Wednesday, May 14, 2008

University College Hospital

Well, for once I am writing this before doing my forums, so I can cut and paste from here!

Yesterday I took Mum and Dad up to London again to UCH. I left home at just after 7am, didn't get back until nearly 8pm!!! What a long stressful day! It is such a long busy drive, especially at that time of the day. The A23 had an accident, so we took the A24, and boy was it busy! (Not driven on it at that time of day before!) M25 ok, A40 not too bad until we got nearly there. We had to get a special permit so I had to circle the hospital while M&D went in to get said permit. This enabled me to park on single yellow lines around the hospital (or so I thought!) Dad had a bone marrow biopsy first (not expected), then a cannula inserted for bloods, velcade and fluids. Then a long wait for the velcade to be made up by Pharmacy. Mum and I walked down Tottenham Court Road to M&S for a sandwich and coffee, and a little browse at the shops. Mum bought me a little Snoopy keyring for my scrapping tote! Then I popped out to get Dad some snadwiches and when I got back, they were expecting the velcade to arrive quite soon, so I nipped out to the British Museum (10mins walk) for a looksee. It is going to be my sanctuary while we are up there, it is free admission, so I can go there just for 1 hour and do 1 gallery at a time, and the coffee shop and shop area are just gorgeous!

The velcade didn't arrive soon, we had to wait another 1 hour, so Mum and I went to the cafe in the main hospital for a cup of tea, very nice cafe, good cheap tea! Dad was soon ready, but thne there was the question of a blood transfusion. He needs one badly (Hb 7.7) so some discussion went on, and they decided to try and get it done at Worthing before they have to go to UCH again on Friday. Otherwise it will be a hugely long day on Friday with their friends who are taking them. We left about 5pm in the end, got M&D home about 7.30pm. Not a bad journey, just a long long way! On the way home I noticed something flapping on my windscreen! Of course, it turned out to be a parking ticket! GRRRR! (Think I'll get a speeding fine next week!) We can't think why, cos I was parked in a very safe place away from busy road, on a single yellow line, in a street that was labelled on the permit. We will have to appeal, but the hassle! And of course, it is worrying for M&D, especially after I got fined for the congestion charge last time I took them!

On a positive note UCH is a wonderful wonderful place, the staff are soooo nice and soooo efficient! And he has had his first lot of Velcade! Let's hope for some quick positive results! But, whatever happens we are doing our best to get him top quality treatment and care.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Tour of My Garden

We have spent a bit of time this week in the garden tdiying up, weeding etc. It looked so gorgeous today I decided to take you on a tour!
Here is the view from the conservatory. We have just moved the bench to that position so we can see the garden better when we have our morning cup of coffee!! I have spent a good while this morning weeding that patio! It is getting older now and is not well laid so weeds grow up between the cracks and it looks awful!

View from the bench. I cut the big phormium back becasue you could hardly get to the steps! We have a sunken lawn with big sloping borders all around. There is a gravel path around the back of the borders.

Here is our summer house under our ginourmous cedar tree! it is a bit ancient now, (the tree and the summer house!) but dad mended the windows for us a few years back and kept it going. Originally it rotated round for the best bit of sun, but that mechanism is well and truly stucxk now, and anyway it is permanently in shade becasue of the tree.

Here's the other side of the patio (to the left as you look out) towards the garage. Maurice is intending to extend the garage pronably quite a way past that old tumbledown shed! The only problem is it will block the neighbours kitchen window.
You can see my pots here too, I keep these for summer bedding, and some have all year round planting. At the back I have 2 sinks filled with alpines.

Here's my vegetable pots! I have planted out my seedlings today - runner beans, french beans, courgettes, italian climbing beans, and a big tomato. YUM! Just got to remember to water and feed them now!

This is the right hand border, the sunny border as it faces south. It has mostly mature shrubs in it, most of which were here when we moved in (15 years ago)

The view from the back of the garden looking towards the house (and big cedar tree!)

Goping back towards the house on the north facing border. This is very shady and the grass here is always very boggy in the winter!

A view of the horrible concrete steps up to the patio- and my washing line!

The north facing gravel path. Maurice has spent this morning weeding this! It looked really dreadful - you couldn't see the gravel! It does have old carpet underneath, but we did it quite a few years ago now, so the weeds have got a hold.

The south facing gravel path. This one was doen much more recently and is still in good order. It is easy to pull up the oldd weed along it. My only problem along here is bindweed! It gropws all along this border, and every year I vow to get on top of it! I usually do for about 1 month, then lose interest! Once i dries out the soil bakes solid and is very diffidult to work.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Family History

I haven't done much family history lately. I did sit and sort out my Vanstone folder a few weeks ago, and made a list of things to do. Now I need to sort out my Fumagalli folder, and write to the archives in MIlan to see if I can find out anything about Giovanni's family in Italy. I keep coming across a Camillo, could he be a brother? He owned a restaurant in central London, and I've found him going bankrupt on the London gazette. I would love him to be a relative!

Yesterday I went up to London for the Who do you think you are? family history show. I was on our anglo-italian stand. I find it so interesting, because everyone wants to tell you their family history stories! I met some really interesting people yesterday, people wit artist ancestors who had tracked down some of the paintings, someone who had done alot of research back in italy, and someone else who had priests in her family background who worked at the vatican! I am inspired to write to the archives in Milan, and must do that this week! I also need to start to trace Dad's maternal ancestors, ie the Sargents.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Well, Shimelle did say to help yourslef to her cupckaes, so I have! Look at these scrummy cakes! This picture makes me think:

Ooooh I love the look at those cakes, but couldn't manage the cream on top!

Maybe it's time I baked a cake

What a fantastic photo!

Must look into buying myself a macro lens so I can take photos like this. I do have some money left over after buying stash and clothes! Also need a proper flash unit.

Diet. mmmmmm I have put on about 7lbs since getting to my goal weight last December. I really must work on losing that otherwise weight is just going to creep back on.