Saturday, 25 June 2011

Bloomin' marvellous dahling!

Not me personally, of course not (hell it wouldn't be as much fun if it was - er - fun). But it could be worse.

I received the 'yes we believe you are ill here have some dosh' letter from the DLA - TWO DAYS after they received the last of the mega forms from me! It isn't a vast amount but it will certainly be a huge help towards taxi expenses etc. Very mixed emotions to see I am classed officially as disabled in black and white ...
I still feel extremely self conscious with my stick, and often wonder how the hell this all happened! I don't do the 'why me, why me' thing because there is no point whatsoever in that mind set - but I have deffo been very moody and hacked off with it all lately.

Frustrating sums it all up pretty well, damned frustrating.

But yes, the DLA assessment is a relief - plus they have set it for two years before it needs reviewing which is a big bonus, the forms are soul destroying (must be horrendous having to fill them in for a child).

And the teeny tiny garden is chockablock with (mostly pink) pretties. Rain rain rain - very special drought this one.

The hydrangea is gorgeous.

Plus of course I love these when they start to die and dry, still bootiful.

My less than orderly salad / veg boxes make me smile - I got very excited to find that the coriander LOOKS LIKE CORIANDER! The poor basil needs thinning and replanting as it being squished by the lettuce and baby spinach, both of which have loved the rain / humid / sun combo. I really want a bigger garden one day, not huge because I wouldn't be able to manage it but big enough for a larger raised veggie patch. Bliss.

But for now I get a massive amount of pleasure from my little garden and the bird table.

Inside there is slightly bizzare flowering going on - my christmas cactus which never flowers in winter has decided to bloom for about the third time this year:
I like a happily bonkers plant!

Knitting / crafting wise, I have finished the back and almost finished one front of the Daisy cardi - I am almost convinced that if I knit really really fast I won't run out of wool.
And do not tell me I am the only knitter who thinks this makes perfect sense!

Tis a luvverly knit so far, I hate the splittiness of the Cathay but love how it looks.

IF ANYONE, ANYWHERE, HAS ANY BLACK DEBBIE BLISS CATHAY I COULD BUY FROM THEM PLEEEEEASE SHOUT OUT!!! Just in case the , er, knitting fast thing doesn't quite work out.
Thank you.

I have bought wool with the remains of my life's savings. Ice Yarns were having one of their irresistable sales so I stocked up - I resisted most as one day when I have a bit of spare cash I can buy it, but am delighted with what I did get.

For anyone new to the whole Ice world of delights, it is deffo of the 'not top end, not often natural, not often posh' type of yarn - they DO do luxury wools though.
They deliver from Turkey, tracked every step of the way and put Royal Mail to shame as they usually deliver within 36hours. Highly recommend.

The Ice above is some very nice black mohair with tiny beads in,. I really love this; the grey mix which I expected to be a bit iffy but is surprisingly lovely and the scary pink with ittybitty sequins in, which is as far removed from natural fibres as anything could be. Love.
All three packs plus delivery came to just under £20.

The cones are from Colourmart - the deeper pink I am unsure of and might sell, the pale pink silk I love. The huge pack is a £10 bargain, chunky oily wool to knit Kez a ski type cardi. Wool, luvverly stuff.

Not much else to report really - life is sloooooow but relatively OK. And I have a holiday to look forward to! Huzzah!

Enjoy the weekend, enjoy the mega mini heatwave when it comes, and be well.


Thursday, 23 June 2011

It never rains....

but it pours.
Literally in the case of the 'drought' going on lately.

Had to have an eyetest today because one of the tablets I am on affects colour vision - as suspected the pressure behind my eyes is far too high (my mum has glaucoma)  so that's a trip to the eye hospital. Might as well, it hasn't been on my list of places to visit for three years. Le sigh dramatique.

My laptop has died - along with all my documents and photos. I have a new one as of today which I suspect isn't the best in the world (then again my mega expensive one from a few years ago has been a pain since buying it, it overheats if you so much as look at it).

I have big money issues so I think I am going to have to sell my entire life on ebay.

And I feel bloody ill.

Bet you are really glad you are reading this eh!! /Have yet to attempt to transfer photos onto this laptop notebook /whatever it is so apologies for the utter lack of pretties.

'scuse me whilst I go and jump in the canal with the settee tied around my neck.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


I was a tad puzzled and more than a little disturbed when my taxi driver mentioned the price of bags of semen.

Apparently bags of semen cost about £3 or £4 each.

Who knew, thought I.

What a sodding relief when I realised he was talking about bags of CEMENT, CEMENT - made so much more sense. And the image of his ongoing patio build was much more bearable. (had originally typed 'palatable' but I thought in the circumstances twas best changed ;-)   )

Friday, 17 June 2011

You might feel a bit of a prick...


