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turps33
I'm home.

Well, I actually got home yesterday but couldn't really kick the inlaws out of the door as soon as we got back. Then I had tidying to do, many many washes of clothes, cats to appease and a garden that had turned to a jungle within a week.

But, we had an excellent time. The hotel was great, it was sunny and hot, especially the first few days. I drank many cocktails, sat in the sun, went to a zoo and a drag show, found many cats, explored and swam and it was just lovely. The hotel was on the ocean front and our room was feet away from the pool, we could literally step over a low wall at the end of our terrace, walk past the sun loungers and the pool was right there.

I'll do a more detailed post asap and share some photos -- with apologies to the people who follow me on Insta who really will be sick of my face. But until then, I hope you've all had a good week and I'll catch up soon, which will probably be tomorrow now.

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turps33
It's our wedding anniversary. Three years ago today and so much has changed since that day. I was talking to one of my neighbours yesterday and he said it's good that people never know what's around the corner, and I agree. So I've been sitting here in the quiet, thinking of mam and nanna and how the day itself was a good one, when I finally married the person who I've been with and loved since I was 18 years old.

Tomorrow we fly off on our holiday. Our flight is at 7 am so we need to be up at 3 so we can get up, ready and drop the car off in time at long stay parking. My MiL and FiL are coming later today and until then I need to go buy groceries for the week for them and then give the house a good clean and tidy. Not that there's that much to do as I've spent the last week getting things ready for them, the cats, the garden and us.

I've also visited with Pauline, Kayleigh and took my MiL and FiL out to dinner and then yesterday took Corey out to eat and have a good catch up. He made me laugh as for the last few years he's been working at a nightclub to supplement his grant. He's been trained up to be a supervisor and as part of that, he now does half a shift a week in a sister bar that hosts male strippers and is really popular with hen parties. Apparently, on his last shift, they had 400 hens in the place and seeing the state some of the hens get into at Newcastle just walking around the streets I can only imagine how chaotic it must be dealing with that number. But, he seems to like it.

I'm going to have a quick online catch up now, and then that'll probably be it until I'm back. Unless you follow me on Insta, in that case you'll probably be sick of seeing my stupid face.

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turps33
We had a nice day on Wednesday.

As it was so beautifully sunny we went for a walk at the Wetlands, we're members there so it's free to get in and they have a motorised scooter James can use, meaning we can go around the full site. I did kick him off on a flat path and take charge of the scooter so he could do some actual walking too. But mostly I walked, he drove. We were a few weeks early for the ducklings but there were so many goslings, plus, I got to hand feed the geese, which was slightly terrifying as those things are fierce. They'd eat the corn, then hiss, eat some more, hiss and so on. Some of the otters have been sent to other places so there are only three left, but we got to see them be fed and they posed for some photos.

Home after that and I put some more clothes up to sell, some of which did within hours, and then we had theatre tickets to see Club Tropicana on the night. Before our belt tightening due to the holiday we'd booked a few shows to see, and that night was the first of them. CT was fun, Joe McElderry was the main guy and he was good, funny, and I really enjoyed it was based around cheesetastic 80s music. At the end of the actual play part they had a mini concert with the cast and all the audience could get up to dance. That was fun, too.

Thursday we went to see Aladdin at the cinema, and it was better than I expected. Yes, a blue Will Smith is weird but I actually didn't mind his take on genie, and the songs were nicely upbeat, a bonus was the main cast being very easy on the eye. We also went to Costco to buy some pop and for once only came out with two things, the thing we actually went for and one extra.

Yesterday we went to see Rocket Man, which was okay. Taron Egerton always plays a good part, but my main issue was, I'm not really a fan of Elton John, I like some of his music, but as a person I'm indifferent to him, so there was no emotional connection. After we were talking to one of the cinema staff about the new Odeon that's going to open at Durham in a few weeks. It'll become our closest cinema by quite a distance and it sounds nice, if small. It's going to have six screens, all the Luxe kind with reclining seats. But, no Costa attached to it. So much woe! Admittedly there are plenty of coffee places in Durham itself and sometimes I don't even buy coffee, just taking in water or pop. But still, woe! Having a skinny latte or coffee frostino is part of my cinema going process.

Also woe, somehow in-between buying my shopping and getting home I lost a jar of peanut butter and a carton of soup. I realised about the PB last night but it just clicked I'm a soup down today. We drove to two different places so all I can think is it fell out of the boot in the second carpark. That or it'll turn up in the house months from now and I'll have a bloated soup bomb to deal with.

To end Game of ThronesCollapse )

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turps33
Game of Thrones has been seen.

I'll talk more about it tomorrow but had to come to post this. Very spoiler'ey image and gif behind the cutCollapse )

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turps33
The h/c exchange has gone live and I got a very lovely Musketeers story which you can read right here.

It's Porthos and Aramis and set post Savoy, and I enjoyed it very much.

There's also a whole exchange worth of h/c goodness to get stuck into, so many fandoms, so many stories right here. Mine is in there somewhere, too. But I'll talk about that when writers are revealed.

Operation keep away from GoT spoilers has gone okay so far. I did have to dive to change the channel on breakfast news this morning, but other than that have just kept away from anywhere spoilers could happen. Apparently, James had to walk away from a spoilery conversation at work, so he's having a harder job than me. Though, kudos to those people who must have stayed up until the 2am showing and then headed off to a day shift.

