Archives For wrapping

The 23rd of December.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

I woke up just after six which was frustrating but what can you do? I just listened to the radio until the heating kicked in.

My day has been very monotonous, but enjoyable. I have sat in the glow of the tree lights, watching films on the tv, crocheting a shawl. This morning was The Boxtrolls (which Christine had not seen before), and Daddy left foot Wales to bring Taid here for Christmas. Mommy went to Grandma’s for their Christmas fayre, and was gone for most of the day.

Christine and I had our lunch (fucking hell, standing up just for the time it takes to make a sandwich was torturous – have to chase Dr. Blaney in January), then she went for a walk. When she returned, we watched Hidden Figures, which has not long finished.

I’m writing early because this evening I’m going to The Electric with Becky to sing along to the Muppets Christmas Carol, as is tradition. I’m very excited. It is the summer of the soul in December.

The 24th of December.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Everything is right. I had a proper sleep – actually woke up at a normal time so I have not needed extra coffee today.

It has been a very similar day to yesterday, for me. Sat in armchair, watched tv, crocheted. I did have a break early afternoon because I had to wrap Grandma’s final present (it only got bought after I’d done all my other wrapping) and that was the only time the table was available.

I just cherish every moment at home this time of year. After three Christmases in a row as an inpatient, and nearly being back in last year, I am always so grateful to be here. To wake up in my own bed, sit in front of the fire, be with people I love for the whole day, not just the hours allowed. I remember in 2007 all presents had to be sterile, and in 2008 I remember being woken for an ultrasound on my new liver, Becky and Alison arriving with a bag of satsumas for me to suck the juice from (I couldn’t digest the flesh) and feeling so sick at the smell of Mommy’s dinner, I had to send her to the bathroom to eat it. In 2009, I was itching like crazy from the shingles, and so breathless I couldn’t walk across my cubicle.

Those should not be Christmas memories. This is why I appreciate home.

The 19th of December.

Oh lord I am so tired. I got home about half eleven last night (the gig was much fun), and it took me hours to fall asleep, then I woke up several times so the sleep I did have was not of good quality. I am going to have Zopiclone tonight. Stupid lack of sleep.

So I have been really sleepy all day. I did a blog post this morning, and rummaged through my back up hard drives to find the original photos that were taken during my first stem cell transplant. Ten years ago today, I had my first cells from Christine. All the versions of the photos on my phone were rubbish quality, and I knew there had to be a better one somewhere.

Once I’d found it, I spent a lot of my afternoon trying to compose a tweet to send out to promote Still Standing. It took a stupidly long time for something so insignificant. I’ll probably do the same again on Thursday. Maybe I’ll be better at it then because my brain won’t be mush from not sleeping.

I can’t wait to go to bed.

The 20th of December.

Zopiclone worked. Nice big sleep, thankfully. I could not have coped with the wrapping pain if I was exhausted.

This morning I brought all the presents downstairs and wrote all my Christmas cards. Tidied up the living room table so we can fit food on there. Not much else for me to do until after lunch, really!

Mommy went out to Grandma’s then to pick up Christine from the station. I took everything into the dining room, made myself a peppermint chocolate drinking fudge, put The Polar Express on and it was wrapping time! I thought it would be best if I wrapped everything in the paper first, then did the ribbon on them all after, otherwise I might not have been done by the time Mommy and Christine got back. My paper was stupid and didn’t want to stick together, so I was glad I’d bought string as well as ribbon. Maybe next year I will not do glitter paper.

When The Polar Express finished, I watched a funny little film on Netflix called Pottersville. It was quite amusing, kept me entertained while I covered everything in glitter.

Now I am finished and my back is excruciating but I am done. It was worth it.

The 17th of December.

Much better night. I considered having a Zopiclone, but I thought I would probably get to sleep naturally and I’m glad to say I was correct.

It has been a rather festive day, by all accounts. It had a nice start because I saw Oscar in the garden! Haven’t seen him for ages. Did a blog post, then I was called into the dining room to ice cakes for a hamper. It only took about an hour, but that time sitting at the table killed my back by the end. This does not bode well for wrapping day, considering last year it took me about six hours.

