cybermule: (Default)
The garden was going great til the sun blasted it to brown twiggy dust. I mostly refuse to water things. Before they died from this straight-edge horticultural policy, the smoke bush and acanthus both flowered for the first time this year, which made me proud. The allotment has started yielding actual edible food. And the gardening business has got to the stage now where I'm actually starting to be glad when prospective clients *don't* phone, as it takes a while to fit them in. That'll hopefully change when the B-boy gets settled at nursery and I establish a regular gardening day.

Talking of nursery, they're kind of sketchy. I'm not sure if all nursery schools would piss me off by default, or whether it was a mistake plumping for the Steiner option, but they're rubbish at sorting things out. We'll see how it pans out. We've not even addressed the issue of the consent form that allows them to dose the child with homeopathic Arnica if he falls over or experiences "other shock". If you google Ben Goldacre, you'll find out why I can't be arsed with homeopathy, but in a SFW package. More importantly, experiencing the odd physical setback is part of life's rich tapestry IMO, and I'm not keen on the sprog being educated into taking medicine every time he falls on his bum. The plus points are breadmaking, stonking outdoor walks in dried up bullrush ponds, and carpentry for toddlers :)
cybermule: (Default)
One of those long random updates that would have been better split up lengthwise, I fear, but didn't lend itself to sensible splitting.

I feel mostly ok, in that I don't feel ok but know that not feeling ok is ok. In some ways I feel I do the second dead parent an injustice as I've been here and done this before and kind of know how it goes. On the other hand, the feeling of painful entire supra-generational wipeout is so profound it occasionally makes me want to vomit. Or do something momentously wild and crazy to just show that THIS IS NOT OK.

I think one thing that definitely does not feel good is not having any reason for my mum's death. If you weren't on the filter for the last post, the coroner formed an indefinite conclusion verdict. And I thought I was good with that. After all, I'd been prepared rationally for that to be the case, and when it indeed turned out to be so, the rationality continued and I thought I was fine with that. But then I watched an episode of House MD that ruined my calm - in short (and hopefully non-spoilery) some people found someone dead on the house floor and no reason was ever found. And the huge investment I made in that episode coming to a satisfactory conclusion made me realise that all was not well in that part of my brain.

Fact is, those are the facts of the matter, and I have to be ok with them, so there will be some work to be done there, I guess.

In other news, I've been reading more books recently. I've finally found the time to at least grab a few pages every now and then, and just finished an ace book on prime number theory. I'm working on revising for my RHS exams in February at the moment, but after that, I am so dusting off my calculus hat and going out to play. I forgot how much fun that sort of hard maths was. And I so have no antidote to that vast geeky overload there :)

I was actually wondering if there was some sort of religion I could follow that meant I could be reincarnated with Angelina Jolie's looks, Liam Howlett's musical skills, and Riemann's mathematical brain. Probably not...

Work is going well on all fronts. I like my new boss - she's a good role model in that she's both likeable and impressively assertive. I continue to receive good feedback from both bosses and continue to enjoy the job. The gardening is likewise going well and continues to grow slightly. Related to that (and something I'm very excited about) is the opportunity to possibly grab a local allotment that will let me have bees and chickens.

This would rock most fully.

I continue to build on my running. I've started a (probably) healthy minor Fallout 3 addiction, and I wish I had more time for yoga. I even enjoyed socialising recently, and thought I might like to do more of it. So yeah, despite the not being ok, I am essentially ok and will continue to be so, I expect :)

An update before Christmas is unlikely now, so Happy Christmas to y'all and may the days lengthening hours warm your hearts x
cybermule: (Default)
Well, lots has happened, and it should be updated about.

First of all, our wedding was fab. It was surrounded by stress and woe, but once we got down to Huntstile Farm on the Friday, I felt I could put that stuff aside and get on with it for 24 hours. I decorated the marquee myself - lots of spring flowers, a general butterfly theme, and tables named after GFs from Final Fantasy 8. Absolutely perfect. Making a table plan is harder than you think, especially when you want to keep your inlaws away from your bitchy family members, but it worked ok. And I even managed to get some sleep Friday night :)

Saturday morning was more of the busy, then around lunchtime I went to get ready, with help from the able Ninneviane. Although, to be fair to my own abilities, I have got the hang of make-up now. The photos actually do a reasonable job of making me look somewhere between presentable and reasonably attractive (:P) which is really where a gaming-girl-geek should aim for her wedding day.

