Friday 21 June 2024

A better day, idiots, spiky hair and planting

 Husband seemed to be in a better frame of mind yesterday, he went to the gym in the morning, which he enjoyed, and was quite helpful once he came home, doing everything I asked him.  Regarding the caravan TV, he's decided to take our freesat box from home, to see if that works on the van tv....although he doesn't think it will, he thinks it's a problem with the aerial wire.  I've no idea, I know nothing about TVs, I can only change channels by randomly trying both remotes and pressing a few buttons until something happens 😂.  I suggested that after husband came out of the gym, he should go in a couple of charity shops and buy a few DVDs to watch if he can't get the TV working - he came back with a few, so they should keep him occupied in the evenings.  With the current good weather, which is forecast to last all the time we are at the van, there should be several other owners there so he'll have people to chat to during the day.  We'll have a trip or 2 to the beach I expect, so Betty can have a run around.

Did you see on the news about those idiotic people from Just Stop Oil spraying Stonehenge with orange paint?  Do they really imagine that by defacing and damaging famous landmarks or works of art, they are getting people to support them?  Nobody I know has the slightest bit of empathy with them - they're doing criminal damage for goodness sake.  I think they ought to be tied to stakes in public, so people can chuck wet sponges, mud pies or even orange paint at them.  I wouldn't suggest rocks, I'm not that callous.  

Well, I've decided who I'm going to vote for.....although I may change my mind come voting day!  Each of the parties have some policies which sound good....others not so much - like lowering the voting age to 16!!  That's just a very cynical attempt to get more people (kids) voting for them, to ensure they stay in power.  We all know that 16 y.o's know nothing - they think they know everything but they don't - we were all 16 once and with the benefit of hindsight and experience, we know we were clueless at that age.  But I have little confidence that whoever gets in will actually follow through with their policies - they're all good at spouting off what they think the public wants to hear.  So I have to say I'm basing my vote on the personality and likeableness of the party leader, rather than on their policies, I'm just going with my heart really.  And that's enough of that!

Now my hair's grown out a bit after husband and I scalped me with his clippers, I actually really like it.  No longish hair to slap around my face, takes just a couple of minutes to wash (although it's a bit difficult right now when I can only use my right arm, being unable to lift my left).  And I don't have to blow dry it, it dries by itself in no time and I don't need to do anything to it, other than squirting a bit of mousse into it to keep it looking spiky.  So that's what I'll continue to do in future, which will save me money on haircuts.  

Very fluffy! And the colour almost blends into the lounge wall....

It's a lovely sunny warm day again, yesterday I picked several green and yellow courgettes and a selection of herbs - parsley, lemon thyme, chives and sage - to go in the green risotto for dinner last night, which was delicious with some Parmesan stirred through.  We've planted out all the cosmos bedding plants I bought in a tray and potted on, they've grown big, strong and healthy so should survive the slugs.  More of our plants are flowering now and it's all looking very pretty.  I'll take some more photos when we get back from the caravan.

Thursday 20 June 2024

I'm not a slave

 It definitely was one of those days yesterday.  Whilst I was busy with loads of jobs for most of the day, husband played games on his computer, sat outside asleep in the sunshine for over an hour and generally did nothing much.  This despite me telling him in the morning that I was going to be very busy for the next few days prior to us going away, and would need his help with a few things, especially with my shoulder being so painful and hindering me with the restricted movement.  I asked him to do 2 specific jobs - neither of them got done, it was obvious he was actively avoiding them.  When I asked why, and if he wasn't feeling well, he replied no he was ok, he just didn't feel like doing them.  Well, newsflash - I often don't feel like doing things, but they've got to be done so I bloody well get on and do them!  Funny how he thinks things get done as if by magic.  He did eventually do one of the jobs in the evening, after I guilt-tripped him into it.  He needs reminding occasionally that being his carer doesn't make me his slave, I'm not here to do absolutely everything, I do organise everything and do a vast amount of the jobs, but he does need to help me with things he is most certainly capable of doing.  And sitting around on his backside doing sweet FA all day will not help his health, he's supposed to keep as active as possible, physically and mentally - doctors' orders.

Well, I shan't be doing anything at the caravan - all dinners have been cooked and frozen and will only need reheating and serving with some salad, lunches will be a make-your-own sandwich, I rarely eat breakfast so he will do his own.  I've reminded him this morning that the caravan TV stopped working the last time we were there, so unless he does something about it, he'll be bored stiff.  I've got books to read, some drawing to do and no doubt some weeding and tidying up the caravan garden, so having no TV won't bother me.  I'm having 3 days off!

I've got my stronger painkillers and did have a fairly comfortable sleep last night, although I woke up earlier than usual.  I'm packing clothes today for our few days away - I had left a complete change of clothes for each of us in the van the last time we stayed there, but realised this morning they are more or less winter clothes, as it wasn't very warm when we stayed last.  As the weather is forecast to be getting warmer, we won't be wearing the jeans and jumpers I'd left there!  I'm making a green risotto for dinner today, using our homegrown courgettes and herbs.  Tomorrow I'll be baking a loaf to take with us, and cooking some food for Betty.  Once I pack the food Saturday morning, we'll be ready to go.

