Thursday, April 30, 2009


JB (8,1) 1 Andersson’s Polielins Whitney with Tantra, shapely 17 months black, exudes true Tibetan type from head to toe, pleasing head of correct shape and proportions, arrogant yet soft expression, lovely arch neck, well laid shoulders, good rib shape and length, well set and carried tail, free sound jaunty mover without exaggeration, all topped off with a gleaming well presented coat, could not take my eyes off her. BCC and BOB, and delighted to see her short listed in the strong group


I tried something different last night. I took two slow release Tramadol (200mg)and I awoke not in pain. I then took paracetamol / codeine when I got up at 5am. My swim went very well, the best I have had for ages.

I have to stay in today because I am expecting a delivery of an Ipod (120gb) and a Sony DSLR A200. These are being sent as replacements, by the insurance company, for the ones that were stolen. It seems that 35mm film camera's are hard to source now. It was a film camera that was stolen. We will also get a cheque in the post to cover everything else.

I have to say that our insurers, AXA, have handled this very well. Trouble free and no arguing. We have not lost out financially.

I wrote to Accor Hotels to complain about the 'handicapped' room we were given in Salzburg. The only thing they had done was put bars around the loo,and the room itself was too small for a wheelchair user.

I was very surprised to get a response back refunding our stay there and also giving us a free weekend in Vienna to be taken up till April 29th 2010.

We have always used Accor Hotels (Mecure, Sofitel, Novotel, Ibis etc) since we started to travel on the mainland. They are very good and well priced. I usually book online.

James and Bridget are doing very well at ringcraft. Amazingly so. Both move very well and have just about got the hang of standing still when the 'judge' goes over them.

I have plenty more photographs of our trip to blog. It just takes time for me to edit the photographs. Oh, the camera that is coming is better than the one I already have, so that too is a bonus.

I have stopped knitting John's socks until he gets home and tries them on. He said they were fine when I had done the foot up the heel but now I have gone past the heel, they are tight over my instep. Perhaps he has less wide feet than me.

I am past the heel on the two Poison Apple socks and also on the Lorna's Lace Road Gerry. I am part up the foot on the Lorna's Lace Andersonville and also on the sock using Nana's yarn.

I have knitted up to the armholes on the raglan garter stitch sweater on the machine.

Julia Warner of Snowtalia Lhasa Apso took this picture of me and Micah in the ring at Cruft's.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I couldn't go swimming today, I was far too sore when I awoke.

I went to the optometrist and my eyes have altered yet again. They vary from -3.25 to -2.25 any given year! This time they were -2.50 and -2.75. I am having my bifocals redone but with the reading part left clear (or almost - it has to be slightly prescription cos I have astigmatism). I am fed up with still having to take my glasses off to do close work.

I have bathed Luque and Whitney. She is below with coat dressing on after her bath. She really is the most beautiful dog and a lovely character. Long before she was shown, I knew I would not be parting with this one. I have allowed myself to really feel close to her. Scary. She clearly adores me. She lies there staring into my face. When we were away, she didn't eat. She know sleeps with me and is so gentle., She again lays her head close to mine and falls asleep staring at me. (Luque is barred because he keeps kicking me to move over and he pants in my face!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I bought a shirt and a hand made leather purse which hangs from my trousers, It has a wonderful brass buckle closing mechanism. i shall picture it later.

We thought this (above) was amusing....


I had a delightful surprise this morning. One of my blog readers telephoned me from Australia to congratulate me on Whitney's win. Thank you Toni! I was thrilled to hear from you.