The ceremony was fab and everything we could have wished for - the druids did a great job of making something meaningful, an having the whle of the Somerset Levels spread in front of you as you make your vows has to be inspiring. Lots of wonderful people came, I made a speech, we ate and drank to our hearts' content and partied late courtesy of the Jellied Reels. T be honest, I could say so much more, but it's a strangely personal event that I'd have to dwell on a long while before I regurgitated in any meaningful fashion, so that it the that about it, really.

The honeymoon was also good, despite having to break for 0ct0pus' grandma's funeral. It was a wedding sandwiched in death, which made it kind of bizarre. Although wonderful, I still feel a layer of detachment from it and a certain residual stress at the huge conflict of emotions around the whole thing. It was great to meet some more in-laws. Glen Coe moved me deeply. And then we spent a week parked up in a beautiful campsite near Arisaig. Ten steps from the beach of silvery sands cupping shallow blue lagoons. Cuckoos and boat trips to Muck (with an orca) and lovely walks. Gazing at the gentle breathing of the water in and out of the estuary next to the van. We will most definitely go back.

Two down points. A first mild one in the most boring hitcher known to man. Either don't say anything, or earn your keep with interesting tales, will ya? And the second much more serious in that the brakes locked (or something - I'm still unclear) on the M6 on the way back and someone rear-ended us. Which could have been a lot worse (we were in a roadworks zone doing 50) but still has shaken me and put me right off camper vans for life.

Time since we got back has been spent going to my own grandparent funeral, and trying to integrate back into real life. Like I said, the strain of so much going on in such a short space of time has left me uncharacteristically knackered, but given that I've not stopped in four or five years, this is probably a god thing and only to be expected. I've been working on my garden a lot, and slowly getting back to my gardening jobs. I've volunteered for an artistic collaboration with a total stranger just to push the boundaries, but other than that I will be taking it rather easy for the summer.

Busy head

Apr. 1st, 2009 08:44 pm
cybermule: (Default)
so many things going on, it's hard to know what I'm thinking right now, especially factoring in some sleep deprivation.

The sleep deprivation is from two bits of stress. The first is my grandad. He's recovering well from his stroke as far as mobility goes with sensation and movement returning to his leg and particularly to his left hand fingers. This is great. What's not great is that he has a chest infection and is rapidly losing weight due to oral thrush, general anorexia and lack of help. I'm not NHS-bashing - the NHS is great - but with one staff nurse on a ward of about 30 high-need patients, things aren't getting done. Like eating. Or people noticing lack of eating. It sucks. I don't want to see my grandad waste away because nobody considered the fact that it's quite hard to eat a normal meal with only one hand.

And then I think that maybe he just doesn't want to eat. Sure, he seems happy, but he's 92 and his chances of walking or even returning to his own beloved flat any time soon are small. He's lost a son and a wife in the past 7 years, and even though he loves the rest of us, he is pragmatic to the point of gloomy about the point of life. He has a chance of being moved to a smaller cheerier ward back in Stroud, but the catch-22 is that his eating and mobility problems have to have stablised first.

We'll see what happens.

The second low-level stress is my brother deciding that now is a good time to split with his girlfriend. His stated reason is that it's because everyone has told him the relationship is a bad idea. I doubt that, really - extrapolating from my own experiences, he moans a lot about how he doesn't like her, they both argue openly about how bored and incompatible they are, and people generally mildly agree that they don't seem to have a lot in common but each to their own etc. Reading between the lines (and I'm aware I'm giving him no credit at all) he's met someone else and fancies testing the water while GF has been banished for a couple of weeks "thinking time".

Again, we'll see what happens.

