Day Three

Jan. 22nd, 2014 05:20 pm
sessifet: (snoozing)
After speaking to the pharmacist, I now know there's no prescribed optimal time to take my medication, so it's just personal preference. Some people do well with mornings, others with evenings. I want to try out mornings first as it will force me to have breakfast (not allowed to take this on an empty stomach) thus adding more structure to my day. It should also allow me to actually go to bed when I'm tired, not because medication or alcohol is making me drowsy.

To that end I took my pill at 10:00 and can definitely say side-effects are happening. I feel weak and wobbly and have no real appetite (but can tell when I'm supposed to be hungry). The headache's pretty much there all the time, but it's not so much made up of pain but of pressure, which is an interesting experience if nothing else.

Mood: Mostly blank. Feeling brainier, though. Spontaneously decided to cook two bean chilli, using up all the older veg in the fridge. I can see myself getting back into finishing the DIY chores that are left, possibly some constructive job hunting. Not actually done anything yet, but I have hope for the next few days.
sessifet: (Confuzzled)
The GP told me that Fluoxetine won't start really kicking in until two to three weeks of taking it and to be patient and not expect a miracle cure etc. etc. Having said that, I can definitely tell I'm on something. I put yesterday down to being drained by my appointment and my drowsiness and headache were explained by being pretty much exhausted. But I took my second dose at 15:00 today and I have since developed a mild headache (right at the top of my head, very odd), slightly burning eyes and an all-over body cold sweat.

It feels like coming down with a mild case of the 'flu, complete with nap requirement. Not a vague desire for a nap, but a "we need to go lie down now" demand. So I went to bed and had what feels like the best nap in months. And then I came downstairs and cleaned the kitchen work surfaces, because, well, I could.

My mood is...odd. I won't say I'm good or okay or doing better because I'm not. I just feel less bad and lost than yesterday. But feeling less bad is such a relief it's like feeling better. Also it feels like my head's already a bit quieter, allowing me to concentrate on other things like cleaning the kitchen (and weirdly enjoying the tactile sensation of cleaning) and finally clearing that damned hallway and such.

Cut for talk about drinking problems )

Onwards and ever so slightly upwards.
sessifet: (Llama face)
After months of not feeling right, I went to the GP today to talk about my mental health state. He has now prescribed Fluoxetine (probably more commonly known as Prozac) which I'm to take for a month, at which point we'll review. If it works we'll continue. If it doesn't, we get to play medication roulette. Either way, we're looking at a minimum of 5-6 months on some form of anti-depressant. In the meantime, I'll also have at least one appointment with the mental health worker attached to the surgery to see if I can't find better coping mechanisms than drinking heavily.

Unsurprisingly, acknowledging I'm depressed and have created a drinking problem to cope with it has not put me in the best of moods, but I feel less lost.

And because Arwen's suggestion of keeping a mood journal makes excellent sense, I will tell you the following:

I took my first dose this afternoon at 14:00. My mood today: shitty. Mostly flat, with sad and upset being the only emotional highlights. (That's par for the course at the moment, so I at least have a base line to compare against...)
sessifet: (Default)
Just in the process of writing a massive post about DIY and attendant shenanigans.
sessifet: (Default)
So I'm reading reviews for PSE timber (because that's totally a normal way to spend a Thursday evening* and ran across this one: "i used this to build fitted wardrobes. when i got home and went to use it i descoverd the wood was twisted and curved therefor was not much use." I have to wonder how the fuck you don't notice that while you're in the store actually handling the wood.

...

No, no, it's fine. Just get it out of your system. I'll wait.

...

We good?

Good. As I was about to say, I generally find the reviews on DIY websites baffling. I don't expect professional level reviews at all (because hey, DIY), but I do like to see at least some glimmer of common sense and in the last two months I have seen entirely too many reviews where the reviewer gives a low score because they've lost sight of common sense or couldn't even see it using a telescope. I've seen such gems as:

- I used this plastic splashback behind my hob and it melted! - It specifically states it's an acrylic and should only be used as decoration in addition to the heat resistant version they also sell. That's why the decorative splashback is labelled not heat resistant.
- These cabinets won't fit against my kitchen wall! They're not straight! I want my money back! - I'm fairly certain your walls aren't straight. This is why you build wood frameworks, children!
- This colour paint does not go with my curtains! - They're called testers. Learn them. Love and squeeze them and call them George.
- The [really crappy 10p tiles I got on clearance] are already cracking! I wuz robbed! - You do get what you pay for, I'm afraid.
- I spent [obscene amount of money] on [really quite ostentatious] floor tiles. They're already cracking! How do I get my money back? - You neglected to mention you're laying tile straight on wooden floors. That's never going to end well. It even says so in all the instructions everywhere.

