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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Squibbet's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, September 1st, 2011
11:44 pm
Hi all

After many years of illness, Marion passed away at 6.05pm on 31st August BST

At her request, her family are organising a tissue donation, after which funeral arrangements will be made and the details will be posted here for anyone wishing to attend.

over and out
Sunday, August 21st, 2011
10:50 pm
Hello readers. This is Sarah, Marion's daughter.
I realise that my mum hasn't posted to LJ for some time, but I hope that her friends are still looking out for posts, and will see this.

Marion has taken a turn for the worse, and has been at QE hospital, Birmingham since Friday 12th August. She was diagnosed with a pneumonia which, in characteristic form, she now appears to have recovered from. However, her cancer-related symptoms have worsened and she is now expected to deteriorate.
My sister and I have been sitting vigil with her and communicating with her when possible. She has continued to express her caring nature and  contagious sense of humour throughout this very difficult time.
She is due to be moved to the Primrose Hospice, Princess of Wales hospital, Bromsgrove tomorrow.

While she is frequently minimally responsive, and so may not be able to provide very much input, anyone who would like to visit her in her last few days, send a token or send their thoughts, are welcome to leave a message here or contact me on 07980 649 832 or skaerysarah (at) hotmail.com

over and out.

Thursday, June 25th, 2009
10:42 am
Click4PC warning
This is the company that failed miserably to repair my old laptop, persuaded me to buy a reconditioned machine, gave me back someone else's laptop when I asked for mine to be returned, then gave me the wrong hard drive, and have 'lost' the cover plate that keeps the hard drive in place.

Some of you will know that I like to play at writing little programs of my own using VB6 ... I'm doing one atm to load up the puzzles that I like doing so I can play them over without having to rub them out (you can always see your pencil marks, and it eventually destroys the paper!). When I test it using a small grid, it sets it up fine; when I try using the largest grid, it's very slow and bombs out due to lack of available memory. So Paul, my friendly PC Dr, just came to see if it was a memory allocation problem or if I needed more RAM installed ... it turned out to be the latter.

Now, I had extra RAM installed on the old one to accommodate BTinternet, so I wondered if that might fit. Paul opened the appropriate cover ... and the RAM isn't there!!! Click4PC have stolen it!!! Grrrrrrrrrr!!!

As it happens, it wouldn't have fitted anyway, but that's not the point. The point is ...

Anyone living in the West Midlands who is tempted to enlist the help of Click4PC - DON'T!!

And please pass this on to anyone else you know. They're based in Bromsgrove, but advertise with a freephone number.

Current Mood: furious!!
Monday, May 25th, 2009
9:41 am
To whoever suggested a rememdy for black tongue last night ...
Thankyou :)

Who are you?

Current Mood: curious
Thursday, August 21st, 2008
2:00 pm
I just found a white feather in my porch. It was a fluffy breast feather, so it probably just blew in there, but just for a moment ...

I worried that a white feather still retained its old symbolism ... and wondered who could have thought I deserved it ... :$

Current Mood: paranoid
Thursday, May 15th, 2008
9:55 am
And breathe ...
Ermmm... been busy the last couple of days.

Yoga Tuesday morning wasn't what I expected. I've done yoga 4 times before - 3 general groups and one at a private mental health clinic - and we always did a lot of floor work, lying down to clear the mind to start, then some warm-up stretching, more moves standing up (or sitting or crouching - whatever the move required), then lying down again for a guided meditation at the end. Here we all sat in armchairs for the mind-clearance, followed by a great deal of chat, then most of us stood for the stretches, which seemed to be the main exercise rather than a warm-up and were done much too quickly, then sat down again for the meditation. To be fair, the rest of the group seemed to range from large to obese and some had definite mobility problems and would probably find getting up and down extremely difficult. Also mats are available for any who want to lie down, so I'll probably do that next week. Bit nervous at being the only one though.

