Sunday, 31 January 2016

31st January 2016

Mia: today is Mia's favourite day of the week - not! - when I give her ears and eyes a wipe. She's usually pretty patient with me but she hates it! Today was no exception! This evening, just like last night, she fell asleep at my feet. She's quite clingy in her own way and I love her for it! :)
Life: today I have done two illustration commissions - both unpaid but I see it as being more important to get my work out there and noticed than get paid for it at the moment. One was a photomontage and the other computer graphics. I have also watched a fair amount of catch-up telly today but have come to bed because I was tired. I'm not sleeping very well at the moment - my brain keeps waking up with stupid thoughts! :(
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is having my photomontage described as brilliant! :) I wasn't sure the client would like it so it was great that they did! :)

Saturday, 30 January 2016

30th January 2016

Mia: not really seen much of Mia today as I left home just after 9am and she curled up to sleep pretty soon after I got home again.
Life: I got into Liverpool to buy material for the huge collage I'm going to do (using one of my giant abstract canvases as a backdrop). I've decided I'm gonna create art that I'd want on my wall and this is gonna be one of them. Then I went to heArt School where we were learning sculpture today with a lady called Ember Vincent, whose work is brilliant! :) I thoroughly enjoyed working with the clay and was so proud of the fairy god I created in commemoration of John. :) I loved it so much I bought some clay off Ember to do some more! (Guess what people are getting for pressies this year! Lol!) :) After that a bunch of us went for a drink (a pretty bland mocha in my case) and then I came home. This evening I have watched some catch-up telly but then began to beat myself up about my lack of courage where my love life is concerned. It's difficult to get out of that frame of mind because, even when I'm telling myself not to do it, I'm beating myself up about beating myself up! :( So, to give credit where it's due, I'm not a coward because I have opened my heart to love again when, in the months after John died, I was convinced I wouldn't!
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is going to heArt School and creating a piece of sculpture that I really love and, in its own way, is a fitting tribute to my love for John. :) My art is so much better when it comes from the heart! :)

Friday, 29 January 2016

29th January 2016

Mia: so Mia managed to open my bedroom door this morning despite there being heavy books to prevent her! I think she may've been extra determined to do so because in the night the wind had blown the kitchen door shut, meaning she couldn't get out to go to the toilet! Thankfully, she didn't poop on the carpet like she has done previously!
College: this morning I did a bit of research for contextual studies. This afternoon I worked on my repeat pattern some more. I'm also really happy that I can have a relaxed weekend with no need to work on any college stuff (like that will stop me!).
Life: I watched BBC iPlayer this evening and then came to bed.
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is being on top of college work to the extent I can leave it to Monday without having to do anything. Roll on the weekend! :)

Thursday, 28 January 2016

28th January 2016

Mia: lovely day spent with Mia (off and on). She's such a sweetheart! :)
Life: today was haircut day but, instead of my usual cut, for some reason my hairdresser did a weird one on me! I wanted to exclaim "what the fuck have you done to my hair!" but instead I pretended I liked it and paid her in case I offended her feelings - as is the British way! Thankfully, it didn't look too bad when I brushed it out but it was a big disappointment as I'd been looking forward to having it done as she's usually an excellent hairdresser! :( After that, I went and did the food shopping before coming home to a late lunch - which is probably why I wasn't hungry at tea time. This evening I've done nothing but watch Amazon.
College: this morning I wrote a bit for college and did some more repeat patterns. This afternoon I did a bit of contextual studies and a brain map for my final essay. I'm struggling to think of a topic I can do just 500 words on - my ideas so far are so broad I could write a book on them! Hopefully, something will come together soon enough.
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is the email I got from my graphics tutor. He was lovely, pointing me to an art collective who's sole purpose is to spread happiness and offering to have a meeting with the other graphics tutors to look at whether there's anything they can do about my funding situation (I doubt it but it's lovely of him to offer). :)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

