Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A-Z of music. G-I.

 Hi all.

Onwards with the A-Z of music.

I'm quite the rock fan so if it doesn't float your boat, feel free to skip to it.


Grendel - Dirty 

I have a little soft spot for Industrial music and this is a good Industrial song I can imagine making shapes to on a rare night out.

Hardcore Superstar - Someone Special

I have a soft spot for Sweden (2 visits thus far) and Swedish sleaze rock like Backyard Babies, Hellacopters and this band. I met HS at a signing at a festival many moons ago, and bumped into half the band at Gatwick Airport (where I worked) a few days later. Nice chaps. 


Hmmm. I only have 2 bands starting with I in my Spotify. In Flames or Iron Maiden? In Flames or Iron Maiden?!

Iron Maiden it is then. 
If anyone can listen to the speech by William Churchill at the beginning of this video without getting emotional, you're a better person than I. 

Thanks for reading.

Things I'm loving today - Dotty's Dreams, Rococo and florals!

Hiya :)

I'm not too much of a Royalist since Princess Diana died, but I do like some of the things I'm seeing here and there to do with William & Kate's wedding next month. In the current economic climate, we could all do with a lift, even if it does involve a wistful spectacle of how the 'other half' live. EDIT - I got Royal Wedding fever and loved it!

Here's a flat pack cake stand from Accessorize for £9.99 

Here's a sandwich tray in a similar vein from the wonderful Dotty's Dreams, who I found on Facebook yesterday. It's £12.

Dotty's Dreams have a lot of beautiful 'tea party' items, but they could also be used for a Royal Wedding knees up, summer street party, or your own wedding knees up. I've been drooling over their website this morning.

They have so many gorgeous things that I barely know where to begin! If you're planning a tea party or celebration for the Royal Wedding, or else fancy a bit of Rule Britannia with your tea and cake, you could do a lot worse than having a look here and at the rest of the site. (Site since closed down.) Yes, I am a tad obsessed! I love tea, I love cake, and I love a bit of glorious 'chintz' (don't tell anyone!) I will definitely be purchasing some sandwich and cake stands when I can.....and am seriously considering getting some for our wedding!

Deep breaths Leah.......let's have a cuppa. And breathe.

Continuing on with the elegant theme, have a look at this:

I was looking up the difference between Baroque and Rococo on Wikipedia this morning (as you do) and found this gorgeous basilica (above) in Germany. I would seriously get RSI if I went there from taking a zillion photos. Amazing!

On Wiki I also saw this mirror at Schloss Ludwigsburg which is also as glam as glam can be:

All photos are click able for larger images and I've added the posh frame to fit in with the regal theme!

A bit off topic, but I love this top from Yours Clothing, £35. I don't know what's come over me, I never usually like florals. First my Tesco floral cardi, now this!

It'd go lovely with all the faux-pearls I've accumulated of late, and would be perfect attire for a tea party with a little cardi over it!

What things have been making your heart sing of late? 

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A-Z of music. D-F


Don Davis - Trinity Definitely

This is a lovely piece of music. I really enjoy the Don Davis vs Juno Reactor pieces from the Matrix Trilogy, too. 


Europe - Final Countdown

This is a nod to the hair metal I matured on. A lot of people are defined by the music they choose for themselves when they're in their teens, but I like to keep current. 


Florence + The Machine - You've Got The Love

Wherever possible I'll try to refrain from posting the same song over and over but this song is perfect for a sunny day like today.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 28 March 2011

A-Z of music. A-C.

Another fun thing to do - a simple A-Z of music you like of any genre. 

I'll probably post a few videos at a time rather than make 26 daily posts. I'm keen to reflect the many different types of music I like.


Anthrax, Safe Home 

Look out for Keanu Reeves in the video.

"You have always been my safe home." What a lovely line. 
Love this song! It makes me feel really happy.


Barrington Pheloung, Inspector Morse theme

I want to surprise people once in a while. I'm not 'just' a rock chick. I love this piece of music.


Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son

I think I first heard this song in an advert for Sons of Anarchy. (I know, shocker!)
The only fault with this song is it's too short!

Are you going to do the A-Z? I'd love to see your posts!

First tattoo with autoimmune disease equals problematic healing

Hello you!

When I say my tattoo is problematic, I mean worrying.

This memorial tattoo to the baby is the first one I've had in about 8 years, and certainly the first one I've had since my autoimmune problems began. 

