Archives For John Lewis

The 6th of July. 

I must have done something terrible in a past life. I am currently on my third attempt at backing up my phone after I dropped it on the bathroom floor and the screen cracked in innumerable places. It has landed there many times and finally my luck has run out. Smashed. 

Day started off okay. Hospital this morning for bloods before venoplasty. There was literally nobody in the waiting room which was very disturbing, like a horror film. Thankfully nobody had been murdered, it was just quiet. Trish gave me a stab in the elbow, then I asked about having the PICC dressing changed and the nurse who was around wasn’t signed off on that. She had to get Nicola to come and supervise, then they couldn’t find the butterfly dressing, then they found the last one in the treatment room. Thankfully we did get it done without the line coming out or being shoved too far in. Phew. 

To town! Mommy was having an eye test, and I needed to go to John Lewis because the jacket I bought last week is now on sale for £37 less than I paid, and as they are never knowingly undersold, I was after some money back. The lady on the till was fine with this, she just had to corroborate my story and was happy to put the cash back on my card. Hooray! Then I went to Piccadilly and waited for Mommy to finish her eye test. Had a chat with Jenny about frames but all the ones I looked at were wrong for me. Can’t change mine anyway, they are iconic. Mommy appeared, and Jenny got busy frame-finding. She’s so good, she knows exactly what they have and what will suit you. We settled on some soft rainbow Volte-Face ones, now the horrible wait for new specs! At least it is not me, I get so antsy. 

Got home, ate lunch, phone smashed. Since then, been at the iMac trying to back up the phone. This is my last go, then I’m going to throw myself off the roof if it doesn’t work. 

The 7th of July. 

My back is not going to thank me. I was up until past midnight trying to back up my phone to no avail, and the computer chair is not comfortable. I then spent most of my afternoon either in the wheelchair or the car, so all of that combined is probably going to mean pain tomorrow. 

When I got up, the last backup hadn’t worked, so I tried just syncing it, and I went downstairs to have breakfast and stuff, before going back to see what I could try next. However, when I returned, it had done a successful backup! I don’t really understand how, but frankly, I don’t care. 

I had my appointment at the Stormfront shop at 2.20, but when I got there, the chap said they couldn’t fix it in store; they’d have to send it off for 7-10 days. Um, no. My only option was to see if any slots had become available at other stores. Birmingham was a bust – next Friday. But Solihull had one at 3.40, so I took it and we got back in the car. 

Over at the Touchwood Centre, I checked in with one of the iPad people, then was waiting for my turn when I saw a face I recognised – it was Stuart Yeadon, who I have not seen for about ten years. I had no idea he was back in town, so when it was my turn, he came to take my phone and we had a wee catch-up. He said they could just get it done by the end of the day, so we had to go bimble until 5.45. This meant I spent money. I bought two crochet books and some pants and socks from John Lewis, a Krispy Kreme, and a jumper that was half price from French Connection. We also had a chat with Christine after her dentist appointment, and eventually it was time for us to go back. All had been fine, only the screen had been replaced, so none of the backup stress was necessary! Still, I am just happy to have it back. 

The 30th of June. 

Busy busy day. I had an appointment at the Women’s Hospital with Sue, the specialist nurse, at ten. I was early and she called me in straight away. It was pretty brief – I told her about my appointment with Mr. Titley, and she’s going to chase up what’s going on with that because he wrote to Miss Byrom at the start of May, so maybe I’ll hear something relatively soon. She also asked what things were like on the relationship front and I laughed. Apparently there are lots of understanding people out there. I need to find the most understanding person in the world

Went into town before going home, where I got some make up from NYX, some pants from John Lewis, and a jacket from the French Connection sale that I fell in love with and can wear with many things, with or without my fat arm!

This afternoon, Daddy and I went to see Despicable Me 3. Despite it being 2.40pm on a Friday, there were loads of children there? I don’t understand why they weren’t at school – they were of age. Grr. The film was great fun; it is exactly what you would hope for and expect from it. Lucky the unicorn-goat is adorable. 

Back at home, I tried to play with the kittens, but it didn’t really work because Bree is really lazy and Bailey and Betsy cheat. 

The 1st of July. 

