Monday, 23 December 2013

Big job

2014 is going to be my year.  It is going to be a big job.

I am currently seven, actually eight stones overweight.  I need to lose at least seven of that, to be in a healthy weight range.

I have already joined Slimming World, in order to lose the weight.  Yes, it was a silly time of year to do it - just two weeks before Christmas, but it needed to be done and I started to feel more positive as soon as I signed up.

I have long been looking at healthy eating, just eating good food.  But, now I need to concentrate on eating a lot less.  A lot less.  We especially munch in the evenings, but this will stop.

Also, for the past few years I have moved a lot less, due to my back problems.  I had an operation last September, and have gradually been improving week by week.  Thank bloody goodness!  The appointment for the gym will be through soon, and in the meantime, I am doing my recovery exercises, and am walking the dog.  It still hurts, but I'm sure this too will improve.

I have now reduced my medication to a fraction of what I was once consuming, as I simply don't need them so much.  It has taken a while to work out which meds I can reduce or stop, such as I don't need that one, I just need this one, but no, I do need that one, so let's try and stop this one.  The other one has gone completely.

So, the big job for this next year - and here I am laying down my gauntlet, is three-fold.

1.  Lose that weight - by eating smaller portions, eating more fresh fruit and veg, and vegetarian meals
2.  Become stronger and fitter, more core strength and endurance, I want to walk further and longer
3.  Reduce my medication.

I have a Blue Badge and a movability car.  This has been invaluable to me, as I could not have lived my life or gone to work, without it.  But, if I can improve my overall health and fitness, I may not need either.

Now, that would be a happy new me.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Friday, 13 December 2013

He's nearly here!

Yes, that time of year again.  How, I wonder, has it all come around again so quickly?  It surely was only a week ago, that Xmas 2012 was nearly here.  Might be something to do with getting older, oh well.

We have had a flurry of finding the right phone for Mr T - should it be the iPhone, Samsung etc, etc.  But, he has now decided to stick with the iPhone, and we'll search the Vodafone stores tomorrow.  I keep out of it, I'm afraid.  I love my iPhone, and won't be changing it, anytime soon.  It mixes in and connects with my mac book pro, and keeps me up to date with where I am supposed to be.  Don't need anything else.

What I could do with at the moment are two things.  One, is the expected winter weather, please!  I put away all my summer trousers and tops, got out the jumpers, leggings and boots, and what happens?  Last week, the weather was a frosty -2 degrees.  Since then, it has been between + 9 and 11.5 degrees!  The Autumn coat is even too hot to wear, and then I see people wearing scarves.  I have even put up blackout linings onto my bedroom curtains - which both keep out the light and the cold.  Hence, we are opening our bedroom window, of a night-time, or we get a headache.  Weird.

And, the other thing?  Some sleep.  For some reason I have stopped going to bed early.  And, when I get there, I play games on my phone, read my kindle and/or watch telly.  Then, all of a sudden, it is 1.30 am, and I have to be up for work in the morning.  Put that together with me trying to cut down on my medication, and have stopped the night-time sleeper/pain killer, and you can guess the rest.  This morning I didn't actually get to sleep until about 5 am, and was then awoken by Mr T at 8 am.  Went back to bed this afternoon for a couple of hours, but intend to look after myself from today, and will be up the wooden hill by about 10.30 pm.  Promise.

I have now been signed off by the physiotherapist at the hospital, and referred for a 3 month gym membership.  My movement is so much better but, as I have not really moved for the past couple of years, I need to build up my muscle and core strength.  This is such brilliant news, as I had been getting quite depressed, prior to my op, beginning to believe that I would never again be fit, or feel positive about myself again.

Now, I feel like I have been given a second chance at living life to the full.  I am awaiting some contact from the gym, about getting me started, I am properly doing the exercises I have been given.  And, I have now joined Slimming World.  At the heaviest weight I have ever been, in my life.

So, now that I am taking the physical and mental steps I need to make 2014 a better year.  So, let's have  Xmas, and 2014 - bring it on!

Sunday, 8 December 2013


Arrgh!  Some nosey parker found my blog and read it, and passed on some information I wouldn't have wanted passed on.  Except, that the 'information' they passed on was mis-read.  This could have caused quite a stink, and I do wish that even though these people don't like me, they would just feck the feckety feck off.

It makes you wonder why someone would tell someone stuff they think they've read.  They think they are being a friend to the person they're telling?  If it is the woman I think it is, she is well known as an unhappy and spiteful person.

