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Sleeping With The Fishies

During BFF’s recent visit we tried something a little more taxing then repetitive back ‘n’ forth blanket crocheting. Google and Ravelry.com had been raided in the search for a straight forward cat toy pattern. Now you see life has taught me that words like ‘easy’ and ‘quick’ when describing patterns and methods are generally rather overstretched elements of truth, I was weary.

This time, however, after careful rereading the patterns seemed relatively uncomplicated and a great use for left over yarn (of which I have a suitcase full). So we tackled them and voila!

Of course, not every new venture goes snag free. We began crocheting a mouse and when we reached the ‘stuff’ instructions, I despatched BFF to the wardrobe for the bag of fibre fill that I remembered was hiding then. No matter how diligently she looked, no bag was found. Well, maybe my memory had mis remembered, no worries the almighty Amazon to the rescue and the next day a new bag arrived. Then when BFF went into cupboard to get out the vacuum cleaner, yes you guessed it, there sitting all proud of itself a bag of fibre fill – typical, you always find things after buying a replacement.

NotMyCat has been very obliging, he has tested one or two cat blankets in the past and has given the mouses and fishies the ‘bat and claw’ test. They passed!

Kudos and credit where it’s due, the patterns are available from

No Sew Cat Toy – Fish by Cafe del Craft

Cat Toy – Mouse by Daisy and Storm

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2020 in General, Projects

 

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Repeat the Prescription for Frustration

Dear Reader, for your delectation and delight I have for you the next thrilling instalment of ‘How to get a prescription’. If you recall, yesterday I had to and fro-ed between Pharmacy and GP to get my prescription, as of last night a second script was being pinged over to the Pharmacy.

After fuelling my motivation with a little chocolate I dialled the pharmacy and asked if they could find me on their system (yes), had my prescription been received (yes – things are looking up), how do I go about paying for it and getting it delivered – pregnant pause of ominous silence – the mighty powers that be have decreed that they cannot take payments over the phone for prescriptions and the drivers are not permitted to carry any cash, so in short, there isn’t any way a housebound cripple can pay for meds so they can be delivered. Typical, unsurprising, almost expected.

While pondering who to ask to expose themselves to the idiocy of people during this pandemic in order to collect this not exactly necessary concoction the phone rang.

A far too intelligent for her post Pharmacy lady called and put forward an option. The specific, exact same as prescribed VitD is available to purchase, over the counter, no prescription required, and it can be paid for over the phone and delivered for free, AND it’s cheaper than the current prescription charge (£9.15). Yes, we will go for that, except she has none in stock *sigh* but it will be on Monday and things can be sorted then.

So essentially if you ever fall ill, don’t need a prescription. If you do, be in a category that doesn’t pay. If you do have to pay, don’t be so ill you cannot get your carcass to the pharmacy. If you can’t, well ‘computer says no’.

We wait for Monday…..

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2020 in General, Life, people

 

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Prescription For Frustration

Remember the good old days, when a fat expensive ink pen splurged over crisp white paper, that was ripped from the pad with a confident flourish. You clutched said note to the Pharmacy, holding hope and relief as the concoction was dispensed and off you tootled with the miracles of modern science in your tender hands – the whole process taking a mere few, almost imperceptible, minutes *sigh* oh the nostalgia.

But progress brings change, advancement brings efficiency and new methods need learning. I am at the end of day two of getting a prescription sent, filled and delivered and as I type, the system does not have the drugs to my door.

My Rehab Consultant is pretty gung-ho on MD-ers taking Vitamin D, whereas my various other Consultants are non-plus about supplements, during a video conference the subject was broached but no firm action decided upon as I tend to take an over the counter one anyway (when I remember ….. which reminds me …. be right back) . Anywho, Hospital sent request for high dose VitD capsules to GP, sometime passed before I received a copy of the hospital report which had detailed under action that a prescription request sent. I had heard nothing, not surprised, my GP surgery hovers between ‘in need of improvement’ and special measures with the CQC.

