Archives For Josie Long

The 3rd of May.

I woke up at 5am. Like I’m not going to be sleep-deprived enough this weekend. I couldn’t even force myself to stay in bed as long as I normally can so I was up at half past seven.

Still, it meant things got done. Mommy made some bread, then we went into town where I got some lipstick from Selfridges and a box from Paperchase so I could send Esmée the fox to John and Maddie. We were home by half past eleven. Then Mommy went to vote (I already sent off my postal vote ages ago) and I watched Riverdale.

After lunch, I sorted out some clothes to take to Mach, then sat and watched more of Scandal. I’m nearing the end of season 5 so if I commit I think I will do this. I don’t think I’ve watched so much of anything so quickly before. I also put the luggage tags on the dogs, so all that’s left to do is pack in the morning! I’m so excited.

The 4th, 5th & 6th are pictured.

The 7th of May.

Oh boy, I am so tired. Beyond tired. I think I had about five hours of sleep and considering that’s on top of two short sleeps, I am wiped. We had to be out of the house by ten, so I got up as late as possible, but still spent most of the journey home with my eyes shut, cold from the air-conditioning and in agony from my back. When we got to the services, I had a second coffee and broke out the Pom Bears I bought yesterday which perked me up until we got home.

I curled up in my armchair as soon as we arrived, and we watched Professional Bake Off while having lunch. Then, while the rest of the country was basking in the sun, I went upstairs, shut my curtains and had a ninety minute nap. I am never tired enough to nap unless I am ill, so fingers crossed this is an anomaly.

I couldn’t stay up there all day, so I had an iced coffee to try to make sure I stay awake until bedtime. I’ve put up a bunch of photos and videos from the weekend. I don’t know how to write about it. Maybe just photos.

The 8th of May.

Sleep last night was so good. A solid ten and a half hours, oh it was beautiful. My bed is the best.

It’s been a quiet day – the start of a week of recovery. I have a couple of appointments and a gig on Friday, but the rest of my time is going to spent doing not a lot. I might go to the gym on Thursday, but that’s only if my early morning lung function tests haven’t worn me out.

So, I have been sat in front of Scandal, keeping my fingers busy crocheting nothing of note, resting my back. This evening I had a chiro appointment, and that was incredibly necessary – so much kneading of knots in my neck and stretching out my back as far as it would go. I’ve had the ice pack on my neck since I got home. Looking up for three days straight is really bad for one’s muscles. 

 

The 28th of February.

Had a lovely time at Lefty Scum last night. Josie and Johnny loved the bunny I made for the baby, and the show was so great. Grace Petrie is brilliant; a British Kimya Dawson of our time. The man sitting next to me blew his nose and the woman next to him coughed a lot which concerned me but I do not appear to have picked anything up from them, touch wood.

Today I have been crocheting like mental to get Sara’s spaniel done before Luisa’s show tonight, but now I’m not sure she’ll still be there at the interval because Suzi is leaving straight after her bit to get back to London so Sara’ll probably do the same. No matter, I’ll hold on to them for now.

That is all I have done today, in front of the tv. Had a bit of a Bones binge, and saw the episode of How to Get Away with Murder with the Caplan and Gold party and I think it was the most stressed I have ever been during a tv show in my life. Watching Laurel miscarry in the lift was harrowing. I texted Christine throughout.

The 1st of March.

Not surprisingly, today has consisted of very little. I slept through my alarm, somehow, but not too late. Put on the twosie I got for Christmas and thermal socks, although my toes are still perished. We’ve probably got it the easiest in the country, but it’s still way too cold for me.

So young Mac and I have had a snuggly snow day. He got a bit neglected yesterday, so he and I have watched much Netflix. I got as far up to date with The Blacklist as possible, and the rest of it has been Hemlock Grove. The plot is absolute rubbish and the writing is pretty terrible but hey, my standards aren’t high.

That has been literally it! Bed will be electric blanket on full, two extra blankets, pyjamas tucked into furry socks. Too cold.

The 16th of February. 

We have a plan. In fact, we have many plans! I got called in pretty much straight away again (I do like the promptness of Andrew’s clinic) and first off, he was really very annoyed that I hadn’t heard from the compression garment people, so he fired off what I think was a politely passive-aggressive email immediately. I went on to explain how it’s affecting my breathing and mental health, and I didn’t cry, but I wobbled. He went back into my pictures, and we talked about my contrast allergy again. I showed him the pictures of the rash and he agreed that I cannot have the iodine-based contrast, so we have four other options available: carbon dioxide, which they would watch displace the blood, measuring the pressure in the veins, the gadolinium (the MRI dye they usually use on me) and IVUS, which is intravascular ultrasound, where they put an ultrasound probe inside the vein and get pictures that way. Then it really depends on what they find, but he’s going to try to sort it out asap, because he now understands how debilitating it is for me. We have to wait for him to talk to the people who make IVUS because it’s not a standard going they have in the hospital. I left feeling much better. 

