Sunday, 30 May 2010


Ah, Bank Holiday weekends.  The chance to spend time with friends or family, relaxing at home, or braving the traffic to get to the beach.  Mr WithaY and I are enjoying some quality time together, catching up on jobs around the house, doing all the little odds and ends that need seeing to. 

Yesterday was productive and pleasant, featuring a trip early in the day over to the huge Toyota garage in Trowbridge.  My spare set of car keys stopped working ages ago, and I took them to the local garage to get them fixed.  The car was in for a service or something, and they said they'd sort it for me at the same time.  When I went and picked up the car, however, the keys still didn't work.  According to the helpful chaps there, they were "buggered" and needed to be dealt with by a Toyota specialist. 

The spare keys went into the drawer, forgotten about until each time Mr WithaY wanted to use my car, and had to borrow my keys, when I would say "Damn, I really must get that spare set of keys fixed."  And then didn't, obviously. 

Until yesterday, that is. Suddenly enthused, I rang the Toyota garage on Thursday and made an appointment for Saturday morning, expecting to be there for hours.  Mr WithaY said he'd come with me, so we set off in the pouring rain*. 

We were held up for quite a long time initially, as there had been a very nasty accident on the road out of the village.  A head-on smash involving a Landrover (with bullbars) and a much smaller car.  It looked as though the Landrover had been overtaking and the smaller car had come out of the junction and met it face to face.  There were about 8 cars all parked up at the sides of the road, people milling about, and as we finally inched past to freedom, several police cars and vans were powering towards the scene, blues and twos ablaze. 

Despite this, we got to the garage on time, and were greeted by possibly the dopiest young lady in Trowbridge.  And that's saying something. 

Dopy young lady:  Hello there...can I help you?

Me:  Yes please.  I have an appointment at 11 to get my spare car key reprogrammed.

Dopy young lady (backing away, consternation on her face):  Um....go over there (points in the direction we were already walking.)  Go to the counter and ring the bell for the service department.  Over there. 

Me:  Yes, I will, thank you.

So, her job seems to consist of getting in the way of people who are walking to the service department and tellling them to go to the service department.  I wonder if she gets a bonus for reaching certain targets each week.  I thought perhaps she might bring us a cup of tea or something, but no, we never saw her again. 

I handed over my car keys to the nice man in the service department, telling him that the spare set needed to be re-programmed.  "Oh no," he said.  "They probably just need a new battery."  I explained that the helpful chaps at the local garage had replaced the battery and it still didn't work.  He frowned and took all my keys off round the back, asking us to take a seat in the waiting area.  We did, and a few minutes later he was back. 

He handed me the keys, saying: "They just needed a new battery.  They're fine now."  Gah.  When I asked him how much I owed him, he smiled and said "Oh, don't worry about it.  That's fine."  I was touched, till I realised he must have pulled up my records on their computer, and had seen that I paid them almost two and a half grand not that long ago.  I daresay they thought they could spare me a key battery.

We drove home through torrential rain*, then off to the supermarket to stock up on food.  Mmmmm food.  Also bought the Robert Downey Jr version of Sherlock Holmes, which was thoroughly enjoyable.  It had the feel of an offbeat superhero movie, which I liked. 

In the afternoon we paid a visit to Father-in-law WithaY.  He was in good spirits, and gave us the "You're doing far too much" lecture, which we listened to in dutiful silence, before heading off to do Yet More Stuff.   

Yet More Stuff included going to the DIY shop and buying a blind for the kitchen, a wooden Venetian one, something we've been saying we really must do for about 3 years.  Mr WithaY has fitted it this afternoon and it looks splendid.  I cleaned the windows before he put it up, but of course what with all the drilling and so on, everything got covered in very fine dust, including the bloody windows.  Arse. 

Today has been busy as well.  We have emptied out the loft, as we have the Insulation Man coming next week.  There was a leaflet posted through the front door a few months back, offering cavity wall and loft insulation at bargain discount priced, subsidised by Wiltshire Council, so we applied, and are getting the house insulated for about £300, bargain. 

