Lights, shopping, action…

Adventures

Last week, I went on a trip to Blackpool to see the Illuminations. They were fabulous – I hope to go again next year and maybe stay over for the night in a cheap B&B.

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I have also been to 2 1/2 firework displays: one was cancelled, one was on the beach below where I live and the third one was the cancelled display. I love fireworks, so maybe I’m a bit bias, but they were exceptionally good! I always find that they start a bit disappointing but finish on a big bang with the finale – it’s always worth getting through!

Knitting

I finally finished a shawl that I started in July! I didn’t follow the pattern to the letter, but given that I had so many mistakes in it – who cares? Are they even really mistakes? What if I deliberately put them there?

 

 

I also knitted a pair of “boot cuffs”. I don’t know why. I’m not sure that I’ll ever use them – they’re not my “thing”. I think I just wanted a change from scarves and shawls. I amended the pattern to suit me – also, I was worrying that if I followed the pattern to the letter that I might end up running out of that coloured yarn!!

Pattern (the amendments I made and followed):
Cast on 55 sts (3.75mm needles)
Knit
Rib for 10 rows
Knit – increase by 1 stitch every 9 stitches (6 extra stitches)
Switch to 6mm needles – stocking stitch for 25 rows
Switch to 3.75mm needles and garter stitch for 8 rows
Cast off and stitch up…

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Boot cuffs

I also visited a shop which sells a lot of yarn. I mean, a lot of yarn. Like, loads of yarn. I think I need to sell my house and buy a house closer to it…

Surprises

I had a call from Claire (the Clairvoyant (such a bad pun it deserves a LOL)). I was preparing to go out and I was somewhat suspicious because I had just written her name on a piece of paper so that I could buy some yarn for her. I seriously thought that she had a secret camera placed in my house and was phoning me to freak me out. She’s a turquoise lady (more aqua than green) so it’s been a bit tricky searching for the exact yarn for her. I think that I have found it now…

Christmas…

Well, I am being organised, aren’t I?! So far, I have bought one Christmas present, I have made another one, I’m refurbishing a third one, and I’m possibly making a fourth one… It’s a long time since I’ve been this organised – except in the summer when I bought / made and wrote birthday cards for the rest of 2017. I have also bought a 1 foot tall pink tinsel tacky Christmas tree to sit on my window sill once the 1st December arrives…

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October 2017 revisited

Out and about...

I took a trip to Ireland at the beginning of the month, which was a bit of an adventure. I’d not really done a holiday where I haven’t had beds booked or a solid plan of destination, so it was quite nice. It was different to be carefree and uncommitted to any given place. I have a mass of photos on my computer relating to this trip which Rayna sat through. We played a game: Where’s Wally? because some of my photos contain my holiday buddy, but he’s hidden on the mountain sides! I haven’t posted any on social media yet, because there really are loads! But here’s my favourite one:

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Taken one evening near Letterfrack, Co. Galway.

I’ve been on (another) steam train… Actually, I’ve been on two. One I went with a friend and another I went with my family. Both were very good and I recommend them both.

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Onboard the Ffestiniog Railway
Food

I did write a boring blog post about an amazing curry that I had while moaning that I had to wait for 2 hours to get it because of restaurants tricking me with takeaway menus when their eat-in menus are so different. But, amazing curries aren’t the only thing I’m excited about eating this month…

Ok, I’m missing burgers, but after regurgitating a couple (while on strong pain killers), I don’t think I could possibly eat a burger for a very long time. Unfortunately, I have discovered chicken burgers. The chicken burgers are probably a bit healthier than the beef burgers. Or, that’s the lie that I am telling myself.

I’ve also gotten myself a “vegetable sharpener”. Or, a spiraliser. Not a posh one. It’s not an electric one. It’s just one that I can use to sharpen my vegetables to make courgette into long strands like spaghetti. It’s actually quite fun – I get to eat the bits of vegetable that I can’t sharpen, so, I have tried some raw courgette and actually prefer it to cooked courgette!! And, it’s better to eat a lump of carrot than to get another biscuit out…

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“Spiralised” (or sharpened) carrot and courgette
Knitting

I have, until this month, had three knitting projects on the go: a scarf, a shawl and another shawl (which I actually think is a big scarf!). I now have only two knitting projects in progress as I have (finally) completed the scarf. I made a mistake at the end, so I abandoned the pattern that I was working to and I switched to a moss stitch for the remainder of the wool that I had and fashioned a ‘pocket’ that the scarf can roll into. The pattern was repeated over four rows:

Row 1: knit
Row 2: purl
Row 3: k1, k2tog x3, [yo, k1] x6, k2tog x6, [yo, k1] x6, k2tog x6, [yo, k1] x6, k2tog x3, k1
Row 4: knit

Surprises

I complained to O2 that being an adult sucks. I spent one afternoon looking at house insurance and thinking of ways I can save money. One of the ways was to terminate my contract with O2 and switch to the Pay As You Go option. However, because being an adult sucks, O2 sent me a box of stuff. It was a nice surprise to receive in the post, but Twittering (?) a thank you just wound up with me being unindated with notifications saying “I’m a customer of X years” and “where’s mine?”. All I did was complain being an adult sucks. It’s not my fault that they sent me a nice box of stuff, is it?

