Black Dog

I tried to explain this video, and the concept of depression as a black dog to someone the other day but didn’t do very well. Having had more black dog days than usual recently I think it’s important to talk about it if you can. It can be bloody hard though.

I’m just going to leave this here.

“I had a black dog, his name was depression”


Listening to music again

Yesterday I finally listened to music that wasn’t on the radio.

Let me explain why that feels like quite a step.

I associate things – music, art, places, with people and emotions – I have horrendous short and long-term memory, to sometimes a worrisome level (a leftover from the PTSD I so dearly love) so one of the ways to subconsciously remember how I felt or who I met, I seem to associate them with something else. When I hear some pieces of music I will completely and wholly feel the emotion that it’s associated with. I know everyone does this to a degree.

This means that music can be a wonderful therapy for me – I have songs that I know make me sing whether I’m a crying mess or happy anyway – or it can mean I have to leave the room when certain songs are played. When I’m really struggling, like I have been for the last few weeks, I don’t want to listen to anything, even the songs that usually give me a boost. The reasons are two-fold: I don’t want to associate the song – or even the musician – with that time and emotion, and quite frankly a lot of the time when I’m struggling all I really want to do is stay in bed, not interact with anything outside my tiny space that I know is safe, and stay there forever.

I’ve done a bit of the hiding away, but in less of a tiny space than usual – mainly just staying in the house – over the last little while. I’ve been at my parents house, and with my Christmas family in mid-Wales, both of which are ‘safe’ (in this situation anyway) and I’ve not done much interacted with the real world outside – and it’s taken a fair bit of psyching up and felt like a huge achievement when I did.  The thought of interacting with anyone, dealing with the possibility someone will say something that makes me cry – I’m not a pretty cryer, and pretty self conscious which doesn’t help – is at times paralyzing. The thought of being so isolated from the outside world is mainly a relief,  not often a stress inducer, but especially since I have such a connection with this virtual world – I can still talk to friends, see what they’re up to, and (mostly) do my job – it really feels like a great thing most of the time. But that is then counteracted with the opposite sometimes – I need to be around people, not even people I know sometimes, but with that ‘real’ world in some way. It’s really quite hard work.

But yesterday; yesterday I listened to some music, and I went to the Post Office. That felt like a step in the right direction maybe.

I’ve not got to being able to listen to her yet, but one of my absolute favourite musicians to listen to is Yvonne Lyon. I first saw her at Greenbelt about 3 years ago – I’ve never had such a strong positive reaction to hearing a musician before, and I think she’s fabulous. I have two of her albums so far, and really wish she would play further south! Here are some of my favourites – her name is a link to her website if you want to check out anymore.

Call for Help

I know I don’t post very often – life has been busy, I’ve been trying to make Mirfield home after moving up to be with Matty 7 months ago and get the Fibre Flurry shop online and events sorted for 2013. Unfortunately doing both made each go slower than I hoped.

I’ve written several posts whilst in the shower or driving but then get distracted by something else before posting them. They were quite good actually.

I was in a car accident (Van went into the back of the car – lots of back and hip pain as I have a partially prolapsed disc :~/) about a month ago so that’s stressful, and I spent almost 3 weeks using up all my time sorting out appointments and paperwork and looking for a new car that was suitable for both me and Matty.

Then on Tuesday everything went wrong.

I’d been away down to Birmingham for some Fibre Flurry related meetings, stopped off at my Mums’ Monday night and got home Tuesday afternoon.

There followed a lovely afternoon where Matty made me lunch, we watched Big Bang Theory cuddled on the sofa then we headed to physio before I made my way to rehearsals for the panto I’ve got involved in.

I came back from rehearsal to find Matty had moved  out of the house – his clothes, dvds, plates, pans, glasses, cutlery…along with the bed that we sold my futon to make room for, his hairdryer (I gave mine away because what’s the sense in having two in a couple planning a future together) and a ton of extension cables – I’m sure there’s more.

He said he was leaving me, he’d moved out and there was no talking about it. I had no warning, no attempted conversations – instead I had a weekend away with texts ending in lots of kisses and a lovely afternoon when I came back.

So now I’m in a bit of a pickle. I was concentrating on FF, and looking for part-time jobs, and used all my savings to pay our rent and bills last month, so I don’t have any savings, or a job to pay the rent.

I want to move back to Birmingham. I have to move back to Birmingham. That’s where most of my friends are, it’s where my (Quaker) meeting is, and it’s still where FF October is based. The problem is the last paragraph, plus the cat.

