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The 26th of February. 

Happy Birthday Mommy!

I had a rather dodgy sleep, I think because of eating rich food much later than usual. Fucks up my system. 

Mommy opened her presents while I ate my toast. I gave her a teeny pot for putting herbs or a tiny plant in, and an enormous book of pictures of dogs. It’s got nowhere to live, but it amused her, which is what’s important. Besides, Tuesday is her proper present. 

She and Daddy went to pick up Grandma, while Christine finished cooking all the food and I wrote up a blog post, then twiddled my thumbs until it was time for lunch. As soon as we saw the Easts/Reames materialise with cake, we were up and opening the door. So hungry!

The afternoon has been rugby, drinking and eating. Christine, Becky, James, Jonathan and I decamped into the living room, where there was much bickering and teasing, but all in loving intent. We are essentially family.

Christine had to leave at twenty to four, so we cut the cake, but mine is still beside me, waiting for my tummy to have room for it. I’ll get there.

The 27th of February. 

Oh dear, I had another terrible night. It took me hours to fall asleep – I think on Tuesday night I might have a Zopiclone if things don’t improve. I would do it tonight, but I’d like to remember tomorrow. 

No excitement today. I rang the GP about getting some more stuff added to my repeat prescription, and left a message for Imelda, Andrew’s secretary, but she hasn’t called me back. Will try again in the morning. 

Otherwise, I have been crocheting, and Mommy and I watched the final three episodes of Case. It was not completely satisfying – I don’t see why the murderer had to get killed, instead of being put in prison, especially as they were on their way to arrest him. They’ve left it open for a second series (on a different thread) but I don’t know if we will bother.

I am very excited for Mommy’s birthday surprise tomorrow. I hope she enjoys it.

The 21st & 22nd; Birthday!

January 23, 2017 — 4 Comments

The 21st of January. 

Birthday! Had to get up super early which I didn’t love but it was for a good reason. I had a pain au chocolat for breakfast, then opened some of my presents. I got a box of macarons from Macarons & More from Grandma, a book token and a big journal from the Hudsons, a cheque from Taid, and some Moomin paraphernalia from Mommy and Daddy – a t-shirt, a notepad and pencil, and a wooden Little My that I need to assemble.

Our train to London was at 10:10, so we set off shortly after breakfast, and we were taken to the train by a woman with a very laissez-faire attitude which I did not care for. I also didn’t like being in coach A because it means I can’t really talk to the people I’m travelling with, but there was at least a fun baby who smiled at me when I made faces at her. 

We didn’t have time to wait for the Euston team to turn up, so got the chair off the train and went to get a cab to the South Bank, where we met up with Christine. We then went on a twenty minute trek in the cold to Where the Pancakes Are, but their misleading website said they would have some free tables for walk-ins, but there was nothing, so I told the woman she had ruined my birthday and left feeling very disappointed. 

Very nearby was a Caravan restaurant where they had many tasty dishes available and nice coffee, so then I was greatly cheered. I had a flat white, then smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast with a mimosa. Christine gave me my presents which were two Harrods cronuts (salted caramel and Speculoos and the zebra one), then Daddy had a pudding and I had more coffee. 

We got a taxi back to the South Bank because I couldn’t bear to get that cold again, then we had an hour to kill in the Royal Festival Hall before our Moomins exhibition tour. I went to the shop and bought a little stuffed Moomin and a bowl. 

The tour was lots of fun and very informative – it’s narrated by Sandi Toksvig, along with the tour guide, which was a lovely surprise, and there were lots of original illustrations and stuff that I would never have seen otherwise. I also really liked that they didn’t just gloss over the fact that she was gay and are teaching the children going on this tour that it’s okay and not something to be ashamed of. I think we need to be reminding kids that whatever they are is okay at the moment. The only bad bit was that it was not easy in the wheelchair – we actually had to collapse it and I did a lot of crouching in each room. It would be fine in a manual one with big wheels but the spaces are too small and the floor too uneven for anything else. We coped, but other people might not. The tour guide was very helpful and apologetic, and she promised to feed it back. 

