Archive for May, 2010

Two days late…

May 31, 2010

I didn’t get chance to post on Saturday, I ended up working.  Yes, working.  All day Saturday.  As predicted, last week was a manic one, with big deadlines and lots of senior management pressure and extra hours worked.  I managed to meet the deadline for my own share of the work, but got set another immediately, which I’ve been so worried about meeting that I got on with it on Saturday.  That isn’t so bad, given that today is a Bank Holiday, so I still get two days off. 

In knitting news, I’ve started two new projects, and finished one of them.  The first is a stole, made with the lovely silver laceweight yarn I bought a while ago:

I would ideally like to take it on the boat, to go with my red formal dress, but I doubt if I’ll finish it in time. 

The other new start, and complete finish, is a cover for my new camera. 

Wait!  A new camera?  Yes, we’ve been shopping again…

…and the new camera looks like this…

Pretty!  The camera in knitted cover fits into a hard-cover case I also bought, but I thought that I’d be able to carry the camera in the much smaller knitted cover in my handbag without the bulk of the hard-cover when we’re out and about. 

Back to knitting news, the other project on the go is the usual travel sock:

This week, there’s work on Tuesday (team meeting) and Wednesday, then I’ve got Thursday and Friday off as leave.  A is off most of this week too.  I don’t think we have much planned, but we can chill out and relax for a while.  Maybe we’ll even get out and do stuff in the garden, which I’ve been threatening to do for weeks!

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Magnetised?

May 22, 2010

This week my weirdo magnet has been on full strength.  It has been a few years (5 at least) since it worked this strongly, although it used to be my normal state.  I’m blaming last week’s MRI scan!  And I’m refusing to wear the shiny new name badge I’ve been given at work, as it has a magnet on the back instead of a pin! 

In fact, this week hasn’t just been weirdos…it’s been weird generally!  Here are a few highlights. 

On Tuesday, as I left work to walk back to the train station, I passed a man in the street who half smiled at me.  I scanned my brain and couldn’t find any memory of him, so I kept walking.  A few seconds later he ran up behind me, shouting ‘Hey’!  I stopped and turned to face him…he had run the length of the street just to tell me how cute I am, and try to persuade me to stop and talk to him for a while.  Now that’s an experience I haven’t had for a very long time!  It took me a minute or so to persuade him that I really had to dash…couldn’t miss my train…husband on his way to meet me…and in the end I walked away.  The really weird thing was that this guy was younger than me and not bad looking. 

I got on the train, sat down, and breathed a sigh of relief that no-one sat next to me.  Then the train manager started the usual announcement.  “Safety information cards blah blah blah…luggage and security blah blah blah…buffet car open blah blah blah…well it has been a lovely day hasn’t it?  Beautiful sunshine, nice and warm.  It’s a bit cloudy now, but I’ve checked the forecast and we’re in for a fantastic couple of weeks, so that’ll be nice.  Next station stop will be blah blah blah…”.  WTF?! 

Wednesday wasn’t much less weird, with seagulls flying right at my windscreen, cyclists riding right in front of me, and one confused old man desperately trying to park his car straight, by lining it up against my very wonky, badly parked car! 

Those are just a few highlights…you get the picture. 

Speaking of pictures, I have finished Dinosaur Island:

I’ve now just got one project on the go – my travel socks.  Which are almost finished.  I’m itching to start something new, but cannot decide what.  Time for some ravelling I think. 

This week was a good one for wildlife in our garden.  In fact, our garden has become quite a busy place over the last few months.  We now have at least 3 regular blackbird visitors – an adult male, an adult female and a juvenile.  They love the mealworms we put on the gravel, and have been seen using my Nan’s birdbath for both drinking and bathing.  It’s so exciting!  We still have frequent visits from a number of wood pigeons, who prefer peanuts but will eat almost anything we put on the feeder.  And on Tuesday morning, while getting ready for work, I saw a blue tit flitting around the cherry tree!  It’s the first time we’ve seen a blue tit in the garden, and it made my day.  Perhaps the weirdo magnet works on birds too?! 

This afternoon I hope we’ll see more wildlife, as we’re off for a guided walk of the Thames Water lagoons.  The lagoons are tucked away behind the River Ray Parkway, where we often walk at the weekend, but they aren’t open to the public.  This afternoon there are a series of exciting events going on, for International Biodiversity Day.  I’m really looking forward to it. 

We would have liked to go to the bat walk this evening too, but we’d already promised our niece, Morgan, that she can stay over tonight.  It’s her birthday present and we hate letting her down.  We’ll take her shopping to choose something nice for dinner, then after eating she’ll pick out a DVD from our limited collection and we’ll chill out for the evening.  Morgan is being picked on at school for being clever, so her Mum has asked me to chat to her about it, as I went through something similar.  I don’t know what to say to make her feel better, but hopefully it will help to know she’s not the only one and it is possible to get through it. 

In health news I had the first of 3 zoladex implants done yesterday, as suggested by the consultant I saw a couple of weeks ago.  I have to take HRT as well, to counteract some of the worst side-effects.  I’m hoping for an improvement, fingers crossed.  Especially if it helps in time for our cruise.  It would be lovely not to have to calculate exactly what and how much I can eat today, if I want to be able to go ashore for a long walk tomorrow.  Or if I go ashore today, how will I cope with formal night tonight. 

