Thursday, 29 December 2011

An Open Letter to the Wombles of Wimbledon Common


I felt the need to be creative today so I kind of went with it.
This is the result! It takes quite a long time to make something look like this.
It is a letter from Lady Budapest (AKA: Liberated Womble) to the Wombles in Wimbledon.
Yup! I need a life! I was going to use this as some kind of blog background but it's all the wrong proportions!

click image to enlarge


Transcript: (with errors)
Dear Comrades of Wimbledon Common
I Remember the days I wasn't behind the times, though it seems oh so long ago now, long lazy days spent not worried. Remember the fun we used to have? Long before the death of dear Madam Cholet, before the trouble with Orinoco and the police, before Wellington got caught up with those crystal meth dealers and Bungo got shot.
Those beautiful crazy days, picking up detritis, Taking the papers to Tobermory, I remember it all as if it were yesterday.
Poor Tobermory, he never deserved the way left things with him I never stopped loving him, I just couldn't stay with the cameras and everything. I just think that Uncle Bulgaria had other options instead of getting a documentary team in; things weren't that bad, even if we were in debt. I had even thought about coming back to the burrow but then what with getting involved with Mike Batt, it just seemed to me that he didn't care about us Wombles or the music at all just the money. I really wish it didn't have to be this way but I think it needs to be. I need to be able to live with myself and such rampant capitalism and disregard for not only my own feelings but those of poor Adelaide! Not having her appear until she got that wonky nose sorted was just grotesque behaviour on the production teams' part. So yes, if anyone of you guys left in Wimbledon every need a safe place to live away from the iron rule of Uncle Bulgaria then please keep in mind your cousins in Cambridge.
We all love you dearly
All my love and thoughts
Always
Lady Budapest xx
AKA
The Liberated Womble.

Quite obviously the poor Womble was very emotional when this was written so some sentences do not make complete sense.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Handmade Chocolatey Goodness! (Fixed)

My Goodness me! I finished this post last night, it's been sat here since then, all messed up, just one picture, no text or recipes or ANYTHING! I am a sad Womble coz I have to rewrite it all.

 

Right, buying for my grandparents is impossible at this stage, they want nothing cluttering up the house as Gramps doesn't intend to make it much further and Gran can't remember anything she gets anyways.
So it basically becomes booze or food. I decided handmade chocolates would be a good way to go.


I bought special boxes from Hobbycraft, I wouldn't do this next time, they were too difficult to fold, cheap looking, didn't close well and were too small anyway.

The chocolates I made were mainly truffles, there's the basic truffle recipe and then I added things to make them more interesting.



Basic Truffle Recipe:
(makes approx 40 in total, so once split around 20 for each batch)
2 125g packs of Moser Roth (aldi) 85% cocoa solid chocolate.
1 tin of Carnation Light condensed milk.

I melted the chocolate into the condensed milk in a metal bowl over a pan of water. I split the mixture into 2, I then put flavouring etc. in and popped into the fridge to set before taking it out, taking out a small amount with fingers before rolling it in between my palms to a good shape and rolling it in a coating. Finally I popped each one into a mini cake case and put them in the fridge to firm up.

To make brandy truffles add 4-6 tablespoons of brandy to the mix,
To make praline truffles add 4 tablespoons of nutella to the mix,
To make mixed nut truffles at 4-6 tablespoons of chopped mixed nuts to the mix,
To make lemon truffles add 4-6 tablespoons of lemon extract (probably would have been better with white chocolate instead with hindsight).



Roll in any coating you like, eg. icing sugar, cocoa, hundreds and thousands, chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, or cover in molten chocolate and place on greaseproof paper to cool in the fridge.



Coconut Creams Recipe:
1 pack of Moser Roth 85% cocoa chocolate (from aldi)
make the coconut cream by adding 1/4 a can of condensed milk to 4-6 tablespoons of desiccated coconut , just mix into a cream (It made way too much of this though and now have a jar of coconut cream in the fridge hehe, so use less but try to keep the same approx ratios).

 Me showing you how to not make videos very well how to fail at covering moulds with chocolate.

To make coconut creams first melt some chocolate, then spoon approx half a teaspoon into each small silicone mould, and tilt etc. to cover mould before tipping out the excess and then putting in the fridge to cool, spoon in the coconut cream (about 1/2 a teaspoon of coconut cream to each small chocolate). Top up with molten chocolate to cover the coconut before placing in the fridge to set again.



