lizziec: (turtle hugs)
It's [livejournal.com profile] angelicalangie's birthday today, and I've made her icons as a present. This means that while you may admire (indeed, it's positively encouraged!) you may not steal them for your own purposes - they are for her alone :)

Total Icon Count: 20

Teasers:

Birthday icons for AngelicalAngie under here )

Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] angelicalangie!

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/428466.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (turtle hugs)
It's [livejournal.com profile] angelicalangie's birthday today, and I've made her icons as a present. This means that while you may admire (indeed, it's positively encouraged!) you may not steal them for your own purposes - they are for her alone :)

Total Icon Count: 20

Teasers:

Birthday icons for AngelicalAngie under here )

Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] angelicalangie!
lizziec: (carebare hug)
Been a while since I did a meme. Stole this one from [livejournal.com profile] howlinchickhowl.

1) Comment to this post and I will ask you three questions that you are not expecting to be asked (i.e. not "what's your favourite colour" or anything that you might normally be asked as a getting to know you question)

2) Answer them :)

3) If you should like, continue the crazy ice-breaking fun at your own journals.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/421040.html. There are currently comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (O'Neill)
Been a while since I did a meme. Stole this one from [livejournal.com profile] howlinchickhowl.

1) Comment to this post and I will ask you three questions that you are not expecting to be asked (i.e. not "what's your favourite colour" or anything that you might normally be asked as a getting to know you question)

2) Answer them :)

3) If you should like, continue the crazy ice-breaking fun at your own journals.
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
We had mum's funeral today, and we couldn't have had a nicer day for it, weather wise. It was the kind of day mum would have loved, and she would have been extremely gratified and touched that so many people came to show their love and care for her by coming to say goodbye to her.

The funeral directors, a local firm called W A Truelove and Son were amazing, and made the day go very smoothly. We arrived everywhere exactly on time, never too early or too late. Mum was carried into church by a mixture of family and friends (Ben, foo, my uncle Allan, Duncan [mum's partner], Mark F and Giles), which was lovely. I held it together more or less until we got into the church and found just how many people there were (the church really was packed with mum's friends from all sorts of places, even my Auntie Joan, who we've not spoken to for years, and my cousin Mandy [ditto] came) and ended up crying through most all of the introduction and the first hymn.

Service sheet is here by the way.

After the hymn, I read the tribute which Phil and I had written together, and managed to keep it together enough to read it, though my voice kept breaking whenever I looked up and saw how many people were there for mum, so I tried to keep my eyes on the paper.

The tribute )

My uncle David (mum's brother) read the bible reading, and then Ben read the poem, which is Long Distance II by Tony Harrison, which I have posted here before, but I'll post it again for completeness.

Long Distance II by Tony Harrison )

The vicar (a lovely man, Mick Hough, who was miles better than the vicar we had at the same church for our wedding [his sermon involved homosexuals and protestants in ancient corinth]), used the poem as a way to launch into his address, which was beautiful, and talked about the finality of death for those left behind, but the hope for the next life and resurrection.

The service at the cemetery was very short and nice (and very well attended again), but seeing mum lowered into the ground was very hard, and so was putting a handful of earth in actually. After that we mingled for a bit (during which the mormon in attendance asked if we minded if he consecrated the grave "for your dad's sake" - we said he could, because honestly it doesn't matter to me either way, but I'm kind of pissed he invoked daddy*) before making our way back to the house to collect the car so we could meet everyone else at the pub near the church, where everyone mingled some more and talked about mum, which was nice in a different kind of way to the rest of the day. Once again, everyone was utterly amazing.

The pictures of the flowers are here (sorry, most of them are sideways as I uploaded them before I realised, then ran out of energy to fix them. Maybe I'll get around to it at a later date). There aren't many because we requested family flowers only, with donations to go to the Macmillan Nurses through the Undertaker who will collate them. The flowers we did get were stunningly beautiful though, and very mum I thought. The flowers from Phil and Ben and I are in the middle of this photo:



The ones to the left are from the Overal side of the family (dad's family), the ones to the right are from the Walker side (mum's side).

That's it, I think. Or at least it is for now. I'm pretty tired, but suffering from lack of arsedness to actually go to bed...

lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
We had mum's funeral today, and we couldn't have had a nicer day for it, weather wise. It was the kind of day mum would have loved, and she would have been extremely gratified and touched that so many people came to show their love and care for her by coming to say goodbye to her.

The funeral directors, a local firm called W A Truelove and Son were amazing, and made the day go very smoothly. We arrived everywhere exactly on time, never too early or too late. Mum was carried into church by a mixture of family and friends (Ben, foo, my uncle Allan, Duncan [mum's partner], Mark F and Giles), which was lovely. I held it together more or less until we got into the church and found just how many people there were (the church really was packed with mum's friends from all sorts of places, even my Auntie Joan, who we've not spoken to for years, and my cousin Mandy [ditto] came) and ended up crying through most all of the introduction and the first hymn.

Service sheet is here by the way.

After the hymn, I read the tribute which Phil and I had written together, and managed to keep it together enough to read it, though my voice kept breaking whenever I looked up and saw how many people were there for mum, so I tried to keep my eyes on the paper.

The tribute )

My uncle David (mum's brother) read the bible reading, and then Ben read the poem, which is Long Distance II by Tony Harrison, which I have posted here before, but I'll post it again for completeness.

Long Distance II by Tony Harrison )

The vicar (a lovely man, Mick Hough, who was miles better than the vicar we had at the same church for our wedding [his sermon involved homosexuals and protestants in ancient corinth]), used the poem as a way to launch into his address, which was beautiful, and talked about the finality of death for those left behind, but the hope for the next life and resurrection.

The service at the cemetery was very short and nice (and very well attended again), but seeing mum lowered into the ground was very hard, and so was putting a handful of earth in actually. After that we mingled for a bit (during which the mormon in attendance asked if we minded if he consecrated the grave "for your dad's sake" - we said he could, because honestly it doesn't matter to me either way, but I'm kind of pissed he invoked daddy*) before making our way back to the house to collect the car so we could meet everyone else at the pub near the church, where everyone mingled some more and talked about mum, which was nice in a different kind of way to the rest of the day. Once again, everyone was utterly amazing.

The pictures of the flowers are here (sorry, most of them are sideways as I uploaded them before I realised, then ran out of energy to fix them. Maybe I'll get around to it at a later date). There aren't many because we requested family flowers only, with donations to go to the Macmillan Nurses through the Undertaker who will collate them. The flowers we did get were stunningly beautiful though, and very mum I thought. The flowers from Phil and Ben and I are in the middle of this photo:



The ones to the left are from the Overal side of the family (dad's family), the ones to the right are from the Walker side (mum's side).

That's it, I think. Or at least it is for now. I'm pretty tired, but suffering from lack of arsedness to actually go to bed...
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Daniel Jackson)
As I posted earlier, mum died this morning at just gone 10am. It wasn't a huge shock. I mentioned in previous entries that she had got dramatically worse over the weekend, and yesterday afternoon during visiting hours Phil and I tracked down Fiona, the Macmillan nurse to see what was actually going on, as we hadn't seen an actual doctor who would tell us anything since the beginning of the previous week.

Fiona said she was shocked at how much worse mum was yesterday than she had been on Friday, and confirmed what I already felt - that we were looking at an extremely short period of time, probably just a few days. Fiona felt that mum would probably gradually slow down her breathing and fall into a coma and gradually stop breathing. She said we could stay at the hospital if we wanted, but that she felt we needed proper rest and that it would happen regardless of where we were - even if we just went to get a cup of tea, and so Phil and I decided that we would go home at the end of visiting hours. If were looking at a situation that could go on for days then we wanted to be fresh enough to deal with it. And in the condition that mum was in on Monday evening when we left, we knew it would be a strain. Her breathing was more laboured again than it was on Sunday, and her tongue had stopped working. She tried to say lots of things to me and Phil when we arrived, the only period she was really awake for, but unfortunately we couldn't understand any of it apart from our names. And that it was lovely when we wiped a cold flannel across her very hot face.

Fiona felt that the deterioration in mum's condition was caused by the fact that the tumour had grown so large that it was 1) causing swelling in her throat, making breathing difficult, and 2) pressing on the nerves and muscles that controlled mum's tongue, which is why it was we were struggling to understand anything she said.

As I said, when we left on Monday night it was clear we were looking at days at the most. I was worried we were looking at hours, but deciding there was nothing more we could do at the hospital, we came home.

We'd not been home long when the nurse looking after mum last night (Tidings) called and said that in the short time we'd been gone, mum was worse and that we should thing about coming in. We had dinner, and headed in, supported by my auntie Pat and uncle Allan. She was worse, and when we got there, Tidings told us that though mum was calmer, she had spent a good deal of time calling my name. We all sat around her bed and talked to her, and around her, and recalled memories of our childhood and the lovely times that we had had. All the while her breathing got worse and worse. She was also in a good deal of pain, the first time she's really been in pain since she was admitted to hospital on 29th April. They gave her a top up booster of morphine, besides what was in her syringe driver, but it didn't really seem to help much with her pain. Meanwhile she was sweating profusely, and we tried to keep her cool with wet flannels. After a while she rested more, Pat and Allan went home, Phil first dozed on the floor (to the horror of a nursing assistant), and then in the day room, where said horrified nursing assistant insisted that he move to, and I dozed fitfully in the chair next to her bed, waking every 20 mins or so to reassure her that she was ok, we were ok and that it was ok for her to let go if she wanted to, because we would be looked after. I tried to keep touching her arm and hand, though she kept withdrawing them to posture against her chest, which I think was a pain response.

We left her at about 7am. She seemed quieter, and though her breathing was a little worse (it had got steadily worse through the night), she was cooler and seemed to be in much less pain. We decided to go home and get some sleep, and come back at around 1pm.

So we left her, after telling her we loved her and we'd be back later. Came home, ate a little and fell into bed. Was woken at about 10:10 by a call from Fiona telling us that mum had died just a short time before. They had washed her and put her in a comfortable position and she had looked much easier. Even her breathing was a little better. A nurse was still with her, and Fiona had just gone away for a little while, and in that five minutes she'd simply stopped breathing. Fiona said that it was a very peaceful end.

She asked if we wanted to see her, and said we could hold her hand if we wanted to. We wandered down to the end of the ward, and she opened the door. And there mum was. And it was awful. I've never had such spontaneous tears as I had then. Immediately the door opened and I saw mum they started. She looked peaceful, yes, but she didn't look like my mummy. And seeing a body without seeing breathing is strange and odd and not nice. I couldn't touch her. I don't think I can bring myself to see her again after the funeral home lay her out. I'm almost regretting seeing her like that because I can't get the picture out of my head. But at the same time, if I hadn't seen her, the last image would have been of her in dreadful pain and discomfort. That image is still with me, in fact. I'm crying as I write this. I don't know which I would rather have. But I have them both, and I really hope that soon I can stop fixating on those awful thoughts of her and see her as she was most of the time. Fuck Cancer. It wasn't supposed to be like this. She was retiring in a year and going to have a huge party. And now she never will. I checked my irc logs. You know, it was less than four months, barely over three, from start to finish? First symptoms of tingling in February. It's barely May now and she's dead. Fuck cancer. Fuck it right in the ear.

Most of the rest of todoay has been a bit of a blur. Everyone's being awesome. So awesome that I don't know how I'll thank them, ever. We've called people, organised various things, and know which funeral home we'll be going with. I've picked an outfit for her. We've even sorted through a few of her physical posessions (though only her shoes, and toiletries). Tomorrow we're going to sort out the paperwork at the hospital, and then go and register the death with Wandsworth registry office, which is the district that St Georges falls in. After that we're heading to the Funeral Home, a local company called WA Truelove and Son, to start sorting out the funeral.

Bleh. Today was exhausting and hard in its own way. But I think last night, when she was in pain and crying and struggling for every breath that was hardest and worst. Possibly the hardest and worst night of my entire adult life.

