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Feb. 23rd, 2014

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My aim every Sunday: stay in bed until midday. Success today. It's my one luxury.

Went to mum & dad's for Sunday roast, of course the sherry came out so I've now got a banging headache. Two glasses of sherry and two glasses of wine, I'm turning into a lightweight.

And I needed to draft a letter for them so I had my laptop plus three bottles to carry, didn't fancy walking with them so I drove over there. Which means the car is still there, and I need it tomorrow. Planning is not my forte.

He's HOW old?

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David Tennant - 30-odd years old.
Kyle Schmidt - mid-20's, plays Henry Fitzroy.
Henry Fitzroy - 400-odd year old vampire in the show Blood Ties.

C has professed her undying love for both David Tennant and Henry Fitzroy and we are discussing which one she prefers.
Me: So - David Tennant or Henry Fitzroy?
C: Hmm... Henry Fitzroy. I've got more of a chance with him.
Me: Why?
C: He's closer to my age.
Me: He's over 400 years old.
C: Yes, but he only looks 20-ish. David Tennant is over 30.
Me: But David Tennant is real. Henry is fictional.
C: David is married.
Me: Henry is FICTIONAL.
C: So?
Me: Headdesk
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1. The illness I live with is: Hypermobility Syndrome (HMS)
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2009
3. But I had symptoms since: childhood
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: remembering not to pick up heavy things (including shopping bags!)
5. Most people assume: I'm fine
6. The hardest part about mornings are: needing both hands to hold the kettle for my tea, and getting the foil off a new carton of milk
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Emergency Bikers
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my laptop, I get so much information from various forums and it saves me going to the doctor to see if new symptoms are part of HMS or something 'new'!
9. The hardest part about nights are: backache, and my hip popping out if I lay wrong.
10. Each day I take: 8 tablets (5 for allergy, 3 pain pills)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: have tried a chiropractor for my back, am waiting to see an osteopath.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: invisible - although it makes it hard when you don't LOOK ill, at least people can forget about it when I am sitting in a group. Nothing worse than NOT mentioning the 'elephant in the room'!
13. Regarding working and career: I have been a stay-at-home mum for 5 years, am now looking for work but have to be mindful of what my limits are.
14. People would be surprised to know: how much pain I am in a lot of the time - I don't show it, apparently!
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: having to change so many tiny things that I just can't do any more.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: have a baby (at the time I hadn't been diagnosed so it wasn't an issue, but looking back, I'm not sure I would have been willing to get pregnant knowing the potential problems).
17. The commercials about my illness: are non-existent.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: line dancing. Was told in no uncertain terms that I HAD to give it up. And running upstairs.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: being totally independent.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: posting on message boards and making new friends there
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: go rock climbing
22. My illness has taught me: to think before I do anything
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: you're too young to have joint trouble.
24. But I love it when people: respond to my request for help with no judging, just get on and do what I need.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: what doesn't kill us makes us stronger
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: don't show off your 'bendy' tricks to your friends, you will live to regret it
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how few people have heard of it
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: gave me a chair without me asking, because I looked like I needed it.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: people assume that if you don't look ill, you can't be ill. It would be nice for them to stop making assumptions.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: thankful that you cared enough.

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I saw Cathy on Saturday; I've been on this diet for a month now, and she thinks that in a couple of weeks I should be able to start adding back in the foods that I only showed a weak intolerance to.  Basically, if it's a dairy, egg or wheat/rye intolerance, it could be triggering the other reactions, and I've been egg, wheat, rye and dairy free for a month.  So as of next week I can start eating more normally again!

She also picked up another home blood test for me, I'll be doing that just before I go to see her in August.  Fingers crossed that some of the reactions have disappeared.

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Remarkably messy.

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My daughter’s bedroom is a constant source of entertainment for me.  I am astounded at the enormous mess that can be created from the tiniest amount of effort on her part.  And I am amazed at the amount of effort (on my part, naturally) required to clean it all up again. 
 
When she was two, it was tissues.  She had an endless fascination with tissues, and would sit for hours carefully ripping them into tiny, weeny shreds, and spreading them over ever available surface.  I, as the super-modern ever-patient mum, had to remind myself that she was merely indulging her inquisitiveness, as I spent the next three days picking tiny white shreds out of the carpet.
 