Oh my word we have some shite in the roof.  There were boxes full of random junk from when we moved here, most of which will be taken to the tip.  There were some carrier bags with books in, which I will sort out and either put in the bookcases or take to the charity shop.  There was a ton of my stained glass supplies, all my tools, panes of glass etcetera, so I need to find a safe place for them to be stored.  There was a stack of re-enactment related bits and pieces which we will have to find a new home for.  There were boxes full of empty boxes.  Why?  I have no idea. 

It was like Christmas.  Especially as all the Christmas decorations had to come out of the loft too.  They're currently in the bathroom. 

We also had a long discussion about whether we can get the bear outfit dry-cleaned.  I am loth to take it to the shop unless I know they can do it.  Duvets, yes.  Bear outfits, possibly no. 

Oh come on.  Everyone has a bear outfit in their loft, don't they? 

Other news:  Brother in law is home from hospital, hurrah hurrah hurrah.  Gorgeous guitar teacher, however, is IN hospital after fracturing and dislocating his ankle playing cricket.  He fractured his hand not that long ago** so I think I may suggest that he gives up cricket for something less dangerous.  Rugby, maybe. Or ice hockey. 

*Traditional May Bank Holiday weather

**Well, two summers ago, maybe

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Expensive lesson

I was up in London yesterday, as I usually am on a Tuesday.  Well, they expect me to turn up at the office, seeing that they pay me and all.  The train journey was surprisingly pleasant, the air conditioning has been working during the last few days of "warm spell" weather, so it's been comfortable*.

As an aside, I overheard two of the train staff chatting the other day.  One of them was telling the other: "When it's too cold, everything breaks.  When it's too hot, everything breaks.  Just accept it." 

Anyhoo.  I managed to get half an hour of not-too-interrupted snoozing, so was in a good mood when I got to Waterloo.  I strolled down the platform, and on impulse decided to get a cab to the office.  It was a nice day, the Tube was bound to be stinky, stuffy and hellish, and I couldn't be arsed to walk.  I had a new pair of sandals on and was keen not to get blisters early in the day**.

There was an unusually long queue at the taxi rank.  I joined it, waiting for it to be my turn to do the "Which number do I stand next to?" dance.  I love that.  People who are unfamiliar with the system stand stupidly at the head of the queue, glaring at those who walk past them to the numbers further along the rank, completely missing the fact that they ought to be doing the same thing.  Fools.

Anyway.  My turn came, I hopped into a cab with a nice young cabbie, and we set off for Victoria.  It's about a mile and a half, and usually takes about 10 minutes in a taxi, and costs about £6.  Now that I am bringing my lunch to work I feel that paying for a taxi is allowable, as I am not spending the equivalent of Ghana's GDP in Marks and Spencer on sandwiches, socks and cardigans***.

Now, apart from it being one of my In The Office days, what else was happening on Tuesday?  Hmm?  That's right.  The State Opening of Parliament, one of our many rich, ancient traditions, beloved by all.

Beloved by all, except taxi drivers.  And bus drivers.  And anyone trying to drive around South London, actually. 

The police had closed Westminster Bridge, so the cabbie apologised and said he'd go via Lambeth Bridge.  American readers (in fact, anyone who doesn't know that part of London) may wish to get a map and draw a thick red line along the route we took, possibly using a crayon. 

We inched painfully along the south bank of the Thames, nose to tail in a dreadful traffic jam.  Eventually we got to the roundabout at Lambeth Bridge.  The cabbie was looking anxious, and as we drove onto the roundabout he said "I don't fucking believe it!"

Me:  What?

Cabbie:  I'm really sorry about the language, love, but they've closed the fucking bridge!

Me:  Fuck!

Cabbie:  I know!  Fuck it!

Me:  So where can we go?

Cabbie:  Hmmmm, I could try getting along to Vauxhall Bridge...what do you think?

Me:  I have no idea....I'm not very familiar with London.  (Which is why I am paying you to get me where I want to go, Cockney poltroon.) 

That last bit in brackets was in my head, by the way. 

We crept along another half a mile, still nose to tail in the traffic, sucking up thick clouds of bus fumes, cyclists and scooters weaving in and out around us.  I watched the meter glumly.  It clicked past the £10 mark and we were still a loooooooong way from Victoria.  If I'd had any kind of idea where we were I would probably have hopped out and taken my chances walking the rest of the way, but I know what I am like.  I'd have been lost, lost, hopelessly lost within moments.  And probably either fallen in the Thames or down a hole in the road, never to be seen again. 

