Tired out!

Mar. 29th, 2008 11:37 pm
blackberry444: (Default)
I'm absolutely shattered!

We didn't go shopping until 5.00 pm, because I wanted to go to the huge Tesco's to see if I could get gluten-free flour and so forth for Charles, and I couldn't face the Saturday crowds.

I got an electric scooter to go round the store, otherwise it would have been pointless going. Even when I felt a lot better than I do nowadays I found it next to impossible to walk round the place, it's so huge.

What is it about people in wheelchairs that makes them invisible to everyone else? The number of people who just stopped dead in front of me and waited for me to manoeuvre around them, or the young men who took flying leaps over the front of the scooter all have a touching faith in my ability to come to a dead stop. Then there are the Geordie chains - families of people who all have to go shopping together and walk about five or six abreast and woe betide anyone who doesn't get out of their way! And their revolting children who play chase around one's wheelchair, without so much as a reproof from any of the vapid adults with them. And none of them seems to realise that it would be so easy for me to run them down and then apologise profusely with the pretense that I couldn't stop in time.

I could never understand why disabled people looked so cross all the time, but I do now.

On top of all that, although we managed to get quite a few things, we couldn't find any nice gluten-free bread. I was kind of hoping they might bake a gluten-free loaf on the premises, but we couldn't find anyone in the Bakery department to ask, and there certainly weren't any on the shelves.

I found that contrary to what I thought, the spelt flour does have gluten in it, but I did manage to get some plain gluten free flour and some rice flour, so I shall have to see what I can do. We got some GF bagels, too. And some Nan. Charles was upset to find that his favourite raspberry Pavlova ice cream has gluten in it, for what reason, I cannot imagine.

It was utterly exhausting, so rather than start cooking immediately we got home, we got some chill-cook curries for tonight's dinner.  They were quite nice, but I would really rather have had a salad.

Last night I got a Lidl duck out of the freezer for tomorrow's dinner, but I don't really fancy it now.  Let's hope I feel more like it tomorrow.

I wish I hadn't watched Sleeping with the Enemy. It's upset me a bit - I don't like films where women are being chased or stalked, and specially ones where they get beaten up, but I watched it anyway because I just love looking at Julia Roberts.  Now I'm frightened to go to sleep, idiot that I am!!


Feb. 26th, 2008 10:31 pm
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We went to the Metro Centre. It was much busier than I'd expected for a Tuesday lunchtime.

I find that having joined the Shop Mobility scheme at the centre makes it easy to find somewhere convenient to park, as at least half the 3rd floor of the Blue Multistorey Car Park is given over to disabled parking.

This time I had a smaller three wheeled scooter and I found it much easier to manoeuvre and manage than the four-wheelers I've had previously. I didn't knock anything over and I didn't get stuck anywhere!!

None of the scooters I've used have had anywhere convenient to put my stick, which I think is very odd! Most people who use them are able to stagger about a bit and all of them need sticks. Why don't they have stick-holders on the things? I think that a hire fee of £2 for a whole day in the centre is pretty good. You can take out a scooter at 10.00 am and keep it till 9.00 pm, not that we stayed there anywhere near that long.

I got a good cheapo handbag made of the magic lightweight man-made material which never wears out or looks old, but with horribly cheap lining which tears so that you have to buy a new one. This one is not quite as big as the one which has turned up its toes, but OK.  John got his watch strap and a belt, Charles spent his HMV voucher, we all got books and John treated us all to a late lunch at the Chinese buffet, which was very nice. I've been feeling very bloated ever since, though. Good old MSG!

They had the quarterly French Market there this week, and I bought some nice hand made cured sausages. One is covered with paprika, another is made of duck and the third of boar. I also bought some very naughty middle eastern cakes saturated in honey, which were delicious when we wickedly ate them in lieu of dinner this evening! My blood sugar is probably sky-high!

On the way home we visited Staples where I managed to remember to buy some envelopes and looked at a range of very dull uninspiring printers, found some of John's favourite ball-points which he thought had gone out of stock for ever and treated myself to a nice notebook, which is really more of a leather-ish binder with removable pad inside. I bought a spare refill pad, too.

