Monday 28 February 2022

February Spending


If you've seen the footage of the brave and rightly furious woman in Ukraine telling a Russian soldier to put sunflower seeds in his pocket then you'll understand this message chalked on a NYC pavement. My thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and also the many Russian people who don't want this war either ๐ŸŒป

I'm now in my third week of absence from school.  I have 2 days' worth of antibiotics left.  I've been feeling rather queasy after taking them and actually threw up on Saturday.  I don't have an appetite so I try to eat when it's a meal time rather than when I feel hungry.  My cough is just irritating now, not so much yucky stuff left I hope.  I'm still a bit breathless but working on building up my stamina now.  I've also got a nearly completed craft project ๐Ÿงถ✂๐Ÿงต  I'm on a roll!

It's the last day of February (already!!) so time to look at what I've spent this month.  I'm noticing that writing everything down has really made me focus on what I spend my money on.  I've already mentioned the impulse spend in Te$co while waiting for my prescription ๐Ÿ™„ I bought floor tiles for my bathroom.  I put £10 into a retirement gift at school.  I had to replace my broken sock knitting needles.  I bought a paper sewing pattern (more on that another time.)  And I've found a subscription that I had cancelled but they've taken another payment.  I'm trying to sort that out.  Plus some food shopping too.

Total spend for February (excluding known house and car costs) was £319.53.

Savings account now has £1570.73.

That's 2 months of the challenge down, 46 to go! ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Saturday 26 February 2022

A finished project for once!


I made a hexie from some of the leftover fabric from the quilt my lovely mum made for my bedroom.

I stitched it onto a large piece of the purple fabric.

I did a small running stitch round each hexie to stitch it on and make it look slightly 'hand quilted.'

I stapled the fabric to the removable cushion pad with my new staple gun.

And my bedroom chair is finished and good as new at last!

Edited to add this photo of my quilt ๐Ÿ’œ

And a close up

It was nice to do a project from start to finish in an afternoon as a lot of my craft projects are long term ones.  Most of the time clothes are covering this chair but it'll make me smile any way!

Thursday 24 February 2022

Snow and other stuff (bit of a chatty one!)


Finally got some snow that's hanging around!  A couple of inches overnight and it's currently snowing.  I'm noticing I'm really cold today (I guess it's the not moving around) so I'm fully tucked up in my bed.  Tuppence wasn't happy this morning when I let her out.  I stood in my dressing gown trying to clear a patch in her enclosure so she didn't need to stand on actual snow.  She just shouted at me!! ๐Ÿ”  Emma did a few zoomies and came straight back in!

I had my in person doctor appointment yesterday.  My lungs/chest seem to be clear, I just have a stubborn infection that won't shift.  So I'm on stronger antibiotics.  They've really knocked me for six as I'm actually feeling worse today.  Hopefully it's the whole 'needs to get worse before it's better' kinda deal.

My GP was actually a gynaecology consultant before she became a GP so is an expert in women's health.  She's very much in demand at my surgery and you have to wait several weeks if you want to see her.  We had a long chat about my recent general health, immune issues, tiredness, lack of quality sleep etc.  Without going into too many details I'm also now on estrogen.  I've felt for ages that despite my healthy eating and trying to stay active something was 'missing.'  I never thought I would need HRT.  I (wrongly) thought it was for women who were having terrible menopause symptoms like mood swings, hot flushes or depression.  I have no symptoms or so I thought.  Tiredness, weight gain and immune issues are in there too!!  I'd never have thunk it! Always good to keep an open mind and I do trust my GP. 

So when I went to Te$co to collected my prescriptions I had a 20 min wait.  "I'll just have a wee look round while I'm here" turned into me spending £30 on a dress, goats cheese, a bottle of Diet Coke and a tub of guacamole (I absolutely love guacamole!!) ๐Ÿฅ‘  Instead of getting a plastic bag I spotted this Emma Bridgewater reusable tote and couldn't resist!!  My spending this month is still well within budget but I didn't plan this wee splurge.  Hey ho!

I'm still keeping busy.  Now got 8 flower hexies sewn together and 5 single ones.  Next step is adding them to the quilt.

I've reached the heel flap stage of my sock but I've had to stop.

I broke TWO of my Brittany Birches needles and had to order a new set.  Hopefully they'll arrive today or tomorrow.  Annoying but I have had these needles at least 10 years and they're well used!

