The Great Escape

‘When can I escape go home?’ I asked my consultant.

In case anyone has forgotten, I’d been in Twelve Days before The Operation.

‘Oh, the next day, Wednesday. Just need to sort it with physio,’ he smiled happily. Nowt to do with him once he’d finished incising and screwing.

I asked a fave nurse. ‘Maybe Thursday,’ he said cautiously.

This was now looking more like Friday. I couldn’t bear another weekend. Let alone a full week.

On Wednesday I was knackered. There is something about having a GA and being cut open in two places and being screwed together and stapled up that doesn’t leave you feeling on top of the world less than 24 hours later. I hoped physio had forgotten about me.

First a porter turned up just when lunch had been served around one o’clock. ‘I’ve come to take you to X-ray,’ he smiled.

I smiled back. ‘I’ve just got my lunch. No.’ I think that was clear. So did he. He disappeared. It was the first decent meal post op. Lunch was never warm at the best of times. Forty five mins or so down and up to X-ray? Would my lunch even still be there?

Patients, you have a choice and a voice. There is nothing wrong with saying, I am having lunch, come back later.

An hour later a different porter arrived. I condescended to be taken to X-ray. I came back and settled back into bed.

But the dreaded physio turned up with a sidekick. I have noticed staff seem to do this. Is this for when pesky patients get assertive? Do we get a chance to have a sidekick?

Did I want to shake a leg? Not really. I wanted to lie in my comfy bed and sleep off all the crap.

I got out and hopped around with the frame. ‘Good, good, very good.’ Vomit. ‘You’ve done so well.’ Double vomit.

‘We’ll come back tomorrow.’ I’m hardly going anywhere.

Note frame and crutches (behind bed as useless) and comfy bed.
Note frame and crutches (behind bed as useless) and comfy bed.

Thursday’s excitement was to be crutches.

A hop and a skip and …

I can recommend not trying to hop on crutches with a damaged wrist (I’d had to remind physio to bring a wrist brace as they’d forgotten) and a shaky ankle. Even moreso, do NOT try steps. Steps are a nightmare.

I crutched to the doorway. One physio followed me, with his hand on my back, the other followed with a wheelchair for me to fall into.

Regardless of my upper body strength, or lack of, what no one seemed to remember is that I had one decent limb, the right wrist. The right ankle was strained/sprained/twisted, as was the left wrist. So I’m trying to hop on the dodgy right ankle, carry the plastered left leg, and use two crutches, with only one serviceable wrist. It goes without saying it wasn’t a success.

But we went for the big one. Steps. There are twenty steps up to my flat. No lift. In two flights of ten. The hospital steps were in elevens. Near enough.

Now when I was a kid, physio meant practising on little steps in a big physio hall. Not real live steps you could fall down. But back when I was a kid, I had proper crutches. Nice wooden ones, you stuck them under your arm, grabbed them with your hand, and your chest supported you. Not your dodgy wrist.

I was wheeled to the stairs. After a superhuman effort, gripping the hand rail with both hands, I finally hopped up ONE step. I was exhausted. Then I had to hop back down again before, I could collapse into the chair.

‘Do you want to go up another step? Do you want to try again?’

The words whirred around. I wanted to go back to bed, and escape home. Somehow.

Why would a 50+ woman who had been bed-ridden for two weeks, had GA and double incision, with a heavy plaster, plus damaged wrist and ankle, be able to hop up and down 11 stairs the day after her op?

Back in bed, we agreed I was not good on crutches or stairs. Hellish clever these physios. I promised not to attempt the stairs if only he would let me go home.

He wasn’t convinced. He couldn’t come back over the weekend, but the following week we could do some exercises. Oh no. I would be in hospital for another two weeks, for a few minutes a day of physio.

The one remaining feeble roughseas foot went down. Home. Tomorrow. Patient Transport (PTS) to take me home and up the steps and I would remain incarcerated in my flat. Better food, a Podenco to jump on my bad leg, and the internet.

At some point in my woozy dreams I remember my consultant saying give her a wheelchair if she can’t use crutches. Irrelevant, wouldn’t fit in the flat or go up the stairs.

Physio agreed to come and see me on Friday morning for another check and a hop. He didn’t, although, he sent someone else. Well, a pair of course. Either way, by then, I had told everyone I was being discharged.

