?

Log in

Rachel Coleman
Recent Entries 
4th-Dec-2016 09:47 pm - Fitbit goal check
runner5
numbersCollapse )

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/662114.html with comment count unavailable comments.
3rd-Dec-2016 06:16 pm - New glasses!
runner5
My brain is definitely still adjusting to the correction. I was highly distracted at collection by the way everything around me was Suddenly Much Sharper, and also Bent Slightly Wrong. My proprioception is a bit off still: on my walk home I began to feel as though I was about a foot shorter than usual, and stopped a couple of times to touch things for reassurance. Even now (some hours later) my laptop screen appears to be a trapezium rather than a rectangle. I am assured this will pass in time ...

A couple of obligatory phone selfies behind the cut (which also showcase my luxuriant wavy hair)

Read more...Collapse )

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/661946.html with comment count unavailable comments.
29th-Nov-2016 12:06 pm - I continue in good health
runner5
I saw my consultant again today.  She is pleased with me, says not to worry about my recent run of colds "there's just a lot of nasty things circulating, and your bloodwork is completely normal" and is giving me six months this time before seeing her again. She reminded me as always that I can always call the department if I am worried.  I told them that I still remember very clearly what it was like getting ill in the first place, and I certainly will get in touch if I think it is happening again.  After all, my confidence in my knowledge of my own body has been borne out, if not in the happiest of ways! 

Bone marrow samples will continue at 3-monthly intervals until three years after "end-of-therapy".  We are now at 11 months after end-of-therapy, so nearly 1/3 of the way there.  I asked if I was right to assume that they would call me if there was anything to be concerned about in the bone marrow samples, rather than waiting for my next appointment, and she confirmed that this is the case.

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/661560.html with comment count unavailable comments.
27th-Nov-2016 09:18 pm - Fitbit goal check
runner5
numbersCollapse )
Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/661251.html with comment count unavailable comments.
26th-Nov-2016 04:34 pm - Glasses update
runner5
I went for my eye test yesterday, and confirmed that my prescription has changed a small but measurable amount since the previous test in February.  I then shopped around a bit for frames, and ended up ordering 2 cheap frames from Specsavers.  One with antireflective coating and one without.  I pick them up next Saturday, so there will probably be some photos then ...

(For future reference: I have since learned that Boots offer a 25% student discount, which along with their providing antireflective coatings by default probably tips the price balance their way for next time.)

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/661035.html with comment count unavailable comments.
23rd-Nov-2016 05:43 pm - Shaun in the City
runner5
Last summer in Bristol, we found 38 of the 70 sheep placed on trails around the city. I am now decommissioning the user account on which we ran the app to record which sheep we found, so I'm transcribing for long-term reference (and reminding myself of all the puns). I'm linking to the official page about each sheep. At some future date I may actually sort out the memory card full of photos of children posing by each and every sheep we found, but this will do for now.
38 sheepCollapse )

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/660850.html with comment count unavailable comments.
23rd-Nov-2016 12:13 pm - Seasonal greetings cards
runner5
If you would like a seasonal greeting card from me, and you think I might not have your current postal address, please comment below (all comments screened). 
  • If you didn't get a card from me last year, that is a pretty good indication I don't have your address. 
  • If you would like a card but can't leave a comment, my email address is in my profile and you are welcome to drop me an email with your address.
  • Most of my cards are generic Seasons Greetings; if you would particularly like / particularly object to a card with a religious greeting, please let me know in your comment/email.
Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/660637.html with comment count unavailable comments.
17th-Nov-2016 02:18 pm - Status: paddling madly
runner5
It's the kind of work week where I take a break from fixing something terribly urgent in order to fix something else terribly urgent. (And yes, I get a kick from being good at fixing stuff, but it's very wearing when it's non-stop urgency.)

Meanwhile at home and in studying I am behind on everything, so they're both heading into constantly-firefighting territory too. Argh. On the other hand I'm just about getting enough sleep again, and I'm having that lovely feeling of wellbeing that comes once one is fully over a cold, and I remembered to get some vitamin D supplements for this winter.


Three things that amused me recently:

1. Nico knows about high fives, and high tens, but this week he offered me a fist bump and said "High Zero!"

2. The romance novel genre has many many subgenres: regency, shapeshifters, billionaires, SEALs, shapeshifter SEALs, werewolf marines, etc. This week my kindle app offered me "Billionaire Aviators" which tickled me immensely (and reminded me obviously of Top Gun, which I watched at a very impressionable age).

