Archives For wales

The 26th of June. 

Ughhh NO PROGRESS. Rang Tracey this morning and she doesn’t even have me on her disc (whatever that means), despite saying ten days ago that she had my paperwork. She has to talk to the other person who does bookings, and they’re not in until tomorrow, so we’re ringing back tomorrow late morning/early afternoon. This is so hard. I feel like giving up. 

Mommy and Daddy have had an impromptu trip to Wales today because upon discussion last night, it was realised that today was the only day they could go. Someone had to stay behind to look after the kittens and considering what a day in the car does to my back, that was me. 

I don’t really know where my day went. I wrote up a blog post this morning, and I did some shouting at the Daily Politics before going to check on the kittens. They had put one of the mice in the litter tray, and we had a nice play until Betty decided to poo. 

To cheer myself up, I listened to the new episode of My Dad Wrote A Porno while I ate my lunch. Then I watched the season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and upset myself again because it was really sad when Hope disappeared. A man came to the door with a survey, and I had nothing better to do, so I took part, answering questions about whether I trust the government and if I am concerned about being a victim of cybercrime (I don’t and I am not). I suppose the rest of my afternoon was Orphan Black on Netflix and kitten petting. Now I’ve ordered pizza and am awaiting the return of my parents. 

The 27th of June. 

First thing I did this morning was email Andrew’s secretary. She must have gone straight to him, because about five minutes later, my phone rang, and it was the man himself. I tried to explain my frustrations, and I think he understood. He said he would get Tracey to sort it out and ring me back with a date. She hasn’t yet. He also said he thinks there could be a lymphoedema element, basically he is trying to prepare me for it not to work. If that happens, I don’t think he’d do the rib-removal surgery without me seeing a specialist first. However, not a lot of doctors really understand it very well. He better have a friend he can refer me to. I am not spending another six months like this. 

So I’ve spent a lot of my day staring at my phone. Mommy and I watched last night’s Great British Menu, then she went to Grandma’s. I watched a bit more of Orphan Black, and I’m just blown away by Tatiana Maslany’s ability to play so many characters and constantly act against herself. Felix is my favourite. I could well just blast my way through this show, considering I’m already halfway through the first series. 

A family came to view the kittens this evening. A couple with their six year old daughter who want two playful kittens. Now, mine might not be super friendly, but they do love to play. I got some toys out, and soon they were selling themselves. They want Brodie and Bailey, so now we just need to chip and neuter them and they can be adopted. Then find homes for Bree and Betty! Phew.

The 29th of April.

Today has been so exhausting and so good.

I slept less well – super cold last night and no lung capacity to get more layers so I froze until I was too tired to care. This morning, I decided not to climb the stairs so as not to waste oxygen, so I just hung out in my bedroom until it was time for us to go out to see Tez Ilyas. He was great, as expected, i mean that’s going to be the case for every act I mention. I had to help him out at one point because the members of the audience he picked were not answering the question he asked correctly. Not paying enough attention!

He ran over slightly, so afterwards I literally just had time to grab a coffee before heading over to The Youth Wing to see Phil Wang. That was problematic, because the way I went meant I got stuck at a flight of stairs, but thankfully some very kind strangers offered to carry my chair down the steps (without me in it) and then I was back on my way. I got in and parked on the end of a row, and ended up with various members of sketch groups Pappy’s and Daphne to my right, with Tom Parry sprawled across the floor, snorting with laughter. For a work in progress, it was pretty slick, and I’ll be keeping a lookout for the finished product on tour.

I had Lolly Adefope straight after in The Canteen, so I left The Youth Wing the way I should have gone in, so I could get myself some more coffee before making my way back round to the other side of the school. On the way, I bumped into one of the women I hung out with last night, and she was going to Lolly too.

Coffee in hand, I drove down to The Canteen to join the queue. Being in the chair, I got moved to the front, which turned out to be a blessing and a curse. She was due to start at 4, but there were technical issues – there were cables that were needed and I watched people running back and forth trying to get hold of the right ones. This went on for just over an hour, and every time somebody came back, the hearts of the queue lifted, only to fall again when the doors didn’t open. I felt really bad for the guy who was checking the tickets – he knew nothing more than we did, and there wasn’t really anything he could do, I could hear people behind me getting (understandably) frustrated because this was going to impact upon their attendance of their next show, so they were having to decide who they wanted to see more. I was okay to wait, because my next show wasn’t until 7.15, and I was glad I did.

