ellenscult: (perky)
After talking with my counsellor on Tuesday, I popped into the Antrim Forum to see what classes they had, and on Wednesday morning I went to Pilates for the first time ever. Ahahahaha! It is brutal! In a very non-brutal way, but today my everything aches. When I think about all the sword fighting, glima, rock climbing, cycling, swimming etc I've done and how very unfit and unbendy I am now, the comparison makes me feel, well, unfit and unbendy. Gah! So yeah, I'll go back next week, provided I'm not a) dead or dismembered or b) having a bad ME day. Fingers crossed, eh?

I'm feeling quite chipper at the moment: financially, things aren't entirely dire (hurrah); DH is coming up on the end of week 11 of his new job (but eye surgery next week, eep); I haven't had to take Planck to the vets for a few weeks (but I need to get him another hip x-ray, his bad hip is getting worse); the other dogs are fit and well (touch wood); family is all okay (to the best of my knowledge, and my nephew starts school a week on Friday, wow); I've even hoovered the house. Well, downstairs, and I hoovered upstairs at the end of last week, so it's still okay for now.

So yeah, no major disasters! Have some crafty photos instead:

Photos )

Also a book recommendation, also from my wonderful counsellor: Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey E. Young, PhD., and Janet S. Klosko, PhD. So yeah, I'll be getting that. Oh, and I read Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, which is a fantastic read - hugely informative, sometimes difficult, sometimes hugely entertaining, but always very thought-provoking. I think my favourite bit, for reasons which will be blatantly obvious to anyone who knows me personally and to anyone who's read anything else at all in this blog, is this, about the expanded criteria for diagnosis:

A nonspeaking boy of six who rocked in a corner all day would fit the bill, as would a woman in her late twenties who reflexively averted her eyes when speaking and calmed herself while knitting while inwardly fancying herself the real-life equivalent of Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who.

Replace 'late twenties' with 'early forties', and 'Sarah Jane Smith' with 'Ace', and yeah, that's absolutely me! It made me giggle.

So yeah, that's me this week. I'm going to go back to crocheting another cute cat (making a good start on those family Christmas presents) and wait for the washing machine repairman (repairperson? probably a bloke, though) to turn up (13:00-15:00 allegedly). Have yourselves a great week and welcome to September!
ellenscult: (glima)
I had my assessment today for PIP (Personal Independence Payment, replaces Disability Living Allowance). A very nice psychiatric nurse came out to my house and went through a long questionnaire. So, fingers crossed. I'd really like to be accepted for PIP - it's not a huge sum of money, but it'd mean that maybe every once in a while I could afford to go for a massage to sort out my neck and shoulders, or pay someone to cut the hedge or come and hoover for me. I could take the car to a car wash. Little things that'd make a huge difference. Mind you, I'd like more to be able to do all of those things myself - I very much resent ME for stealing away my brain and my stamina bit by bit. Gah! I miss rock climbing. I miss swimming. And yes, I could go swimming here - there are swimming pools in Antrim and in Ballymena. But what I can't do is drive to the swimming pool, get changed, go swimming, get showered and changed, then drive home.

Anyway, enough of that! As I mentioned in my last post (honestly, I had to check, I have slow brain today, I couldn't remember if I'd mentioned it or not, duh), [livejournal.com profile] palmersperry came to visit and stayed a week (the fool! You'd think he'd know better by now!) and it was lovely to see him and catch up. I have a few photos, so I'll pop them under a cut in case anyone's interested. We went round HMS Caroline, and Saturday we all went to Glenarriff and then to the Giant's Causeway. I sat in the back with the dogs and now have a lovely collection of bruises on my thighs from being kicked by Newton. Lovely! We went round Antrim Castle Grounds and Clotworthy House (Antrim Castle burned down in mysterious circumstances in the '20s. Hmmm) - they've done it up a lot in the last few years and you can go up the 12th Century motte, which is very cool.

