SELF PRESERVATION MODE

I am very aware that I haven’t blogged any of my usual stuff for a while.
No film reviews or obsessions.
The fact is that there has been an awful lot going on over the last few months so my blogging has turned into more of a diary for a while. It’s quite therapeutic and it’s also a great way of keeping long distance family in on the loop of what’s been happening.

They say that some of the biggest stressors in life are the death of a spouse or loved one, moving house, finances/debt, and starting a new job.

Well in the last 8 months I have done all 4 and a bit more.
3 of them in the last 2 months alone!

I think I am currently in self preservation mode and trying to keep on top of everything and get my girls and myself sorted and settled into a new future before I have any kind of a break down, but fingers crossed I don’t.

Just over 8 months ago, I started a new job, and although a big stressor at the time, it has proved to be one of the best job moves I have ever made.
That same job is now one of the main reasons I am as ‘together’ as I am right now as it has been MORE than understanding about the last 2 months events and has meant that it has been at least one thing I have not had to worry about.

I suppose it all really started in June, when daughter number one, Murron and my grandson returned home after a relationship breakdown.
They are still sleeping on my dining room floor and I have had to write them an eviction notice to get things moving for them. That notice runs out on 16th Sept and I can see them going into emergency housing for a short while. It’s a horrible thing to have to do to your own kid but if we didn’t, she could be sleeping on my dining room floor indefinately as she is not a priority!! Makes me so mad.
At least me and Murron are in complete agreement that we couldn’t live together for good, so doing what is necessary has not been taken to heart.

July 5th to August 4th were a whirlwind with the passing of my husband Ian, and subsequent funeral.
This all had the knock on effect with finances.
The sudden loss of more than half our income.
How was I going to keep up with the rent?
How was I going to keep up with 2 loan payments that were ‘unfortunately’ in my name alone!!

Thankfully Ian had 2 over 50’s life policies that paid out very quickly and these helped deal with funeral costs and gave us a buffer for our current rental costs.
Ian also had his head screwed on when it came to his pension and work life insurance.
This has all but wiped out my financial concerns and is now helping us to a new future, and after long discussions with the 2 daughters who will be staying with me, we have decided that we would be better off financially if we owned our own property rather than rent.
We have been lucky enough to find the perfect property just around the corner from where we currently live.
Same distance from my Mum and Dad, same local amenities, so no change in anything other than the address.
Our offer has been accepted and now we face the agonizing wait for all the ‘legal’ stuff to go through and hope that nothing happens to make the sale fall through.

Luckily we do not have a chain and neither does the house we are buying.
The money from Ian has given us a sizeable deposit and I have a small mortgage in principle.
My concern now is ‘actually’ being accepted for that mortgage when they do hard search with the credit agencies as the 2 loans that I have just settled could take up to 6 weeks to clear!!
The bank are fully aware of this as they made adjustments when they did the soft search. I have provided all the necessary proof that the loans are paid and I now just await my full application video call on the 7th to find out for sure.

Once I have my mortgage, it’s then all in the hands of the solicitors.
Until I have signed a contract and paid the deposit I am trying not to get too excited.
Of course, once I have done that, there is a whole new set of things to worry about like ‘actually’ moving!! and having a big enough crossover period that I can clean and put right a few things in the house we are currently renting before I hand the keys back.

It’s never ending!!
I am kind of looking forward to a time, in hopefully the not too distant future, where I can sit down and process everything that has happened this year.
Nothing financially going wrong, the move done and dusted, Murron sorted and in her own place, back to work, time to just enjoy the new house and make it ours and sit and think of Ian occasionally.
Nothing actually going wrong for a change.

Nearly there.

REMEMBER THAT CURVE BALL

So, it’s about time I broke my silence.

My last couple of posts had been a run down of what life was throwing at us. Some good, some bad.

Work was/is going great.
Marji Graduated and finally getting the surgery she’s been fighting for on her foot.
Dharma just getting on with work and thinking about finishing her degree next year.
A trip to see Imagine Dragons in the rain.
Ian still suffering with his orthopaedic problems but finally getting the surgeries that he needed started.
Murron’s relationship breakdown and ending up back home with our grandson and the pair of them now sleeping on our dining room floor with their belongings in storage.
Ian finally catching Covid after over 2 years with a good bought of tonsillitis thrown in for good measure and actually spending a couple of nights in hospital because of it.