Consultant, medic, staff nurse, pill-dispensing nurse, anyone who came within reach was informed I was going home. And not at tea-time. Get me home at lunchtime. And – they did.

But, I had to return the following week for a check-up. ‘I want to see you personally,’ said my surgeon. Groan.

I tried to throw it for the week after, and he agreed. He came back later. ‘I’m on holiday.’ The following week it was.

‘Get PTS sorted for that date,’ I snarled.

After 15 days I finally felt fresh air, wind, and sun on my face. The staff were moaning about the wind but after two weeks of aircon, to me it was wonderful.

Back home

So by lunchtime on Friday, I had swapped my hospital bed for sofa in the flat. The views were different. No spectacular Gib views, just home and my boys. The food was better. And I had a computer … Of which more shortly.

Good boys - let sleeping dogs lie
Good boys – let sleeping dogs lie

I missed the Davros chair. I counted the number of hops to the toilet. And back. Total of 30. The bed – yes we had a bed now – was a non-starter. Too many skips to the loo my darling, plus the Podenco has a habit of leaping around and walking on me during the night.

The bed. Partner had taken advantage of my absence to varnish it up in darker oak, and put it together. Bet he hadn’t swept and mopped before he did it. [ETA. I have been informed he did and I MUST correct this aspersion on his clean character immediately – and – don’t let your partner read your blog posts]. Not my worry for now, but sweeping and mopping under beds in tight space is NOT easy.

The bed. No more comfy camping on the floor
The bed. No more comfy camping on the floor

So, I appropriated the sofa. Easy-going Pippa lay under his table den. Hyper Podenco jumped all over me on the sofa. Without wifi, I could write on the laptop, but needed to hop to the bedroom, contort myself into a silly position to connect to the internet.

After a weekend of that I bit the bullet. The Keeper of the Purse authorised purchase of wifi and … an iPad.

I’ve been nagged to buy wifi for years. When we first bought Gibflat, they didn’t provide domestic customers with wifi. They provided a modem, included for free with connection.

Trouble was, they weren’t catering for Apple clients and Hal and the modem refused to speak to each other. In the end, the engineer salvaged a demo router he’d used recently, and gave me that. It finally worked with Hal.

Sometime later, my neighbour told me she had wifi. I rang Gibtel to ask if I could swap. Sure. £70. Typical. Why does being ahead of the game mean you lose out? I did not want to spend £70 when I had a serviceable ADSL line.

Every time the subject came up, the roughseas foot stamped, and said, ‘when the router packs up’.

But an interminable six weeks on the sofa, no internet, and, I gave in. As well as the wifi nag, I’ve been hassled to get a new laptop, so I figured an iPad was a cheap solution.

I wrote out a list of questions for partner to ask at the shops regarding price, compatibility etc.

He returned from Morrisons. Via GibTel. Smirking.

‘Got the wifi’ he proclaimed. Without instructions and permission? My heart sank.

‘Free. And set up ready to go.’

Hmmm. How come? Seemed that back when we got the router it was never logged as it wasn’t new and they couldn’t provide us with a connection otherwise. So – free wifi router appeared. Partner was well chuffed. But iPads were dear at Gibtel. I rang our local Apple store. Yes, they had what I wanted. Discount for cash? Yes. Piffling, but hey £12 is £12. I sent him off with the readies and he was back with my new toy in no time. Two toys in one day?!

Since when I have been glued to HalPad.

The delights of an iPad

And, I even found decent TV. Or maybe it’s better at home. Downloaded BBC player and ITV player. Forget ITV as unobtainable outside UK. But BBC had some interesting ones.

Some time ago, a blogger, I forget who, mentioned foreign drama and I recognised Wallander. Beautiful light, scenery, interesting, and different. When BBC Scotland produced an English version with Kenneth Branagh, Scottish author Ian Rankin complained about the preference for a Scandinavian author over good Scottish ones.

A neighbour once said to me, nationalism is close to fascism (national socialism anyone?) Don’t we need a balance between embracing new and different cultures as well as promoting our own?

I enjoyed the Swedish version of Wallander, even though there were a few flaky points in the plots. It did inspire me to read up about Sweden’s neutral status and incursions into their waters by Russian and US subs. I’ve not seen the BBC Scotland version. Sometimes the old ones are the best ones.

But moving on with patriotism and two more crime dramas, one set in Wales (Partner’s country) and one set in Yorkshire – my birthplace, and, when are we going to get home rule for Yorkshire?