I wish I was kidding.

The cabbie swore fluently and quietly under his breath, in between engaging me in cheerful chat about how shocking the traffic was.  We made it to Vauxhall Bridge, sweeping across it at 5 miles an hour, then headed into the quieter roads heading up to Victoria Street.  There were, of course, roadworks on several of the routes we took, making the cabbie perform U-turns and unexpected diversions.  He apologised each time, suggesting that I might in fact prefer to go back to Waterloo and just go home. 

Reader, I was tempted.

We eventually got to Rochester Row, and as he turned the cab into the street, he had to stop to allow two shaven-headed men to saunter across the road.  Neither of them made any effort to speed up, or get out of the way, or even acknowledge that they were holding up traffic.  I know pedestrians have right of way, but the were deliberately being dicks.  And they got dickier.

The cabbie shouted, "Don't worry mate, I'll just drive on the pavement, shall I?"

I thought it was a mildly amusing bit of banter.    I expected a similar riposte from the two road-crossing guys, maybe a V-sign, or similar.  But no.

The older of the two stopped dead in front of the cab and yelled at the top of his voice: "Get out of that fucking cab!  Get out here right now!  Fucking get out of that fucking cab!  Come on!"  His mate stood beside him, also red-faced and belligerent, obviously enjoying being part of the unfolding drama. 

The driver declined.

We drove around the purple-faced yelling nutcase and his simian companion and continued on our way, somewhat chagrined.  Finally, after what felt like about a week, I spotted Victoria Street away in the distance, the other side of yet another building-site roadblock, and asked the driver to drop me off so I could walk the rest of the way.  He agreed, although I did see him check the mirrors to make sure the mad shouty man wasn't running after us before he stopped. 

He apologised again and again for the time it had taken to get almost to where I wanted to go.  I said it was alright, he'd done his best.  The cabbie suggested that the State Opening of Parliament should be a Bank Holiday.  I nodded politely, but secretly thought that might be a bit excessive for everyone who isn't affected by the traffic chaos.  Which would be everyone NOT in South London. 

Anyway.  I paid the taxi fare.  £28.  Twenty Eight Pounds.  It had taken 55 minutes and cost me the price of a nice Chinese, but I had made it to work.  Nearly.  Plus I was almost involved in a huge fight. 

When I got to my desk, half an hour late, people asked me how my journey had been.  "Oh, fine," I lied. 

Other news:  I have lost another pound.  It is slow, but mostly steady, and I have had several people at work say "You look nice today!" and then "Have you lost some weight?" which is very encouraging.

Mr WithaY is being supportive, in his own manner.  I mentioned to him that I was wearing new knickers, a size smaller than my other ones.  He looked at me fondly and said  "Oh?  I wondered what that squeaking noise was." 

*As comfortable as it ever is on the Sardine Express

**Also, I am lazy

***You know how it is.  You pop in for some lunch and come out with an outfit.  And lunch.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Dog days

Hello!  I'm still here, still alive and everything, just not been doing much that I thought was worth blogging about. 

I know, I know, doesn't usually stop me. 

Hot, though, isn't it?  Blimey.  25 degrees centigrade in here, according to my little thermometer on the wall, and that's at 10pm.  There's no point going to bed yet, I'll be far too hot, so I have been painting my toenails, ready to inflict their damask loveliness on all of London Town tomorrow. 

I'm trying not to think about the train journeys.  If the air conditioning works, it's ok.  If it doesn't (a far more likely scenario) it will be two hours of sweaty muggy unpleasantness all the way to Waterloo.  And home again, of course, when it will be many degrees warmer and probably a lot more crowded.  Gah.

But that's enough about nasty, sweaty train travel.  We all know I will be ranting about it afterwards, so why expend energy now anticipating it?

But, yes, sweaty stuff.  I am currently trying out a new venture in armpit-wear.  It is this and it works.  Impressively so.   After three hours in the garden everything was still perfectly dry and fragrant.  I have no idea how it works, I expect I have far sweatier hands now or something, but hey, I can live with that. 

This afternoon we have been mostly Planting Things In The Garden.  These things, among other things:

Runner beans, marjoram, oregano, hyssop and creeping thyme.  There were also two blueberry bushes, which I have high hopes for. 