It was all a bit more involved than that and you can read the whole story HERE and HERE

The last post was on July 2nd.
On July 5th, our world changed completely and forever with the very sudden and unexpected passing of my husband and best friend of 30 years, Ian.

After fighting Psoriatic Arthritis for over 20 years and a case of Covid and tonsillitis that landed him in hospital, it was finally a heart attack that got him.
July 5th had started out as a pretty good day.
I had been working from home and Ian had actually been feeling a lot better and actually spent some time playing with little JJ in the morning, for the first time in about a week.
At lunch time, he helped Dharma with a wiring problem in her bedroom and then he went to lay down for a bit because he wasn’t feeling too good and this was nothing out of the ordinary for Ian.
With his Orthopaedic issues, he would quite often relax in his bedroom in the afternoons and do some reading.
I finished work at 4pm, signed off and went to sit in the garden with friends for a cool drink in the sun and literally, just 10 minutes later, Dharma went to see Ian and all hell broke loose. The next four hours saw the house filled with paramedics, police and funeral directors.
I knew he had been gone for a while when me and Murron started CPR, but the paramedics still worked on him for over half and hour.
I owe a huge thank you to an off duty police officer called Carly, who literally appeared out of knowhere, running up our stairs and taking over the situation. I was in pieces and my nurse training just went right out the window!!

The funeral took place on August 4th and Ian entered the crematorium to The Imperial March by John Williams.
We simultaniously laughed and cried! It was a beautiful service and the celebrant was amazing. She had picked up on all the family quirks and craziness and got a few personal touches into the service that I knew nothing about. Quite simply, she got us! and Ian would have loved it.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in the sun with Family, friends, and Ian’s work colleagues at a local pub.

We are now trying to get our lives back on track.
Murron is still fighting to get a council house and off of our dining room floor, but because she technically has a roof over her head, she’s not a priority, even though she’s sleeping on a dining room floor with an 11 month old! Go figure.
I have actually had to give her an eviction notice to change her priority. How fair is that! It just doesn’t sit right with me either!!

I cannot continue to pay the rent in our current house without Ian’s wages but Ian’s insurance and pensions pots have enabled us to do something me and Ian had been wanting to do for years and actually buy a house.
We’ve been really lucky and found a place already. We just need everything to fall into place now so that we don’t lose it.
It is marked as Sold subject to contract.
We have a solicitor starting all the paperwork.
We have some of the money from Ian but are still waiting for some to make it to the bank account. I am getting a little frustrated by it all. I know they have to be careful, but at the same time, there is a family who are relying on this money to keep going!!
I have a list of things that we would like to get for the new house, but until it is 100% in the bag, that list will have to wait.
I see a big Ikea shop on the horizon!!
It’s going to be a long few months but, fingers crossed, we will be in by Xmas.

Marjorie is recovering well from her surgery and the rod in her toe has now been removed and she is getting on with her life pain free. She still has some post surgery healing pain but it is getting better day by day.

Dharma is doing OK. She’s back at work at the weekends and she is looking forward to starting her final year of Uni.
I am keeping my eye on her. She found Ian that day and so far, she hasn’t really opened up about it.

I have 101 things going round in my head all day every day, but it’s getting less and less each day as I tick things off.
Work have been amazing so they are not one of the things going round in my head and the GP has been backing me up with sick notes.

I am currently signed off until Sept 16th and by then, I hope that finances have all settled down and the purchase of the house is well and truly under way and my head has calmed down to just a few things going round and round.
We are continuing to have a good sort out around the house and garage in preparation for a move and we are spending time together as a family.
We have baby JJ with us daily so there is constant laughter in the house. I am going to miss him when he’s moved out…. I will NOT miss the chaos and the mess.
We have really good friends who check in on us regularly and life is very different.

I am now looking forward to getting back to work and, like I said, we hope to be moved by Xmas which will allow a completely fresh start in 2023. I’m not holding my breath on that one but it would be nice.

LAUGH OR CRY CONTINUED!

