Trust Nobody…

This morning I learned that someone hated me enough to alter a message that I sent before showing it to a friend of mine who now hates my guts. I’m broken.

How the hell do you know who to trust after something like that? Hell, trust nobody.

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Book Review – No Other Darkness (D.I Marnie Rome Book 2) – Sarah Hilary…

Two young boys.Trapped underground in a bunker.

Five years later, the boys’ bodies are found and the most difficult case of DI Marnie Rome’s career begins. She has to find out who they are and what happened to them. For no-one has reported them missing – and it seems she is the only person to care.

This book deals with the most shocking of all crimes… the possible torture and murder of two young children. The writer has handled it in a very sensitive way and built a story skilfully around a topic that is sad and disturbing. I have read some crime thrillers around the same topic that just sensationalise and are not layered or enjoyable in the slightest.

Marnie has definitely entered my collective of favourite fictional police women. D.I Kim Stone, D.I Helen Grace and now D.I Marnie Rome.

Marnie is again a multi-layered protagonist and as such, is able to convey her past into the work she does to understand certain aspects of this case.

I admire Marnie’s character a great deal. She isn’t as rule bending as my other two favourite fictional detectives but having a good working relationship with her seniors provides a different dynamic to the story.

It was gratifying to see post partum psychosis dealt with in such a way. It isn’t widely dealt with or known about and the way that this book sensitively deals with the subject is, for me, an excellent thing. The character of Esther was skilfully created and the way that she is juxtaposed with her new self is very cleverly done, it really is. Mental health is not dealt with enough in mainstream fiction and to see it done in such a skilful way really is gratifying.

Another thing that I love about the D.I Marnie Rome books is the character of Noah Jake. He is a person of colour and also a gay man. There are scenes between him and his partner that deal with arousal and kissing which I adore. This needs to be more prevalent in mainstream fiction and I applaud Ms. Hilary for doing this with her characters.

The story is very skilfully written and I adored every page of it. Bring on book three!

This is a definite five out of five star read.

Be kind to each other.x

What a Lonely Life…

I’ve been feeling very lonely recently. Despite the fact that I have people that I can talk to via messenger or WhatsApp I feel so freakin’ lonely it is unreal.

I’m not a person that likes to be with a lot of people physically. I am happy with my family – my manshape (as I call the other half) and my two boys. This is all I need. I don’t need to be surrounded by loud chattering people. I have a condition called misophonia (which I have blogged about before) and being in a loud social situation can be hell for me. I find it so difficult to cope with. I’m a hermit, a loner, a recluse. I just do not blend well with other people, I really don’t.

Yet I love to chat with people online. It’s a great way for me to facilitate a social circle whilst maintaining my privacy and keeping to myself.

I’m severely telephone phobic and can’t bring myself to talk on the phone unless I absolutely have to. The rest of the time, my carer will speak on my behalf. Even looking at the phone which is sitting on a little table at the end of the living room – I can feel my pulse picking up… my anxiety is climbing and I’m starting to panic. I feel safe with my mobile phone because I know inside my head that all it is used for is writing my blog pieces, texting and using WhatsApp. That is my safety blanket with it.

I had to take a break for half an hour in writing this as my anxiety got to be way too bad. My carer has got me upstairs and settled me into bed and I have had a Valium. I’m slowly starting to feel a little more human now. Well, as human as is possible for me (which is not very).

Back to the point of this piece. I’m feeling inexplicably lonely. What is wrong with me? I don’t want to go out and socialise. Agoraphobia and a love of my own company have seen to that. But for some bizarre reason I feel so disconnected from myself and feel like I am in free fall just spinning time and space with nothing to anchor myself to.

I can’t cope with Facebook or Twitter. It is all just too much. I feel overwhelmed by the number of people on there. I don’t feel very together at the moment. Not one bit. I feel very down. Like my bipolar is going into a crash. When that happens, I can’t cope with anything or anybody and I need to hide away. The weird thing is that I still feel lonely and afraid. I know that as my mood gets even lower, then that feeling will slowly dissipate and I will just feel numb and hollow inside. That is all. Nothing else.

I can’t reach out to anyone at all. Life is very regimented for me. Yet another issue – my OCD. I can’t reach out because people just don’t seem to understand just how bad things can get for me and how low down this illness can actually take me. So I guess I shall be lonely all on my own today. Thank you very much for reading.

