Well, I’m cross today. Various reasons, which will become clear.

On the news yesterday on the radio, there was quite a lot of talk about the ridiculous bonuses the bankers are getting. One in particular is causing some excitement, because he’s the RBS boss, and they are effectively owned by the state. But there are hundreds and hundreds of others! And one interviewee, can’t remember who, had the cheek to say it’s not sensible to antagonise the bankers. In the next breath, the newcaster said that there would have to be cuts to the police force.

So, how does that work then? the bankers cause the economic crisis, carry on making obscene amounts of money, laughing all the way to the – ahem – bank – and yet our essential services are being cut.  And why should we not antagonise the banks? they caused the problems in the first place!

It makes no sense to me at all. None.

Then today I have been to my lovely osteopath because my back is awful, and she and I always have a chat about her little girl, who is a real character, but quite difficult. Head-butting is the latest adventure. Oh dear. Am always exhausted after a treatment, so can’t wait till the afternoon when I can actually go to lovely, lovely bed.

It’s also very, very cold, and trying to snow. That’s actually not unreasonable at this time of year, but I’m just not in the mood. If it was sunny and cold, that’d be fine.

Hubby is managing his eyes better now, they seem to have settled down. Contact lens in untreated eye and (cheap) reading glasses.

Cat is spending a lot of time asleep – don’t blame her! it’s way too cold for her little paws outside.

That’s about it I think. Feeling less cross now. Doctor tomorrow, knitting group on Thursday. Hurrah.


Sunday 22 January 2012

Well, today I slept in till really late (about noon I think), had my normal cup of herbal tea in bed, whilst my lightbox does its (alleged) magic and read the latest Wallander book I got from the library (excellent), then got up, showered and dressed.

Hubby was making lunch – delicious, roast chicken fillets with stuffing, roast potatoes, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and carrots, and excellent gravy.

Coffee and some (well, lots of) chocolate, then a little walk. Then had another look at the Not Your Daughter’s Jeans website to sort out which pair I’m going to get next month. I have two black pairs and one dark blue pair. They are absolutely wonderful, and I love them. But at £100 a pop that’s expensive. I do keep my eye on ebay to see if there are any going cheaper there, but of course not often in my size.

Next, fiddled and faffed about with facebook and wordpress to see if I can make this blog appear on facebook, and this is an experimental blog to see if it works.

Hmm. We’ll see.

Miserable Old Baggage

Yep, that’s me. It’s cold, it’s raining, all my wonky bits are hurting (A Lot) and I’m feeling very sorry for myself.

So I decided, instead of going for a walk round the block in the rain, which didn’t sound much fun, I drove to the big Tesco’s up the road, parked near the main road, and so it’s a good five minute walk to the shop. Where I bought more painkillers, and two boxes of dairy-free cakes. One box of 6 mini Bakewell tarts, one box of 8 apple and blackcurrant pies.

Am currently sitting at my pc (obviously) having eaten two of the Bakewells, with a nice cup of Lady Grey tea. Yum. And am feeling, unsurprisingly, a lot less miserable!

It’s not only retail therapy that works for me, it’s actually being able to get out of the house into the fresh-ish air, even if it’s raining, and buying something excitingly full of sugar.

Also popped in, on the way back to the car, to the large garden centre, and bought some catnip/catmint. I’m waiting to see what happens when the cat gets a whiff of it. I have a spray, and when I’ve used it on her toys/scratching post, it drives her wild. Come springtime, if she hasn’t destroyed it, I’ll plant it in the garden. My parents used to have a large catmint shrub, and my first ever cat Penny used to just sit in it! I believe tom cats are a bit rougher with catmint, and bat it about, but she-cats just like to bathe in it. Like a sort of feline bubble bath I guess.

Which brings me to my next anecdote from long ago.

We used to have a marmalade cat called Orlando. He was a very handsome cat, with a rather odd habit. Whenever my mum, my sister or I had a bubble bath, he would tiptoe round the edge of the bath, patting the bubbles, clearly very interested. Well, one day, the bubble bath had been run, and was sitting waiting for one of us to get in. However, before that happened, we all heard a large splashing noise, and when we went into the bathroom, there was a soaking wet Orlando, pretending like billyo he had intended to do that all along . . . but he never investigated bubble baths again. So lesson learned I guess.

This was the very same cat who had an absolute thing about duvets. Particularly down-filled ones. He used to sit on them and wee every time he got the opportunity. Consequently he was banned from the bedrooms . . . lesson not learned (by cat anyway).

Monday 16th January 2012

I know I only posted yesterday, but today I finished Penny Vincenzi’s latest book “The Decision”. It was absolutely riveting, not least because it’s set in the sixties, when married women didn’t work as a rule. The central characters fight constantly over this very issue, and it made me remember, with such sadness, how my first marriage was. Old Hubby really didn’t want me to go to work, and “couldn’t see the point of paying somebody else to look after our children”. This book takes me straight back there, even though it’s set earlier than my first marriage, which was from the mid seventies to the late eighties.

