Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Oh joy... First dentist visit was fine - she smoothed off the sharp edge, so my tongue is no longer getting scratched, and gave them a quick clean. Next appt next year.
Well, supposedly. A couple of days after my visit another chuck of enamel broke off the root canal molar and took a small piece of filling with it. The following Mon evening it started hurting. It was worse by Tuesday, so I rang for an emergency appt - Thurs p.m., by which time the pain was pretty much unbearable and my jaw was swollen.
Five days worth of amoxicillin 500mg tablets three times a day and an appt for extraction on the 4th of April. There's nothing more she can do for the tooth - one of the roots is twisted and no-one's been able to reach it to clean and fill it - so it's time for it to go. It's given me a lot of trouble over the last three years. SO fingers crossed pulling the damn thing out fixes the problem. Silver lining, as I can't eat, I've lost more weight...
In the meantime the antibios and alternating prufen and parrots (and co-codamol last thing at night) keeps the pain down to a bearable level.
Onto happier things! Forgot to say... second to last time Ken and I went to Hurrans, on the way back a predator on a motorbike pulled up level with the bus! He was wearing something very similar to this Predator helmet. Absolutely brilliant! He waved, and I waved back and gave him a thumbs up. Made my afternoon!
We finished Designated Survivor first season (will order the second season next month) and are now on the second season of Lost. Hm. It's OK, I guess, though nowhere near as compelling as Designated Survivor or The Expanse.
Kai is (slowly but steadily) building me a cobbled path from the patio up to the main part of the garden (I slipped and nearly fell three times during the rainy week). It's going to look good. Most of the useable stones are now up near the compost bins -
- tidier and less of a trip hazard than they were!
Spring is coming...
(And yes, the fence condition is getting worse and worse. Nothing we can do about it. We have it in writing that if we so much as touch it, we'll be trespassing and legal action will be taken. Which suits me fine - we will no longer paint it every 2 -3 years. I think it's called 'cutting one's own throat'. Or maybe 'digging one's own grave'...)
Refund letter went to Fixit, giving them until 19th April to pay. Will see what happens.
Kai's birthday was fun. He went to Radstock museum with Dawn, and we got a curry out for dinner. He liked his presents too - always a good thing.
And we are off to plant things shortly. Time to settles the plants in pots into their proposed locations! I'm sure more has happened, but I can't remember. (The drilling from next door isn't helping.) Will add later if I remember.
Thursday, March 07, 2019
It's been an interesting week...
Monday at 2.30 p.m. I reported to the BRI for my gastroscopy (via Primark to pick up some more trousers as I've lost enough weight that the old ones kept sliding down my hips). Lots of chat beforehand, warning about possible dangers, nothing new or worrying. Should take about 5 - 10 minutes, they said. Might be a little longer, depending on what we find. Some discomfort, but nothing too bad: the anaesthetic spray will prevent most of it...
So into the operating room, sit on the trolley and get the back of my throat sprayed with the most disgusting tasting stuff ever. Made me retch (but since I hadn't eaten anything in 15 hours, as advised, that's all). Lay down on the trolley, oxygen-spraying sponge up one nostril, green mouthguard holding my mouth open, and they (all female, which was appreciated) start feeding in the tube...
Anaesthetic spray somehow managed to miss the side of my throat where the tube rested, which HURT but given I wanted this over asap I wasn't going to start fussing. Tube goes down oesophagus and into my stomach. "Hm." the doctor says. "Better take some biopsies... We're going to pump in oxygen now to inflate your stomach so we can see what's going on."
Stomach bloats. Little stings come from inside my stomach where they're taking 'multiple biopsies', as the patient copy of the report says. Then the gas starts coming back up in huge noisy belches...
[sigh] Well, it was expected, and I didn't intend moving until after they'd finished. Which they did after what felt like an hour but was probably 20 mins.
Sat back up - the anaesthetic had worn off completely by now and throat felt raw - and said, "That hurt like hell. I'd rather not have to go through it again." Doctor grimaces and says - "I'm afraid you're going to have to..."
Turns out I have oesophageal scarring (from long term intermittent acid reflux), a '5 cm hiatus hernia with a prominent prolapsing gastric fold' (5 cms of my stomach is protruding through my diaphragm - no wonder it hurts if I try to swallow anything too big!), widespread gastritis, numerous (non-malignant, they think) gastric polyps and three (THREE!) stomach ulcers, the biggest 3 cms long. They are (reading from report) 'linear, clean based' and not caused by bacteria, which is a good thing: I guess it's just the stress of the last six years...