I shall leave it there.

Well on the road

I am well on the road to recovery, now, I think.  My meds are back to less than what I was taking pre-op, and my movement is better.  Though, I still can't walk for very far, and shopping is literally a pain.

I was hoping to be able to give up my Blue Badge by next year, but we shall have to see.  The amount of pain has definitely reduced, which is such a bonus.

So, that's the moans over.

Now, we are just looking forwards.  Firstly, to Christmas.  Unusually, for this time of year our cards are all written, and presents are all bought or made.  We've had to watch the pennies carefully, but it seems we have done it, and with not too many arguments, either!

Christmas this year will hopefully be much different from last year.  Family tensions seem to have reached a good level now, which is so much better all around.  NBG (Nan's best girl) wants to be here for Christmas morning, and wonderfully, her mum and dad have agreed for her and NLD (Nan's lolly dolly) to stay over on Christmas Eve, so they can wake up here.  Christmas Eve will be spent with all of us here, having what we all hope a lovely, cosy evening with dinner, DVD, popcorn and new jammies, first.  Mum has to work on Christmas morning, and lunch is planned for mid-afternoon, and thankfully, mum can then relax and enjoy the day, bless her.  She couldn't relax last year, as she had to go to work in the afternoon.  That is a downside of working in the care sector.  Dad can just enjoy his girls until mum gets back from work.

And, then on Boxing Day my boy arrives, together with his son, by tea-time!  Yes, more excitement.  And, it means that we really will All have a bit of time together.  And, they are here for a few days, and we can enjoy them.

The wee one is 3 ¾ and will shortly be getting hearing aid, due to his right ear not being formed fully at birth.  They have now found out that his hearing is greatly reduced, and the hearing aid will used by his left ear.  It is thought (and, I would agree) that this loss of hearing is impacting upon his social and speaking skills, but he is very good at lip reading.  If I could interfere here, I would want dad to look into NWB (Nan's wee boy) having some contact with other children with hearing loss.  My reasoning is that, as he has this issue, and is thus far isolated from his peers, he may find his community with other children with similar issues.

But, if there is one thing I have learned over this past 12 months or so, it is that I need to keep my own counsel.  Only give an opinion when it is asked for.  Of course I have found this hard, but actually my children are adults.  And, as I am heading out of my mid-middle age, they are heading towards theirs - ergo, able to make their own choices.  I am so proud of my children, they are good people.

You know me, I may take ages to write in here again, so if you're looking in, I wish you a very Happy Christmas, and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year. x

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Now, it's the neck!

So, I went to visit my lovely Chiropractor this lunch time and, she made me feel a lot better.  I still have to rest it, but she did find some really sore spots on my neck and upper back, and zapped me there.

I will see her again next week, and am hoping I will be able to drive myself there.

In the meantime, readers, I can spend a little time on my laptop, and have found some reading ... of which the 'puter will not upload, grr.  So, First Up we have 'Handmade Silk Paper' by Kath Russon and 'Lampshade Lady's Guide to lighting up your life' by Judy Lake.  Both of these crafts have also been calling me for a little while, and I am due to go to a lampshade making workshop in November (as soon as I've paid, oops forgot earlier!)

And, the builder has also done our stair bannister for us.  These were previously solid (stud) walls and, as we have electric heating we want to get the most out of it.  By opening up the stair walls it lets the heat up, and the light into a fairly dark hallway.  So, the work continues - we bought the paint for the walls, yesterday and, as soon as that's done we can order the new carpet.  This is a lovely new start, in  a house we were never planning to live in, but we actually feel quite cosy and settled in - strange, isn't it?

Monday, 30 September 2013

Back, with my back

Well, I had my op two weeks ago today, and am coping really quite well; though I have not done any knitting!  I can sit for a short time, which means I can keep abreast of bloggings, thank goodness.  But, more than that I now just love my iPhone, and my Kindle!

They have been lifesavers for keeping in touch with the world, and I have even been able to keep up with work via the iPhone, as well.