Our next stop was Konditor & Cook to pick up my birthday cake, then we headed to the BFI for hot beverages and a rest before we had to go back to Euston. I had a hot chocolate, and did a lot of coughing which worried me but I think it was just because of the temperature change between there and outside. 

We saw many people who’d been to the Women’s March, which I would have loved to have gone to, but if I had, I would have definitely got ill. It was so cold today, I couldn’t have coped, even in a mass of people. Wonderful, but not sensible for me. 

When it was time, we said goodbye to Christine, then back to Euston. I got some Pom Bears and New Scientist, and when we got home, it was time for cake!

The 22nd of January. 

So tired today. I had a really bad night, not getting to sleep until past one, which is way too late for me. I got up at half past nine, put on some very warm clothes and settled in to spend my morning writing about yesterday. 

This afternoon, I was about to start writing the post I would have done yesterday, but then Alison came over with my birthday presents (more wool and flowers) and there was some catching up to do. Becky is full of lurgy so can’t come round herself, so we got all her news by proxy. It sounds like the cold Grandma’s got and I do not want either of their germs. 

We put the flowers she brought me in a vase, and I was able to finish my writing, which didn’t take long. Tomorrow won’t be so quick as there was a lot to say about my birthday. Then I got to work on otter number 2. I’ve made everything except his ears and snout, so I’ll get him finished this evening. When I’m done, it’ll be an early night. I need a big sleep. 

The 7th of January. 

Fuck I am still so tired, despite having caught up on sleep I missed at New Year. I think it’s because I’m still coughing a lot, especially in the mornings – they are awful. I would really like to feel good again soon. 

This morning, I wrote up a blog post, went on a hunt for a place for us to eat on my birthday (settled on Where the Pancakes Are, yum), then did some Cats Protection training. There was a new fosterers induction so I went through it. I did learn something so it wasn’t a waste of time. 

After lunch, I rang a potential adopter and forwarded him to the appropriate fosterer so hoping that’s a good match when he goes to see the kitty tomorrow. 

The rest of my time has been spent finishing the blanket – I just need to sew the fin to the tail and it’ll be done! Rainbow mermaid tail. It’s quite snug – only to be worn with leggings or tights. Unless it stretches. 

Tonight I will have to give the kittens lots of hugs before they go tomorrow. I will miss their stupid, pretty, rascally faces. 

The 8th of January. 

Not feeling quite so shitty today. Everything is still the same, I’ve just had a reasonable amount of sleep. Praying the postman brings me an appointment for a venogram tomorrow. Or someone calls me. Please. 

Shaki came this morning to pick up the kittens so they could go to Exeter. They were very scrabbly and did not want to go, which I took to mean that they will miss me. It meant we had to get them into the carrier very quickly, so I didn’t really get to say a proper goodbye. Probably a good thing or I might have had a cry. 

When they were gone, I had to call a potential adopter, then I finished my blanket. I’m not sure when I’ll use it, but it’s fun. 

We took Grandma to Miller and Carter for lunch because it’s her birthday tomorrow. I had scallops and then brisket, which I managed to eat quite successfully. Mash and gravy were very handy aids to mastication. 

Since getting home, I have begun making a jumper. I’m using the pattern from the last jumper I made, but with quite a lot of alterations – it’ll be shorter, have a narrower body, longer and narrower sleeves, and a smaller neckline. Just a little bit different. 

The 24th of December. 

I am quite the walking disaster zone. When I do walk, anyway, that is to say my feet feel like they’re covered in blisters, so putting any pressure on them is horrific. For a while this afternoon, I put them in a basin of cold water and briefly, they were soothed. The skin on my back and chest has been so itchy, I’ve been rubbing up against things like a bear, and my tongue is developing ulcers like nobody’s business. I’m doing mouthwash and spraying them with steroid but I’m not sure it’s having the desired effect. The torso rash could be explained by the antibiotics, and i finished them this afternoon, so by tomorrow evening it should have calmed down if it’s going to. If things continue though, I’ll be going back on steroids. 5mg to start with, and I’ll have to go back to hospital so we can come up with a proper plan. Just what I wanted for Christmas, the return of the desire to commit suicide. 

