06 October, 2015

Update on day to day life III, April 9 2015 - May 11th 2016

UPDATE: I have just changed the blog-theme, lay-out and background colours of this blog, as the old format turned out difficult to read on smartphones, but I'll need a few weeks to adapt each of the 71 blog posts here to match the new colours. So apologies for the blog STILL being difficult to read due to light pinks and greys in the text (which are now unreadable with the new light background). Am changing it all in the next weeks.  

I try to give an insight in my own life and dealings with rosacea. I also try to gather information that might be useful for everyone with rosacea, especially subtype 1 with burning, flushing and skin redness. I happen to be a bit unfortunate in that I have this condition for a long time already, and unlike many others, I haven't been able to get it into remission. I know it is more uplifting to read about someone who has beaten rosacea, but I like to write about the struggles that come for those who haven't achieved this. If this depresses you or scares you, it is probably best to skip my day to day life update posts here (which are only a fraction of all posts), and maybe stick to the rest of the posts, which gather information.  

May 11th 2016 

Skin is finally calming down. At least I don't have the night flushing anymore and the redness and burning only returns in the course of the day and evening. I started eating 'clean' again the past week (no sneaking in of cookies or gluten or chocolate - apart from some 70% dark chocolate here and there), the Nutella jar has been effectively hidden from me (so addictive.. hadn't eaten it for years and just a few spoonfulls lately was enough to remember why it used to be so addictive). Slept good hours this week too, which might have helped. Poor sleep stirs my flushing and inflammation up as well. Also cranked up the humidity in the house a bit, so my skin isn't as dry. Relief! When skin is like this, it's a lot easier for me to go out and about and meet others and get on with things. Hope it will stay this way, I am just keeping up with my anti flushing medication as normal and try to eat really healthy at the moment, mainly stir fries of vegetables (carrots for instance, yellow pepper, broccoli, courgette, apple, olives), organic meat or fish and rice or sweet potatoes. I stopped eating regular potatoes (nightshades) for now. 


May 8th 2016

I've been flushing and burning for days and nights on end now, sleeping with fan up to my nose and cold packs. It takes away all the joy to get up at all. The pictures don't even reflect half of the real life color and swelling, they always seem to look so much less red than reality. Dunno why my skin is this bad. It hurts like hell all the time. I think it might be a delayed response to that make up use, perhaps. I had it before. Fine when I have it on, then the day or two after taking it off are O.K. too, but then soon after I have one or even two full weeks of red sore skin. I looked back at some older pictures and it seems to have happened before as well with me. I can't remember it was as bad as this time though. I used that make-up twice in a row the past month however, maybe it's too much. It's just my stupid hyper-reactive skin. the make-up is fine I think. I can't tolerate topicals for some reason. Very frustrating. Perhaps the rubbing of my skin (to get that thick mask of make-up off) last weekend didn't help either. Another suspect are hormones, seem to be having a hormone flare at the moment. Plus perhaps allergies (pollen). It's just relentless at the moment. 

And I find it hard to readjust to this flare, after some good periods recently as well. If all goes OK the skin can look not too bad, but if it gets bad or the silliest tiniest thing goes wrong (allergen trigger, wrong food, hormone surge, perfume smell, bad sleep, stress, emotion, and the list is endless really) I get so so so awfully deep red and its like I've got acid on my face. It feels at those moments that my whole life is revolving about avoiding the triggers, keeping skin calm and cool and getting on with stuff like work and friends when I have the energy for it. Plus sleeping a lot. I know that in general, that makes for a fearful person (better get on with it), but I've had this for so long now, and tried so many medication and treatments that it feels like I'm at the end of the treatment line now, sort of. The end of what is currently out there. Of course they might make new medication in time, but that all goes so slow... The only things I haven't tried are accutane and a couple of other things. Antibiotics make me more red and flared, NSAID's eventually too, antimalarials weren't for me, laser and IPL made it worse or did nothing, I can't use topicals. But right now, if I make the flares as bad as they once used to be, the 24/7 inferno hell, my derms dont know what else to try anymore either. I feel constantly on the edge of a cliff in that respect.

Oh well, I'm sure it all calms down sooner than later. 

May 3rd 2016

Have been occupied with things like a book launch (I wrote part of a museum catalog), VIP dinners I'd rather have missed. I had make up on which made me look like Caspar the Ghost (*see pic 1), but that seemed a better option than being red. Had a bad rosacea week, very flared up cheeks. I had been taking diclofenac (NSAID) for the 7 days prior, thinking it would help me calm matters down, but I think in hindsight that it made my redness only worse. No idea why. My London derm says it's fine to take for rosacea but my German derm says he rather doesn't have his rosacea patients use it, and he compares the effect to a steroid (?!). I sat at a table with some people I knew luckily, and with a famous painter here who lost both his legs in a car bombing (meant for a lawyer, he just happened to drive the same type of car). Very friendly guy though, he kept joking. I kind of made it through, then the rest of the evening family and friends came over too so I had an excuse to socialize with them and play shy. My skin was flared a good few times, also because it was very warm inside and there was a buffet with delicious foods, and given the layers of zinc oxidated make-up on, I thought I could basically eat what I wanted. They had lasagna, all types of differently prepared salmon, and meats, pretty delicious 3 star food all in all and the deserts (my favs since taking remeron, Hail to those Carbs!) were classic tiramisu and strawberry tiramisu. When I looked in the mirror, before everybody was heading from the dinner place to the museum for the opening itself, I looked in the mirror with the wrong lighting and it looked like a zombie death mask :( I tried to patch things up with my La roche posay toleriane make up kid and powders but it only got worse (*see pic 2). I kept our group up as I lost track of time, frantically trying to look like before I started reapplying the make-up. It was a right mess. Friends later said it wasn't too bad and from a meter or so distance, people wouldn't notice a thing. Yay lol, another reason to keep people at a distance ;)

Not much else dramatic has been going on. I've been out with friends on Sunday to a nice terrace/cafe in the city park, behind my home. Watching pretty girls in short skirts. Like to join their evaluation of legs in skirts :) What else.... It was Kings Day (Dutch thing) last Wednesday but it was dogs weather, rain, hail, storm, cold so mostly everything was cancelled. Went to my mothers place, who lives in the poshest village around town. She always gets the best food in the house, nice cheeses and pastries and stuff. Yum. She also has a little pet dog, a rogue little thing who loves to play throw ball. I kind of like that too. What else... did some gardening, had some friends over for Chinese take away food (not me of course, that MSG in it makes me flush) and beers (nope).

I watched the 2nd episode of the new Game of Thrones season and it was a lot better than the first ep I can say. Full of dread and threat and my fav. Ramsay has a starring role in it. They really managed to create a lot of tension out of effectively nothing (an old man trying to cross a shaky old bridge in a storm, Ramsay giving very meaningful looks with consequences), but it got me at the edge of my seat, and overall it was a much better episode than the premiere one I think. Also a fantastic little dialogue from the head sparrow, they do sneak in some very effective religion analysis here and there. People here might not have watched it yet, so I will keep the suspense up. Except for one major plot twist which absolutely nobody expected haha. Oops did I reveal something after all now? :)

The show is full of gore and haunting evil stuff but Ramsay's latest move really grossed me out, shocked me more than a lot of what's happened so far. Interesting... you can bet on who wins the GoT-throne. Yup! My bet has been on Hodor so far (500:1), but now I start to think that you need a wider vocabulary then just one word to be king. It could mean anything and nothing when he utters it, although the spin doctors would love a Hodor no doubt. Gives them free reign to interpret things and run the show. 

Game of Thrones Special : Who will be the ruling King or Queen of Westeros at the end of
 the Game of Thrones television series?

Daenerys Targaryen — 5/2
Jon Snow — 3/1
Aegon VI Targaryen — 6/1
Tyrion Lannister — 15/2
Petyr Baelish — 15/2
Margaery Tyrell — 14/1
Euron Greyjoy — 20/1
Varys — 20/1
Stannis Baratheon — 25/1
Sansa Stark — 25/1
Night’s King — 25/1
Cersei Lannister — 40/1
Trystane Martell — 40/1
Bran or Rickon Stark — 50/1
Arya Stark — 50/1
Ramsay Bolton — 50/1
Hodor — 500/1

Some pictures of my night out


My skin the next day (the make-up removal took some rubbing!) and the 2nd day after. Not too bad



My cat giving a welcome present

April 22nd 2016

I saw a wonderful docu last night. Here is a small clip from it:

I found a link to it, but it can only be viewed there from a location in Britain or with a UK IP location address; http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06j7pkl/ted-hughes-stronger-than-death
This Ted Hughes docu is wonderful. Halfways, you hear how he was married to Sylvia Plath (another talented and famous poet) and how fragile she was. They have a loving relationship, 2 young children. Sylvia struggles at times with things. And then this Assia woman comes to the scene. With her partner at the time, invited for a dinner evening. She saw Ted in the garden, she smelled he was up for grabs and made out with him right away in the back of the garden. Poor Sylvia. He was bewitched more or less, turned from a loving loyal man instantly into a ghost like liar and then this Assia had bragged to friends of theirs just how easy it had been for her to take Ted from Sylvia. Child's play really. She had the audacity to call to their house, pretending to be a man but Sylvia saw straight through it of course. Was heartbroken that Ted just let that happen. They separated, she gassed herself, Ted had a child with that Assia (even her name was like a snake hissing to Sylvia), but then that one crumbled as well as Assia was not quite as genius as the ex was and sexually charged but apart from that, they fought all the time, and sat across each other at a friends dinner party like hissing black panthers. Assia had images of Sylvia's ghost haunting her and following her and in the end, when ted betrayed her as well with another woman, she killed herself and their daughter in exactly the same way as Sylvia did. 

Assia, very pretty, very seductive.. Reminds me in looks of the Slavic woman who is turning out to be a stalker in our real life here, at the moment. It seems under control now, but caused me a lot of stress and energy and steering things away from the abyss, so to speak. Anyway, I can relate to Sylvia Plath and how she even ended her life over all this heartache and betrayal. Tempted to add: and she didn't even have rosacea. My face is glowing and red hot all the time lately. It must be the stress and poor sleep. But it just adds to me feeling miserable at the moment. Can't get myself to do much else, work is behind, penpals aren't written to, appointments are cancelled. Just sleeping and getting through the every day life stuff. I'm sure the worst is behind now. 


Their biting incident was legendary. From what I read, they met at a party -both still having their respectable other partners at that point - and had some lightning kaboom meeting and she bit him in his cheek or something when they danced. I kind of liked that tbh... O.K., it's slightly cannibalistic and extremely possessive (psycho alert) but it seemed original at least and a better way for him to remember you than getting such a marked kiss stain in the neck. It showed perhaps also that they had strong chemistry and that she was mad enough for him to risk it all. On the downside, it would have also been visible as a territorial victory mark for his then-girlfriend... Not cool. But it has gone down in history and I still like how original it was and I can also understand that Ted got the primal lust thing out of his women. He looked very manly and in control and passionate. In general, he was the one who cheated on his ladies, but they go down as nympho's and psycho's in some biographies. He caused their pain by the way he went about, it's not entirely fair probably to demonize Plath, like an author called Feinstein did.  Besides that, Plath seemed smart and eloquent and a little bit lost perhaps too. And not very resilient probably. Not everybody is cut out for some of the hardships and nastiness and bleakness of life. Many people aren't dealing with debilitating clinical depression and anxiety, on top of 'regular' hardships, though. The ones who do, have a marked increased risk of suicide and for apparent reasons, bc it's a torturous way to live. Taking the back door out also robs you of your chance of leaving a legacy, however. Seems like a waste to me, given how small chances are to be born at all. Better use your time, but the stark stuff with her, and some other 'celebs' is of course also that it was her suicide that made her legacy. That one only works for super talented people who already left a mark with something (iconic movies/sort of good poetry/literature etc). She is still known now mostly for her tragic life ending I think, her poetry would have most likely been forgotten if she had lived up till a grand old age. But for all us mere mortals, we need all the time we can get to leave some sort of a legacy, if any at all. 

April 21st 2016




April 2nd 2016

My skin has been really flared up the past days, due to stress and diet and hormones. Last pictures were with make up on last night; La Roche Posay, toleriane. The weeks prior, skin was pretty pale and calm. But not had the best of weeks, stressful work, private life drama (literally had to kick a crazy bunny boiler out the door, pfff.. yes, stress is making me more flared up at the moment), crappy diet and sleep et voila, I even have some p&p's now which I normally rarely get at all. 

Skin before the flare, normally a lot paler


I received a little bag with easter eggs and a chocolate chicken for Easter. Never too old for chocs I guess. Been also out and about a lot, socializing, work, just busy weeks. I love my girlfriends, but with female friendships it seems to be about quantity. Not quantity over quality, but on top of quality, so double whammie. Out of sight (for too long) can be out of heart for a lot. Male friendships don't seem to work quite that way. Contact once a year can be enough to feel warm buddy feelings for the other all through the next year. Women can be angry by month 3 why you are 'ignoring them' :) Further it's been lunches, brunches, dinners, drinks and children's parties mostly. I enjoy all that but it would have been better if I had 2 days alone in between these social things. Now it's all or nothing, but well.. 

There has been a bit of a hissy fit drama shock and horror thing going on now in the UK, where Channel 5 had the audacity to air the brilliant Watership Down on tele, during Easter

Watership Down: Parents 'horrified' as Channel 5 airs 'traumatising' film on Easter Sunday
To be fair it still gives most adults nightmares

Not quite the adorable Easter bunny most children would have been expecting

 "It is widely known that Watership Down gives both children and adults nightmares but apparently, not all parents remember just how brutal the bunny-themed movie really is. Channel 5 decided to air the 1978 animated film on Easter Sunday afternoon, when lots of chocolate-filled kids were watching at home with their families. “Who the hell thought it a good idea to put Watership Down on Easter Sunday? ‘Hey kids let’s watch dead Easter bunnies!’” wrote one distressed Twitter user, with others confirming that it is “still terrifying” for adults too.The scheduling choice was soon branded a huge “inappropriate” no-no, however, when the “upsetting, traumatising, hideous and horrifying” scenes of bloody, slaughtered rabbits made their way into many an unsuspecting living room.Based on Richard Adams’ novel, Watership Down follows a group of rabbits as they escape the brutal destruction of their warren and attempt to begin a new life. The story has been described as an allegory of the struggle between the individual and society, tyranny and liberation and reason and emotion."

Outraged parents.. I mean, after all the book and movie have only been around for a decade or 4 :) Probably expected a sweet little book about sweet little bunnies. It's a sad and at times cruel story, and not really suited for very young kids but it seems a bit crass from parents to put the blame on the tv station, when they are in charge themselves over what their kids can and can't see on the tele..I loved that story, it's in the same category as Animal Farm for me, wonderful book and movie. So insightful and real and touching, compared to some other things on tv nowadays. I read about a local butcher in England, who years down the line had the following advert in window. "Watership down. You have read the book and watched the film, now eat the cast" :)
I also read this article. Wonderful how the historian dug up all that info and brought these man's past back to life a bit. So many vibrant, beautiful men just wiped out, in the name of greed (such a theme in this Easter Email haha) and revenge. There really seems no real or imagined force in existence more dangerous to humanity than we ourselves are.

Been also spending a lot of time with my little nephew. My little munchkin Timmie loves his aunty- and for good reasons perhaps because I bought him for 50 euro on books the other week!- and I try to drop by a lot for some fun and games so that he won't forget about me. Last week we stayed at my mums place and she has a little dog. Tim was the Doctor with his little doctors utensils case in hand, and after checking gran was all healthy, it was the dogs turn. Unfortunately for him, he had a broken paw and bruised rib. There were bandages to solve that, I'll see if I can get my mum to send me the pictures and pass them on. Tim has grown a lot btw. The whole toddler thing he lost, it's a big boy by now. Spent the whole day building and sword fighting with him last week after I got back. He is a man's kid however, I'm great, until my dad ('Grandpa Scooter') comes round, then he is only focused on him. Sister says he has that with all men, maybe because they are more cool than us ladies, which is true of course haha

 I bought him a book which I loved as a kid, it's from a Polish/German artist called Janosch. The book looks fresh and new, this is the German video version of it;

In summary: little tiger and bear live ever so happily in their house at the river, where bear cooks fish with almonds with mushrooms every night, but then he sees a box with banana's passing by in the river. It has PANAMA written on it. He loves Panama as all of Panama smells of banana's and he tells Tiger, and they decide that Panama is the country of their dreams and that they will travel there. They pack up and meet all their friends along the way who point them in the right direction.. Left, and left, and more left... only to end up at their own house again. But as some days have passed, the grass has grown a bit and the house looks slightly different and they think they arrived in Panama. The house looks so much nicer from this angle than their 'old' house, and the view is so refreshing too. They are incredibly happy! Sitting on the soft couch and saying to each other how wonderful Panama is  Sweet story. In the end they are just incredibly happy with having a little tiger around, or a little bear, who cooks trout from the river with forest mushrooms and berries for the other, and with whom one can sit on a soft couch and just be happy with. Aww. Anyway, Tim initially wasn't interested when I brought it over, I went away and in the mean time, he has become hooked and wants to hear it every night. Cute.
It's an old story, back from the 80s I think, but quite a classic, one of the best loved German childrens book authors, I read. There is another adorable one, where little tiger (who always carries his toy tiger-duck with him), has to go to hospital and all the friends join, as he has a twisted (slipped) stripe on his fur, and needs an operation. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Tiger-get-well-soon/dp/3407760647 But the first mentioned one is great too, Panama. Every time Tim now sees a banana he cries "Panama!" now and every time I ask what Panama is like he says that it smells of banana's and is wónderful.

Lung wise I'm still having trouble :/ Still sore lungs and chest pain. Doc says there is some inflammation left in the lungs but no more baddies in there that need antibiotics so after 8 long weeks.. not yet good to go but getting there. Will get another X ray next week to see what's exactly going on there at the moment. Have never been too worried about the flu before, but that's what started it all, so with my age increasing, maybe I have to start being careful about flu's from now on. I'm not that much of a germophobe, always assumed that having the disinfectant gel ready at all times makes you more prone to allergies and a pampered and badly functioning immune system. I’m not sure that using anti-bacterial soaps and disinfectants are causing upticks in allergies, but they certainly can cause bacteria and such to become much more resistant to our common methods of killing them. The white blood cells now and then need a routine military exercise (in otherwise healthy people), that keeps them in shape and ready to rumble as need be, but that is not much help when you have to all but sterilize your surfaces. Sanitizing and disinfecting is probably counter-productive in the long run, as we’re only leading to the advent of super-bacteria that we’ll have to fight off in time anyway. If we’re going to deal with bacterial infections, why not take on the normal strains instead of giving them thousands of bacterial generations of steroids and evolutionary progress to better kill us? But Now after this killer flu, I'm starting to pay more attention. And read some grueling stuff! DID you know for instance, that flushing the toilet with the seat up will fill the air with streptococci? How gross is thát.. In tiny spray dots. Nice.. Always put away your toothbrush behind a closed door! I didn't know that, but it triggered my latent OCD like nothing before, haha.

I also read up on the health dangers of flying, as I wondering about the air quality. As the flu is still not settled over in this part of the world, and I am not really sure if immunity for the type I had means automatic immunity for the other types that might go round (after all, we have the Spanish flu, the Mexican flu, the USA flu probably too, I'm sure there are more, although I'm half joking here). Anyway, what I found about air travel is that I don't have to worry about the air, but more about the tray tables and the toilets. Full of germs and bacteria. I think I'll be getting my Michael Jackson gloves on from now on, when in a pubic toilet. Or in a plane. It also said that you can more or less safely touch the lid of the toilet however, as it is relatively clean. But you know what's not? The handle of the water tap  And the door knobs. So the trick is apparently to turn off the tap with your elbow. I really am not this type of cleanliness freak..., but I don't want more bronchitis in the future. Thought I was immune for other peoples germs and for the flu, but alas... Not invincible after all  

But I want to avoid the flu from now on, if possible. I think by the time a new one breaks out, I'll be vigilant about washing my hands when I have been out in public. Once had this fierce debate with an aunt, I don't like her one bit. She carries these desinfectant wipes and has a spotless house. She kept telling about the dangers of bacteria and didn't agree with the notion of us having an immune system and white blood cells which need to have something at least to work on. She kept saying how sick kids could become from not having clean hands at all time, whereas I tried to explain all these research I read about how the onset of auto immune diseases, asthma, eczema, you name it, might be actually be linked to being TOO clean. Anyway, all theory and we didn't see eye to eye there. They have baby tissues and scented hand tissues these days and they are more of a pest I think than the evil they are supposed to combat. I hate perfumes, they give me a skin rash or a flush just from smelling them too much. Public toilets are a flushing trigger risk as well, because many have these perfume machines attached to doors, which spray cancer causing chemicals in the air all the time and even your hair smells of cheap synthetic roses and dandelions after coming out. Horrendous. Skin flares and burns right away then :( These air fresheners, I read last month that they have actually proven that they are carcinogenic. I am told that Russians find the idea of having the toilet in the same room as the bathroom sink and tub and whatnot to be horrendous. Makes sense, if you are to take seriously the concept that the toilet is slowly pervading the atmosphere with harmful miniature life-forms. Sometimes you have no other choice than to accept such a lay-out of the bathroom financially, however, but glad to say in my house they are separated by thick concrete walls. 

Here's something that interested me:

I am very intrigued by this one. Discussed it with my best friend who is into those things. So you are hooked up to an FMRI and they are monitoring your brain activity. They ask you to push either a button on the left or right. You must also inform them when you've made a decision to choose either the left or the right. On an FMRI they can tell sometimes up to several seconds beforehand what your decision is, before you're even consciously aware of it. Does this mean that you subconsciously make decisions before you are consciously aware of them? "A different way of thinking about it is that your consciousness is only aware of some of the things your brain is doing."

Some of this is also used in an older tv series that I have been watching lately, Lost. I'm almost through the last, 6th series, and it's very good still. Touching also, you can compare it slightly with movies like The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind perhaps, and movies like Interception or Interstellar, in how this series explores time and memory and experience, and concepts like going back in time or in the future. It's all too complex to explain here in a few lines, most people might have known this series already anyway. But they covered these themes it in a very touching way into the story line, I felt. It raises many questions as well. Most prominent ones; what if we could change things that already happened? And how much of our choices are free will or not? And what if whatever I changed still produces the same outcome? Which is a theme in this series too; how much stuff that happens to you is unavoidable and 'fate' almost? Also; should you put reason and logic over faith and conviction or not? Powerful how they explored all that. Not saying I believe in destiny but maybe there are some things you can't change even if you go back in time to try to. And some things were never meant to be. Maybe you create your own destiny based on the decisions you make or don't make. And you being intrinsically you (as in; someone)... you are inclined to always make certain decisions.. Maybe there isn't really free will, because of my brain and circumstances. Maybe I'd always make those decisions anyway because I don't know how to be any other way. Maybe free will is like the freedom to make decisions independent of your genetics and conditions. But how can we do that? People confuse it with choice. I can choose to have coco pops tomorrow, but that's from a completely different order. Because how can I control the factors that lead me to making that choice? We're all the product of genes, biology, fixed brain structures, personality. The majority of things people do goes on auto pilot and even free choices are determined by all sorts of predictable variables. I'm also limited to stuff that occurs to me. I can't go somewhere I've never heard of or do something that doesn't occur to me.

The Lost thing is a hypothetical situation anyway. Physical Laws don't allow us to go back in time, only forward in time. But if somehow we could bend physical laws or work out a way of manipulating time as they do in Lost then anything is possible. We could theoretically change our past, it's a beautiful concept. That's just fantasy though and I love how emotional it makes the series at the same time. (What if Juliette and Sawyer went on the submarine instead of stayed? What if. Would she have died anyway? Was it her fate? No matter what choice? What if the plane didn't crash at all, as they are trying to achieve. Then jack and Kate and all the others would have remained strangers from each other). That's a deeply emotional touching human topic, everybody can more or less relate to that one. And they work that one out quite literally in the show. One of the reasons I like this character Sawyer, is that he doesn't speak destiny, as he puts it. He believes a man does something because he wants something. Destiny is an itch inducing word as its so closely related to religion but if you detach it from that, it is a story line that you see back in Greek Tragedy as well, in lots of literature; this idea that some things are destined to be and that mankind is fighting against it, but cannot win.

And even if quantum physics did make it possible somehow to go back in time, the time traveler might not even have the foreknowledge he would have in the Present. Perhaps he would even go back to the way he was at that age, who is to say? Although I guess he would go with foreknowledge. But we actually don't know what would happen if we were to go back in time because we can't do it. It could potentially affect our brain. I think everybody who was given that option would have enjoyed things from the past more anyway. Many people spend so much time worrying and fretting in our teens, 20s, and then looking back and thinking they were the best decades, if only we enjoyed them more. Free will versus determinism. What is free will anyway? I'd say that we have it as part of our evolutionary instinct. Some more than others. There are different levels of free will. Free will on a state/government level (some governments try to suppress peoples free will and make them march in line), or free will with regards to a basic human/personal level, regardless of the country you live in or the government you are bowed under. There is free will involved when people set up a revolution, sprouting from higher ideals, and when they choose it regardless of what risks it might pose for them personally. But that doesn't happen as often anymore in these days, revolutions and I think that people need to be pushed to the absolute limits for this to happen now, ór that they have to be predispositioned and gotten used to revolts throughout their lives so that it has become a habit and a repeating pattern in itself. Almost like a reflex. But that's not really the case over here. 

But on basic human psychological process, we are making decision throughout history, space and time. Have seen such experiments on National geographic programs before; decision making is a chemical process. The consciousness probably gets the 'work order' last, when it scrutinizes whether to go ahead with it or not. A last veto, if you want. Decision making is a multiple step process, but how does it exactly work? Decisions about life, love, survival, who to have children with, basic human functions etc. I suppose that the mind develops some auto pilot sequences, based on experience and habit for everyday tasks. Decision is not the same as choice. Choice belongs to consciousness. And many a time we do choose the less rewarding or unfavorable choice. This implies that we have some control over the mind. No matter how much I like the concept, and liked talking about it, we probably cannot, ever, change our past I now think.. Regardless of technological advancements and discoveries in the future I mean. Or lets put it this way: it's highly unlikely, but that's with the knowledge and brain capacity that we have today, anno 2016. As far as I know, it's already a fact that if we were to send astronauts into space, say to Pluto with a super fast new spaceship, that time slows down in space. And that if these astronauts returned back to earth, time would have gone faster down here. So they could potentially meet their great-grandchildren. That's already time travel, as I see it. Who knows what more is to be explored and discovered in this respect. But I don't think you could visit your child self and change any of the stuff that happened in the past. That would mean wiping out future humans too, if you prevented yourself from meeting your current partner for instance, thus preventing the current kids, who can't just vanish into thin air of course, in such a theoretical time travel situation. It's a fascinating idea though, whether or not time travel is technically possible at some point. Morality rarely gets in the way of technical advancements. It didn't with Dolly the Sheep, it didn't with cloning, it doesn't with surrogacy and it won't in the future either. 

If we could go back in time, we would be mere spectators. If we change events in the past, it can set off a catastrophic time quake, changing everything that happened in history. It may even alter our very own existence and thus we may never go back in time and cause the quake in the first place. It's a paradox. I think its called Grandfathers paradox formally. Time can be seen as a straight line that keeps on growing at one end. Anyone who wishes to travel through time would theoretically need another dimension and another (parallel) universe to explore the lines that are already in the past, and to be able to cause persistent changes. These concepts are just theories of course. Even the fourth dimension is an imagined fantasy based on mathematical equations. Our science has largely been based on observations. Hence theories are sometimes nothing but romantic notions. 

Believing in destiny, that in itself can also be an extremely passive thing. Leaning back and refusing to act, as the believer is convinced that the outcome will be the same regardless, so why step up? Nothing is fixed, probably. But how about this one; my sister has said plenty of times, without any seeming reason for it, that she wouldn't get old. That she knew she'd never have kids. Fortune tellers (yeh my mum used to like to visit them at some point in time) told her that a great great loss was waiting to happen to her. Was that pure coincidence? Random craziness? Or did they have a predictive premonition for it? Or would it have happened anyway, one way or another? That last one is partly also a psychological trick of course, to stop any possible feelings of responsibility and guilt. 

Destiny is a widely used term, and it's used for different things. I was sent some really interesting things about the Anglo-Saxon word Wyrd: 

Some bits and pieces from it: "The Anglo-Saxon noun wyrd is derived from a verb, weorþan, 'to become', which, in turn, is derived from an IndoEuropean root *uert- meaning 'to turn'. (If you noticed the redundant use of "turn" in the previous sentence, good. The use of the modern English phrase "in turn", illustrates wyrd in action. Watch for it throughout this article.) Wyrd literally means 'that which has turned' or 'that which has become'. It carries the idea of "turned into" in both the sense of becoming something new and the sense of turning back to an original starting point. In a metaphysical terms, wyrd embodies the concept that everything is turning into something else while both being drawn in toward and moving out from its own origins. Thus, we can think of wyrd as a process that continually works the patterns of the past into the patterns of the present. A good metaphor for wyrd is spinning with a drop spindle. As the fibres turn round and round, they twist together and become thread. In Norse mythology three female entities called the Norns are responsible for shaping lives out of ørlög, the layers of the past. Their names are Urðr (Wyrd) 'that which has become'; Verðandi (related to the Anglo-Saxon weorþan, see above) 'that which is in the process of becoming'; and Skuld (Should) 'that which should necessarily be'. In the Eddic poem Helgakviða Hundingsbana 1, the Norns twist the strands of the infant prince's ørlög (which in this case can be seen as his heritage, since he has no personal past to speak of) to create a golden cord representing his life.

Another way of understanding wyrd is through a weaving analogy. In the Anglo-Saxon Riming Poem, the narrator says of his life circumstances Me þæt wyrd gewæf, 'Wyrd wove this for me' In the Icelandic Njal's Saga, valkyries weave out the course of a battle on a loom made of weapons and threaded with human entrails. Imagine a patterned piece of cloth being woven on a loom. The horizontal threads (the woof) are woven in in layers along the vertical threads (the warp). The horizontal threads represent layers of past actions. The vertical threads represent a time line. The colour of each horizontal thread as it is woven in will add to the pattern that is already established and influence the pattern that emerges. The threads already woven in cannot be changed, but the overall pattern is never fixed. Existing designs can be expanded into new forms. New designs can be added. Everything we do adds one more layer to the pattern. One ramification of wyrd in personal human terms is that our past (both our ancestry and our personal history) affects us continually. Who we are, where we are, and what we are doing today is dependent on actions we have taken in the past and actions others have taken in the past which have affected us in some way. And every choice we make in the present builds upon choices we have previously made. The metaphor of the "Web of Wyrd" is often used in modern popular sources to illustrate how the actions of individuals can have widespread effects. If we imagine the universe as a big spider's web and imagine that each node where two strands meet represents an event (or a person or a life) we can visualise the interconnectedness of things. We can see how some things are directly connected whereas others are more distantly connected through a series of links. We can also see how nodes which are closely connected from one perspective (following a single strand from the centre outwards) can be distantly connected from another perspective (following the spiral that continually expands its radius as it moves from the centre). Furthermore, we can see that if we were to disturb any part of the web --say by blowing on it or shaking it, the entire thing would reverberate --though the parts closest to the disturbance would react the most strongly. "

Bit of a read, but I liked it. Wouldn't call this Wyrd concept a way of mythical thinking, but it comes close probably. But it is rooted in such every day and almost tangible human experiences at the same time. But turns it into a myth almost; a archetypal image, of weaving goddesses and those strands of experiences, past, present and future (or more precise; what was, what is busy to become and what is necessary to become), that are woven into a thread, that is your thread of life. Very powerful image that gives and I interpret at as the belief that our lives are spun out by the Gods before we even embark on it. But on a more down to earth level, it could also just be seen as the way in which everything that happened to us in the past, all the things and experiences that had an impact on us, come into this maelström and help shape the things that are in the process of becoming. And a few wrong strands in the thread, a few unplanned and highly influential experiences along the way, in ørlög, can throw the whole future path in a mess! We all might have turned out different people, if we hadn't had the adversities we met along the way. Or maybe we wouldn't have turned out so very different after all. Not sure which factors would be stronger; genetics, natural character or bad experiences.

I remember seeing this quite interesting news item around 9/11 time. It was super interesting; scientists had noticed that the global energy levels (don't ask me the details and specifics for now) changed, were shortly risen, right before major catastrophic events happened. So a couple of hours before 9/11 they saw a world wide peek in 'energy', and right before the 2004 tsunami as well, and there were many more of such examples. Global consciousness they call it. It might be related to this whole topic. Ok, I found this interesting article, which is partly about the effects of the mass shock AFTER 9/11, but also about the predicting energy wave changes before the fact even happened, which was even more spooky.  

Not saying I believe in this by the way. Just another theory. I got the most lovely few lines back from someone; "Maybe everything is like a great big pool of water with stones hitting it ... making ripples, the ripples overlap ... or a spider's-web, a strand vibrates, shaking the other strands neighbouring until at the edges of the web the vibrations are only faint."  
Unfortunately, the majority of ripples die out sooner than later haha. Although everything leaves some sort of trail and mark of course, even if it's under layers of sand and mud 5 feet deep ;) Reminds me of that wonderful documentary I saw last year, how they found neolithic foot prints on an English beach as the sand erodes and these prints were unique and once exposed, only lasted a very short time, before the tide took them away for ever. Nothing is fixed. In other words. We all evolve and float and learn and adapt. And last, to stay on topic, here's a last Easter Bunny Boiler news item; Medieval bunnies that wanted to kill us, enjoyable; http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2015/04/05/10-medieval-rabbits-didnt-mess-around/

March 6th 2016

Lungs are still sore after 10 days of cefpodoxime, but the shortness of breath has decreased a bit. Chest still tight. Skin and rosacea aren't as bothered with the antibiotics as I'm used to from when I took tetracycline type antibiotics in the past. I bought kefir probiotics yesterday to get intestinal bacteria back on track.Will see the doc again for the lungs. Went for a walk today for the first time in.. weeks I guess, and wrapped up with a scarf before my mouth, it still was a tough walk and made my lungs very sore, so back in the sick ward at home now, luckily getting a lot of loving care from people, awww. Also lost such weight the past month that none of my clothes fit anymore.. Luxury problem of course. Taking mucus decongestant and it comes in a powder form chuck full with E numbers and orange tasting chemicals. They do help and make the chest tightness and mucus go away a little bit, but they give me skin rashes. I try to keep taking them. Don't want trapped mucus in the chest to add to the lung issues. Oh well :) It will be spring soon, cheers. 

February 28th 2016

Felt a bit better on the clarithromycine after 4 days but then by day 7 things turned back to worse, again; breathing troubles and heavy pressure on my chest and pain in lungs when breathing. So back to the doctor last Thursday, as the course was about to be finished. He listened again with stethoscope, still thinks it's severe bronchitis and that somehow the clarithromycine didn't do the job and prescribed me a week of the antibiotic cefpodoxime. Had a mild fever of 38,8 still when doc checked. He doesn't think it's asthma. I have been using that for 3 days now, but no improvement whatsoever. Still stabbing pains and trouble breathing and heavy chest pressure. I think I will go and ask for a lung x-ray tomorrow.. Day 3 of meds and breathing is like knives sticking in my chest and lungs still. It's only getting worse I feel. Am a bit worried that it turns out to be full blown pneumonia and that they want to give me steroids to combat inflammation. Had an email from a lady in her 40s the other day whose rosacea looks just like mine but she developed it overnight after using a steroid nose spray 4 months ago. Never a problem before but after her nose got red, then it spread to her cheeks, now her entire face is red and flushed. I'm petrified about ever having to use steroids, think I might mark it with a big fat marker on my body if I ever end up in hospital; no corticosteroids! Add some papers with that message and arrows and exclamation marks above me. But there might not be a real alternative to them some day. Sick of being sick like this, week 4 now :(

A rosacea friend warned me that non steroid asthma inhalers might cause potential problems too however. That all asthma meds are potential vasodilators. I haven't used the salbutamol anymore after reading about that her rosacea started after using it, but also because the doctor whisked the notion of it away and wanted me to focus on antibiotics and mucus expectorants only. Earlier I had already used it twice and my rosacea stayed ok for a few hours but once the drug wore off after 4 hours, my face got pretty heavily flushed. The sort of unstoppable flush which brimonidine also gave me at the time I tried it. That lingered on and off for a few days, then all seemed to go back to normal (as in; my normal redness/burning/flushing patterns) so I'll keep it for emergencies with me because I'd opt for this one over any steroid if I had to.. Sick of feeling sick and tired and so short of breath, had flu for a month by now, grrrr.


February 21st 2016

Been out of it for a little while. Was caught up in work deadlines and the past 3 weeks I caught what I thought was the terrible Man Flu, but what turned out to be more of overlordbeastflu. It just went from normal cold symptoms to flu ones, to superflu, then 40,2 degrees fever, which stirred up my flushing overnight into some crazy red inferno. I emailed my London derm about it, who assured me that fevers can temporary trigger this, but that it should all be transient and to try to get the fever down. I did but then developed breathing problems. We were 3 weeks into the whole flu saga by then. Never had trouble breathing in my life, but my sister has asthma, so I started to worry soon enough. Seen the doctor for it, who wanted to give me a steroid inhaler to reduce the inflammation in my lungs. I refused because well.. steroids and rosacea don't go together. My rosacea started after a few days of corticosteroid use and my derms always warn me to stay away from steroids if possible. Instead the GP gave therefore another type of inhaler with salbutamol, meant to open the airways a bit. Also a stack of paracetamol and homeopathic airway healers. 

