The Village Cats – Molly

There are a lot of cats in my village. Molly is new the village and completely adorable.  Also completely daft. She’ll drop down in the middle of the road for you to fuss her, try and come into the house behind you, will follow you down the road. She’s very sweet.

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Wife Vs Van – No Score Draw

Her epic arm bruise
Her epic arm bruise

So my wonderful wife Kate Ellen tried to take on a van on Tuesday morning.

You know how I said my life is really odd. Well, a lot of things tend to go really wrong sometimes too. So while she has this eye-patch on she gets hit by a van.

She was fucking lucky.

It was the first thing the doctor said to me. She was lucky.

My day sort of went like this: I hadn’t slept well, and I didn’t have work until half one in the afternoon. Kate Ellen left at seven am – I don’t even remember her leaving, I slept through that as I often do when she leaves that early. The combined attention seeking from the cats and the chickens was hard to stay asleep through so I put my headphones.

And slept through sixteen missed calls and a police man knocking on my door.

I work up to find said policeman in my bedroom.

Sign at the hospital canteen
Sign at the hospital canteen

That didn’t freak me out too much (everyone is telling me that waking up with a strange guy in the room would freak them out). What freaked me out was that my wife had been in an accident. I think that supersedes pretty much anything else. He drove me to the hospital (after I put clothes on) and told me what happened.

Kate Ellen ran off her bus and ran across the road to catch her next bus. She came out of no where and the van driver didn’t even see her coming. With that eye patch on, she probably didn’t see him coming either. He was going around 30 mph, and it happen outside the ambulance station in Aberystwyth. She was lucky.

We were lucky.

She doesn’t really remember what happened. In fact she doesn’t remember most of Tuesday. They took her up to Intensive Care and they really looked after her up there. She’s on a ward now – and right this second – fast asleep.

I have never been so scared in my life. If I had lost her…this could’ve been so much worse. I live a very specific life that mostly revolves around my wife. She’s keeping me going. We keep each other going. To lose that…I don’t even want to think about it.

The cats are going batshit insane.

The first night was the worst, they went bonkers running around the place. They didn’t settle when I did, running in and out of the bedroom. They calmed down a little after that first night, Mr. Brown decided what he wanted to do was sleep on the envelope of her things that the hospital gave me after the accident. This is how he is showing me he misses her. They sleep with me at night instead of in the living room. Last Mr. Brown got into bed with me, Pogo slept next to me.

On the notice board at the CAT Scan unit.
On the notice board at the CAT Scan unit.

I’ve hardly seen Merry. I see her at breakfast and dinner, but she stays on the wardrobe watching and waiting for her to come home.

It’s hard to explain that it’ll be another week at the very least.

I’ve spent most of every day sitting in hospital watching her sleep and breathe using the hospital wi-fi that one really works in certain places, especially next to windows. I brought her own laptop in too, so she can watch films and so on while she’s awake. They’re being pretty good to me. Plus there is free tea.

Leaving though is awful.

It’s pretty much the most distressing thing I’m going to do in my life – leave my wife in the hospital and go home. I felt awful yesterday though cleaning the house up a bit helped. I’d been alone three days and it had all gone a bit nuts so I got on top of some of it last night.


I Am The Chicken Mummy Now

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Playing x-box with Krem.

So as you may know I have five chicks.

They’re only a month old and last week we let them out of the coop for a peck around the garden for the first time. We shut the other three chickens up in the coop and they had an hour or two in the yard. It went well so we did the same the next night, but with the all the chickens in the garden to see how it went. And I suppose in a way it went well enough if you discount the fact that something tried to take one of the chicks.

So I’m watching television and Kate Ellen cries out for me to go outside and she sounds really distressed so I jumped up, wrestling with my trainers, and I ran outside. One of the chicks, Krem, was hurt and when we caught her it was pretty horrifying. Feathers had been ripped out as well as some skin, there was a lot of blood, we were freaking out.

It looks worse than it is.
It looks worse than it is.

Krem was fine.

Well, as fine as you can be when you’ve been attacked.

He actually didn’t go into shock. He’s was still running around the garden, still eating and drinking and preening. He didn’t seem to have even noticed anything was wrong. We managed to get hold of him, take him inside and clean him up. Once we had managed to do that I noted only a centimetre of skin had been ripped off, his croup was fine not damaged at all just bald now.

Now he’s living inside, sleeping in a spare hamster cage while the cats time share access to the front half of the house. The cats are scared of the adult chickens but they fancy their chances with the chicks. They’re bitesized after all. He obviously doesn’t like to be in the cage, and I don’t like leaving him in there so I’ve been getting him out and letting him sit with me on the sofa.

He fell to sleep in my hair.

Settled in my hair.
Settled in my hair.

