Category Archives: general life

Is it me?

I was upstairs when B shouted me.

B:  ‘Can you come here for a minute?’

Me:  ‘I’ve got no pants on.  I was going to have a shower.’ – Look, I still say shower since it does involve the shower but it is more of a hose down at present

B:  ‘Well can you put some on and come down.’

Thinking he wanted to show me something outside that would disappear unless I saw it at that exact moment and trusting it didn’t involve a neighbour standing in the kitchen I wandered downstairs without my trousers on – I had my knickers on and my cardigan was quite long.

I arrived in the kitchen to find B with a stern expression on his face and his arms folded across his chest.

B:  ‘Look at this.  I opened the box and the first three were like this…’

B:  ‘I haven’t got the receipt but it says Wilko on the box.  They were only £1.59 (ish) but I feel like taking them back.  They open on Sundays.’

Now I think he both expected and wanted me to say ‘It’s not really worth the hassle is it’ but considering I’d had to come downstairs and was standing trouser-less, but socked,  in the kitchen I said

‘Yes, but its the principle.  I think you should take them back.’

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Cast your mind back to last June

What were you doing?  We were fortunate enough to go to Lorna and Mike’s wedding.  I had blood poisoning at the time and had gone into hospital on the Friday as the wedding was on the following Tuesday but was given day release to attend – as detailed here and here – but very, very briefly I hadn’t been up to making the dress I intended to wear and being in the Royal couldn’t go and get my back up dress.  As it turned out my eldest nephew went to buy it for me and they didn’t have it in my size so I trusted his judgement as to another black and white dress and this is what I ended up with…

A very nice choice I think we all agreed and at the time I mentioned this was no less remarkably in light of, not said nephew’s age of 19, but his choice of fancy dress (well I think it was fancy dress) for a party at Uni shortly after.  I somehow didn’t get round to posting the pic – well here it is now…

What’s worrying is the only thing he had to buy was the… vest!

The Fire

It wasn’t a big fire, it wasn’t even a dramatic fire – well I guess depending on your definition of dramatic (B may dispute this but the couple when I lived at home involving a tea towel above the grill catching light and a pan with a bit of oil in were more dramatic as far as I’m concerned) but it was definitely a fire.

Last Saturday, even though I was a tad tired, I rashly said to B that if he liked I’d make pancakes for breakfast on Sunday.  Needless to say he was quite enthusiastic and pointed out that it had been quite a while since I’d made them.  To be honest since Christmas B has done the vast majority of the cooking and has got very good at doing steaks – beef or lamb.  I just take over as head chef if it involves anything that couldn’t be defined as a steak – apart from frozen scampi.

So Sunday I made pancakes.  Now I can’t say that I started this task with tons of enthusiasm and I also can’t say that the meal we had them for was breakfast although it was our first meal of the day.  I only entered the kitchen, in my jim jams straight from bed well maybe not straight I’d probably used the bathroom first, at 12.03!  I know, what a slob!  It is the longest lie in I’ve had in years and years.

So before I could change my mind I set to and mixed the pancake batter in a half asleep manner but let’s face it it’s not sending a rocket to the moon – or curing myeloma so although I couldn’t remember the exact quantity I usually make (was it one and a half cups of flour or two) it’s not like anyone’s life depended on it.

I’d shouted upstairs to see if B wanted a milky coffee and when he said he did I’d popped the milk in the pan and set it on the gas hob while the pancake pan was warming up.  I invested, not much, in an actual pancake pan.  It’s very flat with a tiny lip round the edge and means that even the first pancake is perfect but the surface is now a bit iffy so I give it a light coating of light olive oil.  In my half asleep state I’d been a bit exuberant with the oil so there was quite a bit heating up.  B then arrived in the kitchen and pointed out that the milk for his coffee wasn’t on.  Now I don’t deal well with mither within two hours of waking up at the best of times and I was really groggy so I believe I may have muttered something about it usually being ready with his pancakes while noticing that the oil on the pancake pan was borderline smoking.  Now I could have removed the pan from the flame but that would have been too easy obviously and would have slowed the process down – even though I knew I wasn’t going to break any records that day.  On a good day I can go from eggs, flour and milk to sitting down to pancakes, milky coffee and orange juice in twenty minutes.  What?  Doesn’t everyone time themselves doing stuff?  Huh?  I think it may have to do with B always asking how long stuff takes to make and getting a bit antsy if I say half an hour and it turns out to take three.  That said, when we did a weekly shop I used to time myself putting it away (three minutes) oh, and when I changed the bed sheets/duvet cover (five minutes).

