Saturday, 29 September 2012


Well, Wednesday's hospital trip was rather impressive.

1) due for scans at 8.30am. Told wasn't booked in, but would do them anyway. Then sonographer said I didn't need them until November, that someone at RA clinic had bodged up, and sent me to my RA appointment.

2) consultant at RA clinic said I DID need them as it's the end of my first year on this trial and that I need to come back on Monday - at 8.30am again. Joy.

3) long talk with consultant, lots of proddy tests on my poor old bod. Consultant agrees with Doc that I also have fibro. Goes to talk to The Prof (the big boss).

4) The Prof appears and is fabulous as usual. Decides I would 'be fabulous' for a new trial, with infusions of Tociluzimab (Altizumab)(ProActemra) - a relatively new drug, very difficult to get on the NHS but available now via trials.

More on this to come, it is a VERY interesting and potentially very exciting drug for RA sufferers. My consultant - The Prof - is one of the top bods in the country / Europe / world for RA, and as it is a teaching hospital they have excellent access to trials.

5) I have the usual 8 phials of blood taken (literally), X-rays of feet and hands, weight (lots), height (little), waist (fat), hips (fatter), ANOTHER proddy test with a different nurse etc etc.


I left with an appointment for the damned scans on Monday, and will be getting an appointment for The Trial in a month, then one for a carpal tunnel injection into my other wrist asap, another one with Oc Therapy for night time gloves and soft splints for my hands.

Next time I think I will take a duvet, pillow and teddy. Bear, not lingerie.

To be eligible for the New Trial I have to have been on meths for at least a month - they have taken me off the injections (hurrah!) and put me back on tablets, but with strict orders to take the stronger anti-emetics regularly.
I had them on Thursday (takes Thursday's tablet total to something silly like 5 thousand), so far exhausted but OK.

Right - craftiness.
Things have progressed considerably since I took the following pics a couple of days ago-
this cardi for my daughter is now finished apart from buttons, which have been ordered.
The needles are blissful - Pavi needles, smooth but most importantly, light. And pretty.

I also started knitting a mega chunky cabled jumper for her - last night - and am already up to the armhole shaping on the front! This thing grows when I turn away, I am sure of it.

These little stitchery munchkins arrived so I have no reason other than utter ineptitude for messing up my next attempt at the crewel work - will have to rummage for some more substantial fabric tomorrow.

And I bought two of the new Louisa Harding booklets, which although a bit 'samey' (which is why I have not ordered this year's winter Kim Hargreaves, same old same old) still have some rather knittable patterns.
I particularly like this kimono-esque one, could be very flattering. There is also a lovely jumper in the other booklet but the photo I took is too blurry.
And I have many of these. And plans.
Right, that's enough for now, I am sure you are nodding off.
Enjoy the weekend x


Tuesday, 25 September 2012


I hope everyone is safe, and that the floods are keeping away - it looks seriously nasty on the news and my mum's garden is under water. We have agreed that it's not worth her trying to travel here tomorrow for my hospital appointments (she always comes through because she is the best mum ever), most of the trains etc are struggling to run.

So it looks like it will be my luvverly daughter picking me up on the way to the hospital - I have strict orders to feed her!

Health- not brilliant, but thankfully not the worst it has been. The neckpain and backpain seem to have made friends with my kneesies and hands, and are taking it in turns to play up and keep me away, as are the horrendous nightmares (which I suspect are linked to starting Amitrippy pills again). Hey ho.

But I have - slowly - very sloooooowly - been managing to Make Things. Or at least start to Make Things.

Go on, you may laugh - let's just say this is going in the bin and I am starting again when I get an embroidery hoop, different fabric and some sort of knowledge of what I am supposed to be doing. It looks like it was stitched by a gang of monkeys high on bath salts. Blind monkeys. With no arms.
Dearie me - in my defence, yer 'onour, I have never ever attempted anything like this before.
And looking at it maybe I never should ....

But the silly thing - I LOVED every second of it! Which is why I want to start again and try and do it properly, and have a good look online first to gather any tips. Chain stitch - fine, backstitch - fine. Satin stitch? SHOCKING.

