Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Birthday Request

For my birthday I would like......

An Amulet of Cat Speak

So I could better understand and communicate with my moggies.

I have one on Runescape, but Im talking a real one, that really works with real cats!

Anything else would be an extra bonus! lol!

click for details!


Bad news

Found out that my house in Loughborough where I used to live has been damaged by the earthquake last night :-(

According to my dear ex-neighbours from over the road (very fondly known as Mr & Mrs Nosey-Parker) alerted the agents and my mum. Douglas sent me a text and of course, true to form I had a minor panic.

Having found out it looks like a few bricks, and a few tiles, I called Terry for Everything (Wonderful chap) one of his guys will go round tomorrow and do any emergency work needed, and provide a quote for the rest.

I called the insurers, the bloke I talked to on the phone seemed unaware of the 'quake last night, so Ive sent him this link which shows who felt it!

Now calming down and finishing lunch. Deeep breaths... in.......... out...... heart rate will slow... in... out .... (panic panic lol)

Im sure it will be ok.. it will be covered on the insurance.. its one of the 9 Major Risks that all insurers cover (Fire, Storm, Smoke,Earthquake, Escape of Water, Flood, Theft, Subsidance and oh darn cant remember the other one!!) Well it has been over a year since I did home insurance.. forgive me please ;-)

Deeep breaths again.. in.... out......

A small step for mankind...

An enormous 5 steps for Billy!!!

Yesterday, Billy was nosing around at the back door, so i slowly opened it to see what he would do...

He took a whole 5 steps outside, then got scared and dived back into the house again!!

I was a very nervous mummy, now an incredibly proud mummy!! Im so glad that he took his first "legal" steps out, and that he dived back into the house for safety.

Oh yeah, then there was an earthquake in the night :-)

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Busy Saturday (Part 3, final chunk)

At last, all our visitors had gone and our poor scared cats could come back out of the woodwork, and Douglas and I could relax.

D went up to kill things on the computer (he plays an online game called World of Warcraft)

I went into the garden to riddle some compost. When we moved in, we created a heap in a corner of our veg patch, and now, about a year or so later, it was time to see how it had done.

The other day I purchased a black plastic dustbin (like those before wheelie bins came in) and having made some lovely two-penny sized holes in the bottom, took it out into the garden to become our holder of riddled compost.

I think I spent two hours out there, and by the time i had finished, I had nearly a bin full of really beautiful compost!! There were, of course sticks and bits of egg shell that need more time, and some stones etc to be pulled out, but the strangest thing were some objects I can only describe as "Tea bag ghosts" All the used leaves of tea had gone, just leaving a whispy bag left amongst the soil

I phoned my older brother John (aka Compost John) to ask about these "shell of teabag" things as I have never come across this sort of thing before. He told me they are made of plastic, and the only thing to do is to put them in the bin for landful/burning.

Im going to find out which tea bag companies make paper tea bags, and we will try and use them in future. I don't like Tea Bag Ghosts in my compost!!!!!

I extracted Douglas from the house, and he planted his chilli seeds in tiny little pots to keep warm in the house. Hes very excited, having got about 4 varieties to try!

After a busy day, we had a quiet evening and not too much of a late night.

Busy Saturday (Part Two)

This next part needs a little explaining!

A few months ago we needed quite extensive work doing on my old house in Loughborough, which having been rented out for many years, was looking dilapidated, and had water sneaking in through a bay window.

I found one of these internet sites that lists builders etc on it, was put in touch with a company that quoted for the complete redecoration, sorting out the bay window, and ripping out the 1950s blue tatty bathroom and replacing it. Although the quote from this place worked out at a little more expensive than various decorators and roofers that came round, I decided that this firm was the best deal - he was the most professional of the traders, and could get everything done that was necessary!

To cut a long story short, the work he did was excllent.Terry told me that he runs his own website to help members of the public find decent tradesmen, (click HERE to have a look) and needed some out-workers to call tradesmen for Scotland. His company is doing very well in England and Wales, so he wants tradesmen North of the boarder now.

Douglas and i have agreed to have a go at getting traders for Scotland, so Terry and his wife came round to show us how the staff bit of the website works.

Terry is a very chatty guy, so we had a very enjoyable morning. The staff side of the web site looks fine, so we will see how this new venture goes!

