Wednesday, 31 August 2011

My Other Blog

I will be typing out (sad, but true - I love copy typing) a daily blog based on a book I have, called 'A Year's Cookery' published in 1895. The book has an entry for every day of the year with 'Things that must not be Forgotten' and things that need to be bought etc. plus a menu and recipes for breakfast, luncheon and dinner. It is all based on what is available seasonally and also it includes recipes that allow one meal for a day, then a second meal made out of the left over ingredients. It is Old Style, I suppose, but it was written when Victoria was on the throne.

I just love it so much, the measured and thoughtful way that someone has gone through and worked out not only a menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner but also the recipes and what needs to be put in train the day before.

So for anyone who is interested and I hope you find it as fascinating as I do.

Also, I am not going to even attempt to try and modernise recipes, or to try and get a year's cookery for modern living together. I am just going to share my admiration for Phyllis Browne who created this.

More reasons to be cheerful

Last night, as I walked past little bear's room, I heard the story from OH being taken over by little bear, as he explained that the temple was full of Daleks dressed as cowboys...

Every time I think of that it brings a smile to my face. But in 12 days time some poor teacher is going to have to deal with that. Mind you, they do have training.

Little bear gets away with it

Little bear didn't get up at 6am this monring. It must have lulled my body clock into a false sense of security and it sank deeper into sleep. So I was dazed and stunned when at 7.05 little bear hurtled downstairs and yelled, 'I want to go to the party!!!'
'What party?' I said, bewildered.
'The party in my dream!'
'It's just a dream.'
'What?' I wasn't really up to this.
'All the cakes have gone. I wanted a cake!' Darling father had bought a pack of cherry bakewells and little bear was very keen on them.
'No, Grandad just put them somewhere safe,' I said, still not fully awake. I picked up the pack, they all fell out, I picked them up (still half asleep) and then handed one to little bear.

So little bear had a cherry bakewell for breakfast. Porridge tomorrow, whether he likes it or not!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Feeling better

Evil cat is still being bright eyed and bushy tailed and has had me opening and shutting doors all day.

Little bear is obviously feeling a lot better, and has found the toy section in the Argos catalogue - that will keep him quiet for a while!

And I have found two really good Christmas presents while leafing through a Postscript catalogue. Postscript are mail order book sellers that sell mainly academic and factual books at extremely reduced rates. For bibliophiles who want to read eg Intimate Letters of England's Kings or The Secret Life of the English Language and other obscure titles

And the rain has stopped.

Today I burst into tears

I burst into tears (briefly) when the loo roll holder fell off the wall.

It wasn't really about the long, long struggle to get the dratted thing on the dratted hooks where it had to be exactly right but was conveniently hidden by the actual holder. It was about yet another broken night because little bear's cough is still very bad. It was about trying to sort out where money was coming from for the clothes that I had just reluctantly ordered for myself, because £30 of it was for two tops to go out in. I don't want to go out much but I was humiliated by what I ended up wearing when we went out to lunch with darling father yesterday. And I don't think further lunches/theatre/ballet trips are avoidable. So as well as the jeans to replace my current jeans-with-gaping-holes-beyond-mending I have to get stupid tops. That I will have to keep for 'best'. And I don't even like the tops but I can't find the stuff for the 'larger lady' in a charity shop if I do get to them and I just have to go for what I can manage.

It was also about trying to work out what to do about the fire in the living room as OH has really put a stop on a multifuel stove, but there is no way that a twenty year old gas fire is fuel efficient and I am stuck for ideas. Also the bees may suffer if we don't use the chimney.

It was also about it feeling like the middle of autumn, and the huge mound of ironing, and wondering what on earth I was going to cook for tea. It was about the worry for little bear who has been really poorly and who has spent the entire afternoon reciting his vast Dr Who Monster Invasion card collection - swaps are not possible as he will not part with one. It was about evil cat who had escaped again this morning and ended up in the garden of next door but one, where Oscar was sneaking up on her when discovered, and she has been sick again, so that's sick daily. This is not good but she is still bright eyed, bushy tailed and was fighting me for my pillow at 1am.

Possibly also about PMT.

I am now going to concentrate on being cheerful. After all, things could be a lot worse. It isn't snowing yet.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Spoke to soon

Last night little bear was coughing, it sounded like he was more or less coughing in his sleep, so I was reluctant to go up to him. He sounded like he was whooping, with huge great indrawn breaths snatched between coughs. Then he settled down, though I know darling father got up and looked in.

And evil cat spent about ten minutes yowling last night with possible tummy ache.

On the other hand, this morning little bear is looking a lot better.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

All good

Little bear is much better, though he still has a tiny-only-worry-a-mum cough. He has been doing all he can to get his own way and has been trying to subsist on jelly all day. He pronounced dinner 'deeeeeeegusting' but ate the veggies. I don't know where I went right.

Evil cat managed to get herself shut out today, she is much more nimble of paw and therefore that much more trouble. She is obviously better, and curling up so much more happily.

Darling father is having some good days. He also feels like it is autumn and is settling down for winter. He was playing the organ in church this morning. This is less impressive than it sounds, as it means he is finding the right disc in the (actual, working) organ and pressing a button, but he does it well.

And I am feeling much better, though tired and definitely feeling my body clock at October. The kitchen is not looking good, but it is looking better than it has for several weeks, things are more likely to be put in their rightful place and I have actually finished a scarf.

Actually, the weather is currently the best thing to moan about at the moment. I shall focus on that.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Things you never think you'll say

Little bear has been very hit and miss with food, I think his sore throat is really, really bad. So he had jelly for tea but also cadged a little broccoli from me, as he loves broccoli. Some trifle, celebrating OH's birthday was then put in front of him.
'I am not having that,' croaked little bear, 'That is deeeeeegusting.'
With a totally straight face OH said, 'Eat up your desert or I won't let you have any broccoli.'

Little bear compromised with some more jelly. I shall be getting some pineapple juice soonest for him.


Finally, after yet another severely disturbed night, little bear crashed out asleep this morning and I stayed almost immobile on the computer, hardly daring to click...