3. We had a team-building thingy at work where we had to anonymously write down something about ourselves and the team had to guess in turn which person had written which thing. The trouble with this is finding a Thing that isn't really obviously me AND that I'm happy to disclose at work. I gave up on being hard to guess and just wrote "My favourite superhero is the Hulk". Surprisingly few people guessed right, several more were like "of course! how did I not guess you!", and then I looked down and realised I was wearing Hulk socks.

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/660146.html with comment count unavailable comments.
15th-Nov-2016 10:27 pm - Fitbit goal check
runner5
numbersCollapse )

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/659795.html with comment count unavailable comments.
9th-Nov-2016 06:27 pm - Right, so.
runner5
I lasted until 8:30am before accidentally finding out the result of the US presidential election (in that the people running the Economist app thought pushing a notification onto my phone was the best way to share such news).

I think I am less shocked and upset than I was by the Brexit result in June, but more scared. In June, I found it extremely helpful to follow my usual routine: take care of the children, go to work, fix things. My studying went off a cliff though, perhaps because it didn't immediately affect anyone but me, unlike my work and home obligations. Luckily the module concerned wasn't one I needed to do more than pass, so handing in one duff assignment didn't matter too much (and no, I wasn't going to ask for an extension or accommodation for "I am deeply upset by Brexit").

"Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on." For me that means sticking to my ongoing efforts to recover my health and effectiveness, take care of my family and finish my degree. Do the job in front of me, as best I can, and (re)build my capacity to do more in the long term.



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/659581.html with comment count unavailable comments.
6th-Nov-2016 10:31 am - Weekend off
runner5
Between the end of the cold, and last week's travel to see family, and working full time this week and getting an OU assignment in, I am pretty shattered. I declared it a weekend off, or as much as I could manage, when I got home on Friday.  Yesterday I took Nico to dance classes and a birthday party and then went to bed for the rest of the day.  Today the only thing I have to do is take Nico to gymnastics.  Charles is having a friend over, but Tony is in charge of supervising them.  I may get some of my to-do list done, but only if I really want to.  I may just read this week's acquisitions: The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London 6) and Penric's Mission (thanks [personal profile] davidgillon for tipping me off to the latter).

Dance classes plural were because Nico took a trial tap class after his existing ballet class.  He was a bit reluctant to go in, so I sat in the studio with him (with the teacher's permission).  He joined in a bit and then came back to me and said tap was great but he couldn't join in again until he had his own tap shoes that fit properly.  I rewarded this excellent negotiation with a trip to the dancewear store and the entire tap class uniform, not just the shoes. 

The dance school is on the top 1.5 floors of a 3-storey building on our nearest main road.  The dancewear store takes up the other half-floor, and on the ground floor is a cafe and a paint/wallpaper store.  All the businesses are independent, but being a student at the school gets a 10% discount on dancewear, and (I discovered yesterday), spending money in the dancewear store gets us a 10% discount in the cafe.  That made me smile.


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/659428.html with comment count unavailable comments.
runner5


I am actually pretty excited for Moana anyway, but I got even more so with what's implied by the lyrics here:

"I wish I could be the perfect daughter, but I come back to the water ...
I can lead with pride, I can make us strong ... but the voice inside sings a different song
What is wrong with me?"

a. family expectations vs individual wishes is my jam
b. she's expected to be the next leader (contrast with Brave, and Merida merely expected to elevate the next leader by marriage)


Also I just really love this song, it's very earwomy but in a good way, and a completely different feel from Hamilton & In The Heights

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/659162.html with comment count unavailable comments.
2nd-Nov-2016 02:08 pm - Vanity: glasses
runner5
I am almost certainly getting glasses at the end of the month[1], and I have NO IDEA how to choose glasses.  Please advise!  
  • I will be wearing them for reading and screen work, so the vast majority of my waking time, ahahaha.  
  • I will have a very low strength prescription, which I think means the available choice will be huge.  
Would it be terrible to buy a couple of cheap frames of very different design, and then go back in a few months when I have developed Opinions through usage?  What even is the decision space?  Shapes? Colours? Materials? Construction?  What are the common buyer mistakes / obnoxious selling behaviours in the market?


[1] I've had very mild astigmatism in my right eye for years, and it has very slowly been worsening, and it has recently passed the threshold of "I am noticing this and it is annoying me on a daily basis".  I am off to the optometrist for an up-to-date eye test and then some glasses.  Ah the joys of approaching 40. 