Her show is a reply to her reviews from her last show at the Fringe, in which she was criticised for not referring to her race enough and for talking about it too much. It would be like me doing a show and discussing or not discussing my disability. I have to applaud her too for her excellent singing, and for dealing with groups of people leaving towards the end of the show. Super impressed.

It ended just before six, and I was starving, having only had coffee since my crumpet at breakfast time. I got myself a smoky sausage in a bun (relatively easy to eat and no danger of spice) and ate it while watching all the fun dogs around. I even met a famous dog, Rosie, who is regularly heard on Rhod Gilbert’s Saturday morning show. She is a very good dog.

My next show, The Griefcast with Cariad Lloyd, was up stairs, but when checking the venues yesterday I’d been informed that there was a lift I could use. Today there was a worry because they had put an Out of Order sign on the door, but that was just to put able-bodied people off using it. Sneaky.

It was a small room and VERY HOT. Lots of people crammed in. The guests were Phil Wang, Kiri Pr’chard-McLean and Nish. Usually, the show is Cariad interviewing a comedian about a particular death, but today the topic was just death in general. In an amusing fashion. The last topic was “last words”, and Cariad asked them all what theirs would be. Phil missed a trick with his answer, and Cariad asked if there were any questions. I put my hand up and Nish pointed me out. I could have asked something poignant, but I had to say that surely, Phil’s last words should be “Wang out.” I saw the pun and had to say it. I don’t know if it’ll be on the podcast but I hope so. The only time I think my brain has worked that fast.

My next show wasn’t until 11.30 and also included Nish in the line up, so he met me back downstairs and the rest of the evening is a blur of faces and saying “Nice to meet you.” I did mean it each time, I just met a lot of people! We went to the bar in Y Plas where pretty much every comic at the show was.

Honestly I couldn’t tell you what we talked about, I just remember that for once, I wasn’t telling the story of my life ten thousand times, people just treated me like I as part of the gang and that pretty much never happens with people who don’t know me. It was just the most fun.

My oxygen ran out in the middle of Beat This, so I had to text Mommy and get her and Daddy to come and swap it over for a new one. I thought that might be enough to tide me over, but thinking about getting the taxi back on my own, having to deal with the chair, I just knew that it was going to be horrific. I cancelled the car, and sneaked out the side door. Knackered, but elated.

The 30th of April.

Going home early. It’s fine, we just don’t have enough oxygen for me to do another night.

We had to get into Mach earlier today, because there was a massive cycling race that started in the town and was going to close the road that we use to come in on. We got in at about eleven, and I sat in the car while Mommy and Daddy went to get coffee and some sort of breakfast pastries. I ate my co-op cinnamon swirl, then set off to Y Tabernacl for Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown. Matthew and Ben said hi on their way in, and when the queue started to move, I went over to the lift to go up half a floor so I could enter the hall. There was a step down to the pews, so I just parked my chair at the best vantage point. Josh was a guest, and he saw me so he came over. Kiri was meant to be on the show but had yet to arrive, so other comedians were being texted en masse. Who turned up but ol’ Nishy Kumar? Kiri appeared shortly after, so we just got an extra person’s-worth of funny for free. I had a joyous time, particularly enjoying the quickfire round jingle that Tom and Ben recorded with Nish and Josie last night at Y Plas when Josie was full of Pinot Noir. I can’t wait to hear it when it goes out.

They ran over, as one has to expect, so then I had to bomb it down a rather steep hill to The Mach Arena for Josh and Friends. The wheelchair view in there was less good, but enough that I could just about see. We had stand-up from Josh, Matthew Crosby, Nish and James Acaster, then he read out some classic scrapes from his book which are all hysterical.

Upon coming out, I bumped into Amy, and we talked while Mommy and Daddy went to get food. I informed her of the racist attack Nish had just endured (Josh threw a massive ball at him but he was not injured), then they went to get lunch and we went to eat ours. We discussed oxygen levels, and we only had one full bottle left, so came to the conclusion that I only really had one more show left in me. Mommy and Daddy went back to the house to pack up, and I went to get more coffee and see who I could see before it was time for Sara Pascoe.

Happily, a lot of my lovely pals were still around, so there was Nish, Josh, Fin, Tom, a whole host of people. We whiled away the time together until everyone had to beetle off to our respective shows, and I left loving my wonderful gang.

Sara was fantastic as always, and I look forward to seeing the finished piece when she takes it on tour. I didn’t have time to hang around to see her afterwards because Daddy was coming to pick me up. We returned to the house, packed everything into the car, and we set off on the long drive home. I am so happy and I’ve had such an incredible weekend – definitely going again next year. Hopefully without any extra oxygen.