We fed them lunch, and the Pate went down a storm with both visitors.


After Terry and his wife Jean left, my mum and Robert arrived to collect the new phone.

I spent about an hour teaching Robert how to switch the phone on, switch it off, and how to make a call. It was possibly the most frustrating teaching session I have ever had to do, as he seemed incapable of remembering from one moment to the next how to switch the darn thing on and off (same button, dear readers)

I did written instructions, and was further frustrated as Robert could not cope with the fact that I had numbered the pages, and also used the same evil formatting for the instructions. In the end we settled at Page 1 of 2 written at the top of the page, and ABC for the actual points. Even then he wasnt happy, because the "ABC" should really have been "abc".

When they left, I asked Douglas for permission to scream ;-) He, of course gave permission, so i screamed long and loud for about a minute, and then felt better!!!

My poor, long suffering mother said she would go through it all again with him the next day. (God/dess help her please!!!!!!!)

Here endeth part two.

Busy Saturday (Part One)

Yesterday, Robert (afore mentioned Uncle) showed me his "Brick" mobile phone which I gave him about 6 years ago. It had died. RIP Brick! lol

There was no cure for the disease it had, so having shown Robert a Nokia 1112 (very very basic phone, a few steps up from "Brick" ) on my mums internet, he parted with £20 for me to purchase said handset the next day.

I made a quick trip out before our visitor was due to arrive (more on that later) - I purchased the mobile (£25 including £10 credit on the new Sim card) nipped round to Tesco to get some smoked mackerel and some low fat cream cheese, then took my computer to a local repair shop, and begged them to sort it out, as it keeps crashing, and at present will not go past a blue screen :-( He seemed apologetic that I would have to leave it with them until Wednesday for a diagnosis.. well that seems incredibly fast to me, but lets see how they do.

I got home, and found Douglas had done a quick whip round the house, making it from tidy to glistening!! I wish I had that skill too!!!!

D wanted the fish and cream cheese to make Mackerel Pate.. recipe follows.

Two bits of Mackerel (smoked)
One pack of low fat cream cheese
Rind of one lemon (unwaxed if possible)
Salt & Pepper to taste.

D flakes the fish and mixes it and the lemon rind up with the cream cheese, seasons to taste then scoops it all into a nice little dish and.. voilla! Pate! Very simple, but if you eat/like fish very tasty I beleive.

Friday, 22 February 2008


Happy to say D is fine, me too..

He is being a star with the housework and cooking etc whilst recouperating. He has started some gout medication but gout might get worse before it gets better (odd)

My Uncles 80th today, so D has made a wonderful cake in the shape of a car, following a Delia Smith recipie for the cake (will find it!) I made some little registration plates for it with his initials and 80 on. I typed the initials and 80 into a word document, increased the font size and printed them out.

Later, at work I used a bright yellow highlighter to make the "registration plates" yellow, before cutting them out and sticking them some some thin card (this was from a chocolate bar wrapper!) They look pretty good!

When I got home (having got rather naughty fish & chips for Douglas, chips and curry sauce for me) i used a little spare icing to attach the registration plates to their chocolate butter icing covered car. If you look carefully, you will see lights and windscreen wipers, all made from Jelly beans! Fun!!

Robert was dead impressed with his cake, and said it was the best cake he had ever had. :-)

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

How to survive in hospital

This is a general guide from the generally silent partner of the happycouple.
Hospital admissions are never good and never looked forward to but with a little planning(and some help) it can make the time bearable.
Have a small bag packed with a few things in case of emergencies, if a planned admission these are still usefull things to have:
1. Earplugs, I preffer the waxy ones(boots) as they are more effective than the sponge. hospiitals are noisy places and a good nights sleep is important.
2. Spare toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste, pleasant shampoo, hair brush(comb) and some nice cologne or perfume.If a bloke a razor (hospital ones are cheap and blunt easily) for women some simple make up if worn. These may seem trivial at the begining but are vital in the post-op/recovery period(if you are unable to do these things and the nurses are too busy get a relative/friend to help) as they improve your mood and help you to feel "normal".
3.Something to occupy your mind. I like easy to read novels(dont try deep or "hard"novels as you may find it hard to concentrate), fairly easy puzzle books, magazines etc. The ward has a structured day, and sometimes it can seem along time and there is only so much sleeping you can do.
4.Night attire, now I normally sleep au naturell(sorry to put that thought there, but hey what can you do) so I have several hospital pajamas. They fit unlike the ones that may be provided. Gentelmen please ensure all lower buttons are closed. A dressing gown is also useful.
5.Slippers, the hospital floors are kept clean to the best of their ability but there may be unreported "spills" that in hospital you do not want to tread on.

