Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Bye & Good Riddance

I for one am happy to see the back of 2008. It has been a difficult year in this household & I've had enough.

In January I had an appraisal at work. I had exceeded my sales target by 214% so expected a pat on the back but instead got a total b*llocking for something very minor indeed. I nearly walked out there and then. I started looking for another job.

In February DD went skiing in Austria with her school & hurt her knee. She couldn't play football or swim for ages but went back to swimming. She's only just recovered from her injury nearly a year later. She has stopped the football.

At the same time as this Blue was in & out of the vets. I waited for DD to get home before we had her put to sleep She was 7 years old.

Not long after that we got Oscar & things started to get back to normal, albeit with a puppy.

In May I got really sick. So sick that I had to put both dogs into kennels for 10 days.

Fast forward to July. I handed my notice in after enduring bullying for over 4 years & had found a job locally. I took two weeks unpaid holiday in between jobs to cover part of DD's summer holiday. At the beginning of this time I had a nasty experience. I didn't mention it here as the police were involved. A police caution was issued and that's that.

Then 10 days later I got ill again

So I was in between jobs with a 2 week sick note due to the stomach surgery. I couldn't afford to be off work for 4 weeks (2 already taken as holiday) so started my new job a week later than originally planned and one week after surgery. I was in pain but didn't need to walk far or lift so managed with lots of pain killers.

6 weeks into my new job and it was announced that the company was to be sold. I was furious as I had left a job where I had been for over 4 years and now had no security so I started looking for another job. It went down hill from there.

Once the sale went through we had a 'pure survival meeting' and were basically told that if sales didn't pick up we'd all be out. Plus I was in an 'internal room' without any daylight and found that very hard. My line manager was now the site manager and turned into a little Hitler shouting at everyone including me.

The new company name was p8rnographic and I had a problem with it. I was finding the whole situation VERY stressful and with DH's support resigned at the beginning of December.

Then DH got sick and a few days after he came home from hospital we had to say Good Bye to Pam.

Yesterday just two days left of 2008 I had to take Annie to the vets as she was passing blood. She is still there as she has severe von Willebrands Disease. Today the news was better & hopefully she'll be home soon.

The good news is that apart from everything that happened above we're all ok. My weight loss has reached over 4 stone and I want to reach my target weight in 2009. I feel like a new woman and am running regularly with Oscar.

So in 2009 I'm hoping that we won't lose any pets. That none of us will get seriously ill & that I get sorted with a job soon. I have an exciting opportunity that will hopefully mean that the latter is sorted but I won't know for a few months.

I also intend to lots of knitting mainly for me

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

or should it be 'Merry Catmas'?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Good Bye Spam Cat

We had to say good bye to Pam today

Pam cat
Pam in July 2007 aged 16 1/2 years

She was a funny little cat and had a very definite character. She was one of three kittens that DH adopted 18 months before we met and the last of the gang. In our old house she lived in the garage and refused to come into the house. When we moved she changed totally and really enjoyed her time here:

Pam cat
Pam in the garden

She also took her role of 'big cat' seriously and taught the new kittens how to enjoy cat nip:

Cat playing with cat nip toy
Enjoying a catnip whale

We lost her a few months ago and by the time we got her back 6 days later the experience had taken it's toll on her. She did pull back a bit but the experience had a negative effect and she aged quickly over the past 3 months.

I think she had a stroke whilst DH was in hospital as her back legs were a bit wobbly and she was eating with one side of her mouth. After she'd fallen down the stairs a few times we decided that the time was right to 'say goodbye'.

Pam cat
Pam much loved

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Poor DH......

he has been sick this week, VERY sick. He has had a problem for the past two years after eating rich food or bread. I've been dieting for 15 months & this has really helped him.

He started throwing up on Monday after we had eaten with friends on Sunday afternoon. Then he seemed to recover & ate out again on Tuesday night only to start throwing up again on Wednesday.(I want to point out at this stage that it wasn't the cooking or food to blame as both friends are brilliant cooks). For the past two years DH has struggled with vomiting episodes after eating bread or rich food but this time it was really bad & far worse than anything he's ever had before.

I took him to the Doctors where he promptly collapsed onto the floor still vomiting into a bowl. The ambulance staff put him on oxygen before moving him swiftly to the local hospital.

We spent about 6 hours in A&E as the doctors tried to find out what was wrong. At one point they thought he'd perforated his stomach (I got REALLY scared at this) but the x-rays were fine. In fact everything was fine which was annoying as they couldn't tell us why he was sick. He was admitted on to the ward still in agony & spent 3 nights not sleeping as he listened to other throwing up etc etc etc ......

Eventually after an endoscopy revealed that his stomach was healthy the doctors concluded on Friday that he was suffering from Gallstones but we didn't find out until he was discharged last night.

He's now home & I'm so pleased to have him back. However the pain is still around but not to the same extent as previously. So I'm serving up VERY low fat meals & am prescribing lots of rest with short walks to get him moving again whilst we wait for an appointment with a specialist consultant.

This has come at the end of a very bad year. I'm afraid that I haven't written any Christmas cards & to be honest I'm not going to bother this year. I've just got too much on. More is to come tomorrow & then we've still got 9 days left in the year so I'm sure we'll have some other 'joy' to contend with soon ......

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


We're doing everything we can to reduce the amount that we as a family contribute to landfill . We recycle, reuse, freecycle & reduce our waste.

So why then did the bin wagon eat our wheelie bin this morning & make a bigger contribution to landfill?????

I've been advised to use black bin bags until our new bin arrives in a weeks time. I don't think it'll work somehow due to the cats.

Hmmmm have to see if the neighbours will let us put our small amounts of rubbish into their bins but they're all normally overflowing......

Monday, December 08, 2008

Book meme....

I found this on Spinning Fishwife's blog.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read (I'm going to asterisk these - Blogger doesn't like underlining)
3) Italicise the books you LOVE.
4) Post your list so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.

1.Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling First four only.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare - Some
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan*
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Most of them anyway.
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

51/100 not bad but can you tell that I studied Literature at University?