The 27th of April.

It’s been a very peculiar sort of day. Started with respiratory clinic, where I had to talk to Dr. Thompson about the bronchoscopy. Curiously, from his perspective, it went quite well. I couldn’t have more sedation because I might have stopped breathing. Apparently when I got down there I was very uptight, anxious and in control. As soon as I had the sedation, all the emotion I’d been holding back came out and actually made everything worse. He also thinks it has been made worse in my brain because I have some sort of PTSD from NG tubes. So would you if you spent six months of your life having them shoved up your nose and down your throat, then vomiting them up along with chunks of your own dead stomach tissue several times a week. Basically, my brain has fucked me up for these sorts of things.

After this chat, we moved on to how I am now. He is not majorly concerned about my cough or CRP, we just need to keep an eye on it. He did send me for a chest x-ray to see if my right lung has inflated any more and it has, so that is pleasing.

 We left the hospital and had a quick trip into town so I could get another jumper, seeing as my fat arm isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Got home about two, so we ate lunch, then packed up all the stuff we were taking to Mach. Daddy got home from his hearing aid appointment, had his lunch, and we finally left the house about four.

We drove straight here, so it took us only two and a half hours. The house is nice, the only downside is that it has no wifi. We also have the slight issue of the fact that Mommy forgot to put the breakfast foods in the car so she and Daddy have had to go shopping. She is poorly, it’s not her fault.

The 28th of April.

I slept surprisingly well, for not being in my own bed. It’s a novelty to sleep in a single bed that isn’t a hospital one. This morning was pretty quiet, just breakfast and writing about yesterday. I think that’s how this weekend will be done, considering I’ll be out at my normal writing time.

We went into Mach at lunchtime to a) buy me some toothpaste (forgot mine; had to use Mommy’s and it was so minty and painful), b) do some recon on gig venues and c) have some lunch. Well, the only toothpaste they had at the co-op was all minty, so I got one for children that is only mild. We checked out all the venues I’m going to and they should all be fine with the wheelchair. Then lunch! There are many cafés, and we went to one called The Quarry where I had some much needed coffee and some spinach, squash and sweet potato pie. It came with an enormous salad which I was incapable of finishing but didn’t want to waste, so we got a box to take it away in.

We then returned to the house for a little bit before Daddy took me back into town for my first show, Stuart Goldsmith, at 7. I went a bit early so I could get some food (a cookie), then I wanted some wine, but the bar did not seem accessible, so I had to ask a nearby stranger. She was very obliging and came back with a large Grig in a pint mug which I think I was supposed to give back. Oh well, it’s mine now. We had a nice time chatting while we waiting for our respective gigs – she and her friend were going to see Mat Ewins and Fin Taylor, so I wonder if they managed to enjoy both shows. Unfortunately, next to where we were waiting were several fire pits, and once they were lit, my breathing was fucked, and I had to put the oxygen on for the rest of the evening.

I really enjoyed Stuart’s show, very very funny. Could not recommend him more. My next show, Marcel Lucont, was at the school, where Nish had just been doing a show, so I went down there and met up with him and his girlfriend, Amy. Together, we went down to Y Plas because I had 40 minutes to kill and on the way we bumped into many of their friends, all the names of whom I have forgotten, They were all very lovely though. At quarter to nine, I needed to get going, so Nish and Amy walked with me back there, and we said goodbye until tomorrow when I’m seeing him (unintentionally) in two different shows. 

I was one of the last people in, so I was at the back with my oxygen. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first show, but I think that’s partially because I felt like total garbage. He was good, I just wasn’t up to it.

Mommy and Daddy were seeing Ivo Graham at the same time, so we all went home together. Hope my oxygen levels return to normal tomorrow.

The 12th of May. 

A day of mainly driving so not a great deal to report. 

Got up early because we needed to take the kittens to Shaki at the vet at 10:30 as she’s taking them to be neutered tomorrow so Simon can pick them up on Saturday. They were very good at travelling, barely made a sound, they just looked at me mournfully through the bars of the cat carrier. 

We were supposed to be setting off at twelve, but that went out of the window when Daddy discovered a nail in one of his tyres, so he had to take it to be fixed before we could go anywhere. We finally left the drive just after half past one. 

It has been a very uneventful journey. I crocheted three cat legs, listened to nostalgic 90s sunshine music, and I resisted the urge to buy a brownie batter Krispy Kreme at the services. Oh and we saw many tiny baby sheep!

