Thursday, 29 March 2012

Almost the weekend

Mr H and I are planning to go sailing in our new dinghy at the weekend.  Well when I say new, it's 1966 (the same age as us!) but we've not sailed it since we bought it in November.

Last night we did a dinghy swap, which involved bringing 'Nutshell' the Firefly home from the sailing club dinghy park, and taking 'Bluebird' the Heron down to put in it's place. That took us a couple of hours and afterwards we treated ourselves do a meal in the pub, something we never do on our own!

Going back to the dinghies, I also have a modern single-hander down there (the 'Purpletrator'), and the club have been good at allowing them to stay there for the last couple of years even though they've not been used. Normally to keep your space in the dinghy park you have to use the boat at least 5 times between April and September.

So, fingers crossed for weather and wind (enough but not too much please) on Saturday, and also that nothing untoward happens to put me off. Who knows, maybe this will be the year for getting back on the water...?

Monday, 26 March 2012


I drove up to Cheshire on Friday evening to stay with some friends, a four and a half hour drive from here. It was the furthest I have driven since the crash, without a back-up driver sitting next to me. In my previous life that would have been a no-problem trip; both I and Mr H are used to driving long distances, to Scotland etc.

This time, although I got there fine I really noticed a) how much more tired I got and b) once it got dark how worried I was that I wasn't at peak concentration. The motorway felt like a scary place but for me it was myself that was the risk, not others.

I have become very aware of the responsibilities involved in being on the road - the car and me both being in condition above reproach.  That sounds like something that goes without saying, but for most people I'm sure it doesn't prey on their minds.  It must come from all the questions I was asked after the crash even though I had done nothing wrong. I had blood taken and the van was examined for defects, and I was questioned about all sorts of things; I got the feeling that if I'd been driving in high heels that might have come up at some point.

So now I really think about what I could be held responsible for IF anything were to happen.  So when I don't feel 100%, I'm really not comfortable about it...

But still, I had a great weekend!

Thursday, 22 March 2012


No I'm not talking about dancing (for those of you in the UK).

This evening I am doing a mock exam question, which is part of my Open University assessment.  It's only worth 5% of the overall mark but is good practice, plus it's made me start my revision in good time!

So, Mr H is going to take Django out for a walk so I have an hour's piece to answer the question 'under exam conditions'.

Hmm, I suppose that means I can't have a cup of tea on the go while I'm writing?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Spring has sprung

Instructions on potatoes:  "Plant when the risk of frost is past".  Yes well that could be the end of April!!

Planted them yesterday, frost last night.  Oh well what the heck they'll be fine.

I also cleared out the greenhouse, which is only 6 x 4 and had become a repository for all sorts of stuff over the last two years.  So I have the staging back in a useable state, and a wee tomato plant in there now.

Spring is here!

Friday, 16 March 2012


I wrote a letter to Mr H the other day.

We have both had rubbish weeks, and things were feeling wrong. I needed to talk to him but whenever I try I just get upset. So I wrote to him instead. I miss writing to him.

In the UK, it is proposed to increase the price of stamps by a huge amount, 50% or so. I heard a man from the Post Office say that "Letters are only written by people who can't use e-mail".  What rot! I shouted at the radio (or words to that effect). 

I didn't post the letter to Mr H though, I left it on the bed.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Chickens and eggs

I read a research article the other day about pain in the proximal thigh following femur IM nailling (ie. what I've got).  It was quite interesting although it was related to 1991-1993 surgeries so possibly things are done differently now.

Anyway, in amongst the research paper it mentioned that a) where litigation is involved the patients experienced more pain and b) when the litigation is settled the pain diminshes.

Well, that sound reasonable I thought. Where litigation is involved and it depends to some extent on how much one is suffering, and you have a constant reminder of it with contact from the solicitor etc., it is bound to have an effect on how much you think about the pain.

Then I thought, but if the litigation continues as long as there is substantial pain, but reduces when it is settled, surely this is a chicken and egg situation?   It still hurts substantially so the litigation drags on...?

The other thing the article took into account was whether the patients had had the IM nail removed because of pain or 'irritation'.  I really don't want to go through another surgery, and if they suggest it then it's going to be a difficult decision to make. Oh well, I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.

In the meantime, every time I think "Oh *** it hurts today!"  I will psychoanalyse myself ;-)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Going doo-lally

I was just thinking how easy it would be to persuade someone that they are going mad / senile even if they weren't.  I'm sure it's the sort of thing that awful people in novels or films do to their parents in order to get their hands on the dosh. Such an easy way to mentally torture somebody by sewing seeds of doubt in their mind.

Mr H and I sometimes have disagreements about what we have told each other, or accuse each other of remembering something wrongly.  We are both convinced that we are remembering correctly, although it cannot possibly be the case (and it's not in writing so neither of us can prove it). 

Right now I am hesitating about passing on some casual news in case he says "I told you all about that the other week, don't you listen to a word I say?"  I'm wracking my brain in advance and I don't recall knowing anything about it... aaggghh I'll just have to risk it! ;-)

Friday, 9 March 2012

After effects

One of the things the psychologist definitely got right about me was my sense of vulnerability since the crash, both on behalf of myself and others. 

Life is threatening. Anything could happen, from anywhere, without warning. People's behaviour isn't to be trusted.  I'm not talking about meteorites hitting earth but physical vulnerability in every day situations.

When I am driving, or when I cycle or walk towork, I am so much more wary of what cars / cyclists / pedestrians may do. It may be something that would affect me, or the thought of seeing a crash happen to someone else. People driving fast (too fast in my mind), or overtaking in a bad place, set my heart a-thumping. The other day I saw someone playing with their dog by the road, it kept running out in the road and back again. I wanted to shout at her, and my nervous reaction shocked me.

