Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Growing Selfies

So, a couple of years ago I announced that my activity for March of the Brain Tumours would be to post ridiculous photos of myself wearing external variations of my tumour in its approximate location. However, the photos were generally a nightmare and I didn't bother: I was pale and had big bags under my eyes, and instead of putting off my little personal photo shoot for another day, I stubbornly went ahead with it anyway. Photos that were supposed to be funny became less so because they demonstrated what was clearly a lack of vitamins and sleep - not exactly the picture of health I wanted to project in the name of ostensible confidence and strength in the face of the thing that will eventually kill me.

So, I decided at the time to just stick with the one that I found particularly glamourous, the one with the fancy red and be-pearled fascinator that's somewhere not too far back on this blog. Vanity is thy my me name, etc. (This was, of course, a few months before the revelation that it need to be cut out again, but whatever).

But let's revisit and expose those rejectamenta. I wish to finally make public some of those fine specimens, because there's nothing like laughter, bitter as it may be, to pretend that there's nothing going on. Let us begin with this lovely little pic featuring the tumour as an egg-shaped knitted thing my Aunt bestowed on me. Let's not mention what's going on with my hair and face, yeah? Just focus on the bird and the beautiful angle at which it is perched.

Yes. And then another birdie (felt bird by Lieutske Visser), who I met at the lovely Dandy Lion Market a few years ago. Now we can look at my hair. Note the subtle styling that complements the frilly tail of the bird. Quite clever of me, I thought. 

And let us not forget these stunners. I ate a whole packet of these during the afternoon when I was pissing about with the camera. In retrospect, it might be that this sort of gluttony explains what was really going on. Aww, sad face.

Monday, 3 March 2014

it's like . . .

Some days it's like, well, probably the entirety of Camilla d'Errico's Tanpopo, whether it's the text or the illustration or the combination of both. Ups and downs but mostly suspension.

it's like . . .

Untitled, 1969

Some days it's more or less like a late period Rothko. Which means many things, really. A furious, beautiful black on grey that feels like it's screaming by but standing dead still at the same time.

Saturday, 1 March 2014


It's Brain Tumour Awareness Month again, everybody!

But more importantly, in another few days that most fabulous season of Christian masochism, Lent, shall also commence. I have decided that the ideal thing to give up for those 40 days would be my tumour, seeing as I harp on about it so much. If I were to resist it, I'd have nothing else to talk about, really, and we would all be delighted by my blank and silent sense of happiness in my dedication to God. 

Unfortunately for all of us, I am not the Catholic I was raised to be, so there seems little point in sacrificing the object of my obsession and the opportunities it provides for groaning and moaning and emotionally blackmailing anyone who takes the time to listen. Therefore, let it be known that for the season known as Lent, I will not give up my tumour, or any pleasure I take in grumbling about it, but I shall nevertheless out-Catholic the Catholics in self-flagellation. I shall moan, I shall groan, I shall take on the holy sufferings of Christ on his donkey and his tree, and, after a brief wrestling match, the Crown of Thorns will be MINE. I won't be crucified, but I'll get that Crown.

Or in other words, I'm actually not giving anything up for Lent. Why should I? (Patti Smith, let us consult thee). I'm hoping to make the most of the month being Aware, whether that means paying extra attention to myself, or paying attention to other people, or to wider campaigns, or just generally thinking things through. Which things? Any things. Et cetera. I've spent the last few months being scared again. I'd like to shake that off. Or talk about how I can't shake it off.

Very well. Now, Let us pray. Not to any figures directly involved in the Easter processes, but to someone from the strange hagiographic cult, the Christian celebrity world that, I feel, is a particularly interesting bit of ooze in the holy bandages. I'm fascinated by it. Let us pray to she who had a bleeding hole in her head for fifteen years. St Rita, patron saint of lost and impossible causes, sickness, wounds, and a few other things not applicable to me: Dear St Rita, please send those white bees to take my tumour. Amen. And on your feast day in May, I'll be pretty grateful, and I'll make you some rose petal jam from the rose bush in my garden. I've just replanted it (no - no injury from the thorns, Praise the Lord), so I think it's going to do very well this year.

Brain Tumour Awareness Month! Brain Tumour Awareness Month! Brain Tumour Awareness Month!