Sorry, couldn't resist.
Soooo.... Wednesday was rheumatology hospital day. Yippee.
I was duly weighed, and surprisingly the steroids have only made me put on 2lbs - I would have guessed at least half a stone, possibly more so that's better than I had thought. The nurse wasn't at all worried about it, then again she isn't trying to squeeze into my clothes. Or not that I know of ...

I saw a different consultant, very nice woman who was about 12. She went through my mountain of medication, my original test results, various blood tests etc and had a good look at my poor hands and footsies. The Big Boss, the professor was summoned and arrived with his entourage of serfs kowtowing to him (actually he was a really nice bloke, straight to the point).

He confirmed what I already knew - that I am Very Speshul. Apparently this severity is quite unusual in early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, so they have chucked in some additional medication.
I am going to be shown how to self inject the methotrexate to try and avoid the side effects I am having, no more steroids for now because they didn't have much benefit, increased dosage of pain killers, tablets to avoid the side effects of the painkillers (stomach ulcers), more methotrexate, more folic acid and a different tablet to take daily which, as with the meths, is to stop the RA eating into my bones.
Self inject, yikes!
Hence the little prick title just in case you thought you had wandered into a Carry On script.

Rattling, that's me.
I have grown a nodule (madam!) on my right elbow which needs monitoring and the pain in my right foot has been incredible.

More blood tests, more prodding, more appointments. I cannot fault the RA team at the hospital, all very kind, explain everything and very co-ordinated.

But I am down at the moment, as I have said my life has changed beyond all recognition and I seem to be caught in a spiral of pain, tablets, pain, tablets - my only trips out are hospitals and Drs.

I made the fatal mistake of looking up self injecting methotrexate online - ooooh, youtube (or youtape as my friend calls it). I fainted! Worra twit. I am NOT looking forward to it at all but I do know it's a necessary evil.

Hey ho.

So what else is happening?

The Emily Peacock tapestry is growing slowly, I am so glad I have this to keep me saneish. It depends on my hands / head state, but I am still thoroughly enjoying it. Plenty of mistakes in it - if I was making it for someone else I would unpick and redo but as it is for me I am just thrilled to be able to do SOMETHING  crafty.
I was utterly elated last night because I managed to make a door curtain - first time I have used my beloved sewing machine in ages.
Nothing fancy, something I would ususually knock up without a second thought but by hell I was chuffed to bits! I forgot to buy curtain heading tape today so the matching living room curtains will have to wait until next week, which is possibly just as well as it is meths night tonight.

The girls decided to go 'glamping' in PSidney's tent - I warned them it would end in tears but oh no, they knew better.

Sure enough along came Sid to see what the giggling was.
Hmmmmm, strange looking lettuce.

Nom nom!

I did the decent thing and rescued Daffers before she ended up minus her eyebrows - she has been under the settee ever since jibbering to herself.

The garden is enjoying the weird weather - with predictable unpredictability the British weather decided that on the day an official drought was announced it would start to pour down.

I am fascinated by the way the hydrangea blooms - those leathery green 'leaves' slowly turn into the most beautifully coloured 'petals', I think they are so beautiful. I would love a cottagey garden one day with a load of these.

Ditto the geraniums, I love the smell of the leaves.
And I even have a rose in bud.

I do think that for a tiny city garden it's doing really well.

I have started some more knitting - hey, a black cardi, there's a thing! (I seem to have an utterly ridiculous amount of bought and hand knit black cardies but I do love them).
This is Daisy by Kim Hargeaves, which has been knit many times on Ravelry - I am making it with the sleeves longer to hide my bingo wings, in black with a pink trim at the pockets and pink buttons.

Obviously when I don the cardi I will become as svelte as the model. Truly.

Enjoy the weekend one and all x

Monday, 13 June 2011


Today's post is brought to you by the colour pink!
It wasn't intentional but when I was uploading my piccies there is definitely a bias to the land of pink.

As usual I lost a few days to the dreaded meths (to anyone new to this blog that's methotrexate ;-)  ), I thought I got away with it on Saturday but by Sunday midday I felt seriously lousy and very sick. The prolonged insanity of the Canadian Grand Prix suited my mood though - hours watching the rain fall, brilliant. How good a race was it in the end, far too much excitement!

Today is a bit grim, I didn't sleep much because of the pain in my poor chubby tootsies, my foot cannot even stand the weight of my microwave heat thingies today and now my wrist and knee have decided to play too.