And the really egregious:

- I didn't get my 5 free gifts with this order. The girls in the office were really upset they didn't get their free [staplers/coffee mugs/tasers]. This company sucks! - It says during ordering that there's only one gift per order. On each page as well! Also, fuck you for using 'the girls' in your office to try and scam free shit from companies.
- [Product] did not [fart rainbows/scatter glitter/solve world hunger/make my shitty [insert noun here] look magically better] and is therefore horrible. - I wish to fire you from a cannon. Repeatedly. Until you're really sorry.
- [Product] is too expensive! I have never used [product] but [other product] is cheaper and clearly superior! Anyone who buys [product] is supporting the [insert random conspiracy theory here] - I have a hammer. Its name is Lars. Lars does not approve of these shenanigans and neither do I.
- I used [product designed for indoor use only] on my outside [wall/floor/dog/cat] and now it's [peeling off/cracking/oozing/dead]. This product is rubbish! - I loathe you and all you stand for. And give me all your remaining cats and dogs before you decide to experiment some more.

Apropos to nothing much, it looks like it will cost about £180 to completely replace the bathroom floorboards.

...why are you looking at me like that?

* I'm not budgeting the bathroom floorboard replacement. Honest. Anyone who tells you differently is a lying liar that lies...)
sessifet: (Smiling)
Hallway Project:

Done, apart from the woodwork.

Asbestos removal:

Delayed until weekend after next because I want a weekend of downtime, damnit.

Bathroom Project/Kitchen Project:

The horrible carpet in the bathroom is gone! So's the weird underlay (which had elephant enthusing over tombola). The horrible smell hasn't gone away yet, but I'm working on that. I need to scrub the floorboards and check them for mould, fungus and/or rot and replace them when we check the floor joists. I've also removed the grout on part of the wall and will start regrouting it later this afternoon. I hope to be done with that by next week, after which I will tackle the ceiling. That should give enough time for the water company to replace the stopcock outside, which needs to be done before I can give one of the plumbers money to replace the inside stopcock so I can tackle the new floor, the bath cradle and the bathroom suite.

I'm also in the process of Getting All The Quotes: one plumber yesterday. One this morning. One electrician this morning. One electrician tomorrow morning. One plumber on Friday (to be confirmed). They're all giving me numbers and estimates and pointing out certain things may or may not be possible so I get to redesign the kitchen again.

The kitchen's a challenge anyway and one that's driving me up the wall right now. I can't rip out the kitchen before the design is finalised. I can't finalise the design without a sensible budget. I can't build a sensible budget without firm quotes from professionals. I can't get firm quotes from professionals until I know where all the pipes go and what can and can't be moved/changed/extended. I can't do that without ripping out the kitchen. I expect to do this circular dance for a while before grabbing (a by this point long-suffering) Alex by the lapels, and calmly advising him to choose between a kitchen which consists of a camping stove and a fridge or a yurt on the Mongolian plain where I will roast marmots on an open fire* and thus possibly catch my death of pneumonic plague. And then no-one will be happy.**

So yeah, I'm having fun.

*Most unfortunate Christmas snack ever.
** Least of all me. And the marmot.
sessifet: (Default)
Have new prescription of Singulair. Pharmacy let me know they will supply Singulair when it's on the prescription and will not swap out for a generic, so it's a mater of making sure my repeat prescriptions are correct. I will raise this with my doctor at my asthma check-up next month. For the moment I am very, very tired. I find it difficult to complete sentences when speaking (I just kind of trail off). I'm not hungry, I'm not sad, I'm not anything except tired. It's very frustrating, but at least I know I'll be better reasonably soon.

Still kind of sucks.
sessifet: (Llama face)
Since about January, I've been using Seretide combined with something called Singulair. The former is an inhaler with both a long acting version of the active component in the emergency inhaler, Ventolin, and a low impact steroid (with limited build-up, therefore fewer side effects.

