Do you remember that R. Kelly song? I’m referring to it because I’ve started my Hip Hop classes 😉 and all the Old School songs are starting to flit in and out of my mind.
I had a grand old time doing warm up stretches to “S-Double-Double-U-to the V-V”.
Tones joined me for moral support in the first class and enjoyed it so much, he’s now continuing along with me. Can you believe it? Someone who doesn’t dance and doesn’t like to dance is enjoying Hip Hop classes!!
Then the second week, a friend of ours joined after I told her about it, she then told someone else after she did her class and that person came along for a class too.
Though I think this sort of thing for beginners, requires some commitment. So far, we’ve committed and gone for 10+ weeks. That’s 2 week chunks of the same choreography, with 3 different teachers and their different styles.
That means we’ve learned chroeo for the beginning of at least 5 different songs. Unsure if I’ll remember them all, would be a miracle if I did!!
I must admit I felt completely retarded and un-co for the entire first class and most of my second class. I think it took me 6 goes (ie 6 weeks because we only go once a week) to finally get comfortable with some of the movements.
Even after 10 goes, I still forget moves and step on the wrong leg which just throws everything out of whack.
On the first day, my brain would say one thing and my body wouldn’t comply and would do something else. I was definitely having learning difficulties.
Teacher: Let’s do arms first.
(We learn actions for the arms for 8 beats which involves pointing forward with the right hand and then placing the right hand in front of the left shoulder. That is it. I can do that. I am happy.)
Teacher: Now let’s do feet.
(This involves walking forward but stepping or sweeping the foot out to the side before placing it in front of the other. OK all good, 8 beats and only one step per foot. Awesome, I could do that.)
Teacher: Now let’s do it altogether.
This is when I had a brain fart. It’s like learning to pat my head with one hand and rub my stomach with the other, for the first time. It was evident I was missing a huge chunk out of my corpus callosum.
If my brain was sending off signals, they weren’t going anywhere. I could actually feel and see the synapse in that moment – a blank space where the neurotransmitters failed to exist or transfer. It was just one massive, dark, abyss. Meanwhile, in the mirror, I didn’t just look like I couldn’t dance, I looked like I was having trouble walking.
The amount of concentration required to remember such simple choreography is intense but anyway, I eventually figured it out, about three quarters of the way through class!!
The teachers actually film the class and post it on Facebook (in a private group) so we can see how we did and watch our own progress.
It is so funny. Having them just hold the camera is enough to put everyone off, well, me anyway! It wasn’t even filming but once we saw the camera come out, we completely forgot what we were supposed to be doing. I know I just froze.
I’ll tell you what, it’s definitely teaching us to stop being so self conscious – it teaches us to dance like nobody’s watching!
The thing is, one of the teachers actually says, “Imagine you’re performing for people you love.” He then lists people you know like family and friends and how you’d make them proud.
Umm…. yeah…. way to put the pressure on there mate. If I were dancing a performance, I would have made sure I remembered the ENTIRE choreo and been practicing it over and over until I was doing it in my sleep!!! At my current skill level, performing after just learning some choreo and still not being able to remember it all, would mean running and hiding backstage!
Nevermind, it’s all fun and just like with Bikram Yoga (where at the beginning it was so uncomfortable but we knew it was good for us), we’ve committed to going regularly and long term because it’s the only way we will see improvement.
Now back to the title of this blog, I thought the title apt for a number of reasons:
1. As mentioned above, I’ve started Hip Hop dance classes and we dance to RnB.
2. It sure feels like summer here in London. I can’t believe the number of sunny days and blue skies that we’ve had. I mean, I’ve even complained that it’s too hot!! How is this possible?
3. The bunnies are starting to moult, AGAIN. I think I’ve already written a blog about all the chores that come with just that event. I can’t believe they’re doing it again!
Summer seems to bring about other extra chores with regards to looking after the bunnies, such as
a. changing their litters out more often to prevent stink and fly larvae.
b. checking that their butts are clean and dry and that flies, which hover around their litters a lot, haven’t laid eggs/maggots on them (apparently it’s a big thing for rabbits in summer and is called flystrike). I just peek every now and again as the bunnies run around to see if their butts are dirty but the boys have been very good.
c. freezing water bottles so the bunnies can lay on them to keep cool and checking on the bunnies regularly to make sure they aren’t suffering from heatstroke.
d. feeding them less but more often because they seem to not eat their hay if it’s been left out (it becomes too dry and they don’t like it and then they don’t eat at all).
e. a whole host of other things (such as dealing with spiders and moths) which if I mentioned would turn this into 2 blogs.
4. Add all the above to the fact that I get irritable when I’m hot and.. “Summer Bunnies Drive Me Crazy”.
Technically it’s not really the bunnies or the summer that will drive me crazy. Rather all the added chores and Anthropod management involved with the season. Thank God the terribly hot weather only lasts for a couple of weeks in London hahaha!! There’s got to be some advantage to it always being cold!!!
Anyway, after an entire year of winter (I spent London summer time in Sydney last year, where it was winter), I’m glad to have had some heat!!
I’m a dancer. Not in the performing or professional sense. Just that I am a person who likes to dance.
I had ballet classes when I was about 9, for a couple of months and I loved them. My mum stopped my classes on account of the teacher moving away but truth be told, I reckon it was because we just couldn’t afford it.
