The 18th of February.

I think I might have to stop wearing jeans for a while – the way they fit or do not fit is messing with my mind and making it veer off onto anorexic-esque paths that I worked so hard to learn to ignore. Some pairs fit my legs but are too large at my waist, some fit my legs but are too small for my waist, some are tight at the calf but not the thigh, and most claim to be the same size. I don’t think I will ever have a completely easy relationship with my body and food.

This morning, I wrote up a blog post, then made the head of the poodle. I started it last night, but wasn’t paying enough attention so I fucked it up.

After lunch, Mommy and I went round to the house of my friend Kathryn’s parents, so I could drop off the crocheted Christmas chaps I made for her and they can take them to Iceland, where she lives.

I made the poodle’s ears, then spent the rest of my afternoon watching Altered Carbon with Mac. He was being a monkey and kept going behind the television, but eventually he got tired and fell asleep on my lap. Nice and warm. Too bad there wasn’t another kitten at my feet – my toes are freezing.

The 19th of February.

The photos I deleted are back. How?! I went on to Photos this morning to move some more around, and I found the total was back at 30,000. I am so confused. I think wiping them all and starting again will be the way to go.

Apart from that, this morning I made the tail and arms of the poodle and stuffed her feet.

After lunch, I watched some more of The Blacklist, and started putting the poodle together. However, none of it looked right, so I pulled her apart, and then Becky came round for a catch up. Haven’t seen her for several weeks, so she was here a while. I introduced her to Mac and we had tea, and I heard about recent school antics and familial drama. I told her how last Monday had gone, which she was glad to hear of – she couldn’t come with school being so busy. If only half term here had been a week earlier!

I’ve managed to now get the head, ears and legs on the poodle. Got to do the arms and tail, then curly coat.

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The 16th of February.

Another day of much the same. I seem to have come to the conclusion, unconsciously, that the best plan is to systematically put everything I’ll want in future into my Dropbox, so they’re safe, then delete pretty much everything from the iCloud and start again. It’s really boring and slow, but at the moment it’s the only way I can see to do it. I’ve also discovered that the 20,000 photos I deleted from the Photos app are not deleted from the website version of iCloud, which doesn’t make any sense. I think I need to have a webchat with someone, but I’m going to leave that until Monday. Going to the cinema tomorrow and I don’t want to start something I can’t finish.

Read a little bit more Gnomon, but it’s been mainly Altered Carbon today. I keep spotting people I recognise – I realised the main actor is Holder from The Killing (the shit American version), and I’ve seen Val from Riverdale, Cam from Bones and Jiaying from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Curse you, iCloud. 

The 17th of February.

Day off from all the computer business. I can’t keep doing that to my back; needs a rest.

So, this morning I finally put up the two late blog posts, and spent some time petting and chatting with Mac. He gets a bit sad when he’s alone, poor thing. Will have to find him an owner who has time to hang out with him.

After lunch, I started work on Flick’s poodle, but didn’t get very far before Daddy and I had to go out to the cinema. We were seeing The Shape of Water but not at Vue because for some reason they aren’t showing it, so went to Resorts World. Some bizarre people had a go at Daddy when he pulled into the car park for reasons we didn’t really understand, and they called him Granddad which was silly because that isn’t happening any time in the foreseeable future.

Thankfully we did not encounter them again, and the film is every bit as good as everyone says. Except the few upsetting parts but one has to expect that from a Guillermo del Toro film. I’m so glad that budget constraints meant they couldn’t shoot it in black and white because the colour theme is so beautiful. Also, somebody write a script for Octavia Spencer as lead so she can get the Oscar she deserves.

The 14th of February.

Oh boy, what a sleep. The hotel was comfortable enough, but the pillows were dreadful (squishy as fuck), so my first night of no stress in my own bed was beautiful.

I was at the chiro this morning which was also lovely/painful after my two days in the wheelchair. My neck and shoulder were awful, so much hard squeezing and crunching. We had to pop into Sutton so I could put some money from Monday night into the Anthony Nolan account, then get some food and litter from Lee’s because Shaki was bringing us a new kitten!

His name is Mac, he’s black and white, and eleven weeks old. He was very chatty when he arrived, but has soon settled down. He’s very friendly and purry. Not going to be a problem at all, just have to wait for somebody looking for a solo kitten.

I finally got round to writing about Monday. Took a while, but I had to do it before the memory fades. Mommy got an email from Mark saying how he felt quite emotional, and what I said reminded him that what he does is worth doing. Of course it is. He is the hero of my life.

The 15th of February.

Today has been so tedious and infuriating, I am almost disinclined to tell you about it because you will not thank me.