I have not had a prescription for anything in around, fifteen years, but have heard many a saga from many a person about the trials and hassles of getting their drugs. Taking the bull by it’s wot nots yesterday I called my surgery and they tapped their keyboards, scratched their heads, did the do, asked questions to which my answers perplexed them further, and sent the prescription electronically within moments to the Pharmacy of my choice (in the room next door to Doctor’s reception, they could literally have shouted it across).

Today I call the Pharmacy to see how I, as a house bound crip who has to pay for and then get it delivered, get my hands on this chemical sunshine ………guess what…….. it’s gone missing in the system. (I stifle urge to say “Computer says no”).

I called the surgery and asked the question, which was met with another round of perplexed replies which eventually settled on resending the request and ‘hopefully’ the Pharmacy will call me back shortly. “Hopefully”, hmm, my cynical self thinks that is going the way of common sense and logic, I also foresee getting two scripts for the same thing and both being filled and charged for.

So here I sit ….. waiting ….. wondering whether to call the Pharmacy or wait for them to call. With my mind conjuring visions of electronic prescriptions pinging and ricochetting like ball bearings in a pinball machine around the clouds, which are looking ominously heavy as I stare out the window.

Progress ….. tis a wonderful thing.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2020 in Life, people

 

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Slow Desk Day

busy

 

There really is nothing like playing ‘name that tune’ with the random shuffle of your desktop iTunes, and there are not many places where Saint-Seans is followed by Alice Cooper, Dean Martin, Zakk Wylde, Samantha Gibb or Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band with a side of Lord Rockingham XI (eclectic you say? Maybe).

After a few weeks of procrastination I forced myself to attend to the growing clutter on the desk. I enjoy my desk, I can get on with the admin of life, I can amuse and entertain myself and I can feel like something has been achieved. My to-do lists (I have categories) is totalling 27 and I’ve whittled it down to …..drumroll….. 24 🤣

There is nothing like a new toy to get the motivation going. It may sound pretty unspectacular but I’m a bit geeky. It’s a confidentiality roller. You look perplexed. It’s just a pre-inked roller that you roll across paper and it covers any print with a pattern, ideal for scrolling across letters containing addresses, personal details, before putting it in the recycling bin.

New toys need new homes, as I was adjusting bits and bobs in the desk draw I came across the spare refill for my twisty pen, you know the one I couldn’t find but knew I had somewhere. I found it, yippee, right after opening the replacement I had bought as I couldn’t find the b-loom-ing thing. Sod’s Law is alive and wreaking havoc.

I was just finishing off a little task when my tea time carer arrived, I’d lost time and was unprepared. That’s the power of …… the desk!

Must finish off an email.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2020 in General, Life

 

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Staycation

This morning BFF flew home to Bonny Scotland after staying here to take care of me for a smidge over two weeks. After the stress and worries this year has thrown at me, the postponement of our April pj-party due to CoVid19, it was so unbelievably uplifting to have BFF walk through my door.

Our time together has three main heading, films, food and yarning. Now that might be silly chatter yarning or the more creative productive yarning. This time as well as some cat protection blankets we also tackled some rather cute cat toy mice and fish.

Previous visits have been invaded by the black and white bundle of adorability, affectionately known as Mickey #NotMyCat, this time he brought his brother Ginger #NotMyCat2. He’s a lot more timid but did like to snooze comfortably and alone either on my bedroom windowsill or the woollen blanket on my bed, he’s also very vocal and announces his arrival. Both offered their approval of the crocheted toys, plus the rubs and snooze spots, and especially the edible treats.

My BFF is multi talented, not only did I get a much needed hair cut but a pedi soak too. Mickey gave the humming, vibrating bowl of water a glare, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d decided to dip a paw in but instead he gave it the usual cat statesmanship glare of indifference crossed with that ‘stupid humans’ expression they are so adept at.

After 187 consecutive days I escaped the confines of my dusty hovel and we ventured along the High Street, suitably covered in my new denim jacket (Christmas and birthday present from BFF) and wearing a natty face mask. A few errands were ticked off the list, social distancing guidelines and hand sanitising adhered to, the find trousers task one sadly was not successful.

