Monday, 23 October 2017

All inclusive

Well, I give thanks for almost enough sleep last night...enough to feel up to getting up in time to get into the taxi to catch the train to Bob's anyway which was the main thing!

Half term travelling can be a tad fraught so I give thanks, though packed, the journey was peaceful and punctual and for nice people next to me including a man who opened my water bottle when I was struggling and a woman who gave me a lovely creamy mint. Also for the Dale Winton-esque station voiceovers so we went through 'bijou' parkway and 'pulsing' city centre!

I give thanks for the trackside sights of the journey - a field of pumpkins, and balls of mistletoe in the trees, a man fishing and a buzzard eating its lunch, magpies playing hopscotch in a station yard and herons, ducks and geese on the city canalside.


I give thanks for this beautifully multicoloured tree by the bus stop - a bit blurry but the bus arrived. For seeing Bob of course, and his new very spacious flat...and for him making me feel welcome and looked after there. I give thanks for the cafe he suggested going to for some lunch having kedgeree on the menu. No cheese, no beans, no potatoes, tomatoes, salad et al...and I like it so a no brainer then! I give thanks for a trip to the wonderland of Ozmen's supermarket where we got rose petal jam for breakfast and hummus and flatbread for tea. Oh and a Portuguese custard tart for me now I'm further from Portugal again and can find one!

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Ready reckoning

I give thanks for another quiet night and morning, though I woke somewhere in between feeling very ill and unsure if I'd see the latter. This can happen to anyone of course, truly ill or just in a fluster of self importance over a spot of indigestion or some such...but, over the last years, with the odds more likely in my case, I recommend turning a heater on, taking Paracetamol and meditating on the pauses between the breath. If your time has come you want to be as comfortable as possible, right? And you might find (as I did) you just wake up three hours later not so bad after all.

I give thanks for being as slow to move and achieve as I've felt the need to be since then. For watching the pigeons whirling untidily on the wind like autumn leaves. For doing my Shaitsu and gradually, gently, tackling bits of housework people might say I could leave until another time, but I'd rather do in case there's more to do at a time when I feel less able. For getting as ready for departure tomorrow morning as I can reasonably expect myself to be tonight...

I give thanks for coming across this entry from Alan Bennett's diaries that strikes a chord in so many ways...

'I'm happy doing what I'm doing.
I'm not always happy with what I've done.'

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Just keep me hanging on

Phew! I give thanks for finally getting the big rest I've been promising myself and which keeps getting postponed or pushed aside. Very necessary, and rather worryingly long...but at last I began to feel a bit stronger again. I give thanks for that too of course!

I had a bit of a to do list of course in my head, and I give thanks for getting a few things on it done...and that there's a fair possibility I may do some more before the end of the day as long as I sneak in a little more lazing around in the meantime... 

I give thanks both a customer helpline I had meant to ring, and an online advice I'd meant to message both turned out not to be open today. That was two things less to bother with for a start! 


I give thanks for making myself some new earrings instead. It's a slow process these days as clumsy AND fussy is not an easy combination! I'm grateful I don't do it for profit any more, but there's still that splendid deep satisfaction in joining the generations of humanity that join beads together for pleasure.

I give thanks for close by personages ceasing to loudly voice and display their displeasure at the difficulties they are dealing with. In fact for going off in a huff elsewhere for some of the time! I give thanks for sending them metta and enjoying the peace and quiet...

I give thanks for storm being quite interesting. Not really as interesting as we'd all been led to believe it might be...but I know I should give thanks for that too!

Friday, 20 October 2017

2 down

Ha ha! I give thanks when I dropped my toast in the bath last night as I was running it, it was before I put the bath enhancers in. Plain hot water on hot buttered toast is fine if you eat it quickly!

For remaining fairly equanimous during an evening of fairly average neighbourhood adversity... and later, when I felt less so and couldn't sleep for all the thoughts regarding these difficulties and the round and round and getting nowhere attempts at a solution, for writing them some of them down in an email and sending them to someone who gave me her card once in case I needed any help. Forcing freeholders to maintain their properties is not really in a kidney patients' advocacy officer's remit, but I gave thanks for letting myself let go of downplaying the situation for once, which I try to do as much as possible for my own benefit as much as anyone else's, so as to avoid dwelling on the dwelling. And I give thanks she wrote back first thing this morning with offers of whatever assistance she could give, which was a good deal better than nothing...or just saying 'Poor you!' I guess, although she's not personally affected by the illness, she has a better idea than most of how hard it can be to summon up the extra physical and emotional energy for battling with extra obstructions when your body keeps begging you just to do nothing.

I give thanks I'd promised my body I'd do the best to do that today...but also for catching the weather report for tomorrow suggesting structural damage might ensue if I ventured forth then instead, so that I finally got out to the PO before nightfall, rainfall etc. I give thanks for great new books to read from Ann and another vintage clothing bargain, this time a little embroidered cord pinafore dress for when I need to have my arms more accessible than they usually are in winter.


I give thanks though beset by as many challenges of the technical age as any who try to engage with it, I am (unlike a surprising number of ladies of a certain age) usually of the opinion I will find a way to do whatever it is I'm trying to do (albeit, no doubt, cack-handedly) and for finally getting a printable PDF of a crossword sorted and a Word document poster converted into a photo to upload to Facebook for the library and its friends.

I give thanks for a burst of live drumming when I had the windows open...and for remembering the buskers in the city the other day. A kind of mariachi tijuana band playing up beat jazz, a solo slow rock guitarist with close female attendant/minder/fan and that older lady who plays the sexiest sax who I'm sure I've mentioned before.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Filling in time

After a call from a meds supply company yesterday evening I give thanks for turning the phone off today. It seems the sicker I get the more running round (literal and metaphorical) I have to do, and I needed an hour or two off to lie in bed...catching up with on line bill paying and 'business' correspondence!

