Hmmm

In case you hadn’t guessed, I no longer post here.

I write privately instead (I splurged on DayOne for mac, having had it on my phone for a while)

Still – always happy to meet someone new so contact me on butternutb@mail.com if you’d like.

C x

The Sun

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I love the sun. Let me count the ways.

Here on this train, from across the fields and through the trees. I lean my head back and close my eyes. And thank my lucky stars for the star.

Through the balcony doors in our old flat, sitting in the bright square cast onto the carpet.

In the morning after I’ve scrambled out of (our newly much lower) bed to unveil the bottom right square of the window, pronounced what kind of day it is and then jumped back into bed. We have 4 blackout blinds, one for each window pane. I made them up myself, using eyelets and nails to hang them off. I suppose we don’t like the sun so much before we’re ready to be awake.

About 8 minutes into my usual running route when I turn the corner onto a road that runs alongside a small field. I briefly run with my eyes closed, as my feet know the path.

When in London and I’m underground travelling on the tube for a while and in the intervening time the weather has miraculously improved and as I pop up I’m hit by it’s warmth.

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Hair

In a twist, the very thing I didn’t want to happen did happen, and so I was prepared for it, because I had thought about it in detail.

The doctor today told me that it isn’t the iron levels, it isn’t hormones: there is nothing to fix, it’s just what it is. (It’s erm.. Female pattern hair loss. Now there’s a loaded term).

She launched straight into the options now: cosmetic. Covering it up, mousses pills etc. But I went to her to fix the problem, not hide it. She told me there is nothing to fix.

I’ve never been one for make up, straightening my hair, push up padded bras. For me, a mousse that you sleep with in every night is in the same category. While you’re on it, you have hair. When you stop- it’ll all fall out. It’s not the option for me.

So now I learn to embrace it. To embrace all of me.

I reject the ‘fighting it’ terminology. There is nothing to ‘fight’. It is what it is.

NaBloPoMo

National Blog Publishing Month? Wait a sec, I’ll check. Oh, Posting Month. That makes sense.
So I’m going to give this a go. Show up, day after day. Let’s see.

1. It’s late. When I clicked new post it was 12.34 o’clock, a favourite of mine. You can tell I’m not at home as I’m rarely up at this time there. I’m staying at my parents house.

2. Today I went to dinner with some school friends. It was lovely. I walked a friend back to hers and was invited in for jasmine tea.

3. I’ve given up cereal for a little while. Last week, while I was busy, I ate lots of bowls of it. It’s only Cheerios (and fruit & fibre) but it was the craving part I came to hate. I was thinking of it between meals, after meals, during meals. And we’ve always had Cheerios around, and I never really had them much before. So I said stop. It’s worked already; now it’s not an option, I have only thought of them once.

4. I have an appointment tomorrow with a hair loss specialist. They’ll take a full history, look at previous blood test results and perhaps take a biopsy from my scalp (!). I’m a little nervous- mainly at the thought of not finding any answers. Of being that person, on the endless quest for a diagnosis. Trying this and testing for that. We’ll see- it could be something simple.

5. I had been craving char sui bao for a while (and dim sum in general) so I found a place recommended online (it specifically said popular with local Chinese community – a good sign) and put it on my calendar for today, since it’s near the train station. When I got there I looked at the price on the menu outside, counted my coins then went in and ordered it, and a tap water. When I’d finished, I left my £3, with 40p tip and left. It was a little strange but perfect. They had given me more than a delicious meal- they had hit the spot, and been completely non-judgemental (I didn’t have any more money, and there was a £12 minimum card payment!). It’s called Ho’s, on Vicar Lane, Leeds. I’ll be back, with Boyfriend, and next time we’ll order a full meal and a half.
Oh! Whilst there I saw a boy meeting his girlfriends parents for the first time. He was wearing a tie, looked completely baffled and was being studiously ignored by the father and peered at by the mother. Poor thing.

Till tomorrow (or really, later today).

my sister's balcony, in Spain.

