Life, Death & Coffee 

​Some people require a visual. Some are more auditory. Others still prefer the written word. This vlog/blog post has it all.

I actually have a friend who prefers my vlog posts, where I TALK, more than she does listening to what I – and many others feel – is the considerably better use of my voice. 

Personally, despite having a good vocabulary, I find it difficult to verbalise my thoughts and feelings. I am unable to put these things into SPEECH. So, I put them in songs (one uses a different part of the brain when one sings than when one talks… this is the reason why some people who have suffered severe strokes, rendered speechless, can sing just fine…it is also why a stutterer can sing perfectly and clearly) or in visual art which illustrates how I’m feeling.

I find talking overrated. When I’m forced to speak, I do so…but, it’s rarely willingly. And, inevitably, I never end up saying what I really want and need to get across. It’s very frustrating. I don’t stutter badly, but I have elements of the problem. Speech is just hard work.

Of course, the problem with art, in any form, is that once it’s ‘out there’ it’s open to all sorts of interpretation. You see, hear, read and feel it through YOUR filter.

Sigh. It is the human condition. 

But, I continue to try to communicate, for what it’s worth.

 Life is hard. One could say, life is hard as speaking, and life with ANY chronic illness is a prison. Here’s an animation illustrating the daily struggles and dreams thereof:

This next video is a music video… I’m not explaining it. Just watch and listen. 

And, ending on a fun note. One of my grandfather’s favourite jokes was about a guy who needed to pass his school exams, but he was woefully stupid. His teacher, trying to be kind to him, decided to help him out by marking him a passing grade if he could spell just one word correctly. The teacher thought about it and realised that the student was too dumb to even get one word right, so decided to let him pass if he could just get ONE LETTER of one word right. The teacher thought that, surely, even this idiot could at least get one letter in a word correct. So, the teacher said to his student, ‘Spell the word coffee.’ The student replied, ‘K.A.U.P.H.Y.

And, thus, I give you this:

May your coffee be good and may you always be heard.

Watch “Is It Me You’re Looking For? (The answer-phone message for those of us whom phone calls make ill)” on YouTube

I’m not really sure if my inability to cope with phone calls is more to do with the avoidant personality disorder or with the social anxiety. Whichever or both, I don’t do phone calls. And so…this is my new answerphone/voicemail message.

Answers on a Postcard With My Boobs on It


I must, I must, I must increase…uh, I mean, I must blog, apparently. The obsession continues. What is this now? The fifth day in a row I’ve posted? Something like that anyway.

(The photo is superfluous; nothing to do with this post whatsoever…I just did this picture to post on my Facebook page. I like it, so you get it for free.)

Boobs, you say. Well, you might not say. I said. No, I wrote. Boobs. What about ’em? My husband, a photographer, is versatile in his art. Landscapes. Urban candid. Portraiture. Artistic nude. And, in my time, I’ve posed. It’s NOT one of the things I’m ashamed of.

Jamie sells his work on the website Redbubble. Occasionally a print or t-shirt (he’s designed a few) will sell. Sometimes it’s a card or, indeed, a postcard. Moneywise it’s nothing to write home about. We’re talking pocket change (unless someone buys a large print or, even better, framed print…hint, hint…you know you want one); it’s just nice to have the art seen and appreciated…acknowledged…occasionally liked enough that someone must own a little something of it.

Today, he sold a postcard of his piece entitled Surrendered #1. It happens to be one of those artistic nudes I posed for. It features my…chest features.

I wonder, who bought the postcard? Who will receive it? What message will it carry? How far will my boobs travel? They, most likely, will end up somewhere I have never been.

My visage…my naked form… on a postcard. Royal mail, special delivery. Bonkers!

Warning! Abrupt change in subject (keep up). I feel a shift. Like a bit of darkness lifting. I’ve had more energy today than I have in months (one of the results being that photo (not the booby one; the one on this post…so, ok, it does have something to do with this post after all); if I didn’t feel better I couldn’t have gotten in that position .  Maybe, I don’t know…could I be getting a bit of a remission, a reprieve, here? Please. Oh, I would be grateful. Not holding my breath – just like when I feel wretched, it is what it is. It’s a mistake to spend precious energy in thinking too much about it…even to hope. It. Is. What. It. Is.

