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» Conspicuous Consumption

Colour indicator
I have my butler see if my bath is hot enough by tossing a live lobster in there.

It should end up a purplish colour - not a true orange, more of an "amber queen".

If it's too far either way I make him drain the bath and begin again.

We burn the lobsers.
(Thu 28th Jul 2011, 13:46, More)

» Losing it

Panic attacks
I suffered for around 3-4 years with panic attacks. It's not how you might imagine - I always thought it meant literally panicking - for example hyperventilating, becoming hysterical and probably flailing your arms around like Jim Carrey. Probably having to breathe into a brown paper bag like you see in the movies.

It comes in different forms, but I felt like I was having a heart attack sometimes, or about to have one. Chest pains would come and go, even though I had many tests and was found to be physically healthy. This of course leads your level of anxiety to increase. To the outside I seemed totally normal, just sat there, possibly perspiring a little.

Sometimes, I would be just sat at home, and a sense of almighty dread would descend upon me - of "impending doom". Nothing specific, but intense. I felt trapped - I'd have to stand up. If the room wasn't too bright, I'd go and switch all the lights on to somehow make things more "real", to bring myself back to reality. It doesn't work. I then just felt like I was standing in a brighly lit cage, with nothing outside, just a surreal sense of being trapped.

Panic/anxiety disorders can also make you feel trapped in your own body. You know that you're behaving and thinking irrationally, but surprisingly this doesn't seem to help your frame of mind during one of these episodes. Some people experience a sense of being smothered.

It can pass - it's most common to those in their early to mid twenties. See your doctor, but don't necessarily let them put you on antidepressants (SSRIs) as I question their efficacy.

Sorry for the lack of entertainment value, but it has a happy ending in that I feel so much better now, just a couple of years later. Don't give up.

I feel it worth mentioning to people, as it is one of those afflictions that people believe you can just be "snapped out of".
(Mon 25th Jul 2011, 13:32, More)

» Fairgrounds, theme parks, circuses and carnivals

It's hungry work at Alton Towers,
so after a long day of standing in queues not having fun, you fancy something nice to eat.

Apparently all they do have though is hotdogs that are composed more of dust and old newspapers than bread and pork.

I suspect it's more healthy just to re-swallow the sick you belched up during Oblivion.
(Fri 10th Jun 2011, 11:56, More)