Things are happening!

The oven has continued to work ok, so that’s a mystery.

The decorator has been and we should get the quote shortly. All starting to fall into place now.

I have an appointment for a nerve conduction test, and another appointment for ultrasound and x-ray scans of my hand, when they will also do a steroid injection into my thumb. Then I get to see the consultant the following week to decide what to do (joint fusion or joint replacement).

Today my back is dreadful. I’ve had back problems for over 40 years, surgery 28 years ago which helped, but am all bent over to one side. It’s improved from this morning, when I was bent over sideways and frontways as well! still, painkillers, hot/cold packs, not doing anything for more than 20 minutes, and tomorrow it should be better. If not, I’ll try and get to the osteopath this week.

Part of the “not doing anything for more than 20 minutes” included a potter round the garden, in the rain. Took a few pictures because the colours cheer me up so much! and made me feel better even though I couldn’t manage a shower this morning. (I’ll deffo have one tomorrow, though!)

What a week.

On Sunday, at 5 pm, we had a power outage. Everything went off. The house alarm was beeping irritatingly. We checked the fuse box, and managed to get the lights working, but no power sockets, except in the study (but only temporarily).

So we arranged by phone (which is strongly discouraged, they kept saying Look at our website, which we couldn’t because we had no access to the internet) for an engineer to call the next day. We were so relieved when he turned up at lunchtime because we had no hot water or heating, and we were cold.

He whizzed about through the house, and the short version is that he got everything working again, apart from hubby’s hifi (oh NO!), the fan oven and one fridge. We are very fortunate to have two fridges – when we moved in together we’d lived separately for a number of years since our respective divorces – and an ordinary oven as well as a fan oven. He said that the fan oven and the fridge would need repair/replacement. He/we think there was a power spike.

I ordered a new fridge, and had to think about the oven repair for a day or two because I just can’t cope with too much going on.

The fridge was due to be delivered today, and was actually on the van, when I thought it might be prudent to check the fuse in the fridge plug. It was blown, and a new fuse did the trick. So I phoned the people delivering the new fridge, slightly (very) panicky, to cancel it, and they were fine. So that saved us a bunch of money.

Meanwhile, the hifi man was due this morning (Wednesday) and hubby dealt with him (hifi is actually broken), the lawn man was due this morning and just got on with it, and the cleaner we have just organised arrived unexpectedly, wanting to do the 6 hour deep clean we were expecting next week. I wasn’t even dressed. So I rushed upstairs and threw on my “working” clothes, no shower, nothing. When I say “rushed”, that means I struggled up the stairs, cursing silently to myself. When I say “working” I mean clothes I wear when I expect to get dirty and/or sweaty, eg making a cake. Just for clarity 😉

Oh. My. God. I didn’t actually explode, but my brain felt like it was.

So we compromised and the cleaner just did upstairs – it looks absolutely fantastic. We are so damn pleased.

On top of all that, today is the anniversary of the day my Dad died, 42 years ago, very suddenly, with no warning, at the age of 58. I was 24 and my sister was 21. Normally I’m in absolute bits, but today I was just sad. I have worked out why I used to get so upset – he managed Mother’s worst behaviours, and once he died, that protection was gone. Now Mother has gone too, I don’t have to worry about that. Although some of her nastier sayings keep going round my head.

Also, on Monday I saw a consultant about my hands. He is going to arrange some imaging to see what is going on, inject my right thumb, possibly fuse the right index knuckle and maybe replace the middle finger knuckle. He’ll decide after the scans. This is all fine, because I have had plenty of time to think about priorities and have decided that reducing the pain is the main thing. Not sure how I would manage to write or knit/crochet with a fused knuckle or two, but that is secondary. I expect I’ll manage something clumsy but effective!

Had a repeat blood test on Tuesday so it’ll be interesting to see what that dredges up.

So, tomorrow I am just getting showered and dressed. And that, guys, is all I intend to do. Maybe drink some tea.

