Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Days Of Thunder

We were just finishing breakfast this morning when the ground shook and there was an almighty bang. There's been a lot of noise lately with melting snow falling off rooftops but nothing quite like this. A quick check round the house revealed that all the ceilings were intact but looking out of the bedroom window it was clear where the noise came from.

Across the back lane a wall had collapsed. We had noticed first thing that it looked to be bowing a little and I think that water had got between the inner and outer wall and frozen causing catastrophic wall-tie failure. At present we're waiting to see if the council send round the highways people to seal off the road as it's impassible, and the inner wall looks like it could go at any moment.

On a less exciting note, Christmas was good, and Santa was very generous. It's back to work tomorrow then looking forward to seeing friends from afar on Friday night.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pies galore

Following the mincemeat we made a couple of weeks ago, here are seven dozen mince pies we recently made.

We’ve still got six jars of mincemeat left. So it’ll be mincemeat sandwiches, mincemeat curry, mincemeat casserole….


Saturday, December 04, 2010


When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall
And milk comes frozen home in pail.

From From Love's Labours Lost, Act V. Sc. II by William Shakespeare

Well, I don't know about Dick the shepherd, or Tom bearing logs, but we've certainly go icicles by the dozen at the moment. These ones are about 20 feet above ground, precariously hanging over our back door. We try not to slam the door too hard.

They're there because on Friday morning on my way to work I saw a temperature of minus eight degrees. A colleague saw minus eleven on his way to work. Brrr.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snow Joke

This global warming is getting beyond a joke. The snow began on Wednesday, and began falling really hard on Friday. This is the view from the front of our house

And this is the view from the back.

And the shed roof shows how deep the snow is.

Meanwhile one of out neighbours wins the prize for the biggest icicle.

Monday, November 22, 2010

All minced out

I’ve been wanting to do make some homemade mincemeat for years but, for one reason or another, never got round to it.

This year I (with the help of John) decided to give it a go. It was a toss up between Delia’s or the Hairy’s mincemeat recipe. Delia’s took too long to do, so the Hairy’s won.

I slightly adapted the recipe as we don’t like ginger and didn’t have any brandy or sherry, so just used rum instead.

Anyone for a mince pie….


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Unknown Warrier

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart;
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget.

From "Recessional" by Rudyard Kipling

You have probably never heard of David Railton, but his idea touched the hearts of many.

In 1920 he was a vicar in Margate and when the Cenotaph in Whitehall was unveiled he was reminded of a time, back in 1916 when he was an army chaplain. He had been conducting a burial service somewhere near Armentieres and in the back garden of his billet, very close to the house, was a grave marked by a rough, white cross. On the cross was inscribed in black pencilled letters: 'An Unknown British Soldier'.

The scene at the Cenotaph spurred him to put his thoughts into action. He wrote to the Dean of Westminster, Bishop Ryle, asking whether he would permit the body of an unknown soldier to be buried in Westminster Abbey. The Dean responded warmly to the suggestion and wrote to the King. Initially the King was not responsive to the idea, perhaps thinking that two years after the end of the war it may reopen the war wound which time is gradually healing.

But the Dean was undismayed. He now wrote to the Prime Minister, Lloyd George, and to the C.I.G.S. (Chief of Imperial General Staff, Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson). They took up the idea with enthusiasm and reluctantly the King gave his assent. An announcement was made in the House of Commons and Lord Curzon, the Foreign Secretary, was appointed chairman of the cabinet committee responsible for the ceremony.

In October 1920, the G.O.C. in France & Flanders was Brigadier-General L.J. Wyatt. As such, it was he who issued the necessary instructions and it was he who selected the body.

According to the Brigadier he gave orders for four unidentified bodies of British soldiers to be brought in, one from each of the main battle areas: Ypres. the Somme, Arras and the Aisne (some reports say six bodies). They were brought in on the night of 7th November and placed in the hut which served as the chapel for the garrison. The parties that brought the remains in. returned immediately to their respective areas so they had no way of knowing which body had been chosen.

At midnight, accompanied by a senior member of his staff, he entered the chapel and selected one of the bodies which lay on stretchers covered by Union Jacks. The other bodies were taken out and buried in the nearby British military cemetery of St. Pol-sur-Ternoise.