Hinterland, set around Aberystwyth, (insert singsong accent), was moody, atmospheric and had fantastic scenery. Some episodes were better than others, but overall well worth a watch. Interesting to see when the detectives got things beautifully wrong, and the superintendent’s desire to suck around important people in the local community brought home the lessons of power and influence.

Finally my fave. Happy Valley. Sounds Welsh but is actually West Riding. Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall, Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, the west part of the West Riding that approaches Lancashire.

A police drama centring around a sergeant whose daughter was raped, died, but left a son behind who the 47-year-old grandma sergeant now brings up with her formerly junkie sister. If that sounds dire, it’s not. There is loads of dry humour and plenty of action around a kidnapping plot. It’s hard and gritty and addictive. After happily watching three episodes one day, I looked for the fifth one. Noooo! I had to wait for the following Tuesday.

Got to give HV 4.5 to 5 out of five. The other two are 3.7 to 4 something.

It was a busy week. In fact I was so busy watching drama that I forgot to ring and ask about a proxy for the EU election in a few days. We’d received brochures from UKIP, Tories, Libs, and Greens. Greens didn’t mention Gib. Libs had managed to get Gib into EUFA. Tories and UKIP were anti-Europe. UKIP pointed out that 4000 people entered the UK every week from Europe to live, the daily cost of EU membership was £55 mill and that the annual cost was £165 bill. Or something like that as I threw the leaflet out. It reminded me of the extortionate block charges from a former managing agency we had. We threw them out. Perhaps that’s why UKIP gained votes. No one likes to be hit in the pocket without seeing something for their money. It isn’t always about racism.

Next up: theatres on clouds, and outpatients on here.

Hyper Podenco on guard


99 comments on “The Great Escape

    • Ta V. He’s been varnishing for 40 years should be able to do it ok by now.

      Nothing else to photo right now, so dogs will feature until I escape.

      Nope. Prefer my own pizza but not up to bread making just yet. I just wait for whatever my chef dishes up. Thank goodness for men who cook. Should be compulsory.

      I moaned when I had the staples out today. Does that count?


      • Oh you poor dear, NO, moaning when you have your staples taken out does NOT count. For some odd reason I thought I’ve read a couple of times where you said you were going to order a pizza. Perhaps that was an order to your chef partner? ;)

        So glad to read that you are finally home. There’s no place like home. xx


        • They were sort of tiny moans. I thought!

          I’m not pizzaish at the mo. Quite frankly today after staples and other nasties I’m merely beerish.

          Home is good. So many studies say people recover better once they are home. I am also getting more exercise at home. Knackered though!


  1. Love the photos of Podenco and Pippa! Glad you’ve settled in at home as well. When you don’t feel good there’s no better place than your own. Would be even better if were your bed, but like you, I’d take the sofa over a hospital bed any day of the week.


    • I quite like the sofa, it was the family one from when I was a kid. I have spent many years on it, both invalided and healthy.

      Great to be home with my boys though, all three of them. Even if Snowy is a bit lively.

      We need to buy a mattress for the bed and he is banned from doing it without me.


          • Did you end up in a hard cast this time or are you still in a plaster splint? My cast is hard and cannot be adjusted for swelling.. not comfy. Glad you are home hope that gives you a lift. I am dreading the arrival of warm weather in a plaster cast. I am warned that is when they get itchy. I hope to be out of plaster by mid July.


          • It’s a hard, non adjustable plaster half cast. If that makes sense. Got a pic for the next post. This one hasn’t been itchy. The stockinette is meant to avoid itching. Years back they used to tell me to use a knitting needle to deal with itching. That’s a big no no these days. Looks like we’ll be out together, more or less, I’m looking at end June. But you did start well before me!


          • My plaster is finally dry and is rock hard. It protects my leg bones perfectly, but is so snugly fitted that it punishes harshly the swelling that occurs whenever I put it down. I got the same lecture you apparently did about not putting anything down inside the cast. When they mentioned staph infection it got my attention.

            Looks like we will be sweating out the warm weather together. I am told on good authority that summer is the worst time to be wearing plaster. Hope they freed your little toe. Should we paint our toes? Everyone seems to enjoy looking at mine when they come to visit.

            Hope you are feeling better now that you have moved to the next stage. This plastered adventure, which is new to me, is going to provide lots of things to write about.