Things are moving more positively in my head and in my legs. I've been documenting my reluctance to let go of the idea of a "proper job". I'm now welcoming the gifted opportunity to attempt self-employment, appreciating the fact that it's taking off while simultaneously fitting around my need to provide a good level of mummy-ness for my child. This is actually perfect, and I have to give myself permission to enjoy it. If all else fails, I'll go back to my old job without losing pay and having gained a lovely son :) What's the problem there, except in my head? In a couple of years I can work for the NT or for some private estate, maybe go back to college. Whatever I want, really. I'm also doing an afternoon a week voluntary work - half teaching gardening to inner city kids (whice may eventually become paid work) and half doing horticultural therapy with stroke victims. I enjoy them both and they're moving me out of my comfort zone too.

My own garden is leaping forward.I have a new lawn, which I'm avidly watering, and 200 freebie plants to fill the gaps left by the old greenhouse. Maybe after the weekend I'll post pics. It's going to be lovely, and I'm super proud of myself.

I'm also pleased with my running. Giving up my increasing number of "occasional" cigarettes has cleared my lungs and I'm rapidly banking the benefits. One of the trainers at the gym has given me a new treadmill program for indoor days which is stretching but achievable, and I'll feel good when I can do it and move it up again.
cybermule: (Default)
Good question. I've not felt much like posting recently, being knackered both mentally and physically. And up and down like a yoyo. i didn't really realise how much of my identity was sunk into having employment, and that's been hard to adjust to. There have been knock on effects on other areas of my life, and at times I may have panicked.

For the sake of sanity and having what I think is my most coherent and sensible outlook down in pen and virtual ink... if I think about it logically, moving heaven and earth to get back into a data/admin job is a bad idea. I didn't like it,I’d feel guilty and would miss the child, and what is the point of doing that for a job that I always wanted to leave? It came to me while I was gardening on Friday that this is the job I really love - it keeps me cheerful and active, allows me to engage with people on my own terms, and I can use all the different bits of my brain. Win!

So really I should just try and expand my gardening clients. Carefully (I spent half an hour on the phone to a total knob chasing one advert). The voluntary garden therapy work is nearly nailed, and that will lead to a much better chance of (a) getting a job in the field when I need one, and (b) starting up my own consultancy in this area.

In the mean time, I have a couple of job leads for regular (if boring) income - one with an interview! Yay! I'm vastly over qualified, but it works around the child issue and has potential to be quite interesting (working as hospital admin, but also triaging calls from patients and doctors).

I think one thing that has really been bothering me is that I suspect none of this psychological drama would be occurring if I was male. I have a lovely husband who supports me, and the men I know are also fair-minded and great guys, but the odds seem really stacked against females with children, and that pisses me off. [ profile] maetang posted a link to the male privilege checklist, and it just concreted some ideas I've been having (

I don't know many couples with children, but it seems to me however wonderfully fair and equal minded and supportive the man is, the woman takes the crunch as soon as kids come along. It's sad...I suspected the world was slightly unfair before I had kids, but now I'm sure. First solution is that one of you gives up work. And unless there is a huge preference due to one of you loving your job (and how many people can swear that?) logic says it should be the lower wage earner. There are other factors I'm sure, but despite about a decade in a technical field (so about 5 years longer in a higher paid field), guess who was earning less in the partnership? Me, of course. So given that like most people, I don't "love" my job, it makes sense that it's me staying at home.

Second option is basically full-time childcare. Given that I can smother my guilt, resolve the fact that I'd not see much of Ben, and find somewhere I think would be a good influence, even in a well-paid job my wages would effectively take a massive hit from paying for nursery. Now in most parenting situations, the woman organises childcare and does a lot of dropping off and covering for sickness. Probably doubly so if it's family based favours. It's not that my husband wouldn't, it just somehow works out easier that way. The expectation that mothers stay at home to look after children has somehow morphed into an expectation that they take responsibility when they choose to delegate childcare. After all, the least they can do if they can't be bothered to bring the children up is to ensure someone else does it properly, eh?

Third option is some sort of hybridised care package. It's what we plumped for, and it has it's ups and downs. It's fair, but fair in that we both suffer the pain to some extent.

It's a lot of generalisations, and random thoughts spewing out of my brain, but it's been niggling me and I need to put it out there for future thought.

The other thought I have is organising some sort of North of Bristol permaculture group. There's plenty going on in the city centre, but nowt out here.

In other news, the garden is slowly but pleasingly progressing, and my running has got both faster and longer. And I've decided to do only half of my RHS exams in June because I need to take it easier on myself.

