A pirate’s life for me

One of my favourite weekends of the year has now come and gone.

Every year on the first bank holiday in May you will discover hoards of pirates descending upon the small fishing town of Brixham, in Devon. A huge festival of fun and frolics, the world famous Brixham Pirate Festival is something that really shouldn’t be missed!

For the last nine years I have been attending every festival, getting more involved and more piratey with each passing occasion and I love every minute. I have performed plays, entered competitions and for the last couple of years helped run a fundraising stall with the South Devon Players (the theatre company I am part of).

Drench a wench, fight a pirate and name a teddy were just a few of things we had running on our stall and there was so much else to see at the festival too.
Bands playing throughout the weekend, entertainment for the children, mead and gear to buy and all sorts of food and festivities to be had.

I truly urge you to come down and see us next year! In the mean time you can visit Brixham and experience our love of pirates on a smaller scale with Pirate Thursdays! running throughout the summer holidays x

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Caged freedom

A few days ago I wrote a blog post in my head, whilst lying in bed fighting through a terrible pain flare. I had a flow of words and feelings and no way of putting them to paper. It was frustrating.

Those are the days I hate, the days of incapacity. My mind fires at a million rates but I am confined to the broken body I am trapped within. Too tired or in too much pain to move, or worse both.

There is some light though. Last week I went for an assessment of needs through student finance, in order to provide me with equipment to help my studies. I was amazed and humbled by the options open to me! I still can’t quite believe it and the changes that it will bring to my life. So maybe those days won’t be quite so dark in the future and I won’t be so trapped by my condition. Only time will tell.

 

Flares, fears and fighting through

It’s been a hard few weeks. I have dealt with massive flare ups in both fatigue and pain, alongside a full moon and werewolf children!

Sometimes I can forget just how much bad flares can knock me back, especially if I have had fairly long periods of better days (I’m not going crazy here, when I say better there is still some degree of pain/fatigue, but I have learnt to deal with these over the years to my point of normal or even good).

Since becoming a single mum I haven’t had so many of the bigger ones to have learnt the best ways of coping, so it is still very much a learning curve and one that will probably take some time. But as long as my children are fed, clean, warm and happy then that is all that really matters.

I had a week where the washing up and the laundry piled up and it drove me crazy, but I have to make that decision. The decision to spend my spoons (see spoon theory) on things that really matter, like my children and keeping them safe and well and relaxing on other areas.

Luckily, whilst we have started new subjects, there are no assignments due in for quite some time. And as long as I attend practicals I can catch up later when I am more well.

There are times when I wonder if I will be able to make it through. I want to pursue a medical degree after this one and I wonder if I am mad. That this is bad enough. But whats the point of giving up? If I have that sort of negative attitude I may as well not bother, and what kind of life will I end up with then? So I fight. I fight for myself, that I can make something of myself, I can achieve what ever I dream. I fight for my children, to provide them with a better life, to show them what you can achieve and to never give up.

Maybe I won’t make it? That is a reality I may have to face, with a condition that could get worse (or better) or stay the same, who knows. But you know what? I ain’t going down easy!!

Spellbound

Its been a few weeks since I last wrote, time flies like that these days. Life as a single mum and student certainly keeps me busy! So of course I choose to add to that by partaking in some dramatics on top 🙂

Last weekend was amazing. I spent one day (all day) filming a Harry Potter fan film and it was great fun! We got soaked, and I sprained my wrist and stones got everywhere but it was just brilliant. So much fun. I have never been filmed before so that was an experience and as such I also filmed some short clips on my Instagram to try and get used to being on camera, I guess they are mini vlogs? I may do more in future, so I guess watch that space?

The next day was more rehearsals for the show I am in, a steampunk adaptation of Jack the Ripper which is due to be shown throughout July. Great fun with some amazing people and it is coming along fantastically.

Finally submitted the dreaded portfolio module, so glad it is over but will have to wait and see what mark comes of it. (scary)

So yeah pretty busy, life is good though, new and exciting things all around and great things happening. For once I am pretty happy and its certainly a weird feeling! Hope it lasts 🙂

Valentine, half term and random scrawling

This week has been a tough one, for many reasons but also a bit of reflective joy. It’s half term which is always a bit of a mad one when you have kids, but unfortunately uni doesn’t stop for half terms so that makes it extra hard, especially as a single parent.

Some mad searching a few weeks ago finally landed me upon a holiday club run on the other side of town so hastily booked it was. Worried about finding the place and how the kids would take to it were certainly top of my mind. I have only been driving for a little over a year so new places especially in a city full of big scary roundabouts, terrifies me.

We got there relatively unscathed and the kids loved it, so much the biggest didn’t want to leave! So the rest of the week went well and it got easier driving to and from as I got used to the route a little more each time. Crisis adverted.

Of course it was also valentines day this week, which is always a *joy* when you’re a singleton. No flowers or cards here just Chinese for one and some NowTV for me lol.

It does however mark just over a year since I left my abusive relationship and the journey I have had since. I have become stronger, wiser and starting to find myself again. It is really hard to come away from mental abuse, it has taken me a long time to trust my own thoughts again after being convinced by someone things are in your head and that you are in the wrong when you aren’t. To rebuild my life away from that place has taken time and is still an ongoing process. The best thing I did was move away from the area, closer to family and a proper support network. My mum is my world and I truly don’t know where I would be without her.