Now I’m sitting on the single bed in the room up all the stairs, and I am going to read Stalker by Lars Kepler until it is time for dinner. I have identified one dish on the menu that I am prepared to eat (everything now involves aspects like “soy sauce meringue” or “mango and alfalfa sprouts”). Breakfast looks more promising – do I choose French toast or buttermilk pancakes?

The 13th of May. 

I am in need of vegetables. I have eaten a lot of artery-clogging food today. 

I had a much better sleep then I did last time we stayed at this place – I was still warm but I got rid of a layer and slept like a log. I met Mommy and Daddy for breakfast at 9 and I went for the French toast. It was scrumptious. I got a phone call from Shaki after I’d finished, to discuss the kittens’ bowel habits. After a lengthy chat about what they’ve been eating and when certain things have changed, they will now all be staying with us until at least Wednesday when they will hopefully be back to normal. 

The weather was glorious, so we packed up the car and had a drive round the Great Orme before going to pick up Taid. When we arrived, he was still having his breakfast so we amused ourselves while he got on with getting ready. He’d changed his mind about the lunch venue because he wasn’t enamoured with the service at our original destination, so we went to The Castle in Conwy. 

The menu choice was absolutely vast, but I eventually settled on the Saltimbocca sandwich, which was a fried sandwich stuffed with mozzarella, parma ham and sage-infused chicken. So good. Conversation mainly revolved around a grave that we have the deed to and whether we put a stone on it or not. Such excitement. 

When we’d finished, Daddy and Taid went to a clock shop because Taid was having an issue with one he’d bought from there, while Mommy and I went to the ice cream parlour across the road. I got two scoops, one salted caramel and one coffee, while Mommy had one of peach ripple. Then we sat on a wall outside in the sunshine and watched all the dogs that walked past.

Back at Taid’s, Mommy and I sat quietly in the corner for an hour while Daddy installed our old tv in the place of Taid’s. Once he’d plugged it all in, it became apparent that the better screen showed up the dodgy signal Taid gets, and in the end, he decided he wanted his old tv back on which you can’t tell that the picture is crap. 

Having sorted all that, it had got to quarter to five, and we really had to get going. Three and a half hours later, we are home! Becky has just been round to chat about her new job and other life events, and soon it will be time for bed. 

The 7th of November. 

Oh I had a very bad sleep. Way too hot, coughing fits, and I woke up an hour before my alarm coughing and didn’t stop. I got up and dressed and packed all my stuff, then made myself a cup of tea to try and soothe my throat.

We went over to the tea room for breakfast in the pouring rain. I had porridge and honey which I couldn’t finish as it was so filling m then we went to the farm shop where we got lots of Christmassy fayre, some butter, cheese, chocolates, I don’t know what else bbut Mommy had to be dragged out or we’d be late to Taid. 

When he arrived at his house, Daddy climbed up onto the roof and was removing loads of muck while Taid supervised. Mommy and I stayed out of the way and I just read the paper, once I cleared some space to sit down. When Daddy was finished on the roof, he had to change his shirt as it was absolutely drenched from the rain (his waterproof was not as waterproof as he thought), then we sped off to The Queen’s Head for lunch. 

I was still stuffed full of porridge but I thought I could manage some plaice, spinach and new potatoes, and Taid had the same. There was a lot of discussion of Christmas because he is coming to us this year. He’s diabetic so we have to do him his own Christmas cake and mince pies.

When we got back, we couldn’t stay for much longer as it was getting dark, so Daddy re-packed the car and after a little bit more chat, we were off. I watched the stars and fireworks with Amber Run on repeat.

The 8th of November. 

So tired. I had a Zopiclone last night, but then was up early so I haven’t slept it off if that makes sense. Mommy, Becky, Alison and I were off to the NEC this morning for Crafts at Christmas, so we picked them up and were there before ten. It costs us £12 to park now, regardless of how long we stay, and it is a fucking scandal because they say they are providing a “service” for the disabled but in fact all they provide is a fucking shed. 

Anyway. We split up, because I was only interested in wool/crochet things. I got a Lucy the Hare kit from Toft (makers of Ed’s Menagerie) and had a lovely chat with the girl there. They use silk embroidery thread for miniature crochet which I will keep in mind. I also got nine balls of wool for a hat, snood and some mittens for a lot cheaper than I would have online. Ahh so many projects! My other purchases were Christmas things – some earrings and a gingerbread house that opens and plays a tune. 