I also need to be in Mirfield for a bit as it’s near the physio that’s trying to mend my back, and the dermatologist sorting out my random newly diagnosed skin condition, so I need to sort out referrals etc. I’m going to see if the physio can condense the treatments from 5 weeks into just a few – not sure that’ll do my back much good but we’ll see!

I’m currently camping out at my parents for christmas, then going to see my christmas family in Wales – and really really hoping Matty is doing what he said he would and feeding the cat. (My dad is really really allergic or she would have a home here.)

I have until the end of January to move from the house in Mirfield, and I need to find a job (preferably part-time, I can’t deal with full-time at the best of times) and somewhere to live. Somewhere that has enough room for me to run FF and keep my cat preferably. I’ve looked into the benefits side of things, but the housing money I would be entitled to because I’m under 35 is £55 a week and I’ve not found anything, never mind anything that meets what I need within that budget. The one place that might work if I was working with an income has today confirmed they’re against pets.

This is where I’m really hoping someone can help. An empty house or room, a job, even (and I am sad beyond belief to be in the situation to have to consider it) a long-term foster home for Kitty.

The internet can be a wonderful place, and I’m really hoping that you can help. The outpouring from Twitter the last few days have helped enormously. Please repost this, retweet it, do what you can, if you feel you can, to help me get back to Birmingham, to the people I love that love me. Back Home.

I am so very aware that there are people in much worse situations, especially this time of year, and I feel very mixed about putting this out there, but honestly I’m not sure what else to do.

I’m not feeling very festive, but I do hope that you all have a happy festive season, surrounded by love.


Life as I knew it…

…is changing.

The last few months have been somewhat chaotic, traumatic and stressful – to say the least.

Starting with the shop – we closed on 31st March. Heart wrenching, it’s been incredibly hard, and I’m still wading through he ton of paperwork and other stuff left to do, along with trying to deal with, quite frankly utter sadness and sometimes despair at the whole thing.

Between January and now I’ve been living at between different houses and for about a month I was living at the shop – it wasn’t that bad once there were cushions and stuff down, but it was fairly demoralising to say the least. I’m very thankful to the friends that have been putting me up, especially L and J who I’m currently staying with – for another week anyway.

So what happens in a week? I move! It’s a big scary move, because I’m not just moving house, but town and county too… the plan was always for Matty to move down here after he finished his degree, but then one of his tutors said he should do an MA, so we were trying to figure how that would work, and if we could bear another year apart, or if he could do it down here, and looking at all sorts of different options. Then i faced up to the issues with the shop, and a solution for it all was staring us in the face. I came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t have the shop – and sensibly it just couldn’t carry on – then I have to be with Matty. So we started the house hunting process, and job hunting, and found a wonderful little house in Mirfield, near Huddersfield (Where Matty goes to uni) with a lovely landlady who has been really understanding, and helpful. We get to decorate the house instead of giving a deposit, which is ace, especially as between the decorating stuff me and my mum have in storage and a big tub of white, we have enough paint and wallpaper to decorate without buying anything else!

So this time next week Matty will be on his way down here, Sunday we’re having a goodbye gathering with friends, then we go and get the keys, spend a few days decorating and then move all our crap erm, assorted valued belongings into the new house.

Job hunting is a long-winded process, and very different to how it was even a year ago which is scary, but I have faith that it’ll be okay – maybe not great, but okay.

I’m hoping once I’m settled ‘oop north’ I’ll be able to set up an online shop, and am still working on a few eventy things for next year, but I’m not going to stress myself about it. I’ve been working 60-70 hours a week and I can’t carry on doing that – at least, I can’t carry on doing that, be sane, and have a relationship, and they’re more important.

Overall the first few months of 2012 haven’t been great – there’s been a lot of crying, a lot of scary things, and a heck of a lot of moments when I just wanted to give up, but I have to keep remembering/hoping that it will work out okay…fingers crossed.


PS: I’ve been taking time away from the interwebs to try and deal with everything, so I’m sorry if I’ve not replied to things, I’m slowly getting back on track, but please bear with me.

What a weekend…

Well, Sunday and Monday, as those are my day not in the shop.

Sunday morning we were up early (too early!!) to do a car boot sale…my friend Judith has been travelling for 4 months and I said I’d sell a load of her stuff for her while she’s away…she’s back in 2 weeks and I’ve only just started! We managed to sell a few bits and pieces, and some of my stuff which is good…still had to have the seats down in the car to go home though :~/ There’s a few bags in the car to go to the charity shop, and we’re ebaying a fair few bits.

