Tuesday, 31 December 2013


Flying visit- health is dire, one thing after another hence very little blogging.

I don't even know if anyone still bothers to check this blog!

But this has shaken me - I taught this girl for a few years at a PRU (pupil referral unit) here in Leeds. She is very vulnerable, looks mid 20s but has the emotional age of around 10, and struggles to read or write. There is a big police search ongoing.

Obviously anyone stumbling across this tired blog who sees / has seen her, do contact the given number. Thank you for taking the time to read.


Jamie Lee

thankfully Jamie Lee has been found and is safe.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Killing Joke.

Thoroughly enjoyed this:

(apparently it is clips, dubbed with subtitles that - er - don't quite translate exactly) ;-)

But I don't really care - I think it's fab.


Saturday, 23 November 2013


Piccies. I have them.
Many many piccies.

I let PSidney have a scamper on the settee next to me, with his favourite cover down. I also gave him a mirror and some toys, to stop him getting bored.

Here's me thinking that was a Good Thing to do.  Sid seemed to think differently.

See - who is that Sid? Go and have a look.

Little scamp. He was straight through one strandbefore I got it out of his mouth. One strand that happened to be attached to some Christmas pressie knitting. Sid!

This is how many of the photos came out. This gives the impression that Sid moves quickly -do not be fooled. He moves like a slug, unless there is lettuce on offer in which case it's warp factor 73.

Look Sid! A piggy in the mirror! Look!


Eat it! Knitting bag owl! Eat it!
Cheeky! Lovely Amber made me that owl! Gerrof.

So I shoved said knitting bag out of sight beside me:



I love (and at the same time feel sad) how whiskery old he is looking in these photos. He isn't on top form and hasn't been for quite a while - he doesn't seem to be in pain anywhere and is eating and drinking, just not as sparky as he once was. When I get him out all he wants to do is eat, be cuddled, lick my hand and go to sleep. I know how he feels. Minus the hand-licking bit.
Lovely little fatty.

Knitting is happening, on and off. More off than on because of my hands. In a way I will be glad when this drugs trial ends because I can then have treatment on my hands (not allowed at the moment as it would skew the results); they could both do with carpal tunnel operations, so hopefully in the new year.
Talking of which, not much RA improvement sadly, if anything things have become a bit worse because of the side effects of this new drug. My hospital-friend, who started on the same day as me (I was the first person on this trial, J started 5 minutes after me) has had definite improvement, and is delighted (and I am thrilled for her, she is so lovely). So hopefully this drug is going to be a big boost for many, without the horrible chemo-side effects of methotrexate.


This is newish - on the way asap as a pattern. I have given up on making deadlines for myself, life with RA and ME isn't deadline friendly. But it's almost there. Nothing earth shattering, but I like it.
Plus there is this:

 from last year and still not written up. Maybe next Christmas? 2031? Yes?

Hope any remaining readers are well.
Keep warm.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


Tempting isn't it - what happened to those crisp Autumnal days where prancing through the leaves was too crunchy to resist? This year has been mostly soggy and grey, ick. I keep collecting rather beautiful leaves from the big tree in the garden, planning to do something arty with them - then they go all crumbly and end up in the bin.
Mum dipped some leaves in wax for a school project of mine when I was about 8, I should give that a go - some of these leaves are gorgeous and I know that poor tree will be bare as a bare thing before long.

No photos today - I thought I had lots of recentish ones already downloaded but apparently not.
Must remedy that - I tend to use this half-hearted blog as a visual diary for me, and do like skimming through my favourite photos.

In fact I might go and start sorting the lack of piccies thing now - I cannot think of much to write about off the top of my head, other than the usual health trials and tribulations.

And before I forget (use this as reminder, Sulks!) - inspired by Roobedo's '40 before 50' I think I might play about with something similar. 48 next year. Yikes ....

Back soon.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Well hello there, you little minx you.

Haven't seen you for a while - yes YOU,you luvverly thing you.
Waddya mean it's my fault for never posting? Sigh.
In other words I seemed to vanish for a while.

The puddytat- no idea whose it is,  but it is so friendly! Just like dafty Peter from over the road , remember him? Mr Handsome who wanders into anyone's house and makes himself at home -  the old bloke over the road said he came down one morning and found Peter fast asleep in his armchair, and his own cat was just ignoring everything!

Hello Peter.
Pretty black and white cat wandered into the house, sat down and had a wash then did that ' I am soooo hungry and look how sweet I am and did I say I was hungry?' thing, rubbing against my legs.
Loads of  cats in this little street, but these two are the friendliest.

So, Sulks, what ever have you been up to then?  Anything exciting?
Health issues still dominate life /  lack of social life etc. Still  plodding to hospital every 4 weeks for  the drug trial infusion, still seeming to develop new side effects. On the Thursday just gone the consultant double checked all my results and announced 'You have actually got worse since we started!', which wasn't quite what I wanted to hear.
My lovely nurse reassured me that there were plenty of other things to try now I am on biologics. Moving into a bungalow and getting a mobility scooter has been discussed but I really do NOT want to take that step (no pun intended) for a long time. I really like this ridiculously tiny house.

