Thursday 30th June 2011

Heard from the consultant’s secretary yesterday – he agreed with the registrar that I was to be discharged. Hmph. But saw the physio today who said basically they’ve just passed me back to her. I have had 15 operations, and seen over 20 consultants, over my adult life, and have never, ever, had this happen before. Every other consultant (bar one, who shall remain nameless) has actually carried on treating me or doing tests until they found out what was wrong and made me better.
Still. The physio is organising an MRI scan of my neck, really to exclude that as a problem, and we will see what happens after that. Baby steps, baby steps.
This evening is knitting group (hurrah, coffee, chat, and cake!) and tomorrow is shopping delivery day. Also cake decorating for ED’s party day. Exciting.
No sightings of Trundle the mother hedgehog since the demise of the hoglets. Oh dear.
Garden, however, is looking lovely, thanks to the sun and showers, and my friend Maggie’s annual poppies have started to bloom. Excellent. 

Am very tired, though, now, so will have an early lunch and a sleep before Stitch and Bitch tonight.

Monday 27th June 2011

Found, and buried, three dead hoglets (baby hedgehogs) on Saturday. Very sad. I think a fox must have got them. Haven’t seen the mother since. But have laid down fox repellent, probably too late for this litter. I don’t know how many there were, because apparently the average is four – five. But only one out of five hoglets survives to adulthood. Nature. Red in tooth and claw. Hmm.

Had hubby’s sister to stay this weekend, which was great. But of course I was absolutely pooped today, and after waking at about 9.50 am, went back to bed about 11.30 am and slept till 4 pm. But feeling a bit more like myself now.

Washed all the spare bedlinen today, including the towels, and it dried really quickly on the line. Tomorrow the rest of the washing, including our own bedlinen, and I’m hoping that will dry quickly too.

Am reading all the Harry Potter books before the last film comes out – have just started The Order Of The Phoenix. Damn, they’re good. When I’m reading them I feel as if I actually live in the world J K Rowling has created. Amazing. Huge cast of characters, and such realistic variety. She’s really caught the essence of school life, loneliness, bullying, swottiness, everything really. Love it to bits.

Am anxiously awaiting to see if I hear from the hand consultant guy tomorrow. Very interesting. But if not, will just see the physio on Thursday and see what she says.

ED’s joint party (with uncle) on Saturday – have present(s) organised, cake ready to fill, all systems go.

Friday 24th June 2011

Well, I’m (almost) speechless. I have received a letter (a copy of one sent to my GP) from the hand consultant guy’s registrar, which basically said “the nerve conduction tests show no evidence of carpal tunnel syndrome, so we’re discharging her back to you”.
Discharging me? but I’m still wonky! and still in pain! I got in touch with the physiotherapist, who had kept my case open and given me her mobile phone number. We had a long talk and she will re-assess me next week. 
Meanwhile I phoned the consultant’s secretary and said I don’t understand. This gives the impression that the consultant can only deal with carpal tunnel, and if it’s not that, he can’t do anything, which I know can’t be the case. Also, when I initially saw him, and he said I think it’s carpal tunnel but we’ll do the nerve tests to be sure, I said What if it’s not carpal tunnel? and his reply was Well we’ll look for something else. I don’t think that discharging me counts as looking for something else. Hmph.
The secretary did try to fob me off a bit, but eventually, when I’d finished, said she’d have a talk to the consultant guy. Particularly as it was the registrar, not the consultant, who wrote the letter (in very bad English I will say, the grammar was appalling, which doesn’t give one much confidence in the system).
And to top it all, it wasn’t the GP who referred me to the hand guy, it was the physio!
We will see.
Meanwhile, again, the osteopath has been making noises about my needing a steroid injection (yeah, another one!) in the elbow. But you can’t just ask a consultant to do that, they know best. So I’ll see what the physio says, and possibly, if necessary, go back to the osteopath and see if she has any ideas about what to do next.
The shopping has just been delivered, all put away tidily. I’ve started making a trifle, just need to make the custard later on, and have made a coffee cake which I will fill with chocolate buttercream when it’s cooled. Hubby’s sister is coming to stay this weekend, hence the abundance of sugary treats. Excellent.

Went to knitting group last night. It’s lovely! a good mix of age ranges and abilities – and personality soup too. Can’t wait till I can knit again . . . bought some Rowan yarn half price in John Lewis’s clearance, and have worked out I should get three children’s garments from it. Nine balls of a soft grey, and ten balls of a brick/pink colour. Both in cotton DK. Lovely.

Monday 20th June 2011

Well, I went to the foot guy today, and I am to have five steroid injections. There’s a 60% to 40% chance they’ll work, if not, I think it means surgery. Hmm. There’s a four week wait, but that’s ok, because there is ED’s party to go to soon.

Also saw Trundle the Hedgehog again tonight – I did get excited, but managed to regain the power of speech more quickly this time. She was moving quite fast – but it was raining. Tomorrow I’m going to flip some slugs out of the compost bin so she has something to eat. Eww.

Pedicure tomorrow, hooray. My poor feet. They need a bit of pampering.

