Thursday, 21 May 2009

A quick reminder...

...about my other blog Emma in Wonderland Photography.

I'm constantly updating it, letting you all know what I do and why I do it!

Bye for now!
Em x

Friday, 15 May 2009

New photography blog!

I've started a blog to keep people abreast of my photographic goings-on!

As with this blog, I welcome all nice/constructive views and comments!


Books That Changed My Life...

...or at least had a HUGE impact on me in some way or another!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (trilogy) by Douglas Adams

Don't panic! :-)

I've read the entire 'trilogy' of five books...many, many times! I've probably read 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe' alone a hundred times! It was the first book that made me laugh out loud and I did so, frequently, on the way to work. People are supposed to look at you funny on the London Underground though, aren't they...?

One character in particular, Wonko The Sane, is a man after my own heart!

TIP: Don't bother buying the books separately. If you read one I guarantee you'll read them all so save a few quid and buy the complete trilogy in the first place.

The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

Please don't ask me my favourite in this wonderful series - it changes all the time. (The link is to the very first book.) Pratchett looks at the world as I do, that is, from a funny angle. I've never read Tolkien and now I don't have to!

I'll read anything this man writes - I'd read a bus ticket if Pratchett wrote it!

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

The only book to ever make me cry out loud. I read it when I was a girl and it's been with me in spirit ever since. If you haven't read it I won't spoil the plot, but I will say this: I'm terrified of spiders yet during one chapter I cried my eyes out. Brilliant.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (and What Alice Found There) by Lewis Carroll

Two of the most enduring, inspiring, intriguing and fantastical books ever to be written. The characters, quotes and Charles Dodgson's (aka Lewis Carroll) nonsense verses will live on forever. (It probably comes as no surprise that I like this, considering the title and web address of this blog!)

A typical conversation:

Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.

The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.

Alice: How do you know I'm mad?

The Cat: You must be. Or you wouldn't have come here.

Alice: And how do you know that you're mad?

The Cat: To begin with, a dog's not mad. You grant that?

Alice: I suppose so,

The Cat: Well, then, you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.

Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall
Kendall is both an amazing speaker and an amazing writer. I've never really been one for religious literature, self-help books and suchlike, but this book was recommended to me by a good friend and I now owe that friend a great debt of thanks!

I've been practising 'total forgiveness' every day since I read the very first chapter and it's completely changed my outlook and attitude to life, the world and everyone else in it. A truly remarkable book which EVERYONE should read, Christian or otherwise!

(BTW; I've already bought the companion book, Forgiving ourselves and am looking forward to reading all his other books, too!)

Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-en (translated by Arthur Waley)

I love this!!! Buddhist teachings, spirituality and early Eastern politics all beautifully wrapped up in a great tale of friendship, sacrifice and courage. So funny and easy to read, you could think it had only been written last year! The central character, a monk called Tripitaka, really did exist and really did go on a great pilgrimage. Such was his fame that many legends and stories abounded about his travels. Ch'eng-en has collected all these stories and presents a coherent version version which is simply a joy to read!

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
My absolute favourite book in this series is the very first one; The Magician's Nephew. Many people think that The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is the first book, but although that was written before The Magician's Nephew, that book was written as a prequel and was always, even according to Lewis himself, intended to be read first.

I got so lost in that first story - I was completely there - and have been looking for just the right setting to do a photographic tribute. If anyone knows any magical beech woods with a carpet of lush green grass and possibly some pools of water, PLEASE let me know!!!

(Again, buy the whole set - you won't regret it!)

Bye for now!
Em x

Thursday, 14 May 2009

# Quick 'Positive' update #

* Kimberley had her stitches out and all is fine! Of course there's more difficult operations to come, but it's great so far!

* Had my blood tests results back: B12 low, glucose high. The rest is fine. I wasn't surprised at the B12 level - could well explain the chronic fatigue. The high glucose is more worrying... anyway booked an appointment with the GP this afternoon just before my smear test.

* Saw my consultant psychiatrist yesterday. We can't change my medication until I know if I already have or if I'm a high-risk for diabetes, as one of the tablets affects blood sugar levels. Dr B will ring my GP, Dr J, tomorrow to get his decision/opinion before discussing it further with the psychologist. It's so nice having someone from the mental health services actually doing something proactive without me having to scream 'til I'm blue in the face!

* Liz from GMC Publications (Black & White Photography Magazine) emailed yesterday for my address. Apparently my email is their 'letter of the month' and I've won a lovely book on photographic composition! Letter of the month! In my favourite magazine! Woohoo!!!

* Had a ladies' night out at Pizza Express, Camberley last night. A bit of a last-minute thing, but it was a friends' birthday and I really wanted to be fit and well enough to go. Had a single vodka and lemonade but that coupled with my anti-anxiety pills and an empty stomach meant that I found myself yakking on, holding court and talking for England! To everyone sitting at my end of the table -sorry for be such a rambling loudmouth. I don't get out much these days...!

