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!

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: (me - phil'sfirstchristmas)
My little brother turns 24 today :O

In honour of this day I have decided to embarrass him and spam you all with lovely pictures of him growing up.

Bwhahaha.

A cut, so you're not too badly spammed :) )

Happy birthday Phil!


This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/427932.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (me - phil'sfirstchristmas)
My little brother turns 24 today :O

In honour of this day I have decided to embarrass him and spam you all with lovely pictures of him growing up.

Bwhahaha.

A cut, so you're not too badly spammed :) )

Happy birthday Phil!


This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/427932.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (me - phil'sfirstchristmas)
My little brother turns 24 today :O

In honour of this day I have decided to embarrass him and spam you all with lovely pictures of him growing up.

Bwhahaha.

A cut, so you're not too badly spammed :) )

Happy birthday Phil!
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
In trying to wind up mum's estate we have been stymied at many turns by a complete lack of paperwork. Apparently mum didn't like to keep paperwork of any type. I won't go in to too much detail here, because it makes me grumpy and you don't need to know about it.

For one of the things I need to prove I am mum's daughter, which apparently involves sending in my birth certificate, and this is where a huge problem I've been meaning to correct for a while comes in. At some point in my growing up my long form birth certificate vanished. No idea where it went. I don't remember ever having it. When I applied for student finance in 2002 I had to physically take my short form certificate in to the council so they could photocopy it.

The reason I had to take my short form birth certificate in person? Ah yes, that would be because my parents in their infinite wisdom, stuck my short form certificate in to my baby book. With glue.

Generally I've managed to avoid it being a problem for some years. I have other forms of ID. However, this set of paperwork that needs it has forced me to order one on a rush from the General Register Office, who I have to say are fantastic. I paid a premium for a next day service and they delivered. You can order certificates online, and if you can wait 16 days the price is a fairly reasonable £9.25 (to put in context, to get a death certificate copy from the registry office after registration is completed is £7 - if you get copies at the time of registration it's quite a lot less).

The GRO helpfully search one year either side of the year you name, just in case you're wrong about the exact year - which is what they had to do when I asked for a copy of daddy's death certificate (mum didn't keep that) because I had no idea when the death was actually registered (he died on Christmas day, so the registry office wouldn't have been open much between christmas day 1991 and january 1992).

I paid more than the £9.25 for my birth certificate because I needed it as a rush job, and they've delivered. Really the price serves me right for not just ordering one when I've thought about it countless other times over the years. But it's now here and I can finish that lot of paperwork and yay! And hopefully I'll never have to go through the embarrassment of sending my baby book anywhere to prove who I am in the future.

lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
In trying to wind up mum's estate we have been stymied at many turns by a complete lack of paperwork. Apparently mum didn't like to keep paperwork of any type. I won't go in to too much detail here, because it makes me grumpy and you don't need to know about it.

For one of the things I need to prove I am mum's daughter, which apparently involves sending in my birth certificate, and this is where a huge problem I've been meaning to correct for a while comes in. At some point in my growing up my long form birth certificate vanished. No idea where it went. I don't remember ever having it. When I applied for student finance in 2002 I had to physically take my short form certificate in to the council so they could photocopy it.

The reason I had to take my short form birth certificate in person? Ah yes, that would be because my parents in their infinite wisdom, stuck my short form certificate in to my baby book. With glue.

Generally I've managed to avoid it being a problem for some years. I have other forms of ID. However, this set of paperwork that needs it has forced me to order one on a rush from the General Register Office, who I have to say are fantastic. I paid a premium for a next day service and they delivered. You can order certificates online, and if you can wait 16 days the price is a fairly reasonable £9.25 (to put in context, to get a death certificate copy from the registry office after registration is completed is £7 - if you get copies at the time of registration it's quite a lot less).

The GRO helpfully search one year either side of the year you name, just in case you're wrong about the exact year - which is what they had to do when I asked for a copy of daddy's death certificate (mum didn't keep that) because I had no idea when the death was actually registered (he died on Christmas day, so the registry office wouldn't have been open much between christmas day 1991 and january 1992).

I paid more than the £9.25 for my birth certificate because I needed it as a rush job, and they've delivered. Really the price serves me right for not just ordering one when I've thought about it countless other times over the years. But it's now here and I can finish that lot of paperwork and yay! And hopefully I'll never have to go through the embarrassment of sending my baby book anywhere to prove who I am in the future.

lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
In trying to wind up mum's estate we have been stymied at many turns by a complete lack of paperwork. Apparently mum didn't like to keep paperwork of any type. I won't go in to too much detail here, because it makes me grumpy and you don't need to know about it.