The latter is something called a leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) and as Wikipedia so kindly explains:

is a CysLT 1 antagonist; it blocks the action of leukotriene D4 (and secondary ligands LTC4 and LTE4) on the cysteinyl leukotriene receptor CysLT 1 in the lungs and bronchial tubes by binding to it. This reduces the bronchoconstriction otherwise caused by the leukotriene and results in less inflammation.

I'm fortunately one of the 33 percent of people for whom Singulair works spectacularly and it, the Seretide and quitting my job are what's helped get my asthma under control. So go team LTRA, right? We now skip merrily off into the sunset hand in hand (wheezing occasionally when hitting a patch of perfume), yes?

Well, not exactly. See, on my last prescription refill, they swamped the branded LTRA Singulair out for the generic version (simply called Montelukast) and despite having the same active ingredient, it's absolutely not working for me. I am now one of the 33 percent who only get the side effects and none of the benefits. Side effects include fun GI tract issues, anxiety, insomnia and irritability. Oh, and I have a persistent tight chest again because, guess what? Meds not working!

Where the anxiety comes in is frustrating and scary as I'm dreaming about normal interactions with friends and family and I'm upset or making a joke or something and they're all treating me like a lying, attention seeking bitch who should just be shunned. And then I wake up feeling like there's a miniature elephant on my chest and I can't get back to sleep because I've just been triggered something fierce.

And this has happened three times in the last three days, so I'm not surprised I woke up over an hourago having a proper asthma attack. Still fucking scary. Still all systems on red alert. Still the brainweasels jumping in with you sure it's the medication? What do you know about this stuff? You're not a doctor. It's not that the meds aren't working, it's that you're going crazy. Normal people don't have these kinds of problems. And that's roughly when the ventolin kicked in and the brainweasels slunk away muttering ineffectually, so I'm learning to recognise the symptoms and alleviate them before total meltdown happens. Go me! (No, seriously. I'm really proud of how I handled this attack.)

I can still feel the tightness under my breastbone (which my phone persisted in correcting to headstone no less than four times. I own a troll phone) and radiating out into my ribs, but I've stopped feeling like I'm about to die or go insane, so that's nice. Still kind of want a hug and possibly a good cry, but I'll survive. And later today I will pick up my replacement prescription and things will go back to normal in a few days. Now I'll try to get some more sleep.
sessifet: (Smiling)
The walls and ceilings are finished, completed, Done! They have received their last coats and while some places need touch-ups, I'm leaving those to Alex, as I am likely to go Jackson Pollock were I required to do one more base coat. Still, they look fantastic and I keep patting the walls and going 'you did good' to myself*. The wood panels have received their last coat, with the rest of the wood work requiring one more round of sanding and painting before I am happy to consider them Done. Hitting those milestones means I can move on to the side project of asbestos removal under the stairs (budget finished yesterday, action plan to be written tomorrow, sign off expected Thursday/Friday) and start putting together a preliminary budget for the bathroom renovation (soft budget approval expected Wednesday) and a preliminary budget for the kitchen project (this one scares me a lot).

After signing off on the hallway last Wednesday, I wandered around for a bit expecting a warm glow of accomplishment to envelop me. Oddly enough, the Job well Done, Thou Canst Have a Biscuit feeling didn't kick in until I'd spent another hour or two in my garden. I rescued a blue salvia (which I believed to be dead) from underneath the cat mint and whatever the hell that bunch of wildflowers is I sowed end of April, sowing Chantenay carrots, sage and catnip and planting another salvia (three died last year. I needed to replace at least one!), shaggy masterwort, a pink arabis, a yellow pacino poppy and a lithodora (these are not exactly natives, but naturalised and capable of carrying an acceptable amount of pollinator and butterfly bio mass). I also spent a while popping in and out of the garden introducing slugs and snails to the Jar O' Brief Slug Happiness.

On Thursday, we mostly relaxed and prepared for the weekend to before toddling off to spend the evening with Alex's mum (whose front garden looks fantastic and makes me want to sneak in at night with a bucket and shovel**. It was mildly gratifying, if depressing, to see I am not the only one who's having issues with their morning glory looking kind of pale and spotty, though***). She'd made opor ajam which was very tasty and so much a taste of my childhood food experience that I ended up babbling about differences and how the side dish could be improved to keep from pathetically blubbing into my rice and opor ajam. And then I got the recipe! This made me very happy.

