I can’t believe it’s April already!

Have been meaning to blog for weeks and weeks now. I’m not sure, to be honest, where the time goes. I’m retired! but my diary is fuller now than ever. Note to self: Keep at least two, preferably three, days a week clear.

Had a wonderful birthday a couple of weeks ago. A lovely, relaxed day, dinner with hubby that night, excellent. And last night we went for another meal out as it was our 16th wedding anniversary. We’ve been together for 25 years now, but it took us a while to tie the knot  … … …

ESW is now three months old and an absolute delight. Happy, chuckly, coos and gurgles. There are still some difficult nights but generally I think she’s turned a corner. Mum and Dad are looking less fraught and more relaxed too.

LCS is almost 17 months old, also a joy. Happy, happy little boy. Smiley, cuddly, fun to be around. Love them both so much.

Been knitting and crocheting up a storm. I learned how to do Amigurumi style crochet, and although I need some more practice, it’s going ok really.

Starting a new project tonight – in a beautiful linen yarn – and it’s a shawlette. Love shawlettes. Who knew?

Also went and supported the junior doctors in their strike action a couple of times – first time it was really cold and raining. Second time much more clement weather. Made a two-sided poster, which is fairly sturdy. So I’m quite pleased about that.

 

And what about the Panama papers? about damn time. Very interesting that only three members of the Tory cabinet were clear about their non-use of off-shore tax havens, the others would not reply. Ha.

Need to get in the garden more. I’ve done some spring-cleaning, but now I need to give the lilac bush a jolly good talking-to, in the form of a hard prune, and I also need to get some ericaceous compost, cut the haggard pieris back, and top dress it. Next week hopefully.

February! goodness

Hi people.

I’ve been a little preoccupied what with one thing and another. But YD finally had her baby, whom I shall call ESW (initals), in the middle of January, 10 days late, and had a very difficult time indeed. ESW is now three weeks old and had her tongue-tie snipped yesterday, which has made life much easier for YD, her hubby, and most of all for ESW. Let’s hope it just all settles down now and they can enjoy, instead of enjoying and worrying about, their beautiful little girl.

Knitting has continued apace as you can see from the photos. And even a little sewing, for LCS (14 month old grandson). He loved it. I’m going to make another clown cushion and keep it at home so children who come to see me (I have a little friend called Henry, for example) can play with it.

Guitar playing – not so much. It’s been a year, I’ve tried two different guitars (classical and plain acoustic) and a ukulele, and it’s just not working for me. I thought a ukulele would be easier to handle, but it’s a pain. Under the boob? above the boob? right on top of the boob? nah, just got to the stage where all three are just sitting staring at me balefully. I’m going to hang on to the Fender acoustic and try to get rid of the other two.

We are in the process of getting quotes for refurbishing our kitchen (cabinet doors and worktops only) and it’s all quite exciting. Today I went to a kitchen showroom. By myself. Not the best plan I’ve ever had really. My inner wimp appeared. I spent approximately 45 seconds in there, wandering around aimlessly, feeling really stupid and as if I were 12 years old again, lumpy, adolescent and awkward, so I came home. There really wasn’t any need to go, because we’ve requested samples of the sort of thing we want anyway.

So I wrote to my lovely French penfriend instead. That’s an hour’s job, because I write in French, then translate into English, and correct her English letter to me. Hardly any corrections this time though, at all. (Bravo, Réjane!)

It’s “Time to Talk” day today – is that global? or just in the UK? anyway, on my facebook “on this day” there was my post from last year. (not sure this will be available if you’re not on facebook!) Still makes me feel a bit wobbly, to be honest. Now I’m on the maximum dose of Paroxetine, having tried to go back down to the 40mg a day dose, but need the 50 to be stable. And I need to be stable.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to have the energy to start re-organising the craft room. The lids on the boxes I got from ebay are starting to split. So I’m going to dump the broken lids, keep all the boxes and unbroken lids, and we’ve been to IKEA and bought a load of Samla boxes, some inserts, and all the lids. Am very nerdily excited about it! I’ll post photos when it’s done, just because I can.

And oh god my computer. Last Sunday it started behaving very oddly indeed. The mouse stopped working. Eventually I twigged that none of the USB ports were working. I reinstalled Windows 10 three times, to no avail. Luckily I was able to find a very old fashioned mouse with a PS2 (small, round) connector – with a ball in it! Haven’t seen a mouse with a ball (so to speak) for years! but I had one so was able to use that and installed Linux Ubuntu 14.04.3. All working really well now. How frustrating it was though. I realised it was the Windows drivers when I went into the BIOS (Setup), and a USB stick was recognised in there.