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The box of stuff from O2

The drinking bottle thing is quite good – it doesn’t leak (LOL) or taste of plastic. I don’t know how the Smart Power Card + thing works, but it’s in my bag. Presumably I will have to charge it after using it…?

A week of Flossie

A week feels more like a month when I’m around certain people. I love spending time with my younger siblings, so I have to tolerate Flossie. Thankfully, Grandad was able to come and I ended up having a flying visit home to see Nanna (who had to stop at home).

The most important thing to emphasise about the last week of October is that Flossie survived. It’s an impressive feat each time.

The kids and I went for a walk – a small walk, because I still can’t do a long walk. Grandad and I sourced a new sofa, and we had a trip on a steam train along a lake. I think the kids definitely had a good time. I enjoyed spending time with them all, that’s for sure. I taught Himmy how to knit, and we made soup together.

Health

I saw my Oncologist and Haematologist this month. I’m guessing at some point in the near future I shall return to see the Gynaecologist, but this hasn’t yet been communicated to me.

The Oncologist is happy, so I’m happy.

My Haematologist is happy, so I’m happy.

I’ve also played the Lotto because the Haematologist said if there were any justice in the world, that I would win. I’m yet to check the ticket. I’m too scared to find out that I’m not a millionaire…

 

Tuesday Tunesday

Here are some answers to some prompts I have picked from a song related blog challenge. I’ve linked them to YouTube in case anyone wants to experience my awful taste in music…

A song from my childhood: Barbie Girl, Aqua… My Dad knows ALL the words.

A song that’s often stuck in my head: I’m Still Standing, Elton John (it’s really quite catchy!)

A song reminding me of last summer: Shape of you, Ed Sheeran… It seems to be played everywhere. Including in the M&S advert…

A song on the soundtrack of my favourite movie: Still Falling for You, Ellie Goulding… yes, it’s from the last Bridget Jones movie…

The last song I heard: Rocket Man, Elton John… it was the last track played before I turned my iTunes off.

A song I love singing along to: YMCA, Village People… The best place to sing and dance to it probably isn’t in the shower…

A song I cannot stand to listen to: That Gangnam Style rubbish… By PSI…

My personality

I’ve been reflecting on a conversation I had a week ago with my aunt. I had, secretly, been dreading the phone call. I’d just updated her on events in my life (health and education) and I was quiet apprehensive as to what to expect. Would she be sad that I hadn’t told her my news before? Would she be disappointed that I’m not going back to university? What’s the point in completing a degree I won’t be using professionally?

I came away from the conversation feeling relief. I hung up feeling supported, loved and respected.

During the conversation we discussed various things: how I’d coped during the last couple of months, what help I had received, my local ‘support’ network and how next year will be the Year of Becky.

I can only hope that 2018 has nice things stored for myself…

I think my personality helps me cope with a lot of things, including recent events. If asked for my top three personality traits that I’m most proud of, they would be:

  1. My willfulness and determination. I don’t put up with crap. I won’t be ripped off. If I want to succeed, I will. If I want something, I will give it my 110% and work towards it. I won’t let people talk me out of things with their negativity and pessimistic outlook.
  2. My independence. I look after myself the best that I can. I don’t rely on other people because I’m not their responsibility. If I can’t figure it out, I turn to my family before my friends (because, my family are always there!). I am not afraid to entertain myself. If I’m let down on plans, I still carry on with them, even if it means walking and dining alone or watching a movie by myself. I try and fix things for myself – but that’s more to save myself money. But, also, I take responsibility for my own downfalls rather than blaming everyone around me.
  3. My social-ness. I feel that being sociable can help me. If I feel a bit lonely and everyone is busy, there’s always someone to chat to as I walk along the beach or sit in a coffee shop or purchase a pint of milk or order a sweet and sour chicken dinner… I like to go out with my friends and talk to the people in the queues.

I’m proud of these traits. I think they’re traits I get from my grandparents and my Dad; they’re all traits that I can associate with them. Regardless of these traits about my personality, I’m pretty sure they enable me to conquer the world…

HRT

My Hormone Replacement Therapy has begun.

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Something stolen from Google Images – credit to Randy Glasbergen from glasbergen.com

I thought that I might have a few more years before I entered this territory. I already knew that I was at risk from an early menopause because of my bone marrow transplant eight years ago. Never did I think that I would end up having the menopause induced by radiotherapy for another health problem. Surely it’s someone else’s turn?

Anyway, this is how it is. I am having menopausal side effects (or symptoms?) and now I am on the HRT patch, after having my contraceptive implant removed yesterday.

