LAUGH OR CRY

Generally life has been going OK.

Ian has his ongoing health issues that he is finally getting the surgeries he needs for, or the usual money worries and just scraping through on payday.
My house is usually pretty tidy, the washing stays up to date and I can’t remember the last time I had huge piles of ironing to get through. The gardens are pretty much under control, especially after we finally got the landlord to take down the HUGE laylandii in the back garden and we personally got the same guy to buzz down the hedges in the front garden.
Marji finally got the go ahead on the surgery she’s been waiting for for over two years and this will take place this coming monday.
Nothing unexpected and nothing out of the ordinary and work is actually going great!

I had a lovely week of annual leave last week.
I chilled, I attended Marjorie’s Graduation and I saw Imagine Dragons in the rain on Saturday.
That was it, or so I thought.

I was chilling and getting ready to go back to work on Sunday when the shit literally hit the fan and life threw one of it’s curve balls at us.

The family now know and Murron has given me permission to blog about it.

I received a message from my eldest daughter, Murron, who moved to Kettering with her partner a year and a half ago, informing me that the relationship was over.
To be honest, I had suspected something over the last few weeks because Murron just wasn’t quite right when I talked to her on FB video messenger.
She said that she had felt like a single mum for the last 2 or 3 months because her partner just won’t do anything and doesn’t get involved with helping to look after my grandson, JJ, or help out around the house and just doesn’t want to do anything other than sit on his computer playing games.
Murron had given him warning after warning and even told him she was leaving and started to pack things up but nothing changed, so on Monday, she packed up a few emergency bits and headed back to Bedford to stay with us and start to sort out housing.

Things were initially quite amicable and I don’t think her partner really believed Murron was actually seriously leaving, but on Weds, when she still hadn’t come home, the penny finally dropped and his attitude started to change.
To be honest, his attitude sucks and I did think better of him but after what he did on Weds I lost whatever respect I had for him and think he’s an absolute arsehole.

Murron had asked him NOT to remove her from the Universal Credit until she had housing sorted but he went ahead and did it anyway. This has just made her task ten times harder because it’s harder to get housing without benefits and harder to get benefits without an address.

Then he started to get shitty about when she was going to collect her stuff because he wanted the house key back, so we made the decision to hire a storage unit and a van and went to the house today to get everything.
Thankfully my brother and his mate Jason were on hand to help out with the first load of heavy stuff and then the second load consisted of all the smaller boxes and clothes which we are going to have to sort through tomorrow before taking it all to the storage unit.
Her partner did the sensible thing and stayed away from the property for the day, but he’s in for a shock when he gets home because most of the furniture was Murrons!
She’s ticked off too because all of the bags that she had already packed had been ripped open and looked through.
The house looked ransacked when we arrived and even more ransacked when we left.

To make the week even harder, my youngest daughter tested positive for Covid on Wednesday so has been isolating and trying to stay away from her sister who is having surgery on Monday and needs to be Covid free.
So far Marji’s required lateral flows have been negative but it’s getting worrying because Ian tested positive this morning too!!
That means I’ll be sleeping on the sofa for a few days because I can’t afford to get Covid again, especially not this week.
It’s a busy week at work and getting Covid is really going to put a spanner in the works.

So I’m sitting here this evening not knowing whether to laugh or cry.
I am so tired after today but I am not ready for sleep.
At least I get a bit of a lay in tomorrow before having to sort through the mountains of clothes Murron has brought home. She needs to get rid of a lot, but getting her to do it is going to be difficult because she likes to hang on to some real shit!

I’m hoping that’s the end of problems for a while.
I think it’s enough.
Let us get Murron sorted and life back on track before life throws anything else at us!!!

TOUGH DECISION TO MAKE

So, it’s been a week of ‘mostly’ relaxing.
I’ve started a tough little project in the back garden but I’m going to take my time over it.

It’s a hidden little area at the back end of the garden. It can’t be seen from the patio area which I’ve put most of my work into, but it can be seen from the dining room and it’s beginning to really bug me.
I plan to just tidy it up a bit and hopefully get a little rockery and some flowering plants in there and make it all a bit easier to maintain. We’ll see.

I went to Marjorie’s graduation.
A year late because of Covid restrictions but it didn’t make me any less proud of her.

I went to see Imagine Dragons for second time. Still fantastic!

