Thursday, November 27, 2008

Medieval Banquet

Master Caunsfield (my friend Matt) has given permission for me to use his photos here, so you can all see a cool medieval banquet...

We all came together one by one in a local parish hall in a small Somerset village. We laid tables, hung flags and then got into kit...

Once the candles were lit and the lights went off, it magically transformed into a medieval banqueting hall...

The villeins (filthy peasants!) waiting for their dinner - our Lord Hungerford is a kind, magnanimous lord...inviting the general villeinage.....

The other end of the class structure - the table laid ready for Lord Hungerford and his guests...

who included his son, Thomas Hungerford the Younger and Lord Berkeley (in red)...

The banquet is an opportunity to petition for training as a Knight - such as the potential Lord Burley here (aka John)

It's a time to promote villeins to yeoman (to offer them their freedom) such as my friend 'Maud'...

and my 'husband' Billy Brambles...

Mrs Aginoth gained promotion to Retainer (step up from Yeoman) and gained the keys to her own domicile....

Much was made of the fact that Lord Hungerford promoted Mrs Aginoth before Aginoth - so she technically outranks him...(she got to keep the keys to the new home!)..

After the ceremonies and the banquet proper, things some cases a little too much! This is my other 'husband' spark out after a few brews while his friends bury him in bread....


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bad to Worse - with some Good thrown in...

Hi diminished readery,

I know, I'm a bad blogger but my trick knee and trials with the hospital, not to mention still working, is making me sink deeper into my depression.

I finally got hold of Hospital Two to find they haven't even had my referral letter from Hospital One, so I offered to fax my copy to them.
I couldn't get them again for another two days when they cheerfully told me the letter was useless without the referral 'form' which would have been attached to their copy of the letter - if they had had it!
So now I have to go back to Hospital One to get them to fax a copy of the whole paperwork to Hospital Two before the radiologist will even look at my case. But Hospital One only takes phone calls between 10am and 12 midday - which is my busiest time of day!

The words 'who is running the asylum?' spring to mind.....

Is there any good news? Well, I am still working, with an occasional working from home day to rest my leg. This week has been exhausting with two days teaching - which meant being on my feet for most of them.
Day One was basic training, with 30 staff being trained to use defibrillators in the workplace and to perform basic life support (CPR).
Day Two was a skills day for qualified First Aiders with a lecture on Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes and Epilepsy (the hidden conditions), a forum for them to talk, and an afternoon of playing with bandages and CPR dummies.
Both went well and I got good feedback from the participants.

And tonight I leave all my troubles (if not my crutches) behind and toddle off to the Company of Chvalry Banquet. It's officially the last event of the year and a biggie this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Company! :-)
[packs camera]


Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Week

What a week!

I am still discovering things I can and can't do on crutches.

Still no word from the hospital - I will be phoning them tomorrow to tell them it's been three weeks without any information.

This week I hosted the planned Road Safety Day at work with the Ministry of Defence Police. They brought speed cameras, breathalysers, number plate recognition system and even sniffer dogs. My stall was of the information type, with dozens of leaflets and posters for staff to take away.
Best bit of the day was when the drug dog decided my crutch was a threat and bit it, taking the end of the handle in his mouth while I had my arm in it. Me and the handler struggled to open the dog's jaws then I took my arm out and passed over the crutch (with dog attached) to the handler. He lifted the crutch, with dog attached, and continued to try and get the dog to let go with the rest of the officers screaming with laughter and the visitors giggling and chuckling. Finally the dog relinquished his deathgrip and I got my crutch back - and a legend of the workplace was born........amazing how quickly news travels on that site!

