Friday, 20 December 2013


I mentioned in my last post (about the care package swap) that I would love a subscription to Oh Comely Magazine, well it would appear that someone went and got me one! It doesn't say on the info sheet who it was, but whoever it was thankyou so much!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Oh Comely November Care Package

Probably about a month ago I signed up for a care package swap, which turned out to be something like a Secret Santa, through a magazine called Oh Comely (if you fancy buying me a subscription I'll love you forever).

Not so long after the details came through of who I would be swapping boxes with, a lady called Christina in London, she'd written a short blurb:
"I am vegetarian, so I don't eat meat or gelatin. I love travel, baking, music (mostly indie) and reading!"
The rules of the swap meant I had to include at least three items Something Personal, an Inspiring Snippet and a Wintry Treat, then send it all off on or before the 18th of November. I shopped around, bought my items to send and got the box off on time (just about!). Then I just had to wait.

I actually got my box today (Thursday 21st) because I had missed the post on Tuesday and the box needed to be signed for so I sent my slave (read:helpful parent) off to the post office to pick it up.
It was handed to me and the first thing I thought was that we at least held fear of parcels bursting open in transit in common. I had smothered my box in gaffa tape and she'd covered hers in brown parcel tape.
I'm going to have to apologise for the photo quality, I took them on my phone as my camera is upstairs and I have a sever lack of spoons today.

Once I managed to break into the box I found this

Needless to say I was intrigued.

This is white thing on top, a lovely watercolour painting called "Autumn Lady" made by Christina's own fair hand.

Next I came across a card, explaining where the items in the box came from and a postcard from Christiania which is a free town in Copenhagen (Denmark), completely autonomous from the rest of the city.

The bottom of the box looked like this:

A super cute penguin lunchbox bought in Christiania which held all manner of goodies inside.
A bag of Terry's chocolate orange pieces (love them!) and the cone/purple striped thing is a flannel (also from Christiania), it's ever so soft and I think I may be able to use it on my hypersensitive skin.

And a selection of sweets.

The last item is a box of American herbal tea which I can't wait to break into!

All in all an excellent box, with the bonus of a promise to email me a banana bread recipe. I would definitely take part in the box swap again and I'm happy to have the chance to get to know a new friend.

If you want to have a look at what I sent you can see it on my swap partner's blog here:

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A year with tiny steps.

(Just a note, I've been writing this since about the 4th of July so it's quite some out of sync now)
A year is a funny thing - it feels long but passes super quickly at the same time. There's a lot that changes in a year.

This time last year I had been in hospital for five days already into what would be a three week stay. I had no use of my right hand (which was stuck in a fist) and my body was pulling itself into peculiar positions that were so contortionistic that they were dubbed "gymspastics" within our house. My whole body (or near enough) cramped/spasmed for up to two hours at a time between two and five times a day. This was not fun.

 To be honest I was on such a huge amount of medication that I cannot remember most of this, just a haze with a few extremely vivid snapshots. All sorts of things were investigated as I spasmed away in my bed - mostly the doctors just scratched their heads and increased muscle relaxants while nurses an my family watched on concerned. A few members of staff stand out from this time some for the loveliest of reasons - some not so much - but I'm sure I've aired my gripes about them plenty.
There was a nurse on the AMU (named Leanne I think), my first ward - one of the ones who had treated me on a previous admission who gave the doctors what for when they did not give me chance to speak or did not even try to understand CRPS. She listened when I explained and sat with me through spasms and tears. I'm sure other nurses on that ward did likewise but she stands out.
There was a student nurse, on the second ward, (Seb- whose sister I know) who sat with me an hour and a half past the end of her shift when I was having difficulty breathing which sparked a panic attack. She cooled my head with wet towelly things and helped calm my mind with soft hands and calm patience.
And then there's my pain doctor - The lovely man who educated the ward staff about CRPS and chronic pain, who kept dropping in on me and thinking up ideas despite my technically not being in his care and his working hours being full to the brim already.

This year during the same span as I was in hospital last year I sat exams, baked, read and pottered about in the garden rather than lay in bed in huge pain. I was at a high physically rather than an extreme low. I had next to no panic attacks rather than at least one a day. And I was happy.

A year can bring huge changes, a comparison between now and then shows that the little tiny steps towards health made every day are really really worth it despite the difficulty in doing them.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Allowing a breaking heart

Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves: ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes Speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Proverbs 31: 8-9

This right there is the reason why I can't stand by and let things happen. Why I throw myself into learning and political campaigning and into other people's lives - despite their distinctly anxious making quality that often brings me to tears. Jesus Wept John 11:35. That's it, it's okay for me to do this. Jesus wept for people and if we're called to be like Jesus then we must learn to weep for people, to cry over them, to be broken hearted be what happens in life. Right now my heart is being broken by a whole bunch of things but I struggle to do it; I focus on myself, comparing what other people seem to be going through to what I am and if it doesn't  reach the same level as mine then I discard it. That is wrong. I accept things as normal I don't get angry at things as I should, or I do but only on occasion. It needs to change.

Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
~Hillsong United “Hosanna”

I find that it is the unseen things to which I should focus my attention upon most, I need to look for the injustices which my mind has been closed to, to the people who are being crushed but being crushed quietly. It's seeing them and then letting myself feel it, letting my heart break and not turning off my emotions when things get tough or not switching to doing something else. I need to get involved - I've been filled with fire and passion and I need to use it. I've been filled with a love for people and I need to stop restraining it. British restrain, a fairly low opinion of myself and fear of a truly broken heart  have held me back but I'm working on it I'm trying to let myself loose in this respect.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35-35
If we are to love all people how can we not fight for them it is natural to fight for the people that we love.So I will jump in and I'm going to fight, in everything I can fight, for what is right and just. For people who cannot fight and cannot speak and for people who have so much weight upon them it is all they can do to stand and all the other analogies out there. Because they are people and they are there to be loved.