Ian has healed well from his surgery and now awaits a follow up and a decision on the other arm and also an appointment with Addenbrooks about his neck. So ongoing for him, but at least it’s started to happen.

The surprise of the week was the phone call out of the blue for Marjorie, offering her a surgery on her foot on the 27th June from a surgeon she’s never even met!!
She’s seeing him on Thursday and having a pre-assessment on Friday.
It’s all very odd, as the previous 2 ‘private’ surgeons she went to see via the NHS both said they wouldn’t do any surgery.
The surgeon she grew up with, who fixed her hips and then took her on because of the Freiburgs in her foot, retired towards the end of Covid lockdown and it looks like a surgeon from the hospital has picked up his waiting list which Marjorie has been on now for over 2 years. We’re hoping he will do the two step procedure her original surgeon suggested, but that will all be discussed on Thursday.

So! Two members of the family having surgery.

The week went really well and things were going swimmingly until some news that hit a bit hard this lunch time.
Can’t go into any more detail just yet, but needless to say, the blood pressure I had been hoping to drop a little has now gone back through the roof!

Life always has a way making sure you don’t have things too easy.

The big decision is a bit of a heads up, as I’m seriously thinking about giving up my WordPress!!
When I look at it, I’m just venting and moaning on it most of the time.
Things that used to give me pleasure have been neglected. I haven’t done a Dish of the Week for over two years now.
The annual cost is coming up for needing to be paid next month and I’m seriously thinking about stopping.
Let me know what you think.

So, back to work tomorrow and about the only thing in my life that is currently not giving me any stress!

INCREASINGLY WORRIED

Sometimes I get very worried about things going on in the world.
Take the current WAR going on with Russia and Ukraine.
And WAR is exactly what it is.
The devastation it has caused to millions of innocent people who were just trying to get on with their lives and the fact that Putin said he wouldn’t invade time and time again, yet here we are….. but OH!! It’s not an invasion, it’s apparently a ‘special military operation’.
NO, it’s a WAR.
We have seen the russians showing their nuclear capabilities but say they are just ‘testing’.
Do we believe them?
I’m certainly very sceptical about ANYTHING they say they won’t do, because they just go ahead and do it anyway.

The sad part is that the people of Russia are so brainwashed by what they see on TV because they only get what’s fed to them by Putin, that they don’t have a clue what’s really happening and how the rest of the world currently percieve them. They are now suffering because of all the sanctions but they believe it is the rest of the world unfairly causing it and not the actions of Putin making it necessary.
When they finally wake up and smell the roses it’s not going to be pretty!!
Putin really scares me at the moment. The only saving grace is that the military leaders surrounding him and supporting him are slowly beginning to see the error of his ways. Hopefully they will have the balls to bite back and take control at some point.

Before Russia however, and still bubbling in the background, is America.
When I was a young girl, I used to dream of visiting and even living in America.
I still want to go for the occasional visit but I categorically wouldn’t want to live there anymore.
Why?

Where shall I start?

The whole lack of health care for a start.
If me and Ian were to live there, with all our current health conditions, we’d be bankrupt.
Ian’s medication alone would cost us thousands of Dollars a month.
Ian would never be able to work again because we wouldn’t be able to afford the multiple surgeries he needs.
He would literally just live the rest of his life in cripalling pain that gets progressively worse until he dies.
Here in the UK, he was just paying £10.40 a month and this got him ALL of his medication, regardless of how many items it consisted of, and I say WAS, because now that he has been disgnosed with Diabetes, he gets it all for FREE.
He also gets his surgeries for free. There may be waiting lists and frustration with lack of communication between services, but at the end of the day, he gets the surgery he needs to get on with his life.

Americans and their attitude to GOD.
My beliefs as an athiest are going to be enough to get me into trouble. I couldn’t hold my tongue for very long with an American spouting about living life under God direction and looking down at me because I don’t attend church.
The fact that GOD is mentioned in politics makes my blood boil, especially when it is currently being used to change the laws on womens health rights and sending them back to the dark ages.

But my main concern at the moment is that American are living life based off of a constituion written 235 years ago.
A constitution which was groundbreaking and relavent at that time but has become outdated and totally innapropriate now, and yet we see it’s affect pretty much on a daily basis in the news.
Particularly the 2nd Amendment giving Americans the ‘right to bear arms’ that certain American’s will argue about until they are blue the face. It is, after all, their ‘consitutional right!’.

