rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I joined Facebook a bit over a year ago, because there were two new babies in my extended family and that's where the baby photos were going to be.  I then mostly ignored it for months because of leukaemia but I've been cautiously getting the hang of it during this year.  I still don't much like it, but it is where a bunch of my family and friends talk about their lives (and share their baby family photos).  I don't friend people on it very much or very often, and am very unlikely to do so if I have any other way at all of keeping up with them that works better for me.

This morning I was feeling sad about having lost touch with all my friends from school.  I went to a friend's birthday party when Charles was a baby, and that was literally the last time I saw any of them and I don't even know if I've still got the right email addresses for the very few I managed to keep in touch with after university, and it's been so many years etc etc.  So after wallowing in feeling sad and useless for a bit, I thought to myself "you could at least try looking on Facebook, as you're there" ... and after some false starts I did indeed find several of them, and that has made me much happier.  

(Also I was doing the thing of looking through a friend's list of facebook friends and saw one of them flagged with "1 mutual friend" and I was a bit surprised because I knew I hadn't added anyone from school yet, how small can this world be!  But then I realised it was one of my brother's friends and we all grew up in the same village so it wasn't actually very surprising.)

I'm not expecting some great and grand reunion, especially as I'm about to turn back into a hermit for most of the next year.  Just to be in a bit better (any!) contact with my oldest friends, and with what's important in their lives.

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
This is articulating a lot of stuff I've been thinking over, especially the last month or so, about my priorities as I start getting "back to normal".

1. Health and fitness
(content note: exercise, weight, mental health)
Read more... )

2. Immediate family

The children have coped admirably with all the disruption and uncertainty, but they're both showing reaction in different ways. I want to give them lots of security and support and attention and stability. I plan to take a good look at our daily and weekly and seasonal routines with that in mind. 

I suspect some additional goals and tasks will come out of couples counselling.

3. Work

The cliché is that a brush with death provides revelation and motivation to chuck in the job and go follow a long-held dream etc.  My revelation from being ill so long is that I really like my work and I miss my job and my colleagues very much, and I want to go back as soon as I feel able.  Probably in a phased-return way so I don't go from zero to full time immediately.  Anyway, the time to start that conversation with work is probably a week or two into next year when this chemo cycle should be finished.

4. Studying

I'm studying with the OU under transitional fees and the qualification I'm working towards will be discontinued at the end of 2017. It is just possible for me to finish on time if I work hard from now until September 2017, and especially hard for the nine months Sep 16 - Jun 17. I've decided to give that plan a try but drop the workload if it's too much.   If I don't manage to complete by September 2017 much of my course credit is transferable to the replacement qualification anyway.

5. Family, friends and community

The care and support I've received while ill has been amazing and much appreciated.    I've found it too easy to let connections slide, especially when busy.  So I'm going to put some time and effort into maintaining connections (socialising, letters, emails, calls, blogs, even dratted Facebook), and into making that work part of my daily and weekly routines.

Two things notably absent from the list above:

1. Reading.

I won't stop reading entirely, it's too much part of me to read whenever I can. But studying will take up much of the time and effort I'd otherwise spend reading, and that seems a fair trade-off for now.

2. Politics

I'm finding it very hard to engage with politics at the moment: anything more than the most superficial attention to current events leaves me emotionally drained and exhausted.  Maybe that'll improve as I recover, but I don't think the five things I am choosing to prioritise will leave me much time over anyway.


2010-10-10 22:36
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Jonny's friend Grace, who lives around the corner and is always very sweet to Charles, won a bronze medal in Delhi for heptathlon. We saw her on tv, smiling and unmistakeably Grace. I'm really pleased for her.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
A few weeks ago there was Ellie's hen night, which she has already written up.
Blue drink in the fireplace

I got home from that to meet up with my dad and Tony accompanying Charles to the temporary funfair on Parkers Piece, on its last day:

Dad stayed for a couple of days, looking after Charles while J was on her holiday and both Tony & I had to work. He also managed some delicious baking and some useful jobs around the house, all of which was much appreciated.

And then there was DWCon, which I think we all enjoyed very much. Tony and I both got to a few events, but mostly there was lots of socialising, and children playing together and swimming. The children were collectively adorable, and lovely parents let me have lots of tiny-baby snuggles. Babies don't keep and it's a long time since Charles was that small. A migraine knocked me out on Saturday night so I missed the AFP Hedgehog Party, but was kept at bay on Sunday & Monday with copious painkillers (and surprisingly-effective cuddles from Charles).

