So I booked a taxi (because parking can be a bit fraught at HRI) for 8.35 from 60-60-60 cars. Which didn’t turn up until 8.45, the driver complaining all the way in about the traffic. In the rush hour, dreadful traffic – who’d have thought it, eh? Back to 57-57-57 in future.

Appt was at 9 and was seen dead on time – quick chat with consultant, sight test and drops, then a short wait until they did the dye test. In typical fashion, my veins just disappeared at the sight of a needle, but they got the cannula in at the third (!) attempt, and the two nurses were very kind and sympathetic.

Then then pumped some dye in, and I sat in front of £120k’s worth of brand new eye photographing kit while they took photos. Then they took the cannula out again, and I waited to see the consultant once more.

There are indeed deposits on the retina, and they will be lasered off on 9th July. Something else to look forward to.

I am now yellow (from the dye). In other news, we stopped for a recuperative coffee on the way back from the hospital, and it transpires our favourite café, Mustard, appears to have changed hands. This can only be bad news, I fear.

The taxis cost a total of 7.20, which was probably cheaper than taking the car and parking.


I had a routine retinopathy scan in the mobile van clinic thing a few weeks ago, and the technician said everything was fine. So I was a bit taken aback to get a letter from the Eye Hospital saying they needed to see me. In fact, I had four separate letters, all moving the appointment a little bit, but off I trundled (after phoning to make sure that I had the right time).

It transpires that I have Macular Oedema, which is a side effect of diabetes, and they want to pump me full of dye, and then give me laser treatment for it. To say that I am not looking forward to this Friday would be a bit of an understatement.

I phoned the surgery and got a prescription for some Valium – no idea if I will take them (probably not), but at least they are there. Aaargh.

so that was Easter …

We did a bit of desultory work on Good Friday (heathens that we are), went to Beverley on Saturday to collect new! pasta! dishes! (as one of our beloved and venerable ones broke last week), and a few other places for chores. I photographed loads of stuff for eBay and got it listed during the free listing weekend.

We picked up a nice piece of lamb in Morrisons, rolled with gremolata, so had that on Sunday with roast veg – quite delicious. Other than that we did absolutely nothing, apart from trundling down to the Minerva in the rain on Monday afternoon, in an attempt to do some dancing out with Rackaback. It really was remarkably wet, but we gave it a go when the torrents eased off a bit. After that, we came home to home made sossidge rolls, and an utterly appalling Nick Cage movie, Knowing. It was so dire, we turned it off after about half an hour.

This morning, I had a diabetic review at the surgery; I was expecting a lecture, as I have been far from well-behaved, lifestyle-wise, over the winter, but my levels are down to 7%, I have put on only a kg, and everything else is tickety boo. Next blood test is July, when they’ll test for thyroid as well, as I am suffering occasional night sweats, and I am so far past menopause that it cannot possibly be that. So all in all, quite pleased with that.

uninspired …

I have a couple of posts I want to write, but haven’t got round to them yet.

But I did want to note something, to save me having to look it up elsewhere. I stopped smoking.

On 2nd November 2005 🙂

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 29/30 October 2010

Didn’t go anywhere. Didn’t set foot outside the door (although Pete did bicycle over to Aldl to get one of the spiffy Christmas puds with the orange slices on, but they didn’t have any. Boo).

Did some knitting, some melodeon practice, sold the dining chairs on eBay, made a crackingly good lentil and aubergine bake, watched Strictly, didn’t watch X-Factor (trying really hard to wean myself off it, it’s particularly rubbish this year), watched Catch Me If You Can, which was remarkably enjoyable, did some ironing (!). Bit lazy really.

This week includes another trip to the wilds of W Yorks, to see Bill Bailey in Sheffield on Friday, with a side order of Ikea for new dining chairs, and possibly dropping Betsy* back in Cleckheaton if we cannot fix her ourselves.

Health wise, not feeling very well – cycled over to the dentist yesterday and felt a bit wobbly after about a mile (4m round trip). As the day progressed started feeling worse, and then coughing and tight chest – not another bloody cold, I hope. No further decay at dentist, but have to have full periodontal clean and scale, which I hate. Ho hum.

*Her nice new rucksack bag arrived this week – it bears the legend “Stagg”, which to me looked just like Slagg. So she might just turn out to be Glenda …

to the west!

yellow posts

On Saturday, we set off bright and early, at the crack of about 11 a.m. (after a cooked breakfast), to the wilds of West Yorkshire. We started at Cleckheaton, the home of the Music Room, who could look at Betsy’s sticky keys. And indeed they did, and didn’t charge me a penny!* I was well chuffed, and promised them a packet of chocolate hobnobs when I next returned. I also got a chance to look at some [cough] rather more expensive melodea, and Pete had a strum on a 12 string guitar priced at a bargain £1700 or so. We left it there.

