Posted in Family, Halloween, Holiday, Home, Life

Halloween

It’s never been as big a thing in the UK as the U.S.A.; not from what we can see from watching movies.  I think it’s catching on more, but the general idea of it, the way it is today, is pretty much an American invention.

I recall going to a Halloween party at Youth Club; and trick-or-treating a couple of times, when I was younger.  And then there was the BBC’s “Ghostwatch” prank which freaked my cousin and me out completely; as we were home alone babysitting her little brother, in our mid-teens.

Apart from that, it wasn’t much of a big thing.  Particularly because at this time of year, the UK had Guy Fawkes Night  to contemplate; which the U.S.A. doesn’t.

These days, however, far more than when I was young; there seem to be more Halloween discos, more fancy dress costumes for sale in the shops; pumpkins for sale just about everywhere; another hint as to our Americanisation – since they’re native to North America .

In our house, we’ve become more involved in it since living very close to the U.S.A., surrounded by Americans, while living in The Bahamas for a couple of years.  We’ve collected enough Halloween decorations for the container to almost (not quite) rival the Christmas Decorations box.  And the O/H has discovered a talent for carving.  So, in honour, today’s post has more of a visual theme to it.  Here’s some of his creations from the past few years:

pumpkin1

pumpkin2

pumpkin3

pumpkin4

pumpkin5

pumpkin6

pumpkin7

pumpkin8

pumpkin9

pumpkin10

pumpkin11

Amazing what you can do with stencils and a pumpkin carving kit from the supermarket …

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Posted in Creative, Family, Halloween, Life, Nails, Women's Issues

Nails

Purely because I’ve been suffering from a mild migraine type affliction today so haven’t been feeling like concentrating on much.  Therefore those things which demand my attention every day regardless used up what little care I had to spread around!

So today, whilst doing this to my nails in a few minutes of down time …

12185123_10153703433129813_8593788537919850648_o

… it occurred to me to let you know about this little hobby of mine.

I’m not too shallow when it comes to clothes or shoes or make-up.  I have a penchant for handbags; well, bags and luggage in general.  (I think I spent too long working with baggage at the airport a few years ago).  I’ll dress up when I need to – I love a good party and dancing the night away but rarely get a chance to anymore – when I do I like to make the effort.  Make-up I use for, well, making myself up to appear on something; or performing as something.  For example, I’ll be digging out the blusher big time for Mrs Claus’s rosy cheeks next month.  But I’m not one of these who will just die if I have to leave the house without make-up.  In fact, I frequently do.  But Nail Art is something I find fun.

I won’t go to a salon and pay someone a fortune to ‘do’ my nails.  It would be a fruitless waste of my time (if I had any to myself) and money (ditto) , since when I wasn’t there, the nails, be they fake or well manicured; spend the vast majority of their time immersed in liquid….soaking nappies; washing dishes; or being put to good use scraping dried Weetabix from the breakfast table. But, I’ve found that with any addiction I may have succumbed to, the easiest way to overcome it is to replace it with another, slightly more palatable one.  So, many years ago, I trained myself to stop biting my nails by spending more time taking care of them and decorating them.  This was fine when I was working in my first ever full-time regular job, which was in a call center.  In fact, they became a little amusing talking point at team meetings.  A couple of years later, after traveling the USA and Brazil, I started working at the Airport and became subject to uniform regulations (Yup, there was a rule book for that too), which demanded we be ‘well manicured at all times’.  Which was fine, as far as care and attention went; but did restrict my creativity to a few very similar colours that ‘matched or complimented’ the colours of the uniform.  And strictly no stripes, patterns or glitter.

Having babies is another chink in the armour of keeping one’s nails interesting.  They just NEVER stay asleep long enough for the darn things to dry.