Oooh I am crashing. This morning, I went to the Custard Factory for the Birmingham Coffee Festival. I can’t remember the last time I was in Digbeth. Anyway. I was glad I got there relatively early, because I was able to do a lap of the stands before it became so busy that I was ramming ankles. My first purchase was a box of five bags of beans plus some offers for £12. Then I went over to the Java Lounge stand where they were teaching latte art. I have tried so many times at home and it never works. But today the chap showed me and I actually did a half-passable rosetta! They were also giving out free flat whites, bonus! Next, I went to look at 200° where I had a very nice chat with the manager. She gave me a nitro which which was really good, so sweet and creamy without any milk. She also gave me some vouchers for free coffee and I need to book myself in for a class. 

Time for lunch, so I got myself a cheese and spinach crêpe, then back to coffee. I bought beans from Quarter Horse, Urban Social and Urban Espresso, and two doughnuts from Donut Day Dream. Deep-fried brioche, mmm. That was me pretty much done, then I found out my chair couldn’t mount the ridge to leave, so people had to help me. 

Back home, I ate one of my doughnuts while watching the latest Nashville (no crying today), then I went to sit with the floofs. Bree is going to get fat if her adopter is not careful because she just can’t be arsed to do anything. 

The 27th of September. 

Well my legs are okay but my arms hurt a lot. Reaching for stuff is very painful. Thankfully I don’t need to do that much. 

This morning we went into town. It started off just being to get birthday cards for Christine, but other things were added on. Face wipes were on offer and I needed some more, plus I got a free gift of some bath stuff which will probably go to a raffle in Boldmere Court. Mommy needed some Christmassy fabric so we went to John Lewis, and I bought some festive wool because I couldn’t not. Then I went to Foyles while Mommy picked up some train tickets, but I did not but any books! The new Apple shop has opened on New Street in the old Waterstones/Midland Bank so we went to have a look, mainly to see if they’d made it wheelchair accessible. Yes, they very much have! One of the steps is actually a lift – you park on a panel, one of the steps slides in underneath the top one, and you are lifted into the store. It’s super cool. Inside it’s very spacious and airy – I could move around without having to say “Excuse me” every two seconds, and accessories area downstairs is just lovely. I particularly enjoyed the drawers full of phone cases in the wall; that is an excellent storage solution. Then we returned home because it was lunchtime and I was starving. 

This afternoon I have done lots of crocheting, and we finally watched last week’s Hunted. I do not think I would fare well on that programme. 

The 28th of September. 

Arms are much better today – I could even lift the hairdryer!

This morning I caught up with last night’s debate, and to me it seems obvious that Hillary just destroyed Trump. I am concerned that his supporters just don’t care and are determined to elect him no matter what terrible things he says or how unprepared he is, and I want to shake them all by the shoulders and say “You can’t do this to us!” because it will affect the whole world. If he becomes President, there will be armageddon. 

After lunch I had a jolly time sitting at the computer. I needed to plug in and update my classic iPod with recently downloaded music so I can listen to it on the train, now that I can’t charge my phone and listen to music at the same time unless I get Bluetooth headphones. I also cleaned out all the duplicate photos in my library which was tedious but necessary. Christine phoned while I was doing it though, and that made it slightly more bearable. 

This evening I went to The Dragon Inn in town to meet a chap from the Elis James and John Robins Podcast Devotee Facebook group. He’s going to their gig which I am also attending, and has Asperger’s, so he wanted to meet some people beforehand so it was less stressful. It was slightly awkward but we had enough in common to hold a good conversation for an hour and a half. By half seven, nobody else had turned up which may have been a blessing in disguise, so I got an Uber home in time to watch Bake Off!

The 20th of April. 

Ugh well it has been rather a pants day. My breathing has been bad, Monica is gone, and Victoria Wood has died.

It started in an acceptable enough fashion; I did a blog post while trying to not bend my neck too much in any one direction, watched a wedding on This Morning, and spent a little time with Monica, having a little play and rubbing her belly.

Shaki arrived just before one, and we started filling in the paperwork for Monica’s new home. When Janet, her new owner, arrived, I took the cat carrier in and put the blanket she sleeps on inside with some of her toys and a couple of Dreamies to try to tempt her in. We finished all the forms, then Shaki and I went back to the kitty but she was having none of it and went straight under the bed. Shaki went back out and after a little while, she emerged, but refused to come anywhere near the carrier. Then Mommy came to have a go, she even made a trail of warmed up chicken, but in the end, she just had to pick her up, get her in, and quickly shut the door behind her. She was not happy and started crying, putting her arms through the gaps, then I basically made them leave because I could no longer bear it. 

Shaki stayed for a little bit so we could talk about some issues I am having with PetPlan, and she noticed my crochet. I’m now making a little version of her cat Charlie and some mice for the Cats Protection shop. People love my skills. 