For one of the things I need to prove I am mum's daughter, which apparently involves sending in my birth certificate, and this is where a huge problem I've been meaning to correct for a while comes in. At some point in my growing up my long form birth certificate vanished. No idea where it went. I don't remember ever having it. When I applied for student finance in 2002 I had to physically take my short form certificate in to the council so they could photocopy it.

The reason I had to take my short form birth certificate in person? Ah yes, that would be because my parents in their infinite wisdom, stuck my short form certificate in to my baby book. With glue.

Generally I've managed to avoid it being a problem for some years. I have other forms of ID. However, this set of paperwork that needs it has forced me to order one on a rush from the General Register Office, who I have to say are fantastic. I paid a premium for a next day service and they delivered. You can order certificates online, and if you can wait 16 days the price is a fairly reasonable £9.25 (to put in context, to get a death certificate copy from the registry office after registration is completed is £7 - if you get copies at the time of registration it's quite a lot less).

The GRO helpfully search one year either side of the year you name, just in case you're wrong about the exact year - which is what they had to do when I asked for a copy of daddy's death certificate (mum didn't keep that) because I had no idea when the death was actually registered (he died on Christmas day, so the registry office wouldn't have been open much between christmas day 1991 and january 1992).

I paid more than the £9.25 for my birth certificate because I needed it as a rush job, and they've delivered. Really the price serves me right for not just ordering one when I've thought about it countless other times over the years. But it's now here and I can finish that lot of paperwork and yay! And hopefully I'll never have to go through the embarrassment of sending my baby book anywhere to prove who I am in the future.
lizziec: (animals - duckling-bum)
Not updated this for a few days (a week?), owing to being very busy indeed. Ben arrived on Wednesday night and took me out to dinner (and was generally fabulous the entire time he was here), and we spent most of Thursday and Friday sorting stuff out for mum's birthday, doing various errands and helping mum celebrate her birthday, before getting back to Canterbury late on Friday night for the rest of our weekend. Mum had a passable few days that week, though had a huge headache on Friday night that necessitated calling the doctor for some stronger painkillers than she had been taking (uber co-codamol, as the Tramadol the hospital gave her makes her feel sick). The headache thing worried me a bit as it brought to the forefront of my mind my worries about what a highly aggressive tumour (the drs at the hospital said it was because of the speed it had caused symptoms and degeneration in function in her face, though as of yet, we still don't know what it is) has been doing in the weeks between the first diagnosis of a tumour and now. I keep worrying that the gap between then and now will mean that a treatable tumour will have become terminal in the meantime. Which is silly, because I'm worrying about things that a) I have no control over and b) haven't even come to pass yet.

The MRI is scheduled for today at 12:15 and I'm hoping I can get mum to the hospital and back without her being sick. Attacks of sickness and nausea are becoming more frequent and I think they may be related to the tumour(s). Of all the symptoms mum has, this is the one I struggle with most. I hate vomit. It makes me want to vomit. Yesterday mum was sick several times and it took me 10 mins and nearly losing the contents of my own stomach 5 or 6 times before I got it from the bowl into the loo. It was ok so long as I wasn't looking at it. No nausea or retching as long as I had my eyes shut or it in a different room, but it's hardly a valid strategy for anything other than getting vomit over the floor between the living room and downstairs loo. Once the bowl was cleared of vomit it was fine - no retching or anything while I cleaned it out with water and then dettol'd it. I know there's probably a good deal more vomit in my future and it's one of the things that worries me a lot. Rather pathetic I know. In the great scheme of things it's not really that bad, but I really can't deal with it. I assume that I will get better at dealing with it. I hope I do, for mum's sake anyway.

Mum saw the diabetic nurse yesterday for a routine review and asked some questions I'd asked her to ask and it seems that the diabetic nurse was about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Mum was diagnosed with type 2 just before the symptoms of the tumour became apparent, so the treatment of the type 2 features in the complicated mess of trying to get some calories in to mum. I've probably mentioned before that the tumour on her cheekbone makes it hard for her to eat, especially anything hard, and makes eating extremely slow and hard work. On top of this, which makes her disinclined to eat, is the nausea and vomiting, which makes it extremely difficult to tempt her appetite. She's losing a lot of weight, which I suppose is good from the type 2 diabetes POV but I don't think she's losing it in the right way. She's barely eating, sometimes not keeping down what she does eat and so it's just melting off her. I'm worried that she won't have the energy to deal with whatever treatment she has for the cancer and that she will get malnourished. Sometimes when she's been sick the only thing she feels like eating(or that she can eat) is something that is bad from a diabetes POV like carrot cake, which then gives her the energy to eat something better for her. The only fruit she can manage is raspberries, grapes and blueberries. It's not really ideal.