That was me basically done, but I texted Becky and they weren’t even half-way (granted, they were interested in a lot more than I was) so I went to Starbucks for a peppermint mocha and had a ten-minute massage from some people who were set up next to a large, knitted Christmas tree. They came back about one o’clock, had a few things to get on the way out, and we were home about quarter to two.

I have spent my afternoon with the kittens, trying to make up for leaving them. They have forgiven me and we’ve had lots of hugs. I think they probably forgave me as soon as I fed them. 

Some of our neighbours are still doing fireworks and they ought to be shot. 

The 5th of November. 

In feeling decent enough to go to Death Cab tonight. I won’t be able to sing along, but I can live with that. 

I had a Zopiclone which certainly helped my sleep, although I was a little bit groggy this morning. Worth it for uninterrupted sleep though. I wrote up a blog post and worked on a prototype for a mitten for Luna. I’m still not happy though – it’s too big for a one year old so I’ve got one more idea but at this rate I might just make some for her to grow into. 

Oasis had some dresses that I thought might work for Christmas so we had a quick trip into town so I could try them on. I took three into the changing room and had to get one in a bigger size (it seems I can’t breathe in an 8 with no give), but chose one. However, by the till I saw another one that I thought would be good so I bought that too and I will try it on here. Before going home, we went into Selfridges because Starbucks are doing red cups and I have missed peppermint mochas. I have no self-control. 

Upon our return, I went to see the kittens, and have been sitting, scratching their bellies until now. I’ve just seen a piece on the news about a girl with leukaemia who’s gone into remission with gene editing, and I am so jealous. I know it’s experimental and who knows what might still happen, but I am so jealous. I know I can’t think like this, but if only. 

The 6th of November. 

I am in a place in Wales where everything is proudly local except for, apparently, the soap, which is Scottish. 

Death Cab were so good last night; I’m so pleased I decided to go. The only other people on the entire balcony were a couple but I was able to go into the area basically just above the stage so I probably had the best view. I will never not be obsessed with Been Gibbard’s dancing. Zooey was a fool. He sang Passenger Seat with just piano and it was so stunning, I never realised what a lovely love song it is. Plus I Will Follow You Into The Dark, Transatlanticism and What Sarah Said. My favourites forever. 

This morning just involved sorting out the stuff to bring to Wales, and this afternoon has been driving. By the time we arrived, it was dark, and despite it only just being six o’clock, I was very sleepy. A very nervous chap called Aled showed us to our rooms, and at half past we were back down for dinner. I had a frankly enormous steak and so couldn’t fit in a pudding, but I do have the free shortbread biscuits so all’s well that ends well.

The 28th of March.

There is not a great deal to say about today as it has been driving to Wales for the most part. I got up at nine and we all just did basic morning things plus packing before setting off. We stopped at the Starbucks near Oswestry for lunch where I had a ham and cheese toastie, and got an oat and Nutella cookie for the rest of the journey which ended up being disappointing. We saw loads of frolicking little lambs on the way, in fact there are some outside the window of this house we’re in. It’s one my Aunt and Uncle have rented but they aren’t arriving until Monday, so we’ll be here tonight, have lunch with.Taid at The Hayloft, then drive home. I don’t think I’ll have lamb though.

I have been thinking about my “terminal” status and I think I might change that. By all means, I’ll still did before I thought I would; something is bound to get me. But I’ve lasted a lot longer than was expected, and why can’t I carry on? So long as I take care of myself the best I can, I think I could have maybe a good couple of years? Maybe I should be more optimistic.

The 29th of March.

Well both my parents had terrible nights, what with the wind and the downstairs neighbours apparently having some sort of race at about two am. I slept through all of this because I had a Zopiclone as I didn’t think I’d sleep well in the incredibly squishy bed.

We made a mad dash from the front door to the car in the pissing rain to drive to Conwy for actual coffee before picking up Taid to go to The Hayloft. That was all perfectly pleasant – Taid and I had the same meal of vegetable soup, then roast beef. The soup tasted mainly of tomatoes, but the beef was good.

Mommy and I left the table to look at the food shop while Taid and Daddy finished their coffee/beer and paid. We got some presents for Christine and Grandma, before going back to Taid’s house, where the piles of papers and post have grown even more. Now, I’m not saying he’s boring, but there was a half hour conversation about rubbish and recycling collection. He always says I’m quiet but that’s because I’ve got literally nothing to say on the topics he brings up. Daddy tried to fix his hard drive recorder but the only thing to do is format it, which Taid doesn’t want to do.  

We left just after four, only stopping so I could get water and Sour Skittles. Home about seven, and new I am trying to get warm and watching The Big Painting Challenge. Tired.