Friday, 30 May 2014

So. Update on where I've been.

Good morning everyone. Long-time, no see. It's been a long time.

Well, where have I been? Well, to be honest, I was having Google+ issues. As any of you fellow bloggers out there may know, these days if you want to comment on a YouTube video, you need Google+ to do so. The only problem was that it kept linking up other things when my computer logged into them. One of which was Blogger. To say I was annoyed was the least of it when I found out.

Anyway, I thought I'd unlinked them back them when I found out, but it seems not, because when I started having Google+ issues, it affected all the things linked to it, including blogger. It wasn't a big issue, but annoying nonetheless. I had enough stress from uni that I just left it and didn't deal with it until now.

Anyhow, now my blog is unlinked from Google+ and I'm having no such issues.

However, I'm not going to bore you with tales of stressful uni.

I'm in the middle of exams right now, and after that, London, so updates may be infrequent.

Currently, the thing I'm trying to better other than my grades, is my skin. I've had pretty bad acne for the last 9 or so years of my life. The doctors have tried almost everything by now, except two things - Roaccutane, and a hormonal treatment that I can't use because my brother had a thrombosis two years ago, and because I got migraines on the pill.

The reason I haven't been on Roaccutane/Accutane, is because it needs to be prescribed by a dermatologist. Which might have happened by now if my dermatologist didn't make me wait 6 months before the first appointment (where, alongside the topical isotretinoin my GP had given me, she gave me the exact stuff that always, without fail, makes my skin worse - Benzoyl Peroxide), and then never hear from her again (apparently I'm still on a "waiting list" despite having already been seen once. I haven't heard anything from her since November. And the reality is if I have to wait half a year before even hearing about an appointment (and then the appointment is usually a good couple of months after that), they're not going to be able to give me the proper care and testing whilst on Roaccutane. So I'm giving up on Aberdeens Dermatology clinic.

After 6 months of hell on Benzoyl Peroxide, I've stopped. What do you know, my spots actually started healing for a change! The problem with benzoyl peroxide, is that for me, it treats the superficial acne, but not the deep cystic ones. When the cysts come to the surface, normally they would burst and heal, and rarely ever scar, but on benzoyl peroxide, they simply don't. They burst, and then weep for weeka and weeks because they never heal over and I'd constantly be worried about scars. Plus the redness and irritation. This happens every single time I try benzoyl peroxide, and every time, I'm forced to stay on it for months and months, on the doctors assurance that it will improve (it never, ever does with benzoyl peroxide) before I eventually refuse using it, often about 6 months down the line, when my skin is twice as bad as it was when they put me on it in the first place. So I decided, it's not worth the hassle or the stress. What do you know, it barely took a week for all the weeping cysts to heal over upon stopping, and though I still have acne, at least it's not inflamed and irritated and it's healing again.

I'm still using the topical isotretinoin, once a day, though I need to get another prescription.

Anyhow, I was speaking on the LHC about how the sun helps my acne - not just covering it up like some doctors claim, because I barely ever tan, due to my efforts to avoid burning; but actually clears the, up somewhat - and I ended up speaking to Emi (who has a blog of her own: about acne in general. She told me of her experience with acne and how it improved massively when she began using an anti fungal cream.
It got me thinking about all the times when doctors have prescribed me topical or oral antibiotics, each for six months to a year, and it barely made a difference. I started thinking that for all these things to not work, there are two possibilities - either my acne bacteria is antibiotic resistant or it's not caused by a bacteria at all.
Emi realised she may have picked it up from her dog, who was being treated for a fungal skin infection at the time. With me having been around so many animals throughout my life, including cats, dogs and horses, it's entirely possible I could have picked it up from one of them. My acne wasn't always like this - it only got to the way it is now about four of five years ago.

So, I started using a clotrimazole cream (clotrimazole is used for many topical fungal infections, including the more common athletes foot), and I have to tell you, the difference in my skin is amazing. My skin has gone from a slightly sickly-looking yellowish-grey, with red patches on my acne prone areas, to a more healthy-looking pinkish-porcelain, with red only on my actual sports. I wish I had before and after pictures to show you.