But when you see the aftermath of that ‘right’ in the news as frequently as we do. Surely something seriously needs to be done about it.
When you put it into context, according to worldpopulationreview.com, between 2009 and 2018 school shootings across the globe were rank like this….

8th place = Azerbaijan, China, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Kenya, Russia, and Turkey, with only 1 shooting.
7th place = Brazil, Canada, and France, with 2 shootings.
6th place = Afganistan, with 3 shootings.
5th place = Nigeria and Pakistan, with 4 shootings.
4th place = India, with 5 shootings.
3rd place = South Africa, with 6 shootings.
2nd place = Mexico, with 8 shootings.
1st place = United States, with 288 shootings.

288!! Let that sink in.

In 2022, the recent Uvalde shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers was the 27th school shooting in the USA so far THIS YEAR! That’s just over 4 per month.
Kids shouldn’t be scared to go to school.
Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their child’s safety at school.
The Government should have the balls to stand up to the National Rifle Association and do something.

Do you know who aren’t on that list?
UK and Australia

In the UK, in 1996, when 16 children ages 5 and 6 were targeted, along with their teacher, by a former Scout leader in the Scottish town of Dunblane, British lawmakers effectively banned private ownership of all handguns in mainland Britain, giving the country some of the strictest anti-gun legislation in the world. Authorities also introduced a firearm amnesty, resulting in the surrender of thousands of guns.
Members of the public are allowed to own rifles for sports and shotguns, provided they are licensed to do so. 
There have been NO reported shootings in schools since.

In Australia, just weeks after a lone gunman killed 35 people in 1996, at a cafe in the tourist town of Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australian authorities, despite fierce opposition from the gun lobby, passed strict gun control legislation, including a ban on semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns.
As part of the reforms, thousands of unlicensed firearms were surrendered. All licensed gun owners were required to take a safety course. Some 650,000 firearms were confiscated and destroyed. 
There were 13 mass shootings in Australia in the 18 years before the legislation was adopted, resulting in more than 100 deaths. There were NO mass shootings for 14 years after the laws were passed. There have been few incidents in Australia since the laws were enacted, and NO school shootings.

GUN CONTROL WORKS

And yet, Americans will argue that it is their ‘right’ to bear arms.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
The 2nd AMENDMENT is just that, an AMENDMENT!!
By the very definition of the word AMENDMENT, it’s already been changed, so why is no-one challenging this and changing it again to bring it up to 21st century standards?
The Constitution was written at a time when Flintlock pistols were the weapon of choice, not semi-automatic rifles and modern day handguns.

Then today, I open the news to 31 white supremacists being arrested at an Idaho gay pride event.
They are members of the Patriot Front Group which was formed in 2017 after the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Where a WHITE woman died, I might add)
What makes it even worse is they they were from 11 different states so had organised this, and travelled in specifically to target the event.
The groups manifesto calls for the formation of a white ethnostate in the US which makes me spitting mad because, because America is a diverse multiculture made up of immigrants and originally set up by invaders.
The only ‘TRUE’ Americans are the indiginous American Indians who were forced off of their land and almost wiped out by those invaders.

Anyway, that’s a whole nother blog all on it’s own.
So, as much as I want to see the spectacle of places like New York and the wonders of places like the Grand Canyon and only America can do Disney, and there are some amazing and colourful characters all across the country, and the fact that I KNOW that a lot of Americans are wonderful people, I could never bring myself to live in America as it is at the moment.
There’s just so much I don’t agree with and the idiots always seem to win or get urged on by more idiots and because of ‘their constitutional rights’, they think they have the right to force their views on everyone else.
I would end up getting arested for punching a said idiot and starting a riot myself!!

HAVE A THINK…

Put yourself in this scenario and tell me what you would think or do in the same situation.

You’re just 25 years old and you have your whole life already planned for you.
You are bound by your duty.
You don’t have the luxury of doing what you want, when you want, EVER again.
No going to the cinema, no going out for dinner and a drink with mates, no jam nights at the local music venues, no going on a last minute holiday, no changing jobs if you don’t like the one you’ve got. Would you accept that?
You are governed by your duty to your country and, to some, this seems like a luxury or a waste of money.
You will never be able to do all those normal things…. EVER.
Your days are timed to the minute with meetings and events. Even on days where you wish you could just give something a miss and have a day off, it’s not going to happen.
Imagine, living your ENTIRE life like this. Never being able to do exactly what you want to do……….