The remains were placed in the casket brought over from Britain, bearing the inscription:

'A British Warrior who fell in the Great War 1914-1918'

The next day the Unknown Warrior began the last stage of his journey home, beginning with speeches from prominent French politicians before travelling with an escort of British and French cavalry to the quayside to board HMS Verdun At 3.30 pm H.M.S. Verdun came alongside at the Admiralty Pier, Dover and as she did so a nineteen gun salute was fired from Dover Castle and the band played 'Land of Hope and Glory'. Six warrant officers representing the various services carried the coffin off the ship and handed it over to six senior officers who acted as pall bearers.

Three hours later the train drew into Victoria station where a guard of honour from the 1st Grenadier Guards waited. The body remained in the station in the funeral coach that night, watched over by a guard from the Grenadiers.

Just before 10 o'clock on November 11th the procession started from Victoria led by massed bands, the drums muffled and encased in black. On either side of the coffin marched four Admirals, four Field marshals, three Generals and an Air Marshal.

At 10.40 am the King came out from the Home Office accompanied by the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, Prince Henry (later to become Duke of Gloucester) and the Duke of Connaught. He took up his place with his back to the Cenotaph, still shrouded with Union Jacks. Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra the Queen Mother and Queen Ena of Spain watched from the Home Office balcony. As Big Ben sounded quarter to the hour the head of the procession passed the Cenotaph and gun carriage swung round across the road and stopped immediately in front of the King with the pall bearers drawn up in line behind it. The King stepped forward and laid a wreath on the coffin, bearing a card with the following inscription in the King's handwriting:

'In proud memory of those Warriors who died unknown in the Great War. Unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and beheld they live.'
George. R.I.

The last note of eleven o'clock died away and everything was still. Throughout the capital, throughout the land, across the Empire and on the seas all stood in silence. The Cornish Riviera express halted near Taplow; the Irish Mail came to a stop near Crewe. The stillness was total, the silence complete.

Then came the clear, haunting sound of the Last Post and as the notes died away the King stepped forward and laid his wreath against the Cenotaph, followed by the Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister (Lloyd George) and representatives of the Empire.
The procession now began to move towards the Abbey with the King and the Princes marching behind the gun carriage. As the bearer party entered the Abbey with the coffin they passed between two ranks of a guard of honour made up of ninety-six men decorated for gallantry, seventy four of them holders of the Victoria Cross.

The King stood at the head of the grave facing the Archbishop of Canterbury. the Dean and the Bishop of London; the pall bearers stood on either side while Lloyd George with Asquith and the members of the Cabinet were grouped in rows behind the King. During the singing the bearer party came forward, removed the wreath, side arms and helmet and the Union flag and lowered the coffin into the grave. The service continued, and at the words "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes . . ." the King sprinkled French earth onto the coffin. The grave was later filled in with earth brought over from France.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Still Off

As of yesterday we have been without our broadband for Seven weeks.

Last weekend we thought it was fixed. It came on at 4:30 on Friday and lasted until Sunday evening.

It came back on Monday morning and went away on Monday evening and hasn't been seen since. As you can imagine we're not happy.

We fully intend to ditch our less than helpful ISP but as the fault is not in the hands of BT Openreach there's not a lot we can do until it's fixed.

I was shocked to read a survey in a magazine that ranked MinusNet as fifth best for customer service and support. Some mistake there. Presumably it was an internet survey and those without broadband couldn't take part.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


It’s been over six weeks now and we’re still no further forward in getting our broadband back. Lets just say that Minusnet and BT have both been worse than useless !!!!

After several weeks of getting nowhere with Minusnet, it was finally established that there is a problem at the telephone exchange, which is hardly surprising as the exchange was build before Moses was born…..

BT are trying to repair the fault, however things are being hampered by Minusnet not arranging for a BT engineer to go out, BT forgetting to attend and BT only allowing their engineers two hours per day to fix the fault.

Minusnet’s fault department have been pants so the Customer from Hell had a great time speaking to them.

Things have now escalated so their complaints team have now taken over dealing with the problem, as John completed a customer service fault repair survey and gave them 1 out of 10 for everything !!!!