I had a text from our lovely ex-van neighbours C & J yesterday, saying they're envious of us going to the van, even though they know giving theirs up was the right thing to do.  I wonder if we'll have new neighbours in their van yet, or whether the site owner will have had their van removed and exchanged for a newer one?  I guess we'll find out on Saturday!  Although I doubt either thing will have happened, he's very slow to do anything.

Wednesday 19 June 2024

One of those days - and Magic Dough recipe for Joy

 Think it's going to be one of those days.  Husband took the dog out at 07.45, shortly after he'd gone the bin men arrived (early, they don't normally come until mid morning) - I checked and husband had forgotten to put the recycling out (that's one of his few jobs) despite me reminding him, so I quickly took it all out, just catching the bin lorry in time.

I'd put a pan of pasta bows on to boil, for a pasta salad for lunch, just as husband went out.  A couple of minutes later I realised the electric kitchen fan had gone off, along with the clocks, and the smoke alarms were bleeping - the power was off.  Which meant the pasta wasn't boiling either.  I have no idea about electrical stuff, so had to wait for husband to get back - he was only out for 15 mins.  He checked the fuse box, one of the switches was down instead of up.  Once the power was back on, I then noticed the electric hot plate wasn't working.  So I guess when it suddenly stopped working this morning, it blew the electrics.  Fortunately, we have a single burner camping gas stove and several canisters of gas, husband bought it at a car boot sale for emergencies a few years ago.  It took him a few minutes to find it in the chaos of his shed, but he did eventually and it works, so I could cook the pasta.  We've just nipped to Argos and bought a replacement hot plate, fortunately it's half price at the moment so that's a win.

Incidentally, the fuse box is high up on the kitchen wall, a step ladder is needed to reach it - how blimming ridiculous, especially in a sheltered housing bungalow.  I'm sure the housing association would send out an emergency electrician, but seems daft to call them out just for the sake of flicking a switch.

Husband's been bitten by something in the garden - twice on his arm, it's normally me who gets bitten not him.  The two bites have swelled up, so I've told him to take antihistamines and use the bite cream, I'll remind him again later on.  He's having a clumsy day today, he's already knocked over a carton of milk and dropped a couple of things on the floor, making the dog jump each time.  And it's only just gone 10 o' clock!  And my laptop just shut itself down, very abruptly, whilst in the middle of typing this, so I lost part of the post.  Ho hum.  Think I might need to take my anti-anxiety meds today! 😂 (I only take them when necessary, and it's not really been necessary lately).

Joy, here's Lesley's Magic Dough post, the dough recipe is right down the bottom:-

Lots of different things you can make, all using Magic Dough kept in the fridge - Thrifty Lesley

I've made a little loaf from the dough a couple of times now, it's lovely.

Tuesday 18 June 2024

What he said

 The very nice young GP thinks I have a rotator cuff injury - I asked how it can be an injury when I haven't fallen or bashed my shoulder?  He said it can also be caused by general wear and tear as our joints age - once again the joys of getting older!  He's prescribed stronger painkillers and has referred me to physio, if no relief then they may give me a steroid injection.  He said as a very last resort, if the pain isn't controlled and my shoulder/arm mobility doesn't improve, then we'll talk about a shoulder replacement!  I didn't even know that was a thing, and it's not something I'd be keen to have - unless it became absolutely necessary.  Can't get the stronger painkillers until tomorrow, they had none in stock in the pharmacy, but that's ok, I've been seen and the physio referral has been actioned, so all good.  Oh, and he also suggested I take 2 amitriptyline at night, instead of the one I sometimes take for back pain, as that will help me get back to sleep when the pain wakes me up.  As I've said before, I'm reluctant to take lots of meds, hence why I don't take the amitriptyline regularly now, but in the short term I'm willing to, to control the pain.

Out in the garden now, it's a lovely day.

Mixed success in the garden

 We've got a window of opportunity to go to the caravan this coming weekend, for 3 nights between appointments, so we're grabbing it.  I'll do a couple of meals to freeze and take with us, and make some goodies too - a cake and some cheese scones I think.

I'm happy with the garden as it is now, things are growing and filling out the spaces, albeit slowly in view of the weird weather.  Some of our veggies and fruit are inconsistent - the strawberries we bought and planted this year have been terrible so far, only a few tiny green fruits appeared, and then disappeared before they even got a pink tinge.  No sign of any more fruiting, so it looks like no strawberries at all this year.  The first lot of radishes mostly bolted, although the few we did get were lovely, we've sown more.  The spring onion seeds didn't come up at all, a second sowing are coming through.  Some of the courgette babies rotted with all the rain we've had, we picked our first two full size ones yesterday.  Tomatoes and mini cucumbers are finally beginning to fruit, although a couple of the plants look a bit sickly.  Carrots, which are a short, early variety, are being extremely slow to fatten up, although I think it might be due to husband sowing them too thickly, they're a tangled mass at the moment and need thinning out.

