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!)

This and that.

We had our alarm system serviced on Wednesday morning. Wednesday afternoon it went off, all by itself. The man came back and sorted it out. Or so we thought. This morning it went off again, at 6 am. It wasn’t set, hubby was awake and out for a walk. I dragged myself out of bed, down the stairs, and put in the code, and it stopped. Harrumph. So they are coming out again with a special “thing” to stop it doing that on Monday. Fingers crossed for the next three nights . . .

Today my car has gone to the garage for a service and MoT test.  I take it to Westley Garage, on Station Road, in Acocks Green, and have done for several years, on the recommendation of a friend. They’re good, trustworthy, friendly, and know me by name. The only thing that’s complicated about it is that this garage was my Dad’s. Walking up the forecourt, going into the office, all of it, brings back childhood memories, not all (or even many) of which are happy. In fact, today I got quite tearful as hubby drove me home in his car.

The staff working for my Dad were lovely, kind and funny and nice to my sister and to me. Just the smell of the cars being fixed brings it all back. The guy in charge now remembers when my Dad used to run it. Mm.

Knitting – going well. Have finished Antarktis and am absolutely delighted with it. May well knit another one in the Sweet Georgia Cashluxe turquoise I have. Currently knitting a sock as an experiment for hubby. He wanted plain brown or black, but I just said no, that’s too boring to knit. It’s grey-blue and self-striping, very muted and sombre. If he likes this sock, I will knit him the pair, but am not knitting two socks before he tells me he doesn’t like them. I’ve also bought some Sirdar Chunky yarn to knit him another slipover top. Also fancy knitting another Pimpelliese shawlette.

Sewing – Christmas project all finished now.  I am pleased with it. I don’t sew clothes, just curtains, cushion covers, and oblong or square things.

This morning I’ve baked some chocolate chip cookies (dairy free of course). Hubby is off to do some leafletting – about keeping our NHS public.

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Gardening – I’ve dug up all the aquilegias from one of the beds. I do love them, but they’d gone absolutely bonkers and were trying to take over the world. They’re a pain to dig up, though, they have long tap roots just like dandelions. Now there’s room to plant some daffodils, and when those are in, I have some annual poppy seeds to sprinkle on top. There’s a lovely red ornamental grass with lovely fluffy-looking seed heads which is going in a pot, and I have two pots ready for some miniature daffodils, which, when they start to sprout, can go each side of the front door.

The rudbeckias are lovely. I used to think they were gaudy and horrible, but they really, really cheer up an autumn garden.

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I also pruned two of the buddleias really hard back, and the wisteria which, despite being cut back to its trunk, is going wild again. There’s another buddleia in the front garden which is going to get the treatment next time I’m outside with a pair of freshly cleaned and WD40’d secateurs. And it’s not actually raining.

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Love these Michaelmas Daisies too.

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There are two hydrangeas here, but one of them has flowers in both blue and pink. Love it.

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And love these sedums too.

Just booked the train for a weekend in mid-November to go and stay with ED and her chappie. Can’t wait. They’ve decorated their lounge this year and I really want to see it, and them of course, and their crazy cat JR. I’ll take knitting to do on the train, but can’t knit in their house because JR just can’t cope with it. “what’re you doing? what’s that? why is that stringy stuff wriggling about? what are those sticks doing? can I play?” No. Just no.

It’s been a while.

I can’t believe it’s over a month since I blogged.

On Monday ED came to stay for a couple of days, which is always just delightful. This time she took me to Harry Potter World for my (belated) Christmas present. It’s belated because I haven’t been well enough to go. Until now. It’s absolutely amazing. I can’t remember a better day out. I took 100 photos and videos (trimmed down now!). It is so well done, I spent the whole day saying “Oh my God” and “it’s so well done”. I loved it. And now I want to read all the books again! of course. ImageImage

Things have been quite busy here, not least because I’ve been going to Stitch & Sip (the knitting/crochet group) twice a week. I love it, I really do, but it’s just too much. So I have had to rethink that, and have decided that I’ll go one week on a Thursday (with home baked goods) and the following week on the Saturday. I really like both groups of people, and would miss them if I only went on Thursdays, or on Saturdays. So that’s my plan.

Have also decided to learn to crochet, and my next knitting technique is going to be sock knitting. I’ve cracked knitting in the round (with two circulars) so that’s my next big plan. Am booked on courses for both at Stitch Solihull. Exciting.

I have been minuting the meetings of the newly fledged Patient Participation Group at our local surgery, but will have to stop, probably after the next meeting. It’s too much – first of call because of my wonky hand (of which more later) and also too much energy required for concentration during the meeting. It flakes me out completely.

