Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Bloody hell

After being awake in pain since 3am. I finally I finally got back to sleep after 6am. I had to take some of the drugs I keep only for emergencies. The pain didn’t go ,but with the help of two heat pads it lessened, and I dropped off to sleep. Only to be woken at 8am by an almighty noise. I thought some sort of car accident had happened outside.

IMG_0026It was instead the scaffolders reversing their lorry at speed on to our gravel drive and they were wheel spinning.

So that was the end of sleep.




IMG_0025The reason I had so much pain was due to a longer than normal car journey yesterday. I didn’t lay in the back of the car on the way there.  I wanted to arrive in the painful state, that I experience when being in a car. But I was in some much shock on the return journey I forgot to lay in the back. And to even take a photo of the hospital for my Project Life !

I’ll have to make do with this shot of me outside Costco with a lovely super, soft body pillow


I had gone to see another back consultant for a THIRD opinion. This time I took no chances, I ensured he was one of the best (see here) in the country. It was lovely to walk into a room where the consultant had already read all my notes and had reviewed my MRI scan. It was straight down to business. As soon as he examined me he said I have no other option but surgery. I am not going to get better without it.

No sending me for another up to date scan, no further epidural. I was not expecting him to say that on our initial visit. I didn’t have any prepared questions. We had to pay £250 to see him and it was worth every penny.

When I started on this journey back in 2010, I never gave it a thought that the consultants I was going to see would not be able to cope with my condition. I never gave it a thought that I, myself had to seek out the best there is here in the UK. It took two opinions, umpteen GP visits and talking to many people who have suffered with the same condition.

I trusted my gut instinct after my first consultant said he would look forward to operating on someone with a challenging disc like mine. I didn’t like him, I didn’t like his manner when I awoke from my epidural and told him I still had pain. He always seemed in a rush and out of his depth. Thank God I never had the discectomy operation he was recommending. I would be in a much worst state now. People thought I was mad to carry on with the pain, but I knew his alternative wasn’t right.

Mr Lester Wilson works at The NHS Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore. The best spinal unit in the UK. The main spine teaching hospital here. He is going to perform an Anterior lumbar interbody fusion!! That means he is going to get to my problem disc at the base of my spine through my abdomen. It turns out it's lucky I am on the slim side. He couldn’t perform it otherwise. (I am going to help him a bit by trying to lose a few pounds before the op.)

I will have a bone graft, at this point I don’t know if the graft will come from me or a donor. He’s told me it will be a long recovery with lots of rehab. I will be out of action for a while. No housework (yah) no shopping or carrying anything ,no bending of any sort and of course it is going to present me with problems from all my muscles that have tightened over the years.


The main problem is I am going to have the surgery at The Wellington Hospital in London. It is a long way for my family to visit me. Add to the fact it has no onsite parking. I could be in for as long as 10 days.

For years I have driven past this iconic building. I have listened to stories from my friend Trish of the time, many years ago she was a nursing sister there. Of having to take sick Arabic princesses out in Rolls Royce's to buy diamonds on Bond Street.

And now I am going to be staying there myself. It will never look the same again.

So I have lots of list making to do. Nighties to buy, and no doubt a few more sleepless nights to contend with.

And at least I got to climb our scaffolding and see the roof and the view from the top.

2011 Aug 27th scaffolding view

Thursday, 25 August 2011

picture wall


At the moment I am unable to comment on anyone's blogs. For some reason the Google system doesn’t recognise me. It’s something we have been trying to sort out for the last week. At the moment we have given up, it’s been too frustrating. So I apologise for my lack of comment on peoples blogs. It looks like I will have to write anonymously in the future.

I have wanted to make another photo wall in my house for a while. I had originally thought it would be made up of canvases. But after trying to make one on a site, I gave up. I was worried about how the colour would look and whether it would be an expensive mistake. So I made the decision to print the photos myself and add a few eclectic bits and bobs to a wall upstairs on our landing.

Over a week I bought frames and started to fill them with photos. Tasmins boyfriend remarked to her that he was sad he hadn't made the family wall.

So imagine his surprise when he returned another day to find he had the largest image of the lot of us. Ryan my son has the smallest. That's because I have literally no images of him. I still keep reminding him about his mothers day promise to me of a photo shoot, with no moaning. But for him it seems it’s never the right time.

Anyway –Voila …… here is the wall as it is at the moment. It is something that will evolve over the coming months /years.



I bought the word LOVE from Dunelm-mill. The bluebirds and embroidery hoop are from a fab new shop in Covent Garden.

Sass & Belle



It was tat heaven. My home is so full of tat that I had to hold myself back from buying anymore.

Oh and by the way my sister was sad, she hadn’t made the wall yet . But I couldn’t decide which image of her to use?

2011 Aug 7th-Andreas hol in La Manga

All above images courtesy of my sister. Kept by me for future humiliation…………………

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

oh dear

I am still struggling to spend my insurance money from the robbery. I thought I had gotten rid of a big chunk of it on the iMac. But of course I took it back and got a refund. So I am back where I started!!

