all in good time? …MLA (post intended 1st March!)

{This post was ready on 1st March. Human error: I seem to have only saved it to draft, and forgotten to publish. I can hardly believe it!}


happy new year!

(I’m being archaic, i know, but traditionally, the new year starts here, tomorrow, 1st March!)

And maybe, just for a change, I can join in with this in a timely manner…

Monthly Look Ahead challenge badge (original version) designed by challenge host Cool Beans 4 dot wordpress dot com

… on exactly the day the challenge response was intended – although challenge host CoolBeans  has always welcomed my efforts, been very nice about my lateness, sporadity, scatty sometimes hightly-strung expressions of self and circumstance and so forth…

If you should wish to join in, this month’s post to pingback/comment at can be found hereI hope it’s still ok for my using the outmoded, original version of the badge for this post. I love the new one too, but February is my special month for remembrance… so are April and November… if ok, I’ll maybe change up for summer, then revert for winter, or maybe I should stick with this colour, purple. That’s ssuming I’ll sustain blogging activity this phase round, and ever hopeful 🙂

I’m actually wondering how many things I’ve listed previously that I’ve still NOT done. And I will try and remember to capitalise my ‘i’ at all times in the remainder of this post but reserve the right to not edit the first -oops, and second, occurrences 😉

“Who said don’t look back?” I am definitely looking forward to listening to music more often and participating in the meditational activities of movement and deep abdominal muscle excercise and deep-breathing, airing my lungs via crooning along with ole crones fogies like … all sorts. Grunge. Especially.

I haven’t seen the film ‘Unrest’ yet – and really should given all the hype and promotional support that it’s still garnering. [bugbare#1] I missed it when it was showing at one of our local arts theatres – but then I saw nothing of the marketing to be aware it was even showing there until after the event. That particular venue’s ticket prices are usually steeped anyway and most people with my condition might not have been well enough to get out and see it either. When the DVD is for sale on Amazon then i’ll definitely buy it, but no way am I paying for streaming content that might alter or disappear from my hard-drive or suffer hardware breakdown and thus lose it and NO way am I inputting personal data to an unknown capitalist venture project’s website just cos they made the film! It all smacks of quite concerning dubiousness from the moment I ever saw mention of it. Perhaps it’s just my suspicious mind. It is however very, very expensive for the type of film (assuming low production costs) and for the type of suggested motivations I would have expected patient-friendly accessibility and price range. Taking advantage of a disadvantaged and disabled patient community is hopefully NOT the driving force behind the project and hopefully nor is peddling to our NHS the type of drugs that the marketing made mention of. Because M.E., currently becoming recognised and labelled in the U.S. as S.E.I.D. (systemic exertion intolerance disease) is a shape-shifting monster and every individual is unique with some common factors but unique physiological/disease profile. Yet I feel an urgency to watch the film fearful it might not be evenly representative, that it may well be setting or confirming the supposed stereotypes of what severe states of my diagnosed condition are supposed to present as / look like. I’m a council estate kid (s’posedly grown-up now of course) and most of our kind never receive a diagnosis. I don’t consider myself fortunate to have been diagnosed. [bugbare#2] Diagnosis (ie. M.E.) is a blight that excuses medical negligence (such as failure to investigate and diagnose other co-morbid conditions ie. heart attacks and so on, thereby denying access to appropriate medical treatments), social neglect, systematic abuse and discrimination. So, am I looking forward to seeing the film? No. The marketing slant changed and apparently it’s ‘a love story’. I don’t particularly enjoy love stories. But yes, I am looking forward to seeing it so I can give it a fair chance and have the opportunity to form an opinion and perhaps post a review having seen the darned thing! The other dubious quality the film has is being so easily confusable with the horror film of the same name, Unrest, that apparently features real cadavers. ‘S’nuff of that. Such things shouldn’t be allowed. And for the ‘disability-focus’ version of the film I’ll one day maybe see: a look at the lady glammed up for the marketing pertaining to the main ‘real-life’ character, well her ‘look’ reminded me of Cruella daVille in the blockbuster spotty-dogs family film and it just creeps me out the more of the little I see and hear of it. And no way i’m ever leaving MY body to medical science if they gonna let dodgy film-makers do weirdo things like make the horror version of Unrest or whatever other crazy shit some people might do for ‘arts and entertainment’ and whatever.