I got incredibly sunburnt on Sunday too…I was sat reading and didn’t realise quite how red I was till Matty mentioned it. Lots of after-sun has been applied, but my shoulders and two patches on my back are SO sore! My face is a little lobster like too :~\  Being sunburnt really scares me – I hate the pain and the whole association with an increase in risk of getting cancer…I haven’t been sunburnt for years :~(


Yesterday we went up to Manchester – the plan was to go to the haberdashery and fabric wholesalers, then go climbing with my friend Helen’s son E, and go for tea at the Trafford Centre.

We managed to do it all, but in a rushed different order…

The tyre on the car decided to blow out when we were on the M6 in the outside lane…

It was really scary, thankfully Matty was amazing and stayed in control so we didn’t crash into another car/the barrier. We thought the whole wheel had come off, as we heard metal scraping and the back of the car dropped dramatically. We were stuck until some wonderful AMEY guys stopped  the traffic for us to get to the other side to the hard shoulder. Then came the traffic police who stayed till Matty changed the tyre (Thank goodness he had the spare!) and made sure we were ok for a few miles driving again.

We ended up going climbing first…I was going to climb (I’ve never done it before but want to try) but was still a bit shaken from the car so Matty did some climbing on his own on the nifty wall with an automatic belay (the bit that your partner holds the rope with so you don’t fall and have a bit of support!)

Matty took E for his first climbing experience a month or so ago, and once he got into it, he really enjoyed himself, and got to the top of some of the (rather tall!) walls at Manchester Climbing Centre. This time he was much more confident at the start but got quite tired…Matty gave him a lift every so often at the bottom of the wall, but after a while he stopped and they had a bit of a stand-off… which resulted in E hanging around for a bit!! :~)

We went and got new tyres for the car afterwards, and went to the haberdashers and fabric wholesalers (yummy new fat quarters for the shop and buttons, ribbon packs, bias binding, elastic and T pins too!)  before going to meet H, G and E for pizza at the Trafford Centre. It was a lovely day, but very long and we didn’t get home till midnight!

I’m still battling with the website and email issues, but thankfully all emails are now forwarding to the gmail account at least. Hopefully the website is going to be up this week – Matty goes away tomorrow morning so I get a chance to work more at home. Loads of stuff is scheduled for the next few months, we’ve got NDS doing a trunk show next week, and some workshops to sort out too. Busybusy as usual!!

I move house in under 3 weeks so lots of packing needs to be done too! I’ve got a LOT of stuff, the majority of which needs to be sorted and packed which is quite a scary prospect! I also need to sell some of my furniture – sofa, fridge, freezer, microwave, etc etc…Gumtree here I come I think!

Till next time…

Shop, Cycling, Graduating, Moving and Yarn!

Well, the shop is up and running, and we’ve had a fair few customers in – and some really good feedback. It’s going well apart from technology – my host (who used to be fabulous – great twitter presence, answering service/help emails really quickly, within 1/2 hour at 2:30am etc!) decided to muck everything up by suspending the account because i told them i was leaving…nevermind that i said I was leaving when my current paid time was up…in 3 weeks!! So we’ve moved over to a new host, but migrating some of the stuff over is taking longer than planned/hoped…so no email or website…*stress* We had the first knit night on Thursday and had 10 people come – I was so scared no-one would turn up so was very happy!

Matty has been trying to get me to cycle, to get fit, so we cycled to work on Friday – I really didn’t think I was *So* unfit! I was exhausted and dehydrated and had wibbly legs and was extraordinarily sweaty – pleasant, I know! We got there in 20 minutes, and I rode back on my own (Matty went kayaking for  the weekend before spending the week in Leeds/Manchester) in 15 minutes! I rode to work Saturday and wasn’t quite as out of breath, but ended up walking back as I stayed quite late and don’t have a key to the barn where I keep my bike :~/ The walk isn’t too bad – a few hills but nothing huge, and only 1.5 miles – I’m walking and cycling to and from work all week next week.

I have spectacular (ly bad)timing skills, so in about a month and 4 days I’m moving house!! I need to downsize to concentrate on the shop, but where I was hoping to move to fell through :~( We went to see a lovely house-share/lodging last week, and both got on well with R, the owner. She’s happy for Matty to stay as much as he’s planning to next year, and is probably okay with Kitty coming too! Both huge bonuses – I’m worried about having to find a new home for Kitty if this doesn’t work out :~/ It’s about 3 miles from the shop, so not sure what I’m going to do about walking/cycling there.I’ve been thinking of getting a scooter for a while – I can’t afford a car, or really justify one when I’m insured on two others! But a scooter might make things a bit easier…I’m going to book onto a tester afternoon and see if I get on with them! We’re slowly starting to pack things up – thankfully a friend has a large room I can use for storage – but it’s very strange, and daunting to try to minimize everything I own, which is a LOT of stuff!

