a weekend with family

Untitled

Clare (daughter) and Harry (GrandToad) came up to spend a few days with us. They arrived on Friday, and after settling in and having some lunch, we took ourselves off to our local Pearson Park; we’re lucky enough to live just over 5 minutes walk from there. We took the scooter we bought for Harry a few months ago, and which lives here. He’s now just about grown into it, so he scooted all over the place, and then we headed for the playground, and he spotted โ€ฆ THE ZIP WIRE. So he had several goes on that, aided and abetted by GrandPete, while his mum hid her eyes ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Then home, for shower,ย Mars Attacks with GrandPete, then lamb curry and bed.

Untitled

On Saturday, Rackaback were dancing out at the Hull Folk Festival, in the company of the Raving Maes, Makara and the Thieving Magpies.Now, Harry loves watching Rackaback, and is a good little musician, so we asked him if he’d like to play with the band during the day. He said he’d wear the (little) tatter jacket that Debby made, but he didn’t want a hat, or face paint, so we said sorry – them’s the rules. And he caved ๐Ÿ™‚ He played tambourine for every one of the dances, and also went round with our collecting bucket, standing in front of ย people, pretty much demanding money with cuteness – we’ve never raised so much! I think the side would like to have him there at every dance out! It was a long day for him, but he never flagged, bless him. We went home to sausages and baked spuds, and an early night for all of us ๐Ÿ™‚

Untitled

On Sunday, we took Clare and Harry to the National Armouries at Leeds, which is just aย fabulous place to visit. My daughter and grandson have clearly inherited my love of sharp shiny things, and we were all most covetous. I really,ย really want the horned helmet given to Henry VIII by Maximilian I, but I doubt they’d let me have it. Really, an hour down the motorway and free entry made this an excellent value day out, and we shall go again. Very highly recommended. We came home to a picky tea of bits and pieces,ย Galaxy Quest and then, when Harry had gone to bed, a glass of wine. Which turned into four (I think) bottles between three of us, dodgy 80s music on the Apple TV and, I’m sorry to say, dancing during the later hours.

Ouch.

Untitled

Clare and Harry set off for home on Monday rather later than they had planned, due to Not Feeling Very Well. Pete and I took the GrandToad back to the park for a bit to give her some peace, and fed him a chocolate ice cream, then after lunch off they want.

A lovely weekend with family, doing things we love with good friends – what’s not to like?

However, this horrible coldy thing I’ve got came back with a vengeance during the afternoon yesterday, I couldn’t speak, my throat was closed up. Went to bed at 8, as I was falling asleep on the sofa. And this week I need to crack on with myย Breaking Bad obsession, as the final episode is looming, and I must catch up!

Freaks in the … Moors

We took ourselves off to Howarth on Friday, for another Freaks in the Peaks weekend, and utterly splendid it was too. The journey there, however, less so, as the radiator died in the roadworks on the M62. The heroic RAC man found a garage who would replace it, and towed us in. We arrived at 4.45, and were away again by about 5.45, so we really couldn’t grumble, but the bill of ยฃ245 was a bit of a horror, especially as the car is being MOT’d on Friday, and we have no idea what other horrors may ensue. Ho hum.

We went from the garage to Keighley to pick up Ken – we had planned to drop Jamie in Howarth first, but there was no time, so poor Ken had to be squodged in with his accordion, snare drum and luggage, but we managed. Booked in at the B&B, then off to the pub for smoked haddock fishcakes (for me) and a few [ahem] glasses of wine.

Saturday morning was rehearsing, then dancing in three or four places in the afternoon. Communal cooking in the hall in the evening (we were on chopping duties), then dinner and a lot more dancing. My skeleton was a bit battered by Sunday morning, so we took a drive over to Hebden Bridge and found a lovely food market, then came home right across the top of the moors – beautiful. More dancing then ensued at the Wuthering Heights* pub in Stanbury, before we broke up around 4 and went out separate ways.

We came home via Doncaster (as you do), as Ken wouldn’t have to change trains from there (he has very poor sight), dropped Jamie off, unpacked and slumped with tea, bread and cheese from the market, then had a very early night!

*Everything around there has Bronte names.And did you know that Heathcliffe Mews?

