Category Archives: Thoughts

Just my thoughts.. on the fly.

Secrecy vs. Privacy…is there a difference?

This question gave me quite a lot to think about last night. For me, it’s quite black and white. There certainly is a difference and one or the other isn’t necessarily ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They are just…things. Words with dictionary definitions and no emotion attached to them unless placed in context.

Which means the emotions involved would vary every time along with the context. Then I had a conversation. With someone who completely disagrees with my view.

Apparently some people consider privacy and secrecy to be the same thing – and both to be negative. So I listened. Then I thought…a lot! Then I did some research for a broader spectrum of opinions. End result? I still think I’m right. Not just in the way that I always think I’m right though…I mean I actually really truly think I’m right. Which then leads to other issues but thats a whole other story!

So why do I think I’m right? Well because the majority of what I found when researching other people’s views seemed to justify what I already thought.  Also, of those agreeing with me, the voices tended to be of thinking people, writers, philosophers, intelligent people. The more negative responses on secrecy vs. privacy were written by people who sounded like they were worrying…panicking even! Absolutely terrified that their partner (or whoever) might have a private life/thoughts/feelings and therefore by labelling anything private as ‘secret’, they were able to make it sound like a bad thing, unacceptable in the relationship. When actually, in my opinion, what it comes down to is insecurity.

Secrecy to me suggests something shared between two or more people. Something that could be harmful if revealed to another  – but not necessarily to the person keeping the secret. Like ruining a surprise or revealing an extra-marital affair. I don’t keep secrets of a detrimental nature to anyone. I refuse to be involved in anyone’s mistreatment of another person or in causing any kind of upset. I only ever keep a secret if someone has asked me to specifically and it’s not ‘bad’! I mean, does it make me a really terrible person to have a secret shared between myself and my kids about what to buy their nan for her birthday? Of course not. To keep secret my best friends affair with her boss? Yeah, I think so.

Privacy is something belonging to the individual. Mine, yours, his or hers….but it’s things that are not shared with anyone else. My diary – is private, my emails – are private, my texts – are private. None of these things are particularly secret though. There’s nothing bad in there. I haven’t hurt anyone and am not doing anything terrible. It’s just my stuff! I’m allowed you know! Especially considering how transparent I am for the majority of the time with things like my music and my writing…little room for private matters in these areas of honest expression!

The things people keep private vary. Some people don’t mind sharing their passwords, some people don’t mind popping in to use the loo whilst their partners in the shower. Some people mind a lot! It’s not for anyone else to say though, what we can keep private and what we can’t. Privacy is so important. Today more than ever, when people can have a piece of you in so many ways. The idea of privacy has become so distorted in a world where you can just google someones name and find out all sorts of things without ever having even met them!

So where’s the line? Do you open your partners mail? Read your kids diary? Check their emails/texts? Constantly demand to know what people are thinking?

All things that could be validated probably, or at least excused, on one-off occasions. I’m sure many people have done these things at one time or another.  To make it a regular thing though has got to be a bit strange surely?

To demand that your partner have no privacy because you consider it secrecy (and consider both these things to be ‘bad’!) strikes me as a huge trust issue. Additionally, admitting to having ‘trust’ issues doesn’t make it any more acceptable to make these demands. If a person has a trust issue then it is their issue and theirs alone. Whether you can explain that it came about because of past experiences with unfaithful partners, a terrible childhood….whatever…you have no right to inflict your behavioural or learned habits on your loved ones and make them pay for it. If it’s affecting your relationship then surely it’s something you should have dealt with before getting into a relationship?! Getting into a partnership, no matter how close, doesn’t mean giving up your individuality. Two people in an intimate relationship doesn’t mean you have to become one person. 1+1 = 2. Intimacy has many levels, but I don’t believe that of all the sacrifices we make, willingly, for other people, that having no privacy at all should be one of them.

Everyone has a right to their own privacy. A moment alone with their thoughts. Our parents, children, partners, colleagues…we are all entitled to some. I believe it takes quite some skill to be sensitive enough to know where to draw the line between privacy and interfering or prying. Especially with family as this line can be flexible. Sometimes your kids are more open and will confide more in you their private thoughts. Sometimes your partner may withdraw and keep some things a little more private than usual. It’s important to remember this is not about you though. It’s about them. Their privacy. Their right.

