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January
1 - Up around 7:30am . . . manipulated my wing mirror back into place, that had been messed with by drunks in the night. Walked and found 6p. Home to happily find BB cooking up a much needed big breakfast :o) . . .BB went back to sleep and I tried too, but couldn't - my dabbling with not smoking made sleep impossible - too up tight and light headed and really wanted to be busy doing building site work to take my mind off my cravings. TVd and was chain smoking again by just after midday! . . couldn't resist and ended up dabbling with fixing some angle bead to the bottom of the stairs wall in the kitchen - about the only thing I can do without major upheaval, which I really can't subject BB to. BB woke up so I was free to use the noisy drill, and spent a few hours fixing and cementing the bead to the wall. . . BB cooked up some sort of traditional 'good luck' turnip greens, black eyed peas afternoon meal. . . napped for a couple of hours . . . walked. Very quiet out - like a ghost town with no one around, almost no traffic and even the local pub was closed (wish it would stay that way!). . . turkey sandwhiches and TVd till early. (_/10)d
2 - Awake early but managed to snooze on until around 7:45am. Headachey. . . walked in the cold wind. Sally did that 'wallowing in a muddy puddle just before leaving the field' thing again! Grrrr. Hosed her down out on the patio . .late muesli breakfast. BB did laundry chores and food preparations - the promise of another roast chicken dinner :o) . . . PCd this . . .TVd . . .hung washing on all the radiators . . . BLT sandwiches and then napped. . . woke late just before 7pm . . . left BB napping and walked. Found a penny. Back home to find BB awake and cooking the roast . . . couple of glasses of wine and a late full roast chicken dinner with loads left over for repeats . . . TVd till bed in the early hours. (_/10)aadds
3 - Dreadful nights sleep - only managed less than four hours before giving up and getting up around 6:50am!! Blimey - a sprinkling of snow outside. Out walking Sally just after 7:30am, wearing the weird quilted, peaked hat with furry ear flaps that I'd inherited from Dad's wardrobe. Musta looked weird but sure does the job - very warm head and ears for a change. Played in the snow a bit - excited Sally ate lots of snowballs. :o) . . . pottered around wiping condensation off windows and washing last nights dishes until BB got up around 9am . . . left Sally at home and drove to shop, for yet more provisions. Snow had turned to drizzle. Stopped off at the DIY store briefly to see if they'd had a delivery of more cheap doors in, but they hadn't (yet?). Stopped off in Kingswood for more shopping and to quickly draw some money out of the building society. Hey - I didn't know that car park near the new store I never go in, was free for two hours parking! Hmmm - may have to use that in the future, instead of the one I occasionally use that costs 30p . . . Spent 8.99 on a CD lens cleaner in the hope it would sort out my stereo. . unloaded everything and tried the lazer lens cleaner in the stereo. Oh no! Fool! Useless! It has to actually 'play' a CD to clean the lazer lens, but because it is all electronic, it wont play because it can't see any disc that's been inserted. Damn! Throwing good money after bad. And I've hardly ever used that damn stereo! Grrrrrr. . .LB phoned asking if I may be available for assisting her man in replacing her toilet flush mechanism tomorrow! Uggggh! If I must. :o( . . . a sandwich for lunch then napped for a couple of hours, only to wake feeling awful tired and all aches and pains!? What the hell is the matter with me at the moment - seem to be increasingly a physical wreck!!. . . walked late when I could finally muster the energy to stand. . . roast chicken dinner then TVd watching 'Predator' on one of the channels (yet again :o) ) until bed around midnight. (_/10)a
4 - Broken sleep and eventualy up around 8:10am. Feel a bit bunged up as though I may be going down with something . . . all walked but boy did I have a hernia related stomach ache!! All thoughts of a long walk were dispelled and we just did once round the muddy waterlogged field like normal . . . skipped breakfast and ate a big lunch of BBs salmon croquets and home made coleslaw. Sally is gonna end up hugely overweight what with all the tit bits and left overs that are constantly coming her way. . . all struggled to stay awake for a while before BB succumbed to sleep. I was just dropping off when LB left an ansaphone message (with audible hammering in the background) - her guy was starting the work required to attempt to replace her broken toilet flush valve mechanism. Felt obliged to wander up and offer whatever help I could. (I've never had to replace the flush mechanism, but HAVE dismantled the close coupled pan and cistern when I was building the conservatory and modifying the bathroom - I modified the sewage outlet and moved the toilet to the other wall!!) He'd started hacking off a load of the ceramic tiles from where the pipework had all been boxed in around the cistern - wow, what a mess and huge amounts of water laying in that boxwork, with all the wood rotting!! I offered my explanation of what I thought was required to remove the cistern and replace the flush valve and got on my hands and knees to confirm I was right by groping for the inevitably rusty bolts and wing nuts underneath. Uh oh - I was right, but the bolts and wing nuts were just a mass of useless rust!!! She has a big problem now getting it all apart and replacing all the useless rusty bits! Not a five minute job. Her man decided it wasn't for him and started having a conversation about getting a plumber. I excused myself and left them to it, not envious at all. I dare say if it was mine, I would definitely have managed to resolve it myself - eventually - without being ripped off by a plumber. It isn't mine - I have enough on my plate! . . . PCd this . . . walked . . . sandwhiches . . . PS popped round for chats till early. All watched a BBC program about the hells angels. Pretty much confirmed what I thought from the little I know from my biking days! :o( Happy enough not to have anything to do with any of that thank you very much. (_/10)
5 - Up after 8am . . . all walked in the mud. BB found a penny. More discomfort from my stomach! Closer examination has proved that the little hernia bulge has definitely got worse - certainly on more frequent occasions (but not all the time) causing me some real discomfort. Really seems to be making me feel a bit 'iffy' quite a lot of the time. :o( . . . next door are having their central heating system replaced - lots of drilling and hammering! . . left Sally at home and drove to shop - again, but also to get away from all the drilling noise! Drove to wander around the charity shops at Staple Hill for a change. Found 5p . Stopped off in Kingswood for a few provisions. Had to pull over on the way back to take photos of a bill board for BB!!? HSBC bank seem to have a load of weird adverts up at the moment and BB wanted a picture of the one which read 'Hot Southern Blackeyed Cuisine - good fortune, louisiana style, this new year.' . . ate a large late lunch of the last of the roast chicken. Drilling and hammering had calmed down and managed to nap for a few hours . . . walked and found 5p . . . BB cooked up the pieces of steak that were on special offer at Lidl the other day. I don't normally buy steak because it is SO expensive. Special treat with a glass of red wine. Unfortunately it turned out to be the toughest, horse meat like steak, we've ever eaten! Sally had a great meal :o| . . . TVd till late. (_/10)d
