Archives For food

The 24th of February.

I am so close to being finished. Or at least, finishing a stage. All I have done today is sit in front of that damn machine. I did at least get four sausage dog legs made and watch over half of Mindhunter at the same time.

All the photos are backed up and deleted from the phone and photos app. There are some left on the iPad that I cannot access no matter what I do and I think I am going to have to restore it to factory settings to get rid of them. Then there is the iCloud website. There are still 12,000 photos on there and to delete them, you have to click on each one individually. I am downloading a program to hopefully help me do it in a less time-consuming manner.

I still have to look at exactly what I want to put back on to my phone, but that is a task for another day. Tonight, I have to check what is important on the iPad, then restore it. I hate everything.

The 25th of February.

Ohh I am very annoyed. I seem to have lost the really great birthday card I got for Mommy. I was wrapping her presents this afternoon, was looking where I thought the card was but couldn’t find it anywhere. So that’s frustrating,

This morning I was back on the computer. Deleting stuff from iCloud and hunting for duplicates. I think I should probably just do one thing at a time because my duplicate program kept crashing which is not ideal. I am at least making progress with the iCloud website photos – got rid of over 1000. Only about 11,000 more to go.

We went out for Mommy’s birthday meal a day early, so picked up Grandma and went to Water’s at Resorts World for Sunday lunch. I decided not to have a starter because I wanted space for a pudding, but it ended up being a bit disappointing. My main course, chicken breast with crispy skin and sage and onion stuffing (so moist!) was beautiful, but my chocolate and orange mousse was nothing special. I should have gone for the sticky toffee pudding instead.


The 19th of January.

Kittens are gone! I am sad, but they’re going to a happy new home and the adopters have promised to send us photos of them in their new burger beds.

A much better night, no wind to wake me up. I spent the morning writing up a blog post, and sending a couple of Anthony Nolan emails. I also managed to spill my coffee in the kitten room and all over the table in the living room, staining it, because I am a dickhead.

After lunch, I started working on a crocheted bunny, and I filled in all the paperwork for the adoption this afternoon. They arrived quite promptly, having apparently been counting down the days. We got Autumn in the carrier first (although she escaped on our initial attempt), then we nearly got Ava but she wriggled out of Mommy’s hands. Amber did not get away, so we popped her in, and finally we lulled Ava into a false sense of security before giving her a big hug and putting her in the carrier with her sisters.

I am going to miss them, but they’ll be fine. We’ll get some new ones!

The 20th of January.

Birthday eve!

I didn’t have a great night; I kept waking up because I was cold, and I had a dream someone was trying to molest me. Not pleasant.

Amanda (Cats Protection treasurer and adopter of Harvey and Hugo) came round this morning to collect a bunch of cheques and adoption paperwork, and gave us an update on how they are. They have apparently become enormous. I do hate it when they grow up. Much prefer the tiny cats. Then I did some crocheting of the bunny I am making, so now it has a head, a body and part of an ear.

After lunch (which included a cinnamon swirl for the first time in ages because the boy who normally works in the M&S Bakery and can’t do them wasn’t there this week), Daddy and I went to see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. We would have seen in last weekend, but the timings were no good. Thankfully, it was still on and at a convenient time so today was our day. I had to spend the first half of the film breathing through my scarf because the man in front of us had some sort of strong cologne on which assaulted my throat, so I needed a filter if I was going to not cough constantly. It’s such a good film – I kept seeing tweets saying how great it was and Christine saw it ages ago so I’m glad we got the chance. I laughed, I cried. Frances McDormand is excellent. It probably won’t be in cinemas much longer but if you get the chance you should see it.

We got home at six, and had about fifteen minutes before we went back out to Nosh & Quaff for my birthday dinner. I had a mimosa (in the drinks menu they say you can have an orange bellini but if you order that, they get confused), then some mac’n’cheese bites to start. They were delicious, although the cheese inside was very hot so I cut them all open to let the steam escape. There was a bit of a wait for the main courses, and I had ordered the Double Dutch chicken waffle. However, I took one bite and realised I was in trouble. In the menu, they do not mention that the coating the chicken is covered in is spicy as fuck and my mouth could not tolerate it at all. So much pain. So when the waiter came over to ask if everything was okay I was like “I have a problem”. He was very nice about it and brought me another menu after taking away the offending meal. I thought the hot dog sounded okay and he said yes that had no spice and he was correct. Just a good hot dog in a soft bun and no pain to endure. In all, I would call it a success, and would go back, but would check exactly how each dish is seasoned before ordering.

Tomorrow I will be 27 and it feels like a big deal.

The 25th of December.

Merry Christmas!

