Thursday, 31 January 2013

I like the words plinky plonky

Good evening, good morning and good afternoon to you my friend.

I feel like I should be more embracing of the many timezones my blog seems to be spiralling into. I like thinking about how as I'm yawning and getting ready for my cosy bed...someone else is yawning and getting out of their cosy bed... oh no, that's just mean, I apologise. sorry if that's you. But if I were you...I would sneak back in for a cheeky 5 minutes. Go on, you know you want to.

Whoops, maybe that's a bit naughty.

But a little naughtiness is allowed once in a while wouldn't you say?

I would.

Anywho, as you can probably tell, I'm a rather tired nugget tonight. That is why I'm waffling. Waffle waffle. Ooo I fancy a waffle (eating one I mean.)

I'm also feeling nicely relaxed. Nicely is a rubbish word I know, but as I said, I'm tired. My lovely friends treated me to a birthday voucher back in April to use at a spa, and today, 10 months later, I used it. Better late than never. And I have to say it was well worth the wait. Thank you beautiful friends for a lovely present.

 I got to sit in the 'Lavender Lounge' that smelt of, well, lavender really. It was filled with purple; purple chairs, purple walls, purple tissues and purple cushions. And lots of purple plinky plonky music. I liked it. Oh yes.

Then I got to have my neck shoulder and back massage. Boy oh boy was it good. It involved more plinky plonky music of course, and I managed not to fall asleep. Well done me. I get horrible tension in my shoulders and back and its really helped. The lady kept on telling me I had knots in my back though which was a bit confusing. I don't remember tieing any....


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Trying to kick the black dog

Do you ever worry so much about the future that you forget to appreciate the present?

Susanna Ruth is guilty as charged.

Naughty girl.

Its a frustrating vicious circle for me. Let me explain.....

Last year I concentrated on living for each day, trying to appreciate each moment, and not to worry about the future. In fact, I blocked out the future. Pretty much refused to talk about it. Pretended it wasn't there. Some might say, a kind of denial, but for a time, it worked.

Now I'm in a new place, a better place, but still on the road to recovery. I understand that its good to think about the future. I now enjoy having things to look forward to, instead of dreading the endless time ahead of me.

But somehow, the black dog still seems to weasel his way into these thought patterns.

Instead of thinking positively about the future, the black dog plants an endless field of doubting seeds in my mind. Spiralling, I am consumed with questions and negative thoughts.

What if.
What if.

I'm trying my best to fight the black dog, and once again hold onto the word emblazoned on my arm.

Hope. I have to hope.
Hope for a better future.
And learn to love each day in the present.


Monday, 28 January 2013


The carina nebula

The orion nebula
 Wow. How incredible are these photos?
Did you know that stars were so spectacular?
They were taken from the Hubble telescope...I just came accross them online, and they just blew my socks off.

Now, I dont proffess to know much about science or space, or stars (or anything else for that matter.) But, despite this, I am still absoloutly entranced by the night sky.

In fact, the paintings that I've been working on recently have been inspired by stars.

Heres what the dictionary says about them.....

STAR - definitions


  1. any of a vast number of celestial objects that are visible in the clear night sky as points of light
    1. a hot gaseous mass, such as the sun, that radiates energy, esp as light and infrared radiation, usually derived from thermonuclear reactions in the interior, and in some cases as ultraviolet, radio waves, and X-rays. The surface temperature can range from about 2100 to 40 000°C See also Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, giant star, white dwarf, neutron star, black hole
    2. (as modifier)  a star catalogue related adjectives astral sidereal stellar
  2. (astrology)
    1. a celestial body, esp a planet, supposed to influence events, personalities, etc
    2. plural another name for horoscope (sense 1)
  3. an emblem shaped like a conventionalized star, usually with five or more points, often used as a symbol of rank, an award, etc
  4. a small white blaze on the forehead of an animal, esp a horse
  5. Also called: star facet. any of the eight triangular facets cut in the crown of a brilliant
    1. a distinguished or glamorous celebrity, often from the entertainment world
    2. (as modifier)  star quality
  6. another word for asterisk
  7. often capital a type of keelboat, designed to be crewed by two people
  8. (prison slang) a convict serving his first prison sentence
Something to think about.....


Saturday, 26 January 2013

50,000 and counting

Well, ladies and gents, we have reached the 50,000 hits today! Thank you all so much for your continued support and encouragement. I can't quite believe that after almost two years you're still reading and I'm still writing. Wowzaroonie.

I'm in warwick this weekend, helping out Laura with all things wedding related. This morning we ordered my maid of honour dress,which I love love love. I would tell you all about it, but I think it's top secret information, so I shall keep my trap shut.....