Finally, ben signed mum off IRC tonight. It makes sense but feels awful.

20:47:49 -!- typo [typo@dm-11449.pok.me.uk] has quit [Exit: fuck cancer]


Sorry for the brain dump. Needed to get it out before I could sleep, and before I forgot it all.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Daniel Jackson)
As I posted earlier, mum died this morning at just gone 10am. It wasn't a huge shock. I mentioned in previous entries that she had got dramatically worse over the weekend, and yesterday afternoon during visiting hours Phil and I tracked down Fiona, the Macmillan nurse to see what was actually going on, as we hadn't seen an actual doctor who would tell us anything since the beginning of the previous week.

Fiona said she was shocked at how much worse mum was yesterday than she had been on Friday, and confirmed what I already felt - that we were looking at an extremely short period of time, probably just a few days. Fiona felt that mum would probably gradually slow down her breathing and fall into a coma and gradually stop breathing. She said we could stay at the hospital if we wanted, but that she felt we needed proper rest and that it would happen regardless of where we were - even if we just went to get a cup of tea, and so Phil and I decided that we would go home at the end of visiting hours. If were looking at a situation that could go on for days then we wanted to be fresh enough to deal with it. And in the condition that mum was in on Monday evening when we left, we knew it would be a strain. Her breathing was more laboured again than it was on Sunday, and her tongue had stopped working. She tried to say lots of things to me and Phil when we arrived, the only period she was really awake for, but unfortunately we couldn't understand any of it apart from our names. And that it was lovely when we wiped a cold flannel across her very hot face.

Fiona felt that the deterioration in mum's condition was caused by the fact that the tumour had grown so large that it was 1) causing swelling in her throat, making breathing difficult, and 2) pressing on the nerves and muscles that controlled mum's tongue, which is why it was we were struggling to understand anything she said.

As I said, when we left on Monday night it was clear we were looking at days at the most. I was worried we were looking at hours, but deciding there was nothing more we could do at the hospital, we came home.

We'd not been home long when the nurse looking after mum last night (Tidings) called and said that in the short time we'd been gone, mum was worse and that we should thing about coming in. We had dinner, and headed in, supported by my auntie Pat and uncle Allan. She was worse, and when we got there, Tidings told us that though mum was calmer, she had spent a good deal of time calling my name. We all sat around her bed and talked to her, and around her, and recalled memories of our childhood and the lovely times that we had had. All the while her breathing got worse and worse. She was also in a good deal of pain, the first time she's really been in pain since she was admitted to hospital on 29th April. They gave her a top up booster of morphine, besides what was in her syringe driver, but it didn't really seem to help much with her pain. Meanwhile she was sweating profusely, and we tried to keep her cool with wet flannels. After a while she rested more, Pat and Allan went home, Phil first dozed on the floor (to the horror of a nursing assistant), and then in the day room, where said horrified nursing assistant insisted that he move to, and I dozed fitfully in the chair next to her bed, waking every 20 mins or so to reassure her that she was ok, we were ok and that it was ok for her to let go if she wanted to, because we would be looked after. I tried to keep touching her arm and hand, though she kept withdrawing them to posture against her chest, which I think was a pain response.

We left her at about 7am. She seemed quieter, and though her breathing was a little worse (it had got steadily worse through the night), she was cooler and seemed to be in much less pain. We decided to go home and get some sleep, and come back at around 1pm.

So we left her, after telling her we loved her and we'd be back later. Came home, ate a little and fell into bed. Was woken at about 10:10 by a call from Fiona telling us that mum had died just a short time before. They had washed her and put her in a comfortable position and she had looked much easier. Even her breathing was a little better. A nurse was still with her, and Fiona had just gone away for a little while, and in that five minutes she'd simply stopped breathing. Fiona said that it was a very peaceful end.

She asked if we wanted to see her, and said we could hold her hand if we wanted to. We wandered down to the end of the ward, and she opened the door. And there mum was. And it was awful. I've never had such spontaneous tears as I had then. Immediately the door opened and I saw mum they started. She looked peaceful, yes, but she didn't look like my mummy. And seeing a body without seeing breathing is strange and odd and not nice. I couldn't touch her. I don't think I can bring myself to see her again after the funeral home lay her out. I'm almost regretting seeing her like that because I can't get the picture out of my head. But at the same time, if I hadn't seen her, the last image would have been of her in dreadful pain and discomfort. That image is still with me, in fact. I'm crying as I write this. I don't know which I would rather have. But I have them both, and I really hope that soon I can stop fixating on those awful thoughts of her and see her as she was most of the time. Fuck Cancer. It wasn't supposed to be like this. She was retiring in a year and going to have a huge party. And now she never will. I checked my irc logs. You know, it was less than four months, barely over three, from start to finish? First symptoms of tingling in February. It's barely May now and she's dead. Fuck cancer. Fuck it right in the ear.

Most of the rest of todoay has been a bit of a blur. Everyone's being awesome. So awesome that I don't know how I'll thank them, ever. We've called people, organised various things, and know which funeral home we'll be going with. I've picked an outfit for her. We've even sorted through a few of her physical posessions (though only her shoes, and toiletries). Tomorrow we're going to sort out the paperwork at the hospital, and then go and register the death with Wandsworth registry office, which is the district that St Georges falls in. After that we're heading to the Funeral Home, a local company called WA Truelove and Son, to start sorting out the funeral.

Bleh. Today was exhausting and hard in its own way. But I think last night, when she was in pain and crying and struggling for every breath that was hardest and worst. Possibly the hardest and worst night of my entire adult life.

Finally, ben signed mum off IRC tonight. It makes sense but feels awful.

20:47:49 -!- typo [typo@dm-11449.pok.me.uk] has quit [Exit: fuck cancer]


Sorry for the brain dump. Needed to get it out before I could sleep, and before I forgot it all.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer locked
lizziec: (animals - badgers)
Had a lovely surprise the other night (Thursday) - foo and rah brought Ben up to me, which was amazing. They also brought benji to see me and we all ended up going for dinner after visiting hours, which helped recharge my spoons a little. Ben's heading back to Canterbury, and work today, but it's been amazing to have him around in the meantime. I don't know how I'll ever thank everyone for how amazing they're being.

Mum's still hanging on, but definitely getting a little bit worse every day. The doctors have put a nasogastric tube in to feed mum that way as she can't swallow any more. Any food she tries to eat gets spat back out again, and liquids just dribble out when she next opens her mouth. It's pretty grim to be honest. The downside to the feeding tube is that mum's finding it difficult to breathe with it in. The tumour is blocking off her left nostril, so she can't breathe through it and she can't have the tube up there, so they had to put it up her right nostril, which blocks that off as far as breathing goes. She's now breathing through her mouth only, which is somewhat complicated by the fact that she's now not producing enough saliva making her mouth incredibly dry. She's been prescribed some artifical saliva which has solved the problem somewhat, but it's another indicator of how much worse she's getting.

On the upside, she's off the insulin sliding scale now, and back on metformin, though a liquid version that's put in via her NG tube as she can't swallow. She's still on an IV for fluids though, due to the fact any drink she has comes straight out.

What's most distressing is how confused she was last night. I was hoping it was just because she'd been pulled around a lot yesterday - the NG tube going in, down to XRay to check it was sited correctly, (incidentally, I went there with her and was allowed to stay while they did the XRay and, despite everything, it was pretty cool), back to her room and then getting shuffled around in bed, having the feed connecting and having some trouble breathing, or at least thinking she did.

According to the nurse though, mum was confused again this morning. Last night she kept trying to get up to go to the toilet for a wee even though we kept reassuring her that she had a catheter in. She also kept tugging on the ng tube and towards the end was getting even more confused. She was worrying about the electricity board (why?), saying "he has two assistants" (no idea who has two assistants), and telling me how scared she was.

Being me, and incredibly pessimistic I was expecting the call last night because of that and slept pretty badly.

Mum is still here though, but according to the nurse still trying to get out of bed to go to the toilet. I'm hoping today's visit isn't like yesterdays because I'm not sure I could stand it. It was really really bad. I could handle her dying far better if it didn't feel like she was losing her marbles too. And I don't think it's just the drugs (the nurses pretty much said that if it was the drugs the confusion would have come up before, as she's been on the same combo of drugs for over a week now). Honestly I don't think she's got much longer. I may be being really pessimistic. I'm sure I am. But things just feel really bleak right now.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - badgers)
Had a lovely surprise the other night (Thursday) - foo and rah brought Ben up to me, which was amazing. They also brought benji to see me and we all ended up going for dinner after visiting hours, which helped recharge my spoons a little. Ben's heading back to Canterbury, and work today, but it's been amazing to have him around in the meantime. I don't know how I'll ever thank everyone for how amazing they're being.

Mum's still hanging on, but definitely getting a little bit worse every day. The doctors have put a nasogastric tube in to feed mum that way as she can't swallow any more. Any food she tries to eat gets spat back out again, and liquids just dribble out when she next opens her mouth. It's pretty grim to be honest. The downside to the feeding tube is that mum's finding it difficult to breathe with it in. The tumour is blocking off her left nostril, so she can't breathe through it and she can't have the tube up there, so they had to put it up her right nostril, which blocks that off as far as breathing goes. She's now breathing through her mouth only, which is somewhat complicated by the fact that she's now not producing enough saliva making her mouth incredibly dry. She's been prescribed some artifical saliva which has solved the problem somewhat, but it's another indicator of how much worse she's getting.

On the upside, she's off the insulin sliding scale now, and back on metformin, though a liquid version that's put in via her NG tube as she can't swallow. She's still on an IV for fluids though, due to the fact any drink she has comes straight out.

What's most distressing is how confused she was last night. I was hoping it was just because she'd been pulled around a lot yesterday - the NG tube going in, down to XRay to check it was sited correctly, (incidentally, I went there with her and was allowed to stay while they did the XRay and, despite everything, it was pretty cool), back to her room and then getting shuffled around in bed, having the feed connecting and having some trouble breathing, or at least thinking she did.

According to the nurse though, mum was confused again this morning. Last night she kept trying to get up to go to the toilet for a wee even though we kept reassuring her that she had a catheter in. She also kept tugging on the ng tube and towards the end was getting even more confused. She was worrying about the electricity board (why?), saying "he has two assistants" (no idea who has two assistants), and telling me how scared she was.

Being me, and incredibly pessimistic I was expecting the call last night because of that and slept pretty badly.

Mum is still here though, but according to the nurse still trying to get out of bed to go to the toilet. I'm hoping today's visit isn't like yesterdays because I'm not sure I could stand it. It was really really bad. I could handle her dying far better if it didn't feel like she was losing her marbles too. And I don't think it's just the drugs (the nurses pretty much said that if it was the drugs the confusion would have come up before, as she's been on the same combo of drugs for over a week now). Honestly I don't think she's got much longer. I may be being really pessimistic. I'm sure I am. But things just feel really bleak right now.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
Well the good news, that I truly did not expect to be writing over the weekend, is that mum is still with us, and in some ways far stronger that we would or could have dared to imagine. For example, she managed a shower yesterday. She is, however, still on what Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse calls a knife edge. She's still not really stable.

We know a little more about what is going on now. Mum has an infection which is making it hard to control her blood sugar, and has been on IV antibiotics for it since she was admitted on Thursday. The antibiotics haven't knocked it out so they started her on a second antibiotic today. They don't know where the infection is though, so obviously that makes it hard to treat. There is a possibility, though I don't know how actually likely it is, that the infection is being caused by the tumour itself (that part of the tissue of the tumour has died and become necrotic - that is, it's rotting away in her head). As of now it is just a theory though.

I think I mentioned the arrhythmia before. It's Arterial Fibrilation, and it is at least under control at the moment.

In her current condition they would not be able to start radiotherapy, and until she is more stable they're certainly not talking about transferring her from St Georges to anywhere, even the Royal Marsden, and are even further away from discussing her discharge.