I’ve been getting a little upset with people poo pooing the Jubilee celebrations.
Yes, there are some things about the Monarchy that need to change and things that some of them get up to that I don’t agree with, but when all is said and done, the Monarchy, with all its pomp and circumstance, generates about 19 BILLION pounds for the British Economy every year.
The cost to the tax payer is just £4.50 a year.
So I get a little upset when I see people shitting on people celebrating the Jubilee and pointing out the fact that there are so many food banks in the country and that the starving should be fed first!!

FUCK OFF!!

Attack the government for these failures and let the country have some pride in it’s Monarchy.
When did it become taboo to have some pride in your country?
Every other fucking country in the world has pride, including the horrendously governed USA!!

Elizabeth has given this country her life.
She gave up any semblence of a normal life at the age of just 25 when anyone else at the same age is partying and living it up and discovering who they actually are.
She did this without question.
She just accepted her responsibility and performed her duty to this country for her entire life.

It’s only 4 days of celebrations.
It’s going to take a damn site more to change what’s wrong with this country and that is up to the government and NOT the Monarchy.
Talk to the Government about re-directing some of that £19 BILLION to areas that need it.

UPDATE – TIME TO VENT X 2

Wow, things have Really started move.

TIME TO VENT HERE

UPDATE – TIME TO VENT HERE

The hubby now has a 1st surgery date of 30th May!
He goes for a pre-assessment on Monday and as long as all goes well, he’ll be having his first surgery on Monday the 30th May in Luton.
Bit of a pain that it’s not actually in Bedford but we’ll take whatever we can get at this point.

This surgery will hopefuly be the start of getting him back to work.
We’re not going to rush things though.
He still has the issue with his neck and it could be a mixture of this problem along with the Carpel/Cubital tunnel issues that’s giving him all the pain and preventing the working.

Stupid thing is, he actually feels OK at the moment! But that’s because he’s not doing anything at the moment.
That kind of lulls him into a false sense of security so when he does go out to do anything, he seriously pays for it the next day.

Anyway, it’s a start and he could be spending the next few months in and out of surgery.
Hopefully this will at least get him back to being able to work in some fashion.

At least ‘I hope so’ because if this is how he’s going to be during retirement, I want a divorce NOW!!

UPDATE – TIME TO VENT

It may be too soon… but… hallellujah!!
We finally seem to be getting somewhere with the ongoing saga of Ian and his physical issues at the moment.

I’m not going into detail again as it was all covered in my post titled TIME TO VENT.
Click HERE to catch up.

Today I can report that we finally have some movement and plans in place!!

The outcome of the phone call to Addenbrookes was that because of his previous neck surgery, they wanted to see more imaging. So they wanted a CT scan and an X-ray.
He was given a follow up in July, so he had been expecting to hear from Bedford regarding the imaging.

Nothing…… not a dicky bird!

Ian had to call the hospital to find that the requests were there but had not been marked as urgent or required before an appointment date!
So he updated the hospital with the urgency of the imaging and arranged his own date in June to get them done.
I guarantee that after the images are done, he will be pushing to make sure the results are sent to Addies.
The lack of communication is exhausting!

Anyway, on to the Carpel tunnel and Cubital tunnel in both wrists and elbows.
Bedford stated that they they had a big waiting list for this surgery and asked if Ian would be willing to go to Luton.
Ian agreed and today he went to see them.
He has just arrived home and has signed consent paperwork for the start of surgery on his right arm, both the wrist and elbow.
They stated that due to his psoriatic arthiritis they may have to do a little more work on the elbow and he ‘could’ end up in a cast, this would all take 6 – 8 weeks to recover from and then they would look at his left arm!!

Result!!
This first procedure could potentially get him back to work in some capacity.
Work have been amazing and are still paying him fully, even though they could have stopped over a month ago.
We can only hope that now Ian has plans actually on the go, they will remain just as amazing.

So it looks like Ian will be in and out of surgeries for the forseable future and hopefully slowly getting back to work in some capacity before it’s all completed.

We now have everything crossed that the ball keeps rolling and we can keep our heads above water financially, but this is all dependent on Ian’s job and the hope that they ‘really’ want to keep him!!

