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The 12th of June.

It’s Daddy’s birthday!

He had already gone to work by the time I got up, which was a good thing because I hadn’t written his card yet. We’re going to take him to the Pink Floyd exhibition in London for his present, so I didn’t have to worry about that.

I had a phone call with Anthony Nolan this morning because they need examples of post-transplant care, so I was telling her how excellent mine has been. I know not everyone is so lucky. Then I had a chat with Nationwide because they had frozen my debit account for no apparent reason and hadn’t told me. It turns out that I had used it at a cashpoint or on a website that has left me exposed to fraud so they’ve had to cancel it. Well, that’s fine, but they could have sent me a letter? I’ll get a new card,it’s all fine.

This afternoon, Mommy and I went into town to take back all the kimonos I didn’t need. I also needed to get some facewipes, then we went into Selfridges to get Daddy some token bits – essentially fudge. I also bought myself some espresso chocolate spread so I’m very much looking forward to my toast in the morning.

Once home, I finished crocheting the bear, so he can go in the post this week!

The 13th of June.

I am annoyed and sad. Finally managed to speak to Tracey (the booking coordinator) and she hasn’t even had the paperwork yet. I have haematology clinic tomorrow so we’ll get them to chase Andrew. It’s all well and good for him to say “Yes we need to do another venoplasty” but if he doesn’t send the paperwork for three weeks I’m going to have to wait even longer for this nightmare to be over. It has been six months and it should not be this hard.

My alarm didn’t go off this morning so I didn’t wake up until quarter past ten. Thankfully I didn’t have anything that needed doing, but I still don’t like waking up that late. I got to have my coffee spread on toast for breakfast though, so there was that.

Since talking to Tracey early this afternoon, the heavy cloud has descended. I don’t think it’ll be a long-term storm, but it’s here all the same. I’ve just sat crocheting, listening to podcasts, trying not to think about it. I’m just so tired and it feels like nobody is trying.

The 8th of June. 

Happy Voting Day everyone! Hope you all got down to your polling stations and voted to try to keep the Tories from killing us all. 

I have spent the majority of my day at Lympstone Manor, the new business endeavour of Michael Caines. We left the house at 12 and drove across the River Exe, finding ourselves pretty much directly opposite the place John and Maddie got married. It is a really beautiful venue, incredibly picturesque. Spa weekend would be ideal. 

We started off in the lounge, having drinks. I stuck with non-alcoholic, which I was then very pleased about because my choice of Orange Blossom (orange and passionfruit, elderflower and lemon) was so incredibly delicious. I want it bottled, in bulk. The menus were brought, and I was slightly concerned because it was not what had been on the website (obviously I had already chosen my meal) but I still found tasty choices so my worries were allayed. I initially wanted to order a pork dish for my main, but it had a paprika jus, which I asked to be left off, but then the waiter came back and said that there was basically paprika in everything on the dish, so I decided to change to lemon sole. 

We were brought some amuse-bouches of aubergine mousse and lightly curried lamb croquettes, then taken through to the dining room. It was really far, so I had to have a serious rest when we arrived at the table. I tucked myself in. We were brought bread (so much bread!), and then a fancy teacup full of bisque. I don’t often have a bisque, but from my understanding of how they’re supposed to taste, it was a pretty great bisque. Starters arrived, mine being parmesan and rosemary gnocchi with truffled egg yolks. It was so pretty and the yolks were so beautifully poached and cute, I almost didn’t want to burst them. There were also some mushrooms, but I ignored those. 

The gap between starters and mains was a bit too long – we think there may have been some problem in the kitchen, but when they did arrive, they were worth it. My sole was so delicious, I was glad I couldn’t have the pork. It was so light, everything was cooked perfectly, I could not pick a fault. Then we were brought the dessert menus, which I didn’t need to look at as I’d already decided – chocolate ganache with white chocolate ice cream, thank you. Everything I ate was just exquisite, and I couldn’t recommend it more. While we were having coffee and petit fours (also scrumptious), Michael Caines himself came round to talk to us (and the other diners). Last time a chef did that, it was Alain Roux and I was on a lot of opiates, so I immediately started crying. Thankfully today I was actually able to speak and tell him how much we’d enjoyed everything. 