Lunch was also not quite what I was expecting - canned tomatoes on toast, with cake afterwards for 10p extra, where I'd kinda expected something more dinner-ish. I know this is the NHS and I guess funds are stretched, but the option of a fried/poached egg or some grated cheese on top or something would've been better. I'd hoped I'd not need to have a 'proper' meal in the evening, but no such luck. Still, I *did* manage to eat (in public) and explain to someone, after struggling to properly swallow my mouthful, that I was physically unable to carry on a conversation at the same time. And I didn't have a coughing fit - an added and unusual bonus :)

CBT was hard work, as usual, and of course, I have to make up the unfinished homework as well as doing this week's homework before next Tuesday. Part of that's a running journal which I *am* managing so far.

Craft yesterday went much better - it was enjoyable, I mostly used my own kit, I was pleased with my finished result, and got home feeling enthused. I was also very tired, and by the time I'd had a nap the enthusiasm had dissipated, but it shows promise :)

This afternoon I have a neighbour coming round to collect some crochet blankets & stuff I've made but have no use for, to sell for village hall restoration funds. And then this evening I have to call my NoPanic mentor. And I need to call the doc's for more meds, and arrange for my hedge-cutter to call, and do some ironing ... some cleaning would make the place look better and a change of bedsheets would be nice too ... :)

*sigh* I know there's supposed to be no rest for the wicked, but I've been good ... honest, I have!

Current Mood: weary
Saturday, April 12th, 2008
10:04 am
That was unexpected
When I have my morning panic attack, I find it helps to talk with someone while the diazepam kicks in, to distract my mind a bit so I'm not concentrating on my symptoms and thus feeding the fire I'm trying to put out. To accomplish this, I've taken to calling the Samaritans. They're always there, always helpful, always prepared to chat for a bit while I steady up. I know several of them now, at 2 fairly local offices, well enough that I don't have to go through all the possible causations or explain that I'm not suicidal or stuff like that ... it's more "How have you been the last few days?"

Today, on my usual number, I got a woman I've had just once before ... she asked if I'd taken my meds, I said 'Yes, about 2 minutes ago' and she said something of the order "Well, you know you're going to be alright then - I hope you have a good day." And that was it. I begged her not to leave me yet, and then suddenly thought "Sod you!" and told her not to worry, I'd call someone else. And called the other office, in floods of tears by this point. The woman I got there was lovely, and after 15 minutes or so I felt like a human being again.

I've never known anything like this before ... in fact many of them tell me "This is what we're here for." Although I've only been answered by this woman twice, I feel quite reluctant to call that office in future in case I get her again. I guess I could always pre-empt by asking "Are you V*******?", but it's certainly weakened my trust in the organisation :(

Current Mood: abandoned
Wednesday, October 12th, 2005
8:23 pm
Frog #1

And the rain's coming down in stair-rods :-(

Current Mood: wet footed
Thursday, August 4th, 2005
10:16 pm
Doing stuff
I was very busy on Monday ... went for a longish (for me) walk - 20 minutes at a steady pace up and down hills, including the shops en route, and a real good long and productive couple of sessions in the garden. Tuesday I ached. Wednesday I ached everywhere. Then the physio came Wednesday afternoon and sorted me out ... aaaaaaaaahhhh!!!

Today, I've been busy again. I finally repaired the curtain hem - the dropped section had grown from a mere couple of feet in length to 6 feet or more in the few days I'd left it undone. D'oh! And I spent another goodly spell in the garden, planting choleuses (?cholei?) and hacking back stuff that has really overdone the burgeoning thing this year. There's still a lot to do, but if I can have another couple of goes like today and Monday, I should break the back of it. If mine doesn't go first! Then there'l just be the heavy shrub-shifting bit to do ... each one may need a couple of days work, I suspect, but I'm determined to manage it myself again!