Mum is a little more awake at the moment than she was over the weekend, which, given how sick she was on Friday will probably not surprise anyone. She also gets tired very easily - just sitting up for 10 mins means she has to sleep for the next hour. The fact that she is more with it and even able to sit up is the silver lining. Here is the cloud.

The tumour symptoms have and are continuing to get much worse. There's a constant nasal discharge, and the numbness and weakness in her face is getting worse. She can barely bite or chew (which is the reason why the doctors are probably going to put in a feeding [NG] tube tomorrow), and when she drinks, most of the liquid comes out again, though because of the numbness she isn't aware of it. The deafness in her left ear is worse, and her right eye is bulging out more. We've been told that the biggest danger of mum dying imminently comes from the fact that the tumour is wrapped her carotid artery. Apparently this could weaken the wall of the artery and lead to a massive bleed, the only upside to which is that it kills pretty painlessly and immediately.

Because mum is so unstable still, Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse, is sorting out a low cost solicitor that they apparently use all the time at the hospital, to come out and help mum sort a will and a power of attorney, so no matter what happens and when, we're covered.

Mum is having good days and bad days, mood wise. Today has been pretty bad. She's been moved to a side room on the same ward and is convinced that she's dying and noone has told her. Which isn't true, as i) she isn't dying in the sense she means it - she's still critical but she was much more obviously about to die on Friday, or Saturday or Sunday, and ii) we have told her everything we know, and whether or not she remembers it, the doctors have too. The reason they've moved her is to make it easier for her to sleep and easier for us to be with her. She's also talking about having the cats put down because "let's face it, I'm not going home again." When I said that whether or not that was true we liked and would care for the cats she looked at me like I was lying, pulled a face and ignored me for a bit.

Like I said, she was having a bad day.

On top of all of this, I'm becoming increasingly aware that I am running out of mental health spoons. Thanks to Ben being so supportive I went into mum's illness with quite a stockpile built up, but I'm becoming aware that I'm nearly out. I'm getting tired out more easily, and getting irritable and bad tempered for no reason, and overreacting to small irritating situations.

This is not good, but I don't really know how to remedy it. Going home to Canterbury would probably help, but if time is very short, I don't want to spend anywhere else - I'm spending visiting hours (all of them) at the hospital, and should she die, I don't want to be in Kent. Being in Coulsdon is already quite far enough from the hospital.

When at mum's (as opposed to the Hospital), other stuff has to be done - Phil and I divide this between ourselves, and ignored this stuff for several days when the danger was most - but it takes time and spoons to do. However, if we were to ignore this stuff we'd end up with no clean clothes, cutlery/crockery or floor/workspace. On top of everything, I'm not sleeping very deeply because part of me is expecting the phone call.

I'm starting to feel the depression again, and the anxiety (though not badly yet, just I'm aware of them). And that's stressing me out even more. I don't want to backslide, but I don't know how to not.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
Well the good news, that I truly did not expect to be writing over the weekend, is that mum is still with us, and in some ways far stronger that we would or could have dared to imagine. For example, she managed a shower yesterday. She is, however, still on what Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse calls a knife edge. She's still not really stable.

We know a little more about what is going on now. Mum has an infection which is making it hard to control her blood sugar, and has been on IV antibiotics for it since she was admitted on Thursday. The antibiotics haven't knocked it out so they started her on a second antibiotic today. They don't know where the infection is though, so obviously that makes it hard to treat. There is a possibility, though I don't know how actually likely it is, that the infection is being caused by the tumour itself (that part of the tissue of the tumour has died and become necrotic - that is, it's rotting away in her head). As of now it is just a theory though.

I think I mentioned the arrhythmia before. It's Arterial Fibrilation, and it is at least under control at the moment.

In her current condition they would not be able to start radiotherapy, and until she is more stable they're certainly not talking about transferring her from St Georges to anywhere, even the Royal Marsden, and are even further away from discussing her discharge.

Mum is a little more awake at the moment than she was over the weekend, which, given how sick she was on Friday will probably not surprise anyone. She also gets tired very easily - just sitting up for 10 mins means she has to sleep for the next hour. The fact that she is more with it and even able to sit up is the silver lining. Here is the cloud.

The tumour symptoms have and are continuing to get much worse. There's a constant nasal discharge, and the numbness and weakness in her face is getting worse. She can barely bite or chew (which is the reason why the doctors are probably going to put in a feeding [NG] tube tomorrow), and when she drinks, most of the liquid comes out again, though because of the numbness she isn't aware of it. The deafness in her left ear is worse, and her right eye is bulging out more. We've been told that the biggest danger of mum dying imminently comes from the fact that the tumour is wrapped her carotid artery. Apparently this could weaken the wall of the artery and lead to a massive bleed, the only upside to which is that it kills pretty painlessly and immediately.

Because mum is so unstable still, Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse, is sorting out a low cost solicitor that they apparently use all the time at the hospital, to come out and help mum sort a will and a power of attorney, so no matter what happens and when, we're covered.

Mum is having good days and bad days, mood wise. Today has been pretty bad. She's been moved to a side room on the same ward and is convinced that she's dying and noone has told her. Which isn't true, as i) she isn't dying in the sense she means it - she's still critical but she was much more obviously about to die on Friday, or Saturday or Sunday, and ii) we have told her everything we know, and whether or not she remembers it, the doctors have too. The reason they've moved her is to make it easier for her to sleep and easier for us to be with her. She's also talking about having the cats put down because "let's face it, I'm not going home again." When I said that whether or not that was true we liked and would care for the cats she looked at me like I was lying, pulled a face and ignored me for a bit.

Like I said, she was having a bad day.

On top of all of this, I'm becoming increasingly aware that I am running out of mental health spoons. Thanks to Ben being so supportive I went into mum's illness with quite a stockpile built up, but I'm becoming aware that I'm nearly out. I'm getting tired out more easily, and getting irritable and bad tempered for no reason, and overreacting to small irritating situations.

This is not good, but I don't really know how to remedy it. Going home to Canterbury would probably help, but if time is very short, I don't want to spend anywhere else - I'm spending visiting hours (all of them) at the hospital, and should she die, I don't want to be in Kent. Being in Coulsdon is already quite far enough from the hospital.

When at mum's (as opposed to the Hospital), other stuff has to be done - Phil and I divide this between ourselves, and ignored this stuff for several days when the danger was most - but it takes time and spoons to do. However, if we were to ignore this stuff we'd end up with no clean clothes, cutlery/crockery or floor/workspace. On top of everything, I'm not sleeping very deeply because part of me is expecting the phone call.

I'm starting to feel the depression again, and the anxiety (though not badly yet, just I'm aware of them). And that's stressing me out even more. I don't want to backslide, but I don't know how to not.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
Ben and I spent some time today sorting out some flowers and a balloon for mum's cubicle at the hospital, to make it a little more bright, having first checked that the ward allows flowers. We ended up getting a beautiful box of flowers from Mad Lillies in Banstead, which is where we got our wedding flowers from. That done, and with Phil back from work, we all headed up to Tooting to visit mum, getting to the hospital at about 5:15pm.

It was immediately clear that mum was worse than yesterday. They had her hooked up to a heart monitor, nasal oxygen on her and several different lines and things going in to her. She looked much weaker than yesterday, much sleepier, and she was having more nasty puss-y discharge from her nose than yesterday. Ben said hi and then went down to the cafe for a coffee - St Georges helpfully has an M&S food hall and cafe, which is a real bonus and all round fabulous idea - and Phil and I dumped our bags at the end of the bed, and then went through mum's post with her and read to her from BBC History magazine, which was all I had on me.

After a bit, one of the doctors came over and wanted to speak with me and Phil, so we dropped everything and went with her to a private room. A nurse got me a hot drink and really I should have known. That is never ever a good sign.

What the doctor had to say was incredibly hard for Phil and I to hear. What she wanted to do was tell us where we were up to today, and discuss with us a Do Not Resuscitate order.

She explained to us that while mum's blood sugar was much better (down to 11), she was much much worse than she had been 24 hours earlier. Mum's heart is getting very weak and mum herself is very tired. And she didn't mean that in a "she'll sleep and wake up refreshed" way, but in a "probably wanting to die" sort of way. And mum herself said later that she was very tired. Mum's resting heart rate is between 130 and 170bpm and the doctor thought it quite likely that at some point over the weekend it would stop. She also said that mum was in a lot of pain, and had been put on a morphine infusion earlier in the day to deal with the pain (previously she was on 30mg Codeine).

The hardest bit to hear was that she didn't think that mum's quality of life would get any better, even if the tumour does shrink a little bit (and the likelihood is that even if they can pull her through this, she will probably not be fit enough for radiotherapy), and she will continue to be in a lot of pain. She said that the consultants - Mr Mady, Mr Williamson and another (Mr Lee?) had met, and felt that the best and kindest thing would be not to resuscitate mum if her heart did stop. Phil and I were left to talk, and we called mum's brother and my aunt (dad's sister) and we all agreed that a DNR was the kindest thing that we could do. We (me and Phil) felt, and still feel, that to bring her back for more pain and suffering and poor quality of life is really just selfishness on our part. So we told the staff that we didn't want them to try and bring her back if her heart or breathing stop.

About 45 mins after the doctor had taken Phil and I aside, and when I finally could think about anything again, I found that my bag, that I'd stupidly dropped at the end of mum's bed earlier had gone missing. Phil's was still there. We searched the ward for it, and couldn't find it. The nursing staff were horrified and reported it to security, and I spent the next hour searching for my bag, reporting the theft and cancelling my cards. In the morning I need to call the DVLA.

There was nothing especially of value in there - just my notebooks (which I'm sad, especially as there were some untyped up stories) to lose) and my backpack (which I'm very sad to lose, especially given it had lots of keyrings I'd collected and things on it which made it an individual thing), and my purse, which had next to no actual money in it, just awkward things like cards and my driving licence in it. But the hour I spent having to report the loss and cancel the cards was an hour I couldn't spend with my critically ill mum, and if she dies tonight I really don't know how I could ever forgive the person who took it.

Mum's partner dropped by during the evening and we told him too. He was very emotional and gave back his key as he left. It was all pretty awful.

We ended up staying past the end of visiting hours, and the staff were very accommodating and left us be. We ended up telling mum and though she hadn't been spoken to explicitly (that she can remember, she's spent most of today pretty much asleep) she didn't seem at all surprised, or even terribly upset. We said that the DNR is ultimately her decision, as despite the sleepiness, her mind is still sharp. She said she agreed with our decision.

We told her how much we love her, and how proud we are of her, and how brilliant she's been and kissed her a lot. She said how much she loves us. We asked if she wanted us to stay and she said no.

So we came home. Via my aunties, who made us drinks and listened to us go through it logically. Ben drove home, which is good because I'm not sure I was capable.

Writing it all out now, it probably sounds a good deal more calm than it was. It involved much more intermittent crying from everyone (except mum) than I state here. Now I'm rather calmer. Still fairly near tears but oddly numb.

Today was awful. Really awful. Really really awful. And there's only a slim chance it will get better soon. Thank you to everyone who has sent thoughts and prayers. They're helping keep me afloat right now. More of the same please.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
Ben and I spent some time today sorting out some flowers and a balloon for mum's cubicle at the hospital, to make it a little more bright, having first checked that the ward allows flowers. We ended up getting a beautiful box of flowers from Mad Lillies in Banstead, which is where we got our wedding flowers from. That done, and with Phil back from work, we all headed up to Tooting to visit mum, getting to the hospital at about 5:15pm.

It was immediately clear that mum was worse than yesterday. They had her hooked up to a heart monitor, nasal oxygen on her and several different lines and things going in to her. She looked much weaker than yesterday, much sleepier, and she was having more nasty puss-y discharge from her nose than yesterday. Ben said hi and then went down to the cafe for a coffee - St Georges helpfully has an M&S food hall and cafe, which is a real bonus and all round fabulous idea - and Phil and I dumped our bags at the end of the bed, and then went through mum's post with her and read to her from BBC History magazine, which was all I had on me.