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24 hours on mumsnet.com

Yep – I heard it. All the fuss about mumsnet.com and how terribly they treated newcomers and people who didn’t shop at Boden or how great they are and what a fantastic network they provide for parents. I’d never been there though, the mysterious land of mumsnet, so how did I know who was right or wrong? Only one way to find out…

…so I joined. Oh yes, feeling like some kind of undercover spy I signed up (with all my actual details of course – we do transparency around here) and started browsing the forums to see what I could find. Well, I am a mum so felt perfectly within my rights to join, although I did wonder why it’s not called parentsnet, or if indeed the dads have a dadsnet all of their very own! I later discovered dads do have  their very own ‘thread’ named dadsnet within the forums of mumsnet but from what I read it is going to take a brave man to post anything on there!! Particularly if he’s unhappy with/doesn’t understand/criticising his wife in anyway!

For example one poor fella was asking some advice regarding his wife sleeping over at a male friends house. Before he could get any help though, he first had to deal with the barrage of comments querying his use of the word ‘let’ when asking should he ‘let’ his wife stay over at her friends.  It was almost funny how quickly people got their backs up but also concerning. That people being asked to reassure the poor guy, ignored his plea for help, instead picking on his choice of words! I mean, really had a go at him. Obviously he meant ‘let’ as in ‘should I let it happen without making a fuss’ right? Maybe not. Point is though, how unfair was it of them to make assumptions like this about someone’s intent. How easy would it have been to just ignore that one word slip-up and actually show some compassion and help the guy out? Have none of these people heard of ‘if you haven’t got anything nice to say then….zip it?’

My own experience on mumsnet was similar. In that people assumed my intentions and wasted no time in having a go at me. Even though they’d actually got it completely wrong!

I had only been a member for about 3 hours. In typical style though, managed to get myself in trouble almost immediately!

After browsing for a while and seeing some questions on topics that I felt I could be helpful on, I decided to look at ‘unanswered questions’ to see if I could help anyone who hadn’t already received some. I don’t think everyone does this on mumsnet. In fact, I think some people intentionally go on threads where there are lots of comments already, purely so that they can set about telling everyone where they got it wrong….or criticising their spelling/grammar!

Having immediately come across some questions on topics I have quite an in-depth knowledge of, I answered one. It was about allergies I think. Anyway, when I sign off….from anything, I write my name and a link to my website. So I did. This was for a few reasons.:

1 It’s habit, I do it and most people I receive emails/messages from do it            too.

2 It’s honest and transparent. Let’s face it I could be anybody, this way I was    thinking anyone in any doubt could check the source of the advice I’d            given.

3 It’s networking. Which is what social networks such as mumsnet are all         about right?  ‘Nuff said.

4 It’s optional. Noone is forced to click on the link unless they want to. NOT     putting it there though, doesn’t give anyone the option!

Well…I immediately got told off for that! Not – asked if I was new here? Did I know that it’s not really how they like things done round here? Would I mind not doing that?

No, I got told off in a very IMpolite way by one person who was then followed by a few more jumping on the bandwagon and who all made complaints to the teacher….oops, sorry I mean mumsnet HQ!! Even though I had given the first complainer my clear explanation of the above points AND an apology AND told them I was new! I was being accused of promoting my website for profit. What absolute rubbish. I don’t make any profit whatsoever from people visiting my website, it’s purely for pleasure because I love writing.  Mumsnet HQ messaged me to let me know there had been complaints and would I not do it anymore. They also said my ‘comments to date had been well received though and we hope you don’t leave the site’.

I think it’s safe to say I won’t be going back there again.  Not just because of some people kicking up a fuss about my ‘blatant advertising’! ;)

No, it’s because of the other things I kept finding. Bullying, lecturing, self-esteem-shattering ‘advice’ is NOT what parents, especially new or expecting ones need. Ever! If I had been using this site when I was pregnant or a new mum it would have absolutely terrified me. I felt so sorry for some of the genuinely concerned people who were being pulled this way and that, followed by people starting their own arguments about whose advice was best/wisest/most grammatically correct! Like a crowd of people all jumping up and down screaming ‘ME! ME! LISTEN TO ME!’