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/658518.html with comment count unavailable comments.
1st-Nov-2016 08:28 pm - Fitbit goal check
runner5
numbersCollapse )
Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/658281.html with comment count unavailable comments.
30th-Oct-2016 10:22 am - My life in bulletpoints
runner5
  • I still have a cough.  I've progressed to the point where I am no longer stupid ill with it, I just ... cough a lot.  I'm not getting enough sleep as a result, but I'm definitely getting better.  Just slowly.
  • I went for my quarterly bone marrow sample on Wednesday; it was probably the least-unpleasant experience yet.  I got the doctor who is particularly skilled at taking them.  I'm pretty certain if there was anything to worry about I'd have had a phone call by now, so I am not worrying.
  • The children had half-term off school, and we sent them to holiday club for 3 days and took 2 days as family holiday to Sheffield where the newest and tiniest cousin is.  As usual, the highlights of Sheffield for the children were, in order: a) trams b) Ponds Forge swimming pool c) their family (especially tiny cousins).
  • I took the children swimming twice in Sheffield.  Charles's birthday party earlier in the month was the first time I've been swimming since getting ill, and I had almost forgotten how much I like it.  Taking them to Ponds Forge is more walking-around-in-water than swimming, especially as I was solely responsible for non-swimmer Nico, but it was fun anyway. 
  • Between cough and holiday and sleep deprivation I am behind on everything and have an assignment deadline on Thursday.  Essay crisis ahoy!
Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/657534.html with comment count unavailable comments.
21st-Oct-2016 12:27 pm - Fitbit goal update: floors
runner5
numbersCollapse )
Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/657204.html with comment count unavailable comments.
21st-Oct-2016 09:27 am - Coldridden
grouchy
The children have had a day each off school this week due to getting a cold - in both cases a day of rest at home has been more than enough to get them recovered.  Tony seems untouched.

I've been ill since Tuesday night, no improvement in sight, and as of this morning I've lost my voice.  The children found that a lot funnier than I did.

One of my friends from work, who had a similar leukaemia to me several years earlier, told me that she still finds colds hit harder and take longer to recover from than before the cancer.  So maybe it's not surprising.  But so so tedious.  And I keep having to talk down the bit of my brain that panics when I get breathless climbing the stairs, because honestly brain it's much more likely that I'm breathless because I have a stinking cold than because the cancer has come back, and I wasn't breathless climbing the stairs before I caught this cold.

It's not flu and I'm not running a temperature, I'm just bunged up and stupid and fed up.



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/657033.html with comment count unavailable comments.
20th-Oct-2016 09:20 pm - Engaging smug mode again
runner5
I was expecting results for the last set of OU modules I took to come in at the end of next week but two modules came back this evening.  And I am very pleased.  (The rest is behind a cut for boasting.)
Read more...Collapse )


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/656800.html with comment count unavailable comments.
14th-Oct-2016 10:08 pm - Fitbit goal update: steps
runner5
numbersCollapse )

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/655737.html with comment count unavailable comments.
8th-Oct-2016 08:53 pm - Fatigue - still lurking
runner5
Seeing In The Heights was amazing a couple of weeks ago (see babble in previous entry), but it also left me completely shattered the next day.  It was both frustrating and kind-of encouraging because I haven't felt that bad in a while. It did make me realise how far I've come that my current "normal" is so much better than e.g. the "normal" of my holiday in May.

This week I caught a cold and had to take two days off work because I had No Brain.  I went back Friday but I was s o  s l o w.  Again, much more like me-several-months-ago rather than me-now.   I have survived helping to run Charles's birthday party today but I've managed little else, and soon I'll have to go to bed if I don't want to feel deathly tomorrow.

Getting enough sleep is really really boring and really really essential.

One practical consequence is that the best day for me to go see In The Heights again is a Sunday.  The show is at 6pm so if I cycle to the station rather than taxi I could be home by 10:30pm.  Of course, that's a school night so not entirely ideal, but more so than the Tuesday matinee, which finishes bang in the middle of rush hour.



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/655257.html with comment count unavailable comments.
8th-Oct-2016 08:25 pm - In The Heights
runner5
I went to see this a fortnight ago in London. The short version: I really, really loved it; the dancing and staging are both amazing; the music has been taking over my brain nearly as much as a certain other musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda; I will definitely be going to see it again in the next few months. (If you want to come see it with me, let me know; it's taking bookings until 8th January)

long version, lots of enthusiastic babbleCollapse )

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/654943.html with comment count unavailable comments.
6th-Oct-2016 10:22 am - On this day
rmcf+fcdf
Twenty years ago, I arrived in Cambridge with a carload of belongings to begin my (first) university degree.  I remember that partway down the M4 Mum & I realised that although we'd carefully put the bike rack on the car, we'd failed to also add my bike, which languished in Wiltshire for at least another year.[1]   I also managed to leave behind the welcome leaflet from the College with helpful driving directions, so we navigated through Cambridge on my optimism and hazy memory of walking around the place on two previous visits.  In retrospect I'm quite impressed Mum didn't drown me in the Cam.

