Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Such a happy day

As I mentioned in my previous post D and I renewed our wedding vows in May this year. On our 17th wedding anniversary we did it all again at the Archbishops Palace in Maidstone. It was a wonderful day, the weather was perfect, unlike the first time round. It was also a lot smaller with just 40 of our closest friends and family. We came back to the house for a BBQ afterwards which ended with a singalong in the garden. I couldn't have asked for more.
The actual ceremony was quite short but very emotional, we chose Imelda May's song 'I'm alive' as our entrance and exit music, the words were just so right. I loved having my girls as bridesmaids and they both looked so grown up and beautiful.
So on with some pictures.
The crafter in me just has to tell you that I made my shawl and necklace. The shawl was crocheted using Natural Dye Studio's Precious lace, which is a 100% silk yarn. It also has about 1500 crystals, a mix of Swarovski and Czech. It is beautifully sparkly but unfortunately it doesn't show in the photos. The necklace is made with Swarovski clear AB crystals and purple seed beads. The dress was from Debenhams and was perfect as I couldn't decide what colour to go for and this one had all the colours I liked. It also went beautifully with the girls dresses.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Tummy Troubles

This is the update on D and the ongoing saga of his Crohns disease. Last time I mentioned it, he was getting a lot of pain and losing weight rapidly. It took several visits to the consultant with nothing much happening before they decided to refer him back to London and UCH. Last April (2010) while we were still waiting to hear from UCH, D was admitted to Medway hospital suffering from severe malnutrition. After a few false starts, (during one of which they managed to puncture his lung!!) he had a tube inserted into his chest and started to be fed through that. They also finally got his pain sorted out and he was put onto something that actually worked. He was in Medway for three months before being admitted to UCH London at the end of July. He stayed in UCH for another month and then finally came home. The tube was removed and he started a mission to gain weight.
The scans and tests he had showed that most of his small bowel was inflamed or scarred and there really isn't anything they can do about it. He can't have surgery as too much bowel is involved. The only hope was medication. Since the Infliximab had stopped working they decided to have a go with Humira. This is a self inject medication, so D had to learn to do the injections before they let him come home.
It was incredibly strange having him in hospital for four months. I ended up off work with stress, the travelling for visiting was awful and the kids were obviously very worried too. It was a tremendous strain for all of us. The only thing that kept me going was support from my family and friends. They were all wonderful. The Posh group on Ravelry even got together and made us the most wonderful care package including a mindblowing blanket made with loads of squares from everyone. It was overwhelming but in a totally fantastic way.
The one positive thing that came out of the long hospital stay was that D and I found that our relationship was completely reborn. It seems that over the years we had stopped talking and fallen into a huge rut. Both of us were having doubts about the relationship but we didn't realise how the other person felt. With him in hospital it was a forced separation, but we still saw each other pretty much every day. At visiting time there is nothing to do but talk, and we started really talking. It got to the point where it felt like we were almost dating again and I couldn't wait to go and see him. Over those four months we fell in love all over again, and when D was home he suggested we renew our wedding vows. Since 21st May 2011 was our 17th anniversay and fell on a Saturday we booked the registry office and started making plans. More about that in another post.
Christmas came and went and D managed to gain some weight, he was still incredibly thin but very slowly getting there. Unfortunately by March his pain levels were back up and he had a lump under his belly button. MRI scans showed it was a fistula and that his bowels were no better on the Humira. Over the next few weeks the lump got bigger and eventually at the beginning of May he was admitted to Maidstone hospital. They were very reluctant to do anything as the fistula was attached to the bowel and operating could cause more problems. Once again we waited for UCH to take over. After a week in hospital the lump got so big and so painful that they were forced to operate before it ruptured. After the op the pain stopped immediately but he was left with a stoma bag. Luckily he was released from hospital the week before the renewal and that all went ahead as planned.
So there you have a very condensed version of the last 18 months. its been a rollercoaster of emotions, from fearing we were going to lose him to celebrating a renewed relationship. At the moment he is feeling not too bad, the pain levels are manageable, he is getting used to the stoma bag and still trying to gain weight. As far as treatment goes he is still on the Humira, but it doesn't look as though its working terribly well. He is also now seeing Dr Lindsay at St Barts hospital to see if he is eligible to take part in a trial treatment. This is a stem cell transplant that, if it works, could cure the Crohns. It sounds very scary but the outcome could be fantastic. Only a handful of people have had it so far and if D is accepted on this trial then he will be one of 30 in Europe to have it.

