Category Archives: Comfort

Bullshit Hacking, or Lies Society Taught Me

Meeting some ducks

Meeting some ducks.

I bloody love going to see my shrink. Ok don’t get me wrong, the bastard still makes me cry, and remember how it feels to feel things I thought I’d put long behind me, but he’s also some kind of ninja counselling genius who picks out ridiculously profound patterns from my what-I-always-assumed-were random thoughts. Which is kinda mindblowing in a how-did-you-even-see-that kinda way, as well as in a more personal understanding-how-my-head-works kinda way. Which is kinda the main point I guess.

So basically I’m learning lots about me. Conveniently I really like learning new things, and I wanted to share a few of them here:

The phrase “A smile costs nothing” is bullshit. True, sometimes it doesn’t cost anything, but then again, sometimes it does. If you’re in the mood for smiling, or not too bothered one way or the other, then sure – give it a whirl. But if you really want to do something other than smile, then it’s a little lie. You’re hiding your feelings, sparing other people’s feelings, avoiding reality. Stuff having a brave face (or a calm face or a supportive face) – I’d rather be in touch with what’s real. I don’t owe anyone a smile – I give smiles when, and because, I want to.

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” is also bullshit. True, if you have to break bad news or broach an uncomfortable subject you might want to err towards choosing your words reasonably considerately, but I’ll take being honest and listening, instead of clamming up and pretending everything’s fine, a thousand times out of a hundred. I have no right to assume that people want me to “protect them” from uncomfortable discussions. Equally if I don’t feel I’m being listened to, then I have no duty to stay in that situation – I have a choice of how to deal with it. And that can include taking a step back or taking some time, or taking my ideas elsewhere. I choose not to be defensive or jump to conclusions, and I can choose not to be around people who do. And that’s Ok. That’s my right.

“Always put other people first” is bullshit too. Consider other people, yes; don’t be unethical or take advantage of others – but always put them before me? Always leave myself with the shitty end of the stick? Always compromise, always give in, always carry other people’s burdens even if they’ve not asked? No. Do other people always put my needs first? No. I have a right to my own boundaries, just like other people have a right to theirs. And I don’t have to give up my boundaries to be accepted as a helpful and charitable member of society. Bugger it – I don’t even have to be seen as a helpful or charitable member of society – I just need to be me.


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Grandma’s Chairs: 365-12

Dining in style

Dining in style

Over Christmas I went to visit my Auntie Pauline and my uncle & cousins. which I love doing. We’ve not really managed to spend much time together until recent years, but I’m loving getting to know another bit of my family better now. As there were ten of us, Pauline needed to retrieve some extra dining chairs from her attic (well, she delegated the job to my cousins, well done lads!).  I didn’t notice these “extra” ones round the table till we’d all finished eating and people had started moving into another room, but when I did, I saw that they were my Grandma’s old dining chairs which Pauline had been taking care of since she passed away five years ago . Wonderful! I’d not really thought about what had happened to them but they are such lovely chairs – I remember them first appearing in her house when I was small, and being quite intrigued by them. They are a simple design but I’ve always thought them distinctive and I suppose when I think about it now, friendly and welcoming. Seeing them again brought back some lovely memories. And to my delight, Pauline offered them to me as she wanted someone in the family to use them rather than being hidden in her attic.  As luck would have it, I have a dining room in my new house, which has a dining table but no chairs, so I had the perfect home for them! I think they give my house a really cosy, homely feel and I love having them around – and sitting on them to write or eat at the table is just wonderful.

Everybody's Cosy Place

Everybody’s Cosy Place












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LongCat: 365-3


There’s nothing as wonderful as a warm, content, sleepy cat stretched out on your lap.

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365 2014

I’ve often thought about doing a 365 project but have never really begun to think about it at the right time. Not that there needs to be a right time, as 365 days can begin whenever you want really. But I like structure & to know where I am, so I am going with January 1st.

I’m also going to stick with photos rather than blog posts or anything else that you could do one a day of, because I know that’s achievable, and will allow (and make) me (to) think about what I want to share. I will aim to accompany each day’s photo with at least a sentence to give some context, which I hope will also keep my writing going whilst forcing me to be more succinct! The only other rules I set myself will be that I will include no food- or work-related posts.

This is my only plan (“resolution” if you like) for 2014. I want to keep it simple and focus on the basics rather than try to do too much and not manage it at all. Didn’t get round to much of 2013’s ideas, but then 2013 did take some unexpected twists and turns for me! It would be nice to think that in 365 days’ time, I’ll be back in the habit of making inspiration a priority again.

Here’s a little preview, of a situation I find comforting – being safe inside when the weather rages around. Taken at around dawn on 27th December 2013:

rain, window, dawn

Safe Inside


Filed under 365 project, Comfort, Inspiration, Photography