A new year means the usual crap resolutions, and I totally agree with Bianca Del Rio.
I am not good with resolutions, never have been as I tend to break them quite fast, however, I find that if I challenge myself then there is a goal to work to, like my Goodreads challenge of x amount of books read in a year.
So, my challenges are as follows, and yes a little general, but hell, it’s not like it really matters.
Read 30 books
Reduce refined sugar consumption
Walk a few kilometres each day with the dog and work up to something like climbing Mount Snowdon
Knit more, and finish all the projects that I have put on hold.
Do a few KAL’s (for those who don’t know KAL=Knit along)
Blog at least once a week, otherwise why am I paying for this site?
Lose two and a half stone (35lb)
Not eat fast food for 2020 (that may be hard)
Get back into writing to my penpals
Take M out more on days out
Get back into meditating
Things I need to do are more personal, being more patient with M, doing more about the house to save him from doing it, and make a bit more healthier meals. Not that my food is unhealthy, however, we do like bad food as it tastes so good.
I am sure that there are more thing that I should have on my list, but I will wing it for now and add things on as I go along. Again, these are challenges that I am more likely to do rather than an irrational list of impossible changes.
I love snow, don’t mind the cold, but boy, it depresses me quite a bit. I’m trying to be positive, but it’s heard as fuck! Yes, I swore, get over it. There seems to be so little sunlight in this part of the world at this time of year, and I love my sun, and I know this is a main part of it, but there is so much pressure too to add to it all. I do wish I was a proper bear that could go and hibernate over this time of year.
My birthday is coming up and that has been a bone of contention all my life as near all forget it because it’s Christmas. No one wants to go and party because it’s Christmas and they are busy. So I’m used to that but it is a blight. As such I no longer advertise it, or bother about it. My hubby does bother and is usually the only one.
I’m moaning as I’m suffering with the winter blues, so please ignore me, I’ll be right as rain soon enough..
So 9 days ago I went for my surgery to remove my skin cancer. My youngest sister messaged me with lots of irritating questions, “what time are you leaving for the hospital, what ward will you be on, will you go straight down to theatre when you get there, what is the latest time they take people to surgery, what time is your operation, how long will you be there, will you have many stitches, what’s happening after the operation, is it a day case, will you have to go back, whats the surgeons name” and many many more! She is one of those people who continually ask questions in rapid fire and never really take a breath, and asks many daft questions. I am not the type of person who likes being questioned and find it irritating, and usually close-down or give generalised answers when this happens as I prefer to tell when I am ready and not be under a spotlight.
After the surgery I drove home and replied to a few more texts from my youngest sister and one from my mother, mainly ones of “are you home yet”. Today I finally got a call from my mother asking how I was, but I could tell from her tone she was not really calling to know how I was, then it came. “The reason for my call, can you ask your mate how much a new computer……” When my phone rang, I said to M “oh! here we go! I wonder what she wants this time?” knowing it would be a “can you” type call and not a genuine call of concern.
One of my sisters has not bothered calling to find out, and my little brother has become an ass and does not think he has to ask about anyone, including his father when he was in hospital.
M and I are always suspicious now when we get calls from our family as it is either a call for help or in the case of M’s mum, a mistaken call as she is trying to call someone else. It would be nice to have parents like we see on the Hallmark channel, or to have family like my cousins, but coming from a broken home I realised that would never happen.
So, my surgery went well, and I got away with only 4 stitches. The surgeon said it was deep and he removed skin and what lies beneath in the shape of an ellipse. He said he thought it went well and for me to go back to see him at the end of the month. I removed (yes I did) my stitches on Thursday and boy was I glad to get them out as they were irritating me. I heal really fast, always have no matter the injury. Cuts tend to take about 24/36 hours to fully knit, and usually within a week they are pretty much healed and just faint scars. This is no exception, and on Thursday when I took them out you would not really tell I had surgery. There is a fine scar and very thin mark that will fade to nothing before I go and see my surgeon.
I thought I would share a photo of the surgery, this was taken about 2 hours after. Although 48 hours later I did have a slight black eye as can be seen in the second picture.
A few weeks ago I had two “growths” removed, one from my face under my right eye and one on my chest. I had had them for a little bit and noticed that the one on my face was getting bigger. It was not bit at all, and most people did not notice it, but I did and that was all that mattered. The one on my chest was a funny brown colour and not like a regular mole. One of the GP’s at my surgery (not my regular GP) does minor surgery so I booked an appointment with him and off they came, but I have a lump on the right side of my face about 2/3cm from my right eye that he could not do as it was not a surface lump like the other two, but deep into the skin. The GP told me he would get me an appointment to see a specialist. Just over a week later I was booked into the private hospital to see a consultant in Maxillofacial surgery.
