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: (funky)
New things come up and I retreat back into silence and a few bottles of wine, curling up like a curly thing. DH needs rather urgent eye surgery - stressful and scary stuff. He'll be having it done on the 8th of September iirc, and we don't know if this will be covered by Optical Express or if we'll have to pay for it. Erm.... So anyway, that reaction isn't helpful at all. I've ditched the wine and am trying meditation instead (better for my liver, waistline, head and bank account, duh). I've started up my ME diary again, keeping track of what I do and what I eat, my mood and energy levels, etc, which keeps me more aware of how I'm doing, too.

[livejournal.com profile] palmersperry is visiting for a few days; we've been round IKEA and have taken the dogs out to Tardree Forest for a (slow) walk. Later today we're off to see HMS Caroline in Belfast, and weather permitting, we'll be off to the Giants Causeway, the Glens of Antrim and Slemish over the next few days. Today I'm a bit tired and slow, though - trying to get my brain into gear and it's just not quite happening, eh. *shrug*

Hmm... Let's see, DH is at the end of week 9 of his 3-month probationary period in his new job; the dogs are doing fine; I caught up on my laundry the couple of sunny days we had, and I've cleaned out the parlour some (always more to do). I'm making time for meditation, writing and Duolinguo (Italian). I'm working on uncurling and staying out from under that rock. Oh, and I have a sneaky ninja slug in my kitchen (I think it's migrated out into the living room overnight) - I keep following the trail and then the trail vanishes and there's still no sign of the bloody thing. Gah!

Right, time for a cuppa, then a pootle down to Belfast.
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: (perky)
Yesterday's day of tiredness seems to have given way to general tiredness from not getting to sleep until 3am (better than the start of the week, hurrah!) and being woken up by a phone call from the Jobs and Benefits Centre. A very nice lady put up with my morning lack of brain and explained there's been an overpayment of Income Support, which she's trying to sort out so I'll know just how much I have to pay back either in a lump sum (ha!) or with a deduction from my IS (it'll be option 2, thanks). So we'll have even less coming in, but hey, it's spring officially and my father-in-law's vegetable patch is open for raiding by me (I usually give it a good weed while I'm pulling a couple of spring onions or a lettuce, or whatever). I'd set the dogs to catching their own dinner, but I'm afraid they'd ignore the rabbits (there's mixamatosis in the population, sadly) in favour of nearby sheep, chicken and cows. Doh!

After that early start (I'm working my way back to getting up by 7am, honestly!), my day was brightened by hearing Warren Zevron's Werewolves of London on the radio as I grabbed a shower - gave me the impetus to wrap up my nephew's birthday presents, then head out on my loop of many errands. Planck's dog license is renewed; I've paid the vet's bill and picked up more Loxicom and spoken to John the Awesome Vet about getting Planck his hip replacement surgery; got coal from the general merchant's; posted Dan's parcel; called by the bank; got the rest of the food shopping from Poundstretcher (dog munchies) and Tesco (gluten-free and dairy-free me munchies) and even picked up some free low-fat fries from Burger King for Jerry (today only, apparently, if your local BK's one of the franchises doing them).

The shopping is all away, the dogs have their stuffed bones (Newton's finished licking out his and is sitting behind me on my chair, watching the garden through the window to make sure nothing needs barking at), Jerry's had his fries and I've had a cuppa. That's probably me done for the rest of the day, but it's always possible I might actually get a little fiction writing done, woohoo! Or I could go look into how to turn Where's My Tractor into an e-book so I can email that to my sister. Or I could finish off that last winter-weight cowl for Uncle Ken and start on the summer lace-weight silk/wool mix cowls for the family...

Gosh, the possibilites are endless! Or something. Yes, well, I think I'd better quit while I'm ahead, don't you? Have a fantastic weekend, peeps.

Newton and selfie... )
ellenscult: (perky)
Right, the second day of posting in a row! I wish I had something exciting to post about, but largely my day has consisted of getting to sleep at some time past 4am (my sleep pattern's a bit messed up at the moment), waking up at 11:30 and discussing my current phone tariff with the guy from TalkTalk.

("We can give you a TV package!" "I don't watch live TV, don't have a TV license, so no, ta muchly." "You can buy a year's worth of telephone line rental for a saving of 65 quid over paying line rental monthly!" "Actually, that'd be great, but I've just paid out my car insurance and I have the last of a vet's bill to pay, so it'll have to wait until the dogs and I have done that bank job." "You have free weekend and evening calls to 01, 02, 03 landlines, 0800 and 0845 numbers. Ah, you don't make many calls, do you?" "Nope, we have the landline pretty much entirely for the broadband." "Ooh, I can check to see if you can get fibre! ... Ah, no." "Alllll righty, then.")

The rest of my day's been divided between occasional playing of Secret Passages (a bizarre globe-trotting game in which you visit distant and sometimes fictional lands, collect random stuff, upgrade buildings, rescue famous landmarks, create jewels and ignore typos), reading fanfic, sleeping again (14:00 to gone 18:00, despite setting an alarm for around 15:00-ish), then actually getting up and having a shower, stripping the bed, doing laundry, putting away clean laundry, and eating toast since I really needed to go shopping today and, well, haven't.