Now we are back at the house, I am in my pyjamas, and staying hopeful about the election until the news forces me to believe otherwise. My echo chamber will keep me buoyed. 

 

The 9th of June. 

Holy shit we actually did it. Well, we didn’t win, but she’s lost seats, clinging to a coalition with the DUP. I can’t see that lasting. Well, I fucking hope not. 

Anyway! Home day. We had to be out of the house by ten, so once we were packed, we were gone. We went into Exeter, to try to find some presents for people, get some lunch, and pass some of the time before leaving Christine to get her train. John Lewis was pretty disappointing, so then we tootled down to the cathedral. However, I didn’t fancy going round it and neither did Daddy, so we went to find somewhere to have lunch. There was one coffee shop which was very empty and did not look inviting, so we found another called Cakeadoodledoo. A ridiculous name, but they made a good flat white, and when Mommy and Christine joined us, we had some tasty lunch. I had a toasted bagel with egg mayonnaise and it was delightful. Not as great as yesterday’s lunch, but good enough. 

Post-food, it was about one, so we left Christine in the Costa by the station, and set off on our journey home. We stopped at the Gloucester services where I got another Richard Bertinet cinnamon swirl and a cookie dough brownie, and some green juice so I at least have some form of vegetables today. I watched Scream on Netflix for the majority of the car journey, and I now am just looking forward to bed. Back in my own bed, for more than three nights this time. 

The 6th of June. 

Today has been pretty lame, ranked in terms of holiday fun time. The weather was not terrible, so it was felt we should go out. I was woken up by a child playing basketball outside my window which was not ideal, but I refrained from putting a passive-aggressive note through the door of the owners of said basketball hoop. If it happens again tomorrow, I will be less accommodating. 

Daddy and Christine wanted to go to a castle, which did not sound appealing, so they dropped Mommy and I off in Torquay so we could do a bit of shopping while they looked at the ruins. We spent about an hour and a half in a nice coffee shop, having a tasty lunch and beverages. I had a mozzarella, tomato and pesto bagel with a carrot and orange juice, although I took the tomatoes out. Don’t want those. Then I had a coffee and we shared some vegan chocolate banana bread which was excellent, but it was demolished before I had a chance to take a photo. We were thinking about going, but then an old man sat down and started talking to us, starting with the premise of the election but he actually ended up telling us about how he is having to move because his landlady’s husband is a weed addict and he wants to start a singing group in which they sing old French songs in a Black Country accent because he thinks it would be fun. All this while eating two croissants with butter and jam. He was a curious fellow. We did have to leave as we had a jigsaw to buy, so we went in search of that. It turns out Torquay is quite shit in terms of shopping. We tried several places, and finally found one in WHSmith, where I also found a Father’s Day card. Not got Daddy a birthday card yet but nevermind. 

My eyes started being problematic, and we had nowhere else left to go, so we started trawling places in desperation, waiting to be picked up. We even went round Wilko’s, where they were selling my facewipes for more expensive than in Superdrug, shockingly. 

I was very happy to see the car arrive so I could shelter from all the bright light. Honestly, if it gets even vaguely sunny, I am essentially blind. Really hoping it is kind of dull on Thursday when we go to Michael Caines’ restaurant. 

Back at the house, I made my contribution to the jigsaw by finding all the bits of the two windows in the picture. That was enough for my back, so I then returned to the sofa where I have been curled up ever since. 

 

The 7th of June. 

One day out in the wheelchair/car and I am fucked for the next one. Been hobbling all day. Nevermind the fact that Mommy fried some meat last night and I obviously can’t cope with being in the vicinity of that either because my sats are only just getting back to normal. People are only allowed to bake, roast, boil or steam things near me, thank you. 

I was not woken by basketball today, thankfully. Instead, it has been a very quiet day – Daddy and Christine went to the tiny zoo this morning, while Mommy and I stayed in. She cross-stitched, I crocheted! Actually was able to focus on it. I had to unravel the doily I had been working on, because I can’t remember what size hook I was using, but I’ve started a new one and I’ve made a note of the hook, so if I have to stop again, I won’t have the same problem. 

