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We've all been really busy this week. John and Charles have almost finished redecorating the spare room. It will be finished tomorrow and then we'll leave it for 12 hours for the floor paint to completely dry. Even though the plaster and the skirting boards and the floor are really quite ghastly, it doesn't look at all bad. It just needs the furniture and a picture or two. I did do some of the decorating, but I'm completely crap at it now. I don't know whether it's because I can't now put any strength into it or not, but the painting I did was pathetic. I knew it would need a second coat, but what I did was soo much worse than what John and Charles did. I can't believe it. When I think about how I used to whizz through the painting at Four Marks, I find it difficult to believe I'm the same person. I suppose the answer to that is that I'm not!

On Monday we'll put the furniture back and finally decide how to arrange it. We have a drawing, but it's not to scale so we may find it doesn't quite work out as we expect and we may need to adjust it.

John was a bit annoyed, thinking it wouldn't be ready in time, especially as he had two jobs this week, but I knew it would be OK. I have every confidence in the pair of them, and Charles did quite a lot of work even when John wasn't here to do it. I have to say that they're both equally bossy!

I went to see my Lovely Lady Doctor on Thursday and we discussed how I was doing and what effect the revised dosage of medication was having. Since I was due to see the cardiologist the following day, she decided just to double the dose of the diuretic I'm taking. I'm not quite sure how it works, but an excess of water can somehow lead to breathlessness, apparently. Taking one a day was bad enough, God knows how I shall ever be able to leave the house if I have to take two!!

Yesterday I saw the cardiologist. Like the rest of us, he seems a bit mystified about the cause of the sudden deterioration I had last December and since the revised Diltiazem dosage wasn't doing the trick, decided that I should have the entire range of tests repeated. I had the X-ray then and there, which apparently was perfectly clear. The vampire took a blood sample to test for hyperthyroidism. I asked how he could possibly think that someone my size could have hyperthyroidism but he said that you never can tell and it was best to do the test, just in case. He agreed with the GP's increasing the dose of diuretic and sent me away to make another appointment for a portable heart-rate tester to be attached to me again for the 4th/5th October and another appointment to see him on 30th. November, which will be exactly a year since my atrial fibrillation deteriorated. Sigh!

When I got home, Charles was very upset because the police had been round to say that I had damaged a consultant's car in the hospital car park and demanded my mobile phone number. Ha! Fat chance of getting through on my mobile; it was switched off, as usual. I was completely unaware of having damaged anything, but when I went and looked at Lucy, I found that there was indeed blue paint on the bumper. Oh dear!

Poor Charles was very upset. He's frightened of the police and cannot understand that they're simply doing their jobs and looking out for all of us. I'm afraid his teenage experience of heavy-handed Metropolitan police tactics at the demonstration against the Police Bill and the way his mixed-race friend was treated by them will never be overcome by anything I can say.

I phoned the police and explained that I wasn't aware I had hit anyone's car. Fortunately they accepted my explanation. and just came to get my details to pass on to the consultant and give me his details for my insurance company. I suppose they looked me up on their computer and found that I'd never been prosecuted for anything, all my insurance, MOT and tax were up to date and thought I was just some dotty old woman who got flustered, which I suppose is actually true.

John usually takes me to the hospital, but was unexpectedly offered a good job yesterday. It was too late to order a taxi, so I drove myself. I got into Town and found they'd still got the roads blocked off for their bizarre village-for-rich-people experiment, so I had to turn round and go all the way back so that I could take the other route to the hospital, and I got there 15 minutes late. I was already aggled and flustered by being late. I loathe being late for appointments. Then I got myself into a difficult position while I was looking for a disabled parking space. There were a couple, but I couldn't understand from the bizarre wording on the notices whether they were for the use of any disabled person, or simply one belonging to the hospital. I was trying to turn round to leave the site and see if I could find a space in the road, but there was an ambulance behind me to my left and another reversing into the space behind me from my right. This is apparently when the accident happened. I asked the policeman why the paramedic witnesses hadn't tried to stop me to tell me what I'd done, and he said that they had tried but I drove off without seeing them.

I eventually found a space not too far away, but almost all that long road is marked with both double yellow lines and no loading marks as well. Goodness knows why, since it's quite a wide road with not a lot of traffic. I suppose it's just down to the City's greed for car parking money, but it does mean that even with my Blue Badge I can't park there.

I'm not going to offer to pay for this one myself, because I'm pretty sure an Audi's bumper is going to come very expensive and the police did mention some other damage, although they were very vague about what exactly it was. Since I wasn't aware of what had happened, I had no opportunity to inspect the damage myself.