Now he’ll only settle down when he’s tucked under my shirt, or my chin, then I can put him in the cage and he’ll sleep for the night. He gets upset when I leave the room, or when I can’t hear me. I don’t even know how these things happen to me really. One minute I’m watching Stargate SG-1 on Netflix before dinner and the next thing I have a chicken sleeping under my top, while my wife sits next to me with an eye patch on because Krem scratched her cornea on Sunday morning.

Our life is really odd.

I love it.

A Little Self-Promotion: Welsh Bloggers

welshbloggershotI started a blog called Welsh Bloggers – Basically just a place for Welsh Bloggers to find each other, or maybe for people to find some blogs to read by the Welsh.

Check it out. If you’re Welsh, make some friends, sign up, I’ll list you. It’s a work in progress. Maybe we’ll have some people write about Wales too in the future. But it’s relatively new.

Scraping Money For A Tooth Scraping

Teeth are scary.
Teeth are scary.

I need to go to the dentist.

I’ve been putting it off for a little while now, not because I’m afraid of the dentist but because I can’t really afford too. I actually am neutral about the dentist. I like having the knowledge that my teeth are (relatively) healthy actually because I have recurring nightmares about my teeth. Have done most of my adult live. They’re all pretty much the same, my teeth go wonky in my mouth, one of them crosses over the other and it’s all pretty messed up really.

Loosing my teeth is one of my phobias I guess, which gives me anxiety and those dreams once every now and then – depending on how my teeth actually are.

The thing is I know my teeth are in pretty bad shape but there’s not a lot that can be done about some of the problems. Years of Pica has pretty worn my back teeth down and I’ve lost most of the enamel. I had great teeth once but now they’re very sensitive, I have at least three fillings and a crown at the back. I’ve had root canal too (not as bad as I thought) and will no doubt have to have it again some day.

Number 2 is enamel.
Number 2 is enamel.

To be honest, what I think I need is my fillings sorted at the back and a scraping.

I’m not sure I can afford it.

How sad is that? That the basic care I need for my teeth is out of my ability to afford. And I’m not the only one. If I need another crown, I’m screwed, cause I definitely do not have £185. I can afford the check-up if I get it done next month. Afford maybe a filling if I put aside some money from the next couple of months (NHS Wales Dentist Charges). But anything else more complicated and that’s it. I have to suffer.

I’m glad I’m not in any pain. Mostly it’s a minor annoyance at the moment, hurts now and then, and I don’t need my teeth scraped at the front. I have a tiny chip on a front tooth from biting a fork really hard on Saturday – which is how this all started – and I don’t need that sorting (you don’t notice it unless I point it out) but I am aware of how long it’s been since I last went.

Before I got married I think.

How sad it is that I’ve been avoiding some basic care because I can’t afford it. And I’m not the only one. Millions of people are in pain and suffering because they can’t afford the care they desperately need. After a while, clove oil and Oragel just don’t cut it. And we need our teeth, it’s not like my old cat Micky, who only had his fangs and was able to mush everything up in his gums. Including his biscuits.

I don’t want to have to mush my biscuits.

So I will go the dentist and see what happens and hopefully I won’t need too much work (or another crown).

Coming Off My Meds

"VariousPills" by MorgueFile
“VariousPills” by MorgueFile

As my wife and I try and get pregnant, there has been talk about me getting pregnant at some stage in the future. She will be having our first child for sure – we’re currently trying with a donor but that’s another post – and perhaps in the future I might have a second.

Might. There are a few issues with it. Not just with how I feel about actually being pregnant an having a baby (I’m not overly keen on the idea) but the fact that I would have to come off my medication.

I can’t remember how long I’ve been on my medication actually. It’s probably written down somewhere, I’ve had a blog of some sort since I was 18. Most things are noted down. I’m currently taking Tegretol (Carbamazepine) and Seroxat (Paroxetine). I started the Seroxat a few years before the Tegretol but I’ve been on both almost a decade I would say, maybe eight years? I didn’t think I would ever really come off them so it never really mattered how long I had been taking them because I would always been taking them.


Maybe not.

Things are different now. Not even considering the pregnancy, I have thought about coming off my medication. But having been on them so long it’s a bit of a daunting prospect. The Tegretol might be easier at least, I’m not on a particularly high dose, so it wouldn’t be too hard to withdraw it from my system properly.

The Seroxat is going to be the problem.

At the moment if I miss a dose if I get a headache. Two doses and the anxiety gets worse. Three and the depression kicks in. It can get pretty bad pretty quickly, and it can take a week of taking my meds properly again to get back on track again. So it feels like a bit of a mammoth task to come off it when the withdrawals make me feel like my mental health has regressed ten years.

