Monday, 3 February 2020

All Change

Hey, If you're one of these weird people that finds watching paint dry exciting then you'll probably enjoy my update?  I thought i'd hit you all with a little  update of what's going on right now seeing as it's been awhile. I've decided to close my Runnin On Empty website in the next few months and create a couple of separate ones. The reason for my madness?  I originally thought it was a good idea to have all my heads under one umbrella, it was good, for me, but in hindsight it's not always the right thing to do as it can confuse people, put them off, be too much in one place to check out?

One of the obvious heads that can be  problematic is my music head Mama Chill, Rap/HipHop has never had a great image in the eyes of the British white middle class, and while I continue in trying to educate people and change their perception, when asked many still think it's about crotch grabbing, killing and drugs. and while I have been tempted  to keep my mother under the floorboards for longer periods than she is presently kept I can assure everyone I have never considered bumping her off, As for drugs? Green and Blacks 70% chocolate thank-you very much, and the only crotch grabbing likely to take place is because I need a wee courtesy of a Jurassic bladder. 

So a basic Mama Chill website is one of the sites I'm creating right now with the aim of eventually making some new music, its been a long time for sure.  The other head to go solo is my Professional Dream Translator head under the name of White Feather Dreams.While I'm passionate about Dreams and what I do in educating people of the importance, again, it's one of those things that unless people have  experienced it for themselves it can be hard to get your head around. It can be seen on a similar par to an end of the Pier  Mystic Meg, which is actually a million miles away from what I do. 
The last site to be recreated right here will be a new basic Runnin On Empty one which will concentrate on my general writing, all previous work will still be here, hopefully it will just be the look  and layout that slightly changes? 

I've always written at Blogger for ease of use and I was hoping to either incorporate it in the paid website or use the in-house one but both didn't sit on the site very well in terms of layout and ease of use. So it made sense to just move all my domain names over to my Blogger sites 
Are you still awake? 

As a techno muppet it's been a tad tougher than I thought, not just setting up the domain names here at Blogger but also recreating the sites. It wasn't until I'd finished the White Feather Dreams site that I realised it didn't fit or look good on a mobile phone, why is that important?  Because as of 2019 it was estimated that 4.346 billion people used their phones for internet use, business via mobile phone use is big business. So after a little googling, I found that Blogger has some newer mobile friendlier templates, wonderful, only trouble is they still weren't exactly what I wanted, because Blogger is basic, some of the features are unchangeable/unremoveable unless you know code? I don't know code oh oh! 

So once again I've had to search, google and chat with uber friendly communities who have guided me in the right direction, and following their direction and coding I've managed to change bits and remove sections I don't want, although it's still mega early days and i'm still learning and playing as I go, but hopefully it will make changing the other sites and especially when I do this one right here,  a bit easier?  

So although i'm still trying to stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, at the moment I'm daily beavering away trying to get all these sites created , so apologies if I've missed birthday wishes and other events and behaving more anti-social than I usually am?  

I'm also organizing a little M.E Competition, it seems ages since I did the last one, they were just to bring a little fun and light into the lives of those dealing on a daily with what is often a painful, lonely and soul destroying chronic illness, they were also to  help raise awareness of Charity Invest In ME Research via Lets do it for ME! . Last week I came across a lovely old email from one of the previous winners which reminded  me of how  a little light on a dark day can make all the difference in someone's life, so I will hopefully get the Competition up over the next week?  And that is where I'm at right now.

There are many plans and things I'm hoping to get more involved in locally such as  South West Herts Peoples Health Service  & also South West Community Hub  but one baby step at a time. After a severe deep belly muscle strain around an old Operation scar at the end of December which still hasn't healed and an M.E & Fibromyalgia relapse it's a bit of a struggle to say the least, but as long as I wake up breathing there is still much that can be done and everything to be grateful for.  There are days when just breathing is more than enough, so remember you are amazing, and as  long as you keep going forward, it's all that matters. Whatever you're up to my friends just  Keep On Keepin'On.
                                                    Til next time, Stay Blessed 
                                                           Back Before Elvis x

Thursday, 9 January 2020


I choose Twitter as my main social media hang out because with only limited characters allowed there's less chance of a novel length post about someone's daily drama, unless of course they decide to write 10 posts in a row?  There's always one ?  