So we have now gone from Def Con 3, to Def Con 4.
There is still concern there, but it is not all consuming and we can live with it for now.

DECOMPRESSED

I’ve just had a lovely few days in London with Marji, one of my daughters.
She had brought me a hidden cinema experience for 2 at TT Liquor for Xmas and we’ve been waiting for the right time to go.
She had arranged this week off work for a break, and after a think, I decided to take the week off too and we also arranged to see Mary Poppins as my cousin’s little girl, Sophie, is currently playing Jane Banks in the show.

So! Monday 2nd May
We headed into London on the train. We arrived at St Pancras International just before 11:30 and we checked into the Hotel at Midday.
The hotel was nothing special.
We usually stay at the Travelodge in Beckton and hop on the DLR into London each day. Beckton is easy to drive to and the hotel has cheap parking.
However, this time, we wanted to stay centrally, so we got the train in and stayed at the Travelodge London Bridge.
To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. Don’t get me wrong. The room was clean and had everything we needed for the stay, but it was a lot smaller than at the Beckton and had an underground running right past the window so we couldn’t sleep with the window open. It was also twice the price the Beckton would have been.
So lesson learnt.

After unpacking, we headed straight over to the the Tower of London.
We fuelled up on a cone of chips before heading into the Tower. Marji was an idiot and pinched one of my chips before realising I had covered them in vinegar which she can’t have as a Coeliac!! Idiot.
We had done the Tower during our last trip together with Dharma, my youngest daughter but we only had time to do the battlements and the crown jewels, we didn’t have time to see the White Tower. So this time, we arrived just in time to get a Yoeman Guard Guided Tour. Barney, the Yoeman, was hilarious and this lead on nicely to seeing the crown jewels again before we finally got into the White Tower to see the armoury.

After this we went for a walk around St Katherine’s Dock and stopped for a drink at the Azimut Cafe where Marjorie found an incredible Gluten Free Brownie. Warm and served with icecream. She was in heaven.
Then we walked over the Tower Bridge and had a stroll up the South Bank to the Hays Galleria where we sat outside The Horniman pub for another drink.

Then we headed back to St Katherine’s Dock where we had dinner at Zizzi’s.
You can usually guarantee that an Italian restaurant will do Gluten Free and we have found that Zizzi’s is one of the best. This one was no exception. We had a lovely meal before heading back to the hotel.

We were shattered and fell asleep quite early but unfortunately, someone tried to open a hotel door by hitting the fire alarm at midnight and HOLY COW was that alarm effective!!
We were up and flinging on clothes and flying down the hall with everyone else before we got to the stairs only to find out it was a false alarm and we all trudged back to our rooms. Now wide awake.
The only problem now was the alarm which took another half an hour to sort out.

Tuesday 3rd May
We made an early move to South Kensington because we had tickets to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exibition at the Natural History Museum.
We arrived a bit too early so we went for a walk up to see the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens. We found a little coffee shop by the memorial and sat and soaked up a little sun before heading back down to the Natural History Museum.

The exibition was really good and I decided to get the coffee table book of the photos to take home.
We had a wander around the museum and I think that because I’ve seen it so many times in the past, it’s lost a bit of it’s sparkle. I certainly think the exhibits are showing their age a little more, but it’s evident that there’s a lot of modernisation going on so it will be interesting to take the grandkids there in a few years time to see what they do.

We were thinking about getting a little something for lunch but unfortunately there was nothing Gluten Free.
I did get a little annoyed that a Museum as big as the Natural History, with the amount of visitors it sees, did not cater for the Gluten Free. Aside from a little pre-packed flapjack, there was nothing in the the cafe and the menu for the restaurant was marked up for vegetarians and vegans but nothing for Gluten Free.
We ended up walking down the road and popping into a lovely pub called the Hoop and Toy and they couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful and Marji was actually able to get a Gluten Free sandwich.

Then we headed over to The British Museum for a couple of hours because Marji wanted to see the egyptian exibitions and apparantly ‘they filmed Primeval’ there too.


Then we went and did a little shopping in Forbidden Planet and took a walk down to Leicester Square where Marji did a litte more shopping in the Lego Store before heading back up to Seven Dials and having dinner at Rossopomodoro.
Another Italian restaurant so Gluten Free options available.
Then it was back to the hotel for another early night.