I'm beginning to worry about myself. That's two car-park accidents in two months, and I didn't even know I'd done the second one. I've resolved to be extra careful in car parks from now on. Mind, it probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been so flustered. When poor old John came home from a long day, I had to tell him that I'd squandered the money he'd earned on having to pay £200 excess to the insurance company. He was sweetly very sympathetic about it, bless him and told me not to worry about it, but I can't help feeling guilty.

I asked my insurers whether it would be all right, seeing as there were witnesses who saw me do it, if I wrote to the consultant apologising for leaving the accident without contacting anyone and explaining what had happened. They said it would be OK, so I have drafted a letter apologising for the accident and explaining why I hadn't stopped. I shall look at it again tomorrow and if I still think it's OK, I shall send it.

I'd hate him to think I'm the sort of person who would knowingly drive off after having damaged someone's expensive car. In any case, I have no idea what he's a professor of. Who knows, I may need his expertise some time!!#

I really wonder, though, how it is that an incident which doesn't affect Lucy at all can do so much damage to an expensive car like an Audi, which you would expect to be rather more robust, considering what they pay for them!

Today I've done lots of little things. Apart from sorting out a couple of loads of stuff into rubbish (most of it) and stuff we should keep, and doing several loads of washing including a single summer duvet no-one admits to owning, which was badly stained with coffee, I stewed two lots of fruit, mucked out the fridge, threw out lots of rubbish, tidied the kitchen a bit, made a banana tea-bread with the over-ripe bananas and finally got round to doing the first stage of the lemonade I bought a large quantity of cheap lemons for. I cooked a rather nice "chicken-dish" dinner and we had the stewed greengages with cream for afters.

Sadly, although we're all tired and wanted nothing more than to subside in front of the television, there was, as ever nothing on after the Proms which Charles criticised all the way through. I have to say I wasn't very impressed either. Maybe I'm just tired.

Tomorrow I have to do a little shopping since I forget some crucial things in my Asda web-shop and by the time I realised, it was too late to amend the order. I'm sure Tesco allows you to alter the order up to a few hours before it's to be delivered.  However, since I've promised home-made burgers again tomorrow, I can't expect Charles to eat them without tomato ketchup, or at least not this week, when he has been so very good!  I have to say, however, that I suspect he drinks it from the bottle, because I can't understand how he gets through so much of it when we so seldom cook dinners where it's necessary.
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Well, we've got about two thirds of the painting done, although we'll probably have to run over it all with a roller to give it a second coat. It doesn't really look very good, because the plaster is much more uneven than we realised.  We'll obviously have to re-paper the entire room eventually.

John's decided that as we'll have to re-paper that room eventually, we might as well leave the wallpaper on one wall. The fact is that the whiteness of the rest of the room mitigates the hideousness of the wallpaper on the remaining wall, and the hideous wallpaper prevents the rest of it from looking too white, so if we still think that when we've done the rest of it tomorrow, we'll leave that wall papered and start painting the floor. In any case a lot of that wall is obscured by the wardrobe at present.

Unfortunately the Velux window's seal has become unsealed and we have condensation between the panes of glass. It doesn't seem as though there's anything we can do about that other than getting a new sealed unit.

It's just occurred to me that we've looked at three walls of the room and so far we haven't found an electric point.  There must be one behind the wardrobe, surely?  What will we do about the bedside lamp and the radio if there are no electric sockets? 

Oh dear!  I've just thought that if there is a socket behind the wardrobe, we'll have to change the layout I have planned and put the bed against the North wall, rather than the South wall, with the wardrobe opposite.  At least if that is the case, my Sis won't have to look at the wallpaper, just at lumpy and uneven white walls.

John is sooo good!  I didn't wake up until gone 9.00 this morning and John did the recycling, went out for the paper, came home and made a start on the room before I'd even surfaced!  He said that he'd had such a good night's sleep that he wanted to get up and get on with things.  God, I wish I could feel like that occasionally!

Charles and John get much more done than I can, but today I was able to paint the wall the window's in, which slopes as it's part of the roof outside, and I could do it with a roller and tray while sitting on a chair.

Tomorrow is Boys' Night Out, so I shall have to make sure John doesn't try to do too much,  I want to go with Charles to the Beryl Cook exhibition at The Baltic on Wednesday, so we'll have to get as much as possible done Thursday morning, before my doctor's appointment and Friday afternoon, after my cardiology appointment, then do the finishing touches next weekend.  Tomorrow I shall have to see if the council can take away the old wardrobe, which I think is too bad for Community Furniture, although I will ring and ask tomorrow.  I'd like to get rid of the wardrobe before she comes, because it's in the yard at present and there's no room to sit out there with it taking up such a lot of room.