Photos )

So there you go, a good week filled with going places and doing stuff. Today I am exhausted and my brain is slow and there's a really annoying bluebottle buzzing around the living room, which will freak Planck out when he comes back inside. I have a form to fill out. I gave up as a bad job yesterday when I made 3 stupid errors in the first 2 pages. Somehow I suspect today will be worse. Never mind, eh? Have a great week, all, and enjoy the sunshine if you've got it.
ellenscult: (funky)
I'm trying to think of what to post and my brain doesn't want to cooperate. Eh. It's jumper weather again, and damp and grey, so of course it's Wimbledon. Johnny Marray and Adil Shamasdin are through to the fourth round of the gentlemen's doubles; Marray won with Freddie Nielsen back in 2012 and is probably the best example of sportsmanship in the game - at close to match point, he stopped and pointed out he'd touched the net, something no one else had noticed. That they went on to win regardless is testament to just how well he was playing. I have to admit I'm biased; I worked with his dad in Sheffield for a good few years, and the whole family are thoroughly nice people. So, yeah, I'm rooting for him to win again this year. *fingers crossed*

I took Planck in to the vet's today to get the stitches out of his ear. It's not fully healed up, but it should be fine in a few days, and it means he got to see his favourite vet (John), lick a vet nurse, and make friends with an 11 month old lab-cross puppy. Exciting! And even more exciting for the rest of us, he doesn't need the Cone of Doom on any more! Hurrah! With it on, he's definitely an agent of chaos and destruction!

DH and I were in Belfast on Saturday and got to see the march in favour of decriminalising abortion in NI, with banners for all sorts of groups, including the Anarchists. DH, of course, wanted to go tell them that organised demonstrations really don't go together with anarchy, but fortunately he had an eye test so couldn't. And he didn't get into a shouting match with the later pro-life march, but he did make a couple of baby goths giggle. We both believe in freedom to choose, but I think what bothers DH most is the insistence on misquoting the Bible.

Anyway, not much to talk about today; I crocheted myself a cowl, and it and all the baby blanket granny squares (for a friend's baby) are blocking upstairs. I'm crampy and generally slow and achy, but this is all hormonal, bah humbug. So I'm going to go read some hockey player rpf (I know, don't even... *headdesk*) and go back to contemplating what to make next - I have to start my Christmas knitting by the end of the month. Yeah, today I have no idea. So, still here, still making an effort to get out from under my rock, even if it's with a hot gel pack stuffed down my waistband. Hoovering can wait til tomorrow.
ellenscult: (chomp)
It's been quite a while since I last posted on my livejournal, at least something that isn't just an automatic 'my tweets' entry. There are reasons for that, and it's some of them I'm burbling on about today, complete with (entirely justified imo) bad language.

Six and a half years ago, a concerted effort between three or four people bullied my husband into a mental breakdown. They made his life unbearable and I still can't understand how people can be so damn malicious and spiteful for no goddamn reason at all as to try to destroy someone's career, their sanity, their life. I still don't know how they can live with themselves for what they did and what they tried to do. They went so far as to get the police involved (using masonic connections, and yes, several police officers were reprimanded for their actions) to get my husband arrested and dragged all the way to trial at the Crown Court. At that point, the case was dismissed because there was no evidence - those ex-colleagues had falsified the evidence and it was apparent that the police and the CPS knew it. The judge ordered an inquiry into just what the hell the CPS had been doing bringing the case in the first place. The detective who had indulged in witness coaching was, unfortunately, not brought to task, and those involved in a concerted attempt to pervert the course of justice have never had to face the consequences of their actions.

Pretty fucking serious stuff.

These people - as far as I'm concerned - set out to murder my husband and absolutely nothing has happened to them. And they came really bloody close to succeeding. Were it not for the support of friends, family and the emergency mental health services in York and Northern Ireland, I have no doubt whatsoever I'd be widowed by now.

So these last six and a half years have been rough. DH (dear husband) has been unable to work, and around 4 years ago I had to leave my job (they were awesome, letting me switch to working from home and supporting me through my own ill-health) because I couldn't sustain working full-time with also being a full-time carer.

Why bring this up now?