Then, on the way out, I got a call from the compression garment people! They were very apologetic and asked if I could go there right then, so we turned right back around. I went to the orthotics department and booked in with the receptionist. Again, I was called in super fast, and the nice man took lots of measurements of my arm. He’s ordered it today, and has asked them to get it sent out express, so I’m hoping they’ll call me back early next week? I have to wear it 24/7, so that will be fun. 

Afterwards, we went back to Andrew to let him know that it had happened, and he was delighted. Polite passive-aggressiveness works!

We went into town so I could get Penny a birthday card, then by the time we got home, I was starving. Lunch was most welcome. Then this afternoon, I watched the series finale of No Offence, and worked more of the complex, fine wool doily. Hand cramp ahoy. 

The 17th of February. 

Well, I have my compression garment. It is not my favourite.

I got a phone call just after eleven from Chris, the guy I saw yesterday. My sleeve was in, when could I go in to collect it? I suggested two o’clock which he was happy with, and I hung up still in shock at how quickly it has happened. 

We went out straight after lunch, and were waiting for a little while but kept amused by the nonsensical rolling news along the bottom of the screen (“Armed with a machine to pick cows up and an angle grinder, man gives cows pedicures.” “A nationwide depot search was conducted but the painting was never found.” “The club described the player as having a contagious energy and sense of humour which lit up a room.”). 

After twenty minutes, he came to get me, and proceeded to fit the sleeve. I do not look forward to us having to do it – it’s so much harder than the TED stockings. He said the most common injury in their department is ruptured fingers – dislocated knuckles and torn ligaments from pulling garments up people’s limbs. I have to wear it all the time except in the shower. God. 

Once it was on and in the right place, we went into town again to take back a jumper I’d ordered (did not resemble website photo), and I got a different one which will also go back because the arms aren’t big enough. 

This evening, I was out at The Old Rep to see Josie Long, supported by Tez Ilyaz. There was little traffic, so I arrived ridiculously early. To fill the time, I got myself a glass of wine and read the little programme Josie had made. When the doors opened, she was doing pre-show karaoke, which was basically her singing along to the Pina Colada song on her phone. Such fun!

She did a bit, then Tez did his bit (which was very good, I am going get tickets from him at Machynlleth), then it was interval time. I had to pee, and on the way to the toilet I saw Malcolm, who I used to hang out with back when I was at school and was one of the photographers at Becky and James’ wedding. Then, when I came out, I was recognised by Bryony, a nurse from the QE who I love dearly and haven’t seen for ages. Bonus, unexpected chat, so that was an added delight to the evening. 

Josie then came on and did her show, and I just love her. She is such a font of positivity and optimism but also rage, which is what we need when the world feels so terrible. She ended on a high note of an audience sing-a-long to Take That’s Never Forget, and as people filed out they all wanted photos and to talk which she gladly took part in, and I climbed up the stairs to the stage so we could catch up. I met Tez, and Josie’s boyfriend Johnny, and we talked about the show and Mach. They tidied up the stage, removing all her banners, and we ambled out of stage door where there were still some very dedicated fans waiting. 

I am not looking forward to sleeping with this thing on my arm. 

2015 has been pretty fucking fantastic, overall. The beginning and past few days have not been ideal, but other than that, so many great memories! The crazy Valentine’s Day, when Josie, Josh, Joe, Tom, Romesh and Mat all came to visit, coming off steroids, Lyme Regis, the Comedy Gala with Aisling, Katherine, Sara etc, meeting Dawn O’Porter by chance, going to see Heidi, The Hand and Flowers and meeting Tom Kerridge, getting my electric wheelchair, going to The News Quiz and meeting Sandi, hanging out with Elle, Ben and Luna, Hallfield Day with Thor the raccoon, Padstow, Becky and James’ wedding, meeting Yaser Martini at Tom’s Kitchen, getting kittens, visiting Naomi and seeing Curious Incident, Duck and Waffle, my autumn of comedy and hanging out with Suzi, Josh, Joe and Nish, Death Cab, Christmas, now here we are!

I couldn’t be more grateful for such a wonderful twelve months and I am indebted to all those who made it possible. 2016 is going to have to be really incredibly astounding to beat it but let’s give it a go! I hope it’s just as good to all of you. Be kind to one another and yourselves.

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The 14th of February. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Well I’ve had a pretty great day. We went round the corner to meet Jodie and co at twelve at Costa and it was a little bit mad. So much stuff! The Costa people gave us free beverages and a card which was very sweet. 

There were many photographs taken which is always super awkward, and my face ached a little bit but then we were able to chat and I opened all the cards. There were about eighty! Our living room is full. Lots of people sent jewellery including a lady’s wedding jewellery which involved a tiara! Fabulous. I also have bundles of chocolate and candy and teddies. 

