Monday, 31 January 2011

Going up. Next stop level 3…….

That's what I am doing at this moment whilst writing this.

What you may ask. Well I am pulling my pelvic floor up to a level 3. Or at least trying to. Apparently that's all I can hope for at the moment. I won’t be getting to the Penthouse level 10 for quite a while.

It turns out I had Teejay all to myself the entire time, we had the whole studio just for us. All that equipment just for me.


I wrote for my occupation/ lifestyle that I am a beauty therapist, photographer and blogger. But I think he must have misread it and thought I was a dogger.

Because, he soon had me on my back asking me to flex my pelvic floor and having me act getting in and out of bed. I mean we had only just met !!!!

psoasIt was a very informative session and I have booked to go back to join a group next week.

He started off by stretching my Psoas muscle. He noticed I was dragging my leg and was having problems putting my leg down.

I have strict instructions to do my pelvic floor exercises 24/7, he recommended I put stickers around to remind me to do them.

So I now have motivation stickers everywhere and I mean everywhere.

2011 Jan stickers

Plus he’s told me to swap the side of the bed I sleep on. It might explain why my back goes into spasm sometimes when I get up . As I get up on the problem side. I’m willing to try anything. Even though I’ve slept on that side for 28 years!!!

I stopped for a McFlurry (of course ) and I had company.


I was full of beans when I got home and the sun was setting, so I dragged Tasmin and Teddy out for a walk.

2011 Jan 31st pilatesWell we tried to take Teddy.

The moment he leaves the house he becomes mesmerised and hypnotised by leaves. He gets rooted to the spot.








and this is why we all hate taking Teddy for walks.

Its embarrassing.

He’s like this for the entire walk.


you should be impressed

While writing this blog post,I have been multitasking.I’ve put a load of washing on.Let the dog in/out 4 times,hoovered the kitchen/conservatory.Cooked/eaten my the paper and emails.Laid prostrate in the garden taking photos among a million other things like fixing the middle east problem.Now Hubby (men)don’t seem to be able to this.That may explain why there are so many problems with the World. Seeing's it seems to be men in positions of power and decision making.I mean if Hubby is in charge of cooking a meal.He hovers around the Aga watching/waiting for things to cook.He just can’t go of and do anything else. One task is enough thank you very much.

Anyway,I’ve had a busy weekend.I moved into my old bedroom and was enjoying some Zzzz in the dark quiet room ,when the doorbell woke me.It was bloody hubby back from the States. Is there no way I can get some sleep in this house.This morning luckily I was awake as he came through to use the bathroom as he’s off for anther week and had an early start.Fine I was already awake after taking painkillers.I had dropped off again when he left ,only to be woken by Blackpool illuminations coming on in the room.My bloody son had come in to knick some of his dads socks.At this point I gave up sleeping and grabbed my Martha Stewart magazine Hubby bought me from the States.

When I was unexpectedly woken On Saturday I jumped out of bed but got stuck on the landing when a wall of pain hit me. So hubby was greeted by a wide eyed,puffing wife.

The pain was back.

It filled me with despair,but I won’t let it beat me. So I texted a friend that I was up for swimming,if she was. Little did I expect to get a text back immediately, I’ll pick you up in 30 minutes! I’d just got out of bed. So anyway off we went. I didn’t swim. I just marched up and down and did lots of jogging in the water. She joined me after a few lengths and we jogged together chatting for 45 minutes.

Bloody hell, do I ache in my calf's now.

I was apprehensive for a crop with Anna the following day.But after a painful drive there, I found the orange plastic chairs extremely comfy! In fact I just had mild pain, no major twinges. I was amazed I stayed all day.

I finally put together a mini album of my Cruise/Florida holiday. I used an envelope album. All the envelopes hold memorabilia from the trip. I still have all the journaling to do (ergh ,worse bit)

2011 Jan 30

Dawn asked if I still have my dog, Teddy as it would seem he hasn’t been on the blog lately, so that is why I was laying on the damp grass this morning trying to get a shot. But he is very camera shy and always looks the other way. So Dawn this is for you.


I’ve been keeping up to date with my Project Life,In fact I always have too many pictures at the moment. I made Hubby take the compact camera with him to Chicago so I made two A4 collages of photos from the week,which I added in the middle. I still have to add some paper behind them and some journaling.





Not only did Hubby come baring gifts from Chicago.


He had my new photo book from My Publisher. The photos were much brighter and I had learnt my lesson from the photobox book and jiggled around with the contrast and I added lots more photos.

Here some shots of the new book.

2011 project life

I don’t really like the feel of the covers. The Photobox book had a smoothness to it.  Plus ,the edges aren’t put together very professionally.If I lived in the States I would return it for them to do it again.


