Stream of Consciousness: Give, Given, Giving

Given my current stress levels – we’re in the process of selling our flat here in London in the South of England, with the intention of relocating lock, stock and barrel to Inverness in the North of Scotland – it’s a wonder I’m not imploding with the enormity of it all.

I know some people move up and down and all around the country all the time without giving it a second’s thought, but I’m definitely a home bird and I like to keep my daily habits and routines (not to mention my immediate environment) intact as far as possible, so this feels like a big emotional upheaval for me to be caught up in the middle of.

There’s been a lot going on for us for a while now, long-standing work issues and ongoing health issues and financial considerations and a very frustrating legal process dragging on in the background forever and a day, each on their own more than enough to be dealing with long-term, but cumulatively almost too much to bear. Almost, but not quite: I have to give us some credit for sticking to our guns, because we’re not giving up on sorting out any of it.

In spite of it all of it all – perhaps because of it all – we’re choosing to move to the other end of the country, so right now we’re just focusing on the future and looking forward to settling in to our new life, in our new home, wherever in Inverness that home may turn out to be… πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciousness: Give, Given, Giving


Stream of Consciousness Saturday: March

Here in the UK our clocks go forward an hour tonight – oh joy (I hope you spot the hint of sarcasm in my tone). With us the Spring time change is always on the last Sunday in March, and for some reason no matter how old I get it’s always an issue for me to adapt. It’s as if I’m such a creature of habit my in-built body-clock simply rebels against being messed about – oh, and I stuggle with awful jet-lag, too, it really zombifies me for ages.

I think the worst ever March for time-changes for me was probably the particular year we flew to the USA for a family visit with my in-laws. We arrived there on the first weekend in March, and a week later I was just about getting used to the six-hour time difference when the clocks went forward an hour. Then the following weekend, just as I was starting to feel more like a human again we flew back to the UK with yet another zombifying jump in time difference to get used to – and then just for good measure, a week later the clocks changed here, too… 😦

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: March

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Short

I decided yesterday that, as I’m coming up to my first anniversary on Image & Word (on 1st April – woo-hoo!), I’d maybe look for a different theme that may help express the remit of my blog a little better. Something that helps highlight my photography and poetry and random rants and ramblings, something bright and clear to look at and easy to navigate… should be easy enough to find, right? Wrong!

Being a cheapskate means I need to find a free theme to choose, which inevitably reduces my options, but I suppose that’s fair enough – after all beggars can’t be choosers. So I tried on pretty much every free theme available, to the extent that I spent pretty much the whole evening in the WordPress dashboard dressing room, exploring available colour schemes and layouts and fonts – and yet here I am today, wearing exactly the same blog theme I was wearing before… sigh!

With some, I liked the layout but couldn’t live with the colour schemes. With others, the colours and fonts were perfect, but something niggly about the layout or navigation bothered me. Somehow everything I tried fell short of what I already have – so here I am, wondering if I should perhaps just try out a new theme every day or so for the next while, to see if any of the ‘falling short of perfect’ themes might actually start to grow on me in the meantime?

So I’m telling myself ‘Go on, push the boat out, live a little – be brave, bite the bullet and try something new’ because I worry about becoming too set in my ways, too fixed in my viewpoint as I get older – and changing my blog theme, whether temporarily or permanantly, is hardly going to change the world, is it? And if I really don’t like the look and feel of anything else however many others I try out for size, I suppose after a while I can always change it back again… πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Short

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Project

I’m not the kind of person who always has some kind of project going on in the background of life. Or rather, perhaps I’m just not the kind of person who thinks in terms of projects? Sometimes I do lots of different things all at once, like a manic juggler, and other times I’ll do nothing beyond surviving from day to day. Projects in my head sound like stuff I have to do – rational work, not emotional play – and I prefer to do background things for fun in a far more ad hoc manner, as and when the mood takes me.

I suppose my blog might be considered a project of sorts – but that’s not necessarily how I think of it – to me it’s more of an ongoing hobby than a project. As is my interest in photography – creative, curious, decidedly open-ended, with no final destination in mind. A project to me is something a lot more specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound – oh wait, that’s goal-setting, not projects. But that’s how I think of it, anyway… projects to me mean work, not fun!

