31st January 2011


Busy day. Woke late, had breakfast, did my Wii Fit + stuff, showered, dressed and went to Solihull. I had to return stuff to Next and John Lewis, take the insurance claim for the cat’s treatment to the vet for them to fill in, and go to Lakeland. Did everything, took it gently, had a cup of coffee in Drucker’s half-way through, but am still absolutely exhausted.Thank heavens I can go to bed early and just sleep.

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Wednesday 26th January 2011

A wonderful day. Had my hair cut this morning by the inestimable James at Toni & Guy, then met lovely friend Fiona for lunch at spud-u-like. I used to work with Fiona at Solihull Council, and she still works there. We always have a lovely chat about life in general, including our cats and sexist football commentators, for example, today.

In between the two things, though, I saw a bagpiper in full regalia playing his pipes today outside Marks and Spencers, so put a couple of quid in the hat and asked him to play “Flower o’ Scotland”, the which he did, while I stayed and listened. As my mum is Scots by birth, I really like the lyrics of that one.

Next, met quite by chance a friend I’ve known for over 40 years now – my friend Kim. We had a really nice chat too, and she’s really happy now she’s changed some basic things in her life. Good to hear. Excellent news.

Came home, changed my coat as it’s cold today, went straight out for my small constitutional round the block which I’m doing all the days I don’t do the Wii Fit thing. Must lose this Christmas weight.

Then ordered some new shoes on line (they’re a style I have in two colours already and know what size fits me . . . how sad is that??) and read The Big Issue with a nice cup of tea and did the crossword.

Was very pleased to see Adele featured in their music section – YD had told me about her only yesterday, and I’d watched her sing a couple of tracks on youtube. Amazing voice, just amazing. Talented young woman.

Also, over the past few days, have made contact with a friend from years and years ago. My mum’s best friend at school married a Swedish guy, moved to Sweden with him and had three sons. They were always turning up at strange hours desperate to use our loo, and were great fun. We went over in 1970, I think it must have been, for a summer holiday, which was absolutely wonderful. Somehow or other we lost touch over the years, but I have always thought about them and what they’re doing now.

Well, thanks to facebook, I’ve actually managed to contact the middle son. Who is an airline pilot, no less, and lives in China! Oh. My. God. His photos look exactly like I would expect him to look, 40 years later. What an interesting life he has. A multilingual son, and a Swedish partner. The guy is bilingual himself, with an English mother and Swedish father, but I guess he must speak Chinese as well now. Blimey. Makes my French, Italian and Spanish look a bit pathetic really. But it’s not a competition, now, is it.

It is wonderful to have found one of them, at least.

And good news about the cat – she’s back on top form, now, but not quite so keen on biscuits as she was. I’m sure that will pass . . .

25th January 2011

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Less weepy and pathetic today. I have an appointment to have an ultrasound scan of my feet at the beginning of March (don’t ask!) and a physiotherapy assessment of my hand/arm/wrist next Friday, 4th Feb. Finally. It does feel like something more positive is happening about all my wonky bits.
We had a small drama with the cat on Sunday. She’d been eating grass, and we think a long stalk got stuck, and she couldn’t swallow it. She was gagging, but not vomiting, and couldn’t manage to eat anything. So off we went to the emergency vet (thank goodness we’re insured!) and paid £104. But she was seen immediately, thoroughly examined, and given an anti-inflammatory injection, which has done the trick. She doesn’t mind being examined at all, takes no notice of a thermometer being poked up her bottom, nor a needle stuck in her skin. Very sweet and docile. Also curious – she jumped from the examination table to the computer desk and started pottering around on there. Bless her.
Yesterday she could only manage soft food, today she’s back to top form and has eaten a whole sachet of soft food and some biscuits too. Hooray!
Am keeping up with the Wii Fit+ stuff and the 10 minute walk every other day. It’s good, not just for the actual exercise, but being outside is good too. Roll on gardening weather.
My friend Cas came round for coffee this morning – we used to go to school together, many moons ago in “nineteen hundred and frozen-to-death.” We drank coffee, chatted and ate home made double choc chip cookies. Yum.
This afternoon will be sleep time, after lunch which is going to be a bread roll with possibly ham, maybe cheese, then two little oranges and a banana. Also my lunchtime cocktail of pills (anti depressants and Bromelain – pineapple extract – supposed to help with the pain).