When she was six, it was games.  Counters, dice (or is that die?  I can never remember the plural), tiny models of people, tiny white wishbones and apples (Operation, anyone?), any and every component of a game would have to be taken out, examined, and abandoned on the floor.  I lost count of the number of plastic bags I had lined up on a shelf, each containing a selection of brightly coloured bits of plastic and card; if we ever wanted to play a game, we needed at least an hour’s notice so we could retrieve the appropriate bits from the bags.  We should have paid the neighbourhood kids to do a scavenger hunt - give each kid a board game with all the bits missing and a pound for the first one to come back with all the playing pieces.  Although, come to think of it, with the number of times we had to go ‘hunt the counters’, it would probably have been cheaper to ditch all the bags and buy the games again.
 
Now she is a glorious 13.  Yes, we are the proud parents of a Teenager.  If ever a word deserves to be capitalized, it’s that one.  Her room is a certifiable disaster area.  You know those Super Party Poppers, the ones that are the size of a kitchen roll tube, and you twist them and millions of sparkly bits of confetti and paper streamers shoot out and settle everywhere like multicoloured snow?  Well, her room looks a bit like someone has done that, with a Mega Party Popper the size of a Ford Focus, and filled with books, paper, pens, clothes (clean AND dirty, of course), soft toys, sweet wrappers, CD’s, and various electrical bits and bobs. 
 
Yesterday me and Mum rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in.  Six hours and several cups of tea later , her room is beautifully neat and tidy.  There is a bed.  That should’t really be news, but I haven’t actually seen it for at least a fortnight.  The carpet is beige - I did vaguely know this, but it’s so long since I’ve laid eyes on it I’d almost forgotten.  I have a full cupboard of towels again - a bit strange really, as I asked her a few days ago if she had any towels in her room and she assured me she didn’t. 
 
The most satisfying part of the day was the last half hour when we bagged all the rubbish that we’d tossed out of the doorway.  A total of eight bags (four were recycling, so we can at least claim to be ‘green’).  I am just a bit concerned that the cat seems to have vanished too…
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There’s a somewhat surreal quality about the first week of September.  In the last few days of August the house is full of laughter, noise and scrambling feet, as children make the most of the last few precious days off school.  And then suddenly, after one manic morning of uniforms, brushing hair and packing lunches, the house is silent and empty.  I always feel a bit lost the first day of term; after six weeks of lazy mornings, days out, holidays, suntan lotion and getting sand out of places sand really shouldn’t be, I am left standing in the kitchen with a cup of coffee, wondering what to do with the endless childless days ahead.  Of course there’s the ubiquitous laundry pile that never seems to get any smaller, and the house always needs tidying and dusting, but after all the mayhem and fun of the summer, termtime seems so drab and monotonous.

This year I am determined to do something different, something I have always wanted to do but never seem to have had the time.  I have enrolled in a local Indian cookery course!  The lovely tutor, Saira, assures me that even the most amateur cook will be able to produce delicious, beautiful Indian meals.  I would settle for ‘edible’, as my most notorious ‘kitchen experiment’ was even rejected by the birds and wildlife in our rural garden, and had to be removed by my husband.  With a spade.  So, come September, I will be waving my daughter off to school, and embarking on an adventure of my own - hopefully to emerge, six months later, with a newfound skill in the kitchen and a repertoire of fantastic Indian recipes that will be the envy of all my friends. 

I can’t wait for the first time that my husband suggests take-away for Saturday tea.  I will leap into action, flying around Tesco’s and filling my trolley with nutritious, healthy chicken, vegetables and spices, and then I will disappear into the kitchen and two hours later - Voila!  A fabulous home-cooked Indian meal!  My family will gather round with gasps of admiration and eagerly devour the feast… er, no, that’s not right.  Who am I kidding.  My husband won’t care if the food comes from my own fair hands or the High Street Tandoori, and my daughter will wrinkle her nose and request fish fingers and beans. 

But I don’t care.  I will have learned something NEW, just for me, and I will be proud of it!

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Last week Charlotte was messing about with chalk on the patio.  Take one lovely pink and blue chalky paving stone, add one daft cat who likes to roll on the ground, and you get this:



Nearly a week later, he is STILL pink.