Trying to stay positive

Struggling a bit at the moment, to be honest, with pain and depression. I do have medication for both, and have needed to up the pain meds, so I’m taking Co-codamol 30/500, which is the strongest of that particular make, and has to be prescribed. But it makes me feel a bit odd, so I only take two doses of two tablets a day, and the other two doses are plain Paracetamol. It’s just a question of what time to take which meds.

So in an effort to be less miserable, I have ordered and received a latch hook kit. It’s something I thought about but never followed up on, and one of my friends has started and loves it. When I’ve finished the current project (tea infuser cover) I’ll have a go.

Meanwhile I’ve taken some photos of the lovely colours in the garden, which always cheer me up. May is my favourite month, I think, garden-wise, although autumn is my favourite season. I try to ensure that there is always something interesting going on in the garden for every season, though it does require research because I don’t know enough. I do know some stuff, but not enough. A couple of photos of Bertie the cat sneaked in. She’s being cute because she wants to be fed . . . and in the final photo she’s got her little tongue out a bit . . . .

So here you are:

Technology! pah!

Spent yesterday afternoon after my siesta and most of today failing to erase an old Dell Dimension and install Linux on it. In the end I just erased it. Formatting doesn’t do it properly, it just hides the data, and that’s not what you want when you’re Freecycling an old computer. I did have another go at installing Linux after I’d nuked the hard drive, but no luck.

Still, the people on Freecycle who come and collect old computers are very likely to have a stash of old computer parts including old hard drives, so it’ll all be fine. I certainly have boxes of bits. We have a desktop computer each, a tablet each, one Apple, one Android, two laptops (one running Windows 7 and the other Windows XP), and a variety of wires, plugs, mice (mouses?) and so on.

We’ve booked an appointment to go to the tip (recycling centre is the posh name for it) in a couple of weeks. You are allowed 15 minutes once a week, and must be a resident of the Borough. So if nobody wants this old Dell it’ll end up there.

The desperate houseplant I potted on is much happier now. Managed to get some potting compost delivered, and have bought a storage box thingamajig to store it in. It can live in the shed, but then needs schlepping up and down the garden each time it’s needed. The storage box sits just behind the house and is much more convenient. Hubby had to assemble it though. When I finally manage to get some horticultural grit (of which there seems to be a national dearth) that can live in there too.

The seeds I planted a week ago (M&S “little garden”, kindly given to me), have actually started to grow! Three radishes! They are the reason I needed the potting compost, because the time will come when they need to be potted on. It’s all very clever. The seeds are in a sort of tiny little “mat” thing – about six per mat. Then there’s a pellet of dried compost which expands magically upon addition of 50ml water, and the little pots seem to be made of coir, which I think means the roots will grow through them. So that should mean I don’t need to handle the seedlings at all. I’m not usually very good with seeds/seedlings. They usually just die on me. So I am going to be extra vigilant and see what happens.

I have added better labels – these are cardboard and a bit soggy. When a few more seeds start to show their little heads I’ll post better photos.

Mother’s Day here in the UK was Sunday 14th March. One daughter sent me beautiful flowers, the other fabulous chocolates. I’m so lucky! both are excellent. Flowers still in bloom, some chocolates still to be eaten.

Knitting and crochet are occasional things now, what with the pain in my hands. I need to think about talking to the doctor and getting a referral to a consultant. Hubby has requested a special teacosy to fit his special tea infuser. Just need to discuss with him the detailed requirements. Shouldn’t take too long. It’ll need to be knitted, rather than crocheted, and that takes longer, but it’s only a small item. Just had the discussion. He wants a tube with a closed top, no hole for the handle. Excellent. Probably do it in the round, so no seams. Found some Aran West Yorkshire Spinners yarn which should do the job. Yeah.

I think that’s about it for today. Cheers for stopping by!

Baby Steps

Well, I feel as if I’ve been really daring this week.

I went to the osteopath on Tuesday – both of us masked and all precautions taken. It felt great, if painful!