I also frogged a jumper I started knitting ages ago.  My style has changed over the last few years plus this was definitely too small!  If I'm wearing a jumper now I like it to be big, baggy and comfy.  I still love the design (Owls by Kate Davies)  but would rather it was a baggy style.  The yarn is a lovely pure natural wool and I have a plan for it plus the remaining unused balls.

Bit of a chatty blog today.  I feel I'm finally on the way to feeling a lot better than I have for ages.  I think I'll be off school for another week (or at least part of next week) as I want to go back when folk can say "You look well" instead of "You look terrible, should you be back?" ๐Ÿ™„

Monday 21 February 2022

The lost art of convalescence


Convalescence (noun): time spent recovering from an illness or medical treatment; recuperation

Convalescence is a very old fashioned term, a lost art.  It conjures images of those wealthy Victorian ladies visiting spa towns to take in the sea air and drink the waters.  Even poor working class Victorians had the luxury of seaside or countryside convalescent homes, thanks to the foresight of Florence Nightingale no less!  Back then it was TB spreading rapidly causing people to be ill (hmm, I'm sensing a bit of a parallel here!) Rest, fresh air and nutritious food were what the doctor ordered.

Then antibiotics appeared on the scene and the need for long recovery periods has gradually disappeared.  And somehow we've ended up in this situation where it's expected that we take the drugs and soldier on until our bodies (ok my body) refuses to cooperate with this theory.

I typed convalescence into Google and fell down the rabbit hole of fictional 18th century heroines in bed for months and Victorian sanitation and housing issues.  But it was interesting to note the shift in thinking for the 21st century.  How quickly patients are discharged from hospital charged with a bottle of pills and a leaflet of instructions.  When I had my first baby in the mid 80s I was in hospital for 5 days.  When I had my 3rd in the late 90s I was back home within 24 hours.  And I believe it can be even quicker than that now!

Even when the illness has been dealt with, it's the immune system that needs to be looked after. And it takes a pounding if you rush straight back to the environment that made you sick in the first place! In my case, 3 times within 3 months!!! Antibiotics deal with the nasty guys causing the infection but we know they also kill off some of the good guys in your system too. 

So, once my antibiotics are finished (tomorrow) I'm starting on a course of super strength probiotics.  I have an actual in person doctor's appointment on Wednesday to get a thorough check up.  Weather permitting I'm going outside as often as I can to breathe in fresh air.  I'm eating a ton of good fruit and veggies and I've found this useful website HERE I'm being really proactive this time so I don't get sick again.  Third time lucky, eh?

I also have a plan to speak with my union and the other local school reps.  I really want to investigate this toxic culture of feeling guilty and pressure to return asap when we're off work sick.  It's actually making us more ill in the long run.

*steps off*

Saturday 19 February 2022

Resting AND Keeping Busy?


Can you keep busy and rest at the same time?  I'm trying to do both!  I've never been one to just sit without a project or book in hand.  I have no option but to rest just now as even going up and down stairs leaves me breathless so I'm making sure I have wee projects on the go.  I've been making more hexies to add to my quilt.  Progress photo as of this morning!  They're laid out across a UK double bed.  All the fabrics were free to me, donated by my lovely mum and her quilting friends.

Some of the fabrics are just scraps, big enough for a 3" hexagon but some are full fat quarters.  No longer wanted for whatever reasons so I got lucky! I'd rather not cut up the larger pieces of fabric just for hexies so they've been waiting patiently for a project.  And I think I've found one in my Youtube browsing!  Karen at Just Get It Done Quilts explains it HERE in 5 Ways to Use Ugly Fabric ๐Ÿ˜† The fabrics I have aren't that ugly, they just don't go together.  But I love her design for a quilt that isn't too precious to be used.  It's on my Summer holiday project list now!

I knitted a few more squares for my sock blanket with my leftover sock yarn. I found a stash of them when I was looking through my fabric so need to get those stitched together and take an updated photo of  the blanket.  It's getting big!  I can't remember when I started it but it was definitely in my previous house so at least 8 or 9 years ago! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

I knit, sew and plan out my garden and allotment while sitting on the sofa or lying propped up in my bed.  I've not managed a full day out of bed yet for over a week.  I'm just achy and tired and more than a little bit grumpy!!