I have commissioned a silver bangle that I am picking up tomorrow from here . They have stamped four words special to me and my husband on to it. My daughter came up with the words, from the message my husband has written in every card he has ever sent me. So it will be a nice piece with meaning to leave behind for my daughter.

From the shop above I also bought some pieces to add to my new Tiffany chain that replaces the one I lost.


We spent a day at Hatton Garden, looking in all the jewellers shops. I found two pieces that I liked. Yet another, diamond cross and a cute small heart diamond ring.



I’ve gathered some of my old gold pieces together. I no longer wear them and my daughter was only interested in a few of the items.

IMG_9207So I have been trawling bloody jewellers trying to get an idea of their scrap value. The prices varied wildly. So in the end I decided to have the gold melted down and made into two gold bangles.

At the moment I have three jewellers wanting to take on the work. So I have to make a decision soon. I would like the word, family engraved in to one of them. As it will be made from 4 family generations worth of gold. Here is one of the shops wanting to do the work.

I couldn’t believe it when I watched the video and it was an old friend of mine having the bangle made.

I would have to pay about £130 for them to make me a bangle  out of my 22ct gold, which could be worth as much as £800+ to buy. To me that is a much better use of the gold than the dated pieces sitting collecting dust in a box.

IMG_3242-1I also picked up a collection of diamond rings from my sister.We inherited them from a Great Aunt many years ago.

I am not into big diamond rings. Especially as my old engagement ring shows our wealth or lack of at the time. So any big flashy rings look silly alongside it. I have always wanted to have some of my Aunts rings made into new pieces of jewellery we could wear. But the problem lays in that we have no idea what they are worth or even if they are real. So tomorrow I am going to a jewellers for an expert to take a look at them.

Them I am left with the problem of what to spend the remaining insurance on? I think a new up to date monitor for me to edit my pictures on is a must and I am very tempted by something bespoke by Anya Hindmarch.

I saw her pop up shop in Selfridges on a recent trip to London.

Anya-Selfridges-GQ-28Mar11-PR-b All the pieces can be made with any inscription on. Even done in your own handwriting.

I kept the little brochure as a reminder and I think a visit to the bespoke shop in the upcoming video is a must. I fancy a jewellery carrier of some sort or a bag with a special inscription. In fact who knows what I would choose. I LOVE it all. She makes beautiful pieces that can become heirlooms.

Check out this awesome video of Anya talking about the bespoke collection.

Project Life update

My Project Life photo printing has been on hold for over a week. My wiped laptop is taking forever to reload all my old programmes. For the first two days it just continually updated. It has been very frustrating. Especially as I have no idea what I am doing. It took me 5 hours yesterday trying to load just my monitor calibrator programme. It just would not recognise it. I can’t edit any of my hundreds of waiting photos, until I have it up and running. Hubby won’t help me. So I am stuck on a loop trying to fix it myself with no computer knowledge.

I am going to have yet another attempt today.

I have just backed up my 2011 images that I have moved from another external hard drive. That took me 2 hours of pouring over the internet of how to load the drive on to my computer!!!

I am hoping hubby will load my printer programme back on to the laptop tonight, so I can start printing my 6 x 4 for Project Life.

Well anyway no more moaning, here is where I am at with my Project Life album. Or should I say 2nd album !

Week Twenty nineIMG_3534


Again I have tried to include current news items alongside our family happenings. I printed an image from the internet of the last shuttle launch

Week Thirty


I’ve included a small image of a pigeon in one of our trees. The day before I saved it’s chick from a certain death, when it was attacked by a hawk in our garden. I scared the hawk away after it was holding down the chick, only for the poor chick to be pounced on by Teddy! It lay shocked in a bush for hours, but luckily it flew off with a bit of help later in the day. The next day the adult bird followed me all around the garden. I like to think it was her way of thanking me…..


A photo of Tasmins dental x-ray. The original x-ray is tucked away in the document folder I keep with the album.

And yes, Tasmin failed her driving test AGAIN. Check out the book she is reading. Very apt, me thinks.

extra inserts

Some images from my first sunset shoot ever.


I thought it was a good place to include a funny face one of Tasmin, just to keep her grounded. LOL


Week Thirty one



extra insert.

a small scrapbook layout of my son’s girlfriend.



Week thirty two

I had to include the London riots that took place during this week. I printed the heading from a daily newspaper.


This is where I am up to with the printing.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Massive problems

My computer crashed on Monday. So of I went to buy an iMac desktop, with some of my robbery insurance money. This would keep me going whilst they fixed the problem on my laptop.


BUT I hated the iMac, I found the iPhoto impossible to use the way I like to set up my photos. I couldn’t make collages. Which I do weekly for my Project Life. They are effortless on Picasa. It continually couldn’t log into my printer.

I would have to buy Photoshop Elements to use on the Mac, even though it was free with my Sony laptop. So yet another £70+

Then the last straw was I found out you can’t use Livewriter on a Mac, that was it. I now had a computer that couldn’t do anything that I wanted it to do.