However, my parents, having only seen my skin at its worst back with the benzoyl peroxide have been trying to get me referred to a recommended dermatologist down near home since those in Aberdeen have been so useless. I'm kind of optimistic about my skin, but it's only been a week on clotrimazole and it's always hard to tell with skin. It may yet prove me wrong and get worse again, so perhaps it's a good idea to get a dermatologist. At least then he can see what makes a difference and what doesn't and help me if my skin does get worse. At very least he might be able to refer me for allergy testing for the rashes and dermatographia that appeared in the last couple of months.

Anyway, that's enough for just now. I'm off to revise for the next exam. Two down, two to go.
I'll have a rake through my pictures to see if I have any before pictures in natural light to let you see the difference. If not, you'll just have to believe me.

Talk to you all later

Thursday, 20 March 2014


For the guys on Facebook for whom my gif didn't work. -.- this is it:
And this is how I feel about facebooks lack of support for gifs on my computer:

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Stuff, and space...

Evening folks.
So tonight I find myself sitting here by my desk, pondering life amongst many other things as I'm meant to be revising for tomorrows case study. I'm kind of wondering to myself whether I'm a more materialistic person than Id hoped. I have so much stuff. At the same time, though, its useful stuff, so its difficult for me to get rid of. I have a box of stuff building of stuff to go home to my parents place. Stuff that would be useful in my own place, but not right now in my little flat. Its unsettling to know how much stuff I have that I simply dont use. And I'm not talking about my instruments or my few hundred pounds worth of hair stuff, or even all those books that are unrelevant to my course but simply too well loved to get rid of. I'm talking about the old apple speakers that wont fit the new connection of my ipad, my sewing machine thats sitting with a dress pattern beside it that I cant afford the material for, the fruit juicer that I love but cant afford to buy that much fruit for, all the handbags and things that I've been given as presents when I only ever use the same two over and over. Its not that I'm ungrateful for having what I have, its just that I feel silly having so much around when I'm not using it. Just taking up space.
In a way, its got me thinking about the future. If I ever reach a stage where I can afford a house, I feel I'd want a small one. One of those tiny, amazingly designed, earth-sheltered, 2-300 square-foot ones would do me quite nicely, I think.
I think the downside of living somewhere as big as I do (okay, I know its only a 2-bedroom flat, but still) is the ease of filling up space. Its downright annoying, and theres no one to blame but myself for the aquiring of stuff.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The first snowdrops. They'll unfortunately likely be killed by the sleet that's flying and frost on its way.
Oh well.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 30 December 2013

Wow. We're here already.

Hello everyone. Long time no see, right? Well here we are, NaNo finished, and into the last week of term.
Yes, everyone, that means I did NaNo, and yes, I won! 50,012 words (or 50032 according to scrivener) down on the page. The ending is rather a confused bundled mess, but who cares, right? Its all done and dusted. My main character found what she was looking for, the other main character died, her nan isn't quiet the crazy old woman I had planned, with some cracking NaNo-isms spread around (my favourite of my own being "forgotted", though that doesn't even come close to some of the NaNo-isms from the region) and I'm apparently unable to spell anymore after smashing out 10k in about 4 days but hey.  I'M DONE!

In terms of other things... jeez, I can't even remember all the other stuff that has been going on.
So you all know about Remembrance Parade. I've done all that the last two years, so I'm not really going to go into it in much detail, but basically, weeks of rehersals culminating into the parade, then we wait around, have our two minutes silence, wait around some more, have inspection, eat and wait some more, parade back, hang around with the important folks for a while, eat, then party.
There was the incidence of the broken fiddle. So yeah, broke a peg on my fiddle. Not such a big deal, but when it went to get fixed, the guy who fixed it also noticed a crack in the body of the fiddle moving out from the right F-hole. That is unfortunately a more serious problem. For now, its small enough that, as long as it doesn't grow any bigger, its better to just leave it, but if it starts growing bigger, it will be a case of trying to fix it sooner rather than later. So treating my fiddle gently at the moment. In fact, I probably haven't been playing as much as I should what with NaNo and Uni and everything else.