So I’ve done fuck all, just trying not to think about all the different forms of pain I’m feeling and focus on having a happy Christmas. Even if we all feel like shit (except Mommy, pray it stays that way), we will have a nice day. We are having the first fire and it doesn’t seem to be making my cough worse, not sure about anyone else, but hopefully we can keep them going this year. 

The 25th of December.

Merry Christmas! Mine started with being woken up by Mommy because everyone else was awake and Christine was starving. I got up as quickly as possible and padded down the stairs, wincing at every step. My feet are agonising all of the time – I think the last time they hurt this much, I was on cyclosporine. 

We had our traditional Christmas breakfast of bread, eggs, cheeses, meats, game pie, plus all of the condiments. I had a breadbun so floury, I had to be vacuumed. Covered, I was. 

Back upstairs, Christine and I opened our stockings. Mine contained some touchscreen gloves, tissues, a little Lindt bear, a Hotel Chocolat star containing chocolate snowflakes, a maze puzzle/game, Lulu Guinness vaseline and a Christmas tree brooch that should flash but doesn’t. Never mind. I put my Self-Portrait dress on with leggings, my cashmere socks and massive cardigan (to accommodate my arm) so I was working a very glam/cosy look. 

Mommy went to pick up Grandma, and when they returned, it was present time! I did not partake in the champagne drinking because that would only make my mouth worse, so everyone else had some while I distributed the presents. I hadn’t realised quite how securely I’d wrapped my presents so it took people a little while to get into them. Then again, that just made it last longer. I was given the Mrs. Christmas Pandora charm, a voucher for Wool Warehouse, a bag of Jelly Babies, some coffee beans, more Bucks Fizz marmalade, all the books I asked for (The Girls by Emma Cline, Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson, Playthings by Alex Phelby and Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami), a book about the art of The Little Price film, a Moomins calendar, two Essie nail varnishes, The Little Prince Moleskine diary for 2017, some thermal tops and socks, some very soft and cosy festive lounge trousers, and a mug and bowl with kitties on. Then Mommy and Christine went to finish the cooking of the dinner, and I looked at my book about The Little Prince. 

I ate my lunch rather slowly, having to chew on only one side of my mouth, but I did not finish last because I tend to have less than other people. We had a little rest, then pudding. Mommy had made me a chocolate mousse, and that was much easier to eat. 

After lunch, we decamped back into the living room, where we started the fire and I put my feet into a bowl of cold water again. I cannot describe how painful it is – like knives in my feet, all of the time. The steroid cream on its own is not working, so I’ve started back on 5mg of pred today. I’m going to get a moon face and become incredibly depressed again, but we don’t have a choice. 

We watched Christmas Bake Off, then the Easts came round for Doctor Who present swap. Becky was very pleased with her “Go away, I’m marking” mug and Toft teddy bear, and I got a ten pack of Paintbox wool, so I can make many colourful things. 

We had Doctor Who on pause for nearly an hour before getting it started, so when it was finished, they returned home to do their final lot of presents, and we settled in to watch Strictly with Christmas cake. 

It may not have been the perfect Christmas, with 3 of the 5 of us being ill (4, if you include Grandma’s general difficulties), but we are all at home and together, and that is what is most important. 

The 1st of October. 

Even more pain tonight, but for a good reason – London trip for Christine’s birthday! Had to be awake ridiculously early so we could be at New Street for 8:40. I bought a Guardian and a Pumpkin Spice latte for the train because I am so very basic, and we sped down the country to Euston. 

Christine met us there, and we got a cab to Berner’s Tavern. Had it not been pissing it down, we would have walked/wheeled. Not today. The restaurant is within The London Edition Hotel and it is niiiiice. Very fancy. We were early for our reservation, so sat in the lobby, had coffee and gave Christine her presents. Just token things because we’re giving her a voucher for a fancy cooking lesson of her choosing, so I gave her a crocheted mini manatee and whale. She is going to add them to her crochet corner at work. 

