More photos

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments on that photo of pao and Perdita. I thought you’d enjoy this one of Perdita in the little-known relaxed poses. She is usually a little uptight so this photo of her looking chilled out on a catnip high is quite rare.

Trekking XXL socks were finished yesterday whilst we were at the hospital so I started on a pair for pao made out of a Burgundy Regia Silk today. Thanks to katcha katcha, I am now on row 63 – yay for Chris – I usually just make a guess or try and count rows so I’m knitting a lot quicker now!

I’m pretty tired tonight so very short post. Here are some more of those photos from Zizzi:

This is the fireplace in the room we were sat in.

I think this is a gryphon (sp? griffin) which I had never noticed before on my previous visits.

And here is a swan. Ever since I started thinking about the photo essay for Project Spectrum, I realise I have been noticing a lot more. I’m really happy about these carvings I’ve discovered.

There is also this beautiful panelling on the wall.

So much to be thankful for

I had a slightly stressful patch this morning which is now better thanks to a long chat with pao’s friend who is experienced in these things. So when it came time to let pao have his first venture out, I was a little frazzled. So we went and ate lunch in Zizzi. I ordered a pizza which I had never had before and didn’t actually like the taste of the cheese on it and mentioned this in passing to the waitress who offered without prompting to get me a new one without that cheese on it. Wow!

Zizzi is a chain but it is located in the most amazing building – check out the garden.

Hi Blackbird! More photos tomorrow after I’ve resized them. Lots more to show you.

We had dessert at Cafe Rouge and I got to photograph the cat – yay!

And I found a mouse there too

So we then went to the hospital and arrived there slightly early for pao’s 4.50pm appointment. It was 6pm when pao had his initial eye assessment then he finally saw the consultant at 6.40pm. The consultant was really pleased with pao’s progress. He has done so well so Nurse Ratched will continue in the same vein. I am so happy!!!!

Luckily he didn’t prescribe bottle glasses!

When I got home, Mr HB came round with my packages from work and there was one from Chris. It is the most fantastic surprise. It had such wonderful things in it

Fantastic looking books

Yummy chocolates and Easter eggs

And such lovely treats! I’m so in love with the katcha katcha and pao has had to take the mints away because I was sniffing them!

Thank you so much, Chris! You are a lovely lovely lady!

I couldn’t leave today’s post without showing you this picture I took this morning. Cat’s on catnip are great therapy.

Project Spectrum Photo Essay – Pinks

As MrsSJT’s favourite colour is pink and she is poorly, I’m posting the pink photo essay now to cheer her up.

As I was walking down the road from home, seeing the red tulip, phone box, postbox, and bandstand, I thought it would be quite hard to find anything pink. I was wrong, so wrong and here is all the pink that Canterbury had on Sunday.

I hadn’t really noticed this pink house on the ring road before.

And of course, there were pink flowers in the Dane John

and even more pink flowers in the Dane John

and in the Westgate gardens

and fake pink flowers in shop windows

and in other shop windows

and pink clothes in another shop window

there was also this pink biscuit tin

and this groovy pink chandelier

and in one shop window there was a pink door

and there were lots of pink nails at the nail bar

and check out this pink toolkit!

Of course, I had to round the day off with a cup of tea and this pink cupcake!

Get well soon, MrsSJT!

Project Spectrum Photo Essay – Reds

On Sunday, I had to pop into town for a few items which pao asked for and took my camera along for the walk. As I passed under the railway bridge, I saw a red tulip graffitied on the wall

which started me thinking about Project Spectrum. A few steps later, I came upon this quintessential British red phone box:

When I was a small child, all phone boxes looked like this. Sadly, quite a lot of these sturdy red boxes have been taken away and replaced with flimsy plastic models. Even though the boxes look the same, the phones inside have changed quite a lot and now offer internet access and texting. I remember queueing outside a phone booth when I was at University to ring home, actually, to ring anywhere because mobile phones were not in such wide existence then.

Rounding the corner by the train station, I came upon this red pillar box.

I am thankful that some things have stayed the same and that red pillar boxes are still red and pillar boxes.

I crossed over the road bridge and headed into the Dane John Gardens as this is one of my favourite routes into town. I spied the red bandstand:

This is where free outdoor concerts are played in the summer. Christina, the lady who made my bridesmaid’s dresses, plays in some of these concerts and it is quite fun when I spot her. In November, when the Eurofair was in town, Mrs B and I stood in the freezing cold watching the Hungarian fire dancers. We didn’t stay too long as it was freezing. Did I mention how cold it was?