The drawback of a physically-demanding day is that I get hungry, but too weary to be bothered to get anything. Thank goodess for send-outs! Pizza Monday (leftovers Tuesday) and Chineefoo today (leftovers tomorrow). You can have too much of any one type of these though ... wonder what I'll do next time?
9:16 pm
Feline Family Relationships
The cat and kittens have had an interesting couple of days from a spectator's point of view ... with a small (!) cameo role being played by a mouse.

The kittens were relased into the rest of the house (except the kitchen) on Sunday, instead of being confined to the lounge. By Tuesday night, Freyja had become accustomed to come and go between the lounge and kitchen via the hatch, to eat in peace and go out as she wanted. She'd started to spend more time in the lounge, though she continued to keep the kittens at paw's length and to watch them very carefully.

Early Wednesday morning, shortly before dawn, I was woken by a strange rustling/crashing sound. It didn't sound particularly threatening, but I put the lamp on and looked around, sitting up but without getting out of bed. I couldn't work out what it was, but could see nothing obviously untoward and assumed it was just Freyja attacking the laundry bin or something and that she'd scarpered as soon as the light came on.

Later, at a more reasonable hour, she was jumping insistently all over me, wanting me to get up. Assuming she was very hungry this morning after playing all night, I complied, and tottered out to loo, as usual. The bathroom bin had been knocked over, and the pack of spare loo rolls was awry. This could mean only one thing - a mouse!! I carefully shifted both items, and the few other moveable things, but there was no trace. Freyja was still dashing about agitatedly, so I asked her where it had gone. She darted to side of the wardrobe by the windows and back to me, a clear request understood by both of us ... "Please shift this piece of furniture so I can get the mouse, Mum. Pleeeeease?" I told her she'd had that, and went downstairs to start the day.

She mounted guard over the wardrobe all day (the mouse was definitely there - I checked with a torch I keep handy for just such emergencies!) I went up to comiserate with her from time to time, and the kittens dutifully followed me. Gradually, they started lingering behind longer when I went back downstairs. They discovered the large, soft expanse of my bed, and experimented with climbing the headboard and jumping across to the window sill to look out on the road - all good, exciting stuff, from a kitten's viewpoint. Determined not to lose her mouse, Freyja put up with it all with great stoicism.

When I went to bed last night, the bathroom was once more in disarray, and Freyja was lying down in the middle of it. Guessing the mouse had finally come out and been chased or carried back to the bathroom, I closed the door to trap it there. This is a game Freyja and I have played several times ... I shifted all the hide-behind stuff, and took the top off the bin so I could the box as a trap. We then chased the mouse between us round and round the small space until the poor little thing was so confused it ran right into the invitingly unthreatening gap that was really the bin. A quick flick upright, and it was caught, unharmed. I took it downstairs and let it go on the rockery, where there are lots of nooks and crannies and undergrowth to hide in.

Today, the kittens have been much more inclined to go upstairs without me and have spent protracted periods up there, with Freyja. No-one seems to have come to any harm, and when Freyja's come downstairs, the babies have trailed her side-by-side like a pair of mini body-guards! Quite what Freyja feels about this I can't tell, but she did creep down alone this evening and hide under her blanket next to me on the settee, a favourite spot. The kittens arrived a short time later, and Artemis automatically jumped up on that side. I tried to stop her, but was unsuccessful - Freyja shot out, hissed loudly, and clobbered Artemis good, so the kitten cowered and backed off before running away!

All-in-all, I think the hidden mouse was a good thing, in that it stopped Freyja automatically going off in a huff as soon as the youngsters appeared on the scene. They're certainly all learning to live with each other, and I get the feeling the little ones are starting to really see Aunty Freyja as Alpha Cat! Depending on the weather, I may introduce the garden into the range at the weekend.

Current Mood: pleased
Wednesday, July 27th, 2005
9:58 pm
Sheesh ... I'm tired. Mostly from being busy yesterday I think, but also plus the quite unnecessary emotional stresses I put myself through this morning and the poor eating pattern that resulted from it. I wish I had more self-control in these matters.