6 - Up around 8:15am . . . left BB sleeping, walked and found a 'JWV' engraved zippo lighter. I'm getting tired of being some sort of lost property office. Maybe I should have just left it in the grass where I found it. Can't be bothered to try and advertise the find - the top is fairly floppy and near breaking like they always go anyway. . .bit up tight about having BB here and just spending our days pretty much doing absolutely nothing except sleeping, sitting in front the TV and eating - feel guilty. Can't really think of anything else to do and largely don't feel physically up to doing much, and BB says she is content enough, so I guess it's ok - feel guilty nonetheless. . . PCd this. . .laundry chores . . . BB decided to walk up Kingswood and potter around the shops at her leisure, without me being all grouchy and trying to rush her along. I was happy to stay at home despite more drilling and hammering next door. Headachey. . . did dishwashing chores . . . had a go at taking the stereo apart, in case I could resurrect it by just removing some dust (after having dug out the receipt and confirmed the guarantee was expired - nothing to lose). Took ages trying to figure out how the case came apart but succeeded in the end. Lots of dust but surprisingly as far as I could tell (not really having a clue of course) it wasn't the dust. The lazer looked clean and tracked ok but it looked to me as though the disc drive motor wasn't running!? Dunno why. Nothing I can do about it - so that's that. It was so cheap, no way is it cost effective to pay someone to try and repair it - guess I'll have to buy a new one, but only after all this dusty building work is done! Managed to put it all back together as if I hadn't touched it, without having any parts left over. :o) The amp, cassettes and radio still work . . . BB returned mid afternoon and had found 6p on her travels. :o) . . .grabbed a late sandwhich . . . walked and found 3p . . . BB cooked up a large fried sausage, peppers, onions and potato feast . . . TVd till early. (_/10)aas
7 - Up around 8:30am feeling all exhausted and headachey. Very slow waking up. . .walked and found 3p . . .big mushroom cheese omelette for breakfast. . sat around feeling tired and listless and eventually tried laying down to sleep for a bit, but couldn't. BB seemed content enough to potter for ages in the kitchen doing magic with ingredients and eventually conjured up a huge American style, rather delicious, triple layer chocolate cake with frosting . . last nights left over fried sausage, etc for lunch . . . TVd and eventually lay down for a sleep. Woke within an hour or so feeling most uncomfortable and having trouble getting my breath!!?? The bedroom seemed to be absolutely full of noxious fumes!! BB was cooking up onions and such in preparation for our evening meal of a lasagne type dish, with something weird that I’ve never bought in my life called an egg plant! The whole house seemed full of choking onion fumes. Ungratefully rampaged around in a bad mood opening windows and doors and trying to breath! Very wheezy! . . . walked and found 10p. . .ate some of BBs egg plant lasagne thingy. Oh dear. Hmmm - pretty sure I won’t ever be buying any egg plant to cook! :o\ Made up for it by gorging on lots of chocolate cake. :o) Ended up with a nasty stomach ache. Discovered the stomach ache was absolutely directly connected to my noticeably worsening hernia. I could relieve the pain by actually pushing the hernia back up inside me!! Eeeewww!!! It’s really starting to make me feel pretty bad a lot of the time and my thoughts (and conversation) are largely dwelling on it, probably making me look like a pathetic, sympathy seeking ‘poor me’ type! That hospital appointment can't come soon enough, no matter how unpleasant it's all gonna be. . . TVd until bed around 1:30am. Strangely felt more awake than I had done all day and ended up not being able to sleep and tossing and turning for ages! Eventually gave up and got back up to have a cup of horlicks as the wind and rain of a nasty storm battered the house. TVd until after 4:30am before feeling tired enough for another go at sleeping!??(_/10)aa
8 - Woken by Sally at 8am with the storm still raging outside . . . walked in rubber but luckily found myself walking in a break in the rain. Really windy - streets littered with broken umbrellas! Can't understand the intelligence of people using an umbrella when there is such a wind - and then to just drop it in the street when it inevitably breaks! . . found 5p . . .muesli breakfast and PCd this . . .left Sally at home and drove with BB to shop at ASDA for a change. BBs door got caught by the wind and opened onto the bumper strip of the car next to us in the car park and I gave her a lecture about how people here get real upset by such things – or at least I do!. . wandered around the shop buying a few provisions and looking at everything. BB has never eaten lamb (??) so we invested in a huge leg of lamb to roast. Can’t understand why lamb is so expensive when every scrap of hillside seems to be covered in sheep? For some reason my hernia seemed to be acting up and was causing me very considerable stomach ache and discomfort. The pain was very much eased by pushing things back in place and keeping pressure on the area with my hand in a pocket, but it was too embarrassing doing so in a shop full of people, and a check in a mirror as I passed, confirmed that I probably looked as though I was playing with myself!!! Had to stop, and ended up bent double over the end of the shopping trolley!! BB happily agreed to cut the shopping trip short and we were soon back at the car. Paused for a while in the car with a cigarette, SO relieved to be sat down. Can’t figure out why this hernia business seems to be ok for much of the time, and then causes me such difficulty at another. Allergic to shopping maybe? lol . As we sat in the car, an old guy got into the car next to us and happily bashed his open door against BBs door, without any sign of an apology!! Grrrrrr!! . . .returned Mums ansaphone message to confirm she was safely home and happy to be so . . grabbed some pre cooked garlic chicken lunch and then napped for an hour or so only to wake feeling far too hot and feeling awful with a stiff neck and head ache . . . walked . . . ate cold chicken . . .TVd till bed around 1am.(_/10)aa
9 - Up around 8:30am . . .Sooner or later I’m gonna have to get serious about trying to give up smoking again – but certainly can’t do it while BB is here. At the very least I figure I need to have reduced the amount I smoke (and my cravings) by the time I have to go in for my hernia surgery! BB had some craving reduction tablets for use on her flight over, and never having tried such things before, I wanted to test whether or not such things work. Decided not to smoke all morning and then try one of the tablets around midday by which time I figured I’d be climbing the walls again. . . all drove to the river Avon at Hanham for walks. VERY muddy! My not having had my morning chain smoke seemed to make me rather fuzzy headed and certainly VERY short tempered. I had absolutely no sympathy for BB having to slip and slide slowly along the muddy path, trying not fall over in puddles. I found it SO frustrating having to walk so slowly, and kept on striding ahead through the middle of the puddles and then having to stop and wait, all irritated, while she caught up. Definitely can’t try and give up smoking with poor BB around to be the victim of my frayed nerves and temper. :o| . . .bacon, egg and mushrooms for lunch and then tried one of BBs tablets. Hard to be objective and see past the placebo effect – but on balance – I think it actually DID make a ‘bit’ of a difference. I may have to buy some of that really expensive nicotine chewing gum some time and try again . . chain smoked a bit to feel much better and then happily napped for several hours. Woke during a nightmare in which I was climbing the stairs while arguing with Dad!!?. . .left BB napping. It was getting pretty late so figured I’d better start the leg of lamb which we’d taken out of the fridge, cooking in the oven. Peeled and prepared lots of potatoes to roast . . . walked . . .BB took over cooking duties and eventually we were sat down with a glass of red wine, eating a big roast lamb dinner. Wow – long time since I’ve eaten lamb like that – back in childhood probably. Wonderful stuff – loads left over in the fridge and two nice bones for Sally . . TVd till early as Sally ate bone. . . couldn't sleep and tossed and turned for ages again. Snoozed a bit only to be woken around 4am by something being broken somewhere outside. Got up and peered out the widow but couldn’t see anything and eventually managed to get back to sleep for too short a while.(_/10)ad