All the plants I bought for the new flower bed are doing well now, after a few initial failures and replacements, some are starting to flower, in a couple of weeks or so the bed will look lovely.  The 3 climbers I planted to grow up trellis in a corner of the garden that's a bit overlooked are doing very well now, all 3 (winter jasmine, pink clematis and everlasting sweet pea) have put on loads of growth and I've tied them in 2 or 3 times.  Some of the roses (they were already here, I've not bought any new ones) are starting to bloom too, there's a lovely large flowered white climber and a couple of red ones, a few more have yet to flower.  I think next year I might move some of the roses and put them all together in a dedicated rose bed.

This garden has been a lot of hard work, it was pretty much a blank canvas with hardly any flowers other than some very neglected roses and an absolute mass of bluebells, no veggies at all, and all the hard landscaping of concrete, gravel and pavers, it's taken weeks and weeks to get it to the stage where we're turning it into our space.  It's going to be so lovely in due course.  We both spend loads of time out in the garden now, husband is as brown as a berry - he tans easily, I don't, I burn easily and get heat rash so I tend to cover up.

Off to the GP at 10 am, it can't come soon enough for me, I woke up just before 5 in agony again.  I'm sick of taking painkillers.

Monday 17 June 2024

Help is not always helpful

 I've got a GP appointment for tomorrow morning, thankfully.  I was offered an appointment with their musculoskeletal therapist, who visits the surgery once a week, but the first available appointment was in 2 weeks' time.  I want some stronger pain relief now, not in a fortnight (and I don't know if she can prescribe meds anyway), so opted for the GP.  

I couldn't find any bedding dahlias this morning, so got a few small perennials instead - at least they'll come up every year.  I just really wanted something to fill a few gaps.  I also bought a hanging basket for the trailing fuchsia to go in.  Husband has been 'helping' me (unasked) in the garden....he broke the biggest (and flowering) stem off the fuchsia when he decided to pot it up for me (he's stuck it in a pot to see if it'll should do).  At the time I was trying to unravel the stems of a clematis which is at the back of the bluebell and hebe bed by the stone wall, I didn't even know it was there initially, it's winding itself around the hebe and a rose bush.  I want to train it up the ivy-covered wall, so was gently untangling it....husband came along to 'help' (I didn't ask for help!) and immediately snapped two of the clematis stems 😡.  I can do without his kind of help - he's so cack-handed and goes at everything like a bull in a china shop.  He never apologises and is now sulking because I asked him to stop helping 😒

I think the reason I'm so tired is partly because of the meds - I've stopped taking the co-codamol and am now taking just paracetamol 3 or 4x daily, but am also taking antihistamines for hayfever.  It's also because the pain in my shoulder is waking me up at night - I can't lie on my left side as the shoulder is too painful, but obviously I turn over onto that side in my sleep and then the pain wakes me.  Oh well, it'll get sorted sooner or later, or will go away eventually.  Chronic pain is very wearing.

Sunday 16 June 2024

One pain eclipses another

 Lovely sunny (and dry, and hardly any wind!) start to the morning, so I could get my washing out on the line.

I've stopped taking the co-codamol and have been back on plain paracetamol the past couple of days, as the codeine was making me terribly constipated, even with over-the-counter laxative tabs.  Consequently, the shoulder pain is back with a vengeance, it was difficult and painful hanging the washing on the line.  I could have asked husband to do it, but he hangs the washing in such an illogical way, and all bunched up together with no air space between, so it dries unevenly (it's a rotary line).  I'm going to have to see if I can get a GP appointment tomorrow - I've not had reason to go to this new doctor's surgery yet in the 6 months since we've been here, the last time I went to the GP was for a blood test last October I think, so I've been lucky really.  I suspect they'll just try to give me anti-inflammatory meds, which I can't take as I have an adverse reaction to them (which is on my records), or refer me for physio, for which there's a long waiting list.  I can't afford to pay for private osteo or chiro, especially not when it takes several sessions of treatment.

At least the shoulder pain has temporarily eclipsed the hip and knee pain!  So there's one good thing I suppose (must look at the positives 😂).  I might get husband to prep the veggies to go with the roast dinner - he's having chicken, I'm having my nut roast out of the freezer.  He had a nice Father's Day card (very humorous and true) from his youngest daughter, he gets nothing from his 2 other kids, they've been estranged for years.

So I'm having a quiet and restful day again.  Tomorrow we've got a few things to do in town, and I want to get a tray of bedding dahlias, as mentioned yesterday.  The weather looks set to be reasonable this coming week so hopefully I can spend time in the garden.  There's always something to do out there, weeding (surprising how the weeds always grow even when the veggies and flowers aren't!), tying in new growth on roses and climbers, deadheading.  I know I said I wouldn't be doing anything much more or spending on the garden from now on, but I'm thinking about getting and planting up a couple of hanging baskets for the front of the house - the brackets are already there so it would be rude not to! 😉  I've got a trailing fuchsia in a pot in the back garden, bought by mistake (I thought it was a shrub one), it's standing on a wall at present, that'll be ideal for a hanging basket.

I've made a little loaf using some of the magic dough from Thrifty Lesley's website, it's proving at the moment, I hope it bakes alright, am sure it will.