This visits films included

  • Spitfire
  • The ugly dachshund
  • Armstrong
  • The absentminded professor
  • Kinky boots
  • Summer in February
  • Hidden Figures
  • Broken Flowers
  • The Great Gatsby
  • First Man
  • The Parent Trap
  • Flight
  • Born On The Fourth Of July
  • A summer place
  • A single man
  • First Wives Club
  • Calamity Jane
  • The Iron Maiden
  • A map of the world
  • Capote
  • Pollyanna
  • There’s No a Business Like Show business
  • American Pastoral
  • Walk The Line
  • The Crown Seasons 1 & 2

Back to our respective routines, counting down and conjuring up, until we can get together again.

Oh the tasty treat pictured, it’s enchilasagne …. enchiladas but layered in a lasagne fashion, it is so delicious and no layer out weighs another. BFF made a second batch so there are more for me to enjoy. Did I say my wonderful BFF was multi talented???

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2020 in Films, General, Life, people

 

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The Stunned Pause

Yesterday I had one of those instances where Big Sis would have literally laughed out loud. It began with my afternoon care visit, the carer is one I do not have very regularly but has been coming here for a few Saturday afternoons, we’ve had a number of conversations about various things. How to describe her, she’s short and rounded, akin the Estelle Getty look. She has a tendency to speak as if she’s looking after a half-deaf tottery ancient oldie who starts each sentence with a croaky “I’m eighty four you know…” type vibe.

She mentioned that her brother goes to a music evening where those gathered listen to and discuss music, wondered whether that would be something of interest to me (absolutely not). I replied that not many people listen to the styles of music that I enjoy. I went on to explain that I have a very mixed musical taste, depending on what I’m doing at the time. When I am concentrating on writing the HTML for the website I tend to listen to classical music, the likes of Debussy, Bach, Saint-Saën, Rachmaninov and such, for other creative musings it might be general rock and pop of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s preferring proper good tunes to specific groups, but my absolute go to for pure enjoyment and mood uplifting and this was my driving music was…..

(When I was telling BFF this in a telephone call at this point she went “You didn’t!”, oh yes I absolutely did.)

…..heavy metal, not the main stream but the off main rib rattling proper deep metal.

And then it happened, the face freezes as the mind adjusts and computes, the eyes reveal that they had a completely different perception of you. The sweet little innocent young (not so now) ‘nice’ girl. Ohhhh Noooooo, I have a dark side. I am sarcastic, cynical, stubborn, feisty, questioning. My tastes are eclectic, I enjoy Shakespeare and Dickens, but also Red Dwarf and child animation movies; tv quizzes like Tipping Point or The Chase and will have a crack at Only Connect and University Challenge; films it’s more the grizzly horror or mystery than sweet romance. Musically it’s what takes my fancy.

In a recent online convo with my BFF about getting my hair cut, she suggested like Tinkerbell, to which I posted the suitably cute smiling face and she, knowing me exceptionally well, said no, more like…

Can you guess who posted which, lol.
 
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Posted by on June 14, 2020 in General, Life, people

 

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Destructive Anger Destroys

Over the past few days we’ve witnessed more and more global unrest and calls for changes along with recognition of how the black community has been systematically treated. The death of George Floyd, along with far too many other coloured people, in the USA is a tragic, horrific thing, but it has lit a fireball that might yet engulf thousands of more lives. It was a wrong action by that officer, others were wrong around him, that caused a death; and there have been similar actions by other officers in the past. Thankfully very very few in the UK compared to some educated countries, but nowhere is immune.

The Black Lives Matter movement has a wish (not using the word agenda, it has connotations) and in the twenty first century, forward thinking, prosperous West, you’d think we’d be able to get it right more than wrong.

Watching the marches, the protests, the taking the knee, it is a commendable grand gesture but how does it teach, enlighten or instruct. I am fully aware that these events contain a few hell bent on chaos and destruction and a few more who get polluted by the mob mentality, but I am yet to understand how defacing buildings, statues, plinths, memorials will teach, enlighten or educate.

