Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Caerphilly, the last hurrah. The last shooting of the siege engines of the year. The rain still fell and the world was cold and harsh, but this closing event is a heart-warmer and we all celebrate the official end of our contracted season.
One more event on the books, a local fayre, and then we pack away our kit for winter.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Being back at work was fun as well as a challenge; I like my colleagues and we have a laugh, but with my boss on holiday things piled up quickly, so by Monday it was a bit of a slog.
On Tuesday I got into lots of physical activity - walking across site, lots of standing around and then some lifting and carrying in the afternoon to organise my storeroom. All this put new pressure on my knee and overnight Tuesday night it swelled and became very painful.
On Tuesday evening I went with Cyberkitten, BionicDwarf and SleepyPete to see the new Star Trek. Oh, my, that movie has split the group and we have argued about it since. Cyberkitten hated it, the Bionic One and the Sleepy One saw the flaws but enjoyed it nonetheless, and I thought it a cracking way to pass a couple of hours (whisper: although the lad playing Kirk annoyed the crap outta me!).
On Wednesday I realised I had overdone things as I struggled to walk on my knee. That called for a slowdown and I took a couple of days sick while I rested my knee with a new respect.
On Friday it was back to work and a busy long day was very profitable and I got a lot done.
As for my on-line existence, I have not been feeling much like blogging or Booking - sometimes one just doesn't feel very sociable. Even my dress and shoes sit half-completed.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I remembered all the medical advice and tried to walk as evenly as possible and to keep the speed at a minimum. I was even overtaken by little old people! My knee was surprisingly good, it didn't start hurting until I was on my way home. With it elevated again this afternoon and some new pain relief, I am feeling much more positive.
One of my errands was new road tax for my little ol' jalopy. The adverts warning people to keep their legally required road tax current is strong (picture crushing cars etc) and the penalties for being stopped without it are quite steep.
So as I was a little overdue because of the convalescence, I apologised profusely at the post office - fully expecting the police to burst out and arrest me on the spot...at the very least a stern talking to from the post office representative.
'Oh, no problem at all, madam,' said the chap at the window. Nothing like a mixed message about a legally required document....
Saturday, May 02, 2009
I wasn't terribly well the last couple of days. I stopped the painkillers because I was sick of feeling sick........
Once I was feeling a bit more human I dug out my renactment stuff - there are always things to do!
I basted my new overdress dress...
and I started on my new shoes....I cut out the shapes from a cereal box, using the guides from our resident expert....
Arrange the pieces on the leather to ensure the least wastage..
And voila! Shoes ready to be sewn.....
First sew the uppers together using a hidden stitch - shoe stitching was not visible in the 14C style....beeswax is essential to make the needle and thread go through the leather easier....
And now, before embarking on the complicated double stitching on the sole which will make the shoe shape more defined, I am taking a short break from shoemaking....
The Company of Chivalry is back in the field this afternoon for the Bank Holiday weekend and I, again, am not going. My knee is still rather weak - although it is showing signs of improvement on what it has been!
Monday, April 27, 2009
MB is back at work today. I am mobile, sort of, and reasonably self-sufficient for the simple stuff. I have been a bit low lately - must be the GA and the pain.
But today I got a wonderful surprise in the post; lovely get well cards from two of the women at work. Plus I got one a couple of days ago from my boss. They are so thoughtful and considerate, it quite cheered me.
Today's target is to get dressed.......let's see how that goes.
Steps forward and back:
Yes, I got washed and dressed - and stayed awake for most of the day.
But then MB got distracted by emails and I ended up cooking most of dinner .... which resulted in pain killers and icepacks! I knew it was a mistake when I lost my balance and nearly put my hand on the stove.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
First job of the morning is to change my dressings and check my knee for swelling etc (I have icepacks if it does swell). My knee was very sore last night and this morning I was not impressed to find a large blood blister under one hospital provided plaster and a sore patch under the other. So I have cleaned the knee with antiseptic, pinched the blister and replaced the adhesive dressings with gauze and a full bandage. Gotta love cheap plasters! I have now given MB a shopping list of better quality dressings and antiseptic wipes.