Speaking of formal nights…I bought my new dress yesterday :).  It’s so pretty!

While looking for the formal dresses in Debenhams, I also spotted another pretty dress, which I fell in love with.  But I can’t find a picture of that one. 

I also got talked into buying a pair of swim shorts.  I have some issues with swimwear…mainly about it being so revealing.  I do not like to expose that much of my upper thighs or my top.  As a consequence, no-one ever gets me near a swimming pool or jacuzzi or anything else which requires swimwear.  A loves that stuff though, and self-consciously goes by himself rather than miss out.  It makes me feel bad for letting him down, and there’s also a sneaking suspicion that I’m missing out myself.  So, I have swim shorts, which cover the worst of my backside and upper legs.  If I can now find a top or costume that covers enough, I may just be talked into the pool.  We’ll see! 

Anyway, this coming week…apart from walking this afternoon and Morgan this evening…tomorrow we need to do some garden stuff.  On Monday we both have check-ups at the dentist.  Work is suddenly really busy, with two major deadlines at the end of the week, so our entire team will be hard pushed to get everything done.  I may even have to go in to Bristol an extra day or more!

Saturday again?!

May 15, 2010

How are these weeks passing so quickly?  I can hardly believe that’s another one gone.  Of course, that’s one more week closer to our cruise, so I’m not really complaining. 

What did I get up to this week?  Not a lot until the end of it, as it was a bad one for pain.  Then it got a bit manic.  I went into the NHS hospital yesterday for an MRI scan and discovered that even when you are a private patient, you still get to wait around for an hour and a half before appointments, when you have to go to an NHS hospital.  Genius!  The MRI itself is a scary scan…in a very small space for what seemed like a very long time, with a lot of very loud noises.  Good thing I’m not claustrophobic.  I have no idea how it went, whether there was anything to see, and I won’t know any more than that until my follow-up appointment in July. 

Getting home from the hospital became very traumatic, as Swindon’s football club were playing a promotion match at home…which is right in the middle of our route home from the hospital.  I wracked my brains for an alternative route, but couldn’t come up with one that didn’t go somewhere near the football ground.  In the end we detoured via Tesco and KFC and took care of dinner on the way. 

On to knitting/cross-stitch news, I finished the card I was making for Jen at work’s wedding:

The people signing it were impressed, I hope Jen likes it too. 

With the card finished I moved back to Dinosaur Island (now there’s an odd statement, if taken out of context):

The background trees are now done, and that’s a nearly-complete dinosaur at the bottom.  It looks like I’ve misjudged the size of the fabric for this picture, so it’ll take some careful framing, but I’m sure I’ll cope. 

The travel socks, which have come to resemble liquorice allsorts, at least in my head, are now more than half done…in fact, here is the first half:

I got a little carried away on the train to Bristol on Thursday morning, and ended up making the foot about 2 inches too long…then spent lunchtime ripping back to the required length and decreasing the toe.  I’ve started sock 2, it shouldn’t take long. 

For this pair, I’ve experimented with a way to reinforce the fabric under the heel.  Most hand-knitted sock patterns include a reinforced heel flap, at the back of the heel.  This is where socks rub and cause wear.  I am very heavy on my heels though, and have worn through several pairs of hand-knit socks in the last few months (plus countless shop-bought ones).  It’s almost tragic when it takes that many hours to make a pair and I can wear them out in weeks! 

For this pair, I’ve continued the heel-flap pattern throughout the heel turn and gusset decreases.  We’ll see if it works. 

This coming week…I don’t think there’s much planned.  Our niece is coming to stay next Saturday night.  I’ve got the usual 2 Bristol days in the week.  Oh yes, and we’re thinking of winning millions in one of this week’s lottery draws 😉

It turned out busy after all

May 8, 2010

This week was supposed to be a quiet one, with not much planned, but somehow it has felt much more hectic than expected. 

Last Saturday we took our nieces out for dinner, as planned.  They were both as good as gold, really lovely company.  Sometimes we forget how much fun they are…although they are both more than capable of much worse behaviour ;). 

While waiting for our dinner, we had a conversation about trying new food.  Madi has an aversion to eating in public (at 7 – tragic), but Morgan is really adventurous.  We were describing some of the more exotic things we’ve had, and Morgan said she’d like to try octopus some time.  We both immediately raved about how good octopus is, we’ve had it several times both fresh and pickled in vinegar.  After a few minutes, Madi asked if we liked ‘Octopus brine’.  That took some thinking through…what is octopus brine?  The salt water that octopus has been preserved in?  Doesn’t sound so nice.  Eventually we worked it out though – she meant Optimus Prime…the Transformer! 

We’ve promised to get Morgan round to stay one weekend soon, as her birthday present.  Bless her, she doesn’t want an actual present, just a night at our house.  She even turned down a take-away, she’d rather we cooked something nice together!  Strange for a 12 year old, but sweet. 

