Monday, 31 December 2007

Seen alive! the half cat!

Well whilst I was busy typing up a mustard blog, guess who I saw on the stairs??

I wont keep you in suspense.. it was the half cat, Lilly with eyes the size of DINNER PLATES!!

She is getting braver.. and Im proud to present the first ever photo we have taken of her. I know its not very good, but this is the closest we can get at present :-)

Shes really very pretty, quite a bit smaller than Billy. I look forward to having a photo of both in 2008!

Oh by the way.. Happy New Year!!!


In response to Jaks question in comments about mustard.. I will say a bit on the subject here :-)

According to Wikki, Mustard was invented by the Romans (what have the Romans ever done for us??)

French mustard tends to be a greeny grey colour, quite often with the grains of the mustard seed in it, but English mustard is bright yellow, and a much stronger, sharper taste - its also smooth, and commonly served with roast beef or steak.

When Im cooking, I like to add a bit of this, and a bit of that, building up a nice rounded flavour, so when I make a nut roast, or a cheese sauce, I almost always throw in a bit of wholegrain French type mustard, and a bit of yellow mustard in a powder form.

Oh.. American mustard sauce is, from what Ive had a much much milder form of English Mustard that dosnt blow your brains out ;-)

I very rarely use a recipie, unless Im making bread. I use a recipie when Im making something new, but then once Ive made it once I play about with it and do things differently to make it better.

Hmmm not sure what to make for tomorrows tea.. will have to think about it!

I might persuade D to make goats cheese and red onion tarte since we have the ingredients.. all I have to do is make the pastry! YUM!

Jak.. I hope this answers your question!

Family Saturday

We had a really good time on Saturday, all elements of the family got on, and some lovely pressies were given and received!

I took loads of clockwork toys along for my older brothers kids - particularly two racing snails which went down very well :-) Older brother & wife gave us a funny cat calender and some eco washing up liquid (strange present, you might think, but we needed some!) They also gave Douglas a book about food from the wild, which hes very keen on.

Younger brother and wife gave us two cards which said they had given money to Oxfam to buy some health care and some mosqito nets, which was great - also two nice little prints of pictures Sis in law had painted/lino cut herself. We will have to put them and our other piccys up some time!

I made a nut roast for the veggies - here is a rough idea of how I made it.

Chopped mixed nuts ( half a pound I think)
Breadcrumbs (from about 5 dried slices of a small white loaf)
Eggs (3 large ones)
Tin of tomatoes (chopped, no skins)
Teaspoon of English mustard powder
Teaspoon of veggie Bouillion powder
Several teaspoons of onion chutney (this was knocking round the cupboard, and does not taste very nice on bread, so I decided to use some of it up!)

Mix the whole lot together - but leave the tin of tomatoes till last, because you need to make sure the consistency is not sloppy, just wet enough to plop off your spoon!

Put into a lined dish or bread tin, and put in a medium oven. It will take about 30-45 mins to cook - very nice served with a cheese sauce! (we had rice, broccoli and various nice cabbage salads as well)

Yum Yum YUM!!

Meanwhile, I have not been feeling well - I have a cough that has taken my voice away, and Ive got toothache. Douglas has the same cough but thank goodness not the toothache. Will sort out dentist soon :-(

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Saturdays plans

a) go to sleep now as its past 1am..

b) later go see big brother, his 2 kids and wife.. little brother 3 kids and wife.. and 2 parents.. now if I can add up that makes 4+5+2+2 = 13 of us!!! wow I wonder if Cousin Michael will be there too?

c) take nut loaf as big brother, kids and wife are veggie like me.

d) take camera

e) take blood pressure pill for mum ;-)

f) worship our one whole cat before and after visit :-) even if he does kill wine glasses! the half cat, Lilly is not yet in stroke mode.. give her another few weeks and you might get a photo :-)

Friday, 28 December 2007

Note to self and husband

When you get two cats in your house, delicate wine glasses are NOT a good thing to leave out on your sideboard, however remote the chance of either cat (Anna stares hard at Billy) having a mad 5 mins, jumping up and taking two down with a swish of his black furry tail.

Guess what happened early this morning? ….. We live and learn..

Thursday, 27 December 2007

2 days off now back at work...


We had a very quiet non celebratory Xmas day - Douglas wasnt feeling too well, so that made the day a little quieter than it might have been.

Our Solstice gifts are enjoying their new home - Lilly is getting braver, and although she still looks at us through "dinnerplate" eyes and scrams if we get too close, we can certainly see improvements.

Billy has discovered the joys of the cat "fishing rod" and has been going crazy when we dangle it near him :-)

My parents came round in the afternoon for a cuppa and a chat, we watched TV then the day was done!


Today we decided to go to the out of town shopping emporium near Sheffield, called Meadowhell (oops sorry Meadowhall) to get some clothes for Douglas, and a small heater for our attic bedroom, which gets very very cold. I wanted some leggings that went down to my ankles, to keep me warm on my way to work.

Within about 15 mins, Douglas had been into 2 menswear shops, and had purchased four shirts and two jumpers, and spent about £45.00, £10 of which was a gift voucher he got from his work place as a Christmas gift!

I got my leggings.. I got a discount off them, because when I tried them on, the fluff from the carpet in the trying on room got all over the legs, and they were the only pair they had. The fluff is very easy to remove, but I didnt object to the discount!

We got our heater, got some dvds for birthday presents (loads of family have birthdays in Jan) and we got a book each from Waterstones, our favourite bookshop.

We were exhausted after all this shopping, and the centre was getting very busy. We had arranged with my mum to go see St Trinians, so we met up at the Cinema and enjoyed the film very much!

Gave mum a lift home, watched Ballet Shoes on TV and went to bed, after making Billy rush and leap for the fluffy thing on the end of the cat fishing rod :-)

Monday, 24 December 2007

The Tail of one and a quarter cats

We are proud to announce that we have seen Lilly! Yes! we did get two cats, not one and a quarter ;-)

Douglas has seen her once or twice just before hes gone to bed, and yesterday I was in the kitchen and I saw both moggies :-)

Lilly poked her head out, so I took the cat food, put it in the middle of the lounge and went back to the kitchen. She was brave enough to come out and eat! I stayed in the kitchen, but moved around a bit, and although she looked pretty nervous, she kept eating!