10 - Woken by Sally barking at the postman at 8:30am . . .was just setting off to walk with Sally when the next door neighbour called us in and asked if we wanted a whole bunch of louvered pine doors they were gonna be throwing out. Couldn’t really think of a use for them but figured I’d say yes and throw them away myself if I couldn’t think of anything to use them for. Walked and found a penny . . .popped next door and agreed to carry the doors in via the back. Opened up the gate to the lane and stacked the doors in the conservatory. More clutter and junk laying around to get rid of. Not sure I can think of a use for them at all (at the very least I could make up a big blanket box type thing) – but like the counter top they offered me a while ago which I declined, I just know I’ll think of a use for them in a week or so if I’d said no. . . touched base with LB to hear what was happening about her lavatory cistern problem. They'd managed to get hold of all the bits they need and she'd decided to remove all the boxing around her pipes and let things dry out a bit before atempting the repairs. Makes sense. . .too tired to do anything and just sat around for a bit. BB decided to walk up the shops and wander around at her leisure (without me hurrying her along and complaining) so I left her to it and lay down to try and reclaim some lost sleep for a couple of hours . . .woke up as Sally barked when BB returned. BB’d managed to get hold of a pack of the mint Nicorette nicotine chewing gum (105 pieces) that was advertised in a leaflet that had come through the door as being on special offer in Sainsburys for less than 10. Excellent. Saved for when BB is out of the firing line. . . LB called. Breifly popped up and picked up the huge bone she'd scored from her butcher for Sally. Had to be grateful but not sure I want it actually! Can't face having that stinking greasy mess around the place and all over the carpets! It'll have to wait for when the weather is good enough for Sally to have it outside. Managed to just about make enough space in the bulging freezer for it . . . walked . . . ate a reheated roast lamb feast followed by more chocolate cake – the cake is running low so I’m rationing myself to smaller pieces! :o\ Think BB is gonna have to give me the instructions for making more of that – it is VERY good. . . TVd till early as Sally ate the last of the lamb bone.(_/10)as
11 - Woken by Sally at 8am . . .walked and found 7p. Got home just before the rain poured. Real nasty forecast for tomorrow – hurricane like gusts and structural damage possible!! Worry! :o( . . . PCd this with difficulty remembering what we've done for the last couple of days. Seems to be little more than sitting in front the TV, eating and sleeping, but that seems to somehow fill the day!? . . . was just about to sit down and eat a roast lamb feast in front of a comfy John Wayne cowboy film when suddenly there was the most amazing big flash of lightening followed within a second by the big bang! Wow – that was CLOSE!! Wouldn’t you know it – the bloomin cable TV went off again! Grrrr. . watched out the windows as unusually big hailstones fell making the most amazing roar on the conservatory roof. I assured BB it wouldn’t get ‘too’ bad because we just don’t get weather like she is used to, with tornados and all. Just to prove me wrong, on the local news later in the day when the TV came back on, they showed an amateur film of a water spout/tornado spotted travelling up the Bristol channel!! The big lightening strike had hit a house just over in Fishponds and had blown a hole through the roof and fried all the electrics! Phew – thank god it missed me. . . ate the last of the roast potatoes with some lamb and put the remaining lamb in the freezer for some other time. . . napped for a couple of hours. Woke after a nightmare which featured me riding around at great speeds on the back of a shopping trolley!!? lol . . walked . . . BB cooked up a traditional cheap meatloaf, which was actually rather good . . . PS popped round for chats till late. The weather thankfully turned out to be no where near as bad as had been forecast and was actually a fairly normal storm for here. Bad day hernia wise – much protrusion and discomfort.(_/10)as
12 - - Up around 8:30am . . . walked and found a penny . . .Dripping roof feltDripping bricks and saturated purling and raftersRunning wet chimney stack bricksdecided to pop up into the attic and try and move all the louvered doors next door had given me, up there out of the way. Uh oh!!! OH NO!!!!!!!! The front chimney stack and adjacent purling and rafters were absolutely saturated with water!!!!! Oh jeeze!!! So much for having spent four and a half thousand pounds on a new roof!! The bricks were absolutely running with water! Loads of drips were hanging from the adjacent roof felt and even from a brick above the purling! Absolutely saturated - and the weather hadn't been 'that' bad!! Immediately felt as though the life had been drained right out of me – felt like crying. :o( I had no choice but to call the roofer. He said he was a bit busy but he’d try and get out to have a look tomorrow morning if the weather was fine(??) – maybe later today. Nightmare. My paranoia went into overtime. Fully expected him never to turn up and even if he did, that he’d just blow me off and I’d be stuck with a leaking roof and the prospect of some nightmarish legal dispute. Felt so very, very down and despairing. Just don’t have the energy for this, on top of all this hernia nonsense. :o( . . . had to sleep for a couple of hours just to escape it all. Poor BB having to be exposed to me in this state . . .walked and found 2p. Sat on the seat over the field with a cigarette for ages feeling so very down and wrestling with the surprising flood of involuntary ‘end it’ thoughts. (Amidst those horribly detailed fantasy thoughts, the logistics and heartbreak involved in finding a new home for Sally is a good anchor back to reality!!) Hard to be objective but I think it is true to say that at the best of times, during the oh so long dark months of winter, my mood and general levels of energy gradually sink to a very low level without me really noticing. It then only takes a minor difficulty or crisis to suddenly expose how low my mood has sunk – and thankfully jolt me back to objectivity. Suddenly realised that I really should have gone back on the prozac – probably some time ago! Picked myself up and determined that I wouldn’t (couldn’t?) go back on the prozac because I had the hernia surgery looming and didn’t want to complicate anything. . . finished off the meatloaf and felt better for having BB around. . . TVd till early but mostly just sat in front of whatever was on, not really watching it, lost in my thoughts, trying to work out why the roof was leaking and what was the worst that could happen with the roofer! :o( . . .briefly sneaked up into the attic before bed to check on the state of things. More bad weather forecast for overnight and tomorrow morning! Difficulty getting to sleep with the sound of the wind and rain, and me hallucinating the sound of dripping water – turned out to be the intermittent sound coming from my small battery powered alarm clock as the hands were driven round! (2/10)aaa
13 - Up around 8am after little sleep. . . walked in the strong wind and found 3p and a dog ball. Probably the ball of the woman with the untrained puppy, who just walks around the field shouting all the time, as the puppy runs riot and does what it wants. I’d walked half way across the field to return one of her balls that I’d found – by the time I’d found the other she was at the top of the field all shouting, so I kept it for Sally . . . sat around all up tight and feeling physically sick, waiting for the roofer to show. Checked on things up in the attic. Thankfully the worst of the weather seemed to be missing here and there was strong wind and sunny spells. The stack and all the drips had dried out just a little – the adjacent woodwork was still all spongy wet! So, SO horribly up tight – felt like I was gonna be sick. Wow – I must be getting worse – never used to get in ‘quite’ such a state over a little bit of stress. By around 11am BB suggested I should call the roofer to see if he was gonna show or not. I had no idea if that was a ‘normal’ sort of thing people would do (rather than just sit waiting, all up tight, for however long it might be), but she assured me it was, so I did. He said he’d be round within the next couple of hours. . up tight, waiting, popping annadin tablets. . forced down a sandwich for lunch . . . at 1:10pm the roofers arrived (despite my rampant paranoia convincing me they wouldn’t - ever!). Thank goodness. A quick look in the loft and then they climbed up onto the roof to look at the chimney stack. Five minutes later they were back down suggesting that the fault lay in the render that had been put on the face of the stack. They’d done it when it was real hot and sunny and it had dried out too quick and separated from the brickwork and the rain was getting in behind it. They’d have to hack it off and redo it. They couldn’t do it this week, and then it would depend on the weather – maybe Saturday. They’d be in touch – and off they went. Their explanation made sense I guess. If I’d been able to originally do the roof job