Don’t take guinea pig advice from Fleabag…

So last Tuesday on Gino’s Spot and yesterday on my blog, I recommended you watch Fleabag. Seriously: Best show.


Being even not the greatest guinea pig owner has had me obsessing about Hilary the guinea pig.

Firstly: the introduction of Hilary is to me one of the most comedy gold moments on television ever. That scene made me laugh so hard. And then I had an intense asthma attack because that’s what happens if I laugh too hard. I re-watched it about seven times before moving on and then I made my sister watch it and died laughing all over again.

Hilary, however, is depressed. And this is the part I want to touch on for a second.

If you’re watching Fleabag and feeling like “oh a guinea pig looks like a wonderful pet” you are correct. They are wonderful pets.

But for the love of god please do NOT only get one. They need a friend! And unless you’re going to keep it in your pocket all day you really can’t get away with being that poor creature’s only friend.

Secondly… That cage in Fleabag is WAY too small. Please don’t think that’s enough for a piggle.

And thirdly… While cucumber now and then is a lovely treat for your piggles, you have to feed it a variety of veg not just cucumber.

That is all.


The Wonders of Phoebe Waller Bridge

I seem to have accidentally fallen in love with a celebrity again. I should stop doing that. Or at least check with a therapist to see if it’s ok. Then again… Surely everyone who knows Phoebe Waller-Bridge is at least a little bit in love with her? No? I asked my husband if we could invite her to be our wife and he said yes, so…

Why do I talk such nonsense?

Phoebe is amazing. That’s probably enough information.

Something I love to do is just find random TV shows that I’ve never heard of and give them a try. This seldom works out, but sometimes it leads to pure love. Like with Phoebe. I found Fleabag last year and fell in love. That lead to Crashing and added to that love.

These two shows were created, written, and performed by Ms. Waller-Bridge. This goddess is 3 years my junior! Her accomplishments blow my mind she is everything! She is so beautiful. She has this incredible speaking voice that I could just listen to forever. She is funny and poignant and tragic and exquisite. But aside from that, her creations, these two shows specifically, feel like soul-creations. Is that ridiculous?

She somehow flawlessly expresses and brings to life that sort of humour that grows from tragedy and does it in a way that breaks and heals your heart at the same time.

I am in absolute awe of this talent.

Do yourself a favour and watch Fleabag on Amazon Prime, and Crashing on Netflix. If your sense of humour is anything like mine you won’t be sorry.

The Peen Pic That Saved My Life

Dear Mr. Peen

I should be working right now. I have so much to do. But my hyperfocus has kicked in and I know that the only way to side-step it is to let it run its course. I have to power through or it won’t leave me alone.

That is why I am writing to you. Because I have to. My brain will not allow me to progress through the rest of this day without first saying Thank You to you, Mr. Peen Man.

So thank you!

This morning I saved a pic of a bunny on my phone to show my husband. That’s what we do. Save pics of cute animals to show each other. I then went into my WhatsApp to send him the pic but when I opened my photos low and behold: A PEEN!

I don’t usually get drunk and save peens to my phone or anything (not that I could these days even if I wanted to) so obviously the pic had to come from a group or an individual WhatsApp message, right? Time to investigate!  (more…)

What if I’m wrong about the label though?

In the autistic community we believe in self-diagnosis. It’s a strange one, yes. And yes, I can feel you clutching your pearls about it. Please relax. Everything will be just fine!

Late diagnosis of autism in adults is complicated. Typically when it comes to females it is even more complicated. Currently very few psychologists are equipped to help so your options are pretty much figure it out for yourself or spend all of your money shopping for the right doctor.

The last time I checked the stats, 1 in 60 Americans was considered to be autistic. That’s a pretty high number, right? The thing is, though: Only 1 in 4 of those 1 in 60 is female. But we now know that autism is not an almost-exclusively male neurotype and that it affects males and females equally. Which means that the stats should rather be considered to be 1 in 40.

