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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

News and In Other News

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Well. The surgery went well.
He came out with no complications. So I've worried myself needlessly.
I wasn't super worried. I just think it's good to remember that ANY surgery carries risks no matter how routine. Just like it's wise to remember that fire is dangerous. ANY fire. And knives are dangerous so you must always be careful and observant and never forget thay you could cut yourself if you're not careful or worse.
Anyway. He had to have a few days to rest. Had to drink a lot to "flush his system". He has a catheter for a week so peeing is interesting. He pees in a bag. He has 2. A day one and a night one. The day one is strapped to his ankle. It sounds oddly fascinatiting. I say sounds because I haven't seen it but I get the idea.
There was something about them not being able to see all the way because something about something hook or hooking but they've seen enough to know the pee tubes aren't blocked. Seems the prostate/tumour was leaning on the pee tube at some point (this is why pee issues are a sign to look out for for prostate cancer. I told him that briefly about 2 years ago as you know but nevermind. How did I know that? A random clip of Robot Chicken. Wierd where you can learn things huh?)
Anyway. The urologists are happy with him for now. He's had his cancer treatment injection. He'll be moving up to chemo but this will be injections not the chemotherapy that destroys your immune system or something so that's nice to know. Now is not a good time to be immunosuppressed for anyone (anyone who is immunosuppressed I wish the best at any time but especially now).
He's had a letter from his previous surgeon (for the hernia) and, assuming treatment continues going well and there are no further complications, he's going to consider the hernia surgery reasonably soon. As long as all is well.
So yeah. We'll see how it all goes.

In other news.
I friended the wife of one of my cousins on Facebook at the start of lockdown, as she's quite active on the platform, so that I'd be in touch if need be. I'm a bit confused because some relatives seem to have 2-3 accounts so I picked one with a single account so I wouldn't be confused. I'm not sure what's going on with that. Is it to keep things seperate? Is it a problem so they just made a new one but didn't/couldn't delete the old one? No clue. It's no secret that I detest Facebook. As a nice and quick way of keeping in touch with people, friends and family, it's fine but everything else annoys/confuses me. Anyway she's had some odd health issues over the past year or so and last I saw on Facebook she was in hospital. Or something like it. And now nothing. I can't find her on Facebook at all. I thought maybe I'd made a mistake and accidentally unfriended her. But I've looked and I can't find her. So maybe she has somehow blocked me, unlikely, or her account's gone.
I've been bringing up the subject of calling relatives because we haven't for a while and mum mostly ignores me. Why don't I do it? Well. The older ones have more respect for her. No surprise, she's their sister and they've seen me through childhood, so even though I'm in my 30's they still see me as a child. Doesn't help that I don't fully act like an adult either but let's not get into all that again.
Well my uncle called the other day. There was some general catch up between them.
Seems the cousin on Facebook has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, that's what he told us. I'm glad she has a diagnosis but now I worry about her health in this current climate.

So. In other news.
We've made a discovery. I'd say startling but I had been suspecting it for a while.

The bright little fox in our garden isn't who we thought it was.
We thought/hoped it was the boy from last year. I named him Prince because a few times he sat on a little perch in the overgrowth a the end of the garden. He'd curl up there to sleep and I thought he's surveying his kingdom. But he's a youngster so Prince.
He'd sit by the kitchen door and watch us and he'd hang around for scraps when I fed the birds so I'd toss him some peanuts or seed. I had to put out even more nuts because I put them out for the squirrels to stop them stealing the bird food but then the foxes started stealing the nuts. He's a clever guy and opened a walnut by himself. He'd bring in random things. I found a shoe once. Quite new. He'd bitten a piece off and left it.
We knew he was a boy. It was obvious when he'd sit and his balls were pretty obvious when we could see his back end.
I had to stop feeding everyone when the squirrel decided to make a nest in the roof.
This year we've seen our old vixen, I think this is actually HER teritory and a bright little one. It seemed smaller than prince but I hoped it was him. Well I finally had it confirmed when it lay down and swished it's tail around. Deffinately no testicles. It's a little girl.
She's also a bit more shy than Prince. I aim to keep it that way. I will scare her more often than I feed her because I don't want her to get too used to me like Prince. He maintained caution so he was never in danger of becoming tame but i worried he might be too trusting of humans.
At the start of the year I found a dead fox in the garden.
Hadn't been out for a long time so i didn't know it was there.
It was in, what I like to call, Fox Alley at the side of the house.
The back end had kind of melted so I couldn't guess it's gender. It's eyes and face were obviously gone by that time too.
I wondered if it was Prince.
I was sad that it died but glad that it had somewhere quiet and safe to die.
We managed to get it in a couple of bin bags and had the council collect it. (I had to look up what to do with a dead animal. You can't put a dead fox in the bin. It needs to be reported to the council).
It was a Sunday when I messaged them about it, with clear instrucions on where to find it. I don't know if they were just quick or if it's because Monday was bin day but it was collected early that morning.

There's only one fox I know on sight. I call him Stumpy. This is because he's lost his tail. I think it gives him more personality though and it hasn't slowed him down. Someone dumped a bit of carpet at the end of the street and I saw him last night in the middle of the road. They do that. It worries me. People have been known to speed around here. He didn't want to move when we aproached him. Was he hurt? No. Just reluctant. He's claimed the carpet as his bed. I shuffled it to the side of the road so he wouldn't get run over then backed off. He came straight back, looked for his carpet, saw it had moved and went to lay on it again. He's a sweet little guy.

