Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hospital visit

We're planning on visiting Mum this afternoon. I can't say I'm looking forward to it. Spare us a thought around 3pm!

John phoned the hospital around 4pm yesterday to say we wouldn't be visiting, but would be coming today. Was somewhat disconcerted to have the phone handed to Mum. She just said "don't bother".

Nurses say she is getting around better. I foresee trouble.

We may go on and visit Dad afterwards. Depends how we feel when the time comes.

Knitting bags and books on our bed

A selection of some of the junk on our bed. Not much room for us!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Yesss!!! Sock needles!!!

Earlier today I left a comment on Jane's Probably Knitting which I copy part of here:

"Thanks for dropping by, and thank you very much for your kind offer of sock needles. I've ordered some 2.25 bamboos from Get Knitted. The thing is I KNOW I have loads of sock needles. I can even see the bag they are in with my minds eye (it's black felt with different coloured polka dots embroidered on it and it has a gold sort of brocadey lining) but so far I can't find the safe place I put it in! Will have to search a few more boxes later."

Went to search my so-called work-room (hmm, should post pics of that one of these days - if I can manage to fight my way in through the door!) and actually FOUND the bag of knitting needles. Here it is.

Knitting needle bag

And, as I thought, there are several sizes of sock needles in it. As well as lots of other ones, mix of metal and plastic. These are the short other ones - the long knitting needles are in a wrap. There's also some free gift crochet hooks. I haven't tried crochet since I was expecting Sarah (now 29) so I kinda doubt these will get much use other than hooking up ladders in knitting. But then who knows? Crafts sneak up behind you and bite you and that's it. Rather vampire like in a way!

Sock needles and knitting needles

Have half a feeling I've got yet another stash of knitting needles. Had a load come in a workbasket full of random stuff from eBay a couple of years ago. Maybe I left them at the caravan at the end of last season.

Other thing I discovered was a practically finished WIP from around 17 years ago!!! I even have the circular needle that I need to do the neck band and sleeve bands. Will have to take a good look at this tomorrow (or any time I actually have a brain cell working), with a view to finishing it. Just hope I can knit to the same tension all these years later!!!

Very old WIP short sleeved sweater

The knitting looks out of focus, but it isn't. The yarn is scheepjeswol Voluma - 15% kid mohair, so has a kind of haze around it. Otherwise it's acrylic, and it says it's machine washable.

I still like the colours a lot, and I wear a lot of sleeveless or short sleeved sweaters. I really overheat otherwise. Though my feet can still be two little blocks of ice at the same time, which is why I definitely need more wooly socks! Good excuse anyway!

Friday, June 22, 2007


variegated Felicia single flower

We seem to have had a lot of rain again. But I got photos in the yard yesterday and the day before between showers. Today the camera batteries went flat after only a few snapshots, and the torrential rain started before I could swap them for a freshly charged set.

Mossy bowl

The so-called sock swatch has grown somewhat, though I haven't worked on it today. I'm thinking of making it into a small bag. I hate casting on so much that I couldn't bear to rip this out even when I knew it was wrong for socks.

The sock swatch grows

It's been one of those days when everyone seems to decide to phone me, or I have to phone people. First came a spam phone call trying to sell me something. Then I had to phone my bank to turn on my new debit card. Then I had to phone to explain why my card didn't work and give them the new number. Then Sarah rang to say the hot water at the caravan had been fixed. Then John phoned (twice!). And then Herby came round.

Am knackered now!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Peace too

Peace Rose

Was shattered after the meeting with Mum's consultant and the journey there and back on Monday. We had a number of family (and one friend) phone calls to make after it. I spent most of yesterday in bed, just going out with the camera to get some photos of the plants and flowers in our garden.

fern fronds unrolling

Fern fronds uncoiling

Mum's consultant was very helpful and informative, and didn't pull any punches. He said that the physiotherapists might get in touch with us, either when we visit (unlikely as we're only going at weekends or evenings) or maybe by phone. Mum has been refusing to walk with the Physios, will only walk with the nurses.

We have a lot to think about, but Mum will be observed for another couple of weeks. So we have a little calm before the (possible) storm. So I am making the effort to go out into the yard every day (unless it's really chucking it down of course!) to take photos of the flowers.


Lilies - this pot full is doing better than the other pest wise for some reason. Suspect it gets a bit more sun. John picked a load of snails off the lilies this morning, brought out by the thundery rain yesterday evening I expect.

Haven't managed to catch any photos of the insects yet! We've been getting loads of bees in the campanula, if we get a day warm enough to sit out for a while I hope I can catch a few pictures.

Corner of yard from above

Campanula growing amidst the variegated ivy

John's caught two mouses in the kitchen, but clear 2 nights now I think. So we'll set the trap in the yard again just in case there's still a nest out there. Then I suppose we should set in the shed (just in case). I think we're in the market for half a dozen mousetraps!

Pink strawberry flowers

Pink strawberry flowers

Come the evening I leaned out of the bathroom window and took yard photos from the first floor (think that will be second floor for any US readers? cos our Ground Floor is your first floor? confused in Liverpool!)