The next morning, we picked up [livejournal.com profile] swaldman and drove to the far end of Belgium for a Gamesmeet. This involved about 30 people getting together in a large...mansion? Former hotel? Massive chatel? Big place? to play board games and hang out. The plan was to arrive around 18:00 on Friday, but due to traffic around Brussels, we didn't get there until after 20:00. Considering we got off the Chunnel around 15:00, this was...annoying. Still, friends, games and laughter made the trip worthwhile. Properly meeting [livejournal.com profile] yady for the first time was lovely. Saw [livejournal.com profile] the_ladylark after many months. Sadly we did not get to watch any Mark Watches (though I'm starting to catch up!) and I dropped out of the Game Of Thrones board game on Sunday due to lack of brain. It was also good to see [livejournal.com profile] sierra_le_oli, [livejournal.com profile] happydisciple and their now mobile daughter (amazing how much difference nearly three years makes).

Most importantly, I got to spend some quality time with [livejournal.com profile] arwen_lune. Never enough, of course (the world is perverse like that), and it always breaks my heart when we have to part ways. So, apologies to my previous and future travelling companions, but I kind of fall apart for a bit after I've had to say goodbye to her. Though this time, I got to go away with another amazing thing she knitted! It's beautiful and fits and makes me very happy and it just feels like we're slightly closer when I wear it (yeah, I'm sentimental. Fucking sue me). Plus it's well crafted (bonus!). There will be pictures eventually.

[livejournal.com profile] azekeil appears to have enjoyed himself, which is also important as I'd like him to get along with my friends. We left around 14:00 and got home around 22:00 (diverting only slightly to drop off [livejournal.com profile] swaldman) where both cats tried to convince us they had been cruelly mistreated and starved in our absence. Jazz especially insisted that he was traumatised beyond belief and needed to spend some time sitting on us before he calmed down.

I spent most of today recovering from whatever the bug is I managed to bring home from Belgium, so I've not been able to contine work on the house or mess around in the garden as much as I'd hoped. Still, the garden seems to be hopping and buzzing and generally doing well. The borage plants are about to bloom so there will be more polinator food soon. The polinators are currently all on the cat mint, which is covered in purple flowers and flops dramatically. I tried staking it last year and it et the stakes. So this year, I'm leaving it to do its thing. It may decide to eat us all in the night, but I can't bring myself to worry too much. It's covered in hoverflies, bees and bumblebees and thus I am ridiculously fond of it. I'm ridiculously fond of my entire tiny garden, actually. While I will one day live somewhere with a garden full of beds of flowering plants and vegetables and maybe even a proper English wildflower meadow (there could even be a hive of bees! I have such glorious dreams!), this one here is my first garden and as such, it's special.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need to count my bumblebees again...

* Whosoever of my acquaintance feels the desire to point out the hallway couldn't look much worse, please remember I know where you live (or at least will easily be able to find out) and I will come over to widdle on your cat. If you don't have one, well, I'm just going to have to get creative, now won't I?
** Considering she's over two hours drive away? Yyyeah, I think I'm a gardener...
***I can hear you all sniggering at the back there. Stoppit.
sessifet: (Cthulhu Cheerleader)
Lo, these many years I've been trying to write fantasy because somewhere in my brain there was the desire to Write The Next Big Fantasy Thing. Unfortunately, writing fantasy of any kind has always been a not-fun struggle and the result was never acceptable. My ideas were largely derivative and uninteresting, which didn't help in getting fingers to keyboard. So after a few years I gave up writing and instead contented myself with throwing random ideas in a Word document in the vague hope that one day lightning would strike and transform the whole mess into a coherent story.

[Spoiler alert: yeah, that never happened.]

October last year, I cannibalised that document to kickstart a new one (creatively called 'writing things') and I've been slowly adding to it over the last few months. I had no real plan apart from staying away from The Big Fantasy Dream, so I was surprised today to realise that every story idea or backstory detail in this document falls firmly in the 'unsettling' and possibly 'scary' camp. I point you at The Rules for an excellent example of what I'm referring to. And funnily enough, The Rules is actually the first bit of solid backstory idea that does not make me roll my eyes upon rereading a few months later.*

It also still scares the crap out of me, which is not surprising when you consider I wrote it because I am one of these people who cannot have any limb hanging over the side of the bed for more than 30 seconds. The next bit is fuelled by not being able to look out the window at night for fear of what might be on the other side. Another idea that's creeping up from the hindbrain is rooted in not being able to look into a mirror when it's night and I am the only one awake in the house. Yet another finds its wellspring in my not being afraid of being grabbed and raped when I walk home in the dark, but of being grabbed and being eaten by werewolves. (If I ever find the location where that one came from, I may have to wall it up forever.)