Thursday, hairdo and some bits and bobs in Solihull (for ED’s birthday . . . so can’t be too specific).

J K Rowling is up to something – she has a page on YouTube which is counting down to something – I’m interested to know what exactly.

That’s about it for today.


Oh my god. Oh my god.I have just seen our hedgehog. I jumped around for a while, flapping my arms and shouting Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, and then collected myself enough to take a few photos. And here they are.

I can’t believe how excited I am! when I took the first photo she just sat there, looking at me, but didn’t roll up into a ball. When she got bored with that, she trundled off in search of food. Bless her heart!

Sunday 19th June 2011

It’s been a while now since I posted – doesn’t time fly!
Last night we went to a wedding do – I have been friends with the bride’s mother for 45 years, since we met at secondary school in the first year. Deb also hand knits, machine knits, and sews, and our daughters are much the same age (and were also friends at school!). It was a lovely do, the bride looked beautiful, and so did the bridesmaids, one of whom was her sister. The food was excellent, and the music good too. The venue was the Abbey Hotel in Malvern – lovely, just lovely.
This morning we’ve popped to YD’s house to see their new sofa, in situ, in the decorated lounge, with the skirting boards attached. It looks absolutely wonderful, and they are clearly very happy. Also, it’s Father’s Day here in the UK, and although it’s my first husband who is my daughters’ dad, they clearly feel quite filial towards hubby No 2, and so always do a little something for Father’s Day. A joint card, one of Edward Monkton’s (love his stuff), and it’s all very sweet.
Had a little look round their garden, dead-headed the roses and staked some up for them. It’s beautiful.
Still haven’t caught sight of Hedgehog, but she’s clearly there, as I put out a saucer of water every day, and every day it’s completely empty. Despite the rain. One day I’ll see her, and maybe I’ll get to take a photo of her.
Hubby’s car service cost half what we were expecting. Excellent. That means hubby is going to upgrade his Linn Radikal for the LP12 with a Dynamik or something, and I’ve been able to finally treat myself to an accessory for my electronic knitting machine.
The  Silver Reed EC1 controller is a little machine which you need to read the special Mylar pattern sheets and it transfers the instructions directly to the knitting machine carriage.  The pre-printed set you get are all in the software, Design a Knit, but I have lots and lots of hand-drawn Mylar sheets, so that’s why I need the EC1. Also, as I have a lace carriage and the lace Mylar sheets, I can now do lace knitting on the Silver Reed, which is easier than doing lace on the Brother. On the Brother machine, you have to do so many carriage passes with the ordinary carriage, then so many with the lace carriage. On the Silver Reed, you just use the one carriage and do one pass which knits some stitches and transfers others all in one go.  A lot less work. So the EC1 will mean I can do lace and the hand drawn Mylar sheets. Excellent.
I’m very tired today, and a bit fed up really. Saw the podiatrist last week, and he sent me for an x-ray of both feet. There is pain in the joints as well as the bursitis and neuromae, so he wants to see what’s going on altogether in there before he does anything. Appointment tomorrow for the results and I’ll know what he intends to do, surgery, injections, whatever.
Also the pain in my wrists and hands is absolutely awful. Am still waiting to hear from the consultant after the nerve conduction test. What I’d like to hear is that it is definitely carpal tunnel syndrome, and that they’ll do an operation on one wrist at a time, and that’ll fix it. If it’s not carpal tunnel, then what is it? why is it so painful? and what will they do about it? if I haven’t heard by late next week I’ll phone his secretary.
Heard from my lovely French friend this week – a long letter and also, in the post, a stack of souvenirs of her daughter. The funeral songs, poems and so on, photos, and the newspaper articles. I have read through them once, and will read them again. Sad, moving, but beautiful. She was just a lovely lovely person, and a great loss to the world at large, as well as to her immediate family.

We’re gearing up now for ED’s birthday party – she’s 30 soon, and her uncle is 60 on the same day. All very exciting. Have made the carrot cake, three round layers, it’s in the freezer awaiting filling etc, and I’m going to get some ribbon and so on within the next week or so.

Have also bought some new costume jewellery from Boots (cheap and very pretty) to go with the outfit for the party. Very pleased.

Hair cut this week – thank goodness, and pedicure too if they don’t do anything horrid to my poor feet on Monday. Ooh, must book shopping slot for Friday. Will go and do that now.

Saturday 11th June 2011

Well, two surprises today, one excellent, one not so good.

The first one – we have a resident hedgehog! Cat went out this morning and could clearly see “something” so hubby got the binoculars out and it was a rather large hedgehog. We have had a hedgehog “hotel” in our garden ready for such an event for some years now, so I’m really pleased one has taken up residence. They faced each other for a little while, then hedgehog looked away, so did cat, and then hedgehog backed (yes, backed!) into the hedgehog home. Lovely. Very pleased.