Other than those few months of ballet, I’ve never had professional training in any dance but I loved dancing anyway and would dance in front of my mirror and copy video clips like most teenagers do.
As an adult, I never pursued a dancing career because I figured I was too old, too inflexible and it was just too late for me.
Besides, as a teenager, dancing in front of your dressing table mirror and then having your dad see you through the window and fall over laughing at you because of what he saw you doing was mortifying enough to ensure I never did that again unless I was sure that NOBODY could see me.
I didn’t go to my first clubbing experience until I was already at University. I loved it. I’d be the first person on the dance floor and the last one standing.
I’d go to the club not for the alcohol or the picking up, not for the conversation I mean, you couldn’t really talk in a night club since the music was so loud. Nope… I went there to dance. It just made me happy.
One of my fondest memories was going to a club packed full of people. It was supposedly the biggest nightclub in the Southern Hemisphere back in those days. 3 floors of the same music, each level being like a mezzanine able to look down onto the floors below, right to the bottom centre where the DJ was.
I was a 90’s R’n’B and Hip Hop girl. That’s all they played in that club.
So here I was walking through the ground level, a completely packed crowd full of strangers as tight as a mosh pit except dancing to RnB, attempting to get to my friends upstairs when Snoop’s Ain’t No Fun comes on.
Everybody screams “oooooh!!” like you do when you’re thinking “This is my JAM!”, puts their hands in the air and starts bopping back and forth to the beat, including me.
I stop in my tracks and just bop along with everyone. I was now part of the sea of people bopping in the same direction.
Kind of like a concert where everyone is clapping and singing their lungs out to their favourite song except with the hip hop hooray movement going on at the same time to the beat.
Then the first line starts, “When I met you last night baby..” DJ stops the track and everyone yells the next line. “Before you opened up your gap!”
And that was it, we all lost it… you see, this song was not on the radio but everyone in the club knew the song and were completely chuffed to hear that everyone else knew it too.
Can you imagine? Thousands of people bopping to the rhythm all at the same time with huge smiles on their faces doing this call and response with the DJ and anyone you made eye contact with would be singing along with you while giving you the hugest grin. Unity.
We were all having a great time. It was the best! I wasn’t with anyone I knew but we all connected in that moment and the feeling was blissful.
That’s why I like dancing because even when you can’t talk, you can still connect with others through music, movement and rhythm. It really puts all the senses together – auditory, visual and kinaesthetic and it’s absolutely magic when everyone is in the moment together.
It really does make me happy.
So here I am at 40, having a midlife crisis. Why?
Because Tony doesn’t dance and ever since being with him, I have completely stopped dancing. This year would mark 9 years of us being together. And it is therefore 9 years of zero dancing for me.
We also liked very different music in our youth so any time I start singing a song, he has no idea what I’m referring to.
I attempted to get him to come to attend beginners Salsa classes with me as some middle ground but it ended up being like torture for him. He would finish the classes feeling completely frustrated, angry or incompetent.
None of the feelings that I would ever associate with dancing. Since it was so horrible for him, we stopped going and I never went dancing again. Even dancing at clubs or parties is a bit crap because he can’t dance. It becomes very awkward and not fun, so even if I want to dance I just sit instead.
We just go to yoga now because he’s good at that.
It’s taken 9 years of slowly eating away at me and I had no idea until I had a conversation with a friend who I hadn’t seen in 10 years and he mentioned that his impression of seeing me after all that time was that I was subdued and almost withdrawn.
I always figured I’d become the way I am now because I was a) older b) more mature c) more at peace with myself d) experienced some pretty harrowing emotional events in the last 10 years that I haven’t completely gotten over and so needed some time to chill.
Part of that is true but something inside me just said, “No, that’s not it.”
I always told myself that I would dance my way through life and 10 years is a long time to not do that. It’s almost like I paused myself mid-movement and said yup, I’m fine right here.
But it turns out, I’m not. I’ve been feeling this for a while but it took someone outside of me who hasn’t seen me since before I was with Tony, to say, “You know what? I think you’ve forgotten just how cool you are.”
As usual, it made me think. “Have I forgotten? If so, what have I forgotten? What was I like? Did I like that me? What did I do then that I’m not doing now?”
Dancing was one of the things that came up. Dancing. I gave up something that made me happy. I stopped doing something that lit me up inside… for 10 years. How could I possibly not be subdued after doing something like that?
So this week I’ve been completely obsessed with finding an adult dance class to attend. I want to get my groove back even if just a little.
I’m choosing a class because I really think I’m too old and tired to go to a nightclub, I have no room (and no one) to dance with at home and the yoga studio is an inappropriate place to bust a move.
I’m rather embarrassed to say that I feel weird going to classes that are being run by and attended by 20 year olds. Hence feeling like I’m having a midlife crisis.
It seems that people my age prefer to tango, salsa or swing and here I am thinking I’d like to go do Hip Hop. Yes, this is why I’m having a midlife crisis because I’m choosing a type of dance that I liked to do in my teens and 20’s.
I figure, if that’s where I paused then that’s where I have to pick up from before I can move on.
Actually Hip Hop doesn’t exist as a dance class anymore. It’s so ancient, I think it’s evolved to Street Dance or something and the movements look a little more violent to me – you know with all the krumping and the popping? I’m a bit scared.