TADA!

Finished lovely chocs! MOREISH


Monday, 19 December 2011

The Ultimate Christmas Song

Nickie, my very good friend from twitter and Typecast has challenged me to decide upon my favourite Christmas song.

I was incredibly surprised by what immediately came to mind, for it wasn't the funky dancing childishness of Slade, or the rudeness of Mr Garrison from South Park, it was an immediate choice, and one I think describes me at this time of year to a T.

It describes everything that is important to me at any time, but so important at Christmas, I am often identified as a scrooge, because I don't like the bright lights, the flashing, the noise, the hustle, the bustle, the glitter, the forced joy, the intrusion of the bright and shiny into my life at the darkest time, it feels like shining a light directly into my eyes when I have had them shut in a dark room.
This song, feels like a warm fire, like mulled wine, and mince pies and pigs in jackets and feeling a bit sick from over eating but being curled up on the sofa with someone I love watching Christmas day telly!
This is my Christmas, and I so rarely get it, I don't want the everything else, I want the food, the joy and the love, the togetherness, standing against the darkest part of the year together and coming through it, with love.

Presents don't matter at all when you have that do they?


Many apologies if this one is already picked but it IS the Ultimate Christmas Song.
Tell me your favourite Christmas Song, or why not join in and write a post about yours, link back to me!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Red Queen Crisis


A few times lately I have had to try to describe/explain the mental flips I can do when in a fit of depression to others; Of course it didn’t actually work last night but I managed to get other coping mechanisms in place.
I think as a consequence of me growing up I have actually come to start to understand my depression, what I thought was somehow a defect in myself, a mark on my character is actually just another condition, a disease I have to fight against.

It tells me life is hopeless when it’s not, it weaves webs of mistruths in my head until I can’t see anything apart from my loneliness and the blackness of my future. It tells me to do things I shouldn’t to try and kill my pain or to not do things that will help me because there’s no point.  I have always felt like this, it has just taken me a long while to come to terms with the fact that I have this in my life and I’m not quite normal, I’ve always known that I’m not. I just never took it as a difference but as a flaw, I think my double standards make me able to see all sorts of shades of grey for other people but not in myself.

Now I start to see it as a strength, I have many coping methods others don’t. I can give myself and my time without thought to others in a way that other people would find absolutely exhausting. When I am feeling totally black and without hope I can quite often just go “NO! I REFUSE TO FEEL THIS WAY!” and spend my time doing everything and anything to distract myself to the point of exhaustion when I can normally quiet my thoughts enough to actually sleep. This is a real strength.

This is what I mean when I say I can flip, I also tend to do this when my physical health is bad, like a self righting mechanism of some sort, because if I kept feeling bad then I would just go into a completely downward spiral. The other contributing factor is that I often make myself physically more ill, as a part of my depression’s action; that is, I push my body until I make myself ill because it makes me feel more sane again or I don’t do things like eat properly or take my medication.

All of this takes me to why I was so bad last night, my pain has been increasing and I should go back to the doctors and get my medication adjusted but this is just another aspect of depression ruling my world, I don’t want to, I can’t bring myself to, I just want everything to go away and for me to fade away to nothing. So with increasing levels of pain my mood rises but then it has nowhere to go once it’s up apart from down, if I try to make myself feel better by taking part in exercise I end up at square one.

Me feeling absolutely terrible last night was just me, not being to cope with the various currents of physical pain mixed with emotional pain and mixed with plain old exhaustion lead to a crisis.

I am really quite proud of myself for managing to ask for help when I needed it, the plan now is to go watch my gorgeous sister being a tree in Roald Dahl’s Snow White and then to make myself a doctor’s appointment in the morning, however I’m kind of hoping I might get some sleep in the in-between time.

Brilliant Play, I am one VERY proud sister, she wasn't just a tree but a narrator too!


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Validate me.... validate me hard!

Right, I have to write something about myself, and given that I'm no longer actually even capable of holding a coherent thought about myself for longer than one hundred and fourty characters I thought I would get you guys to help.

Please if you could tell me about me, then rather like a film puts up reviews of itself I can use what you say about me to help.