27th January 2016

Mia: I treated Mia to some leftover salmon this evening. I dunno whether because it was smoked or whether she's just not keen on salmon, but she was very reluctant to try it and, when she did, she still only ate a couple of mouthfuls before leaving it. I shan't bother in future!
College: I arrived at college just before 8am, had my free breakfast, signed the register and then started on my graphics work. Our lecturer had said we could use one of the graphics rooms, so I parked myself in there all day - except for a couple of hours wasted at Contextual Studies! - and it was a jolly good decision because I got to overhear what our lecturer was teaching the other students and learn stuff. :) At the end of the day, he praised me for all my hard work which gave me a confidence boost and cheered me up. However, having a HND, I couldn't help feel the praise was undeserved so I emailed him this evening to explain my situation. I also reflected this evening that, although I started the course with the singular ambition to get a Degree, what I really want is the education - to learn how to develop my skills. Which is why I'm so disappointed that I'm not gonna get funding for the FDe. As I understand it from my course tutor, the BA (Hons) top-up is all self-directed and I'm really in no position to do that in the specialisms I'm interested in! So I'm half-minded to see if I have enough money in the bank to pay for the FDe myself - or at least do one year of it! Or maybe I should look around and see if anyone else teaches illustration and collage?? (Obviously, it would be without the FDe/BA qualification) It fucking pisses me off that I who've not had a single penny out of Student Finance am being punished in this way! I could understand it if they'd already given me the money for my HND but they didn't! It's just fucking money pinching - on money I'd owe them! What have they seriously got to lose?!!
Life: having almost finished my current project almost a week early, this evening I just chilled and watched Amazon Prime before coming to bed.
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is getting a free education of sorts, overhearing what my lecturer was telling the other students. As they're only 1st years on the FDe - and it was all new to me (who's technically more educated than them) - it further illustrated why I'd be a fish out of water jumping onto the BA in September. It just can't happen. Simple as. I'm just gonna have to back myself out of this corner as gracefully as I can.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

26th January 2016

Mia: this morning Mia proved that she could be a Sniffer Cat when she sniffed out the sausage rolls in my bag within a minute flat! This evening we played with her ribbon again. She loves that ribbon! Such a delight to see her so happy! :)
College: this afternoon, on the instruction of my tutor, I emailed the head of graphics to ask for an interview for the 1 year BA (Hons) top-up. I'm not really sure why I'm bothering as it depends entirely on me getting funding that I'm pretty convinced I won't get! Plus I'm not really sure I have it within me to do it! But I do want that degree - even though I'm not really sure why! So stupid! I should just ditch it and move on with my life! At today's graphics lesson, we got started on doing our repeat patterns on the computers. I showed him what I'd done last week, pretty sure I'd be told I hadn't done enough, when he went quiet on me. Then he said he was stunned that I'd done so much work! I think it was another reminder that I need to believe in myself more. It's probably my biggest downfall where art and design is concerned. Nearly everyone I show my work to says it's brilliant but I never believe that they know what they're talking about! :(
Life: this evening choir started again after the Christmas break. Our usual choir mistress is off at the moment, having given birth at New Year. So we had her stand-in this evening. She seems pleasant enough but I definitely prefer Hayli (our usual one). It was great to be back at choir though and have some of that magic back in my life! :)
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is my tutor's stunned silence on seeing my work. I've never had that effect on anyone ever! I can only hope it bodes well for my future.

Monday, 25 January 2016

25th January 2016

Mia: Caught Mia dreaming this evening. Her back leg was going like the clappers! Probably dreaming of chasing pigeons or squirrels across open fields somewhere! :)
College: although today was a day off, I went in this morning to do the stuff that I wanted to do Friday but couldn't because the network was down. Then this afternoon, I sorted out my research and this evening did more geometric patterns. I've found doodling the patterns quite therapeutic. :)
Life: from college, I went into Liverpool and caught bus to Birkenhead to buy myself a hat from the market (where I've bought my last 3 hats). I'm glad I bought that student bus pass, it's really opened up my travel options for me. Instead of driving places, I can catch the bus and sit and admire the view - much more relaxing! :)
One Thing: it's gonna be time with Mia again. I love her to pieces! She has made such a difference to my life, it's hard to fathom what life was like before and how on earth I'll cope without her!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

24th January 2016

Mia: Mia is definitely taking herself off somewhere else for tea these days. She didn't even hang around this evening; just went! She has also lost her collar. I'm not minded to get another one as she's chipped and she obviously lost it cos it got caught somewhere and the thought of her being strangled by her collar is enough to make me not want to replace it.
Life: this morning I went and did the food shopping. When I got home I had lunch and then did the laundry. This evening I have watched a Danny Kaye film and a couple of episodes of Mozart In The Jungle on Amazon.
College: I found a website today that prints off graph paper. So I spent a few hours doodling geometric patterns on it - one I even rather like! I still get downhearted when I think about my degree though. It seems like I'm wasting my time but I've paid the money for my course so I may as well stick with it. I hope no one tests my patience though because my will power is low. :(
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is playing with Mia just before I came to bed. Seeing her rolling over, enjoying herself is a delight! :) However, I'm still amused by the fact that I've spent a load of money on toys she couldn't care less about and her favourite things are wool and ribbon which cost me pennies! :)