Second – was sitting at the computer earlier today, not actually touching anything, just thinking, when BANG and FLASH! something exploded in one of the power extension leads, leaving me somewhat startled. Hubby came in to see what was up, and I discovered it was the USB hub power plug had burnt out. How can that happen? it hardly uses any electricity! but it had also fused the extension lead and thrown the switch on the main fuseboard. Luckily nothing was actually broken as a result, but my goodness me, it left me all of a doo-da.

Went to a new “stitch and bitch” group on Thursday – it was great. All the members are at least 30 years younger than me, and it’s wonderful to see young women continuing crafts. One tapestry, two cross stitch, and two knitters. I can’t knit yet of course, hoping to be able to by the end of the year with a bit of luck and a following wind. It was at the local Starbucks, so we all bought ourselves a drink and sat nattering (in my case) or doing, in their cases!

New turquoise Boden caftan arrived today. Fab. Excellent. Fits a treat. Delighted.

Very, very tired though. Can hardly string two thoughts together, so if this blog is a little disjointed, that’s why.

Have also booked five days in Cornwall, staying with my cousin and her family. Can’t wait. Hubby will stay here looking after cat and playing opera . . .


Well, I thought I’d have a little rant about my views on gardening.
I’m a great believer in growing plants where they are suited – sedums in dry soil, hydrangeas and fuchsias in the shade, and so on. Also, I prefer to plant things that snails and slugs won’t eat in the actual garden. Pots, in my garden, are for planting things that either won’t grow in the garden soil, or for protecting things against pests.
The front garden has sun (if it shines!) on it all day, so it has various poppies, grasses, and lavender. The back garden has sun some of the time and shade, so the hydrangeas and rudbeckias love it, but so do more poppies, grasses, and sedum spectabile.
I took some more photos this evening:
peach coloured poppies
bronze fern
allium christophii

I love these alliums – they remind me of fireworks. The first time I saw one I was absolutely astonished – and delighted.

Tuesday 7th June 2011

As promised, here are some photos of the (back) garden. Some peach coloured poppies blossomed today, will take and upload a photo asap. Not sure where they came from, but I love them.
boring back bed with new lobelias
berberis and hardy geraniums
under the willow – lilac, fern & hydrangeas
 Am hoping the variegated euonymus shrubs will fill out a bit . . .
phormium & rudbeckias
bed to be replanted
poppies – cat sat on them?
winged euonymus & sea hollies
cornus & michaelmas daisies
elephant ear thingamajig
sisyrinchium, heucheras & hardy geranium
viburnum & rudbeckias
sweet peas in pots, smoke bush & heuchera
dicentra & spiraea
hydrangeas, fuchias & sedum lifted from bed
dahlia, geraniums & grasses

have just moved the hardy geraniums to here, so they look a bit sad, but are perking up.

Monday 6th June 2011

Seems like a long time since the last post, but I notice that the Victoria Louise poppies are still in bloom, so it can’t be that long, can it?
Today hubby drove us both to Leicester to return extremely expensive Blu Ray DVD player to shop, who will send it back to manufacturers, who will hopefully simply replace it. Bah! it kept ejecting discs.
While we were there, we met my niece Clare for lunch. Love her To Bits, she’s just great. Went to John Lewis and had a lovely time. We don’t see her often enough, as she lives a long way from us – and an hour from Leicester too, so that’s some commute she’s doing each day.
Yesterday I did some gardening – lifted a sedum and potted it up ready for the bed I’m redoing next spring, and planted two red perennial lobelias instead. Also a buddleia, and some pots – two geraniums, a dahlia (Bishop of Llandaff) and a hardy fuchsia. There are still three hardy fuchsias to plant but they’re so tiny they need to grow a bit first.
I do like fuchsias, they look like little ballerinas, according to YD, and contrast nicely with the bright yellow rudbeckias in the autumn, as well as going well with the sedums (spectabile).  Also have a smoke bush (cotinus coggyria), a dark purple one, and I just love dark purple leaves, particularly set against bright or light green leaves, like the winged spindle (euonymus alatus) behind it. And both go bright red in the autumn. Lovely.
I do have some photos of the garden, but they’ll have to wait till the next blog I think as the phone is charging.
Slept after getting back from Leicester, then washed out both wheelie bins which were smelly. Thank goodness for the hose, say I, as both bins are nearly as big as I am. But the hose has a fancy gun-type top, so you only have to squeeze the trigger, as it were, to make water actually come out of it, and there are several configurations (configurations??) – droopy spray, flat fan-shaped spray, fast hard stream, oh blah blah . . . anyway, what with that and the Jeyes fluid, the bins and I both got a thorough blast and they smell great. I smell foul of course, Jeyes is not what you’d call a pleasant aroma. Then I used a broom with an old towel from the shed to dry them and Bob’s your uncle!

Tomorrow – need to go to Post Office to get passport checked/sent off, and to Boots to get some cream blusher and possibly some tinted moisturiser. Hmm. But will need a sleep in and/or a rest tomorrow after today. Then I’m out to lunch on Wednesday with ex-colleagues. Lovely.

Ok, time for dinner. Something light, I think, as I had a very nice salmon salad for lunch. Hmm. Bread roll? Toast? butter (goat)? or margarine? Hmm. Let me think . . . .