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My First DokiDoki Crate – May ’18…

This was the first Doki Doki box that I had received. I’d heard good things about it so was really looking forward to receiving it. When it arrived, I was super excited to get in to the bright pink box and see what goodies lay within there.

As with most subscription boxes, it was really well wrapped and presented.

The first adorable item out of the box was the angel bunny charm. These adorable rabbits will be your guardian angel while you travel. Each rabbit holds on to a different natural gemstone that is sure to bring you luck and good energy on your adventure.

The next item out of the box was a Sanrio ticket holder. The My Melody design will keep all your travel documents together. Stops you from having to fumble and look through bags and pockets for things.

Then comes a brilliant travel kit. They help you travel with ease. The kit includes two bottles that you could fill with shampoo & conditioner, a round case you could fill with lip balm, a comb and a mirror. Other things will also fit in these pouches.

Next comes a gorgeous, generously sized My Melody luggage tag. It’s so very cute, I love it!

Last of all comes a packet of Rilakkuma travel wipes. These are perfect when you need to freshen up or to clean up an emergency spill.

Unfortunately I can’t find the wipes to photograph them. Sorry!

I was so super happy with this box, I really was. I might even stuck around to see if they stay cute. 🙂

Definitely a five out of five star box!

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My Sugar & Sloth Subscription Box – May ’18…

This neat little subscription box arrived this morning and had cute little hearts in the tape securing it. Really cute. 💜

Getting into the box, it was all cutely wrapped and looking very nice.

First of all I found a mini tube of love hearts that are a sweet that I used to adore as a child. They were eaten straight away!

There was a card first of all, with a yummy smoothie recipe on the back which I absolutely have to try. I love bananas and raspberries!

Next there was a big, circular pink sticker that said tea time all the time. Super cute!

Then the first badge comes out. It’s a round badge and it has a pink macaroon with a blue bow on its head and the badge bears the legend “bite me!” I love it!

Finally we get the deluxe enamel pin. This month’s pin was a wee fox in a tea cup. Oh it’s just super cute!

A four out of five star box.

Be kind to each other.x

Sick and Tired…

I am really sick and tired of being sick and tired. I became seriously ill back in 2007 and fought it off and worked every single day that I could. I was determined to cope with things.

Then in February of 2009, I became even worse. One morning I woke up, and I simply could not move. Every time I tried, a searing pain would shoot the whole way around my body and that made it impossible for me to actually get my ass out of bed. My body was sick and tired of being forced through that shit every single frikkin’ damn day.

I shouted and shouted and eventually my eldest got up out of his bed and came through to see what the hell was wrong. When he saw the state I was in, he just ran forward and gave me a huge hug. I had to really bite my lip to keep from screaming on that one, because my eldest is severely autistic and if I had reacted in any negative way, it would have severely affected his mood and I will never deliberately do that to him. Ever.

Eventually, around ten minutes later, he went and got me what I needed – my own mobile phone so that I could call the boys school and tell them that they would be a little bit late as I was having some difficulties. Luckily the school understood and were really fine about things. Then I had to call my partner who was at work and wasn’t happy about having to come home. That was until he actually got home and saw me sweating and vomiting over the side of the bed into my rubbish bin because the pain I was experiencing was literally that bad.

He rang my doctor’s surgery and they advised him to call 999 to get me to hospital. I fought against this because the ambulance service are under enough stress. They don’t need to be dropping the blues and twos for my pain they really don’t. So I begged for a doctor to come see me at home instead. Foolish me thinking that he would see me and just tell me to rest a while and all would be well. Oh no no foolish woman! Guess again! After being poked and prodded around, he pulled my partner off to one side and started talking to him which really did piss me off! Ummmm, hello? It’s my legs that aren’t working, not my brain.

The doctor then announced that I did have to go to hospital and he was calling ahead to get me a bed and also arranging for ambulance transport (not paramedics) to come and take me in. My partner packed my bags and then took the boys to school so they wouldn’t have to see me leave in an ambulance. He was back before they even arrived. A fast ambulance ride later and I arrived on the medical emergency ward. A few hours later, I was taken onto one of the medical wards. My care was undertaken by a group of consultants. Medical, Orthopaedic and Rheumatolgy. I went through two long weeks of scans, X-rays and blood tests. This resulted in me being given one hell of a shock. I didn’t get just one diagnosis. I got several, and all of them were life changing.