Those are the main things, other stuff you may find useful if a little cumbersome is things like pillows(hospitals never have enough and they are covered in pastic for hygiene reasons which makes you sweat) keep a close eye on your covers as they may get thrown in the general wash and that is it mate,they are gone.

Also, depending on the hospital and willingness of partner get them, to bring the occasional meal in. Remember you may not be able to reheat it or store it in the fridge for health and safety reasons. that said it has been a vital lifeline for me when my appetite is small and my lovely wife brings me a flask of something home made that I love, or even home made sandwiches. Try to avoid too many sweet things and crisps etc as comfort eating may take over. Fruit is nice but can be too much to cope with so maybe the occasional fruit salad. This is good for many things including the digestive system. Some drugs that are given and the fact that you are spending much of your time with little activity may "stop things up" so fruit and wholewheat breakfast are great.
well thats about it, I am willing to listen to any suggestions as sadly I am in and out far too often.

Lilly plays prod the toes

Our shy Lilly is getting braver.

Last night, according to Douglas, Lilly decided to have a game of prod the toes whilst their owner was trying to get a good nights sleep. Lilly dosnt quite know not to use her claws yet when playing this type of game, so you can imagine the owner of the toes was a little jumpy!!

Later on, Billy was being a good boy and sleeping peacefully on our bed, and aparantley Lilly decided this was the perfect opportunity to amush him, and a fight ensued.

I might add that I slept soundly through all this, even though being told to turn over and flipping well stop snoring!! (I remember nooothing!)

Monday, 18 February 2008


I decided it was time for Billy to start exploring outside, so I kept both cats hungry, shut Billy in the kitchen, and poor Lilly was left scratching at the door. With encouragement, (yeah ok.. i had some food for him lol) Billy cautiously came to the open doorway looked around and sniffed, but didnt go out. Having had a look, he went back to the other end of the kitchen, so I consider that attempt No. 1! We will try again soon.

Douglas got an early visit from the Vampire, and by 11am was told he was allowed to escape (yay!) Pharmacy took ages with his tablets, as usual, but as soon as they were ready we made a hasty exit and celebrated with going out for lunch.

Our plan was to go to the cinema after lunch, but we didn’t want to wait an hour for the next decent movie to start, so we went home and watched Ratatouille on DVD. Ok.. Douglas watched it and I snuggled up and went to sleep on his shoulder. Oh happy day!

My parents invited us for tea, so I made some mini nut burgers and cooked some spring rolls as a starter. It was quite a full house. My Uncle Bill had come over from Germany to see his son Michael (my cousin), so my younger brother and his family came, so 2+2+2+5 made 11 family for dinner!! A very pleasant evening was had by all.

Saturday, 16 February 2008


Billy woke me by threatening to bop me over the head with a baseball bat unless I got up and fed him - reluctantly, and after another sleep of an hour or so, I got up at 7am.

I checked my emails, watched tv, played with cats and sent a good morning text to the loved one, played Runescape for an hour then, as I promised myself, I got on with the housework. Lilly is joining in with the chase the dead bit of papyrus game very nicely now.

Ive taken the plants off the worktop in front of the sink, and given that area and the window a good clean - the plants are now on a different window sill, much to the interest of Billy, who immediatley jumped up and tried to weave his way between the window and said plants! I could see the plants ending up on the floor, so promptly removed Cat to sofa. Cat not impressed! lol.

After a mid morning nap (suggested by beloved husband by text) I threw mountains of washing downstairs, stripped out bed, and stripped the spare double as it had had kids in it, and cats on it.

I popped in to see our neighbour, Margaret, who is slowly recovering from a hip replacement, then went on to visit Douglas, who is in good spirits, and although feeling a bit grotty, managed to eat his lunch (and keep it down).

I patchworked, and we were entertained by some Doctors practicing their 6 min patient examination techniques for their MRCS exams in March. It was interesting to see their techniques, and to wonder if their examination led them to realise that Ds kidneys are missing.