Well, this week DH started work. Full-time, a good job in a software company. I'm so happy for him and so proud of him. I hope it works out, but if it doesn't, he'll be able to look for another job without the last six and a half years being a huge weight dragging at him. And I wanted to be able to talk about things on my LJ again without the crippling fear that I've been living with dictating what I can and can't talk about, to the point where I can't talk at all, about anything. Fear for DH, for his stability, fear that something I say on here will spark off another round of persecution by those fuckers, that they will find some way - legal or more likely totally illegal - to wreck his life again. But hey, guess what? The statute of limitations on the crap they made up about my husband is 6 years, so they can't go back to the police (who conspicuously washed their hands of any contact with the company and those individuals anyway) and DH has a job so they can't undermine his job-seeking attempts and get him blacklisted with a bunch of bullshit lies. It's too late. They've lost, comprehensively. He's alive and he's doing well. Fuck you, you amoral bunch of bastards. I hope you never sleep well again, you fuckers. I wish you nothing but harm.

Actually, no. I hope this bothers you. I hope you can look back on your actions and see just what it is you tried to do, and I hope it bothers your conscience for the rest of your days. But I hope you've learned from what you did. I hope you've become better people, even though I very much doubt you ever will. I hope you've learned some morality, grown some compassion, learned how to live a decent, honest, ethical life. Probably not, but that's what I want for you. And all my desperate fantasies of some kind of (bloody, violent, emotional) revenge will stay just that - fantasies. Because despite everything you've done, everything you've stolen from my husband, from us, from me, I will never sink to your level. I don't have it in me. And despite everything that you've done, everything that's happened, I know that there are things that you just do not do. Ever. To anyone.

So fuck you, you execrable excuses for human beings, I'm putting you behind me. I'm reclaiming my life, just as DH has spent the last six and a half years fighting to do. I'm reclaiming my words. I'm reclaiming my blog. And some day I hope I can forget what it's like to live in the shadow of monsters, but until then I'll be here and every word I write will be the best fuck you I can imagine.
ellenscult: (Default)
It's legen- wait for it... )

wait for it... DARY!

Oh, now I remember what I meant to say! Duh! I'm on tumblr, under the username ellenscult. As usual. Another day, another sandbox, but this time with more animated gifs!
ellenscult: (Corporate Tool)
I know it's been a good long while since I updated this journal, other than automatically reposting my tweets, which really doesn't count. So. Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

I am unemployed. Too much time off sick (thanks, ME), they need someone back in the office, etc. If anyone wants the job description for a technical writing job based just round the corner from Sheffield station, let me know.

Before I get sympathy, I should say this is a relief. Something I don't have to feel guilty for not keeping on top of. I'm taking a good long break before I start looking for another job, which will probably be something part-time since I can't cope, health-wise, with anything full-time. We'll muddle through. And I'll write that bestseller, or somesuch.

I may even tidy up my office.

So, sleeping, writing, knitting, annoying the dog - sounds like a summer to me.
ellenscult: (passed)
This post isn't friends-locked. Fingers crossed, eh?

Following up on my last post... )

So what does this mean for you and me right now? It means I'm throwing one last party, a farewell to York.

For obvious reasons, it won't be at my house, so it will be at VJ's, on the evening of the 21st of February. It's a Sunday, yes, because they're booked already for the Saturday, but they're going to open up especially for us. So please do come along, even if it's only for an hour. I'll post times when I've talked with the manager on Saturday. If you can make it, please let me know, either in comments here or drop me an email, so that I can let them know this Saturday roughly how many people should be turning up.

Please come, so I can say thank you for being a part of my life for so long, for being amazing, wonderful, incredible friends, for letting me love you (that won't change). And if not for that, come because I'll raid my laughable savings account and hopefully have munchies and booze available for a while at least, until it all gets eaten and drank and you have to buy your own drinks.

Oh, and if I've borrowed anything of yours, now is a really, really good opportunity to remind me so I can give it back. Just saying.

The best of luck to you all, and may this year turn out to be a good one for you all.
ellenscult: (Kipper)
I've got as far as lurking on LJ - some day soon I may even get back to posting! Life's pottering along much-of-a-muchness. I have some Rosetta Stone stuff and am learning Latin - it's sparking all kinds of associations among words I already know. I should have learned this stuff years ago! Anyway, knitting socks, doing some blackwork on shift cuffs. Even doing some writing and proofreading. Soon, a week in Cornwall for writing (may take the bodyboard if the weather's going to be good) and the BFS bunfight in Nottingham, Tim Minchin in Sheffield and Twelfth Night in Stratford. My brain's slowly coming back online - clearly doing not very much is paying off! Happy bank holiday weekend, everyone!

