A cure for all ills? Spending time alone..

A cure for all ills? Spending time alone..

Disclaimer* …Okay firstly don’t jump to conclusions and assume that because I’m writing about spending time alone I’ve suddenly experienced a dramatic break up or something…. I have not. Still happily loved up. End of disclaimer.

So this Easter weekend, while most people travelled to spend time with friends and family, I spent/ am spending it alone in my room in Cambridge. I had the option to be with my family, this isn’t me being sad and lonely with no one to spend time with. This was a decision I made…..mainly so I’d get so bored I’d actually get started on the mountain of work I have to do (…oh look, she’s writing a blog post instead). But I discovered something far more important this weekend that has inspired me, not to do work (sadly) but to feel happier and more content with myself.

I spent time on my own. Like really spent time alone. And, it may be news to some, being ALONE doesn’t mean you’re LONELY. Being an only child I can vouch that this is still the case 22 years down the line. You can spend time enjoying your own company, listening to your own thoughts and just BEING. It’s damn cathartic and after a couple of days of treating myself well, I feel super zen and chill.

Let me give you an example. I’ve been bored out of my skull and procrastinating like mad since I got back, moping about because I have to do work but I really don’t want to do work because its boring. Yes I am aware I am a bad student with no motivation but whatever, sue me. So yesterday evening, before I drove myself crazy, I decided to go for a walk. It was quiet in Cambridge, a rare occurrence, because everyone had headed home for their Easter Saturday evening. So, just before dusk and basically in my pyjamas, I went for a walk. I took only myself and my phone and a £2.50 because idk just in case, and I wandered along through the little alleys between the colleges until I walked over the river and round the backs of the colleges. It was glorious. Not a single person was around and I got to really LIVE and enjoy Cambridge for the beautiful city it is. I gawped at the beautiful architecture for as long as I wanted without fear of ruining someone’s selfie. I sat and watched the ducks and a little rat I befriended. I really listened to the birds as they sang goodbye to the light of the day. I got to really feel and be a part of the nature, the architecture and the peace of an old city, empty as the dusk fell. It was glorious. Apart from taking pictures (duh) I didn’t speak to anyone. I just smiled as I walked around the town, seeing things I’d walked past 100 times but never truly noticed before. It was one of those evenings that everything looked beautiful. As I reached the town again I heard an organ in a church evening service mingling with a jazz busker on the street corner, just out of sight. I heard the chapel bell strike 8pm. I saw couples walking hand in hand through the market and groups of families heading home for the evening after a nice meal. It sounds so cliché but it felt like I’d woken up and started to SEE for the first time in ages. I hadn’t realised what a funk I’d been in.

Its a glorious thing, spending time on your own. Especially around nature. All of the problems you’ve been stressing about seem to disappear and you get everything back into perspective. The world keeps turning as you stress about that essay. The birds will sing even if you didn’t reach your desired word count for the day. The sun will still set whether you’re grumpy in your bedroom or enjoying the last of the light. There are bigger things in the world than work. There’s feeling at peace, and calm, and happy.

So today, I took another leaf out of my own book and took myself on a date to the cinema. On Easter Sunday what better than to go and see Beauty and the Beast (for the third time). I got on my scooter and pushed my way to the cinema, got my ticket, got a drink and plonked myself down ready to be entertained. Of course I was not disappointed. I smiled and laughed in all the best places and despite knowing what was going to happen, cried every time the music changed to a minor key or something just too sad got me sobbing. But because I was on my own, I could just cry it out and not try and act like I wasn’t upset. Of course I am bloody upset, the Beast is singing and watching Belle ride away and he thinks he’ll never see her again. (Not a spoiler, the plot has been around since I was a kid so stop moaning). It’s quite a release just to cry when you’re sad. It’s so rare that you can let it out when you need to.

Then I came out of the cinema to a fresh light rain and scooted home. It was refreshing and meant the town was pretty empty and made scooting more fun. And here I am, windows open, enjoying the smell after rain and feeling soothed and like I’ve meditated for a week. Really all I’ve done is go on a walk and go to the cinema. But it’s so much more than that, I’ve spent time by myself and re-learned what I truly appreciate in life. It doesn’t take much to commit to some alone time. It doesn’t make you a recluse or anti-social. You commit to so many things you don’t want to do out of work/uni/social obligations, why not take half an hour to do something just for you. Go have a coffee on your own and bring a book. Go for a walk. Go charity shopping (I also did that yesterday). Spend time listening to your favourite album without doing something else at the same time. Just find time to BE.

