ellenscult: (perky)
After talking with my counsellor on Tuesday, I popped into the Antrim Forum to see what classes they had, and on Wednesday morning I went to Pilates for the first time ever. Ahahahaha! It is brutal! In a very non-brutal way, but today my everything aches. When I think about all the sword fighting, glima, rock climbing, cycling, swimming etc I've done and how very unfit and unbendy I am now, the comparison makes me feel, well, unfit and unbendy. Gah! So yeah, I'll go back next week, provided I'm not a) dead or dismembered or b) having a bad ME day. Fingers crossed, eh?

I'm feeling quite chipper at the moment: financially, things aren't entirely dire (hurrah); DH is coming up on the end of week 11 of his new job (but eye surgery next week, eep); I haven't had to take Planck to the vets for a few weeks (but I need to get him another hip x-ray, his bad hip is getting worse); the other dogs are fit and well (touch wood); family is all okay (to the best of my knowledge, and my nephew starts school a week on Friday, wow); I've even hoovered the house. Well, downstairs, and I hoovered upstairs at the end of last week, so it's still okay for now.

So yeah, no major disasters! Have some crafty photos instead:

Photos )

Also a book recommendation, also from my wonderful counsellor: Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey E. Young, PhD., and Janet S. Klosko, PhD. So yeah, I'll be getting that. Oh, and I read Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, which is a fantastic read - hugely informative, sometimes difficult, sometimes hugely entertaining, but always very thought-provoking. I think my favourite bit, for reasons which will be blatantly obvious to anyone who knows me personally and to anyone who's read anything else at all in this blog, is this, about the expanded criteria for diagnosis:

A nonspeaking boy of six who rocked in a corner all day would fit the bill, as would a woman in her late twenties who reflexively averted her eyes when speaking and calmed herself while knitting while inwardly fancying herself the real-life equivalent of Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who.

Replace 'late twenties' with 'early forties', and 'Sarah Jane Smith' with 'Ace', and yeah, that's absolutely me! It made me giggle.

So yeah, that's me this week. I'm going to go back to crocheting another cute cat (making a good start on those family Christmas presents) and wait for the washing machine repairman (repairperson? probably a bloke, though) to turn up (13:00-15:00 allegedly). Have yourselves a great week and welcome to September!
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.

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: (boats)
Just a quick post to show off a few things I've made recently/am making at the mo:

Photos )
ellenscult: (perky)
As an early 40th birthday present from our amazing older sister, my twin and I, plus her Dear Husband, said Big Sis and partner, and The Marvellous Little Dan are in Chicago. We're here to visit Aunt Pauline, who is 92 and still tap dancing in her apartment's laundry room. My own Dear Husband is home with the dogs and apparently a feral kitten, although that should have been dropped off at the vet's this morning, and I miss my boys very much.

The view from my window )

I'm writing this from a very comfy bed in the apartment on the 47th floor of a building close to Miracle Mile. I can see the river and Lake Michigan from here! And you can feel the building sway in the wind! It's very very cool! Anyway, I'm still in bed because yesterday was an extremely long day which, for me, started the day before; I think I was up for over 30 hours by the time I got to go to bed, ouch! Our flights were delayed by 4 hours, and it took a good couple of hours to find each other at O'Hare, book transportation and get into the city, but thankfully none of it was actually stressful.

Also, the Whole Foods store? I'm moving into its Gluten Free aisle. Just sayin'.

Today is for recovering, resting and regaining some sense of coherence, for me at least. But mwah ha ha! Chicago! I am in you!
ellenscult: (scissors)
I've been working my way through a few projects and today's seen progress at last, hurrah! The photo below shows the scarf I'm knitting for my brother-in-law's 40th, the skein of 4-ply yarn I've spent hours plying on my drop spindle, which will soon be woven up on a small peg loom to make viking leg wraps for DH, and the under-door draught excluder I've finally sewn up for my parents-in-law. I also finished sewing silk bags for lavender sachets for my mum, patched one dog coat and extended another and put Velcro on it. Phew! So I'm tired but feeling better for working my way down my to-do list.

Clicky clicky, photo here )
ellenscult: (Vera)
I meant to type this up earlier and start the year off right by posting on the 1st, but alas, time has fled like a fleeing thing and it's after midnight. So, belatedly, happy 2015 everyone. To be fair, I've been busy, but I'm also several boards further along in Mahjong Towers, which is the crackiest crack to hit my brain so far this year. Eh.

Rambling and photos ahead, enter at your peril! )
ellenscult: (nell gwyn)
THE SALES!!!

Xmas Pud )

Nuff said.

Happy New Year, peeps.
ellenscult: (Queen of France)
This year has been very quiet; I seem to have largely lost my voice - literally, a couple of weeks ago when I came down with tonsillitis. So here's some of what I've been up to instead of writing or posting on social media or even phoning family and friends:

Knitting ahoy! )

You'll notice what's not in those photos: wrapping paper. Because I'm a bit pants, really. Also, still knitting like mad. Everyone's pressies will be late, meh. Bah humbug!