Weekly drug trial Methotrexate. Very tightly monitored; lots of paperwork, return all bottles etc etc. 'Tis a double blind test to see if the new drug works as efficiently WITHOUT the dreaded meths. 6 of these brown horse pills every week.
Spot the mistake above?
Come on, there are only 3 of us on this trial on a given day, 15 in  total. It takes over 4 hours for the infusion and medical checks. And you still cannot count!
Plus the pills come in impossible bottles - I have to use a knife to get into them, another patient said she has to get her son to open them. Hey, you people with fucked up hands! Let's have a bit of fun and see you try to open these little bombproof buggers!

This is the pitiful face of a not-very-well piggy. Poor Sid, definitely not his usual dafty self lately. He hasn't any sore spots (he lets me manhandle him easily), but this sums up what he was like for a few weeks. Thankfully he seems to be a bit perkier at the moment, and snuggled with me last  night singing away to himself whilst trying to shove lettuce andgrapes into his mouth as fast as possible.

Look at those piggylips! Awwwwwwwww. I love Sidney.
Ooooh - Sid's Aunty Pat and Aunty Nimbii bought him a fab present, look!

Knitting has been happening, designing is ongoing, energy  is needed.
Sewing has not happened despite the urge (hands just too painful).
Painting has been tentatively started.
Much loved family member who is seriously ill is doing much better,which is incredible and too wonderful for words. None of us are under any delusions and take one day at a time, but to know things are more bearable lately is enough for now.
I have some other health worries at the mo, waiting for an 'urgent' referral. Whatever the results we will deal with it. I should probably be more worried than I am, but amshoving itto the back of my mind,  most of the time.

I did tell the hospital Dr I was going to go home and eat chocolate, and that if I wasn't in a diabetic coma by midnight summat was wrong! Considering it's mostly my hands and knees that are affected  that poor Doc has seen far too many of my bodily parts.

Right, that's it for now.
I have realised, whilst typing this drivel, that I do enjoy blogging - I  am a visual person, and being able to add piccies to my mumblings is good for me. I am not into artyfarty journalling despite several attempts but this works, sort of.


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Did you hear about the poorly frog? It croaked.

Today I am mostly doing a Darth Vader meets  Donald  Duck impression.
I had an endoscopy yesterday, that was no fun, no fun at all.

The sedative was wonderful,  blissfully so and started me off talking about licking chips (allegedly). Sadly, the sedative didn't kick in until AFTER the endoscopy. No throat spray. Nowt.

Pain experienced: 10/10
Dignity preserved: -3 / 10

Don't get me wrong - the nurses were lovely and very kind.  But the (nice) young Dr didn't know where anything (including the sharps bin, cotton wool etc) was and said it was her first time in that hospital.
It showed.
The lady who followed me out an hour later, to the recovery room, was in tears as her endoscopy was  'not tolerated'. Hmmmm....

I am in bed, and have been for most of the day. I am aiming  to stay here until ooooh, October. In fact let's just sleep through November, it has little else to recommend itself.

I had most of the results yesterday, and biopsies are due back Friday. There's quite enough wrong to be going on with. Buggerit.


Now then - am I the only  person who looks at these (patterns for children) and feels decidedly uncomfortable?

Children in general are naturally beautiful. They don't need to pout or thrust their hips out, or wear pencil skirts. Am I alone in thinking this? Not bitching, just genuinely curious.

On a lighter note, let me leave you with a combination of some of my favourite things - munkeys and piggies.

** all images stolen from the interweb, do shout out if they are yours

Monday, 2 September 2013

Keep on keeping on.

Beautiful, isn't it?
I LOVE pink and green  together (and poiple and green) and this plant is perfection. £4 very well spent methinks.
Hydrangeas are gorgeous, alone or en masse, like this fresh in the garden or as dried flower heads in a vase inside (fresh and green like this is best, in my opinion).

And I love these dwarf sunflowers - only a few survived, but they are so bright and cheerful.
Those centre seeds are mesmerising - come on mathematicians, you know what I am about to say don't you!
Golden Ratio, Fibonacci - go on, use your Google-fu and have a read. I like (and liked) maths (unusual apparently in someone who is definitely more English and  Arts inclined). In particular I like maths in nature, and maths puzzles, possibly because of the sheer visual beauty involved. Beautiful maths?  Oh yes, just go and have a look. Pinecones, Nautilus shells, flower petals, cauliflowers - this site has some good information.

(Maths with an s. Why is it called 'math' in America? It isn't 'mathematic', it's 'mathematics'. Edjumacate me please. While you are at it please also explain the use of  'I could care less'. The phrase is 'I couldn't care less'- otherwise it simply makes no sense at all when used in context!).

And relax.
Anyway - here is another photo of that beautiful Golden Ratio.

Yes it's a tad blurred, yes I do care, no I cannot afford a new camera.

I had to nip out armed with pink wool, and retie all the lilies, the sunfleur and the bean plants, it is howling wind here (last night was so noisy). I can  hear a plant pot (hopefully not one that has a plant in) blowing about out there so will have to go and find it, and give it a stern talking to.

