Thursday, 29 November 2012

Bad behaviour

My sister’s new cat, Tuppence, is slinky and dainty.  In fact she looks like butter wouldn’t melt.  Do not be taken in by appearances.  See what happened when a packet of cat treats was left unattended:

(other brands of cat treat are also available)

I too have been misbehaving.  I spent a very enjoyable weekend in a rather wet Monmouth.  I am now drying out – in both senses.  I’m such a little devil that I’m going out again tomorrow night for nosh and booze, but this time I Will Be Sensible.  Maybe.

However the big news of the week is that, at knitting class, I learned how to do cable stitch.  This involves using a third needle and a great deal of concentration.  There is no end to my wonderfulness.

Friday, 23 November 2012

World turned upside down

I woke up in a much better frame of mind this morning (after yesterday’s grouchiness), which was just as well, as my newly improved mood has been sorely tested today.

Firstly, Cyril (the three-legged monster cat) went missing for five hours.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had to abandon my plans to restrict his outdoors meanderings to the back garden.  He may be a fat, three-legged cat but he can jump high fences with gay abandon.  I know when I am beaten.  I have to accept the fact that he likes to roam and just hope he doesn’t roam too close to the Very Busy Road.  There are other neighbourhood cats that have been around for years (Shouty Cat and Big Bad Brown Cat to name just two) without coming a cropper, so fingers crossed that Cyril comes to no harm.  However when he disappears for hours at a stretch I do start to worry.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time today standing in the back garden shaking a box of cat biscuits (the neighbours probably think I have taken up the maracas).  I never knew parenting was this hard!

Did I mention that, when he does come home, he's a smug little git?
Then, money problems – but not in the way you might think.  It’s a very long and dull story but to summarise both I and my employer think I am receiving a state benefit to which I am not entitled.  Over the past month I have phoned the Benefit Bods and written to them but not only do they continue to pay the benefit, they’ve actually increased it.  My employer has decided to deduct the apparent overpayment of benefit from my wages.  When I told the Benefit Bods this today they said it was wrong, that I am entitled to benefit and I should contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.  It’s all making my brain hurt.  I’m not out of pocket, far from it, with both my job and the state paying me I’m better off than when I was well and working!  But this can’t be right, there are all sorts of people being unfairly treated over this particular benefit and yet they insist on giving me dosh I don’t think I’m entitled to.  The world’s gone crazy.  It wasn’t like this when I was a girl.  Have you seen the price of sprouts these days?  I can remember when this was all fields. 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Grumpy update

Since my last post I’ve had a scan and seen the oncologist for the results.  As per bloody usual the main breast tumor is unchanged but unfortunately there is a ‘possible slight increase’ in the lung crap.  The possible increase is so slight that the plan is to wait until January then have another scan and, if the lungs are definitely getting worse, try another chemo.  The oncologist doesn’t think surgery would be a good idea at the moment as it would mean me stopping taking tamoxifen for a while and also may interfere with my three-weekly dose of herceptin, so unless the surgeon throws her rattle out of the pram (the onc and surgeon are discussing me next week) it looks like no surgery for the time being.  Things could be a lot, lot worse so I don’t know why I’m so grumpy about it, but I am.  So there.  With brass knobs on.

I also got grumpy with my knitting.  What on earth possessed me to think I wanted to knit a grey tank top?  It’s too difficult, it’s too time-consuming and it’s too grey.  So I’ve stopped and have started knitting a pink and brown hat instead.

Monday, 12 November 2012


Arty shot taken at Attingham Park yesterday by the other-half

 Hello lowly earthlings.  I have achieved enlightenment.  I am now serene and perfect.  Or, to put it another way, I’ve attended a one day course on meditation.  I’d like to be able to calm myself down when I’m having a major tiswas (without resorting to a sherry bottle and a straw) and thought I’d give meditation a go.  Major tiswases have been in short supply recently but the next couple of weeks will see me having a scan and a scary oncology appointment, so I expect to go into panicky mode as those days draw nearer.  Until then, as well as meditation, I’m also sticking my head in the sand and my bum in the air which works well in seeing off the gremlins and has the added bonus of being handy for anyone wanting to park a bike.

While I’m bragging about my worthy activities, I’ve also attended a secondary breast cancer day run by Breast Cancer Care.  It was a mixture of talks on all sorts of things (medical advances, likely treatments, fatigue, relaxation techniques etc).  It was great to have the chance to meet other people in same (leaky) boat as me (although I was, rather shallowly, distracted by how much one of my fellow attendees looked like Joan Plowright).  The info given was mostly useful although the five minutes spent doing ‘laughter therapy’, when you stand in a circle jiggling about and pretending to laugh, were some of the most excruciating in my life.  The absolutely most excruciating moments of my life were, even though you didn’t ask, the time, age 11, when I ran around the school swimming pool changing room in the nudey rudey suffering from concussion (having slipped and banged my head).  Luckily I do not have a photograph to illustrate this event.

Other than meditation and cancer stuff I’ve been out and about visiting friends, relatives and cats.  Sis no 1 has just adopted a cat from Shropshire Cat Rescue.  She (the as yet unnamed cat) is camera shy, so no photos of her yet but Sheldon, the kitten adopted by my sis-in-law, remains a total show-off and here exhibits how he needs neither meditation nor sherry to relax.  That cat could teach me a thing or two.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A cry for help

Picture of grumpy cat from here
For the second day running I have put clothes through the washing machine without first checking to see if I'd left any tissues in the pockets.  Why me?

Sunday, 4 November 2012


I have been to the best place in the universe.  Here it is:

Oooh  heaven is a place on earth

Sis No 1 volunteers at Shropshire Cat Rescue and, on Friday, I went along to help out.  OK so some areas can, at times be a little bit, em, aromatic, but basically it’s bliss.  There are cats of every age and variety.  There are cats waiting for new homes and semi-resident mogs who mooch about the place in a free-range sort of a way (but with shelter, warmth and food):

Soaking up the sunshine
Being snooty
Helping me out in the feeding station

and then there’s the swanky retirement village for the older cats.  And of course there are kittens.  One of which was adopted by my sister-in-law and her family on Friday.  So all in all it was a very exciting day.  

The kitten has been named Sheldon (in honour of the Big Bang Theory) and is beyond cute.  Here’s a picture of him before adoption in a pen with one of his sisters

And here he is happily ensconced in his new home and ruling the roost within a matter of hours:

As well as cats the Rescue Centre also seems to have a mobile powder-puff:

(I managed to resist coming home without my pockets full of cats, but only just).  

  Apologies for the gooey post.  Normal grouchy service will be resumed next time.  Apologies also for random changes in text size.  I do not understand why it's happened.  It passeth all understanding.