And you know what? I did so much more work after I came home from my walk because I felt rejuvenated and inspired….something 3 hours of Netflix did not achieve.

Happy Easter folks
p.s you’re probably bloody good company so why should everyone else get to enjoy that and not you? Yeah, deep I know
P.p.s this doesn’t mean people should stop inviting me to do stuff or talking to me….I’m not a recluse.

O.

Trying to do university/life with a chronic illness

Trying to do university/life with a chronic illness

Life is hard. University is hard. Like super hard. Whether it’s your first or third year of an undergraduate degree, your masters degree or your PhD. This even applies to college too. This especially counts for being in a workplace too because work is hard. EVERYTHING IN LIFE is hard *sometimes. 

Edit… put an illness or disease in there and BAM it gets a whole lot more impossible.Oh hey hi here we go again, Olive is gonna talk about being broken again but HEY it’s a big deal and I want to express it and since this is my blog, its a pretty good platform.

SO I have coeliac disease. I also have an underactive thyroid and am on tablets for the rest of my life to try and control it. I am also anaemic. I have low blood pressure too but hey that’s no biggy anymore. It may sound like giving them names and being aware of them means I have it all under control and it’s all easy. Its not. Its soooooo not. So with coeliac disease I obviously have to avoid gluten like the plague as it has almost worse effects than just those boils and you know death and stuff. It sounds easy enough to just not eat gluten….it is when I cook for myself but I hate cooking and am lazy (I’m actually not but I’ll go into that in a moment) but whenever I step foot outside or into someone else’s kitchen, all hell breaks loose. FOR EXAMPLE the other week I had some fancy wine at a fancy Cambridge event and I almost passed out and had to sit on a bench outside my college for 45 minutes because I was too weak to walk home alone and wasn’t coherent enough to ask for help and to be walked home for half that time. When I got home, I curled into a ball and tried to ease my gut wrenching tummy pain (still feeling weak obvs because why not). WHY DID THIS HAPPEN!? BECAUSE THE WINE WAS AGED IN A BARREL THAT WAS SEALED WITH WHEAT FLOUR. How did I finally work out what happened? The blessed god google helped me out because some poor buggers had had it happen to them too. Wine is supposed to be gluten free but what they actually mean is cheap wine is. Fine by me, less money, less sickness.

My point is that just because you know what’s wrong, it doesn’t mean it’s fixed. I am on constant red alert for things that could legit poison me, from crumbs on a coffee table in a café to someone drinking from my glass who’s just had a beer. I even make my poor long-suffering boyfriend carry a mini mouthwash around with him now so I can kiss him after we’ve gone for dinner. So many little things that no one really thinks you have to worry about and then they don’t understand how you’re always sick. It’s hard to hide from the things that make you ill, they’re freaking everywhere.

Next up: hypothyroidism. So having an underactive thyroid means I take thyroxine every day. Because I take this, my thyroid has effectively gone on a long-term trip to Aslan’s land beyond the waves aka it is dead. SO I have to make sure I take my tablets every day. Sounds easy. It is easy. Until you have to get constant blood tests to check you’re actually taking the right dosage as it’s a super sensitive level needed. If I’m getting slightly too much I can’t sleep, despite being constantly exhausted, my heart aches and flutters, I get really faint all the time, especially if I get warm and I get old-overweight-man-puffed-out from walking two steps. Apparently you can also lose weight when your thyroid is overactive but typically I miss out on the only ‘good’ side effect. So then I lower my dose. Sweet. All  is fine for a moment. Then I get another blood test because my nails are crumbling and I’m all dry skinned and reptilian and then BAM its underactive again and suddenly I’m sleeping 24/7, gaining weight (yeah I get THAT weight one), seriously bad depressive moods, shiver like I have frostbite when I step outside and my muscles hurt. AND THUS THE CYCLE BEGINS AGAIN! It’s never ending, for the rest of my life. You just hope the periods of you actually being on the right drug level last a long time, which they can do and it’s great!