The diabetic nurse said that if that was all she could manage (the carrot cake type thing) then she should eat that, but it was better if she could manage something like soup and bread. Which is what we were doing, but I feel as much in the dark as to how to deal with mum's nutrition problems as I did before, and I'm angry and upset about that. I got more help from my Auntie Pat (type 2 for years and years) who said that mum was eating so little the sugars issue didn't really feature too high and I should just get calories in to her where and when I could. Really I shouldn't be getting more helpful and less wishy washy advice from my aunt, who is not a medical professional than from a nurse with a speciality in that area.

Gah, it's all so complicated :(

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - duckling-bum)
Not updated this for a few days (a week?), owing to being very busy indeed. Ben arrived on Wednesday night and took me out to dinner (and was generally fabulous the entire time he was here), and we spent most of Thursday and Friday sorting stuff out for mum's birthday, doing various errands and helping mum celebrate her birthday, before getting back to Canterbury late on Friday night for the rest of our weekend. Mum had a passable few days that week, though had a huge headache on Friday night that necessitated calling the doctor for some stronger painkillers than she had been taking (uber co-codamol, as the Tramadol the hospital gave her makes her feel sick). The headache thing worried me a bit as it brought to the forefront of my mind my worries about what a highly aggressive tumour (the drs at the hospital said it was because of the speed it had caused symptoms and degeneration in function in her face, though as of yet, we still don't know what it is) has been doing in the weeks between the first diagnosis of a tumour and now. I keep worrying that the gap between then and now will mean that a treatable tumour will have become terminal in the meantime. Which is silly, because I'm worrying about things that a) I have no control over and b) haven't even come to pass yet.

The MRI is scheduled for today at 12:15 and I'm hoping I can get mum to the hospital and back without her being sick. Attacks of sickness and nausea are becoming more frequent and I think they may be related to the tumour(s). Of all the symptoms mum has, this is the one I struggle with most. I hate vomit. It makes me want to vomit. Yesterday mum was sick several times and it took me 10 mins and nearly losing the contents of my own stomach 5 or 6 times before I got it from the bowl into the loo. It was ok so long as I wasn't looking at it. No nausea or retching as long as I had my eyes shut or it in a different room, but it's hardly a valid strategy for anything other than getting vomit over the floor between the living room and downstairs loo. Once the bowl was cleared of vomit it was fine - no retching or anything while I cleaned it out with water and then dettol'd it. I know there's probably a good deal more vomit in my future and it's one of the things that worries me a lot. Rather pathetic I know. In the great scheme of things it's not really that bad, but I really can't deal with it. I assume that I will get better at dealing with it. I hope I do, for mum's sake anyway.

Mum saw the diabetic nurse yesterday for a routine review and asked some questions I'd asked her to ask and it seems that the diabetic nurse was about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Mum was diagnosed with type 2 just before the symptoms of the tumour became apparent, so the treatment of the type 2 features in the complicated mess of trying to get some calories in to mum. I've probably mentioned before that the tumour on her cheekbone makes it hard for her to eat, especially anything hard, and makes eating extremely slow and hard work. On top of this, which makes her disinclined to eat, is the nausea and vomiting, which makes it extremely difficult to tempt her appetite. She's losing a lot of weight, which I suppose is good from the type 2 diabetes POV but I don't think she's losing it in the right way. She's barely eating, sometimes not keeping down what she does eat and so it's just melting off her. I'm worried that she won't have the energy to deal with whatever treatment she has for the cancer and that she will get malnourished. Sometimes when she's been sick the only thing she feels like eating(or that she can eat) is something that is bad from a diabetes POV like carrot cake, which then gives her the energy to eat something better for her. The only fruit she can manage is raspberries, grapes and blueberries. It's not really ideal.

The diabetic nurse said that if that was all she could manage (the carrot cake type thing) then she should eat that, but it was better if she could manage something like soup and bread. Which is what we were doing, but I feel as much in the dark as to how to deal with mum's nutrition problems as I did before, and I'm angry and upset about that. I got more help from my Auntie Pat (type 2 for years and years) who said that mum was eating so little the sugars issue didn't really feature too high and I should just get calories in to her where and when I could. Really I shouldn't be getting more helpful and less wishy washy advice from my aunt, who is not a medical professional than from a nurse with a speciality in that area.