Thankfully not everything I am making is this dire - the gorgeous dress of delights is coming on well, the body is finished and is languishing while I finish a cardi for my daughter (that makes it sound like she is a toddler!).
Considering it is in 4ply this flew - nice easy knitting, very relaxing on an evening infront of the telly, I really like how the shoulders have worked out -

and I think the squared neckline will be nice on. Maybe a touch too high for me but I am sure I can work something out there.
I have done about 8 crochet thingies, so only (ha) 72 to go .....
I was going to make the underskirt in cerise, but think it might be better in black with a bright pink petticoat underneath. No idea where I would wear it as I don't exactly have a wild social life but it makes me smile.

Aprt from this little lot, and the cardi (to be put away for Christmas so I am bound to lose it), I have been reading (which is totally dependent on my brain) - currently reading The Night Circus, and also Some Kind of Fairy Tale - quite enjoying both.

It's weird where the time goes - not long ago I was grateful for any time spare at the end of a working day, when planning, marking etc was finished - but now, when I pretty much have all day every day spare, I don't seem to get much done at all.

I know I am at home BECAUSE I am ill, and BECAUSE I am ill I therefore cannot do much etc etc etc , one long mad circle, but still it's a strange thing to think a day has gone past and I have achieved so little. I know I need to adjust what I class as 'achieving' now but it's changing the habits of a working lifetime and not easy.
For example - a normal day in The Old Life would have been leaving home at 7.15am, walks, buses, then a pretty strenuous (mentally and physically depending on how many restraints with the kids), usually stressful day, then staff meetings, then walks, buses, then the gym and a swim, then shopping - then another bus and sometimes home at around 7pm+. And I loved it.

Now I feel chuffed if I manage to hoover, or have a bath, or as today - pull a pair of tights on and lace my shoes!

Doesn't quite compare does it.

And I cannot even do crewel work! Buggerit!

That's about it, hospital tomorrow - early, for scans then to see the consultant and the RA nurse etc etc. Usually knockes me sideways, so 'going to the hospital' will be my achievement for the day!

Hope all's well.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Trippy pills.

My Dr agrees that I seem to have all the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, as well as the ME and the RA etc etc etc. Joy.

Although it's a depressing addition, it certainly explains a hell of a lot of the things that don't quite fit with the RA - plus I have had a dreadfully painful neck, both sides, for ages now. Anyway, she topped up my usual tablets, added in amitriptyline and stronger anti-emetics and I started them last night.
Slept like a baby, apart from some bizarreness involving Romney and Obama, I know not why - BUT today I have been so spaced out and zombified! Not totally unpleasant until the shakes started - I think the amitrip didn't like something I am already taking, so will have to experiment until it's more workable.

Apart from that -
Whilst sorting through the horros of upstairs, I dug out a dress I must have cut out a year ago. I still like the pattern and the fabric is lovely, so was chuffed to bits - cutting things out is the hard part with sore hands. Have started sewing it, done the back, and need to mark all the pleats at the front neckline - other than that it's a very fast, simple job - a day's work if I had thought to mark everything in advance.
Should be nice with tights and boots and a cardi for Autumn. Could even work for over Winter if I find a nice knit fabric.

I also dug out this:
which is destined to become part of a 40s / 50s style dress. The skulls are a slightly odd colour, a creamy peachy shade which I wasn't too keen on but it has grown on me and not as in yer face as pure white.
I love sewing - have left my machine set up on the table as I cannot lift it out every time I want to sew, and might get my daughter to help me cut things out so I have plenty of things ready to sew.

Knitting-wise, the dress of madness is coming on nicely - the bodice only needs about another inch or two then the sleeves. The skirt - yikes! For some reasons I had imagined it needing maybe 20 crochet motifs but 80+ - arrrggghhhhhhhhh! Erm - so far I have done 4....

Good job I don't mind moths (well I do mind if they are scoffing my wool, but I don't loathe them like I do buggerflies) - this whopper was perfectly happy in the living room the other day.
I like moths - I like the dustiness, the colours, the furry fuzzy bodies and the general chunkiness of them - there is something earthy about them. Buggerflies - shudder, I cannot stand them!

And to finish with, after all the furore on the news about Kate Middleton being naive enough to whip her kit off (this does tend to be a technological age with long range lenses etc - surely there are plenty of places to sunbathe topless othere than a country where Diana, Charles, Fergie have all been papped - not at once cos that would be puke-inducing). How many of you have actually had a peep online at the naughty pics?

Ah yes - you at the back, thought you would!

But for those who have resisted, would you like a sneak peek at Kate's tit?

Here ya go:




Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Sulky Cat

The original and best.

Someone on Etsy - and Twitter - has started using the name sulky cat, sometimes with and sometimes without the word 'creations' or 'creates' attached.