Today we took the cat to the vet for her annual inoculation. It’s always a major performance getting her there. Recently we’ve started putting a little harness on, and only putting her in the carrier when we arrive. That works much better but she still yowls the whole time in the car on the way there, and some of the time on the way back. When she’s actually in the vet’s surgery she is very interested in everything except what the vet is doing, and tries to jump off the examination table and investigate the whole room. Anyway, that’s done, although you have to wait outside the vet (masked up) while they take in one animal at a time and bring the card machine out to you. That’s fine, but it was raining today!

And best of all I finally have an appointment at the doctors next Thursday to have steroid injections in my hand. I am so relieved. It’s felt like a long time.

What I Can Do

Well, if I can’t knit, which is a major bummer, I can still tidy things up.

Today I’ve re-organised my bedroom storage. Had ordered some things to enable that and now my underwear is in excellent order. Re-lined the drawers too with some of the excessive amount of brown wrapping paper from Mother’s house.

Sorted out a new Kindle Fire so that I can download library books and have managed to actually do that and read one. Excellent.

Made an appointment for the cat’s annual vaccination.

Ordered present for upcoming birthday.

Gardener guy came yesterday so the garden looks great.

Ordered some new clothes (always, always cheers me up. How shallow am I.)

And that’s it for now.

To mask or not?

Had to go into Solihull today to the bank. Some things just can’t be done online, on the phone, or by post. Sigh.

But what struck me most is how many people are not wearing masks! I went to a knit and natter group on Saturday. Five of us all sat outside, but I was the only one wearing a mask. Am I paranoid?

In New Zealand, the advice was, when you’ve been out and about, change all your clothes and have a shower when you get home. So I did. It might be over the top, but New Zealand is in a much, much better state than the UK.

Hmph.

In the end my sister and I decided that digitising all the cine films was just too difficult and too expensive. Some had already been done, so we are assuming they were the only ones worth doing, and dumped the rest. Freecycled the Eumig projector,  the slide projector, and the screen. A lovely, lovely Polish lorry driver collected them on his way back to Poland, where he lives opposite a children’s home. He volunteers there and collects stuff just like this to help entertain them. He will fix the stuff and then donate it. The Paul Klee prints went to a lovely guy who was influenced by Klee at uni and everybody is delighted, including me.

Dressed in my “working clothes”, had a nice cup of tea after the shower, then used the “jet” setting on the hose to clean up the green wheelie bin (for garden refuse). And now it’s lunchtime.

Have been reading a lot. Had already read Fire & Fury, Siege, and Surviving Autocracy, just read Too Much and Never Enough. Now I’m back into the Boudica: Dreaming series of 4 books. It all seemed much cleaner, somehow, back then (I know it’s fictionalised), but really, honestly, I don’t think I can cope with  knowing too much more about Trump. We do have two programmes recorded which we will no doubt harrumph our way through. Also the Rupert Murdoch 3 part documentary. Oh. My. God. If you’ve watched Succession, know that it is scarily accurate.

Next up will be another book on the Trojan War from a woman’s point of view – Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon. Then hubby has a book called “Pew” which sounds great.

Have been able to knit a very small amount – half an hour about three times a week, if I’m not doing anything else. And only in the morning. Not today, too busy. And thank goodness for the gardeners. Although they haven’t turned up today . . .

Some ups, some downs.

The plumber fixed the leak in half an hour. It was the cistern. Big relief.

Slept most of today. Got up at 9 am then back to bed at 10, woke at 3 pm.

Had another go at the cine films on the Eumig projector. The plan is to go through them – there are 39 labelled ones and a dozen or so unlabelled – before deciding which ones to have digitised. However. The projector works, bulb and everything, on forward, but the take up spool is a bit squashed so you have to fiddle about with it to make sure it actually takes up the film. That’s ok. But then reverse doesn’t work at all. Now, if it’s a film you don’t care about, that’s also ok. But an added problem. The next thing is that I don’t know which are standard 8mm and which are Super 8mm.  I looked in the manual, and on the internet, and I have to say there isn’t anything which helps me much. Certainly not the reverse problem. Then I thought maybe I could hire a projector. But again, standard 8mm or Super 8mm? or one that does both? and then how would I know which was which?