Gah, it's all so complicated :(

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - duckling-bum)
Not updated this for a few days (a week?), owing to being very busy indeed. Ben arrived on Wednesday night and took me out to dinner (and was generally fabulous the entire time he was here), and we spent most of Thursday and Friday sorting stuff out for mum's birthday, doing various errands and helping mum celebrate her birthday, before getting back to Canterbury late on Friday night for the rest of our weekend. Mum had a passable few days that week, though had a huge headache on Friday night that necessitated calling the doctor for some stronger painkillers than she had been taking (uber co-codamol, as the Tramadol the hospital gave her makes her feel sick). The headache thing worried me a bit as it brought to the forefront of my mind my worries about what a highly aggressive tumour (the drs at the hospital said it was because of the speed it had caused symptoms and degeneration in function in her face, though as of yet, we still don't know what it is) has been doing in the weeks between the first diagnosis of a tumour and now. I keep worrying that the gap between then and now will mean that a treatable tumour will have become terminal in the meantime. Which is silly, because I'm worrying about things that a) I have no control over and b) haven't even come to pass yet.

The MRI is scheduled for today at 12:15 and I'm hoping I can get mum to the hospital and back without her being sick. Attacks of sickness and nausea are becoming more frequent and I think they may be related to the tumour(s). Of all the symptoms mum has, this is the one I struggle with most. I hate vomit. It makes me want to vomit. Yesterday mum was sick several times and it took me 10 mins and nearly losing the contents of my own stomach 5 or 6 times before I got it from the bowl into the loo. It was ok so long as I wasn't looking at it. No nausea or retching as long as I had my eyes shut or it in a different room, but it's hardly a valid strategy for anything other than getting vomit over the floor between the living room and downstairs loo. Once the bowl was cleared of vomit it was fine - no retching or anything while I cleaned it out with water and then dettol'd it. I know there's probably a good deal more vomit in my future and it's one of the things that worries me a lot. Rather pathetic I know. In the great scheme of things it's not really that bad, but I really can't deal with it. I assume that I will get better at dealing with it. I hope I do, for mum's sake anyway.

Mum saw the diabetic nurse yesterday for a routine review and asked some questions I'd asked her to ask and it seems that the diabetic nurse was about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Mum was diagnosed with type 2 just before the symptoms of the tumour became apparent, so the treatment of the type 2 features in the complicated mess of trying to get some calories in to mum. I've probably mentioned before that the tumour on her cheekbone makes it hard for her to eat, especially anything hard, and makes eating extremely slow and hard work. On top of this, which makes her disinclined to eat, is the nausea and vomiting, which makes it extremely difficult to tempt her appetite. She's losing a lot of weight, which I suppose is good from the type 2 diabetes POV but I don't think she's losing it in the right way. She's barely eating, sometimes not keeping down what she does eat and so it's just melting off her. I'm worried that she won't have the energy to deal with whatever treatment she has for the cancer and that she will get malnourished. Sometimes when she's been sick the only thing she feels like eating(or that she can eat) is something that is bad from a diabetes POV like carrot cake, which then gives her the energy to eat something better for her. The only fruit she can manage is raspberries, grapes and blueberries. It's not really ideal.

The diabetic nurse said that if that was all she could manage (the carrot cake type thing) then she should eat that, but it was better if she could manage something like soup and bread. Which is what we were doing, but I feel as much in the dark as to how to deal with mum's nutrition problems as I did before, and I'm angry and upset about that. I got more help from my Auntie Pat (type 2 for years and years) who said that mum was eating so little the sugars issue didn't really feature too high and I should just get calories in to her where and when I could. Really I shouldn't be getting more helpful and less wishy washy advice from my aunt, who is not a medical professional than from a nurse with a speciality in that area.

Gah, it's all so complicated :(

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
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: (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: (animals - giraffe kiss)
Mum, Phil, Ben and I went to the Cemetary today to do some general housekeeping on daddy's grave - cleaning the headstone, fresh flowers and stuff while generally remembering him and having a rather nice time. His birthday would have been tomorrow (or today! - 7th July) and even if we only go once a year we generally try and time it around his birthday.

Anyway, walking the quarter of a mile or so back from daddy's grave to the main gate Ben spotted this spectacular error in grammar.