To add insult to injury it continually failed to connect to my wireless internet. The Apple man said BT can come and go in the morning. Well, I never had a problem with my laptop. So all my saved websites would disappear in an instant and I had to continually restart the bloody thing.


Then I found out from the Apple guy that my recently bought colour calibrator for the screen wouldn’t work on a iMac glossy screen. So it looked like I would have to still run two different systems my laptop with extra monitor and a Mac.

So now I had an iMac that really didn’t met my needs or wants. Anything sub standard to what I already had, would cost me £££ from Apple.

So Thank God for John Lewis. We packed the iMac up and returned it last night for a refund.


But that is not the end of a very long and frustrating story. I finally went to pick up my fully, restored laptop. Nothing had been lost they told me. The problem was sorted. GREAT.

So I fired it up in the store to ask him some questions about something's I wanted sorted. Low and behold while he was doing it, it crashed again. Back to square one. Now it was serious. So I had to leave my laptop AGAIN and they wiped everything off it. I mean EVERYTHING.

Now we can’t get anything to work on it. Its like having a new-born baby and trying to teach it to walk.

It’s taken us about 5 hours just to restore livewriter to write my blogs. I can’t write anything on my original blogger account at all .

I can’t look at any of my Google reader accounts I‘ve lost the icon and we can’t access the toolbars to reinstate it.

It goes on and on. We are banging our heads against the wall and I could cry.

So it looks like I will be back in the car for the 5th time in a week to see what can be done.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

check this out


Do you ever wonder what it would look like to travel the world super fast.

No me neither.

But just check out this awesome video put together by quite a hunk of a guy (and his 2 mates)

Here, sorry I tried to embed the video but my blog writer was having none of it. There are 3 videos in total, but MOVE is my favourite. It made hubby feel a bit sick.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


I bet my burglar is gutted he was holed up in prison last night.


His area was in chaos and flames last night. The area where he caught a train from to visit our small market town.

An area full of low life, thugs and looters just like him.

He was really missing out on all the “fun”.

I saw a Jessops being looted on TV, no doubt someone now has some great lenses to go with my stolen Canon 7D camera. Sad thing is they won’t have the brains to use them. Their only images will be of the standard gang gun finger salutes.

My poor brother in law is on his way home from holiday today. He will be straight on the streets tomorrow, in his role as a Metropolitan police officer. What a lovely thing to return home to.

We are supposed to be going to London jewellery shopping this weekend. My insurance money has been paid out and I wanted to look for new pieces. It looks like we may have to rethink our plans now . Jewellery, trainers, phones and sportswear are these wankers preferred stolen goods. That’s what gives them kudos in their small insular little World.

My favourite flower market in London is right in the middle of it all. The market is right next to one of the worst housing estates in London. An area ruled by drug dealers and intimidation. People who have and never will work. Have never and will never pay taxes and live off their criminality and benefits. Have no education and see criminality as the Holy Grail. Putting them in prison just keeps them off the streets for a while. It just gives them another badge to brag about. Just gives them even higher status and the chance to learn more criminal skills.

There is no solution. They have nothing they fear. Maybe just letting them continue to fight amongst themselves. Killing each other and shop owners abandoning their areas. Leaving them to live in even shittier ghettos. No go areas. Maybe then they will realise their lives are crap because they made them that way.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

no rhyme or reason to it ?

I had a wonderful few days, last week, with very little pain. It was so nice to remind myself, what it can feel like. I thought maybe I had turned a corner. I was worried that we had just made an appointment with one of the top back surgeons in the UK. But the pain is back again. It started niggley yesterday. But it’s full pelt again today.

So I am pleased I had decided not to go to the South of France with Hubby this weekend. He is off to a 50th Birthday Party. I knew I would put a dampener on things, so I decided to stay here. I am so glad I did, I don’t fancy getting on a plane at this moment. And he will have a much better time without me.

During my good spell, I was able to attend a crop I hadn’t been to at all this year. I managed to get a few layouts done.


Sandi asked me if I was using scanned pictures, but I tend to always use originals. My Mother used to get every photo triplicated or more. So I have boxes full of extra photos. Seeing's I didn’t know what to do with these extra two I did a double whammy layout.

This layout is of my nieces baking with me last January. It was good to use up some old supplies on this. The baking paper I had bought on my first ever Chicago scrap shop many, many years ago.


And this one of my dogs isn’t finished yet. I don’t like the empty space on the right hand side, so when I can next sit down I will have a play with it.


I have so many photos from the last week waiting to be played with in Photoshop. It’s so annoying that I can’t sit down.

We had a family BBQ and I took a few snaps.


The lovers had just be reunited after a week apart. They are so in loveeeeeeeee.

I even got to snatch a few images of my grumpy son and his equally grumpy girlfriend. They were not happy as they weren’t dressed for a “shoot” ?



Teddy was though, he’d had a shower especially.




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