One the houses in the Dane John has this lovely red door:

I have always like the decal in the window – it is of Rupert Bear. I always received a Rupert Bear annual for Christmas when I was little. pao has bought me a couple of the newer ones but I feel that the have dumbed-down and politically-corrected Rupert somewhat which is a bit sad. Mary Tourtel, the creator of Rupert comes from Canterbury and there is a Rupert Bear Museum in town.

As I left the gardens, I saw this no entry sign:

And then I saw lots of pink but that is for another entry. My heart gladdened when I saw my favourite place to eat Cafe Rouge.

I didn’t have time to stop for a delicious Croque Monsieur or a Baguette Rouge (steak in french baguette) with skinny chips. Many a happy hour has been spent there – upstairs there is a black cat painted on the wall. Every time we’ve been upstairs, I’ve been camera-less so I haven’t yet taken a photo of this black cat who does look very Jasperish.

I walked down past the Cathedral and saw this red bag in the window of a shop there:

Finally, I ended up by the Marlowe Theatre where I spied this poster of the production that my friend David was in.
He played the character of Gerald Bolingbroke who could only be described as ‘nice but dim’.

So now I’ve photographed the town red (I know I am so not funny), you’ll just have to wait and see the pinks!

A little puffed out

On Sunday, whilst Ophelia was lounging on the bed, I noticed that she had some strange red rash around one of her eyes which was a bit like shingles. Yesterday’s trip to the vet revealed that she was being eaten alive by harvest mites. He was a little surprised as this was the second cat he’d seen this week with it and it generally was a condition which happens in the summer say June/July. It has been horribly (and I mean horribly) cold this spring so he was doubly surprised as this sort of thing usually occurs when it is quite warm.

Although the vet assured me that this condition was not contagious, I felt that judicious hoovering of the bedroom and bed and changing the bedding was most certainly in order and at pao’s behest, the cat was kicked out of the bedroom. She is most put out but as pao is likely to live a lot longer than she I decided to show some solidarity and dissuade her. I have to give her credit because she is determined. Thankfully she is a little too loving so she is easily caught and ushered out again – with a honey trap of nice words and promises of cuddles.

I stayed in bed a long time this morning and didn’t get out of it officially until it was about 11. Mid afternoon, I had to go into Canterbury to buy some more painkillers – pao is now on ibuprofen and paracetamol so I’m guessing the anaesthetic has now completely worn off so he is really feeling quite a lot of pain. We got a lovely card from Chris and Jeanne this morning which really cheered us both up. Thank you so much Chris and Jeanne!

pao is getting fed up with not doing much so I let him watch one episode of Bleak House this evening on the proviso we had the lights off and he wore his sunglasses. I hope that that was the right thing to do. I think he had his eyes shut for some of it but I did tell him that if it hurt, we could turn the picture off and listen to the sound as we’d both seen it before. I think that made him a little happier so he is off listening to Liverpool play some other team on the radio (I confess I have no idea about football except there is a black and white ball involved and there are goals) at the moment in the de-mited bedroom.

I had a strange fuzzy moment when I was in town this afternoon. I went all funny and shaky like I do occasionally when I haven’t eaten properly so I went and had what MrsSJT and I call a panunu (a panini to normal people). My panunu was a long time in coming so I went and complained to find they had left it under the grill and it had burnt. I had to chose a different one and you’d all be proud – I demanded a refund of the difference in price because they had messed it up. They actually gave me a full refund so I felt rather pleased with that result. I can do assertive – I just have to tell myself I can. I recovered enough to walk home although I did consider taking a taxi.

The walk through the park both ways really helped me to feel a bit better. I took quite a few photos of the park and my travels but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for those. I discovered that there were two WWII shelters in the park which I’d never noticed before. I would have photographed them but there were a bunch of angry young teens hanging around them so I thought it best to wait until they were safely in school rather than risk a barrage of abuse. On my way back, I just walked really slowly and figured if I felt dodgy again I could sit on one of the multitude of benches that lined the central walkway. I was fine but was really glad to get home and have a restorative cup of tea.

I picked up my Easter gift from pao today : a big bag of Rowan Big Wool in a deep blue shade called Blue Velvet. I’m going to make the Major cardigan again because I liked the shape so much. I only used 8 or 9 balls last time so I’m hoping that my bag of 10 balls will be enough. The shop has gotten very strict about special orders and will only order bags of 10. If you want to buy anything other than 10 balls at once, you have to pay a 20% premium on the rest of the balls in the bag. I can understand their viewpoint but that has put me off from ordering from them again and I’ll be doing any future ordering from the internet from now on. Tomorrow when I’ve cleared out my camera, I’ll post some photos of this lovely soft wool. Here is a sneak peek (just scroll down to 026 Blue Velvet). All I need to do now is find some buttons and I’m all ready…. I am so so lucky.