Of course, if I do get the yard looking presentable, it will probably rain the whole time she's here!
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Yesterday while I was in the bathroom, I heard what sounded like a kitten in distress.  When I rushed into the back bedroom to see what was happening, I found that Adrian-next-door had acquired a dear little kitten, mostly white, but with black ears, a couple of black patches on her body and a couple of black bands on her tail.  She looks hardly old enough to have left her mother really.

What troubled me was that Bramble was watching her from the top of the garden wall.  At first I thought it was just interest, but then I saw his backside wiggling and he was preparing to pounce, so I hammered on the window and then rushed downstairs as fast as I could.  I brought him indoors and shouted over the wall to Adrian's finac√©e Sandra that I would keep him in for a bit while the kitten had an airing.  She's obviously not used to cats, because she had been flapping her hand at Bramble telling him to go away, and he took no notice of her whatsoever.

Bramble was very angry that I'd brought him in and spoilt his fun so he spent the rest of the day attacking poor Phoebe.  We're going to have to be careful for the next few weeks until the kitten is able to take care of itself.  Later on I took round the large tin of dried kitten milk we bought while Bramble still drank it.  It was still well within it's use-by date.

We got everything done yesterday that we had planned to do, even though we all felt awful.

John developed a migraine while we were out shopping and Charles had to go out with his Mental Elf even though he didn't feel very well.  I wasn't really very well, either.  Everything seemed to be terribly exhausting and even though I always religiously take my medication, yesterday it felt as though it wasn't working at all.

First we went to B&Q for plastic boxes and floor paint.  They didn't have much choice, so I had to buy terracotta.  I hope it covers the dark red OK.  I felt very breathless and my knee and back were aching.  We actually stopped in B&Q's cafe for a cup of coffee and a bun as I felt so horrid.  After that we went to Costco and I felt so tired and exhausted, and my back and knees were so painful that I didn't feel able to do any more shopping till I'd been home and had a rest.  Of course, I forgot a couple of important things, too.  After a couple of hours I felt OK, although John had gone to bed with a migraine, but no sooner had I got to Lidl than I started feeling awful again.  It was really hot in all the shops, as well, which made everything worse.

Fortunately Charles was cooking dinner, so I just sat at the table and watched him, although I did chop an onion and a few small things to help.  He cooked a wonderful Arroz con Pollo, and it may have been the best one he's done yet.

This morning I woke at 6.00 am feeling rotten.  I was breathless again.  I haven't woken up feeling breathless for years, not since shortly after I came back from hospital after I was first diagnosed.  I felt as though I couldn't breathe properly lying down, so I propped myself up on pillows and cushions and listened to the radio till 8.00 am, by which time I felt a bit better.  When I feel like that, it's really difficult not to panic and make it even worse.  Thank goodness I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday as well as an appointment with the cardiologist on Friday.  I hope they can sort something out for me.

I really want to go to the Baltic to see the Beryl Cook exhibition this coming week, but I think I might have to give in and ring up to see if I can book an electric scooter to go round the gallery.  From the pictures on the website it doesn't look as though they have many benches where people can sit, like they do in most old-fashioned galleries.

I haven't been feeling too bad today, but I've been absolutely useless with the cleaning and decorating, because I have to keep sitting down for a rest.  We gave the room a good dusting and vacuuming and mopped the floor.  The worst thing was the Velux window.  It seems to have developed a a hole in the seal somewhere, because it's full of condensation between the two sheets of glass.  I don't have a clue whether it's possible to do anything about it, but it's a shame because the view up in that room is so spectacular and now you can't see it properly without opening the window, blast it.

Just as we finished the cleaning and dusting,there was an explosion right over my head and the light bulb shattered all over the room.  I still have ringing in my ears, hours later.  Strangely the lamp had not only blown up, but had actually blown out the end of the bulb from the socket.   Amazingly none of us got cut by flying glass, but it certainly frightened the cats away.  Just as they were getting interested in the paint, as well!

In the end we found that the wallpaper was just too awfully lumpy to paint over, so we've stripped half the room and will finish the rest tomorrow as well as starting the painting.  Of course, the ghastly people who lived here before, when it was a rooming house, had written illiterate messages all over the walls in txtspeak with what appears to be permanent black felt tip. I'm pretty sure we'll be able to cover it, although it might take more than one coat over those particular places.  With the three of us working, even though I'm so useless, it shouldn't take very long. 

Today I eventually decided I'd be better employed down in the kitchen making the kofte kebabs for tonight's dinner, and before I'd finished John and Charles had called it a day.  At least we've broken the back of the job and know what we're doing now.  And tomorrow as we have one of Costco's wonderful huge pizzas for dinner, no-one will have to stop to cook anything.

Hmmm!  Time I went down to grill the kebabs and make the salad.

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June 2009

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