Anaemia… pretty common so not really a biggy because most people have something like that. It links with the low blood pressure. It just means I feel faint all the time and have those Phoebe-from-friends headrush moments but they’re way not as pleasurable when they’re every time you move quickly. It also means, again, I’m always exhausted and puffed out. Now when I say some of the symptoms are ‘tiredness’ it just sounds like meh a bit groggy and dozy but nothing major. No. It legit means I need a nap every day, not just wanting one because I like being snuggly (I do too). Being puffed out doesn’t mean I’m unfit….it means something else in my body isn’t happy and I’m not really unhealthy and need to exercise more. In this situation, exercising would make me pass out almost instantly so is not desirable.

I’m not using this post to moan about my illnesses etc. That’s life, everyone has shit they have to deal with and bad things they have to get over. Mine is my health. I can deal with that. I have lovely friends and family and that’s the area my life is good. It’s a matter of balance, I couldn’t get it all. My point isn’t that it’s all about me either. I’m using my ailments as an example because I know about them best. My point IS that there are all these issues (some) people have that you can’t see. If someone with a chronic illness bails on your plans a lot, it isn’t out of laziness or poor planning. It’s 99% of the time an unexpected health issue that they gotta deal with. I slept through my lectures all week? Not laziness, my body stopped working a bit. I nearly passed out before we all went out to the pub so I couldn’t go? Not on purpose. Just because you think we’ve worked out our health issues and should be fine, doesn’t mean that’s how it works. The best thing about being healthy is when you get sick, you get better and back on top form. When you’ve got a disease or illness, you get better but constantly dip up and down into average health and sub-par health. It’s not all sunshine and roses because we had a hospital appointment two months ago and now we’re cured.

I am obviously not putting myself in a disease/chronic category alongside people who suffer with illnesses such as cancer or leukemia or awful ones that keep people housebound or hospital bound. My heart goes out to anyone suffering anything that terrible and I hope you find a path to better health soon. No, instead I’m talking about the people you see every day, the people you know have a bit of a health problem but look and act healthy, the people who say “nah I’m all fine now don’t worry!” when actually they’re sick to the bone of talking about their health in vague details because it makes them sound weak or pathetic when you’re not able to fully explain it all to someone. And you’re so tired of hearing yourself talk about being ill theres just no point trying.

So it’s extra hard trying to University at the same time as all this. I’m talking about Uni because that’s what I’m doing but anyone in full-time employment or school etc knows the same pain. When you’ve tried really hard to get your work in on time, despite numerous hospital visits and days where you’ve wanted to curl into a ball and hide forever. Then you don’t get the mark you want or someone says your idea in class was rubbish or something like that and suddenly you wonder if it’s all worth it. If you really need to bust your ass just to try and be present and how you have to fight so hard to get stuff done even when you feel like shit or are faint and can barely see the book you have to read for your seminar tomorrow. And at the same time you’re in a class full of healthy fighting fit folk who have no idea how tough it is for you just to be in class because you spent yesterday throwing up because someone in a restaurant didn’t understand that ‘gluten free’ meant NO gluten anywhere near it and thought you were just on a fad diet so it didn’t matter. And then you have to stumble home from class and make it to your room before you pass out. And then you have to try and finish an essay?  It’s tough man.

I just want people to spare a thought before they brag about how smashed they got last night and how rubbish they feel but hurrah for them that they made it to class with a hangover….maybe don’t say that to someone with a chronic illness. Maybe don’t brag about an amazing grade for an essay you did no work for but your pal had to write while in a hospital bed. Maybe don’t mock someone for walking slow or being lazy when their legs feel like they’re made of fire and every step hurts. Maybe don’t call someone boring for not wanting to come for drinks or out for dinner when you don’t realise all they want to do is go home and cry because they feel sick and are SO sick of feeling that way. They already know they’re missing out…don’t make it worse. Maybe just think before you do those things.

Massive shout out to everyone who suffers from an illness, mental health disorder or disease or whatever that keeps you from living your life the way you want to. GO YOU for being you and being strong, even when you feel weak. Massive shout out to the hoards of really really supportive friends and family who totally get how shite it can be and never judge you and only every care for you and want to help you. You guys genuinely made everything so much easier and so much more worth it. Thank you. This isn’t a dig at anyone in any way. It’s so easy to think things are perfect in other peoples’ lives. This is just a post to say, maybe things aren’t so maybe be sensitive. You can’t see stuff going on inside someone’s body. You can’t see a mental illness. You can’t know the emotional struggle someone is facing. If we were all a bit more openly supportive, life would be a little bit warmer, don’t you think.