Oh, and I signed up on Twitter. Same username, occasional tweets. :)
ellenscult: (fist of doom)
Bit of an update... )

A plug: if you're after anything in classical or jazz music, please consider ordering through/purchasing from the Lamb CD shop on Micklegate in York. It's an independent music shop, it's struggling to stay in business, and it used to be one of the largest classical and jazz music shops in the country. If you're after a specific recording, even if it's been deleted, chances are they may have it, and it'll be available at its usual cd price rather than the 'it's deleted so we'll hike the price up to 60 quid' which Amazon have a habit of charging.

Another plug: if you have a special event coming up, need decorations for cakes or buns, consider ordering them from Anita's Sugarcraft. Anita makes all the decorations by hand, to order. She's a friend, and she's very talented.

Last plug: if you're in need of any games, dice, rpg stuff, go visit Jorvik Games. It's run by a couple of friends of mine, who will post stuff out to you, arrange to meet up with you to hand things over, or even hand-deliver items (in York, that is).

Keep the economy going! Go forth and buy stuff!
ellenscult: (bunk)
Well, not quite - I've finally uploaded a few photos, though, so I'm putting them under a cut to save bandwidth for those who aren't interested in suchlike.

This way to the photos! )

In other news (not under a cut so people don't run into the photos if they don't want to, sorry...): my bike is in the bike shop! I took it down Sheffield with me last Wednesday and dropped it off at Decathlon for its free 3-month service, expecting them to adjust the cable tension and leave it at that. Instead, it appears to have some kind of gear problem, which I'm hoping they've either fixed or replaced the gear arm (under warranty) by tomorrow so I can pick it up again. I'm starting to feel as though I have finger-of-death for bikes... Or it could be that they use cheap derailleurs...

I went to my ME course on Friday and learned about Graded Exercise Therapy. Which is how to, when my energy scores are consistent and I'm feeling as though I'm ready to start increasing the amount of, well, anything I'm doing, increase my activity level without causing an increase in my ME symptoms. Of course, since my bike's been in the shop since Wednesday, that's meant I walked home from the train station on Wednesday evening, then back in on Thursday morning and out again, then to my course at Bootham Park Hospital on Friday morning and from there into town and home again, and into town on Saturday. I got the bus home on Saturday afternoon. (I also walked into town and back on Tuesday night to the writing group, but that was because I didn't get [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas to get me a lift because he has an ear infection, which is now clearing up nicely.) So today has been spent largely on the sofa doing little more strenuous than knitting and occasionally hanging out another load of washing on the washing line, and I am tired, and my legs are a little wobbly and I'm running just a touch of a temperature. Ho hum, so it goes. I shall go to bed shortly and should be fine in the morning.

Anyway, thanks to the ME course, I have a letter, which I took to the council offices on Friday, and I filled in a form and had my photo taken and as of in a few days time, I should have a free bus pass, enabling me to travel on the local buses and not have to pay the extortionate fares. Awesome! It'll mean I can try walking into town to the station one or two mornings a week and be able to catch the bus back, thus getting a bit more exercise but not tiring myself out. Hurrah!

So, I have handouts. I'll type them up soon and post them here for anyone who's interested. Have a great week, y'all! I'm going to duck back below the parapet again.
ellenscult: (too pretty)
Five things make a post...

1. The guy who tried to attack [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas was found guilty, ordered to pay compensation and court costs. I can't help but hear Margie (Fargo) tutting and saying 'All for a little bit o' money!' - well, all for a little bit o' impatience. That garage visit has cost the guy a criminal record and £360 quid. *sigh* Not his finest Sunday afternoon, I'm betting...

2. The holiday was lovely; I got a lot of knitting done and not a lot of skiing, but enjoyed myself anyway. I managed not to be too frustrated at not having the oomph to get out skiing until the Thursday. It's a waste of good ski hire, but equally, I got out eventually. I highly recommend staying in a Le Ski chalet - we were looked after brilliantly by Ben, Elise and Poppy, even to the extent of baking gluten and dairy free shortbread and flapjacks so that I had something to have for afternoon tea. Awesome! I'm going to try baking some shortbread as that was so tasty.