From there we progressed to Hebden Bridge, somewhere we’d never visited. It’s a bit like the Bradford-upon-Avon of Yorkshire, I think – lots of very expensive and quite twee shops, but a pretty little place. I bought a grey cardigan and a purple skirt in a charity shop, some organic firelighters from an organic shop, Pete bought me a pretty necklace for a tenner, and I got a beautiful skein of recycled sari silk – I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but it was just so pretty, so it has become the start of my yarn stash.

Next up – Ikea. We consumed our usual meatballs, and Pete had a sulkette as they are now serving mashed spud rather than boiled. Then we looked at dining chairs (ours are just too big and bulky, so are going on eBay), managed to miss the curtain area altogether so didn’t get a curtain rail for the bathroom, bought 12 cheap wineglasses, a couple of xmassy things to send to Clare for Harry, and two new baby rats for the rats’ nest (some bamboo twigs containing a variety of Ikea pluth rats). Then back to Hull, to see Karine Polwart at Fruit.

About half way home, I started feeling really quite poorly, with nasty stomach cramps, and spent a fair bit of the gig in the loos. Still worth it – lovely set, beautiful vocals from her, her brother and Inge Thomson, who plays the accordion like nobody else I’ve ever heard.  Didn’t sleep well either, so was a bit droopy on Sunday. I think it might be down to a change in medication – was on Glucophage, then a couple of months ago the pharmacist gave me something else, and now back on Glucophage, so could just be an adjustment.

So I cooked Sunday lunch (roast pork), potted up the baskets, window boxes and tubs with the cyclamen and pansies I bought last weekend, photographed the dining chairs for eBay (and see this morning that I’ll have to do that again, cos they’re rubbish pictures), and watched Duplicity, which really wasn’t very good at all.

And now it’s Monday again. Keeps coming round, and the clocks go back next weekend. Pah.

*And now they’re bloody sticking again. Unamused, as I shall have to do the 140 mile round trip again, and probably again after that.

weekend 15/16 october 2011

Bridlington south beach

October? How the hell did it get to be October?!

The weather forecast for Saturday was lovely, so we decided to believe it, and headed up to Bridlington. I love Brid – it’s a nice little town with a lovely beach, both north and south. There’s a new park and ride, so we pulled in there, to find they charge £3.50 per vehicle – quite refreshing after Bristol, who charge per person, which is just the maddest thing if you’re trying to discourage traffic. During the summer, this entitles you to a ride on the Road Train, which I’ve never been on, but as it ends in September that’ll have to wait till next year. But we caught the bus, which deposited us by the harbour.

We had a mooch round the town – I popped (or nipped) into the local SpecSavers and got my new photochromic glasses adjusted for fit, Pete bought a pair of shoes [faint]. We can’t actually remember, either of us, when this last happened, as he simply doesn’t understand shoes. I resisted several nice pairs, because I am wanting a concertina. Yes, I know. We had lunch in a little cafe, I bought some knitting wool on the market, and some enamel cookware in the wondrous Boyes, then we walked back the mile and a half to the car park along South Beach, which was entirely lovely in the sun.

We stopped off at the fish shop in Skirlaugh, and bought two coral frags – our ration for the month. Pete was out with mates in the evening, so I had a reality TV fest with Strictly and X-Factor.

On Sunday I woke up at 9.30 –  unheard of for me – not feeling very well at all, with a sore throat and a real muzzy head. I made breakfast (in the Remoska – worked beautifully!), then laboured over a beef casserole, and that really finished me for the day. Poor Pete was working – urgent job for a client – but having had to wake me a few times, he eventually sent me to bed at 8, and I slept right through till about 7.30 the next morning. Still feeling a bit groo, but on the mend now.


how much wood does a woodchuck chuck?

logs for the stove

Attentive readers (if there are any) will recall that we installed a woodburning stove last year – a thing of much joy, and much smaller gas bills (even more joy). We have been acquiring cheap wood all summer, and even scavenging from the tip, in preparation for the threatened freezing winter that awaits us, to the point that our little back yard was overrun with bits of timber waiting to be chopped up – but nowhere to store it.

We were keeping our bikes in a bike tent, which was not, shall we say, the most durable of shelters, and it died completely during the gales last month. So we measured up, and got the local shed place to quote us for building a bike store plus log store, to go all along one wall of the yard. £790, they quoth. So when we’d picked ourselves up, we googled a lot, and ordered a wooden bike shed off t’internet for £159, and a log store similar for £200. They arrived this week, and Pete manfully assembled them; the bicycles are now ensconced cosily in their new abode, with the bike trailer and various other bits and bobs, and the log store is now not quite where we planned, but in a more convenient place. This entailed trimming a bit off the kitchen window sill, and taking the log shed roof off and cutting it to shape, but this didn’t seem to phase ‘im indoors, and up it went.