The DLA malarky went as well as it could go I think - the Dr was humanish. I don't know how much they can argue with the medical facts they have from both hospitals and my gp, also the rather impressive bag of medication I had to talk him through - anyway, it's out of my hands now until I hear the verdict. They did authorise my taxi fare and paid for my return taxi home so that was nice.


Mum treated me to a hair dye on Friday so I took the girls out.
Erm. Not LITERALLY. My girls stayed firmly under wraps for which mercy I am sure everyone was grateful.
But girls of the penguin variety went with me.
And when nobody was looking (I hope) they took turns playing at being hairdressers.

My hair is a slightly redder version of Daphne's feathers so she is feeling rather smug (poor deluded soul thinks I am copying her, ha), Daf says she would be a brilliant hair stylist and could make me look 'almost human!'
I told her she would get her eyebrow feathers permed if she didn't behave.
Where Daphne leads Lizzy is never far behind.

Lizzy thinks nail art is more her thing.
Better than Daffers and waxing methinks .....

The teeny tiny garden continues to make me smile, even on a manky grey wet day like today (did I nod off on the settee and wake up in November?).

I am thrilled to bits that the hydrangea is looking good!

I seem to have, thankfully, got some of my crafty mojo back. Sewiung wise nothing more exciting than turning up some trousers to fit my stumpy little legs, but the bag I am making up as I go is growing (and I am chuffed to bits with it).

I wanted visible green seaming, and have no idea (and very little patience) about 'correct' ways to do it so I just ran double crochet along the seams - I like the raised edge this gives, even though there is definitely a 'right and wrong' side to the ridge.
But for me, yes this works well.
I am planning to fold this section round to become a front and back side (not backside) to the bag and have started playing with the rest of the front:

I still find the Rowan Handknit Cotton very easy on my hands (possibly wont get anymore done today as my wrist isn't enjoying this typing) - I have all the many other bits and bobs for the bag so I might get it finished in the next week or so.

My daughter's best friend from school had a beautiful baby girl yesterday (how old does that make me feel, I remember when they skived off together and were both caught out - her mum and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at their inept naughtiness!). I am going to line this little jacket and maybe add a zip, I know new mums tend to be inundated with newborn clothing so I hope this will be useful in a couple of months.

Lousy photo - it's a very soft green which my mum says is vile! Ha!
And I am also playing about with a design of the non-subtle variety for a baby jacket / cardigan, and actually KNITTING IT instead of thinking about it.

This is a sleeve, and I rather like it so far.
More than anything it simply feels so good to have been able to get some knitting / crafting done.

I appear to be trendy.
(insert snort of laughter here)
I spotted this in the most recent Millie Makes, which I still think is a fine and dandy little magazine.
Guess who bought this fabbo book when it came out?

Creative Walls, lovely book.
I hope everyone is well - best wishes,
Sulky the Trendsetter.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


I seem to have a hectic social life.
OK, so it's all based around hospital appointments but just let me imagine it's a social life please ...

I have lost the usual few days to the meths as expected and have also had the extra delights of being bloated up like a pink haired balloon by the steroids. Thank gawd they have ended now, I really hope the extra weight starts to come off soon as it's just one more misery on top of everything else - nothing much in the grand scheme of things I know, but it isn't just looking larger (and at just under 5ft I cannot carry off any extra weight) but the fact I feel so solidly heavy and round - it's uncomfortable, not just wibblywobbly fat.

And the sweating, oh dear lord the sweating! I assume it's the steroids, I spent the weekend drenched.
Nice eh - I cannot understand why I am single, who could possibly resist a short, fat, shuffling and limping woman who feels sick and farts and belches all weekend whilst dripping with sweat??

Hey ho.

I was at the Drs Monday morning for blood tests - my lovely mum came through for the day and came with me, then it was on to the hospital for Occupation Therapy in the afternoon.
Long long session BUT with the most fabulous woman ever, Lynn is a total star and gave me a huge hug as I left and announced loudly 'I really like you!'
Well Lynn, the feeling is mutual.

Amazingly the first of the 'aids' she suggested arrived the next morning!

I am officially 93. I ain't admitting what she sent just yet as I am still struggling to find the funny side of it ....

In a desperate attempt to convince myself I am actually gaining something from this enforced 'rest' I have pottered about today taking piccies - ironically some of the very quick point and shoot photos have come out better than when I fanny about fiddling with knobs (oo er!) and dials.

I have taken advantage of the lovely sun outside and the fact that my legs and hands appear to be working today to plant up some more veggies and salad bits. The lettuce has been gazing at me in a pitiful manner asking to be planted up, there's also coriander, basil, dwarf beans, peas and spinach. Will give it a good water in an hour or so when the suns gone down a bit - there is another similar but larger planter full of pretty much the same that I planted a while ago but it isn't exactly thriving.

