stairs, ears, babies and education

It has been a rather frantic couple of weeks here. Last week I was desperately trying to finish some crochet for my Mum’s birthday on Friday (I just about made the deadline and she loved the doily!). This week has been stressful and tiring and I am glad to see the back of it.

My Mum fell down the stairs early Sunday morning (about 4am I believe). She didn’t break any bones or anything like that, but an empty wooden shelf fell out of the bookcase and cut off her ear. She was rushed to a hospital forty miles away to have a specialist sew it back on and has been stuck in there all week while they monitor her recovery. I have therefore had to spend five hours on various buses to get down to see her on Tuesday and have spent Wednesday morning tidying up her house and doing her laundry so she won’t have to do it when she comes home later today.

Amongst all the excitement, my little sister gave birth to a gorgeous little boy early this morning and is currently in the local hospital. I would like to go and see here, but as she talks to members of the family that I don’t, it is somewhat awkward to organise a visit there. When she comes home I won’t be able to visit her at her house because the bus doesn’t stop close enough to her house and I can’t manage the hill or the long walk.

I therefore have a rather frustrating weekend ahead of me. My mother will be unable to drive for a while and will be unable to wear her glasses for approximately a month (at least another fortnight anyway). Her sight is so bad that she is virtually blind without her glasses or contact lenses, but can only wear her lenses for driving as they aren’t suitable for trying to read a book (which she can just about manage if she holds the book close enough to her face). Ordinarily she would wear her lenses and then put on glasses to read something.

In addition to the above frustrations, we have just found out that the local college that our son has been attending will no longer be running A Level courses. This means that he is left with an AS Level in English Literature as his only A Level qualification and his BTEC qualifications in music. He is unlikely to be accepted into a university with these, and this is his final possible year of studying before attending university, since he already wasted one year at a school that messed him around.

Our daughter got her GCSE results yesterday but didn’t get the results that she wanted so has had to change some of the subjects she will be studying next year at A Level.ย  She also has to repeat her Maths. She did very well in some subjects that she didn’t want to pursue, but that is no consolation for the D in Psychology.

As my stress levels have been so high this week, I am now in fibromyalgia flare-up. Everything hurts and nothing helps. I tripped over things at my Mum’s house when I was there, so my knee has swollen up to almost the size of a football. I will be spending this afternoon with my feet up.

I have not crocheted at all this week as I have been too stressed to concentrate on it. In stead, I have been doing Sudoku and logic puzzles. I am now bored, but still don’t know if I can concentrate on the crochet. Maybe I will pick it up later and give it a go. At least the worst that can happen with that is that I would have to rip out a few rounds…

tuesday

Please be warned that this post contains some strong language that may offend.

I think we have established quite firmly that shopping takes a lot out of me. So when you add an appointment into the mix, I’m sure you can appreciate that things tend to get a bit hairy.

Hubby had an appointment on Monday. He suffers with anxiety to the point that he is unable to attend many appointment on his own, so I went with him. Although outwardly I seem to cope with these things better than him, inside I am a nervous wreck. I have picked the skin on my fingers until they are bleeding. And then we had to run some errands in town before we could go home.

Yesterday, hubby had another appointment. He was happy for me to sit in the waiting room while he went in to this particular appointment, so I was able to relax a little and read a magazine for a while. However, before that appointment we had to do some other bits and bobs in town, have something to eat and try to find a particular tool in a shop run by someone I used to serve in a pub I used to work in. This meant that, although I was feeling quite blue yesterday, I had to put a smile on my face and pretend everything was good with the world so that I could have a reasonable conversation with the man. Fortunately, I did not have to say very much so it wasn’t as bad as it might have been.

Now, this may not seem like an awful lot to cope with, but let me just tell you one thing that I maybe should have mentioned earlier: Tuesday is market day. The market seems to attract an awful lot of idiots. In fact, it attracts an awful lot of tossers. By which I mean people who don’t have a clue what they are doing or how much (or even that) they are pissing me off. They are completely oblivious to my physical problems. Apparently someone of my age, despite using a crutch to walk, should move out of everyone else’s way. I was pushed into, backed into and blatantly ignored in several instances before we reached hubby’s appointment. And then we had to do the grocery shopping. Please believe me when I tell you that grocery shopping is a living hellish nightmare on market day. Every single prick in the universe goes into the supermarket to simply stand in the way or deliberately walk into people with problems when the market is in town. This is why I generally avoid leaving the house on a Tuesday unless I absolutely have to, which indeed I did yesterday.

So now it’s Wednesday and in stead of relaxing in preparation for a third visit to the city centre within five days, I have to let a council employee into my kitchen to fix the leak under the sink.

Still, at least I have a whole day at home without any planned visitors or expeditions, and I intend to spend that day wisely: with paper, glue, scissors, ribbon, craft knives and cutting mats, glitter and hot glue. Yes, I will be spending the day paper crafting. Why? Because I can and because I want to. So there.

the life of…

It has been a funny old week. I can’t really remember what I have done for most of it, but I just have that “feeling”, you know? We had another exhausting grocery shopping trip on Wednesday, although the bus journeys weren’t quite so horrific. Yesterday I got up at about 9, which is quite early for me of late, and went through my usual routine of having a wash, cleaning my teeth, getting dressed and coming downstairs to feed the cats. I then took my morning medication and made a cup of tea before retiring to my corner of the living room, which is not just the living room but my office and craft station as well.