 

Peace and love my beautiful people

O x

 

Trolls: they aint under bridges, they’re at their keyboards..

Trolls: they aint under bridges, they’re at their keyboards..

So my recent “how to spot an archaeologist” was posted on a -to remain anonymous- archaeology facebook page and I received SO MUCH HATE for it! Like a gut punchingly, rip your innards out and burn them amount. I was told I was destroying the future of academia through bad grammar (im sorry i write i without a capital letter on my BLOG where im spewing genius thoughts too damn fast to type i like a grown up im sorry thats just how it is on MY BLOG oh look i missed an apostrophe omg sue me) (im also about to do a phd at cambridge so im sorry but i am the future of academia but i also know how to write an academic paper because im clever enough to understand different modes of media have different languages attached….and pale olive blog speak don’t always abide by no rules yagetmebro)

I was also told i was objectifying archaeologists, encouraging negative stereotypes and basically being a massive evil malicious slug to every archaeologist ever. Oh yeah and that i was just a student so my opinion didnt count for “people who actually make their livings”…. Oh IM SORRY WERE YOU BORN WITH INNATE KNOWLEDGE OF THEORETICAL, PRACTICAL AND HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY OR DID YOU GO TO UNIVERSITY AND BE A STUDENT TO LEARN THE STUFF THAT MAKES YOU CLEARLY A BETTER AND MORE VALID HUMAN THAN ME? I’m sorry did you have to pay £9k a year for the privilege of a solid education? And then another massive sum for your masters and phd just so you could make your living? NO i dont think you did, but i sure as hell am so you really don’t get to be a judgemental patronising ‘professional’ here.

I think its just a MASSIVE shame that SO many people find solace in cruelty to others, hidden in the safety of their own homes. Why does it enhance your life to be mean to others and to bring them down? It shows such a lack of self confidence, lack of contentment and lack of security in their own lives that they gotta put people down just to feel better than them. That isn’t how the world should work. You should be buoyant and bring people up to your happiness level, and if they’re not there then you help them get there. Life isn’t as serious as we pretend it is. We should have FUN and take everything with a pinch of salt, take life easy, chill a bit, be calm and collected, be nice, be A DECENT PERSON (cue loads of people shouting about how we need to exercise our freedom of speech, however cruel it needs to be….YES okay in some situations *cough, Trump, cough* we need to respond with vehemence and strength BUT NOT ALL THE TIME. We need to learn when to be tactful and nice and when to bring out the big guns…and bringing out the big guns on someone’s facebook page, simple lil blog, sweet little youtube vlog etc or other harmless activities is not the way forward)

Trolling is not what something we should just accept as part of modern society. Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and with the internet…everyone sure as hell does have their own opinion and tells everyone about it (me too I have a bloody blog, I’m not excluding myself). This is very very fine and okay (ooooooh look bad grammar, shoot me). But do we really need to accept people CRUELLY shouting others down just because they want to exercise their right to say whatever they want. Taking offence just because they know they can and thus they somehow should? Even if they don’t bloody agree…they just keep playing devil’s advocate and then start believing it themselves..

Everything can be said politely or with tact. You can say most things without having to be instantly HOSTILE. If you disagree with something and it personally offends every single thing you stand for, perhaps phrase it politely if you feel you must say something. But in life one has to be tolerant, accepting of other people’s opinions, and open to new ideas. If the only way we know how to do that is in the most vitriolic manner possible then how are we supposed to learn about people from different societies, backgrounds, political opinions etc. We need to sort this out. You couldn’t bully people when you were at school so why is it acceptable for fully grown, responsible adults to bully one another behind their screens? It isn’t and we should not let it slide.

It just makes me so so sad. No, that very tame little joke was not personally attacking you and everything your family has stood for for centuries because it was a joke about caps with the word ‘hype’ on them. No you cannot shout at that 13 year old who posted a video of her singing a song on youtube because she was proud of herself and you decide it isn’t suitable for human audience because you think its terrible and you decide to be so cruel you make her cry (BUT YOU DON’T SEE THAT BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU’RE SAFE BEHIND YOUR COMPUTER). No you cannot start an argument on a nice lil blog post about how lots of archaeologists are kooky because it is not personally attacking your profession or degrading in any way because I am also one of you, and oddly enough I have a sense of humour and don’t take myself too seriously.