So, tell me about myself, review me... coz I'm constitutionally incapable of seeing what's behind her nose.
You can even do it anonymously if you like... I'm looking at you, yes you, you can say what you like!

k thx bai

x

------
Thank you for your input, I have been really quite ill recently which is even more difficult to gauge than my MS, Your wonderful comments have really helped.
Also, I'm sure they will be invaluable for helping me write a personal statement for my PGCE application, feeling a little better now.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Womble Drawers of Awesomeness

Right, this is a bit of a labour of love, me and craft, well, I love it, but I'm not very good at it exactly, so this is me making stuff up as I go a long.

I have this unit that my TV is on, it's pine and sturdy but boring! I was going to paint it and for a bit of a shabby chic look, seems like a lot of work though, especially when I am fairly well known for my ability to screw things up, somehow hurt myself, or cover me or the cat with paint. For this reason it hasn't been done.

So I was going to post a before photo but it failed
and now it's half done, so here's a picture of my cat Riley!
I had what I believe to be the idea of the century, which is that rather than painting it I could decoupage it.

On a side note, I have rather a habit of trying to attempt to be an adult, doing all this "posh" well done, organised and elegant stuff. I think I have realised finally that that's not me! I'm not that! So anyways, back to the subject.
The decoupage! I had this cool idea of doing it with comic books, just the draw fronts (yeah, coz doing the whole thing would be completely crazy - obviously).
Therefore I needed to get some comics to do this with,  it actually turns out that it's difficult to buy broken or damaged comic books in the UK. Therefore I popped into my local Forbidden Planet to get some grab bags.

Ouch, 25p per comic for a grab bag, that's a mite expensive.... also, I kind of have a constitutional objection to actually taking comic books apart since that's like taking books apart, or damaging them, or that sort of thing. It's against everything I was brought up to believe!

You can cut stuff out with scissors or a scalpel
However, the lovely man working in my local Forbidden Planet went to take a little look out the back for me to see if he had any damaged stock. For some unfathomable reason head office had decided to take a few off sale or something so he had a load of comic books with no front covers (they have to make them incapable of being sold) which would have just gone in the bin! He gave me a pile of about 15 comic books! they're all copies of the same 3 but WOOT! Best part was they were FREE!

I kind of wallpapered the draw with half pages,
the key is to cover the whole of the drawer front

I've googled decoupage, bought some PVA, made a mix of that and water (about 50/50) in a little bottle, cut out a load of cool bits.
The internet says to do all the boring stuff like sand the drawers and clean them and all that sensible stuff.
However, that's not really me... therefore I put some newspaper down and just kinda went for it.

I then added my "feature" bits
to get a vague idea of positioning
I worked with a load of half pages to completely cover the front, painting the mixture on the draw front and the back of the image, then painting the top of the image, before sponging it with a damp kitchen sponge to remove the excess. Then I left it to dry (you're meant to leave it a few hours but in typical me fashion I left it only 1 hour) before getting the smaller motif images and pasting them on top. Doing the same thing as before, I painted it all down before sponging and leaving to dry again.

I painted the knobs with a mixture of
PVA and acrylic paint for a
satin finish
Then I coated it again and again in this pasty mixture as I have no varnish. about 4 coats should be enough to protect it and act as a glaze until I manage to find something else. Then I cut the hole for the draw pull (with a a screw) and added the newly painted handles (painted with acrylic mixed with PVA).

Or at least, I will, as I continue to do each draw one at a time, I've only done the one so far.

This is pure awesomeness!


Friday, 9 December 2011

A Perfect Day

Ok, so Perfect Day was apparently Steve's and my song, I had somehow been unaware of this for the vast majority of our relationship, so it never really resonated with me as a relationship song, however, I find myself thinking about the meaning of this song many times over the years on a totally different level, what a perfect day means to me.

A perfect day is nice, and fun, and I can imagine and let go, and have fun, allow myself to be, to live in the moment, to do and try new things.
The problem with a perfect day is the fallout, too many days which are lovely, followed by hope, hope for more good days, leading to crap, leading to pain, because none of the things that I let myself feel or be, or do in those perfect moments are ever real.
I'm not sure I'll ever let myself feel safe again, coz I know in reality it's just a lie, I don't get a happy ending, I don't get to be loved and hugged and kissed and cuddled and appreciated for me, I never get to rest in the shade of someone else's heart.

I guess all the times before when I felt like I was safe I was deluding myself, I don't think I ever was, I just hadn't been kicked enough by life to see that really it wasn't something I could even reasonably hope for.