As Phil said, you would really think that people would check things are correct before going and actually etching it in to stone. It's not as if gravestones are particularly cheap.
lizziec: (animals - giraffe kiss)
Mum, Phil, Ben and I went to the Cemetary today to do some general housekeeping on daddy's grave - cleaning the headstone, fresh flowers and stuff while generally remembering him and having a rather nice time. His birthday would have been tomorrow (or today! - 7th July) and even if we only go once a year we generally try and time it around his birthday.

Anyway, walking the quarter of a mile or so back from daddy's grave to the main gate Ben spotted this spectacular error in grammar.



As Phil said, you would really think that people would check things are correct before going and actually etching it in to stone. It's not as if gravestones are particularly cheap.
lizziec: (animals - giraffe kiss)
Mum, Phil, Ben and I went to the Cemetary today to do some general housekeeping on daddy's grave - cleaning the headstone, fresh flowers and stuff while generally remembering him and having a rather nice time. His birthday would have been tomorrow (or today! - 7th July) and even if we only go once a year we generally try and time it around his birthday.

Anyway, walking the quarter of a mile or so back from daddy's grave to the main gate Ben spotted this spectacular error in grammar.



As Phil said, you would really think that people would check things are correct before going and actually etching it in to stone. It's not as if gravestones are particularly cheap.
lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.

lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.

lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.
lizziec: (Robin Hood (Errol Flynn))
The Chalet Bulletin Board is having a Book a Week challenge for 2008 and I have decided to take part.

It would be a personal challenge to read at least one book a week so non-competitive, although I think the titles of the books read should be listed on CBB, along with author and a brief description or opinion if you felt like it.

Rules would be:
1) No rereads allowed towards bookcount
2) As long as you have 52 by the end of the year, that is fine. A book a week means on average.


As I read them I am also planning on saying at least a little bit here about each one. Perhaps more than a little bit if it takes my fancy :)

A meme I have stolen from Phil )

Finally, a very happy birthday to my lovely husband, ben ([livejournal.com profile] benc) (who has been featured in the LA Times this week!)
lizziec: (Robin Hood (Errol Flynn))
The Chalet Bulletin Board is having a Book a Week challenge for 2008 and I have decided to take part.

It would be a personal challenge to read at least one book a week so non-competitive, although I think the titles of the books read should be listed on CBB, along with author and a brief description or opinion if you felt like it.

Rules would be:
1) No rereads allowed towards bookcount
2) As long as you have 52 by the end of the year, that is fine. A book a week means on average.


As I read them I am also planning on saying at least a little bit here about each one. Perhaps more than a little bit if it takes my fancy :)

A meme I have stolen from Phil )

Finally, a very happy birthday to my lovely husband, ben ([livejournal.com profile] benc) (who has been featured in the LA Times this week!)
lizziec: (Robin Hood (Errol Flynn))
The Chalet Bulletin Board is having a Book a Week challenge for 2008 and I have decided to take part.

It would be a personal challenge to read at least one book a week so non-competitive, although I think the titles of the books read should be listed on CBB, along with author and a brief description or opinion if you felt like it.

Rules would be:
1) No rereads allowed towards bookcount
2) As long as you have 52 by the end of the year, that is fine. A book a week means on average.


As I read them I am also planning on saying at least a little bit here about each one. Perhaps more than a little bit if it takes my fancy :)

A meme I have stolen from Phil )

Finally, a very happy birthday to my lovely husband, ben ([livejournal.com profile] benc) (who has been featured in the LA Times this week!)
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: (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: (carebear star)

Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] no1typo, my mummy!

lizziec: (carebear star)

Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] no1typo, my mummy!

lizziec: (carebear star)

Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] no1typo, my mummy!

lizziec: (Chalet School)
So after the concert [livejournal.com profile] benc and I went back to our hotel, slept for not enough time and then tubed and dlr-d over to Greenwich to meet [livejournal.com profile] red_pill for present buying for [livejournal.com profile] no1typo's birthday in the market there. We brought the presents with fairly minimal fuss, on budget and having gone nowhere near a high street store (not even a card & paper one!) and took them back to mum's to wrap while Phil showed a mate around the "spooky areas" of Greenwich. When he returned we gave them to mum (fully wrapped by yours truly) and she seemed to like them (see here for details and pictures).

In the evening we decided to go to the excellent Chipstead Tandoori and dithered a bit before finally bolting out of the door in a rush at just gone 7 as I had just recieved the awaited intel that the secret guest was supping Cobra there ;)

It was, of course a guest appearence by Giles. Bwhahaha. Much loveliness of times was had, curry and company were excellent and we even had Moet & Chandon Champagne, brought by Giles' father as a present :D (was lovely by the way ;))

This morning [livejournal.com profile] red_pill and I got up and made mum breakfast as is tradition, and then I took Phil to Purley to go to the LAC (which I'm sure he'll write about), came home and then galvanised people to go to Mogador - the Sportsman pub.

