Category: Health

Country File Live photos 2017 (by )

Country File Live was an amazing event with just so much going on - because I was working there I barely got a chance to snap things as I passed - the girls and Al also had a fab time but still felt that they had barely scratched the surface - Jean took photos on her iPad which we'll pop up in a different post. These are the snaps I took on the first day.

Snake with the reptiles and amphibian group Country File Live

This beautiful snake was part of a demonstration including handling by the Oxfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (I think!).

Blue dragonfly at Country File Live

I caught this blue dragonfly whilst taking a nap on some bails in front of the bee hive (head injury recovery means I have to take random naps but it is very surreal to conk out in public but I think it's working well).

Birds on the lake Country File Live

There was a lake with a wibbly wobbly bouncy but secure temporary bridge across it. It contained various birds and plants coming and going.

Tree face Country File Live

There were some great flower displays in the Wild Life Zone.

Metal Duck Country File Live

I love this duck - it is exactly the sort of thing I would buy Al if I had more money 🙂

Bikes and flowers in the wild life zone Country File Live

This bike display cheered me up even though it had just been bucketing it down!

tractor tractoring country file live

Tractors! I live like machines like tractors.

Ye old tractor Country File Live

I love old machines like tractors.

Vintage tractor Country File Live

Probably a good job I didn't have more time or there would have been hundred of flower and machine pics!

Old tractor Country File Live

I'm working on a series of machine colouring sheets for an event in the autumn as well to be fair - but I would have still taken all the photos regardless.

Tractor! Country File Live

I like the gubbings of machines.

Tractor bits Country File Live

I think they are pretty

Tractor parts Country File Live

These were all from a huge monster of a machine

Tractor gubbings Country File Live

Many people were taking photographs - elderly men mostly and a press officer.

Tractor swirls Country File Live

Everyone feels they need to ask me why I am taking photos of tractors or make jokes about it - this happens at car shows too.

Being a little bit batty at the Garden Stage with Oxford Mammale Group at Country File Live

We got Batty with the Oxfordshire Mammal Groups.

Foxes and Badgers with the Oxford Mammal Group at Country File Live

And met the cuddly foxes and badgers.

Oxford Mammal Group explain mice with cute cuddlies

And a squeaky little mouse 🙂

Mouse, fox and badger skulls country file live

And skulls of said animals - well actually in the photo there is a mouse skull, fox and badger.

Giant papier mache stage beetle at Country File Live

Insects also featured heavily including butterfly nets creches, many types of bees and this giant papier mache stag beetle!

Milk churn urn flower pots country file live

Milk churn flower display - this is similar to what I wanted when we lived at The Bakery though I was going to bare paint them so they didn't rust away.

Sheep sculptures at Country File Live

Sheep sculptures - love these though more from a making point of view if I am honest - I remember going to a Garden Show and seeing large metal dragons like this which I adored! If we ever get to do the Salaric Emporium idea and have a tea garden then this sort of thing will be in it (along with dinos and fairies!).

yellow water lilies on the lake Country File Live

These beautiful yellow water lilies where on the lake.

Go Wild Country File Live

Loved the giant Go Wild sing 🙂

Water plants Country File Live

Water plants on the lake - oh I probably should have mentioned that this was at Blenheim Palace.

Geese arriving on the lake at Country File Live

The geese kept landing and taking off from the lake and were pretty impressive!

Geese at Blenheim Palace Country File Live

There was plenty of garden ideas - especially those to help you have a greener more wildlife friendly garden - I like this shed but I'm pretty sure ours is falling down and couldn't take the extra strain!

A shed of flowers for the bees Country File Live

Food is a huge part of the event too - I caught sight of this fab cheese stall!

Cheese at Country File Live

And Kendal Mint Cake Laqueur!

Kendal Mint Cake Liqueur at Country File Live

And to end - more animal sculptures 🙂

Horse and deer sculptures at Country File Live

Putting Socks On (by )

The last two weeks have been amazing, wonderful and awful at the same time - as always with our bad luck field. So yesterday Al was already in pain when he took the kids to Country File Live, they all enjoyed themselves but he was tanked up on pain killers to survive the day - what ever he did it was going to be a tanked up on pain killers day.

By the time he got home he was in considerable pain and we did all the normal - hot baths and massage and his physio - but over the last year his hip has been getting alot worse again including him having to miss Krav and park runs because he can barely walk.

This morning I had to put his socks on for him - this is not the sciatica - this is his hip (which may or may not be part of the cause for the sciatica).

He's been a bit depressed about this - the amount of pain he is in is well... loads. But more than that it means going back to the Dr to talk about hip replacements - something he has desperately been trying to ward off. Just after Mary was born he was in lots of pain and the Dr told him that his options where to pay for physical manipulation to try and slow the wear on the joint down or he would def. be having the hip replacement before he was 40.