The weekend afterwards, I went to a youth band practice in Dollar. Was strange not to have it in Glasgow, but it was also nice not to have to travel so far. It was vaguely frustrating, but what can you do?

The weekend after that, the Pagan society went on a trip to Edinburgh. With all the bus delays and issues, while we were meant to be there at nine, only two of us were, and it was midday before everybody arrived. We did, however, get to see the dungeon, and go shopping in the christmas market, and the grassmarket. Though we had less time than planned, and I arrived home exhausted, it was an excellent day.
The Youth band concert, the next day, however, was a different case. I spent most of the day frustrated at how people seemed not to know what they were playing or what was going on around them. We're meant to be the best in the country. I can't help but feel for most of them, their own competeing bands wouldn't stand for that sort ofthing.

The monday, the Pagan society had Spirit in for a Shamanic Energy Dance session. It was AMAZING! That is all I will say on the matter, only I've not felt the same since, and for the better. He certainly knew what he is doing, anyway. The experience was like nothing else I've ever had the opportunity to be a part of. I'd highly reccommended him, any day. I hope to have another session with him at some point in the future.

The weekend after, was the second youth band concert. Much better than the week before, but whether that was up to my better mood, I don't know. I was disappointed that the development band drummers were using music. I'm always disappointed when any drummers use music, as a matter of fact. If you have a concert organised, you should know what you're playing, so you can then concentrate on things like tempo, ensemble and the emotions that make music real music and not just a mash of sound.. Just like in an orchestra, by the time you're on stage, you know the music back to front and spend a lot more time looking at your conductor than the music (at very least, in my own experience). In pipe bands its incredibly important, else the ensemble can dissapear in an instant, and the pipes, being in front, usually can't exactly watch the leading drummer for a tempo, and nor should they have to. The pipers have to learn music by heart, and as a drummer, I believe we should too. A grade 1 band (in fact, ANY band) wouldn't walk onto the competition ring with sheet music. We shouldn't have one at concerts either, because you're trying to showcase your band.
Rant over...

Then we had the Trad Awards in the music hall. I maintain the Music Hall has the worst acoustics for pipe bands, and the worst soundmen I have thus far come across. How is it, that with "better and better" sound technology, a few people seem to be so able to ruin even the best of bands. That, and we spent the entire thing at a table stuck behind a huge TV camera. £60 a SEAT to see absolutely nothing, and hear only the badly reflected and distorted sound bouncing around the weird domed roof. A few years ago, the trad awards were great - a night to remember. Many people have so far said that this year has been the worst yet, and its turned into a money-making exercise rather than the non-profit celebration of good music and musicians all over scotland that it used to be. Ah well. Its over now. No need to drone on with the disappointment.

The weekend after that, I went off to Switzerland. The trip was excellent. Sure, a couple of nights were somewhat ruined for me, but mostly through the fault of my own band members. I spent much of my free time socialising both with old faces and new, from various other bands and groups. The great thing about tattoos are that there are so many other great people going around that it doesn't even matter if your own band are getting on your nerves.
The folk I met and spoke to got me through the anniversary of my uncles death and the prospect of my holiday, Yule, away from my family.
And on top of it all, I got a confirmation that I GET TO GO TO THE BASEL TATTOO IN THE SUMMER!!! Yes, really. :) a great trip with great people. I can't wait to go back.

