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We went to B&Q yesterday to replace the kitchen lights and I took the opportunity to look at the flooring. While I really like the genuine-looking stone tile floor panels like we have in the bathroom, they're just too expensive for such a large room as this one; they're also not very warm on bare feet, although that can be an advantage in the summer, if we ever get one. Please don't anyone tell me that diabetics aren't supposed to walk about in bare feet; I've done it all my life and I can't change now and in any case, I still have full feeling in my feet.

I couldn't see any vinyls I liked, but we have masses of flooring salesrooms around here I can inspect.

I found the chipboard loft panels, and they are exactly what we put on the kitchen floor underneath the cork tiles. We walked about on them for ages before John put the tiles down and I really like them, because they're made of wood and feel warmer than vinyl or laminate. They're a nice pale colour which would reflect the light and are also extremely cheap, but John said that he's not sure they would be up to, for example, moving my desk chair backwards and forwards on its casters even when varnished. I could always buy one of those see-through floor protectors made specially for that problem.

I could also have nice rugs dotted about the place, which is something I like, particularly on a hard floor. My lovely Arabian "magic carpet" that John bought for me in Tunisia back in the 70s is just the right cream, brown and rust colours.

I think I might very well go for the loft panels, but I will ask Christopher what he thinks since he gets around a lot of building sites and knows what's what.

We bought some incredibly cheap lights from B&Q, made in China, I'm afraid. I try to avoid cheap Chinese goods in case they're made by slaves, but considering that the long-life low consumption bulbs alone cost me £63.84, I had no choice but to buy 2 extremely cheap spotlight bars, since we have no light at all in the kitchen at present. When we got them home we discovered that they're only made from horrible old silvered plastic, rather than matte chrome, which is what they looked like in the shop, but they'll do for now. We have to have something to light the kitchen. The advantage is that all the bulbs I bought are low-energy (they have tiny folded up tubes inside them) and they're supposed to last for 10,000 to 30,000 hours.

I also bought a new bedside lamp for Charles with a similar bulb and he's very pleased with it. I just hope he can manage not to break this one!

I had another horrible night and felt so ill this morning that I went back to bed, but John got some more conventional Piriton for me and I already feel a lot better. I must be ill, because Phoebe has twice come and sat on my lap while I was sitting up in bed and the only other times she's done that is when I was recovering from chemo. I felt so ill when I woke up this morning that I didn't take the new blood pressure pill at all, let alone half a dose. I simply can't tolerate this.

Yesterday I was too ill to go to my writing class. Boo! But I did get a telephone call from a nurse at the cardiac rehabilitation unit inviting me to go along on on the 28th. for them to see what I can and can't do. She offered to send a taxi for me, and actually insisted on booking it in case John has a job that day. When I protested that I didn't want to start stinging the NHS for taxi fares, she said it's nothing to do with the NHS, but is sponsored by some charity or other, the name of which I didn't catch. I'm looking forward to it, but hope that LLD has managed to do something about my horrible cough by then. How lovely it would be to be fit enough to go swimming again.

I suppose the fact that it's sponsored by a charity explains why access to the programme is limited and difficult to get.

I like the icon for "awake" It looks as though the cat is coughing and covering her mouth!

Ooops!  I've just remembered the Test Match.  I must go and retune the radio to Radio Five Talk Sport or whatever it's called.  Oh, bother!  It's the lunch period of course and some bird is talking about singing.
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I'm feeling very fed up. I had to miss the poetry away day yesterday that I've been looking forward to for weeks, owing to my worsening cough. As it happens, Gillian rang me this morning to say that it was probably just as well that I didn't go as it was really cold and might have made me worse.

Unfortunately, if I have another bad night tonight and a similar morning to the one I had today, I doubt whether I shall make it to her class tomorrow, either.

John and Charles took up almost all of the horrid old carpet in my room yesterday and cleaned up the dust as best they could. I expect it will probably take days for it all to settle though. I'm hoping they will take up the rest of it tomorrow, then maybe by Saturday it will have settled enough to make it worth giving the floor a more thorough wash, before I decide what to do with it.