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turps33
Thank you [personal profile] romantical for the card, the message made me smile ♥

Our town has been holding a food festival for the last two days and today, including celebrity chefs, even if minor celeb chefs. Yesterday was a chef from CBeebies, who I've never heard of as I'm years away from having to watch that channel, and today Steven Carter Bailey from GBBO was doing demonstrations. I was undecided about going down or not, but in the end, went for not as I've hardly been home the last four days and I needed to get some tidying done and catch up online. Plus, it's cold and wet out there and I'd have only ended up spending money on overpriced cheese from the cheese stall.

So instead tidying/cleaning has actually been done, catching up online started, and I'm considering going out to plant the courgettes in the raised bed, but at the same time -- cold and wet. We had to bite the bullet and buy courgette plants this year as none of our seeds have made it. The weather has just been too up and down and nothing has grown. We bought tomato plants last week and I've potted them all on, but the courgettes will be going outside, so maybe it's best to leave them anyway. Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

I did get some of my old clothes listed and have sold a few so have money for a cocktail or two. I need to get more uploaded but again, omg, so tedious. We've booked the long stay airport parking, so that's another thing off the list and I've got a couple of new sundresses and bought lots of factor 50 sun cream. Now though there's talk of Thomas Cook being in trouble and while we've booked via TUI it's for a Thomas Cook holiday, so I really hope there's nothing to worry about there.

I went to see Detective Pikachu and quite enjoyed it. James fell asleep though, so another one added to his list.

Last ever Game of Thrones tonight. I always record it at 2am when it shows here and then watch it the day after. But James is at work until 6 tomorrow and as it's a show we watch together I'll have to be careful of spoilers until he gets home. I'm sure here will be fine, but I'll be keeping away from Insta and FB until after I've watched.

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turps33
I got to see, hold and feed my neighbour's baby the other day. She's adorable, and all snuffly and sleepy because she'd had her first injections the day before. Her mam is obviously besotted, but tired as baby J has bad reflux meaning special feed was needed. She was asking if we ever heard baby J crying because apparently at one point she was screaming non-stop for hours, but we never had. And even if we had done so it wouldn't have been an issue because it's not like she could help it.

After I left there I decided to go for a walk up the hill behind our estate. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm and I enjoyed my stroll. Until I took the wrong path and ended up coming down the hill through trees and a load of brambles. I could just imagine my lymph nurse yelling because I'm supposed to be so careful not to scratch my legs. In the end I scratched the hell out of my arms but my legs were fine, so all was well, and I did enjoy my walk apart from the few moments I was sure I was about to plunge into the brambles.

Yesterday we went to my aunt's where yet again she overfed everyone. She has the most lovely garden, it's small but full of really comfortable garden furniture and we spent the whole afternoon there, from midday to not leaving until nearing seven. Of course I've managed to burn my shoulders and back, but think that was from the walk I'd had in the park before going and not at my aunts. She's such a feeder though, after a nice dinner we sat and talked for hours, my cousins started to arrive after 3 and next thing we knew my aunt was bringing out a load of picnic type foods and sandwiches. It all went though, despite everyone saying they weren't hungry.

Before going my aunt had text to say she had a good surprise, and I'd been speculating with Kayleigh what it could be. Turns out on her 50th birthday my eldest cousin married her long term partner of 33 years. They hadn't told anyone, just told my aunt and other two cousins to go to Lisa's house at 10am and then told everyone that they were getting married at 4pm that afternoon. My cousin looked beautiful, her now husband really smart, and in the few hours between being told and the ceremony my aunt managed to go out and buy flowers and decorations as well as pull together a full buffet with the help of my other two cousins as Lisa and her partner were going to do it themselves before going off to have hair done etc. It was that detail that I loved the most, Lisa is so casual and I can so easily imagine standing there making sandwiches despite getting married that afternoon. Though, she had originally planned a pub meal for everyone but had been dropped in it by the restaurant cancelling the booking and then couldn't get a caterer as it was so last minute, plus on Easter weekend, so wasn't totally out of her mind in terms of making a full buffet herself.

But yes, excellent news.

Today we're doing a dump run and a looking at holiday clothes run and then heading to the cinema. Probably a walk too at some point as it looks like it's going to be another lovely day.

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turps33
I got the most excellent package from [personal profile] sperrywink with awesome Groot and Rocket art and penguin-themed items and useful things for the kitchen. It was such a fabulous box to receive. All that and she's writing Winterhawk for me, too. Well, not for me exactly, but I may be claiming it as such in my head *g* Thank you again, Kimberly, you're the best ♥

Last week my brother sent me a text and said one of his friends could mend our fence at mate's rates. Not the whole thing, but the post that's leaning which means the gate could be shut properly. Right now I have to prop it shut with the bin and a small stone statue, which is obviously not ideal, and we really wanted it done before the in-laws come to watch the house in a few weeks. So his text was welcome. However, it also meant I needed to clean the area next to the rotten post. It's a space behind the greenhouse which became a dumping ground and also choked with ivy.