So it appears what I'm capable of writing is stuff that scares the absolute shit out of me. It's rather odd to come to this realisation, because I am a well-educated woman and I laugh in the face of superstitions and irrational fears. I do not throw salt over my shoulder. I have broken plenty of mirrors, walked under many a ladder and a black cat crosses my path daily** and yet my life has been quite free of the traditionally required curses. I do not believe my actions or my clothes on match day influence my team's performance. I do not leave milk out for the fair folk or steak tartare for the cow-mutilating aliens. I know none of these things have a place in my day-to-day reality. I adhere to the scientific method. I am convinced the non-human world and universe*** has rules which can be understood and deciphered if we'd just stand still and pay attention for long enough. There are no werewolves or vampires or fair folk or even aliens out there. And souls (if they exist) do not remain on earth as ghosts. If any of these things existed, we would have some reliable evidence of their existence or presence by now.

I know there is no monster under my bed.

Still, some nights I will lie in bed waiting for dawn to break or Alex to wake up and take a shower (whichever one's first) before I get up to go to the bathroom.

As the year dies, I light candles to dispel both the darkness outside and the darkness in my heart and soul. I light candles for the blessed dead and for those whose path is darkened.

Autumn and winter nights can terrify me because of the things lurking in shadows. I can't see them. I know they don't exist. But on a cool autumn night with a bright sky full of scudding clouds and moving shadows everywhere, I know I am being watched and weighed. And one of these days, I will be found wanting and I will not come home.

*I am still very, very fond of Plink and I have occasionally sent sis short scenes and stories to share with Danielle, but it never coalesced into what I imagined. And I find it very difficult to reread my earlier attempts at Plink, as they make the brainweasels go crazy. One of these days I will go back (fortified with alcohol, probably) and dissect those first few thousands of words. I may even request the support and love of a very good friend with oodles more talent than I have. :)

**Typically around dinner time.

***The human world and universe are a bit trickier as it's somewhat challenging to accurately and objectively observe and describe something to which the observer and describer belongs. Still, I have faith it can be done.
sessifet: (Confuzzled)
Also known as: My Issues, Let Me Show You Them.

As my levels of cope increase (and the sunny weather continues), I keep having these small moments of realisation on how to handle myself as my brainweasels set up their permanent camp in the near bottomless well of 33 years of life and its attendant anxieties, bad memories and embarrassing gaffes.

Realisation 1: I can't stop them directly. In fact, attempting to stop them just means I'm shouting at myself in my own head, like an OAP standing at the edge of the duck pond shaking their cane and shouting at the gulls for stealing the ducks' bread crumbs. It's not productive because the gulls will come back as soon as the OAP stops shouting and waving their cane. Same goes for the brainweasels. I can shout at them and they just bob along the surface looking at me with fake innocence written all over them. As soon as I stop shouting, they'll continue to explore, occasionally poking back up to hoik up random memories which will then arrive in my conscious mind along with that familiar sick feeling of embarrassment.*

Realisation 2: There's no point in throwing them back in. Doing that just encourages the brainweasels, because wheee, we have a new game and I'll get tired of throwing before they get tired of retrieving. They're like tiny little labradors with all the love replaced by spite and hatefulness.

Realisation 3: Shouting at myself or pushing away memories is unhelpful and unkind to myself. They're not coping mechanism, they're defence mechanisms and shitty ones at that. Because shouting at myself doesn't stop the brainweasels and it only makes me tired and dislike myself. Pushing away memories means they keep coming back as sharp as always and I end up mentally bleeding from a multitude of tiny little papercuts.

Realisation 4: I need coping mechanisms, or at least ways to stop myself from useless mental shouting.

Realisation 5: Might as well continue the anthropomorphisation of my self-esteem and self-image issues into brainweasels and actually engage in conversation. This ends up with the weird situation where I, with paint brush and paint can in hand in reality, am telling a particular smug-looking brainweasel that the nasty little treasure he dug up for my edification is in fact a memory from when I was nine and was trying to help collect chicken eggs. Sure, my help was detrimental and then there were suddenly chickens everywhere. Yes, I ran away, but so would you if a cockerel the size of a medium dog was trying to attack you. But you know, no-one but me ever shouted at me or made me feel bad about it afterwards. This was 24 years ago. We can let it go now, because I learnt my lesson the first time around**. And then I made myself a cup of tea and told myself I did really well and to keep up the good work.

