Catching up

You know when someone’s been away from blogging for ages and they say they really don’t know what to write, but then just start and it’s okay in the end? I feel a bit like that today, although it’s only been a few weeks. I’m starting with this opening, random photos and seeing where it goes.

The lack of craft content is a big factor. It’s so frustrating that many times I’ve thought about just putting this on hold, without a big announcement or anything, but then I pop online and read a few of other peoples’ posts and enjoy just catching up with their news. Seeing what’s around in their gardens or neighbourhoods, what the weather’s like, what they’re eating, let alone what they’re making that I don’t really think it matters. It’s just natter without the knit, isn’t it?

The thing is I’m still being contacted by PR people for yarn companies and magazines. This week it was for a prominent High Street magazine who wanted me to do a How to Crochet series of pictures and instructional posts for their website. I love the compliments about my blog and that they really love the content, but it makes me wonder how recently they looked because I don’t think crochet has featured since last year. I shall look forward to seeing which blogger gets the gig!

This morning I’ve also had a dodgy looking email about some blogger awards. If I thought it was kosher I wouldn’t jump on my own chances by writing this here, but you know when the grammar is so odd and the website and email address are iffy looking that you just think ‘Ha ha, probably not?’

Do you know by the way that I always dictate my posts on my iPad now? So if there’s any very strange looking mistakes it’s Apple technology, not Rachel technology! Although I do keep being told off for not proofreading my messages. I sent the most bizarre instructions for baking sourdough this morning which included putting the sprinting on the third gravestone from the top…

I went to see the Hand Therapist last week. I’ve had to do a lot more lifting and carrying recently and it is she said: “A soup of ickyness and not anenomes.” Not quite the way I would’ve put it, although that description did make me laugh, but I get the message. I’ve got to go back to see the Hand and Wrist Consultant. I am resistant to anything invasive, but it does look probable as it’s not improving.

Beautiful Valentines Day flowers. Just gorgeous aren’t they, but unfortunately we kind of missed them, more about that later.

Snowdrops have appeared everywhere. Beautiful, but you do have to lift up the flowers to see how pretty they are on the inside, there are so many varieties, the variations are amazing.

Hyacinths from last year in one of my favourite blue pots. I know that second year bulbs don’t necessarily come back in flower very well, but I took the lazy approach and thought I would suck it and see. Probably not the best expression I use, picked up from an Australian. But I do like it!

Tulips. I have no idea what colour these were last year, maybe purple? Queen of the night variety? I could look in my notebook; but I quite like the idea that I’m going to get a surprise. Fingers crossed. What’s been nibbling them?

I think these are going to be Paperwhite narcissi.

I think I’ll never apologise, content-wise, for my sourdough pictures. If they annoy you then just imagine I’m smirking at you! Having said that I’m not sure I’m going to post anymore for quite a few weeks. Right now they’re flatter looking, because neither of us can lift up the cast-iron pot I bake them in. They tend to flatten out more when tipped out of the Banneton onto a baking sheet. Still taste good, but not so photogenic.

Have you heard that we had the hottest February on record? We had temperatures of 15° – 16°. T-shirt weather. I even saw a few people in shorts and sandals. It has been amazing, though ever so slightly bizarre for this time of year.

The spring flowers are out in force and it’s really lovely spotting croci, snowdrops, daffodils, grape hyacinths, blossom on trees and flowers on heather. I love the close-up I took of Mum’s little pink heather flowers.

And the reason we kind of missed my Valentine’s Day flowers: they drooped and dried out as the underfloor heating was still going on without us breezing in and out of the room or moving them to a cooler spot while we were away…

I’ve always fancied a ride in an ambulance; thought the flashing lights on while speeding past the traffic in a swift ride would be kind of cool. Yes I know, I’m a moron! Don’t think I’d really thought it through properly. Not so fun have to call it for a loved one at 2 AM, who is in pain, with all the worry and scary thoughts alongside that.

There were some funny moments, in retrospect. It is not a comfortable ride; it is noisy, the suspension is awful and both of us said they haven’t *even* put the lights and siren on! No need as at that time on a Monday morning there is nothing to slow down the journey. I find it interesting that having been woken from a deep sleep of only two hours that the things that I grabbed were his two phones, my iphone, my charger, my mascara (!) and I hid the whisky bottle in the cereal cupboard! We’d had a couple of drinks that evening, after a nice Sunday with family. There is no deep-seated problem or associated guilt, but for some reason I popped it behind the pack of Fruit and Fibre.

