After The Trauma…The Treats Arrive

One of the most traumatic experiences in mundane life…is having a bra fitting. The Pandemic seemed to suspend bra fitting services for a long time, so I put up with older bras, and bought a couple of bras online that were the same size I was used to wearing.

But I knew things were not quite right. So…a few weeks ago….off I went for a professional bra fitting – and yes, it was as awful as ever, but the result – a perfectly fitting bra.

Photo by Castorly Stock on

And…well, Jack noticed the difference. With his newfound knowledge of my up-to-date measurements, he decided that he would make a rather raise your eye brows purchase.

Jack buying me lingerie! I have to pinch myself. Seven years ago….what am I saying?…three years ago!!!…Jack and I were not on speaking terms. Now we are arguing about where to have our wedding reception.

The trauma…the trauma that awful time…it has passed…the celebration of Jack and me is a wonderful treat I want to linger in always.

The Universe Within

Jack has been reading all sorts of other information about the brain (which seems to be because he is so worried about me). He has come up with some fascinating nuggets of information:

“the cerebral cortex contains approximately 14–16 billion neurons…the estimated number of neurons in the cerebellum is 55–70 billion…”


Apparently, if you lived for eighty years, you would have lived for 2.5 billion seconds. Which perhaps gives us a little help in contemplating all of those billions of neurons. Our Milky Way galaxy is estimated to contain over 100 billion stars.

Each neuron is connected to other neurons….several thousands of other neurons…by means of connections called “synapses”.

“…the human brain has been estimated to contain approximately 100 trillion synapses…”

But I am sure…that your brain is to you more than some big figures…lots of zeros. Your brain contains the universe with you…all of your memories, the passions, the dreams…things that are incredibly precious to you.

I just wish my brain was not such a worry. It is such a astonishing object – nothing in the universe has been found to compare with the human brain. So, it would be nice if mine would behave!!!

Tore Up All Your Photos

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: APPEARANCE/ IMAGE/ LIKENESS/ OBJECT/ PICTURE/ PHOTOGRAPH

I was so tempted to go with the Ed Sheeran track today…because it is a great track . But instead, I have chosen a song that I have loved since I was about twelve years old.

Photo by cottonbro on

Favourite song alert!!!

I do realize that the song I am featuring today has been a Song Lyric Sunday choice of mine in the past, but it is hard to resist the temptation to pick a favourite song.

“What Do I Do Now?” from the cracking Britpop band Sleeper. One of the best live music events I attended was one of their performances in Manchester. The crowd especially loved this song.

I have always loved the clever lyrics…and lines like “Tore up all your photos, didn’t feel too clever, Spent the whole of Sunday sticking you together”…are one of the reasons this track has stayed with me for over twenty years.

Quickly she came, dressed up for fame
Riding her perfume downstairs
Make up like glue, she danced round the room
To the sound of her corduroy flares
"Lets go to town, taxis all round
We could stop for a couple of beers"
He looks at it all, stifles a yawn
She tries not to look like she cares

What do I do now, are we going under?
What did I do wrong, I thought we had it sorted
Out the other day maybe I'm just stupid
Can't we try again?
No one told me it was raining

Can't face a club they walk to a nearby pub
Watch a couple of bands
Draining the glass, they walk home at last
Reaching for each others' hands

Nothing is said, he goes to bed
Dreaming of her on his own
She stays up all week watching him sleep
Scared that she'll wake up alone

What do I do now, are we going under?
What did I do wrong, I thought we had it sorted
Out the other day maybe I'm just stupid
Can't we try again?
No one told me it was raining

Oh I'll miss you every day of your life
Oh you'll feel it too, you're not that strong
You know I'm on to you

Oh I'll miss you every day of your life
And maybe when you're dead
I'll get some rest from holding onto you

What do I do now then, are we going under?
What did I do wrong? I thought we had it sorted
Is there someone else, or am I too familiar?
Was it when I said I wanted to have children?
Tore up all your photos, didn't feel too clever
Spent the whole of Sunday sticking you together
Now I'd like to call you, but I feel too awkward
Some things need explaining
No one told me it was raining

Written by: Louise Wener, Andrew Maclure, Jonathan Stewart, Kainadeed Osman

My Safe Zone

The Pandemic was challenging for people for all sorts of reasons. I understand that. Since social restrictions were lifted, many people have been making the most of the chance to socialize freely. I understand that.


…I have noticed something different. People I never used to socialize with before the Pandemic, they seem to be trying to get themselves an invite into my little nest…and also into my relationship. Maybe that sounds odd. But I cannot tell you how cautious I am with my security, and how discreet I am about my movements with Jack.

I think that what has perhaps discombobulated me is the change of job coinciding with the lifting of restrictions. All these new people, and also former colleagues who would like to see me outside of work. They want to meet my other half too. Which strikes fear into me. I Also, some of the people I have been teaching online during the Pandemic, they seem to want to now do group things – like going Nandos (which lacks appeal despite being able to recall that about eight years ago when I did go there, I think they had some kind of bean burger that was not terrible).