The teeny tiny garden continues to give me a lot of pleasure, things are sprouting all over the place.


(the world's smallest honeysuckle) - and incredibly it looks like my hydrangea plant will flower!

All in small pots and all seem happy.

I started doing a cross stitch of some stargazer lillies which are my very favourite flower, but have had to admit defeat for now on the grounds of poor hands / eyes / concentration. BUT it seems I CAN do tapestry - it's light enough for my hands most of the time and much easier for me to see / concentrate on.

I treated myself with my birthday money and bought this kit:

These are selling for an incredible £495 when completed - when I say 'selling' I mean that's what they are advertised at - whether they actually sell for that I don't know. I am thoroughly enjoying this, much more than I thought I would. Plus I can do it whilst navel gazing or watching telly.

YES I KNOW IT HAS MISTAKES! No, I don't really care. I will mend the blue bit that's a bit iffy but other hiccups can damned well stay there. What I have carefully cropped out is the scrunched up, grubby looking bit of waste canvas to the left where I gather it up in my mitts whilst stitching ;-)

I like this so much I bought Emily's new book:

which, although I like it, isn't all to my taste. I do however very much like this one from it:

I do like the way the book is a mixture of needlecrafts and not 'just' cross stitch based. The flying heart towards the end is superb too.

Very little knitting has taken place - I made something cute for a swap but it has not yet arrived and of course I didn't take any piccies of it. Grrrr. I got bored with my crochet (fickle, that's me) but have started on this:

Out of the depths of my imagination. Ha.

I have a DLA assessment tomorrow which I am truly dreading, then the consultant next week. See, my social calender is overflowing.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Sunshine, wimpy English rose and niceness.

Sunshine - by ek we have a lot of it! I managed a grand total of 35 minutes in the garden before I had to admit defeat and come back inside, am a bit on the striped pink and white side (good old English summer colouring) and was literally dripping when I was out. Betcha wanted to know that - I think it's a side effect of the tablets along with the nausea etc etc etc (bloody sodding things, I am pretty sick of all of it today).

Anyway, it's a beautiful day and set to be the same again tomorrow before the weather breaks again. So maybe another half hour smothered in factor 30. My teeny tiny garden is looking pretty and there are LOADS of green shoots and buds so it should be really nice in a few more weeks.

Here are a few of the birthday goodies - I am so moved by them. I keep saying I have very few friends, which is true - but by hell I have  LOT of fabulous 'online' friends.

How great is this? And unzip it's mouth and it says - this will mean less than nowt to anyone not on British Banter on Ravelry, sorry -

Ha, brilliant!
I love handmade gifts, absolutely love them.

This made my mum laugh lots when I read it to her over the phone, she's now called Dammit Janet. The doll not my mum. But you knew that. What isn't visible is the tiny pink tummy button button!

LOVE these - despite Rebsy's fears that they would only fit skelly hands they fit my (chubby) hands perfectly and I love them.

Daphne has a lovely new friend, called Lizzy after my nana.

I just don't know - Lizzy seems quiet and rather naive at the moment (unlike my nan) and hid under a cover for the whole of the Grand Prix on Sunday. But somehow I suspect this will wear off as soon as Daffers starts 'educating' her ...

You think I am being a bit harsh towards Daphne?
This is what she did with a lovely gift she received recently.

PSidney continues to be extremely lovely - he's a real little (fat) character and I love him to bits, every squeaky greedy funny bit of him.
I had a long long cuddle with him last night as I was feeling rather peed off with life, we both nodded off!

He had been chewing carrots hence the yellowy mush - NOT smoking fags as a certain someone suggested!
He is hard to get decent piccies of as he tries to eat the camera every time.

Awwww, I love piggies.

I have even managed to get pretty much all of the crochet part of The Bag finished ready to sew together (in green) - material, bits and bobs etc for the rest of it should be here tomorrow. I need to get this made before the ever increasing plans for it in my head get totally out of control. I am making it up as I go and so far it tentatively involves knitting, crochet, sewing, applique and at this rate probably pottery, woodwork and sky diving.

I am VERY pleased with the colours and the pattern, hell they might not be perfect but they make me smile.
I love the Rowan Handknit cotton as it is soft enough for my sore hands and I love the colours - very pleased so far.

No idea how much I will get done over the weekend as I am pretty much resigned to the Methotrexate knocking the stuffing out of me again, but I think I am getting better at NOT setting myself rigid deadlines. Sounds silly to say I am getting better at 'doing nothing', but I suspect some folk out there will know what I mean.