Tag Archives: the mother in law

Creative Space Crochet Club 2011


The craft project of choice that I took on my surprise ‘get a bug in your blood – get a free holiday’ trip was the Crochet Club 2011 Mystery Blanket – basically because it was to hand and was in a little storage box.  B loves putting things in carrier bags when we go anywhere so was slightly put out when we left for the hospital and I wanted to keep my crochet box au natural.  (I loath to admit it but he gets it from his mother – ‘Do you want a carrier bag for your knitting?’ ‘No.’ ‘It would be better in one.’ ‘I managed to get it here without one.’ ‘We’ve got this one, it’s a nice one!’ ‘NOOOOOOOOOO.’ – well you get the idea fortunately B has learned not to be so insistent but the urge to bag things still lingers.)

Now I didn’t feel like I got that much done considering I was in for six and a half days but with popping our for a wedding, visitors and general chatting with fellow inmates, I mean holidaymakers, in retrospect I don’t think I did too bad..

I had real trouble with one of the half circles and had to undo several rows several times.  When the second one was a doddle and I analysed the first it turned out that the problem was me, I had five spokes in the centre instead of four.  Since the outside measurement was the same, due to some severe tweaking I’ve left it.  (The old adage about it not being spotted by a man on a galloping horse applying.)

I waited to do the outside of the semi circles until last Friday when I was feeling more compos mentis as I thought it was doing to be really, really hard – it turned out to be so simple and the string of interlocked circles just curved round with a simple row, mostly of double crochet (single crochet – US) either side.

On Sunday when I came to block the pieces before sewing another two strips together I encountered a problem.  I believe it’s spotable even to the non crocheter…

After checking the measurements of the straight piece and the zig zag it transpired I was only 1 cm out so after contemplating re-crocheting the zig zag I bascially stretched it until it fit – it would have to have been stretched a tad anyway so I just made it a tadddddddd.  This resulted in these…

which brought me up to the end of May’s instructions.

We have now entered into the realms of June…

and am up to adding to the second semi circle…

and this would be why I don’t do much knitting intarsia (colour knitting but not true fairisle which by law only has two colours on one row).  I find it really, really messy.  I’ve tried these…

I’ve tried wrapping it into tiny balls and even wrapping it round my thumb and little finger into small skeins that pull out from the middle and solve all this but nothing works well other than cutting the yarn off into lengths that you can just pull out of the surrounding mess but as you don’t know how much you are going to need that’s not really a viable option.

But hey, it looks like I will get it finished before the end of the month – famous last words!

Other Creative Spaces can be found here.

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Happy Birthday Bernard! Happy Birthday Bernard!

Well we didn’t get a phone call from the m-i-l about the card but look what B got when he called to see her yesterday…

one picked by me and one by his brother.

Our visit to the GP this morning resulted in blood test being sent off with results to them evening, things getting prodded and stethoscoped, blood pressure being taken (with B asking if he could have his done! cheeky monkey). As my temp was down to 37.4 this morning, I felt tired rather than ill and the thought that more antibiotics may not be a good idea without knowing exactly what the root cause was we are waiting and seeing.

And I may have mentioned once or twice before that I love our GPs well now I love them just that little bit more.  I am under doctor’s orders to take it easy this weekend – how fantastic is that!

Mother in Law Calling (as in ringing – what else!)

Two weeks ago, on the Tuesday, the m-i-l rang and I ignored it.  I listened to the message to make sure she hadn’t fallen and couldn’t get up.  Then the m-i-l rang again and yet again I ignored it but again listened to the message.  And then the third time – this was all in the space of about an hour and a half – so quite spread out really for when she wants something – I answered it.

M-i-l:  ‘I’ve phoned twice!’

Me:  ‘Oh yeah.’

M-i-l:  ‘Have you been out?’

Me:  ‘No.’

M-i-l:  ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying.’

Me:  ‘I’m saying that I haven’t been out and yet, due to the wonders of caller display, I didn’t pick up the receiver and say ‘ello.’  Well you and I both know I didn’t really say that I just thunk it, and as it happened I didn’t get chance because the m-i-l didn’t pause for breath and carried on…

M-i-l:  ‘I need some Voltarol.’ (anti-inflammatory pain cream)

Me:  ‘Don’t you get that on prescription?’

M-i-l:  ‘What do you mean?’

Me:  ‘You get it from the doctor.’

M-i-l:  ‘Oh, no!’  Now I know full well that she has indeed in the past had a huge tube on prescription because I saw a dispensing label on it and I’m sure you would need a second mortgage to buy a tube that size without a prescription.

Me:  `Well’ and bear in mind this was the Tuesday after the stomach bug weekend so I couldn’t really be ar… fussed ‘could No 1 Son not pick it up for you with your shopping?’

M-i- l:  ‘Oh, yeah.’


M-i-l:  ‘Actually, I wasn’t ringing you for that.’ I had to admit I thought she was ringing to instruct me to get her a birthday card for B.  ‘I need a birthday card for Bernard.’  Woman’s institution still working then.

Me:  ‘Okay.’

Well with one thing and another I haven’t really been in a position to get one from either of us, without a significant effort which I didn’t feel like making, until yesterday.

