Saturday, 16 February 2019

My Funny Valentine

This is how Valentine's day works in Gods own country.
I buy myself a pretty bouquet of flowers on 15 February, they are reduced by 75%, whats a day late with that great saving.
I am happy that they brighten up the penthouse, Mr FF is happy that he didn't have to do anything, I have spent very little and we have marked the day appropriately.
Romance Yorkshire style, you have to be born here.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

More reductions

This week we have mainly been downsizing.  Yes it continues, whilst I think we are living a reasonably pared down life in the penthouse there is always room for improvement.
So Mr FF with my permission, I haven't used them for years, put my cross country skis, complete with sticks and boots on eBay and sold them to a nice lady in Cumbria.  He advertised them as collection only but the lady wanted them couriered which turned out to be expensive but acceptable to the buyer.  I don't know if you've ever tried to wrap skis etc, its not easy but the engineer was not defeated (although he did moan a lot during the process).  They are now in our hall awaiting courier collection.
Selling Mr FF's skis will be a different matter a they are definitely too long to be couriered.  
I've been doing my bit knitting up leftovers from the stash.  I made fingerless gloves, cowls, scarves and a couple of pairs of baby socks.  All labelled up I delivered them to a local charity shop and since I'm registered there I should receive notification of how much they raise.  I shall be interested to see how they sell and probably call by next week to check if they are out on display, so not completely letting go yet. 
This pair of gloves however had to stay home, taupe goes with everything.
When we lived in Scotland I had three stash locations, two chests and the bottom of the airing cupboard, now I can see that by the end of the year I could be down to just one, unless you count the stash in Italy but why would you.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Fired up for February

As every I am delighted that January is over, I’m calling last month dry cough January because of the awful virus that laid me low for 3 weeks and the fact that as a result I stopped drinking alcohol on 02 January. So far so dry, it’s not a life changing decision, I shall in moderation be knocking back the local vino in Italy but for now I’m not missing the hard stuff at all.
Much as I wanted January to be over I was rather apprehensive as on 01 February I had an appointment at the dentist for 3 new crowns,  I had agreed to get these all done at once, two at the back on the right one up one down and one at the back on the lower left.
It was an uncomfortable and lengthy experience but my dentist and his nurse were so kind and thoughtful, the worst is over.  I go back in 2 weeks to have my permanent crowns fitted and will be almost £2,000 lighter.  I may also be lighter myself as I am more or less on a soft food diet and its taking me so long to carefully chew anything I am eating less.    
This morning Mr FF and I went to the Industrial Museum in Bradford which apart from being very interesting in itself was having a wool event with stalls, demonstrations, even some alpacas. 
Delightful as the yarns were I resisted bringing any home but I was totally inspired by the beautiful knits on display and enthused to knit with British yarn.  Fortunately the wonderful West Yorkshire Spinners are not so far away and produce yarns reared sheared and spun within spitting distance of the penthouse.

On one stall I found myself standing beside a lady admiring some colourful and lacy fingerless gloves.  'I'd love to be able to make these' she said, I replied that I was sure she would be able to do so, they didn't look that difficult.  'But I can't knit' she replied, 'I'm cack handed'.  Such a wonderful and bluntly northern expression that means clumsy. 
The museum has a vast collection of old machinery from the days when West Yorkshire was the centre of the wool industry, some of it still operational through not productive.
You really got an impression of what it must have been like to be employed in the mills, children started around the age of 12, in dusty, noisy and dangerous conditions working long hours to hand over most of their wages at the end of the week to support the family.
Much of the equipment was manufactured at local foundries, so much industry and employment now all gone.  Note the yarn bombing, it was everywhere.
And it wouldn't have been a Yorkshire event without a brass band.  All this for free though we were more than happy to make a donation to this brilliant museum.   

Thursday, 24 January 2019

We need to talk about earrings

I had my ears pierced when I was 18 at a jewellers in York.   I still remember because I passed out probably from fear as the process was painless. I then had to bathe my lobes with salt water every night for a week or two and turn the studs every day.  I was terrified and when it finally came to taking the earrings out for the first time it took me hours to ease off the butterfly backs and remove the studs.  Even now if I don't wear earrings for a while the holes start to close, but I do try to put earrings in every day though they have to be taken out for sleep.
You can imagine over 50+ years I have amassed a good selection of earrings, quality and not great quality.   I just had a new year sort out, identified at least 12 pairs that can move on and wondered why I had so many many pairs of silver hoops and circles.
The ones above were a gift Mr FF brought me back from Chile and the ones below are Georg Jensen that I treated myself to from a lovely jewellery shop in town where I spend many happy hours with my nose pressed against the display window.  
I tell myself that at my age I should reduce my earring wardrobe to a few quality pieces but I know that is never going to happen.  I have a lovely pair of diamond studs that Mr FF bought me for my 50th birthday, I'd be surprised if I've worn them more than a dozen times I'm so worried about loosing one.  And yes I did have a lot of single earrings from loss, I've got rid of those too.  None of which is a great step forward but a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Panic buying