          • No more swelling here. Didn’t get the lecture, never discussed, just me internet browsing.

            Little toe much better. And knee.

            Gone off nail polish. Oddly, doing nothing has resulted in fingernails growing. I really nearly did think about a quick slick of varnis.

            Hellish night last night and today. We’ll see. Were you really dancing on four inch heels? I dance barefoot.


          • Showing off my once beautiful legs. Even now I am driven by vanity in choosing a cast instead of surgery. Among other things don’t want a scar. I think my future dancing will be barefoot. I have learned my lesson. Has my blog become more interesting with all the silly stuff I am posting to keep my sanity?
            Sorry you had a bad night. Did they mold the cast properly so there are no pressure points?


          • You had a choice about no surgery? I wish, and believe me I did ask. Three doctors no less, although one didn’t count as he wasn’t a surgeon.

            I’ve got a long scar on one ankle so what’s a couple on the other? Who looks at my ankles? And if I’m honest, who cares.

            Depends on your point of view. I found the link interesting, but I’ll get over to comment at some point.

            No idea. It’s reused from the last time.


          • I may not have escaped the knife yet. The cast option depends on my bones staying in close alignment. I go in Monday for an x-ray to check that. I never would have imagined how depressing it is to be nearly totally immobilized in this big cast. I hope that when the pain subsides and I get some real sleep that it will be more bearable. Right now life on the sofa with my leg up, watching daytime Tv and staring and my toes is getting me down. thanks for the post.


          • Hmm. Well I didn’t have any choice. It was a very unstable fracture, I was told repeatedly! and wd not heal correctly without interference surgery.

            I spend my sofa time reading books, some writing, reading and writing blogs and watching selected TV progs. All, except for real books, on iPad. Oh, and sleeping.

            When you go for the x ray, can’t you get someone to trim the top of the cast?


          • I am going to ask for some relief, but from what I am able to read I am not the first person to ask for mercy in this regard. I guess there is little chance it will be cut down to where I can sit comfortably in a chair. Having my knee bent at 30 degrees also makes this thing marvelously awkward.

            Does your cast protect your leg from pain when you move around? Mine does that, but then it doesn’t let me move very much.

            My reading has been difficult because the pain meds make me dopey and sleepy all the time. I have quit using them and am starting to feel better. How about you are you still taking them?


          • My nurse cut a good two inches off last week. I can actually bend my knee now, for a week I had to keep the whole leg rigid because of the cast coming right up to the knee.

            No. The pain is mostly in the smaller toes (nerve thing according to one medic) and the inside incision on the ankle. I think that’s the bigger one but I didn’t have the guts to look last week.

            I’ve got a big supply of tramodol and ibuprofen but I try and leave them alone. I can tolerate basic pain, I draw the line at excruciating agony. I don’t need drugs to make me sleepy, I do that on my own. But the short answer is I took few in hospital and less at home. I’m not into drugs, too many side effects. I like beer though and the two don’t combine, so I choose the beer.


          • I will follow your example and have a go a it. Keeping the whole leg rigid is something I am familiar with, although in my case it takes no effort to do so. My problem is that my cast is so heavy that I can’t lift it without help. Am putting a belt around my ankle in hopes that I will then be able to pull it up on the bed when I get out to go to the bathroom. I am going to write a chapter on my experiences in that torture chamber. Think sitting on the pot with you leg out in front of you and the top of the cast slipping off the seat.


          • And getting down, and getting up … I was getting quite brave at one point, but nearly overbalanced the other day, so am refusing to hop there without escort. I do NOT remember all this from previous experiences.

            On my last OP visit I was told I could visit there any time with any problems. ‘If I could get here,’ I said.


          • Moving me is a two person operation at this point. Is your ankle now wrapped in plaster or a splint. I ask because mine is swollen today and cast feels like a vice. I have been told to rent a hospital bed with a sling and keep my leg up in the sling to avoid swelling. My cast was molded tight to hold the bones in alignment; how about yours?


          • Tight, but it’s only ever been a half cast (back slab) – as far as I know – and I assume one reason for that was to reduce pressure and swelling. Given the fracture blisters I got, it’s just as well. The elevator thing the hospital had was quite good. I started off with pillows, but I don’t think that was high enough to make much difference. Plus with the elevator being rigid, it didn’t compress like pillows.