myself, I would definitely have cut the leadwork into the bricks before rendering over it all, which I’m sure would have been a much better job than relying entirely on the exposed render, to keep the water from entering the attic space like it was doing. What do I know?! Anyway – on the face of it, they ARE gonna try and rectify the problem - sometime. WHAT a relief (I hope)! . .really needed to lay down right then and sleep off my stress headache but BB needed to shop for a few provisions so we left Sally at home and briefly drove to shop. Dashed over and drew out some money from the building society before joining BB in the store . . .napped for a couple of hours . . . walked and got caught out in a shower . . . back home to find BB finishing dishwashing chores. Grrrr. I keep insisting that I should do all the dishwashing because BB does all the cooking, but I can’t get out of my habit of stacking all the dirty dishes up, sometimes for days, before I can face the chore of a big dish wash. The last thing I can contemplate doing after a nice big meal, is stand with an aching back at a sink for ages. SUCH a chore when all you really want to do is sit in front of the TV with your feet up enjoying that warm, ‘full’ feeling and gradually fall ready for sleep. Uh oh – oh NO!!! BB had lost one of her contact lenses while doing the washing up! Ooops – that’ll be my fault then because I’d been stacking stuff up for a while and not doing it!! :o( Ended up both on our hands and knees scouring the place but couldn’t find it! :o( . . . excellent Lincolnshire sausage, chips and home made coleslaw for tea. Forbade BB from doing the dishes and then stacked them all up and left them for some other time! :o| . . . TVd until early. (2/10)aaa
14 - Up around 8:15am . . .walked and found 4p, a big car cleaning type sponge, a nail file and enough lighter parts to bring a couple of lighters back into service! . . . PCd this as poor BB started trying to cook something amidst piles of (‘Don’t you dare! I’ll do it!’) unwashed dishes! :o| . . . finished off the dishes that BB had almost all done - again!! Ate some of the spinach pie thing she'd made for lunch. Suprisingly quite nice. . .touched base with Mum and thanked her for the 'free with a newspaper' DVD she'd posted up. . Nasty headache. Napped but for only an hour and didn't succeed in shaking the headache. Woke to find BB cooking bread! Couldn't resist several mouthfulls with butter before walking, which seemed to help my headache ease, as it so often will in the evening. . .huge meal of pork steaks, chips and bread and butter for tea. Managed to muster the energy to do the dishwashing straight after eating for a change. . .TVd until bed around 1am. (_/10)aaad
15 - Up around 8:10am . . .walked and found 10p in small change along the way. Sally played chase lots over the field with the shouting womans small untrained puppy. It seemed to get rather too excited and ended up nipping Sallys rear and pulling out a little mouthful of hair here and there as she ran around. That puppy must have some greyhound in him - he could run rings around Sally. Several times she stumbled while being chased and ended up kinda falling over onto her back, all submissive like! Rather wanted her to put him in his place, but she didn't see the need. She really does have an excellent temprament - only ever exhibits a little fear agression on rare occasions. She ended up very muddy! . . . left Sally at home (put the foot stool up on the sofa to stop her climbing up and making the throw all muddy in our abscence) and went with BB on the bus into town to look around the shops a bit . . .back home in the drizzle after 3pm. Sally had somehow managed to climb up ont one of the other chairs and had covered the throw with mud!! Hmmph! . . .lay down to nap but was awake again after only around half an hour. Felt better for it nonetheless . . snacked on BBs toasted bread . . . walked . . . ate a big meal of reheated spinach pie, BBs homemade bread, slaw and the left over pork steak . . . TVd till early. Always seem to see 1:11am on the clock when I go to bed.(_/10)a
16 - Up around 8:10am again. Seem to have developed some sort of 'waking at the same time' routine. . .walked in the cold wind and found a penny. Some guy was walking an excited young puppy which insisted on juming up at me several times! Ended up with my trousers covered in mud!! Grrrr . . . PCd briefly. Ended up making the mistake of reading some of my own journal from around this time last year! :o( Thankfully cut short by BB producing a large bacon, eggs and hash browns mid morning breakfast. . . put my muddy clothes through the wash and then hung them all over radiators to dry . . .early afternoon all walked up Kingswood to browse charity shops and buy a few provisions. Took it in turns to stand outside each of the shops with Sally. Found a penny. Scored a neat padded check shirt for 4, and picked up a nice little book of quotations from the 'Free' book bin, in the Salvation Army charity shop. . sat with Sally, out in the freezing cold, up in the precinct, as BB browsed in and out of a few stores. Was sat reading the book of quotations when all of a sudden someone ran by, only a couple of feet away, at a pace worthy of the olympics! A young guy clutching a bag of something stolen, running like the wind through the shoppers, pursued by a fatter slower security guard!! I imagine he got away with it. Damn - if I hadn't been so engrossed in my book and had seen what was happening, I could have stuck my foot out and tripped the punk up. Funny - with the brief commotion, how every ones expressions seemed to change and how an uncomfortable atmosphere of 'be on your guard/watch your back ' seemed to descend on the place. Back to my little book - the next quote was "The quest for riches darkens the sense of right and wrong." ( Antphanes ) - which seemed kinda appropriate and just a little hocus pocusy under the circumstances! :o( . .by the time BB emerged from the store, I felt absolutely frozen! Loaded up my rucksack and headed home. . the checked shirt strangely jingled as I inspected it. Turned out to have a tissue and one weird christmasy earring in one of the pockets, with a couple of small brass bells hanging on it!? Weird - as though somene had just taken off their shirt and hung it up for sale - neat big warm shirt though :o) . . .ate ham sandwiches with BBs home made bread. . . lay down late and napped for a couple of hours until woken by BB around 7:40pm!!. . . walked . . . ate more ham sandwiches with BBs home made bread. . . TVd till early . . . eventually to sleep around 2am! (_/10)a
17 - Up just before 8am . . .had to dash out and chase the bin lorry down the road because somehow they'd gone by and missed my bin!! . . . walked in the frost and found a chain dog collar. Brought it home but won't use it - those chain collars kinda wear away Sally's fur and I won't use them. BB was in the kitchen busily preparing another tripple layer chocolate cake. Yippee. :o) . . bacon, eggs and BB bread for a mid morning breakfast feast . . . PCd this . . .BB went shopping. I stayed at home with Sally. Ate BB bread sandwiches and a huge slice of chocolate cake and then napped for an hour or so . . . walked . . . ate a huge roast beef dinner . . . TVd till early. . . couldn't sleep and ended up eating chocolate cake and watching 'Hi. I'm Sherrif John Bunnel' car chases on TV until around 3am!!(_/10)as