So I bought our cards and decided the simplest way to get the m-i-l’s the four miles from ours to hers was to post it!  Look some things are better left to the postman – he gets paid for it.

I popped a note and the card in an envelope and sent B and Bud off to the post box on the way to their usual walk.

Now I knew this wasn’t gonna be straightforward and fully expected at least one of the following…

The m-i-l to ring and say that she has got her cleaner to get the card when she goes for her a pie!!!!!!

The m-i-l to ring and say she had had a note through the door saying they couldn’t get something through the letterbox

The m-i-l to ring and say £1.69 (I left the price sticker on and it’s not like I included a SAE and remittance advice) was too much for the card and if she had gone for one herself she would have gone to the cheaper card shop

The m-i-l to ring and ask how was B gonna get the card

What I didn’t anticipate was a stumble at the first hurdle.  Ten minutes, if that, after setting out I heard B and Bud return.  Thinking something dire must have happened I whizzed downstairs.

B:  ‘It wouldn’t fit in the post box.’

Now to be fair the post box in question is set in someone’s garden wall and does have a small slot however with some skill and manipulation its surprising what you can get in.

Me:  ‘The card doesn’t fill the whole envelope, fold it over and then if it wedges, stick your hand in and give it a tap.’  I am always a little dubious about this I must admit, since I read about someone sticking their hand in a post box that had some short of anti-take back your post device and they and the post box got to know each other quite well over the course of the next five hours.

B: ‘But…’

Me:  ‘It will fit.  I used to post survey reports in there, you just have to be creative.’

B:  ‘But…’


So now I just have to wait for the phone call from the m-i-l when she gets back from her Wednesday club – I’m betting it’s going to be…

M-i-l:  ‘Whose Birthday is it?’

Me:  ‘Bernard’s.’

M-i-l:  ‘When is it?’

Me:  ‘Tomorrow.’

M-i-l:  ‘Oh, yeah!  I need a card.’

Thankful Thursdays – the Mother in Law!

Since Creative Space Thursdays are taking a holiday until after the Holidays I thought I’d jump on the Thankful Thursdays train for a one time only day trip.

I know some of you are mother in laws so in the interests of your sanity you may wish to navigate away from this page NOW!

So I’m really, really, really, really, really grateful that I haven’t seen the mother in law since August – okay August this year but it’s a start.  It runs a very close second to someone finding a cure for myeloma!

And how did I manage this arrangement, well following on from the m-i-l trying to finish me off or at the very least tip me over the edge (here), the following morning she rang to say…

m-i-l:  ‘I was thinking, I’d have that mobile hairdresser Bernard mentioned’

me:  (Ahhh, that would the one I suggested five months ago and numerous times since!) ‘Okay.’

m-i-l:  ‘I’ve got my coat on.  I was going to go round the corner to the hairdresser.  Should I go?’

me:  ‘Well do you feel like going?’

m-i-l: ‘No, not really, but I’ve got my coat and shoes on!’

me: ‘Well, if you don’t feel like it, don’t go.’

m-i-l: ‘Oh!’ (Because someone just assumed that someone else would drop everything, like going to pick up yoga-ing retired vicar and go to armchair yoga, and drive 4 miles to their house to take first someone literally 200 feet)

me: ‘I’ll ring about the hairdresser.’

m-i-l: ‘Oh!’

And that simple conversation pushed me well and truly over the edge into uncontrollable heaving sobbing sat on the kitchen floor (so I didn’t wake B up).

So after contemplating the various options the only viable solution, that didn’t involve me getting arrested, that I could come up with was to leave Bernard.

I did disturb B, not on purpose, when I came back upstairs to get stuff to go out so he got informed of this ultimatum whilst trying to get his beauty sleep!

me:  ‘If the only way I don’t have to see your mother is to leave you I will do it.’

Now over the years I have whinged, no complained is really a better word, on numerous occasions when we have been to her house or rather theirs when my father in law was still alive because it was a fortnightly Friday night (THE best night of the week) trauma (I should really describe her culinary/hosting skills at some point).   This is the only reason I can think of that he didn’t grasp that I meant it from saying it once.

Later in the day…

B: ‘Well maybe when you’re better…’

Me:  ‘Hah, technically myeloma isn’t curable so I think that’s what’s called a loophole!’

B:  ‘Now don’t be like that.’

Me:  ‘What do you not understand?  If the only way I don’t have to see your mother is to leave you I will do it.  Or… maybe you could go and live with her?’

That seemed to do the trick and I haven’t seen the m-i-l since August and apparently I look better for it.   I have felt slightly guilty but I’m living with it.  However she is coming over on Boxing Day and, I may not have mentioned, she hasn’t had a bath since about March as she refused to use the bath seat I organised.

Oh, and she doesn’t like dogs so has no desire to meet Buddy.  Darn I may have left it a bit late to start training Bud to bark/growl/generally go berserk on command because I’m pretty sure that would have come in handy!

Tomorrow I’m off to Liverpool for my Zometa infusion with a friend who is a mother in law and one I would really, really, really, really, really like to swap mine for!  Mmmm, children can get emancipated from their parents – I wonder if daughter in laws can do something similar!