Sunday, 30 June 2013


Yesterday afternoon, I stood up to do something, and I realised that I wasn't tired. For two blissfully energised hours, I stayed not tired. If I sat down, getting up was just a question of straightening out. Moving from one room to another just entailed picking feet up and putting them down again in slightly different positions. And when I reached my destination, I knew what I was supposed to be doing at it.

I heard every word of every sentence anyone spoke in my general direction, not phasing in and out of conversations. I coordinated a real proper several-steps-involved meal, and persuaded tLP to eat it. I piled Mog into bed and pyjamas and didn't feel lightheaded with the effort.

And then the fog rolled back in, and the vagues stole my thoughts, and someone or something strapped invisible weights back onto my legs and arms and neck and back, my ears were filled with treacle once again, and I was back to being tired.

It's been a long time since I wasn't tired. So long in fact, that I'd forgotten what normal felt like. I used to have energy. Getting up off the settee wasn't something I had to plan.

This will pass. Being in hospital, and then being home with a very reluctant convalescent who needs frequent attention overnight and full on attention all day is both tiring and thankfully temporary. Demousing the house was fairly full on too. Planning and hosting Mog's Marvellous Birthday Party was well worth it, but definitely added to gravity's already exceptional pull. Working to a deadline on a few minor projects has added to the brain fog. Its been a rough year for many reasons. I can see where it's all come from.

But still, I am surprised. Normal was good - how did this level of tiredness become my new normal without me noticing it? And what, short of abandoning the girls completely for a few days (not an option for several reasons) can I do about it?

In the meantime, kindly forgive the extreme "blogging lite" which has been going on lately. I'm just starting to realise quite how tired I actually am. Too tired to put that sentence in better order, certainly.

Must go, Mog's fitting (don't panic; it's normal. But I need to adjust her cushions so she doesn't bruise her arm on her bed side).


Thursday, 20 June 2013


A certain young person thinks she is too cool for Birthdays. But I couldn't let the whole week go by without mentioning it.

It's the first time for a while that we haven't had a big celebration on the day itself, but she's having a big party at the weekend, and so we contented ourselves with calling in at school to share a cake. She was officially unimpressed with our presence, although a smile was hiding under her mouth when we gave up trying to take photos. And school kindly emailed proof that she had in fact enjoyed the day.

I wasn't present at Miss Mog's birth (and, honestly, it doesn't sound as though it was much fun for either of the main participants, I can't be too sorry I missed it). But I've been at all her Birthdays since, and I'm hoping there will be many more to come.


Saturday, 15 June 2013


(Unsolicited ad)

Ann asked what kind of ultrasonic rodent repellent I had bought. I'm being lazy and blogging on my phone, so no pretty linky thingy, but here's where I bought it

Not hugely expensive, and your money back if there's still a problem after a month. Can be switched to a different frequency to deter spiders and creepy crawlies. But - will affect gerbils and hamsters and other small pets, so they'd have to be moved out for a while.

I can't hear it, the girls don't appear to be conscious of it, and the cats are completely unphased (don't buy the cat repellent one by mistake).

The first night it was on, I could definitely still hear scrabblings. But after that, nothing. PestBye warns that it can take a month to get rid of them completely, as if they are sitting on a nest, they won't shift until the babies are old enough. I'm thankful that there were no babies here; I guess they just needed the extra time to pack up properly and make extra sure they had defecated thoroughly on absolutely everything within reach.

My flat is L shaped, one L being an extension, which is on a different ring main. I was pretty sure, when we found mice stuff in the bedrooms, that they had not ventured into the playroom and sunroom, at the opposite end of the L. They had. On the off-chance that the device was only working in the older part of the L, I ordered another one to plug into the newer bit. I'm not sure this was necessary, but I wanted to be very sure there was nothing living there by the time our houseguests arrive next week. I'm now confident we are rodent free, with the handy bonus that the device has a nice gentle nightlight. Rodent and nightmare repellent combined!


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Ick Factor.

When we got home from hospital a fortnight ago, we left the cats in the cattery whilst we adjusted to being back home. I love my cats, but I do not love their ability to scurry scurry scratch and scuffle through the night. And, knowing that I'd be up to give pain relief several times a night, I thought losing the cats for a bit wouldn't be the worst plan.

Settling tLP into bed, I noticed what looked like a pile of disintegrating lavender all along her windowsill. Going to pick it up, I made the always delightful discovery it was in fact a very large collection of mouse droppings. Yick. I wiped them up, and hoped it was the result of something the cats had brought in and not finished off adequately.

That night, despite being cat-free, my bedroom was filled with scurry scurry scuffle scritch and scratch. Readers, I was tired; put a pillow over my head and slept anyway. Between repositioning tLP, that is.

In the morning, I got onto the Internet and ordered the biggest, baddest, ultrasonic mouse repeller I could find. Poison not an option with ever-hungry cats, and I didn't really fancy dealing with traps.

Night two, and the same scuffle scritch and scratch, but in the morning possibly the truest ick of all; on the foot end of my bed a couple of fresh droppings, and a clump of my own hair. I may never feel clean again.

Carer and I cleaned out tLP's room, and have seen no signs of anything in there since. Huge relief.

And the repellent arrived, and the cats came back, and I hoped the combination would see any invaders off the premesis.

Alas, the next night, as Benjamin slumbered peacefully on the end of my bed, I could still hear a determined scritch scratch (but thankfully no squeaks) from the other end of my room. It's a big room, my room, and it's the place where things go when they don't have a home anywhere else. Bags, boxes, odd assortments of electrics, paperwork, memories; they're all tangled together and lining the walls and covering the floor.

But that was the last scritch scratch, and within 48 hours of ultrasonic mouse peace destroyer, and with no help at all from the cats, there were no more signs or sounds of mouse at all. Hurrah. And close investigation shows no signs of them in any of the other rooms. Even bigger hurrahs.

Which just left the chaos and confusion of my room

I hired a skip.

It's full.

My wardrobe and drawers have been sterilised and I even have some empty drawers. Quite what I'll be wearing from now on I'm not entirely sure, most of my life having ended up either in the skip or in the washing machine hoping for the best.

They had nested in my wool stash and picked their way through piles of fabric. Made toilets out of bank statements and apparently found photographs and old gas bills particularly tasty. Marked their trail over my "will fit it one day" collection, but thankfully not chewed through any of the electrics, and kept well out of all the irreplaceable stuff.

Six hours of solid clearing, two hysterical cats convinced I was packing for the biggest holiday ever, one hysterical eight year old desperately trying to rescue everything I was tossing, and now my floor is clean and my walls are bare. And my back is aching, and the washing machine is considering striking, and the rest of the house looks like a bomb's hit it, and I don't think there will be space in the skip for the gardening stuff, and I think I could possibly hire another skip the same size for just about every room in the house*. But my room is clear and the rodents have been repelled.


*Not going to happen.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Thanks be to Grannie

Who has made a much better job of neatening the rats nest than I could have managed.

And who was happy to celebrate with St Clements at the Boundary House.

TLP is struggling a bit. As with her two previous big ops, she thought that going home would mean "all better." It doesn't; she is still less than two weeks out from having had two surgeons slice her back open, screw rods into her neck and pelvis, and ease her spine back into a position closer to where it should be. She has stitches and steristrips and bruising. It's sore. It will be for a while. And she doesn't know how to deal with that. Home, but not able to leap back into her full activities. Pain, but not enough to be in hospital. It's hard. And she's scared that it will hurt like this forever.

But inbetween pained activity and enforced rest, she enjoyed a little trip to drink cocalola in the sun.

Life can be both hard and good, and often both at once.



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