The only downside to Twitter is the mindset of some of the users. There's alot of people that Follow, wait until you Follow back, and then Unfollow you again so their  numbers look good. There are many that only follow a few hundred while their followers are in their thousands . This is all well and good when it comes to someone Famous or a Celebrity, it's expected, but not with your average Joe, if someone follows you then be polite and follow them back, call it Twitter Etiquette. The only accounts I don't follow are porn, not because I'm a prude but because seeing someones undercarriage in my feed really doesn't float my boat, Food porn however is acceptable, I never tire at the sight of Cheesecake.  For the past year I've also noticed something else going on, people suddenly Unfollowing everyone, so their Follow statistics  drop to zero but the Follower number is thousands, I for one aren't impressed  if that's the reaction expected?   You can bet your bottom dollar that a few weeks later they'll be Following you again and repeating the game?

For those of us on  Twitter for genuine reasons, looking to connect, engage, support , it can be extremely frustrating, but I've found a way to at least stay in control of these Muppets playing a game. I signed up to and use the free version but there is a paid plan with more flexibility if you choose. 
It means I can go in everyday and be shown who has Unfollowed my page. I then Unfollow that person PLUS I block them, this stops them from being able to  follow again a few weeks later and the game repeating, it's depressing how many people are just focused on making themselves look good by Follow numbers. since using the Unfollowers site I'm  blocking between  5 and 20 Muppets a day, so it's quite prevalent but social media is what it is. 

I'm on Twitter like most good people for the reasons I mentioned earlier, to connect, support others, and be supported, so I don't ever Unfollow  and Block anyone other than the players. There are often posts from those upset about the lack of Followers but there is no quick fix to gaining more , it takes time and hard work,  it also works better if you spend more time supporting and engaging in others posts  rather than trying to just push your own.  I've studied marketing, I've posted out at various times and tried posting interesting articles, it doesn't always work and someone with far less Followers than me can have far more engagement. I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

Find posts that you like and Retweet them and leave  comments saying why you enjoyed it, or give someone a pat on the back if they deserve it, others will often comment too, or like what you've written and end up following you because they can see you are someone that engages, or they like your sense of humour or style of writing etc.    

The main thing is, stop worrying about numbers, just chill and focus on getting to know your fellow Twitters and enjoy it, focus on that and the numbers will increase in time, naturally with people that are more likely to stay Following. Right I'm off  to Tweet. 

                                                        Til Next Time, Stay Blessed
                                                               Back Before Elvis.


Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Tits-Up 2019

Oh you're here?  Merry Christmas and thank-you for tearing yourself away from the Quality Street . So I pondered long and hard for a respectable title for this years annual offering, but "Tits-Up 2019" was really the most accurate and honest summary, and as those of you who have followed for a decade or two will know I do believe in sharing my rambles with you all  honestly, otherwise why bother? So apologies for anyone that's offended  ( Ho Ho Ho)  Tits-Up 2019 it is then
"So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun"- John Lennon

Very apt lyrics indeed, and the answer is it feels like a big fat nothing, although it's not been for want of trying. As strange as it may sound it feels as though I literally blinked and another year was at it's end without me accomplishing anything?   I didn't become the axe-goddess I annually mention,  (Guitar variety, not wooden handle, sharp silver head, I'm hormonal get out of my way variety just so we're clear?) Despite a Christmas design (that's now been removed) I only sold one T-shirt from the store this year, so there were no profits to pass on to  Charity Invest In ME Research or any other charities that  get a cut, So I ended up making a personal donation instead. 

I've also been campaigning and fighting the Government system, it's departments and individuals  that think it's okay to bully and destroy the  sick and disabled and most vulnerable members of society, I've been letter writing  ( Yee Pen and Paper old fashion variety) emailing and phoning. There's  been tears (Lots) ,Vomiting (Once, due to the stress and frustration) and the general weariness and exhaustion of  trying to stay on what feels like a David and Goliath mission. Despite my own poor health,as a tough Ol Boot I feel I owe it to those without voice, those who struggle to articulate and those no longer here. As of last week, the powers that be have handed my latest letter of complaint, concerns and requests over to another body to Investigate and review but I'm informed there is no legal response time  required, In other words  "Please don't be holding your breath?" 