Only a few weeks before the flu started, I had visited a friend who out of the blue started to puff on a symbicort steroid inhaler for asthma. Sitting next to me... and then, I kid you not, had a coughing fit right after trying to inhale the stuff, so I became paranoid about the whole thing soon enough and went to the kitchen to avoid any steroid particles in the air. I know I know.. bit over the top, but the steroid warnings really hit a chord with me. It was probably tension but soon after I turned red and flushed enough for the friend to comment about it. I later at home even called my pharmacist to ask if I could have been breathing in the steroid substance, but he assured me that it's a powder and that most would have been attached to friends lungs, regardless of coughing fits. That flare subsided after a few days. But now I had this inhaler in my own hands; to take or not to take? I was having such a trouble breathing free, that it felt like I couldn't get half the oxygen I needed out of my breaths. That made me anxious, which worsened the entire thing. I emailed my derm about the salbutamol inhaler; in case of doubt I don't take many risks anymore with these things. A friend who is a doctor assured me online that it should be completely fine, being not a steroid inhaler. After a few days the derm wrote back that several of his rosacea patients with asthma take it without problems, so not a problem. I took the puff a few times and we even made a special homemade spacer out of a plastic bottle, because every time I pressed the thing and tried to inhale the spray into my lungs, it landed more or less on my tongue or the back of my throat :) It worked, it helped me breath a bit more normal but things didn't really improve for another 5 days and I had to sleep upright for half decent breathing. 

Went back to the doctors and this time it was early in the evening and an older doctor was the only one still in the office. Good for me, because he listened to my lungs and symptoms and said it was a heavy bronchitis or mild pneumonia and prescribed a course of antibiotics, as symptoms had been worsening for 3 weeks and because of the type of mucus discharge. Luckily for me, it was a macrolide type called Clarithromycin, which made my skin more pale surprisingly. In the evenings I flush more than normal, but overall skin is ok. Every time I took tetracycline antibiotics in the past for things (doxycycline most notably) or azithromycine, my face would be beet red and flushed. Am four days into that course and things are still not good, still having shortness of breath but things seem to improve and the mucus expectorants he gave me with it seem to help as well. I'm still a little bit worried that things won't go back to normal and I might develop some sort of asthma problem, as I wouldn't know how to treat that without steroids (and I will not take those unless it's some life or death emergency, no shit). But fingers crossed this is the effects of the flu and bronchitis. 

Skin before the whole flu episode

Skin after the steroid puffing scare 

Skin during high fever period 

Skin on clarithromycine 

Part II

Soooo, I'm on antibiotics and still feeling like shit and short of breath, but I am giving it time and good positive energy. I would have died just like my heroine Emily Brontë most likely if we hadn't had antibiotics yet. It's perhaps the lovely but snotty kids I visited. My lungs have never been an issue and right now I feel like an 80 year old who has smoked all her life. I have a hyperactive immune system normally, hence the auto immune diseases and I normally hardly ever get the flu or a cold even. Only after flying I get some throat issues sometimes, but I blame the re circulation of breathing bugs from other people for this.. This is a video made by a Dutch artist, it won an Oscar for animation, it always touches me a lot. It's also very Dutch in the way it's drawn. Touching one.

 I saw yet another docu on the whole food crisis, governments and food industries

This one was very comprehensive and complete however. Mice who are fed both cocaine and sugar for a consistent amount of time, 40 out of 43 of them chose sugar over cocaine when given the choice. Amazing how processed foods are everywhere and chuck full with sugars and other artificial substances. From what this docu shows, American kids have really almost nowhere else to go with school canteens serving subsidized fast food all days of the week and not a healthy food in sight, plus parents serving 'healthy' cereal and pasta's to them. In a country like France, I strangely enough only seldomly saw an overweight person. And that country has delicious food everywhere. I am suspecting it might partly be a culture thing. People are taught there to eat quality food in small quantities. Nobody stuffs their face, only the foreigners haha. They have discipline it seems, and it is culturally not really widely accepted at dinner parties to take a second or third serving. You eat well but you enjoy your bites and you don't over indulge. Also, main meals consist of meat, or fish. Carbs are a side dish, not the main ingredient. There is no macaroni cheese as far as I know.

In the 50s people were also practically all slim in USA; it happened somewhere in the 70s and 80s. Bigger portion, no more wholesome foods but overproduced food with tons of extra sugar and fat and addictive additives, so that people would want to eat more of it. In the 50's, I saw a docu on what people ate back then and most houses didn't even have a fridge yet, so they had a pantry with fresh meat, and they would eat simple potatoes or bread and vegetables with it as a side dish. Deserts were a cup of tea with some sugar, snacks weren't around. Perhaps that was the post-war diet when everything was still more or less rationed, but nevertheless. 

I know how addictive sugar can be. Since being on remeron (mirtazapine), my brain no longer registers correctly when the stomach is full
It also alters glucose levels, so I am getting signals to eat more, and carbohydrates and sugar and fat appear far more appealing to my drugged brain than they would normally have appeared to me in the past. I try to eat healthy, little sugar, no processed foods, organic (pricey though...). No gluten, no dairy, plenty of meats and fish and vegetables. Snack is some dark chocolate. Nevertheless I regularly crave caramel pies, milkshakes, fries and tons of chocolate. Once every few weeks I have a day where I can eat all of that, but I notice that after such a day, it takes half a week or more for the sugar cravings to go away again. That's just how addictive sugar is... There are better addictions. I remember at a gala ball, during my student years, there was also a casino. And I started playing blackjack, you know with the cards? You need to get 21 points. And all I put in was 1euro every time, and I won, and won, and won. I won 64 times in a row!!!! There was a massive circle of spectators around me by then, i think I even have pictures of it. I was so stupid to not put in hundreds of euros. I got this winners feeling haha. I have good intuition I guess, in Melbourne I also won a good few times in the casino with black jack. At home us three sisters had marathon sessions of monopoly. Every day, every week, year in year out. Absolutely addicted. And it was played full on. Cheating and all. My middle sister, she often tricked us by having little money left on the table, but then when a good purchase deal arose, she'd wizard some stacks of dough from under her bum (!), surprise!

Maybe monopoly is cursed, I don't know, but I played it some 7 years ago with some acquaintances in the countryside. yeh there it goes wrong already.. Never play that demon game with anyone but friends and certainly not with villagers! They were a couple and originally from Amsterdam, they are gypsies but with a good dark sense of humor. Anyway, they were sneakily backing each other up and right when I was on the winning hand, they pulled some mean trick on me. I can't even remember what it was anymore, but me being used to competitive board gaming, I started fuming a bit, like: "Heee! What are you guys doing! That's not fair!". They were smirking and laughing of course and normally I'd laugh too but now I was so into my monopoly madness tunnel that I felt there was little fun about it all. They teased me with it of course but never suggested to play a board game with me ever again. I felt such a mug the next day/week/year. For acting so silly haha. I also remember a game called Memory. Maybe it's called Pictionary in English, not sure. It is that the game where you have to remember where cards are placed and find matching pairs. We used to play that game for weeks on end with the mentally disabled people I helped out with during some holidays. Some were spectacularly good at it. One guy was bad at it and I once allowed him to pick a second card after he kept missing things, and another big chap who was heavily autistic blew a fuse, he almost demolished the place haha. No exaggeration, he wanted to rip my head off and then had a massive big sulk and cry with the group leaders, ranting and pointing towards me. I felt so bad! He was raging at me for breaking the rules. I am clearly NOT trained at working with psychological challenged patients, or I would have known at forehand what ticked him, and not to break a simple rule, even though it was done in good spirits, to make one 'eternal loser' feel part of the game as well.

I saw a documentary about new discoveries in Victorian timesThis one was about Edwardian homes actually. About the start of electricity and a ton of other discoveries, an explosion of British patents. Electricity and all other stuff was just invented and people were so naively excited about it, that they used it for all sorts of bonkers stuff; lamps with bare electricity cables attached to the ceiling (or wrapped up in useless materials like cloth or wood or lead), one touch and you'd be gone. Earthing the circuit wasn't invented yet.  No fuse boxes yet. Or electrical tablecloths, with sewn in (bare!) electricity cables, meant to attach to the base of lamp bulbs. Mad enough when you think they also had food and drinks on that same tablecloth, but they also aligned all other sorts of equipment onto those wires apart from the light bulbs, like electrical heaters and toasters and the telephone and so on, all connected to this one wire going to the light socket, so soon enough the wool wiring got overheated and started to melt and put the whole house on fire. Before WW1 individual electrical companies initially could go about unregulated, selling all different voltage strengths to their customers. So Mary down the street could have a completely different wiring system in her house with a different voltage than you. The company generating the electricity decided what voltage and amps they sold.  Also a lot of crazy new inventions which nobody knows of anymore today; electrical massage machines (like electroshocks), also used to inflate muscles (often deadly outcome though).

And they also told about Edwardian beauty products and how many had heavy metals in them. Women literally went bald or developed skin conditions and went blind from their make-up. They had a big curly hair fashion craze at the time and women would curl their hair all day every day, put their curler thing in the fire, then straight onto the hair, often ruining it entirely. Also some shampoo's were so toxic that women lost their hair, it was an epidemic, bald women in public.
And nobody knew often what was in those potions and lotions; bleach and ammonia for the face cream, toxic metals like lead and mercury in make up. Eyeliners with belladonna that made your cornea fall off in time. Arsenic wafers to get rid of blemishes. And when radioactive radium was just discovered by Marie Curie, they put it into everything haha!! Because it could glow all by itself. Who knew that it was radioactive.. Clocks that lit up in the dark but also radium glowing toothpaste and chocolate. The girls who painted the clocks all got hideous bone deformities soon after, from licking the brush for fine painting and swallowing all that radium. It would block calcium in the jaw for them and the bone would grow grotesque.

Then I saw ANOTHER documentary not long ago about the theft of electricity in developing third world countries
Reminded me of that Dangers in the Victorian household docu. At that time electricity was new and people didn't know about it yet, growing pains of some sorts, but capitalism and greed accelerated the number of accidents. Only the rich could afford electricity, and the poor, well... it's not something they had much experience with. Here, there was this one brave fellow, who decided to climb the electrical posts and scramble along the electrical lines, wanting to cut one so he could divert it to his home. Of course he was warned that it was dangerous and that he should not mess with electricity. But he put down his critics. Or basically, when presented with the facts he simply said "I don't believe that". So long as he could not see this so called "dangerous electricity" he was not worried about any phantom threat. So he climbed the wires and of course he got fried and fell down from the shock (but survived!). Lesson learned. The very hard way, but not the hardest way.

I read an article more recently about a historical event also related to the Victorian one. It was about a group of about a dozen men around the turn of the century, in America. They were known as "The Poison Squad". (Catchy name... but they were originally going to be called "The Hygenic Table Trials"). They tested out questionable food additives of the time; they were going to swallow them 3 times a day with their meals. The idea was that whatever additive made the testers sick, probably shouldn't be added to food. Well, that's one way to go "cruelty-free". These included things like Borax, boric acid, formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, saltpeter, carbolic acid, etc. Borax did have some useful benefits, but not to consumers; more so to the industry. To consumers it caused headaches, pain and digestive problems (and it tasted awful). To the meat industry however, it was used to mask odors/taste from decomposing meat, so that it could still be sold as fresh (yeh, suppress that vomit reflex). The food industry also used copper sulfate to give canned peas a brighter green color. Which is in theory understandable because canned peas don't always look all too flashy. However, the additive had a few side-effects, of course. They included; nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, liver damage, kidney damage, brain damage, and jaundice. I'm kind of surprised they didn't just go with "radium" to make the peas greener. It's probably safer. Copper sulfate is still used today, but as a pesticide.

As you can probably guess, there was no food regulation per se at that time, which was why they formed that Poison Squad (which later transformed into what is known today as the FDA). Also an interesting thing that was mentioned was that lobbyists at the time, representing the food and agricultural industry, did not want the reports of the Poison Squad to be released. Instead they wanted the right to continue feeding borax and carbolic acid to costumers. Of course, that's where the government steps in, to protect the people. Except the minister of agriculture fought against the findings of the Poison Squad on behalf of his corporate masters. Thank God things have changed after 110 years, and such political corruption is unheard of today. (cough)

I've been audio-reading this (relatively) new book called 'Ready Player One' and it's about a video game. So I only started it recently but the premise is good I feel, it's set in 2045 and the protagonist is not yet very original, a kid living in a trailer park in the States somewhere. They stashed trailers 15 stories high by then in the cities suburbs as there is space shortage. All the doom and gloom shit we hear today about the near future is already enrolling by then. He's an orphan too so that reeks of Pip and the poor Willy Wonka kid (but this one is called Wade Watts, his dad was a cartoon fan and he wanted his kid to have a name like Clark Kent, someone normal sounding who could be a super hero in fact) who has to find the golden chocolate wrap. Wade does have to find something similar, and this is the premise; James Halliday is by then the most famous and rich person on earth and he created the OASIS; a virtual reality computer program. Everyone uses it by then, he gathered all the books and scientific information and all the art works etc of the world in it. This man has billions but then he dies in his late 60s and leaves the world a game. He loved the 80s and early computer games and he tells the world in his last video message that he loved an old game from back then, where the maker of the game wasn't mentioned in the credits yet. But he had secretly created a hidden room in the video game, hard to find, and in there he had placed a 'golden egg'; his name popping up. It really happened, the computer developers put it on the market and only months later kids all over the world started to find the hidden chamber and the computer programmers name was out in the world. This fictional Halliday character loved that. He was thrilled at the time to find that surprise. He died without any living relatives nor children and he sets the world up for a quest; he created a massive video game with thousands of virtual worlds to explore and in it he has hidden his very own golden egg. There are keys to find and it's a very difficult game but the first person who finds his secret gets all of his fortune. It becomes a big hype soon after, everyone is an egg hunter ('gunter') but after years of nobody finding anything, it starts to die out and only die hard whizkids keep searching. Halliday left a website with an almanac with thousands of 80's related books, movies, tv-series and video games he was inspired by and which might have hints to finding the egg. Also on his webpage is a classification system with names of people who are ranked and who first found hints. For years it remains empty but then after 5 years the name of this 18 year old trailer park kid pops up on it, and then we zoom in on this kids life.

As I said, the entire premise of the novel is the hunt for Halliday’s fortune. The immersion is pretty flawless. You will forget almost entirely that he’s inside a video game, yet it allows the author Ernest Cline to introduce almost an infinite supply of fantasy elements and other things that would subtract from the hardcore science-fiction premise of the novel. The OASIS serves as almost a complete stop to human development. Imagine the fat bastards in Wall-E, if you will. These people barely leave their houses anymore, as anything that can be accomplished in reality (and considerably more) is possible in the OASIS. People attend church, they attend school, they work from their OASIS consoles. Infrastructure has continued to crumble, and an ongoing energy crisis that has emerged in our near-future has brought the planet to their knees. I'd not be surprised if 25 years from now there will be a big virtual reality world where we all work and live in a good deal of the time. I'm fairly convinced that's the way it's going to go. Normal living circumstances will go further down, down down but we get more gadgets and 3D virtual reality device options to get distracted by and to flee into. That way people will get more and more estranged from what's really going on in the real world out there, and will stop to care. Which gives the ruling powers boundless power and space to do whatever they want to do. People are already fleeing into virtual reality a lot. Be it mobile phone each day every day, computer games, digital online contacts and friendships, it's been already such a major change with the 80s. I can imagine a world so rancid and horrible and unlivable soon that everyone has headsets on and lives in 3D imaginary worlds in half a century from now, where everything is pretty and you can build and make whatever you want and forget about the glum reality. That whole concept makes me sad btw. That outlook. Zombie state of living.

I do like the story , the riddles are fun and the description of the games are great for me, as I don't know much about gaming. That aspect is quite exciting to hear about. He explains it well, which might be boring for any regular gamer, but not for me. The author writes accessible and the game is understandable to me. The solutions of the riddles, with google still available, but advanced a good bit I can only imagine, as we are set in the 2040's, is a bit unconvincing though. I'm not going to properly spoil this whole book now btw. Although I have pages more to say on the thing. 

I have a knack for focusing on the incidental and unimportant aspects of the narrative, I realize. That Wade is poor is only a plot device, useful for creating the foundation of the story. I watched Goodnight Mr Tom on youtube the other day, as I was knackered and lying on the coach and it was a pure simplistic family film. Very very simple, but very touching, despite some stereotypes in it. So sometimes they work, and maybe that's the way it goes with some stories. Then theme itself of that book/movie was done before in different ways as well; Nobody's Boy for instance. We loved that story as kids, heard it over and over. There are some French movies, not entirely the same but also kids who bond with a male school teacher for instance, same nostalgic family film feel to them, same sort of touching adaptations, also set in WW2 time. Don't let the Frenchness put you off, it's really a good movie I felt; its called Au revoir les enfants. Or Les Choristes, about a school class during the war, who become singers. It has more music in it but has a similar feel to it, and a sweet story. 

This book throws up interesting topics, like Virtual Reality in the future. I can't understand how anyone would want an online, VR reality over a real physical one, but on the other hand it would be naive to think that in the past twenty years of internet being here, a lack of physical proximity has been a hurdle to some people falling in love, courting one another and having real feelings and experiences. Just not in the real physical world. I'd prefer those, worldy ones over virtual ones, but now with me being so often locked in the house more or less, internet is a wonderful place to exist. All that information, all those social contacts, all the entertainment. It's gigantic. It also makes me think back of the 80's, when I was a tod growing up... I think its easy to get all nostalgic, because there were indeed wonderful elements to it: no mobile phones yet, vibrant popular culture, economic boom and an 'everything is possible' attitude, but the fashion was puke ugly haha and I didnt like the flashy Wallstreet yuppie types much either. Think that the 80s were constantly on the edge of kitsch, also the movies. Haha which is also where Wade and H bicker about :) Is "Ladyhawk" a monstrosity of a movie or a masterpiece haha. But it was a huge contrast with the flower power hippie 70s. That era feels so incredibly far away for me.. That's really like another century whereas maybe the 80s were in a way the real start for our generations and for modernity. I also remember being bored at times during the 80s haha. I remember endless summers in the little village in the countryside where literally nothing happened.. Just sitting round, riding our bikes, playing in the fields, building huts.. Ok that sounds pretty good actually nowadays :) But back then I was always dreaming about when I was older, what life would have in store, very magical feeling that is, when life and the world is still at your feet, you only just started it and you don't know yet where it will take you. Now we are burdened so much more by every day issues, worries, struggles and the magic is a bit gone I guess. Maybe it is not just the 80s that give fond memories to many people of our generation, but also a bit the childhood age we had at the time.

I think what has really changed is how storytelling has changed, everything goes faster, has to be more flashy, more condensed. People also hardly know what to do with time anymore.. How often would you see people sitting, simply staring? Day dreaming? Hardly. There seems to be a constant need for fixes; info, contact, entertainment, validation. I am going along in that same maelstrom btw, I grew accustomed to it as well, and feel like I'm wasting my time a bit when I have 6 hours of travelling left, but the battery of my laptop died and I have nothing to do, no emails to catch up, no work to finish; its all there waiting but I can't access it. I can look outside and look at people, which I do, but that hurried feeling of wasting time is always there currently. I think that the further in time we go, the more everything will be fine tuned to our leisure, practicality. I saw that they have special portable chargers for tablets now, and I asked for one for my laptop but the sales guy laughed at me in my face :) Soooo out of date lady, who travels with a laptop still? Duhhhh

With these earliest games in Hallaways youth and in the 80s, there was so much technical limitation but so much creativity because of that. And a new open field. Endless possibilities I can imagine. I understand from this book, that current day modern games are kind of shit in comparison. They are visually and technically infinitely more impressive, but they really do not capture your imagination in the same fashion as the old games did. I'm no gamer, this is just what I picked up from the book. There were limits the old graphics; they looked like shit, sounded like shit, but people still played for hours on end, and were right into the zone. Now, you’re either a casual gamer or a fuckin’ shut-in that mainlines caffeine and bitches at strangers on Xbox Live. Games in the old era had the same magic that novels did I suppose. It was a story that the author and the audience created together. You weren’t given a shiny-bright world were the water is photo-realistic and you could see the grain in wood. You had to focus on the story, because the graphics weren’t a distraction. Now, we’re all but one step away from stepping into the OASIS. It is not a good thing or a bad thing. Different. Perhaps it also has to do with Big Money, and Big Corporations now running the gaming. They are about profits and mainstream big audiences.

And the VR world he describes is very fascinating and thought provoking. It's advanced enough to seem realistic for the 2040's, but has enough connection points with our modern day, multi/social/media lives to seem very convincing. We can of course see things heading in that direction today. Schools, offices, even surgical procedures are being done remotely, more and more; with mechanical and even service industry work being handled by machines, more and more. And we already work and live in a big virtual reality world a good deal of the time; called "the internet". Increasingly, I think people are feeling the effects of living in that virtual reality world, and I know it's making many unhealthy. Immobile, antisocial (as in; real life kind of social), depressed to a degree. Among other ill effects, having a society six degrees apart from each other just makes people more distrustful of each other, less connected, and therefore, meaner and less likely to care for their fellow human beings. The Selfish Gene. I'm personally not looking forward to such a reality but then again, you never know. It seems a trap though. Whether you take the red pill or the blue pill, once the drug wears off, you're a slave. Meanwhile, the human spirit is slowly being blackened. But no one comes to know that, because it happens early enough in their development, that it just ends up as the new normal.

December 26th 2016
Happy holidays. Been kept too occupied with work the past (many) months but the end of those deadlines are in sight now and I am looking forward to start updating this blog a bit more again in the new year. I will also start trying a supplement called niacinamide (brand; Basis) very soon from now and keep track here of how it works, or doesn't work, who is to say.
On to 2016! Happy and healthy holidays for you all. Happy birthday (party) also to my dear friend J (and the girls+ partner). Just click on the right video and on the play icon and it will load and play. 

November 2nd 2015

So done with public transport travel. Especially now that it's cold outside. It always makes people want to make it warmer inside than they would have liked it to be naturally in summer. I'm working on a new blog post of old messages I posted all the way back in the early and mid 2000's on forums about my rosacea. I found some old ones back and before they might all be erased at some point - the hand of time, a vigilant moderator, who knows - I thought I'd better copy and paste them here in anew blog post. I have a good 15 draft blog posts waiting actually, where I'm all working on a bit here and there, but normal work is so much and so demanding at the moment that I can't seem to finish them this upcoming month. I hope I can get rid of all the work load by half December and then post a good few new posts here asap. It's coming, anyway. 

Managed to do some good long walks the past days despite feeling sick from suspected food poisoning (or simply food overload) and a burning face. Didn't make selfies so I will post some more red faced pics soon. I notice that these days it's not only my cheeks that flush and get red but also my chin. For a good first decade of all this, my chin stayed pale. Now that the chin is pretty red as well it does look more sickly to me, the red mug. At least with only red cheeks, some people find it 'healthy' looking. Not anymore. Just a rugged farmers look now

November 1st 2015

It was my birthday and I've traveled a fair bit to see an expo. Had a nice day, skin was burned in the morning but ok the rest of the day, now in the evening back to burning, but at least I could walk about the expo looking relatively normal. Here is some art work I saw: 80's revival!

October 28th 2015

Not had a good week, skin wise. Perhaps it's due to the colder weather, but am back to flushing and burning a good deal of the day. I ate sugary treats for a day or two over the weekend which might have set it all off, but now that I've been eating clean for a day or 5 since, it's still looking red and flushing easily and is painful. So fed up with things. I read about people on the forums who 'beat' all this with v-beam laser treatments and it's so tempting to contemplate giving that one another go again. I am best off staying away from all of those invasive devices however, I feel. Been there, done that, no improvement, in fact, rather the opposite. Still, medication helps me but isn't some holy grail clearly, I'm still red and flushed at the drop of a hat, or the drop of a few degrees Celsius I should say. What can a woman like me do else but read, read, read. And make wild natured, windswept walks. It warrants a big fat GRUMP. 

Before this weeks flare


A Dutch singer songwriter was asked by a girl with chronic illness to write a song for her about it. And the effects of her disease. This is the song, I'm sure many can relate to it, especially during dark periods and bad health flares. In gray the original Dutch text, in red the translation
Will you promise me to keep asking how I'm doing
And to just talk to me like nothing has changed
Will you promise me to not be afraid, or at least not more afraid than me
And do you promise me to be strong, and to not get frightened by any stumble I will make
And will you promise me to be careful, and to catch me when I fall, until it is over
And do you promise that I can be invisible then, for a while
Will you promise me?
Will you promise me the world and Time
And that I can endlessly travel, but if that turns out not to be the case
Will you promise me then not to be angry, or at least not more angry than me
And do you promise me to let me laugh
And will you promise me to be careful and to catch me when no one else is around
Will you promise me that I can be invisible then, for a while
And that you will catch me, pretend that it is all over
And do you promise me to later lie, that you actually often forgot
Will you promise me that? 

Beloof je me te blijven vragen hoe het gaat
En dat je gewoon nog met me praat alsof er niets veranderd is
Beloof je me dat je niet bang bent, tenminste niet banger dan ik
En beloof je me sterk te laten zijn en dat je niet van elke wankel schrikt
En beloof je me voorzichtig te zijn, en dat je me op zult vangen, totdat het voorbij is
En beloof je me dat ik dan even onzichtbaar mag zijn
Beloof je dat?
Beloof je me de wereld en de tijd
En dat ik eindeloos mag reizen, maar als dat niet zo blijkt te zijn ..
Beloof je dan dat je niet kwaad wordt, tenminste niet kwader dan ik
En beloof je me uit te laten lachen.
En beloof je me voorzichtig te zijn, en dat je me op zult vangen als niemand er bij is.
En beloof je dan dat ik dan soms even onzichtbaar mag zijn
En dat je me op zult vangen, doen of het voorbij is
En beloof je dan later te liegen, dat je het eigenlijk steeds vergat.
Beloof je dat?

October 17th 2015

After a week of cooling and trying to get my stress levels down, I managed to get my skin calmed down again. Was surprised how fast things paled down again once I got the anxiety under control! I posted on the Rosacea Forum about how I try to do this, I will add some posts below this update.

I've been to York last week and it were a nice few days. Been travelling around anyway the past week, to Holland, to France, then to England, then back again. A whole lot of planes and trains and yes, even buses. Had a bit of a claustrophobic moment in one of the high speed 

trains in England, it was a rush hour train and I needed to be in it for 2,5 hours to make it to York. It was jam packed, people standing in every aisle, lined up in the little hallways where the toilets are. Everything was basically fully blocked by suit cases and often similarly red faced people. I had been in a plane for a few hours by then and in a warm bus, so my skin was about to burst. It didn't even look too purple, just, pretty red I suppose.. A couple of “chav” and very loud mouthed 40-somethings in leopard mini dresses and stiletto heels, celebrating someone's birthday very brashly were also standing in the aisles next to me. Big mouthing anyone who tried to pass by. Then the train just stopped, 10 minutes clear of Leeds. It was dark by then and so hot in the train. No windows to open, no doors to open and it stood there for a good 20 minutes when the intercom sir announced that there was a BRIDGE STRIKE (yes, at 7 pm) and that there needed to be negotiations first about safe passage conditions. Apologies for the inconveniences and we'll be back when we have more info. Another 30 minutes passed, I was getting hyperventilative. Had caught the usual flu bugs on my air travels so stuffed nose and throat and the thought of not knowing how long I'd have to sit in this 28 degree inferno and all those people and who would guarantee me there was any fresh air sucked in through the ventilation system ANYWAY?! The trashy ladies toned their bravado a bit down by then, first they had verbally violated any normal looking woman when they wanted to go to the loo but now they started to squeal a bit themselves and told me: :”Don't worry love, you're looking all awfully stressed, this happens all'e time love”. As if that would comfort me haha. They said there was absolutely no way they would open the doors or let anyone out (what if I died here of hyperventilation?? Not even thén?) and that we could easily be stalled here for another 4 hours. Kids were whining by now about needing to do pee-pees and people became restless, a mother and daughter were hugging each other and telling each other it would be al right, soon. All in all it took close to 1,5 hours before the thing started moving again and then of course there were many more long stops, as the train schedule was a mess now and we had to wait in front of every station for a free set of rails.

Haha a friend wrote me in response to that: Negotiations about safe passage conditions over a bridge?? How about vulnerable people dying of heat stroke and asphyxiation, from choking on the cheap perfume of a "chav" who hasn't showered in a week, in a crowded train car with no ventilation? Does that get no consideration?? I just read an article about a guy built like a linebacker who up and died in the middle of his shift in one of Amazon's warehouses, from heat stroke. And these places are immense! 

I never heard about the outcome of those Leeds bridge strikes btw but I hope Wiki already made a page for it. Because it was horrible! :) Then I arrived in York, had to get in line (as usual there) for a taxi and there must have been a good 50 people waiting before me, the entire width of the station pavement was lined up with people. Sooo another 40 minutes of taxi waiting, but at least in the fresh air. Then I arrived in the cutest, sweetest loveliest little street with an old church where my apartment was and had to struggle with the number combination, which was given to me prior but the door wouldn't open. And I had no mobile phone... And it was after 10 pm. Help. I asked in a takeaway chinky shop if I could please please use their phone (I'll pay! I'll pay!) and a girl in her early 20s was extremely kind and waved it away and gave me her mobile phone, said she hardly used it anyway so dial away you. The lady picked up! Which was the biggest relief of the day really. Explained me what I had to do but all in all it took me 2 more trips back to the chinky shop to finally figure it out. Then it was all good. And while I was unpacking, someone was knocking on my windows and door and shouted something. I was apprehensive to open the door but then mustered all my courage and it was an Asian looking cook, who was sent by the girl to check if I made it alright and got in. Awwwwwww. Only in England, only in England.

Next day it was a beautiful sunny day with nice temperatures, not too warm not too cold and the city is gorgeous, old, adorable, canals, cathedrals, Tudor houses, chocolate shoe box houses. I love it there. And my apartment, which was a mini house with an upstairs too, lay right off a hipster street with cool restaurants and shops, almost overlooking the cathedral 2 streets away. But quaint and calm and all was pretty perfect. I also finished a monster chore for uni and that gave a feeling of relief and also more hollowness. Oh no, what now? Although there are more chores waiting, I should have been well on my way by now with the big art catalog article but I still have to start on it. Later, later.. I put my La Roche Posay make up on as well btw and left it on overnight. And a bit of mineral blusher. My skin has no issue with it at all, I'm so surprised every time. It might be the zinc oxide in it, but I had no flushing and burning both days and when I took it all off with La roche posay cleanser for intolerant skin, my skin was soft and pretty calm. SO happy I found this product. I don't use anything on my skin normally. No moisturizer as everything burns and I wash my skin with water but I am starting to wonder whether or not I should start washing it with this cleansing milk from now on once a week perhaps. Skin feels so soft afterwards and no burning or flushing from it. It was not too bad for a few days after returning home, but now that temperatures have dropped I can see my seb derm coming up again  and the skin also getting more red and sore again. Another winter is lurking, oh how jolly spiffing marvelous.. Feeling a bit down and under the weather in general now. 

For the first time since 1984 the dutch football team is kicked out of a European tournament before it even started. Absolutely über ridiculous  but I kind of hoped they would. Give some more motivated teams a place instead. Apart from it not being the strongest team, they also had the stupidest coach ever, Danny Blind. Mediocre footballer in his days, practically no experience as a coach. Same mistake they made with Van Basten. Wished I knew why he was chosen.. Friends, bribery, who will say, a lot of arrogance mainly. A team of prima donna's like the dutch squad needs a Military Style Type of manager. No feeble types like Basten/Blind. Men like Van Gaal, Hiddink. Cruijff! Rinus Michels was good, suitably nicknamed The GeneralLead us to gold in 88. They need to be drilled by a larger than life ego, Blind is just a soft spoken worm. What were they thinking. Dick Advocaat was good at that too, Guus Hiddink even. All the same style of coaching. When will they learn... I don't think it's the players, it's the staff. 

Well at least England got through. I'll cheer for their team then :) Our striker Van Persie was having arguments and fights with one of the other players. can't even be bothered to look his name up, and Blind let it simmer on. Van Persie wanted OUT of that tournament asap. If need be through an own goal. Rightly so, they had an über shit atmosphere in the team. Haha what do you think The General would have done if Van Persie and the other were nitpicking and quarrelling all the time like they did? Blind was wishy washy about it, didn't want to get involved, that's their business and boys will be boys. Ha! The general had ordered them both in and let them scrub the pitch all day together, then shake hands and next time it will be the toilets!

Had to laugh, there's a program where 'celebs' have their portrait painted by 3 different artists and they pose for them, then see the surprise results and can pick one favorite to take back home. Usually they are happily surprised haha, this actress was really dramatic; 

No... I: Nooo, I am shocked. Horrendous. Well, it's done really well, good craftsmanship but oh... it seems like I'm tight from botox.
Nr. 2, oh ghastly! I am about to start crying. So horrible. Presenter; I hardly dare to reveal the 3rd one. 
Nr. 3: oh noo, I really didn't do plastic surgery guys! Presenter: but it does resemble you )

Even if you don't understand Dutch, I think it has a slapstick like quality to it :)  The look on the face, especially with number 2. She looked about 200 haha. They weren't even that badly painted, just either she had some Narcissus Syndrome or the paintings were very unflattering on her. Probably a bit of both. The presenter made some funny comments too and in the end she chose the second painting! The one she had the worst reaction to. Perhaps as a reminder to stop eating, smoking and stop going out in the sun haha. Start eating lettuce and drinking water all day. Ok well there is that comedy program and here they do a pistake on that art program you just saw. Can't translate everything and the middle section is probably boring for you as it is more long winding talk with the celeb, this time 'Geert Wilders', our right wing politician. But the artists part are ok, I'll fish out the good bits;

"Welcome to Stars on the Canvas, where three painters make portraits of a Dutch celebrity. And these are our artists this week: The work of Leendert Scrabblebottom is characterized by great vitality, monumental proportions and confident lines. Liesbeth Smiek reminds with her magical realism style of the artist Karel Willink. And then the promising painter Rory Taterbarrel. Rory approaches the portrait from a dynamic, hyperbolic, graphical conceptual, neo-postmodernistic, multi disciplinary ehm... painting." They make fun of the artists, one is constantly drinking wine, all three make horrendous art and are pretentious and useless. Some replies on the Rosacea Forum that might help others (I'm Nat007).

In this Rosacea Forum post, Paperbag wrote:

"Flushing severely 1 week post IPL... Please help/advise
Last week, on Tuesday, I did my second IPL. First was in June. The doctor used the MaxG handpiece of the Palomar StarLux system. I was red for a few hours, then back to normal. The next several days were fine. Really not much down time at all. No flushes. In fact, at the time of the laser, my skin was doing quite well. I had to turn the heat up in my car, on the way to the doctor, to induce a pre flush, to make sure the doctor could see redness. It is now 1 week later. My skin is flushing uncontrollably, hourly. I am desperate. I took a 4mg prednisone, a strong steroid pill, to try to reduce the inflammation temporarily. I only took one pill, which should be safe, not enough to cause rebound. I've also been using a topical steroid cream (triamcinolone 0.1%) which I know causes rebound, but I'm desperate to control this."

I replied in that post and also in a private message: "I had a massive flare myself a week+ ago and it was sparked by anxiety and stress. 24/7 flushing and I know how frightening it is and how hard it is to calm the stress and face down again then. I usually just cancel appointments, retreat a bit, cool skin as much as I can in a reasonable way (not cooling too much with cold packs which will make matters only worse ultimately, for instance) and I even make pictures of my skin, some sort of a picture diary and then I can see myself when things improve a bit by day, because in my memory it's all horrible and there is never any light at the end of the tunnel. until the flare is over again. It calmed down to normal skin state in a week for me, but you have the skin care reaction of course so that might take longer. I did use my La Roche posay toleriane make up and skin cleanser over the weekend when I was abroad, in York, and left the make up on 2 days and I had hardly any flushing and burning and after taking it off my skin was soft and calm. I think the zinc oxide in it can be helpful actually. Very happy with that make up."

"Yes I know about the cycle. I try to get out of them by getting some control back for my feeling and getting rid of any social strains and stresses, cancel on appointments I don't feel I can make and explain friends I'm having a bad flare. Then going out yes! Red or not, wrap a scarf around your cheeks, just go out every day. It will break the indoors fretting and obsessing. Even if it's for a late afternoon walk in the middle of nowhere. Bring a coldpack or ice cubes if need be. Well this is what helps me at least. Then I use a fan on low to keep the non flared state as long as possible and the picture diary, on moments like when you described coming home and being calm in the face, I'd make pictures. Just for myself and then if I wake up red the next morning and am anxious I'd look back at them and remind myself that this flare is temporary and it's not ruined everything because look! It looked calm again yesterday. And it will be calm again soon. Look for small little improvements and adjust your expectations. When you expect everything to be like it was asap you will only set the bar so high that you remain in a state of disappointment and stress. If you compare your skin with when it was at its worst, it might be easier to let go of at least a little bit of the stress. But people don't understand just how anxious and desperate it makes you when your face is on fire. I, like you, have multiple other auto-immune issues and none of them give me even a small % of the stress that a burned up face does. It's so daunting. Control is everything I found.

It will calm down again, it has done so for you in the past. You didn't splash your skin with steroid cream, you didn't burn your skin, it is a reaction and it might take a while but I have good hopes that with time, it will all get a bit better again. Even without obvious triggers rosacea can wax and wane. Ive been through it for decades now and know so many rosaceans who do great one period and then suddenly get devastating relapses again out of nowhere. Stick to what always used to help you, don't add too many new products or things to your regime, it's the nature of rosacea to flare up and calm down. For inflammation, have you tried ibuprofen yet/ I use the slightly stronger diclofenac when I am really badly inflamed. It's non steroid and can help for some. Take care X"

October 10th 2015

My skin has gone terribly down hill since my last update. I've been feeling a nervous anxious wreck at times. For about 10 days, maybe 2 weeks now I'm flushing a lot, almost back to the dreadful 2005 year in comparison. My right cheek, a good portion of it has constant neuropathic burning. Like it's really burned. I think I might have cooled it too long and much a week ago with a cold pack.... I have done that before in the past - fell asleep on a rock hard frozen gel pack once and had 6 months of nerve damage and pain- and sometimes I just couldn't stop the inferno flushing and had a cold pack at hands all the time. I haven't done that for many years now. I manage with a fan if I feel my skin is burning and reddening up, and leave the cold packs for worse case scenario's, and preferably in semi-frozen state; that way there is less chance of overdoing it. But last week I had such a full face strong flush and burning throbbing cheeks, that I got anxious about it and cooled a bit too long perhaps. The problem is; when your skin is so hot, your nerves don't register cold in the same way as normal skin does. So it's easier to overdo it without noticing it. Because my left cheek can be just as red nowadays but doesn't burn unless it's bright red (doesn't burn a whole lot with a pink hue and when pale I don't feel the skin at all), but my right cheek now feels like it has nerve damage and acid like constant burning, regardless of how bad it looks. Even when the skin is occasionally pale, it still feels as if it's bright red. But most of the time, it does look pretty bad and red. I'll add some poor-me pictures. 