We moved through to our table, and I already knew what I was having, so while everybody else perused the menu, I just looked at all the pictures on the walls and watched the other people coming in. I was the only one who went for a sweet brunch dish – buttermilk pancakes with Nutella and bananas (no hazelnuts, I had those omitted). They were so good, but I couldn’t quite finish them. Curse my tiny stomach. I had a curly kale, apple, cucumber and lime juice to go with it, so I had some of my five a day. Plus the banana of course. Then everybody else wanted pudding, which I most definitely did not, so I had a flat white while they ate their desserts. I’m fairly certain Liam Gallagher came in while we were there – I tried to take a stealthy photo but it didn’t work out very well. 

By the time we left, the rain had stopped, so we decided not to get a cab to the theatre, where we were seeing Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in No Man’s Land. On the way, we happened to pass a Crosstown Doughnuts, so I went in to buy a cinnamon scroll to eat later, and while in the queue, I petted a dog called Cherub who was a chihuahua/Japanese Chin cross and I was happy as a clam. 

We arrived at the Wyndham’s just after two, so we stashed the wheelchair and found our seats. We had an excellent view, but it is an old theatre, and the seats were not good for my back. For the most part, I managed to forget about the pain, because the play was so good. I have not seen any Pinter before, so being introduced to his work by two of the world’s greatest living actors was pretty cool. Obviously it was an incredible performance from all the four actors involved (there are two younger men as well), sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes funny (and some lines taking on new meaning in current context) and overall amazing. Standing ovation at the end, and I found myself welling up for no reason that I could think of. Maybe because I just felt so lucky to be there. 

From there, we went to Picturehouse for a drink and a nibble before returning to Euston. I just had a St. Clements because I still didn’t want any food, but I did get a Mini Egg cookie to take home and eat tomorrow. We talked about the play, found that Daddy had nodded off a couple of times but not missed too much, tried to work out why the man sitting in front of us had left in the interval, and before we knew it, it was time to get a taxi back to the station. Hailing one wasn’t yielding results, so I whipped out my phone, and within five minutes we were on our way home. 

We were sat in the quiet coach on the train, but I put my earphones in anyway, and listened to a Flatshare Slamdown podcast while wishing the journey faster so I could lie down. 

So much fun, but so much pain. 

The 2nd of October.  

I don’t feel quite as awful as I thought I would, but still not great. I think I was helped by the Zopiclone I took last night, and I made no effort to get out of bed before I wanted to. I was up by ten though, I’m not an animal. 

I threw on my huge green polo neck for the first time this year, and spent what was left of the morning curled up in the armchair, writing about yesterday. Long post ahoy. I did get it finished by the end of Sunday Brunch, and to take my mind off my stiffness, I had scrambled eggs on one of my rainbow bagels for lunch, then my Mini Egg cookie. It definitely helped. 

This afternoon, Mommy took Grandma to get her hearing aids adjusted, and while I waited for her to return (so we could watch last night’s Strictly), I have just sat and crocheted. It is not super interesting to write about but I’ve made a good amount of progress and I don’t think it’ll take much longer to finish. I do look forward to being able to reveal it after Christmas. 

Going to lie down on the floor again now. I am going to be doing lots of stretching until I see the pain team.

The 20th of August. 

It has been a really good day. 

I got up at a normal time, and the pain I had while making my breakfast was mitigated by the fact that I knew I was having my MRI this afternoon and soon we will know things. I had an email from Sheila to say that the lady I was going to ring had phoned her this morning to say she definitely wants the cat she saw last night, so she wasn’t going to come and look at Nova. Fine with me!

Went out at half eleven to meet Rachel for lunch at Yorks at twelve. It was the one on Stephenson Street which I hadn’t been to until today, so it was nice to see it in person. She was already there when I arrived, and brought me some water which was secretly infused with cucumber and the taste was very confusing. We had coffee, then I ordered eggs benedict for my lunch which was really good, and I only stopped when I choked on a tiny piece of egg which tried to go down the wrong hole. It was my own fault; I tried to talk before I swallowed. I gave her the flowerpot kitty, which might upset their budgies but hopefully they don’t attack it. We just had a really nice catch up, talked about her PhD, my kittens, fun dogs, and watching people outside in the ever-changing weather. 

