Archives For brownies

The 20th of September. 

I am knackered and in such ferocious pain that I am walking around bent over at a right angle but I have had the bloody loveliest day. 

I got up at eight because my brain was too excited to sleep any longer, and that meant I had time to watch last night’s Bake Off before going out at eleven to catch my train to London.

The journey was largely uneventful, but I was kept amused by the man sitting diagonally opposite me who was greatly enjoying Game of Thrones on his laptop. Then, in a true miracle, a man appeared with the ramp within a couple of minutes of us arriving at Euston! I was really quite shocked. 

I got a cab from there straight to Paternoster Square, to see the Make Blood Cancer Visible installation. All the names of patients, with their particular type of blood cancer, age and story attached. I roamed around, looking for somebody with AML. It would have been nice to come across a young person, but the only two I found were 62 and 77. I couldn’t really relate. Still, I saw three chaps standing around with a camera and talking, so I went over to see if they were involved in the campaign. They weren’t, they were just interested in photographing it, so then I introduced myself and explained what it was all about. They told me I was very brave, and it was good to see me battling on. I am indeed a soldier. But on the subject of invisible diseases, one of the men mentioned that his wife has an inner ear balance condition, and I said “Oh, Meniere’s?” to which he was very surprised because he’s never met anyone who knew what it was before. She has had the steroid injections in the ear which Daddy is about to have and found them very helpful so that’s promising. 

I left them to carry on, and bought myself some lunch from Paul which I ate in the square while listening to a podcast. 

After that, I hadn’t got anything else planned for the rest of the afternoon and had plenty of time to kill, so I took myself to Konditor and Cook in The Gherkin for some Curly Wurly cake and my fourth coffee of the day. It wasn’t very far, and it was quite easy to navigate a path because I just had to go in the direction of the very tall buildings. Easy. I also bought two brownies because I can’t not, when presented with the opportunity. They are bloody delicious. 

About four o’clock, I decided it was time to go to the hotel, so I got another taxi over to The RE Shoreditch, where Mommy and I stayed when we went to watch Christine do her run in Victoria Park. 

I checked in, and the duty manager got called over because I am disabled. They asked if I wanted to switch to a room with an accessible bathroom but I explained that wasn’t necessary, as long as I could get in the room in my chair. Then I had to read a letter explaining what to do in a fire and sign a form to prove I had received it. All that was left was to pay and my heart beat so quickly as I waited for the machine to confirm my payment because Nationwide have a nasty habit of not allowing large purchases to go through because they are really over-zealous and it causes me no end of problems. Thankfully, it worked and I was hugely relieved. 

I spent the next couple of hours talking to Mommy on the phone, unpacking bits and pieces, and making sure everything was ready for when I returned, ready to crawl into bed. 

Amusical was to start at half seven and I wanted to give myself a bit of buffering time to eat something before going in, so when I arrived I ordered a bowl of chips and a glass of wine because that’s the kind of responsible adult I am. 

The only really wheelchair accessible space was right next to the stage/sound desk, so I had a great view, particularly of all Jayde’s incredible costume changes. They opened with Jayde and Kiri performing a heart-rending rendition of Come What May from Moulin Rouge, and Jayde can really bloody sing! Our first act was Brennan Reece, singing Waving Through A Window from Dear Evan Hansen, which I didn’t know but it was lovely and I am downloading it now. He was really good as well! Next, we had Tiff Stevenson singing Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evita, absolutely class. Short interval, during which I had a chat with the father of the musical director who was a big fan of my wheelchair. Next up was Alex Zane, who’d really committed by dressing up as Mary Poppins and singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, including hat changes for the different characters. It was during his song that my hands began to hurt from clapping. Fourth was Evelyn Mok, singing Memory from Cats, in a leopard-print onesie and checking the lyrics on her phone. Another interval, and I was joined by Tiff and her boyfriend, so we got to catch up a bit before the final section. In that, we were given Spencer Jones singing Reviewing the Situation from Oliver, accompanied by the guy who’d been on the sound desk suddenly playing the violin brilliantly, and he was really excellent. And his encore song was going to be You Give A Little Love from Bugsy Malone, so he had to win. Finally, we had an enormous group singalong of Do You Hear The People Sing? from Les Mis and it was incredibly rousing. 

