Monthly Archives: March 2011

What’s the fuss about felt tips?

Tuesday I needed a short sleeved top to wear to the hospital for access to my PICC line.  For some reason…yeah some reason, like I don’t know, I have a limited number of tops, short or long sleeved.  The reason being I put weight on so buy the minimum required until I get back to being a size 8-10 bottom and size 12 top (due to my manly back and not my womanly front).  I of course anticipate this happening by putting in about 0.5% of the effort Lorna has put into her Thinning Thursdays.  I also anticipate getting a six pack of abs without even looking at a crunch from the corner of my eye – now Crunchies are another story completely.

Anyhoo back to Tuesday.  I did have one top stored in my very, very casual pile eg, for pottering round in the garden and painting.  It had been moved to this pile a couple of weeks ago after a spillage of tomato pasta sauce hadn’t washed out.

Okay you can’t really see the five tomato marks on that pic because they are quite small but they are there – trust me.

So I decided to adorn the top with five additional flowers with their centres covering the stains.  Ta-da! (I couldn’t spell voila.)

It now looks like this again…

Okay for the eagle eyed pics one and three are more than supciously alike, they are indeed the same.  I didn’t anticipate sharing my endeavour into textile design however my creative space is still filled mainly with orange otherwise.

I would also like to say I don’t know what all the fuss is about children and felt tip pens as we can clearly see from the above, if you draw on clothes with them it just washes off!

Other creative spaces are here.


Buddy stages a protest

B was remiss with the shopping last week which resulted in the bag of Winalot Shapes in the cupboard approaching empty without a replacement in sight.

However with going into Liverpool on Friday B was sure this could be remedied. Obviously the protest would not have taken place if this had been the case.

Tesco in the city centre let us down and we had to make the critical decision between their own shapes and Bonio.  We decided that Bud was worth the 39 pence extra and plumped for the Bonio – a decision we would come to regret.

To be fair Bud will generally eat anything and everything, including the kitchen door frame but excluding salt and vinegar crisps and onion.  The Winalot Shapes bag clearly states that ‘your dog will have his favourite’.  I’ve always thought ‘No, Bud just asks for a treat and snaffles it down with no regard for shape or taste.’  It turns out I was wrong.

After suspiciously eyeing and sniffing the first Bonio he was offered he did indeed eat it.  However by Saturday when he had established that this was the replacement for a Shape when he asked for a treat (Bud will tell you about his treat obtaining training in due course) he decided action needed to be taken. On being given a Bonio (which are larger than the shapes I’ll have you know) he took it to his bed, put it down and demonstrated his feelings on the matter…

B subsequently went to the local Tesco under the pretense of doing a little bit of shopping but the prime objective was to satisfy our little Buddy’s treat requirements.

What a catastrophuff*

Yesterday I assured B, who is on holiday this week, that we would be away from the Royal about 14:00.  Now when I thought back to the similar place in cycle one, I remembered that it was in fact much later than this, a little titbit of information I kept to myself.

Off we jollied to the Royal for 11:00, off we not so jollied at 15:35!  (No, at least one of us was still reasonably  jolly.)

Now I distinctly remember asking B did he want to take a packed lunch.  I know I asked him this because I heard myself do it and I heard B say no.  Okay, okay I may have heard B say ‘We’ll see.’ which is his equivalent of ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea but I really don’t want to discuss it in detail at this exact moment in time.’  B on the other hand would like me to submit to a lie detector test to confirm whether or not I did indeed ask said question.  This may have been prompted by the distinct lack of food by 14:30 and the fact that he was offered hospital soup and sandwich at 12:00 which he declined.

