Weekly roundup

My week got off to a flying start with me having the most fun anyone can on their own in a spare bedroom.  One of the themes for our competitions next season at Camera Club is water so I’ve wracked my brain to come up with something unusual.  I decided to try photographing exploding water balloons, so bought myself a cheap kids paddling pool to catch the fall-out and got set up using make-shift gear.

I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and people who do this kind of photography usually have expensive kit which allows the camera to flash at exactly the moment the pin pops the balloon, but I had to make do with my own reflexes and dodgy timing.  It took 20 goes, by which time I’d nearly flooded the house, but eventually I got the shots I wanted.  It was huge fun but I’m not going to do it again in a hurry 😉

Out of the blue on Monday my best mate asked if I’d like to meet for lunch.  She’s been really busy lately plus feeling rubbish, so it was lovely of her to make space for us to have a catch up.  I only see her at most twice a month as we live 45 minutes drive apart, so I make lists of stuff to tell her which she finds hilarious.  If I don’t write it down though I can’t remember what I did yesterday let alone a fortnight ago.  If I had a working memory I’d be truly awesome 😉

After a lovely afternoon with the bestie my week basically turned to shit and I lost 3 days to a brutal ovulation induced migraine, along with associated crushing fatigue and vomiting.  On the upside I barely ate for days and consequently  lost 2lbs, so silver linings and all that 😉

I knew the migraine was coming when I woke on Wednesday morning.  Sometimes they arrive out of the blue, but on the whole I get the classic prodrome phase, ie the 24-48 hours before the pain starts when I realize something’s afoot.  This can be a ravenous and insatiable appetite, usually for carbs or sugar.  Or boundless, almost manic, energy where I get all sorts of jobs done.  Or like this week, an overwhelming heavy, achy fatigue and falling asleep left, right and centre usually accompanied by nausea.  The pain started at about 7pm Wednesday night and I didn’t feel normal again until Saturday afternoon.  What a waste of my life.

Sometimes I can battle through despite the pain but this migraine was so severe every time I moved my head I felt like someone was battering my brain from the inside, consequently I had to stop in bed.  I did contact another 2 solicitors re my PHI case but so far haven’t heard back.  I also wrote to the human rights organization Justice, not because they can help me but just to highlight the issue and how some disabled women with PHI policies are being discriminated against so that everyone else can be equal.

In true summer fashion it has piddled down almost none stop for 2 months here in the north of England, but on Saturday we had a dryish day and, feeling half human for the first time all week, I palmed Bertie off with my folks and headed off down to the river.  For my upcoming big birthday I’ve treated myself to a new photography hide, which is a folding camping chair with a hood which comes over to form a kind of tent.  It’s way cool and there’s plenty of space inside for me to sit and have my tripod and camera in front of me.  There was even room for me to squat for a much needed pee and all in broad daylight on a public footpath 😉  I was hoping for a glimpse of the elusive Kingfisher who did arrive then got spooked and buggered off again, so I sat and watched some Sandmartins feeding chicks in their nests on the river bank.  It was lovely to be out in the fresh air, even if the second I packed all my gear up and started to head back to the car the heavens opened and I got bloody drenched.

While my Mum has been really ill the past few weeks she hasn’t been able to drink as much, and it’s been lovely.  We’ve had actual conversations where she has been lucid and rational and not spent the whole time giggling.  However she’s on the mend now and the drinking has started again in earnest, almost like she’s making up for lost time.  How anyone can be plastered at 9.30 in the morning is beyond me and by 4pm she’s away with the fairies.  I miss her.  I try to feel compassion but instead usually just feel sad and still a little bit mad if I’m honest.

95% of the food I eat is organic and freshly prepared, but some days I’m too sick to make anything and have to rely on pre-made stuff from the supermarket.  I choose items with as few ingredients as possible and seem to get away with it.  This week I discovered Quorn fishless fingers and was gobsmacked at how much they taste like regular fish fingers!  It’s actually really nice to eat junk food every now and again, especially when your appetite has vanished and you feel sick to the pit of your stomach.  And, yes, that is tomato ketchup on the plate – fuck it, I was feeling sorry for myself and it cheered me up!