After a bit, one of the doctors came over and wanted to speak with me and Phil, so we dropped everything and went with her to a private room. A nurse got me a hot drink and really I should have known. That is never ever a good sign.

What the doctor had to say was incredibly hard for Phil and I to hear. What she wanted to do was tell us where we were up to today, and discuss with us a Do Not Resuscitate order.

She explained to us that while mum's blood sugar was much better (down to 11), she was much much worse than she had been 24 hours earlier. Mum's heart is getting very weak and mum herself is very tired. And she didn't mean that in a "she'll sleep and wake up refreshed" way, but in a "probably wanting to die" sort of way. And mum herself said later that she was very tired. Mum's resting heart rate is between 130 and 170bpm and the doctor thought it quite likely that at some point over the weekend it would stop. She also said that mum was in a lot of pain, and had been put on a morphine infusion earlier in the day to deal with the pain (previously she was on 30mg Codeine).

The hardest bit to hear was that she didn't think that mum's quality of life would get any better, even if the tumour does shrink a little bit (and the likelihood is that even if they can pull her through this, she will probably not be fit enough for radiotherapy), and she will continue to be in a lot of pain. She said that the consultants - Mr Mady, Mr Williamson and another (Mr Lee?) had met, and felt that the best and kindest thing would be not to resuscitate mum if her heart did stop. Phil and I were left to talk, and we called mum's brother and my aunt (dad's sister) and we all agreed that a DNR was the kindest thing that we could do. We (me and Phil) felt, and still feel, that to bring her back for more pain and suffering and poor quality of life is really just selfishness on our part. So we told the staff that we didn't want them to try and bring her back if her heart or breathing stop.

About 45 mins after the doctor had taken Phil and I aside, and when I finally could think about anything again, I found that my bag, that I'd stupidly dropped at the end of mum's bed earlier had gone missing. Phil's was still there. We searched the ward for it, and couldn't find it. The nursing staff were horrified and reported it to security, and I spent the next hour searching for my bag, reporting the theft and cancelling my cards. In the morning I need to call the DVLA.

There was nothing especially of value in there - just my notebooks (which I'm sad, especially as there were some untyped up stories) to lose) and my backpack (which I'm very sad to lose, especially given it had lots of keyrings I'd collected and things on it which made it an individual thing), and my purse, which had next to no actual money in it, just awkward things like cards and my driving licence in it. But the hour I spent having to report the loss and cancel the cards was an hour I couldn't spend with my critically ill mum, and if she dies tonight I really don't know how I could ever forgive the person who took it.

Mum's partner dropped by during the evening and we told him too. He was very emotional and gave back his key as he left. It was all pretty awful.

We ended up staying past the end of visiting hours, and the staff were very accommodating and left us be. We ended up telling mum and though she hadn't been spoken to explicitly (that she can remember, she's spent most of today pretty much asleep) she didn't seem at all surprised, or even terribly upset. We said that the DNR is ultimately her decision, as despite the sleepiness, her mind is still sharp. She said she agreed with our decision.

We told her how much we love her, and how proud we are of her, and how brilliant she's been and kissed her a lot. She said how much she loves us. We asked if she wanted us to stay and she said no.

So we came home. Via my aunties, who made us drinks and listened to us go through it logically. Ben drove home, which is good because I'm not sure I was capable.

Writing it all out now, it probably sounds a good deal more calm than it was. It involved much more intermittent crying from everyone (except mum) than I state here. Now I'm rather calmer. Still fairly near tears but oddly numb.

Today was awful. Really awful. Really really awful. And there's only a slim chance it will get better soon. Thank you to everyone who has sent thoughts and prayers. They're helping keep me afloat right now. More of the same please.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (sheep baa)
Toddled off to Mayday earlier to get the MRI done. I drove as carefully as I could, possibly my best and smoothest driving for ever as mum was feeling extremely nauseous and I really didn't want her being sick on the way (though we have an emesis basin in the car permanently atm just in case) as that would have been distressing for us both and we didn't need that. I (and she) made it \o/ Trying to drive smoothly makes it clear how awful the roads are at the moment though :(

Anyway, the MRI suite at Mayday smelled of paint and white spirit and was incredibly disorganised, with no signs telling us where it was. It turns out that the reason why is because they're still decorating, having moved in (from a portacabin on the hospital site somewhere) either Tuesday or today (Wednesday). After signing in and doing paperwork we waited for 50 mins, then I asked a member of staff who was passing how much longer it was likely to be. I was very polite and not mean or anything. Mostly I was just worried about whether or not I'd have to put more money on the car parking. Anyway, after asking someone mum was taken back for the MRI almost straight away. From them taking her back to her returning to me took about 55 mins. Got back to the car the minute the ticket expired. Not bad timing really. The MRI people said that they would have to write a report and would then ask mum to come back for more imaging (which I guess means another MRI or CT or something?) or she'd be called in to see her consultant. Now I guess we have to wait to see what the MRI shows. After the first CT scan mum was called back within 2 working days when it showed up a tumour, so hopefully the turnaround on the MRI will be as quick and we will find out where the primary tumour is hiding. If they can't pinpoint it using the MRI, they'll be biopsying the tumour on and behind her cheekbone. Ah, now I'm repeating myself. My apologies. The MRI today was of her head and neck.

Meanwhile, as well as the nausea and vomiting problems that I talked about last post, and the loss of appetite, the tumour appears to be causing various other distressing problems. One of the main ones is making mum vulnerable to infections - she's being treated for her second UTI in four weeks at the moment, which makes me nervous when I get a sore throat or anything. If it's a cold and I pass it along to her, I have no idea what the consequences would be. Another is nosebleeds. I guess it's the way the tumour is pressing on stuff, though I don't really know. She's had a few enormous nose bleeds that have lasted for ages (though [thankfully?] I've yet to be around for one), and on friday night she asked Phil to call an ambulance for her because the loss of blood was so sudden and dramatic (she thought it had stopped and it suddenly started again with a vengeance). Thankfully they were able to treat her at home, but it's another of those things that makes me realise how vulnerable the tumour(s) are making her, and not just in the obvious "she has cancer" sort of ways.

Cut, a ramble in which I moan about trying to get a prescription filled at half past six on a weekday in Greater London )

Since the first UTI she's been drinking a glass of cranberry juice a day. Is there anything else we can do to ward off the dreaded cystitis or is that about it? Also, is reduced sugar cranberry juice less effective or the same effective as regular when it comes to warding infections off? Does cranberry juice even work? Obviously for the comfort of everyone concerned we'd like to keep them to a minimum, hence the cranberry juice. It doesn't seem to have worked that well though :/

After my last LJ entry, [livejournal.com profile] red_pill sweetly said he'd deal with vomit as he has no particular problem with it, which is very sweet of him. I think we've decided that if he is around, he will deal with it, and if I'm the only one around then I'll grit my teeth and deal with it as best I can. Hopefully I will continue to be successful in keeping my own tummy contents in.

I should go to bed. It's very late as I've been writing this (and spent two hours bitching on twitter about the inadequacies of our legislative process with regards to the Digital Economy Bill) and [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple is visiting tomorrow (at least, as long as the hospital don't call us in on short notice), so I'd like to at least be a little alert for that ;)

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (sheep baa)
Toddled off to Mayday earlier to get the MRI done. I drove as carefully as I could, possibly my best and smoothest driving for ever as mum was feeling extremely nauseous and I really didn't want her being sick on the way (though we have an emesis basin in the car permanently atm just in case) as that would have been distressing for us both and we didn't need that. I (and she) made it \o/ Trying to drive smoothly makes it clear how awful the roads are at the moment though :(

Anyway, the MRI suite at Mayday smelled of paint and white spirit and was incredibly disorganised, with no signs telling us where it was. It turns out that the reason why is because they're still decorating, having moved in (from a portacabin on the hospital site somewhere) either Tuesday or today (Wednesday). After signing in and doing paperwork we waited for 50 mins, then I asked a member of staff who was passing how much longer it was likely to be. I was very polite and not mean or anything. Mostly I was just worried about whether or not I'd have to put more money on the car parking. Anyway, after asking someone mum was taken back for the MRI almost straight away. From them taking her back to her returning to me took about 55 mins. Got back to the car the minute the ticket expired. Not bad timing really. The MRI people said that they would have to write a report and would then ask mum to come back for more imaging (which I guess means another MRI or CT or something?) or she'd be called in to see her consultant. Now I guess we have to wait to see what the MRI shows. After the first CT scan mum was called back within 2 working days when it showed up a tumour, so hopefully the turnaround on the MRI will be as quick and we will find out where the primary tumour is hiding. If they can't pinpoint it using the MRI, they'll be biopsying the tumour on and behind her cheekbone. Ah, now I'm repeating myself. My apologies. The MRI today was of her head and neck.

Meanwhile, as well as the nausea and vomiting problems that I talked about last post, and the loss of appetite, the tumour appears to be causing various other distressing problems. One of the main ones is making mum vulnerable to infections - she's being treated for her second UTI in four weeks at the moment, which makes me nervous when I get a sore throat or anything. If it's a cold and I pass it along to her, I have no idea what the consequences would be. Another is nosebleeds. I guess it's the way the tumour is pressing on stuff, though I don't really know. She's had a few enormous nose bleeds that have lasted for ages (though [thankfully?] I've yet to be around for one), and on friday night she asked Phil to call an ambulance for her because the loss of blood was so sudden and dramatic (she thought it had stopped and it suddenly started again with a vengeance). Thankfully they were able to treat her at home, but it's another of those things that makes me realise how vulnerable the tumour(s) are making her, and not just in the obvious "she has cancer" sort of ways.

Cut, a ramble in which I moan about trying to get a prescription filled at half past six on a weekday in Greater London )

Since the first UTI she's been drinking a glass of cranberry juice a day. Is there anything else we can do to ward off the dreaded cystitis or is that about it? Also, is reduced sugar cranberry juice less effective or the same effective as regular when it comes to warding infections off? Does cranberry juice even work? Obviously for the comfort of everyone concerned we'd like to keep them to a minimum, hence the cranberry juice. It doesn't seem to have worked that well though :/

After my last LJ entry, [livejournal.com profile] red_pill sweetly said he'd deal with vomit as he has no particular problem with it, which is very sweet of him. I think we've decided that if he is around, he will deal with it, and if I'm the only one around then I'll grit my teeth and deal with it as best I can. Hopefully I will continue to be successful in keeping my own tummy contents in.

I should go to bed. It's very late as I've been writing this (and spent two hours bitching on twitter about the inadequacies of our legislative process with regards to the Digital Economy Bill) and [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple is visiting tomorrow (at least, as long as the hospital don't call us in on short notice), so I'd like to at least be a little alert for that ;)

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (carebare grumpy sleeping)
The bed came at about 2:30pm and is now built and the room is looking vaguely welcoming, which is good, because next week I'll be sleeping in it for five nights.

Made it home through terrible weather at about 7ish. Was rather grumpy but so glad to be home. My home, with my things and my husband, who had even done my chores so I didn't have anything to do when I got in, which is something I'm more grateful for than I can even express right now.

I'm also incredibly grateful for my friends at the moment who have all been supportive in various ways and I don't know what I'd have done in the last few days without their help. Not having any friends in Croydon is actually one of the hardest things about spending a lot of time at mum's in the last few weeks, and the thing I'm going to really struggle with in the coming months if I continue what will start next week and spend 5 days at mum's and only 2(ish) at home.

I rely on my friends a lot for my sanity, and sometimes it really helps a lot if I can just go out for an afternoon or an evening with them, even if we don't necessarily talk about deep things. The only people I know in Coulsdon/Croydon now are my mum and brother, and it makes getting out more difficult. I'm very dull and find it difficult to be out on my own. I'd much rather have someone to have coffee with, or walk with or whatever. I'm not quite sure yet how I'll find a way around it.

