lizziec: (toys - Giraffe)
We went on holiday to Norfolk this year, to this beautiful cottage called "Remus" in Larling, through this brilliant company who let holiday cottages in five locales, despite being called "Best of Suffolk" ;)

I was pretty excited about going, but didn't realise how much I really needed to get away from everything after the year we've had so far. And I really did need to get away, and feel miles better for having done so.

Day One - Friday 3rd September - Travelling and settling in )

Day Two - Saturday 4th September - Relaxing in the cottage )

Day Three - Sunday 5th September - Bure Valley Railway and Great Yarmouth )

Day Four - Monday 6th September - Banham Zoo (featuring Giraffes) )

Day Five - Tuesday 7th September - The world's most disappointing Toy and Model Expo and England's only Whisky distillery )

Day Six - Wednesday 8th September - IWM Duxford )

Day Seven - Thursday 9th September - Norwich )

Day Eight - Friday 10th September - Home again (with a stop at Bluewater en-route) )

It was really good to be away, but it was quite nice to get home again.

The fantastic news, and a good way to round off our holiday, is this was our last holiday in which I had to do all the driving, because on Monday, Ben passed his driving test first time \o/ (though this does mean I now have to share the car ;))

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/414937.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Granny's garden bee)
We went on holiday to Norfolk this year, to this beautiful cottage called "Remus" in Larling, through this brilliant company who let holiday cottages in five locales, despite being called "Best of Suffolk" ;)

I was pretty excited about going, but didn't realise how much I really needed to get away from everything after the year we've had so far. And I really did need to get away, and feel miles better for having done so.

Day One - Friday 3rd September - Travelling and settling in )

Day Two - Saturday 4th September - Relaxing in the cottage )

Day Three - Sunday 5th September - Bure Valley Railway and Great Yarmouth )

Day Four - Monday 6th September - Banham Zoo (featuring Giraffes) )

Day Five - Tuesday 7th September - The world's most disappointing Toy and Model Expo and England's only Whisky distillery )

Day Six - Wednesday 8th September - IWM Duxford )

Day Seven - Thursday 9th September - Norwich )

Day Eight - Friday 10th September - Home again (with a stop at Bluewater en-route) )

It was really good to be away, but it was quite nice to get home again.

The fantastic news, and a good way to round off our holiday, is this was our last holiday in which I had to do all the driving, because on Monday, Ben passed his driving test first time \o/ (though this does mean I now have to share the car ;))
lizziec: (NCIS gibbs abby protection)
Got to Mayday for the hastily arranged ENT appointment about half an hour early and were seen immediately by the doctor. I can't say I was overly impressed with his bedside manner, though it improved some way into the appointment where we reached a mutual understanding. A little more on that further in.

To start with the doctor was very brisk, and wanted to know mum's history with this problem starting from the beginning which upset and frustrated her, so I'm not sure he got a complete picture. Then without any prep time at all went to stick a camera up her nose to see what was going on up there, which completely understandably completely upset mum. She started to cry and said that she hadn't expected that - which was fair as we were just told to be there, no details more than that - and the doctor got kind of frustrated and said that he'd only been handed the case the evening before and had squeezed us into his clinic as a favour to the Neurologist that mum had seen before and was seeing lots more patients in clinic today than he had timeslots for. I guess that explains why we got seen as soon as we got there rather than at a specific time. After we understood he was rushed and he understood mum was scared and uninformed about what the appointment would involve he became much better bedside manner wise. It's a shame it took tears and stuff to get to that point.

He had a go at getting the camera up mum's left nostril, but it didn't go very far as he kept hitting something which I believe was the tumour (he got mum to have a go at blowing her nose, but the blockage didn't move at all), and the attempt looked like it hurt an awful lot (judging by the way mum gripped my hand). It went fine up the right nostril, and appeared to hurt mum much less.

He appeared rather concerned and disappeared for a bit to arrange some things, and then came back to his office to make calls to further arrange things while we were in there. It amused me to hear him sweet talking nurses in much the same way I sweet talk people when I need something.

