the art of perception

Sep. 22nd, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] lamentables
I had a lovely day yesterday. It was grey and gloomy, and intermittently torrential, but I drove over to meet my dyeclass friend and then go to Compton Verney to their - about to end if you're in the area and are interested - exhibition, Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception. It was perfect viewing for us, providing inspiration and insight for our printing and J's weaving.
We took our time there, because of my tendons and J's damaged foot, and had tea before we started and lunch after looking round. And then more tea. And we took advantage of the free bus service from the gallery back to the car park. We also talked and talked and talked some more.
It was a bit of a risk going out for the day because it was the first day of my new medication, so I was still suffering from the fatigue that is presumed to be an effect of the old medication, while the impact of the new drug is an unknown quantity. J is, fortunately, well-informed and thoughtful, so between us we managed my tiredness and made sure no plummeting blood sugar levels occurred. And I was still safe to drive home at the end of the day.

Swans #oftheday

Lazy photo of the day - zoomed from the car, without stopping and getting out.

Today has been rather lovely too. For a start it's beautifully sunny, so I have the doors open and washing drying outside.
Son of Boilerman turned up as promised around 8:30am and fixed my boiler whilst being chatty and delightful. While he did that, I pottered around gently and did things that needed doing, but without any frantic plan, which was rather nice.
And then I spotted the chap across the road who had been recommended to me as a potential gardener. So we looked around my jungle, agreed an hourly rate, and I now have a gardener. It seems like a perfect arrangement, as he lives a couple of doors away, is self-employed, and can just pop round when convenient for him. He's quite excited about clearing things back and then formulating a plan, and seems open to encouraging me to get involved.
Then the veg man arrived and once more, as his last delivery, I got to accept lots of free leftovers. It's not as epic as The Week of 18 Avocados, but I've got quite a lot of extra salad stuff, and a small mint mountain (a mint foothill). He turned up just as I was eating blue cheese on toast and thinking that it needed something fresh to complement it - pears and figs will do nicely, thank you.
I was supposed to let Percy out for a wander in his back garden around noon, but I failed at opening the back door. (Inadequate training.) So we went for a short stroll instead. On the way we met Ida, the tiny, super-enthusiatic dog who considers Percy to be her boyfriend. Much licking occurred. Everyone seemed very satisfied by this. On the way back I helped a delivery guy to find the right house and he was enthusiastically appreciative. (No licking occurred.)

In drug news, the new medication is definitely reducing my blood sugar. It's lower today than it has been for about a year. (It might be too effective, but we'll see.) I read up on the side effects of the old drug, pioglitazone, and it looks as though it may well be responsible for my peripheral oedema and weight gain as well as extreme fatigue. I wondered why I was getting oedema when the weather is cool, and obviously I blamed myself for the weight thing.
I don't usually read the side effects info. I used to, but concluded that the lists of possibilities are too all-encompassing to be useful and vague enough to make me paranoid. Now I wonder if that was a mistake, so I've read all the possible side effects of the new drug, alogliptin, which is basically all the same things as the old drug, plus a few more. Hopefully I won't experience any of them this time.
None of the side effects mentioned tendinopathy, but the timing fits...and one of the known side effects is an increase in broken bones, so that might not be wild speculation?

And now I have a whole sunny afternoon to myself with absolutely nothing on the Should Do list and many delightful ideas on the Could Do list.

Using the Mic

Sep. 21st, 2017 02:12 am
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What you're Saying when You Say "I Don't Need the Mic"
By Erika A. Hewitt
August 31, 2017

This is directed at a Unitarian Universalist audience, but can apply to any group or event.

β€œWhen a mic is being used at a meeting and someone looks at it and says, β€˜Do we really need this?’ I feel outright anger. That person just asked if people like me really exist and demanded that we defend ourselves.”

mixed feelings

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:23 pm
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[personal profile] lamentables
I wore my beautiful new boots for a while yesterday, and now my tendons hate me. This is making me sad.

I've been to see my GP today about all the tiredness. It turns out that fatigue and vertigo are side-effects of one of my medications, the one that we increased the dose of at just about the same time I started to feel exhausted and dizzy. So I'm switching to a new drug tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed that will do the trick - both of stopping me feeling crap and also of keeping my diabetes under control. (I'm having blood tests next week too, just in case.) This is making me feel optimistic.

changing wardrobes

Sep. 18th, 2017 08:46 pm
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[personal profile] lamentables
As we settled down to yoga today, a discussion broke out about switching from summer to winter wardrobes. I observed that I wear the same clothes all year round, I just wear more of them at once in the winter, which sounds like a joke, but is actually entirely accurate.

