Selling the car (now on Autotrader) New solar panels being fitted (April 6th) Heat pump being fitted (before decorating) Decorator coming to quote – and that will involve new carpet, curtains and upholstery afterwards Specsavers have cocked up my glasses one time too many so have an appointment with Vision Express next week (that’s the short version!) Clearing out loads of stuff so getting it ready for Freecycle and/or the tip (recycling centre) New dentist – first appointment last week, appointment for a filling for me made Getting a man to quote for a network cable round the outside of the house Four new tops ordered from Weird Fish’s sale (that’s exciting rather than worrying!)
I have had to write it down in a list in my “list book” so I don’t have to carry it all in my head.
Now it’s written down it’s slightly less intimidating, and I can cross things off as I go.
Anyhoo. Last weekend we went to near Guildford in Surrey to stay with ES and his wife. It was lovely. They went to great trouble to make sure I could eat (I’m a real pain to feed what with the IBS/dairy intolerance etc) and their house (part of a converted barn) is wonderful. The setting is beautiful too. We hired an electric car to make sure we’d have the range to get there, and that worked really well.
View at the back of the house. That’s hubby, right there.
The day before we travelled down, we had snow. Not what you’d call heavy snow if you lived in, say, Canada, but heavy for us. I was worried our little daffodils’ stems would be broken, but no! phew.
I’ve been able to knit a little, which feels so lovely. Here’s a picture of the tension gauge square I did for the cardigan I’m knitting.
The garden is coming to life. Love it.
Here is a story about a log.
The cat goes to kennels when we go away, and in each cat pen they have a real log for the cats to scratch. What a good idea, I thought. Maybe that might stop her ruining our carpet. I kept my eyes open. One day, on my small walk, I saw some tree surgeons cutting down and chipping trees. I asked if they could spare one of their logs, and they said yes that’s fine. So I lugged it home, scrubbed it down, and put it in the corner on a towel so that the cat could scratch it.
Next thing, hubby informs me he cannot stand it. We are not living with a log in the room. Apparently. It looks awful. Imagine my glee (it was quite heavy). After a short while (!) we discussed it again, and we agreed it’s a bit big, and needs sawing down by a foot or so (30 cm ish). When hubby moved it into the garden to do this, he discovered it’s oozing sap. Yes it is, it’s fresh. So now it’s in the garden, weathering, and hopefully oozing all its sap before we get it cut down. I’m going to ask the gardener chappies if they could bring a power saw one day.
The old M.E./C.F.S has reared its ugly head and involved several days asleep in bed. I’m being much stricter with myself about how much I do and when. We shall see.
Just back from a trip to Solihull (5 minutes away) to the opticians. My glasses, which are a bit odd because of my double vision, had a wobbly leg (arm?). I’d been using lanyards for my distance glasses, so that they are always available when I need to put on my reading or my computer glasses. However, the legs (arms?) are quite thin, and the lenses are very thick at the edge, so I guess they’re a bit heavy for that. The wobbliness was because I’d managed to twist them somehow. It was touch and go whether or not they could fix them at the shop, or whether they’d have to pop my lenses into new (identical) frames, which would cost me £60. Waaaah!
So I was despatched to do something else, anything else, for half an hour, in the rain, while they decided what to do. I can barely see without my glasses, so had taken my computer glasses. But of course I was masked up too, so what with one thing and another, it was a fraught half hour. Which was mitigated by going to Hotel Chocolat and spending over £40 on chocolate. Yep. On chocolate. Some dairy free for me and some for hubby. Then I went to Pret a Manger and was able to sit inside, drinking apple juice and eating a dairy free chocolate fudge bar. That definitely helped.
When I went back to the opticians, the laboratory had had a go, and they’d managed to fix the old frames. When I say “old”, I’ve had them about two months. So not actually old, really. Very relieved. And no more lanyards for my glasses. There is a downside, but the upside is I can probably manage dangly earrings again, at least when I’m not wearing a mask.
