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I'm staying with ccooke and ruthi, who are being lovely as ever.

Today we went out to look at houses. Neither house we saw was at all suitable, but we had a nice outing anyway. All this despite the fact that ruthi was not really having a good day, but she soldiered on.

We scouted out areas around the houses. The second was not that far from Hoe St, so we had lunch at Sunset Café and Desserts, which I can heartily recommend. They do fresh squeezed juices (apple, orange, carrot and probably a mixture of the above), savoury and sweet crepes, sandwiches (paninis, very good) and a nice range of good cakes. We made the most of the place, then checked out shops and got yellow Pakistani mangoes, which had not been in evidence on Wednesday and were suddenly everywhere in large numbers today.

The second house was full of tenants, who had not been warned we were coming to view the place. I felt awful for them - I know what it's like. Still, we looked round and saw what was wrong and what wasn't. They offered us tea and biscuits, so we accepted and watched Pakistan play cricket. They asked for luck for Pakistan's next two games (they were not doing well vs the West Indies), so I said sure, but I hoped England would thrash them at the semis. We parted on very good terms.

Tomorrow's breakfast is going to be a croissant with a sour cherry and vanilla cream filling, and there are plans to take me to a restaurant called Hawksmoor. It's a steakhouse where meat is chosen and then paid for by weight. I'd really like to take Pol there one day, I think he'd enjoy it.

The depression is gone and I am rapidly recovering from the M.E. I think that I was right when I thought that the relapse was because the stomach thing was stopping me absorbing the pills that make the M.E. go away. I'm recovering at what would be the right rate if I'd stopped taking them for a while then gone back on them again, and should be right as rain two months from now.
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Taking two weeks off of, well, pretty much everything seems to have actually done me some good, despite the depression (which is now lifting again). I'm having a very middle class Sunday, listening to the Archers omnibus. Tomorrow I try going back to the voluntary work.

Pol's sent me a graphics tablet, which should arrive this week, *and* I've found my camera charging cable, so I can get creative again. I do actually like creating art, however dreadful, but depression made me not want to. I've also had some lovely phone conversations, which is something I really enjoy. Time was, I couldn't cope with phone calls because of the migraines, but my pain management is just so good these days that I can cope, even if sometimes I'm a bit scatty. Anyway, everyone I talked to has been delightful and I loved hearing about what people have been doing.

I have garlic sprouting well, but no sign of peas or potatoes. It's been quite dry and I have no watering can. I've got an Amazon voucher for kitchenware (again from Pol)... perhaps if I kept it in the kitchen?

I might have energy this afternoon for calligraphy. I hope I do - I have a half-finished letter for Pol that has been sitting there literally for weeks. I have no idea why letter-writing seems so very hard to me right now, but it does.
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I'm awake at silly-o'-clock, no idea why, and it doesn't seem I'll be back to sleep any time soon. I hope I can get a nap before work, is all. Today is the Evening Post's job day, so it's not a case of sleeping late before work, I'll be busy seeing what I can apply for. Slavoljub Eduard Penkala is doing his best to comfort me.

Netflix' House of Cards is rather good. The Underwoods are both ruthless and hateful, it's delightful.

Pol's been busy mending motorbikes. The stable now has in it Serenity, Liberator (being fixed) and Galactica. I can't wait for Tardis to show up. I love the idea of Pol taking a defunct machine and turning it into someone's pride and joy. I *think* Liberator is for Kira but I'm not sure.

The charity shop I volunteer at is without a manager still. It didn't have a manager at Yule, and, after many, many interviews the job is being advertised again. Apparently nobody really amazing has wanted a '37.5 hour a week' management job at £14k, for a shop that is open from 8:30am to 5pm six days a week and which needs managing before and after the shop is open (you do the maths). They've had applicants but have turned down all the ones that didn't simply walk out.

