All photos from my recent camping trip to Comrie Croft, Scotland.
All photos from my recent camping trip to Comrie Croft, Scotland.
As I sit here writing this post, I am having a bad eczema day. My face is red and blotchy, the skin around my eyes and forehead is like the Sahara, and around my lips is stinging painfully. These same sensations carry on all the way down my body, all down my arms and my back, even my boobs are covered in eczema.
And. It. Fucking. Sucks.
It seems that no matter how much eczema cream I use, medicated or not, my skin is still itchy, dry, red and sore.
I’ve been living with this for most of my life and I still can’t control it! I’ve tried washing everyday, I’ve tried washing every few days, I’ve tried baths rather than showers, I’ve changed my diet countless times, I’ve meditated to bring down stress levels, I’ve tried every type of clothes detergent, shower gel, shampoo and sunblock under the sun, I’ve spent days outside letting fresh air cool my skin, and I’ve tried all the medications available in the UK for eczema. Nothing seems to work.
It is so insanely uncomfortable, and not just physically. It takes it’s toll mentally too.
Have you ever had a night where you just cannot get to sleep because of that one annoying noise that seems targeted at you? (Come on, we all have). Well, nearly every night I struggle getting to sleep because of the constant need to scratch or apply more moisturiser to sooth my skin. And we all know how insanely important sleep is!
Have you ever had a day where your make-up just will not sit right on your face? Well, with eczema, make-up hardly ever sits right because my skin is so insanely blotchy, it is impossible to create a smooth surface and no amount of ‘colour correction’ will fix the redness either. And on top of that, whenever I do wear make-up, my skin gets even more irritated and blotchy because of the chemicals in the make-up.
It’s a no-win situation.
I have found that my skin does get better when I eat healthily, exercise regularly, exfoliate regularly, and try to stay as stress free as possible (not easy when you have an anxiety disorder let me tell you!)
As a young adult, then, and having to go through most of my teenage years with blotchy, red and dry skin, how do I manage to keep a decent self-esteem level? Well, it hasn’t always been easy, that’s for sure. Teenage years, as I’m sure most people will agree, are fucking rough. There is such an insane focus on looks (I’m giving you the evil eye, media) that no matter what, you can’t win.
I admit there are still some days where I feel like utter shite because of my skin. On those days, though, I force myself to focus on what I and my body can do that has nothing to do with looks.
These are some of the things that I choose, or force myself, to focus on when my physical appearance is less than “perfect” because of my eczema.
I encourage everyone to make an ‘I Can’ list!
It honestly helps so so so much, I can’t stress it enough how significant this list has been for myself, my mental health, and my self-esteem!
Another thing which is super important for myself in raising my self-esteem is reminding myself that “perfect” does not exist. It never has, it never will. Even the people you may think are perfect, such as in magazines or instagram, have quirks and oddities and imperfections; we just don’t see them because photoshop is so widely used.
I hope this has helped at least one person, I sure wish this had been around when I was younger but it took years of trial and error to create.
And if no one else has told you today, you are a smart, gorgeous, wonderful human being!
All my love,
This is an overview of this month’s podcast!
Our theme this month is: ‘New.’
The episodes will be:
This week on the podcast, we have poems by Bernard Shaw and Gertrude B McClain, as well as myself. Our guest will be the amazing @eleven.twety.four! And our poem of the week is “Lines written at a small distance from my house,” by William Wordsworth.
So without further ado, let’s get to it!
Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and writer who was born in 1856. In 1925, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature and in 1938 he won an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. You may have heard of one of his works, Pygmalion, which was adapted as a Broadway musical starring Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, and later a film starring Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.
The poem I will read today is called A New Start.
I have wiped the slate clean,
No more reminders from the past.
Memories of what I have been,
Have vanished at long last.
I look forward to my future new,
Where all is territory strange.
Soon I will be among the few,
That plans their life at long range.
I see my life laid out at my feet,
New friends shall rally at my call.
They will be the first I will greet,
At this my welcoming ball.
Soon all memories will depart,
Of a past left well behind.
I will get off to a new start,
With the best of mankind.
Our next poem is by Gertrude B McClain, unfortunately I was not able to find much biographical information about this poet online although the poem I will be reading today is very widely known, it appears across many social media sites.
The poem is called New Beginnings.
It’s only the beginning now
…a pathway yet unknown
At times the sound of other steps
…sometimes we walk alone
The best beginnings of our lives
May sometimes end in sorrow
But even on our darkest days
The sun will shine tomorrow.
So we must do our very best
Whatever life may bring
And look beyond the winter chill
To smell the breath of spring.
Into each life will always come
A time to start anew
A new beginning for each heart
As fresh as morning dew.
Although the cares of life are great
And hands are bowed so low
The storms of life will leave behind
The wonder of a rainbow.
The years will never take away
Our chance to start anew
It’s only the beginning now
So dreams can still come true.
And that brings us to the part of the show where I recite a poem I have written myself. Today’s poem is called Beside You.
Driving through the mountains,
On our way to something new,
All about us raindrops sound,
But I know I’ll be okay beside you.
The windscreen wipers dance so wild,
Waving us on to our new home,
Resting on each other’s shoulders,
We’ve got 100 miles yet to go.
Our path may have twists and turns,
But together we’ll get through,
So we smile in anticipation,
I know I’ll be okay beside you.
The space behind our heads,
Is filled with our belongings,
But your fingers laced between mine,
Is the only thing I’ll ever be longing.
And though we are both anxious,
This adventure is not carefree,
I can’t wait to build our new home,
I know I’ll be okay with you beside me.