Hmm…bad pun warning…   Wouldn’t you say this post is rather…titillating? And, with that pun intended, I’ll leave you to contemplate “answers on a postcard”.

When I say that I want to get into your pants…

Today I had the extreme pleasure of seeing my biggest woman crush – seriously, if we weren’t both married to totally wonderful men, I’d marry her…if she’d have me – I am unashamedly in love with her.  My friend Tracy is from this isle, but she lives and works in Thailand, so I don’t often get to visit with her in person (more’s the pity), and it is always lovely to see her. My afore mentioned wonderful man and I travelled into Nottingham to spend the day drinking coffee and wandering ’round the shops with Tracy.  It was a great time.

I’m getting to the pants part…and, this is where this tale will equally disappoint some while it will relieve others. As I was standing in front of my wardrobe wondering what to wear for the day, I decided on a long summer dress. This presented the problem of chafing thighs. Sorry, I’ve lost a whole bunch of you now, I know…

For those still with me, I will continue.  So, yeah…I love wearing skirts, but in the summer (the heat and I don’t get along), when I am not going to wear tights or leggings underneath, I have discovered that I need something to prevent chafing.  I wanted to wear the dress… but I had yet to be able to purchase something like bicycle shorts to wear underneath (which would keep my legs cool while preventing the, um, OUCH! I know… those of you who are size zeros, with thighs that aren’t even in the same postal code…I’ve lost you, too…anywho)!  So, I was considering just putting up with the pain, even though I knew there might be a great deal of it, since a lot of walking was going to be a main activity of the day. Then, inspiration struck!



“Any of your boxer briefs clean?”

“Uhh, yeah…”


And, voila!

Hey, if men can secretly wear women’s underwear – not that I am being secret about me wearing men’s – why not? 

And, as we were walking to the train station (in much more comfort than I would have been otherwise), I started laughing. Whenever I’ve talked about getting into my husband’s pants, I’ve never thought how literally that would one day be.

And now, I do apologise for those of you who were waiting for something steamy and saucy, well…

         maybe next time Tracy comes for a visit. 😉

The Question Is…

“To be or not to be?” is not the question.

“How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll centre of a Tootsie Pop?” is not the question.

Not even “How many singer/songwriters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” is the question.

The question is…


“How many cups of coffee will be required in order for me to function at all today?”

That, my friends, is the question!

A Meatball By Any Other Name (and other humorous British/American language confusions)


Like most transplanted Americans to Great Britain, I am well-qualified to talk about the quirks of language and slang. That’s why this week’s writing challenge was made for me. It can be amusing (and just a whole lot embarrassing) if you are ignorant of the (rather large) differences in the meanings of some words. I have lived in the UK for over nine years now, and so I have mostly come to grips with calling bangs (in relation to hairstyle) a fringe, a trash can a rubbish bin, an elevator a lift and I accept various pronunciation differences in words like “garage” and “vitamin” and, of course, spelling differences (so much so that words like “colour” and “humour” and “neighbour” and “honour” do not look right to me sans the “u”). After this many years, I rarely ever slip up and call something by their American names. However, there is the rare occassion (especially when I’m tired) when my American-ness will surface….with varied results. I will get to my latest occurance in a bit; first I want to highlight some common and highly amusing examples of getting lost in translation with Americanisms and British slang.

Let’s take the word “fanny”. To an American, you have just said “bum”, “butt”, “backside”, “derriere”, “gluteus maximus”. However, to a Brit you’ve just used a slang term for female genitalia.