We've been to see our mates up in Gloucestershire this weekend, having a truly lovely weekend relaxing, eating, drinking and laughing a lot more than we have for a while.  Mr WithaY and I both feel so much better for it. 

They took us to the discount shopping centre at Gloucester Docks, where Mr WithaY bought new sandals.

He promises not to wear them with the socks.  Well, not in public, at least.

Here they are au naturale (sp?):

I bought some very nice tops in the Per Una section of the Marks and Spencer there, hugely reduced, and even better, a size smaller than I usually buy.  I tried on a very pretty skirt, but it was too big. Too BIG.  I was thrilled.  Hurrah for me.

We spent a lot of time fussing over the spaniels.  Regular readers will recall that these same spaniels have committed dreadful atrocities in the WithaY garden when they have come visiting.  The rosemary bush was never quite the same again. 

There are actually three of them, but the buggers were never all in the same place at the same time to photograph. 

Right.  Toenail varnish is dry.  I need to try and get some sleep despite the heat*, and then I can get up at 6 tomorrow without feeling as though it's some sort of hideous punishment.

Other news:  Brother in Law seems to be improving slowly.  Fingers crossed that his recovery is complete and rapid. 

*Yes, I know it's lovely.  And I am really genuinely pleased that the weather is so fantastic.  I am just doing the traditional British "Ooh, I don't like it when it's too hot" thing. 

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Sock it to me

I was doing some domestic stuff earlier today, and was struck by the glory and proliferation of colour that is Mr WithaY's sock collection.

He used to wear tidy grey ones for work, designed to peek unobtrusively out twixt trouser and shoe.  Unless he was Doing Outdoor Things, which meant green socks, often huge jaggy long ones designed to prevent sneak attacks by weasels up your trouser-legs, or the type that you tie up at the knee with jaunty little knitted garters when you are out striding across the moor in your shooting breeches.

I'd just got used to it, I suppose. 

One day, when he was feeling particularly grumpy and fed up he came home from work with a bag from Dent's.  I asked what he'd been buying, as he tends to avoid going shopping, unless it's for Kit*.  Kit shopping can take all day, and he is as happy as a monkey in the chopped fruit section of the supermarket.

He emptied the bag out onto the table, and showed me.


Not just any old socks, but jazzy socks.  Funky socks.  Hip hep-cat socks.  Socks with STYLE.  Socks with ATTITUDE.  Socks of many colours.

Apparently it was time to stop wearing dull socks, and from that day forth he was going to adorn his feet with the finest, brightest, least unobtrusive socks known to man.

He's doing pretty well so far.

And here's my entry for the Turner Prize:

It helps if you don't look directly at them.

By way of contrast, here is a snapshot into my sock drawer:

Please note the blue and (I think) pink socks, carefully arrowed.  Depressingly when you open my wardrobe, it is a riot of colour (except for the almost totally black "work clothes" end of the rail) but it seems my socks are undermining me.  Maybe I need to go shopping too.  At least my toenails are usually a nice bright colour:


Or a cute puppy is obviating the need for socks entirely:

Or I've got my mighty fine slippers on, so socks are unnecessary: 

Other news:  The chest infection seems to be on the wane, finally.  FINALLY.  It's been hanging around more or less permanently since early December, and I am utterly sick of it.  I'm still doing the horrible "cat with furball" noise every so often, but it is becoming less frequent, and the pain in my chest has pretty much gone. 

Other, other news: We are all anxious about Brother-in-Law, who has been taken ill unexpectedly, and is hopefully beginning to recover in hospital.  Love you all loads.

*Kit - all the bits and pieces that are absolutely essential for whatever activity is occupying him at that time.  Fishing equipment, boar-spear components, arcane and complicated diving accessories, Ray Mearswear, camping gadgets, all that stuff.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Give him the chair!

I went into town this morning to pick up my sick note from the doctor's surgery.  Is it still called a sick note?  I think now it's a "Well, ok, you can stay off work, but wrap up warm and come back and see me in a few days, and if you're skiving I'll tell on you," note.

