Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Hello from Fuertaventura!

Hello from Correlejo in Fuertaventura!  Grumpy Trousers and I are here for just a week in the sun before my operation.
This is our first time on the island and I'm in love with it already.  White sands, turquoise sea, beautiful little villages, friendly locals.... all taking my mind off next weeks hospitalisation.
So for now,  fun in the sun for a few more days.  I'll update when I get back. 
I hope you're all ok xxxxx

Friday, 3 October 2014

Meeting myself coming back!

Well, plenty of people advised me that I'd be busier in retirement than at work, and they were right!

I have no idea where the time has gone since my last post and that's because I'm so occupied with stuff that I don't have time to sit down and write up what's happening. The term meeting myself coming back seems to fit me to perfection just now.  However, I'm only here now because I'm in pain and can't sleep.  It's currently stupid o'clock and the painkillers haven't kicked in yet.  Sadly my hip is bad again, the effects of the injection having worn off after only a month.  It was a good month though, and one I enjoyed making the most of.

Because I've been a bit naughty with the painkillers over the last few months I figured I'd best get checked out at the doctors in case they'd upset my Chronic Kidney Disease.  I'm at a low level with that at a 3, but any fluctuations may occur any time so needs to be monitored.  I have a blood test for it tomorrow together with my annual thyroid check.  Harking back, my list of aches, pains and random ailments is getting longer.  It's no wonder I'm rattling with all the meds!  I just want to keep it all at bay and I can see this is going to be a battle into infinity.

While I type I've been listening to some ambient tunes to try and soothe the pain.  I've chosen this one to share with you as I've been quite a fan of Peter Gabriel over the years.  On that note, I'll bid you goodnight and try to sleep once more.

Keep smiling!

Monday, 15 September 2014

An amazing week!

Well, all kinds of stuff has happened this week, and in no particular order here it is:
  • I found a pair of posh straight leg slacks that actually fit.
  • Same trousers are actually long enough 
  • I found a pair of shoes - yes SHOES to wear with posh trousers
  • Grumpy Trousers has agreed to us having a holiday
  • As a result of him agreeing to holiday I am booking Fuertaventura in the Canary Islands
  • Now having a crisis about whether hotel v. apartment or self catering v. bed and breakfast
  • Actually I don't care, just having a holiday will be good.
  • I've set a budget for the holiday and will TRY and stick to it
It's my beautiful younger daughter's 35th birthday today.  I got her tickets to see Jools Holland so she took Grumpy Trousers with her, who was very chuffed about that.  Jools was actually appearing in here in Chesterfield at a local venue but it was standing only, so I opted out.  There's no way I can stand for hours on end.  They thoroughly enjoyed it and were full of it when I picked them up.  Much as I like Jools Holland, I like his sidekick Ruby Turner better.  She's the Momma of Blues and Soul and puts everything into her performances.  I was gutted not to see her, but if they come back I'll make sure I'm OK to go.

Another big thing this week has been younger daughter and me doing a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support.  On TV there are adverts for The World's Biggest Coffee Morning.  Well, we turned ours into a Coffee Evening at our local village pub.  She and I baked cakes for several weeks in advance, froze them and iced them on the day.  We touted local businesses for vouchers and prizes for the raffle, put together sweepstakes for guessing how many beans in a jar, and also had a book sale.  We had a brilliant night with friends from far and wide together with local villagers.  Everyone waded in and helped, resulting in a great total of £363!  My village should be proud of itself for its kindness and generosity.

Here's a picture of the showstopper cake that my daughter made.  It was definitely chocolate overload, but then, its Cadbury's so there's nothing wrong with that, is there?

I have to confess I am completely wiped out with tiredness now after such a big event, and thankfully have nothing on my calendar this week.

Do stop by and say hello.  I feel I've been talking to myself again for a while.


Saturday, 6 September 2014

A new pic of me

Actually it's not me......but it could be.  The coincidental features in no particular order are as follows:

  • Sleeping
  • Mouth wide open
  • Book
  • Fat knees
In fact only the hair colour is wrong.  Blimey, I'm fatter than I think!

I love this pic so much that I'm going to order a copy to hang in my hallway.  It just makes me want to laugh at myself.

The guy who did the print is from Chesterfield and his name is Andy Tudor.  Here's a link to his website  http://andytudorprint.bigcartel.com/products.  His work contains a lot of images of Chesterfield, but he also does other stuff like the divine lady above (a bit of Beryl Cook influence going on there), and also some children's books.

He's well worth a peek.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

I have a date for my foot operation!

13th  November is the big day.  Good job I'm not superstitious.  I saw the consultant yesterday and he was very optimistic regarding the success.  

In one way I'll be glad to get it over and done with, but I'm looking at a recovery time of more than a year.  I'll be in a plaster cast for about 6 weeks, then will have to wear a spongy boot thing.  All that time I'll be on crutches.  I'm quite looking forward to that bit - I can see me causing mischief and mayhem with them.  The rest of it I'm NOT looking forward to.  Get a load of this ......


The operation can be performed comfortably under a Local Anaesthetic block, which is achieved by either a series of injections around the Ankle, or an injection behind your Knee. You will be fully awake during the operation and will be able to feel touch, pressure and vibration, but you will not feel any pain. If you do not wish to consider having the operation performed whilst still awake, or your Consultant does not feel this is the best option for you, you will be offered Local Anaesthetic with sedation or General Anaesthesia. If this is the case then you may need to be referred to a different surgical team to facilitate this and your consultant will be happy to discuss with you further.

