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Monday 8th May 2017

So.  It’s a bright, new day.  Without much brightness, admittedly.

The weekend wasn’t all that great.  I spent Saturday trying to chase down an emergency prescription for my pills, with my normal prescription having gone missing, then failed to go swimming – day 1 with little to no activity.  Sunday was one of those days which just didn’t seem to come together – day 2 with little to no activity.  Although I did mow the lawns…

This couldn’t go on!  I’ve established that exercise helps control the depression and anxiety which come hand in hand with my ADHD so, while I’m not saying Sunday’s dysfunctionality was due to lack of exercise, I’m sure it was a contributing factor.

I was rather proud of myself this morning!  My Prince headed out early for a meeting, leaving me in the nice, warm bed (I didn’t sleep well last night) and, even without his encouragement or suggestion, I kitted up in my padded leggings, sports bra et al!  Once I’ve done this it’s so much easier to get the bike out and cycle to work.

D is doing really well!  He’s off to secondary school in September and would dearly love to be trusted to ride to (and from) school on his own before then.  He’s been trying to prove to us that he can do this without killing himself or other road users, so has been taking the lead on our rides into school, including telling us when he thinks it’s safe to cross the road.  We’ve both been impressed and are seriously considering letting him ride in on his own on Wednesday.

P is progressing too.  Since we made our latest agreement (he keeps his alarm plugged in from when he goes to bed until I go to bed and I unplug him when I go to bed) he’s reliably stuck to is and is showing improvement.  He’s back in nappies, unfortunately, but with pieces of a towel in them, so he feels wet.  Having a dry bed in the morning makes him happy, but I’m not sure that’s such a good thing.  Much as I like him happy, I don’t want him to get comfortable; if he’s comfortable, he won’t want to get dry.

I’ve done my physio exercises today!  I know I need to be doing them at least once a day if not twice, but once still feels like a triumph.  I might try to do them again later this evening then just once tomorrow, as I’ll be swimming in the evening.

I forgot my pills today – four left and counting – so I’ve taken one of the lower dose pills I have in my desk drawer.  It’s really weird!  I’m used to the effect of the 27mg pills and I’m used to taking no pills; going back to the 18mg pills feels different.  It’s like I’m wired.  I’m speaking faster and feeling bouncier than when I’ve had a 27, but the mad chaos isn’t there of a pill-free day.  I’m not sure I like it but it is definitely better than nothing.

Speaking of pills, the doctor’s office this morning confirmed that my script is there, that it was strange the copy had been passed to the pharmacy but not the original and that the original would be passed to the pharmacy so I can get my pills this evening.  I’m starting to wonder if it was worth all the effort and the script charge for the emergency 5 pills, given I didn’t even take one today!  On the plus side, at least we know where the script is and it hasn’t been stolen or filled to the wrong person.

My Prince is out tonight.  I see an evening of console games…

Beyond Good and Evil for the win!

2

Burger & Lobster

I’m sure you’ve been in this situation; the menu is three items long and you just can’t decide between two of them!  I am lucky in that I have a wonderfully accommodating boyfriend who can frequently be persuaded to go half and half with me.

So last night, after a work do where I had maybe one beer too many, we rocked up at Burger & Lobster (is that not the coolest website ever?), probably the one in Threadneedle Street (I can never work out where I am in London!).

After being pointed in the direction of our table by someone I had assumed was a bouncer, our fantastically familiar**, ginger-bearded waiter rocked up to take our drinks order.  Assuming (correctly, for once) that it wouldn’t take us long to decide what we wanted to eat, he took our food order too.  So Rob ordered a burger while I requested a lobster roll then, because I was tipsy and therefore fantastically familiar myself (I’m a very friendly drunk) I shared that we would be splitting the two options between us.

I was beyond delighted a short time later when two of these appeared:

Burger And Lobster

Yes, that is a half burger and a half lobster rollHalf BurgerHalf Lobster!

Predictably, given my state, I was effusive in my praise of all things everything and the food was pretty good.  In retrospect, however, I have to agree with Rob that there’s good and there’s what we paid for it.  I think a certain amount of the bill did go directly to the name and reputation rather than the food itself.

