120 – Mindfulness tonight

Did you know that I have been awake from 5am until now (and it’s currently 10.30pm). I know this is not a big deal for ‘normals’ but jebus it’s a big deal for me. 4 months ago I would have been asleep at 9 tonight and I would have been exhausted. I would never have been contemplating getting up at 5.30 tomorrow morning to go for a run (only thinking about it mind you). I would never have signed up for a course that started at 7 fucking 30 at night! That’s way late au!

But I’m doing it. And I feel good motherfuckers. This is the thing that I can say when people say ‘SO do you feel any better? Like, it is even WORTH it to not eat food all the time?’ Instead of punching them in the face. Because you know, I’m not violent. Use your words Kathleen. I was talking to a friend over coffee (and, ahem, our TAI’s) this morning. She is currently severely low in iron due to a couple of things and is working on turning it around – but she, like me previously, has always had low iron. I don’t anymore. This is weird for me because I have ALWAYS had low iron. Like, under 10 low. Like ‘How are you even getting out of bed in the morning?!’ low. And the only thing I can attribute my energy levels and new ability to stay up past 5 in the evening is my iron levels – they MUST be up! Yay!

I was told, when I got my Coeliacs diagnosis, that going gluten-free would mean all that stuff that was bothering me (or not in my case because remember I am a ‘silent coeliac’ meaning I have little to no outward symptoms) would disappear. In fact, of course this turned out to be the opposite and I had two years of discomfort, weight gain, really scarily low iron levels and general disappointment in my ‘recovery’. Going gluten-free wasn’t enough for my system to start healing and allowing my ‘villi’ to do their job and absorb all the iron and other shit from my food. But guess what bitches? It seems to be working now!

SO, in some ways it sucks because it backs up the theory that I should keep all the yummy delicious stuff out of my diet for a while – because it’s clearly working BUT it is cool because it reminds me that the suffering (ha ha can you hear the tiny violin?) is worth it. And that maybe I am on the up.

Tres motivating.

And you know what else? The mindfulness course is really interesting too! It is right up my alley. I feel like a lot of what we talk about is what I would be trying to do instinctively in my every day life but the course is giving me much more elegant and articulate ways to do so. I am a big fan. Mindfulness is very rock and roll.

And on that note, I’m off to practice my power poses.

Northern Mockingbird

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119 – I’m back in yay!

I took my laptop to the IT peeps this morning and they unlocked it for me. This is not before they slut-shamed me (in the true, original sense of the word – slut meaning filthy and slovenly) for the state of my laptop. I can’t be the only one who ‘snacks’ while they cruise the interwebs can I? But they were SO right – it was disgusting! Food stains all over it. The only thing I can truly say I haven’t ever dropped on my laptop is wine (who wastes wine?). Which led me to thinking…

A lot of my late night food consumption is done in a glazed state, one hand getting RSI on the laptop – the other popping grapes, or apple or crackers in my mouth on auto as I ‘work’. I don’t even really taste the food. And of course when I haven’t savoured it and want more! (N.B in other non-dry years the other hand would have been clutching a wine glass – but I still never spilled it on my laptop!).

Not no more I say. After vigorously scrubbing the keyboard and screen of my laptop. After carefully getting in between all the gaps of the keys and the edges of the twiddly bits. After drying it off and remembering how pretty it can be when it is clean, I have resolved to not ever eat when using it again. No more unconscious snacking and more honouring the lease I agreed to in the first place where I said I wouldn’t eat while using it or something.

Also the 7 year old is once again banned from using it. The WHOLE reason I had to change my password in the first place (which I actually did right by the way – it was a weird glitch that locked me out so there) is because the grumpy Dutchman told him the password. After being told off for the last time he told him the password! Grrrr. So I have changed it and I’m not telling anyone.

So. No more unconscious laptop eating. Piece of cake.

117 – and it drags on

I’m on a new diet. It’s the ‘yes I think I’ll have breakfast today, ohhhhhh well… maybe not’  diet. The very thought of food can make me retch or cramp up. Or I get a very distinct and specific craving for something and can’t stomach anything but that thing – for the last three days it’s been GF any-citrus cake and the grumpy Dutchman dutifully got me some – of course I didn’t want it when he finally got home. I am exhausted and manage small efforts of normality followed by long periods in bed.