So Merry Christmas, belated Shana Tova for Hannukah, belated Happy Solstice, and Season's Greetings and big hugs to you all.
ellenscult: (perky)
I took a day off from posting on Sunday, largely because I was very tired and mostly slept. I meant to start up posting again yesterday, but I looked at the clock and it had reached 1am, so I decided to post later on (i.e. now) and went to bed instead. And I forgot to put the bin out. Eh, meh, never mind. We should be all right for the next two weeks until the next general waste collection... *crosses fingers*

Dan has his parcel - he loves his copy of Where's My Tractor? and his Superman t-shirt. Hurrah! My twin wants me to put it into e-book format and stick it up on Amazon. Alas, some of the photos I've used in it aren't mine, and while I have permission from my twin to use her photos of Dan, I don't have permission from copyright holders to use some of the others, so I've been looking through my old photos to see if I have any that could replace those. I found a good photo of a Viking square-rigged sailboat which I took in Denmark on one of my glima course trips out there. I also indulged in an app for my iPad, the imaginatively titled Paper. It's surprisingly awesome and I've been playing around with it and to my surprise, despite my lack of anything approaching artistic skill, my drawings aren't terrible! *happy dance*

photos etc under a cut because reasons )

So at the moment, I'm thinking I'll draw the illustrations for Where's My Tractor? and if I can find my stylus, I may write the text over the pictures in Paper, then pull it all together as an e-book and pop it onto Amazon.

And that's pretty much all my news, so I'll put together tomorrow's To Do list and tootle off to bed. Night, peeps!
ellenscult: (Default)
Well, photos of my knitting... )
ellenscult: (rock)
[livejournal.com profile] ravenlas had laser eye surgery on Friday. He went to the Vision Optical (sorry!) Express clinic in Leeds and they were very good. Only... they popped in the anaesthetic drops one eye straight after the other. By the time the drop went into the other eye, it was already watering. So when they came to cut the flap, his left eye wasn't properly anaesthetised. He worried everyone in the waiting room - including myself - by saying *extremely loudly* that he was in a lot of pain. The procedure seems to have gone okay, though, and after a traumatic trip home in which the sun caused even more pain through his darkest sunglasses and closed eyes, he's doing fine. His vision's good, his eyes are healing up just fine. It's been a touch stressful, though, and predictably, I've been very tired today.

So, knitting. I've got a lot done Friday and yesterday. I bought some Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed which I thought might make a better sleeve, so now I have a sleeve done in that and one done in Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran.

photo here ) - Which do you think? Either? Neither? I'm not convinced. So not convinced that I spent today starting to knit a shopping bag instead. Meh! )

Been a bit headachey to go with the tired, but I also spent a good while soaking in the bath, and this evening we used up the huge pile of veg in a chicken stew and garlic potatoes. Yum! And Transformers is on the tv.

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] o_faolain, for the CD - I'll be putting it onto my ipod tomorrow. :)

Work tomorrow. *sigh*
ellenscult: (boats)
Quick! To the photos! )
ellenscult: (bunk)
Well, not quite - I've finally uploaded a few photos, though, so I'm putting them under a cut to save bandwidth for those who aren't interested in suchlike.

This way to the photos! )

In other news (not under a cut so people don't run into the photos if they don't want to, sorry...): my bike is in the bike shop! I took it down Sheffield with me last Wednesday and dropped it off at Decathlon for its free 3-month service, expecting them to adjust the cable tension and leave it at that. Instead, it appears to have some kind of gear problem, which I'm hoping they've either fixed or replaced the gear arm (under warranty) by tomorrow so I can pick it up again. I'm starting to feel as though I have finger-of-death for bikes... Or it could be that they use cheap derailleurs...

I went to my ME course on Friday and learned about Graded Exercise Therapy. Which is how to, when my energy scores are consistent and I'm feeling as though I'm ready to start increasing the amount of, well, anything I'm doing, increase my activity level without causing an increase in my ME symptoms. Of course, since my bike's been in the shop since Wednesday, that's meant I walked home from the train station on Wednesday evening, then back in on Thursday morning and out again, then to my course at Bootham Park Hospital on Friday morning and from there into town and home again, and into town on Saturday. I got the bus home on Saturday afternoon. (I also walked into town and back on Tuesday night to the writing group, but that was because I didn't get [livejournal.com profile] ravenlas to get me a lift because he has an ear infection, which is now clearing up nicely.) So today has been spent largely on the sofa doing little more strenuous than knitting and occasionally hanging out another load of washing on the washing line, and I am tired, and my legs are a little wobbly and I'm running just a touch of a temperature. Ho hum, so it goes. I shall go to bed shortly and should be fine in the morning.

Anyway, thanks to the ME course, I have a letter, which I took to the council offices on Friday, and I filled in a form and had my photo taken and as of in a few days time, I should have a free bus pass, enabling me to travel on the local buses and not have to pay the extortionate fares. Awesome! It'll mean I can try walking into town to the station one or two mornings a week and be able to catch the bus back, thus getting a bit more exercise but not tiring myself out. Hurrah!

So, I have handouts. I'll type them up soon and post them here for anyone who's interested. Have a great week, y'all! I'm going to duck back below the parapet again.
ellenscult: (shiny)

Wall o' Books!
Originally uploaded by ellenscult
Here's the promised photo of my amazing Wall o' Books! Those shelves are largely double and triple stacked. I need to get more shelves to put in these bookcases - the bottom sections are rather too large. Ho hum, back to Ikea it is!
ellenscult: (Work Smart)
Today I've put up 3 more shelves in the kitchen, and two in the hallway. And a curtain rail above the door. I have photos! Also, photos of the clothes I'd like to give away to good homes.

ETA: Good lord I need to clean my camera lens! Those blotches? Not on the clothes! lol

Cut for lots of photos )

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