The operation usually takes 60-90 minutes, although you will be in the Day Surgery unit longer.  You must have a competent adult at home for the first day and night after surgery.  Your operated leg may be non weight-bearing in a cast for approximately 6-8 weeks. It is therefore very important that you have people to look after you and any dependants such as children, elderly or disabled relatives you have during this time.

First 2-4 days
·         This is the time you are likely to have most pain but you will be given painkillers to help.  You must rest completely for 2-4 days.
·         You foot will be in a cast.
·         You will be able to stand and take weight on your non-operated foot) after the operation, but you must rest, with your feet up, as much as possible. 
·         You should restrict your mobility / to going to the bathroom and when getting about use your crutches in the way you have been shown. 
·         You can get about a little more after 3 days.

One week after surgery
·         You may need to attend for your foot to be checked and, if necessary, redressed/recasted

Two weeks after surgery
·         You must attend again. Sutures will be removed and a fresh cast applied.

Between 6-8 weeks after surgery
·         The cast will be removed, if all is proceeding well and you may be fitted with a removable boot that will allow you to start walking.
·         Your foot will be x-rayed to check how healing is progressing

Between 8-10 weeks after surgery
·         You should be able to start wearing a good lace-up shoe/trainer.
·         The foot will still be swollen and twinges of discomfort are not uncommon at this time due to you increasing activity. Your leg will feel naturally weak to start with as it has been in a cast.
·         You will be instructed regarding rehabilitation exercise or you may be referred to a physiotherapist.
·         You may return to work but may need longer if you have an active job
·         You may return to driving if you can perform an emergency stop. You must check with your insurance company before driving again.

Between 12-16 weeks after surgery
·         The foot should continue to improve and begin to feel normal again.
·         There will be less swelling.
·         Sport can be considered depending on your recovery.

Six months after surgery
·         You will have a final review between 3- 6 months following surgery.
·         The swelling should now be slight and you should be getting the full benefit of surgery.

Twelve months after surgery
·         The foot has stopped improving with all healing complete.

Please note, if a complication arises, recovery may be delayed. If you develop a complication please contact the unit.

So there we are - that's my recovery programme.  Grumpy Trousers will have to come with me to the Pre-Assessment to see the consultant so he can be informed how it will affect him, just so he knows that I'm not pulling a fast one on him.  From then on I'll be queening it like Lady Muck!

I now feel in really urgent need to start my Christmas shopping, take a little holiday, spring clean the house and Lord knows what else before I'm incapacitated.  AND I have a room to decorate.  Better get started then!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Rather a useless day today

Serves me right of course, and I blame the red wine.  One glass - I ask you, ONE GLASS last night and it's stuffed up my day today.  No, before you ask the glass wasn't the size of a bucket, but it was a large one at 175 ml.  I had a pint of iced water along with it too, but unfortunately it got a grip of me and I didn't get up until 10.30 today.

I had all manner of things planned too.  Hoped to be up by 7-ish, washed and dressed, out to Morrisons for the weekly shop, visit daughter for a quick coffee and then do some gardening this afternoon.  I had a mound of paperwork to wade through as well - pension stuff now I've retired.  What did I do? Here's the list:

  • Dossed around feeling rubbish
  • Stared at the paperwork
  • Did nothing about it
  • Made a coffee
  • Had breakfast
  • Looked at the clock and decided it was too late to start much
  • Answered phone to daughter
  • "If you're coming round can you bring some milk?"  Cheeky madam!
  • Groaned
  • Decided maybe I should get my backside in gear
  • Went to post office and missed the post
  • Groaned
  • Got milk
  • Went to daughters
  • Made coffee
  • She was banging about upstairs so I shouted up to ask what she was doing
  • "Come up and see"
  • I went upstairs only to have a paint brush shoved in my hand
  • "Do us that door, will you?"
  • Groaned
  • Painted door with brush and mini gloss roller
  • Coughed a lot
  • Drank my cold coffee
  • We both finished off and went downstairs
  • Caught up with Coronation Street on her fancy telly 
  • Had another coffee (warm this time)
  • Had her cat on my lap
  • My jeans had a fur coat
  • I went home
  • Made a sandwich for Grumpy Trousers
  • Went to Morrisons
  • Groaned
  • Saw old chum
  • Had a natter with old chum
  • Laughed with old chum
  • Head cleared
  • Felt better
  • Went home and unpacked shopping
  • Made a quiche from scratch
  • Figured I'd done enough for one day
  • Paperwork still there
  • I'm still procrastinating as will be obvious from this posting!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Now where was I?

Oooh, hello.  Nice to see you....how are you?  We've not had a catch up in a while.  So, tell me YOUR news!  You might want to get in first because I have a load of stuff to recount.  Make a start while I nip and put the kettle on.  Carry on - I can still hear you over this jet engine that purports to be my kettle.  Bloody thing!

You did WHAT?  Crikey, I thought I was growing old disgracefully but that beats me into a cocked hat.  How much did you have to drink for goodness sake?  How on earth did you explain to your other half about the mysterious mobile number on a scrap of paper in your purse?  Oh I SEE.....it's one of your gal-pals.

Was she pi$$ed as well then?  Right, don't tell me any more - been there, got the t-shirt.  I know what's coming next - security had to come and unlock the cubicle door because SOMEONE was too drunk to do it from the inside, and the queue of crossed-legged squealing twenty-somethings were cursing the drunk old tart who got herself locked in Trap 1. 