This merely made me raise an eyebrow at first - but I am increasingly annoyed by it.

Without going into too many details, I have been on Etsy for years, this shop started a few months ago.
She says she checked the name first - as I pointed out, if you Google it the first few entries are mine .It isn't rocket science.

She says I must not discuss it on Ravelry again, and not to contact her except through a solicitor as my messages via Etsy are 'harsh words' - I can assure you that they are not, they are professional and polite.

If it was me, and someone pointed out I had 'inadvertently' used an established name, I would change it in a heartbeat - party from embarrassment, but mainly because surely the whole point is to have an individual, ideally unique name? I have been sulkycat in various places for many years - online for well over ten, on Ravelry since 2007, Etsy since 2009, on sewing labels all over the world (almost literally) for many years - the fact I do not sell much lately due to illness is neither here nor there, it is an established part of my online persona.
The name has been used at craft fairs for years, I have banners, business cards, the whole drum kit n caboodle. What a farce!

So I want to make it clear - the other 'sulkycat/creates/creations' is NOT me and has absolutely nothing to do with me.

If anyone can advise me regarding intellectual property infringement I would be very grateful, thank you - either via comments (which are moderated so if need be nobody else need read it) or via Rav.

Thanks for reading,
the original

Thursday, 13 September 2012


So tired! Certainly - and thankfully - a bit better than yesterday. Had double sleeping tabs last night which worked, by bedtime my eyes belonged to a week old sparrow and my head was in another county somewhere. Horrid, really horrid dreams but slept.

Have spent today snoozing on the settee and watching some laptop telly - really enjoyed The Scapegoat. Have eaten a handful of gluten free pretzels and some strawberries (thanks mum, mum dropped off a load of gluten free nibbles and some fruit for me yesterday), a couple of glasses of water and thats it.

I ordered myself this lovely pattern, something to work on as and when my hands are up to it - not my usual thing at all but I really like it (obviously, or it would be pretty pointless buying it):

It's from PosieGetsCosie (blog), I think either on cream or grey, with plenty of pinks and greens in the stitchery - I have loads of threads upstairs and possibly some fabric that would work.

I am currently knitting away on this fabulous dress:
which I absolutely love, but by hell it's slow going. 4 ply, black, and as I don't like using circulars i is all crammed onto one straight at the mo, I think I am onto around 400 stitches and it's a squish! I am convinced I will snap the needle if I squish too many more on ...

So far I am onto the top down yoke and maybe 10 rows from dividing for the sleeves, which will speed things up a bit. I have been pretty much focusing on this lately, but think it will become a 'few rows a night' knit while I work on some faster moving things as well.

I have this beastly thing to finish off-
beautiful isn't it ? Would I recommend it - not a cat in hell's chance. Worst pattern ever, riddled with mistakes, some of which are just plain lazy. No idea if it will fit or be wearable but am onto joining the crochet bits together readyt o sew on, then it's done. Bloody thing - it's so annoying when a pattern turns out to be so poorly written, it's supposed to be relaxing to knit, not infuriating.

Might even get round to taking piccies tomorrow - have been so disheartned with the above jacket and things in general I haven't kept up with photographing projects as I go.
I have finished two more blocks for the throw I am knitting myself, and joined the first rowof four, and love it so far so that's something I really should get piccies of.

It's getting so chilly here I also need to knit faster, I think it's going to be needed soon!

That's it for now, but will leave you with two things that have made me grin over the last few days, enjoy.

 and I must have one of these:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Burp.and possibly Parp too.

Was supposed to be at the hospital today for scans and the usual RA nurse, Dr, consultant, bloods session but had a rubbish night and a dashing to the loo morning so gave up and cancelled. Don't think I have ever had to cancel a hospital appointment because of illness before, more than a tad ironic.

The hospital rang me later this morning when I was in bed and told me no meths injections for a few weeks to see if it's that making me ill, but also said it could be some sort of flu etc as it came on so hard and so fast. Whatever it is I don't like it and don't want it and wish it would pack it's spotty hanky, tie it on a stick and sod off.

To me, being able to sit upright isn't 'real' flu - dear lord is it man flu???         !     

Have taken double dose of slepy tabs tonight as I seriously need a decent amount of sleep, kneesies and other parts are not at all happy today. Am also bloody freezing cold. Kerri tucked a throw over my knees earlier so that's it, it's official - I am ancient.