She like her companion, is black and white, but she has a white patch on her face, and has more black on the rest of her body. Photo will have to wait a little longer!

Billy, meanwhile is becoming very friendly, and has been having fun chasing a wild and deadly animal (his tail!)

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Solstice Tidings!

We had a lovely day yesterday - we got up quite late (10.30am).

We opened our pressies - two amazing hampers, one from Ds brother Mike, and one from Ds sister Carolyn. We had to stop ourselves from diving straight in!

I went to walk Margarets Scottie Dog as promised at about 11.30 - she lives next door to us, is elderly, has just lost her husband of many years, and is waiting for various joint replacements to take place. She cant walk very far - even the steps up to the back garden are an endurance for her, so every few days, i take Oscar for a little walk up or down the road.

Oscar himself is an elderly gentleman, and is rather set in his ways, including telling me exactly where to cross the road! :-) He walks along, stopping every few yards to sniff another interesting smell, small tail wagging gently.

I think Oscar and Margaret are grateful for my help, and also for a bit of company, although Margarets children visit on a regular basis and take good care of her. I enjoy being able to help out.


Douglas took me to a rather nice cafe/restaruant he discovered recently called "The Milestone"
I had 2 tapas dishes.. mini potatoes in a tomato paprika sauce, and a goats cheese and something tarte. Douglas had a burger. The best bit was the deserts.. i had this amazing chocolate pud, it was like a chocolate brownie that melted in the middle, was bitter but sweet, set off beautifully with some ice cream on the side. (I think I could die in this pudding!) Douglas had a cherry pie, which he loved. I tried a bit and wasnt impressed, but then I'm not horribly keen on cherries!!

The Afternoon/Evening

My parents still dont have a working cooker - they are "camping out" in their kitchen using a portable two ringed cooker afair (Baby Belling) and their microwave. The electrician cant wire their new cooker up for another week or so.

We invited my parents round for dinner, so the preparations started.

Douglas had marinaded the beef with red wine and herbs, so that came out, went on its carrot trivet, and into the oven on Gas mark 2 on a very slow roast. (makes it tender etc so ive been told!)

I got a load of potatoes ready to roast, (put rosemary and garlic in to make them very tasty) prepared the sprouts, made Yorkshire Pudding batter and put my nut roast into the oven underneath Ds meat.

Parents turned up about 6, and we had a sumptous meal! We had a Tesco red bowl Xmas pudding to finish with. Yum.

We ate and chatted, Billy came out of the woodwork and impressed the parents by being cute, and at about 9pm they staggered home, rather full!


We went to Waitrose a while back, and got some nice wicker trays, and filled them up with some goodies to make two hampers, one for Les Parents, and one for my little brother & wife, Thomas and Kt.

We gave the parents theirs, and they were very pleased, as we had tried hard to pick things both of them liked.

It was really nice to surprise them - they have done so much for us over the years, helping with our various houses, and spending hours doing various DIY jobs and generally being very good parents. :-)

Next Xmas we plan to go up and see D's side of the family, and Im sure we will cook for them, and have a lovely time up North.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

99% Cute..


This is Billy! he seems to like his cat bed - hope Lilly feels brave enough to join him soon.

Ps Billy dosnt keep still very long.. I took about 10 photos to get this...

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

The Solstice looms!

We are looking forward to Friday, the Winter Solstice!

Im going to make a nut roast, D will do roast beef, we will do all the trimmings so hurrah for having two ovens!!

Cats doing ok.. Lilly "looked" at Douglas last night! wow! progress continues :-)

Monday, 17 December 2007


I think ive gone up a trust level with Billy (or is it just because he loves food?) I cut some thin strips of beef, left over from Ds dinner, got down on the floor and wriggled as far as I could under the sofa (its a reclining one, so there is quite a space underneath it when the leg bits are up)

Billy, obviously feeling hungry, crept forward and ate a bit of beef I held out to him. I fed him other bits.. slowly making him come further out from his hiding place.

At last, he came all the way out, and whilst hoping for more food, allowed me to stroke him, and he rolled on the floor with me present.

Lilly is still under the sofa, eyes like dinner plates glowing with the light from the room. Poor darling..

Sunday, 16 December 2007



Billy is getting braver.. he has been "seen out" of the sofa this evening, and a bit of my cheesy pasta was spotted on the kitchen floor ;) Hmm I wonder whose paw got that. He is slowly exploring the lounge and kitchen, and trying to get on and in everything, but when one of us moves he runs and hides again.

Lilly.. well shes magic.. we know she has eaten and done her business (well we hope she has) but shes made herself totally invisible, which is where the magic bit comes in ;)

Its only day 2.. early days yet..

We went to see the Golden Compass, and enjoyed it very much.

Now its time for bed. xxx



We went to the Cats Shelter - we had registered a few months ago, but today was Adopting day :-)

The staff remembered us, and were very friendly. They said they didnt have many to choose from, as one room had been closed due to a few poorly individuals, but we were shown round the rest.

In the first room, there was a lovely young friendly tabby, but we were told she wasnt up for adoption until the New Year. There was a long haired moggie that seemed very friendly, but kept hissing at the other cats, so we ruled him out.. then we were introduced to a black and white cat chilling out on a chair. He seemed quite friendly. The staff advised us that he had teamed up with another inmate called Fliss, also black and white but very nervous - a right scardey cat, so if Billy went, Fliss went too.

We had a look at other cats - there was a young tabby and white cat, who had recently had kittens. She was available, but the kittens wernt. I thought it would be nice to have a mum and kitten, but thei little ones were not available yet, and the staff didnt think homing mum and baby together would work out well.