He is most affronted when we laugh.

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Veggie Sunday....

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April arrived in England today, 26 hours late but she got here!  And we just found out tonight that she's a vegetarian - guess tomorrow's dinner of roast chicken won't be a hit then!  Poor girl, Pam and Tony are traditional English all the way - meat & 2 veg.  I printed off the Sainsburys range of Linda McCartney veggie food for them, hopefully they'll manage to get her some good food for the next 2 weeks.

I'd already done all the shopping for tomorrow, so had to whack together a bean bake for her instead, it should go OK with the rest of the Sunday roast trimmings.  Red kidney beans 'smashed' (slightly coarser than mashed) with an egg, tablespoon of flour, parsley, mixed herbs, seasoned salt and paprika.  Baked for 30 minutes, it should be able to be sliced.

I miss being a vegetarian sometimes.  I love the food.  I'm married to a dedicated carnivore though...

it's WHAT time???

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Phone rang at 4:15am!  Anita wanted to see if we had Tony's mobile number, April's plane got delayed several hours and she was only just boarding in Chicago; Tony was expecting her to land at 6 and Anita couldn't get any reply at Tony's house to tell him NOT to go to the airport!  So at 4:30am I was sitting in bed playing solitaire and drinking tea.  Waaay too early.

Tony rang later - Anita had managed to speak to him, April's plane was actually cancelled so she's not even leaving until tonight, due to land tomorrow at 6 instead.  She's in a hotel in Chicago.  He's still bringing her up on Sunday to see us for the day.

Good.

I still owe her for giving me CHICKEN POX on my HONEYMOON! 

She was only a year old at the time, but still.  I owe her.

allergies uuuuuurrrrgh.

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OMG last night was sooo bad.

Yesterday me and mum did the spare room thing.  Involving lots of dust. 

I went to bed stuffy and sinus-y and a bit wheezy.  Woke up oh-fuck-early and Could. Not. Breathe.  I mean, seriously, wheezing and my nose was completely blocked and running at the same time and I had a sinus headache and was sneezing and itchy eyes and itchy throat, jeez.  I ended up taking double doses of antihistamines and all my asthma meds and paracetamol, I think I fell back into bed around 3 or 4.

Woke up this morning still feeling like complete crap.  Mum came round mid-morning and we did the rest of the spare room plus our bedroom and the upstairs hall, I was a bit half-hearted TBH but at that point I couldn't have given a flying fuck about the cleaning. 

I did get the last of the laundry done, and when Charlotte went off to dance class I fell into a hot bath for half an hour. 

On the plus side, my house looks amazingly good - upstairs. 

Need to get the downstairs sorted by Sunday!

I love my mum, I do, I do...

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Mum came round today to 'help' me clear out the spare room.  I asked her to help in the hopes that we could turn it into an actual, you know, Spare Room instead of the current complete tip we use as a dumping ground for everything that doesn't have a home.

I wanted it sort of... clean, with things neatly organized.  I had a vague idea that I would like to get rid of the huuuuge bookcase in there, move the slightly smaller but nicer bookcase from the upstairs hall in there instead, and fill the spare wall in the upstairs hall with the lovely big mirror currently reflecting the back of the spare room door.  I also mentioned it might be nice to move the old office cupboard/drawer unit into the laundry room for storage.

Now this would normally have taken me several weeks of sorting a bit at a time.  Mum arrived.  Five hours later, we have emptied the bookcases, rearranged the spare room, made a big pile for charity/resale, another huge pile for the attic, and completely rearranged the laundry room. 

Oh yes, and in the middle of this I discovered the drainage pipe from the washing machine was leaking so I had to 'snake' it and then block it higher to stop it leaking.  And dismantle a cupboard and reassemble it again. 

I ache.

Woo hoo summer is here!

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Don't blink or you'll miss it.

Entertaining day watching Steve take the trampoline down and put the pool up... in the advert breaks in the Cold Case marathon.  Frenetic activity in 4-minute bursts.

Breakfast was courgette (home grown!), mushrooms and tomato.  Lunch - ham, carrot and orange pepper, with soy yogurt.  Dinner was roast chicken, roast potatoes, cabbage, cauli, green beans, broccoli, swede and peas.   That's 10 veg so far, with a whole pineapple waiting to be chopped up for supper.  Nom nom nom.