Mr H can tell you that my reaction if I think he is driving too fast or close, or taking (what I think of as) risks is that of a nervous wreck. 

Yet when I'm driving, or in control of a situation, or feeling relaxed, I can forget about it.  Until that car in front decides to overtake on a blind bend, nooooooo!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Can't - Can

Yesterday we got an invitation in the office to go sailing on Mariquita in May   I jumped at the chance and e-mailed the skipper to say yes please, my colleague and I would love to come.

Last night I got an attack of the nerves thinking 'I can't' and this morning I was thinking 'maybe I shouldn't', 'what if it's windy?'

But by the time I got to work I had decided that I can.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

I didn't go swimming

I was going to go swimming tonight... ok step back a bit, I would normally have gone to aquaerobics last night, but last Monday I must have pulled something because the middle of my thigh where the lumpy bone is has been painful since then, more than usual I mean.  When I took my sock off the other night I'm sure it made a strange crunching noise inside there...!   The problem, or at least the thing (as it's not really a problem) with any class such as aquaerobics is that if I go then I put all my effort into it.  There is no option of 'going but taking it easy', I can't do that.

So I thought I'd go ordinary swimming tonight, but then I cycled to work (twice) and walked Django after work, so I'd had some exercise and decided that I'd do some sketching instead (while Mr H is outside welding the Mole).

So here is what I sketched:

blind contour drawing of my fiddle

normal sketch

more blind contour of the fiddle, and the end of a broken bow

blind contour of some large sewing scissors - man this was difficult.  I tried starting them in different places but it didn't help much!

(Sorry the photo quality isn't brilliant, will use a better camera next time)

I'm a winner!

I have just won an original of one of Carol's super drawings, to be precise I caught this one !

To be in her monthly draw to win one, just follow her art blog (of course, it's well worth following without that extra incentive!).  I highly recommend that you go and take a look.

She inspires me to have a go at stuff, and reminds me that it doesn't have to be big or complicated (although some of hers are complicated)... I just need to put some action behind that inspiration!

Monday, 5 March 2012


Mr H's (and my) 17 year old niece, who lost her mother to cancer aged 48 a couple of years ago, recently dumped her boyfriend "because he is horrible to his mother. I can't be with someone who doesn't treat his mother well".

My mother often drives me to distraction. She imagines conversations, she dwells on things (real or imagined) for weeks, she says 'I can't' when she can.  I know it's not her fault that the neurons are aging, but sometimes I dread her phoning, having imagined I said or promised something, or to ask me about a thought that's been worrying her. Some days she's got her old spark back and is on the up, others she's lost and vulnerable, and I find it sad and difficult.

Our niece is amazing; she is strong, beautiful and funny (just like her mother), she and her brother are a real inspiration. 

When I'm struggling with my parents getting older, feeling impatient with Mum and worrying about what's going to happen in the future, I have to remind myself that others wish with all their hearts that they had both parents to worry about...

Sunday, 4 March 2012


I just made some stuff up on my fiddle.

I can't really read music any more. Well I can... slowly.. and painfully.. so that what comes out sounds awful.

But I do have a good ear, so making up Celtic-type fiddle-y tunes suits me just fine.  

I guess I won't be playing The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba again any time soon...

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Past and Future

I made this rug for Mr H well before we were married so it's getting on for 25 years old. The two things that defined him for me were his music and his old car(s).  The rug went with him to Scotland, and it is now beside his bed back at home.

When I looked at it today, while he was outside working on the Mole, it occurred to me that we have gone full circle.   Not that I am making rugs for him again, but that we have re-discovered an enthusiasm for old cars (I know that this is in no small part helped by his new job surrounded by classic cars and enthusiasts!).  

Twenty years ago when we lived classic cars, things were different. The roads were a lot quieter, parts were easier to come by whereas now the local motorist shop doesn't know what you're talking about. Additives or new engine parts are needed to run on modern fuels.   

Also, we are older, wiser and more mortal. Driving a small, 44 year old car regularly is going to take a bit of getting used to, especially for me; it will take a while for me to beat the feeling of vulnerability. 

It made me smile today though, and I vacuumed the rug and it still looks good as new,

Friday, 2 March 2012

Blogging and The Mole

Mr H and I were discussing blogging last night, and how one has to be consistent to get a consistent readership and responses.

When I started it properly in 2010, when I had a lot of time on my hands, that was no problem. Lots to say, lots of time to say it.  Now that I'm back at work, studying and have Mr H home to distract me, I don't find it so easy.

I often think of things to blog about while I'm walking or cycling home, but have forgotten it by the time I get my computer out (yes, yes a sign of old age!).  Or nothing interesting enters my head... that's probably not true but it isn't things I can put into words.  I did decide to make more of an effort though, and if it's not intensely thought provoking or amusing then so be it ;-)


We just got the Hillman Imp Super (the Mole) back from hospital, with new head gasket, starter motor, thermostat and a few other bits and pieces.  The MOT runs out today so Mr H went to work in it before we have to settle down to sort out the bits that need fixing. I had to smile as I watched their diminutive form trundling off up the road!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

We're more important than you

Whenever there is news of an air crash, or something happening on a cruise ship, or any other terrible disaster, the News will report that "there were 5 Britons aboard" or "on which there were no Britons".  

Who cares?

People are people.

People died or suffered in some way.  Why should it matter whether they were British or not?  (and let's not get into the discussion about what constitutes 'British' or we'll be here all night).

It's as if the British press think that the world consists of Important British People and Everyone Else (of lesser importance).  Are we supposed to feel more sorry if Britons were killed?  or think "Oh, that's ok then" if none were?

Do other countries do the same or is it us?