Friday 18 February 2022



The stormy view from my bedroom window this morning!  You can just about see the Gargunnock ridge in the background.  Luckily Central Scotland seems to be missing out on the worst effects of Storm Eunice.  We're used to this run of wind/rain/sleet/snow in Winter so are well prepared.  Although my son had to turn back home this morning as the motorway into work in Glasgow was down to one lane and there were several accidents! It took him 90 mins to travel just a few miles. I hope everyone manages to stay safe where you are!

I'm still feeling pretty rough, waiting for the antibiotics kick in.  I'm not sleeping well as I can't lie down without choking and coughing.  I'm exhausted.  I'm spending most of my time resting propped up in bed, watching stuff on my laptop while knitting or sewing.  I found a pile of hexies so have stitched them into flowers for my ongoing quilt project.  I need to lay it out to see how big it's getting!

I sent a message to my Headteacher this morning and said I wouldn't be in school next week.  I have to really focus on my health and get my immune system functioning properly again!  To be fair to her she was suitably sympathetic and told me to take care of myself but I know she's given people a hard time about being off work in the recent past.  

I'm sure it applies to many professions but dragging yourself into work when you're not well seems to be encouraged and applauded by managers.  They say things like 'self care is important, just ask for help' but you're made to feel guilty (implicitly or explicitly!) for taking any 'extra' time to get back on your feet.  I know I returned to work in November a week too early and definitely should have taken more time last month after having Covid.   I'll be summoned to a meeting with HR when I return as I now have had 4 spells of absence in the last 9 months: fractured ankle, chest infection, Covid and  another chest infection.  Interestingly all directly caused by where I work!!

When I was off with Covid last month, the first time I left the house after my positive test was to go back to work.  How dumb was that!!  Next week I'm going to try to get outside (weather permitting obviously!) and go for a wee walk or go to the shop.  If I'm still not able to do that by the end of the week I'll be taking another week off.  I'm taking this very seriously!

Wednesday 16 February 2022

More drugs


I finally got to speak to the Advanced Nurse Practitioner yesterday on the phone and she prescribed antibiotics again.  I don't like taking them but right now I need to kill off all the nasties in my chest.  I've written before that healthcare and prescriptions are free here in Scotland (obviously paid for through our taxes) so I count myself blessed and lucky to have such quick access to the drugs I need.  Although you have to wait weeks for routine DR appointments so it's not perfect.

One of the things I like about blogging is that I can go back and see when I've written about being ill in the past.  It's an occupational hazard of teaching wee ones that you pick up lots of bugs and viruses.  Most primary teachers have a higher than average count of annual colds etc.  But I'm concerned that in the last 3 or 4 months I've picked up 'bugs' that have floored me and made me take time off work.  And I'm noticing that it's taking me longer to 'get over' them.  That's a big change and apart from the impact of Covid, I need to work out how to boost my immune system again and keep healthy.

Rather fed up that I'm currently tucked up in bed listening to yet another storm brewing (Dudley I think!) instead of getting on with painting my bathroom ceiling.  At least it's only me that sees it!

Monday 14 February 2022

Sick, again!!


Yep, off work again today (it's a Staff Development day so luckily won't affect the kids) with yet another virus/bug that's gone into my chest.  I'm very short of breath when I move so best place for me is my bed.  My LFT is negative but another of my colleagues has tested positive for the second time.  Morale on staff is very low ๐Ÿ˜”

The rest of the week is half term so once again I'm sick on my holiday ๐Ÿ˜’  Hey ho; sock knitting, reading and You Tube videos it is then ๐Ÿ™„

Sunday 6 February 2022

Grey Sunday


There's definitely a grey theme today and it's not just the dull weather!  I finally finished off the grey socks.  HOORAY!  I genuinely can't remember how long ago I cast these on but I do know they were originally for my ex husband.  So at least 12 or 13 years then!  I gave them to my son who always has cold feet. He loved hand knitted socks when he was a boy but as knitting full size men's ones take forever, they'll probably be the last ones I knit for him!  I can cast on the second turquoise one now.

I finally made a decision on the flooring for my bathroom.  I've chosen these grey vinyl tiles from B&Q.  They're stick and peel so in theory should be straightforward to fit.  I'll do this during the half term holiday.  I've now got all the materials I need so just need the time to get stuck in.  The colours for the whole room will be white, grey, yellow and pink.

When I'm done with the bathroom I can get my kitchen finished during the Easter holidays.  Then it will be full steam ahead to get the allotment up and running for the summer.

Lovely plans for such a grey day!