Cue phone call from darling uncle, phone call from darling brother, delivery from Asda, evil cat's serenade and OH coming home from town and whispering.

Little bear managed to nap through it all, and is now much better, but he has still a very solid cough. he woke in time for darling father to bring home cakes. Which he couldn't eat because his throat was so sore.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Darling Doctor

I trudged through the rain to the doctor's surgery with a very subdued little bear. He waited very patiently, and obediently followed the doctor to the examination room. It wasn't one of the regular doctors.

The nice doctor examined him, as he sat with hollow eyes and croaky voice, and I gave a brief overview of what I had noticed. Not only did she not ask little bear anything, but I have no idea what is wrong with him as she said nothing to me, but he is on antibiotics and calpol.

Last time he had antibiotics we had hysteria trying to give him them, and I tried absolutely everything before resorting to giving him a glucose tablet immediately afterwards. It worked, but was probably not ideal. I think this must have been over a year ago. Regardless, they refused to sell me a glucose tablet. Apparently it might give him energy. He has been up without a pause since 2.30am and was just looking at her, disappointed, with infinitely weary eyes. Sigh. I went to another shop and bought fruit pastilles for the equivalent of Mary Poppins' spoon full of sugar.

This time there was no problem, little bear stoically swallowed the antibiotics and then was only vaguely interested in the fruit pastille.

I feel a bit fed up. However I am sure little bear will be fine - especially if he gets some sleep!

Sparkly sink

Little bear had a craft set given, and all the sequins ended up spread over a side plate so he could see them properly.

Then OH helpfully stacked this in the middle of a pile of side plates that had had food etc on, and then I dumped the whole lot in the sink, sequins, glitter and all. I have a Barbie sink.

Still, at least until I get the energy to sort it out properly there are some cheerful twinkles in my kitchen.

Bad night

Little bear woke up at 2am with a bark like a seal instead of a cough and a raging sore throat. He has laid awake since then watching cartoons. I let him get away with it because he was just so poorly, distressed and exhausted.

I can't get him to nap for love nor money, I couldn't last night.

Then for a few brief minutes when the nurofen kicked in around 8am he was full of bouncy life. Now he is completely pooped, poor little man.

Posting may be a bit hit and miss in the next few days. Also I am a bit tired as well and it is OH's birthday tomorrow.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Poorly little bear

Little bear has a nasty cough, a sore throat, a temperature and an appointment with the Doctor tomorrow.

I should just paint a red cross on the door.

Evil cat is feeling better

Evil cat is feeling a lot better, thank you. In fact she is thriving. The tiny tabby terror has got a new lease of life with the pain killers. We just have drops. The vet told us to use the 2kg mark for her. I think it was to give her a small dose as much as anything else, but when you lift her, and if you have a chance to judge with her fighting tooth, claw and tail, she isn't much heavier than two bags of sugar. She has always been a bit of a slim one.

Since the painkillers have kicked in she has started eating again, thank goodness, and more than just tuna. She has tried to kick the stuffing out of a catnip fish, again she hasn't done much of that lately. The best, though, is that she is now trotting around, bright eyed, her tail up and assertive, as she happily jumps up, down, on and off her favourite places.

However the pain medicine is bad for her failing kidneys.

I feel I am dicing with her future. To quote Billy Connolly, evil cat is now to old to die young, though she would have no doubt been a trouble maker if she had been human. She even sleeps with attitude, firmly and intently curled up and sleeping fiercely - there are witnesses that will tell you that this is a cat that can sleep with fury. So I have told the vet that I want to keep on with the pain killers, and though it may affect her kidneys that are failing anyway, I am going to trade off a fuller life for a shorter one. At seventeen years old, evil cat is certainly not lacking in years. To see her full of life instead of full of aches and pains makes me feel that the decision is the right one.

Worrying myself about it, however.

I lack fashion sense

Saw a top that I liked yesterday in Sainsburys. It had long sleeves, lovely long length which I like and is a sort of muted khaki-drifting-towards-mud colour that looks like nothing but really suits me. It was £6 in the sale and I bought two.

The neckline has unexpectedly dipped. On the hanger it looked safe. Today, with the first top on, I can see cleavage.

On one hand, I bought this top to go under sweaters, so I am not as disappointed as I could be. But I am not too keen on showing anything at all. In fact, I can see the point of a burka. Perhaps not the headdress thingy with only your eyes showing, but the sort of enveloping dress thing that covers you, I can definitely see the point. I am not a 'if you've got it, flaunt it' person. I never really have been. I don't really object to other people flaunting, but I would like the option of a high necked, long line, loose fit, long sleeved tent, thank you.

Still, it will cheer up OH.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Proud mother

Little bear almost read a story. With a bit of help he stumbled and pronounced his way through one of the Oxford Learning Tree early first reader books.

I just melted.


I am on seven antibiotic tablets a day.

The doctor told me I was having a panic attack.

Do you ever feel you are getting mixed messages?

Little bear plans his life

Actually, little bear is more like having Views. He solemnly told the helper at nursery that a particular little girl was his girlfriend (I have posted this before, he has been quite steadfastly devoted to her) and that later on he was going to marry her and she was going to be his wife. This particular girl was one sitting next to him at the party, and her mum commented that the little girl talked about little bear a lot. They are going to be separated in a few weeks, little bear is going to primary school and his little girlfriend will still be at nursery. I am actually thinking of writing a note to the little girl's mummy to say, do you want to have my number and if they are both missing each other after being good pals then perhaps we can get together at soft play? Though perhaps not, as little bear could get his head turned with the older, sophisticated girls at primary school.

Little bear is also trying to arrange a sleep over at another friend, a young lad who is so well behaved, it is marvellous to see. Both me and the parents of this boy are baffled as to where the idea came from and both of us feeling, I think, that perhaps four is a bit young.

I am just waiting to see what school brings.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Roof - a Few Tile Gesture

The local roofer was getting his van sorted with Nice Mr Next Door. He had done a marvellous job on our guttering, and when I went out to put some stuff in the bin he checked that the guttering was fine.

Then he pointed out all the new bits that needed doing...

Regrettably, he may have been touting for business, but he was absolutely right. So he is coming back next month to sort it out.