This afternoon, we decorated the tree! Or to put it more accurately, Mommy put things on it in accordance with my directions. I no longer have the lung capacity to move around so much nor the ability to stand for that long because it means agony for my back. I will probably still make adjustments by moving things around but it finally feels Christmassy in our house.

The 18th of December.

Another very Christmassy day!

I had some very stressful dreams about the gig last night, that it was happening and we’d only sold 100 tickets and I couldn’t access the building and it was all terrible. I was so glad to wake up.

Mommy and I went into town this morning so I could get all my wrapping stuff and she could do more Christmas shopping. I started off in Tiger for the paper – I’d seen it online and I wanted to check that it looked the same in real life as it did on the internet. I went round the entire shop (which is not easy in the wheelchair) and found the paper I wanted by the tills. Then I went round again so I could get gift bags and boxes for a few of the things that would be impossible to wrap with just paper. Next was Paperchase for tags, but they didn’t have the ones I wanted, so I had to go to the one in Selfridges where thankfully they had stock, plus tissue paper. No ribbon though. Back to Grand Central, where I went to John Lewis to see if I could find ribbon or wool to tie around my presents. The haberdashery was my saviour, so I got my ribbon. Last year I didn’t get enough, so I may have bought too much, but I’d rather be safe than have to go back for more. No time for that now.

I met back up with Mommy in John Lewis, then we went to the German market so I could have a sausage because otherwise I won’t have one and it’s just not Christmas if I don’t. They are very mean with the napkins – obviously they didn’t order enough so it is one per person! Harsh.

Returned home, and this afternoon I put together Daddy’s crocheted Christmas present while watching Miracle on 34th Street (fast-forwarding all the bits I don’t like) and now all my presents are finished! I can finally relax about things, and have my wrapping day when I am ready.

Out at The Glee tonight for Joe’s Crisis at Christmas gig! Great line-up; Joe Lycett, Joe Pasquale, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Tom Ward, Guz Kahn and Harry Hill. Very excited.

The 16th of December.

It lifted, thank god. The wrapping day was not ruined. I woke up in time to say bye to Mommy and Daddy before they set off for Wales, then had my breakfast and wrote up a blog post. After fighting for a long time with the lock on the front door (I was being inept), I went round the corner to get some double sided tape and cotton wool pads (not for wrapping, I had just run out). 

After lunch, I set myself up at the dining table with my peppermint drinking fudge, The Polar Express, and all my wrapping paraphernalia. I spent the subsequent three hours indulging in festive spirit, and I have nearly finished, I just need to get some gift bags for a few things that even I am incapable of wrapping. Will pop into Paperchase after The Muppets tomorrow. 

Just after half four, I jumped in a taxi to go back to Black Sheep to have the toner cleansed our of my hair – washing did not give the desired effect. James was lovely and has fixed it, and I’m much happier now. 

I have just finished my dinner of a Domino’s personal pizza and two of four cookies, awaiting the arrival of my parents back home. They are mere moments away. 

The 17th of December. 

Today would have been 100% excellent if not for one (hopefully) minor inconvenience. But I will get to that. 

Woke up stupidly early for a Saturday, but for a good reason – Becky and I were going to watch The Muppets Christmas Carol at The Electric! She came to pick me up at quarter to nine, and off we went. We parked round the back of the cinema, then got some tea before taking our seats. I actually ordered a coffee, but it tasted awful so I went back and got a tea as well. The screening was not as busy as I expected, but some people still managed to be irritating by having brought their poorly-behaved, germ-riddled children. Not acceptable. Still, they could not ruin the magic for me. After all, it is the summer of the soul in December. 

Afterwards, we went to the Cereal Killer Café because I wanted to try one of their “cocktails”. I had a bowloccino, which is Nesquik, Coco Pops, a chocolate curl and espresso milk. So tasty! I would never go there for something like Special K, but combinations or ridiculous cereals, I am all for. 

Before coming home, we went into Paperchase so I could get some gift bags and more ribbon and tissue paper. Now I can finish my wrapping. 