I’m so out of it I have no idea plus my older joints may not like so many quick snappy movements but I can’t talk myself out of this before I even attempt it just because I think it’s inappropriate or crazy for my age.
I’ve got to give it a go, even if only once and if I don’t like it, I can always stop and find something else right?
Hell, maybe I can be the only 80 year old doing hip hop in the future. Break social norms, why not eh?
Normally I wouldn’t be this scared to go dancing but I guess this is what happens when you spend 10 years training yourself not to do something.
So, here’s to being 40 and reliving your 20’s eh? Wish me luck.
I have contracted a skin disease and am totally grossed out by it. Not much of a blog though… so let me tell you a story.
Chapter 1: The Discovery About 5 or 6 weeks ago while having a shower I felt a sting on the side of my calf, near my knee. I thought a bug had bitten me so I reached down, dug my nail into the area that hurt/itched and started scratching.
I completed my shower and looked down at my leg to see a round, red mark where I scratched. I never thought anything of it. I thought it was a mosquito or insect bite.
I didn’t look at it again until 3 days later when it itched. This red mosquito bite wasn’t swollen but was a deeper, uglier red colour. “GROSS” I thought. So I put some all-purpose ointment on it. The kind you put on any insect bite to soothe and stop it from itching so I wouldn’t scratch it.
I also make a comment to Tones. “Ewww look at my leg! I’ve got a skin disease!!” I’m joking of course. I still think it’s an insect bite that just looks worse than normal.
A week after, it was STILL THERE and to the same intensity redness as when it started. That’s when I realised that it wasn’t an insect bite.
Chapter 2: The History When I was young I had eczema, who didn’t?
I also had these weird blister things on my hand. Check Dyshidrosis on Wiki so you kind of understand. I never got it diagnosed but that’s pretty much what my fingers looked like when I was a kid. They were constantly itchy and would form blister bubbles which I would then pop. The liquid inside them would be clear and runny like water but sometimes sticky.
I also had similar things happen on my legs, usually the shins except the bubbles would connect with each other and the liquid would collect and I would end up with giant bubbles like burn blisters on my shins. Don’t ask, I have no idea what they were.
Eventually the bubbles would get so big they’d pop and then over time new ones would form.
No, nobody helped me, explained what they were to me or took me to the doctor for this. I lived in a poor household, with my grandmother, on a little island that was designated as a leper colony so I would suspect given the circumstances, that blister bubbles on legs weren’t really a thing of concern.
Fast forward to my future and my mum never let me forget how wonderful my skin was. She was very jealous of it. Why? Because despite all the blister bubbles, burns, cuts and scrapes I got as a kid, I never got a scar.
At one point I had a giant burn blister (from an actual burn) balancing on my forearm for at least a week which busted in my sleep and I was constantly digging at pimples on my face during my teenage years.
I even fell in a manhole in the Philippines and scraped all the skin off my shin from just above my ankle to my knee, when I was 10. On London Underground escalators in my 30’s I tripped and fell tearing my trousers, stockings and scraping skin off the front of my shin again too. Those metal escalators have sharp teeth!
I must admit that the older I get, the longer it takes for the scars to disappear. Normally the scars are gone in weeks but now it’s taking years. The point is, whatever scars I have accumulated from some quite severe abrasions are barely noticeable.
So why did I mention all that? Because good skin is normal to me. Skin that is disease free and repairs itself to its original condition is normal.
Skin disease is actually the one thing that makes me cringe and back away. I think it’s because my grandma taught me from a very young age, given where I grew up, that leprosy is not contagious unless you see weeping sores then you MUST NOT TOUCH that person or get any of it on your skin or else you’ll catch the disease too and it will eat at you until you lose your limbs.
Pretty scary thought for a kid so now it’s instinctual. As soon as I see someone with weird red, sore type things on their skin, I really do start backing away.
I don’t know how I got over the bubbles on my fingers and legs but I have never actually ever had a skin disease since. That is, until now.
Chapter 3: Diagnosis and Cause
After seeing this non-changing red patch on my skin still there after a week, I went on Google and self diagnosed. I concluded that what I had, was Ringworm. Tinea. On my leg. Fungus. Skin Fungus.
Where do you catch it? Dirty, sweaty mats at gyms or from infected animals.
I checked the bunnies and they do not have any bald patches or red exposed areas of skin. Nope, the bunnies are fine and I don’t go to the gym but guess where I go that has DIRTY SWEATY MATS?
I am now completely icked out every time I go to the yoga studio. I caught a skin disease and I didn’t even rub my skin against a weeping sore!!! This grossness just attached itself onto me when my leg came into contact with an infected mat.
Thing is, it takes days for the sore to manifest so I have no idea when contact happened. All I see is the result on my leg. Guess who didn’t go to yoga for more than a week after finding out it was ringworm?
You see, this disgustingness is contagious. So I could be spreading this to others. GROSS!!! How completely inconsiderate of people to turn up to the studio, rub their disease all over the mat so someone else can have it too. YUK!
Chapter 4: The DIY Natural Cure Apparently the natural way to cure this is by rubbing teatree oil and eucalyptus oil onto the fungus. Oregano oil is also anti fungal and so is Clove oil. I didn’t have any Eucalyptus but I had the others. Apple Cider Vinegar is supposed to work too.
