Monday, 30 March 2015

Catch 22

Well I've managed to get to chapter four.  I'm not liking it so far. I will persevere.  It's number 11 on the BBC good read list but I'm up to nearly 40 books read from the 100. Some of them, of course, I'd already read, even in childhood or to my children as there are a few children's books on the list.  There are some I know I will struggle with.  For example I have started A Suitable Boy several times but have never managed to get very far with it. It is a huge tome of a book. There are others like that on the list, but I have no excuses now.  Time is available.

I have resigned from my job although I'm still signed off sick.  I will not be going back. It is not an amicable parting of ways and I am having to come to terms with that.  There is a big void to fill.  I may or may not look for something else. But not yet. Fortunately my hubby is very supportive.

Breakfast in bed keeps coming.  I wonder when he will decide that this doesn't provide the best motivation for getting me moving at a reasonable hour of the day or if I will decide to get up with him before that time comes.  

We had a good day yesterday.  Our youngest and his wife came for dinner and we had quite a good discussion around books and all our latest news.  After they'd gone, thanks to the clock changes, there was still enough daylight left to go for a quick walk. We managed nearly two miles but it was very windy.

Now I should get up.  That pesky Fly woman keeps telling me I should be up and dressed to shoes!  Yes some time ago I signed up to the Flylady website in the hope that it would keep me organised and motivated around the house.  No chance. All I do is mainly delete all the e-mails. And I don't wear shoes in the house.  Don't always wear slippers except when it's cold.  Although when I drop things on my feet, a frequent occurrence, I can see the sense in shoes.

But hey, just getting up and putting clothes on is an improvement.  On my way.....

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Turning pages

I nearly called this post losing the blog!  I started this blog much earlier in the day on my IPad.  I'd done quite a bit but wanted to check out something on my Shelfari page.  I thought I could switch between the two and then continue with the blog.  I should have saved the blog first because when I tried to go back to the blog it was gone!  Vanished.  No longer there.  Up in a puff of smoke.  Oh wait, no that was me turning the air blue with expletives.

This time I'm on my laptop and saving as I go along.

So here is version two.  I had just finished reading a book when I started the blog entry.  The book was "The Geneva Trap", by Stella Rimington who used to head up MI5.  This is a classic spy thriller but it's quite contemporary.  It was passed on to me by hubby which is unusual as we don't often read the same books.  I quite enjoyed it but not so much that I'll be hunting down other books she's written.

With time on my hands I'd like to get back to reading more regularly and also the reading challenge I started some time ago which was the BBC big read of 100 books.  I was horrified when I checked my list out today and saw how long it's been since I read something from it.  My next challenge from there will be Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.  We have a copy in the house.  One corner looks like it's been chewed by an animal at some point but the text is all readable so no excuses for not starting it. I want to try and do better reviews of the books I read.  Maybe even make some notes as I read them.  Too often I read books but I don't retain the details.  I find writing things down, even just into the computer makes it easier to retain information. 

I think I'm just paranoid about losing cognitive abilities, but having had to cope with my Mum slowly disappearing from us due to Alzheimer's I know it's understandable.  But bring on the puzzles, quizzes etc. anything that will keep my mind active.  So bring on Catch 22!

I've managed some exercise today, I walked up to our local shops and back with hubby to get the shopping we needed.  However I think all the good of the exercise was probably undone when we called in to our favourite coffee shop on the way back and I soaked up my cup of tea with a hefty slice of coffee cake!  But it was delicious.  

I must try to get to bed earlier today as we lose an hour due to British Summer Time starting tonight.  Not sure why we move to Summer time in Spring but I will be glad to have the longer days.   Tomorrow our youngest son and his wife are coming to dinner so I'm looking forward to that.

I've also started checking out some blogs on the A-Z challenge.  There are over 1000 people signed up to this now.  It will be interesting to see how many make it to the end.  Hopefully I will be one of them.  I think I'm happy with my letter topics now.  I found a better one for A so that made me feel less daunted.   Just need to make sure I allot some time each day for doing the entries.  Tomorrow I might make a start on a few so that I have a head start in case life gets in the way once the challenge has started!

Goodness that last sentence was a big of a waffle.  Time to go for now!

I've lost the socks!

Well I was going to start this blog with a picture of four odd socks.  I was going to accuse the sock fairy of stealing four socks from hubby.  I'd done a load of washing and drying which consisted of lots of his underwear and socks, only to discover when pairing the socks that I had four odd ones!