Now, I’ve already mentioned how I didn’t know what to blog about, I’ve tried before and failed.  I’ve searched and searched for a ‘thing’ – some people blog about children; some people blog about travel; some people blog about Nail Art… I could never settle on just ONE aspect of my life to blog about.  I’d be leaving so many interesting things out!  So, I’m not claiming to be an expert at it or anything; or anywhere near as good as some of the video tutorials or real Nail art bloggers out there.  Nor would I want to be.  I’ve got far more important things to do with my time than JUST do my nails.  But, since it replaced the chewing and biting and generally uncomfortable and ugly habit, I did, and still do, feel half undressed if my nails are not ‘done’.  I don’t mean ALWAYS having bright garish colours or crazy patterns, or even any colour at all, on them.  I mean, if they’re not neatly filed, or evenly trimmed;  If I’ve managed to rip one whilst doing housework, or chipped one doing the gardening; then it continuously bugs me until they’re sorted, neat and tidy and with at least one coat of clear nail varnish or nail treatment on.

Regardless, over the past few years, have managed to get up quite a nice collection of pictures of nails I decorated. So, without further ado, here’s some of my favorites.

52764_10151375111729813_1723939283_o 64059_10151797153274813_600998103_n 178643_10151330053249813_1100395986_o 338369_10150577621294813_1154001522_o 457855_10150697529449813_1358604668_o 464078_10151655183979813_12932185_o 476463_10150708990739813_888455866_o 482118_10151592974129813_2013344760_n 546227_10151408917049813_2039026515_n 553320_10151592973469813_309345293_n 565027_10151408916999813_21703568_n 704888_10151359200784813_239887926_o 774767_10151442696429813_1142343983_o 944412_10151664341374813_22389992_n 998241_10151857557549813_265608681_n 1011151_10151745590174813_700583239_n 12185123_10153703433129813_8593788537919850648_o

Posted in Acting, Family, Movies

Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon

Not a long post, really.  Just thought it might amuse a few readers to mention:

I had a night in with my sister and a mutual friend for my birthday this year.  Which is by the by.  But at some point during the drinking, sis mentioned to friend how I was usually pretty good at Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon; based on my random yet extensive film knowledge.  Not sure I can live up to her lauding, but I CAN do 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon with myself.

really

Kevin Bacon was in A Few Good Men with Demi Moore, who was in St Elmo’s Fire (which has an awesome title track, by the way); which also starred Andrew McCarthy (who I adored in Mannequin, incidentally), who did a movie called Dead Funny, which was exec produced by my grandfather.

Which I think is 3, or 4 degrees.  Depending on how you count it.  Or 5.  Definitely not 6.

The end.

Posted in Acting, Filmmaking, Life, Movies, Social Media, TV

Random connections…

So, Twitter has been my fad of the moment.

I mean, I signed up for it ages ago, and tweeted a little;  but up until now, it’s been one of those things I could have taken or left.  I use Facebook a lot … living in other countries and having children meant FB was good for keeping in touch with family and friends and sharing the children growing up. Twitter, I never really got.  People said “It’s what you make of it”, “It depends who you follow, and what you’re interested in”.

I have the odd convo with people I’m also friends with on FB and in real life. someone told me once they use Twitter for saying things they wouldn’t say on FB.  Fewer connections, a little more anonymous, I guess.

Sometimes I’ll check it in time to learn some big piece of breaking news.  Other times, I’ll search a hashtag to see what other people are saying about stuff (like #Casualty when they did those double eps at the end of August!). Generally, no. Generally, Facebook is my go-to society.

Except something strange happened.  A couple of weeks ago now.  I got an availability check from an SA agency.  (This is when they put out feelers to people who might suit  a particular role they’ve been asked to cast.  They choose the people who fit the bill from their database, then contact those chosen to see if they’re available for the dates required, before putting them forward to the production).  Anyway, over hurdle #1 before I even knew about it – I sort of must have fit the bill ‘they’ were looking for.  #2, I was available for the filming dates, and could possibly make the suggested costume fitting schedule.  Next thing I know #3 – I’ve been shortlisted for “the part” -( i.e. a named part, meaning this was no ‘random passer by’, this was a particular role.  Not necessarily speaking, but what is known as ‘featured’. ) but ‘they’ wanted to see a video clip of those of us on the shortlist; to see how we are on camera.

By tomorrow morning.

And I was on set, dressed for the 1980’s.  Green eye shadow and hairspray and everything.