Anyway, i am off for a date with Teejay. Wish me luck….I need it…..

Friday, 28 January 2011

poo, bum, sh*t

was my reaction when we finally heard today that Tasmin didn’t get a position she was waiting to hear about.


She has had to wait for 3 whole weeks while they urm and ahh about which one of three girls, they wanted to employ. We were really confident,as she had two interviews for it and had had to work alongside one of the bosses. They wanted to know our entire family history, what we did as jobs and how long we’d been employed!!!! Even when was Ryan likely to move out of home!!!

All that for a part time trainee dental nurse position!!!!!

It turned out the other girl had more evidence she had wanted to be a dental nurse her entire life ???? Quite how you prove that I don’t know. Anyway, Tasmin asked if she could work for them for nothing to get some work experience. They rang back to say no, Health and Safety and insurance makes it impossible for them.

So we are back to the drawing board. There have been no jobs advertised that she could apply for recently. She can’t drive yet, so the fork lift and long distance lorry driver positions are out. There doesn’t seem to be much else. She applied for loads of apprenticeship positions all are short term contracts with no jobs at the end for about £75 a week. But not one has even acknowledged her.

It was a shame about the job, I have a massive joint of beef waiting in the freezer for a family celebration and I even made lemon cupcakes just in case. So its back to the pub for her.

The problem with it, is that one of us (me) has to sit up waiting until 1am for her to leave the pub. We then watch her walk safely up the dark road, as we can see the pub from outside our house.

The main problem is her brother though. He has been told that he has to now work in London. He had to tell his entire team that they have no choice but to follow him or leave. None of them will want to go because of the journey, including him. But employers know they have you over a barrel at the moment and can ask anything of you. So now I will be woken just hours after I have gone to sleep after Tasmin gets home.

This was my “Picture of the day” yesterday of Ryan leaving in what seemed the middle of the night.


He now doesn’t return until about 11pm, so is shattered.

So, I am moving back into my old bedroom with the en-suite and putting Hubby in the spare room. Hopefully, I won’t get woken by my son, and by the time Hubby gets up for work I will have gained a few hours extra kip.

I’m sorry people seemed to think I was going to Pilates today. I was waiting to hear from Teejay about booking a one-to-one session first. I am pleased to announce I’m going Monday afternoon. Me being as organised as I am sorted out what I should wear. Teejay said just to wear socks on my feet, which was great seeing's Teddy ate my trainers. I went in the loft but it would seem I had spared myself the humiliation and chucked all my little gym bunny outfits. I obviously knew the moment would come when I would sadly try to squeeze back into them. So I had to improvise. I do still have my USA Pro aerobic trousers, so that was an easy choice. But I tried on several tops .I need a bit of support and something that would hide my gigantic bra straps.

I thought I would document, with a photo of course, what I looked like from every angle. I mean who knows. I may fall in love with Pilates and become super fit and toned. And oh, won’t it be funny to look back at the fat and lumpy me.

Or more likely I will look back after only going the once and come across the images in five years and think Cor, I used to think I was fat then, bloody hell look at me know! Anyway, they were interesting, because I lifted my top up to fully show the fat off and  my back view showed just how out my of line my left hip is.

2011 Jan 28 gym clothes

You’ll be glad to know the excess of middle aged flesh will be fully covered on the day and I should look like this.


I’m sorry about the camel toe but the trousers are a bit tight……..

I tried a bit of limbering up on my fit ball to get me ready……


Thursday, 27 January 2011

Trust me

yep, trust me to be one of the rare ones. I went to see my back consultant today. As I dragged my leg and limped into his room he guessed my epidural hadn’t totally worked. I assured him I was feeling better, and that on the whole, the pain has dropped from a 9 down to a 2-3/10.

I  asked him if I had indeed been awake during the procedure and if I had been rambling away. Luckily, he said he sees so many people he couldn’t remember. So at least he couldn’t remember my arse. Or maybe that was why he couldn’t put a face to my ramblings?

But it would seem I was awake, but luckily he said they dose you up heavy so you can’t move.

I had a LONG list of things I wanted to ask him and I mean a long list. It would seem I am one of a rare 0.2% that as a side effect get a rare hormonal imbalance caused by the corticosteroids nerve block. It explains my hot flushes in the days after the epidural and the fact that my menstrual cycle has gone haywire. The main problem though has been my old adversary, the hormonal migraine has come back with a vengeance.

So I have warned Hubby that I may be growing a beard anytime soon, I may increase/decrease in size rapidly and I may have more woes to moan about in the coming weeks. Great, he said my beard will keep him warm on these cold nights and that he always knew I was special.

Only thing is I don’t want to be special in the Freak Circus kind of way.

