purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I had fabulous dim sum with [livejournal.com profile] fjm and all, and next day travelled down to Maidstone. I prefer camping with fewer than 4500 people, especially when the majority are teenagers - but much fun and relaxation and thought-provokation was had: I've made lots of new friends, some of whom I might even meet again IRL. I spoke bad French to three Senegalese, and mostly understood their fluent French replies; and learned to say "one hundred and thirty pancakes" in Finnish (I promptly forgot it, of course); and spent 2 hours lifting up and down a huge, fiendishly complex marble run made of plastic water pipes (a metaphor for international aid for water and sanitation); and watched lots of amazing solar-powered movies; and had a 'hot date' watching Latin American bands and dancing, and swore at a drunk parent who turned on 'Parklife' at 03:30; and walked miles to the nearest payphone (1 hour round trip, partly through woods, most days); and. and ... :-)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Almost ready to head to Dorset with Mater and N's family!

I will hand over my completed project results tomorrow. They've invited me out to lunch, as the office is saying farewell to their adminstrator tomorrow too.

I worked hard to day, including a sadly abortive attempt to get a few more people surveyed at the eleventh hour. A little too much walking, hence tired, particularly in the knee. But nothing that will slow my recovery - just a side-effect of my odd peg-leg gait.

Mater rang this evening, also tired, but rather cheerful. She's still reading, and went for a walk with the physio - things she'd have been incapable of even 6 weeks ago.

And G's home ... time to ask for supper to be cooked whilst I rest (oo, I am evil!)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
We have recently regained posession of our aikido mats. They were illicitly 'impounded' by the managers of the building where we used to have our dojo (and we have the court judgement to prove it). Apparently, the mats had been in constant use for the 8 months of their 'imprisonment', but the cleaning ... less constant.

Instead of weapons training this morning, we had mat cleaning.

I cleaned three mats in 1.5 hours. I treated it a little like a bokken exercise - straight back, push up and down with the thighs, bending the knees, long straight motions with the arms ... I'm still shattered :-) And there's still 6 mats left over. And the mats were only 'nearly' clean at the end...

I forsee 'slobbing in front of Dr Who and the Cybermen' in my near future ... and then, a hot bath with G :-)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Mater is On! for holiday leave from hospital at the end of May :-) She's continuing to make steady progress. Unfortunately, she's still going to need 'extra care' accommodation when she first leaves hospital, which is going to be a slow process even though she went on the waiting list in February :-( Righteous frustration: I've made more progress in finding out the score on the 'extra care' in the past 24 hours than anyone else had managed in a month - the key worker is off sick, and the system falls apart :-( Worse still, we're going to have to raise a beggar of a fuss to get Mater 'prioritized' because her homeless status isn't automatically taken into account - pity the sods without a PITA like me on their side :-(((

But still - sun! Ice cream and permaculture gardens at lunchtime! Weekend! Holiday! Mater improving! :-)

PS Anyone here who knows Jez, but doesn't know about the Jez 90th?
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I had a productive meeting with a key bod in the interesting paying project, did lots of cycling and sitting in the sun, had a strawberry iced tofu thing, chilled whilst my therapist missed my second appointment, read some of Fowlers Modern English Usage (revised) over chickpeas, and ... aikidoed! Also, had my ear fried 'by proxy' about BT but found out that [livejournal.com profile] maryf and [livejournal.com profile] caomhinmaca have finally made it legal - selling their flat, that is ;-)

Now, Tigron go Snoo! Well, after a little light partner telephonage ;-) Tomorrow - meeting about Mater re-emerging into The Real World (TM).
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Managed to climb out of the 'knotty issues' hole long enough to enjoy cycling around in the sun (wearing bubble-gum pink with multicolour-flowery cycle shorts ;-) I cheered myself up some more with a new bell for my bike, a proper big silver one like this ), which is much louder than my old one.

I also submitted an interim invoice for UKP 266.10 for my project, dead-headed some dandelions in the garden, Boofed the Flooger and Wong!ed the Wong! around the garden (one at a time), took some vermicomposted green waste to N's, and went to the allotment.

We're terribly behind with the allotment - the winter lasted until April, N's ankle got twisted in March, I've been ill etc. But the rhubarb is burgeoning, so it's Rhubarb Smooge for the weekend (known to some as crumble :-) I 'earthed' up our no-dig potatoes with shredded paper weighted with nearly-silage, and rapidly gave most of the dandelions and some of the docks, headaches (the tap roots will re-sprout).