It was not a happy place to be, managing a household, a bad-tempered husband, and two small children. I did go to work, part time while they were small, and then full time with school holidays when they were both at school, and eventually, when we divorced, full time properly. Childminders were the order of the day, though, not nannies like in this book.

It’s such an odd, old-fashioned viewpoint. Old Hubby clearly thought that a woman’s place was in the home, looking after the children. That was her job. Oh, and looking after him. It drove me screaming round the bend. I’m sure he found things difficult, too, because he just didn’t understand my need to work (although he never complained about the extra income). I have a feeling that his view came from his mother, who believed that unemployment was all because women like me worked, taking jobs from the men. As a secretary? Really?

He would arrange to do things and go places on his own in the evenings or at the weekends, and just expect me to have the children. If I wanted to go anywhere, I had to ask his permission, and check that he was available to have them. If he wasn’t, I couldn’t go. God. When I think about it now I get so angry.

Happily, things in this, my second marriage, are very very different, and New Hubby (I say New, but we’ve been together longer than I was with Old Hubby!) has always been encouraging and supportive. Now all our children are grown up, and we’re both retired, so working isn’t an issue anyway for all sorts of reasons.

But how I shared the struggle to feel like a real person with the central character in The Decision. I love motherhood, all of it, from babyhood to now, and it’s a really, really important thing to do, to mother one’s children to adulthood. I just needed to work as well.

I was desperate to finish the book, to find out what happens, but at the same time didn’t want to finish it because it meant I’d have to let go of all the wonderful characters with whom she always populates her books.

Sunday 15th January 2012

Hubby’s eyes are settling down. Both pupils are equally reactive now, but that took about three days. Reading however is impossible for him, and watching tv is difficult, because one eye has been sorted out, and has perfect vision, and the other hasn’t. But it’s only temporary, until he’s had the other eye done. He says colours are amazingly bright through the treated eye! and fortunately he can still operate the hi-fi, listen to music and the radio.

I’m having a min-episode with my back. Turned over awkwardly in bed on Thursday morning, and had to stagger about on a stick, taking strong painkillers, until I went back to bed and slept for five hours, then all Thursday night. Bummer. Big bummer. It’s gradually improved, but still not brilliant. However, it’s still better (i.e. shorter recovery time) than it was before the disc was removed, 18 years ago now.

No more cat vomit! hooray! but won’t get too excited until we’ve had at least a fortnight on the new eating regime.

Friend’s birthday yesterday – she popped round today and we exchanged Christmas presents, and I gave her her birthday gift. She bought us a Jamie Oliver thing which grinds and shakes stuff – absolutely perfect for making interesting salad dressings.

And I had spent today discussing with myself whether or not to start on the Hotel Chocolat chocolate spread ED had bought me for Christmas. Eventually, of course, common sense aka greed won, and I had two slices of toast liberally spread with the stuff. Absolutely Fabulous. Can’t wait to eat some more . . . . .

Had my eyes tested on Friday – the distance vision has remained almost the same, but the reading vision has deteriorated, so I have ordered one new pair of frames for the varifocals, and new lenses for my reading glasses and for my (varifocal) sunglasses. Very exciting. I’m currently having to wear an old pair of distance (varifocal) glasses because the current pair had big comfy nose pads on, and one of them has fallen off and disappeared. But the old pair has two big comfy nose pads, and they’re nicer glasses anyway. . .

I’m feeling quite low at the moment, and very tired. I’m not sure why, as I haven’t done very much at all, but maybe it’s just the being in pain that makes me both sad and tired. I did manage to do my ironing today, so I don’t feel completely useless. It’s not attractive, I know, to be wallowing in self-pity, when much worse things happen to people than being tired and/or in pain, so I try not to moan about it. Hubby says I don’t moan, or whinge, but then he would say that, wouldn’t he. Although he might say something a bit more non-committal if I actually did. Every morning I wake up thinking “Ah, right, today I won’t have an afternoon sleep, I’ll go for a ten minute walk and that’ll cheer me up” and then by lunchtime I can’t wait to get back to bed and lovely, lovely sleep. It’ll pass, I’m sure it will.

Wednesday 11th January 2012

Hubby had his cataract operation yesterday – a cancellation came up. He’s doing fine. The operation doesn’t hurt at all because they use drops to anaesthetise your eye, and you can’t feel anything.

The eye they’ve done has a dilated pupil, but that’s all. His vision is a bit blurry but we’re going to have a go at watching the football tonight and see how that goes.

He’s now saying he will talk to the optician (as if it were all his idea! grrrr) and we found an old pair of glasses and popped out the lens (again, he said it was his idea, but I gave him a basilisk stare and he said Oh yes it might have been your idea).

