Thursday, November 26, 2009

This is incredibly hard to say, but it needs to be said, so I'm saying it.

I've met someone. Someone really nice. Someone who makes me feel special, who makes me feel like a woman again, and not like a sad, lonely old widow. Someone who makes me feel alive.  And yet, I have been having huge difficulty coming to terms with that.

It's been 8 months since my husband, Ian, died. And it has been a hard, lonely, gruelling 8 months at that. But still only 8 months. You have no idea how much guilt and shame I have had to work through to get to the point where I can actually talk about it because 8 months is such a short time.

When Ian passed away I didn't think I would ever meet anyone else, I didn't think I wanted to meet someone else, and I certainly didn't dream that it would happen so soon. But it has, and that's just the way it is. And to be honest, I think I owe a lot of that to my psychotherapist who helped me to deal with my grief in a more structured and philosophical way, and to accept that that was a chapter of my life which has now ended and I need to let the new chapter begin (he did not, however, recommend that I go looking for someone within a year, mind you).

I'll be honest, it's not quite as simple as that. This isn't about forgetting my past. Ian's family will always be my family too, I love them all so I'm not going to forget them, obviously, and I don't want to miss out on watching Ewan grow up. And I have not stopped loving Ian - I never will - but that doesn't mean that I can't love someone else. Love is boundless. I truly believe that my happiness would be paramount to Ian.

But there is something in me which has changed over the passed few months, a strength which at times shows itself in ways which surprise even me. Ian's sister and mother will know exactly what I mean when I say this - that you cannot sit and watch your loved one slowy die in front of you over a period of 7 weeks, at the end of which you have had to make the agonising decision to withdraw life support treatment, say your goodbyes, hold their hand and watch them pass away right in front of you, without being deeply and profoundly changed by it.

That change is not always a good thing. I have become very short tempered and less tolerant of people who place far too much importance on mundane material issues, who don't appreciate their loved ones the way they should, and who aren't willing to support one another through sheer selfishness. These people have absolutely no idea of the treasure that they have within their grasp, a precious thing that could be so easily lost.

But at times, that change is a good thing. I have become more decisive, more sure of what I want, and more willing to take control of my own life. And you know what? That feels so good, knowing that I have the power to shape what lies ahead of me. And I have made the decision that I don't want to be a grieving widow any more, and that I have every right to be happy just like anyone else.

Anyone who feels the need to judge me can keep their opinions to themselves, because quite frankly I'm not interested. Unless you have actually been in my position, then you cannot possibly know what the past 8 months have felt like, and are therefore not qualified to do so.

There. I've said it. And it actually feels quite good!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No updates for quite a while, which I guess means I'm dealing with things and moving on. One day I will bring you all up to date, but for now, here's today's smile.

"A group of Goths in the Bath area were said to be ‘mildly excited’ in anticipation of their Halloween ordinary dress party where they all planned to kit themselves out in outrageously conventional costumes, celebrate until gone half past eleven on a Saturday night and ‘really get their hair sensibly combed’.

‘We had one last year and it was just a blast,’ said Ravyn Voltaire, a 31-year-old tattoo artist, ‘without all the black and white make-up and piercings it was impossible to recognise anyone, and it led to all sorts of daring conversations about getting a better rate on a mortgage, or what happened on last night’s Coronation Street without a single mention of visiting Bram Stoker’s grave to recite necromantic spells.’

Party host Morpheus LeStat has reportedly spent the last fortnight foregoing trips to S&M club nights and dungeons to stay home and put together party CDs, confident he can really get his friends in the mood for the party with songs by Kylie and Westlife that they all secretly liked at uni, even though they could never see themselves in that whole pop scene.

‘I’ve also got wacky prizes like Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy box-sets for the dullest costumes,’ said LeStat who will be foregoing his usual Victorian aristocratic Vampire garb to greet guests in the casual slacks and V-neck sweater combo of a moderately successful architect. ‘I just hope everybody make the effort, and we don’t have a repeat of last year when everybody turned up in their usual leather and bondage get-up and claimed to have come as Tory MPs at home on the weekend.’"

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'll be posting an update soon, I promise. In the meantime, enjoy this goggie having a singsong.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I think today is the first day since Ian first went into hospital (7th
Feb) that I haven't cried. Is this a good thing? I don't know, but I
feel just a little bit better today. Instead of feeling as though I
have to spend the rest of my life with a huge sense of loss, and
feeling that there is no future to speak of for me, I now feel as
though there all sorts of possibilities open to me that weren't there
before. I can do things now that I couldn't when Ian was alive. Am I
being selfish? Probably. But the point is, now I can be, and it's
harming no one.

 This evening my favourite band is playing in Utrecht. Maybe one day I
will get the chance to see them live. They never come to the UK which
is such a shame - they've even been to Russia! So, it's something to
plan for.

 Here's hoping the fans there are enjoying them as much as I am right
now listening to this:


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Thursday, August 06, 2009

I guess this is only a FAIL if the designer didn't intend for the bag to look like what it does:

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

... but the following are definitely meant to look like this:

The Velvet V

and I love them! If I had the cash I would place an order, most definitely!

Monday, July 27, 2009

... so I'm posting this for my own amusement.
william shatner

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Monday, July 20, 2009

... was nice. Went out both Saturday and Sunday with my big sis.
Saturday, we zoomed up to Cramlington to pick up my new contact lenses
and put my broken specs in for fixing (I used to work in Cram and used
the optometrist below my office - I liked them so much I continue to
use them). Then we went off to Newcastle for the Gay Pride Parade.
Unfortunately, we got held up and missed the actual parade, so we went
straight up to Leazes Park for the rest of the event. There were lots
of very colourful people there, and I found a jewellery stall which
sold decorative tongue bars. I bought three bonny ones for £2
(bargain!) which will make a nice change from my plain old surgical
steel one! The music, I have to say, was truly diabolical, but if you
like tribute bands that do nothing but the Pussy Cat Dolls or Kylie,
then you'd have loved it!
Sunday we took my poor neglected pooch to Jesmond Dean for a good old
mooch around and while we were there stopped for coffee and cake. I
can recommend the summer fruit pudding - it was superb! We must have
been out about three hours and my wee lad slept for the rest of the
Of course, as soon as I got home I was a wreck again. Empty house,
loneliness, the feeling of guilt and helplessness because all I could
do was watch Ian suffer. Why do we torture ourselves like this? We
know that thinking about these things are deeply distressing so why do
our minds keep dwelling on painful thoughts, and why do we seem to
have no control over it? I think I'm probably at my lowest point now.
 It's a real effort of will to get up in the morning and start work.
I have to give myself a pep talk just to get me through washing the
dishes or hoovering the floor!
I think I had a bout 3 or 4 hours sleep last night. I'm off to bed now
to recharge my batteries.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