SO - 2 x 20mg omeprazole tablets twice a day (high dose of one of the meds Kai was on while undergoing treatment, to protect his stomach) for 6 weeks, which should heal the ulcers and solve the gastritis. The hernia is, apparently, nothing that unusual, lots of people have them. Unless it gets worse, in which case you can have surgery; for now it'll just be a matter of taking smaller bites and chewing more thoroughly. I need to make an appointment in 6 - 8 weeks for another gastroscopy, although this one will be to take a quick look to see how things have improved. Now I know what to expect I'll probably opt for the spray again, instead of a sedative - I can cope. Though in the meantime I've been advised not to eat anything too spicy or hot until the course has finished. That's sackcloth and ashes to me! (Ken did point out it's Lent...)
So that was fun (not).
On Tuesday morning Kai used the battery charger to get Derpy going, enough for me to drive her down the road to Renatec for her service. We had to have a new (heavy duty) battery (the old one died the death, alas), new wiper blades, and the brake fluid replaced: came to over £300 total [wince] but she's now good to go and the battery should last at least five years. Heh. We'll see.
Kim and I were supposed to go swimming Tues p.m., but her dr's just doubled her levothyroxine dose and it upset her stomach, so we went to Almondsbury Garden Centre instead. Picked up a couple of ceanothus - Californian lilac, one that'll grow to 8 - 10 foot to go in the corner at the front to stop the bloody Peeping Tom next door from peering in, and a smaller one to go... somewhere in the garden! They also had one only Leptospermum (Tea tree, and the source of manuka honey apparently) which I just had to have (I justified it by reminding myself I didn't buy the £10 sequinned narwhal plushie that tempted me so at the BRI shop yesterday). Called in to the Riverside Garden Centre on the way back, and finally found cat mint seeds! Tyjer won't know himself in a couple of months. (I plant them in a big pot and keep it in the greenhouse overnight so intruder cats aren't tempted.) Phone call when I got back to say Derpy's service was finished so drove her back. Planning to drive to Sains tomorrow - heavy shop.
Wed was stupidly busy clearing up all sorts of little bits and pieces. Five different microgreens now on the go, and mung beans in their sprouter in the kitchen cupboard to grow in the dark; marrows, a pumpkin and a pot of parsley on the go in the greenhouse.
So, today. Thought I'd get online things done. Found the details to BACS my outstanding NI payment to HMGov. Answered oustanding emails, then thought I'd sort out my Mtickets. Firstbus currently charge £4 for a Dayrider Mticket, while it's £5 if you pay cash. Bloody ripoff but that's how things go these days.
Found the correct page, downloaded the app to my phone, then went to follow the instructions to set up my account. Easy, yes?
Of course not. Is anything ever straightforward in this family?
Set up the a/c, bought one ticket to add to my wallet - not risking any more than that in the first instance - then tried to login.
System didn't recognise my ID and/or password. Tried again. System gave me one of those FUGELY irritating verification screens (how many bikes/traffic lights/buses/crosswalks - you know the sort of thing), which I completed - and was then told the system didn't recognise my ID/password. Tried again - five verification screen this time, same end result. And again - eight screens, same end result.
Rang customer service. Explained problem: she reset my password and told me to try again. Tried again... twenty verification screens this time and SAME bloody end result. She went to confer with a more experienced techie, who had never heard of such a thing happening (yeah right) and advised me to uninstall the app, reinstall it and try again. (She could see my ticket was safely in my wallet, so that hadn't been lost.) Did as advised, and YAY, it let me in, and there was my ticket waiting for when I need to use it.
Asked how I changed the password back to my chosen one... She didn't know, and there's nothing anywhere Kai and I can find that allows you to do so. Plus when I tried to login again I GOT THE SAME BLOODY RESULT!!!
Uninstalled/reinstalled again - got my ticket back. Tried again, system wouldn't recognise me. Uninstalled/resinstalled again - back on. Tried again, system wouldn't recognise me. Uninstalled/resinstalled again - back on. I eventually ended up just saving the link to the ticket on the top level on my phone, but it's only a temporary fix. Will see what happens next time I want to buy a ticket...
I am NOT impressed.