Now, after a family christmas, I am sitting at home attempting to study. I have to say, I hate studying over the holidays. Its much harder when everybody else is celebrating.
I know this post has been a bit all over the place, but oh well - thats what happens when I'm away for months at a time. While I catch up on my fellow bloggers posts I've missed over the last while, I'll bid you a happy new year. See you in 2014.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


Hello everyone. I'm taking a very quick break to eat and give you a little update on goings on.
 NaNo has been interesting so far. I wrote loads on the 1st, barely anything on the 2nd, the daily goal for the 3rd, again for the fourth, and less than I should have for the fifth. I'm currently peaking at 9000-odd words, and should really be reaching 10,000 today if it wasn't for my studying for tomorrow's exam.
Im currently in full revision-mode for signal transduction, so I'll try and catch up as close to 10,000 as possible in my study breaks. (talk about efficiency, right?)
At the moment in my story, Cassie has left her family behind, and has had some interesting encounters on the way. Nick (a childhood friend, and now a thief) followed her, and has just saved her from the first chasers. Now it's time for them to go North, together (for the first time since the start.)
I'm kind of worried my plot is going to run out towards the end, but the advantage of multiple points of view is that you can kill off an important character without destroying the narrative. We'll see how many people die at the end - it's difficult for me to know already without all the spontaneous plot-twists and weirdness I insert as I write. It's going to be a surprise.

For the rest of you NaNo'ers, keep writing. We will get there (or at least we'll give it a darn good go).
I'm going to walk home and do the rest of the revision there. The library is a bit of a pain at night, when the darkness seems to suck all the light out of the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Almost there...

In my glass: Hot chocolate
From my iPod: Updated Novel-writing playlist
From my bookshelf: Pharmacokinetics
Outside: dry, dull
My mood: In a world of my own
Today's hairstyle: Nautilus on wet hair

Happy Samhain everyone! Yep tonight is due to be a real feast.  I love Samhain. I mean, sure, Hallowe'en is overcommercialised, and an excuse for everyone in town to party, but the atmosphere of the holiday still lurks behind all the stuff that goes on - something which is lost on many other holidays. And some people still have the creepy outfits going on, which is always great fun. I got back all my books, and most of my alter stuff from back home and brought it back up North this morning.
 I also gave one of the Larimar pieces I ordered a good hand-polishing and it came up beautifully, turning from a dull, scratched sky blue, to a beautiful deep sea-blue with light patterns as I cleared up the surface scratches and let the light shine through the stone.
I don't know if I'll polish the rest. I kind of feel like hand-polishing it myself puts a lot of my own energy into it, which might not be what someone needs if I were to give one to one of the others at the Pagan society next week, which I definitely plan for one piece that doesn't quite fit my needs. The rest I might clear up some of the way to at least get an idea of the true colours. Larimar is running out over there in the Dominican Republic, so even the pieces that are not right for my uses might be worth something in a short while. And if not, they're still definitely beautiful stones - like the sea is trapped inside.

On a different tack - I think I need to get my marcasite ring re-filled. I only have 11 out of 39 of the tiny stones left, and a couple of those are even crumbling from almost 30 years worth of age and wear by various members of the family. Even the hallmarks are starting to wear away on the inside. In a way though, I've grown used to the dark spots left where the marcasite once shined. Even when I first got it, many of the stones were missing. It would seem off to fill them in with the shine of marcasite. Hmm. Need to think about that.

NaNo starts tomorrow. I still feel like I'm an idiot for trying this year, but it still hasn't changed my mind. I will literally only be trying to keep up with my daily word count though, because i have exams next week and at the start of December to revise for, and lab reports to be written. Oh the joys. Why do I put myself through this?
My uni friends are pestering me about last years novel. I keep telling them I've only got as far as editing part 1. The rest is still a first draft, and a hole-filled one at that. I might do some editing later today once I've done some revision on Signal Transduction and Pharmacokinetics.

I need to head to the Zoology building this afternoon to pick up my marked assignments and a book from the course coordinator (since he seems to have loads, and the library have none, so we are signing them out from him so we have something more substantial to revise from) later on today.
See you all later, guys

Thursday, 24 October 2013

A week to go.

So. Only a week to go unitl Samhain, and the start of NaNo 2013.