Thankfully it's been beautiful weather today, so this afternoon I've been hauling wood and bins and random thrown out stuff then attacked the ivy with the long-handled loppers. Then after potting on some of the tomato plants got straight in the bath as I was sweating cogs and filthy. Though while potting on I realised I can't remember which one of the plants in the hanging tomato one. A lot of them have tags, but many don't and they all look the same at this point. Oh well, I'll have to guess and hope for the best.

All the tidying means there's now a load of bags and pieces of wood to go to the dump in a few days. My arms feel like spaghetti though. I was on my phone earlier and my hands were shaking as I was talking. I blame the loppers, those damn things are heavy.

H/c exchange has been edited, given a title and submitted. It's been weird being in a big challenge, I'm used to smaller ones where I know the mods and they keep in touch. This one was just, hit submit at A03 and it's done. No acknowledgement, just one press of a button. But still, done. And the editing I was procrastinating over took literally, all of ten minutes.

Yesterday we went to see at the cinema to see The Hustle. I keep having to look up the title as I never remember it, which says a lot about the film. Okay but I forgot all about it within minutes of leaving. After that, we went to see Corey for a bit and arranged to meet up for dinner before we go away.

Tomorrow on my list of jobs that need to be done, I'll be sorting out clothes that I don't wear now and putting them up for sale. I've got a few regular buyers from other times I've sold clothes, but it's so tedious. Make sure they're clean, not covered in cat hair, take photos, list, put up for sale. It would be so much easier to take them to a charity shop, except the money will come in very handy.

Then tonight, once James is home from work its Game of Thrones time. Who will be killed this week? Goodness knows, but it better not be Ghost.

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turps33
I forgot to say due to posting about my holiday. I really enjoyed seeing Ru Paul's Drag Race at the theatre. The place was packed and the audience wild. The energy was amazing and it was nice to just sit and enjoy something that required no thought. Plus, the backing dancers came on and did an amazing routine to Space Cowboy, which was an excellent bonus.

We went to see A Dog's Journey at the cinema. I'd seen the first one of the series so knew it would be made to pull at your heartstrings, and man, did it not. There was a literal rainbow bridge. I was sitting there messy crying, which was fine as James was too, and the two women next to me. But come on, a rainbow bridge, how is that fair?

Game of ThroneCollapse )

James was back to the limb centre on Tuesday. I knew it would be a long appointment so I decided to go for a walk in the park opposite instead of just sitting and waiting for hours. It's a lovely park, and I discovered it backs onto Jesmond Dene where we've been a few times to go to the petting zoo and the park there. I discovered that when I saw paths leading down, so I decided to explore and eventually came to the bottom of the dene and along the path, found a waterfall and old mill. It was a lovely walk, but one that James wouldn't have been able to manage due to the steps and the slopes, so it was good I was alone. Though I didn't think it was so lovely when I was hauling myself back up to the park.

We got holiday insurance at the same time we booked the holiday but needed to phone up for medical screening. We expected the price to go up due to James having AMC but when he phoned for screening they seemed more interested in me and having had a gastric bypass and that I need to take medication and have B12 injections. It took a while to get them to understand all of those things are standard at my hospital and are preventative, I'm not actually ill. The fact James is on several really powerful controlled painkillers didn't seem to matter at all, but my iron tablets and vitamins did. For a while there I thought it was me that was going to push up the insurance.

I have my h/c exchange beta back, but then the mods posted the deadline is pushed back two days, so of course now I have no desire to edit at all. Thankfully there are very little changes, but I really should get it done already. Then that leaves me two days to endlessly Google song lyrics to find an appropriate title.

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turps33
Today we've booked a holiday to Lanzarote at the beginning of June for a week. Just a cheapie, and it'll mean tightening our belts for a while, but I'm really not looking forward to next month and needed something good in it. Which is a shame as June should have been great as it's when we got married, June is when we flew for the first time last year, had our holiday in the Canaries and I felt like the world was at my feet, without knowing it was actually going to crash around me within weeks of getting home.

Reclaiming some of June seems like the right idea, and going the date we have seems right as it's the date mam booked our honeymoon night in the castle.

I'm still a bit, eeep that we've done it. But the place looks lovely and I'm looking forward to sun, sand, swimming and hopefully lots of sunshine.

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turps33
We were at a surprise party last night. It went well, the lady it was for was surprised and seemed very happy which is great. Personally, I've told James if he ever did something like that for me I'd probably turn around and walk out, so it's very much a know your audience thing.

James went to two schools side by side back in the day. A mainstream one and one for children with disabilities. This lady was a teacher from that second school, so they'd arranged a place that was disability friendly as a lot of her old pupils were invited. The place was packed and apparently, they'd had a bit of a mess up with the buffet as one of the ladies organising things turned up with boxes from a nearby pizza shop containing garlic bread, onion rings, potato wedges and garlic dip.

I did laugh because before we went James was debating getting a taxi so he could have a drink. Now this is the man that bought a few cans of cider for Christmas and they're still sitting in the cupboard, so I suspected drinking wouldn't happen, especially to the extent it would be anywhere near the driving limit. So said we should just take the car, and it's good we did as he was ready to leave at 9 after drinking all of one pint of beer shandy. To be fair he had been on an early shift at work so we'd been up since 5am, but even so, we were both tucked up in bed by 10:30. Our social life, man, it's rock and roll.

