Monthly Archives: May 2013

It’s not all roses

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I love my kids.
There’s no doubt about that. I love them unconditionally , I’d die for them in the blink of an eye.
But sometimes I do wish they would just shut up and leave me alone for a minute.
I haven’t raised them to be lazy but they are , bone idle , completely. They’d rather poke their eyes out with hot sticks than do something for me.
They never stop asking for things , especially one of my girls , it’s a constant stream of … I want … I need … Can I have …. Have you got any money …it goes on and on and ON
They don’t stop eating …. Mostly the teenagers … After I’ve tidied the kitchen and washed up for the night.
Even when the cupboards are full they will stand there gormlessly swinging on the cupboard door saying ” muuuum there’s nothing nice” after I’ve been to asda three times already that week. And when I’ve been to asda they are waiting ready to go through the bags , not to help put it away , oh no , just to see what they can get their hands on.
Plan a meal , yeah I’d love to , but you can bet your life that one of the kids will have eaten one of the main components while I slept. They finish ALL the milk , every night , I could buy 20 pints and you could bet your life on it someone would drink it overnight, then be kind enough to put the empty bottle in the fridge so while I’m half asleep fumbling around to make my morning cuppa , I open the fridge , see a bottle in there and for a tiny moment I think there is milk. Cruel , just cruel. I then have a choice , settle for a Horlicks or drag myself to the shop , I can’t send one of the kids because they’d rather tear their toe nails out , one by one with red hot tweezers than go to the shop for me.
They leave all their rubbish on the kitchen table instead of in the bin which is next to the kitchen table. Because you know the bin is just too far.
And as for dirty washing …. Can they put it in their baskets .. No ! Sometimes next to the basket , but never in. Yet it’s always my fault if something hasn’t been washed. They have never knowingly turned off a light or electrical appliance . Why would they , electricity is free , right ?
They never check if there is toilet paper before they sit down on the loo. It’s always ” muuuuuum I need a toilet roll”
We never leave the house at the time we planned because there’s always a shoe / Oyster card/ coat that can’t be found ,and of course it’s always my fault that the missing item is missing because you know I have nothing better to do than hide their stuff in order to make us late.
They put me through every single possible emotion at least once every day , usually before breakfast.
They drive me to tears often , they are ungrateful and unhelpful and sometimes it’s all just relentless. Obviously it’s not all bad , there’s plenty of good ( well, some)
. It’s what a family is. It’s all swings and roundabouts.
But people don’t tell other people about the bits that make you want to tear your actual hair out in huge clumps and bash your actual head against the wall whilst wailing and screaming through the dripping snot for someone to feed the god damn guinea pigs – for the hundredth time that day – or for someone to actually flush the f**king loo for once in their lives.
People will tweet about what a lovely family day they’ve had , how wonderful their kids are , what a perfect family they have. They will post on Facebook what a fab day they’ve had “chillin’ with the fammo” when they go back to school after the weekend they will tell you how much fun they had , but they will leave out the bits where they were locked in the loo trying to have a wee in peace while 3 different kids tried to argue with them through the door. They will leave out the bit where they almost ran over their own kid with a trolley in asda because it wouldn’t stop asking for stuff.
It can be a bit disheartening and bewildering when you see how fab everyone else’s life is going but remember its not all roses for anyone. Some just like to paint their garden rosy
And hide the ” manure ” where no one can see it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there , you just can’t see it.