Yeah I’m just a bit overwhelmed. It took six of us to get it all home, and now after getting it all out and taking photos, I’m a little exhausted. I am looking forward to bedtime and a big sleep. 

I watched Tangled and ended up nearly in tears when they were singing on the lake. As much as today has been about being loved by my family, friends and complete strangers, none of them are my significant other. It’s the loss of that moment when you’re in the early stages of seeing someone and you think “somebody likes me, and I like them, and we’re happy and this could be something really great”. Knowing that I’m not going to have that again… I feel like I’ve come to terms with it, but it still doesn’t stop it hurting sometimes. But it’s only sometimes. 

The 15th of February. 

Best weekend ever? Certainly hard to beat. 

I knew Josie Long and Tom Allen were coming round about half one, so I thought I’d better have my hair washed and be presentable. I finished off yesterday’s Guardian, and got intrigued by a cheese called stichelton which I have never heard of but I want it. 

They were a little but late because of trains, but they arrived and we were just sorting out their coats and beverages when the doorbell rang! Who was it? Olly Joely Lycett and Josh Widdicombe! Josie had secretly invited them. Katherine Ryan was supposed to come but couldn’t, so she sent a note with Joe and will come another time for tea, and Romesh Ranganathan will be coming at some point too!

So I had four of my favourite comedians in my lounge and was just about holding it all together. It was suggested we discuss how this mini gig was going to work, so we all went into the living room because we’d thought it’d work well in that space. Then for a while we were stood around the dining table, drinking tea and just talking about stuff – Joe and Daddy were having a chat about the garden and football, Josh, Tom and I were discussing Bake Off, Mommy and Josie were talking about theatres. It just felt really normal. Then we moved the dining room table into the kitchen and rearranged the chairs, and set up a little gig! Josie compered, and did her own little set before pulling people’s names out of her pocket. Next was Joe,then Tom and Josh. Everyone was so funny and it wasn’t at all awkward like I feared, although that was probably helped by the extra people. I don’t know what else to say about it because it was so special and I want it to be just mine. After the gig, we decamped to the living room and I was showing Josie and Joe some delightful medical photos, then I preached a little bit about giving blood and stem cells which everyone is now very much on board with!

Then they all had to leave. I didn’t want it to be over, there was still so much to say. I don’t think it will be the last I see of them – I hope not, because they are all as lovely as I had imagined. We just had time to have dinner before we went out to Josie and Tom’s gig at The Electric. Alison from the Birmingham Mail was there with her sister so we said hi before finding our seats, which left me massively out of breath. I hope the venoplasty helps with that because breathing is still really stupidly difficult. 

The gig was obviously excellent and we had a wonderful time, and tonight I’m going to have to have a Zopiclone or my brain will not let me sleep. I’m so happy. 

The 10th of February. 

Today has been more of the same of this very bizarre week. I’ve been answering questions from Dan at the Sutton Observer, and BBC WM want me in the studio on Friday morning to talk about Valentine’s Day. People seem to find it really weird that I’ve never had a card, but it never bothered me so much until now. I suppose I thought I had time, but now it isn’t an option, it’s just that little bit worse. From what I’m hearing though, it sounds like I’ll be inundated this year. We’re slightly concerned about the amount of flowers that might arrive. 

Simon the Sheep has gone off in the post, and the body of Grandma’s bear is finished. Becky has been over to see all the hats from Joan and rant a bit about school which makes complete sense when you hear about all the nonsensical paperwork they have to do. It’s just bureaucracy that is helping literally no one. 

We have been on the phone to the hospital again and apparently I’m being booked in for a venoplasty, we’ve just got to wait to hear when!

The 11th of February. 

QE day one of three. Unexciting morning, working on Grandma’s bear and getting really angry at a man on This Morning who thinks that women who get drunk or wear short skirts are asking to be raped and it isn’t men’s fault. I had to stop myself from phoning in. 

Just before we went out to liver clinic, I had a quick phone call from Alison from the Birmingham Mail about setting up a meeting on Saturday with this lady who wants to give me all the cards. 

Clinic itself was fine, once we got parked! Having an appointment in the afternoon is the worst because it coincides with visiting, so the car park is utterly rammed. But we finally got a space! Philippa was there so we had a fun chat and she showed us a video of her daughter playing the drums, and I was showing her pictures of my crochet animals. Then we saw Dr. Ferguson and we mainly talked about my current media attention after he’d ascertained that I’m fine, just waiting for the venoplasty. He also showed us a picture of his (still relatively new) son. We do love babies. 

On the way home, we listened to Josie Long on the Josh Widdicombe podcast in a bit of prep for Sunday when she comes. I’m well excited!