Monday, November 15, 2010


In the absence of anything sensible to blog, here's a silly video.

Made on Channel 4's Twist Our Words site.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The reason I didn't blog on Monday was mostly that we spent all evening at Addenbrooke's A&E. :S

Don't worry, I'm actually fine. I've had a cold since Friday and was feeling pretty grotty. By Monday night I had chest pains and was breathing fairly heavily. The last straw was coughing up mucus with blood in it (TMI? Sorry!) at which point I got a bit panicked, as it was all a bit too much like what happened back in August when I went into hospital and they found blood clots. So I decided it was probably wise to get checked over and Rob took me in.

The doctors I saw agreed I done the right thing, given my history, did some blood tests and gave me a chest X-ray. Fortunately, all was as it should be, no evidence of blood clots, nothing wrong except an upper respiratory viral infection (i.e. a cold). They sent me home again with instructions to rest, take paracetamol and see my GP if things got any worse. All of which took around 5 hours, from leaving home at 5.30 to getting back again about 10.30pm.

So, that was Monday evening gone. I'm grateful to Rob who took it all in his stride and didn't moan at me for wanting to go to hospital, yet again or panic. I don't feel too silly for getting things checked out as the staff did take me seriously. But I do hope that, apart from a couple of scheduled clinic appointments in the next few weeks, I won't be seeing too much of Addenbrooke's in the near future.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

let me read it to you!

let me read it to you!, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Trying to make up for a few days of bloglessness by showing you a cute photo of my niece. :)

This was just over a week ago when I went to visit Debs and Sophia in London. Sophia's just walking so we had fun with her showing off her new skillz and enjoying some books. She likes lift-the-flap books and she's good at finding the things hidden underneath.This is a board book about babies.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


carpet, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Cheating slightly by back-dating this to Sunday, but I did promise pictures from Saturday. Here's one and there are more on flickr if you click through.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Saturday productivity

Once again, I get to the end of the day and realise I've not blogged. I should keep a list of blog prompts so I can write more interesting posts.

Happy Saturday!

ETA: I was going to tell you what I did today, before I got (pleasantly) interrupted.

I came home from Grandma's house with a bag full of apples from her tree, so I made caramel apple jam and Autumn Apple and Cider Cake (with perry instead of cider) from Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache.

I went for a walk in the woods and took photographs (will share some at some point). I don't think I'd ever been to Beechwoods at the end of an autumn day before. The light was amazing, making long shadows across the leafy floor.

I cooked sausages with onion and apple and we ate them with mashed potatoes, sweetcorn and gravy. Yum!

Friday, November 05, 2010


Yesterday's tiredness has turned into today's achiness and general grogginess. Yuck.

It's Bonfire Night, but I suspect I shall not be going out to see fireworks. Instead, I'll be curled up in bed and going to sleep early.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Today I... quite tired. A few days of travelling about and seeing family does that to me. enjoying the warmth of the sun, when it shines.

...experienced the chaos that is the Cambridge bus system when disturbed by sewage works in the town centre. Not pretty. No-one seems to know what's going on.

...cooked pasta with beef sausages and tomato sauce. It was yummy.

...couldn't think of anything very enlightening to blog about.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

on becoming domesticated

Once upon a time, I found kitchen shops boring, though occasionally necessary. Once upon a time I had very little interest in gardening and had never managed to keep a plant alive for longer than a few days.

Then, I got married and and we moved into our first home together. Now I find a new kitchen shop recently opened in Cambridge is somewhere in which I can browse and covet shiny things for hours. I have a window box in which I'm growing herbs and look forward to one day having a proper patch of earth to cultivate. Admittedly, I'm not much better at house plants (Rob has bought me 3 so far and I've killed 2) but my orchid is surviving and looks as if it's growing a new flower spike. What happened?

I think I grew up a little more. Most importantly I had my own space for the first time. Our space, though Rob doesn't have much of an opinion on kitchen things, beyond the colour of the plates and the quality of the food that comes out of it. My domestic housewifely side has space to flourish and express itself and I'm enjoying it.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

positive data

One of the things that's happened in the last few months is that I've been having some sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I've found it really helpful for thinking about how I think and changing things, little by little.

The biggest thing it's helped me with is reading. I virtually lost my ability to read when I was depressed in 2008 and though the depression has gone and my concentration had come back a bit, I still found it hard to read anything longer or more involved than a magazine article or blog post. I wanted to return to my MA, but for an English student, not being able to read properly makes studying impossible. I was pretty sure the main blockage was psychological rather than physical. I got my eyes tested in March, just to make sure and all was fine (though I discovered I needed glasses for distance). That left the non-physical barriers - partly I didn't have the stamina for reading that I used to, but more than that reading, especially reading related to studying, made me panic. I avoided books and then was sad because they used to make me happy.

It didn't actually take many sessions of CBT to make that change. My therapist encouraged me to start by sitting down with a book, to look at it, feel it, explore the feeling of holding a book, maybe read it if I felt like it. Somehow, it didn't take long before I was reading again. Small bites at first, then longer chunks, until now I can read at something approaching my old pace and appetite again. It feels good!

The reading problem is cracked and we've moved onto to a few other things now, like tackling how I think about myself as a failure and jump to panic and disaster too quickly. We're coming to the end of our sessions together and we've been working on a toolkit for the future. One of things I've been exploring is a positive data log. I seem to have no trouble remembering the bad things that happen to me, but the good things can get lost. I've been trying to remember them better. I have a book to record good things in, though mostly I forget, but it helps me just to get to the end of the day and go through all the good things in my head, just before I go to sleep. Even if I don't remember them too well the next day (which makes me think I should use the book and write things down more), it relaxes me at the end of the day and helps make a positive feeling when I remember that day. Try it!

Monday, November 01, 2010

normal service will be resumed shortly

Hello there! Sorry, I didn't mean to leave such a dramatic post at the top of my blog for so long.

I am feeling much better. I have to be on Warfarin for 6 months, which means blood tests to check my blood clotting levels every couple of weeks. I still have occasional pain in my right lung when breathing deeply, but it's getting less and less. I have a heart scan scheduled for later November, but I'm not anticipating any problems. I think it's just to check that everything's fine with my heart and the clots didn't make their way there.

CFS/ME is continuing. Well, I don't actually have an official diagnosis, but as far as I can tell, I fit the symptoms for moderate CFS. Basically that means I get tired easily and need lots of sleep (should have been in bed about 1.5 hours ago. Oops). With not enough sleep or not enough rest from doing active things, I get very very tired and physically drained. But most of the time I can manage it by keeping to a schedule and not trying to fit too many things in. Well, in theory. In practice I am prone to do too much and get bored by always having to be in bed early, but I'm getting better at it.

Should go to sleep, but I'm posting this as a reminder to myself that I plan to do NaBloPoMo this year. That means blogging every day in November. I'm hoping it gets me back into the blogging habit. No promises on what I'll write about. Inevitably my health will get a mention, I might blog about books (I'm reading again, yay!) or MA progress, or I might juts post pictures, if I take any good ones. If you've got any suggestions or things you'd like to hear about, leave me a suggestion in the comments.

Right, I'm going to set this to post in the morning, so that's my first post of the month. Happy November!