Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tidying up

Doc confirmed I have a cold. He gave me a prescription for some cough syrup to get rid of the 'schleim' I have. Haha. It still cracks me up that the German word for phlegm is schleim.

I haven't done half of what I wanted to do either in work or at home. Have a pile of washing up to do, badly need to hoover and it's now nearly ten o'clock so I can't. Will have to get up and do it before work tomorrow as I'm heading to the airport straight after work. Didn't finish bringing stuff down to the cellar either and that's just going to have to wait now.

I have hurt something somewhere which is making it difficult for me to walk this evening. I think I need a good massage to loosen up my shoulder and that will fix everything else. I felt a twinge in my back today and that only happens sometimes when my shoulder is acting up and I'm been favouring it without realising. A day or two later though I'll start to get twinges and cramps so I know it has happened again. I'm scheduled for an MRI at the end of the month for the problem I've been having with my other foot so it will be interesting to see if they find anything with that. I was just thinking about the fact that almost everything I have tends to happen on my left side. Possibly somewhat attributable to the fact that I'm a citeog and so obviously use my left side more. But I'm kind of wondering if the problems I had with my shoulder 14 years ago for the first time might actually be the cause of everything else. They eventually fixed that issue (which, now I come to think of it, the physio said was in my neck rather than my shoulder) with lots of physio but were never able to explain exactly what had happened or why. So it will be interesting. I'm a bit nervous as well because I remember my mum being told she had a trapped nerve and that was the start of the few months which led to more tests and the discovery that she had cancer. So it's one of those things I can be a bit irrational about. While I'm home though, I'm going to try and contact the doctor to get hold of her medical records. I don't even know what kind of cancer she had because my dad wouldn't talk about it. I only found out by accident that she had cancer about a week before she died, didn't think to ask any of my aunts or uncles at that stage and now that I'm older and realise it might be important to know, it's difficult to start a conversation with relations I've had so little contact with for so long and who may or may not actually have a clue what they're talking about. This was illustrated to me the other day when I was talking about this with my sister and mentioned that based on bits and pieces I'd overheard over the years I thought it was some kind of gynaecological cancer and she, for the same reason, was sure it was a colo-rectal one. I think it's time we just found out. I do know my dad had malignant melanoma and a brain tumour because we were brought into the hospice for a family meeting when he was moved there but it would probably be a good idea to get his records at the same time. I find as I'm getting older that I have difficulty remembering all the things that have ever happened to me so I have no hope of trying to remember if my mum or dad had x, y or z at any stage.

Better get on with packing. Nope, still haven't done that either. Nor did I manage to finish all the food I have. Still have a giant courgette in the fridge but I think I'm just going to take it with me. Have apples as well but will see what state they're in before I start planning space for them in my case. And I am definitely making sure to leave room for my blanket project. Yes, the wonderful patchwork blanket that I decided to knit for my friend's 40th birthday is still not finished but I am going to finish it on holidays. It is coming with me because on my way home after my holiday I will be visiting him for a day to celebrate his birthday. It's his 41st mind you but still. Better late than never.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Working too much

Have a few 12-hour days behind me now as well as having brought a document home to proofread yesterday. But am getting to where I want to be so that I have a chance to keep things ticking over better going forward so that is worth it at least. Got my email inbox back down to less than 20 emails and sent items emptied - it's always such a weight off my mind to do that. I'm heading back to Ireland for two weeks on Friday and when I come back I really want to make a big effort to not work any overtime. That means I need to be more efficient with my time but I need to do it. I sometimes think I have somewhat workaholic tendencies but really it's because of having grown up working in my dad's business. The line between home and work is very, very thin for me so I don't even notice the hours being eaten away out of my evening. I have friends who resent having to stay even a few minutes late at work but these are mostly the friends who only had to work during school holidays and never during school term. Whereas I started working when I was twelve and worked almost every day from then until I left home (left the country to make sure I was getting away from it) at twenty. I worked two or three hours after school every evening and then all day Saturday and Sunday lunchtime and evening or Saturday lunchtime and evening and all day Sunday. We all did it and at the time it didn't seem strange at all but now I'm sort of beginning to realise how it could have led to some problems in maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Yes, that's a terrible phrase but it's an important concept. And one of the reasons why I think I might just be better off if I can get to the stage someday where my life is my work and I don't need to go out and earn money but can just do all the stuff I want to to live my life.

My cold is hanging on so I'm going to go to the doctor tomorrow. If nothing else, I want to be able to say to the people at the airport that I really do just have a cold. Although when clearing out my inbox I re-read the email we got a couple of weeks ago after swine flu cases started happening in the town I live in and apparently at the first sign of any cold-like symptoms I should have gone straight to the doctor and not gone near the office. Oh well. I have no aches and pains, no fever and what I was sneezing and what I'm now coughing is clear so I'm fairly confident I'm flu free.

The heat over the weekend was oppressive again. I should have spent a few hours at least cleaning and tidying my apartment but I didn't manage to get much done at all. This evening it is mercifully cooler but I only got home from work at half-nine and really need to go and sleep soon so I don't think I'll get much done.

I did make raspberry jam yesterday and oh my, it is delicious. I got four jars plus a half one from the 900g of berries I had and half of that half one is gone already. The recipe said I might end up just eating it straight out of the pot and I thought it was just another piece of chef's hyperbole but it really is that good. Don't care if it stays that runny either, if so it'll be a fantastic sauce for rice pudding, maybe some ice-cream. Oooh, sponge cake and ice-cream with this raspberry jam would be amazing. Hmmmmm. I used the recipe from the River Cottage Preserves Handbook. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's really just absolutely fabulous.

I also made tomato ketchup yesterday but despite having gone to the shop on Saturday specifically to buy cloves I, for some completely unfathomable reason, bought ginger instead. More ginger to be precise because I only bought a huge bag of it recently. No idea what I was thinking of. I know I was distracted trying to figure out if I should buy whole cloves at the same time since I'll need them in a few weeks for making chutney but how that led to me picking up ground ginger instead of ground cloves I'm not sure. And of course I didn't notice any of this until I was tidying up after having put the ketchup on to cook i.e. after I had added ginger instead of cloves. Haven't tasted it yet - might be interesting.

I have a large courgette still to use but not many days left to be cooking before I leave so I'm thinking of making this pizza crust from it.

And I did take some photos of my vertical gardening attempts but will have to post them at a later stage. I found several catepillar types growing in the leaves of my spinach today so have removed and disposed of those leaves affected. They were really inside the leaves though, not just on them. Very strange but then again I've only had catepillar problems once before and that was on parsley so maybe that's what just what they do if they can. It was like they were sucking all the green out of the leaf around them.

Don't know what's going to happen while I'm away. I have no-one to leave a key with and ask to come in and water plants for me so hopefully I won't arrive back to an apartment full of wildlife and completely dead plants. Still, I was looking on my attempts this year as very much experimental so I don't mind too much not getting anything from them. I wasn't really expecting to so have essentially been too surprised by actually getting some salad leaves and spinach to use any of it. Have had a few tomato flowers appear, only to wither up and die before really opening properly. Two more plants have a few flowers now so maybe they'll do something.