Tonight we're off to the theatre to see Rue Paul's Drag Race. It should be fun and James should stay awake as he's having a lie in. Then when he's up we're off to Ikea this afternoon to stock up on lint rollers and no doubt some tealight candles and a random plastic object that will never be used. Also, a veggie hot dog. I must always get a veggie hotdog at Ikea.

Yesterday I finished and sent off h/c exchange story version two to beta. Themoononastick liked the first one but we were both a little unsure if it fit the recipient's wants beyond the character and hurt focus. So I decided to write something quick and short that was more tailored. Which I did, except that quick and short ended up over 7k long. It does mean I'll be able to post that first story at some point, but now there's no deadline I'm going to expand it a bit and flesh it out more. But, that's something for the future, I need this exchange story polished and posted first.

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turps33
Monday turned out to be a really busy day. We were late for James' appointment -- not because of me btw, the traffic was horrendous on the way there. Then, I ended up waiting well over two hours for him to get his new leg fitted. Neither of us had expected it to take that long, and as we were hurrying to check in I'd left my bag which contained my purse, in the car and just gone in with my phone. James was taken back straight away so hadn't handed over the car keys, and I found out the little shop/cafe there didn't take card payments. I pretty much use Google pay on my phone everywhere now, so was stuck with no way to get a drink. I mean, I wasn't about to expire of thirst and if needed I could have gone got the keys off him but it was one of those cases where you're sitting and thinking, I'm sure they won't be much longer, then two hours have passed.

When he eventually came out we only had half an hour to get to the cinema where we had tickets to see Endgame again. I actually enjoyed it just as much the second time and was impressed with the little details I'd missed on the first viewing. James did fall asleep though, as did someone else in our row who must have fallen asleep and then woke up choking during one of the very silent moments.

That done we headed off to pick up a bobblehead I'd had put aside. It was a Smyth's toy store exclusive and was one of only two available in the area, so wanted to grab that asap. While there I saw a Bucky Barnes on the sales table, so grabbed him, too. Also, a T'Chella who was deeply discounted.

Left there and had about an hour to get to sibs dinner with Chris and Kayleigh. But we managed it and had a good time. Though Kayleigh made me paranoid as she posted our usual sibs meet up photo on her Insta and FB and then deleted them, along with my comment to her on another photo referencing it. I started to think someone had said something mean, but she says it's because she hated how her hair looked so took them down. Considering how often she uses filters that's probably the truth.

Then it was time to go home, have a quick bath and GoT. Spoilers for thatCollapse )

Tuesday we were out with my MiL, it was a good day mostly. Met her in town and spent some time with her, my Sil, nephew and SiLs partner, took MiL for dinner then to the hospital. She was managing to get in and out of the car to her wheelchair okay so decided to go for a drive to the beach where she had ice cream and the plan was she'd look around Asda with us, but she got quieter and quieter, said she'd stay in the car while we grabbed some groceries, and then it all went belly up trying to get her back in the house. She can't lift one of her feet very well atm, I needed to lift it into the car and to get in her house she needs to go up two steps. Plus, her wheelchair is just a bit too wide to go along the passage from the door to the living room. I honestly thought we'd need to phone for an ambulance to get her into the house. She couldn't lift her foot, was crying and panicking, my FiL was worse than useless getting stressed and thumping things around when James told him to swap her walker for the wheelchair and we'd force it through somehow. We managed in the end but she needed her inhaler and was on the verge of being sick into a bag and it was just a bad end to her trip out. She'd been enjoying it too. I just hope she hasn't lost her confidence and it was a case of her staying out just a little too long after months of being in the house and not moving.

Then, after we got her home we picked up some tomato plants I'd bought from a local selling site, went home and James' new leg wasn't fitting right at all, so he was the most pathetic sight limping home and in a lot of pain. He tried it again yesterday but the fit really isn't right, so back he goes again next week.

Yesterday was low key, bought some more tomato plants, went to a lovely mainly veggie cafe on the beachfront. Got some groceries and called in to see my MiL who was much better. Today is about house stuff getting done and catching up online. So a nice chilled day.

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turps33
Yesterday it was my FiL's birthday, so after work, James picked me up and we went to see him. It was a beautiful evening, so we went to the beach after that and I had a walk down to the sea. While doing so I started to wonder what I'll do in the warmer months when I usually have a plodge in the sea as it would be an effort to take off, and then especially, get back on, my compressions. I mean, they'd dry, I know that but my lymph nurse wouldn't be impressed at all about me walking in them unprotected. I think I may have to get some jelly shoes for the summer months, as I do like a bit of a plodge.

My in-laws are doing okay. My MiL got one of those chairs that automatically recline and push the person to their feet which is helping. It's a bariatric one so is big and sturdy and comfortable which is great. She's supposed to be trying to walk a little with her frame but when James asked if she'd done so she was evasive and said she'd stand every now and then. Which is progress but tomorrow she's leaving the house for the first time in months, first to the town with my SiL just so my MiL can actually do something different, then we're picking her up from there and taking her to a hospital appointment. Obviously, she'll have her wheelchair but I can see it being an exhausting day.