Finally was a very large gentleman, who I would have named Bustopher Jones
(Reference Possums book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot) he is seen as "A fat cat, a "twenty-five pounder." Dresses in a snappy tuxedo and spats. Respected by all, as the upper class "St James' Street Cat." (Quote from Wikkipedia)

Having seen our choices, we decided that Billy and Fliss -black and white, Jelicle cats.. depicted by Eliot as common black and white cats whose daytime nature is peaceful, pleasant and restive — but who possess an active love of nightlife. We have re named Fliss - she is now Lilly, so we now have Billy and Lilly!!!

At present they are really scared.. hiding under our sofa, and being very quiet and invisible, but they have eaten (and used their litter trays) and ive just spent 20 mins lying on my back, arm stretched into the sofa with some prime roast beef on fingertips! Billy was brave enough to eat a little, and he submitted to being stroked, but Lilly is still being the shrinking violet.

Its early days yet - we have with time and love Im sure they will both come out of their shells (aka sofa) and make friends with us properly :-)

We are willing to wait.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Tips for a "green" festive season

Only popping on to offer you all this link.

Id be grateful if you would copy it, and spread it round.

Its going on the bottom of all my work emails in my siggy


PS Cat day tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Dinner party!

Its Tuesday. 4 days before we get our cats (not that we are counting, mind you ...)

Tonight my older brothers ex girlfriend Miranda came to tea. They lived together in York for many years, and we all got on very well. Im not going into the very long story about what happened and why they split.. but they did - 10 or more years ago so I really should stop calling her my brothers "ex" but never mind :-)

Miranda is a lovely person, and Douglas and I are very fond of her, so we invited her round for a meal. She was veggie for many years and I am still, so Douglas made a veggie sweet and sour stir fry with tofu in.

My parents cooker has been disconnected prior to its removal, and a new one coming in its place, so they have 2 baby belling rings and a microwave for their meals at present.. so I took pity on them and invited them too. They were delighted at being cooked for, and also having the chance to meet Miranda again after so many years (they like her too)

I snuck off work 30 mins early (yeah ok I got permission, and Im working it back tomorrow) and got home at 6pm. Douglas - bless him - had prepped all the veg, and made the sweet and sour sauce from scratch (recipie will follow.. I promise..).

By 7.15 we were all sat down and eating, and it was a really delicious meal.. even my dad, a devout carnivore, enjoyed it!!!

Mil had got two galia melons for our desert, and they were sweet and ripe and delicious (also thanks to M&S where they came from!)

They all stayed a while later, chatting and playing around with various stupid ring tones on our phones, and they left about 9.30pm.

Douglas has crawled up to bed.. as he would say hes "puggled" now.. Im still wide awake so I thought id come write this up.

Other news.. cats? did I say we get our cats on Saturday??? well.. WHOOOOHOOO! Cat day is Saturday!

Also I have made one half of the front of Ds very bright patchwork waistcoat. When I eventually find our digital camera again, will post photos.

Thats probably all till Cat Day.

Sunday, 9 December 2007


No news but the Cat (aka sacred beast) is going home tomorrow morning, as my brother and sis in law have returned from their holiday.

Talking of sacred beasts.. follow this link.. its incredibly funny. Watch the two clips in order.

enjoy it..

Friday, 7 December 2007


Well, looks like we get to choose our new house mates on the 15th Dec.. watch this space carefully for news :-)

Thank you Miss Bliss, Jak and Dreaded Mum in Law (DMIL) for your comments.. Our present tennant, Olly is only staying until Sunday, then will be scooped up into the loving arms of his (and my) mum and dad with many "coochie coo" sounds coming from mum in particular! lol! They are missing him.. (everyone go Ahhhhhh!)

Ive wanted a cat as long as I can remember. Early on it was found my brothers and I were allergic to fur, so we had goldfish, reptiles but no cats of our own as we grew up.

When I was tiny I had a toy cat that I named Wah Wah. I couldnt say Cat at the time - that was my translation. WahWah wore out, and became shiny grey sheepskin leather with odd pathces on ( thanks Daddy :-) )instead of lovely black wooly fur. I must have been about 6 when we went back to the place he came from... I clearly remember proudly showing WahWah to the lady in the shop, who looked at it with dislike and asked "was it a penguin?" (Wah might have lost his tail by then.. not sure)

The shop still sold toy cats made from sheepskin. I was shown what WahWah looked like when he was new, and promptly fell in love with this newer version.. but was taken, tears streaming down face, out of the shop ... with no new puddy!!!

I probably only cried for about 20 mins but in little Anna terms it felt like hours. My heart was broken.. no new cat. My dear parents and maternal granny caved in.. they had purchased a new cat and were planning to save it for my birthday :-) Joy broke out, and both cats went to bed with me for years!

I think 3 other cats followed them.. 2 of them made by my mum with much swearing and heaving I seem to remember. (shes told me she will never ever make me another now lol)

I still had WahWah until a few years ago.. with much guilt I had to consign him to the cat graveyard in the sky :-( Some things just cant last forever.. oh dear Im feeling sad now..

Anna goes to mourn the loss of WahWah, but looks forward to the real things arriving fairly soon.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Count down to cats

My parents cat is once again installed in our house.. under the sofa I am lead to understand :-)

As we will have the Sacred Beast on Sat and Sunday.. with some luck we will be able to get our own on the 21st!

What better Solstice present could we ask for??!!

Will find out later today if the cats home are happy to lets us go in and choose a pair on the 21st.. since we really dont celebrate Christmas it will be like any other weekend, apart from a bit longer for us :-)

Fingers crossed....

Monday, 3 December 2007

Le Weekend

Nice quiet time... D did loads of housework on Friday, so I took him to see Beowolf on Saturday. It was a bit gorey, but a good story.. now want to read the poem (but not in olde Englishe)

On Sunday we went over to my parents. I plugged in my mums pc, D got the DVD/Video player working - both "fixes" much appreciated :-)

Very glad to say my mum has given into the gentle pressure from me and D, and has ordered broadband to be installed as well as going over to cable phone. Their number shouldnt alter!

I will be going over soon to get her computer set up for that soon.. I dont think she would cope :)

We have the sacred beast from Wednesday, and D goes back to work on thursday!