We were fed up with using the antiquated dial-up connection that we bought a dongle. It’s not ideal as only one person can use it at a time, however it’s a thousand times better than the dial-up.

Minusnet have assured us that our broadband will be fixed today. Look out for flying pigs !!!!!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We’re back – part 3

What a nightmare we’ve had with our broadband !!!!

It’s been down for four weeks and it’s still not quite right. Our broadband provider (they’re from Yorkshire and are currently advertising their services on TV and radio at the moment…..) have been worse than useless. The Customer from Hell has been on the case and will be making another appearance soon…

BT have also been out at least twice to fix various faults on our phone line.

The Yorkshire broadband have provided us with a free phone number so we can use good old dial-up until the problem is rectified. I thought our broadband speed was slow until we went back to dial-up !!!! I sat and read while I’m waiting for a page to appear….

The lack of broadband was proving to be a right pain. You don’t realise how you rely on the internet and email until it’s taken away from you. I felt like a teenager who had their mobile phone taken away from them !!!!!

So what’s been happening in the BOGOF household.

John finished the bathroom and he’s done a fabulous job. Pictures will appear very shortly.

We’ve gone from having a vanity unit and a small mirrored wall unit to three wall units (one of them double doored), a huge mirror with lights and a huge sink unit with two cupboards and four drawers.

The bath, although is slightly smaller than standard baths, is really deep. When I first got into it I thought I was going to sink into the kitchen !!!

Things didn’t run smoothly though with the company we bought the sink, loo and wall units from. We renamed them ‘bathroom for you if you don’t mind waiting’... I lost count on the number of times the ‘customer from Hell’ had to make an appearance. It got to the stage were the little man started trembling whenever he heard my voice.

Got my new car and it’s fabulous. Leather seats, satnav, rear parking sensors. It’s got so many toys it’ll take me three years to find them all !!!!

Saw Kermit about my hip. You can read the full story in the joint journals blog. However it’s not good news. I won’t be getting a new hip any time soon. As you might expect I’m not happy about that. However life must go on…


Monday, October 04, 2010

Here today, gone tomorrow

Sadly the joy of having our broadband back up and running has been short lived. It went down again on Sunday afternoon so we're back to using the good old dial-up....

I'm afraid you're going to have to wait a little longer for photos of our bathroom.


Friday, October 01, 2010

Yippee !!!! We're back

We're finally back in the wonderful world of broadband.

A round up of news about the bathroom, my new car, my visit to the hospital and everything else will appear very soon.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Still Here

Just a quick word about the lack of bloggery. Our broadband has been down for a week now, and being off work we've had no internet access. We'll be back just as soon as it's fixed.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

New bathroom – part 8

Today John did tiling, tiling, some more tiling and finally a bit more tiling....

It’s only a small bathroom but there’s a lot of tiling to do!!!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

New bathroom – part 7

John made really good progress with the bathroom today.

Out went the old vanity unit and the last lot of tiles and in came three new wall units and another row of tiles.


Friday, September 10, 2010

New bathroom – part 6

Today has been one of those days where little bitty jobs seem to take forever so I’m afraid there hasn’t been a lot of progress with the bathroom.

I’m pleased to report that John’s got the bath fully plumbed in and working.

His arms though looks like he’s been self harming himself as they are covered in lots of cuts.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Rest day

Because today is my birthday, we thought it would be an ideal time for John to have a day’s rest from working on the bathroom.

As usual the Birthday Bunny was extremely generous so I got lots of lovely presents. We went out for our usual birthday lunch at the Chinese restaurant which was yummy as always….

We’ve been getting requests for pictures of the new bathroom so here’s where we're up to at the moment.

The old radiator is out and tiles in for the new towel radiator

Pipework in

And so is the new radiator

This is where the bath used to be

And here is the new one being manhandled into the bathroom

And here it is, all ready to connect


PS To the person who sent me the tall birthday card, many thanks. You sent me a blank card so I don’t know who it’s from….

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

New bathroom – parts 4 & 5

Our internet connection was down last night so I wasn’t able to put up ‘part 4’.

Yesterday John finished the shower pluming and nearly all the tiling around where the shower/new bath are going.