Gala dinner Discworld hat

And finally, yesterday's doctor kindly reissued my migraine meds prescription and referred me for a foot xray (to take place Monday). She also told me to keep off the foot really As Much As Possible, so I am trying harder.
rmc28: (rmcf+fcdf-4)
Back in the first week of September, we were visited by Eelco and Freyk. I had booked the day off to take Charles for an appointment, so met them in town around lunchtime. We had a nice wander around touristy Cambridge, tried out the new milkshake bar near Lion Yard (omg, I had ferret-shock at the number of choices), and then took a wander around the Fitzwilliam Museum, punctuated by late lunch in its Courtyard Cafe.

We found a Roman multitool in a basement, with its modern-made replica displayed alongside. That was so cool. I found a postcard of it in the gift shoppe, along with a whole load of pretty notecards to go in my writing box. I only just resisted buying a cuddly Darwin, though it was a close-run thing.

We then headed back along King's Parade, admired the Corpus clock and had a coffee before picking up Charles from his childminder. That was the first day we had tried using his bike and he did very well getting up to the Castle, and (later on) from there to home again. We had a good meal and gossip in the Castle pub, joined by Tony and a few others, and finished up the evening dozing over whisky at home. I had to head out to work the next day before they woke up and biked off, but it was a really lovely day, a little island in the middle of the daily grind.


The appointment for Charles was with the cardiologist at Addenbrooke's. We arrived only-just-in-time and then had a long wait because the child before him on the list was in for ages and ages. I just hope it wasn't something too awful. While we were waiting, Charles had his first ever blood pressure test and was unimpressed by it: the nurse said "this is going to give your arm a hug" and he told it to stop hugging him. He was quite fascinated by the oxygen saturation monitor on his finger though.

When we were finally seen, he got checked over by the consultant and two medical students, one of whom tried to patronise him and got a Hard Stare. The result is that although he still has an audible heart murmur, he doesn't need any more regular monitoring and is now discharged. We're to be referred back in 5 years. I got the official letter today, which made me very happy:

"Charles should be regarded as having a normal heart ... Under the new recommendations from NICE he does not require antibiotic prophylaxis for dental or surgical procedures."

So I have a note in my 43 folders to chase up a referral in 5 years time, but for now I can completely forget about the murmur. There are a whole list of complications he doesn't have in this letter. It is fabulous.
rmc28: (happy)
Friday evening I went to Eden at New Hall. Unfortunately for [livejournal.com profile] covertmusic, they cancelled Inferno at fairly short notice; fortunately for me and others, they attempted to compensate him with "as many guest tickets as you want". I assume that at some point they'll refund my largeish cheque, but will give them until after May Week to get out of headless chicken mode.

[livejournal.com profile] lusercop came up Friday afternoon and after a bit of faffing at mine, we wandered over, arriving around 5:30 or so. Almost the first person we saw was my old NatSci DoS, and we had a pleasant conversation with him. There were strawberries and cream, and Pimms, and lots of non-alcoholic drinks, and burgers and hotdogs and icecream and candyfloss. There was some timeless period when I sat on the grass listening to live music, watching Matthew devilstick and enjoying the glitter of light and the patterns of movement, and it was good.

[livejournal.com profile] mobbsy and [livejournal.com profile] pjc50 turned up in due course, and we had more pleasant conversation, while [livejournal.com profile] lusercop gave impromptu lessons to random passersby. Later still, [livejournal.com profile] acronym arrived just as I was attempting a guided tour of my old College and its artwork for Pete, and we returned from that to find [livejournal.com profile] j4 & [livejournal.com profile] addedentry. Because Inferno had been cancelled, Eden was extended until 10pm, after which Janet and Owen went home and Matthew, Andrew, Andrew and Pete came back to mine, where we hung out and gossiped. I eventually gave in and got some sleep, and left Matthew as temporary house occupant to continue being hostly.

