Damaged and Delayed

Not supposed to look like that!
Not supposed to look like that!

Yesterday I sprained my ankle, pretty badly judging by the cracking noise and pain. We’re hoping it’s just sprained as I haven’t been able face the epic A&E wait for an x-ray to confirm something I already know – I think I have enough hospital time on my agenda this month. It’s strapped and elevated and I’m icing it regularly. The swelling seems to have subsided a little this morning and I can put weight on it, though I’ve been banned from doing so by my bossy nurse (Dad). Who knew you could buy crutches online from Argos…. Before everyone starts ordering me to seek medical advice, I promise I will if it’s not significantly better in 48 hours.

Today I got the phone call I’ve been dreading / secretly hoping for – the Jam’s operation has been postponed by a week. I can’t be angry. He is well and his surgery isn’t urgent so we’re better off than whoever has taken his slot. The rescheduling is hard for DH, MiL and FiL, who all had to book time off work, but at least I might be able to walk and play with him again before I have to hand him over.

What did I do with my time?

I really want to know! What did I do with my time before the Jam was around?

I ask this because I had a day to myself on Friday – DH took charge of the Jam, ably assisted by my Dad – and I impressed even myself with what I managed to achieve. Times are approximate:

  • 8.30am – got up after a lie-in.
  • 11am – got my hair dyed.
  • 12.15pm – went to Sainsbury’s and bought two bottles of bubbly for 48p. (Nectar points are awesome!)
  • 1pm – made the Jam’s lunch. (Can’t resist ‘helping’ aka interfering.)

    Birch Shawl
    Birch Shawl
  • 1.30pm – iced the last of the Christmas cupcakes.
  • 2pm – wrapped presents.
  • 3pm – spent an hour catching up with a friend.
  • 4.30pm – cooked dinner for everyone for the evening.
  • 5.30pm – played hide & seek with the Jam and DH.
  • 6.30pm – read a book on the train.
  • 7.30pm – got my legs waxed followed by a massage.
  • 8.30pm – bought the last few Christmas presents.
  • 9pm – got home, ate dinner, drank bubbly.
  • 10pm – picked up my knitting.
  • 11.15pm – finally finished the shawl I’ve been knitting for a friend.

I wouldn’t have managed that much in a whole weekend pre-Jam, so I ask again…what did I do with my time?

Big Boy Bed

Nearly 12 months after we moved in – and 11 months after Dad bought his big boy bed – the Jam is finally asleep in his own room! We didn’t want to put down the new carpet until we’d decorated and we didn’t want to decorate until the rewiring (of the whole house) was finished. My wonderful FiL happens to be an electrician, so he did the rewiring for us, ably assisted his old apprentice and his son as well as DH. The Jam and I moved out for the week!

Once we’d put the house back together, Dad and DH painted whenever they could – I even did a little bit – and John Lewis fitted the lovely soft grey carpet. The carpet is meant to be the road, the green skirting board is grass and the blue walls are the sky. Then DH built the fire engine bed and I hung some starry curtains. The Jam stuck the snowflakes onto the window himself. We still have to add some decorative touches, including wall stickers and his moon light, but he’s finally in!

Thank you everyone!

Holiday Diet

English: Dubai Magyar: Dubaj
Luxury, here I come! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m going on holiday! DH and I are off to Dubai for four nights at the end of the month while Dad looks after the Jam (aided by our FFF, who’s moving in for a few days to back him up, and MiL, FiL and SiL as much as work allows). It’ll be the longest I’ve been away from him but I’m looking forward to a bit of grown-up luxury. We’ve even cashed in DH’s hard-earned air-miles to make the most of the occasion.

I’ve always said that I don’t do diets, because I know that being a few pounds lighter or a dress size smaller will not make me happier (just hungrier) but I’ve been fascinated by the 5:2 diet for a while. A few people I know have done it successfully and they reckon it’s easy and sustainable. Dad’s done really well on it and he says he feels better too – he also read and agrees with the stuff about it changing your body chemistry for the better and as he has a PhD in organic chemistry, I’ll take his word for it. I’ve also been meaning to have a few ‘dry’ weeks after slipping into the summer habit of opening a bottle of wine to drink in the garden after the Jam goes to bed.