Today the final bit of tiling and grouting around the shower/bath were completed and the new bath put into place.


Monday, September 06, 2010

New bathroom – part 3

John got some more tiling and the grouting done.

The electrical cabling and pipe work for the new shower is also sorted.

It’s coming along nicely…


Sunday, September 05, 2010

New bathroom – part 2

John made quite a bit of progress on the bathroom today.

Because the shower is now going to be fitted on the wall which used to have the towel rail on, John had to remove ¾ of the wall for the pipes and the electrics to hidden by the new tiles.

Instead of using a mallet and a chisel, which is the normal way to remove a wall, he used a pair of scissors !!!! The wall wasn’t made of brick, it was plasterboard…

Once the wall was removed, John then set to work on some of the tiling. As that is my speciality, whilst I couldn’t physically help, I gave him my expert advice and words of wisdom…

And yes, we are still speaking to each other !!!!


Saturday, September 04, 2010

New bathroom – part 1

Because our bathroom was getting a little past its best, and not really ‘Marie’ friendly, we decided it was time for out with the old and in with the new.

So today John started by removing the old bath and the tiles.

Sadly due to all things medical I’m having to watch from the sidelines. However I did have my uses – my stairlift came in very handy for getting the broken tiles down stairs….


Friday, August 20, 2010

Crash, bang, wallop

That’s what I did at 4am this morning…..

I got up out of bed to go to the loo and somehow lost my footing.

I stumbled into my bedside table and both me, the contents of the table and it ended up in a heap on the floor.

I sustained a bruised and sore hip from landing on stickies and a throbbing headache from hitting my face on the floor. My table sadly suffered a broken leg.

That’s the second time I’ve ‘kissed’ the bedroom carpet while going to the loo during the night. If I make it a hat trick I might be asking for a bedpan !!!!!


Saturday, August 07, 2010

Every 'phone you'll ever need

We've bought a new telephone. The man in the shop said it was "every 'phone you'll ever need".

Friday, August 06, 2010

How do you solve a problem like Marie

Yesterday we had the builders in. Our friendly builder and his son were doing some repairs to our roof, ready for the winter, and also building two steps by the back door to make it easier for me to get out. They’re coming back in a couple of weeks to make the front of the house more ‘Marie’ friendly.

Earlier this morning the friendly builder called off for his ‘envelope’* and happened to ask if we knew anything about fruit. He’d got some fruit (not sure where from) but didn’t know what it was.

He had a couple in his pocket to show us and said they tasted a bit like a plum. Neither John or myself were sure what it was so I said I’d have a look through my cookery books to see what it was and give him a ring.

I went to one of my trusty cookery books and found the pages on fruit. Sure enough there was a picture of the friendly builders mystery fruit. It was a green gage and is a member of the plum family – hence why it tasted like one.

I rang the friendly builders wife and told her the good news as his wife had been concerned that they might have been inedible.

Problem solved…..


* his payment.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Here’s a quick roundup of what’s been happening in the BOGOF household since the last blog. Not a huge amount – hence the lack of blogs…

Went for my MRI scan and x-rays on my back (you can read all about it in the Joint Journal blog). Was told to contact the consultant’s secretary if I hadn’t received a follow up appointment two weeks after I’d had the scans.

As expected no appointment came so I rang the hospital. The scan still hadn’t been sent across to the consultant so until he’s looked at it an appointment can’t be made. Given that scans and x-rays are now on computer it’s inexcusable that it should take this long. All it needs is for the radiographer to press ‘send’….

For a while my mam has been saying it was a shame I wasn’t able to get out when she came to see me on a Friday as she could take me out for a walk in Wizzy. What she really meant was she was fed up of staying indoors and wanted to get out.

Last weekend was the airshow, (which meant that we would be prisoners in our own home due to over 1 million people descending on the area), plus it was John’s birthday on the Saturday. I asked my mam if she would take me to Sea Road on Friday to pay the newspapers and also to get a couple of items, which I couldn’t get from Morrisons the previous night, as I needed them for John’s birthday. You can read all about what happened shortly in the Joint Journal blog. All I will say is ‘never again’ !!!!!!!