Friday, 30 November 2007

Major Breaking News!!! Headline Stuff!!!!!

At 3.30pm today, 30th November 2007 I became..


(Its like being a God mother, but better lol)

My best friend Loony gave birth to Amy Robyn who weighed in at 9lb 2oz!!

A friend of mine said he wants to name his first female child Polly Esther I told this to Amys dad, Chris, who texted me back saying he now wanted to change his daughters name.

Something tells me Loonie wouldn’t agree to this…

Nearly the weekend! yay!

Sorry for lack of posts during the week - there really has not been much to report!

I tried to post yesterday but someting went wrong and it wouldnt publish....

So.. quick synopsis of the week!

D went into hospital for a check up.. after a very long wait as usual, they said his blood results were looking very good, and instead of visiting them on Wed and Friday for more of the same, the vampires would like to see him next Tuesday :-)

He feels so much better now hes home.. his arms have gone down to normal size and his spots have considerably reduced in number!

It rained. D did some shopping and went over to my little brothers house, I got off the tram early and had a very wet walk over to the house too. Very kindly, Thos came out and rescued me from the last 10 mins walk and drove me the last bit back to his.

My black fluffy cardigan/coat was drenched, so whilst it dried out, Thos, his kids, Douglas, my parents and I had tea of cheesy pasta and salad. It was lovely! (Katy is away on a writing course)

Thos went out to his guitar lesson leaving us to sort out the kids. Little one (hes 3) started crying and howling for dad and then mum. My mum went into meltdown, got very stressed and didnt cope with all the tears so I took over :-)

Poor little one was sooo tired.. but he had a pee and allowed me to put on his bed time nappy, before putting him into bed (still floods of tears) I gave him loads of love and cuddles, and asked him if he wanted a story. No!! All he wanted was Daddy. I decided (dunno why) that I would read one of his books next to his bed. Seconds after I had the story book down, little one decided he wanted to read it, tears vanished and he enjoyed the tale of a little boy called Leo who gets jungle wallpaper in his bedroom :-) Peace reigned again! Hoooray for Aunty Anna ! lol


D went into town to get the tax disc and go to Waterstones bookshop (what a surprise) and was totally exhasuted by the time he reached the car. I came in to find him fast asleep on our reclining sofa, covered up with a dressing gown. Ahhhh poor thing :-)


Well it is sunny out this morning.. I was a good girl and got the tram to work (was sorely tempted to get in the car, but that provides nil exercise for the day, and I have a tram pass!!)

D might go swimming today, but I also want him to visit our neighbour, whose husband sadly passed away last week.

I probably have loads of paperwork to do and lots of checking certificates against applications, so I better get ready to start work (Im there already)

More soonish.. but please dont worry if posts are a bit slow in coming.. will keep you informed.

Ohhhhhh also.. my "odd" daughter (not God daughter but similar) is due to be born by C Section today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Watch this space!!

Saturday, 24 November 2007


D is continuing to get better - his arms are still sore but so much better than they were, and although he is still rather spotty, and has mouth ulcers and cold sores, hes in good spirits and came with me to visit my parents new house, which is not too far from our local Tesco :-)

I did a huge sort out of all our recyling, which normally sits quite quietly in a double doored cupboard under our microwave. Our civic amenity site seems only to open in hours of daylight, and since I work 9.30 - 5.30 its been difficult for me to get there, so the reclying was almost shreiking to be sorted and taken away.

I felt so much better when id done the recycling trip, done mountains of hand washing (most of my stuff is not machine friendly cause I like hippy things) I also did loads of washing up, and some cooking.

Roast Beef

Now, Im a veggie, but Douglas loves his meat.

I purchased a nice lump of Organic Beef at Asda, and set it on a trivet made from 3 carrots. I made up some powdered English Mustard with some water and some olive oil, threw in some mixed herbs some bashed up garlic, made it all into a paste and spread it on the beef.

Douglas put it into our gas oven on about Gas 3, and about 3 hours later, out came a very tasty looking lump of cow! :-) He said it tastes wonderful.

Hes happy to kill, prepare and cook his meat so I feel he has the moral right to eat it. People who have never, and would never kill and prepare an animal to eat it are hypocrites if they eat it.

(thats my view and Im sticking to it!! Im not prepared to kill animals so I dont eat them)

I wonder.. am I then hypocritical for preparing and cooking meat for others?? All comments welcome :-)

Friday, 23 November 2007

Michelin Man "spotted" at home!!!

Hello all ye blog readers!

Thank ye one and all for ye lovely commentes :-)

We remain positive cause there are people much worse off than us, and it only gets you down so why not be happy with what you have?

Im happier than usual today because, at long last I was able to collect MM (aka Douglas) from hospital last night. He got the OK to leave at 9am.. got his sick notes but then had to wait for his tablets... and wait.. and wait... and wait........... then a bit more waiting.

At 7pm the Pharmacist had eventually sorted all his tablets out (a carrier bag full) and he was ready to come home! By this time we were both pretty hungry, and I was quite tired.

I got D home, put the gas fire on, put the heating on, and made him some cheese on toast postage stamps to keep him alive whilst his chicken cooked.

Oh, by the way.. hes no longer diabetic and it wasnt Gout so they think.. was just various infections.

Its so nice to have him back, and he says he feels better already just being back :-)

We will have a quiet weekend, but I may take him up to my parents new house to have a little look around - depends how he feels.

love from us both to all of you!
A&D xxx

Oh PS the "spotted" bit is cause his skin is in a bad state.. poor spotty baby ;-)

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Im married to the Mitchelin Man

Ok.. its only one arm that has swollen up and one knee but it sounded too funny not to say it lol.

D is ok.. his left arm has some very painful cellulitis on it and his left knee is now getting better - thats the one swollen up with gout (!) so all this along with being diabetic is a lot of fun for him (not)

I took him some clean clothes this morning and a book that arrived in the post (A Dick Francis) Do we have the Dreaded Mum in Law to thank for that?? He looked very pleased :-)

Ok back to work.. more this eveing.


