On Meeting People And Disagreeing With Them


I have had a great amount of luck with getting to know people online. I have met some truly marvellous people, and with all the animosity in the political landscape right now it’s good to know that the internet can build bridges between countries to have arguments with… I mean, make friends with.

Think about it, I can sit here in the UK and have a discussion with a stranger from across the world. A whole other person whose opinion I might never have known about without this marvellous construct.

I won’t always like that person’s opinion, or agree with it, but it’s important to think about another person’s point of view, to be able to discuss things without argument, or trying to change someone’s mind, but simply as a way of understanding other people. And I won’t lie, sometimes it’s hard and I need to walk away from it, because sometimes it’s good to do that too, if only for peace of mind.

I don’t post my opinions on most things, because I’d prefer to see what other people think about certain things.

And I don’t often join in those discussions, because the comment section is often toxic. But when I do, and the conversations civil it’s so friggin’ nice, and I get to learn about people, and I wish I could do that more.

I think that is the most important aspect of a discussion, you might not change your mind, you probably definitely won’t change theirs, but you’ll come out of it with a better understanding.

That is why I value everyone I’ve made friends with online, especially the ones you can disagree with and still stay friendly.


On The Troubles of Wheat Intolerance And Lunch

I haven’t properly blogged for a few weeks now. The reasons being general business, and a complete brain blank on topics. Although I did try to start a post once and ended up staring at a blank screen whilst the kick-ass idea for a post I’d had literally five minutes ago squirmed away into the ether.

But I do have a thing to share with you.

The Discovery

I have discovered I am one of the ever-increasing mass of people for which wheat has become an issue. It’s gotten to the point where any time I eat a wheat thing I feel uncomfortable as heck for a good few days. I found this out by basically being increasingly uncomfortable every time I ate anything with wheat in it.

Trying Substitutes

So, I have tried a few gluten-free breads, and switched to a gluten-free pasta, even my stock cubes have had to change.

I wouldn’t feel too sad about this, but I have discovered that wheat seems to be in everything. The most important thing- sausages. I will also miss pasties.

I think that for sanities sake I will have to stray from the gluten path every now and again. But, for day to day nommage no wheat for me.

What To Eat Instead

This became a bigger issue for lunches. I didn’t know what to take with me to eat since my go to lunch was a sandwich. You know, a meal stuffed in bread.

My solution was to just get some travel mugs. I bulk cook pretty much everything I eat and store it in the freezer anyway, so heating up one of those meals and sticking it in a travel mug seems the best option.

I also take flapjack, and a little tub of dried fruit and nuts with me to keep me going on the longer days.

How I Feel Now.

I’ve now not eaten wheat for a good few weeks, and although I’ve slipped a few times I did suffer for my lack of care, so I definitely know that it is wheat that’s the issue.

I feel so much more comfortable and healthier for not having it any more. I’ve lost a lot of water retention, I’ve stopped bloating. Basically, I now no longer have any digestive discomfort (unless I fall off the wheat wagon).

I have no idea why I’ve suddenly become anti-dairy and wheat. Either the way food is processed has changed to the point I can no longer eat it, or my digestive system is having a laugh at my expense. Either way, if I suddenly become intolerant to anything else I will be extremely vexed.

When The Week Gets You Down

This week we had some bad news, and I don’t like to share my bad news, but it was the kind of thing that sets the mood for the rest of the week.

And so this post is here to explain why there won’t be a proper post this week. I did have one planned, but well. I just can’t bring myself to write anything.

Busy Busy Busy

Image ©J.R.Bee Available as prints, mugs, etc. HERE 

If you didn’t read the header, which I’m guessing you must have. I’m somewhat busy. Almost beelike in my business. Which is why there will be no proper blog today. it’s also why I have done no writing or editing. I really really want to get back to it though, and I think I’ll be able to next week.

But, I am glad to be busy because it means I’m getting slowly but surely caught up with the backlog of stuff I needed to do before I got so ruddy sick.

So give it up for progress and health!

Also, spring looks like it’s starting to show, finally!


On Inconsistency and Creating

Last Week I managed to get a boatload of writing and editing done, I’d just got to the point where I knew where I was going and was excited to be getting there. I was looking forward to my next editing session when I wrote my One Week Without Milk post, but I never got back to it.

Where it Went Wrong

This week I have done zero writing, zero editing. It all took a backstage to the video editing. It was a one day shoot, one day recuperating, two days spent in a darkened room editing, and a day of creating metadata and sharing on social media. Although creating videos has a much faster turn around than writing, it’s still a lot of work to create one video. And the end product never looks like it took as long as it does.

What’s Involved in Creating a Film

But it was a ten(ish) minute video, which was created from footage on a five(ish) mile walk. The walk had a lot of historical interest points, which meant not only talking to the camera and joshing about (normal vlogging), but talking about the history of places, and gathering b-roll (which is pretty scenic shots that lead from section to section or cover the talking points).

So that’s a lot of footage to sift through, and there are two cameras worth. So it takes a while to put it all together, then give it a colour pass (which is harder when the shoot has taken all day and the light changes quite drastically), then sort out the audio, add music, create graphics.

