(no subject)

Every two months we take Shirley to the eye hospital, she has macular degeneration and has had injections into her left eye as she had a wet bleed. This stabalised her eye sight in that eye, she is almost blind the other one. As both Shirley and I are wheelchair users I spend my time - yesterday was the shortest visit at just over an hour - sat in the car reading and Tony takes his mother in. They do a reading test, put drops in and take a scan and from there decide whether she needs an injection or not. There was talk at the end of last winter of discharging her to a specialist optician.

They have offered an operation on her right eye - it's a relatively new op - and cataract treatment for her left. I sat with her and went through it all yesterday morning, but after explaining it all to her, she then asked what we were talking about. Even if she could read the paper, she wouldn't understand it, so we don't think she should go through the hassle. Though they are going to do some sort of laser treatment in the next month or so. By the time we get there she is usually feeling sick, is it worth it?

(no subject)

I seem to be getting into the frame of mind where eating low carb feels easy. I can't do it if I feel as though I'm denying myself stuff and am on the dreaded diet. I've been dieting on and off for over 40 years and have only once (in 2012) managed to get under obese. My whole family are either fat or working hard to not be. None of my Grist relatives are overweight.

Being a member of Amazon prime now gives access to lots of 'free' music and I've been listening to some very old stuff - Puff the Magic Dragon - being the type of music I mean - the stuff you wouldn't pay for, but...

Driving along in my automobile

For a long time now I've tried to drive economically - no heavy accelerating, using the cruise control and keeping an eye on my average miles per gallon. This August I took delivery of my new Motability car which is an SUV with a 2 litre engine and is a petrol/electricity hybrid. I wouldn't have been able to choose this had the government not been giving a £5000 cashback on all hybrid vehicles.

I find I'm driving it quite differently as it has a different set of ideals for economical driving. Where using cruise control saves 5% on fuel with diesel or petrol engines, with this it doesn't as I need to keep the gas pedal steady (as much as possible) rather than let the engine take over. If I put it on 'save' then it will use the petrol engine to go up hill and if I brake or go down hill it will charge the battery. Once the battery is fairly low I put it on charge when we are climbing long hills and then back to save for the downhills.

I'm used to 57 or there abouts being the most economical speed, but as this has a 2 litre engine it prefers to go a bit faster and I'm finding that 63 is about right. It is lovely to handle in town and at 30 mph the electric engine is wonderful. It's the first automatic car I've had where there is park, reverse, neutral and drive - before I've always had 1,2,3, drive, neutral and reverse. It also has a maximum speed control where I can set it for 30 mph - the town speed limit - and I could accelerate all I wanted but it won't go over 30. Not that I use it for that I'm getting used to what it feels like at 30.

I'm always pressing Eco - if you want warm air and the windows de-misted it has to use the petrol engine as the battery doesn't generate heat - save - don't use the battery for fast driving - charge - top up the battery when going up hill - and normal for driving in the neighbourhood where there is more than enough battery to get us to and from the local town and doctors. I'm still learning my way with it, but it's fun too.

R & R

Since we came back from Herefordshire I've been exhausted and spent most of my time sitting on the bed - dozing in comfort - with a cat on my legs. Today is the first one that I've felt like I could possibly do 'something', and the weather is cold and wet - with snow first thing - so we cancelled plans to go and look at an anglo-saxon church and just stayed home.

~The trip away was worth it though. It is always a case of decided whether doing something is worth the time of having to rest and 'get over' it. I've told my mum that we will see her in December, but it means at least one night in a hotel on the way up to Oldham and one coming back, all to see her for a day, and then probably 5 days getting over it. Is it worth it - and the expense of petrol and hotels. Perhaps I should skype her instead.

It's not as though I'm that keen to go to Manchester - and if we are going then there are people I'd rather see - my godmother, for example, who is 2 years older than my mum (mum is 86) and has had a bad year health wise. Having had 2 mastectomies in the last 7 years and bounced back, this year she had both a duodenal ulcer and blood clots on both lungs.

It is very rare that I feel cold - especially in the house - but today I've been wearing (on and off) a jumper or a fleece. I think the hot/sweating thing is one of my tablets, Cymbalta, I know makes my fingers and toes go blue, but don't know which one affects my body temperature.

Savoury Cream Tea

When we were in Herefordshire, for my lunch one of the days, I had a savoury cream tea. I love a good cream tea - it usually consists of a sweet scone, strawberry jam and clotted cream. This was a savoury scone, onion marmalade and cream cheese. It was enjoyable, but needed a stronger cheese.

It could catch on.

There were Roses

The song below written by the singer Tommy Sands was written about 'the troubles' in Northern Ireland, but I think it suits the world as it is now.

And thinking about people wanting all the Muslims to stand up and say 'I don't support terrorism', we should remember the many, many people in Britain and USA who gladly gave money to support the IRA - and others who supported the opposition UDR


I'm arguing on the Independant site about the attacks in Paris. I'm trying to bring, as I think, a little sanity. I agree with one poster who thinks that we should remove the name 'Islamist' from the terrorists name, as what they are doing isn't any form of Islam.

I, a little tongue in cheek, also said that Christianity started the religious wars between Christianity and Islam with the crusades, and have been called an uneducated idiot as I should have known they started invading us once their religion was 'invented'. I know that 'There are references to Islamic scholars in the prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1386) (http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/history/uk_1.shtml#h1), which is nearly 300 years after the first crusade, but can anyone give me an earlier reference? please

Daily Postings?