Gosh, that was a long post. I did try to keep to just the important bits and if anyone has made it this far then well done. You will be rewarded with a happier and picture filled post next time, when I will tell you all about our renewal.

Monday, 27 June 2011

A new start

I came back to my much neglected blog the other day and had a read back to some of the older entries. It turns out it was very enlightening, I was able to track back and realised that things had happened on completely different dates than I thought they had. My memory is obviously not as good as I had assumed it was.
Bearing that in mind I have decided to start posting here again. Not so much in the thoughts that anyone will read it, but so that I have a reference to look at in the future. If anyone is out there, then hello and you are very welcome to read my ramblings and comment if you feel the urge. If there isn't anyone reading then thats fine too, I talk to myself in the real world so I may as well extend that to online as well.
Over the next few days I'll do a few posts updating on whats been going on since I last blogged, that could take a while as its been interesting to say the least. Then hopefully I'll update more regularly in the future. The first post will come tomorrow hopefully and will cover D's Crohns and whats been happening with that. It will be an epic post!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Just to let anyone who happens across the blog know that I am still out here! I just haven't been blogging for a while. Its too easy to let time fly by and not do an update and theres also the fact that I am too easily distracted by other things.
I am now in a completely new madhouse as we moved last month. We are away from the grotty neighbours and in a bigger house so the kids and the animals are happy with the extra space and we are happy with being in a detached and not having to worry about the neighbours. D has been very ill again and is back on steroids and waiting to see the consultant in London. I am trying not to dwell on it too much because I need to be the strong one and keep things positive when he is this poorly or else the atmosphere in the house is just too depressing. I am still finding time to knit, spin and bead when I can. That really helps to keep me calm thank goodness.
Another thing taking up chunks of my time is reading Twilight fanfiction. I loved the Twilight books and after reading Breaking Dawn I really wanted more. Well fanfic is definately more, and I keep finding myself completely absorbed by a story and walking around attached to my iphone reading. I have managed to cook and serve an entire meal whilst not actually putting the phone down. Lol.
Anyway I shall bugger off now and hopefully post again soon.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Part Two (life and a little knitting!)

I'm finally back with part two of the update. Back in January it was E's birthday, we didn't know what to get her so we decided on a junior keeper for the day experience at Howletts. Originally D was going to be her 'adult' for the day but he wasn't well enough so I got to go. It was a fantastic day and E absolutely loved it. Watching her with the animals and asking so many questions of our guide and all the keepers was wonderful. She got to feed the lemurs, make the elephants beds, have a look behind the scenes in the gorilla house and watch tigers being fed close up. I got quite emotional when we were watching the tigers, they are one of my favourite animals and I was close enough to reach out and touch thier fluffy tummies. It was only the sight of the huge teeth and claws that stopped me! Here are a few pictures, we took hundreds!

D is feeling a lot better now and has started doing a gradual return to work. I'm hoping it goes alright, he is so up and down with his health that it worries me in case he doesn't cope and gets really ill again. On the other hand if all goes well and he ends up back at work full time we will need to sort out some childcare and that worries me too. It all makes for sleepless nights. I am distracting myself by planning my 40th birthday party. I am 40 on the 20th March and have booked a hall and disco for an eighties themed party. I'm going as Adam Ant and have hired a highwayman outfit. I am really looking forward to it as there are a lot of people coming that I haven't heard from in ages. I'll make sure some photos go up here so anyone reading can have a laugh.
I have a bit of knitting news too. I finished the seawool scarf from last months Yarn Forward magazine using the seasilk I bought back in January at the Posh meet. It is amazingly slinky and lovely. My only small niggle is that I wish I had made the scarf a bit bigger, I had enough yarn but followed the pattern instead of my instincts, even so its a very wearable scarf.

I have also cracked the wheel! After my last post saying how we weren't getting on I tried using a different fibre and hey presto, it worked. I spun some BFL from Limegreenjelly and produced this lovely squooshy yarn.

I managed to get some Posh Yarn roving in thier first ever sale of fibre and I couldn't wait to spin it up. This is called scotch mist and is falkland.