18 - Woken by Sally around 8:45am . . .walked . . . left Sally at home and around 11:30am took the bus with BB into town. Found a hat laying in the street which actually looked rather good on BB. :o) . . Went to the psychic fayre that'd been advertised in the local free paper, just for fun. Turned out to be very small scale and really rather disappointing I thought. BB was drawn to a particular psychic so I payed for a half hour 'reading' as a treat. 30 to include a tape recording of the session!!!!!!!!!! Ouch!! BB seemed happy enough with what turned out to be pretty much a joint session with me, but having loosely dabbled with such stuff in the past and being terribly critical of such people, I was rather more than disappointed. Seemed to me that everything he said was SO generalised, he could have given pretty much the same speil o anyone who'd sat there. One or two more specific things but probably as a result of the expressions/body language/etc. feedback he was getting from us both. Being with BB, it was impossible for me to adopt my preferred 'poker face, tight lipped, give him nothing to go on' attitude. Oh well - a very expensive half hours entertainment I guess. Wonder if those people declare such earnings to the taxman? Back on the bus and home by around 3pm. Extreme discomfort from my bulging, egg sized hernia - spent much of the time trying to hold it in with my hand in my pocket, partially hidden by my coat!! Couldn't be back home and laying in my chair in front the TV soon enough. . . ansaphone messages from LB wanting to borrow a hacksaw to assist whoever it was that was having a go at fixing her WC sistern. Called her back and she popped down to pick it up . . . ate reheated roast beef dinner and chocolate cake and then napped for a couple of hours after picking up on PS call and saying not tonight, cause we need an early night . . . woken by Sally barking and BB answering the door as LB returned my hacksaw and dropped off lots of left over food, mostly for Sally. . . walked, still with an uncomfortably protruding hernia and with a nasty stomach ache that made me feel rather nauseous!!? Returned home to find BB cooking up a mass of corned beef hash using some of the potatoes LB had donated. Embarassed to have to tell BB I wasn't feeling too good and couldn't face eating for a while. Actually felt pretty sick! . . . set the alarms for rediculously early in the morning and then PCd this as BB started packing. Received some feedback from the site from 'Someone who needs to talk to you' which said stuff like 'I am someone who knows you previously, and I would like to speak with you -//- so please could you send an email to -//- ps. there is nothing malicious about this.' .what with all the virus, worm, spam, confidence trickster attacks that one is constantly inundated with, on the PC these days – I’m extremely careful about what I do and who I mail. On top of that, my schizoid attitude to the world is currently such that I almost NEVER reply to ANY feedback I get anymore. Not sure what it was about the way that feedback was worded but it just didn’t sit right with me. Decided to ignore it and not reply, but my paranoid mind dwelt on it and imagined all sorts of people from my past who may want to have a go at me, about the website content or - who knows what!! Made me feel all up tight and even more unwell, and largely soured my mood on BBs last evening here!! Grrrr . . it's very disturbing just how 'fragile and vulnerable' both my mind and body seem to be at the moment!!!!!! Scary! :o( . . . felt hungry but still unwell - managed to share a little corned beef hash and LB left overs desert with BB . . . 'early' to bed after midnight!! (_/10)a
19 - Up with the alarms around 5:50am!! . . .walked in the dark with a bad stomach . . . loaded the car up, left Sally at home, and set off for the airport a little after 7am. Stopped for petrol (12.83 ltr @ 10) and then battled through the rush hour traffic. . arrived at Lulsgate airport around 8am. Dropped BB off with her bags at the drop off point near the terminal. Made sure I turned the car off, pocketed my keys and was aware of who else was around as I did so. The reports and video I'd seen on the news just recently, of that old guy going on holiday with his wife, stopping to drop of their bags and being run over and killed in front of his wife while trying to stop someone stealing and driving off in his car, is something that'll stick in your mind! . .drove to the nearby short stay parking and parked the car before walking back to find BB. Soon found her and she'd already checked in her bags. Wandered outside into the biting cold wind for a cigarette. Found 2p. Retreated from the cold up into the departure lounge to while away the time. Goodness knows why, but a Jamaican type steel band was playing up near the top of the escalators, right next to the departure lounge seats. They even had amplifiers! Awful noise, from which it was impossible to escape!! Very annoying. Sat in front the one working departure flight information screen with BB for around 30 minutes, not having much to say to each other, and hardly being able to hear the little we did say! Eventually emotional hugs and goodbyes and BB disappeared through security towards the boarding gate and gone. . . paid the couple of pounds for parking at the automated ticket machine in the terminal and returned to the car. Drove out and round to the other side of the airport and parked up on the access road near the building site, next to the perimeter fence overlooking the runway. Only had to wait around twenty minutes before I could see BBs aircraft in the distance being backed up and then start to taxi towards the runway. Stood out in the biting wind hanging on to the fence and watched as she took off. Spectacular climb rate/angle - soon disappeared up into the low cloud . . . drove home with the heater on full, feeling stomache achey and - um - on my own! . . . stopped off at two Lidl stores to check out the rise and fall ceiling lights I'd seen advertised that may have complimented the spot lights I've yet to fit, but decided against them . . .home around 10:30am. Explained to Sally as best I could that BB had gone - I really do believe that she almost understood! . . . sat around in front the TV feeling a bit down and not feeling very well, still bulging hernia wise! Seemed to be harder to 'push back in' than it has been! Eventually roused myself to make a coffee and eat an early lunch, only to find I had no water!!!?? I'd spotted a car down the road with a bath strapped to the roof so assumed maybe the plumbers were in down the road. Experiences over the years have shown that if the stop tap in the garden of the house on the end of the rank is turned off, the whole rank is deprived of water!! Shouldn't be the case of course, but that's the way it is. . wandered down the road and knocked on the door of the end house. The lady answered the door - sure enough she had a plumber in, but maintained it was nothing to do with her because she'd 'had that seen to'. Bit of a bloody coincedence then! The plumber appeared from behind her and confirmed he HAD turned off the stop tap. He said he'd put it back on real soon. Thanked them and returned home to anxiously wait to see if the water pressure would be as high as normal once he'd turned it back on. Within half an hour the WC sistern noise confirmed the water was back on - tested the taps and everything seemed ok. Able to make my coffee, had some reheated corned beef hash for lunch. . . slept most of the afternoon away and woke, STILL with a sick feeling stomach ache!!? Blimey - hope I'm not gonna feel like this for ever more!! . . .PCd this a little but my heart wasn't in it. Got more feedback from the website, this time titled 'Urgent'. 'Hi Terry, I wrote an anonymous feedback form earlier because I thought this form would be posted on your guestbook, but it seems now. Firstly I must appologise for everything I have written in your book...it wasn't nice and not to mention immature. I have since paid the price because anyone who types my name into google gets your page up first :-O. It comes back to me time and again and I am compelled to write you this letter because I badly need you to remove the entries. I hope you take this post seriously and please accept my appology. I just hope you havent forgotten about this site! Thank you ' RM. . Aha! So THAT was who it was from! That RM individual. Blimey. That's a turn up for the books. :o\ Fascinating to actually see a bit of 'you reap what you sow' in action! Tempting to feel some satisfaction and actually do nothing (especially considering the amount of work involved in trying to change relevant entries across my site - my journal in particular. I liked the idea of leaving ALL guestbook entries unmodified and untouched, as a testament to themselves!). I am however somehow not that sort of person. It pains me to think I am causing 'distress'!!? Guess I'm gonna have to put in the hours of work and try and change things - I wont delete them if I can help it, cause it WAS a 'moment' in MY life, but I guess I should at least try and remove his name and revert to anonymous initials. Bugger - lots of PC work! :o( . . . TVd . . . was just about to walk Sally when I spotted BBs walking boots left by the back door! Damn! Missed those when I did my once round the house check to see if BB had forgotten anything before we left this morning. Oh well - gives me something to hold hostage to make sure she returns. :o) . . . walked . . . ate a reheated roast beef meal followed by a precious sliver of chocolate cake . . . TVd waiting for BB to call. Started to feel a little better health wise as the night wore on. In a funny mood - needed to be 'quiet' and watched with the sound off on the TV for a fair bit? At last - BB called around midnight to confirm safe arrival. :o) . . Soon to bed.(_/10)a
