that census meme

2011: living in mortgaged 2 bedroomed (but reasonably sized) urban terraced house in Kingston-upon-Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, with husband Pete and five cats. Working as a web developer in our own small webdev business.

2001: living in rented 3 bedroomed (but too small) 1970s terraced house in Long Ashton, just outside Bristol, with (I think) eight cats.[edit: no – it was nine!] Married to and working with Pete as above.

1991: single mum living in mortgaged small terrace house in Great Yarmouth, working with first husband in small bespoke accounting software and network installing company (which we started after we divorced in 1985!).

1981: stay at home mum living in mortgaged large terraced house remarkably like this one, but split into three bedrooms upstairs, in Leicester. Was working on Saturdays at BHS as a supervisor. Two cats, I think.

1971: living in Perth, Scotland, with alcoholic single father in MoD 4 bedroom detached house of grandeur and deep unhappiness. Although I might have been at my convent boarding school on the day; that was full of grandeur and deep unhappiness too.

1961: living in rented 3 bedroom mansion flat inFitzgeorge Avenue, West Kensington, London with two deeply unhappy parents who loathed each other. The memories are still strong. I think I was at St Paul’s prep school then – they really did have ideas above their station and budget.

Was not even a twinkle in 1951, but as you can see, I am Very Old.

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!

gosh …

I bought this Hobbs skirt from eBay – I’ve never had Hobbs before, but now there’s so much less of me …

It’s arrived, it’s gorgeous, it’s a size 14.  And it’s *too big*! But it’s so lovely, and cost a fiver including postage, that I’m going to have it altered.


Regular readers will know that, after a threat, then a diagnosis, of type 2 diabetes, I’ve been trying to lose weight. In fact, I’ve been shrinking steadily for some months, but it has been accelerating of late, and I’ve dropped two full sizes.

This morning, I had a rummage through the trouser drawer, and put six pairs into a box under the bed, as they are all so loose that an Embarassing Incident might occur should I wear them.

Then I decided to look at the skirts; I don’t often wear skirts, and not at all this winter after the unpleasant interaction with the wheelie bin, which rendered my left big toe nailless for a while, and exceeding painful. It transpires that I have precisely 1 skirt now that fits me; even my lovely East brown velvet one has gone from being too tight to too loose without me even getting one more wear out of it …

The one that remains is sage green corduroy, and not even slightly suitable for summer wear, so I suppose I’ll have to go shopping. Most women would go “yippee!”, but I hate shopping. eBay, I think don’t you?


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,  lights bright and less bright shone into my eyes,  optic nerve photographed, apertures measured, pupils dilated, and lord knows what else.  And at the end of it – NO PROBLEMS!  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.  Here’s a picture of my right eye so you can see how well it is.


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.  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 🙂

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.  To celebrate, I ate two *white crumpets* with Marmite for breakfast – my bad.


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.  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.  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.  I’m quite proud, really 🙂

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.

weekend 17/18 April 2010

Saturday was quite lazy really; Pete manfully cycled firstly into town, to fetch more oats and ingredients to make muesli, and then with his trusty bike trailer to Pets at Home, to purchase cat litter and bikkit, thus dealing nicely with both ends, as it were. I caught up with some Desperate Housewives, tried some low GI-ish sort of baking, and went for a walk through the cemetery, which is full of lovely spring flowers. And dead people.  This brought me out at the end of Princes Avenue on the side of the road I never go – dangerous.  I found two nice shops selling bits – and bought some lovely red beads in the form of a necklace and a bracelet, and some nice greetings cards. Oops.  I was going to go home via the park, but I stopped in the local Sainsburys for some stuff, and the incredible string bag was a bit heavy, so I only did a couple of miles. That was my activity for the day, as far as I recall. Watched the rubbish Doctor Who, cooked a prawn and fennel risotto (with 20% less rice than usual), and a rhubarb crumble (with wholemeal flour and oats), which will do us three days instead of the usual two.

river near DriffieldOn Sunday, we ventured forth to Driffield, a market town in the Yorkshire Wolds. Had a mooch around the town, then set out along the canal for a bit – about 5 miles all told, I’d say. There’s a set of photographs on Flickr if you’d like to see more – a lovely walk, and we shall go there again.

We stopped in Beverley on the way back, as I wanted to pop into Lakeland (it’s quite dangerous living within spitting distance of a Lakeland shop). We bought a new pair of oven gloves (planned), and some small plastic boxes for the freezer, but woe – they have discontinued the range I love, and replaced it with horrible ones with rounded corners, and taller lids, and they won’t stack like the old ones 🙁 I shall write and complain.

Then into Julian Graves for supplies of ground almonds (low carb),  dried cranberries, some yellow raisins, and some chocolate ginger (which ought to be for Pete, but they’re hard to resist …)

Supper was lasagne (with half the amount of pasta I usually use) followed by teeny portions of the rhubarb crumble), but that’s OK because breakfast was three crispbread with marmite and a boiled egg, and lunch was a cereal bar in the car (felt a bit odd after the walk) and half a wholemeal banana muffin. We watched The Dark Knight – at least, Pete did. Far too noisy and splody for my liking, and a bit violent for its 12 rating, I thought, so I gave up about 40 minutes in.  He loved it though, so I’m probably a philistine.

And today, my scales tell me I am no longer officially overweight.  And I don’t care what anyone else’s say.

progress …

I have been to the doctor. I told her I was concerned about having diabetes. “Oh yes”, she said. “You’re right to be concerned – those glucose tests are very imprecise”. So WHY THE FSCK didn’t they call me in for a proper test?

I’m having a fasting blood test on Wednesday, which will be fun, because I’m very close to phobic about needles; I’ll need to lose that fast if I’m diabetic.

The doctor tells me that the “current thinking” is to put everyone with diabetes on Metformin. I don’t want Metformin – I want to try diet and exercise. She explained to me how diabetes is a lifelong condition, how it doesn’t get better, etc., but even so – it’s my body, and I want to manage the condition myself, so I can see some battles there too.

What really bothers me is that she thinks it’s quite possible I am diabetic, and yet the surgery was quite happy not to do a proper test; I think that’s appalling.