The floor isn't too bad, but it needs sanding and polishing and I don't know whether I can face that, or whether I should just look for some vinyl flooring or some cheap laminate flooring. At present I'm inclining to the latter, as the process of sanding the floor, getting rid of yet more dust and filling in the cracks with that wood-wax stuff, then staining or varnishing it seems like an unclimbable hill to me at the moment, although John and Charles would do it, of course. After it's all settled down and I've had time to get used to it, it will be easier to make a decision.

To add insult to injury our remaining kitchen spotlight fitting turned its toes up again tonight and we had to finish our dinner in the dusk. So we've decided we shall have to get some new ones, which means a trip to B&Q some time tomorrow..........Sigh!...... I suppose I can have a look at the vinyl and laminate flooring while I'm there!

What I would really like would be some floor covering made of smooth chipboard, which fitted together like the Loc-tite flooring does, and which I could varnish. We had something similar on the kitchen floor before we put down the cork tiles and I really liked the feeling of it. It felt soft, smooth and warm at the same time. In a way I would have liked to keep that as the kitchen flooring but it wasn't up to the heavy traffic you get in the kitchen; it would probably be fine for my room, though.

As it is, Morgan has ruined a large patch of the kitchen cork tiles by his habit of sticking one paw in the water bowl and pushing it around till he gets it in the position he wants. Unless the water is mopped up straight away it gets beneath the tiles and pushes them up slightly, which is exactly what has happened. Why he has this infuriating habit I don't know; neither of the other cats has ever done this. I shall definitely have to buy the kitties a water fountain, but it will have to be a really heavy one that Morgan can't drag about.

Charles and I went shopping to Morrison's this afternoon, as we had run out of several crucial things, one of which was bog paper.......can't do without that! I would be too terrified of blocking the drains to use cut up newspaper as my great granddad used to do. One of the compensations of having to go to Morrison's (hock! ptui!) is that I can buy the troops some ready made curry; today it was two for the price of one, so that was good. This meant that I was free to make myself some comforting and filling mushroom soup for my own dinner. I have enough left for another couple of bowlsful, too, so I think I shall freeze it for sometime I need comfort food.

I did A Very Bad Thing this afternoon. I bought a small box of Turkish delight thins, and I ate the lot. My blood sugar is probably through the roof.  I am A Very Bad Person Indeed and I shall be frightened to weigh myself tomorrow.

 I really must sort out a proper diet and stick to it.  My only excuse is that I've been feeling so rough I just can't be bothered at the moment.

Oh well, I seem to have come to an interval in coughing.  I'd better go to bed and try to get some sleep before it comes back.  Oh! oh!  I think it may be too late............
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I've been feeling pretty ghastly lately. Either I'm coughing non-stop, which is exhausting, or I'm sleeping badly because of coughing non-stop, or I'm sleeping sitting up for most of the night because I'm coughing non-stop or some or all of these things together, all of which is exhausting. Not only that but I have a permanent headache because of the coughing.

When I say non-stop, it isn't really. It's more like being perfectly normal for 2 or 3 hours then being ambushed by the cough, which just won't stop for an hour or more then leaves me exhausted and anxious that it hasn't really stopped. I asked my LLD if I could take more of the Beconase spray but she said not to and that she hoped that it would eventually settle down. Me Too!

I keep remembering that I gave up smoking umpteen years ago just so that I wouldn't spend my last days gasping for breath and feeling as though I were drowning, so I'm feeling a bit cheated.

I did manage to get to Gillian's class yesterday, and didn't cough too much while there, but I found it very disappointing for once, because we had to do group projects, which I'm not so keen on and in our group of four we had a woman new to the group, who is obviously an ex-teacher and who never stopped talking even to listen to what anyone else was saying. The rest of us did everything she suggested because we couldn't be bothered to argue with her, but I found the whole thing oppressive and I found her overwhelming, to say the least. My God! If she's like that at her first class, what will she be like by the end of term?

I don't know why I think she must be an ex-teacher. We have several teachers in the class, and none of them behaves like that. She's got a very annoying habit of sticking her face up close to yours when she wants to say something, and it makes me feel really uncomfortable.

Everyone did so much talking in the first part of the class about the idea of becoming a Community Group, that there was no time for individual writing at all, so all in all, I found the whole thing exasperating.