Anyway, he'd thought that the tumour needed biopsying asap and managed to squeeze mum into his Monday morning list for a biopsy under a general anaesthetic. The rest of the time at the hospital involved heading to the day surgery ward to get pre-admitted and see an anaesthetist (though not the one who'll be doing mum tomorrow) to be checked anaesthetic wise. Was informed that the major risk is that it doesn't stop bleeding after the biopsy is taken and if that happens her nose (through which the biopsy is being taken) will be packed and she'll be sent from Mayday (in Croydon, where all the appointments so far have been, and where the biopsy will be done tomorrow) to St Georges (in Tooting) to be admitted. Really hope that won't happen, but am pondering putting a bag of jammies and washing supplies in the car tomorrow morning just in case, in the hope being prepared will ward off problems.

The follow up to the biopsy will be at St Georges, where the doctor is actually based. He told us how to get there by public transport as he explained that the parking situation (and traffic on the way) is pretty bad, even for him. It was good of him to explain the transport options but I really don't think that mum is up to public transport at the moment. She had a turn while at Mayday on Friday and needed a wheelchair to get her out to the car again. Managed to sort out alternative arrangements that don't involve public transport, thankfully. My auntie and uncle live very very close (a mile or so) to St Georges, and my auntie has worked there (and still volunteers there) so we'll be parking the car at their house and my uncle will drop us off and pick us up, avoiding, hopefully, the parking problems at the hospital without exhausting mum.

All told, it looks like we'll know by Thursday afternoon what the tumour is and some sort of prognosis. The doctor on Friday didn't tell us at all about the MRI and what it showed, though I know he had the report in mum's file, but I know that between inital diagnosis of the tumour and now she is much much worse. Her left eye is completely non-functional, the huge nosebleeds every couple of weeks have evolved into a continuous drip/dribble of blood, she's almost deaf in her left ear and eating has become more of a challenge. Almost the entirety of the left hand side of her face is numb and tingly now, and the nausea and vomiting is worse. The anaesthetist we saw on Friday suggested mum start taking the anti sick pills at night as a matter of course to hopefully ward off the worst of it.

Off to Coulsdon again soon. We have to be at the hospital for 7:30 am tomorrow, which is quite unholy. I decided I'd rather sleep at mum's and get up early than sleep here and get up in what is essentially the middle of the night and drive there then. I think tomorrow will be quite long enough without starting at 4am. All the same, leaving here for Coulsdon is getting harder each week, though I'm not sure whether it's because I'm eating into my mood/spoons reserves each time I spend a week there, or because the situation is getting harder in itself.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (NCIS gibbs abby protection)
Got to Mayday for the hastily arranged ENT appointment about half an hour early and were seen immediately by the doctor. I can't say I was overly impressed with his bedside manner, though it improved some way into the appointment where we reached a mutual understanding. A little more on that further in.

To start with the doctor was very brisk, and wanted to know mum's history with this problem starting from the beginning which upset and frustrated her, so I'm not sure he got a complete picture. Then without any prep time at all went to stick a camera up her nose to see what was going on up there, which completely understandably completely upset mum. She started to cry and said that she hadn't expected that - which was fair as we were just told to be there, no details more than that - and the doctor got kind of frustrated and said that he'd only been handed the case the evening before and had squeezed us into his clinic as a favour to the Neurologist that mum had seen before and was seeing lots more patients in clinic today than he had timeslots for. I guess that explains why we got seen as soon as we got there rather than at a specific time. After we understood he was rushed and he understood mum was scared and uninformed about what the appointment would involve he became much better bedside manner wise. It's a shame it took tears and stuff to get to that point.

He had a go at getting the camera up mum's left nostril, but it didn't go very far as he kept hitting something which I believe was the tumour (he got mum to have a go at blowing her nose, but the blockage didn't move at all), and the attempt looked like it hurt an awful lot (judging by the way mum gripped my hand). It went fine up the right nostril, and appeared to hurt mum much less.

He appeared rather concerned and disappeared for a bit to arrange some things, and then came back to his office to make calls to further arrange things while we were in there. It amused me to hear him sweet talking nurses in much the same way I sweet talk people when I need something.

Anyway, he'd thought that the tumour needed biopsying asap and managed to squeeze mum into his Monday morning list for a biopsy under a general anaesthetic. The rest of the time at the hospital involved heading to the day surgery ward to get pre-admitted and see an anaesthetist (though not the one who'll be doing mum tomorrow) to be checked anaesthetic wise. Was informed that the major risk is that it doesn't stop bleeding after the biopsy is taken and if that happens her nose (through which the biopsy is being taken) will be packed and she'll be sent from Mayday (in Croydon, where all the appointments so far have been, and where the biopsy will be done tomorrow) to St Georges (in Tooting) to be admitted. Really hope that won't happen, but am pondering putting a bag of jammies and washing supplies in the car tomorrow morning just in case, in the hope being prepared will ward off problems.

