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Getting away from it all

Sun, sea, sand and … writing?

I’m on holiday. Well, I’m away from home and work, eating salad and fruit and beer comes in two sizes – large and small – so I guess that means I’m on holiday. I’m also away from my ‘other half’ as this is a holiday with my Mum.

It’s now about a year since me and himself got back off our last sunny holiday (free use of a flat in Sitges courtesy of one of his brothers – do I always sound skint when it comes to holidays?) to find that my Dad had been referred to hospital for chest x-rays. You know, just routine … Three months later and my Mum has to get used to being a widow.

This is Mum’s first holiday away since then. She’s had her downs and started back up on the up-slide again a couple of months ago, the urge to go away again being a part of that. But how to go away on your own? Answer – don’t. So, here I am, in Tenerife. I steered Mum through the changes at Manchester Airport, reminded her that in case of sudden loss of oxygen in the airplane cabin she was to see to her own oxygen mask before her child’s (she thought that was funny), explained that, no, airline seats hadn’t got wider, her bum was 2 sizes smaller than the last time she was on a plane.

Some compromises are being made. I wasn’t allowed to shave my head for the holiday … I now have 9mm blue hair instead. She wanted me to wear a dress, no jeans allowed at night … not sure what the genteel folk in this ’boutique’ hotel are going to make of the skull dress that joined a couple of others from Affleck’s Palace. Can’t quite believe it and at 45 I’m finally buying from Afflek’s. Still, we are in an adult only hotel so I’ve not confused/frightened any small children yet with my tattoos and no parents have had to explain that I am not a man in a vaguely embarrassed mutter (I know it’s sad, but it was always funny at the gym).

Going on holiday now is a little different to the way it used to be. Years ago I would decide which books to take and then dole out the reading time in the hope that I wouldn’t finish everything before the flight back. Now I have my netbook with me, masses of music, films and books on my e-reader and my first concern on getting anywhere new is finding out how good the wifi signal is in the rooms.

I also promised myself to make the most of the opportunity and to get over the current ‘hump’ with writing up this bloody albatross that is taking up a lot of the spare capacity in my head. Obviously, I’ve done nothing of the kind. First full day and all that, I thought I might try and sidle up to it and take it unawares.

ummmm

So I’ve just bought @girlonthenet’s book from Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Net-Not-So-Shameful-Secrets-ebook/ Not just yet another distraction but a completely impractical one as I will have to read in on the Kindle reader downloaded to my netbook because my e-reader of choice is a Sony and not a Kindle.

gah!

One day done. I hope to come home:

  • with something useful written
  • with a tan
  • still fitting into my clothes
  • and still be talking to mother

It would also be nice to get a full sleep in but after last night I’m not sure that’s possible. Wish me luck.

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Hell is other people

Ok, so Jean-Paul Sartre beat me to the comment but, apparently, it might be appropriate for me.

I’ve been having trouble for a while with my hearing (have I mentioned this?). Not that I’m going deaf or anything, just that when there is a lot of noise I have difficulty in filtering out the background static from the things I should be concentrating on. As I spend a lot of time concentrating on the little voice in my ear (telephone headset, not the ‘voices’ you understand) the background chatter in the office has become something of a problem.

I’ve always been a bit picky about sounds. Not as bad as my brother (he’s moved house a few times just to have that gap between him and anything that might generate noise), but enough for it it cause noticable problems for me as I’ve got older. No idea what I would do without an iPod to cut me off from the outside world some days. It’s a bit of a shame, though, that an iPod while eating meals is not considered appropriate as hearing someone else eat is pretty much guaranteed to make me stress out. (I guess I should say I also can’t stand hearing myself eat or even be aware of the sound of my own breathing.)

Certain smells/combination of smells also seem to have an effect. Whatever you do, don’t come close to me or touch me unexpectedly unless I have already touched you first. Once the reaction has been triggered it’s like I’m sensitive to anything – if you are close to me I feel the warmth from your skin, speaking to me makes me cringe inside when I feel your breath if you look at my face while you do it. If I ever look so down and forlorn that all you want to do is give me a hug then don’t. Just don’t do it. One person can give me hugs (briefly and infrequently), anyone else does the same and it makes me want to run away screaming. The fact that in many cases this might not be an ‘appropriate’ response means I might stay put and let you trap me.

I was brought up to be good and polite. It made me docile. It took away my voice so much that I never even felt that I had the right to say “no” and to protect myself from the things that make me feel antsy. A year into the talking and my therapist has now suggested that I might be somewhere on the spectrum of having Sensory Integration Disorder. I need to do more reading on this. Potentially it could explain a lot for me. Equally it could just be some fancy excuse for me being a moody sod annoyed by just about everyone and everything. Is this just a title for something everyone has on a bad day? It’s not like anyone is going to suggest I’m autistic (middle-aged, female, communicative, terrible at maths, unable to draw from memory or do any other mythical autistic cool stuff).

I’m wondering that maybe, just maybe, there is a connection between this nebulous idea of Sensory Integration Disorder and my ME. Basically – am I exhausting myself mentally coping with the externals and therefore exacerbating the annoying drag of the fatigue and other associated symptoms that I have? It could even be the other way around. I have ME and that strips out my ability to cope with the day to day shit of having to be with other people.

What do I know? I’m just the weirdo in the corner.