I feel tired now just thinking about it!

It was an experience though I’ll say that and I had no idea how intense it would be. In my opinion it’s nothing more than a playground, with it’s various stereotypical groups….the bullies, the gossips, the whiners, the competitive ones, the bitchy girls. Why anyone would want to go back there after 13 or more years of it I don’t know!

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Jack Wills Review

I must admit I hadn’t actually heard of this brand of clothing until today when I read about on in the Financial Times website.  I liked the cute dresses in the picture though, so decided to look up this Jack Wills fella.

The website initially reminded me of the Joe Browns brand of which I am a fan and have been for years but where they differ, is on desired demographic and more importantly (certainly to any students I know of!) cost.

JB tends to be a very ‘surfer’ kind of style, casual, relaxed, easy to wear and affordable. Similar to what I see on the Jack Wills website….apart from the prices. The JW brand is aimed at students, students with money, with an emphasis on both home and abroad, the ‘British-ness’.  Their description of what they do being:

‘Jack Wills creates fabulously British goods for the university crowd. Drawing inspiration from Britain’s rich history and culture, juxtaposed with a heavy dose of the hedonistic university lifestyle, we create authentic and relevant clothing for today.’

Ok, well there is definitely something very British about the brand.  From the tea-dresses in feminine floral patterns to the many items (particularly from homeware) emblazoned with the Union Jack (in the distinctive JW navy and pink).  Shoppers are referred to as ‘ladies’ and ‘gentlemen’ and there are blazers, rugby tops and polo-shirts galore.

It is easy to see how this style would appeal to students who are, mysteriously, all keen to express individuality with an original style but somehow all end up looking the same! Not criticising, I too was one of those students once!

JW are not big on advertising, keeping their stores fairly low-key on the outside and they avoid shouting about the brand for fear of becoming too ‘mainstream’. This tactic cleverly fulfills students desire and joy at finding something ‘new’ and ‘exclusive’ therefore fueling the feeling that they have found something different, individual.

This is all great, can’t complain about the products. They have captured the student ‘look’ right down to the authentic looking sweatpants with just the right amount of holes and fraying….

…but these authentic student looking sweatpants are £70 sweatpants!

I never knew of any student when I was at university who would choose spending that kind of money on clothes when they could find actual authentic retro looking clothing down the street at the local charity shop! I can hear the words ‘good beer money that‘ resonating in my head as I browse the JW website. Not forgetting those more conscientious students of course who would opt to spend that kind of money on books, bills or groceries.

All in all I like the brand, like the clothes, homeware and accessories. I just feel that students with less money to spend on clothes are already pulling off this look! Purely because, for them, it actually is authentic! However I reckon JW are doing it right. Getting this style to those ‘posher’ students who would never be seen dead in a charity shop and who want to make sure that, although their JW clothes send out a ‘student’ look, you still know that theirs cost some by displaying the JW or the recognisable (now) navy and pink stripe.

 

 

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Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

A recent break in Cornwall included a day trip to St.Ives which of course (for me at least)  means a visit to the Tate Gallery there.

It was incredibly fast to look around or at least seemed that way because it’s so small compared to the Tate in London.  These images are of the things that immediately come to mind thinking back on my visit to write this post…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Long Ton by Simon Starling

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Starling

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rotunda Reflection

 

 

…the reflection picture is really cool to see live!  The middle photo is  the nearest image I could find to one of the Simon Starling works that I really liked and I’m sorry I can’t recall the name of it!

Now I don’t claim to know very much about art but I know what I like.  I can’t even always describe what it is that appeals or moves me in some way but when I feel it I feel it.  Nothing pretentious about how I discuss art in all it’s forms, so don’t expect anything clever from me in this post!

Something I DO know is that I get most pleasure from photography and sculpture.  Especially sculpture.  Always have. So, lucky for me then that my Tate ticket included entry to the Barbara Hepworth museum and gardens!

