Things that go bump on the knee

Exhausted

Wednesday night and the Boy and I are on the sofa. He’s sleeping as though he’s spent the day cleaning the flat from top to bottom (he hasn’t, there are paw prints on the windowsill and other things I’m not mentioning). I’m watching 24Hours in A&E and enjoying the human interest stories while admiring the wonderful professionalism and compassion of our NHS staff. People’s resilience is astounding.

I’ve got my left leg elevated after an accident that fortunately has not required a trip to A&E. One moment I was hurrying along the pavement wanting to get to the bank before I started work, the next I was sprawled on my face in the dust. A slightly raised paving slab and my failure to notice it were to blame. ‘Are you alright?’ said a concerned voice. ‘I don’t know yet,’ I answered, resisting the urge to get to my feet immediately and recover my dignity while I tentatively checked with my various parts to see if they were all still attached. They seemed to be, so I got to my knees, then to my feet. And oh the relief, my trousers were intact. I was expecting a jagged tear across the left knee which seemed to have taken the force of the fall. No grazes on my hands either. My sunglasses still on my nose. Hurrah! Continue reading

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A Hit With a Pig

Closing the car door, I realised I was giving off a fairly strong smell of pig. It's not a bad smell, but it is fairly distinctive; earthy with an overtone of muddy straw. Fortunately Vicki was probably similarly aromatic. Anyway, she didn't seem to mind, and after all it was she who had organised our trip to Edgar's Mission and a spot of pig cuddling.

Not only cuddlesome pigs, but a gorgeous dog called Ruby who was sent to be shot because she was a failure as a farm dog, hopeless at herding stock, and far keener to interact with humans.

Do you feel a bit of a theme developing here? Last week Gem/Jem, now Ruby. Though the first would be my childhood's black Labrador Tessa, the gun dog who wouldn't retrieve, whose days were at one point similarly numbered.

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The Blessed Delia, Brain Fade, Butchers’ Shops and Marc Ching, Hero of Our Time

I have never been a keen follower of Delia Smith, though many, including my sister, are fans of her cooking. Some years ago she did a programme about vegetarian cookery and included anchovies among her ingredients. Then, as the debate heated up about intensively farmed animals, the cruelty involved and the health risks, she stuck her oar in to say that poorer families could only afford intensively farmed chicken, and my opinion of her sank to rock bottom. Poorer families would be better off eating healthier alternatives to this type of meat. Why Delia should think it is everyone’s right to eat chicken no matter how barbarously the meat is produced did not impress me.

Her slightly inebriated exhortations to her beloved Norwich City football team warmed my feelings towards her a little, but when I saw she had a piece in today’s Guardian about the tactics being used by our politicians over Brexit/Bremain, I didn’t expect much. So I was surprised, reading this, to find myself largely in agreement with her.

I have done a pretty good job reading the paper today. I am feeling fairly brain dead à la Natalie Bennett after eight demanding days at work on the trot. I thought I was physically tired too, but it’s my head that needs a rest, so it was good to put my feet up, open the newspaper and work my way through the sections and then cast them into the recycling bag.

I have added some hoops to my growbag to support the canes which in turn support the courgette and tomato plants. I am going to have to have an amazingly good crop to cover the cost of the hoops, but as the years go by and they continue in use, that price should be offset. Continue reading

Of Tea Cosies, Vet Visits, Ill Aunts, Insightful Books and a Bit of a Rant

Octavia has a new and gorgeous tea cosy. It is ragwork, and beautifully done. If I drank tea, I should be seriously covetous. As it was, I just turned it around so that the ginger cat side was on show, rather than the likeness of the grey ninja.

Thanks to drugs making him dozy, the ginger ninja has spent most of today asleep under a blanket. He had another trip to the vet yesterday afternoon after more trouble peeing. It was a different vet in a different practice. MasterB is now registered with two vet surgeries. This one is open on Saturday afternoons and even on Sundays.

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The diagnosis is idiopathic cystitis, meaning the cause is unknown, but this vet, an antipodean like Ellie the Vet, was prepared to rule out cancer. Ellie, knowing me better, would have ruled it out without telling me she had done so. But suddenly I am wondering how short MasterB’s life could be. This vet agreed it might well be stress induced – ie Cookie – hence the opiates to keep MasterB zen. He was very zen at the surgery. Remarkably so. A lot less zen this morning before I had administered a dose of the Metacam, and pretty lively now, and outside swishing his tail. I offered him the chance to come in away from his rather over-assertive girlfriend, but he declined. He seems to prefer to watch her, an Outraged-of-SE17 expression on his whiskers. There may be letters to the feline equivalent of the Daily Mail.

However, I prefer lively to sick, but I can see the timing of the drugs, which he is on for five days, may have to be thought through. Tomorrow he is back at Ellie’s, though I think it is her day off, so he’ll probably see her partner.

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As it turns out, MasterB is not the only one close to me requiring medical attention. Aunt has had a suspected heart attack. She called her GP who called an ambulance; spent a day at the hsopital which she found exhausting; and much to her relief was allowed home. She has been told to rest, so I am resisting the temptation to call her every few hours to check up on her. She feels she has lost a lot of ground this year. When I see her next we are going to check out audio books to download to her tablet in case she has to go into hospital again. I have some spare head phones, so she should just be able to close her eyes, shut out all the busyness and bustle, and relax in her own sound bubble.

We had the chance of an extra hour in bed today as the clocks went back in the middle of the night. That’s the end of British Summertime until 2015, and it was dark so early this evening. Suddenly all the Christmas stuff in the shops doesn’t seem so out of place. But it is still mild, so I am hoping the heating will remain off for a few weeks yet.

Slowly catching up on yesterday’s Guardian today, and steadfastly ignoring all the mess and clutter around me, I reached the Review section. Last night I was clumsily trying to articulate how I felt hospitals and care homes put the needs of running the institution above the people in their care. Phrases like ‘care for the individual’ are well meaning claptrap. The individuals have to adapt to the institution; the institution is too inflexible to adapt to the individual. Continue reading