I'm getting ready for the LARP. Pol is being wonderful, thinking of things I might need, then getting them. If I am uncomfortable camping, it won't be his fault. I'm really looking forward to seeing him this Saturday.
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Moving into a room which got jemmied open less than a month ago might not have been the most sensible, but I've done it now. I like it better than my old room. It has a garden, and a little not-really-a-kitchen as a separate room. I'm fitting better bolts as soon as possible, as well as other security fixtures (like, for example, an alarm). Meanwhile, I'll be keeping my one valuable item, my laptop, with me as much as possible, or stored elsewhere entirely. Supposedly, this house and street don't see much crime. Except this year. So far both break-ins have been during the day.

Pol is helping me with my CV. I'm now at that stage of job-hunting. With ten years of bugger all, it's quite daunting. But if anyone can help me polish the turd of my work experience, Pol can.

The first thing I did after getting all my stuff into the room was to clean the kitchen. Then I went to the pub. Then I cleaned the kitchen some more.
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Actually to be honest I only started playing because I was already having a crap day and wasn't going to get anything done. I like it, but find the controls rather stiff and unreactive. And then, as the chill set in, so were my hands.

Right now I am sitting waiting for the Chinese food that Random is about to order and pay for, so we can have a meal. I can answer the door while she has a bath. Synergy! Ccooke has outlined to me an entire new world, and I've told him about the Reddit worldbuilding forum. There are sciency news stories, but my fingers are too stiff to cut and paste easily. Nipping downstairs to sit in the sauna I accidentally created by putting the gas fire on and forgetting has helped.

Pol's off to his friend's wedding, as planned. I'm hoping he has a good weekend.

That's it, really. Slow day.
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Pol came back at about elevenish and went straight to bed without saying goodnight. Random lent me her phone charger. I asked if she had a nice dinner. She said in the end she hadn't eaten anything because she'd had toast while she was waiting for Pol to bring me back.

I made Pol a coffee in the morning, but he was having a fasting blood sugar, so it was wasted. Still, he sat and chatted with me a while, mostly about the Steam games he bought me. I am trying to download them while I am here, but the emails went missing and without the emails Steam isn't forthcoming on past gifts.

Spice and Hatter were bouncing on me all night long, so I didn't sleep very well. I have fed them and emptied the cat tray. I am also cleaning up the conservatory, which is full of rubbish from where the rats all used to be, and gathering my art stuff so I can do art. I've just stopped for a meal break. It's Tescos Value Cottage Pie - I feel quite brave for eating it.

Pol said he wouldn't be back tonight as he's out to a prearranged social event. I wish I was going - it would be nice to see people while I am here and I've switched to a later sleeping pattern to fit in with Pol and Random, so being up late isn't a problem. Still, there's Mary and Tim's wedding on Saturday! After which I am going straight home, which apparently spoils Random's trip to Coventry, as I was expected to look after the cats. They thought I was leaving on Sunday, but I decided to go straight home rather than get a train on Sunday for a journey I already don't like very much. Random has really had a lot of inconvenience from me this trip up, though she's being nice about it. Pol won't be able to look after the cats, because he's off to a different wedding with Kira. He leaves Friday evening, so I think from what he's said that tomorrow morning is the only time I will see him, before he goes to work and then to pick up Kira, and then to the wedding.

It's bright and sunny out today. The fruit trees look good where Pol planted them.

Anyway, I'd better go and eat, and then actually do something instead of moping around online.


Feb. 20th, 2013 10:23 pm
supermouse: Simple blue linedrawing of a stylised superhero mouse facing left (Default) the cuddliest, glompiest cat in the world. Hatter is adorable. I was worried Spice had forgotten me, but she crawled up for her usual night time cuddle and stopped me doing anything else for a while. :0) Hatter's been making me play with him.

Pol and Random and Kira have gone out to dinner without me. I arranged a Tescos delivery for 9-10pm, thinking that would be plenty of time for me to get to Wigan, but it wasn't, so they had to wait in for my food. Then Pol persuaded me to let him pick me up instead of getting a taxi, and so they had to wait for that too. But they've all gone out to dinner now, an hour later than planned. I was asked not to go along, and that in fact the plan had been for me to arrive to an empty house, except I ruined that with bad planning. I'm a bit confused about why this plan, but hopefully everybody is happy now and being fed. I've got a glass of milk and am curled up with the cats.