It's a double whammy today, because I couldn't decide which song to
post, so I just went for both. This is currently my favourite band
(till I get sick of them).
This is Bavarian band *Eisbrecher* with *Vergissmeinnicht (Forget Me
Not)* followed by *Schwarze Witwe (Black Widow)*.


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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Been having a bad couple of weeks.
A friend told me, soon after Ian died, that things would get worse
before they got better. Well they certainly are. The shock is
finally wearing off and I'm slowly realising that this is for good.
Forever. That Ian isn't ever coming home. It's heartbreaking. Work
is becoming more and more difficult each day. I'm spending more time
in bed sobbing and less time working. Then I get stressed because I'm
not getting through the work quick enough and start to feel completely
Today hasn't been so bad, though. Got through all the work and even
found time to sit down and eat a proper, healthy meal. I'm going to
go for a drive soon, simply to get out of the house. Don't know
where, just see where the car takes me.
Still feeling lonely.

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This is *Incubus* with *Drive*

This message was sent using only 100% recycled electrons

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Monday, June 15, 2009

This will always be a special place for me ...

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Last Saturday went well, I think.

We set off for the Lost Valley at around 11am. It was a nice day for walking - quite cool, no midges to speak of, and the sun kept peering out from behind the clouds every now and then.  The odd shower, but nothing to worry about.  The walk was just as I remembered it.  Short, but quite hard-going at times, and clambering over the rocks was a trial with an urn full of Ian's ashes on my back.  But we got to the top and stopped to eat our packed lunch.  Then off down to the valley floor to find a suitable place.

I found a lovely little rowan tree with mossy rocks around it's base, and when we approached it a pair of chaffinches landed on the largest rock and twittered for a few seconds before flying away.  Ian loved the birds and would have thought it suitable, so that was the decision made.  I had chosen a lovely little passage from the Talmud to read which seemed appropriate, but me and Ian's sister were too emotional to read it, so my friend Puddy stepped in and read it for us.

In a harbour, two ships sailed: one setting forth on a voyage, the other coming home to port. Everyone cheered the ship going out, but the ship sailing in was scarcely noticed. To this, a wise man said: 'Do not rejoice over a ship setting out to sea, for you cannot know what terrible storms it may encounter and what fearful dangers it may have to endure. Rejoice rather over the ship that has safely reached port and brings it's passengers home in peace.'

And this is the way of the world: When a child is born, all rejoice; when someone dies, all weep. We should do the opposite. For no one can tell what trials and travails await a newborn child; when a mortal dies in peace, we should rejoice, for he has completed a long journey, and there is no greater boon than to leave this world with the imperishable crown of a good name.

We then took turns to scatter some ashes around the tree, and then a we all had a tot of his favourite whisky - Bhunahabhainn - and said a toast to Ian.  I sprinkled a tot of whisky around the tree as well. Then we all took a few rocks and built a small cairn at the base of the tree.  Spike had the idea of getting a plaque made on a stainless steel chain that could be hung from a branch and not harm the tree, and to come back next year to place it.  I think that would be a lovely thing to do.

I would like to thank everybody who came along - it meant so much to me to have the support of my friends there and if Ian could have seen our little ceremony I know he would have been chuffed to bits.

I couldn't get any photos, except a shot of the valley floor from where we stopped for lunch.  However, others took some nice shots so I will post them here when I have copies.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Sex Pistols ... yay!  This is Anarchy In The UK.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This is Tenpole Tudor - Swords of a Thousand Men

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Another one of my favourites from 1979 - *Blondie* - *Picture This*


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Thursday, June 04, 2009

A man boarded an aircraft at London ’s Heathrow Airport for New York , and taking his seat as he settled in, he noticed a very beautiful woman boarding the plane. He realised she was heading straight toward his seat and bingo - she took the seat right beside him.
"Hello", he blurted out, "Business trip or vacation?"
She turned, smiled enchantingly and said, "Business. I'm going to the annual nymphomaniac convention in the United States ."
He swallowed hard. Here was the most gorgeous woman he had ever Seen sitting next to him, and she was going to a meeting for Nymphomaniacs!
Struggling to maintain his composure, he calmly asked, "What's your business role at this convention?"
"Lecturer," she responded. “I use my experience to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality."
"Really", he smiled, "what myths are those?"
"Well," she explained, "one popular myth is that African-American Men are the most well endowed when, in fact, it's the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess that trait. Another popular myth is That French men are the best lovers, when actually it is the men of Greek descent. We have also found that the best potential lovers in all categories are the Irish."
Suddenly the woman became uncomfortable and blushed. "I'm sorry," She said. "I really shouldn't be discussing this with you; I don't even know your name!"
"Tonto," the man said. "Tonto Papadopoulos, but my friends call me Paddy."

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There will no more Tune of the Day until Monday.
I will be leaving tomorrow to travel up to Glen Coe to scatter Ian's ashes in the Lost Valley and will not return until Sunday.
See you when I get back.

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Possibly the coolest Scot ever ... I didn't discover this guy until I was 21 back in 1989 ... he sadly died in January this year.
This is *John Martyn* - *May You Never

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

This is the lass that shocked the nation back in the 80s by flashing her hairy oxters on Top of the Pops! Yay! It's *Nena* with *99 Red Balloons!