After she’d gone, I went to the gym, and had a fairly crappy session. I had to do most of it in the wrong order, and my breathing was difficult, then the Victoria Wood news broke, and it was all just very poor. I remember listening to a cassette of her 1997 show as a child all the time. If you don’t know her, search out her work. Hero. 

The 21st of April. 

Oh, for fuck’s sake, now Prince?! This year is the worst. It truly is. 

I woke up super early for a very brief phone interview with Paul Ross that my friend Alex who produces him asked me to do last night. I just had to talk about my experience of cancer (loads of death) and what I do now (Anthony Nolan). 

At the QE for lung function tests at half past ten, then Dr. Thompson. They’ve replaced all the machines, so the tests have changed, and they’ve got rid of the one I hate. We certainly got done more quickly than before, then I was back out where I found Mommy having a chat with a chap who had recognised me from haematology clinic. He’s had a lot of the same GvHD as me, and his son and nephew have both had leukaemia as well which is very unusual. He told us about a drug that might be able to alleviate some of my symptoms but I need to talk to haematology about that. Dot, who is the sweetest nurse in the world, called me in, and told me how much she liked my hair before leaving us with Dr. Thompson. He asked how I’d been feeling, and I said I was generally okay, which surprised him because I had the worst results he’d ever seen. Kind of a kick in the face. He’s prescribed me an inhaler I have to do twice a day and we hope that might make a difference. 

Got home, had lunch, then went back out to Sutton. I needed to return an Ivy Park crop top that was too small, pick up some boring bits from Boots, and to see if Waterstones had Sara Pascoe’s book but they didn’t yet. They’ll text me when they do. Then off to Tamworth to Hobbycraft so I could get some safety eyes for the mice but they had none, so I bought some wool instead. We also went to John Lewis to look at some garden furniture, but I ended up buying a blanket which had been reduced from £65 to £19.50, and I now might hide under it until this year is over. 

The 4th of February. 

I fixed the crochet that was upsetting me. That’s the first thing. 

Second thing is I went to the GP to chat about the fluid in my hand. It’s only in my left hand, doesn’t make sense. He didn’t say much. Felt my hand, suggested I take my bracelets off. There isn’t much to do because it isn’t inflamed. I suppose I just have to watch it, see if it gets worse? Blah. 

It’s #WorldCancerDay today. It’s difficult for me – I have a lot of mixed feelings. No doubtedly it fucked up my life good and truly, but a lot of really incredible things have happened that wouldn’t have otherwise. I have no idea what my life might have been like if I were healthy, it could’ve been utterly dreadful. 

I’m also incredibly grateful to the places I was treated and the treatment I had. My donors, too. However, I resent them for not being quite good enough to fully fix me. I know I shouldn’t be bitter but it’s hard when I see so many other people who got through it scot-free. 

I suppose I just feel like I can’t put it behind me, like it’s never over. If it came back in another form, I wouldn’t be surprised. The amount of oestrogen I’ll go through in my lifetime could certainly cause me problems of nothing else does first. 

I suppose I’m just scared. I’m afraid to try and make a life in case it gets taken from me. 

The 5th of February. 

It has not been an especially busy day. 

I managed to get my own breakfast and coffee this morning, which has made me hopeful for my return to the gym next week. 

The majority of my day has been spent crocheting the lilo for my crochet doll to lie on (yes I know). I took a break after lunch for Mommy and I to go out to town so I could take my Bluetooth mouse into the Apple shop. It was my first trip in the courtesy car we’ve been given while they fix the minor bit of damage that was done the other week when Mommy scraped the car outside Black Sheep, and as soon as I got in I was hit with a wave of smell from the bubblegum air freshener. It’s awful. The mouse is still under AppleCare so they should just replace it. However, for them to do that, I need an actual appointment, and to get one today, I would’ve had to wait three hours. I’m at the dental hospital on Monday anyway, so we’re going to go into town early and go to the Apple shop first thing, so hopefully I can get sorted before I go to see Mrs. Richards or one of her minions. 

We also had a brief trip to John Lewis to get a 2mm and a 5.5mm crochet hook for other projects within the book. I’ve been through it and checked that those were the only ones I’ll need. 

I’m going to have to text Shaki; I want more kittens!

This photo was taken just after I had a tumour that was in my face biopsied in 2008.

The 23rd of November. 

Started my day by smashing my wrist on the bathroom door so I’ve got a lovely new bruise there. 