Saturday, 23 January 2016

23rd January 2016

Mia: despite one shoe to stop it swinging and another to stop it sliding, Mia has worked out how to open my bedroom door. So there goes my lie ins! Sometimes she's a little more intelligent than I'd like!
College: I have spent most of the day doing college work. It was only doodling geometric patterns for the most part, so I found it fairly relaxing really. I also did another drawing of my hand, which was also not terribly taxing. I don't mind college work when it's as relaxing as this! :)
Life: I've been dwelling on the fact that it's almost 3 years since John died today. It's true that it gets harder the longer time goes on - not so much the day to day stuff (that was the first year, when that was bad), but the missing him and longing for time to stand still. :(
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is cuddling Mia in bed. There are benefits to her getting into my bedroom! It's not all bad! :)

Friday, 22 January 2016

22nd January 2016

Mia: I still haven't managed to untangle a lump of Mia's fur and she's getting fed up of me trying! But she's a lot more trusting than she used to be. There's no way she would've let me make half a dozen comb throughs a year ago!
Life: today I was tempted to stay warm and snuggly in my bed but, no, I went to college only to sign the register and bugger off to the library! It's quite ridiculous! We have to turn up to every lesson to sign the register and then go and do our own thing! Heaven knows why we can't just sign the register at the beginning of the day and get on with it instead of having to keep interrupting our work flow just to sign a register and bugger off again! It's not like any of us are kids any more! I also asked whether we could phone in to say we were working from home but, no, that's not allowed either. Then, this afternoon, the computer network went down and I wasted 90 mins trying to get back into it before deciding I'd had enough and went home! When I got home, I did some more drawings of my hands and researched some designers I'm interested in. Over the weekend, I intend to start my design and, on Monday, go into college to sort out the stuff I wanted to do today!
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is being amongst friends like Liz and Patricia. Having friends is a luxury I continue to appreciate. :)

Thursday, 21 January 2016

21st January 2016

Mia: I really didn't see much of Mia this morning because I left the house at 7:30am. However, on returning home at 11pm, I was touched to see her running towards me along the drive. I should've known better though because, once inside, it was clear all she wanted was food!
Life: so today was my appointment at CX GIC. I arrived in London about 11am and went over to Hyde Park to eat my sarnies al fresco, when suddenly the horse guards came parading by! :) After that, I headed over to Hammersmith for my appointment. I'd decided at Christmas - and long before that really, if truth be told - that I was gonna say "thanks but no thanks" to surgery but I was a bit nervous about how they'd react to that. As it happens, Dr Lorimer couldn't have been nicer! :) I guess from his perspective it's one less patient to see and less money for the NHS to shell out. But, still, it was nice of him to be so gracious about it. :) So he got me to choose which reason to put on my discharge slip (I chose "treatment compete") and discharged me. And that was that. From there I headed over to Tate Modern and as I was walking over Blackfriars bridge, I suddenly thought "but what about BA?!!" but, no, it'd still mean placing myself on the operating table which I know in my heart just isn't gonna happen. Anyway, I had a look in the galleries on Floor 2 of Tate Modern which were to do with contextual influences and mark making. Most of it was of interest and I took lots of photos. Then I headed back to Euston and the Great Nepalese restaurant (that's it's name - although it does deserve the accolade imho) for tea. And after that I caught the train home. On the journey home, I reflected on what I'd been through - and what I put John through - on my journey along the "gender reassignment pathway". I think he'd be secretly relieved and have a knowing smile on his face. As for me, I've not been more certain I've made the right decision about hardly anything else in my entire life. It's just a shame it took (almost) 6 years of my life and the expense and heartbreak that went along with it to come to a final decision! Now to get on with the rest of my life...
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is leaving CX GIC on good terms. I feel a lot better about things than I did in 2012 that's for sure!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

20th January 2016

Mia: Madam got her flea treatment this evening. She got the huff as usual afterwards! Just as well I gave her her worming tablet beforehand! Definitely the best way of doing that is putting the tablet in a handful of Dreamies and watching her scoff the lot before she's realised what she's eaten!
College: Today I was back to getting up at 6am to get to college! Not fun and I was definitely tempted to stay in bed, warm and snuggly! And when I got to the lesson it was just a case of signing the register before going away again to do research! Then this afternoon I found out I hadn't read the brief properly and had done all the designers suggested instead of just 3! This afternoon I also got my mark for Contextual Studies: 74% (low Distinction). So I have three subjects I got 74% in now! Not that any of that matters now because I had it confirmed that what Student Finance told me was correct. So that's all my ambitions for a Degree lying in the gutter! :( I'm at a loss as what to do now to be honest. It's not a decision that should be rushed. So my gut says finish off the course, get out of it what I can and then decide what I'm doing next in the summer. :(
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is getting the news about Student Finances, oddly enough. Now I know, I can stop wondering and worrying and move forward.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