Mommy came to pick me up about twenty past three to take me for my scan, asking everything moved very quickly! No time to even get my book out, let alone read any. I got changed into a gown and went into the room having answered all the questions, I lay down, and they put a support under my knees and gave me some earplugs. They put the alarm button in my hands incase I had a panic (I never do), and they put some blocks either side of my head and a cage (it’s not a cage but I can’t think of the right word) around my chest to keep me still, then put a blanket over me because I was a bit cold. 

Then I just lay there, eyes closed and cursed silently when my leg would spasm. Listening to all the different noises, imagining all the waves moving through my body. I was in there much longer than I expected, and I was really hot when it was over. So glad to get that blanket off. I was pulled out by two new people who’d taken over, and I put in a plea for the report to be done asap. We can but hope!

The 21st of August. 

Normal service has resumed; back to doing very little. I was able to have almost a normal amount of orange juice this morning, so that consistent treatment of the ulcer on my tongue must be working. Right after we’ve got a load of Difflam. Still, it lasts a long time so I doubt it’ll be wasted. 

Sunday Brunch all morning, which today involved retriever puppies and Miles Jupp whose cackle I just adore. Grandma arrived towards the end having been picked up from church. Daddy fixed my wheelchair because it has been misbehaving a little, but suddenly came over all weird and spent a lot of the rest of the day in bed. It happened on Friday evening too and we can’t really work out a trigger. It’s very mysterious. 

We had pheasant for lunch, then I have spent the majority of my afternoon crocheting the jumper. Twenty two rows of fifty stitches takes a good few hours, and now I’ve got to the end of the end of what I’ve deemed the first section. When I’d got to the end of row 32, I started Slade House by David Mitchell, and have got through the first two chapters. I don’t think it’ll take me long to finish. 

Just had Taid in the phone and his helper woman has just quit without warning and actually without word at all – he’s had to ring her son who has spoken to her and she’s just ignoring the situation completely. She has, in effect, ghosted on him and I’m so, so appalled. I’d like to call her up and ask her who the hell she thinks she is. 

The 18th of August. 

I finished the book last night, and I’ve just started Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. I didn’t know the main character’s last name was Cartwright. Always a tiny bit weird when that happens. I also finished the blanket this morning! I was going to shower first thing, but the boiler man was coming to clean it (the boiler, not the shower) or something so I thought I’d wait until he’d been. To pass the time, I wrote a post, then got on with the end of the blanket. By the time he left, I was so close to the end, I figured I might as well finish, and I’d get in the shower after lunch. 

This afternoon, we baked some chocolate chip and sea salt cookies and a marmalade traybake because we had no cake left in the house and that just won’t do. While they cooked, I worked on a jumper I’ve started, and have just begun my new book. 

That’s all! Tomorrow will be longer; actual things are going to happen. 

The 19th of August. 

I have done things! Too many things, some might say. More about that later. 

Had an early start because Daddy was taking me to Worcester for an Anthony Nolan thing. I had to go to the head offices of one of our corporate partners, Parkwood Leisure, to officially receive a cheque and have some photos taken, say some words. They had a big cricket match, followed by a quiz and an auction which raised £2450, and they’re nearly halfway to their target of £25,000 which is great. I was presented with the cheque, we posed for the photos in which I may have had lipstick on my teeth, then I said a thank you and talked a little bit about where the money goes, and that was it!

This afternoon was fairly quiet, then Christine came home and got to meet the kittens. They were all very sedate and allowed her to pet them; well, Nova and Nola did, Nadia wasn’t having any of it. They are not sedate now. They are mental. 

Tonight, we went out for dinner at Cau. We’d said we’d go back there with Christine so to do it now to celebrate my diagnosis anniversary seemed the perfect opportunity. Started just with bread which I covered in spicy butter to my regret, then I had tapa de cuadril, which is very thinly sliced, flash grilled steak and it was really good – I would recommend. In-between courses, I had a phone call to talk about a potential adopter for one of the cats who wanted to view them this evening. When I told her I couldn’t because I was out for dinner with my family, she said “You know Kathryn, you do live quite a life for someone who…” and then quickly changed the subject. 

Who what? Is disabled? How dare I go outside and eat food with other people? Why am I not sitting at home all the time being ill? Man, if she only knew some of the other things I do, it would blow her fucking mind. 

ANYWAY. Then I had some churros for pudding and they were excellent so I am happy.