Can everyone just chill out, take a big breath and think about how your comment might affect someone, in real life AND ESPECIALLY on the internet. Just try and make the world a nicer place to participate in and don’t be mean just for fun.

 

Peace and love

O

 

 

How to spot an archaeologist

How to spot an archaeologist

So there are always articles detailing “classic” behaviour or styles of a specific subject or student. Well archaeology is never listed I’m going to give you a potted guide to spotting the elusive archaeologist because its an essential part of your education ….

An archaeologist:

  1. Is often mistaken for an architect because the words are a bit the same
  2. Is mostly assumed to work with dinosaurs even though we arent palaeontologists
  3. Favours a solid footwear.  Usually a Dr Marten based item because theyre stylish, durable and sturdy in case you gotta quickly jump in a trench. Also often seen in outdoor trainers or thick leather boots in case of fieldwalking requirements but also because thats just their style nowadays.
  4. Lab-based archaeologists usually just look like slightly weird scientists, usually with more unruly hair, more cord necklaces and a lot of hemp bracelets.
  5. The female archaeologist species usually demonstrate a wide array of ear/ facial piercings. This proves their “edgy” subject status among other academics. Also often have unusual coloured hair or braids. Likely to be wearing green or blue eyeliner and some earrings with stone hanging from them.
  6. Male archaeologist species can usually be found in corduroy trousers of a muted but fun colour such as mustard or olive, mis-matched with a woollen jumper with a shirt underneath (collar tucked into the jumper of course). Mostly bearded. Always a tiny tiny bit scruffy because the pursuit of knowledge is better than ironing clothes.
  7. Often wear tweed on fancy occasions (male and female) but still wear many rings and many jewellerys
  8. May not look physically strong enough to be in the trenches but they’re strong of mind and heart and soul.. they just wait until the big strong archaeologists among them remove the top layers of ground before beginning to trowel
  9. Carry books and research notes in old beaten up leather satchels or backpacks
  10. If number 9 is witnessed it is likely their notebooks will also be leather bound and beaten up, possibly rain smudged or crumpled
  11. Can get very excited about what looks like an old rock but is actually something way cooler like an old rock someone has hit with another rock to make the rock a slightly different rock shape but it is still very old and still a rock
  12. Will know everything about Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings and their.. historical accuracy
  13. Likely will play medieval roleplaying video games (specifically Skyrim if they have excellent taste)
  14. Will wear (or at least own) a pair or three of fingerless gloves
  15. Knows that thay bump in the ground over there is a bronze age barrow but the bump in the ground to your right is actually just a tiny hill
  16. May occassionally remind you that migration issues aren’t a 21st century thing, that we’re all distantly related to each other so its all kinda incest and we’re not as advanced as we think we are because old timey civilisations managed to domesticate animals and make massive temples without electricity etc. but us modern folk can barely cope if our phone runs out of battery
  17. Will definitely be comfortable sitting on any floor surface for lunch or for a chat, all is fine. Dirt is nothing to an archaeologist. 
  18. May smirk when you try and say absolutely anything about anything historical because youre probably wrong but we may not even tell you why we might just leave you to suffer your idiocy because we have a cruel sense of humour (possibly to dealing with lots of very dead people all the time)
  19. Often travel alone but can be seen foraging for books or food with other slightly hippy creatures 
  20. Likes the smell of old books more than the smell of freshly cut grass
  21. Can occassionally be really dumb about modern politics or pop culture because they’re more  interested in ancient technology and material culture
  22. Definitely wonders how you even made it through evolution after you said something incompetent like ‘evolution is just a theory’
  23. Sometimes wonders if old stones and bits of pot have feelings too but remember thats just nonesensical object agency thinking 
  24. Might know a lot about Irish oak pollen or old Asian wool or ancient poop or slightly burnt tiny bits of rice from the Levant or something else really really random
  25. Will definitely be cooler and more interesting than anyone else you’re gonna meet in life.

(Obviously, written by an archaeologist)
Peace out

O x

first time in a gym ever

first time in a gym ever

So last night I went to a gym for the first time in my life. I figured since the college gym is free, why not make the most of it right? I have never EVER been in a gym…I used to go swimming sometimes and bypass the scary gym bit but I stopped doing that when it got too hard to swim without glasses on, therefore without ploughing into a poor unsuspecting front crawler. So my experience of gyms? Non existent. BUT THAT ALL CHANGED!