Another thing I need to figure out sooner rather than later is how to make the room I'll be sleeping in a bit more my space and less stark spare room. Starting to wish I hadn't got rid of the posters I had before/during Uni. They'd be a start.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (carebare grumpy sleeping)
The bed came at about 2:30pm and is now built and the room is looking vaguely welcoming, which is good, because next week I'll be sleeping in it for five nights.

Made it home through terrible weather at about 7ish. Was rather grumpy but so glad to be home. My home, with my things and my husband, who had even done my chores so I didn't have anything to do when I got in, which is something I'm more grateful for than I can even express right now.

I'm also incredibly grateful for my friends at the moment who have all been supportive in various ways and I don't know what I'd have done in the last few days without their help. Not having any friends in Croydon is actually one of the hardest things about spending a lot of time at mum's in the last few weeks, and the thing I'm going to really struggle with in the coming months if I continue what will start next week and spend 5 days at mum's and only 2(ish) at home.

I rely on my friends a lot for my sanity, and sometimes it really helps a lot if I can just go out for an afternoon or an evening with them, even if we don't necessarily talk about deep things. The only people I know in Coulsdon/Croydon now are my mum and brother, and it makes getting out more difficult. I'm very dull and find it difficult to be out on my own. I'd much rather have someone to have coffee with, or walk with or whatever. I'm not quite sure yet how I'll find a way around it.

Another thing I need to figure out sooner rather than later is how to make the room I'll be sleeping in a bit more my space and less stark spare room. Starting to wish I hadn't got rid of the posters I had before/during Uni. They'd be a start.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (potterpuffs - dumbledore flesh wound)
This weekend was very nice. We started it celebrating [livejournal.com profile] nert's birthday at Super Noodles (Happy Birthday!), which was great fun, then up early on Saturday for [livejournal.com profile] bencc and I (and a passenger) to bumble down to Dorset for a pancake party at Stotty's place.

Sadly we were rather delayed by a problem with one of our tyres, but Ben managed to fix it and we got away having not lost too much time. Ben's learning to drive and so we went via some very beautiful (if roundabout) A-Roads so that he could get some practice in (he did the majority of the driving and very well :)). We had lunch at Ditchling, near Brighton, on the way. It was Ben's choice, and he picked there as he's been wanting to show me the view from there since London to Brighton last June. The view was well worth it, and quite amazing.

In Dorset we had a really lovely time with various people, and ate many pancakes, which were expertly cooked by the host. Got back not so long ago and I'm tired now, but very forfilled. Weekend with friends was lovely :)

To finish, a quiz, stolen from [livejournal.com profile] red_pill ages ago.

Your result for The Golden Compass Daemon Test...

Shy Secretive Soul

You are very shy, and social situations make you nervous and tend to exhaust you. You are most comfortable at home, in your own space, where you feel safe. You have a shaky self-esteem, and you feel uncomfortable and shy in strange social situations. The offhand comments that people make can sometimes hurt you. You rarely step up to your own defense, however. You hate confrontation and don't like to make a fuss.

You are uncomfortable discussing your feelings. You often will brush off personal questions with a shrug, a joke or even a lie, rather than confess what is really in your heart. You are especially distrustful of strangers, and you work to hide your sensitive spots from them. While you open up more with your loved ones, even your closest friends can hurt your feelings and may never even know that it happened. There are certain lines, however, that they aren't allowed to cross. When that happens, you tend to snap, and surprise everyone with the vehemence of your outburst.

You will tell white lies or avoid the whole truth in order to help keep the peace. What is the point of hurtful truths that will only make your friends and family unhappy, or that might cause a fight? This means, however, that your own feelings get hurt more, because people don't know how you really feel about it.

Your daemon would represent your shy, sensitive and somewhat distrustful nature. He or she would probably ride on your shoulder or in your pocket, and whisper comforting things in your ear.

Form suggestions:
Spider, Opossum, Lady Bug, Snake

Take The Golden Compass Daemon Test at HelloQuizzy

lizziec: (potterpuffs - dumbledore flesh wound)
This weekend was very nice. We started it celebrating [livejournal.com profile] nert's birthday at Super Noodles (Happy Birthday!), which was great fun, then up early on Saturday for [livejournal.com profile] bencc and I (and a passenger) to bumble down to Dorset for a pancake party at Stotty's place.

Sadly we were rather delayed by a problem with one of our tyres, but Ben managed to fix it and we got away having not lost too much time. Ben's learning to drive and so we went via some very beautiful (if roundabout) A-Roads so that he could get some practice in (he did the majority of the driving and very well :)). We had lunch at Ditchling, near Brighton, on the way. It was Ben's choice, and he picked there as he's been wanting to show me the view from there since London to Brighton last June. The view was well worth it, and quite amazing.

In Dorset we had a really lovely time with various people, and ate many pancakes, which were expertly cooked by the host. Got back not so long ago and I'm tired now, but very forfilled. Weekend with friends was lovely :)

To finish, a quiz, stolen from [livejournal.com profile] red_pill ages ago.

Your result for The Golden Compass Daemon Test...

Shy Secretive Soul

You are very shy, and social situations make you nervous and tend to exhaust you. You are most comfortable at home, in your own space, where you feel safe. You have a shaky self-esteem, and you feel uncomfortable and shy in strange social situations. The offhand comments that people make can sometimes hurt you. You rarely step up to your own defense, however. You hate confrontation and don't like to make a fuss.

You are uncomfortable discussing your feelings. You often will brush off personal questions with a shrug, a joke or even a lie, rather than confess what is really in your heart. You are especially distrustful of strangers, and you work to hide your sensitive spots from them. While you open up more with your loved ones, even your closest friends can hurt your feelings and may never even know that it happened. There are certain lines, however, that they aren't allowed to cross. When that happens, you tend to snap, and surprise everyone with the vehemence of your outburst.

You will tell white lies or avoid the whole truth in order to help keep the peace. What is the point of hurtful truths that will only make your friends and family unhappy, or that might cause a fight? This means, however, that your own feelings get hurt more, because people don't know how you really feel about it.

Your daemon would represent your shy, sensitive and somewhat distrustful nature. He or she would probably ride on your shoulder or in your pocket, and whisper comforting things in your ear.

Form suggestions:
Spider, Opossum, Lady Bug, Snake

Take The Golden Compass Daemon Test at HelloQuizzy

lizziec: (XKCD drunk)
Firstly I feel I should mention the US election. Yay! Obama won! :D I wanted him to win, and have thrown aside my cynicism for now to become really excited by a politician. A terribly important milestone too - the first black president of the USA :D I hope he could be like Kennedy for my generation. Except for the sleaze. And the Assassination. Definitely don't want those bits. So maybe not like Kennedy, maybe more like staying as awesome as he seems now when he's actually President.

The less said about Prop8 in Cali and an organisation I was formerly a member of, the better.

Now that's out of the way, two rather important milestones happened to me today.

I. I turned 25 sometime around midday today. I suppose I'm now officially on the wrong side of 25 now ;) . I have had a lovely day, and got some lovely presents and cards. Huge thanks to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday so far :) (Various on irc, some via text, [livejournal.com profile] alisondh and [livejournal.com profile] malmo58 on lj, and a couple via facebook). Thank you all - they were really appreciated.

II. My final appointment with Nikki the Mental Health nurse was today, and we talked over some stuff about keeping well, dealing with triggers, preventing relapse and what to be aware of in terms of signs that I might be relapsing. Also lots of stuff about rebuilding trust in myself and my wellness, so one bad day doesn't panic me or those close to me. I'm told this is pretty much the last thing that comes back. I'm feeling pretty positive tonight at least, and I'll be happy if I maintain this level of okayness for a year. If I do, then comes the Big Scary of coming off the pills. But that's in the future. I want to use this space now to thank everyone who has supported me over the last 18 months or so. I couldn't have done it without you guys, whether you are aware of having helped or not. Now the Black Dog is banished to his Kennel. I hope he stays there.

So for tonight I'm celebrating two huge milestones for me - being 25 and being discharged from the Mental Health team. Yay! Come celebrate with me :D Drinks on someone else!

balloons
lizziec: (XKCD drunk)
Firstly I feel I should mention the US election. Yay! Obama won! :D I wanted him to win, and have thrown aside my cynicism for now to become really excited by a politician. A terribly important milestone too - the first black president of the USA :D I hope he could be like Kennedy for my generation. Except for the sleaze. And the Assassination. Definitely don't want those bits. So maybe not like Kennedy, maybe more like staying as awesome as he seems now when he's actually President.

The less said about Prop8 in Cali and an organisation I was formerly a member of, the better.

Now that's out of the way, two rather important milestones happened to me today.

I. I turned 25 sometime around midday today. I suppose I'm now officially on the wrong side of 25 now ;) . I have had a lovely day, and got some lovely presents and cards. Huge thanks to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday so far :) (Various on irc, some via text, [livejournal.com profile] alisondh and [livejournal.com profile] malmo58 on lj, and a couple via facebook). Thank you all - they were really appreciated.

II. My final appointment with Nikki the Mental Health nurse was today, and we talked over some stuff about keeping well, dealing with triggers, preventing relapse and what to be aware of in terms of signs that I might be relapsing. Also lots of stuff about rebuilding trust in myself and my wellness, so one bad day doesn't panic me or those close to me. I'm told this is pretty much the last thing that comes back. I'm feeling pretty positive tonight at least, and I'll be happy if I maintain this level of okayness for a year. If I do, then comes the Big Scary of coming off the pills. But that's in the future. I want to use this space now to thank everyone who has supported me over the last 18 months or so. I couldn't have done it without you guys, whether you are aware of having helped or not. Now the Black Dog is banished to his Kennel. I hope he stays there.

So for tonight I'm celebrating two huge milestones for me - being 25 and being discharged from the Mental Health team. Yay! Come celebrate with me :D Drinks on someone else!

balloons
lizziec: (apod - hale-bopp comet)
Why is it that the night before you have to get up super early it always seems particularly difficult to get to sleep? And last night I had trouble staying asleep too. Not funny, whoever's fault it is! I'm specifically looking at you, $deity!

Anyway, I'm off to London today (have to be on a train in less than 50 minutes to be there on time) to my edexcel moderation day (yes, I'm marking for them again this year!), after which, assuming I'm not dead, I'm hopping over East London way to see [livejournal.com profile] kimble and [livejournal.com profile] barakta. I know I'm an old hand at this, as I remembered to ask for a receipt when buying my train tickets so I can fill in and submit the expenses claim there and then. *Awards gold star to self for being organised like that*

It should all be quite nice, assuming I can stay awake :)

Have a nice day everyone :)
lizziec: (apod - hale-bopp comet)
Why is it that the night before you have to get up super early it always seems particularly difficult to get to sleep? And last night I had trouble staying asleep too. Not funny, whoever's fault it is! I'm specifically looking at you, $deity!

Anyway, I'm off to London today (have to be on a train in less than 50 minutes to be there on time) to my edexcel moderation day (yes, I'm marking for them again this year!), after which, assuming I'm not dead, I'm hopping over East London way to see [livejournal.com profile] kimble and [livejournal.com profile] barakta. I know I'm an old hand at this, as I remembered to ask for a receipt when buying my train tickets so I can fill in and submit the expenses claim there and then. *Awards gold star to self for being organised like that*

It should all be quite nice, assuming I can stay awake :)

Have a nice day everyone :)
lizziec: (carebare hug)
Benjamin Daniel Slowe, born 13:36 today, weighing 9lb 13oz. Rah and sprog both fine (but obviously tired).
lizziec: (carebare hug)
Benjamin Daniel Slowe, born 13:36 today, weighing 9lb 13oz. Rah and sprog both fine (but obviously tired).
lizziec: (carebear star)
[livejournal.com profile] rahslowe went in to labour late last night and is currently in Hospital. Please do not text or call them at the moment, as they are understandably busy with other things ;) Will update again with more news when I get it (which will probably not be until Sproglet has been born).
lizziec: (carebear star)
[livejournal.com profile] rahslowe went in to labour late last night and is currently in Hospital. Please do not text or call them at the moment, as they are understandably busy with other things ;) Will update again with more news when I get it (which will probably not be until Sproglet has been born).
lizziec: (Jon Stewart)
I went to Wildwood (again) the other day (this time with [livejournal.com profile] rahslowe and her sister, Hannah) and got some more animal pictures, quite different from the ones last time because most of the Animals weren't co-operating. Pictures here. Best picture was of an American Bullfrog, I'm quite pleased with it. Pity about the grass that kind of got in the way of my shot.