 By heck, that seems like last year.  Oh wait a minute, it WAS only last year.  It wasn't me locked in the trap though, so that's twice you've done that, you daft mare. Eee, how we laughed.  Look at us - we're STILL laughing.  It's a good job we still can.  Proper immature for women our age though.  Yes, I know it only happens once in a blue moon, that's how we justify it.  Perish the thought of it happening more often.

Here, shut up now and drink your coffee, I think I've heard enough lavatorial languishings for one day.

This bizarre conversation happens to be true and is one I had with an old chum yesterday when she made an impromptu visit.  Years ago we vowed to grow old disgracefully and it looks like we managed it.  We are definitely not your stereotypical Sixty-somethings, for sure.  We kind of fell into the disgraceful category, found we enjoyed it and it went from there.
There's more stupid exploits to relate and thereby hangs another post :-)

I never did get to tell her my stuff.  It didn't matter anyway - we had jaw-ache with laughing!

Also, what I want to know is.....what's the most disgraceful thing YOU'VE ever done?  Your turn to confess!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Hip Injection a Success - and Rant About My Car

Crikey, this is like a formal announcement!  I guess it deserves one because the cortisone injection in my hip worked really well.  I've been up and down stairs like a rat up a drain pipe.  No burning or stinging pains, no nerve pain shooting down my leg.  Nothing.  Nada.  I have no idea how long it will last, but after 2 weeks I'm walking much more normally, well there's still a slight waddle but nothing of any significance.  So while I'm blessed with this I'm attempting to make the most of it while I can.

I've tramped through town over the damn market cobbles, I've walked the half mile to our local shops, and hope to be back doing my exercises when I get the all clear to try again.  I never thought I'd see this day, I really didn't.  If I could measure my euphoria on a scale of Misery to Delight, it would be up the top end nestling about a 9.5 with Delight.  I'm taking a half point off due to a dull ache that persists when I get in bed.  BUT, that's the only time I need to take painkillers.  I've been a bit guilty from time to time of taking more than the prescribed dose - out of desperation, so it's brilliant that I only need 2 now.

Car problems
I have a nifty Vauxhall that developed a steering problem last week.  The EPS light came on so I contacted the main dealer who I've always had it serviced with and was asked to bring it in for a diagnostic check.  After the test had been carried out and I was £79 poorer, they told me I needed a new steering column and a new clutch.  There were some other bits and pieces that I already knew about but I certainly wasn't expecting a quote of - OMG wait for this......£2,500!!  My car's only got 44,000 miles on it and in top nick.  Anyway, the receptionist who looked like a false eyelashed, fake tanned 12 years old then announced to me that it wasn't worth repairing and I should think about trading it in.  Wait - it got worse.....or one of their own mechanics "would probably buy it off you to do up".  I was livid but calmly asked for my keys and walked out after telling them I was going for a second opinion.

To cut a long story very short, a  brilliant local guy who has a repair shop looked it over and declared nothing wrong with the clutch - just a bit heavy, but he couldn't get to the sensor on the steering to check that.  He also advised it should have been carried out under Vauxhall warranty - never mind demanding that I pay for it.  Oh, and one of the little jobs that needed doing that the main dealer quoted over £90 for, got done with local guy for £40.  I was seriously naffed off with the main dealer and put in a complaint.  The service manager rang and tried to give me a load of bull-shit but I stuck to my guns and they eventually agreed to replace the steering column under Vauxhall warranty.

However, the flipping thing is STILL not right - the indicator doesn't cancel after turning left (nothing wrong with it before), and the steering is also heavier while turning left.  It's much lighter turning right.  So, another phone call to the main dealer, this time to the head honcho.  Result - it's booked in yet again for Monday morning.  If they bugger me about again, they can get ready!

There....rant over - feel SO much better now!

Friday, 8 August 2014

It's been a funny old week..............

Hey you!  How are you doing?  I hope all's well in your household, and if you're in the UK are you making the best of this warm and wet summer?

Did it chuck it down in your neck of the woods tonight?  We had a belter of a storm together with so much rain.  There'll be Floody Hell's all over Britain again after this.  I'm not going to dwell on that. We need something cheerful and positive to focus on don't we?

I'm bullet listing below some of the positive stuff that's happened in  my life this week.

  • Had an interview on Monday for a volunteer role with the RVS to be a member of the Home Library Service.  I was chuffed to bits to be accepted.  This is to visit housebound people to help them return and choose new library books, CD's and DVD's.  Apparently there's a great demand for the service and I'm looking forward to getting started.
  • Not only have I managed to secure that, I've also been asked by them if I'd be interested in Community Driving.  This is taking people to doctor's, dentist or hospital appointments.
  • Not done yet......because my IT skills are up to date, there's a huge need for tutors to help older people set up their emails and Skype.  I especially like the idea of this, if I can help even one person to communicate with their friends and family then I'll have done a good job.
  • On Tuesday, I had the cortisone injection in my hip.  It felt a bit fragile immediately after, and the physio guy said sit would be about 48 hours before it kicked in.  I was also instructed to take it easy for a few days and not do anything to aggravate it, i.e. digging the garden (fat chance), or going hiking (even fatter chance).  When I got home, Grumpy Trousers announced we were short of a few bits and bobs from the supermarket.  I reminded him that I have to take it easy, and promptly wrote him a shopping list together with a route plan of Morrisons.  Bless him he got all the right stuff - and two cream cakes as well. 
  • Grumpy Trousers and I spent a full morning out in Chesterfield yesterday, mainly for me to return some forms to the library, then afterwards browsing the flea market.  There's so much intriguing stuff on there, and it would definitely take a full day to get round it. I got tired quickly though and my hip ached a bit so we called it a day.  We later had lunch with our younger daughter.  She went back to work and us lazy sods went home for a nap!