I didn't get back into making music for the 4th year in a row, not that anyone's noticed apart from my niece and nephew Natalie and George, cheers guys, there will be new music coming...sometime.  Since losing my brother and sister in 2015  I've felt  as lost as a fart in a baked bean factory, and hoping and waiting for guidance from some local Music Guru who would sweep in and come rescue me from the smog. (It hasn't happened just in case you were wondering?)   But I have been writing, there' plenty of material and I just have to decide whether to try and find a local studio or do it myself ?  

I didn't get that Beyonce body I  annually  hope for either, again not for want of trying, but I'm just one of those women that only has to sniff a bar of  Dairy Milk and BOOM! on goes two stone, I can only conclude from my present weight I've been sniffing an awful lot of  chocolate? 

We had Politics, and i'm just going to leave that right there?

Despite the odds, that have been like climbing a fireman's pole in a straitjacket, battling copious amounts of pain courtesy of M.E & Osteoporosis, the extreme discomfort of  inflamed swollen belly and limbs courtesy of Fibromyalgia and  Mental doubt courtesy of me and my inner head chimp I've spent the last two years training to be a Hatha yoga teacher, with the aim of being able to help other less able bodied people, but I've fallen at the last hurdle. You should never ask for honest feedback if you're not prepared to hear it, I thought I was? and my teacher gave me plenty, way too much in one go for my foggy M.E'd marshmallow head to process.  I spent the rest of the class chewing the inside of my cheeks to stop the slow trail of tears turning into Niagra falls and flooding the studio and drowning my fellow Yoginis. It was also a short sharp shock of reality, that even after 30 years i'm still trying to escape this damn M.E & Fibromyalgia to be "Normal"  however unrealistic that may be. Right now I feel stupid, humiliated and pretty darn awful, but it's of my own doing and I can't think clearly enough to work out what i'm gonna do next once I stop licking my wounds ?

So unfortunately  2019 pretty much ends the way it started, with little achieved. Although I have learnt lessons, such as I still need to work on my tolerance and short fuse. Sat at the back of our little Spiritual church recently I had to stop myself from grabbing a copy of the physic News, rolling it up and beating the Women sat opposite to death because she had boiled sweets and was slurping and crunching her way through the entire service. 

I've also still managed to stay as single as I've always been and plan on staying in 2020 , I couldn't think of anything worse than dating by todays standards, I'm all for everyone being who they want to be, He, She, They, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral , but there's still a traditional naive dreamer in me somewhere that would be mortified to think I was on a date with a guy when he turned out to be a stick of Broccoli?  

So there we are, a well and truly "Tits Up 2019". I'm not making any plans for 2020 other than to keep on breathing, always a good start I think?  Life doesn't always work out how we plan it but the most important thing is to  keep on getting back up and to keep on keepin'on, that way there's always the chance of change, of opportunity and hope, and as I leave you with that thought, let me end by saying  thank-you for all the support, the reads, the Likes, Follows, Shares, RT's and comments you make it all worthwhile. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Love, Peace and all good things. 
                                                   Til Next Time, Stay Blessed
                                                           Back Before Elvis                                                                 

Friday, 20 December 2019

When Royal Mail Signed For...Er...Isn't Signed For?

What if you paid to send something  "Signed For" via Royal Mail only to be told it doesn't get signed for?...... Confused ? 
When it comes to  business or other important matters, like many I use the "Signed For" option as it gives me peace of mind, I trust it will have more chance of getting to the person I'm sending it to, I can also track it online and breathe a sigh of relief when I see the signature, only I found out yesterday, much to my shocked  "Hang on that can't be right" facial expression, that when it comes to large organisations such as D.W.P you're "Signed For" document doesn't get ......"Signed For"?

This all started because as a Disability/Health Campaigner I started a complaint procedure  against the Medical assessment center and  D.W.P  for their handling and treatment of claimants. but hadn't had a response despite it being four weeks so I checked the tracking number via the online Royal Mail site but there was no signature or information other than the name of the Post office I'd first taken it to.

I contacted Royal Mail, they apologized and said that if I could verify the Medical center hadn't received the letter they would send me out £4.20 in stamps . I don't know about you but I'd much  prefer my letter to just get to where I want it to go?  I asked why there was no signature showing on the Royal Mail site? And was told in a sheepish manner that it's something the Royal Mail are looking into doing something about but at the moment with large organisations such as D.W.P  customers "Signed For" letters don't get "Signed For". It seems that because the mail is dropped of in a big load someone just signs for the lot, so the tracking number on an individual customers receipt really means diddly squat?   Isn't that fraudulent ? Why am I paying for "Signed" when it's clearly and knowingly  not being done ? And why haven't Royal Mail made the public aware of this? 
I came off the phone and rang the Medical assessment center where they too apologized and confirmed they hadn't received the letter, plus they also confirmed they don't get any "Signed For" letters in any of the departments, because it's such a large place  and there's such alot of mail, it all  arrives at the depot and then  someone will just sign the bottom of a spreadsheet for the whole lot? 

