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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Another Quick Update

I know I've been a bit slack this last week with remembering to post.  The truth is, I haven't really been online, or on my laptop much at all.  Instead I have been busy.  Last Wednesday I had an interview (I didn't get the job but enjoyed the experience) and on Friday I did a reading at my uni's media display day - I read an extract of my final project and loved hearing everyone else's work, and catching up with some friends. 

On Saturday Chris and I paid all our money in return for some keys - yes, we have somewhere to live now.  Don't worry I'm sure I will be posting pics and keep you updated on the moving in process.  We decided to get the place early so we would have plenty of time to move in - I don't do well with stress - so am now in the process of packing.

And yesterday was the carnival.  I snapped lots of pics of the parade (which I'll be posting soon) but as I was in my wheelchair we decided not to go to the park where the stalls were as it was raining and we didn't really fancy trying to get through the mud on wheels. 

So that's a very quick update of how I'm doing.  I really do miss blogging regularly but right now my life is a bit chaotic and more than a little stressful; and I really don't want to be inundating you with everything that's bringing me down in life right now.  I'll try and keep you all updated and will be back to posting as soon as I've got a hold on my life.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

A Crazy Day - And Cooking (picture-heavy post)

Today started incredibly calmly and I was enjoying taking it a slow, tranquil pace.  As we know, those kind of days never pan out as relaxed as we're expecting.  It turned out there was some misunderstanding and a lot of confusion (on my part) about money issues and our new apartment (which we get the keys to on Saturday!) which Chris and I decided to sort out earlier than later which involved a trip into town, me in my wheelchair, in the pouring rain.

Once we'd sorted everything we made a quick trip to the market before making our way home.  And I reacted to all the stress the only way I know how - by cooking and baking.  In this instance, both at once.  We started out by peeling and cutting a lot of vegetables which we then made into our very first casserole.  I've been wanting to make one for a while now and recently bought a casserole dish (at the 99p store) so didn't have any real excuse not to.  It also meant we had a lot left over for freezing (something else I've been wanting to do for a few years now but never got around to).  And I know you're just dying to see pics so I'm happy to oblige:


 And more chopping!
Resulting in lots of veg!

We had to cook some on the hob as the casserole dish wasn't big enough (in fact, it only held half of it)

And the finished product:
was very yummy

As I said before (and as you could probably tell from the photos!) we made a whole lot of casserole and once we'd eaten I spooned it into 6 (yes, 6!) portions to be frozen:

So that was the cooking part of our endeavours.  (By the way, we used a bean mix that I bought from Sainsbury's for £1.99 so it wasn't just vegetables!)  However, at the same time (well, technically in the middle) I started on some baking.  Seriously, nothing is more therapeutic than baking - it solves all stress.  I decided to tackle a recipe that I've had problems with in the past - the choc-chip cookie.  Honestly, I've tried a few variations of this and I'm lucky to end up with anything edible at the end.  Today, however, something went right:
 Very unflattering angle!

Yummy cookie dough that we sooooo wanted to eat just as it was.  

However, we managed to refrain and ended up with:
My first successful batch of (very big) choc-chip cookies!

So what do you do to de-stress?  Anything you find as therapeutic as I find baking (and cross-stitch, but that's another post)?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Day

There are many things I've been wanting to write on here, but today is not going to be the day I'm afraid.  In half an hour I will be leaving for my interview, I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared.  I'm nervous and unsure but I also believe that I can do this.  I know the chances of me getting this job are slim, but that's not going to stop me from trying - if I don't try how will I know for certain?

So anyway, I'm sitting here in my new outfit that I spent a fortune on, trying to relax and prepare myself.  I know I don't really have anything to worry about.  I'm going to be myself, and if that isn't enough then it isn't the job for me.

I don't really know what else to say right now as, as you can imagine, my mind is racing and it's all I can do to keep up with most of the thoughts.  I wish you luck in all your endeavours today and hope that this interview doesn't take too much out of me.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sunday Shout Out

I think it's been a while since I did a Sunday Shout Out so here's another blog for you to check out.  This week it is a blog by a new friend of mine, Nicole Jayne at about her life and everything related.  Personally, I think she is very brave as in August she is doing a skydive for charity - read about it HERE, the money is going to The Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Nicole, not one to shirk on a challenge, is trying to raise at least £500 for the cause.  I have already donated.

If you want to donate and don't want to have to go through Nicole's blog for the link (though I don't know why you would want to do that) then you can donate right now.  Let us know if you do as I know Nicole and many mothers will appreciate it.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Coming Out

click for source

As many of you know 'Bethany Mason' is a pseudonym, one that I'm no longer comfortable sitting behind.  I loved Bethany and her life as a writer, but it is now time to move on, to say 'I am no longer that person'.  The truth is, I don't know who I am.  I know I love to write.  But I also love so many other things - crafting, baking, reading, indulging in wild flights of fancy.