The follow up to the biopsy will be at St Georges, where the doctor is actually based. He told us how to get there by public transport as he explained that the parking situation (and traffic on the way) is pretty bad, even for him. It was good of him to explain the transport options but I really don't think that mum is up to public transport at the moment. She had a turn while at Mayday on Friday and needed a wheelchair to get her out to the car again. Managed to sort out alternative arrangements that don't involve public transport, thankfully. My auntie and uncle live very very close (a mile or so) to St Georges, and my auntie has worked there (and still volunteers there) so we'll be parking the car at their house and my uncle will drop us off and pick us up, avoiding, hopefully, the parking problems at the hospital without exhausting mum.

All told, it looks like we'll know by Thursday afternoon what the tumour is and some sort of prognosis. The doctor on Friday didn't tell us at all about the MRI and what it showed, though I know he had the report in mum's file, but I know that between inital diagnosis of the tumour and now she is much much worse. Her left eye is completely non-functional, the huge nosebleeds every couple of weeks have evolved into a continuous drip/dribble of blood, she's almost deaf in her left ear and eating has become more of a challenge. Almost the entirety of the left hand side of her face is numb and tingly now, and the nausea and vomiting is worse. The anaesthetist we saw on Friday suggested mum start taking the anti sick pills at night as a matter of course to hopefully ward off the worst of it.

Off to Coulsdon again soon. We have to be at the hospital for 7:30 am tomorrow, which is quite unholy. I decided I'd rather sleep at mum's and get up early than sleep here and get up in what is essentially the middle of the night and drive there then. I think tomorrow will be quite long enough without starting at 4am. All the same, leaving here for Coulsdon is getting harder each week, though I'm not sure whether it's because I'm eating into my mood/spoons reserves each time I spend a week there, or because the situation is getting harder in itself.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (carebare grumpy sleeping)
I went up to London yesterday to see pot luck theatre* with [livejournal.com profile] no1typo. We ended up seeing Hairspray, which I hope to write about at a later date. I've been all writers blocked recently, even when I've had things to write about, and so this journal has been very quiet.

Anyway, to return to this entirely uninteresting tale of Woe, for which Livejournal is famous and I just want to get off my chest...

I should have known what the travel situation would be from early(ish) in my journey, when I drove onto the slip for the M20 (off the A249) and stopped. And stayed stopped for over three quarters of an hour after an accident on the M20 between the junction I was coming on at and the next one, which closed the whole carriageway for most of the time I was stopped, and two lanes were still closed when I finally got past.

It wasn't really the best start, and very nearly made me late for picking up [livejournal.com profile] no1typo. After that things went mostly to plan (bar the overcrowding/traffic jams of a bus getting around London at 5pm :)) and we got our tickets, had dinner and wandered to the theatre. It was after the show that it all started to get interesting.

First, as to be expected really at Theatre kicking out time, the traffic was solid for a while and it took us ages to get a bus back to Victoria - a number 38, which advertised Victoria as its destination and then kicked us (and the rest of the passengers) out at Green Park. By this time it was nearly 11pm, we were getting tired and Victoria was a dark and scary walk away across the park (yes, I know it's not far, but it was dark and scary. So we decided that, given we couldn't really be bothered to wait for a bus that may or may not come (and may or may not pick us up when it does come) we got a cab the rest of the way to Victoria.

Where we found a train back to the place we had left the car was indefinitely delayed because of problems at Clapham Junction. After half an hour or so of waiting, we decided to get on a train to East Croydon, because at least then we'd be getting closer to the car and home and we could always get a train from there to Purley. When we got there we found that, again, the closest train for Purley, had it been On Time was still ages away and it was already showing as "delayed" (by this point, I was getting heartily fed up with signs at train stations merely saying "delayed"), which could mean anything for us and our wait.

At which point we completely lost our heads and splurged on a cab for us back to the car and I took mum home and then made a run for it before any more disasters could befall my travel arrangements. I did have clothes etc to stay over if I needed to, but by now I was craving my bed. Which is how I made my next mistake in deciding to go home.