Sitting down and getting up are painful, as is just getting started walking. The knee eases with movement but then just as quickly deteriorates. I have a nice cocktail of painkillers through the day, but they make me nauseous so I take them reluctantly.
Isn't it strange how life goes on in the big wide world yet, in my little convalescent life the world seems to have stopped. Texts come and go, I log into Facebook to check in with friends, emails are swapped, but life is in limbo here. I'm not complaining, although it is a weird sensation to realise you have been staring at a wall for three hours.....
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I had the anti-nausea drug before my op and they decided against morphine, given a bad history of that too, so I just ended up feeling - well, seasick is the best description. Still nauseous but not throwing up every five minutes.
I was the last to leave day surgery because of the nausea.
And the headache! I got a killer migraine after the op. It hurt just to open my eyes. That, thankfully, has gone now too. Still a bit of a headache, but not crippling.
My knee, not surprisingly, is a world of pain. Some of it has been controlled by the painkillers, and some reduced when I found my stitches had pulled and rebandaged it. On inspection I have one small incision on the inner side and one larger one on the outer side of my knee. Using a camera they inspected, repaired and trimmed my meniscus, the cartilage between the leg bones behind the kneecap, and that should stop the pain I have had for the last eight months.
My hands are also quite painful and swollen as they took three goes to get the cannula in for my anaesthetic. Apparently, I have very small veins in my hands! In the end, and after many tears, they put it towards the back of my hand over the wrist knuckle - which meant pain every time I moved my wrist and you could see the needle under my skin. Needless to say, I was thrilled when *that* came out!
I have been taking my drugs responsibly and started my exercises. Well, for the four hours I have been awake!
I still hate hospitals and admire everyone who works in there. Also, big love to my darling Aginoth who has been readmitted for intensive treatment for his psoriasis which is out of control again. Luckily I was only in one day - he's in for three weeks!
[yawn] tired now - back to bed........
Update (Friday, I think): The backs of both my hands are so bruised they are black - I must remember that next time anyone tries to insert a cannula.
My knee is ok, painful but manageable. Intending to spend some time downstairs today, but I am still very sleepy - could be the painkillers.
Kittycats are sterling nurses - one or both with me at all times. Charlie has walked on my bad knee twice - but he's forgiven because he is a doll-face :-)
Update Two (Friday night) I just undid the good work of 48hrs rest with a quick hairwash and 'top 'n' tail' at the sink (showers being not allowed for the first week or so until the holes are healing properly). I have done something, twisted my leg or something, and my knee is sooooooo painful now - every step makes me cry out. Guess I was too smug...cq
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I splurged and bought the aforementioned new purple dressing gown and some dinky new slippers, so I'll be the best dressed patient on the ward!
I have chosen a suitable companion for my brief stay - it is one of my Bear Factory (what is now Build a Bear) bears, Frostie, who has his own pyjamas and dressing gown so he's all ready to go.
And I have packed a nice big book to occupy my mind while I am waiting my turn..Like most people, I don't like hospitals and get very weepy when I think about it. So I'm blanking out in front of the TV tonight and trying not to think about tomorrow morning.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I got an invitation to my brother's 25th wedding anniversary party. I had to decline the invitation due to my impending operation but I don't feel I would be a huge loss as there will be family members who will be glad of my absence.
But if it's A's 25th anniversary then that means it's mine too as we were married only three weeks apart in May 1984. Wow, the 25th anniversary of my disastrous and abusive marriage. While chatting about it on the phone my mother dismissed it saying she didn't count my marriage and didn't even consider it.
But it was possibly the most difficult miserable 14 months of my life, culminating in my running away at night and hiding out at a friend's house, followed by months of seeing my ex-husband at every turn making me into a nervous wreck. Additionally, he refused to see his own faults and refused me a divorce. After a year of this, the pain only eased slightly when I sacrificed myself and my reputation for a divorce in desperation.