I actually got to work on Friday. I felt better enough on Thursday night to be optimistic, planned my lessons, got my clothes sorted and packed my lunch. Got up and felt a bit blah – but that’s understandable. I ended up having to take my breakfast with me because I couldn’t finish it – this should have been a clue really. I’m a girl who finishes everything on her plate and then follows the crumbs back through to the kitchen to see if there’s anything else I can finish off. Anyway, breakfast never got finished, and I lasted as long as recess, then home to bed.

I have been told by fairly reliable sources, that Gastro bugs last longer in coeliacs – this doesn’t seem fair really – we already have gut issues – why add to the drama? But it makes sense. Coeliacs is an autoimmune disease and it makes sense that anything else would knock us on our asses. No ‘reserves’ to help up back up on to our heels you see.

I have spent since Tuesday night in and out of bed, sleeping, being impatient with the lads, not eating OR eating a whole dinner last night and regretting it immediately. I am shattered and can’t concentrate on anything for very long. It sucks balls. I dragged myself around the zoo this morning – it was my bloody idea – with the three Dutchmen but it wasn’t as much fun as it sounds.

My four year old is loving the captive audience though. He is already a non-stop talker – like actually non-stop and if it’s not words it’s his own special gobbledygook – and I don’t have the strength to fight him off at the moment or get a word in edgeways. He spent Friday evening bringing me a drawing every five minutes until he ran out of paper. It was quite sweet really. He comes to the bed and ‘announces his crimes’ at me. For example – he just came in clutching a ramekin and asked if he could have milk. (There has been a ban on milk anywhere but at the table because of the amount that ends up on the carpet). I said no, you know you can’t have milk. ‘Is that milk in the ‘cup’?’. ‘YES!’ he shouts gleefully and bolts – dripping milk as he goes all over the carpet – confident that I am not going to follow him.

I’ll show him. I’m going to text his father.

113 – sick daze

There are some things that remain true in life no matter what you do;

  • Your best hair days will always be when you are alone – not seeing anyone and certainly with nowhere to go.
  • Your worst hair days will always coincide with important meetings, formal events and your most ‘public’ days.
  • When you have no money you will be bombarded with things you want to buy every where you go, ‘essential’ shoes, great dresses, new tattoos – whatever – you want it all!
  • When you do have a bit of disposable income you will find nothing you want.
  • People will always ‘pop in’ for a spontaneous catch up when the laundry couch is at its peak volume and height.
  • Conversely – when the house is spotless and looking like a photo shoot for ‘Your home and Garden’ everyone will be out of town.
  • There is always someone around when you fall off your heels.

I could go on but I won’t,

The same is true for teachers and illness. Mostly teachers don’t get sick during term time. We just power through because there’s so much to get through. Getting sick means lessons get shoved back, due dates are messed with and relief needs to be set. And setting meaningful relief is trickier than you think. So of course it makes sense that teachers get sick in the holidays and spend the time they have off recuperating. I thought I had gotten away with it this time – the lads got sick, some of my colleagues got sick, but I seemed to be cruising along scot-free this time!

Aha! The heavens laughed at me, it was not to be! You think you can just relax now you are back and school and busy as a busy thing? Not you! No. Not me.

On Tuesday night, high on homemade chocolate and small boy love, I got my boot camp gear all ready in its spot, packed my lunch for the next day and went off to bed to dream of upcoming meetings and the first day back of the mindfulness course on Wednesday night. I tossed and turned and couldn’t get comfortable all night, I was hot and achey and tired and yet unable to sleep.

I was already awake when my alarm went off at five (don’t worry I don’t normally get up at 5 – I was getting up early to put a casserole on for dinner because I was going to be out AGAIN that night and the poor GD had been doing all the dinners) so I got up, assembled the chicken casserole, changed in to my boot camp gear and drove off to boot camp. All the while feeling REALLY queasy and weird. I thought it was a case of too much homemade chocolate love – a hangover of sorts. But I felt SO weird sitting waiting in the dark for the other girls to arrive that I texted our instructor that I couldn’t do it that day and drove straight back home to bed.

I have not yet gotten out of bed, although I am now – after being very pathetic at the GD and him taking pity on me – eating a piece of peanut butter toast after nil by mouth for 48 hours. Up until about an hour ago all I had had was boiled water out of the jug because even the thought of anything else made me want to heave. Remember the lurgy the lads suffered while I was too far away to help in Christchurch? And me being more than a little pleased it wasn’t my problem in my blog afterwards? Well Karma is a motherfucking biatch.