That’s a lot of folks flying under the radar. Most likely if your atipicalities are not externally obvious enough you’re going to spend a lot of time secretly asking yourself wtf is wrong with me while being oblivious to the fact that there’s a square hole for you to go and fit into over there. Please stop trying to squash yourself into this completely wrong place!  (more…)

Yes, the label matters!

Ever since I wrote my post on discovering my atypical nature I’ve been wondering how best to broach the follow up. I still don’t know what the answer is. Sometimes I tell myself oh just shush you’re being silly and why do you even have a blog anyway it’s so stupid, and then other times I remember that other people and their blogs basically saved me so actually Nadine just shush and get on with it.

Apparently a presumed commonality among those born of the millennial generation is that we don’t like labels. That sounds sort of “progressive” I suppose. But I find that to be weird as hell. And to be honest I don’t even think it’s particularly true of our generation either. I think we do like labels. And it’s because labels play a giant role in understanding not only ourselves, but each other.

Of course, “label” is a broad term. A negative label doled out by a toxic parental figure, for example, could cause irreversible damage. The labels given to us by our childhood bullies can follow us well into our adulthoods. These are not the labels of which I speak.

The label I’m speaking of today, specifically is this: Autistic. (more…)

I’m forking scared, man…

Can you tell I’ve been binging The Good Place? I have been. My attempts at using shirt, fork, and bench as my new curse words of choice aren’t going quite as well as I’d hoped. But, you know. Habits take a while to cultivate.

Here we are in Level 4 Lockdown and that sense of relief that I keep expecting to come is just nowhere to be found. Forking Scared is a bit of an overstatement, I admit. I’m not too afraid. Like not that kind of afraid that gathers in your bowel like cold lead at least. Just: concerned.

Molteno has had it’s first confirmed corona case. And there are 8 pending cases. I don’t know much of the details. Actually I don’t know any of the details. Apparently there’s been some drama surrounding all of it but that flew under my radar (thankfully) and all I know is that someone is definitely sick.

So yes, I’m forking concerned that I might fall ill. And it sucks.

A lot of us us are going to get ill. It’s an unavoidable inevitability at this point. We can only do our absolute best to keep those numbers as low as possible. But they will grow.

And for that I am afraid.

I am afraid of the impending loss of life. I am afraid of the future that I cannot picture.

I am afraid that the asthma issue I have will cause my death.

The worst part is that it’s not my usual kind of scared. Anxiety has been my constant companion throughout my entire life. I’m quite used to her. I can control her. I can put her in a box over there and say “you’re making me feel like shirt but you’re not true”.

This is true though. And it feels so surreal. Otherworldly. Fantastical.

And yet it is real.

It forking sucks.

The Series That We Love

Last week Gino Fabbri from Centrestage contacted me and asked if I would consider coming on his Facebook Live show, Gino’s Spot, and talk about what to watch on Netflix. I must admit I was quite flattered. This crazy, entertaining, interesting, and somewhat famous person wanted to talk to me? Did everyone else say no? I thought about Yes, Man and decided to say yes.

Anyway, after acknowledging that ok, I might have a bit of a reputation as someone who watches A LOT of television, I found myself wondering why.

The conclusion I reached? I have no idea!

I’ve always been kind of obsessy about it. And probably not in a cool and knowledgeable savant kind of way. Just in a I’m most happy with the television on while I do something arbitrary like doodle or crochet or play sodoku on my phone… 

Cool Chick has never been my forte…

I guess these habits of mine do put me in a position of having a bit of knowledge on the subject. And while it’s a little nervy video chatting while way too many folks watch, I have to admit it’s kind of fun. Sharing thoughts on the stories that keep me company on a daily basis is kind of lovely. In the past these habits of mine have been a little hard for others to understand. My retreat into television has caused more than a few arguments in my past (thankfully none with my husband who is bloody lovely and he respects my crutches even if he doesn’t always understand them).