So that takes time- and hasn’t even included the research element.

On Wondering If I’m Whining or Winning

I’m not sure whether I’m justifying my lack of writing to myself, or reassuring me that I have been doing productive things.

Other than that I’m slowly catching up with all the things I was meant to do over the period I was ill, which is a relief. There’s still an awful lot to do, but it feels good to be back in a position where I can actually do it.

How has your week been? 

One Week Without Milk

The Decision

Last week I decided to cut milk out of my tea and it’s proven to be less of an issue than I thought. Black tea is not as gak as I remember it being, but that’s only because I brew it for a shorter amount of time. I also drink more mint tea and flavoured tea (specifically Vienna Creme Caramel). I have yet to try milkless coffee. I just don’t feel brave enough.

I could have gone with a milk substitute, like my other half- who drinks rice milk, but I didn’t want to do that. I don’t like any of the replacement milk I’ve tried, and I don’t feel like acquiring a taste for it.

The Reason

I stopped putting milk in my tea because I’m very prone to sore throats, and the glands in my neck are usually swollen.

I read somewhere that milk can cause throat problems and so I decided to withhold milk from my tea, I thought it was worth a try.

The Result

One week on and whilst my throat still feels slightly sore, the unforeseen advantage is that my skin looks so much healthier. Quite dramatically so.

I am quite prone to spots, and under the no milk tea regime they are clearing up quite nicely. Also, my skin feels much smoother, less oily, less temperamental to being over cleaned/ under cleaned. A balance I struggle with because if I overclean I get dry face and irritable spots, if I under clean to compensate, I get oily skin and spots.

But since cutting out the milk my skin behaves so much better. As for my throat, that’s still a wait and see.

Will I Go Completely Milk Free?

I rarely eat cheese, and I have been eating alpro soya yoghurt for a while for lunch. I actually prefer it to normal yoghurt, of course, it doesn’t beat Greek Yoghurt, but nevermind.

However, I think having a little bit of dairy in my diet from time to time will be fine, but cutting it down from my multiple cups of tea cuts into most of my dairy intake anyway.

I have also cut down on wheat-based products because too much makes me bloat, but I still have wheat from time to time, in pasta, or the odd slice of bread. Just not every day, and that too is fine.

And I think that’s the key to life, everything in moderation.

Why Not Cut It Out of My Diet Entirely?

I don’t want to run the risk of becoming completely intolerant to these things. If I cut them out I run the risk of hypersensitivity to those foods, and that would be a pain.

I want to be able to go places and eat whatever I feel like. And I don’t want to have to be that person who gets invited to dinner, but has to say “oh, I don’t eat this, that, and the other.”

And l like cheesecake, and milkshakes, and pasties, having one now and again won’t be my undoing- unless I completely cut milk and wheat out of my diet, and then these things are more likely to become an issue.

_ _

So that’s my story, I was going to update you on my week’s writing, which is really getting underway (I’m on chapter 5 of the rewrite, and I have some things to say about how it’s going, but it’ll keep for next week) but I wanted to talk about this in case it helped anyone else who might have similar skin problems to me.

Have you cut down on milk, or cut it out altogether? If so, what’s your result been?

Well, That Was A Right Faff

Well That Was A Right Faff

I missed last weeks posting for good reasons.

First, we had a flat tyre that needed repairing, and the logistics of sorting that were more of a faff than we wanted it to be.

And then the boiler broke down. On the Same Day. So we improvised with the heating, and the next day a man came to came fix things.

We were happy, we had heating. So we went out for about four hours and came back to ‘the smell’. The smell of leaking Kerosine is extremely potent.   The leak came after we’d had a man out to fix and service the boiler.

A bolt was loose, so it was an easy fix, but it meant that for the whole week the entire house stank of kerosene, and not just a bit wiffy, but stank stank.
And apparently, that kind of kerosene inhalation is not good for you (go figure) so we spent the week feeling incredibly dopey and with frequent headaches.

Results Of The Leak

Jump to this week and the kerosene smell has dwindled, but the other half now has another raging cold, which will be the fourth one is as many months. I have another sore throat, and a cold which will also be my fourth. It is getting beyond a joke.
As a result not only did I not blog, but I didn’t vlog either, other than the Friday Show. So at least I was consistent if nothing else.

What Did I Achieve?

Writing Progress

 I also manage to open my WIP for my writing. I’ve only done one day, but in that day I wrote 837 brand new words and copied a further 500 from the old WIP to be tweaked.


Anyway, whinging aside, I did at least manage to finish the Cosmic ponies – Mother and Foal.

You can find it on cushions and things at society6

Cosmic Ponies – Mother and Foal

It took me far longer to complete than it should have, but that did seem to be the theme of the week.

The Life Of A Notebook- Bee’s Story

I’ve had a particular notebook since I was tiny wee.

It’s got a silk cover and is decorated with beads.
It is, in short, very pretty. And you know and I know that when you have a really pretty notebook you don’t know what to use it for. No one purpose seems good enough, and so it has been used for many many different things.

As such it has become some sort of time capsule of my life.