Body aches, cramping, an essential ‘clearing out’ of my system from both ends, dizziness and headaches plagued me all day and night. I couldn’t lie in one position for too long because it hurt all of my joints so I slept fitfully, all the while very conscious of what I was missing at work – 72 emails later I may have caught up with what I need to be doing when I get back.

I am now feeling more human again (thank the goddes) but am still in bed because I’m not yet my ‘best self’. One of the weird side effects of this sort of illness though is that my skin isn’t red for once in my life, my tummy is flat like a teenage girls and my hair never looked so good! Go figure.

In about an hour I’ll go have a shower, wash my hair and face and go back to being the frizzy-haired, flakey, red-skinned, pot bellied foodtard you all know and love.

I have to go now – my children are literally crying over spilt milk and as they know I’m awake and semi-functioning I have to go and ‘mother’ them.

111 – Did someone say chocolate?

I’m not doing so well at the whole not eating sugar thing again. I am trying really hard not to think about it and I do really well until the afternoon – which is normal I guess. I have cut out the coffee again, and am feeling the mid afternoon ‘slump’ HARD. Meetings after school don’t help of course! Taking it slow – being mindful, non-judgemental and kind to myself while I try. That sort of shit.

So tonight instead of taking myself ‘for an evening walk’ to the dairy for a little ‘pick-me-up’ I decided to try something else. You remember the goodie bags from yesterday’s IQS event? Well, they had a cacao butter sample in them and I have always wanted to try making my own ‘healthier’ dark chocolate – mwahahaha…

I asked Aunty Google and found this recipe on the chockchick.com, I adapted it because I didn’t have Agave syrup (and SW and her crew don’t like it anyways so there) and after a tweak mid-experiment I think I have a hit! Here’s what I did;

you need;

  • 100gms Cacao butter
  • 6 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • sweetener of choice
  • vanilla essence and peppermint essence
  1. Melt the cacao butter on a double boiler like you would with any choc you want to melt – it melts fast so watch it and don’t let it burn.
  2. Add the Cacao powder and mix with a metal whisk (cos’ the recipe said to that’s why) until it is all beautifully blended.
  3. This is where I added the pinch of sea salt and a smidge of vanilla essence.
  4. Now, she uses Agave or whatever, and I didn’t have any so I thought I would try two tablespoons of the Rice Malt syrup that I got in my goodie bag but I was dubious; Previous experiments with this in baking have failed dismally.
  5. I then split the mix in half and added a few drops of peppermint essence to one batch. You totally don’t have to do this – you could just go with all one flavour – it’s your life man don’t let me tell you how to live it.

Once it is all blended pour in to your mould/cupcake cases and pop in the freezer. They are ready for ‘sampling’ after about 20? mins. (I poured the peppermint half in to green cupcake cases so I would know which ones were which).

My first batch failed. I tried them after the required 20 mins and they were bitter as – no sweetness whatsoever and a bit ‘muddy’ tasting. Yes I know proper super dark choc is a little muddy but there should have been a ‘hint’ of sweet you know?

SO I melted them again – yes – it worked, I did it in two halves – the peppermint-y half and the plain, and added MAPLE SYRUP. Just a splash in each half and refroze it. Whacked them back in the freezer and let them set for 20 mins.

SUCCESS!!! Delicious and in danger of not lasting the evening. The peppermint ones are especially nice. The are very quick to melt so they will live in the freezer… but not for long….

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110 – Looooooooong day

So you will be pleased to know that I survived Monday. And I taught ALL day and actually had something teach! I wrote three assessments yesterday in a panic and they were there with me when I arrived late to school.

Did I tell you about my morning? I went to Boot camp which was great as per. When I got back the grumpy Dutchman was VERY grumpy. Our lovely dog had left a great big stinking ‘deposit’ on the carpet. AND the toilet was blocked. And because we don’t have artificial light in the bathroom (only a skylight) at the moment the toilet had been used on top of the blocking.  The poor GD was up to his elbows in brown stuff. One of our evil children had stuffed a plastic cup in the loo. The same evil child announced to his daycare teachers ‘I PISSED in the shower!’ when he arrived this morning…. Not a great reflection of our parenting.