Also , the bigger the pile of ” manure ” the bigger the mess when it falls ๐Ÿ™‚

The marvel that is the sandwich

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For my lunch today I made my absolute favourite sandwich. I’ll tell you what it was a bit later on, the suspense is killing you , right ?
While I sat enjoying this , my favourite sandwich and actually my favourite meal of all time I pondered just how wonderful a thing the sandwich is.
Taking its name from the 4th Earl of Sandwich after he asked his servants to put some meat between 2 slices of bread whilst he played cards ( although he didnt ‘invent ‘ putting a filling between two slices ) the sandwich has fans all over the world. Fads and fashions come and go but the humble sandwich remains. And in fact goes from strength to strength. There are whole sections in shops dedicated to the sandwich , even shops that specialise in the sandwich.
It comes in so many variations. An endless list of varieties. You can have it on brown , white , seeded , you name it , there’s a bread for everyone. you can pile it high with layers of fillings , hot food , cold food , or spread it with a savoury spread , marmite , cheese spread , pรขtรฉ , you can even smother lashings of sweet spread. Jam , lemon curd , chocolate spread , anything goes.
You surely cannot deny the simple joy of a crisp sandwich , so quick ,so easy , yet so crispy!
In America they like the peanut butter and jelly ( jam) sandwich. Not sure why that hasn’t caught on over here , possibly because it sounds vile ? But , each to their own.
A banana sandwich is in my opinion , the only way to eat a banana. In fact I actually can’t eat a banana if its not in a sandwich.
At our school sports days the sandwiches were almost always filled with egg ,not for me , the egg sandwich
And then of course there’s the humble chip butty , simple ,but hot steaming carbohydratey joy. You can even have a toasted sandwich. Your favourite fillings in hot crispy bread , if you put cheese in it gets all melty gooey and extra delicious.
When you’ve decided what to put in your sandwich there’s the presentation , cut into triangles perhaps , perfect for picnics and parties , are squares your thing ? Or perhaps a simple cut down the middle? Crusts on or crusts off ?
I’ll eat the crust on a brown bread sandwich but not a white. It will make your hair curl if you eat the crusts you know , that’s what the dinner ladies told us at school. Maybe that’s why my hair is so limp. Yes , I’ll blame it on not eating all of my crusts!
Do you make a dainty sandwich that you can pick up and eat , no mess , perhaps just a slight dribble down your chin or do make such such a big hearty sandwich that a knife and fork is really the only way to go ?
Growing up we spent a lot of time in Norway staying with my Nan , there we had open sandwiches. Very Scandinavian , la dee da.
You can always count on the sandwich , kids hungry , need something quick … You can rustle up a sandwich in moments.
Unexpected guests , nothing to feed them , there’s always bread in the cupboard , that bit of cheese you’ve got in the back of the fridge , whack it on , et voila you’ve made them lunch.
And it’s so perfectly portable , lunch for work , packed lunch for school.you can even make the sandwiches into clever shapes , surprise your child with a dinosaur shaped sandwich , or cut a funny face into it. Endless fun . Is there no end to the joy of sandwiches ?

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Look and marvel at the presentation that’s gone into this fine specimen of a crisp sandwich made by @ADadCalledSpen, for me it’s the carefully placed cherry tomato that makes all the difference.

Now I’ll tell you what my all time favourite sandwich is …. Quorn bacon slices , fried , with fried cherry tomatoes , on brown hovis bread ,spread with clover seedburst , not forgetting lots of barbecue sauce drizzled on to the quorn bacon , before the tomatoes go on.
This for me is the king of all sandwiches !
I asked twitter what their favourite sandwich is ( as you will see I was swamped with replies :-/ )

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also this” @oldpoyntz: @8TOZERS ooh I like chicken & stuffing or salmon & cream cheese”
As you can see twitter , well 7 of them are fans of the savoury sandwich.

Sandwiches they really are the best thing since sliced bread.
* disclaimer , this post was not sponsored by a sandwich , just inspired by one ๐Ÿ™‚

