An ode to my new cooker

Welcome to our home, new cooker!

You fit perfectly into the space left behind 

By the one who served us so well

She was too small but worked extra hard

You are exactly what we need now

Bigger and stronger, with extra goodies

I can’t wait to work with you!

Welcome to our home, new cooker

I dub thee Slyvia.

I’m embarrassingly excited about our new cooker. It’s the first brand new cooker I’ve owned – I’ve only ever had second hand or built in ones before. She’s a beaut though. Our old cooker was a great wee thing, but wee is the operative word there, a 50cm width in a 60cm space. It looked not great and it meant we were constantly dropping stuff down the sides. When it finally packed in (after 6 years of us having it, I don’t know how long my friend had it before us) I was sad – it was the best oven I’d owned for baking and such. The brand (Zanussi) is pretty expensive and there was little chance of replacing it with a comparable one. Damnit. Because it died on us so suddenly, we didn’t exactly have the spare cash floating around for a decent replacement. I looked on gumtree and ebay, but Gof was insistent on a brand new one.

I looked around and didn’t see anything either of us liked. It was clear we needed a 60cm one and that limited the bells and whistles we could get. I decided to hold off a few days. I’m glad I did! Going back onto the Curry’s website, I spotted a Zanussi on sale, from £549.99 (ie waaay out of budget) to £299.99! My awesome mother-in-law loaned us some cash so we wouldn’t struggle with the added expense this month (thanks M!). Even more luckily, we were able to take advantage of a special offer through Gof’s bank, so the total came to £279.99. I’ve never really paid attention to those bank offers, but I will now!

So essentially, we paid £80 for a £550 cooker. Obviously, we will be paying M back (she’s saying she won’t take it but she bloody will!) but even then it’s still a freaking steal. Now we have a cooker that fits in the space and increased capacity, along with the awesome power of our old beloved cooker. Perfect.

And just in time for Christmas!

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Gutted. Seriously gutted.

So a unicorn appeared in a charity shop last week. A red Kitchen Aid mixer, looking shiny and new.

*chorus of angels*

*chorus of angels*

I was overjoyed. I needed to have this in my life. It was going to be available to buy on Saturday 7th November, and I was determined to be there before opening to stake my claim. So Friday night rolled around, and my plan was to be at work then go home (around 4am) then just stay awake and walk down to my date with DESTINY. There was no price on it but it certainly would have been cheaper than buying brand new. It was my colour, my perfect and only.

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And I did it. I went to work, finished and went home. I put on Judge Judy and waited til it was time. I was wide awake and excited. I popped onto tumblr to clear some inbox messages and then….

It was 10am. What? When did that happen? NOOOOO!!!!!

The shop opened at 9am and my Kitchen Aid was undoubtedly gone. I rushed along to confirm. Yup. I didn’t have the heart to ask how much it went for. Apparently my date with destiny was cancelled. I was stood up. Or I stood it up. I don’t know. All I knew was it was gone.

And that’s how Lime Crime got some small measure of revenge against me.

*sobs*

Sig

womp womp

MCM ended up being a bit of a bust. I was too sore to do the cosplay thing, and I ended up only going on the Sunday and walking around on my crutch and on my own under a hat of shame.

moi

It’s not the hat’s fault really, I just felt sorry for myself. Cue sad violin. The hat is fabulous.

Still, it was pretty inspiring. Even though I wasn’t the only one wandering around in my civvies, it was total carnival of different fandoms and genres, and everyone was just in it to celebrate! It was encouraging that even most of the traders were in similar spirit, dressing up and enthusiastic about their own passions. Everyone seemed to be in deep and joyful conversation, and I wish I’d made a drinking game for the amount of ‘free hugs’ signs I seen! Or maybe not – alcohol poisoning isn’t cute.

After a while, I realised I was starting to feel the strain of walking around and I was lucky enough to nab a front seat to the Sunday Masquerade. For those (like myself) who’ve never been to a show like this, a Masquerade is part talent show, part costume design critique. There was a panel of judges and although not everyone was entered to ‘compete’ (some just wanted to celebrate their costume) the audience went out of our collective minds for each person and group to go on stage. The littlest geeks went up in costume with proud parents for applause and cheers, then the teens braved the stage before the contest portion started. I can now die knowing I’ve watched Winifred Sanderson perform ‘I’ve Got A Spell on You’, as well as seeing two of the happiest guys I’ve ever seen take about a minute and a half getting up the 4 steps to the stage in an AT-AT costume, panto horse style. It was the most I’ve laughed in ages! Overall, the level of dedication and talent was completely mind-blowing and I walked stumbled back home with a reinvigorated attitude to making the time in my life to create.

Since then, I’ve performed my last burlesque show I can for about a year. It was bittersweet, and probably something I’ll talk about soon. What going to MCM did for me though, was encourage me to continue making my costumes (up to the last minute!) better for the show, even though it’ll be a long time before I can use them again. I finally made a tentacle skirt for Ursula that is worthy of the diva she is, and I rhinestoned practically everything I could for Harley Quinn. She may be criminally insane, but she likes her guns to be wicked sparkly! It helped to see so many people making these costumes for the joy of making and wearing them, not just to perform. Think about it – some of those cosplayers will have spent 100+ hours on a costume they only plan on wearing once, so I should dedicate at least that to something I’ll eventually wear again.