Not one, or two, but four!  They were all different designs and I was initially flabbergasted.  To lose one sock between the dirty washing basket and the clean washing to be folded cycle is bad enough, two is just downright careless but four!  Well the sock fairy had to be involved.  So I was prepared to blog about this when of course I found the socks.  

To my embarrassment I had left them behind in the tumble dryer.  There was no sock fairy responsible for their disappearance.  They hadn't actually disappeared at all.  I had just been less than thorough when emptying the tumble dryer.  Human error after all.  Hmm and I thought I was perfect.  Well if not perfect certainly pedantic when it comes to pairing socks.  I hate it when there is an odd one or they don't match up quite right.  Of course it's much easier now there is only hubby and me at home.  No mistakes over clothing now.  (Neither of us has taken to cross dressing, yet!)

When both the boys were here it used to be a nightmare, especially when I had the bright idea of buying plain black socks for school/work.  Have you noticed just how many sock shades of black there are?  That idea was swiftly replaced with having some sort of logo on the socks so that they could be matched more easily.  The only trouble then was I couldn't always remember which logo belonged to who.  And they all had the same size socks eventually.  I could usually work out hubby's without too much trouble but I often got it wrong with the boys.  The problem there was that if the eldest son got the wrong ones he would pass them over to the youngest.  The youngest didn't reciprocate.  If he was given any extras by mistake he would hang on to them.  This caused no end of arguments because it wasn't only socks I used to muddle up.  It was much easier when they were younger and often had the same clothes!

On a positive note I had a GP appointment today and although I'm still signed off as not fit for work, my blood pressure was much better.  I even walked to the surgery leaving the car at home so that was my exercise for the day.  (It's about a 20 minute walk each way.)   But I've noticed the time and I'm off to bed now.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Totally random.

My hubby must be one of the least observant people I know. (I'd go as far as saying he is the least observant but I need to keep in his good books so that breakfast keeps coming each day although he let me down today 😞)

In hindsight maybe that's a good thing because I was up out of bed a bit earlier.

Anyway I digress.  (Another thing like procrastination and ruminating that I'm good at.)

I had a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas from my eldest son and his partner that is an aerial shot of our house. I'd completed it on my jigsaw board - one of those folder type things that's ideal for keeping the puzzle safe while in progress.  I wanted to keep the puzzle and have decided to get a picture frame for it so it can be displayed.  But I haven't got a frame yet and I wanted to start a new puzzle.  

I found some thin card thinking I'd be able to slide it under the puzzle and move it off the board.  Well eventually I did although it wasn't as easy as I'd thought and I had to make some repairs.  But now I have the dilemma of where do I keep this safe until I get a frame.  It's on a big piece of card, probably A2 size and quite flimsy.  I finally hit on the idea of putting another piece of card on top and putting it under my bed.  We bought a new bed recently which is a metal framed bed so lots of space underneath.  Ideal I thought so the deed was done. I was feeling pleased with myself until I noticed the cat, Willow. 

Now Willow loves to sleep on my bed. In fact, apart from taking herself down to eat or use her litter tray that's about all she does.  (If I believed in re-incarnation I'd be coming back as a cat.) I make allowances for the fact that she's an old lady BUT sometimes, if she gets disturbed by anything, such as the vacuum cleaner or even my hairdryer, she will dart under the bed.  In fact if she's having a mad half hour (or even 5 minutes) she will chase around and go under the bed, mainly because she can.  You can picture the scenario, (or maybe not because I'm waffling now) Willow gets spooked, dives under the bed, catches the card protected puzzle, discovers the pleasure of all those tiny pieces and all my hard work is for nothing.

I have the idea of weighting down the top piece of card so that Willow won't be able to dislodge it.  I find two framed certificates of hubbies.  (Yes we're almost back to him 😉) one is his uni degree the other is his accountancy qualification. So I put these on top of the card and think "job done!"

Several days later hubby asks me why his degree certificate was under the bed.  Not, why are both his certificates under the bed on top of a large piece of card? Just the degree certificate. I rest my case.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A quiet day

Today has been a quiet day.  I didn't have an early start, I lingered in bed checking out some of the blogs signed up for the A - Z challenge.  Then I got cross with myself for doing that and got up with a plan of catching up.  I managed to get some chores done and managed 20 minutes on the Wii so that made me feel better.  

I had a group session this afternoon which went ok.  Plus I didn't eat too much rubbish today.  I even managed some fruit.  I'm pretty rubbish at eating fruit so one of my aims for the new me is to eat fruit each day.  