Jan. 31st, 2013 09:48 am
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Yesterday was pretty good. I got to the sandwich shop just in time for the roast pork being put out. I did tell everyone at the shop, but no one wanted one that day. (The roast pork is only available for about half an hour before it's all gone, so it's useful to know when it's happening.)

Yesterday's manager taught me more about sorting (there are so many Things, and categories of Things, and protocols about Things, that there's a lot to learn, even if none of it is academically interesting.) She also shared banana chips with me. I'd been worried she didn't like me, I suppose I must be at least tolerable.

Pol is being affectionate in his text messages and on irc. It's a nice part of my evening, the exchange of well-wishes. I've asked Kira to pass on hugs, seeing as I can't give them in person.

I'm leaving Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays free from 7pm-8pm for phone chats. If you have my number, you're welcome to give me a call then. If you want me to call you, drop me a line. Comments are screened.
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The forecast weather has arrived: 8 degrees Celsius and lots of rain first thing. The rain arrived last night, and by midday, all the ice was gone. It's now safe to roam around again. I let myself run out of milk, gambling on safer footing today and it's paid off.

Pol keeps describing to me various social things he's doing. It all sounds very good. I'm glad, also, that his new job is apparently not awful. I hope to see him at some point soon, depending on the weather and so on.

I started getting bored and restless on my days off. I don't think it would be wise to go in five days a week, but it does seem I have spare energy left over again. I've rearranged my schedule, cutting back on time spent in conscious relaxation, and adding back in the things I used to study but was too tired to while volunteering was still new to me.

I can't help but wonder how Random is doing. And the cats.
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(NB: at the moment my dongle is content-locked, so I may not be able to view comments to reply on Livejournal. I can reply on Dreamwidth, so please consider posting there using OpenID or just signing an anonymous comment with your LJ handle).

So, I'm in a bedsit in Nottingham.

I've been getting better for a while now - able to cross the road, then able to get a bus, then able to go and study in Wigan every week. I wasn't very happy in Wigan for various reasons, so I went to stay with my mum over Yule, and found Nottingham to be full of things to do, close to her home. Part time jobs and voluntary positions abound.

I started volunteering at a charity shop, and I'm doing three days a week, six hours a day. If this was paid work, it would be just enough to live on. I'm hoping that one day this year it will be paid, if my health doesn't give out yet again. So far so good: it's been two weeks and I'm less ill and tired now, at the end of a shift of hard work, than I was after my first 6-hour stint. Mostly I steam clothes, which is mindless physical work that I really enjoy. Today though, I seem somehow to have ended up creating a system to log when various items are going to need to be culled, and thus when 'new' items will have to be priced up ready to go out, and how many.

I came home to slow cooked beans in a spicy tomato sauce. The bedsits are in a converted house - you have a room with a kitchenette in it, the bathrooms are shared but the landlord cleans them weekly, and water, heating, electricity and council tax are all included in the £65-a-week rent. I did have some issues with things being broken when I moved in. They were all but one fixed on the same working day as my complaining email, and the one that isn't fixed needs a spare part ordered.

Last night, I went out for a social with Kincaid in what seems to be the nicest pub I've yet seen in Nottingham. The only reason I didn't eat there was because I'd managed to get hold of a whole fresh trout for £1.60, so I cooked and ate that with some buttery carrots before going out. Well, wouldn't you? Kincaid seems very happy with his life just now, and it was a great evening.

Pol and I continue to communicate, in fact rather more than we had been doing. We're still firmly an item, I've just buggered off for probably about six months. I'll have to go back now and then to sort out the garden.
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Expanded form of a Facebook update:

I've just done some very heavy gardening in very heavy rain. Brr. The dead bush that defeated me all year is now finally in pieces, on the patio and in the compost heap. I had to take a saw to it in the end, which worked well. The larger pieces will make good firewood (along with the very large pile of other good firewood still waiting to be cut down to wood-burning-stove size and delivered to friends).