The hospital is only a 10-minute drive (very convenient) and is in the middle of several farmsteads, surrounded by trees turning gold in the autumn sun, and many many pear trees shedding their fruit. The hospital itself is state of the art and appointments always run on time which is a nice change from the overrun NHS hospitals. After being booked in and completing registration paperwork I saw Mr B. He examined the lump quite extensively and quickly diagnosed it as skin cancer, namely basal lymphoma/b-cell lymphoma. He assured me that it was nothing to worry about and he would perform surgery and remove it and I would be left with a few stitches where it was cut out, but as he is also a plastic surgeon the scaring would be minimal. The only thing that I was disappointed about was the scaring, as I do love a good facial scar, also I am a sun whore, but I guess factor 30 or 50 from now on.
I have had many operations in my life and have had 16 (over 8 years) just to rebuild my face including plastic surgery after having it smashed in when I was 17. Yes I picked to look this way ha ha.
I am just awaiting my appointment to go in to have the surgery now, which should be just over a week away.
I have decided to try and build up. Yes, I know, close to 50 and now I decided that this is the time. I have tried to get fit in the past and loose fat, but now I thought if I built up I could do all of it in one go. So the weights (not heavy yet) have come out and I have started a small routine. The Apple Watch has an app called 7 Minutes and I use that too, which is good as it raises my heart rate to fat buring/cardio rates, which is something I don’t get too much of with weights.
A few weeks ago I was thinking about M’s health and that it is slowly getting worse, and with that I decided I had to do something about my health and fitness levels as I will be useless to him if I am a fat lazy lump. I have bought some supliments to assist, but all in all it will be hard work that gets results.
I have been looking at some blogs of people that have been doing the same thing, but a lot of them seem to be using steroids and are gym bunnies that live in the gym 24/7 and eat 7 meals a day. This really is not a posibility for me, let alone the cost of gym membership in the UK is very high and you are automatically stuck in a year contract. Then there is the embarrisment/shyness of working out amongst the gym-rats and muscle dudes, which is entimidating too unless you have a gym mate (I don’t). So I don’t think I will be joining a gym anytime soon.
I have had the weekend off from any exercise as I had a very sore chest after earlier in the week from overdoing it. I needed the recovery time, but tomorrow it all starts again. I have looked at ones site and there is an idea about what to do and when, i.e. Mondays chest day, Tuesday arms and so on. But, I will not be up ar 5am and off to the gym as he does for the above reasons. I also need to do more cardio, but having asthma it can be quite hard, but I will give it a go, anything to get rid of fat and build muscle I guess.
I bought an app too that I can use to measure my body and it also takes photos of my and over time can play to show changes, but I will be a slow show LOL. Anyway, I feel determined to do it this time.
I bought a set of Tozo earphones from Amazon, great price and to be honest, a great pair for music listening. I did want a pair of Apple Airpods, but really £199 is outrageous, to the point of beyond reasonable, and I am an Apple Boy! The said earphones/earbuds fit nicely, worked perfectly for a week, then a few cutouts that I thought could be due to interference, but being Bluetooth I thought this should not happen as my large headphones/cans are Bluetooth and connected to my iMac and work like a dream, granted they cost a lot more than these little earphones, but the principle is the same, it should work without dropouts.
Move on 7 weeks later (yesterday) I decided to wear them out whilst walking the dogs. They were quite frankly appalling. The right one, which is the main connection dropped out every 10 or 15 seconds, just for about a quarter of a second, but the left one which is connected again via its Bluetooth to the right one was constantly dropping out, to the point where there were more dropouts than there was music. In the end, I turned them off and pocketed them and walked in silence with the dogs.
Last night I went on to return them, and the window was shut for returns. So, to the help section and chat to an Amazon person about returning them for a refund. He (Amazon employee) had to think about whether they should be returned, but before I had chance to spout the consumer rights act he relented but decided to do as Amazon does best, throw a spanner in the works. The earbuds have rechargeable batteries in them, and as such are subject to certain EU laws (EU fuckery), but Amazon read this return of goods with batteries incorrectly, and deem that they cannot arrange for return of the goods and the consumer has to pay for them to go back, as they “cannot produce a paid return label”, which turned out to be a complete lie. They state that only UPS and DHL can carry goods with batteries in them, again I later find out was another lie. To make matters worse this dickhead decided that I had to use UPS and he would send me a UPS label so that it could go back that way, but again I had to pay for the return (legally Amazon have to pay for the return, not me). After what felt like the whole night dealing with dickhead arguing my rights, he decided to leave the conversation.