Facebook friend or foe

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I rarely go on Facebook anymore. I just don’t enjoy it. As I’ve said on my blog a few times its all inspirational pictures and quotes. Stupid pictures asking for likes and lately more and more racist posts.
People who I’ve considered enough of a friend to add on facebook post stuff that I see as racist or bigotted I don’t like it. I don’t go on Facebook to see this kind of thing.
I’ve been shot down in flames lately twice. The first time because I said the thatcher jokes on the day of her death were unnecessary , whatever she was , she was a mum , a grandmother etc , and I think a lot of the jokes etc are posted purely to get likes or to follow the fb sheep. I was blasted as naive , foolish , she was compared to Fred west and hitler ! Now you’re welcome to dislike whoever you want but I’m also allowed to state that I don’t like it.
I’m quite pleased that I’m able to hold my own and make my point in an articulate way.
The second time I got blasted was for writing a status saying I was upset by how much racism I’d seen on my TL last week.
I said there was too much racism and often too much homophobia and slagging off of those on benefits going on.
I was within seconds blasted as being a condescending preacher. And my status was shared with the title ” preaching at its best ”
I’m not a preacher. I rarely speak up on these things. For fear of being blasted for doing so. But
every now and then I just have to say something. I never single anyone out I just write on my status that I don’t like it. And if people have the right to write it surely I have the right to say I don’t like it.
The people being frankly nasty to me were actual friends. Who I’ve now removed and blocked.
Why on Facebook are people so quick to defend the right to be racist or bigoted but so against the right to speak out about it. Aren’t they both freedom of speech ? Perhaps because you get more likes for writing the controversial stuff , and fb is all about how many likes you can get these days.
I haven’t seen any such things on my twitter time line. Thankfully. Which is why I take twitter over Facebook nowadays.
But it’s a shame.
And one more thing ,why are the people on Facebook with the most crap to say always the least literate and least articulate. A lot of mouth but not so much brain , perhaps ?
I now refrain from ever having an opinion on anything atall on fb in case I annoy the next person looking to publicly take someone down. Because let’s face it that is what it actually is.
Is my friend list really a list of friends. I’m not sure.

Bishops park , a most lovely day

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After a weekend of slobbing around indoors I felt like we needed some sunshine and fresh air today , I suggested we go to one of our two local parks. Wimbledon park or bishops park in Putney , the kids chose Bishops park so we packed up some food and took a short bus ride over Putney bridge

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See how happy we were to be going out

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I love how much green there is in Bishops park

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The kids love it too. A big open space to run around and let off steam.
The first thing to do was eat so we set out our thrown together in a hurry picnic in a sunny spot by the water

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And for pudding , ice cream

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The kids had a play in the playground , which is really good since it had a bit of a refurb

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It was so nice to see them playing together

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There’s also a big area for scooting , next time we will be bringing scooters.
After lots of spinning , swinging and climbing we went to the ” beach ”
The water wasn’t turned on , I guess it hasn’t really be good enough weather for it but the kids love playing in the sand. And I got to sit and have a read in the sun

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They played for an hour in the sand. We didn’t even have a bucket and spade they just dug , buried and built together. And the weather was just perfect
We had a nice walk back along the river

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And a bit more of a run and a play

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Then we jumped on a bus back over the river and finished our lovely day in the best way

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We had a lovely day out and the ice creams weren’t too overpriced ยฃ 1:60 each , I’ve paid a lot more .
There will be lots more days at bishops park for us over the summer

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I almost forgot to mention my favourite thing about the day , O didn’t wear his coat. He wore a hoodie. Zipped up and hood up of course. But it’s a grand step forward !

Book review : Room

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Room

My mum passed this book on to me after she had read it , I didn’t actually think it looked much good but at a loss for anything else to read this weekend I gave it a try.
I was completely captivated by the first couple of pages. Almost immediately I knew I had to know what happened. I wanted Jack and Ma to be okay, to be safe .
The book is written in the voice of Jack.
Jack is five years old and has lived his whole life in one room with his Ma. He’s never seen outside , he watches tv but believes everything he sees on there is only TV not real.
Until one day Ma tells him that she used to live outside of room, before she was kidnapped by old nick.
The author gets Jacks voice just right. It’s young and innocent but not babyish. It takes nothing away from the story that it is narrated in the voice of a five year old. In fact it makes the story all the more moving.
Ma and jack make a plan to escape but it means that jack had to be very brave and go to outside on his own. Is jack brave enough ? Will Nick find out their plan ?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book , I almost read it in one sitting.
It’s a book about love between mother and child and how strong that love is even in the most difficult of circumstances . How love makes you strong.
Definitely a book I would recommend .

Out of my depth.