Two of my fellow yoga students revealed that they have a whole changeover process. For F it is a 3-day thing that makes her very happy. All her summer clothes are carefully folded away and put into storage, and her summer shoes go back into boxes - boxes that each have a photo on the outside for ease of identification. E does something similar, if slightly less extreme.

None of this makes any sense to me. I don't wear my winter coat in the summer because I'd be too hot, and I generally hope I don't need to wear boots in the summer, but that really is the limit of my wardrobe separation. Sleeveless tops that I might wear on their own in the summer go under things in the winter, or over long-sleeved t-shirts. Summer dresses with added leggings and jumpers become winter wear. It's not like we have massive seasonal variation in the weather here. Honestly, it's likely to vary as much in a single day as it does between seasons, which is why dressing in layers makes so much sense.

Poll #18832 seasonal clothes
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 20

seasonal clothes

View Answers

I have separate summer/winter wardrobes
3 (15.0%)

I just wear the same stuff all year round
8 (40.0%)

it's more complicated (and I might elaborate in comments)
9 (45.0%)

we don't have seasons where I live
0 (0.0%)

I have a distinct change of season process

View Answers

4 (20.0%)

13 (65.0%)

3 (15.0%)


Sep. 18th, 2017 05:46 pm
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[personal profile] lamentables
I have over the years built up a collection of comfortable, and very pleasing shoes. It pains me to say that I can no longer wear most of them.

The podiatrist I saw at the beginning of the year warned me that I need to wear orthotics, and I did invest in inserts and a pair of orthotic shoes, but I figured I just needed to wear them most of the time, and when the summer arrived I assumed that my walking sandals were adequately supportive. Then came the tendinitis and the physio telling me my walking sandals were no good for me. I bought new orthotic walking sandals and have worn them constantly all summer - even as slippers - to help reduce the impact on my tendons of my stupidly flexible feet and extended pronation.

I clung to the idea that I'd be able to wear my non-supportive shoes occasionally but, as well as being bad for me, they are no longer comfortable. I haven't yet made peace with the knowledge that I have to dispose of the old shoes, but I have started work on rebuilding a collection of fabulous shoes. Meet my new, orthotic-friendly Gudrun Sjoden boots:

Rebuilding my collection of fabulous shoes. Part 2. #orthoticfriendly #gudrunsjoden

Yes, they really are that colour. And I love them.

other weekend images

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:23 pm
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[personal profile] lamentables
I R DIGNIFIED CAT (pic by @abrinsky)

I R DIGNIFIED CAT, says the Princess

Mmmmmmmm, lunch #oftheday

Saturday lunch in Leamington. Omnomnom.


Sep. 17th, 2017 04:20 pm
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[personal profile] lamentables
I strained my golden rod dye at lunchtime, and decided that there is so much of it I need to use some up, otherwise there will be a European golden rod lake in my freezer. Handily, I had a large-ish piece of silk noil in the 'prepared for dyeing' pile, so that went in the pot and

What a fabulous colour πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’› #goldenrod #naturaldyes #silknoil

OH MY! I am excited. I've added some cotton too, but that won't be as dramatic.

taking the (s)train

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:37 am
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Friday was my last day of dog walking duty. It was also abrinsky's day off, so the three of us went for a stroll through the autumn colours.

Autumn colours #oftheday #dogwalkingduty

After an early lunch I caught the train into Birmingham for a date with a friend. I had originally planned to Do Stuff and then meet her, but decided I was too tired and that actually spending time and money to see a friend is worth it and doesn't need a side-trip of justification. It was very much worth it. Two hours of chatting, coffee and hot chocolate was a lovely way to spend time.

Dreamworld through the train window

Sticking advertising over train windows is a particularly stupid idea. I had enjoyed simply staring out of the window on the way into Birmingham, but couldn't see anything on the way back. Grrr.

a gift

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:29 am
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Small white dog #oftheday #dogwalkingduty

When I returned from walking the small, white dog, my across-the-road neighbour appeared with a gift for me. I'd asked him a couple of weeks ago if I could have his discarded Golden Rod when he cut it down this year, as it's a dye plant and I would love to experiment with it. Not only did he remember, but he bundled it very neatly, and presented it like an outsized bouquet. So, I spent the next hour sitting in the sun, stripping the leaves and flowers from the stalks and squashing them into dyepots. The smell was pleasant - reminiscent of green apples - and when it simmered it took on a slightly aromatic, eucalyptus tone. I left the pots (yes, pots, plural) to cool in the porch overnight and I need to decide what to do with them pretty quickly.

