’ll say “I just tripped” rather than admitting that somewhere between my brain and my foot, the signal got jumbled and I just fell flat on my arse.

Words lie and can cause hurt. Words have hurt me this year.

Actions lie a little less. There’s truth in a lingering look, in a touch between feet under a table, a long hug compared to a robotic one, in ignoring someone who’s just fallen flat on their arse.

Actions are more truthful but have hurt me a lot more than words this year.

I’m being vague. I don’t mean to be. But there’s two sides to me at the minute: the side that doesn’t want to use words to hurt, to cause drama, to be nasty and retaliatory. Then there’s the side of me that wants my words to be honest, to be real, to help me connect with people in real and honest ways and not be a shield that I can hide behind and pretend everything is fine when it’s anything but.

So here goes. My honesty, my truth, my words:

Just before Easter, my husband said we needed to talk. He asked me if I was happy in our marriage, if I still loved him, if I could see us being together for the rest of our lives. Yes, yes and yes. We talked for a bit, and he finally said that he wasn’t happy. In fact, he had already started seeing someone else.

I asked the obvious question; who. His words only confirmed what I already suspected from seeing a long hug and a lingering look the night before. He had been “seeing” one of my closest friends. Someone who was married herself. Someone who had kids. Someone who was part of our close knit friendship group who we saw practically every weekend.

In the days following, I found out that the words “I’ve been seeing someone else” were probably never intended to be spoken. That there was an expectation that the truth would never come out. But it did because of actions taken.

“I’ve already started seeing someone else”

Those words didn’t lie. But they made liars of all the words that came before. The actions didn’t lie, but it made liars of actions that came before.

In the months that have followed, I have silenced my words. I was absent from social media in the hopes of avoiding any drama. In the hopes that words wouldn’t be turned into weapons, and flung around in anger. There is no anger in my words; only truth. And if you have been told any other words, then you need to question the truthfulness of those words.

So it turns out that words themselves are not liars; they are what they are. It turns out that people are liars.

I won’t be a liar. I’m going to be truthful. I won’t hide behind words and use them to turn bleakness into sunshine, to turn truth into lies.

My words won’t be liars.

13th October 2015: Variations on an Alarm

If you are a cat lover, (and let’s face it you are if you’re a friend of mine), then you really should have already read the four brilliant books from Tom Cox. If you haven’t, get thee to a book store and purchase for immediate reading pleasure.

It was reading the latest book, Close Encounters of the Furred Kind, that I started to think about the various methods my cats employ for waking me up in the morning.

Our old girl, Tia, has more patience than most, experience telling her that I won’t forget about her no matter how late it is according to her Swiss precision internal watch. However, this doesn’t stop her being the one who will escort me to the fridge and her food bowl just to make sure that if I have suffered an episode of temporary amnesia overnight then she will still end up with some form of fish mush in her face.

Grace likes a very passive aggressive approach and will sit and watch while I emerge from the embrace of sleep. Depending which side I’m sleeping on at the time, she will pick her spot carefully so that when I do peel back my eyelids, the first thing I see is Grace – just sitting and staring at me.  This morning she tried a variation on the theme and rather than using the bedside table as her base, she felt that being sat right beside me on the bed was going to work better. It certainly woke me up quickly when I opened my eyes to see two wide green ones looking back at me from 3cm away.

Tim is less passive, more aggressive in making his feelings known about just how late it is and don’t I realise that he’s starving and almost too weak to call the RSPCA – almost. His tactic is to present his bottom to my face. Whilst probably not the fluffiest cat in the world, he has cultivated some of the best baggy trousers I’ve ever seen – a delight to behold as they are walking away from you, a nightmare when he has one of his bouts of diarrhoea. And not that great when they’re stuffed into your face on a repeated basis whilst trying to work out who you are, where you are and how is it only Tuesday it should be at least half past January by now. If bum-in-face hasn’t worked, he’ll get vocal and start telling me about how starving he is and how he’s almost too weak to call the RSPCA, oh you’re getting up now excellent I can run ahead of you and get under your feet.

Loki’s main form of attack seems to be to try and make as much noise as possible, usually accomplished by taking a run up from down the other end of the house, running full speed into the bedroom door, over the floor, up the chair, down the chair, into the wardrobe, back up the chair, down the chair, back out of the room with claws out for extra irritation score, whilst yelling as loud as he can. Most of this can usually be prevented by fully closing the door but that doesn’t stop him doing steps one and two which result in the unmistakable sound of a tiny cat skull hitting something unyielding.

Of course once they’ve got me out of bed, there’s the seeming unnecessarily, yet absolutely necessarily, complicated feeding routine involving at least three different types of tinned food.

So, to the point of this post; I’m going out of town for a few days. Can anyone cat sit? 😉

05 October 2015: And how would you describe your pain?

There are many ways to describe pain. There are they ways that your doctor would recognise: stabbing, burning, throbbing, sharp, dull, prickly, dragging, on a scale of 1 to 10.

