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In the bleak midwinter. December 22, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Building work, frrrreeeeezzzziiinnngggg, Poetry, Sick again, sick Principessa, Snow, TMA03.

So. Snow in December. Who’da thunk it? But with the snow has come horribly low temperatures, the lowest came on Monday when it hit -11. (Ignore all the little pictures of sun, it’s not been like that. Although the sun is now peeking out from the clouds. Oh, and that positive temp for today? Hasn’t been reached. Currently we are on a balmy 0 degrees Celcius.)

I wouldn’t mind the cold temperatures so much if we had central heating. But we don’t. We haven’t had central heating since May, when the new boiler was fitted. Since then, we have been back and forth with the building inspector’s office trying to get the heating sorted out. Somehow, when the plumbers were fitting the boiler and pipes, they managed to fit the new huge boiler with pipes that are too small in diameter to cope with the pressure of the gas going through them when both the heating and the fire are on. This morning we finally heard back from the local council offices. According to their reports, there is nothing wrong with the central heating. So why is it when the gasman checks the gas pressure that the fluctuations he observes are verging on dangerous? It looks like another Christmas in the cold for us.

Last year, while we had central heating, the front room was cold because the fire had been condemned the year before. We couldn’t get that changed because we had a back boiler, so a whole new central heating system was needed. That’s why it had been left until the extension had been built. I found this on the notes on the iPhone from last Christmas:

The gaping maw of the fireplace stares eyelessly aghast, screaming a silent, frozen “Oh!” The warm red focal point is now a cold reminder of Christmas passed and Christmas future, and the oh so nearly (though hardly a) Christmas present.

Yep. My dream of there being a working fire has been replaced by the cold reality of the massive probability that we might be having another cold December.

Hmm. Reading that back, it appears that I had a premonition of a cold Christmas this year. If only I had known how cold! And now it seems that there is no solution on the horizon. (You know when you look at a word and it just looks wrong? That’s just happened with horizon.) The building inspector is sending us a copy of the report as evidence and it seems that we have to then get an individual assessment done to prove it wrong. I can’t believe that something that was supposed to make life easier (the building of the extension) has caused so much stress. And it hasn’t helped that Princi and I have both been struggling with a cough since the beginning of November. This has caused the further stress of having to do peak flow tests every night with Princi for almost the last four weeks to make sure that her cough isn’t asthma. The first two weeks results were inconclusive, but last weeks results are much improved and more uniform. From what I can see, I’d say that she doesn’t have asthma due to the consistency of the results and the minimal effect that the salbutamol has on them. Phew.

Anyways. Enough of my whinging. I think, while Princi has herself occupied, I shall go and continue fighting with my latest essay for the Open University – a poetry analysis of Coleridge’s ‘Frost at midnight.’ And no, the irony has not escaped me.

Knock, knock. October 19, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in Building work, EA300, OU, sick Principessa, TMA01.

Yay! The builders have started work outside. At the moment they are finishing cleaning up after knocking down the old coal shed. I tell you, the back garden is going to look very strange. But I’m so glad it’s being done, the extension is going to make life easier – although I will not be able to take Princi to bed once it’s done. That’s the biggest grr about the whole thing.

As for things getting done… The essay isn’t getting much further. Princi is off school as she has an ear infection and a kidney infection, so she is stuck at home with me. I’m going to have to dig out the Jolly Phonics workbooks so we’ve got something to do, as well as getting her to do some reading. Currently, she is watching Tom and Jerry on her computer. Oh, no she’s not. She’s just clicked onto Danger Mouse (dadum, dadum, dadum). At least this post on Dadwhowrites blog has helped me to crystalise my thoughts where LRRH is concerned. (Yes, I know it’s about Thomas the Tank Engine, but a comment I was going to make also made a pretty good argument for my essay!)  All I need to do now is structure it around the essay plan and I’m more or less done with it – apart from a quick edit and putting in references. Ugh. References. I hate doing references!

Well, I suppose while I’ve got five minutes I could do a quick bit of the essay. Maybe.

(Oh no. The skip we hired still hasn’t been moved and the builders need to hire a new one. It’s skip gridlock!)

Trials and tribulations. (I so wish that was Tribble-ations!) October 12, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, Children's Literature, Dreams, EA300, Fairy tales, OU, sick Principessa.

Ooh, it’s been a tough last week. Princi was sent home from school on Thursday complaining of headaches. About half an hour after arriving home she started chucking up. She then went through the sleeping for an hour, waking up, taking a mouthful of water and chucking up again phase. Aw, she even came downstairs citing, ‘I am not crying. I am panicking because I am sick.’ Poor little Munchkin! She spent the whole evening like that, the vomiting carrying on until around 2.30am. She had a temperature through Friday and Saturday, but was back to her normal self yesterday. Apart from waking up last night with ‘two broken legs.’ It seems she had been suffering with cramp in her calves through the night. I gave her a leg massage this morning and then told her to walk it out until the ache subsided. Poor babe.