The four new fruit trees are standing in the places they will be planted, tomorrow, when it's dry (2pm according to the forecast). Pol took me out yesterday to get them and it was rather a nice day all in all, if really very cold. He got me a lovely lunch at a Horwich pub, slow roast pork belly. The fruit trees are: Sunburst and Stella cherries, Victoria plum, Golden Delicious apple (the only apple Pol likes and probably the only food he'll ever get out of the garden). They're going against the tall, brick West-facing wall that runs down one side of the garden. They'll be cut down to less than wall height and then fastened in horribly unnatural contortions to nails driven into the brick, because you get lots of fruit that way. I'm thinking of covering their feet in strawberries and pineberries.

I have pork roasting in the oven. There's a bowl of coleslaw inspired by ruthi, ready to go with it. But for now, I'm appreciating the invention of one Slavoljub Eduard Penkala. He invented many things, but I most appreciate the modern form of the rubber hot water bottle. I love him very much. Unfortunately, he's married. Also, dead.
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I've had a pretty good day. I'm still learning Latin from Lingua Latina (a book which teaches Latin by starting off in a very Janet-and-John style and gradually adding vocabulary. There's not a word in any other language than Latin in the book, other than the copyright notice.) I pored over a medieval court record, although I think I have as much from it as I can get without help. There are only about four words missing, but they're the vital ones which make sense of what the dispute was actually about. I can tell who it was about, and when, and where everyone lived, and what the sentence was, but not what exactly Gilbert had done to John.

I also went out on the bike. Something is amiss with the back wheel. The ride itself was great. Lots of mud and horse poo, and something across the path which looked alarmingly like a dead horse from a distance, but which turned out to be a long pile of chestnut-coloured sandbags placed to hold back a flood. Pol's been at home all day and has kept the sitting room very warm, so my room has more or less had underfloor heating. I got back from the ride and basked happily upstairs for a while and only had to redon all my winter woolies after he left the house. Pol's not been particularly welcoming of my presence all day, after I woke him up early by moving around the house, so I have left him to come out of it on his own.

I had a lovely evening watching The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, the book of which I never finished because I thought it too depressing. The film isn't any more cheerful, but there's so much less of it to wade through. I feel as though I've achieved something by reading it; earned some sort of merit badge or something. Much more fun was 60 Years of Attenborough, where he gets enthusiastic about filming techniques. I didn't realise until this programme that he has kept journals. I fully expect them to end up in a museum one day as a national treasure. Meanwhile, I am thankful that we still have the national treasure that is David Attenborough. Hatter cuddled up with me while I watched it, and seemed to really enjoy the scenes of swooping fish.

And so to bed.
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Had a nice dinner with Pol's family.

I've also been in the garden, where I found all my dill has been killed. If I want dill, I have to start again from scratch. I probably will do just that, and let it get large before I plant it out. This dill had been out for weeks and been fine, so I am sad.

I have a few live turnips outside, (Arcoat, which grow to the size of a golf ball) until they get chomped. In the greenhouse, I have sixteen I've transplanted to get nice and big. The rest can stay in modules for a while longer, since they have room. Seed compost is low in nutrients, so they should be retarded compared to the moved on ones (which are the biggest anyway), so I'll move them on for an ad hoc succession planting. I wasn't expecting so many to germinate and do so well so soon.

I now have two nasturtium plants, one well-chewed and one okay. And I have to stop typing because Spice has missed me and keeps wanting a cuddle. She can be very heavy and demanding when she wants to be.
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I'm in the Radisson Non-Euclidean Hotel near Heathrow, for Eastercon. It's a hotel with a refreshing lack of regard for conventional physics in the architecture - bits of the building go through other dimensions and/or one another, and the corridors are based around a Moebius design.

The highlight of the convention for me so far has been the Creativity Workshop, wherein we listened to a beautifully short, coherent and worthwhile talk on creativity, then did some exercises which were actually fun, then put together a television series with a budget of £370,000 for 16-34 year olds on BBC3, in an hour. I learned quite a lot and I had tons of fun.

There have been a few, a very few familiar faces around, including Tlanti who made a really clever chain of Daleks which I have given to small room mate. Room mate was delighted at them and has them on prominent display - I wish Tlanti could have seen her face on them being unfolded.