This morning, I wrote about yesterday. Very meta – writing about writing about writing. Then I made it my purpose of the day to finally delete these sodding photos from my phone. I don’t understand why it is so difficult; something is definitely not working as it should.

To pass the time this afternoon, I have read a decent chunk of Gnomon – only about 200 pages left. I also started watching Altered Carbon. To begin with, I was very confused. I think I’ll have to watch the next one at least before I really get it.

At one point, I found myself looking out of the window and getting rather deep into my mind, thinking about being a human, such a tiny speck in an enormous universe, then I had to snap out of it because that’s not something that needs delving into on a Thursday afternoon.

The 12th of February.

Where to begin? I have been reluctant to start this because I feel like it might dilute the memory or I’ll forget stuff.

The journey down was nice and straightforward. The chap was even there with the ramp when we arrived at Euston! We got a taxi to Jen’s in Highgate, where I was going to try on fun clothes in order to find an outfit for the show. I was shown into a little room, one wall full of clothes, one full of shoes, plus a rack of dresses, the floor covered in more shoes and bags and jewellery behind me. First I picked some favourites to try one, because I had to be selective. I looked at four or five in the end, but eventually decided that the first one I’d worn was the best. A navy blue midi dress from Libelula covered in sequins with pink piping, plus some Nadia Vodianova shoes and massive clip on earrings and a two-finger ring. I left with a promise to leave it at the hotel reception in the morning.

We had lunch at the nearby Cafe Rouge (saw so many good dogs), then another taxi to the hotel. When checking in, we each were given a fresh warm cookie, which I ate on my bed very messily. Unpacked, then collected what we needed for the show. Next stop, Union Chapel!

When we arrived, we rang a buzzer and were met by Bea, who works the evening shows. She showed us the backstage/dressing rooms, the facilities, and of course the chapel itself. They had built me a massive ramp to get onto the stage, and I met the sound guys so handed over my old iPhone, plus the cable and power pack.

There was no point going back to the hotel, so I sent Mommy and Daddy to get coffee, then it wasn’t long before the Anthony Nolan team and Christine arrived (separately). I finally met Lucy, then she and her colleagues set up all their tables and banners, and I got changed into my spangly dress. I had a practise run up the ramp, then got talking to lot of Anthony Nolan volunteers, remembering some from previous events. Then the doors opened and it was time to meet my public! For a while, I just watched strangers coming in which was brilliant because they weren’t obliged to come, they were just supporting the cause. Then I started seeing people I knew, like Emmer, Charlie, Denise, Amy, Joy, Lauren and Hannah. Mark and Shereen came over and I gave him a huge hug. I’m so glad he could come. Acaster arrived, then Suzi and Flick, and I went backstage with them. Soon Nish appeared, and before long, it was time to start the show! First up, aside from our lovely host, we had James, during whom Sara arrived, and then Felicity. Nish then introduced me, and I drove up (nearly off) the ramp onto the stage, giving a royal wave. The cheer was immense, and I had to tell them to stop because I was going to cry. I said most of what I’d planned, plus I gave Mark a shout out because he deserves to know what a hero he is. In hindsight, there are things I wish I’d said, but no matter. Everyone said I did really well, and I was happy.

In the interval, I gave Josh the bear for his baby, and met the Anthony Nolan patients who’d come backstage and lots of photos were taken. Josh opened the second half, followed by Suzi and Sara. Everyone was brilliant, it went better than I could have hoped. I said goodbye to the people who had waited at the end, and Nish, Sara and Suzi.

So many hugs. And it was all over. I put my socks and boots back on, and we made our way back to the hotel. Pyjamas, Graham Norton, wind down, bed.

The 13th of February.

I didn’t fall asleep until about three, and woke up at seven. Made myself a cup of tea, and got everything packed back up. I left the garment bag for Jen at reception, then we had coffee next door at Saint Espresso. Breakfast was required, and as it was pancake day, we went to The Diner nearby. We went past The Breakfast Club and its huge queue, but found The Diner nice and quiet, where I had buttermilk pancakes with bacon, maple syrup and whipped honey butter. So good, but I couldn’t finish them.

A last cab back to Euston, where I got another coffee, and we trundled home. This afternoon, I have put all my warm clothes on, curled up in my armchair. So happy.

 

The 10th of February.

Woke up at 6. Let’s be honest, I’m probably not going to have a good sleep until maybe Tuesday night at the earliest? My mind might not be feeling nervous but my body obviously is. I know this because this morning we were talking about nothing in particular yet I nearly burst into tears. Clearly I am not as relaxed as I think I am.