Definitely a mistake. All was fine until I hit the M25 (for reference this is my normal route home from my mum's) at which point it became mostly single lane because of roadworks, and to my utter woe the sliproad to the M26 was closed, meaning that the M26 itself was closed, meaning that I ended up going to the Darenth Interchange and straight on to the M2. The M25 was single lane pretty much from the point I joined to the point I came off at Darenth. Despite the fact that the route I ended up taking is only ~10 miles further than the route I usually take, it took me significantly longer to get home, because for the entire stretch of the M25 (which, I remind you all, dear reader, was single lane) I was at 50mph or less.

Luckily the rest of my drive was ok, but I ended up nearly freezing myself with the aircon to stay awake, so it took me ages to thaw when I got home.

So it took me forever to get home. The show finished at 10pm and I didn't get back until around 2am.

It was a brilliant evening otherwise though :D

*What I call it if you go with the intention of seeing a show, but are not bothered as to which one thus purchase your tickets for far less than you otherwise would from a booth like tkts in Leicester Square. (A list of what they have on sale today.)
lizziec: (carebare grumpy sleeping)
I went up to London yesterday to see pot luck theatre* with [livejournal.com profile] no1typo. We ended up seeing Hairspray, which I hope to write about at a later date. I've been all writers blocked recently, even when I've had things to write about, and so this journal has been very quiet.

Anyway, to return to this entirely uninteresting tale of Woe, for which Livejournal is famous and I just want to get off my chest...

I should have known what the travel situation would be from early(ish) in my journey, when I drove onto the slip for the M20 (off the A249) and stopped. And stayed stopped for over three quarters of an hour after an accident on the M20 between the junction I was coming on at and the next one, which closed the whole carriageway for most of the time I was stopped, and two lanes were still closed when I finally got past.

It wasn't really the best start, and very nearly made me late for picking up [livejournal.com profile] no1typo. After that things went mostly to plan (bar the overcrowding/traffic jams of a bus getting around London at 5pm :)) and we got our tickets, had dinner and wandered to the theatre. It was after the show that it all started to get interesting.

First, as to be expected really at Theatre kicking out time, the traffic was solid for a while and it took us ages to get a bus back to Victoria - a number 38, which advertised Victoria as its destination and then kicked us (and the rest of the passengers) out at Green Park. By this time it was nearly 11pm, we were getting tired and Victoria was a dark and scary walk away across the park (yes, I know it's not far, but it was dark and scary. So we decided that, given we couldn't really be bothered to wait for a bus that may or may not come (and may or may not pick us up when it does come) we got a cab the rest of the way to Victoria.

Where we found a train back to the place we had left the car was indefinitely delayed because of problems at Clapham Junction. After half an hour or so of waiting, we decided to get on a train to East Croydon, because at least then we'd be getting closer to the car and home and we could always get a train from there to Purley. When we got there we found that, again, the closest train for Purley, had it been On Time was still ages away and it was already showing as "delayed" (by this point, I was getting heartily fed up with signs at train stations merely saying "delayed"), which could mean anything for us and our wait.

At which point we completely lost our heads and splurged on a cab for us back to the car and I took mum home and then made a run for it before any more disasters could befall my travel arrangements. I did have clothes etc to stay over if I needed to, but by now I was craving my bed. Which is how I made my next mistake in deciding to go home.

Definitely a mistake. All was fine until I hit the M25 (for reference this is my normal route home from my mum's) at which point it became mostly single lane because of roadworks, and to my utter woe the sliproad to the M26 was closed, meaning that the M26 itself was closed, meaning that I ended up going to the Darenth Interchange and straight on to the M2. The M25 was single lane pretty much from the point I joined to the point I came off at Darenth. Despite the fact that the route I ended up taking is only ~10 miles further than the route I usually take, it took me significantly longer to get home, because for the entire stretch of the M25 (which, I remind you all, dear reader, was single lane) I was at 50mph or less.

Luckily the rest of my drive was ok, but I ended up nearly freezing myself with the aircon to stay awake, so it took me ages to thaw when I got home.

So it took me forever to get home. The show finished at 10pm and I didn't get back until around 2am.