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Monday, June 01, 2009

A blast from the past for me - my sister was a big fan of Tubeway Army and as a younger sister I was subjected to long hours listening to it - and you know, some of those songs really got under my skin!
This song is called *Down in the the Park*

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

This is is one of my personal favourites - *Rammstein - Engel*

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

leonard nimoy, william shatner and deforest kelley

see more Lol Celebs
Anybody who hasn't been to see the new Star Trek movie better get themselves along to see it while they still can. Don't like Star Trek? You'll like this. It is quite unlike any of those cheesy movies that came before, and has all of the chemistry between characters that was prevalent in the classic series (although you may be a little surprised at the love interest). You'll not regret it.

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Todays classic is *Killing Joke - Love Like Blood*

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Well, didn't I get off to a good start, eh? I missed a day already! Blame a busy day at work followed by dinner out with a friend ... yeah, that's it!
Anyway, today's choice is *Prayer *by *Disturbed*

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Those of you who are coming on the walk to the Lost Valley on Saturday better prepare for cold and showery weather!

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Right. In an attempt to cheer myself up I have decided that from now on and on a daily basis, until I run out of ideas, which may be tomorrow, I am going to post a video of one of my favourite songs/musicians.
Todays gem is *The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen in Love*

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Right! I have spoken to the lady at the Red Squirrel campsite and told her that there will be approx 11 people/7 small tents and 1 dog turning up on 5th and staying till 7th June. She is looking forward to us turning up so be there!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I think part of the reason I am finding stuff so hard to deal with right now is because I've been on a bit of a downer since Saturday.
It was my birthday. And for the first time in my life I spent it on my own. I opened my gifts and cards alone. I didn't see anyone until the evening. I felt more lonely on Saturday than I think I ever have and that's really really hard to bear.
Been having a hard time trying to smile since then.

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Despite many letters (including copies of death certificates), phone calls and letters sent by my solicitor, I am still receiving demanding letters from creditors regarding outstanding debts that I was left with after Ian died. The latest is a default notice that I am to pay the full outstanding amount by 2 June otherwise they will start legal proceedings to recover the full amount. The latest from one of the companies stated that I hadn't contacted them despite their previous letters, and I have records of loads of correspondence with them! Another company had addressed 2 of the letters to Ian! It's not like they aren't going to get paid, just that I don't have access to funds to pay them yet because of all the red tape involved. All of this paperwork, form filling and waiting for responses takes time. All they have to do is wait a bit longer, but no. They want their money now and they are prepared to do whatever they have to to get it. To be honest I have been through quite enough recently and right now I don't feel I have the strength to cope with all this any longer.
I went to see Combichrist last night in Sunderland. A good dose of Norwegian trance inducing EBM was just what I needed to forget about my worries. I think I danced so much my legs were like jelly at the end of the night! I had originally bought two tickets for me and Ian months ago so I let Ian's best friend, Geoff, have the spare ticket.

Tomorrow I will take the latest batch of letter to my solicitor and see if he can reason with them.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

For those of you who will be coming along to the scattering of Ian's ashes, here's some info I found on the web ... somewhere ...
Accommodation: Wild camping is still tolerated north of the river at the rear of the Kings House Hotel, and between the road and the river in the upper reaches of Glen Etive, though is generally discouraged elsewhere in Glen Coe. About a third of the way down the back road from Clachaig Inn - Glencoe village lie the Youth Hostel (tel: 01855 811219), Leacantuim Farm Bunkhouse and Red Squirrel Campsite (tel: 01855 811256). The National Trust Campsite is located in the forest on the west side of the A82, 1.1miles/1.8km SE of Glencoe Village. There are also Caravan and Camp Sites nearby at Invercoe (tel: 01855 811210), 0.5km from Glencoe Village; at Caolasnacon (tel: 01855 831279), 3.5 miles/5km down the B863 road to Kinlochleven; and Corran Caravans, Onich (tel: 01855 821208). Bunkhouses: Inchree, Onich (tel: 01855 821287); West Highland Lodge, Kinlochleven (01855 831471). Mountaineering Club Huts at Lagangarbh (SMC); Blackrock Cottage, White Corries (Ladies Scottish Climbing Club); Inbhir-fhaolain, Glen Etive (Grampian MC); Smiddy, Glen Etive (Forventure Trust); Kinlochleven (Fell & Rock); Alex Macintyre Hut, Onich (BMC/MC of S); Manse Barn, Onich (Lomond MC). Many hotels en route to Fort William, together with numerous b&b and guest houses in Glencoe, Ballachulish and Onich.
Amenities: The Clachaig Inn (tel: 01855 811679) and the Kings House Hotel (tel: 01855 811259), located at either end of the Glen, are the two most popular places for an apres climb pint for most climbers. Both also offer bar meals. All the other hotels en route to Fort William also serve bar meals. For provisions, there is a late opening Spar supermarket in Ballachulish village, 1 mile/1.6km west of Glencoe village. There are also a couple of small grocery shops and a post office in Glencoe village, together with a couple of cafes - try the River Coe Restaurant on east side of the A82. Petrol Station in Glencoe village. For outdoor equipment, maps, guides etc. Glencoe Guides and Gear (tel: 01855 811402) is conveniently situated at Tighphuirst, on the south side of the A82 just west of Glencoe village.
My plan is to drive up there on Friday evening and to camp at the National Trust campsite. My understanding is that there is usually no pre-booking available for National Trust sites and that they are operated on a first come first served basis. I therefore don't want to leave home any later than 4pm. I'll be using SatNav so hopefully I won't get too lost, but if anybody wants to get lost with me rather than get lost on their own, we can arrange a time to leave together.
See you there.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Not been online much lately. The business has suddenly taken off and I'm currently inundated with work. On top of that my mum (who has been helping me keep on top of things) and dad have gone to Greece for a fortnight and this the busiest week so far! I'm already behind - I have orders from the weekend which should have been dispatched yesterday still to do.
I may have to call on my friend for help - she has offered to come around this evening after she finishes her shift at the school where she works. Let's hope I can catch up without having to resort to that.
It's the upholstery strap orders that take up so much time ... they're a made to measure product ... even so, they bring in a good chunk of the money.
I suppose staying busy is better than sitting around moping.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

I should be working so just a quick note to say that in total thanks to your kind donations we raised in total £731.45 for the International Sepsis Forum!