It was a beautiful day, but incredibly windy on the drive home and I'm sure I felt Lucy jump sideways by a foot or more a couple of times. I was a bit worried about my bedroom windows; they were rattling so hard I was afraid they were going to blow in, so drew the curtains to save myself getting covered in broken glass, but the wind seems to have died down now and the windows are still intact! I'm very glad John didn't get any jobs today; there were reports of several heavy lorries blown over and I wouldn't like him to be crushed by a lorry.

John went over to Warden to see David for Boys' Night Out and will have had a curry by now. How he can do that after the huge lunch we had, I can't imagine!

He's just come home and informed me that a friend's shed roof blew off today and landed on the railway line, where it was hit by a train, which was apparently damaged and the Carlisle/Newcastle line had to be closed for 4 hours. Poor old Ed has been visited by the dibbles on account of it. I hope he doesn't get any trouble about this, because I bet he didn't have any insurance! I'd be worried to death if it were me!

John couldn't finish his curry!

Charles starts his digital photography course tomorrow!  Hurrah!

And John and I are going to a lecture tomorrow evening at the Lit & Phil about the effect of the weather on the Battle of Trafalgar!  Whatever floats your boat!
blackberry444: (Default)
I haven't had time to post for over a week, as my Sis has come to stay and we've been busy nattering and going to the seaside, Barter Books, shopping and so forth.

Today we went to the Metrocentre, because she'd never been and I took the plunge and joined the Shopmobility Scheme.  I hired an electric scooter to scoot round the shops, and it has completely transformed my Metrocentre experience.

Usually I stagger to about three shops and then my knees ache so much that I have to go home, or latterly I've been so breathless that I could only get around a small area of the mall from bench to bench.  Not only that, but the effort of it all, always leaves me wet with perspiration.

Today, however, I went everywhere without getting tired or breathless, or even sweaty!.  It was a little difficult learning to reverse, because it seems to be the opposite to reversing in a car, and some of the shops have their displays a little too close together for the comfort of an inexperienced scooter driver.  I only managed to knock a few hair-bands off a rack in Accessorize, though, and even went into the camera shops and Art shops without breaking anything.

I have learned a valuable lesson from today's experience, though and that is that next time, I'm going to take my folding walking stick;  my usual stick was such a nuisance!

My Sis treated me to lunch in the tapas bar, and we were having such a good time that I phoned Shopmobility and booked the scooter for the rest of the day.

I can't really remember everywhere that we went, but I bought a top and a nightie in Evans, a book for John in Waterstones, some chocolate shower gel in Lush (where I also got a free Happy Soap sample) a fabric handbag for £6.99 !!! and some rechargeable batteries for my camera.

My Sis had a field day and bought a top from Evans, a diary, some soap for William and a new digital camera!!

We didn't leave the Metrocentre until about 5.00 pm.  I don't think I've ever stayed there so long before, except when I once went there with Alison, before my arthritis really caught up with me.

On the way home I stopped off at Aldi to get some pitta bread, but they had none, so it was a relief when I found two packets in the freezer.

John was out for an early Boys' Night Out tonight, so Charles, my Sis and I had a very odd meal of stuff from the freezer - a combination of home-made kebabs in pitta bread, home-made burgers in buns, both with salad and Charles' super-duper potato salad, followed by Mr. Delmonte's lovely strawberry and banana smoothie ice lollies (only 82 calories each)

I had to come up to bed early because sitting on the sofa, watching a very enjoyable programme about the history of British children's comics, (in which they never once mentioned Bananaman), I was totally unable to prevent my legs from twitching furiously.  I do hope that doesn't mean I shall have trouble sleeping tonight, because I'm completely exhausted!

When I tried to charge up my new batteries, the charger still didn't work properly, so I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that it's the charger which is broken.  I'm so annoyed when I think that I've thrown out eight rechargeable AA batteries away which may have been perfectly OK!

I've just had a thought!  I remembered that we haven't recycled our dead batteries for weeks and I found a set of four rechargeable AAs in the recycling bag, so I can try recharging them to see if they're actually OK after all.

We may go to Lindisfarne tomorrow, depending on the weather and the tides.
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My mail-order shoes came from The Shoe Tailor today. The colour is absolutely perfect, the little heel is perfect, the only thing wrong is that they are size 4 instead of size 8. I expect it was my fault, as I ordered them at the end of a long day of Internet shopping and I daresay I made a mistake, although how I could have got it so wrong, I can't imagine.