But there’s the radio, and his music, and I can drive him anywhere he wants to go.

Am having my eyes tested on Friday – can’t wait. My current glasses are driving me crazy. I don’t like the way they look and they pinch my nose a bit.

Cushion crisis sorted. M&S sent their courier to fetch the ones which don’t match. The one I’d ordered via the store matches perfectly, so have ordered more. Excellent.

Have bought a scrapbook, because I found a load of photos and postcards all bundled up in an elastic band, and it would be much nicer if they were available in a book to look at. So had to get some glue dots, and tissue paper for interleaving.

Currently drinking coffee (not proper coffee, instant decaff, or I get all twitchy) and eating chocolate. Of course. What kind of woman do you think I am? coffee is no good without chocolate.

We have decided to feed the cat less wet food. One sachet a day, half in the morning and half at night, and dry biscuits in between if she cries. She was having one and a half sachets per day before that. She had been vomiting rather a lot, and I think it’s because she’d just been eating too much food. She’s not a big cat, approx 3.5 kilos, and not greedy really, but clearing up the vomit several times a week is no fun. No vomiting since the new routine, started only yesterday though, so early days yet.

Have had a little sort out of my desk drawers (hence the photo/card/scrapbook thing) and thrown away loads of crap. Much better now. Found three reporter’s notebooks which are just so useful for my endless lists of things. Only using one at a time, though, or I’d just get confused . . . . . . .



7th January 2012

So far so good as far as New Year Resolutions go.  Not been too stroppy as far as I know. Went for a walk round the block today – first time I’ve felt up to it really. Also did 20 minutes in the garden, just tidying up a bit. That always feels good.

The cat was very brave this morning and went and investigated the shower while I was getting dried. She was very tentative, as well she might be, because of course the shower tray is wet! but decided all was well and she didn’t need to interfere.

She got stuck the other day in a corner, having fallen down between two bookcases which are screwed to the wall. They are both over 2 metres high, so there was no way she could jump out, despite trying a few times. She howled desolately so hubby went and got a large towel and hung it down there, so she could scrabble up it. She was very frightened. Silly animal! but she’s a lot more careful when she’s on top of the bookcases now.

New underwear arrived today – oh bliss. 20 pairs of pants and 10 pairs of socks, all neatly in the drawer, all old socks and old pants dumped. Hooray!

The stylus ED gave me for Christmas works really well with my mobile phone – makes life much, much easier.

Hubby has a cataract operation on his right eye on Thursday, but is refusing to discuss the possibility that he may still need glasses. Oh dear. Fingers crossed. He won’t talk to me, the optician, or anybody else. Men. Hmph.

Still awaiting surgery on wonky wrist.

In the middle of a scatter cushion crisis. Well, crisis is a bit of a strong word. Ordered six turquoise scatter cushions from Marks and Spencers, but they’re the wrong colour. They’ll have to go back, but the box they came in is huge and heavy. Have ordered one teal one which will arrive on Monday, so will see how that looks. If that works better, will order some more. But the local store doesn’t sell them, so had to order one, which of course I should have done initially. Perhaps I should have ordered one teal and one turquoise to start with. Ah well.

Just finished a book by Monica Ali called “untold story” – the idea is that Princess Diana faked her own death, and it’s the story of how she “lives” now, like an ordinary person. Excellent, a real page-turner. Now on a Henning Mankell one – not a Wallander one, one of his others. I do like his stuff.


New Year!

Well, Happy New Year to us all.

I will be less snappy, less stroppy, less bossy, less know-it-all.

Tom Hollander as Adam Smallbone

I will  accept I have a small crush on Adam Smallbone/Tom Hollander (pictured), and stop worrying about it. He’s lovely – the character, and the man is an excellent actor.

I will take more exercise, even if it’s only a ten minute walk round the block.

Ok, that’s enough New Year Resolutions for now.

Last night fireworks from two doors down and the golf club across the road woke us both up at midnight, and frightened the cat somewhat. So I got up, comforted the cat with cuddles, whispered sweet nothings to her and stroked her while she purred, and went back to bed.

My friend also phoned at midnight, to say Happy New Year, and was mortified that we were in bed – but we were already awake . . . I get so tired I can’t stay up till midnight any more. It’s just another day. It’s all so arbitrary. I follow the passing of the seasons more than anything else, although I do keep a diary so I know when I’m supposed to be going to various medical appointments, or better, seeing friends.

When I was young I always saw in the New Year, with parties, alcohol, food, dancing. Loved it.

Well, I suppose I’d better go and get dressed now. I’ve had a small banana and two very nice chocolates for breakfast, despite the amazement of hubby, who thinks chocolate is not for breakfast time. Honestly! What’s he like?