The bar didn’t close, so I stayed for a while, having chats, until it got to about midnight, and Kiri walked with me up to Oval Space so I could poke my head in at Dean’s night before going round the corner to my hotel. When I arrived, I just hoped Adam and Amy were still there, and thankfully Adam spotted me pretty quickly so I wasn’t alone for long. We had a nice talk, then Amy and Elliot came down and we had a singalong to some incredible tunes that were perfect for the night. We were all really tired by this point, and there was some dry ice or something that was affecting my lungs, so I left about quarter to one and was so glad my hotel was just minutes away. When I got out of my chair, I was pretty much bent double with pain and my eyes absolutely killed. So happy to be able to get into bed. 

The 21st of September. 

I had a fucking terrible night. The only good part was the pillows. I started trying to settle down to sleep about two, but I didn’t drop off. I got through two podcasts, I remember looking at my phone and it being half past four, I kept hearing people outside my room, and every time I moved, my back protested heavily. I got up at eight, doubled over in pain. It was no worse than being in bed. 

I got myself dressed and packed up, thankfully not much to put away, and was checked out by quarter past nine. 

Needed breakfast, and I wasn’t far from Rinkoff’s, so I had to get some pastries. I had an enormous cinnamon swirl (only appropriate after Dean’s event last night) and very hot coffee, which I got through while taking in my surroundings. My two favourite customers were the man who came in whose water had gone off so he filled up two enormous bottles and a jerry can, and a guy who wanted a sandwich with only green olives in it. Bizarre. 

To take away, I bought two crodoughs – one toffee apple crumble, one chocolate, plus three rainbow bagels and a mini challah. Then I got a cab to take me to the Wellcome Collection, where I was meeting Hannah, a fellow transplant patient for coffee. I got a flat white and some orange juice so I could take my tablets, then started writing a blog post while I waited for her to arrive. 

When she did, there wasn’t really any stopping us talking, we just had so much in common. There aren’t many transplant patients my age that I come across so it’s lovely when you can sit down with someone who can empathise with all the stupid problems you have. It was a shame we only had just over an hour, but next time we will have longer. 

I wanted to get some kind of green juice from Pret, because my diet had been terrible for the past couple of days, and when I went to pay, the very nice man serving said he’d get it for me, so it was free! Bless him. Then, at the assistance office, they sent me straight down to the platform, and I was on the train with plenty of time to spare. Phew. 

Mommy was there at New Street to pick me up, and I got changed into some jogging bottoms and fluffy socks in the back of the car. We had to collect Alison from school on the way home, and that was terrible because it was hometime, so the roads round there were really busy and all I just wanted to get into bed. 

When we eventually got home, it was about four, and I hadn’t eaten since my cinnamon swirl, so Mommy made me a boiled egg and soldiers and I curled up in my armchair. Finally I can rest. Until the next early start tomorrow. 

The 20th of February. 

I so want to be able to breathe normally again. Or at least, normally for me. To walk from the living room to the kitchen without needing to recover, to not need to spend the first hour of every day coughing up endless amounts of crap. I suspect Andrew won’t be able to get me in next week because he’ll be only just back from half term, so I have to be patient. I am just so tired. 

I spoke to the orthotics team this morning and I’m going in tomorrow at 9.30, presumably to be measured for a sleeve that goes over the hand. 

The rest of the day, I have been waiting around for Mommy to be available so we could bake brownies with the triple double chocolate Oreos in. At one point, we almost got started, then there was decorating chat, then Alison came over, so an hour after going to the kitchen, we began. I made sure we cooked them for the full amount of time, so hopefully they won’t be underbaked like usual. 

Good news! NHS England have announced they “are confident” that funding for second transplants will become available, but this is not yet confirmed. It also begs the question of what the hell has the anguish of the past six months been for? The pressure is not off. 

The 21st of February. 

I think the steroid eye drops are working – I had to wake up at quarter to seven, and it took much less time for my eyes to adjust to the light. Hooray!

Up early to see the orthotics team – Chris is on annual leave this week so I saw Pete, the clinical lead. I explained what had happened and showed him the pictures. He took some more measurements (and was pleased I had worn a jumper with easy arm access), and with any luck, I’ll be able to pick up the new sleeve tomorrow after haematology clinic. 