Wednesday evening I am heading up to Manchester to see Matty graduate on Thursday :~) He’s graduating from his Foundation Degree, which he’s topping up to become a BA next year. I’m so proud :~) I also need to figure out what on earth to wear!!

I slept for 17 hours last night/today…I knew I was tired but didn’t realise quite how tired, so today has been a pyjama day…catching up on iplayer and trying to find patterns for my newly acquired NDS yarn – I’ve had my eye on it since it arrived 3 weeks ago, so decided it belonged with me!

It is just fabulous – suggestions for patterns welcome! I’d love to have a shrug or something to wear at the shop – I wear a lot of skirts and vest tops at the moment. I can’t find anything that seems right though!

Sorry for the random post…I’m sure I’ll be more interesting soon!

Chaos, Funerals, Poppies, Sleep and Lost Kitty

Well, the last month has been somewhat dramatic and busy! I apologise for the looong post!

I got the very exciting news about funding, and in just over a week (28th June) I am opening my own yarn shop!! I’m very excited, somewhat overwhelmed and a little scared – the last month or so has been full of deciding yarns, colours, notions, fabrics, paints, shelves and much more!

We’ve had a 5 and a half hour visit to IKEA, followed by another 2 hour one less than a week later, 4 hours driving to and from Manchester for  a 3 hour trip to the haberdashery and fabric wholesalers, buying a computer on the way too! I’ve ordered some amazing yarns, and just beautiful things! The shop, I’m hoping, will have a homey feel – we’ve a sofa in the bay and extra lighting, a table to work on projects and chat around, a great selection of books, and between 10 and 4 a cafe open just the other side of the door. We’re also having a Knit Night (All crafty projects welcome!) on a Thursday from 6-8:30, and I’m *hopefully* going to have time to bake cakes for it!

Next week is get in week, so we’ll be painting, changing carpet, building units and stocking shelves…the one proviso Matty has is that we take the radio or he’s not doing any work! He’s been an absolute godsend – building things and helping out. This last week has been finalising orders, getting last-minute things I forgot to before (there were quite a few of those eep!)

On 2nd July evening, we’re having a launch party – some of my friends and family are coming, and a few indies too I think…if you’re reading this and fancy coming along, email launchparty (at) :~)

The last month has also included a funeral :~( Granny (Matty’s maternal grandma) had a wonderful neighbour, Harold, who died, and as he was part of their extended family for over 30 years, they went to the funeral, and I went as a support. It was a lovely service, by a vicar that had known Harold for a long time. I had to leave fairly early in the wake, but Matty stayed with his mum and Granny for the afternoon, spent on a drive in the country with good pub food included. It was quite a strange experience, I’ve been to two funerals before – Nanan’s (My maternal Grandma, who was a huge part of my life) and MummyJanet’s dad – both different, but both people I know etc. I never met Harold, although I heard a lot about him through Matty mainly, so it seemed a bit strange that I got upset, but I think it was partly memories of other funerals, upset that people I love are upset, and just general sadness that someone has died. Still, a vaguely strange experience.

Sleep – I am desperately trying to get my sleep pattern into something that resembles what it will need to be when the shop opens. I’ve succeeded most of the time for the last week, but even one late/disturbed night seems to have  a huge effect. I’m a night owl, so could happily sleep untill 2pm and work till 4am! Not ideal when the shops open 10-5!! Last night I was woken up at 1:20am by a call from my upset little (surrogate – MummyJanets daughter, but  she’s like my sister) sister stranded in another part of Birmingham with no money for a taxi, so followed frantic calls to taxi companies to see if they would pick her up if I pay. She ended up staying on my sofa and being picked up by her brother this morning.

Matty went on a training weekend for a job he has this summer, and I was lucky enough to have the car for the weekend (on the proviso of me giving him a lift there and back of course!) On the way back home I passed an amazing poppy field,so made sure we stopped on the way back – it had just rained, which made it even more stunning!

Kitty went missing the same weekend :~(  She jumped out of the (first floor) bathroom window and was missing for 4 days – she’s an indoor cat, not spayed (we don’t think – she was a stray when she came to me, and the only way to find out is to operate) and no collar! Thankfully I got her microchipped a month after I got her, but it wasn’t needed, as Joyce (downstairs neighbour) saw her darting across the back garden and banged on our door. She’s been back just under 4 weeks and is getting a little chunkier around her belly, so I think there might be kittens on the way! I love kittens – my ex and I had a cat that had kittens, I was there when they were born and looked after them lots. Not great timing though!! She’s settled back in okay though, and currently sat on the bed looking annoyed whenever I go in!

Right, back to designing signs and buying last-minute bits and pieces!