As for me, I spent yesterday in agony after waking up in the night to turn over only to discover that my hip seemed to have seized. I had been avoiding a sprung spring on the mattress (thanks to Princi using the bed as a trampoline) and had slept in a bad position. Ouch! It’s still slightly sore this morning, but much better than it was yesterday.

Still, with Princi’s ‘broken legs’ and my strange dreams, I am knackered today. Yeah, my subconscious was in overdrive again last night. Dreams of alien invasions and the strange insecty aliens (kind of like V meets Starship Troopers) using humans as symbiotic disguises plagued my dreams. A band of resistance fighters had set themselves up in a shanty town in the mountains – the thinner air being detrimental to the insecty things – but someone had still been ‘infected’. For some reason Apollo from the new BSG was one of the resistance leaders and it was Sam from Supernatural who had been ‘infected’. (Yeah, I don’t know what goes on in my mind when I’m not controlling it!) He had a tear in his calf where the thing had entered (maybe my subconscious was telling me about Princi’s cramp here!), but its tail was still visible (I can imagine what Freudian psychoanalysis would make of that!). Apollo was a medic of some sort and was thinking of a way to extract the alien. And that’s all I can remember.

Hopefully, the strangeness leaked now, I will be able to get moving on this LRRH essay. I’ve had a couple of false starts so far, suffering trouble with linking the points together, but I think I may have had a breakthrough this morning whilst listening to some music and blowing jewels up in Bejeweled. So, I shall have a cup of coffee and a cuddle from the cat and then I shall get cracking on the essay. With some luck and determination I might get a full first draft done today as tomorrow will be disturbed by sheds arriving and physio visits. Hmph.

Lay your weary head to rest. October 1, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in EA300, music, Occupational Therapist visits., OU, sick Principessa.

It was definitely a day of mixed emotions yesterday. I spent the morning stressed out by the (then) impending physio visit. My stomach was in knots at the thought of them trying to pick me up. Thankfully, they didn’t try. Gaz was there and we demonstrated how he picks me up – although from the seat in the front room it looks more awkward than it actually is – and then they suggested an alternative way to stop any stress on the neck of the lifter. So a big phew there. I also explained the difficulty I had had with some of the exercises that the first physio had given me, so the second physio – who was far more knowledgeable – suggested other exercises, mainly Pilates-style, that we could try the next time the first physio comes to visit again. I have two weeks to slightly stress about that.

In the afternoon the good news dropped through the letter box. The planning on the extension has been approved and the grant has been awarded. The work has to be completed by next September and I am now waiting to be contacted with start dates. Ooh, so excited, but also stressing a little as there is a lot of stuff needing to be done before the work can start. At least it’s finally moving in the right direction. Yay!

(Ooh, having an epic/theatrical rock day today. Currently listening to Whitesnake. ‘Twas Heart and Meatloaf before that.)

Princi is back at school today. She was sent home Monday lunchtime because she was ill. She spent the rest of Monday and all of Tuesday with a fever, then yesterday she was back to her normal self. I kept her home just to make sure she was a-OK. So with my Munchkin out I can try and get some of this LRRH assignment written. I’ve managed about 50 words so far. I think it’s time to print out the essay planner and start noting some points down that I will argue.

So this is me, off to scribble.

On fever and music. May 17, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, ECA, Editing, Eurovision Song Contest, music, sick Principessa.
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Princi and Grandand are currently sitting at the walk-in centre on Smithdown Road. Princi was really lethargic yesterday, with a temperature, an achy head and tummy, and swollen glands. While she’s about a gazillion times better today, I wanted her to have a check-up to make sure it’s nothing serious.  I’m hoping that yesterday was the end of whatever was bothering Princi, as she’d been complaining of a tummy ache and head ache for a couple of days, although it hasn’t stopped her from being a Destroyer of Worlds. I hate to say it, but I thought it was just an excuse not to eat, because she’s always finding ways not to eat her dinners (usually she will suddenly decide that she ‘needs ve loo’) . Thing is, she first started complaining after she had eaten. Hmm. I’m a bad Mum for ignoring her complaints.

(As for other illnesses, I just want to say *Hugs* to Skips and her little Bean.)

One thing about yesterday, at least Princi slept some. She’s been going to bed late – refusing to go to sleep on school days, and I let her stay up a little later at the weekends – and getting up early. So I’m glad she’s had some sleep. I think she needed it. And her sleeping also gave me a few minutes spare to do a little bit more on the ECA commentary. Thankfully, that’s starting to shape up. I need to sit down and sort out the referencing and bibliography, but I think I’m close to leaving the commentary as it is. That leaves me more time to fuss over Princi. Yay! With no work to worry about, Mummy should no longer be a dull girl!

As for the music… Yep, Eurovision. The set was fab, hundreds and hundreds of LCD screens providing the backgrounds. Some of the music was good, which was a shocker, and not too much dancy-techno stuff. The song from Iceland was quite nice. I’m still not over-enamoured with the UK’s entry, but at least it didn’t end up on nul points. In fact, fifth place was a shock! I wasn’t so impressed by the winning song – from Norway – either. Overall, it was a better song contest in previous years.

Well, back to waiting for Princi and Grandand to get back home.