Before going home, we went into town so I could return the jumper I bought the other day, and I got a birthday card for Mommy. Her present is on its way, so if it arrives in time, I’ll wrap it on Thursday while the dining room is being painted and the fumes will force me to retreat to upstairs  

This afternoon, Daddy and I went to see Hidden Figures. It is really superb. I adored all of the costume, especially Janelle Monáe’s dress at the beginning. Loooove. I read an article about the three women (Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson) in New Scientist a few weeks ago, and have been really looking forward to seeing it since then. I can’t believe I did not hear about these women until now. And I am worried that we are going back to the time they came from.

 

The 24th of November. 

Another early start, but I can sleep in tomorrow. To combat my tiredness, I had three coffees before lunchtime, but that means I am very yawny now. 

The food show didn’t open until ten, when normally it starts at half nine, so when we arrived, everybody was still queuing to get in. I managed to get through the crowd, avoiding the stand where they were selling show guides, and chose to instead drive up and down all the aisles and see where I wanted to purchase things from. I stopped at Fudge Kitchen, because once it gets busy they’re impossible to get to, so I bought some drinking fudge and we had a lovely chat about GameBoys and hen dos. I went round all the drinks but bought none because I don’t want vodka that tastes like toffee. Bleah. I did as I always do, buying four brownies and a corker from The Brownie Bar, and at Gower Cottage I got a brownie, plus jars of brownie and blondie butter. Very excited about them. I also got a muffin from the Merangz people (disappointing) and a BBQ pork sausage roll for lunch. There was a stand of vegan chocolates and it was nice chocolate (I tried some) so I bought some for Lauren, and then I was pretty much done! We were home by half one. 

This afternoon, I had some more CP admin to do (apparently there is not normally so much back and forth with people but I have really been thrown in at the deep end) and now I am waiting for a lady and her daughter to come and see Ava and Amira. Hoping they can get through the Boldmere Christmas Extravaganza traffic. 

The 25th of November. 

One kitten down, two to go. I’m taking the gap between adoptions to do this. 

I got to sleep in until a vastly preferable nine o’clock this morning, and I was glad I didn’t have to do any blog typing up because I had to fill in all the paperwork for this evening’s adoptions. Three lots of PetPlan forms takes time. Plus I managed to buy a couple of Black Friday sale items for Christmas. Well, one thing for a present, one thing for me. I have not been an organised as usual – need to get going. 

After lunch, Daddy and I went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It’s alright. I mean it’s very well made and all looks impressive, but the story is crap. So thin. The amount of non-white characters can be counted on one hand. I don’t know why Johnny Depp was there. How they can stretch this out into five films I have no fucking clue. 

We got home with about ten minutes to spare before Stephen came for Archie. He was very good about getting into the carrier (Archie, not Stephen) and I really think he will be happy in his new home. He will be loved a lot

I think I will be most sad to say goodbye to Ava. She is just lovely and I love her. I must not cry. 

The 4th of November. 

I have taken to watching It Takes Two instead of the news because the real world is so depressing and awful. I would rather escape into the glitter. I cannot wait for the 9th of November. I just hope America don’t sentence the world to nuclear war. 

I spent my morning being invisible in the living room as Ed the financial advisor was here. I don’t know why, I was not listening, I just nod along when these things are explained to me. I just sat and crocheted Xaver and wrote up a blog post (which I nearly forgot about again). 

This afternoon, Daddy and I went to see Nocturnal Animals. It is really an excellent piece of work. The opening is shocking and brilliant, I loved it. Jake Gyllenhaal still as splendid (and handsome) as always, Amy Adams is fantastic, especially when she’s not speaking. That sounds bad, but I just mean that she can express so much in her face, she doesn’t need to talk. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is absolutely horrible (in his character) and just yes, one of the best films I have seen in a long time. 

The 5th of November. 

Up way too early for a Saturday morning, but it was necessary if we wanted to be at the NEC for half past nine. Mommy, Becky, Alison and I went to the Crafts for Christmas/Cake International Show. When we arrived, people were queueing to get in, so I took my ticket and went to get a festive caffeinated beverage before braving the crowds. 