The op was a bigger deal that I had anticipated as, previously, I have recovered remarkably quickly.  But, that must have been due to luck and being a tad younger, I think!  This time there have been headaches.  Now, apparently, these are to be expected as, when you have spinal surgery, there will be some leakage of the spinal fluid.  Yep.  Ugh!  I know.  But, though I was not expecting it, and a friend, a retired doctor, thank goodness was able to re-assure me of its normality.  However, I fear there is another problem, and that is I think something happened to my neck during or after the surgery, and that appears to be what is prolonging the sodding headaches.  But, hey ho, if these have not subsided in a couple of weeks, I have a lovely chiropractor I can visit, and I'm sure she will be able to help.

In the meantime, it was while I was at a weaving class, that I got the call to tell me there may be a cancellation for the op, and can I go in the Next Day, in readiness for the surgery first thing on Monday morning.  Yes.  I said.

But, in the meantime, on with the weaving.  Our tutor for the day was the very talented Cally Booker of  The Bonnie Claith, Dundee  (Carolyn to her mother) and she took us through all the stages of winding and setting up a loom for the weaving.  Very cleverly she set us to the weaving, and interrupted us to show us each of the other stages.  This meant that we are actually producing actual weaving, and adding in the other bits in the meantime.  This has also meant that all the 'stages' have stayed with us, well me, anyway.

Ta da!

The first is my piece still being woven on the loom, and the second is when I got it home.  I haven't washed it yet, being rather busy, but cannot wait to make something for Mr T out of it.  I have long wanted to learn weaving, but I know I will become addicted.  And, dear reader, I have!

I shall now be looking into second hand looms.  And, writing a very good letter to Santa!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

So, am I back to blogging? We'll see.

Hi again, I'm in here again.

Just been busy as a busy bee, that's what's going on.

First off, we now have our new bathroom fitted.  It is the teeniest, tiniest of bathrooms, so took out the bath as, with my back I can't use it without Mr T helping me out of it, a sod if I wanted a bath when he was away on one of his motorbike jollies.  But, we now have the best shower I have ever used, a sink I have seen nowhere else, with drawers under instead of a cupboard I would have to rootle around to find stuff.  And, a high prize - a 'comfort height' loo!  Who'd have thought?!

I rang the hospital the other day and found that I am, 'on the waiting list' for my op, and there is no news as yet as to when I will be at the top of that list - apparently, the '12 week deadline' doesn't count for back operations.  However,  I can wait.  As I have hope now, that the pain will be reduced.  I will be able to walk further than I have been able to for, oh so long.


In other news, I have been reading around the world of blogs, and finding some lovely knitting patterns to knit;

I have gathered together these three, that are top of my list to make first.

On the left is a pattern by Jane Lithgow, of Jane's Probably Knitting fame and I will be auditioning yarns in my stash, very soon.  The middle one I saw on Kate's blog,  Confessions of a Graveyard Gypsy  the yarn for which I am pretty sure I have in my stash, watch this space for which colours may be used (though nanny's lolly-dolly-pop, aged 6 now, has pink, purple and Hello Kitty, as her favourites, sigh.)  And, last but not least is Kate's 'braid hills' which arrived in the post today, hurrah!  I think I have most of Kate Davies Designs patterns - and this time I have ordered the yarn for it.  No, not the one suggested by Kate, as I am afraid that the £92 + I costed it out to on Blacker Yarns is so totally out of my league.  So, I went on to the Deramores site and ordered the King Cole Big Value DK, at the cost of about £17, including postage.

In the meantime my daughter and family are away, so I have been tasked with looking after the lovely Eva, their kitten.

She is really missing them all, and I have to sit and give her cuddles.  What a job, eh?

Friday, 5 July 2013

And, another long time has passed!

Since I last wrote on here, I don't know just where the time goes, but go it does, eh?

So, what has been happening in the meantime?  Erm, same old really.  Go to work, keep knitting etc, etc.

I had a visit from my sister and her husband, up from middle England, which went okay.  She twitters on, I keep it zipped, and we get along fine.  Luckily, we are both into crafts, so there is a lot to chat about.  She has two new grandchildren arriving this year, so lots of baby talk, too.  You can tell I am still keeping it zipped, can't you?!  If you can't say anything nice .....

I have been suffering a lot more with my back this year - since travelling down to England in late February, for our grandson's third birthday.  It has something to do with sleeping in different beds, and being in the car for long periods, though we stop for rests fairly regularly.  Anyhow, I had an MRI scan, and was very relieved to hear there was nothing 'sinister' happening.  But, after being persuaded to have an appointment with the neurological surgeon, I find out that there is not one slipped disc but two.  And, a third that has 'nerve compression' eek.  So, I am really thankful that technology has moved on greatly (other than the new kindle fire HD, iPhone, BBC iPlayer, of course) so that in fact they can do a third back operation on me.  And, it is agreed that the surgeon will tackle all three areas in one go.  A further plus is that there is only an eight week waiting list, and as I underwent a session at the pre-op clinic, I am basically a very well person, hurrah!