Ten years ago I gave birth to Charles in the Rosie Maternity Hospital at Addenbrookes', by unplanned c-section after a day and a night in labour.

Today, shortly after 6am, Charles informed me he was ready for school and could he start opening his presents now?


[1] I ended up spending £65 with Chris the bike man on a 3-speed sit-up-and-beg bike with a good basket which I used for at least a year.  I can't remember what I did with it when I finally retrieved my own bike from home - my guess is I sold it back to Chris the bike man?


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/654770.html with comment count unavailable comments.
runner5
Last August, I arbitrarily declared every day after 1st October 2015 "a win, a gift of medical science and care". What have I been doing with that gift in the last year?
  • I successfully completed chemotherapy!  I've had three follow-up tests, which continue to show me clear of leukaemia.
  • I returned to work, and have been working 4-4.5 days a week since April thanks to judicious use of accumulated annual leave. I am about to start working 5-day weeks routinely, and feel reasonably confident about it.
  • [livejournal.com profile] fanf and I did a short course of couples therapy with a Maggies Wallace counsellor, by way of preventative maintenance.
  • I completed a year of Open University study at nearly full-time load, and enrolled on another full-time year to complete my degree.
  • I have recovered a lot of the fitness lost through 5 months of chemotherapy: by no means all of it, but steadily improving week on week and month on month.  For the past few months I've made deliberate, targeted use of my fancy fitbit (ironically, bought less than a month before I began chemo) to measure and motivate myself.
  • I've recently got much better at getting enough sleep, also through use of my fitbit.
  • I've done the necessary admin to get our children into the school and childcare we wanted for them, and the extra scheduled activities each of them wanted.
  • I've just about kept our finances under control, and spotted a pattern of overspending in time for both of us to stop it being a disaster.
  • [livejournal.com profile] fanf and I have kept the children's routines going steadily, and the house just about under control.
  • I've built up a good set of reminders on Regularly to keep most of the plates spinning approximately at the right frequency.
  • I've fallen in love with two musicals, been to the theatre multiple times and taken my children to the ballet twice.

I've said before that my big revelation from serious illness was that the life I'd built was bloody good thanks and I wanted it back.  I think I'm doing a good job of getting there!  Two smaller revelations/reminders were the importance to me of music, and of learning.  In hospital there was a period where I got through each day with a specific playlist and as much Duolingo as my brain would take; even now I try to spend some time every day listening to music, and some time every day learning.


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/654423.html with comment count unavailable comments.
29th-Sep-2016 09:11 pm - I'm trying to finish an essay
runner5
Have a trio of musical videos on a Lin-Manuel Miranda theme:

"Alexander Hamilton" (opening track to the musical Hamilton) in American Sign Language: absolutely riveting, brilliant use of rhythm, I accidentally fell down a rabbithole of ASL-signed Hamilton tracks of varying skill and production quality after this.  If only I understood ASL, or even BSL (funnily enough searching for BSL-signed Hamilton stuff gets me nowhere, I don't think there's a big enough fanbase here yet). 

"What the Heck I Gotta Do" - opening track to 21 Chump Street: a 14-minute musical about an undercover drugs officer and the high school student who fell in love with her.  The full video used to be on youtube and vimeo but I failed to find it again; also the cast album is available from the usual digital marketplaces.  It's ridiculously earwormy,, which means I find myself singing songs ALL DAY LONG that remind me how much I disagree with the War on Drugs, and I'm Not Doing Politics for at least another year, damnit.

"Usnavi's KX rap" - a promotional video for In The Heights at the King's Cross Theatre, which I saw last Saturday and will write more about when this dratted essay is done.  (Short version: I really, really liked it, and that video gives you something of a feel for it.)

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/653970.html with comment count unavailable comments.
21st-Sep-2016 12:29 pm - First day of school
runner5
In which I discovered that the size 3-4 trousers are still too long, but Nico insisted he would rather wear trousers with the cuffs rolled up than the dark leggings that also meet the school "dress code". Why do I forget that my children are short in the leg for their height?

A frantic online shop later, all the supermarkets start at 3-4, but M&S had some 2-3 school trousers, so they are on their way. (What this says about customer demographics and expected-age-of-first-uniform I leave as an exercise to the reader.)

Anyway, have two pictures (second behind the cut). And if you want to compare, here are the ones I shared of Charles 5 years ago.

First day of school

Read more...Collapse )

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/653131.html with comment count unavailable comments.
16th-Sep-2016 12:28 pm - A goodbye and a hello
runner5
It's Nico's last day at nursery today, so I've made my last commute run there this morning and said goodbye to the staff I've got to know well over the last nearly-four years.  Nico now has a long weekend before starting school next Wednesday - one day with me and one with Tony to do Fun Stuff before the big day.  I'm looking forward to walking both legs of my commute instead of cycling nearly 3 times as far on one of them.