Of course, the memories of my marriage lead, inevitably, to thoughts of my unborn child. He/she would be 24 this year. With that child my life would have been SO different.
Opening one little unknowing door can lead to so many rooms wherein lie the memories locked away over a lifetime.....
All this on top of my anxiety about my knee surgery has made me most introverted and quiet. Crawling under a rock seems a good option at the moment.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I would unpack the tent and, with the help of a couple of the men, erect it to create our temporary home for the weekend. It's a very old tent, been through several hands, but is still doing sterling (if a little damp) service. We would empty the car into the tent and then try and make sense of the madness.
With the sun still shining, a fire would be lit, the local fish and chip shop will be raided and the alcohol will be fished out of various bags and boxes.
There will be laughter, teasing, and camaraderie, hugs and cuddles. Traditionally on the first event of the year new equipment and clothing is usually held up for general admiration and discussion. I know some of the smelly soldiers have new swords and mail, and there are a few new skills in the group to be debated - with the help of alcohol, of course!
But I am at home with a duff knee, dying material for new dresses, only dreaming of being there........and a bad case of the medieval grumps...
Update: They're all home happy after a dry, sunny and very successful weekend
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Before I got my letter I was miserable because my knee hurt and had hurt for a long time and I didn't know when it would get fixed. I found my knee would get inflamed after any kind of effort, which is why I ended up on crutches for two months with a fluid-filled knee.
I was unhappy because it was looking like I would miss a lot of the re-enactment season and that was not a nice prospect as I have fallen in love with the life of a re-enactor. But if I can't bend my knee I can't live rough......
Now I know I am booked in for surgery I should be thrilled but I have a whole lot of new worries. The paperwork says I'll be having a general anaesthetic. I've only had GA once and it made me terribly sick; I threw up for days! Also, like everyone else, I hate hospitals and anything remotely connected with those places - except the people; I have been looked after by some wonderful (if horribly overworked) nurses and doctors. I am scared the surgery will be that small percent that is not totally successful. I am worried that the arthritis in my knees may affect the results. I am concerned that I may be one of the few patients who have to stay in hospital overnight. I am worried how I will cope after the surgery and hate the prospect of being dependent on MB.
So many worries, so little time.....
Of course, I still have crazie decisions to make.....which book to take to read while I'm waiting/recovering - and, more importantly, which teddy bear to take!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
22 April 2009.....
Damn! It's the week MB is away with work in Scotland......!
Anyone want to spend a couple of days with a sick person??
Update: MB is not going to Scotland and has been given three days special leave to be with me....
Friday, March 27, 2009
It started well; I went to buy 5 litres of oil for my little aged car and was offered a free set of screwdrivers with it - accepted!
I found the latest Alexander McCall Smith 'Mma Ramotswe' novel at a deal price - I recommend this marvellous author and his novels set in Gabarone, Botswana!
I had a nice restful cup of coffee reading my new book.
I bought the cinema tickets and met with Bob for our dinner in our usual haunt.
We had fun with the cute young Italian waiter - admittedly he spoilt it a little bit by knowing how cute he was....but it made for an entertaining meal for the two middle-aged women...and we tipped him accordingly.
Then it was movie time - we didn't expect too much from the frothy chick flick......but this film should come with a health warning!
Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson in 'Marley and Me'.
It started off well and the story built steadily with a mix of reality and comedy, but watch out for the ending! As we collected our belongings and started to leave the cinema, there were girls sniffing into tissues and men holding their women comfortingly.
We came out thinking that the film should have been buoyed at the end in some way, but it ended on such a sad note. If you're planning to see this - take tissues!
I couldn't help but think 'Old Yeller'.....but not so dramatic.
Now I'm really annoyed with Hollywood - I sneaked the book off the shelf and looked at the ending - and it ended on the now middle-aged couple coming across a homeless dog who was the image of Marley and the words 'shall we take him home?'