When we got back from the Metrocentre this afternoon, I phoned the help line and ordered another pair, this time the right size. I was worried that they wouldn't be available in the correct size, but it seems they are. Phew!

We went to the Metrocentre to get a new white shirt and a tie for John for The Wedding. When we went a fortnight or so ago, to buy his suit he refused point-blank to get a shirt and tie, saying that he had perfectly good white shirts and ties at home. He got so narky I didn't insist.

When challenged to produce these white shirts and ties, he came in wearing a shirt which gaped across the belly between the buttons and which made him look like Homer Simpson with a beard. The ties were all ancient and very well-used regimental ties which were so well-washed and pressed that you could see the back seam-line through the front of the tie. Well, maybe badly washed and pressed!

As we were going there anyway, I thought I'd have a look for a hat. The ones in M&S were fairly ordinary and rather expensive and the ones in Accessorize were beautiful but far too expensive. There was a raspberry pink straw at £25 which would do, and there were a couple of perfect pale-green straws with twiddly bits and one in raspberry pink too, but the cheapest of those was £50 and the one I really liked was £60, so I decided against it. I think I shall get one from the nice shop I found on eBay. I realised when I tried them on that I shall need to take the hat with me when I get my hair cut, too.

I found a little green pleated-satin clutch bag, exactly the right colour on one of those stalls in the mall, but it was adorned with lots of extra little bits, like the pretty bit from a peacock's tail, and ribbons and shell things. It was altogether too far over the top for me, so I shall definitely make do with the black embroidered fabric bag I bought for less than a fiver in the Green Market a couple of years ago. Oooh! And I've just remembered that somewhere I have a dinky little black patent bucket bag I bought years ago! If the worst came to the worst I could use my other 20-year-old black patent bag with the concealed brass handles, I don't suppose any of the guests would remember it.  It's still in excellent condition.

I need a new handbag anyway, for every-day use and so far I haven't been able to find one I like. I always used to buy "organiser" bags, but there aren't many around nowadays and those there are are far too expensive.  I love the "teardrop" bag I've used for the last several years, but it hasn't worn very well and I leave a little trail of black bits behind me wherever I go, where the shiny surface keeps peeling off the leather.

Tomorrow I have to take the cats to the vet for their boosters and their MOTs.  I had made an appointment to take them last Friday, but I felt so exhausted after the two traumatic days we'd had driving to and from Stoke on Trent that I rearranged the appointment.

On Wednesday I have an appointment to see my lovely lady doctor and I hope she will be able to modify my medication so that I can get soon back to what passes for normal with me.  We're all dying to make holiday arrangements, but I didn't want to do anything until I know how well I'm going to be.  Judging by today's shopping trip where I had to keep stopping for a sit down, not too well, unless the revised medication does the trick.

I do hope the weather stays like this tomorrow so that I can get things done outside.
blackberry444: (Default)
We finally got to John Lewis this afternoon, and sure enough they had several wallpapers we liked. We settled on one with ivy on an almost white background, I gave the assistant all my details and now only have to telephone to let her know how many rolls we require and give her my card details.

It was so much easier than I was dreading, because John Lewis is right next to a large car park which has a bridge across to the second storey of the shop. Inside there were lifts and escalators everywhere and we found Home Decorating in the basement very easily. It took quite a long time to decide which paper to buy, as I found three which I really liked, so I gave John the casting vote.

It was all so painless that I whisked John round the corner to Marks and Spencer to buy a suit for the forthcoming wedding. I cannot believe that he bought a perfectly nice-looking, smart and apparently serviceable suit for £79. Last time he bought a suit it cost best part of £200, or maybe more and when he used to have them made bespoke they were even more expensive. Not only that, but because you can buy the jackets and trousers separately, it fits perfectly; even the trousers don't need to be taken up!!

He's such a fibber, though. When I said he had to have a new white shirt and a new tie, he said he had a perfectly good white shirt at home and he didn't need a tie. When we got home and I demanded to see the shirt and tie, he brought out a couple of white shirts so ancient that they're not even white any more, and probably stretch open between the buttons and the tie he was proposing to wear is his regimental tie, which is ancient and looks as though he's been tying things up in the garden with it. I don't know, he's like a sulky teenager sometimes.