ETA at home, possibly after 10pm.

So, I get home, dig out the tripod and the remote for the DSLR, and realise from what other SA’s had been talking about who’d done some of it, this is a period thing they’re casting for – no eye shadow or hairspray type of period.  Wipe off as much make up as I could; disguise the fact my hair has been backcombed to within an inch of its life; try and get the lighting as right as I can, in the dining room, alone, at night; and film myself talking random gibberish to camera for a minute or so (trying to not wake everyone in the house); edit it slightly to add my name and a little title screen, so it looks relatively presentable; and email it back to the agency.  Phew.

After all that excitement, my mind starts wandering to what it would be like to get this part.  That I hadn’t considered even  existed before today, let alone wanting, or chasing, or applying for.

I hadn’t considered being on this particular production.  I’d heard other SAs talking about it – about how days they’d done on it had been enjoyable.  For a lot of period work, well, anything earlier than the 1970s I suppose, they rarely put anyone with a fringe forward. (Along with no dyed hair or obvious piercings, etc etc)

My fringe was still growing out.  I was in such a mindset that I had a fringe, I hadn’t realised that by now, it’s really long enough that it can be pretty much styled to not be seen. Up until now, I had not even considered being put forward for anything other than contemporary stuff.  So, this sudden turn of events had peaked my interest in this production they’d all been talking about.  So I googled it, and IMDB‘d it, and scrolled down the cast list for the character to whom I would have been related.  Interesting … portrayed by an interesting looking actor, who happens to be originally from the same locale as me!  So, I look up said performer on twitter and, purely out of interest, you understand, click ‘follow’.

Next day, more excitement … I am down to THE LAST TWO!

It’s me or someone else.

O.M.G!  Two days ago I didn’t know anything about this production nor did I have any inclination or need to go anywhere near it.  By now I was pretty overly invested … damn you internet searches!

Hurdle #4 – can I get down to (secret location) to see the costume and makeup departments ASAP.  Hell yeah I can! Hot foot it, leaving half a cup of tea.  Nice chat the the hair lady who loved my hair but worried it was too short, and mentioned she was under the impression I was the only one left in the running, and advised what to do with my hair before shooting day; and the costume team, who measured pretty much everything…

So, you can guess how this is going to go….

Step #5, the next day, they have to wait to see the other girl …

And… she got it.  Apparently, they ‘Luuurrved me, dahling’ … and there were arguments over me.  But in the end, I wasn’t chosen. Ah well, two days work, at a higher rate than your regular random background blur.  So near and yet so far. On a brighter note, from what I could gather from write-ups, there are regular gruesome endings for certain charcaters of this show.  Chances are I might have only had one scene – the one in which I died. Plus, another SA who was in 1980 with me (see above) said she’d had a similar near-miss experience of being offered a featured part – she saw it as a bonus – one day featured, or a couple of weeks as a regular background later on … good point, I suppose.

Meanwhile, the point of this post is not the excitement of this particular casting process, but it leading me to Twitter.

Ah yes, Twitter.  So, the feeling of rejection, insofar as I hadn’t courted the role at all up until a couple of days ago, really got to me, for a couple of days at least.  (At least it took my mind off other things going on in my life, for a couple of days).  I consoled myself by following the cast and crew of my new found ‘must see’ production on Twitter.  Particularly that original cast member. Who was having various Twitter ‘conversations’ with other followers, mostly in the U.S.A. I randomly started participating in one of these conversations; and eventually, fell in to conversation with one of those other followers, completely separate from cast and crew.  And blimey, this complete stranger from the other side of the world turned out to be amazingly interesting – living such a different life from anything I’d been used to (Which, I’ve mentioned in other posts, is quite a lot, really).  I mean, for one thing, she goes prospecting for a few months of every year – I never knew people even did that anymore!

Prospector_dance

Now I’m having notions about going on a writers research trip and following her on a prospecting trip, and writing about it – maybe an article, or a book, even a movie.  Now there’s something I’ve not done before.  A bit fanciful.  No, EXTREMELY fanciful; but still …

Apart from this new pen-friend, a few other random conversations seem to have happened from simply participating a lot more there.

