Pales to insignificance

but a quick mention of what else has been happening for the past week:

    Saturday –

I went to City v Boro (1-0) and on the way down passed the time of day with a mini-bus full of young lads going to the match. Then saw the same lot at the last services (only ‘cos they beeped the horn to say hello else I’d have walked straight past without noticing) and tried to convince them I wasn’t stalking them! 😀 It was a very cold day and many matches around the country were being called off but ours was OK with our underground heating. However, one of the away fans came to the front of the away section, wearing a kilt, which he lifted to reveal he must have been of true Highlander descent! It was FREEZING, we were in thermals, and this mad fool was in a skirt with nothing on underneath! The game itself was not bad, and Shay Given had a very warm welcome even before he proved himself MotM with an outstanding performance. I liked the fact that he could clearly be seen talking to our (young) back four and think he is a valuable asset to the team.

Afterwards, I drove to mum’s, by which time the cold which had been threatening, really got a grip and the streaming nose/eyes and raw sinuses started in earnest 🙁 (Happily I’d caught this cold from Mum last time, I think, so I didn’t have to worry about giving it to her.) We had a lovely dinner and a relaxing evening though Rocky went and hid IN mum’s bed (and didn’t re-emerge until after I’d gone home.)

    Sunday –

I took mum to Tesco to stock up on all the basics as she’s been having trouble getting to Tesco lately. Unfortunately, hobbling around the shop almost killed her so I felt bad – next time I think she’ll have to be a lady of leisure and let me push her round in a wheelchair. 😛 We had lunch when we got back and then I set off for home, after collecting from Mum’s neighbour, a very nice microwave which they were replacing and offered us. (Ours is rather worse for wear and we’ve been making do with it for a while now. I really must write and thank them properly too, but with all the events of this week, I haven’t yet done it.) Just as I was leaving, it started to snow fairly steadily but luckily all he roads were clear of ice, and I just drove through a blizzard or two. The Lake District was pretty with snow all around. What wasn’t pretty was my nose and my poor, red-raw sinuses which had me sneezing and snuffling all the way home.

    Monday –

My cold was still a bother though I felt I’d turned the corner and thanks to my herbs and my herbal sinus cream, I wasn’t as bad as some people have been with this particular cold. (Characterised by the unusual order of the symptoms I think – sore throat first, then nose/sinuses streaming, then a cough and a tickle.) I came home at lunchtime as the dry hospital air was making my head pound and I couldn’t concentrate.

    Tuesday –

Cold much better, just a cough (though I did have one enormous coughing fit whilst on the phone at one point which was a bit awkward.)It was a frantic day at the hospital, as ever.

    Wednesday –

The day of my presentation to the Post Grad Education Meeting at the hospital (“Herbs for cardiovascular health”) – and I didn’t feel prepared! I also woke up with no voice! I subsequently spent all of Wednesday morning desperately trying to finish off and polish up my talk, (in between talking to Billy on the phone, and sorting out things for him) and still felt unready when it was time to go, though at least my voice was back. Just to make things more complicated, we are now in the posh new meeting rooms of the education department with lovely new technology including multiple screens around the rooms plus one very large one at the front. Fortunately it wasn’t too difficult to manage though I was aware of my body being there but my mind with Billy in Bristol. In the end the presentation went as well as I could have hoped, though I knew it wasn’t a terribly polished performance, and my audience showed plenty of interest and asked pertinent questions. I was pretty drained by the evening as I then spent the afternoon concentrating on running my clinic plus starting to prepare the talk I was giving the following day to the Parkinson’s Support group.

    Thursday –

Billy called me at 4am to say his mum had passed away and I just couldn’t sleep so I got up at 4.30am and carried on writing my talk, as well as talking to him repeatedly on the phone – throughout the day in fact. I felt helpless to do much for him but I knew that talking to me helped him. It started snowing quite heavily mid morning and I wondered if the talk would go ahead, and then just as I’d finished my preparation to my satisfaction, and printed my handouts, I had a call saying they’d decided to cancel due to the weather. I will now do the talk in April – but at least it is all written ready.

