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The 15th of August. 

Quiet day in the Cartwright household – I’m on my own because Mommy and Daddy took Grandma up north to see Aunty Audrey, so it’s been a day of carbs, crochet and crime drama. Well, only a little bit of crime drama but I enjoyed the alliteration. 

This morning I did a blog post and watched the last three episodes of Glow. I finished off the little teddy, but because the wool is mainly pink, it looks more like a pig than a bear. 

I sorted myself out some lunch, and had got engrossed in trying to de-pig the bear when the doorbell rang. I had a chap coming to view Betty and had completely lost track of time. I let him in and took him to see her – very much your average viewing, as she is an excellent kitty and showed herself off to the best of her ability. They’ve had a cat for twenty years so I know they can look after one. Just got to confirm, but I’m pretty sure we’ve found Betty a home!

Since then, I have been trying to write a blog post for tomorrow. It will be ten years to the day since I was diagnosed with leukaemia, since this all started. What a decade it has been. 

The 16th of August. 

Happy 10 year anniversary to me!

It has been a lovely day. I had a good sleep, woke up at an acceptable time, and had my breakfast and coffee while I put together a blog post about the day. I put my new charm on my Pandora bracelet, which I think we can now say is full. Convenient – ten years is a nice round time to stop. 

I wanted to make cinnamon buns, so when Mommy got back from Grandma’s, I printed out a recipe I’d found to make them in 45 minutes and we gave it a go! To be fair, Mommy did most of the work, and I did the easy bits, like sprinkling the cinnamon sugar all over the dough. When they came out of the oven, I poured the icing over the top, and let them cool while we ate our lunch. We tore them apart for pudding and have to say, they have been a success!

This afternoon, I went to Black Sheep to get my hair dyed. I had taken inspiration from Love Symbol #2, the colour Pantone released to honour Prince, and mixed it with a dark teal. I have unintentionally matched my glasses and sunglasses. No bleach today, so it didn’t take very long, so there was time to come home and get changed before going out for dinner. 

We went to Water’s at Resorts World, because we’ve known Andy for a long time and know he doesn’t do weird food. I ordered a peach and passionfruit bellini, and set about perusing the menu. I decided to go for a saffron risotto with chorizo and deep-fried squid to start, and a marinated duck breast with spring onions, creamed potato and pak choi to follow. While we waited, we were given tiny tomato soups as an amuse bouche which was delicious. I love bonus food. My risotto was really good, although quite filling, so I had to leave more than I would have liked because I had more food to fit in. I was very glad I did, because my duck was excellent, soft and pink, and I’d been worried that it might have been spicy but I had no trouble. At this point, I had to stop – there was no more room in my belly. I think if we go back I’ll skip the starter and have a dessert instead because Mommy and Daddy were both delighted with theirs. 

I’m very tired and very full and very grateful to be alive.

The 11th of August. 

I have felt like total shit all day. It took me hours to go to sleep again, although at least I had no headache this time. 

This morning, I did a blog post, and I tidied up the blanket. Generally though, I have been curled up, trying to decide what to make for Pete and Sophie’s twins, and trying to ignore the fact that I am cold, tired and still full of wind. Indelicate I know, but it’s so frustrating how you can start burping after breakfast, eat multiple Rennies, yet still be massively uncomfortable come the evening.

I am considering taking Zopiclone tonight – maybe just one tablet, because I have to get up at stupid time tomorrow and I need to be properly conscious. I really hope I don’t feel quite so terrible in the morning, because I would like to enjoy the trip. 

The 12th of August. 

Phew. Pooped. Been up since five but it has been worth it. I have been a bit burpy and in some pain but I’m okay. 

So yes. The same way as last week, we bought breakfast and coffee at the station, and our journey down was largely uneventful, save for us having to move the man who was in our seats. Obviously the Euston people were nowhere to be seen when we arrived, so we got off on our own and sped down the road to St. Pancras. We almost missed our javelin train, but I got a seat, then a lot of evil looks from older women who had to stand. 

No messing about with the lifts in Westfield today; we went up in the car park and found Christine in the same place as a week ago. We made our way to our seats, but upon arrival, found the space full of fridges, so we had been reallocated. However, that was absolutely fine because we moved to seats halfway down the home straight which were way better!

First up we had the 110m hurdles in the decathlon, and in every single race at least one person fell over. Then we had some important races – the 4×100 and 4x400m relays, men and women. Our team got through to the finals of all, and we did lots of shouting and clapping, but what was most exciting was seeing Usain Bolt come out to do the heat, because he wasn’t expected to. Mommy absolutely lost her shit – I have never seen her more thrilled. It’s so funny, listening to the cheers follow the runners round the track. Less funny is when they tried to make us all sing Hey Jude, because nobody knew the words. Argh. 

