Friday, 3 June 2016


That's Iris x germanica, the yellow one; I should cull the clump and get some in different colours, and two bunches of Iris sibirica, the blue ones, which would deserve dividing and spreading all over the place - if there was place. There's somr Iris chrysographes at the other side of the garden but it's an early one, it's gone by now. The Austin rose, I think it's Jude the Obscure but I'm not sure, is coming to bloom and there's another one on the left which will be dug out as it never blooms.

Saturday, 17 October 2015


My mother says that I'm a damn hoarder.

Well, I don't tend to throw things away. Not that I'd live three metres deep in used tissues but I have files of old bills, boxes of various paperwork, train tickets accumulated since around 2001 and similar stuff. For some reason, I like to have my life archived somehow. Let's admit, I'm not the most orderly person so a good part of those receipts, cinema tickets and opera programmes are just stacked around. But, they're there.

While browsing the internets sort of randomly, I came across an article in The Atlantic which describes the ephemeral nature of the internet. I didn't need to go and lie down for a while out of the horror that I may not be able to access this or that. I'm apparently anxious or paranoiac enough to download stuff I like and save it to DVDs which are another stack of some-or-another. (When I go to Ikea, I need to get more storage boxes.) I abhor the clouds, no damn way I'm storing my data somewhere out there. I had a computer to die a sudden death back in around 2008 or 2009 and I lost quite a bit of my files, and before, I had a computer stolen, along with the data that included my almost finished thesis; what saved me was my habit of printing out and photocopying everything. (I also need more bookshelves. My model, Norrboten, Norrland or some other Norr thingy ceased production. Judging from watching the channels, I guess that most of the production ended in soap opera sets. Now what.)

The other day, I got a bout of what-will-I-do-if and as I tend to hoard stuff, I started printing out all my paypal receipts. I got only to 2013, 6 years to go yet. It rocks in a way, I'm bookmarking all the book bills and I'll finally assemble the thing called The Book List I've been keeping since I was 16 or so. On paper torn out from a school notepad. I will be able to add a lot of info to my Ravelry files, too. And I may end up with a neat row of files full of neat stuff; I can live with the lacunae caused by thrown-out receipts from brick and mortar stores but I must say that the idea of one database (the bills) supported by other database (old diaries, with the exception of the badly missed one from 2008 that was left on a train to Rome) and a few more partial databases (those train tickets, for example) will be nice when I'll be getting demented. Or some future wacko may use it to build a museum collection of some-or-another.

Monday, 5 October 2015


As I mentioned, my psychiatrist keeps giving me small homeworks. Task of the month is to find two pleasurable activities and do them daily. Not both, at least one.
Accidentally, when talking about something entirely different, a friend pointed out that there are companies that produce all sorts of herbal infusions and soaps and stuff who buy out herbs.

I love picking herbs, drying them and then... Well, frankly, herbs are generally overrated. They're natural, yeah, sure, but those which are not poisonous or dangerous have only a mild effect, part of which is the feel-good thing. Nothing bad with the feel-good thing. If someone feels better because he's drinking something that smells nice, I very much agree. Actually, I'm a pretty decent herbalist and if I were more of a cynical liar, I guess I could turn it into a business but I can't bring myself to lying to people that this or that could cure their cancer or broken ribs, nor could I explain how this feel-good potion enhances body's natural defenses by purifying it from toxins, I'd say it's mild diuretic, should help with the swollen ankles, use twice a day and if it doesn't help in five days, see your doctor.

But I'm digressing. There are people who pay money for herbs! Send a bag of dried St. John's Wort, we'll pay you three and half handfuls of cowrie shells per kilo! Someone wants to pay me for having walks and plucking flowers! So... I'm plucking flowers, drying them and having a goddamn good time. In fact, it's not that easy job, the other day, I brought a huge bag of plant matter and it was one whopping kilo of fresh stuff.