So there you go, it will be interesting to see how the Royal Mail will get themselves out of this one? But if you're sending anything to D.W.P  save your money, ditch the "Signed For" and just stick a normal stamp on it.

                                                      Until Next Time, Stay Blessed
                                                                Back Before Elvis

Friday, 13 December 2019

It's Not Okay.

To say I'm devastated  by the Election result would be an understatement, but unless you're Sick/Disabled or negatively impacted I don't expect anyone else to get it, and they clearly don't. 

But this wasn't just political, it was personal, If you voted Tory you are no friend or family member of mine, you really aren't, if you genuinely love and care about someone you don't throw them under the bus. You see, if you voted Tory you gave them a thumbs up that it was okay to bump off 120.000 Sick and Disabled like me via Corporate manslaughter and continue doing so, I could've been one of those 120.000 and still can become a statistic at any point. This isn't just about numbers and statistics though, this is real people with families, Mums, Dads, Sons and Daughters, bullied, humiliated, stripped of any dignity & finally killed? 
If you don't believe it do some research, we live this life on a daily so we know first hand what's happening but alot of it is there on Google if anyone bothers to check?

If you voted Tory you gave a thumbs up that it was okay for them to take away peoples disability aids, Mobility cars, Scooters, and continue  doing so  leaving already vulnerable people isolated by removing the only thing they had left that gave them a tad of  independence?  Mobility services have confirmed that as of  1st November 2019, 101.000 Disabled people have had their Cars and Scooters taken away from them.   

Many Sick/Disabled  that lose 
their Disability living allowance can't afford to pay carers, which has meant and means that in a parents case their school age children have to take over and try and fill in the gap best they can before school, after school and often taking time off school. Others who have nobody lie in their own soil until they are well enough to change themselves or until they can find somebody, friend, neighbour, to come and help them. There are those that have gone without a shower or bath for weeks because there is nobody to help. There was a time I was predominantly bed-bound and house-bound for two years, with any chronic illness that fluctuates you can be back there in a heartbeat.

 In a Tories Nazi mindset we are a burden on society and one they want rid of and they are succeeding, their mindset has been  passed on to the public, hate crimes against Sick/Disabled have risen by 41% with less prosecutions than ever. Your vote said that's okay?  

I didn't like Corbyn, plus my grandfather was Jewish so with all the antisemitism surrounding Labour i really had to dig deep,  I also swore after Blair I would never vote Labour again, but this wasn't just about me, under the Tories it was a much more bigger sinister picture, at least  with a new Government there was hope, that's what we needed.  Labour had spoken about changing the way Sick/Disabled were being treated, they would also fight austerity. I never in this life time thought I would see and experience Sick /Disabled being treated so brutally including those with mental health problems, I never thought I would see Food-banks in my home land , I never thought I would see children so hungry that Teachers are putting their own hands in their pockets to buy them food, I never thought I would see elderly men and women sat in their coats in a dark cold room because they can't afford the heating or electricity. 
I never thought I would see so many  Homeless families & individuals on our streets and on the rise under the Tories. The United Nations wrote in a report that what is happening in this country is an humanitarian crisis, no surprising the Tories disagreed and are carrying on regardless. I feel so ashamed to live in a country where it's Government and it's people say that's okay? Worst still is seeing all the laughter and jokes from so called friends over social media about the result, thank-you for showing just how little you think my life and the life of my fellow Sick/Disabled are worth, For those that think this post is just dramatic, it goes to show how sadly  little you know of the extreme suffering that has been happening to so many? This isn't a jokey bicker over the price of a loaf of bread, this is about lives?  Right now it feels as though all hope has gone and it's a very sad day & time we're living in indeed? I will be coming off Facebook as from immediate effect  for  sometime, to reflect, to gather thoughts and concentrate on my health. So I will take this opportunity to wish you all a  Merry Christmas topped off with Love and Peace. 

                                                   Until Next Time, Stay Blessed
                                                            Back Before Elvis