We have the kick-off party this weekend, to do some final planning (probably good, since my planning is vastly behind for writing this year. I had Scrivener all set up and ready to go this time last year, but this time around, I haven't even got around to allocating chapters yet. I just have a beginning and an end, and some stuff in the middle (which I guess is the definition of a book, but I'm a planner - winging it doesn't work for me). So far, I have Cassie (the main protagonist), Mr Shull (a "scientist", the main antagonist), Nick (A second point of view, Cassie's best friend, who may or may not be destined to die at some point in the book - if I get stuck, he may be killed off, but I would need to add someone else to give the secondary point of view), Hilde (Cassie's odd grandmother who lives up in the North), a Priestess who is fairly integral to the storyline, but doesn't have a name yet, and a bunch of side characters.

NaNo may stop at any time during the next month, if university takes over, which it likely will at some point, seeing as we have a mock exam in the first week. Ugh.
Someone remind me why I'm such an idiot as to think this is a good idea.

Next week I am going home, for a day with the family. I will have to be up at the crack of dawn to get back in time for university, but that seems to come with the territory. In any case, it means I get to go home and grab my books and things in time for Samhain, since I've been somewhat missing them, even though I rarely have time to read. The new Pagan society are having a celebration on the 2nd with a bunch of other societies. I don't think I'm going. I have U-coy dinner that night, and if I did go, I can't help but feel slightly put-off by the notion of getting a "proper priestess" in. Perhaps because I've been going it alone all my life as far as religion is concerned that it feels awkward and odd to think of someone else being in charge. It may be awkward trying to suit everyones beliefs too, since we are so varied. I'll celebrate on Samhain anyway, but I think U-coy has won as far as the weekend goes.

We actually get to chose our food for U-coy this year, which makes a huge difference. I often swither back and forth about dinners with the OTC, because there is just so much food that I feel obliged to eat, even though I literally can't eat that much, but this year it seems to be different. I chose melon for the starter and Cod fillet for the main, since I think my stomach will fare much better with relatively light food. I might even have space left for Sticky Toffee Pudding at the end.

I'll leave you all for now. I have to head down to the OTC building to collect my uni book that I left in my locker by accident. I believe I may need to update some details anyway. I have our regular NaNo meet tonight, so we'll be trying to think up and share dares, ideas and plot-bunnies and fill in flat characters and gaping plot-holes (so far we have a challenge for a busy character called Suzi, who plays a part in your novel by nudging people in the right direction. She can be a person, animal or machine who helps out when your characters are stuck, lost or in danger, though not always in the way your character would like.)

Anyway, goodbye guys. :)

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Updating my music and writing like a beast

In my glass: Jasmine Green loose-leaf tea
From my iPod: Updated/extended Novel-writing playlist
From my bookshelf: Pharmacokinetics
Outside: Wet.
My mood: kinda vague and indecicive, though I don't know what about
Today's hairstyle: English braid (plain and simple for one of my very few days pottering about the house doing chores and uni work)

Ok, so today, I discovered I write like a beast when listening to Die Fledermaus, and the Barber of Seville. Who knew? Ok, so maybe it was more like I just lost track of time, since uni lab reports still took me all day, but it wasn't nearly as horrendous when I had some good music going in the background. Its henceforth been added to my Novel-writing playlist, along with the 1812 overture (which I'm currently listening to - memories of Basel tattoo finales), Carnival of the Animals, the Marriage of Figaro, a bunch of stuff by Tchaikovsky and Mozart (because they make beautiful music), general "Tom & Jerry"-type classical music (because you know - Tom and Jerry is helluva responsible for a lot of things - Classic FM was frequently referred to as "Tom & Jerry Music" when my brother and I were kids), Swan Lake Music (again, Tchaikovsky), Clair de Lune (Probably one of my favourite piano pieces ever) then breaking away from the classical theme, Wake Me Up, Thrift Shop, Let Her Go, Blurred Lines and Levitate (another great tune).