What’s Happenin’

Written a week ago. Things have subtly shifted since.
1. For almost 3 weeks my ribs were so painful that sometimes I couldn’t breathe. I woke up abruptly so many times in the night because I’d breathed in too hard- so then I was tired, so I would yawn which hurt my ribs, stretching them a little more each time. Catch 22. A pulled muscle I guess.
2. I’ve been getting rid of so many clothes lately, so many things. I listed over 30 items online. I can’t believe I had so many things hanging around that I was happy to sell. They’re selling slowly though.
3. And buying new things: a hob kettle, white jeans, spotty blouse, pale pink chiffon skirt, black sundress, white linen shirt.
4. My thoughts are turning towards my birthday this December.
5. I only realised recently that I’m actually a autumn baby, not a winter baby like I’d always believed. The whole run up to Christmas actually takes place during autumn, isn’t that crazy?
6. I don’t listen to the news lately. That’s where I’m at right now, with that.
7. The Lena Dunham Youtube series. Just watch.
8. Shine theory. Push yourself to befriend that girl who makes you jealous because she has it all, and is so great. Flora I’m looking at you.
9. Just to explain- we’re (still) waiting for which airfield we’re going to be moving near, for Boyfriend’s work. He needs a hangar, to re-spray and valet planes in. It’s been tough. If I’d known it would take this long, I wouldn’t have waited to immerse myself into things.
9. Being a homelover. I’d love a little more to do but I do really appreciate having a home like this. You learn something from every situation you’re in.
10. Got an appointment with a female hair specialist consultant in London in a fortnight. It’s been a long road. Thought it was the anaemia I was diagnosed with back in January, but no luck. The problem with what I’ve got is that my hair always looks like it’s getting better- it’s constantly in the re-growth baby hairs stage. I’m hoping for a concrete solution. I’m hoping this isn’t a continuation of a long search for answers, going increasingly into the unknown. It could be so much worse. Someone told me of a girl who kept having severe facial allergic reactions, was told by specialist that her face would just start to droop and she’d need plastic surgery but it turned out she was just allergic to tomatoes and potatoes.
11. Feeling the growth. The introspection of the nothingness.
12. I want to join a dance class. Perhaps ballet?
13. You just wait. I’m not lazy. Once we have somewhere concrete to live, I’m going to leap into action like a… gazelle.
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So that shift. 
a. I’ve set up a Facebook group online for people interested in doing the first stage of RIE training, a two week intensive Foundation course. Lots of people are interested, and oddly congratulating me?, and it feels so great.
b. I’m also working next week, with my old nannying family, so that’ll be lovely. If a little nerve wracking, as the holidays are a tricky time- they’re big into TV and I like the outdoors. (But can easily get sucked into the TV trap).
c. I’m focusing on pushing my social life; organising a lunch with some scattered nursing degree friends (only 2/5 are still on the same path as this time last year!), organising a dinner with old school friends, I saw my middle sister in Spain last weekend, spoke to my oldest sister on Monday. Emailing various people, and generally seizing those opportunities.
d. I got an interview for the level 3 children’s counselling course- a little nervous since I’m only halfway through the adult level 2 right now but.. it’ll be OK. More than OK!
e. We’re now a long way down the path to a concrete agreement with an airfield. Strangely enough, it’s the original airfield from 3 ‘for sure’ airfields ago, when negotiations fell apart due to an unpleasant selfish man who is no longer there.
f. we’re good. things are good. we’re lucky.
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The Circle – Dave Eggers

So many stars for this.

I almost don’t feel like I have the required intelligence to comment on this book. Oh Dave, you are genius.

It’s about a world where a company, a sort of cross between Facebook and Google and Apple, kind of own the internet – all social media, the only search engine – and have unlimited funds to continue funding their ideas and acquiring start ups, into the realm of distinctly scary.

It’s a world where keeping anything private and not sharing about it online is depriving others of essential second hand experiences. Where everyone has the right to know.. Everything. And where secrets are only horrible and bad if you keep them to yourself.

The amazing thing is that at the start things don’t seem so bad – one login for everything, based on your real identity? Well that wipes out the trolls, and the need for ever stranger passwords and usernames. A bracelet that monitors all your health stats, so your doctor can keep an eye on you? Sign me up. Maybe.

Just go read it. So many thoughts.

Memory // 10

to be published on Mondays. 

When I was about 15 the school dining room was closed during the summer term. Instead each day we had tokens to get a brown paper lunch bag. They would be handed out at points around the school, with a fierce scrum to get a good one. The best was the pesto pasta salad with mozzarella pearls.

We would sit round the back of the sports hall, the metal ridges of the fire escape stairs digging in to our thighs and eat with small black plastic cutlery. And talk. Endless talking.