We'd been there before two days before our wedding when we just needed to get away and this time we took [livejournal.com profile] no1typo for a birthday lunch. We knew the food was good, but we didn't know it was quite as amazing as it was. We had an enormous roast dinner except it wasn't so much food to make you feel you could burst. The portion was just right and the beef melted in the mouth and (so I'm told) the veggies were cooked to perfection. It was all followed by a walk in the nice sunshine across the common :)

Finally we headed back to Canterbury, bringing Giles with us :D

A lovely time was had by all, even if I do say so myself. Pictures here.
lizziec: (Chalet School)
So after the concert [livejournal.com profile] benc and I went back to our hotel, slept for not enough time and then tubed and dlr-d over to Greenwich to meet [livejournal.com profile] red_pill for present buying for [livejournal.com profile] no1typo's birthday in the market there. We brought the presents with fairly minimal fuss, on budget and having gone nowhere near a high street store (not even a card & paper one!) and took them back to mum's to wrap while Phil showed a mate around the "spooky areas" of Greenwich. When he returned we gave them to mum (fully wrapped by yours truly) and she seemed to like them (see here for details and pictures).

In the evening we decided to go to the excellent Chipstead Tandoori and dithered a bit before finally bolting out of the door in a rush at just gone 7 as I had just recieved the awaited intel that the secret guest was supping Cobra there ;)

It was, of course a guest appearence by Giles. Bwhahaha. Much loveliness of times was had, curry and company were excellent and we even had Moet & Chandon Champagne, brought by Giles' father as a present :D (was lovely by the way ;))

This morning [livejournal.com profile] red_pill and I got up and made mum breakfast as is tradition, and then I took Phil to Purley to go to the LAC (which I'm sure he'll write about), came home and then galvanised people to go to Mogador - the Sportsman pub.

We'd been there before two days before our wedding when we just needed to get away and this time we took [livejournal.com profile] no1typo for a birthday lunch. We knew the food was good, but we didn't know it was quite as amazing as it was. We had an enormous roast dinner except it wasn't so much food to make you feel you could burst. The portion was just right and the beef melted in the mouth and (so I'm told) the veggies were cooked to perfection. It was all followed by a walk in the nice sunshine across the common :)

Finally we headed back to Canterbury, bringing Giles with us :D

A lovely time was had by all, even if I do say so myself. Pictures here.
lizziec: (Chalet School)
So after the concert [livejournal.com profile] benc and I went back to our hotel, slept for not enough time and then tubed and dlr-d over to Greenwich to meet [livejournal.com profile] red_pill for present buying for [livejournal.com profile] no1typo's birthday in the market there. We brought the presents with fairly minimal fuss, on budget and having gone nowhere near a high street store (not even a card & paper one!) and took them back to mum's to wrap while Phil showed a mate around the "spooky areas" of Greenwich. When he returned we gave them to mum (fully wrapped by yours truly) and she seemed to like them (see here for details and pictures).

In the evening we decided to go to the excellent Chipstead Tandoori and dithered a bit before finally bolting out of the door in a rush at just gone 7 as I had just recieved the awaited intel that the secret guest was supping Cobra there ;)

It was, of course a guest appearence by Giles. Bwhahaha. Much loveliness of times was had, curry and company were excellent and we even had Moet & Chandon Champagne, brought by Giles' father as a present :D (was lovely by the way ;))

This morning [livejournal.com profile] red_pill and I got up and made mum breakfast as is tradition, and then I took Phil to Purley to go to the LAC (which I'm sure he'll write about), came home and then galvanised people to go to Mogador - the Sportsman pub.

We'd been there before two days before our wedding when we just needed to get away and this time we took [livejournal.com profile] no1typo for a birthday lunch. We knew the food was good, but we didn't know it was quite as amazing as it was. We had an enormous roast dinner except it wasn't so much food to make you feel you could burst. The portion was just right and the beef melted in the mouth and (so I'm told) the veggies were cooked to perfection. It was all followed by a walk in the nice sunshine across the common :)

Finally we headed back to Canterbury, bringing Giles with us :D

A lovely time was had by all, even if I do say so myself. Pictures here.
lizziec: (me - daddy and baby lizzie)
I am a muppet and as a result of this I am fed up today.

