Changes and where I am right now

For a while now I have had dreams of making more time for my art and especially for monetising it somehow. At least to pay for itself and maybe a little more. This last few weeks have seen a growth in my confidence that is now translating into action. It has required me to make some changes.

Work hours. I have an agreement to change my day-job work patterns so that I have an extra day off every two weeks. This will be a day when I have the house to myself and can either draw or do administrative work without interruption. It does mean I will work an extra 50 minutes per day for the other 9 days though.

The gym. Sadly I fear the end is nigh for the gym I have enjoyed being a member of for so long. Thus my change of work hours was a perfect opportunity to find a new gym that fitted in better with those hours. Luckily I found a place very near to the old one and, even better, two of my gym friends have also transferred. I had my first week last week and it was great. Especially since constant cancellation of classes at the old place meant it had been two weeks since my last decent workout.

Art business. I have made the necessary arrangements with regards banking. The next step is to upload some images to a print-on-demand service that does all the dispatch etc and thus does not eat in to my time. I might not sell much but it will be at least a start. Any monies made could go towards having prints and other things made for me to sell directly, which will be the next step. Expect announcements soon if I get through the next few weeks…..

All the above is great but I admit things are not easy right now. There is tension in my home life and also I feel the effects of three years of constant stress at work. Stress made an old infection on my leg flare up again in September. It went down soon afterwards but this week (an especially stressful week) it is grumbling again. My stress-related tinnitus has been bad most days. I am permanently tired and struggling to concentrate or learn the new tasks I have been given. My doctor had hoped to take me off anti-depressants but we both felt that this is not wise as it may be all that is keeping me sane right now.

One consequence is my recent lack of blogging or interaction on WP. I am also finding it hard being near people at work, which is typical of me when I feel overwhelmed. Several times this week I found myself over-reacting to the tiniest annoyance such as computer issues or people near me in shops and on buses making too much noise. This is another chronic stress symptom apparently. Last Monday I got to work and hit the ground running because of a computer failure and temperature control failure in the lab that had happened over the weekend. I had to repeat two days work which I had not planned for, then discovered someone had arranged for me to attend training on new equipment and gave me virtually no notice. I stayed away because I am just too tired for new information to sink in anyway.

Thankfully my WP friends have kept in touch and prevented me from disappearing completely.  At times like this I get a desperate urge to run away from my life but this time, if I can summon the energy, I have a potential escape route via my art and I must take that option and throw my remaining energy into it!

There have been positives in the last two weeks. Not least that it has been Diwali this week. Not only do we have a Diwali celebration at work for our two much-loved Hindu colleagues (which attracts pretty much the whole building -100 people), but as a result of this Susan and I were invited by one of those colleagues, my friend Binoti, to the city Diwali celebration in the town hall and we sat with the mayor. It was quite a treat, especially all the colourful clothing the ladies were wearing. The dancers were fantastic too. One was a GP who dances in her spare time and the other her 15 year old student.

Here I am getting a henna tattoo at our work Diwali event:

And the guests of honour so you can see their lovely clothes. Left is Mrs Shukla, President of the Lancaster Hindu Society, who gave a talk on the meaning of Diwali. Centre and right are my colleagues Manisha and Binoti.


Here is a pic from the city Diwali event, myself and Binoti. Susan is standing to my left but has been cropped out purely because she would hate the thought of her photo being on here. Though Binoti did lend her a wrap and a Bindi to wear. Yes I am wearing a tie. Not especially neatly, granted, but I did make an effort.


In a departure from my usual friday geeky plant post I include some pictures of fungi taken in recent weeks. I do not have names for them (not being a fungus geek – yet).


And finally, this last one inspires me to quote from a Guardian review of  ‘Full Disclosure’ by that literary giant Stormy Daniels:

“Stormy knows that she has a responsibility to history. “The world is waiting to hear about his (Trump’s) penis,” she says and obliges in emasculating detail. It looks repellently fungoid, with a head that she first likens to a mushroom and then – determined to spare him no humiliation – to a toadstool.”


Bet you wish you could unsee that😉😊…

Healthy addendum. Dominique kindly sent me this image depicting the healthy properties of mushrooms:

This is interesting to me given my post above. I had speculated for a while that my fatigue might be a result of vitamin D deficiency and my energy and mood started to improve on thursday – after having a huge plate of mushroom pasta for dinner on wednesday night. Coincidence?