I printed off the label and this morning took it to the shop in the village that happens to take UPS parcels. However, the label and barcode was generic and not a UPS one. The lady was very nice and apologised that she could not do anything and advised I speak to Amazon to get the right label. Knowing that he was full of shit and did not know his job, I went to the Post Office and asked the postmaster there if this item could be sent. He smiled and said that anything with a battery enclosed within it can be sent by Royal Mail and that the Amazon guy does not have a clue, or just “couldn’t be arsed” which is very apparent now. The postmaster also told me that they Amazon can do a postpaid label with the hazard sign and that I should not be paying for this. The said that EU regulations state that if it is a battery on its own, i.e. a laptop battery, then no, it has to go via a carrier, but if it is within an item, like my earphones, then it has a place to discharge to and is safe to send.
I got home and put in a call to Amazon and the guy I spoke to acknowledged that I should not have to pay for it and whilst on to him email the receipt and he would refund me the postage. I did my part, and he arranged for the refund.
Usually, I get emails confirming what went on and I am given the option to rate the person I dealt with, but alas the guy last night ensured that did not come my way, otherwise I would have given him big fat zeros.
I sometimes wonder if there is a mark on my account that says “he dared to complain back in 2013, so fuck him over as much as you can. Maybe I am becoming pessimistic in my old age, or maybe, just maybe I am right.
I keep meaning to do a post, and then something comes up, and later I realise that I didn’t do my post, and think I will do it now, but manage somehow to get myself sidetracked and BOOM! Forgot to post again. I do not know what is going on with me. So, forgive me for my tardiness!
Since last we “spoke” as it were, I finally got rid of my large tank in the lounge. Part of me was glad to get rid of it, and part of me was sad to see it go. The fish love their new smaller home and my Cameroon shrimp seems happy too. Although it was a great tank it took up quite a lot of room, being so massive. We have a unit that we moved into one of the halls when we got the tank, so that is now back in the lounge. My thoughts for getting rid of the tank was to move the smaller tank onto the said unit and get another small tank and finally do a nano reef tank. However, the cost of doing a reef tank is high. I have found a nano tank I like which is £150, but then I need a skimmer and a heater so that’s another £90. Add sand, live rock and all the other bits I need to get it started and I am close to £500 without even adding fish or coral. So, before I take the plunge I have downloaded and printed a book on the subject and intend to read it in full before I decided on what to do. Having spoken to a few people the jury really is out. Some say it is easier than tropical, some say get a large tank as a nano can have problems being small, and others rave on about nano tanks, so there is no real help chatting to others LOL.
I bought an external 12-litre canister filter for my other large tank which works like a treat, but today I added on an extra 2-litre filter canister to that. In essence, water is drawn out of the tank to the small sub canister then passed into the large canister and finally put back into the other end of the tank. I did manage to make a bit of a watery mess as I had not fastened one of the inlet pipes properly oops! I had lost a few fish over the last few weeks, so thought the canister filter would help sort the water quality out. It has UV inside so sterilises the water as it filters. The lighting I have on the tank also decided to die, only 6 weeks after it being exchanged after the first one died after 4 months. Thankfully the aquatic centre where I get most of my equipment and livestock were very understanding and spoke to Fluval who admitted there was a problem that they have now sorted out and to exchange it for me.
It was Harpers 5th Birthday on Sunday. As always we took them to McDonald’s for hamburgers, then to the pet store so Harper could pick a toy, which this year was a rather large monkey, and two packs of balls. Needless to say, they both had a great time.
Thought about it, even mentally made a pattern for a hat for winter, but that was it, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?
I was reading The Massacre of Mankind which is a sequel to War of the Worlds and in the end, I gave up as it was so slow and the author was trying to write in the style of H. G. Wells but failed page after page. As most of my readers will know I love classical literature, so have no problem with ancient writing and old English, but this bad, if he had written it in current English it would have been a good read.
I went to a joint Christening and Communion party a few weeks ago, got very drunk and had a ball.
Last week we went to Delamere Forest again, which for some reason driving there we managed to take all the wrong turns. I came off the motorway/highway onto the expressway in order to go over the Mersey Gateway Bridge, which when you get to the end of the expressway is straight over the roundabout, however, when you follow this, you end up in an industrial estate and nowhere near the bridge. It would seem the directions for the bridge do not exist, and when you get to the end of said expressway you turn left and ignore the signs. But as I managed to turn the wrong was we ended up back on the motorway heading in the direction of home. Time though was on our hands. My satnav said we would get there at 11:15 when we left home and although I managed to go on a long diversion of 20 minutes we got there at 11:22 thus proving that time travel can be achieved.
The degree is now on hold. I was so undecided about doing it that I thought it best to put the thought to one side until I was 100% committed to doing it.