I am going to a union meeting tomorrow. I’m a retired member of UNISON, and the local branch has just started up a new Retired Members Section. In some ways I’m looking forward to it, in others I’m a bit worried. We will see how it turns out.

Knitting – it has just taken me six weeks to knit a child’s top and matching doll dress. I am very pleased, but it is the sort of thing I would have got done in a couple of weeks in times gone by. I also managed to lose the buttons I wanted to use, but managed to find some nice ones anyway. Here’s a photo:Image

Saw the doctor today. I have been referred to a bloke who will see if he can sort out my shakiness (they seem to call it tremor these days) and another bloke for my poor old hand. But am finally taking Tramadol again, which just works. And I can take paracetamol as well in between the Tramadol doses. My cholesterol is 6.something, so I need to reduce my cheese intake. Boo. On the plus side, I don’t have a chest infection, despite most of the symptoms. Which is good. I think.

My poppies, which are just fabulous, have been a wonderful display in the front garden. I grew them from seed, and they’re a dark orange. In the evening, in the sun, they look as if they’re lit up. The rain has bashed them about a bit, but people actually stop and point them out to each other – including the refuse collectors. It’s so lovely to think that they brighten other people’s days too!Image

What a day.

My friend from school, eons ago, came for coffee today. We’ve kept in touch since school (1965 – 1972!) and see each other approximately every 2 months or so. Love her to bits. Always jolly, always elegant and fab, always fun.

Anyway, today was a bit different. Hubby had spotted our cat spending a lot of time waiting, absolutely still, by the shed. Something was moving under there, and it was bigger than a mouse. We were very worried it might be a rat, or even a nest of rats (ewwwwww!), but couldn’t really see.

While Cas and I were drinking our coffee outside, as it’s been such a beautiful sunny day, we saw what it was. It had come out from under the shed and was sitting boldly eating my plants. A very small baby rabbit. The cat was most surprised, and decided not to attack it, just to watch it. So cat and rabbit watched each other.

I wasn’t terribly impressed that it was eating my plants ravenously. Even the flowers, not just the leaves.

So I spent most of our coffee morning on my knees, in case I frightened it, catching it. I fetched the carrier for when we take the cat to the vet. I fetched a carrot and a couple of cabbage leaves, ripped them into small pieces, and left a sort of trail.

Eventually, after a couple of hours, I actually managed to catch it. It screeched like a baby and wriggled like billyo, but stopped when it was inside the carrier. There were two small bits of cabbage leaf in there and a stump of carrot.  Turned its nose up at the carrot, but ate all the cabbage leaf!

Then I schlepped round all the neighbours from whose houses a baby rabbit could possibly escape and asked them if they’d lost one. No joy. Then I phoned the vet, who said to bring it straight round and they’d scan it to see if it was chipped.

So I did. It’s a wild baby rabbit, probably a female, and very healthy.

No sign of any mother rabbit, or any other baby rabbits. The vets had given me the phone number of a small animal sanctuary, and to cut a long story short, that’s where the baby rabbit is now. Any more that appear, and that I can catch, will go straight there. No more schlepping round the neighbours.

Wild rabbits are a sort of grey/brown colour, like hedgehogs. Tame rabbits are usually, I have discovered today, white, or black, or grey. The vet did suggest we could keep it – no thank you!

So that was that sorted.

When I woke from my afternoon ziz, I decided to have a go at installing Windows XP on my laptop. I’d put a 500 Gb drive in it, which worked (sort of) in the RipNAS. Well, it didn’t work in my laptop. So I put the old 160 Gb drive back in the laptop, which has Lubuntu installed on it. Well, Windows XP wouldn’t install on that, either. So I have bought a copy of Windows XP for no discernible reason. Grrr. However, the upside is that the laptop is still quite happy running Lubuntu. I suppose that’s ok.

The reason I need access to Windows XP is that I have knitting software called Knitware, which I need to design myself a top to knit in Bergere de France Coton 50. And you can’t install this program in Windows 7 (which is what I have now on my main pc). You have to faff about installing it in XP, then copy the installed files into a particular folder in Windows 7, get a Borland Database Engine file, and generally fiddle and faff.

In the end I booted hubby’s pc into Windows XP and sorted it all out in there. Now it’s working fine in Windows 7 and I’ve designed the top, worked out roughly how much yarn I’ll need, and will get it tomorrow. I will definitely need to do a tension sample though. Further exciting instalments as the project unfolds . . . .

And for now, I think, that’s it. So many adventures in one day. Let’s hope tomorrow is calmer, and I don’t find more baby rabbits eating my plants. Cute as they are, they can ruin your garden.