Monday, 19 November 2007

Elvis has landed...

Ive had a good week - yesterday (Sunday) the conference finished at about 1pm, and my friend was exhausted.

She rested on her bed, and didnt feel like going out or anything so we watched "carp" tv in her room, chatted, which was very pleasant.

We had room service (egg and chips for her, omlette and ditto for me) whilst watching "Cranford" by Elizabeth Gaskell on BBC1 (It was marvelous). I cant remember what else we watched on TV but after watching a DVD called "The Black Dalhia" it was about 1am so I crawled back to my room and slept.

I got woken at 3am by a car alarm nearby then someone knocking on my door very loudly. My first thoughts were that Shelly had had some kind of accident and the staff were knocking to alert me, but no one answered when I asked who was there. It took a while for my heart rate to settle again - I was quite scared!

I got up at 8.30 packed and had breakfast, then at about 10 I helped Shelly shower, dress and pack. By 11.30 we checked out, left our cases and got a taxi into town and saw "Elizabeth" at the Cinema (excellent film)

The taxi driver to the airport seemed very keen to help but totally useless, it was very stressful trying to get him to take us to the right place, go into the car park to shorten the walk to where we could check in and the staff would provide a wheelchair for Shelly.

The plane was a bit late, but all went smoothly. We got a taxi back to Shellys, then she drove me the hour or so up to the hospital D is in, dropped me off and went home. I got to the hospital at about 9pm, had just a little time with him to hug and kiss and see his sore arm before bundling loads of dirty clothes into his suitcase, and setting off home to see my parents who are just in the process of moving house today.

Now Im home and checked a few emails.. I have so much post and stuff to sort out as poor D has been in hospital for most of the time Ive been gone.

Promise more on how he is etc tomrorow but Im sure you understand when I say Bed is the next priority.

love to you all and thanks for texting him, and messages on blog. xoxoxo

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Posting from Glasgow!!!

At last, I have found access to the internet and have a bit of time to update you all. yay!


Hes not really been very well at all - with a tummy bug or something making him feel sick, and making him run for the loo on a very frequent basis :(

Its been tough being up here in Glasgow with a friend who can be pretty difficult at times, and so far away from my loving husband. One thing this time away has brought home to me is how harmonious we are as a couple, and how well we get along!!!

I have chatted to D daily, and keep in touch by text. the latest news is that they think he might have Gout, as one of his knee joints has swollen up and hes been generally unwell. they are going to stick him on (yet more) sterioids to see if they can sort this out and also take some of the fluid off his knee!

He is keeping in good spirits, and has been bouyed up by visits from two little brothers - his and mine. I know he would have more family visitors if he were accessible, and Im glad others of you have kept in touch with him by text.

I will be home Monday evening, and straight into his arms!!!


Well, ive done quite a lot of wandering around between helping my friend shelly in the mornings, and fetching her lunches from town, as well as copious amounts of booze (at this point she has 3 bottles left and I dont think she will manage to drink them all before we go)

Glasgow, from the little Ive seen is a beautiful city, and apart from one day of rain, the weather has been lovely.

Yesterday there was a major match between Glasgow and Italy. In my City, when there is a match on, there is a heavy police presence way before the match, but in the town centre I dont think I saw one cop.. Many of the tammy and fake ginger hair topped fans were very drunk at about 5 when the match started, but no sign of violence whatsoever, which was great.

Well.. time to sign off now.. look forward to being home and seeing my parents, who are moving up to our City tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 12 November 2007


Good day at work for me.. just processing applications all day for people who want to get registered as carriers of waste (think builders rubble, landscape gardeners, scrap metal merchants, companies who take your personal rubbish away)

I normally go on the phones alot but only had half an hour first thing, and half an hour to finish with.

I had my "one to one" with my team leader Joe, who wanted to know how things are going (very well thank you!) and set me a few challenges for next month - one of which is to get my "competencies" folder up and going. Its rather soon, but if I put it in in January I might end up with £1k pay rise!

Douglas got his plasma exchange today (machine fixed) and hes a little weak and wimpy but well enough to tuck into 3 beefburgers, a volcano mound of mashed potato and some sprouting broc that I made him! I made loads of mash, so that should sort him out for tomorrow as well.

Can anyone spot the film reference in that last paragraph???? A prize for the first person who can spot it, and tell me the name of the film :-)

Im off to Bonny Scotland as soon as Shelly picks me up tomorrow, so hopefully will keep blogging from there :)

Sunday, 11 November 2007

The weekend


I went down to the place I used to live on Saturday to sort out my -now thankfully empty - let property. The tennants of many years stopped paying, and it was a long proceedure to get them to finally move out!

I met up with a rather fast and rather too casual decorator who looked around and said £1,500 plus vat and plus paint to do the whole house - way too much Im sure.. saw me and thought "ha female with no idea, lets screw her for all shes worth"

The poor house, looks so unloved and scruffy, and I admit part of that is my fault, as Ive not done any work to it for years, but things like torn wallpaper and the horrid smell of smoke were not to do with my neglect!!

I also had a lovely guy visit - hes mainly a bathroom person, but it turns out that his company specialise in fast make overs of scruffy houses (particularly for landlords) We went round the whole house, making a long list of all the little jobs that need doing, and Im looking forward to a quote soon.

My parents, bless them, will help fund all this work, and in return the rent will be theirs until its all paid off :-)

Before I left, I took Douglas back into the hospital for one more IV treatment, and another plasma exchange. Sadly the plasma machine has broken, and will not be fixed until Monday at the earliest.

It didnt take me too long to drive back up the motorway, so I had time to have a rest and have tea before going back to pick D up.


D is feeling a bit fragile, but as I type he is enjoying lunch of steak pie and broccoli spears :)

The Week Ahead.