When I was having my tattoo my pain level was a lot higher than I recalled from my previous tattoos, but I was expecting as much as some kind of pain is a part of my daily life. This one took 2.5 hours long approximately and I was pretty much done by that point. In the past I've had 3.5, even 4.5 hour tattoos in one go. I was a bit concerned about my pain levels but the tattoo finished just in time.

When I went to take off the cling film covering almost 24 hours later it became apparent immediately that something wasn't right. The entire tattoo was covered in a thick brown slime. With my previous tattoos, it's been difficult to get the cling film off the next morning as any fluid lost overnight had crusted up and stuck to the cling film. This time I has to take the cling film off as the ooze was leaking down my arm and the whole thing just slipped off. When I was washing the slime off it was making me heave as it was so disgusting. I had to use two flannels as the first one was so smothered in what looked like pond slime!

All I've done is washed the tattoo gently each morning with hot water and a clean flannel, and dried it with a clean towel. I put Acriflex antiseptic burn cream on sparingly 3 times a day as directed by my tattooist. The tattoo hasn't been soaked in water at all, yet I have really heavy scabbing in some places and one part of my arm has split.

I have no urge to pick the tattoo at all (spending loads of money on a tattoo to fuck it up by picking off the scabs is as asinine as it gets!) so I just need to keep it as hydrated as possible without making things worse and hope the heavy scabbing doesn't lead to any loss of colour.

I had worried that my illness may make things difficult with my tattoo - now I know it to be the case.

It makes me wonder if there'll be any area of life my illness won't taint?!

I'll keep you informed about how the healing goes over the next week or so.

EDIT - I changed to Bepanthen as my skin was so tight and splitting. There is a small area I need to get re-done as the scab was so thick it took some colour with it when it came away. All in all, it's not too bad as some people are too ill to be tattooed at all.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Another outfit - floral and pearls


This is actually the first 50s style cardigan I bought recently but I forgot to post pictures at the time. 

 It's from Tesco, as are the pearls.

 Here I am in my sun room, which is a real tonic (despite the silly face I'm pulling!)
The views are lovely and the first thing that ANY visitor does is come and look out to sea.

Don't I look like a lady? 
Well, don't believe it! :)

I love liquid eye liner. I can't say my application is perfect yet, but it's THE quick and easy way for me to go from 'bleeeugh' to better in the flick of a wand.

Cardigan - Tesco, £14 (up to size 22)
Pink top - Very, £6
Pearls - Tesco £5 (I think)
Earrings - Tesco £3

What fashion are you mad about at the moment?

I never ever thought I'd catch myself in florals!

Thanks for being here. 

That whole 50s thing ....and a memorial tattoo

Hi all!

I like LOVE the 50s look.

I've been mad about pearls and little cardigans for a wee while now and have managed to accumulate a couple of really cute cardigans and a selection of cheap faux-pearl jewels in just a few weeks. I'm imagining myself in the summer with cropped big turn-up jeans, cute little flats, a cardi and some kind of short dress to smooth over my tummy area. And I definitely need some winged sunglasses so I can wear my contact lenses and pose! :)

Here are a couple of photos of yesterdays' outfit.

Look at the size of that painting! It deserves a blog of its own!

Cardigan £10, Primark (also comes in pink)
Dress £15 (ish) pack of 2, Very
Leggings £6, Asda
Shoes by Dr Marten
Ring £6, Debenhams
Earrings £3, Tesco
Necklace £2, Primark
Bracelets (set of 4), £2.50 Primark

The cardi is a size 20 and has polka dots as well as the stripes you can see, and bows on the pockets.

Excuse the creases!

It has a lot of stretch but I like to wear my cardis just done up at the top button. I'm about a size 26/28 so do try things on that might be too small, because they can still work. The leggings from Asda are worth a mention too. They go up to a 24 but are very stretchy and a really good thick material. I also think they're on 2 for £10, which is even better.

The observant ones among you may have noticed a tattoo on my forearm.

It's a memorial tattoo for the loss of my baby. To some it may have been a 'foetus', but to us it was a baby. It may seem silly to cry over the loss of someone who isn't fully formed, but the tears are for the loss of opportunities, for the loss of the future of that little one.

Not only is the tattoo visually stunning, it gives me a focal point for my grief.

Before this the only thing I had to look at to remind me of my pain was my scar. Now I only have to glance at my arm to remind me of what I've lost, but also of what opportunities remain. The fact is I remain to try again. Not everyone who has an ectopic pregnancy comes out alive. I am phenomenally lucky to still be here, as my surgeon was at pains to point out. At length. Twice!