I had a dreadful night, didn’t fall asleep until past two, then woke up multiple times in the night before getting up about half past eight when I could hear people moving around. Christine came into my bedroom, and we opened our stockings – I got some socks with reindeers on, Snowman shower jelly from Lush, Jelly Snowbabies, Lindt bears and reindeers, and little dog page markers. So cute.

Downstairs for Christmas breakfast in pyjamas! Game pie, breads, meats, cheeses, eggs – I leaned on my egg to break the shell and ended up sort of crushing it. Thankfully it was hard boiled enough to not make a mess. Then I made my final coffee of my advent calendar, and returned upstairs to get dressed. My dress this year was a very pain one, a green chenille midi dress from Zara, so I embellished with my Tatty Devine glittery holly and Christmas tree shoes. Still a very snazzy bitch.

Mommy and Daddy picked up Grandma, I positioned myself on the floor, the champagne was poured, and the present distribution could begin! I try to go around the room, one per person, until we run out. I got four books (Gnomon by Nick Harkaway, Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King, The Invisible Child and the Fir Tree by Tove Jansson, and the illustrated version of How to Stop Time by Matt Haig), and Alice in Wonderland moleskine diary for next year (they’ve stopped doing The Little Prince ones, rage), a small pouch to put all my medical stuff in for my handbag, a festive mug from Anthropologie, a fleecey cat twosie (SO SOFT AND COSY), a jar of Seville marmalade, the holiday wreath Pandora charm, an umbrella with dogs on, a Hasbean voucher, the StylPro brush cleaner, and a Christmas dogs garland which I will definitely have up in my room next year.

Lunch was ready about two o’clock. If I could have just parsnips, pigs in blankets and tiny carrots with bread sauce, I totally would. Then a small rest while the pudding finished cooking, and I had some chocolate mousse because I hate Christmas pudding.

We decamped into the living room while Daddy and Christine did the washing up, and put on the obligatory BBC animation made for the day to relax and pass the time before the Easts descended upon us for Doctor Who. Auntie Hilary called on Facetime, and she got passed around the room so Merry Christmases could be exchanged. Becky, James and Jonathan appeared just after five, with the rest following shortly after, and gift swapping commenced. Becky gave me some lightning bolt earrings, and Alison gave me a crochet set to make a little donkey and a book of patterns to make animals wearing clothes. Many projects for the future!

Daddy sorted out beverages, and those of us who wanted to watch settled down in front of the tv for Doctor Who. I was happy to see Bill for a final time, but I’m still annoyed that we only got her for one series. I don’t want Bradley Walsh. But I suppose Jodie Whittaker makes up for it.

They returned to their respective homes for Strictly, and Mommy and Daddy took Grandma home too, as time was getting on. When they got back, we had Christmas cake while watching Christmas Bake Off. Oh Selasi, how I have missed you. I would like him on all the Bake Off series forever, just saying things and making faces in the background.

I have had much wine, and am hoping the cosy glow will help me sleep. I got everything I wanted, but the best part is being at home, healthy as possible, surrounded by warmth and people I love. Nothing is as important to me as that.

The 11th of November.

A long day of much driving but a lovely afternoon at our destination.

We set out early as it’s a good three hours to Wimbledon, where Hilary and Jeremy live. I took the opportunity to give the new Taylor Swift album a listen on the way – I like it, but I think I need time to love it. I also listened to the song from the trailer for The Greatest Showman multiple times – that, I love.

We arrived just after twelve, to find Christine had got there not long before us. We had a quick sit down in the living room, but before long, lunch was ready, so we went through to the table in the kitchen. It was a perfect day for cottage pie, and Jeremy was very appreciative when he joined us from his morning on the river.

After we’d finished, Peter and Sophie appeared with the twins! I was given Grace, who remained asleep for the entire visit, waking only to yawn and fart. Such a chilled baby. Henry was passed around everyone, I think – he likes to wriggle and gets uncomfortable, and he becomes tetchy when he is too warm. When he started to cry, they’ve learned that soon it is food time, so it was time for them to go home.

We stayed until about five, talking about Christine and Tilly’s Morocco trip, our current kittens, and I found out that Jeremy’s cousin is a Duke. Just casually drop that into conversation. We drove pretty much straight home, bar a stop for petrol, and the kittens were ready to climb the walls.

The 12th of November.

Good and bad night. Good, because I had a Zopiclone, so I had a pretty deep, unbroken sleep. Bad, because I dreamed that I was in hospital, my cancer had come back, I thought it was getting better when in fact it had spread everywhere and everyone had been lying to me about it.

Not a brilliant start to my day. Equally then not helped by me putting my leggings on inside out. Nitwit. Once they were on the right way round, I spent my morning typing up two blog posts. The second one was hard – to write, to edit, to share. I don’t want to elicit any specific reaction, I’m just saying how I feel.

