Thursday, June 28


Ah, how my brain loves to fuck with me. I'd been cheerily whistling through this fortnight without a care in the world, then DOOM hit me on the 8.07 Silverlink to work and I have been anxious and paranoid ever since. All of my friends think I'm not worth a damn. I only contact them in the lucid periods between being up and being down. They never ring me. My boyfriend is just biding his time until he leaves me. He's had enough of putting up with my everlasting tiredness and panic attacks. My university is going to turn me down because I'm mental. I'm going to lose my job. I can't afford to live. I'm going to go bankrupt.
I look at what I've done in the last 6 months and it means nothing. I do not count each individual triumph, it's much more of a collective thing. I forget what I have achieved. I can only see failure ahead.
I'm going to look at this in a few days/hours and laugh at what a twit I sound. But right now I'm going to crawl under my duvet and sleep until I can work up the energy to interact with my boyfriend upon his return from work. Hopefully I will be able to pretend that everything is ok.

Will report on success of this tomorrow.

Monday, June 25

Baby Chicken £2

What's the first thing that springs to mind when you saw that title? Was it, perhaps, this:

You'd think that, wouldn't you? You'd think that if somewhere had a sign with the words 'Baby' and 'Chicken' on it that it'd be some allusion to cuteness or Easter or baby chicks. But I actually saw a sign that said 'Baby Chicken' on the door of one of Walthamstow's many fried chicken shops. Thousands of people probably pass that sign every day and never give it a second's thought. But I can't stop thinking and worrying about it.

What worries me is that it can only mean one of two things:
1 - That 'Western Fried Chicken' is selling tiny little chickens fried whole.
2 - That 'Western Fried Chicken' is selling a fried chicken meal aimed at children under the age of two.

Imagine that; fried chicken, for the under twos...

Sadly, I imagine the latter of those two options. Despite the potentially volatile nature of cheap fried chicken it still seems to be the number one takeaway meal in the E17 region. From 12pm-1pm the corridors of the College building I work in are filled with the nauseating aroma of spiced poultry. It's not KFC either. It's 'Chicky Chicken', 'Chicken Shack' or 'Special Fried Chicken', accompanied with a vat of syrupy unnamed-brand cola that prevents my students from concentrating on a single thing I teach them all afternoon.

I fucking love BB Brian.

I can't stop laughing at Brian from Big Brother. Every single time he says something I start pissing myself. I will share with you two of my favourite Brian moments so far.

Brian thinks there is no electricity in Wales...

Concerning long words...

Chanelle: 'What about juxtaposition?'
Brian: 'Is that a sexual position?'

My favourite moment, where Liam and Charley explain Shakespeare to Brian, is not on youtube yet. Gutted.

Friday, June 22

rabbit barber

Our house rabbit, Cheeky, has developed the alarming habit of grooming his owners. He started with James's big curly head. Then he moved onto his eyebrows. Then he started on my head (but he doesn't like it as much because it's a different texture). And now he keeps trying to groom James's beard.

It's not entirely unpleasant. He uses his teeth, but very gently. And when he's finished he flops down next to you as if to say 'my turn now!'.

I'm concerned that he either thinks of himself as a human, or us as enormous rabbits. And that, in rabbit behaviour, grooming is a precursor to mating.

Saturday, June 16


I completed my first sudoku puzzle yesterday. I announced to Susan and Vin in my office that I would be dedicating the next hour to solving sudoku puzzles. It was a 'novice' puzzle. It took me approximately 30 minutes to complete. When I'd finished I ran next door to tell Susan and Janet, who were engaged in deep and meaningful conversation, that I had WON. They were not as exuberant as I'd have liked.

Friday, June 15

mental wealth

London Metropolitan sent me a parcel last week (hooray!) containing my preliminary assignments for next year (boo!). This week I received a letter from a doctor in Holloway that I have never heard of, asking about the severity of my 'mental disorder' and if it would 'affect my suitability for the teaching profession'. They must have picked it up from the health declaration that you have to complete before applying for a PGCE course.
For those of you that don't know I have Bipolar II Disorder. Which is characterised by the following: 1. Had / having at least one Major Depressive Episode. 2. Had / having at least one Hypomanic Episode. 3. Never had a Manic or Mixed Episode. 4. The episodes, 1 or 2 above,are not from another disorder. 5. Clinically significant distress from symptoms,or impairment in work, social,or other areas of important functioning.
Social functioning, check. Other areas, check. Work, no.

Bipolar disorder manifests differently in different people. Mine has a crash and burn approach, my brain likes to trick me into feeling well, then spring prolonged periods of misery or short bursts of euphoria on me, seemingly out of nowhere. It also seems to be linked heavily to the seasons, which is quite typical for a lot of sufferers. I spent years forcing myself to be sane and trying to control my mood and environment to prevent episodes from occuring, but I learnt last year that this is pointless. I have no control over when these incidences occur. I can manage them when they do and initiate damage limitation, but ultimately I have had to accept that I am stuck with this for the long haul, and it's sometimes best just to let these conditions have their own way. But, for the benefit of those around me, and anybody else that thinks they might have a similar experience, below is a guide to my personal symptoms.