Okey dokey

Feb. 21st, 2009 08:32 pm
cybermule: (Default)
I've been working on the theory that physical activity is the antidote to the glooms. This is partly based on scientific reasoning (endorphins and all that) and partly on my own subjective evidence. The upshot of it is, though, that I've upgraded my running plan to typically run about an hour instead of about 40 minutes. I've slowed down because of that, but not substantially, and I figured that the reason I wasn't improving my running was that I wasn't really stretching myself. So now I am.

I've also been on quite a few outdoor runs this month. I'd like to do more of those - it's just a case of finding somewhere to do that where I feel safe. Not in a mugged'n'raped'n'leftfordead kind of way - that doesn't bother me more than I think it should. Just in an avoiding little gits sniffing glue / drinking cider / giving me a hard time sort of way. Which does bother me more than it should, I know, but I was a fat hippy-goth growing up in a small rural town full of inbred chavs, and I still try to surreptitiously cross the road when I see gangs of teenagers.

I think I found somewhere, though. The road down towards Bristol neatly combines quiet (pedestrian-wise) and busy (traffic) and is pavemented and streetlit for miles, so I'll go for that. I also fixed up my bike and took the sprog out on it today with much success.

The sprog is a joy to be with at the moment - funny, energetic and full of hundreds of new words. He seems to enjoy everything I throw at him, and that is at least one reason I count myself lucky that I don't have to work right now.

I have some voluntary work lined up though - horticultural therapy and teaching gardening in schools. The latter could turn into enjoyable and child-friendly paid work. I also applied for an admin job for two evenings a month - triaging calls for the local NHS PCT, which might well be quite interesting. We'll see. I have a feeling of progression at least.

And the garden is getting fixed. I sorted out the allotment last week, and we've just finished dismantling the rickety old greenhouse. There's a hella load of lansdscaping to do out there, but at least I now have the space to do it. And once it' done, it's just a case of laying some turf down. All mucho work, but more short term gain than making plantings. And when it's done, it'll be safe for the child to just go out and play around half-supervised, which is a great thing in my mind.
cybermule: (Default)
...I hope. I had a run of bad sleep problems, but new pillows seemed to fix it. Now i have a massive sleep debt to fix and am mostly feeling worse for the good sleep. The sprog is still fussing before nap and bed, but the fuss-time is decreasing. We could probably have fixed it sooner but for his tummy bug last week which knocked us all for six (I didn't get it, thank god) and meant that leaving him to fuss and settle himself wasn't really an option as he as obviously feeling really bloody ill.

We had a much needed spa day on Friday, bot relaxing and good couple time. Then I had a yoga workshop on Sunday which means I ended up super relaxed but aching like a little yoga bitch. Still. I should do more yoga. My fitness is improving, but I miss the stretch and de-stress of non-aerobic exercise.

Things are slowly taking shape in the garden. Everything seems like a long slow process these days - sometimes I miss the freedoms of non-motherhood.

I also have a job interview for the web job I mentioned about a month ago. As the three week window of interview had passed, I'd written it off. But then they wanted me anyway. It's not gardening, so not part of the long-term love, but it is a damn good opportunity, so fingers crossed. Their website needs a lot of work, so it's something I could get my teeth into. I like that in a job :)
cybermule: (Default)
Seriously - oww! Overreached myself on the gravel moving project - I still had a large heap to divide between the tip and the base for my new greenhouse. I don't have it any more. Which is a positive move as I now have a greenhouse base, some bags of bigger rubble for the tip and some clear land to plant a meadow on. All of which I'm pleased with (although I wish the bags would tip themselves to be honest - I think I'll be skipping the weights in my gym session tonight).

The plan is to get the budget greenhouse from Norfolk - I don't think the tent-style ones are going to cut it for me - I used the greenhouse pretty seriously, I have a small toddler, and there are surprisingly strong winds whipping down these terrace gardens.

Once this is in place, I'll have room for a couple more raised beds on the left of the nearest third of the garden. Then there'll be a path, then a formal lawn back as far as I can go. Then meadow style grass back the rest of the way.

So proud of myself, but full of muscle ache right now :)
cybermule: (Default)
I'm getting a new mini greenhouse - woot!

