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turps33
Thank you [personal profile] nopseud, [personal profile] romantical and [profile] solariana for the gorgeous cards. And I forgot to say on here but I got a splendid card, complete with four naughty cats, and a gift from [personal profile] turlough the other day. I love this time of year, the post is so glittery and sparkly.

Yesterday James surprised me with tickets to the pantomime tonight. I have to admit I was a bit grinchy faced when he first said as today is the only free day we've got to finish gift shopping and I was intending to go see the new animated Spiderman. But, I'm looking forward to it now, and we should still be able to go shopping, just things will be a bit rushed. But not so much a cinema visit can't be shoved in I'm sure. I was trying to think when the last time I saw a pantomime was, and realised I've never actually seen a professionally staged one. So it should be an experience, though I do hope we're not the only ones there without an accompanied small child. This will probably only mean something to people of a certain age from the UK but the star is Dick from Dick and Dom fame, though apparently, he likes to be called Richard now. Many yells of bogies are inevitable I suspect.

In not-so-good news. I learned last night that a man who lived two doors away from mam had died. Mam lived in a block of three houses, and in the space of 6 months, someone has died in each of them. It was Kayleigh who told me and she mentioned I should think about moving as the death curse was moving down toward my house -- I live on the same estate as mam, literally a one-minute straight walk from hers. A bleak joke for sure, but sometimes it's all you can do.

Hearing about the death knocked me last night as Stuart was the same age as me. We were in the same form class at school and he was a casual friend of my brother, and of course, living so close meant I saw him go past my house most days. He was a larger than life personality with the loudest voice ever. He used to yell good morning to mam from two houses away and be easily heard. He lived with his dad and I ache for him, especially as he had to make the decision to turn off the machines. I can't even comprehend how hard that must be.

Now though, I must wake James up, get him ready and go brave the shops. Those gift cards won't buy themselves.

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The builders have finally been, and I now have my new shelves. I'm so pleased they're done, and I'm sure everyone else will be too as it means I'll stop mentioning it. The main builder is off to Centre Parks with his family for a holiday later today but squashed our job in first. So, I've decided he really did have a series of problems and all the rescheduling was genuine.

Yesterday I went up to see Kayleigh and stayed much longer than I intended, so apart from emptying the cupboards again I got nothing done that I intended. But in a few hours, James is driving my SiLs partner to his hometown to deliver presents, so for me, writing and catching up with happen this afternoon -- and maybe a bit of gazing at my new shelves.

While at Kay's we booked a table for us sibs plus partners to belatedly celebrate James' birthday. Sadly the place we usually go to was fully booked for three weeks, and really, James is very inconsiderate to be born in December. But we do have somewhere booked and I'm looking forward to going out again. This new tradition is one I really enjoy and hope it continues. The only thing is we'd already arranged for my MiL and FiL to visit during the day and I'd cook them a meal, so it's going to be a busy, and food focussed day.

Which reminds me of something that happened s few days ago. It's about weight and wls so I'll put it behind this cutCollapse )

Corey phoned yesterday and he has to work boxing day night. I wish he could stay home longer, but I guess that's what happens when you do bar work. I was thinking about our boxing day buffet and how it would be pointless putting one on as James is at work from 2pm and will be taking Corey back to Newcastle before that so for the majority of the day I'll just be me and the cats. So, I'm going to do a Christmas eve buffet instead. Present delivery in the morning, then a small buffet on the night. Then first thing on boxing day I'll be heading off to the Lush sale with Kayleigh and be home before Corey even wakes up. I've talked to Kayleigh about that and we've decided to use some of the money we got from mam for our Lush haul, a last Christmas present from her to us. I think she'd approve.

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turps33
Thank you [personal profile] frausorge, [personal profile] tara and [personal profile] madam_beetroot for the cards. I loved every one ♥



The Snowflake is running again next month. I always enjoy that challenge, and they're looking for volunteers right now, so if you're interested, check out the post.

The weather is supposed to get a bit dicey today with ice rain. All the forecasts are doom and gloom with weather warnings everywhere. We've already been out to do a bit shopping this morning and it was bitter then. But James has to go to work soon and finishes at midnight. While there's no snow or rain yet I've told him to be extra careful coming back, ice is scary stuff.

Turlough wanted to see some photos of my Christmas tree and decorations. behold, the glitter and tinselCollapse )

The writing of my bandom holidays story is going well. Once I got started I remembered that I did actually know how to write, I'd just got out of the habit of doing so. So that's my plan tonight, more writing, some reading, a long bath and watching the Strictly final.

Finally, I did like Mikey and Kristin's announcement that they were having another daughter. It's such a cute photo.

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York was good yesterday. Getting the train easy, though next time we're going to book one of the easy access seats near a door rather than a table just so James can get to it easier. The market was fantastic. We had our mulled wine and bought stuff and did the chocolate experience again and it was just this lovely cold day that was perfectly suited for a Christmas market visit. James did really well with his walking, and in fact, when I went to bed last night my fitbit told me I'd done over 11k more steps than my target.

The bad. While I was there my phone did a total factory reset by itself. I literally took a photo in the shambles, walked for five minutes, got my phone out to pay for something at a stall and it was wiped. Talk about gutted, mostly what I was worried about was my photos and my text messages from mam. So we made for the nearest EE shop and this lovely man went out of his way to try and get my stuff back. He got my apps and my photos, but not my texts. At least, he got a handful of the latest ones and then nothing else, which of course meant all of mam's were gone. I don't even think I could take it in properly yesterday, but I had to hold onto a last hope that once we were home and using our own wifi and not the mobile kind when we were out and about we could try another reset. It was a risk, but I figured I couldn't lose anything more than I already had. And it worked. I'd like to say I was dancing around the room but it was more sitting there trying not to cry when I saw them all come back. So, my message to anyone reading. Please make sure all your important things are backed up. Thankfully mine were backed to Google and all I lost were the few photos I'd taken yesterday and a weeks worth of texts after the last backup point.

