Monday, 13 August 2018


 warning: long story about my suffering

howling frog, or maybe a toad, found on walk this morning, he expresses so much of what I have felt and been through these past couple of weeks

It's been a weird couple of weeks since we returned from the UK.
Pain in the mouth, most intense near to where the implant/tooth crown is, however it wandered here there and everywhere in the mouth; continuous pain - especially I think in the head where you just can't get away from it - is debilitating, crippling, just plain awful.
So for three weeks I was in pain, almost all of the time, I went to the dentist, got a second opinion from an implant-specialist, their conclusion: there's nothing wrong physically and after what I told them about the disastrous reorganisation of the service department at Miele, my former-former job as coach and front office employee (the one before the 3month reception stint) all of which happened to coincide with the very slow implant business, my body just couldn't deal with healing and work related stress all at the same time....and so, I didn't know this was possible, the stress chose the weakest spot, i.e. my mouth, decided to settle there and now I am in pain!
So on the one hand relief, the implant doesn't have to be removed (the entire procedure lasted one and a half years, so I'm not keen on losing it) but what to do?
Fysiotherapy was recommended and I have had 2 sessions and kind of know what to check, from time to time during the day; have an appointment with a dentist specialised in gnawing and how to deal with it, at the end of August.
I consulted my GP, maybe I should have started there 'cos he prescribed medication (gabapentine, used for epilepsy in larger doses) I take 2 capsules a day and what it does it sort of resets your brain, so the communication between the overactive nerve and brain stops signalling 'alarm' all the time; there was once a reason for the pain, but that is no longer the case; it enables me to kind of remove my thoughts from the pain, so for a week now life has improved dramatically; more good days than bad days, like last Friday: pain increasing all day and me becoming hopeless, desperate in the extreme 'oh no not again, will it never end?, why me?', and I ended up driving into town with our eldest son to buy weed and back home he rolled me a joint and after a few tentative puffs, I could at last inhale..... I became very relaxed, stoned enough to go to bed and sleep! last time I did this was 30 years ago I'm guessing; so I now have my stash in this basket, haha

Of course the physical part is just the half of it, the mindset towards this specific pain must change, but more importantly, I have come to realise I fear pain and I have to deal with this fear, if I want to improve the quality of my life and grow up, which I do. Time to face my demons.
One of them being the need to please, which I suppose is another way of saying I fear being rejected....
I am now in therapy, for the first time in my life, with a hypnotherapist (about time you had therapy at 55 my dear friend M. commented) 
Accepting who and where I am now.....looking back and perhaps I might uncover how it all came about, it's a very practical therapy, which I like.
I sense it helps

To top it all off my left eyelid got infected and I decided to remove my eyelash-extensions and now look at my face in a whole new way;if I do look tired now, so be it, that's who I am (our youngest said he prefers me without)

see left eye is still a bit smaller (on the right in photo)

Physical activity also helps: tai chi every morning with the husband, we don't practice the so-called set, we start with stretching exercises and stand in 5 poses 5 minutes each plus two song movements for the legs and the arms, I just follow his example if I'm honest, he has practised tai chi for 25 years now and has had lots of classes from various teachers and has also read a lot about it all, I am very lazy in that respect; yoga a couple of days a week, daily walks with Django and as the weather has been deliciously hot, swimming together with him in the river nearby, and oh yes the medication means I can't drink alcohol anymore, which is a good thing too......
a couple of days ago, eyelashes with extensions! Django and me after a swim

Life in the studio and garden with all that entails: reading, making, staring, meditating etc is healing
small clay objects I made at a friend's house, she has an oven!!
start of a new piece: Yorkshire Dale Tale

painted these with my eyes shut, starting from the top 
several insights so far:
- if you I want help all you I have to do is ask for it
- I have actually been making the Small Pillows for myself: as soft comforters for Me in a harsh world, hoping they could become something similar to others
- self acceptance starts now
- I truly enjoy exercise
- I must stop trying to please 'everybody' and start paying proper attention to those who matter most to me (this is the only 'must' I can handle)
- paying attention to what matters most to me is also better for my soul, see quote from Kurt Vonnegut found on Wicked Waif's Instagram