I've been busy decorating jars and bottles again.  There's a new batch destined for a friend's 90th birthday party, some for my elder daughter and I'm holding some back for using at a fund raiser I'm doing for The World's Biggest Coffee Morning for Macmillan nurses.

I've popped a few images on here so you can see what I've been doing, and it will also explain why my hair is full of raffia bits and my fingers are flaky with lumps of dried up PVA glue!

Friends are being so brilliant at saving all manner of jars and bottles for me to play with.  The one with the butterfly label above is a Shippams Beef Spread jar for example.  The square one at the top that looks like an inkwell had preserved fruits in it, and I think the rest are mayonnaise jars.  I'm in another zone when I sit quietly doing my crafts.  I have some relaxing  music on and all feels right with the world.

Oh, and I've had a right old issue with my car that needs a post all of its own.  I'll be ranting - be warned.

For now though, I do hope there's a good weekend ahead for you.

Hasta la vista xxxxxx

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Reasons I haven't done much blogging lately

Finding the time to blog at the moment is a bit of a struggle.  You see, we went away for a few days, two weeks on the trot.  First visit was three days in Lincolnshire with our friends.  It was on the coast near Mablethorpe which we affectionately call Mab-le-thorpe.

For those who don't know the area, its a seaside town on the east coast of England, but it doesn't get much tourism investment and sadly has lost some of it's shine.  The beach however is absolutely beautiful with flat, damp sand that you can walk on for miles.  For me that's it's only redeeming quality so my friend and I like to make it sound posher than it actually is.  The surrounding seaside towns are also a bit run down so we verbally spruce them up by referring to them with French sounding names.  Sutton on Sea becomes Sutton sur la Mer, and my favourite is Chapel St Leonards turning in Chappelle san Leonard.  At these places all you can see for miles are caravans and trailers.  Pretty soulless eh?  But perhaps they afford cheap holidays for families who just like to play on the beach, although given the weather in the UK at times, holidays there won't work out THAT cheap.  For example, two options for when it's raining - sit inside the caravan and play games (good option and very cheap), or take bored kids to the arcades and have lunch in a greasy spoon cafe (not cheap).  Believe me, I know, we've done it when the kids were little.  We once totted up the cost of such a holiday and quite honestly, we could have gone abroad!

Despite what I said above, I have the greatest affection for these little seaside towns.  They struggle to keep going without the investment that the bigger resorts get, yet they still provide something for everyone.  Yes it's limited with arcades, cheapo shops selling tat, bingo halls and karaoke, but people still like this stuff.  My friend and I went into Mablethorpe to walk along the beach. It was a really hot day but we enjoyed the breeze coming off the water and the sand under our feet.  We put on our shoes and went up to the promenade to sit on a bench with an ice cream each.  Not just any old ice cream, but a blooming great '99' with twin flakes no less.  Our philosophy is if you're going to have one, have a big 'un!

photo courtesy of http://emsb-solutions.co.uk/99-good-enough/

 It was great smelling the fish and chips and candy floss, not to mention hearing the sounds of the funfair and children's laughter.  We walked back to the car by a different route that took us on a man made path on top of the dunes.  By that time it was scorching hot and we arrived at the car red in the face, looking very much like twin beetroots.  Not a good look!  Opening the car door was like opening an oven so we had to stand at let the heat out before we dare sit in to go back to the nearby village where we were staying.

Here's a jolly image of Mablethorpe.  It's a nice picture and shows off the beach to its best.


The second slot of time away was the following week where we spent 3 days in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, helping our elder daughter decorate her yoga studio that she is renting right in the town centre.  It's a huge room which will take a class of ten comfortably, twelve at a push.  It was pretty hard going, decorating in 30 degree heat.  The paint was drying almost immediately, so it was dragging off the roller.  It slowed things up somewhat but we got it done and it looks magnificent.  All pure white, with red doors and a red carpet.  The carpet was already down but it's almost new so there was no reason to change it.  Red is an energising colour and Kat was happy to keep it.  She's put some lovely little touches around the place, like some wall art of a flock of butterflies, and of course there'll be other Yoga orientated stuff going on.

We so want her to succeed at this venture as a yoga teacher.  Although it's her side-job, it's her main interest and has been for years.  She works hard at it and deserves to do well.  She'll be setting up a new website soon called Great Malvern Yoga.  It's not live yet but I'll do a link to it as soon as it is.

This is her finding alternative uses for good old Morrison's carrier bags to cover the light fittings while painting the ceiling.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Shabby or what?

Crikey peoples, now I've retired time is running away with me!  It's a while since I posted, yet every day I think of something I want to write and share with you.  Can I find the time?  Can I heck!

I'm making time now because it's Saturday evening and I booted Grumpy Trousers off to the pub.  I must say he didn't take any persuading, but his mates will be there, plus our daughter is working on the bar tonight so it will do him good to get from under my feet for a while.