I always thought gyms were terrifying places filled with giant man beasts and a dozen wannabe-Kardashians. I am very much neither of those. I am a little 5″3 mouse who can’t really lift a heavy jam jar let alone weights that are the same size as my torso.

I’ve struggled a lot with fitness over the last few years and never knew why. I used to be sporty as hell, captain of the netball team, always playing rounders, could sprint and did swimming and stuff…..I used to be fit and pretty strong but then my body literally turned to human goo only held together by a thin layer of pale skin. It turns out that my losing any ability to be strong or fit had something (aka everything) to do with being a bloody coeliac. I was malnourished so obviously my body wasn’t going to waste the precious little it could digest by trying to bulk up, it was using it all to keep my organs functioning and you know, keeping me alive. With my underactive thyroid, when untreated, I literally had to nap twice a day….so exercise wasn’t high on my priorities. BUT NOW I know all this crap and have my thyroid tablets in me and am not eating gluten so maybe, I say to myself, just maybe it’s time to start trying to get FIT.

So I went to the gym. With my new personal trainer (well really phd in astronomy but hey) we took to the ‘cardio room’. I did half an hour of spinning (on a bike obviously, everyone knows that but I thought spinning classes were hula hooping or something idk) and then we went onto weights. Among my host of other issues, I have serrrrrrrious flexibility issues… I’m TOO flexible. I overextend and overuse wrong muscles basically every minute of every day, so I was really worried I was going to dislocate something or snap in half. This flexibility means naturally my wrists, elbows etc are all super weak because they flop all over the place. It clearly means I need to work the muscles on them but its also hard because I can’t put any weight on them. Tough in a weights room right? Well. We went round ALL the equipment to try it all and see how much it killed me. Doing leg presses and crunches I found pretty easy because it was working big thick bits of my body. Squatting was also okay (and by okay I mean horrific but no chance of breaking). Instead, for bench pressing I had to literally just bench the BAR without weights on it and for squatting with the bar (yes these all have technical names but how am I supposed to know) I couldn’t even lift the first bar and had to get a little one. For kettle bell lifts I had to use a heavy ball because I couldn’t even hold the damn thing let alone bloody lift it and for all the other equipment I just had the lowest weight possible. Being short meant I also had to adapt to certain things like having to put my knees up on the bench because they didn’t hang over the side like most people.

These are all the reasons I never wanted to go to a gym. I’m incredibly weak and small and clueless. But you know what? I BLOODY DID IT! (with massive help and shoutouts and love to my new PT) I realised I do not give a flying fudge about the giant men in there lifting double the weight of my entire body. I don’t care about any kardashians lookin perfect and knowing what to do and being all toned and fancy. I am only there to try and get my body into a mode where it can actually do stuff. I don’t think anyone else in there was a malnourished coeliac with an underactive thyroid and extreme hypermobility? In which case, suck on THAT because I actually managed to do stuff! However weak or ‘pointless’ what I did may have seemed to pro gymmers, it made me wake up a little stiff this morning but without any injuries or serious pain. That meant I did what my body could handle. I’m never gonna deadlift 100kg or pull myself up to a bar but I WILL go to the gym again and improve my overall fitness and strengthen some muscles that will help my posture and enable me to open my own glass jars.

It’s funny how you can build something up in your head and make it seem like the worst thing in the world….but when you do it, it’s totally fine. I was way fitter than I thought after cardio and doing core stuff and I also managed to do weights, however small, which I’ve never ever done before. I impressed myself and proved to myself you can legit do anything, as long as you listen to your body and know your limits.

SO for anyone who is terrified of the gym, take it from one of the biggest wimps out there….it ain’t so bad! Just make sure you go with a nice pal who supports you and gets you’re weak and shy and crap at most things. Then it can even be, dare I say it, fun.

 

Peace out

O

animals and little ways to love them more

animals and little ways to love them more

So there we were, minding our own humany business when it hit me….life would be hellish without animals. And do you know why this hit me even more than usual? Because this..

I almost sobbed out loud like a teething baby because I hand fed SQUIRRELS IN A PARK. Now, I know most folks love animals but I can’t overstate how intense my love is. I cry at videos of ducklings and chicks because I wanna cuddle them so bad. Pictures of scruffy puppies make my heart ache so severely I could be hospitalised. The sheer joy I feel when I am with a goat or near a red panda is beyond any high from any drug imaginable (I think). Being near pigeons even makes me uncontrollably giggly because they’re just harmless little walking tummies with lil feathery fluffs. Here is an example of the sheer joy on my face while feeding these squirrels and some funny little geese ducks. These photographs are unposed, merely me looking at my boyfriend (who was filming) with incandescent happiness. 