We left after the 4×400, once we knew our guys were through as fastest losers. Since we’d had so much time spare last week, we went to Westfield for a leisurely lunch, and had pizza at Francis Manca. I would recommend, because their crust is soft, doughy and delicious. 

Needed some green juice and caffeine so went to Pret, then bade farewell to Christine and began the trek back across London. Euston team actually got us on the train in a timely fashion, and I listened to the new Kesha album all the way home. 

The 22nd of July. 

Writing this on Sunday morning because I was not exactly in a fit state last night. 

This morning, after breakfast and coffee, I had a lot of typing to do – two long blog posts done. When I have to write very long ones, I use the laptop, but it’s not good for my wrists. My body is so broken. 

I had some lunch, then got myself ready to go to Becky’s for her birthday barbecue. When I arrived, I was presented with a glass of rosé and took a spot in the garden, under the gazebo. It wasn’t super warm, but it was at least not raining. All of the usual gang were there – Chris, Alison, Jamie, Lorna (and her boyfriend Will), Micky and Stuart, Michael and Barbara. Other people were going to come and go as the day went on. 

We managed to soldier through the first shower, but after about 5 o’clock, it was getting a bit chilly and we decamped into the living room. I sat next to Luna, one of the cats, so I always had someone to talk to. We played Cards Against Humanity, which I have not done before, but I won three black cards so I was pleased with myself. 

By the time I had started my third wine, it had got to about half past nine, and I was quite sozzled. Decided it was time to go home – I needed carbs and water, and if I’d stayed, I would have continued to drink and things could have ended rather messily. 

The 23rd of July. 

Hmm well rosé does not agree with me. The last time I had it was at Jill’s when I also had Four Loko and some kind of apple shots so the hangover could have been attributed to any of those. Today I haven’t been hungover, but I’ve had really unpleasant heartburn since last night. Had some Rennies today but it still isn’t 100% gone. Ugh. 

I had a nice morning watching ol’ Nish on Sunday Brunch, writing about yesterday and trying to ignore Rita Ora. I don’t know why, I just find her incredibly irksome. Grandma didn’t go to church, so she came to us for lunch, which we actually had at lunchtime, not mid-afternoon. 

Afterwards, I went upstairs for an hour or so to have a lie down and stretch of my stomach, give it a bit of a rest, while I listened to some podcasts. I came back down to say bye to Christine, and crocheted some more of the minion while the cricket was on. Then I went to see the floofs, and watched one episode of Orphan Black. I’ve got two episodes left of season 4, then I’ll actually be on the current series. 

Grandma has gone home, and I’m starting to think about some tea. More carbs, I think. 

The 20th of July.

Second trip to London this week! So much wheelchair – my bum is not going to thank me. Left much earlier today, as the train was at half ten, so we could have lunch in Covent Garden before the show. We went to Timberyard because it’s my favourite, despite them not doing crodoughs anymore. I had a ham and cheese croissant, a chocolate chip brownie pie and a flat white, after which I was very full and had to undo the top button of my jeans.

We had to pick up the tickets from the Donmar at two, then we waited for Christine to arrive inside the foyer. The rest of the audience seemed to be elderly people, but then again, what can one expect for a Thursday matinee? Anyway, once she appeared, we went to find our seats and settled in for Committee (or The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee takes oral evidence on Whitehall’s relationship with Kids Company). We went because Naomi was involved in the development, and we were intrigued to see how it had turned out. It was a musical developed from the transcripts of the session in which Camila Batmanghelidjh and Alan Yentob were interviewed, plus testimonies submitted for evidence. Considering the material, it is interesting and entertaining. The set is very smart, and the performances of the singers are really remarkable. I’m not sure I entirely grasped the point, but I enjoyed it.

After the show, we went for a drink, then dinner at Hawksmoor. I didn’t really have much room in my belly, so I decided to go for some lemon chicken with Béarnaise sauce and buttered greens, while Mommy and Christine had steak/a burger, then panna cotta. I just wanted a lie down.

We paid the bill, then we had about an hour before we had to be at Euston, so we decided to walk/drive back. The weather was nice, so why not?

The 21st of July. 

Everything hurts. My butt hurts, my legs hurt, my back hurts, my neck hurts. Sitting in the wheelchair for two out of three days is very bad for my body. 

I gave myself a lie-in this morning because I was awake until two, burping. I don’t know why – another mystery of my fucked digestive system. So there wasn’t a huge amount of morning left after breakfast and coffee, and I spent what remained watching BBC Newsroom and writing about yesterday. Tomorrow I will write two very long blog posts. 

After lunch, I started crocheting the minion I am making for Herbie, while I watched Orphan Black. Three episodes done and most of his yellow body. I have much crocheting to do, so I will have to have some industrious days. 

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.