ellenscult: (glima)
I had my assessment today for PIP (Personal Independence Payment, replaces Disability Living Allowance). A very nice psychiatric nurse came out to my house and went through a long questionnaire. So, fingers crossed. I'd really like to be accepted for PIP - it's not a huge sum of money, but it'd mean that maybe every once in a while I could afford to go for a massage to sort out my neck and shoulders, or pay someone to cut the hedge or come and hoover for me. I could take the car to a car wash. Little things that'd make a huge difference. Mind you, I'd like more to be able to do all of those things myself - I very much resent ME for stealing away my brain and my stamina bit by bit. Gah! I miss rock climbing. I miss swimming. And yes, I could go swimming here - there are swimming pools in Antrim and in Ballymena. But what I can't do is drive to the swimming pool, get changed, go swimming, get showered and changed, then drive home.

Anyway, enough of that! As I mentioned in my last post (honestly, I had to check, I have slow brain today, I couldn't remember if I'd mentioned it or not, duh), [livejournal.com profile] palmersperry came to visit and stayed a week (the fool! You'd think he'd know better by now!) and it was lovely to see him and catch up. I have a few photos, so I'll pop them under a cut in case anyone's interested. We went round HMS Caroline, and Saturday we all went to Glenarriff and then to the Giant's Causeway. I sat in the back with the dogs and now have a lovely collection of bruises on my thighs from being kicked by Newton. Lovely! We went round Antrim Castle Grounds and Clotworthy House (Antrim Castle burned down in mysterious circumstances in the '20s. Hmmm) - they've done it up a lot in the last few years and you can go up the 12th Century motte, which is very cool.

Photos )

So there you go, a good week filled with going places and doing stuff. Today I am exhausted and my brain is slow and there's a really annoying bluebottle buzzing around the living room, which will freak Planck out when he comes back inside. I have a form to fill out. I gave up as a bad job yesterday when I made 3 stupid errors in the first 2 pages. Somehow I suspect today will be worse. Never mind, eh? Have a great week, all, and enjoy the sunshine if you've got it.
ellenscult: (funky)
New things come up and I retreat back into silence and a few bottles of wine, curling up like a curly thing. DH needs rather urgent eye surgery - stressful and scary stuff. He'll be having it done on the 8th of September iirc, and we don't know if this will be covered by Optical Express or if we'll have to pay for it. Erm.... So anyway, that reaction isn't helpful at all. I've ditched the wine and am trying meditation instead (better for my liver, waistline, head and bank account, duh). I've started up my ME diary again, keeping track of what I do and what I eat, my mood and energy levels, etc, which keeps me more aware of how I'm doing, too.

[livejournal.com profile] palmersperry is visiting for a few days; we've been round IKEA and have taken the dogs out to Tardree Forest for a (slow) walk. Later today we're off to see HMS Caroline in Belfast, and weather permitting, we'll be off to the Giants Causeway, the Glens of Antrim and Slemish over the next few days. Today I'm a bit tired and slow, though - trying to get my brain into gear and it's just not quite happening, eh. *shrug*

Hmm... Let's see, DH is at the end of week 9 of his 3-month probationary period in his new job; the dogs are doing fine; I caught up on my laundry the couple of sunny days we had, and I've cleaned out the parlour some (always more to do). I'm making time for meditation, writing and Duolinguo (Italian). I'm working on uncurling and staying out from under that rock. Oh, and I have a sneaky ninja slug in my kitchen (I think it's migrated out into the living room overnight) - I keep following the trail and then the trail vanishes and there's still no sign of the bloody thing. Gah!

Right, time for a cuppa, then a pootle down to Belfast.

Notebooks

Jul. 28th, 2016 01:47 pm
ellenscult: (funky)
I have a thing about notebooks. Whenever I see them in the shops I have to have a look over them. I don't know why - maybe I'm expecting to find one mythical, magical notebook that'll fill with writing and drawings without me having to do any work at all. The thing is, notebooks aren't just the sum of their contents (or lack thereof) - notebooks are amazing combinations of potential, emotion, place, history, community.

