Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I got up at 6.30 am, woke the dog, fed the cat, had a coffee, walked the dog, had breakfast.
Left the house at 8.10am drove to Bristol.
Dropped Neil at Frenchay Hospital for his first appointment at 9.45.
Drove to Get Knitted, shopped, chatted left at 10.20
Did the weeks food shop and left there at 11.15
Then it went a bit wrong, I took the wrong exit on a roundabout, I went on thinking that there would be a turning to the left - there wasn't. So I turned round and went back to the roundabout and took the right road and the hospital was easy to find.

By then Neil was waiting at a bus stop in the rain (and had been for a little while, whoops)
We had a detour to Hobbycraft in Gloucester on the way home (didn't but anything)
Home at 13.20, lunch.
Walked dog at 15.00, then fed dog

Now exhausted. Need to work out what to feed us...

Neil had lots of pre op tests, blood, ecg, etc. The CT scan was only 5 minutes and no bother.
I have loads of bits of paper to read before he goes in. They dont know when it will be yet, but he should only be in for two days, hopefully within the next month.

The waiting is not good for us...

Girl duck has a nest somewhere and only visits for a short time each day.

She gave me a shock landing in the pond while I was taking the next photo...

And this is my haul from Get Knitted.

A huge Namaste bag with lots of pockets and a zip to make it's gusset larger (it was in the sale, only £20!!)
And a couple of balls of crazy sock (couldn't decide on the colour I liked) and a ball of green sock that will be a shawl as well.

And then there are a couple of crochet hooks.

Now I really need to go and get some food, and then I can stop being the responsible adult. I have some very silly things planned to make but they might take me a while...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Look I've been knitting !

Just to prove that I can still knit here is a nearly completed hap shawl, from Sharon Miller's Hap book.

I cant remember exactly how long I've been knitting it for but it is about 3 weeks.

I did get a lot done last week while I waited for Neil to have some MRI scans. He was in the machine for 2 hours - it was not a good day (I was sat watching the budget in the waiting area)

The next two days neither of us were functioning well.

Tomorrow he has a pre op assessment and a CT scan.

This time in Bristol, he will probably be there for about 3 hours.

I'm going to go shopping

Today we have been dyeing.

First we made some extra long skeins (using an old bit of bed)

Then I mixed the dye under strict supervision before we both painted halves of skeins.

After a steam this was it cooling.

And this is now long the skeins are...

And I do know I'm only short but they are taller than me !!

The plan is to make a crocheted waistcoat, in stripes. I'm going to be spending a while spit & splicing over the next few days before I start hooking...

The boys both enjoyed a lie out in the sun. If you click for bigger you should be able to see the ducks who have worked out that they cant be caught if they sit at the far side of the pond or get on the water...

So another long day of hospital visits tomorrow, hopefully the last for a few weeks. Neil has been 'pencilled' in for his op at the end of April. It wont be before the 19 as the surgeon is on holiday until then...

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Full circles

This has nothing to do with circles..

When we were in Wales a few weeks ago we went on a bit of a detour here....

Well I just had to, we didn't stay long enough to find a stable.
Apparently the post office do a good job franking cards
(we didn't see the post office either...)

This was the view in the sky at the weekend, the largest full moon for several years.

There has been activity on the field/hill at the back of my house, Neil set up a time lapse watching the farmers plant posts in very straight lines.
Hopefully we will be in when they plant the trees - the tractor thing for the posts was amazing to watch (we are easily amused)

This is Neil with his blanket, it didn't take me long to make the front - about two weeks, my head was not in the best place at the time. Pattern is flowers in the snow.

He has an MRI scan tomorrow, his least favourite thing in the world....
Next week he has a pre op assessment followed by a CT scan. (I'm hoping to visit Get Knitted while he is being seen, rude not to as I'm going to be nearby)

His op has been pencilled in for the end of April, we should know more when the surgeon's secretary gets back from her holidays on the 19th April. At least we now know that he will be ok for Wonderwool.

And now I need to get back to my mindless hap shawl, I should get a lot more of it done tomorrow. It is very bag like at the moment, I missed the photo opportunity before I picked up the stitches for the borders, I should manage to finish it before the end of the month......

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not good....

I think it is about time I resurrect this poor unloved blog...

I would love to give stories of how good married life is, details of our new life in the country surrounded by animals and beds of vegetables but things have not worked out how either of us imagined.

Neil has not been well for a while, he has been complaining about tingling in his hands for years, his left hand is not working as it should do, unable to grip and not having much feeling in it.
After changing to my doctors he was referred to a neurosurgeon in Gloucester.
We then went through many hours in hospitals, MRI scans, the doctors appointments.
Currently he has an pre op examination/appointment at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol followed by a CT scan in a couple of weeks, and we are waiting for an appointment for another MRI scan...

They think he has had a tumour growing in his neck for 30 years. It has only been in the last five years it has been causing him problems. We have spoken to the 'main man' for spinal surgery at Frenchay, the tumour is rare, (he has only seen 2 others in 15 years of practice) but surgery of the top of the spine is something they are very used to doing.

Unfortunately the tumour is pushing against his spinal cord (as the doc said, he doesn't know how he is as well as he is). This could cause problems when they remove it, as they dont know how the cord will react without anything pressing against it, if it moves back slowly there is more chance of a full recovery, if it expands quickly then things are not good (and we are talking about as bad is it could be)

I go through days when things are difficult, I have lots of good friends that I can talk to and who will help out if need be. We are trying our best to be optimistic, we dont think the surgeon would operate if he thought things would not work out ok.

I have been trying to keep myself occupied, I was unable to concentrate on knitting for a while so have taught myself to follow crochet patterns.... so far one shawl, one blanket, a waistcoat and about half of another blanket.

We have known about the tumour for a couple of months, we have come to terms with him being 'poorly' (even though he doesn't look ill, all very strange really), I do have a problem trying to explain to others just how ill he is, and then I feel bad about spreading bad news, yes he is ill, yes it could be bad, but on the other hand they can do something about it, he may get the use of his hand back (and want an electric ukulele), or he may end up the same as he is now without the threat of loosing use of his arms & legs...

Hey ho.

We still have plans to move to Wales, we saw some interesting houses last week - who would think that hedges go green in the summer (you really had to see the wasteland the horse had dug up in their garden to appreciate how bleak the sea view was, and now they sat out in the garden with the wind, goodness knows....)
We have made an offer on a property, 8 acres of flat land, lots of farm building and a small cottage. If we do get it (and it does depend on selling at least one house, and the planning department) then we are going to have alpacas, kune kune pigs, angora goats, chickens, ducks and seasonal turkeys... and then there is talk of having some rare breed sheep...

I dont know if it is good for my stress levels getting my house ready to sell at the same time as being the responsible adult around here, but it will keep me busy and stop me thinking too much, which is bad for me.

So we will be trying to sell two houses at once, not an ideal plan....

I decided that I will update this blog with details of what is happening, I'm getting confused as to who knows what and who I owe emails/pm's to...

It is not good, but we are strong, and we will get through it, with help from the boys....

And this is what happens when I leave my chair, the cat is sitting on most of my knitting needles (in home made rolls)