Monday, December 31, 2007

Thank God 2007 is nearly over!

Began a series of rants about some so-called therapies for ME/CFS. Here's the first one, there are links to them all in a section on the right.

Close up amaryllis
Jan 16

Continued rants on various therapies and discovered the wonderful Quackometer.
Dad admitted to hospital on the 13th.

Snowy garden
Feb 8

John had problems with his jaw and an abscess.
Dad moved from Arrowe Park to Clatterbridge for rehab.

Wind against tide on the Mersey, Sunday
Mar 18

Phone calls from Mum begin to get bizarre.
Found a just started sock from a couple of years ago and began knitting again.Spent a lot of time researching and visiting possible Nursing Homes for Dad.

Rust coloured socks WIP
Apr 29

Still knitting and taking photos of the back yard.
Dad admitted to Nursing Home on May 3rd.
John had a day trip to Abersoch.
The last day of May Mum had a fall while trying to sort out her shoes.

Rose bud - Peace
May 25

Mum admitted to hospital on the 4th.
Still taking lots of flower photos.
Indulged in a Swift finally.

Iris in sunshine
June 10

Mum admitted to Nursing Home in Wallasey
Mum and Dad re-united 27th but Dad taken into hospital the next day and died of pneumonia that evening, 28th.

Jul 14

Dad's funeral was on the 9th, we were very relieved Mum was able to come and thankful the Nursing Home was able to send a nurse with her. After a day's rest John and I went off to Abersoch for a week's holiday.
On my birthday I wrote about a strange happening after Dad died. A message from?

John Steven David out in Duck
Aug 17

Mum re-admitted to hospital September 3rd after having a "funny turn". Put on the Liverpool Care Plan for the Dying September 5th . She died on September 13th, Funeral and cremation was on the 21st.

John and Sarah and David G. climbed the tower at Birkenhead Priory on our way home from the Funeral Lunch. Then we found our way down to the bank of the Mersey so that I could take photos of the QEII docked at Pier Head.
John had a day trip to Abersoch on his birthday, and celebrated it by skinny dipping at Porth Bach.

Sep 21

We had our first visit from the delightful Brodie.
Brown envelope time - IB50 form to fill in.

Evening shadows
Oct 15

Our first outing together this year for John and me that was just for fun - Antiques Roadshow at St George's Hall.
I strained my chest somehow and was more or less bed bound for most of the month.

Lamp light and Wellington's Column
Nov 4

We had another very nice visit from Brodie, who definitely likes having someone in bed most of the time!
Worst Christmas for years... All four of us in this house went down with some sort of gastro intestinal virus. I was the last to get it (on 27th) and am just now beginning to recover. But we all had some nice prezzies, and it seems that Santa's Elves made good choices for the "kids"! So not a total washout.

Dec 10

On the whole I will be glad to say goodbye to stressful and harrowing 2007, and am hoping that 2008 will be a lot happier!

Here's wishing all my readers a Very Happy New Year!

Champagne pouring

Our belated Christmas

By Boxing Day both Sarah and John were somewhat recovered, so cooked the Turkey.

Turkey resting

Helen and David W. came for lunch, though David was still feeling a bit groggy - he had a cold anyway even without the after effects of the dreaded lurghi! Sadly David G. began to feel ill just before it was dished up. At least he got to open a few prezzies before lunch (we were waiting for the turkey to finish cooking, so thought we'd begin the ritual).

John got a pile of interesting books and CDs.

The Chef is pleased with present

After we'd opened a few presents the turkey was ready to come out of the oven and rest while Chef John and assistants finished off the rest of the meal preparations.

Christmas table

And here's my traditional yearly photo of my Christmas dinner!

My Christmas dinner

The tree looks magical after dark.

Tree at night

Unfortunately I went down with the virus on 27th and spent 36 hours throwing up and rather longer than that with the runs. Ah well, guess that about sums up how this year has been in a way!

At least am beginning to eat again now, though still struggling to get up and down the stairs as rather week and feeble.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas postponed for a day

Tree finally got decorated yesterday.

07 12 25 Dec Christmas Day tree 016

Half the family are sick today. We hope that we can have our Christmas tomorrow. If all else fails I'll have to try and cook the turkey myself. I can probably manage to do that, provided don't have to do all the trimmings. And I do have visitor help available if needed.

We'll see how it goes.