10 thoughts on “Weekly roundup

  1. carmensnip

    Fishless fingers, yum! Wish we had those over here.
    This post really cheered up my day. 🙂

    The picture of the bird looks like a painting. So beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laetitia Lalila

    Wow Jak, what a week! You got to do so many things, in spite of that horrible migrane, it’s exciting! The ballon photos look fun and they turned out quite well, considering the limitations. The Sandmartins are beautiful, of course. I bet we’ll see some very interesting pictures from now on, with the new photography hide, looking forward to that. Very funny that pee idea, LOL! 😀

    I’m happy to hear your mum is better, but of course you feel mad for her drinking, it’s selfish really. I understand how you feel, my father is an alcoholic and binge drinks for a week, then stops when he’s too sick to continue, then starts again after a few days. I hate him for that.

    That food looks delicious and makes me hungry! Yay for junk food! ٩(^ᴗ^)۶

    Best of luck with the solictors!


    1. Jak Post author

      Sorry to hear you’re living with the effects of alcoholism too Laetitia 😦 I’ve been amazed at the amount of people who’ve written and said their parent is also an alcoholic – the numbers must be quite staggering. Jak x


  3. Catherine

    Hi, ive been giving your situation with the PHI lots of thoughts. Although I havnt come up with any suggestions directly I was so upset about whats happening that Ive had my thinking cap on .
    Why cant your brilliant, honest, informative, inspiring, and very brave
    Writing pieces be paid for by a yearly prescription? That way all of us who benefit from your guts and determination, in the face of so much all of the time, could give something back to you. With enough of us that read your blog it would give you a yearly income ?
    Just a thought.
    Huge respect


    1. Jak Post author

      That’s sweet of you Catherine. Like I’ve said before though I’d never charge other sick people money for anything to do with my blog – many of my readers are worse off financially than I am. However, I am trying to write a book and it if ever gets finished I’d have to charge for that – so who knows, I could end up a millionnaire like J K Rowling 😉
      Jak x


  4. Karen, The Walking Allergy

    Those bursting balloons look remarkably like grenades to me… Exploding latex- EEEK! I’d like to put the picture into my blog- I’m talking about ‘anxiety’ versus ‘fear’. To me…those are only marginally less dangerous than grenades… Nobody says that a grenade makes them ‘anxious.’ Can I use the image? How do most people reference images back to the original?

    Oh- and the only tomato I can tolerate is ketchup… it has to use Organic corn syrup (otherwise it’s GMO, and high pesticide). I can’t eat a lot of it- but a single teeny lick of a plain Italian stewed tomato sauce and I had mouth ulcers for a week. My daughter us the same… My best guess is that ketchup is cooked at REALLY high temperatures. How cooked something is makes a difference- K can eat chips and fries (that would be crisps and chips to you)- but no other potato. And they can’t be oven-baked fries- they have to be deep fried. I just saw today that one of the few foods that Lisa Klimas can eat is chips. Hmmm. I’ll have to look into that a bit more…



    1. Jak Post author

      I’ve always found the whole crisps/chips thing on the other side of the pond fascinating. That your chips are our crisps and our chips are your fries lol! I usually make my own chips, but obv when I’m feeling really poorly I keep some store bought oven chips in the freezer. McCain original chips are simply potatoes and sunflower oil – no added crap-o-la, so I do fine with them (though still prefer to make my own nice chunky chips whenever possible).

      It’s fine to use my photo. It already has my copyright on, but people usually put a caption reading ‘photo used with permission of mastcellblog.wordpress.com’ with it or something similar. I’m very happy you asked – most people just download photos off the internet not thinking of it as stealing someone’s stuff! x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah

    I love that photo of the balloons. Gorgeous
    Now maybe Catherine has an idea, but instead of charging for the blogs why not sell your photos. I would pay for them. You could contact a greetings card company and sell them as cards or canvases. I found a website where you can turn your images into fabrics or wallpaper.
    My favourite so far are the balloons and I think it’s your next door lady over a cauldron

    I can tell your friend has really perked you up in the way you are writing. Little twinkle ✨
    My highlight from last week was going to see a doc as I’ve had problems after my hysterectomy. Being single, his solution was to purchase some toys to check to see if everything is ok! It’s a shame they don’t come on prescription. The funniest part was telling my 17 year old son 😁 who now refers to it as “my refurbishment!” He looked confused when I said that I wouldn’t be having the decorators in, lol

    Ps, I haven’t forgotten to ask my friend, just wanted her to settle back into work first after her holiday



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