Last week, about Wednesday, my left knee which has been misbehaving for a while swelled up. The Dr gave me some anti inflammitories and I wnet into work on Thursday and it was worse, so I stayed home on Friday and did practically nothing all weekend except sit on the sofa (though there was a great excursion to Espression on Saturday with Rah and Claire to celebrate Claire's birthday). Because of this I got rather restless and when my knee had stayed normal size on Sunday I decided, late in the evening to take something out to the car.

At 10pm.

My right foot landed awkwardly on a pothole/dropped concrete hole. Over my ankle went. I may have screamed a bit (it hurt) and some people came from across the road to see what was wrong. They restored my faith in humanity - the lady was in her nightclothes! Got Andy to give me a lift to K&C because it hurt so much and was swelling up beautifully. According to the nice nurse at the K&C it's a bad sprain and she would have bandaged it except it was not policy to do that anymore. She sounded pissed off. I would guess the "policy" is due to budget restrictions - luckily I had some tubigrip at home and it's now strapped in one of those. Sue came out and gave us a lift home.

I can bear weight, but movement in any direction hurts and I didn't so much sleep last night as doze being woken up lots by me moving my ankle in my sleep.

Congratulations if you read all that: The important hilights are that foo^rah, andy^sue, Claire^Ben and my ben (and others!) all rock and I am in ouchy pain at the moment and it's my fault and ben told me so.

I'm fed up and off work again. Daytime TV is causing me to lose the will to live. Hopefully back to work tomorrow if only to save my sanity.

Finally - Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] claire_tanner!
lizziec: (me - daddy and baby lizzie)
I am a muppet and as a result of this I am fed up today.

Last week, about Wednesday, my left knee which has been misbehaving for a while swelled up. The Dr gave me some anti inflammitories and I wnet into work on Thursday and it was worse, so I stayed home on Friday and did practically nothing all weekend except sit on the sofa (though there was a great excursion to Espression on Saturday with Rah and Claire to celebrate Claire's birthday). Because of this I got rather restless and when my knee had stayed normal size on Sunday I decided, late in the evening to take something out to the car.

At 10pm.

My right foot landed awkwardly on a pothole/dropped concrete hole. Over my ankle went. I may have screamed a bit (it hurt) and some people came from across the road to see what was wrong. They restored my faith in humanity - the lady was in her nightclothes! Got Andy to give me a lift to K&C because it hurt so much and was swelling up beautifully. According to the nice nurse at the K&C it's a bad sprain and she would have bandaged it except it was not policy to do that anymore. She sounded pissed off. I would guess the "policy" is due to budget restrictions - luckily I had some tubigrip at home and it's now strapped in one of those. Sue came out and gave us a lift home.

I can bear weight, but movement in any direction hurts and I didn't so much sleep last night as doze being woken up lots by me moving my ankle in my sleep.

Congratulations if you read all that: The important hilights are that foo^rah, andy^sue, Claire^Ben and my ben (and others!) all rock and I am in ouchy pain at the moment and it's my fault and ben told me so.

I'm fed up and off work again. Daytime TV is causing me to lose the will to live. Hopefully back to work tomorrow if only to save my sanity.

Finally - Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] claire_tanner!
lizziec: (me - daddy and baby lizzie)
I am a muppet and as a result of this I am fed up today.

Last week, about Wednesday, my left knee which has been misbehaving for a while swelled up. The Dr gave me some anti inflammitories and I wnet into work on Thursday and it was worse, so I stayed home on Friday and did practically nothing all weekend except sit on the sofa (though there was a great excursion to Espression on Saturday with Rah and Claire to celebrate Claire's birthday). Because of this I got rather restless and when my knee had stayed normal size on Sunday I decided, late in the evening to take something out to the car.

At 10pm.

My right foot landed awkwardly on a pothole/dropped concrete hole. Over my ankle went. I may have screamed a bit (it hurt) and some people came from across the road to see what was wrong. They restored my faith in humanity - the lady was in her nightclothes! Got Andy to give me a lift to K&C because it hurt so much and was swelling up beautifully. According to the nice nurse at the K&C it's a bad sprain and she would have bandaged it except it was not policy to do that anymore. She sounded pissed off. I would guess the "policy" is due to budget restrictions - luckily I had some tubigrip at home and it's now strapped in one of those. Sue came out and gave us a lift home.

I can bear weight, but movement in any direction hurts and I didn't so much sleep last night as doze being woken up lots by me moving my ankle in my sleep.

Congratulations if you read all that: The important hilights are that foo^rah, andy^sue, Claire^Ben and my ben (and others!) all rock and I am in ouchy pain at the moment and it's my fault and ben told me so.

