Saturday, 31 March 2018

Sandra fights back......

We're now quarter way through the year.... how on earth did THAT happen?  It feels like January was only yesterday but here we are, apparently in spring?!

I'll admit to being a tad discombobulated as I've been poorly for the past several weeks, and time has felt like it's running backwards.  It started as a common or garden cold, which lingered, and worsened, and emigrated south into my chest.  I was prescribed antibiotics but although my chest infection is clearing up, I have now developed ear ache and still feel thoroughly out of sorts.

And tired.

Sooooo tired.

I've been sleeping 12-14 hours straight and STILL waking up feeling exhausted.

My body is a battleground, with competing warring factions fighting for the upper hand..... I can imagine it a bit like that film where the chap is shrunk down and injected into somebody.... Innerspace.... or Fantastic Voyage or something.....

Scene: Inside Sandra.... 

Left to right - Dry Eye, Colitis, Multiple Sclerosis
This unholy trinity of chronic diseases, buoyed by my lingering lurgy, are assembled, making battle plans.....

Dry Eye: *scratchily* hmmm.... I can make her eyelids feel like they're lined with sandpaper..... phnha, phnha.... and when she wakes up in the night her eyeballs will be stuck to the inside of the lids...... phnha..... so she will have to TEAR them apart!!!!!   *maniacal laughter*

Colitis:*gurglily* Harghshshshh.  Good, but not enough.  I will give her uncontrollable dire rear.  Uncontrollable AND unpredictable.  Also severe, griping pain in her guts.  Like something is boring through her intestines with a rusty corkscrew...... ahhhh... the effluvium.....

Multiple Sclerosis: *icily* Pah!  Amateurs. Blundering around with your dry eyes and your dire rear.  This requires finesse.... the touch of a master.

*warming to his theme* Pain..... exquisite pain.  Slicing along nerves.  Myriad electric shocks... some imperceptible, hinting of what's to come.  
Numbness.... blissful after pain, but laced with icy pins and needles.  

Dry Eye: *desiccatedly* Look.....If she can't see properly she'll start to panic.....

Colitis:*bubblingly* Oh shut up... you're only here because of me. I can reduce her to a gibbering wreck within a few hours.... releasing her from the bathroom momentarily only to send her racing back.... like norovirus squared.

Multiple Sclerosis: *spikily* ENOUGH!  You ALL are only here because of me.  I have reduced her immune system to zero. I trump ALL of you!

*uneasy silence*

Dry Eye: *clearing throat... dryly* Well yes.... of course.  Just don't underestimate the power of eye discomfort..... burning, sticking, blurring.......

Colitis: *loosely* Trust me..... losing control of your bowels is not a good thing.  It erodes your self-esteem, renders you helpless.... like a baby.

Multiple Sclerosis: *placatingly* Friends..... we must all work together.  Weave an intricate tapestry of discomfort and pain. 
I will add fatigue.... not mere 'tiredness' but a bone-weary lack of all energy whereby putting one foot in front of the other requires gargantuan effort.  
I will elevate the slivers of pain to a waterfall of neuropathy, tumbling her into a fugue state, relieved only temporarily by opiates, further separating her from reality.
We.... WE can do this thing!

Sandra: *weakly*  D'you know what?  

All: *collective bemusement*

Sandra: *emphatically* You.... the lot of you.....Can all FU*K OFF right now!

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Pantry porn......

I posted a while ago about downsizing the contents of my workroom so that everything will fit into a craft armoire.  I still have a way to go with this possibly impossible plan, but that hasn't prevented me from spending many hours on Pinterest, salivating over other people's craft storage solutions.

The gold standard is, of course, the Workbox, but even when it's closed it's a bit of a behemoth and has a hefty price tag to boot. It also requires a LOT of space to open fully... around 9 feet!

Then there are lots of DIY solutions, many based on IKEA hacks....

It would also be eminently possible to convert a bog-standard wardrobe into a nifty craft cupboard......

However, what I'd really like is something like this.....

Wonderful corner cupboard.... perfect use of space!

Apparently this particular photo has been saved over 300,000 times (!) so I'm not the only one who can see its potential as something other than a pantry.  The media are calling the interest in cupboards like this 'pantry porn' and it's apparently, now, A. Thing.

That aside, I particularly like the way that the interior sides have useful storage, rather than simply having shelves which extend all the way from back to front.

There's a chap in Bexhill who makes pantry cupboards very like these and it's tempting to see how much something similar would cost.  As my workroom cupboards gradually empty, I could easily lose the run of kitchen base units along one wall, freeing up the space for a cupboard like this.  There's even enough space inside to store a folding table and chair, in which case I could lose the big desktop which dominates the entire room.

Hmmm.....I might just have to do more Pinteresting on this cold and snowy afternoon for more ideas.....