Quick reminder to self: surgery appt this morning. No changes at all, which is good, but thyroid test shows very slightly increased (or decreased or something) so that’ll be retested in three months. Now back on six monthly checks for the diabetes, which is good.

absent without leave

Have I really not written anything since 17th November? I have been proper poorly, with a viral wossname that lasted about four weeks, and still has me coughing a bit even now. A dose of penicillin didn’t touch it, and in its wake it left two cancelled dentist appointments, one blood test (and the second cancelled by the surgery because the bloodsucker was ill), one Bill Bailey gig in Sheffield (sob), and half of Celtarabia up the road at Pave – had to come home. Still, on the mend now, finally. The latter are absolutely wonderful – if they come anywhere near you, go see them!

Not much else to relate, really. Went Morrising at Bridlington yesterday, but the weather was vile, and my bad knee is playing up in the cold, so I only did one dance. Then we were rained off. Bought the black boots in the same range as the red boots of fabulosity, as I seem to wear nothing else, and they are great for Morris dancing.

Mustrum went missing for ten days, and we thought he was gone for good, but he came home, praise $deityofchoice, thinner and clingy.

And that’s it, really. Very busy with work, Rackaback taking over social life :), looking forward to a good break over Christmas, then a works Morris outing to Derbyshire for a mass dance weekend in January.

weekend 13-14 august 2010

shoes on Hornsea beachNot overly exciting, really. Walked into town on Saturday afternoon, had lunch, prodded some camera shops (have sold my DSLR, and am looking for something smaller and lighter to replace it). Went to see Inception, which was very good indeed, but didn’t live up to its hype for me. ย #3 on IMDB? – oh please.

The story was well thought out, but nowadays I find, by and large, there’s far too much CGI in movies which I presume they do just because they can. Given I’m currently reading Charlie Stross’ Merchant Princes series, there were altogether Too Many Worlds in my head, and I found it all quite difficult.

Walked home along Anlaby Road to West Park, where there was an Event taking place, but we didn’t care at all for the band on stage, and came home to soda bread toast and Marmite.

On Sunday, I finished constructing chicken soup, and also made a batch of coriander chicken and slung it in the slow cooker. We decanted some soup into a thermos flask, and packed it up together with chiz’n’onion baguettes, apples and cereal bars, and took ourselves off to Hornsea.

Started off at the shopping village, and bought me a new warm jacket (mine is far too big now, and Summer Camp is upcoming; you need a warm jacket at Summer Camp). Then we went to Hornsea Mere, had soup and sammidge, and set off to walk round the lake. You can’t – well, not without long waders. So we took ourselves down to the beach, and walked for a few miles. 55 minutes going out, into a ferocious head wind, and 40 back (I said it was ferocious). Lovely weather for a robust stroll, though I was glad I was wearing proper stout walking boots – lots of streams running down that beach.

Home to coriander chicken, dhal and rice and a slump. And that was that.

Oh – there was a letter from the Eye Clinic on Saturday, saying that I have “some background retinopathy”. Which is directly contradicts what they told me in April – same test, different department. ย $deity knows, but it’s worrying …

a target achieved

I went to the gym this evening, for the first time in godknows how many years – six or seven, probably. I didn’t do anything too exciting – some treadmill with an 8% incline, 7 minutes on the cross trainer, and some weights.

As I was on my way home, I remembered that I’d set myself a target of being fit enough to cycle over to Bev Road Baths, do a gym session or have a swim, and cycle home again. I remember it as I pedalled down Ella Street, on a long way home, irritated that I hadn’t taken any lights with me, and couldn’t really go any further. And I cycled for half an hour yesterday before I arrived at the swimming pool at 7 a.m.

I may not be fit yet, but I’m sure as hell fitter than I was!

climbing back on the wagon

I’ve been very tired again recently. I’ve pretty much stopped losing weight. And I’ve realised that my diet is slipping back to its old ways – not watching the carbs particularly, certainly not sticking to “good” carbs, drinking a little more than before (but still a lot less than before that :), eating out more and saying “what the hell”, not exercising as regularly.