Yesterday I also finished the first draft of my h/c exchange fic and sent it to beta. I'm not saying it's done as it needs a lot of work, not least the ending which I had to rush as I had to leave soon. But the bare bones are there so that's a relief.

Today I'm off to the limb centre with James for 9:30 where he'll hopefully get his new leg, then on to see Endgame again, then after that it's sibs dinner with Chris and Kayleigh. And do you know what that means? I have last nights episode of Game of Thrones just sitting there to be watched and I won't have time until tonight. I'm going to have to be so careful of spoilers today and have already had to dive off someone's Insta stories.

I'd reschedule but you know, doing so because you need to know who inevitably died at Winterfell isn't really a good excuse. And while I'm sure no one would do so, please don't spoil me if you know. I've also got some smart comments about Endgame I want to reply to but those will have to wait too because look at the time. 7:35 and I'm still sitting here in my PJs with hair like a haystack.

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turps33
Not spoilery.

For some reason, Odeon played the end of Red Joan instead of adverts before the main movie. It's not a film I intended to go see but if I had I would have been annoyed as the played the last half an hour or so. I'll cut them some slack as that point the projection staff must have been working solid for well over a day as Endgame was showing constantly since midnight, but really. Why show a current movie? It makes no sense and people kept walking out of the screen thinking they'd gone into the wrong one.

And onto SpoilersCollapse )

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We've been to the cinema today. Saw Beautiful Boy and while I thought it was okay James fell asleep through the end part and said it was like Manchester on the Sea, which to him isn't a compliment at all. But why I'm posting is I was chatting to one of the staff before the movie and he was telling me the staff had been shown Endgame after midnight last night. While I'm sure they've all been sworn to secrecy the urge to grill him for spoilers was huge, but then I told myself, nope, don't even ask, you've tickets for Thursday anyway. But then again that little voice, ask him! Ask him! I was glad someone else came along and he had to go serve elsewhere.

Game of Thrones Cut for spoilersCollapse )

James got another Too Good to Go Yo Sushi order yesterday. We picked it up from Newcastle, and as mean as it is, I still have to smile to myself when I remember his face when he was given a full tray of vegetarian sushi offerings. They do always say it's a lucky dip with what you get, but he's become used to getting salmon etc. Oh well, I enjoyed it.

Best thing about yesterday though. Coming home I noticed our neighbour had a puppy in her garden. I looked closer and there were actually eight puppies. She invited us in to see them and we had twenty minutes of playing with bumbling, tumbling puppies with curly hair and puppy breath and nibbly little teeth *----*

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turps33
This weather this weekend has been so lovely, up to 22 today, which is amazing as it was really cold with sleet and snow just a few weeks ago.

I've spent this Easter Sunday being mostly lazy. Answered a load of comments, dragged James for a walk around the estate. Cooked a mini roast dinner and had a potter in the garden, wrote some more on my h/c exchange story. It's been a good day, and once I post this it'll be bath and book time and then watching TV.

Yesterday was pretty much the same, but with a bit of going to buy cat litter involved. I also planted a load of summer flowering bulbs, though as they looked like dried up walnuts I'm dubious if they'll actually turn into flowers. Oh well, they're planted now so all I can do is wait.

We'll be dropping off my nephew and niece's Easter eggs tomorrow then no doubt a walk at the coast and maybe a cinema trip. And I suspect, some hunting for cut-price Easter eggs. They always taste so much better when they're reduced.

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turps33

You can get your own card here!



I know most people have moved away from these parts, but those stats that represent many years of online LJ friendship, and the fact I have friends who only post here mean I never will completely. Cross post, yeah, but not going anywhere.
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turps33
James goes back to work today. Despite a phased return it's a weird shift starting at 8 and ending at midnight, so he won't even leave the house until 7. We suspect it's because his immediate boss is on nights and wants to be there for James going back. But whatever it is, it's a positive step forward. Health wise James is much better than he was, and we're still getting out for daily walks which is helping him a lot.

Of course the weather changing for the better is helping that too. It was such a lovely day yesterday, I could even go outside without my hoodie on, which hasn't happened for ages. Though we did spend most of the morning at the limb centre again. James was expecting to pick up his new leg but the stump cover didn't fit right, and of course that needs to be perfect, so it meant hours waiting around while he got another cast done, plus, the shop wasn't open. Which was just wrong, no cheap coffee for me.

After we dropped off Easter eggs for Corey and his girlfriend and eventually headed for home where on the night we watched three episodes of The Rookie, which was decent enough, but nothing stand-out.

The trip to Edinburgh went really well on Tuesday. It had a rocky start as when we arrived at Durham station we discovered that one side of the road was blocked off and you had to park on the opposite side and walk a long way down a hill and back up to get to the other platform as the lift was blocked too. Getting to the other side we found out there was a little golf cart thing that would transport people with mobility issues from one side to the other, but considering we knew nothing about it and it wasn't signposted on the shut side, it wasn't much help to us. But, we were on the train for 7:20 and apart from someone sitting in our booked seats, everything went great. The woman left with an eye roll and as the seats were priority ones were so much easier to get to with a bit extra leg room. Then, two hours later we were at Edinburgh, and went on to leave the station in completely the wrong direction, ending up in this out of the way area. Though it actually ended up good for us as we arrived in this deserted part just as a taxi was dropping some people off, and the taxi driver was great. First telling directions, then telling us about a taxi app that we could put on our phones and both get a £15 first use credit, which meant we got free trips to the zoo and then back.

