Friday, 12 December 2008

Happy Soup!

As I've said on this much neglected blog before now, when it gets cold, I start making soup. My friend Dean told me that sweet potato, eaten pretty much however you like, has tryptophan in it, an amino acid which encourages the production of serotonin in the brain. If, like me, you suffer from depression, that's a good thing to do; I take medication to help with serotonin uptake, but some natural help is not to be sneezed at. So now, soup with sweet potato in it is lovingly known as happy soup in our household. Hot, thick, rich and sweet tasting, it's delightful. I make mine with onions, carrots and turnip, with a few spices added just for interest (thai curry spices, if you're interested), but any veg that happen to be around can be added in. Find out more about this; just google sweet potato and depression. Not the most likely of combinations, but it works!

But if we're talking real comfort food, then there's nothing to beat Heinz Tomato Soup and some bread and butter...yum. I make my own tomato soups, but always have a tin of Heinz in the cupboard for emergencies. And it's good without bread, too (we ran out today, so I'm having some HTS without...). And there's some fruit loaf to follow. Not that I'm obsessed with food... but it is that kind of a day!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Life Is Simple...

when you're a parrot. Cupboard door shut? Och, just open it. Throw a few bits and pieces on the floor. Invite a friend to come and have a look around. Then get fed up and shut the cupboard door, only to change your mind and open it again... an entertaining cycle that could go on all day. Of course, it does nothing for the cupboard door....

I stopped to visit my friend Terry on the way back from York. She has a fair number of animals (though not as many as Alison, which is another story entirely); three cats, a dog, two horses, all of whom I met and stroked. Even Monty the Parrot! And didn't get bitten for my pains, for once. This is unusual; every time I've met Monty, he has given me a bit of a nip, which Terry assures me is 'affectionate'. A Likely Story. But isn't he gorgeous? I have some of his discarded feathers, which I keep promising myself to make into something or other... eventually... soon...

Saturday, 14 June 2008

A Funny Thing Happened...

in the supermarket the other day. I had begun to pack my shopping, and Robin disappeared off to do something, buy a lottery ticket, I suspect, and just at that moment... the battery in my hearing aid failed. It beeps furiously when that happens. You would think that a couple of bleeps would suffice, just enough for you to screech and switch the *!?* thing off, but no, it seem to continue ad infinitum. That wasn't the funny thing, though. We had Rather A Lot Of Shopping, but the girl at the checkout, after the cursory, do you need help with your packing, was doing her best to ignore the fact that I was swamped and my assistant had disappeared. Until something fell off the conveyor belt. I didn't catch what she said, the first time, so she had to repeat it. Something fell off the conveyor belt. Oh, sorry, says I, I'm slightly deaf and my hearing aid just failed, so I'm not hearing as well as I could be. Oh, right, she says. And as I go to pick up whatever it was on the floor, she starts helping me to pack my shopping... and continues solicitously even after Robin reappeared and took over.

I can't begin to discuss the issues I see here. Does she think deaf people can't pack shopping? That I am less of a person for having some difficulty hearing? In which case, I wonder what would happen if I started wearing a 'Chronic Depressive' t-shirt? Would I get better service, or worse? Or was it all just a coincidence? I don't know. And probably never will. I thought it was funny, so I thought I'd share it with you. But my, it could get wearing... or incredibly useful...depending on how you look at it!

ps the image proves just who is in charge in this household. If there isn't food in the bowl in the studio, one of us cries until I go back to the house to supervise our eating. Not to add food, you understand, I top up the bowls before I go, just to be companionable while (usually) Mollie chomps her way through a few mouthfuls of dry cat food. Sigh.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

It Seemed Like A Good Idea...

at the time, said Millie. Tidy garage, cat able to climb, roofspace looks inviting... I'm sure you can put two and two together with the image, and understand that Millie wasn't quite so happy about it once she'd done it... but she did manage to get herself down. Eventually. With a lot of mewing and crying and looking indignant. As if we'd forced her to go up into the garage roof.

My bloomer of the day is actually going to affect the week. Robin is away in Manchester until Friday; he rang last night to say that my handbag, complete with purse, was lying in his car. Oops. No credit cards, no cash... at least I have my keys here. Double ooops, as I'm going out with the girls on Thursday. Here's hoping the bank will cooperate and cash a cheque... it's not easy going to your branch when it is in Scotland, you are in England and you don't have any money or cards... Oh well. Good excuse to spend time with the art...if excuse were needed...