So yesterday and today, between us, we have split pretty much all the logs we bought cheap a couple of months ago, and stacked them in the woodshed, and have chainsawed up all the other bits and bobs of salvaged wood, and we have space for another trailer load, which I have reserved for a hundred quid from the bloke we bought the last trailer load, and that will be enough to see us right through the winter, $deity willing.

There’s also about six bags’ worth of logs in the house, in the log station and stacked round the fire, and several bags of rubbishy (but very cheap, or free) bits and bobs that came from last year’s skipful, or salvage, or whatever. So at least the living room will be warm, even if we can’t afford to heat the rest of the house 😉

And the gas direct debit is now £21 per month, which is nice (although I bet it won’t stay there).

In other news, I have new glasses – my prescription had changed a huge amount, to the point where I needed less strong lenses (!), so I now have rimless ones for the first time ever, and I’m really pleased with them. And I can see properly, which is a bonus – no longer have to take my glasses off to read my phone! Also got a pair of photochromic ones in cool Gok Wan frames, and tempted to give up contacts all together for now, as they’ve been playing me up, but then of course that might be due to the script change, I guess.


I wanted to learn an instrument to play along with the Morris side at rehearsals, and even out performing, so I went down to our local music shop a few weeks ago and had a poke about. Nothing really called to me – I’m a trained pianist, and used to play recorder and guitar too, but my old, slightly arthriticky hands don’t work so well now, and to be honest, a piano is not very portable.

I borrowed an English concertina from a friend, but just couldn’t get on with the fingering – again, a problem with my hands. I did buy a melodica on Ebay last week, on the spur of the moment – a chap in Hull was selling it, so I offered him £20, and popped along to collect it that evening. It’s a comical thing, for sure, but actually its reedy sound goes quite nicely with the other band instruments; the big problems are a) remembering to *blow* (doesn’t come naturally to a piano player :), and b) not laughing – not easy when everyone else is laughing at you!

I had a vague yen for a crumhorn for a while, but sanity prevailed. I decided that a violin was too painful to learn. Pippa lent me a tin whistle, and I mastered the basics of that pretty quick, so I thought I’d see if I could buy a better one, thus we took ourselves off to the wilds of West Yorkshire yesterday on a whistle hunt. That’s a whistle in D, not just any old thing. We headed first to the Early Music shop in Salts Mill, in Bradford. A  splendid place, Salts Mill is a World Heritage site, and well worth a wander round. We started with a coffee at the Boathouse Inn, then had a wander up past the (expensive) shops, discovering that there was an Arts Festival on, and a lovely market place with lots and lots of lovely jewellery and so forth – I could have spent a lot of money, but contented myself with a pretty pair of green tourmaline earrings.

Then to the Early Music place – how wonderful. Crumhorns and serpents and shawms, spinets and harpsichords, tabors and renaissance drums, hurdy gurdies, and more recorders than you can shake a stick at. But … very understaffed, and quite dismissive, really. I tried a Shaw whistle but, while the tone was very nice, it was a bit too “soft” to stand out against accordions and concertinas. Then I tried a Susato in C and really liked the tone of that, albeit it was in the wrong key. Their stock records said they should have *one* Susato D in stock, and indeed one is all I wanted, but despite him hunting for about 20 minutes he couldn’t find it. They did say that there were more on order, but there seemed to be problems with Susato stock at the moment (or possibly with their stock keeping), so we departed, whistleless.

I really, really wanted to buy a low D whistle, but I tried every one everywhere, and my hands won’t do it. So sad.

We climbed back up to Vicars’ cafe and had another coffee and (for me) a whopping brie and bacon sammidge, which I couldn’t actually finish, and a quick check on eBay for Susato, then trundled towards the Music Room at Cleckheaton.

Susato KildareThey had a wide range of whistles, but nobody who knew anything about them – he fetched out a whole bunch, and I tried a Dixon, but it didn’t really suit me, for some reason, and was quite expensive at £45. I moved on to the concertinae, but he knew nothing about those either, but I *did* establish that I could play an Anglo, at least physically – learning it might be something else again, of course 🙂 But that’ll have to wait for now, until I can afford it. I did buy a mandolin tutor book and CD, and will give my old mando a bash, and Pete bought a set of strings for his old guitar, and a nut for same (don’t ask).

From there we went to Interfish at Ossett, and looked at fish. And inevitably, bought a rainbow wrasse, two hermit crabs with red legs, and four turbo snails. Fish stuff is generally confined to Georgethefish.com, where I shall shortly be writing up today’s travails with the tank.

Came home the non-motorway route, just because, stopped for a pint at the Bear at South Cave, then home, where I ordered a set of three Susato Kildares, in C, D and B♭ for £52 including postage, from eBay. Result. I’d say.

Today, I’m feeling crap – the doctor or the pharmacist has changed my metformin, and it’s really not agreeing with me one bit. Not so nice, but must soldier on. And whistles to look forward to 🙂