My morning consisted of a blog post, then Christmas shopping online which proved ultimately fruitless because when I got to the final stage of checking out, I discovered that the items I wanted to buy can’t be shipped to the UK. Not helpful. 

After lunch, we went into town so I could pick up a present I’d ordered for Daddy, and go looking for a purse for Mommy. This was another unproductive trip because all I ended up getting was a dress for me that might be my new Christmas dress (I’m fickle and I can still return the Oasis one) and some Christmas cards. Neither John Lewis nor Debenhams had any purses I deemed of acceptable quality so I was really rather dissatisfied. 

Christine rang when we got home, so I talked to her while I appeased Nick’s need for fuss. I had a look at the Cats Protection website last night and they’ve got loads of new kittens on the website and I’m worried no one will want Nick. 

The 24th of November. 

A much better start to the day than yesterday. My dress from John Lewis was delivered early (they didn’t have a small in the shop so I had to order it online) so I tried that on after breakfast and I like it a lot more than the Oasis one so I’ll be making another return to there. I’m sure they’ll be delighted. 

The rest of my morning was spent crocheting. I’ve made all the parts of one of the presents note so that’ll just need sewing up, although I’m not sure how I’ll wrap it. Maybe I’ll just put it in a box. 

Rosemary came for lunch so we had a bit of a chat, then some she and Mommy ate, I watched tv which required no brainpower and went to see if Nick had eaten much food. I might try him on some tuna or something. 

After I finished ask my crochet, I went to catch up on I’m A Celebrity and give Nick some hugs. He’s so sleepy, just wants to get in small gaps and snuggle up, just like Oscar. 

The heating is so noisy. A man came to look at the boiler this morning and a part needs replacing, which he’s going to come back with on Thursday at 8am. We’re going to the Good Food Show so I will at least be awake anyway. 

The 1st of November. 

Hate days when I’m just waiting for the evening because I clock-watch which just makes the day seem longer. This morning I was covered in cats, at one point having to almost dump them on the floor to answer the door, just hoping whoever was there wouldn’t give up and walk away. 

Washed my hair before lunch, then afterwards, I just watched stuff on the TiVo box while I waited for it to be time to go and see Josh and Suzi. 

Mommy and Daddy dropped me off and they went to PureCraft while I went to the Town Hall’s stage door. When I explained who I was to the security guard, he looked at me like I was a stalker, but then Josh appeared and it was all fine. We just hung out in the dressing room with Suzi (Ruffell) and his tour manager who I think was called Tom but I might have made that up [EDIT: he’s called Ben, I am terrible at names]. I had a cup of tea and Josh was so jet-lagged, he poured coffee into his. We found a shortcut for me to get up to my seat without going the long way round at about ten to right, and we had a quick photo to cement Suzi’s joining of my cool gang of comedy pals.

The gig itself was such fun – Suzi is so good and I’ve not seen her stand up so I’m really hoping I can see her again, and Josh was excellent, as I expected. There was some material that I recalled from when he came to our house with the others, and I was in absolute hysterics over a bit about naan bread and his FunFax. I remember those well. Such a lovely few hours and worth the wait. 

The 2nd of November.

A day of hospital jollies. I did not want to get up when my alarm went off but I had places to be. The QE car park was insanely busy for half past ten so we ended up far away on the top floor, but thankfully we were early enough for it not to matter. I had thrombosis clinic with Dr. Gill who looked after me at BCH to find out if I can stop doing clexane injections like I have everyday for nearly a year. We’re going to give it a try and keep an eye on my leg to see if it swells up or not. Hopefully it stays the same and I don’t have to worry about bleeding anymore. We also talked about Myles Bradbury because she was at BCH with him and she’s the only doctor we still see from that time. She hadn’t been able to believe it when the news broke, that she’d worked and socialised with a man we now know to be a paedophile. It’s crazy. 

We had an hour until I was supposed to have my blood test and kidney ultrasound, but I went to have blood test early so we could then have lunch before my scan. While I was queuing for the just and eating at Costa, we were questioned by two separate people about my wheelchair because it’s so nifty. CareCo ought to give me some sort of commission. The scan was fairly average, I discovered that my right kidney has migrated round my back to join the left one. Everything looked normal, and we were swiftly on our way. 

We had a quick trip to Birmingham where I got The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker from Foyles, some underwear from John Lewis which they wrapped in tissue paper, and some white hot chocolate from Whittard before coming home to feed the oh-so-hungry kittens.