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I had a feeling I’d get the phone call.
I was actually holding my phone waiting for it to ring. Not willing it to ring , but knowing it would.
12:30 pm ” hi Mrs T , I know O was supposed to try having lunch today but can you come and collect him please , he’s struggling”
I was at the school in 15 minutes and was told he was in the hall refusing to move.
I hoped the hall was empty , but it was raining so years 3 and 4 were all in the hall waiting for their turn to line up for lunch.
The teacher said he was very upset but no explanation as to why.
He was sitting at the back of the line crying , actually more like sobbing , I thought he’d be pleased to see me so I went and sat on the floor next to him. ” what’s happened ”
” shut up, don’t touch me ”
Lets get out of here and you can tell me what’s wrong ”
“SHUT UP DON’T TOUCH ME ”
” let me help you O let’s get out of here ”
” SHUUUT UUUP !!!!! DONT TOUCH ME”
Year 3 and 4 were all watching along with the staff , and I wasn’t at all sure what to do. The next five minutes were long and uncomfortable , years 3 and 4 stared , O made his noises LOUDLY and I wished the ground would swallow me up.
” why are you crying”
” I want my lunch ”
“I’ve come to get you because you had a bad morning”
” I want my lunch”
” you have to come home I came to get you ”
” I WANT MY LUNCH ”
” is that why you’re crying ? You want your lunch ? ”
“I WANT MY LUNCH , they said I could have lunch and its not 1:45 ”
” they asked me to get you early ”
“But it’s not 1:45″
” let’s talk about this somewhere”
“IT’S NOT 1:45 , IM NOT LEAVING TILL 1:45, I WANT MY LUNCH ”
I spoke to the deputy head she said O could try to have his lunch if I stayed in the school.
I told O what I had sorted out but he was adamant he still wasn’t leaving till it was 1:45 .
I left him in the dining hall with the teaching assistant , sat by the office and pretended I was busy using my phone for 5 minutes, I heard shouting , looked up and there was O being brought to me ” he’s not calming down , he can’t have lunch ”
What followed what 20 excruciating minutes of me chasing O from room to room , grabbing chairs as he sent them toppling over , holding his arms so he couldn’t punch the window , trying to lead him to the way out.
While the staff looked on.
I understand them letting me deal with him , but the look on their faces made me feel like I had just won the award for worst mum EVER.
I wanted out of there NOW
I eventually wrestled him ( actually wrestled) to the door and dragged him out whilst he screamed that ” the school is stupid and fat , and all the teachers should be fired ”

It took us twenty minutes to walk home
O alternated between shouting at the top of his voice that he’d wanted his lunch , and wailing all the way.

We had been in for 5 minutes when he was asking for a pack of crisps and sitting to watch tv like nothing had happened.
He’s had many tantrums at home but so far I’ve mostly managed to calm him down , I have had to hold him and restrain him mostly for his own safety but I’ve never had to do it in front of people , staring at me , wondering why I can’t control my child. It’s horrible.

I had absolutely no idea what to do. I was completely and utterly out of my depth and everyone could see that , and frankly I have no idea what to do when that happens again. That scares me.

More meds and needles …

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I went back to the doctor today with a long list of ailments. So many in fact that they’ve asked me to book double appointments in future.
Since I took my first dose of methotrexate for my psoriatic arthritis last Wednesday I’ve not felt right atall. I have constant nausea , I threw up quite a bit last week as well as light headed ness. This is unfortunately a side effect of the medication because its a powerful drug but my gp has given me anti sickness medication to ease it. She said that for some people they get past the nausea but some can’t tolerate the medication so it’s just wait and see.
I’m not looking forward to the second dose tomorrow but I’ve started taking the anti sickness tablets today in preparation.
We discussed the migraines I’ve been having recently and the gp feels they are probably caused by the fact that I’m on so much medication coupled with lots of stress. She wants me to try to manage on less painkillers. Maybe holding out till bedtime as she said that taking too many painkillers can contribute to getting migraines.
She checked my eyes and my blood pressure which were normal so she said there’s nothing for me to be really worried about.
Then we talked about the bad tummy I’ve had for two years now. And she has diagnosed me with irritable bowel syndrome i had an endoscopy two years ago which didn’t show anything , I’ve tried some medication incase of any bowel infection but its not getting any better. I only have one or two days in a week where I can eat without it going straight through me. I can’t eat out anymore because that makes me very ill. And I often survive on diet coke alone.
She’s sending me for more blood tests to see if I have inflammatory irritable bowel syndrome or the non inflammatory kind. She thinks I have the non inflammatory kind , which is apparently harder to treat as its mostly a case of learning exactly what I can and can’t eat and all the medication I’m on can contribute to having a bad tummy. She’s also having me tested for coeliac disease , mostly to rule it out so they can plan how to help me better.
So on top of the fortnightly blood tests I have to have FOREVER * shudders , passes out * I have to have two more tomorrow.
My medicine cupboard looks like a pharmacy and I have a pile of blood test forms that fill me with dread , did I mention I also have to do a stool sample BLEURGH * vomits* but at least I’m starting to get things diagnosed. After two years of being really poorly hopefully we can get things under control. None of the conditions I have is curable but at least with the right care and treatments they should be easier to live with.

