Sunday, 28 October 2012

Telling tales

The slipper of shame,  Picture from here

My winter coat was ancient and tatty.  So much so that the other-half was ashamed to be seen with me when I wore it, walking 10 yards ahead of me (rather than the usual five yards).  So, a couple of days ago, I bought a new coat.  When I got it home the other-half took one look at it and declared it a ‘chav coat’.  Thanks a bunch.  So now I feel uncomfortable in my new coat (and the old one has already been taken away by the bin men).  In a pathetic and spiteful attempt at revenge I will reveal the other-half’s most embarrassing secret.  He has just bought a pair of slippers from Marks and Spencer.  Mr Rock and Roll lives dangerously.

While I’m talking about embarrassments, I got told off by the vet last week.  I took Cyril (the three-legged monster cat) for his annual injections and was informed that he is a kilo overweight.  I don’t know what a kilo is in real money but, going by the sternness of the vet, I think it’s quite a bit.  Oh the shame.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Knitty Nora

I know it's a terrible picture, but never mind the quality just admire the length

There’s nothing to this knitting lark.  Look I’ve knitted about three feet of scarf!  I can’t actually stop because I don’t know how to cast off, but hopefully I’ll be initiated into that mystery at knitting school tomorrow.  I can’t wait!  Everyone will be stunned and impressed by my scarf prowess.  I expect to be borne aloft shoulder high through the town by my class mates, cocking a snook at the grumpy lady in the wool shop as we go past. 

Last week, as the class knitted and nattered, it became clear that there is one employee at the wool shop who is universally loathed.  Unfortunately I was served by her when I bought my wool and needles.  As I hadn’t got a clue what to buy I simpered on about how I was a new knitter and needed help.  I expected a warm wooly welcome into the knitting sisterhood, possibly involving fruit cake and being shown a secret room full of adventurous tea cosies.  Instead she scowled, grunted and pointed me towards the scratchiest wool in the shop.    

Anyway soon I will finish the scarf and I will need a new, more challenging project.  Maybe something for the summer.  How about this:

Picture from here

I’ll be the belle of the beach.

It’s not just knitting that I have mastered.  I have an empty ironing basket (for the first time this year).  I even ironed the skirt with the awkward pleats and the linen trousers which require ironing at about 1000 degrees to stand a chance of getting the creases out.  I paid the price for my ironing smugness though.  I left a drawer open while putting things away and Cyril (three-legged monster cat) did some rearranging for me.  

In other news Discombobulated Towers has become a crime scene.  On Friday night a passing twonkhead smashed one of our sitting room windows causing Cyril and I (who were sitting nearby) to go into orbit.  The police came out (it must have been a slow night for CSI Shrewsbury) and added insult to injury by saying that Cyril was ‘chunky’.  Chunky?  How dare they!  We resisted the temptation of saying he’s a great deal slimmer than a lot of policemen (even though it’s true).

So there you have it, knitting, ironing and dastardly deeds.  The excitement never stops.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The wrong trousers

Hurrah!  Today I got final approval for my retirement from work due to ill-health.  While it's a bit of a strange feeling being officially on the scrap heap, I’m looking forward to being a lady who lunches.  Tomorrow, by way of celebration, I will be bagging up all my ghastly work trousers (not a uniform as such but they scream office wear) and sending them off, with no regrets, to the charity shop.

During the break I’m having from chemo, as my oomph returns, I’ve been up to all sorts.  I’ve been for lunch with J at the Corbet Arms in Uffington (yummy).  She’s been back to her old sixth form, Atlantic College.  The photos had me green with jealousy as, to put it simply, it seems she went to school at Hogwarts while I went to a 1960s glass and metal monstrosity (Me?  Chip on my shoulder?  Never).  I should add that I didn't envy the open air swim every morning which was part of the curriculum.  Open air swim?  In Wales?  No chance.

I’ve also had lunch and a gossip-fest with C and been to see R and her super-cute newborn little boy.  It's a tough life.

As well as all this socialising I’ve been continuing with the knitting class.  I am making a pig’s ear out of the simplest pattern in the world (a very easy scarf).  Also I haven’t learned how to cast-off yet so I may have to continue with the scarf forever.  But I am enjoying it all in my own weird way. 

At the weekend I went to Benthall Hall (a local National Trust house) and strolled around in the (chilly) sunshine.  

If anyone is thinking of what to get me for Christmas, this would do

The sun was out but it was definitely autumnal (my vest was well and truly tucked in)

The other-half got talking to one of the guides and ended up volunteering to do some gardening there.  This will be much grander than working on the allotment which, incidentally, is still producing runner beans at an alarming rate.  So much so that the other-half was looking up recipes for runner bean soup today.  Talk about plumbing the depths!  I can’t say the idea gets my taste buds excited.   

What has been getting my taste buds excited is a) the ability to taste things again (chemo gave me a sandpaper tongue) and b) being allowed to eat all sorts of things which were off the menu during chemo (due to the lowered immunity).  I never thought I’d be thrilled by being able to eat an apple with its skin on but these days I’m easily pleased, not to mention the joy of potato skins and soft cheese.  Yes, yes, I am going to restart the healthy eating regime soon, don't nag.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Serious stuff with side helping of cuteness

Today is Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day.  For more info see

I've read elsewhere on the internet that around 30% of breast cancer patients go on to develop secondary breast cancer (which is incurable) but only 2% of funding is put in researching this area.  I think these figures are OK but I'm too idle to check so don't yell at me if I've got it a bit wrong.

To end on a flippant but cute note, if you'd like to see what happens when you combine a mummy cat, kittens and a kid's slide click on the below, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What I did on my holidays

So I spent a week in Devon in the sunshine, rain and wind.   

Good points of the holiday included:

Staying in an eighteenth century cottage in a secluded wooded valley

We just had the bit on the right (we're not made of money you know)
 A virtually deserted scenic (but very rocky) beach 10 minutes walk away

Pretty but a bugger to walk on

More cats than you could shake a scratching post at

And visitng Appledore, a picturesque and eccentric town

Bad points included:

Somehow managing to get a sunburned nose.

Very short hair, no eyebrows, no eyelashes and a sunburned nose do not a good look make

And the repercussions of eating an iffy luke-warm pasty bought on a Monday morning which had probably sat around in the shop all weekend.  Luckily for you I have no photos of the intestinal turmoil caused by this culinary delight.

Back home

Cyril, the three-legged monster cat, stayed with sis no 1 during my absence.  He was very sulky about coming back home, obviously preferring my sister to me.  Once home he hid under the bed for eight hours.  Normal service now seems to be resumed.  He even returned to his plane yesterday which had been ignored for several weeks

In between unpacking, sticking loads in the washing machine and draping the radiators with wet clothes (it’s like a sauna at Discombobulated Towers) I’ve been knitting.  Big thanks to S who succeeded where the knitting teacher had failed and managed to show me how to cast on.  I had knitting school this morning and although I am still the class thickie I could at least do the basics and happily clicked away with my needles chatting to the lady next to me, now all I need is a guillotine.

Finally, on a medical note I had another dose of herceptin at the hospital today, start taking tamoxifen tablets tomorrow and will be seeing the surgeon on Friday.  It’s all go go go (which was pretty much the case after the dodgy pasty).

Saturday, 6 October 2012

At the seaside

Clovelly, Devon.  It was a long way down to this harbour and an even longer way back up again.

I’ve been away for a week with my bucket and spade.  Expect a thrilling ‘what I did on my holidays’ post shortly.  But you’re spared for now as I’ve got unpacking to do, washing to load in the machine and, much more importantly, there’s a takeaway meal here that needs my urgent attention.