Now I just have to find the ideal pattern to show them off and do them justice. I am thinking maybe some fingerless gloves in the Limegreenjelly and a hat in the Posh.
I had a trip with the beading group to the Bead Merchant for one of thier open days and it got my beading mojo going again. They had some swarovski rivolis in stock, which are like large, very sparkly sequins. I fell in love and had to have a couple. I had a play when I got home and made this ring. It can be used as scarf ring or worn as a ring. It is impossibly sparkly and I love it. Now if someone could just arrange for there to be an extra few hours in each day I could have time for all my hobbies!!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Part one (knitting)

Its been a busy month and I haven't blogged at all. The madhouse has lived up to its name so everytime I have sat down and thought about blogging something happens to stop me. My computer time has been made up of snatched moments here and there. There is so much to tell you that I am going to split this into two posts. One will be knitting and fibre related and the other will be everything else.
So this can be the knitting one. I have a couple of finished things to show, the first is a top in Wendy Pure Bamboo. I am really pleased with this, my only gripe is the sewing in of ends was a nightmare. This yarn is very drapy and slippy so I ended up with a needle and thread securing every end once I had weaved it in, I found that the ends would all come out otherwise. The neck is quite wide so I'm hoping it doesn't stretch when I wash it. I do have a little left over yarn so I can always crochet a new edge to the neck if need be.

The other item is really exciting, because its a crocheted neckwarmer and the yarn is my own handspun. I'm still spinning chunky but at least its fairly evenly chunky. The fibre is from Freyalyn and I got it as part of the Posh swap last year.

The guild wheel has now gone back and I have bought a second hand Louet S71. It is a beautiful compact wheel but at the moment we have a slightly rocky relationship. It has an incredibly fierce take up and is taking a lot of getting used to. I'm determined we will end up best of friends but it may take a while. So far I haven't been able to spin anything worthwhile on it at all. I just can't get enough twist in the fibre to stop it all breaking as soon as you try and wind the yarn off the bobbin.

This hasn't stopped me buying fibre of course. I managed to grab some fibre on Davids last update on Come in Spinner on Esty. its merino and the colour is Midnight.

I also bought some more fibre from Limegreenjelly. This time its BFL and called 'Girls just want to have fun'. Isn't it the most fantastic pink?

Now for a confession, I have broken my stashalong. The friends of P group on Ravelry is having a knitalong using a new sock yarn called Zauberball. It knits up similar to the sock blanks, with the colours fading into each other. I just couldn't resist and bought a ball of Fuschia. I think Mitzie was cross with me.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

January, what January?

Blog wise I seem to have skipped January completely. If only you could do that in real life. However this does mean there is a lot to put in a post today so I'll try to be as concise as possible.
I have decided to frog the shawl as I am not feeling the love for it at all. I just keep finding excuses to not pick it up. I think the problem is that it doesn't flow as you are knitting it and if I am not enjoying whilst the rows are small I'm going to hate it when the rows are longer. I still want to make a shawl with the blue cecilia and the silver beads and just have to work out which shawl I can add beads to. I have narrowed it down to three options, Matilda, Adamas and Go fly a kite. All have a regular pattern that will allow for the placing of a bead. But which to do? I know, I should swatch, but since when did I do the sensible thing.
The skittle vomit socks have also been frogged and reborn in a different pattern and I have nearly finished the first one. In amongst all this frogging I have actually finished two items, a pair of fingerless mitts for Chris at work and an Odessa hat for me. This one has been worn and I don't feel too silly in it.

I have been looking at second hand spinning wheels on ebay and ravelry but am not really sure what to go for, there are so many different types and I had never even tried a wheel. So I joined the local spinning guild and got loads of good advice from a very friendly group of people. Even better they have a guild wheel that is available to borrow, so it is now sitting in my front room. I picked it up Sunday morning and then spent most of Sunday afternoon swearing at it. Its certainly not as easy as it looks. I did manage to produce some yarn, its very uneven but its yarn nonetheless. Since then things have improved and I am getting a lot better and swearing less. The only problem now is that I have run out of fibre! I am waiting for some to be delivered from an ebay seller and I do have a couple of braids of beautiful fibre from Limegreenjelly but I want to save them until I can do them justice.

I have joined Twitter, I even managed to add it to the side bar of the blog. I'm not sure how much I'll use it, but its great for following people like Eddie Izzard and Stephen Fry who do use it. I'm not really sure that I can think of that many interesting updates about me but I'll try and add things that aren't too tedious or silly.
The only other thing to add before I go are a couple of obligatory snow photos, this was proper snow, the kind that shuts down the schools and gives the kids a day off to indulge in some real fun. My two made the most of it and produced a much better snowman than the December one. D and E had a mega snowball fight in the garden and R disappeared over to the park with her friends for the whole day, coming back soaking wet and extremely cold.