Binge Reading

I’m on a roll at the moment. Maeve Binchy books for the most part, with something else in between for variety. I love her stuff. Love it. Currently reading Sandi Toksvig (Between the Stops, I think) and have also just read Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey. It’s just so lovely to pick up my Kindle and feel as if I’m in a different world. The current real world is a bit depressing, to be honest.

We are also mid way through Season Two of The Bridge, which is an excellent Swedish/Danish collaborative series. It’s just so interesting that the various characters talk to each other in their own language and everybody seems to understand everybody else. I have been wondering whether it would be comparable to an English person conversing with somebody with a strong Scottish/Irish/Welsh accent and everybody just understanding. But Scotland, Ireland and Wales each have their own language too, so not quite the same.

Just had to water the pots in the garden. In the UK. In September. I know!

Sorted out the muddle in the craft room, where I currently have various birthday and Christmas gifts awaiting wrapping and posting.

Went through Mother’s commemorative coin collection – the Queen, Prince Philip (!), WWI, WWII, Peter Rabbit – and none of it complete. A whole box full of empty presentation folders. If I was remotely interested in any of it I’d have a proper look. Luckily I have a good friend whose husband sorted it out, and then I went through it to see what’s what. I expect somebody, somewhere will want it.

Slept all day yesterday. Not a great day. But the pain in my hands is slightly less, which is good. Strange feeling of ants under the skin where the injections went, though, but that seems to have passed.

Tomorrow my jobs are to post several parcels at the Post Office, get my prescription from the chemist and see if they have cheese sauce packets at the Co-op. Yeah, that’s it. But for me that’s quite a big task, so I have no other expectations for Monday.

Off to read my Sandi Toksvig book.

Little Things

Well, I was going to show you pictures of the shoes I dyed. But you can’t really tell the difference in photos. They were brown, and I dyed them black. You can see the difference in real life though. They’re Birkenstocks and very comfy, and I couldn’t find any other shoes I wanted to buy, so I dyed them instead. Very pleased with the result.

Yesterday I spent over an hour on hold on the phone. Forty five minutes to the doctors, and twenty minutes to the Department of Work and Pensions, who pay my benefit. Hubby gets really impatient and frustrated when he’s on hold, but I try not to. I play computer games instead. Crosswords, jigsaws, Solitaire.

It could be argued, and is regularly harrumphed about in our house, that it’s a deliberate government strategy to make everybody so cross about the NHS that private medicine becomes the preferred option. I’m sure that is the case. But we both strongly believe in a health service that is available free to those in clinical need.

I’ve started Christmas shopping. Yes, in September. I usually start about now. Amazon and Marks and Spencer do particularly well out of this household. The lists have been in progress from very early on in the year. All the teenage grandchildren get multi-shop vouchers now. Wish lists are only consulted for adults, and even then we sometimes use them as a basis for buying something else connected. There will be lots of parcels arriving shortly. (We also keep the Post Office and various other parcel delivery services in business.)

And Covid. What a mess. Government playing Whack a Mole again. I don’t understand why pubs are allowed to be open. It’s madness. I understand that it’s awful for businesses too but, surely to goodness, health comes first. Or so you would think. Mm.

Baby Steps

Well, I feel as if I’ve been really daring this week.

I went to the osteopath on Tuesday – both of us masked and all precautions taken. It felt great, if painful!

Today we took the cat to the vet for her annual inoculation. It’s always a major performance getting her there. Recently we’ve started putting a little harness on, and only putting her in the carrier when we arrive. That works much better but she still yowls the whole time in the car on the way there, and some of the time on the way back. When she’s actually in the vet’s surgery she is very interested in everything except what the vet is doing, and tries to jump off the examination table and investigate the whole room. Anyway, that’s done, although you have to wait outside the vet (masked up) while they take in one animal at a time and bring the card machine out to you. That’s fine, but it was raining today!

And best of all I finally have an appointment at the doctors next Thursday to have steroid injections in my hand. I am so relieved. It’s felt like a long time.

What I Can Do

Well, if I can’t knit, which is a major bummer, I can still tidy things up.

Today I’ve re-organised my bedroom storage. Had ordered some things to enable that and now my underwear is in excellent order. Re-lined the drawers too with some of the excessive amount of brown wrapping paper from Mother’s house.

Sorted out a new Kindle Fire so that I can download library books and have managed to actually do that and read one. Excellent.

Made an appointment for the cat’s annual vaccination.