The other thing that happened to me recently was a mobile phone upgrade. I was due for my upgrade a couple of weeks ago but put it off till yesterday, and had the weirdest and easiest upgrade ever (which is why I'm writing about something so mundane :p)

My current phone is a Sony Ericsson W300i and I've been very happy with it for the most part, but it's 18 months old, scratched and generally looking and starting to behave like a phone that's 18 months old (unimportant bits falling off it and such).

Anyway, I decided to pull my finger out yesterday and call T-Mobile (who I've been with for nearly 6 years now on contract, and four years before that on PAYG, and part of that was when they were still One2One). What can I say, I'm really happy with them, always had excellent customer service from them, and not had any problems with coverage - when I was first with them they were the only ones with signal covering my mum's house (necessary since I was living there at the time).

I got through to customer services very quickly and asked about an upgrade. A very chirpy scotsman confirmed I was due, and said I was a high value customer to them, and as such he wasn't going to offer me any deals - I should just say what I wanted and he would make it happen. So I said I was after the Sony Ericsson W890i, which according to T-Mobile's website should cost me about £50. He said I could have it for free, then gave me a discount off my bill (£4 a month) without me asking. Win :D I was really surprised, but very impressed with their customer service, which for me was impeccable. So I'm writing this all down, to act as a record for just how pleased I am with them and why.

My new phone should arrive on Tuesday morning. Mmm, shiny :)
lizziec: (Jon Stewart)
I went to Wildwood (again) the other day (this time with [livejournal.com profile] rahslowe and her sister, Hannah) and got some more animal pictures, quite different from the ones last time because most of the Animals weren't co-operating. Pictures here. Best picture was of an American Bullfrog, I'm quite pleased with it. Pity about the grass that kind of got in the way of my shot.



The other thing that happened to me recently was a mobile phone upgrade. I was due for my upgrade a couple of weeks ago but put it off till yesterday, and had the weirdest and easiest upgrade ever (which is why I'm writing about something so mundane :p)

My current phone is a Sony Ericsson W300i and I've been very happy with it for the most part, but it's 18 months old, scratched and generally looking and starting to behave like a phone that's 18 months old (unimportant bits falling off it and such).

Anyway, I decided to pull my finger out yesterday and call T-Mobile (who I've been with for nearly 6 years now on contract, and four years before that on PAYG, and part of that was when they were still One2One). What can I say, I'm really happy with them, always had excellent customer service from them, and not had any problems with coverage - when I was first with them they were the only ones with signal covering my mum's house (necessary since I was living there at the time).

I got through to customer services very quickly and asked about an upgrade. A very chirpy scotsman confirmed I was due, and said I was a high value customer to them, and as such he wasn't going to offer me any deals - I should just say what I wanted and he would make it happen. So I said I was after the Sony Ericsson W890i, which according to T-Mobile's website should cost me about £50. He said I could have it for free, then gave me a discount off my bill (£4 a month) without me asking. Win :D I was really surprised, but very impressed with their customer service, which for me was impeccable. So I'm writing this all down, to act as a record for just how pleased I am with them and why.

My new phone should arrive on Tuesday morning. Mmm, shiny :)
lizziec: (LDS - official ex-member)
On mum's birthday we went to Hampton Court Palace (click for pictures). It was a lovely day :)

This week is part of the Easter Holidays for schools, and Sue asked me if I would like to go with her and three of her children to Wildwood. It seemed like a nice way to spend my afternoon so I agreed. Here are the pictures of what I did my afternoon :)


Wild Boar Piglets



Badgers



Polecat


It was a lovely day :)
lizziec: (LDS - official ex-member)
On mum's birthday we went to Hampton Court Palace (click for pictures). It was a lovely day :)

This week is part of the Easter Holidays for schools, and Sue asked me if I would like to go with her and three of her children to Wildwood. It seemed like a nice way to spend my afternoon so I agreed. Here are the pictures of what I did my afternoon :)


Wild Boar Piglets



Badgers



Polecat


It was a lovely day :)
lizziec: (me - lizziephilinlondon)
The Deep and Meaningful Winnie-The-Pooh Character Test )

the spacefem.com html color quiz )

In other news, I've been very busy this week, doing something every day (including seeing [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple twice! hello bethan!). It makes me aware that while I am doing much better, I'm still not there yet - being out for two hours or over makes me so tired I just have to come home and crash. At least I'm handling getting out every day, and that is definite progress.

I've also been watching a lot of dvds, as mum got me a dvd service subscription for Christmas. It's quite cool. I've seen films I've wanted to see but haven't got around to (Hairspray, Letters from Iwo Jima) and ones that I haven't seen for ages (Regeneration, Carry on Teacher), and series that I was curious about but couldn't afford the box sets of (House). The House is being staggered - one part of a series to every two films in my list on average, because otherwise its formula House formula ) annoys the hell out of me. In small doses it's fun though. Do any of you have any film/tv series recommendations to add to my list? :)

I'm looking forward to this weekend. Liz and Si's housewarming. Get to see lots of people I haven't for a while. Should be fun :)
lizziec: (me - lizziephilinlondon)
The Deep and Meaningful Winnie-The-Pooh Character Test )

the spacefem.com html color quiz )

In other news, I've been very busy this week, doing something every day (including seeing [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple twice! hello bethan!). It makes me aware that while I am doing much better, I'm still not there yet - being out for two hours or over makes me so tired I just have to come home and crash. At least I'm handling getting out every day, and that is definite progress.

I've also been watching a lot of dvds, as mum got me a dvd service subscription for Christmas. It's quite cool. I've seen films I've wanted to see but haven't got around to (Hairspray, Letters from Iwo Jima) and ones that I haven't seen for ages (Regeneration, Carry on Teacher), and series that I was curious about but couldn't afford the box sets of (House). The House is being staggered - one part of a series to every two films in my list on average, because otherwise its formula House formula ) annoys the hell out of me. In small doses it's fun though. Do any of you have any film/tv series recommendations to add to my list? :)

I'm looking forward to this weekend. Liz and Si's housewarming. Get to see lots of people I haven't for a while. Should be fun :)
lizziec: (CAFC)
I got a call recently from a family friend, John Morris. He was the only mormon who ever really kept touch with our family after daddy died and over the years he took me and Phil to lots of Charlton games (including the memorable 1998 playoff final at Wembley) because they were the team he supported and it was something he could do for us. As a result I became practically the only child in Croydon to support Charlton. Most of my schoolmates supported Crystal Palace. Oh the stick I got for it!

Anyway, I hadn't been to a game in years when John called and asked if I would want to go to a game if he could arrange it. I replied in the affirmative and he got tickets for him, me and Phil to see Charlton at home against Palace on 8th February. I made arrangements accordingly - to stay with [livejournal.com profile] kimble and [livejournal.com profile] barakta at their place near Stratford so I could tube and bus it to Charlton.

Found my way to where I was staying relatively easily - ben has turned his free (from a competition) Nokia N770 into a tomtom like GPS toy, so it guided me once I was away from my familar territory of the Blackwall Tunnel (I can get to that easily - from there though I get lost unless I'm going to Telehouse at East India Docks).

I was made very welcome by [livejournal.com profile] kimble and shown all the shiny flashy lights and scrolly signs that they have set up. Some of the things would be so helpful in our hearing household as well as their are in their deaf one - a flashy light when a reminder comes up so I wouldn't miss it if I were afk would be amazing. I took down notes of which tubes and busses I needed to get to where I wanted to go and headed out.

Made it to North Greenwich Tube Station ok, and boarded the bus I needed for Charlton in plenty of time - there was an hour to go until Kick Off. Unfortunately, it was rush hour and I ended up in the middle of a crowd away from any windows being squished and I missed my stop. Being unfamiliar with the area, and unable to see anything because of aforementioned squish I didn't realise until the bus thinned out a good half hour later. In the end, I had to ride the bus to the end of the route and then come back on the same one. I had ben tell me where to get off (he was following my route on a bus map because I'd called him in tears and unable to cope) but the driver failed to stop at the right stop and I ended up going one too far. *sigh* Eventually made it into the ground as the half time whistle blew. Phil and John were utterly amazing and lovely and had waited for me outside even though it meant they missed the first half too.

Second half was brilliant. I'd been lucky and not missed any goals. The final score was 2-0 to Charlton and both goals were scored in the second half when I was there to see. Hurrah! I enjoyed myself very much and so John is going to see about taking Phil and I to another game in two or three months.

Going back, John and Phil escorted me to to North Greenwich incase I got lost again (or attacked, which I think at least was John's overriding concern), and made it back to Stratford where [livejournal.com profile] barakta met me to make sure I got off at the right stop for their place. Just as well - the crush on that bendy bus was as bad as the double decker earlier and I wouldn't have had a clue if she hadn't been there and would probably have ended up in Ilford!

I was taken back and fed curry and felt much more human. Then we talked and spodded until very late (I can't remember when I last went to bed that late). It was lovely and so were they :D

Coming back on Saturday was much easier than going (though I almost got my windscreen cleaned at traffic lights) and stopped at Bluewater for Krispy Kreme donuts to bring home and also had lunch. Unfortuantely, I also had a Lush shaped accident (the accident looked like this, this and this), but concluded due to general business and lack of parking (there were places being used as parking spaces that I didn't know could accomodate a car) that I am never venturing to Bluewater again on a Saturday unless it is a matter of life or death. Even then, it will depend on whose life is in danger...

Despite the fact that Kimble and Barakta had been lovely, what I saw of the football had been good, and I'd got some nice things in Bluewater, I was more relieved than I can express to get home again.

In conclusion, some notes on London Transport.
1) Busses at rush hour are horrible. Especially if you're short.
2) My foot is not the same as a brake. You have them on your child's buggy, please use them. My foot does not appreciate the fact that you apparently failed to notice the difference.
3) Bendy busses are the spawn of satan and must be stopped. I didn't know it was possible for a bus to be so crowded. It was more like a tube train than a bus (and busses jerk around way way more :S).
4) Driving may be expensive and complicated in London but I think I would rather drive in future than be half crushed and killed on a bus.
lizziec: (CAFC)
I got a call recently from a family friend, John Morris. He was the only mormon who ever really kept touch with our family after daddy died and over the years he took me and Phil to lots of Charlton games (including the memorable 1998 playoff final at Wembley) because they were the team he supported and it was something he could do for us. As a result I became practically the only child in Croydon to support Charlton. Most of my schoolmates supported Crystal Palace. Oh the stick I got for it!

Anyway, I hadn't been to a game in years when John called and asked if I would want to go to a game if he could arrange it. I replied in the affirmative and he got tickets for him, me and Phil to see Charlton at home against Palace on 8th February. I made arrangements accordingly - to stay with [livejournal.com profile] kimble and [livejournal.com profile] barakta at their place near Stratford so I could tube and bus it to Charlton.

Found my way to where I was staying relatively easily - ben has turned his free (from a competition) Nokia N770 into a tomtom like GPS toy, so it guided me once I was away from my familar territory of the Blackwall Tunnel (I can get to that easily - from there though I get lost unless I'm going to Telehouse at East India Docks).

