Sibelius – Earworm of the Day

I woke up this morning with a tune stuck in my head (an earworm). Today has been and will be a long day spent resurrecting a dead computer, so I have been playing a lot of music to keep me from getting too bored as I wait for file after file to download – including today’s earworm. It’s Intermezzo I from the Karelia suite by Sibelius. The scenes of Karelia on this Youtube video accompany the music perfectly:

Some readers may also recognise part of it as the theme from the long-running documentary series “This Week” by Thames Television.

Is a barking dog sending you barking?

I have a neighbour that probably shouldn’t have a dog. During the day the dog is shut inside while they are out. When they are indoors during the day they mostly shut it outside. It doesn’t get walked and doesn’t get much attention. It must be bored out of skull and so it barks – a lot. When it barks outside I don’t hear it at all in my room. When it’s inside it echos throughout next door and into my room. To make matters worse, when it barks it throws its metal bowl around making it sound like somebody next door is playing the cymbals – very badly. Yesterday it barked for 13 hours in bursts of 20 minutes once or twice an hour except for 4 quiet hours in the middle. Banging on the wall sometimes quiets it. One time though the neighbour happened to be in and banged back 🙂

So what to do? No point asking the neighbour to train her dog to bark less often or find a way to quiet it because she clearly doesn’t care enough to even bother walking the dog. Also the neighbour is a rather belligerent, inconsiderate and entitled character (NPD?) – a polite request to turn her stereo down slightly is usually met with “I can play my music as loud as I like in my own house” followed by a torrent of aggression and verbal abuse. Thankfully she has matured a bit and has largely stopped the loud music. Being unhinged seems to run in her family – her brother has a long criminal record and now commits crimes just to get back into either prison or the mental hospital because he can’t deal with life on the outside.

Reporting noise nuisance to the local authorities is bureaucratic, time-consuming and usually pointless. If she got reported for noise nuisance she’d know about it and make the neighbours’ lives a misery. The same would go for her being reported to the local humane society for neglect.

Which leaves possible solutions that I can use on my side of the fence. BarkingDogs.net has a really useful page full of tips on how to shield your home from the noise of your neighbour’s barking dogs. As I’m typing the cymbals have started for the day which means the barking is imminent and so up go my anxiety levels. Long term I hope to move somewhere quieter, but that can’t happen until I’m diagnosed and put on the waiting list to be rehoused (Delays and more delays). In the meantime, I’m looking into how I could use my computer as a white noise machine. My 32dB earplugs are on the way and I can’t wait! They should help with the other noise from next door (slamming doors and shouting) and the noise from the street (kids playing and car horns) too. Peace! Hopefully…

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I rise

This poem could easily have been written to somebody who used to abuse me:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

The original is by Toni in the comments on this page at GoodTherapy.org

Delays and more delays

Well today was meant to have been my first autism assessment appointment, but they cancelled at the last minute – again. The last cancellation was because they sent me the wrong appointment dates. This time it’s because the Advanced Practice Nurse at the Autism Service is sick without anybody to cover for him. The last time this happened the waiting list was delayed for 3 months and I got knocked off the waiting list because they mislaid my file.

The annoying thing is that as far as my family, support worker, the Advanced Practice Nurse at the Autism Service and the Psychiatrist who made the referral are concerned the result is a foregone conclusion, but I have to be formally diagnosed to access the support I need to live independently. I can’t access any talking therapies for my mental health issues until we have the result. Basically the only treatment I can have is antidepressants, but I’ve yet to find an antidepressant that actually does anything more than keep me from killing myself. I’m stuck on welfare and I’m lucky if I can handle a 2 mile bus journey most days. I want to get better – this isn’t a life, it’s an existence. My life is on hold. 16 months from referral and still waiting.

Rant over.