I have been for my swim today. I took drugs first. Even with them, it was painful. I am certain this is not a flair now as this has been going on too long-6mths- and also pain in my shoulder sockets and down my arms is new.I think it has spread. Still, most importantly I was able to swim.

below are more pictures of our trip. all of these are Pest.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Whitney the day before her big win.
Her dad.
Bridget stuck in the trellis. She has stopped getting into the flower bed now....(her full name is TANTRA'S HELLO SAILOR)
Carly. If you ave been paying attention you will know that Carly was known as Little Dorrit. However the Kennel Club declined that name and they called her Carly. As Bridget was called Carly that was a problem. Rather than deal with bureaucracy, I just changed the names of the puppies. They have learned their new names already.(Tantra's Carly)
James pretending to not care but having a sly peak. (TANTRA'S SAILOR SAILOR)

Micah has gone to live with Mr and Mr West. They fell for him, and him for them, when they came to buy his granddaughter, Phoebe. Yesterday we went to have lunch with them and took Micah with us and left him there. He is the only male there with 3 neutered females.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


The more I think about yesterday, the more annoyed I am, or disappointed, that I wasn't 'present' to enjoy it. Even my memory of it is from outside of it, not from the inside. This is so like the way I recall my past. I remember most things from outside. I just don't get why it is the same for this momentous thing in my life, the thing I have waited 38 years for. It happens and I disassociate. Damn. I would so rather have felt it and experienced it there and then. Not just be told about it afterwards.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Although you may find it hard to believe, I was left totally speechless. No kidding, no exaggeration. I was unable to speak. Or do anything else much.

Yesterday was WELKS Championship Show in the Malvern Hills, a lovely venue when the weather is nice, as it was yesterday. I went with Micah and Whitney.

Micah went unplaced and I did not mind as I felt the judge was judging dogs and not people.Of course I'd rather he would have won or be placed but I paid for her opinion and I got it.

Whitney won her Junior class and I was pleased with that. Later she had to go in with the winners of all the other bitch classes to compete for best bitch. In the lower classes, one knows one won't win so it is a bit of a chore to have to go in for this.

I was kneeling down, talking to Whitney, and thinking to myself that I wish the judge would hurry up and give out the CC (challenge Certificate) to the best bitch so I could get out and go home.

I heard a scream and that made me look up to see the judge standing in front of me holding her hand out.

'S**T!!!!!!' is precisely what I said before I was struck dumb.

I felt quite ill from then on and acted like a tit in a trance. Literally. I zoned out completely. I felt confused and just totally stunned.

If you haven't figured it out, Whitney was awarded the Challenge Certificate and therefore Best Bitch. (If this happens twice more, she is a Champion.) After this she had to go in again and compete for Best of Breed against the best male. SHE WON! She beat an entry of 119 Lhasa Apso.

Friends helped me gather my stuff and move me off to the Group judging ring where Whitney was then competing with all the other Best Of Breeds in the Utility Group. She was unplaced but was in the final cut of 7. Quite something.

I didn't really react to all this until this morning. I was talking to my long time dog friends, Ken and Thelma and found myself crying when talking about Whitney and how as a very young puppy I just knew she was special.

Two other friends phoned me today and they said the cheers and applause for Whitney was deafening. I heard nothing. Like I said I was out of it. Weird how even for something this good, I disassociated.

Dawn, a non dog show friend, said when I spoke to her on the phone, she could tell I was shaking cos of my voice. I don't recall speaking to her.

It was excellent to be able to tell my fiend Linda who bred Whitney of her fantastic win. She was of course thrilled. Life is very odd at times. Linda can no longer keep and show Lhasa Apso because she has the same condition as I have but hers has progressed to the point she can no longer groom. I wanted something of a different family to breed with and so Linda let me have my pick of the litter she had. I chose Whitney.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


My email friend Pam West (click on name to go to her website) did this portrait. She thought it looked like one of my dogs, and I agree. I didn't know that modest Pam was an artist.

Micah and Whitney are all tarted up for tomorrow's show and I am soon off to bed. Since I had three pairs of boots arrive today, my footwear for tomorrow has changed to pastel green and coral. They match the colours in the waistcoat.

I did my swim this morning. I have also been taking Sennakot , 2 twice a day for the last three days cos I was bunged up and nothing was happening. Today, a few hours after this morning's dose, rather too much is happening! I am hoping it will be done by 4am when I leave here.