Now to the inconvenience: I happened to push up my sleeves and thought “Ooh, my right arm looks a bit fat. Let’s give it a squish. Ooh, that’s a bit boggy for my liking. Actually, my right foot has felt puffier than usual for the past couple of days. And my breathing has been terrible of late.”

So I don’t know what’s going on, because I don’t have a line anymore, so that can’t be causing it, and it’s only one side, so I’m confused and unhappy. I have started diuretics to try to get rid of some of the fluid, but on Monday morning I might be ringing Gill Lowe to freak out. I don’t want to spend Christmas looking like the Stay Puft marshmallow man. 

This afternoon, Sadie came round! Mainly to see the kittens. She did not steal any (I checked). She was greatly amused by their interest in her feet. They love feet. We stayed with them until they fell asleep, then we watched the end of Mr. Magorium and ate the two remaining Domino’s cookies. 

She had to go about four to make sure her dad had done the pile of sorting she’d left him. Sometimes I wonder who the parent is in that relationship. 

Hoping to god my body deflates with peeing. Don’t make me have another venoplasty. 

The 12th of December. 

I feel alright today, but it hasn’t been a great day as it was Keith’s funeral. 

This morning, I did another blog post so now I’m up to date, and rang the vet to get the kittens booked in for their first of of vaccinations. Hopefully when we have to take them, they don’t hide under the chair. 

We got to the church early and met Rosemary outside before going in to sit down. It was good timing on our part, as it filled up pretty quickly. Dr. Haydn from the liver team was sat behind us, and we smiled at each other in the awkward acknowledging way that one does at funerals. 

Funerals always make me think about my own. There was a lot of talk about heaven and the afterlife, as you’d expect. I don’t think I want the afterlife discussed – I don’t really believe in it. I don’t want there to be a place I go where I can see all my friends and family but not be with them. It sounds like utter torment. 

What got to me was what Gareth said will be playing at the crem, which is All I Ask by Adele, the last song they cried at together. Listening to it with the lyrics from Gareth’s point of view is heartbreaking. It we were going to the service on Wednesday, I’d be a wreck. 

We got home to find one of the kittens had done a wee in a place they weren’t supposed to. Nice. 

I will leave my heart at the door
I won’t say a word
They’ve all been said before, you know
So why don’t we just play pretend
Like we’re not scared of what is coming next
Or scared of having nothing left

Look, don’t get me wrong
I know there is no tomorrow
All I ask is

If this is my last night with you
Hold me like I’m more than just a friend
Give me a memory I can use
Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do
It matters how this ends
‘Cause what if I never love again?

I don’t need your honesty
It’s already in your eyes
And I’m sure my eyes, they speak for me
No one knows me like you do
And since you’re the only one that matters
Tell me who do I run to?

Look, don’t get me wrong
I know there is no tomorrow
All I ask is

If this is my last night with you
Hold me like I’m more than just a friend
Give me a memory I can use
Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do
It matters how this ends
‘Cause what if I never love again?

Let this be our lesson in love
Let this be the way we remember us
I don’t wanna be cruel or vicious
And I ain’t asking for forgiveness
All I ask is

If this is my last night with you
Hold me like I’m more than just a friend
Give me a memory I can use
Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do
It matters how this ends
‘Cause what if I never love again?

The 13th of December. 

Oh, today has been so much better. Apart from the start – I had the last of my post-transplant jabs (the ones I’ve been having approximately seven years late), the pneumonia one. I’ve had it once before, and I forgot how painful it is. I have a very sore arm tonight. Thankfully, it’s not the arm I sleep on. Also a woman came and sat next to me and she had a snotty tissue so I moved away because I didn’t want to catch her germs. I looked like a horrible person, but I don’t care, I really don’t want to get sick. 

Came home to have coffee and give the kittens second breakfast before going to the chiro. Trine gave my lower back a big stretch out, and found that I was really tense at the base of my neck. I’m not going to help myself either because on Friday I’m going to do my wrapping – sitting at a table for that long always causes me a lot of pain. 

From there, we had a trip into town to finish Christmas shopping and for me to get my wrapping stuff. I started off in Selfridges, then Superdrug (for things that were not presents), Foyles, Whittard’s and John Lewis. I met up with Mommy and we went up the German market so I could get a red sausage. A must, every year. 