Exciting, eh? I'm holding out for actually getting to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight (and given it's almost midnight now, that doesn't leave too much longer before I have to go make the bed up again and collapse back into it) so tomorrow I can parcel up the picture book I've made for my nephew, Dan, who is 2 and happy and precocious and the most amazing baby in the whole wide world, and get it posted off to him. Oh, and so I can go and get some food shopping done before the dogs have to steal my purse and the car keys and go themselves. (It'd be fine, only they don't have their driving license and can't read the shopping list.)

They could do it, no, really... )

Time I went and did my 5 minutes of Italian on DuoLinguo (a rather nifty free language-learning app) and then away to bed. Good night, all! I'll likely have to kill you post in the morning.
ellenscult: (decisions)
Thinking once there was a sea here But there never was a door )

The state of my inbox: nearly 90 e-mails.

Today's reading:
  • A Study in Doubles chapter 10 by Jupiter_Ash
  • Reflections by KSL
  • To Be a Man chapter 9 by closer
ellenscult: (car at my head)
A Man, A Plan, A Canal... )

The state of my inbox: 68 emails.

Today's reading:
ellenscult: (glima)
Another day, another dollar... )

The state of my inbox: 69 emails! Slowly getting there!

Today's reading:
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: (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: (funky)
On Saturday, I got to see my godson, his shiny new sister and his parents on Saturday, which was ace, even if all the frogs and frogspawn seem mysteriously to have vanished from the pond. On Sunday, I met up with my older sister and her mum and step-dad over at Lotherton Hall and got to go round the bird garden and see an Andean condor, a hornbill and some rheas, among many other birds, then went home and played D&D. And yesterday I couldn't get my brain into gear at all, spent an out-of-focus day on the sofa with some SG-1 fanfic, and in the evening, cut for being a bit depressing )

I didn't sleep well over the long weekend, least of all last night. I'm tired and I'm shaky and I'm going to be out of touch for a while, in all probability. Hopefully I'll get my batteries charged this week and be back in the saddle again soon.
ellenscult: (awesome)
I went to see Waiting For Godot this afternoon, along with [livejournal.com profile] kissmeforlonger, [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas, [livejournal.com profile] alasdair1076, Kate and my mum. Also in the audience, [livejournal.com profile] o_faolain and Claire.

The cast:

Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Simon Callow, Ronald Pickup.

Holy crap, that was a good performance! To those of you who didn't want to come see it because Waiting For Godot is Just Too Depressing, this was the least depressing version I've ever seen. There was a lot of comedy, a lot of laughter. Even, dare I say it, hope.

It's left my head in an odd place, though, and when I came out of the theatre, I was so myopic I didn't even spot [livejournal.com profile] o_faolain standing all of 3 feet away. So sorry! *hugs* It took a pot full of jasmine tea and a plate of chicken fried rice at Heihei just down the hill (and incidentally a conversation about which films would or wouldn't be improved by the addition of a giant squid - the oddest, possibly Ghandi. Or Zulu...) before my head had settled down a bit.

Newcastle isn't that far away, but given a 180-mile round trip, all I'm good for now is the sofa, some wine, and possibly Castle. Or Dollhouse. It's a beautiful evening, and this has been another amazing theatre performance to remember and tell my kids about. Or my twin's kids, if she has them. Or just random people on the bus when I'm a crazy old lady. But still. I should go. But I can't go. Why can't I go? I'm waiting for Godot. :)
ellenscult: (bfg)
This afternoon, thanks to Whatever, I read this article. Although it's very sad, it reminds me yet again how glad I am that we have civil unions in the UK, how glad I am that one by one countries are making same-sex marriage legal, that states in the US (despite California's Proposition 8) are moving in the right direction.

It shouldn't even be an issue. If both parties are adult and want to marry, sex and gender should be the least of our issues. Why should I have the right (and incredible good fortune) to be married to the love of my life just because he's male and I'm female, but not if we're both men, both women? I'm bi; I could have easily fallen in love with another woman and that wouldn't have been an issue for me, my family or (I'm pretty sure just about all of) my friends.

Marriage is where you combine your heart and your community and all the legal stuff into one declaration:

This is other half of my soul, the person who is most important to me, the person I want to spend my life with.

So I don't see how so many people can regard this as the collapse-of-civilization zombiepocalypse. It's not. With death a certainty, why put the survivor through such extra trouble? To deny people the right to marry their loved one is cruel. It's inhumane.

I do have a problem with places that allow (with parental consent) young teenagers to marry. This is right, but same-sex marriage is wrong? My mind boggles. Looking at you, Alabama, looking at you.

Other stuff:

Gakked from [livejournal.com profile] rhube, Uncomfortable Plot Summaries - very funny indeed.

From [livejournal.com profile] jaylake's link salad, vintage sexist ads.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] spindr and anyone else in Sheffield who uses cash machines on Fargate and The Moor - there's a new cash machine scam going on, so be careful. Verified by staff at HSBC and a press release by South Yorkshire Police today, so probably not a hoax.
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: (marker)
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Why yes, I'm still Yorkshire through and through. But I have so much to give thanks for. So. Another post brought to you by SoppyMare Inc. )
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. )

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