This was my view for several days and I did the thing of buying some lovely refreshing fruit (grapes are traditional, I went for melon and mango) for any time Someone felt like nibbling something. Of course those times were rare, it was all about lots of liquid morphine, codeine and paracetamol via IV. Incidentally I did ask the nurse if I could have a bit of that, because I had a cracking headache on the Tuesday after being up the previous night and the following day. She laughed and said “Absolutely not, do you realise how expensive it is given this way?!” Apparently it’s incredible, in a matter of minutes it’s taken effect.

I also was rushing about like a headless chicken and hadn’t had breakfast one day so did the classic thing of having to apologise when he did feel hungry for the first time, because I’d eaten all the melon! Oops.

There is a real club that forms when you’re part of a situation in a ward where everybody’s been rushed in without warning and are awaiting diagnosis or emergency operations. The patients are usually too unwell, sleepy and high on painkillers, but the families are really supportive of each other. I ended up chatting and waving to people all along the ward and in the lift, every time I popped out to get something. There is such a camaraderie and fast track relationships, albeit brief, are formed. I still wonder how some of them are and what happened. Maybe we’ll bump into each other in a cafe or shop one day. Fingers crossed all works out for them.

I know this is a horrendous picture of my hand but for me it sums up the black humour you can find in situations. There is a triage part of the ward and so at the end is a waiting room for about 10 people. There are clearly very unwell people waiting to be seen; they all had dark circles around their eyes, faces so pale it looked like stage make-up and nobody ever picked up a magazine. Some were there for hours and hours and I really felt for them. It’s not somewhere people chat. I think they’re just focusing on getting through so they can see a doctor. Then they get antibiotics to take home, or are admitted to the hospital.

Why a picture of a water bottle? This water machine was one of a kind. I kept on going down past the bays of beds to keep my legs moving and to keep myself hydrated. Can you see the tiny trickle going into my bottle? I’m actually sitting down to fill that water bottle. Honestly it took so long (about 10 minutes to fill 500ml) that at one point in a full waiting room I could feel 10 pairs of eyes on me and suppressed mirth. Far too much in pain and poorly to actually laugh out loud, but the atmosphere certainly lifted.

I want to give huge thanks and appreciation to the paramedics who came when I called 999 at 2 AM, the A&E team, ESU ward staff and the surgical team, anaesthetists and all the others who looked after my husband. NHS staff are AMAZING.

Home again now, taking it easy, he is well on the way to recovery.

I loved being outside for a walk again, enjoying the surprise sunshine after the trauma of the last week. I can’t leave without telling you what I’m reading. I’m listening to this audiobook and really enjoying it. Read by Juliet Stevenson it’s such a good story, the only downside is her voice is so soothing I can’t listen to it lying down; because I’m asleep in 10 minutes.

Yesterday I finished two books: The Moon’s a Balloon by David Niven and Tin Man by Sarah Winman. Both very good.

If this is natter, without the knit then this definitely needs your comments! How have your last few weeks been, what have you been doing, has it been sunny where you are and what are you reading?

21 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. So sorry to hear about your Mr and I hope he is recovering well. As you know, I have the worried family t shirt too. Love your natter without the knit , beats my last knit and natter post that was without the knit and the natter. Some weeks not a lot happens and this week I didn’t even have a thought worth sharing. As you enjoy Mr E’s antics, I thought you would like to know I left him with two tasks today whilst I was out and he has managed neither….On the other hand as well as going out, I left him a home cooked lunch, moussaka, did the laundry and am now cooking dinner. so tomorrow those two tasks will still need doing. Love all your bulbs.

    • Thank you. I’ve passed on your good wishes.
      I like yours, whatever you write! There’s always something to say. Plus it’s the knowing you’ll post on a Friday that’s good. I often miss it on the day, but it’s just knowing the routine that’s somehow comforting. Ditto Kate at Fox’s Lane albeit on Aussie time. (I know, I’m being a little odd…)
      I’ve been out to dinner and a comedy gig with a friend tonight, but the Mr E story is like the encore to the show. Love it!

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog and catching up. Glad that hubby is back home – good luck with your hands. I could almost taste your sour dough loaf since my son had just taken his sour dough from the oven. What I am ‘crafting’? Well, my daughter-in-law and I are re-uphostering their dining chairs and spent today attaching the webbing,

    • Thank you Jane. That’s really sweet.
      Oh lovely, so you’ve had fresh bread today too. I ate a few slices with a cooked brunch this morning. It’s was a nice lazy Saturday morning.
      That’s good. I bet they look like new again.