Anyway.  I went and collected it, then went to the weigh-in at Fat Club.  Stayed the same as I was last week, which I was actually pleased about as it's been a weird few weeks and my eating habits have been out of whack.  The antibiotics meant I was feeling even worse than the chest infection was making me, and my appetite had gone, so I was eating for the sake of it, rather than because I wanted to.   What with the stress of poor old Father-in-law WithaY being in hospital, and Mr WithaY and I not being allowed to go and see him with our colds/coughs, it was all a bit much.  So I shovelled down far more bread and honey than I am supposed to.  Comfort eating.  It works in the short term, but then you get depressed because you're a fat bastard. Gah.

Encouraging developments, though.  Father-in-law is out of hospital and back at the nursing home, where he hasn't been tipped out of his wheelchair again.  Yet.  We popped in briefly last night to see him, and he looks better, still terribly frail, but more cheerful, and delighted to see us.

On the way to the weigh-in, I walked past a cafe, outside of which gathers the rank and file of local life.  As I walked past, I overheard an ENORMOUS woman saying to her friend, "Worrrrl, I weren't going to not say nothing, was I?  Was I?  You know me..I says what I think, and if I dunt like something, I tell them, dunni?  Dunni?"

Her friend nodded eagerly, clearly enjoying the retelling of whatever epic encounter this was.  If I hadn't been late for my meeting I would have stopped to hear the rest. 

I have a feeling that the large lady came off best in it.  She looked as though it would take more than a battle of words to defeat her, and I imagine that she'd never even realise if she was taking part in a battle of wits.  She had the air of someone who thinks nothing of picking up a chair and twatting the other party with it to get her point across.

Other news: Watched Avatar on DVD last night. Boy I wish I'd seen it at the cinema. I loved it. Mr WithaY loved it too, and he'd been lukewarm about watching it to begin with.

I want to go and see Iron Man 2, but the reviews haven't been great, and Slyde was less than complimentary, so maybe that can wait for DVD too. 

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Hm, it seems that Blogger is eating comments.  This has happened in the past - I've had an email notification on my iPhone saying there is a comment waiting to be moderated, and then when I login to Blogger on the PC there isn't one there.  Very odd. 

I can even see who it's from and what it said via the email, so it's doubly annoying not to be able to add it to the blog.

So, based on my imperfect memory of the comment, here's my reply:  Mr London Street - you are quite right, it was a shit remake.

Other news:  Mr WithaY and I are both still poorly.  I have been signed off work for another week, as I am still coughing like a bastard, although I am slowly recovering.  I keep thinking I am ok, so try to do something mildly domestic like ironing, or cooking lunch, whereupon I cough till I almost pass out.  It's all very tiresome and unpleasant.

The weather over the weekend was depressing, cold and wet, adding to the general air of malaise and gloom in the WithaY household.  What with that and the carefully-planted beans looking as if they are all dying, it's been a bit sad.

Mr WithaY has been cheering himself up this afternoon by researching Kentucky long rifles online, and I have been looking at guitar websites.  Part of me is thinking I ought to sell my Rickenbacker as I seldom play it, but the part I am listening to says "No!  You'll never find another one!"

One of the many things I hate about having a chest infection is that I can't sing.  At all.  Hell, I can barely speak.  And that means that my enthusiasm for playing my guitar drops away to almost zero, and my fingers soften up and then I get cross when I do try to play because it hurts so much.  Gah.

Well, now that I've spread a little sunshine, I will go and make supper.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Has beans

No news is, well, my life at the moment.  I'm still poorly, although slightly better than I was.  I'm still coughing up hideous, revolting, alarming slime, but there's less blood in it.   I'm still feeling mighty sorry for myself, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

By way of variety, on Friday I coughed so hard that I put my back out.  That was nice.  I was sitting down at my desk, slightly twisted as I was putting something in the bin, and was overtaken by a violent coughing fit.  As I barked and gasped and groaned and wheezed, I felt something in my lower back go "twanggggg", which meant I went "coughcoughcough ohhhhhhhh FUCK noooooooo coughcoughcough."

Today is the first day since then that I have been able to stand up more or less upright.  Mr WithaY has been off work today with a horrible, horrible cold, so the pair of us have been shuffling, wheezing and groaning our way around the house, trying to make tea without one or both of us dropping dead.  It's been like the shittest remake of Planet of the Apes imaginable. 

It's been a laugh a minute, I can tell you. 

On the plus side, I've been feeling less feverish and weepy, so all in all things are improving.   Ah, Spring. 