I was all prepared to give my students their new assessment today but they had done that thing where the whole lot of them (year 12 and 13 in my shared class) ‘forgot’ that their first assessment (from Term one) as due at the end of the holidays. So they spent the lesson rushing about trying to hand their work in and I didn’t have to start the new assessment at all!

I remarked to my HOD how TIRED I was by the end of the day – it is ridiculous how that works – you get two weeks to rest and recuperate but you only seem to start to recalibrate and slow down just in time to go back to work – and then you are fucked. And today I stayed at school until 9.30pm

This was because I volunteered to be a helper at the I Quit Sugar event in Auckland with Sarah Wilson – which just so happened to be being held at our school auditorium. Great huh? I only signed up because my friend Claire suggested it – and we didn’t want to pay for tickets – and I am really glad we did.

It was great to meet like-minded people – some very keen and star struck but most just really interested in what Sarah Wilson would have to say. We stuffed goodie bags, set up tables, and Claire and I woman-ed the doors for opening, we then helped changed tables over for dessert and book signing, then handed out goodie bags as people left. We helped clean up, grabbed our own goodie bags (and leftover treats) and left just as Sarah was signing the last few books. A great night was had by all I think. I don’t know if I would have paid for it – I guess I have read enough now that I don’t feel like I was being told anything I don’t know, and I tend to pick and choose from each ‘eating philosophy’ to suit my damaged guts needs, but it was a good reminder for me of why I cut sugar in the first place – and good motivation to get back on track. Here are some pics from tonight;

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109 – Procrastinate, Procrastinate, Procrastinate

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Yes. I am blogging instead of writing lessons for tomorrow and planning my week. Why? Fuck knows! It would make sense for me to be doing the work that needs to be done but I just can’t seem to commit to something so sensible. As a consequence I have done anything but prepare for work tomorrow. I visited Nana and Mum yesterday, I folded the entire pile of washing that covered the laundry couch and overflowed in to the basket, I have been to be ‘scanned’ as a volunteer for my friend who is training to be a Sonographer – she asked me yesterday during Boot-camp and I thought of all the work I had to do and said ‘Sure!’. Check out my super healthy Liver – clearly the four months of no drinking or anything else fun has had some good side effects! (at least she told me it looked good who knows!)

I have cleaned the fridge (this is major procrastination behaviour) and I have re-stocked the food supplies. Food shopping with two small boys is usually a struggle but today they outdid themselves. The GD had to work – at least that’s what he said he was doing…. Anyway, I had to brave the food shop with the kids by myself and we had to get everything – a real ‘from the bottom up’ shop so it was massive.

Everywhere I turned was either a current student ‘Hi Miss Becker!’ or a former student working the aisles or checkout and it was like the mini Dutchmen knew they had an extra special audience. If they weren’t singing at the top of their lungs, crying or weaving in and out of the trolley traffic at speed, they nagged me for anything and everything they saw. ‘Mum can we have cheerios? Can we have roast chicken? Can we have doughnuts? WHY can’t we have doughnuts? Can we have Red Bull? BUT DAD LETS US HAVE RED BULL!’ and so on. (I suspect they were lying about dad letting them have Red Bull – he knows I would kill him if they were any more ‘awake’). Master 7 helped me find stuff in between tormenting his brother, and on one of his trips off to find bread, I turned around just in time to stop Master 4 putting something in his mouth; ‘WHAT is that? Don’t put it in your mouth!’ ‘But Mum it’s chewing gum – look I found it there! It still smells YUMMY!’ He had pried it off from under the handle of the trolley and was really disappointed that I wouldn’t let him eat it.

I had a few moment of peace when they wandered off to look at the cards and I kept shopping. But then they didn’t come back, and I kept shopping. And kept shopping until over the loudspeaker I hear ‘Could the mother of two little lost boys please come to the Customer service desk, Could KATHLEEN please come to the customer service desk to collect your children’. Remember how the place was full of my students? Yeah.

They were fairly well-behaved while we got the rest of the items on the list. I told Master 7 he was a very good boy for going to the customer service desk, that it was the best and most safe thing he could have done and he walked a little taller and prouder – I think he was more worried than he let on actually. They taste tested some fried ‘ducklings’ (Master 4 can’t say Dumplings apparently) and we finally got in to the checkout.