Where do I learn the other side of the story without being branded a racist, a privileged white b*itch, or such like, or being shouted at “you’ll never understand coz you’re not black”. Violence, rage, destruction, aggressive language etc will not help change minds, or teach a better way, it will fuel the old assumptions and stereotypes. It will instil fear and anxiety.

There was a particular image that enraged me to utter gutteral wanton disgust … it made me so angry I wished true, long term harm upon another person. Here is that image.

This is the Cenotaph. It stands in Whitehall, London. There are only three words on it “The Glorious Dead” and we see someone trying to set fire to the Union flag. The Cenotaph is a memorial to all those who died in the World Wars, all those who enlisted, all those who volunteered, all those hundreds of thousands who were conscripted, from ALL nations of the Commonwealth (last time I checked that warmly, willingly, includes ethnic minorities). For the millions who fought, suffered, were injured, who died, defending and protecting many rights and freedoms people so quickly abuse today. This person saw fit to trample and abuse that – my cynical sarcastic mind wants to ask “Is it because the Portland stone is too white?”

So what will the consequences be, for me ….. Well, I’ll be blunt and honest, it will scare me. What if as I go to enter a door and don’t stop to let the ethnic person go first, am I about to be called racist. If I hold the door to let the ethnic person go first, am I exerting my white privilege. If I enquire for explanation or understanding about an opinion or action, am I being confrontational. I fully realise that not everyone is carrying that hair triggered chip on the shoulder but because so many do, how do I avoid getting snapped at, or flattened with a knee at my neck.

Dear World, I myself alone have no control on what happened during the past two-three hundred plus years or more. In that, I am powerless. I can only be responsible for my personal actions of the past five decades (and a smidge bit, very slim but more). I hope I have always been equally respectful and friendly to everyone I have ever encountered, for that is the best I can do.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2020 in In The News, Life, people

 

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Sensible or Sinister

I know I have to move home, but where to go and how to go about it, is a big scary slathering barking hell hound. Going from financial and roof-over-head security to not being so much so. There is a great deal to wrestle with.

Since about week three of lockdown isolation my mind has been racing to an idea, to go through every single item in my hovel and either sell it, donate it or bin it, keeping only a very few considered key items. I really do mean everything, every keepsake, gift, trinket, souvenir, ornament, memento, book, cd, dvd, photo album, crockery, cutlery, glassware, clothing, shoes, costume jewellery, hobby item, stationery item, tool, cuddly, pot, pan and dish. Slim everything down to only the necessary minimum. I have held onto things in order to feel connected to people, places, memories, times when I felt included, involved, almost necessary.

As I cannot move about to fetch things or return things, why keep them, is knowing something is in an inaccessible drawer any different to knowing I once had it. Why hold onto kits, cloths and silks when I’m never going to cross stitch anything again, why keep the pieces I’ve done that are sitting in the drawer, done to fill time. There are things in this abode that haven’t seen the light of day in 5-7-10+ years. There’s a box of vinyl records in the wardrobe that have been there 15-20 years, I don’t even know all the albums that are in there.

But I, myself, cannot do any of that. Someone else will have to lift and fetch and handle. Whether it be taking items to a Post Office to mail, or local refuse/recycling collection centre (7.5 miles away), or charity shops. Someone else will have to fill the recycling big or general waste bin. I might have the idea but others will have the execution.

With my increased deterioration I will need more equipment, power chair, manual chair, shower chair, hoists etc, all which need space to be kept ‘out of the way’.

Is this need a sensible preparation for the future (even maybe getting ones affairs in order, when that times comes), or is it a sign of something relating to mental health triggered by my changing circumstances and the weeks, months, of lockdown.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2020 in Life

 

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The Rot Set In

How are you? How are you managing in these trying of time? Have you started avoiding the news and social media reporting? Are you feeling the need to contact that friend in your phone book you haven’t seen or spoken to in decades? Have you tackled that oft put off job?