So I rubbed apple cider vinegar all over the infected area. It stung like acid poured on an open wound, bits of dead skin rubbed off onto the cotton ball and little blister bubbles started to form on the sore itself. I then rubbed coconut oil laced with teatree, oregano and clove essential oils. I did this twice a day every day for a week and you know what happened? It got BIGGER.
On top of that, I felt a similar sting and itch on the back of my other calf, closer to the ankle. It seems this contagious disease had spread onto another limb!
Chapter 5: The Natural Cure Made By Professionals
I freak out about my crappy results and do some more research.
This time, I find out about DEFENCE soap. I order it. You can’t get it in the UK. It’s from America and so I have to wait for it to be delivered. It’s soap with tea tree and eucalyptus oil in it.
Since I have to wait another week for delivery of the Defence Soap, I buy some teatree and eucalyptus soap from a health food store and use that while I’m waiting. It does nothing. The sore is still there but at least it didn’t get any bigger.
The disease has now been eating at my skin for 3-4 weeks before the Defence Soap arrives. I wash myself with this soap for 3 days. Apparently you’re supposed to use it every day for a week but people on YouTube swear it works and the ringworm disappears within 2 days.
NOPE. Not mine. 3 days goes by and although it looks duller and more grey than it is red, the surface area of this disease is now even bigger because I’ve been scrubbing it with a loofah.
Not just that, the soap is drying out my skin and since I’ve used it all over my body to clear any further infection, my stomach, arms and neck all hurt/itch when I move because the skin is ripping / breaking from the dryness. Kind of like breaking a face mask when you move your face after it dries.
Chapter 6: The Chemical Cure
By this stage I’ve had enough and am starting to worry. This fungus is happily enjoying and eating away at my skin and growing exponentially with each day even after using supposedly effective natural remedies.
So I do some more research. According to what I’d read, Tinea is Tinea is Tinea. It just gets called different things depending on where on your body it’s growing. If it’s on your foot, it’s called athlete’s foot but if it’s on your leg or arm, it’s called ringworm.
I go to the supermarket and buy some athlete’s foot cream. I figure if this doesn’t work THEN I’ll take myself to the doctor.
I’m a little worried that by the time I end up seeing the doctor my leg would have been eaten up – what if I didn’t do a proper self diagnosis and had something else? But I refrain from panic and promise myself that this would be my last attempt at self help before seeking professional assistance.
Each application makes my skin red and super itchy. It’s not a good start but the instructions say this is one of the side effects and that you had to use it daily and go to the doctor if symptoms persist after 7 days.
Chapter 7: The last remaining remnants This is where I’m at. It took longer than a week and I was about to book myself to see the doctor but the disease seems to be subsiding.
On day 7 my leg became super itchy and red. More than normal. I guess it was the fungus’ last hoorah attempt at fighting to stay.
I think I’m on day 10 today and it’s no longer red or itchy and the skin is starting to look normal again albeit a little darker than my normal skin.
Application of this cream must be maintained for 3 weeks but I think it’s safe to say the fungus is dead or dying and I don’t have to go and see a doctor (thank God. I really hate going to see the doctor).
I’ve also continued to use the Defence Soap every single day since it arrived and I’ve even brought it to the yoga studio so I can wash with it straight after a class.
Not only does it kill anything I might have contracted in that yoga session, any grossness that comes off my body is dead before it goes down the drain.
Chapter 8: The Final Chapter – The Morals of The Story I don’t really want to jump the gun here as it’s still not completely gone but I think it’s all sorted. I’ll be complaining about it in a future blog if it’s not.
For the meantime, lessons learned are as follows:
1. Just because you start life off with shitty skin doesn’t mean your skin can never be beautiful.
2. If you have it, do not take beautiful skin for granted. I love my skin now more than ever before and will be protecting it from now on!!
3. I always will go for the natural cure first but if it doesn’t work, that’s what we have chemicals for!
4. Who needs a GP (other than for referrals to a specialist) when Google and YouTube can tell you so much!
5. It’s taken me 5 years of attending sweaty yoga studios for this to happen. Perhaps my immune system has been a little compromised lately, I didn’t have a shower soon enough after being in contact, or this was a particularly strong strain of grossness but whatever the case, I’m warning you now: Anywhere sweaty people with skin disease exist and your skin will/can come into contact with something their skin touched, make sure to wash yourself and your clothes with tea tree and eucalyptus oil before it manifests into something gross.
Lastly, if you do have a skin disease and you know it and you haven’t put anything on it that would be killing it… for God’s sake cover it with something so it doesn’t touch and infest mats, floors, towels etc that OTHER people use!!!
It’s a short one today just to say that I’ve been avoiding Bikram Yoga and people are noticing.
“We don’t see you in the classes anymore!”
Well, it’s simple, I’ve probably done all of 3 Bikram classes in the last 5 months.
I actually lose less hair by staying away. That is, I now have much more hair remaining on my head because I’m not exposing myself to the heat – I drop hair like crazy in the hot room.
But there are disadvantages like I don’t get to do toe stand anymore and camels are just as non-existent. Not that I liked camels, I hated them. And, I’m getting fat around my belly again. Hey ho. You win some you lose some.