When Christine and Daddy got back, we ate lunch while watching today’s Pretty Little Liars (FINALLY things actually progressed) and I had a very tasty crab sandwich from one of the nearby coffee shops. I was then left alone while everyone went shopping to buy dinner, so I watched an episode of Scream and before I knew it, they were back again! Time for iZombie. (Yes it seems on holiday I behave exactly as I do in hospital.)

It is the last day of election campaigning. Tomorrow, the people vote. Obviously, I have already sent off my postal vote. Part of me is hopeful. The other part is terrified. I am so afraid of what I might wake up to on Friday morning. 

The 4th of June. 

Recovery day. I was woken by the dawn at a ridiculous time again but today I put a flannel over my eyes and went back to sleep until half past nine. Then I had to heave myself out of bed which was not easy because my back was fucking awful, having been sat in terrible chairs all day yesterday. 

There was a family get-together at a pub at one o’clock, so we arrived to big hugs from Hilary and Jeremy (both she and I were suffering a little) and took seats next to Tilly, Sophie and Peter. Inevitably, we ended up discussing London and the events of last night. I can’t help but feel this is why we need a Labour government more than ever, because the Tory Theresa May way is evidently ineffective, particularly when she has decimated the police service and accused them of “crying wolf” when they warned her how that would end. 

The mood lifted when we were brought food – life seems a little bit less dark when you are surrounded by family and mac’n’cheese. I was having to eat with one hand while I used the other as a visor because my eyes were not tolerating any light today. It has been difficult. 

I got to a point at which I had to go to the bathroom, which I really didn’t want to have to do because I had to walk and it was pissing it down with rain. I had Mommy walk with me, and as soon as I got inside I had to commandeer a chair from a random table so I could get my breath back. I suddenly became aware of how pathetic I must have looked when I heard Mommy say “It’s okay, she just needs to get her breath back”. Yeah, there’s nothing that can be done to help, I just need to breathe. We got Daddy to bring the oxygen for me to return to the marquee. Couldn’t do that again. 

For the last hour, our table was joined by John and Maddie (who had been there already, but mingling with other people) and we talked about the amount of medical professionals who had been there last night, and plans for the rest of the week. They are going to Falmouth for a few days before they go on honeymoon, so I was recommending all my favourite places. 

I think we left just after three? I curled myself up in the car with the oxygen, much like last night, except today I was a bit damp too thanks to the rain. We took Taid back to his hotel, then home, where I ate the brownie I bought at the Gloucester services and Christine and I watched last night’s Doctor Who. I’m very tired. 

 

The 5th of June. 

Rain. So much rain. I thought it best to stay inside. 90% of my day has been spent on the sofa, which has been so much better for my back. I can stand a bit more upright today. 

Most of my mornings right now involve trying to adjust to the daylight, creating a visor with my hands, listening to the news. I had to mute it today when Theresa May started her speech having a go at Jeremy Corbyn when she has LITERALLY BEEN IN CHARGE FOR SEVEN YEARS. Anyway. 

Mommy and Daddy went out about noon to have lunch with Taid, then take him to the service station where he was meeting his coach to Looe. Christine stayed with me (I was just not up to going out for the fourth day in a row) and she bought us lunch from the bakery round the corner. I had a chicken mayonnaise sandwich and a vast Belgian bun – really tasty and a good bake (as Mary and Paul would say) but really enormous. I was incredibly full afterwards. We noticed Pitch Perfect 2 has arrived on Netflix so we watched that while we ate and had a lovely time singing along (as did the crow that has been sat outside our window all day). 

I actually managed to do a small amount of crochet today for the first time in weeks – just a small pocket to keep my eye drops in (they have to be kept out of the light). Still, it is a start. I still have a doily to go back to but I’m not sure which hook I was using for it. Erk. 

Jesus Christ I am so fucking tired. Apparently we might have a venture out tomorrow. I want to stay in bed. 

The 2nd of June. 

Such a long day of driving. We got up, packed the car and set off to pick up Taid from New Street. Unfortunately, the assistance people at Llandudno forgot about him so they didn’t put him on his train, and they had to put him on the next one. That meant he had to change at Shrewsbury, not Crewe, and he got to us forty minutes later than he should have. Not very impressive. 

Once we’d got him in the car, we then drove to the excellent service station in Gloucester, the one where they have a farm shop. We had some food, then I went to wander round the farm shop. I got a cinnamon swirl from the Richard Bertinet bakery, and two chocolate brownies – one classic chocolate for me, and one salted peanut brittle for Christine. 