I got Pol a present then totally forgot to actually give it to him, but he's at the Dr Horrible Singalong and it would have got in his way. I've got to go there shortly anyway to give Penwing his money back that he very generously handed over so I could have dinner. Wendy told me about Warrington's police tweet, which sounds very worth following, but I can't remember the name of that tweet account. Warrington police are apparently doing a remake of Heartbeat on Twitter.

I have quite the bad migraine this morning and may have to write off all the panels. In theory I go and visit someone new at 4pm, so I hope I can go to that. However, it's a nice room in a nice hotel and I am pretty happy. I will probably spend the time getting my teen sim hooked up with a nice girl so he can marry her when he ages up and have the next generation of my sim breeding programme.
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I am swanning around the new house like a lady of leisure. Well, right now I'm sat down after breakfast (New York cheesecake), watching a robin check out the offerings on the bird table. Somewhere around here is an entire flock of around a dozen long-tailed tits. As the weather hardens, I will no doubt learn what else lives close by.

Spice carved up my face yesterday morning - she knocked over a heavy picture frame, which I think fell on her, then she catapulted across the bed to hide, and unfortunately my face was part of the 'floor' for that route. So now I have a 2cm vertical cut in the middle of my forehead, like a bindi that's been placed too high. Being a head wound, I had a dramatically bloody face to present to Kira and Random over breakfast. Kira, with her face quite scratched from the motorcycle accident, out-did me. Her scratches go over her cheek and around one eye, which is black and purple. She won't let any of us augment this new decoration with Ziggy Stardust style face make-up.

Random is out, running between Bolton Royal Hospital and Sale - this is beginning to become something of a daily commute. Pol is out with his new, very Executive job in London. The new house is of a style to match with his new job, even though it's actually cheaper than the cramped, new-build terraced house we were in before. This house was built in the early 1980s and reminds me of the various detached suburban houses from episodes of The Professionals television series. The sweetest part of the house, at least as far as Random is concerned, is the working chiminea - I have sausages so that we can barbecue. There are also a lot of overgrown and sadly dead bushes in the garden, so we won't be short of fuel.
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Woken up at my usual early time of around tennish (this is when I wake up if I go to bed at around tennish). I feel distinctly post-dromal, which is to say like an owl in the morning if said owl has flown face-first into a car window. Spice hasn't been impressed, since she usually eats at 7am, but all this *actually* means is that for once she's eaten all the food I put out at 10pm.

Now I am sitting downstairs with a cup of coffee and a glass of chocolate milk. LIFE IS SO HARD!!

What I'd really like to get done today is to change my bedding or do some laundry, but it depends on how my head is.

Pol's on his way back home, having found the new contract impossible to fulfil. It's a good thing he hasn't signed it, really.
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Spice has spent today expanding her pattern. Pol's back to work (Random has been away), so the house routine is back in place after the weekend, with me alone in the house all day. Spice tried to get me interested in play at 5:45am, but after the busy weekend, I wasn't having it. She bounced me again when my 8am alarm went off, and spent a while being cuddled and pouncing gracefully on my feet under the duvet.

Downstairs for breakfast - she still prefers to have someone watch her back while she eats. I got breakfast and let it go cold while she chased a laser up and down the stairs. I get the impression that she's slightly stiff and sore today - no wonder when she's getting about four hours of serious exercise every day! After this, she relaxed while I ate and put on laundry. Normally, I watch television and play with her, and by 12pm she's hidden herself away until Pol comes home. Instead, she's only just gone to ground now at 2pm. She's also 'owning' the sitting room much more. She's diving off into different holes and crevices, instead of always just going behind (or inside) the sofa. Any time she hasn't been playing, she has been walking around sniffing *everything* and occasionally trying to kill it. She's also relaxed out in the open several times. Unfortunately, her favourite play areas are always the places with the heaviest traffic. As and when we have house guests, she will have to be nimble.