Having walked round the Tate one and a half times (checking nothing had been overlooked….kind of desperate to find more!) it was off to the Barbara Hepworth museum and gardens to see some sculptures.  I always like to save the best for last so the stroll there was exactly that, taking a route down tiny little streets of tiny little pastel cottages, until eventually reaching the main street which was filled with surfing gear shops, cake shops and of course, Cornish Pasty shops!

On the outside the museum itself just looks like any of the other houses on the cobbled street.  The only noticeable difference being the huge walls surrounding the gardens.

When you walk in, the first room is a history of Barbara’s life, in words and pictures with all sorts of interesting snippets of newspaper articles and old family photographs.  This display is arranged in a timeline of her life with various quotes from Barbara displayed on the walls.   I read every single word. Studied at every single item. It was captivating from the first moment.  Being surrounded by all these photo’s and other items made the whole experience quite intense.  So by the time I got upstairs to where some of her sculptures were on display I was already feeling quite emotional.  Being aware of her life and upbringing and ultimately, her death, doesn’t leave your mind for a second whilst looking at her work.

Although I didn’t know her name the sculptures were very familiar looking to me as I recall seeing them and liking them before….but a long time ago.  There were works in bronze, wood and stone as well as some paintings.

Outside in the garden is where the experience really hits me though.  There are many sculptures, some of which are below, but the bit that got me was seeing the actual studio.  It seems to be exactly as she left it as if she’s just popped out for a pint of milk!  This part really choked me up.  Half finished sculptures dotted about and all the tools she would have used (and maybe did) on display.  So yeah, this part made me cry.  The actual gardens though…beautiful.  Perfect setting for the sculptures and very hard to describe.  I think the best words to describe what I love about her sculptures are probably Barbara’s own…

‘The feminine point of view is a complementary one to the masculine … the woman’s approach presents a different emphasis. I think that women contribute a great deal to this understanding through the visual arts and perhaps especially in sculpture, for there is a whole range of formal perception belonging to feminine experience ‘ – Barbara Hepworth

So….here’s some pictures for what I can’t put into words.

 

 

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Can’t quite believe I’m blogging about this but…

…I’m sold!

I absolutely must have this unbelievable piece of kitchen equipment!

Spotted on ‘Come Dine With Me Down Under‘, this gadget actually means you could probably get rid of just about e v e r y other one you have in your kitchen.

The Thermomix does it all. Seriously.

This is the list of things it does from the manufacturers:

One Thermomix with One Bowl and One Blade can do all this:

  • Thermomix weighs – with built-in electronic scales
  • Thermomix grates – nuts, cheese, chocolate, parmesan
  • Thermomix mills – rice, grains and pulses to flour
  • Thermomix purées – vegetables, fruits, baby food
  • Thermomix grinds – coffee beans, sugar to icing sugar, wet or dry spices
  • Thermomix blends – soups, smoothies, milkshakes and sauces
  • Thermomix cooks, boils & simmers – soups, sauces, preserves, pulses, complete meals
  • Thermomix steams – vegetables, meat, fish, fruits, rice, pasta
  • Thermomix crushes – ice, cocktails, ice creams, sorbet
  • Thermomix whisks – egg whites, cappuccino-style foam on soups and milk, zabaglione
  • Thermomix emulsifies – salad dressings, mayonnaise, batters, cream
  • Thermomix kneads – bread dough, pizza dough, pasta dough, pastry, scones
  • Thermomix chops & minces – nuts, herbs, vegetables, salads, meats
  • Thermomix heats baby food to 37oC
  • Thermomix holds chocolate at 37oC

In fact the only thing you have to do is wash up afterwards!  I could actually get rid of my weighing scales, grater, coffee grinder, blender, food processor, steamer, whisks, bread making machine, most of my knives and probably a fair few pots and pans too!  So much more room in my kitchen!!

A great range of recipe books are available too which is a huge improvement on the little booklet you get with most cooking appliances with the same old 10 or so recipes!  There is also a huge list of recipes by Janie Turner on the UK website.  Only problem left for me is to convince the boyfriend that its worth the £885 (inc VAT)!**UPDATE** Thermomix UK just informed me of their divided payment option too, as well as 2 day delivery!***

I’m confused…why don’t we all have one again??