That was written at the end of June. Since then, a heatwave struck so stuff didn't grow much and now we're nearing winter. I probably wanted to make an excellent point or some such but I got distracted or forgot or some such. In the name of housekeeping, there'll be a few more stubs. Serves you right, dear readers.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Another serving of depression

I'm halfway through second box of new psych meds; it seemed that it may have started working one way or another as in the first month using it, I consumed quite less clonazepam.
When I went to get my refill and for a monthly chitchat with my shrink, I found out that I had been scheduled to someone else. No chitchat (or, to be exact, whines), but I could read over the doc's shoulder to find out that, as per the docs' notes, I'm oriented, no hallucinations, not suicidal, show autistic traits and don't seem visibly depressed. Heh, I'm good in not looking very depressed. I'm chatty, especially when in stressful social situations, and I have brain enough to be entertaining and funny and coherent. As for autistic traits, well, could well be. I'll ask details. I know that I can't read social situations too well, for example, but I prefer to blame poor socialization in tender age and being called weird. I'll ask the doc.

I felt okay. Not excellent but when I take into account all the work crap, passably well. Regulars already know that work crap has passed various turning points, sank under the lowest low several times and now it's just an unending agony of routine, boredom and those sickening moments of surprise when someone, instead of doing their job, starts thinking without knowing how to and I need to fix the ensuing problems.
But, back to the next point: what stupid silly things can be triggering. I found a studio that had some dance classes, started doing contemporary, sort of hated every minute of it because I'm fat, ugly, out of shape and haven't danced in years so I had hard time taking it easy that I'm the clumsiest person around. And, then, trying to avoid doing something hurtful to my knee, I fell on my thumb and twisted it. Right thumb, obviously, and this way, I learned that one uses thumb of their dominant hand for more things than one notices. I've spent the week since blaming myself for being fat, ugly, clumsy and generally useless and the sassy blue bandage didn't really lift my mood. After all, it's a proof that I'm fat and clumsy.

And now comes the excellentest bit of logic. I'm fat, ugly and clumsy so I'd better hide under a stone instead of going and getting some exercise so I'll remain fat, clumsy and ugly, my life is a waste etc.

No way out.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


I want to knit.

Sometimes, I'm almost desperate because I just want to knit something. It sounds somewhat bizarre, those who have been following this blog know that I own a Stash of Doom, that I tend to knit at all times when my hands are not occupied otherwise and I'm conscious... so what's the problem?
Well, in my head, the usual location of problems. There is this urge to use up leftovers to make cowls, scarves and other small things to give away so that there's space for something else. I also seem to have lost imagination, I have yarns but I can't decide what to do with them and any idea is shooed away as something not worthy of the yarn. And when I decide that this may work, I cannot bring myself to finishing one project at time, I skip between this and that and nothing gets done.

It's generally known that I like what I call idiotic knitting. Lots of stockinette in the round, for example. And then I love stranded knitting. I was browsing Cherry Tree Hill's online auction where I ran across Alice Starmore's Tudor Roses of 2013 and... that woman had style and mad skillz. Written on 13th September

I didn't get any Starmore books or yarns but I pulled my own stranded project out of oblivion.

It got somehow more advanced meantime and I do have a pic somewhere but I couldn't find it.
The chart is some 180 stitches wide and I haven't finished the top bit of the floral flourish. I hear there's software for knitting patterns but I'm just colouring rectangles black and white in Corel.

To be continued, I mean the knitting, when my thumb stops hurting.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

On being fat, part II.

Part II.: The background.