More expense! I feel like tearing out my hair. But if this winter is anything like last winter, we really do need it doing. And a lot of it was pointed out to me by an independent surveyor two years ago...

He isn't charging me too much. In fact, he is reliable, inexpensive, professional and trustworthy (even if he was touting for business). I would recommend him to anyone. But more money being spent out. Sigh.

Little bear is early riser

I am not a morning person. I would rather get up late and stay up late. Other people prefer to be up early and in bed early. A lucky few can manage to stay up late and get up early. But I am definitely not a morning person. And my body clock seems to want 10 hours sleep, which it is not getting.

Little bear is, it seems, a morning person. At 6am, without fail, he trots downstairs and demands breakfast. I am very rarely impressed. It also means that I am not getting any writing done, as I can usually only get writing done after everyone has gone to bed - around 10pm or later. But I should be going to bed at that time to get enough sleep if I am going to have any chance at all the next day.

What is frustrating me, and worrying me a little, is that little bear isn't refreshed when he wakes up. He goes from flat out to bolt upright, but he is still tired. He just hasn't mastered the art of turning over and going back to sleep. We are getting him into bed earlier and earlier at the moment, sometimes as early as 6pm, just to try and get him caught up on his sleep before he has a complete crash.

I am currently leaving it to time. I think once he starts school then he will be tired enough to sleep in. Please - pretty please!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Little bear and little girls

A few days ago we were on our way to nursery when little bear was over taken by a little girl on a scooter. Little bear put on foot on a raised kerb, his hands on his hips and posed.

Today he went to a party. He played lots and lots of games with his male friends, racing round and chasing monsters. However when it came to sitting nicely for the food, little bear sat between two young girls and charmed them.

This may or may not be something he has got from darling father who has had a troop of ladies calling after him, bringing him flowers, cards, gift vouchers etc.

I only blog what actually happens. I do not make anything up and normally tone things down. I just have a lot going on.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


I had been reading up about the Elder, and all the uses that the leaves, branches, flowers and berries could be used for, and I thought I quite liked the idea of the alcoholic drink Sambuca, made from distilled elderberries. I haven't yet had any, but it is supposed to be flavoured like anise, and it is around the same strength as an average whisky. So I thought I would do a little research about what mixers are general with the spirit. I googled Sambuca and looked at a site with cocktail recipes on.

Dearie, dearie me. I would blush to type them on here even with stars in strategic places. Their names are not respectable at all, more a sort of desperate 'look at how edgy and dangerous I am, drinking a cocktail that is called something that would upset my Gran and without any thought to the likelihood of waking up stuck to the pavement with my own sick.'

If I ever go into a bar again, which isn't looking likely in the next five years, I may try a Sambuca and lemonade. It is probably not how you are supposed to drink it, but never mind. I didn't even click on the names of the cocktail, I am surprised the filters let me find the site. I am not buying a bottle just in case. It is not the most inexpensive of booze but it does look intriguing.

I should like to put these thoughts about drinking in context. A fortnight ago I bought some rose wine (not uber cool, but I like it) and I got three 250ml bottles for £5 at the local off licence. I have had all the stress and fuss and worry. I haven't bothered with them. Drink does not call. I just hope I get round to drinking them before I use them up in cooking.

Also you can float coffee beans in Sambuca, light them, extinguish the flame and snuff the fumes before drinking. Not in this house. I am confident that the insurance wouldn't cover rank stupidity by someone with an accident prone background. I wouldn't mind watching from a safe distance.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Random bits

Darling father is struggling a bit as he negotiates his new tablets. When I dashed across to get the new lot today (one reason he is struggling, because he only got the meds he needed today) I noticed that mock orange blossom was out. That is normally out in May/June. And it was next to red hawthorn berries, rosy crab apples and purple elderberries. I am unimpressed. I am hoping for a lukewarm winter.

One reason that I am hoping for a lukewarm winter is that I want to save on bills. On top of it all, darling father and OH want to start going to the theatre regularly. They both love live theatre, both can enjoy ballet, comedy, drama etc. We live in Leeds, with the West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Grand hosting all sorts and being the base for Northern Ballet and Opera North. City Varieties, home of the Good Old Days, is being reopened, and that is without bringing in the dozens of rather good amateur productions in the area. It's even less than twenty miles to the Alhambra in Bradford where I saw Derek Jacobi in Macbeth. But Hamlet the Ballet, with Northern Ballet at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, is £20 per head. That's the cheap Saturday Matinee tickets. Little bear will probably have babysitting, but I feel bad about taking advantage of the babysitters. OH's sister has had him twice last weekend, once when he was tired at the end of darling father's birthday do and when we were in the hospital with darling father. I need to get her something nice. Alcohol is probably a good place to start.

So I need to sort out the money. With poorly darling father, and not having a lot of fall back child care, I need to abandon the idea of working outside of the home and find ways of working at home. I need to stop spending silly money on silly things and sell stuff on ebay. I need to get organised at home so I am not buying things that I already have. I need to have a good long think about how I run things overall.

I think we are going to need to pay out for a stair lift soon as well.

Also evil cat was sick in the middle of the night, and she is definitely less than happy about jumping etc.

Also I need to sort out the next delivery that will include a birthday cake and ingredients for trifle as darling father and OH are both about to have a birthday - three days apart. Alcohol may also be involved. Not an inexpensive do.

This blog is called Wannabe Sybil's Witterings because I need to witter sometimes, and I know I just have. If I didn't have this I would go insane.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Impromptu expedition

In the desperate hope that this will make little bear nap later, I took him on an ad hoc visit to Roundhay Park.

He was good as gold going there, two buses to get there and he sat on the top deck each time. Then we got to the Park. It was lovely, the flowers were gorgeous. However it does look so much more like mid September. The Virginia Creeper was turning and there was a hint of dry and dusty around the area. On the way home I saw Michaelmas daisies - though they were early last year as well and I am not sure this is a good sign.