Thank you everyone!

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

It looks like it's going to be 6th June.  Anyone who can make it and wants to come is welcome. The plan is to camp at a nearby site and those who aren't able to go hillwalking to the Lost Valley can stay in the bar at the Clachaig Inn and drink whisky on Ian's behalf!  His favourite was Bunnahabhain, so make sure you have one for him.  Those of us who will be making the trek will be able to share in a little tipple of said malt at the top of the hill and we'll meet up with you afterwards in the bar.

For more information, phone, text or email me.  I don't want this to be doom and gloom.  It's a celebration, so no sympathy please. There was enough of that at his funeral.  Let's make it an enjoyable experience and a celebration of Ian's life with a family and friends together.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Every day is still incredibly hard.  Every day I think of Ian and cry.  But, work still has to be done to pay the bills and I am thankful that I still have the online/internet side of our business to keep me going. Staying busy makes each day more bearable.

I had been thinking of what I can do to immortalise Ian in a way. I had thought about naming a star after him, but changed my mind. I already look up at Polaris every evening - the North Star - for me it represents stability, guidance, an unchanging entity in an ever changing world.  I look up each night and I have a little chat to Ian.

What about planting a tree?  Well, a friend of mine has been coming to tidy the garden every couple of weeks to help out. He runs his own gardening business and even though I told him I can't afford to pay him at the moment, he said "If I can't spend 15 minutes helping out a bereaved friend there's something wrong with the world."  Him and few friends are planning on buying me a tree to plant at the bottom of the garden - a rowan, I think - something to attract the birds which Ian would have loved.

I can definitely feel another tattoo coming on but I need to think long and hard about an appropriate design.  Something to symbolise the love we had and the strength he gave me to get through the darkest of times.

I really need to decide on a weekend to go up to Glencoe to scatter Ian's ashes. Anybody who reads this and wants come along, let me know your preferred dates. I was thinking about sometime in June or July.

Going out is hard to bear. I went out on Sunday for Keith's (the gardner I mentioned) birthday.  I still had to go outside and have a bit of a blub.

I just wish this constant pain would go away. Yet, people have told me it never goes away, it just becomes easier to bear.  I don't know how I can carry if it doesn't ease.  I feel like I'm being constantly choked.  Sometimes I can't eat because of it.  Sometimes it's like somethings wrapped around my heart and squeezing till I can hardly breathe.  It's like a sickness from which I don't know if I'll ever recover.

And then there's the guilt. The fact that I walked away from him just over an hour before he took a turn for the worse and was rushed to ITU.  He wanted me to stay with him and I left him there.  That was the last time I spoke to him.  He told me he loved me and he was so afraid.  I don't think I can ever forgive myself for that.  I hate myself for doing that to him, for leaving him all alone with his fear.

It's not the lonliness that hurts so much.  My heart breaks every time I think of his pain and suffering.  If only there was some way I could have taken it away from him.  To swap places so he could be well again.  I would gladly die for him.

Ian, my love, I miss you.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Right, I'm off to Whitby to catch the tail end of the gothic weekend, ie Sexy Sunday.  The organiser has planned a tribute for Ian, so of course, I have to be there.

Wish me luck that I manage to maintain a bit of dignity and don't break down in front of everyone.

Because, you know, panda eyes and mutton chops that come from combining tears with goth makeup is not a cool look.  At all.

I'll be back in the wee hours.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It’s a week today since Ian’s funeral, and life is very slowly beginning to take form and shape.  Nights are hard.  Lying alone, trying to sleep, my mind begins to wander and I end up crying myself to sleep. Every night. And every morning the first thing I think about is Ian lying there in hospital suffering in silence, and I cry again.

But, life has to carry on, and each morning I get up at 7am and go to work, and do my best to carry on what he had built for me.

I miss him so much. I feel like a big chunk has been cut out from inside of me. It’s empty and it hurts, and I so desperately want him to walk through the door and smile his lovely smile and tell me everything will be ok.


MadPriest, I looked for you at the funeral but I couldn’t see you, partly because of the tears and partly because as soon as I left the chapel I was mobbed by sympathetic well wishers who were battling for hugs (still got a sore neck from all that).  I so much wanted to thank you in person for coming along.  To everyone else who posted such kind comments and emailed me their good wishes, thank you all.  We really have got quite a close and caring community here, it makes the physical distances between us all seem so irrelevant.

And a huge thank you to everyone who so kindly donated to the International Sepsis Forum.  If just one person benefits from our efforts and is saved from the sickness Ian suffered, if just one family is saved from the grieving and heartache that comes from losing someone so young, so soon, every tiny penny is worth it.  As soon as I have all the monies in (and when I tot up how much was sent to the charity directly) I will let you know how much was raised in total.

Love and hugs to you all. x

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I got the post morten results a couple of days ago. Ian died from multiple organ failure caused by severe sepsis/septicaemia, the source of which was indeed the abscess around his right hip. Poor, poor Ian. No wonder he said to me an hour before being rushed to ITU, "I have never felt so sick in my whole life". He was so brave.

So, it's all set it stone now ... the funeral is finalised.

Birtley Crematorium
Wednesday 8th April, 10am
Family flowers only
If anyone wishes to make a donation to charity instead of flowers can either give directly to me (I am happy to collect and send one lump donation), or please consider donating directly to the International Sepsis Forum. This is taken from their website:

The ISF accepts monetary donations from the general public. All money donated to the ISF charity will be utilized to support research in the field of sepsis. Checks or money orders should be made out to The International Sepsis Forum.

