Anticlimax and confusion

My children both went back to school yesterday. They are in year 4 and year 1 now, so even my baby is well into his school life, being as he is in his second full time year at school. And going back to school was something of an anticlimax. For which I am, actually, quite grateful. My children take everything in their stride. It has always been thus, and I expected no difference this term. Getting ready for school yesterday felt like we hadn’t had holiday. They slipped right back into the routine, were ready in plenty of time, walked to school as usual and then waved goodbye as they headed towards their new classrooms with no qualms, no looking backwards towards me or anything. And I’m glad because I’d hate it if they didn’t want to go to school, if they were stressed or worried about it. I’d be miserable all the time they were away from me, worrying about how they were getting on. But as things are, they both have a nice group of friends, like their teachers and enjoy their schooldays. So we’re back into the old routine straight away.

The confusion (maybe not the right word, but as near as I could get) arises due to the problems I’ve been having with my hands recently. I’ll be seeing my doctor on Tuesday about it, and hoping that she’ll have some answers. In the mean time, in case it is a repetitive strain type injury, and because it flares up when I’m typing at work (and sometimes at home) I’m severely cutting back on my internet time. This will be a real challenge to me, but I will prevail!

You would have thought that knitting and crochet would be the last thing I should do, but it appears to actually be beneficial to my hands. Yesterday, I had a very bad day in work as my hands were aching so badly, and I nearly didn’t go to my Stitch and Bitch meeting. However, I decided that I could always sit and chat rather than knit if my hands wouldn’t play ball, so I went along. At the end of the evening I realised that I had steadily knitted all evening and that my hands were much less painful than they had been. I think it must be because I don’t hold the needles tightly, and knitting only involves small and gentle movements. Maybe it’s almost like a form of physio? Knitters, what do you think? So, to conclude, I’ll still check e-mails most days, and read blogs, but I’ll not be doing as much typing until I’ve worked out what’s wrong. Before any of you suggest it, it’s not arthritis (thank goodness) as I had blood tests for that earlier in the year. Neither does it seem to be a carpal tunnel problem. Websites that I’ve looked at seem to suggest that the pain would be on the other side of my hands (my problems are mainly wrists and middle to little fingers, whereas carpal tunnel apparently affects more the thumbs and index finger side). So it’s a mystery!

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A blah day

Today has been a proper blah day. I don’t feel as if I’ve done anything. Went to work, went to Mother in Law’s to collect children, came home, read interwebby stuff for ages, have done no knitting or other crafty activity, feel quite disoriented actually!

I haven’t gone to Stitch and Bitch tonight (somewhat obvious statement, that one), and I’m quite sad about that. I always have such a fantastic time, but I’ve been tired all day and I have an early start tomorrow so I’m doing the Proper Grown Up And Sensible Thing, and I will be Getting An Early Night. I did think about just popping to the knitting group for a quick drink and a couple of rows of knitting, leaving by 9pm, but I know that whenever I am there, the first time I look at my watch is generally nearer 10pm than 9pm, so I definitely wouldn’t be having an early night as I wouldn’t want to leave. So I denied myself the pleasure and am staying home.

I’m at a point in the knitting project where I don’t want to be doing it again. Which is BAD. Time is running out like water out of a badly sealed drinks bottle in your best handbag, and I don’t want to have to postpone this to be given as a Christmas present. Plus (don’t ask me how I know) there are only 120 days until Christmas. This sounds a lot, but when you are planning on making most of your Christmas presents, it really isn’t!

Plus, I’ve been having some problems with my hands. One of my tasks at work involves using a date stamper a lot, and for some reason my hands are not enjoying this experience. I’ve only got to be stamping for a couple of minutes, and my hands start aching. They then don’t stop for the rest of the day. Which puts me off the thought of knitting, even though it does appear to help the ache to subside. I’ve no idea what is causing the pain. I’ve had random pain in my hands and arms for about a year now, and I’ve had negative test results for arthritis. I was put off further investigations when a doctor I saw a couple of months ago (a locum, thank goodness, not a regular at the surgery) told me that she had no idea what was causing the pain, and doesn’t have all the answers (her words, not mine!). Grrr. However, it’s definitely getting worse, especially as it doesn’t seem to be so random now, and is affecting my work, so I’m going to have to go back. I’ll make sure that I see a different doctor though. One who, even if she doesn’t have all the answers, is at least prepared to refer me to someone who might!