These are my current notebooks (I have a drawerful upstairs): Notebook Photos )
So there you go. Notebooks. A hope, a promise, a memento, a legacy. (My father-in-law has diaries going back nearly 70 years - his own stack of little notebooks.) They connect me with family and friends, with the inside of my own head, with the past, and they hold promises for the future. They also remind me that even though I cut the grass (yesterday), I still need to hoover the stairs.
ellenscult: (Stone flower)
Continuing yesterday's epic awesomeness in actually accomplishing things, after I'd posted to LJ I went and peeled and chopped veg for an hour, by the end of which I had a pan of roast veg, a casserole dish filled with diced beef and beef shin, carrots and onions slow cooking in the range, and a large bowl of coleslaw. Hurrah! I fed the dogs, let my husband feed himself when he was hungry, had a natter on the phone with my parents for the best part of an hour, and had a bottle of wine (my first in nearly 2 weeks).

Today, my plans were to do a yard pickup, refill the bird feeders and brush the dogs - Planck could do with his feathers trimming too. I've done the first two items on my list, but then friends gave us a call and came to visit for a couple of hours with their baby girl and toddler son. Hurrah! It was lovely to see them and I got to have an adult natter and a baby fix all at the same time. The dog brushing and clipping can wait til tomorrow!

The beef casserole slow-cooked for about 14 hours overnight and is extremely tender today - all of us enjoyed it, though I suspect the pups would like to enjoy more of it.

It's very quiet - Jerry's a bit under the weather and is actually in bed and asleep (I can hear faint snores though the ceiling); Dante's asleep on the sofa beside me, and Planck and Newton are flaked out on dog beds on the floor while they all wait for it to be time for their Dentastix.

I finished off the last winter-weight cowl yesterday too (done in James Brett Marble Chunky, in case anyone's interested), so I've fished out a cone of lace-weight Texere Yarns Enigma in royal blue to try making summer-weight cowls (it's Northern Ireland: trust me, they'll be needed). The first one (finished it earlier this afternoon) is probably going to be quite large, circumference-wise, so I've dropped the stitch count and the needle size. Instead of doing 4 rounds knit, 4 rounds purl, repeated twice for 24 rounds total, I'm working a simple lace pattern: rounds 1,3,5 - knit; round 2 - knit 2 together, yarn over, repeat; round 4 - yarn over, knit 2 together; rounds 6-8 - purl; repeat rounds 1-8 twice, cast off using a lace bind off. We'll see how it goes! Ill post photos tomorrow if I get these last 2 cowls blocked and dried in the afternoon.
ellenscult: (car at my head)
A Man, A Plan, A Canal... )

The state of my inbox: 68 emails.

Today's reading:
ellenscult: (writing)
Dear friends, once more...

So, still not dead... I'm in Lymington at my twin's house (she made stew which was amazingly good, including dumplings) and am on my way to Dinan, in Brittany, with [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas, Sue and India, and the new (to me) car. In case anyone's interested, I have: sewed by hand a medieval dress and hood, knitted 3 pairs of socks, written an 18,000 word Stargate: SG1 story and failed to cut my grass. I've also proofread a few books, not been fired for my terrible sick record, and driven around 900 miles. I miss not being on LJ, not seeing you guys, not keeping in touch, however peripherally, and I hope to be back properly in a couple of weeks when I'm home and have internet access.

Btw, the original series of Star Trek is a lot better than I remember, a lot more complex, and the remastered box set is definitely worth it.

So, stay well, stay safe, and I'll catch up with you soon.
ellenscult: (bad day)
Fire, flood and transportation... )
ellenscult: (fist of doom)
Bit of an update... )

A plug: if you're after anything in classical or jazz music, please consider ordering through/purchasing from the Lamb CD shop on Micklegate in York. It's an independent music shop, it's struggling to stay in business, and it used to be one of the largest classical and jazz music shops in the country. If you're after a specific recording, even if it's been deleted, chances are they may have it, and it'll be available at its usual cd price rather than the 'it's deleted so we'll hike the price up to 60 quid' which Amazon have a habit of charging.