We were at the zoo gates just before ten, so got in for opening. And man, that zoo is big. It's built over a huge hill so some of the top parts are really steep. To help people with mobility issues they have two converted cars that will drive you where you want to go. Which is a really good idea. What we did was walk the flat parts at the beginning and then got a lift to the top and walked down. Even so, it was a load of walking and step wise I did well over three times my average. James did well but was exhausted by the time we left. We'd had vague plans to visit the castle too, but in the end we left the zoo much later than we'd expected, and James was done. All he was good for was half an hour snooze in the Costa near the train station then a slow walk along the nearby park. Then, back to the train station and home by nine. I had to laugh coming home as we discovered the station was massive with loads of shops and eating places. Where we'd ended up in the morning I've no idea, but we'd seen no shops at all.

I have to admit, I'm conflicted about zoos in many ways. I've seen some bad ones, but Edinburgh zoo had huge areas for all of the animals and are doing good work in terms of conservation, but at the same time, the animals are still caged. So, yeah, conflicted despite enjoying seeing all these fabulous animals. Highlights were the pandas and strangely, the colourful birds area where a bird took a liking to James' hair and beard and sat on his head plucking out hairs.

I've put some of my favourite animal photos behind the cutCollapse )

I just did my 20 year LJ card over here.

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turps33
Finally, Game of Thrones is back. It's been a long wait. cut for spoilersCollapse )

We've been out and about the last week or so. One day we went to Durham. We went around the cathedral and had a bit of a mooch around the town. Then another day went to a nearby petting zoo where I got to feed many animals, and discovered that deer have very long and wet tongues. As shown behind hereCollapse )

We took a very bumpy and cold tractor ride to look at the cows and I got to pet a donkey, though didn't get to hold a chick because of all the children getting the first pick. Which was only right, but still...

We've seen the new Hellboy, which was okay, but the people behind us obviously didn't think so as they walked out halfway through and today went to see Little which was a bog standard adult turning into a child film.

Tomorrow we're off for a day trip to Edinburgh. James has got his disabled person rail card so we're catching the 7:20 train and will come back early evening. I'm looking forward to it, despite living pretty close I haven't been to Edinburgh for a long time, though I can't say I'm looking forward to the early start.

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turps33
Fame was a lot of fun last night. Nothing spectacular but enough dancing and drama that I was happy. Though, no dancing on car tops happened, what's up with that? I did have to smile though as one of the teacher characters at the very beginning states 'you won't be dancing on car tops in the street' as part of their welcome spiel. So that was me told, too.

I suspect they'd given a lot of cut-price tickets to local dance schools as the place was overrun with groups of early teen/pre-teen girls. Not that they caused any issues, just a lot of seat changing was going on, and in the interval, the group sat behind us nipped to the pub next door where screening for The Voice was going on. Whether they auditioned or just wanted to see what was going on I don't know, but they did come back for the second half if a little late.

Today we've been to the limb centre so James could get both of his legs checked. He was well overdue for an appointment, especially as he's put on weight and artificial legs have weight limits. We were there for a long time as his spare leg didn't fit at all and the one he wears now needed an overhaul. For the first hour or so I hung out in the waiting room, which was fine, I had my Kindle Fire, the chairs were comfy, there was a shop where I could get a coffee and they had a tv that was on the BBC1 channel. Then I joined James in the fitting room for the last half an hour before he got his sort-of new leg -- it has a new ankle part and a new cover, then will get the all-new one next week.

Corey lives really close to the hospital so we dropped a letter off for him, then decided to go to a nearby park for a stroll. Only to discover there was an Easter event going on and the place was rammed with families. So we ate our lunch there and drove home, where James crashed out on the couch and as it was sunny, I got some work done in the garden.

I planted some pansies that have been waiting to be transplanted for a few days and finally got my seeds in. Five varieties of tomatoes, cucumber and courgette as of now. But I discovered I didn't have any flower seeds at all, which won't do. I also weeded a bit and hosed down the path and generally pottered in the sunshine, and at that moment all was well in the world.

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turps33
Bandom people. [community profile] bandombigbang is happening. Check out the comm if it's something you're interested in. While I haven't managed to take part for a few years, the times I did where very positive and I highly recommend the challenge.

Also, [personal profile] sylvaine posted an amazing post of bandom artwork recs. I really enjoyed revisiting some old favourites and some new to me works. Plus, it contains work from one of my most favourite bandom big bang collaborations, so, Squashbee, wherever you are, I hope you're doing well and I still love your artwork loads.

I'm off to see Fame the Musical at the theatre tonight. If there are not many awesome high energy dance scenes I'll be disappointed. Bonus points if they happen on the top of cars or cafeteria tables.

I'm alternating between reading Mag7, Umbrella Academy and Winterhawk atm, and having a lot of fun doing so. Though with Mag7 I will forever say, why is Vin/Ezra not more popular? Why does fandom not write to my demands?!

Watching wise, it's still Queer Eye and Schitt's Creek.

Writing. Nothing. That has to change, asap.