As you can see, I am already changing.  From now on, I want this blog to represent who I am - or who I believe I am at the very least.  I am a girly girl, I like pink and swirls and cupcakes.  I a writer though I don't know what that means right now.  I am a book lover - I will devour any and every book I can lay my hands on, I just wish I had time to read them all.  I am creative.

The last one is the one I feel I have been hiding.  I have been hiding behind the labels of 'student' and 'writer'.  But now it's time for me to graduate (not literally - I still have a couple of months before that!).  I'm still not entirely sure who or what I'm graduating into (though I can share with you that this change has a lot to do with my secret project) and I hope that you will follow my journey.  However, if you find that who I am no longer interests you, or you came here for the posts on writing (I have a feeling these will be few and far between for a while), then I can promise I won't be offended if you take yourself off my followers list.  You should only spend time doing and reading what you love - and that's something I will be working on for myself.  I hope to find what I love and pursue it and will be sharing my findings with you on here.

Friday, 20 May 2011

An M.E. Medal

Firstly, sorry about the random re-posting of Recipe For An Incredible Night yesterday - I don't know what happened there!  And now, on to the actual post.

The other day as I was catching up on my blog reading I came across this and knew I had to buy one.  Chlay is another M.E. sufferer only she is not using the little energy she has to enjoy life, but rather, to get the word out about M.E.  This is just the latest of many endeavours, the 'M.E. It's a Hard Nut to Crack' and I jumped on board.  What is it? 

It is a gold nut pendant on blue ribbon.  For those of you who don't know, yellow/gold and blue are the colours for M.E.  Chlay is selling these for only £2.50 (inc. p&p) and I urge you, if you have M.E. or know someone with M.E. to buy it.  It's not a lot of money, and the proceeds are going to M.E. charities that are doing research into this horrendous disability.

But there is another reason.  When I was wearing it the other day (I now wear it every day) I looked down and seeing the blue ribbon and gold remarked to Chris that it felt like I was wearing a medal.  He, of course, said that I should be wearing a medal for simply surviving and living when I am stuck with M.E. (I, of course, believe he should be wearing a medal as to watch someone you love suffer is surely much worse than suffering yourself?)  Since then the idea has stuck.  So I am wearing it every day to remind me that I am not alone in this fight against M.E., and that I am stronger than I ever remember.

And that is why every M.E. sufferer should have one.  Every single sufferer, whether they are 99% or 0% deserve to know that they are incredible for getting up every day (or believing and hoping that they will get up one day).  So if you know someone with M.E., or suffer from it yourself, please GO HERE to buy one (or two, or three).

P.S. there are much better photos on Chlay's blog.  The only reason you can't see my head is that I couldn't work out how to take a picture including it without the camera covering it.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Recipe for an Incredible Night

Okay, I realise that I am late in posting this.  I got caught up in life stuff (the positive life stuff) which led to lots of drink and friends!  Even though I know this is late, I have to give you one piece of AWESOME NEWS before showing you the pics from Monday night.  Chris and I have a place to live!  Yes, that's right.  We put the down-payment down yesterday and we are officially moving in on the 28th May.  I'm really excited (in case you couldn't tell) and I'm looking forward to sharing the moving experience with you (even if it is literally just round the corner!)

So, onto pics.
Me dressed ready to cook:

And photos of me and friends:

I only just realised I don't have any pics of the spaghetti and lentil bolognase I made so I'll skip straight to dessert:
The cupcakes I made impromptu:

Chocolate animal shapes (it took 200g of Milka to make these 8 shapes):

Ice pops (lemonade and food colouring - messy combination):

A handy place to store it when chatting:

It was an incredible night and so worth the pain the next day; I can't wait to host another one (though it turns out I'm a bit Monica-ish when it comes to being hostess).  But basically, the recipe for a great night is: friends, food, drink and sugar.

One Quick Phone Call

It's typical that the moment I resign myself to not blogging much, I find myself with lots of news and plenty of post ideas crammed into my head, begging for release.

As you know, I haven't been really feeling like myself recently.  I haven't found myself interested or motivated to do much at all.  It's amazing how quickly that can change.  Yesterday morning I was woken by a phone call.  A phone call inviting me to an interview!  I have only applied for a few jobs as I've been struggling to get up in the morning, but this one I really wanted to apply for.  It is 12hrs a week which I'm certain I can manage.  It's temporary so I figure it'll give me some time to worry about getting a 'real job'.  I am don't have any of the qualifications they ask for.  But I know I can do this job.  And it seems that they think I might be able to as well.  I wasn't expecting a reply.  I wasn't expecting any response at all.  But I got one. 

