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Tales from Insomnia – Letters to Murgatroyd part 2

30 Jul

My dearest Murgatroyd,

It is with some concern that I notice the days passing and not a single response from your fair but pathetically weak hand is forthcoming. I am forced to question your well-being and feel a small slither of concern. It will of course pass but I do grudge you this exertion on my part. I suppose it only goes further to showing how much compassion I nurse in my bosom, if you will pardon the rather racy description.

I hope there are no problems in your own home. Though given the rather chaotic and cavalier approach you have to cleanliness I can only imagine that you are prevented from writing by the layers of dust disguising your writing desk as a raven. (Literary reference there for you my sweet.)

But to more pressing matters. What of me and my well-being? Death is serving me well, I continue to be unalive and my dear doctor (Mr Wilbraham) assures me that I may remain this way until at least the end of the summer. I was aghast as you can imagine! The whole summer! And I have to do the preparatory weeding in the winter garden. Particularly since the under-gardener has continually reported sighting the kangaroo there. You know how devastating kangaroos are to winter gardens! No decency at all.

Well, although dead, I did manage to build a small cabin last night. It was entirely in my mind and made from ribbons and happiness. Sadly it is not weather-worthy and even the thunderstorm that happens in my brain each evening shook its foundations; but I had fastened it together using the anger of 1000 pregnant women so I believe it will remain upright, if a little leaky.

Of course it serves no purpose but I hope to continue developing my mind as prime real estate due to the terrible prices of London housing.

Anyway, I must go. Lady Jellingtonfeet is coming to see me for dinner and I haven’t yet told her I am dead so I should prepare for her to leave in a frightful rage; you know how she gets.

Regards that are significantly less fond than they might be if only you were to contact me,

Your eternal sister unless they change genetics at some point, Dead Rebecca


Tales from Insomnia – jazzy beekeeping

28 Jul

As I lie here, alone and awake, I have tried to contact some of my chums in the Americas who should also still be awake. They are largely refusing to play.

One concerned soul, sketch, simply replied ‘go to sleep’. An unhelpful remark and one that drove me to a new career as a jazzy beekeeper.

I have five bees; Beatrice, Henry, Marcus, Jellybean and Maud.

I was about to elucidate further on the topic of my five bees but Sketch once again suggested I sleep.

This made my bees cry.

Poor bees.

What will follow most probably, are some short insights from my life as a jazzy beekeeper of five bees, and the larks we get up to. If I can also offer some wisdom into living life with grace and dignity then of course you are most blessed and welcome and should thank me and probably buy me a gift.


My bees, Beatrice, Henry, Marcus, Jellybean and Maud, are going to start a small accountancy firm. I suggested that I train them up to start a small circus but they took umbrage at this, called me impertinent, started a union and then began training as accountants.

It was unexpected.

Also, at this point I turned to google images for a picture of a bee wearing a suit and no one seems to have made any. What is wrong with humanity. I must therefore stop this line of writing and begin to knit a small suit for a bee. For five bees in fact. For although I can’t help disliking this turn to finance as a career over the security of the circus, I must support them in their dreams. Also the stupid Union means I have to.

So far I am lacking in jazzyness. I will work on that too. I might knit myself something jazzy. I can only knit in straight lines. Maybe a jazzy straight line. I will wear it on one arm.


Images to follow on their completion. Time well spent.

Tales from Insomnia – Letters to Murgatroyd

28 Jul

Dearest reader, it will bring a tear to your eye, if only you could cry, to know that since returning from the USnited of States of Americas, that my sleep has been upended by the jetlag. 3,4,5am are quite normal times now, for my weary eyes to see passing across the clock face with an unseemly arrogance.

On this night I chose to send a short message to my dear sister, Lady Murgatroyd. I share it here for posterity. Should she respond, our correspondence will of course be given here for your learning and improvement.