Mid-morning I had a text from my brother-in-law to say that his wife had gone into labour and they were headed for unplanned c-section as baby was breech.  Less than an hour later I had photos of my newest nibling and two happy parents, and found myself having a wee emotional moment in the office.

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/652290.html with comment count unavailable comments.
14th-Sep-2016 11:19 pm - Fitbit goal update: floors
runner5
numbersCollapse )



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/651869.html with comment count unavailable comments.
12th-Sep-2016 05:10 pm - How not to prepare for an exam
runner5
  • Go away the weekend before the exam.
  • Have your train journey in both directions disrupted by cancellations and delays, so that instead of a smooth progression between sets of reserved seats at a table, both journeys are longer and punctuated with stressful searches for enough seats for your small group. 
  • Exhaust yourself talking with people at a party.  (Lovely people! Worth being tired for!)
  • Do approximately 25% of the revision you planned to do on the train.
  • Get woken multiple times the night before the exam by a small child, and then both of you oversleep.
  • Ruthlessly hand over the morning nursery run to the child's other parent and cycle off just in time to take it at a non-sweaty pace rather than a frantically-late one.

The cycle ride was pleasant though! The exam itself went well enough: I don't seem to find exams very stressful compared to twenty years ago, so it was just a matter of reading through the questions and deciding (where I had a choice) which ones to answer.  I would undoubtedly have done better if I had revised my management and economics units a bit harder, but I don't think I've embarrassed myself. 

I spent some time last week (when perhaps I should have been revising ...) working out my schedule for the next year, starting now.  I have one last assignment to do this week and this weekend I plan to make a start on the work for my October-starting courses.  My last exam is no more than a year away.  April & May will be a bit grim due to overlapping courses but June-September should be alright.  (Good, because we're going to Helsinki in the middle of it.)

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/651551.html with comment count unavailable comments.
6th-Sep-2016 09:59 pm - My life in numbers
runner5
0.5 days of the new school year, before Charles was sent home with a stomach bug.
36 more hours before he can go back (fingers-crossed he seems to be over it now).
12 hours today before my own stomach settled enough to eat something resembling a meal.
1 OU assignment submitted, 6 days before the deadline.
5.5 days to go until the exam in the other module.
1 day before the websites for the next two modules open. 
14 days before Nico also starts school.



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/651070.html with comment count unavailable comments.
3rd-Sep-2016 09:10 pm - My life in bulletpoints
runner5
Things achieved today:
  • evicting half a dozen wasps from the living room
  • soothing child terrified (but unstung) by wasps
  • getting fanf to locate wasp nest</user>
  • booking wasp extermination for tomorrow
  • taking child to gymnastics, with bonus social time for me
  • booking child's birthday party sufficiently in advance to get desired date (unlike last year)
  • 4.5 hours of OU study

Things not achieved today:
  • attending OU tutorial
  • eating any vegetables at all

Things to do in the next nine days:
  • complete and submit final assessment for intro-to-engineering module
  • revise for and take exam for management accounting module
  • take N for visit 1 of 2 to school & after-school club
  • visit my mum and stepdad before their epic trip around the world (we will next see each other in Helsinki next year)

Also, fanf wrote about his rather-too-exciting trip to the supermarket last weekend, with bonus beard photos.



</user> Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/650877.html with comment count unavailable comments.
30th-Aug-2016 10:00 pm - Fitbit goal check
runner5
(Because I know I'm not meeting any of my goals any time soon, but if I take the time to look up the earliest possible date I could, it stops my brain running in circles and me obsessively checking the fitbit history.)
numbersCollapse )

I am reaching feeling-overstretched again, and I really need to buckle down and be a study-hermit. (Exam in 13 days, EMA for a different course due in the same day, new course books arriving any minute for the officially-starting-1st-October courses.) I've had three migraines in 16 days, and it's a mixture of overdoing things, struggling in the summer heat, and the perennial favourite of Not Getting Enough Sleep.

The fitbit number I am paying most attention to at the moment is the hours of sleep. It's still too low.



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/650312.html with comment count unavailable comments.
28th-Aug-2016 09:02 am - Be prepared
facepalm
We are away for the long weekend, and I packed in something of a hurry yesterday, in the last hour before we left. Things I have so far discovered I unintentionally left behind:
  • The key to our accommodation
  • My laptop charger
  • My paperback copy of Watership Down
  • My hairbrush
  • The birthday gift for the party we are going to today
However, unlike a trip away earlier this year, I did remember underwear for both children.