Im going up to Glasgow with Shelly on Wednesday morning (Douglas insists) and will be back on Sunday or Monday. I will try and find an internet cafe to update this and read email etc.. but Douglas will be home so if any of you want to call or phone him, please do :)

Friday, 9 November 2007

nee ha ha

thanks to my sneaky evil plot i havew escaped(briefly)from stalag hospital till to morrow am at least. i get a second session to morrow of the plasma exchange(for those technically minded: it's plasmaphoresis a process similar to dialysis but quicker along with a shot of calcium gluconate. i am also on a high dose of methly prednisolone to ease the inflamation.
i'm a bit of a curio, not only do i have early signs of rejection and a reoccurance of my mebranous nephropathy but also some interstitail nephritis[cause unknown but though to be linked to my ramapril bp tablets] so this lots is being chucked at me to resolove it all and delay heamodyalisis).

Enough of the tehnobabble, i am now at home with a warm wife and a chilling bottle of chardoney(small glass only sadly) listening to the zen channel as i type with some dfficulty as my right hand is still bandaged with a needle(venflon) stuck in it.
Snuggle in our own bed for tonight life is good. thanks for all the support you have given me and anna love and hugs to all concerned.


I get to take him home for tonight, throw him back in tomorrow morning, then the same again on Sat night. Woooooooooot!!

Friday morning

I woke at about 4am this morning feeling very miserable and had a chat to two adult Runescape friends - Linda aka Funnyhare, and Darlene aka Mommapeel who were very supportive and made me feel lots better. Went back to bed about 6 and got another hour or so of sleep in, which helped.

Went to see the D on the way to work. Took in two large books (one of them being Hugh Fernly Whittingstalls River Cottage Cook Book) a Caramac, Tablets, I pod and noise removing earphones, a Guardian and an Independent!! Hope this will keep him happy for a few hours :-)

He is bright eyed and bushy bearded, tells me they are starting the plasma exchange today and that he slept fairly well last night. He needs 6 treatments of this plasma exchange, and he’s hoping that if the first one goes well that he can be treated as an outpatient.

More update soon – will probably pop in on my way home from work depending on how drained I feel at that time.

Thanks for all text and blog messages :-) If you want to contact Douglas – send him a text as he has phone and charger with him.


Ok Ive been a bit remiss - No update on the Douglas all week. Sorry..

The week before last D felt really horrible.. "carp" as we say. He had a rash of spots (possibly chicken pox??) and felt grotty. Last weekend he began to feel much better, and apart from where he is at present hes bright eyed and bushy beareded ;-)

This must be his 3rd night in hospital - they wanted to do a scan then a biopsy of his kidney as his blood results have been getting worse quite quickly.

We hoped "they" would let hi escape yesterday, but no such luck. The Drs want him to stay in to push some IV "stuff" into him, and do some plasma exchange, which is a bit like dialsys but they take his not so great plasma away and put in some better stuff instead. Sorry for the repeated use of "stuff" its 5am in the morning and Im not exactly on best form.

D hopes that the Drs will let him do the plasma exchange as a day patient, but he hasnt said whether they have agreed to that or not yet.

Im taking him in a huge book a day (have his ipod lined up, and will buy a couple of newspapers on my way in to see him later this morning) Have also to take him some more tablets in today.

Apart from D being in hospital, Im feeling very miserable because Im due to go to Glasgow very early Wednesday morning with my good friend Shelly. Shes going to a Union conference up there, and as a result of an injury at work, she needs some help with her personal care and dressing at each end of the day. I am going as her facilatator to do these things for her.

Douglas still wants me to go, as this has been booked for ages, but Im really torn and don't want to leave him lanugishing (or otherwise) in a hospital bed with no visits etc. I just dont know what to do... if only my parents had managed to move up by now.. but then again, Thos and Kt live in Sheffield and might possibly be persuaded to visit, but with 3 kids they do have a very busy life.

I just dont know what to do....

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

The Weekend (Sunday) !


The kids were awake before us, but they played quietly in their rooms until Douglas ventured down.

We made eggy bread for breakfast, M managed 3 slices!! L was desperate to have a go on Runescape, so having set him up his own account, he chopped some logs and then set fire to them, and was delighted to watch his skill levels rise! (C watched, seemingly quite happy just to see what big brother was doing, M happily read Roald Dhal, curled up in a chair. Katie arrived to pick the kids up at about 10am and peace descended.

Shortly after this, we had a call from Thos saying he had found a kitten on the way to Waitrose, and would we like it?? After the initial shock, we said yes, and got quite excited about the prospect of having a cat a bit sooner than we planned!

We agreed to pick the cat up after lunch, and got all excited, and found details of a pet shop that was open to buy a few necessities (litter tray, scratching post and toys).

Just as we were about to set out, Thos called again saying M had fallen in love with the kitten and they had agreed to keep it on a trial basis (this, as I write is still going on – not sure how keen Katie is on keeping it)

We decided to go to the pet shop anyway, since even if Rosie does not become ours, we will get some, and we need some equipment anyway! The pet shop was lovely, and we came away with a scratching post, a cozy bed, a “cat lopedia” a cat carrying basket and a cat fishing rod! Now all we need is the furry things and we are done!! (watch this space...)

Monday, 5 November 2007

The weekend! (Saturday)

We got on the tram into town on Saturday morning and met up with my Sister in Law and the 3 kids. M&L came with us, their little brother will be delivered to us a bit later. We visited the local “lush” shop, got the kids to choose a bath bomb for their bath that evening, and went home on the tram.

We had a lovely day, we watched a film, then – L helped unpack the new lawnmower whilst M washed up. M volunteered to do this much to our surprise – L was not so keen on helping with the mower – he wanted to read the Roald Dhal book I found him earlier!

The kids and Douglas watched “The Last Mimzy” a slightly sentimental sci fi film whilst I played upstairs online, then, when it had finished, C was delivered to us for the evening and night in a much better mood than he was earlier!!

The twins and I made cakes – a few plain cupcakes for D, then we threw cocoa powder in to make choccie cake for the rest of us. After feeding them pizza for tea we went outside and Douglas lit some fireworks. M&L enjoyed them very much, but C, being only 4 didn’t like them at all – so I put the “electronic nanny” on and let him watch Childrens BBC. Every few fireworks I nipped in to make sure he was ok – I don’t think he moved once!