Other news:  I think all Mr WithaY's carefully-planted bean seedlings are dying, as it's been a bit chilly at night.  We may need to plant a load more.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

It's not Lupus

Still here, still coughing like I am about to turn myself inside-out.  It's just lovely. 

Oh, please feel free to skip this bit if you are easily distressed, or suffer from a snot phobia, by the way.  Or pretend this is an episode of House.  Whatever. 

Actually, if Dr House could spare me a couple of hours, I'd be very grateful. 

Anyhoo.  As a change today, the previously fluorescent yellow matter emerging from every single hole in my head has turned pink, streaked with blood.  I am assuming that this is normal.

The doctor listened to my rattly chest yesterday.  He said: "Ugh.  Well, you've sounded worse," and prescribed me a week's worth of huge antibiotic horse pills.  On closer examination of the leaflet that came in the box with them, I discover that I am potentially being treated for:

1) Acne
2) Lung and chest infections
3) Syphillis

Or, of course, a combination of all three.

The pharmacist came out to talk to me confidentially when I picked up my prescription (almost £8!  Per item!  Free medical care my arse!) to whisper that if I am taking contraceptive pills, I need to take "additional precautions" for 2 weeks.  "Additional precautions" on top of the blood-streaked snot and hacking 90-year-old-man cough, you mean?

What virile chap could resist that?  Especially if the snotty, wheezing, grumpy temptress is sitting on the sofa wearing a huge fluffy pink bathrobe and an expression of sour misery? 

Yeah, you're wishing I had a webcam now, ain'tcha?

I could charge people to listen to my chest rattle.  Hot phlegm action, £8 per 3 minutes. Well, I have to cover the prescription costs somehow.   

Other news:  Father-in-law is still in hospital, but slightly more comfortable today, whatever the hell that means.   We're going to go and see him tomorrow, although in reality it will probably be me sitting outside the ward trying not to spread contagion while Mr WithaY goes to see his dad.

Also, have lost another 3 pounds this week.  That makes 16 pounds in 12 weeks, which I am really pleased about. If I keep it up for another 36 weeks I will be 64 pounds lighter, or 4.5 stone.  Which will be marvellous. 

Last week I put on a pair of plain black trousers to wear to the office, as I usually do.  I did them up and they were a bit loose.  But, one pair of my black work trousers has always been a bit loose, despite being the same size as the others so I didn't worry about it. 

I got to the station, got on the train, got to London.  All was well with the world.  However, as I started walking across Waterloo Station concourse, I realised with horror that my trousers were heading South. 

I grabbed the waistband (through my coat, very chic) and walked ve-e-e-e-ery carefully to the taxi rank.  Well, I didn't dare risk the Underground.  Once safely in the office I begged a safety pin from a helpful colleague and did a MacGyver-esque job of reducing the waist of my trousers temporarily.  Had the trousers been designed with belt loops I'd have nipped over to Marks and Spencer and bought a belt, but of course they didn't.

They are now folded up neatly in a drawer, waiting for the day when I can put them on over the top of another pair of trousers and pose for Before and After pictures.   That day will come.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Medical notes. Again.

Old friends are always welcome, aren't they?  You open the door, plump up the cushions, make them a nice cup of tea.  Then you sit together, catching up on all the small changes since you last met, and maybe a few bigger ones, until it's time to either make more tea or open a bottle of wine.

We ought to cherish these long-standing links with our younger selves.  Make more time to spend with the acquaintances who helped to turn us into the people we are today. 

So, rather than railing and whining at the re-appearance of my old mate Black Lung, I am simply nodding casually at it, wrapping myself in many warm scarves and drinking a lot of water.  In between coughing till my eyes dry up and weeping uncontrollably.

Frankly, among the shite events of the last few days, a recurring chest infection feels somehow comforting and familiar. 

I was at home on Wednesday, working away in my little study upstairs, a loaf of bread baking in the bread machine.  I planned to pop over to the nursing home that evening to see Father-in-Law WithaY, what with Mr WithaY being away and all, and he does like nice home-made bread for his breakfast toast. 