Finally have almost come to the decision (checking with my sister at the moment) to just have the labelled films converted and bugger the rest. Depressing, because the technology has got the better of me. But a relief to have almost made the decision.

Then the projector (and the slide projector) can go on eBay.

Am going to try and speak to the doctor tomorrow about a couple of things, mostly the pain. We shall see.

 

Things are happening . . . . .

Finally had to give up gardening. But it’s all fine, because after some major research we have found a gardener. He gets excellent reviews. Young, wispy beard, skinny ripped jeans and big old Doc Martin style boots. Liked him instantly. They’re coming next Tuesday.

And the garden currently looks ok. A bit shaggy, but there you are.

Also managed to get some shots of the jays. I can’t post videos on this site because I use the free version, but have captured a couple of stills. That’s our washing line in the middle of the picture. The picture with two jays in is a nano-second before the bully pigeon flies in to frighten them off. It works. Hate pigeons.

No news on the steroid injections for my hands. I need to speak to the doctor next week anyway so will mention it then.

The plumber is coming today to sort out the leak in our small bathroom. Hey ho.

Also have invested in speakers and a microphone for the Zoom meetings so that hubby can join in on the same login – on a desktop screen you can see a lot more people than on a tablet screen, which has a maximum of 4. Am going to test it out today.

 

Musings

Well. Have given up knitting for now. Also gardening. The last bit I did caused so much pain I just can’t deal with it again.

So we’re investigating getting a regular gardener. It would be good if they mowed the lawn as well, because my guess is they’ll do the edging too, which hubby does not.

Getting quotes for trimming the leylandii, the willow, the lilac and the winged spindle (which has got way too big for its boots), and getting the front lawn laid to [moss] clover, not moss! The one guy has sourced [moss] clover turf, which is great, and means it won’t need to be seeded. Also a small rockery in one corner of the front to stop people reversing over the lawn. And lawn edging of some sort – the same guy suggested wood. Just waiting for the quote now.

None of this will happen until September, when the growing season is done.

Quizzing tonight. Hubby is insisting on reading out the questions, despite the fact that I’ve gone to a deal of trouble to make each round accessible via WhatsApp. I’ve told him that’s fine for his rounds, but for the ones I’ve devised, I’m not going to. Things may change before the quiz starts. Sigh.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’ve been noticing a great deal of white people saying stuff publicly on social media like “but we abolished slavery!” “but we’re not racist!”. It’s making me so cross. It’s as if there is no such thing as white privilege, because white people aren’t on the wrong end of it, so they don’t see it. “We abolished slavery” does NOT absolve anybody for it being a thing in the first place. A lot of the UK’s money came from slavery. It’s dreadful. It’s very uncomfortable. But we need to acknowledge it and understand it, however awful.

There’s a guy called David Olusoga, a mixed heritage historian and presenter,  who shines a light into the darkest recesses of history, gently but firmly. He’s excellent. Then there’s Akala, musician, rapper, university professor, and writer.  Also mixed heritage, and as sharp as a tack. I’ve just read his book “Natives” and it’s really excellent. Made me think. A lot. I mention the mixed heritage because it means that these guys are regarded as Black, and have been on the receiving end of all sorts of crap. So they know what it’s like. They’ve been there.

And police brutality. Hmph. Suspension is just not enough. In my (not so) humble opinion, if a police officer is deemed to have used too much force, suspension should be the start of it. The end of it should be in court. It’s not ok to just discipline them. I acknowledge and am glad that many police officers are wonderful, helpful people, with exactly the right mindset to do the job. But – and it’s a big but – some aren’t.

And as for The Trumpster, don’t even get me started. I might get a bit ranty, and that would not be a good thing. Seems to me like somebody is trying to start a civil war.

And on that happy note I’m going to stop now.