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Play Doh and Runnin'.....

Our little granddaughter (aka Gigglefidget) is a force of nature.  She's nearly two and has life completely sussed.

She was staying with us last week, and in the morning, as we were heading downstairs, we had this conversation....

Me: Are you ready for breakfast?
Gigglefidget: YEAAAHHHHH!
Me: What would you like?
Me: Pancake?
Me: And what do you want to do after breakfast..?
GF: Play Doh and runnin'...... YEAAHHH!

I recently relayed this conversation to my Lovely Daughter, who shared my opinion that life just doesn't get any better than that and it's probably all downhill from then on.

It's only when you're all grown up and looking back that you realise that childhood years are the pinnacle of pleasure.  No worries or responsibilities... endless opportunities for play and unbridled enthusiasm and optimism for life.


The old homily that school days are the best days of your life, never rings true at the time.  All those tests and exams... mounting pressure to succeed year on year.

Then work... a whole new set of pressures. Then family, responsibilities, problems.......

Then, much later, comes a point where none of that seems to matter as much.  We become more comfortable in our own skin, more sure of who we are and what we want from life.  As years pass and our remaining time shortens, priorities change.

With my 60th birthday now just a few weeks away, an inevitable introspection has descended.  Decade birthdays seem to do that thing..... I felt it when I hit 40... and again at 50.  Now, approaching 60, traditionally the age at which women retired, it's impossible not to look back and try to quantify what I've achieved in my six decades. And to look forward, to then next (hopefully) ten or fifteen years.

Of course I can't actually retire now until I'm 66... and I'm unconvinced I'll fully be able to, even then.  But I do want to change the way I work and what I do for my remaining working years.

Basically more 'Play Doh and runnin'......

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Stuff's last stand.....

You know how it is.

You live in a place for 15 years and stuff accumulates.

It's inexorable and inevitable.

It doesn't help that we work from home, but the workroom stuff is a whole different issue,  at which I'm chipping away, day after day.

No, it's the rest of the house where we're having a rout, specifically upstairs... corralling and rounding up all the extraneous stuff for which we have no further use.

It also doesn't help that apart from one small understairs cupboard, we have absolutely no built-in storage.  Apparently modern houses these days aren't built with any thought to storage whatsoever.  

To be fair, there has always been one bedroom which has performed the function of Stuff Repository.  For years it was the smallest bedroom, but that has now been transformed into a gorgeous Peter Rabbit themed bedroom for Gigglefidget.  So all the stuff from that room migrated into the third bedroom, pending the sale of my lovely desk.

The lovely desk went just after Christmas, and since then we've been girding our collective loins to tackle the remaining mountain of stuff in order to clear and redecorate the room and transform it from stuff storage room into a functioning bedroom again.

So once again we've hoiked out all the stuff and deposited it in the guest bedroom, which is always kept 'guest ready'.   The plan is that we will shortly have two 'guest ready' bedrooms but in the interim period, which is set to last for a maximum of three days, THIS is how our guest bedroom looks.


Yes I know.

Shocking.... isn't it?

Granted, most of it is new bed stuff for the third bedroom.... bed frame, headboard, footboard, bed slats, mattress, duvet, pillows etc, plus all the books from the bookcase but there still seems to be a lot of "what the hell will we do with THIS" items, the fate of which will be decided over the next three days.

I'm anticipating that a lot of it will go to our local hospice charity shop.  Other stuff will be offered on Freecycle and the rest will be off to our local recycling facility.

So.... three days to restore upstairs to some semblance of normality. *holds head in hands*

Anyway... today PP and I have finally begun painting the now empty third bedroom.  PP did the small brush fiddly cutting in stuff  at the top and bottom, round sockets etc, and I did the broad strokes rollering.  It's not a very big room so we optimistically thought that we'd get it done in a couple of hours.


It didn't help that we ran out of paint and PP had to go to B&Q for another tub.

It didn't help that the sun came out and blinded us so we couldn't see where we'd been.

It didn't help that although the original colour was a very pale blue it's still going to need three coats of paint.

It didn't help that Small Dog assumed the role of site inspector and kept strolling in to make 'helpful' comments.

Hmmm.... mumm, yue knead moar paynt in thatt trai....

Mumm.... whyl yure upp thatt laddr, ai kan see a bitt yue misst.  Kno knott ther... ovur THER... jusst beeyond yure reetsh.


 It's taken most the of the day and after two coats we threw in the towel.  The final coat will have to be done on Monday.  We're now both hobbling around, moaning and groaning about the pain in our respective backs/shoulders/hips/knees/feet and I'm fairly confident that tomorrow we won't be able to move, but hey ho.  At least it's started. 

This evening I intend to do armchair shopping for curtains, duvet set etc for when we eventually get to do the 'fun stuff'.  It can't come too soon.....

In the meantime though......