Here’s the translations:

“It’s a prickly pain”

Someone is randomly but persistently poking a sharp needle into various bits of my body.

“It’s a dull ache”

My arms and legs have been replaced with hot lead and I can’t move at all because they’re too heavy.

“Its’ a pressure pain”

My joints are two sizes larger than they were yesterday and no longer feel like they fit in my skeleton or skin.

“It’s a pounding”

There is a small person inside my skull using a hammer to hit the back of my skull from the inside.

“It’s about a 5 out of 10”

Holy crap, there’s an alien in my belly and it’s trying to fight its way out through my abdomen and why aren’t you doing anything to help me?

“It’s a grating sensation”

That feather feels like you’re using an electric sander to remove my skin – I’ll tell you whatever information you want to know, just please stop torturing me with a feather.

“It came on suddenly”

Holy crap, someone just hit me with a wrecking ball.

“It’s quite bad in the morning”

I can wake up from 10 hours sleep on a really nice mattress and be unable to move properly because everything hurts.

“It’s an intense pain”

I wonder if the drill that’s going through my right eye will ever stop? And could you please turn down the dimmer switch on the sun? And turn down the volume of the world?

“Overall pain rating 7 out of 10”

Good lord, I just want to curl into a ball and hope that when I emerge it’ll have gone away

“It’s a burning feeling”

Someone has injected acid into the veins in my leg and it’s slowly making its way up to my body – make it stop please.

“It’s a dragging feeling”

Someone has attached weights to my organs and they are trying to pull them out through my vagina.

“It’s making me a little nauseous”

If I move my head slowly enough, maybe I can avoid vomiting all over everything.

“It’s like a crushing feeling”

I have an elephant sat on my chest and it’s stabbing me every time I try and breathe. Could you kindly remove him to a local zoo maybe?


Kill me, just kill me.

01 October 2015: Done

This is a rambling health post. You may leave now if you so desire.

You’re still here. OK.

I’ve worked really hard this year to do something about my health, to maintain the status quo and improve where I can.

I’ve been doing physio, I went back to a fairly strict interpretation of the FODMAP diet, I took up yoga, I even saw a naturopath.

But I’m done.

I’m done with analysing everything, of people prodding and poking at me (often in intimate areas thank you very much endometriosis). I’m done with lists of pills, powders, and god knows what else I’m “supposed” to be taking. I’m done with charts of meds giving me times of when I have to take certain things.

“This one 15 minutes before food, along with this one. This one just before you start eating. This one after you’ve finished eating. Oh and this one too.”


I’m cancelling most of the appointments I have booked for the rest of the year (with the exception of physio for my feet because if I stop now then I’m going to have to go through the pain again when I start back up because everything will backslide)

I’m not going to do the tests the naturopath has asked me to do. Because if they’re negative then it was a waste of time and money. If it’s positive then I’ll end up taking more pills.

And that’s a no.

I’ve been tracking my pain and fatigue the last three months and I’ve had barely a handful of days when the pain has hit even a 5, most of the time it’s a 1 maybe a 2. And that’s without taking painkillers. The fatigue sometimes hits a 4, but that’s mostly at 1 or 2.

And you know what? That’s bloody brilliant and nothing short of miraculous given that 5 years ago I couldn’t walk to the end of the driveway for pain, and even if I did make it I needed a two hour nap because of the fatigue.

I did a 12km hike on Monday for crying out loud! And still came home and did household chores and cooked dinner.

From where I was, my improvement to this point is about 95% I’d say. I’m actually ok with that 5% outstanding. After all, I have three conditions that cause chronic pain and fatigue.

My headaches have subsided and whilst I thought I was getting a lot of migraines, I think I’m actually ok with the 2 a month I seem to be getting.

Could I get that other 5%? Probably. But it seems to be taking an increasing amount of appointments, time and significant money in order to do it.

I’m done. I’m happy with my 95% improvement from this time 5 years ago.

And anyone with my conditions would be happy with that.

Maybe I’ll revisit some of the extra things in time. But for now, I’m happy to accept the status quo. It gives me a lot of reserves to survive any flares that come my way, and it’s a hell of a lot better than I could’ve hoped for in the past.

I’m done I tells ya.

22 Sep 2015: Updates

I’ve been particularly crap at this blogging thing the past few weeks. Every Monday I add “Write blog post” to my to do list. Every day it gets migrated to the following day until Friday when I just give up and cross it off the list completely, forever not accomplished.

Why have I been so rubbish?

Lack of inspiration. Busy. Lack of inspiration. Fear of repeating myself.

I don’t know. I had a few ideas floating round my head but whenever I sat down to try and write, all the ideas took off like startled birds.

I’ve been keeping up with my bullet journal – it’s changed a fair bit from when I first wrote about it, and there will be further changes in October. I might do some more pictures and another post once I have October up and running.

I’ve been keeping up with the MOOCs that I’m signed up for. A situation that may change in coming weeks as I have overstretched myself a little and there’s one week that I would need to complete 15 lessons. Yeah. I need to drop some – they’ll be around again next year I’m sure. (I’ve started a MOOC specific post with completed , studying and to start to give you an idea. And maybe to record my insanity so I don’t do it again.)