Progress on the photo library bollocks is minimal. It has taken almost the entire day for it to repair, then I tried to be clever to sort them more efficiently but that backfired, so I’ve left it doing something the very slow and tedious way. Be back to it tomorrow.

I have, however, planned what I’m going to say. I’ve decided to keep it short, because nobody wants to hear me wang on for ages and get emotional. After that, I crocheted the monster scarf and watched The Blacklist. Now rugby, dinner, bed.

The 11th of February.

We have sold out.

I couldn’t belive my eyes when I saw the email this morning. I would have screamed, but I was in the bathroom and didn’t want to cause concern. I settled for not being able to stop smiling for a good hour. Unbelievable.

It’s been rather a calm day, to contrast the hectic stress-fest that will be tomorrow. I finally set the computer to do its photo exporting task and have been checking it periodically. I think it will be done by bedtime.

I tried on a dress I’m taking with me in case the thing with Jen falls through, just to check it still fitted, and got out everything I can pack before the morning. Got a list for before we go out. Convinced I will forget something crucial.

I finished the giant chunky scarf, and it will certainly keep me warm when I require it. It’s really heavy! Then I watched some more of The Blacklist, just trying not to think about everything. I don’t think I’ll sleep much tonight. 

The 8th of February.

Got to get used to these new frames. I’ve got so much more lens.

This morning, I wrote up a blog post, had a bit of trouble getting it up because my iPad wouldn’t connect to the blog so I had to go on the laptop. I rang up Piccadilly to see if my glasses had arrived but they weren’t in yet, so I watched the latest How to Get Away with Murder. Poor Asher! Then I just started to crochet when I got a text saying they were in, so we hopped in the car.

Jenny fitted them up, then we went to pick up the train tickets for Monday, but the whole system was broken. Sigh.

Home, lunch, out to Black Sheep for haircut. It was getting too long and needed trimming before Monday. Michaela hadn’t got Lulu with her this time but I got to see a super tiny two week old baby that another customer had with her so I was very happy. Such small feets!

Tomorrow is speech writing. Gah.

The 9th of February.

Ugh well today has been incredibly boring, I am sorry to say.

Actually, this morning was quite exciting, because there were only 75 tickets left for Still Standing, then I got another email from Music Glue saying it had nearly sold out with only 54 seats to go! If we sell out, I think I will probably cry.

Apart from that, very dull. Shower, shaved legs (in case I end up wearing something that shows some ankle), lots of moisturising. That took about an hour, and caused rather a lot of back pain.

After lunch, I made the sudden discovery that iCloud had essentially put 30,000 photos on my phone and there isn’t space for that. I went upstairs to sort it out, and pretty much lost my afternoon to it. Hours of photo library bollocks. I’ve left it updating to the new iMac software. This is not over.

No writing got done at all.

The 6th of February.

My arm really fucking hurts today. I don’t know what it is, and I doubt I’ll actually find out much tomorrow because a radiographer will need to interpret the scans.

I had a horrible dream about a child being run over multiple times, so it took me ages to get back to sleep. This morning, I wrote up a blog post, then I returned to crocheting the scarf, because it doesn’t seem to make my arm any better if I do nothing.

After lunch, I listened to The News Quiz, then watched the new episode of Black Lightning while I did my exercises again. We’ll see if it’s the cause of my extra back pain when I get up tomorrow.

Really hope my new glasses come in tomorrow, then we can pick them up after my scans.

The 7th of February.

Well, today has been really rather good. This morning, I had my scans. Getting there was not fun – the traffic was very bad, and the car park was so rammed, it was hard to even find a place to pull over so Daddy could drop me off (Mommy had had to take Grandma to Good Hope for an echo). I arrived about five minutes before we were meant to start, but it was okay. Had to go through all the usual questions about metal in my body, then one of the techs tried to find a vein so they were ready for the injection when Andrew came. However, my veins didn’t want to cooperate, so we gave up and did the MRI on my cervical spine (to see if there’s a reason for the numbness in my right forearm). I got an itchy nose mid-scan, but I was able to ignore it. When I came out, Andrew was there, and he went hunting for veins. Still not very forthcoming. It got to a point where he was considering a different kind of scan, but it was a cardiac one and I didn’t have an appointment there. On the fourth go, in the underside of my wrist, he got a cannula, and we were able to do the MRV. He’s going to look at the pictures and see me in clinic. Pray for answers!

I rang Piccadilly to see if my glasses were ready but they won’t be in until tomorrow. On that way home, we got a pretzel from M&S, now a rarity, and this afternoon, I have been crocheting the scarf again, thankfully without pain. My back has also not hurt any extra today, so in all, a win!

veins