off again..

We are moving again..

Only this time it’s not a little move, it’s a great big journey across the briny and back to beloved Wales.

We arrive on the 21st September and are being picked up by our good, kind friends Kath and Jules, who are celebrating their wedding anniversary that day, the wedding that six years ago in Swansea, I acted as best woman..  What a fantastic day that was.  And I had forgotten, I have enough problems remembering our own anniversary without remembering anybody else’s – yes I know that’s bad.  In my minds eye I think of their wedding as being in high summer, it was such a hot, sunny, beautiful day.

I have been having a hard time of it lately and I know that because now the hard time has stopped I can look back and see what it was through clear eyes and shudder.  Mostly I think it’s been to do with my thyroid medication.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile will know that I have Hashimotos disease.  It’s an auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and causes fatigue, depression, weight gain etc.  To treat it most people take a synthetic thyroid hormone called Thyroxine, usually it works and people return to normal, for some the symptoms can last for a long time.  I’ve been taking it for years, but in the last six months, since I have been living in Carterton, the pharmacist has be giving me a different, generic form of the drug.  And when I asked about it they told me that it was the same thing – no problems and they wouldn’t consider giving me anything else.  So I took it and for months I have been feeling bad, crashing fatigue, depression (more than normal) , anxiety – constant tight ‘butterflies’ in the stomach and occasionally suicidal – oh yes..  I put it all down to ‘The Change’  good old menopause adding to my misery.

So about ten days ago I found a sheet of my old Thyoxine in the bathroom cupboard and thought – what the hell, let’s experiment. Five days in and I was feeling better and the last five days have felt like a major gift.  No depression, no anxiety, normal energy all day, and happy.

I cannot begin to tell you how good that is.. Moving is always a stressful time, especially when you are going such a long way – packing, selling, sorting the dogs for their health checks, rabies vaccinations and flight.  Trying to deal with everything with constant anxiety was awful – and now it has stopped.

I rang the medical centre yesterday for a new prescription which I will have filled in a pharmacy where they will give me the real deal.  I spoke to the nurse and told her of my concerns about the generic drug – and she was tripping over herself to tell me how right my concerns were, how many patients say they have had the exact same experience as me – honestly WTF?!!

I never thought we would be going back to Britain,  I just thought that this was it, we were here for good and tried very hard to just enjoy being here, and for the most part that worked.  I think that if Mr T wasn’t so home sick I would be happy to stay right here, but he is not happy and we are going and now I am feeling better I am getting so excited I could pop!  To think that in five weeks time we will be driving that beautiful drive from Swansea to Brecon and to our new home near Hay-on-Wye is just mind blowing, let alone seeing and hugging all our lovely friends who I thought we would never see again – it still feels really unreal.

I thought I would leave you with a photo of a visitor we found on our doorstep the other day – Australia may have way more fearsome critters than us but only we have The Weta!




slightly bleeding squashiness..

Hey there..

I love red grapes don’t you?  Nom, nom..

Lovely to munch on after dinner if you feel like pud and have none in the house and are too damned lazy to do anything more energetic than swipe the grape bowl of the counter and squash back up on the sofa again with the dog.  Soooo..

How are you all out there then?  Hope you are all well and goodly.

Probably due to hypothyroidism I have been wrestling with the black slug again but think I am coming out victorious.  This time I had the help of a small dog in fighting the good fight.  She keeps me company, makes me walk the countryside with her and generally cheers me with her sheer cuteness and mild bonkersness i.e. the Assault of the Cherry where after throwing a cherry around and batting it back and forward with paws she then proceeded to snarl and growl at it when it had the temerity to menace her as it sat on the floor in its slightly smeared, slightly bleeding squashiness.

The Hay Book Festival and the How the Light Gets In Festival of Philosophy and Music have both been and gone in the same crowded ten days.  Both seem to have done extremely well and I have heard that tickets for the book fest well exceeded last year.  We have a population of around 1500 here in Hay and they sold about 220,000 tickets for the book festival alone – needless to say our town was just a tad rammed.  The poor buggers who were camping (and there were a lot of them) had to put up with rain and cold the first weekend and by the Tuesday when I went to do my shift at the charity shop we had sold out of all blankets and coats and people were still coming in and asking for them.  It amazes me that some do not understand that summer weather in this country may be a little uncertain.