In September John is spending some of his summer holidays putting in a new bathroom to make it more ‘Marie’ friendly. The new tiles have already arrived (the beauty of on-line shopping…..) and he’s already made a start on removing some of the old tiles.

So that’s about it.


Friday, July 09, 2010

Shake it all about

Last night when we went shopping at Morrisons John drove into one of the disabled car parking bays. He then got out of the car and opened the boot to get Wizzy out.

The driver of a van, which was parked next to us in the disabled bay, took his blue badge off the dashboard and shook it at John, indicating that only blue badge holders were allowed to park there.

The little van man was too busy telling off John that he didn’t notice me putting my blue badge on the dashboard.

John ignored the little van man, who was still shaking his badge, and unloaded Wizzy from the boot. He then turned Wizzy to face the van and shook it a couple of times.

As we walked/wheeled passed the van, I turned my head and gave him a big sarcastic grin.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Something to look forward to

Having not had a holiday last year (we thought I would be going into hospital because of my knee – we were partly right….) and are not having one this year (because things were up in the air about my hip and back), we decided it was time we had something to look forward to that wasn’t medical related.

Following my visit to see a back consultant last Thursday (the full story will appear in the Joint Journal shortly), surgery, (if it does happen) will be well into the future and there’s a strong possibility that I won’t be able to have a new hip put in.

This means that next year we’ll be hospital free. So yesterday I booked a cruise for next May.

We pick up the cruise at Lisbon, then it’s off to Portimao, Cadiz, Palma, Mahon, Corsica, Livorno, Portofino and finally Rome.

I won’t say we’re looking forward to it but we’ve already started the count down !!!!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reporting in

So what’s been happening in the BOGOF household these past couple of weeks. Not a great deal I’m afraid.

We went to the Goodfood Summer Show in Birmingham, which was a really good. As expected there were loads of things freebees to taste and drink. We also saw the Hairy Bikers giving a cookery demonstration. They were so funny.

It was a little busier than I would have liked, and as usual, Wizzy was invisible which was a bit annoying. Still, we did get our own back by running over peoples toes when they wouldn’t move out of the way….

Took delivery of a new bath aid (you can read all about it in the Joint Journal), so getting in and out of the bath is a little easier.

The Customer from Hell made a couple of appearances over none receipt of some vitamins.

Had a bit of a run in with my dentist (full details will be appearing in the Joint Journal in the next couple of days).

So other than that there’s nothing else to report.


Sunday, June 13, 2010


Last night John was making a batch of Pimms.

"One part Pimms", he said as he poured the Pimms into a measuring jug, "and three parts lemonade".
"Three parts lemonade", I replied, "don't you mean two parts lemonade".
"No", he said, "two parts would make it too strong".

So to those who read my comment on 'Summertime' and made some Pimms following my directions - sorry !!!!!


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It’s French Jim but not as we know it

Last night an advert for Peugeot cars came on the TV and it announced that any new cars bought in June would received a free mobile phone with SatNav.

“Will I get one of those”, I asked John.
“One of what”, he replied, looking up from the book he had been reading.
“The free mobile phone from Peugeot for every new car bought in June”.
“No”, he said, getting back to his book.
“Why not”, I replied, getting a little annoyed, “even though I don’t take delivery of my new car until September, the paperwork will show that I bought it in June”.
John sighed, “because you’re buying a Renault….”.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Today is overcast and it’s been raining, but yesterday was one of the first days this year that could reasonably be described as summery. So yesterday in the BOGOF household we saw the arrival of the First Pimms Of Summer.

It would be nice to say that we drank it on the terrace overlooking the formal gardens, but sadly we have neither. It was however a welcome reminder that winter is past.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Power to the people

Yesterday I had a phone call from the hospital complaints department.

I had been given a new appointment of 1st July.

Nothing was mentioned about why I had been put back on the waiting list or even an apology for been given the wrong information.

However I was happy with the result.

The Patient from Hell 2 – the NHS 0


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Patient from Hell

Yesterday I received a letter from the hospital to say that my appointment to see a consultant about my back on the 15th July had been cancelled, but they had given me an alternative date and time of 22nd June at 2.20pm.

As I would have preferred a morning appointment I rang the clinic earlier today and asked if there were any available.

