The good, the bad, and . . .

A long time ago, about 20 years, I would guess, I went to our local supermarket to pick up some bits. I was feeling like five kinds of sh*t, and probably looked it too, although I was past caring.

Well. The product I wanted to get to (bacon, I think), was behind a trolley parked sideways with a small girl – I’d say about 3 years old? – sitting in it, dancing about and generally making sure everybody could see how cute she was. I was not in the mood, really not, so I ignored her.

She did not like that. She did not. So she leant towards me, and said, “You’re UGLY”. Her parents were absolutely mortified, as well they should be. They apologised profusely, and I accepted the apology with “oh it’s ok”. But it wasn’t ok. I was hurt, and still feel it now. How did that child learn that “ugly” was an insult? why did she choose to use it then? she was very small, I know, but neither of mine would ever have deliberately insulted a total stranger. Each other, yes, but total strangers? nope! They were not perfect, what child or what adult is, but really.

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Look how long our grass has grown! desperate for the gardener now!

I’ve been very low lately, and sleeping way too much. I had a telephone appointment with a doctor, who arranged a face-to-face appointment at my local surgery, and that doctor (she’s the one I used to see before lockdown) has increased my anti-depressants. I have to go back in a month to see how that is going.

I feel slightly better straight away, knowing something constructive is happening. It felt like a long tunnel with no light at the end, but that feeling is fading.

Still sleeping too much, but apparently it can take about seven days for an increase in jolly drops to work. So that’s ok then.

Managed to go to the local shop today and get some bits and bobs. Yesterday I made carrot cake, and I was halfway through when I discovered that my self raising flour was three months out of date. So that went straight in the bin, and I used plain flour with extra baking powder. It seems to have worked ok, but both the cakes are in the freezer as they are for my daughter’s 40th birthday barbecue in July. She loves my carrot cake. So we won’t actually know until we cut into them whether they’re ok or not! love a bit of baking suspense . . . might need ice cream or glace icing, will see how we go.

Have ordered some full face visors. There is of course a bewildering array, and because I wear glasses I need ones with a head strap. I find the masks stifling and my glasses steam up.

Ironing is awaiting my attention, but having been to the shop today, and baking yesterday, it will need to wait until tomorrow.

And I’m wearing a brand new top today, from Fat Face. Sage green with little leaves embroidered on it. And the New Zealand quartz pendant from YD. Yeah. Little things.

November!

Did my ironing this morning. All of it. Although I had to do it sitting down, as my stupid back is playing up. Painkillers, ice packs, phone call to osteopath tomorrow to see if I can bring forward the next appointment.

Had the leylandii at the back trimmed, and one of the leylandii hedges at the front cut down by half, so it’s just below the level of the roof of my car, which is an old Ford Ka. The other hedge at the front has been dug up and the stumps ground out. That was quite exciting to watch. Two men, fully kitted up in safety gear/helmets/goggles, with a large noisy machine, took approximately 10 minutes max! Now I just need to get as much of the thuggish ivy out of the soil as I can, weedkiller the rest, and see how it is next spring before I plant some more Photinia Red Robin, to match the little hedge at the front, parallel to the house.

Meanwhile, hubby decided to pollard the willow tree himself. Yes, himself. Worked, hard, all morning, up and down ladders with a saw, despite my bleating about stopping now, and did it all. Cut up the twiggy bits and fitted them all into the green wheelie bin. But he then had (heart) “symptoms”  for three days. I was very worried and a bit cross. It is frustrating not to be able to do the stuff you used to do easily. It is. But still. I’ve had years to come to terms with it (slipped a disc 43 years ago) so I do know how difficult and limiting it is. But harrumph. And of course he’s fine now.

Wasn’t able to knit for a couple of weeks – arthritis in my hands. But I’m ok now and nearly finished the Festival shawl (dark grey Gossypium and white/cream Paradou). It’s lovely and easy enough to knit (though not while I’m watching subtitled Swedish programmes!) and I will be pleased with it when it’s done. Next up, Whelk vest top for hubby, in pale grey Rowan yarn. Need to do a sample tension square, because the pattern is for DK, and the yarn I have is worsted. Not much difference, but enough to check first. Also need to check I’m ok with the pattern . . . . .

Have treated myself, after watching Black Earth Rising, to a cuff earring with two chains attached to a small stud. The heroine of said programme wore one, and looked stunning. I won’t look anything like her, of course, she’s about 6 ft tall, black, muscular and slim. Ah well. I do like it though. Hubby thinks it’s weird. Don’t care.

Christmas – presents all done. Not wrapped yet though. And I need to get my act together with regard to cooking. Planning a Yule Log, so need to practise with an ordinary Swiss Roll (tomorrow). Also need to do a carrot cake and a bakewell raspberry slice. And some mince pies (bought pastry, bought mincemeat, just need to put them together . . .)


This and that.

I did my ironing today. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think. However, there didn’t seem to be very much. I have promised myself I won’t leave it longer than one week, or else it just piles up so much I can’t face it. But there were four tops and one pair of trousers. Hmm. Odd, I thought. When I packed everything away, I’d dropped a serviette, so thought I’d do that next time. As I popped it into the basket in the utility room, I saw the rest of my ironing. Yeah. What a doofus. Ah well. I did half of my ironing today.

Also re-made the home-made sleep masks, as they were too tight and crunched my ears. That was quite satisfying.

Waiting for quotes for leylandii trimming, willow tree polling and a further leylandii hedge (full of ivy, tree saplings and generally a pain to maintain) digging up at the front (to be replaced with a photinia Red Robin hedge).

Very windy and rainy today. Apparently it’s storm Callum. What a ridiculous name for a storm. It’s like calling it Colin, or Henry, or something nice and kind. Ho hum.

Knitting is going ok. All the Christmas stuff is done (not doing very much Christmas knitting this year, it can be too stressful). Here’s a couple of gnomes, aka wizards. Am now doing myself a “mistake rib” scarf in coral coloured cotton. Mm. Easy to do and looks quite complicated. That’s my kind of knitting. Also here’s a photo of the puffin I knitted.

 

Had my flu jab on Monday. Sore arm is all, much better than the flu. Also need blood test for potential polymyalgia, but will do that next week so that the results are not skewed by the flu jab.

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Have any of you heard of Lillian Bilocca? I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t until I watched the tv programme with Maxine Peake. She was a brave, difficult woman, who managed to get enough support to make trawlermen’s lives at sea much safer 50 years ago. Here‘s a link to her Wikipedia page. I feel so sad that she had such a dreadful time after she’d achieved her aims (working radio on board, qualified radio operator, full crew on every trawler, proper training for crew, and mother-ship with medical supplies and staff on board). Good for her, say I. The zeitgeist at the time was testosterone-fuelled machismo, domestic violence was the norm, and women didn’t “interfere” with men’s work. Until 58 men in 3 trawlers were lost at sea in a matter of weeks, one January and February. Then Lillian (Big Lil) did interfere. Mm. And made a huge difference. Trawlermen were safer, presumably insurers didn’t have to pay out so much, so often, and the owners , despite the extra expense involved in the “charter”, were better off too (I assume).