Seroxat By Jussi Mononen

And then, and then, what if when I’ve finally, painfully slowly, milligram by milligram come off Seroxat (by taking liquid Seroxat that probably tastes disgusting and it’s probably something we’d have to order every month specially at the pharmacy I work in) what if I’m not stable without it? Not well without it? What if I actually still need and will always, always need it.

The idea at this point, of always having to take it, isn’t so bad. Because it’s part of my routine. Get up take meds. Take meds go to bed. Every day. Every week. Every months. Always doesn’t seem to bad after a decade and I don’t even think about it. But coming off them, and then realising that I’ll always need them and should never have stopped taking them.

Holy void is that a horrible thought.

So what? Do I never try? Do I risk it? If I never have a baby myself will it even matter.

I’m still undecided. I had considered coming off the Tegretol because I certainly feel more stable. But what if that is just the Tegretol’s grip on my stability and I take it away and then I’m unstable once more, unpredictable.

A problem? A risk?

There are a few other issues with getting pregnant and my mental health. My hormones for one. I’m on the patch because my hormones do not do well without a bit of a kick. Also, I stop taking my meds, one of the many things that helps me cope and I have a baby and all the extra stress that comes with it.

It’s a minefield.

Not an easy decision.

I remember really struggling to comply with my medication once. I mean I really hated taking those damn meds. I hated who I was and part of that manifested itself in hate for my mental health and the future of it. I couldn’t imagine being on those damn meds for ever, hell I didn’t want to even be on them for another month let alone forever. It didn’t help that medication was the only help I was getting – instead of being part of the help I needed.

Now years later, after the therapy I needed, the medication don’t seem that bad because they are just part of the care I had and needed back the. Part of a big picture, a long game.

I am going to assume that makes sense.

I think I managed to talk myself out of this.

Anyway, these are some thoughts. Mostly half formed.  If you’ve come off a medication like Paroxetine let me no how it went.

Oooooooooooout. Want to go ooooout.

Pogo wanted to go out. Despite the fact that it was cold and the middle of the night.
Pogo wanted to go out. Despite the fact that it was cold and the middle of the night.

This was about fandom but spiralled out of my control…

My current obsession...
My current obsession…

I deal with fandom the way I have I have dealt with fandom since LJ was the world for fandom. By not getting involved. I write my fic, and post it and move on. Sometimes I reply to reviews. Mostly I don’t. I don’t get involved with different fans of ships, I don’t get involved with discussions, I just write. I had some followers on LJ who I met through fandom but rarely discussed fandoms with them either.

It’s just easier not to get involved at all than to get involved in drama. I have bigger things to worry about that occur in the real world. The fandom worlds are there to take me away from those problems, not cause me more.

It’s lonely though.

I mean, it used to be worse, cause it was just me. Now I discuss things with my wife.

I’m not involved in any great community though. I have no friends in fandom again, just people who follow some fic, follow my tumblr. I don’t actually have a lot of friends at all. Even in real life. There are very few people I tolerate being around or having in my house. Three that I’m not related too. Five or six that I am related too. It’s hard for my wife who is used to having a lot of people around.

I seem to have introverted myself so much that I have introverted myself online as well. I’m not sure how I even did it really. Just sort of happened. I thought at first I had become one of those people who’s world just reduce to their partner’s but it’s gone way beyond that. It’s something else. I feel like I spend so much time during the day dealing with people – actual real people –  I would never deal with normally that now I insulate myself in my own head with my wife like this is enough.

It’s not enough.

Happiness is a warm box.
Happiness is a warm box.

Sometimes it feels like that’s why I will never be successful as a writer or in any sort of career. Happy yes, but not overly successful. I have no network, people go on about networking.

I have a network of cats and those jerks have no appreciation of poetry or blogs.

This did not start out as a post about how introverted I have become I know. I write it like it’s a bad thing, and a lot of the time it’s not. Because I have those three or four people in my life, and my life doesn’t really have much drama in it (complications yes, problems yes, but drama no). My sister’s life is full of drama. My aunts. People I know at work and people my wife knows but not my life. Not our life.

Unless it’s animal drama, but I’m not sure that counts.

It’s not always a bad thing, but sometimes I feel a little lost in a sea of people around me doing things I would like to be doing, succeeding where I am floundering (not necessarily failing but not succeeding).

I know a guy with the same sort of mental health problems I have (anxiety, depression amongst others) who is doing what he wants to do, writing and making films. Films you can watch on 4oD. And he’s out there doing things and making connections and I can barely keep a simple friendship together. And I am a member of a few groups on facebook of writers who seem to be able to write and publish and have their own network of people in that world and I am barely able to make my blog popular.

Do you remember when this was just about dealing with fandom?

Me too.