T and I had the great good fortune to see film director John Waters speak on the first Saturday night – he was very, very, very good.  Interesting, funny and wise.  One of the bonuses of the evening was that he was interviewed by his friend Helena Kennedy who is also a pretty damn wonderful woman, you can read about her here.  I admire both of them immensely for their outspoken stance against prejudice and injustice.

My other visit to the festival grounds was to see the marvellous and incredibly prolific Alexander McCall Smith, he of the No1 Ladies Detective fame.  Once again a visit and battle with the crowds worth making. Interviewed by Ann Robinson ‘Sandy” as she called him proved fully capable of taking a simple question and turning it into a circuitous and engrossing tale – great fun with an infectious laugh.

There was a wonderful energy to the town while the festivals were on but I have to say that it is lovely now everything is back to normal.

I’m off now – don’t want to rabbit on too much now i’m back in the blogging mood again, I’ll just leave you with this..

Like her new i.d. tag?

welcome home toastie..

The visitors really are gone now and although I have lost points in Habit Judo for not blogging during their stay I don’t care.  Really visitors take up all the rest of the time I have spare from essentials and I aint going to push myself too hard just to ramble on here – I doubt you lot noticed too much anyway!

A phone call from my GP on Wednesday informing me that my blood test showed high TSH levels has given me the reason for my increasing tiredness, problems with memory and concentration etc.  Basically that means that the well meaning doctor who lowered my dose of Thyroxine last November was an idiot and I am suffering for it.  At least I know that I will be better again soon…

And now for my big news.. TA-DAR!

Toastie and me

This is Toastie.  She is a rescue dog and comes to us courtesy of a wonderful woman called Glenys Bufton a one woman dog rescue Queen.  We had put our name down with Glenys about a month ago looking for a small friendly dog and last Friday we got the call. Glenys was over run with dogs needing help and had run out of foster carers, would we like to foster a small x breed terrier and if we liked her we could keep her?  Oh Yes..  So, Friday afternoon we found ourselves arriving in a Lidl’s carpark ready for the handover – sort of like a drug deal, only instead of cocaine Glenys was cradling in a blanket a very small pink pig that had been found in the middle of the road somewhere.  Fortunately she did also have a Toastie in the back of her car and the deal was done.

We think she is the greatest as do our friends and visitors-  although she does have a few challenging personal habits including rolling in poo – causing our friend’s son to create this work of art..

Then she had her first bath in her new home..

The Jelly Force Field

Well, the garden got well watered last night and this morning. Pools on the lawns.  I slept in an hour later than usual, owing to the darkness and the steady beat of rain.  Even the dog slept in which was strange – normally she is awake before I want to be and slurping me in the face.

We have just discovered the Greytown Library, so paid it a visit out of curiosity. It has superior magazines than our local, which I took advantage of, even scoring the latest Country Living so that I can look at the pretty pictures and drool over the lovely houses. I also put my name on the list for the new Terry Pratchett book, Unseen Academicals.  Hope it doesn’t take to long.

And then I just ran out of puff really.

There is an interesting symptom of Hypothyroidism which I call The Jelly Force Field. The experience of this is like trying to move through a mass of invisible jelly, every move is an effort – you feel weighed down and sluggish. The jelly insinuates itself into your head so that your brain slows as well.

I did make an effort and went with Tude to walk the dog but was regretting it half way along a route which I normally do without a moments thought.  Bollocks.

Back home to the cozy sofa, mags and tea at hand, to try and regain a bit of energy – so I could write this.

Just a thought – if anyone tells you that we were better off in the ‘good old days’, remember me. Because if it wasn’t for those much maligned (and sometimes with good reason, of course) drug companies with their synthetic thyroxine, I and lots of other people would slowly wind down, like the bunny without the ‘good’ batteries and stop 😉

Yesterday I finally made myself the pin cushion I have been meaning to make for a while now. It’s quite a large one, made out of  grey, woollen blanket with the outline of a kiwi stitched in red and with red blanket stitch around the edges. It’s not perfect but it’s mine and it means I am a proper crafts person because I have a pin cushion (beams, proudly like a five-year old).

Today I went to the usual craft group, slightly worried about how I was going to cope with the fatigue, but it went o.k.  As long as I don’t try to hard to keep up with all the conversations and have a laugh, everything is fine. I even got most of a woven brooch made, even though it took a leeettle longer than usual to make my decrepit brain understand the under/over principle.

Tudor has got over the eleven hours busing the drunks for the Toast Martinborough wine festival and as expected, arrived home with a few storys and a bit pissed off because he had just finished cleaning up a pile of vomit that one of the revellers kindly left for him. He has decided not to do it again next year.