Town in the early morning

Since both my children started full time school, I work on weekdays rather than Saturdays. I much prefer it this way – don’t get me wrong, the people I worked with were great, but the job sucked. Badly. And there was always a sense while I was working on Saturdays that I should really be at home, spending time with my kids. So, my boss agreed to change my shifts, and everything’s better now.

There’s only one thing I miss about my Saturday job, and that is the travelling through Cardiff while most other people are asleep. I’m not generally a morning person, but these mornings were nice. In the summer it was lovely because the sun is already up and you feel like you have the world almost to yourself (I’d leave for work at about 6.30am, at which time very few people are around at the weekend). In the middle of winter, on dry days,¬†it was equally pleasant as you’d be out in the almost-dark, looking up at the stars slowly fading as the sun rose to a crisp, clear day.

Once you hit town, you start to see more people out and about. The fruit and veg man loading up his stall, ready for the busy Saturday trading. The window cleaners attacking the shop frontages, getting the finger marks off the glass from the previous day. The council lorry, watering the many hanging baskets and planters which are scattered around the city centre and of course the revellers, for whom this is a late night rather than an early morning.

Maybe, before the summer is out, I should make it my mission to try to capture a couple of very early mornings again. There is such a sense of peace and of promise when you are out in the very early morning, as if anything is possible. Or maybe it’s just that I miss out on the solitude of early mornings, given that my day is usually started by two exuberant and very loving boys leaping on my bed to wish me good morning!

Another good day!

Despite the rainy start, today has been another good day. It started with an early morning visit from Jo for coffee and toast, followed by the school run and a somewhat soggy wait at the bus stop. My policy of crocheting on bus journeys actually encouraged a lady to talk to me this morning, asking me what I was making and developing into general conversation about her jury service. It made the journey pass quicker, anyway!

Work was really good again. I’m definitely enjoying working in the week and having the opportunity to do more than one task at work rather than being stuck on the same one for eight hours on a Saturday! I also get to mix with more people and, while the Saturday staff are all lovely people, they’re all students and so we have very little in common. On weekdays, I work with more people of my own age, and people who have¬†children, so more in common with me. Also, today my boss complimented me on my work, and the fact that I managed to achieve 101% productivity last month despite not having done lots of the¬†tasks for several years before that. She told me that I was a valued employee and that they are always glad to see me, which was lovely¬†to hear!

Handsome, especially, has been really happy since I’ve not been working at the weekends. He always meets me after school on a Thursday and Friday asking whether I’ve worked enough hours to stay home at the weekend. It’s very flattering to be so loved!

In HUGE news, last night I finished ‘War and Peace’! Yay!! 958 pages down, none to go!! I’ve not yet decided what I’ll be reading next. Maybe something a little shorter! I’m very glad though that for the rest of my life I’ll be able to say (with truth, honesty and conviction) that I have read ‘War and Peace’ all the way through!

I completed two more squares for my crocheted patchwork blanket today, in a sunny yellow colour. I was working on dark red yarn, but the ball was too big to fit in today’s choice of handbag, so I went for the 50g yellow ball instead. It was actually very cheering to be working with that yarn on the bus, when the rain and wind were conspiring outside to make it as miserable a March day as they knew how. I really need to work out how many squares I’ll need, although I had decided to crochet a huge pile before I made that calculation, so as not to put myself off the job.

I went to Shaws today and bought knitting needles for my Easter jumper project. I looked at their chunky weight yarn, but wasn’t grabbed by any of the colours so decided to do some online shopping instead. Does anyone have recommendations for online yarn shops for me? So far, my search has been more or less limited to Ebay, as I don’t have a lot of money to commit to the project and so I thought that might be my best bet for a bargain.