Day one-hundred-fifth-something of being at home for me … it feels like the rot has set in, I could twiddle some yarn, I should get to reading that book, I would feel better if I tackled a task or two but ……….. no excuse nor reason, just the arse cannot be bothered. I usually quarantine myself during winter, after all if there’s no need to go out in the yucky weather there’s less chance of catching cold which evolves to chest infections. The pandemic timing extended that, cancelled BFF’s visit and the high jinks we were planning, means an additional three+ months have been added.

I’ve had two letters regarding my health condition and CoVid19, one on behalf of my GP from the Clinical Commissioning Group stating I am “likely to feel unwell”, so that’s reassuring, unwell sounds light, like a hay fever sniffle. But the letter from the Neuromuscular Advisory Unit has said I am at “high risk of serious illness”, that sounds rather worrying, conjures images of tubes and machine beeps. I cannot get out, so I’m not at greater risk and my carers are diligent with their precautions.

I’ve enjoyed the access viewing, things like the Thursday night National Theatre productions being streamed on YouTube, I’d never be able to attend in person, so this opportunity has been relished. I’ve been totally engrossed in all of them, marvelling at the staging, the acting, the imagination, seeing productions I heard of but never seen, like Treasure Island, One Man Two G’vnrs, Frankenstein, Twelfth Night, Jane Ayre, Anthony & Cleopatra, Street Car Named Desire, next week The House. There has been the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, Jesus Christ Superstar was outstanding. Various orchestras and musicians have been producing videos of performances, some quarantine themed, changing the words of known songs, some of performing classical pieces without the pomp and ceremony of the venues. Of course the small children or small pets interrupting has been amusing.

When this is over, what will we take away from it? There will always be selfish idiots, there will always be negative attacking media, there will always be unreported acts of kindness.

I sense a general mood change as I watch/listen to the vox poluli… an undertone of resentment and slight anger. Maybe it is the media bias but the consensus seems to be that Joe Ordinary doesn’t want his kids to go back to school but does want the pub to open … people jump in their car and drive to the beach and are shocked and surprised that five hundred or more had the exact same idea … persons in positions of knowledge and authority flout the rules and ignore the old time lead by example ethos.

As the aftermath of WW2 did for Churchill, will the aftermath do for Boris … will any politician or party truly be trusted and reliable in an era of PR and popularity over substance and commitment. Will I get out of my hovel this side of Christmas!!

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2020 in General, In The News, Life

 

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Beans anyone?

As morning carer unlocked my door I could hear her struggling, curiosity was sparked. Apparently a large heavy brown box had been left on the door step.

Into the ninth week of self-isolating shielding lockdown, I have received a Government emergency food package. The notion of ensuring that those who are confined to their homes have access to a few basic necessities, is a highly commendable one, the execution of such a project has a few gaps. What a single person uses is different to two people or a small family. The contents were intriguing.

There is a loaf of bread with a warnings its previously been frozen and is good for five days from thawing (when was that because it’s very thawed and dry, so yesterday or even the day before), the large Frey Bentos chicken pie, a bag of potatoes one spud is so big it needs two hands to hold it, a huge tin of beans (850g pictured) plus an onion also sizeable, a bag of pasta, jar of bolognese sauce, small tin of tuna, a small bag of rice, a pack of digestives, bag of oats, bag of carrots, apples and oranges, two one litre cartons of milk, two cans of chopped tomatoes and three cans of soup. A couple of instant coffee packets and a few tea bags, one loo roll, a small hand soap with five bottles of bath soap (think hotel freebies).

The enclosed note says it’s for the week (anyone got a recipe for roast-stewed-curried onion) and there are online links to get them stopped or changed (except the links don’t do that). They tell you to contact your local council if you no longer need the help, except the council website doesn’t say who to contact. The note says to simply tell your driver not to deliver, well seeing as it’s just left on the door step before my carer gets here, that’s not going to happen. In fact if it wasn’t for the carer tripping over it trying to get in, I’d have no idea it was even there.

I hope I’ve managed to make contact with the right people to stop getting these, although the idea is commendable, for me, in my circumstances, sadly the majority of contents I cannot make use of – so I’ve given my carers first dibs. I’d much prefer the good dead to go to someone in much greater need than me, I am sure there are some.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2020 in Life

 

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