Monday 28 June 2010

Garden Guest

A fine and respectable elderly gentleman is living with us.
He is more than 85 years old and yet when faced with a slice of mango can be really quite spritely.
My friend Clare, teacher and photographer extraordinaire, has lent him to us whilst her house and garden are undergoing their final renovations. I let him out of his "paddock" on the lawn every couple of days and he moseys around supplementing his diet and climbing the mountain of top soil we now have after digging up some of our lawn to extend the patio space.
I watch him like a hawk (not in order to catch and eat him, you understand) as the pressure of losing an 85-year old pet is surely much greater than, say, a 3 month old hamster.
He always looks rather forlorn when I head back indoors after chatting to him a while but I wonder if that is my imagination.
However, he does come when I call him and really is lovely to see every day.
The other day I was digging in the garden and he came over and spent ages looking at his reflection in the spade! I wondered of he knew he was a tortoise or if he thinks he's a graceful gazelle and was staring pityingly at the slow creature in the spade.
Frank gets terribly excited to let me know if Timmy (for that's his name) is doing something; in fact doing anything:
"Mummy, Mummy! Timmy! He is EATING SOME LETTUCE!!!!!!!"
He is not an exciting pet like Hedwig the owl or a unicorn might be BUT I find myself pondering this tortoise's approach to life and thinking of our struggle with diabetes.
Numbers have been consistently in the teens recently with a few great days and a few hypos thrown in and like the tortoise we plod along tweaking here, supplementing there, nibbling a bit and hoping to reach 85 years and counting.
Bring on the lettuce!

Saturday 26 June 2010

Bereft and chanelling Dr Evil

My second favourite baby has a virus and has had to go off to stay with my friend Tanya and her techie husband to convalesce.
This is why I have been absent since my very lovely and in all respects successful trip to Henley.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as I get the nod that little laptop has a clean bill of health.
I consider my husband the computer addict of the family but have been surprised at how much I miss having my own to use.
He doesn't let me use his much as he is on it all the time and I am, admittedly, a total klutz and can probably break it by just staring at it sideways.
Once all is well again I have posts galore for you all (well, all twelve of you anyway!).
Here is a taster:
  • chocolate fudge cake that had beetroot in it and makes me think of this song as I make it
  • Henley-on-Thames pictures
  • spice-topped hummous recipe
  • the 85 year old that is staying with us at the moment and who sleeps in the garden
  • my latest knitting and sewing adventures
  • my beautiful little boy who steals my heart over and again every day

And in case some of you are wondering how I can write a post when my computer is with Mr Techie Genius...

Husband and small boy are OUT!!!

Husband has no idea I am using HIS COMPUTER!!!

Wa ha ha!

Ok, I am off to stroke a white cat in a deadly fashion now.

See you all soon!

Friday 18 June 2010

Drum roll ... and the winner is ...

Wait for it ...
Not long now ...

There it is!
It's a very serious business this random number generator stuff.
Frank took on his role rather well and oversaw proceedings with a sharp eye and the strong sense of fairness every three year old seems to have.
So, congratulations to Jen and if you can let me know your address by e.mailing me I'll get it in the post first thing next week.
Not sure I can promise there will be no teeth marks in the chocolate though as Frank was eyeing it up this morning...
I am determined to do more giveaways as I really loved being able to offer something concrete to people that are so much part of my new D-Mama life.
I didn't enjoy not having a pressie for everyone though.
It's also kind of nice to know that there are lurkers out there.
We all lurk sometimes and are lured to comment when the conditions are right.
Chocolate seems to be a universal condition!
Breaking News:
I am taking a trip, alone on the train (oh, the books and knitting I have planned!!), to visit Sev in Henley-on-Thames this weekend.
Frightened to leave my boys alone but also aware that I can't really complain that I never get any time to myself if I am not willing to take it when it is offered.
The words rock and hard place spring to mind.
Happy weekend to you all.

Tuesday 15 June 2010


One hundred posts has flown by.
My giveaway is to be three packets of my favourite teas from our local deli, Gunton's on Crouch Street.
First up is the Russian Caravan tea, which is mildly smoky and best, I think, drunk weak and black. The name alone is so evocative! Then there is the lovely, citrussy Lady Grey, again great weak and black or stronger with milk.
Finally the ONLY tea to get me moving in the morning is a strong cup of English Breakfast tea in some form or other.

I have also thrown in two bars of Green and Black's. No harm in that, eh?
So, roll up, roll up, and just post a comment. No need to be witty or anything!
My random number generator (aka Frank picking names out if a hat) will pick a number on Friday morning GMT 9am.

Good Luck!