What's worst to me is that all the things I normally do without much of a big flare; going for long walks, going to town, cooking, now ALL cause central face flushing that's so aggressive and ongoing and hard to cool. Normally, a bit of fan use and perhaps some quick "dapping" (think I might have made that one up, in Dutch we say 'deppen'; patting) with a coldpack is enough to bring it down. Now I need hours of fan and cold pack and even then it lingers. I want my old life back, pronto! I've not slept more than 4 hours a night and every single morning have woken up super duper hot, in pain and swollen and red. It's like déjà-vu from 2005 and needless to say probably, I feel so restless and shit. It also induces naive worries in me;
*How long will this damage, or whatever it is on the right cheek last? What if it never goes away? 
*What if it takes another 6 months, like with the freezer burn (granted, I froze my cheek there while asleep, now I didn't do that, but it feels exactly the same as back then and on the center of my cheek, whereas back then it was the outside of my cheek, which was less flush inducing). 
*What if all this ongoing flushing will ruin everything, and send me back to severe flushing permanently?
*I've been traveling a lot the past week and it's been hell. I can't avoid it the upcoming week either and I just don't know how to calm this severe shit down again. Stress is certainly not helping here. Hardly ate all week, just like back in 2005, as eating triggers flushing too.
*How to not feel so tensed and restless when your face is on fire and not under the normal sort of control I had? Knowing that stress is stirring matters up a couple of times over. 

Anyway, the plan is to keep skin cooled (fan on some distance), trying to avoid big monster flushing attacks, and hoping that will slowly diminish the whole flare. I just feel instantly out of control with this. It's such a bad feeling to have your face burning up, virtually all the time. Boohoo, my cheeks even swell to almost twice their normal size now. What a miserable chipmunk. With regards to the pictures below; it looks about twice as red in reality, somehow the pictures look far less red, but trust me, it's so red that people on the bus looked a couple of times with strange looks. Ok, maybe not the best measuring stick, they might have not actually looked and I imagined it (although I am sure they did), or they looked for different reasons. Some pics do show how much swelling and puffiness this wretched flushing can give.  


Last month

Saw some photo's I liked a bit ago already at an expo, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto is his name. Went to Peru, the Sacred Valley. He used a large format view camera.

September 26th 2015

My skin was good for a few weeks, very calm, but has now very red and bad and bloated again. Been to a couple of dinner parties the past week, which were lovely. There's another dinner invitation for tonight, people will bring instruments and all, but I think I'm going to pass this time. Woke up all red and sore skinned and just prefer a calm evening. As I said, had 2 meals out already the past week with others, and though the food was yummy and all, it was bad for my skin. Lots of breads, cheeses, deserts with dairy and chocolate and eggs in it. People do try to keep an eye on my medical diet and very sweet and kindly avoid spiced foods and pork, but then there are so many foods who don't make the triple A health danger status, but still cause a red blob soon after. I had a good time though, very sociable and nice and the food was so good, so much better than the healthy vegetable stir fries I eat mostly, that it was highly enjoyable anyway. I've been more red and flushed today than normal and don't feel like going out. Boohoo. At night it's now very cool and chilly and I have an extra blanket, which is great for my skin. But then in the morning, the sun starts baking up the bedroom and I actually need to put the aircon on, if I want to have a flush free day. But I am so drugged out usually by then on my remeron tablets (not in a bad way though, just, deeply lost in dreams) that I don't wake up to do so! I am cold at 6 am, take my clonidine tablets, but when I wake up at 10 or 11 even if I worked till late in the evening/night the night before, and I can be red then if I still lay under the heavy blanket, but in a really warmed up bedroom by now. When the aircon has been on, I usually wake up pale, now it wasn't and I'm a lot more red and the skin feels hot and uncomfortable and a bit bloated too now that I pay attention to it.. Aaarggghh.. Can't believe the difference in my skin tone and level of burning. Such a shame as it takes all day to calm that mess down again. 

Here are some illustrations of it, after a cool night

Red hot night

Apart from the good skin days alternating with bad skin days, I've been good the past month. It's still pleasant enough temperature wise to not have seb derm flaring up. Not too cold for my skin to turn long term red, as in background redness. I can go out for walks in shorts, which really helps distribute the heat emission, so to speak. When I'm wrapped up in winter and have only my face exposed, I feel it turned a lot more red. With short sleeves I feel my face doesn't blow up with redness quite as badly. So, I'm good. Just extremely overwhelmed with all sorts of different work projects. I'm madly busy :(  Hardly see my friends, family. Got all these great assignments but they all fall in the same deadline time frame. I might have taken on too much. Feeling pretty tired and overworked mostly. I was so stuck in my hermit work days and nights two weeks ago, that I was actually anxious all day for a dinner I was invited (read; expected) to. It was some village street party; everybody brought home made food, made a bit of an effort. I was dreading it but couldn't pass, was expected to come and it was actually nice. It was not too difficult once I was there, just, to get out of that hermit work mode is hard for me. Have a bit of an all or nothing thing going, either a week or two of seeing a lot of people and catching up and not being fazed by daily appointments, but once the hermit phase sets in again, even a trip to the supermarket can feel daunting. Not sure that makes any sense. Anyway, it went pretty effortless and well once I got there and I felt a lot better actually afterwards. It's good to socialize. Now and then :) Oh the food was DELICIOUS. I have this rule; I eat rosacea friendly foods at home, but the odd time I'm eating out, I forget about those rules. The obvious bad guys (like alcohol, spices) are taken out of the game, but the rest, I just enjoy the variety of foods then. Take an extra Xyzal pill. Cool my face when I get home, hope for the best the next day when I have to get up and feel a burning cheek or see a red blob in the mirror. It's usually not as bad as I anticipate though. People brought Quiches and salads, pizza and pies and lovely little things like figs with cream cheese and then the most divine pastries and cakes for dinner. I ate like a wild pig haha.

Which... brings me to another ordeal. A good few weeks ago I made a very late afternoon walk in a nature area. It was about dark by the time I started the return, twilight. I had to pass some bushes on a very narrow bit of road in the middle of nowhere and this massive boar growling and gurgling came from the bushes! It was a mammoth like wild boar and stuck in the bushes and extremely angry by the sound of it. The growling noises went through my music on mp3 (and trust me, I play loud music). I was so afraid, even though I carried a stick, that I just turned around and didn't dare to continue, afraid he would attack me. So had to walk in the pitch of dark the entire hour back to reach a main road and get to the village. I had not brought a light with me and imagined to hear more wild boar noises coming from all the fields around me by then. Really, Hitchock was nothing compared to this! Boars all around me by now, in my mind at least, and David Lynch like abandoned highway scenes. It was dire. I made it to safety though. Phew. Sweaty and pretty red faced. Time to bring the shotgun next time!

I saw a program about Waterloo and the role of the Dutch in it. So, the Dutch were the allies of the English  here for a change, or so the program said. And that our role was conveniently wiped under the carpet. Or more precisely; everybody wanted to claim their own victory and Holland is only small and insignificant, I admit that. The infantry just marched forwards and hoped they weren't shot by canons. The aim was to shoot the cannon ball and let it bounce a good few times, causing as much destruction as possible. Like a pinball! Or iron bowling. It would go straight through a person. Hussars who still lived after the age of 30 were considered cowards. Most died well before that age as cannon fodder. The officers acted like gentlemen on the battle field; it might be a bloody job, but we do remain gentlemen. They would also act stoic when they had a grazing shot. Or worse. Lord Uxbridges leg for instance; standing next to Wellington on his horse, gets shot in the leg, says to Wellington; "My god sir, I think I got shot in the leg." Lost his leg in that shooting and Wellington is said to have responded stoic; My god sir, so you have." And on they went. That's a bit how we see the English, stiff upper lip and as you said; absurd. Something very fortunate happened to the Prince of Holland who also fought with Wellington; he got shot in the shoulder.  Coming out of such a battle unharmed meant you were a real big pufter and when you're killed it has little use either, but this was very heroic and saved his image. Only with a wound you could become a hero haha. When asked about it later he was very modest when he summarized it haha: "I was the hero of the day, nobody on the battlefield was more popular than ME."  Bullet wound? Ok, you can shower son.

And then we built a ghastly hill with lion's statue in Belgium, which they still till this day try to get rid of (for real); they'd love to detonate this sign of Dutch imperialism and colonialism; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion%27s_Mound It faces the south, protecting Belgium from France. Because they really need the Dutch for that haha. Everybody partaking in Waterloo celebrates his own victory. They said that on paper, Napoleon should have won. But that some things were in his disadvantage; heavy rain and they only brought one pair of wellies, and the cannons got stuck. Then he had haemorrhoids and constant itch, and hadn't slept well because of that, nor felt like getting on his horse with that mighty awful itch. Then he didn't pull through, made the mistake to go sit down for lunch when he should have kept battling (really the whole world stops for the French around lunch time). Then the Prussians decided to help Wellington and that did Napoleon in, or so the program makers said. Like with football; in the last minute they brought the Germans in and then you know what happens; then they win.  

I read some nice poems the past weeks, some from Neruda. But still, to me nothing really comes close to that Victorian über drama swooning to me, I'm thinking more along the lines of.... "long and tragic" :) Charlotte Brontë starts one long poem with these lines, my god..
SOME have won a wild delight,
By daring wilder sorrow;
Could I gain thy love to-night,
I'd hazard death to-morrow.

And that's only the beginning of the poem! A whole lot of classy wallowing. I'm going to Haworth in 2 weeks from now for a little holiday. It's not that I'm some raving mad fan of the Brontës, but I did really enjoy Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre as a teen and also later. There is something about these sisters. Perhaps I identify a tiny bit, because they had pretty isolated lives, pretty lonely too from what I gathered. Not that my life is such a trauerfest but it can be an isolated one at times. Discussed poetry styles with someone and it made me think, why did I like reading poems from ted Hughes, but also that over the top, dense work from Shakespeare, they are such opposites it seems. So a bit of amateur brainstorming later, it might come down to this, I wondered; I don't mind as much about one style or another. A poem can be beautiful because the words in it are constructed and ordered in such a way, that they create more imagination than the words individually do, or would do. A good poem can say things about our universe. Just like maths by the way. Totally opposite seeming, but maths or science can create a new universe in one tiny line and formula. To prove it, a mathematical formula, you need to live in that universe I guess. Sort of. Maybe the same goes for poetry, for good poetry. Just a pretty observation of things in nature can be very boring. They become more interesting when someone makes connections. Enriching the meaning and association. Rising above the literal stuff, adding something to it. I'm not very interested in just a factual description of natural scenes.

The writer of that opening sequence in red, Charlotte Brontë, had a bit of a tragic life you can say. Lost all her sisters to TBC, her mother too. Loved a teacher in Brussels but got pied by him more or less, then married someone she didn't love, fell pregnant and died of TBC as well. The End. The other two sisters, Anne and Emily (she wrote Wuthering Heights and is my favorite of the three) never had a partner. Probably virgins still. Yet they could write about love and longing. Fantasy, one can say. So (and I hope this interests anyone even in the slightest haha), from what I knew Charlotte was in love with this teacher in Brussels. Had to look it back up but she wrote him some letters, it seemed to me from the tone that she had a crush on him, but his wife was very defensive of things, cut if off on his behalf more or less. Allowed her to write him twice and ONLY twice a year. Imagine thát! When all you can think about is this person. Seems almost more cruel to me than being banned from writing at all perhaps? As with two letters a year, she was bound to wallow on and wait 6 whole months for a sign of life. Oh well, it's all in this link. These letters, they went straight to my heart. I felt so awful for her and she wrote so well. These ladies seemed so lonely. 

The first letter to Monsieur Heger Charlotte Bronte wrote on November 18th: “I may, then, write to you, without breaking my promise. The summer and winter have seemed very long to me; in truth, it has cost me painful efforts to endure up to now the privation I have imposed upon myself. You, for your part, cannot understand this! But, Monsieur, try to imagine, for one moment, that one of your children is a hundred and sixty leagues away from you; and that you are condemned to remain for six months, without writing to him; without receiving any news from him; without hearing anything about him; without knowing how he is; well, then you may be able to understand, perhaps, how hard is such an obligation imposed upon me.”

Monsieur Heger had not answered her November letter. She waited for a reply but when none came she wrote a second letter where she apologizes for it and tries to keep a temperate tone; “Ah, Monsieur! I know I once wrote you a letter that was not a reasonable one, because my heart was chocked with grief; but I will not do it again! I will try not to be selfish; although I cannot but feel your letters the greatest happiness I know. I will wait patiently to receive one, until it pleases you, and it is convenient to write one. At the same time, I may write you a little letter from time to time; you authorized me to do that.”

The bloody sod never replied to her 6 letters or so. Poor Char. Her last letter to him is in that link too. Made me sad. They seemed to have had a bit of empty lonely lives, she almost craved some attention, she wrote him in the end: "Monsieur, the poor do not need much to keep them alive; they ask only for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table, but if these crumbs are refused them, then they die of hunger! For me too, I make no claim either to great affection from those I love; I should hardly know how to understand an exclusive and perfect friendship, I have so little experience of it! But once upon a time, at Bruxelles, when I was your pupil, you did show me a little interest: and just this small amount of interest you gave me then, I hold to and I care for and prize, as I hold to and care for life itself . . ." What a letter writer.. The Hegers were also portrayed in one of her novels, it is said. So sad, they lived on this planet but left it without ever having loved, properly

And here's a Victorian poet, writing about first love. Not quite in the same supercallifragilistic expee-alidotious Mary Poppins meter but a bit more sincerely. The poet is John Clare. 

I am - yet what I am, none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes — 
They rise and vanish in oblivions host,
Like shadows in love frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live — like vapours tost

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my lifes esteems;
Even the dearest that I love best
Are strange — nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below, above, the vaulted sky.

I love it. It has the traditional Gothic idealization of death and loneliness and all that existentialist avant la lettre stuff they loved back then (all wear and drear and tear again, but that was the Zeitgeist of course.), but this poem is memorable and personal I think.

These are giants which were placed in Iceland as electricity masts. Like some mythical figures who stepped out of old saga's to come claim back the land. Or just a nice quirky design of course, just depends how you look at it. Think it works either way. 

I saw these tutorials, seems (sounds) to be a Dutch girl but they are quite nice, she covers a lot of era's (first some general history and info, then she does a short tutorial about how to recreate her hair style) but in case you ever want to shoot your girls in an old style, it's amazing how just the hairdo can transform someone back in time. I've just selected two for you now in links, 17th century and late Medieval times. Her hair transformations are pretty effective. The 17th century one with the curls in the front could work with every day (pretty) clothes too I think, and a couple of other, subtle styles she covers would as well. She made many more video's. Isn't it strange, fashions.. If we'd been born in the 1700's, we'd been wearing the sort of dresses and hair style of the day, been dancing like this. Then 50 years later people already dressed so differently and like a flock of sheep, practically everybody joined in that display! And still does. Fashions are a mass effect thing. 

A little video about how Shakespearean would have sounded back in the 16th century. It sounds almost "Oirish" to me, and 'volks', they had very different pronunciation sometimes. Amazing how different it sounds in that earthy original accent, much nicer I think than the posh current declamation style. I liked it mostly because I hope one day the Dumbledink Cumberbatches of this world will have to lay off the posh talk and resort to that folky sounding tongue. Spiffing wunderful. This might be one of those link-post-updates, but really, I laughed so hard at these Scottish sketches. I know such people actually, maybe that makes is more funny, might not be everyone's cup of strong tea but perhaps it is. They also get a fit over a hipster joint and a snobby restaurant haha. The lassie's chocolate also made me chuckle.

I watched this Japanese manga story by chance last week (I almost never watch cartoons) and it seemed like a saga, a Greek story. Simple form but was really touched by it, unexpectedly; Like some Greek myth almost, Orpheus and Euridice of the underworld. She can't look back.* Here she can't touch him. It seems to almost have classical theme's, but done in such an innocent and sweet way. I have already written earlier about a docu I saw by chance, Suicide Forest in Japan. A spooky forest with strangely shaped trees and colored ribbons which people tied along them. Colored trails which went on and on for miles, deeper into that ghostly forest,  so that IF they changed their minds, they could find their way back. It is said that evil spirits live there and lure the mentally unstable into it, never to let them get out again. All myth surely but I initially wondered if the forest of the spirits (from the manga cartoon I just gave you the link of) could be Suicide Forest. Probably not. Anyway, this movie was not like that. More magical in a good way. *This is an old Greek mythological story; When Euridice died and went to the underworld, Orpheas went down there too, played his music and fascinated Hades who agreed to let him take Euridice back but on the condition that as they would walk up to earth, he would walk first and she behind him, and he wouldn't turn back to look at her.. but he couldn't keep this promise, he loved her so much that he turned around to look at her and she vanished.. the funny thing is that I checked it now on wikipedia, it says that this myth resembles a lot a Japanese myth of izanagi and izanami. Not sure that one is in turn connected to this old story from the manga movie link. I read it's an old cartoon.

September 1st 2015

What if people treated physical illness
like mental illness?  
Skin is itching and irritated suddenly, the past days. I have a ton of p&p's as well, overnight almost. Skin feels also hot and, well, as I said, irritated. I've been working 12 hours a day, constant on the computer, typing out stuff, writing articles, work related stuff and I am not sure if stress plays a part here, radiation overdose (I do have a dimmer on the screen brightness), wifi exposure, too much cuddling with the cat (who I try to keep an outdoor cat, boohoo poor kitty). It's just annoying as my skin feels tight and itchy and burned up all the time again. Seems either way that I spend too much time behind a screen. I am trying to print work out and give the screen a rest, but it seems inefficient mostly.. Ok so my skin seemed pale for a good while, but my skin doesn't shed dead skin cells normally. Dr Chu also explained me this the last time I saw him; some rosaceans have compromised skin function, meaning the dead skin cells don't just naturally fall off, but instead keep building up and up. For a while, this seems to make my rosacea less reactive; gives some sort of protective layer of you like. But after a certain time, and I only wash my skin mildly with cotton pads and water, I can notice the build up gets too much. It still looks kind of normal, but at close look you see there is too much of a dead skin layer. And usually by then my skin starts to feel tight, starts to itch and mostly; p&p's form all over my cheeks. Dr Chu said I need to scrub my skin, or clean it very thoroughly, because this dead skin cell build up can act as a breeding ground for inflammation. So today was the big cleaning day and I put it in pictures. Don't get too shocked by the super red ones, in a few days from now the redness will be down again, usually.

Three days ago 


Today after mild skin scrub

Today, half a day after mild skin scrub after mild skin scrub

Second day after mild skin scrub after mild skin scrub
(I use no skin care products btw. No day cream, no cleansing gel, nothing)

Third day

I stopped eating rice (I used to eat a lot of it as I used rice flour to make pancakes or cookies or other carb heavy things). Now back to eating sweet potatoes, not too much of it but at dinner and gluten free muesli (no corn in it), and my skin seems as calm as it's ever been the past years. Very happy with it. My dad got his very first tablet and internet connection a few years back. He is an artist and used to spend his nights painting or making drawings, but now he is mesmerized by the net and his computer. Easily spends 3 hours an evening surfing online. Good for him, but it can be addictive to people of all ages I think :) Added my cat Bassie. A hard day out of the life of Bassie. "Nobody said it was easy". He currently is doing a career test: cook, gardener, professional mover or secretary. So far he's unimpressed with any of the jobs and prefers game keeper :)

Of course attention span is a problem with these people. They are walking into water fountains and bears, because they are too busy checking their phones.

Those are the funnier examples, you see them also walking obliviously under a truck.. Or kill people on the road while text-driving. Bit of a side story this but did you ever see those youtube compilations of swirling Russian trucks on highways there? Scarcely missing pedestrians and drivers? Gives me adrenaline even looking at them. I don't want a mobile phone myself, but others should do as they please of course, as long as they don't bring other people's lives in danger. Which is clearly the case nowadays. One silly (tragic) girl was texting in the car how HAPPY she was, listening to Pharell Williams 'Happy' on the radio and that was the end of it. And doesn't it make you sad in a way that people out there, in the bus, in the train, in the street, seem so glued to their phones? Don't want to sound like an old radge, and in all fairness, I'm usually perfectly fine with other people leaving me alone when I'm sitting in a bus, but my sister and I once counted how many people didn't seem lost in their phones during a bus ride home, and in a full bus it were no more than 5. Nobody even notices the people around them anymore. That being said, my sister is as bad. Even has her phone on at night. There's a video made about it, it's a bit moralistic and popular in style, but it brings up the same topic;

I saw this crazy documentary a few days ago about the Jesus of Siberia; a Jesus lookalike who had a large group of followers, some crazy sect more or less. But then.. I don't want to ruin the mood here, but then autoplay forwarded me to another documentary and I've seen my fair share of depressing docu's but this one was so very sad.. About Suicide forest in Japan. Some far out forest at the foot of a volcano, a forester (? the dude who keeps check on the forest) walked round there and the forest was so spooky, with strangely shaped trees. Not like our European trees. You could get lost in the forest easily, so some people had tied ribbons along trees. The colored ribbon trails went on and on for miles, so that IF they changed their minds, they could find their way back. Stuff of Zurman nightmare fairy tales. Last week I felt so stressed out with work, skin, life, hell what not and then the strange thing occurred that even though I tried to manage the friends around me well, kind, the destruction seemed to flow right into the interactions with them. Even though I thought I was just kind! 

Other than the fact that humans tend to look for patterns in their attempts to understand. I've been noticing it all week, it's just that by this time, it is starting to give me pause, wondering what's behind it. I'm trying to take the personal out of it as much as I can, and attribute much of it to a series of coincidences. That's a good thing I think, to be analytical and perceptive to those signs from others, and to think about your own (possible) actions. Maybe it was that Murphy's Law thing; one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong, like you have it marked on your forehead. I get such weeks now and then, when I'm not feeling great, stressed with work or things and then I have misunderstandings with one after another. And it seems others pick up on your vibes or something and then start making matters even more miserable. I learned that when I'm in such a destructive spell (ok, that's too strong a word, an besides, it's often not even by my own actions or wrongdoing but just the universe attacking me and hope ignoring me, to speak with Emily Brontë - she made a lovely poem about it btw, if you happen to care for that stuff), but when it's like that I now just delay responding, or calling back, or emailing back because it's bound to cause more trouble somehow, unintentionally. Better wait for a better day. Doesn't the universe work in mysterious ways sometimes. Or maybe they are just my own vibes causing trouble, who's to say. 

I write with people online now and then, penpals, and it's interesting. Even though I can't spend too
much time on it. I see it as an interesting social experience, more or less. With less than a 5% chance of a true and lasting connection. Make that 1% probably. The rest is just interesting. Hell, life is about experiences, right? And for this I do not have to leave my comfortable rosacea friendly environment. It's like going to a pub and screening for interesting people but without the pub. Or without even having to dress up nicely.

You get in contact with a whole lot of strange birds though and I am not taking it all too seriously mostly, and it has become easier to see the patterns now, see through different type of writers, to recognize early on who you have a click with and who you have chemistry with. Some penpallers will only write after midnight  or after the weekends, without giving (obvious) reasons for that. Others want to be online every single evening. People share in the end what they feel comfortable sharing with and that is fine. Some people don't even use profile pictures. Some have made up accounts. If the aim is to have a writing thing that is sparkling and interesting, all the other factors don;t really matter too much for me, personally. Just a matter of where your expectations lie with such a thing, perhaps.
Lately I received emails from a Danish guy and he was very clingy straight away. Instantly I was his new best friend. A friend joked that he seemed a complete scammer. But he really doesn't seem a scammer. Which is a poor argument, I realize; he doesn't seem one. He claims to be Danish, the way he writes, it seems indeed very Scandinavian. He also looks Danish, he looks like a Danish singer I like in fact, Soren Huss, only bigger. He's actually a very big guy, as in overweight and appears very insecure about it. I didn't ask for his pictures, I do not care about weight or looks but he asked me to check them out and kept bringing his weight up; "Are you sure you can write with someone as fat as me? Are you sure, because others rejected me for it." That sort of pressure put me off a bit, not his weight or looks. But it felt almost like I had to sign a blood contract there and then. To not reject him ever in his life. Some people are their own worst enemies and self fulfilling prophecies sometimes, perhaps. He also told me in the first email about all his penpals, the ones who hurt him, how much he wants a family and a wife, how with his size it is easiest for him to meet women on penpal and uhm, do I want kids actually? Just out of general curiosity, you know. Was a bit too much perhaps but he seemed kind and friendly overall. Am just not sure thee is a click. Not even sure why I'm sharing this here, probably to give an example of how such things can go. 

"I want to marry your eyes, I am so in love with them! "

"Sir, you're holding up the line. Are you going to buy a ticket?".

I did recall some old memories through him. I used to be a member of a youth club, as a young teen. Basically we hung out in a shed and felt really special. Did theater plays, had theme nights. It was good. Also parody's of each other at stage nights. Not always nice, but it was done in good jest and learned us to develop thicker skin. In hindsight I think it's wonderful to have a club like that when you are a roaring teen and hate your parents and the world. It was so much fun there and a sanctuary of like minded people. We did tons of fun stuff. There was a very conservative baptist church nearby and we would sometimes change the name. Its name was Rank, which means tall in Dutch. It was a tall church. But we would climb up there sometimes at night and add the letter D in front of it, which makes it Drank, which means liquor. Then the next morning, Sunday, those Amish like church members would go to church, all solemnly and serious and see thát on their facade. Haha I still smirk actually now that I think of it. A bit of anarchy, it was so good those days. We didn't mean to offend or hurt anyone more than a skin deep but of rascal-ness. 

Another thing that came up during penpalling and which I remembered again was that I had this massive fear of death in my teens. That kind of eased later on. Remember writing in my diary age 14, in the bus with my class on our way to some German town; why are they all laughing? Don't they know we are all going to die at some point? Be nothingness for eternity, how frightening. Haha, just a bit of Weltschmerz. A friend replied; "Oh, you must have been a lot of fun at parties, :-| "

"Do you ever think about what it's all about?

What are we doing here? What is our role? Who are we on this tiny little planet? 

Is there a purpose? Or is it just empty space to fill, being and nothingness?

What is life, but a series of tiny steps that inch us closer, closer, and ever closer, to our final death?

And then what? Is there nothing more than our bodies being eaten by the worms? 

Or do we survive to see a resplendence of grace, that we could not even imagine in this, our mortal coil?

'Scarlett. We just asked you to read Hansel und Gretel to the kindergarten class. Can you please follow what is said in the book, please? You are frightening the children!' 

And did you know there are anarchistic sheep?) Such a kamikaze, hiding in caves for years because he didn't like a hair cut.

Shrek, The Sheep Who Escaped Shearing for 6 Years


Shrek was a Merino sheep, a castrated male, belonging to South Island, New Zealand, who gained international fame in 2004 owing to his gigantic coat of fleece. Shrek became famous after escaping his enclosure and evading the shearers for six years by hiding in caves. Merino sheep are usually shorn annually but Shrek managed to escape the blade for six years straight. When he was finally caught, the sheep was unrecognizable. “He looked like some biblical creature,” said John Perriam, Shrek’s owner.

Primitive sheep shed most of their wool every year, but domestic breed like the Merino - the ones raised primarily for their meat, continues to grow wool year round until sheared. During his cave-living days, Shrek grew a fleece weighing 27 kg, roughly six times the average fleece produced by a Merino sheep. His fleece contained enough wool to make suits for 20 large men.
Shrek shot to fame immediately. He was sheared live on New Zealand’s national television, and his fleece was auctioned off to raise money for children’s medical charities. Shrek met the then Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, and became the subject of children’s books and made charity appearances. Two and a half years after the first live television event, Shrek underwent another live shearing, this time on an iceberg floating off the coast of Dunedin, New Zealand.
Shrek died in 2011 at the age of sixteen.

And I saw this video yesterday, about coping with disbelief. Really made me laugh;


Now (with make-up) versus 15 years ago, with my beloved sisters still

August 30th 2015

Skin is still fairly calm and pale, with some flares here and there. Feeling like the weatherwoman when I say that :) 

August 21st 2015

Skin has been really calm and pale for a good 2 weeks all in all. Now it's back to normal and flushed much more often. It burns again as well. I have every day one of the two cheeks which is more red and flushed than the other, depending on which side I slept. I am told so often by others; don't sleep on your cheek/side! Sleep on your back. But i can't control that unfortunately. Because I take remeron, I sleep like a log basically for 8 or 9 hours straight. With vivid (nice) dreams, I just don't manage to wake up in the same position as I fell asleep in somehow. Although when I face away from the fan, I wake up from a hot face, and I noticed that I don't turn away from the fan during my sleep much anymore these nights. But sleeping on my side is so natural to me. Perhaps also bc I don't have a ceiling fan, but a desk fan type, so only when I lay on my side it is so that both my cheeks are in the fan's reach.  It's been warm a lot, and I do a lot better in cooler weather. I think for me 70% humidity and outdoor temperatures between 15-20 are perfect. Indoors it can't be much warmer than 17 degrees though, strangely enough indoor heat is a bigger trigger. My friends took the camper to the north of Italy the past weeks, Venice, but it got to 40 degrees Celsius and they had to return earlier, it was unbearably hot for them. But then again, us Dutchies aren't used to much anyway ;) As I said, my skin was pale the past weeks when it was cool and rainy in Holland, but lately it's been sunny and humid and warm again, 27 degrees and it feels more hot here due to the high humidity and not much wind. I also am a week before my period and my skin just overnight started to become red and flushed again ... Went into town with a girlfriend the other day because I just wanted to get out, as Ive been inside a lot the past week, and it was good to be out and away from the work load and the pc for a bit, even though one cheek was red. 

In the park behind my place there is a 10 day music and theater festival now, with live music and all sorts of gatherings, food stands. Has a circus/theater like atmosphere, and I often pop round to have a little wander, either with friends who pick me up or just on my own. 

I wished I could use skin products. Right now my skin is having all these scales from dryness. It needs moisturizer but anything on it makes my skin bright red, glowing, shiny.. It just does more harm than good! 
Found it hard to adjust back to flushing mode, as I'd been out and about a lot during the good spell. Went to town with friends, visited others on my mountain bike, even cycled in the pouring rain and didn't mind it, even though I usually try to shield my face from the rain. But now I need to plan my days a bit better again. Had to cycle to university this morning for a meeting and it's been really hot here and sunny. I don't live far from uni, it's only about 5 to 10  minutes on the bike but there was absolutely no shade at 11 am, and the sun was so bright and hot that even with a hat on, it all reflected from the street and the walls. Came at the faculty. all flushed and burned up and then as the cherry on the cake my prof. wasn't there and put a note on the door that he'd be back at 12. Just went back home and arranged to meet at 5 pm, when the sun isn't as bright. He knows all about my health issues and is incredibly kind and interested always. That makes me feel good. 

Hmm what else has happened. Been working on some new art publications, which comes down to a lot of typing out of old articles, making footnotes, editing texts. I quite love the work and am ever so happy that I am allowed to do a big chunk of it from home. It's perfect for me really and keeps me occupied, also in the mind. Had a social spell basically which made time go very fast. I saw a news item the other night about how Dutch people (and I assume all men in the west nowadays actually) are consistently multitasking. Also during work; checking social media, inbox, news updates. And that we don't do twice as long about work chores when we divide our time in half over distraction and work, but FOUR times as long. Because all that switching of attention takes so much energy and adaptation time. On top, people spend 3 hours at night on average, after work and kids etc on their mobile phone devices. And these social media gives us mini hits, like an addict, these researchers explained. When you feel bored, low, etc you go online and get endorphin shots whenever someone acknowledges you and gives you attention; messages, hits, likes, shares and so on. We are all getting addicted to the short term attention stuff; wanting instant hits and rushes of hormones. Or so researchers claim at least :) Some teenagers apparently have their mobiles on alert, so that when they receive a message at night time they will wake up! Oh my.. Kids in school who were very active on social media had on average 1,5 points lower on their test results than kids who don't spend (much) time on social media, the researchers also found. 

My dad has a Persian cat called Lizzy.
She is from my middle sister originally, a 11 year old lady, flat snout, very affectionate but my dad lives in the city center in a 1st floor house. So she cannot go outside. He fixed some anti cat barriers at his balcony so she can sit there but I remember 10 years ago when my youngest sister had her for a while -but she was never home-  that I would drop by sometimes to cat sit her and put her on a leash and let her out sniffing about in the back garden. She loved it, never a fight with the leash. Since she has lived many happy years with my dad together with another cat from my sister, who died a while ago from old age. So dad now said, Persians don't get very old usually, and Lizzy always seems to hanker for outdoor times; why don't you take her, since you have a garden? She can be out there. But I don't think it's a great plan, because it's too different and my own cat Bassie might be a sour grumpy ball of misery towards her and she might run away. Plus, she will miss my dad and he will miss her. So.. now I bought her a little harness with a leash :) 
My dad thinks I'm crazy but they had so many types to chose form in the pet shop, that there must be tons of people who walk their cats that way. An australian friend of mine has severe rosacea too and 2 Siamese cats who are indoor cats, but she even bought a carrier on wheels, like a kids pram lol, but then for cats with fabric over it that traps them but they can look outside and smell things. So she walks them through the neighborhood that way haha and they get free in the garden on a leash. Bit strange compared to the normal way cats go about, free to roam and come and go as they please but her neighborhood is dangerous with traffic etc. I love it! It's so eccentric too and most important, her cats are so happy with the outdoor activities. Yes yes, cat women are in fact crazy :) Anyway, the leash idea came from her and I will take Lizzy out on her very first outing tomorrow. Hope she won't cause a hissy fit.

My own ginger cat  Sebastian :) He is quite the character. Had friends and family over the past months now and then and mister is far from pleased with anything disturbing his habits and tranquility. Especially hates children. He prowls and sulks and growls from afar then, giving dirty looks at them and at the house. Rushes indoors in kamikaze attack mode to gobble his food down and gets out asap. Then once they leave he is king of the house again. He's also still terrorizing the neighborhood and the cats out there, based on the complaints that come in. Of course he's mutton dressed as wolf and the innocence himself when at home. I was asked to write an art critic for a high standard Belgium art newspaper 2 months ago and did that. For free, yeah.. well it's the honor to be featured in it apparently and it was only 1200 words but it took me 6 weeks to round it up and it was originally 2000 words, so most work went into scraping, summarizing, rephrasing. Learned a lot from the editors, they must have felt I was a total novice as they sent me a lot of tips and adjustment suggestions. But it was ok in the end. The more occupied I am with such things, the better I feel. No time to sit and sulk about things, I guess. And also had a nice thing happening the other day. Been asked to write a section of an upcoming exhibition catalog flasy glam book for the museum here. It's about a topic I did my thesis about, so I should know enough about it.. I hope :)  And it actually pays -very well in fact-! Chuffed about it. 

Last thing, I will add parts of a conversation I had with a rosacea friend on Soolantra and vitamin supplements

Friend: I am worse today, it might be due to my supplementation of vitamin A, which I had reduced to once per week but it appears that  I don't tolerate it at all now. Perhaps my stores are filled. I found out that vitamin A can irritate the TRPV1 receptor. But so can zinc apparently, but in lesser fashion. You know, our bodies are not designed well☹
I just wanted to say, ... regarding soolantra, .. it might be worth trying actually, even if you don't have a proliferation of demodex. Your recent post reminded me of something important. Ivermectin is related to the macrolide antibiotic group. So it has some anti-inflammatory effects, minus the antibacterial activity. In addition, (and this part is my personal theory), given the fact ivermectin is a pesticide and kills by action of neurotoxin, PERHAPS, it  reduces the nerve activity of the   abnormal facial skin? I recall Ros from the forum posting good results after trying it for a month. I don't recall she ever posted an update, which is a shame, but  perhaps she  remained improved and got busy with life. Who knows. Anyway, of course one has to consider the  medicine base. Some people have reported nasty reactions, so perhaps it was to this and not the ivermectin? Soolantra isn't available here yet. I tried ivermection in a solution years ago and it didn't help at all, but my flushing was SO, SO SEVERE back then and my face was so swollen I don't think any topical would have helped.

ME: Vitamin A is can sometimes be unwise to take I think :( My immunologist actually warned
against all forms of multivitamins, as he finds them stimulating the immune system. And for people with autoimmune system problems and inflammation in the body, that is something you don't want, he explained. Although it seems so different for every patient. So hard therefore to determine what helps and what makes it worse. But I don't take any extra vitamins and he warned for me against vit C, due to my underlying health problems, and I do notice that when I eat a lot of fruits with vitamin C in it, like mango's, that I get bright red the days after. Whereas some other fruits are far less problematic, apples, pears for instance, brambles or blue berries. Yes zinc.. Zinc makes me so flushed! I tried to supplement many a time with it, but it's undeniable that it kicks my rosacea off. I read something on the forum once, an old member, it might have been Dan, who explained how zinc can actually increase inflammation somehow? Quiet some years ago but I remember thinking, aha, so that's why. 

Thanks for the Soolantra advice. I am so weary, bc I don't get p&p's normally.. And bc my skin won't tolerate any topical, I think the Soolantra will only make it flare more. But I keep a close eye on the forum posts and other online patient reviews on this product, it surely sounds a lot more promising already than Mirvaso ever did. Super interesting what you wrote about its actions, antibacterial, anti inflammatory, potentially reducing nerve activity. I am not well known with it, do you see a possibility of asking your derm or docs about this you think? I will bring it up to dr Chu next time I see him as well. Very curious what he thinks. Oh and I have at least 10 new blog posts in the pipe line about rosacea, just lacking the time to throw myself into it entirely, but it's been worked on.. In bits and pieces. Wished I had more time for a more steady stream of new posts, but alas, for now that is. Next year it might all be different again. 