Obvs. hip replacements are not something you really want to be getting into before you are 40 so we paid knowing it might not work or would only work for a while but hopefully would get him to past his 40th birthday. The treatment was no longer avalible on the NHS though the hip replacement would be. It worked really well for a few years and made a huge difference. Initially after Mary was born we both had mobility issues which were fortunately slightly different but we would have to co-operate to change the babies bottom!

It was a bit of a nightmare time capped off with him and the baby getting pnumonia and a house move. All that aside we had been hopeful - the manipulation did wonders and for the first time that he could remember - standing still did not hurt him!

Basically up until that point his leg had been rammed up into the hip joint, compressing and wearing it out. This was left over from some child hood accident - we don't know what but the Dr was surprised he did not remember it as it was have been painful. It was possibly falling down the stairs or something.

Anyway the joint is already worn and we were just buying time. He's been doing the strengthening exercises and working on general fitness and posture which need correcting... but then about a year ago it started to occassionally pain him again and has just been getting worse and worse and of course because he was looking after me with my zillions of hospital appointments he didn't really want to say anything as it's going to be a whole ball of medical stuff for him too etc...

Well his now shuffling about increasingly with little let up, yesterday had him walking about on hills so he is quiet frankly in agony :'(

He tends not to say when things are wrong with him but he is actually really struggling at the moment - so please be nice! No one likes it when someone else has to put their socks on for them!

We Want Our Alaric Back! (by )

So yesterday Mary tried to bite me - she pulled the bite at the last minute so basically did that thing dogs do when they lay their teeth on your arm and give a warning pressure. She was in full melt down - the issue - we weren't going over the bridge on the way home. She had already pinched Jean hard enough to leave a mark and so had not had her promised ice cream.

I was pretty tired by this point I ended up giving Jean the bags and piggy backing Mary the rest of the way home after she broke down in tears. Daddy has left - I keep explaining he is coming back and she is excited he might bring her a present but in truth she just wants him back.

I've been getting worse and worse as the week has progressed with remembering what needs to be wear. I forgot PE kit and had to do a lightning dash change for Funky Thursday. Mary drew on herself in felt pen yesterday morning and again this morning. But they've been fed and kept clean and had lots of hugs and the same goes for the cats and chickens.

Once home yesterday Mary was still in melt down and threw all my paper work off the desk onto the floor and then broke her heart in sobs saying no one liked her. Someone she wants to be friends with at school doesn't want to be friends (for now) and she thought I'd hate her as she tried to bite me. I explained I love her - I said I wasn't happy with her when she tried to bite me but that I still loved her.

She settled down to sleep and wasn't too bad this morning once she worked out Daddy is coming home but both girls are frustrated with me. I couldn't even say goodbye properly this morning it kept coming out as goodnight - and speech got to the point last night where they were struggling to understand what I was saying. (This is what happens if I don't take all the breaks and things I need due to the head injury)

On the whole I think we've managed ok, last night was always going to be the most taxing part as it was the latest night with the most walking etc... And I think speech starting to go on day four is pretty awesome actually and Al left me and Jean with numbers to call if we got really stuck.

I thought the freezer was broken but it appears to be more about Jean putting her water bottle in the top and the freezer not shutting properly and I remembered that the heater in the attic is actually an aircon unit got during my pregnancy with Jean. So me and Jean sorted that out and that improved Mary's temperament no end!

We went out and watched the starlings begin to flock and that cheered us all up.

Al is currently on a plane - hoping to see him tonight!

Worried nay Petrified (by )

So I mucked up which month was which and we ended up over booked for June (we were pushing it with May!), this is over booked due to head injury recovery etc... well I am having virtigo issues and have a bitten tongue again... I need some down time but that is not really going to happen because today I have to go to the hospital by myself for physio which has whacked me out every other time leaving me exhausted and dizzy.

I've been at the hospital once or twice a week for months now and Al's work have been amazing but... but today he can't come due to meetings. Getting to the hospital is not the problem I can just walk there - it is the getting home again - it is the getting home in time for children to get out from school.

There is a planned work around, that I worked out yesterday but haven't heard back as to weather it is a go or not yet!

Then tomorrow... tomorrow is a memorial reception for one of my Undergraduate lecturers in South Ken. I am desperate to go but a) I am already so tired that I am whoozy and the tinitus is high b) there goes the money for my laptop! I may stay over and come back Thursday. I may yet bail - it leaves Alaric running Scouts with Mary in tow.

I have a meeting Wednesday morning - I am taking music and sleeping on the train - it is the only way!