I was told that I had both osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Then Fibromyalgia and type 3 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which also led to me being diagnosed as having Dysautomia due to Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. After that came osteoporosis.

Just as an afterthought, I have restless leg syndrome, trigeminal neuralgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, a cardiac murmur and a small congenital hole in my heart. Couple that with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and IBS and you can imagine that since February of 2009 that my life has become hugely different and I had gone from being a totally independent woman who worked bloody hard and had been a registered nurse for most of my working life to being a totally dependant woman who needs help with pretty much every aspect of my personal life and care. This really gets to me. It makes me so sad and so freakin’ angry. I used to bake some pretty awesome cakes (I did a mean lemon drizzle) and I just can’t do that anymore. I can’t cook, clean, take care of the house or myself. I literally am dependant on my carer for everything. Yup, at 46 years old, I have a carer. 😭😭😭 I hate my life.

My day starts when I wake up, normally around 4am. I’ll have had around three hours of broken sleep and been tossing and turning like a fucking washing machine. I then clock (almost typed cock then) watch round to 6.30am when I can take my morning medication – hey, it’s only a handful of 15 pills. Shake me and I’ll rattle! Then I need to wait until around 8.30-9am for my carer to arrive. I’ll then get my hot water bottle made for my back. If the day is a very bad one, then there is a less than zero percent chance of me getting out of bed. I know if I do my pain levels will shoot through the roof and if I’m lucky, only one joint will dislocate. I have learned how to pop most of my joints back into place. I would be spending half of my life in the emergency room otherwise. The only joint I can’t do is my shoulder. So days like that see me with all of my braces on and resting in bed.

◦ On the rare days when I feel well enough to get out of bed, I will have help to get changed into a clean pair of PJs. I have hyperathaesia and my skin is so sensitive, most days I can only tolerate soft cotton PJs. On bad days, I have to go nekkid. If my bad days fall on a day where I have to leave the house for an appointment, I really suffer and have to strip the moment I get back home. I hate it.

On good days, I’m able to prop myself up in bed and either do some colouring or write letters. On a bad day, I just tend to cry and read on my Kindle.

I’ve learned to accept that my day is peppered with taking pills and having my time consumed by struggling to do even the most simple of things. I’ve had to learn not to be sick and tired. I’m just so very lucky that my friends and family are tolerant and I am so bloody lucky to have them in my life I really am. Without them I would be less than nothing.

Most of my days are now spent reading, writing letters as I’ve already said, and trying to think of interesting things that people who follow my blog might like to read. I try hard to balance what I write and I also try to fact check anything newsworthy as I don’t like spreading stories that aren’t true. It can do a lot of damage to people.

So why write this? I guess just to show how things can change in the blink of an eye and you should never be ungrateful for what you have. I see myself now as very lucky. People have asked me how I can say that given how my life has changed. It took me a while and a lot of adaptation before I could say it. I have two fabulous kids, a partner who worships me, a gorgeous if slightly potty cat and some of the best friends that I could ever wish for!

Be kind to each other!x

Queens Drag Trump in The UK…

I read an article today that made me immensely happy. There are rumours that at least 1000 drag queens will sashay on down to London and looking their most fabulous will all join in with the wider protest at La Donald’s arrival in this country.

Basically, the sensible part of this country are shouting loud and clear that he is not welcome in this country and he never has been. He tried his best to ride roughshod over the people of North East Scotland with his vile excuse for a golf course and for a little while he got his way. Then he found out that there was a plan to erect a series of wind turbines to create a “wind farm” – akin to La Donald if you will. He’s a hot air farm. He stamped his feet and sulked and tried to get the plans for the wind farm overturned. I’m happy to say that he failed miserably and construction on the first turbines has already begun! How fabulous!

So, back to the queens and the reason for their protest against the fat Fanta faced cretin. They are voicing their disgust at the vile changes that La Donald is imposing. The most prevalent one being the issue of trans people serving in the armed forces. These people have as much right to serve their country as anybody else does! Trump has tried so hard to reinstate the ban on transgender people in the military.

Yet despite every attempt by La Donald and the bleating half wits he has in his cabinet to ban transgender people from the military, they just keep on failing. Every single time they try, the whole effort is quashed by a judge, and that is really pissing off Donny and his band of morons. Two federal courts have now ruled against the ban which is wonderful news. Let’s just hope that they keep is doing so. Trump is clearly not the LGBTQ ally that he claimed he would be.