  2. I’m amazed ( though pleased) they let you out so quickly. I agree recovery is better at home but even so they’re rarely that generous.
    So now we have you watching TV as well, such changes this accident has brought about.Partner may be saying thanks to the dog for wi-fi and the ipad. And during your absence the bed has made progress. Soon you’ll be able to be taken to the store to find a mattress in time for you being able to use it.
    I’m so glad you’re on the mend.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


    • I thought I had been in gaol for long enough. I was winding up for A Big Argument. What was the value of keeping me in over the weekend? None. And then for another week? For a few mins physio that would result in nothing unless they turned me into Popeye overnight?

      Come on, I was costing money for no added value. Everyone else went home day one after theatre. I had been there long enough and I was going home.

      I found a decent mattress ages ago. Just refused to buy it or a bed. Just as well, now I only need to buy the mattress :)

      Partner is somewhat smug. If knackered.

      Am I on the mend? Who knows. Hope so. Thanks for those lovely warm hugs. Need them right now.


  3. I’m so glad you’re finally home and I am sure Pippa and the little Rat and Partner was just as glad. They look like little angels when they’re asleep, don’t they? Especially Mr. Hyper. LOL! He is just so adorable and what a treat he must be. Love the photo’s! Wonder if he thinks he’s a mountaingoat or something. So sweet! :D

    The bed looks great and I wouldn’t mind an iPad either. Then I can lie in bed all day long. *I wish* LOL! You just take it easy and enjoy Kate and get well soon. :) ♥ Hugs ♥


    • Not half as glad as I was although we managed to argue pretty quickly :D

      Pippa was adorable and rat was ratty. He is Podenco. Nuff said.

      Hey, I told a nurse today, you want more time to read? Break an ankle. Lie on the sofa, read and get waited on. What more can you want? Hopping to the loo ain’t good, I have to say though.

      I just have to say idling my arse is good and I don’t really mind not being able to walk. With which I will hop off …


      • LOL! Yes, I know those types of ‘argues’. Well, I think they missed you like crazy. :)

        I better not try something like that. Will most probably break my neck. Luckily then I won’t have to worry about the loo. :lol:

        Arse idling is always good. I had mine today. Tomorrow I must get my arse in gear and sort out the cupboards.

        Don’t hop too far. Just far enough to give Pippa and the Hyper Podenco a big hug and kiss from me – oh, and let them give you some as well. :D


        • Can’t remember what it was about. Nothing probably. Rat is funny. I went to outpatients yesterday and when I came home, he heard the ambulance draw up, started barking, and once I’d hopped into the flat, he couldn’t wait to jump out of A’s arms and bound all over me.

          Got to be a leg. You need to make yourself immobile in order to read and avoid cupboards. Also it helps to avoid looking at dogs hair on the floor and dust that Partner has not got rid of. Not that I normally do either, but lying around all day means you notice everything!

          They come to me. Rat lies on me on the sofa, and Pippa wanders up for strokes.


          • Most of the times the argues are about nothing and afterwards you can’t even remember what all the rucus was about. LOL!

            Awwww, he loves you so much! I don’t blame him. :D

            hahahah! I don’t think I’d like to be a leg, although I do have 2 looooong ones. A bit of a problem getting pants that’s long enough, so if I can choose to be a leg I’ll prefer the shorter ones then. haha

            Yes, that is the problem of lying around all day or when you can’t do what you normally do. That is usually when you notice all the stuff you shouldn’t notice and just because you can’t clean it or don’t want to, it starts irritating you. LOL!

            That is so sweet! I can see that lovely image in my mind’s eye. Please give them lots of hugs and kisses from me and have a lovely day! :D


          • Usually childish in our case :D

            Podenco or Partner? He is just still excitable. He’s not a year old yet. He’s still at the charge around and suddenly crash out stage.

            I usually need long legs too. Luckily I mostly wear shorts. Which my jeans I was wearing at the time are destined to become.

            My other problem is whenever I have paperwork to do. I suddenly need to be working in a clean environment, so all attempts at papers stop until I have cleaned and tidied!

            Rat is now looking and barking for biscuits. So much for a peaceful life.


          • That is very true. :lol:

            Oh, you have two of them. Thought it was only the little Rat. LOL! They’re so funny at that stage. You have to laught at them sometimes. :D

            Ha! Know that feeling too well. Even in the kitchen I am like that. If everything is not in its place, I get irritated. What the hell is wrong with us? LOL!