(The birthday girl was Becky - a friend from church who's daughter also goes to William's gymnastics class, so Becs and I get to sit and chat every Tuesday. I get to feel 'normal' - whatever that is - for 45 mins a week so I'm grateful for that!)

Monday, 11 May 2009

Positive stuff!

After dumping all over you before, I feel it's only fair to point out that there are (of course) good and/or positive things going on in my life, too! (It's worth pointing out that none of this has really 'cut through' the depression or fatigue, which is why I'm especially worried.)

Anyhoo; in no particular order:

1) My baby neice, Kimberley's operation to correct her cleft lip was a complete success! Later she'll have more surgery to fix her cleft palate then, when she's about 16, she'll probably be offered cosmetic surgery to reduce the scar. Cleft lip or not, she's seriously gorgeous!!!

2) My Etsy shop is slowly but surely growing. I'm in the art showcase today and I've been rotating the image featured hoping to generate more interest in my wares. I'll soon be adding a new shop, selling off the hundreds of beaded bracelets I made when I was first signed off work! I can also get shot of some of the beads and charms I've collected over the years!

3) William is in 'big boy' pants...some of the time, except when he wees all over the carpet! One step nearer to being toilet trained, though! (FYI: He has Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder and In The Night Garden pants. If anyone knows where he can find Spiderman pants he'd be very grateful, as would his mummy!)

4) Blood tests over and done!!! I am EXTREMELY needlephobic (what IS the actual, correct term for that? Must Google it later...) but the nurse, Eileen, was fantastic -as she always is. I lay on the bed, William at my feet and Healey holding my left hand, and just concentrated on my breathing and not passing out! Seemed to work! Results due Tuesday...

5) I'm having an email 'letter' and two of my images printed in the next issue of my favourite magazine: Black and White Photography!!! (No prizes for guessing what the magazine is about!) I sent a message to a lovely lady in their publications office and she sent such a nice, personal response. I'm pretty housebound lately so I've been trying my hand at still life - a whole new genre for me! I'm very pleased with the progress so far, it's not perfect, but then that's what practice is for! They're interested in publishing my B&W and sepia still lifes in the future, too!

6) Spring Harvest 2009 was at once the worst and the best Springy ever. It started badly - already exhausted and stressed out and Wills playing up and running off didn't help. I started work immediately and by lunchtime, day 3, I just wanted to sit in the middle of the path and sob my heart out and I didn't care who saw me. Instead, I went back to our chalet and prayed on my knees for gudance, strength and help. God answered that very afternoon -and He just kept on answering! Even at closing time! It was one amazing event after another, and I didn't even need to move from the Veritasse stand. It all just came to me! He sent sign after sign that He was looking after me. Of course, our Father in Heaven looks after us all - we just sometimes forget or choose to ignore Him, then we don't pray and wonder why life goes belly up and we don't have the wherewithall to cope. Lesson learned!

Anyway, I got great feedback from customers, made some lovely friends and good contacts in the (Christian) art world. I picked up some great tips for selling and exhibiting and now I know I can do it. Which leads me neatly on to...

7) I've recently sold a few 10x8" prints through my Etsy shop and exhibited in the Farnborough Festival of Arts. I will also be taking part in the ever-popular art exhibition at the West End Centre, Aldershot around Christmas time. I'm hoping to take part in the Westy's first ever arts and crafts fair in November.

I'm really moving forward with my photography! From little acorns...

8) Friends and the people at work have been so supportive and generally lovely about my various ailments. I started to name names, but at the risk of forgetting one and offending somebody I'll just say that they all know who they are and it has been sooo appreciated. It keeps me going, truly. You're all beautiful people and don't let anyone tell you different!!!

9) Summer is coming! That's got to be good, hasn't it?!

'Til next time!

Take care and God bless,

Em x

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Sorry I've not been around...(Warning: long moan!) health has taken a massive downturn. I've missed a month off work and am about to have blood tests on Friday, then an MRI scan on my shoulder and the dreaded smear test next week.

Just to fill you in: my depression has been at its worst since 2006; my 'bad' shoulder has got worse and the orthopaedic consultant suspects a SLAP lesion (possibly torn muscle/ligament) so I need an MRI which means having x-ray fluid injected deep into my shoulder first and I have a condition called vestibulodynia (did I tell you that already?)which means smear tests are particularly painful.

I'm missing out on work, the theatre company, photography and just having a regular, adult life.

I am very needle-phobic and my anxiety is out of control. My sleeping pattern is worse than ever so I'm constantly fatigued. All in all I'm having an awful time of it. I can just about do one thing a day. By 6pm I'm wiped out, but still can't sleep properly. I'm self-harmong again. My photography business isn't exactly taking off and so Healey is still having to work extra hours so he's always tired, too. My Mum's MS is really bad at the moment, she's almost housebound and I can't help her.

I've really, really had enough.