August 8th 2015

A rosacea friend emailed me and wrote: "Your face looks MUCH calmer than it did in the previous post probiotic ones. Personally, I don't think demodex plays much of a role in our types of flushing and redness/inflammation. I am sure we have them and they do cause a bit of trouble, but most of our 'outbreaks' of P&P's are triggered by other factors, I am sure. Given your recent reaction to probiotics I think it is  fairly certain a large chunk of your driving factor lies in the gut. If your gut is leaking, i.e damaged lining, you will react to your own native flora and even more so to anything new you introduce. Introduce live/raw sauerkraut VERY SLOWLY. Maybe even just 1/4 tsp of the juice per day. Then wait and see what happens. Did you try oral niacinamide yet? It is my saviour. It has helped me so much. I am not cured by any means, the Daily battle continues in greater or lesser degree, but it is continuous, nevertheless. Niacinamide lessens it though and I couldn't be without it. Topical too, but that took some time to get used to."

August 7th 2015

The weather improved, for my standards, with humid warmth instead of dry warmth and my skin is tons better. Calm, cool, not broken out anymore, not even flushed that much. Humidity is around 75%. Everybody complains about this 'sweating weather' except me :D Got the aircon on in the house and a fan on low, but it's all much much better now that with the dry weather and thén the fan and aircon on. Just dried the skin out too much.Been back to normality therefore, out and about more, socially active, feeling much better in general. 

Diet wise I eat rice milk (rice, water, they sell it in organic shops) with gluten free muesli a lot lately. Those are carbs but complex ones and it's delicious I find. Got into a bit of an addict mode, eating it even for dinner haha. Lazy summer cooking that is. Skin seems fine with it. I also eat a lot of vegetables, salads and apples and melon. My skin does best when left alone... I tried so many creams, also the most neutral ones, pharmacist made. It all clogs my skin and vaseline/paraffin are the worst for my skin, unfrt. They seal it, trap all the heat. I am too severe a flusher for that to tolerate. Tried it many times.

I've been reading about Soolantra on the Rosacea Forum. Very curious about it. Some people seem to have real success with it :) Personally for my rosacea, I am a bit weary of the anti parasites/ pesticides/demodex treatments, because I have subtype 1. and haven't heard from any doctor yet that this subtype is connected to demodex. More likely with autoimmune activity, central nervous system disfunctioning and other inflammation issues in the body, which set off our blood vessels to dilate, inflame and this mechanism sets up new blood vessel growth through angiogenesis. In other words; more trouble for us flushers and burners. I don't know a whole lot on demodex, however. Am working on a new blog post about it, but between work and stuff it takes some time to read up on it in depth and gather the needed information. Will be coming, however. As far as I know now and have been told by my dermatologists, demodex seems to mainly cause acne like p&ps for us rosaceans. Not the on and off flushing, although general redness and inflammation surely can be influenced by demodex. I find the meds for its treatment too risky and harsh, both topical and systematic, given how mad and hysterical my skin reacts to the simplest of things. Paracetamol for instance, NSAID's, low dose antibiotics, they all set it off badly.

I plan on using oregano oil again (a strong natural antibacterial supplement), I tried it last week, gave some heartburn stomach pain but skin seemed to like it. I also have fresh sauerkraut in the fridge I'm going to start with, now that the flare calmed down and I can honestly judge its effect therefore.

August 1st 2015

Today the left cheek has cleared up a bit but the right one is a p&p and red mess now. I took an oil of oregano capsule last night, it's supposed to be anti inflammatory, anti bacterial but it's also quite harsh on the stomach. All I care for now really is for things to go back to calm skin, so I might throw in all sorts of supplements and then become erratic about it and stop them again until things are back to normal. The best approach is to start with a new supplement when your skin is calm and stable. Then change one thing and give it time to do its work and for you to evaluate if it really is or isn't helping matters. So this is a baddddd time for me to change things. 
Will also go back to a zero tolerance diet, exit dark chocolate at night or anything sugary, back to apples, vegetables, some organic meat. Anyway this is my right cheek today, it was calm last week, pale, now a bit rashy. What I do when I go out and my skin is shit and I feel self conscious is putting my earphones on. Not put my glasses on or contacts in, so I am in my own zone so to speak. Also in the supermarket. Into my music or audio book, not seeing myself in detail in a mirror, not seeing peoples close up features unless they are right in front of me. 

A friend has this humidifier, which finally prevents bacteria from forming in the water. Ohhh I want it too! Badly. But it will be available here in the fall and despite being cheaper than the Australian one, it will still be very pricey, close to 500 euro. Ouch.
Dyson AM10 White/Silver Humidifier

Dyson AM10 White/Silver Humidifier

Model No. 303125-01
The Dyson AM10 Humidifier provides hygienic humidification with even room coverage. It is the only humidifier with patented anti-bacterial technology that exposes every drop of water to an ultraviolet light - killing 99.99% of bacteria before mist is projected. The Dyson Humidifier uses air multiplier technology to project hygienic, humidified air evenly across the room - quickly and quietly. This unit offers dual function for year round use for hygienic even humidification in winter and high velocity air to cool in summer. 

And I was also linked to this great device, which will store your ice cubes for a good deal of time. Love it.
Don’t you hate it when your favorite beverage loses its frosty (or piping hot) goodness before you have a chance to fully enjoy it? We sure do, and that’s why we over-engineered our Rambler Tumblers with kitchen-grade 18/8 stainless steel and double-wall vacuum insulation. The result is a tough, hard-wearing personal drink cooler that maintains ice twice as long as plastic tumblers — and it works just as well for hot beverages. The lid that keeps your liquid in its place is easy to clean, shatterproof and crystal clear so you know exactly how much of your drink you still have to look forward to.

In the mean time, here are some tips to prevent your cheapskate humidifier from becoming a source of bacterial infection.

July 31st 2015

By Ronald van Grinsven
It's been a weird month. The first 2 weeks my skin was so pale, so calm that even my mother commented on how flawless and almost normal it looked when we met for lunch. Been making the most of it, many days out and away, shopping with friends, basically out and about. But then the weather changed and I had a long travel and the past 2 weeks my skin has been an utter nightmare. Broken out all over my cheeks, something I normally never have this bad so it is worrying me a bit to be honest, but also very dry, burning and itching skin. Just flushed and on fire plus it also looks inflamed and sickly this time. When it's too warm I flare up, but when the air conditioning is on all the time I flare up as well ultimately, because the air gets so dry and my skin is already very dry. Any moisturizer I put on it causes a bad reaction so I stuck with nothing for the past decade and that usually goes ok. As long as I make sure my house isn't too low on humidity. But with the aircon on the humidity goes below 30% and then I have a fan on low as well, drying the skin out even more. You literally see the skin scaling by now, it's that dry and I feel that it is making my cheeks prone to infection and inflammation. Putting a humidifier on then makes the air warmer again, and on top I am getting weary of the humidifier because what if there are bacteria in the water reservoir? I washed it with soap, I now soak it in natural vinegar. But I worried the past week that it might have caused these p&p outbreaks in fact. I can't go out for walks at night unless my skin has a calm quiet day, because by 8 PM I'm just so flushed up that a walk is out of the question. Been a long time I last had that happening so needless to say probably, but I'm not overjoyed. 

The itch is new too, I only seem to get that when my skin is really annoyed and dry. I'm even starting to read up on demodex! Could it be that...? I will make a blog post about it anyway, am gathering material here and there now, it's a bit of a timely process but it will come. My doctors always told me that my sub type has little or nothing to do with demodex in their opinion, but right now I'm broken out too. What if this is the dreaded demodex attack, being in full swing now? Then I think back of my lunch with mum 2 weeks ago and it seems strange that demodex would have such a quick march and victory. I also ate crap food because I've been out and about with other people a lot and that usually means I don't want to be too much of a pest when it comes to eating together, and the better my skin feels, the more likely I am then to cheat on my rosacea diet. So cumulative consumption of bad foods (high in sugar/carbs/gluten/dairy etc) could also be to blame. But I've done that before.. It must be the heat and dryness on top of it all. Probably.. (Don't panic now!). 

The other night the itching just got too much and I soaked my skin with water and rubbing it with cotton pads. Cool relief. Until it dried up haha. Then my skin looked even more red, raised and angry. I stopped 'painting' the red dots away with white zinc oil cream. It masks them yes, but dries the skin out even more and I'm also starting to suspect this zinc cream to cause more p&p's to form on different spots. It might be just that, a suspicion, I still don't know for sure. And it feels good to go out and paint the redness away a bit. Even though it's in zinc like white dots, which need fading out again to not look like a dalmatian. I'm even starting to worry if it might be eczema. I do really hate this out of control feeling. Am used to dealing with the normal ups and downs, flares before period, then better weeks, then worse again. Or the flow that comes with changes in temperature or diet. But this is just wacky and different from what I'm used to, and I basically want the skin to calm down, feel cool and stop itching and burning. Passing on every invitation I might get now, stopped the social outings for now, Just hibernating mode and distracting myself with work and nice video's and social contact online, basically. Intil this one passes again as well. I hate however how sensitive my skin has become with the years. I am stuck in these situations; I can't put a soothing cream on it, without making it much worse. 

I watched this docu on the stone age in England tonight and the first thing (well one of the first things) that crossed my mind was; what if someone had rosacea back then, and they all sat by the camp fire at night, slept in their huts and that person had no fan, no ice cubes... How did they deal with it then? A hot burning on fire face. Maybe volunteer for the monthly religious sacrifice? Be slaughtered voluntarily? Or is that too grim a thought. 

And it starts right at a proper starting point, the climate change and the (now British) island being separated from the French mainland. Was interesting that because of the increase in temperature, forests arose and they caused hunting problems for the local inhabitants. Some moved to islands near Scotland and others developed these bow and arrows to hunt, but the ones made by stone age hunters in 7000 BC was more refined, sharper and far more effective than the ones they found back from 3000 BC, used more by farmers by then. Bc the hunter-gatherers relied on it for their livelihood and their weapons needed to be superb. Think the 7000 BC one was called a 'self bow', made from a single piece of wood. Fascinating to see how much more efficient its replica was than the 3000 BC replica one. 

There was also a beautiful section in the video, where they were on a beach in Liverpool and you could see the sediments of the foot prints of stone age people, a 5000 year 'old' man in this case. An imprint of the foot of a man running over mud flats. The sun baked the imprint in the mud, then new layers of mud were deposited over it by the tides, sealing the dry print. And then with time the process was reversed. Sea levels rose and tides stripped away the layers of mud, revealing these imprints again now. But they won't last, just temporarily visible because they are no fossils; just imprints in the mud. With temporarily I mean a few hours!! Painful almost to see and think about for me, so bridle and so fleeting and most of those feet from people long gone will go unnoticed. The presenter also says how thrilling it is when you put your hand into the foot print, and reach out into the past. How amazing it is that they last for 5000 or 6000 years and then then they're gone. Overnight. There was even the imprint visible of the hoof of a deer he was chasing. And they could measure that he was running at about 5 km/hour and was of average current male size. Literally it shows the foot steps of the past. They used the luminescence dating technique for it. 

I've been watching tons of docu's, Ill write a bit more about them further down. 

I noticed that skin care companies are offering me free samples for creams now, through my blog email. Some even have good ingredient profiles. But since I can't tolerate anything on my dace, or not as far as I tried, which is extensively, it feels like cheating and wrong somehow to make advertisement for creams I might not even be able to recommend to anyone else. How can you test them when you flare and have a face on fire from everything you try? So it seems best that I'm not going to advertise anything unless I can handle it myself. And that's a slim chance unfortunately. 

My Aussie 'rosacea' friend asked me the other day; "do u prefer the Middle of winter or the Middle of summer?" I replied: "Hmm tough.. winter." Friend: "And when it is bitterly cold /freezing what do you do??". I said: "I can keep the indoor temperature controlled then and still go out for walks. But yeh when it's bitterly cold my skin can be pretty awful yes. But it is the same in mid summer. Too cold and my face gets bright red. I once had it 1 degree in winter in the house, with the fan on as well. Felt like being trapped in an ice age blizzard yet still my bloody face was flaring and hot. But I'm always trying to keep it around 15 degrees in the house as a minimum. The extreme cold seems to cause rebound flaring and redness by itself."

Someone very nice wrote me on the rosacea forum
: "Well, I think I’m in the same situation – no

treatment that really will work… It’s so hard to accept but there is no much of a choice!? You have tried so many things and probably know more about Rosacea then 99 % of all derms.. Yeah not worth waiting for a cure, I’m so sad when there is so much research on Psoriasis and other skin conditions.. For me personally, Psoriasis is nothing compared to Rosacea and with just Psoriasis I could live a pretty normal life." My rosacea friend said about the misunderstanding element: "Yep. And that's why finding other rosaceans helps. I think the understanding is HUGE for a relationship. No matter how much a non-rosacean says they understand, they don't. And when they say they do, there will always be that one day when they say "x has rosacea and she does everything and it doesn't bother her" and bingo! They don't understand. It's the old, " you have it better than XYZ, so u should feel lucky" theory. The dreaded phrase that people with rosacea or depression hate to hear. Then we reply with, "well Robin Williams killed himself and physically he was fine". I said: "Yeh well people with underlying mood swings and anxiety issues are hit hardest by rosacea
but many also find that rosacea brings anxiety to them; something they might have never had before. When you have it bad enough, it can be a chronic, painful, life limiting beast of a condition to have
and yes I'm sick and tired of ppl not understanding it either. Best stick to the rosacea community for some things."

My little nephew suddenly started to give me a new pet name. It sounds very cute and adult-like, out of his mouth. My sister and I had such a chuckle, he is coming up with all these new words which sound decisively east block'ish. So he had this word, abadanka. He kept saying it and used it for some online banking device. My sister looked it up and says (thinks) it's Polish. You see, he has his own little computer, called 'coupje' and he only wants to watch cartoons and truck stuff in Russian or Polish. Sister tries to direct him to Dutch sites but within minutes he found his way back to the Russian and Polish ones and starts to repeat all that Slavics haha. I love it.

I've also been away a few days with my best friend and her partner and kids. Been out and about with them and their 5 yr old son mostly, they also have a 1,5 year old girl who is extremely cute but not as active and interactive yet. All lovely but for someone not used to that sort of family drilled military day scheduling, it was exhausting. But fun, so I won't complaint. Me and the boy, don't know, we two just have a bond or however you want to call that, without it sounding too mushy. A click. From 8 am til 11 pm, all he wants to do is do things together, build lego structures, watch documentaries, he is such a smart and articulate kid, bit feisty as well at times, but keeps asking and asking, I love it. So he wanted to know why it gets dark at night and light in the morning, and we watched video's on the solar system and the sun and the orbit the earth makes around it, and then he keeps asking more and more and every time you check on things I said earlier, he just remembered it, Practically all of it. Like some sponge almost. So interesting, that part of that kids hardware in the brain is filled in by the parents at that age; If they fed him with mumbo jumbo, he would probably be just as curious and interested but then towards that, and thát would form the reality of his life and world then. Makes you feel important as a parent I reckon, and it makes you actually important of course, feeding and forming some young brain in a way. And while their brains are still like sponges, our brains are going backwards. But then again, you can train it. I don't feel I have gone entirely backwards with age, but you channel your attention and mind development nowadays in very specific directions, is it not? Block out everything you no longer need or want to know about (mathematics for me, for instance). I'm sure though that I was better at maths age 15 than now :) It needs thorough practice. Also no need nor energy anymore to learn 3 new languages. 

Before you wonder if I strapped the kid to a chair and had him endure Plato talks and Van Gogh videos, this kid, hand on my heart, pleaded with my to watch all such video's. Ok no art, but in depth stuff. I didn't impose my academic drill on him, all the topics were his own choice. He wanted to see all the dangerous shark types out there, favored the great white shark an the hammerhead and the whale shark. Then checked out lion cubs in the wild, then a Cobra snake but that was too hard to watch for me (he was fine with Cobra's swallowing huge mammals!). Then dragons, Shaun the sheep (bit Wallace and gromit like, not bad). And he asked to watch youtube movies on the sun, the planets in our solar system, the moon, night and day explained, and for me to explain every tv frame shit thingy so it took ages to get through it. We played football too (I used to play it myself and am a big football fan), and built stuff with lego, but he likes to watch things and asks a million questions, wants to see wild animals in hunting action and having me explain it all.  Oh and we race with his many little cars, legs spread, other sides of the room, 1, 2, 3 and at 3 we give it a massive push and the aim is to make them smash into each other halfways. With those tiny little miniature cars. And hide and seek we did. When he gets tired of that it's videos, then bored with that and the cycle just starts all over again. It's great, even I like that sort of parenting.

At times it makes me want to have kids of my own, but then again.. It's not all roses and butterflies surely, Something's gotto give. Especially raising them full time. I have a knack with kids I guess, but only on good health days. On bad ones, there is really not much space or energy for anything but myself (my skin/health ailments I mean with that). It just doesn't seem fair. And I know from close by that it's not all fun and games and you really need to sacrifice yourself and your own needs. My sister spends long long days having to play the same games with cars again and again, always children's cartoon blasting from the tv and at night she is sitting alone on the coach, watching series, no energy or ways to go out and about as the kid lies in bed. But I might still change my mind and otherwise I look forward to foster parenting somehow. Plenty of children who need a break or some TLC. 

I saw a documentary about Dutch pensions. We pay here every day 91 million euro of pension money. In total over 1000 billion of Dutch pension money is standing out in the great big beyond currently. That's a part of the wages which we are forced to pay to investment companies, and then have to trust that by the time we need it, it will be still there. It's even worse than I thought. Of that they already lost 200 billion through bad investments by 2008. Meaning; less pensions to pay out and higher pension premiums to be paid. But these pension funds don't want small % of profit from the banks. They want at least 7% or more, as they need to get their own big bonuses and wages out of it and so they let specialized people gamble with the money ('wise investments'). These investors get so rich from it. They interviewed a man called Ted Siedle who is a self proclaimed detective of the way the American funds and banks deal with pension money and who said that the level of secrecy and lack of transparency about the way these pension funds are invested, has never been this high. All the companies managing these stashes of pension money, using it also to pay out bonuses, to enrich themselves, for goodbye presents. There were unions present among the board members of those pension fund companies, but they let it all go on here in Holland. 

Didn't have a full understanding of just how important transparency and strict control is of these types of investors, gambling with other peoples money. It's part of the deal of course, you get high interest but you also get higher risk. Siedle compared this huge stash of Dutch pension money with the Ring from Lord of the Ring; it spellbounds the people who need to work with it and in the worst way. It's only gotten worse since the 2008 crisis, more bonuses, less transparency, higher wages, and they are just looking for the best, new facade and mask to hide all their actions behind. They have compliant officers and risk managers now, more than before, who write mission statements and do 'green washing' but its all theater. Wall street offers 'swaps' and interest derivatives, as a way to make very high profits with your big bucks and a lot of the Dutch pension money is managed on Wall Street by US companies. These 'swap' managers make 10 million a year and that money comes from our pension funds, in this case. Bad deals where these companies always get the best end of the stick. But that's peanuts compared with other ways in which they deal with the money. 

Goldman Sachs (GS) for instance managed a billion euro's of Dutch pension money and squandered it. Pure fraud, it came to a court case but they settled (were court cases against 5 big banks actually, also Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley). Nobody got punished, nobody got fired even over it. GS gambled on the fall of products they sold to this Dutch pension fund company. They lied in order to get the money themselves of their 'entrusted clients'. Back in the days, such big banks used to be intermediaries. But not any more, they now sell their own products and their own interests in things. They sometimes manipulate for you to buy things they know they can make big bucks on, while you lose. That's not honest bank advice with the best interest for their costumers. The Dutch pension funds basically went to scammers, got scammed and then were surprised about it. They deal with 2nd hand car dealers now, Siedle said. You had bank people who were paid to handle these pension funds, for the Dutch clients in this case, who are allowed over there to represent them and other banks at the same time, and who also are allowed on top of that to sell their own interests/products all in one! Whereas a real estate person for instance isn't legally allowed to represent two opposing parties. But here that is possible. So such a representative could sell his own property to the client he represents, making them duped and making himself rich and a potential 3rd or 4th party he might be representing as well, without legal consequences (like mismanagement, breach of contract or trust). I'm mostly appalled that the Dutch Government allows all this to happen and even makes it impossible to have a choice about your own pension money (wages). Dutch government and the pension funds still work with these 5 banks, who have proven themselves and us to be scammers. Just because the Dutch want to deal with the big boys in banking.

An economist (Eileen Applebaum) explained about this private equity, as they call it, that something really mind boggling has been going on the past years. Private equity companies (Sun Capital for instance but there are many) buy up existing companies and start to make debts in their name. For instance, they buy a company for 100 million euro. 40 million of that comes from Dutch pension funds. The other 60 million the company has to borrow; 30 mln from business banks and the other 30 mln from risky obligations. Dividend is 7%. After 5 years the company is sold for 140 million. That is 40 million profit. Of that, 10 million goes to advisers. The Private equity staff takes 6 million. 24 million goes to the pension funds, which is 24% profit in 5 years time. But the person who bought the company is in trouble; has to pay high interest and repayments. They have to pay back these lenders (from the 30 mln + 30 mln). If they can't they go bankrupt and there is a big problem. And the people who pay for all this are the workers, working for the company; redundancies, wage cuts. So that's how they do it; they put very little in and they play with other peoples money. And if they win in the end they win big. And if they loose, they loose nothing and lost other peoples money (the pension funds for instance). Sun Capital even made the company they bought and sold first purchase junk bonds. Worth nothing because they are high risk junk but from those bonuses they paid off themselves so they had their own investment back and were in the safe zone again, and then let the company deal with all the consequences. They couldn't pay the bills, nor staff, costumers stayed away, place went bankrupt and what did Sun Capital care, nothing, they just liquidated it. In the case of Mervyns (a department store) 30,000 workers lost their jobs. But they did not even know that Liquid Equity and Sun Capital was behind it. So they don't even have the reputation damaging effects from all this weaseling. The reputation effect will be on the department store.

A similar thing happened by the way with my mothers husband.. He is a bit of a business type, now retired but he had one of the biggest companies of salt scattering machines (when the roads are icy and slippery) in the country. Had a lot of money, then one year before retiring close friends of him asked him to take over their company and then sell it on. A good deal they made it out to be, he had his lawyer check it but all seemed impeccable. My mum has a good intuition for things and felt weary, told him it didn't feel good to her but he waved it off. Turned out they duped him, forged the official documents and of the million he had in savings he lost about 95% of it, if not more. Basically all the money he worked for was gone due to these great friends, who probably did the same trick on him I now realize as the liquid equity boys do. He started court cases but had 2 heart attacks during them and then my mum said enough is enough, no more, forget the money its gone and your health cant take any more of this stress. Sad for them but quite a risky thing to do as well I think. Typical big money types to be so nonchalant with it. I'd rather kept it in an old sock than use it for anything else.

I also watched a short clip from a longer documentary (watched it a year or more ago already, loved it), about an artist I always liked. She was part of an artist duo, Marina Abramovic and Ulay, and they were a couple and worked for a long time - decade(s)- together. Did a whole lot of performance art where they experimented with the boundaries of the body and the mind, also with the mind of the viewer. Performances for instance where they would sit across each other and scream extremely loud for ten minutes. As a viewer you can't stand it for more than a few minutes, your ears start to hurt, you want to leave. Or a video where she would use a needle and rhythmically pushed it back and fort, dangerously close to her eye in a close up video, for 10 minutes at least and almost stabbing her eye, the viewers had to sign a contract first that if they went in to see the video, they had to sit it out for its duration, so the whole experience wasn't just about her own pain boundaries but also in a way of the mental pain boundaries of viewers. In 'Rhythm' she stood naked and the audience had to do with her whatever they wanted, using something from an array of tools they could chose from (incl. feather, whip etc). Or she would stab with a knife between the fingers of her left hand and went faster and faster and you had to keep watching. Only to cut herself of course.
They did many performances together, always about endurance and pushing boundaries. In one they would lock their mouths onto each other and breath in and out that way. Their nostrils are taped shut. For 19 minutes, when they can't go further and need oxygen and have to stop. Or they would run naked into concrete columns of an exhibition space, trying to 'enlarge the space between them'. Public was shocked and Abramovic and Ulay were shocked by that in return, felt that the questions they got about whether or not it hurt pathetic. To them pain just didn't exist, they blocked it out with their minds. One time they would stand across each other and Ulay held an arch bow (properly sharpened) aimed at her heart. Had to keep it high tensed and couldn't let go of it or he would wound her.

Anyway, sado masochistic stuff you might think. It was very original though and I saw some expo's as a teen with my parents, and was intrigued by it, even at that age already. Even though some of it was uncomfortable often to watch, but it was also thought provoking. They did a last performance at the end of their 12 year relationships where they both started walking from opposite sites of the Chinese wall and when they met in the middle, said their goodbyes and that was that. No more contact, they never saw each other again. Then several decades later, Marina did a performance in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where she would sit 7 hours a days silent at a table and visitors were invited to sit across from her, for a certain time. It sounds really lame but I saw the whole hour+ long documentary and it was quite intense, the whole thing. She sat there for 3 months all in all. She wouldn't talk, she couldn't get up for a break, again something about endurance and going through the pain (she's really good at that sort of mind control), but also about making contact with others and exchanging a sort of unique energy and 'thing' with them. Only through eye contact. And then this happened:

I read in an online paper also this: "In 1974, Marina Abramović did a terrifying experiment. At a gallery in her native Belgrade, Serbia, she laid out 72 items on a trestle table and invited the public to use them on her in any way they saw fit. Some of the items were benign; a feather boa, some olive oil, roses. Others were not. "I had a pistol with bullets in it, my dear. I was ready to die." At the end of six hours, she walked away, dripping with blood and tears, but alive. "How lucky I amIn 1974, when she invited the public to use those objects on her frozen figure, Abramović exposed a savagery lurking beneath the surface of otherwise civilized human beings. At first, visitors to the gallery were hesitant to approach her. Then, in a kind of Lord of the Flies scenario, they started subtly to torture her. "There still are scars from where the people were cutting me," she says. "They were taking the thorn from the rose and sticking it in my stomach. The public can kill you. This is what I wanted to see." "Yes. I understand that you can bring out the worst in people and the best. And I found out how I can turn that into love. My whole idea at MoMA was to give out unconditional love to every stranger, which I did. And the other one [in Belgrade] was a challenge to every bad energy possible; if you give the guy a chain saw ... you are provoking him."

The whole docu on that Moma performance where she sat with visitors is to be seen here. The beginning is in Greek but from minute 7 and onwards, it is in English. I saw that docu, it gives a nicer image of that performance than the short clip. Performance art can be good or bad or really bad I think, its just one of the many mediums of modern art. It's about concepts and ideas and giving shape to them. Some might like these, some don't. Painting has quite a bit of limitation to it, so much has already been done in painting. Whereas performance art feels like as a different genre with new rules and more original ways to express things. Some performance art is shallow or gimmicky but I love her work. Very intense.

I think these performances can evoke just as many ideas or inspire as much creativity as paintings can, or other art forms, but only when it does something that somehow touches something into viewers of course. Which might seem easy but is hard to pull off actually, esp. in this time and age of fast living and images and social media around you constantly, well for many. She said about that, that she just actually did a very simple thing, allowed people to sit there, nothing to hide behind or distract with, just experience that nothingness, space, to get in touch with what they really feel or think and she has something about her, very intense and sincere that touches people, quite a few had to cry actually and that wasn't staged or anything. Here she gives an interesting interview about the control of the mind over the body:

I also watched a documentary some weeks ago on Hannibal Barca versus Rome. Terrible to say but I only knew from his story that he took some elephants over the Alps. Thought that he was a Turk haha. I think I was confused because of Attila the Hun.From the area of current Mongolia, the huns, but spoke a sort of Turkish, and besides, Mongolia didn't exist at the time. That one is next on the planning. I know a bit about the artists and thinkers of the Greek and Roman times, and a bit about the different emperors (especially about the crazy nutters like Nero and Caligula) but not much about the rest of the Roman empire days. So, Hannibal it was. Such a thrilling victory he got over the Romans by clever tactical thinking I learned. I was so excited when I heard about the tactical trap he set for them. 26.000 men of Hannibal versus 85.000 Romans, what a simple yet genius tactic. And half of the elephants died on the Alps and the others died before that first battle even took place I learned. They didn't even fight along, I always thought they did. And just when he seemed to be able to take the mighty Romans down altogether and he asked for reinforcements from Cathargo (his home base, under threat of the Romans and having fought years of battles with them prior), they said NO. Sad. Well, tragic actually. He could have won otherwise, in theory. And to make matters worse, because of that war with Hannibal, the Roman Empire actually was sharpened and triggered to expand their empire later on. Brave outset but he seemed to have created the opposite effect in the end, even Carthago was demolished and burned down in years to come. Also Hannibals ending was sad. He was hunted by the Romans till his older age and then took his own life with this, just like they used on Socrates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conium_maculatum

I was scrolling down to read some comments and virtually the whole comment stream section was an online fight about whether or not Hannibal was a black man lol. Really, insane stuff. There was a small brigade of 'negrocentrists' who kept claiming it was racist that the actor looked olive toned because he lives in Africa. So he was black. Carthage was at the north of current Morocco and Algeria though. Hannibal probably looked more or less like a southern Spaniard. Or comparable with the skin colour of Arabs and Persians. I read that Carthaginians were Phoenician people, i.e. people from modern-day coastal Lebanon and Syria. Hehe some answers I saw: "Persians and Arabs are Asian. There's also blacks living in the UK; does that mean an ancient Celtic/Brit does not = white?And: "There's no doubt that Hannibal was a black man. Its amazing how great people throughout history is always portrayed as a white person in today's interpretations? Amazing! LOL"
Hannibal was A Phoenician. Semitic, Canaanites who dominated the Med at the time. Brilliant sailors and traders. Not a fully black man though. 

I was so happy that I knew practically nothing because it was exciting to see what would happen as the documentary moved forward. After that monster victory at the battle of Canae, and him having support from all these city states and allies, I thought Hannibal would push forward. In that battle he had outsmarted the Romans, who had a massive army which was also rather immobile too, moving forward like a hammer, crushing the opponent with sheer man force. But Hannibal, fighting in the front himself, lured them in, retreated calmly and steadily and then surrounded the Roman army from the flanks, so that they were encircled by his troops, slaughtering them practically all. After that he had to wait and wait as the Romans weren't too keen on fighting him again. Read that it also had to do with the graciousness factor and him waiting for a white flag. He was waiting and waiting for a surrender sign that never came so he sat waiting for the next war with the Romans for four long years! He had lost some men himself too, and asked for reinforcements in his own capital Carthago, as I already wrote by the way :) Sorry. But the leaders refused to stick their necks out and send him the needed reinforcements. Too afraid that he would fail and they would pay the price. Well they did so anyway. They could have had victory though. Because in the next big battle in Carthago (battle of Zama), Scipio (roman) out tricked Hannibal in a way. Kept talking to him before the kick off, long enough for the Roman troops to have the extra time they needed to wait for reinforcements.

I liked how this Hannibal was spared but he wouldn't let go of his hatred and just kept trying to revenge his father and land even when it was all over. A life's mission. After the defeat the Romans burned Carthago to the ground. Hannibal could have gone abroad and enjoy the ladies and the weather and 'retire' but he didn't. It had become an all consuming mission for him by then and he also fought right in the front of the pack. Didn't look down on his troops from some hill top. He did the dirty work and took the big physical risks. Just to get over those Alps, just imagine the 'wildlings' who lived there seeing those elephants approaching. They had to fight a lot of the local tribes there and half of the whole army died on those mountains. I wouldn't even be able to cross the Alps, let alone an elephant.

Carthage was a prosperous culture of traders and seafarers before Rome started its expansion. They surrendered during their first war with Rome. The failed commanders were crucified in Carthage and the only military family of some esteem was that Barca family, I understood from it. Military geniuses in a non-military society of traders and mercenaries. His father was the greatest general, before him. Fought Romans for over a decade and never lost a battle but again, those Carthaginians surrendered, even though not one single loss was suffered. Gave in without even having lost the war. Hannibal should have known then already what to expect from a nation of traders and money makers. Wishy washy. Like the Dutch in a way perhaps. Opportunistic perhaps even in that. Hannibal hated the Romans. He was hunted down by them in the end and before they could catch him, he drank that poison I linked to earlier and killed himself. Aww...

July 15th 2015

I had the reunion get together on one of the islands here this weekend. We had planned it for ever, friends of mine from my teens. I hadn't seen them for a good 15 years. We grew up in the same place and were part of a big group of youth who 'hung out' together back in the days. It was a semi-big village we lived in with tons of youngsters, and with some you'd hang out more than with others and us were closer and had our first holiday alone without our parents at this same island. I felt like not going.. but I went anyway. As my skin was a nightmare to start with and I felt the last time I used make up, it didn't seem to make matters worse. So better give it a try and despite having some anxiety half ways through, I still am glad I went :) Getting a bit out of my comfort zone and it was just so lovely to see these girls back.  Stayed 2 days there and we went out for dinner and to the 3 bars/dancings that island has -it's very small- and stayed out dancing etc, bit like old times and us grannies were lucky that there were groups of older people as well there, bachelor parties etc, so we weren't surrounded by only teenagers :) Felt like being 15 again though, I always expect the worst but it was fab.We did have a lot of fun. My skin is red today as expected but it was red the day before I put make up on anyway and the flushing wasn't too bad today, we even made it to the beach (clouded cold weather). While being out in the restaurant and bar, my skin was feeling hot but not really on fire. It was possible to ignore the feeling (whereas with a big bad flush it is impossible to ignore for me and like being set on fire). I drank only iced water all night long. Stayed on the safe side with food too, just a bit of fish and some potatoes and veg, no desert. This make up I was wearing isn't the most subtle and delicate, it's more like wiping a lot of zinc on your face almost but with the right light it doesn't look too bad and this make up literally blocks and hides everything; even my pretty bad red rashes of that morning. 

When we went dancing it really seemed our lucky night because we weren't the only 'grannies' in the club :)  Were more 30-somethings, men from a football team, stag and hen parties so it was full of crazy people and the girls all got drunk and I couldn't of course. So I got pretty tired and low on energy around 4 am, but it was a lot of fun nevertheless. We have been dancing too and had a little ego boost from (drunk) men circling around us. Glad I went although I felt pretty tense and uncomfortable when I went to the hotel lateron and had to take the make up off. Did bring cold packs and fan, but skin was red and flushed and they didn't want to hear about me saying I wanted to take the first boat back in the morning and said; we don't care if you are red or blue, don't worry about it; just come with us for the rest of the day. And that freaked me out but my flushing wasn't too bad the next morning (although I had very blotchy red cheeks), so overall I'm glad I went through it and made it a full stay. I don't mind as much anymore to be red faced, as long as I'm not on fire and in pain, which wasn't really the matter today. Phew! We might do it again next year, although 'clubbing' is definitely not my thing anymore. 


I used make up last month for a special weekend away and my skin was pretty badly flaring before I put the make up on. More than usual I should say. The right cheek was really unhappy in that first pic and burned as well. Second picture is in full war paint and below are pics posted from after I removed half of the make up with a very mild milk cleanser from La Roche Posay as well (also for sensitive skin) I use this product. It covers all the redness and so far it's the only foundation that my skin can tolerate. I only use it for very special occasions though, not too often; http://www.expresschemist.co.uk/La-Roche-Posay-Toleriane-Teint-Compact-Corrective-Foundation-Sand-Beige-9g.html#.VaBaK_ntlBf
I can't use any moisturizer. No creams, no oils, as they all make my face flare. But somehow this make up gives me no burning and I am not flushed by it. Maybe it is the zinc oxide that's in it.. Or the extra barrier of protection it creates. No idea. The removal of the make up can stir my skin up though and the days after using it my skin is more red and flushed but that might be from the removal/cleansing of the skin and its protective layer, Either way, great relief and I never advertise with any product as I can't tolerate anything, but this one is the exception. Very happy with it.

Been also spoiled rotten by a dear rosacea friend who sent me a whole box full of lovely thoughtful and interesting gifts. Books, dvd's, magazines, clothes, a little mist spray, a cold towel for in your neck when you go out walking and more. Felt so special, thank you P. X

July 13th 2015

After less than a week of being pretty stoked and hopeful and happy with the probiotic use, it become more and more clear that something about them didn't go well with my gut, skin (n)or bowels; who will say where it went wrong. But the effects were apparent enough and I have been dealing with a whole lot of red p&p's. Initially it was just that, annoying but not all that important in the big scheme of things, as long as the overall burning and redness was kept down. But as days went by my face got more red as well. Below are some pictures. I received some really helpful suggestions about what exactly might have caused this sudden change of events. 

One rosacea friend wrote me, when things were still looking up with the probiotics:
"I am very happy you are tolerating and benefiting from probiotics. This is a good start and perhaps you can consider making your own fermented foods soon? I am still eating sauerkraut and don't seem to have the horrendous reactions I did years ago, but it took me a very long time to get to this point."