I had planned to turn all of the bare earth into a meadow style lawn. But now I'm getting swayed into having a meadow style at the end with a more formal regular style lawn for the sprog to play on. One that's still a manageable size that I can quickly clip it with the shears.

Plus tidying up the raised bed and laying a path with bark chips (eventually gravel) filling the gaps. I'm quite excited about the plan :0
cybermule: (Default)
Who thought looping Madame Butterfly would encourage punters to spend money on plants? seriously, it got to me after the 9th repeat. Well, probably earlier than that to be honest.

spent the morning dismantling the grotty grotto and trying really hard not to arrange pairs of topiary balls with single tall pointy topiary into really obvious combinations. May have failed here and there ;)
cybermule: (Default)
This has been a week of physical work - Wyevale Monday, gardening job Tuesday, breaking and moving about a ton of concrete these last two days. Moving about half a ton of earth into the space. This is all a good thing - I've space to plant climbers to train along the fence and lay a lawn. But I am all of fucking knackered right now.

Weird evening. Lots of driving in the fog, then took bambino to the ChristKindl evening in Nailsworth. Moving a ton of garden materials this week was possibly foolish, but going back to my old house and parents' shop was definitely a risky gamble. It felt a bit like having a large steel toed boot ground into my stomach cavity. But I'm glad I did it. I feel a horrible sense of loss regarding my childhood - everything is gone now. Ripped, torn, burned and gone. But visiting the site of the carnage was kind of therapeutic. It was smaller than I remembered.

I am looking forward to next year in the garden.
cybermule: (Default)
Woot. We have a milkman now. Which is great, as I was accumulating plastic cartons far faster than I was ever likely to take them to the recycling bank. Milkman does that for me now, plus delivers bread and orange'juice.

Work was a bit weird yesterday. Will have a new boss in August, so newbie is shadowing old-boss. Shadowing taken literally - I swear they even go to the toilet together. Which means that nobody spoke to me yesterday. Well - customers did. I'm good with customers. And it was a compliment that I got left to my own devices. It was just a bit weird.

My garden is starting to look brill. I'm even getting to grips with my allotment (low maintenance gardening ahoy!). I've not really anything else to say that isn't garden-related, so see y'all later.


Mar. 22nd, 2008 07:54 pm
cybermule: (Default)
Well, Vernal Equinox has come and pretty much gone, marked by flurries of snow. Not doing overmuch to celebrate this year. Not feeling too great anyway - bad sleeping. Bad dreams. Woke up the other day to find myself shouting. Woke up this morning after awful dreams about Dad killing himself. Felt shit for a few hours, then remembered that today was his birthday. He would have been 57 this year. Not sure whether that made things better or worse.

0ct0pus and I resolved to get on top of the niggling DIY chores around the place, which has helped my mood.

I also spent a good couple of hours kicking ass around the garden. Slapped my two fruit trees in and found the guts to prune them back heavily and start training them against the fence. Easter present from 0ct0pus was a kickass saw, so lots of general pruning has been going on, and the garden looks good for it. Of course, major pruning leads to shredding, which is good too.

Have also been setting many seeds. Mostly veg, but a few flowers too.
cybermule: (Default)
My plans for the year in my garden are:

- To finish the herbaceous border
- To grow potatoes in tubs with catch crops on top
- to organise my vegetable production
- to shoo away some of the bark chips and spot plant some prairie style grasses

That last one was something I've been planning for a while, but was signed and sealed by the Around the World in 80 gardens last night - the prairies there were really inspirational, and I'd love something like that in my garden, interespresed with shorter meadow grass so Ben can play next year.

The TV series is a little patchy IMO. I was really looking forward to it because I thought Monty Don was rock'n'roll, and my opinion of him has been tarnished slightly but his butt-kissing in places. But I don't really go along with most of the criticism I've read about him being a bit of a poseur. I think he's a posh bloke, with some affected daffiniess, but I also think he's genuinely enthusiastic about gardens, and I like that.

Mine and 0ct0pus' 20-year plan is now to see octomule to adulthood, then get round-the-world tickets and visit aquaria and gardens for a year or two.