            LOL! That sounds familiar. Simba beckons me with his head and then runs for the kitchen and looking behind me to see if I am following. Sometimes I tease him and ask him what he wants. Then he starts barking, throwing his head in the direction of the biscuit tin. What a life we lead! LOL! Won’t change it for anything though. :D


        • Nor do I. Apart from working in them, this is the first time in 37 years. I have strenuously avoided them, despite two bad falls in the last few years. I could manage those at home, but this was a nonstarter. It needed surgery :(

          I’m getting lots of good wishes, I think they help. Either that or God will look after me :D I’ll stick with the good wishes though.


          • The chaplain came to see me the day after I was admitted. I was most perplexed. Never saw him again. The women who came round with books were of more use. A couple of women came and asked our room if we wanted to go to mass or something. Even the Catholics refused :D


          • I didn’t count, but clearly it was more fun for them sitting in their chair daydreaming or watching Spanish daytime TV. And even if I had been religious and mobile, I wouldn’t have wanted to leave my books and comfy bed. Unless I was extremely bored and wanted an exercise in social observation. Still, apathy is encouraging.


  4. Glad you’re home, as you know. I wondered about the floor camping bit…then you had mentioned the sofa. Great job on the head and footboards A! Now then, Kate: Let him buy the damn mattress! You know, you need it. Do as you’re bloody told for a change! Stop making your life more difficult than it need be. :D :D :D

    Great news about the WiFi!

    Absolutely love the doggy pics…wow seeing Snowy next to Pippa…he really is small…bless him. Nevermind, he’ll make DD pretty soon I’m sure, just under Pippa while he gets trained and moulded for DDI status. Unless of course, he is still serious about become SAS. :) Love Pippa too, as you know. :)


    • I could so not have got up from the floor :D I occasionally talk about getting rid of my mum’s furniture, but the sofa is a) good quality and very solid, and b) useful for injuries or arguments.

      He’s not allowed to make purchases without me. And there’s an end to it. So there.

      Free wifi router was a very unexpected bonus. He did well there. Even I admitted that.

      Snows looks normal size on his own, and next to Pippa, who really is normal size to me, he looks so tiny. Reckon he’s fully grown now too. I think Snowy is confused about the SAS. Seems to think it stands for Snoozes And Sofas.


      • Is there some sentimentality there as well?

        Fairy snuff!

        You just can’t argue with that. ;)

        Bless ’em both! Sofas and Snoozes sounds good to me! We’ll work on the DD as prep for DDI then. ;)


  5. I suppose you have heard all the hoppity jokes so I wont say one..your walking and stairs reminds me when I had to physio’s took me to the stairs and I walked the stairs, struggled, but managed it and very tired after.. and they said ‘you can go home’. But it took another week let me out, all because of a special cushion, another story. Glad to see you are making amends take care. ;) I’ll hop off now until your next update teehee!


    • Only one so far, feel free. At least you had the use of two legs. Although I would rather my injury than what you went through.

      Don’t worry, there will be an update, prob at the weekend. It’s the only thing happening in my life right now. Might as well write about it.


  6. Sadly, those old crutches with armpit thingies trap a nerve or an artery or something, and are dangerous, I understand. Horizon on the telly had an exoskeleton designed for paralysed people.

    In NHSland, I go weirdly passive and allow stuff to be done to me. I agree this is not a good thing.

    Good to hear how strong you are sounding.

    Happy Valley was wonderful. One more to go. It can be funny, then moving, then tense. Even Tommy had his moment when he appeared human, rather than a monster- I loved that touch.


    • I asked about them. The physio said they caused spasms, which would bear out your point, because people weren’t using them properly. Sounded like physios hadn’t instructed them properly. He did say he thought they were still used in America.

      I can’t comment on your NHS experience. Trans ops are way out of my experience. I do think people should have more access to patient advocates so they know their rights and aren’t afraid to assert them.

      Do I sound strong? I don’t know. Mentally? Def not physically! Not so much strong as acceptance. Live within it.

      Glad you are enjoying HV. A good description, it’s all of those things. I love the flawed characters. Seems so real. I don’t remember Tommy being human. We were discussing whether or not he was a psychopath and concluded he was bad not mad.

      Looking forward to next Tues evening. I will be glued at 9pm, I tell you.