With reference to the drag queen protest, there is an event page created on Facebook. So far, one thousand people are down as definitely coming. There are however, seven thousand people marked as “interested”. Oh please let that happen. 7-8 thousand queens in all their glory to show La Donald just what they think of him! That would be the best thing ever, it really would!

We can all learn from this though. We can all stand up and speak out against Trump’s hypocrisy no matter where you are. I urge you, if you are free on the 13th July, get down to London and stand shoulder to shoulder with all the protesters and say no to Trump and his hypocrisy!

Unboxing & Reviewing My Bokksu Box – May ’18…

Wow. Just wow!!! I so totally adore this box. It is beyond awesome. Every single time that it arrives, it is guaranteed to be packed full of yumminess!

I love the red and white boxes that the snacks arrive in. They are smart and sturdy and easily reusable for other purposes.

First item out of the box was an olive oil salt senbei herb & vinegar flavour. Take a bite and discover a mouthwatering olive oil and herbal flavour that dissolves and reveals a sharp vinegar tang to the tongue. They are just delicious!

Then come the Okinawa soba. These savoury, deep fried soba noodles tossed in Okinawan red pepper are dangerously addictive and it’s crunchy texture and tantalising flavour will make it your go to snack. Sobs means buckwheat and commonly refers to a dish of buckwheat noodles enjoyed with either a chilled sauce or a warm soup base. Okinawa soba is unique in its use of thick wheat noodles and koregusu (Okinawa chilli peppers infused with rice liquor)

Next item from the box of yumminess is a slice of fruit pound cake. Fruit cakes are iconic symbols of the holiday season and come in nearly infinite variations. They can be light or dense, soaked in alcohol or dry, heavily spiced or simply sweet. But in the end, so long as it has dried or candied fruit, it’s a fruitcake! This slice of cake has a wonderfully soft and lightly sweet pound cake base with autumn fruits baked in. Dried raisins, oranges, cranberries and digs soaked in syrup add tang and texture lifting up this cake.

Next we have the white raspberry. Made in Hokkaido, this airy and crisp rye cookie is coated with a layer of white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed raspberries. A selection made by Michelin-starred chef Chikara Sono, this cookie is unique in its white chocolate coating made using world famous Hokkaido sweet corn.

Then comes the macha & white chocolate covered azuki beans. Usually called amanatto, this Japanese confectionery is normally made by dipping an azuki bean into refined sugar and drying it. Originally created in the late 1800’s, the store of its origin, Eitaro, is still open for business in Tokyo today! Magic beans don’t just exist in faerie tales. Dipped in matcha powder and white chocolate, these azuki beans are a dreamy, creamy confection.

Next comes the edamame senbei. With real edamame bits baked into the cracker, this senbei is made by finely grinding green soybeans and is peppered with kinako (roasted soybean powder), which gives it a powerful punch. White kinako literally means “yellow flour”, it is commonly known as “soybean flour”. Kinako is commonly used in sweets, but this rice cracker highlights the nutty flavour hidden within kinako.

The next one out of the box is known as Okinawa chinsuko (brown sugar). Chinsuko is a traditional cookie from Okinawa and is a very popular omiyage (souvenir gift) in Japan. Similar in texture to a shortbread cookie, this chinsuko cookie gets its incredibly rich flavour from kokuto, a special brown sugar made in only 7 of Okinawa’s 48 inhabited islands. The process involves slowly cooking down pure sugarcane juice to a soft crumbly sugar with a very complex flavour. These cookies combine both of these traditional Okinawa specialities in a delicious bite size.

Next out there comes kinako mochi. Echigo Seika uses mochi made from pounded 100% Japanese Glutinous Rice and a secret process to transform it into the crisp and airy texture of this cloud-like confection. The puffs are then finished with a dusting of kinako powder made by roasting soybeans grown in Hokkaido. This snack’s delicate texture and sweet, nutty flavour make it wildly addicting.

Then we have Takoyaki corn puffs. A classic Osakan street food, Takoyaki are pan fried balls of tako (octopus) topped with a special sauce, drizzled with mayonnaise and sprinkled with powdered seaweed, slivered green onions, and dried bonito flakes. These light corn puffs perfectly recreate the sweet and savoury umami-rich takoyaki flavour and are dangerously addictive!