I love books …. Books I love.

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I love books. I love to read. There’s absolutely nothing I like to do more when I have *spare time
* housework I should be doing
I know I’ve said it before but I needed to start this post somehow so I’m saying it again. I love books.

Recently I’ve moved away from the paranormal books I’ve been reading for a long time and I’ve been reading books with mental health as the subject matter. ( fiction) it doesn’t sound like much fun , but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these books ..
I read winter girls which I have written a post about already but in case you didn’t see it , this book is about Lia , a girl struggling with anorexia. Her best friend cassie was found dead in a motel room , she called Lia 33 times before she died. Lia didn’t answer. Now she is struggling with the guilt as well as a troubled family life. I thought this book gave a good insight into anorexia , without glamourising it. It was very well written , I really cared about Lia ! I have no experience of anorexia and I felt that this book shone some light on what it’s like to live with anorexia. It’s also made me want to seek out similar books .
The curious incident of the dog in the night time
I think everybody has heard of this book. And i think it’s earned it’s reputation.
It’s the story of Christopher , a 15 year old boy with aspergers and what happens when he finds his neighbours dog dead. He starts to investigate the murder, and uncovers some shocking secrets. This is one of the best books I’ve read. It gives a really good understanding of autism and what it’s like for the person with autism, this book is well worth reading if you know someone with aspergers , want to know more about aspergers or even if you just like to read a very good book.
It’s kind of a funny story is about Craig. A teenager with depression. The events leading up to him checking himself into a psychiatric ward. This book was moving , funny and as the author did actually spend 5 days in a psychiatric ward as a teenager I think it gives an honest insight into depression , how it feels , what it’s like to live with it , as I have a teenager that suffers from depression I found it to be a really useful read.
my brother Simple the story of Simple , a 22 year old with learning difficulties and his 17 year old brother Kleber. Knowing how unhappy Simple was in the institution where their dad sent him to after he remarried Kleber takes it upon himself to look after Simple. They go to Paris where Kleber will go to college. They move into a flat share with four students. The people and relationships around them change when Kleber and Simple become part of their lives. This book is , I felt about the way we make assumptions of other people. It’s a heartwarming , moving read. It’s a short book but very enjoyable and thought provoking.
The woman who went to bed for a year this is the story of Eva. When her 17 year old twins leave for university Eva goes to bed , and stays there for a year.
Her whole world and the people in it change all around her. Eva doesn’t know why she’s gone to bed but once she’s there she doesn’t know how to get up again. To begin with people have to start looking after her , her husband , mum and mother in law and she becomes a bit of a celebrity as the woman who doesn’t get out of bed but after a year she is living with her bedroom door boarded up , just leaving a space for food to be pushed through.
I’m not sure if this book is supposed to get you thinking about depression but it does. Eva is clearly depressed.She’s unhappy with her life. She takes to her bed for the safety and security of it. As they cope with Eva being in bed the lives of everyone around Eva change. I think This book makes you think about not judging people too quickly on who you THINK they are. And how a little kindness can have a big effect on people.
This book was not one that I would usually pick up in a book shop , it was because it was on offer that i bought it but I really enjoyed it.