I had managed to coerce an Eccles cake from him about 13:30 of which he got about a quarter to go with his choc chip shortbread slice as although I don’t feel naesus (something I associate with lying down and not wanting to move) I have a low level of quesiness from time to time.  I had a slightly higher level of queasiness whilst walking Bud at the weekend and whilst travelling in the car yesterday morning so I asked for some motion sickness tablets yesterday as although Bud would probably turn a blind eye to me parting with food under a hedge I don’t think B would feel the same way about me doing the same thing in the car.  Today I took some poop scoop bags with us in the car after it dawned on me that carrier bags have holes in them.

After getting home I took Bud for a walk and B went to get his mother’s pension from the post office.  After a much needed cup of tea and homemade scone, lovingly made by Auntie En, I decided I really needed a little nap.  The little nap turned into a two and a half hour nap on the settee with B waking me at 21:00 and again at 21:30 so I could have a shower and then refuse an Indian takeaway and volunteer to make cheese and onion sandwiches.

And the catastrophuff – we were heading up the by-pass not 1/6 of a mile from home and I noticed that I only had ONE knitting needle.  I declined the offer of going home for it so we weren’t late and so Bud didn’t get all excited that we were home only to be disappointed when we disappeared again.  So it was four hours and 25 minutes of having, no make that trying to do MENSA puzzles from the two books I had in my bag.  It’s no wonder I needed a ‘little nap’.

Today we had another trip to the Royal to disconnect me from my little Doxorubicin ball at 14:00.  I got up at 07:00 had a drink and then went back to bed to get up again at 11:05 (hey my body thought it was really 10:05 with the clocks going forward at the weekend – well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).

Off we jollied this afternoon to get disconnected, the work of minutes.  We got there at 14:10 and left at 16:15 as I happened to mention a little spot in my armpit that was sore which turned out to be folliculitis.  I now have antibiotics (floxacillin) that are to be taken on an empty stomach four times a day.  Once I start grazing my stomach’s never technically empty.  I wonder if I could get away with setting the alarm for 01:00, 02:00, 03:00 and 04:00?!?!?

* Along lifes meandering highway I, and I’m know I’m not alone, pick up mispronunciations, some made by accident, some on purpose, that become everyday use words.

spasal – spasam

kidiley – kidney

me and you – menu

coronar-ry – coronary

And the word catastrophuff is brought to us courtesy of Sven Goran Eriksson was being interviewed during some football thing, the World Cup or something similar.  The game England or whoever he managed, I personally am that interested in that detail I can’t be bothered to google it, had just taken part in was apparently a catastrophuff.

The general con-census

Yesterday I did have a breakfast of apple crumble from Rustic Fruit Desserts – well actually the recipe was for Rhubarb Crumble with the crumble containing oats, dark brown sugar and pecans.  However mine was apple crumble containing oats, light brown sugar and pistachios – about half the quantity needed because there is a limit to the number of pistachios you can shell in one go.

It was very edible.  And I did feel better as the day went on.

Yes we got cake, not chocolate, but still cake is cake, unless it’s Black Forest Gateaux then it’s blah!  One lovingly bought from M&S…

and two made by a neighbour who is 11 with our initials on.  How sweet is that?

I got flowers off a friend who became a Nan again yesterday – what a great date to be born on…

and they are pre-arranged so I didn’t have to worry about doing them justice after getting them in a vase.

Here’s the card made by my very talented sister in law, Gill (who’s married to B’s brother), who cuts the shapes out on one of those fancy newfangled shape cutting machines.

Anyhoo Gill’s parting words confirmed the consensus that the last thing I should be fretting about is the m-i-l.  So in the interests of my self preservation I’m going to maintain my stance of having nothing to do with the m-i-l and not feel guilty about it in the slightest.  If she wants to be happy being miserable and stuck in the house that’s her business.

B suggested he take over doing the m-i-l’s shopping from his brother.  Gill reckons that the b-i-l will have to interfere, I mean get involved, because that’s the way he is. B had suggested doing the shopping before but not necessarily to his brother – as this is the way they are.  Apparently the m-i-l was being a particular pain in the backside at the moment mithering over my card and then the census form.