(We sorted out the accommodation thanks to helpful landlord and very helpful family, but there may have been some swearing on the train when I realised. I can get a replacement gift and repurpose the original. I suppose at least I'm grateful to have enough hair again to need a hairbrush, and I can probably get a spare fairly easily.)



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/649607.html with comment count unavailable comments.
runner5
I literally cannot remember the last time that happened, probably a Dr Who special from before I got fed up with Dr Who.  Years, anyway.

The occasion was the Great British Bake Off, which I have got sucked into because of a work sweepstake. There are 24 of us in it, 2 of us drawn for each GBBO contestant yesterday morning.  Each week after a contestant goes out, the two unlucky colleagues have to cook something on the week's theme and bring it in for everyone else to taste and fill out a scoresheet for a mini-contest.   (All the invention of one of my colleagues who likes to organise this kind of thing.)

Literally everyone signed up has made disclaimers about how they are not very good cooks and not to expect much, although in my case this is completely true.  Charles has volunteered to help me, and he is already a better cook than I am, so I won't turn it down!

Anyway, having signed up, I felt I should at least try an episode to see what the fuss is about ... and I can completely see why it's such a popular show.   Tony got sucked in too, and I might actually try to make a habit of this.  I have Val, so I was getting a bit worried last night, but thankfully I've been spared my cooking ordeal for another week.  (On the other hand, it might be nice to get it out of the way early, before expectations have been set too high.)

GBBO was followed by The Chronicles of Nadiya.  I had picked up on the wonderfulness of Nadiya Hussein, last year's GBBO winner, through fannish osmosis, and I really enjoyed this show following her from her home in Luton to the village her parents came from in Bangladesh, with a great deal of food and family interactions.  I completely see why everyone was enthusing about how lovely Nadiya is.  I think the Explaining My Culture To The Presumed-Ignorant Viewer was done with a great deal of grace and straightforwardness.  This week of all weeks I really appreciated the segment where two young articulate women (Nadiya and her cousin) talked about the importance to them of wearing hijab.

There is a second part next week after the GBBO.  I'm looking forward to it very much, if I can pull off being free to watch them both in time again.



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/648847.html with comment count unavailable comments.
20th-Aug-2016 10:59 pm - Facebook and its uses
runner5
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.



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/647324.html with comment count unavailable comments.
19th-Aug-2016 10:21 pm - Holiday things
runner5
We've been holidaying in York this week, just the four of us.  At some point I may post photos but right now I never want to move again.  What we did:
  • visited York's Chocolate Story
  • found a local playground for the children
  • found a man blowing enormous bubbles near the Minster
  • had lunch in the basement cafe of the Treasurer's House
  • found our way to Rowntree Park, and back again via the Millennium Bridge
  • took an evening boat tour
  • visited the National Railway Museum
  • took the bus to Castle Howard and spent a lovely day wandering the grounds
  • had a delicious meal at Mason's with an incredibly nice server
  • visited all three of the Barley Hall, Richard III Experience & Henry VII Experience, and walked around a large portion of the city walls
I couldn't help comparing with Bristol a year and two weeks earlier: short version is I was much less breathless, but much more easily tired.  However, I did at least have more stamina than in Llandudno 2.5 months ago.  I did crash one day mid-week and had to spend most of an afternoon and evening zonked out on the hotel bed.  Sadly that was the day we went to the NRM: I left early and got very little out of the time I did spend there, so I think I will need to go back again sometime.

I think that was the last time I will ever book all four of us into a single family room for more than one night; we all need more alone time than was possible to achieve, and I'm giving up on all but essential plans for the weekend as a result, plus it gets ever harder to get the children to sleep when we are still awake in the same room. (And they still wake up at least an hour before I want to.)  I think either adjoining hotel rooms or holiday cottages / apartments are the way to go, even if it does cost more.


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/646842.html with comment count unavailable comments.
19th-Aug-2016 09:30 pm - Fitbit goal update: steps
runner5
numbersCollapse ) Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/646455.html with comment count unavailable comments.
13th-Aug-2016 10:44 pm - Fitbit goal update: floors
runner5
(I have decided to stop keeping these updates private and DW-only, in case seeing how I use my fitbit to manage the rebuilding of my fitness helps anyone else. But numbers behind a cut so others can avoid if they prefer.)

numbersCollapse )


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/645197.html with comment count unavailable comments.
9th-Aug-2016 02:07 pm - Still clear
runner5
Today's appointment with my consultant went well: my blood counts are apparently "perfect" and the marrow samples show nothing under microscope. (They are still waiting for the specialist unit in London that does the DNA test to return results.) My next appointment with her will be in four months, a little upgrade from the three-monthly pattern we've followed since I finished treatment.