I'm fed up and off work again. Daytime TV is causing me to lose the will to live. Hopefully back to work tomorrow if only to save my sanity.

Finally - Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] claire_tanner!
lizziec: (me - daddy and little lizzie)
So on Saturday night we celebrated ben's birthday at the Ancient Raj with foo, rah, adam, nert, ian, allan and ruth :)

The curry was good (as always) and the company was excellent. The live singer was good and we had a lovely time.

I told them it was ben's birthday and possibly a sign we go to that particular curry establishment too much was that they played the birthday track, had their entire kitchen staff stand round our table and presented ben with icecream with a firework in it :D Awesome :D


Photo courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] nert


The people at the table next to us (also seeming to be celebrating a birthday seemed to think it was for them and then looked uber annoyed when the candle came past them and to ben. Bwhahahahaha :D
lizziec: (me - daddy and little lizzie)
So on Saturday night we celebrated ben's birthday at the Ancient Raj with foo, rah, adam, nert, ian, allan and ruth :)

The curry was good (as always) and the company was excellent. The live singer was good and we had a lovely time.

I told them it was ben's birthday and possibly a sign we go to that particular curry establishment too much was that they played the birthday track, had their entire kitchen staff stand round our table and presented ben with icecream with a firework in it :D Awesome :D


Photo courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] nert


The people at the table next to us (also seeming to be celebrating a birthday seemed to think it was for them and then looked uber annoyed when the candle came past them and to ben. Bwhahahahaha :D
lizziec: (me - daddy and little lizzie)
So on Saturday night we celebrated ben's birthday at the Ancient Raj with foo, rah, adam, nert, ian, allan and ruth :)

The curry was good (as always) and the company was excellent. The live singer was good and we had a lovely time.

I told them it was ben's birthday and possibly a sign we go to that particular curry establishment too much was that they played the birthday track, had their entire kitchen staff stand round our table and presented ben with icecream with a firework in it :D Awesome :D


Photo courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] nert


The people at the table next to us (also seeming to be celebrating a birthday seemed to think it was for them and then looked uber annoyed when the candle came past them and to ben. Bwhahahahaha :D
lizziec: (snail)
I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge and resounding

Happy Birthday!



to my baby ickle not so ickle any more... brother [livejournal.com profile] red_pill

I can't quite believe we made it this far, but happy 19th and here's to many more! :D



Philip Walker Overal (now age 19)
lizziec: (snail)
I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge and resounding

Happy Birthday!



to my baby ickle not so ickle any more... brother [livejournal.com profile] red_pill

I can't quite believe we made it this far, but happy 19th and here's to many more! :D



Philip Walker Overal (now age 19)
lizziec: (snail)
I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge and resounding

Happy Birthday!



to my baby ickle not so ickle any more... brother [livejournal.com profile] red_pill

I can't quite believe we made it this far, but happy 19th and here's to many more! :D



Philip Walker Overal (now age 19)
lizziec: (explosm sad)
A very many happy (belated) returns of the day for [livejournal.com profile] no1typo, my mummy, who is now Very Old(tm) ;)

We all had a fabulous day and she looked very beautiful :)

Ta to everyone who made it special for her! :D
lizziec: (explosm sad)
A very many happy (belated) returns of the day for [livejournal.com profile] no1typo, my mummy, who is now Very Old(tm) ;)

We all had a fabulous day and she looked very beautiful :)

Ta to everyone who made it special for her! :D
lizziec: (explosm sad)
A very many happy (belated) returns of the day for [livejournal.com profile] no1typo, my mummy, who is now Very Old(tm) ;)

We all had a fabulous day and she looked very beautiful :)

Ta to everyone who made it special for her! :D
lizziec: (Jon Stewart)
A very happy birthday to a very special person who made me very happy and cry at the same time yesterday.

Congratulations on making the grand old age of 22 [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple! :D

*bounces for joy*
lizziec: (Jon Stewart)
A very happy birthday to a very special person who made me very happy and cry at the same time yesterday.

Congratulations on making the grand old age of 22 [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple! :D

*bounces for joy*
lizziec: (Jon Stewart)
A very happy birthday to a very special person who made me very happy and cry at the same time yesterday.

Congratulations on making the grand old age of 22 [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple! :D

*bounces for joy*
lizziec: (potterpuffs - sphinx idiots)
Happy birthday to my wonderful husband Ben :D

*dances*
lizziec: (potterpuffs - sphinx idiots)
Happy birthday to my wonderful husband Ben :D

*dances*

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