In amongst the drivel and the drudge, I’ve come to realise just how wonderful is this interabyss that it allows us to just connect, and share, and find those we need to talk with or just share with, to help us feel right again; just when we need them, to take our mind off things, to connect over something.

Posted in Acting, Filmmaking, Movies, TV, writing

How I became an ‘Extra’

When I was in school I chose drama (or, more specifically, “Theatre & Media Studies”) as an A-level subject.

I’d been ‘steered’ away from choosing it for GCSE and regretted it for that entire 2 year period.  It really was all I had any interest in doing anyway, apart from English, which was a given, set subject anyway.  But, it was a subject that led nowhere, I should choose more academic subjects, learn skills and choose more useful courses. I’m sure you’ve heard that excuse before.

When it came to choosing A level subjects,  I probably could have had the choice of a number of GCSE subjects which I’d done pretty well at, with little (or no, now I come to admit it) effort in revision or study; but I really didn’t have the heart to pursue any of them.  I always wanted to act, and/or make movies. (I still do, but that’s a whole other story.  Although it’ll probably crop up once or twice during this post.) when it came down to discussing it with teachers, and then mum, once they gave me cause to hope it was possible to choose this having not studied it to GCSE.

Looking back since, I think it was pure desperation on their part to make up the numbers – there ended up only being four of us on the A level course anyway.  Which, for any other course with practical aspects might have been a hindrance.

But for us, it worked out fine.  Any theoretical classroom based work was quiet and studious with no distraction.  And the practical aspects…well, we produced a ‘prospectus video’ for the school, which with just four of us as a tight knit production team was easy – fewer of us to argue the toss, to storyboard, to direct.  We were able to all get hands on experience with the camera, and the teachers got us a day in an actual editing suite, learning to use the equipment and again, all getting hands on experience editing our actual video.  Being only four of us, any practical acting presentations (as a group or sometimes two pairs) we did showcased each of us far more than larger groups might have had the opportunity for. I went to a Welsh medium school. Because the 1st-lanuage Welsh speaking community in South Wales was so much smaller than in other parts of Wales, a lot of welsh-speakers had, I suspect, friends and acquaintances in different professions in the area.  In this case, Welsh speaking drama teachers have a number of contacts within the world of Welsh-language drama and TV production.  Therefore, a small group of drama students could be offered ideal experience in TV and media production (to benefit their studies, of course) and at the same time benefit the production company by being a bunch of free extras for various productions.

Off the top of my head, an S4C drama called “Er Mwyn Tad” whose main character was a teenage girl, and so, for certain scenes, required a group of teenage friends…Voila; and Welsh-language soap opera “Pobl-Y-Cwm” – still alive and well today – where a contemporary story line involved an underage schoolgirl getting involved with one of her teachers.  Hence, scenes regularly being filmed in and around our school and some of us being required to populate halls and classrooms for scenes; and, when said character left school and went to college, she still required friends/classmates for certain scenes set in said ‘college’.  It was fun, it was an experience, and I doubt everyone who ‘did drama in school’ can say they had such benefits to learn from.

Fast Forward twenty-something years; and, even though it had crossed my mind a few times in the interim, ‘being an extra’ had never really occurred to me as something one does.  Over the years I’d watched stuff – TV and movies, and it had struck me how some people in the background seemed to be acting very very nonchalantly, as though they hadn’t noticed a movie being made, and a Hollywood A lister walking around right in front of them.  On other productions, (sadly, the majority) some of those in the background seemed to be over-acting, or just generally very bad at ‘acting normal’.  In most instances, I assumed that someone on the crew just went round after they’d cordoned off the set and grabbed some people on the street and said ‘hey, you, come and walk along this street and pretend you don’t see Mel Gibson crashing a car behind you, OK?’.  Or words to that effect.

On one occasion, someone who drank at the same pub my parents did, got cast in a movie they were shooting locally (yet another period piece, so using the castles an landscapes of Wales), and his tales of being on set were pretty inspiring…and tales of getting paid for it as well, even more so.

