15 January 2019

Brain Fog

Me: “Do you want to see my stitches?”
Paul: “No, just like I really didn’t want to see the photos of your drain either.”

I took the waterproof dressing off my neck after my shower today and had a peak – it’s healing well and there is some very neat embroidery, I shouldn’t have much of a scar.

I’m feeling much brighter today although with some residual brain fog.  I think it’s the after effects of a long anaesthetic although Paul would say I’ve always been a bit foggy.  I took my Kindle into hospital with me but found it difficult to concentrate on reading.  As I was browsing through our ‘family library’ I came across The World of Cycling According to G – a book by Geraint Thomas (ghost written before his big win of the Tour last year) and strangely enough it held my attention and I enjoyed reading about how the big pro riders all met as juniors, about their laddish antics and how much they shared their young lives together as they trained.  It gives a fascinating insight to the world of competitive cycling.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I’m a keen cyclist and I like to follow the Tour de France and other big tours.  I’m ashamed to say that I only managed about four rides out in total last year but I’m determined to get back in the saddle again this spring and try and regain some level of fitness.  As Geraint would say, “the more you do the better you get.”

What are you reading at the moment?  Any suggestions for someone who currently has the attention span of a squirrel?

14 January 2019

Bathroom Makeover

Can I come in?
Ronnie the plumber and Richard the tiler worked frantically to complete the bathroom before I arrived home from hospital and were anxious for my approval as soon as I stepped through the door.  It wasn’t quite finished, the towel rail and shower door needed to be installed and Richard had to return early Saturday morning to grout the floor tiles but I was very impressed with the transformation.  The ceiling will need painting once the new plaster has dried.


A new pump has been installed and the power shower nearly knocked me over when I took my first tentative shower, trying to keep my neck from getting soaked.  Can’t wait to try out the tub next week.

It’s a pity I forgot about the toilet roll holder.

13 January 2019

Carry On Matron

Nurse 'Stacy'
It is so wonderful to be back home to peace and quiet.   The operation to remove half my thyroid gland was successfully carried out on Wednesday afternoon but it was Friday afternoon before I was discharged.  The days of hushed wards seem to have disappeared and there was continuous comings and goings on my eight bedded unit.  Patients were being admitted and discharged into the early hours and I got very little sleep.  So many machines and so much beepage. Beep beep all night long.

I woke from my anaesthetic thinking I was at home and my alarm had just gone off.  I felt quite euphoric that I had survived the ordeal, easier than a trip to the dentist for a root canal.  My neck was a bit sore and I had a plastic tube in my wound; they wouldn’t let me home until it had stopped draining.  A noisy ward isn’t the best place to be but at least I missed some of the building chaos at home for three days.

There was very little formality with the doctors and nurses.  The young registrar (he looked about 12 years old) was called Dr Zhaboa Liu but he introduced himself as Paul.  Stacy, (not called Staff  Nurse anymore) seemed to be the only RGN on duty and was working 13 hour shifts.  She was like a clockwork Duracell bunny constantly trotting from machine to machine and administering medication, totally unfazed by whining and demanding patients.  No white starched aprons and lacy caps here.  On Friday morning she was wearing what looked like a red plastic bin bag printed with “Drug Round in Progress Do Not Disturb”.  When I teased her about it she rolled her eyes and said “don’t even ask!”  I guess the Health and Safety gurus had been visiting.

Stacy wearing her red plastic bin bag
So I’m back home and Paul is clearing up after the builders.  He says he likes my husky voice.  Stitches out next Friday and then hopefully I should be back to normal.

8 January 2019

Building Site

the tardis has been consigned to the skip

My home has been invaded!  The builders are here to rip out the old tardis and install the new bathroom.  They arrived very early yesterday morning; I volunteered to take Rick out for his breakfast walk so that I wouldn’t have to meet and greet them.

It’s a big team, Ronnie the plumber who is project managing, his boy Mark, the joiner Chris, thingo the plasterer, the electrician Jim, and the tiler Richard.  It’s a big tea and coffee list.  They are a cheerful bunch who enjoy their radio music to work to.  The hammering went silent at 10.30 so they could play Radio 2’s PopMaster music quiz.

Ronnie assembling the new bath tub
I hate the noise and the mess but I’m thrilled to see the new bathroom taking shape.  They seem to be an effective team and no time is wasted waiting for different tradesmen.  The biggest task is the tiling, that’s going to take about three days.  I spent yesterday evening agonising between staggered or stacked tiles.  I've opted for staggered. The guys have teased me about my request for a niche in the shower for bottles of shampoo etc.  “You mean you want a hole in the wall!”

shower stall with niche
Tomorrow and Thursday I shall escape the chaos as I go into hospital for my operation.  I’m feeling nervous.  Let’s face it, one false move with the scalpel and my head will fall off.

Hopefully by the weekend I shall be luxuriating in my new bath tub.

5 January 2019

What day is it?

I keep losing track of the days at the moment. Sarah has just landed in rain-drenched Sydney.  She has been travelling for 28 hours.  She said she had a good flight apart from the guy in the next seat who kept stealing her armrest. Now she is in a long queue to get through Australian immigration, only two booths out of twenty open.

This morning we took down the Christmas decorations and Paul chopped up the tree for recycling. The house feels extraordinarily bare and quiet now.  Rick has been missing his girls but had enormous fun just now when next door’s black Labrador, Jack, squeezed through the hedge.  They raced around the garden and had a play fight.  We’ve had to block the gap now though to prevent Rick from escaping through it to find his new best friend.

Rick searching for Jack on Facebook
First thing Monday morning the builders are due to arrive to remove the tardis from the bathroom and generally wreck the place before installing my new shower and bath tub.  I’m dreading the mess but looking forward to a brand new bathroom.  I wonder if the builders like mince pies!

goodbye tardis

3 January 2019


We still have a few apples on one of our trees.  The blackbirds are feasting on them today, at one point there were six in the tree at the same time.  They only seem to do this when the weather is really cold.

Kat has just gone jogging with Rick.  Sarah is packing her suitcase.  Today is the last day of our family holiday and there is some sadness in the air.   Tomorrow Sarah flies back to Sydney and Kat returns to camp.  It’s been a good three weeks.  I think Sarah is keen to get back to Australia’s warm sunshine and Buddy but she is not totally happy.

A broken heart takes a long time to fix.