So yeah its been an up and down week, but I thought I would finish with another one of my old dug out poems from many moons ago. It’s simply called “words” and in some ways seems fitting.

 

 

Words

Words are an expression of our deepest soul
A community in language, speaking our lives
A single word can lead to eternal happiness, or eternal pain
Words have the power to change lives,
As well as rebuild
Everything from a gentle lullaby to a torrent of abuse
All consist of the same base….Words
Nothing can compare to their power
Nothing can escape their will
And nothing can stop there being, a last…
Word.

Once lost, now found

I finally got around to sorting out my office….well its still work in process really, but at least now it is usable!

The office became a dumping ground when I moved for anything to be unpacked later or things without a place etc. Not only was it unusable but it got to the point when I couldn’t even get in it to print something out! But now it’s sorted, yey!

Whilst on this epic mission of clearance and sortage I came across a load of my old writing. I used to write a lot, stories, poems, songs. These days I haven’t had the time or muse to produce much but it is nice to come across a selection of my past efforts.

I may post some of it from time to time, if I feel anything is half decent (not toooooo cringe worthy lol). It may inspire me again!

For now I will leave you with a short poem I wrote last year as part of a random bit of my course.

 

HOME

“Home is a strange place really.
It’s not where you stay
It’s not where you live.
Home is safe, warm and loving.
Home is special, and cannot be replaced.

It isn’t a house, a street or a country
It isn’t a nationality or necessarily where you belong.
Home is inside, somewhere close.
Where you feel safe and loved.

Home is in you and the people you care about.

It cannot be built
It cannot be made
It cannot be chosen by another.”

Ripper

It’s been a long time since I acted in anything (other than life haw haw).

I used to belong to a wonderful group called the South Devon Players and have remained close friends with them over the years. So when the auditions for their latest show, based on the history of Jack the Ripper, came up I decided to try out for a small part and take the dive back into the wonderful world of theatre.

The script is amazing and a credit to my wonderful friend who wrote it, so much talent radiates from her, she truly is an inspiration.

I am very excited to say I got a part and am very much looking forward to getting my teeth into it as soon as possible. With rehearsals starting straight away, it certainly will be a challenge for me!

I only hope the juggling of being a single mum, a full time uni degree, my condition and now this isn’t more than I can chew, but then I never was one to take the easy road!

I will post more updates as and when, and of course details of where the show can be seen as soon as they are available, so watch this space!

End of semester

So that’s it. Exam season for me is finally over and what’s done is done. I know I haven’t done as well as I would have liked but I shall take this as part of the learning process for the journey.

It’s been an interesting first semester to say the least, deciding to move at the beginning, all the trials and adjustment that came with that. Constant tiny human illness and the eternal struggle trying to catch up on the work. But I am getting there. Little by little making my way. 

My mindset is improving and techniques evolving. It will never be easy, a single mum, an unrelenting illness and all that comes with them both. But I am stronger every day and I have the support and love of my family and friends.  

My mum is my rock, I’m not sure where I’d be without her and I’m so glad to be near her again.

So onwards and upwards! Bring on semester 2 😀

Fibro Life

So today is my first exam of my degree and I’ve tried to prepare best I can. To be fair it’s been over 15 years since I’ve sat proper exams so a bit out of practise here! (Getting old lol)

But then comes the decision between being distracted by pain or distracted by painkillers. 

Living with fibromyalgia is a daily struggle. Some days you can wake up functional and “okay” and others in a world of pain or fatigue  (okay the worst days both). And it doesn’t discriminate. A big date? You’re birthday? Big exam. It doesn’t care. 

So what do you do on those days? Sometimes you have to decide to give them a miss, take the rest and wait for next time. But the things you can’t avoid? Power through? Take the drugs and deal best you can? Or do you need a clear mind so dealing with the pain is all you can do.

I’m lucky today is a medium day. I can deal with the pain so far in order to keep my head clear, but next week I might not be so lucky? Who knows x

January Blues

It’s that time of year again. Where our wallets are lighter but our tummies not so 🙁

Whilst my new vegan lifestyle has managed to help me reign in a little on the over the holiday period, I am certainly not without my gains. There is a whole world of vegan junk food, along with “accidentally vegan” products like some pot noodles, oreos and much more, it is very easy to eat like crap. Oh and I did, do, will. Yeah lets not deny it!

But I want to do something about it. I have always had incredible issues with my body image and self esteem, and whilst I am the lightest I have been in six years, I still have a fair way to go before I am “healthy”.

So the blues are well and truly settled in at the moment. The days are dark and gloomy. Purse strings are tight and so is my waistline.

Well as per the cliche, a gym membership is in order! Unfortunately I also suffer with a condition called Fibromyalgia, which means any given day I could wake up in a world of pain or have weeks of endless fatigue for absolutely no reason other than that is just the way it is for me, and millions like me. But I will try, I want to and need to.

I’ve also found out about a local aerial hoop class which I have always wanted to try, so I am super excited about this!

Exams are creeping up too, so added stress there to burn away on the treadmill.

I also need to get writing more, this post itself is proof of my inability to provide flowing content at the moment (and I apologise, stick with me ok?) so more practice and more determination needed all around.

 

Just gotta keep swimming right?