And dinner was home-made chickpea couscous from the freezer - yum! I want to make lettuce soup, but I'm Too Snoo :-)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Having a good holiday with G - we found a good new Thai restaurant, with a reasonable vegetarian selection, yesterday.

Today, Mater's closest cousins are hopefully visiting to take her to lunch, then I have this research project interview in the afternoon, and dinner with N&S at the new Thai place this evening.

I will miss seeing many of you at Eastercon, but I'm happy and excited about things going on locally, too.
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
G & I have spent a happy spring day on the Severn Valley Railway. There are real ale pubs in both terminus stations, multitudinous primroses along the line, and Bridgnorth is a very picturesque town. We're going to buy a years membership if the SVR can work out what they mean by 'Family' membership for UKP22 (they also do 'Husband and Wife' memberships for UKP19), as you only pay 25% fare then.

Anyone fancy visiting for a go, we have spare beds, and direct trains to the head of the Steam line :-) There seem to be pubs and other attractions at most of the other stations, too, and Bridgnorth is only 8 miles from Ironbridge (the cradle of the Industrial revolution).
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Yesterday, we had a tasty lunch-n-pint at a local canal-side pub, then walked through the countryside for a few miles. It was sunny and comfortable. This morning, N & I gardened for an hour or three, and it was sunny and comfortable.

The forecast sleet and snow arrived this afternoon. Neat, eh?

My first allotment trip of the season, and I cycled on my folder too! I sowed "Red Epicure" (red, commercial seed) and "Crimson Flowered" (green, saved seed) broad beans, on opposite sides of our allotment (we hope to save seed of both). Our half-bed of "Aquadulce" (green, saved seed) hardy broad beens have over-wintered moderately well, but with the weather still unseasonably cold, we didn't wish to risk our rarer, more tender varieties too early. I look forward to a tasting in the early summer!

I also harvested self-seeded leeks. We're going to have stuffed mushrooms (from the Farmers Market) for dinner, and the leeks will be delicious in the stuffing.

The weather looks better tomorrow. G is on holiday - we're planning a gastro-beer-steam-walk day out along the Severn Valley Railway tomorrow.

Whoosh!

Apr. 6th, 2006 04:47 pm
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Woke up too early, but I had Wong!, Boof! and G to cuddle. Finished making an Farmers Market apple and neighbours garden (frozen) blackberry crumble (low sugar, vegan) crumble - G's favourite breakfast! :-)

Oxfam all day - working on databases of local councils, and celebrities, to contact about the International Arms Trade Treaty campaign (http://www.controlarms.org/). But I only spent about 3 hours in front of computers, because I was helping to organise a Fairtrade meeting tomorrow too - so interesting conversations with the speaker, the Co-op bod who donated chocolate and supplied local Fairtrade T-shirts, and the Friends Meeting House cat :-)

Was about to set out to N's to garden, but I've got a possible job application to research - for a well known nature charity, wanting about 10 days effort over the next few weeks to help finish some research on sustainable communities. Sounds ideal! and shows that my 'bush telegraph' is getting into gear :-)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
A friend is in hospital after being seriously injured on a cycle by a hit-and-run car driver. But the prognosis is good.

I've spent much of the day thinking about how 'Business as Unusual' can make money by tackling climate change.

The 'central' Farmers Market seems to be in a long decline - or perhaps it's just the post-New Year pre-Easter slump?

I took kitties around the garden on strings! I gardened! My strawberry plants have doubled (runners), and I've sowed seeds of chives and Welsh onions (outdoors) and basil (indoors).

Any hints on keeping down 'annoying little flying things' on indoor plants, gratefully received. My mind is immediately throwing up Tagetes, but I'm not sure these are aphids - what about 'fruit flies'?

Our Flooger is calling in frustration at the lack of his favourite dry cat food (always put out at night). Our Wong! has already decided it's bed time. As with Bagpuss... but I'm not fluishly shattered today. Yay!

Tomorrow: Oxfam, allotment, dinner with S&N&G.

A Good Day

Apr. 3rd, 2006 06:51 pm
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I still feel tired, but brain and body function has returned ;-)

D's at a conference this week, and had a few hours before catching the train. So we walked beside canals in cool sunlight in the late morning, and had lunch at the local veggie organic cafe. Then D caught a train, and I did some more gentle work on www.controlarms.org in the local Oxfam office for a few hours. And Mater sounded a little brighter on the phone this evening.

Good for my spirit all round.

G and I having home-made vegetable sauce with quinoa pasta and another episode of Stargate SG1 tonight.

Many thanks to everyone who's helped to make today good :-)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I spent almost the entire day in bed, feeling wiped out by fluishness, and just about reading about Marcus Didius Falco (finished Poseiden's Gold - N has the entire run ;-) Today, I feel ... achy, sore, tired ... if we get some good sun I will try a gentle turn around the block.