I took C upstairs to play snakes and ladders whilst I ran his bath. He enjoyed sloshing around, and went to bed without a complaint afterwards! I read him a story, kissed him goodnight and he was as good as gold until morning. The older two also had a bath, and enjoyed their bath bomb. They took slightly longer to go to sleep, but all was quiet by about 9pm.

Douglas and I were exhausted but we had a lovely day with them. They, and we slept like logs :-)

Friday, 2 November 2007

Update re Douglas :-(

Douglas update.

His kidney function has got worse again.. blood pressure tablets stopped, water tablets lowered (that’s the only good bit) He is going to have a blood test on Sunday morning and a scan on Monday, and possibly may stay in hospital on Monday depending on the scan results. He has also been put on a fluid restriction. This is all pretty depressing news, but as usual Douglas is putting a brave face on it, and doing his best to keep me cheerful too.


Just thought I would update by saying we had a load of kids calling for Halloween - We got through 2 tins of choccies!

Douglas put ash on his eyes and face, and flour in his beard, and limped to the door like a good Ogre should! He managed to scare a few kids, and amuse a few adults.

Later, when the kids had gone, we watched the film "The Last Mimsy" which was great - its a sci-fi for kids and big kids film, but a bit soppy.

Douglas is feeling much better now - the fluid certainly has gone down but hes still got a rash - particularly on his feet and back. He did loads round the house yesterday (hurrah for house trained husband!) and made me a really great veggie curry! yum yum yum.

D is due to see the Dr at the hospital again today, have given him strict instructions to disucss his legs, and ask them for ceterizine (an antihistamine/anti allergy/itch tablet) on prescription as he keeps dipping into my supply.

Looking forward to the weekend - we have M&L (the twins) with us for the whole of Saturday, and then their little brother, C will be deposited with us in the evening. Will give their parents a nice break, and us a chance to spoil the three of them rotten (as usual!)

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Catch up blog plus Crab Apple Jelly

Monday 29th

Went up to the little town where I did all my training to do another day of it today – learnt about replying to customers queries when they send them in my email. I really enjoyed myself, and cant wait to get started on them for real!

Finished off the Crab Apple Jelly. After what seemed like hours of boiling it, I got fed up, slammed it all into jars, where it apologised for its bad behaviour and set solid :-) It tastes lovely too!

Tuesday 30th

Day off
Went over to Loughborough as it was “eviction day” for my tenants who have not paid their rent for many many months. Got there very early, and found that the couple over the road had been given the key to the house by the tenant as she left (I had requested this to happen)

The house is in a dreadful state of decoration, needs re-doing throughout and the bathroom suite, which was old and tatty when I moved there getting on for 20 years ago needs replacing and the whole room re tiling etc. Carpets need replacing too..

Douglas didn’t come with me as he’s still feeling quite poorly. My parents came up from Weston to give me some moral support, which was nice of them, but as things turned out, there was no traumatic eviction as the tenants had gone. It was nice to see them, and we filled my car with some of their more fragile belongings for us to store in Sheffield until they move up here (few more weeks we hope)

It was so nice to “claim” the house back and it was a lovely day, so I didn’t feel stressed at all. Phew.

Got back to a still poorly feeling Douglas, but the fluid in his body is reducing so hopefully he will feel better soon :-)

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Crab Apple Jelly???

My Saturday started with me playing Runescape, chatting to my friends including the lovely Funnyhare and the lovely Mommapeel (these are the names of our characters in the game, that we quite often use to refer to each other)

I was playing a game within the game and suddenly relaised it was 2 am! yikes! Bed followed shortly afterwards.

I slept through till about 9, and very slowly Douglas and I woke, had breakfast and went shopping, then on to visit my younger brother Thos, his wife Katie and their lovely kids - M&L (twins, one of each, aged 8) and C (aged 4 I think. Boy) L (the boy) demanded to have a go on "Mrshappyanna" as he calls runescape - so we had a quiet hour whilst the roast potatoes were cooking. M came and joined us. Yes.. I know.. Im corrupting them at an early age, but I will only let them play when Im there, and how to get onto "the game" remains a mystery to them! (Probably a good thing as L seems to adore it!)

C was a tired little poogle, and was falling asleep at the dinner table, so I picked him up and carried him up to bed - I asked him "would you like me to read a book to you?" and got a shake of a head, so.. I turned the tables "how about you read a book to me?" that got a smile and an affermative nod lol. He was quite happy to lie in bed whilst I read "Big Pigs Birthday" to him, and he pointed out cake, and a monkey and other things in the illustration. I closed the curtains, gave him a kiss, and closed his door.. and I think he must have fallen asleep about 2 seconds later as not a sound was heard (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh)

Thos organised a crab apple picking session, then loaded us, loads of jam jars and a huge cauldron of the fruit into our car - guess what we offered to make!!!

Crab Apple Jelly

Makes: 6 x 500ml jars


4 kg crab apples
1 kg caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced


  1. Wash the apples, remove the blossom heads and cut out any bruised bits. Put in a saucepan, fill with water to cover the apples and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes until the fruit is soft. Pour the pulp into a jelly bag or several layers of muslin and let drip overnight into a pan beneath. Don’t squeeze the bag, it will cloud the jelly.
  2. The next day, measure the juice, and combine with sugar at the ratio of 10 parts juice to 7 sugar. Add the lemon, then bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Keep at a rolling boil for 35–40 minutes, skimming off the froth regularly. To test, chill a dessertspoon in the fridge. When the jelly is set, it will solidify on the back of the spoon. Pour into warm, sterilised preserving jars and tightly seal while still slightly warm. Store in a cool dark place.
We have got to the end of stage 2.. more tomorrow :)

Friday, 26 October 2007

The Memory Foam Pillow

A few days ago I got myself a new pillow – for years I have fought with my pillows to get the perfect comfortable nights sleep. Ive tried 2 pillows.. 3.. 2 and a half…. One pillow flat the other folded over. .nothing really worked. I have woken up with sore 12shoulders and a crick inthe neck L for years. (no links to the amount of time I spend on the computer, either.