19th January 2016

Mia: brief cuddle with Mia this evening. Sweet! :)
College: so it was back to college this morning. Our tutor said all last term that after Christmas it'd be easier. Well, given the amount of work we've got to do in the timeframe we've got to do it, it's not much easier! But it is a lot closer to real working practices! I was also impressed with the discussion the more advanced graphics students were having that I overheard. That too was close to proper working practices! In fact, overall, I have enjoyed today and wish the course had been more like this from the off. Not that any of it matters if Student Finance (and the government) have their way because I shan't be going any further! But I hope to have clarification on that soon.
Life: this evening I watched catch-up telly. One of the films I watched was Made In Dagenham. It got me thinking that today's society seems a lot more passive than it was. There's no mistake the government are giving us a whalloping but I think perhaps our response has been pretty weak. Which is probably why by and large they're getting away with it!
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is waking up warm and snuggly under my blanket. It made a very pleasant change! :)

Monday, 18 January 2016

18th January 2016

Mia: have had to attack Mia with the comb again today to untangle her fur, poor love! She still gave me a cuddle at the end of the day though, so I think I'm forgiven! :)
Life: I headed over to Birkenhead at 8:30 this morning to buy a bucket, bath mat and blanket. I bought a few other things as well whilst I was there, dropped them off at home and then went to Morrison's, New Brighton, to get fruit and veg before heading over to college to print out my 40 pages of research. I then went and paid my fees (so that's me commited to the end of the course! I did say yesterday, didn't I!) before coming home and having lunch. This afternoon I watched Jon Richardson on Amazon (very funny!), had my tea before going out to the Armistead for a meeting of Spirit Level to discuss plans for the 'Trans Celebration Day'.
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is buying a blanket. I've been very cold in bed this past week. Hopefully, this will sort that out. So now to go and test it...

Sunday, 17 January 2016

17th January 2016

Mia: I fed Mia this morning as usual, went and had my shower, got dressed, came downstairs again and found she'd puked over the kitchen floor! Not the best start to my morning! This evening we had a brief cuddle before she took herself off to sleep in the armchair, bless her heart. :)
Life: this morning I took myself into Liverpool for a Woman Who Runs With The Wolves workhop (google it if you don't know what it is). Amongst the first things we discussed was the need to be honest and the fear of being honest. Then we delved into the story of Bluebeard which we worked on all day - by far the longest Circle I've ever done! A number of things came up for me but, on returning home, I began to doubt my findings as there appears to be a conflict at the heart of the story. So I really don't know. However... what really was ringing alarm bells for me was, if I was brave enough and honest enough (which I guess I am doing right now as I type), I would quit my design course. I think I've had enough warning signs that it's not meant to be and that its damaging rather than helping me but I keep ignoring all that because "if I just..." and I'm scared of the void I will enter if I do. When I make a change in my life, I usually have a plan of what the next step is. If I quit my design course, I have no such plan. All I know is that I want to be creating but I know if I'm left to my own devices I won't - I need someone to push me | The affirmation I took away at the end of the day was "don't look for approval" because I recognised in myself the need to be lauded but that need is masking the fact I don't appreciate myself. That need keeps leading me down paths that I think will lead me to be being recognised as a success - doing the degree is one such path. What I recognise in my heart is the need to create because I tend to love what I create and I usually love the creation process. Being creative is doing something for myself that I also share with others to fulfill the need to be lauded. So looking at it - as I have this last week, if truth be told - I have loved this month away from college because I've been able to find the balance between the peace I need, the need to be creative, and the spur to be creative (as we were set research to do). So I've been thinking that what I need is to go freelance and forget the degree. However, this scares me because it's a big leap into the dark and the work may just not be there. It would be far safer to get the degree, get the education, develop some kind of recognition of my talents and find work with all those strings to my bow rather than 'going into battle' without them. But I also fear the amount of damage the degree will do to my spirit if I go what I perceive to be the safer way... So I come back to the affirmation "don't look for approval". When I look at the decisions I have made that have made me most proud, they are the ones I made to my heart's desire (and fuck the nay sayers!). And when I look at the mistakes I have made that have brought me low, I can't think of a single one that was not when I was trying to please or impress someone (even if that someone was me) rather than listen to what my heart was crying out for. But often I had to be brought low before I did what my heart desired (after I'd tried everything else!). The sensible thing then would appear to be to do what my heart desires first! But make no mistake, doing a degree was what my heart desired at that time... but, in all honesty, it isn't now. What I want is to develop my talents and find it within myself to push myself to doing that and being creative. Which brings me to another realisation today - which brings me to another reason why I didn't want to work freelance - I don't want the responsibility of looking after myself. I would far rather someone else do that (in work and life!). I'm scared of fucking up! But, as in love, if I don't take care of myself it's unreasonable to expect anyone else to and it will be for nought anyway really because I need to find my independence and learn to look after myself. Again, I know in my heart I don't want to work for someone else and follow their rules. I want to be my own person and follow my own rules. So I guess this is about me growing up - learning how to 'adult' - as well. It's all very scary but, if I truly listen to my heart, I know I won't be satisfied with anything else. So I guess I have to take that leap into the void. And, now that I've got all that out my system, let me also say that I know I will be at college on Tuesday morning hoping I've got it wrong and I really can take the safe option "if I just...".
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is doing this blog. I needed to process my thoughts and now I've done that. I'm a wiser person even though I'm not going to take the solution I know I should. I guess that is self-destructive and that is another aspect of my personality I'm recognising more these days. Self-awareness can only achieve so much. :(