London is very hard going at the best of times, but when you have joint issues it really takes it out of you.
We were both shattered.

Wednesday May 4th.
Unfortunately Marji was really sick from around 5am this morning.
Obviously something she ate yesterday was contaminated. It could have been the vinegar on the chip she pinched from me at the tower, it could have been the sandwich at the pub, but she thinks it was more than likely to have been the pasta she had at the Rossopomodoro as it was pasta she was throwing up at 5am!
Anyway, this forced a bit of a re-think.
We had planned to go to Little Venice and take a canal boat ride into Camden but Marji wasn’t up for this so I messaged the Canal Boat company and they actually refunded us which was really good. They state that they need 24 hours for cancellations on their website but because we had let them know not to wait for us, they refunded us anyway.
I let Marji sleep for a bit and she eventually got up and we headed out of the hotel at about 11.
We walked down past the Tower of London as Marji got some air and drank some Lucozade and by this time she was feeling much better so we decided to take a boat trip to Greenwich instead.
We had a quick pint and some chips at the Gypsy Moth before going onto the Cutty Sark.
Then we had a quick wander over to the Old Royal Naval College for a ‘Thor: The Dark World’ photo oportunity.

This is where the Dark Elves ship lands and tears up the square between the college towers.

After this, the weather was getting a bit wet and we needed to think about getting over to TT Liquor for our hidden cinema experience, so we walked over to Greenwich DLR station to catch a train to Bank before we realised there was actually a station at Cutty Sark and we didn’t need to do all that walking!! DOH!
When we got to Bank, the Northern line wasn’t running to Old station where we needed to go so we hopped into a cab instead.
After arriving at TT Liquor the heavens had opened so we ran into the nearest chinese restaurant and hoped for the best. It was a good move. We were the only ones in there and they were really friendly and actually had one of their menus completely marked up to show what was Gluten Free! and the food was fabulous.

Then it was time for TT Liquor. We headed through to the back of the shop where there was a small lounge with the cinema at the back and then literally down some old stone stairs and into the cellar was the cellar bar where we got our complimentary cocktail. We sat in the lounge for a while before getting another drink and then heading into the 52 seater cinema space to watch ‘Aliens’ on classic old referbed cinema seats.


This was our latest night out as the film didn’t finish until 10pm and when it was over we hopped into another cab to get back to the hotel.

Thursday 5th May
Thankfully Marji had a much better night and woke up feeling refreshed and happy that she hadn’t reacted to anything she’d eaten the day before.
We were taking things easier today and had a bit of a lay in and then we headed into Leicester Square to have a mooch around M&M World before heading up to Old Compton Street to get our bearings for the Prince Edward Theatre for Mary Poppins and Patty & Bun for lunch.
I did a bit of research before I booked a table at Patty & Bun and the reviews all said it was excellent for Gluten Free.
We arrived really early and as it was such a sunny day we went and sat in Soho Square Gardens for a little while before heading back over to Patty & Bun and having the best meal of the week!
OMG! I have to say that it was the best burger I have ever had and Marjorie was almost in tears. It’s been almost 4 years since she’s been able to have what she classes as a ‘normal’ burger because of her Coeliac disease and the Gluten Free burger she had here was amazing. She was very happy.

The face of pure joy!

Another small wander before having a drink at the Three Greyhounds over the road from the theatre and then it was time for Mary Poppins.
It was a wonderful show and I found myself getting quite emotional at the end.
Little Sophie was amazing and she is obviously loving what’s she’s doing. She’s a very talented young lady.

Friday 6th May
I had paid for a late checkout at 2pm to make the most of our last morning in London.
We did the London Bridge Experience with the glass floor! I’ve thought about it before but I always thought you had to climb the stairs to get to the top which always put me off and then I discovered that it’s ‘fully accessible’ and therefore, has lifts at both ends, so I couldn’t resist.
It was an amazing experience.

This was followed by one last walk along the South Bank for a drink at the Horniman before heading back over the bridge to St Katherine’s Dock because Marji just had to have another piece of warm chocolate brownie from the Azimut Cafe before we checked out of the hotel and headed to St Pancras International Station and catching the train back to dreary old Bedford.

We were lucky with the weather. I only wore my jacket once when we had a downpour on the Wednesday evening but otherwise it was warm and the sun came out quite a bit, especially on Thursday and Friday.
Now we are home, I’ve already done 2 wash loads and one blog post now finished and I feel like London is already a distant memory.
But it was a great week!!