Now, I am very excited to announce our first ever guest poet, it’s eleven.twenty.four, everyone!
I am a creature of habit, happy to stroll through life,
Following my schedule of work, eat, sleep, repeat.
The thought of being surrounded by new faces,
Hearing new stories, half told to cover up new motives,
That bring new conflicts, that turn into new goodbyes,
Creates such anxiety that I’d rather be in isolation.
Simplicity is comfortable but simplicity breeds stagnancy,
So I find myself constantly,
Torn between the need for personal growth,
And the desire for solitary confinement.
With each new sunrise I try to compromise with change and tradition,
I strive to listen to them both, opening myself to feel their needs,
So I am able to find them a new common ground to call home.
I am under construction, at the start of a new beginning,
Learning how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,
But I am in bloom and there is nothing more beautiful than new life.
Thank you so much for being my first ever guest poet! It’s been lovely speaking to you and hearing about your process!
And last but by no means least, we have our poem of the week! This week’s poem is “Lines (written at a small distance from my house, and sent by my little boy to the person to whom they are addressed)” by William Wordsworth.
It is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before,
The red-breast sings from the tall larch
That stands beside our door.
There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare,
And grass in the green field.
My Sister! (’tis a wish of mine)
Now that our morning meal is done,
Make haste, your morning task resign;
Come forth and feel the sun.
Edward will come with you, and pray,
Put on with speed your woodland dress,
And bring no book, for this one day
We’ll give to idleness.
No joyless forms shall regulate
Our living Calendar:
We from today, my friend, will date
The opening of the year.
Love, now an universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing,
From earth to man, from man to earth,
— It is the hour of feeling.
One moment now may give us more
Than fifty years of reason;
Our minds shall drink at every pore
The spirit of the season.
Some silent laws our hearts may make,
Which they shall long obey;
We for the year to come may take
Our temper from today.
And from the blessed power that rolls
About, below, above;
We’ll frame the measure of our souls,
They shall be tuned to love.
Then come, my sister I come, I pray,
With speed put on your woodland dress,
And bring no book; for this one day
We’ll give to idleness.
Thank you so much to everyone who listened, it means so much to me!
All my love,
I have flowers for fingertips,
I have twilight in my toes,
I have stars behind my eyelids,
I have the rainforest for a soul.
I have lightning on my lips,
I have hurricanes in my hair,
I have the cosmos in each kiss,
I have the oceans in my stare.
I have wild grass in my wingspan,
I have mountains in each muscle,
I have autumn and winter in my arms,
I have the universe in every cell.
As always when you’re young and have just moved into your first flat with your boyfriend, you don’t tend to have much money. Decorating your new found freedom can be costly unless, like me, you get crafty.
Once we moved in and got settled we very quickly realised that we didn’t have any softer lighting for the evenings. Through Facebook Marketplace I found an old woman who was selling 5 of her old lamps for £20 each; a little bit of negotiating and I managed to get 3 for £20!
They were quite ugly honestly, but beggars can’t be choosers. I decided they were too ugly for me to put up with so it was time to upcycle! I found some spray paint in my local diy shop that would be perfect. One of the spray paints was ‘stone textured’ and honestly I have absolutely no idea how they invented this but it is magical – it sprays flecks of black, white and grey all at the same time to achieve the stone textured appearance.
First I removed the lampshades from the bases of the lamps, then with sticky tape I covered up the lightbulb sockets on both lamps. Then, with Colin’s help, I took the lamp bases outside and spray painted them, and accidentally Colin, with the stone texture spray paint and left them to dry before giving them a second coat. We did have cardboard down to stop paint getting all over the garden.
For the lampshades, all I did was cut away all of the fabric from the frame of the shade so I was left with just the metal frame. Then I spray painted the frame with a Matte Black spray paint.
Once all the components of the lamps were dry, I took them back inside and put them back together. And voila! Adoarbly upcycled lamps which are far more aesthetically pleasing than before.
Due to our work schedules, Colin and I have decided that Tuesdays are our adventure days. We’re going to take it turn about to decide what our adventures are going to be each week; we have a list which we add ideas to as we go along and then choose something from the list each week. The list is compiled of all the places, daytrips, activities, and local tourist attractions which are in our surrounding area where we live.
This week’s adventure took us to The Scottish Deer Centre…
It was a very grey and overcast day but it was so warm and humid that we ended up in t-shirts. As usual, we took the bus, which was a surprisingly lovely journey through rolling green countryside filled with castles, trees and farm animals.
Once we got to the centre, we wandered up through to what appeared to be the entrance. The whole place was deserted. It was so weird. We awkardly wandred around until we found a wee shop and could hear voices from one corner. I’m weird so I went into the shop and called, “hooman?” until we found a staff member who took us to the ticket desk.
We paid for our tickets, and some food pellets to feed the deer with, and went through to the park. There was a school trip at the same time so as soon as we went through the doors we were bombarded by the sound of young children cheering in excitement. We very quickly followed a path that led away from the screaming school children.
Wandering round the lovely green paths we encountered many species of deer, and even otters, scottish wildcats, scanidavian elk, and some wolves. We fed our pellets to the most adorable herd of deer ever; Colin and I named most of them – Ramen, Billy, Bobby, Bertie, Sneezy, Geoffry, Goaty McGoatface etc.
We had an absolutely lovely day, apart from me nearly dying with hayfever because of all the grass…
I would reccommend The Scottish Deer Centre to everyone!
All my love, Corinne 🙂