Realisation 6: I am allowed to be positive to and about myself. I can tell myself that I'm doing something really well or that I'm really good at some things. For example: I've made three really nice dinners in the last two weeks (the rest were just regular or take-out); I'm doing a really good job on the hallway; I'm making this house into a nice place to live. I am worthy of love and affection from myself. And to underscore that, I am going to go make myself a cup of tea and a pat on the back once I've posted this.

Realisation 7: This will be a work in progress and there are things lurking that I don't particularly want to look at, but hey ho. No-one ever goes through life without collecting a few dings and scratches and regrets.

*Huh. I just realised it's nearly always embarrassment. Only a few angry or sad memories. How interesting. Something to ponder.

**The lesson was 'don't trust chickens, they're evil little fuckers' and 'next time, lock them up before attempting to collect eggs', which I feel is still useful advice for a happy and healthy life.
sessifet: (Default)
We've had the large wall next to the stairs replastered after my failed attempss at getting a smooth finish. It looks really sharp and pristine and isn't drying at all fast enough for my liking.

We've decided on the colour scheme and I put the first layer on the accent wall (front door wall): that first swatch of yellow on the original revealed plaster was such a visual relief. And now it's on, I can unveil the colour scheme inspiration for the hallway! http://design-seeds.com/index.php/home/entry/beijing-brights . The woodwork, walls and ceilings will be ivory/cotton white, wood panels cocoa powder brown and the accent wall that yellow (or at least close to it). Accents and flourishes will be two shades of teal, yellow and brown where appropriate (mostly panels). It's going to be amazing. *wills the large wall to dry faster* Want to paint moar noaw!

Pictures will be put up on flickr and linked as soon as my photos stop sulking and upload to the internet.
sessifet: (snoozing)
So I spent most of the second half of 2012 being significantly depressed. Due to wonky brain chemistry, I am prone to depressive episodes anyway, but irregular sleeping patterns, sleep deprivation, stressful job and uncontrolled asthma helped push me into my worst one yet. I want to say that after I quit the job and got back into a regular sleeping pattern, I bounced straight back into normality (or what I considered to be normality), but it'd be a lie. I still spent most of my days in a grey fog of nothing much, but at least I had the spare spoons to be a more productive half of our relationship and to be more social overall.

It wasn't until the beginning of April that I really noticed a general increase in levels of cope. Six weeks and some change on, the difference is startling to me. I look back two, four, six months and more and not even the brainweasels can convince me that I am not a hell of a lot better today. Still, that doesn't mean my levels of cope have returned to normal. A bad night's sleep full of anxiety dreams will still empty my mental reservoir. I still sometimes wake up in the morning with my brain telling me I'm on my own for the day. And you know what? That's okay. I'm allowed to have bad days. It's entirely acceptable to take a brain vacation or a have a duvet day. It doesn't mean I'm sliding back down the slope, it just means I don't have to climb that day and can take a rest. I can do whatever I need to take care of myself.

And now I'm done thinking. I'm having a duvet day.
sessifet: (Cthulhu Cheerleader)
Hallway status:
One wall is completely cleared, cleaned and ready for sealing. As the cheap vacuum can't deal with the plaster dust created by the sander and conks out after about 10 minutes, I ended up having to manually remove the thin layer of plaster which is an absolute bastard job. The end result is fantastic, though. I'm looking forward to making all walls look like that and then paint.

I've got the plasterer coming in on Monday to do the ceilings. While he's here, I may ask him to cover the board over the stairs as well to allow for a crisper, more modern looking hallway.

Plans for tomorrow:
Bookkeeping or further research most likely. If my hip allows for it, making a start on the rest of the walls.

Finances:
Yuck. I dislike bookkeeping, but as this is my job, I really need to make it part of my working week. Accountancy type people: start or end of week/month accounting? Benefits, drawbacks etc?

Current state of the house:
Absolute tip. There's Stuff everywhere.

Uses of First Aid kit:
One, but it's a doozy as I chunked my pinky nail while cleaning the wall.

State of the body:
Ugh. I dislocated my hip while reaching to finish the last corner which, considering I was on top of a ladder at this point, made for an exciting adventure. Now self-medicating with painkillers in the hopes of making it to Cthulhu tonight. Though the searing pain in my hip is really helping to take my mind off the state of my hands, so that's an upside.