Anyway. What AM I looking forward to this month?

My birthday! Nothing much will happen. No point making plans. I will enjoy the day as every day, in whatever way I can. (I’ll look forward to completing that poem, although it wasn’t intentional… mental note, to-do). Maybe I’ll trek to the nearest local shop for my pre-pay-lecci-credit and grab myself a small booze-up opportunity. Nothing like feeling well enough to get hammered – and the oxygenation of one’s legs the morning after can feel such a tremendous relief! Nothing else has that effect than alcohol – shame to be too ill to be able to drink the ‘recommended amounts’ as per healthy government guidelines 😉

I’ve had ‘bake a cake’ in the ‘would like to…’ section on my to-do list for what feels like forever while I have all the necessary ingredients and facility… y’know the score… erm, I might’ve given you entirely the wrong impression with that last choice of phrase and the only shit I smell on the rare occasion I walk the streets (meaning of course, being pedestrian) is that dreadfully chemical awful smelling stuff I can only guess is what anyone might mean by ‘spice’. So if I were fortunate enough to come across weed it’ll probably only be my neglected garden amidst a rush of Spring growth. Ah, if only for true medicinal relief to enjoy some gardening! What a godforsaken world/country we live in. I could try pot plants indoors. I’ll look forward to obtaining some compost (this month?) and post some pictures, if I manage to get anything growing. My seeds are reaching or beyond their use by date. Rocket. Lavender. … Not sure they’d all be suitable for indoors… I’ll have to check the packets. Too much wishful thinking and not enough getting around to it!

yeah, right! What is this, new year resolutions? Wrong time of year in spite of new year traditions to attend. I wonder what anyone did to celebrate surviving by this time of year. Well, I’ve not made my gift-giving visits yet and by now, I decided most of what few things I brought for presents wasn’t good enough, and might be lazy and throw a coin at ’em instead. Confession: I ate the chocolate goodies myself thinking they’d expire, then spotted they’d still be good by a while after April Fool’s Day, aka Easter (I just love it when that happens, cultural traditions tells us a lot.) I always feel like celebrating christmas in July when it’s warm and the sun is shining. But christmas is neither here nor there and wholly beside the point.

Getting back to better habits! Blogging habits, of course! I wrote two long posts so far this week at my main blog – you might not want to read it all but you might enjoy skimming to see my pics there. You know where to go for that one maybe, if you so wish…

Snapping! I’m looking forward to playing with more mundane everyday stuff in my artsyness ways with assemblage and photographs of assemblage type just happens to be there – clutter and the like. I like. I do these things for my ‘child-i’ (sorry, that ‘I’ has to be kept small too, otherwise it is entirely incorrect).

We had snow today! It’d be the most wonderful thing if we could just have snow at least all month! I’d so love there to be enough snow to make my mooc-inspired art project as enough snow arriving is crucial to the concept (or rather to the making and realisation of my idea) and I cannot progress nor complete until the weather improves with enough snow. My fencing getting repaired’s waiting on that unlikelihood too. (the weather improving, not snow arriving!) 

Can’t resist sharing a photo from today’s *snowfall* inspired activity:

a used firework, ie. stick and casing, showing the words sky diamonds and juxtaposed with a wall-mounted room thermometer

I know, stupid photo. maybe. But I like it. I captured it during snowfalling. A snap from the stuff that was easily to hand to celebrate while upon my pieds (aka feet, naturally). Against the backgrounds of my living room wall and refrigerator, conveniently placed for psychological warmth of the wall thermometer slightly even though the air in the room will be cold as it increases the reading and even more conveniently placed to save the distance of carrying groceries.

