Friday, 5 December 2014

365 - I give up

Ok, I've had enough. I've not been enjoying it for a while now. It's a lot more stress than I would like. It feels a bit lame to quite this close to the end but there you go. So here are the last ones I've taken. The 9th one is an old photo for the prompt Memories. It's one of my favourite pictures I've ever taken.

Friday, 7 November 2014

365 - Nov 1st-7th

November's pictures are all about being thankful.

November 1st - Yourself. I am exceptionally thankful to be here and to appreciate my life.

November 2nd - The Sun to Light Your Path. As we head towards midwinter I am very grateful for any sunlight.

November 3rd - Good Smells. I love the smell of both wet and dry leaves during Autumn. It's my 2nd favourite smell.

November 4th - Movement. I am grateful for my ball winder. Makes winding yarn a breeze and it's fun to watch.

November 5th - Where I stand. I am grateful for my health. I have a problem with my back which means occasionally I'm in quite a bit of pain. Thanks to an osteomyologist I am rarely incapacitated anymore.

November 6th - Mother Nature. I am grateful for pumpkins. They are fun and tasty. Plus the stalks are so gnarly and cool!

November 7th - The Little Things. I live in a country that gets quite a bit of rain. Rather than complaining about it I try to give thanks. I am grateful to live in a country that has such easy access to water. I try never to forget that not everyone does.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

365 - end of October

I fell behind in October. Not in the taking but in the posting. I'm  not entirely sure where October went! But here are the missing photos.

October 18th - Lingering

October 19th - Return

October 20th - At the Market

October 21st - Bats

October 22nd - #20

October 23rd - Where I stand

October 24th - Sweets

October 25th - Costumed

October 26th - Drive By

October 27th - My Week

October 28th - Grey

October 29th - Spooky

October 30th - Raven

October 31st - The Loot

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Even if you don't game

This week the wonderful Felicia Day wrote a blog post about her personal feelings towards #gamergate. Now this thing has been going on for weeks and it shows no sign of stopping. I've had this blog post going round my head since I first heard about it and I guess I felt I should write it down.

I'm not a gamer. Once upon a time I might have been. I was one of the guys in my group of friends and as such spent a lot of time around video games. But a combination of lack of interest and a certain amount of not being allowed to join in by the guys meant it just never sank deep into my soul. Then I found knitting and that killed any possibility of me being a gamer. You can't game and knit at the same time ^_^ But, back in the day, I did like playing a few games. I liked fighting games most of all. Tekken was my favourite but I also loved Soul Caliber and Bushido Blade too. I also had a soft spot for Sonic and this weird platform game called Bubsy the Bobcat. It was bizarre. One of my fondest memories after my parents split up was my Dad and me going to our local video/game rental spot and renting out Streets of Rage. It took us forever to finish that sucker but we had a great time. I think that's where I learnt to swear at games hehehe. Another memory is of being at the local arcade with the boys. They were playing some zombie shooter and I was playing Tekken. They finished before me and came to hover while I finished. I was, at the time, kicking ass. I remember one of the guys commenting to my then boyfriend that I was really good. He sounded ridiculously surprised.

So, despite all that, I am not a gamer. I am not up to date on the latest releases. I have found nothing that would pull me away from my knitting. Occasionally I wish I had access to Tekken if only to make me feel better by kicking the crap out of something on a bad day. This is why I have been hesitant to speak at all about #gamergate. I almost feel I don't have the right. But I realised today that this is stupid. I totally have the right as does anyone with half a brain. Because #gamergate doesn't really seem to be about games.

Ostensibly it is about ethics in journalism. It's hard to sort out the beginnings of this debacle in all the crap that has followed but my understanding is it is a bunch of people who are annoyed at a game journalist and believe that she wrote biased reviews due to her having relations with some people in the industry. However it seems to have become a giant hate fest. The original jouranlist and a lot of her supporters have been threatened with death and rape. Their home addresses have been posted on the internet and people have quite literally forced them of their homes through fear. It doesn't stop there. The abuse and threatening behavior is leveled at a huge amount of women who have spoken up about #gamergate. Not so much towards the men who have offered there support.

This is no longer, if it ever was, about ethics. It is about power and fear. It is practically terrorism. (Yes I know that the strict definition of terrorism relates to political goals but it is the closest comparison I have) What boggles my mind more is that the same people who will claim it is about ethics will happily sit by and either issue these kind of threats or support those who do. How is that ethical? At what point does anyone, male or female, think that death and rape threats are the correct way to go about winning an argument? You will hear an outcry from many of the people on the side of the gamergaters saying that they do not support this reaction. But they are not fighting it either. They are not defending their point in a reasonable way. They are letting these violent misogynists be their voices.