The weekend we are back in Essex for a few hours and then me and the girls have to come home on the train as Al is off to the US for the worst timing - he gets back the day before my cousins wedding so me and the girls are there on the train too and I am reaching the stage of over tired where I can't read properly and I don't want to rely on my 11 yr old to read all the tickets and signs and things because that isn't fair!

I am being taken and met at the stations and hotels are already booked but it's still enough stress - it would have been stressful without head injury stuff.

So yeah feeling edgy about the whole thing.

Plus I am already making mistakes - we turned up to the school fair not realising that we had to bring our own tables - we set up on the blanket - Alaric looked after it all while I did face painting for pretty much the whole duration (4 hrs - I'd promised the neurologist I'd only do 2 hrs of such activity :/). And we sold one pair of ear rings for £1 - these are earrings I have made including the beads and for some of them the metal work too. I don't do selling for less that material costs and it urks me to sell below time cost etc... This confirmed things for me - the last few years we have sold one or two small thing at events in Cranham - the last craft fayre we actually took NOTHING so it just cost us the pitch fee and a day of our time. So I'll come to the things and spend my money on stuff for the kids and no more pitch fees. I am still doing the comic cons and zine fayres and trying out some of the inner city crafty type stalls but really I fell out of love with the craft fairs about 5 odd years ago now - they'd been in decline (for me I don't know how others were doing) for a couple of years before that and I personally need to cover more than my pitch fee and then they haven't even been doing that.

I'm good at workshops and people pay me for them and they tend to eat my weekends so there is also not really enough time for fairs and fetes either.

Plus you know I didn't enjoy Sunday - I felt a sense of acheivement over the face painting - it raises lots of money for the school and makes all the children happy - I LOVE that sort of thing and will do my damndest for that sort of thing. But the stall thing is soul destroying - the knitting and jewellery and fimo etc... represents hundreds of my hours making and creating so it always feels like a rejection when this sort of thing happens. And to be honest I don't think it would have been much better if we'd had a table.

And yes I'm in a negative funk - I've been doing events non-stop since the end of April and it's been amazing and yes there was only one or two events in a week but that is the limit! This last week was an over reach as we knew it would be - it was supposed to be fine but then a memorial and US trip and more hospital appointments got thrown in on top.

Someone asked me at the weekend what I do when I am not at events - I get up and help get the girls ready and Al out to work, then I have a little 2 hr window where I can work on the computer or intensively read - it is not really a solid 2 hours as 40 mins or screen staring is enough to plunge my poor brain over the edge so it is broken up with house work.

I do physio and rest/nap for half an hour, then I do crafter-maker-art bits until my next scheduled break of 10 mins, then I make my lunch and eat it and do more physio and go for my longer sleep which is 1-2 hrs, then I tidy up and finish off the morning jobs and have my next half hour break/nap and then I do domestic stuff until evening when I may or may not get some time with Al for us to just be and then it's bed time - sometimes I spend the evening riding my exercise bike - I like to do 10km min on it. These are actually very productive days - I get a hell of a lot done and a lot of resting but yes they are not full "working" days. And on top of that I can't do too many workshops or too long but the amount of time I am good for is increasing but it is a long slow road peppered with naps!

A key thing is that I have to loose expectation - other peoples and my own of what is "enough" work etc... that is the hardest - I hate watching people work when I am not.

Me and Mary and Park Run (by )

A few years ago now me and Alaric were at a tech and society conference/festival thing - can't really remember what it was and we came across the brand new idea of a Park Run - there was only the one of them (I think poss two) at the time. It sounded like a fantastic idea but alas none was near enough to us.

I remember wondering if I would ever be fit enough as I was on some form of walking aid at the time (can't remember if it was crutches or walking stick). Anyway they appeared in our local area and Al's been doing them on and off and then Jean and then today me and Mary went along - we did not finish but we did a whole lap of run walk run before Mary wanted to lay down. Then we were going to walk a second lap but she decided she was going to run a bit more - so we run walked half a lap before she spotted the playground and in we went to play until Al and Jean came to find us.

Jean was a bit glum as she wants her t-shirt and because she stayed with us for the first lap she also didn't finish though she did do two full laps but she refused to leave us noobs to it! Al thinks he may have a new PB. Parkruns are 5k - this was the first non-running around the block I've done since the half marathon in my teens! Literally 20 yrs ago almost perfectly I think!

I was very worried how my pelvis was going to be and how my balance and things were going to be - there was a slight issue with my gaze instability at the beginning because runners cloths are all patterned and bright and moving around but I know better how to cope with that thanks to the head injury team 🙂

Yeah we didn't finished but me and Mary can build up and there was actual tails on tail runners! Big thankyou to all the Kingsway parkrun, Gloucester.

Also I am now not getting restaurant pizza until I get round all three laps!

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