Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ November 2022

The end of November is nigh, and I’m noticing more and more Christmas lights up in towns and on peoples houses. Asda are already awash with Christmas tat.

Far too early IMHO, 2 weeks is enough for me! Oh well, to each an apple. November didn’t start too well as I’d really hurt myself at the end of October. I got up from the sofa and twisted so as to trap a nerve in my back, and ended up incapacitated for a week. Couldn’t drive so couldn’t go to work, and sitting down or standing up was quite horrendous. I had planned to visit my lad Ben and Grandson Lewis on the following weekend and really didn’t want to cancel, but by the time it came around I was all better. Big relief. Nurofen and paracetamol combo to the rescue!

Off I went down south and as it was Guy Fawkes night, we went out to Milton Keynes to a Firework display, but first went for dinner at one of the Wagamama restaurants which has Asian fusion food based on Japanese cuisine. I think it’s supposed to be hip and groovy to eat there, but neither Ben or Lewis enjoyed what they ordered though they did their best, and it’s good to try stuff out of your comfort zone. I ordered Pad Thai, which is slap bang in my comfort zone so I was fine πŸ˜ƒ.

Of course it was raining on and off so traipsing over to the firework display wasn’t that great as it was in a park and things got a bit muddy. There was a big fairground which was heaving with people and long, long queues for the rides, which none of us fancied doing, but Ben and Lewis wasted some coins in a mini amusement arcade.

A fee but no win

We waited in the field for 45 minutes before the fireworks started, and they lasted 20 minutes. They were not all that spectacular but the end bit (you can see below) was pretty. Anyway, getting rain sodden didn’t stop me enjoying being with my boys.

crackley fireworks.

Back home we’ve had nearly 2 months with silly internet. We decided to swap over from Virgin to BT, for various reasons I won’t bore you with but not least because it’s faster and cheaper per month. It has taken 7 visits over 10 weeks, by several teams of internet fixerupperers to get us connected. They’ve had to dig up the path that runs past the front garden, dug holes in our front garden, spent hours on the phone back to base and finally yesterday got us connected and we are back online.

BT men at work.

BT were very good whilst this was all going on and gave us a mini hub that was basically a sim card in a case. It was enough to use the computers but no good for streaming, and it dropped out every now and then and on rebooting had to have a megalong password put in. So annoying (I know, 1st world problems) but they didn’t charge us for it, so I can’t complain really, even though I just did.

Mini Hub

Achievement of the month… I made dumplings for the first time ever and they were OK at least. Phil tries to make them quite often and fails dismally everytime, so I volunteered to have a go and ta-daaah!

Dumplings.

Work has been as usual, mostly busy though this week it’s dropped off a bit, that happens around this time of year, and this year paying for wax removal might not be a priority. I pulled the longest pair of skin ribbons I’ve done so far out of one ladies ears, one out of each, amazing! They remind me of shedded snake skin.

Skin ribbons.

Phil has been busy repainting the woodwork of the landing doors and skirting boards, as well as upscaling the banister. Looks nice. To celerate we went off to Jarrow and chose a new stair/landing carpet, which will be fitted in a couple of weeks. It’s from the same people who carpeted the house 20 years ago when it was new. Nice to see a local family run firm make it through all the mad stuff.

Horned Helmets!!!

After all that hard work the past 10 days have been a pain literally for Phil as, not to be left out, he trapped a nerve under his shoulder blade. He’s been fannying on with a tens machine, which did do some good when it worked, but couldn’t sleep too well and finally went to the Docs yesterday and got himself some strong painkillers, which gave him a good nights sleep. He’s doing better today, at least I’m not getting hourly reports of the pain level, and he’s unplugged himself from the tens, so fingers crossed!

I bought an indoor cyclamen back in October, it’s doing well but I can’t get over it liking cold weather and no sunshine. It’s pretty.

Cyclamen

Lord Vincent and Winnie have been stuffing their faces since the weather has turned cold, and don’t go out so much when it’s raining, but both are doing OK.

I found this and it made me laugh, so true!

I didn’t do much photography at the beginning of the month, but had a play around trying ICM (intentional camera movement) shots

Windy window
Gee tarrrr

I love how ICM photographers make artistic work with it, but somehow it just isn’t for me.

Sophie is back for a couple of weeks, and we went out this weekend, so there will be a post on the Universe blog in the near future, though I will wait until the film shots come back as there are not many digitals. Not sure how long that will be as the post office are on strike until Friday. Along with half the country. Good to see people fired up and taking action at last.

So that’s about it for November 2022, the year is nearly over just Christmas to get through and then we can all start again!

Stay tooned!

πŸ“· 😊

The Corona Chronicles ~ 5

Here we are again, it’s kinda like that movie Groundhog Day, only more people are dying every day so perhaps not. Sorry, just watched last nights Panorama on the lack of PPE for frontline workers in the hospitals, and seen the exposure of the incompetence, and stupidity of the government, and the lies they have told. It is criminal. There is still not anywhere near enough protective kit for the length of time this virus is going to be with us. The programme made me so angry, and I cried over it. Probably not the best thing to have watched straight after Phil has gone to work his first night shift this week.

My hubby.

He worked some shifts last week, and it isn’t easy to do 13 hours in full astonaut kit sometimes for 3 or 4 hours at a time during an operation. In ICU the nurses do it in 2 hour swaps, so they get a break, but there’s not enough staff to do that in theatres as they’re either off sick or seconded to ICU πŸ™„.