Update 13:03

They’re back. Princi’s got a viral infection, and according to the doctor, nothing to worry about. *Sigh of relief*

Tickle, tickle, cough. March 3, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Bookaboo, kids TV, Sick again, sick Principessa.

Urgh! Cthulhu f’tagn! That’s what I sound like everytime I cough. It’s killing me! And poor Princi, she was the one struggling last night. Poor thing. But she did steal nearly all the duvet, no mean feat when you’re four and it’s a kingsize quilt!

At least the being sick thing allowed Princi and I to discover Bookaboo. This is the most fantastic kids programme ever! It’s based around this little puppet dog, who is a rock god on the drums, but if he doesn’t have a story read to him every day, well, he just can’t play. The series started yesterday, and the first story was read by Meat Loaf. It was fan-bloody-tastic! Princi and I curled up on the bed together, and both of us were spellbound! I’m looking forward to this afternoon’s episode, although I doubt any of the other guest presenters will be a patch on Meat!

I’m really starting to stress about this life writing thing. I’m reading the BRB, but the deeper I get into the life writing section the more I feel that sinking feeling. To kick me into some form I’ve picked up the Stephen King memoir On Writing again. I did start reading it probably last October, but I put it down in pursuit of other reading/writing goals. So I thought now would be a good time to read it, just  to give me some autobiography inspiration. May even go as far as reading If Chins Could Kill again, for further inspiration.

And all of a sudden, a lightning bolt has hit me…

And it doesn’t include poetry…

*Toddles off to drink some hot honey, lemon and echinacea and to scribble some thoughts down.*

Again with the unwell. December 3, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, OU, sick Principessa, The Principessa Files, The problem with writing is that I can get to the end before I finish writing, Wordcount, writing.
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I'm just a little bit sick.

I'm just a little bit sick!

Not me this time. Poor ickle Princi is feeling slightly worse for wear. She’s had a cough for a while, she went to the docs about that last week, but last night she started getting a temperature. She’s still got the temperature this morning, and is all a bit grumpy and demanding (when is that any different?!), so she is at home, snuggled under her Dr Who quilt, playing on her laptop on the couch. Poor babe.

As for me, I have an upcoming fight with four hundred words to contend with. But once that’s done, I’ll have sorted aonther story out. OK, the editing needs to be done, but at least they’ll be down on screen/paper/memstick. Then I can have a rest, and spend a week reading stuff. I have so much to read. I’ve started Watchmen. If I ever get through that tome of a book, I will then read Day of the Triffids, followed by Twilight. I’m going to see the film on Christmas Eve, so I thought I’d best read the damn book, so I can huff and puff at the inadequacies of the film! Only joking. Although I have been told off for doing that on a few occassions! I can’t help it!

Ah well. Time to get writing. At least I know what the final destination of the story is, it’s just getting there on the wordy toll road.

Phlegm hell, Mr Croup. October 11, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in sick Principessa, The Principessa Files.
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My poor little Principessa. Over the last two days she’s had a bit of a snotty beak, and yesterday she had the start of a cough. This morning she sat up in bed crying “Help me, Mummy. Help me!” Her little voice was a mix of a croak and a yelp, and she was in a huge panic. Every time she tried to cough she just made a sound like Stoppit from Stoppit and Tidyup. I have to admit, I think I was as scared as she was, but I had to try to not panic for her. Poor little babe, she was clawing at her throat, trying to dislodge the phlegm. I think a trip to the drop-in centre is necessary today.

My poor babe. September 29, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, OU, sick Principessa, writing.
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Poor ickle Principessa is ill again. She has spent most of today chucking up. I get really over anxious when she is ill, just as she gets panicky. Poor ickle babe. Nanny was trying to calm her down during one of her vomitting fits, and said to her, “Don’t panic.” Princi, through a big bleurgh screamed, “But I am panicking!” Awww. She’s sleeping at the moment.

I really need to get into the habit of writing more every day, but I feel that I’ve broken something in my thought processes trying to do things in the way the course was designed. Does that sound stupid? It  doesn’t work with my thought processes, or maybe I am putting too much pressure on myself and not relaxing into it? I don’t know. But right now it feels like my brain has dried up and gone on holiday, giving me the bird as it disappears into infinity and beyond. I need a creative brain massage. Ho hum.

Ah well. Off to vegetate, and hopefully it will rejuvenate the thought processes.


I’ve just read this post back, and oh my god, did I really mention the term thought processes so often? Awful, awful writing! Just shows where my poor brain is at the moment, in the Bog of Eternal Stench!

Locked out! September 18, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in Audiobooks, OU, sick Principessa.
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Oh noes! No access to the Open Uni forums! Noooooeeeeesssss! I can’t cope with that! I’m all Grrrr Arggghhh right now.

At least bedtime is good. Sean Bean is a great Principessa-put-to-sleeper! And I’m enjoying listening to the stories as well. I’m looking forward to getting a little bit of time to myself so that I can listen to The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer, read by Jack Davenport. *Flibble* Interesting dreams lay ahead!

Well, off to tend to pebbledashing Principessa. And to do some studying, I suppose, now there is no distraction from course fora.