The Pandemic provided greater freedoms for Jack and I. Being able to walk around with a facemask making it harder for people to recognize Jack. Being able to stay at home and cosy up together instead of attending public events. It has been lovely. My safe zone includes trusted friends and colleagues who have known the two of us for years, and all of whom treat Jack in a very normal way.

Now…well, I am feeling more exposed, and the whole being in a goldfish bowl – and this notion that others want to stare in, peer in, leer at my inner world. For some reason…I just don’t feel very safe.

Photo by imso Gabriel on

Does this have anything to do with remembering that for over two years, hundreds of people became over-interested in my personal life, in my connection with Jack? Does it have anything to do with thousands of remarks, scores of photos and the many rumours that circulated?

I don’t want to go through that again.

Is It All In My Head?

Jack very delicately and tactfully put a question to me at the weekend. I have been suffering…yes suffering…with some sidesplitting headaches recently, and added to that two black-outs, he finally convinced me that contacting my GP was absolutely necessary. The GP told us to go to A&E (which is exactly what they always do because of my history).

So, Jack drove me off to A&E, and I waited, and waited, and waited, while Jack had to spend most of the time in his car responding to phone-calls. He checked on me regularly though and when I texted him to say I had been called in, he was not far behind me. After a score of questions and routine checks, I had to wait even longer before they sent me off for a CT scan, and then I had to wait for the results – and they just said almost word for word what they always say.

Anyway…Jack posed a question and he was very careful about his wording. In view of the recent change to a new job that I am finding not particularly enjoyable, it is possible that there is a link between my headaches and blackouts and stress?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

I respect Jack for asking the question. I was sincere when I said I don’t think it is stress. I don’t really feel stressed in my new job, although I am unhappy there. I acknowledged there may be an increased physical demand on my brain and body due to the longer commute to work. Perhaps staring at a screen all day is not helping. But I don’t think it is any kind of anxious stress that is causing these headaches.

They are much too intense. Plus, the Doctor who discussed the CT scan said there is a little swelling, but no sign of any bleeding. Swelling is not good. But stress does not cause your brain tissue to swell. The Doctor discussed the familiar advice on not exerting myself physically, on not taking any risks, and on making sure I rest and remain hydrated. In other words, he had no idea why I am still having blackouts and realizes that I have been examined by neurologists more times than I have been to a dentist in my life!

Jack was so sweet to me after our adventure to hospital. I was shattered by the day. Shattered. I was resting myself on a pillow and could not keep my eyes open. He was stroking my head and whispering into my ear how precious I am to him. My goodness….my beloved, who is a teenager in a fifty-something’s body, can be incredibly sweet when he wants to be.

And then….I have no idea what happened next because when I opened my eyes it was morning.

The Big Spring Clean

Due to having been particularly busy these past few months, my annual big spring clean has been postponed until this coming weekend.

The annual big spring clean is pretty exciting. It is a chance to empty every drawer, every cupboard, and then to make arrangements for anything not used or worn in the past twelve months to disappear from my nest and my life.

It is an opportunity to thoroughly clean all of those hard to reach places. Fridge freezer are emptied and defrosted. Oven is cleaned to it is sparkly like when it was new. Furniture is all hoovered – which I do every three months actually, all of the wooden blinds are thoroughly dusted and wiped (which I do at least every six months).

It is the most super duper intensely thorough clean…..


Oh…that reminds me…I need to take the duvet to the laundrette. I still have the winter duvet on my bed. But now at last, I think it is time to swap over to the summer duvet – don’t you think?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Here We Go Again

Last night…I had what I suppose one would call a flashback.

Oh dearie. How can it be that like clockwork, the brain starts to recall the traumatic event that it knows was so so so so wrong, so awful, so dreadful, so terrifying…and it starts to play it all back in vivid detail?

Photo by Tobi on

The heat, the scent of grass, feeling thirsty, darkness, weakness, animals screeching…the brain connects these and sends me back, right back to that night.


Very quiet alarm bells are ringing. A slightly concerning situation may be on the verge of developing. I cannot worry…I sort of expected that it may occur at some point, and really up to now I have escaped lightly.

After over three months in my current job, one of my colleagues finally commented on my engagement ring last week. I don’t really mind that nobody else has enquired. For reasons that many of you will know and understand a lot better than my new colleagues would, it is an advantage to my peace and security to keep a low profile and remain discreet about my personal life.

Photo by Chelsea Rebuta on

I answered some of the questions that the colleague who noticed my ring asked me. I am careful about what I will share and what I won’t share. But then another colleague who I work more closely with overheard and very kindly wished me congratulations.

