19 October 2017

060/100 days of aspirin

A second day at work, and a day of driving rain, especially lovely while driving for three hours. But overall quite positive. I ticked off a number of tasks and started scoping out a number of others. I do need to prepare for a more intense meeting on Monday, but I've got a three day weekend to do that in.

Physically a bit drained, my back aches like hell, but too tired to have a bath before bed. The ankle held up reasonably well, although going down the slope from reception to the car park in the damp and slippy-with-leaves of the drive made me feel like an OAP. Mentally more stimulated and ready to do more. Phew!

18 October 2017

059/100 days of aspirin

A normal day!
The 5:30am alarm, the hoisting out of bed and into the shower before your head has had much of a chance to wake up. A quick breakfast, interrupted by finishing off the packing and getting dressed. Not the leisurely hour long sort of breakfast I've been enjoying recently!
With the leg and the disuse of my "get up and get out" routine, it took me probably twenty minutes longer to leave the house, and get on the road.
The M5, extremely well travelled, passed in a blur of familiarity, and I was at Exeter services before I knew it. Which is nearing completion of it's renovation, though you now have to walk a long U shape to use the facilities, which seems backward to me. Product placement rules, no doubt.
And work, people glad to see me, me actually glad to see some of the people too. The usual frustrations, and a lot more standing up than I usually do.
Unfamiliar hotel, lots of steps, and the indoor pool too small to really swim in, so just did ankle exercises in the room. Feeling stiff, especially my back, and tired. No afternoon nap!

17 October 2017

058/100 days of aspirin

I forgot to ask the doctor about aspirin yesterday. So I guess I'll keep taking it for a while.
The physio was very pleased with my walking progress, and has given me the next round of exercises for strengthening the ankle and calf - more one legged balancing, continue calf stretching, start heel raises, both heels and no hands, and try one heel with both hands. Swimming is OK. YOga - could be, probably best to hold off for a while until I can balance is what I feel.

So yes, all good. Pottered around after that, wrote up the writing exercises, had an afternoon nap, and a nice meal out in the evening - nice for the company and the food was fine, although the pub atmosphere was a bit subdued. And I even partly packed my bag for tomorrow!

Musings of Gaius Hosidius Geta

I wanted it so much, to be venerated and remembered through the ages. We knew Ozymandius, far beyond his own era, and although people didn’t remember his words or deeds, his name and statue lived on and on.
I commissioned Alessandro Ferrante. I bought a fucking quarry outside Carrara, the best pale pearly marble going. I was the greatest general of my age, fame beyond my country. My name resounded, now. But to be cemented (ha, yes, pun intended) I wanted a statue.
Ferrante showed me the design, my proud chest and embossed shield. Horse maned headdress. Aquiline nose. And yes, twelve times life size.
My fucking statue. Stick that, Petronus.

Prompted by "Rain of Statues" by Sarah Lindsay in Cardiff Bay Writing group meeting.

Still me

Every life is a tangle of moments
running one to the next

The rope dancer turns
arching arms, sharp angled wrist
commands the lithe rope
a complicit cage

The sound has stilled
closed eyes
The next moment I am with her
the rope licking at my ankles
composing me
striking my old frame
into a pose, reaching

For another to photograph
print up and pass around
challenge others thoughts
of stillness
Sit and imagine my moments


The postcard is from Dave Daggers, and was a prompt from a Cardiff Bay Writing group meeting


The tree is bare
The streams are full
of leaves
The leaves are full
of holes
full of torment
atmospheric wrestling
sheared silhouettes
burnt Saharan light
Dust tipped waves,
the sea smells windy

A warm up exercise (from the tree is bare/ the tree smells bare/the tree smells windy/ the sea smells windy) written outside in the wind.

16 October 2017

057/100 days of aspirin

Yes, on the day of orange skies as Ophelia blew past, I was signed off able to return to work. 67 days or (unfortunately) 9½ weeks after my ankle twisted over on the stairs. I'm free to return!
I spent quite an inordinate amount of time getting the bloody printer to work to get the paperwork together, but that's all sent off. And a long nap in the afternoon after a restless night. That's my head mentally gearing up for work, waking me earlier than needed.