The visit to the vet went very well. It didn't start well though. I got them all in their carriers in the hall ready for the taxi arriving at 1.40. At just after 1.30, there was the most horrendous noise from right outside ... a couple of guys were trimming the edge of next door's pavement preparatory to laying a smooth-sloping tarmac ramp from their new drive to the road. Those who read my feline ramblings often will know that Freyja is nervous of any unusual noise - she started crying piteously and made a valiant, but unsuccessful, attempt to dig her way out of her wicker carrier. The kittens were also scared and started crying. I went out and asked the guys if they could leave off just for 5 minutes until the taxi arrived ... and bless them, they did - though they did look at me like I was off my head. Then the taxi was late arriving. When it arrived, it was the rather surly, non-communicative driver at the wheel, and he drove like a bat out of hell - not at all the gentle, careful ride I would have preferred under the circumstances. I must remember next time to request someone other than Blue 10 (Mark).

The vet however pronounced all 3 fit and healthy and innoculated them. Since I didn't action Freyja's check-up reminders the last 2 years due to problems of my own, she needs to start the innoculation program from the beginning again, so I have to take them all back in 3 weeks for the second round. The kittens did play madly for a short while when we got home, but they've been asleep most of the time since. I'm not sure Freyja feels very well right now either - she threw up (in the garden, thank goodness!) a few minutes after getting home and has also been asleep most of the time since. She didn't even want any supper, which is most unlike her. She was sick yesterday too, but then cats are from time to time and I thought nothing of it. If she hasn't picked up by the morning, I'm really going to be worried. I do suspect it was an exhausting time for all of them.

*Yawwwwn!* Early bed tonight I think.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2005
11:06 am
Plants - free to good homes
It's that time of year again!

I have hazelnut-tree seedlings from fruit the squirrels forgot (so kind of them!). Not sure exactly how many, but around 5 or 6 at least.

Also welsh poppies (small, frilly-leaved, yellow flowers, prolific self-seeders) and violets.

Sarah's coming on Sunday, so if you live in London and would like some of these, try and let me know Monday at the latest and I can send them back down with her.

Anyone else ... the offer's still open, but you'll have to collect!
Sunday, April 3rd, 2005
4:30 pm
Pope John Paul 2nd
I have no religion - in fact I'm so agnostic, I can't even decide whether or not to be atheist. I frequently disagreed with Pope John Paul's views and decisions, particularly where Aids and birth control are concerned, but his views were founded on a basic regard for the sanctity of human life, and I can't argue with that. He battled for many years against injury, disease and Papal tradition with a courage and tenacity I couldn't hope to emulate. He was one of the few leaders of people who argued constantly for peace and reconciliation, and in my view the world stage is a grimmer place without him.

If I'm going to miss him, how much more will his flock grieve? I offer my condolences to all so affected, and fervently hope the cardinals can find someone with similar gentleness of spirit to follow in his footsteps.
Saturday, January 8th, 2005
4:33 am
Wild Night Out
I was woken by strange noises. My hearing's a good bit less than perfect, but there was a distinct paper-rustling followed by footsteps creeping across the wood floor in the lounge, as if someone was going through my papers. I can't think why anyone should want to - there's nothing there of interest to anyone but me. I lay there quietly, listening hard and remembering that gale-force winds had been forecast overnight.

Suddenly there was a low howl, as of several ghosts simultaneously imitating a sharp intake of breath. I hurriedly turned on the bedside light, just in time to see the curtains being sucked against the windows before the air pressure differential switched again and they billowed out into the room.

By this time, of course, I was well awake! I donned specs, slippers, robe. I could still hear unidentifiable noises from downstairs, so exited the room with quiet care, leaning to turn on lights ahead of me and peering round the corners of the stairwell in case there was someone hiding there. There wasn't, of course. All I found was some letters from the Council, that had become detatched from the pinboard in the kitchen and were being encouraged across the floor by a highly hyperactive cat. (Survival characteristic, I would guess - keeping adrenaline levels high during times of potential danger.) Strong gusts of wind rattled the cat flap and the ventilator and blew rain in underneath the back door (must get that fixed).