20 - Woken by Sally around 7:50am . . .walked and found 7p. Harry Hernia - (or was it Henry Hernia? Can't remember what name I decided on when BB was here) seems to have settled back down to 'usual', not quite so protruding and not giving me as much of the stomach pain as the last couple of days. Thank goodness! Weird. . . PCd this. PCd for a rediculous number of hours all morning and into the afternoon and changed a bunch of stuff (MD0503, MD0803, GBA1,GBA2,GBA3) for the benefit of RMs sensibilities!! Grrrr . . .reheated the last of the hash for a late lunch . . . slept for a couple of hours . . . walked and found a penny . . . reheated another roast beef meal . . .BB called . . . PS popped round for chats till early.(3/10)asd
21 - Woken by noise from the street around 7:45am. Figured today was as good a day as any, to have a go at stopping smoking again! What misery! :o( . . .walked and found a penny . . .muesli and out of date orange juice for breakfast. . . ran round the house and collected up all the ashtrays and stacked them in the kitchen for washing. Put all the lighters together, out of the way in a bowl in a cupboard. Moved all my tobacco and tins and such up into the attic and stored the step ladder in the cupboard downstairs. That makes it sufficiently out of reach to act as just a little bit of a barrier! I guess it's a sign of my lack of commitment that I can't bring myself to actually just get rid of it all (especially the battered old tin that I've kept my tobacco in all these years) - that bodes ill for success! Read up on the nicotine chewing gum and figured I'd try for as long as I could without it. I'm probably wrong, but it seems to me that if you're trying to give up something you crave, it makes little sense to be given it! Surely that way you prolong the craving? I'll try and do without - only use the gum if I start to really cave in. . . PCd briefly but couldn't concentrate and seemed to have difficulty focusing!? . . . TVd . . . weather wasn't bad and my hernia felt maybe up to it, so at 11:30am I took the chance and walked the three hour walk with Sally down to Eastville Park and along the Frome Valley walk and back through Fishponds. Luckily my hernia hung in there and I didn't have much discomfort from it at all, although I did spend much of the time holding it in place!! Can't do that all the time - surprising how tired your arm gets after a while. Stopped to look in a charity shop on the way home. Found another nice padded shirt for 3:50. Took it to the counter to pay and was told that there was a special deal on - two items for the price of one. Looked and looked and looked and just couldn't find anything else worth having. Gave up and returned to the counter only to be told again, and that I could choose from any item of clothing in the store. Somehow I started arguing and being a nasty customer. Started going on about how stupid it was they couldn't just let me have the one item I wanted for half the price. Back to the rails all angry, I finally found another shirt which was probably worth me having. Turned out that shirt was more expensive (6.50) so I'd have to pay for that one and get the other one for free - but I didn't really want that one, and didn't have enough money anyway!!!! Arrrggghh. I started getting REALLY stroppy and childishly threatened to walk out without buying anything!! Poor woman behind the counter - she was only a volunteer and following the managers instructions. Another customer intervened and because she wanted a cheap shirt (probably didn't - probably just wanted me to shut up and leave!) , she suggested I get that one for free and she'd give me the money!! I said I'd split the difference so she gave me a pound coin and another pound coin was put in the charity box!!! With hindsight of course, the whole thing was outrageous nonsense on my part and just an example of how scary I can be when in withdrawl!!!! I should maybe return there one day to apologise :o| . . . Found 3p near home. . .ate left over ham and slaw sandwhiches for lunch and then napped for a couple of hours. Woke up thinking there was lightening - but I suspect it was just something going on with my 'cold turkey' withdrawl. A habit of around forty roll ups a day - and then suddenly nothing!!! Gonna be hell for a long time - and right now - it can only get worse! :o( . . TVd . . . PCd this - still very hard to focus and concentrate so you'll have to excuse the gromar and spelling mistooks. . .walked and found 4p . . .ate the last of the roast beef. . TVd . . . BB called . . . touched base with Mum and thanked her for the German Shepherd calendar she'd sent up in the mail . . . returned DH ansaphone call - her computer has died and looks like she may want to buy the flat panel PC screen I recently got from SH which I regret buying. Do hope so . . .TVd/PCd until early. (3/10)
22 - Woken just before 8am by the noise of a neighbours moped being started . . . walked in a hint of drizzle . . . muesli and out of date orange juice for breakfast again . . .spent a couple of hours screwing one of the triple spot lamp plates to the kitchen ceiling. Temporarily wired it up through the floorboards to a socket in the bedroom, just to see how it looks when lit up. Hmmm - not sure I like that!! Called a halt and cleared up - proper wiring in of that lamp will be a big job and I can't face it right now. . . corned beef sandwich and crisps, and a piece of chocolate cake for lunch . . . left Sally at home around 1:30pm and drove to DH with the flat screen PC monitor and all the cables etc. Told her to try it and either give me what I gave SH for it, or give it back to me. Coffee and chats . . back in the car I had a real dodgy moment when I discovered a lighter and some ready rolled cigarettes I'd left in there!!! Managed to resist - just! Back home and laying down for a nap by 3:30pm, after having briefly popped up LBs to return some of her dishes. . . woken around 5pm by LB leaving an ansaphone message commenting on the huge bonfire that the nearby builder was having again. Seems like he burns all of the combustable 'industrial waste' he creates on his job, in his garden from time to time!! . . .PCd this . . .walked . . . ate microwave curry . . . BB called . . . TVd till late. (4/10)
23 - Up around 7:45am . . .walked . . .breakfast . . .sat around not wanting to do anything (except smoke of course! :o( ) . . . ended up sleeping the morning away! . . . sandwhiches and chocolate cake for lunch . . . BB called . . . TVd/PCd/slept the afternoon away . . . walked in rubber but missed the rain. Lots of discomfort from my hernia/stomach . . .touched base with BB. Conversation went 'awry'!. . . no appetite and only managed to eat half the pizza I'd cooked . . . TVd till late. (2/10)
24 - Woken around 7:15am by the noise of someone scraping the ice off their windscreen. . .walked and found 2p, a set of personal stereo headphones and one gold earring! . . . muesli breakfast . . . looks as though my weather station outside temperature sensor has broken! . . feel SO down! Tried to sleep the day away but only managed an hour . . .ate the left over pizza for lunch and then managed to muster the energy to walk Sally the long walk down to Eastville and along the river again. Figured it would tire me out and I'd be able to sleep. Found 5p. Sunny when I set off - got rained on , on the way back . . .Not sure what the hell is going on with me at the moment. Surely this can't be just the not smoking? I feel unbelievably down - seem to be emotionally oscillating - and am not at all sure I'm thinking straight at all! Feels like I'm really losing it right now . . . Turned the phones off and tried to sleep again. . . touched base with BB. . walked and found 5p . . . just couldn't be bothered to cook and ended up heating up just a piece of garlic bread from the freezer!! . . . TVd till late. To bed around midnight. (2/10)