I was made very welcome by [livejournal.com profile] kimble and shown all the shiny flashy lights and scrolly signs that they have set up. Some of the things would be so helpful in our hearing household as well as their are in their deaf one - a flashy light when a reminder comes up so I wouldn't miss it if I were afk would be amazing. I took down notes of which tubes and busses I needed to get to where I wanted to go and headed out.

Made it to North Greenwich Tube Station ok, and boarded the bus I needed for Charlton in plenty of time - there was an hour to go until Kick Off. Unfortunately, it was rush hour and I ended up in the middle of a crowd away from any windows being squished and I missed my stop. Being unfamiliar with the area, and unable to see anything because of aforementioned squish I didn't realise until the bus thinned out a good half hour later. In the end, I had to ride the bus to the end of the route and then come back on the same one. I had ben tell me where to get off (he was following my route on a bus map because I'd called him in tears and unable to cope) but the driver failed to stop at the right stop and I ended up going one too far. *sigh* Eventually made it into the ground as the half time whistle blew. Phil and John were utterly amazing and lovely and had waited for me outside even though it meant they missed the first half too.

Second half was brilliant. I'd been lucky and not missed any goals. The final score was 2-0 to Charlton and both goals were scored in the second half when I was there to see. Hurrah! I enjoyed myself very much and so John is going to see about taking Phil and I to another game in two or three months.

Going back, John and Phil escorted me to to North Greenwich incase I got lost again (or attacked, which I think at least was John's overriding concern), and made it back to Stratford where [livejournal.com profile] barakta met me to make sure I got off at the right stop for their place. Just as well - the crush on that bendy bus was as bad as the double decker earlier and I wouldn't have had a clue if she hadn't been there and would probably have ended up in Ilford!

I was taken back and fed curry and felt much more human. Then we talked and spodded until very late (I can't remember when I last went to bed that late). It was lovely and so were they :D

Coming back on Saturday was much easier than going (though I almost got my windscreen cleaned at traffic lights) and stopped at Bluewater for Krispy Kreme donuts to bring home and also had lunch. Unfortuantely, I also had a Lush shaped accident (the accident looked like this, this and this), but concluded due to general business and lack of parking (there were places being used as parking spaces that I didn't know could accomodate a car) that I am never venturing to Bluewater again on a Saturday unless it is a matter of life or death. Even then, it will depend on whose life is in danger...

Despite the fact that Kimble and Barakta had been lovely, what I saw of the football had been good, and I'd got some nice things in Bluewater, I was more relieved than I can express to get home again.

In conclusion, some notes on London Transport.
1) Busses at rush hour are horrible. Especially if you're short.
2) My foot is not the same as a brake. You have them on your child's buggy, please use them. My foot does not appreciate the fact that you apparently failed to notice the difference.
3) Bendy busses are the spawn of satan and must be stopped. I didn't know it was possible for a bus to be so crowded. It was more like a tube train than a bus (and busses jerk around way way more :S).
4) Driving may be expensive and complicated in London but I think I would rather drive in future than be half crushed and killed on a bus.
lizziec: (potterpuffs - snape patronus)
I've just been informed that my lovely amazing Godson has taken his first steps :D

I am very proud indeed :D

In other news, spent a brilliant evening playing Guitar Heroes 1, 2 and 3 with Ben and Adam and eating curry. Mmm, curry :)
lizziec: (potterpuffs - snape patronus)
I've just been informed that my lovely amazing Godson has taken his first steps :D

I am very proud indeed :D

In other news, spent a brilliant evening playing Guitar Heroes 1, 2 and 3 with Ben and Adam and eating curry. Mmm, curry :)
lizziec: (Rocks fall)
Ever since Portal came out in Mid October last year, my husband [livejournal.com profile] benc has been more or less obsessed with Moist Delicious Cake and The Weighted Companion Cube which are both "components" of the game. His Weighted Companion Cube Plushie arrived just before Christmas and he fell in love with it. I decided to make him a cake for his birthday on Friday. I'd been toying with the idea since the game had first come out in October, but with the arrival of the plushie version I had a 3D model I could copy. Today me and my friend [livejournal.com profile] rahslowe got down to work and spent the day making a Weighted Companion Cube Cake.

First we went shopping for the necessary articles with which to make cake. No mean feat, given today was new years' day and only Sainsbury's was open (Morrisons and Asda being shut) and even Sainsbury's had very little in the way of what we needed. Luckily we just got more expensive stuff and managed to get everything we wanted.


The cake ingredients


and the icing ingredients.

First we made two basic sponge cakes. The recipe we used was simple and easily scalable- 1 egg to 2 ounces of everything else. We used three eggs so the quantities were:
3 eggs
6oz Caster Sugar
6oz Butter
6oz Flour


We chose to be masochists and mixed the cake by hand, then cooked it in Rah's rectangular Lasagne dish as we felt it was a suitable size. While the first cake was cooling we made the second cake. As the second cake was cooling we began to construct the cube. First we cut the first cake in half and stuck the halves together with Jam (strawberry, but you could use any that took your fancy). We used the second cake to continue the construction, also cutting it in half and sticking all the bits together with strawberry jam. Then we trimmed the sides to a greater or lesser extent to make a cube shape of what was left.


The offcuts.


The naked Companion Cube.

While various parts were cooking and cooling we made templates from cardboard to cut into the icing around so we had the right shapes to decorate the cube with.


The templates with the plushie version which we were copying.

Next came the really messy bit - making the icing! We used a large box of ready to roll royal icing and icing sugar to act as "flour" and stop the icing from sticking to the work surface. We added black food colouring sparingly to make varying shades of grey and some pink food colouring to make the hearts. These got covered in white icing sugar in the process of colouring and rolling it out, but a pastry brush and water took care of that and restored them to the colours they were supposed to be. To use the templates, just lay them out on top of the icing on your worktop and use a sharp knife to cut around them (much as you would with a pastry cutter). The thin lines of pink were writing icing. The hardest bit was getting the bottom layer of icing the right shade of grey and long and wide enough to cover the entire cube. Then we used water to stick the pieces of icing which had been cut from the templates onto the bottom layer. The consistency when wet was something like wet clay.

Eventually it was done, but wet so we left it to dry while we cleared up the terrifying mess we had created.

Finally it was more or less dry and looked like this:

mmm, caek )

Unfortunately we only managed to make half a companion cube out of cake, but we're already making plans for next time, one of which (suggested by Ben) is to make two half cube cakes and serve them one on an orange plate and one on a blue plate. If you have played portal you will get the reference ;)

All pictures of the event can be found here. I recommend getting a friend to help you, it would have been much harder without Rah's help. Thanks Rah and Happy Birthday Ben :)

[EDIT] Cross posted to my website. How to make a Weighted Companion Cube Cake.

lizziec: (Rocks fall)
Ever since Portal came out in Mid October last year, my husband [livejournal.com profile] benc has been more or less obsessed with Moist Delicious Cake and The Weighted Companion Cube which are both "components" of the game. His Weighted Companion Cube Plushie arrived just before Christmas and he fell in love with it. I decided to make him a cake for his birthday on Friday. I'd been toying with the idea since the game had first come out in October, but with the arrival of the plushie version I had a 3D model I could copy. Today me and my friend [livejournal.com profile] rahslowe got down to work and spent the day making a Weighted Companion Cube Cake.

First we went shopping for the necessary articles with which to make cake. No mean feat, given today was new years' day and only Sainsbury's was open (Morrisons and Asda being shut) and even Sainsbury's had very little in the way of what we needed. Luckily we just got more expensive stuff and managed to get everything we wanted.


The cake ingredients


and the icing ingredients.

First we made two basic sponge cakes. The recipe we used was simple and easily scalable- 1 egg to 2 ounces of everything else. We used three eggs so the quantities were:
3 eggs
6oz Caster Sugar
6oz Butter
6oz Flour


We chose to be masochists and mixed the cake by hand, then cooked it in Rah's rectangular Lasagne dish as we felt it was a suitable size. While the first cake was cooling we made the second cake. As the second cake was cooling we began to construct the cube. First we cut the first cake in half and stuck the halves together with Jam (strawberry, but you could use any that took your fancy). We used the second cake to continue the construction, also cutting it in half and sticking all the bits together with strawberry jam. Then we trimmed the sides to a greater or lesser extent to make a cube shape of what was left.


The offcuts.


The naked Companion Cube.

While various parts were cooking and cooling we made templates from cardboard to cut into the icing around so we had the right shapes to decorate the cube with.


The templates with the plushie version which we were copying.

Next came the really messy bit - making the icing! We used a large box of ready to roll royal icing and icing sugar to act as "flour" and stop the icing from sticking to the work surface. We added black food colouring sparingly to make varying shades of grey and some pink food colouring to make the hearts. These got covered in white icing sugar in the process of colouring and rolling it out, but a pastry brush and water took care of that and restored them to the colours they were supposed to be. To use the templates, just lay them out on top of the icing on your worktop and use a sharp knife to cut around them (much as you would with a pastry cutter). The thin lines of pink were writing icing. The hardest bit was getting the bottom layer of icing the right shade of grey and long and wide enough to cover the entire cube. Then we used water to stick the pieces of icing which had been cut from the templates onto the bottom layer. The consistency when wet was something like wet clay.

Eventually it was done, but wet so we left it to dry while we cleared up the terrifying mess we had created.

Finally it was more or less dry and looked like this:

mmm, caek )

Unfortunately we only managed to make half a companion cube out of cake, but we're already making plans for next time, one of which (suggested by Ben) is to make two half cube cakes and serve them one on an orange plate and one on a blue plate. If you have played portal you will get the reference ;)

All pictures of the event can be found here. I recommend getting a friend to help you, it would have been much harder without Rah's help. Thanks Rah and Happy Birthday Ben :)

[EDIT] Cross posted to my website. How to make a Weighted Companion Cube Cake.
lizziec: (sheep baa)
Today I renounced Satan and all his works and asked various saints to pray for us at our local catholic church and I am now a Godmother! :)


Around the font



(Yes, I am just as petrified as I look there)


John standing up and smiling



My handsome Godson, John Andrew :)

The service itself was very quick, not even any incense. Afterwards we went with the family to the local pub and had a roast dinner. Later I gave him the present I brought him for his baptism - the complete collection of Beatrix Potters. Hopefully it's something he'll still have when he has children :)

I'm very tired now. It was a good day, but very long.

Yay for being a Godparent though. I could just about burst with pride! :D
lizziec: (sheep baa)
Today I renounced Satan and all his works and asked various saints to pray for us at our local catholic church and I am now a Godmother! :)


Around the font



(Yes, I am just as petrified as I look there)


John standing up and smiling



My handsome Godson, John Andrew :)

The service itself was very quick, not even any incense. Afterwards we went with the family to the local pub and had a roast dinner. Later I gave him the present I brought him for his baptism - the complete collection of Beatrix Potters. Hopefully it's something he'll still have when he has children :)

I'm very tired now. It was a good day, but very long.

Yay for being a Godparent though. I could just about burst with pride! :D
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Jack O'Neill (two l's ;)))
One of my Christmas presents is a Blockbuster movie rental account thingy. I'm looking for stuff to add to my rent list, so I am calling upon you, my friends list, for your collective knowledge and opinions :)

If you could share with me your recommendations for stuff to add - I'm open to trying most genres and stuff :) Let me know what your favourites are (and maybe why?) or any you have seen recently that you really enjoyed and would recommend, or a film that is to you like a comfort blanket to go back to again and again or whatever :)

Tomorrow I am off to town to finish my Christmas shopping and meet [livejournal.com profile] greenfurrymoose. Should be nice :)
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Jack O'Neill (two l's ;)))
One of my Christmas presents is a Blockbuster movie rental account thingy. I'm looking for stuff to add to my rent list, so I am calling upon you, my friends list, for your collective knowledge and opinions :)

If you could share with me your recommendations for stuff to add - I'm open to trying most genres and stuff :) Let me know what your favourites are (and maybe why?) or any you have seen recently that you really enjoyed and would recommend, or a film that is to you like a comfort blanket to go back to again and again or whatever :)

Tomorrow I am off to town to finish my Christmas shopping and meet [livejournal.com profile] greenfurrymoose. Should be nice :)
lizziec: (Third Watch - bosco and yokis (coffee))
Please note before I start that though it may not seem like it, I do not actually spend much time bitching about my depression, especially here.

