Going out for a meal: surprisingly traumatic

The first part of this post was written last night, while I was still anxious; the last part was written this morning.

Another example of the fun I have with mental (and, this time, physical) health.

I went out for a lovely meal this evening. I stupidly had dessert as well (though no starter). I’ve spent the last hour feeling strongly nauseous and with an upset stomach. Continue reading


From the annals of (my) history: Discursive essay writing

Photo of calligraphy nibs and dry-transfer lettering

After 7½ years together, Jen has finally merged our stationery collections.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I was a font geek as a child too, as you can see from the calligraphy nibs and the dry-transfer lettering in the photo. But I also found what I can only assume are GCSE English notes:

Discursive essay writing

  1. Begin by capturing the reader’s interest by something surprising or interesting.
  2. Write a few paragraphs putting forward the argument(s) you disagree with and explain why you disagree.
  3. Write a few more paragraphs on the points you support and explain why you support them.
  4. Save our strongest arguments until last.
  5. In the last paragraph, leave the reader with something to think about.

Aww, bless 🙂

Death, detachment and the subconscious

My grandfather passed away on Friday night. He’d been very frail for a couple of years, we knew he was dying and his doctor asked him earlier in the week if he’d prefer to die at home or in hospital; he died peacefully in his sleep two days later.

I’ve not mentioned this particularly widely because I’m ok; I don’t need people’s sympathy or condolences. Aside from at my sister’s weddings, I’ve not seen my father’s parents in about 20 years, partly because I fell out with my grandmother in the late 1990s for 15 years,  so the only contact I had with them was tersely civil thank you letters in reply to birthday and Christmas cards. The combination of the geek-detachment I have, of my anxiety and of being on a low dose of antidepressants means that my main conscious emotions are mild anxiety at the prospect of travelling up to his funeral in Leeds and mild frustration at the break in routine. I do realise this is unsympathetic and somewhat inhuman of me — and I do also feel sympathy for my family and a little sadness that I won’t ever see him again — but he is someone who, whilst I loved him as a part of my family, hasn’t really been much of a part of my life for almost half of it and I’m generally detached about things like this in any case.

It would seem, however, that my subconscious is not quite so heartless and detached or as good at managing grief.

Nainie (my maternal grandmother) passed away five years ago now and, by my teens, I was much closer to my mam’s parents than to dad’s. My conscious, bless it, appears to have conflated the suppressed and barely-experienced emotions about grandparental deaths into an odd dream last night. I dreamt that, for some reason (I forget the backstory), I was walking into 1950s or ’60s Dolgellau and had the opportunity to walk into Nainie’s sweet shop. She didn’t know who I was, obviously, and I didn’t have any predecimal money, so I couldn’t buy anything, which upset me, but I did get to say hello and shake her hand, which I subsequently related to my cousin, who was also there (but in the now, not on the 20th-century side of whatever portal I’d travelled through). I woke up actually crying, something I don’t remember experiencing before.

Evidently, I’m not the remote, disconnected, unemotional bastard I thought I was.

(Just to reiterate the point I made at the start, I’m fine — I don’t need sympathy or condolences. The therapy I sought has been achieved by writing this post, even if noone out there ever reads it.)

The image of the Graveyard at St. Michael & All Angels in Newburn, Tyne and Wear, is taken by and copyright (© 2010) of Andrew Curtis. The image of Eldon Square, Dolgellau is taken by and copyright (© 2012) of Trevor Littlewood. Both images were found on Geograph® Britain and Ireland, a project to create CC BY-SA 2.0-licensed images of the UK and Ireland, indexed by OS grid reference.

Getting older, part the first

So I went for an eye test at the weekend. I’ve worn glasses for nearly 25 years now, having been diagnosed with a strong astigmatism and mild short-sightedness (not quite −2 dioptres) at the start of my teens. However, as my hairline has been trying to tell me for a few years now, I’m not the young man I used to was. So my sight test at the weekend told me I’m now long-sighted — apparently I’ll need varifocals within five years.

So, aside from the schadenfreude value of my aging, why am I blogging this? Well, I need new glasses, and Glasses Direct do this thing where you can order four frames to try at home and get opinions on. Photos, from the front and the side, for each of the four frames I picked are below (click to embiggen). So, dear Internets, tell me which glasses I should get.*

* Terms and conditions apply. No purchase required.  Batteries not included. We reserve the right to ignore your advice. Especially if it looks like you’re trolling me. Retail value £0.001.

Sorting through old emails…

I’m currently looking through some old emails. I declared email bankruptcy on my personal account (for the second time) a week or so ago, but didn’t archive any mails flagged as important, so now I’m scanning through them. They mainly date from about a decade ago (so there’s a lot of stuff from the early days of NO2ID and from when WriteToThem.com had not yet replaced FaxYourMP.com), but I just stumbled across the post I made to OUT in the UK.com when I was looking for a new flatmate in March 2004, which I thought might amuse some friends:
Continue reading

CDs anyone?

I have a handful of CDs that might actually be of interest to some people, but have no real resale value.

If you would like anny of these and can get them from me without incurring any cost (so can collect from Woking or can arrange to meet me in Central London), then let me know. (@-ing me on Twitter is probably best.)

I make no promises about any of them, as they’ve not been played in many years, but as far as I’m aware they all work fine.

Lemme know if any if them is of interest.

Welcome to my new blog

I’ve finally got round to sorting out blogging again. I can’t promise I’ll remember to do so often, but it’s worth a try.

I’ve imported all the posts from LiveJournal, some of which are rubbish and some of which are probably private; I’ll sort that shit out later. And I get paid on Friday, at which point I might sort out a domain and styling and webfonts and stuff.