25 - Up around 7:30am . . .walked in the frost . . . next door said they were getting rid of a fan so I said yes please . . . muesli breakfast . . .tried to sleep away the day but only managed an hour or so - next door were making loads of hammering noise right next to my head. Gave up around 11am, got back up and felt just a little more 'stable', moodwise. . cooked up a double chicken kiev and chips for lunch and ate the last of BBs chocolate cake. . .weird, but my cravings for a smoke seem to be worse today than they ever have been!!? Feels like my first day of not smoking! Very wobbly! Retrieved the lighter and two ready rolled cigarettes I'd found in the car the other day. Managed to resist, but only just!! Eventually managed to screw them up and put them in the bin. Was having such a hard time, figured I had to try a piece of that nicotine chewing gum stuff. Did it help? Did it hell! What a waste of money that was!! Grrrr. . . touched base with BB . . . thankfully slept for another couple of hours in the afternoon - woke from dreaming. . . walked . . . had a couple of glasses of the cider that was left over from when BB was here. Not keen on the stuff at all, but it seemed to make me a bit 'merry', which was what I was hoping! Hmmm - give up smoking and become an alcoholic?!! . . . BB called . . . ate corned beef sandwhich and crisps. . TVd until bed around midnight.(3/10)dd
26 - Woke earlier, but up around 7:45am . . .walked around 8:30am and then kept walking and on down to Eastville park and along the river. Explored a different route and ended up only doing half the normal walk. Found a penny - back home around 10:30am for coffee and chocolate biscuits breakfast. . .called Terry Iles, the roofer - usual excuses of how busy he'd been. He said they'd be here some time this week - he'd be here personally tomorrow 'if it wasn't too freezing'. Yep - the forecast is for freezing temperatures and possible snow over the next few days! . . my weather station outdoor sensor seems to be working intermitantly - now reading a late morning temperature of only three degrees C above freezing. . .sandwiches for lunch . . . TVd . . . PCd for a bit looking at 'giving up smoking' sites, to get a proper feel for what effects, withdrawl will give. Hmmm - worse than I thought - maybe that does explain how unstable I've been!! Wish I hadn't chewed that nicotine gum yesterday (good greif, was it only yesterday!!) - that must have put me back a little! . . . TVd. . . walked and found a penny. . . IHB called wanting help with his PC which seems to have developed lots of pop ups and such. Doubt there'll be anything I can do - reluctantly agreed maybe I'd stop by on the weekend. :o( Told him I was trying to give up smoking again - funny how a smoker will always sound somehow kinda disappointed (no matter what they say) when someone tells them they are trying to give up. . .cooked up four cheeseburgers for evening meal . . . BB called . . .difficulty resisting eating lots more . . . TVd. Yet more news reports about that 'Beagle 2' british probe sent to Mars that should have landed on boxing day. They've heard absolutely nothing from it since that moment - but despite that, every day there is an update about it on the news. 'Nothing heard yet.' 'Still nothing heard.' Finally, at last - at long long last - they've given up. Thank goodness. Some people just don't know when it's time to admit failure!! 'Early' to bed before midnight. (3/10)
27 - Up around 7:15am . . .unusually managed a glass of orange juice and muesli breakfast before walking . . . walked around 8am. A team of council workmen with a tractor appeared to be preparing to do something over the field!? Carried on walking 'the long walk' in reverse - down through Fishponds to Vassals, along the river through to Snuff Mills and over the road and along into Eastville park and then back via the two rugby fields. Found 4p along the way. As I passed a small bunch of people sat near the closed sandwhich bar at Snuff Mills, one of the guys called out and asked if I had a website!!!!!!! I awkwardly didn't say a lot ('maybe-ummm-yes'), but got the impression he'd stumbled into it (presumably doing a search for Snuff Mills?)!! Felt awkward and embarassed and didn't want to talk! Turned my back and carried on walking with a wave. Not as cold as I thought it'd be - ended up far too hot inside my four layers!!!! Crossing the local field, the team of at least half a dozen council workmen, were still there slaving away. Turned out they were picking up all the mountains of litter. According to a dog walker, there had been criticism of all the mess in the local press, but the school headmaster had denied that 'his' children were responsible!!! He should get out more! I fail to see why it isn't possible to have some sort of social studies/responsibility lesson, where the kids are taken out over that field and the surrounding streets and instructed to pick up their own mess!! Back home by around 10:45am not at all suprised to see no one on my roof! . . . . PCd this . . . did long overdue dishwashing chores while cooking up a large pot of stew type stuff (diced potatoes, chopped onions, frozen broad beans, and a tin of stewed steak in gravy). Standing at the sink, my hernia decided to protrude lots and was giving me great discomfort/stomach ache, and did so pretty much for the rest of the day!! . .Ate a big bowlfull of stew with bread and butter for a late lunch . . . slept for a couple of hours . . .balanced my accounts . . . walked with a hand stuffed down into my trouser pocket, levering against the material trying to hold my hernia 'in' with my finger tips!! . . . sat on cushions in front of my Buddha in the fireplace and attempted to meditate for around 30 minutes. Really need to put in the effort to get back to 'at least' a once daily practice, just to try and - well - keep a grip on my mind!!!!! . . BB called . . .ate the last of the next door donated garlic bread, with another bowlfull of stew stuff. . . TV/PCd until bed after 1am. Bugger - looks as though someone with my e-mail address in their address book has been infected with a virus - getting lots of ISP intercepts again, making it look as though I'm sending them!!!!! Grrrr. (3/10)
28 - Up around 6:45am after a terrible night of tossing and turning and broken sleep. . . well - that's one week without smoking! :o| It's getting a 'bit' easier I guess - maybe. I also seem to feel kinda warmer - despite the cold weather. Better circulation? Already? Maybe just the extra food I'm eating. . . walked. The field looked amazingly litter free after all the council men's efforts, so I did my bit and picked up some of last nights dumped chip papers and an empty plastic bottle (once Sally had finished chewing on it) , and deposited them in the nearby bin. Found 8p. Only one degree above zero and a biting wind chill - but really not as bad as the forecast has been threatening - not a hint of any snow. . . tried to meditate for around 20 minutes . . . orange juice and muesli breakfast . . . PCd this . . .tried to catch up on lost sleep for a couple of hours but failed and ended up back in front the TV. Why oh why was it necessary to put exactly the same live broadcast of the Hutton report, on ALL (at least nine!) channels at exactly the same time?! In this new digital age of dedicated 24 hour news channels, you’d have thought they may have left the other channels and schedules alone!! Fancy cancelling that old black and white Scarlet Pimpernel film! How dare they! :o\ . . . ate stew and bread and butter as Hutton droned on. . .got as clean and sweet smelling as I could, left Sally at home and set off for the hospital appointment at around 1:30pm. . couldn’t find any parking spaces in the Hospital so drove back out and managed to park on the road some distance away - walked all the way back. Checked in at reception for my 2:20pm appointment at around 2pm and joined the twenty or so people all sat waiting in the waiting room. Hospital heating - very hot!! Felt all nervous and wound up and really wanted to be out of there! It would have been almost unbearable if not for 'Herbert'. Herbert was an old guy in a wheelchair, tended to by a young woman who was either a carer or his granddaughter. Whichever she was, her patience knew no bounds. Herbert had Alzheimers or something similar and had no short term memory. He was also a little hard of hearing which meant that every exchange he had with her was audible to the entire waiting room.
Where are we? (
we’re in the hospital) <two or three minutes of silence> What are we doing here? (we’re waiting to see the doctor) What’s he gonna do then? (he’s just going to check you over to make sure everything is ok. We won’t be long. ) <two or three minutes of silence> How long have we to wait?(it wont be long) <two or three minutes of silence> May as well go. (we’re waiting to see the doctor. He wont be long.) <two or three minutes of silence> Come back some other time! <two or three minutes of silence> We’ll probably be here all day, looking at all the people! <two or three minutes of silence> We don’t want to wait all this time! <two or three minutes of silence> What’s this place?