Saturday, 16 January 2016

16th January 2016

Mia: There was a small amount of amusement this afternoon when Mia spotted a squirrel in the back yard. She jumped up onto the windowsill and prowled up and down, keeping an attentive eye on it! Also, at tea time, I left the dining table to take my plate through to the kitchen and returned to find the little minx had stolen my seat! :D
Life: I didn't do anything much yesterday except research for college. Hence not doing a blog as I didn't think it was worth it! Today, I went to the sorting office first thing to pick up a present Sandra had sent me as a belated birthday/Christmas/New Year pressie. It was a candle with my name cut out of the holder - so now I can see my name in lights whenever I want to! :D After that, I went to Wilko and bought a few things (most important of which was cat food) and then to NY Nails to get my eyebrows waxed and then Maison de Beaute to get a manicure (as I don't trust NY Nails with my nails!). This afternoon I produced 5 quick sketches of my mannequin in various media as part of my research into life drawing for college (I like inktense pastels and charcoal best). This evening I've tried to watch a couple of movies on Netflix but given up because I couldn't keep my eyes open and have now called it an early night. Heaven knows why I'm so tired?!!
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is the candle from Sandra. It was such a thoughtful thing to do! I love that my friends are so generous! It helps me feel appreciated! :)

Thursday, 14 January 2016

14th January 2016

Mia: not seen a whole lot of Mia today because I left home at 9am and didn't get back until 7pm ish. All the same, we enjoyed playing chase the ribbon this evening and she got sardines for tea, so she fell asleep pretty happy I suspect. :)
Life: So I left home at 9am to meet Hilary in Liverpool. As it was jolly cold, she treated me to a mocha and an eclair to warm up with :) (didn't you know about the warming powers of eclairs?!!) Then we caught the bus to Hilary's home where she taught me how to do book binding. It wasn't terribly complicated and I got the idea of it after a while, but I was forever getting the thread tangled up! Luckily Hilary was a dab hand at getting it untangled for me! And I was very chuffed with the end result. :) She also showed me her 'me book' which was fabulous and I must do myself one sometime! Plus a book of Nick Cave's work which, again, was just awesome! So I had a very pleasant few hours with Hilary! :) After that, I caught the bus back into town where I had a quick look around the charity shops for junk to use in my collages (another idea I pinched off Hilary!) but none of them did them. :( So I caught the bus to Liscard to have a look in the charity shops there but the bus got delayed in the tunnel because the previous bus had broken down, so we had to pull over and rescue their passengers! So by the time I got to Liscard there wasn't time to do anything but get tea in Subway (with my voucher) and head on over to the doctors for my MOT health check! Except that there was now a half hour delay on the buses (presumably caused by the one broken down in the tunnel), which meant I would've been late for my appointment if I'd waited for it! So I quickly decided to walk to the doctors and managed to do it (1.5 miles according to google) in 10 minutes! So I was slightly breathless when I got there! The results of my test were better than I expected and I have a colossal 1% chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years! :) After getting the bus home, I put the bins out and then settled down to some catch-up telly and quality time with Mia. :)
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today without any hesitation is learning how to do bookbinding with Hilary. She's an excellent teacher and I thoroughly enjoyed myself! :)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

13th January 2016

Mia: Mia is shedding her fur like no one's business at the moment! The trouble is her white fur seems to be prone to getting tangled and so I try to tackle it with a comb but of course Mia doesn't like that! However, she's definitely got used to the idea as, instead of the violent swipes she used to give me a year ago, now she gently paws me away. :)
Life: today I took my car in for a service. So I took myself on the train into Liverpool to look at the Matisse exhibition at Tate Liverpool and then, later on, a look in the World Museum at the exhibitions on cultures, the natural world and of course I couldn't leave without having a look in the aquarium (by far my favourite bit of the museum! :) ). In between art gallery and museum, I went to Waterstones and Ed's for dinner (as I had a voucher). So, being stuffed at Ed's, for tea I just had a scone and a yogurt. This evening I watched Netflix and answered an ONS survey over the phone. Afterwards I got a bit worried as I figured they could be a con artist and I'd just given them sufficient info to know when to rob me but considering they sent a letter through the post and came to my door beforehand, I'm hoping it's a bit elaborate to go to all that effort and thus they were genuine.
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today was seeing the Matisse exhibition. I forget sometimes why I like his work and then, when I get to see it 'up close and personal' like I did today, it becomes obvious again. After Picasso, I think Matisse was probably the 20th Century's greatest artist! :)