Another negative was we overestimated how long we'd want to stay on a cold winter day. We got to York around ten and our train home was booked for 8:30 and we were ready to go two hours before that. We did ask how much it would be to change tickets to go earlier but at £30 that was more than the cost of the actual tickets we had so we holed up in a coffee shop for an hour and when that shut went to sit in the waiting room for another hour.

Photos. I've only got a few that were taken on James' phone. One of us and two showing the window of Betty's. behind hereCollapse )

Changing the subject. I don't think any of my fellow Ryan fans still read or post here, but I was talking to themoononastick about how Jon seems to have been forgotten in terms of Panic and Ryan hardly around and she alerted me to the fact Jon had tweeted that Z Berg had posted a new video/song featuring Ryan. It's all about their breakup and it's so painfully raw and yet beautiful, too. I really do like both the song and video and of course, hello RyRo. I miss you. Z Berg and Ryan Ross The Bad List Warnings for A Weekend at Bernie's situation going on and Z Berg being dead.

We saw Aquaman today. I enjoyed it, though thought it dragged a little in places. Visually it was gorgeous to watch and Jason Momoa is a really good looking man. Apart from that, there's very little to say.

Finally, [personal profile] dapatty offered icons and I asked for ones themed on ice. The results were beautiful, I especially like the one I'm using. So simple and lovely.

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Thank you [personal profile] pensnest and Beast, for the beautiful card, and gift. I've kept the present and it will go under the tree once it's up. ♥

I think I jinxed myself about feeling the healthiest I'd been for a while in my last post, because last week I nearly passed out in Ikea. Thankfully it was just a nearly this time because I recognised I was feeling off and went to sit down until I was steady on my feet again. I'd had a good day before that, we'd seen Wreck it Ralph 2 at the cinema, did a load of Christmas present shopping and had gone around Ikea and was queuing for a veggie hot dog when I started to feel off. Like when it happened in the summer I was really overheated at the time, had walked loads and then was standing in a queue. I guess my body just went, nope.

However, unlike the advice I got from the doctor last time I didn't lie down. Though it would have caused quite the interesting commotion if I did so. At least Ikea has plenty of those flat bed trolleys to haul me back to the car if needed. I feel fine now, so that's the end of that, hopefully.

Saturday we were at my aunt's. She put on a birthday buffet for James' birthday, my cousin made him a cake which my aunt brought in with candles and we sang happy birthday. It was a good time. But my aunt's house. It's just, whoa. Christmas concentrated. She's got Christmas villages set up that run the length of her living room, these amazing classy garlands over her windows, wreaths on the doors. Every cabinet is stuffed with Christmas stuff, trees everywhere, and yet no tinsel or glitter in sight so it all looks classic and beautiful. I just sat there looking at everything and thinking, wow.

The builders were supposed to be here yesterday, but when James got in touch yesterday the main builder said he'd been in an accident so couldn't come. But he'd forgotten to let us know due to so much happening because of the accident. On one hand, a tiny piece of me thinks, that's convenient, but mostly I'm thinking he was a really lovely guy when he did our bathroom and went out of his way to help, so maybe he is just having a lot of bad luck lately. I mean, it happens. At least this time I knew beforehand and didn't empty the cupboards again. But, I do suspect my shelves won't be going up this year so I'm going to leave everything where it is and wait patiently for that extra storage.

Yesterday we put up the tree -- yes, it's just as overloaded and tinsel stuffed as always -- and I got the house sorted and had a bit of catch up online. Today I must write some more words already, my beta is ready and waiting but I need something to send to her. But first, this morning is a trip to the post office and delivering the estate neighbour cards. They've put me to shame this year. Though I suppose it shows they do actually like us and it's not just sending a card to acknowledge a card kind of thing.

Tomorrow we're off to York for the day on the train. Christmas market, chestnuts and mulled wine here we come.

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Thank you so much [personal profile] bettina for the card ♥

On Monday the builder was supposed to come and install my shelves and do a few tidy up jobs. I emptied the cupboards again -- and man, a person does not need as many carrier bags and bags for life that I had stuffed in the freezer cupboard, seriously, there were hundreds of them -- and then he sent a text saying they weren't coming and would phone at some point yesterday. That was not helpful, builder! I left everything out of the cupboards that night because the thought of putting everything back to just get it out again was too much. Then he did phone and isn't coming until Sunday, so I've had to put everything back.

Other than that, Monday got another negative tick because Kayleigh got in touch to say her dad had been emergency admitted to hospital the night before. moreCollapse )

Had an okay day yesterday, the highlight being a free order at Costa when their card payment system went down. It's one of our regular haunts and we always have a chat to the manager, so when she realised we couldn't pay by card she just told us everything was free. I know, it doesn't take much to make me happy.

Today we had plans for an early shopping trip. My niece wants LoL dolls and man, it's proving hard to find the specific one she wants. All the looking is giving me flashbacks to Corey's toddlerhood and looking everywhere for Teletubbies. Those shopping plans aren't happening just yet as James had a bad sleep so is still sacked out on the couch. But he's got a physio appointment in a few hours so I'll have to wake him up soon. Maybe hide the window spray snow before that. He was watching Kirstie's Christmas programme where she helped decorate windows with snowy scenes using spray snow, and hers looked lovely, and to be fair, the one James has done looks nice too, but that stuff gets everywhere.