Right, I think that’s all I timed.  The first because putting the groceries away was really boring and the second to make a point after the m-i-l had told me I was ‘a cheeky bugger’.  I know I was shocked too I mean it’s not like I asked for it…

m-i-l:  ‘We’ve been really busy today.’  It was a number of years ago and my father in law was still alive plus I was still capable of changing the bed without my back kicking off – B does it now and no, I’ve never timed him.

me:  ‘Have you.’  No, I don’t need a question mark as I wasn’t really asking at this point.

m-i-l:  ‘Oh yes!’

Now I wouldn’t have usually asked but since she was always saying she was busy and considering my Auntie En is a year older and at the time looked after her husband, cooked a homemade tea every night (as opposed to anything out of a tin) and made up lunch for one of her sons who’d moved back home along with knitting, sewing, crocheting blankets for charity and going to tailoring or upholstery classes at the local college I did sometimes wonder what the m-i-l’s definition of busy was and curiosity got the better of me on this occasion.

me:  ‘What did you do?’

m-i-l:  ‘We stripped the bed and put the sheets in the wash, then put them on the line and then when they were dry re-made the bed.’

me:  ‘So that took you ten minutes.  What did you do after that?’

m-i-l:  ‘You cheeky bugger.’

Where was I?  Oh yes – the fire.  So the pan was smoking and I couldn’t be bothered to do the sensible thing and take it off the flame… I plucked a few pieces of paper kitchen towel out of the cupboard and whipped them swiftly over the pan to remove the excess so that I could pop some batter on the pan but where should I put the now oily towels.  Oh yes, it’s all too easy to say from the other side of your computer screens that the bin may have been a good idea but B was in the way and I needed to get batter on the pan ASAP.  I couldn’t put them on the worktop as I believe I may have mentioned they were oily and that would have involved more cleaning up so it made perfect sense, at the time not so much now I have to admit, to pop them on the gas burner behind the one with the pancake pan and next to the one with the milk pan.  I then proceeded to switch on the flame under the milk pan – except, as you may have guessed, I switched on the one under the oily paper towels by mistake.

Now I think I may have mentioned in the past that I’m your gal for an emergency but B isn’t your guy.  However on this particular occasion he did in fact deal with it exceptionally well, which was good as I was even calmer than usual – to the point of it possibly looking like catatonic inaction.  I watched as the paper towel burst (which I think describes it pretty accurately) into flames and worked itself up into a quite a flame, at least twelve inches high even after I’d switched off that burner.   I could feel B hovering behind me waiting for me to do something but hey, I figured this was the reason that extractor hoods and wall cupboards have to be a certain distance from hobs.  So although I did think that it was probably quite rational to try and put out the flames since it seemed highly unlikely they would set fire to or even singe anything else surely the easiest thing all round was just to let them burn themselves out.  B however didn’t feel the same and started muttering things about damp tea towels so I figured ‘What the heck it might make him feel better’ and let him run one under the tap.  Now I did notice that the towel ended up more ‘wet’ than ‘damp’ and so took over and extinguished the flames.

All we lost was one pancake and not even as a direct result.  B suggested it might be a good idea to remove the tea towel from the hob, because he’s practical like that, and as I lifted it up a little piece of incinerated paper towel fluttered down onto the uncooked side of the pancake.  I believe the look I gave B implying that this loss was his fault was a step too far.  He didn’t say as much I just guessed from the way he snatched open the kitchen door and stormed off with the soggy singed tea towel into the garage.

I gave him a hug when he came back in because it must have been a bit of a shock – after all it was his first kitchen fire and my third.

 An lookie ‘ere, I finished the little aran cardy, hat and mittens…

B punished me for being bad

He made me watch The Jeremy Kyle show while we ate our lunch!  How barbaric is that?  For those of you not familiar with this high brow presentation it’s kinda like a low brow version of Jerry Springer.  Seriously the people that appear on the show are so, um well, rough is probably the politest way of putting it.  And what makes it worse is that this applies to ALL the guests, not just the ones who are having their baby DNA matched to the 10th possible father but everyone.  There was a show a few weeks back that was about a health issue and the parents looked as though they’d just been asking people for change outside the studio.  I could only think wardrobe was responsible for their clothes as it seemed bizarre that they should look so unkempt too.  Well either that or there is a dress policy on the application form.

Anyhoo what had I done to deserve this punishment.  It’s all the blood’s fault.  I had been feeling pretty good anyway from Tuesday but after the two units of blood yesterday I felt particularly good today.  This resulted in me doing something rash whilst B and Bud were out walking.  In the midst of getting some paper out of the loft to wrap B’s birthday presents I thought ‘I wonder if I could put the boxes of Christmas decorations away myself’, as B has been threatening to do it since well, Christmas actually.