Just a mini post today, petite if you will, as I think it's time for a catnap.....

Thursday, 24 January 2013


I've just finished reading a super ace book by Miranda Hart (the funny tall lady on TV). Its called 'Is it just me?' and provides many chuckles and mini snorty laughs, I liked it a lot.
It was the final chapter of said book, that has really got me thinking....(I've had quite a lot of time on my hands this week, being bed bound and all..) The chapter is entitled 'Dreams', and she encourages you to hold on to the dreams that you had when you were tiddly...
"I think its sad when people stop dreaming, or start losing hope. Because holding onto the bonkers dream might just turn out to be the most marvellous thing you ever did."  Hart, M. 'Is it just me'
As regular followers of my blog will know, I'm a big fan of all things HOPE orientated. Such a big fan in fact that I even had the word tattooed onto my body, (I think that qualifies me as a SUPER FAN actually...) Anywho, I liked what Ms Hart was chatting about, and it made me cast my mind back to the good old days when I did dream about what I was going to be when I grew up....
At the ripe old age of 4, I decided my calling in life was to be a nurse.
I had a great penguin book about nurses, and I rather liked their red caps and special hats made out of paper... However, this dream was squashed within a couple of years, as I realised the sight of blood made me feel a bit wonky, dizzy, a little bit sick...and now I might fall over, whoops.
By the age of 6, a new dream was emerging. I was going to be an actress.
I would have a red car, a Jack Russell dog, and I would live in a canal boat. Pretty sure the place of residence was inspired by the Rosie and Jim programme, but I can't be too sure...
Aged 7, the first part of my dream was beginning to bear fruits. I got the lead in the school play. Moi! It was 'A Christmas Carol' and I was to be Ebenezer Scrooge. Ignoring the fact that I was playing a man, I put my heart and soul into that grumpy chops face. And I think I did it pretty well.
However, my dreams of being an actress gradually disintegrated. I continued to audition for school plays, I even joined a stage school at the weekend. But it got me nowhere. The lowest point was being cast as the duck in the 'Wind in the Willows'. Oh the shame. I would of swopped my left arm to be Ratty. 
 I wasn't too disheartened though, oh no, I would still be on the stage, because, I could DANCE (and I didn't have to open my mouth for that..!)
I have always danced, from the age of 2 I was put into ballet shoes..I pointed, tapped, jazzed and hip hopped my way through life..and its only in the last three or four years that I've stopped. Why? Lack of confidence I guess. I realised I wasn't any good. Or not good enough.
I do miss it. I miss the adrenaline rush of going out on stage, of performing. I miss the feeling of not thinking about anything else but dancing. I miss the energy, the buzz.
..Hmm. This was supposed to be an uplifting blog, but its kind of making me a bit miserable now.
Let me pause a moment and insert a poem that Ms Hart quotes in her book. Its by Langston Hughes,
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
So I may not be a nurse, actress or dancer. But I have had a dog, who provided me with much fun and cuddles (RIP Bella). I might not have a red car, but that's mainly because I cant drive... and I'm saving the planet by reducing my carbon footprint....
Oh and here's another little secret dream that I had when I was a munchkin...I always quite fancied being a writer....I often felt like a I had a few novels buried deep in the caverns of my odd little brain . And here I am, writing. OK, its not actually a book, or a bestseller, but I'm writing, you're reading. Hurrah.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Grumpy poorly chops

I hate this stinking virus that has taken over my body.

And I hate moaning about it.

But when you've been stuck in the house on your own since Sunday, your brain turns to mush, and you cant think about anything else.

Well, maybe that's not strictly true. I haven't been on my own all the time, as Mr B has been here in the evenings to nurse me back to health. He is a very good Doctor. Top marks all round. And I suppose I have been thinking about a few other things, like worrying about the snow and having to eat the entire contents of the freezer to stay alive....

I did have a sneaky look in there earlier, and it wasn't promising. I would have to survive on gluten free fish fingers, crumpets, frozen yogurt (a substance that baffles me completely), and an unidentified portion of a meaty kind of substance that has probably lingered in there since 2004.

It doesn't fill me with hope.

So fingers crossed the snow will stay away.

Urrggggh I just want this virus to vanish.
Had to cancel all my plans for the week, which is ridonkulously irksome.
Totally bored out of my brain.
But too ill to actually do anything productive.
All I can do is sit and stare at the TV.
Or sleep.
Or just sit, stare, cough cough, splutter, and sniff.
Which gives me time to worry about all the things I should be doing.
Or need to do.
Or have to do.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Squeaky Susie

Tonight I am truly thankful that this blog comes in written form and not audio.

