Thursday, 22 March 2018

Things can only get better

I give thanks for a very therapeutic visit from Rachel, catching up with snow stories, home spun philosophy and knitting patterns, eating lots of comfort food and (for me) some very welcome acupuncture with special attention to my knees, which have been a lot less sore today.

I give thanks for dreaming I was in Shetland. I would dearly love to be there ine day... But in the meantime I thoroughly enjoyed thinking that I was.

I give thanks for getting going earlier than I wanted to be, to be ready to meet the courier on the doorstep with my supplies...and for my confirmation letter re next week being there too. They have altered the pre-op instructions on this one to something far more reasonable given the anaesthetic I might have. I'd been rather aggrieved to hear originally they expected me to be virtually nil by mouth from midnight when it was only my arm that was going to sleep...the following afternoon! Now I can have tea and toast before 7. Much better!

I give thanks for declaring today a day of rest and doing lots of delicious dossing around. We all live in a world of uncertainty. Things can only change, whether we perceive the changes as for the better or not...let alone the waiting to find out what the changes will be, or the surprise when we discover a change when we'd allowed ourselves to believe some situation would stay the same. It keeps you on your toes but that can get a bit wearying sometimes, and it's can be good to retreat and regroup awhile...

I give thanks that this time last week I was on my way to spring...

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Money for nothing

Spurred on by news of more coin changes I give thanks for emptying my spare change stash and counting out just over £10! For this, and the sunshine, finally coaxing me out to the bank, when I'd limbered up after lunchtime.

There isn't a branch of my bank in town so I give thanks for pretty journeys on public transport. It's amazing how much snow there still is here and there, and I particularly love the white stripes along the hedgerows trimming the fields. They seem very festive somehow, like streamers or bunting,  or sometimes in a group of strange angled lines, like ancient chalk figures on the hillsides.

I give thanks for turning my spare cash (and a freshly changed old ten pound note I discovered the other day)  into some Body Shop shampoo I like that they've discontinued, some fabric for my patchwork and some water filter cartridges...and felt very pleased with myself, albeit very tired.

I give thanks for making it home in time for a curl up with a cup of tea and a hot water bottle and some on line catching up. For something very easy mostly organised to make for tea, and that Rachel is coming to share it and give me some acupuncture afterwards. After that, rather a lot of nothing at all is planned...

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Mad world

Tell you what I want, what I really really want... My back and knees to stop hurting! I give thanks my joints have been very kind for a considerable length of time and for understanding this contributes to it seeming a terrible trial now they're giving me trouble again - I'm simply out of practice! I give thanks for arnica gel, Actipatches and paracetamol...they help a little and every little helps!

I give thanks for my friends who offer to go the extra mile(s) to deliver me to the hospital and back* For their patience and forbearance when the dates keep being rearranged. Today I had a fairly intelligible call to say my operation had been cancelled for Thursday and they'd let me know when it could be rescheduled again....Also that yes, I had been down for an appointment on Monday that was cancelled but that yes, that had been superfluous and that would not be! I give thanks for my forbearance too... The member of staff who is leaving these difficult to interpret messages has pretty much lost her voice and can only talk in croaks and squeaks at the moment so I give thanks she hit upon the plan of texting later with a new date.

I give thanks for finally getting through to the Tesco helpdesk, which has understandably been rather busy of late. I wanted to report a faulty food item, but my request got lost in translation at first as the lady on the end of the phone heard the 'microwave' in microwave rice and wanted me to call Tesco Direct as she only dealt with groceries not appliances. I did lose a bit of forbearance then I must admit...

I give thanks for the sunshine melting the snow enough to go out and get some bits and bobs...after spending some considerable time working out the least knee aggravating route. Even if I get buses or cabs there are the still the bits between to be considered where it's a bit like fox and geese river crossing puzzles trying to find the way to carry the least weight the shortest distance. Sometimes two trips are better than one. Sometimes it's double the trouble! For much laughter with the ladies at the library and the use of the loo and computers there to free up some internet megs at home for catching up with the programmes my TV box failed to record (and getting a free sit down too!)

I give thanks the shops and their customers seem to have managed this last ice age a whole lot better than last time so that I was able to buy everything I wanted and more...For a cab soon available from Waitrose to carry me and my swag swiftly up the hill...

*And the one who sends me books too!

Monday, 19 March 2018

All right now

Like most folk, I suspect, most of my plans for today were scuppered...I give thanks most of them were of no consequence to anyone but myself!

I give thanks for a long lie in while I waited for my aches to subside and tried to work out what could be salvaged from the schedule - as far as I know I'm still booked in for surgery on Thursday so there was plenty I wanted to get done before I can't for a while. When I finally hit the kitchen for a cuppa there was a rather garbled message telling me my appointment at clinic was cancelled today... Which was a great relief as I didn't know I had one! The number was withheld and with there being no letter I didn't know who to ring and say 'Que?' but it sounded like maybe a follow up for my op in January which seems a bit of a wires crossed waste of time anyway and which I would have politely declined if I'd had a chance to...