So what am I doing instead? Yin and the occasional Vinyasa. On the upside my hips are opening up and my crow is getting better. I’m hating the chaturanga dandasanas but hey… you win some, you lose some!
I’m loving the yin though. Yesterday I fell asleep and only woke up to switch postures. Ahhhh my life feels so much more balanced when I do yin. Being a very yang person within my entire being, the yin actually helps a lot.
So yes, I’m starting to miss Bikram yoga. I don’t miss the heat, I miss the postures and feel like I’ve forgotten how to move my body in those ways (eg holding awkward pose). I probably won’t be able to do any of the postures when I go to a class.
Methinks it’s time to start looking at my posture progress again to see if having spent time away has made a difference. Curious to find out.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and this is because we’ve had quite a bit going on.
The boys got neutered and we’ve been waiting for their testosterone to die down before introducing them to each other again.
We attempted after 6 weeks but resulted in both of them fighting with each other within 3 mins and getting very cranky at us both for even thinking of putting them together.
Their 3 mins together put them both off and unsettled them for a whole day. It was the first time I’d seen neither of them binky or eat much. They were both very upset.
So they’re separated again and have been so for almost another 2 weeks and they’re back to their normal happy selves. We do allow them to see each other through the fence though so Paris comes to visit Rome every day and they spend time with each other next to the fence.
They seem fine that way for the most part and on occasion attempt to bite each others’ noses through the fence.
Paris has an advantage at this because his head is wider. This means only Rome can put his nose through, the fence effectively turning into a muzzle but giving Paris plenty of nose to bite. Result? Rome spends a lot of time sitting with a screwed up face (because he’s in pain after Paris has bitten his face) and his nose has many scars.
Rome doesn’t have to put his nose through all the time but he does and even when we put space between the fence, these two push it all back together again so they can reach each other.
I don’t think I could put them in the ring together again. It was like Furbaby MMA but with zero rules. We will have to take a different approach to get them to be friends.
Meanwhile dramas work-wise for both Tony and I means our focus has been on things other than telling stories of bunnies or otherwise.
We’re enjoying time with the rabbits and although they’ve destroyed much of our skirting boards and door frames and created a lot more work and less sleep for us both, life is full of smiles and high pitched “OMG he’s so cute!!!” squealing when they’re around.
Here is a picture of the latest thing. They’re malting / shedding. Apparently they do this once every 3 months with the changes in season. This is shedding the winter coat for Spring and this is just Paris’ fur and barely even half of what’s fallen off.
Just put a couple of ears and eyes on it and we’ve got another rabbit!
This picture pretty much sums up our lives with the bunnies at the moment. Sweeping, cleaning, picking up fur and hay.
Paris is black and his undercoat is white, this is why all the fur together looks like a big grey dust ball. Their fur is clumping up and rolling around the house like tumbleweed.
Our home is the Wild West of Bunnyville with clumps of tumblefur rolling around everywhere.
Our kitchen drain (which is attached to the washing machine) got clogged a number of times in the past couple of weeks due to so much fur being stuck on their blankets (no matter how much sweeping / vacuuming is done prior to washing).
And Tones wonders why I haven’t made time to blog… geez!!
It all started 2.5 years ago when I made Tony some hair pomade for our anniversary.
It lasted a little over a year. It didn’t cost me much to make. Probably all of £3.00 if that, for 300g or maybe more. I don’t know ’cause I didn’t weigh it.
He looked at store bought pomade recently and it costs £32.00 for only 250g which is about half the size of my jars.
Truth be told, he loves my homemade pomade so much, he requested I make more when he ran out (instead of going to buy some). He preferred what I made to the gels and waxes he’d been using previously.
Why does he love it? Firstly, because it works but more importantly, when he sweats in yoga, it doesn’t sting his eyes at all and lastly, he reckons it makes his hair softer and cleared up all dandruff.
I love it because I can make it smell different each time.
I also love it because every time he bends over to kiss Rome, Rome will actually lick his hair!
It puts me at ease knowing that although it might be slightly bad for a rabbit to consume hair pomade (mixture of oils and beeswax), at least it’s all natural and even the rabbit isn’t put off by licking it!
Anyway, first it was hair pomade, then it was tooth paste, next thing you know, I just started DIY-ing all our products, as and when we ran out of them.
Usually I only have to make one item if at all, in any given week. Depending on the product, I could be making it every 3 weeks, every 3 months or in the instance of pomade, just once every year and a bit.
This week however EVERYTHING ran out. So each day, I have been making a DIY something or other.
I don’t mind. In fact, I LOVE knowing that we’re slowly but surely removing all harmful, toxic and unnecessary chemicals from our home.
The less chemicals we’re exposed to, the better!!
So what have I made this week?
Dish Washing Detergent (for hand washing dishes)
All purpose cleaning spray
Tooth Powder (instead of toothpaste)
To be honest, I can’t actually believe we’ve eliminated all store bought items of the above and I’m impressed with how easy they all are to make.
Best of all, they work better than the store bought ones AND whatever goes down our drain, isn’t feeding chemicals back to nature.
This is a real photo of our stove before and after I used my all natural DIY cleaning spray. All I used was the spray, a scourer and a cloth.