While I was there, however, Jeannie reminded me that today was the last day for the Mslexia competition and encouraged me to enter some of my Grandma poems. I haven't entered a competition for about 2 years, because I haven't managed to get my wits together in time to make the deadline for them. So yesterday afternoon I sorted out three, paid the entry fee online and sent the entry off in the post. I don't suppose anything will come of it, because the poems they seem to choose for Mslexia are about as unlike any of mine as it's possible to be. However, the judge is Carol Ann Duffy, so it's an opportunity to see if she likes any of them.

John has just received one of his tiny annual pensions, so has offered us a takeaway tonight. I shall have to discuss it with Charles when he gets back from band practice and maybe have the takeaway tomorrow, as Charles was anxious to make a fish soup and we've taken a crab, some langoustines, and scallops out of the freezer, as well as a small sea bass and a couple of sea bream. They're all now defrosted and I don't want to keep them another 24 hours.

Actually, I'm rather looking forward to having a proper home-made fish soup with rouille and aioli and home made bread.
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Last week Charles managed to break my bathroom scales.  No, no!  Not by being too heavy for them!

I hadn't been able to use them for ages because the batteries had gone, so I'd finally got round to taking out the batteries to find out what sort I needed to replace them.  I left the scales on a small table with the battery lid off.  At some time in the intervening week Charles had moved the scales and accidentally broken the little doodad which is supposed to hold one of the batteries in place.  I didn't find out until I'd bought two expensive new batteries, of course.

I really have to lose some weight, no matter how long I put it off, so I had no choice but to send for a new pair of scales.  I didn't expect them to be delivered only 2 days later, though.  They're rather good-looking Salter scales in stainless steel to match the rest of the bathroom bling.  They have a 15 year guarantee!!  They work with weights of up to 28 stone, so we should be all right for the 15 years!

I did try them just to make sure they were working, but I'm doing my best to forget what they said, as my official weigh-in will be Monday morning.  Of course, as things do nowadays, the scales came with a battery already installed, so I still have two batteries which will probably have gone off by the time I get round to needing them.

There's no way I'm dieting tomorrow when we're going to David and Alison to share a superb takeaway from their wonderful suppliers, so I'm putting it off, in the traditional manner, till Monday.

I haven't decided yet what to have for Sunday dinner, but I may just have a free-range chicken so that I can have my last crispy chicken-skin.  Sob!

John has gone to London today for a TA dinner tonight.  I expect he'll be having the traditional rubber chicken, but Charles and I thought we'd treat ourselves to something delicious from  Messrs. Mark's and Spencer's range of expensive ready-prepared meals. 

Rather than the treat I'd intended, it turned into a martyrdom as we went round the shop examining everything Charles fancied.  Almost everything had wheat or gluten in it and he got very bad-tempered over it.  So did I, because there was an awful lot of things where we simply couldn't see why the product needed them and I began to suspect that they might have printed it on the packet, just in case, so they can't get sued.  It also affected my choice, because I didn't feel able to have something I knew he would have liked.  I had to get him something for tomorrow too, since John and I will be out.  In the end the only things he could find that he fancied were all curry, so he's had some sort of curry tonight and will have another tomorrow.

Fortunately he managed to find a rather unusual curry we haven't tried before and seemed to enjoy it.  I had 2 large crab cakes with wickedly imported, wickedly expensive, wickedly pre-sliced runner beans, lavishly buttered.  We finished with a berry pavlova, which was very wicked because of my diabetes, but since I shall be eating nothing but raw fruit or sugar-free jelly or something for the foreseeable future, I didn't care for once.

Memo to self:  Finish up the ice-cream on Sunday!  Whimper!

All I need now to complete the bathroom is for the towel ring and liquid soap dispenser I ordered to arrive and for John to put them up together with the glass shelf which has been languishing in the corner of his room for months and which I want to put pretty things on.  He, of course, can't see the point of such a thing.

My cough doesn't seem quite so bad now.  I suddenly realised that it seemed to get worse the warmer I get and is possibly connected to my heat allergy.  I've turned off all the heat in my room and had the bedroom window open two or three inches last night.  I am still coughing, but not so often, not for so long at a time, and not so painfully.  I bet I get it badly tomorrow at Alison's house;  she always has it superheated.

With any luck, it will be much better by next week, and then maybe I'll be able to go to the Lit & Phil without worrying about annoying people by coughing all the time.  I went to my first writing course of the term yesterday and had to keep leaving the room so that I could cough where it wouldn't disturb anyone else.  It's such a lbooyd nuisance!  I still managed to enjoy it, though and produced something I can work on, which is always A Good Thing.