I have started to scan old magazines into my computer. Hubby’s are taking up an enormous amount of space in the living room and on the landing, so I am starting with his Linux-related magazines first. It is an arduous job, but one that I enjoy. The only problem is that there is very little I can do while I am scanning magazine pages and ripping our music collection to my hard drive. That’s OK though, because it gives me time to read my blog feeds in Bloglovin’ using the app on my tablet. I have to keep putting the tablet down to turn the page or put the next on on the scanner plate, but it’s not difficult to keep your place on a small screen and I do like to keep up to date with all things crafty and crochet-y.

I have only started to scan these magazines within the last couple of weeks, but I have a routine with it. I generally scan them until about one o’ clock, or until I have finished scanning the last page of the one I am still working on at one. Then I do any printing I need to do before putting the printer and everything else back on the table neatly. Yesterday I continued to scan music while I edited a few photos and wrote a bumper-sized blog post about the blogs and magazines that have inspired me since last week’s post. I should really start working on next week’s post now to save me the hassle of sorting out all the links from the week on one day, but we’ll have to see about that!

I eventually turned the computer off around seven so I could concentrate on cooking the dinner. We were having pizza because we wanted to watch Life of Pi but no one wanted a late night, and we can eat pizza while we watch.

LifeOfPiIt is a truly remarkable film, one which greatly moved me. But that was not because of the story; more to do with the tiger. I just felt so sorry for that tiger stuck in the boat. He was so skinny by the end it was breaking my heart. It’s a good job I was crocheting while we were watching or I would have been in floods of tears so loud that no one would have been able to hear the rest of the film! When the boy tells his story to the Japanese investigators, they don’t believe him so he tells them another story. I am more inclined to believe that the second story was true and that he fantasised the first story so that he could cope with what happened to him. It would be nice to believe that Pi survived on a boat for so long with a tiger, but it’s really rather unlikely isn’t it? Which kind of leads you to wonder what the point of the film was. Was it supposed to spiritually enlightening? I suppose that may well have been the objective. Don’t get me wrong; it is a very enjoyable film with more than a few laughs and some very moving moments, it’s just that its point escapes me entirely.

Rather than ponder on the film for too long, I went on to bed with every intention of reading for a while and then ended up playing with photo editing apps on my phone. I am very much enjoying playing with photos at the moment. If you follow me on Instagram, I guess you must have worked that out already!

So now I am back to ripping CDs while I write blog posts and play with photos in stead of crocheting or any other stitching-related craft that might entertain me.

grocery shopping

I got up bright and early yesterday morning (around eight – that’s almost like getting up at dawn for me!) and spent some time ripping CDs and crocheting squares for a blanket. At around lunchtime we went into town to do the grocery shopping. This may not seem like a big deal, but for me (and hubby) it really is. Since it is such a big deal, I thought I would share some insight.

First of all, the bus. We went out to wait for the bus and it was slightly late as usual. The only other person waiting for the bus (who was already at the stop when we arrived) insisted that we board first so we thanked him. The journey into town, though, was a complete nightmare. The driver wouldn’t wait for older and less able passengers to sit down before pulling away from the stop, was driving too fast and breaking too hard. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he allowed three pushchairs on the bus, when regulations state that any more than two must be folded away neatly. One of the mothers was talking loudly on her mobile phone for a large portion of the journey while her little (three-year-old?) boy screamed and repeatedly pressed the stop button as his father(?) tried frantically to control him. The boy actually jumped off the bus and ran down the road while we were stopped at one stop. I was relieved to get off the bus!

We got off the bus two stops before our usual stop because we had to go to the railway station to pick up some tickets we had booked online for our youngest, who will be travelling to London to go to a concert with her older sister next week. It is a long way up the hill to the train station when you are in pain, which I was, so by the time we got halfway back into town we had to sit down; I just couldn’t walk any further. Fortunately, there was a bench to sit on that the council haven’t removed. We sat for a while before continuing into town and to the bank. We then went on to Smiths to look at the magazines and I found an interesting one (more on that here). I then went into Superdrug to get us a bottle of water each. That is our routine; bank, Smiths, Superdrug.

Then I remembered that I needed to pick up a card, so we went back up to the little card shop next to the bank for that before heading over to Tesco to pick up some lunch. I was quite hungry by this point, so when the fire alarm went I was really quite annoyed. To say I was pissed off would be a huge understatement. We had put most of our lunch in the shopping basket when staff started asking customers to leave. There are offices above Tesco and we had to walk through the office workers outside the library. I overheard a snippet of conversation that displeased me even further; the fire alarm had apparently been set off by a practical joke gone wrong. I was fuming. We both needed to eat desperately and so needed to decide quickly where we were going to do that and get there. I was in a lot of pain and starting to feel faint and hubby was feeling strange since his blood sugar was low and he is diabetic. We decided to save time by splitting up; he went to the health food shop for a health-kick onion bhaji and gluten-free pasty and I went to Reeves for a sausage roll and cheese straw. We met on a bench near reeves and ate too quickly.