So yeah, perfect days are lovely, but I'm really not sure it's worth it, if I don't open my heart I can't get smashed in the skull til my brains pour out of my ears... (not a perfect metaphor there but it's late).

So yeah, cheerful tonight eh?

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Scared of Scarring

I'm feeling a bit scared.
I'm not very well again and while I'm pretty sure it's just a blip it's knocked my confidence rather.
I hate this... even with the depression I can normally be strict Ceri, I find a way through whatever barrier is there, somehow, coz I'm either tenacious or pigheaded depending on if you're trying to compliment/insult me.

However, when my MS screws up I can really do naff all about it. I can fight, and push and kick and scream all I like but I only end up more stuck. Thing is, I can't not do anything because that's just counter productive and leaves me in an even worse situation. The line between completely screwed and the right amount is totally on a hairpin trigger; I'm not always aware of how far I'm pushing and other times I think I'll be ok because I want to be.

It used to be ok because I could push myself further, because I've not been very well recently (with my first attack in 7 odd years) I'm continually surprised by how easily I can mess myself up, I'm not used to it. I'd do a great many things differently if I could go back in time but one would definitely be to not look what was relatively good health in the mouth.... that metaphor was weird; health has no mouth!

But yeah, I now tread a very odd line, in ground I am not used to between messed up mental and physical health, being very much more aware that I am beholden to them. I used to be ok the majority of the time with periods of worse health, now it's more navigating between shit health periods trying desperately to push hard enough to regain something but not pushing so hard as to end up back in bed.

I would like to say at this point that it's not fun, I didn't choose this and honestly I wish someone would just come and take it all away. Anyone who EVER thinks that this is some kind of fun life, living off the state and not being able to take care of yourself, how would you feel if you couldn't do basic things like the washing up or bathing, let alone working?

Anyways, yeah scared, always scared... but just lately, more scared of the scars than most other things, both the mental and the physical.
And trying to cope and look like I know what I'm doing, despite everything

Darn my myelin >.<

Ceri :-)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Field of Innocence


Hi, I’m Ceri and I’m a depressive.

I don’t honestly remember a time in my life, not one solitary moment when I felt ok, and alright and whole by myself, not once, ever.
I’m starting to get a handle on the fact that I am wrong, that my insides are wrong and that I don’t need outside input to tell me that I am a worthwhile person. I guess it’s the old tree falling in the forest with nobody around issue. What does it matter if I’m a good person if nobody realises?

I have been told many times recently that my identity should come from within me; however I think everyone just seems to think that I can accept this, and move on immediately as if awoken from a dream knowing the overriding truth.

I don’t.

I am getting better, I am more in control of my feelings now, they don’t own me like they used to, I used to be a whirling, screeching cacophony of feelings and urges and intentions and purity and that’s been muddied by the world.

A world I really don’t want to be a part of! It’s horrible, and bleak, and lonely, and cold and I don’t like it very much at all! However, I can accept that I am in it and not fight quite so hard against the current.

I can accept that a world filled with wondrous things can also be filled with crap, I don’t have to like it, and I can spend lots of my time thinking about ways to change it, and make it better, or decorate the crap and put a bow on it. However, I don’t think there’s any getting away from the fact that it’s crap!

It sucks that I have to be in a crap filled world, I am starting to accept it, I am starting to find coping mechanisms after many, many years of pretending the crap wasn’t there, or that it was the exception to the rule.

What I may have to eventually accept, for good or ill is that the world is like my heart used to be, a tumultuous journey and sea storm filled with waves and troughs and swells and drift wood and all manner of crap! I have just had to substitute what I saw as a stable world with a shifting heart and instead make myself the anchor.

I don’t have to like it though, it’s a bit shit, but you guys can come with me and be my friend if you like, I will sometimes need a hug, but most of the time I’ll be the one with her arms outstretched offering other people hugs. Coz I am FRIGGING awesome like that, it’s kinda my thing.

So yeah, I may not be anywhere near being “fixed” but neither is the world, and as I once said to an old friend, if you’re not depressed I can only assume you’ve not been paying attention!

I think this sums it up pretty well...


Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Power of BatPants!

So ages ago I went to primark and bought a whole load of branded stuff, I bought sonic lounge pants, I bought bananaman lounge pants and I bought batman boxers. Yes, I had lost myself in the men's section of primark, I could quite happily make myself a little nest there.
It's quiet, there are lovely T-shirts and jumpers and PJs and boxers and it's like a transvestite dream of lovely comfy clothes!