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

12th January 2016

Mia: Not much to report on Mia today. She's been doing her own thing and making my heart melt as usual. :)
Life: I did an art journal page in tribute to David Bowie this morning. It seemed more important than doing college work. This evening I finished off watching Making A Murderer. I can't say it really surprised me - it was clear these men weren't going to get justice! I don't know what happens now. I hope one day they get a re-trial that's fair and just but it doesn't look likely. I feel sorry for the people who live there because it's clear the police are totally corrupt and I'm sure this sorry affair just scares people to death there - 'do what the police say or else!'. :(
College: I popped into college this afternoon for feedback on last term. I did very well but have been told I need to believe in myself more and stop worrying. So I guess if I treat it like a freelance job and do what I think is right is the way to go - as long as I can trust them to haul me back on track if it's needed! As for finances - nothing's been sorted yet. :(
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is getting feedback from college. It's good to know where I stand and get a clearer picture of what's expected. Can't wait to get started proper! (I'm sure that'll change by next Monday!)

Monday, 11 January 2016

11th January 2016

Mia: Not really seen much of Mia today. She's obviously been out galavanting! However, she's now asleep in the armchair, cute as anything! :)
Life: so I woke up to the news that David Bowie had died. If you've not read my tribute to him, you can do so elsewhere in this blog and it is true that I've been grieving him today - my anger reminded me when John died and I'd look at old people for having the temerity to live longer than he did! Today I've been thinking we still have the likes of Paul McCartney in this world who's not produced anything worthwhile for decades and, yet, Bowie is gone! This world just isn't just! :( Sitting indoors mourning wasn't doing me much good though, so I went out for a walk around Liscard - just as it came onto rain! Just my luck! Bloody cold it was too!! This evening I have watched a few more episodes of Making A Murderer and lost count of the amount of times my eyes have almost popped out my head in disbelief! If this were fiction, you just wouldn't believe the way the US police have carried on! It's disgusting and makes a mockery of justice!
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is listening to Bowie's music. It's a big consolation that I still have the music and the memories even though the man himself has gone. ;(

David Bowie RIP

I awoke this morning to the news that David Bowie had died from cancer. I was stunned and couldn't believe it, so searched online for confirmation and, yes, it was true. I burst into tears - just the first of 3 times today (so far). Later I realised I was truly experiencing grief because I kept changing between sadness, disbelief, anger, shock and back again.
Judging from how this is being covered by the media - and even my local cinema posted a tribute! - his death has affected many. And judging from the tributes people are paying, Bowie means something different to everyone - quite apt for a man who was famously a chameleon. So let me tell you what David Bowie meant to me...
As I remember it, I was introduced to Bowie's music by Nicky Campbell when he was a late night DJ on BBC Radio 1 (before going onto Watchdog and whatever else he's done). It was clear from how often he played Bowie's music, Nicky Campbell was a great fan of Bowie's music. This was the late 1980s and I was a teenager at the time, and, of course, as I heard his music I realised I knew and liked a lot of his music before but just hadn't really taken notice who'd made it.
So the next stage was to move from the radio to actually spending my money on it. For some reason, I chose the occasion to do this whilst I was on holiday in Ibiza! I suspect my parents still remember me dragging them to all the record shops I could find on the island! The LP (when records were still on vinyl) I chose to buy was Space Oddity because I loved the title song so much. It's not his best album by any means but I particularly liked Cygnet Committee and Letter To Hermione and it was enough to make me want more.
My next purchase was Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. It blew me away! I loved it so much I chose to play Five Years at my grandparent's golden wedding celebrations (where I was DJ) much to my family's disgust! Considering the seismic change in sound and style, it's worth noting that this LP was released just 3 years after Space Oddity - the same amount of time that today's pop stars take between albums that sound identical never mind releasing vastly different ones 1 a year as Bowie did then!
After that it was Diamond Dogs and from there to Hunky Dory (my personal favourite - I was thrilled when he played Andy Warhol when I saw him live at Wembley Arena on the Outside tour!) and Aladdin Sane - an album with many classic songs (Time, Rock n Roll Suicide, Drive In Saturday...) and my second favourite Bowie album.
Of course, delving into the world of David Bowie, I became fascinated by his style. This unashamedly androgynous man gave me hope long before I understood what Trans was - maybe I too could get away with wearing make-up if I can just become a hugely successful pop star like him! Pop stardom eluded me but the need to wear make-up didn't. So I unashamedly copied his look, getting my hair spiked and dyed Ziggy Stardust orange (which earned me the nickname of Pineapple Head at work!)... and wearing female clothing, make-up and nail polish. (Incidentally, it was this version of me that first met John).
So, as I look back now on this saddest of days, I give thanks to David Bowie for opening that door to feminity and making it known that I could join him. Once through that door, I obviously took my own path away from the route Bowie took but I was always keen to catch-up and see where he was at on subsequent albums like Heathen, Hours..., and his latest (and greatest in decades!) album, Blackstar.
I also thank him for opening that door to the New Romantics and every androgynous pop star that's followed since - heck, even some of the female ones like Madonna and Lady Gaga owe a great debt to Bowie! - who also influenced me and helped me to feel less strange and lonely in this world.
Not only that, I thank David Bowie for opening people's eyes and widening their sensibilities. I think it is without question that I would live in a much more transphobic world if Bowie had not existed!
So I guess that is why I find myself truly mourning today a man I never actually met, because it is difficult to imagine a single man who has had more influence and impact on my 43 years of life.
Thank you, David Bowie, and may you have a fantastic retirement beyond the stars.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