I heard on the news we’ve become 2nd only to Italy in the European Death Race, go us.

OK sorry, sorry, Fek me I don’t mean to be a doom and gloom merchant, but it’s just so astronomically sad, and it didn’t have to be like this.

I needed to get that off me chest!

Onwards ever onwards, what is going on with the weather?? It’s been almost summer-like here for about 3 weeks. I guess really this is what Spring used to be like before clouds took over. I have been musing that perhaps because there is so much less shit being put into the atmosphere from planes and boats and trains and cars, that there’s nothing to make many clouds from any more. πŸ™‚ It has been so cool to see video’s of animals ‘taking back the world’ too, this makes me smile. 😊

I have returned to playing with Potatoshop Photoshop to make twirly things out of normal photos.

I made this from the photo of the sunset I posted in my last Chronicle.

Wardley Sunset

and this from a collage of iphone selfies I took on our travels abroad, that I then made into a Wedding Anniversary card for Phil (8 years last Monday!) I’ll spare you the original 🀣

Groovy

I’ve also been esconced in my shed with bits of wire, water,dandelions, and little people.

seed
Seed Forest
Shelter in a storm
Wiggles
Domination
Hanging On
Bound

A fair amount of mess was made in the process. I need to perfect these somewhat, they’re not bad for first attempts but hopefully I will regale you with better ones next time.

Ther has been an affaire du coeur in our garden last week. We had two hedgehogs snuffling together in a mating ritual that was a) funny as fek, b) interminable and c) noisy. The chap Hedgehog (they’re called Hogs, and lady hedgehogs are called Sows, but they seem too cute for that), snuffles around the Lady Hedgehog, going around her in circles and snorting at her nether regions. It goes on for ages. We kept popping out from watching our movie to see if they were still going, and he was snuffling for about 3 hours all told. Dammit though they went off to the dark part of the garden where the cameras can’t pick them up, still I got videos of the 2 of them in the garden and it’s up on the Youtube Hedgey channel. (Link in the menu) If they did The Deed, (and I so hope they did!) the hoglettes will be out and about at the beginning of July. Fingers crossed they turn up on camera.

So that’s it folks, hope you are all well, keeping your chins up and staying frosty.

The Corona Chronicles ~ 3

Week 3 and things are deteriorating at Phil’s work as the Corvid cases increase in the North East. On Sunday (while social media was posting pictures of people gathering in parks and not social distancing), Phil was seconded to the Intensive Care Unit for the first time, where they have a couple of CV19 cases. First he had to be sent to have a mask fitted, there are 2 types of fitted mask, and once it has been fitted to your face they then test it’s efficacy. Neither mask worked for Phil, and leaked when tested on him, so he had to do without. Back in ICU they had him being a ‘runner’, which means he stands in the corridor outside a cubicle in which there’s a patient being nursed by a nurse in full astronaut gear. She holds up the patients readings and he copies it onto a sheet outside the door, and passes through anything the nurse asks for. The corridor is narrow, no social distancing possible and lots of people in it. By the time he did his next shift, yesterday, it was decided he couldn’t go to ICU without a fitted mask, nor could he do his normal job, as intubating patients in theatre carries a risk of airborne infection and all patients, in the absence of testing, are deemed CV19 positive until otherwise informed. So he is now a runner outside the anaesthetic room, passing through equipment etc to the anaesthetist and Operating Dept Assistants inside. We are, selfishly, quite glad it worked out that way, as he won’t deal directly with patients, but he’s not holding out much hope of the virus bypassing him, 3 of his colleagues are off sick or self isolating, and one of his colleagues’ Mum was diagnosed with it on Wednesday and was dead by Sunday. He came home last night after a 13hr shift completely drained, and is thankful he went part-time a year ago, though he may be required to do more if the staff are depleted too much.

I am cooking nice things to cheer him up! I have been amusing myself with my camera, and yesterday afternoon spent 2 hours doing splash photograpahy. I don’t have the right lighting for it but had a go anyway in a sunny patch in the kitchen, 284 photo’s taken and all got deleted! 🀣 but it was fun trying and making a mess. I tried again today in the garden hoping sunlight would do the trick, and had better results, but still pretty rubbish.

Diving Homer

Because I’d not been happy with the afternoon’s results yesterday I thought I’d have a bash at shooting the moon, but first I tried a shot of Venus, which is really bigger and brighter than other stars and planets at the moment. I don’t have a superduper lens to get any detail of it, but if you click on the picture to embiggen it you can also see the constellation Pleiades (known as the seven sisters) just below it.

rubbish shot of Venus and Pleiades.

the moon was easier πŸ™‚

it wasn’t pink

Also to amuse meself I’ve been creating arty farty abstracts from old flower shots,

helter skelter
portal

that one is my favourite so far.

I haven’t been out much, walked up to the shops and back but it’s a pain dodging dog walkers and kids on bikes along the way. I started a Yin Yoga course to keep me fit which I’m actually liking doing so might stick with it!

The hedgehogs are back and we are getting 2 or 3 visiting in the wee hours, here’s last nights visitors, click on through to the big version on Youtube, you can see the hedgies better, there are a few more there from this week too.

I’m keeping up with my 52 frames weekly challenge over on the universe blog, thanks to those of you who’ve visited and commented, I really appreciate it. This is the link https://fragglerocking.org/project-type/52-frames/

also I’ve done another section for the Photographic anthology here https://fragglerocking.org/project-type/anthology/

(Kim the links might work for you now πŸ™‚ )

and so a little smile to end this one with….

🀣🀣