I saw on the news last night that a company in Leeds is producing Brexit survival boxes, £300 worth of freeze dried food that is said to usable for 25 years, fire starting gel and water purifiers in case of shortages after Brexit.  Why would we not have clean water and power after we leave the EU, the whole situation is ridiculous scaremongering.   
However I have done a bit of panic buying myself.  I don't have much sock yarn here in Yorkshire, I have a lot in Italy, but the penthouse was rather deplete so I've made a purchase.
I ordered from Hobbii, a very nice Danish company that doesn't charge too much for shipping, despatches quickly and keeps you up to date on progress.  We'd expect no less from the Vikings and while I'm not contemplating a sock yarn shortage after Brexit it might be more difficult to buy from the EU.  Not a problem as I will be able to support our local West Yorkshire Spinners, my very favourite sock yarn, but I thought I'd give Denmark a last shot and pick up some cheap yarn.   
First of all I selected these 4 balls of (none EU) Siberia which was reduced from £7.99 to £3.90 per 100 g.
Then I opted for a lucky bag, 5 x 100 g balls of EU yarn for £25.  It's not quite the same not knowing what you are going to get, but I was more than pleased with the selection I was sent.  All the yarn is 75% wool 4 ply.

There was even a little heart shaped chocolate, how kind, they must be thinking we won't have treats any more after Brexit.
I've already stocked up on my toiletries for Italy as Boots were having a 3 for 2 plus a massively reduced price on the No 7 cleansers I use.   I was paying less for 3 bottles than I'd normally pay for 1 plus I get loyalty points. 
I think I've got my priorities right, wool and toiletries, and whatever happens after tonight's vote I won't be food hoarding, I'm not that crazy. 
Thank you for all the get well wishes I received, by phone, email and through comments.  I think I've turned the corner, I am now able to sleep laying down though still waking a few times coughing.  I am still snorting steroids but life feels more normal.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Medical update

Midweek I finally contacted the health centre who arranged for my doctor to phone me.  We had a discussion about my ailments, he said he had had the very same virus himself and was sympathetic.  He prescribed a steroid nasal spray to stop the mucus from my nose forming and collecting at the back of my throat causing irritation and thus coughing.  He said I should be feeling better within a week or so, he must have heard the disappointment in my voice because he revised that to possibly by the weekend.
The weekend is here and I am just the same, only now the bags under my watery and puffy eyes are bigger, I am worried that my 70 year old skin isn't going to bounce back from this, just as well I am fully stocked with face creams.
My appetite is small and limited, I cannot tolerate anything sweet like jam on my toast, I cannot drink a full cup of coffee, a lot of food seems tasteless, none of this helped by the sensation of having something stuck at the back of my throat.  
I am still sleeping sitting up not that I'm sleeping much.  Every night I am padding round the penthouse, making honey and lemon drinks or inhaling steam.  Sometimes I try to sleep on the sofa for a while to give Mr FF a break but that doesn't work so well and creeping back into the cold side of bed is horrible.  I could move into the spare bedroom but I have always hated having two bedrooms on the go.
So I am shooting steroids up my nose every day, which I guess could be affecting my taste buds and thus my appetite.  I've told Mr FF that if I get enough into me I shall be guaranteed a place in this years Tour de France.
Let's hope the coughing stops soon, its still the only symptom I have.  According to the doctor it could be any time now and not a minute too soon.  I don't pick up colds and germs very often but when I do I do it big style.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Mrs Flipflops is not completely fine

This is such a bad start to the year, we will laugh about this in the summer when its all a distant memory but for now I feel wretched.  I have the most 
debilitating dry cough that is worse in the night and allows me an average of two hours sleep.  Its 5.30 am and I have made tea and taken a pain killer
I have tried all sorts of remedies
Cough suppressant that does not do what it says on the bottle
Hot water with honey and lemon
A spoonful of honey
Hot water with grated ginger
Gargling with salt water which is awful for someone who never uses salt 
Throat soothers
Sleeping sitting up
Steam inhalation via bowls of water and the bathroom steam cabinet
I am drinking lots of water and fruit juice, no alcohol 
Some days I walk out for fresh air, it makes no difference, some days I just lay on the sofa and moan quietly
I have no appetite or enthusiasm
I checked on the NHS website which suggested if the symptoms persist for 3 weeks I should contact the doctor, Ive had this for 10 days, I might do so sooner though I hate taking antibiotics they really mess up my system.
I am the worlds worst patient, I need help.