10th January 2016

Mia: lots of hugs with Mia today. Also had several play sessions with ribbon. :) On the down side, she's not ate her food again. Not gonna bother with Whiskers in future! She clearly prefers Morrison's own!
Life: this morning I did the laundry. This afternoon I did some cartoons for Asylum magazine. This evening I watched several episodes of Making A Murderer on Netflix and was absolutely flabbergasted how the US police could be allowed to carry out not one but TWO miscarriages of justice against the same man! And the second time was so blatantly obvious too! It's unfathomable how they've not released him and his poor nephew!!
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is cuddles with Mia. She melts my heart and really makes life worth living! :)

Saturday, 9 January 2016

9th January 2016

Mia: I discovered some tangled hair under Mia's chin this morning - perfectly in range for biting and scratching me! - so I tackled it with the comb. She's a very vocal cat - even the vet says so - so she let me know in no uncertain tones that she wasn't enjoying it one bit! But, once she'd had some Dreamies, all was forgiven! :)
Life: another day spent watching lots of catch-up telly and Amazon Prime. However, I also did a page of my colouring book. As I prefer to use felt pens rather than crayons and the pages are thin and so bleed through, I scanned in the page and then printed it out for me to colour. I used Sharpies which I love because they blend fantastically well, leaving a lovely flat colour. :)
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is doing the colouring in. I need to find things that make staying indoors bearable - so I don't go out spending money - and this did the trick nicely today. :)

Friday, 8 January 2016

8th January 2016

Love: I'm renaming this Mia from now on. After all, the only love I have in my life is Mia!
Life: today my life has been affected by two films I've watched. The first was a documentary about loneliness. It made me realise how daft I am not to offer my services in keeping people from being lonely - especially, as it will be of mutual benefit to my own loneliness! So I've put steps in place to rectify that. The second was a film called The Choir (starring Dustin Hoffman and Eddie Izzard) which wasn't all that special but it made me realise that I'm in danger of wasting my talent (not singing, obviously! My artistic talent) and now I ask myself how much am I prepared to invest in my talent. It's a new way of looking at my Degree for me. Since Tuesday I've been wandering what's the point in getting a Degree and wasting all that money! But now I see it is an investment in my talent. I may not value myself but I sure value my talent!
College: this morning started with buying a lottery ticket in hopes I win at least £20k to pay for my education should everything fall through financially. If I win more than that, the rest will go to the hospice or something. This afternoon I did some research and photocopied my books I borrowed. I felt really awful having to break the spine on them but there was no way of getting them flat on the scanner otherwise! :(
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is watching The Choir. For a so-so movie, it sure has made an impact on me!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

7th January 2016

Love: Mia.
Life: this morning started with a visit to the nurse to have my bloods done. She was a real stabber too! It hurt like hell! On the plus side, I've not been left with a huge bruise like usual. So who knows? Maybe stabbing the needle in is the way it's meant to be done! After that I drove over to Sainsburys (for a change) and did the food shopping. I shan't bother again though as they didn't have all I wanted. Then I came home for lunch before going into Liverpool to do some research and buy art materials. This evening, I treated myself to a chippy tea and watched Amazon Prime.
College: So I went to the Walker gallery on the look-out for interesting life drawings/paintings but didn't find so much. :( I then popped next door to the library to look for helpful books but didn't find any that suitable as I only have a week to spare not a month! ...I have to say that the Student Finance people have knocked me for six! Nothing is conclusive yet so I should be clinging onto hope but my mind has other ideas! I'm wondering whether this is 'the gods' testing how much I want this. Or maybe it's a sign that a degree really isn't meant for me. And what do I want one for anyway?!! Why not just put my nose to the grindstone and work!
One Thing: on a day like today when I'm depressed and bored, thank goodness I have Mia to bring light into my world! She's the only good thing in it! <3