So if anyone sees or hears a news article about a pensioner turning up at A&E with a census form stuck where the sun doesn’t shine – we know nothing! Okay?


It’s my blog and I’ll whinge if I want to!

My first thought on waking this morning, well it was barely morning – it was barely light, wasn’t ‘Hey Happy Birthday to me.’ it was about the m-i-l.  Well actually my very first thought was ‘Ahh cramp in my left calf.  Stretch it!’ followed by ‘Ahh, cramp in a thigh muscle I have no idea how to stretch.’ Both cramps were minor and I’m pretty sure the Velcade side effects list mentioned cramps.  (Yes it does along with painful limbs – mmm, not too sure what that entails.) I have tonic water in the fridge.

Anyhow you better look away now and come back tomorrow if you don’t want to read a MAJOR whinge – exacerbated by the fact I got up at 06:55 as I couldn’t go back to sleep.  (I have got an apple crumble in the oven currently as I needed to do something even though I felt slightly queasy.)

I see my Auntie Ann about once a week.  I see my Auntie Eleanor less frequently than that.  I see both of them because I like spending time with them irrespective of there always being some sort of cake/treat involved from both of them. (Lovingly homemade by Auntie Eleanor, lovingly bought from M&S in the case of Auntie Ann).  My Auntie Eleanor is slightly older than the m-i-l at 84 and when I was in the Royal she came to see me twice – a 12 mile one way trip on the bus and she gets travel sick.  She had to be talked into accepting a lift home from B and then Auntie Ann because she doesn’t want to inconvenience anyone.

Whereas although I went to the m-i-l’s and did stuff for her it wasn’t because I wanted to or I liked doing it it was because she’s B’s mum and some sense of duty.

I don’t mind how many times B goes to this mother’s or what he does for her but I don’t want to be involved.  From friends I know this happens in lots of households, the husband deals with his mother.  In an ideal world I would have a mother in law that I wanted to spend time with, that was pleasant to be around, that wasn’t so demanding but obviously we don’t live in an ideal world.

After the m-i-l tried to finish me off in August I said to B that ‘If the only way I didn’t have to see his mother was to leave him I would.  This sounds really dramatic now but at the time it totally summed up how I felt, although I did have to tell him twice!  I still made about 10 phone calls to get the physiotherapist out to her and bit my tongue when all but one thing they subsequently delivered went back.  And I shouldn’t get started on the fact that she won’t do the exercises that the physio gave her.

As we know she never goes anywhere or sees anyone (even when she does) but has been offered numerous clubs that she could go to during the day.  Cooking is an effort but neither her or B’s brother thought that the hot meals subsidised by the company she use to work or having them delivered frozen on a weekly basis, which would have cut down on the shopping that he does, were a good idea.  The subsidised lawn cutting and a cleaner were non starters too, although she does now have a cleaner and finally agreed to the subsidised hairdresser.    She doesn’t now go out of the house on her own, even though she was offered a ramp in place of the steps in front of the house, so she could use a walking frame with wheels, she didn’t want one.  It frustrates me that she’s been offered a lot of assistance but doesn’t want it yet has asked if we’d like to live there and presumably wait on her hand and foot.

If squeamish you may want to look away now

She’s not had a bath for 12 months because she wouldn’t use the bath seat that was provided after she got stuck in the bath – so really that can’t be good can it and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t wash her hands with soap after going to the bathroom.  Just the sort of company you need with a compromised immune system.

Squeamish bit over so you can look back now if you looked away

And the one thing that drives me completely crazy is when she says ‘I wish I was dead’.  I got to the point where I couldn’t hide my annoyance and we had the following conversation after me telling her that I didn’t like it when she said that.

m-i-l:  ‘I wish I was…’

Me:   ‘What, Mary?’

m-i-l:  ‘Have I vexed you?’