It's lovely to see so many people posting here again, though I am sorry you've lost your tumblr homes. Obviously, I'm still here, still posting if not as frequently as before. Fannish wise I'm still hanging onto bandom, and read in Musketeers and MCU, specifically Winterhawk which is my obsession atm. I still mostly post about my day to day life. I've seen a few old faces post so if you're interested, Corey is now 22 and in his final year at university, James is doing okay and I had a gastric bypass back in 2016 and have lost a lot of weight and am now healthier than I've been in a very long time. Though the latest rl thing is mam died in the summer so I'm just trying to get through this first Christmas as best as I can.

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I had a good lympth appointment today. 1ltr of excess fluid gone from each leg and inches in measurements in some places. I was hoping I'd get some new knee high compressions as one of mine keeps slipping, but apparently I was borderline in terms of losing so much fluid I could have a new prescription, so I have skin glue instead and an appointment for another three months, where he assured me I will need, and will get, new ones.

I got a taxi there this time as both James and Kayleigh were at work -- though James did pick me up. Next time though I think I will take the two buses and walk after because ouch, £15 for one journey is a bit steep.

I got to the market yesterday, I didn't buy anything but enjoyed the festive atmosphere and went to see Fenwick's window after. Fenwicks is a big department store and every year they have a fantastic window display. This year it's The Snowman themed, but what I like most is the Greggs opposite has flipped its main sign around, so when people inevitably take pictures of the window, the Greggs logo is reflected the right way around. I think that's great, and fantastic marketing that cost nothing but the flipped sign.

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I got my first card from [personal profile] dine Thank you so much! Fun fact, Dine has been my first card received for at least ten years now. I aspire to be so organised. We also got a card from one of the neighbours already. People are putting me to shame!

James' birthday went nicely yesterday. I bought him a new coat and he was thrilled with his Airwolf t-shirt. In fact, as it's dress-down day at his work he's wearing that today.

It was nice that our Christmas dinner with Pauline, my aunt and uncle and that side of the family fell on the same day as it meant he got more birthday wishes then. Because there were 12 of us they'd split us up on to two tables, which Pauline wasn't very happy about, but there wasn't a thing they could do due to space issues. I ended up on a table with James, Corey, my brother, niece and nephew. That was good as I got to talk to my niece more, she's thirteen and looks and talks ten years older. But at least she will talk now, and even let me take a photo of her with my brother and nephew. Though I did have to promise not to put it on social media. I mean, how could I possibly know what filters to apply to make her look amazing? The only slight downside was my brother's partner didn't turn up. Her meal was paid for, so that wasn't an issue, and she's training to be a paramedic atm, which is full on so I'm sure she was exhausted. Chris did say she was ill but went on to say she's gone to the steam room at the gym to try and sort herself out. He should have just said she was sacked out on the couch, really.

Slightly dodgy photos of me, James and Corey, Corey and his gran, James and me showing off my new jingle bell earrings here.

Soon I'm heading off to Newcastle on the bus, meeting James there when he finishes work. We're going to the Christmas market, at least that's the plan. Our last Christmas market plan fell through as the weather was horrendous on Thursday, then we were going to go to the one at Sunderland yesterday, but were too early as nothing was set us. So we're two for two in terms of failing markets right now. However, we did buy train tickets to York for next week, so even if today fails too, a Christmas market will be achieved then.

Tomorrow it's my next lymphodema appointment, and then after that I have bandom big bang stories I want to read and words to write myself and at some point, I may actually get caught up with online things. Fingers crossed, anyway.

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Today I got the latest sparkle deer for my herd from [personal profile] turlough see. It's tiny and perfect and I love it loads. My sparkle deers make me happy, thank you a million, Turlough. And Lancecat, of course.

The builders have been and I now have new floorboards in the corner and the washer is in no danger of falling through the floor. They're coming back on Tuesday to do other little jobs like fix the units, and most useful, put shelves in the freezer cupboard. It's a very annoying space in the corner of the kitchen that used to hold the duct heating unit. While that's been gone for ages the pipes from upstairs still run down the wall so we can't open up the corner, so we put our free-standing freezer in it and just put things on top of that. But there's a load of wasted space above, so getting shelves in will be really practical.

While they were working I tidied the bedrooms and then watched tv with the cats. Being able to watch Netflix on the big tvs has opened up so many new things to watch, but right now I'm really enjoying The Good Place. We're also watching Nailed It, a baking show with bad bakers competing to mimic cakes and every episode is making me laugh.

Corey's coming home soon to go to his follow up doctor's appointment, but he's going out with his girlfriend after, so we'll drive him back to Newcastle tonight. But he's back for the meal on Saturday so I won't have to miss him for long.

Tomorrow we're going back to Newcastle to check out the Christmas market, and then off to the cinema after to see the new Nativity film. The presenters on our local radio station have been talking about Christmas markets, and each time they do they make me laugh because they're discussing buying overpriced soap and food products, and it's so true. Every time I go to a market I come home with overpriced cheese and a bath bomb/soap stall will catch my attention in an instant. There may be a mulled wine in my future, too. And that's something that really is all to do with the Christmas market experience as I don't like wine, but somehow it tastes good heated up with spices and drank surrounded by fake wooden stalls.

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James went back to work today. He's on a phased return so is only there for four hours, then the way his days off fell mean he's off until Sunday anyway, when he's in for four hours again, then moving up to five hours for his next set of shifts, then another hour on the next set and so on until he's back to his full hours. He had an appointment with the work physio last week and they were asking if he was sure he was ready to go back, but he thinks he is. His back is so much better and the nerve pain almost gone, so while the first week or so was rough, the actual procedure was a good thing to do.