Anyhoo, the phone rang and I let it click over to the answerphone as I was in the middle of some work stuff.  It was the matron of the nursing home, ringing to tell me that F-in-L WithaY had "had a bit of a fall" and wasn't feeling too great.  A bit of a fall?  He can only move one arm, very slightly.  How the flaming bojangles did he manage to "fall"? 

Her message went on to say that the "fall" had in fact been as a result of her lifting his legs up to put them on a footstool, as he sat in his wheelchair.  Fuck's sake.  I'm no engineer but I understand the concept of leverage.  Fulcrums.  Wheels.  Lift one end, the other will go down.  Look at a seesaw.   

I got in the car and went straight over there in a panic, to find F-in-L in bed, in a lot of pain, shocked and distressed.  Well, you would be if you'd been tipped over backwards onto your head, wouldn't you?  I spoke to the nursing sister on duty, who was helpful and reassuring, asking what the doctor had said.  Turned out that the doctor hadn't actually been out - they'd spoken on the phone.  I queried that, and hey presto, ten minutes later the doctor arrived.  The doctor was charming, careful and thorough, and said she would call an ambulance as F-in-Law needed to be x-rayed. 

So, poor old F-in-Law was taken to Accident and Emergency at Salisbury, apparently was seen several hours later, and was sent back to the nursing home at 1am.  No bones broken, thankfully.

However, each time I went to see him over the next few days he was still in a lot of pain.  This culminated at 2.30am on Saturday morning when the nursing home called us at home to tell us that he had been taken back to the hospital.  The nursing sister (a different one) apparently sounded a bit panicky when she rang us, despite F-in-Law having expressly asked her to leave it till the morning to call us.  After a phone call like that in the wee small hours, you don't get back to sleep, do you?  So we lay awake, wondering what the new emergency was, and Mr WithaY rang the hospital an hour or so later. 

Without going into too much intimate detail, it was nothing too terrible, but we didn't find this out for a day and a half, in which time he'd had a CT scan and been poked and prodded about by pretty much everyone in the hospital, it seems.

The Bank Holiday weekend has been a merry-go-round of rain, cold, trips to the nursing home, then the hospital, interspersed with me coughing alarmingly.

Tomorrow I am going to make an emergency appointment with the doctor, because I am buggered if I am going to have another 8-week bout of bronchitis.  I don't think I ever really shifted it properly from the last time.  I've been coughing on and off since February, although not as badly as I was over the Christmas holiday.  No blood-speckled lace hankies as yet.

I'd say it was a pain in the arse, but so far my arse is unharmed.

So far.

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Mr WithaY is back, safe and sound, thankfully.  He is still exhausted after two weeks of late nights and early mornings, but is very glad to be home.  Of course, the weather has taken a turn for the worse, as it's a Bank Holiday weekend, but other than a bit of gardening we had no real plans.  There is the possibility of a trip to Salisbury to see Iron man 2 tomorrow, but we'll see how we both feel.

I have developed a hacking cough, which is nice.  Well, it must be almost three months since my last chest infection sort of almost cleared up, so I am obviously due another one.  Gah.

The Black Lung tends to appear when I am stressed, I assume that my resistence is lower or something.  Whatever the reason, it is a mighty pain in the hole*. 

On his triumphant return yesterday, Mr WithaY and I decided to go out for dinner with some friends.  We went into town and tried out a pub which has fairly recently changed hands, and has a good reputation for food.  Well, all I can say is, it is a thoroughly well-deserved reputation. 

There were four of us, and we had three courses each, two bottles of wine (between us, not each) plus a round of drinks at the bar, and it came to about £30 a head.  The food was superb.

I had a starter of grilled goats cheese with caramelised pears, chutney and salad, which was utterly delicious.  My main course was a steak with perfect, handcut chips, mushrooms, home-made onion rings and a fondant tomato.  Nom nom nom.

But, the piece de resistance for me was the pudding.  Check this out:

It's a honey and lemon posset, with home-made shortbread.  Mr WithaY chose it, and it was fab.  This was mine:

Chocolate torte with a little sort of mini-tiramisu on the side.  Forgive the rather grainy pics, I took them on my phone in low light.

Other news:  Still (mostly) doing ok with the new eating regime.  Lost another 3 pounds last week, making a total of 13 pounds in 11 weeks.  I am happy with it.  Not sure how it'll be this week, after last night's meal, but hey.  It was worth it. 

*The lung hole