I really should have timed it but I’m pretty sure it was done in less than 10 mins. I don’t think our stove’s ever been cleaner.
Tony did some of his own DIY-ing too after I told him off. There’s nothing like the motivation of a grumpy wife to get you going especially when your motto is “A happy wife is a happy life!” 😉
The rabbits (ie Rome) have been chewing on their hutch at 4am and it echoes through our very quiet flat like a thunderous hammering on wood.
He (Tony) sleeps right through it. I don’t. The nights where I have slept through are the nights where the exhaustion of an accumulation of multiple sleepless nights has taken over.
At first, I was waking up because the rabbits were fighting.
These days, since we separated them, for the most part, we go to bed at 2am, I wake up at 4am because Rome has woken up and started biting the hutch and biting and pulling the cage bars back and forth to say “let me out!”
I then stay awake listening to all the wood-chewing and digging but cannot go back to sleep because of Tony’s snoring to go along with the rabbit noises.
Next thing you know, planes are starting to go overhead, birds are tweeting, neighbours are waking up and walking around getting ready for work and I’m still awake.
Tony gets out of bed at 7.30am-8.00am and that’s when I fall asleep from exhaustion and then am up again by 9am ready to do it all again.
I’ve been operating like this for weeks – a total of 3 hours broken sleep every night and by the Saturday that just passed, I lost my patience.
You see, Tony had purchased some metal frames to go onto the inner frame of the hutch a week ago. He was supposed to glue them on top of where the bunnies gnawed the wood so they wouldn’t be able to bite those areas of the hutch anymore.
He’s had these metal frames since Monday but he never glued them in because they were slightly too long to fit. He needed to trim the ends off and couldn’t find a way to do it.
He was going to get them cut at a local hardware store but they were closed when he visited. In the end, having a grumpy me encouraged him to find a different solution.
Turned out, all he had to do was cut into the metal with a blade and then snap the ends off (which is actually what I said to him on Monday – it just took him all week to figure out how).
He managed to do it though and on Sunday night, we had our first ever quiet night in the flat after 6 weeks. SERENITY AT LAST!!!
The bunnies couldn’t bite the metal and had to resort to biting their chew mats which are MUCH QUIETER!!
Although we went to bed at 1am, I woke up bright and bubbly at 7am!!! There’s nothing like sleeping through the night and getting twice as much sleep as normal to make one happy!!!
For a person who likes to sleep 8 hours. I can’t believe I’m saying that 6 hours sleep straight is FANTASTIC.
The Mouth Guard
I finally got my mouth guard. All £300 of it. It better last forever!!! I grind my teeth so hard at night that I’ve chipped 2 teeth and keep chewing holes through my mouth guards so the dentist suggested something a bit stronger and hence, more expensive.
I picked it up on Monday afternoon from the dentist and on Monday night I had my first ever night’s sleep where I didn’t grind my teeth.
I have been grinding my teeth (that I’ve known of) since I was in my teens, that’s over 25 years of tooth grinding! Even my previous mouth guards allowed my jaws to clamp and chew against the guard.
This one however, stops my back teeth from meeting at all. EVER. Result? I didn’t sleep well. It was weird not being able to clench my teeth. Tuesday night however, I completely passed out.
I actually think it’s helping with my backaches. It’s as if relaxing my jaw while I sleep has allowed the rest of me to relax too. Will keep an eye on this as the weeks progress, it could just be a temporary result.
Vday was spent with Tony bringing home a bag of Ruffles (my favourite), me making him his hair pomade and us eating a Chinese takeaway dinner.
Don’t worry, the romance never died. That’s just how we roll.
V-day’s never been a thing for us and I hate that anyone spends money on flowers whose prices have been jacked up 3 fold just for the day.
WTF? Show me you care by saving your money!! Buy me flowers any other time, just not on Valentine’s day!!
We had a favourite Chinese place that closed a couple of years ago because the owner went back to live in Malaysia. We have never found another Chinese takeaway to replace it in standard and taste since.
So, we continue to try various places through Just Eat and Hungry House. I think we’ve found our close second last night. It’s called Man Ho!! LOL.
So now I can say we both had Man Ho for Valentine’s.
Paris & Rome
If I’m not talking about the bunnies, there’s something wrong. They are definitely my babies and consume the most part of my life.
I read up on everything rabbit each and every day, just so I can understand them better.
This week I learned that there are studies to show that the exact same places in a woman’s brain light up when she looks at pictures of her children as when she looks at pictures of her pet.
It seems the body does not know the difference and will trigger all the same emotions and hormones for motherly love for a pet as it does for children.
I think many pet owners who have loved and lost a pet will know what this is about because they’ve experienced it themselves. Pets really do become your best friends, your children, your family.
Apparently some people have actually said that they love their pet more than they do their partners!!!
Anyway, Paris & Rome are continuing to be happy bunnies and are still binky-ing. Though their hormones are making them a little irritable and unpredictable. If anything, I think the hormones exaggerate their personalities.
This week Paris has been more moody. One day he’ll be all ok to be around you and have you pet him (FINALLY) and the next day he is running away again, jumping in fright at every sound, hiding under the couch and avoiding every touch.
Rome has started to chew the skirting boards. I tell you nothing looks more stylish than some mangled skirting boards.