James has developed a sushi addiction. We've been back to Yo Sushi using the Too Good to Go app three times now, and yesterday, we called into Company Store and they were selling off little trays of sushi, so now our fridge is full of the things. They also had the catering bags of cooked and peeled potatoes again. I was thrilled and just wish I had more freezer space for more than one bag.

It's interesting how YouTube spirals work. An hour ago I started to watch dance scenes from the Fame the tv show. Moved onto the best dance scenes in movies, from there into watching Magic Mike/Magic Mike XXL dances, the final mirror scene twice and from there have somehow landed on Linkin Park videos. Though man, Hybrid Theory is nearly 19 years old. How the hell did that happen? Though, old or not, it remains one of my favourite all time albums.

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turps33
James' meeting at work went well on Wednesday, the doctor was lovely and pretty much summed the situation up as a perfect storm which led to the hospital tests etc. She's put him back on a phased return when his sick note runs out, which is good as while the new meds are starting to work, they're leaving him exhausted by the night. She also stressed in both the actual meeting and in the written report that all the issues are covered under the disability discrimination act, which is always a relief as that means he's covered in terms of excessive sickness.

That day Corey also had a check-up at the doctors so was home for a few hours. While here he was showing me an app he uses. It's called 'Too Good To Go' and is basically a thing where restaurants/cafes sell off their food cheap instead of throwing it away at the end of the day. Corey uses it to get cheap sushi from Yo Sushi and as James loves the stuff, but I don't, we never to that restaurant. I signed up and bought my first grab bag to pick up yesterday. The Sushi one works out nicely as it's directly outside of the Metrocenter cinema, plus, they sell off food in two batches, early afternoon and then night time. It's very much a lucky dip, as you get what's left, but James was very happy with his tray. Then, as it was a nice day we drove to the coast where a few delis had open slots around 4ish. So for less than £10, we came home with posh sandwiches, various loaves of bread, cakes and brownies, and my favourite, from the veggie deli, this amazing spicy soup and a massive salad that was all the leftovers from the salad bar.

We also finally saw Green Book at the silver cinema session, and despite it being very uncomfortable viewing at times, I enjoyed it. We were running really late for the show, you get free coffee at the silver cinema sessions so it didn't help I stopped for them, but come on, free coffee. It meant it was already pitch black with the movie just starting when we got in, and as we always sit in the middle of the row but people were at both ends, we grabbed different seats closer to the front and hoped no one else had booked them. They hadn't, but even so, note to self, get there on time.

Then when we got home James pretty much lay down on the couch and slept until bedtime.

Today I need to go buy cat litter then we're going to see Shazam at the cinema and hopefully a walk as it looks like it's going to be an okay day. Unlike two nights okay where not only did it snow but we had thunder snow. While it was a most excellent thunder and lightning show in the middle of the night I would have preferred not to be woken up like that.

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turps33
It was mother's day yesterday, and to be honest I was dreading it. It's why I haven't been around lately because I missed mam so much and was so sad and everywhere I looked there were reminders of the approaching day. In the end, yesterday wasn't as bad as I was expecting, I guess I got all my sad out of the way in the week or so approaching. But still, ouch. It was so much worse than Christmas and my birthday and her birthday.

I did go and see Corey, so that was one positive. You can see my annual mother's day photo of me and him here.

We actually did a lot last week, distractions for the win I guess.

A long time after everyone else, I've started to watch Queer Eye and am enjoying it loads. I've just binge-watched the first season, and have two more to go. Happiness. I'm also still working my way through Schitt's Creek and watching the GoT specials that are starting to appear ready for the new, and final, season.

James' new meds seem to be doing the trick. His blood pressure is down and his pulse almost normal, however, the downside of that is his nerve pain has increased so we've been back at the doctor's again this morning and she's increased one of his tablets again, so hopefully that will work as it's such a delicate balancing act. James has bought a personal blood pressure machine so now we both check our blood pressure in the mornings. It's been amazing to see his come down, and as part of a new routine, I'm making sure we get out of the house and walk as often as possible. Which is why the other day we were at Gibside again. It's a National Trust property, and while there we decided to join the organisation. As I get in free as his carer, it'll cost us £6 a month for us both, and as it would have been £12 to get in at the time, it seemed a logical decision, especially as Gibside is so brilliantly disability friendly. We've been before, it's the place that has two electric tramper scooters that disabled guests can use for free. They're great, so sturdy and means I could get in a good walk through the forest without James being in pain after a short distance. He did walk on occasions though, and I took control of the tramper then. I also got to go on one of those giant net swings and eat a sandwich in the sunshine and explore a children's woodland plaything.

Then on the way home we were passing Beamish, and as buying one ticket means you get in free for a full year, we decided to call in and have a ride on the tram. Forgetting that actually getting to the tram stop is quite the hike first. We also bought a cob loaf from the bakery, which made me laugh because normally we're so careful with our grocery budget, yet show me a home-baked loaf of bread and I'll happily spend £2 to buy it. We also bought this fun metal sculpture thing from Gibside. It's a long stick with two metal swallows balanced on it, and they twirl around in the wind. It's in the raised bed outside of the living room window and all of the cats were quite fascinated.