I fucking hate my fucking illness. I woke up this morning in a good mood despite my inability to sleep properly (trouble getting to sleep and then staying asleep. 4am and I are becoming well aquainted and according to the pharmacy I can't have any over the counter drugs to help, so I guess I'd better speak to Dr K :/). I enjoyed the drive to my mum's (the weather was such that driving was really fun) where I abandoned Ben and then headed to my first CBB gather. Everyone was very nice and I had fun, but I came out ready to cry having made a really rather hasty getaway. I think I overdid it and to use a [livejournal.com profile] baraktaism (hopefully correctly) I think I just ran out of spoons at the end/did not have enough spoons to do what I was attempting to. Managed to calm down on the walk to the station and did not cry, but really really pissed with myself.

The gather itself was nice. People were lovely and I met lots of new people (everyone) who were all very welcoming and friendly and we ate lots of varied food (Lizzie-friendly rockyroad [no nuts :D], crispy cakes, sausage rolls [turns out there is such a thing as too many sausage rolls]) and lots of other stuff. I spent lots of time hiding behind a lovely large cushion cos I was freaked and talked too much about many things, lots of which probably weren't appropriate. Next time I shall try to be more Sotto ;) Played some games - the present game and an articulate type thing but with CBB words. The team I was on won, but that was largely down to the scary Chalet knowledge of Xanthe and Liss, then I ran away cos I was tired and getting panicky.

In all, it was really nice and I'd do it again, but maybe I should wait until I'm more betterer. Or something.

Have a meme I stole from [livejournal.com profile] greenfurrymoose. Ben also did it and is pretty much the exact opposite.

Your results:
You are Deanna Troi
Deanna Troi
80%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
65%
Beverly Crusher
55%
Uhura
55%
Geordi LaForge
50%
Chekov
40%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
40%
Spock
37%
Jean-Luc Picard
35%
Data
32%
Will Riker
25%
Mr. Scott
25%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
20%
Worf
15%
Mr. Sulu
5%
You are a caring and loving individual.
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.


Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...



Finally, and some of you know this already, Sue has asked me to be John's godmother and I said yes :D I am very proud and excited. It's even worth braving the incence of Catholic Church for! :)
lizziec: (Third Watch - bosco and yokis (coffee))
Please note before I start that though it may not seem like it, I do not actually spend much time bitching about my depression, especially here.

I fucking hate my fucking illness. I woke up this morning in a good mood despite my inability to sleep properly (trouble getting to sleep and then staying asleep. 4am and I are becoming well aquainted and according to the pharmacy I can't have any over the counter drugs to help, so I guess I'd better speak to Dr K :/). I enjoyed the drive to my mum's (the weather was such that driving was really fun) where I abandoned Ben and then headed to my first CBB gather. Everyone was very nice and I had fun, but I came out ready to cry having made a really rather hasty getaway. I think I overdid it and to use a [livejournal.com profile] baraktaism (hopefully correctly) I think I just ran out of spoons at the end/did not have enough spoons to do what I was attempting to. Managed to calm down on the walk to the station and did not cry, but really really pissed with myself.

The gather itself was nice. People were lovely and I met lots of new people (everyone) who were all very welcoming and friendly and we ate lots of varied food (Lizzie-friendly rockyroad [no nuts :D], crispy cakes, sausage rolls [turns out there is such a thing as too many sausage rolls]) and lots of other stuff. I spent lots of time hiding behind a lovely large cushion cos I was freaked and talked too much about many things, lots of which probably weren't appropriate. Next time I shall try to be more Sotto ;) Played some games - the present game and an articulate type thing but with CBB words. The team I was on won, but that was largely down to the scary Chalet knowledge of Xanthe and Liss, then I ran away cos I was tired and getting panicky.

In all, it was really nice and I'd do it again, but maybe I should wait until I'm more betterer. Or something.

Have a meme I stole from [livejournal.com profile] greenfurrymoose. Ben also did it and is pretty much the exact opposite.

Your results:
You are Deanna Troi
Deanna Troi
80%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
65%
Beverly Crusher
55%
Uhura
55%
Geordi LaForge
50%
Chekov
40%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
40%
Spock
37%
Jean-Luc Picard
35%
Data
32%
Will Riker
25%
Mr. Scott
25%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
20%
Worf
15%
Mr. Sulu
5%
You are a caring and loving individual.
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.


Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...



Finally, and some of you know this already, Sue has asked me to be John's godmother and I said yes :D I am very proud and excited. It's even worth braving the incence of Catholic Church for! :)
lizziec: (milky-way eating)
I have to admit I'm impressed. Or possibly more shocked. After I emailed edexcel two days ago (after the yelling ranty call to the tax office following major incompetence and stuff) I expected very little in the way of either cooperation, speed or competence and this morning my statement of earnings turned up. It's even been signed by a real person! I'll be taking a photocopy of that then before I send it off to be eaten up by HM Revenue and Customs. Still, as I said, I'm impressed. It seems the key to dealing with edexcel is to set your sights and expectations very low and then they may actually impress you!

In other news, I went to curry to celebrate Adam's birthday (on Tuesday evening), which was lovely. I also met up with Oziris for coffee (on Wednesday), which we must do more often and today I looked after Sue's baby, John, who is delightful and lovely and not terribly hard work (or at least wasn't today) - the best part is having a nice time and handing him back afterwards! Finally tonight foo and rah came round and we had uber lasagne of doom. Yum.

Now I'm off to bed - I have a counsellor's thing tomorrow, preceeded by a gulbenkian breakfast :D Atfer that the day is mine. Any ideas? ;)
lizziec: (milky-way eating)
I have to admit I'm impressed. Or possibly more shocked. After I emailed edexcel two days ago (after the yelling ranty call to the tax office following major incompetence and stuff) I expected very little in the way of either cooperation, speed or competence and this morning my statement of earnings turned up. It's even been signed by a real person! I'll be taking a photocopy of that then before I send it off to be eaten up by HM Revenue and Customs. Still, as I said, I'm impressed. It seems the key to dealing with edexcel is to set your sights and expectations very low and then they may actually impress you!

In other news, I went to curry to celebrate Adam's birthday (on Tuesday evening), which was lovely. I also met up with Oziris for coffee (on Wednesday), which we must do more often and today I looked after Sue's baby, John, who is delightful and lovely and not terribly hard work (or at least wasn't today) - the best part is having a nice time and handing him back afterwards! Finally tonight foo and rah came round and we had uber lasagne of doom. Yum.

Now I'm off to bed - I have a counsellor's thing tomorrow, preceeded by a gulbenkian breakfast :D Atfer that the day is mine. Any ideas? ;)
lizziec: (animals - duckling-bum)
As I mentioned in my last entry we went on holiday to Skegness/Chapel St. Leonards for a week in a fixed site caravan. We had a lovely time and selected photos are here and some different ones here. All photos were taken by [livejournal.com profile] benc (I was taking black and white pictures on a film camera which have yet to be developed).

We did a fair bunch of stuff, though it was all sadly rather curtailed because the effects of my depression are such that after doing something for 3 or 4 hours I was so tired I had to come home and sleep. One of the things that we did that isn't in pictures is we drove an hour and a half to Stamford so we could see The Dam Busters (which had been cleaned up a little) on the big screen. Well worth it :D though I was dead almost all of the next day.

When we went to Skegness we saw the Skegness lifeboat with its awesome tractor which pulls it down the beach to the sea and pulls it back out again:


It was sooooo cool :D

I won a zippy toy at the "Hook a Duck" stall on Skegness pier and he "did" Skegness:


In Chapel St. Leonards we found possibly the most offensive building in all of the UK, the Golden Palm:


The pictures don't do it justice - the palm trees *flashed*. The shopping arcade owned by the Golden Palm also produced the worst curry I have ever had - sauce like water, sweetened with sugar and chicken so dry it had probably been sitting under lights for hours. The curry places around Skegness were all very special. None of the ones near to us did "Curry". They all did Curry/Kebabs/Pizzas/Burgers. Really we should have known better than to buy from there.

On our last day we went to the beach, as it was the only day really nice enough for it.

I buried Ben:


We worked on a sandcastle:


Which had a working moat :D


Thus, our work was done:

(Mine is the blue spade).

Finally, ben brought me a giant Eeyore for an anniversary present:

He's pretty awesome :)

Today I have called the Job Centre plus in an effort to apply for Incapacity benefit as advised to me by Payroll at UKC. It seems very complicated and I have no idea if I'll be eligable but I don't loose anything by applying. I have also been abusing the BBCs archive trial and now have about 12 tabs of things to watch. Ah well, will keep me busy!

And finally, the reason I chose the icon I did: we got back from holiday to a letter from our Letting Agency saying they'll be coming to inspect the flat for the first time in two years on Thursday. It's a routine inspection but I'm bricking it and utterly convinced we'll be evicted despite saner voices telling me I'm being a muppet. I'm sure on Thursday I'll be able to come back and tell you all that they were right. Until then I suspect I'll be a bit of a nervous heap.
lizziec: (animals - duckling-bum)
As I mentioned in my last entry we went on holiday to Skegness/Chapel St. Leonards for a week in a fixed site caravan. We had a lovely time and selected photos are here and some different ones here. All photos were taken by [livejournal.com profile] benc (I was taking black and white pictures on a film camera which have yet to be developed).

We did a fair bunch of stuff, though it was all sadly rather curtailed because the effects of my depression are such that after doing something for 3 or 4 hours I was so tired I had to come home and sleep. One of the things that we did that isn't in pictures is we drove an hour and a half to Stamford so we could see The Dam Busters (which had been cleaned up a little) on the big screen. Well worth it :D though I was dead almost all of the next day.

When we went to Skegness we saw the Skegness lifeboat with its awesome tractor which pulls it down the beach to the sea and pulls it back out again:


It was sooooo cool :D

I won a zippy toy at the "Hook a Duck" stall on Skegness pier and he "did" Skegness:


In Chapel St. Leonards we found possibly the most offensive building in all of the UK, the Golden Palm:


The pictures don't do it justice - the palm trees *flashed*. The shopping arcade owned by the Golden Palm also produced the worst curry I have ever had - sauce like water, sweetened with sugar and chicken so dry it had probably been sitting under lights for hours. The curry places around Skegness were all very special. None of the ones near to us did "Curry". They all did Curry/Kebabs/Pizzas/Burgers. Really we should have known better than to buy from there.

On our last day we went to the beach, as it was the only day really nice enough for it.

I buried Ben:


We worked on a sandcastle:


Which had a working moat :D


Thus, our work was done:

(Mine is the blue spade).

Finally, ben brought me a giant Eeyore for an anniversary present:

He's pretty awesome :)

Today I have called the Job Centre plus in an effort to apply for Incapacity benefit as advised to me by Payroll at UKC. It seems very complicated and I have no idea if I'll be eligable but I don't loose anything by applying. I have also been abusing the BBCs archive trial and now have about 12 tabs of things to watch. Ah well, will keep me busy!

And finally, the reason I chose the icon I did: we got back from holiday to a letter from our Letting Agency saying they'll be coming to inspect the flat for the first time in two years on Thursday. It's a routine inspection but I'm bricking it and utterly convinced we'll be evicted despite saner voices telling me I'm being a muppet. I'm sure on Thursday I'll be able to come back and tell you all that they were right. Until then I suspect I'll be a bit of a nervous heap.

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