A second waiter, almost (but not quite) as fabulous as the first brought us our bill and queried if they were likely to see us again and I was wise enough to recognise when to keep quiet and let the sober guy make any necessary promises or lack thereof.

I dearly hope I do go again although, given the number of restaurants in London I haven’t visited, we may do something else next time.

Overall, I’d give Burger & Lobster a solid 9.5/10, losing half a point only for the price.

Love,
Jen

**I spent a good five minutes trying to work out how to spell the abbreviated form of casual but drew a blank.

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ADHD – Flickering Thoughts

I have been meaning to write a long post for a while now about my battle to get a diagnosis for ADHD, a battle which started 18 years ago and is still going on.  The GP appointments; the referrals; the knock-backs; the self-doubt and depression; the feeling that I’m fundamentally useless**.  Long story short; my current GP finally managed to get me a referral to a consultant psychologist for an assessment as to whether I should be referred for assessment for ADHD.  It’s all terribly vague but I finally feel like I am in the hands of people who care about my welfare and are happy to take me seriously.  The psychologist said that, while he isn’t an expert, he completely believes I have ADHD and has pushed my referral on to the next step.

**I don’t think of myself as “fundamentally useless” anymore, now I call myself broken.  My boyfriend hates this, saying I’m not broken and he loves me just the way I am.  Of course I love him for this but he doesn’t understand that seeing myself as broken gives me hope that I can be mended and is so much better than seeing myself as useless.

Anyhoo.  I am now quite happily referring to myself as ADHD and it helps.  It helps me understand myself and it helps me feel less ashamed when other people are confronted with the results of my symptoms – wildly untidy house; inability to remember directions; overactive chatter gland (I just made up that organ); forgetting what people do for a living, why they were in hospital, the names of their children and so forth.  So instead of trying to write huge long articles I’ll never finish I’ve decided to start typing up smaller anecdotes illustrating my symptoms and how they affect my life.

—–oOo—–

On Friday morning I was cycling into work.  It’s a 25 minute journey and, as there was little traffic that morning, I started thinking about my lunch.Soup  A quick mental tour of my rucksack revealed that I did have my purse and it did have money in it.

A little while later I started thinking about my lunch – I had a tub of soup in the fridge,  I had intended to eat it yesterday but had made alternative plans.  Lovely!

Shortly after this I started thinking about my lunch.  With the current event on at work, at the moment lunch is being provided for staff on Fridays.  That makes things nice and easy.

A short distance up the road I started thinking about my lunch.  Fortunately I hadn’t eaten that tub of soup in the fridge from yesterday so I could have that.

I mentally scrolled through each option at least twice, never associating the thoughts with each other until, just a few hundred yards from work, I realised what I had been doing.

—–oOo—–

On this occasion the damage was limited because I was not in a position to act on any of the options but, had I been in a car, there is a good chance I would have stopped off at one of the shops along the route to work to pick up something for lunch; a sandwich perhaps, or a roll to go with the soup.  While I was there, I would smell the bakery and, without my diet crossing my mind, or the porridge I keep at work, I would grab a pain au raisin for breakfast, or should I have a cinnamon whirl?  I would’t be able to decide so would buy (and eat) both.

Sometimes the thoughts in my head are like butterflies, never resting long and so ethereal as to leave no trace of ever having rested their wings.  I do stupid things, not because of any conscious decision to but because at the time the reasons I shouldn’t do them do not exist to me.

Do you have challenges like this?  Are you an adult with ADHD or do you have friends who are?  How do you view them or yourself?

More anecdotes to follow (I hope).

Love,
Jen

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My Little Dream Box with Giveaway

IMG_0314

Apr 15 MLB ContentsMy favourite monthly box arrived recently; My Little Box.  This month the theme is Dreaming and the artwork on the box is so pretty I am already using the empty box for keepsakes as we tidy the house.

I love the artwork of the My Little boxes along with the style of the My Little Beauty products, from the Geek Box, to the Superhero Box (ok, that’s not a huge leap) to the Dream Box, each one inspires my imagination and leaves me with a smile.

While the box itself is beautiful enough, the contents is also wonderful and all so pretty!