Now that would have just finished the film off nicely, instead of the heartbreaking ending Hollywood assigned it.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Monday was mostly paperwork and website building.
On Tuesday I was called to a casualty. Being centrally based and the first aid site instructor, I am often the first person the security office call for an injury/incident. Tuesday's chap was a confusing mix of symptoms; vomiting, dizziness, pins and needles, disorientation, cold clammy skin and thready fast pulse. With no improvement after ceasing vomiting and with rest and reassurance I called for an ambulance. The chap was kept in hospital overnight with a suspected inner ear infection - which explains the mix of symptoms.
Wednesday I was teaching classes in CPR and use of automated defibrillators. My classes were a nice mix of civil servants, Air Force, Army and Navy. The first one was packed out, the second class was very 'intimate' with only half a dozen. No class too big or too small :-)
Thursday; more teaching - this time 1:2 practicals where the staff get to play with the resuscitation manikin and the training defibrillator. A long day with 16 students at two at a time.
Funniest quote this week from these magnificent volunteers;
'it's ok; I'm a defib opulator!'
I think I'll keep the word 'opulator' - it's a great word!
In addition Thursday was our nominated day for the site Cancer Awareness Day with a display with lots of leaflets and information - all organised by me around my teaching. That was in recognition that here in the UK March is National Prostate Cancer and Ovarian Cancer month.
After two and a half long days on my feet I woke up this morning to find my bad knee was very swollen and my back ached - so I arranged to take today off and spent all day with my feet up. MB was worried about the hours I put in this week, so he was pleased I took the day off and rested.
We're looking forward to a lovely sunny spring weekend this weekend - the weather is looking good and we've had a tremendous week of sunshine.....not that I saw a lot of it!
Funniest thing I heard this week. As I bemoaned my lack of chocolate (I rashly gave it up for Lent!!) one of my students quipped 'Being atheist has its benefits!' :-)cq
Friday, March 13, 2009
I took my camera and managed to juggle it with my crutches (still needed for long periods on my feet) to take a couple of photos.At The Original Re-Enactors Market (TORM) there was everything from dental and surgical equipment - cauterisation ladle anyone? No? Amputation chisel?
leather accessories for your Lordship's horse...modelled by some dubious plastercast horse's heads!Careful, LMD, don't get too close!
Some stalls seem to have a lot of knives, and some daggers too........trays and trays of knives for every occasion - except the one I want!
I bought some lovely stuff.......new mugs (two of); on the left is called the sherwood and the one on the right is a basic tankard.oh, and I succumbed and bought some delicious fudge, honey/oatmeal jacks and some rosehip jam.And I splashed out and bought myself a new workbox - look at my lovely box! It even looks good with my new mugs in it - with the new block of delicious beeswax I bought as well (you use it to lubricate needles for leather work). My beeswax smells wonderfully of - well - beeswax....I wish this was smellyvision!
It's such a pretty box - I love it! And so does William.......King of the box! :-)
Why do I think I am not getting my new box back??
Saturday, March 07, 2009
But, to be honest, life can creep by day by day and we just don't notice that our lives come in glorious technicolour....
Take my boys for instance; my two beautiful ginger cats.
Hehehe - enjoy this photo; a rare event indeed for them to share my lap!William (on the left) is a beautifully marked ginger of many shades and pure white with soulful green eyes. He has an occasional black mark, including the most adorable black spotted mouth. He even has a black beauty spot on his whiskerbed. Charlie, on the other hand, although still a ginger is a deep orange tinted with red with not a single bit of white anywhere on him. Even his eyes are the same colour as his coat - quite stunning.
I was brought to the realisation of the sheer wealth of colour in our lives that pass without a second glance while I was preparing the dinner tonight....The deep green, dark red, bright orange and mixture of yellows of the peppers I was chopping for the bolognese grabbed my attention, especially when the white onion was laid beside them and added contrast. After years of pushing (sorry - encouragement!) by our mutual friend Carmi I decided to dust off my trusty point and shoot camera and photograph these vibrant colours.