Doing them simultaneously might be a little ambitious for someone who’s never really done a diet, but it’s only for a few weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes and if that old size 10 bikini fits!

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Wooly Wednesday: Silk Crush

20130717-144911.jpgJust thought I’d share a picture of the beautiful yarn Dad brought for me from Canada. It’s almost impossible to get (and very expensive) in the UK because it’s made by a small company in Vancouver (called SweetGeorgia) and most colours are dyed to order.

I gave Dad a list of colours that I liked and directions to the flagship store but didn’t really expect him to be able to get hold of it as he was staying on the other side of the city, at least a 30 minute taxi ride away. Ever resourceful, he spoke to the concierge, who telephoned the store. I think he actually spoke to the owner / proprietor who managed to find two skeins of the second colour on my list and offered to drive it over to him that evening. Amazing customer service and she didn’t charge him anything for delivery!

The yarn is a beautiful blend of silk and merino in Raspberry and I have enough to make myself a shawl – probably either this one or this one. If you can get your hands on some, I’d definitely recommend it!


Another aspect of the new house that needs some work is the garden. Dad’s already made a good start, and with a bit of warmer weather everything is coming to life. I want the bed closest to the house to be a herb garden, so Dad’s cleared that for me and planted some rosemary, mint and thyme as well as sowing seeds for basil, parsley and chives which we (he) will transfer later. He’s also done a great job clearing out the more dangerous plants (nettles, holly etc) in the rest of the garden so that the Jam can play safely. At a glance it’s still quite a mess, but there are flashes of beauty everywhere:

…into Gold (aka Straw – part 2)

What a difference a day (and a good night’s sleep) can make! After yesterday’s self-pitying rant, things look much brighter today.

Firstly, our lovely new house. The roof is fixed, the render is done, the new windows are in. This morning I got a significantly more reasonable quote for the guttering work and the plumber who came to sort out the radiator valves also seems to have fixed the hot water.

We’re a day closer to the Jam’s MRI, but rather than focus on the negatives I’m grateful that we live in a country with such an amazing public healthcare system. The NHS has its problems, but the standard of care we have receive at the Evelina Children’s Hospital is amazing and they are leading lights in the world of paediatric cardiology. I’m also grateful that the Jam was born now when research and medical advances give him very nearly a normal life most of the time.

Thirdly, I’m sipping a lovely fruity cider as I write this, and contemplating a glass of Chateauneuf -du-Pape with my steak. There’s always next month…

I decided to try to be positive about the tyre too and concentrate on the fact that I’d noticed it before it exploded on the motorway, but for once the karma fairy seems to think she owes me one. It turns out that I’ve just scraped off a relatively thin layer of rubber and not damaged the important bit or compromised the integrity of the tyre, which means it doesn’t need to be replaced.

My phone works.

Peppa Pig cupcakes!
Peppa Pig cupcakes!

As a bonus, I had a lovely lazy nap this afternoon while my Dad played with the Jam. (DH is away for work until tomorrow, which didn’t help with my mood yesterday, but Dad is a fantastic sub.) I got up to find that they’d been busy:

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To a Wonderful Daughter

Dad posted this on his blog while he was away. Rereading it has given me a boost on a few tough days. I wasn’t going to reblog it, but it’s so lovely to be appreciated publicly that I decided to share.

Letters from Down Under

Hi Kirstin

Thought it was about time I wrote a letter to you – well it did say’ Letters … and others!’

Going away is both a good and a bad experience. I enjoy seeing new places and having new experiences – that’s the good bit! The downside is that I miss you all so much, although I suppose that could also be a positive experience as it makes me realise how lucky I am to be so close to you, Jamie and Ben.

The last 3 years have been very difficult for all of us. First losing Mum and then the shock of Jamie’s condition. Through it all you’ve been my rock, comforting me when I found everything too much, supporting me when I needed it and giving me a telling off when I started to feel sorry for myself. You and Ben virtually gave up your own lives…

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