But anyways, yes, I went home, I wore everything else but the BatPants became lost, they were almost TOO awesome to wear! They became like a fable! "One day I shall wear the BatPants of glory, and on that day, the world will become AMAZEBALLS"!


So, I wore them yesterday because I was feeling a bit naff and something amazing happened! Nothing amazing happened, there were no streamers, there were no police on zip lines arresting me for my awesomeness, life just continued, with me in AWESOME pants!

BATPANTS!


Yeah, I had the confidence to post a pic of me in said knickers of awesome on the Internet, yes, everyone on twitter was pleased I liked my boxers but it was fairly disappointing, I still felt a bit crap and my brain was still a depressed mess of ennui. I could not get my brain into sleep mode, and so, at 2:30am I forced myself to bed, to stare into the void.

Then something pretty amazing happened, I became a bit amusing!



This just got more amusing when speaking with the other nighttime inhabitants of the Internet (@angelikaka, @urbanvox and @nemesisuk)



I went to sleep, eventually, at around 4am. Then woke up at 4pm! It seems I had found the key power of my batpants! They make me a bit more mental than usual during the night and nocturnal!
This is clearly the BEST POWER EVER!

upsidedown of course!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

My week in Pictures


It's the hat - again!


This week I have done lots, I dunno if this hat picture was from then or like last thursday or something, oh no! If it's not from this week how can it be in my "My week in pictures?" Coz I didn't do one last week, so NER!

Pasta! but Fast food!

I went to "Work" (volunteering) and had lunch and stuff! It's been the week of World Aids Day so it's been pretty darned busy! this was great lunch actually, it's fast food pasta! Wonderful idea!
So yeah, I went in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, not done full days or anything, only a few hours here and there but it makes all the difference to my mentality, I end up having so much more self respect.

Elspeth's picture of a
"random person"

Also it was nice to have somewhere to go chill out after what was the bleh of the DWP interview which was stressful, but a blooming relief when it was over. Then it was time all too quickly to go pick up Elspeth from school!
We then had loads of fun in the evening, with her watching Modern Family which is just fabulous and then it was time for bed. We were topping and tailing and she kept uncovering my feet so I kept waking up, but it
was really good!

Morning people!

Then it was Wednesday otherwise known as #n30 or strike day, etc. and my brother came over with breakfast for me and Ellie, then it was time to go into town to volunteer again and Ellie stayed with my brother.

the march in terrible lighting conditions

As I got in the march was going past, was lovely and joyful as an atmosphere! Shame I couldn't join them really! but after a while we all met up again in town and went to where the Rally was (even if it was mostly over by then) and we got stickers! Then coffee with @Puffles2010 and @smithsam on twitter who dealt very well with a sudden 11 year old given I didn't actually warn them I was bringing her!

I LOVE Hot Numbers Cafe

Then we went home via Arjuna (a health food store) on mill road, and picked up a posh squash, a pumpkin or something which I'm gonna make into soup at the weekend.


I don't know what this is called!

By this time it'd gotten really dark, and we enjoyed the Christmas lights on the way back through town to home, when Ellie went back home. I was all knackared and sleepy!

Anyways, that's enough for this week I guess, but I shall try to get back to it next week!
I'll leave you with possibly the most attractive photo that has ever been taken of me, I am so pretty!

Oh so pretty!





Monday, 28 November 2011

Social Security: a Person Centred Approach?

It seems to me the government are missing a trick, when looking at getting those in receipt of benefits for sickness and disability back into work they should be thinking in terms of working with the whole person and their situation, not just their work life.

It should be seen more like a health issue (which it is, "occupational health" being such an appropriate term in this context), I have never met anyone who is sick or disabled who doesn't wish they could work, so why can't we actually stop treating "customers" (a grossly misleading term to me when people using the DWP have no choice of provider at all!) as if they are a problem to be managed but people, to be encouraged and helped in order to become all that they can be?

Within Health care and Social care comes case conferences, where the various different "stakeholders" (that is, people with an interest in a person and their well-being) discuss the subject and their needs, plan interventions, with said subject's views being seen as equal.

I'm not saying by any margin that this approach works perfectly currently or that it is without its pitfalls, however I believe that it is seen as the best practice approach in both fields IIRC.

Therefore I propose a shift in Social Security that works with a person centred approach, where you can have case conferences with all stakeholders having a say, GPs, claimants, DWP staff, specialists, occupational therapists etc. all getting together to discuss the amount of work appropriate for a person, the type, quality, etc.