Sunday and Monday were pretty much taken up with the snooker.  The final was disappointing, not the flowing, high-scoring play that’s so entertaining.  And we didn’t even wait up for the end result on Monday night as we both had to be up early for work on Tuesday.  I don’t have much to say about the John Higgins scandal, except that it was a shame the press had to publish it when it did, stealing the limelight from the World final.  And also, that I can’t believe John did, or had any intention of doing, anything wrong. 

Work this week has been the usual 2 trips to Bristol.  On Tuesday, Rachel and I wandered off at lunchtime to start the search for a formal dress to take on the boat.  There were some promising candidates, and we only looked in one shop.  More to follow!

In knitting news, I finished my shrug:

That’s it with the dress I intend to wear it with on the boat.  I’m pleased with the result 🙂

After finishing the shrug I moved on to more cross-stitch, starting a picture for another new baby.  This one is called ‘Dinosaur Island’, and is quite boy-ish, so I hope someone has a boy!  I hadn’t got very far with it (no pictures yet) when I got distracted…Jen at work is getting married in a few weeks, so everyone in the office wants to sign a card…which somehow I volunteered to make.  It’s not a big or complicated design, so shouldn’t take long.  Also not much progress, so no photos as yet. 

What else is there to tell…oh yes!  I went to see the doctor-man on Tuesday evening.  He looked blankly at me and agreed he may as well send me to see a gynae consultant, if that’s what I want.  I was starting to get very frustrated with the lack of opinion, the lack of answers, but I got something of a miracle result yesterday.  I had a phone call from the consultant-man’s secretary in the morning, inviting me to attend his clinic that evening, to fill a cancellation!  This is a private referral, but still an exceptional response! 

Even better, when I saw him, Mr Griffiths stated definitively that my symptoms, while not being strictly typical of endometriosis, are not uncommon for it.  I have been so despondent, after repeatedly being told by loads of different doctors and consultants that my symptoms are not endo, because they are not typical.  It’s such a relief to know that there is something specific, it’s not in my head!  One specific symptom is only caused by a physical abnormality or endo, which confirms it.  Mr G has suggested a couple more treatment options, which I should try, but he has also said that I’m heading for a hysterectomy.  The later that is, the better.  Especially as it does not guarantee a cure. 

I’m just so relieved that someone knows what is going on and has said so, especially someone who is such an expert. 

I think that has been the most frustrating part of dealing with the NHS over the past few years, never seeing the same consultant twice (except the woman who was horrible to me).  And none of them knowing as much as Mr G does about endo.  I’ve seen him once before, and he has operated on me twice, but it’s so hard to get to see him personally.  I’m so glad I took out the private health cover when I did, as all pre-existing conditions are now covered, as well as new ones, so I can see him every time. 

Hooray!

Sadly of course, I have to go round the ‘trying new hormone treatment’ roundabout all over again, but you never know, it might help!

Anyway, this week coming up…there’s not a lot going on…that I know of ;).

Elmer!

May 2, 2010

That was a busy week!

May 1, 2010

As promised in last week’s post, life got busy.  We went out for a picnic lunch with my lovely friend Jarge last Saturday afternoon.  It was so good to catch up, we always leave it far too long then there’s far too much to say in a couple of hours.  We’ve promised to meet up in the summer some time.  At least Jarge finally has her Christmas and Birthday presents! 

On Sunday we had a lazy day, including lots of laying around in bed and just a little pottering in the garden, between rain showers. 

Monday was lovely, as we drove to Oxford Crematorium with some flowers for my Nan.  It would have been her birthday, and we don’t get to Oxford often.  On the way home we stopped at Millets Farm and bought delicious hand-made sausages for dinner.  We also found a really cute ladybird poncho for Caron’s little girl Maya, and had lunch in the restaurant. 

The rest of the week has been mainly work, although I sneaked off for a long lunch on Weds and met up with Caron.  Her bump is getting big now, sticking out all in front.  From the back, you’d barely know she was pregnant! 

Phew, what else?!  Oh yes, there has been some snooker-watching, but not as much as I’d like.  One of these years I’ll take two weeks off work, just to watch the world championship in its entirety! 

I’ve almost finished the Elmer cross-stitch, as I’ve concentrated on that rather than knitting my shrug.  Photos when it’s done – just outlining to go. 

I have finished my travel socks:

They are trainer socks, and just right.  I used up the remnants of the green VG yarn I made my last travel socks with, so cheap too! 

I have started new travel socks, this time with Lana Grossa sock yarn…beginning with a picot cuff:

I got really involved with this on Thursday, didn’t want to put them down to get off the train! 

Finally, on Friday I acquired some blocking boards, which Avril bought me as a thank you for the cross-stitch picture I made for her grand-daughter:

They should make blocking a lot easier. 

This coming week…we’re taking our nieces out for dinner today, to a local pub.  We haven’t seen them since Christmas, so it’ll be good to spend some time with them.  Then snooker until Monday night.  Then on Tuesday I’ve got a team meeting at work in Bristol and an appointment with the doctor-man in the evening.  Bristol again on Thursday.  And hopefully not much more than that – I like the peaceful ones 🙂