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

6th January 2016

Love: Mia continues to be a sweetie. I also got her to play a bit longer today. :)
Life: the Christmas decs - what little I had up - came down first thing today. Then I went to the post office and back. Not just for the fun of it - I actually had something I wanted to post! With the exception of college work, fhe rest of the day has been spent watching Netflix.
College: I started on my research today.
One thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is doing some art journaling again. It helps take my mind off things - if only temporarily.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

5th January 2016

Love: Mia started to play with her toys this morning - a rarity for her! - so I joined in! We had great fun... for about 5 minutes when she got bored! She has such a low attention span! This evening she took herself up to her blanket on the landing at about 7pm. I'm beginning to think it might be too cold or drafty or both on the ground floor for her!
College: So I was back at college today... and we were promptly told that the next 2 weeks will be for 'research' - with the exception of a half-hour meeting next week to get feedback on last term's work! So I went to the college library and got 3 books out. I'm sure they'll come in useful - just as soon as I've decided upon the simplest way of transferring the information I need to my sketchbook! However, today did come with one major drawback: according to the woman I spoke to at Student Finance, I won't get funding for the Foundation Degree (proper) and, if I paid for it myself, I then wouldn't get funding for the BA (Hons) Top Up! Which doesn't sound right or fair to me! So I told my personal tutor and she agreed with me and promised to look into it for me. So fingers crossed things will work out better than they currently look! :(
Life: this evening I have watched a couple of movies on Netflix before going to bed.
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is having Patricia on hand to steady my nerves and think straight when I couldn't after finding out the info from Student Finance!

Monday, 4 January 2016

4th January 2016

Love: I found myself gazing at Mia lovingly tonight as she slept. She doesn't half sleep in a funny position sometimes - with the top of her head resting underneath her! - it's a wonder she finds it comfortable!
Life: First thing this morning I took myself to the walk-in to see what they thought of this neck... and because I could move my head around without it hurting I was told to go away and stop wasting their time (or at least that's what it felt like!) but it still feels strained so I don't know! Just have to manage I guess! After that, I carried on into town to get a few groceries. When I got back it was near enough lunch time so I had my lunch before watching a bit of catch-up telly. This afternoon I went to see The Danish Girl which I have mixed feelings about - it's a lovely film but I don't think it gives the right impression about transsexuals. This evening, having stuffed myself on popcorn, I just had a cheese and egg muffin for tea and watched 42 - a biopic about Jackie Robinson. I'd heard of the name before but I didn't know anything about him - not even that he was black! It was a very good film - much better than The Danish Girl! Maybe one day we'll have a biopic about a Trans person that is its equal. On the downside, I wish I'd been more incredulous at the racism in the film but, even 70 years on, it's far too easy to imagine it as things really haven't moved on of any great depth. It's all surface as far as I'm aware!
College: so the Christmas break is over - back to college tomorrow. I can't really say I'm looking to it. :(
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing today is tidying up my lounge. It needed doing - especially with college starting tomorrow! - and it was a wonder what long lost items I found buried under it all!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

3rd January 2016

Love: Mia is still a delight. Sadly, I missed her birthday on Friday but she doesn't seem to be holding it against me - coming for cuddles as usual. :)
Life: so a couple of days to catch up on then - New Year's Day was spent recovering, yesterday was spent driving home (along the A roads as the motorways were too stressful), and today has been spent doing laundry and watching catch-up telly. However, somewhere amongst this, I seem to have strained my neck! So I'm gonna try and get that looked at tomorrow. Oh, today I also did a collage on the Syrian refugee crisis.
One Thing: The one thing I'm choosing is being back home with Mia. She brings such joy into my life, it's gonna be a hard act to follow for anyone or anything! :)

Friday, 1 January 2016

31st December 2015

Life: This morning we went to Barnstaple, had a quick look around the shops and a visit to a cafe. After that we went to Sainsburys for a few bits before coming back to my parents' home for lunch. In the afternoon I played on the computer before tea was served. This evening we went out to a pub before joining the revellers in the square to see in the new year. There was a disco and folk were in fancy dress - it was a good atmosphere and definitely better than bleedin Jools Holland for the umpteenth year running!
One Thing: the one thing I'm choosing tonight is seeing the new year in with my parents. It was worth the almost 300 mile journey for! :)