- creating is healing
- as is dancing to Patti Smith
- being honest and vulnerable saves a lot of time&energy, as in when friends drop by you cut to the chase, leaving out the bull shit
- from which follows, keeping up a facade costs loads of energy, what a waste!
- holding back the tears (for years) was probably not a good idea, so I have done a lot of catching up there

on a lighter note, two book covers I especially like, see stack below:

books bought in the UK plus 2 mugs, one with a dog just like our Django and the other with book titles on it, most of which I have read or another one by the same author, so I had to buy it you understand, as drinking tea/coffee whilst reading is essential; I've already finished the Cazalet chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard, all 5 volumes! and am now reading  Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (bought last year at Monk's House)

from which a most beautiful quote, and as I am in the habit of writing those on the walls, as I was writing it on the south facing window frame in my studio I suddenly noticed my 'useless matchbox collection with spent matches' on top of it: how completely appropriate
'there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark'

Making a new cover for my meditation pillow, with a tie dye sheet I made for the nursery all those years ago and insects along the side, blue skies and beetles scuttling seems apt for such a pillow

This is not a depression, I enjoy life too much for that, but if I hadn't been able to deal with the pain - 'cos it hasn't disappeared completely - like I have, with the help of many, both professionals and close friends, not forgetting my husband and our two sons, who have been wonderful and supportive beyond what my words can express, who knows it might have led to one; it feels like I have crashed and hit rock bottom, now the journey upwards has begun.....

I feel I am on the road to salvation!

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Yorkshire Dales

first holiday breakfast on British soil, in York; gluten-free bread rolls of course!
the husband and self enjoying a week away in the UK....we sailed from Rotterdam to Hull, drove to York and from there to Aysgarth in the Yorkshire Dales, such an incredibly beautiful landscape, empty, just like we love it
in York we visited several bookshops, where I noticed this little gem, however did not buy it (why not?? I now think, maybe I'll find it somewhere else)

love their sense of humour

yup: that's him

my kind of art

and finally: our escape to the countryside; a lovely walk through fields and along the river, a churchyard and finally a restaurant: food and wine at the end of a long day

 impressions of the various walks, these past couple of days plus yet another photo of scrumptious GF cake: Courgette&Lime this time, I could get used to this

 the weather has been exceptionally hot, dry and sunny for several weeks now in Northern Europe, as are the Dales so we have been very fortunate in that respect; I do wonder what it would have been like if the weather had been 'normal' i.e. drizzle and mist....we met a couple of Texans who were rather disappointed they didn't get the fog and rain experience they were hoping for, haha

tomorrow we head on South to the Peak District where apart from hiking and more sightseeing, we will also be visiting friends.....

Sunday, 1 July 2018

it is what it is.....

hanging out to dry

huge walnut leaf

to be perfectly honest (and why wouldn't I be?) I was very disappointed with the first results: hardly any kind of imprintsso back to the drawing board, and more willow leaves were rolled into the bundles (from the grey willow rather than the yellow one which I first used, haven't yet sorted out if that makes a difference) and hydrangea flowers from a friend, as they happened to be wilting in a vase - have I mentioned it is deliciously HOT! over here, a dry heat, very summery indeed - and then some cloth strips were refolded and wrapped around copper pipes ; all the bundles went into a stainless steel bowl together with an old alum mix from 2016 I found at the back of my dye cupboard  for good measure; I added a teaspoon of alum and a generous measure of copper/vinegar, also rediscovered in the dye cupboard; I am pretty sure the aluminium pot first time round contained old colours, which is why the oak apple mordant gave such rich tints, instead of being neutral.
I am quite satisfied, although not completely over the moon with the final, very subtle results and say to self 'it's the process that counts not the end result'
However I have not made notes and therefore will not be able to replicate exactly, hmmm so much for my initial determination to act with forethought and a system! it is how I do things
best cloth, as it as leaf imprint, walnut, and several shades of brown

I like this one as you can actually see the leaf veins, walnut again, in this case a huge leaf, i.e. larger than my hand

willow outlines