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Tag Archives: BFF

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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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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2019

To say that 2019 has been an absolute horrid catastrophic year would be a cavernous understatement. Never at the beginning could I have foreseen the end, nor the hell in between.

I usually feel odd at the end of any given year. Many see it as a fresh page, the new beginning, the marker to strive forward. I just see it as another day, no different to the 31st, 17th or 4th. However, I’m not ready to let go of 2019, I don’t want to let go of what’s been lost. 2020 will be the first year without my Big Sis, and I am way far being ready for that. 2020 will be a year of more forced change and adapt as I try and find somewhere new to live and all the fraught difficulties that brings.

BFF and I are already planning some fun, hopefully when she visits we will over night in the city and revisit some old haunts and enjoy some reminiscent foods. I’ll still be crocheting blankets when the strive strikes. There are online projects to get stuck in to and ongoing business to fit in. I should get back to nightly reading.

Still, it will be what it will be and hopefully we are all still here by the end of it.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2019 in General, Life

 

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We’re gonna need a bigger box

I’m not responsible for all of these blankets, seven were stitched by my BFF when she was here in September, I have done the other fourteen. 🙀 I know! I’ve never managed to get so much done, ever! In the ten weeks since BFF was here, I thought I might get four done, possibly five by the end of the year, but never would have considered fourteen.

Now, a brief explanation. Historically I could only manage a row or three a day before it would have a consequence when it came to me being able to stand up and move, it’s the physics of holding myself in the stitching position, no longer being able to stand the restriction has become redundant. When I start a new blanket after a break from regular stitching, I can only do two rows before the aches begin across my shoulders, down my upper arms and up my neck, but each day I tried adding a row, pushing myself a bit further until I was able to stitch and rest in intervals across the whole afternoon and evenings. Before long I was digging in the wool stash again for three more balls of double knit, and I needed a carrier bag for the completed ones.

When BFF visited she sent down two boxes (think large gents trainers shoe box size) rammed with her yarn, since when they’ve been hidden behind the sofa. When Nephew was here Friday I got him to grab one and empty it into the stash suitcase, thinking I could put the blankets in the box but it’s not big enough.

My current blanket will take longer, the yarn is a lighter weight so there are far more stitches to the eighteen inch row, and there are about three rows to the inch and there are twelve inches to do. I might break my rule of only working on one at a time and start a second with thicker dk so it grows quicker.

Still, some lovely pussy cats and kittens are getting an early visit from this Santa’s helper, hopefully they’ll get new homes quickly too.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2019 in General, Pets, Projects

 

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Fun No More (until April)

I’ve been wonderfully distracted for the past two glorious weeks, BFF has been to play, stay, I meant stay. … and this time it was greatly needed by us both. Finally after all the stress, anxiety and sorrow attached to so many happenings I could cry my heart out and get physical console. But all too soon, the suitcase is being zipped up and it’s that dreadful time to try and hold the stiff upper lip and say ttfn.

Pre arrival plans had been put in place, a few DVD’s were ordered, two mahoosive boxes had arrived with the neatest of handwriting upon them (more wool to add to the packed suitcase stash) and the dozen bottles of cherry cola added to the grocery order.

We may both be in our golden years, but you’re never too old for a PJ party, and that’s what we do. It’s not all indulgent fun, there were chores and errands done too, the dentist visit with deep deeeep clean and the annual hospital appointment with my neurologist (test results, blood pressure, heart rate all ‘normal’, never thought that word would be attached to me). I supervised while BFF cleared out, sorted, organised my kitchen cupboards (nothing last century lurking in the dark corners), general tidy up of the bathroom and lounge, the resort and reorganising my bedroom draws and I feel sorted, organised, prepared for carers and helpers, etc.

We’ve mooched up and down my High Street, been back and forth to Morrison’s for eats and treats, sat outside enjoying the sun and breeze, took an afternoon stroll along the esplanade and I, yes me, suggested a ice-cream (it was lush), we even went to the cinema to see Downton Abbey (rather good).

Mostly we snoozed, nattered, laughed, chatted, rested, and watched stuff

  • Last Viceroy House
  • Mad Men Season 6 and 7
  • The Green Book
  • Trumbo
  • Edie
  • A Cat Named Leonard
  • Norma Rae
  • Pursuit Of Happyness
  • My Old Lady
  • The Favourite
  • Colette
  • Don’t Eat The Daisies
  • The Right Stuff
  • Spotlight
  • The Girl On The Train
  • Billy Rose’s Jumbo
  • Glass Bottom Boat
  • Man With A Horn
  • To Kill A Mockingbird

Of course the REAL prime reason for being together is a certain four legged furred charmer, known as Mickey, aka #NotMyCat, wandering in when he pleases, playing with his new toys, choosing one of the many seats to snooze upon, getting head rubs and chin scritches galore.