A strange reason to be thankful, you may wonder.

But its purely because I have lost my little voice. I am a slightly husky, every so squeaky version of myself.

Apparently husky voices are supposed to be sexy , but mine definitely doesn't fall under that category. My husky voice has more of the comedic value to it. In fact, I almost sound like a teenage boy who's voice is just breaking. Combine that with a snotty nose and a hacking cough, and you will have a most attractive image of me I'm sure....

Splutter splutter.

And so I have spent the day on the sofa, drifting in and out of sleep, watching absolute drivvle on the television, and generally feeling a bit sorry for myself.

Its funny though isn't it, after all this time with my ongoing battle against my mental illnesses, I rarely feel sorry for myself. Angry, yes, frustrated, most of the time, wishing I didn't have it, always. But I don't think I've ever thought, "Poor old me." Have I? Perhaps I have given myself a moment or two in the past for a self indulgent pity. I think its pretty rare though. Yet, as soon as I have a cold, or a bad leg or some other ailment I really do feel sorry for myself. Strange. Something to ponder on perhaps.


Friday, 18 January 2013

White noise

I wonder, perchance, is it snowing where you are? Or has it snowed in the past 24 hours?

Have you made a snowman?

Or taken a photo of your snowy garden? (I did, couldn't resist getting on the bandwagon.)

Just like every other year when snow has fallen, us Brits just can't help but get SUPER excited about it. Well, we're either excited or stressed about the wintry weather situation.

I tend to fluctuate between the two emotions. One minute I will love the fact that my garden has temporarily turned into Narnia. The next, I will be consumed with worry that I'm going to be snowed in for the next 7 days and will have to survive on a diet of baked beans, tuna, and other canned goods.

So, its really a love/hate relationship I have with this snowy stuff.

Do you know that feeling when you're standing in the snow, and its so quiet? But not truly silent. Its a weird kind of nothing sound. An empty space that's being filled with snow. This is what I call white noise. I think I read it somewhere, or heard it on a film, I can't take credit myself. I just think its a great phrase.
White noise.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Who am I?

Last night I overcame my fear of crowded cinemas through my love of Les Miserables. If you only watch one film in 2013, let it be Les Miserables. It is quite simply, incredible.

As expected, tears were gushing out of me at a rate of knots. At the end of the evening I had a very soggy handkerchief (or snot rag, as my friends like to call them...)

Despite knowing all the words, to all the songs, I resisted temptation, and kept my mouth shut. It was pretty flipping hard though. And everyone clapped at the end of the film, how old school and typically British is that? More clapping at cinemas please. More clapping in general actually please. Reward yourself for getting out of bed with a hearty applause for all to hear. You deserve it.

Anywho. I'm getting distracted.

I've had a bit of a crappy day, getting my knickers in a right old twist about this exhibition in March. I just hate all my work. And I want to tell the truth about my paintings, but then I don't want them to be seen as 'therapy'. Oh I don't know. Its all a bit confused in my brain and its taking me into the darkness.

I've been listening to one of my favourite songs from Les Mis, and I just thought I'd jot down some of the lyrics. Who am I? Its a pretty ginormous question really. But it hangs over my head, especially thinking about exhibiting my work, because you see, its part of me.

    Who am I? From Les Miserables,

    When I have come so far
    And struggled for so long?....

    ....If I speak, I am condemned.
    If I stay silent, I am damned!
    Who am I?
    Who am I?

    Can I conceal myself for evermore?
    Pretend I'm not the man I was before?...

    ....Must I lie?
    How can I ever face my fellow men?
    How can I ever face myself again?...

    ...My soul belongs to God, I know
    I made that bargain long ago
    He gave me hope when hope was gone
    He gave me strength to journey on...


Monday, 14 January 2013

Bring it

Monday 14th January.

 A productive day.

I know the cynical among you may not believe it, but despite not having a job, I seem to be a very busy beaver these days.

I won't list everything I've done today, (I don't want to bore you all to tears) but I promise you all I've ticked many things off my little list.

Had a good mess around with paint too this afternoon, and although I ripped up most of what I'd done, I think it was still worth it.

Perhaps I'm trying to make myself feel better. Maybe I'm trying to put a positive spin on my day. But I reckon once in a while that's probably a good thing.

Bring on tomorrow.


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Dont think about it?

Starting to panic slightly about this forthcoming exhibition I'm part of in March... Several nightmares haven't really helped my anxiety levels. I really do curse my sleeping brain.

