Punk Ass Has Left the Building

The term at the hen house has come to an end, which I am quite relieved. In truth, we should've been released last week, but it gave us a couple of days where we were paid to sit on our arses, burning our retinas out by extended phone play. I learnt by that mistake and brought a book the next day. The thing is, I thrive on isolation. I like being immersed in my own head, where I can let my imagination run riot. I have an array of media that helps me do this - alongside other outlets named in other posts, I have discovered Dr Dick's Dub Shack (Bermuda) courtesy of Radio Garden. In regards to conversation, I am used to chipping in now and again, and everything is sweet.  Except when you have to remove the earphones to learn how to process other ordering methods. I have to refer to others about this - lo and behold, I am cut off from anything that gives me sanity (curated music, history and art podcasts, Joanna Harris' The Strawberry Thief ) and I am plunged into prattling convesrations, where I have to dial it back a bit. I don't do small talk, I do 'life-and-the-universe' talk - or I don't talk much at all. This leads me to projecting as a bit full on, or have nothing to say. Je suis connisseur d' low key.

So how are things across the levels?

Physically, I am recuperating and after the storms pass over, I plan to be out walking a lot. This past week, the south west corridor has been frying - topped 31c (87f) here. Now before I get any carping from overseas, the Brits are not good with the heat. We are used to wet summers, knotted hankies and knobbly knees. We don't have paper thin houses and air con; we have houses that are thickly insulated brick ovens with absolutely NO CON. We've never needed it. Remember British tennis or cricket, and rain stopping play? That's because it rained. A lot. Fat drops of splashy rain that delayed Wimbledon Ladies' Finals, so SW19 invested in a roof on centre court, because in the long term, delays cost far more than getting the placed covered. Plus the humidity, 70% in some places, higher if you are in the Celtic fringe (hello, that's me by the way). Fans on full blast that merely generate a luke warm soupy air. So, picnics and wasps? Yes. Being poached in your own juice at night? No, no no.

Mentally, I am in a *far* better place than when I was on the campsite. I am happy because I have learnt some skills at the photo lab, plus I am going back to the last bits of my proofreading module. Artistically, I'm playing around with mixed media in a scrapbook journal, which ironically I started to do while being keyed up over the old job from last year. I also want to play with my old SLR, which hasn't seen the light of day for a couple of years now.

Right now, I'm ok, which is better than some.

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Dark Night of the Soul

I have been back doing ten hour days at the photo lab for just over 5 weeks now. I knew that exhaustion was setting in, but as it was a Friday and I thought I could push through. Instead of my usual 04:30 wake up call, I awoke at 02:37 and couldn't go back to sleep - I also had nightmares and the above song as an earworm in my head. I stayed in bed for an hour and thought - what the heck, if I get up now and have a leisurely wash and breakfast, then I will feel better. I got to within 20 minutes of setting out through the door, when I had the feeling I was in trouble. I knew that if I got there, I would wake up properly but after the essential adrenaline rush of the morning, it would go all wrong. And it did - BEFORE I left the building. I felt like I couldn't move and I immediately phoned my friend and coworker, who was giving me a lift and asked her to convey my apologies. I keeled over and slept 13 hours, woke for a while to eat and drink, then slept another 6.  Even today, I am still exhausted and the UK heatwave isn't helping.

A few weeks ago, I had an 'event' - my left eye turned inward on its own accord and I panicked, tried to find a mirror, but then it righted itself again. I have been occasionally been getting double vision in that eye ever since I had an allergic reaction that caused my eye to swell up in February. Also, my youngest son had a conversation with me and peered closer to my face, saying: " what on earth - you are hopelessly cross-eyed, Mum. How long has this been going on?"

After discussing this with the optician and the doctor, all kinds of flapping and worrying ensued from my general practice. I was a bit worried at their reaction, said I thought it was tiredness. I was sent for a consultation at the eye unit, and was given a clean bill of health. I was meant to be referred to neurology, but that was stopped by the senior GP practice manager, who swears it's just an eye problem. Junior partner does not agree that they should let this go so lightly and wants a blood test, looking for markers that will tell if there is a misfiring between the eye and the brain in some way (yeah, I didn't realise there was a blood test for that, either - the condition is called myasthenia, apparently). The blood test is this Thursday - I am sure it is that I am tired and need glasses, but the allergic reaction and the 'event' unnerved me some.

Today, I am resting further, besides doing washing up and a little laundry. The temperature outside is a toasty 24c (75.2f) and is hotter in the cottage. Brits don't use aircon - we have such cool even damp weather, not boiling, so it's not on our list of requirements. It's set to rise to 27c (80.6f) and to 30c (86f) on Monday. The latter is London-brick-oven heat for us here in Cornwall, which up until a few years ago, relied on the coastal breeze to calm things down. Not a leaf stirs out there right now and it's so humid, which contributes to the misery. At least with the London and the south east are rewarded with cracking thunderstorms. Not so on Cornwall's north coast.  The clouds will sulk, but they save their vindictive light show for north Cornwall or further up. Roasted during the day; poached at night.