Tomorrow the builder is coming to fix the kitchen floor. The insurance guy wouldn't agree to fixing the damage unless we got a builder to show clear proof it was actually caused by water damage. So we got out the builder who put in our bathroom and he said it'll cost less than the £500 excess to fix plus he's going to realign the units either side of the hole that have shifted. So we're just going to pay him directly. As James is off I'll leave him downstairs and hide out in the bedroom watching tv with the cats for however long it takes.

Corey will also be home again tomorrow. He's having a rough time atm and when he went to the doctor's last week was put on meds. He's back tomorrow to see how the first week has gone, then we'll take him back to Newcastle on Thursday. I wish I could fix things for him, but I can't. What I can and did do was give him a big hug, told him how proud I was he was taking steps to help himself and fed him loads. Then will do the same tomorrow.

Personally, I've been finding the run up to Christmas hard. It's always been my favourite time of year, and while I've been enjoying the Christmas films, the festive coffee drinks etc, it sort of feels it's more an enjoyment based on knowing I do usually love them and not that I actually do this year. I don't know if that makes sense or not. We always decorate on the 1st, we can't this year as we're off for a family Christmas meal with Pauline, but honestly, I'm in no hurry to put up the tree. I just keep thinking how this year is the first time in my lifetime I'll have a Christmas without mam. She always ate with us and planning a meal for only three hurts. I will decorate, will send cards and give gifts, but man, it's hard. She's been gone for five months now but it feels like forever and also just yesterday it happened.

Other things, the car window is fixed completely, I finished my six week shoulder class. We've been to the cinema lots. Off the top of my head seeing the new Fantastic Beasts, which I didn't actually enjoy that much, and it didn't help someone brought a baby to the first day showing. The Grinch, which was fun, and the new Robin Hood, which I enjoyed much more than I expected.

I had a run in with Amazon logistics delivery when the driver blatantly lied that they'd attempted to deliver a parcel. The time they gave we were both in the living room, a room they'd have to pass to get to the front door and our house is small enough that no way would we miss someone knocking. I didn't even care that the parcel would come the next day, it was the lying that got me, so I developed fingers of fury and got straight on Amazon chat. Eventually they got the delivery man to come back that night, where James answered the door and the man said he'd just spent ten minutes looking for our house. Which was funny as surely he'd remember how to get there after knocking a few hours earlier?

Now though, time to get dressed. The house needs tidying, the base units emptying in the kitchen and I need to go to the post office. Plus, some online catch up.

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It's been quite the week and still not over.

You may remember I mentioned changing to Sky Q. As part of that we changed our phone line provider from BT to Sky. It should have been seamless, but what happened was Sky decided to cut off our internet access too, so we've had no internet for well over a week. How they managed such a screw up I don't know. The woman who's been helping since then has been great, and in fact, managed to get us back online earlier than expected as we were originally told we'd be reconnected tomorrow. But even so, I was not amused. Plus, I forget just how much we use the internet for, none of the Alexa things would work so James couldn't turn the lights on and off easily, no reading my fire when I'm in the bath at night. Then, of course, the general communicating and browsing. Thankfully I managed to join bandom holidays by emailing Aka directly and she was a star and agreed to use my sign up info from last year, and I worked out how to make my phone a hot spot so after a few days could connect a little. Despite that, I'm so glad it's back. But what worries me is, they still need to change from the ordinary to fibre optic, so now I'm wondering how much they'll screw that up, too.

On the plus side, we got a load of tv watched.

Another bad side. Apparently, we've had a slow leak from our washer, and the floorboards now have a hole under it. The insurance person is coming out this afternoon to check out the damage and I suspect it's going to be pretty bad. I'm thankful we have the insurance, because if left I can see the floor going completely and the washer ending up in a huge hole, but our insurance excess is big anyway and has to be doubled as it's water damage.

This morning we were heading out to queue to get Corey a doctor's appointment -- he still hasn't registered at a Newcastle practice, just comes home when needed. Only to find out overnight someone has smashed our car window and stolen James' coat. That was bad enough, the car was soaked inside as it was raining really hard last night, but mam had bought him that coat and he had badges on it that she'd also bought him and meant something to them both. So that's another £50 excess to pay, and while the insurance has sent someone to weatherproof the window it shouldn't really be driven until the actual window is put back in on Friday. But of course, the loss of the coat is the worst thing.

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[community profile] bandom_holidays have opened their sign-ups here.

If that's something you're interested in, please consider signing up. I haven't yet as I need to be queuing at the doctor's at 8:30 to try and get James' an appointment, which is ridiculous, but what can you do?

Anyway, my point is. I'll be signing up, so if you've been considering doing the same, do it!

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Thank you [personal profile] romantical for the lovely card and message. It came at the most perfect time, too ♥

James had his back procedure on Wednesday. There was a bit of a faff with dates, last week the original date he had was changed to the 9th, then on Tuesday, we'd gone shopping and James got a call from his surgeon's secretary asking if he could come in the next day. He said yes, thinking it was best to get it over with.

Tbh, I think we both underestimated how invasive the procedure would be and how he'd feel afterwards. We were thinking more like the injections he's had the last two times when the reality was a full day at the day case unit, heavy sedation and him feeling terrible afterwards. I got him home on Wed and he pretty much flaked out on the couch the rest of the night, spent yesterday feeling like he'd been hit by a bus, and while the pain is better today it's not by much. Plus, with the added bonus of the burned nerves affecting his legs. Which is why he's banned from driving for a while. Not that he's in any state to go anywhere at the moment.

We did pop out last night as it was Kayleigh's belated birthday dinner and it's not often everyone is off at the same time. So that was nice, and James had a nice big padded chair. Today it was a case of starting some light exercise so we've been for a walk into town, which is literally down the ramps and over the road from our estate. We went slowly, stopped often, and James is now fast asleep on the couch. It should be worth it in the end, though. And fingers crossed, when everything settles he should be back pain-free for at least a year and hopefully longer.