Little bear dragged me straight into the butterfly house. It was great fun, but little bear insists on going round in jig time. Unusually, the animals were moving. One snake seemed to be trying to bite little bear's finger through the glass - little bear was pointing but not banging or tapping as I wouldn't allow that. I think all the snakes were moving and one small iguana was positively racing around. The waterfall was off, however, which disappointed me.

Then on to an over priced sandwich in the coffee shop. Little bear decided it would be nice to sit outside, so out we went. Unfortunately a wasp was there first, and was being very clear about people coming in to crash on its table. Mind you, the wasp calmed down while it was helping itself to my tuna sandwich. I have never seen a wasp attack a tuna sandwich before, but it seemed to be tucking in with gusto. We went inside so that I could have a restoring cake.

The cake actually wasn't that restoring, as it cost 'HOW MUCH!' And then little bear only wanted to eat the icing on his! I persuaded him to have a go at the rest of it and he did have a small amount. At that price it tasted of dust and ashes to me.

He also purchased, courtesy of Grandad's pocket money, a sort of lizard head on a stick that open and shuts its mouth. He and a little boy were playing with it all the way on the first bus we got back. Then I stopped off in Forbidden Planet to see if I could get something for OH. Little bear was dismissive of my suggestions. We could get a book for Daddy. However little bear walked out with a sonic screwdriver that projects pictures (apparently) and was happy.

I am now exhausted. And if no nap occurs for little bear I am going to be cross.
Darling father fine, evil cat fine, little bear fine, and so far nothing terrible has happened (though it is only 10.35am as I type).

Long may this continue!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Evil cat

The vet called.

First of all evil cat led me a merry chase all over the place trying to get her into the living room where I had blocked all minor exits. Fortunately she is too creaky to race around like she used to - at one point I would have just have had to abandon hope without a posse. Today I managed to get her into the room with just a growl, a hiss and a minor wound.

The vet brought a vet nurse, who had not been present at the previous examination. She now believes everything that they said. Evil cat is becoming a legend at the vet surgery. They managed to swaddle her front end in a towel, and the vet checked her back end while evil cat promised war and widdled on the carpet.

Apparently there is (probably) bony growths on evil cat's spine, which cause pain. When the vet was examining there the volume and threats increased. The vet gave her an injection of mild anti inflamatories and left some drops to put on food for a few days. It can't be more, because the medicine would affect evil cat's iffy kidneys. We just have to wait and see.

It would be helpful if they could do x rays, to check the spine. It would be helpful if they could get urine samples and blood samples to check the kidneys. The vet just doesn't think this is a good idea. Evil cat did not tolerate examination well. Apart from the scratches to the vets, the vet nurse and myself, it is pretty traumatic for evil cat, and not really good for her. Okay, I have a sneaking suspicion that she enjoyed the battle but at her time of life she would rather talk about it. Sedation would be a possibility if she was younger and fitter. She is elderly, creaky and would fight the sedative. And it would be incredibly traumatic for her.

Today evil cat survived to fight another day. However it is a case of watching and being aware and fussing.

What happened to summer?

This morning the light and the colour of the sky made me think it was autumn. It was the same sort of light that I remember seeing waiting at the bus stop when I had just gone back to school. What happened to the summer? What is going on? Where is the heatwave that I was hoping for so that I could wash all the blankets. I think the last spell of decent drying weather just got used up on normal washing.

The crab apples are ready, so are the blackberries. There are lots of ripe elderberries among the green ones and the hawthorns are looking quite red, though not quite the vivid scarlet they end up.

I am going to have to start winterise. Darling father wanted to paint the windows before the autumn weather set in. That can definitely wait until Spring

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Darling father

Darling father got up late, stayed up long enough to watch the first half of the Barca - Real Madrid game we had recorded for him and then has been in bed dozing ever since.

I think there has been a shock to the system. Also I don't think he got enough to eat in the hospital. I spoke up stridently when he was being admitted and he got a sandwich, and he got the evening meal which was an extremely small and not particularly appetising portion. I suggested to darling father at the time I could get something, but I don't think he could be bothered with anything then.

So today, at his request, he had a burger with onions for breakfast, a fish and a scallop for lunch and mushroom soup with toast for dinner. If that was me it would be raving indigestion for supper, but he just seems tired. I shall see what I can coax into him tomorrow.

I am a little worried, but I am sure he will be feeling better soon.

Poor Evil Cat

I rang the vet's practice this morning and spoke to the lady who treated evil cat. The very nice lady vet described evil cat as 'feisty' and 'a bit of a character'. That is not a bad way to describe an animal that fought, hissed, spat and tried to go for the face of anyone within range.

She is coming out (at a price) to examine evil cat where the poor cat will hopefully feel comfortable. She mentioned an x-ray, but understood that I was not keen. Apart from anything else, evil cat would have to be sedated, she couldn't be held - it took three to get a urine sample the last but one time. Evil cat is looking a bit too frail for casual sedation, and she would fight anything that even hinted at examination without it. The vet also understood why I wouldn't give evil cat tablets. If it was just me, I would endure the massive battles, hissy fits, war wounds and sulks. However I am not sure that evil cat could survive it.

I am more or less sure that evil cat is good for a little bit yet, but I don't want to take risks. Darling father said that if she was human she would have a stick or even be in a wheelchair. I agreed, and that she would probably be parked outside an off licence swearing at the passers by. But she is entitled to be grumpy at her age.

Evil cat is not well

Last night OP lifted evil cat out of the way and dropped her. She went about the same distance as she had been jumping down all day, about six inches, certainly no malice or aggression on OH's part. However I think it jarred her. As he nipped out, she limped in, her tail just hanging and not being able to support one of her legs. For the first few steps she hissed at every step.

She is a lot better now, her leg is working and has been getting up and down off chairs and the sofa. However this does explain a lot. If she has something wrong with her back or sciatica, the trip to the vet would have been excruciating. It would explain why her tail has been not working correctly. It would certainly explain her being even more grumpy than normal.

I am wittering on here, because I am fretting. She was not her usual agile self last night and while she wasn't struggling, it wasn't easy. I actually put the gas fire on for her, and a cushion in front of it. I am wondering about how much she is actually hurting, how much is natural evil grumpiness and how much fun she is having in life. Animals feel pain, just as we do, but they can't distract themselves the same way. They can't lose themselves in a crossword or a film or a book. Animals are much more in the moment. I believe that when the pain is more than the pleasure that the animal is having out of life then it is time to make a hard decision.

