Monday, 31 August 2009

31 August Bank Holiday Monday - Nat's Collarge(spell?)

Monday 31 August - It Hurts

It's 03:30 am and I'm having a bad night. My left leg, the still to be operated on one, is killing me. My knee feels as if it's simultaneously filled with acid and has a knife in it. If I try to relieve this by sitting differently then the pain moves up until it stops adjacent to my left ball where it does its best to emulate the feeling you get after being hit in the balls! I was not expecting to have to go back into hospital until February 2010 or later but if this pain continues, or worsens, then I think I may have to consider contacting the hospital sooner. It feels as if the pain has got twice as bad in the last two weeks.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

29 August - The Highcross Pub with Donna's Dad

I was in Town today and after I'd taken Nat to, and left him, at, the GamesWorkshop I went for a wander round town before ending up and spending too much time in the Apple Store playing with iPods and iPhones and iMacs (anyone notice a pattern). Before that I's watched the "Indian" musicians playing at the Clock Tower in the city centre. After I'd had my fill of tech I retired to the The High Cross (a J D Wetherspoons, and therefore cheap, pub) for a couple or three pints before picking Nat up at 5:00. As always the pub was pretty busy so, when I eventually got served, I bought two pints, Ruddles County, if I recall correctly, found myself a seat and settled down with my pint and a book to pass a pleasant afternoon.
A little while later I spotted John, Donna's dad and as deaf as a post, sitting at one of the tables and moved to join him. He was chatting with a fellow Geordie also called John (2) and I joined them for the rest of my time there. Great fun except that John 1 can't hear a thing you say so you always end up talking at cross purposes...which, anyway, was all part of the fun!
Donna's dad is the one on the left without the glasses. Here are the other photos I took that day:

Monday, 24 August 2009

Sat 22 - Sun 23 August - Manuals, Bad Tummy, Sunday Morning Allotment, Nat's Coming Home, Deb's Leg!

Back to work last night and I was on Manuals; glad of this as I've got the most frightful tummy ache and it's reassuring to know I can run for the loo whenever I need. Morning was a long time coming but come it eventually did. Once home I watched Big Brother 10, Marcus gets funnier by the day and it's fascinating to watch housemates like Lisa start to open up as they make their run towards the finishing post. Lisa, in particular, seems to be have had a personality transplant. All of a sudden she's outgoing and supportive of all. Sophie opened up in the diary room and came over as far more than a silicone enhanced bimbo but my money's still on the Dark Horse himself... go Marcus!

Nat's at Scout Cowboy camp this weekend so wasn't home, here are some photos from when we dropped him off on Friday
It looks like it's gonna be lots of fun, but getting any details, of what he did, from him will be like getting blood from a stone. I'm still waiting for details Re: Beaumanor Hall and the Sailing Week in Redditch. Here's a link to Willesly Campsite where Cowboy Camp is being held. I WANT A TIME MACHINE SO I CAN TRAVEL BACK AND BRING MINI ME TO THE FUTURE OR I WANT MY CHILDHOOD AGAIN!!!! .


Friday 21st Wannado Wild west Camp 2009

Went to Willesley scout camp for 6.30 - first there - as usual

PUT UP TENTS - 1 big tent for cooking and 3 small tents - 7 scouts - in my tent Me, josh, sam and lewis and josh teddy named Yoshi and in other tent adam, regan and robin. 3rd tent for leaders - thankfully ben didn't show up - he was ill

went to opening speach then had free time - at 7pm watched film 3 amigos and had bag of chips from burger van, open air big screen

went to bed 10 ish


breakfast bacon, sausage, eggy bread, tea

activities - Navaho zone - spider mountain followed by bouncy slide, gladiators greasy pole and other inflatables, followed by spider mountain again

lunch - sandwiches and crisps - ate at tents

Gold Rush zone - gokarts, night line, cooking (cowboy stew), go karting

tea - chicken stir fry, juice

free time - 7pm movie about mexican rustler and bag of chips

bed 10pm


breakfast - sausage bacon beans eggy bread coffee

me regan josh and sam names frawn out of hat to go sailing - only 12 places
went to conkers - shared boat with Josh - because we were best ssailors we got the camp teddy and had our photos taken on our boat - I was holding the teddy