Now, here's the shabby bit.  I was a PA to some high-faluting directors in blue chip companies in my past life, and as such you'd think I'd be terribly well organised wouldn't you?  Well, wrong.  I'm ditsy, and getting ditsier by the day.  The inside of my head is like a shabby old cupboard, full of crap with nothing of any importance.  Example:  today I suddenly remembered that I have a physio appointment soon for a cortisone injection in my hip (to match the one in my foot).  I didn't put the appointment on the kitchen calendar, nor did I put it on the calendar in my phone.  Or in my diary.  I have a letter for an appointment later in the month, but not one for next week.  I began to get worried and turfed out all my drawers in search of it, and I also disrupted the dumping ground for bits of paper that no-one knows what to do with.  It wasn't anywhere.  In a last ditch attempt, I emptied my purse of all its Morrisons vouchers and saving stamps, together with receipts for coffees we had while in Wales at Easter (see, I told you I was shabby!) and lo and behold, there it was, nestling in a little corner of my purse was an tiny appointment card for Tuesday next week at 8.15am.  Phew, thank goodness for that.

This is happening a bit too much lately.  I am so easily distracted and lose track of what I should be doing.  I have a strong need to retrain my brain to become more efficient, then at least I won't fret about forgetting stuff.   Another example is I double booked myself last week.  I invited two chums round for a glass of wine last Monday evening, then realised I should have been going to an Aquacise class at the local pool.  I hastily cancelled the class in favour of wine and gossip.  I'm such a dopey mare sometimes.  When I get into a proper routine with this retirement malarkey, I think I'll fare a bit better.

I was out with a couple of chums last night as one of them had a milestone birthday.  We went to a local steak house, drank lots of Rose wine, got giggly, shared some gossip, and generally had a great time. 

Here's a picture of me (in spotty blouse) with one of  my friends from last evening.  We were a bit squiffy when the photo was taken.  Mind you we do look pretty happy too.

That could explain why I feel a bit shabby today!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Pets Interrupting Yoga

Hello friends, it's been a hectic week and I'm chasing my own tail right now. It seems retirement is not all sitting about!  I have lots of stuff to update you with when I can make time to concentrate properly on stringing a sentence together.

In the meantime, I found this which I thought might amuse you.  The cute cats and dogs are so naughty and it cracked me up, so I hope you enjoy it too.


Friday, 18 July 2014

Have these on me.............

Summer songs....don't you just love them?  I'm sharing two of my most favourites from the playlist.

This one because it reminds me of my first holiday without my parents.  My chum and I went to Great Yarmouth in a grotty flat for a week, and had the greatest time.  The memories are so vivid of her and me in mini skirts, skinny tops, check shirts, hipster pants, boys on Lambrettas, older boys on loud motorbikes, the sound and smell of the sea, hot sand, candy floss, chips, chips and more chips.......every day we had bloody chips - no parents to make us eat sensibly you see.  Summer in the City was in the charts at the time and was played everywhere...happy days :-)

And this one.....wonderful Isley Brothers and the melodic Summer breeze from around 1974.  Newly married, and got this on tape.  I still have the album, but nothing to play it on now.  Thank heavens for You Tube!

Did they evoke any nice memories for you?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Bloody pain!

How often do you hear me moan? C'mon be honest, I don't much do I? 

Hmm, well, last night I was watering my plants and a few of them are down the driveway and it's more trouble than its worth reeling out the hosepipe for them. So I put some water in a couple of buckets and trundled down the drive and duly soaked the fuschias and geraniums. I took back the buckets and put them down empty and as I did so I biggest pain EVER shot from my back, through my hip and down my outer leg.

I'm normally pretty good at not being melodramatic about my pain, and I certainly don't exaggerate an ache into a pain. But this folks, was something different. It stopped me short, I couldn't put my right foot to the floor let alone walk. I was yelling for Grumpy Trousers who was watching TV and didn't hear me, so I was stuck between the car and the house wall, quite unable to move. I kept trying to lift my leg so I could flex it but it was having none of it. The sheer effort of lifting my foot from the floor sent a searing red hot pain through my bad hip. It was after about 10 minutes I was able to drag myself back into the house with the aid of the wall and the car. From that point on, everything I did or tried to do caused the most awful pain. Eventually I got Grumpy to massage all down that side as I lay on the bed. He's a bit heavy handed and doesn't always know his own strength so I had to plead with him for a lighter touch. He got there in the end, and it did provide a little bit of relief. I took an industrial sized dose of painkillers (naughty, naughty!) but I just wanted some relief.

The picture below shows the name of my normal hip condition and an over view of the symptoms.  What happened yesterday was nothing like the pain I get with this.

Strangely, while I lay in bed I had no pain except when I moved. The painkillers knocked me out a bit so I managed to sleep and today, the area is feeling very sore, but nothing as bad as last evening.  I've been a right misery-arse today as it's curtailed my plans to go shopping with a friend.  There's always another day of course and I should wind my neck in and get over myself.  Oh, I know, I'll put a John Bishop DVD on, that should make me forget the pain for a while.  That man has no idea of his pain killing abilities!

So, at the end of all this I reckon I've trapped a nerve or upset my sciatic nerve, and any pain radiating from that would travel through my hip making the bursitis ten times worse.  What do you reckon? I'd appreciate some responses especially if you've had something similar.

Thanks in anticipation xxxx

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Hi, how are you?

Hello, I do hope you're OK.  I'm being a bad blogger because regrettably I'm not posting as often as I'd like - I keep getting taken out by Grumpy Trousers!  Don't get me wrong, I'm not moaning - in fact I'm very happy about it.

We had a fabulous day out yesterday - just took it upon ourselves to bugger off out with some sandwiches wrapped in kitchen foil, a flask of coffee and a bag of sweets.  We planned a route into Staffordshire to a spot we'd passed many times but never called there.  The place is called The Roaches, which is between the towns of Leek and Buxton.  From the main road it's very impressive, but we motored across the moorland in search of other aspects of the area.  I have to say we were absolutely blown away by the sheer beauty and wildness of the area.  The weather helped of course as it was clear and sunny and it made everything look cheerful.