Where my eldest child proceeded to tell me in great detail and with considerable volume about the card they had seen in the birthday card section; ‘There was this card Mum, that had a woman on it and she wasn’t wearing a bra, and there was a trampoline, and two dogs were jumping off the trampoline – that was so funny, and….’    Wait a minute child what? Apparently I had heard correctly, there was a birthday card with a ‘ladies boobies’ on it but the best thing was the dogs.

From the moment they walked in to the stupidmarket and announced that ‘Bananas make me vomit’ to the moment that Master 4 leaped in the air and delivered ‘the people’s elbow’ to Master 7 (while I was packing groceries and being ignored in my endeavours to get them off the floor) they drew an audience. Walking contraception.

Now we have a full cupboards and I can make stuff for the week. As I am ‘re-setting’ I am hoping to have no excuses for convenience food – and I can boil eggs and make falafels etc tonight once the lads are in bed.

I am going to sign off now and will try and get some of this school planning done – have a good week – if you’re a parent I imagine your joy at having the kids back at school is equal to if not greater than my dread of tomorrow morning! Ha ha.

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107 – Home again, Home again

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Ahhhhh Home. I flew in this afternoon and the GD picked me up before we collected the lads. You know that lovely feeling of coming home to see your fam, walking in to a clean house, the familiar smells and fur children all lined up ready to greet you and purr/wag themselves silly?

Nah. Not so much. The house smells like a mixture of farts and vomit. It looks like a fucking tornado hit it, and the fur children were only interested in me as long as it took for me to nag the GD to feed them. The wee lads were pleased to see me though ‘What did you bring us Mum?’ and the poor grumpy Dutchman who WAS pleased to see me was greeted with me saying ‘WHY did you bring the van for fucks sake?’ (I don’t like sitting in the dogs spot). Poor man was rushing to get to me on time from work and did not get the grateful wife he expected. The Bitch is baaaaaack!

The poor buggers had a rough week. I arrived in Chch on Sunday night and I got a phone call on Monday from the GD to say that he had left work and was on his way to Daycare to collect Master 4. He wasn’t well and couldn’t stay. This led to a really grumpy Dutchman because he was missing work to take him home. Updates through the next 24 hours revealed that he was contagious – the GD soon caught the lurgy and then both of them had the throw ups. Poor Master 7 was so bored at home with them both. And I was in Chch completely unable to help….

Oh dear how sad! I had a wonderful week of baby snuggles and leisurely walks with the dog Dave. My sister really just needed me as a pair of extra hands – the first time her husband has gone away for work since their daughter was born – and I was very glad to help. Is there anything more snuggly than a teeny weeny baby? Variously sucking her thumb, a bottle or my arm in our cuddles she was a lovely little pink bundle (baby girls get dressed in SO MUCH PINK) and we had many a lovely chat – me chatting obvs and her just sort of gurgling and exclaiming. She is my sister’s first baby and she is still in that mode where she can’t do anything when the baby is awake. I am a very willing baby holder.

I flew down with the intention of using my time down there to withdraw from all the naughties I had picked up again over Easter. Sugar, Dairy, Coffee, Crunchy and Raw. Along with them I had taken with me – Itchy, Flakey, Achey and Redface.

But you know what? Withdrawal didn’t happen. I fell in to the ‘new baby survival’ habits that my sister was already in – grabbing a snack of whatever you could whenever you could, ‘treating myself’ to coffee when exhausted and wanting a pick me up, I ate her entire supply of apples. I am not meant to eat Apples. I was out of control man. And the more I told myself that I had a handle on it and could stop anytime – the more I couldn’t. I even found myself eating chocolate in the car on the way home from doing a food shop for her. In secret. I don’t eat food in secret! I normally roll around in my food shame in public! All out there and ridiculous for all the world to judge. Bizarre behaviour.

And all those side effects of my damaged guts that I was getting a handle on have started to rear their ugly heads again; Fucked up skin, exhaustion (when doing absolutely nothing!), bloating, headaches and feeling like shite warmed up. You know that not very ‘clean’ feeling you get inside when you don’t eat enough veges? I used to get it flatting – I’d be jonesing for some broccoli after too many days of two-minute noodles and beer. That’s pretty rock and roll eh? Craving broccoli? That’s me baby – I get all excited about leafy greens.

Anyway. I had a lovely time in Chch. I didn’t blog because I spent my evenings cuddling my wee niece or sleeping ha ha. But I am very pleased to be back as the bosom of the family again. I have had some lovely cuddles with my big boys this evening and they were actually pleased to see me too – not just the pressies ha ha.