Having the bedroom window open at night means that the cats keep trying to get out onto the windowsill.  No matter how many times they find they can't get out because the gap's too narrow, it doesn't stop them trying again, just one more time.  Morgan has a smaller head than the other two, so he can get his head and forepaws out to see what's going on, but today Phoebe has been sitting on the desk looking out of the window and beating him up every time he tried to put his head out of the window, just because she can!

I could have the window open more, but yesterday a soaking-wet Morgan jumped on my shoulder while I was sitting reading quietly and got thrown to the floor because he scared me and I didn't know what this wet thing was;  he fell awkwardly and limped for a bit.  It made me feel awful, so I won't let them out there now if it's wet.
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Not feeling too good today, in fact I haven't felt well since Thursday.  I expected to feel bad on Thursday because of the looooong day I had on Wednesday, instead of which I woke up bright eyed and bushy-tailed, but ever since I've been feeling lousy.

I've got three things that are driving me nuts.  One is that my arthritis has got very bad in the last few days so much so that I woke myself up screaming with pain on Sunday night because I'd managed to do something to my knee turning over in bed.  I'm taking all the medication I'm allowed and it seems to get better during the day, only to get worse overnight, which is ridiculous.  It seems that I didn't wake anyone else except the cats, which isn't really very reassuring.

The diuretic I'm taking doesn't seem to be working as well as it was, which means my legs feet and ankles are swollen, as well as my hands, and possibly other bits I haven't noticed.  I imagine that this may be making the arthritis worse.

Then this ghastly dry cough I've had for months now has got much worse.  Apparently I'm coughing half the night, certainly I've woken myself up several times feeling as though I'm choking and John and Charles both say that I'm coughing a lot even when I don't wake up.  It's a very strange cough, in that it's like the cough you get when you've had a really bad cold or flu which normally settles down to be a cough producing loads of sputum and which finally goes away as you get better.  But this cough is stuck on the dry, unproductive bit of the progression and no matter how much cough mixture I take, it doesn't get any better or any more productive.

I feel a bit cheated when I remember that I gave up smoking 17 years ago, in the hope I could avoid breathing and chest problems!

I'm pretty sure that it's associated with my heart condition, but whenever I mention it to medical people, they don't see it as a problem.  Well it is one now!  I suppose it might be something to do with some medication I'm taking, but it's been going on for more than a year and getting worse all the time.  It can't be anything extra because I've had so many X-rays and chest scans recently that they would have shown anything nasty.

Another thing is that I'm feeling a bit wobbly this afternoon.  I know that this new medication is meant to reduce my blood pressure and when I took my blood pressure with this new electric machine I bought from the pharmacy as recommended by the quack it was in the realms of perfect, which must be about the only perfect thing about me, so it can't be that.  I've used it several times over the last couple of weeks, so I don't think I've done it wrong.

I'm feeling very mortal again.

Gah!  I'm so fed up with it all!

We seem to have been pretty lucky with the weekend weather.  It certainly snowed on and off on Sunday and yesterday as well, but Saturday was pretty good, and in any case, none of the snow stayed for very long.  It has been quite cold, though and the boiler chose this weekend to start playing up.  It keeps shutting itself off and refusing to start again until someone clicks the button to light the pilot light, then it works for a while and stops again and so on ad infinitum.

The TV aerial is still not working properly so we think we need to replace the coaxial cable from the actual aerial on the roof down to the sitting room.  It's only the TV in the sitting room which is playing up, as the other TVs come off a different branch which Christopher installed, but it's very annoying if we were to want to watch something together.  However, since there's been very little on except for Dr. Who, which, being BBC,  we could receive OK, it hasn't yet been too much of a problem.  I don't like to ask Christopher to clamber about on the roof when it's freezing and windy, but I'll have to ask him to come when he can.

I have a strange advertisement on my posting page inviting me to customise my Zwinky.  I wonder what a Zwinky is.  It looks like some sort of cybernetic dressing up doll like those cardboard ones we had as children with clothes with little tags on which you were meant to dress up the doll with.  I was useless at it.  I could never manage to get the clothes to hang straight.


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June 2009

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