On another note:

So far nobody has mentioned the mushrooms containing psychedelic compounds. Apparently they cause heightened perception of your current thoughts and senses. So imagine taking them just after viewing the trump-dick mushroom and comment. Or, even better, try it and tell me what happens….


  1. You are doing exactly what needs to be done to achieve your dreams and aspirations. All these changes are positive. I hope that next week will be less stressful at work and that your tinnitus will disappear or at least be less disturbing so that you regain the concentration necessary to ensure your tasks and activities. Happy that the Diwali celebrations have been pleasant. Lol -Your pictures of fungi and comments are awesome. Thanks for the laugh. You are such a fungi (fun guy). I miss you! I’m sending you an image about the health benefits of eating mushrooms.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I know the past few weeks have been hard for you, but look at all you are doing! Work is being work…on an epic scale, BUT you Diwali’d and got a tattoo and and look at those pics! Is that.a smile I see? And a tie!? Whoa! Sending you much love and copious hugs. Can’t wait to see you in the spring! 💕💕💕💕💕

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hang in there my friend. You are working toward your goals and doing a fantastic job. I hope your stress diminishes soon and your tinnitus calms down. You can’t disappear Do, Dee Dee, Linda, and I will find you 😉 The Diwali event looks like so much fun! I love to see that smiling face and the tie, you look amazing! I love the fungi, they are gorgeous…well maybe not the last. Lol that made me crack up!! Much love and hugs! I loved this post and the tattoo!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you Lisa. I am keen to progress further and faster with my goals but also need to make sure I do not push myself too hard. It is a fine balance.

      Glad you enjoyed the post and pictures (trump-dick excepted).

      Much love and hugs to you too!💕


  4. That last picture and description delighted and repelled me in equal measure! I am really glad to hear about your plans to sell your art: your drawings deserve this. Your recognition of what is difficult at the moment is really admirable. I am always touched by your absolute honesty and openness. I hope that you are kind to yourself over the coming weeks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Ali. I try to be open as I feel it sets a good example. And therapists have often commented on my insight into how my own mind works. Translating that into action is often the stumbling block😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow Darren you really have got some stuff going on at the moment! No wonder that you’re feeling stressed out. I’m so happy for you that you’re going ahead with your plans to monetise your artwork; you are so talented I’m sure that customers will be beating a path to your door before you know it :O)
    I hope that all the stress related maladies settle down soon and that you find some peace within yourself. Sending hugs xxxx
    Ps. that toadstool image will stay with me all day; am considering drinking myself into oblivion ;O) x

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That is wonderful news dear friend and you are on your way. You have taken the first step and they say the first one is the hardest, so all the hard work is over. Some anyways 😉. I am so proud of you and I can’t wait to hear more. Go Super D…you are changing your stars. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It sounds like you are moving in the right direction with small steps to achieve your dreams. I am a big believer in following your dreams however small and whatever they are and if we keep doing this we WILL get there ….stay positive Darren and hope you feel 100% fighting fit soon.. Sending positive thoughts and hopes your way 🙂 Have a fab weekend 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Gill. Ironically – I believe in following your dreams too. Sadly the forces of resistance are strong in my case! However, this has been a good and productive week despite everything so I feel optimistic right now.
      Thank you so much for your support! x

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Darren,
    Wow, I can so identify with your journey. Little steps often bring huge changes, so wishing you the absolute best outcomes. Try to remember that some of those big changes may look bad and be beyond your control, but will ultimately lead to a better path and more fulfilment in life. Often times, that tiny step we take, was a much needed push from the energies of the cosmos. It propels us into a maelstrom of change that we weren’t looking for, but that ultimately it is exactly what we need. I think your art will serve you very well, but not in the way you might think. It will carry you beyond all the hurts, the mental anguish and the sensitivity to a harsh world. It will, in a word, give you ‘sanctuary.’ A place where you evolve and become the ‘you’ that you want to be. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I realize this is an older post, as I am behind on everything, and your Christmas break is coming up soon, but I do hope your world is spinning a little slower these days my friend💕

    Liked by 1 person

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