Gift #oftheday #goldenrod #dyeingday

I have some fabric that I could throw in and see what happens, or I could freeze the strained dye for a time when I'm better prepared. Or, given how much of it there is, I could probably do both. But not today as I'm off to Birmingham this afternoon to catch up with a friend.


Last week I discovered that being an irresponsible citizen can pay. We've received multiple 'threatening' letters about our out-of-control garden growing over the boundary onto the footpath, but although they cited dates by which we must take action, they didn't mentioned any dire consequences should we fail to act. I am an awkward sod, so any feelings I had been having about how I needed to regain control of the garden invariably evaporated on reading these letters. Then, last Friday some workmen turned up and cleared up all the growth on the council's side of the boundary.
Clearly the threat is, tidy up your garden or we'll come and do it for you, which as threats go...


I hate flossing, so I don't do it. This week my dentist advised me not to floss, advice which I'm taking very seriously. He confirmed that the risk of getting floss stuck between my crowded teeth is real, and also told me that the downward force of tugging at floss can pull out fillings (of which I have many). So, I've been doing the right thing all these years. Go me.


I forgot to credit [personal profile] catwalksalone with recommending the pink posture stand to me. (She didn't actually tell me to get the pink one.) She is a wise and helpful friend.

alien invasion

Sep. 13th, 2017 07:02 pm
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Alien invasion #oftheday #dogwalkingduty #buzzardsnotshown

I knew that standing up all day is tiring, it's something I notice when we have dyeclass days. Turns out it's also true when you stand still at the desk. I don't think it's a bad thing in the long run, I just hope I get used to it quickly. It certainly encourages me to keep moving around. On the whole, I think the posture stand will be a winner.

Today was generally being a winner. I took Percy for a walk in the sun and wind this morning, and it was exhilarating to be out there. One of my lovely neighbours dropped in briefly. I popped into town to do errands, and again felt exhilarated by the weather and by my ability to walk faster. I had a lovely lunch of leftover risotto. And then I checked my work email and found a reply from the client I'd emailed first thing this morning. Except it wasn't from him, it was from his wife, telling me he had a massive heart attack yesterday morning and she was just off to visit him in hospital.

They are both friends. I met her first, when I was her student doing a City & Guilds in patchwork and quilting - the thing that started me off on the printing and dyeing and general textile obsessions. He's a sweetie who often brings me homegrown produce when he calls on business. They both became friends, and I look forward each year to delivering the work I do for them, taking fifteen minutes to talk business and the rest of the two hours to drink coffee and put the world to rights. I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.

I have another client to whom I sent documents for signing last month. They probably reached her the day she had her operation for breast cancer. I haven't heard back from her yet. I hope she makes a full and speedy recovery.

I would really like this kind of thing to stop happening, thank you very much. I like my clients. I want them to be well and happy.

I cheered myself up by abandoning the standing desk and flopping on the bed to watch the last two episodes of Yes Minister. Bernard continues to be my favourite. He'd be my role model if only I were smart enough. I find myself wondering what would happen if Sam and Josh and Toby and CJ encountered Bernard and Sir Humphrey. Perhaps someone could work that out for me, in story form?

shadow bunting

Sep. 12th, 2017 06:07 pm
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Shadow bunting #oftheday #dogwalkingduty #woodpeckernotshown

I had a lovely weekend, because I had a lovely [personal profile] soupytwist as a houseguest, and then the bonus of day spent in the company of [personal profile] raven too. How lucky can a girl be? Well, lucky enough to take advantage of Heritage Open Weekend in Coventry and visit The Weaver's House, The Watch Museum, the old Coventry Evening Telegraph building (again) and both of Coventry's cathedrals. There was also a visit to the noodle bar and another to the cafe in the cathedral crypt of coffee and cake. That's a lot of goodness there.

And it was just what I needed to fortify me for managing the last part of my charity exit. I started the week by shredding all the old paperwork in my charity drawer, which was massively therapeutic and gave me the impetus to complete the handover document I've been dithering over for weeks. After I sent that off this morning, I sorted out electronic files, deleting the old ones and handing over some that might be useful. Finally, I deleted all the old emails that had gone to my personal, rather than my official account. Donesky.

Next on my schedule, a trip to the dentist. Just a six month checkup and painless, apart from being forced to listen to a serious song by Neil Sedaka whilst trapped in the chair. Genuinely distressing.

This evening my Posture Stand arrived. My raspberry pink Posture Stand. So I'm standing up to type this. I'm hoping this will be good for my compressed nerve, my carpal tunnel issues, my tendons, my incipient hump, and my general tendency to sit still for too long. So far the verdict is: W.E.I.R.D.