As for me, at least I'm not being such a sad-sack like I have been for the last week or so as this appointment approached. I've never liked when James has had to have stuff done in hospital, and dad dying under anaesthetic made that so much worse. Not that the two situations were the same at all, something I know logically, but that doesn't really help when you're sitting waiting for hours with no news. I just wanted mam, and to check out of adulting for a while, but sadly neither were an option so I attempted -- and failed -- to read my book and watched many episodes of Four In A Bed.

And now it's all over and done with bar the healing. Plus, silver lining, we've got lots of time to watch all of that tv.

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I was watching Gerard's Haunted House video and YouTube auto played Desolation Row after. I know there's a lot of choices for optimum hotness period, but damn, they all looked amazing then. But man, released in 2009, what is time? Then I watched I Write Sins, and it was from 2006. Baby!Panic. You were the most adorable. I heard Panic's version of The Greatest Show earlier, which was okay. I love the song and like Brendon's voice, but prefer the original.

I'm sure anyone interested will have seen already, but [community profile] bandom_holidays are asking about interest here.

Between the videos and [personal profile] pensnest's post about MTYG it feels like I've been thrown back into my fannish past. I need to go watch some Voyager followed by The Sentinel and I'll have gone the whole hog.

More past things. It was cold enough to wear my Wasps jacket yesterday. Some will remember the story. I bought that jacket many many years ago, before I had Corey even. I got the biggest size they had, and it went nowhere near me. So I shoved it into the back of the wardrobe and tried to forget about it. Meanwhile, time passed, the Wasps moved from Durham I will forever smite you for that John Hall, eventually disbanded and I haven't had a team for over 20 years. All the time my jacket remained hidden away. But now it fits. So I wore it, complete with puck in the pocket, went into a shop in town, and the first thing the assistant said was, I haven't seen one of those jackets in forever. Turns out she went to the games, too. So we had a bit of a walk down memory lane before I headed back into the cold.

I need to go write some words already. Maybe another video first.

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In the most trivial not-problem ever, we've upgraded our Sky package to Q. We've been with Sky for nearly 20 years and the price just kept going up and up. Went to talk about that and after some messing with figures it turns out it'll cost us less to upgrade to the new Q service that lets you record an insane amount of tv, can record 7 channels at once -- though really, while we do have recording clashes at times, I can never see us needing seven things recorded at once, and comes complete with Netflix and an upgrade to fibre broadband. However, it also means when we change boxes in a week or so, I'll lose everything I've got recorded on the DVR right now. Which is a lot. Including full seasons of Supernatural, Outlander etc and a ridiculous amount of Masterchef Australia episodes. So I've been getting my square eyes on at night. Good thing that I'm a pro.

I am looking forward to accessing Netflix easily on the TV. Right now I watch on my fire and James on his phone, so it'll be good to see shows on a big screen.

Mini nano is going okay in that I've exceeded the total so far. But that's not something to be too excited about being as I picked a 100 word a day target and it's only day 3. But hey, I did it, so score. I'm poking at Musketeers in Space, mainly because I have nothing else to work on atm. It doesn't look like exchanges are happening so I guess I'll have to force my rusty brain to think of ideas without prompts.

Talking of. The popslash secret santa ended this year. It's understandable but still sad to see. I'm very glad that I joined last year and actually submitted a story. I'd like to think that a story based around sparkly unicorns was a fitting end to my popslash time, it seems appropriate, anyway. I have huge respect for Pen and Nopseud for running the challenge for so long, and to Pet and Georgina for the years they ran it beforehand. 2001 to 2017 is a huge run, and I'll forever have great memories of the challenge. The highs and the lows, the excitement of getting those emails that could cause dread when you got a pairing that seemed daunting and the excitement of receiving your own fic. So many excellent memories that will forever make me smile

So sparkle on the writers, the feedbackers and especially the mods. Sparkle on ♥

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turps33
I've just signed for mini_wrimo. I haven't written a thing since the holiday challenges last year, so it's a bit daunting. But, I do love mini wrimo. It's a low-pressure challenge which suits me perfectly. Though I have no idea what I'm actually going to write. If there are no holiday challenges on the go I may have to poke at my Musketeers Space AU that's been ongoing for years now. The comm is taking new sign-ups until November 8th, so if you need a kick up the ass to get writing again, too. Maybe consider the challenge.

It's been a long day. We had to take our car in for more repairs today. These were old ones that were scheduled before the shunt, but got pushed back when the more serious damage happened. So, we got Jaffa back last week, and today she was back in getting new window wipers, exhaust and brake pads. We dropped her off at 8:30 and grabbed a taxi into town where we had a mooch for most of the morning. After picking her up we visited my MiL because she's been ill lately. She phoned our house phone and left a message early morning two days ago, which freaked me out a bit as no one uses the landline now and waking up to hearing the answer phone beep always makes me think of bad things.

Once we got home I carved the quickest and most basic pumpkin ever, have a bowl of sweets ready and am now sitting to see if anyone turns up. We usually get a few little groups of neighbourhood kids, and if not, well, James will be eating chocolate for a while. Plus, pumpkin soup will be getting made tomorrow which is of the good.

It was shoulder group yesterday. We get a week off next week as the main physio is going on a course. Just as I was leaving he said he thought I was ready for more intense mat work next time, and I mean, what? Intense mat work. He's only supposed to be helping my shoulder. I do still like the class, though. Even with potential intense mat work.

Finally, in the last week I've read all the [community profile] no_tags stories for this round. There were only a few, but I enjoyed every one.