Next out if the box comes sweet potato langue de chat. Langue de chat literally means “Cat’s tongue” in French and gets its namesake from its original chocolate form that resembles the tongue of a cat. In Japan, however, it is commonly baked into a square butter cookie with a white chocolate filling. Sweet potato Lange de Chat is a crumbly, buttery delight that soothes your taste buds with the perfect blend of delicate white chocolate and creamy sweet potato.

Last of all out of the box is Hoshu tea. Having a refreshingly subtle and smooth flavour, this premium tea is made using only the highest quality sencha tealeaves. Kagoshima prefecture is known for having the best green tea. Sencha is like no other and made by infusing the processed tea leaves in hot water. After just one sip of this rich tea, you’ll immediately see why sencha is the most popular tea in all of Japan!

This box is just awesome!!! Third box in a row where I have loved every single thing bar one item in the last box. That’s one heck of a record!

Another five out of five star box!

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My Purrfect Gift Box – March ’18…

Oh my gosh, I am so late with this review! Bad blogger, no biscuit!

This was only my second box from these guys and I was so looking forward to it after the fabulously put together box that I received from these guys last time. I love, love, loved it!

As always the outer box was a gorgeous deep purple colour and the tissue paper is a deep purple colour as well which just looks absolutely awesome when you open up the box.

The first item of fabulousness was a head band with a pair of very pretty kitty ears on them that were very sparkly. I knew however that I would not wear them so I sent them to my friend’s little girl and she loved them.

Next came an absolutely stunning scarf in a very satin like material. The scarf was edged the whole way around in navy blue and the main body is a pale pink. The scarf is covered with cats in various different poses. It was simply too big for me to take a picture of all of it, so I went for a close up of one of the cats instead.

Next item out of the box was a gorgeous set of two black bags and a purse. The first bag is a reasonable size and I love it so much! It has gold coloured metal handles in the shape of a cat’s head! How awesome is that? The second bag is considerably smaller and can either be used as a clutch bag or you have the option to attach a handle to use it as a shoulder bag (the handle came inside the bag). The bonus here is that you get a really pretty little handbag charm to clip onto the side. The charm has black tussles and a really pretty little black cat and a heart. It’s adorable! Finally comes the smaller purse. This is roomy enough to take on a night out if you don’t want to carry a bigger bag and will fit lipstick, cash and keys in it.

The final item was in a black jewellery box tied with white ribbon. It is a gorgeous wrap around kitty ring that is designed to sit on the top section of your finger.

I love, love, love this subscription box! A definite five out of five here!

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My May ’18 Treatbox…

A first of the month arrival for this month’s treat box… speedy we are! So let’s get to it with what’s inside!

 

Everything was really neatly wrapped in gorgeous Spring yellow tissue paper.

 

 

The first thing that I got my hands on was a really cute greetings card which said “A Little Something To Brighten Your Day…” on the front and is blank inside. I am loving getting greetings cards, as I’m developing a nice stash that I can choose from as and when needed.

 

 

Next comes a Daily Concepts daily exfoliating body scrubber. It’s a nice fit in the palm size and will help get rid of all your dull, dead skin for summer.

 

 

Next up comes one of my very favourite things in the whole wide world. Apart from writing letters and stationery. Face masks!!! I love them so much! An Anatomicals strawberry & yarrow face mask which is so perfect for a pamper evening.

 

 

Then we get two small bags of coffee from The Little Coffee Bag Co. Two different blends, of which number two is decaffeinated. They say it makes a good bed time drink. I just couldn’t get my head around drinking coffee at bed time. That is what yanks my chain about this. There are enough coffee pods and single serve plastic sachets being dumped in land fill. Why can’t you try and be a bit more ethically sound Treatbox and locate coffee that is not wrapped in plastic.

 

 

Next along comes some GNAW strawberry and white chocolate. This looks utterly delicious so I’m going to let my kids have this. Update: they say it’s yummy!

 

 

Then comes a cute, small set of daily affirmation cards with the words: calm, breathe, believe and smile.

 

 

The last thing out of the box is a canvas shopping bag. Great thinks I, until I actually see what is printed on the bag. “Totes Amaze” Totes a fucking maze??? Shit a brick, I’m 46 not fucking 16!!! Grammar and sentence structure people!

 

 

There is also a May Happy checklist calendar.

 

 

However, purely for the coffee bag packaging issue, this box only gets 3 out of 5. Sorry Treatbox!

 

Be kind to each other!x