I cycled to hospital and then on to work, and I stopped at the M&S in the hospital to buy nice things to share with my colleagues, as tweeted:



I still get overheated when exercising and am finding it actively unpleasant when the temperature rises above 25°C (I used to like the heat once, when I was a lot less fat). I've taken to carrying wipes so I can literally mop my brow when I finish walking or cycling. But at least these are problems of being active and mobile!


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/644698.html with comment count unavailable comments.
7th-Aug-2016 09:28 am - Seven things
runner5
These probably all deserve their own post, but it's highly unlikely they're going to get them.
  1. I loved the new Ghostbusters, which we finally saw last night. It is made of joy and friendship, and I was highly amused by the villain's motivation and the response to his monologue of justification. Chris Hemsworth was clearly having the time of his life.
  2. I am enjoying being sociable and enabling the children's social life so much that I have slightly overscheduled myself and had to ask Tony to take over something for me this afternoon so I can remember the pacing myself part of recovery.
  3. In October I am going to get very busy indeed with studying (it eases up in June next year) and expect to have essentially no spare time outside work, study, and family commitments.  I am currently in the glorious summer break between being a hermit for cancer & recovery reasons and being a hermit for study reasons.  (Some of the children's social life comes with social life for me, and I am declaring date night with Tony and a monthly pub visit as also essential family commitments.  So not a complete hermit, but a lot more hermit-y than the last couple of months.)
  4. I lost patience with trying to work out how to upgrade my cheap spare phone from Jelly Bean for purposes of enabling C's desire to play Pokemon Go, so I have an even cheaper PAYG smartphone preinstalled with Marshmallow arriving today.  I don't think I need two spare phones, so if anyone is more keen on navigating the thrilling world of rooting phones than I am (or just could use a phone and are willing to use an older android version) then let me know and you can have the older one for cost of postage. (Old phone now claimed.)
  5. My dad came for a short visit and I managed to schedule him most of a day each with each of his grandchildren, and they all seem to have enjoyed the experience. 
  6. Adventures in smoothie consumption continue: I have discovered that I do actually prefer yogurt + milk with my veggies, rather to my surprise. I have built up a little collection of frozen veg and fruit in the freezer to make prep easier / avoid wasting fresh veg that goes off before I eat it.  The little blender does struggle if more than half the content is frozen, so I've taken to making up a bottle of ingredients in advance and leaving it in the fridge to defrost overnight.
  7. I've managed to get my fitbit goal up to 7,900 steps; we walked both ways to the cinema yesterday (with a stop at Mee and I for dinner on the way out) as well as me taking children around earlier, so I hit double that.  My legs are letting me know this morning that they are Not Impressed.
Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/644380.html with comment count unavailable comments.
5th-Aug-2016 02:03 pm - Booking exciting things
runner5
Tomorrow I will finally see the new Ghostbusters, for a date with fanf .

Next month I am going to see In The Heights at the King's Cross theatre London (the other Tony-award-winning musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and considerably cheaper and more accessible to me than Hamilton). I am pretty excited about it, and am deliberately avoiding listening to the music in advance, so I can see what it's like completely unspoiled.  And if I love it as much as I think likely, then I can listen to it obsessively/plan another trip to see it.


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/643201.html with comment count unavailable comments.
31st-Jul-2016 04:50 pm - Anniversaries
runner5
This week has been full of them: the first day I realised something was definitely wrong with my breathing during/after exercise, the first time I saw a doctor about it and had a suite of blood tests ordered, my first ECG (which came back normal).

This weekend last year I packed to go on our family holiday to Bristol, knowing something was wrong with me; but also knowing that blood test results would take a while to come back, my blood pressure and ECG were fine, and anyway Bristol has a large hospital if I got suddenly worse. 

I'm really glad I made that decision to go: we had a great time, we visited the zoo and Clifton Suspension Bridge and @Bristol and the SS Great Britain; we found lots of Shaun-the-Sheep models and followed various trails around the city to find them, and although I kept getting weirdly out of breath, it just slowed me down a bit, it didn't stop us. 

We made a lot of memories of having fun together as a family that week. I never got round to posting here about Bristol, because I ended up in hospital a couple of days after we got back, but the holiday memories were a comfort then and now, the last golden days before I got really ill.

It's nearly another fortnight to the anniversary of my diagnosis.  I see my consultant a few days before then, to get the latest bone marrow test results.  I'm glad it's that way around.  I'm pretty confident about the results: I still feel like I am getting continually, if slowly, better.   Today I cycled Nico to a party over in Fulbourn, 10km each way, which I'd have found mildly challenging before I got ill.  I might have to spend the rest of the day in bed, but it was worth it.