Please send donations to the ISF to the following addresses :

If mailing from The United States:
International Sepsis Forum
C/O Elaine Rinicker, ISF Program Manager
7024 Palmetto Pines Ln
Land O'Lakes, FL  34637

If mailing from Rest of World:
International Sepsis Forum
Crown House
28 Winchester Road
Romsey, SO51 8AA
United Kingdom

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

I really don't want to have to do this, so I'm not. A friend has already done it, and I couldn't have put it more beautifully or succinctly:


I will not be blogging again for a while.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Ian is deteriorating now. His kidneys are no longer producing any urine and his gut has stopped working altogether. His lungs are beoming more congested and the sputum is looking thicker and more dirty. It is now 25 days since he was admitted into ITU and the consultants have told me it's highly unlikely that he's going to survive and that maybe it's getting to the time when we should start to consider stopping treatment.
I feel nauseus, scared, desperately sad and lonely, all at the same time. I prayed today for the first time since I was small child, just in case I have been wrong all these years and there really is a God up there. I begged him for a miracle. But we all know miracles don't happen.
Right now I don't want to live.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yep, they grew MRSA from his sputum! He has been on antobiotics and it's gone from his lungs now, but he still has it up his nose. I think he may have been a carrier anyway, as I remember they did nasal swabs and decided to put him on antibiotic cream to squirt up his nose for a week before he had his first hip replacement seven years ago, but it's hospital policy to isolate patients with MRSA to prevent spread to other patients. So, he's now in a cubicle room on his own. It's not causing him any problems up his nose, but as he has tubes and stuff going up both nostrils they cannot treat it right now.
Of course, now I have to put on a disposable apron, and scrub up at every visit before can enter the room.
Poor Ian. :-(

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I said I was going to post an update last night when I got back from the hospital but forgot.
Anyway, there's been not much change. His temperature has gone up again and now he has a rash. Again. Looks lovely with the jaundice. :-/
Last night was hard. There are some evenings I visit him and I feel quite positive and upbeat, but last night I was getting scared and emotional again. Even these slight blips make me nervous. He's so frail that I'm afraid the slightest blip could knock him back miles.
I'm beginning to get so fed up with all the people phoning the shop asking to speak to him. When I explain he's not available they say they'll ring back later. When I say he won't be back later because he's in hospital they want to know when he'll be discharged. I have to be honest with these people and tell them that right now I don't know if he'll ever be coming out of hospital and it's still as hard now as it was three weeks ago. I feel like I'm choking on the words as I try to say them. If it wasn't for the fact that I need customers to call and place orders, then I would turn all the phones off.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I loved this so much I had to share.

I will be leaving in 25mins for the hospital. An update coming soon.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's 3 weeks today since he was taken to ITU.
I got to see a consultant this evening. His bilirubin count has gone down a bit and she thought he was also looking a little less yellow. They took him off the antibiotic that they thought was having an adverse affect on his liver and it seems to have done the trick. He had also got a bit of a fever over the weekend and that has come down as well. They have been able to reduce his oxygen and the ventilator pressure a wee bit. All positive things. Not so positive - his kidneys didn't do anything after they took him off dialysis and his potassium levels started to increase so he's back on it, his blood pressure dropped a bit so they've put him back on the drug to stabilise that, and he's not absorbing his feed again so he's back on IV nutrients.
On the whole though, tiny steps forward. I just hope he has the strength and the fight in him to keep this up.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ian is stable, not much news right now. Still yellow, still sedated, still on the ventilator. However, he has not started to bleed into his lungs any more and he's started to absorb his naso-gastric feed a bit better. He looks very very thin, though.
I'm hoping that tomorrow I can get an update from one of the doctors.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Well, Ian had a bit of a rough weekend. On Friday the doctors decided to turn him over onto his stomach. He had spent almost two weeks on his back, and sometimes patients with lung problems do better if they are turned over for a while, to let the lung secretions shift from the back of his lungs to the front and allow the back to do some of the work for a while.  I visited him after he had been turned over and is poor head had turned purple. His chest was propped up on a pillow and his head hung down in front and all the blood had rushed to it. They were turning his head every two hours but he looked so uncomfortable.

Saturday I went to visit and they'd turned him back over, but his whole head had swollen up! He had big fat lips and a huge swollen eye, his chin had disappeared - I didn't recognise him!  I was assured that this was temporary and that once he was back on dialysis and all that excess fluid was removed from his body that it would go down.  He was still very red.

Sunday I went in to see him and not only was he still puffed up but he a turned a vivid shade of yellow.  Now his liver was playing up.  As you can imagine, I was utterly distraight by this time.  When I got home I couldn't stop crying. I was convinced he was slipping away from me and it was only a matter of time before he was gone from my life forever.

Sunday night I didn't sleep a wink. I was expecting a phone call from the hospital at any moment and simply couldn't settle. I was up at 6am doing jobs around the house just trying to take my mind off things until it was time to go to work. Once there I phoned ITU to see how he was doing and to see if it would be possible to speak to one of the consultants about him. They agreed, and in the afternoon I visited. He looked much better - still the colour of Bart Simpson, mind you, but all the puffiness had gone and he looked like my Ian again. :-)

Anyway, to cut a long story short (as I could go on forever), his liver had a blip because he was on an IV feed as he wasn't absorbing his nasogastric feed, and it contains quite a lot of fat. He was also on a fat soluble sedative which is in a fatty emulsion given intravenously. His liver couldn't handle the fat load, and the high level of fats in his blood was clogging up the filters in the blood machine, so the dialysis wasn't working, which was causing the fluid content and toxins in his body to go too high, which was affecting his oxygen exchange which was causing his blood to become too acidic which was making his liver sick so it didn't work so well and couldn't digest the fats in his blood which were clogging up the filters ... well, you get the idea. They've completely reworked all his drugs, got him on a water soluble sedative, and he's off his IV feed for now.  So now, all he's on are the sedative and the morphine (to paralyse his breathing as he's wearing himself out fighting against the machine and trying to breath for himself).  He's holding his own heart beat and blood pressure steady on his own, so no drugs for those, and he appears to have stopped bleeding into his lungs (for now).  However, it could still take quite a long time for his lungs to clear of all the old blood so he must remain on the ventolator until his oxygen absorption improves. He also appears to be hanging on to his platelets now (he's been getting a bag of platelets every day as he was losing/using up his own at a vast rate).