Apr 15 MLB Hand Cream

My Little Beauty – Repairing Mask for Dry Ends

Probably the least exciting product from my point of view.  I have very short hair, practically a pixie-cut, so my ends are not sufficiently far from my roots to ever get dry.  I’ll be happy to offer this one up as a giveaway for anyone (UK) who fancies dropping me a line.

Apr 15 MLB PerfumeSabé Masson – Le Soft Perfume in Copacabana

For many years I didn’t wear perfumes.  My skin is quite sensitive and the alcohol in most perfume sprays makes my skin itch.  Solid perfumes would seem to be the perfect answer to this problem.  A couple of colleagues, on agreeing to sniff me, declared this perfume to be pleasant but it just doesn’t quite tick my boxes.

Apr 15 MLB LipsLou Lesage – Loved By in Baume Rouge Velour

This lovely lip balm is just the right intensity for me to apply without worrying about needing a mirror.  The colour adapts easily to my lips and the texture is smooth and moisturising.  This little pot has taken up residence in my bag.

Apr 15 MLB StampLifestyle extra – Stamp and pad

A cute little scrolling stamp with 12 settings including stars; clouds and a number of English and French phrases.  This would be wonderful for letter writing; card making and (my favourite) organisational procrastination.  With gems such as “Today I”; “To Do”; “Idée géniale” and Oui and Non tick boxes I could spend hours planning what I should have been getting on with!

Apr 15 MLB NecklaceDelphine Pariente – Bonne Etoile pendant

The final item is this charming little pendant on a very long cord.  It’s pretty enough and feels a little like a lucky penny when I wear it.

This is a lovely selection in a box which has led me to have high expectations.  Everything in the April box is really good, even though some of it just isn’t for me.

Apr 15 MLB MagazineI’d love to tell you all about the magazine.  It seems to be a large fold-out sheet of paper, which makes it a little awkward to read at my desk.  I took this home with the intention of reading it in the lounge, maybe getting a couple of shots of the interior but it has vanished in the above mentioned house tidy.  I know things are meant to be found rather than lost when a house gets tidied – welcome to my world!

Speaking of which, if you would like me to pop the hair mask in the post to you, leave a comment telling me what your current dream is.

Keep dreaming,
Jen

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April Glossy Box with Giveaway

GB Apr15 MarilynHi guys,

I know I haven’t written anything for you for ages so here’s a little something to keep you going.

Last week I got my April Glossy Box and it is pretty!  It is the Iconic Hollywood Edition, inspired by Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.  I do love Marilyn Monroe but I adore Audrey Hepburn!

So, what’s in the box?

GB Apr15 RibbonGB Apr15 Cards
The staples this month are a Lord and Berry Lipstick Pencil in Kiss, “the perfect Marilyn red” and a POP Beauty Kajal Eyeliner Pen with which to create “Elizabeth Taylor’s iconic cat eye”.  These two set the theme, although I’ve heard Marilyn’s “perfect red” was actually five different lipsticks and glosses with which to achieve her signature pout.

GB Apr15 Contents

Lord & Berry – Lipstick Pencil in KissGB Apr15 Lip

This seems like a perfectly good place to start.  I love lipstick pencils.  I have a very defined cupids bow and it’s much easier to line with a pencil than with a normal lipstick, gloss or tint.  I do have a number of “perfect” reds though and, while red does suit me, I seldom seem to have the opportunity to wear it.  Maybe I should take to popping some on before I go out for a run?

POP Beauty – Kajal Eyeliner PenGB Apr15 Eye

It’s a khol pencil.  It’s black.  It has a smudger on the other end, which is nice.  I’ll put it in my drawer with my other khol pencils.  I’d love to give you a more in depth review of this but I’m very aware of the short shelf life of eye makeup once it’s been opened so I’m going to hold off on opening this one until I’ve used up one of my others.

GB Apr15 Face 2Darphin – Exquisage Beauty Revealing Cream

This soft and very lightly fragranced cream offers to replenish, enhance firmness and boost luminosity to produce a red carpet glow.  Strengthening probiotics are also there to soften lines and wrinkles.  I like this cream; it leaves my skin feeling softer and looking smoother and the subtle scent doesn’t distract me.  There’s also an offer of free samples when purchasing the full size from their website.