Before the little reception woman looked for another time she cancelled June’s appointment, then said the next appointment she could give me was 27th July at 2.20pm.

I said that wasn’t any good so could I have the June’s appointment back.

No was the answer...

Because I was a new patient for that consultant and had ‘refused’ their appointment of 22nd June, I had to go back on to his waiting list. An appointment will be sent out when I got to the front of the queue.

To say I was not happy was an understatement !!!!

I was straight on to the hospitals complaints department and the Patient from Hell made an appearance.

I told them I thought it was extremely unfair to be put back on the waiting list when it was them who cancelled my appointment in the first place. I also pointed out that it was a bit rich to put in the letter that if the new appointment time wasn’t convenient, I had to let them know and they would arrange a new one.

The complaints officer agreed and said she would look into it and get back to me in the next couple of days.

The Patient from Hell 1 - The NHS 0


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Four months today….

…. And I’ll be the owner of a brand new Renault Clio.

Having started with a short list of four cars – Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 207, Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio, - it was whittled down to the 207 and the Clio.

This afternoon the Clio became the winner.

Roll on September 15th !!!!


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Challenges update

Back in January I set myself some challenges - to read two books a month, finish off the blankets that I was crocheting and knitting and complete the two projects I was cross stitching.

So far this year I’ve managed to read:

Home in time for breakfast – a WW1 diary
MASH an army surgeon in Korea
Rescue me – my life with the Battersea dogs
Voices from the Home Front
Remember, Remember, the 5th November (history of Britain in bite size chunks)

Not quite the two a month I was hoping for, but considering I’m a slow reader, I don’t think that’s too bad.

As you can see I’ve finished my crochet blanket.

I also finished chart number three (out of nine) on one of my cross stitch projects.

Here’s to the next few months…


Saturday, April 24, 2010


Yesterday morning we had a visit from an Occupational Therapist.

When I was in hospital a referral was sent to Social Services for an OT to come and assess me at home. They had only just got round to dealing with it now…

He’s going to arrange for a bath lift so I’ll be able to get in/out of the bath easier than what I currently do - which is slid in, then on the count of three John helps to heave me out.

One of the biggest problems is getting in and out of the house, so he’s going to arrange for a surveyor to and see if a ramp can be built at the front and back.

It’s taken a while but it looks like things are finally moving so I can have a bit of my independency back. Yippee !!!!


Friday, April 23, 2010

The return of the Joint Journal

Just to let you know that the Joint Journal is back….


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Goodfood leaves a nasty taste

Due to the problems with my back, and that I might have surgery on it later this year, we’ve decided to put our holidays on hold until we know what’s happening.

With nothing to look forward to (we were to be going on a cruise this year…) John suggested we go away for a few days sometime in early summer.

The Summer Goodfood Show is taking place at the NEC in June, and one of the chef’s theatre sessions will be the Hairy Bikers. I think the Hairy’s are brilliant so John suggested we incorporate the NEC in with our couple of days away.

I rang the NEC goodfood show ticket hotline to arrange the tickets. I gave ‘Barry’ (he sounded just like Barry from the Iceland adverts….) my Goodfood magazine’s subscribers code which entitled me to reduced costs. I then advised him that I would be in Wizzy*, which according to their website, gave wheelchair users ‘carer’s complementary free admission.

‘Barry’ explained I wasn’t entitled to any magazines subscribers reductions because I had already received a reduction due to the ‘wheelchair complementary free admission’.

I haven’t written a ‘customer from Hell’ letter for ages !!!!


* the name I’ve given to my wheelchair

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Normal service has resumed

Now that conference is over for another year we can now get back to blogging again.

Having been constantly nagged at, we’ve finally brought ourselves into the 21st century and joined facebook. As one of our friends said, ‘about bloody time’… I’m still not that convinced about it so we’ll see what happens.

There’s been a few changes on the medical front since I last blogged. My back is still causing me problems. The strong painkillers my orthopaedic consultant prescribed for me weren’t doing anything, so my GP upped the dosage and gave me some slow releasing ones as well. They’re a Class B drug so there’s a mountain of paperwork to sign when I get them delivered*. The side-effects aren’t that good. They make me quite tired (I could sleep for England…) and quite spaced out, which is really weird. Still at least they seem to be dulling the pain a little.