And then:
""I saw your recent posts on the forum regarding the acne type lesions induced by your probiotics. It could be  die off, but it is hard to know. You could be having a delayed reaction to the die off. Or you could be fueling SIBO.
But as you know, FOS feeds good AND bad bacteria, so that could be the culprit.
My advice would be:
A) find some probiotics without the FOS.
Biokult is made for GAPS people, so that is without FOS. I don't know about other brands, but perhaps there are some. I can't tolerate bottled probiotics, but seem to do well on fermented sauerkraut. I"ll probably try fermenting other types of vege and even oranges soon. It took me years to get to this stage and it was only after I added oral niacinamide to my diet a few months ago, that  I could finally tolerate and benefit from fermented foods.
Niacinamide protects the body from endotoxin induced stress. So, when you are undergoing a transformation in the gut (and yours will be significant as you are just beginning to change the environment), niacinamide protects the face from the effects. It isn't perfect, but it helps a lot. At least in my case. Dr Ohira brand probiotics, loved by many people, turned my face into a outbreak frenzy and I had to have three rounds of amoxcillin to  get rid of what I assume to be SIBO.
B) You could try  making home made sauerkraut. It is easy, but time consuming on the day you actually make it and bottle it. Can you buy unpasteurized sauerkraut in the markets? It is popular here.
C) You can buy a Body Ecology starter and make your own sauerkraut. Actually I would recommend this initially over Wild Fermentation (means no starter) as the Body Ecology Starter contains a few strains which have proven to be really helpful. So you get a predominance of those in the ferment, plus lesser amounts of wild strains. I buy a finished product called Love, Peace & Vegetables, Dill flavor. Obviously you can't import that, but you can make your own. 
The good thing about the BE starter is it unlikely to feed SIBO as it contains L. Plantarum which is a soil based bacteria. Plus others.

Body Ecology Starter page link. ( I see it contains some inulin now.  I wonder when that was added?). Still, there are trillions of good guys in ferments, so perhaps that sways the  balance in our favor?
Leuconostoc species

I really think you should remove starch from your diet. I think even that alone without the probiotics (initially) will make a huge difference in your level of inflammation.
Starch+FOS = disaster in people like us."

I replied: Thanks SO much dear for all your advice. I appreciate it a lot. I'm in a bad state still tbh. It's humid and warm here and on top I've had a mega reaction to the probiotics.. It started off as just sme P&p's, but within a week my whole face was crimson, flushed constantly. Ive been sitting behind a fan with cold packs basically, and feeling really down. I stopped the probiotics for now, my bowels were also very upset fromit. Sauerkraut is a FAB idea and I will absolutely try it, as it is available everywhere in supermarkets here. Dutch love to eat it. I heard about kefir, but think that is a dairy product? I'll get my skin calmed down again first and stable, then I also still want to try the niacinamide and a bottle of (wild) oregano oil I bought a month or 2 ago. But I can only test one thing at the same time and I want to keep some control over my skin flares, so first things first; skin needs to calm down. Then retrial with different probiotics. The sauerkraut is a super idea, thanks again :) I have a reunion tomorrow with my old teenage girlfriends. We went on our first holiday together 20 years ago to an island here and now we have a reunion there over the weekend. I'm dreading it as my skin is a mess. But I will put a lot of make up on. I reserve that for 2 occasions a year basically as the aftermath of wearing it is a week long skin reaction of some sorts usually, but I wanted to go. Now I of course regret that bitterly but I can't cancel anymore. We stay the night there too, I'll make some pictures of the boat trip and such and send you some. More later, I really hope you are doing a bit better by now? I don't know sometimes how we keep going on. I feel really exhausted and beaten down at the moment to be honest. The city is full of happy young pretty people hanging around in the park behind my house and being in summer mood and all I can do is rush back to home to suffer this summer out. Winter is bad, summer is bad. My god what a terrible life this can be at times :( I'll be feeling better soon no doubt, just having a horrible week. Oh and the thyroid tests came back all normal. No hyper or hypo thyroid issues, liver and kidney function were also very good. Eye brow loss must be due to either inflammation or auto immune activity :/ xxx"

And to another rosacea friend: "I do understand that you sometimes crave some alone time. Peace and quiet, ordening your thoughts, writing. It is a very calming and even cathartic thing, to write and to create. Distraction from it can become a burden then, at times, I can imagine.. The other side of the medal is that when you have oceans of time for that, like myself, you miss having a family around you :( I am sure we crave what we can't have all the time. I'd love to have kids, a family. I just can't deal with it. My rosacea is so debilitating and demanding, that I can't risk making it worse and besides, tried for 4 years or so and had IVF even, it went wrong consistently and seems too problematic for my auto immune illnesses. Just a very hostile body, one doctor called it haha. I had to laugh with him about that, what else can you do :)  By now I will prevent anything from happening anyway, but it is still a sore spot for me :( The fact that my life turned out so much differently from what I had wanted it to be and also the day to day living that is going on now with the rosacea. I hope you having the whole family out the door soon will make you feel calmer again and will calm your rosacea down again too. and then you can enjoy your alone time. Rosacea has a thing of making us into semi hermits doesn't it :) Especially when it flares." 

Friend replied with more tips:

"Something else I wanted to add about probiotics and fermented foods. It came up today actually during a discussion with Prof Paul. I commented that I suspected that  reactions including autoimmunity could arise from normal healthy gut flora, and not just abnormal pathogenic types. He agreed and apparently, the thing which most likely determines this is the  layer of mucus which is supposed to line the gut. It somehow dampens reactions, by shielding some types of immune cells from the bacteria. That mucus requires lots of glucose to  establish and maintain itself.
I eat not starch carbs and I make up the deficit with dextrose. Dextrose is absorbed high up in the intestine before it has time to make mischief. This and niacinamide seem to help me with these issues. I thought you might like to know all this."

Skin is clearing up a bit now, a few days after discontinuing the probiotics. 

June 4th 2015

Have been working on this stack of uni texts that all need to be typed out and been asked to write a newspaper review for the biggest art magazine in Belgium, so am really stressing about that one. Bought an exhibition catalog and been going through it for says, summarizing. Very tiring. But it should give me enough back up info and grip to write my own piece, time is running out for that one. Its been warm here and humid. But I have good news! I've started taking a probiotic, an organic one with 30 billion types of probiotic bacteria apparently. So far I see a reduction in my skin redness! AND in my facial flushing! In fact, as I type this I've been traveling in a train for 7 hours already in a train, and I'm not flushed or burned up yet. Skin looks acceptable. The only downside is that I get some p&p's since starting. Nothing major but about 5 small ones on each cheek every day on average. I put zome zinc cream on them, I think I rather have the p&p's and less burning and flushing for now. Also having bowel cramps but that was perhaps to be expected, given all those millions of bacteria which are invading the bowels as we speak. And hopefully reverse some of the inflammation from my colitis. Skin is clearly happier since starting this supplement.  Didn't expect it to affect skin inflammation but it seems to make the skin a bit less angry so far. To be continued :)

Also saw this depressing but interesting docu on girls in Denmark who got sick from a vaccination for HPV. 

They aren't even registered as a side effect profile because their symptoms are not classified as anything so they stay under the radar, just as the pharmaceutical companies want to. No help, just deal with it, upsetting stuff. Seen a lot more about the FDA and pharmaceuticals and their lobby, but it's complicated because you don't want people to become so paranoid that polio and other old illnesses come back rampantly. But if it is your life or your daughters life in this case which is ruined like this... Difficult one. 

May 23th 2015

I've started in 2 books lately. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis, and The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell. Little wanderings away from the period piece topics. I never read nor watched American psycho so the whole story is still a new one. So far it's interesting. Maybe you know the story already, an über yup in the 80's who is crazy as batshit. It started really tediously. All about who dresses in what brands, a bunch of air heads getting together with pretty but petty and boring women and with their fellow cronie friends. Who are all about money, gadgets, drugs and 'hard bodies'. I understand it gives an insight into the Zeitgeist of the high flying wall street / JP Morgan/ Goldman Sachs boys of the flashy 80's. Sky is the limit, appearance is everything, booming capitalism, first fears over Aids etc etc. But aargghhh, it is so shallow still. You almost  hope that he turns into a cold hearted psychopath sooner than later. Just to see what the author has to write about that. As I care for absolutely none of the characters and neither does the main character Jason bateman by the sound of it. It might just start about a bit weak though. To establishes the vacant and vapid nature of Patrick Bateman before he starts to slowly unravel. There are already hints at that. He is becoming more irrational, and sometimes hilariously petty. More upset and enraged at trivial details of no significance. Daily routines where almost nothing makes sense. Psychopathic tendencies are erupting too by now, at this stage in the book: in the beginning it was masked by his shitty friends, as they all seem to brag, act shallow and vain. But I notice now how emotionless he is. When his secretary Gwen says nice things, he lets it go past him and focuses on stuff on the wall. He criticizes her on her clothing choice, all so casual and cold.
He and his friends are constantly boasting and bragging, also about women. But such men seem normally also all but willing to sell out their male friends and self-proclaimed callousness at the first whiff of sex. Bateman, being a batshit psychotic, is missing that particular layer of his personality though. His friends are hardly better, though perhaps not quite so deep in their mental illnesses. Batemans manipulation of women is constantly calculating and cold. I am starting to wonder if he has some sort of autistic related illness, as it is getting obvious that he is meticulous with keeping track of things. The exact amount of push ups in the gym. Details of everything, not just clothing data of the people around him and himself (he mentions everything people around him wear in detail with brand names, you think it's all about the cost and to emphasize their fashionableness initially but there might be more to it). A very crazy sort of control freakery. Anyway he is getting interesting by now and I hope he will get a lot worse as the book progresses. Ramsey Bolton sort of insane. Maybe I wish at the end of the book that hearing about Cerruti suits and Bill Blass ties was the worst of what I would hear.

I also appreciate the little peek into high flying money boys from the 80's. And then you read this today, and nothing really seems to have changed, apart from the gadgets:

Seems the author of American Psycho wants to parody the mindset of the 1980s, when Americans were told that greed is good. Patrick Bateman is where that bullshit philosophy is bound to end up. It is obviously taken to an extreme, where everything is exaggerated to the point of absurdity, yet it seems not altogether far-fetched.

With regards to David Mitchells Bone Clocks, it's fast paced and quirky but I don't see yet how he got nominated for the Man Booker price for it.. it's gimmicky I think and uses these fashionable themes, a bit of thriller, a bit of fantasy, a dot of mystery, some Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye chucked in for impressing value. You have so many of such books nowadays, all faring on the waves of crime novel mystery, easy thrill seeking for “lazy” readers. I'll keep reading it though, don't like to be halfways and then discard the thing, but not mad for it yet. Although the voice of teenager Holly is nice, she is interesting and 'cool' I guess. He captures the mind of a teenage girl well.

I sometimes wonder which people have the most influence on the world. On history. Politicians? Scientists? Writers have the most impact on mine I think, but most are forgotten within a few generations. It seems that even the greatest of people can only create a ripple in History at best - not change it completely. Most can't at least. The ripple may have ramifications that last for a few decades or perhaps centuries but in the end civilizations have risen and fallen. Most normal people have no say in the world. Can only influence those around us.

May 18th 2015

I had a barbecue yesterday, at 3 pm and it was very sunny.. I brought my hat, ice cubes and assumed there would be some shade at that place. They had a pool too. Around 12 people had come over, I knew them all but from here and there, now and then. Not good enough for them to know any more about my health problems than that 'she turns red sometimes'. Food was there, people were welcoming and I was in big time doubt; should I stay or should I go? Because my skin had been very calm and pain free and even pale'like the past 5 days, I had this fake feeling of confidence about it. And told myself; as soon as I feel flushed, I am off! But let's give it a try.  I can't tolerate anything on my skin, so sun screen is not an option for me. I usually resort to hats and sitting in the shade and avoiding bright sun at mid day at all cost. The water of the pool reflected the sun, the white walls reflected the sun, even though I didn't sit directly in the sun and had a hat on. I managed to sit things out till 6 and had a sincerely good time, it was fun and jolly. Came home, skin didn't look too bad. But then a few hours later, I could feel it coming. waves of flushing, heat, burning. By the late evening my cheeks were super red and glowing. Horrid night and now still cooling as best as I can. And feeling so stupid. I need to stick to these rules I set up, for good reason; meetings and dats outside only when it's cloudy or when the sun is low, later in the day. I managed to do well with those rules in mind, walking every day, going to town (the day before I had been in town all day, but there you have a lot of shade due to all the buildings and shops). I can't stretch these rules, it's obvious and evident and now I pay the little price for it. 

So now I'm stuck in a cold house but am very very happy with the opportunity to have it cool and shaded here and have my BEAUTIFUL AIRCON CAR running again. Thank you my dear friend L, who was so incredibly kind to help me repair it. Beautiful gesture and how happy and relieved I am again to have my car back. The airco is as good as it has ever been now, I often have to switch it a bit higher than coldest as it really freezes you, which is the best of course. Despite warm weather I manage to go out for walks most evenings but have to bring a bag of ice cubes to suck on just in case.  Especially when it is humid I get flushed easily then, from the exercise I guess. But dry warm air is a lot better to tolerate for my rosacea than humid air. There is a little donkey half way up my route. It is alone, it stands in a little meadow and it recognizes me now and starts howling (or however you call it when a donkey does that) when it hears me coming. To moo? It is both lovely heart warming and saddening, because he also does it once I leave again. I bring him all the apple left overs from the day ( I eat a lot of apples) and the vegetable left overs I gather after cooking my vegetable stir fry in the evening. The donkey is a bit pink in color, possibly from the red soil he stands on but I am not sure. He lets me pet him now, comes close to the electrical wire, sticks his head out, blows warm air through his nostrils against my face as a welcome, lets me pet his manes and ears and then after a minute or so he turns his head, opens his mouth and throws his ears backwards, demanding the first apple haha. It is a lovely thing to walk to him and know I am halfways my route then. But as I wrote, when I walk away, it can happen instantly or sometimes 5 minutes later when I'm already well on my way, but I hear him mooing harrowingly.  I might ask the owner if I can take him for a walk someday, on a leash. Although it's no miniature donkey! He might run off with me and drag me along behind him..
Ok update, got corrected on my mooing choice: "Donkey sound is called braying. Bray. Donkeys bray. He's braying for your food and you? They are temperamental you know. Watch your hands and fingers :)"

I also read a sad news item about the death of a famous American free climber called Dean Potter. I have a crazy fascination for mountain climbing, free climbing and all that comes with it. From a young age and it might be related to the lack of freedom I often feel myself. This legend died yesterday in a base jump. You can say he tempted fate relentlessly, although he was extremely skilled. Just wonder, when you are so good as he was and everything you set out to achieve gets accomplished, how much more and more and more are you tempted to push the boundaries? And eventually push them too far. I understood he did a free climb, base jump with wings and tried to fly through some small mountain hole and didn't make it. More on it here. 

I was reading the blog just yet of his ex partner, also a famous climber and she had lost her 2nd husband 3 years ago already during a base jump, and now her ex-partner as well. She wrote some inspiring stuff however. I'll highlight it in bold. On itself they seem perhaps commonplaces, the type of advice every mum wants on a tile in their kitchen, but when you consider what sort of lifestyle she and her loved ones have lead, the type of fear that comes from climbing without a safety net, the risks they take in life, I found it touching to read how she mentally deals with it all. And in a way I guess what she said about it can apply to anyone in life. We all have hardships and struggles of some sort.

I started skydiving and base jumping seven years ago—which is how I met Mario. Everyone has their own reasons for doing the things they do, their own style for exploring the world. I was lucky to have a short piece of life with someone who shared my vision of the wild life completely—a quest to learn, discover, experience and do it with love, joy, curiosity and respect. I somehow thought it would be forever, until the end of our time, but that perfect gift is reserved for only the luckiest few.

I’ve learned that climbing really is a metaphor for life in many ways. You have to do what feels right, what lights you up. Do your best always. Conserve. Never waste anything. You can only have what you can carry—choose it carefully, make it last, take care of it. Appreciate what you have for as long as you have it. Be ready to do without it. No matter what happens, deal with it. Adapt, instantly when necessary. Take care of yourself. Try to help. A lot of times you fail, sometimes you succeed. Either way, you’re never the whole reason for it. It’s easy to confuse intense emotion with fear. Intensity is what you came for; don’t irrationally try to run away from it. You never know what’s going to happen, even in the next second. Every decision you’ve made was the best one you could have made at the time: remember that when bad things happen. Things will not stop changing. No matter what, the only thing you can count on is yourself.

As I said, we all have hardships and struggles of some sort. I saw another news item yesterday which made me feel intensely sad. An Irish actor called Jonathan Rhys Meyers has been dealing with depression and alcoholism for a long time, years and years of rehab and back to the bottle. He was shining and sparkling and dark in The Tudors, I liked him a lot in the movie Match Point as well, but this is what he looked like last week :( So painful to see. People have demons of all sorts to fight in life, don't they. Friend replied to it: "J. Rey-M. Tudors. So gifted. And our gifted are so haunted by
Demons. Susceptible to addictions. I hope he can do a Robert Downey Jr. And recover. Sad. Geez do you think the photographer took enuf misery shots? Poor guy. One shot with your pants undone is enuf......"

Also saw this, made me warm up a bit inside (that cold stony heart haha): a couple about to get married gets a make-over and sees what they will look like in their 50's, 70's and 90's. Touching. Even though you could just as well.

Showed it to a friend who quite dry responded: "Yeh charming, but it's also scary :P I'd rather let such things be the mysteries of life which have to be opened with time :) Besides bad health can affect later looks. This was much like a practical application of one of those age apps."

Had a very nice thing happening yesterday. A man who I know from social media contacted me there. I don't know him personally, but read his columns and blog, about the loss of his wife to cancer and life after that. She also had a column about it in a national magazine, he seems to have some book deal now. And he teaches at the local conservatory. Anyway he wrote me and asked if I'd like to do a little guest teaching thing at the conservatorium where he works. Music school that is, not sure conservatory is the right translation for it. He knows I am an art historian and wondered if I could set something up to surprise his sleepy music students. 
Thought about it for a bit, but why not. After summer perhaps so I can get used to the idea and set up a nice college class seminar or however you call that for them. If it is not regularly but a one time thing I can out make up on and nobody will notice my rosacea, with the plaster I have been using the last 2 times. It covers the worst wine stains, go figure. I was thinking about explaining the interpretation of music by some artists into modern art works. For instance, a Russian expressionist painter called Wassily Kandinsky made paintings where he tried to visualize the feelings he had when he listened to certain music. Made for some of the first abstract paintings. And Mondriaan (maybe you know his work, the very sterile minimal white with red and black and the odd red and yellow lines) had all theories about theosophy and music too which he tried to put into shapes. Same for some dada art. Anyway, I might think of something. He said some students are hard to motivate and that many don't even want to become old fashioned composers, but get involved in video game producing or advertisement jingle making. So applied media. Maybe it is nice to see how music was translated to the medium of painting in the past, by different artists and in different ways; give them some ideas or art historic perspective at least. He seemed super enthusiastic about that idea anyway. If I have something on paper I might translate it in English and post it here even :)

Some more links:

I enjoyed this animation a lot. The style of it, the story, the way in which truly historic events are glossed over in favor of more internal things and nature and how these things can heal the holes riven by historic events and a lot more, but I won't spoil it for you.

Also liked the animation style. Fluent and bridle and fleeting. First association I had was with sand art. Its different of course, but have a look what I mean 

And you might have seen this news item already, Fox news fading out some breasts on a cubist (hardly recognizable lol) painting by Picasso from a hundred years old :) 
Puritanical and religiously surprising USA (for EU standards, and I realize that Fox news is not representational of the mellow political center of the country, but is a littler bit extremist in their own ways). You can air shootings, live police chasings of O J simpson on the highway, hostage takings, brain splashings but a bare breast and the country goes in lock down.

Also saw a cloud that looked like a whale. This is in comparison a sunset on Mars, such different coloring 

Sunset on Mars Is Blue

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filed under: NASAsciencespace
In contrast to the red and yellow hues that fill the sky during a sunset on Earth, watching the sun go down on Mars is a much bluer experience. 
Curiosity, NASA’s Mars rover, observed the sunset above in April, snapping an image with its Mast Camera. This is the first Martian sunset Curiosity has observed in color. 
Because of the fine dust that permeates the thin atmosphere on Mars, blue light comes through more efficiently than longer wavelength colors of light like red. So when all the colors of sunlight shine through the atmosphere, blues stays closer to the direction of the sun. Because sunlight has longer to travel through the atmosphere when the sun on the horizon, the blue effect is more pronounced at sunset than during the middle of the day. 
Also have a new found respect for professional photo's of flower close ups, this is as far as I came trying for sharp foreground and vague background, what a mess haha. 

Oh and had blood test results back on thyroid function and kidney and liver function, all are good. No problems. At least they can't ban me from my medication now, phew.. GP ordered the liver and kidney function tests as she is weary of my medication use but so far so good. 

I was also listening to some automatic playlists on youtupe, ones that come under the title options of 'epic sweeping/emotional/cinematic' music. They could as well have said 'bombastic dramatic stuff', it's a bit hit and miss anyway and even the nicest songs get bits of Enya in them here and there, this one too. I like the start of it, the build up and the idea of it coming with Game of Throne like movies full of sweeping drama and victories and fights. And I'm not even into the fantasy genre normally! So anyway, been listening to this song the past days, among others. And someone wrote a poem with it. And even though it is just as over the top as the music, it did touch me. That sense of powerful vengeance seeking. There are days when the news on the tele is dark, black and bitter enough for such lines to make sense:
This power shall emerge
untamed and furious it shall be
nothing will remain unscathed 

How does anyone stands in my way
how am i ever to fail
denial is futile and opposition is doomed 

All shall feel this pain 
all shall know this hate
and they will remember this day

Ageless as the stones 
eternal as the sun
my love will reach you after dark

Just wait for me my love
just look at me as i become a Second Sun

May 11th 2015

I had a terrible skin day on Friday. Had to leave very early from home, 5 am, to catch the train and I had to drag a lot of bags through the city center to make it to the station. No buses or trains yet at that early hour bringing my to the main station. It was humid and warm and I had slept a grand total of one hour that night. making me on fire! I have these worrisome hot flashes lately. Even though the hormone tests weren't that bad, I still feel I am in some sort of hormonal turmoil. I never used to sweat but now I get these heat attacks where my back is soaked in sweat and so is my neck. These spells go again though. But I had one that Friday morning, dragging my shit through town. Then a group of drunk youngsters passed me in the street. They really laughed, pointed at me, laughed again. I had ear phones on and just glanced once and walked on, bunch of idiots, but I later did wonder, did they laugh at me because I was so red? Or because I was wearing 2 pig tails in my hair at the same time? I bet it was my red face though!! Grump. Was still feeling really hot and flushed in the train, whereas everybody was wearing coats and was wrapped up, I sat in short sleeves. I luckily brought a bag of ice cubes to suck on and my little paper fan (the old fashioned Spanish style one you have to move yourself for some fresh air). I had a pretty swollen face due to it all. I am very distressed by that one by the way. How quick my cheeks get puffy, and my nose too. I also had a proper nose flush for 2 hours. It wasn't even that red looking but felt on fire. I made some pics and here you can see cut outs, left the flush during train ride plus face swelling, right that evening when flush and swelling had gone down again.

Besides, because of the losing of my eye brows, my GP had me tested again on thyroid functions, as well as kidney and liver function (as I do take 4 different meds a day). Luckily all were good! So no trouble in paradise there. I worried there would be something off with kidney/liver function and doc would get me off my anti flushing meds, but thank god it's all going well there. Saturday night I had a birthday party with food and live music and swing music plus dancing. I went and had a good time, but it was warm and I got flushed within an hour or two. I have to say, I forgot to bring icecubes and did eat a little bit at that party and did dance. There were some gorgeous little kids who were hilarious; one chubby girl of maybe 3 was stealing the show, so cute, she was walking around with a massive plastic bucket of crisps, half the size of her at least and was constantly stuffing her mouth. Then all the kids did some commune like hippie dance, holding hands and circling around until they got too dizzy or some of the kids were smashed in the crowds, and some dragged me in of course so all that twirling made me flush too. 


In this rosacea thread the discussion goes on:
Yeh it's tough isn't it Elly? I have good and bad days as well. Went to a party last night and it was warm but somehow it was fun and when I got too flushed I just went home, no problemo. But a day or 2 ago I was rushing through town early morning with suitcases and a massive flush and actually what seemed a full body hot flash, and I was laughed at, in my face, by some drunk teenagers. In hindsight it might also have been over the pig tails I was wearing in my hair, but I swear I was convinced they laughed at me for my red flushed face :( People are rude, selfish and harsh at times. Having to have others suffer the cold with us, I agree that makes it extremely hard. That sort of pity party feeling. Have you tried eating inside and drinking water with loads of ice cubes in it? I bring a bag of ice cubes if need be, or go into any fast food chain to say I have tooth pain and can I please buy some ice cubes. They always give them for free in a big cup. I hope you can be open to people and explain them the rosacea problem you have. What rosacea is, what it does to people, what it does to you. I wouldn't be discouraged when they don't 'get it' instantly. Even though rosacea is a common skin condition according to literature, most people seem to have never heard of it. Or not about it getting any more serious than couperose. You ARE different.. Maybe it is a good thing to accept that, with time. That this is just as much a debilitating illness for patients as any other condition can be. That we are not to blame for it and that we shouldn't be ashamed of it either. As long as people are not reminded by us how debilitating exactly this condition can be, we will not get the same sympathy as some other patients with other debilitating conditions. It is visible, but then again, it's not quite visible to others just how much it [I]hurts[/I]. Just a red face.. But others can't feel our burning pain. So we need to explain that I'm afraid, for them to understand. And even then, they might have to be reminded about it again and again before it sinks in. As people have their own lives and worries and issues to be preoccupied with typically, and understandably. 

But because it isn't mainstream knowledge, getting a special work place might proof tough for rosaceans. I worked for one year in an office and it was horror. I am a pretty severe flusher though. But I told them at the job interview selection days that I needed the fluorescent light bulbs removed above my desk, needed fresh air, temperatures not above 20 degrees and a fan. All not a problem! Well, not in theory. In reality it was. Others complained of cold air, fan noise, and I felt a bit of a freak. Am lucky enough to have another job now and do research and write from home a good portion of the time but I realize most don't have that luxury. It honestly seemed more accepted in that big office place to have a workplace adjusted to a wheel chair user (there were a few there actually) than to a rosacea sufferer. Which only adds to the isolated and weirdness feeling some might have over rosacea.  

I felt that the best way to tackle it all when still working there was to calmly explain others why I needed those silly adaptations and what condition I have. That's about all you can do, and hope that they will show some empathy and kindness and return. 
Hope you are well, Nat 


Wendykay replied:
Excellent posts Nat and Elly - I concur that until this disease is treated like a disease, we will be left to our own devices. While I have one work colleague who is completely understanding and will actually rule out places we should go and things we should eat, as a result of my rosacea, my best girlfriend of 35 years not so long ago said to me "please have a drink with me, you are just no fun anymore...if your face will get red anyway, why can't you just have a drink?" Thank goodness that my husband, who is a dear, sweet, kind and patient man says he will love me no matter what. I feel blessed to have that. I believe that rosacea is a disease of aloneness in a lot of ways - no matter what people say....they really do not understand it. In the last 2 years, fear has crept in, and then panic and now some depression as I find it extremely hard to deal with a swollen nose most of the time. Dealing with the skin was tough enough but now that my nose is involved, it is just another layer of fear. Rosacea has to be really brought out of the darkness and into the spotlight, just as cancer is, or it will take us an extremely long time to make any progress.
All my best to both of you. Hugs Wendy


And in response to this forum post about rosacea trouble after Mirvaso use I wrote:
"So sorry about all this distress guys (girls). It is normal to feel hopeless, defeated, beaten down and to expect this is the end of your life. All I can say is that you have to keep going and be on top of things. Let the skin calm down now and give it time to recover. Also try all you can to keep your face cool for now, so the recovery will go faster and isn't stopped by ongoing flushing. 
I had a year in 2005 after a shitty IPL treatment with the horrendous dr. Mervyn Patterson (sorry for name shaming but that guy ruined my face and was the worst afterwards, I can't repeat this enough I feel), when I couldn't stop flushing anymore. So beet red all over my face and these monster flushes all hours of the day and night. I was convinced it was beyond repair and my life was over. That I would suffer until I had enough and couldn't go on anymore, it was that bad. People pointing at you in the supermarket the odd time you dragged yourself out of it. Anyway, not wanting to make it a pity party on my behalf, but despite that hopeless situation, I still managed to get out of that hole with the help of Peter from this forum who took me to Dr Chu in London and who gave me anti flushing medication of which no doctor at home had ever heard before. And things improved! And the flushing cycle was stopped for a good %, and my skin actually managed to recover a bit again. Don't give up hope. It's extremely daunting right now and bad rosacea flare ups mess with all aspects of your life and make us angst ridden hermits, something nobody except fellow rosaceans seem able to relate to. But there are always other things you can still try. And you cannot know possibly how things will be a year, or two down the line. Stay strong, don't put silly things on your skin and make it more angry right now, try to stay cool and find the right treatment to stop the inflammation and flushing and have trust that things will change again. And you can always post here and many people will read and help out always x"

 Also happy mothers day to my lovely mum 

May 26th 2015

I think the love for your football club is something that comes from a young age often. My grandparents were absolute die hard supporters and would pace around the room, waiting for the window of their flat for hours (serious), ranting and stressing where my dad or one his his brothers stayed to bring them to the stadium. They didn't drive. They had a season ticket at the infamous Z-side, where all the hooligans resided. They brought their dog at the time! A dachshund called Ringo (yep..). And there have been three Dachshunds with the decades, called Ringo I, II and III haha. All three pretty nasty little monsters who would bark at anyone and we couldn't pet them out of risk of them turning around and biting. Little nazi-monsters they were. My grandmother was even more verbal during matches than granddad. He owned the biggest map company in the north. Think I might have told you about that already. All the old maps for school classes, he produced them with his staff. His brother did the financial side of the business and at the end took millions from the company, grandpa had very little left. But we as kids, esp me, were often taken by them to the FC football matches. Sitting on their lap, at the time it was a different stadium and often thousands of extra fan were pushed in during important matches, or people would keep their eyes closed if nan said her granddaughter wanted to come too. Good old days. 

Read a lovely reply from Elly on the Rosacea Forum post I referred to above here ^ 
Dear Nat and burner, This is my week for reflection as I try to understand my anger and despair, and your thoughts have been an important part of that process. Thanks. Nat, you write 'I think the shame in us comes from having to ask someone else to 'suffer', or to be uncomfortable in a way, so that we can be comfortable. It feels awful to have to ask that from others, to feel a pity party, to feel you are in debt with them somehow; to not feel independent and self supporting! So often, to avoid getting hurt in the process, we just avoid the events altogether. Stay in our own climate controlled bubble. But that makes the fear of the rejection even bigger and it will become a vicious cycle I found.' I am in that vicious cycle! Yesterday had to persuade my small niece and nephew that it was more fun to eat lunch outside, in the cold. I felt terrible as they were shivering (it was chilly, though not really cold weather). But I could not risk sitting inside the restaurant as my physical discomfort would have far outweighed theirs and I would no longer have been able to look after/hang out with them. I didn't tell them why we were sitting outside as I felt ashamed - even in front of them - of my 'silly' problem. I think the way forward is to be open about the problem: if I treat it as serious and deserving of adjustments and special consideration, then hopefully others will. But my pride is deeply hurt... I can't stand the idea I am being 'difficult', overreacting or oversensitive. Nat, have thought about your analogy with people who have lost limbs, and it is clear this is an issue of how we as societies perceive this disability (as 'serious' and deserving of pity, empathy, respect, etc), and how we have learnt to adapt our living and work spaces to accommodate that disability. That is still not case in many countries of course. Rosacea is misunderstood as a problem that is personal to the sufferer, so the solution and the adjustments are expected to be devised by the sufferer alone. The fact that the environment we move in is built for non-sufferers is never problematised. In winter, central heating makes most buildings uninhabitable for us, and in summer, lack of air conditioning does the same. Mind you, it is not yet hot in the UK but I still need fan on all the day since Mirvaso ... Therefore we come across as weak, difficult, neurotic.  Not that long ago it would have been considered inconvenient, a pain in the arse to invite a disabled friend to dinner, where there was no lift or ramp or space for a wheelchair, etc. Some wheelchair users would have felt awkward, guilty about that instead of indignant, and outspoken about their needs and rights. Until we get our stories - showing how devastating this almost hidden condition is - into popular culture, attitudes will not change. Our own attitudes to ourselves won't change! Start writing your book/screenplay/musical on the life of a Rosacean, Nat ;)

May 4th was our national remembrance day. It is the official Dutch remembrance day, dedicated to Dutch people who gave their lives for our freedom. Mostly remembering WW2 but actually every war since. Cars stop at the side of the road and at 8 pm everybody is 2 minutes silent. It always looks like this, the king and queen lay flowers, then there is this tune played which is called a taptoe here, made by one trumpet and signalling the start of the 2 minutes of silence (not sure if this is an international thing though on remembrance days!). It comes from the 17th century and from the term Tap toe. Used in military barracks. signalling at the time the trumpet signal at the end of the day. 
It usually looks like this:

It's nice that everybody here joins this ceremony, also the youngsters. Tv channels also broadcast documentaries or movies at night about the war and resistance fighters, stories from people who experienced it etc, to pass them on. Although we don't do that as religiously as the Israeli's, here the signal of their memorial day sounds and this is what happens there:

Then yesterday was liberation day, celebrating the national liberation from the Germans in 1945. There is free music all through the city and free festivals to go to. I had to go to Utrecht which is a 2 hour train ride and then 2 hours back :( I had ordered Thalys international train tickets for next month, as I usually always fly as it is so cheap, but now I found a cheap train ticket. But I hadn't understood that I had to pick them up with my passport halfway through the country.. But they couldn't send me e-tickets they said on the phone due to the cheap ticket option I chose, anyway, I was pretty red in the train but brought my little fan and a bag of ice cubes to suck on. And I even walked through the city center for an hour, and ate some chips!! This shop is voted the best chip shop of the country in this years national contest, and the first chippie with purely organic ingredients; the potatoes, the oil they use, the sauces, everything. The potatoes keep their peel too, well I had to try a little bit of it at least and it was delish, I made you some pictures of it! Also some traditional canal pictures of Utrecht. I'm home now and have been cooling my face for hours but am still deep red. The pics, one was taken at the station where there was blue light and I look like a smurf (but at least not red!). Then another one showing how red skin really was.


I just got back from town. Had an interview at the local museum, where I used to work for a while as an intern during my study time. Am asked to write a newspaper review of an exhibition there so it was nice and informative to talk with my old mentor there about the exhibition. Then invited an old friend of mine to come to town and eat some SUSHI. He is an alcoholic but always used to be a very close friend (and still is). We formed a group of 3, me and him and another loved one and we would always go out and about together back into my twenties,holidays, bars, pick-nicks, meals, just all three very artsy I guess and we got along extremely well. A lot of fun. I could use my fan and cold packs and they didn't mind. They were as understanding and accepting as can be. Now this friend is drifting off in the wrong direction slightly.. for some years already. Has financial issues, relationship woes, hospitalization.. We tried to help where we could but at some point, we could only act towards him as loyal friends, be there for him if he needs advice or a day out.  Although he has good spells and bad spells now luckily. He stopped drinking for a while, then something happened and he starts to drink again (like, bad relationships, women being nasty to him). So we met at 12:30 and he already had been drinking in the pub before we met haha. But was in a jolly mood and we really had a good time. He complimented on my skin!!! Said I looked good for a change (lol, yeh we insult each other lovingly), skin looked less angry and red he said. That was great to hear for a change! 

He almost started a rant at the staff at the sushi place because they gave us the wrong foods three times in a row. We corrected it twice but by the 3rd time we thought Fuck it and started to eat it (because the full story here is that we had a special menu choice where you could order all you wanted from a list of things, but the food they brought us by accident was from some other menu which was more pricey). Tasted twice as good for that reason alone! We had chuckles over it until the staff noticed their error and actually took the plates with half eaten food away from us again! Friend looked in semi intoxicated state of horror and disgust. That half frozen look of dismay and surprise, elongated a bit because of the alcohol percentage. Then said in some smirk: "What? Whaaaat?? Will they serve it like that to someone else? That's it, I'm done here". It was rude and strange from them, I admit, I would have just apologized for (another) little error on their behalf and say "I hope you enjoy the food, eat it and we won't make more errors tonight hopefully". So well, pretty rude indeed, but friend started to let it all sink in a bit and then some minutes later prepared to stand up and confront the staff to complaint. Luckily I could talk him out of that, didn't real like a booze fueled rant at midday among fancy eaters over some food. But I said no pls don't. But the food was good and I popped in 2 more Xyzal's prior to it and skin is behaving ok now! Felt almost normal while sitting inside there, with my iced water and friend saying my skin looks good, yayyyy!

A reply I wrote today to another rosacea sufferer:
"Hi X, Thanks for writing me. I'll try to answer your email. How are you and the facial flushing doing now, firstly? I know improvements usually don't just come overnight, but still like to ask. Nose flushing, oh no! I had it a couple of times now, usually after rubbing my nose to remove make up or something like that and it glows and throbs for a good day then and feels terrible. Maybe even worse than the cheeks for me, as it feels right at the center of your face and in full sight to everyone.. I hope that hasn't continued for you? And a flushed forehead.. Not a typical rosacea spot! When my forehead gets red it is usually from seb derm, although it can look like rosacea then. Bit it has some flaking as well then, which is more seb derm than rosacea when they are greasy, sorry for the nasty details here but they are a bit of a crucial distinctive symptom. I doubt that a few nose flushing episodes will turn into rhinophyma though.. Think you will need years and years of severe inflammation and flushing for that to happen, but I might be wrong! But some periods of nose flushing, I haven't heard from anyone yet who got rhinophyma from that, seems that is a later stage after ongoing flushing and inflammation of the nose/face, fingers crossed I am not wrong here..  I would hope that curbing the flushing could also curb the nose symptoms? Although I asked my London derm about nose flushing and he said it is hard to treat typically. Also prescribes general anti flushing meds for it mostly, or if there are p&p's involved a fitted treatment for that (I assume metronidazol cream, or antibacterials, or a cream like azaleic acid perhaps even). Have you tried adding a beta blocker, like propranolol? Xyzal is a very good antihistamine I find.