How mean (and quite frankly, spiteful) is it that whatever you worry/or fear in the day, comes and haunts you at night too?? Not fair at all. No no. Who invented that?! We need to change this brain, we really do.

If I don't think about it, I'm OK. But then it suddenly pops into my head, and I freak like a fly who has just landed on a red hot light bulb. My brain spirals, I cant stop jumping everywhere ( not in a fun Tigger-like way) and I have crazed irrational thoughts (well, I think they're logical but I've been told otherwise...hmmm..)

ANDDDDD I still have one painting to do, which is the biggest and most important. So, I've kind of got to think about it. I can't hide from it. I can't leave the country or run off and join the circus (well, I could, and potentially I could make a great acrobat...) I've just got to do it. Do it and not think about it perhaps. Or something like that.

But the 4th of March is staring me in the face like a big angry moose who has steam coming out of his nostrils and fiercely threatening antlers that could to poke me in the eye.


Saturday, 12 January 2013

26 going on 62

Super tempted to go and have a nice hot bath and get into my jammies....

But as its only 8:14 pm on a Saturday night, I feel like that option may make me officially OLD.

Or would it just make me nice and warm and relaxed?


Very tricky.

Mind you, its not as if I have a credible street rep to protect. Afterall, I am the girl who freely admits to watching University Challenge...listening to radio2...and sometimes even wearing comfortable shoes (shocking, I know.)

Ah, who am I kidding? I think spending time with my OAP friends is rubbing off on me, I may as well just go and have that bath.

Maybe even listen to radio 4 later and get a blue rinse whilst I'm there.


Thursday, 10 January 2013


Cockadoodledooooo! Whats that? Is it a hen??

Oh no, its a cockerel actually.


I was trying to portray the noise of a busy little hen because with my multiple bridesmaid duties at the moment I think I'm beginning to sprout wings. Its really very exciting. I always wanted wings.

Just wish I could make the appropriate hen noise.

So what else has she been doing apart from making the wrong clucking noises? (I hear you ask...) Well I shall tell you...

I have been getting ready for an exhibiton that I'm part of in March. (I don't mean my actual body is part of the exhibition, I'm not displaying my toenail clippings or anything....)

I'm part of this fantastic, most amazing group of visual artists and poets called 'Tiny Monuments'. And we're exhibiting at the Bath Literature Festival (4th-9th March.) Eek. J.K.Rowling may be headlining, but we're there all week. Yeah, take that J.K.

Anyway, I just thought I would mention it, just incase you are bored in March... At a loose end perhaps, and maybe, just maybe, you might pop along and see me and my buddies. Its quite exciting. These wings are really beginning to grow....


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Mixtapes and Yoshimi

Delving through my cupboards at the weekend, I discovered some of my old mix tapes. Unlike most of the population, I still have a tape player, and so refuse to throw these magical musical gems away.

I always loved 'mixing' (DJ Piggott in the house) my own tapes. You could give them to your bezzie mates (I think Laura still has a mix tape I made for her about 10 years ago.) You could give them to the new love in your life and put loads of soppy tracks on (I never did that, oh no.) If you were skint you could borrow and record your friend's Cd's onto tapes so you didn't have to buy the album, (I used to do this a LOT. Albums recorded ranged from the Dawsons Creek soundtrack to Nirvana, how diverse my taste was/is...?!)

And of course recording the chart show on a Sunday was the best time to get some ace tunes, but remembering what I had previously recorded was always an issue. Consequently, you had to listen to my favourite song at the time on repeat, on side A, AND side B. Which was often something mildly irritating like Scatman by Scatman John. (I wonder what happened to him? He had a great moustache.)

Anyway, after years of cutting off radio DJ's in their prime, and remembering to write down what I had already recorded, I eventually mastered the art of the mix tape. I moved onto the next level, which was to record selections according to what mood I might be in. So I would have chilling, party, rocking out...and erm...well, I think that was it actually, I obviously didn't experience any other moods as a teenager....

 So whilst I was listening to my classic chilling mix tape (I think it could of given the Ibiza chill out album a run for it money) at the weekend, I happened upon this delightful tune.

"Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1" by The Flaming Lips
Her name is Yoshimi - she's a black belt in karate
Working for the city - she has to discipline her body -
Cause she knows that it's demanding to defeat these
Evil machines - I know she can beat them -

Oh Yoshimi
They don't believe me
But you won't let those
Robots defeat me
Oh Yoshimi
They don't believe me
But you won't let those
Robots eat me

Those evil natured robots - they're programmed to
Destroy us - She's gotta be strong to fight them -
So she's taking lots of vitamins - cause she knows that
It'd be tragic if those evil robots win - I know
She can beat them -

How had I ever forgotten about The Flaming Lips? Yoshimi always felt like my pal. I always loved to defeat those evil machines with her.

