Thursday, 31 July 2014

Aussie adventure almost over

This is the last day before heading back tomorrow and it has been a good trip, a very good trip.
As we came in to land in Sydney with the city lights before us I was tempted to break into song...
the one that goes ...'and I still call Australia home'.... fortunately for my exhausted fellow passengers I held it in, but that is what I feel.
A few days in very windy Sydney with Artist Sister and the lovely Mr B were spent talking, eating, drinking, trawling the charity shops as well as a quick trip to Bondi to see friends and have afternoon tea. RICOTTA CHEESECAKE people, from PASTICERRIA PAPA's. Yum. This is one sugary treat I will definitely be attempting to make at home.
It was then off to Queensland to see mum and dad.
They live Cooran in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast as mentioned before, and this is the view from their verandah.....
Early morning Mt Pinbarren - looks like a little Fuji.
and to the west (ish) Mt Cooran, which I have climbed....
The pink things on the telegraph wire are galahs. Pink and grey parrots. I did a whole series of bird photos so they will come later.
Time moves slowly in Cooran and much crochet was done and FINISHED.
Rosie the cat's brood turned out to be a sinister looking lot, somewhat like small baddies from Dr No...
Tom's sheep, blatantly inspired by the Herdy sheep looks a bit more approachable
Finally Tom's blanket on the verandah beside the water tank...
There was not enough yarn for a complete border, so I just did three rows of double crochet along each side and was ridiculously pleased with it.
It is now nearing lunch time in Sydney and we are off to Bondi again, so later I will continue with other tales of home; King of the Mountain, Noosa Beach, running in the bush, a potential big move and the delights of Caves Beach where some very special people live. Until then.....

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Up with the birds, the dog and the cat

At ridiculous o'clock I was up this morning. Always the same when I fly. The suitcase needs a bit of reorganising and I have been 'remembering' bits and pieces to add to it. Like a bit of soft toy stuffing. Why, do you wonder, would someone need to take this to Australia? Well, the lamb I made for Tom needs his legs stuffed to finish it off and there is no point in buying more filling there.
I passed the time hanging out washing, putting more on, and am waiting until a more decent hour to go back upstairs to finish the packing. 
Like many of us, I find that reading blogs is and EXCELLENT way to waste pass the time. And, Lucy from Attic24 has put up her new Bower Bird pattern. It is a dear thing, but what got me going was the one filled with dried lavender. There is lavender in the front garden, loads of it growing wildly and tall. The original one was Hidecote which is gorgeous but not all that fragrant, however, the latest one planted has the most incredible scent. No idea what it is, but this morning, in my pjs, with the dog and cat in tow, I cut a bunch to dry in the conservatory.  It is a bit 'over' its best but the smell isn't. I am thinking of stuffing a bird or two with it when I get back.
It is now a decent hour, and the suitcase is calling. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Departure Eve

Talk about pull. I feel so pulled. Yesterday Em came home very bouyant and wanted to go running on Ashdown Forest. There was no way I could do it with my sore finger (seriously folks - it hurts and all that blood pumping through the old body would not help). So off we went with the dog. She ran and I walked and the dog ran between us and it was great. 

Today the finger was dressed by yet another awesome nurse. I want to be an awesome nurse...and then the lovely Dawn cut my hair. I am naturally silver and we have over the years gone from boyish, dark hair to silver ash blonde jaw length. I said to Dawn today I am becoming a different version of older one! 

Then Big J and I took the dog out onto the farm track. It was hot, but really nice. We always used to talk about having a dog and being able to go for walks together with it. We always loved walking, but it is true what they say, the dog walks its owners. She needs the outings and we have to take her. 

But my lovely, lovely daughter is not herself and it makes me weep. If there was anything I could do I would. 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Home Sweet Home

They let me out at about 10:30 yesterday with the tiniest bandaid you can imagine on my finger..... Yay! One more dressing this week before the flight and lots of tablets to take.

Then it was straight over to Primarni to get some swimmers as my last Primarni pair collapsed after the swim in Brighton. The weirdest thing, the elastic fibres in the lycra must have deteriorated and the result was a very see through strip all the way down the back and through the crotch of the thing. The mind boggles, I just hope and pray that the collapse took place in the washing machine after the swim and not while I was frolicking about like a beach babe whale!! Oh lordy.

We had a barbie yesterday with the friends who own the garden where the squirrel attack took place. Juno came too and was not all that bothered about hunting anything really, word must have got out in the rodent world not to hang about in that tree, although she does like my little bandage for some reason! 

I am so not in the zone for packing for Australia and my heart is very heavy. Poor Em has been down and it just worries me to death. I KNOW there is nothing I can do or say, but my heart goes out to anyone who has depression. No matter how intelligently one can rationalise what is happening - one still has to experience the terrible lows and life can seem so very bleak.
On a positive note, she will be in the best hands with Big J who is wonderful with her at all times. He has been so supportive to both of us. 

I can't wait to start crocheting again but am being sensible for now.

Thank you to all for the comments and the derision on Facebook. 
Kept me laughing no end. 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Squirrel bite saga - day three

They starved me this morning so I could go back to theatre under a general anaesthetic. It came as bit of a surprise, having thought all was well. Luckily when the consultant came round (one of my old team), he decided not to operate but to keep me in one more here I am. A quieter day, Big J and Celia B have been by.  The IV drip has been taken out and meds are now oral. And the tip of my finger can wiggle a bit.....very good progress. I may just crochet a stitch or two tomorrow, just to see how it feels!
If I can keep awake I might watch the World Cup!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Crucial Crochet finger update

More surgery today at lunch time. It seems that the important bits are intact although there will be scars and some sensitivity to cold. Worryingly it is a CRUCIAL CROCHET FINGER and it will be some time before work can recommence on Tom's blanket. I am pretty miserable about that, but would rather take the time to heal well and be able to crochet than to lose the gift.