Me:  ‘You know I don’t like you saying that.’

m-i-l:  ‘It’s just a saying.  Lots of people say it.’

Me:  ‘No, they don’t.’

m-i-l:  ‘Don’t you ever say it.’

Me:  ‘Considering what’s wrong with me, no, I never say it.’

And now I need to go check on my apple crumble – having taken an anti sickness tablet I may even have some for breakfast it might perk me up.


Velcade, beading and %&*$£”@ outlaws

Off we toddled today to the Royal for cycle 2 of Velcade and Doxorubicin.  I remembered to wear trousers, that’s not to say I went without them last time of course, but that we had the incident with the bum bag full of Doxorubicin stuck up my dress.  This time I thought it looked hardly noticeable tucked under my T-shirt until we had lunch in a restaurant that had a full length mirror in the toilets and it seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.  B advised me it didn’t plus of course people wouldn’t know what was in it so any mugger would have been in for a surprise.

I opted to crochet while we were at the Royal and started on the February patterns for the mystery blanket.  The beads were quite hard to photograph, hence the listing angle, I’m tired but not yet so tired I’m keeling over.

I have to say I liked crocheting the beads in.  It was so easy.  I once knitted a cardigan as a birthday present for a friend, fortunately she loved it, and that had beads knitted in – which was not as easy as the crocheting of beads.

So all in all not a bad day until just when I’ve been the cause of Bernard’s brother putting the phone down on him.  I answered the phone and was asked in more detail than usual as to how I was doing little realising this was pre-emptive of his conversation with B.

Apparently B should do more for their Mum and it would be nice if she came round to ours for her tea sometimes.  B said no on the basis that this wasn’t agreeable with me.  He then went on to say how we did a lot for her after his Dad died but that in the end I’d given him the ultimatum that it was either his Mum or me – at some point B’s brother had put the phone down.

I feel guilty even though B has told me not to and I know that I just couldn’t cope with having her in the house.  It’s not often that I cry and she managed to reduce me not only to tears twice last year but to near hysterics.

And yes I have felt remarkably well the past week and a half but I’ve been able to take things at my own pace without being under pressure to do anything at all if I didn’t want to.  B probably wouldn’t have been thrilled at getting his own tea every night but would have done it if he had to, is more than happy to walk Bud if I don’t even after doing the shopping, the hoovering and cleaning the bathroom (even though apparently the shower enclosure is not in the same space/time continuum at the point in which he cleans the rest).

The bottom line is I just couldn’t cope with the m-i-l being in the same postcode as me, let alone house, on a regular basis especially since she could give lessons in being relentless to the shape shifting terminator from T2 so why do I still feel guilty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Creative Space – Buddy earns his keep

My, or rather, our creative space this week is the ‘garden’ which we are attempting to make into a garden.

When I originally thought about redesigning it from the lawn, path and border it was when we bought the house {cough mutter mumble} years ago (okay 14 this September, although for the first few it remained a garden), I liked the idea of a flowing curvy natural layout, eg

or interlocking circles of lawn, flowers, shrubs, etc.

I realised as time went on that the easiest way of laying out a garden involved nice straight-edged rectangles/squares, especially when I came across the following in a garden book which so neatly fit our garden shape allowing for more lawn close to the house to fill the gap.

So this is what we are aiming for.

B has given himself the job of painting the fence panels – two so far this week, so that just leaves 33 and a half.

Bud is earning his keep moving branches…

and saving us money on a shredder.


I think I may retain one of the features of the current ‘garden’ as a feature.  I may even enter this arty composition for the Turner Prize.

Other people’s creative spaces can be found here.  There’s now pictures and one that drew my attention this week, possibly because of my current increased interest crochet , was this lovely one from Apple Blossom Dreams which turned out to have been  made for a lovely reason too.

A driving dilemna

After going for my blood counts taken on Monday morning I hadn’t heard anything and intended to ring yesterday.  However by the time I’d got back from yoga, gone for a walk with B and Bud I was about to step into the shower at 16:55 when B reminded me so I ended up ringing this morning.