Keef dug out his favourite teefs to cheer me up, bless his little cold heart.

The windmills make me smile every time, I make no secret of being mostly about 6 years old.

But this picture worries me and fills me with the dread of what is to come - avert your eyesies if easily upset.


                                                                         UH OH
It REALLY HAS GONE HASN'T IT, that elusive summer thing. I think there was a week in March, a day in April, a week in May when it was very hot and then these last few days have been lovely. I have freckles to prove it.

We. Are. Doomed.

But may I leave you with something magnifico I managed to make before I was clobbered with the plague this week - I hope it wasn't the cause of the plague!

I come from a  family of fantastic Yorkshire Pud makers, and many of us have photos to prove it - when you have to move the shelf down to accommodate ones pud it's a good sign.
Dearest readers, may I ever so umbly present:

me pud


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Dyeing. In a nice way.

This is what's happening chez Sulks at the moment:

pink carnage.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe I have been dyeing my hair for a zillion years - when I STILL manage to make a mess like this:

The grouting over the bath has a definite pinkish glow to it after nine years living here ;-)

I am struggling lately with this pink hair lark - am I waaaay too old to get away with it? One day I might like to meet some blokie, but suspect (ok, am 99% certain) that the pink hair will be a definite put off for many a man. The colour it was at a certain woolly event recently was way too garish for me, but I left it too late to cover it up or try and wash it out a bit.

I don't know - to go darker or lighter? I am blonde under this lot, quite fair blonde but look godawful with bleached white hair. It looks vile black and when my roots come through it looks like my hair is floating on my head, not the best look I have ever managed.

Took a break to rinse the dye out - it looks like it's a damned good match for my bathroom walls which is novel and not the intention! Wilkes fuchsia, rather lovely and very deep. Richer in reality than in this piccy.
Great for walls - hair? Hmmmm....
Have slapped a deep conditioning treatment on, and a facepack - I look stunning.

Being an old fart, I remember when hairdye was incredibly hard to get hold of, especially where I lived - train to York or Darlington to find any. Toyah had her makeup and hair range out in the early 80s (yes I am old) but it was cheap and nasty - even then I knew it was cheap and nasty! As for gel etc - one cheapo type in a tub, one strong type of spray - sugar and water, hairdryer, hairspray = excellent mohican but chased by wasps most sunny days.

Bleached hair then food colouring worked quite well, I had pink streaks when I was 13 and haven't looked back since! I think it's been every colour under the sun, the day I moved to York to go to art college I shaved the sides off and dyed it bright blue, gave my landlady the shock of her life when I came back downstairs.
I got married with it in a green and red mohican thing, with full blown Toyah flames makeup - subtle eh.

But now - let's just say it is rather a long time since I was 13. Or at college. I am feeling very fat (thank you medication and lack of mobility), frumpy, stuck in a rut and OLD. There is definitely one reason for this - apart from the hard to ignore fact that all are TRUE - having lusty thoughts about someone who is younger than one's daughter is a wake up call!

Can you tell I am a bit off kilter with all the rambling?
Thursday is Methotrexate day and I have been feeling as sick as a dog since last weeks injection. Really bad today, yuk - hospital tomorrow for the usual scans then the consultant so have a list of alternative anti-emetics to discuss with them. Throw in a pretty dire stomach upset (also I suspect due to the meths), a very painful neck, flare ups in knees and right hand and you have a pretty miserable Sulkycat.

Thank goodness for my luvverly family and friends, seriously needed at the moment to keep my little pink head above water.

Moan over for now.

On a lighter note - after the evil little red beetles attacked my beloved lilies earlier this year I threw most of the plants away - I left one, stripped all the leaves from it and left it to it. I am thrilled to see it has done this:

Absolutely beautiful - my very favourite flower. Tis the little things that matter and this little thing has made me incredibly happy today.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


Over used word, but it definitely sums up the last week and a bit - the Paralympics.
 Utterly wonderful stuff. Has anyone else been watching The Last Leg, shown on four after the Paralympics each night? If not, do try and catch one or two online, funny, light hearted, clever and very interesting. Thoroughly enjoyed it and laughed out loud several times.

I cannot believe how much sport I have watched lately - and how much I have loved it! I am the least sporty person I know, faked asthma attacks at school to get out of running, had more periods than was humanly possible to avoid the showers etc. Loathed PE, loathed it. The smell of the changing rooms and the gym, yuk.