Yard from above

You can see the width of the end of the yard, and that shiny crinkly stuff in the extreme lower left corner is the corrugated plastic roof on the corner of our (lean to) shed.

Backyard from above again

This one shows from the kitchen steps down into the yard and to the back wall looking almost straight down from the bathroom window. Every time I write that I think of the Beatles - "She came in through the bathroom window..." The purple monstrosity is our wheelie bin. At least it gives us a high up surface to keep my day lily seedlings on!

Day lily seedlings

These are the lilies seen from the bathroom window.

Lilies from the bathroom window

And here's my favourite photo, the Peace Rose from above - I love the sort of spirally pattern in the middle. And the colours. And it's beautiful scent.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Sad, angry, confused

but happy to get a picture on way to hospital to see Mum's Consultant.


This and that

Thought I was getting RSI as have pain in right hand. But now I notice a bruise erupting. No idea what I've done to my hand, but I always seem to be walking into things, so probably I just hit it and didn't notice.

Some more nice yarn came from Get Knitted last week. There was another Get Knitted pen, so John is happy as he has his own now and doesn't have to keep filching mine. They are really good writers, unlike the majority of ball point pens in the house. Also a fruit pop lollipop, which I have an idea for.

More yarn goodies

I thought I might makes some socks for Mum from the multicoloured alpaca. The purple I obviously had something in mind for Sarah, but I've forgotten what. Another time I must make a note of what I was thinking of doing!

Was going to order a swift and some more yarn, but with my debit card stopped it would mean using credit card which I am not keen to do. Just hope the new card arrives soon!

I've started swatching the Trekking, but the needles are too big for it, giving too loose a fabric. But I'm keeping going for now as I thought I might make a small bag with it so as not to waste all that effort. I'm really enjoying the colour changes, the resulting fabric positively glows, though my photo doesn't really do it justice.

2007 06 18 June swatch again 001

It's on 3mm dpns, so will try 2.5 next, unless I can find some smaller ones in my stash of needles that came from Auntie Gertie. That's if I can actually lay my hands on my needle bag at all - the room that is supposed to be my "workroom" is so crammed with stuff it's hard to find anything!

This afternoon we have an appointment with Mum's consultant. John swapped shifts so is working 7-3 today so we have time to get to the hospital for 4.30. I am dreading the meeting.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rose and more flowers

The second bloom of the year is opening on the Peace Rose.

Peace rose

I'm really excited and looking forward to seeing the flowers that emerge from this bud. It's the first flower from plants from seed that came from the first flowers on the Abersoch agapanthus. Urk, that's a really badly formed sentence!

Agapanthus bud

The yard is full of flowers, overflowing. Lovely to clamber down the steps and look at the colour and enjoy.

Lilies are doing well!

There are a couple of campion plants that hitched a lift back from the caravan. It would be lovely if they got established in the yard.

Red Campion

We have a variegated ivy growing on the yard walls, and the campanula has seeded itself amongst it. I love to see plants breaking away from the "flower beds" and escape into other environments. We have a few escapees of the campanula on the outside of our walls too.

Campanula growing amid ivy

This is one of my favourite plants - Felicia. We brought this back from the caravan last year, to give it a break from the marauding bunnies. Love the colour of the flowers combined with the variegated leaves.

Felicia in blue pot

On the knitting front I'm swatching at the mo. No pictures as it's all a bit of a mess. Maybe tomorrow!

Peace rose is a bit ragged on its outer petals, but these will be hidden as the flower opens fully.

Peace rose from above

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mouses in houses


We saw a mouse in the yard on Sunday, so John borrowed next-door's trap. Result was bagged and put into the bin. Today I went down to the kitchen at lunchtime. Heard clickety click claws and caught it moving from the corner of my eye. We will be setting the trap inside for a few nights, and then outside again. Time to get our own trap I suspect.

I have a rat trying to get at my bank account from what I hear. My debit card is now stopped. It will take 7-10 days for new card to arrive. So no shopping for me for a few days. ;-)

Something's eating the lilies too.

Chomped lily buds

Sometimes Fridays just aren't good days.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bad influence

Dovegreyreader is a very bad influence on me. She writes about books I immediately want to read. Here's a small selection I took a picture of today.

Reading material

Dear DGR, please keep on reviewing, I'm having fun reading your recommendations. Husband just finished Mrs Duberly's War, and thought it was great. I finally get to read it! He filched it about 2 days after it arrived here, ho hum, guess that's married life! ;-)

Heron and yard

Lilies are flowering

Yellow lily

John went swimming early, after he left I looked out the window and saw a heron flying riverward.

The iris is over now, but here's a photo of it in its prime.

Iris in sunshine

Had two nice parcels today, but not got photos yet.

Hint - reading and knitting. ;-)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Stupid teenagers

I've had to make a lot of phone calls today. After a long (but nice) chat with Mary (Ma-in-Law) I realised that my feet were absolutely freezing, so I came back upstairs and climbed under the bed covers to try and warm my feet up a bit.