Yes I'm working on the new me.  It's a work in progress.  The fruit thing may be a bit tricky.  I don't like the texture of a lot of fruits so not many appeal to me.  Still I can always fall back on raisins.  I love them, especially if they're chocolate covered!  

Chocolate is still a weakness.  My daughter bought me a box of Lindor on Mother's day and I'm trying to be good and ration myself to make them last.  They are my favourite chocolates.  I especially love the plain chocolate flavour and I've just discovered they do a strawberry and cream variety.  I haven't tried that yet.  I will have to start dropping very unsubtle hints.

Of course that doesn't go hand in hand with another aim of losing weight.  I will have to up my exercise levels to compensate.  That won't be too difficult given my current levels. 

Targets for tomorrow: 
  1. get up earlier than today
  2. eat some fruit
  3. exercise
Those are achievable.  

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Blogging from A - Z April Challenge

Well I've taken the plunge and signed up for a blog challenge.  I would really like to get back into regular blogging and this seems to be a good way of doing so - it works on the basis that you post a blog entry each day during April (except Sundays) working through the letters of the alphabet. 

The homepage for this can be found here A-to-Z Challenge 

There are lots of bloggers already taking part and this has been running for several years.  I'm a bit late signing up so I missed yesterday's reveal day - this is when those taking part would reveal they are taking part and the theme they will be following.

Well my theme will be family and relationships.  I've already mapped out most of my letters - some were more challenging than others and I'm still not happy with my choice for A which doesn't bode well.  But I do have time on my hands at the moment and hopefully this will fill some of it.

Wish me luck.

A better day

Yesterday was a better day.  I managed to get several things done.

Firstly I did the household chores that needed doing.  I also bagged up some jumble for recycling.

I made myself go out to the shopping mall in nearby Ilford.  This had two advantages over the well known Westfield at Stratford which is actually nearer.  One there was less likelihood of running into people I may know.  (Yes my work colleagues would have been at work but there are also 400 plus sets of parents who could be out and about that could recognise me!)  Secondly I parked in the Sainsbury's supermarket car park that has a recycling centre.  I was able to not only put the jumble bags in the Oxfam recycling bins but also offload the glass bottles we had accumulated.  Anyone watching me could be forgiven for thinking I'm an alcoholic.  That's the problem with having a house that has lots of storage space - things tend to accumulate.  Although I'm sure the wine bottles multiply when left languishing in the cellar waiting to be recycled.

That will be an aim in future - do this more regularly.  There are actually recycling bins at the end of my road so I really have no excuse now for not taking a walk up there each week with any bottles/jars we have emptied. 

Back to yesterday.  The whole point of going to the mall was to get a present for our eldest son.  That was achieved quite quickly.  Hopefully he will like it but if not or it doesn't fit he can exchange it for something else.  I also managed to get some light bulbs for our kitchen.  These are ones for the lights under the wall cabinets that light the work surfaces.  They are halogen and not available everywhere.  They are also fiddly to put in.  Once again Nick had been complaining about the lack of extra light but typically hadn't done anything about it!  So now there is light!  Not sure if he would have noticed if I hadn't told him.

I also managed some time on the Wii and have put together a To Do list for the long term.

Having done all of that and some washing I decided I'd earned some TV time.

I also worked on the plan for the mattresses and we switched them over before bed last night.  Nick claims to have slept better, he certainly wasn't awake so early, but he was still complaining of pins and needles in his arms which I think is due to the fact that he often sleeps with his arms above his head.  I slept ok too but I did wake once or twice.  We'll see how it goes.  We also discovered our beds are not all the same size.  Our one (which came from IKEA) is an imperial size. so 4 feet 6 inches across.  Our other two, which are both the same, are IKEA size.  Fortunately it was ok as the IKEA mattress just fits in the frame of our bed thanks to it being quite soft but our mattress is a bit smaller than the other frame it is now in.  If we'd been switching them the other way it wouldn't have worked.  Not sure that I've explained that very clearly!

So overall a better day.  I've decided to try and get up and tidied round each day then blog where possible. Then I'll try and fill the rest of my day productively or not as the mood takes me.  I'm a work in progress.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Waffling? Wallowing more likely.

Well it is only 8.21 am but I'm awake.  Not up, but the rules* at the moment state it doesn't count as a duvet day if I'm up, showered and dressed before midday. I've actually been awake since just after 6.  Hubby claimed to have been awake since some time after 4 am.  He was awake so there was no going back to sleep for me.