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turps33
It was snowing this morning and actually stuck for a while. It's also turned much colder and with the clocks going back tonight, winter really is inching closer. However, it's sunny right now and I've been watching the birds feed. I refilled all the fat ball holders, and the seed holders, and the nut holders. The stupid feathery things cost us a fortune but are worth it.

James is back at work today. Unfortunate timing as he'll be going off again in a fortnight for his back procedure and it would have been better to have one continuous period of sick. But it's not like he could control being shunted. He's looking forward to having the procedure done as he's suffering a load with back pain, no doubt made worse by being thrown forward like he was. He's getting physio via the insurance, he went to his first session last week and will go again on Tuesday, right after my shoulder class. So we'll both be good for nothing Tuesday afternoon.

We went to see Bohemian Rhapsody and it was amazing! I know it's not really getting good reviews in the press, and some comments I understand, but everyone I've talked to has really enjoyed the film, and the music is fabulous. I could happily watch the last twenty minutes over and over again. And in fact, we've already seen it twice since it was released on Wednesday. Both times I've come out wanting a Brian May of my own, the guy is just so good and steady.

On Thursday we went to see Miss Saigon at the theatre. We went to Hadrian's Tipi first. It's this huge tipi that's surrounded by street food carts and has trestle tables surrounded by heaters and open fires. It was smoky and hot and I had a disappointing chicken wrap, but the atmosphere was perfect, and will be even more so when decorated for Christmas. The show itself was... well, I'll just say, wow. We went in knowing nothing about the show, so were surprised when the attendant told us there was no spoken dialogue, just songs. And in fact during the first scene I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but it just got better and better, and the ending. Man. I could see it coming, but even so. Again we had good seats, and doubt we'll ever try for dress circle again, the stalls are where it's at.

It was the anniversary of dad's death yesterday. It's hard to believe it's been three years already.

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matt_bomer_talks_magic_mike_xxl.jpg

A little bit of zen Ken from the fandom that should but never did.

I hope you have a good day because you're a fabulous person and an excellent friend ♥ ♥ ♥

Briefly in other news. I have tickets to go see Bohemian Rhapsody in the IMAX this afternoon. I'm looking forward to that a lot.

It was my shoulder class yesterday and apparently, week three must be when they ramp up the difficulty. At one point I was on the mat, using the hand weights to stretch my bad shoulder and the physio goes, are you finding that easy? Add in a leg lift, then. So apparently we're now working on core strength, too. Which is fine, what isn't is the truly sadistic exercise he gave to me that consists of hooking a theraband over a door, standing with my back to the door, using my good arm to feel behind my back and create tension with the band, then having to hold that band with my bad arm/shoulder, and let the band pull it up. All I can say is, OUCH! And he gave me my own band to bring home. Lucky me.

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We've been to see Goosebumps 2 at the cinema today. It was pretty creepy, and the little girl and her dad who were sitting behind us actually left about a third of the way through it. They were cute, the dad telling her to just hold onto him if she got scared, and I kept hearing him ask if she was alright. But I guess it just got too much.

We've got a hire car atm, a white crossover which is pretty swish. But we had to pay the excess as the other insurance company are dragging their heals in responding to ours. James has a signed note from the other driver admitting fault, so we'll get the money back eventually. It's just a pain we've had to pull money out in the first place.

We went to visit my Auntie Irene yesterday. For background, I was close to her growing up, the same for my brother, and Kayleigh was almost half raised by my auntie and cousins. Then mam fell out with Irene and the whole family stopped talking. My aunt did try to reconnect, but last time she tried mam was drinking and it was this horrible scene and it was just easier not to make any contact, mam always saying if she ever found out we were talking to my aunt and our cousins she wouldn't ever forgive us. Then mam died, and the day after I went with Kayleigh to tell Irene. I can't even begin to describe how guilty we both felt doing so, but we also both felt that she deserved to be told her sister had died, and the way to do that was in person. Side story, my aunt was outside that day, and didn't recognise me at all when we arrived. She hugged Kayleigh, hugged her again when she said why we were there, and all the time I was standing like a lemon and being totally ignored. In the end Kayleigh had to refer to me by name, and I got my hug, After, Irene said she though I was Kayleigh's new girlfriend, so that was one vaguely humerous moment in what was a horrible guilt filled day.

We've been back often since then, and it's been lovely to reconnect with everyone. My aunt calls us lambs, and is such a warm woman who is this incredible feeder and pushes food on us every we visit. I've never left yet without taking home leftovers, yesterday it was a huge plate of mashed potato, a chicken breast and chicken sauce with vegetable, oh, and cake. My cousin had made a birthday cake for Kayleigh and my aunt had delivered it complete with candles and singing. Kayleigh was so embarrassed, but I think it's nice they have those traditions. I have to admit, it's nice to be looked after for a bit, too.

Anyway, what I'm mentioning it for is, my aunt told us she doesn't give funeral flowers and always like to give living plants, and since the funeral has been looking for the perfect plants. Yesterday she presented me and Kayleigh with a yellow rose bush and a set of beautiful terracotta glazed pots already planted with lilies that will flower around mam's birthday and the smaller pots filled with winter flowering bulbs. Chris got a set too, which I dropped off for him. Now I just need to find the perfect place for the rose bush. Maybe next to the bird bath that represents dad.

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Well, I didn't finish all the exercises in my shoulder class, but got many more done than last week. Plus, the physio kept stressing how well I'm doing. He makes me smile, he's so enthusiastic and encouraging and great at pushing your shoulders into the right position. I find keeping my shoulders pulled back surprisingly hard while using the hand weights. The exercises themselves are doable, but painful on the bad shoulder on occasions, but getting the right form is another matter. I did side-eye the exercise that involved using a huge blown up gym ball as I could see it either bursting or skittering away under me. One for next week I think.