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Project

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: How

How wonderfully dreamy reflections can look in images… I really like to take a picture of something as a reflection, usually in water, then rotate the image by 180 degrees so it is effectively upside down. These two rotated reflected images of bridges over water were taken this afternoon along the River Lea in East London while I was out for a walk with my camera…

refletcted-bridge-1refletcted-bridge-2I really love the slightly warped, distorted effect of each reflection being presented as if it were the real element; each draws me down into its depths, somehow?

It seems to mirror my own fragile feelings in life, where so often I feel as if I am little more than a distorted reflection of how someone else sees me, as if all it would take is for that someone to stir things up a bit and instantly I (or at least their warped vision of me) would disappear, just like any other optical illusion, as if there were nothing more to me than there is to a basic shallow surface reflection…

Oh, I would so dearly love to change that fragile feeling inside myself, if only I knew how…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: How

Stream of Consciusness Saturday: Ham

Hmmm… ham…? What about local place names? London has grown steadily outwards over the centuries, enveloping smaller communities and melding them into one large metropolis. Take West Ham and East Ham both here in East London – ‘ham’ is the Anglo-Saxon word for village, so presumably they were originally the East village and the West village in deepest Essex.

Leytonstone where I live was named after the Leyton Stone, an old Roman distance marker placed on an already-ancient pathway going back to pre-historic times. And nearby Stratford was originally ‘street’ and ‘Ford’ – a Roman road by the river crossing. My great-aunt lives in Clapham in South London, originally Clopp Ham, the village by the short hill…

Back home in Scotland, many town names start with ‘Aber’ or ‘Inver’- in Gaelic, Inbhir Nis (Inverness) means the mouth of the River Ness, and Obar Deathain (Aberdeen) means the confluence of the Dee and the Don… OMG what a lot of useless crap I’ve accumulated in my head over the years, that’s enough boring trivia for today…!Β  πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciusness Saturday: Ham

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: So/ Sow/ Sew

So… what’s flying foremost in my manic mind today, what wonderfully witty stream of wisdom is waiting to flow freely from my fast-moving fingers? Sod all, that’s what – not even a tentative trickle, not even enough to sow the seeds of an idea for this week’s Stream of Consciousness prompt. Not even enough to stitch together a random patchwork of partial pieces with one long continuous thread ofΒ thought. So… sadly no sowing and no sewing for me for now… stuff it, I give up!

So… I’m posting another trusty tulip picture instead, just to cheer myself up…Β  πŸ™‚


Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Hair


Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt word for this week is ‘hair’ – perfect timing for me to update you all on my ongoing quest to give up my daily shampoo. For the last few years my hair has not been happy, as the number of grey hairs has increased it’s seemed to become infinitely more wiry in texture and unruly in nature, and a lifetime of daily shampooing has left it dry and frizzy at the ends but always all-too-quickly greasy at the roots.

Six weeks ago I decided just to stop using shampoo completely and wash my hair with water only, following instead a very hands-on routine of scritching, preening and brushing regularly to distribute the natural oils and remove any dirt. I persevered for four weeks, but seriously struggled living with constantly lank spaghetti strands even immeditely after water-washing, so decided instead to try a less extreme approach by using only a sulphate and paraben-free shampoo, and simply stretching out the days between washes.

So here I am, two weeks on from that time, washing my hair every three days now with my new shampoo, and I have to say I’m absolutely delighted with the results. My hair is much softer and shinier all over, far less frizzy at the ends and far less greasy at the roots. Not surprisingly it looks at its best on the day I wash it (see above pic), but still looks fine on the following day too. It’s only on the third day it starts to look a bit on the limp side, but I simply tie it up out of the way and all is well.

I’m planning to continue using my new shampoo, and will try to increase the days between washing my hair, slowly but surely. So although it’s been a bit of a rough ride, especially those difficult first four weeks, I suppose I’ve actually achieved what I set out to do in the first place, so for now it’s smiles all round, as you can see… πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Hair

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: ‘P’ Word

Possibly problematic… P word is the prompt for this week’s stream of consciousness post – choose a word beginning with P and write a post around it… OK, cool… but which P word?

Post and prompt might be good, if a little predicable. Pension, private, public, procrastination? Plenty there to ponder over. Poetry, photograph… something personal? Prosecute, prostitution, pickpocket, pinch, proof (guess who’s currently watching a police drama). Politics, Prime Minister? Not President, I refuse point-blank. Prat, pillock, penis – hmmm… perhaps far too much word association is going on there. But hey, it’s written now, and no editing is allowed… phew!

Pause… Postpone my post until I find my preferred P word? Perfect! πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: ‘P’ Word