I would like to try and write a post everyday - rather than every few years. I don't want to be continually bitching about my blood relatives, which would be easy to do, so I'm going to have to do some thinking.

(no subject)

I've not posted for a long, long time.  

I've managed to lose 20 kilos (40+ lbs) in the last 8 months.  This is after getting rid of my smaller clothes because I thought I'd never lose weight again and was happy to just maintain my weight and be careful not to put any on.  It's helped my mobility a little - I stand straighter, but I don't have much more energy because of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

So what happened?

Early 2011 my doctor gave me a different anti-depressant for my fibromyalgia.  I had been on one which affected my Seratonin uptake, but this one (Cymbalta) affected another neurotransmitter as well.  The effect was amazing.  The fibro fog lifted, and for the first time in a couple of years I could think, a little, for myself.  At the same time the doctor told me that my blood sugar control was in danger of running away and he would give me a couple of months to see if I could sort it out and if not he'd put me on another tablet.

This led me to researching type 2 diabetes, in a way that I hadn't researched anything for a while.  I 'discovered' something that I'd known for 30+ years - carbohydrates turn to glucose when digested.  I decided that I would cut back on carbohydrate.  Continuing to read around the subject I also came off my statins - to begin with without my doctor's agreement, but after looking at his patients' ratio of cholesterol to age, he is now happy with me.  I read http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/ and William Banting's "Letter on Corpulance",  which led me to other sites and so on.

My blood sugar came down - and surprisingly enough - so did my weight.  I gave up: bread, rice, potatoes, root vegetables, pasta and flour.  I've been amazed - I've gone from someone who could eat an enormous meal and feel hungry - although knowing I couldn't be - within half an hour of it; to someone who rarely feels very hungry and I find my meals satisfying and enjoyable.  The thing with dieting, for me at least, was always the ratio of hunger to weight loss.  

I don't struggle to stay low carb.  But this weekend we were away in York.  I decided that it would be easier - and more enjoyable - to have a couple of days eating the same as Tony and Ruth.  It was a mistake.  Not only did I put on 3 kilos - 1 thankfully gone already - but I felt ill.  I used to have stomach ache all the time and reflux/heartburn at night.  It's only getting them back that made me realise that I've not had either since I went low carb.  I've learnt my lesson - I still have more weight to lose - my blood sugar is at 'non-diabetic'  levels - and my health has improved - so low carb it is from now on.

My doctor was really pleased last time I went as I am now Overweight rather than Obese - probably for the first time since I was about 5 years old.  I actually weigh less than I did in 1976 .  So - onwards and downwards.

I eat 60% fat, 25% protein and 15% carbohydrates approx.

Breakfast - often peanut butter - about 100 grams (4 oz).  Or cheese and cooked meats

Lunch -      meat/poultry/fish/eggs/cheese  & green veg or cauliflower cheese or bacon and eggs. + an apple

Evening -    Prune protein drink made with whey powder or an omelette or prunes and nuts.

I'm a prune addict.  I get through lots of them.

If I'm hungry I eat almonds or Brazil nuts.  I try to drink about 2 litres of fluid - mainly water.

  • Current Mood
    optimistic optimistic

Open University Course

I've decided that I'm well enough to do one final course and convert my BA to a BA honours degree.

So far I've done Math Foundation, Second Level Pure Maths, Approaching Literature and From Enlightment to Romanticism and Third Level Shakespeare: Text and Performance.  I also tried to do a third level course in 20th Century Art, but I wasn't up to it and also the tutor was an exam pusher instead of someone who wanted you to know more about the subject.

This time I could have bitten off more than I can chew - but there again I started with 2 GCE O levels (Cookery and English Language) and CSE grade 1 maths and grade 3 literature and had never done any Shakespeare until I did the OU course.  I'm doing EA300 Children's Literature.  This as a 57 year old - a long way from childhood - who has never had much to do with children - or been a teacher.

I've read the set books:

McGough, R (ed)      100 Best Poems for Children        
Naidoo, B      The Other Side of Truth      - not too bad
Pearce, P       Tom's Midnight Garden      - hard work
Potter, B         The Tale of Peter Rabbit    - okay
Pullman, P     *Northern Lights                 - jury's still out - I've bought the other 2 parts
Ransome, A  Swallows and Amazons    - hated it 
Reeve, P        **Mortal Engines                 - again jury's still out - I've bought the other 2 parts
Rowling, J K  *Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - have read it time and time again, since it came out.
Stevenson, R L         Treasure Island  -  read it recently and enjoyed it.

The first block is called Instruction or Delight?  We start by asking questions like:  What are children?  Adults write for children - whose view of childhood is it? What is children's literature for?  And so on.

The course actually starts tomorrow, with my first tutorial on Oct 22nd and my first assignment due on 27th October..

Wish me luck - any helpful information gratefully received.  :-))

Edited to add a couple of books that I managed to miss off:

Alcott, L M      Little Women    - so honestly moral - even the characters ask for another 'Moral tale please Mawmee'
Browne, A      Voices in the Park   - Got Marry Poppins flying through the air so it can't be all bad
Burgess, M    Junk                - hmmm, good, bad and moving.
Gavin, J          **Coram Boy  - Too much of a Mills & Bonn/Cartland for my liking.  Not gritty enough.

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    thoughtful thoughtful