[personal profile] dine posted this, and I thought I'd give it a go as my journal has been a little gloom and doom heavy lately.

Five Things That Have Made Me Happy In the Last Few Days

BSB on Strictly. Admittedly it wasn't the most exciting performance, but it was lovely to see them, especially so as popslash remains one of my most favourite fandoms.

Seeing the leaves change colour. I love autumn, it's my favourite season and I love seeing all the trees with their beautiful colourful leaves. I love kicking at the leaves that pile up on the pavements, and that nip in the air.

Company Shop. This may be a weird one but Company Shop is a shop that's just opened locally. Only NHS workers can join, and the premise is they sell on surplice stock from the big supermarkets at a much reduced price. I'm talking bottles of milk for 20p, fresh vegetables and fruit for 20p, fresh meat for £1. Because it's surplice stock they never have the same core items, so you have to keep your eye on the FB for that days bargain -- like today is three tubes of Colgate Whitening toothpaste for £1, but it's already saved us so much money. And yes, I'm that sad that I get happy over grocery shopping.

Getting feedback for my fic. I love getting comments, it's such a good reminder that I am actually capable of stringing words together, even if I haven't actually written anything in a really long time.

My cats, I have four of them and love each one. Tinker and Freesia who battle to sit on my knee on a night, Milo who sleeps on my pillow and Pansy, my little scardy cat who will never be a lap cat but always comes to sleep between me and James on a night for all of five minutes before taking off on some unheard signal.

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James has had no luck lately. He was on the way to work this morning and got shunted by another car. He stopped for queuing traffic, but the man driving the car behind bent down to get something out of the footwell, didn't see the cars stop and went into the back of our car, forcing it forward into the one in front. Thankfully it wasn't at speed, but still, it was fast enough that our car is having to go get its bumper and boot door replaced -- and maybe more as it hasn't been fully checked yet, and James' work sent him home and then, when I was with him, to A&E. Stupid thing was he had to phone his own workplace for an assessment, ended up with a trainee and went through his own treatment path with her.

So we ended up at the hospital, and he was checked over. He's jarred his already damaged back and is stiffening up like crazy, but as he already takes a boatload of powerful painkillers there was nothing they could really do, so it's a case of resting for 48 hours and then gentle movement. And in that time arranging a hire car and getting poor Jaffa fixed.

It's my second shoulder class tomorrow. Will I actually finish all the exercises this time? I can only hope.

It was my nephews birthday yesterday, Kayleigh's the day before and my other nephew's the day before that. This month is expensive. Poor Kay didn't have a good birthday. Firsts are always bad, and then she got sick so we had to postpone our planned birthday dinner. But, we'll get together soon I'm sure.

I upgraded and have a new phone, it's all shiny and has an amazing camera. I love it lots, especially so as all my data transferred easily so I still have all my text/messenger conversations with mam saved.

It was a year since nanna died a few days ago. In terms of losing people I love goes, this last year has sucked.

I enjoyed BSB on Strictly but didn't understand why they didn't have dancers performing with them like all the other musical guests do. All I can think is the dance professionals were intimidated by the amazing hand raises, swaying in sync and BSB leaning. Side note, Kevin remains the most attractive. Just saying.

ETA: I was just answering a comment on my last post and saw I hadn't been notified about a load of others. I don't know if it's a DW or mailbird thing, or if it's happened elsewhere. If so, sorry, I'll answer eventually I hope.

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It's been forever since I posted, so, things.

We saw Wicked and it was amazing. It's now my favourite show I've seen at the theatre. Helped by the fact our seats were fantastic. Which is what happens when you book them 18 months in advance, I guess. We've got tickets to see Miss Saigon at the end of this month, and then in February next year, tickets for War Horse and The Rocky Horror Picture show. So I'd say our theatre addiction is now an established one.

James' joints have been acting up so we've been to the cinema a lot. Off the top of my head, we've seen Edie, Venom, Night School, A Star is Born -- where the usher gave us a huge emotion spoiler going in, so thanks for that. Mile 22, which is the worst film I've seen by far this year. I tried to make it go faster by going for an extra slow toilet break in the middle and was annoyed at the end when James said he hated it too as I only stayed because it looked like he was enjoying it and The House With a Clock in its Walls.

James has also got his date for his back procedure but needs to sort things out with work first as he's still on a warning for time off until December. While he is off on the date sent he's supposed to be back at work the next day which really wouldn't be ideal. And eta since I wrote this, he's just phoned and work are fine, saying they understand he'll probably need recovery time and it won't cause another sickness meeting as they know in advance. I told him to get that in writing if possible, though.

I went to my first rotator cuff shoulder exercise group on Tuesday. It was okay, a set of 16 exercises designed especially for rotator cuff injuries displayed around the room and about 10 people doing them. People must rotate in and out of the class for the whole six-week sessions as I was a newbie along with two men. Both of whom ended up being told to leave the class as on examination they'd both been misdiagnosed, and actually had frozen shoulders which the class wouldn't help at all. That meant the main physio was busy with them and the assistant was stretched around everyone. Which is why on two occasions I'd done my reps only to be told I'd done the exercise wrong and had to do them again. That meant I didn't finish everything in time, so there was only me and a much older lady left at the end and we were told time was up and to go. Sigh. But man, I'm feeling the glass today, all I can say is, ouch.

We got some of mam's favourite pjs made into bears. They're so lovely, soft and have details of cat faces made from her socks. She always wore cat socks, it was her thing, the same way the colours always had to match her pjs. I have to admit, I cried a bit bringing mine home. I miss her so much.

I had my final wls checkup yesterday. It went well but I'll talk about it more in a separate post as I have thoughts.