I have been advise that he may start bleeding again, but we have to keep our fingers crossed that this will not happen. Once he's off the dialysis this will help as he has to have a bit of heparin (anticoagulant) to prevent his blood clotting in the machine. His liver should recover, and also his kidneys, so we just have to hope that he can continue to improve like this.

The current opinion is that Ian may have succumbed to Panton-Valentine Leukocidin poisoning. He had a staph. aureus infection in his hip, NOT a methicillin resistant one, I might add, but that sometimes the bacteria can become infected with a bacteriophage (virus) which actually makes the organism more virulent and produce this very nasty toxin. It is common in Europe, apparently, but very rare in the UK, so rare in fact, that we don't even bother testing for it any more, so we have no way of knowing for sure if this is what he had - we can't test for it in retrospect.  Apparently, people who get it usually die within 72 hours.  I think Ian is so lucky that he was in hospital when he became ill with it, and only three doors away from ITU, and was able to get treatment immediately, because if he had been discharged when he was supposed to be 3 weeks ago and taken ill at home, he wouldn't be alive today.

This evening Ian seemed to respond when my mother and I talked to him. His heart rate went up a bit and his eyelids flickered and he moved slightly. It was a tiny response but so wonderful I wanted to put my arms around him and hug him and kiss him and tell him I loved him. But I couldn't get near because of all the equipment.  However, just as I was leaving the nurse took me round the back of all the machines and told me to kiss his head. I talked to him in his ear and told him how much I loved him and how he would be home soon and kissed him goodnight and left.  Such small things, but being allowed to do that meant so much to me.  She then said I could do that any time I wanted.  I know he's not out the woods yet, but each day he seems to be getting stronger, and I feel so much gratitude towards the staff in ITU and the nurses on the ward for recognising something was seriously going wrong and getting him there in first place, that sometimes I feel like my heart is going to burst.

This is a debt I will never be able to repay.

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I will be posting an Ian update in a couple of hours when I get back from the hospital. Enjoy the video. :-)

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

His kidneys have started working a tiny bit better, so he hasn't needed to go back on dialysis just yet, he's still maintaining his blood pressure without drugs, and he's had his lungs washed out and biopsies taken. his consultant said things were starting to look a bit brighter.
I'm not even home from the hospital yet - couldn't wait to post this!
--- Message sent via the PocketSurfer (Full wireless Web, Email and IM at

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ian's blood pressure drugs have been stopped today as he's been managing to maintain his own blood pressure. Let's hope he can keep it up.  Also, there has been a decrease in the amount of bloody fluid they have been suctioning off his lungs.

Tiny improvements, but going in the right direction. Enough to give me more hope.

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Just a little update on Ian. There has been no change. No better but no worse.  This is quite normal and most days this is all there is to report. So if I don't post for a while it doesn't mean that anything awful has happened, just that nothing at all has happened.

This is going to be a lengthy process for Ian, he's in it for the long haul for sure. The nurse looking after him a couple of days ago told me that for every 24 hours spent in ITU you can expect a week in recovery. Today is day 11.  Don't hold you're breath.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

The bottom line is, there's not much to tell. Ian is still teetering on a precipice. He's still critically ill, still on a ventilator, still on a haemofilter machine, still unconcious. However, there have been a few minor improvements which I will explain now.

I have been assured by a nurse that his youth is a big plus in his favour.  Today I got to talk to a consultant anaesthetist (I also spoke to him a couple of days ago so today was an update) and I feel more confident that he is now on the right treatment. He is less concerned about him today than he was on Friday. I won't go into minute detail about his condition but he is now able to maintain his platelet level better, his nutrient absorption has improved slightly, his oxygen absorption has improved a bit, he's able to maintain a steady heart rate and blood pressure on his own meaning they've been able to reduce the dose of cardiovascular support drugs he's on which has improved his circulation and his hands and feet are now nice and warm. He's been given one lot of immunoglobulins to correct his immune response and reduce the severe inflammatory condition going on inside his body and this seems to be doing the trick, so he's scheduled for more today. The cardiologists are not concerned about his heart, and I have been advised that there is no reason why his heart and kidneys should not make a full recovery.

I've still been warned it go the other way, but he is young and strong (or was strong before he took ill) so I have to have hope and every little improvement is a step in the right direction. As long as he can keep taking baby steps towards getting better I am satisfied.

It is truly amazing to watch the ITU staff at work, monitoring him 24 hours a day, tweaking this, altering that, all the time supporting his system to keep him alive while he tries to heal himself.

I've been trying to think of a way to show my appreciation if he gets through this. Somehow, a tin of biscuits just doesn't cut it. Any ideas?

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ok, here's what's happened since my last post.

On Sunday evening I visited Ian and he looked terrible. He had a fever, he felt sick, he had D&V and his rash was back. He also looked exhausted and kept dozing off, and he was getting breathless very easily.  I had a bad, bad feeling about it all and had to just about wrench myself away at the end of visiting time.  He said to me in a quiet voice and quite emotional, "I have never felt so ill in my entire life".

I came home and went to bed at around 10:30pm. At 12:30am my bedside phone rang. It was the hospital. They said that Ian had been taken to ITU and said that I could go along. I was there for 1am. I had to wait a while in the visitor's room, and then some consultants came to see me and told me that Ian had taken a very bad turn and was having difficulty breathing. He consented to being sedated and put on a ventilator. His blood pressure was very low and his heart rate was up, so he was on drugs to try to stabilise those, and he was on more antibiotics to try to counter any other infection that may be causing it. They then allowed me to see him. They said that he may not survive this and that we have to hope that the fact he was young and healthy before this all happened is on his side.  I stayed with him all night and most of the next day, but had to come home to sleep as I was simply exhausted.  Yesterday was like living in a nightmare. I don't think I stopped crying the whole day. I couldn't eat, and when I tried to sleep it was very broken. I think I must have been up pacing 6 times during the night.