A posted link in the Facebook group this morning, to a bunch of TED talks. I find myself resistant to watching videos and am not entirely sure why. Part of it is because they are so slow, I can read the transcript in a fraction of the time it takes to watch someone else read it out loud. Partly because it's one read through only and doesn't allow for other interpretations, even one charismatic person. Or perhaps they are the worst, because my nature resists charisma, looks for the fake. And partly because I have got lazy, video or tv is for multi-tasking in front of. It divides my attention.

A good meeting with the writing group, poetry in the teeth of a gale, sitting outside for a while as an event took part at the centre. 4 exercises today, shorter peices and only six of us to read aloud.

15 October 2017

056/100 days of aspirin

Walked a couple of miles today, up to the Riverside market and back. Warm and bright morning. Dozy afternoon, idly watching tv. A fair day, mentally preparing for the big day tomorrow.

14 October 2017

055/100 days of aspirin

Another low key day today. Nice long bath in the morning, reading, knitting. Eating. Phone call. TV. Um. Playing around with the resistance bands to see how I can strengthen the ankle. Not entirely sure I have it right. No interaction from the FB group today, another short lived enthusiasm.

13 October 2017

054/100 days of aspirin

Friday the 13th, and on the recovery road - driving around to a nearby village (with wool shop), and to a couple of retail parks to pick up groceries, printer cable, resistance bands (which like the yoga mat, are going to do good just by being in my house rather than the store!), and some tights.

Passivity was going through my head today.

Firstly, I reached out to the Facebook group to ask for tips on self-care. Daily gratitudes seems to be the consensus, along with (for one person) prayers and meditation. My mind turned off. I equate self care with actually doing the things my body needs to be healthy which I often neglect. I don't often think about self care for my mind, and to be honest, I'm probably scared to, scared that my adult persona will crumble and I'll become a child wailing "it's not fair" again. It's nudging up against that CBT downwards spiral of low self esteem, thinking about gratefulness.

Secondly, the downstairs neighbour was playing loud thump thump thump music for around four hours. I'd banged a chair on the floor after three and a half hours, a couple of times, with no result, other than feeling shamed and annoyed that I was worked up, full of adrenalin. I then got up the courage to go and confront them, got my crutch and knocked on the door.

"Is that you, playing the thumping music?"
"Was that you, banging upstairs?"
"Yes, it's really loud even without my hearing aids."
"You should have just come down and asked!"
"Um... broken leg..."

Then, pondering passivity and how it was now somehow my fault for behaving unreasonably and banging on the floor rather than the neighbours for playing the music loud in the first place. And using my crutch to elicit sympathy when it didn't even work. And when I can get around without it. More shame.

I went upstairs to bed early (the dark nights, and the exhaustion of doing nothing, and the emotional exhausting of behaving badly). The neighbour to the side of me was having a party too, his birthday, guitar music and singing. I recognised some of the songs. It was annoying, after I'd mentioned the noise below to him, but I had gone to bed, was naked, and didn't feel like getting up and dressed and yelling over the back fence. Maybe, because of that, I had an excuse for being passive. It didn't annoy me as much as the thumping bass either. 

Finally, with the broken leg, there is a mindset I've got into. That I am not quite right, and I will do all that when I am better. World class procrastination. I'd like to snap out of it, to feel energised and actually do stuff. But not enough to actually get up and do it.

12 October 2017

053/100 days of aspirin

Slowly picking up normal life still. Washing, dishwashing. Work e-mails and calls. But also dozing on the sofa after nearly falling asleep holding knitting needles. Playing games on my phone, learning about new functions in the game. Getting annoyed again by the neighbours loud thumping music.

The hospital called to reschedule my appointment for a week later, but I expressed my disappointment and said I was hoping to be signed off for work. She relented, and the appointment remains. Some other bugger will be messed around.