So I’ve needed to re-think my strategy on certain things, for example cloud storage. After much searching and testing, I’ve settled on MEGA which allows you 50Gb free storage. Yep, 50Gb. And it was simple to install on my computer and on my mobile phone. Just need to get it set up on my (Android) tablet now. I was using OneDrive (MS) but it just won’t work on Ubuntu. Dropbox you only get 2Gb free. And so on.

And it’s been such a long time since I posted. Mother’s knee which needed 19 stitches has healed well. Her shin is still bandaged up though. She’s going to meet ESW this weekend, YD + hubby are going over to see her, my sister who lives nearby, and at least one of my nieces. Lovely.

 

Update on surgery

Well. The trapeziectomy has settled. My hand doesn’t look quite normal yet, and differs from the other hand – it’s narrower and a different shape. But the pain has settled down. There is some pain at a background level, and the occasional long, nasty twinge. Mostly, however, it’s ok. It feels normal most of the time. I’m very pleased. It took 3 1/2 months – but that’s normal. In fact, that’s a minimum, really. So in time I expect it will settle even more, the swelling may go down more, and it’ll all be fine.

However. While I was under the anaesthetic they also administered a steroid injection into each of my forefinger knuckles, where they join the hand. Now, that worked for just under three months. Now, I am in considerable pain with them all the time. The right one is worse than the left one, and is visibly swollen. The pain goes right through the joint, from top to bottom.

ImageI am taking Paracetamol anyway for the surgery pain, but need more than that for this. So I take one Tramadol a day, two if I need to, and have an appointment with my GP to see if there is anything else they/I can do to help manage/control this pain better. The physiotherapist strapped the right one up, and that does help, but isn’t practical all the time. She used Micropore, which is cheap enough, and gave me the rest of the roll. I do use it, but once it’s wet it’s no good, so it needs re-doing regularly.

While I was waiting for the physio, I read an article in an Arthritis magazine which said that while rheumatoid arthritis is recognised as an auto-immune disease, osteoarthritis is regarded as part of the natural ageing process. However, research has discovered that there is an auto-immune element to osteoarthritis as well, and that response to drugs used in rheumatoid arthritis in osteoarthritis patients is good. I’m really hoping that my GP knows and agrees with this, and that she’ll try some different pain relievers. I can’t take NSAIDs (Nurofen, Voltarol, etc) because of my asthma – two days and I’m wheezing like an old bellows – so the choices are limited for me.

The choices apart from pain relief are: one more injection in the affected joint(s), and if that doesn’t work, joint replacement. That sounds very invasive to me. Even an injection in those particular joints involves a general anaesthetic, and that in itself knocks me about for weeks and weeks. So pain control would, hopefully, be a better way forward. Appointment with GP a week on Tuesday.

In other news, I’ve been able to knit for short periods. I’ve done a child’s hat, and am currently almost finished on a baby’s jacket for my niece’s little boy, who will be 1 in December.Image

Family.

Today, for the very first time, I met my great-nephew George. He is absolutely delightful. His mum, my beautiful niece (I have lots of beautiful nieces, this is my sister’s younger daughter), is radiant with motherhood. Fabulous company, a really good laugh, very sensible, and I just love her to bits. I love babies. I love new-borns, right up to toddlerhood. I also love children. It was the best morning I’ve had for a while. Image

My mother came too, and started talking about how Sarah and I had delivered our babies “properly”. Mum had to have a C section with me, and forceps for my sister. Somehow she has felt bad and sad and guilty about this all her life, and I think that’s awful. So I told her about Prof Dr Alice Roberts, who did a documentary about evolution. One of the things she said, and demonstrated with a skeleton, is that the reason human babies aren’t able to walk and stuff immediately after birth, like, say, horses, is because our brain pans, our skulls, are just too big. If pregnancy went on any longer than nine months, the baby’s head would just not fit through the pelvis. Birth is difficult and risky as it is, so we are evolved to give birth before our babies’ skulls get any bigger. As it is, we have a “soft spot”, the fontanelle,  at birth, so that the baby’s skull can fold over itself a small amount.

So there is no such thing, I told Mum, as giving birth “properly”. There’s no such thing as “failing”. If your baby is born, then you’ve succeeded.

I don’t know whether she’ll take any notice, but she tends to think about these things for a while and then decide.Image

Anyway. Sarah is beautiful, radiant, and a fabulous mother. George is delightful. Smiley, happy, peaceful, a little chunk of loveliness. A little package of honey-coloured boyness.Image