This patch brings with it the hope of saying goodbye to the hot flushes I’ve been having. I know that they’re not magic patches, but hopefully, too, they’ll help me feel less creaky!!

Right at the beginning of my treatment, I aired some concerns with the oncologist regarding the need to take HRT – I was worried about the risk of other female cancers developing. My fears were eased by my oncologist, but reading the leaflet has raised fresh fears which I will discuss in December when I return to see the lovely lady – she really is quite super!

I know that it’ll all take a while for things to settle down. Physically, I need to get healed. Emotionally I need to appreciate what’s been happening with my life. Despite steering the last few months pretty well, I have been forced into a lane I didn’t want to be in! But the letter I received in the post yesterday from my oncologist, is very encouraging to read 🙂

So, at 31-years-old, I say “hello HRT”… Let’s see how we get on…

A bullet of yesterday

8am I was awake before the alarm but I still set it to snooze as I had a look at Facebook and read a few pages of my Viz annual. I kept an eager eye on the time because I had to brown the stewing steak and add an onion to my pot of vegetables which were waiting to be turned into a beef stew in the crock pot. After having some breakfast (buttered toast), I hot footed it upstairs to wash and dress so that I was out of the door by 9:30am.

10:30am was the time of my appointment. I parked at the park and ride and I was in the clinic for good time. However, I was kept waiting. There were patients before me who needed more time. I probably also took up more time than I was allotted, so I won’t complain. I finally got seen at gone 11:30. My only complaint was that I was sat under the television having to listen to Homes Under the Hammer and whatever drivel followed that. It could have been worse. It could have been Jeremy Kyle. Consultant was happy with what she saw, but that entailed me going onto do another mission…

12:45pm I was getting a bit anxious that I needed to be home for the afternoon, so quickly ditched my retail therapy plan and made a beeline for the pharmacy where I collected my single 150mg dose of Fluconazole for the thrush that the consultant has seen. I have to return tomorrow (or today because this blog post is being published tomorrow) to collect HRT patches. I also purchased some paracetamol as it’s clear that I really do still need them. While waiting for my prescription to be dispensed, I went across the road to the bakery and spent £2.70 on a current slice and a Cornish pasty. I then went home, ate my lunch and browsed Pinterest while I waited for the Avon lady to come with my new lipsticks, etc.

5:45pm I’m home and waiting for someone (else) to call in. During the afternoon, I have been to Lidl (I bought a birthday present), The Range (I bought some personal stationary for myself and browsed kitchen stuff) and to Tesco where I bought what I set out to buy – a ‘gate’ clothes airer for £7. I then called into see the Recycled Teens where we had a catch up of their weekend away and my week away.

6:30pm I have had my guest call round and leave. I have hoovered upstairs and dusted. I haven’t done any real housework in a few weeks and I live under a quarry. Things get dusty and Flossie is coming on the week of the 23rd of October. I don’t want her to be moaning about my “dust” and her asthma. I think it’s tea time now…

8pm It’s time to settle down on the sofa and watch TV. My dinner is eaten, my washing up is done and I have a French Fancy and a cup of tea waiting for me.

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I might end up falling asleep on the sofa, or I might actually make it up the stairs.

It’s been quite a dull and unadventurous day, really, hasn’t it? Tomorrow (today) is even duller, with not a plan in sight…

Travels from last week

Last week I was having a wonderful time, travelling around on the west coast of Ireland. My friend and I hovered around in County Galway and County Mayo. While I couldn’t go on the adventures that he went on (up the mountains), I had some of my own adventures. In total, I have taken over 800 photos (average of 100 a day). I have gotten myself lost en route to meeting my friend after his walk; thankfully someone put me right and showed me on my map where I went wrong. I have seen some really, really beautiful beaches. I have encountered some really friendly people. And, I have some seen some extraordinarily bizarre driving!!

As we know, I do like to be beside the seaside, so I have been spoilt with the beauty of some of the beaches on the Irish Coast. I think my most favourite was at Claddaghduff – at low tide I was able to walk all the way across to Omey Island. They have signposts in the sand because people are able to drive their cars across to the island!

While travelling around County Galway and County Mayo, I have done a bit of the Wild Atlantic Way – my friend has done his best to accommodate my interests!! On this trip, I have done a bit of the Bay Coast section of the route. A lot of what I’ve seen has been done on wet days (which we used to travel on) and so my views have been of stormy seas!! But by following the route, it has made these travel days a bit more exciting that just driving along boring roads!

I have had a lovely week away and I would quite like to return to Ireland again – hopefully next time, I will be fit enough to climb some mountains!! This kind of travel experience has been a bit of an eye-opener in the sense that we haven’t really pre-booked anywhere and we have relied on hostels being fairly quiet this time of the year; this has been great because it has meant that if we haven’t liked somewhere, we have been able to move on without fighting for our money back. It has also meant that we have been able to alter our plans as the weather has changed or our agenda has changed. It’s certainly been a more laid-back approach to holidaying than I have experienced before!