Now Im back home till about 6.30pm when its visitng time again!

With a bit of luck D will be out home tomorrow, but we have to wait for his blood results. Will keep you all posted.

PS he sends his love and is cheery as ever.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Lonely Valentine

Douglas went into work yesterday (Thursday) morning and again felt carp and sicky so texted me, and went home and crawled into bed. He tried to call the hospital but could not get through.

Hes not been feeling very well for a while now, so I called the hospital because I'm more persistant than the D. I got through and explained what was going on. Aparantley he was due to go in last Monday for a check up and to have his blood "marmalade" checked as usual, but he had forgotten :-)

I think D had only been in bed a few mins when I phoned, and told him to jolly over to the hospital as the vampire was feeling hungry.

Many hours after the blood test, they told him that the various bits they test were gradually going in the wrong direction, and that he had lost 4kg in two weeks without trying, so they are not happy about that (how many of us wish we could do that?) Poor boy :-(

End result of the hospital visit is that they love him so much, they have given him a special valentines gift of a bed for at least one night! Its not fair.. why cant they have nice double bedded rooms with space forWwife and two rather energetic cats??

Douglas picked me up from work, we went home, and he packed whilst I made him a poached egg on toast. I drove him to the hospital, threw D out, near the ward, and came home to our two mewling hungry beasts. I had an early night having thrown a few sides of zebra (ok.. cat biscuits) to the beasts!

Ive chatted to D thsi morning.. hes feeling ok and says the Drs are fiddling round with his tablets again. More news as and when, but he sends his love to everyone, as do I, of course.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Sunny day

How beautiful it is!

Ive spent my lunch sitting outside my place of work with a few friends in the sunshine - very nice indeed.. only marred by a text from Douglas saying hes not feeling well and hes going home
:-( Poor boy...

Friday, 8 February 2008

Breaking news.. cat sniffs human!

Lilly is getting braver...

Yesterday evening she got within 1 inch of Ds fingers and sniffed them.. and then batted them with her paw twice!

Maybe in a few months time we will be able to stroke her :-)

Billy, meanwhile is being his normal greedy fluffy self :-)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

A challenge

Can you sum up your lives in 6 words?

I was listening to BBC Radio 4 this morning and heard about this amusing idea.

Aparantley Hemingway started it, but staying

"For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn."

Ive found plenty of others..

Once Upon a Time. The End.

I loved her, then she died.

Left. Right. Left. Right. Halt. Bang.

Have six word obsession, please help

Can you think of any more??? I will try and create one too.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Mexican Wave time :-)

Ive just been told that as of 18th Feb my shift at work will change from 9.30-5.30 to 8am to 4pm. I’ve been on a waiting list for this for aaages .. so

Wooooot!! (for the uninitiated, that means hooray!)

We are alive

Just to say we are ok.. Douglas had another Iron transfusion and came out feeling like a pin cushion :-( Poor boy... Hes also had a bit of gout in one of his toes, and walked into the mop bucket this morning, so I can report with all honesty that he has "kicked the bucket" lol

I went out with a lovely lady called Dovina last night - shes from the Phillipines. We got friendly as we get on at the same stop on the tram, and both love chinese food, and decided to do an "all you can eat" evening. I ate..

Spring rolls (mini)
Samosa triangles (mini)
Egg Fried Rice
Chow mein with onion chunks.. yum..
Red thai curry
lentil and potato thingy
green beans in a very hot chilli sauce..
pancakes that go with duck, and the shredded veg that go with it..
hoi sin sauce
curry sauce

For desert I had...

2 slices of swiss roll
1 slice of choc swiss roll
Sliced strawberries..
all covered in glourious melted chocolate from a chocolate fountain.

We got the tram home stuffed and happy, having chatted and ate solidly for an hour and a half!!

I walked up the hill and found my neighbours hall light was on.. shes been in hospital for 3 weeks with a hip replacement then a dicky heart. It was very good to see her again and she appreciated me popping in. I hope Douglas will go see her this afternoon on his way home.

For the weekend - well I might go to Lough to see the amazingly transformed house, and also with a bit of luck I will go down to Leicester, which isnt much further, to see a friend Ive made on Runescape but never met! Her name is Heather, aka Mummybear. Shes a bit older than me and his kids - we get on really well on line so it will be fun to meet up!