Ferrari!

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Woo hoo I got to drive a Ferrari 360 today at SILVERSTONE!  Yup, I got to drive the hallowed ground of the Hangar Straight leading into Stowe... it was amazing!  I got a cheesy video too.  Well you gotta, don't you?

Obligatory photo of very fast car:

Yes, that's me, going into Stowe at 80mph.  And yes, I know Lewis Hamilton does it at 125 but he's in a Formula 1.  So there.


Cathy was asking if I had problems fitting in 9 fruit & veg a day.  Well today was an 'off' day as we left home at 7 and didn't get in till 2pm, with no chance to eat while we were out. 

Breakfast: sauteed courgette and mushroom (home grown courgette courtesy of my dad!)
Lunch: grabbed on the go - hot & spicy chicken wings.
Dinner: Boiled bacon, cabbage, cauli, carrots, dessert was figs and papaya

So that's 7.  I'm just about to have blueberries and banana sliced into a raspberry yogurt.  That makes ... 9.  Without even trying.

There ya go, Cathy.  That's how I do it!

Anyone interested, Cathy is at www.healthnutritionltd.co.uk/


OUCH!!!

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Gave blood today, no problems, went shopping afterwards, came home... then ripped off the huge plaster they stuck over the teeny tiny hole.

HOLY FUCK THAT HURT.

<cries>

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Stratford!

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Stratford-upon-Avon was AWESOME.
Lots of photos of StratfordCollapse )

A gorgeous place to visit.

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Mmm fruit...

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So Cathy and I had a good session today, she gave me lots of ideas and I hit Holland & Barratt 10 minutes later.  Millet isn't just for budgies, apparently!  Have to try it cooked with 'milk' for breakfast.  If I start tweeting and preening, someone force-feed me chocolate, please.

She wondered how I was managing to get 9 portions of fruit & veg a day; I told her about my favourite breakfast of courgette and tomato (I call it poor mans ratatouille) and she gave me the 0_o look.  Wonder why...

I hit up Morrisons who had a load of fruit on the 'quick sale' shelf - physalis, figs, blueberries, strawberries, papaya, pears, raspberries - mmm what a shame it's all perishable and needs eating.  Life is tough.

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chef deserves a medal

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Yes I know we paid megabucks for the weekend, and expected excellent service, but really, Chef did a great job.  I had lovely food all weekend and I could eat all of it!

It was murder, mystery and mayhem, just as we expected.  Lots of blood and gore (and booze), then a lovely Sunday after the big weekend.  We headed into Stratford and had a wander around, what a great place, lots of photos of old buildings - it reminded me of Canterbury.  Then back to the hotel for a lazy afternoon in the spa.

The only 'fly in the ointment' was my bloody knees.  I tripped over last week (klutz) and hyperextended my left knee, so have been favouring it, which means I've put too much strain on my right knee... I took a walking stick with me but only needed to use it Saturday for all the nipping around solving clues. 

New Sky installed today - Sky + HD.  Will figure out how it all works eventually...

Off to see Cathy tomorrow!

Vet fail.

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Bloody vet.  Our usual vet wasn't there so we saw a different one; she doesn't listen, and she can't handle cats.

I told her Bailey won't take tablets.  I told her Jane our usual vet uses the plastic tablet-giving-thingy.  She said "I don't like that" and proceeded to try to give him the tablet with her fingers.  She nearly lost her fingers.  He's sitting there puffed up and hissing and giving her the Devil Glare, so instead of letting him settle down, she puts the tablet in the plastic thing and fucking tries again.  Like he's not stressed enough.  He was SNARLING and attacking her.  So she says she'll just do the examination first and tries to look in his eyes etc and you can see he wants to KILL THE VET.  His ears were flat to his head and he was just pissed as hell.  And then she tried to look in his mouth and she was surprised when he tried to bite her.  No shit, sherlock.

So I said, why don't you hold him and I try?  Because, you know, I have actually managed to give him tablets before.  No, she says, and she gets the vet nurse in to hold him.  He nearly had her fingers AND the nurse's fingers; the nurse was Not Impressed and gave the vet the Evil Eye of Doom before leaving.

Vet decided to give the worming drops on the back of his neck instead.