I awoke this morning at 7am when my alarm went off, and at 7:05am I phoned the hospital, because those five minutes were such a long wait I couldn't hang on any longer. They told me that Ian's urine output had stopped during the night because his kidneys had shut down and so they had put him on dialysis.  Apart from that there weren't any other real changes.

I have never been so scared in my entire life. He is my soul mate, my best friend, my hero. I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for him, and the thought of losing him is too much to contemplate.  To think that almost a month ago he was complaining of an aching leg, and that it could lead to this, is terrifying. I need him to get well, I need him home with me. I love him with all my heart and right now I don't feel I can live without him.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

It's three weeks yesterday since Ian was admitted into hospital with an infected hip.

His hip is now resolved. His staples are out and his incision has all healed up. However, he's still suffering from fevers and sickness and yesterday he had a chest x-ray as a doctor had heard some crepitations in his chest and thought he may have had a touch of pneumonia. He's had samples from virtually every orifice sent off for cultures, and a couple of days ago he had an ECG. I think now they simply don't have a clue what's wrong with him and are doing every test they can think of in an attempt to diagnose by a process of elimination.

I phoned him this morning and his temperature was at 39.9C and he was feeling awful. He can't eat at all and has been having Fortisip drinks to try to keep his strength up.

I did tell him yesterday that I was not happy that nobody had spoken to me in three weeks and that everything I knew was from what he had told me and the gaps were filled in via assumption and speculation. Naturally, I was frightened and emotional and needed someone to tell me the facts. Yesterday afternoon me and his mother got a chance to speak to someone in a quiet room and had all of our questions answered.  I feel a little less panicky now, but I will remain deeply concerned until they find out exactly what is wrong with him.

I'll keep you posted.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yesterday I thought Ian was coming home. He phoned me to say he was being discharged, that he was having his staples removed and his IV canula and that once they'd got him some equivalent oral antibiotics he could go home. He sounded so happy! And I was so excited to have him home! I couldn't wait!
An hour or so later he was back on sounding so despondent. His CRP levels had gone back up to 30-something and he was having to stay in till they found out why. It's was an awful day yesterday. I cried about every hour. I think eventually I was in a state of disbelief. Now I have no medical training so I may have this totally cock-eyed, so anyone with more knowledge than me, please correct me if I'm wrong ... my understanding is that the CRP (C-reactive protein) levels are a way of measuring inflammatory response. Considering his other blood results were within normal ranges, surely it makes sense that since his skin is showing some inflammation (he now has puffy patches on his cheeks) then his CRP levels will reflect this? There is nothing else to indicate infection or anything else going on. So why do I get the impression that the orthopaedic surgeon is just waiting for an excuse to open him up again? Why can't he just come home and let the rash subside on it's own? He's been given creams for it and he's on antihistamines. He's due back for a check up in week anyway! What's going on? I want him home!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ian's still in hospital. Two weeks today. I miss him. I'm lonely. I seem to have absolutely no time to myself. I desperately needed a night out to wind down and the night I had planned last night fell through because nobody else ended up going and I couldn't go on my own. I just want him home. I miss him so much. My mum and dad and Ian's mum are helping out in the shop, and I couldn't manage work without them, but when I go home at night, after I've got back from the hospital, I am tired depressed and lonely. Very few friends have even bothered to phone to see how I am. Very few have bothered to visit Ian in hospital and he's the one who was seriously ill. He would have died if he hadn't gone to the hospital quickly. It's amazing how many people tell you to take care of yourself but offer no help to ensure you do just that. The past few nights I have cried myself to sleep because I feel so isolated, so helpless, and so unimportant to other people.

Ian's just phoned me to wish me goodnight. He phones every night. At least I am important to him. My lovely hubby. :-) I wish he was home.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Still in hospital.  Still fighting infection.  Me not coping well at all. I have the wrong type of brain to cope with something like this - too many things to hold in my head at once.  Stressed +++++  Feeling like I'm falling apart. Worried and frightened for Ian. Words of encouragement much appreciated.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ok, here's the update. I did indeed close the shop early on Friday, probably about 3pm, and went home to look after Ian. He is never ill, and even when he feels a bit ropey he just gets on with it, so when I got home and he still wasn't able to bear weight on the leg and he was having difficulty getting comfortable I knew he was in pain indeed.

I cooked dinner and we watched a bit of TV which took his mind off the pain a bit and went to bed. But we didn't sleep ... oh no! He was awake and I could hear his strained breathing as he tried to fight the pain, so I found I was up and down several times during the night trying to help him get comfy, putting pillows under his leg, rolling him slightly onto his left side, etc. At about 5am I gave him some painkillers, and then we were up at 7. I had to get back to the shop this morning to finish the work I had left. While I was there Ian phoned the out of hours doctor as the pain was still every bit as bad as it was when I took him to A&E on Thursday. He texted me to say he had been instriucted to go to the out of hours clinic at the hospital at 11am. So, we got there, and a very nice doctor examined him and took more blood and said she still thought he might have septic arthritis, so she admitted him there and then. I've been at the hospital today with him, during which time his temperature shot up, but came home at his insistence at 3pm. Just before I left, however, an orthopaedic consultant came round to see him. It seems they are still thinking he has a septic hip and want to do an ultrasound scan, followed by a fine needle aspirate. They may also want to open up the joint to flush it out and start him on IV antibiotics. Needless to say he ain't coming home soon.

So, I've left him at the hospital shivering, in severe pain, and with a mouth as dry as an arab's sandal as he is nil-by-mouth and with no pain medication until they decide if he's having surgery tonight or not. I felt awful leaving him, but my poor dog hasn't had a proper walk since this all started and he's starting to climb the walls (that's border collies for you, they are bred to work hard and so have vast amounts of energy).

And after two nights of no sleep you'd think I'd be looking forward to having a peaceful night tonight, but I'm not. I really don't want to spend the night on my own. Thank goodness I have a warm dog.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

I had to take my husband to A&E last night. We didn't get home till about 3:30am. Needless to say, I am tired and typing this in something of a daze when I should, in fact, be working.