Years later, when I’d moved to the other side of the world, and was expecting #1 and contemplating maternity leave, I saw an ad in a local paper, I think, looking for people of all ages and looks and races to sign up to be TV and movie extras.  I toyed with the idea for a bit, as a hobby or a part time thing, but for some reason it slipped my mind, and to be honest, I’d not even thought of that until writing this now.

Then, all change again in my everyday life, and finding ourselves back here, and finding it difficult to find work of any kind, let alone full time, to fit around the OH and his shifts, and the children and their school and other commitments; I settled for a hotch-potch of casual contracts, for now.  One, the first one, really, was one of those ‘Seasonal’ jobs that comes up around Christmas time.  No, not your general extra checkout people at M&S or the supermarket; or extra sorters at the local parcel depot; this one was the cream of the crop…well, short of switching gender and growing a long white beard…but if it’s Christmas and you’re a woman (especially one who, when it came to castings in the past, always got cast as a matriarchal-type figure); where better to be but at Santa’s side playing Mrs Claus?!

mrsclaus

And so, this was my first foray into public performance, acting, since all those years before, in school, (and extra-curricular drama club). Back in the saddle.

The grotto would close so we could all have lunch together; Mrs Claus, Santa, the elves. during one of our lunch breaks, during the “What do you do when you’re not doing this” conversation that one generally has when participating in something short-term, concentrated, like this; Santa let on that he was pretty much a full time Extra (Or ‘Supporting Artiste’ – generally referred to within the industry as an ‘S.A.’.), and, contrary to what I’d always assumed in previous flirtations with the idea, made quite an O.K. living out of it.  Well, Full Time and able to make some kind of living off it?  Now there’s an idea.  And with all the ‘hanging around’, time in between to get on with writing; not to mention absorbing more production experience while it was going on around me.

So, in the new year, I looked into it a bit more.  Of course, in the years before when I’d toyed with this idea, there was no internet.  Now, all the information is far more accessible.  For everyone.  And there are so many more trying to get in to this line of work. The agencies are full to bursting of people vying for work.  And they’re always happy to take more – the more versatile and full their books are the more chance they have of placing someone on a production and therefore earning commission from the fee.  Easy to find the information and sign up.  Not so easy to get offered the work …

All in all, I’ve been quite lucky in my first year as far as amount of work.  Of course, far from being full time, it’s still more along the lines of interesting hobby which pays a bit. Although from what I can gather, some of those who treat this as a hobby or a sideline, sometimes don’t see any work at all for the whole year (most agencies require the people on their books to re-register annually.  If for nothing else, this means that photos are always up-to-date, a requirement since productions cast on the way you look and fit in to their background/set), so I’m one of the lucky ones I think.

This year, I’ll be back being Mrs Claus again for December, with the same Santa too, so we can swap stories.

I did read a blog post recently about someone’s life as an S.A.; but do you think I can find it again to link to?  Nup! So, one day soon I’ll write a bit more about the ins and outs of it; within the parameters of the rule-book of course !!! (Yes, there is one of those too!).  Don’t expect insider gossip or pictures of ‘the stars’.  If I had any, if there’s any sure fire way of getting kicked off the books, that would be it! Don’t expect show-stopping glamour or tales of how anyone got their ‘big break’, either.  It’s none of those things.

On the other hand, there’s a great bunch of hard-core ‘regulars’ on the circuit, and we do get to play with memes like this …

casualty

Posted in Family, Home, Medical, Women's Issues

It is unlikely that you have cervical cancer…

It’s always nice to receive mail that’s not a bill.  Right?  Especially when it contains a line like that. How reassuring.

I’m sure that’s what their intention was when they formulated the bog-standard automated response to be sent to people who’s regular routine cervical smear test returns ‘abnormal results’.

Except, it’s not.

The ONLY reassuring answer when waiting for the results of being scraped by a nurse at your local surgery or clinic or other chosen location would be the other bog-standard automated response; namely “Your results were normal.  See you in 3 years”.