11 October 2017

052/100 days of aspirin

Back into town today, via the train, which does mean 15-20mins walking at each end of each trip. It took me a while, but I decided discretion was in order and put the moonboot back on, since I would be there in the lunchtime rush. Took it off in the hairdressers though (I did ask!) as it was aching to sit in it, not to mention hot. I need to think of somewhere to drive to this week, which is a bit further than the supermarket.

Pleased with my haircut, it's back in a style that makes me feel stylish, a bit funky, cuter and sexier (not that that is a consideration at the moment). I also joined a facebook group to keep goals on track until the end of the year. My goals are a mixture of SMART and not-so-smart at the moment, may need refining and spellling out... and then I am more likely to lose interest in them and go onto something new instead...

  • get back to work after 9 weeks off with a broken leg, continue with physio & find a way to do yoga while travelling 
  • embrace the role changes at work and define "was I successful" touchpoints to review daily 
  • pick up that self-care daily review
  • keep writing flash fiction & short stories; especially the WordCloud annual story competition
  • keep knitting - a daily act of making something!

10 October 2017

051/100 days of aspirin

Lazy morning. Well, physically anyway. I completed my 400-word short story on "remembering the dead" with the help of an exercise I did at the Cardiff Bay Writing Group the day before. Posted up, and have had one comment, on the word homunculous. I had always thought this meant a patched together, animated body, but it is more specific than that, a tiny thing. Knowledge gained, too.

E-mail from boss, basically saying "can't talk now, or in fact for a week or so." Then he sends a jokey e-mail to the whole team. I made myself not respond, it would have come across as too emotional had I done so, but a sharpish follow up tomorrow morning is needed.

In the evening, a lovely meal at the Coal Exchange, three weeks on from my last trip there, and what a change. Then, I was driven most of the way there, sitting on the floor of a camper van. Walking a couple of hundred metres around the building exhausted me, and getting up the steps was a major operation. This time, I walked there alone, in my normal boots but with a crutch. Sprinted up the steps!

I'm not sure I actually need the aspirin any more. I will carry on taking it until the hospital visit, and ask about it then.

Gostegodd 013

For Prediction Fiction here
This weeks words: argue, petechial, spring

Olewydden became agitated, twitching as he processed Mark’s reply.
“But the Guardian is not in Petrichor!” he protested, a petechial rash staining his throat.

“Don’t argue, Olewydden. Bring him to me.”
“I, I don’t have that power,” he darted looks to the rear of the drinkshop.
Mark caught the creature’s forelimb and trapped it on the table top.
“You would not have been sent if he wasn’t able to watch me through you. Guardian, Twelve disembarked with me, do you not think that number is significant? Time is shorter than expected.”

Released, Olewydden sprang up, fled to a dark corner.

Without words

The four cornered gulls tumble past, crying and screeching, chasing each other and flirting with the wind. I watch their white speed flashes from my tower window. They sit on lampposts and fight for the best perches.
In the street people noise drifts from under the raucous clamour of the birds.
The piercing beep beep beep of the pedestrian crossing.
“Come on,” a woman says to a child.
The insistent thump of car stereos, never to any tune or rhythm I can pinpoint from up here.
Wind ruffling through the leaves, showing me their silvered underbellies
Multiple people and creatures, clumping together.

The windowpane is cold to my fingertip, I stand back lest I mist it with my breath.

Written as an exercise at the Cardiff Bay Writing Group meeting; write of something (like silence) without using the words for it...

When it was over, we...

When it was over, we didn’t know it. Life didn’t flag this up as being the last time. There was no falling out, barely even a falling away.
Things carried on as normal, busy, a little more distance.
It was only looking back, to that day walking along the promenade, that we realised we had lost something. Fallen out of love.

Written as an exercise at the Cardiff Bay Writing Group meeting; write something starting with the sentence fragment "When it was over, we..."