Feb. 5th, 2008 12:06 pm
cybermule: (Default)
Don't you just hate it when you get the best present ever for someone, then someone else usurps it. Peh :(

Anyway, having a great week in the garden - loads of clearing and pruning. Yoga was also brilliant.

Waiting to hear back from a job tomorrow. Reading between the lines, they're interviewing someone else early this week and whether I get it depends on whether that person wants it to be part-time. Really wanting the job, so fingers crossed. Couple of other leads opening up too.

Ben pulled the "G" key off my keyboard. It still works ok, but I'm irresistibly drawn towards the gap....

Big wibble

Oct. 14th, 2007 03:50 pm
cybermule: (Default)
I haven't posted for a bit. Lots of ideas for posts, but not enough time I guess.

Trip to Stockton to see the in-laws went fine. Ben is turning into a charming baby - easy-going and with a sense of humour. He has a dirty little chuckle, which became very apparent when we were playing on the swings the other day. The only downside to him is he won't really sleep during the day. But he's enjoying occasionally being babysat by my aunts, and we're enjoying that too, and the whole baby thing is going swimmingly.

My mum left a message on my answerphone. Not really a very compelling one. I need to think what to do with that really, but I'm not backing down and taking Ben to see her without some firm boundaries in place. She's leaning heavily on my brother now, which isn't fair at all. Ho hum.

My brother invited his girlfriend over to mine for Christmas. I would say without asking, but to be fair, he did ask her in front of me. Doesn't really count though, does it?

Garden and allotment are doing fine. I'm keeping the allotment mostly together, and have a lot of winter veg in. Much as I hate to do it, I need to put some slug pellets around my brassica before they disappear completely. Hmph. My brother did some cement work in my front garden which has made it look fantastic. Tomorrow we have new lino in the kitchen, and later in the week the plumber is ocming to fix some small issues. I've learned that doing things comes in waves when you have a small child - a few weeks of chaos, then a fortnight of getting things together.

Not much else to add. Don't watch Tideland, though - it's depressing!


Aug. 30th, 2007 08:52 pm
cybermule: (Default)
The first night at Cornwall there was really weird fog - silvery, and mostly on the north half of the peninsula. The second night, I went swimming at sunset, and it was amazing. Need to get one more sea swim in this year.

Also, I have hedgehogs in my front garden. I heard something making a weird rasping noise in the middle of the night and tracked it down to two hedgehogs rootling in the mulch in my front border. Explains why the hostas in the front are strangely unscathed.
cybermule: (Default)
Today I put all the edging tiles around the back garden - they've been sitting in a box for about 4 years! And the other bit of good news is that there were so many, I'm going to have enough for the front garden. Or maybe a bed in the back garden next year. Hmm. I do fancy a flower bed...

All of my veggie plants are planted out. Still left to do this week:

action )
garden pics )
cybermule: (Default)
[profile] 0ct0pus is a hero - he went to do a really shitty and pointless day at work today which I would have unquestionably skived.

In other news, I seem to have lots of nice friends at the moment. I also enjoyed POTC3. I spend most of my days gardening and playing Final Fantasy 12, and after an initial panic attack at not having work to eat up my day structure my time, it seems to be suiting me. I'm house-sitting for my aunt next week.

The garden is flourishing. If I take it really easy, I can even get landscaping work done. I have to sit down whenever I can as I look like a butternut squash on legs, and unborn thrashes around even more if I bend over. It's mighty disconcerting having someone kick your abdomen from the inside, although not actually painful. Just over two weeks to go...

Gold car continues to be great. I haven't spoken to my mum in weeks, although I do still periodically brood and fret about the whole situation. I guess what really bothers me is that people will sit there and listen to me being slandered when they know it's not true, but just not say a thing. I couldn't do that to my worst enemy - I'm always there going, "well, that's not strictly true". Anyway, best away from the crazy people.

Can't think of anything else that's going on. My vegetable plants are taking off. Back to the garden...


Apr. 25th, 2007 11:58 am
cybermule: (Default)
I have loads of vegetable seeds sprouting, and either today or Friday I'll be planting out the salads. I'm also going to grow spuds in containers this year, to see what happens. Don't think I'll be making it up to the allotment over much.

I'm also going to use tesco's delivery trays as pplanting boxes, with a bit of spiffing up using some spare wood.

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