Once we had eaten and rested and taken our medications, I had to go over to the doctors surgery/pharmacy to pick up our prescriptions. These were heavy and since hubby had decided to look in a bookshop while I was running (haha) this errand, I had to carry it back to meet him. Then it was time to shop for groceries.We went to Sainsburys first to pick up a few items that we can’t get in Tesco, and then went on to Tesco. The fire alarm had stopped and people were shopping as normal so in we went. They have recently reorganised the fruit and veg section so we spent about fifteen minutes looking around for the veg we wanted for the chilli we had planned. Unable to find the courgettes, we asked for assistance. The lady was very friendly, but talked far too much. They didn’t appear to have any courgettes in stock so we will make do without them. The pain in my legs and back by this point was verging on excruciating, but you can’t exactly sit down in the middle of the supermarket, so we carried on. I said hello to a young man I used to work with who was shopping with his wife and he seemed a bit surprised to see me. Maybe it’s because my weight has increased by approximately sixty per cent since he last saw me. Then again, he always did have a strange manner so maybe he wasn’t surprised at all. Who knows?

Having finished collecting the groceries, we went to the till and paid, but had to engage in small talk with the lady on the till who knows me from when I used to work in her local pub. She and her husband are very nice people, but it annoys me that every time I see her she comments on my walking not improving enough to get rid of the walking stick. I wish people would remember and stop asking/making comments like that. Still, she liked my yarn bombing.

Having packed the bags to the best of my ability, hubby put the rucksack on his back and took the heavier of the two hand-held bags and I took the lighter bag and his books and returned the trolley. I hate this particular task because the trolley return area is sloped from the store towards the pavement and the trolleys are lined up parallel with the store and the pavement. That therefore puts a strain on my legs to turn the trolley out of the door and keep it straight while I plug it into the nearest one to retrieve the pound coin. It hurt.

We then trekked – and I really do mean trekked, since it seems so much further to walk when you’re in pain and have heavy shopping bags to carry – across town to the bus stop to get home. There was a bus waiting when we got there and thankfully the disabled seats hadn’t been taken so we sat. As soon as my bottom hit the seat, the driver pulled out. This driver also wouldn’t wait for older and less able passengers to sit down before pulling away from the stop, and an older lady very nearly fell on hubby’s lap – probably would have done if he hadn’t had the rucksack on his lap and didn’t have such quick reactions that he managed to push her onto the chair in front of us. He apologised for man-handling her and she said it was fine and thanked him for saving her fall. The driver also drove too fast and braked too hard. I was a nervous wreck by the time we got off the bus, and I struggled to walk the short distance from the bus stop to our front door.

Although we were now home, my job was far from over. I still had to unpack the bags and put the shopping away. I started with the groceries in the kitchen, then made a cup of tea and went through to the living room to empty my shoulder bags and put them away before I could sit down. This took me approximately twenty minutes. By the time I sat down I was absolutely exhausted. I really needed to put my feet up for a while, but hubby was sat next to me with his puzzle board on his lap so this was not possible. So I waited forty-five minutes until he was ready to call the kids down for their tea and then put my feet up. It was pure bliss. If it hadn’t been for my magazine and my crochet, I probably would have shut myself in our bedroom for an hour just to cope with the ordeal that our shopping trip had been.

I hope you have found this insight helpful or got from it whatever it is that you had in mind. Thank you for popping along to read this and I do hope you will come back again soon ๐Ÿ™‚

plodding along

I have now filled in my forms for the Autism Diagnosis Service. I spent about nine hours typing up the questionnaire and my answers to it and I’m still going back to make amendments. I have given my Mum and hubby a copy of the carers’ and parents’ questionnaire to fill in and have talked two aunts into having a bash at it as well. My own answers to the questionnaire take up about twenty pages – I’m determined not to leave anything out! I know I have a tendency to offer too much information, but I think in this case the more information they have the easier it will be for them to make a diagnosis of any kind. I am now just waiting for everyone else to return their completed questionnaires to me so I can post it all off.

In the meantime, I am filling my days with ripping music to my computer so I can put more on my phone (I have a 32Gb SD card and I may as well make use of it!), and more crochet. As much crochet as I can fit in around household chores and my new tablet anyway! I have found, however, that it is much easier to share blog posts from others that I like and find inspirational from the tablet than from the pc; I seem to have more options from the “share” menu. Also, I can read the feeds at my leisure on the tablet without having to put the computer on and squint at the screen (I really should go back to the optician, but my next scheduled visit isn’t until next year…). So things are plodding along much as they did before I met with the ADS, just I am now more aware of my actions and reactions. I wish I could think of an example to share with you, but I can’t. Sorry about that.

Now I must get back to the ripping of music and crocheting of blankets. Thank you for visiting, and I do hope you will return ๐Ÿ™‚