Dearest Lady Murgatroyd,

I trust you will forgive the impertinence of writing rather than sending a living person to deliver my sorry news, but sadly I am overcome with consumption and none but my dear lady’s maid Herringate, will come near me, and she I trust you understand, cannot be sent out into public. In addition I died several nights ago but I did not like to leave it too long to write to you for there is never any cause for a lack of civility.
The time is almost five of the clock and I have had little sleep. The birds are singing a lively tune outside my window and so I have sent for the groundswoman to come with her bow and arrow to kill them all. Don’t they know I have the headache? So unthoughtful, wretched things.
I did of course mean to visit this last senite but on route to yours I was diverted by the most delightful sight in the market. Mark Hamill and Martin Freeman had set up shops next door to each selling goods from The Hobbit and Star Wars respectively. They had generated such small business that they decided to dress up in each other’s set costumes and swap shops. This worked a treat and it was terribly diverting.
Of course it was also a dream I had several weeks ago and have been trying to make you listen to since then. It is awfully sad that it is only on the occasion of this, my death, that you will finally bring yourself to read it.
The weather continues clement.
Fond regards, your former sister, Dead Rebecca.
Postscript. I know you will be very proud of how I have moved away from my usual overly dramatic style of writing to this far more rationale form. Miss Blanshore, the celebrated missive-writing stylist was certainly impressed when she observed it as I lay in my deathbed, powerful coughs wracking my weak and puny frame, leaving me exhausted and fatigued.

21st Century Loss

31 Mar
Yesterday a sister who I am related to by blood and malicious intent, Lady Murgatroyd, was at mine house. She was deeply comforting in my hour of ongoing post-concussion syndrome need.
However, she is also dangerously unhinged.
When it came to her time to depart she set sail on the FatherShip back across the distant seas to her own rambling shack of a house. Her house was kept upright only through the thick layers of knitting and crochet that she and her boon companion, JoSiJo, had produced.
As she left, we who were remaining noted that she had forgotten her telephonic communications device!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her dearest friend, her closest love, her fevered passion.
Although it is being delivered back into her tiny sweaty palms this very day, she emailed me to state the degree of despair that threatened to overwhelm her already oddly weak frame.
As her main carer and puppet master I felt it my duty to offer some comfort and so I composed the following ode to demonstrate my empathy in her time of need:
Fourteen Hours Apart
How harsh the cold wind blows,
How deeply the searing pain of loss cuts to the bone.
We were happy once; you would rest in my palm, a comforting presence, a connection to the world.
I know you are gone but I still I reach out for you.
In the night, the light you brought to my life has dulled to an anxiety ridden throb.
I’ll never forget you again.
*death march played on the ‘trumpet’ (violins**)*
**For some reason Murgatroyd is unable to identify any musical instrument and claims all of them are trumpets in the hope that one day she will be right.


A minor brain injury

21 Mar


Well, I am currently able to write with a much high degree of energy and coherence than I can speak with. Mostly I am just staring ahead without any thoughts. It is surprisingly restful.

And why is that, you would ask if you had even a modicum of decency and humanity…and if you hadn’t read the title of this piece. Well I’ll tell you why.

I have a bit forgotten where I was going with that.

Which is ironic because I have a minor brain injury. It is actually less ironic and more just the reason for it.

And now, let me lead you on a winding story to impart what hast befallen our fair hero of this blog telling place thing.

Twas last Sunday, the date, was what it was. Sunday the Thing of Thing. The year was this one.

There was, as with any day, a high chance that I would be injured because that is all just a part of the colourful cess pool we call life…

head injury5

I was at my church, situated many, many miles from my home because why make life easy. I was helping with the set down at the end and happened upon a large speaker held up by a stand. On previous occasions I have attempted to dismantle this technologically advanced wizardry but people have always rushed to stop me. On reflection, the speed at which they reacted should perhaps have been a warning to me, rather than acting as a trigger for me to keep trying.

With what has since turned out to be an incorrect analysis of my height and strength, I reached up to unscrew and then lift up and take down the speaker. As it turns out I appear to be a rather weak hobbit rather than an amazonian warrior woman, and the speaker overbalanced and fell. For those of you, dear readers, who are concerned about such things, the speaker was saved from a dramatic smash to the floor by my catching said speaker with my head. This was my reaction:

head injury

A dear friend saw, and again, I witnessed that rushing sensation as people flock to prevent me from breaking PLANET EARTH. She removed the speaker from my face/head/neck (it was a large object) and then gave me a soothing hug.

Now I am no stranger to your communal garden brain injury, although I have in fact never had a brain injury inflicted by a common garden, or indeed common gardener. The majority of my concussions have not so much been self inflicted, as strongly influenced by oneself.

There was for example, the concussion I had from falling over on to a marble floor while engaged in high jinks.

The time I received a concussion by headbutting the corner of a glass shelf I didn’t notice despite it being in my own bedroom for many years.

There was the concussion I bestowed upon myself while working as a Health Care Assistant on a busy hospital ward when a door shut on my head.