I sort of wanted to put a lid on the situation. I explained I had been engaged for over eighteen months, and it is old news really. I understand that there are normal politely curious questions, and I need to answer them in a way I am comfortable with.

I just hope that the lid stays on. I am not ready to talk to just anyone in the office about my personal life. There is one young man who sniggers every time he asks me about my “charity” work. I have already decided I don’t want to share a single iota of my life outside work with him because he is undeserving. There are others who seem genuinely friendly, and perhaps in time I will feel comfortable enough with them to share a little more of my life.

One thing that frightens me, other than one lady who like me has a very basic non-smart phone, everyone else seems to have electronic devices at their finger tips and they seem to use these social media platforms I am so wary of. So…I will be very very cautious about what I share.

Not Naturally A Planner

Like many of you, I really enjoy the questions posed in the daily Cyranny’s Quickie posts. Recently, one question caused me quite a lot of reflection about how much I have changed:

Since I was a child I have heard the phrase “have a schedule”, and perhaps I heard it too much, because I came to hate it. For a long long time, I resisted this notion, wanting to be more of a free spirit perhaps.

Yet, I have learnt two things:

  • having some form of schedule is a very wise idea because it helps you to make better use of time (“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of.” – BENJAMIN FRANKLIN)
  • be purposeful – which includes being flexible and reasonable as it is often difficult to keep to a rigid schedule when all sorts of things can crop up, but being purposeful means you can adjust to unexpected challenges (“The best-laid plans of mice and men go oft astray.” – ROBERT BURNS)
Photo by Kaboompics .com on

Which brings me to my point….I absolutely love the SCHEDULE feature that WordPress offers. It has been something I have depended on for the past few years. I don’t have time on a daily basis to write, so when I do have an hour to myself, I can write five or six posts and schedule them to be published. I also have plenty in my drafts folder than can be scheduled when I am really short on time.

But sometimes, things seem to go wrong with my WordPress SCHEDULE. I tend to publish my posts at the same time each day….only because experienced bloggers have recommended consistency. The time I have chosen is about 90 minutes before my alarm clock goes off. It means than when I turn my alarm clock off, I can have a quick peak at the BBC News headlines, and check on the post that was published on my WordPress site. Normally, 90 minutes after it goes live, there are a handful of “likes” which is always encouraging.

This morning, I had a SCHEDULE failure. The post I had scheduled for today was nowhere to be seen. It turned out to be my fault. There is a big difference between AM and PM – a whole twelve hours! So, I tweaked it and now it will be published tomorrow instead.

Cold As A Stone And Rich As The Fool

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: MONEY/GOLD/SILVER/RICH

Something odd happened in my search for a song this week. I kept on reading lyrics to songs I formerly liked, but suddenly realized I profoundly disagreed with. The awareness of just how much anything extolling materialism is repelling me steered me towards a song by an artist I find a joy to listen to. I do not know how people have the conscience to enjoy their diamonds and rubies, flashy cars and super yachts, private jets and multiple palatial houses when there are so many people, so many people who are working for long hours but just scraping by on the breadline.

Photo by Nischal Mudennavar on

Birdy is such a talent, and although I have already enjoyed her music, I am hoping there is a lot more to come from her. My song choice this week is Birdy’s cover of a song originally sung by Cherry Ghost (whose recording I have tagged at the bottom of the post).

I read that the writer of this song “People Help The People” Simon Aldred (lead singer of Cherry Ghost) was backpacking for three months in India when the melody for this song came to him, and he hummed it to himself daily to keep it in his head until he could reunite with a guitar.

God knows what is hiding in those weak and drunken hearts
Guess he kissed the girls and made them cry
Those hard-faced queens of misadventure
God knows what is hiding in those weak and sunken lives
Fiery throngs of muted angels
Giving love but getting nothing back, oh

People help the people
And if you're homesick
Give me your hand and I'll hold it
People help the people
And nothing will drag you down
Oh and if I had a brain
Oh and if I had a brain
I'd be cold as a stone and rich as the fool
That turned all those good hearts away

God knows what is hiding in this world of little consequence
Behind the tears, inside the lies
A thousand slowly dying sunsets
God knows what is hiding in those weak and drunken hearts
Guess the loneliness came knocking
No one needs to be alone, oh singin'

People help the people
And if you're homesick
Give me your hand and I'll hold it
People help the people
And nothing will drag you down
Oh and if I had a brain
Oh and if I had a brain
I'd be cold as a stone and rich as the fool
That turned all those good hearts away

Nah naaah nah nah naaaaahhhhhh oooouuuu
Nah naaah nah nah naaaaahhhhhh oooouuuu

People help the people
And if you're homesick
Give me your hand and I'll hold it
People help the people
Nothing will drag you down
Oh and if I had a brain
Oh and if I had a brain
I'd be cold as a stone and rich as the fool
That turned all those good hearts away

Written by Simon John Aldred