I fell in on purpose

Lunch at tents

Free time could do anything in Gold Rush or Navahoe zone - I did mountain biking, zip wire, climbing,

tea - chilli and rice

cowboy festival - chilli cooking contest - free time - barn dance with live band. someone put 2 tins of beans in camp fire which exploded just missing a leader.
collected at 8.50

Anyway, after BB had finished, we three made for the allotment, to pick some veg, kill some caterpillars and do a bit of digging. Deb tackled the caterpillars, I turned over the potatoes and Han helped out. We chatted with Trevor, has 2 allotments just down from ours, and Han went and helped him pick the plums from his trees. In return for this she received a carrier bag full of juicy ripe plums. In addition we picked our own so we had plums coming out of our arses. I'll be taking a load of these to work tonight. I uncovered quite a few missed potatoes when I dug over the plot Deb had already harvested and Deb collected hundreds, I kid you not, of caterpillars. We harvested, the plums, some blackberries and raspberries, a crated of runner beans, 2 sacks of onions, a load of purple runner beans, some tomatoes and a butternut squash as well as the potatoes I'd unearthed. Not bad for 90 minutes although Han managed, in addition, to collect a substantial number of nettle stings on hers legs; luckily we have masses of doc leaves so treatment was immediate and fairly effective. So, home for a beer, two episodes of Booze Britain and then too bed. I tried to listen to a few podcasts but invariably nodded off awakening only to have a piss! I did manage to catch up on most of my backlog of PRI's The World: Technology Podcast
Guess what we had for dinner? Here are some more photos
of what we came back with and Han's legs, unfortunately I didn't get any of her on the ladder harvesting the plums because I was facing away at the time and didn't know what she was doing.

Deb dropped me off at work at about 7:45; she and Han then headed off to pick up Nat; later I received a text from Deb letting me know that they had arrived home safe, I wasn't expecting her to remember to send it. So far we've been quite busy tonight, must be cold in Scotland because people are putting on their central heating, for the first time in months, on and discovering that it's not working! I must have taken a half dozen calls from Glasgow already tonight.

*** Deb's Leg

Deb's been suffering with Sciatica for over a year with almost total loss of feeling in her right leg, other than for pain of course, and it's getting no better. in addition she now seems to be getting extreme reactions to an insect bites on that leg. I've told her that she really needs to go back to the surgery and press for some treatment regime. If you don't ask you don't get and the situations gone beyond a joke.
Sciatica (or sciatic neuritis)[1] is a set of symptoms including pain that may be caused by general compression and/or irritation of one of five nerve roots that give rise to the sciatic nerve, or by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve itself. The pain is felt in the lower back, buttock, and/or various parts of the leg and foot. In addition to pain, which is sometimes severe, there may be numbness, muscular weakness, pins and needles or tingling and difficulty in moving or controlling the leg. Typically, the symptoms are only felt on one side of the body.

Although sciatica is a relatively common form of low back pain and leg pain, the true meaning of the term is often misunderstood. Sciatica is a set of symptoms rather than a diagnosis for what is irritating the root of the nerve, causing the pain. This point is important, because treatment for sciatica or sciatic symptoms will often be different, depending upon the underlying cause of the symptoms.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Thursday 20 August - Visit to the Black Country Living Museum

What is The Black County?

