Bullets over Saturday

This post wouldn’t publish on Saturday but after the kind of day I had…

An eventful week:

  • A close friend has found out he has cancer. He is taking it very well and is quite stoic about it. The hospital ward he is on is really good so he is in very good hands.
  • Another friend had a double mastectomy on Friday. Waves in case she is reading. Thinking you you, E!
  • Ariel is back in the vets with possible cystitis again. We will see her again on Monday evening. She doesn’t look like she is ready to shuffle off to join Lucy just yet but she does look a bit depleted. The vet said she wasn’t as bad as the last occasion she was ill. She did pee on one of our lounge chairs but since they were over 30 years old I didn’t mind too much as she wasn’t well and they are so old I am not that fussed.
  • Auntie H has been accepted to have a cochlear transplant. They said she was going to have both ears done at the same time but rapidly changed their mind when pao asked about the balance risk indicated on the admissions form. She was a bit upset that they wouldn’t do both at once and didn’t really understand pao when he tried to explain that it was too risky and if it went wrong she would be permanently incapacitated i.e. in a wheelchair because she wouldn”t be able to stand etc. I think she is ok now. I’m adjusting to the fact she’ll be living with us for a month in around June.
  • London and back by car with Auntie H is very very tiring and I wished I’d had more time to sleep on Wednesday.
  • I heard that my line manager is retiring in June from an all staff mail shot.
  • Paul’s grandmother turned 84 and we ate chicken sandwiches and cake from Fortnum and Mason to celebrate
  • Mrs B also had a birthday on the same day and we had a sedate party with Indian food and biscuity cake
  • The valve on the downstairs toilet broke today and pao thought he’d managed to fix it but we came home to the sound of running water and a mini flood.
  • Our freezer started making horrible noises after I took something out of it. At this point I started praying it would stop which it did then went on to the downstairs toilet to ask for it to stop leaking. I’ll let you know how that went – I may end up calling a plumber who may be divine assistance as pao didn’t quite fix the upstairs toilet and we only have the one toilet left now.
  • The washing machine didn’t seem to be wetting anything this afternoon so it just presented me with clothes with dabs of washing liquid on. I set it to rinse said clothes so hopefully did not accidently shrink or felt anything since it seemed to be more vigorous in rinse mode.
  • I’ve been having a bit of difficulty printing the poster I’ve got to take to the conference next week to present.
  • But there are good sides – honest! I went to an interesting lecture about intellectual disability and the legacy of what JFK started last night followed by an entertaining evening over dinner in my old college.
  • Ariel looked more sprightly than she did for years and came upstairs and sat next to the pillow looking at me on Thursday morning. A good sign as she didn’t come upstairs if she felt too ill.
  • I got through a lot of cleaning this morning. I’ve got loads to do tomorrow as we have to prepare the upstairs bit for a visitor since we can’t confine them to using the downstairs loo. It was nice to get some spaces cleared of clutter.
  • The email debacle died down mostly. I did have a heated email exchange about it which I passed onto the most appropriate person to deal with it and they have been sorted out.
  • I went into the dentist on Monday to have my teeth cleaned in a tearful state because I’d had a long and difficult day. Oddly, I came out with clean teeth and smiling. The person wasn’t my usual hygienist and I actually like them better.
  • I went to a lovely 50th birthday party briefly this evening which was fun. We’d dashed out after seeing the vets so we’re a bit underdressed for the occasion but it was fun.
  • There has been lots of growth in the greenhouse. Some of the cabbage seedlings are getting their second lot of leaves.

I’m going to bed now as today has been far too exciting but first I’m going to extract the items from the washing machine. Wish me luck!!!

Thinking about the spring garden

The weather has been turning nicer and my thoughts have turned to the garden again.

I planted these cabbage seedlings a mere week ago and repotted them today.

The same with these courgettes

and cucumbers.

pao bought me some nifty and very nice new propogators for the


and tomatoes. I totally love them – they are really sturdy and the best part was that they only cost £2.79 each and will last me for years.

I’ve also got potatoes chitting – they take six weeks to chit properly so I’m all impatient as I want to get them in the ground and going but I know I have to wait. I’ve also got a rhubarb crown in a big pot (no photo as I’ve inadvertantly been trying to kill it but making putting the wrong kind of cover on it and not letting it get cold like the rhubarb compendium says.

pao bought me a cranberry plant we spotted in a garden centre yesterday and I’ve asked the milkman to bring me a grow bag to plant salads in. Now I just need to find a way of repelling slugs and I’ll be all happy. I did spot some beer traps in a shop yesterday and now wish I’d bought some but I’ll start my salad off in the conservatory. pao’s grandmother is growing some tomato plants for me at her house and gave me a packet of salad leaves so I’ve got a nice lot of projects on the go.