After returning from Ireland I had tests and a cardiac assessment done. My blood results came back reporting a lack of vitamin D, which is about right living so far north and the general lack of sun. But I also did not have enough of the good cholesterol either, but this could be due to coeliacs disease. The doctors’ office suggestion was to take vitamin D tablets and eat more oily fish etc. Luckily I found a company that sells vitamins on Amazon and they do a vitamin D that is 4000iu, and when you buy a product they thank you by letting you pick another one for free. I decided on Hemp oil tablets as they are for omega 3 and 6, so that’s the bloods sorted.
The scarecrow festival came and went, and I managed to take exactly zero photos of it. I mean, what is the point of having a great camera, living in the country, and having festivals if I do not record it? Answers on a postcard, please!
We bought new garden furniture, namely a table, chairs and a parasol, just in time for the monsoon season to hit us. Yes, my luck/timing really is in at the moment.
I have managed to have a few barbeques lately, between showers that is.
I finally took the leap into meditation after dipping my toes off and on into it over the last few weeks. I have joined Headspace for a year, and am finding it quite good and just have to add it into my daily routine.
In other news, I had a puncture in one of the rear tyres on the car.
I have been thinking the last few weeks about taking another degree. The one I have my eyes on at the moment is Astronomy and Planetary Science. But I am still looking to see if anything else grips my attention. I was looking at the arts too, but nothing really jumps out as yet. I love history, but again I am not too sure if that’s what I want to do. It is a 6-year commitment, therefore, I have to think hard. The next enrolment is September for October start or January for February start. Again, plenty of time to decide if this is the route I want to follow.
I was also looking at the options for doing a masters after. I would love to get a doctorate, but I think as I am close to 50 I will be quite old when I did this, so this may not be an option.
As yet I am not too sure if I will do it. This afternoon I spoke to one of the university advisors who gave me a few things to think about but all in all, saw no reason for me not to do it. The next step is to go through the perspective and full course details and then sort out the financial side.
Again, not too sure, so taking the Tim Gunn approach and “leaving it in my basket” and coming back to it at a later date.
I have moaned before about the rain, but it seems relentless and has followed us to Northern Ireland. Every day it’s raining, then the sun comes out for about 30 minutes along with every dog walker, then rain, rain, and more bloody rain. Yesterday, I decided to go to the town park and walk around the 56-acre lake with the girls. The rain had stopped for about 20 minutes, and I thought all looked good. Dropping M off at the home first. I drove down Windsor Ave, pulled into a parking space by the gates, and the rain started, only a few drops. I thought it would light spits, but as I was about to get out, the heavens opened, but not just rain, hailstones and giant raindrops, and it battered down for about 10 minutes solid. Eventually stopping I got the dogs out and we did our 3.5km walk, getting back to the car for it to hammer down again.
I got back to M’s dad’s house and it was dry there, no rain at all, this is only 1.75 miles away, WTF! Then later that evening as mentioned in a previous post it pissed down again whilst the car roof was open. Thankfully the heat of the day has finally dried the seat out.
This morning, I took the dogs to Craigavon North Lake for a walk and, wouldn’t you know, it started raining as we drove there, thankfully stopping for us to walk in it. Again it has been on and off all day. Currently, there are huge black and dark grey storm clouds in every direction, so I am not holding much hope to it ever ending.
The thing that really gets me is that looking at the cameras back home, the sun is shining, there is not a cloud in the sky, it looks like a lovely day, and has done for the past few days. On checking the thermometers (yes we are that advance) the temperature is 22.3 degrees in the garden, so very pleasant. However, on checking the weather forecast, Saturday when we head for home, the weather improves here, and back home the rain starts, basically, the crap weather is following us, like the cloud above Charlie Brown.
I went with M to the home to see his mum. The dogs were with us as his dad had gone out, so I was not going to leave them alone in the house. Whilst at the home I left the girls in the car, the double sunroof left open to its full extent, and of course the windows down half way too. After ten minutes M’s mum wanted to see the dogs again so I brought them in, leaving everything open.
5 minutes pass inside the home and I happen to look out the windows, and the heavens have opened and all of a sudden it was monsoon season again. I ran through the home to the car park, jumped in, started the engine and closed all the windows and roof, but the inside was drenched, and so was I. Whilst sitting there waiting for the roof to close I had sat in the rain-drenched seat, leaving me with a wet arse. The passenger seat got the worst of it due to the direction of the rain, but all the same, everything was soaked. I mopped up what I could with the cloth I had in the car, then when back at the house used three towels to try and dry it all, but I think we are set to have wet bums for a few days.
Australian Traveller that loves to "Roam" our globe, creator of ENDLESSROAMING.COM sharing the experience through word and photography. Currently residing in my home of Newtown Sydney but hope to be back on the road late 2020. Feedback / questions are more than welcome, happy travels