We spent the day at the Black Country Living Museum. Very nice place; the local town is especially impressive with it's actor/inhabitants. Like most of these places they gouge you on the extras, I went for a pint in the Pub, bitter, mild and cider only, and was gobsmacked to be charged £3.00 for a pint. This was as nothing to the mark up on soft rinks, a small glass of lemonade, less than 1/2 pint, was £1.20!
The Bottle and Glass Inn originally stood on Brierley Hill Road, Brockmore, backing onto the canal at the Stourbridge Flight of 16 locks. It was probably built shortly after the canal was cut. A map of 1822 shows the Bush public house but by the 1840s it was known as the Bottle and Glass. A .pdf doc with more info is contained in this link The pub was built with two large rooms fronting the street. The back room was a later addition and the join between the two phases of construction can clearly be seen. The front of the pub was altered in the 1870s, and the wooden seating and partitions date from these alterations.

The canal trip was particularly memorable because it was through the tunnels that, in part, made up the underground canal network of the Black Country. The underground tunnels would suddenly open up into exposed basins in the rocks that were festooned with plant life and quite beautiful. The limestone caves were also very impressive. Canals were the lifeline of Black Country industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The canal tunnels under the limestone hills in the area are some of the longest in the country. The horses that drew the narrow boats could not go into the tunnels so that boats had to be legged through which was pretty tiring work - even for the fittest person (Nat and Han both had a go at legging the boat, in fact they were the only two people on board who did. The other kids parents wouldn't let them try).
Another memorable exhibit was the old school, where we were all treated to the extremes of 19th Century primary education. We were taught by a very severe school marm who we were required to address as Marm. We were seated at our desks with traditional slate on slate boards on which to write. Various persons were pulled out of class and made to stand at the front as "Marm" demonstrated the various rewards and punishments that were administered in the class rooms of the period. We had to write and H and an R on our boards and those who did these the best were called out to the front, Han was one of those called. Deb and Nat sat at the back and were ignored but I was not. As class was about to end I, along with others, was called out, to the front, to be punished for my transgressions. Marm saved me until last, apparently I was the naughtiest boy in class, having been seen in the company of a young lady who wasn't my sister amongst other things. I had to bend over and have my bottom caned, by Marm, in front of the whole class. To think, in the past, I've paid good money to have that kind of thing done to me, if only I'd known!!!!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Monday 17 August - Carol The Cook's Thank You Meal

Carol announced a few days ago that she was going to cook a meal for the team as a thank you for all the support she had received after the death of her brother last November. Tonight was the night and she did herself proud; she had cooked a Caribbean chicken curry with rice and sweet potatoes and it was delicious. Bharat brought some home made yogurt and chapattis to accompany the meal, as usual, his wife came up trumps and these too were scrumptious. I didn't manage to try Carol's apple pie, Jane had my slice, because after two helpings of curry I was too full. It made a nice change we should do this more often, it's nicer than going out for a meal. If we go out as a team I'd rather go out to DO something, Jongleurs anyone?

Too Good Not To Keep

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Sunday 16 August - Nat Bronze Rugby, Me Poorly on EA, Too Many TramadolTabs, Everyone concerned which is nice,

Nat finished Rugby summer school today and received a bronze medal for his efforts. It appears there is a deal of controversy over the awarding of a silver to Hazel's son (Charlie?) because the consensus seems to be that it's a bribe to encourage him to rejoin the team on a full time basis. Hazel has become a major contributor to the club, since she first brought Charlie there to play, despite the fact that he subsequently dropped out. She has continued to play a very active part in the administration of the junior teams and I think the medal was as much for her as it was for him. I don't understand why other parents are upset by this she gives a huge amount of her time and this is little enough reward.

Christ, I felt bad at work tonight, I realised, later, that I'd managed to overdose myself on Tramadol. When I went to bed that morning I took 3 Tramadols, in order to try and get some sleep, because my knee had been really painful at work that night and I was afraid that without them I'd get no sleep at all. Well the Phone rang, continually, downstairs and so I finally dragged myself out of bed and went down to switch it off. I arrived in time to hear a message being left for Deb. I had felt really light headed coming down the stairs and I don't think I was thinking straight because before going back to bed I took 3 more tablets.