I took this photo (one of many) and it shows Grumpy Trousers sitting on a rock formation called The Winking Man.  We'd walked a fairly easy route up from the road, but I lost confidence because I wasn't wearing my walking boots, only my training shoes.  I was terrified I'd upset my foot as the terrain was a bit rocky.  I was careful however, and made it as high as I felt able to go.  Had I worn my boots I could have tackled so much more.  I think that's reason enough to make a return visit.

The weather was fantastic, and as you'll notice from the picture, it was possible to see for mile after mile. There's a bluey cast to the photo which for some reason I can't get rid of, but it was early afternoon so that was the natural colour of the light.  I'd love to be up on those rocks in the early morning or the 'golden hour' in the evening, because they were beyond magnificent!

Today, I had lunch with some of The Happy Old Bags.  It was someone's birthday and six of us gathered up for a pub lunch.  There were catch ups and gossip, but strangely not as much laughter as usual.  I think people are still reeling from the fact that five of us are gone and we'll no longer be part of their working day. It's going to be dreadful in September whens the new terms starts, with a new intake of students, all like fish out of water.  They'll be needy and the staff will be struggling to deal with the sheer volume of kids coming through the library doors needing an induction.  I feel for those left behind to cope.

Right, that's it, I'm off to bed now.  Sleep tight yourselves.

Hasta la vista!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Post-injection progress

Well now, since I had the cortisone injection on Wednesday, my foot has behaved rather well.  My fingers are crossed as I say this, but I am cautiously hopeful that the injection hit the right spot.

I rested up for a full day after the injection, but since then I have been walking pain free, feeling more energised and generally going about my day with a renewed vigour.

The consultant asked me to keep a diary of any feeling or sensations I get in my foot, and we will be discussing this at my next appointment.  So far my diary entries show two complete days without pain. Today however, I'll be entering that I have some marginal discomfort which I blame on choosing to wear some sandals last evening. I got a bit complacent you see.  I have lived in training shoes or Fit Flops for six years, not able to wear anything nice either (I mean, who wants to wear a nice dress and spoil the effect with laced up black trainers FGS!!)  and so I figured a couple of hours in some pretty sandals wouldn't cause a problem.  Hmmmm, well, it may well  have done - there's an achy sensation in my foot that definitely wasn't there yesterday.  Still can't call it a pain, but an ache, most certainly.  I won't be doing that again for a while.  I should let my foot settle with the benefits of the injection and continue to wear the clumsy training shoes. As I was tidying my wardrobe yesterday I found my white trainers, so I can wear those now too.  I ditched them as they weren't suitable for work, but as that's no longer an issue I can get some wear out of them too.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Foot injection and a lot of swearing!

I had the cortisone injection today in my foot. It was a very different way of doing it from my last procedure back in 2009. More painful than I remembered despite local anesthetic, but it was over in less than 5 minutes. A very kind junior doctor held my hand and let me swear to my hearts content. She just laughed her head off and asked if I knew any more expletives!

They used a dye, then at the point of the cortisone going in they warned me I'd feel the joint stretching.  I certainly felt it alright, but it was over really quickly so I didn't have time to utter any more than ten swear words.  I was like a person with Tourette's!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A New Day, and a New Era

Blimey, what's it all going to bring?  I feel a bit rudderless today as I made no plans to get me through the day.  I figured I'd just go along with it.  Grumpy Trousers is doing jobs on the garage roof, wearing his baggy jeans, his sartorially elegant red braces to hold up said jeans, old polo shirt with collar turned up and a mucky old baseball cap.  It's very hot here today and he suffers if he gets too much sun.  I left him with the all pervading smell of tar, and headed off to the local public library. 

Despite working in a library for the last 7 years, its rare for me to entry the portals of the public one.  This is my local library and not the main town one.  I love this little library as it still has its old wooden bookshelves and stacks, wooden panelling on the walls, and smells deliciously of beeswax.  Just how a library should smell!!

My next port of call was the supermarket for some laundry powder, but of course - you know how it is, if you're a woman it's not possible to go in for just one thing, is it?  Typically, I treated myself to a cheap bunch of flowers, something for tea to save me defrosting something, some fruit and eventually I remembered what I'd gone in for.  The laundry powder.

On the way home, I called at the local tip to offload some bags of shredded paper.  They'd get left in the spare room until about 10 bags had accumulated.  They drive me mad however.  I end up playing football with them when I need to get something from that room, so my intention is to get rid of them when there's a couple. 

Now home, coffee with Grumpy Trousers if I can lure him down from the garage roof, then plant some geraniums.

I know how to live it large, don't I?

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Last day at work tomorrow

I'm writing this now as I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow.  Upset probably, oh I don't know.......I might even surprise myself by joyously skipping out of the building (we all know that's not likely - I can't bloody well walk properly never mind skip).

I have little home made gifts for everyone because we couldn't possibly hold the traditional collection for a present, and all signing of the massive card.  You see, five of us are going - it would be impossible!  I've been saving my jars and cans for a while to decorate up into small flower vases, tea light holders, pen pots or make up brush pots.  I missed the opportunity to give them to the charity intended so I'm wrapping them as little parting gifts for the fabulous people that are my 'work family'.  Each and every one are special to me in different ways, for their humour, empathy, patience, kindness.  I will miss the camaraderie and banter, but as I mentioned in a post a few months ago, we group together with ex-staff and form The Happy Old Bags.  Can you imagine the lunches and the laughter????  There may be even more get-togethers than we have now.  I do hope so - I love a filthy innuendo and there's only The Happy Old Bags to appreciate that; we are as bad as each other.  Someone only has to mention Hugh Jackman or David Gandy's name and then it all begins!