This week my 13 year old daughter said in passing that she wished that Emma Watson would shut up about feminism. That she didn't see the point in it all. (This started quite the rant amongst the group we were with which I do not think she expected) I had to take a step back and try and look at it through her eyes, To her there is no point because she has not experienced it. It ranks alongside her believe that there is no need for Gay Pride parades because being gay is no different to being straight. And damn but I love her for these thoughts and beliefs. But I look at #gamergate and all the things like it that keep happening and all I can think is that it won't be long before she understands. It won't be long before she experiences her first bit of sexism. She is quite the nerd and already some of the boys she knows have raised doubts when she mentions Marvel. Fortunately she is quite vocal and has some epic opinions and is working on her knowledge like a good nerd. I sincerely hope that it is a long time before she understands why myself and my friends had such a reaction to her statement. I hope that she never has to fight these kind of battles.

And I hope, dear sweet bob I hope, that she is never threatened in any way simply because she is a woman.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Feeling Blue

I'm not sure how to start this one. It's been an age since I just wrote a post. Since I just let feelings spill out onto a page. It feels kind of self indulgent to want to do it now. But I am brimming. I feel lost inside my own head and writing has always made me feel better. So here goes I guess.

I always feel a bit funny at this time of year. The approach of None Dead Day is, as you would expect, a time of high emotions. For the majority of the last 11 years it has been a time to be grateful, happy, hopeful, loved, enthused. But this year I just feel lost. There is nothing really that has sparked this feeling. It's just there. It leaves a kind of physical nausea in my stomach. It leaves me digging my nails into my palms and not realizing I'm doing it. It makes me pull away from people when I want to be comforted.

Quite frankly it's ridiculous.

But that doesn't make it go away. These kind of feelings have been with me for a long time. I became aware of them when I was about 12. Over the years I have gotten better at dealing with them. I know I am loved and I am worthwhile. I even know that I am loved and worthwhile on my own. But every so often this takes over. And that is the horror of issues like this. Rationality just falls to pieces in it's face.

So I continue to feel brought low. eventually it will go away. Probably at about the same time the odd dreams do. I know damn well that lack of good sleep is at least partially responsible for this. Tomorrow I will either listen to music that makes me feel powerful or I'll watch What Dreams May Come. The first will make me feel strong and the second will make me cry. Not sure which I need most right now. Probably the latter if I'm honest. I usually feel a lot better once I've had a good cry.

Rest assured good reader, I will feel better. I always do. Thanks for listening ^_^

Friday, 17 October 2014

365 - 16/17th October

16th - Yellow

How gorgeous are these yellow Acer leaves?

17th - In Front

Sticking with the Acers the yellow ones look particularly lovely in front of the red ones.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

365 - 4th - 15th October

Still plugging away at this. There's a few this time so please see the slideshow here:

Friday, 3 October 2014

365 - End of Sept, beginning of Oct

Well I managed to keep up while we were away. See them all on the Slide Show ^_^

Slide Show

Friday, 19 September 2014

365 - 16th - 19th September

16th - The eyes have it

17th - A circle

18th - Inbetween

19th - Where I stand (Or in today's case, where I lay hehehe)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

365 - 12th September - 15th September

So I have a few more pictures to post. I've managed to keep up this week ^_^

 12th - From my Garden. Technically from the farm not my garden but close enough ^_^

13th - Grip. This one stumped me for ages and then I spotted all of my husband's clamps neatly rowed up.

14th - What a Mess. Autumn makes a beautiful mess everywhere. I love everything about fallen leaves. The colours, the crunch and the smell. Even the smell when they are wet and starting to decay.

15th - Changes. Autumn is all about changes. We are hitting the end of the blackberry season but there are still some ripening and changing colour.

Friday, 12 September 2014

365 - Epic catch up

So you remember that 365 photo thing I was doing? Yeah I barely remember it either. Life kinda got in the way. But I am all caught up now. I'm not going to post them all here. Do you know how far behind I was?! But they can all be seen at the slide show. If you've been following then you want to start around image 196.

Slide show

Thursday, 14 August 2014


So we've all seen the news about Robin Williams right? Across social media there was an outpouring of grief and reminiscence. There were some people complaining that there were more important things happening across the world and the media should focus on those. All in all it was a standard reaction to a celebrity death. Apart from one thing.