Volunteering should be seen as a viable option for rehabilitation and all these disparate agents should come together to enable long term achievable goals as partners invested in the best outcome for the claimant.

I see absolutely no benefit in getting people off of social security when they will end up back on benefits again and again because they were only found temporary work, or they couldn’t cope with the practicalities of the job, I reckon that it would save money in the long term, improve health outcomes (especially in mental health morbidity) and decrease overall social exclusion if we all worked together for the benefit of all.

I literally have no idea why/how people can have the view that kicking already disadvantaged and ill and disabled people when they are already so down as to have to require help from the state to survive and further disenfranchising them helps anyone, I don’t see that it saves tax payers money. All I can see is that further disabling poor people a new form of serfdom is introduced, cheap, uninformed, uneducated labour. I literally cannot think of another reason.

That makes me sad, but then I think about my proposal and think, well let’s do that then, seems like a good idea to me and what could we possibly have to lose (other than, cheap, uninformed, uneducated labour)?

All about ME!

Right, this is my new name, my new look, my new everything on the way to intergrating everything together.
I'm also planning to merge my jewellery blog and this blog under a few tags that will be new to keep things together.

I've not been making jewellery lately, but I have been blogging so therefore it made no sense to me to have the jewellery blog languishing, while this one goes from strength to strength.

If you have any suggestions please let me know :-)

Friday, 25 November 2011

Taking the Blog Forward

Hi, after a period of messed up physical and mental health I've not been updating this blog much at all, I've not really been doing much jewellery or lampwork either, I'm not giving up, I am just taking a break for as long as it takes, in the meantime I'm thinking of combining this blog with my "personal" blog "The Womble of Cambridge". I would Label all of my jewellery and lampwork related posts and they would link to facebook as before but it would be more integrated and I think I would feel happier.

Anyways, I thought I would let everyone know of my intention, I will find a way to make it work, but I equally don't want to keep this blog unloved and unposted in when my personal blog is very active. Since there are 7 people who follow this blog I was going to suggest that anyone who fancies follow my other blog (link at the top right of the page) and eventually I shall integrate the two and have this one bow out since it is lesser used.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Ceri the drama queen


I should have a coronation or something!
I want a party god damn it!
I am a drama queen, I was I think first told this by my English teacher who was also, rather ironically my drama teacher (I do hope this actually does count as irony, unlike the Alanis Morrisette’s lack of/abundance of cutlery!), at the point at which I was told this I was storming out of the classroom after standing up and shouting at her for what I perceived to be some major injustice against of one of my friends. 
Needless to say I was a teenager at the time; this was the tip of the iceberg when it came to drama-queening. I should have had a bloody crown, a big gold tiara crown, with sparkles, and a sceptre saying “Drama Queen, Monarch of the lesser actors” around the pole bit!

Nah, I wasn’t that bad I don’t think, however, although I have gotten significantly better over the years, I still have the inbuilt responses of a drama queen, externally I may be holding it together quite well, in any situation in life something doesn’t go my way I internally overreact and one of 2 possible scenarios becomes law.

The first one is based on the principle that I am bad, I am the worst of the worst of all people and Beelzebub himself will come and jam hot pokers into my eyeballs whilst giving me a wedgie and stretching my eyelids over my skull and toasting me over a fire because of the badness that is my existence.

The second one is that I am good, in fact I am such a good person I am the martyr of everyone and everyone around me will eventually be so transfixed and convinced of my inherent goodness that their brains will start to melt and they will defenestrate themselves to escape the knowledge that I am considerably nicer than them, and they shall see!

The thing is, nobody ever bothered to tell my drama queen self that I don’t actually believe in a binary existence, in good and evil, so it now seems completely superfluous to me to keep them hanging around, yet, time and time again, when anything dares to sneak under my skin, if anything insults my feeling of general zombie-like life having then I will then flail around in a fit of ennui that has to be witnessed to be believed.

It is quite simply ridiculous and I would be quite happy to not have it bother me anymore, I would be much happier I think if I could just shrug it off but I think it’s probably left over tantruming that I didn’t do when I was little (I did apparently stop throwing tantrums impressively early when I discovered bargaining!) but I would like me to get a new paradigm please because this middle class protestant good and evil crap is quite honestly not getting me anywhere any time fast.