He claims our new mattress is too hard.  It certainly is firm and works for me but not for him.  We have 3 double beds in our house now and only one being slept in.  I've suggested he try out the other two to see if they are better but here's the thing - he uses a CPAP machine plus he needs to have an alarm to get up each morning.  The logistics of decamping to another room are defeating him.  So we stay on our new mattress and he complains.  Often.

I have a plan - I will prepare for us to swap the mattresses over tonight.  No disconnecting of alarms, machines, coping with the wrong height bedside tables. Oh no, just the lugging around of two mattresses!  Just as soon as I get myself off this one.

Actually I have to be up and ready to face the world by 11 today as I have a shopping delivery due between 11 and 12.  I shouldn't really be complaining, I have had breakfast in bed.  7.30 was a bit early for my liking, oops I'm complaining again.  Hubby was up early and has already left for work.

I think he is beginning to envy my current life of leisure.  He could retire next month but has no plans to do so.  He will probably do another year or two to boost his pension but that may change.

My plans for the future are very vague at present as in there are no plans.  I have vague intentions - there are lots of jobs to do in the house.  I'd like to get back into crafting.  I want to do more blogging.  I may have to find another job.  The only thoughts I have on that subject is that it will need to be something with little or no responsibilities and one where I can turn up, do what is required and then go home.  

For now I'm wallowing. Doing what I fancy, even if that's just watching crap TV, playing pointless Interrnet games or watching the day go by.  * I have decided there can be no more duvet days.  There were a few of those when this episode in my life began but that is my goal at present, No more duvet DAYS.  I aim to be adding to that goal as time goes on, I don't think I'm a complete basket case - yet. And I am keeping on top of every day chores, washing, cleaning etc.  

Someone did suggest I should take on the cooking now that I'm home all day but that was one step too far.  Besides hubby loves to cook.  I have no plans to change that arrangement.

I might try and do more varied writing.  I've looked at a couple of challenges that Cynthia posted links for but I'm not sure I'm ready for a sustained challenge just yet.  It is nice though to have the time to read though posts and correct any errors and avoid text speak etc before publishing them, rather than just bashing something out and posting it without a second glance.

I'm a bit like that with text messages too.  I very rarely use abbreviations.  Why use one word when I can say the same thing with ten?  Well I think I'm back to waffling now so time to get up. 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The world went dark

Yes there's was an eclipse but I didn't see it.  Firstly it was too overcast in London and secondly I wasn't even out of bed at the time.

The world went dark is a good way of referring to my life at the moment.  I am currently signed off sick due to work related stress.  Add in high blood pressure, tinnitus and a dash of depression and this is not likely to be a cheerful read.  Those of a delicate disposition should probably change channels now.

This has been a long time coming but the straw that broke this camel's back was particularly nasty.  I was shocked and horrified by actions taken by people in positions of power although truthfully the writing had been on the wall for a while.  

On the advice of my GP I have removed myself from the situation.  But it is hard.  I am angry and frustrated because I feel like the bullies have won but am currently in no state to fight them.  Everything is overwhelming and the worst thing is the sense of being out of control has allowed the toilet demon to rear its ugly head again.  

For those who don't know, the toilet demon is the monster that says in my head "you'll need the toilet" whenever I'm confronted with a situation where that might be tricky so things like using public transport, sitting in the middle of a theatre row, going for a walk in the forest.  When the demon was really on the loose he could cause full blown panic attacks.  He's only whispering at the moment but just the fact he's awake is bad enough.

I have been referred to talking therapy and have been to a couple of sessions on "improving your mood" but I'm not finding it very helpful.  Hopefully the individual sessions I'm waiting for will be more useful.  The trouble is I know what I should be doing but it's easier to take the path of least resistance.

Fortunately I have a friend and former work colleague who is in a similar situation so we are our own support network.  We meet up at least once a week, sometimes just the two of us or with other retired ex colleagues.

There are lots of things I could be doing but being off sick makes you feel like you shouldn't be enjoying yourself or be seen out and about although of course mental health issues are often an invisible illness.  I have been trying to get out for a walk when I can and I've managed to do that twice this week.  I've also knitted half a tea cosy.  My son and his partner thoughtfully bought me some magazines. One included some wool and patterns.  Another included cookie cutters and recipes.  I'll need to do a deal with myself - earn any cookies made by walking!

I'm sure this phase will pass.  It's not all doom and gloom - our daughter is getting married in October so positive thoughts, the demon needs to be back in his box long before then.