So as you can see from the last post, things have been a bit interesting over the last two weeks.

To make it even more tricky, and something I didn’t mention in the last post is that Ian tested positive for Covid last Saturday when we had to go and grab Murron’s stuff from her ex-partner’s house.
We found this little nugget out AFTER we had arrange the van and storage hire so he spent all day Saturday sitting in the van on his own because he was the nominated driver, while me, Murron, my Brother and his mate Jason, cleared out the house and unloaded at the storage unit and followed him around in our cars.

Because the hubby is positive, I have been sleeping on the sofa, and right about now, my body is screaming.
I did cave and sleep in the bed last night because he’s not coughing as much but I feel like I’m dodging a bullet!

This put even more pressure on poor Marjorie who was trying to get to surgery on Monday and was already staying clear of her Covid positive sister!
Anyway, thankfully she stayed clear and made it to Surgery on Monday and everything went well. She has been mobile and comfortable ever since and fingers crossed, she feels there is an improvement already. She has a follow up appointment with the surgeon next week and they will do a wound check but so far, so good. Keeping my fingers crossed for her that this has done the trick and she can finally walk, pain free for the first time in around 10 years.

So, Monday night, I thought that nothing else could possibly go wrong.
Marjorie was comfortable after a long day at the hospital.
Murron and JJ were settling in nicely and we were all getting used to the new routine.
Dharma was on the mend and Ian was keeping himself to himself and staying away from everyone and feeling a bit rough.
However….. Tuesday morning saw Ian taking a turn for the worse.
He was finding breathing laborious and could barely swallow.
We have a finger saturations monitor and it showed that when he was awake and sitting upright his oxygen levels were fine, but when he laid down they dropped to 94% and when he was asleep the dropped to 88%.
So after having a look at 111 online and having a chat with the GP, they all suggested getting an ambulance.
This did not go to plan.
Because Ian was talking and not in any immediate danger, the wait for an ambulance would be around 12 hours!
There was nothing for it, I took him to the hospital in the car myself.

We arrived in A+E at 16:00 and things then happened really slowly.
Eventually he got a cannula and IV paracetamol and he got an X-ray to check his lungs.
The Dr then informed us that he had really nasty tonsillitis on top of his Covid so he was started on IV antibiotics and Diflam spray.
At 02:30 they decided to keep him in hospital over night so that is where I left him.
He didn’t make it to a ward until midday the next day!

His oxygen levels were dropping right down to 86% at this point but they were self correcting very quickly so he didn’t require any oxygen, but because they didn’t know why his levels were plummeting all the time, the Drs decided they needed a scan of his lungs to check for clots and they kept him a second night.
The scan was all clear and they let him home on Thursday with antibiotics.
Ian is now much better, still positive, but feeling better each day.

In the middle of all the drama over the last two weeks I received a phone call myself.
A few weeks ago I self referred myself to the physio therapy service.
Experience has taught me that going to the GP would then involve being referred to the Muscular skeletal service, who would then refer me to physios before I get any kind of referral to a surgeon, so I cut out the middle man and referred myself.
They called me for a chat last week and after about 15 minutes they informed me that because I had given an extensive description of the problem and after a few quick questions, they were referring me to an Orthopaedic surgeon because they think I need an arthroscopy on my knee.

So! after all that has happened over the last two weeks, things are finally turning in the right direction again.
Marjorie is going from strength to strength and is walking around and fully weight bearing and fairly comfortable.
Dharma is FINALLY testing negative.
Ian is eating solid food again and feeling much better but still positive for now.
Murron is really happy and settled in the decision she’s made to be a single Mum and JJ is more than happy with all the fuss he’s getting from his Aunts and made a little friend when he went to a toddler morning at kidsworld yesterday and met one of Murron’s mates kids.

Me?
I have been holding it all together.
Apart from the ongoing issue with my knee I’m fine. I have been Covid testing on a daily basis because I work with patients but other than that, I have just been taking it all one day at a time.
I am now counting down three weeks when I will then be having 2 weeks of annual leave.
In the meantime, I am going to get on top of all the cleaning and gardening so I can just relax and enjoy it!!

AS LONG AS NOTHING ELSE GOES WRONG!!!

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!!