The time off will give me a chance to focus on getting ready for the trip home.  It will mean less pressure to hit the target number of rows I had been setting myself every day and will probably result in me being less anxious all round.

I am a very lucky woman to have the brilliant care I have had, lots of cheery visitors and a very nice visit from Big J this evening. They have just delivered a sleeping pill, needed to help me through the night. This thing HURTS. Good night folks. May your dreams be squirrel free.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Squirrel attack

Tonight I am an inpatient in the hospital I left yesterday.
Hard to believe, but today at lunchtime while visiting my friend Celia B with Juno, I got badly bitten. Juno found a squirrel under the patio and did what came naturally, gave chase. The squirrel looked a bit weak and wobbly and I worried it was ill/diseased. It managed to get up a tree but kept falling off.  It eventually fell among some potted plants and rather than have Juno rip it to pieces, I grabbed it by the back of the neck planning to flick it away.... It turned and latched on to my finger. Those teeth went deep, very deep and I could not get it off. Celia B's hubby came to my aid with no luck. I could hear crunching sounds!!! Eventually B hit it, three times, and it let go. I bled all over the patio and felt a bit faint. Poor squirrel was indeed ill and B took care of it swiftly. He then brought me to QVH to Minor Injuries. I expected a quick wash out and maybe a jab. Four hours later after an X-ray, debridement and washout I was admitted for ONE to TWO days for IV antibiotics and to make sure there is no damage to the joint and tendons.
Not one person has managed to keep a straight face about this. I have had people bring me nuts! Em made story board on snap chat for her mates. It is all over Facebook....I will never live this down! But I was trying to save the little bugger.
So here I am in a side room and Big J's iPad - he has been with me most of the day, bless him, waiting for the next infusion....will keep you posted.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

An end and a beginning

Today I did my last secretary day at the hospital for the forseeable future. I was not sad about that, only sad to leave my mad and funny friends. An ending. 

I then went to an open evening at the still only took 54 minutes to get there, but that is mid afternoon, what about mornings?

I had questions but got no answers other than the advice to turn up on the day and take it from there. Part of me loved that. Part of me worried there was no list to check off, equipment to buy, etc. But that is the way it is for now. I met a fellow student, as young as she could be to as old as I am. I liked it. It was a beginning, of sorts. 

Over the next few days I need to think about my parents, my Artist Sister, my niece and nephew and their lovely mum, my estranged sister, who has written again. It is a bit like catching a bird....I am keen to write back straight away, but think that if I give a slower, more considered and less emotive response it will be received better. 
I love to travel but I hate to leave my girls. I suffer from separation anxiety, big time. They know it, Big J knows it, but it does not make it easier. I do understand in my head now, (although not my heart) that people come and go and sometimes they go and do not return. That is not what I am planning, but by accepting it, it might make my own departure less anxious. A less anxious mum does less damage to her loved ones. 
What anxieties do you have regarding your loved ones?

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The week that was

It has been quite a week. 

My sister, the one that does not contact me, emailed me about my upcoming trip home asking if I would like to see her. YES I WOULD. VERY MUCH. The dates did not work out, but she said she would probably see me next year - at Dad's 80th birthday event. There was no news exchanged, in fact it was a very economical communication, but it was contact and I was very happy. 

We have walked in Ashdown Forest twice. One walk was with the family (minus Han who is still in Japan) and a new friend on a sunny afternoon. It was lovely.

We did not see the much talked about bird visitor, the short toed eagle, which fortunately eats snakes and not little dogs!

A dear friend is troubled again with her addiction and I know that until someone in that position accepts that there is a problem then nothing can be done, but she risks losing so much. This time there was some tough love. 

I worked for one day and feel the pull less. One more shift before I go off to Australia. 

On Sunday after my last blog post I pulled out Tom's blanket, took a photo of it
and decided to start all over again. This one feels right, the colours are right, the yarn is right and the stitch is too. (I am reusing two of the colours of the first blanket and a heap of green from my stash).  
I did however have some real hiccups with the pattern this time but managed to come up with a way to reduce the tension in the foundation row that prevents a warped fabric later on. I had to do it three times, but I did the foundation row in a 5mm hook even though the rest of the blanket is being done on a four. It gave enough slackness to start off as I kept finding the tension of the actual blanket looser than the first row. 

It was volunteer week at school and Em and her friends had struggled to find work so ended up at lower school for four days. Friday was a day off and they went to Devil's Dyke to draw and walk. Big J and I headed for Brighton. 

We went swimimng at Brighton Beach, a first for me.
Talk about a day beside the sea! It was sunny, there were deck chairs and sea gulls, we had our towels and my hat, we went right in and it was lovely. The sky was bright, bright blue and there was something about it being a Friday in term time that made it feel almost like we were skiving off!  It was also Independence Day and we had a meal at an American restaurant and then found free table tennis tables - with bats and balls for all to use and worked up a sweat and worked off our lunch. 

Machine People launched their new video on 4th as well. Go guys. 

Another farewell for a friend heading to Indonesia on Friday night, but I was worn out by then. Too much fun in the sun! Today I could barely summon the energey to crochet let alone manage chores! But to be fair, after slobbing about most of the day, I did plant out some tomatoes (lots of babies already) and did some weeding and other planting. The grunt work of gardening is something I love.