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Hull Talent Trail 2011 – the semi’s!

Okay…so I have to be careful how I write this lest you get the impression I am bitter or upset about the outcome.  I’m not I can assure you. However, I do think that the topic needs to be discussed as there actually were a few unhappy and confused people in attendance the night of the second semi-final of the Hull Talent Trail 2011, of which I was a participant.

So, first things first and straight to the point, I didn’t actually get through.  I was well aware that I wouldn’t though, having seen the line-up for my night.  As soon as the names were announced for my heat I trawled back through the Hull Daily Mail articles of the qualifying heats to check out the competition…as you would.  For most of  the acts there were videos available to watch.  It became apparent after watching the first the girls that it was a) a girls night and b) a cabaret/club-singer/musical theatre kind of affair.  So immediately I was concerned that I had been put in this category being the only musician playing an instrument and singing my own arrangements of fairly well known songs that were d e f i n i t e l y  n o t anything like what the other girls were doing!

The previous heat I had been in had consisted of other guitarists, a couple of people singing to backing tracks and a seven-piece band.  When I was told I had got through that round, the organiser approached me afterwards and told me I had ‘walked it’.  I should also mention that one of the three judges was a musician also who has been in bands, organised lots of live music events and could actually play an instrument so understood what’s involved in playing and singing at the same time!

So the whole time I was preparing for the semi-final heat I was constantly being reassured by my family and my boyfriend that it didn’t matter that I was an entirely different performer to the other 8 girls and that I should trust the judges.  Under normal circumstances this would be good advice right? Well that’s what we all thought.

So I turned up on the night at Inglemire Social Club prepared and not worrying too much.  Then the judges came in and were introduced.  They were, in no particular order, Kim, Mally King, Pete T, Glen and Lisa Kelsey, a cabaret singer.

 

Comments were as follows:

 

Glen:  ‘Great to see live music’, ‘Loved your voice – and the arrangements’, ‘You have real talent Claire I could listen to you all day! A very commercial sound’.

 

Pete:  ‘Lovely control’, ‘Loved the arrangement of the last two songs’.

 

Mally:  ‘Guitar played with skill’, ‘Linked songs and told us 1st song as well, not all have done that’, ‘Great vocal quality’, ‘This area seems to produce really good guitar/vocalists, Emma, Edwina, Andy, Leanne that have made it, let’s hope you follow them all the way. You have a nice touch of humour’.

 

Kim:  ‘Three easy listening songs, loved them all’, ‘Hi Claire, thanks for bringing something different to the stage tonight, loved listening to your music, lovely chill-out songs’, ‘Relaxed and confident performance’, ‘My kind of music, thanks and well done x ‘.

 

Lisa:  ‘Nice look, confident start’ (Poison Prince), ‘Very nice voice, very chilled feel to the songs’, ‘Nice contrast to all the clubland acts’, ‘Like to see you fronting a band’, ‘Very talented but lacking that bit of sparkle for me’, then she said…..of In For The Kill ‘nice version – bit long’ and of Glory Box ‘Not familiar with the song’.

 

So basically, all positive comments bar a couple of negatives from Lisa. So, as this is MY blog, I have a right to dispute these comments and will!

In For The Kill is actually my shortest song so I’m not even going to bother saying anything more on (moron) that!

As for not being ‘familiar with the song’ regarding Glory Box, well, this is also an irrelevant comment. It really doesn’t matter if that particular judge knows that particular song or not. Everyone else loved it and I’m pretty sure they weren’t ALL ‘familiar’ with it! That’s not what a talent show is about judging. All other comments about my song choices were good, including her own which seem contradictory when you read them !

The questions are did I sing it well? Did I play guitar well with it? Did you enjoy it? Do I have talent???  As for sparkle…well, don’t get me started! Hahaha. Thats was my first reaction to that comment. Sparkle?? I’m a folk/rock/pop/acoustic artist! It would have been ridiculous to add some ‘sparkle’ in a completely inappropriate way to the style of what I do!