22nd January 2011

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Well, today I am officially a Miserable Old Baggage. I’m weepy and very fed up. Mostly with constant pain. So I’ve decided to keep on with the Wii Fit+ twice a week, and all the other days to go for a walk. It’s ten minutes round the block, and as well as the exercise, the daylight is good for miserable old baggages like me.
Just been for said walk in new shoes (with extra sock wrapped round the ankle they’re rubbing) and it was fine.
Thank goodness for painkillers and ice packs, that’s all I’ll say about my hand / arm/ wrist.
Yesterday I made a banana and chocolate chip cake with the left over bananas. Yummy. In fact, might treat myself to a small(ish) piece later on this afternoon with a cup of tea while I read one of my new books.
Paul O’Grady’s “At My Mother’s Knee”, Bill Bryson’s “Icons of England” and Alison Weir’s “Lancaster and York”, all arrived today. Hooray! Have just finished all my library books, so they can go back on Monday, and I just love to have a pile of books to read. Love it.
Well, hand hurting, so must stop.

20th January 2011

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An interesting week. Monday I slept. A lot. Tuesday I had a pedicure – always good. Wednesday – slept. A lot. Today – went to see the podiatrist about my wonky feet. Lovely, lovely man. Wonderful manner. Outcome – it’s Moreton’s Neuroma, and my Ecco shoes are way too soft and I’ve had to buy some different shoes. They have a much more rigid sole, which should help, but they look like – well, they are – trainers. Really not my style, but health comes first. They are Brasher’s which apparently is a good make, and they’re ok I suppose. Next, I have to have an ultrasound scan and then go back to see what’s happening. If the different shoes don’t work, it’s steroid injections. If those don’t work, it’s surgery. So it’s good that he’s trying conservative measures first. I’m not allowed to wear slippers, even. But I am allowed to wear more dressy shoes for a short period. I don’t do heels – haven’t worn heels for years and years now, because of my wonky back, but trainers! really!
Vic came with me, thank goodness, and took me into Solihull afterwards to get said shoes / trainers, then we had a coffee in Druckers. Very nice. Also bought some egg-poaching silicone thingamajigs in Lakeland.
Long sleep this afternoon. Had to get up at 8 am this morning – really not used to that any more.
The weather is just beautiful. Cold, but sunny. A deep frost each night (well, deep for the British Midlands). I don’t care how cold it is as long as it’s dry. And it is! lovely.
The external hard drive finally arrived from Play.com. I ordered it initially on 8th December, and it arrived today, after several emails and phone calls. Apparently the first one, which I never received, was confirmed as delivered on 10th December by the courier – interesting, as our road was impassable on that day. Anyway, anyway, anyway, it’s here now, all set up, attached directly to the music server and set to back up regularly and incrementally. Next thing – to get a networked external hard drive (called a NAS I think, Network Attached Server) – possibly a Buffalo one – so that I can back up both Vic’s machine and mine more easily.
When YD and boyfriend have moved into their house, the next thing is to set up the final external hard drive, dedicate that to the music server, and keep one at their house, swapping them over every month or so, so that we have some off-site backup. I did check out online backup, but for 206Gb of music it’s very expensive, so I think this is a better solution. It’s all great fun.
Vic is currently doing the dinner. A chilli made for Christmas with some mushrooms he’s just discovered in the fridge. Tomorrow the shopping is being delivered, and I have decided I really must start using the Wii Fit+. When the shopping’s been put away I’ll do my stuff. In my new shoes. Hmph.
I’ve set up a Scrabble game on my Ubuntu. It’s actually called Networdz and runs in a Windows emulator, called Wine, but you just can’t get a decent Scrabble game on Linux. It’s not as intuitive as the Funkitron one, but it at least works! And makes a change from the card games I like to play.
Oh dear, sounding geeky again. Ah well.