TIME TO VENT

OK, so I think I’ve mentioned the difficulties my husband has been having for the last few months, although I haven’t gone into any great detail.

Well, enough is enough.
Forgive my angry typing. This blog will be full of mistakes as I am actually quite fuming while I write this.

Ian suffers from psoriatic arthritis and has had neck issues before and even had to have some pretty major surgery on a couple of vertebrea in his neck a few years ago. He’s also had surgery on a shoulder in the past too.
His condition will not improve, in fact it will only get worse.
For the past few years he has suffered with numbness in his left leg which would come on without any warning, making days out a bit tricky because he just doesn’t know when it would happen. This is something he’s seen a Dr about and apparantly they couldn’t find any problem because every time he finally got to see a Dr, there was no flare up!
The fact that his leg becomes numb without warning is apparantly not an issue.

Way back at the beginning of october 2021, he started having difficulties with pain and numbness in his neck, arms and hands. He has been working from home since the start of the Pandemic and this had actually worked out well for him. It meant less time driving too and from work and he was able to spend more time actually working. He was more relaxed.
This all changed in October when he got to a point where he literally coudn’t sit at his desk and do any typing because he was in so much pain in his shoulder and the tips of his fingers became too painful and sensitive.

He was signed off work and is still signed off!
However, when his current Dr’s note runs out, his sick pay from work may also run out.

The frustration we have had in the last few months has left us angry at the system and worried for our future.
The next few months are going to be extremely worrying with a very real possibility of losing everything we’ve worked for.

To try and put things into perspective, this is what has happened since October.

In October Ian went to the GP to talk about the issues he’s been having and was signed off from work to rest.
The GP referred Ian to our local Muscular Skeletal Service (MSK) as and URGENT referral and Ian was advised to contact his rheumatology team to check for arthritic flare up. Rhuematology pulled forward an appointment.
Rhuematology accepted that he was having a flare up but they could see no issues being caused by it, therefore gave him a cortozone injection and said they would review him in 6 months. This week he finally got a review date in August!
The week after this, the numbness spread from his neck and arms and worryingly into his face and he started getting dizzy spells. Dizzy spells that he gets every time he stands up and has even had him hitting the floor!!
After several more reviews with the GP, blood tests were done and he got diagnosed as type 2 diabetic. Just to add to his problems!!
Following a review with a senior GP at the practice, he was also found to have very high blood pressure (not surprised considering all the worry!) and the Dr also accepted the possibiity of a re-occurance of the neck vertebrea issue from the past.
This GP tried escalate the MSK referral several times but MSK would not respond to him. Ian also Ian found it impossible to get hold of MKS so the GP bypassed the system and begged Bedford Hospital to give him and urgent neck MRI.
Bedford Hospital accepted this request and in December an MRI was done which highlighted issues with C5, C6 and C7 vertebrea, with a recommendation for referral to nuerosurgery at Addenbrookes.
This request had to go BACK through MSK!!.
Ian finally got a reply from Addenbookes in January and was given a PHONE consultation on April 12th!!!!! So much for urgent!!
The GP also arranged a brain MRI due to the dizzy spells. This was done in January and luckily did not show any worrying issues.
MSK arranged a review appointment in early January for possibe carpel tunnel but this was pushed back two weeks.
At this consultation it was confirmed that they believe Ian did have carpel tunnel issues (even though he has already previously had nerve conduction tests a couple of years ago, through MSK, to prove this but nothing was done at that time)
MSK referred for more nerve conduction testing which was finally done at the end of March and this confirmed severe carpel tunnel syndrome in both wrists and severe cubital tunnel syndrome in both elbows.
Ian has now been referred for surgical ‘opinion’.
It took 3 weeks to review the report from this testing and at that point, Ian has now been referred for surgery to Bedford Hospital and they apparantly have a 20 week waiting list just to SEE a surgeon. Who knows when the surgery will happen?

With all of this, we still have no idea what the outcome will be from the phone consultation with addenbrookes next week about his neck. I suspect they will want to physically see him and he will be back on a waiting list for that appointment.