Watched most of Gone with the Wind earlier. There are some truly iconic scenes! The buggy being driven across the flames as Atlanta burns springs to mind.

Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Santa Claus has just been to town

Father Christmas outside our house

I took this picture of Santa from my bedroom window.

I tried a short video too, quality is awful, but I'm sticking it up as the whole thing really cheered me up. Been having an attack of the Bah Humbugs, which is improving now!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Prize clarification and market research

Gosh, a lot of comments on my post about winning £100. I should have been clearer yesterday, but didn't have time to go into too much detail as had to get a bath and light the fire in the living room before Helen and David came round to collect Brodie... Boo hoo, am missing a purring puss-cat leaping onto the bed for morning pampering already!

David spent ages sorting out the desktop computer, and has retrieved all my data. Hip hip hooray! He's taken the Acer away and will remove the hard drive to work on it. Also will try and find the fault... Suspect it's motherboard or chip wrecked by being spattered with G&T. My advice is don't leave an almost empty glass by your computer where you are likely to kick it over in the middle of the night if you happen to be restless!

Anyway, I think it is a genuine win. I am on a few market research panels, and the £100 was from a prize draw for filling in questionnaires. Some panels give points that eventually add up to vouchers for high street or online stores. Some do a mixture of points and prize draws. The prize is from GfK.

And there's also YouGov which pays 50 pence for most of their surveys (can be a little more or less) which sends you a check for £50 when you reach it. They also do a few prize draws too. I've had 2 £50 cheques from them, and am about half way to my next one. Mind you, I've been a member since around 2003, it does take a while to build up enough points to get a cheque! But a useful amount when it comes.

I've also won Amazon vouchers, and currently have a £12 Voucher for CD-Wow waiting to be spent (can't spend it before Christmas as usually get a couple of DVDs or CDs). I find it quite soothing doing online questionnaires, and there's no compulsion to do all of them that arrive in my Inbox. Sometimes I can't be bothered with them, but if I'm having a bad few days it's something to do that isn't too taxing and even brings some small rewards.

Mary, with regard to your comment, there's no need to apologise! I quite understand why you might think that the email was bogus. If I hadn't known where it came from I would have been suspicious too!

I used to enter quite a lot of competitions, but seem to have got out of the habit recently. Mind you, there wasn't a lot of spare time for stuff like that this year! Might get back to doing it, had some nice wins - a DVD recorder, 2 personal organisers, CDs, books, 2 nights for two in a 5* London hotel, though never managed the "ultimate" prize of a car! And it's always exciting when the postman calls - you never know when a LWE (long white envelope) will drop through the door bearing tidings of a win!

If any of my kind readers want to give online comping a go, a good place to begin is the Loquax website. There's also a useful UK newsgroup devoted to comping, uk.rec.competitions. Happy comping folks!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Won a prize!

Just going through my email, and find that I have won a cheque for £100! Fantastic - will be able to indulge in some goodies now... Will have to give some thought as to what. How nice to have an excuse to do some cyber shopping!

Brodie cosy

Brodie looking fetching

Another visit from my friend Brodie

My favourate visitor

Comfy Brodie

Brodie has been here for a week now, and he's had a goodly amount of pampering! We had to shut him out of our bedroom overnight as he wants to play at 3am, and we were just getting too tired!

Finally got a card reader for the new computer, hence suddenly can put up photos again. Just need to get back into the habit of taking them.

Hoping to get a bath this afternoon, and then light the fire in the living room - give Brodie a treat. He likes fires. It's a lovely sunny day, really lifts the spirits doesn't it? I'd far rather it bright and chilly than milder but grey and gloomy.

I finally got my IB50 in by the skin of my teeth - had to use Special Delivery. Was very glad I did, as I know it arrived in time. More than the DWP do, as I got a letter from them on Saturday to say I needed to get my form to them urgently. John managed to phone them yesterday, and it's OK, they do have the form. Oddly though they have changed the address it should be sent to on the latest letter. We sent it to Birkenhead, but now they are using Chester instead.

Still slogging away trying to get the new computer more user friendly. Am having some difficulties with installing upgrades that Toshiba say need to be installed. Ah well, will just have to keep on trying.

Think Brodie will be going home this evening. I will miss him enormously, but perhaps he'll come again for a few days soon. I've promised him some turkey-lurkey on Christmas Day, though doubt he will come here to eat it... He associates car drives and cat baskets with nasty things like Vets, so isn't a happy traveller!