That belief is easy when you are not looking at a little tabby, smaller than my handbag, who has been a character and entertainment for 17 years, who has been there with soft fur and purrs when I have been struggling, and who may be having joy in life, but I don't know. I over think things. I don't want to make a decision based on my feelings and worry. On the other hand, she has been such a wonderful part of our family for so long, why should I make her suffer - if she is suffering so much, cats do hide this - just for my own sentimentality.

I will be wittering on here, trying to make sense of my thoughts, because I don't want to upset anyone in the house with going on, and on, and on, and on. However evil cat has not given me the Look, the one I got from malevolent cat, the one I got from psycho cat, that says, 'I have had enough'.

I am really hoping that this is just a touch of sciatica, lumbago, rheumatism etc.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Darling Father is Home

Darling father came home from hospital - by himself, on the bus. It is exactly how I would behave, so I am not surprised. He is looking tired but not poorly.

I shall, of course, be keeping an eye on him, and it is such a relief that he is now here and not one hundred miles away. I would have had to do much more than thrust little bear at my neighbour and hare off down the road.

So, all in all, a loooong weekend. I shall try and have a quiet week!

Thank you for all your good wishes. They have really helped. I don't want to be a 'someone else has had to go to hospital so I am suffering' drama queen, but I am feeling a bit flattened. Also I started knitting a cardigan.

Darling father is now upstairs with a sandwich, a cup of tea, and plans to watch the football this evening. It is good to have him home.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Harder day

This is the serious post. I will write it as it comes out, I am a bit shaky.

I was tolerating little bear and his Dr Who card collection and OH had taken evil cat to see the vet when there was a knock at the door. Darling father had collapsed in church and an ambulance had been called. I grabbed a bag, put some shoes on my feet and almost threw little bear at the next door neighbour.

Darling father had been out for fifteen to twenty minutes by the time he came round to recognising me. He was woozy and disorientated and quite pale. He was put in an ambulance and I went with him.

By the time he got to the hospital he was much better. He had a lot of colour back, and he was making sensible conversation. So we got put in a bay in A&E and waited. And waited. Apparently Sunday is a busy day and there are a lot of people who collapse in church. And eventually we got seen. It was becoming obvious that darling father was not in immediate danger.

It seems that darling father has a very low heart rate. I don't understand exactly what was going on, but he was being monitored and his heart rate, his blood pressure and his pulse were all very low. At the church they had not been able to find a pulse, which had been frightening, but it had been just too low to pick up.

So from the ambulance taking him in 'to be safe', to 'just checking with a doctor' we then progressed to 'move to another hospital and keep overnight'. I did a lot of the check in, and felt very frustrated. Darling father may be eighty but he runs rings around me, so I was stressing that yes, he lives with us, but he is not an invalid and moved here for company - 'social reasons, not medical' is the way I phrased it.

From the way that the admitting nurse in the second hospital carefully and firmly wrote down visiting times, I get two things. The first thing is that he is not seriously ill, or they would let me see him whenever. The second is that the normal feeling is that he will be in for a few days.

When I left him he was looking (after a day of enforced rest!) nearer sixty than eighty, and ready to settle down for the night.

Little bear was at OH's sister's house for most of the afternoon. He was well behaved and polite and came home bearing goodies. He is tired, but fingers crossed he will have a good night.

Hard Day

First, the frivolous. Evil cat went to the vet. I have been fretting about her for a while. The vet couldn't examine her. The vet seriously couldn't do an examination. Evil cat lived up to her name - she went for everyone! And she was seriously lashing out. They got the receptionist in to try and hold evil cat swaddled with her front end in a towel. It didn't work. Evil cat was lashing out with malice and she was going for people's faces. She was also trembling on the examination table - apparently she was really scared.

Earlier I had picked her up to bring her down stairs and had received a huge quantity of verbal abuse and a lot of attempts at attack. I was holding her properly and gently, but she was violently opposed to it. I am wondering if being touched is painful for her, whether she is just too achy.

Regardless, she has had an injection of vitamins, an injection of antibiotics and hopefully that will perk her up. I am concerned, but she is sitting a few feet away from me at the moment enjoying a wash, so I will just be aware.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Bit of a do

Armley Liberal Club, Leeds.

That is where darling father and darling brother had a sort of joint birthday party - they are a month apart but it is convenient. The hall and food cost less than a restaurant meal. All I can say is that the food was awesome, the place was CLEAN and we all had a lovely time this afternoon. I completely recommend the place. The staff are lovely too.

Little bear was the only child there and spoiled rotten. I had told one of the guests about how much he gets, but was not totally believed. Then they watched as little bear collected gift after goodie after treat, including going for a walk with OH's sister and coming back laden. Darling uncle was there and so little bear was significantly indulged. But little bear was also incredibly well behaved, so I was tolerant of the gifts and very proud of little bear.

After a while little bear came up to me and said that he was tired and he wanted to go home. He said it quietly and nicely, and I can't think of a better way for a child to communicate their needs. There was no shouting or misbehaving. Actually I asked SIL to look after little bear at her house, and she was happy to agree. She is so good with little bear, and it was only going to be for around half an hour (she actually kept him for at least an hour over, but that is another story).

Friday, 12 August 2011


Little bear is not sleeping well, and he is getting up early. So I am starting the battle against little bear to have an early night time. It is also for all our sake.

Today he was in 'ready to sleep' mode all morning. I had to tickle him into clothes, he didn't want food and he walked docilely to nursery holding my hand all the way.

On the way home he was also exhausted and spending a lot of time leaning against me. Then when we got home his head seemed to magnetically attach to a cushion until we got him upstairs.

Most shocking of all - he refused an extra song! That is unheard of.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Still Grumpy

I'm finding more bruises from the dentists. Also I can't open my mouth wide. I am currently putting it down to bruising and strain. I am scared of complaining. Besides, I don't know what happened. I was out to it. I just feel so fed up. All I know at the end of it I was a mess, humiliated and bruised.