Three quarters of an hour ago we hugged, smiled, said “call you tomorrow”, and off she goes ……… just 199 days to go until we’re back together *fingers-crossed*

Thank you BFF for being everything I need and a heck of a lot more, words are not enough to convey all you do for me, help me, cajole me, entertain and help me.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2019 in Films, General, Life, people, Pets

 

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It’s one of those Monday’s, that’s why

Technology is bad enough when it complies with our instructions, but it turns into a belligerent stroppy over tired toddler when it decides to be awkward.

Today I wanted to print off some notices for Big Sis’s ‘reflections’ service, she was adamant she didn’t want any fuss or funeral. I had spent Saturday working on the layout and wording, finding one of the very elusive photos of her and refining it for my purpose. Sent it off to BFF because I always miss something when proofing etc. Left it alone to give one final check over before printing it off, showed bro-in-law and hit the print button.

Printer chugged and clunked, whirred and span eventually printing out the test go, but the picture came out oddly coloured. Damn, colour cartridge must be super low. Discovered how to pull printer apart, remove cartridges and dispatch Bro-in-law to remortgage my hovel for a replacement. He was delayed getting back to mine as the police closed my cul de sac as an elderly gent had collapsed mid street and there were police cars and ambulances galore.

We attacked the razor sharp finger slicing packaging and extricated the cartridge and reinserted into its little housing compartment. Click, clunk, all done. Hit print and ……. flashing lights. *sigh*. We fiddled and bodged, I googled and “ah-ha’d”. According to the manufacturers website the domeflotchy (I am fully conversant with the tech terms) that senses whether it’s the correct cartridge and ink levels doesn’t work after the first lot of cartridges are removed but there is a work around, just hold this button for 15 seconds and presto the flashing lights will cease. So I did and they didn’t. *sigh*.

I disconnected everything, unplugged everything, uninstalled printer from my computer. Drank my (second) coffee. Plugged everything back in, turned on the printer and ……. light still flashing. *sigh*. So I hit print anyway, and it printed it out.

Of course I knew it was going to be one of those sorts of Mondays when I woke up, every hour or so from 1:15am, as I floated around the bed in a sweaty menopausal hot flush, as I turned over and neck made an awful crunch sound, when I poked my eye as I was sponging my face, when I clumped my funny bone on the desk draw.

I want to curl up on the sofa with buttered toasted crumpets, but with my luck today I’d set off my new ear piercing smoke alarm (installed by two very tall svelte firefighters).

Still, I almost managed to order Big Sis’s coffin topper spray of flowers coherently, only cracking up into a few tears as I read out the wording for the two cards. Not a phone call I ever wanted to make but the lovely lady was most patient and concerned to get everything ‘just right’.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Grumble, Tech

 

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This Change Is No Rest

It is mumbled in intelligent circles that change is as good as a rest, and usually when my BFF comes to stay or I am at my sisters for Christmas this can ring true. My muscles and logistical brain cells can take a break from having to struggle with movement.

However when my BFF came to stay for a couple of weeks at the beginning of April my brain and muscles decided they had had enough of the continual physical and mental struggle with just getting stood up. Usually I am lifted to my feet, with my dead body weight supported by BFF until I am balanced, then I can totter off to where I need to go. Being lifted takes all the physical strain and stresses off my joints, it only takes seconds to do, requires minimal concentration, which all equates to a rest.

Instead of it being restful, it highlighted in fluorescent neon with flashing lights and klaxons just how utterly exhausted I am when doing it by myself alone. Whether it was the eight, nine, ten attempts it takes every morning just to get up from sitting on the bed to standing, whether it was the physical exertion of standing from the toilet and the number of times it just doesn’t happen, whether it was constantly wondering and planning when I would next get up in order to get to the bathroom and/or then get to the kitchen to prepare food et cetera – it was all too much, I broke.

But I am completely out of my depth, I did not know who to contact, I did not know what the answer would be, I did not know how long it would take to be rectified, or even if my situation was rectifiable. Everything was completely overwhelming.

Muscular Dystrophy have regional care advisors however contacting one was not that straightforward as HQ did not have the details of the new incumbent who covers my area, fortunately friends in the right places knew the right person to ask and the RCA visited the next day. After a great deal of discussion, and tears on my part, she left intending to initiate an armful of referrals. That meant that I had to confess to family the severity of my struggles.

Professional peeps have been responding to these “urgent” referrals, but as is often the case they’re asking what help I want when I don’t know what I want, what is available or what will work. Social Services sent their directory, a glorified phone book, which isn’t offering straightforward answers, Wheelchair Services have lost me (I’ve had a manual chair for 18 years, but I only deal with their contracted maintenance people and never the office). Physio cannot offer any practical help because the nature of MD is debilitating rather than rehabilitation. Occupational Health was more positive but nothing can be set in place yet as it depends on actions by others.