This has meant I have had to temporarily suspend my PG practice teacher's course at RGU, mainly due to the level of pain I have been suffering and the increase in medication, makes it very difficult to concentrate.  I had thought I was coping, but actually have not, as well indicated by the essay I produced.  As I said to the course leader, if I was marking it as a PE, it would not pass.  Luckily, as well, there is mediation for extenuating circumstances, and the uni could not be more helpful.

In other news, which is so good, we are having a new bathroom fitted, the week after next - woo, hoo! We are doing away with the bath, and having a shower fitted, as selected by Mr T, and I have the sink I love - easily pleased you see!    Speaking of which, I have the new loft conversion all planned out to the minutest detail, for me to be using it as a craft space.  Just have to win the lottery and it's all sorted, eh?  But, seriously, we do have the man lined up to change the bannisters to our stairs next, so that more light comes into the hall/landing space, and the heat can rise up more easily, thus cost us less.

Doncha just love Homes under the Hammer and Escape to the Country?  Gives me all the ideas for Mr T to undertake.  He is less happy with these 'Boring, bloody programmes!'

ta ta for now,

Friday, 1 March 2013

Oh my!

Yes, oh my!  I've done it again ..... been away for simply ages with nothing of the past year or so, written in here at all!

But, some of you will have noticed me lurking around your blogs as I skim past, making the odd comment as I flit by.

It has been quite a year though ... We moved house.  Twice.  The first time because we knew the place we were at as housekeeper and gardener was being sold, though initially we didn't know why.  It was because the owner, a very kind and lovely man, had cancer and was dying.  Which he did a couple of month after we moved, but he had been determined to come up to Scotland for his last stay.  He brought with him an air of peacefulness, of ending and saying goodbye.  It was a wonderful last visit, and we are so grateful to the nurse he brought with him; who looked after him so well and with great care.

We moved to what we thought was going to be another wonderful place, with what we thought were lovely people.  Who turned out to be horrors!  Unbelievable how some people think they can treat others in their employ.  So, off we went again.

This time to our own property, which we had kept and rented out for several years, despite the odd time we were tempted to sell it and spend the money wisely on holidays and having fun, phew!  We had thought to rent out this house, but sell it and buy something nicer, and in the country, when we retired.  However, when we needed it this house looked absolutely wonderful and perfect for us!

And, we have actually settled in here quite nicely.  Anyway, we now live much nearer to town, and for the first time in over ten years, we have a shop at the end of the road!  Because it is not stone, it is quick and cheap to heat, and fuel costs for travelling into Dundee or Perth are cut almost in half as we are now closer = result.

What are we doing for work?  Well, I still Practice teach social work students, and have taken on some contracted work for another local authority.  Mr T wanted me to 'go and get a job' but, to be honest, I really don't fancy going to work in an office - I have an aversion to being in the same room with the same people every day, with all the office politics and egos, etc.  So, I am quite happy that I can contribute to the household expenses in the way I want to, again phew!  Mr T has been for several interviews, and was able to land himself a little part-time driving job, and has some lovely customers whose gardens he is starting to keep in order.

I am still continuing with my City & Guilds, and this year have really found my feet, and feel like I know what I am doing, at last.  This year, at Level 3 Creative Textiles and Embroidery, my subject needed to be about something I really love.  I do love lots of things, but Tea is one of my favourite things, isn't it?  So, 'Tea' it is.  My overall theme is 'Journey' with specific interest in tea.  Therefore, the journey of where tea comes from, how it got here, the social history of the tea clippers, the women who pick the leaves, and through to our beloved cuppa and the teabags we use today.  And, I am enjoying it so much!  I have even made paper out of used, dried teabags - next is paper using cotton and silks, representing the place I am concentrating on, India.

I have, of course, been knitting up a storm, lots of gloves, mitts, hats and woolies for the grandchildren. Once I get photos uploaded, I'll put them on here.

So, life is starting to have its own rhythm, quite different to how we lived at the estate, and it is quite comfortable.  This is the next adventure, and I promise not to leave it so long 'til I write again.

Karen x