Back in the car! I spent my whole journey listening to the Do You Like Scary Podcasts? podcast about Scream (the tv series), trying to catch up to where I’ve watched. I had to stop when we got near Taid’s hotel, because then I had to start looking at Google maps to work out where we needed to go. It was very stressful because poor signal meant I couldn’t accurately see where we were, so we made a couple of wrong turns and it took a bit longer than it should have. Still, we got there in the end! Then we had to pick up Christine from the station here and get to the Tesco in Newton Abbot by 6 to pick up our order from the click and collect. We got there with two minutes to spare! Phew. 

Then all we had to do was get to the house. Thankfully, that did not take very long, just the roads at the end were a bit narrow and windy. Great fun in a people carrier. Now we have had fish and chips for dinner, as is traditional, and will be doing our best to get a good sleep before tomorrow’s wedding festivities!

 

The 3rd of June. 

I highly recommend being ill directly before a wedding. Everyone is so much more delighted to see you! Well done me for attending. 

I had a pretty reasonable sleep, only woken by the bright morning light about 5 but I was able to ignore it. I got up and dressed into my wedding outfit straight away – it’s hard enough to get dressed once, I’m not going to put one set of clothes on to get changed a few hours later. I had some breakfast and Mommy went get me a coffee (thankfully there is a shop that sells a decent flat white nearby), then I had to put make up on for the first time in about a month. Thankfully, it was not too uncomfortable for my eyes, although they were not loving it. So many eye drops. 

We arrived at the church about half an hour early and it was entertaining trying to get the wheelchair in. The hardest bit was the gravel outside – the wheels did not cope well. I had to be pushed for a while. Actually inside the church, it was fine, I just drove it down the aisle and parked it, then sat in a pew with Mommy and Christine, and Daddy sat behind. 

The ceremony was very traditional, and it involved the Eucharist in which I obviously did not partake. We sung some songs, including a curious rendition of One More Step Along The Way I Go – the organist didn’t seem to know the rhythm, so the end of every verse was unknown territory. When we came out, a guard of honour had been created with oars (John’s family row, Maddie’s sail) so we all waited for them to come out so they could be covered in confetti (which blended into my hair very well), then we all got in our cars to go to Exeter Castle for the reception. 

There was much milling about at this point, the way people do at weddings while waiting for the food to start. I decided against having any Pimms, I thought it would be wise to stick with one type of alcohol if I was going to drink. Just wine for me. We had a brief rain shower, and the Red Arrows did a fly past (not for us but a nice surprise all the same), then it was time to go and eat! It was past 3 o’clock by this point, so we were all quite hungry. Christine and I were on a table with two of John’s cousins, a family friend of Maddie’s, another friend of Maddie’s, and three of John’s friends from medical school/university. It was a good group! There were two short speeches before we ate, from Maddie’s stepdad and her mum, then it was time for deep-fried camembert. So good, but so viscous. I felt like my mouth was stuck together, but for delicious reasons so who cares? The main course was brought out on boards – chicken with stuffing, plus bowls of vegetables, so we had to serve ourselves. Our method involved getting someone to stab you a bit of chicken, and the vegetables got passed around. The parsnips were excellent. The dessert was wedding cake, and very good it was too. Then John did his speech and it was very sweet – I nearly did a cry, but managed to hold them in. Giles, the best man’s speech followed, which was very funny, although not long enough (we had a sweepstake running on our table and my guess was way off). 

After that, we all congregated outside for more photos before the evening festivities. There was a room for dancing, the bar, and a chill out room, plus an outside terrace. I started out in the dancing room, although purely as an observer – I can barely walk, so dancing is very much out of the question. There was a big old Ceilidh which was very entertaining but looked knackering, then John and Maddie had their first dance. Once other people started joining in, I went outside and sat in the remaining sun with Sophie and we mainly talked about cats and babies until it got cold, and I went back inside to find the dancing room empty and most people in the bar. I found a chair at the side and texted Mommy to find out how much longer we were going to stay because I was pooped. Thankfully, they agreed that it was time we ought to head off, particularly as we had to take Taid back to his hotel, so I said my goodbyes to the happy couple and went back to the car for some oxygen. We made the right choice, because by the time we got back to the house, I was ready to sleep. Well, eat some toast, then have sleep. 