On the way back through Grand Central to get my wrapping, I noticed Joe waiting for some food with a friend of his, so I went over and we had a lovely little catch up! Plus his friend Ben said I could get gold glitter wrapping paper in Tiger for less than Paperchase which was excellent! We did have to go to Paperchase anyway for tags and ribbon, where we bumped into Vicky and Laura, another delightful surprise! I have invited them round for kitten cuddles at some point over the next couple of weeks. 

At home, I fed the very hungry kittens, and have spent the rest of my afternoon writing my Christmas cards. I am getting very much into the festive spirit. 

The 13th of December. 

Feeling that particular type of melancholy that comes after a double Zopiclone. I’m sure I’m perfectly fine, I’m just disappointed at no specific thing. 

I slept late because I wasn’t going to get up to watch Sunday Brunch when I could watch it on delay and have more time in the dreamless sleep I get with medical assistance. I formulated a blog post and made one snowball. Five left. Plus their little hats. 

This afternoon, we went to see Carol, which is a shame because it probably means won’t really remember it, but I suppose at least I’ll forget the excruciating awkwardness of watching the sex scene with Daddy. At least we were in Gold Class so I felt like I could’ve been alone. 

It didn’t make me sad in the way I expected it to. I thought I’d just be grieving for the love affair I have forsaken, but I’m actually just unhappy about how shit people can be, how attitudes were, are, even if someone is hurting, it’s no excuse, how cold New York looks in the winter. 

The 14th of December. 

Another bad night – not only did it take me ages to get to sleep again, I also had a terrifying dream about loads of spiders, some of which were as big as my bedroom wall. It was very upsetting. 

I have been doing Christmassy things all day, so the kitty is very sad. I need to go and see him when I’ve finished doing this. This morning I crocheted one small and two medium-sized snowball chaps, and had a visit from a man from the oxygen company. They just have to come twice a year to check everything is okay and I don’t need anything new. I’ve thankfully not needed it since last winter when I was confined to the house because I couldn’t breathe without the tank, and I’m just hoping I make it past my birthday without it too. 

After lunch, I went to the dining room and spent four hours wrapping presents and writing cards. Irritatingly, I need another ribbon of each colour and another packet of tags, so that’s Wednesday morning. I watched The Polar Express and made myself a Buck’s Fizz white hot chocolate to drink while I folded paper and tied ribbons. My back is aching dreadfully – I need to have a lie down, stretch out. 

The dining room table is covered in glitter. 

The 1st of December.

There isn’t much to say about today, because I haven’t felt like myself for much of it. I had two Zopiclone last night because one alone wasn’t working, so today I’ve been very sleepy and somewhat zombie-like. 

I got a blog post done, but that was my only activity of consequence. I try not to do anything I’ll need to remember on days like this because I can never recall them afterwards. I can’t watch any TV that’s part of a series because next time I’ll have no idea what’s gone on. 

I hope it’s just the Zopiclone, but I just want to be back in bed.

[I wrote a lot here about feeling depressed and friendless, but even I, the shariest of sharers, don’t feel like putting it on here because I think it was the Zopiclone talking.]

The 2nd of December. 

I feel better. I think it was the Zopiclone. I mean, nothing has changed, but I don’t feel quite so terrible about it now. 

Mommy and I were both at the chiro this morning which we both needed, she for some sort of arm sprain and me for a painful neck. I think something in it jarred when that man landed on my head. It hurts where he elbowed me today. 

Having finished, we had a trip to Paperchase for me to look at gift tags, but they only sell the ones I want individually and I don’t want to spend 45p per gift tag when they sell packs of ten for £1.25, so I must find alternatives. 

This afternoon it’s been kitty and Netflix. I had to ring up handpicked collection regarding one of my orders, and I think the issue is sorted, but I won’t be 100% happy until I see evidence. I would like more emails. I am the sort of person who likes lots of written proof of things. 

I might consider going back to the gym at the end of this week. Short burst of workouts before more time off for Christmas.