I forgot to say, it's Houghton Feast time here. The fair is in town, we've been to see the parade, watched fireworks, and James had the traditional ox sandwich. The local FB page for our town posted a load of photos from the parade/festivities from Saturday, and I got captured with James *g*

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It would have been my dad's 70th birthday last week. The pain of missing him isn't as immediate and raw as the ache for mam, but it's still there. I've had such a great tomato crop this year, and each one I pick reminds me of dad. I posted this photo of him and me on my Insta and my brother is the spitting image of dad. I'll never forget what he looks like when Chris is around.

In the last week I've been to see BlacKkKlansman, where I've never felt and heard such a weighty silence as when that film finished. Then on the same day went to see Crazy Rich Asians, which I enjoyed a lot. The day before we'd seen King of Thieves, which was another thumbs up. As you can probably guess, my carers card arrived, so all is good for another year.

TV wise I've been catching up on Killjoys, which remains made of win. I was also thrilled to see season two of The Resident and Midnight Texas were coming soon. I blame me watching the first totally on [personal profile] castalie. Not that I watch countless other medical dramas. Oh no, not at all...

And, tonight Strictly starts for real! Now I know no one is probably interested, but still, I do enjoy that show. I still mourn the loss of Gleb -- oh Gleb with your Gleb specials, I am bereft I never got to see your show dance -- so last season my attention turned to AJ. I'm not sure why, but there was just something about him. Then I watched him on Celeb Masterchef these last two weeks and was reminded that while ridiculously competitive, he appears to have the personality of a wet lettuce.

On Tuesday we're finally going to see Wicked at the theater. We booked the tickets well over a year ago, back when we'd only just started to go to the theater and I was afraid of not fitting, so they're aisle seats, but good ones. I can't wait to go.

Finally, I got excellent things in the post this week. First, a sparkly box containing baby!BSB!Kevin from [personal profile] nopseud with the note he was there to help with my driving lessons. Which he surely will, the power of those eyebrows would give anyone a boost. And then a lovely parcel from [personal profile] frausorge with such a lovely notecard and exploding sunburst stars to create. Thank you both ♥

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Instead of going away we decided to use James' holiday time to get out and about locally.

We went to Mog on the Tyne, which was as great as always. They told us they're getting a new kitten, and James replied 'are we?' I had to laugh at him and remind him it's not actually our cat cafe.

We went to Gibside, a national trust property that has a ruined house but beautiful extensive forest grounds. That was a happy accident, we were actually aiming for somewhere else but got the names mixed up, so ended up at Gibside. But I was so glad we did because they rented these fabulous sturdy mobility scooter things that meant I could get a good walk while James drove along beside me. No way could he have covered the distance on foot, especially as a lot of the trail was through the forest. The only thing was for the first time in years I'd forgotten to put my fitbit back on after charging it. All those miles uncounted. It was to cry.

We also went to Beamish, our local open air museum. We go there often, so didn't need to see everything in detail as once you get your ticket it's valid for a year. Which was good as the place was packed, something we didn't expect. Photos for all are on my insta if you're interested.

We went to the cinema and saw The Book Club and Predator. When we booked those tickets we realised James' cinema carers card had ran out so my free ticket couldn't be ordered online. That was an unwelcome reminder just how expensive cinema tickets actually are. We go so often because James has the Odeon unlimited card which costs £18 a month and means he can see as many movies as he wants, and I get in free as his carer. So the possibility I'd have to pay over £10 for just one ticket wasn't good. In the end they let me in for free anyway, but I'll be glad when the actual cinema carers card arrives in the post.

I got my two year wls check-up appointment for next month. It's with the surgeon this time, and we'll see what will happen with the loose skin issue.

And, I went to my lymph appointment and have now been wearing my compression stockings for four days and they're working \o/ I asked how soon before I'd see results, and hot lymph nurse said two or three days. That seemed unlikely to me, but he was right. I mean, I still haven't got visible ankles but I can feel my shin bones now. The stockings themselves aren't bad. They go to just under the knee and have open toes, and are no way as tight as I was expecting. Really it's like I'm wearing a double layer of leggings with a bonus they keep me nice and warm. I have to go back at the beginning of Dec to be remeasured, which is good as I suspect things will have changed big time by then. Until then, I have two pairs and have to hand wash a pair each night and let them dry over the next day so I've always got a clean pair to wear each morning.

I've been catching up on This Is Us today. That show, it breaks my heart with each episode, especially Kate. And Kevin. And Randall. Hell, all of them. Stupid show.

Finally, Kristin posted a photo featuring Mikey for his birthday. Like I just said elsewhere, I wish I was ageing so well.

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turps33
I was at the eye infirmary getting my under eye injection of Botox for the twitching nerve. The whole thing was very quick and easy, though the twitch is still there this morning. The doctor did say it could take a while to kick in, so I keep peering in a mirror hoping that this time the twitch is gone. But alas, not yet. I did get my eyelashes dyed before I went, though. I mean, priorities, people.

After that we nipped into town and to the travel agents. James started 9 days off yesterday and we had plans to just go away somewhere for a few days. But, as we're still at the end of high season there was nothing cheap enough to book. Even the few days away in the UK were in the hundreds, so we decided to just stay put and maybe head off to Flamingo Land next week and stay overnight in a travel lodge or something because I will get on a roller-coaster. Though I still have the fear of walk of shames.

Today we're heading out for a walk then the cinema. First though I need to wash some more of my old clothes. I've been selling them on Gumtree and while I'm not getting much back, averaging around £5 an item, I'm fine with that. They've just been sitting in a box doing nothing. I do have to post them though. I guess the sizes they are, all 30 pluses, the amount of people needing such big sizes in the local area and checking Gumtree is tiny. So posting it is. Though second class and signed for always.

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