About Me

My photo
melting but not down

Sunday, 22 February 2009

x-rated knitting

Woo-hoo! I found this while looking for a pattern for a man's jumper. Just the thing for a conversation opener while knitting in the pub!

Actually, do any knitters out there have a pattern for a man's v-neck jumper with pockets? They're surprisingly difficult to find.

Or a man's cardigan with pockets, suitable for an ex-punk rocker? (ie not pipe and slippers-ish)

Saturday, 21 February 2009

can't complain

All things considered, life isn't too bad. I've been reminded of how fortunate I am this week by the arrival of an old friend of my husband who dips in and out of our lives every year or so. Back in the 70s they were both good looking, fun loving, free spirited young men. My guy has retained his individuality and rebellious streak but in every other respect is a conventional loving husband/father/working man. His friend never did settle down, he is an alcoholic and mostly lives in a van, stuffed to the gunnels with all his worldly goods, and travels about the country in it like a motorised hobo. He is a stranger to soap and shampoo so smells like a dustbin and looks distinctly unsavoury - grimy face and hands poking out of layers of equally grimy clothes. This year he was 'rescued' by an organisation that helps rough sleepers and after a period in a hostel, has been given his own flat in Canterbury. There's nothing in it, hence still living in the camper van, but he's hoping to furnish it with a social fund grant some time soon. You can't help liking him, he's a seeker after truth - his conversation is a combination of paranoid rants against immigrants and authority and rapid fire fact after fact on every subject under the sun, although you have to be in the mood to cope with his constant chatter and questioning. Definitely a bit wearing at the end of the day, especially if you're wanting some quiet time. He has a good heart though and I do feel sorry for him. I think we're his only friends in the world.

On the mum front, the old dear lulled me into a false sense of security for a few days, being cheery and quite sweet, then on Thursday night reverted to needy mum, resenting the time I spend with my own family and sulkily trying to get me to go last night by saying she had nothing in to eat. Well, she had a ready meal but said it was too big for her and clearly would rather go hungry than waste any of it. I stuck to my guns and had my usual Friday night with husband and friends in the pub. And very nice it was too. I ate fish and chips, chatted, laughed a lot, knitted, unknitted, spilled beer all over the place and finally arrived back home at 11 (stone cold sober). Our friends , who became increasingly loud and incoherent as the night wore on, were most complimentary about Mr and Mrs Lily's relationship (30 years wed this April) and they had a point. We may not always have had a smooth ride, but we've survived through a mixture of contrasting personalities, shared interests and lots of laughter. We're best friends and genuinely care for each other. I'm a lucky woman.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

and now for a more interesting post......

As I was waiting to get into work this morning, I could feel a slight pressure on my upper chest, left side. It came and went through the morning then about 11:45 the pressure increased, like someone poking a finger in me just above my ribs, and I felt distinctly woozy. The nurse from Healthcare came over and said my pulse was a bit irregular and I should go to my doctors asap. I asked my colleague to take me in his 4x4 - I didn't want to risk passing out at the wheel and the snow was really getting into its stride by then.

Poor guy had to sit in his jeep for an hour before I resurfaced. I had to wait to see the GP who listened to my murmur again (very subtle today, apparently) and said my pulse was fine but to be on the safe side, prescribed aspirin and a spray for under the tongue in case the chest pain got worse. (It had, of course, eased off by then.) She also wanted me to have an ECG so I waited for the nurse to be free, stripped off and wired up, then waited for the doctor to finish with her next patient so I could show her the ECG tracing. All OK. Don't you just hate that - I wouldn't be surprised if she types 'hypochondriac' somewhere in my notes.

Anyway, getting back to the ECG for a moment. What's wrong with this picture?

No, that really IS my leg up on the kitchen table -I'm surprisingly limber, you know.

Well done Annie - you got it! I was wearing sheer nude knee highs and the nurse thought she was sticking the tag on my bare leg. She only realised when removing the tags and pulled up the stocking attached to the one on my leg! Both leg tags were stuck fast so I had to throw the knee highs away.

wills and wells

I've just printed out the draft wills the solicitor e-mailed us. (Thought I'd better get round to it in case I do have to go under the knife - with all these hospital bugs finishing off patients, you can't be too careful.) Will have to read through them tonight. Must organise our paperwork so the kids can find all the financial bumph in case of a joint calamity. At the moment its all over the place, thanks to himself''s eccentric 'filing' system. (I know where mine is, ner ner nerner ner.)

Snow is forecast for today. Must get ready and go to work. I'm going curly today - have washed my hair and let it dry naturally. The grey is coming on a treat

Fascinating stuff, huh? Well I'm not a well woman you know. I can't be fabulous all the time.

Oh bugger. The central heating service guy has just arrived and I'm still in my dressing gown. Bye folks!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

funny mummy

Lol. She does have her moments. Last night was a corker. I went round after work and all went well at first, especially, I think, because we'd had a bit of a breakthrough on Monday night -I was too tired to wash her hair and help her with a shower so instead we chatted on the settee, her head on my shoulder, my head resting lightly on hers. Ahhh.