I am also fretting myself in to bits about evil cat, she is looking even more under the weather. However she is tactically sitting, grooming and shedding where I normally put my head to sleep and I am confident that is deliberate - so that is a good sign. She ate a tablespoon of chicken paste, and seemed happy with that. I am surprised her purr didn't shake loose the roof tiles!

Also, six hours in the slow cooker and the stew came out nearly raw. So much for a home cooked tea.

Evil Cat is reassuring

Evil cat was doing her usual game of 'sit on the mouse while Sybil is trying to work out cheapest grocery shop' and accidentally sat on a toy dalek instead. She gave it such a look I am surprised it wasn't exterminated and shifted her behind a significant few cms. Then carried on harrassing me.

Yes, I am looking frantically for the positive. Also daleks. For some reason there are a lot of them around, and they seem to be breeding.

Something finished

I started a knitted cushion cover. I just couldn't resist having ago, I had never done smocking. And I really enjoyed the smocking and knitting in the round and the three needle cast off.

To fill it I took a pillow case that had been in with something that had run in the wash and was now a delicate shade of grey, perfect for lining the grey woollen knitted case. I stuffed it with unravelled sweater, including a sweater that had been knitted years ago and was now not fit to wear and I had to unravel it quick before I wore it again.

I didn't do the rolled edge that the pattern called for. I knitted it (five feet long, five stitches wide, stocking stitch - yeurk!) but decided that I thought it looked better without it. So now I have a lovely firm, smocked front cushion, and I really like it.

I need to go some though to finish more. Under the influence of the anaesthetic (my story, and I'm sticking to it) I ordered enough yarn for three sweaters from Deramores. Yes, I couldn't buy either that style in the shop or anything that inexpensive for what the yarn cost. The patterns are all from a magazine that is part of the subscription that I got for last Christmas. All I need is the time to knit them!

Evil Cat's quality of life

I strongly believe that cats are not human, that they have different ways of looking at the world. They have strong likes and dislikes, their own opinions and their own ways, and that it is important to respect that.

So when a cat gets frail then I do think about the awful possibility of having them put to sleep. I don't want to, but I think it is important. A cat does live in the moment, and if they are in a lot of pain then it is hard for me to make them continue. My watchword is always quality of life. If they can find joy in life then it is worth moving heaven and earth for them.

Psycho cat's lungs were flooded and malevolent cat's brain tumour was just too big, there were no hard decisions to make. However last night evil cat had a sort of half working tail and she seems to have lost a great deal of weight quite suddenly. I will add that this morning it seems that the half of her tail nearest the rest of her seems to be working but the end seems just to be hanging. She does not appear to be in pain or discomfort, though she does seem a little out of sorts. Cats notoriously hide when they are poorly. I am extremely worried.

However at two in the morning evil cat was chasing something. At first, half asleep, I wondered if it was a mouse, or possibly a spider. However as I woke up and saw her in enough light to see clearly as she chased it across a white piece of paper, it was entirely imaginary. For evil cat, waking me up in the early hours over nothing - that is quality of life and worth defending.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Evil cat

Evil cat is not well. Normally when she is evicted from a chair she uses extremely bad language and then goes, with an air of pending revenge and grumpiness. Today she just hissed at darling father and refused to move. She seems not quite right in herself. She is also carrying her tail oddly, all hooked up like she is tensed and uncomfortable.

She is showing no other sign of pain or discomfort or she would already be at the vets, and she is not crying or restless. But she is not a happy kitten. She is booked in to the vets next Sunday. However if I feel that she needs it I will try and bring it forward.

I am really fretting about her.

More dentist

The tooth next to the one dealt with is really wobbly, and all the side and back of my tshirt is drenched, really soaked.

I feel so upset, as I don't know what happened, but I think that it wasn't good.

Not a sunny bunny today.


I am not sure what happened. They couldn't find a vein so I had gas and air. My hands are covered in plasters and smears of blood. I feel really sick and battered. The tooth that they wanted to fill, the one that only started giving trouble after the last bout with the crown, has been chipped and my mouth feels full of debris.

TMI - do not read if squeamish - my girlie bits are being quiet enthusiastic for that time of the month, so I was well padded. However I seem to remember choking and I had wet myself all the way through. I felt so humiliated.

I am never going back there again, I just feel so awful.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Praying for those who are affected by the rioting.

Moved to tears by those who turned up the next day with brushes and bin bags.

There seemed to be a lot more who would help than hurt, so that is a comfort. But if you are looking at the ashes of your livelihood, it must be cold comfort indeed.
Don't know how much more I will post today, but I am being sedated tomorrow, so not sure if I will be posting at all. Or if I post and it is something a little less than believable then please disregard.

Mind you, believable is all relative.

Ebay again

Fell for looking at yarn on ebay, and bid on one item. It was extremely inexpensive and did not have any bids. However it was described as having 'a few bits of cat fur on it but that should fall off while you are knitting'.

Evil cat sheds as a hobby and often is surrounded by a drift of floating bits of fur, so I'm not in a position to complain. It will be charmingly familiar

Monday, 8 August 2011

Grammar like what I know

I was browsing the forums instead of doing housework and I saw a post. I read through it several times.

Apparently, judging from the replies, a young lady is in a spot of bother with her gentleman friend. I couldn't understand what on earth was going on. At this point I should say that there were a lot of posts pointing out that they couldn't understand it and could the person who started the thread please put in full spelling, punctuation and paragraphs. At least that would have helped.

I felt a bit awful, and I didn't post to the effect that if they wrote clearly then they could get more help, and to be fair I am not a great fountain of wisdom and I am sure someone else would be able to more than cover anything I could come up with. However it was really awful, incomprehensible txtspk and careless writing.

It may be a 'joke' post (very funny, as far as I can see domestic violence was being mentioned) but it did raise a question. If you want to ask for help, surely you should write in a way that lots of people can understand so that you have the best chance of getting help? Or am I being a bit simplistic. Is this a symptom that people think it funny to make up upsetting circumstances and post them for a joke to see how many will bite? Is it a symptom of our education system, especially ten years ago? Or is it a symptom of a society where people expect help to be handed to them on the proverbial plate, that they shouldn't need to ask, that there should be someone hanging round to do the hard work of thinking without anyone needing to ask because 'it's obvious, innit?'