Know anyone who blogs stuff anything like mine? I’d love to read and see some. I suppose I should explain (in case you’re not getting my alt-text input) that , except for ‘found objects’ I don’t have fireworks in the house or garden ever other than other peopl’s used casings, eg. the one pictured: one of several I collected from my yard on firework night, 5th November last year while they were falling around me, once or twice dropping on  my head, as I stood watching those sorts of sparkling *sky diamonds* that other people not ever so closeby in my neighbourhood were sending to the heavens that peculiar evening. I prefer snowfall but don’t get quite as much souvenir value from standing on my yard in only snow, although snow has to be among the most precious material substances on earth. Anyway, rockets hitting me  wasn’t as bad as apples and oranges being lobbed at me one evening while I stood in my front garden. I wasn’t even singing. I too often don’t. Honestly.

Cooking anything at all! I just SO have to look forward to more cooking! Especially as after a two month wait I eventually managed to lift the new small appliance I’d treated myself to for Quimbley (aka Xmas) from out of the box and all the way to the scullery-shed (aka kitchen), ready for use:

a pizza cooking in a halogen air frier and the now empty pizza box standing upright beside it (partial view of both objects)
I had no idea it would be such a blindingly bright light – but otherwise happy with my latest plaything                                                                                                                                                                                 – and that pizza was perfect!

As usual, I’m looking forward to eventually catching up with my family, especially my grandkids, and especially as my new grandson entered our world a tiny few moons ago and I’ve still not got far enough to spend time with any of them. And needing to avoid all their vaccinations is a nuisance too, but so is exposure to ‘attenuated viruses’ anytime my standing in a queue, sitting on a bus, or even living in my own home with no direct or even face to face contact. “Fortunately” I don’t have immune deficiency, but over-active immune function that refuses to switch off is usually no fun either – and I not only sense the different types of causative vaccine but I sometimes perhaps show the small signs of meningitis, mumps, measles… atypical polio is the worst, maybe because I had my first polio vaccine directly on my tongue because I didn’t like sugar lumps (I think they actually contained large amounts of artificial sweeteners during a sugar shortage or something and my Dad had told me two were more than enough for a horse and I should NEVER have more than one sugar cube and having only ever tried one and it making me feel ill when I crunched it I never wanted another. So it’s all my own fault, And I’m rambling again.

I’ll look forward to rambling with less ‘woe is me’ one of these days. Why could I not have been born on any other day than the ‘woe is ME’ day! Never mind. I’ll shake loose and fancy free any ole day of any ole week. Hopefully.

So having filled more than my platter’s worth of ‘have something to look forward to’, and some irrelevant running on again, I’ve just realised that this quick post is now a whole day after – in the space of an hour – and at 1am I still need to get yesterday’s lunch! Then another almost an hour checking for typos and re-jigging and running on a bit extra. doh! So I’d bet my britches you’d be looking forward to my rounding this off as much as I am, if only you stayed the length of my drift this far. I hope you’re not left feeling as though I wasted your time, even if it looks as if I forever waste my own 🙂 If not this month, I’ll look forward to tackling the Daily Post’s revamped writing201 ‘class’, some other month. Online learning activity has been burning me out much too easy and I’m (ahem) giving myself a rest from any for a while.

I’m thinking of making some changes to my blog, such as getting off this theme and trying something different, updating leftover issues and tackling some maintenance. Any improvements you’d like to see here or any reader requests/suggestions?




Marching on – it’s MLA time again!

Here we are again as Monthly Look Ahead flies round so soon…

…and there’s much to look forward to these next few weeks. I’ll be another whole year older by the end of the month – and glad that doesn’t happen every month. Whether I’ll be any the wiser for my older age remains to be seen, but I’d hedge my bets toward ‘most unlikely’. 

As usual there’s ongoing blogging goals. I can’t be bothered to think about them much just now, kind of mapped out already and more of the same ole same ole and lots of lingering to-do’s.  I don’t know how long this ‘blogging my way back to life somehow’ might take, but I’ll get there, wherever ‘there’ might be. Maybe I just need more determination (to get a life, not to blog! LOL). This month I’m still looking to get my blogging house in order and retaking the BloggingU customisation and everyday-inspiration ‘courses’, but not from here and hopefully not in my usual scatterbrained here, there and everywhere ways…

I’ll be carrying on my appreciation of Cid Corman and delving into getting to know Frank O’Hara’s poetry better. Hopefully I’ll be immersing  with reading and experiencing poetry aplenty, learning some more about more poets and maybe even trying to write some more poems myself too. Maybe it’ll help me drag myself into being more creative in other ways too, like getting a daily drawing routine going – it’s been a failing goal for much too long. I definitely could use some better therapeutic activity time and a lot more often.