I saw my orthopaedic consultant recently and he’s going to refer me to a spine specialist in the hope he can do something for my back.

The news on getting a replacement hip is still up in the air. The plastic surgeon, who I saw a few weeks ago, sent a long rambling letter to my consultant saying he wasn’t prepared to do a skin graft, yet in the final paragraph said if he (my consultant) wanted to go ahead with the hip replacement, he would do it.

Without the skin graft I can’t have a replacement hip, so my consultant is going to have a chat with the plastic man to see exactly what the score is.

I’m afraid my aim to read two books a month have fallen by the wayside a little. During February and March I only managed to read ‘Rescue me – my life at Battersea Dogs home’ and ‘The voices from the Home Front’. I did though manage to finish my crochet blanket.


*my local chemist arranges all my repeat and extra prescriptions with my GP surgery

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Still here

Just a quick blog to say we're still here.

Normal blog service will resume shortly.


Thursday, February 25, 2010


For the past few days I’ve been watching the first couple of episodes from series one of Torchwood on the DVD player.

Yesterday afternoon I settled down to watch episode six. It started off ok - the voice of Jack saying ‘Torchwood. Outside the Government, beyond the Police…’

The ‘scary’ music was playing and a woman’s mobile phone rang. She answered it but no words could be heard. The music continued and I could hear her car coming to a stop on the road. Again she opened her mouth but no words came out.

I skipped through various scenes and the same thing happened. I tried the next episode but it was still the same.

I even tried the episodes I had watch the day before. The same thing happened.

Thinking there might be a problem with the DVD player I loaded one of my ‘Family Guy’ DVD’s in to the player. That worked perfectly….

Last night after we had watched a film on the DVD player John tried to see if he could get Torchwood to work. The same thing to him.

This morning I decided to try Torchwood on my new TV/DVD player which is in my work room. I’ve played a DVD on the new TV before, but this time I couldn’t find the DVD slot.

It was ridiculous. Of course it was there. I spent ages pressing buttons on the remote trying to get the slot to open, then running my hands over the TV to try and find where it was. It was not there ….

Spooky !!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


You think we've had it bad do you ?

Well here are a few pictures from Canada and Russia to show you what REAL snow looks like. But first, here is how they clear snow from their roof in Italy, the land where health and safety is unknown.

Now to Canada and a look at the Labrador Highway

And here's why the 'phones in Russia don't always work as well as they should.

And finally a few pictures showing why you should never leave your car out in the snow ...

Monday, February 15, 2010

It’s back

Remember the problem I had with my back when I was in hospital, well it’s returned…

Not the weekend just gone, but the one before that, we were in Scotland finalising things for Renfrew conference. We think it was either the long car journey or the hotel bed that set my back off again.

Last Monday I started to get pains in my lower back and both of my legs, and as the week progressed, they gradually got worse.

Now I can hardly move first thing on a morning as the pain is excruciating. It is not nice….

This afternoon I was back at the hospital to see my orthopaedic consultant. As usual his opening lines were “How are you doing”.
My reply was “I was fine until Monday…”.

He explained as I now had a weakness in my back, the disks would continue to displace and that the only cure would be surgery on my spine. Wonderful !!!!

Thankfully that’s not a route he nor I want to take right now. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about.

He’s prescribed me some stronger painkillers in the hope that will ease it a little and fingers crossed it will settle down like it did when I was in hospital.

He then asked how I got on when I saw the Plastic Man last week. I explained that I wasn’t impressed with him and that he didn’t think it was possible for him to do the plastic surgery what my consultant wanted.

“Did he now!”, replied my consultant.

I don’t think I’d like to be in the Plastic Man’s shoes when he next has a chat with my consultant...


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

NHS – otherwise known as useless

Yesterday I had an appointment at the hospital to see a plastic surgeon. The infection in my hip had eaten everything in it’s path – skin, bone, muscle, even metal !!!

Consequently once my metal hip (or what was left of it….) had been removed, all that was left was a huge cavity.