Monday 14 June 2010

Preparing for the coronation

Today, whilst the boy wonder was out at pre-school, I ran up this nifty little number for his upcoming birthday. It is form this oh, so useful book.
Less than a month to go and my baby is four.
The bee pin cushion is by Amanda and accompanies me whenever I do any craft business. He listens to all my chat and is a keeper of my secrets - a bee keeper if you will (ahem, clears throat and dodges tomatoes thrown at such a bad joke).
Blogger and I are in some disagreement as to whether I have posted one hundred posts or 98.
I think this is number 99 and so my next post will be 100 and rumour has it that means giveaway time!
Stay tuned!
I hope you won't be disappointed and before anyone asks: no, I haven't perfected the knitted and fully-functional pancreas yet, so stay calm!

Thursday 10 June 2010

Three and three quarters

When you are three and three quarters your life is like this:
iced fennel tea and books to be read trains deliver the important garnishes to your Smoothie Sunday breakfast treat

you like to see how long your tongue is

and have more than one way of doing so

you can finally reach high enough to post the invitations to your birthday party yourself

picnics in the park include sugar-free muffins and meat balls, eaten together

you eat with calm concentration

There is joy in every day and you take that in your stride almost as if you feel you deserve it .
And you do.

Saturday 5 June 2010

Gaia #2

Our days among the Gaia Tribe were relaxed and happy.
Everyone we met was friendly and kind.
The food was just fabulous, all vegetarian and so tasty.
Jumping boy, pictured here, ate mostly bread and refused the amazing vegetable soups and stews and moussakas and salads and Mexican dishes.
There were loads of us camped out in a field in Yorkshire.
The photo below was taken on day one when it was hot and sunny.
Subsequent days were raining, windy and at times cold, with some bursts of sunshine that brought everyone out.
At night I was pretty miserable at times.
I knitted when I could.
Drank tea and read books to Frank.
We explored the site, hung out in the tent and went to the tent where the Story Teller held his audience spellbound for 45 minutes every evening.
We met good, good people.
And from all walks of life.
I took part in a Compassionate Communication workshop, which I enjoyed very much.

Frank loved it all.
Rain, wind and sun he is a happy camper.
At night he slept well, much better than either me or Budd.
He made friends and ran about all day.

Fruit? Check. Muesli? Check. Wasabi peas for Mama's evening fix? Check. Enough insulin to put half the camp in comas should we choose to misadminister it? Oh, yes.
For the first time Frank also wore this cute but oh so hippyish jumper. It was warm and kept him toasty. Since returning home he won't wear it. Ah, well...

Origami boats from one of the activities in the children's tent.
Fun down at the river.
Frank took this one of our fire circle.
That's me looking like I'm doing some awkward Tai Chi moves.
And as we packed up I sneaked a shot of my boys trying to get all the air out of the air mattresses. So cute. And so stripey!

On the Type 1 front Insulin was easy to administer but we got it wrong by underestimating a few times and he ran too high, a result, I think, of his high carb bread and fruit diet. We had paid for the food in advance and were not willing to forego such great meals ourselves. So, we ended up cooking meat or omelettes for him in our tent when we could and letting him live on bread the rest of the time.
It was far from ideal and that as well as my desire to be "WARM, for the love of God", at night saw us decamping a day early and taking my cold extremities and Frank's high blood sugar in hand.

Within 24 hours he was much better.

And breathe.

This was out first experience of a festival of this kind. I don't think it will be our last BUT with Type 1 Diabetes in the mix it was hard work at times with meals being delayed in the cafe tent and different foods being on offer along with no nutritional information to work with.

These issues are so far outside the realms of most people's concerns that I don't even bother talking about it much or indeed fretting about it. It is what it is for us.

This is the language we speak because this is our world.

I also didn't like the feeling of seeing "No Service" on my mobile. If Frank has to be bluelighted anywhere I want the ambulance to arrive quickly.

There was unease. Mild but constant (and more than usual, before you ask!).

Is it a weakness to admit this or a strength to just be realistic, because I know that I am JUST NOT WILLING to do things anymore where the element of risk leaves me wrecked.

I have a duty of care. But then also, I feel, a duty of care for the quality of our lives.

Where do the two meet?

Holidaying with other T1D families?

We'd sure enough have enough juice to go round and enough cake frosting for any last minute birthday cake emergencies.

Now that's an idea...

Anyone fancy freezing their butts off in Yorkshire next year?!

Thursday 3 June 2010

Gaia #1

A few pictures to give you a taster of our trip.

More words once I have managed to extricate myself from the HUGE piles of wood-smoke-infused washing to be done!