To be honest, the craft bit was not all that inspiring. I bought a couple of balls of wool, and a unicorn kit from Toft, where I had a very nice conversation with the girl who was working there. That was it, really. I spent the majority of my time in the cake show. The Brownie Bar were there, so I bought four from them (Rich Chocolate, Triple Chocolate, Nutella and Oreo), and later on I saw another place selling all sorts of things I would’ve happily feasted upon, but I settled on just a gingerbread man and a cookie (which are enormous). 

The best thing was the cake competition – frankly unbelievable. There was a Dobby made of cake, a life-size ballerina, loads of owls, a huge BFG holding Sophie, lots of animals and people, and the most amazing sugar flowers. 

Finally, I met back up with the others, and we came home to have lunch because it had been many hours since breakfast. This afternoon I had a lovely crafty time finishing Xaver (minus his baubles) and I finally got round to watching The Outcast Comic, the documentary about Andrew Lawrencce which was really interesting. Waiting to see what he does now. 

The 3rd of September. 

It feels ever so strange to come downstairs in a morning and not to have to feed any kittens. Got a new guy coming tomorrow afternoon though – his name is Rufus and he needs socialising so more persistent petting is going to be required. 

I read the weekend Guardian, skipping the Nick Clegg interview because I knew it would make me too sad/angry, and I only remembered I actually needed to write up a blog post after lunch. Thankfully, I had time to do it because there was no cinema trip today; the only film I wanted to see was Morgan, but Daddy was not a fan of that idea so that was off. I am not that bothered; I’ll read the plot on Wikipedia. 

So, instead of going out (admittedly in the pissing rain), Mommy and I have baked. A batch of brownies from the Gü cook book, and some vanilla biscuits using the recipe from the Biscuiteers book, the icing of which I will do tomorrow. Whether I go the whole hog of doing the lining and flooding business, I do not yet know. They’re all cat shaped because I just love living up to stereotypes. 

The 4th of September. 

I have had a very productive day. I can tell because my back hurts a lot

This morning was not so much, just washing my hair and Sunday Brunch. Mommy had bought some kippers so I ate those for breakfast and burnt my fingers getting the plate out of the microwave. Just before lunch, we made some royal icing for the biscuits we made yesterday. We dyed some of it orange, turning our hands red in the process (milk once again coming to the rescue as a stain-remover), and I piped the outlines of all the biscuits. 

We let them set while we ate, then I went back to flood them all with more orange while I listened to the new Frank Ocean album. That took a while to set, so I left it again and did some crocheting. Jen came to pick up the kitten paperwork and drop off some homing blankets, then I went back to add details while I watched the repeat of Bake Off. First I used just white to do the feet of the whole cats and cheeks of the cat faces, then I had to make some black. The closest I could get was a very dark grey, then I had a palaver with putting it into a squeezy bottle which hurt my hands, so then it got decanted into a piping bag, and I did all their faces. They are so CUTE! I am thrilled with how they’ve turned out. How they managed to do them on Great British Bake Off within the time limit, I have no idea, because it’s taken me about five hours just doing the icing, nevermind the baking. 

Rufus is now coming tomorrow as Shaki is still out trapping, which actually is most convenient, as we still haven’t eaten our tea. I am pooped. 

The 17th of June. 

Oh dear, I feel ghastly. I seem to have rid myself of one cough to pick up another one which is worse. I didn’t sleep well because my nose was partially blocked so I had to breathe through my mouth, I kept waking up to cough…I really didn’t want to get out of bed. 

This morning, I got my blog post done, then went to let the kittens out for the first time since we brought them home yesterday. They were delighted and ran around like mad things. The food bowl was turned upside down, dried food all over the floor, just chaos. Eventually, Gabby got under the bed, so I put the other two back in the cage and just had to wait for her to emerge.

After lunch, Daddy and I went to see The Nice Guys. It is a bit ridiculous – it’s entertaining, lots of action, although I had the problem I often have when there’s shooting in films – why can’t people who are supposedly using guns a great deal such terrible shots, even when they’ve got a machine gun? It irks me greatly. Also, for any fans of very old America’s Next Top Model, Yaya from Cycle 3 is in it! She has not aged at all. 