Saturday dawned gorgeously. We sat and gossiped for a bit, and then I attempted to deal with the piles of to-do list. We had a lazy lunch, which I serendipitously started cooking just as [livejournal.com profile] jdc39 emerged blinking into the day after Robinson Ball. After this I did some working from home, fixing the problems I hadn't had time to fix before leaving on Friday. Most of it was the kind of fiddly, repetitive, careful work that gets immensely tedious but can't be automated. We listened to CUR1350's coverage of the Bumps, after which there was Dr Who and a very pleasant meal at the Thanh Binh. Sunday I spent rather more of the day working, interspersed with conversation with Matthew and Jonny. I finished bang on 5:30 when I really had to stop, so that [livejournal.com profile] fanf & I could go to the CUMC Centenary Dinner. This turned out to be excellent fun despite the heat, with a huge turnout of past members, some impressive beards and a fine after-dinner speech. It was fun showing Tony off introducing Tony to my climbing friends, and especially pleasant to see Andy B (and finally meet his girlfriend) back from Durham for the event. Lots of people I knew had been on the club week-long meet in Cornwall, which I missed due to having lots of work and a wedding to plan. Tony and I will go next year, if at all possible.

I slept very badly last night, but did get into work reasonably early. I migrated my package of fixes for testing by mid-morning ... and got back a shorter list of new bugs by lunchtime. Sigh. Must code better. I then took an extra-long lunch in order to pick up fripperies for the wedding, and was really a bit too hot by the time I got back to the office. It took quite a while and a lot of water before I felt able to think straight again. When I got home this evening, all good intentions to do useful things vanished in the face of being hot and tired, so I read a book instead. I probably should go to bed, but the upper floor is uninvitingly hot. I suppose I could read another book.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Weekend friends and family )
Sunday evening I was incredibly useful and sorted out lots of stuff that had been lurking in my inbox for ages ... with the notable exception of anything wedding related. That's the first time in a while I've caught myself productively procrastinating. Among other things I checked through our phone bills for the first time in a year and decided the quarterly call costs weren't worth chasing lodgers for. I also realised just how cheap it can be to ring my parents these days, and as my main reluctance to do so on the landline has been the quality of our handset, I bought a new handset. And an answerphone, so that my parents can ring me at home and be able to leave messages.

Monday was busy at work and I was feeling a bit tired and under the weather for the beer festival, so finished my second read-through of Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow instead.

Yesterday continued busy at work. I went to the beer festival afterward and had a very enjoyable time, running into several sets of people during the evening. Tony & I have now joined CAMRA because the joint membership is a bargain compared to single memberships (21 and 18 pounds respectively). I started off with Holden's Black Country Mild (on the North Bar) which is rather lighter and easier to drink than most milds and I approve. My next choice was Boelens Bieken Honingbier from the Foreign Beers stand, which was described as "Gorgeous Honey beer" and was. I thoroughly approve and wish to find more. When I went back to the foreign beers, all the honey beers had gone, all my backup choices from the Lambics had gone, and I tried Orval because I could see it was there. It was drinkable and had nice texture, but nothing amazing. I had sips of other people's drinks now and again, those that stuck in memory overnight were the Espresso Stout from Dark Star which Alex (climber, but not the one [livejournal.com profile] atreic knows) had, and the Rauch beer that [livejournal.com profile] ptc24 chose (both good). Helen (climber) had a cranberry wheat beer which was very thin-tasting and I found disappointing but she liked.

I may or may not get to beer tonight. It will depend on how sociable and energetic I am feeling - there was a plan for work people to go, but the colleague most enthusiastic about it is off sick.


2005-05-19 13:48
rmc28: (happy)
[livejournal.com profile] fanf and I are getting two cats shortly after we get back from our honeymoon. This is probably excessively couply or something (although possibly not, compared to being married). We're getting Kat's cats as mentioned here. While Tony is used to having pets, I've never lived with any animal until [livejournal.com profile] davethedog started visiting regularly. But that has gone well, and I usually get on with other people's cats, and I am prepared for the probable dealing with dead things. I am going to keep my room off limits to them and try to keep them downstairs at night.

I've talked it over with Keith who is amenable, and [livejournal.com profile] antinomy who had lots of good advice, and have thought it over a lot with Tony before definitely deciding and I'm now getting quite excited about it. Keith and I have been talking about where to put their things and where to feed them and so on. I want to find a "how to look after your cat" book (yes, I know it's probably reasonably easy but I've never done it and I like having a manual). Any recommendations gratefully received.

Otherwise I'm a bit zogged today after a dash into London to meet [livejournal.com profile] damerell in the Oakdale for some drinks last night. [livejournal.com profile] emperor and I took the wussy non-cycling option and caught the train back that arrives shortly before midnight. I crashed a bit on the train, but woke up sufficiently cycling home that I couldn't settle to sleep and was still up when [livejournal.com profile] fanf got back rather later on the next train. But at least I was failing to sleep at home rather than kept awake elsewhere.


rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

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