Or am I just being a grumpy old bat again?


I am sitting here and listening to evil cat. She is not purring, although she has a lovely loud purr. She is not yowling or hissing or growling. It's her internal workings. She sounds like a brewery. All I can hear are gurgles and hisses.

And before I posted this there was an ad for Immodium. Listening to evil cat's pipework I am wondering if the vet would prescribe something similar! No wonder she has been begging to go out. She has been wanting to eat something green to bring in and be sick on the carpet with.

Grumpy Sybil, cross little bear

Little bear is tired - very, very, very tired. We finally pin him in bed @ 8pm, he goes out almost immediately, and then wakes @ 6am, telling me through bleary and half shut eyes that he is not asleep. This morning he lasted until 7am - until evil cat woke him with yowling at the foot of the stairs. Evil cat only managed two yowls before little bear bounded out of bed and raced downstairs. I have been privileged to see little bear waking up. He goes from completely asleep to totally awake in a split second. I don't. It was in my half asleep state that I spilled a full tin of tuna over the floor. Evil cat gave me the look that said, if it ain't in the dish I ain't touching it. I was unimpressed.

So I have an exhausted little bear and I am shattered. I am having what I call a 'crash' where I could literally sleep for twenty hours (pre little bear I would). I could certainly sleep for ten or twelve hours a day for weeks on end before little bear without getting refreshed. Little bear's interesting sleep patterns are not helping. And darling father is requiring spare yarn for the Knitting Club at the Methodists. I am going to be forced to join them when little bear is at school, and I am dreading it.

So I am struggling in the junk room to find some double knitting (their request) that I haven't got earmarked for something else, and a bookcase falls on me. Fortunately it is empty and half height, so all I am is struggling and trying not to swear. Little bear is furiously shouting at me from downstairs because he wants me to change the setting on the computer.

By the time I get downstairs with the yarn little bear is incandescent. I am unimpressed and I have words. So we are all grumpy. Even evil cat, though I think she is just grumpy as a hobby. Darling father is having a bacon butty elsewhere and I think that is a sensible move.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Monsters Beware!

Little bear has a full sized cardboard cut out of a dalek in his bedroom, OH bought it this morning. All the men in the house are thrilled. Some reorganisation is going on to try and fit it all in.

Is it Spring?

I seemed to have got a lot done today. There is a lot that needs to be done, the house is getting silly when it comes to clean/tidy/uncluttered and the Health Visitor cometh on Tuesday. This means that five minutes before the Health Visitor cometh I will be putting the finishing touches to the sparkling porch and living room and closing the doors on everything else.

However I have the room that was formerly a dining room in my sights. Before last night it was a sort of indeterminate fabric heap with an ironing board in the middle. Now it is a slightly more organised and smaller fabric heap with an ironing board in the middle. I have ironed for four hours today, and I am not nearly half way through. I have been ironing as and when for months, and I can't bare it any more. I have ironed thirty shirts for OH, darling father and little bear. Tomorrow I return to the task.

I have also been throwing many things out. There has been too many bits and bobs abandoned in there, and now they are going but I have one particular item that I am targeting - little bear's socks. Little bear has dozens and dozens of pastel blue socks, which I used to hate matching as some had a line round the top and some didn't but had the matching different coloured toe, and some had one of a pair shrunk in the wash or washed with something vividly red. They are all going. I suppose I ought to feel all sentimental and nostalgic about his little toes in the socks. Perhaps some would save a pair. I can't imagine me saving a pair, nor what I would do with them if I did keep them - frame them?

Buy Food for less

Lesley very kindly gave me a link to this, and I have been having a huge browse.

I shall be having regular checks on there. They have some really good bargains, though I managed to resist buying anything. Not only do I have no room, I have no money. Well, all the money I have needs to be garnered carefully.

Regardless, I managed to sit on my hands while I drooled. The only thing I will say, with my tired eyes, is that it is harder to read than Approved Food. Why they thought an orange background was a good idea, I don't know, but I am sure it has a psychology involved.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Are monsters real?

Little bear suddenly will not go to the toilet on his own. Apparently he is worried that a weeping angel might creep up behind him while he is, you know.

I was uncomfortable with little bear watching so much Dr Who, and I am not sure I am mistaken. However as OH and little bear are so focused on it at the moment I can't really stem the tide as much as I like now.

However OH will, whether he likes it or not, be showing little bear lots and lots of clips about how monsters are created for the tv series!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Carried away

I started to sort out a delivery of groceries for the end of next week. I looked through my favourites and thought, I could do with that, I suppose I am running a bit low on this, I could probably do with another tin of that.

Got to the end of the list (on mysupermarket, so lots of fiddling round with offers etc) and the total was, after all the fiddling round, over £300!!!!!

I don't normally approved of multiple exclamation marks, but I think they are justified here.

So I have gone through and carefully thought about the validity of each purchase. It is now down to around £75, but I hope to get it down further before the delivery.

The other thing I plan to do is purchase a trolley from my friend ebay and start walking to Makro. Many things are not cheaper there, but some things certainly are. I also intend to shop only for what is needed, building up my stores again in late October/early November for Christmas. I cannot waste money like this
Lesley - thank you for the most amazing hug!!!

Yesterday, by bedtime, I was so exhausted that it hurt. However when little bear bounced in at 6am I set him up with breakfast and drinks, put the tv and the computer on, and just dozed in the same room he was in for four hours! I only surfaced when darling father came downstairs. I went deeper than I normally do when 'on watch' though still sorted out favourite toy/car stuck in hair/new part of doctor who videos at intervals, and I feel sooooo refreshed.

Long may it continue as OH is feeling poorly and this morning I was concerned about him going to work.

However I am going to keep that as a back up plan, and my middle brother has offered to either have me to stay or little bear. Little bear will be expected to BEHAVE as middle brother, who is an extremely loving person, has very high standards. He also adores little bear.

Thank you again for that lovely hug!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Not right bright

The toaster has stopped working.