 Also, some rosaceans find a lot of benefits from antibiotics like doxycycline. Have you ever tried them? There are also antimalarials, which have both strong anti-inflammatory actions and seem to help with the flushing for quite a few patients. Plaquenil or the old drug mepacrine are used for this. They work after months though, need a lot of time to build up in the system. I would stay well clear of mirvaso! It does give rebound worsening to a lot of patients. Not worth that risk I think and not a real solution to the rosacea problem either. Given on what you wrote, I would try to leave your nose alone in terms of creams, I would say less is more here, especially as you never used to deal with nose flushing. Anything you put on it can increase the irritation. I wouldnt even use a moisturizer personally, just leave it alone and try to keep your whole face and nose cool and unflushed, maybe even with use of a softly blowing fan. If you break the flushing cycle, things can sometimes go back to normal with time. Not always surely, but when I'm flaring I really try to limit things down and stay away from anything that can worsen it, even diet wise. Please update me how you are doing now. best wishes N." 

Last for today: 
Hi X, sorry for my late reply and thanks for writing me. And for the kind words about my blog. I'm sorry to read you are going through all this distress and the skin issues. The on fire feeling is so awful isn't it. Your characterization of Elidel as "Death in tube" made me chuckle, sorry :) It's a bit of a rebound/symptom suppression cream I suppose. Can even make some people's rosacea worse I heard and read. And yes, the rebound.. it works as a steroid in that, even though it is not a steroid technically speaking. Usually used for eczema and there both have the same effect; suppressing immune response in the skin and inflammation, then once you stop it starts again or gets even worse. Although Elidel seems to help some rosaceans. But the cream itself has some harsh ingredients like alcohols, to make it effective. Which can also cause some issues to some. No I find that the burning gets worse for me from putting anything on my skin. I tried a lot of creams, everything out there that was mild enough, but they all make the burning and redness worse. In 2004 or so my derm at the time said; enough! You have to stop putting anything on your skin, give it at least 6 months. I thought she had gone berserk but I had little to loose from and was desperate and stuck through it. First 4 months the skin was cracking and dry as paper, but with time I noticed that my skin structure improved and the rosacea actually calmed down a bit. I deal with the flushing and burning mostly with systematic drugs; I use clonidine, propranolol, mirtazapine and Xyzal to stop both burning and flushing, to a degree. I'd say they improved matters with a good 50%, although I';m still have pretty bad rosacea. But when I avoid my worst triggers and cool my face with a fan on low when I'm working or sleeping, I can now manage a lot more things than before I started taking these meds. 

Have you ever tried anything in pill form to deal with your rosacea symptoms? I personally don't believe many creams can help and solve this. As the steroids and Elidel and Protopic can have an effect, but as I said, often come with rebound, and most other creams and simple moisturizers can either just prevent the skin from becoming too dry (which in effect can also make the skin look more red!) but these moisturizers often also can aggravate rosacea. Very complex and a nightmare to struggle through and find out which is doing which. The p&p subtype of rosacea is a different story, that subtype responds much better to creams like metronidazole and other anti inflammatory/antibacterial creams. The flushing and burning and erythema subtype of rosacea is the tougher one to treat topically I'd say. Are you already trying medication? How are you doing now?best wishes N." 

May 2nd 2015

Read a lovely and very openhearted message on the rosacea forum:
Dearest Nat, Your blog has been a source of information as well as solace since I discovered it a couple of months into my rosacea. Thank you. In fact, my request for Clonidine from my doctor was prompted by your reports of how helpful it has been to you; two days into using it, I am still unable to confirm whether it works, but will keep taking it until I can. I was also prescribed Mirtazipine by the psychiatrist overseeing my treatment for acute mental health issues, and am so relieved it has - so far - resolved my night-time hell, and I can now sleep through 'til the morning. Propranolol does not appear to help though.
There is so much to say that I must make sure it doesn't come out in an incoherent jumble of emotions and observations.

Why is it that this condition can cause in its sufferers such feelings of shame? Having previously had an illness that was potentially life-threatening and serious enough to require two rounds of brain surgery, I have observed the different reactions to the two illnesses, not least from myself. I have felt this a 'stupid' problem that I was over-reacting to, being 'pathetic' about, and yet I have not been able to come to terms on my own with how life-changing it is, and am left bewildered, frightened, self-hating, unable to cope, turning on myself. I believe my reaction was formed by that of the medical professionals I saw, which in turn is formed by funding restraints: unless your illness is 'life-threatening' you can wait - sometimes months - for treatment, and then a complex condition like vascular rosacea is addressed with one cream indicated for acne rosacea until your next appointment 3 or 4 months later, and so on. I have been forced to use the private sector, which for a life-long NHS user is a suspect, unknown quantity (more about this experience in another post perhaps). I wonder whether the fact there are no accounts in popular culture, in literature, visual art (that I know of) of this serious condition, and the 'heroism' and 'courage' of its sufferers in the face of daily indignities and setbacks, etc, mean that we rosaceans doubt ourselves that our physical condition can be objectively classed as serious and therefore deserving of sympathy/empathy and respect for our struggle? It also means that when I watch or listen to drama - however serious a protagonist's affliction/loss is - I remark ungenerously that 'at least' they can lie in a hospital without having to resort to a fan to calm their burning face, or can give their witness statement to a police officer without asking if they can sit next to a window with a breeze and if they can put an ice-pack in the fridge, or go round to a relative's house to give their condolences without asking if they can sit in the garden...! In other words, our experience is written out of popular culture. Why? No wonder that we might conclude that it is a 'weird', unusual condition, not worth others' notice or empathy. In particular, not worth their inconvenience. The fault is not ours though, but due to the lack of imagination of our writers, surely. 

This leads inevitably to our isolation. In these long, sad, lonely months I have avoided meetings, social occasions because I never dared ask people to turn down their heating, or open a window or hold it in an outdoors space. Even if they had understood what the condition was, they would not have seen how it required adjustments/ compromises on their part, because their is no clearly recognised 'role' for them to play: the carer, sympathiser, politically correct colleague, etc. I have confided in only VERY few friends & colleagues about my new chronic, incurable illness, detailing in what ways it has 'destroyed' my life, and even then they occasionally ask whether my 'eczema' has improved, or if I am better now. 

Many of us have recounted how we are at the mercy of unscrupulous, complacent pharma companies and dermatologists, and how things have gone wrong - often causing irrevocable damage. We eagerly seek others's stories in the hope they had a good outcome eventually, and when we don't find reassurance, the blind panic ensues. A horrible feeling of horror and fear and loss. The isolation and shame compound this panic. How can we/I break out of this, find acceptance and calm even without the elusive cure? Thank you for your thoughts and ideas, Elly

Burner replied: Hi Elly, I am really sorry to hear you are having such a wretched time. This disease can be very unforgiving at times, and it is very difficult to try and stay positive day in and day out. I have suffered with this condition for over ten years now, and I can relate to everything that you have mentioned, from the depression and hopelessness, to living in isolation. I have also had to move back in with my parents and am of a similar age to you, so again, I can understand how you feel. My main problem, like you, is flushing and burning. Whilst there is no cure for this, I want to tell you what has helped me. Firstly, I have found clonidine to be the most effective drug for the flushing. Whilst it is by no means a cure, it has reduced the number of flushes and their intensity by about fifty per cent. If you are already taking clonidine, it might be worth talking to your dermatologist about upping your dosage, as I had to gradually increase mine until it had any effect. I also wear a sunscreen, factor 50 all year round. This is not for everyone, but it does provide me with some protection from the sun, a main trigger of mine along with central heating. I have also found IPL to help with the redness and flushing, but again this is not for everyone. Although I haven't got all the answers for you Elly, I just wanted to offer you some support and let you know that you are not on your own. Please try to stay strong and live life as best as you can, as none of us knows for sure what is around the corner. Take care and don't give up, you come across as a nice person to me. Burner.

And during the barbecue yesterday I talked to an Irishman, who had a bit too bit to drink already by then but is lovely and he recalled a Yeats poem and how much it touches him and how he can memorize it on the spot. And then he demonstrated that, including drunken slur and a little tear in his eye and it was beautiful. Said how he felt at home always and everywhere, because he carries Ireland in his heart. Just as in this poem:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

W. B. Yeats1865 - 1939

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

April 27th 2015

I've been on the wander again, bit hectic couple of days which involved some traveling. On Monday, so tomorrow, we have the horrid King's Day, which you could put down as a collective display of institutionalized mass hysteria. It used to be Queens day, a day where everybody gets drunk; sells and buys rubbish on flea markets all over the country, and then starts to get drunk. We call that 'hijsen' btw, literally elevating, but here it means you keep elevate your arm to drink more beer. Raising your arm is perhaps a better translation, although it's not quit the same as hijsen. You see.. hijsen is used for the type of work a crane does, heavy lifting, not just raising something, but properly elevating something of immense weight. Maybe that's where the fun comes in, when using it for lifting a pint. Lifting, that's better perhaps? Yeh that would be better I guess. Anyway, that, and it's a bit of a pain then to get anywhere as places come to a standstill and are flooded with drunk party animals. Such fun back in the days but I'm getting close to that 'respectable age' now haha. Oh my.. Some pictures of my left cheek over the past week, going from pretty bloody red all day and night to a lot less painful and red the past 2 days. (Below this post my right cheek)

Did you know the Dutch national anthem is the oldest out there? Of the world. It dates from the 16th century. I dislike the tune and the lyrics are out of this world in a bad way, but well, here it is with English subtitles. The Russian is still a lot better in my book!

Compare that with Russia... My father and I went through a few dozen of national anthems and there is no comparison with this song, my father said about it: "Yes N. our love for Russia is big (Toergenjew, Tsjechow, Dostojevsky, Tolstoi) and the national anthem is also MONUMENTAL, with the Russian male choir!". I was named by my father after a Russian character in one of Tolstoi's books. He is a big reader and collected all the great Russian novelists, which he mostly passed on to me and I have read most with great love, so well, we can't be totally objective here, although it has nothing to do with political ideology by the way. Simply concerning the arts. 

I add some pictures of a Dutch actress, I like her and the way they shot her here, bit worked on probably but there is softness. 

This is an interviewer, the same one who tried to get some name and fame for a shitty interview with Quenten Tarantino (who also walked away or got very mouthy with him at least as far as I remember) and here poor Robert Downey jr is interviewed. I know that it's all a role play for movie promotion usually.. but I like Robert Downey, RD.. he has something likable and went through all that addiction and turmoil. Then turned out one of the few who managed to turn things around and make a proper come back, and this interviewer is dragging him to such inappropriate questions. You see RD's chest literally panting at some point and his facial expressions also give a lot away of disbelief, disdain, anger, well what not. 

The best one was where he tried to do Richard Ayeoade who deconstructs the whole process ingeniously.
That interview made me laugh although I have no clue who Richard Ayoade is. Actor and director it says. He seems so dead pan dry about the importance of Norwegians everywhere. "Give me something in return"---- "That was not a good chat up line.. What do you want??" He mocks him so casually, almost as if he is taking the mickey out of a child, which makes the interviewer look even more silly. I don't know the interviewer other than from these 3 interviews I now saw of him, or he might have even done the ill fated Michael Jackson interview i now wonder ... ? not sure.. But he has these preconceived topics he wants to push, about gender or race or past or controversial stuff and it's not always where the interviewed want to talk about :) Some effective destruction of all his attempts towards that here by Richard Ayoade :)  "Don't thank me, I've done nothing for you" haha, owwwww that was painful, that must have hurt..

I'm till reading H D Lawrence. He also wrote poetry, not all too great I felt, but I stumbled upon a couple I did like.

A Winter's Tale
Yesterday the fields were only grey with scattered snow, 
And now the longest grass-leaves hardly emerge; 
Yet her deep footsteps mark the snow, and go 
On towards the pines at the hills’ white verge. 

I cannot see her, since the mist’s white scarf
Obscures the dark wood and the dull orange sky; 
But she’s waiting, I know, impatient and cold, half 
Sobs struggling into her frosty sigh. 

Why does she come so promptly, when she must know 
That she’s only the nearer to the inevitable farewell;
The hill is steep, on the snow my steps are slow— 
Why does she come, when she knows what I have to tell? 

David Herbert Lawrence

A Spiritual Woman
Close your eyes, my love, let me make you blind; 
They have taught you to see 
Only a mean arithmetic on the face of things, 
A cunning algebra in the faces of men, 
And God like geometry
Completing his circles, and working cleverly. 

I’ll kiss you over the eyes till I kiss you blind; 
If I can—if any one could. 
Then perhaps in the dark you’ll have got what you want to find.
You’ve discovered so many bits, with your clever eyes,
And I’m a kaleidoscope 
That you shake and shake, and yet it won’t come to your mind.
Now stop carping at me.—But God, how I hate you! 
Do you fear I shall swindle you? 
Do you think if you take me as I am, that that will abate you
Somehow?—so sad, so intrinsic, so spiritual, yet so cautious, you
Must have me all in your will and your consciousness— 
I hate you. 

David Herbert Lawrence

Had a barbecue again last night and some English friends and music lovers were there and they kept saying how Bob Dylan is the modern day shakespeare. One told about a favorite song of his, Hurricane, about a real life story about this Boxer who was framed into a conviction, as he told me at least, I never heard the song. They all kept saying how marvelous the lyrics are and how it all reads and hears like a long tale and how poetic he is. Minstrel of our current times and events. Made me want to check the song out, it's a bit of a shame that I know so little about Bob Dylan, apart from a handful of songs.. We played and sang a song for me too, Nathalie from Gilbert Bécaud. A golden oldie. This version has the French ánd English lyrics added: 

A friend of mine is a professional organ player. I'm usually not really listening much to organ music myself, prefer piano, but I love to hear him play. He showed me a performance today and there was this man who did a Turkish style dance on the music. Not dance actually, it's called mevlevi dervishes (the founder of this sort of sect is called Rumi), they do it traditionally as a form of religious worship. It looked like this:

The music is from a Dutch composer, it is a section you hear from a very long piece which is written with an almost constant repetition of one musical theme, with a slight change all the time. It was intended as an almost meditative piece of music, to bring one in a state of trance almost, so it's no real mismatch to combine it with the whirling dance, which also involves a state of near meditation. Was interesting to see! Although he seemed to not do the ritual the correct, traditional way perhaps, too many changes in the movement pattern, too frivolous almost. Lol, it's not really about the way the frock flows in the end but about the state of meditation as far as I know. This is what it looks like traditionally; 

The dervish, well it's something they train for really.. I saw normal tourists attempting it when I was in Istanbul and it's not that easy. My mum has Ménières disease which makes you get dizzy all the time over nothing, combined with headaches so she can't even spin properly when out dancing, so this is her worst nightmare scenario. Lol even watching a video like that is too much for her. But they can spin and whirl like that for hours and it is done under a form of meditation and trance. Mind over the body I guess, they master their normal body reaction to all that twirling. The music is supposed to help them as well to stay in that state of trance. I'd love to see them challenge drunk tourists in Magaluf to do that dance, around 4 am or something, see how many can keep it up for even 5 minutes.

April 24th 2015

I've been feeling a bit slack lately. A bit demotivated, although I have plenty of things and work to do. Loved ones, friends, a handful of dear rosacea friends who are always there, who stay in touch daily, who live the same restricted lives. YET at times I feel empty and forlorn on some days. It's just now and then luckily, mostly a good discipline and keeping days busy and sort of social helps to forget about it. It really helps me to be busy, socially active, go out and about, but I do such things in waves.. Waves of being very busy and not exactly feeling happy then, but not sad either, just... busy... Normal even. But then there are periods on end where I hide from it all and live in such an isolated world.. I feel best in the evenings. I go out for long walks in the early evening and have been listening to this audio book from D H Lawrence, lady Chatterleys Lover, and I love it. Not so much for the (at the time) scandalous sexual descriptions, which sound very sweet and far from outrageous in 2015. But more because of the Zeitgeist he described; modern life, industrialization had been in full bloom. Charleston dances, happy days, post war optimism. But at the same time this sense of being forlorn apparently, and emptiness. He writes about a couple, they are the artists types, they have the house, they have the intelligence, but they live empty lives. Hollow. Leading to nothing. He is in a wheelchair and she is merely the Mrs of the house. Then things start to happen, sexual encounters with others, but at the core of the book is this fight against nothingness. Uselessness, meaninglessness, depression. Numbness of the mind. 

Well.. That is a topic some rosaceans might be able to identify with I guess. I can really dread a day ahead when I wake up red and sore. When skin is doing a bit better, my mood goes up too and energy levels as well and I see socializing as a joy and not a chore. I think what gets me most down is having to be at home so often, avoiding triggers, cooling my face. It forces you to live inside your head for a big part. And that can become a lonely place at my age. Even though I have tons of people to write to. But nothing feels as good as actually going out and doing something.
That is also touched upon in Lady Chatterleys Lover; Clifford, the man of the house, is an aspiring writer and is trapped as well of course in his wheel chair. And in his head. He writes pretty successfully, but only starts to really feel relieved, free, satisfied and a man, an achiever, once he stops all that and goes out to the mines he owns and starts working there, looking for technological advancements, working the nitty gritty, with working class people. Freed from the spheres of the mind. Oh gosh I can so relate to that. I do fear some days having to spend the rest of my days in all this idyllic life I have, but utterly closed off from real life, and all lived in the mind. It's a nice place, I often am pretty comfy and happy there and without it I would feel more lost probably, but it feels unnatural and unhealthy at times as well. Maybe that is why I take every opportunity I can get to travel. Go out and about. I need more travels! Some excitement again. And currently; more episodes of Game of Thrones!!! Lady Chatterley seemed very bored. So I've been reading today about people who feel bored with life. Just googled it, "I'm so bored with my life". fascinating what you find, and how many people are paralyzed in a world of their own, even when they have the means and circumstances to go out and make something of it. Healthy people get bored too apparently. I have a long list of to do things ready, in case my health one day is back to normal (or enough improved). But apparently depression can paralyze everyone. I have saved some of the comments I found most interesting and will add them below here.

Others on being bored with their lives:
 I feel empty all the time? Recently my life feels so pointless. I keep asking myself what is the point? What meaning does everything actually have? None. Why should I go to college? To get a good career, I know, but ultimately, there is no significant point to it. If I sit here and just do nothing, or fill my life with so many things which really mean nothing, what's the difference?  I hate feeling like this. I used to have so much passion. I thought I wanted to learn a language all my life, I have applied to University to learn Chinese as it was my life long interest, but these last 9 months I seemed to have lost all interest in it. I feel like I have no direction, I'm just aimlessly following the same monotonous, boring routine that I follow everyday. I'm not happy with myself. I keep losing weight as I think that makes me happy, but once I reach my goal, I'm still just as unhappy so set myself a new one. But then I will start binging all the time and then work out like crazy for a week. I'm just all over the place with that. I feel like I have nobody in my life that truly matters. I see all these people with amazing friends and I just don't have it. I know that if I needed to depend on a friend right this moment none of them would come through. 
I probably seem extremely selfish to whine like this when I am lucky enough to life in a stable and privileged society. I know I have a lot which so many people will never have in their whole life. But still, I can't stop feeling empty. I hate feeling like this so much, I don't know what to do."

A great answer (I felt at least) was this one: "Dude, I honestly think you nailed it best. "What tha F*** is the point of life anyway!?" Obviously after high school or college we all start asking ourselves the same question. I graduated college... pursued a career I showed interest in... only to realize it's not what I was hoping for. In other words, when you're so young, you can't help but daydream about your future....about your 'dream job'.... about getting an education and buying luxuries that life has to offer. It's like everything is too good to be true just cause you saw or heard about it somewhere.  At 27 yrs old... I'm still asking myself that same question. From a philosophical point of view... we live in a very illusional world. I often believe the reasons we are taught to 'believe in ourselves' and 'show passion for what we love to do'.... are just a few examples of 'self-motivating' ourselves.... even if what we see in the real rational world is dark, gloomy, depressing, and ugly. But the point of your existence is for you to decide... which is why they have certain colleges for you to attend. It is for you to build character because 40-80 years down the road, your life could serve a purpose. A purpose for you or others to do what you've always wanted to do. 
My point is... we're all suffering from political differences, war, poverty, crimes, unemployment, and greed. But there are adults who have seen much through their time and try so hard to eliminate these problems you see everyday in your world. The reason for that is because no one is happy, just like yourself. People get hurt. People become victims. The families of victims become victims. And it repeats in an endless cycle of violence and hate. So as mentors and teachers, we ask ourselves, is this the world we want to live in? But there are just those few people who want to try their best to 'change' and alter the course of history. And while we're still alive... I believe we have that power to do so. 
And it is this kind of challenge I see everyday that motivates me to do better.... to help others... and most of all... to give those who are in dire need of help. I'm not going to ask you to go to a doctor who will pop some pills into your system just so you're chemically balanced. A waste of money, don't you think? I'm not going to ask you to go to a psychologist who will pyscho-analyze you from head to toe and write a prescription for your depressive-illness. Again, a waste of money. I mean, F*** it! Life is miserable... yeah... I know. The world is miserable... yep, you got that right. So we have created ways to filter our brains and enter another world filled with false hopes. Look at TV... the media... hollywood movies... they all play a part in motivating us to 'change' our perception of reality... even if what we see is purely fantasy and fictional. I guess you could say most people enjoy living in their fantasies as opposed to their realities. But most adults know the difference btw what is fantasy and reality. The key here is learning to balance the two. You go to college to do what interests you but to waste it all just because you see there's no point to move on in life... well.... I think you're missing all the good things that life has to offer. Why throw it away when you know you won't be alive and young for the next 70-80 yrs? There's a reason you're here. Do something about it. And by that.. I mean get off that F******* couch and get your A** movin'! Things will change when you come to a point that you want something different in your life. It starts now. It ends later."

Someone else replied:
"I agree with d_antonio11 i felt like this too, with basically the same problems, but i found one source of why we feel this way, and that is TV/media as he mentioned too, like i read in a book once, life is showed out to be high drama, all flashy, with heavy emotions, when it isn't really like that, life isn't a "TV SHOW" it is more simplistic, and routine based, so don't let yourself feel too down, especially when life is mostly comprised of a routine that's simple. The only good things in life are the fake virtual places we go to and observe, other than that unless you write your life like a TV SHOW you're not gonna love it. That's why we're encouraged to pick up some activities we like to do, whether its playing basketball, or tending a garden, and many things are hard to do alone...so finding people with similar interest is needed though it's hard to do for people. But you gotta try to find someone who you don't disagree too much with even if they aren't perfect it can be better than being with no one. That's why Marriages aren't this "FAIRY-TALE" we all plan it to be and why there's a high divorce rate. Getting hobbies is just the only thing "fun" in life you can do. Become religious, that is where people find purpose, it may look like a fake reason on why were all on this earth but it could make you do something "good" for people that just makes you feel good inside, you feel like your moral boosted."

"I'm really getting tired of being bored all the time" but I just don't seem to be interested in anything anymore. I don't think I would really call myself depressed, but I know this is one of the main symptoms. I'm not sad or anything, just REALLY REALLY bored with my life. I live on Oregon where it rains 9 months of the year, which means I really love summer. So far this summer, I have done absolutely nothing. Normally I love to garden, or work on my cars, or take my boat out for a ride, or go camping, or an number of other outdoor activities. For some reason this year I just don't care about any of that. Literally, if I could do ANYTHING I wanted right now, I can't think of a single thing that I might like to do. I finally have plans with a friend to go camping next week, but I'm not excited about it at all. It seems like more of a chore than a vacation. At the same time, I'm getting more and more pi**ed that summer is almost over and I haven't done a d*** thing! Anybody have any thoughts as to why, and what I can do about it? Sure I can force myself to go out and do something, but I can't force myself to enjoy it. I really can't think of any reason why I feel like this...I have some good friends, a good job working for myself, and a nice place to live. I'm literally so bored I feel like I want to cry, but there's a bunch of things I could go do, right now. I just don't want to. :hearts: I'm exactly like you... opportunity to do anything but I really don't enjoy anything at all... But I think if I were ever to suddenly lose the opportunity... I think I'd be more eager to do it. So... in the end, there's no way to win. I guess the way I see it is that if I don't do it now... when I lose the opportunity because of age etc, and THEN wish I could do it, at least I can say that I did it while I could so no regrets. How I envy the less fortunate :hearts:~GBB" 

"Hi BigBlock, I understand how you feel. Yes, you may have a mild form of depression and yes, it's important to seek a professional opinion about it. Remember that you don't have to exhibit all the traditional symptoms to have depression.  When I was in middle and high school, the activity that always elevated my mood was playing basketball. When I became depressed in college, however, my trusty mood-lifter stopped working. I became more depressed because of that. I stopped playing because it no longer "worked." That was a mistake though, because I still derived mild enjoyment from it. The problem was that my expectations for what my feelings should be was too high. There are many who say, "Think about this day as your last." That may work for you, but I know that it didn't really help me. Part of the depression is that it messes with your motivation and perceptions about how good or bad things really are. It's a treatable illness, though. The hard part is finding what helps you.
The other thing that I've discovered is that you can't just wait around for the motivation to come. Chances are, it won't. David Burns, in Feeling Good, says that "motivation follows action." This means that, even though you feel lethargic, try your best to start doing little things and you may find your motivation picking up just by doing that. However, if you just sit around complaining about how you don't feel like doing anything, it will just perpetuate your path on the downward spiral.
I would suggest to continue to do the things that you normally do for enjoyment, even though you may not feel the same as you used to about them. Don't mistake the feeling that you are having for the actual benefit you are receiving from doing these activities. All feelings come and go, though some take much longer than others to leave. Try not to dwell on them or ruminate too much about their causes. Just let them be. You can also experiment with doing things that you haven't tried before. The boredom may be life's motivator to get you to expand your range of experiences. If you find it difficult to get yourself out of the house, ask a friend to join you in a activity on a regular basis. That will make it more difficult for you to come up with an excuse to not do that activity. Another thing that you can try is this simple exercise from Feeling Good. Write down a few activities that you plan on doing tomorrow for enjoyment. Next to each activity, rate how much satisfaction/pleasure you expect to get from it. You can rate it from 1 to 10 or 1 to 100; it doesn't matter much. At the end of the day tomorrow, go back to this piece of paper and write down the actual amount of satisfaction/
pleasure that you got from each activity. Compare what you expected to feel with what you actually felt. If you find that there is a significant difference, then depression may be the cause for your misperceptions. What I've found is that if you concern yourself with how you should feel, then chances are that you won't ever enjoy what you're doing. The times that I've enjoyed the most were times when I wasn't thinking so much about what I was doing! The "doing" was enough. Hope that helps. Let me know if I can offer you anything else. Best wishes, Shane" 

Someone else replied: "The problem is (well for me anyway), when you're depressed it's like a catch-22 situation - I know deep down that the way for me out of depression is to keep active, but to acctually make myself do things when you've got no enthusiasm whatsoever is another matter. Then - if you're anything like me, you become aware of the procrastination (I can relate to the feeling of 'OMG, a whole summer/year/month's gone by and I've wasted it!'), and start beating yourself up...making yourself even more depressed. What has got me through these times is to simply accept that nothing is going to feel exciting, and set lower 'excitement' goals - for example, just one little thing a week (or even a day) to look forward to. Start of with something as mundane as a TV show, then meeting a friend for coffee....etc The other thing that helped me in the past was to sit down and figure out WHAT exactly it is about life that I am discontented/disapointed/unhappy about. Quite often the answer is either everything - or nothing. If the answer's nothing, try suggestion above.
If the answer's everything, work out what is p***ing you off/boring you the most, and work on that area. You won't be able to change it completely all at once, but as the saying goes 'A journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step'..... S xxx "

Another replied "Also I have different moods through out the day: in the evening I can plan ahead, full of enthusiasm about tomorrow's chores/events; by the morning I'm less motivated but I get up, do a few chores, sometimes shopping, sometimes coffee with a friend; but after lunch I'm tired and find myself sitting, wondering where my motivation went: 'my get up and go, got up and went' ;-) I try to live a half day at a time: I do not plan too far ahead or I get edgy because the excitement doesn't get here quickly enough or: panic sets in so I can't even leave the house. I take time to sniff the roses so that I make sure that at least twice a week I have something I really enjoy - other things seem to fall into place if I don't actually look for them. But without the help of meds I would just sit, staring at the wall ............ "

Someone else replied 
"I lost pretty much all interest in life two, actually, three years ago. I was a black belt, but it boredme so I quit. My favorite videogame that I litereally revolved my life around for over a year until it's release gave me no entertainment at all! Quit all my jobs becuase they bore me, I get no pleasure out of life. I'm just dragging myself through life. My mom says I should just do something to get out, but why? So I can waste gas money and be bored somewhere else? And the worst part is that no one understands, they think you're just lazy, or not trying or some other BS. Sometimes that feeling of nothingness and emptyness is one of the biggest signs your depressed." 

"20s (age): I'm 27, and I think my life is boring" (link) I want to do exciting stuff while I still can. How? I have a college degree and I'm currently working a 9-5 job in the Netherlands. It's pretty cool, I kinda like it and I make fairly decent money. It's nice to have a job in this economy. I rent a mediocre apartment in a city that I don't really care about. I have 25 vacation days a year, which is the average over here. I'm still at the start of my career at a good employer. So the smart thing to do would be just staying there. All in all, my life feels mediocre. I'm just another guy living just another life, like everyone else. The only thing that sets me apart from the average is that I don't have a steady relationship (by choice). I've been living here for a year now and it already feels like I'm rusted in my place. When my friends & colleagues talk about settling down and talk about making babies, I just want to hang myself. I so don't want to do all that shit. Not right now at least. I'm not made for this standard pattern of life that people follow. It's too boring for me. I have an incredible amount of adventure left in me. I want to see so many things while I'm still young. I feel the best years of my life slipping away right in front of me as I'm staring into a goddamn computer screen all day, in the same office every day, going home to the same apartment every day and hanging out with the same people every day. I feel like I'm in a prison of mediocrity and repetitiveness. But yeah, that's the thing. I obviously need to make money to live. If I had a million right now, I would get on a plane today to whatever place and start gaining new experiences. I still have this dream to save up my own money and do this, but it's going to be a long shot. I make around 24K a year. Saving up money doesn't go fast that way. Life is expensive over here. I guess the question is, what is a good way to live an adventurous life without being tied to an office?

Just to clarify a few things, so you guys don't get the wrong ideas about me and my situation.
I'm very outgoing. I have no trouble making friends anywhere. I'm not a stranger to travel. Last trip I did was traveling through the USA for six weeks after I finished college.  I had a blast and didn't want to stop going when I ran out of time (& money). I ended up in crazy places and had several awesome experiences. I have no trouble attracting women. The reason I don't have a serious relationship is that I simply don't feel like having one right now. I have a couple of women that I have a shallow and fun sexual relationship with, but that's it. I live healthy and I'm in great shape. I eat healthy, don't smoke, hardly drink, regularly work out and I've been into martial arts for a bunch of years now.
I know very well what excites me. I'm very passionate about making music, writing and traveling. I've played in several rock bands and I'm over 60.000 words into a book I'm writing now. In other words, I have a ton of ideas to set the world on fire and I've tried (and am trying) to make them work next to having a regular job. I also own my own business that I run next to having my job. I'm crazy with ambition and fire and I can't channel it the way I want right now.

Update 2 
Thanks for the amazing amount of answers. Most of them are fantastic. You guys are the best. I could never imagine this kind of response. I'll add some background so you guys might understand better what's going on with me. Normally I wouldn't spend so much attention to talking about myself but I'm so humbled by the amount of reactions that I feel I should tell the full story. Here's the short version.  I was an extremely low point in my life at one point. I was the skinny loser kid who got got his ass kicked all the way up until high school. This varied from teasing to pretty brutal beatings. At one point it fucked me up so badly that I dropped out of high school at 14 because I was depressed. I just couldn't take it anymore and even the doc said I should quit because it made me 100% miserable. I was a mess for the longest time. I've drank too much for a while and smoked weed all the time... the standard story, all that dumb shit. Eventually I realized this didn't get me anywhere after getting dangerously wasted one night. I stopped getting trashed and I stopped hanging out with the group I used to do this with. I started seeing a shrink and one of the first things he told me was that I was in bad shape. There was a lot of crying and realizations. I suddenly remembered things that I hadn't thought about for over fifteen years. Eventually I built myself up piece by piece. Now I think of it, I think I finally felt happy and comfortable with myself when I was around 24 years old. I started getting over my awkwardness by talking to random people and random girls. I used to be especially shy around girls. I couldn't even look at them. When I'd go out with my friends, I would get nauseous before I went out the door because I was so nervous. After getting shot down a million times and getting a massive amount of life experience in that area, I slowly gained more confidence. To put things in perspective, I had my first kiss at 19 and my second one when I was 21. I didn't get laid until 23 and when that finally happened, a huge mental block was gone and everything was suddenly easy. 
I managed to get into college by catching up on the missed courses on my own at home. I had to bust my ass but I did it and I got in. I finished it without delays. I even studied abroad for a semester, I went there all alone and when I left, I had made many fantastic friends for life. Maybe because the last 10 years of my life have been a tsunami of new experiences, excitement and overcoming massive personal fears, I get bored with life so easily right now. I don't know. I'm no psychologist, but this kinda makes sense to me. I've gained several great insights by reading through the answers here and chewing on them for a while. All of you are awesome. If you were here, I'd give you all a big hug. What a great place this is.

Someone else replied Tim McGuigan "There is a distinction that needs to be made.  There is a difference between a traveler and a tourist.  A tourist simply engages with the surface elements of a particular place.  99.9% of the population are tourists, even if they claim they are travelers or vagabonds, etc.  A traveler becomes invested in the places they visit not in terms of money, but in energy.  The most fulfilling vacations that I've had are the ones where I live with a local, work with the locals, hear their stories, and share my own. I encourage you to truly travel rather than tour.   When I was 25 I quit my job as a computer programmer and traveled around Hawaii on a shoe string budget.  I was motivated because a coworker needed back surgery due to prolonged sitting.  This seemed to me to be my eventual future, so I sold everything I owned and consolidated to a backpack.  I used a resource called World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and worked on a coffee plantation, a ginger farm, and a tropical fruit plantation for 2 years.  I worked with multi-national travelers, farmers, raconteurs, and locals.  I learned the language of the islands and contributed to them (essentially as a volunteer) before leaving. The irony of travel is that the common misconception is that we travel to "see the world".  The world is full of people as well as places.  Visiting a place like Ayers Rock or Pearl Harbor or Bangkok will change your perspective for an afternoon.  Interacting with the inhabitants of these places, working beside them, and hearing their stories will alter the course of your life forever.   You travel to other places in order to travel within yourself.  Experiencing the surface attractions and amenities of a place will leave you in a similar mental place as when you started.  Change the world and you change yourself."

Another reply 
Bob Goodman, Serial dreamer "I don't know why you are sucking your thumb.  You make it clear that you want to vagabond around the world, so go for it.  You can hitchike pretty much overland to Singapore, and I guarantee it will change your life.  When I was 21 I took my first 8 month trip and again when I was 28.  I got lost in villages, towns, cities, states, nations and continents.  Met wonderful people, ate amazing things, saw unbelievable sights and experienced a great deal more life than most of my peers.  I am 65 now and have never regretted the time spent in vagabonding.  I never had much money when I was young, but the travels helped make me become financially comfortable.  The huevos it took to walk the streets of Kabul, Tehran, Manilla, or ride the rivers in Kashmir, Thailand, and Burma and watch the sacrifices in Katmandu, let alone the incredible Masai people in Africa.  You can leave alone but you will easily couple up along the way.  The hardest part will be continuously saying goodbye. The adventures helped me launch 1-800-DENTIST and three other successful ventures.  It may have been exhausting, but I am so thankful I did it early."

Keinosuke Johan. "You are living the biggest lie society taught you: That happiness must be bought.
The root cause of your mediocrity is your overvaluation of money. Money is making your life mediocre. Money is tying you to your desk. You already know the answer to your question. It's the same answer to, "what would you do if you had a million dollars?" Just do it, but without the million dollars. Nothing can stop you, let alone a lack of a million dollars. What is telling is the part about a million dollars, and why you think you need that much money. It's not 10,000. It's not 100,000. It's a fucking million. Most answers here are about how cheap it is to travel if you don't mind minor inconveniences and enjoy adventure. Well, that's almost how you describe yourself.  Unfortunately, money addiction is a hard habit to kick, especially when everything around you and society will support your decision to live "responsibly" and to "not travel unless you have a million dollars". But who are these people and what are the consequences to you? None really. That is the realization you need to make. Instead of working for society, you need to put society to work for you. And here is how you do it. Philosophy: What is the biggest lie society taught you to believe?

Someone else replied 
Amanda Tahir, can sympathize with Faust. "I think what you're going through is something that any individual who does not have a sheep's brain will go through. I'm 26 now and oh, how I know how you feel!I got into a depression a few years back because my life was working for a paycheck, then spending it all on bills -- all these necessary bills, mind you -- and I knew just how sad this kind of existence is. Basically, you need to work in order to live but you can't really live because your life is tied down by bills and work. I ended up being very morbid and resentful. What we really need is a sense of meaningful purpose. Deep down, you probably believe you were meant for something better. Living in relative solitary existence for the sole purpose of survival can, after a while, seem a very futile endeavor. Questions like "What the hell am I doing?" or "Why do I even bother?" start popping up. I solved my problem by teaching high school Physics and Chemistry at a tutoring center. Basically, it's a paid part time job but most of my hours are given free so the students, who are often from low income families, don't have to pay any fees to get help with their learning. Seeing the kids smile when they understand a concept fills my soul. Knowing that they trust me enough to come to me with their problems gives me that extra boost to get up every day.
If you, like me, can't afford to or are afraid to take the leap and move away, you can always find fulfillment where you are by volunteering for a higher purpose. It doesn't have to be teaching. I'm sure you'll find many different volunteering opportunities where you live. Sometimes it's hard because you get tired or maybe frustrated when the people you are trying to help aren't responding to you as well as you hope. But the rewards are vastly more satisfying than any paycheck you can get.
So, I hope you can get out of your rut and start to live the life you were meant for. From someone who's been there.