Right, off now to do some online yarn searches. It’s not the same as actually being able to see the yarn before you buy though. I’ve no idea why South Wales, and Cardiff in particular are so poorly-supplied with yarn outlets. People obviously don’t knit and crochet in sufficient numbers to keep the businesses profitable. Ah, to be wealthy and to be able to afford all the lovely yarns that I see advertised! I’ve entered all sorts of yarn giveaways recently though, so keep your fingers crossed for me. x

A good day

Today has been a good day. In fact, I’m feeling absolutely exhausted and should be snoozing in my comfy bed by now, but I wanted just to write a short(ish) note here, as much to evaluate my day for myself as to update you all, to be honest!

Today was my Dad‘s birthday, and while I couldn’t visit during school time as I had to go to work,¬†the boys¬†and I went round there after school and took him his present and cards. Handsome and Cheeky had made cards themselves, which I think he liked, and I’d found a funny cartoon one which featured a dog looking speculatively at a cat through an open patio door. Mum provided a most delicious roast dinner, as well as pudding and birthday cake. Mmmm! And my children provided the entertainment; Handsome has very recently developed an interest in magic tricks, which I can foresee may become his new fascination! Cheeky, meanwhile, provided the material for our giggles by imitating various characters from the comedy programme, ‘Dad’s Army’.

Work was good today. The shift passed quickly, and I managed to complete another square and a half towards my blanket for next winter during my break and whilst travelling. I’m definitely on track!

I’ve decided that when we go away for our short break during the Easter holidays, I will take a knitting project to do. I’ve not done anything substantial on knitting needles for some time, and am feeling an urge to make myself something to wear. So, I’ve been researching possible patterns, and tomorrow I shall take a trip to a shop to look at yarn. I’ve a vague idea of the sort of colour I want, but I won’t know for definite until I see it. I do know that this project will be my first proper attempt at knitting in the round, so very exciting. I decided to choose a knitting project for the trip because I get travelsick when I concentrate on anything in the car, but if I’m knitting I don’t need to look at it too much. Therefore I can be very productive during the many hours of car time we will be putting in. Bonus! I hate wasted time, where I’m doing nothing. I’m the only person I have ever seen, crocheting or knitting on a bus into town. I think I may get a name for myself if I stick to it for long enough! I’d love to be a ‘character’ – maybe this is my way in!

War and Peace is going well – I’m on target to finish that soon too. Then I’ll have to find something else edifying to read. I don’t know if I want it to end now! And do I choose a shorter book next, or stick with the epic tales? Choices, choices!

Anyway, my fingers are starting to get too cold to work properly on the keyboard – a sure sign that I need to turn the computer off. Goodnight all. xx

The mystery of the recurring headache

I wasn’t feeling very well yesterday morning, and so didn’t go to work:-( I’ve been having headaches on and off all week, and so I booked in for an optician appointment in case there’s some underlying reason for my headaches. However, the optician was satisfied that there was nothing wrong with my eyes, and that they’re even slightly improved from last year, so my glasses didn’t need changing. This was a welcome surprise, just before Christmas – I can definitely do without the cost of new glasses at the moment!

Anyway, I think I’ll try to get an appointment with the dentist to check that none of my teeth are hiding a problem which might be causing the headaches – the last thing I want is to wake up on Christmas morning with a chronically aching molar!

GG let me have a lovely lie in yesterday in order to catch up with some of the rest that I’d been missing out on through the week – the headaches have been making me really tired, but I’ve not been sleeping very well, which is another mystery! Then, Handsome and I made another Christmas card (photos to come!) for a relative, before heading into town in the afternoon for my optician’s appointment. I always feel so guilty going out of the house if I’ve had the day off sick, but I was only going out to find out why I was ill, and we were straight in and out of town. I was very impressed with the thoroughness of the check I had in Boots Opticians. I think the check took about forty minutes overall, and included pressure checks (does that mean I’m getting old??) and the optician also compared my retinas (I think?!) with pictures of them that he had taken last year. Anyway, I’m relieved that there has been no worsening in my eyes, although intrigued to find out the cause of my headaches. My head seems fine today so far though (touch wood) so I’m hoping that whatever was wrong has sorted itself out! I make a really bad patient (lots of self pity etc) so I hope that I stay well, if only for my family’s sake!

I passed!

I’ve been doing a course with work which leads to a pay rise if successfully completed, and I found out today that I passed! I’m so relieved as I was very apprehensive about getting my results, but that’s one less thing for me to worry about now!