The washing machine doesn't faze her much. Given the amount of laundry we do, this is just as well. She's been able to eat while it was doing its thing - as long as I am around to watch, anyway. She seems to find the kitchen safest when I am making a cup of tea or coffee. She obviously finds the rattle of teaspoons reassuring. She also likes it when I am under the duvet, and even more if I am curled up reading a book. Then she finds the crook of my knee and pours herself into it, resting her chin on my leg and purring loudly, seeming utterly relaxed.
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I'm on the tail end of an all nighter, having been crying on and off all night. I think it's a combination of Moth being gone and other things getting on top of me. Pol woke up at 5am and heard me sobbing. He came up and I cried on his shoulder while he made it all better.

Spice has now been here four-and-a-half days and, while still not entirely relaxed, is becoming pretty mellow about the big scary humans. We took her away from The Best Human Ever. I'm not The Best Human ever, but she's willing to forgive me. Pol is a bit more scary, but she now wanders up to him as a matter of course and follows him downstairs for breakfast, and he can play with her - in fact, she expects him to before and after work now. She's seen much less of Random and is still wary, as far as I know.

She has carried things around in her mouth, but doesn't properly play 'fetch' - things get carried to her favourite disembowelling spot instead. I lost the laser pointer, which is a shame because it was a great source of exercise for her (she's slightly podgy about the waist). Pol's ordered seven more, as well as a box of 150 ping pong balls. My room is covered in screwed up pieces of paper. She gives a high-pitched burbling chirp when she wants to play. Pol is astonished at how quiet she is - quieter still after she removed her collar. I haven't been able to put it back. I can hold her and pummel her but I haven't got four hands and two humans together is far too scary.

She only seems to eat much at once if someone is standing by her. Otherwise, as far as I can tell, it's all snatched mouthfuls. Great for her waistline, I suppose, but I want her to feel comfortable. Pol, watching her, thinks that the tiles are cold and unfamiliar and put her off. She does relax completely when in my room, and I can more or less do what I like with her, although she startles easily. She is very cuddly indeed if I am lying down in bed reading a book.

She loves stairs as much as if she'd spent her entire life dreaming about one day having a flight of stairs all her own, and now she's got two. However, when she runs down them very quickly, she manages to frighten herself and bounces down the last few with her tail bottle-brush fat. Then she bounces right back up them again for the next paper ball.
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Today wasn't bad. I had planned to just immerse myself in computer games, but my wrists are sore, so I've ended up going back to my favourite brain candy, Georgette Heyer. I've spent the day downstairs for once, instead of being in my room. Being downstairs gets a lot done. I did Pol's laundry, then finally got to put the hall rugs into wash, then washed them again in the vain hope that more muck will come out this time. They're now drying. JG came and cleaned and we talked a lot about C, her dog who passed six months or so ago, S, her new dog, and, naturally, Moth. I got a lot out of the visit. I also emptied the dishwasher and cooked myself something to eat.

I had a bath, straightened my room out, had a nap and I've just come upstairs after playing Guitar Hero with Random. I left her merrily playing away, having been be-migrained out of continuing, but I really enjoyed it and I am hoping we can do it again tomorrow.

Pol's away doing work-related stuff and I am missing him rather more than I usually would.

Busy day.

Jan. 17th, 2011 03:41 pm
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I went over to Nottingham at the weekend and saw my family, in stages, then Cwol. I came back to find a book I'd meant to give Cwol, sitting there looking at me. I might ask Pol nicely to take it with him when he drops off my sibling's books. It wasn't the best of visits: everyone was tired and I had the most thumping headache all day, I think because of the extremely wet weather.

Today has been bright and fine, and I've been able to do loads. I tidied the sitting room up. When it's tidy, I want to spend time there, and if I am sitting downstairs, then all the housework tends to get done in the ad breaks. I also cleaned the kitchen, folded Pol's laundry, sorted out the blue sofa as much as it can be sorted out and planted out bulbs. I need more compost.

Now I am upstairs. I discovered Moth still sitting quietly alert in exactly the same place I left her hours before. Even with the strong painkillers, she's clearly reluctant to move much. She's also having trouble scratching herself and walking around on the duvet - her claws catch in the fabric as if she can't quite keep them retracted any more. I put her on the bed and spent a while scratching her head, which made her very happy. She just wandered off for a while and limped painfully back for more head-scratching. I suppose that's me here for the interim then.


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