If that wasn’t funny enough, let’s try it the other way around. Say, “Fancy some faggots for tea?” You have just asked a Brit if he/she wants a very tasty foodstuff (somewhere between a meatball and a meatloaf but made with pork, really nice with gravy and mashed potatoes) for his/her evening meal. Say “faggot” to an American and you have just used a derrogatory term for someone of the homosexual persuasion. To further confuse matters, a slang term over here for cigarettes is “fags” (and it has nothing to do with the afore mentioned tasty foodstuff) while “fag”, to an American, is simply the short version of “faggot” which, as I have explained, is a very insulting name to call a gay person.

Biscuits and gravy? Tasty breakfast to most Americans (especially those of a southern persuasion). Say that to a Brit and they instantly picture Oreos (or some other cookie) that you must be destroying in your obviously disturbed and twisted mental state by covering them in meat gravy! Well, that does sound pretty sick, doesn’t it? I remember when my husband (fiancé at the time) came to visit me in the States the first time. He asked me what Americans like to eat for breakfast. I started with my list and came to biscuits and gravy and saw the look of horror that crossed his face. He was turning shades of green, so I quickly had to explain, “U’h…no, no, no…think savoury scones with a white gravy made from sausage.” He was still dubious until I took him to a Cracker Barrel restaurant and ordered some for him to try. “Not bad”, he said.

Fancy a shag? You are either an American carpet salesman or you are propositioning the person you’re talking to (although, I suspect, most Americans are wise to this one now thanks to Austin Powers…Yeah, Baby, yeah).

This brings us to “whacking off”, and my recent experience with it. I was talking to a friend (an English friend) – yes, I have friends – and talking about getting my hair cut. I remembered to call “bangs” “fringe”. And, I said something like, “Yeah, I’m just going to whack it off and have a fringe again.” I said it a few times without thinking about it, until my friend could no longer contain herself and said, “Autumn! Stop saying ‘whack it off’, please!” She was laughing pretty hard by now and having a difficult time catching her breath, when it finally dawned on me…

See, say “whack it off” to most Americans and you will have just told them you are going to cut something off (be it your front hedge or a tree limb or your hair). Say “whack it off” to a Brit and, well, there’s really no way to put this delicately… it’s a slang term for masturbation.

Yep. And, there I was, going on about whacking it off. She was in bits. I had simply forgotten and fallen into an old pattern of speaking. Humorous? Definitely. Embarrassing? That, too.

Dare I mention the perfectly innocent (to the American mind) words “toss” and “spunk”? I fear, for the British mind (with the exception of, perhaps, the more dirty minds amongst us), I may have taken this post a tad too far (my sincere appologies to those with more delicate sensibilites; I really don’t mean to offend…I’m just attempting to prove the point).  For, your simple throw of something (in the former word) or your characteristic of a vivacious personality trait (in the latter) mean something entirely different over here, with “toss” resembling my whacking it off and “spunk” the result of the whacking!! Oh, dear.

Language really is a seriously funny old thing.  Communication is a very tricky thing. Tread carefully, my friend. Your innocent comment or invitation to dinner might be someone else’s offensive comment or offer to get it on (or take it off… or, indeed, whack it off, as the case may be).

Lists? We don’t need no stinking lists! Or do we?

Today’s Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List

Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

Who doesn’t love a list? Me! The satisfaction? Really? They are too organised for my chaos. They are too constrictive to my natural free-spirited, impulsive nature; they go against my spontaneity. The only lists I regularly make are set lists for my gigs (and those not as regularly as I’d like…grrr…but, I digress) and song lists for when I lead praise and worship, like this:


I even have trouble making shopping lists. Honestly, I kid you not, I just attempted to type the word “lists” and it came out “lusts”. See, lists and I just don’t get along. I’d obviously rather be writing about lust than lists! Well, who wouldn’t, really? (And, I’m sure someone just answered that question with, “Well, I’d much rather write about lists…” AHEM, moving right along…).

It’s not that I cannot see their benefit or that I don’t use them when absolutely pressed to, but the idea that everyone LOVES a list? Come on! Not I, I say. I’m just a rebel that way. 😉 Maybe we do need them on occasion, but love them? Puleeeeze!

I’m not even going to “categorize” this post. If any post should be “Uncategorized” it should be this one.