MrsSJT – thank you for the lovely texts and congratulations. Hope you are feeling much better now – you were a bit red on Saturday at times and I did even consider photographing your redness as part of my Project Spectrum photo essay I’ve been plotting since this month’s colours are red and pink. Thank you for dragging yourself out anyway and introducing me to the fabulous Mrs O – roll on next year!

So I’m not in London

If I was, I wouldn’t be posting this. I rushed through the things I needed to do before I left but was late for the train I was supposed to get, got packed and to the train station, bought my ticket, and got on a train. It didn’t move. The conductor breezed through with a throwaway comment – ‘Last train struck a tree on the track. Don’t know when we’ll next be moving along.’ At this point, my eye was starting to twitch so hard I could barely keep in open.

After another ten or so minutes of sitting on the train, the announcement came: ‘This train is terminating here. Please leave the train. There will be a bus service to another station but we don’t know how long it will take.’ At that point, I just knew I had to go home. I noticed last night that Ophelia had a shingles-like rash starting around her eye and thought I’d be able to sort something out from a distance. I’d cooked Paul a dinner this morning that would remain in the slow cooker until he was ready to eat it and Michelle was coming round to see him later and I figured that I could sort Ophelia.

Who was I kidding! Twitch twitch twitch. I must have been mad to consider it so it was easier to not go. I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate at the meeting anyway as I’m slightly all over the place today. Last night, I just went to bed at 9pm (well 10pm if you take into account British Summer Time kicking into action yesterday) with a sore throat. My body is shouting at me to chill out a bit and even if I had gone and stayed in Kingston over night I think I would have found the strange bed, the trip and the meeting just too much. Since I cashed in my ticket, I might just go to London for the day later in the week anyway if I feel like it. Now I’m just going to lie down for a bit then get up, watch Neighbours and knitknitknit.

Anyway, I can do a couple of things which I’d been thinking about yesterday. I have a little Project Spectrum photo essay to prepare from some photos I took as I was walking round town doing some errands yesterday. I stumbled upon the little scene at the top of this post in my travels. It’s not pink or red but it isn’t something you see everyday!

Yarn Pr0n

Utterly yarn-related post coming up. So here is what came home with me. In case you are wondering, some of this was purchased as gifts or to be made into gifts for other people. Don’t ask what is for who.. lalala, I’m not listening.

Several balls of lovely soft llama wool.

Two balls of Schaeffer Anne sock wool. This was from the HipKnits stall.

Two balls of Fyberspates sock wool.

Even more sock wool.

A dye your own wool kit. I chose these colours because they reminded me of Project Spectrum’s April colours. Next to it is a Hipknits silk which I bought to go with the Hipknits silk I bought previously for a little project I’m thinking about.

A very orange wool from HipKnits.

Getting crafty

As pao seemed so much better this morning and would have shot me if I’d stayed behind, I headed to London with MrsSJT and MrsO for the Stitch and Craft Show at Olympia. We arrived hungry after shuffling on and off three different tube trains so went to Pizza Express. Not even this

behind MrsSJT could stop me from peering at the other customers who all were laden with bags which were obviously full of craft materials.

After lunch (hint: Pizza Express – you should get a hustle on when confronted by three hungry ladies), we hit the Craft Show. MrsO was after beady items, MrsSJT after scrapbooking items and me? Well, it wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t after wool.

The exhibition hall seemed to be dominated by cross stitch kits on the ground floor apart from this stall right by the entrance:

I’m posting this photo as MrsO said how much she liked the crinkly bags that wool comes in 🙂

There were some really lovely cross stitch kits

and there was even one which reminded me of MrsHB’s cat Sebastian.

After a while, we headed upstairs for the wool and papercraft stalls. Here is some lovely wool at the HipKnits stall as modelled by MrsO which reminded me of next month’s Project Spectrum colours:
And here is some gorgeous Debbie Bliss:

And lots of hanks of Colinette:

I’m just too tired to photograph my purchases but let’s say that I filled my rucksack full of lovely wooly goodness 🙂 Got to go and look after poor neglected pao now.

Thank you for the lovely encouraging comments over the last couple of days. pao seems so much better today albeit very very tired. I think I’m going to have a job trying to get him to not do too much. Can you all nag him for me when I’m in London on Monday night, please?