Moving forward my plan is to do a really good food shop, clean the house and get my shit prepped for school to start on Monday. I need a clear space in my head and my house to get back on track. Start as I mean to go on – Term two will be the start of something good.

Here are some pics from my wanderings round Christchurch – mostly nature and shit – if you’re in to that;

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Day 102 – Landed in Chch, cluck cluck cluck

Mmmmmmmmm Baby snuggles. So good. And she is a real little snuffler – like a little hedgehog. My poor niece (and sister and BIL) has suffered with reflux and terrible wind since birth. They were going out of their minds with a screaming baby until a couple of things happened. A. The pediatric nurse they see suggested that maybe she was plain hungry – my sister can’t make much milk so they have introduced bottle feeds as well and B. They started giving her gripe water and reflux medicine to stop her oesophagus from burning. She still gets terrible wind though poor kid.

Now she is finally putting on weight – much to everyone’s delight – and sleeping through the night (oh my god my kids STILL aren’t sleeping through the night) but she still has tummy stuff. Kris is off the dairy and spiceky food but baby still is not having a good time.

I am very tempted to mention the thing about gluten upsetting babies tummies when they are wee if they are coeliac….. but I won’t. Ha ha. Anecdotally it seems that every child diagnosed on the Coeliac Disease NZ page had funny tummies when they were little – and when Mum took out the gluten they felt better.  But my sister is very proud of the fact that she doesn’t have coeliacs – being related to me of course but not by both parents – and she will not be happy if I suggest there could be anything there for her precious little angel. Fair enough. New mums get a LOT of unsolicited advice and opinions and that’s not my job. I am here to help.

I got to have my first alone time this evening when Kris took her man to the airport for his trip to china. We had some hairy moments when there were nearly tears but I remembered some of my windy baby holds and we powered through. She’s so wee and cuddly and I am SO in danger of getting super clucky.

The temperature is set to drop here in Chch overnight so we’ll see how I survive!

Day 101 – Last trip up the hill

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Today I went with Mum on a road trip up the hill to Kerikeri and back again. She has been trying to get my grandparents house cleared out for them, they have finally sold it and Mum is the one who has been sorting it all out for them. She has the onerous and emotional task of going though all their stuff, deciding what they might still want and what goes in the rubbish or to the charities. So on her last day trip today me and the lads went with her to try to help. We drove three hours each way and the lads were really good. They were patient and funny and kept us entertained all the way. We went to a cafe in Kerikeri called ‘Santeez’ that was gluten and wheat free (said so on the sign outside) and had a yummy lunch. I had a real coffee with real milk. On road trips the rules don’t matter.

Mostly my job was to sit and say what to chuck and what to keep so Mum could just power though. We threw out 11 rubbish bags of an old ladies collected pieces of paper. We hadn’t noticed how hard it was getting for Nana to remember things. Little tiny pieces of paper in all of the drawers with lists and facts on them that she was trying to remember. The family; the daughters and their children and their children – all the names and birth dates. On multiple pieces of paper. Mum has found identical lists of phone numbers – copied in duplicate up to 50 times. Every single letter she had received, every bill, every receipt, every lotto ticket. Mum found SO many combs. I found a drawer entirely dedicated to empty glasses cases. And this is after Mum has been going week after week to clear stuff out.

Anyway. I thought I would have more feelings about the building itself. But it turns out no not really. Nana and Grandad never really imprinted on it. In the twenty+ years they lived there they just occupied it really, and without them there I had no feelings for the space. It still smelled the same, it still ‘felt’ the same. But it is just a building. The people are what matter. The people are who you miss. I took my camera because I wanted to get some pics of the empty house but it was simply to document the process.

It’s funny, when Mum and I have been going through the photo albums we have found endless images of the house and it’s gardens. Her gardens were beautiful but my Nana was/is a terrible photographer. The photos are mainly blurry or composed badly or completely fucking random. But I kinda love that about them. She repeated the act of photographing her surroundings, shooting film after film, getting them developed and then patiently sliding the images in to photo album after photo album. It’s the same bloody photograph over and over again. There’s a million reasons why Nana might have needed to take these photos. Some more obvious than others. Repetition in order to prove existence. As if she needed reminding. And here I was today walking the same path. Taking the same photos. Although mine are in focus.

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