I have FIVE pairs of socks on the go. I couldn't control myself. Thankfully I wasted no time trying to find the repeats or making sure I cast on a particular break. I just picked up the damn yarn and cast on and away I went. What will be will be.

I did make a concession with the Road Gerry from Lorna's Lace. It was going to stripe and not nicely so I just carried on increasing until it did something else. It obliged at 84st and is now spiralling in a very nice way. It is on 2mm needles and 84 sts is that little bit too loose for me, I prefer tight, but probably normal for most people.

Speaking of tight, can anyone explain why my legs, hands, and torso feel better when I am wearing tight undergarments and tight gloves? I wear support tights most of the time now and my vest is always tight and I wear tight half gloves most of the time. My guess is that it has something to do with the pressure but I can't figure how or why that would help my condition.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WELKS 2009 ( April 24th) OUTFIT

The waistcoat and cravat were from Ebay as was the frock coat. The trousers I dyed myself and the boots are Kickers Kick Hi. The hat was also an Ebay bargain.

New Kickers

These are designed by the 70's group, The Buzzcocks.



Click on the link above. This is about an 11 year old boy who hung himself when he could not endure the bullying any more.

He was not considered 'normal' and no one at his school thought anti gay bullying should be addressed.

You may not realise it Anonymous but you and all who think like you allowed this to happen, allowed the bullying to happen, allowed this boy to be hounded to his death at the age of 11.

Every time a gay person, who one perceived to be, is bullied or killed, every time a person of colour is abused or killed, every time a woman is abused or killed , or a child is abused or killed, ALL those people, regardless of their actions or non action, who think that gay people, people of colour, women and children are LESS than, are responsible. Why? Because you give fertiliser to the growth of hatred.

Personal Responsibility has much wider ramifications than we like to think.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


These were taken on our first day in Budapest. The title of this post is Pest because we were in Pest. Buda is across the river.

It was freezing cold, minus something C, and very windy. We had also just discovered that the city is useless for wheelchair users. I was furious. More because I was cold and tired from the previous day's driving. We took Daniel back to the hotel and when I had calmed down, I took painkillers and decided I would have to walk. I hadn't driven 1250 miles to sit in my hotel room.

I discovered that painkillers don't enable me to walk as if nothing is wrong, without pain, or at a normal pace. They do take the edge off though and I felt rather pleased with myself that I managed it.

On the way back to the hotel, to take Daniel back, I nearly got run over by a woman in a car as I was riding him over a pedestrian crossing. Like Italy, drivers seem not to care abotu traffic lights or pedestrians.

It happened again very soon afterwards and during our stay, I really had to watch out cars that wouldn't stop as I crossed roads. Not just that, they came around corners paying no heed at all to what might be in front of them.

As you can see though, the city was beautiful. I have many more pictures to post.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I am sure some of the commenters on the previous post knew that I was writing tongue in cheek, others I am not so sure!

On the serious side, yes, I do think this was also do with getting rid of the past. I said to John it's like clearing out the old me. It also wasn't that easy, or might have been more difficult, if I had thought too much. I just put them all in sacks and took them to the recycling place and did not think about them or look at them again. Some of these shoes, or most of them, were bought on trips abroad. However, they are of a type I no longer wear and I have my memories and photographs anyway.

And the shoes go to charity, they are not destroyed. Some will be because they were worn, but most will not as they were in good condition. None of my present boots and shoes are likely to get worn thru as I do very little walking now.

I need to clear out more stuff.

I did my normal swim yesterday, but today I shall not go. I plan to go tomorrow. I really have learned to pace myself. I plan to go Thursday too and I might go Wednesday, depending on how I feel.

We had a really good weekend, busy but gentle. We walked into town yesterday, or rather John did and I rode Daniel. There had been the St George's day Fayre from 6am to 7pm (at least that is how long the roads were closed to traffic.) We got there at 4pm and it had more or less shut down, with most of the stalls packed up. We also found that Lidl's now shuts at 4pm and not 5pm which was annoying.