Mental overload of beauty came when I put them all together and coated them in oil....
In this 'Now' life of hustle and bustle and surrounded by man-made fakery I realised how rarely we stop to absorb the everyday real colours around us created by Mother Nature.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Car insurance is, of course, advertised by a meerkat...called Aleksander...
any ideas on how to advertise mobile telephones...? Let's Dance..
By the way - Aleksander Orlov, the Russian meerkat, is now a national hero in the UK, with his own Facebook, his own YooToob and plans for a blog. Oh, and 'comparethemeerkat.com' is a real website - go visit here!
Saturday, February 28, 2009
People roamed the hall in costumes from medieval wenches to Tudor gentlemen in high-topped boots.
It's a lot smaller than it used to be, but was absolutely heaving with people wanting to find that special purchase ready for the new season.
I had my 14C shopping list:
a new cup (to replace the one smashed in a rainstorm in Italy)
bells (for my belt and pouch)
leather (for shoemaking)
awl and leather knife
material - linen
I managed to get most of my list, except the cup and the leather knife. I also splashed out on a nice new authentic straw hat (in hopeful anticipation of some sun this year!) and couldn't resist some little bags of sweetness from Angela's Pantry.
I know I am not going to be taking part until after my surgery and recuperation but I decided to spend the interim teaching myself to make shoes and to sort out my wardrobe and knock up some new dresses.
There's another re-enactors market in a couple of weeks, where I can pick up a new authentic cup, so no worries there. Mind you, I always spend too much at these things so I'll probably pick up a few extra bits!
Friday, February 27, 2009
Don't even get me started on the 'optional' extra on your vehicle - the traffic indicators...which are there to *indicate* your intentions!
Also, there are pretty white lines on the road to show you where to put said vehicle safely.
When you swing across aforementioned white lines into my line of travel with barely an inch to spare, you should be hearing my car horn. I leant on my horn to warn you I was there but you didn't go back into your own lane - how odd - causing me to brake sharply whilst trying to not hit anyone else.
So, putting together my first point and my second point, I can't help feeling you are a very stupid woman - and I hope you didn't have kids in that very fancy schmanzy people carrier......
Honestly, some people.....
Saturday, February 21, 2009
The sky is blue,
There's not a cloud
to spoil the view...'
shh - don't talk too loudly, you might scare it away....
A sunny day makes all the bad stuff go away a little bit.
Here in the UK, we are on the cusp of Spring - the snowdrops are flowering, the crocuses and daffodils are coming out and there are definite signs that Spring is almost with us.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The idea is you go to the 6th photo in the 6th folder on your system and talk about it. The sixth folder in My Pictures is entitled Candles, and the sixth photo is a not terribly inspiring shot of my candles.
I love sitting by candlelight - especially as the light fades to dusk and the evening draws in. I don't do scented candles really, allergies you know, but I adore candlelight - almost as much as firelight. Candlelight eases my mind and helps me to think. It blurs the edges of reality and dims the sharp tang of life. No matter how churned my life gets, candlelight smoothes the strain.
Coincidentally, I am sitting in candlelight right now. My mind needs soothing. I heard today that my knee surgery is classed as routine and not due to be scheduled until mid-May, so that has put the kybosh on the first couple of months of the medieval re-enactment season. If I can't bend my knee or walk without pain, I can't live rough in castles.
I won't tag - but if you want to do this (and it is a little different!) then please link back to here.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Welcome to my party - any excuse for another new dress!
If you fancy a drink, in addition to the purple champagne we have champagnes of rainbow hues... Purpletinis...
Or, if they are too exotic - just dig into a bowl of purple hearts...
And, of course, the cake - a chocolate piece de resistance from our chef!
Nigel and Fiona will be happy to wait on your pleasure and Michael and Josephine will be on hand to help out.
This party is turning into an all night and day event! Nigel? Fiona? Restock the tables and get more bubbly from the cellar!
Everyone; Enjoy your evening/day at the Crazie Palace!