When I got up for work at six I felt weird and when I got there the feelings got worse. I got all the symptoms of overdose, sweats, shakes nausea etc. It's a good thing I wasn't taking calls because if I had been I think I would have F**Ked-Up BIG Time! As it was I was on EA and it was a quite night. Everyone was very concerned which was touching. By morning most of the effects had worn off but I'll be bloody careful with them in the future and limit my self to one at a time!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Saturday 15 August - Allotment Open-Day, Rugby School, School Uniform, Scare-Crow Competition.

Much to do today, it's Rosamund Avenue Allotment Open Day. Debs picking me up at 7.30, home, change, wake the kids, Nat to get ready for rugby, Han to be dropped off at the allotment with me so we can get "Swine Flu" the Scare-Crow up and ready for the day. Deb will drop Nat off, pick up the rest of his school uniform from Brockington then join us at the allotment. Must stick phone on charge as soon as I get home and make sure to take some spare batteries; I want to get lots of photos today, and I did and here they are:Not as many scar crows this year as last and we didn't win. Ours was Swine Flu but the even more topical astronaut won. Han and I wandered round taking photos, talking, following Mrs Bates as she and Henry checked out and photographed the SC's for the competition. Han and I were there when some of the stalls were setting up and we helped out "Bosom Buddies" stall when it started to collapse under the weight of all the glass jars on their table. No freebies as a reward unfortunately!

Deb arrived back around 10:30 and we went around again before heading back to our plot to clear up. We had already picked to racks of runner beans, which we'd donated to the fund raising veg stalls, but we now grabbed some stuff for ourselves. had a chat with Mark who has the plot behind (in front it's all a matter of perspective) ours. He's a nice older guy who's always offering help and advice. Chatted for awhile before making our way home.

Had a beer and went to bed. Han played outside, with Chantel and Haline, before going with Deb to pick up Nat at 3.30. Last day tomorrow, which might be a good idea as the Suns turned him the colour of beetroot.

Up for 6:00 - dinner, change, pack then to work. Wrote this there after things got quite.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Friday August - 1st night, Big Brother Marcus or Halfwit, JohnsFogotten EA/Manuals

Hello, I'm back, no longer down and out but up and writing again. Unfortunately life's been very boring recently, as you'll see, when I get round to writing the drafts, Nats been away for 2 weeks and Han for one. Unfortunately, Deb and I are so skint we didn't do anything whilst they were gone. In addition the weathers been shit so I've spent most of my time at home either watching TV, surfing the web or reading - I've not even got round to watching the Stanford lectures. Got to establish a pattern of behavior during days off, else another year will fly by and I'll have a blog with numerous missed entries because I'll have nothing to write about. Can't get to the allotment easily, Deb normally has the keys in the car, and I'm limited to what I can do there because of my hips. Maybe I could start computer gaming, Nat would love that, we could spend all our time discussing what would happen if there were Zombies in the Warhammer 40,000 universe!

Nat's been to Rugby summer school today (Fri/Sat/Sun) at the Vipers. We came for the last hour and he really seemed to be getting stuck in, he loves tackling. Its running he's not so fond of but hopefully that will come in time.

Anyway, first night back tonight, No John until 11PM but he's forgotten to say who's on manuals and EA. Julie B's computer buggered, forgotten her password so I logged her onto my account and suggested she could do manuals tonight until her account was reset. Jane volunteered for EA so that's that sorted.

So far, I've resisted looking at the the Web to find out who's been evicted from the Big Brother house. It's a shame, because which ever way it goes, one of the better housemates will go tonight. I never thought I'd ever write about BB, I never saw any of the first six series, apart from the odd clips of, the late, Jade Goody demonstrating a level of ignorance that was gobsmaking in its enormity, but I can understand why it's such compulsive viewing. This series apparently has slightly less stupid wannabees than usual and the interactions between them are fascinating. So Bye Bye Marcus or Bye Bye Halfwit either way it' a shame; it should have been that double dealing, plotting, two-faced, chain-smoking, back stabbing bitch, but which one, cos there's Two of them?