  3. I am glad your husband is feeling better. Being at the hospital is a trauma for patient and family. I think your bread looks wonderful. I used to bake those big loaves but now I bake two loaf sizes at a time because the dutch oven is just too heavy to handle. Your little bulb plants are pretty even if they don’t make such good blooms, but I hope they do. Maybe you will get a pleasant surprise.

    • He’s slowly getting there, thank you.
      Do you bake them in loaf tins now? I can understand as the cast iron pot is very heavy. I was fine until I hurt my hand and then delegated the baking part. Now we’re both banned from listing heavy items. Apart from spreading and coming out slightly l flatter the loaves still taste good using the baking sheet. I just make sure they’re not too high in the oven.
      I’ll take pics of the bulbs do well! Fingers crossed.

  4. Hope your hubby is feeling better – and that your hand doesn’t result in surgery. Bulbs look amazing , so many flowers already. Our garden is not as colourful yet. As for crafting, look at my blog to see new things happening….

  5. Sounds as if you have had a tough time lately ((hugs)). Hope your husband is on the mend and that your hand problems are not as bad as you fear. I love seeing photographs of your bread. It looks good enough to eat! It looks as if you (or your mother?) have the same sort of sedum as I do.

  6. Great blog post , I have a phobia about hospitals , don’t know why, just hate them full stop, and yes ambulances aren’t very comfy to ride in, shame you didn’t have the sirens on , thank goodness they didn’t need them , great photos , nice to look back on , it being the warmest February , amazed that you can dictate your blog posts , thinking about resurrecting my blog just so I can do that , but I would have to do it in private lol, already looking forward to your next post

    • Thank you Joan.
      Lots of people dislike them – for someone I know it’s the sheer smell as soon as you enter.
      I dictate messages and texts as well, it saves my hand and it’s quite fun really too! I have done it as I’ve walked along holding my iPhone up and people do give me funny looks, but I don’t really mind…

  7. Hope you hubby is feeling better. My daughter went to the ER this week also. Was blown off her scooter by a huge gust of wind and almost ended in the street. Told us we were lucky she was wearing her helmet. Her knee and chin took the brunt of it. But she’s home now. Sorry about your wrist. I know it can be hard not to crochet or knit, especially when you’re stressed. Your blog is still fun to read though. I love to see what’s happening “across the pond” as they say. Here we’re supposed to be getting warmer weather and instead we’re expecting a big snowstorm tonight. Sigh!
    Keep on keeping on.

    • Oh dear, I hope she’s feeling a lot better now, thank goodness for helmets!
      That was funny because it didn’t even occur to me until the end of the second day that it would’ve been the perfect time for crochet; waiting for him to come out of theatre and having the soothing repetitious movements of would have helped. Overall I was there for so many hours that I probably could’ve made someone a baby blanket!
      Thank you so much for the compliment, it has been really frustrating and I do worry that this has turned into a bit of a non-blog but people are still following and new readers coming each week too.
      Oh I hope your warm spring weather comes and the snow doesn’t hang around for too long.
      You too, take care.

  8. I’m so glad your second self is on the mend. It must have been really frustrating!
    The daffodils and other flowers are a good therapy. Just looking at the photos of them makes one feel better – please look at the real ones as much and as often as you can! :) Bread is beautiful – I’ve baked mine today but I make a rectangle-shaped one instead of a round one.
    All the best wishes to both of you.

    • Scary and stressful more than anything but he’s recovering slowly, thank you.
      They’re in mine and a family garden as well as all around. The photos are to share with you lovely lot.
      Sourdough is best using the Dutch Oven method but the tray method will suffice for now. When I make bread with commercial yeast, like you, I use my 2lb loaf tins.
      Enjoy! Bread freshly baked is fab whatever the shape.
      And to you.

  9. Goodness, what a trauma you both had. What was the matter with him? I hope you do get what you need done to your hand so you can crochet again.. I’d be lost without being able to do it. Hope he’ll recover fully quickly. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  10. Hope hubby is well on the road to recovery. The ambulance dash in the early hours is not fun. The two paramedics that finally admitted Mum were fantastic – especially as the ambulance filled up with wasps and they had to get them out before they could go anywhere.

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