I have been dreaming a lot recently about my experiences of mental hospitals and locked wards and psychiatry. I think I shall be writing about this very soon. Whilst we were away we watched Changeling on the hotel tv. I would not have gone to see this film nor would I have hired it, but there it was on the hotel tv for free. I watched it knowing I would find it disturbing. If you have seen it then the scenes about the mental hospital were my experience. Hers was in the 20's, mine was in the 70's and nothing had changed. I was 19 and the horrors I saw and experienced will not be forgotten.

The ignorance of the staff including the shrinks, the cruelty of the staff and shrinks. (Not all, but most.) The abuse of patients. The power play. It was hell and one I found myself trapped in. I had at first been admitted from a medical ward but I left as soon as I could and later volunteered to go back because I could not cope another day with my family. I needed to get away from them to a place of safety and nurture. How wrong could I have been? Once I was there I was trapped. My family ignored me and wouldn't have me home. I had no where else to go. I ended up on a long stay ward where I was set to become a 'lifer' had it not been for a really nice shrink who got me out of there. She said to me she would have my family locked up if she could, not me. I was advised to stay well away. But I was incapable of looking after myself and was offered no help at all so when I was released, I went to my parents. I spent my time with them wondering how I was going to escape them. Even going back 'inside' was an option as it was less painful than being with them.I still didn't see them as the problem, just me. I wanted to escape them because I couldn't bare the pain of the shame of not being what they wanted. At that time, I still believed I was the one at fault and they were good people. Dark days. I eventually was placed in an Anorexic Unit. Would you know I can't recall the name of the place? Oh yes I can, the Atkinson Morely. This was 78, the middle of. Well, it was supposed to a world renowned treatment centre and the expert was Professor Crisp (a stupid name for an eating disorder doctor I thought at the time). This man and his team knew f**k all about the problems of the patients, treated us like bad people, not ill and abused people. More abuse. I was eventually thrown out because I binged!!! One thing that sticks in my mind was a group session with all the patients and how staff were really cruel to this woman who kept complaining of pain. You could see she was in pain, pale and drawn and tense and the way she moved. They yelled at her, told she was imagining it, the pain wasn't real. Today, I think she probably had Fibromyalgia. She was treated cruelly by staff and patients alike and she ought not to have been in a psych hospital but being treated for her physical pain. I haven't ever forgotten her. The anguish she must have felt.

Nor have I forgotten seeing 4 members of staff forcing feeding drugs to an elderly frail woman. Nor the woman who went away and came back subdued and zombie like after having electric shock treatment. Nor those who took their lives rather than live there.

Most of the people I came across in the psychiatric had one thing in common, the need to feel powerful. They were bullies too. Some were sicker than others. Some were in fact kind and tried their best in a terrible system.

The biggest failing is that they do not see patients as real human beings with thoughts and feelings that are important. In fact the thoughts, the way of thinking, is THE most important thing. Instead, they see us as biological systems that have malfunctioned and are not at all interested in how we feel or think.

Instead of loving care we get electric shocks or drugs pumped into use. I tell you some of the drugs, Largactil and Haloperidol (chlorpromazine, Haldol) are appalling in their effects and could be used to torture people. In fact I think they have been.

To describe the effects is very difficult. Both of these drugs are neuroleptics and they cause long term damage to a person. In the short term they made me feel as if my skin were crawling, as if they was something in my guts squirming. Anxiety levels were very high, blackouts were common, behaviour was dreadful and confused. Hallucinations. Demons attacking me. Rocking back and forth, treading from foot to foot, dribbling. I got arrested on these drugs because my behaviour was off the wall with violent outbursts. My violence resulted in a terrible thing happening which I have to live with to this day and though I know I was out of my mind at the time, it does not lessen the pain I feel when this memory comes to the surface as it does regularly. (No I did not harm a human being.) These drugs were supposed to help! How stupid , stupid, stupid!!! They were meant to shut me up though I didn't see it at the time. Far easier to shut me up with drugs, put me in a long stay ward, than it was to deal with the pain and grief I was carrying.