So I went on my friend ebay and got a very inexpensive replacement. Of course, if I had remembered that I go past the toaster we brought from darling father's about twenty times a day I would have saved even more money.


Also, little bear was not being good. Looking objectively he was pushing his luck rather than being bad, but with one thing and another this morning, by the time I got him to nursery I was thinking, 'five more minutes and I would have been the subject of a documentary'. Of course I hardly even raise my voice to him, but I was seriously getting at the end of my tether. And he was just being an over heated, utterly shattered, over stimulated four year old dealing with a mum with acute sleep deprivation. Though the trick he has of standing exactly behind me and only a half inch behind me scares me - I worry about stepping back and hurting him in the house but I am terrified when I am out when he is not roughly in my field of vision. In a bustling shop or on a busy road it just isn't safe.

And I have spilled a full sachet of liquid air freshener two foot from where I am supposed to sleep tonight.

Also, evil cat has done a huge regurgitation of tuna all over the study carpet. I am blaming the heat.


Something has happened to the drains in the street.

Last night when I was bringing little bear back from nursery we could smell an awful smell. Little bear immediately said it wasn't him! As we rounded the corner I understood. The sewer that runs under our street seemed to be blocked and a man was holding some sort of twirly thing connected to a large van and waving it around in the liquid that had risen to the top of the drain cover. The man from the local pizza shop was supervising. He is also the owner of the flats that have just been renovated. He is always pleasant to me, though if he had warned me about eg bollards or sandblasting in the past it would have been nice. As it is, he is not the worst of the local neighbours.

Nothing has been blocked or backed up here. I suspect that seven fast food outlets within 150 yards may affect the sewers. At least it was all done in the open. I still remember a lorry with a mysterious tube into the sewer one midnight a while ago, and at the time I wondered whether they were putting in or taking out. Also Her Three Doors Down never used to get the drains cleared on her property until the rest of the street were affected. I once got Transco out for a gas leak as I was convinced that was the case but instead it was a less intangible reason.

And the van was there again this morning. Though there was no pong. I think that probably, hopefully, perhaps, that the problem has abated. However seven fast food outlets within 150 yards probably mean that we will see the scene again.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Off my trolley

The doctor has told me I need to take exercise and recommended brisk walks. I intend to keep to this. Makro is within a reasonable walking distance, perhaps half an hour's walk at my current speed, followed by a cup of tea and no cake and then a quick shop and home with the spoils.

The spoils are likely to be stuff like a tray of baked beans, or a gallon of white vinegar. They had an offer of Arial, 90 washes for £10.89 plus VAT instead of @ £20. I would struggle to get this sort of thing home in a carrier. I am not physically very strong. So a shopping trolley on wheels is a logical outcome and would probably pay for itself very quickly. I had a look on my friend ebay.

None of them had skull and crossbones. There was a large quantity of floral. Yes, there was also tartan. I felt I aged thirty years just looking at them. I am considering my options, basically considering whether it will take a box with 90 washes of powder in. If it can do that, and is the right price, then I suppose I will have to put up with old lady designs, and I can always paint it with little bear.

I hate Dentists

I have dental phobia. It doesn't help.

I lost the crown so went today to the dentist. Apparently the pin needs to be re-done, so I am walking around until 10th August with a piece of wire sticking out of my gum.

I also apparently need work doing on a filling - a filling that started becoming loose when they did the crown. I suspect that they leant on the filling while doing the work.

I said I could only afford the crown (mainly because I need to stop the wire sticking into my lips, I can cope with toothache). So the dental technician explained to the receptionist that I was only going to have the crown done. Not only did she clearly explain this to the receptionist but it was also written on the notes.

So the receptionist gave me a form to sign which showed me having a further £500 of work on top. I had to be stroppy to get her to write me up for the correct amount. They have messed me about so much so many times.

After the treatment for the crown (which I have signed that I will pay for, so will go through with gritted and deteriorating teeth), I shall name and shame the practice, and I shall also be looking for somewhere else to sort out the filling.

And I did around £30 of comfort shopping as well - microwave rice which is incredibly useful when dealing with a stroppy little bear, some books for him and a puzzle thingy for darling father. I resent that almost as much.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Evil cat feels her age

Evil cat is regularly begging me for food. This is not new. However she is begging for food when she has just seen it put down, and when I go down to check she seems surprised (and delighted) to find tuna in her dish.

Senile tabby is not something I am looking forward to.

It is really hard because I know that this is stressing me a lot more than her, she has plenty of quality of life (and cuddles). What I hate, and what happened with malevolent cat, is the slow, imperceptible decline which makes it so hard find the point to say, 'no more'.

I hasten to add that evil cat is fine now, but I can see it stretching ahead, as I morbidly check her again, take her yet again to the vet (poor vet), check the water levels, keep an eye on the litter tray...

I'll do all that is needed. I remember that with malevolent cat, one day she just looked at me and I knew that she had had enough. Up until then I had done everything I could, without hesitation. I hope it is that clear with evil cat, and that she can enjoy the opportunities to be evil that still come her way for a long time before that happens.

I may harden my heart and get her booked into the vets again soon, just for a check up. Poor vet. It will put my mind at rest. And at the moment evil cat is still enjoying her life (apart from visits to the vets) and as long as that can continue then I will do everything I can.


It is too hot! I am not good with hot weather. Mind you, I am also pretty rubbish when it comes to cold weather but at least then I can put a sweater on.

Today, following Dr's orders, I went for a walk after dropping little bear at nursery. I had a little stroll one side of a beck and then back.

I enjoyed it, although it was far too hot. I could name most of the plants I saw (I've tried teaching little bear and he looks at me with baffled blankness) and it was quite peaceful, and pleasant. There was lots of Himalayan balsam, and I can see how it is becoming a problem. The bees were loving it.

I also noticed some lovely, silver leaved crack willows. They were cathedral like trees, that had never been lopped or managed and rose a hundred feet in the air and looked majestic. I made a mental note not to go there in windy weather.

Darling father is not well. I am a bit fussed, as I am worried that the weather is affecting him. I have a black belt in worrying.