Ordered present for upcoming birthday.

Gardener guy came yesterday so the garden looks great.

Ordered some new clothes (always, always cheers me up. How shallow am I.)

And that’s it for now.

My Own Little Bubble

Well. Now then. The news, nationally and globally is just so damn depressing.

The UK and lots of other countries seem to be playing Whack-a-Mole with Covid-19.

The US election campaigning is in full swing. Somebody is tweeting rubbish in all capital letters. Racism. Lies.

UK exam results are completely buggered (although our granddaughter did Very Very Well in her GCSEs this year).

I’m really struggling with pain, exhaustion and low mood ( I do know that this is selfish when there’s so much going on, so let’s add guilt to that particular little mix).

Hubby is trying to explain Modern Monetary Theory to me. I sort of get it in a very muddled way but it’s so very different from what I was taught at school 50 years ago. I also worked in a bank for 12 years, and there had to be a debit for every credit, so I’m very confused and fuzzy about it.

So I have decided I’m going to try to stop worrying about stuff I can’t change, and reach out from time to time for some chocolate/painkillers.

Meanwhile my Ab Fab rose is starting to bud like billyo again. Love it so much. It really cheers me up.

Happy Things

I’ve started watching stuff on YouTube to cheer myself up – sometimes cute animal stuff (eg huge golden labrador frightened of tiny little new kitten), mostly comedians.

My favourite comedians are, in no particular order, Aisling Bea, Frankie Boyle, Dara O’Briain, Susan Calman, Sarah Millican, Billy Connolly, and Jack Whitehall. They always, always cheer me up.

I’m also reading, as well as Manda C Scott’s Rome series (god I love these stories), a book by Dara O’Briain about his tour of the UK which is hilarious.

Tomorrow I have no chores to do so might get some knitting done. Also fancying this: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/07-origami-shawl when my hand is fixed. In this yarn: https://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/yarn/king-cole-cottonsoft-baby-crush-dk-coffees-2873-100g

Thinking of knitting it half the width and maybe 3/4 the length. I’ve ordered 4 balls of yarn (100% cotton) and there are 210 metres on each ball. So I’ll just keep going I think, making sure the pattern is symmetrical lengthways too.

In the meantime I have the Pimpelliese shawlette to finish (taking me ages because I can only do a bit at a time, and not every day), then a jumper and a jacket for LCS (who will be 6 in November), then a jumper for hubby. Always plenty on my list of knitting things to do!

 

To mask or not?

Had to go into Solihull today to the bank. Some things just can’t be done online, on the phone, or by post. Sigh.

But what struck me most is how many people are not wearing masks! I went to a knit and natter group on Saturday. Five of us all sat outside, but I was the only one wearing a mask. Am I paranoid?

In New Zealand, the advice was, when you’ve been out and about, change all your clothes and have a shower when you get home. So I did. It might be over the top, but New Zealand is in a much, much better state than the UK.

Hmph.

In the end my sister and I decided that digitising all the cine films was just too difficult and too expensive. Some had already been done, so we are assuming they were the only ones worth doing, and dumped the rest. Freecycled the Eumig projector,¬† the slide projector, and the screen. A lovely, lovely Polish lorry driver collected them on his way back to Poland, where he lives opposite a children’s home. He volunteers there and collects stuff just like this to help entertain them. He will fix the stuff and then donate it. The Paul Klee prints went to a lovely guy who was influenced by Klee at uni and everybody is delighted, including me.

Dressed in my “working clothes”, had a nice cup of tea after the shower, then used the “jet” setting on the hose to clean up the green wheelie bin (for garden refuse). And now it’s lunchtime.

Have been reading a lot. Had already read Fire & Fury, Siege, and Surviving Autocracy, just read Too Much and Never Enough. Now I’m back into the Boudica: Dreaming series of 4 books. It all seemed much cleaner, somehow, back then (I know it’s fictionalised), but really, honestly, I don’t think I can cope with¬† knowing too much more about Trump. We do have two programmes recorded which we will no doubt harrumph our way through. Also the Rupert Murdoch 3 part documentary. Oh. My. God. If you’ve watched Succession, know that it is scarily accurate.

Next up will be another book on the Trojan War from a woman’s point of view – Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon. Then hubby has a book called “Pew” which sounds great.

Have been able to knit a very small amount – half an hour about three times a week, if I’m not doing anything else. And only in the morning. Not today, too busy. And thank goodness for the gardeners. Although they haven’t turned up today . . .