For lunch, we replicated Nigella’s brie and parma ham toastie (minus the figs, ugh), then this afternoon, I sat and crocheted while watching The Blacklist. Then Mommy returned from Grandma’s, and we’ve caught up with X Factor, Only Connect and Masterchef.

I am looking forward to bedtime, despite knowing that post-Zopiclone sleep is very hit and miss. I just want to curl up.

The 28th of September. 

Nobody has more phlegm than me. My throat seems okay now, not really needing the Strepsils. I just cough a lot, and it is my signature cough that I have to do continously until the junk moves. Sometimes it takes a while, and I get a bit lightheaded. The ribs are coping today, I am just really tired. Praying it calms down by Sunday. 

This morning, I woke up early, and did a blog post, and coughed. Just coughed, up until about half eleven, when I finally seemed to get some rest, so then I got Simon’s hat out and started work on that again. 

After lunch, a couple came to view the kittens. I don’t think we’d been in the room even five minutes when Amanda said she was smitten. Not surprising – Harvey just wants to be pals with everyone immediately and Hugo is gorgeous, if less forthcoming. He became a bit more interested once we started playing and they were able to see what he’s like when he’s relaxed. 

They stayed about an hour, and left definitely wanting them. They can’t pick them up until next weekend but that’s fine because it means I get another week of petting. 

The rest of my afternoon was spent finishing Simon. I’ve still got Heinz the Stag to do, but I must do Chloe’s seal first. 

The 29th of September. 

I have a headache, I suspect from lack of oxygen during all the coughing – I checked my sats while I was having a fit and they went down to 92, and my heart rate went up to 140. It’s not great. 

I had a more reasonable sleep – my alarm actually woke me up today which is the first time in a while. We’ll see if that happens again or if it was a fluke. 

This morning, once I’d got through all the morning phlegm, I started crocheting Chloe’s seal. So far, he has a face. It’s going well. 

After lunch, Mommy and I went into town for toy stuffing, returning of Zara jumpers, and to purchase some baked goods from this place called Medicine Bakery which is only open on Fridays and Saturdays. Sadie went when she was home the other week and she approved. I bought a Nutella and s’mores kruffin, plus a cinnamon bun and a blondie. 





The 16th of September. 

I have to keep reminding myself that today is not Saturday for some reason. It just hasn’t felt Saturday-like to me. 

It should have been obvious to me from the start, because I spent the morning in front of Saturday Kitchen. For a lot of it, I was consulting with Emma on her suspected skin GvHD, then writing up a blog post. Couldn’t remember if I had to do that or not until I checked. Brain wasn’t at home today. 

Then again, it kicked in as we watched Only Connect over lunch, because we got several points outside of our normal remit (missing vowels). Then this afternoon, I did a bit of podcast listening, made a couple of visits to the kittens, and finished off the scarf I started yesterday while catching up on Celebrity Masterchef. Finally, I am free of Lesley Garrett. Quite glad to be rid of the Reverend Kate too, because she was becoming rather infuriating. 

Last night, Hugo remained sat on my lap without being constantly fed treats. This is a major win. Henrietta, however, made me bleed again. 

The 17th of September. 

Right, today is Sunday. Definitely. Woke up mid-Sunday Brunch because it started early, and had just got downstairs when Mommy and Daddy were came back from taking Grandma to church. I had my breakfast, then went back upstairs to make myself presentable for going out, as we were going to Birmingham Independent Festival at Aston Hall. 

They waited for Grandma to call once she was done with coffee, then I was to be ready to go out upon their return. I petted the kittens (got some actual audible purrs from Hugo, yes!), put my boots on and off we went. 

We’d almost arrived, when Mommy realised she’d forgotten the tickets. Thankfully, she was able to forward me the email and we could just show the attachment to get in. Phew!

It was pretty much all outside, and the weather was nice, so we looked around at all the different food stalls, trying to decide what to eat. I played it safe and went for a margherita pizza which was a good choice because it had a really soft, doughy crust, just how I like. I found a place to sit and eat while I waited for my parents to join me, but first I was checked out by a wasp. It decided to fly really close to my face and land on my glasses, then come round and land on my ear, right on the tragus and I started to get genuinely worried that it might sting my face or crawl in my ear. My tactic is usually to stay really still, because if one flails about while in a wheelchair then people think you are having some kind of episode. It eventually flew off, and I was texting Christine about it when it came back and landed on my finger. Fuck’s sake. Thankfully, Daddy came along then and it went away for good. 

We ate our lunches, got some coffee from Faculty, then I got a beaver tail from Cake Doctor, which is dough, deep-fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar. So good. There were then craft stalls inside to look at, but they ended up not being really anything we wanted. In fact, there was more food, so I bought a chocolate custard doughnut for later. I am full of sugar. 







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.