My own adrenaline levels were pretty high by this time - creeping back to bed and sleep was out of the question - so the good old panaceas of tea, cigs and biscuits have been called into play. A quick peek out the patio windows shows nothing amiss in the garden: the fences and trees are still in place, though I daresay dawn will show empty plant pots and weed buckets liberally distributed. Another quick peek out the front shows me to be the only one awake in the vicinity, unless others are cowering in the dark.

I've been awake about an hour now, and still feel hyper. My head hurts. I'm running out of biscuits. More tea is required ... :-)

Current Mood: embarrassed
Saturday, January 1st, 2005
12:41 am
New Beginnings
A new year is starting. Some of us will be fighting to attain a new way of life; others will have a new way of life thrust upon them by circumstance; still others will be comfortably wallowing in the life they already have.

Whichever category(-ies) you might fall into, I wish you a year even better than you hope for. Or at the very least, not nearly as bad as you fear.

*hugs* to everyone!! :-)

Current Mood: festive
Monday, October 11th, 2004
8:24 pm
Ideas, anyone?
I'm in grave danger of finishing both my current crochet projects within the next few days. Well, I'll certainly be able to finish the big double-bed blanket as it only needs the border and I've most of a brand new 250gm ball of wool to do it with. The single-bed blanket of bright hexes joined with black may not be quite finished, because I'm not going to have enough black left for the border once I've finished sewing the tiles together, but there's not much hope of me going out shopping for a while yet, so that will have to wait. In any case, I need to start something new, very soon, and I've no idea what. As I will have made 3 blankets and a shawl in fairly rapid succession, I'm looking for ideas of something ... well ... different.

The parameters are :

- Double knitting yarn, preferably in a variety of colours.
- Could be either knitting or crochet, or a combination of both.
- Would prefer finished item to consist of smaller pieces joined together. Showy seams would be even better - fine, hidden seams (eg for a sweater or similar) would have to be done by someone else.

The final item will probably be donated to some local cancer-related outlet, or possibly the Primrose Ward of our local hospital, unless someone would like something specific and would like to make a suitable donation to such a charity.

Current Mood: and brainless
10:11 am
Is it just me, or has MSN thrown a wobbly? It logged me in as normal just before 9-ish, then I noticed it'd thrown me off, and now I can't back in.

I've tried the turn-everything-off-and-start-again approach, and that hasn't worked.
Friday, September 10th, 2004
1:11 pm
The doc didn't come round after all, but consulted me on the phone to establish the nature of my problem. I described it as fully and frankly as I felt able. She then went away to talk to the pain specialist, and came back to me with the following plan:

I remain on the patches, at their present strength, using oramorph for breakthrough pain. (This has seemed ineffective recently, so it looks like I'll just have to put up with that.)

I get more valium - I've been taking it every 4 hours since yesterday midday, including overnight, and haven't many left. I presume dosage instructions will be on the package.

I'm to take anti-depressants. Oh, joy! And a short course of steroids to kick-start my appetite. More joy!

I'm not sure whether all this makes me happy or not. I've got to do something, I know, but I kinda wanted to stop taking drugs, not have more.

Current Mood: mixed
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
3:09 pm
Can't breathe.
Red Cross lady's calling 999

More when I can
Monday, August 2nd, 2004
9:46 am
District Nurses
I may have mentioned once or twice that they've arrived increasingly early over the last few days to accomodate their schedules. Today, by yesterday's times, they're an hour late. My syringe ran out about half an hour ago. I'me not in any difficulty yet, but woe betide them if I am before they arrive!

I bet it's the sulky, officious one with the spiky blonde hair and the shakes ...
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