So basically, I wasn’t what they were looking for. Fine. Having seen the other performances of the night I don’t WANT to be what they were looking for.  As I was told by a few people on the night, I could have got up there, in a sequined dress, danced about like a lunatic singing to an imaginary moon and belted out some show-tunes (this is an accurate description of what I saw that night – ask anyone that was there!)….but that’s not me. I love what I do, I love playing guitar and I love singing songs that I feel and am sincere about. Thats my style and until I want to change it that’s how it will always be.

I haven’t taken it personally, I’m more than happy with the outcome and it’s been an experience.

I think the most fitting words to finish on are those said by my boyfriend before I even went to the semis which were ‘do what you enjoy doing and don’t try to be someone else’s idea of perfect’.

P e r f i c k  

p.s.  I will be posting the songs I performed for both heats of Hull Talent Trail 2011 for your anticipated opinions for me to completely ignore! ;)

 

 

 

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BIG love – season 1 catch-up

Just watching the last episode of Big Love Season 3 and realised I hadn’t written about it!  Shocker…not often I don’t have anything to say about something.  Since I’ve already given a short brief of the background to the overall series in an earlier post, there now follows a short synopsis of each season in before starting on number 4!

Just to remind you though, Big Love is about a family of mormons who follow ‘the principle’ of polygamy. That’s it! That’s your recap!

Obviously any new drama needs to initially introduce the primary characters, which is exactly what this first season is about.  Meeting them, finding out what they’re about, how they live and a kind of general overview building up to a final episode which makes you want to watch the next season.

The series begins by introducing us to the family at home and work and see Bills struggle to expand his business as well as taking care of three wives and nine children!  During this time we’re also shown the contrast between life on the compound and life for others like Bill and his second wife Nicki, who were thrown out of or escaped the compound to live on the ‘outside’ where the whole family are forced into keeping their polygamous ways a secret.  A strained relationship is apparent between Nicki’s father Roman Grant as he tries to gain more and more of Bills profits from his successful chain of stores.  In order to stop him, Bill and his brother Joey, a former NFL player who has returned to the compound after an alcohol addiction, seek to gain a seat on the mormon churches board of directors.

 

Meanwhile the three wives at home are struggling with their own individual issues.

First wife Barb, is the only one who is married to Bill legally thereby empowering her with a particular status and rank within the family.  Barb struggles with the polygamy and it’s revealed that before becoming second wife, Nicki was actually Barb’s nurse, taking care of her through cancer.  So the suggestion is that at the time Barb agreed to the ‘sealing’ of her husband with a second wife, she was in a vulnerable state and may not have ever been fully on board.

Nicki herself struggles to fit in with life outside of the compound and develops a shopping addiction accumulating a large amount of debt.  She is intelligent and strong willed and constantly seeking to establish her values on the rest of the family which are a little more orthodox than the more relaxed attitude of the others.

Third wife Margene is very young, 24.  She has to cope with her opinions and ideas being somewhat dismissed by the other two wives as they have little respect for her, considering her immature and inexperienced.  Her positive disposition and to a certain extent her naivety, ensure that she perseveres however and slowly finds her place in the family.

The final episode (the one I said makes you want to watch season 2!) ends with the family being exposed as polygamists when Barb is nominated for a ‘Mother of the Year’ award.

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….and so it goes – on and on and….

The pernicious anaemia (treated for now) doesn’t seem to be the end of my medical drama.  It turns out there are some complications relating to why I’m experiencing L’hermittes sign that the doctors are still a bit clueless about.  Personally, I reckon it’s cervical spondolysis now.  However, without having a degree in medicine it seems my extensive research into what could possibly be wrong with me (apart from the obvious stress of being in constant pain and having no answers as to why) is wasted within the surgery walls.  Where only the the ‘qualified’ Google searches leading to Wikipedia’s (accurate by the way) suggestions count!