We had a problem finding our way back to the car park. We returned to John Lewis, but because we didn't go in through the door we had come out of, we got completely lost. We must have spent 20 minutes going up and down on escalators and in lifts, looking for the floor which had the bridge to the car park, asking members of staff, who seemed to have no idea how to get out of the place, and finally being told how to get out of there by another customer. I felt really silly.

I didn't try it on, but as we were passing, I did see a really lovely hat in Accessorize which might be just right for the wedding if I ever find a dress to wear, so I may go back on my own or possibly with Charles.

I saw a very small handbag in John Lewis which I thought might do and it turned out to cost £125. Maybe I should look in Accessorize for a bag too. I have a beautiful and expensive handbag which I've hardly ever used, but it's shiny brown patent, which is, of course, the reason I've hardly used it.

I got on much better than I expected.  I only got breathless twice, and was able to find a seat till I recovered, and I had no trouble walking.  Mind you, everywhere has escalators and lifts.  Marks & Spencer even had a very short escalator for the half-dozen steps up into the shop, and I noticed in John Lewis that there was a lift for wheelchairs users to go up a similar short flight of steps from one department to another.

I feel confident enough to go back again, although I don't think I can go alone because I can't carry anything heavier than a couple of books.  Maybe that will get better when I see the cardiologist.

This evening Bramble went missing and I was horrified to find that he's finally worked out how to get down into the front garden from my open bedroom window.  Of course, he can't get back up again. 

Charles was looking for him all over the house, and I sat at my desk calling him.  When I got up to do something, I caught sight of him on the other side of the road, and when I called to him again, he started to return across the road but changed his mind.

I went downstairs and eventually managed to get him in, but since we don't let the cats out at night, because that is when most of them get killed, I can now only have the window open a couple of inches and Bramble is very cross about it.  It means that poor Phoebe, who's such a good cat and never gives us a moment's anxiety, can't sit out on the windowsill, either, which she loves to do late at night.  If she could tolerate the bedroom door being shut so that Trouble couldn't get in, it would be OK, but as soon as the door to a room is shut she becomes completely paranoid and runs about in distress until it's opened.

So neither of them can sit on the windowsill and I can only have the window open a crack.

I'm going to lock them both out tonight and have the window open as much as I like!
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I chickened out of going to John Lewis today, so we're going tomorrow. Today we went to Costco instead. I managed to get a pack of the Del Monte smoothie ice lollies. I haven't tried the strawberry ones, but I know from previous experience that the raspberry ones are divine, and only 96 calories!!

I also bought vast quantities of raspberries, strawberries and cherries. My favourites except for blackberries, but they didn't sell those.

I also found out that they never sell liver or kidneys. The guy behind the counter suggested to John that we should try Newcastle Market for some!!

So now I have to go to John Lewis tomorrow instead. John is very insistent that we need the wallpaper as soon as possible, because he wants to finish the bathroom completely before starting on the cloakroom.

We spent more time prettying up the yard today, and once the bags of rubbish go off to the tip, I shall be able to replant all my pots. I realised today that I have another 2 geraniums which have survived the winter and one of them is the very expensive double one I bought last year. Hurrah!

Yet another bumper crop of snails. We found four of them sleeping in the tiny dormitory of a very small square plant pot.. I introduced Bramble to the biggest snail and I don't know who was most taken aback. Bramble was quite curious but jumped back about 2 feet when the snail retracted his eye stalk, and the eye stalk was retracted, presumably in alarm at the appearance of Bramble.

Unfortunately the weather forecast is quite horrid for tomorrow, when I planned to attack the front garden if I had the energy on returning from John Lewis.

It's very strange, because I wouldn't have thought the flowering currant was a particularly dense bush, but when naughty Bramble escaped out the front door and didn't want to come back in, he hid underneath it, and I simply couldn't see him. If it had been tabby Phoebe, I could have understood it, but he is white and black, more white than black and normally stands out like a sore thumb.

I've been feeling a lot better today, hardly any breathlessness, so maybe tomorrow's trip to Eldon Square won't be quite the endurance test I've been dreading.

I have to listen to The Seventh Dimension on BBC Radio 7 now.


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