How to tell if I am depressed:
- I won't return your calls or texts, or I will but my replies will be short
- I will sleep a lot
- I will be incapable of making any decisions
- I won't venture far from home
- I will be surrounded by half-read books that I cannot concentrate on
- I won't be wearing any makeup
- I won't have put any effort into getting dressed
- I'll lurk around the internet, reading emails and messages, without replying to anybody
- I'll 'disappear off the radar' for a week or so

How to tell if I am hypomanic:
- Everything will be 'brilliant'
- I'll shake
- I'll become wreckless with money (buying stupid expensive drinks, clothes etc)
- I will speak really quickly, so fast that I won't be able to get all the words out
- I'll skip, jump and run instead of walking
- I'll 'jerk'
- I won't sleep all night because of IDEAS
- I might have a panic attack

Don't be fooled. A lot of people would never know I have this. I have become extremely good at covering up the depression, and the mania is usually mistaken for exuberance. Only four or five people in my life could probably tell when I'm suffering, and three of those are close family members. So, for the most part, most people who meet me assume I'm 'normal' (I am normal really, I'm just coining a phrase). Am I insane? I have never considered if my sanity is an issue or not. I have certainly felt out of control a few times, but I've always had some comprehension of how I am behaving and what is going on around me. I take insanity to mean that I'd have little or no control over myself and hardly any comprehension of my circumstances or surroundings. So whilst I could probably be described as borderline insane at times, during my lucid periods, which account for 80% of the time, I am probably saner than most people out there on the street. Put it this way; I am not about to stand outside a tube station with a bag on my head preaching about sin.
I could probably give up and go on Incapacity Benefit. I could probably claim Housing Benefit. I could probably surrender to this anomaly in my brain and never have to work again. But I made the decision when I started university in 1999 that I would fight this for my entire life, or failing that at least try to understand it. It didn't stop me from passing my A-Levels. It hasn't stopped me from getting a degree. It didn't prevent me from passing my driving test and it has never once got in the way of my teaching. So it was with confidence that I replied to this mystery doctor that yes, I had bipolar disorder, yes, it is ongoing, and no, it will not affect my career choice in any way. And I threw in a few examples for good measure.

All teachers are close to nervous breakdown anyway, so I'll hardly be in the minority!

Thursday, June 14


On my 8:07 train to work every morning I always see people doing sudoku puzzles in the commuter's rag of choice Metro. So this morning, rather than continue with Geling Yan's 'The Lost Daughter of Happiness' I decided to have a go. I had virtually no prior knowledge of the logistics of sudoku puzzles, but I did know this much:

- each row has to have all the numbers between 1 and 9
- each column has to have all the numbers between 1 and 9
- each little box has to have all the numbers between 1 and 9

I quickly gave up. The train was hot and moved around a lot and I couldn't concentrate. When I got to work I had another go. I managed to place a 6, but I wasn't even sure it was in the right place. So, as with all things that flummox me, I subjected Sudoku to google. This was very helpful. For the first two pages. Then I got confused again. I returned to my Metro puzzle. 'Maybe you're looking at it wrong', I thought. 'Maybe it's a bit like Magic Eye'*. So I tried relaxing my brain, to see if the answers would just swirl into my head like they do for John Nash. I thought I'd got halfway through it just now, and then realised I'd put two 4's in the same box. It made my brain hurt. And it made me feel a bit sick. I'm buggered if I can figure it out.

Why can't I do them? I have an IQ of 145. Surely that means Sudoku should come naturally to me, like eating and blinking. What's wrong with me? The man who gets on at South Tottenham in a dirty tracksuit bottoms with egg on his t-shirt can do it while picking his nose and drinking from a can of Tennents at 8.15am, so why can't I after a glass of orange juice and a bowl of Shreddies?

I think it's a bit like rubix cubes, once your brain clicks the technique it's piss easy. I think soon I'll just have to accept that I can't do them and go back to crosswords.

*I can't do those either.

BB update

I am very much enjoying Big Brother this year. I love 4 On Demand. I just rewound so I could hear Chanelle say 'THUR'S FISH ON ME FEEEYCE!' again.

Tuesday, June 12

Things I yell at the tv...

... when I'm in the flat on my own.

(to Charley, the big-titted sarf London wench from Big Brother) "WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. YOU?"

(to Susanne Shaw on Loose Women) "You and Michelle Gayle will not solve racism in 3 minutes whilst drinking from oversized coffee mugs. Stop speaking. No. Stop now. I said stop."

(to Tim Wonnacott from Bargain Hunt) "You know FUCK ALL about antiques, you fucking letch."

(to Jeremy Kyle) "Yes Jeremy. Yes! Ooooh yes!!!"

I also love Tyrannosaurus Alan and the Brian Blessed Volcano from the Volvic ads. I sit around waiting for this shit, seriously.

And she's back in the game!


Goodness gracious it's been a hectic few months. We've FINALLY got the internet in our flat after 6 months of waiting. I never realised how important it is to have a home phone, to get one at last is a great relief. Now my mum can ring me!

Nothing particularly interesting to say today. I'm on antibiotics. They are making me break wind extremely loudly.

Do Google searches and that...