Thursday, August 8, 2019

Things I have learned recently

I started (and abandoned due to lack of time) a post last week after recovering from a bit of minor surgery that was to remove some pre-cancerous cells from my cervix. As the letter from the doctors said, "this is not cancer, but has the potential, if left, to turn into cancer." 

That was a less reassuring statement than I think they meant it to be.

 The boyfriend strimming away with an expression of fierce concentration, 
seconds before the strimmer wire ran out and we admitted defeat.   

 Must say that, damn, they worked fast. Not only in the treatment but in keeping the gaps between letters and treatment short. The speed they work at reassures me: within 4 weeks, I'm back in the coloscopy room. Within 30 minutes, I'm back in the car, pre-cancerous cell-less, asking the boyfriend if he wants pasta for tea.

For all the moaning that this city's hospital gets, I've never had anything but positive (if they can be called that) experiences with them. Although management not letting the nurses park on site (we were gossiping during procedures) is frankly outrageous, and I hope each and every one of the management who are allowed to, stub their toes on the way to their cars.  

The bramble mountain. There are wallflowers there too. 
One day I'll explain my wallflower intolerance. 

Spent some time on the allotment this week. One of the beds that we'd covered in membrane had finally given up and was living-weed-free, so we cleared the dead stuff, strimmed the paths and wilder areas, tacked down membrane that had worked it's way loose and hacked back at the brambles that resembled triffids (after I'd raided them for blackberries, obviously). Found what looks to be asparagus gone wild, albeit asparagus with it's own beetles. 

Little wee red and black beetles copulating freely with nary a care in the world for my
 asparagus. Little buggers.  
Those blackberries may be the only crop we get from the allotment this year: the ground underneath the dead weeds is so hard and compacted that it broke the fork. And then the spade. Hopefully the deluge of rain that's promised for tomorrow may actually soften the ground enough for us to do something with it. 

Met the allotment neighbour - an earnest young man with a small baby and 2 allotments. He's clearly going down the self-sufficiency route, which I once considered, having fancied myself as something of a Barbara Goode. Truth (and experience) is, I'm more of a Margot Leadbetter. And I cannot warm to hens.


Said bent fork. Useful for picking up brambles that you've cut down. Sod all use for anything else. 
So the message to take away from this post is:
a) never skimp on your garden tools - a bent fork is use to neither man nor beast
b) always have your smear test
c) always know your own body and have the courage to say when something ain't right
d) don't let your boyfriend see the "What Symptoms To Watch Out For Post-Surgery" letter because he'll then use it as a running gag for the next few weeks
e) spend a really uncomfortable night sleeping on a deflated airbed the weekend before so that, honestly, the procedure was a doddle compared to waking up at 5am after a heavy night and trying to stand up in a 2 man tent. 

I am not, and never will be, a happy camper. Although the marshmallows toasted on the open fire were almost worth it. The first sip of coffee in the morning after? Definitely worth it. 

You can't see them, but there are people there too. Taken before the great marshmallow rush.

But here are a few things that have made me happy this week:
  • sea eagles are making a return to the Isle of Wight 
  • the wild tiger population is finally rising
  • the amazing pink seesaws
  • this twitter campaign
  • the museum I work for finally getting it's National Lottery Heritage Fund grant after 2 years of work, research, bid writing and trying to find match-funding
  • finally starting to learn Spanish thanks to the Language Zen app. Been meaning to for years, can't see any reason for delaying it
  • late, so late, to the Community party but loving it
  • Medieval marginalia, a small obsession of mine, on Instagram. No, that's not me. This is me.
  • My epic Saturday night Scrabble win
 Yeah, that's me on the left. I lost the next night, so we're all good.

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