State of the mind:
Fantastic, though missing [livejournal.com profile] azekeil like crazy.
sessifet: (Smiling)
A couple of weeks ago, Loki got into a fight with another cat. We suspect it may have been Jazz, because Loki has a habit of pushing past Jazz' very obvious 'stop fucking with me now' signals until there's screaming and fur. Regardless of which cat he got into a scrap with, he ended up with what at that point just looked like scratches and a case of the insecure grumps (meaning he spent a few days being more affectionate and present than usual).

So far so good. About a week later we find out that actually, he has a suppurating hole on his head where he's obviously been bitten. So we clean it and keep a close eye on the rest of his scabs and scratches as well. All's fine until yesterday, when I notice he has a fresh looking scab on his bald spot and a lump. There's also a lump on his neck, which doesn't just feel like a large scab. He's also grumpy, unhappy and generally unwilling to be touched. When I insist on checking his lumps, he actually hisses and claws at me. Considering that's completely contrary to the easy going idiot I know and (mostly) love, I book an appointment for today.

This morning, his lump has at least doubled in size and he really doesn't want me to touch him at all. Roll on lunchtime today: we get to the vet and in the examination room, we have to extract a very sulky Loki by removing the lid of the carrier and prising him off the towel. All the normal preliminary stuff ensues, I explain the history and how he's Normally Not Like This, Officer, Honestly. Meanwhile, Loki's opting for the 'play dead' strategy and ready to make a run for it as soon as I relax my hold on him by even a fraction. This lasts up until the vet inspects the lump on his head, at which point the following ensues:

"Oh, yes, that looks abscessed. Let me see if I can remo...ah."
*busy silence*
"Well, that's emptied it. I'll go get him an antibiotics shot."

You see...when a head wound like that abscesses, there's a lot of pressure. Especially if it starts to swell at the rate that this one did (from 'hmm' to 'dude, are you smuggling quail eggs in there?'). So when the vet poked the scab, it pretty much went 'ptoing' and suddenly, there was pus. A surprising amount, just..fountaining up. It was fascinating in a nauseating kind of way.

Loki's now a lot happier (if not on speaking terms with me at the moment) but next time he has one of those wounds, he's going to the vet before he turns into a furry pus fountain again.
sessifet: (Bouncy!)
The asbestos test results have come back: the ceilings are fine, but the board under the stairs contains CHR asbestos (i.e. white, which is the best case scenario). So that board will need to be replaced once I am mostly done with the hallway and am ready to start with the stairs. So that's probably going to be a side-job during the bathroom project.

On Thursday, I've got a plasterer coming around for a quote for both ceilings and one for walls and ceilings.

Walls: cleared (apart from that one corner I can't reach as I am not a giraffe).
Ceiling upstairs: see Walls.
Ceiling downstairs: ...yah, no. Artex straight on either plywood or plasterboard, so that will have to be skimmed and replastered as I can even get through it with a skimming knife.

Tomorrow:

- Washing the walls with sugar soap.
- Finish setting up a new bank account for finances.
sessifet: (Bouncy!)
So I've booked the asbestos consultant for May 1st, which means I have slighty less than two weeks to get things tidied away in preparation for the imminent DIY Extravaganza. I have my plastic boxes and know what's going in them, but there's still an element of puzzling involved which is rather stressful to me. See, contrary to what you might believe, I don't actually like rearranging things more than once *. So when it goes into a plastic box (in this case our board and card games), I need to make sure it's done in the correct way first time 'round. Otherwise I'll lose things and that would be bad.

Especially considering we're going to be going to the Games Meet in two months, meaning I need to make sure the games we're bringing are to hand, which means a separate box because they're the large ones, but there's the smaller card games which need to go in a smaller box and there's all the Munchkin stuff which won't all quite fit with the other small stuff and before you know it I'm spinning around in tiny circles going 'fneegle!' and pondering giving everything away to charity and just living with one change of clothes and my computer **.

Of course, all of this will go flying out the window in a few days when I get the hang of this whole thing and realise it's all fluid at the moment. Boxes are going to be lugged around, unpacked and repacked as needed over the next months and my gloriously logical plans will crumble before the onslaught of reality.

Still: today's result: one plastic box with card games (and some of the Munchkin stuff, because I am confident people will bring that to the Games Meet) and...er, one box of old CDs and CD-ROMs to be thrown out and a looooot of cardboard and paper for recycling.