Gentle reader, let me reassure you that I didn't wake up one day, thinking that it would rock to gain some 10 kilos, or even better, 30. I was living my happy, borderline anorexic and severely depressed live (sarcasm), matters were slowly improving until my GP decided that my sick stomach is "just nerves", sent a note to my shrink who started me on some stuff that should work on the psychosomatic symptoms. Well, the antipsychotics didn't do anything about sick stomach as it was some intolerance thingy which resolved after I stopped eating processed meat and dairy. What the meds did was a nice case of false pregnancy. I gained maybe 15 kilos in some three months while having a busy life, walking across Florence and back, taking 8 hours of ballet classes per week and eating mostly fruits and vegetables in less than reasonable amounts.
After some poking and prodding and hearing Well, it may be some hormonal imbalance or brain cancer, young lady, rest assured that we'll find out, it was discovered that it was the meds I didn't need. I tossed them along with the shrink, the weight gain happily remained. I was still in the sorta okay territory, though. However, depression is a bitch and with every epizode that included lying flat and doing nothing, I gained some more. Two and half years ago, I landed in a job which was okay at the beginning, very stressful very soon but at least it was sort of exciting and new and now I'm mostly burnt out, left with severe depression, pretty crushing anxiety, a hefty dose of social phobia and a shitload of guilt for all this, my very mediocre work performance and a few more. I spent the last summer, me, once a passionate hiker and amateur botanist, either working or lying flat and doing nothing much - knitting, sleeping or watching crime shows is not enough to keep one in any sort of shape.

In theory, and as my mother would say, it's all about a lack of good will. If I exercised more and ate less, things would rock in no time. But. I'm a stranger in a small village, I'm a manager of that big building over there, everyone seems to know who I am. I can only run away to the woods, and alas, I don't have time for that. Or maybe I did if I could do my work more efficiently but I just have my limits because I'm pretty much burnt out.
In other words, before one starts randomly accusing all fat people of being gluttons with self-control, well, there may be another thing to it.

The previous bit was written at the beginning of June and remained laid aside to be finished tomorrow or day after tomorrow as on the 6th, two receptionists decided to give their notice and I needed to do the bills and stuff. Did I mention a lot of stress in my job? No? Well, there's a lot of stress that happens without warning so I forgot about half of a blogpost and life limped on.
I had a discussion about my horrendous eating habits with the shrink and he gave me a homework - he likes giving me homeworks, apparently - to stop eating things past their best before just because they're not bad yet but they need to be eaten up or week-old leftovers but, instead, something I actually like. And to try keeping it within the realm of reasonable because, let's be frank, everyone who lived through an eating disorder is a pretty decent nutritionist. I found some food intake tracking thingy that has a bajillion of useless functions and a few annoying bugs but within a few days, I found out that most likely, I don't get enough protein while having too much fat and sugar. And for sedentary people, it's better to gorge on protein instead of the two others. I bought a bucket of quark and well, I eat a lot of quark. Low energy density so I can eat a lot which is important. Give me a head of iceberg lettuce and I'm all happy and full. Give me a dessert of the same energy value and I'll be hungry and frustrated. So, a lot of quark.
At which point I could probably start touting it as a cure-all because without moving much, I lost some three kilos and my GERD almost stopped acting up.

And all fat acceptance aside, if I could choose, I'd prefer to be stick thin, thankyouvery much, and I need to lose some ten kilos so that I'd be able to get a dress made from one length of fabric, not a dress and a lot of leftovers from two lengths. At the end, it may be all about money after all. And now I'm getting ranty so I'll grab those 12 bottles of wine, take them to my den for tasting and to write the goddamn wine list. By the way, do you know how much sugar does wine contain? A lot. And on the top of that, I have some grapes that need to be eaten up...

Monday, 6 July 2015

Sometimes I feel like I'm 80

Today's breakfast:

Magnesium citrate and some other magnesium preparation, for a total of around 1 g of Mg, as per prescription.
Lansoprazol to inhibit the production of gastric juices and itopride to make the stuff pass further down faster. Yay GERD.
Fluoxetine, a generic brother of the well-known Prozac for depression.
Clonazepam for anxiety.

Don't worry, there won't be any rant about how mainstream medicine stuffs me with pills and I don't feel great anyway. I actually find this somewhat funny for no reasonable reason.

The neurologist said that when one is stressed, the body needs much more magnesium and that I'm pretty deficient. The question was What to do with the goddamn tinnitus, for that matter. Tinnitus is thriving but my wonky arm is less wonky, and it is a nerve thing, not actually pain but an annoying feeling, somewhere between itch and pain, not very pronounced but almost constant, from the shoulder to the outer of my hand. Apparently, depression makes one fall apart physically as well.