It was a brilliant evening otherwise though :D

*What I call it if you go with the intention of seeing a show, but are not bothered as to which one thus purchase your tickets for far less than you otherwise would from a booth like tkts in Leicester Square. (A list of what they have on sale today.)
lizziec: (Musicals)
Some friends and I are going to see Les Mis in July, and I went up to London to book the tickets in person at the box office at the Palace Theatre. I could have done it over the phone or the internet, but I had a theatre voucher and the easiest way to redeem it was in person, so I made an afternoon of it, and went on the train which, while not the cheapest way to travel, is by far the most relaxing (when things go right!).

My trusty backpack and I started off from Canterbury West. Saw a cool new train being tested (saw loads more at Ashford, mostly unliveried, which means they must be pretty new :) They certainly looked pretty). At 10:40 the train was nice and quiet so I got a four-seat with table all to myself and spread out a little.

(Click to embiggen)

I went all arty on the journey, both in to London and back to Canterbury, experimenting with my camera, getting lots of pictures of trees and things whizzing past while moving...

(Click to embiggen)

...and structures when we were stopped, or going slowly.

(Click to embiggen)

I met [livejournal.com profile] red_pill at Charing Cross, and we wandered round "Theatreland" taking some pictures and looking for the Palace Theatre so I could buy the tickets. The Priscilla, Queen of the Desert title thing and giant high heel was especially cool. The picture doesn't really do it justice - it was all sparkly!


On our way back to Charing Cross, we accidentally ran in to the May Day protests in Trafalgar Square, but we escaped without being bludgeoned by the police or the protesters :)


Headed home at 2:50pm-ish. Long way to go, but a lovely day in London and nice to be out. More importantly I was going home with what I'd come to London to get :D



All pictures.

I'm getting quite excited about going now :D If only I didn't have to wait till nearly the end of July!
lizziec: (Musicals)
Some friends and I are going to see Les Mis in July, and I went up to London to book the tickets in person at the box office at the Palace Theatre. I could have done it over the phone or the internet, but I had a theatre voucher and the easiest way to redeem it was in person, so I made an afternoon of it, and went on the train which, while not the cheapest way to travel, is by far the most relaxing (when things go right!).

My trusty backpack and I started off from Canterbury West. Saw a cool new train being tested (saw loads more at Ashford, mostly unliveried, which means they must be pretty new :) They certainly looked pretty). At 10:40 the train was nice and quiet so I got a four-seat with table all to myself and spread out a little.

(Click to embiggen)

I went all arty on the journey, both in to London and back to Canterbury, experimenting with my camera, getting lots of pictures of trees and things whizzing past while moving...

(Click to embiggen)

...and structures when we were stopped, or going slowly.

(Click to embiggen)

I met [livejournal.com profile] red_pill at Charing Cross, and we wandered round "Theatreland" taking some pictures and looking for the Palace Theatre so I could buy the tickets. The Priscilla, Queen of the Desert title thing and giant high heel was especially cool. The picture doesn't really do it justice - it was all sparkly!


On our way back to Charing Cross, we accidentally ran in to the May Day protests in Trafalgar Square, but we escaped without being bludgeoned by the police or the protesters :)


Headed home at 2:50pm-ish. Long way to go, but a lovely day in London and nice to be out. More importantly I was going home with what I'd come to London to get :D



All pictures.

I'm getting quite excited about going now :D If only I didn't have to wait till nearly the end of July!
lizziec: (Big ben fireworks new year)
Typical, that on the day the Government withdraws the plan to keep MPs expenses secret my MP should write back to me about voting against the proposed measure.

For good measure, I'm putting a copy of his reply here. Bits in italics were handwritten and not always very clear ;)

Letter from Julian Brazier )

In other news, should you have any spare cash lying around (I know that this is unlikely given the current economic climate) and fancy putting it towards a cool cause, the National Railway Museum in York are trying to gather funds so they can finish their restoration of The Flying Scotsman. "Steam our Scotsman" - the campaign to raise money to finish the restoration.
lizziec: (Big ben fireworks new year)
Typical, that on the day the Government withdraws the plan to keep MPs expenses secret my MP should write back to me about voting against the proposed measure.

For good measure, I'm putting a copy of his reply here. Bits in italics were handwritten and not always very clear ;)

Letter from Julian Brazier )

In other news, should you have any spare cash lying around (I know that this is unlikely given the current economic climate) and fancy putting it towards a cool cause, the National Railway Museum in York are trying to gather funds so they can finish their restoration of The Flying Scotsman. "Steam our Scotsman" - the campaign to raise money to finish the restoration.

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