Yesterday, he started complaining that his leg was aching as if he'd just run a marathon. He couldn't think of anything he may have done to cause the pain, so he brushed it off and carried on working.

We work together, and I usually leave for the Post Office and then home around 4pm while he stays on to work till 6 or 7pm. However, shortly after 5pm he sent me a text saying he was coming home and could I find him a walking stick as he was struggling to get around. When he got home he said he felt a bit ropey and need lots of assistance to get in the house and settled on the settee.

At 6:30pm I left for theatre group. While I was there he texted me again to say his temperature was going up and by about 9pm it had reached 100F and the pain was worsening and asked if I could stop off at the Co-Op for more painkillers for him.

I got home probably after 10pm. He looked awful. He was lying on the settee with the quilt over him, his face was pale and drawn and his temperature had gone up to almost 103F. The pain in his leg seemed to be excruciating for him. He said it went from his hip down to his calf, in one leg only.

I phoned NHS Direct. After providing them with as much information as possible, they decided he needed to go to hospital and put me through to the ambulance service who told me there was a 4 hour wait for cases that were not immediately life-threatening and asked if I could take him to A&E.

I took him in the company van as there is no way he could have got into our car, which is low-slung and slightly sporty (Toyota Celica). Even getting him in the van was a task and a half. I then had to slowly navigate all the speed bums to get out of our housing estate, and every bump caused him considerable pain.

Anyway, we got there, and I went and found a wheelchair for him while he waited in the van. Once in the hospital and registered I went to move the van to the visitors car park before I got a ticket!

Anyway, we didn't have to wait too long (thank goodness) and at around midnight were shown to a room/cubicle where we then had another difficult task of changing him into a gown. I won't go into every single boring little detail, but will just say over the next three hours he was subjected to examinations, blood tests, x-rays, more examinations, to eventually be told that they had no idea what was wrong with him. By this time his temperature was subsiding anyway and the pain had lessened a bit, his face looked a normal colour and he seemed generally more upbeat. It seems that they were concerned that he either had an infection in his hip (he had both of them replaced about 6 or 7 years ago) or he had septic arthritis, neither of with were indicated by the x-rays and blood tests. So he was sent home.

And that's it. I have had to come to work on my own and explain to all the customers that no they can't speak to him as he at home ill, and he is lying on the settee with his laptop, a pair of walking sticks, the TV remote, the phone, his mobile, painkillers and a large glass of water by his side. I've brought the dog to work so he's not bothered by him and so I can walk him during the day. I wish I could be at home to look after him. I hate him lying there in pain and not able to do anything for himself.

I think I may close the shop early today. Because today I'm the boss and I can.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Your morality is 0% in line with that of the bible.

Damn you heathen! Your book learnin' has done warped your mind. You shall not be invited next time I sacrifice a goat.

Do You Have Biblical Morals?
Take More Quizzes

Thanks to Pinksy for turning me onto this one ...

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Well, it would appear that the Winter snow has finally arrived. In February. And Spring is not far away. Ho hum. As usual the country is coming to a complete standstill. Warnings are being issued on the radio not to go to work unless you absolutely have to. The entire London bus network has been cancelled. Because we have ALMOST a whole foot of snow. Honestly, it's pathetic. When I was a kid, if the roads were impossible to drive on we got wrapped up and walked to wherever we were going if it wasn't miles and miles away. I walked a few miles with my dog yesterday so walking to work is nothing. And what's more, I did it FOR PLEASURE! What the hell must be wrong with me? You know what? Walking is good for you psychologically. It helps to stave off depression, it has a calming effect and it helps to lighten the mental burdens of everyday life. Getting stuck in traffic for hours in snow doesn't.
I think I'll walk to work today.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

I have just learned that John Martyn, the fab bluesy folkey singer-songwriter died yesterday morning at the age of 60!


I am saddened.  I am too struck for words, so I will simply post the lyric of my favourite song of his, May You Never from his Solid Air album.

And may you never lay your head down
Without a hand to hold
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

You're just like a great strong brother of mine
You know that I love you true
And you never talk dirty behind my back
And I know that there's those that do.

Oh please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind
Love is a lesson to learn in our time
Now please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind for me.

And may you never lay your head down
Without a hand to hold
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

Well you're just like a good close sister to me
You know that I love you true
And you hold no blade to stab me in the back
And I know that there's some that do.

Oh please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind
Love is a lesson to learn in our time
And please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind for me.

May you never lay your head down
Without a hand to hold
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

You're just like a great strong brother of mine
And you know that I love you true
And you never talk dirty behind my back
And I know that there's those that do.

Oh please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind
Love is a lesson to learn in our time
And please won't you, please won't you
Bear it in mind for me.

May you never lose your temper
If you get in a bar room fight
May you never lose your woman overnight
May you never lay your head down
Without a hand to hold
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

May you never lose your temper
If you get in a bar room fight
May you never lose your woman over night
May you never lose your woman over night
May you never lose your woman over night.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another production finished.  It seems to have been a great success, with every performance a sell out! This is the best we've ever had in ticket sales, and I can honestly say we've had the best audience response as well. Each year we seem to get better and it's all because have a really good group of people who not only get along well, but who among them have a large and varied choice of skills to call upon and who are 100% cooperative.

Hubby took hundreds (literally) of photos and so here are a few of them. I'm the evil old hag, in case you're wondering. Not that I've been typecast or anything! ;-/

The whole project has been hugely rewarding and if I had any reservations before, I now have no doubt in mind that I intend to continue contributing to the group for a long time to come.

We'll be having the show Post Mortem this Thursday so we'll see what everyone else thinks.

Now I can hardly wait for the mid-year show! Although, having been cast in the last three productions, I feel it only fair that I decline from auditioning for the next show and learn some more backstage skills.

Bring it on!

See the full gallery on posterous

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

They're not fantastic as I had ro rely on other people to take the pictures (for obvious reasons) but next weekend I will make sure I get some decent ones.

See the full gallery on posterous

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

March 19, 1928 – January 13, 2009

I missed this in the news, so thanks to MadPriest for the news.

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