There's a bit of resemblance between them.  Looks like we all enjoy the same type :-)

However, we've all agreed that it's going to be strange being at home all the time.  The others are a lot younger than me and will find other work, but our leaving tomorrow coincides with the end of the summer term and we'd all be off for 8 weeks anyhow.  Perhaps it will eventually feel like we're still on summer break, and just haven't gone back.  I think that's how it will be for me.  The others, I'm not so sure.  Some are angry at the circumstance that has brought about this redundancy situation, others are fairly philosophical, and I'm the one who doesn't give a shit.

Looks like I'm in a good place then!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Heineken 2012 The Switch / cinema version

This is Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes. The girls are from Australia, and everything they do is brilliant!

Not to mention this incredible advert - I could watch it over and over!

Monday, 23 June 2014

My last week at work

Since I made the decision just a few short weeks ago, the time has come round so quickly.  This is now my last week at work and it's really messing with my head.  You see, I think of retirees as, well - old.  That's not fair of course, as many retirees have done it early, and have gone on to forge new skills and interests, and made a life radically different from the one they had before, taking it easy and doing things their own way.

In a way, I'm taking early retirement - by just a year.  And I don't feel old in my head.  My body argues with me most of the time, insisting that I'm decrepit and doddery, then my head argues back and the two of them start a fight!!  How I love being caught up in the middle - it gives me licence to swear and curse like a fishwife.  It's all directed at my stiffening joints, my unco-operative foot and my argumentative hip.  I turn into Agnes Brown (you know Mrs Brown's Boys?) calling everything a "fecking bastard!"  Not that I'm anything like that Irish Mammy.  Well, not a lot.  Maybe a bit. Oh go on then....I admit it, I am.

So, my plans for the summer?  Well, first of all I have to get my foot injected with cortisone next week.   If they manage to hit the correct joint (please God they do!) then I will be pain free and my walking should even out.  This will also be the measure of  success that will guide them to doing the operation to fuse that affected joint (it's the tiniest little thing deep inside my foot).  Once I can walk better on that foot, then my hip will be less sore because of the stress its currently under.  Perhaps this could be the beginning of the end of my waddling days.  Hey, look well if I can wear normal shoes again......I'll be going shopping for some fantabulous, sexy and delicious shoegasm heels!

Fellow blogger Dorne Whale blogged yesterday asking Are You Young at Heart?  .  She read in The Observer (they have posh papers over at Whale Towers) about how scientists are of the opinion that our creativity and subsequent achievements are not hindered by the onset of old age.  Well, too bloody right! She went on to say that Clint Eastwood has just directed his first musical, The Jersey Boys at the age of 84. That's a great move on two counts as far as I'm concerned....

a) the guy's still got it - in every way (ahem!)
b) I grew up with The Four Seasons music and still enjoy it to this day

Do pop over and see Dorne and read her whole post.  For those of us who are of a 'certain age' everything will ring true.  She'll also make you laugh, make you think (she inspired the format for my post today) and bless her she's a fellow foul mouth so that's an endearing quality if ever there was one.

The prime comment for me in Dorne's post was the question about how many of us are becoming increasingly aware of the clock ticking away at the side of us.  It seems like one minute I was still at school, the next thing I remember was having two babies and an absent husband, a sick mum and an old wreck of a car.  At some point after that I had a flying career, now suddenly I'm plunging headlong into retirement. What's wrong with time?  Did it feck off down a black hole?  Has yours done that?  Bloody hell, I need to make haste if I'm to achieve all the stuff I promised myself.  I want an adventure or two, such as a holiday on a Turkish Gulet, or Greek island hopping for a start.  Finishing the office at home would be good too - I can see some of my redundancy getting spent on that.  It shouldn't be much, but factoring in a contingency would hike it up a bit.

Yes, time has a nasty habit of running away at an alarming rate of knots, and I'll lay bets you know that too, don't you?

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Dealing with difficult people

Sometimes when I come across a person who isn't easy to be around, my mind labels them as 'difficult'.  Well, its true, they are.  But are they difficult through choice?  They may not even realise.  For example, I have a friend who get on well with and who I love to bits, but I can't spend too much time with her because I end up exhausted with her negativity.  No matter how I try to filter some positivity into our conversations, her negativity wins over.  She has no idea she does this and as much as I'd like to tell her (well, screech at her if you MUST know) it wouldn't - a) have much affect, b) be fair to her.

Another example, in our local pub there's a guy who drinks in there who's nickname is Knobhead, purely because he talks what others perceive as total b*llocks.  Sure, he does talk daft and has an opinion on everything whether he knows about it or not.  He's not a bad person, therefore I think this is due to some form of insecurity.  Somehow in the past, someone will have got the better of him in an unpleasant way. It may even go as far back as childhood.  Maybe it's learned behaviour from his own father.  Who knows.  He probably has no idea himself.

I do by my own admission, suffer fools rather too gladly.  I don't let people put on me but I can tolerate the 'nutter on the bus' for the short journey.

However, I've had some difficult bosses and managers in the past who have made my life absolute hell, and I'm sorry to say I never felt any compassion for them.  The article below by J Elizabeth Young, makes interesting reading and made me think towards my regard for difficult people.  I looked back on my experience with those bosses and I can see their insecurities.  Despite that insight, I still don't feel much compassion. 