I would recommend all of these books , not just to someone who enjoys books with mental health as the subject matter but to anyone who enjoys thought provoking , insightful heart warming books.

A feeling

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There’s a feeling
I can’t put a name to
A little like lost
Not knowing
What to do

It’s not hopeless
I always have hope
But while you’re grasping it
You don’t always believe you will cope.

It’s not alone
Life is all around
It’s wanting understanding
Not people making the right sounds

People think they know
They listen to your words
But quietly you’re screaming
Am I ever being heard

It’s a feeling
Of wanting someone to say
I’ve no idea
Of how you feel or
What the fuck to say
But let me be on your side
Anyway

New meds and needles

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At the beginning of 2012 I noticed that my ankles were getting a little stiff.
Getting up out of bed was difficult , my ankles just didn’t want to bend and when I put my feet on the ground it was like stepping on broken glass.
I didn’t worry too much at first. It was winter , I’m on the road to being forty , I put it down to nothing more than getting a bit creaky in the cold weather.
By March ,after a few weeks of continuing pain and increasing stiffness I thought it was time to get checked out by my gp.
The gp told me it was just a slight inflammation , he told me to take ibuprofen for two weeks and said it should clear up. In fact it continued getting worse. I went back two weeks later and the gp said he would refer me to the rheumatology clinic. I know that referrals always take a while so I waited …. And waited ….. I phoned the gp surgery a few times and was told that the referral had been made but they had not heard anything back yet.
By July I still hadn’t heard anything and the pain and stiffness were getting worse all the time. My feet were so swollen and sore that some days walking was excruciating.
I mentioned to the doctor that I was now getting pain in my knees too and he told me to be patient , I have a friend who works in the hospital , i asked her to speak to someone she knows in the rheumatology clinic to see what was taking so long and it turned out that they hadn’t received a referral at all.
I had to go to the surgery and complain , at first they told me it had definitely been done weeks ago,so I explained that I had checked with the clinic , they checked and found that it had in fact been “overlooked.”( not bothered with)
I finally got my rheumatology appointment. And I also changed to another gp practice !
I had a scan on my feet which showed lots of inflammation and was at first diagnosed with plantar fasciitis , I was prescribed codydramol by the hospital and fitted for orthotic insoles , wearing the insoles was more painful than not wearing them and the painkillers were not touching the pain. So I went back to the gp. Over the next few months I had numerous blood tests , looking for the rheumatoid factor among other things ( as I have a phobia of needles this was horrendous. ) I think that between September 2012 and the present day I’ve had 15 blood tests.
My Gp tried me on all different painkillers and anti inflammatories. The pain was getting progressively worse and I was now getting pain , stiffness and swelling in ALL of my joints.
In February I had another appointment at the rheumatology clinic and was finally diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I’ve had psoriasis for as long as I can remember but until then no one had ever linked it with my other symptoms.
I started another new medication and was prescribed tramadol but still I wasn’t getting any pain relief so I was given a steroid injection. ( more needles)
The injection did help a little I’ve been finding walking easier and I’m definitely less stiff in the morning. But still in chronic pain .

I had an appointment at the clinic today and my rheumatologist has put me on long term medication , methotrexate , this is an immuno suppressant , it also affects the blood so I have to take folic acid to counteract the effects . Because this medication can cause lots of chest problems I will have to have chest X-rays every 3 months , the first one will be tomorrow and because it can effect my liver and kidneys I have to have blood tests every two weeks . As I’ve had so many blood tests recently I’ve moved past actually passing out and now I just cry (a lot) get dizzy and sweat like a pig in a butchers shop , brave huh ! Apparently i will also be prone to infections , likely to bruise easily and badly , and bleed heavily
It all sounds like a bit of a palava. I have so much medication to take every day that I’m sure I rattle when I walk , BUT at least now I hopefully have the right medication and I will be able to walk rather than the hobbly shuffle I’ve been doing for so long.
And I realise that although this is a lifelong condition it won’t kill me.
So I will gladly put up with the palava that comes with the new medication !

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