Whether the robots are just robots, or whether they represent something else (like all the horrible smelly people in the world, or your mean boss, or your bad leg that hurts, or your depression that keeps biting your bum), its an encouraging ditty. And we like encouraging. Yes. Yes we do.#


Monday, 7 January 2013

Monday morning blues

Do you ever feel like you have a million things to do but you don't feel like doing any of them?

And then you're racked with guilt for not doing them. Or doing anything productive generally.

But its not that you just don't feel like doing them... feel isn't the right word really.

Because actually, your mind and body are totally zapped of energy, and the only thing that appeals to you is sitting in a comfy chair and staring out of the window. Or going back to bed. Which wasn't an option for me today as my Mama was blasting out Take That at full volume from the kitchen. I never ever complain about Take That being played loudly (Gary, Mark, Jason and Howard, if you're reading, please don't take offence. I love you all dearly, but not when I'm trying to have extra sleepy time.)

Today has been a lonnnnnng day. (Sorry, I could not resist adding those extra nnnnn's, they just really reflect how long the day has been. Yeah. Who needs similies and metaphors when you can just add extra letters to make your descriptive point?!)

I think someone got a special evil hoover in the night, snuck into my room, attached it to my ear and sucked out all my energy and positive juices.

Yeah. That's definitely what happened.


Saturday, 5 January 2013



"Recovery warrior."

"A fighter."

All of these words keep on popping up on twitter, due to some of the people I follow, and I feel enormously humbled and inspired by them. It blows my mind when I think about how many people are having to manage various mental health illnesses. (1 in 4 if you'd forgotten.....!!)

Its also becoming more  apparent to me that my illness is just a small part of who I am, its not the main bit....

2 years ago, it did feel like all of my mind and body was depression and anxiety. It had buried all of my personality, stripping me back to a brittle, hollow shell.

But now, after all this time, I have slowly begun to rebuild myself. Hurrah!

When you are a 'service user' in the mental health system, passed along through doctors, therapists and psychologists, you are labelled. I guess you need to be... They need to know if you're suicidal, what thoughts you have, do you hear voices, how much alcohol you drink...blah blah blah..They like to have boxes ticked and answers given. The worst is when they make you fill in a form rating your mood between 1 and 10. I think I refused to do it last time actually, I told them that I couldn't define my mood by a number! Ha.

However helpful these labels are for doctors and for a diagnosis, they aren't so helpful when you step out into the world. They can make you feel different and cut off from people. Misunderstood and alone. It can seem like you're never going to get better, that you're a lost cause. That your illness is the only part of you left, because its the only thing ruling your mind.

I tell you now peeps (ha, I'm so American), that's the black dog talking.
Its whispering to you. Its trying to bring you into the darkness.
And it needs a smack round the chops.

You will discover yourself again.
You will find something you like about the world.
What you love.
(You probably already know what you hate...)
You will learn something you like about you.
You will become more than a label.
You will become you.

Survivor.  Recovery Warrior. Fighter.


Friday, 4 January 2013

chill time please

Apologies for the lack of blogging lately. I feel so out of sync with my routine, but somehow very busy, and time keeps on running away from me....

Anyway, I went to counselling today for the first time in about 3 weeks, and the load on my shoulders felt a lot lighter after the session. (Metaphorically speaking of course, I haven't been carrying around a couple of boulders on my back...)

I've been struggling a bit these past few days, especially with the prospect of a new year ahead of me, it can feel so overwhelming.

Sometimes I get so caught up in other peoples expectations of me, that I forget what my own expectations are, if I have any at all. And then I worry that if I don't achieve those expectations then I've let people down. Its a tricky conundrum.

But I'm going to try and forget all about that now, because Mr B has just called at the door, and I know I've got an evening of relaxation ahead of me.

And as he would say,

"Just chill Susie, chill."


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Lost; small annoying bank thing.


I was going to write a really long and interesting blog about something deep and meaningful.


I have lost my internet bank card thing and my room is a TIP.


I must continue my search.

Let me know if you see it. It looks like a teeny tiny calculator. Its not though. Its just an irritating gadget (well, it pretends to be)  that makes me stressed.



Tuesday, 1 January 2013

eyes ahead please

Oh dear, too tired to write my blog.

But considering I don't like New Year shenanigans, I had a jolly good time last night.

And a rather lovely day too stomping around in the mud with Mr B. (We went for a walk, we didn't just find a puddle of mud and stomp in it all day, just thought I should clarify that....)

Lets keep looking forward shall we....