Lookie here for pillow

Those days have gone! The pillow is a normal shape, (one in the link is like Ds) has a sponge like consistency , but it is slow to spring back to its normal form. It is very comfy and supports my head perfectly.

It cost about £30 but its with my weight in gold – and that’s considerable – and I mean the worth of the gold of course!


D not much better - went to the hospital again - they have given him yet more BP tablets and a shed full of diruretics to take and want him back in again on Monday. Lets hope for progess over the weekend but its not looking too great for poor old Rabbie :(

Thursday, 25 October 2007




Was late for work L got off Tram at Tescos, got back on but got on the wrong one. Was about 15 mins out of my way before I noticed J Guess who needs a Sat Nav even on public transport? Will have to make the time up. Bother. Double and Triple Bother – or, as my dear departed friend Libby used to say “Oh! Pickled Cabbages!!” (she hated them, and as a very committed Christian saw swear words as taking her Lords name in vain, so rarely used them)


Off sick this afternoon – nearly fainted at his desk poor Lamb, so sensibly got a taxi home. Hope he will stay off work till next week, and that he looses some of this fluid that’s making his life so uncomfortable. One good thing about him being off is I can get him to cook and do the dishes for me! Hahaha! (he will probably comment he does it all anyway so where’s the difference)

Got home after a fairly stressful day – D feeling ok having slept loads J Bed early as was utterly exhausted.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007



Work going better – getting my head round things. Im not struggling with quite so many calls, and have been shown how to fill in some application forms on an incredibly old system that still has a space for Telex numbers (what the hell was Telex please??)

My place of work deals with all matters “environmental” so we get calls from a wide range of people, from those upset because sand on the cycle path is stopping them using it, to those with mould in their rented rooms who want to know what to do about it – its fascinating, and I’m really enjoying it.


D went to see the Dr this morning after dire warnings from me not to “Put a brave face on it” but for once tell it how it is, and get some action taken promptly.

Result! The hospital has doubled his BP (Blood pressure) tablets, given him a different diuretic (water tablet), might give him a plasma infusion (dunno why yet) and may start him back on a mini injection that increases the production of red blood cells. It’s a hormone most of us create naturally, but I have a feeling that its produced by a gland that sits on the kidneys which may explain why D needs extra. I may well update this when I get home when I can research this a little better, or ask the Oracle!! (Douglas)


Persuaded Douglas to meet me after work to go to one of those big cash and carry places nearby. I was starving hungry (nothing new there) so I had 2 slabs of just about edible cheese and tomato pizza. Poor D, being more restricted in his diet had a frozen yoghurt then started shivering L

We had a good shop, got some large packs of good quality meat for him, some bagels for me to toast at work, and a memory form pillow for me. Got home late due to bad traffic. D cooked some fish which surprisingly didn’t smell.

Funny hare ;)

Dear Linda! thanks so much for reading and enjoying my blog :-)

When i become famous I will remember you, and dedicate a book to you (after I have given you a crystal key and a few other nice red things!)

For those of you who dont know, Funny aka Linda is a crazy friend of mine who lives in a little world called Runescape, where we chat and giggle together now and then!

For Linda.. E and S, the two people posting so far are both members of my family.

I'm so glad all of you read my blog.. lets hope I can keep writing this and you keep enjoying it.

Anna xxx

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The New Girl..

Monday 23rd October

My day

First day at new office! I’ve been training in a small town north of where we live for the last 5 weeks, travelling in by car (20 mins drive) as public transport would take forever! I got to know the staff in that office, and began to feel comfortable there, so it was quite a wrench to come into this other office which is about double the size and has far fewer familiar faces!

I left home at the same time as Douglas (way too early, but I hate being late). It’s a short walk to the tram from home, then from the stop the other end a long trudge up a not so steep hill past various large warehouses. At present this takes me about half an hour, because I am so unfit. I hope as time goes on this walk, and the time it takes me, will improve!

The morning was spent training on the different phone system this office has, and getting my “desk top assessment” carried out. Its wonderful.. the monitor goes up down side to side, as does the chair, and the desk also has adjustable height., so now my desk is set up beautifully for me J

After lunch (home made veggie lasagne) I nervously took my first few calls on this new system. Kindly I was put on the easiest most basic type of calls possible for the rest of that day, so was slowly able to settle in. By the end of the day I felt much better about this new job.

D’s Day

Douglas didn’t have a very good nights sleep – he’s not very well at the moment – his kidney (Rabbie) does not seem to be getting rid of enough fluid from his body, so hes rather waterlogged, and this affects how he feels and his ability to breathe. He went to work, however as he tries really hard not to let his kidney problems get in the way.

It was a good thing he went in – apparantley there were 17 people off sick (Hmm sickness related to England failing to win their rugby match, or the failure of that lad to win the motor race???)

Sadly in the afternoon D felt like someone had filled a balloon with water and was swishing it round inside him, so he dragged himself home, curled up in bed with a warm book and was soon out for the count. I found him, still soundly asleep when I got in at 6pm. Glad he goes to see Hospital Dr tomorrow.. its horrid to see him feeling so carp :( (no thats not a typo lol)

We had a peaceful evening (apart from the flippin RAC calling trying to sell me something) and collapsed into bed quite early. Zzzzzzzz

PS thanks to both commenters so far!! Have not learnt how to do comments msyelf yet - maybe dreaded mum in law can teach me?

Sunday, 21 October 2007

First Post!

As this is my first post, I better tell you a bit about me!

My name is Anna, my husband of 8 years is Douglas. We live in a pleasant industrial town in the North East of England, and both have office/call centre jobs. Im 39 (gasp 40 so soon...) and Douglas is 43. Our mental ages make about 10 between us, and can vary from time to time ;)

After all these years together, we are still very much in love, and its fun when we second guess what the other one is thinking or wants!

Life is good, but gets stressful now and then.. Douglas has kidney failure and his transplanted kidney is not working as well as it could.. but despite this we remain cheerful and have enjoy life!