It has been extremely frustrating at every turn.
Ian has obviously got two different issues on the go but nobody is looking at him as a whole.
MSK are absolutely bloody useless and can’t handle the service they have been contracted to do.
Nobody is seeing the fact that this is now having a HUGE impact on our lives.
Ian may well have to be medically discharged from his job.
There is a very real possibility that we could lose the house we have lived in for the last ten years.
We still have two kids living with us, but because they are both ‘adults’ they will not be taken into consideration.
So it’s now not just affecting Ian and me, it’s affecting them too.

I am getting extremely worried about what will happen over the next year.
I have no idea where we will be by the end of this year or even if Ian will have his issues sorted.
We are not living, we are existing and we are at the mercy of the NHS.
Technically at the mercy of the MSK service which is beyond useless.

Ironically, the only solution to possibly speed this all up is to go through the MSK private service who have just quoted £2000 for surgery on just one wrist (not the elbow) with an initial consulatation fee of £150 – £250, bareing in mind, they AREADY have a consultation stating he needs surgery!!!
We simply can’t afford that.
The money we have set asside at the moment is to tide us over for a few months while we sort benefits out if Ian loses his job without destroying what’s left of his pension.

So for anyone that knows me personally, please forgive me if I seem a bit pensive and quiet when I see you.
I’m actually worrying about an awful lot at the moment.

On the bright side, my job is going really well!!
I’m thoroughly enjoying it and it is the only real thing taking my mind off of everything at the moment.

A GOOD WEEK

It has been a good week back at work after a week of annual leave followed by two weeks of Covid!

I am certainly feeling it this evening though, as my voice is struggling and this damn cough keeps catching me out, which is most annoying. The thing I am noticing the most though is that I am so tired.
Covid has really knocked me out.

Anyway, I will be heading to the pub over the road in a bit for a catch up with my mate Debbie.

This weekend I plan to do as little as possible.
With that said, I’m getting my hair trimmed tomorrow.
I could do with getting my nails/talons done but when I had to cancel my appointment due to Covid, I couldn’t get another appointment until the 9th, so that will be 7 weeks since they were last done.
They still look great, but they are getting very long and are now getting in the way a bit. Especially when I type.

If the snow/rain holds off, I might cut the grass before it gets too long and plant my runner seedlings before they become too straggly.

We are due to get a large tree removed from the back garden on the 13th and I have become accutely aware that I will lose the privacy in my kitchen.
The kitchen has a very large window that we have never had curtains or blinds at. We’ve never really needed them.
However, when the tree is gone it’s going to be really exposed and I don’t want blinds or curtains, so I have ordered some one way mirror film that I am going to attempt to put up. That should arrive at some point this weekend.
It’s either going to go well or it will be a complete disaster and we’ll have to have a re-think.

I will have to get a Tesco run in there at some point, and the obligatory washing will need to be caught up on.
I might even think about getting to the cinema to see Morbius, so not a completely quiet weekend.

I had a surprise today. One of my cacti have decided to produce a flower and it looks like there may be several more buds ready to open up too. This has cheered me up because it looks like I’ve manage to kill my big barrel cactus!!

Who would have thought I’d ever get excited about a cactus flower!!

WELL THIS IS THE STORY ALL ABOUT HOW….

It’s back to work today!!
It took me 12 days to test Covid negative.
The first week was really rough and the second week just felt like a cold.
It has left me with an irritation on my chest which makes me cough, particularly after some exersion, and I still feel like I have my head in a bucket of water, but the good news is that my ears have started ‘popping’, so hopefully that is beginning to clear up too.
It has also left me getting tired quite quickly. I may be back to work today but I think it will be some time before I’m back to 100%.

Anyway, the reason for the blog this morning.
I am enjoying my morning cup of milky coffee and I remembered that the Oscars was last night, so I have been checking out the results and the red carpet looks.
Turns out there was some real drama on stage last night when Will Smith took offence to a Chris Rock joke and he stormed on stage and slapped him!

Then he won an Oscar!

Going through the list of winners, I actually pretty happy.
It may not have won Best Picture or any of the big Acting awards but Dune came out a clear winner last night with 6 Oscars to it’s name!
The film was visually beautiful and this was awarded with Oscars for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design.
It also won for Best Editing and Best Sound and one of my favourite movie music composers, Hans Zimmer won for Best Score.

But as wonderful as that is, these Oscars will always be remembered as the one where Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock live on TV.
It remains to be seen what damage he’s done to his career and reputation.