So yeah. Other than music, life has been pretty damned boring. I finished off my lab report. I have lectures and tutorials tomorrow, I've to buy ink for my printer which decided to print all the grey areas in yellow this afternoon (though still printed the black as black - go figure), and more paper since all this printing of lecture notes, lab reports, manuals, and general uni stuff has made a fair dent in my paper stack.
Whoever thought computers would see the end of all paper notes? Ha! I beg to differ.

I should probably get to bed so I can get up for my long day tomorrow. I know this was a short one. If I have time, I'll try and write to you some more, though I'll probably be planning for NaNo (yes, I'm stupidly still thinking of trying it, albeit that I'm totally stressed out half the time and have an exam mid-November. So don't shout at me if I dont write. I promise I'll try my best. I'll try my best to keep up with you too, but that isn't guaranteed either.
See you soon folks, hopefully. :)

Monday, 14 October 2013

Waiting in the library

In my glass: Summer Berry herbal tea
From my iPod: Last years Novel-writing playlist (well, its good music)
From my bookshelf: Pharmacokinetics (Maths galore! oh the joys...)
Outside: Wet. And that annoying temperature too hot to wear coats, and too cold to go without.
My mood: bored
Today's hairstyle: Nautilus with 60th street 2-prong fork

Guess who got a new camera (well, new to its new owner anyway)? Thats right,me! I'm afraid I don't have pictures to show you yet though, since I'm waiting for a cable that was missing to arrive. That and the light with this weather is crap. So many gorgeous colours, but theres stupidly little natural light. I'm tinkering with the aperture and what not, but I'm still getting used to the ins and outs of a DSLRs manual controls.
It came with two lenses. The lens on the camera is a 38-70mm, and the other was a 55-300mm. Is it any surprise I love the big one better. I got a couple of good macro shots eventually after a while, but my bee had flown off by then and I was left with just flowers. No matter. I'm sure a bit of messing with different settings will help me get to know this thing a little better. I can't wait for our beautiful winter skies. They're usually far more interesting than the occasional boring blue or continuous dull grey. Or the snow. I may need to get some filters for snow shots, since I know from experience that they can come out a little over-exposed (mostly from when I played with my dads camera - he uses a bridge, and mostly uses the auto function). Changing the ISO might result in darker areas over the rest of the image, so filters seems a good option.

So today, I am going to the second meeting for the University Pagan society. Its funny how when we get together, theres actually a surprising amount of us - theres enough of us to qualify as a society anyway. No idea what we'll do tonight. Last week was great - we just sat, drank lose-leaf teas and chatted to get to know one another (we are from all over it seems, with a decent range of beliefs too). I took some loose-leaf jasmine green tea with me today for later since I have far too much at home to drink by myself.
Being truthful, its a little weird for me. All my life, I've kind of been alone in my beliefs and religion. My mum was a christian (though not all that devout) and my father and brother are either atheists or agnostics (I think its more they don't care much to decide whether they believe or not. Maybe they did decide, but I missed that part). My friends at school were either christians (some devout, others not so much) or atheists, with one or two agnostics. (Oddly my most devout friend was most accepting of my beliefs - who would have guessed) I didn't speak much about my religion unless there was some very open moral, or religion-related discussion amongst known friends, probably because there was no-one else I knew in school (and I knew most in my year and the couple of years either side of my own) who had similar beliefs to me. I was glad "religious education" ended pretty early in school - only the major religions were ever covered (Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists were all that was covered) so the kids were uneducated as to minority beliefs. It could get very awkward, very quickly, especially as the introverted kid I was. Don't get me wrong, I like people, but they were damned exhausting. Curious people were slightly worse, and ignorant jack-asses were the worst of all by a long-shot.
So it is a bit odd to get the chance to speak freely to people that know what I'm on about. It might take a bit of trying to make myself open up properly. The people that grew up around others with similar beliefs definitely seem more open about it, but that might also be their extroverted personalities. I'm going to try for all I'm worth to keep this chance alive, because its an amazing opportunity for me.

I need to go guys. See you all soon.