He cannot stop chewing and breaking things. I’ve given him cardboard, the chew mat, a quilt, more boxes, a chew toy but he continues to prefer to destroy the skirting boards instead.
I’ve given him hay and nuggets but they are only very temporary distractions until he’s breaking the skirting boards again. He managed to pull on one so hard, the nail came out and was sticking out dangerously sharp. I had to put him back in his hutch so I could hammer it back into the floor.
He also chases us when we go into the bathroom and starts digging at, biting or tugging our trouser legs as if to tell us we are not allowed to touch ANYTHING while in the bathroom.
Either that or that’s his way of telling us to get out.
I think he’s had enough of our cleaning up his poo. It’s ok though because he’s done very well with the litter tray and there’s not much territorial poo around.
This week, I bought an array of different kinds of hay to see which they like best. We’re spending money on their hay like we spend on superfood. Getting a bit OTT.
Forget the grass, get them the gourmet feeding hay with 3 types of plants for extra variety and nutrition! *part sarcasm*
Yes, I actually bought a bag just to test it out and am cringing that I have become one of those pet owners. God help us if we ever get a dog, I’ll probably cook all his food for him. None of that canned shit… he’s getting gourmet!
Anyway, back to the rabbits. I was trying to get away with some cheap stuff but most of it is dust at the bottom of the bag and they just don’t eat it all. In fact, they dig it, find the best bits, leave the rest, then poo and piss all over it.
We end up throwing most of it when they’re supposed to be eating it!
Not sure how this new hay will compare. It looks and smells better to Tony and I, it’s even green (as opposed to yellow) but it seems the bunnies think differently.
It costs twice as much but the bunnies are still treating it the same way as the cheap stuff. In fact, it looks as if they are not eating as much hay since the introduction of the new, more expensive stuff.
They don’t use it to pee on but they’re not eating it either. They kind of just leave it there. I wonder if they’re waiting for it to go yellow.
The bunnies seem to starve themselves (or eat skirting boards and cardboard boxes) until I give them nuggets. Still something to monitor for the coming months.
Perhaps they just need time to get used to the new flavours. Rabbits are actually very fussy eaters!
We also got them a new feeding toy which I’m more excited about than they are. You hide their treats in it and they have to learn things to get to them.
For example, they must lift a lid or push it aside to get to the treat. There are 3 different levels of difficulty.
Play time has never been more fun for me! Tony has caught me eating my dinner super fast just so I can go and play. I didn’t know I was doing it until Tony mentioned it and laughed at me for being such a kid.
Not the same for the bunnies though. Now they’re probably ok with it but at first it frustrated them… I could see it when they started biting the toy really hard, picking it up and slamming it down.
“WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET TO AND EAT MY GODDAMNED TREATS??!!!”
They’re fast learners though so they both worked out the first level in under 5 mins. Actually, watching me attempt to put the thing together had Tony questioning if the learning toy was for rabbits or for humans.
The 2nd level they both figured out in under a minute. It takes me longer to put all the treats in and set it up than it does for them to eat. They’re like mini vacuum cleaners. They just inhale.
I’ve taken videos but doubt you’d want to watch 5 mins of a rabbit figuring out how to get to a treat so editing is required.
Yet another thing to add to my things to do. Let’s see if I can ever get a clip up of this “exciting” play time with the bunnies. No promises. I can barely even get a photo up of them.
Speaking of which…. this is another picture of when they used to get along. This is how rabbits hang out and chill together.
Arghhhh they’re SO CUTE!
I am just waiting for the day they can both be together like this again. We’ve got some neutering and re-bonding to do first…. furbaby parenting goals.
When you’re young, a day feels like eternity but it seems the older you get, 1 week goes by in a blink of an eye.
Highlights of the week:
A friend from Australia that I hadn’t seen for over a decade visited. She was in London for less than 24 hours but still managed to squeeze me in for a catch up.
I chose a restaurant near where she was staying. It was the German Gymnasium at Kings Cross. They serve… German food. Ha!
Anyway, it’s in a Grade II listed building and named German Gymnasium because the building was the first, purpose built Gymnasium in England with funding coming solely from London’s German community.
The building was built in 1865 so we ate dinner (I had a German afternoon tea) inside a 150 year old building.
Yin with Sharky
Yoga which has been my life for so long, was pretty non-existent because – January.
You have to book ALL your classes in otherwise they’re all full due to all those well-intentioned New Years Resolutions people who disappear by Feb.
I managed to book classes from mid Jan through to Feb and thought by February for sure, the classes would start being freer but it wasn’t to be.
So I have spent many days not going to yoga because the classes have been booked out and I hadn’t booked myself in, in time.
Can you imagine? Attempting to book yourself in 2 days in advance is still not long enough. FARK!
I did manage to get to one of Sharky’s first Yin classes and I loved it. She did a different method to the other teachers and allowed time for “rebound” between each posture.
Rebound is a savasana in between every posture to allow whatever released in each posture, to move through and exit or integrate into, the body.
The result? I ended up getting really teary and emotional. I actually felt emotions releasing from my body and I was so grateful to be able to feel them so I could let them go.
It only lasted a few seconds though because as soon as Tony saw me looking teary, “WHY ARE YOU CRYING?” came out of his mouth and it was so abrupt and harsh, I immediately cut off all emotions and went back to thinking mode.