It has been a diary from when I was a young teen, still a kid really, and thought I should write a diary because I felt like I ought to for some reason. I’ve had little spates of this over my life, I’ve never stuck to it.

Reading back over the entries has been weirdly like reading pages from someone else’s life. Or like reading a book that I know I’ve read before, but don’t remember it until I’m reading it.

Some things I have outright forgotten, and so this ‘past me’ character is, in a way, a totally different person living a completely different life. And it makes me way too thoughtful to realise that that person has gone.

I don’t feel sad about it, but it leaves me wondering how much of her I still have left over. Wondering if I have I outgrown her completely.

Ideas Busting

For the next entries, it served as a vessel for ideas busting for one of my stories. When I was younger I tore some pages out and threw them away because I thought they were no longer relevant. Of course today I regret that. Because I have woven the concept of that story into the mammoth trilogy I am writing today. A lot of the ideas for the next books come from past me.

So I guess in that way past me still lives on.

Notebook Neglect

I took a break from writing for the longest while, and I had begun to feel bad of my neglect of the notebook, and so I used it for some of my college notes. That was a very short-lived existence before I decided that the notebook was too nice for that.

It hosted some of my exercises when I decided that I wanted to become more organised with getting fit.  I quickly found that it wasn’t all that handy a thing to use for exercising.  And even if I did keep it for doodling out exercise plans I could never hope to fill the pages.
And it just seemed a waste.

But I never tore pages out again. And I have never deleted an idea (on purpose anyway).

Why Do I Really Need A Notebook?

Now that I write almost everything on my laptop I began to wonder whether I really needed the notebook at all. Of course, I still wanted to use it, but I just couldn’t find a suitable purpose.

I like notebooks, which it seems completely irrational when I have to work so hard to work out what I want to use one for. Surely if you have a notebook, you should know why you need it.

Its current incarnation seems to be to write out plans for where I want my stories to go. When I get stuck it’s been useful to use the notebook as a different medium; as if somehow staring at my laptop knots my brain up, but stepping away I can think clearly and untangle whatever aspect I’m stuck on. From time to time it’s hosted character sketches.

And I think that is now the use I’ll continue to put it too. Getting unstuck and character sketches. It’s taken roughly 20 years to work out how I like to use a notebook. And even now I realise it might change.

Sickness, Writing Progress, Films (Week 4)

I actually do remember what happened this week, this week the sun came out, this week it was glorious. Who couldn’t enjoy it? Me that’s who, and the other half!

We were laid up sick, with my third cold in the space of two months, and his second. I seem to have built up a slight immunity to it because I don’t seem to be so badly hit. The other half… has no voice. It means I keep finding myself whispering along with him because when one person whispers, it’s really hard to not to talk normally.

Editing Progress!

However, what it did mean is that I managed to complete a whole chapter in editing this week. I need to get faster than a chapter a week though. But it’s better than the three pages I managed in the first week of Jan, so maybe I’ll get faster?


Although we were grounded for our second week in a row, we still managed to get three videos up in the week. And although only one of them came from our backlog, we only have one more video we can use if we’re still sick next week.

The first film I made was a YouTube Rewind video, although it wasn’t planned I would like to make another one next year because it turned out to be quite a nice little film.

Out First Year In Wales As A Montage

How To Make Linen- From Seed To Cloth

   Something's Missing... Also, Adorable Puppy News | Friday Show 03


Just Bee (week 2)

Changes Afoot- Friday show 01

This week, ah what a week it was, things happened, and also stuff!

Basically, I’m struggling to remember what I did.

Cool Things I’ve Found

Richard Herring interviewed a guy called Johann Harri about the growing amount of people suffering from depression and anxiety, he talked about some of the societal causes, and solutions that people have come up with. I had to watch it in chunks because, although it was very interesting and a Huge eye opener, it was heavy going. Well worth it though. Check it out Here

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My writerly friend, Melfka, has a weekly #wordwitch cartoon.

They are often cute and funny. This weeks was a more personal and sobering piece that documented every rejection, acceptance, and the times when she was considered last year. Which I thought was a great way to show aspiring writer’s that the road to success is littered with rejections, and that’s the part that no-one sees.

New Writerly Editing Technique!

I found myself a new way to edit my novel. I’m on draft don’t make me think about it, I’m just not that strong.

And because I’ve basically recreated the entire world in my head I’m finding it easier to just open a blank document and copy, paste, and edit a paragraph at a time. It’s helping me catch world details that have changed. I’m also deleting a lot of bulk scenes and adding new ones.

So yeah, the blank document has been a blessing. Although I have only managed to get one evening of editing in.

I Opened Photoshop!

I had a design in mind, PS threw a wobbly and wouldn’t let me do anything. So I gave up.


What I ‘have’ done is three videos. Well, two. The other half did one. But I helped with the meta tagging and stuffs.

Mini- Can It Handle The Snow?

A YouTube video about digging our 2017 mini countryman out of snow, to see how it would handle on the roads.

Our Vlogging Camera Kit- What's In The Bag?

In which Ian talks about the kit we use for making YouTube Videos.

Changes Afoot- Friday show 01

In which we talk about what’s happening with YouTube, how it’s affecting us, and we throw in some light news.