The 21st of April.

Got to get this cat on the website. I sat with him all afternoon, watching episodes three to six of Riverdale, and I found lots of scabs in his fur, bless him. He’s had a really hard time on the streets. Poor kitty.

This morning I was super coughy, and I checked my bloods from yesterday, which said that my CRP is 37. Nobody has phoned me to check that I’m alright, so I’m going to stay aware of how I feel, keep an eye on my sats. They’ve been good in the daytime, and I’ve got respiratory clinic next week. We’ll see what Dr. Thompson says.

I attempted to take some photos of Sam for the website, but he is not the most photogenic of cats. I’ll have to really sell the story and emphasise just how lovely he is. He sits on my lap, occasionally runs over to his food, then scampers back for more lap time. Honestly, if he weren’t so fluffy, i would want to keep him. I just keep inhaling his fur!

The 22nd of April.

This is going to be a short one; very little to report. This morning, I was super coughy and phlegmy again. My sats are mostly alright on air, and I feel alright when I’m not doing very much, but as soon as I take a few steps on my own, I’m in trouble. I don’t know. I have a bad feeling, but maybe I’m just being pessimistic. I hope so.

I came downstairs to find activity that meant a trip was afoot. Not for me. My parents. My 92 year old second cousin twice removed (paternal side) was going to be in Alvechurch to see her son, so Mommy and Daddy were going to go over there after lunch to meet her (for the first time ever).

My afternoon was spent in the company of Sam the floof and the cast of Riverdale, via the medium of television. I’ve now watched all ten available episodes and the next one won’t come out until next Friday. Considering we’re meant to find out who the murderer is at the end of episode thirteen, .I certainly still have no idea. Everyone is a suspect.

They eventually returned just after six, then Mommy went to Grandma’s, and now she’s taken some flowers over the road for Chris and Alison’s wedding anniversary. Tomorrow I will make her rest.

The 19th of April.

So the shaved kitty is not so shaved. Only a few bits had to be done, so we actually have a rather large, incredibly floofy cat who needs a lot of grooming but he is super friendly and seems to enjoy being brushed so I’m confident that won’t be a problem. Plus he’s got zero health problems which is a bonus so hopefully we can find someone who wants an older cat!

A much less news-heavy day. This morning I had a chiro appointment, so I got my back stretched out and a few bits crunched here and there. I was much better than last time, presumably because I haven’t been having to use quite so much oxygen, so my muscles are behaving a bit more normally.

When we got back, Christine and I watched the new episodes of iZombie and Pretty Little Liars, still batshit as ever. Will we get all the answers in the next ten weeks? We can but hope. By the time it finishes, the election will be over!

Christine had to leave to get her train home, but when she got to New Street, she discovered there were no trains to Euston! She was okay though, she was allowed to get a different train to Reading, then get another one home from there.

Shaki arrived just after six with Sam the floof. He is gorgeous and I can’t bear the thought of him sleeping under a pile of leaves. People are awful.

The 20th of April.

I am covered in floof. He is lovely but I need industrial-strength sticky tape to de-fluff.

This morning I was at the QE for pre-venoplasty bloods. That was easily done – I went to haematology clinic and they bled me very quickly, then we went across the link bridge to the “new” hospital. I’d taken in the bear I made for Jenny’s baby, but she wasn’t in. Cody was though, so we went to check if she’d be there on Monday (she will), and we saw the doctors on their round. They seemed happy to see me being well, and Ben complimented me on my boots. He obviously has good taste. Then we went to ambulatory care to check what time I need to turn up on Monday. However, they couldn’t find me on their list. This was a little alarming, so I rang Tracy. We don’t know why I’m not on their list, but I definitely have a bed, I just need to arrive at twelve and it should be fine.

Dean was coming up to go to Heartlands for a pre-op, and I’d said we’d give him and Adam a lift there. We weren’t far away and it was nice to see him with neither of us feeling ghastly.

We dropped them off, then came home for lunch. Mommy then went to Grandma’s, and I watched The Magicians before going to see Sam, and I gave him a very good groom while we watched the first two episodes of Riverdale. Oh how I miss the days when my only worries were boys and girls and homework.