Tomorrow: important admin stuff and spending time with [livejournal.com profile] serena_lesley.

Monday: More Tidying!

Go me!

* Except for my books. Or my cooking things. Possibly my DVDs.
** And my e-reader. And my cooking things. And my gardening things. And...aagh!
sessifet: (Cthulhu Cheerleader)
Or, more accurately, Decision Has Been Made, Time to Make It Official Time.

I'm not pursuing any further job opportunities at the moment so I can spend at least three months on getting our house in order. Those who know me will be unsurprised I am making notes. Lots and lots of notes. With Plans on them. And planning to stick them on random walls and such.

Up to this point Project House Improvement, Or, Oh Great Squid What Have I Got Myself Into [colloquially referred to as Project H] has involved a lot of research into exciting things like asbestos testing, outside wall render, the acquisition of all the plastic storage boxes a woman could ever want and the vague hope my work is not going to make the bathroom land in the kitchen any time soon.

Putting it all down on paper means a lot of legwork, research and writing things down, because whereas [livejournal.com profile] azekeil understandably wants some reassurance on what I'll be doing with his money and his girlfriend, I'm more of the 'once more unto the breach' persuasion when it comes to DIY (growing up doing DIY does that for you). I've seen what happens when you hit a worst case scenario and how you deal with it and am thus happy to research as I go along, but it's also quite fun to research beforehand and to put it on paper. It allows you to visualise each required step and shows you where the natural resting points are within a project. I've actually just finished my first official plan and budget for the hallway, which includes best case and worse* case plus the one most likely to resemble reality.

I've also set up a pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/sessifet/ where I put all the cool ideas I come across. Some of it is completely out there and not remotely feasible for this place (or any place unless you've got a couple of millions hidden in your sofa cushions), but it's mostly meant for inspiration rather than reality. It also should stop me from deciding the new kitchen floor need to be made of thousands of glued and lacquered 1'' rounds of wood (though that would be kind of cool and I need to experiment with that idea).

The official kick off date for Project H (i.e., when I am 'allowed' to actually start physically removing, adding and generally altering Stuff) is May 1st. I expect I will have remodelled the entire place at least three times over in my dreams by that point.

Yay DIY!

*I have not written the worst case scenario, as that involves the discovery of high risk asbestos and us crying for a while before starting the whole thing from scratch with significantly fewer funds. It's not a bridge we are likely to have to cross during our perambulations, therefore I am content to sketch it in with a label reading 'Here Be (Fireproof) Dragons'.
sessifet: (Confuzzled)
So for my mum's *mumble* birthday trip, she wants to go to London with sis and me. There is no way in Great Squid's blue sea that we can actually do everything in three days, but a possible idea is to pick one thing we all want to do, and one thing we each personally want to do and then just add stuff as and when we feel like it. I am taking a laptop so we can keep things fluid.

Suggested things:

Visit Natural History, Science and A&V museum.
Visit Regent/Hyde Park.
Visit Camden.
Visit Oxford Street.
Go to Harrods.
See a show on the West End.
Zoomy boat on the Thames.
Open-top bus tour.
London duck-tour.
Any amount of palace tours.
Random walking about taking in the sights.
A London Walk (I'd love to go on a Jack the Ripper walk, but I am not sure my mum and sister deserve to be subjected to my getting all giddy over Victorian serial killers.)
Food!
See London Bridge.
See London Eye (gwaaah).
See Tower of London (dude, ravens!).
Covent Garden.
Piccadilly Circus.

I'm looking for further suggestions of stuff to do in London. Shops to visit, landmarks to see etc. I won't discard anything (unless it's hours away from London). It will all go onto the laptop to be reviewed when we're there.

So? Tacky horrible touristy things? Hidden gems? Wonderful touristy things? A shop/building/street that should absolutely be visited? Awesome hotels? Cheap but cheerful hotels? Any input will be appreciated.
sessifet: (Llama face)
I drift on the surface of a sea of sleep, in a coracle woven of my waking dreams, my nightmares, my wild imaginings. I drift, unable to break the surface of the water, unable to step over the side and let myself sink and drift away.

Sometimes drifting in darkness under the stars makes me happy in a languid, peaceful way.

Sometimes, I'm unwilling to step over the side, because there's sharks in them thar waters.

Sometimes, I share my coracle with tiny biting brainweasels which prevent me from slipping over the side into the deeps.

Sometimes, insomnia really sucks.

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