I really want to go to bed, but it’s only quarter to eight. Maybe I’ll go upstairs after Would I Lie To You, take some Zopiclone, no dreams. 

The 18th of June. 

I am exhausted. I had two Zopiclone last night but they didn’t knock me out like they usually do; it took a lot longer than normal, but I don’t know if that was because I couldn’t get my breathing right, and everything needs to work together for the tablets to be effective. So I have the “hangover” without the benefit. 

There is no impulse to move if I don’t have to, and every three or four breaths, my chest starts rumbling and I have to shift the phlegm. Sometimes one cough will get it up, but more likely is that I’ll have to keep forcing them out until my throat clears. Then I’ll need to blow my nose and what feels like gallons of junk comes out; I don’t know where in my head it’s being stored but it just keeps coming. I’ve got decongestant and an olbas inhaler to keep my sinuses clear and carbocisteine to keep the phlegm from sticking anywhere, but other than that, I can only wait for it to bugger off when is ready. Fuck you, lung disease. 

The adoptions both went off without a hitch, everybody behaved themselves and I’ve heard that Gabby and Gabe (now Florence and Freddie) are out and pottering about, and I haven’t spoken to Eliott who took Gracie but I’m going to assume no news is good news. 

When everyone was gone, I sat and filled in paperwork and registered all the microchips, and since then, I have flooped.

The 15th of June. 

Bloody kittens. The day before they get neutered and I need Gracie to eat as much as possible before 9pm (when they have to be nil by mouth from) and she can’t be arsed. She was 950g when we weighed her the other day so she might be alright. We have to get them to the vet super early tomorrow, half eight, then off to the food show, so at least we’ll be there before the rush. 

I was meeting Vicky and her girlfriend Laura in Yorks this afternoon for a long overdue catch up. I  literally do not know when we last hung out – it was before we had any kittens so probably at least a year? We are really bad at meeting up. But we always have a lovely time. We drank coffee and tea, and I presented them with a housewarming gift of the dumpling kitty, which they love. Chatted about the referendum (we are all firmly pro-in), our various ailments, the shooting in Orlando, kittens and giant dogs. After two and a half hours, we needed to go our separate ways, so I got picked up and they went to buy a broom.

Once home, I let the kittens out to run around and gave them a late lunch as they’d finally finished their breakfast. Had to stop Gabby climbing behind the tv several times, and eventually they had to go back to bed. They are going to be a nightmare tomorrow when they’re starving. Not looking forward to that. 

The 16th of June. 

Today was going so well. Now all I can think about is that Jo Cox has been murdered in a senseless attack. There is speculation as to the motive, but it’s tough to comment until it’s official. Whatever it is, a three and a five year old are now without a mother, and they will find it difficult to separate a real memory of her face from a photograph. 

We started the day by taking the kittens to the vet to be neutered and chipped. They were ready to bite my hand off, having had no food since last night. Dropped them off, then went to pick up Grandma to go to the Good Food Show. I took my ticket and went off by myself in search of coffee. My usual supplier wasn’t there this time, so I had to get some from an untested source, but it didn’t taste like garbage. I worked out where I wanted to go on the map, which involved mainly purveyors of baked goods. I found The Brownie Bar first, where I bought four brownies – Nutella, rich chocolate, oreo and salted caramel, plus a corker, which is a cookie with brownie in the middle. Then I went to Gower Cottage, just for a brownie, but then I tried this brownie butter they’ve made and it is orgasmic. I had to have some. I picked up some macarons from Sweet Little Things who are new (bourbon and smoked sugar, coffee, mint chocolate and salted caramel), and they were so delicious – they actually tasted of what they’re supposed to, which is rare. I could detect the salt in the salted caramel. My only other food purchase, apart from my lunch, was some cinnamon bun oreos. Very exciting. When I was bored and bimbling around, I got talked into buying some microdermabrasion stuff, which I have to use now or it’ll be a waste of money. I had a cheese filled burger for lunch, then met back up with Mommy and Grandma and we came home. 

We just had time to unpack our purchases before having to go back out to pick up the kittens. Everything went fine, we have to keep them in the cage tonight and feed them little and often. They are starving and want to run around. It’s not going to be fun.