15th January 2011

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A productive day. Cleaned the en-suite and the downstairs loo thoroughly. They do get a cursory wipe regularly, but this was a proper clean. Smug or what.
Also have rearranged our cupboards a bit so that things are easier to see and manage. That felt good and is much better now.
And I’ve defrosted some lovely double choc chip (dairy free) cookies which are very nice to nibble at after a meal. As well as my usual chocolate ration, of course. What sort of a girl do you think I am?
The cat, also, had a productive day. She wrestled with a small cotton rug we keep by the patio door, then hid underneath it, keeping very still, for a while. Then she wriggled about underneath it, for a little while, then crawled out and sat up, as if to say “well, that’s done then”.

Vic has done the dinner in our new, Christmas gift, slow cooker. Smells lovely, and he’s not rushing about getting fraught.
Between us we also sorted out the music which says “unknown” on his DS player. It took a bit of doing, but it’s done now and he is happy with it all. Excellent.
YD phoned a bit fraught, but talked her through it and now she’s ok. ED also phoned, full of exciting things they’re going to do with their flat in Southampton, and stories of their naughty cat JR!
Watched first of “Episodes” with Steven Mangan and Tamsin Greig. Loved it. Can’t wait for the next one. Loved “Rev” too and am awaiting the issue of that on DVD. Love Tom Hollander. Excellent actor, so versatile.
Hand, arm and wrist still painful. Damn.
Have some machine knitting projects – one involving the garter carriage, now I’ve got some sound-absorbing feet for the table – and one not. But I have to have a) the time, b) the inclination c) the energy and d) my machine knitting head on. Maybe this week.

13th January 2011

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Yesterday I went into Solihull. My list was very short – only two places to go, John Lewis and the library. I needed to go to John Lewis because I wanted to return a handbag I’d bought online and didn’t like, and pick up another one which I’d had delivered to them.
Turns out you can’t return stuff to the “collections” counter, you have to go back to the department. So I ended up with a huge box full of the new bag which I also didn’t like, and all the packing, and the original bag, and a heavy bag full of library books, up the escalator to the handbag department. All was going fairly well with the return procedure when I started to have a funny turn. I frequently have funny turns in John Lewis, it’s so flipping hot in there. I had to remove my warm jacket and find my hand fan, and start fanning like a mad woman to stop myself passing out.
Then of course I was exhausted before I’d even started the rest of the stuff I needed to do. But it was ok once I’d decided that it was “jacket off” in the shops, and “jacket on” outside. I also took the library books back before I did anything else, so I wasn’t carrying heavy stuff around all morning.
Finally found a bag I liked at “Posh Bags” and it’s perfect. Also got loads of library books to read which is excellent as I still can’t knit (bummer).
Next, when I’d finished in Solihull, I needed to get the food for Becky and Tom to cook for us tonight, so that involved schlepping round Sainsbury’s. But it was ok (ish). By the time I got home I was desperate for a cup of tea, lunch, and my bed. The cat was pretty cross too, as she’d been in most of the morning and wanted to play outside. No cat door, you see. She’s so docile we’d have all her little friends inside eating her food.
Today, I went to the osteopath, who is wonderful. She’s tiny, barely 5′ tall, if that, and can’t weigh more than 6 stone max. But so strong! And a lovely person too. She dealt with my back and gave my shoulder and arm a good seeing too as well, and advice about my appointment with the podiatrist next week. (Take Vic with you, she said).
I always need a sleep when I’ve seen the osteopath – probably because she relaxes muscles that were tight. I need a sleep anyway in the afternoon unless I’ve got up really late, say, 11.30 am.
Must stop now, need to rest and ice my wonky arm.