My illness meant that my brother J took Mater out on his own. They both coped much better than he expected, and it sounds like Mater had a little food and enjoyment (a good change). Good proof-of-concept for sons caring for mothers, too...

D was a mighty hunter: finding the quarterly French market, D preyed upon crystalized fruits, real Turkish Delight and other prizes.

In other news, G, D & I have all changed significantly compared to the photographs in our 8+ year old UK passports and so will be renewing them immediately - you might also want to 'beat the rush' ...
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Bruvvas)
Kitty cuties )

It appears that my immune system wasn't just pling!ing on stress, as I awoke with definite influenza. So today, I sag.

Mun-dy

Mar. 27th, 2006 09:43 am
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
The kittens don't like Hills m/d and are therefore extra grouchy about the reduced rations. They don't realise that working off their frustrations by energetically playing Chase! is perfectly in line with The Evil Vet's Plan [FX: bwh-ha-ha]. A shame that I just heard someone hiss :-(

My immune system is banging away at something - the lymph nodes at my throat feel almost 'mumpy', and those under my arms, like buboes :-( The doctor thinks it's the stress (I also have an autoimmune condition). So I'm mostly confined to barracks today (and by the heavy rain).

Upsides: It's spring!; I have a chickpea cooking project (the search for perfect hummous continues, and I need outstanding chana daal recipes?); I have lots of online volunteer noodling to do; I have Skype (do you?)'; I have kittens; and I've had no more emergency phone-calls from the hospital (yet).

Free time!

Mar. 26th, 2006 10:01 am
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Hope you can be with loved ones you love today...

Rains stops play on armouring, so our planned visit to M&E in the Marches has been postponed. We have a whole rainy day for indoor play instead! Aside from reindeers*, this outdoor girl's at a loss for what's good indoors around here on a Sunday... sincere suggestions solicited.

In other news, managed to go out for lunch with Mater yesterday, w00t! Also, good haul at the Farmer's Market, including sundried tomatoes, garlic stuffed olives, spicy hummous, marinated mushrooms and olive bread for the boys to have for lunch, numerous varieties of locally grown apples and pears for the week, kick-arse Caribbean-style spice lemon and lime pickle, a ostrich burger for D's brunch and locally made chocolates for Mater for Mothering Sunday - including a Black Mountain Liquer chocolate.

Very pleasant evening cooking and eating curry with N&S. Vintage mead is like aromatic sherry. I would like to find a method for making sweet fermented rice :-0

* that's rude, for anyone who doesn't get the in-joke...</small.
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Two days of sun, and now grey and rain again.

Yesterday: I told my school mentor the bad news about my health, but otherwise avoided the whole PGCE issue. I got quality garden time with the cats, and admired four purple crocuses basking in the sun. I got wind of two potentially interesting part-time NGO jobs 'on the grapevine'. And I chaired a volunteer group meeting without hitting anyone :-)

I cycled into the Big Smoke and back without any lung pain!!! But I didn't get home until nearly 22:00, which is Very Late to be Doing Exercise, and I paid for it with a restless night. Still ... hoorah!
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
My doctor tells me that my bronchitis is cleared - Yay! Cycling! Aikido! - but he doesn't want me back in school until my other problems are treated. My PGCE is now in jeopardy, unless I can defer my final teaching practice until September :-S

I went out afterward, to clear my head: met up with some Friends of the Earth friends to chat to people in Niceville about tax and climate change. The sun was beautiful, and the staged displays of snowy white crocuses, and pansies of custard yellow and blackberry purple were still lovely.

Later, I submitted the paperwork to register my enduring power of attorney with my mother's bank :-( IMHO everyone should grant someone enduring power of attorney... must sort that out for G, D and I.

So, my plan for the summer is to combine treatment with voluntary work (I already have three invitations!), or even a paid part-time position of some kind. I'm going to see if the job centre has anything suitable - I shall be bold, targetted, and networking :-)

Read more... )

Funday

Mar. 19th, 2006 09:03 am
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Apparently, I'm about to drive myself into the ground. Metaphorically. But quite effectively.

Mater is still in hospital, and worse. She may not be well enough to come out with my brother and I for lunch today. On Tuesday morning, we're meeting to discuss yet more treatment options.

I may need to put my PGCE on hold once again - I have until at least Feb 2007, which means one final chance to complete my teaching practice in the Autumn.

In that case, I need to plan carefully how I will spend the Summer. Constructive suggestions below. Please!

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