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Poor Me...

says Advo. In the snow, and with A Sore Paw. Those of us who are observant will notice that he is holding up The Wrong Paw... the one with the elegant shaving at the shoulder is the one that actually had the tooth in it. That has healed nicely, but Advo is not a cat who will let an opportunity for petting and treats pass him by. How else do you think he developed that waistline (or lack of one...).

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

What's In My Name?

Depends on how you look at it. If you do a search on my name on Google, you come up with me, right enough, but also with assorted Marion Barnetts, some of whom are male and play football, others that have associations wtih banks, others with churches... a mixed bag of Marions.

However, if you believe this little quiz, I am also all these things...some of which I suppose I am. It's accurate enough to be interesting, and inaccurate enough to be funny... you might like to try it. (Paranoid, moi??? Err...).

What Marion Means

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

When The Demon Depression Comes Calling...

I find it's the small things that chase him away, or at least relax the death grip he has round my throat. And I mean that quite literally. Today is a bad day. What that means, is that I didn't want to get out of bed. So I didn't. And that was the first step in what is proving to be a day of small steps towards feeling a bit better. I stayed where I was, and admitted that I felt lousy. The cats thought this was on my chest, one tucked in at my knees, one at my feet, all asleep, the one on my chest giving a desultory purr every time he thought I looked like moving. Sometimes just admitting you feel lousy, and allowing yourself to feel it, is enough. Not today, sadly, but it was enough to get me out of bed, eventually.

The next step was to eat something. Bananas, as it happens. Good for you, energy giving, quite sweet... yum. And Robin made lunch, later, so all I had to do was eat it. Forgetting to eat makes me feel much worse than I am. And I also remembered to take my meds, including the all important iron tablet (yuk).

Then, I logged on, checked my emails, and admitted to my online friends that this was, indeed, a bad day. And I allowed myself to watch them wave and smile, and encourage me to hang on in there. Which I'm doing, folks, I promise.

And then, the ironing. Well, I felt bad to start with....might as well do a job I hate. So I have been ironing, it's productive, it's boring, but you do have to concentrate, so no thinking dark thoughts... And then I moved on to piecing Andrew and Sarah's quilt for their wedding. It's not a complicated pattern, quite the reverse, but I do have to think about the colour choices and the placement of the different fabrics (it is pretending to be a scrap quilt), so, like the ironing, it's monotonous but productive, with the additional bonus of being creative to boot.

Oh, and I've added some music, who better than Van Morrison for a bad case of the blues, and some perfume, a beautiful, bright, fresh scent that I'm trying out. And I thought I'd write all this down, a sort of recipe, in case anyone else is having a bad day. It may not work for you, but it's always worth remembering that you're not along in this, not today. Go on, do something for you. I dare you!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Behind The Scenes...

of Etsy Barnett, things don't always run as smoothly as they might. Just look at this picture. Don't look at her, mum, says merlin, Look at me.... I'm far more beautiful than she is!!! And I'm bigger! And she doesn't have whiskers, look at mine...mum...mum...

Sigh. I bet Picasso didn't have to put up with this!!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Isn't Spring Beautiful?

Snowdrops in my garden on Sunday. Today, it's cold, cold, cold...but the snowdrops still look wonderful.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Thought For The Day

I came across this in a meditation reminder email, I think it's beautiful. I wish to live like that, also...strive to.

*I Will Not Die an Unlived Life*

I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

--Dawna Markova, From "I Will Not Die an Unlived Life"

Saturday, 9 February 2008

No, Really, Mum...

See, I'll show you. And I'll show HER... Molly gets into the action. Sigh. All I was doing was taking a few pictures for Etsy, Molly gets jealous of Kassandra and whumph!

It should be Advo doing the complaining...he goes back to the vet on Monday morning for further surgery on his leg. That tooth hasn't shifted, and the vet is hoping they'll be able to remove it. Fingers crossed. Addie seems to be a bit of a celebrity; apparently it's rarely seen, this condition, apart from in I think every vet in the practice has looked at the x rays. Fortunately, at no extra charge!

Look At Me, Mum...

I'm an ornament. Really. Much better than that stinky doll...