In order to try and put another hip in, my orthopaedic consultant arranged for me to see the plastic man as I was going to need a skin graft on my hip and a muscle transplant to replace what had been eaten.

To cut a long story short, I wasn’t impressed with the plastic man. According to my consultant they had had several long chats about what various procedures would be done. You could have fooled me…

If it wasn’t for my name being on the file that was in his hand, I would have said he had the wrong patient. I also know it was the right plastic man as he introduced himself when he first came into the room.

To be honest it was pretty much a waste of time. It’ll be interesting to see what he actually wrote in his notes.

I’ll find out when I next go to see my consultant. It’s supposed to be on Monday. However I’ve been trying for several weeks to get the appointment time moved back half an hour as I can’t make it at the time they’ve given me.

Whenever I’ve rang the reception to get the time changed they said that there were no later appointments, so I’d have to keep ringing back every few days to see if any later ones have become available. This has been going on for over eight weeks…

I rang them this morning and was told the latest appointment they could give me was 2.15pm. I explained that was still no good as the earliest I could get there was 2.30pm.

They couldn’t give me anything later as that would mean the consultant would be hanging around until I got there.

I was to ring them on Friday and if the latest time they could give me was still 2.15pm, they would change my appointment time of 1.50pm to 2.15pm then make a note on my file that I would be fifteen minutes late.

You couldn't make it up !!!!!!!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Challengers done so far

In January I set myself some challengers for 2010. They were to read two books a month, complete my two cross stitch projects and finish my crochet and knitting blankets.

I read the two books: ‘Home in time for breakfast – a WW1 diary’ and ‘MASH an army surgeon in Korea’.

I’ve done a little bit of one of the cross stitch projects. The other one is on black fabric, and as my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, I need good sunlight when I’m working on it.

I’ve now got only 39 ½ knitted squares and seven more ‘rounds’ to do on the blankets.

Here’s to February’s challengers.


Friday, January 29, 2010

A whim away

16 years ago today John and myself got ‘officially’ engaged.

Although John has asked me to marry him a few days earlier, we chose 29th as that was the day we were going to the Metro centre to buy my engagement ring.

We had told the two sets of parents a couple of days earlier. John’s mam and dad were all congratulations and lots of hugs and kisses.

Mine were slightly restraint… My dad didn’t say anything, but that was just normal as he wasn’t a man of many words. My mam’s first words were not ‘congratulations’ or anything like that. Oh no. We’re talking about my mam here. Her words were ‘ Well, bang goes my new kitchen”.

I can’t remember exactly what I said in reply to that but it was something on the lines of ‘thanks for your congratulations. Much appreciated’.

She continued her show of congratulations the following day by saying that my wanting to get married was just a whim.

I’m pleased to say that after nearly 15 years of marriage my ‘whim’ hasn’t worn off. John however has asked that I give him 50 years notice when I wish to end my whim.

I think that’s fair enough….


Sunday, January 24, 2010


I decided that this year I’ll set myself a couple of challenges.

I’ve got loads of unread books so I’m going to try and read two books a month. Ok that may not seem like much of a challenge, however I’m a really slow reader so it takes me ages to get through a book. I’ve already finished one this month and have 100 pages to go on the second one.

The next set of challenges is to complete all my unfinished needlework:

I’ve got 10 ‘rounds’ to do on my crotchet blanket.

I’ve got another 44 eight inch squares to knit then stitch them together to form a blanket.

I’ve got two cross stitch projects to complete. Both have nine pages of charts and I’ve done four and half out of 18….

Looks like it’s going to be a busy year !!!!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Joint Journal

Just a quick message to say don't forget to have a look at my Joint Journals which officially began today (www.joint-journals.blogspot.com or click on the link at the side of the page).

Sorry about keep plugging it but I'm hoping you'll find it an interesting read.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All can be revealed

Beginning Tuesday 19th January 2010

The Joint Journals

Being the full and on-going story of a joint and it’s owner.

For more details visit http://www.joint-journals.blogspot.com

Friday, January 08, 2010

Reporting in

Just a quick blog to say we’re still here.

Things have been pretty quite in the BOGOF household, hence no blogs.

Off to cuddle under a blanket to keep warm.

Brrrrrr, don’t like this global warming !!!!