09 October 2017

050/100 days of aspirin

Finally I took the car out! First trip outside out of the boot. Only a few miles involving the excitement of a supermarket trip, success in that it felt fine, ankle was a bit achy after walking around the aisles, only half an hour but the longest time I've been on my feet in over eight weeks.
A work call in the afternoon, again not very satisfying. Try to get that sorted tomorrow.

08 October 2017

049/100 days of aspirin

A rest day today. That's what I'll call it. Sunday morning lie in, followed by a long bath. Trying to walk naturally around the house. Lounging around in a long sundress, not getting "properly" dressed. Mentally deciding that I would try driving tomorrow. Knitting. Reading.

07 October 2017

048/100 days of aspirin

Todays improvement was wearing a real boot on the broken ankle. I'd been out for lunch with a friend, a "normal" five minute walkaway, in the moonboot. I feel like I am motoring in the moonboot now, especially around the house, although I still take the crutch out it's mostly for uneven paths and possible slippiness - leaves and puddles are unavoidable at this time of year.
When I got back home I put the matching hiking boot on. Too swollen still to pull the laces tight, but I did manage to get my foot in there. Setting off for the sofa felt weird, like the leg was that bouncy floaty numb of pins and needles. And I noticed, almost immediately, that I could roll my foot better, making a more natural walking motion. So these boots will be the order of the day for a couple of days, and then I can try going outside in them. Or at least into the garage.

Ellis 010

For Prediction Fiction here
This weeks words: argue, petechial, spring

I sat on the toilet seat, noticing the dust, as she would. Jessica asked me to remove my t-shirt. I wanted to argue, but sense kicked in. She examined me, running her fingers up my arms, circling my throat, looking into my mouth.

“Hmm, redness there.” She perched on the edge of the bath, asked “Is there anything you want to tell me that you wouldn’t want to say in front of Jasper?”
“No!” I sprang up.
“Petechiae can indicate a sexually transmitted disease.”
I snorted. “It’s been a while.”
“It could be just a sore throat,” she allowed.

06 October 2017

047/100 days of aspirin

In the morning, the ankle swelling has gone right down and looks almost normal. Still achy, and moving jerkily, but yes, strong enough to stand up and shower for the first time since August 10th. The office chair, after it's peregrinations, and latterly holing up in the shower, is now back in the office.
Just need to feel strong / confident enough to put a shoe on it and drive now!

05 October 2017

046/100 days of aspirin

Bright and breezy day. Wrote a couple of pieces for Prediction Fiction. Knitted in the sunshine. Tried to walk naturally. Had to google to see what the right way to do it was. At the moment I tend to put the bad leg forward and bring the good leg up to the same level as it's painful to bend it further. No rocking motion. Keep trying...

Gostegodd 012

For Prediction Fiction here
This weeks words: guardian, olive, straddle

The owner of the soft voice wore an olive cloak. Green, on this rocky planet. The colour associated with the chloropods, out in the emptiness of space. A risk, to wear this, but reassurance also.

“You are Archwilydd Mark?” 
“Not officially,” Mark replied, “Although until a replacement is officially announced, I’m straddling both the inquisition and the resistance.”
“I am Olewydden. I’ve found lodgings for you, and a role, so you can pass in society. Come.”

Mark’s nano-irises scanned Olewydden’s face, for tics that showed he might be untruthful, untrustworthy.
“No. I am only here to meet the Guardian.”


For Prediction Fiction here
This weeks words: guardian, olive, straddle

The doorway to the next room opened, the clock was ticking. The figure there was soft and amorphous now, before his touch changed it, keyed it to his desires. Alana, or some version of her. Fighting him though she loved it. The inevitable violent climax, lolling neck.

He wondered what it would be like to fuck it unchanged, with it’s olive oil smoothness, warmly enveloping. Having it straddle him rather than him doing all the work.


“There’s a change,” said the first response watcher.
The corrections team watched.
“It’s progress, he didn’t kill.”
“But he doesn’t see the Guardian yet.”
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