Friday, 8 February 2008


When you only have one pair of glasses that you rely on for everything except close work, it pays to look after them, right? I managed to knock mine off the table, and one of the lenses fell out. Sadly, trying to get it back in again proved a step too far. I somehow managed to bend one of the legs out of kilter. This led to the vision of awfulness that you see in the photo (it helps to look at the closeup...). Robin said that they reminded him of Jack Duckworth's glasses in Coronation Street. This is Not A Good Look. So...guess who was at the optician's shop this morning? The girl who helped me said that that was the worst she'd seen in quite a while. Sigh. Still...all fixed, now!

Thursday, 7 February 2008


thy name is glasses... I've just spent a very frustrating fifty minutes putting my glasses back together. They fell off the table I was working at, along with the small toolbox that came with the Bernina...the box is fine, but the lens fell out of the glasses, and they're now very twisted, too. Sigh.

I have one eye that is shortsighted, and one that is longsighted. This means that I have very odd looking glasses, with one pebble lens, and one skinnymalinky lens; it is, of course, the former that falls out periodically. This means that I have two pairs of glasses, one for seeing in general and the other for close work. Yes, of course, it was the general sight pair that fell apart, seeing as how I was machine quilting at the time... I had visions (not very clear ones, admittedly) of having to get someone else to drive me to the optician tomorrow to Get Them Fixed. I suspect an optician's visit would be A Good Thing, but at least I can drive myself now. I may look somewhat odd as I do it, you understand, but that's a minor issue compared to being unable to see where one is going.
Mind you, the doll in the picture, Ukraina, has no eyes at all...things could be worse!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Yup, I Really Can...

I drove for the first time with The Aid in the ear. My, it was loud... and the cat screeching from the basket didn't help any, not to mention the birdies tweeting much louder than any birdie ever tweeted before... But I got there. And back. Without hurting anything or anyone, which is always a bonus! Advo is fine, by the way. His wound is 'healing nicely' and he's finally allowed out into the garden. Problem is, of course, that everyone is now used to having the door opened, so there are queues by the catflap every time I look. It's the first time that Merlin being incredibly thick has been an advantage; he was nutting the catflap madly every day when it was locked, trying to make it open. Now, he just strolls out, but presumably doesn't have much of a headache...

I'm dancing with the depression demons today. They've been lurking in the background for a while, but decided to come out to play. No idea why. So I went and played with some yellow paint, and felt better for a while. Think I'll go back and play some more. And if that fails, I'll have a nap. And if that fails, I'll have a bath with lovely smelly essential oils (lavender and geranium work for me, can't afford rose, sigh). I can live with this; I know the feelings will go away, and I have these strategies for dealing with it. And yellow paint is a new one, must add it to the list...

The image is Autumn Pavane, not terribly seasonal, but it's too cold to go out snapping snowdrops!

Saturday, 26 January 2008


sorry to shout, and all, but it's important! I was fitted for a hearing aid yesterday, and I'm now marvelling at the amount of sound that I just wasn't hearing. The television volume has been lowered by several notches... I don't ask for things to be repeated as often... I can hear what people are saying on the phone... it's amazing! It's also invisible, it hides under my hair magnificently, and unless you show it to someone, they wouldn't know it was there. Hearing impaired? Moi? Not any more!

Of course, there is a small drawback. I do hear sounds that I don't 'need' to hear. For instance, the click of the keyboard is remarkably LOUD, and I have to go out of the kitchen when the kettle is boiling, because the hiss is loud, too... but that's a small price to pay, and I'm assured that when my brain gets used to having all this audio information thrown at it, it will begin to sift out the important things again. Isn't that wonderful?

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Poor Advo...

...and poor me, too. Advo, because the vet found that he had a piece of Someone Else's Tooth lodged in his leg, which they tried to get out and couldn't, so he is wandering around the house with an open wound, in the hope that the tooth will dislodge itself. He is therefore not allowed outside. Poor Advo, and poor me, because I've become a slave to the other cats and their whims and foibles. Lemme out mum. Lemme in mum (yes, I know the catflap is opening that way, but I like to see you open the door...). No, really, mum, I do want in...sort of... I'm sure you know the drill. But I'm not feeling well, a tummy upset that kept me up half the night... so this is not a fun game, at all. Grrr. Still, Advo seems to be doing well on he is on the spare bed, looking as if butter wouldn't melt. He was supervising the taking of some photographs for Etsy when I took that particular photograph... Noone would think he was a tyrant in fur...