On to more fun things. Films watched recently... The Meg - OK, but essentially Jaws for the Jurassic Park generation. Downsizing, which is extraordinary. A very good, intriguing film. The Commuter, fairly standard Liam Neeson actioner but fun all the same. And we're carrying on with Designated Survivor, which just gets better and better. Surprisingly realistic and sympathetic characters.
That's about it for now, I think. I have the dentist tomorrow morning - just a check up, but I shall ask her to grind down the sharp edge (that cuts my tongue if I talk too much) of a lower back molar where the enamel broke off from the filling. And of course it's Kai's birthday on Saturday!
Must see if I can find a suitably daft cake while shopping...
Saturday, March 02, 2019
OK! A bit later than anticipated but it didn't rain until an hour or so ago so we all did a little work in the garden: Ken and Kai moved rocks up the garden a little and sorted them into sizes (looks really good, will be happy to have them sit there until Kai is ready to move them - will have to get a pic tomorrow) ready for Kai to build his wall(s), while I got the greenhouse a little more organised. Then Kai and I moved the water butt to the front of the greenhouse, sorted out the guttering, then I filled it 3/4s full from the main water butt (which fills up much faster - full width of both roofs to collect the water from).
So - let's start with my birthday on the 26th. It was quiet but fun...
From Ken: Mighty Muggs Starscream from the Nottingham Robot Co. He has three expressions (you press his head to change them!)
and a Bayverse Starscream keyring!
Also a copy of Clouds that Look Like Things (a Cloud Appreciation Society book.)
An owl within an owl from Kai - beautiful...
And Be More Unicorn From Wendy! Many thanks, it's a fun read: a nice complement to Wisdom of Unicorns.
Went swimming with Kim (who got the caring job she was interviewed for last Tuesday) in the afternoon (FUGE bar of chocolate and a bottle of Prosecco - Cheers Kim!)
The we did go to the Nomu for dinner and it was fantastic. Info about the meal at the end of the post, don't want to bore anyone who isn't interested!
My free cocktail - Tokyo Ice Tea - absolutely delicious!
Wed was quiet - K&K made a start on shifting the rocks, and we watched A Wrinkle in Time, which was disappointing. Very pretty, lots of cute imagery, but ultimately very trite. Pity...
Thurs Ken and Kai went out to Midsomer Norton and GoodTwin and Sue came to visit!
This is gorgeous!
The words are - Do no harm, Take no shit! I love it!
Quizzes were played, news exchanged, and much hilarity took place! Thank you both, it was wonderful.
We are now watching Designated Survivor Season 1 (another pressie!) and thoroughly enjoying it. It doesn't have quite the WOW! factor of The Expanse, which we have now finished and can't wait for Season 4, but it's pretty damned good!
On Fri Ken and I bussed to Wells and Street in search of shoes (at Sketchers and Clarks Factory Shop) and came home with everything BUT shoes (neither shop was any good - Sketchers weren't wide enough for Ken and they didn't have my size in the style I liked: Clarks were far too narrow for me). But we picked up a whole load of DVDs for practically free - six at 50p each or £1 for three, four others at 50p each, so we have a lot to watch, including The Owl Service, which I remember watching as a child. That will be very interesting!
We also have the whole 6 seasons plus two bonus discs of Lost to watch: Kai fancied it...
Off to watch the next ep or so of Designated Survivor...
My Cards! Brilliant.
Japanese food at Nomu...
We shared a starter - a three for £14 special. Duck Futomaki (delicious, and nice to know that my own sushi tastes pretty authentic!), Yakitori Chicken, and Spicy Tofu Bites. These last were very interesting - extremely tasty but we've never eaten silken tofu before and the texture was very strange... Going to try making them myself with thinner slices covered with panko and maybe dusted with katsu powder.
For the main Kai had another special - Karaagi, California rolls and Ebi Bites - and Ken and I had Ginger Pork (for me to see where I went wrong when making it. It was nicely made and tasty, but not exciting enough for me to want to try it again) and Ken had Teriyaki Roast Pork (which was delicious!) Then Kai had a Mango Sorbet, Ken had Banana Katsu, and I had Dorayaki, which was absolutely divine. Must learn how to make it!
Oh, and Ken and I ate everything with chopsticks. Quite proud about that!
We will be going back. There's still so many dishes to try!
Friday, March 01, 2019
Sorry, everyone - was planning a proper catch up post but I'm tired after a long but very useful day. It's supposed to rain from midday tomorrow until sometime Mon, so will have another go when I get back from shopping tomorrow morning. Lots to say and lots of pics to post!