So yeah, by the time we were home my fitbit told me I'd walked over 5 miles and had gone up 38 flights of stairs, so that day stretching my legs really did happen.

Also last week we used the new membership to visit a lighthouse. It's one we pass all the time when we're at the beach but have never been in. It was interesting but very much a once you've seen it you don't need to go back place. James did really well getting halfway up the long stone spiral staircase, but there was no way he'd get up the last part which was pretty much a spiral ladder. So I left him on the landing -- there were seats, I wasn't cruel enough to just leave him on the stairs -- and climbed to the top. It was such a beautiful view and the NT lady followed so we had a talk about the lighthouse and the surrounding area and I got to push the light around.

Film wise we've been to see Dumbo and Five Feet Apart, both of which were okay. Nothing to write home about.

Tomorrow we need to go to the inlaws and my MiL is getting a recliner/riser chair, which will be amazing for her. The adult social worker will be there to ensure she knows how to use it and I really do think it will change her life. Operation getting their house into shape is still ongoing. Honestly, it's still a tip and the grime everywhere is something I couldn't live with, but compared to what it was like a month ago it's a showhome.

Then first thing Wednesday James needs to see his work doctor, so another early start then. But this afternoon I have nothing on, so am going to catch up on here.

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turps33
It was the anniversary of when I met James for the first time yesterday, 27 years since that first meeting in a dodgy nightclub in Sunderland. I'd like to say we'd celebrated in a good way, but we spent all day at the hospital. More, nothing bad, all is well.Collapse )

Kayleigh has been doing a load of overtime so I haven't seen her in person for a while. We eventually caught up and it turns out she's broken up with the girlfriend she was dying to introduce to me and is seeing someone new tomorrow. I can't keep up with her. But, she's enjoying herself, and really that's all that matters. Last year sucked for her, too. So it's nice to see her smile again, and if that means lots of dating. So be it.

In other smile worthy news. My next door neighbour had her first baby last weekend, a very cute and adorable daughter. The neighbour's sister is Kayleigh's long term BFF meaning my neighbour is also a family friend, so it's been so fantastic to see how happy she is. What's also nice to think about is they got mam's couch, so I keep seeing it in photos along with this tiny squishy baby.

And in cinema news, before James went on the sick we saw Fishermen's Friends and What Men Want. Both enjoyable but both not really standouts.

To end on a lighter note. You all know how much I love Lush, but sometimes some of their products are.... well, how can I say unusual looking. I saw that bunny looking out of the Lush window and it wants to harvest your soul!

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Yesterday was a lot of little annoyances.

The rain had been relentless all the night before, and as I was seeing James off to work I noticed we had a leak near the front door. I only noticed because the floor was wet at the side where we have the cat scratch mat. Initially I was going to blame a cat, then noticed the drips coming from the ceiling. I was worried it was coming from Corey's bedroom, but after looking outside worked out it was under the flat roof that sticks out for the hallway. Thankfully it stopped and there was no damage apart from some discolouring of a patch of wallpaper where the water was coming in. But seriously, come on now house, stop going wrong all at once.

Yesterday was oven cleaning day. It wasn't especially dirty but I wanted to keep on top of it, especially as it's been getting harder to see through the glass door. So I bought one of those scary kits that come along with warnings to always wear gloves while handling the cleaning fluid and to check the soaking bag in case of leaks. I did that, put the racks in the soaking bags, to you know, soak, squirted the rest of the fluid in the oven and left it for the stated six hours.

In that time I was waiting for someone who wanted to buy something we'd put up on a selling site, but he never turned up.

Hours tick on, I wander in the kitchen and see a pool of something under the washer and think, noooo, not a washer leak again. Then notice it is in fact the soaking bag that's sprung a leak and there's now greasy, youmustweargloveswhiletouchthis fluid down the washer and on the floor. All I can think is one of the racks must have torn the bag somehow as I did make sure to test it was liquid tight.

Without thinking I shove the bag in the sink and start mopping stuff up with kitchen roll without putting on gloves. Thankfully my hands didn't instantly dissolve, but man, they're so dry. I'm using hand cream over and over atm. Yes, it was daft but all I could think was, my washer! My floor!

That dealt with I figured I might as well clean the racks and inside of the oven, and they cleaned up nicely. But while I was in front of the oven I realised you could actually take the glass out of the door and clean it that way. And once I'd done that the glass was beautiful and shiny and I could see inside perfectly. Which suggests I never actually needed a cleaning kit at all. It did take a while to work out how to put the glass back securely, the answer being, you need to use brute force to jam the holder thing back on, and at one point was sat on the floor with the glass out of the door in front of me, damp towels around me, grimy water splashed everywhere and thought, what the hell have I done? But I put it all right and now have a shiny oven and door and all is well.

The boiler also got its service on Thursday which is great, and the guy offered to check all the radiators too. Which was nice of him, and also made me glad I had tidied upstairs the other day as he went in all the rooms up there. Plus, he knocked £10 off the bill for some reason. So, result.

In non-domestic news, I don't know if anyone else watches but I've started to watch Schitt's Creek on Netflix. It's the perfect 20 minute easy watching comedy that doesn't take much brain power to follow. I'm only in the first half of season one so have three and a bit to go, so that's something to look forward to.

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