Tomorrow, maybe I’ll write an actual post on how people should deal with crappy fandoms – which I suspect will just be “fuck um” but for now this has become something else, something both cathartic and anxiety inducing.

Please bare with me. My words are worth it.

I hope you understand.

Classic Cambrian News: Dolphin Shenanigans

Thursday 31st of July last summer gave us this little beauty.

Story online here. Do not google dolphin sex acts. I can’t stress this enough people…

Man Falls Off Horse (and other tales)

This week - a two in one.
This week – a two in one.

So the local paper for my area is called The Cambrian News. When I was a kid it was a broadsheet size thin thing with some local interest and horses that I needed to spread out on the floor to read. It came out once a week, on Thursdays. At least that’s all I remember being in it. Horses and shows. We went to a lot of shows as kids, Jay – my step parent – used to show a lot of horses and some dogs. Our front hallway is a very Welsh hallway. Slightly dark and dusty from not being used (cause everyone uses the back door) full of bits of collectables and a lot of rosettes. A lot. And some trophies. And I think some darts ones as well.

Jay played a lot of darts too.

Any way, the Cambrian News was a very standard rural newspaper for a rural area.

And, well, it still is.

It’s smaller now, tabloid size thicker to some extent – though not every week – even Ceredigion has slow news weeks on rare occasions we have fast ones but only now and then. Okay so now that I think about it, I can’t remember a fast news week. Just slow ones. It’s still weekly, printed on a Tuesday, on sale form Tuesday evening/Wednesday. There’s a few different editions, covering the county, but basically from what I can tell it’s a different front page and third page, but the rest is pretty much the same. Maybe the fourth page. I buy the Aberystwyth edition, my colleague buys the South edition so I have read both most weeks, but little is different cause really it’s a big country with a a lot of grass and well, and some crime.

10th April 2014 - Left without comment.
10th April 2014 – Left without comment.

I lived in Leicester for a few years, where the local paper is called The Leicester Mercury and there are two editions a day, six days a week. That’s twelve newspapers. Now, a lot of it is the same from the morning edition to the evening edition – most people I knew read the evening edition because it was effectively the update of the morning newspaper. I’m not sure, I didn’t read it that often for various reasons. I was never that invested in Leicester, not in the same way I am invested in Ceredigion. I had a job, so I didn’t need to check the newspaper for jobs. And the paper was full of news about serious crimes and roadworks. Neither of which I particularly wanted to read about.

Serious stuff happens in Aberystwyth and Ceredigion – it’s not all happy Larry around here. There was a mass brawl outside a put the other week. There are deaths (though few actual murders) and sex offences and drugs and poverty but this stuff is spread out over times. In Leicester this stuff happens more often, is more violent, is more desperate and is all packed in week after week. It’s a big city, though not the worst when it comes to crime but with more people comes more problems and the Leicester Mercury always has more bad news in one edition that The Cambrian does in ten.

But, but what the Cambrian News does have are the headlines of a lifetime.

I’ve been collecting some of the best headlines and stories for a few years now. By collecting I mean taking pictures of them and posting them to facebook to amuse my friends who do not live in the area. Some of the stuff that happens here is completely insane. Sometimes the headlines really make the story. I don’t know if they’re serious, if someone is trying to make us laugh.

There is a whole facebook group dedicated to to these wonderful wonderful headlines. I think I might start posting them here on my blog too. It really is local news at its best.

There's a lot of this sort of thing...
There’s a lot of this sort of thing…

I wonder if other local papers are like this. I imagine it’s boredom, there’s only so much interest you can get out of writing about car accidents and horses (still a lot of horses). I suppose the other Welsh rural papers are like this in the sparser counties. Places like this in Scotland. I don’t know, before I moved to Wales as a child I lived in Coventry and well, much like the Leicester Mercury, the Coventry Evening Telegraph is two editions a day (it was still the Evening Telegraph in the morning – don’t ask) full of horrible stuff and football.

I assume there are places in Scotland like this. Perhaps. Perhaps it’s boredom. Perhsps one guy at the Cambrian fancies himself as a comidian. Perhaps it’s all accidental and I live in a really odd country. Which I know I do – it’s an odd place – once there was a dead shark parked on some double yellow lines in Aberystwyth. We still don’t know how it got there.

Maybe between the sea air and sheep we’ve finally cracked. Maybe it’s a Welsh thing (my grandfather was Welsh, I’ve been here long enough to identify as Welsh and fit in with this madness).

I love it regardless and I think I’ll be sharing more of these great headlines on my blog in the future.

Never change Cambrian News!

N.B – I redact information even though I know it’s accessible (hell you can go buy the paper) because 1) They print addresses and I don’t agree with that. 2) I don’t want to shame anyone, I’m not in it to blame anyone for their decisions or problems, I really just want to laugh at the headlines.