The only thing that saved me from all this was John. I would be dead or locked up if it were not for him. Through his unwavering love and respect, he gave me the hope I needed and the space I needed to heal. It has taken a very long time yet I have arrived here today to a life in which I am happy and stable.

John's love for me is something I find very hard to see. It takes other people to tell me, unbidden, how clear it is to them that he loves me and that he wants to make me happy and care for me. Whereas I more often than not feel a burden upon him. As a result, I can be rather unpleasant to him at times because I feel guilty, thinking that he must get fed up having to do things for me. But it appears not, if what others see is right. He does say to me that he doesn't mind at all and he wouldn't do things if he didn't want to. Like going away which is a pain because of my needs. Always my needs have to be in the forefront and I hate that. He says it doesn't bother him at all and I know he has never behaved as if it does. The only time I see him get riled is when other people treat me badly either directly or thru ignorance and lack of facilities.

I am not the person I was. I am mentally sound and know and like myself so he doesn't need to take care of me in the respect. He doesn't have to make sure, when I am manic, that I stay out of trouble, I don't get manic any more. I am trustworthy, together, and at a certain peace with myself and life.

Yet now, I am a physical wreck and here John is, still having to take care of me and that really pisses me off. I would so love for him to be free to not have to consider my needs all the time.

Letting my mind wander back to those dark, dark days leaves me astonished with who I am today, that I survived. I feel very fortunate indeed. Words can't really do justice to that darkness nor to today's light. My feelings about both do not find expression in words easily.

However, today, frequently, I get that little buzz in my tummy that tells me I am home and safe and life is good. I almost can't believe it and on my not so good days I tremble with fear at the thought of the darkness enveloping me again.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I desperately need the support of my dear friends. I don't even know if I can bring myself to tell you about this, about what I have done. I've been thinking about it for quite some time now but each time I have gone to the brink and pulled back. I have had nightmares about this. I couldn't believe I was even thinking of doing such a thing. Well, today I did it. I gritted my teeth, and with no holding back, I went over the brink. I don't need you to judge me, or to tell me I was wrong, I just need you to tell me it will be okay.

I dumped at least 30 pairs of shoes. Yes, you read it write. See, I told you it was bad. Now you know why I had such a hard time telling you. I know it will get better, but when?

There is a positive side to this. I have only got 27 pairs of Doc Martens and three of them are sober. Nowhere near the amount I thought I had. Room for improvement there I think. ( I have 11 pairs of Kickers too, with two on the way.)

Oh dear, odd numbers. 27 Docs, 13 Kickers. That must be made up to an even number, I am sure you understand.

(EDIT: all the shoes were brown and variations there of except for an off red pair, one lilac suede (bad idea), teal suede (equally bad), and a light blue suede pair. What was I thinking?)

Friday, April 17, 2009


I have been left exhausted by two women!

Jane from Eindhoven in Holland and Lia from Sandhausen in Germany. We have all met a few times before and originally because of the Socknitters list.

A very bad influence on me. Who knew this small town could have us shopping for 5 hours?

Last night we ate at the Plate and Porter. Very good food.

In between shopping and eating, we chatted and knitted and petted the dogs who were delighted as always to receive guests. How about this? Seven of them ranging in age from 15 weeks to 11.5 yrs, including to mature stud dogs, and there was not a grumble or snap to be heard whilst they competed for who would get petted. As You can see, Micah and Luque parked themselves on Jane and they are the two studs . Not a growl from either them.

We will all meet up again, I hope for Xmas in Sandhausen.

(For those you concerned that I am being hurt or am upset by Anon-I am not! This type of attitude stopped hurting long ago. I am baffled by it and I find the lack of self awareness astonishing. I still have enough faith in humans to believe that one day such people will think more positively about those who seem to be different.)

Lia with Whitney.
Jane with Micah (left) and Luque.