Another plug: if you have a special event coming up, need decorations for cakes or buns, consider ordering them from Anita's Sugarcraft. Anita makes all the decorations by hand, to order. She's a friend, and she's very talented.

Last plug: if you're in need of any games, dice, rpg stuff, go visit Jorvik Games. It's run by a couple of friends of mine, who will post stuff out to you, arrange to meet up with you to hand things over, or even hand-deliver items (in York, that is).

Keep the economy going! Go forth and buy stuff!
ellenscult: (funky)
On Saturday, I got to see my godson, his shiny new sister and his parents on Saturday, which was ace, even if all the frogs and frogspawn seem mysteriously to have vanished from the pond. On Sunday, I met up with my older sister and her mum and step-dad over at Lotherton Hall and got to go round the bird garden and see an Andean condor, a hornbill and some rheas, among many other birds, then went home and played D&D. And yesterday I couldn't get my brain into gear at all, spent an out-of-focus day on the sofa with some SG-1 fanfic, and in the evening, cut for being a bit depressing )

I didn't sleep well over the long weekend, least of all last night. I'm tired and I'm shaky and I'm going to be out of touch for a while, in all probability. Hopefully I'll get my batteries charged this week and be back in the saddle again soon.
ellenscult: (awesome)
I went to see Waiting For Godot this afternoon, along with [livejournal.com profile] kissmeforlonger, [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas, [livejournal.com profile] alasdair1076, Kate and my mum. Also in the audience, [livejournal.com profile] o_faolain and Claire.

The cast:

Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Simon Callow, Ronald Pickup.

Holy crap, that was a good performance! To those of you who didn't want to come see it because Waiting For Godot is Just Too Depressing, this was the least depressing version I've ever seen. There was a lot of comedy, a lot of laughter. Even, dare I say it, hope.

It's left my head in an odd place, though, and when I came out of the theatre, I was so myopic I didn't even spot [livejournal.com profile] o_faolain standing all of 3 feet away. So sorry! *hugs* It took a pot full of jasmine tea and a plate of chicken fried rice at Heihei just down the hill (and incidentally a conversation about which films would or wouldn't be improved by the addition of a giant squid - the oddest, possibly Ghandi. Or Zulu...) before my head had settled down a bit.

Newcastle isn't that far away, but given a 180-mile round trip, all I'm good for now is the sofa, some wine, and possibly Castle. Or Dollhouse. It's a beautiful evening, and this has been another amazing theatre performance to remember and tell my kids about. Or my twin's kids, if she has them. Or just random people on the bus when I'm a crazy old lady. But still. I should go. But I can't go. Why can't I go? I'm waiting for Godot. :)
ellenscult: (travel)
My friend Sue, who lives and works over in Leeds, has a 12-year-old daughter who attends the Steiner School here in York. Her partner's car failed its MOT and so she has no way of getting her daughter into York for the next 3 weeks. This week, India is staying with friends over here, but next week and the week after are still unsorted. Does anyone know someone commuting from Leeds to York (either by car or by train) who would be willing to escort India to school and back? Or does anyone have a spare room here in York that Sue and India could stay in for a night or two? In the interests of full disclosure, India has Asperger's and absence epilepsy. She's very high-functioning in the former (reminds me a lot of most of the ex-Freaksoc crowd, to be honest) and has medication for the latter.
ellenscult: (Kipper)
This are yet another 'Aten't Ded Yet!' post, brought to you from my busybusy workdesk... *grin* From which you may surmise that I'm skiving and really should get back to doing some work.

The CFS/ME, life, work, yada yada stuff: )

Right! I probably had a bunch of other things to blog about... Birthdays!