Well, I’m in the throes of an M.E. episode. Trying really hard to be positive and “do” stuff, but failing. This week I’ve managed to stay up and out of bed till lunchtime once in the last five days. Failed this morning. No knitting or crochet mojo. Tried a bit of crochet yesterday but it didn’t go well.
Was supposed to go to the osteopath today but re-arranged. It feels a bit sad-making but at the same time empowering because I have a measure of control over my stupid health. Plenty of sleeping, and reading when I’m awake. Also ordering stuff I do actually need, as well as want, online. Handcream, for example, is a constant thing for me as my hands are terribly dry all the time. So I’ve ordered some. And earrings are a new problem. Now I have various pairs of glasses, wearing at least two at once, the reading glasses dangling and the distance glasses on my nose (or vice versa), dangly earrings are just not going to work. Particularly with masks as well. So stud earrings it is. Ordered two lovely pairs from John Lewis, then of course needed a jewellery box to hold them, to replace the ice cube tray I’ve been using for the last twenty years or so. I can justify almost any purchase if I try hard enough . . . 🛒😉. And of course retail therapy is always, always good for the morale.
The garden is even better for the soul of course but it’s been cold and wet the past couple of days. I can look at it out of the window of course, and do. The bird feeder table is very popular at the moment, which is great. The cat seems to have an arrangement with all the birds. She looks at them, they fly away, and all is well. The pigeons – well, they just waddle off because they’re as big as she is.
The cat. Mm. She is much more chatty and approachable now she’s getting older. Not exactly affectionate, but keeps trying to herd me into the lounge, when I’m busy in the study. So I’ve set up another cat bed in the study, and she will occasionally sit in it!
Hooray! it didn’t hurt at all, didn’t even feel the needle. Next day my arm was very sore, so took painkillers, and the day after that felt completely washed out and had to take myself off to bed.
But today (Sunday) am feeling fine.
I have potted up two primulas – one little yellow traditional one, and one which will look like a purple pompom on a stick when it’s grown. It felt so good to be outside in the sunshine, although my back is protesting now and so are my hands. Hey ho. That will pass, but the primulas will bloom for ages, I hope.
And guess what. My new glasses are actually ok. It’s taken three months and six visits to the optician’s. I’m fetching the matching sunglasses tomorrow. Phew. What a relief. They’re not varifocals though, so I have a cord attached to them and am organising a pendant glasses holder for my reading glasses. Just getting used to changing my glasses every few minutes!
Hubby’s 17 year old BMW has gone to its new home today with youngest son in Malvern. All concerned are very pleased. We now have two electric cars, one with a longer range. It’s the newer version of the one we already had, with a couple more bells and whistles. Feels odd not to have to buy petrol, or pay car tax. Not sure what the government will do about that, because they will need at some point to start charging car tax when more people have electric cars. Mm.
Today I got up early (ish) so that I could set up the yogurt to do its thing. Then I went back to bed as today is not a good day M.E. wise.
When I got up again, I had forgotten to press the Go button. That meant that the temperature didn’t remain constant, so this is the second failed yogurt batch. But all that is wasted is one litre of oat milk, to be honest, so not so bad. Dumped it all down the loo. The texture looked ok, though.
Went to the opticians for my new glasses yesterday. Fifth visit. Didn’t go well. Eye test was last November. My double vision is pretty bad, so I need a thick prism. That means varifocals won’t work very well with the (expensive) fancy lenses, nor will Reactolites. So they’ve made three attempts at getting them right, and I still can’t see through them properly. My current specs, which were made up in June 2018, are better. Harrumph. So they’re going to have another go, in non-fancy lenses (i.e. thick ones). Hey ho. It would be nice to think that I can have Reactolites and varifocals, but I’m waiting for a call back from the opticians, so I guess probably not.
The soup I made was lovely, by the way, and there are plans to make more, with carrots and coriander this time. I meant to get a portion out of the freezer this morning but forgot. Of course.
