chocolate pods and tadpoles …

There I was in the Co-Op, shopping for milk (essential) and mayo (‘cos I feel too lazy to make my own) when I became aware of a strange object. I’m not really one for Easter eggs, and this isn’t one … it seems to be a “chocolate pod celebrating 25 years of FairTrade, and is therefore completely different!

It’s now “decontaminating itself” in isolation in the front room, for several days. And will have to be consumed in minute portions, due to diet.

Back from shopping, and a quick check round the garden …

TODAY is tadpole-hatching day! I’ve been keeping an eye out several times a day – last year they hatched on 28th March, so they’re a bit late this year. Six balls of frog-spawn all hatching simultaneously, in my tiny (6′ x 2’6″) pond … wonderful stuff.

chocolate pod


tadpole video on Facebook post

back at Mum’s

Well, I managed 24 hours at home, having got back rather after 6pm on Monday, and leaving rather before 7pm on Tuesday. Mum had had another “event” – this time, while her hairdresser was there, fortunately. She got very confused, and didn’t even recognise my sister Jane on the phone. Ambulance called, taken to JR2, and a scan showed no TIA or stroke, so they decided not to keep her in overnight.

Mum wasn’t best pleased about this, but the excessive blood pressure events (240 upwards) so far haven’t actually produced any bleeds to the brain, and it just takes a while for the swelling of the blood vessels to go down and allow a return to normalcy (or as close as she gets).

Fortunately, local friends Sue and Pippa had noticed the ambulance, and kept family informed. They went to visit Mum early evening in hospital, and were there when she was discharged so were able to bring her home, which was massively helpful. I arrived around 8.30 (train to Hanborough, then cab) about ten minutes after they all got back.

Later on, Mum was worrying about the electrode stickers that had still been left on, and I noticed that they’d actually still left a cannula in! A quick call to my sister (‘cos she’s up to speed on local medical services), then a long call to NHS111. “A doctor will call back within the hour“, which duly happened. “A paramedic will come and remove the cannula in the next hour or so“. They turned up at about half past midnight, having had a spot of difficulty in finding the house (why do they never ring for directions, as we always tells them to – the place is a bugger to find in the dark if you don’t know it!). Anyway, I was much relieved once the cannula had been taken out.

Exhausted, I slept from 1am until the alarm went off just after 8 – the first uninterrupted sleep I’ve had since the New Year, as the cold / nasty chest and sinuses I’ve had has been waking me a couple of times a night.  This morning, my sister had managed to re-instate the morning carer who has been cancelled when Mum went into hospital, which was good news (though a bit of a shock, as she arrived unexpectedly when I was in my dressing gown making my first coffee of the day – not my best time!).

I expect Mum will spend most of the day in bed, dozing. I’ve done most of the routine chores, and will try to get out for a walk – it’s a glorious sunny and rather frosty morning.


Remembering all those who we have lost.

I was given this beaded badge (which I’ll be wearing today) exactly nine years ago – the first time I took Maurice to an appointment at his HIV clinic.

beaded AIDS ribbon


A couple of weeks ago, the train I was planning to catch over to see Mum was cancelled. It was a Sunday lunchtime, and trains are only every two hours, so I gave up. I put in for “delay repay”, of course.

This morning my compensation arrived. Rail travel vouchers – which I specify as they cause the much-loathed GWR  much more inconvenience and cost than refund to debit card (and I don’t particularly want to email GWR card or bank details). It will come in handy for my next visit (which has been postponed from today to the weekend).

rail travel voucher

An interesting day spent wrestling with WordPress themes and styles. I think we’re about there for now, though it can always be changed later.

I discovered that some of my last blog can be accessed through the Wayback machine, so not quite all of it is lost. That gives me some encouragement to start again – especially as I discover that my web host now offers a backup service (at extra cost, naturally), so hopefully even a catastrophic crash like the one that killed my last blog will not lose masses of data.

With all that firkling on the web, I was late cooking supper. A rummage in the freezer found some pork-‘n-beans of indeterminate age, so I’ll have that with a couple of slices of garlic bread.

An early night is called for tonight: I’ll be standing outside a local Polling Station wearing a Green Party rosette from 0700h onwards!

Having flowered profusely in late November, both my “Christmas” cactuses have now started flowering again – thus cunningly avoiding the actual festive season itself!

cactus flower

Christmas Tree is now outside for the next 11 months. Hope it survives the sudden transition from (a barely-heated) indoor room to the Great Outdoors – I’d really like to get my usual three years use out of it.

Christmas tree outside

Would you believe it!

I spent 45 minutes rootling through the 3 boxes of “miscellaneous leads” in the loft, looking for an IEC (kettle-type) lead. Not one to be found! Ten years ago, I had half a dozen spares, I’m sure. Now everything seems to be the “cloverleaf” design (which is smaller). So I’ve had to order an IEC plug from Ebay.

Why do I need one? The power cut on New Year’s Eve seems to have finally put paid to the monitor on my desktop PC. Well, it came back on for an hour, but next time I tried it, it was thoroughly dead. Considering it was free, second-hand, 9 years ago, it’s not done badly. Anyway, replacement (secondhand) monitor arrived this morning, and needed an IEC lead (the old monitor used a power brick with a cloverleaf socket).

kettle lead