It went on and on and round and round. I suspect he was vocalising what a lot of us were thinking! It was entertaining for a time – but oh, that poor woman – poor Herbert too I guess!! :o\ At around 2:50pm my name was finally called and in I went to see the doctor and another guy who I presume was his student in training. I don’t think he actually introduced the guy. Regrettable that, and really the least you would expect, especially when you consider I was about to let him put his hand inside my pants!!!!!!! I think I coughed a total of six times for the doctor, who seemed to be doing a rapid running commentary of everything he was pressing, pushing and finding, for the students benefit. He then invited the student to have a go – so I coughed another three times. The doctor’s manner was SO brisk, I think it WAS bordering rude. He rattled through a couple of questions - did I live alone and would there be anyone to look after me if I was done as day patient surgery. I said I did live alone (kept saying I had a dog but I don’t think he appreciated the complication that means) and no there was no one. He went on about laparoscopy which they don’t normally do because of the increased cost, but maybe in my case they could justify it – then he mentioned they could even do local anaesthetic. I’m not sure what he was saying, so quick was it all – I’m pretty sure I wasn’t actually being given choices – but it seemed wise to definitely say ‘NooOOO!’ when the mention of local anaesthetic came up! I’d probably be in for surgery in 6 to 9 months! He made it very clear there wasn’t time to ask any other questions (actually disappeared with the student into an adjacent room full of people and closed the door as I was doing my trousers up!). I poked my head round the door on the way out, just to confirm that was it and there was nothing I had to do. They’d write to me. Out of there in under five minutes having had it confirmed that I had an inguinal hernia and I needed surgery! Umm – yeah - but my doctor and I knew that before I went there??? Jeeze! And now I have to live like this for maybe another nine months?!! That’s enough to make a guy feel pretty down! :o( . .walked all the way back to the car and drove home. . touched base briefly with BB. . . managed to nap for only an hour or so before waking at 5:30pm as strong winds roared and lightening flashed outside. I spoke to soon – blizzard conditions!!! Soon stopped . . . PCd this. . .walked. The little bit of snow had turned to ice! Even had trouble just 'breaking' open the garden gate! Very treacherous under foot. Someone had packed snow into the button of the pedestrian light controlled crossing up on the main road. It’d frozen the button in. Every couple of minutes the lights would change, stop all the traffic, reset to green, and then start all over again! Never seen that done before. :o) Felt obliged to spend a minute or two scraping away the ice from the button and stopping it. How I’d hate to live in one of those houses right near it – night and day, at random - beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep!!! . . ate the last of the stew stuff - not really enough left for a meal. . . Mum called to touch base . . . BB called . . .'sat' for a very short while . . .still hungry and ended up eating a couple of bowls of cornflakes . . . TVd until bed just before midnight.(3/10)
29 - Woken by Sally at 7:30am . . . walked on ice. . . orange juice and muesli breakfast . . .PCd this. Stuff on the TV news about the latest bad virus to hit the internet. I guess that explains why all of a sudden I'm getting all these intercepts for mails containing the "Win32/Mydoom.A@mm" virus. . . attempted to sit in meditation but soon gave up. . .walked with Sally up to shop as the ice began to thaw a bit. Hernia was really sticking out all hard and causing me pain - to hell with what people may think - had to put a hand in my pocket and hold it in, all the way!! Difficult with a rucksack on my back, Sally's lead around my wrist and shopping bags in my other hand! Found 1.02 along the way. Couldn't resist an extra large chicken (feeds 6-8) that was on sale at less than half price (2.50ish)- guess I'll be cooking later then. . . liver sausage sandwhich and crisps for lunch . . . roads were pretty thawed so left Sally at home and drove to the 'big' Sainsburys to shop some more, and stocked up on enough muesli, orange juice, coffee and food to keep me going for ages. Very awkward trying to hold my hernia whilst pushing a trolley around one handed!! . . Had a look in the DIY store but still no really cheap doors in stock that'll fit the understairs cupboard. Stopped off in the pet store and bought a big sack of PAL beef and veg complete for Sally (17.95). . Stopped off in Lidl on the way back, mostly for cheap burgers and rolls. .unloaded, stashed everything away, then napped for an hour or so . . . peeled a mass of potatoes, par boiled them, and then got them in the oven with the chicken by 6:30pm . . . walked. Cold but little wind and actually felt like a pleasant evening. . . 'sat' for twenty minutes but disturbed by continued discomfort from my hernia. . . touched base with BB . . . ate chicken and roast potatoes around 9pm. Mmmmmm. Wow - that is a big chicken! Carved the rest of the meat off and stashed it and the rest of the poatoes in tupperwares. Sally feasted on everything else that wasn't bone. . . TVd until late. As if to mock me after yesterdays hospital appointment, my hernia was the worst it has ever been today. All day without let up, it was protruding and hard and painful. The only way to alleviate the pain was to either lay down or to mash with my hand and push the damn thing back up inside and hold it there! I really can't figure out why it can cause me so very little problems one day, yet be SO bad and debilitating the next. There were times today (when wrestling one handed with the supermarket trolley, or trying to peel the potatoes!) when I just felt like laying down right where I was and crying. The 'pain' the thing causes on it's bad days is of course impossible to really describe - a mixture of nausea, indigestion, hunger, and a good kick between the legs!!! Incredible one has simply to put up with this for maybe nine months!! . . Cannabis was re-classified down to a class 'C' drug this day. (3/10)s
30 - Up at 7am . . . walked. Found 14p in small change along the way, and a ladies watch in the grass over the field. Not real gold so not really worth worrying about I don't think. . . breakfasted . . .PCd this . . . felt real down and pointless - tried to sleep the day away. . . liver sausage sandwhich and crisps for lunch . . .TVd/slept/pretended to be asleep . . . walked . . . dutifully touched base with Mum to see how her 'feet' hospital appointment had gone . . . ate BLT sandwiches. . .BB called but I really wasn't in the mood to have to be making talk . . . drank the last of BBs cider . . . TVd. God I want a cigarette!! :o( (2/10)d
31 - Up at 7:30am . . .walked in wellingtons and rubber but somehow managed to catch a break in the rain. Found 5p. Big gales forecast for later!! Mentioned the watch I'd found to a dog walker over the field - she said she thought she knew who'd lost it - I recognise the description of who she means, so hopefully I'll be able to return it at some point . . . breakfasted . . . PCd this . . .tried to sleep but couldn't. Got back up and did dishwashing and laundry chores as the stormy rainy weather got worse. Climbed up into the attic to check on the leaks. All saturated and running! Miraculous it hasn't appeared in the bedroom yet. :o( . . . lay down for a while . . .TVd . . . walked in the gale. REALLY windy!! Wouldn't want to have to try and walk in much windier. Sally even got blown into me at one point! Gusts up to around 75mph apparantly. . . 'sat' for 25 minutes. . . touched base with BB . . .TVd with a bottle of beer. Couldn't face cooking so just defrosted and reheated in the microwave, some cocktail sausages, and ate them with a couple of packets of crisps. TVd and watched Jack Nicholson in 'As Good As It Gets' until bed around midnight. TV quote of the day - "What if this is as good as it gets?". (2/10)d
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