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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

Things You've Missed

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Now then. The past year. Let's see.
You know my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer after seeing a consultant for a hernia op. Well. As far as I'm aware he's still not on any/much immune suppressing medication (which is a huge relief in this current climate). He's on hormones which has it's own set of side effects which, upon reading, my first and only thought was "ah. Basically menopause then" I've already dealt with that once in my teens. Funny that as my mum was going through a drastic and natural hormonal change so was I, just at opposite ends of the scale. Hang on. I have to clip my nails. The index and middle are having to hit the keys side on and I don't like it. Not easy to cut dry. That'll do for now. I needed them shorter to work on stuff anyway.
Where was I? Ah yeah. My dad had his hernia op and that's healed up nicely now and he did get to thank his consultant for ordering the tests that found the cancer. So that's all with that for now.

Mu mum's atrial fibrillation doesn't seem to have changed. She did have a few hospital appointments for blood tests and such. She ended up with a collection of disposable face masks (you HAVE to wear one provided when you go into hospital even if you have your own) and a small collection of stickers (they temperature check you at the door and you get a sticky dot to show you passed. When she gets a different coloured one she puts it on the notice board. So far she has three. She hadn't thought of it when they did orange stickers otherwise it would have been four). She hasn't been called in for a while.
Getting her prescription done through the doctor's surgery was a bit tricky. She's never had to have a repeat prescription before so didn't know the procedure (also we only recently registered with that surgery). You're supposed to call the surgery a few days/a week BEFORE you run out. You're supposed to email them (don't know if that's standard or a recent thing because of everything going on). So the next month she emailed from work but didn't know if they'd received it so the next day or so she calls to check. Yep but only because she called. The doctor hadn't signed off on it so it hadn't gone to the pharmacy so she couldn't get the prescription filled. Next time she asked at the pharmacy. Not come through yet again so the pharmacy offered to cut out the middle man so to speak and renew the prescription when it was time next time and onwards (it's not uncommon and frees up the doctor's surgery to deal with patients rather than paperwork).
While getting her prescription some time before Christmas. Maybe October/November they brought up the flu jab and she accepted. This is a pretty big deal. She has a big dislike of the flu jab.
It stems from when she was young in the 70's. She was offered the flu jab at work and accepted. For the next few years after she kept getting bad colds which she didn't before and blames it on the flu jab. I question that logic but I also question medicine in the 70's compared to now. I looked it up and there was a pretty virulent strain of flu at the time so maybe that had something to do with it. She has no problems with vaccines and made sure I had all of mine that were available. She's just been wary of the flu jab. But as she's gotten older she's come into the category for "this age and up are advised to have the flu jab so as not to strain the NHS in Winter". As she's very nearly 70 now AND has a slight heart condition AND there's a global pandemic I have floated the idea of her getting the flu jab. Turns out she's been thinking the same thing. My dad's been having his for a while. So when the pharmacy said they were giving the flu jab she said okay. "When should I come in?" "We can do it right now if you like" so she did. first flu jab in 40-50 years. No obvious side effects. Her arm (where it was done) itched a bit but that went away soon enough. It takes around 6 months for a flu vaccine usually and they can only pick a handful of flu viruses to put in it. So they have to track the progression of various flu viruses over the year and predict which will be the most common around Winter time. But, as we all now know, if one comes up all of a sudden it throws everything into disarray.

So. What else shall I note about the past year?
I stopped writing my journal. I'd kept that up for nearly two years and I was quite proud of that. It's not even like something happened. I just started forgetting and then it seemed stupid to stay up when I was tired just to write so I stopped. My sleep schedule suddenly changed because I went to bed when I was tired so I was getting up earlier in the day and therefore going to bed earlier at night and it was sudden so it was a little odd having to adjust.

I got a box set of Carry On DVD's at the start of (the first) lock down and a DVD player for entertainment and so mum could finally watch her Good Omens DVD. She had it but our old DVD player hadn't worked for years, hence my decision to replace it.

I had a few little go's at abstract painting (where you randomly blob on paint and spread it around on a canvas) I like them all, some more than others. I've now put them all up here and there and it brightens things up a bit and gives you something new to look at.

I successfully grew tomatoes and mini peppers over the Summer. I had enough to put in a few burgers, salads and sandwiches as well as making a little tomato jam and a big helping of pasta sauce. I picked up some gardening magazines this month (mostly for the random mix of seeds that I'd wonder whether or not to get if the decision were up to me) and I have big gardening plans for this year.
I also grew some wonderful little potatoes and we had the three biggest (with some store bought too because they weren't that big, as big as a small store bought one) with our Christmas dinner. I was so proud. The pepper and tomato seeds I'd harvested from store bought fruits and the potatoes were old store bought ones that had sprouted so we weren't going to eat them. I always hate throwing those away and I wonder about planting them. Research gives mixed results. Some say store bought ones are treated or bred so they won't grow at home and others say they do. Depends on the potato, the conditions and even the country you're in I guess. The ones I planted did grow. Mostly tiny potatoes but three normal sized ones. I was so proud. I've since eaten the rest in a soup.

I didn't do anything for Halloween. I don't think we even got a pumpkin. If we did it was purely for soup and was not carved. Children weren't really out and even if they had been I'm not sure I would have been comfortable giving out sweets. What if I'm asymptomatic? What if the sweets aren't properly sanitized? What if they're infected? How many houses have they been to and were they infectious? Just not worth it in the end. I got a bag of sweets just in case but didn't need them. I think mum took them into work for her colleagues.
The only trouble is that not doing Halloween rather threw me off for Christmas. I spent the whole of November going "I don't know why but it still feels like it's October"
We were very late doing Christmas stuff. I suffered a combination of lack of urgency and lack of inspiration. Oh poor me. That's said with SUPER heavy sarcasm by the way. In the end I only did about ten for family. The rest got regular cards.
Turns out I wasn't the only one lacking enthusiasm. Walking the dog I happened upon a neighbor who said she'd only put up the tree and decorations for the grandchildren, otherwise she wouldn't have bothered, she just didn't want to do it this year. I can see why. She'd also lost a few friends and two elderly cats recently and her last cat is old and deaf.

I've stopped doing my "achieve something every month" thing. I made it to doing a baby cardigan (for mum's colleague) for November but before that I'd started reading a book before switching to the cardigan. I tried reading the book for December but it went out of the window and it's still not done for January. Funny thing is that I can't start my next book until I finish this one and I'd earmarked a Christmas themed book for December. Well. Why not have that in February or even March?

I have started a new journal. I got a year planner/diary in the hope that the numbered days will motivate me to do it. So far so good but it is only January. The pages are smaller though so I only have limited space. Before that it was write for 5-10 minutes a day at least. I'm glad I'm doing it again. I really missed it.

Oh and I kept up daily Japanese study through a learning app but with varying levels of enthusiasm. I've taken it incredibly slowly so don't expect me to string a sentence together.

Oh. Also I made us a bunch of fun face masks with nose wire so my glasses don't steam up. I looked up a few patterns and was able to get supplies just before masks became mandatory in the UK.

Oh. And my uncle (dad's only remaining brother) has had to quit/slow down his smoking. His brand of cigarettes have been banned in our country because they contain menthol which, to quote my dad, "opens up the lungs more" so you take in more of the crap in cigarettes. And he doesn't like other brands so it's rather put him off. I'm glad about that but I do worry about what he'll replace the smoking with. He can't replace it with eating since he has to be careful with his diabetes.

The dog is driving me crazy right now. She won't stop nibbling. That whole thing is a story for another time though


  1. Danik 2016's Avatar
    Enjoyed this!