These few examples hopefully serve to demonstrate how au fait I am with this particular sense of being, let us say, less than shiny in the head region.

head injury3

Now this fine image has been taken from the google images. It says, in case it is blurry in real life and not just my mind ‘every 9 seconds someone is affected by a Traumatic Brain Injury, you are about to meet one’. My concern here is that every 9 seconds, that injured person might be me, just with a new injury.

ANYWAY. So Sunday I womanfully pushed on and got myself home which, due to traffic and transport took one huuuuundred years. Or two hours. It was long anyway. Monday I did go into work where I put in a solid days sitting in a chair feeling a touch vague. I have no recollection of if I did anything. I might have.

Monday night I began to feel incredibly nauseous and with a thumping head. Tuesday I had a solid headache, my neck ached, my vision was blurred, lights and sounds made me anxious and hurt my head, I was dizzy, I kept falling asleep and things tasted funny. Finally I called the magnificent service ‘111’. I spoke first of all to a delightful woman who I initially thought had a speech impediment. I remember thinking it was an odd job to have if your voice is crazy but then it cleared and I realised she had just had a mouthful of food instead.


head injury2

*NB, always trying to be funny. Also that is a true story

Anyway, she passed me on to a nurse who sent me off, lickertysplit, to my doctor. After a short altercation with the receptionist who was trying to diagnose my head injury severity for me, my explanation that I am in fact, also a nurse, convinced her that I wasn’t an insane demon trying to steal precious moments from the medical profession who are in fact, far to busy and important to deal with sick people, and she made me an appointment for that evening.

After shining a light in my eyes and see my face crumple into tears while still looking vague, the doctor sent me off to A&E, or the ED if you are from not England.

A&E…now there is a place full of weirdness. I was in and out of the department within the required four hour time period but had no need for the book I had brought because a) my head hurt too much to read and b) A&E is full of crazy people. My dear mother had taken me which was very kind of her because she really must be so sick of taking me to hospital by now.

When we went in to see the charming doctor he did all the testy things and complimented me on my reflexes. A new compliment I must say, but certainly one I’ll be putting on my dating profile. I don’t have a dating profile. I do have a criminal profile. I don’t have one really. I do have an actual profile though. And THAT is a truth!

Anyway, I have post-concussion syndrome, also known as a minor brain injury to the medical world and ‘I HAVE A WHAT??????’ to the non-medical world who tend to use less terrifying sounding names. And which according to the very helpful help leaflet of help, can last from a few weeks to three months…symptoms can however continue for six months to year…or longer. Basically you might be screwed, no one really knows…because your brain has been injured. Because you dropped a speaker on it. Interestingly, this was not listed as one of the common reasons for this condition on the leaflet. In fact none of my methods have been documented as ‘common causes’ for concussion. I’m such a hipster.

Of the possible symptoms I could have from the available list, now provided at 0%APR (I have no idea what this means), I have………*drum roll*

*I don’t have a drum roll*

*A drum roll is not a symptom*

*I don’t even have a bread roll*

*why would you give someone a bread roll for sharing information, shape up reader, pull it together! Acting like a loose cannon there*

– All the ones I put up before…

Headache – constant




Keep falling asleep

Light and sound sensitivity

Concentration is a bit squidgy

Random having all of the moods

Messed up sleep


Which means that now…

head injury4

So hear me roar!

Although quietly

Because shhhh, the sound hurts

So yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. That has been my week. I did manage to do some teaching yesterday which I now dont really remember but other than that, what a lot of staring at nothing I have done. Also I keep mumbling and no one can understand me.

Right, I’m losing focus, quick, to the bat cave!

There is a bright spot though, perhaps this means I will finally be able to attend the social event of the year!

head injury6


Term and Condition: I have tried to check the spelling here using the spelling checker but it’s so hard to tell, anyway, I’m sick, don’t be mean!

Another NB: normal service will be resumed in *INSERT TIME HERE*

P.S. I’m still very clever, don’t worry.

Susan steps up

20 Feb

For those of you in the know, Susan is my brother in law. Of course many people call him Bill. But how gauche is that?! We shall refer to him as MTK for the remainder of the piece but I offer no explanation for this and make no apology for it either. No sir! I do not! *whips away with cloak flaring*.

To the point of this. Today Susan invited me to observe his teaching session on BIM to a group of MSc students. I think they were engineers. Or another profession. Details fail me.

It was a two hour session and my goodness does that man know his stuff. What his stuff is remains something of a mystery although I’ve learned a lot of new acronyms so that’s something.