So, a month later the result is ……. carry on struggling, failing, waiting.

What I need (am hoping for) is a small compact electric wheelchair that can rise to enable me to cook or simply reach the light switch, and can manage the tight turns and dimensions of my little hovel. If there isn’t one, then I will have to move, but to where I know not, nor how long it will take. I fear I am hanging too much hope on one thing.

I am grieving, grieving for the life I had, the struggle to keep the life I have, the hopes for a future life. All my hopes, skills, dreams have been quashed. The talking, admitting, confessing to the numerous professionals has not been a positive experience, trying to imagine working solutions and all these imposed changes will bring, it has rendered me deflated, defeated, despondent, ashamed and humiliated.

The NHS Wheelchair Services chap has visited with mixed results. The NHS is charged with providing a mobility solution, an indoor powered chair that might be used outdoors too. Many people need chairs with other actions, say to rise up to enable someone to reach a work surface to make a drink or meal, or to rise up to turn on/off a light switch, but these are not classed as ‘mobile’ but ‘social’ actions so they cannot provide any chair to me. But they still need me to take an indoor and an outdoor driving test (stop laughing). I can apply for a ‘personal wheelchair budget’ known as a voucher, where the NHS pay for part of a private purchase chair up to what they would have been charged (aka what a suit has decided is a reasonable minimal contribution). So I’ve to find my own solution, if it exists, if anything can be sourced closer than a county away.

The second problem is my small hovel. No one can tell me whether a chair can manage the tight turn into my bathroom through its narrow door, and no one can tell me what happens, how I am supposed to live, if I cannot get into the bathroom at all. No one can tell me a housing solution.

Now six weeks on, I just have to struggle on taking upwards of 45-minutes to have a wee. Speaking of which…..

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2019 in Life

 

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The Best Of Fun


Recently my BFF came to play stay for a couple of weeks. Our twice annual pyjama party complete with fabulous food, furry entertainment from #NotMyCat Mickey (aka Mickster, mooch, buggerboo, etc), lots of conversations and reminiscences, music, stitching and of course movies.

  • Barefoot in the Park
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets
  • Cromwell
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin
  • The Way
  • Walk In The Woods
  • The Road
  • The Battle of the Sexes
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Stonehearst Asylum 
  • In The Shadow of the Moon
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • To Catch a Thief
  • Summertime
  • The Fastest Indian in the World
  • Gravity
  • The Zookeepers Wife
  • Sybil
  • Blackboard Jungle
  • Mad Men season one, two, three, four and five

BFF had had a vertigo episode before she came to stay, and while resting in her bed she was able to focus on crocheting some cat blankets and brought 10 finished ones with her, along with a stash of double knitting yarn. She is such a quick stitcher that she could stitch a complete blanket every day. We paid a visit to the local wool shop to source a cotton blend to complete one of my blankets. Before long we had 23 blankets ready, and contacted the local cat protection branch for somebody to come and collect them. They posted a very nice thank you message on their Facebook page.

We ventured in to town to take care of a few errands, and often trotted to the local supermarket for nibbles and treats. On Easter Saturday we even went to the local beach and wondered the Esplanade before sitting on a bench and enjoying the sunshine. It was quite unexpected as often there is a cooling sea breeze but there was hardly any movement.

All too soon our fun has to come to an end, the suitcase is packed, and she is returning home. We re-set the counter for her return sometime in September. 

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2019 in Life, people

 

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The Holibobs Blues


Like the weather, my mood has dipped to decidedly chilly since my BFF fly off back home just over a week ago.  I’m sure the seventeen days she was here are the absolutely fastest of the year.  It’s amazing how a few days of simple changes can make such a difference.  Okay, so we are not the most adventurous vacationers, infact our greatest outing was to the cinema.  Spending our days chatting, reminiscing, stitching, playing with ‘Not My Cat’ (didn’t take him long to catch on treat giver was back, lol).  

So viewing pleasures ….. I’ve forgotten a few.

  • Funny Girl
  • Funny Lady
  • Churchill
  • Another Mother’s Son
  • Christine
  • Hitchcocks Lifeboat
  • The Girl
  • Breath
  • Shepherd & Butchers
  • Eight Days A Week
  • Love & Mercy
  • Eat Pray Love
  • Before You Go To Sleep
  • Deniel
  • Sully
  • Doc Martin
  • The Marvellous Mrs Maisel

Good food, treat food, tasty food, thoroughly enjoyed and relished.

It’s horrid to say good bye when we know it will be a few months before we are together again. 

To add salt to my blue mood, you remember that list, just a few things, that I set to do before BFF arrive Do? Yeah, well, erm, that didn’t go so good either, but that’s for another post.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2018 in Films, General, Life, people

 

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