3. The Xbox 360 Elite wot I got for my dearly beloved for our quarter anniversary should as of today be winging its way back to Play.com (intermittent graphics fault) and we should have the replacement by the end of the week. I hope.

4. I'm still tired, still lacking in stamina, so I'm cutting right down on 'doing things'. I'm attempting to stick to a 10pm bedtime (gah!) and take a 5 minute break in every hour to sit or lie down without distraction, etc, which is harder to manage than I'd have thought, especially since I don't particularly want to. I need to conserve more energy to my HPA-axis will fix itself, but I don't want to not do *anything* at all - I need to exercise! I don't want my weight to go up any further! I'm not entirely sure how to reconcile all this, but I'm working on it.

5. Hard Times isn't as difficult as people made out. The 1951 recording of Aida with Maria Callas, Del Monaco, Taddei, Dominguez, conducted by De Fabritis, is absolutely incredible. Recorded live in Mexico City. Wow! Watchmen is visually stunning, quite slow (thus allowing for appreciation of the stunning visuals), very well done and has animated giant blue wang. So what's not to like?

I meant to put up some links to fantastic things, I really did. Maybe I'll post a five links post later...
ellenscult: (dressmaking)
For those of you who feel you lack enough angst in your life, this is superb. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] alasdair1076 for passing the link along!

Another link: [livejournal.com profile] o_faolain points out something rather important for those of you who enjoy listening to live music. If you don't want to see live music disappear, go and read, then follow his link to sign the petition.

Weekend update... )

Right, enough of this lj malarkey! It's time to force-quite WinZip Pro and try again to update that pesky zip archive for work...

Oh, but before I go, I have started a new knitting project - a cashmere lace shawl... More about that later. *beam*
ellenscult: (rock)
If I'm a bit quiet on LJ right now, it's not that I've decided you all smell, no, I'm just a bit busy right now. Nothing too interesting - just work, housework, etc.

The past few days... )
ellenscult: (Queen of France)

Happy Jesus Year, [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas! Happy Birthday, Kate! Belated happies to [livejournal.com profile] thirstypixel!



Running at 38rpm; the weekend; a fanvid. )

GED month

Nov. 2nd, 2008 09:09 pm
ellenscult: (Work Smart)
From [livejournal.com profile] kyryn: November is G.E.D. Month! Which stands for 'Get 'Er Done' month. I am hereby signing up.

Since I got home on Friday I have:

  • done 6? 7? loads of washing and visited the laundrette twice to get it all dried*
  • done a 'proper' shop at Morrisons (and gone back twice to get 'just a couple more things' I forgot
  • cooked up a monster batch of lamb stew
  • cooked up a large batch of bolognese sauce
  • finally cooked up the bag of apples my sister gave me into apple sauce (eaten by [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas), a crumble and a pie
  • cleaned out and cleaned the fridge
  • cleaned out the main food cupboard
  • started work on the Pseudopod slushpile


Which I think is a pretty good start to G.E.D. month. Hurrah! I'm taking a leaf out of [livejournal.com profile] kyryn's book lj and planning on working on one thing every day. I'll be putting up a post-dated post with The List, which I'll mark up so I can keep track of what I do. Everything may not get finished, but at least it'll get worked on. Maybe I'll be so busy I'll forget just how grey, cold and depressing November is. Meh.

[livejournal.com profile] ravenlas and I also spent a very enjoyable (if somewhat jet-lagged) Halloween round at [livejournal.com profile] alasdair1076 and Kate's, watching suitably spooky films and Dead Set.

And tomorrow, it's back to work... *le sigh*

*Bendix launderette has awesome dryers: 11 minutes to dry 3 loads of laundry in one dryer? Wow! I think I'll be going there every week. Much, much easier than trying to find places for things to dry around the house (no radiators).

ETA: The List is up. Feel free to come round and give me a hand. Or shout encouragement. Or throw things. Your choice... Yes, you can vote on what you'd like me to do next, but I reserve the right to do something else instead. :)
ellenscult: (hiding the pain)
Back to slightly more intermittent posting. Today: bye-bye booze; exercise; housework; knitting; writing. The usual routine. )

Did anyone else see the superb sunset yesterday? I was driving back from my parents' house, and it kept distracting me. Incredibly beautiful.
ellenscult: (bunk)
Dropping out of sight... )

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