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/642739.html with comment count unavailable comments.
29th-Jul-2016 09:40 pm - MCU Rolling Remix is live
runner5
This collection was telephone game with fanfic: one source story and three parallel streams of remixes; within each stream each fic remixed the one before.  There are 22 stories and one of them is mine; authors and writing order are currently anonymised but will be revealed on the 5th August.


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/642379.html with comment count unavailable comments.
18th-Jul-2016 08:36 pm - Recovery update - last few weeks
runner5
Work:
w/b 13/6 - planned day off 16th
w/b 20/6 - planned day off 23rd for election, off sick with migraine 21st-22nd
w/b 27/6 - planned day off 28th for my birthday
w/b 03/7 - planned day off 6th & 9th
w/b 10/7 - planned as a full week, off sick with migraine afternoon of 14th & all of 15th

Two migraines in less than a month is a bit concerning, although the first was blatantly stress-related and the second almost certainly so. I've been having trouble sleeping the last couple of weeks, which won't have helped. I have acquired a prescription for sumatriptan which should at least make them more manageable, and promised my doctor to work on my sleep and my stress-management.

I have been social! As mentioned previously I went to a party and saw lovely people on the 18th. On the 26th I ventured to London to meet up with [personal profile] kaberett AND [personal profile] recessional which was just wonderful (both the company, and the strangely giddy feeling of travelling around London alone, responsible only for myself). On the 2nd I had birthday drinks in the Carlton which was pleasingly well-attended and delightful, if also an exercise in pacing myself and presenting a good front. On the weekend of the 8th-10th the four of us trekked over to High Wycombe for my brother-in-law's 40th, taking in a ballet for children on the way there, and a related ballet workshop for tinies on the way back.

I've also been ferrying my children around for their social lives and engagements (there are a lot of summer birthdays) and the next couple of months are pretty booked up with one thing or another.

I've changed my fitbit daily steps target from the default 10,000 to something I'm actually achieving most of the time (currently 6,000) so I get the positive feedback of hitting that target most days rather than hardly any. I then worked out a nice nerdy systematic approach to increasing the target so I can work back up to 10,000 in a sensible way. (No more than 10% increase a week, no more than 3 weeks out of 4, and no increase unless achieving the step target on average over 28d AND on at least 23 of those 28 days).

Tomorrow is my next bone marrow sample, and I will see my consultant for the results in a few weeks. This time a year ago, I was just beginning to notice an odd shortness of breath after running up the stairs, and had had a mysterious run of migraines. I still can't run up the stairs.


Today's bird: Hen Harrier

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/641130.html with comment count unavailable comments.
9th-Jul-2016 09:51 am - Eleven years
tony
to have and to hold from this day forward;
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish, till death us do part;


Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/639753.html with comment count unavailable comments.
8th-Jul-2016 08:06 am - Engaging smug mode
runner5
I just got the result for my OU business studies module - this is the one I deferred two years ago because toddlers are demanding, rebooked last summer, and decided to continue with anyway last autumn to give me something to focus on other than cancer and chemo.

Distinction.

I did not expect that.  I expected to get a solidly good result but I didn't think I'd been working well enough to get a Distinction.  That has absolutely made my day.  Go me.



Bird of the day: Grey Wagtail



Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/639647.html with comment count unavailable comments.
5th-Jul-2016 09:38 pm - Smoothies and nine a day
runner5
When I did the nutrition course with Maggie's Wallace, we covered smoothies and juicing, and my takeaway was that fruit or vegetable smoothies which retain the fibre are better than not eating the veg/fruit at all but probably no better than eating them in the normal way.  Not retaining the fibre increases the GI, and is almost always worse unless you are in a situation where digesting fibre is hard.  We were also told to aim for 9 portions of fruit/veg a day rather than just 5. 

Recently I've been struggling even to get to 5, so I have caved and bought a "family blender" from Breville today.  It helpfully converts the blending container into a flip-top bottle, and provides 4 of them.

I am now consuming a rather chewy and slightly dubious-looking green smoothie, which makes me think of Tony Stark in Iron Man 2.  It tastes good though, and I am definitely hitting my nine portions today, for the first time in ages.


Today's bird: Blue Tit

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/639347.html with comment count unavailable comments.
2nd-Jul-2016 09:22 pm - So. Tired.
runner5
I had birthday drinks in the pub this afternoon with many assorted lovely people.

I am so tired now, but it was utterly worth it.

*goes flop*

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/638484.html with comment count unavailable comments.
This page was loaded 11th Dec 2016, 1:42 pm GMT.