Now I’m just waiting on my ankle surgery to happen so I can get working on getting back to normal. In the meantime, I’ll be creating. I’ve got the excuse of Halloween coming up, and I’ve already started on that! I’ll hopefully write about the process soon. Want a sneak peek? Of course you do!

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I’ll be working on it more today, check out my Instagram for updates!
Until next time,

Sig

Wearing the damn crown.

It’s a hell of a process to finally admit when you’re in trouble. Since it felt like my life led up to that one big moment, it was almost anticlimactic when things remained much as they always did. The big reveal was not the end, nor the beginning. It was a clearing of the throat, before continuing to breathe as normally as I ever have.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking through old blog posts, private journals and like. I know now that the shame and embarrassment of a life led like mine isn’t unique. There’s a safety in admitting that you’re not a special snowflake with problems and issues no one else can understand. It’s a relief to recognise that mental illness is not a problem I face alone in the world. My drama queen tendencies are symptomatic of my imbalance, and can be corrected. They are not who I am any more than this illness is. Even through the simple act of ageing, I cut out a lot of the immaturity I once claimed as a vital part of my identity. The work in that department continues, but awareness is a happy byproduct of growing the fuck up.

Still, I often wonder, ‘now what?’ Moving forward, taking ownership – why does life still feel nothing has really changed? Since admitting I needed help, I’ve began really taking my health seriously. I’ve had a few slips but for the most part I’ve took my medication, really examined my past behaviour and current reactions. I am noting the way my physical health affects my mental health, and vis versa. I realise I’m being more introspective and less demonstrative – which is probably a relief to my loved ones! Yet with all that I still feel overwhelmed by life and sometimes that can go to dangerous places. I’m coming to terms with the fact that bringing that side of the darkness to light hasn’t made it go away. It was maybe naïve to think so. There’s still a ways to go and most likely, it’ll just be something I deal with for the rest of my life. Not an encouraging thought, but perhaps a realistic one.

So I’m taking a page out of my old book and writing again. I enjoy it, and it forces me to examine my thoughts. Why online? Why not? Part of this is recognising I’m not actually alone – and really, how alone can I be online? Plus, I’ve received so much support from friends, family, even strangers. I’m never going to turn that down. It helps. And maybe, just maybe – the words I write can help someone else too. The worst thing about being open about mental illness is accusations of attentionwhoretiatis. Even when faced with suicidal ideation, self harming, voices telling you what a horrible worthless person you are – the stigma of playing at it for attention is so terrifying that so many people do not seek real help at all. I sure didn’t. But I’m not playing by that rule book now. It’s not helpful. So if you must, stick that diagnosis in with the others. Frankly, it’s the least of my concerns.

I’m pulling the reins now, and I’m giving them a good snap. What now? Let’s see.

(Title inspired by my ‘hiding in plain sight‘ post)

My top 10 games!

Gof tagged me in this on Facebook, and it turned into a bit of an essay, so I thought I’d post it here!

Ten games that have influenced, impacted me, or I’ve just enjoyed the hell out of.

1. Super Mario 3 (NES, Wii) was the first game I spent hours playing… After I wrestled the controller away from my mum! I still have it on my Wii, N cards still memorised!

2. Goldeneye (N64), my uncle hitchhiked from down south with the console and the game for our Christmas, and I used to stay up nights playing it over and over. I lost months playing that game!

3. Silent Hill (PS) was the first horror game I played, with my then boyfriend. We crapped it over and over, but again – couldn’t stop playing! Never had a more atmospheric and terrifying experience playing a game since.

4. Super Mario Kart (N64) was my first real experience playing with and against other people. Many a family night was spent trying to blow each other up, use dirty tactics and lie, cheat and steal our way to the top. Srs bsns. All clean family fun, complete with life lessons.

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Hiding in plain sight.

tw – this talks about suicide and ideation. It is pretty graphic in places, but I didn’t want to pussyfoot around or downplay the seriousness of this issue. If you feel like this may trigger your own illness, please do not read this and call a group or local medical authority for help. I’ve included 2 numbers for UK and US readers since that where stats tell me most of my readers are from.

Mind – 03001233393 (UK) 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -1-800-273-8255 (USA)

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KaleidoScot interviewed me!

Just after Glasgow Pride I was asked to answer a few questions about my perspective on gay life in Glasgow. I identify as bisexual although the article did erroneously label me as straight, which they apologised for and offered to clarify (I thanked them and told them it was fine), but aside that, I really enjoyed talking to Jonathan (new friend alert!) and was absolutely overjoyed to be offered a writing position on the strength of that interview! I’ll link any work I do there here, but I figure I’ll let you see this great interview first, and hopefully introduce some of you to the brilliant work KaleidoScot have done! Let me know what you think!

nicola

My Pride 2014 make up!