So, back to these animals. Yes so London squirrels are undoubtedly cheeky wee buggers with a nose for grub and a will of steel and they will approach you. They’ll take little oaty snacks from your tentatively outstretched hand and nibble at it in front of you. They’ll come back for more. You’ll cry because they’re cute and you’ll give them all your food and your money and clothes and whatever they want because their tails are made of clouds and tiny noses are made for loving. This is all obvious of course but days later I am still so happy that this happened. I was barely this buzzy after getting into uni. Animals are just way better than everything else in life.

Now I know sleep and food and cupcakes are all pretty damn great. Getting a good result on an exam, helping a stranger, finding a kickass jacket for like minus twenty quid….all fun fab things that make your heart a bit glowy. But nothing shines as bright as animal related happiness. Its the Arkenstone of our life called Erebor but it doesn’t make you crazy for gold and wealth… just for fuzzy fluffy pals.

Lemme get to my point. All over the world there are people and there are animals. Has been for totally ages (trust me I’m an archaeologist and “totally ages” is a cambridge-approved technical term). We’ve been their masters, their captors, their killers, their breeders, their friends and their lovers (okay wait I just mean ‘animal lovers’ not beastiality etc.) They keep us warm in our hearts and in our homes, give us food and drinks and stuff (now imagining a lil cat butler but I actually meant like milk from an udder) and give us transport. They give us life and we give them life. They also give us some grief like if you’re scared of spiders and one falls on your face or you get eaten by an Australian snake the size of a semi-detached house in Croydon….but overall its us that gives them the most grief. BUT WHY when they give us so much joy?

Cases of animal abuse are just too much to even comprehend. I will never understand how sick and twisted people can be. We slaughter millions of animals. We kill them on roads, squish them when they fly near us just because they’re a bit annoying (tho I’d happily do that to annoying people like people who eat loudly omg but not animals). We kick dogs that bark and leave cats out in the snow in winter. We need to care a bit more please.

This isn’t a post about being vegan or anything. Hell I tried to go veggie but found myself starving trying to be that and gluten free. We’ve eaten animals since we domesticated them in the Neolithic Revolution about 12000 years ago… its literally in our evolutionary DNA (sad I know but don’t shout at me please that’s not the point of this post). My point is little things. We can do so many little things to make animals’ lives better. Buy birdseed and put it in your garden when its cold so the birds can feed on seed when the berries are dead. Go a bit slower on the country roads at dusk to avoid that deer that may run out. Use cruelty free makeup and toiletries its just as good as the stuff that hurts bunnies eyes. Catch that spider in a glass and put it outside, don’t squash it (big spiders have the capability to feel pain, so don’t be a dick because you’re scared. The big garden spiders only run straight ahead when you scare them so put something in front of them and theyll just run into it). Buy meat from local producers or farms you know treat the animals good. Give your pet a little treat but not human food as it makes them sick and fat. Drive a bit slower and give the horse rider a wide berth on the road so you don’t scare the horse. Don’t chase the pigeons away for no reason. Don’t shoot rats in your garden because its fun…..they may be “vermin” but so are thousands of bastard humans and you’re not out shooting them are you. All rats do is look for food. They don’t have plague and they don’t actively try and bite you to give you a disease so shutup. Don’t train your dog to chase cats or other dogs just to be a big man and have an “aggressive” dog. Its not aggressive deep down, you’ve just trained it that way to compensate for your small lacking trouser department. 

Little things that can make animals have happier live. Because they make us so happy, why don’t we try and make theirs a little easier.
Peace and love

O x

My animal ^

hidden truths about coeliac disease

hidden truths about coeliac disease

So I’ve had to start eating gluten again ready for my biopsy (I have to poison myself just so it’s on my record forever that gluten is poisonous to me…mhm great system). Anyway it’s reminded me of some things that are symptoms of coeliac disease that I forgot were connected to it…. I’m gonna list a couple here so those of you who think all coeliacs need to do is eat a bit less bread… (fyi gluten includes wheat, rye and barley…it’s everywhere from vinegars and soy sauce to fruit squash to some chocolate)