A bit harsh right? But it is a common reaction to suicide. It irritates me every time I hear it and I'm going to try and explain why.

A view from the outside.

In my first year of university one of the girls I worked with took her own life. She was a bubbly wonderful person who I never saw look sad. I was going on holiday that summer with her, her sister and another of our colleagues. We were going to share a room. we had plans. Instead she took an overdose, did not die, was sent home from the hospital and took a 2nd overdose. She didn't mess it up that time.

We were devastated. The restaurant were really good with us and allowed us to drop shifts etc. A lot of time was spent in the pub trying to make sense of it all. It came out of nowhere. We cried and we laughed and we grieved. But at no point did we accuse her of being selfish. Our pain must have been nothing in comparison to hers.

A view from the inside.

The first time I made any allusions to my own death I would have been 11 or 12. I was walking down a corridor at school. It was deserted. A teacher approached and looked at me. "Who died?" they asked. "Me." I responded as I kept walking.

Anyone who has read my blog before knows I self harmed for years. During most of those years I thought about killing myself on an off. It wasn't a constant thought. It would just occur occasionally. Always it was rebuffed because I knew that it would hurt my parents too much. This went on for 9 or 10 years. it went on through the suicide of my friend. Finally at 21 I had reached my limit. The desire to stop hurting outweighed my desire to not hurt my loved ones. A decade of fighting was enough I thought. Fortunately for me I failed. I was referred to a local women's centre for counselling as the waiting list for psychologists was 2 years. I never got that counselling but I did get one meeting. At this meeting I told them that I felt awful for feeling like I did. I had no right. Nothing truly bad had ever happened to me. What right did I have to feel like this? They told me that I needed to let that thought go. That it wasn't a case of comparing. It took me another 3 years to even understand what that meant.

So I've never been diagnosed with depression. I have no clinical record. All my medical records state is self harmer. I've never had counselling or therapy. I've never had Prozac or anything like that. But I have fought since I was a child against the bad feelings. They still appear out of nowhere. But I have better shields now.

Am I selfish? Was giving up a selfish act? Or are the people that expect someone who is in pain to carry on begin in pain because if they leave it will hurt them begin selfish?

People want to fix their loved ones. It's hard to be on the outside of someone who is suffering. We want to know why. We want to find a solution. We want to make it better. The sad truth is we can't. Why is a question that will never be answered.  What seems like an easy and obvious solution to you is not going to fix the pain your loved one is feeling. Someone can have all the wonderful things they can imagine and still be depressed. Depression does not discriminate and it lies in the most persuasive ways.

So do I think suicide is selfish? Yes I do. I think it is the most selfish act a person can commit. However I don't see this as wrong. Your life is your own, to do with as you wish. if you wish is to check out then that is up to you. It is your right to choose. I just hope that you don't chose that. I hope that you fight and fight until you find your way through. I hope you discover your worth. I hope that you are happy. I hope that you can focus on the times when you are happy to get you through the dark times.

I'm happy to see people talking about depression. It, and other mental illnesses, are poorly understood and often ignored. It's just really sad that people have to die for us to get talking about it. It's also really sad that it is the people who want to talk about it the least that are having to guide these conversations. If you are trying to have a conversation with a sufferer please have patience. I can guarantee that you will not leave the conversation understanng either depression or how they feel. But you will leave it knowing more than you know now. Hopefully you will leave it with a greater understanding of compassion.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

365 - 4th - 15th July

4th July - Bursting

It happens to the best of balloons.

5th July - Wearing a Favourite

I'm sure you're supposed to eat ice cream not wear it.

6th July - Pride

Slowly converting the Lancashire roses to Yorkshire ones ^_^

7th July - To the Point

Somehow they don't look that sharp in close up but I know they are.

8th July - An Apple a Day

Nommy apples.

9th July - Left Behind

All that guests leave behind are rumpled bedding and love in our hearts.

10th July - On the Windowsill

Poor little bug.

11th July - Gone Fishin'

I hope the heron caught his dinner.

12th July - Centered

I usually prefer to have my subject in the left or right third of the frame. I made a conscious effort to centre this one.

13th July - Beautiful Light

No light is more beautiful that that filtering through trees.

14th July - An Old Bridge

No idea how old this bridge is but it's pretty.

15th July - Red

I love my red pepper pot.