Honestly, all that happens is that I flip and flop and then decide that actually I'm not either thing and decide to play another game with different rules! But hey, at least my flipping and flopping now doesn't last for years!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

What is twitter to me?


Twitter's "Fail Whale" (displayed during outages)
has now become almost as ubiquitous
as the Microsoft "Paperclip" once was.


I'm not even entirely sure why I'm writing this when I'm fairly sure that the only people who ever read this blog are on twitter already!

However, it's becoming abundantly clear to me that to "get" it you have to be in it.
It's like the Matrix; you have to see it for yourself. So I guess I felt I would try to put into words what twitter is for me.

Twitter is a cross between Facebook and an instant messaging platform; you are limited to 140 characters, so updates tend to be concise. I think what people don't get is the social bit of the social network aspect of twitter. It is honestly one of the most supportive environments I have ever experienced, it is as involving as you let it become and is much more than simple status updates.

Because everything on twitter is public (other than direct messages and messages from protected accounts) it’s a very open environment, because of the way it works you can see conversations between the people you “follow” take place in front of you. In this way you can jump in when appropriate (and sometimes not so appropriate). 

It very much has the feeling of being in a pub or a coffee shop with conversations taking place all around you; you can pick up and drop conversations more easily than in real life.
In my opinion, the absolute key to a successful relationship with twitter is numbers. If you follow less than about 60 people (and by people I do not mean celebrities) you just don’t get the interactions that make it work.

In order to know who to follow I would suggest simply ask someone who you already follow, if you’re completely new to twitter and have no ideas then maybe do a search on subjects that interest you, as your circle of followers and followees opens up you will probably need a client like Tweetdeck or Seismic to enable you to be able to truly experience it.

Twitter is like all the best and worst parts of social interactions, except there’s less rules to stop you having to endure the bad bits!

At this point I really wouldn’t be without it, I get most of my news from it (albeit I wait until someone like Reuters or the Beeb posts about it before believing it at face value) you learn what you can trust, same as with any other form of media.

 I tend to be better informed about current events than I used to be, however, there is the slight issue of being too connected, a twitter buddy once wrote a blog post about the difficulty in “switching off” (see @Puffles2010) and I understand the issue only too well; however, I feel that in general the benefits massively outweigh the bad bits.

What I do find is that other people just don’t understand why I am so taken with what seems to them to be a social network akin to Facebook or something, which seems to be filled with subversive political monsters or narcissistic celebrities (how the “mainstream media” tend to portray it) possibly dependant on the day of the week and the wind direction as far as I can tell.

I think one of the most important points about twitter is that it is, like life, what you make it, however, I really love the interconnectedness of this interface.
And yes, if I’m honest, it does feel a bit like being part of Borg v 0.00000.00027 but you know what? Bring it on! What could possibly go wrong? *winky face*

Am I completely insane to feel like I am part of a huge network people connected by ideas and art and humour and politics and TV or not? What do you think?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The hat of cunning!

some of you may be aware of the series Firefly, or the film Serenity, if you're not then what are you even doing here? Huh? HUH? GO WATCH IT NOW!
On the wonderful ship called Serenity there is a man called Jayne, there was once a song about him...



Right, so anyways, I decided I wanted to get me some of that mighty fine hat looking action so I got myself a fivers worth of wool and a pattern http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=339466.0 and with the help of @MargoJMilne I set about knitting it on straight needles for that was all I had.

I set about knitting, I knitted in front of the telly, I knitted in bed, I knitted on the bus, in a car, on a train, I knitted in Cambridge, I knitted in Leeds, I knitted a whole load of places is basically what I'm saying!
Finally, one cold autumn evening it was done! I stopped boring my twitter friends with inane innuendo about flaps, and instead started on the pom-pom euphemisms and shouting about tangled yarn.

So then I sewed on the pom-pom and sewed up the seem in the back and it was done!
and now I have a cunning hat, I look fabulous in it! Don't say I don't coz I know you be lying coz you're jealous of the hat, I have one, you don't!

the cunning hat!



Friday, 18 November 2011

The Party of Revolutionary Wombles (updated)

Due to doing yesterdays silly comic thingy, I spent a fair amount of time making a womble avatar!
This imediately caught on and I had a load of avatars to make!





These are the current ones I have produced, if you would like one of these beautiful avatars then just let me know! @cainglain on twitter, you know the drill.
Now 10 avatars produced!