So ย – this must stop. I need to drop another stone really, to lose the paunch, to drop the blood sugar levels, to sleep better, to feel better. I have the nice silver machine now, and I will start cycling in the mornings rather than walking to the baths, and I will start using the gym (although I need this horrible pulled muscle to heal up faster). I WILL LOOK AFTER MYSELF BETTER.

eyes

I spent the morning in the Eye Clinic at Hull Royal Infirmary; attentive readers may recall that what triggered all these medical visits and diagnoses was the optician telling me that the pressure in my eyes was over the limit that triggers a letter to the doctor, back on 9th March (it seems longer :).

So I trundled down there for 9 a.m. this morning, firstly having a fields test, then variously, four lots of eye drops, an ultrasonic measurement of my corneas, ย lights bright and less bright shone into my eyes, ย optic nerve photographed, apertures measured, pupils dilated, and lord knows what else. ย And at the end of it – NO PROBLEMS! ย Nothing at all – no diabetic damage, no problems with pressure, nothing at all.

To say I’m relieved would be a bit of an understatement, to be honest. ย Here’s a picture of my right eye so you can see how well it is.

confirmed

A trip to the doctor this morning to get the result of my blood tests shows an HbA1C result of 10.6 (it should be 7). So I am now officially diabetic. Curiously, this actually comes as something of a relief, as now I know for sure, I can keep on doing something about it – I’ve lost 8lbs in 6 weeks so far, feel far fitter, sleep better and *look* better, so I shall keep on keeping on with the diet and exercise.

Apparently my cholesterol levels are a bit high too, but that’ll drop with the weight, hopefully.

She offered me Metformin, knowing full well I’d already said I didn’t want it (yet), and for now is happy-ish for me to manage things myself. ย Using a practice set in the middle of what passes for Hull’s intellectuals (lots of university folk live in the Avenues), she said she’s used to patients being well informed ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m booked for another set of blood tests on 21 July, so we’ll see how things are progressing there. I got a free glucose meter from Bayer last week, but the PCT won’t pay for its strips and lancets, as they’re too expensive, so that was a waste (unless I fund them myself). However, I don’t really need it yet, and if I do, I’ll spring for the bits.

Note for self: if I don’t get on with Metformin, when I need to start taking it, they’ll move me onto delayed release? Metforming, which works better, but is more expensive to the PCT; no problem with that scenario.

So it’s carry on regardless, I guess – eating well, getting plenty of exercise (doing lots of leafleting for the LibDems at the moment, which is quite hard work).

I see the nurse next Wednesday, have an appt at the retinopathy clinic tomorrow, and am starting to feel that it’s all taking over my life a bit, but I suppose it’ll all settle down. ย To celebrate, I ate two *white crumpets* with Marmite for breakfast – my bad.

phlebotomy

I went to the surgery this morning for a fasting blood test – this means nothing to eat or drink after 9 p.m. except water. ย I never eat after 9 as a rule, and rarely have breakfast before 9 in the morning, but inevitably I was absolutely starving this morning, and even before I went to sleep last night …

Arrived at the surgery at 8.10 for an 8.20 appointment, to be greeted by locked doors, and a big sign showing the opening hours started at 8.30; I checked the card in my pocket, and it definitely said 8.20, so then I started to panic that I might be in the wrong place. Thankfully they opened the doors at 8.15.

The phlebotomist was named Marrian, and is full time at the surgery – I was amazed there was enough work for her, but she said she is rushed off her feet. ย I told her that I was very nervous, almost needle-phobic, and that my veins tended to disappear in such circumstances. She gave me a weary smile, said she’d heard all these tales before, and then took about six minutes to cajole one vein into a state where she could stick a needle in it! She was very kind, very patient, chatted all the while, and got enough blood for all three tests in one go; the woman is clearly a professional.

She asked me to ensure that I asked for a double appointment in future, as it took so long to get my bloods, and to drink plenty of water before a test, keep my arms and hands warm, and remind her where she managed to draw the blood from in future. ย I’m quite proud, really ๐Ÿ™‚

So now I wait for the results – if the test comes out really bad, they phone and “tell you what to do”; straight to the hospital, I’d guess. If positive for anything nasty, but not urgent, it’s a phone call to tell you to make an appointment, and if nothing shows up – nothing. They don’t get in touch, which I hate.

They’ll have the results on Friday, and if I don’t hear anything, I can phone on Monday. So now I wait.