I honestly believe doctors really ought to listen more to the person actually experiencing the symptoms!  For instance I have been told from Day One that the cracking in my neck is insignificant and down to stress (we’re all bloody stressed – cop-out excuse!) so even I have ignored it, leaving it out of my research into the list of symptoms I have.  As it’s been getting worse however, and following my last appointment where the doc said he was absolutely sure it was nothing to do with my ‘condition’ whatever the hell it is, I decided to ignore ‘he whose words we all seem to take as gospel’ and really look at other possibilities.  I literally typed into Google (<3 ) the words ‘L’hermittes’ and ‘cracking neck’ (cracking neck?? Good thing I didn’t have to type in ‘cracking legs’ or similar – would have got entirely different search results!).  Anywho, I digress.  The first result that came up related to Cervical Spondolysis and my symptoms fit exactly!  Great news!! THIS is fixable!!  Well not entirely curable BUT, you can have surgery to ease the pain and then just maintain a series of exercises at home to maintain flexibility and range of movement.  Somebody please tell me that’s what I have already!  It’s better than thinking that the whole time the docs are ‘investigating’ my spinal cord is being damaged beyond repair….am I right or am I right?  Jeez!

Anyway, negative rant out of the way I am actually REALLY pleased that the Pernicious Anaemia is under control and my energy levels are UP!  It’s fantastic.  For years I’ve been exhausted.  Certainly this past year.  Giving everything I have to the last drop at work, plus the additional tiresome behaviour of pretending I’m ok.  Knackering in itself!  Then there’s the late nights.  Basically coming home and dropping off within half an hour and STILL finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning to do it all over again!  Then finally having to find energy to give my kids on the weekends.

I even had a reputation for falling asleep ten minutes into a movie or having half a glass of wine and passing out.

Turns out I wasn’t drunk OR allergic to alcohol.  Phew!   These days I’ll happily watch TWO – that’s right, TWO films, in a row!  WITH wine!  Amazing!  I’m also much happier in general.  This is huge!  Patience and overall laid-back-ness are  also on the up.  This is the good, no GREAT, news.

 

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Hi-ho hi-ho…

First day back at work yesterday….feels like I haven’t been away!  It was very nice that people were pleased to see me though – apparently it’s been a bit hectic….errr whats new??  Full on day as usual, no lunch (whats that?) and didn’t manage to leave until 6pm (nothings changed) so was pretty shattered when I got home. 

Back to the docs today though for another B12 shot  and to push the MRI thing a bit harder!  Just want to get it done and get it over with.  I’m also going to find out about doing the injections at home myself.  It’s all very well fitting them in around work since the surgery is open such long hours, which is great.  I can’t go far from the surgery though and what about when I want to go away for a few days?  Like next month! 

I’m going to Cornwall for a much needed break and will definitely need a top up during that time.  I have a list of things to get sorted today actually so had best get on with it.  Work is very hectic in preparation for two imminent audits, both within a couple of weeks of each other!  My stuff is all in order for it and I’m prepared but there’s a bit of a buzz elsewhere, especially in the office, making sure everything is up to date and in order. 

Right, I put some PCR on yesterday before leaving to run overnight and be ready for me today and I can hear the thermocycler beeping at me.  Once I get started I don’t get to stop for so much as a toilet break, hence the short post!  No doubt will get busier with blogging over the weekend though.

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Lhermitte’s sign (aka Pernicious Anaemia – part three)

Lhermitte’s sign is a phenomenon classically associated with Multiple Sclerosis although it is actually a symptom of various other conditions.  One of these being…guess what?….B12 deficiency!

Ok so that was that mystery solved but now what?  Well, I’m currently waiting for an appointment for a MRI scan.  This will establish if and where any damage has been caused.  To either my brain or the spinal cord.

YouTube – MRI Scan – what happens

It’s fair to say I’m a little nervous.  Having read sooooo much (maybe a little too much) I am well aware of the possible outcomes.  Worst case scenario?  Irreversible damage to either.  I’ve read about SACD, subacute combined degeneration, which basically means life will never be the same.  At the age of 34 this is kinda scary. I still consider myself quite young and have a huge amount of things left on my ‘to do ‘ list.

However, I have read that damage, if caught early enough, may be partially or even fully reversible.  So I’m staying positive with that in mind.  It’s a bit of a relief to have been able to eliminate some things straight away such as spinal cord compression due to passing tests for things like hyperreflexia.

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