Health continues to be bonkers-  was rushed from my usual infusion appointment to A&E at Jimmy's here in Leeds (no infusion, just lots of tests).  I  set off from home at 8am and returned at about 7.45PM. Long,long day, mostly sitting (and my RA was already flaring; sitting in one place for so long didn't help at  all). There's a suspicion that the Naproxen has caused a bleed in my stomach, have been really stuggling lately.
I won't go into detail but it involved many drs, consultants,nurses etc etc.
I was looked after wonderfully well, cannot fault anyone (my RA nurse in particular was superb). I was only allowed home with the promise of going staight to A&E if things got worse (theywanted to keep me in for at least three days - no thank you).

I was back on Friday for more tests, that was a 3 hour session. The RA pain is pretty bad as I have no anti-inflammatory at the moment, until they find out what's going on.

I go back on Tuesday for an endoscopy (gulp. Literally). I am not looking forward to that at all but hey ho.

Compared to what a much loved and very close family member is going through, this is nothing. I am desperately worried about them - they are very worried about me. That's just how it is.

Some  knitting is happening, on and off. Forgive the rather garish photo, the one without  the flash was the opposite and far too dark. This is for my neighbour, baby boy due at any time. More to come soon, if it works out as well as hoped I will be releasing it as a pattern. This is in el cheapo wool, StyleCraft Life (not lice as initially typed) DK, and so far so good. I do love corrugated ribbing! Two sleeves, two fronts and the beginnings of the  back are done. I can confirm that intarsia is not my strong point!
I am going to print out a fingerless mitts pattern to take with me tomorrow, not sure which  yet or what wool.

That's pretty much it for now. To sum up my brain lately, have a scary photo. I couldn't find my glasses anywhere, until I saw this in the mirror:

Saturday, 17 August 2013


Tis piddling down outside, but warm -have just beenout to feed the birds (at 7pm, and why not). Nipped  back in  to get my camera and  really wish I could also capture the fabulous smell out there - LILLIES!

It's such a tiny garden and these are humonguous lillies, oh the scent!

Right outside the door, so wonderful  - lillies are my very favourite flowers, love love love.

As far as I remember these were just  bog standard Wilko's  bulbs, but they are pretty damned impressive.

I keep turning pots around so I can see them from the  bench - I am trying to  get a sit down in the fresh air every day where possible, it does me so much good mentally . Watching the sparrows playing / fighting /eating yesterday was great, they are so funny en masse (there are usually between 8 and about 20 together).

There's such a lot I cannot do at the moment (I crave the sea, crave walking on grass, would love to ride a bike, go hiking, go riding, would love to sew- would love to have a career again) but by hell I can sit in this little garden!

Radish  (I think).
One enormous bean and baby beans.

Lousy  picture but there is a teeeeeny baby bean to the left.

And did I mention the lillies?

Any suggestions for autumn / winter plants?

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Onwards. Because the alternative ......

Things continue to be less than fabulous here - serious illness in the family and it is heartbreaking.

But also private, so bear with me.

This has been happening (when I am awake, so damned tired lately).
Nice simple skirt pattern in there, that I think will be very wearabubble over Autumn. Autumn, shudder. Stay summer stay.

With skulls.

Also a very nice Vogue pattern, but it will probably join the mini mountain of 'love but hands cannot cut out' patterns (knees  and back protest too).

NOT in those colours.

Hospital went well, finger is healed so the infusion had the go-ahead. Joy. I am possibly not in as much constant pain as I have been - had to wait ages for a taxi yesterday as it's Eid (no  drivers) and my poor knee was swollen and agony when I got home. The exhaustion side is a sod at the moment, but I suspect worry about family is partly to blame.

I am following dr's orders to  listen to my body, get fresh air, not much direct sun etc etc. The bench in the tiny garden is my little bit of calm and beauty - I know it isn't much, but I love it. I sit outside for a while nearly every day, with a book or Sid or just me. The lady who walks dogs always waves and says hello, as does blokie over the road. Peter usually comes to visit:

and offered to help me bring the washing in.

OI! Piggies only, not Peters!

Knitting is sort of happening:

more of that particular bit of knitting to come soon.

I don't seem to have done much knitting at all really, so am aiming to make a shawl with this fabulous wool sent several years ago from a lovely friend.

I keep taking knitting with me when it's hospital day but anything on straights is useless because of the  infusion -  everytime I bend my arm I set the alarm off that says the drug isn't going in. Ooops.

That's it really for now, so have some garden piccies -  the green bean plants are insane! I thought I was going to end up with one,  five foot  bean but the tiny baby ones have just started to grow.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Great Scott! What the chuff is THAT??

A month? How can it possibly have been a month since posting? Certainly hasn't been because of a hectic social life!
I have an ick finger so cannot type much, ick warning (piccies ahead) - was not allowed the drug infusion or (hurrah!) the methotrexate last week  and had  a good telling off from the consultant (apparently I was on  the way to losing part of my infected finger). What started out as a slight scratch became a very infected wicklow - lesson learned, I now take the 'compromised immune system' bit much more seriously.

So the last few weeks  in piccies.