Somewhere to hand I’ve some packets of flower seeds that should still be good for sowing. Increasing exposure to natural daylight and more outdoor fresh air would be a very good idea. Fairweather gardening might be do-able in small bursts, providing winter doesn’t strike with avengeance. Even if it does, there should be some window for gardening type enjoyment and the fencing really needs patching and propping up more sufficiently.

This panel doesn’t really need my shadow to prop it up, unlike other parts in need of more than my shadow…

Although I’ve not yet made it onto the bouncerciser at all yet, nor my wii-fit, and even though excercise can be counterproductive they are at least available if ever I feel up to some. I live in hope. I used to love walking, just getting anywhere at all under your own steam, but my capacity and tolerance has been reducing year on year for the last eight years. It’s quite concerning to now, or still, be at this current stage and on the one hand seems totally unrealistic to be even thinking about excercise and on the other hand seems totally defeatist not to be. I’m managing up and down the stairs a bit better again – and quite often in comparison to a while ago. So, being grateful for small mercies…

I’ve been managing to eat more regularly without cooking much as such and have restarted co-enzymeQ10 supplements. They’re no good without good food enough and food’s not much good with insufficient enzyme production. So keeping up with food and nutrition and making sure to enjoy food is definitely on the menu again. Washing up may be off the cards most days of the week but I’m making sure not to make much of it by labour-saving strategies and by letting it wait around looking like still life. I even got photos to prove it but I’m not sharing those here and now. I might draw from them when I’ve washed up forgetting to get round to drawing any beforehand.

Anything else besides will be an added and appreciated bonus and be bound to get a mention – I almost forgot to add that I’ve managed quite a lot of reading books for pleasure these last few weeks. That makes a nice change. I’m quite enjoying reading Scott Nicholson’s post-apocalyptic ‘After’ series, they’re quite an easy read and very more-ish; I already finished the four books of his that I bought and so need to buy more – or find a better way of getting kindle books and ending my boycott, cos kindle versions are loads cheaper as well as having the environmental advantage and the instant delivery. Yet a real book will still work for very much longer than any gadget and there’s nothing quite like turning a page.

I haven’t forgotten my family, honestly, even if it’s not what it looks like; we’re quite long overdue for a visit but will get around to it eventually, one of these days…


Monthly Look Ahead event hosted by Coolbeans4, visit their post for March here


100 word story (2)

This installment can be read as a ‘stand-alone’, but follows on from my previous installment for #100wordstory at  Blogger’s World

Hitting the road at last, Rosie picked up her blood-filled sandals, taking one last look back. The hot tarmac felt soothing against bare, sore skin. Comforted to feel anything at all, she thanked god for the solitary motorcycle, unseen as it roared by and away into the distance.

The signs made no sense. The roadside SOS phone failed. This was no safe place to stop and rest but still, she stood, safe for now. Not even a bird calling, not even a breeze to rustle the leaves, just deafening silence and what might be a very long road to nowhere.

[100 words, text is original work, ©Colette Bates, 2016]

With thanks to Rashmi Menon, author of  the ‘MindandLifeMatters‘ blog for providing this week’s photo prompt (cropped, low-resolution copy of original image shown below):




Revealing – and a reminder to…


Last week’s Word for Wednesday from Ruth’s blog…

(My response failed to use the word, other than via the image…)

Using a screenshot section for a preview of Ruth’s beautiful blog, with a section of the photograph, she’d taken that morning and applying my haiku in response:

NB: my low resolution screenshot preview doesn’t do Ruth’s high quality image justice -visit the original image at Ruth’s post here (copyright Ruth Lakes 2016).

Why not join Ruth for a coffee break ‘Word for ‘Wednesday’ this week?