I give thanks a lot of the snow has melted, delightfully pretty though it was. I wondered about braving the great outdoors but it would have been frustrating if I made it to places and they were shut. I give thanks that nothing was urgently required, including answers to some questions. For the practice in patience and letting go of needing to 'know'...I always require more of those!

It's still too treacherous for driving after dark thus no acupuncture again, so I give thanks for feeling well... And, as I ate an enormous and very late lunch, that I don't have to think about dinner...

Um... I give thanks for Tesco bake your own olive bread. You just splash some water on the top, bung it in the oven for a few mins... and try not to scoff the lot! Now I've thought of it I might have to scoff some more...

Sunday, 18 March 2018

I wish it could be Christmas every day

OK, I don't really because Christmas isn't usually much fun for me...but being cosy inside watching the mesmerising snowfall feels rather enjoyably festive! I give thanks I've not had to go out...

I give thanks for my new heater. My new heater is the biz! It is better than the heater that broke and I have been warmer than I have ever been here in wintry weather. It is SO much nicer than being cold! I had no idea what I was missing!

I give thanks for a new pack of my favourite sort of dried cranberries, and adding them to my morning porridge. I give thanks for thinking of Pat whenever I concoct some hot oaty delight. She used to ask where I got whatever flavour I was raving about...and I was always puzzled because you get porridge from the kitchen don't you?

I give thanks for thinking I'd like some granola for a change and hunting for a recipe I'd seen that wasn't full of fruit and nuts and unsuitable for my diet. I don't have a culinary library - how could it be so hard to find? Then it turned my renal cookbook!  I made some straight away...and just about managed to avoid eating it all straight away by hastily whipping up some pancakes.

I give thanks for my ravenous appetite. I need to catch up after being away when I was very good, avoiding lots of tempting but unwise dishes so not eating much at all. Well, that's my excuse anyway! I give thanks for remembering Anu (a dialysis nurse) assuring me, when I was first struggling with the regime, that kidney patients soon stop enjoying their food and lose their appetite. Not this one mate...what can I have for tea?

Saturday, 17 March 2018


I give thanks my kidney problem doesn't stop me travelling about, despite the doctors' dire warnings. Fibromyalgia, on the other hand, would rather I stay still. If you'd seen me in the afternoon you might have thought there was nothing wrong with me... If  you'd seen me a few hours later you might have called an ambulance! So much pain in so many places! This has been my first experience of a budget chain hotel as well, and I give thanks I now know nights in white polyester (or whatever they make their bedding out of) really don't help a bit. Great showers though...and I would have given thanks for a lunchtime check out time if lounging around til lunchtime had been a good idea with the weather to out run.

So today a lack of sleep, an excess of soreness, the biting cold and the delays and dismays of a convoluted rail journey didn't make for a lot of gratitude. In fact I could have wept with frustration when I found myself in a carriage full of seats taken up with coats, luggage, lunches, papers etc and had to ask several times if a place was free before anyone would admit it was and make room. Of course I fully understand the desire to travel in relative comfort, space and solitude and that my lack of desirability as a close companion can work in my favour too when there's room beside me and I politely move my bag out of the way but others scuttle by. This particular train also had the surliest and most unwilling tea trolley staff I've ever encountered so I did give thanks when I finally managed to wrestle refreshment out of one.

I give thanks for all the different sorts of snow I've seen from indoors. My favourite was the one that wasn't falling, or lying on the ground, but adhering one one side of some tree trunks and branches just as if decorated from a spray can.

Feeling more and more glum the nearer I drew to home and all the gloominess of various prospects waiting, I heard my mother's unloving voice in my head telling me I only had myself to blame. But then I realised I had myself to be grateful to too...who else would have gone to so much trouble to bring me a little joy?

Friday, 16 March 2018

Take it to the limit

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to took a while but I finally found my mojo and a cunning plan...I give thanks for that, oh and a day of spring beauty between the beasts!

Since going abroad has been banned, and since some of the loveliest parts of our isles are so hard to reach without a car, I was struggling to think of where to go that would be a bit memorable and different but not an awful lot of hassle for a lone and not very nimble traveller. Until I decided to think outside the box... And the United Kingdom! No passports required and back in time for supper...and I won't tell if you don't.

I know this is not in the spirit of the medical advice given, but no harm done...none of the what ifs happened, and I wasn't the passenger in need of a doctor or nurse on the call over the tannoy...

I give thanks for the sun shining brighter, the sky being bluer and the birds in the park singing more loudly too. The combination of tbese meant I didn't do most of the things I meant to do but just wandered about taking it in. All the more to enjoy next time eh?

I give thanks for spotting a funny moment I wish I'd caught on film. There was some incident in a narrow main street that required two fire trucks and police cars blocking the road. Pedestrians were milling about but I couldn't see anything obvious wrong and wandered off in another direction. Later I went that way again and they were packing up. A young woman in a pretty jumper and skirt just above the knee was talking and filming with a camera on a stand, for local news perhaps. Behind her a chap started winding up a length of police tape. He gave it a mighty tug so that it shot past the reporter lady taking the hem of her skirt up with it!
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