Growing your own seems to have become eminently popular at the moment as people are trying to cut back. I’ve been lucky to have a lot of my equipment for my garden already collected over the years or I’ve been given old pots so I don’t have to buy any new ones and I collected a couple of dozen that a garden centre were giving away yesterday. We did end up having to buy a new mini greenhouse as we’d somehow lost the shelves off one of the ones we had before. I’ve decided to treat the conservatory as the greenhouse and am just using the shelving as staging and not putting the cover on. A risky strategy as I may well come home and find a cat asleep on the lettuces but the cats used to love to climb up and sit themselves on the top of the cover 🙂

My head is overflowing with plans and things I’d like to grow – our garden is too small for all I’d like to grow but we have lots and lots of plastic pots and compost so I’m working on those. I’ve got some sweetcorn on the go so that I can try out something called the Three Sisters method of planting where corn, beans and squash all grow together. When I get a moment this week, I’m planting some strawberry seeds to get something on the go for hanging baskets.

I’m also very excited about getting these Knitpicks circs! I’ve been thinking about getting some for a while and when I started thinking about knitting Copine in the latest Yarn Forward (yes, Deb, when I got our copies my eye fell on it and fell in love completely, too) as it would be perfect with the yarn I got in Oxford. Sadly, the kit doesn’t have the 6.5mm circs tip in it which the pattern calls for but I’m going to fiddle about with gauge and see what I come up with. I saw them last week on a trip to the Country Living Spring Fair in London with my friend Rachel which happened to be happening round the corner from Loop.


Sorry, I’ve been a bit AWOL this week. I’ve been working late three nights this week as I’ve got a lot on at the moment. One of the reasons was a migration to another mail server to which I commented that I was preparing myself for ‘migration meltdown’. A colleague suggested that I was being pessimistic – little did they know… Nothing went to plan and there are some severely annoyed people. Oh well!

Hooray for Friday and the weekend. Knitting and getting sorted out are in order. I’ve got some gardening WIPs to show you but I’ll have to get my camera sorted out for that.

Ariel: She lives

and pao is back. Hooray!

It is amazing what a difference 48 hours with the vet can make. Ariel is definitely a lot better than she was – in fact, she is better than she was before pao left on Sunday. The vet thought she was pining for pao and a bit stressed out. He is fairly certain that she had cystitis as she is so much better after antibiotic shots. She climbed onto pao’s lap so happily at the vet.

I still don’t think she has years to go but she seems to be working her way through her nine lives. She gave me quite a scare.

Hang on in there, Ariel

pao is off on a course this week so the cats and I are fending for ourselves. I was back quite late last night and went to bed exhausted ready for another early start. I was so tired last night that when Ariel came up the stairs to howl at me, I didn’t get up to find out what she wanted. When I came downstairs this morning, I found some pee with blood in it – the howling had indicated that the poor cat was very ill indeed.

Thanks to Foo and Rah, the cat is now safely ensconced in the vet. The vet and his wife insisted they took her home for observation and let me sit with her for about 20 minutes which did make me a bit suspicious as it isn’t normal. I don’t think she has long and I suspect they think the same. They are such kind people and I knew that they had gently taken it open themselves to spare me trauma whilst pao is away. We are incredibly blessed to have such a kind vet particularly since Ariel’s howling is so very loud. Even after 4 hours with them, she looked a bit perkier but is still passing a lot of blood so it doesn’t look good.

Normally, he would talk about treatment and what we could do for her but today there was none of that. He just let me hold her quietly in the treatment room and I felt her rasping regular purr as she snuggled close to me.

I hope she makes it til Friday so pao can say his goodbyes. That twenty minutes holding her close when they went about the surgery business was very precious.

I’ve WIPped Number 7 into shape

WIP Number 7 is finished! I started these socks in Socktober but only picked them up again last month as I’m feeling determined to finish off some of my lingering WIPs this year. They are the Through the Loops mystery sock (Ravelry link) knit in Brooklyn Handspun Signature Sock. It is a lovely pattern, easy to memorise and it really pops out in the yarn. Just 6 WIPs now. I did start some other plain socks for trips otherwise I would have been on 5 but it is just the harder WIPs that I need to work on.

I’ve been a bit quiet of late because my eye has been bothering me. I thought I was imagining it because my eye has been quite glassy and my vision is odd. It turns out that I have something called Cobblestone conjunctivitus. I’m glad it is nothing too serious and all I have to do is take a load of eye drops. Phew!

Curious Colin

We were dropping off Auntie H the other week when this chap raced inside her flat. I didn’t chase him off straight away because he was cute and very very soft!

I’ve dubbed him Colin – he has the cutest collar.

A profiterole Saturday

I subscribe to a few cookery blogs and it is always bemusing to make Foo drool at stuff I’ve been sharing on Google Reader but I’d been looking at profiterole recipes wonderingly for a little while. We happened to have a packet of profiterole mix in the cupboard and I thought it would be good to crack it open and see how they turned out.

pao gallantly did the mixing so I got to spoon out the mixture onto the baking paper not really sure how far apart to place them or what would happen to them in the ove.

They certainly looked good when I took them out of the oven

and tasted good filled with whipped cream and cherry sauce. I usually find the ones with chocolate on a bit overly sweet but these ones were perfect.