Anyway, for the sake of posterity and posterior I made notes. These I share with you.

To give you some guidance: BIM = Building Information Management/Modelling.


BIM = Blimey I’m Muddled


1. The first thing I noticed was that there were only two female students. One had matched her nail polish to her jumper. A light turquoise. I was impressed. This note I make for Millicent Swift – she is always so well coordinated.

2. The group, in general, were sadly unappreciative to the wit of MTK. He is a truly funny man but often it was just me sniggering in the corner. My assumption is that this was made more peculiar for the students as MTK introduced me only as ‘a nurse, she is here to watch’. No further comment was made on my presence.

3. Acronyms I have learned and now has a short cockney song in my head that goes: BIM BEP PIM AIM, BIM BIMMINIY BIM BEP BEP PIIIIIM AIM. Happy days.

4. MTK commented that there is currently not a button that can pressed to create an espresso from across the room. I’m sure there must be?!

5. A number of MTKs comments were coffee based…Milicent, you’re his wife, check his caffeine intake – I am concerned.

6.  In an entire class but one person had questions. So many questions. Only he had previously explored the topic. So many questions. One of which was suggestive that MTK’s job would soon be gone. He was wrong according to the well thought through answer of MTK, BUT NICE TRY STUDENT BOY!

7. ‘British Standard’ was used a lot…as the acronym. Does anyone else find it funny that the British Standard is BS?

8. At one stage MTK commented on note taking, suggesting a student using his phone at that moment, could in fact use his phone to look into some software. However said student was genuinely engaged in ignoring MTK and only registered he was being referenced when MTK remarked ‘he isn’t even listening to that!’ and the class gave a hearty laugh. He looked embarrassed and proceed to may mild attention from that point.

9. The process of BIMming…do evil overlords use it to design their complex underground lairs? Because they appear to have quite intricate specifications. Plus one part of BIM is actually called the ‘Master Information Development Plan’…that sounds deeply suspicious.

10. BIM, according to the well informed MTK, is both a philosophy and a way of life. One I’d rather not have.

11. There is a BIM chart, MTK advised the humble students to learn the chart, to know the chart, to use the chart. He was only seconds away from ‘love the chart, be the chart’.

12. A data management tool used in the BIM biz is called COBie. Having spent40 English minutes listening to MTK expound on COBie, my own summary would be this – ‘COBie, because life just isn’t short enough’.

13. A well timed pop quiz is HIGHLY entertaining if you are an observer with nothing to lose and only judgement to give.

14. I have never wanted to call MTK ‘Susan’ more than in the two hour period.

15. The boy done good.

A Patrick Stewart dream

6 Feb

This morning I was awoken by a phonecall. While I had no issue with the phonecall, the dream I was dragged away from has remained with me due to its oddness.

In my dream last night, I was teaching Patrick Stewart, renowned actor and attractive older man,( how to correctly apply makeup so that he did not look tacky while in drag.

He had already made a start, and in his favour, his mascara looked amazing; his eyelashes stood out and he looked awake and alert. However he was about to apply eyeshadow and blusher, both in powder format.

I cautioned him to be careful, and though he paused, the look he threw me was that of a mischievous child who knows they are about to disobey with gleeful and reckless abandon. In a second his hand was thrust into the small pot of light blue eyeshadow, scooping up the powdery fragments which he dashed across his face, his mouth curved into a inanely ecstatic grin. As he did a fair amount of the powder landed on my be-jeaned legs.

I sighed in patient frustration. Using a thick blusher brush I attempted to remove the colourful mess from my lap but found to my astonishment that as I brushed, rather than spilling onto the floor, the fragments became words and sentences. They ran in a column down my right leg, looking exactly like the opening sequence from the Star Wars films, except that these letters were not in the yellow we all know so well, but were in a pale purple now, and instead of talking about Hans Solo, they told the tale of the Mr Men franchise (  In a later conversation with Murgatroyed who was trying to get me to stop talking about my dream so she could go back to work, she pointed out that I appeared to be mixing my Star Wars and Star Treck stories but I assured her that in my dream His Greatness the Patrick was fully thespian and in no way Star Ship Captain, and besides, Mr Men, at least in my heady days of childhood, never featured in space.

It was about this point that I was rudely awoken by a phonecall so I don’t know what they words actually said and I was never able to finish showing His Lorship, Sir Pactrick of Stewart how to use powdered makeup, a fact that will no doubt haunt me until I die.

As you were.