I hope my mum loves this tattoo as much as I do. She took the ectopic pregnancy hard - we all did really - but she really wants to be a granny. My mum is convinced it was going to be a boy. We did want a little boy. I hope every time she sees the tattoo she knows I'm going to try my hardest to give her the grandchild she wants.

We went out for a nice drive yesterday afternoon to a local country park where we had a walk and a picnic.

Here I am bathing in the sunlight.

I just love it when the wind blows the right way to make my hair look good!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Institutionalised bigotry in the NHS

DISCLAIMER: This is a very angry, venting post. Feel free to skip this one.

It's not very often I make a post about my fatness, despite the title of this blog (Edit - this blog used to be called Plus Size Shopaholic.)

If anyone scrolls through my photos it's there for all to see. I'm a big woman. A big ILL woman.

Sadly the NHS can't get past the BIG part of that sentence to give a really sick woman an iota of care. This isn't the first time, nor the second time, not even the third time I've been given short thrift because I'm a big woman.

According to most of the doctors I've seen, you can't be fat AND ill, you're just fat. Being fat is the answer to everything from heavy periods to headaches to getting run over by a bus by lazy doctors who can't be bothered to do their f**king jobs.

Since 2007 I've had a debilitating illness with symptoms such as
  • Poor quality sleep all the time. This in itself is incredibly hard to deal with.
  • Exhaustion, mental and physical. If I overdo things (like walk a couple of miles a day) I can be sofa-bound for weeks on end. When I'm really tired I can't keep my balance, can't walk in a straight line and generally have the gait of a drunkard.
  • Pain, of many kinds. I have stabbing pains in my arms, elbows, knees, jaw, hips. I have unbearable heat in all my joints. My skin is tender to the touch all over. The gentlest touch can feel like a punch. My boyfriend is scared to touch me. Some kind of pain is a CONSTANT. Every day.
  • Weakness in my limbs. When I'm reading a magazine I have to put it down after just a few pages as my arms ache so much I want to cry. It's the same with hanging out washing, drying or brushing my hair, etc etc.
  • Depression - which is hardly surprising, all considered.
  • Skin rashes - the butterfly facial rash as seen in Sarcoidosis and Lupus, also leg rashes as seen in Sarcoidosis.
  • Dizzy spells, headaches, nausea and motion sickness.
  • Brain fog - I get my words mixed up, say the wrong letters in words (i.e. enigmotic instead of enigmatic), forget birthdays, forget appointments etc.
  • Memory problems - I leave the taps running, leave the cooker on etc. I lose my thread in a conversation/forget what I was saying and talk gibberish half the time.
  • I'm extremely sensitive to sunlight. The sun makes my fatigue go through the roof, too much sun exposure makes me swell up full of fluid, it gives me hideous headaches and generally makes me feel like shit. I have weeks at a time where I just can't cool down and sweat buckets all the time, even on minimal exertion.
  • I have urge incontinence - when I need a pee I need one yesterday.
  • I injure incredibly easily - last year I had 9 major injuries from sprains, to putting my back out 3 times, to an Achilles heel injury.
  • Pins and needles and weird pulses all over my body.
  • Chemically sensitive - allergic to hair dye.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Constant feeling of being about to get a cold, sore throat, sneezes etc, but nothing comes of it.
To make matter worse, ever since I came off the pill to start to try for a baby I've had horrible symptoms. I have hideous abdominal swelling for 3 weeks of the month (my waist goes up by more than 6 inches for 2 weeks before I come on and the whole time I'm on, but goes the day I come off), I have horrible pains after I pee and poo, painful sex, stabbing pains in my vagina at random times, nausea, and generally this makes me feel even worse than I already do for 3 weeks out of every 4.

So what happened when I went to the doctors today to ask for some help?

I was treated diabolically.

Firstly, at my surgery there are endless streams of locums. Why this is I don't know. It is very, almost impossible to see a doctor, any doctor twice on the trot, which is why it has taken me over 3 and a half years to get ... nowhere with my health care. Unless you have been through a similar siutation yourself (seeing an endless stream of locum doctors) you can't imagine how frustrating it is to have to give someone your life story whilst they feign interest, knowing they're probably never going to see you again. Also, the problem is compounded because there are an extraordinary amount of heroin addicts and alcoholics being treated by my doctors' surgery, and I feel that care for relatively 'normal' people comes second to dealing with that problem. Seeing someone take their heroin substitute is a regular occurrence in the pharmacy in the surgery building.