I looked at the weather and the snow was settling fast so I thought that rather than leave the food shopping until tomorrow as planned, I might go to the Tesco in Hexham whilst the snow was fresh and powdery. If I left it, it might freeze over and then I’d be stuck. So off I went, and found Tesco almost empty, did the shopping, and came out to find a rapid thaw setting in. Ah well, at least the shopping was done, whatever happened. By the evening, I really was wiped out and had an early night, hoping Billy and Raji would also manage to get some sleep.

    Friday –

I decided to go to the Metrocentre to the Orange shop to try and sort out my Orange contract. Three months ago I’d been contacted by a company who persuaded me to let them change my business phone to Orange since I was unhappy with my T-Mobile coverage (Orange have improved theirs and I am very pleased with their coverage and service.) I had various problems with the 3rd party company including them sending my phone to the wrong address, charging me for a period of time when I did not have the phone nor had I activated the SIM, and then being fobbed off with lies (“refund is in the post” )before they stopped responding to my mails at all. I felt my bills were rather high and wanted to find out why. Well, the staff in the shop couldn’t have been better and they were shocked at the way my account had been set up. I am on totally the wrong contract for me and cannot down-grade for another 9 months and I was not told that I would start being charged for weekend and evening browsing after the first 2 months! They did manage to get the weekend and evening browsing charges removed for me at least, so that was a help.

Billy had asked me to pick up a black tie for him whilst I was there and I found a very nice one (which his mum would have liked, I think), and I called to see if Raji wanted one picking up too. He did, though he wanted a different one, so I bought the two ties and thought I was done. On my way out, however, I spotted a very nice black shirt for me, in the sales, and thought it would go with my black suit for the funeral, so although I didn’t really have much money, I got it. I think Rani would have approved, anyway, and a black shirt is always going to be handy. (As an aside, if I had a white sari (white is the colour of mourning in India, but mine are all coloured) I’d have worn that for her funeral, which she would have appreciated, but I don’t so will stick with traditional English mourning instead.)

Once home, I spent some time trying to book Billy train tickets to come home in the evening, but there were none available so I had to book him on an early one for Saturday morning. Paul asked me if I wanted to drop out of darts in the evening, but I decided that getting out with friends would do me good after such a stressful week, and Billy agreed. I had started watching my diet this week (since I’m feeling stodgy and out of shape after a year of chaos) and refused to be led astray by fate yet again. I had borrowed some Weight Watchers books as guide and had been really good all week, saving my extra points for darts night drinks – good job too as I felt I needed them!

We were away at The Grapes – a not so nice pub, and just like last year, we were kept waiting to get to the darts board whilst people carried on playing pool. (League rules state that the away team must have access tot he board at 8.15pm and the game must start at 8.30pm. The pool players only cleared up at 8.30 !)This pub also charged the away team more for their drinks than the home team, which was rather out of order we felt. I wasn’t sure how well I’d play but as it turned out, I did OK in our trebles, and Simon and Claire put in the high scores and I finished off for a win. I wasn’t quite so good in the doubles but happily Roger finished for us. But it all went terribly wrong in my singles – all of a sudden I missed Billy and his usual presence behind me for this game. It was silly as I do sometimes play without him and do OK, but I think the strain of the week, and the worry and sadness for him caught me up. I lost very convincingly and then managed to cry whilst talking to Simon afterwards. I calmed down fairly quickly but then did the same thing to Roger later. They both gave me nice cuddles, and everyone on the team was understanding but I did feel bad. Part of my brain recognised it must have looked odd to the home team who may have thought I was crying because I’d lost 😀 In the end it was a good evening because we won 4 – 7 ! YAY! I felt we deserved that, not least because we had accommodated their team when we played them at home, costing us the match.

Simon and Claire walked me home, and Claire volunteered to come and collect Billy with me in the morning as I can never find my way in Newcastle’s one way systems,on my own.

In fact, throughout the week I’d been constantly responding to texts, and e-mails, keeping people informed and accepting their good wishes, then passing them on. We really do have terrific friends and family and their support has helped enormously.


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