Monday is Bloody Stupid Johnson's so called 'Freedom Day, where he has decided to ignore the infection stats and wants Britons to participate in a mega super spreader life, hoping that vaccinations and herd immunity will save the economy. He's bored now and all of his senior chums want everybody to return to their spend, spend, spend habits, lest their investments tank and their own lives get flushed away. Now, I'm not an idiot - we have built ourselves a disposable lifestyle with its built-in obsolescense. The economy relies on us being plastic-hawking, waste-spreading goblins. However, I think it's going to bite humanity in its well-padded arse. Alongside burning out the planet, humans now have Covid, which has made even the most robust of us more quickly dispensible than our regulatory three score and ten. This is why elitist twats like Branson, Musk et al are seeking innovative ways of leaving the planet rather than ploughing billions in to save it.  Fuckers. And no, I'm not going to sugarcoat it and censor myself. I am beyond giving a damn what people think, now.

Bit salty today, eh? It's all that sweat.

A Truly Wonderful Birthday Celebration

Well, thanks to all who sent me best wishes on LJ on my birthday. For some reason, I was absolutely spoilt rotten and this is no false modesty on my behalf. Maybe we had all become complacent before and during lockdown and people are now keen to make up for lost time. For instance, a family friend mentioned that they had a statue that they weren't sure what to do with. I I thought it was going to be about 8-10 in resin cast and said "if you ever get fed up with it, sling it my way". I meant it as a throwaway comment and actually forgot about the conversation. Imagine my surprise and genuine joy when it was presented to me just before my birthday - 2.5 foot of polished hardwood and absolute stunning. The following day, I came into work and was shocked to find cards, bunches of flowers, candles - small presents abound. I was truly gobsmacked. I am usually only in the photo lab for the autumn, but circumstances made me apply for the late spring shift, so I *am* a regular returner....but - I had never been treated as warmly as I had been that day. Like - bloody hell Hen House, knock yourself out.

A friend bought me the most exquisite glass window ornament - a tiny glass meadow with poppies and roses on it. Another friend baked a cake and spent three months making the most incredibly beautiful dragon scrapbook journal. I am meant to write in it - it is so precious, it would be like writing "I WOZ ERE" in the middle of the Dead Sea Scrolls. More presents turned up the following day - a basket of roses (which I will put in a planter) and finally a lovely new Kindle FIRE from Mr Pye. I am so used to having only a few hurried presents and having a moderately pleasant day - I had to check whether this was an important birthday, which I had forgotten or something. Genuinely pleased to get such booty, but overwhelmed by the love that was felt over the past 3 days. I must admit that I had problems processing it all, something that my sister had picked up on and mentioned when we spoke today. My face had gone into 'buffering' mode, apparently. More messages from beloved people. I'm afraid I went into shutdown a bit.

Another lovely thing is that a fellow user from the now defunct 43 Things website found me on Facebook. My sister and I were part of a group and he was hilarious. I'm not the easiest person to find on FB - it's usually 'friend of a friend' status, but I was on a page that he was on. We haven't text online for possibly close to 10 years. I got a text, saying "Ms. Calico, I presume?" I recognised the name straight away. Oh wow - great to hear from him. Consider him refriended.

It's been a great time - I haven't felt this happy in a long, long time. Loot aside, it was so nice to genuinely and warmly reconnect, even if a bit exhausting. I hadn't realised how much I missed people.

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Joy Factory

I am back at the photograph factory for the summer season this year. I am packing group photos in a 50 hour week. I am too tired to be on the pc, and this is the reason why posts are so thin on the ground on my blog. I dunno - maybe my time for blogging has come to an end now? Once, people were interested in the written word, but are now more interested in bullet points and TikTok videos (I am no exception here. Would not have the nerve to be in front of the camera, but appreciate a lot of the videos that come out of this new forum).

I am packing listening to Classic FM or edgy music on Spotify, plus I have downloaded some quality literature. Some not to my taste. I listened to 'The Master and Margarita' - turns out, I'm not a fan. It had all the elements that should entice me: satire, magical realism, set in beautiful Russia. It had interesting sounding charactors: Dodgy Woland, a hysterical poet nicknamed Homeless, Behemoth the gun-toting cat. Yet it did not ignite my imagination, though I managed to finish it. I have moved onto 'Moll Flanders' now.

I have 20% of my proofreading/copy editing course to go, which I will finish once this stint is over, plus copy writing might be on the list soon (the latter afforded after my autumn stint at the Hen House).
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