Sat 20th Oct 2018

Today has been Good.

Work-wise I’ve harvested and cut back three of four pumpkin plants (the fourth, in the greenhouse frame, hasn’t started dying back at all yet and is clinging on to summer) and set the pumpkins out to cure in the porch, cut back some of the honeysuckle on the coldframe frame, cut down the finished sweetcorn stalk, dug up a load of ground elder roots from between the roses (and re-planted all the spring bulbs that came up with them) and set 6 cloves of garlic (of that garlic that I discovered growing back in June!) there, weeded the big vegetable bed ready for covering with cardboard to over-winter, and pulled some carrots for tea to go with the potatoes I dug up a few weeks ago and one of today’s pumpkins. It’s felt good to be outside.

I’m having a funny old time with my mental health at the moment. I passed my module test in danish two and a half weeks ago, have been back in school supporting a friend ahead of her test, but am now on leave until January in an attempt to get my head in a better place ready to take on the next module. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going half the time, recognising I’m still broken from autistic burnout and in need of some decent chance to heal, never knowing whether I’ll be functioning from one day to the next. Making it outdoors is a big thing at the moment. Silly thing is that once I’m outside I feel better. I have more energy, I stop yawning, I can focus, I feel almost human again! But simply getting outdoors is one of those Impossible Tasks so often at the moment.

It’s always worth it if I do manage to get outside though.

Looking back over the past couple of months I’ve been struggling mentally even more than I realised even in the middle of it when I recognised the fact I was drowning, so taking this time off is really important. I hope I’ll be able to write more again, I’ve missed it, but I’ve had so little energy left to put thoughts into words in a coherent way let alone keep up a journal.

Things seem to be changing though. I’ve been crocheting again. That’s a big step forwards too: instead of crumpling in a heap at the end of a day I’ve been enjoying creating things. I even cooked dinner once last week, and again tonight – it’s pained me so much that I’ve not even been finding the energy to cook lately, because I love cooking.

Today has been Good.

This evening has been fraught…. but that’s a whole other story.

In other news our new wheels arrived this week: a Babboe Big with e-assist! Steve has spent a few days ironing out the niggles so it can be ready for me to use with the kids, getting us out a bit beyond our own boundaries. I really hope it helps solve some of our transportation problems. The hunt for a van to solve the other half of the transport headache is ongoing: trying to get dealers to respond to us seems to be a bit of an issue! But the Babboe is fun. Hills around here are not enormous, but they are enough to put me off cycling. The Babboe’s electric-assist is an incredible help and the kids all just about fit physically in the carrier! Ben is super excited, especially because I mentioned their iPads could connect to the internet via my phone’s hotspot so we could visit pokéstops….!! It’s the little things isn’t it!

And the cats could have a series all of their own. Tiger has been very stand-offish lately, hissing at Grylls, almost throwing his dinner at him (there have been a few incidents where he’s let mice go trying to play with the catch, only to lose them as they scarpered, so eventually one night Tiger growled at him in a very obvious “stop playing with your dinner” fashion. There have been no mice brought in since, alive or dead), refusing to let him near her or even follow her. We’ve hardly seen her. Smudge took over Grylls-supervision-duty. Then suddenly Tiger was Back. Very much in need of cuddles and reassurance from us and from Grylls, and she’s even letting him nurse. And then she wee’d in the bowl of conkers that Erika plays with Grylls with and when I spotted her and shoo’d her away she panicked and pee’d on one of the kids’ playmats, apparently forgetting that she’s a grown cat and is supposed to do that stuff outside now. I think in hindsight she was thrown by the litterbox having moved out of the living room where it’s been since she gave birth but it was enough for me to say “enough” and lock the catflap. I’d already decided to try to encourage Grylls to stay out more as he’s been living his best life as a house-cat so far. They’ve mostly stopped trying to batter it down now. Time for the older two to remember they are outdoors mouser cats, and time for Grylls to harden off before winter! They still have 24hr access to the porch so they always have somewhere relatively warm to come and huddle, but I really don’t need any more cat pee in the house right now.

Life is never dull.


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