This morning the most helpful doctor the surgery has is off on long term sick leave, and I can't help but think that's because - as the only one who does her job properly and CARES - she's overwhelmed. The second best option, who is good if you catch him on the right day was halfway through his 2 week holiday, so I took 'advantage' of the only regular doctor there thinking it must be better nothing (and after some persuasion from the receptionist, who knew I'd been queuing for an appointment since 8am).

I gave the lady doctor a brief introduction to my health in the last 3 years and then handed her a list with bullet points of my symptoms. It was at this point she said "What do you want ME to do about it?"


This might be a long shot, but how about some FUCKING HELP????

"A diagnosis? Some treatment?"

I'd written on the bottom that I'd come back to try to get some help again because when I was pregnant my symptoms had all gone away, and since they've come back with a vengeance it has made me realise how much I actually have to put up with day to day.

"So is the issue here you want to be pregnant?" FACE PALM!!!

"We are going to try to get pregnant at some stage, but I need some help with these symptoms."

Then she started asking me about my periods, which was my 'in' to bring up the hideous time I've been having with my periods since last May. I also mentioned the ectopic pregnancy, and said this was my second one and I'd had to have my tube removed.

She said "Hmmm......I wonder why you've had two ectopic pregnancies?"

At this point I started to get a thin sliver of hope that she might actually lift one designer clad buttock a smidgeon of a millimetre off her chair to help me.

GOD, NO!!!

Instead she pulled out the good Dr cure all - obesity!!!

Apparently, as I've been told numerous times before, if I just go on a diet ALL of these symptoms will go away! Isn't that magical? WHO KNEW ectopic pregnancies were caused by being fat? Who knew memory problems were caused by being fat? Who knew pain SO AWFUL that it makes me want to pass out/ throw up after I have a No 2 is because I'm fat? Who knew hideous abdominal swelling so bad it makes my skin ache from the stretching is down to being fat? Since it 'only' happens 3 weeks out of 4, do I magically cease to be fat one week of the month?!

What a CROCK OF LAZY, bad doctor SHIT.

I didn't get the chance to tell her that YES I was lighter than this by a stone or two when I was well, but being a big bird then never stopped me doing 9 hours of work a day on my feet. It certainly didn't stop me walking 3-5 miles a day, and it didn't stop me having a wide and varied social life. There's a difference between someone who's knackered from being fat and someone who can't dry her hair without a rest! I KNOW the bloody difference, I'M LIVING THIS!

But no, all she sees is a fat person, and like a DIRTY BIGOT she assumes I'm a lazy cow and all of these symptoms are because of my weight. FUCK OFF!! It's just pure laziness and INEPTITUDE!

If I wasn't slightly stronger minded I can't help but think I'd have topped myself long ago to end this f**king charade.

I have committed the cardinal sin of the NHS - trying to obtain health care WHILST FAT.

Has anyone else experienced this or am I just incredibly unlucky?

I am at the end of my rope.

Thanks for reading.
End rant. 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

30 days of songs. Day 30.

Day 30 - Your favourite song at this time last year

I hope I haven't already posted this song! Eep. 

30 days over already. 

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

30 days of songs. Days 28-29 2nd-3rd March

Day 28 - A song that you are obsessed with

I first heard this song on Scuzz TV some years ago.

The singer here is Matt Heafy from Trivium, who is quite easy on the eye to my mind :) The full line up of this band - a super group put together in 2005 to celebrate Roadrunner's 25th year as a record - is  Joey Jordison of Slipknot and Murderdolls; Matt Heafy as mentioned above; Dino Cazares of Fear Factory, and formerly of Brujeria; and Robert Flynn of Machine Head

Day 29 - A song from your childhood

This song came out when I was 7. It was the first music video I saw and it scared the crap out of me. That's why I remember it so well.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

30 days of songs. Days 26-27 28th

Hi :)

Day 26 - A song that you can play on an instrument

I can play the first 2 lines of Silent Night on a Bontempi organ, does that count?! I won't bother to include a video, I think you know how it goes ;) That's the extent of my musical prowess. Here's a very short video of a Bontempi organ being played.

Day 27 - A song that you wish you could play

Erm, every song I've ever liked??? To avoid making this difficult, I'll post the song which is going round and round my head today.