GB Apr15 HandsNougat London – Nurturing Hand Cream

This cream is lovely!  Maybe not quite as lovely as my l’Occitane en Provence Delightfully Rose, but certainly lovely to the point that I’ve moved it between so many bags over the last week that I’ve now lost it!  It’s fairly rich, pleasantly scented and leaves my hands feeling softer and more moisturised.  Perfect.

GB Apr15 NailsColor Club – Barely There Nail Polish

I’m sorry, I’m sure it’s a lovely nail varnish, but I just don’t do this colour.  I’ve tried it a few times, when nude nail varnishes come my way, but I just hate it and end up either removing or painting over it in record time.

Giveaway!

I’m sure you are all keen to know what I’m giving away and how to get your hands on it?  It’s the Color Club Barely There Nail Polish!  Honestly I’m not going to use it so I may as well give it away to a good home.

Drop me a comment please, with your name and why you like nude nail polishes.  That’s all!  One lucky reader (I think that’s all I have) will get this oh-so-beige beauty through the post (smothered in bubble wrap, don’t worry), I’ll even throw in a So Susan Flutter Mascara which is a perfectly good mascara but I already have one, along with so many others.

Thank you for reading.

Jen

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My Little Box, March 2015

My Little March Box Contents

My favourite monthly box has arrived! The March edition – My Little Superbox – is here to bring a smile to my face.  With the box itself extolling me to make myself epic, there is a sheet of stickers with illustrations by the in-house artist along with slogans such as “What would Wonder Woman do?”

I Believe I Can Fly

I can’t imagine a world in which I wouldn’t go straight for the intriguing roll marked “Every Girl is a Superhero” which turned out to be this t-shirt! It is marked as one size but I’m not sure it would for anyone over a UK size 14. With a wide neck, short sleeves and thin fabric this is perfect for throwing over a swim suit or bikini in summer to protect your shoulders or to slob about in of an evening if the house is warm enough (as I am now).  Turns out it was perfect for wearing when I went indoor skydiving on Saturday too!

Night Cream

There is a 50ml tub of Miracle Sleeping Cream from Garnier Skin Naturals range. This claims to combat signs of fatigue and aging by diffusing hydrating ingredients as you sleep, leaving your skin looking rehydrated, refreshed and illuminated. I have long been after a good night cream for my face and this pot is plenty large enough to thoroughly road test.

Crystaliste Conditioner

Next is Lait Cristal by Kérastase from l’Oreal Paris. It’s a Luminous Perfecting Conditioner designed to turn hair with dry lengths and ends into Free-Flowing Silky hair. I’m not sure I like the idea of having to towel-dry my hair before I condition then rinse my hair only to have to dry it again but it’s not my problem as dry hair is not something I suffer from. I may have to pass this on to someone else to try.

My Little Lip Balm

I have so many lip balms littered around the house! At some point I need to get them all together and decide which ones I want to keep. Out of my three Burt’s Bees balms, the pomegranate one is going, possibly the beeswax one too (I didn’t notice it was peppermint when I bought it). This is a keeper through! From My Little Beauty comes their Stick Lèvres Nourrissant, the “perfect nourishing balm for your lips”. Sweet almond oil and Shea butter combine into a smooth, mild scent and super-soft lips.

Keep Calm and Call Wonder Woman

The magazine is an engaging blend of eye-catching photos; interviews; articles; problem pages; recipes and makeup tricks. This month there are also super-cute mini bios of all our favourite super-ladies

My Little March Box

Value-wise, the goodies approach £60, giving excellent value for money, if you include the t-shirt and stickers. Without them, the generous night cream, lip balm and sample sized conditioner still top £25 meaning that even if you don’t appreciate the lifestyle extras you so get good value for money.

What is your favourite subscription box? Can you recommend a night cream for me to try?