Of course this opportunity has lead me to think about sharing more television-y things here too. So perhaps I will do that. We could all use a few tips on what to watch at the moment, couldn’t we? Considering how watching television is kind of what we all do now…

Anyway, if you’d like to watch me make a noodle of myself this evening at 6:30pm (GMT+2) then pop on to this event link and say hi. I think I did that right… I’m still getting a handle on this FB Live thing. I kind of skipped all that before now on account of my chronic fear of being videotaped…

Growth, right?

Actually Atypical

In 2017 I discovered that autism looks very different in females to males. Not that I had a particular concept of how it looked in males. I had a smidge of experience with it. I noticed it in a few males close to me, and in a lot of characters in books and on TV. But I didn’t know it know it. You know?

Being atypical was always just that: Atypical.

Atypical is just different. Not less than. Not superior. Just different. Worthy of love and kindness. I barely considered any of it beyond that.

But then in about February of 2017 a friend with an autistic daughter shared something that made me giggle a little, and then it made me take a really long pause. My first thought was haha if this is accurate then I’m autistic too and then my second thought became if this is accurate then I’m autistic too!

So of course: I looked it up.

Soon I was learning things about how autistic girls tend to experience less frequent meltdowns, less language delay, and they show less interest in technology, opting for less obscure special interests that might not seem “weird” to the casual observer. Ok. Well those seem like the traits that we pick up on in boys super easily, right? And girls don’t really have that? Interesting…

Girls on the spectrum lean towards higher intelligence, may be more prone to eating disorders, come across as shy, and as children (and sometimes as grown ups) tend to seek out “mother hen” friends. Autistic girls often come off as mature in childhood, and as childish in adulthood. 

The list goes on and on and on.  (more…)

How’s your anxiety treating you?

Mine’s a bit of a bitch at the moment if I’m being honest. I really need to stop qualifying the things I say with “honestly” and “if I’m being honest”. I’m always being honest. It’s too much trouble to be anything else.

Where was I? Oh yes…

Anxiety is a bitch.

My home is peaceful. Since lockdown my husband and I have had only one almost-fight which is pretty good for us because we’re both assholes and we tend to yell a lot. The kids are getting along better than usual. We’ve settled into a routine that I actually find quite comforting.

But the air of fear stays. I’ve mostly had it under control in my real life lately, but international pandemics don’t lend themselves to feelings of control, so what you gonna do? (more…)

From Active to Passive

I’ve been getting increasingly upset with myself for not particularly coping with this lockdown. When two extra weeks were announced on Thursday my whole body just sank. Two more weeks. Of this eerie feeling. Because I’m not struggling with being at home. At all. It’s actually quite peaceful here. Everyone is getting along. My pets are adorable. My husband is bloody wonderful. It’s just the eerie feeling. I can’t stand it!

Really I should be fine. My life barely looks different! I’m a homebody who has pretty much lived her life online since way before the cool kids were doing it. Twenty years. I’ve been here for twenty years. And I’ve always been comfortable with it. Far more comfortable than with “real” life, at least.

Here I am with the whole world living the way I do and I couldn’t be more unsettled. And it’s annoying me!

I noticed something this weekend: I’m pulling away from online. Something I have barely done in literally twenty years. I’m avoiding all those spaces where “my people” are and I’m not quite sure why.

So I wonder if it isn’t a subconscious call to action on my part. I act when I retreat into my home. I act when I use my phone or my computer as a protective barrier between myself and the real world. I act when I choose to step out of my world into the real one.

And I am no longer acting. I am being acted upon. And while it feels like comparatively it shouldn’t be that big a deal in my particular life, maybe it is. So perhaps my subconscious retreat from online life is an attempt at action. Close here. Retreat. Pull back. Keep safe.

I am struggling. More than my extroverted husband. More than my children. I am struggling.

But despite the antsiness I know we will be ok. I know this is just a phase and we have gotten through hard phases before. Maybe not quite like this one, but troubles are surmountable. And our president is doing such a fantastic job that I do feel we are in a fortunate position.

I just need to maybe try to actively retreat from social media less. For one I need it to ensure the survival of my business. But it has always been my safe place, despite its propensity for trolls.

We can do this, folks. We might just have to cry a bit while we do….