I am starting to think I might have to take a bit more control of the amount of books I have on the go. Before I took up making so much craft it was ok, but now I am finding that it is taking forever to get through anything. I am still reading the Victoria Finlay book on gems and also the book on shamanism. Added to these are  Simon Schama’s Hang-Ups, which is well worthy but heavy going and Terry Pratchett’s Carpe Jugulum – for light, but not simple relief. Hiding in the loo is The Pig That Wanted To Be Eaten – a collection of philosophical thought experiments, each just long enough for the average visit.

I am also half way through a Mary Wesley novel I picked up at the charity shop called An Imaginative Experience. I was very excited to find it as I think I have read all her other book and love them. This one is very enjoyable, although it has made me cry once.

It also has one of the most horrible male characters I have ever read about, and the heroine has a Mother that I just would so love to slap. Violent fantasies can be so satisfying. Wesley writes really good bad characters. She is also a bit of a heroine of mine as she didn’t have her first novel published till she was 70, and by all accounts had a very interesting and unconventional life.   There is an entry about her in Wikipedia if you are interested. I would love to read her biography.

I was going to add some photos of my newest creations but the camera has mislaid itself. So you will just have to put up with these 😉

Hearing Tude coming home





Happy Anniversary to Us

It’s been a weird week health and mood wise. Mostly on a fairly downward trajectory, culminating in a doom laden yesterday when I could quite happily have dug a large hole and buried myself.  I have been trying hard to cope well with the return of the hypothyroidism but actually my report card would read – ‘Needs To Try Harder’. It’s almost like I was holding myself together until my Mother left on Thursday, and then I could fall apart.

Today, however, is a different story. Getting dressed this morning I shocked myself by feeling in such a good mood that I looked at myself in the mirror and shouted- really shouted,  Yay!. Then I did it again twice – just because it felt so good. Then I jiggled my naked self about and had another laugh. TMI? – to bad 😉

I managed to keep my mood and energy levels up most of the day. I even did some housework! Granted I needed a few breaks where I just lay down and didn’t want to get up again, but I can cope with that as long as the mood stays up. The house work was accompanied by a good solid dose of comedy, Radio Four – two episode of ‘The News Quiz’  (I love Sandy Toksvig) and then ‘Jo Caulfield Won’t Shut Up’ which was bloody good, I am looking forward to next weeks edition. Those who say women don’t make good comedians are fuck wits.

One of the bonuses of being energy hormone deprived is that you tend to watch a lot more telly. I have just watched Stephan Fry’s documentary on Bi-Polar Disorder for the second time, well worth watching if you are interested in such. Also Wim Wenders, 2004 movie  ‘Land of Plenty’, I don’t usually do depressing, but this was so good it was compulsive. I have been thinking about it all day, looking forward to Tude coming home so that we can watch the rest.

It is our anniversary today – twelve years, OMG! Anyway Tude, the poor sod, is not able to be here as it is the Toast Martinborough event today and he is needed to bus hundreds of drunks around the vineyards. He did it last year and it sounds like hell – but with interesting stories. Like the loon who decided that he wanted to get back to Featherston to catch a train, so he stole a bus and drove it into a bus stop.

Off now for a walk down the shops with the constant dog. Hope you all out there are having a good one too 🙂

Picture 539
First lily flower in the pond
Picture 538
Close up of Water Lily flower

Golden Sundays

One of those golden, happy Sundays, when all is right with the world. In other words – I am in a good mood. 🙂

It helps that the weather has sorted itself out and I am able to walk barefoot again.  Not so hot yet that it is compulsory to wear a hat. We took Polly dog for a walk and lay on the grass at the park and watched the clouds cruise past.

I successfully managed to not get slaughtered at last nights party and therefore am not in the midst of a two day hangover.  Our house is clean and all preparations sorted for my Mothers arrival tomorrow, just need to put some roses by her bed.

This morning I had a big sleep in and my lovely Tudor made me breakfast in bed;  Scotch Omelets – invented by my Scottish father when we were kids, they are actually French Toast but with Marmite spread on the bread before dipping in egg.  I tasted my first home grown strawberry today and it was fantasmagorically wonderful.

The weird virus thing that has stalked me lately has eased off today, but I decided that I would stay home from book club anyway and get everything done that I needed to do without rushing. Good decision, I feel rested and looking forward to whatever the rest of the week brings. Hope you are too..

Found this cool little animation I thought you all might like.