Yesterday I got restless and hobbled off to catch a bus to the local shopping mall to start my Christmas shopping. A big step for someone who needs help with grocery shopping!
I managed to buy my mother's present sneaking into the queue in front of an understanding woman. The Mall was heaving - mostly with people who didn't look where they were going.
While there I decided to have lunch as I wasn't going to be cooking dinner, so I decided to treat myself to a pizza. Pizza Hut was heaving - literally! Customers were queued down the stairs. I hobbled in from the elevator and begged a chair to sit down while waiting for my 'table for one'. They treated me very well finding me chair to wait, even putting me on a table for four all to myself. When I saw a little table come free I suggested I move - to make room for a bigger group. Another solo woman turned up and we agreed to share a two-person table, and it turned out we were both of the 'read while we eat' type so a pleasant peaceful lunch was had by both. I was pleased to see my big table went to a frazzled mum and two small kids - gratifying!
And, because I forwent my big table for the little one, I got a superb deal on my lunch!! Good old Pizza Hut! :-)

More later - laundry beckons.....


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Never Forget

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

'Sorry' 'Thank You'

The word I have used the most over the last three weeks is 'Sorry'...

'Sorry' because it takes a while to negotiate the unfriendly steps on the bus...
'Sorry' in shops as I try to stow stuff in my rucksack and pay and stop my crutches falling to the floor....
'Sorry' everywhere as I attempt to negotiate swing doors...
'Sorry' as I struggle to get in the car as whoever is volunteering to drive me waits patiently....
'Sorry' as I try to shop solo and fail miserably....
'Sorry' as other staff at work help me to move things, set up stuff or pack it away....
'Sorry' as I had to deliver a presentation sitting down...

The second most used words in the last three weeks have been 'Thank you'...

In Marks and Spencers today I found out how difficult it really is to buy one pair of jeans and one pair of slippers - normally a task that takes about five minutes.
Slippers - easy; little hook thing to carry them with in one hand with crutches.
Jeans - not easy; I struggled to check sizes with crutches as I would have to take them off to look towards the the back. I found a couple of possibles and then realised I couldn't carry them, the slippers and use the crutches all at the same time. As I detached the hangers caught in the adjusters on my crutches for the second time a woman staff member passed by and I grabbed her 'I don't suppose you could help me, could you?'
She carried my stuff to the fitting rooms, got my room (the disabled one with the grab bars), took my stuff in and left me to it.
When I came out I grabbed another passing female who then carried my stuff to the desk and sorted it all out for me.
When I arrived at the till with my chosen jeans thrown over one shoulder, slippers and an impulse purchase top, the original lady helper was on the till and she came out to help with 'all' the stuff, and even packed them into the smallest possible bag for me. Total time - 1 hour.

What I have found as a person with a temporary disability is that the current disability law seems to have confused people.
On the one hand they don't help - because, after all, I should be treated equally like anyone else, even though I am armed with two extra metal legs and no spare hands, and I find that means ignoring me.
On the other hand - they offer help with some measure of guilt, thinking perhaps they are patronising me....
PLEASE help....or at least offer....


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Big Bad World

It's a big bad world out there - here..........this may help.....


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My Week, My Day

Today is my birthday...

Happy burfday to me
Happy burfday to me
Happy burfday to cq
Happy burfday to me....

I have the day off work - I make it a point never to work on my birthday! I had a modest pile of parcels and envelopes to open in bed this morning which was nice :-)
On Friday all the Crazies are getting together - even Katgirl and RCA are coming up from London to help celebrate a threeway birthday; me sleepypete and bionicdwarf. Should be a good night!

I got a copy of the hospital letter to the next hospital in the chain. The physio's suggested diagnoses are torn anterior cruciate ligament or meniscal tear - but I am still thinking torn cartilage. I met a woman last week who had had all the same symptoms and pain and she had a torn cartilage. Now we wait for an appointment for the MRI scan.

Meanwhile, I spread my currently clipped wings on Sunday and went out to watch my Company of Chivalry re-enactment friends take part in our annual archery competition.
I braved my car and swore every time I changed gear - which involved flexing my bad knee!
It was worth it to see the guys and gals - even though they teased me unmercifully about my temporary disability, which was only to be expected :-)
I had a wonderful afternoon out and enjoyed every minute - except the driving!

Work is going all right, I am getting about ok thanks to the crutches given to me by Southmead Hospital. I'm not driving (see above!), and the local bus service is getting my commuter business at the moment.
But I do work at home the occasional day when my knee is bad - like yesterday, after my exploits on Sunday!