But the Paralympics has truly given me a boost - I am hoping to try Riding for the Disabled soon, haven't been riding for too many years but as RfortheD can get me safely into the saddle and off again, I am hoping splints on my wrists etc should make it possible - only one way to find out.

Here are some of my very favourite moments from the Paralympics:

Be still my beating heart - the utterly sextastic David Anthony, playing murderball (wheelchair rugby).

Jonnie Peacock, what a lovely young lad. Inspirational? Definitely.
LOVED the clip of what he was actually shouting as he crossed the finishing line ;-)

Jody Cundy's hissy fit - which is now coined as 'chucking a Cundy'!
I know it isn't the done thing, but blimey it was heartfelt - I didn't have a problem with it at all, it showed passion. He apologised, has laughed at himself, and will probably have to keep laughing at it because it isn't going to go away quickly!
David Weir - I mean, what can you say? The man is a legend - words don't even begin to describe him. He is calm, honest, unassuming, modest and the most dedicated, hard working and determined athlete - superb.
Even finds time to unzip his top, what more can anyone ask!
One of the best shots of this victory lap was the sight of Hannah's colourful socks from the back of her wheelchair! Lovely lovely woman - and a Yorkshire girl too.

There are more to come another day - Ellie, Lee, the fencer who  was pronged in the ging-gang-goolies ....

Can you tell I have loved it?

In other news, PSidney and I have had some sunshine - hasn't the weather been fabulous! I think it's forecast to change as from tomorrow so make the most of it while it lasts.

He loves being in the sun and sings away to me.
And yes I AM in my jimjams and no I don't care.

Go on, go and have a peep at The Last Leg, you know you want to find the answer to important questions like this one:

And just because he makes me smile so much, here's another piccy of Mr Anthony

Saturday, 1 September 2012


I am so cold! Currently snuggled into my dressing gown, on top of my clothes, and socks. Brrrrrrr.

Firstly a quick word about why I am now moderating comments - a certain silly person seems to think I am perfectly fit for work and that I need reporting to the DWP for pulling a con, and has been sending increasingly bizarre messages. Obviously I would much rather be living on the breadline rather than back in my beloved career where I eared a pretty decent wage ... They don't bother me in the slightest but are not the sort of thing anyone else needs to read, hence moderating them.

Moving on.

Health isn't brilliant. I started on the methotrexate injections again two weeks ago, have done two of them at home and although I am not at all happy about putting that damned yellow poison into my system I do hope it will do some good this time round. Last time they increased the dose every week to get me to the maximum asap and I was pretty ill with it, so this time it is a 10ml dose for the next few weeks then up very slowly and carefully monitored.

I have plenty of anti-emetics for the side effects and the name of another to ask for at the drs if needed. I stayed home from Thursday to Thursday this last week, seemed to be one thing after another (upset tum, exhaustion, horrendous nights etc). It's just a case of taking each day as it comes.

Several times I have eaten a plate of beige.
As innocuous as possible (the cheese scones are home made, gluten free and not too bad at all).

Not a huge lot of craftiness has been happening. I had the most fabulous weekend in the Lakes, surrounded by loving, genuine, kind people. Couldn't have been any better.

I am plodding through a jacket I have loved since seeing the pattern on Ravelry but it has to be the most poorly written pattern ever. Riddled with mistakes, even down to mixing up the left and right. I am determined to finish it but am pretty much making it up as I go now.

Piccies to come unless I set fire to it / throw it to the wolves.

I bought this recently, there are a couple of dresses and a nice top I hope to make at some point.

I also bought the pattern for this rather lovely dress:
Spotted on Roobedoo's blog, the pattern is from here:
I spotted some nice black (what else) silky fabric on the market, will pop back next week maybe and get it. I think a couple of these will be very handy for the winter, especially as they just pull on over the head so no tricky zips or buttons for sore fingers to cope with. I quite fancy a polka dot version too ...

The garden is doing OK despite this sort of 'summer' weather:

(fir cone, not floating poo)
There was a lightning strike a couple of miles down from here during this storm, it blew up a tree!

But my beloved plants have done their funky thing. My favourite at the moment is this wonderful hydrangea which goes from an acid green to pure white and then to pink tinges.

Highly recommend. I just spotted it in the new Autumn catalogue from Sarah Raven here: hydrangea-paniculata-limelight. Not cheap (I got this one when it was on offer) but so pretty.

Right, that's about it for today. I hope anyone reading is well.
Happy weekend.