The staff at the UK Passport Offices might need the advice below right now.

What's YOUR take on this?
Dealing with Difficult People: 5 Effective, Compassionate Practices

“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” ~Eckhart Tolle
It’s morning; you’re in a great mood. You’re relaxed and have plenty of time to practice your morning routine. After a delicious breakfast you head out to start your day. Then it happens: you encounter a difficult person and your calm turns to calamity.
We all have encounters with people who prefer to stay miserable, making everything difficult. They exist, and perhaps there was a time in your past when you once where one of those negative people. Perhaps you still can be at times.
As a former miserable person I know it was my inability to handle my mental and emotional states that kept me oozing all over others. I felt so disconnected from life, living obsessively in my mind, that I truly felt helpless. 
Most often that helplessness manifested into continuous critiquing, judging, anger, and sometimes even pure rage. I was unwilling to take full responsibility for my relationship to life. I wanted peace, joy, and harmony, but I was unwilling to do the necessary work to experience them.
Difficult people are demanding. They demand something from the external world in hopes of filling the disconnection and restlessness they feel within. Whether they are demanding our attention, a certain action or reaction, or a particular outcome, the root of their behavior is a demand for something other than what is.
Difficult people haven’t yet learned to take responsibility for their whole selves—mind, body, and spirit. Feeling disconnected and restless gives rise to their need to argue, judge, critique, and tweak everyone around them.
Their inability to handle themselves adds fuel to the fire, which perpetuates their harshness.
Underneath their personality is a feeling of being separate and a desperate plea for help. We can’t change another and we can’t make someone want to change. The only way we can help is by being true to our self, finding our power within, and being an example of wholeness.
Here are a few practices I’ve found useful, loving, and extremely effective.
1. Be still and ground yourself. 
Naturally, when we are confronted with a rude, irritable, or irate person, we tend to avoid them. We think that if we avoid them they will go away, or at least we hope they will. The truth is that, although this may happen, it is much more likely that they won’t until we learn an alternate way of dealing with them.
Negative energy has a force and it can knock us on our butt, usually in the form of us engaging in toxic behavior. If we are not grounded, we may find ourselves arguing, judging, or stomping out of the room.
Making sure we are firmly planted in our body enables us to look the person in the eye and be completely present. It gives us the opportunity to remain calm and pause rather than engage in behavior we may later regret.
2. Look them directly in the eyes. 
Darkness—negativity—can’t stand light and more, so it can’t remain in the light. Looking someone directly in his or her eyes dispels darkness. Your light pierces through the superficial persona to their being.
When I practice this tool one of two things always happens:
·         The person walks away or stops talking.
·         The conversation takes a more positive direction.
We all want to be seen, from the cashier at Target to our spouse. Taking the time to look at someone offers them the greatest gift we have to offer: connection.
Try it as an experiment and see what happens.
3. Listen to understand. 
I find that whenever a difficult person confronts me, I automatically tense up and mentally consider my defense. When I am calm and open-minded, I know that I never have to defend myself, ever.
The most effective way to diffuse a difficult person is to truly listen to what they are trying to say, which means keeping my mouth closed and hearing them all the way through.
Whether or not I agree with them is irrelevant, and I certainly don’t need to let them know what I think. I can listen and get back to them if necessary such as with a spouse, co-worker or friend.
I find the following responses to be most effective:
“Let me get back to you on that.”
“You could be right.”
When a person is being difficult, it is because they are responding to their perceived reality rather than what is going on in the moment. Often times their frustration has very little to do with us.
I find when someone’s reaction seems over the top for the situation that repeating the same response diffuses the situation.
4. Learn when to be silent.
Some people are extremely closed-minded and impossible to talk to, but we need to speak to them. When I find myself in a situation with someone who just can’t hear me in the moment, I don’t force the issue. Trying to get my point across to someone that can’t hear me only escalates the situation. Sometimes the clearest form of communication is silence.
At a later time I can revisit the conversation with the person and communicate what needs to be said. Regardless of the person’s response, I can share my feelings and thoughts and let go of the outcome. Focusing on them responding a certain way only results in two difficult people unable to accept what is.
5. Be honest with yourself.
If we are repeatedly in a situation with someone who is abusive verbally, physically, and/or emotionally, we must stop trying to change him or her. If we find we are practicing a spiritual way of life and someone close to us isn’t changing, it may be time to get honest with our self and find out what is really going on.
The question of whether or not to end a relationship with a difficult person, whether a friendship, work or romantic relationship, can only come from within you.
If you can honestly say you have done what you know to do, have asked for help from a friend or professionally and nothing is changing, then its time to go within for the answer and trust what you find.
On the other side of a difficult person is an opportunity to grow.
No matter what we are presented with in life, we have an opportunity to choose more or less responsibility. Remembering that true responsibility is our ability to respond in the moment.
Of course, this takes practice and is not easy. However, as we take more and more responsibility for our life, circumstances and people lose their power over us. We learn to choose our responses moment by moment, no longer being dragged around by emotions, thoughts, or circumstances created by another or our self.
Photo here
Avatar of J. Elizabeth Young
J Elizabeth Young is most importantly a student of The Art of Living Inspired. Years of suffering ended when she discovered who she is. She writes about her journey that led to the recognition of One. She produces and co-hosts The Possible Podcast – To Achieve Things You Never Thought Possible found in iTunes, Stitcher, and Zune.