In other news.
My plants are going well. Some of them have been very stunted because I've not been looking after them too well and I have very limited space for everything now. A lot of seedlings died but that was to be expected.
I now have a few of my best tomato plants outside and there are one or two buds forming.
I was reluctant to put them out because of pests but I found that my peppers had bugs so I put them all out right away. Come on ladybirds. There's a buffet here for you.
Ironically a few weeks ago I went to go for an annoying fly and found a ladybird inside. What are you doing here? There's no food for you here. A two spot, one of our native breeds. Very good. They're being pushed out by the invasive harlequins. I once got to watch some ladybirds hatch one year. It was fun. Until I discovered they were harlequins. They're still nice but they're invasive so mixed feelings about it.
If I'd known there'd be food for that lovely little 2 spot then I'd have let it stay inside. I've seen a damned greenfly today. I don't think I've got the plants in a good spot for ladybirds but it's the only spot I've got for them so never mind.
My peas have paid their way already.
I wanted to try peas since they're supposed to be easy but didn't have any so I went into an old bag of dried lentils (it also had marrowfat peas) and dug out five. It's a few years old now. Would they grow?
Yes. Yes they did. I later planted a few garden peas but only one grew.
I had five marrowfat peas. One plant has died without being able to produce peas. It got close. I got 9 in total and 3 from my one garden pea.
I have now planted all of those and 2-3 of my original plants are still alive and flowering again. It's hard to tell because the original plants have gone brown and dry but some of them have green shoots that came from the sides. So I'm not sure if the other brown ones are completely dead or not. The one I know is dead wilted. It was over watered. I've been under-watering my plants wich it the second main problem. Space is the first.
I also put some old potatoes in the garden. I'd meant to do it sooner but finally didi it now. There are mixed answers as to whether you can grow store bought potatoes or not. Some say yes. Some say no. But these are old and sprouted like crazy so either I try to grow them or throw them away. I'd rather try to grow them. Let's just hope the foxes don't dig them up.

I like that all of the plants I have managed to grow would either have been thrown away or eaten for little nutrition if I hadn't planted them. The peppers are store bought. They surprised me. Research on peppers said they wouldn't work but that was for bell peppers. These are a small variety of pepper so I don't know if it's different for growing them. They're just labeled as small mixed peppers.
The tomato seeds would have been eaten but the nutrition you could get from a few seeds is worth sacrificing if I can grow them. Again these are mixed tomatoes so I'm not sure what will happen. I picked them because they're my favourite for salads and things because there are 3 varieties, red, orange and yellow. I have salvaged seeds from common cherry tomatoes and "salad" tomatoes btu I don't have space to grow them since my mixed ones are holding on for now. I had able to note the colour of some of the seedlings but the first batch were random so I don't know if they'll be able to breed or not. We'll have to see. It sould be safe to bix breeds of tomato shouldn't it? So IF something grows it should be edible at least.

I've finally got some lavender. I've been wanting to since last summer. We pass a lot of lavender and it reminds me of Summer holidays in Jersey. A big attraction is the Jersey Lavender Farm, we'd go every year. They did lavender fudge. Surprisingly delicious. I miss going.
I'm not sure where I'm going to put it but I have it. We got two because I found one without a price and felt sorry for it. Who will buy you if you don't have a price? I looked for a tag so at least someone will pick it up later but no luck. I've been thinkig of getting lavender. Should I get it? But no price. No barcode. Do I don't I? Well. They are only small. I could get two. Maybe. So I got two. As I got one with a price i couldn't abandon the other one. And i have wanted lavender for a while. We had one a long time ago but it got shaded out by a massive evegreen next door.
So now I have a lot of plants.

Why did I decided to grow food? Seems a lot of people have. Sick of shortages at the start of lockdown? No. The only shortages were toilet paper, soap and hand sanitiser which we had enough of to last us a while at least.
I decided to do it because of news reports postulating about the future of food. What with Brexit (which is still a thing afterall) and the virus there's stuff about having enough workers to harvest crops and about getting crops from Europe.
Additionaly if this virus/lockdown situation were to become the zombie apocalypse then I'd be wise to grow some food. Also I hate the plastic packaging and I hate getting food, forgetting it and it being wasted. Just grow some yourself then at least you'll appreciate it propperly.
So yeah. I might have some tomatoes if we're lucky.

Also mum has just started back at work. It's a bit different but it is what it is. I went to the optician. I made us some fabric face masks. It's a bit tricky with my glasses but I get by (this is a pattern that is good for glasses. Wire in the nose to shape to the face. Less steam). The optician required you to have a face mask inside. Mine was deemed suitable so I wore that. Hard to breathe though. Kind of like when I go up the stairs then start talking. Takes a while to catch your breath but I got used to it. Was nice when I could take it off though.
Mum had been watching Good Omens a lot in lockdown. She stopped watching it as much when I started getting up a human times because she knows I get bored of things. I did a bit but I suggested we watch it a few more times before she went back to work (I love it too but I get bored easily, especially when I've seen something numerous times)