Definitely not “In some women these abnormal results can develop into cancer”; or “Only about one out of three women would develop cancer in the future”.  Or even on the most recent leaflet  “Treatment is nearly always 100% successful”.

It’s not so much the actual results, or the wording of the letters that’s the worst thing.  It’s the waiting.

I’m sure every woman, in whichever country they experience their regular screening, feel that tinge of ‘What if…’, even if just for a fleeting moment; between the run-of-the-mill appointment at their GP surgery, and waiting for that letter telling you your smear test results are normal.  And then experiencing that wave of relief you never even realised you were waiting for when you do finally receive that normal results letter.  Even the time between those two moments seem endless.  If you stop to think about it.

I’m in my mid-thirties.  I’ve had my fair share of smear tests.  First in the UK, then when we moved to New Zealand, now back in the UK again.  I’m used to waiting around for a few weeks, pushing the “What if..” to the back of my mind; then feeling weirdly elated when that letter finally drops on the mat telling me I’m fine.  Even though I’d felt that way and been living as though nothing was wrong, until they told me nothing was wrong with me, anyway.

When you're waiting for that letter ...
When you’re waiting for that letter …

But this time was different.  There was the reminder from Cervical Screening Wales to make my cervical smear test appointment.  So I did.  Then the surgery didn’t remind me about that appointment, so I missed it. (OK, OK, I know … It had skipped my mind to add it to my calendar on my phone – my usual means of organising my life these days, and hadn’t looked at the kitchen diary – the usual means of organising everyone else’s lives – in a while; and for some reason I was still in a New Zealand frame of mind when it came to GP appointments.  They used to text a reminder out.)  Sometime in November it suddenly struck me…”I’m sure I made a smear appointment for November” I said out loud to the OH one day.  I made a mental note to check.  Sure enough, there it was in the kitchen diary for about 2 weeks prior.

No biggie.  I made another mental note to call and make another appointment.

Which I, of course, forgot to do.  Until the next reminder came in the post.  This time I made the appointment, and made sure I noted it in about 3 different places. The nurse was only a little concerned that my last recorded test had been in 2005, after I said we’d been living abroad, and I was pretty sure I had one in at least 2009 after #1 was born. (I’ve since found the “You’re OK” letter from that test, it was actually dated sometime in 2010, so must have been after I had #2).

And that was that.  And eventually the letter arrived from the NHS. Ah, there we go.

You know when you open a letter you’re pretty much expecting and just scan it quickly to assure yourself it’s what you thought?  Well, that’s what I did. “Your Colonoscopy appointment?  what bloody colonoscopy appointment?” I muttered.  OH looked equally puzzled. “What?” he said, or something along the lines. “Oh, no, Colposcopy.” I corrected myself. And set about actually reading what it said.  The results of my smear test were abnormal.  An appointment had been made for me at the colposcopy clinic. Along with a leaflet explaining stuff.  sort of.

The initial screening test leaflet said something about 1 in 10 women showing abnormal results.  This one said about 1 in 20.  So me having abnormal smear results made me double abnormal as I would have been before?  Great.

I’d made the mistake of consulting Doctor Google before going.  So I read a lot of stuff and some of it kind of made sense, when viewed from a certain angle.  But there was a lot of it.  I joined a Facebook support group.  And they all seemed to chat using far more complicated and unfamiliar terminology than I’d already read about; so it appeared even more daunting.

By the time I went for this colposcopy appointment, I was expecting all kinds of things.  I was expecting the doctor to look up in alarm and check me straight in.  I’d even thrown a travel toothbrush and spare underwear into my handbag incase I went in and didn’t come out again.

But I they didn’t subject me to all the LLETZ and scrapey and pokey things the others on the Facebook group had been talking about.  They took a biopsy. Not even the scary sounding “Cone Biopsy” type I’d been reading about which would have meant going under and being kept in.  A mild (yet very sore) scrape, taking barely minutes, a bit of pain killing stuff added; then he wipes his hands and says ‘thanks very much, I’ll write to you with the results’.  And I’m left wandering aimlessly to the changing area on my own, feeling a little let down that the whole visit hadn’t seemed to reach any kind of crescendo.