I had been feeling like a failure.  I had applied for an online freelance article writing job and been turned down.  To say I was at my lowest would be exaggerating.  To say I was at my best would be an outright lie.  I had given up having faith in myself.  Getting this interview brought it all back.  I know I still have a way to.  I know I might not get the job, but for now, knowing I got an interview is enough.  It reminded me that I am capable.  I am strong.  And I can survive in this world, even with M.E.  So now I am determined to fight my way out of depression.  I am taking it extra slow, just a day at a time, focusing on one thought or idea a day as the last thing I want is to burn out and force myself back down.  For the first time in a while I feel able, and that is saying a lot.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A Note to my Readers

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  The truth is, I've been avoiding blogger.  I can't really explain why.  I love blogging and still think about it almost constantly; but I just don't seem to find anything I want to blog about.  I hate myself for not posting more regularly (especially when I KNOW I love it so much) but I can't bring myself to find anything interesting to say.  I wanted you to know it's not about you - I love you all and appreciate each and every one of my readers - and I hate doing this to you.  So I will try and post, but only if I want to post.  I'm hoping I'll be back to blogging often soon, as I miss it so (yes, I could just do a ton of memes, and I have considered it, but I believe you and I both deserve better than that).  So, I will be about, I'll try and post at least once a week to let you all know how I'm doing, and hopefully this is just a short crisis (it's got a lot to do with M.E. and being out of the security of education for the first time in my life).  I'd appreciate you keeping your fingers crossed for me, thank you.  Bethany x

Monday, 9 May 2011

A Quick Post

This post is going to be rushed.  I have a million things rushing through my mind right now.  Today I have been busy - and it's only just beginning.  I'm hosting a dinner party for a few friends - and it turns out, I can get a little obsessive.  I went into town to buy a few things from Tesco and ended up with a new dress, new sandals, a lot of things from The Works (and that was with self-restraint!), a new journal (which I needed) and plenty of ideas.  So now I'm taking a break, before I start on the cooking.  Hopefully, tomorrow (or the day after) I'll have lots of photos to share with you.

For those of you who commented on my last post (and those of you who thought about commenting), a huge thank you.  I am slowly pulling myself together, a day at a time.  I'm trying to go outside and get plenty of sun as often as possible; I'm continuing with my plan (I figure it gives me something to work towards, even if I'm not sure if it's what I want - I can always change my mind later) and I'm spending time with my friends.  I'm hoping that eventually I'll start to feel like myself again, until then, I'm going to continue on this journey of life.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Difficult Post to Write

This is a hard post to write.  I'm not really sure how I should say what I want to say.  I don't know where to start.  I don't even know if I want to say what I'm going to say, but I want to be honest.  I want you to know why I haven't blogged so far this week.

The thing is, I haven't exactly been feeling myself for the past few days.  By that I mean the person you see here - the hopeful, inspired person behind the words.  Instead, I have been feeling empty and worthless.  I know you are probably thinking that I'm not and I really do appreciate that, but it can't change how I feel at the moment.  Those of you who know me (and by that I mean, those who know me very well) know that I have had depression, on and off, for a very long time - ever since I got M.E. (or there about, I'm still not sure which one came first). The truth is I denied it for a very long time.  And then I went to university.  Everything changed.

I didn't stop getting depressed but my bouts of disillusion were shorter and I was able to deal with them.  A lot has happened in the past few years that has kept me in a relatively healthy state of mind.  But now I feel stressed and hopeless and stretched thinner than ever.  And this has led to some very bad feelings about myself the past few days.  And I didn't want to tell you.

I didn't want to impress on you how bad I'm feeling right now (yes, I know that's exactly what I'm doing now) as I didn't want my problems to become your problems.  But neither could I find it within me to write any upbeat posts - all my thoughts were gloom and despair - so I didn't write.  Now, I still don't want you to feel for me but I realised that I made a pact with myself to always tell the truth in my words, especially in this space.  So I am telling you, not for your sympathy (because honestly it won't help) but because you deserve to know why my posts may be a bit sporadic for a while (though I will try my hardest to post as often as I can without making this a place you want to shy away from).  It also feels good to tell the world.  Accepting it is the first stage for recovery, I know this, and this is me accepting how I'm feeling right now.  And hoping it will lead...I don't know where, maybe somewhere over the rainbow?

Because I can't bear leaving you on such a low note, here are some pics of the biscuits I baked over the weekend:

You have no idea how fiddly these rings were to cut out and move onto the baking sheet!

Added butter icing and then jam to get:

Homemade jammie dodgers (way tastier than shop bought ones).