It turned out I could, with a bit of a struggle I admit.  Now I knew B wasn’t going to be happy but I thought it would take him a while to notice they were gone since most were under my sewing table but I was only finishing putting the last box up there when the two Bs got back.  So when we sat down for our watercress sandwiches shortly after I got subjected to Jeremy Kyle and as if that wasn’t bad enough B turned over before we found out if the baby was fathered by the guy who had been on the show once before to tell his then girlfriend that he had a baby with his ex-girlfriend, yes the same baby that his ex-girlfriend was now saying had a 50/50 chance of being his.

Needless to say I won’t be doing it again this year, I couldn’t take another episode.  Although I’ll be safe for the next few weeks.  We got a phone call at six this evening, when I thought I was safe for the day, informing me that there was a bed available at the Royal and I should go in at lunchtime tomorrow.  It’s a good job I’ve only one thing left to do on my list plus it’ll give my back a chance to get out today’s exertion.

To ‘Nearly’ Done List

I’ve nearly done by ‘To Do List’ along with some additional things.  That said when my sister in law rang yesterday afternoon I got panicky thinking it was the hospital and I hadn’t finished it.

In addition to the list I’ve cancelled the laptop insurance for our lost laptop, changed energy supplier, got a better deal on the house phone, added some yarn that’s been lying around to my yarn index, made a dressing gown that was too much of a bargain to leave on the rail into a cardigown and knit/crocheted this…

Some assembly still required

I had two units of blood today so I fully expect to finish my list tomorrow and I’ve told B that with this haemoglobin boost and once I’ve caught up with my sleep tonight he better brace himself as I’ll be so full of beans.

Now usually, although I’m not shy with my opinion, I’m not one to force advice on people but I’d like to finish today with a little bit of marriage guidance for the ladies.

When one’s husband says that the district nurse was at his mother’s tending too a sore on her bottom he may not appreciate it if one responds with ‘A pressure sore?!?  That’ll be because she’s sitting on her arse to much.’

Odd Man Out

I used to love Sesame Street especially Mr Snuffleupagus (or however that’s spelled), the Count counting and Ernie the Grouch – so let’s get all Sesame Street – ‘One of these things just doesn’t belong here, one of these things just isn’t the same.’

Buddy

An orange

Me

Any guesses? Well if you guessed me you’d be right. The connection between Bud and the orange is this…

B has stuck both Bud and the orange with it. After taking Bud to the doggy dermatologist for his allergy related cysts and infections on his paws back in September she suggested that we could try a desensitising vaccine on him. Now I may have been tempted to say no but his paws did look quite sore and there’s also the risk of an infection I could pick up and the other longer term treatment if he needed it involved a medication that I wouldn’t be able to touch, so I said yes.

B took him for his first jab while I was in hospital. The dermatologist said that we could do the rest of the injections at home, there’s about ten in all but B felt that he couldn’t manage it on his own with so he’s been taking Bud back to the vets and the nurse has been doing it. Well, the nurse did the second one and then B did the third under her supervision. On Thursday we took Bud for his fourth and B did that one too. Bud however wasn’t as settled and calm as on the previous occasion – possibly because I was there – and I have to admit my heart was in my mouth when Bud started to wriggle while B still had the needle in. B has decided that he will take Bud back for another one under instruction and then give them a whirl at home.

The nurse had given B the old syringe on the third trip and suggested he practise on an orange which he did. Now when we went to the clinic on Friday I got some anti-clotting Fragmin injections, because of the Thalidomide, and on Friday when I did the first one I asked B if he wanted to do it since both mine and Bud’s are done subcutaneously (under the skin as opposed to into a vein). He declined and maybe it was just as well he did if we take a little looky at the post injection orange…

Back away from the netbook

Seriously technology in our house at the moment needs to carry a health warning – from the hardware to the software (the software probably being me).

The netbook or notebook, depending on which one of us you ask, the manual says notebook but accordingly to B the sign in the shop said netbooks, ended up getting a second return visit to said shop. Boxing Day B took me for dialysis because hospital transport wasn’t available and I’d downloaded a film to watch. I had however noticed previously that there was a ‘problem’ with the sound coming out of the speakers so after a bit of ineffective twiddling with settings we ended up with an ear-phone each and a slight list towards each other so that they didn’t fall out.

Off we traipsed the following day to complain about the level, or rather lack of it, of sound coming out of the speakers with me all prepared to request, if not demand, a different make while staying as far away as possible from strangers and their strange bacteria.  Now to give the IT guy in the shop his due he didn’t at any point give either of us a look which said ‘Oh for goodness sake – what a pair of numpties!’ as he said ‘Speakers aren’t very good on netbooks. They are really designed as a quick and easy way of accessing the internet but I’ve have a listen to it and see.’ ‘Yes’ I said ‘but you can barely hear it.’ And apparently ‘barely hear it’ was the correct sound setting as the netbook only has one  low quality speaker. He did go on to say that some laptops don’t produce much by way of sound but since ours is as good as watching something on the TV we weren’t aware of such problems.  On his recommendation we paid less than £10 for a USB speaker which turned out to be LOUD – so we didn’t have to sit as close together on the Wednesday.