  1. tired all the time….like seriously tired. I guess it makes total sense considering basically all the nutrients you’re getting from food is being nuclear bombed by the little spaceships from your body attacking the little asteroids of gluten that have entered the galaxy called your gut. It’s hard to not become wholly malnourished when this little outer-space battle is going on… so it’s not surprising you get tired
  2. mouth ulcers oh my god my entire mouth is broken and split and stinging and sore and bleeding, UM OW eating hurts in every single way, from the mouth til the tum
  3. skin rashes?! so gross and random but my back, my elbows, my knuckles (!?!?!) and my face is just broken and sore and red and itchy and grotesque, I am repulsive and it isn’t my fault
  4. OBVIOUSLY the constant stomach noises. I have had these since I was 15 and my fellow pals called the frog that lived in my throat ‘Bert’ because he was such a loud guy and a constant companion. Now it’s more of a baby dinosaur but hey, we all gotta grow up don’t we. And hiccups. And stomach gurgles. Those too.
  5. Loss of appetite… its unsurprising considering everything youre eating is making you sick anyway so your body just says its done and forgets that you need to eat. The other day I only ate two rich tea biscuits and a cheesestring before I was going to go to bed and realised I was gonna DIE if this continued because lets be real, cheesestrings are sadly not the source of abundant nutrients we all dreamed they were. Plastic and biscuit cannot sustain a human, I have tried and ended up in hospital oops
  6.  It’s not like being on a diet where if you eat gluten one day, you can just skimp a bit the next day…. no no no. (current situation eating gluten aside) If you use a knife to cut some cake or bread and then use that knife on my gluten-free shitty bread, I will throw up. Maybe for a couple of days after if numerous gluteny crumbs get into my system. I have to even make my boyfriend drink and swill water after he’s eaten gluteny food before he is allowed to kiss me. It’s that sensitive. So going to cafes where they say “yeah this is GF” when actually its been sat all cosy with a cake and all the crumbs are all shared and crap…..then it’s not gluten free, i’ll still chunder.
  7. Fainting! Or just super light headedness all the time. So I’ve low blood pressure anyway as well as an underactive thyroid (hahahaha I’m broken yep I know don’t judge me, humour gets me through) so I’m a woozy chicken anyway BUT while eating gluten it makes you worse. I’ve had to start having cold showers because I keep almost keeling over mid shower and an unconscious hideously naked me is not a sight anyone would want to witness, thus cold showers stop this happening but also ARE AWFUL
  8. Going out for food is a chore, even with pals. You have to be the annoying one to say where to go because you have to know they have a good GF menu etc or you just don’t go. Takeaways are nearly impossible unless its chips or you just get plain boiled rice and live off the smell of everyone elses food. BORE, I’m sorry we’re killjoys but it’s not our fault.
  9. I’m trying to make my list up to a happy rounded 10 but I’m bored of moaning about coeliac so here’s a nice lil point number 9 to break things up. Did you know sea horse couples mate for life and hold tails when they travel
  10. There ain’t no tablets you can take, no cures in existence (yet I hope) and nothing you can do for this bloody life-long disease, other than try your damnedest to avoid gluten like it’s the plague. If you just cba to try and you eat normally, you’ll cut your life by numerous years, may not be able to have kids and will get other stuff like diabetes or maybe plague idk I’m not gonna go down that route so haven’t investigated it enough.

So there are some of the things us coeliacs, or as I like to call us, celariacs, have to deal with on a daily basis. When we’re totally gluten free we can almost pass as normal human beings, it’s great! Its just super hard to actually put into practice when gluten literally is in the air in some restaurants and cafes (don’t go inside a KFC guys, you could be sick into a happy meal or whatever they serve idk I’ve never been in^^^)

SO if we’re annoying for bailing on plans with you because we got glutened earlier that day and have to spend the evening curled in a ball, please forgive us. If we don’t come along to your favourite restaurant for dinner or ask to change venus, please don’t be annoyed. If we go to your house and accidentally eat a poison crumb and throw up, it wasn’t your cooking that did it, it was gluten so please don’t be offended. If we suddenly look like we’re pregnant, don’t ask us whats going on….we’re just so bloated we can barely move (OMG THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN MY LIST…..BLOATING LIKE YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE).

I’m not making excuses (but I am really) but forgive us please if you understand the disease a little bit more now

 

Peace out

O x