I have to now build my shrivelled and withered muscles whilst the going is good. My problem is I HATE exercise. In fact so much, I couldn’t even be bothered to get up and answer the phone a second ago. It turned out it was the owner of the gym I am going to try, returning my call.

I used to be extremely fit and went to the gym 5 times a week. I must admit that I was known for popping in just to read the daily papers and pick up my free copy of OK magazine . I liked their showers and hairdryers, so I would go with good intentions of a run on the treadmill and a swim, but I would just by pass that bit and head for the showers. The instructors used to all laugh about me. Plus, they had a lovely cafe with scrummy bacon sandwiches and fries and right outside was a KFC and a Mc Donald's.

But joking aside, I was very fit, but I still had major back problems and no flexibility. I tried Pilates and Yoga, but when you have very restricted movement it can be very embarrassing. I couldn’t even sit in the crossed leg position and it would bring back the haunting memories of my inadequacy at ballet as a child. I once had to be carried to my car to be taken for an emergency osteopath appointment after one yoga class. So when the Drs recommend those type of “gentle”  classes to me, I know my chances are zero of going/returning.

I mean this poor bloke below is better than me. I can’t even stretch my legs out and lift them.

BUT I fancied trying the highly recommended form of applied Pilates that is practised by lots of celebrities in the States. The position of laying on your back whilst being stretched and tortured on medieval torture devices, appealed to me !!??!!

I mean Jennifer Aniston is a famous advocate of it, I could soon look like her and cure my back pain at the same time.

2011 Jan 27th Ryan

Where do I sign up?


But I knew this type of Pilates is rare in the UK, so I did a search and I couldn’t believe it when I found we have a Stott Pilates studio in Hertfordshire.

So, tomorrow I hopefully will be booking my first session. If nothing else it will be something to document for Project Life.

I must admit I dread to think how bad I will be, but they specialise in rehabilitating people with bad backs, so fingers crossed.

I hope I don’t end up like this bloke and injure my back even more.

I’ll have to remember to pack a Tena lady. Mainly I should think for the giggling. I’ll do a search in the loft for my tiny gym bunny outfits I used to wear. I think though, I sensibly chucked them some years ago.

The other problem is Teddy ate my favourite trainers recently, so I may have a foot wear problem.

Monday, 24 January 2011

I am not alone

I have just read something that has bought a tear or two to my eye.

Apparently Ulrika Johnsson is suffering with the exact same problem as me. There has been lots of debate about her weight loss and she’s finally said what is causing it. If only my back had resulted in some weight loss. In fact I have had the opposite problem, at 3 am I let myself have little treats to look forward to, like shortbread. Plus standing all day, leads to lots of baking and cooking. Mmmm.

I felt very sad to read about her, but relieved that someone else was experiencing what I do.

In fact I sent her a little message on Facebook. I know how much it has brightened my day to get comments from people.

Like her, I am trying very hard not to let it take over ME. People always comment you look so well, you’ve lost weight and you seem so much better.But although I have slept my first few nights without sleeping tablets and I can sit for longer periods. The niggles are still there, I’m still not ME. Maybe I never will be the old ME again. I live in fear that it will return at full strength at any second.

I get to see my consultant this week and I can’t wait to ask him if I was drugged but awake during my epidural. I have visions of me nattering away, talking crap with my arse in the air. It disturbs me to think about what went on in that theatre. I was going to ask him to take a picture of me with the epidural in. Thank God  I didn’t.


Can you see I have wet hair in the above photo.

I actually went swimming yesterday. I have a friend who was talking of starting a new health drive. So I said, no excuses, lets go. So we did.

I can’t say I enjoy swimming but it helps going with other people. It helped going with people who didn't want to do enough lengths to swim the Channel.  I even took my camera ,which is a no no at swimming pools here. I got a few shots in the changing cubicle and  I asked a passer-by to take a snap of us together.


I had my sisters girls over for the day on Saturday and it was a day of teaching. I taught the girls to make brownies, a meringue and lemon curd. Jade said, I am the Mother she never had. Taya tended to disappear to play on her computer game. She enjoys the eating more than the baking.






When my sister returned from her lunch date, I gave her a lesson on making cushions and using a sewing machine.


She couldn’t get over how easy it is, and is raring to go and get her own machine.

IMG_8807-1The only problem is she may get carried away. She was thinking of making an outfit !!!!


Plus, today someone has asked me to give some talks at a teenage pregnancy centre. I was a bit confused what she wanted me to talk about. But she has lots of ideas, plus she knows its hard to keep me quiet. She said the girls are bored with talks on breast feeding and do-gooding advice. She’d like me to give them some make up and skin care advice. We also talked about me maybe doing a photo session with them and then me teaching them scrapbooking and how to preserve memories of their children. I was very excited about that bit.