Many happy returns of the day to [livejournal.com profile] evieb, [livejournal.com profile] gaxx and Miss India!



Mazel Tov to [livejournal.com profile] vin_petrol, [livejournal.com profile] trash_petrol and [livejournal.com profile] evie_petrol on the latest addition to their family!



Plugs:
Hub - Europe's largest weekly SF, F & Horror ezine. Fiction! Articles! Free!
Pseudopod - the world's largest horror podcast. Also free!
Kiva Loans - changing the world one loan at a time.
ellenscult: (dressmaking)
For those of you who feel you lack enough angst in your life, this is superb. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] alasdair1076 for passing the link along!

Another link: [livejournal.com profile] o_faolain points out something rather important for those of you who enjoy listening to live music. If you don't want to see live music disappear, go and read, then follow his link to sign the petition.

Weekend update... )

Right, enough of this lj malarkey! It's time to force-quite WinZip Pro and try again to update that pesky zip archive for work...

Oh, but before I go, I have started a new knitting project - a cashmere lace shawl... More about that later. *beam*
ellenscult: (rock)
If I'm a bit quiet on LJ right now, it's not that I've decided you all smell, no, I'm just a bit busy right now. Nothing too interesting - just work, housework, etc.

The past few days... )
ellenscult: (Casey)
Has been quite busy after all. Let me tell you. No, there is too much. Let me sum up... )
ellenscult: (bunk)
(It's a quotation...)

There was a week in there somewhere... I'm still not back up to speed. Wednesday in particular was a day of staring into space. But hey, I was in work Thursday and Friday and actually got productive stuff done, so yanno, that's all good. And I was in bed (and heading to sleep) by 9.30. And still tired in the day. Ho hum.

Friday evening was [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas's work Xmas do. He'd spent all day trying to fix a very important server, was coming down with a cold, and had reached the very end of his patience for anything. So of course the trip into town took as long to drive as it would have to walk, thanks to an M&S van backing up traffic on the Stonebow, stupid drivers, a full carpark, parking across the other side of town and having to walk back down Micklegate and through town in the rain with all the usual Friday night idiots around. We got to the Merchant Adventurer's Hall around half an hour after the meal was supposed to start - people were actually just going upstairs to sit down. And there weren't enough places. At which point [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas had Had Enough. So we went home instead and changed into more comfortable clothes and had takeout and that was a much better evening.

Yesterday was lunch at VJs followed by some cello practise followed by an evening with Steve & Lesley (wanolj), which was filled with much nattering and some Little Big Planet (v. cool! with extra added Henry VIII! and Stephen Fry!) and SingStar (which I can't resist). It's like throwing gasoline on a flame.

Today was a very late start - got up at 11:45 - and a bit of cello practise and couple of hours seeing lots of big and little and brand new people over at [livejournal.com profile] clotilde and [livejournal.com profile] smorgasbord's and playing the cello piece I'd been practising. Which didn't go too badly. :) Then I ran away (sorry, just too tired), came home, and am curled up on the sofa playing with Garage Band, attempting to put in the piano accompaniment to the cello piece. So maybe I can play along with it. Nowhere near as good as actually having someone accompany me, but better than nothing. :)

Next week I'm off work (hurrah!) and I'm hoping to get over this bout of tired, do some writing, clear out Hub and Pseudopod's slushpiles, finish knitting 2 shawls and do some shopping for Christmas presents for people. It's also (iirc) the start of the Ikea sale, and I'll be heading over to pick up the shelving I need for the living room, so if anyone fancies flexing their diy muscles, practising their flatpack skills, I'm more than happy for you to come round. I can provide tea. And if you give me warning, biscuits and pizza and suchlike.

And we've just watched The Princess Bride. Which is Still Awesome. Yay!
ellenscult: (marker)
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Why yes, I'm still Yorkshire through and through. But I have so much to give thanks for. So. Another post brought to you by SoppyMare Inc. )

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