I give thanks around lunchtime I finally managed to get myself out and about again to deposit recycling in the big bins in the car park as we seem to be at an impasse with the council regarding emptying the communal ones here, and collect and process more prescriptions. I was scared while I was at the GPs they'd say they wanted more bloods or another trip to the hospital, and when they didn't and there was just a shared joke with the receptionist, I actually walked away down the path with a fearful glance over my shoulder. The nice long haired lady doctor who wears baseball boots (I'm not biased at all!) was following me out. 'How are you?' she called (Phew! Well enough to be asked not told!) She was a bit confused when I asked how she was in return, saying no one usually does...which we agreed is probably because patients don't see their GPs as people. I give thanks I always try to have a human exchange with all the medically employed personnel I encounter whether they're cleaning the floors or sharpening their scalpel blades prior to incision. They may sometimes be a little non-plussed when I do, but I reckon the world would seem to go round a lot more pleasantly if we all tried to remember a little more often that other people are people too.

I give thanks for passing a little time on one of my favourite occupations at Mima's. No, not eating delicious home made cake...that came after...for filling in holes in one of the exposed old plaster walls at her house. Quite why I love doing this so much I have no idea, but I have done a lot of it over the years and the delight I felt at having the opportunity to do a bit more was undiminished! I give thanks for being slightly helpful in the process, for a very nice lunch made for me, sweet treats from that lovely cut price lemon curd and a lift home afterwards in the very wet and windy weather.


I give thanks for finding some nice non-expensive buttons in town (before the rain) to replace the old man's coat ones on this otherwise lovely non-expensive vintage cardigan. There'd be a better photo if the flash hadn't stopped working on my camera, along with the print preview facility on my crossword compiling software...matters I must continue to work to solve after I've reinstalled the drivers for my printer which have also wandered off my laptop (again). I give thanks for the rich variety of problems that beset me, all the better the keep my brain on its toes, and to avoid dwelling on the more disturbing ones in unguarded moments of idleness...

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Vein hopes

I give thanks today wasn't all about going to hospital for a venogram! I wasn't sure what to expect and when I googled it and the first suggestion was that the following word might be 'painful' I decided not to do any more research... In my head it was just going to be a needle and a bit of contrast in each arm and the main problems were a) that it had to take place in a hospital room I associated with a great deal of previous trauma and b) that they might not find a suitable vein to work with. But that was past and future and I give thanks for trying to make the present moments as bearable as could be...including forgoing a lie in to go into the city centre beforehand and buy myself a couple of little presents!

I give thanks for seeing a man tugged along the station platform by an eager Westie I assumed was keen to meet a family member stepping down from the train. But when they went past us the other way, sure there was a woman walking with them but also another little terrier and the first one was bounding along beside it turning its head to share a canine grin every couple of steps. Made me grin too...

I give thanks for remaining pretty calm when I turned up for the procedure...until the man who gave me my preparation instructions seemed to think I should remove all garments 'as you don't know where they'll want to go in' and also remarked that he didn't like getting too chatty with people as he might get to like them and he knew if they were in that department things were probably not going to turn out well. What??? I give thanks for the woman who turned up after and rubbished the first part anyway so I could leave some clothes on and panic behind. The Prof and his team who did the work were clearly perturbed by this introduction too and I give thanks they were as reassuring as they reasonably realistically could be, and as gentle...though if my veins were easily accessed I wouldn't have been there in the first place and my hands are pretty bruised and sore.

I give thanks for all the cooking and cleaning I did yesterday, so I don't have to do much tonight...eating, snoozing on the sofa in front of the TV and reading a book in the bath are all on the agenda. You might imagine being seriously ill they'd be on the agenda rather often. I guess to be honest I give thanks that they're not...

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Just be couscous

I give thanks for spending some time visit planning with Bob...and whilst knowing not to set too much store by plans and intentions enjoying thoughts of possible good times to come.

I give thanks for last night's supper of garlic butter coucous. Some of the recipe ideas I'm coming up with, well they're pretty good...some I'd even willingly have again... but you probably wouldn't bother unless you were a late stage kidney patient, or one was cooking your tea! This is lush though and I'd eat it even if I could still have my fill of favourite ingredients.  So - for a small portion you melt a bit of butter (or something similar) in a sauce pan. Add a clove or two of chopped garlic and cook for a minute or two. I used smoked garlic...I recommend you do too! Then add a few spoonfuls of couscous (wholewheat is nice) and some chopped up parsley. Stir until the butter is absorbed, and then add boiling water to cover, turn off heat and let cook through.

I give thanks for the extra enjoyment of this dish that came from the guys upstairs being out...until I went into the kitchen to wash up and found either something leaking from their flat into mine or the roof problems spreading into that room. Cue sleepless night as the managing agents have also gone awol citing the freeholder is the cause!

I give thanks for making it to my morning bloods appointment on time nonetheless. For the blood taker being kind when she couldn't and while I was trying to make a merry quip about how ironic it was I'd hoped to merge this test with my vein scan tomorrow and avoid such hassle, merriness eluded me and I began to cry instead. For the light on the sea soothing me afterwards...


I give thanks when the phone rang later and I thought 'If this is about blood I'm going to get a little terse'... it was the estate agent re a viewing! Cue a trip up a ladder with a paintbrush and hair dryer later maybe? Maybe...if I have the energy which seems unlikely somehow. Apparently it's a man looking for a buy to let. Perhaps it's the freeholder coming for a snoop...or to offer me 2/6 (a historical monetary term)...just because he can.
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