I will try not to think about it too much ,otherwise the nerves will take over.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

sitting pleasure

I have spent most of the day and night, SITTING DOWN…….

I felt really good yesterday. It meant I managed to get some of my list of jobs accomplished.



Now that I can sit, for periods it was time to order a chair for my scrapbook room. It came to me in the middle of the night, why not buy a barstool similar to my sisters. I couldn’t believe how reasonable it was. I hadn’t liked any office chairs I had seen, but this fits perfectly and it is so comfy to sit in.

I ordered it on Sunday evening and it was delivered free, yesterday morning. Some service.


I sat there most of the evening putting together yet another Photobook. I sent my Photobox one back. Everyone loved it,  but I wasn’t happy with how dark they had printed the pictures. So I am trying an American Co, My Publisher. I re-Photoshopped a years worth of photos to put in it. I was sat here until 1am.

I’m hoping to get some more work done on my Florida holiday digital album today, so that I can get that printed. Then download Decembers and January photos ready for my Costco developing trial.

So far, I am finding a Photo a day quite easy. I mean take yesterday. I took over 180 images!!!! I whittled it down to 32 in the end. So if I ever have a dry spell I have LOTS to choose from.

IMG_8355I took some of Teddy so happy to be back with Mummy on the bed, whilst she relaxes and reads the paper.

I tried again today, but the pain was back so I got up to read it in the kitchen instead.




Tasmin was having a last sleepy cuddle with her boyfriend before he caught a train back to University.







I tried taking a picture of myself looking inside the fridge,but I will have to experiment with a wider angled lens.


Then it was cupcake time. I wanted to use up some chocolates left over from Christmas. So I thought I’d adapt a cupcake recipe with them.

I used this beautiful recipe from the amazing book Linda gave me.


2011 Jan 19th

They puffed up so much in the oven. I love the chemical reaction you get when you add the Bicarb to the vinegar.

Then after a touch of piping them were finished. The only problem  is Hubby has no sense of taste, due to nose problems. He thought they were mint flavoured !! There were melted orange thins in the frosting ????

Sometime I wonder why I bother. I am wasted on this family……..


Then I made a Yellow Thai curry. It was to die forrrrrr.

2011 Jan 19th1

My main problem with Project Life is always which image to choose to represent the day!!






Oh plus, I took Tasmin to the Post Office and to drop a CV off in a local town. Two supermarket shops, the Library ,all the washing, house cleaning and sorted out my dresser in the dining room.

Phew, it’s not easy being organised to perfection.

Hubby gets home and thinks …..I bet she’s just relaxed all day with her feet up………. Yeh ,right. Just like I think he does at work………………..

Monday, 17 January 2011

up and down

That’s how I am at the moment. My biggest fear of having treatment on my back was that it wouldn’t help or “cure” me. I am trying to take it as a day at a time, but every 24 hours is different.

If you saw me out and about or popped around you would wonder what I go on about. Just like my GP did last year. If I stand or walk around the symptoms are kept to a minimum. BUT when I wake in the morning or sit down/drive, back come those sneaky pains. Yesterday morning, was particularly bad and we had to cancel our plans to go out for the day. I didn’t mind so much it was a dreary day, anyway.

I keep myself busy always. I can clean my house, cook/bake, use my laptop- all standing. No problem.

IMG_8198-1Today, I woke feeling pretty good, so I attempted a slightly longer drive than I have done lately. I have wanted to go to the Chinese wholesaler just up the motorway from me. But I started grimacing on the way. Those twinges were back. But it was thanks to one of Megan's amazing Tiger Balm patches, that kept my brain centered on the heat it was giving out.

They have been amazing, I have used one everyday. On my hot flush days I used the “cool” ones and today, now the flushes have thankfully disappeared, I tried the “warm” ones. What I particularly like is they are all natural ingredients.In fact I waft around like I have applied Vicks vapour rub liberally. The smell so reminds me of my Thai massages I used to have on holiday.


So I have been craving some Thai food to go with my wafting smell.


I always buy pretty much the same things. But I added some Thai aubergines to my basket this time. I must say it’s very confusing there. The majority of the ingredients I have no idea what they are or how you use them.

IMG_8196-1But these I know well.

Do you recognise them from “I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here”.

I asked if they sell many and she said with Chinese New Year coming up they are very popular.

Erghhhhh…I’ll pass thank you……

I am still managing to keep on track with my Project Life.

Here are last weeks pages and this weeks so far.


As you can see have added some small images to the centre slots and I used an enlarged image of my MRI scan and added some scrap paper you get with the kit and some journaling on the back.In the slot is my hospital bracelet as well.




and this weeks so far…


3 down, 49 to go !!!!!!!!


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