Love,
Jen

4

My Terry Pratchett

Equal Rites

When I was a young teenager, my Dad lent me Equal Rites; an hilarious tour-de-force of sexual inequality and stereotyping which planted the seed of my lifelong love of the Discworld.  He didn’t say why he lent it to me; he never does, he just quietly does little things like that which influence the entire course of my life.  Since that day, the works of Terry Pratchett have featured through my life and relationships, pinning down memories of people and places which otherwise might have slipped through the colander-holes of my brain, and I am a little sad knowing that a brilliant spirit who has brought joy and laughter to so many people has moved on from this world.

I would like to share with you some of the ways Terry Pratchett has touched my life.

Pyramids

I met Nadia when I was 16. I had just changed schools for my A-levels and was alone, in a new school, in a new county, among strangers. She had been away at boarding school for a while and was returning to a school where the cliques had formed without her. Neither of us seemed to have much in common with the rest of the girls but we quickly discovered a shared love of Terry’s books. And playing cards. Out of lessons (we had none together) we were inseparable and we were each other’s link to the rest of the world. Once, when we had found out that Terry was signing books at Waterstone’s in a nearby town, we snuck out of school at lunchtime, having brought in with us a good supply of Terry’s books in our school bags, and headed to the station. In the shop, we waited in the queue for so long before we finally reached the front.  We probably played Cribbage – we usually did. Having listened to Terry’s opinions of people with bizarrely spelled names as he signed the books of the people ahead of me, it was in a quiet voice that I spelled my name for him.

Nadia is my oldest friend and one of only four people I know I will be friends with until we die.  Of the other three, two had large TP collections already when I met them and the final one (my Prince) has loved the TV adaptions of Going Postal; Hogfather and the Colour of Magic he’s watched with me (with added commentary on the bits they missed out, but he’s used to that) and is currently borrowing my well-loved copy of Small Gods.

Mort

Here’s a memory I wouldn’t trade for anything.  On the same day Nadia and I were queuing in Waterstone’s playing Cribbage, my Nan was there too (not that any of us knew that).  She had made the trip into town just because she had heard that Terry was there and she knew her Granddaughter read his books.  She had no idea which books I had and which I didn’t but as it turned out, Mort was pretty much my favourite, to the point where I already had around three copies.  In a lifetime where I have mislaid and replaced so many of my books, this is the only copy of Mort I still have.

My Nan was a wonderful woman who loved me more than I ever deserved and I still miss her deeply fifteen years after she passed away.

Reaper Man

When I was younger, my parents would often take my brother and me to France to stay in caravans or campsites.  One year, when I was a teenager, my brother went to Corsica with his school so my parents invited one of my cousins to come with us.  We went to the south of France and the weather was gorgeous almost solidly for two weeks.  The exception was one day when we left the campsite to go to the beach.  When we got back at the end of a long day, it was obvious that it had been raining.  Hard.  All day.  Having been used to the fabulous weather we had experienced for most of the fortnight we had left the rainflaps on the windows of the tent rolled up to allow some ventilation and the interior was flooded.  I can’t remember the full extent of the damage but Reaper Man, along with my (other) signed copy of Mort had been on the floor of the tent by my sleeping bag.  They were saturated.  I guess Mum must have taken the sleeping bags to the laundry to tumble dry them or something; all I remember was Dad arranging my books open at various different pages to try to help dry them out.  He put them in the microwave when we got home.  They remained my favourite books for years afterwards and I have read each one a number of times.

Raising Steam

I still haven’t read this book.  It has been sitting on my bookshelf for months while I have been reading other things and that makes me feel a little guilty, as if I have been unfaithful to Terry with other authors.  This has just jumped to the top of my reading list.

My Top Bookshelf

There are so many more moments I could write about, so many more books I could photograph.  Looking at this picture I’m thinking Small Gods is upstairs by the bed; Good Omens is in a case I haven’t finished unpacking from my summer holiday and I really, REALLY need to replace the Carpet People.

I wouldn’t call myself a super-fan.  I’ve never been to any conventions, I don’t have Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook and I’ve never finished reading any of the Science of the Discworld books, my shelves do not have any models of Discworld characters on them.  Terry Pratchett’s writing is just so much a part of my life that it feels like I have lost an uncle.  It’s sad to think that some day my collection of his novels will be complete and will stay that way.

What memories do you have of this wonderful person?

Love,
Jen