On the upside, I have an appointment for my Covid vaccination next week – hooray! Hubby had his a few weeks ago.
Also on the upside, two guys came yesterday and tidied up the garden, so it looks excellent, even this time of year. They turned over all the soil, trimmed the edges of the lawn, swept up leaves and debris, and left it looking great.
So all in all, everything is more or less ok. Small things.
Have been meaning to blog for a while, but kept deciding that nothing I wanted to say was interesting enough to share. (self esteem ? !)
Anyway, I have a couple of photos which might appeal.
I’ve actually finished the knitting on a jumper for 6 year old grandson, but haven’t quite mustered the oomph to sew it together. I need to do that in daylight, which is in short supply here in the northern hemisphere, but it’s in the plan. It won’t arrive before Christmas anyway. It’s a much nicer green than the photo shows. It’s Bergere de France, Magic+, and the colour is Lichen. Discontinued, I think. The pattern is called Jake. I sewed up the shoulders and knitted the collar in the round before blocking.
Started a jumper for hubby. It’s called Play on Ribs by Pat Menchini, and was in one of the knitting magazines I subscribe to. Also available on Ravelry, but you have to pay for it. It’s more interesting than plain stocking stitch, which is good, because that can result in my losing the will to live, but I’m sometimes able to knit this while watching TV. The yarn is Rowan Superwash Worsted 100% wool, and the colour is called Mallard. Please excuse the flash reflection.
Got so fed up with rummaging around in my knitting bag for tiny little bits and pieces like stitch markers that I had a big old sort out. My “main” knitting bag, for supplies and accessories, is very posh and well made but black inside. Which doesn’t help. So I bought a cantilevered transparent small tool box for “artists”, put everything in there, and just the actual knitting in my “subsidiary” knitting bag, and it works really well. The main bag has gone upstairs to think about how naughty it’s been. Next to “my” chair in the living room, the detritus from knitting/crochet/magazines has significantly reduced and looks much better. And, as a bonus (!), it works, and knitting is easier too.
Went to collect my new specs from Specsavers last week. What a fiasco. I had been waiting for months and months for the hospital to discharge me and let the opticians do the eye test, which they finally did. I chose some lovely frames, and I have three pairs of reading glasses (handbag, bedside, lounge), one pair of computer glasses, a pair of sunglasses (tinted varifocals) and a pair of everyday glasses (usually varifocals with Reactolites or whatever they’re called). However. The reading and computer glasses were easy to sort out. But the other two pairs were not. My double vision is so bad I need special lenses to fit in normal frames. Those special lenses can’t be both varifocals and Reactolites. But they can be varifocals and tinted, or varifocals and untinted. Right.
So when I went to collect them, the sunglasses and everyday glasses were dreadful. Impossible to see through. I was there an hour before they worked out the problem. The lenses weren’t properly centred. Long story short, I’ve ordered different frames (slightly smaller) which should make life easier for all concerned, including the staff in the laboratory who actually put them together. They are going to let me know when those are ready. Probably after Christmas. Sigh.
But I’m so delighted that my new computer specs have two arms. One arm fell off my old ones about two weeks into Lockdown 1 and I’ve just been managing since then, in a slightly wonky way.
Have been reading lots too. Watched a film based on the true story of two East German families who built their own hot air balloon and eventually escaped to the West. Excellent. Now I’m reading Stasiland, written relatively recently, and since the Wall came down. Very good. I’m trying to understand the paranoia of the Stasi. Also some more Lee Child, and a Ruth Rendell I’ve just started.
Our Christmas tree is finally up, but just looks like a Christmas tree. Here’s a couple of festive photos though. I used a wreath former for the end photo, and knitted or crocheted all the bits and bobs. A few years ago now but I still love it. The beaded Father Christmas is from Hong Kong, I think, a long time ago. And the fox decoration is just interesting! Have the best few days you can, in whatever circumstances you find yourself in.