Me:  ‘Hi I came in for my blood counts on Monday and am just ringing to find out when I need to come in again.  It’s Paula Kilgallon.’

Receptionist:  ‘You’re due to come in today for your blood counts again.’

Me:  ‘Nobody told me’ high pitched squeal thinking about how to get there ‘I can come in any time?’

Receptionist:  ‘Yes, see you later.’

Oh, what to do!  Ring Uncle Ray, try the next door neighbours, take Bud out for a walk and then get B to take me when he got up.

B anticipated being greeted on waking up with…

‘Your lunch is ready, cheese and onion on multi seeded brown bread.  I’ve assumed you didn’t want a tomato as well but there’s Red Sky crisps.’  (Highly recommended except they need to change their name to Blue Sky since that’s what I keep calling them and writing on the shopping list.)  Or words to that effect.

Possible new greeting…

Me:  ‘Get your bum out of bed, get dressed and take me to Liverpool.  There’s no sandwich.’

Or I could drive myself!!!!!  I sat gazing out the window pondering the complexities of this decision.  I knew the route well enough.  The ramps between levels on the multi storey car park are generously wide however as B has reminded me on several occasions my Auntie Ann said the turn to get to the entrance barrier was tight and that was in a smaller car.  And what about the way home?  The way B goes requires moving over into sometimes very busy traffic a short distance  after leaving the car park.  Could I do this?  Or I could go the way Uncle Ray does which ends up as the route but where exactly did it become the same way? I was sure I’d recognise it when I got there. Ohhhh, should I… the phone rang…

‘Hi, it’s 7y day unit.  I’ve had a word with the pharmacist and your blood counts were okay so you just need to come in on Friday for treatment.’

The car survives another day without me taking it onto a multi storey car park. Speaking of surviving – little everyday comments can take on whole new meanings in the wonderful world of myeloma such as this…

Me:  ‘Owwww!’  On catching some part of me on something in the kitchen yesterday.

B:  ‘Are you alright?’

Me:  ‘I’ll live.’ Slight pause ‘With a bit of luck.’

B:  ‘Hopefully.’


Crochet Away

Over the weekend I needed a break from the orange – I also need a b key that’s reliable or the receipt for the keyboard but that’s another story – so I did some crocheting from the Crochet Club 2011 Mystery Blanket.

Yes that third one down does look slightly longer than it’s companion and I may have to convince Bud it’s a pull toy.

That’s me caught up with January’s instructions!  Now I just need to get February and March done before April’s arrive in my inbox.  I’ve looked at March’s and my then it’s starting to look more like a blanket and it also served to allay my concerns that I wasn’t going to like it.  There’s eads you know or rather beads – I have to pinch the b’s from the laptop keyboard – it’s hard work.  I wondered if I could manage without them but then we’d have to have a renaming ceremony for Ernard and Uddy.

Hairy Muffins

Following on from my first attempt in January to cut my own hair, disregarding the fringe incident at age 13ish, here’s the photographic evidence.

The before with out of control curliness and a colour that was never naturally mine…

The day after, not very clear but since in the other two I’m wearing my jim jams I just wanted to prove that I do get dressed sometimes…

And last night still sporting the cut from four weeks ago.

I would have expected it to need another trim by now but maybe it’s slowing down before it departs completely!  Typing of which I went for my blood taken this morning, but haven’t heard anything yet about the counts or cycle two staring on Friday.

I also baked today – Quinoa Muffins as per Martha Stewart.  They turned out not only edible but quite delicious.

I substituted dried cranberries for the currants as although I love Fly Pie (Chorley/Eccles Cake – which is not a cake but a pastry – don’t tell Brussels or the name will need to be changed) I’m not a big fan of currants in cake and don’t even get me started on sultanas – blah!