Having mentioned the laptop there’s another technology issue. As you may recall B took the laptop in for some treatment of it’s own while I was in hospital. Said treatment by the way had nothing to do with me and the orange pop (soda), the graphics card had bust. The laptop was also due home on Christmas Eve per a conversation B had in the shop and two texts I received – well okay the first text said 25 December but the second one said 24. B called for the laptop before he called for me but unlike me it wasn’t there to be collected. The shop said they mustn’t have had the delivery yet. Later in the afternoon I got a further text saying it would be in on the 29th. B called on the 30th and guess what – no laptop and so far no text. Oh, but we have had two stories about items left for repair with this shop that got lost.

And then last week I couldn’t remember my email password – I mean it’s not like I don’t use it much. Okay it hadn’t been getting as much use as usual by any stretch of the imagination but really. Mind you this would also tie in with forgetting my blog password while in the Royal. I think this added to the confusion as I was sure I’d changed it to something similar to the email. After numerous attempts B suggested that I should check the notebook with passwords. I however was insistent that it wouldn’t be in there because I’d changed it while away from home. Fortunately I ignored my own insistence and lo and behold it was in the book because I’d changed it a few months ago when yahoo told me my account had nearly been spammed or something. As it turned out I was just one capital letter shy of getting it right first time round but then I had started to think about it which let’s face it sometimes with passwords, and card pin numbers, is never a good thing.

And I still haven’t got round to adding the netbook to our home broadband so I keep needing to top up the mobile broadband – how lazy can some people be?

Oh, and then there’s been the fun and games with my new mobile phone. I didn’t really want a new phone, I liked my old one. ‘Then why get one?’ I hear you ask. Well, because during my stay at the Royal I spent on my pay as you go tariff more than I usually spend in two years so I thought it might be a good idea to get something cheaper. Since I couldn’t just move over to pay monthly with my own service provider without getting a new phone I did a little shopping around and found a deal with Tesco for £7.50 a month, 230 minutes, 5000 texts and some internet use which included the following phone…

and although it arrived probably more than a week before Christmas I only got round to finally transferring my number on 29 December but was refusing to spend any more with Virgin so I was receiving with one and sending with the other – which was fun. And I spent at least an hour and a half transferring contact details from my old phone to my new one one day on dialysis last week so at least I knew who was sending me stuff again. I must admit me and mobiles are limited to minimal usage, texting, calling, as an alarm, taking the odd picture, listening to music very occasionally so I don’t want anything fancy from a phone however when I first switched this one on I thought it was defective as I couldn’t get any menu options up – turned out it wasn’t the phone that was the defective one!  I was pushing the wrong button. After persevering and ‘finding’ the right button I decided to give the new phone a go because I hate texting with all the pressing of keys to get a letter and this new phone has a tiny QWERTY keyboard on it so I can just switch off and let my thumb find the letters – it’s so quick.

And the big plus with Tesco is that I can actually use this mobile in the house. Oh, I could receive texts but to send a response I had to stand near the porch window and on occassion actually wave the phone out of the front door to even get a signal and the phone would ring for a call but then cut out unless I pressed myself against a window. Now you wouldn’t think that Tesco would provide better coverage than Virgin.  And its just as well I’m not easily embarrassed as it rang for the first time in the lift with two ambulance men.  One of them checked their phone, then when it was still ringing the other tapped his pocket and then they both looked at me and asked if it was mine.  ‘Oh, it could be I haven’t heard it ring yet.’

And I haven’t even mentioned how we seem to have lost the ability to get Sky TV on the telly in our bedroom. I thought it might have something to do with upgrading to a high definition box but we can still get it in the back bedroom and B’s is showing some reluctance to checking the cable – I mean it only involves getting up on next door’s garage roof.

Fortunately the one thing that does seem to be working fine is the Xbox 360 I got B for Christmas. I hadn’t got him anything and accidently clicked on an advert which showed them. So on 22 December I ordered one from Amazon and they delivered it, along with a game from Auntie Ann, on the 23rd – can’t knock that for service. However the game that he considered I’d got for myself (and he wasn’t completely wrong) is the one that he keeps playing and he’s way better at it than me – it would appear I just don’t have the patience. It all goes a bit pear shaped and I just want to go back to knitting – and this hasn’t been without boo boos recently either, but more on that again.  Although if B says ‘D’ya know what I mean?’ one more time while informing me of something in relation to the game he could be getting a boo boo of his own.