I’ve been doing some health stuff; physio to try and stop the pain in my feet, physio to reduce the pain and impact from endometriosis, yoga to help with general well being and flexibility, naturopath to try and get my supplements as optimized as possible, specialist appointment to discuss possible future surgery. Boring, boring.

I’ve been doing some social stuff; games days, art days, kitten play date, nights out, hike club with a ton more in the calendar for the next month or so.

I’ve added a few books onto my read list so I’m up to 17 from a yearly target of 20. See my GoodReads page if you want more info on my reading habits.

The cats are all still psycho.

The bills keep coming in.

As do the work emails.

Yep. You’re all up to date with my life. Congrats.

Resume your own, probably far more interesting, life.

MOOCs 2015

Updated 22 Sep 2015

Currently Studying:

Introduction to Human Physiology

The Psychology of Criminal Justice

The Brain and Space

Identifying the Dead


Terrorism and Counter Terrorism

Coming Up:

Antimicrobial Stewardship

The Science of Relationships

Fundamentals of Neuroscience Part 3

Sleep: Neurobiology, Medicine and Society

Solving the Energy Puzzle

Good Brain, Bad Brain: Drug Origins

Good Brain, Bad Brain: Parkinson’s

Holocaust Part 1

Holocaust Part 2

Synapses, Neurons and Brains


Project Management

Preventing Chronic Pain

Vital Signs

Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation

Science of Medicines

Forensic Science and Criminal Justice

Microbiology and Forensic Science

Oil and Gas

Social Psychology

Rise of Superheroes

Introduction to Steel

Good Brain, Bad Brain

Introduction to Forensic Science

Our Earth: Its; History, Processes and Climate

Essential Human Biology

Elements of Renewable Energy

Effects of Radiation

The Science of Nuclear Energy

Our Energy Future

Fundamentals of Neuroscience Part 1 & 2

Can Renewable Energy Power the World?

Astrobiology and The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Ebola in Context


1st September 2015: Spring is Cold

The title has nothing to do with the blog post, but it is topical (first day of Spring and it’s freaking freezing) and I always struggle to think of titles.

Last Friday I did something I don’t often do and went out to a social gathering without husband. A friend was having a birthday party and invited us but husband was already booked. Usually I would wimp out, especially as it was a Friday evening and typically I’m fairly dead by the end of the week.

But for some reason, I thought, “Why the hell not?” and went.

And I’m glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Turns out, I can be quite extrovert when I’m not with husband. It’s like there’s only so much extrovert to spread between us when we’re in the same place and he usually gets it all, leaving me a wall flower. (Not his fault – entirely mine).

Whatever the reason, I had a great time and rediscovered how much I enjoy socialising with new people. Don’t get me wrong, I love my group of friends but the realisation that I saw two of them every single weekend in August is a bit eye opening. Like I say, love my friends. But it’s been a while since I met some new people.

So I’ve accepted an invite to a coffee date with some folks from one of the Face Book groups I’m signed up to. I think I’m going to be starting a different yoga class next term which will put me in with a group I have no previous connection with. All in the spirit of saying “yes”.

Although I have to fit new social things around existing ones, which means that my September is now fully booked, (even with three day weekends courtesy of having every friday booked off work, and a five day weekend at the end of the month), and most of October is booked already.

Aren’t I a regular socialite?

Spoiler: I’m not, but for some reason these people keep wanting to do things with me and I keep saying yes.

24 August 2015: Pudding

I’m actually using the prompt word this week.

I discovered Pinterest this year – or rather I was introduced to the time drain that is Pinterest.

To be fair, I’ve found some really good recipes on there and I’ve added a few to the regular rotation so it’s not all bad. But I have discovered some fairly strong pet peeves as well.

For a start, if you’re going to be funny, get your grammar right; I’m not going to re-pin or like something that has poor English, even if it is hilarious.

But back to pudding…

And the definition of recipe:

A set of instructions for preparing a dish, including a list of the ingredients required.

That’s a fairly loose definition actually and means that even the most basic of things can be called a recipe.

I recently came across this one for chocolate chip cookie pie. To save you clicking the link it’s basically shop bought choc chip cookies, stuck into a shop bought pie crust with shop bought Cool Whip.

Now, this is just a personal opinion, but to me, that’s not baking. That’s just assembling things that someone else (a machine, probably) has made.

I want to make this genius sounding pie, but I’ll be making the pasty from scratch (I’m thinking a sweet, rich, chocolate pastry), the cookies will be homemade (maybe an assortment of choc chip and peanut butter) and I’ll probably use a thick (chocolate) custard as the filler. Would a peanut butter custard work?

So, it’s given me an idea (when’s the next pie-jama party folks?), but I don’t consider it a recipe. I guess I like to work for things.

This all leads me to wanting pudding. Or maybe it was seeing the prompt word of pudding that lead me to wanting pudding. I don’t know. But pudding.