The day or two following were a little uncomfortable; but nothing much to write home about in themselves.  The first two weeks, however, I was dreading the outcome.  Every day I expected THE phone call or THE letter, letting me know my days were numbered and there was nothing they could do.  Every time I picked up my phone I prayed it was the agency offering me a days work, somewhere on location or a set where I could make believe I was someone else, somewhere else.

By the third and fourth weeks, it had sort of been pushed to the back of my mind.  Although I did put together a little more of an emergency overnight kit than I normally kept in my work bag.  In quiet moments – what there are when you have three small boys running you ragged – I would ponder my rich tapestry of a life a little more; take a little more stock of what I had, where I’d been and what I’d done with my years.  And, what I hadn’t. I started a simple list of “Stuff I love” and “Stuff I hate”, in the weird little mindset of – how will they plan my funeral if I don’t leave them a list of my favourite songs and movies and colours.  How will they decide where to scatter my ashes if they don’t know where my favourite place on earth is?

Then, the waiting and the wondering seemed to drop off completely.

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve barely thought about it.  I think it goes back to a post on the Facebook group, asking how long it took everyone to hear back their results from their appointment after being told they had abnormal results.  Nearly all of them had their LLETZ (Loop Excision, AKA other things.  If you really want to know, I’m sure you’ll find out) or whatever treatment, at that first appointment.  I felt a little put out having only had a  biopsy, and having to wait for results.  But from what I could gather, it was roughly 4 weeks.

I suppose that since 4 weeks had passed, I’d figured everything was fine and when I finally got the letter, it would say I was fine after all, and they’ll just do a 12 month follow up smear instead of 3 years, just to be on the safe side.

Until this morning.  When the letter arrived.  And it appears that “the biopsy that was carried out has indicated that {I} will need loop excision of the transformation zone carried out”.

And another one of those informative (!) leaflets.
Apparently, “This can be done in the outpatient clinic using local anaesthetic. This is very much like your colposcopy and takes about 10-20 minutes.”.

I think I’ll take the emergency overnight kit.  Just in case.

But at least the waiting for that particular letter is over and done with.  Just 3 weeks until the appointment.  Followed by … whatever comes next.

waitingmail2

I’m wondering if all the waiting around in between these letters and appointments is their way of preparing you to deal with the worst possible outcome.  And making you feel all the more elated if what you actually end up with is the best news.

Posted in Home, Life, writing

Nothing to write about…

I’ve not written here in a while.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been writing – I’ve been working on the novels; and the comedy-drama series.  I’ve been writing some other stuff that can only be filed under “Fan-Fiction” since that’s pretty much all they’ll ever be, just to get fanciful ideas out of my head so I can concentrate on the other stuff!

And I’ve been mulling it over as to what the heck I could blog about.

I’ve been racking my brains for something mundane and intricate; some profound insight into my hum-drum every day existence; since reading about a friend and his need for a new armchair . Why does such a need never occur to me to be something to write about?

And then … I realise that whilst pondering this lack of a subject, I am sat in the green room at the BBC studios; or in a converted diner-car bus on the back lot of what was formerly the set of the Starz TV series Da Vinci’s Demons.

I realise that what leads me to ponder my lack of published posts was a letter telling me my latest smear test came back as abnormal.  What if I suddenly die and there’s nothing left behind on the inter-abyss to prove I could actually string a sentence together?  I’ve spent a lifetime telling people I wanted to be a writer; but that wouldn’t be my legacy if I was gone tomorrow.

It hit me like a bus that I’ve been searching too hard for something to write about, when stuff has been staring me right in the face:  I grew up on a cargo ship. I’ve been working as a TV extra.  I’m in the process of dealing with a Cancer scare.  Oh, and this Christmas I’ll be Mrs Claus again … now there’s four things to be getting on with.

And then there’s randomly connecting with interesting strangers on forums like Twitter – who knew that people still go prospecting in the wilds of the U.S.A?  So, my ‘normal’ existence might not be so ‘normal’ to everyone, after all…

Let the rambling begin.  Again.