Picture this

Finally, the weekend. After spending the morning trailing from podiatrist (one day I will devote an entry to my disgusting feet, but not today) to pharmacy across most of South East London, and failing to be at bus stops at the same time as buses, and losing my patience and walking instead of waiting, I’m back home and taking a break before heading out this evening to a shindig hosted by Frozen Margaritas.

The walk was a nice one, mind, with plenty to look at. I was never really that aware of street art until recently. Partly my new-found awareness is because it’s enjoying a massive, middle-class boom, as evidenced by Dulwich, of all places, holding a street art festival. Partly it’s because the esteemed Christine Estima, our favourite unexpectedly adopted flatmate, brought a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm with her when she came to stay (as well as our very own flower-holding space invader) so I keep more of an eye out now, if only to snap pictures and send them to her. Anyway, the walk today yielded a couple more of the Dulwich street art efforts. They’re sprinkled all over the place, but these two in particular are my favourites so far:

Love the Edward Gorey style.
Honestly, if I could hold this many cups of tea in the morning, I would.

By the way, the side of my house is a massive, empty, white, on-the-street wall and I would love it if something like this appeared there. Anyone. Anyone?

Last weekend I went to Faversham for a day trip. It was nice. A very historical market town, breezy and boat-filled and all the other things that are suitable for a Bank Holiday Monday.  The train ride – inevitably much longer than it should have been, because that’s how Southeastern roll –  gave me time to noodle around with a bit more writing. For the first time in a long time, the notebook I carry around with me is getting regular use. It gets frustrating trying to pick the decent work out of the angst-ridden rubbish that’s also forthcoming at the moment, but still. At least I’m producing something. The puppet film is pootling along in the background. I have a studio of sorts at home, now, or at least a working space for me, which I needed. My piano, guitar and desk are crammed in. I pulled out some old songs I wrote ten years ago, and, well. Embarrassing.

I also found an old notepad full of poems – a mixture of home efforts and things done for creative writing at university. Surprisingly, these were less embarrassing, once you get past the first pages. However unhelpful they are for future careers, there’s something to be said for uni creative writing classes in that they forced us would-be writers out of our hormonal, dramatic, selfish heads, and made us (or maybe just me – who knows) realise that that crap is only interesting to us, and that observing the world rather than our own minds is far more interesting. (Says the blog writer. Whatever.)

Mostly, right now, I am very much missing the Isle of Man – as I write, the TT is in full swing and my facebook page (and some of my wordpress reader, actually)  is full of mentions of Bushy’s beer tent, the bands, the bikes, the atmosphere. Local artist Adam Berry has painted a mural on the front of the sea terminal; I caught wind of a house fire in my home village causing the cancellation of one of the races until Mad Sunday. When I was a kid, the TT was mostly an excuse for time off school. My road was cut off by the race route, so I spent a lot of time cycling up and coasting down from main road to beach, occasionally watching the bikes. (We also created our own, smaller TT, where a large number of us from school would meet up with our bikes and race around one of the housing blocks.  I had a new camera at the time, and one of my favourite childhood photos, which I still have, is of a friend faking the aftermath of a crash, just so that we had a picture of one.) Then you get older and it’s all about the fair and the beer. But it never stopped being fun. I’m jealous and homesick for all of this.

In other, other news, Coffee Monster has been working on his own website and is posting his first blog entry today. Of course I’m giving him a shout-out. I believe the entry is about a short film (‘Stay’) for which he was DoP. He saw the completed version of for the first time last night.  He’s his own worst critic, so if he’s happy with it (and he is) it must be good. The film has been submitted to London FrightFest, and I hope they show it. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

I mentioned pharmacy in the first paragraph – the medical side of things is on-going, but I think we’re getting somewhere. After the last blood tests showed something iffy going on with my thyroid, I had a few more done (and a chest x-ray, which was clear). The new test results show a massive (and I mean MASSIVE – to the point that I sort of suspect someone missed a decimal point in the data) increase in production of TSH and low levels of T4. Last time the TSH levels were too low and T4 was at the high-end. So right now, the suspicion is hypothyroidism, where it was hyperthyroidism. I’m not 100% sure what all of this means, by the way. If you start googling you will get precisely the information I have. I’ve also been prescribed an inhaler, but I think there the doctor is getting a bit stuck on the occasional shortness of breath (I’m definitely not wheezing) and has lost sight of the rapid heart-rate issues which are why I rolled up to the clinic in the first place. However, I’m not dismissing anything at this point, and I have an appointment for next Friday, so I’ll take that up with him then. I hope that fixing my thyroid will fix whatever’s been going on with my heart and then I can get back to doing the active things I love. As it is, my patience is wearing thin and I’m going to deliberately go for a run or something tomorrow to see if the inhaler does anything useful. The ECG is happening on Monday as well. It’s all go go go.

2 thoughts on “Picture this

  1. It sounds like you’re in a ferment of creativity — your own and others’! I’m envious!

    By the way, I have hypothyroidism (so does my mother… my aunt… our beagle… even my brother developed it, so it definitely runs in the family). Very treatable. And Sam has it AND runs races, so I bet that you’ll be back to that once your treatment stabilizes you.


    1. Did it affect your/their/his heart? ‘Cause I’m hoping it is the root cause of everything, but a little concerned as to why it’s suddenly developed. I am relieved it’s not hyperthyroidism because I gather treatment for that takes longer and is harsher and more controversial.


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