Smart move, vet.  The only fucking smart move you did through the whole exam.

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Urrh drugs.

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Lovely lunch today, out for Lel's birthday, but was on so many drugs I nearly fell asleep.  Bloody hell.  30mg cetirizine, then piriton, then benadryl, all trying to stop sneezing/wheezing/itching. 

Got the advance menu from our hotel, they are being fab and working round my diet, it all sounds lovely!  Will be taking soy milk, soy cream and some fruit and 'safe' chocolate just in case though.  Must remember to do extra shopping before we go.  Should be a brilliant weekend of murder and mayhem! 

Cats to vets tomorrow.  Oh joy.

Livin' up to my name.

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I went to bed last night and Could. Not. Stop. Fucking. Sneezing.  I even woke Steve up with it.

Painted Marie's house tonight; I have paint EVERYWHERE including in my hair.

You call this a diet?

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I have lost 4lbs since last weekend!!!!

I haven't even been dieting - just following 'orders'!

Yesterday I had wheat-free sausages and tomatoes and blueberries for breakfast; pumpkin seeds to snack on; goat's cheese and blueberries for lunch; WOO HOO PARTY FOOD for dinner - chicken drumsticks, sausages, salad, peppers, salsa, fruit salad, pineapple, grapes, wine!

Today I've had raspberries with Alpro custard; lunch of Munchy seed mix (pumpkin, almond kernels, sunflower seeds), goat's cheese and celery; roast pork with roast potatoes, broccoli, cauli, cabbage, green beans, carrots, half a bar of dark chocolate for dessert; tea is ham and goats cheese roll-ups (like a wrap but with lettuce instead of tortillas), and strawberries with sugar.

How the hell am I losing weight on that!

I've also noticed that my skin is a lot less dry than usual.  I'm used to washing in water only, and two minutes later my face feels tight and horrible if I don't slap on moisturiser immediately.  It's just... stopped being like that.  Hmm.

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Dawn chorus is very melodious.

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On Weds night I was wide awake, sat up faffing on the computer and watching crap on t.v. until around 3.30am then went to bed and listened to the dawn chorus.  I woke up just before 7am, wide awake.

Thurs evening I couldn't keep my eyes open.  Fell asleep on Steve's shoulder at 9.30pm.

Friday night, wide awake again.  Went to bed at 4am, it was already light out.  Fell asleep, I dunno, sometime after 4; woke up at 6.30 completely wide awake, no chance of getting back to sleep.

Last night, we were at a party but I was knackered by 11pm, went home and woke up at 10 this morning.

WTF is up with my sleep patterns?

You know you're a mum when...

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...your daughter slaps a sticker on your forehead when you're waving her off to school, and an hour later you look in the mirror and wonder what the hell the square blue thing on your face is.

OMG last night's dinner was to die for.  Rainbow trout stuffed with prawns, scallops and bacon.  Lil'un had sausage cos fish are, you know, EVIL.  

Very, very sniffly today - allergies are playing up.  Yesterday too.  Itchy throat all day and I woke up with same this morning.  Living up to my lj name today.  30mg ain't touching it.  Hitting Piriton now.

Aaagh torture!

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I have this voluntary job, serving tea and cakes to the local over-60's club. 

Today I had to prepare and serve lovely ginger cakes, chocolate logs, madeira cake, jam tarts, teacakes, biscuits... and thanks to my diet I wasn't allowed even a nibble.

Thank God for dairy-free chocolate!!!

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Diet fail on day two!

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Change of diet does Odd Things to my insides.  Very windy (!) but I'm not sure its just wind IYKWIM.  So I didn't dare go out today.

I woke up with an itchy throat, I've had it off and on all day.  With sneezing.  And a bit of wheezing.  WTF?  I started the day with 30mg Cetirizine and a Piriton FFS.

Bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms for breakfast; raspberries and omega sprinkle; sardines and mackerel with tomatoes for lunch.  And then steak and mushroom pie with potatoes, carrots and green beans for dinner.  FAIL!!!  In my defence, I didn't get to the shops today so I was stuck with what was in the freezer.

Just finished a bowl of blueberries with Alpo custard. 

Alpo Custard is food of the gods.  Just so you know.  Mmmm nom nom.