I got skillz like that.
Actually, he managed to say it just like my mother used to. I know he said it out of concern but I heard it the way my mum said it which meant “Stop being a pussy, you have no reason to cry and if you don’t stop I’ll fucking give you a reason to cry.” That’s the mild version. 😉
So I stopped. IMMEDIATELY. I’ll just have to find a way to cry at times he’s not around so I can release emotions in peace.
Paris & Rome Another week in peace. Both boys are really happy and binky every day.
Paris does the cutest binkies ’cause he’s so chunky like a bulldog and bottom heavy. So he looks more like a jumping goat or ram when he binkies.
Rome has started to jump on my arm and shoulder. Last night he sat on my shoulder and every so often would turn to lick my face – cheek, eyelid, eyebrows, temple, forehead. Then he’d jump down and jump up onto my other shoulder and tug at my hair.
I know he’s just looking for a way over the fence and using me as a viewing platform but I like to think we’ve developed a good bond plus I’m loving all my bunny kisses! He loves kissing my nose.
He’s still incredibly mischievous, spends a lot of his time in meerkat position, listening out for what Paris might be doing and he’s completely chewed up the skirting board instead of the chew mat we gave him because he thinks breaking the skirting board will help him escape the fence.
We keep him fenced because although the more loving of the two, he’s also the trouble maker.
He is so curious he gets himself into all sorts of trouble – biting things he shouldn’t, falling off things he shouldn’t have jumped on in the first place and starting fights by annoying the crap out of Paris by not letting him have space.
The other day he fell down the stairs 3 times in one day (that I saw)all because he kept standing on 2 feet on the edge of the step and then leaning backwards. Don’t ask.
He’s been contained in the hallway with plenty of run space including the stairs and the bathroom but it doesn’t stop him from attempting to break the fence and looking for FREEDOM!!!
I’m also having a battle of the bathroom with him.
After a week of watching Tony and I go toilet (he’s in the hallway so we have to pass him every single time and sometimes he follows us into the bathroom), he stopped pissing and pooing anywhere but the bathroom!
He just chose to go in the shower because he can’t reach the toilet.
Unfortunately, we have to keep clearing his poo and pee before we have a shower and he gets very frustrated with us because every time we clean it, we’re effectively saying he’s not allowed to pee and poo there, and therefore he has nowhere to go toilet.
So then of course he’ll poo and pee outside of the shower as well as in the shower, using the entire bathroom floor as his toilet which makes it difficult for us to go in there and use the toilet ourselves.
I put a litter in the bathroom for him and it’s taken a couple of days but I think he’s coming around to the idea that this is his new place to go toilet because there is much less poo anywhere but the litter.
Although the chew mat I bought is completely intact for Rome, Paris’ is almost completely torn apart and non-existent.
Paris actually only chews the things we give him to chew and he knows EXACTLY which is for him and which is not.
A perfect example is that he has a cardboard box he chews on, we give them cardboard boxes a lot. Yet, I’ve left cardboard boxes full of my eBay stock out right next to his play area without any fences.
He can walk right up to them and start chewing on them, pissing on them, whatever he likes really and he leaves them untouched!
He has identified what is ok for him and what will get him into trouble and he really has behaved himself so we’ve removed the fence and he’s running “free range”.
He actually just stays in his area!! He’s recently started to explore under the couch but he has steered clear of the hallway and gone nowhere near the only fence that keeps him apart from Rome.
So far so good. Unsure how long this will last but we’ll see.
Paris has also started to approach us more and nudges us for treats which is much better than running away!
Still hates getting patted but he tolerates it a bit more before running away. He also has no problems standing on our feet when he’s begging and asking us for treats. We didn’t teach him, he just does it.
Overall we have 2 very happy bunnies and we’re finally starting to understand their personalities.
Because only their scent is on their stuff, they’re not marking territory as much as they used to.
That means there’s barely any poo outside of their litter and hutch and they’re not pissing outside of their designated litters at all. I knew they were supposed to be easy to toilet train!!
All they needed was to be separated and feel safe about what is THEIR space.
Our house no longer smells as bad (either that or I’m used to it) and I’m back to normal amounts of laundry.
That makes 2 good weeks in a row with them out of 5.5 weeks together. It was a hectic start but we’re getting there!! YES!!
Last thing… last night I attempted to feed them rocket (again, I think it was my 3rd attempt at feeding them rocket, probably the 15th time to attempt to feed them some sort of fresh veg) and THEY ATE IT!!!! That was their first ever fresh vegetable they’ve eaten.
And to test trust, I held the rocket with my mouth and had them eat it from me. BOTH of them did it which means they’re both cool with sharing food with me.
YES! After many weeks of rejection, I finally got acceptance.
I can’t have asked for more. Patience, persistence, trust and love. That’s what these boys are teaching me.
And restraint… I’m learning restraint. Sometimes I wish I could just SQUEEZE them and smother them with kisses because they’re so damned CUTE but that’s probably why they don’t let me hold them!
Here is a picture of them when they used to get along:
This is them in rapport even when separated.
Seriously, Tony skyped me one pic while he was with Paris in the lounge and Rome was doing the exact same thing while with me in the hallway! In rapport, even when apart – there is hope for them yet!