(Don’t forget to bring your own refreshments…!)

Leapster Challenges (joining in?)


Happy Leap Day!

If I’d had better energy and not distracted with theme changing I might have got this Leap thing off the ground better, made an event page and submitted a listing. But, right from the beginning the Leapster was a free-flying flit about just making a leap sometime, somehow… ‘Your leap, your way…’

“Leap and the net will appear.” John Burroughs

“One way we can enliven the imagination is to push it toward the illogical… We don’t always have to make the logical, reasonable leap.” Stella Adler


My Leap, my way.. coming soon:

  • a Leap proposal…
  • my 2020 vision (not a plan, just a glimpse ahead…)
  • round-up post of leaps along the way (thanks SarahC et al for joining the fun 🙂
  • ‘make-a-leap’ mini-challenges so far so…

It’s never too late to join in, 2020 is a long way off and it’s Leap Year for a lot more days yet 🙂 Leave a comment or pingback here or to any other challenge post to join in.

Happy Leap Year 2016! Are you making a 2020 vision?



Sandbox Challenge #26 – Message (received)

Oh, I really, really like the challenge prompt from this week’s Sandbox…

N.B. I added the arrows and speech bubble text…

First, it screamed ‘there’s a lot of room to play!’ and after directing me to zoom and snap to get the big picture it boomed ‘message received and understood’. As I turned back, it whispered ‘now take your time with this one, there’s no rush…’

So, luckily, there’s a few days to get my entry proper in. I’m usually either posting on the cusp of the next prompt issue, or even beyond – but I wanted to catch an early post with this one, so this is just by way of introduction…

So, what would YOU make of it? Maybe you’ll join in too…

Monthly Look Ahead – February 2016


My memory has been dreadful lately, days slip by, I lose track and I am scatty and unreliable. I made a commitment to a late posting halfway through last month and I know I had an outline draft somewhere but then forgot about posting it…Apologies to event host, IamDonovan.

But here I am, on the cusp of February, wondering wherever did January go and how did it go so fast?!

Some things I’m looking forward to, hopefully, this next month:

  • my first grandchild’s 8th birthday – though I might not be able to visit… we’ll see
  • if I can drag myself into a taxi and onto buses or trains, maybe a visit or two to other family members. No-one’s in a position to be able to travel to visit me and I’ve not seen my mum, siblings, or even one of my kids for ages – months on end. We managed Christmas by post and phone, so it’d be nice to visit. Fingers crossed I’ll be well enough.
  • I’d like to get out to a local art gallery or for a wander in the city, but I doubt i’ll manage that as well as a family visit, but it’s on my hopefully list anyway – I might have to make do with a virtual version of this one.
  • I’ve found Kindle for PC quite a comfortable way of reading -the screen brightness will reduce in the app much further than my laptop will, making much less eye pain and headache and the hope of actually reading something properly more a reality. I’ve a couple of books I definitely want to buy for kindle – and then I’m trying the ‘kindle unlimited’ library borrowing scheme. I know I could not buy the books on my wishlist, and borrow them instead, but I choose to support the author and see it a bit like buying her a coffee. You can find lots of free books for kindle, whether generally available free or during the discounted promotions, but I’m getting fed up with finding poor quality reading material and have seen lots of non-free books I’d like to take a look at or read.  It remains to be seen whether the subscription for borrowing is worth it, as I might not be able to read enough to make it worthwhile. So, I’m quite late getting on the Kindle bandwagon, but am looking forward to exploring reading better with it – there might be the option to listen to borrowed books too.
  • I’m also hoping, again, that I’ll catch up and keep up with the Sandbox Writing Challenge- everything’s been slipping lately – and generally getting back to a more regular posting routine would be nice.
  • I’m looking for ways I can manage my health better again this month too, especially regarding diet and sleep. For relaxation and off-screen time, I’m going to play at adult colouring books, maybe do some drawing and/or journalling.
  • Finally, getting back to a little Modern Poetry study as there is always more to read and learn.

So, there’s my February goals mapped out, as un-exciting as usual, but fingers crossed for the journey…