I am bored with my life Written by M. Larson.
I am 40 years old and have five children and a grandson whose ages range from 2 to 21. My husband is seven years younger than me. This is his first marriage, but my third marriage. I have been a Christian for four years. I feel like I am in a rut. I don’t know what comes next in life. I feel as if all I do is work, cook and sleep. Basically, that’s all I do for lack of time (or so it seems). I don’t have hobbies, don’t know what I’d like to do and have no girlfriends. We don’t have any Christian couple friends either. I just don’t know what to do with my life right now. I’m bored and busy at the same time. I don’t know who I am anymore and I don’t know how to find out. Any suggestions?

"Ok, I think I am going to smack some sense into you. First off, do NOT resubmit yourself to the Lord, or Allah, or Buddha, or any other deity. Religion is a huge scape goat full of disingenuous happiness. And if you have been a Christian for 4 years and you are feeling this way, then you are living proof that my statement is true. It sounds like you need to do two things. First, see your doctor or psychotherapist in regards to depression. Second, find something to do , that when you are doing it you lose all track of time. If there is nothing, FIND IT. Do something about it. Research, experiment, make time for yourself to try out different activities. Its going to be extremely difficult since you chose to have so many children. Frankly, you shot yourself in the foot with having kids….many of them. There are too many people on this God Damn planet to begin with, and you have made it more difficult. So do yourself a favor, DON’T shoot yourself in the foot again. Make time for YOU. Its like going into MCDonalds and ordering the same frig’n Big Mac every time, then wondering why your bored with the same meal. Christ, there’s other stuff on the menu! Make it a point to go into that McDonalds a.k.a. make time for yourself, and try a different meal every time a.k.a. try sewing, try art, try hang gliding, try porn, try industrial design, try welding, try emergency service, try music, try babysitting a one eyed albino frog……anything….it doesn’t matter, as long as you are happy. Religion makes SOME people happy, and i think that some is very small and its for people who are very simplistic in their mental structure. Know what I mean? Just find something that works for you WITH OUT the restrictions of having a “Godly approval”. God does nto change your life, you change your life……free will….. right?"

Constantly feel bored and empty, like life has no meaning.
I really struggle with a pervasive feeling of boredom/emptiness - lack of enthusiasm for anything, fatigue, and general apathy towards whatever I am doing. My life is good, compared with some people: 
-Loving fiancée
-Two fantastic kids
-My own home
-Reasonably good health
-iPhone (lol)
But I constantly feel bored/empty. I don't have any hobbies (with the exception of reading), or interests. I have tried to get into all sorts of things but the enthusiasm just isn't there. I've tried jogging, cycling, nature photography, writing, yoga, meditation, walking, and golf. All these things were ok when I started but never lasted more than a few months before I stopped doing them because I just couldn't be bothered.  I have friends but can't be bothered to keep in touch, which makes me feel lonely as I don't hear from them very often. Facebook leaves me feeling miserable as I see people getting on with their lives and I cannot relate to them as I have no interests or hobbies.  I can't focus on tasks at work. No matter how much or how little I have to do I always find myself just mentally wandering off after half an hour or so. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety a few years ago, and went to CBT sessions to manage my symptoms. I had very low self-esteem and self-worth stemming from childhood and it led me to be very needy, and insecure. I felt great coming out of the therapy after a few months, but now I just feel flat.

I find myself constantly trying to "change" things to make life more interesting but I do the wrong things. I buy a new coffee mug, or backpack, use a different web browser, get a new email account. Stupid little things that make no difference really to the way I feel but I become obsessed about them. I can spend a whole day researching new bags, then go out of my way to get a new one. Then after a few weeks I decide I didn't want it and throw it away. It almost feels like binge eating, and then throwing up afterwards, except I do it with "things". I struggle to find the energy or the motivation to play with my kids, which makes me feel like a terrible parent. I'll take them out for day trips etc., but when it comes to just sitting down and playing I will always make an excuse - work, cleaning, etc.....
I have tried to get interested in things, such as sports, current affairs, politics, science, but it just doesn't work. I cannot "force" myself to be interested in these things. So I end up feeling lost in my own life. I don't know what I want to do, I try and find an identity in the things I own, and I feel lonely all the time, but don't want to speak to people. I'm on antidepressants and have been for ages now. They work, and I can tell if I have missed a day or two. My anxiety is certainly much better - I don't get anywhere near as worked up over things as possible, and I don’t spend hours thinking about things any more. But now my brain just feels dead. It is also mentally exhausting trying to articulate these feelings. That's why I’ve tried to write this down, so that I can try and explain and explore how I feel. I WANT a passion, an interest, a "raison d'etre", but there is nothing there. I feel like a have been at the back of a very long queue, and now I've got to the front the shop is empty. What do I do? 
I love my fiancée, and I love my kids. I don't love my job, but that's not unusual. I do feel trapped however by the fact that I have to look after my kids while my F goes to work. She has the more demanding job and my boss is quite flexible so I am able to work from home and look after the kids after school. But there is no freedom for me to do anything on my own. I am either at work, or at home but can't do anything on my own. When the kids go to bed I tend to either watch porn for hours, or sleep, before getting up in time for my F to come home about 10pm from work. The only thing I regularly do is read and I enjoy it, but I don't want to do it all the time. I've recently joined Slimming World to lose weight as I was massively overweight so much so that my F didn't fancy me anymore and we had stopped having sex. That made me feels so low and worthless. But I am steadily losing weight and that is great, so I am hoping that with renewed energy and vigour I will be able to start taking and interesting and enjoyment in things. But I wonder if it runs deeper than that. 

I know that I am looking for fulfillment in the wrong places – my phone, facebook, twitter, “things” (cups, bags, wallets, phone cases, web browsers, etc….) but I don’t know where else to channel my energies. And the one place I know I need to make the effort, playing with my kids, I find really hard to do. Each time I say to myself, “right, I will play with them today”, when the time comes I really cannot be bothered.  Is it depression? Laziness? Genuine lack of "that thing that I want to do"? I really don't know. But it's there. All the time. A big emptiness that surrounds me, and I can't see the way out. I know I am not alone in feeling this way. I have read many people’s experiences online and I can identify with them a lot. So I guess I want to put my feelings out there somewhere. Maybe to help someone else feel that they are not “alone” in feeling this way, but maybe, so that I will have some kind of “belonging” by sharing this with people. Who knows?  LostSoul86"

"Hello soul, it does sound like the depression is stopping you from living your life. I am beginning to
realise that if I wait for myself to be motivated, I just don't do stuff. I am having to go back to writing myself a schedule for the day. This forces me to think about what are the things i most need to do, otherwise i only tend to potter about doing bits and pieces, when i get a spurt of enthusiasm. I don't plan too far ahead, I made that mistake before, and ended up getting cross at myself for not doing all the planned stuff. Working from home and looking after kids is a challenge. It does sound like time is not an issue.... You mention trying new hobbies, are there not old hobbies that could be rekindled, or adapted, if you used to climb trees as a kid, can you try a grown up version of wall/rock climbing? Or renew some childhood hobbies, alongside your kids, just for the fun of it, rather than because it is something you feel that you have to do.
From what i'm reading at the moment, it does seem that the key is to first identify what your values are , they are the raw materials for your goals----- then makes plans, and take action to do it.... Rather than trying to seek motivation from a vague idea of stuff that you think you "should"do, 
I know this sounds obvious, but speaking as someone who drifts through day to day life, it has given me food for thought. 
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=values+cards+exercise+demonstration Take a look at the youtube vid --- values cards exercise demonstration. It is odd but at my age i had not yet got a notion of what my longterm priorities in fact are. and without this i am just going to be blundering along in the dark. Perhaps the hardest lesson of all is learning not to beat yourself up when you do not live up to your own expectations."

Someone else replied 
"Firstly, look at what you eat. avoid things with sugar. plentiful exercise and you need to find a hobby. i know you said you tried but you have to keep at it. I had anxiety issues from childhood. I don't even have a fond childhood to remember or look back on and smile, as all i see was hatred, racism, anger and loneliness and detachment from society altogether. but i have to teach myself to look forward not backwards. I firstly had to accept who i was and make the most of the merits i have as a person. i found some hobbies i found interesting like astronomy, gardening, growing veggies, and helping others. i do volunteering which puts my practical hands on skills to use, meeting people, talking and that eventually helped give up the anti depressant pills. i wouldn't say the depression has gone, 10% is still there. i still feel anxiety when i'm around too many people but i use it to teach myself to try and open up my mind. I found having a pet can help. if you follow a hobby where your kids can join in then it will help with bonding like growing veggies is one way that everyone can enjoy, cooking, cycling in the park, crazy golf, theme park, etc."

Another reply 
"I feel exactly the same lost soul, I think talking about it helps a lot with the 'intensity' of numbness. I
agree with some of the other guys on here that depression requires action before motivation and that's what is so difficult about it. In my case I started a blog, Mattsmusings.co.uk, and I am aiming to write a book. It doesn't feel like my passion either, I'm not sure I can feel passion any more , but I think 'forcing' yourself to play with your kids might be helpful, young children do not suffer from depression until we let the world at them so let them be your teacher . Also I found that taking 'joy' in other's fulfilment is good, and helping others find and achieve their goals can help us to find ours and even if it doesn't at least there's some self esteem to be had from it. It sucks I know, but if you're of a spiritual nature try searching 'sadhguru ' his teachings have helped me recently . One love, peace and happiness. X"

Someone else replied 
"I feel the same way. I am constantly bored at work and home and I have no interest to do anything or talk to anyone. All I ever want to do is sleep. I am overweight and I have no motivation to lose weight or do anything. Im always tired or annoyed and feel really negative all the time. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to continue living. I was taking medication for depression and anxiety but it had bad side effects so I stopped. I hate feeling this way but cant force myself to change."

"I feel you here. All too well. I am only twenty years old and you would think that I would have
passion about life still. That I would be wanting to go out and have a zest for life. But that's not the case. I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. I don't know what is more depressing...the fact that I don't function like a normal person or the fact that there is actually a name for what I struggle from. I too feel the complete boredom and pervasive emptiness. It has consumed me. The last couple of months have really been hell. All I can say is that depression is a cruel thing. It sounds like you struggle from it. Depressive thinking is so consuming and pervasive that it completely distorts your thinking. I am starting something called cognitive behavior therapy in a couple of weeks. I have heard great things about it. I think that a lot of people who struggle from this pervasive emptiness inside of them are people who think rather deeply about life and get themselves into existential depression. I think that existential depression is probably the worst kind to be in because more often than not it does not respond well to therapy or medications. You really do need to go talk to a professional about this feeling. The system that helps people manage and deal with depression is definitely flawed but at the current moment it is all we have. So we have to work with it and figure out the things that work for us. Everybody is different in what they need to treat their depression and I think that a lot of times people forget that. People also have very different types of depression. Some people are like us; feeling nothing and feeling empty, some people feel absolutely nothing and are completely apathetic to life and everything and some are completely consumed with a sadness that begins to decay their soul. Just know that you are not alone in the way that you feel. It is a horrible thing to have everything and yet everything means nothing. I have suffered far too long from the same thing and sometimes it is very hard to find a reason to get up in the morning and go on. Just listen to me when I say that you need to reach out and get help from someone. Even if you do not consult a professional you need to find somebody to confide in. I am free if you need to talk. My email is chelsieshay@gmail.com. I typically do not post my email so publicly or give it out to anyone but your post TRULY struck me. It was as if I was writing it...."

Someone else replied 
"Me too... Ditto to all of what All Above have said. My 'rationalising' mind wants / needs to deal with this so I too can get out from under it, I'm a health professional (obviously not a magnificent self healer) but I exercise, eat healthy have 'things' I need/desire and still search for ....I don't know, I Feel like a piece of driftwood, or more often recently just waiting at heavens gates.... Why.. Why do I/we in 2015 feel so lack lustre, unfulfilled ... Historically was this something our great great grand fore fathers ever felt. Or back then they were too busy to feel like this because it was the hunter gatherer thing. Everything's at our finger tips and we' So spoiled we have so much - I feel so selfish when I know the pain & suffering that's occurring and yet I ratiolize what can I do. (Little voice...be the change you wanna see in the world. ). Appathetic me goes, meh.... How, why can't Selfish huh. I've lost my way. Can't find a path back to a main ....anything, feel so lost .... Need to Don't know. I Am Strong. I just need a mission..."


May 25th 2015

Watching a good docu about the dangers of sugar!

April 23rd 2015

Hmmm maybe my hormone levels did get a bit worse.. I'm googling as per usual, and find so many different sites with hormone level indications for this. By all means, the AMH is better, which is a good sign. But the FSH did rise and estradiol (estrogen) dropped. Depends which site you read for normal values basically,. FSH was better at 6,5 (totally normal on day 3) and now 9,5 is a bit on the high side, but as far as I can tell no clear perimenopause level yet. Also the estradiol is in the normal but low ranges now. What I found is that either too high estradiol levels or too low can indicate perimenopause, as it gets erratic by that time. http://www.livestrong.com/article/63806-list-normal-hormone-levels-women/ My FSH went from 65, to 9,5, here it says FSH above 9 is a sign of perimenopause and estradiol rising too high is a sign of perimenopause but too low as well and mine went down, to 39. Under 32 is a problem they say

List of Normal Hormone Levels in Women

 | By 
List of Normal Hormone Levels in Women
List of Normal Hormone Levels in Women Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Hormones are substances produced by the body that have chemical effects on other parts of the body. Women produce hormones, such as estradiol, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and progesterone. Certain hormones rise at various times of the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy. Hormone levels also change at menopause.


Estrogen is the predominant female hormone; estradiol is the predominant form of estrogen produced in the ovaries. Normal estrogen levels, according to Fertility Plus hormone charts, on days two to three of the menstrual cycle are 25 to 75 picograms per milliliter (pg/ml). A higher level on day two or three may indicate peri-menopause, a time when the body's egg reserve is running low, according to a 2005 article by Jerilynn C. Prior in "Endocrine." Estradiol decreases in menopause to less than 32 pg/ml, and often drops to less than 10 pg/ml, according to Military Obstetrics and Gynecology.

During the menstrual cycle, estradiol rises to 200 to 300 pg/ml per mature follicle, according to the Malpani Infertility Clinic. As menstruation approaches, estradiol again falls to day-two levels if pregnancy has not occurred. If a woman becomes pregnant, levels remain high.
Progesterone is produced mainly by the corpus luteum, the remnant of the follicle that contained the egg released from the ovary. Progesterone levels are less than 1.5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) before ovulation and rise to more than 15 ng/ml after ovulation, according to Fertility Plus female hormone level charts. Progesterone continues to rise if pregnancy occurs, to 300 ng/ml or higher, according to the American Pregnancy Association. If no pregnancy occurs, levels drop back to levels of 1.5 ng/ml or less.
Luteinizing hormone increases right before an egg is released from the ovary. Baseline levels are less than 7 international units per liter (IU/L) on day three of the menstrual cycle and the hormone level rises to 20 IU/L or higher as the egg matures and is released from the ovary, according to Fertility Plus. LH levels then return to day-three levels.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

FSH is produced in the ovaries and stimulates egg maturation. Levels of FSH on days two to three should be less than 9 milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/ml), according to the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago (AFCC). A higher level of FSH indicates peri-menopause, and a level higher than 40 mIU/ml means that a woman is menopausalFSH levels indicate a woman's potential ability to become pregnant. AFCC states that FSH levels of 11 to 15 mIU/ml indicate decreased egg reserve and a reduced chance of pregnancy, while levels of 20 mIU/ml relate to a very low chance of pregnancy and live birth

Or this site

Interpreting day 3 FSH blood test results - what are normal FSH levels?

In our fertility center we currently use an assay made by Roche. We consider normal FSH level to be anything less than 9. As levels go above 9 we often see a reduction in response to ovarian stimulating drugs - as described in the table below.
If your FSH levels were run using a different assay, you can not compare your results to those shown below with confidence. For example, with some assays an FSH of 12 is normal.

Day 3 FSH levelFSH interpretation for Roche or Immulite assays
Less than 9Normal FSH level. Expect a good response to ovarian stimulation.
9 - 11Fair.  Response is between normal and somewhat reduced (response varies widely). Overall, a slightly reduced live birth rate.
11- 15Reduced ovarian reserve. Expect a reduced response to stimulation and some reduction in embryo quality with IVF. Reduced live birth rates on the average.
15 - 20Expect a more marked reduction in response to stimulation and usually a further reduction in embryo quality. Low live birth rates. Antral follicle count is an important variable.
Over 20This is pretty much a "no go" level in our center. Very poor (or no) response to stimulation. "No go" levels should be individualized for the particular lab assay and IVF center.

Day 3 estradiol testing

A blood estradiol level on day 3 (we do it on any day between days 2 and 4) of the menstrual cycle is a way to potentially discover some of those women with a normal day 3 FSH that may in fact have decreased egg quantity and quality.
What we want on day three is a low FSH level in conjunction with a low estradiol level. If the FSH is normal but the estradiol level is elevated, the elevated estradiol will often be artificially "suppressing" the FSH level down to the normal range.

What is a normal AMH level?

Interpretation of anti-mullerian hormone levels and chances for conception

There are some problems involved with interpretation of AMH hormone levels. Because the test has not been in routine use for many years, the levels considered to be "normal" are not yet clarified and agreed on by all experts.
The table below has AMH interpretation guidelines from the fertility literature and from our experience. Do not get carried away with the cutoff values shown here. For example, the difference between a 0.9 and a 1.1 ng/ml test result puts a woman in a "different box" in this table - but there is very little real difference in fertility potential. In reality, it is a continuum - and not something that categorizes well.
(women under age 35)
AMH Blood Level
High (often PCOS)
Over 4.0 ng/ml
1.5 - 4.0 ng/ml
Low Normal Range
1.0 - 1.5 ng/ml
0.5 - 1.0 ng/ml
Very Low
Less than 0.5 ng/ml

Or this site:
Day Three Blood Test: Definitions of the 3 most common blood test that will be done on your cycle day three and what to expect for your ultrasound are listed below.
FSH Blood Level Measurement:
This is the key test to determine whether or not you are in menopause. A sample of your blood is taken to measure the levels of FSH -- follicle stimulating hormone -- in your blood. Because your FSH levels rise when your ovaries stop producing enough estrogen, high FSH levels can signal that your body is entering menopause.
• Normal FSH day 3 value is 3-20 mlU/ml
• FSH levels above 10 to 12 mlu/ml indicate that your ovaries are starting to fail. In other words, this means that you are in perimenopause -- the beginning stages of menopause when you notice physical symptoms, but before you have stopped having a period for a year, or have "diminished ovarian reserve"
• Higher FSH levels -- levels about 30 to 40 or above -- are usually taken to signal menopause or ovarian failure. You may even be getting periods with your FSH levels this high, but it still is a sign that your body isn't producing enough estrogen to maintain regular ovarian function.
• Keep in mind that you may end up with FSH levels that are well in the post-menopausal range, but still be getting a period. This is one of the things that differentiates premature menopause or premature ovarian failure from "regular" menopause (i.e. menopause that occurs to older women after a full year without a period). Yet again, this hammers home the unfortunate fact that you may indeed be in premature menopause even if you're having periods. Once your FSH levels have reached a certain height for a period of time, it's highly unlikely that they'll drop back to premenopausal levels. In my case, even after my FSH was tested at over 150, I had apparently normal periods for eight months. Then when I was retested -- hoping that somehow my body had snapped back to normal, I learned that my FSH level had dropped. . . . but only to 126. Since my FSH levels had been well above 35 for over a year, I finally accepted that my ovaries had failed.
• As mentioned above, because hormone levels can and do fluctuate, remember that the FSH is far from foolproof. Some women can test with a high FSH, then revert to normal levels the next month...and so on. Again, it's generally wise to get tested more than once.
Normal Menstruating
Follicular Phase 2.5 to 10.2
Midcycle Peak 3.4 to 33.4
Luteal Phase 1.5 to 9.1
Postmenopausal 23.0 to >116.3
(Note: Lab levels -- or "assay levels" -- do vary from lab to lab, so you may notice different levels listed on your lab report)

Etrogen (Estradiol) Levels:

Estradiol is the primary human estrogen -- and when your ovaries begin to fail, your circulating estradiol levels drop. This is why doctors often give you a serum estradiol concentration test to measure the amount of estradiol in your blood. In this case, the doctor is looking to see if your estrogen levels are lower than normal -- again, a signal of ovarian failure, or, in other words, early menopause.
• Normal estradiol Day 3 value -- 25-75 pg/ml
• In spite of the above number, generally, estradiol levels about 30 or below -- in conjunction with a high FSH level (high in this case, meaning in the post-menopausal range, i.e. 30-40 or higher) -- is considered menopausal. (Important note: If your FSH hasn't reached post-menopausal levels and your estradiol is on the low side, you are not considered POF or EM. There can be other reasons for low estradiol, including excessive exercise, low body fat, and diminished ovarian reserve.) This is because estradiol levels tend to drop over time. During the first 2 to 5 years following menopause or ovarian failure, blood levels of estradiol drop to an average range of about 25 to 35 pg/ml. Women not on HRT generally will see this number drop even more over time; after about five years, it's common for menopausal women who aren't on HRT to have estradiol levels below 25.
• If your estradiol levels are lower than 50 picograms per milliliter, you may still be having a period, but also may be experiencing symptoms of low estrogen -- including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and sleep difficulties.
LH (luteinizing hormone):
This test may be performed when a disorder associated with abnormal levels of LH is suspected.
LH is a protein hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. In women, an LH surge at mid-cycle causes ovulation. For the next week or so, LH maintains the corpus luteum which synthesizes progesterone. If a woman does not become pregnant, the corpus luteum disintegrates after about 10 days. In men, LH stimulates production of testosterone by the Leydig cells of the testes.
Normal Values
• Normal adult female: 5 to 20 IU/L, with the midcycle peak about 3 times the base level
Note: IU/L = international units per liter
Normal values can be different depending on the lab and the test used.
Follicular Phase 24-138
Luteal Phase 19-164
Periovulatory 107-402
No HRT <36
With HRT 18-361

FSH: The cruelest number
We have to look for our clues to egg quality in indirect ways. One possible way is by observing the menstrual pattern. As women age, their cycles shorten. Unfortunately, this is such a late phenomenon in a woman's reproductive career -- and most women's cycles vary somewhat month to month -- that observing menstrual patterns is a very imprecise method of determining egg quality. So are measurements of estrogen levels or follicle sizes on ultrasound scans. So far, the best simple test we have been able to come up with is an early cycle FSH level. FSH stands for follicle stimulating hormone, and is one of the more important ways in which the brain talks to the ovaries. Simply, the brain releases FSH when it wants the ovaries to mature an egg; as the ovaries choose and mature the egg, hormone products from the ovaries signal the brain to decrease the release of FSH. This is an example of a feedback loop. An important concept to recognize is that the communication between the brain and the ovaries seems to be controlled by the eggs, or by the cells that surround the egg. And if the communication seems to be poor, it is an indication that there may be a problem with the eggs themselves. We are not sure what the exact nature of these problems are, whether they are in the DNA or in the cytoplasm or just in the eggs' ability to respond to stimulation, but we know that a breakdown in the communication between the eggs and the brain correlates with very poor pregnancy rates in infertility treatment.                  The FSH test is the simplest method we know of to test the ability of the eggs to talk back to the brain. If the system is functioning the way it should, then the FSH level early in the cycle should be on the lower end of the scale. How low? That depends on the laboratory doing the testing. Each lab, by nature of the way the test is done there, will report a different level for a given test. One of the great confusions regarding FSH testing is that a similar level means very different things at different places. Also, some clinics characterize their tests very carefully; others less so. FSH is reported in "units" and results from 2 units to 7 are probably normal in just about any lab. Levels above 25 are probably abnormal. The area between 9 to 24 may represent normal or abnormal levels, depending on how the test is performed.                                                                       Adding to the confusion is that FSH bounces around quite a bit. One month the result may be a 7 and the next month may be a 13. For a while we thought that it might be possible to wait for a month with a better level to improve the odds that a given cycle would work. Unfortunately, we learned that intermittently high FSH is as bad a prognostic sign in months with normal FSH levels as it is in months with high FSH levels.
Here someone writes: 
You should switch doctors; are you seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist?  I am 46 and have been pregnant twice since last spring, without fertility treatments.  My FSH is in the 10-11 range.  At my age, doctors expect it to be much higher, so when it came in "low" at 10, they thought it was a "good" score.  Both times I was tracking my ovulation, and I was pregnant the second month we tried.  Unfortunately, at my age, egg quality becomes a big issue, so the embryos likely had chromosomal abnormalities, which is probably why I miscarried.  But both my RE and ob-gyn think I can still potentially conceive (but I will still face a high miscarriage risk).  I would give anything to be 40 with a 9.3 FSH (which really indicates only a slightly diminished egg quantity).  So things are by no means hopeless for you!  So find an RE that has more confidence in his/her abilities to help you.  

Age Specific Baseline FSH and AMH Levels

< 33 Years< 7.0 mlU/mL= 2.1 ng/mL
33-37 Years< 7.9 mIU/mL= 1.7 ng/mL
38-40 Years< 8.4 mIU/mL= 1.1 ng/mL
= 41+ Years< 8.5 mIU/mL= 0.5 ng/mL
  • FSH levels of greater than 30 IU/L are generally considered to be in the postmenopausal range.
Two more good websites about (peri)menopause:

Also stumbled upon this one, Den Hague is our capital and the city with the biggest contrast between chavs and rich posh snobs. The local tongue is called Hagenees and it sounds like this:

And for posh, listen to this:

I'm having some quiet days, have to write another big review article for that Belgium magazine and am again dreading it a bit. But working on it. Face is a bit sore from all the pollen/spring allergens, I cranked up the antihistamines but it's not yet fully working. 

April 22nd 2015   
Good news! :)
I got my hormone test levels back today, and it doesn't look like I'm already heading for menopause. In fact, the AMH level, which is supposed to be mega stable and a good prediction of ovarian reserve, went in 5 years time UP instead of down. In other words, I'm more fertile now than in 2010.. Very happy with that even though it makes no sense medically (AMH is the new golden rule thing and it's value only goes down with time, as your body never creates more eggs, they are there at birth and only decline with age), but I think my immune issues and low vit D level at the time might have fucked with that value. Was such a nice surprise to see that number up. Used to be 0,8 and now it's 1,03 (or 7,35 pmol/L). Still not great but almost in the normal range now whereas it was abnormally low before. Strange given the amount of years between testing (the other test was from 2010) but I suspect that my very low vitamin D levels at the time and high inflammation levels might have interfered with it. They don't know everything yet about this hormone. 
The other values tested, FSH, estradiol and LH were normal too. FSH was 6,5 UI/I in 2010 and is 9,5 now, but that value can change quite drastically every month you test it (all done on day 3 of cycle however, which is important). And 9,5 is slightly above perfect but not close to perimenopause levels yet. Estradiol however has gone down, which is good here, and was in 2010 74 ng/L and is now 39 ng/L, so that is good (lower is better here as a high estradiol level is seen in (peri)menopause). And LH has stayed the same, 2,6 UI/L.
It's all not great for someone of my age but from what I can find online on normal hormone levels it doesn't seem to explain missed periods etc. I hope it will all be stable and normal again from this month on, it gave me a huge scare. But my face is pretty red still... Might be the pollen outside perhaps?

(Photo's are from Anita de Rover)

A friend replied to me about the test results:

Hi. This is interesting news. Good to know where you are hormonally, because it truly helps to solve some puzzles. AMH levels going up..... Birth control please:). Puzzling to me tho is your interpretation of estradiol. At your age on any day estradiol can be very low or very high. Roller coaster.  That may be why you flared-- it dipped. And then no period.  This is common in late 30's through 40's. Perimenopause can make estradiol go way up and this is real estrogen overload. And then it can crash.  You won't know until next month. Or months from now. If I could go back in time, I would have tried birth control to stop the up and down. It was never explained to me very well and I thought I just had to suffer through it. A few years ago, nearing menopause, my GYN described a monthly period as intense inflammation. I was stunned. Really? I said. It's inflammation? ( great) and she described the process in a way that made it clear to me why some women ( like me) react to monthly flow with so much agony. Not just cramps but the mental/physical/emotional symptoms. Every month the inside of my mouth broke out into painful blisters / which only got worse with roller coaster estrogen later.  Now on HRT, I'm the most stable I have ever been. Estrogen is pro- inflammatory and my rosacea was way worse before HRT which stabilized hormones. No more up and down. 
So I celebrate your numbers but if you miss again, I'd say your estrogen is driving the roller coaster.  You mentioned Celebrex! How is it working? It is great anti inflammatory. You may try taking it starting 3 days before your next period. This is advice my GYN gave me. 
You asked if it could be the pollen/allergies. Yes. Anything that causes stress to body and inflammation. And you are sensitive to bunches of stuff. Does ice still help? Give relief?  I hope so. I have to be so careful with it. It rebounds too easily.xx

I replied: "Yeh its a bit of interpretation and I might be wrong, but the fact that my ovarian reserve AMH is in a better range now, makes me think the hormone levels (at normal levels too now) are not a one off. Because during menopause the AMH will be a lot lower. Your ovarian reserve goes down, your eggs get so few, and then as a result as far as I understand it, your hormones go up or out of whack, to make up for this, to hold on to a certain state.
I can compare the day 3 levels with the numbers they had 5 years ago and thy seem normal.
If my AMH had dropped further down, I would have asked for more monthly blood tests for FSH and estradiol, because you are right, they can fluctuate, rise, go way down. So one blood test will not tell you that much. But since the AMH is better now than it used to be (which I was told is impossible but it seems really the case), I think it might have had other caused, that late menstruation. But its true I will have to see what happens the next months, if things are normal and regular again then. Otherwise, ask more repetition tests to see if FSH and estradiol act erratically yes or no.
I cant take birth control as the progesterone in them makes me flare up terribly.. tried it and it is hell. 

Oh interesting! Yes I always thought that the typical rosacea flare right before period was due to rising and high progesterone levels then. Which are pro inflammatory, whereas estrogens are more protective against inflammation as far as my derm told me. Although when I looked it up for the pregnancy hormone post here, I came across the same as what you now write. I am very interested in HRT but with stable looking hormones in the normal range the docs will never give it to me now. I might need more tests then if my period acts weird again, to see if the normal estradiol and FSH from this round of testing will be out of whack a second testing round, I did read that they are not very stable and can fluctuate a lot.  It is interesting that estradiol is so much lower now than in 2010. Although low estradiol is good as far as I read, the higher estradiol is what is considered a symptom of perimenopause as it will rise to artificially get FSH down? If I understood that correctly. But I understand that estradiol can go erratic and it might have been low this day which they tested me, and high a next day (when they didn't test me). Who will tell. 

Celebrex, that is a pain killer I think. I took Celexa, an antidepressant, one night only and I'm such a wimp!!  Had hot flashes and sweating all night. Virtually no sleep as I felt on speed (the drug) and hyper, despite also taking remeron which makes me sleep deep normally. felt so jiggery and super red the following morning, that I kind of delayed the rest of the Celexa test.. have to travel early next week again and it will be a stressful time.. 
Yeh I added some mastocitosis antihistamines to my mix the past days as I can literally see the pollen fly through the air here. Hope that will calm the inflammation down for now.
Thanks for thinking along! Hope you are well xx"

April 21th 2015             I had a little diversion discussion with a friend about movies and my object of desire, actor Tom Hardy (haha). He thought Hardy makes a terrible Heathcliff                                               

Me: "Oh really, I am absolutely disagreeing with you on Heathcliff. Hardy was the best as he showed a lot more depth of complexity in character than some of the other actors I saw doing it.
I saw a couple of versions, I read the book a few times, And the reviews of all those adaptations, it's not just me liking Tom Hardy so much that it gives me pink colored glasses. What I like about his version is that it comes close to the version I made in my head when reading the book at first. He isn't solely a roaring wildling in this series (nor a feminine type of romantic jelly pudding), he balances the loyal side and caring softness, deceptive/deceived, the vengeful, bitterness, ruthlessness and a lot of other things all in one character. Even in the way he walks, dresses, looks, sneers, breaths. He morphed into Heathcliff, that sort of acting I like, Edward Norton does it too, sort of an intense personality change. Can tell Tom knew exactly what heathcliff was about, it's not a traditional love story, Wuthering Heights, They are an obsessed crazy couple, at times annoying and repulsive with their jabbering on about soul connections and drama, but it is that love/hate thing that makes it so powerful. They are a pretty destructive appalling pair but have something irresistible and I think Tom Hardy and his misses who played Cathy just portrayed that the best I've seen so far, but that's just one opinion. It's not just his gorgeous face haha, it's his magnetic acting I like best here, there is just danger coming out of every cell of him when he plays it yet something magnetic. Even after reading the book, the only person who stays in your mind and came really off the pages is Heathcliff. Not Cathy."

F: "Well as long as you enjoy it, that's all that really matters isn't it. He's obviously magnificent in that case but he doesn't look like a gyspsy does he.                                                                                                                                                   Me: "Heathcliff, yes a gypsy and dark, so does TOM look!! :) He looks exotic, he can look both gypsy and gentleman. No you are totally off here for this one time haha.  Had to look Ian McShane up but he looks like a wonky second hand car dealer. He doesn't look manly enough in the face either for heathcliff, not strong enough features. Yeh I'll stop here, before I sound like a teenage groupie. 

I don't see Hardy as upper class whatsoever, but he did go to a good education and stuff. But in interviews, his language, his accent, none of that used to strike me as upper class. More a rough diamond thing and a loner and someone who used to get into trouble all his youth before finally dedicating himself heart and soul to something. Not a rich kid by any means, although he of course managed to get his study funded some way. But that fluency and untraceable thing he has might help him morph into all these roles. I don't think he can be type casted, he plays the whole spectrum. From villain and drug addict to upper class, he is an all round actor and somehow manages to escape for me to play always himself. Like Michael Douglas is always Michael Douglas (although a good actor i think), and so are many actors. Christian Bale is like Tom Hardy to me, grafter actor, stays away from the Hollywood clique a bit, intense, loner, so is Ed Norton, I like Joaquin Phoenix for the same reason. Daniel Day Lewis..  I will have to check McShain out then!
Actress wise, hmm lets see. I used to like Juliette Lewis, Winona Ryder. Kate Winslet is not ideal for me to watch looks wise but she has done some stellar acting, like in Mildred Pierce and Revolutionary Road. Also liked Romy Schneider (my dads favorite actress btw) and Helena Bonham Carter (love her quirkiness though)." 

F: "Yes all those actors you mentioned are excellent. Juliette Lewis, Danny Day-Lewis (very posh) superb. Her dad was in a lot of Clint Eastwood films which makes her even cooler by association. 
Hardy seems to me to be a very likeable and sound person. I think not all actors can morph into anybody. Day-Lewis is a rare example of that. He can be a retard or a terrifying 19th century New York underworld figure. An oil magnate. Amazing ... but he is nuts and you'd have to be to pull that off well. Hardy is the strong silent troubled type. To me. He'd be great in one of those old cinema verite things."

Me: "Yes i agree! All those actors I think who are the best at truly diving into other characters, seem to have an understated, low key persona in real life. yes a bit troubled, most had to deal with addictions I think even, well a lot of those ones I mentioned, maybe not Ed Norton though. I saw him play first in a thriller with Richard Gere, Primal Fear. As a 14 year old or so in the cinema for the second time alone with a friend (first time was to see Tom Cruise in The Firm!). And the chilling acting from Norton in Primal Fear was really captivating, I was in awe. He does the classic turn around thing there, pretending to be a stutter and a fool, then turns out a cunning psychopath and the way he acted that, never overstated but just a sudden change of shine on the face and in the eyes, a change in the voice, was just terrific I felt back then and thrilling. Yeh true I saw a lot of Daniel Day lewis movies, I'm sure he is troubled and dark and narky in real life but he manages to portray such a range of characters and emotions (loved There will be Blood), maybe you need to be a bit troubled indeed, experienced in all that, to pour from such a well. To make it seem believable. You need intelligence for it surely and a lot of sensitivity and observational skills! Totally switching the ego off, or you get actors playing themselves, which is truly a pest and a plague if you ask me. 
You hear sometimes how actors have a hard time stepping out of a role. I watch Mad Men, a US series about advertisement in the 50's-70s and the main character, Jon Hamm, plays an alcoholic, manipulative liar of a charmer in it and he does it so well, he has become Donald Draper in real life; has to go to rehab now for his roaring alcohol addiction and said in interviews that after 7 years or so of playing Don, the character hooked onto him. He brought him home at night, couldn't shake him off anymore. I can imagine that. 

Tom Hardy met his girl on the set of Wuthering heights and she said they had only just met and she went to his trailer to go through some scenes and he turned around and he was Bronson, a role he had played before. That he loved to scare people with it but she said he could one minute be Tom and the next, WHAM, Bronson. Maybe that makes an excellent actor, maybe it comes close to multiple personality disorder, only one where you are in control, and not the disorder. To be able to ooze someone else by just your look and facial expression and body language, he didn't even need to speak for it. That's class. I don't see Gemma Arterton doing that, and what is worse, I don't see a brilliant fascinating personality shining through in her acting. I'm not sure she is even that interesting as a person, I mean to say. Maybe she is, I just don't see it in the acting, yet. She is drop dead gorgeous though and surely a nice person, but not a fascinating one to me, whereas Juliette Lewis is. She has that little something, sullen, sarcastic, witty, different.  Gary Oldman has that too, it's clear he must be fascinating as a person. 
Hardy comes across extremely likable in interviews yes and down to earth and funny and a bit raw, all good. He has done a couple where he tells how he turned his petty crime life around btw. Interesting. He goes for a good script, not necessarily Hollywood blockbusters. 