For this to make sense you need to know that I live on a busy but narrow road, we have constant traffic, and lots of nee-naws, both med and police.

About 4.15pm there was something of a racket outside, with some laughter. I don't know quite why I bothered, but something disturbed me about it. I staggered to the window and looked down on 3 teenage boys (14? 15?) pointing up the hill and laughing.

I looked up the hill, and saw one lad catching another by the throat from behind, and then throwing him to the ground, very close to the kerb, between that and my neighbour's car (we have special dispensation to park on the pavement here for what you might term historical reasons). The other 3 lads were laughing.

The attacker then kicked the grounded lad in the small of his back at least twice and then looked as if he was about to punch him in the head. By then I had the window open, smacked it hard several times to get their attention, and yelled at them out of the window. They slouched off round the corner, but I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't shouted.

Four stupid kids, and seems the fifth wasn't much less stupid, as he got up and walked off with the rest.

I wonder if I should contact the local schools. Apart from feeling the attack looked quite murderous, if they were just "messing about" it really isn't safe to do it that close (we're talking about 6inches from the edge of the road here) to the road, certainly not on such a busy road as this.

Mostly I try and stay out of situations like this, but I was scared that kid was going to be seriously injured or worse. And that's why I shouted. But they know where I live. Suspect there may be ongoing problems from this.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mum admitted to hospital

Did a bit of gardening today, here's my view of the yard from my seat in the corner.

Yard from my seat

Mum rang early yesterday morning (7.30am), complaining the pain was very bad and wanting John to go over to let the doctor in. John is working full time, so said he couldn't. "Why can't Margaret come over?" I've been disabled for 15 years, and at present I can't drive either.

Mum has never accepted that I am disabled, we presume she thinks I'm just lazy. But the truth of the matter is I can't even look after myself properly on a day to day basis, so I certainly can't look after anyone who needs physical help.

Lunchtime I had a phone call from one of Mum's GPs. He was concerned that she needed more help than she was getting. I told him that we were concerned too, that we'd visited on Sunday. I also told him that John works full time and I'm disabled myself, so it's not really possible for us to do more to help than we've been doing.

And that Mum was assessed by Social Services when Dad went into hospital, but had refused all the help that was suggested and offered. I don't want my parents' GPs thinking we're uncaring - just the way things are - we are overwhelmed at the moment.

Mum was to be admitted to hospital for assessment. She needs to be encouraged to be more mobile despite the back pain, or she is likely to lose her mobility. The GP recognised that she isn't coping well alone, but I wonder if he realises quite how fast she has lost that ability.

He admitted he didn't really know her, this was only the second time he's seen her. And since he did a home visit it's possible he wasn't able to access her notes before the visit - I imagine it was taken as being relatively urgent (not actually life-threatening, but high pain levels). I also asked if she had mentioned seeing people in the flat - he said she had, but was oriented. John's written the surgery twice about this, but we have no idea if they have had the letters or done anything about it.

I worry Mum may be suffering from depression, reaction to everything that's happened since mid February.

John phoned the hospital soon after he got in from work yesterday, around 6pm. Mum had only been admitted a bit after 5 so was on the Clinical Decisions Unit. We had a brief meal and he headed over to the hospital. They will keep her in overnight, and intend to do back and hip X-rays. They also think she's maybe dehydrated so are setting up a drip. John was there when the doc came to see Mum.

I phoned this morning about 11.30. Not a lot of news, but was able to ask them to tell Mum I'd called. They say she will be moved some time today, but don't know when or where yet. Am leaving it for John to call when he gets in from work.

Spent some time sitting in the back yard under the parasol and watching the insects. And planning and plotting what most needs doing in terms of potting on, moving plants and so on.


John called the hospital this evening when he got in from work. Mum has been transferred to a different ward. He managed to get through to them, and they will tell her he rang and sends love from us both. Her X-rays are fine, no breaks. John will visit tomorrow, am hoping to go too, but will have to wait and see how things are when the time comes.

Iris bud

I think this bud is an iris. Need to split the plant when it's finished flowering. Would love to get some of these established at the caravan.

The first Peace rose is over now, but we still have a bud in waiting. Here's the last photo of it.

Peace rose

Friday, June 01, 2007

Flowers and a fall

This is how my Peace rose looked yesterday.

Peace bursting

And here it is today.

Peace fully open

The lilies are getting big fat buds now too.

Lily buds

My Mum had a fall yesterday. She was leaning over to sort out her shoes, and overbalanced. She hurt her back. She phoned me, I told her to use the alarm she has round her neck. She didn't want to trouble anyone, but I said it was what it was there for. So she said OK and put the phone down.

I rang John at work to let him know what was going on. He called back, and Mum's neighbour was there and they were waiting for the paramedics. A bit later Mum phoned back, and a nice lady paramedic spoke to me. Not taking Mum to hospital as they are happy she doesn't have a break, but muscular pain. They gave her paracetamol and called her GPs, one of whom visited later.

Helen was going to visit anyway yesterday, and John decided to go over too.

Peace Central

Gosh, doesn't that rose look soft and comfy to roll around on the petals! Soft and satiny.