I digress. So, after tea last night we were taking a breather before the shower when all of a sudden mum said she hadn't seen her watch for ages and started looking for it. One hour later we finally got round to the shower but not without mum's asking me accusingly if I'd had anyone in her home while she was in hospital, rejecting my suggestion that she'd put it somewhere safe and forgotten about it and finally deciding that someone must have been in and stolen it, possibly one of the carers. She felt the loss keenly because a) it was the last present dad bought for her and b) it reminded her of the other watch she'd had stolen in a burglary many years ago - a watch that her Canadian friends and work colleagues in the RAF had bought her at the end of the war, when she was recovering from TB in hospital. That theft still distresses her today because of the sentimental value of the watch.

Shower time passed uneventfully, apart from my getting the front of my shirt soaked while washing mum's hair, although it was odd that she asked me what she was supposed to do with the hand towel I handed her at the end - her routine has always been to dry excess water from her hair and body before getting out of the bath. Her memory really is getting worse - last week she denied ever putting loaves of bread in the freezer to keep fresh, a practice she has followed for at least the last 9 years. By the time I was heading for home, mum was quite cheerful. This lability of mood is a new and welcome thing - in the old days she would have festered over grievances for days.

I had been home about half an hour when the phone rang. A giggly mum informed me that she had found her watch.....under the lid of the sewing machine!

Friday, 6 February 2009


Ta-doh :-(
Never knit when you're tired. Something went horribly wrong near the top of this between bedtime on Friday night and Saturday afternoon at mum's, so I spent all last night pulling out and re-knitting. Just when I thought I'd sorted it out, I noticed that the second and third rhs triangles (up from the rib and next to the lacy bits) didn't go to a proper point, like the first one. So now I've pulled out two thirds of the work above. Grr. Perfectionism is a curse.

Makes you wonder though, maybe Penelope wasn't doing her best to remain faithful to Odysseus, maybe she was just a neurotic weaver.

I'm so excited!

I 've just received an appointment for a transthoracic echocardiogram on 2nd March!

moth-er feckers

I've just had to sew up three holes in my favourite cardigan. Three!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

knitting is the new valium!

I know this because I lasted until 21:15 at mum's tonight quite happily! If you're concentrating on K1, sl 1, psso, you can't also be thinking oh no, not that story again, this is the fifth time in twenty minutes, I'm so bored, when can I go home etc., etc. Result - I get to smile and nod, mum gets an appreciative audience to hang around for longer so remains in a good mood and the knitting itself generates new topics of conversation. Of course this probably means I'm going to have to find the knitting equivalent of painting the Forth Bridge to prevent relapse. Hmm.


Got the results of my chest x-ray yesterday. Apparently everything looked normal. Feh. The 'good' news put me on a downer for the rest of the day. What the hell IS wrong with me? I'm still knackered etc. but with no definite explanation yet. If the cardiologist doesn't find something, don't know what I'll do. I have wondered about depression but surely the Prozac is treating that? It's certainly getting me through the mum minefield without meltdown. And then there's the loud heart murmur which must be due to something amiss.

Maybe its all in the mind. Maybe I'm sick of looking after everyone else and just want to be cosseted for a while myself. Maybe I want to escape to a hospital bed and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL without feeling guilty about it. Its 08:57. Maybe I should go to work now.

Monday, 2 February 2009

its not easy, this knitting lark

I'd nearly finished the back rib when I noticed some major mistakes so had to pull it all out and start again. Now I've finished the rib and 2 rows of the beginning of the pattern and will have to work out and write down how the rest of it goes before I can complete the back - why don't patterns tell you row by row what to do, instead of a couple of cryptic lines about repeating a, most of b and miss out c? If I get stuck, I may just have to scan the pattern instructions and put them up here, for all you experts out there to interpret for me!

It snowed last night! There's a 2" blanket of snow everywhere and it has just started snowing again, very small flakes so far. Yeay!

One day later........

Back to the drawing board. I misunderstood the pattern just as I'd managed an impressive few inches of perfect fancy panels and had to pull it all out again because I couldn't work out which stitches to save. I'm writing the pattern out again, row by row, so it will be easier to follow. Sigh.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

new leaf

Right. I have given myself a proper talking to and am going to stop feeling sorry for myself. Well until there's something to feel sorry about anyway. If! I meant if!

I have bought a pattern, wool and needles and I am going to knit myself a raspberry red waistcoat (for work). I haven't knitted anything since the children were small so that's at least a quarter of a century ago! I'm hoping it will turn out all right as I have a grand plan - to become competent enough at knitting that I can do justice to some of Annie's beautiful fibre. It will also give me something to do at mum's while she's off on one, must just remember to stick corks on the end of the needles.

Here's a funny thing, for the first hour or so of knitting, the thumb, index and middle finger on my left hand (I'm right-handed) went all numb/tingly. Seems to have stopped now. Weird.