Oh another actor I was mad for was David Carradine, in Kill Bill.  Can't really be too thrilled about the likes of Bradley Cooper & Co though. He turns me off somehow. Same with leonardo Di Caprio. I do like Kevin Bacon and Liam Neeson (hot!) and Clive Owen (hotter!). Clive Owen looks like a darkie as well. Nice in The Knick. Same goes for Mads Mikkelsen!! Danish top class actor. I might have brought it up before actually, there are some movies he is in, they are fantastic. The Hunt ('Jagten' in Danish) is a must see really. Tour de force of acting and thrill and the ending is fascinating and I would really love to talk more about that, what others make of it. Gripping movie and stellar acting. Also a touching movie is A Royal Affair. True historic event also, but very romantic and sweeping and funny too. Mads solely carries those 2 movies although the actress in A Royal affair is nice too. She is very pretty and has a very sexy voice and way of acting, but understated, I'll add a pic. It's a bit of a period piece thing but trust me, very captivating and well above just a decent flick. Stayed with me for quite some time, those 2 movies., although The Hunt is the better of the two by all means I think. A great loss even to not have seen it, it's thát good, that gripping and harrowing and compelling of an experience. 

I can even imagine that for such actors, playing a role can be draining. You give something, to create something. You deplete some well of energy for it and I'm sure it also takes something from you. People often find it artsy farty exaggeration when a painter/an artist acts all possessed and feels drained and exhausted after some marathon painting session. Pretentious BS. But I've seen in first hand many a time. Even painting, if you do it with heart and soul, and it gets you into that zone of concentration where time is no more, and you get the frenzied state; that takes something from you as well. They portray something like a writer does it with words or an actor with a performance and when you see that done well and the end product is touching me in some way or inspires me, then I can feel admiration and an interest in the maker of it too. 

April 19th 2015

Here are some pictures of a little trip today to the coast. Was so lucky that the neighbor borrowed her car, which is brand new and modern with amazing blasting airco. My own car is being repaired at the moment, the air conditioning broke down and I have been eternally blessed and grateful by one amazing friend who sent me the money needed for the repair. Wouldn't even allow me to pay it back. Thank you dear! 
It was very windy and cool at the coast so I got through the day only mediocre red. Had a good time just walking around and viewing people and little stands. I made a bunch of pictures.

Oh and I will start with Celexa tonight!

I am reading Lady Chatterley's Lover now. It's not bad, some awkward passages here and there, but also some good bits and some good quotes, for instance:

It's no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You've got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they've got to come. You can't force them.” 

There's lots of good fish in the sea...maybe...but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea.” 

Obscenity only comes in when the mind despises and fears the body, and the body hates and resists the mind.” 

I liked the quotes! The style is timid and stylized perhaps but the thing they say in it is real and true I think. Like the book too, not quite sure why it ever caused a stir at the time, it's all very modest nowadays. So far to me it is more about the struggle with feeling unfulfilled, -boredom is not even it-, more a sense of emptiness and meaningless and superficiality in life. How do you lead a life that seems to feel worth while? It's different for everybody. Some feel totally fulfilled with one lifestyle and for others that same lifestyle would be torture. Guess everybody somehow wants to feel some burning passion for something in life and these 2 main characters, their lives are vacuums and empty and out of touch with anything. The way he describes how she gets involved with some of those men made me cringe a bit, not all too realistic to me from the perspective of a female (obv written by a man I mean), but some other parts I find very good. And it is interesting to hear all the grievances one might have today with society echoed in this book from the 1920's I assume it is. Same problems, same idea of cultural decline, people being superficial and materialistic and escaping in Charleston dance in this case, institutions like marriage and love and other things turning vacant and meaningless yadayadayada. Might be an eternal complaint.

Oh I am feeling absolutely ghastly after taking Celexa, 10 mg last night!! I have slept no more than 3 hours, despite also taking my remeron which usually knocks me out for 9 hours of peaceful and deep sleep. Am having a gnawing sore feeling in my stomach and most of all, dizzy plus red hot face! Seems like my body temperature went up, I'm sweating and my face is blasting out the heat. In comparison, the past 3 days were a oasis of calm skin again. I am not happy with Celexa one bit. I know it is not a proper trial when you only give a drug a few days of testing, or one day haha, but I can't sleep and am feeling burned up. Somehow this doesn't feel right for me.

Then my friend wrote me just today:

" hope celexa helps you, of course. I always wish the best for you, but  I do feel that long term, antidepressants are making you worse. I see this in most of the forum members who go the antidepressant path. In addition, serotonin is  inflammatory, so why would anyone want more of that? Consider carcinoid syndrome. The effect of that is too much serotonin."

Ok Update II on Celexa; after a shitty night with hardly any sleep, sore stomach, initial sweating and redness attack overnight, I was already done with the medication before I began. But today... I have been pretty pale. Cool cheeks too. Pale enough for people to comment on it. I feel pretty awful though, tired yet agitated and hyped up. I might just continue with it for a few more days at least and see how I fare... (the pics here above are all from this morning, when straight out of bed, it significantly calmed down soon after). 
This is my face now. I do feel sleep deprived yet extremely hyperactive and agitated somehow now, not a great feeling.

After my friend warned that serotonin (Celexa is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, causing for more serotonin to flow around in the brain, so to speak) can cause inflammation, I looked it up. This is what I found in a very quick search just yet:

Serotonin is involved in inflammation, it’s released by mast cells along with histamine in response to tissue disrupting agents such as estrogen, estrogen also acts to increase tryptophan hydroxylase an enzyme involved in serotonin synthesis (Hiroi et al. 2006). Serotonin causes vasospasm and vasoconstriction (constriction of blood vessels) it promotes clotting. Serotoinin increases vascular permeability (Majno and Palade 1961), causes inflammation in the intestine (Bischoff 2008), elevated serotonin is a marker of appendicitis (Kalra et al. 1997).
Increased serotonin is involved in various inflammatory gut disorders including  IBS, coeliac, and Crohn’s (Spiller 2007). Endotoxin causes the release of serotonin (Davis et al. 1961).
Unsuprisingly given that it induces inflammation, oedema and leakiness (Sharma etal.1990), serotonin has some other nasty effects, as expected in a bio-energetic model where “energy and structure are interdependent at every level” (maybe I should stop using this quote, but really, Ray is definitely onto something very significant in this seemingly simple statement), serotonin increases glycolysis, increasing lactate production, obviously suggesting inhibition of mitochondrial respiration (Assouline-Cohen et al. 1998), since it promotes glycolysis it also decreases ATP production (Koren-Schwartzer et al. 1994), and (Mahler and Humoller 1968). Another study found that serotonin induced swelling in mitochondria (Watanabe et al. 1969), this study also found that ATP reversed the swelling, this would appear to support Gilbert Ling’sAssociation-Induction model, suggesting that ATP and serotonin are acting through opposing bio-energetic means.

I might need to do some more research though.

April 17th 2015

(Skin pics below) I've had a rough week but finally things have calmed down the past days. Very strange experience, maybe a bit intimate to write about here, but it was so terribly intertwined with my rosacea flare that I guess it's better to write about it anyway. 

I was over date. And not by a couple of days, but by 2,5 weeks. Even though I knew I couldn't be pregnant I still tested and all negative of course. My skin was super red and flushed 24/7 by then. It felt unusually flared, things that normally don't trigger my flares and moments of the day when I am normally doing good, were all totally off now. It made me worry about very premature menopause, as I have been through a lot of medical tests and hospital visits and was toldthen that my ovarian reserve was unusually low, most likely a result of the ongoing inflammation in my body and several autoimmune diseases. My grandmother had my mother when she was 46, had 7 kids, my mother had 3, nobody had an issue with this. Except me of course :) Anyway, she said that with such a low AMH score (Anti Mullarian Hormone), it was very likely to her that I was heading for premature menopause, so well... there you go, be prepared. Could be at 40 or 45 or even later btw, she didn't give any dates or time scales. Not great news but it felt like she was talking about someone else so I mostly put it beside me. But now it came flying right back in my face. What if????
I emailed with some female rosacea friends about it, here are a few abstracts from this communication:

Hi X

sorry for long silences. Am feeling so awful. Face is on fire nearly constantly and had the scare of my life, missed an entire cycle. I was told 3 years ago that I have low ovarian reserve and might hit menopause prematurely. Freaked out it might have already started now! Will take weeks and weeks to figure it out with blood tests as I don't even know where I'm at at my cycle now. 
Do you already encounter (peri)menopause? Do you know if rosacea gets much worse from it? 

A friend replied:
"If you are in peri menopause, which can happen in 30s/not heard of low ovarian reserve; just know looking back on it in my 30s is when it gets a bit rollercoaster like. Some months too much estrogen and other months not enuf.  First you will get your blood results. They will tell you if your estrogen levels are low. Most women figure it out because they feel depressed, unmotivated, low
focus, hair loses body, lose sex drive-- u get the idea and you already know all this. But with some of the meds u take maybe you don't feel the symptoms so much or the depression is hard to disassociate from the repercussions of sad rosacea life: for lack of better term.  Not uncommon to miss a period in your 30s. And it could be stress. That resolves itself. 
What to do? Are you eating very clean?  No cheats? Do u, can u take a good magnesium supplement? Can u take zinc supplement?
Can u take vitamin b12 supplement? Can u uptake your vit c in foods? Have u talked about this with Chu and r u absolutely positive that you can't take hormone replacement at a very low dose? If indeed you are low. They make doses tiny now. 
Yes. Your hormones, even mine on hormone replacement affect my skin. I use a patch of estrogen at a high level and progesterone pill every night. So many posters on the forum say no no this is bad. 
Not for me. I feel better and it stabilized my skin. 
Do not panic. Problems = Solutions. 
Nutrition, hormone balance with HRT or herbs; again with your sensitivities and meds Idk about herbs. Listen, you know nothing yet. Just do your best to bring down the flame. Let me know how u are doing. 

Me: Thanks for that dear. Yes I will ask for hormone tests. Will have them done soon. I also had 2 bouts of sinus infections lately. It only just cleared, i never treated it though, no antibiotics. Not sure that can be related. I hope that total menopause will eventually bring some relief... Just not in the next decade or two please :) 
I worry that i'll be even worse off in ten years from now, as I have had the rosacea since age 19 already, so much vascular damage.. I read up on HRT but if you  didn't have a hysterectomy they say online that you can not just take estrogen, but need to combine it with progesterone. I had that one for fertility issues and its the worst for my skin, i can't take progesterone, and just taking estrogen is contraindicated apparently due to increased cancer risk... hmmm.
Just found out my old cars airconditioning stopped working. So will have to get it repaired and wait first to make enough money for that so I'm stuck literally. Went to the pharmacy in the car this morning and the sun was shining and was scarlet red when i got out, and on fiiiire.

And me again:

Hi dear

I slept and dreamed about being in Newcastle actually, was on the bus with friends and I was so red and flushed. Was probably because i am bright red and flushed for real and all through the night. I dreamed that I was with an old school mate and we got in a bus and I don't know where we were heading to (but we were definitely on the mainland of Europe!), but we missed our stop and the next stop was Newcastle haha. Bit disorientating. We got out there and I showed her around and knew where to go now and was looking for a market where they sold hats, as my face was burning and I needed a hat for the sun. Then all of a sudden my mum and sister where there too and walked around to see some highlights there and I suddenly had no more shoes on and it was sunny. Then we headed back to the bus and I saw a water basin which said drinkable water and you could also rinse your feet, so I assumed there were more people in town with no shoes. Strange dream. 
My face is such a red swollen mess, i am pretty anxious at the moment. What can it be, what can it be... hate it when I loose that little control I still felt I had. Maybe too much sunbathing the past weeks (always cover my face!) and vit D, but I suspect this missing period and hormone changes, am so sensitive to them.
Been reading up on rosacea and HRT all evening. Will ask doc for blood tests,..
Not sure what else i can do then just sit in the fan with cold packs again for now, my cheeks are near purple.  I will ask the doctor for blood tests to see what the state of my hormones are now. Progesterone in the mirena kicked my rosacea into 4th gear...And then I used it a little bit during pregnancy attempts and it was poison for my rosacea, i wont take it. Will ask for estrogen patches then if blood tests turn out to show menopause has started, which I'm still not so sure of tbh. As I said, 3,5 years ago they thoroughly tested me in hospital for the pregnancy losses and infertility and said I had an AMH of 0,8 which meant hardly any ovarian reserve and that I would be soon heading for early menopause, but they gave no time frame for that. Also, it is a relatively new test, not all doctors trust it. Nor the interpretation methods. 

Another dear friend replied:

"Sweet baby,
I never missed a period until full menopause. I had completely regular periods until I was 56.
So, to recap:

Flushing all my life
Bad flushing at 48
Terrible flushing by 54
Full periods until age 56
Periods stopped at 57
Flushing is worse than ever despite being housebound in air conditioning that never goes over 17 degrees.   
I started oral birth control estrogen at 53.    Initially it worked so well I thought I was cured.
Then a few months later,  the androgens in the pill kicked in,  and I was bad again.    So I switched to just the estrogen patch instead of the oral contraceptive pill.  That worked, ... until it didn't.   And it gave me a massive blood clot inches from my heart that nearly killed me. 
Stopping menstruation did not bring the relief I had hoped it would. It's as though perimenopause flipped a switch in me,  making me now a perennially heavy flusher. 
I've watched in amazement as my life went from full and fun  to the life of a granny,  watching everything go by while I stay on the sidelines. I hardly even drive any more,  because when it's over 16 degrees outside,  I cannot afford a fender bender or to wait beside the car while the police come if I am in an accident. Plus I now take round-the-clock pain pills, and I'd hate to have them in my bloodstream if I had an accident. 
So yes, it sucks.    And it sucks despite having a lovely husband

This is the best hand fan I've found in years of searching:
If you google tiny tornado hand fan, you may well find some near you. It's reliable and puts out enough of a breeze that it saves me if I am in too warm a situation. Do you want me to send you some? I'd be happy to pack some up and mail them to you. They take "D" batteries, one, and I"m not sure if those are used in Europe. Sorry I'm so dense but I got sick before I could travel, so I don't' know many details about other countries. I buy these fans ten at at time and always have two in my purse in case one fails. Maybe they'd help you. 

I took just estrogen despite having my uterus but my OBGYN was not happy about it.   It builds and builds the uterine  lining which does not shed without progesterone.    But progesterone is a killer for my face. 

You are so much younger,  
Love, X"

You cant really explain this type of hell to anyone unless they saw it or experienced it first hand, can you.. :(
I think I would just take the extra estrogen in my case and well, hope i wont get terrible cancers.

The DAY I am to see my GP, of course haha, I have gotten my period of course. Oh my... Never been so happy to see that one coming :) Doc was understanding and willing to let me do the tests, if I told him which tests I wanted haha, he admitted not being at home really into the details of gynecology. So asked for FSH, estradiol, LH and AMH. All fine with him. I had my blood work done today, it was cloudy luckily and had cold packs with me in the car, have to wait a week for them all to come back..
Oh and a rosacean who has written me for some time about his very aggressive facial flushing, came with a fantastic tip. He already used remeron and clonidine with some success but now he had added 20 mg at night of the antidepressant Celexa (Citalopram) and his flushing nearly stopped he wrote! He was very positive. So well, that meant I want to try it too now, as we have a similar flushing and rosacea type from what I an tell from his descriptions. Doc was willing to let me try it but only at 10 mg at night, hmm. Well, better than nothing. I will try it after the weekend and see if it helps with my flushing and keep you fully updated on it all. 

Oh I so wished you could put your hat on and go out.. But I know what you mean... Often just one little thing can ruin our whole flushing for the day :( 
I love old series, the Tudor times, all about history basically but every time I see people being burned on the stake I think; at least they will die quickly. We have the burning every single day and night if we are unlucky. Burning from the inside out. You couldn't even imagine what that feels like unless you had it. My mother now has hot flashes due to her menopause and she finally understands what a burning face does to you, even though hers cool down quickly again. It must be one of the ingenious torture methods the devil could have invented.. 

That handheld fan looks great! I had some in the past but the batteries ran out so quickly, they were useless. But I will try to get one of those now! Also nice for in the train or plane! 

And last great reply with advice:

Well, one missed cycle does not necessarily mean you are approaching the menopausal years. A body under stress can miss a cycle, but you must already be aware of this.
In your earlier 30's is very early to be starting this phase. However, I too started the transition much earlier than my mother, and my doctor explained that this can happen in women who have chronic health issues. The constant stress of the body seems to trigger it. Wears out the machinery, perhaps?  Perhaps nature determines that ill people are not a good choice for  producing offspring and so it allows the  systems to fail? I don't know, but like you, I was freaked out too. Age of decay and all that. And of course, fear of massively increased flushing. I am pretty sure it has reached that stage for me, now too, although I have  not had more testing. No period for some time. 
A few months ago, I felt my flushing increased in the form of bad flushing and I did feel some minor heat waves in the mid evening. But then it suddenly stopped. Fingers crossed, it won't return.
Of course, as you know, it can be hard to determine what might have been hormonally induced and what might have been my regular flushing.

I also got another email with interesting advice for rosacea treatment:

There is some hopeful news for you about flushing, rosacea and inflammation in general.
I have been running my latest experiment for about 5 weeks now and so far, I am very impressed. I feel almost certain it will help you too. Honestly, I really feel this will benefit you and the results should present quickly.


Have you been following the latest thread on this topic? I have been taking this for about 5 weeks and it has SIGNIFICANTLY, calmed my face. PLUS, seeing my newly returned volcanic flushing has  virtually disappeared, I  wonder if it has been helpful for any hormonally induced flushing too.
As you know I do A LOT of research of my own, as well as spending much time in discussion with scientists these days.
Another scientist, Prof Ray Peat, has a particular interest in inflammation and hormones and he is a big fan of niacinamide. Basically, it has helps stressed cells function better. Our faces are VERY stressed. You have noted in the past that when you gobble lots of carbs your face calms and this confuses you, given the fact it is pretty well known, a lowish carb diet if favourable to  rosacea.
The problem is when you gobble carbs, PARTICULARLY STARCH, you suffer the consequences, hours, or days later, as starch feeds abnormal bowel flora. Carbs do help relieve cellular stress, but so does Niacinamide and it is also anti inflammatory and a bunch of other things.
There is  a downside, at high doses, in theory it MIGHT prevent the body from fighting an infection, but on the other hand, in very high doses, it has been shown to fight infection and viruses.
So, the jury is still out on that. Meanwhile there are numerous studies and  reports by physicians/patients, that moderate dosing improves mitochondrial stress and I believe that is how it is helping me.
It also helps wound repair and  improves skin barrier function.
My face looks much better now, barring the brimonidine damaged areas, which have numerous visible capillaries. My upper right cheek in particular is a mess of vessels. If only they would disappear, .....:(
Now my face is much calmer, I have been able to apply my niacinamide gel in full strength 4%, and I have seen further improvements. It isn't perfect and I start to worsen if I miss a dose of oral niacinamide, but compared to how I was previously, so far I am pleased and intend to continue.
I will have my usual blood tests for  immune function soon. Liver enyzmes included as sometimes, niacinamide can cause an elevation, but it is not considered dangerous. It goes away with a lower dose or stopping of product.

As soon as hormones stabilized, so did skin (last 4 pics is flush free pain free skin again, the first ones during flair and somehow it looks a lot less bad in the pictures, but it was bad enough for people to comment on it in the shops :'(

Oh and in the meantime I did distract myself a bit with discussions... Writing for my uni work on art critics and some discussions with friends over totally random topics, here is an abstract of two of such topics.

It seems there actually are blue eyed black people, But it is very rare. But it seems to have to do with a gene mutation, which switches off the melanin production, which normally makes the eye brown. Without it, the iris reflects light which apparently makes it appear blue. But because brown eyes are dominant and blue recessive genetically, you need to have been given the mutation from both sides of your parents family, either lurking in their DNA or active. 
Back in the day, everyone had brown eyes, because of a gene called OCA2. This gene tells our cells to make lots of pigment in the front part of our eye. Lots of pigment there means brown eyes. Then sometime a few thousand years ago, someone developed a small glitch in their DNA. This glitch was caused either by damage from the outside or from some mistake made by this person's own cells. This change made the OCA2 gene stop working in the eye. When OCA2 isn't working, it doesn't make any pigment. And when no pigment gets made in the front part of the eye, you end up with blue eyes*. Except this person undoubtedly had brown eyes. Because this person still had one working OCA2 gene.
We have two copies of most of our genes -- one from each parent. Since it is very unlikely that two glitches will happen in the same gene at the same time, this person probably had one working and one nonworking OCA2 gene. The working copy could still do the job of making pigment on its own. So this person had brown eyes. But the blue version of OCA2 was now released into human DNA through this person's children. At some point two people who each carried a blue OCA2 met and had a child. This child happened to get a blue OCA2 from each parent and so had no working OCA2 genes. The end result was no pigment and so blue eyes*.
This blue-eyed person must have been special somehow because the blue OCA2 quickly swept through the European population. Soon there were places where blue eyed people outnumbered brown eyed ones.
These blue eyed people established themselves and spread. And, for various reasons, they tended to have children with only each other.
So there were pockets of blue eyed people in a world of brown eyes. When populations started to
move around more easily, there started to be a blending of blue and brown eyed people. And then brown eyed people started having kids with blue eyed people. Since brown beats out blue (brown is dominant, blue is recessive), the blue eyes started to fade into the background. The same number of blue OCA2 genes were there it was just that they were now hidden more of the time.

If this blue eye in black person can be traced back to genes from a Caucasian relative somewhere down the line, then that must mean that this black person must have this gene thing happening in both his parents family. Because if it is only the one side of the family, his eyes would never turn blue as brown eye genes will always override blue genes. So by some miracle, this recessive blue eye gene should have come together, from both parents into the one dark kid. It is like black people who have suddenly one pale skinned kid. It happens, and they say it also comes from some lingering, dormant Caucasian gene from an ancestor, which will be passed on even if it doesn't show itself, until in some offspring further down the line the circumstances are just right for it to show and be switched on. But I would assume those perfect situations mean a match with the other parents gene pool with similar lingering dormant recessive genes, to fuse and wham, there you go. But rare.. And since the chances even then are rare, they typically have normal (I mean, as expected) looking siblings. 

A geneticist gave also some other reasons though for blue eyes in black people, indeed it includes albinism.

*Caucasian relatives in your past
*A rare disease that makes a person an albino only in their eyes
*A new mutation
*Waardenburg syndrome (A common way to end up with two different 


There have been questions in Dutch parliament this week about the bank bonuses. The state saved big banks, like ABN Amro here (and they actually took over that bank), and made agreements on bonuses but nevertheless these bonuses are sky high again and parliament members were angry and asked critical questions. They asked things like: How can you live with yourselves? How can you have gone back to such high bonuses already? But these bankers, they seemed to live in another dimension. Said things like: "Talent on the work floor doesn't just come out of nowhere, To keep talent you need to compete with international prices". MP: "As if you can't find proper employees for 150,000 euro a year??" 
Bank: "But 20% of the top workforce has been eliminated already!" MP: "But why do you keep comparing yourself with that international banking world?" MP: "I have to say I found all your answers shocking, and I do not even want to understand in what sort of a universe you live". 

Not sure if is the same in the UK or US but here in Holland you can't even technically call them immoral, some commentators stated; they are amoral according to them. They don't even have to break the law, as the law was giving them all this space to roam and create havoc. The bankers say: Well I stay within the margins of the law. I'm like a cap driver and the sign says 120 km an hour and I stay within that limitation, so leave me alone. And we as a society say; yes but you are part of society, we saved you, you have a moral obligation. The lowest incomes pay the highest price for cleaning up your shit, you should not want to look for the absolute boundaries, but show some restraint and dignity here. Whereas banks think; listen, here are the rules, as long as I stick to them, that should be enough! So more amoral than immoral in that respect, even though I would still deem it immoral, but technically speaking here in Holland it isn't. And banks here have stock holders behind them, who push them to go to the stock exchange and push them to make high profits. Different worlds. 

So they both come from different corners and points of view here. And this debate about the bonuses

almost feel like some distraction maneuver; they are just one symptom but have not that much to do with the deeper causes of the whole financial crisis and why the banks let the world economy nearly crash entirely. Bonuses as a symbol for the immoral bankers (like the seal is for Greenpeace and that polar bear for other world saving orgs). A way to mobilize the public opinion and the press, as everybody understands bonuses and jumps on it.  'See? We MP's do worry about the banks, we have a public hearing about the bonuses'. But nothing is done about the underlying issues. Banks can still roam free. Will still be saved if they fuck it up. Banks also having become uncontrollably large, and nobody oversees them anymore. Large, international war vessels they are now. Nobody has control or responsibility. Like some empty cockpit. They can't go bankrupt basically and they have these huge interest conflict aspects. 

This bank brings Worldonline to the stock market and then an employee of that same bank advises investors whether or not it is a good investment! That is all legal now. How can that be? All these complex and manipulative products they are allow to sell still. All sorts of temptations within those banks still and the government tries to control that here with regulations, but instead of bonuses they
should talk about entirely new banking systems. New banks, small controllable banks, exit of big world wide monster truck banks. When they are small enough, they can go bankrupt and can no longer blackmail us in times they are heading towards bankruptcy. They also have to dismantle all those activities with conflict of interest. That used to be the case actually at Wall Street. Has to be implemented again. Also ban all those highly complex products which no commoner understands and make simple transparent products again. 
And the person who takes the risk should once again also carry the risk, and the consequences. In Dutch the word bonus has a shadow word; malus. Risky bank actions used to be done in partnerships, and if things went wrong, the partner would be personalty responsible.  Now when it goes wrong you have the shareholders, then the tax payers, then the money machine of the ECB to cover for it. But when the risk pays out, then the banker is The man and walks away with the bonus. 
And none of that has changed in Dutch banks after the crisis in 2008. 
Our banks here operate worldwide whereas the politic operates on a national level. So in some ways we are not a nation with banks, but banks with a nation. If the country doesn't behave, the banks say; then we will leave. Go to another country. If they don't behave, we don't say; you should go. 
That also seems a huge problem in England! The City, those banks dictate the rules and keep you in lock-down don't they...

But to cut those big national banks up in smaller snippets is also an issue because then they will be out competed by the big international banks, GP Morgan, deutsche bank etc. As a country you then have no more banks, no say internationally and you can still end up in a financial crisis.  
Perhaps it would help if the media would not be so biased (I know, this is all an oxymoron. Or.. is it a contradictio in terminis? or a paradox? I'm bad at this, you probably know better). So, a media which isn't mainly focusing on what david said to Tony and how they dealt with the criticism of Ed. But more, informing the public which parties or states people actually might (might..) have any intentions to curtails these big companies and banks. You don't really hear that, it all floats on this interpersonal entertainment level. They should ask perhaps; why are the laws, of which everybody knows they should be implemented, blocked both internationally and nationally? Who is behind that, which lobbies and which parties are most willing to tackle any of that. 

Tony Blair, the social democrat, gets 2,5 million from JP Morgan for being a financial adviser, ten times what he earned as a PM.  That stuff should get abolished. No politician should be allowed to get any financial function/job after leaving politics. Because as a politician they have a strong vote in regulations for this sector, it's asking for corruption.  It blocks the discussion in England whether or not a bank like JP Morgan should even exist there or not. Of course the Tories would never suggest or support such a law. 

A friend replied: I wondered what this semantic-splitting difference, if any, could be between immoral and amoral.

1. An amoral person does not care about morality (what is right or what is wrong) mainly because he doesn’t understand or doesn’t know what morality is (to begin with).
2. An immoral person is someone who is doing things contrary to morals.

It's all a bit of smokescreen isn't it. Hitler was amoral really. He believed passionately in what he was doing was right and took the necessary steps.  He wasn't a mindless thug in the lowest terms. However it is generally agreed that he was evil. Technically then that's wrong? and likewise if laws are perniciously changed to accommodate these misdeeds they're not misdeeds then? 

Me: It's all nitpicking on the square millimeter yes. Amoral/immoral. Just zooming in on terminology. It's not important in the big scheme of things, but it is very important in a law case. Might stem from that with me, we were so trained to dissect every word in law class, because often one word could mean the difference between winning or losing a case. Words like 'unlawfully', or 'knowingly', causality. 'Intentional' is always very important in criminal law. You need to prove those words, often full court cases revolve around proving one word. Was something premeditated and planned, or a spur of the moment thing, makes the difference between murder and homicide often. So when you look at immoral and amoral with that definition screening thing in the back of the mind, well you end up here haha, spitting into two words for 3 emails now already from different countries' concept of these words  :)

I looked the words up in English explanations and there they describe it differently from the Dutch explanations.. just as you said. Confusing this: "Both have to do with right and wrong, but amoral means having no sense of either, like a fish, but the evil immoral describes someone who knows the difference, doesn't care, and says "mwah ha ha" while twirling a mustache."

But I also found this in English, which is closer to the definition given in dictionaries in Holland, and has less to do with deliberately or unknowingly being evil:
1. Deliberately violating accepted principles of right and wrong
2 Not adhering to ethical or moral principles
"they considered colonialism immoral"

Lacking any sense of moral standards or principles
"a completely amoral person"

In Dutch: Immoreel: strijdig met de goede zeden  (in conflict with the good norms)
Amoreel: zonder morele preoccupatie
 (without a moral preoccupation)
Amoreel’ betekent niet ‘kwaad’ of ‘slecht’ maar heeft de betekenis van ‘zich aan elke morele benadering onttrekkend’, ‘niet in categorieën van moraliteit te vatten’. Impliciet wordt verondersteld dat dat- of diegene waarvan of van wie het gezegd wordt toch minstens over het vermogen moet beschikken om moreel te kunnen zijn. (an amoral person separates himself from all morality and (whereas) it should be expected that this person has the ability and capacity to be moral).

So there seemed to be a difference in them in this: that immoral (as I read it in Dutch anyway) has to do with doing something that is considered wrong within the boundaries of the current norm. That norm is linked to time and place. So immorality is not a given thing, it can change, the meaning of being immoral, depending on where you are, at what time in history, as it has to do with crossing the boundaries of the norm. And the norm is a changeable thing. So in this case of the Dutch banks, if there are national laws allowing a bank to drive 120 km an hour (metaphor for in this case give bonuses of such and such amount, or take risks this and this high with savers money), and the bank does all that but stays within the legal boundaries, then it is hard to call them immoral (from a word technical, lawyer kind of perspective). Based on that narrow definition of immorality of course. Because they stayed within the norm, given to them by the government.
But that doesn't mean they are not amoral: which would be devout of any morality, any general sense of good and evil; despite there being weird laws which tell you that you can drive 120 km/h in a housing zone where kids play, when someone doesn't feel the natural urge to slow down anyway, despite those laws, they would be amoral. But immoral would be harder to prove, as they stuck to the norm that was given (the maximum speed limit). Yet, despite that law, it would be wrong to drive that fast wouldn't it? You'd expect anyone to have a working brain and decide for themselves that the risks are too high for that. That they need to slow down.
Banks never felt that urge, they work right on the boundaries of the law, of the maximum they can do without becoming illegal (and I always thought they went far over this line all the time, and were illegal mostly, which would make them both amoral ánd immoral).  But seems now they stuck mostly to the norm (although yes you are right, not always, the still fuck around with taxes and illegal shit and they abuse their power to influence law makers), but even when they do stick to the boundaries of the law, they are still crooks for not having some conscience and no morality about their ways. But the same goes for the law makers. I was a little bit surprised that at least in Holland there weren't much tighter laws right after the crisis! As we now own one of the biggest banks and the rest are in serious debt so the government had the chance to really severely tighten the laws but they didn't and I wasn't as aware of that, thought they had.

It's not about amoral being evil and immoral being naughty, I think at least.. But I might be wrong. It has to do with an almost law-like tight definition, where one is linked to the norm, and the other is not about the norm.

For instance; if your mother tells you that you can steal all the sweets from your sister and eat them in front of her, then the norm would be that you are allowed to do that. Or better, if ALL the mothers in the area, or even the country, would say this is allowed to do, then it would be a norm. If you then actually would do that thing, she couldn't call you immoral. Because you were given a norm (yes you can take and eat it), and you stuck with that norm. But it would still make you amoral; you should have known better. You should have had some in built morality system telling you; well mum can say that easily but what would it do to my sister and how fair is it actually. If you have no sense of remorse or regulation on yourself, then that would reek towards amoral. A general sense of what is right and wrong, regardless of what anyone tells you is the norm of the day/age/time. So amoral would be much more linked to those universal concepts of right and wrong we discussed some time ago. No matter in what part of the world you live, you'd expect anyone to deep down just know that killing others or raping them or something like that is not right normally. Even though there are laws in some countries allowing you to do that. On a universal human level, it should still feel wrong to do that. So that is a bit like amorality.
It is always amoral to kill and rape. But in some desert places it might not be immoral to kill and rape under certain circumstances, as the law and the norm allow for it to happen. 

Or maybe I take it allll out of context here haha and am going overboard on wrong assumptions. Sorry for wasting your time then :)
Hitler seemed amoral to me indeed. Not immoral in his own country, as he set his own norm and law. But for international law and other countries he acted both amoral and immoral. So technically speaking the distinction between the two words has less to do with passionate conviction about it being right or wrong. Generally accepted that he was evil.. well, depends who you ask that doesn't it. There are plenty of people who have good excuses for his actions and think he wasn't evil, by their standards of morality. It's all relative and depending on your concept of right and wrong. But amorality assumes that there is a universal, international, timeless concept of evil, based on the way we humans tend to think. So he was certainly amoral. Yes he changed laws so he remained legal with what he did. Therefore terms as legal and illegal won't usually tell you very much about how good or evil someone's actions are. You need to know all about the context first. So yes I agree with you on that one too. We really think the same here but explain it differently. You freely and loose of terminology and me doing the lawyer thing for a bit and sticking to terminology but it comes down to the same opinion on it all.

So yes that is the big problem and depressing factor; even when they are total crooks and scammers and liars in all sense of the words amoral/immoral and so on, then there is still no consequence for them. They run the countries and the world, empty cockpit scenario, nobody is personally held responsible, nobody has the power to curtail them, make them go bankrupt, we are being held hostage.  I just don't see how this will ever change. Don't think we can expect much from politics as the corporations are too powerful, have too much money and power, too many lobbyists, so nothing will come from that corner.
Revolution perhaps, but I doubt it. Not from the big masses at least, they are too attached to their lives and gadgets and too afraid to end up at the bottom of the pack. The rich have too much to loose as well and no incentive to change things so it has to come from the poor and the idealists. Doubt they can make a difference here. Just peaceful protesting and chaining yourself to corporation gates is all fine and dandy but a drop in the ocean, it's a sympathy act but won't change anything, i worry. 

Friend replied (I leave most out): Yeah I do get your point. They would hide behind that here too. Then again even when what they do is flagrantly wrong and against the law that doesn't matter either. That means the laws themselves are worthless. They don't matter. Debating technicalities as I say is a waste of time. The whole world went into meltdown and no punishment. As Rousseau would say 'the social contract is broken' so all deals are off.

April 18th 2015

I had a decent skin day. Slept on one side and without having some extra pillows stacked up and elevated head, so one cheek was red when I woke up and the other nice and cool and pale. It didn't really correct itself throughout the day and in the evening I had a dinner to go to. I had been looking forward to it however, hadn't been eating anything troublesome for days and stuck to vegetables and some organic meat only and apples, so I went anyway and had a blast really. It can be annoying to read about other people that they had a 'blast', isn't that a bit of an exasperation etc, but here it really did apply. We went to an English couple my age and had a Scottish/Irish couple and their daughter over as well and the evening was nothing but jokes, laughter, strong stories and nice foods. Have laughed for hours and in a way I feel ok saying that now here haha, as I had a week of some sort of sadness prior to it. I was a bit red and flushed, but not the only one tonight and that helped me to forget about it all.  I haven't started the Celexa yet. Will start tomorrow evening with it. Want to stay calm skinned for now as I want to make a very long coast walk tomorrow. Don't feel just yet like trashing the whole newfound balance back up by starting something new.. just yet!

Saw this video:

A friend wrote about it: "I got a giggle at those contraptions and the old BBC voice over and that funny music or whatever it is they were fond of playing back then that made it all seem even more ridiculous although I'm sure they took it seriously when they were doing it. Does that have any real benefit I wonder? I found another one on self-defense for women and I know for a fact all that is very effective.
I have no idea if that 1940's video was serious or not. Also, none of those ladies looked as if they needed fat liposuction, maybe they just teased the viewer with the end result achievable? Haha the self defense vintage video was great. With that lady doing her exercise in the background, all stoically. But that man she tackled looked a hulk and seemed way too willing to play along. I'm not convinced! Although, if you say they should all be effective, those manoeuvres, they must be. The rolly polly movements and her then sitting on him casually slapping his face made me laugh. Oh great this haha. Sassy lady too, very nice. The morale of the story I take from it is that I should wear heels at all times when going outside. The background music would fit a scene of a peaceful stroll in the park haha, so funny. 

Saw a docu a week or two ago about a group of resistance fighters in Holland during World War 2, in the little place of Benschop. They housed and hid a lot of people there and then made the fatal mistake to come all out of hiding on September 5th 1944, after Mad Tuesday, when a lot of Germans were fleeing and the Allies were close. These people thought it was the end of the war, well in a few days at least, and they wanted to take a portrait together, as a thank you for the resistance people. When liberation came, all would be chaos and no opportunity would be there for it. Then it turned out the war wasn't over for another 8 months. All the people of interest had therefore revealed themselves and they were betrayed and all given up to the Germans. Good few were executed. Silly mistake eh? 

April 9th 2015
So red and sore these days :( I don't know what is the reason, either because the pollen season has started, or because I'm stressed because I missed my period but am not pregnant, so I am worrying that premature menopause they predicted a few years ago for me has finally set in, and the hormones are playing havoc. Or/and, I've been sunbathing more, maybe the extra vitamin D I assume is made, makes me more red too... I'm just on fire and utterly miserable. 


Please find the latest updates in the blog post 'Update day to day life IV, June 4th 2016 - now'.     

Note; I only gather personal experience, info from the net and from forums and use it for this blog. I don't do advertisement or making any money in whatever shape or form off of this blog. 


  1. It's always good to find other people blogging about rosacea, especially those who show honest pictures of the reality of the condition.
    You give some great information here, thank you.


    1. Thank you Lex, also for sharing your blog link, and for sharing pictures yourself on it, best wishes Scarlet Red


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