Note to pao: If you are reading this, switch that computer off now and stop straining your eyes.

pao’s eye patch was taken off this morning at the hospital. Being slightly squeamish, I was a mixture of curious and repelled by the idea of looking at what it would look like. I was brave and looked. I don’t know what I was expecting but his eye looked like, well, an eye. It was red and swollen and round it was an orangey bruise but it still look like an eye. The consultant was said that the stitches had stayed put and he was to come back next Thursday. He is hurting now. As soon as they took the patch off, he said he was hurting and started asking for ibuprofen.

I was so relieved that he was ok but sad that he was hurting so much that I went straight out as soon as we’d arrived home, walked to the local park, sat on a bench and burst into tears. I think I’ve been close to tears for the last couple of days but I’ve bitten my lip a bit. My right eye has been twitching quite a bit which is one of the symptoms I seem to have developed because of feeling stressed. My twitch is more irritating than painful so I can’t imagine what it is like to have a bad pain in the eye. Crying was actually quite a relief for that twitch as well. I think my body is now telling me that it has had enough as I was so physically shattered after a small walk and some shopping that I ended up taking a taxi home and have been sitting here for quite a while plucking up the energy to change the cat litter tray. Mama_Tulip: I understand your life more than I could have ever imagined now.

The much expected day has arrived – pao’s eye op

After six months of worrying, thinking, analysing, talking, worrying, thinking, analysing, talking, crying, etc: the day has finally arrived. pao, Graham and I all arrived at the hospital just before 8am and had to stroll up and down the corridor making very inane conversation until they opened up for business. The opthalmic suite is painted blue and it is one of the most cheery places I have ever seen in the hospital with comfy reclining armchairs and jingly and panpipe type music in the background. I rolled my eyes at pao when the piece of music which is synonymous with the Exorcist came on just after the nurse asked first set of questions of the day. During the course of the next hour, two other people both anaethesitists came along and asked the same questions: “Which eye do you think you are having done today?, Are you allergic to anything, Are you taking any medication?”.

The consultant arrived and pao was taken off to another room. I think that he was told about the procedure and asked to sign some consent forms but he was whisked off so quickly after that I didn’t really get a chance to ask. I was knitting my second Trekking XXL sock (thank you again, Kelly) when a little old lady came in for her op. It was really quiet in the opthalmic suite and I overheard the nurse saying that there were only two procedure in that morning when there were usually six normally but they had someone in who was having a two hour procedure (my heart leapt when I realised she meant pao). I chatted to the little old lady for a while because she said that I knit as slowly as she did which amused me. My friend Jenny arrived and she was also really interested in the socks and said that she would have to take up sock knitting again. Neither of them had seen anything like Trekking XXL before so the wool was passed around and cooed over by all.

The little old lady was wheeled off so I knew that they must have finished with pao at that point. Less than half an hour went by and the little old lady returned but no sign of pao still. It must have been about half eleven when I saw them wheel pao out of recovery and off to another location elsewhere before they wheeled him back out to us. Interestingly, they don’t have beds in the opthalmic suite so they get patients all dressed again and sat in the waiting area whilst they are coming out of the final rounds of anasthetic. pao dozed in the chair until the nurse returned and forced him to wake up and have a drink, something to eat and to do some DVT exercises. At 1pm, we were kicked out with a couple of boxes of drops and were told to come back in the morning to see the consultant.

I was glad that all the rushing round, tidying and cleaning had happened on Tuesday and Wednesday as I felt quite relieved when we brought pao back home. I felt a bit sorry for him as we live in a Victorian house and our only bathroom is located downstairs so he has quite a distance to go from his sick bed.

There is not a lot I can do now to make pao better except do the peripheral things. I made pao sushi for dinner tonight as he said over and over that his post-surgery wish was a sushi platter. I still have masses of rice so will make up a whole load of different ones tomorrow and rice cakes for me.

I don’t think I really appreciated all the jobs that pao normally does. Cat litter boxes are his area so when Lucy kindly make a stinky deposit on the bathroom floor, I was a little uncertain about the procedure (how was I to know you didn’t flush kitchen towel down the lavatory? well, I know now and thankfully haven’t had to master use of the plunger). I thought the powder free latex gloves that a mad auntie gave us for a Christmas gift a few years ago were hysterically funny at the time but I was thankful for them tonight when I got closer to one of Lucy’s big deposits than I’ve ever been in my life.

So hence the start of the long road to recovery. We both know that it will take two years but I’m so happy and relieved that it has finally started. This morning I realised how much that I love pao and why I’ve felt so apprehensive these last few months.