Blondie or Baldy?

YOU DECIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Thursday 13 August - Warwick Castle Without Me.

We were all off to Warwick Castle today however when I woke I discovered that my left eye was virtually swollen shut and very painful. It seems I'd been bitten by something, we're all covered in bites, has the neighbour got mosquitoes in his pond?
I decided to stay home, although I've always wanted to go there, and so Deb and the kids left me to my own devices and set off. Gradually the swelling went down and eventually I could see out of the eye again and the pain faded. When family returned Deb said she's been disappointed and didn't think the place was worth the money. Of course Han refusing to go down to the dungeons hadn't helped. It meant Nat couldn't go either because Deb couldn't leave her and kids aren't allowed down there without an accompanying adult. It appears Han had quite a whinge day so perhaps it was best that I wasn't there because that's the one behavior I have no patience with. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the castle:-

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Wed 12 August - Another day of Fuck All, and some Films.

I think the heading speaks for itself so instead of writing anything else about the day I think I'll talk about homiopathy applying it's own principles to aid me

the end.

I've just remembered, this is now 24/8/09, we went to the cinema today. I can't remember what Deb and Han saw but Nat and I ENDURED GI Joe. Actually it wasn't that bad, nat loved the action, which I found too frantic, and it kinda had a plot. I wish we'd watched Harry Potter or even Transformers 2.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Monday 10 Aug - The Year's Disappearing Again! Update on Hip 19/8/9

Still only feels like a few weeks since my Op but it's now been over 9 months; where's the time gone and why the f*** does my repaired leg still hurt so much?

Update, I visited hospital on 19 Aug (and forgot to write about it) for a six month assessment. I mentioned that I was experiencing a clunking sound some times when i stood, as if my new hip was out of place and slotting back into place but was advised that this wasn't something to be concerned about unless the joint was dislocating; I'd be immediately aware if this was the case as I'd be flat on my face on the floor. The pain, in my repaired leg is quite normal and I should expect it to take at least a year to recover fully from the surgery. Re: my left hip, I was advised that, unless it suddenly became chronically painful, it would be best to put this off until my right leg was fully recovered.

Bottom line, unless there's a sudden change for the worse I'm to return in Feb 2010 for further assessment.

With regard to the Time; it's like this for everyone as you get older but exacerbated by my peculiar work pattern. Because I work 4 on 4 off over night I, and the rest of the team, lose track of time and the days just seem to run together with little to differentiate them. The only solution is to develop interests that can be pursued whilst off so that the periods are distinct. Easily said but harder to do, especially as money's too tight for my to take up a gym membership or similar.

Sunday 9 Aug- Work SleepArguments,Cycling to Work Again, Work.

Nothing to expand on, other than, once again, we're short staffed on the team.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Thursday 6 August - Holding

FSA training tonight, absolutely useless training doc. Someone has,'t checked their creation with a third party. Copntradictory answers and one question which if you answer false youy're wromg andif you answer true you're wrong and there's no third alternative. This should be a real aid to understanding

Draft Kids Sailing week

Still waiting for the kids to write down what they did during the week so that I can transcribe it here.

24 August 2009 .... I'm still waiting

General Backround

The event was organised by Redditch Sailing Club and was held at
Arrow Valley Park in Redditch a short way from their grandparents home, literally an underpass away. When Deb's Mum and Dad first moved into the area the lake was literally a hole in the ground full of water; 30 years later it's a fully fledged recreation centre forested and resourced...what a difference!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Tue 4 August

Kids away, home alone weather shit done little other than endless web surfing, must catch up on TV progs today.