      • Tommy is a monster. But when he tries to see his son, he looks nervous. I can cope with not empathising, but I like to empathise with characters: that was the one moment I could feel with him. At another moment, he looked at himself and adjusted his quiff, and I felt disgust. These moments, and similar with all the characters, set HV apart for me.

        And- get well soon. I am glad to hear how you are getting so well, considering what happened.


        • Huh. He gets neither sympathy nor empathy from me. A rapist, a murderer, a druggie, forcibly injecting Ann with smack. He is detritus. I like it for different reasons. Apart from the pace, plot, action, I love the dry humour. Lancashire’s voice, although from the wrong side of the Pennines, brings it across beautifully. I like the strong roles played by the women too. Lancashire was in Clocking Off years ago. Did you ever see that?

          Thank you Clare. One of my favourite religious quotes (!!!) is god give me the strength to change what I can, and the wisdom to know what I can’t change. Or something like that.


  7. Nice to hear the business with the hospital is now over. This current situation will, of course, dominate your summer. I do suspect that the iPad will prove its worth in the long run.
    I had an iPad 1 some years ago and found it quite decent. The newer ones, with the faster processors and amazing displays are even better. I never did get used to the onscreen typing, though. I simply could not type a single sentence without messing up letters. Never did learn to hit the spacebar either and, so, words were always “spaced” with the letter “v”. Maddening! A friend passed along a bluetooth keyboard/case that he’s retired and I found it great. I used it until the iPad finally packed it in last year. If you find the same issue as did I you might consider getting one.
    I used to read a little on the iPad and found it was not bad. I didn’t mind the active screen; in fact it was quite nice especially in low light. The weight I did not like much, though.
    I had a thought while reading this piece. Part way through the post started to feel quite story-like and, so it occurred to me that while you are more-or-less laid up now you might consider dabbling in other types of writing. Would you ever consider fiction? Based on what I have seen I believe you could do a good job of it if you wanted to.
    One last thing. I finally finished “Antifragile” by N N Taleb today (recommended) and he briefly mentioned Gibraltar. In particular he related the story of how it got its name from Tariq ibn-Ziyad, and how the ancient story relates that he burned the boats after landing, thus placing his soldiers with their backs to the wall (or maybe the mountain); a formidable situation.


    • Once I’m limping things will improve. Plaster till end of June. Who knows what July will bring.

      iPad is fine. Don’t forget I’m used to typing on an iPhone so this is way bigger. I’ve done the odd ‘v’ but not a lot. As it’s fifth gen, it’s quite light. Around a pound I think. Damn sight lighter than the laptop!

      I have written fiction before and do enjoy it. Believe it or not, I don’t seem to have much spare time. It’s the sort of thing to do at the finca I suspect. Gib is too busy, got to do work even from the sick sofa.

      Sounds interesting. I’ll look it up. I think everyone here knows the stories about Gib getting its name. It has such a strong Moorish history – it’s been Muslim for more years than British or Spanish.


      • I’m doing a vegetable/herb garden. I know you’re experienced… so what are the easiest things to grow. At the moment I’ve got basil sprouting and parsley not yet sprouting, but it’s supposed to be slower. What else would you suggest?


        • Nothing at the end of May. Hitting summer. Unless you are well shaded with loads of agua.

          Otherwise from late august, basil Italian, not that silly small stuff, parsley should self seed, cilantro, thyme, Romero, dill is iffy, oregano. Not tried tarragon. Get the right lettuce and it works over winter. Not now, it will bolt. Acelgas. Grows anywhere and self seeds. I’ve tried chives but ajo tierno and cebolletas are better.

          Guindillas. The hotter the better. Beans were great for me, agua dulce I think. On blog. But the whole thing is sept to May. Forget summer. The commercial growers around me just leave the land fallow from now for three months.

          Give me more info, soil, position, light, shade and I’ll try and help more.


  8. Remind me to never break a leg. For anyone used to being able to get up and out, being held down is miserable. What nasty crutches – how on earth are they useful? I have thin normally weak wrists (No, playing tennis doesn’t help)Stair hops – intentionally? Shiver! …I’d have to vote for a wide skate board or something, but you have uneven and rough surfaces to maneuver. Couches are not so bad when sick or injured. (We’d have to drug Molly or something – she, too wants to bounce on/around you – she considers herself a lap or huddle against you dog and really panics if I lay on the floor or try to nap on the couch.) You forget how small Snowy is until you see Pippa along side. Snow just projects a big image.(and hyper entertainment)
    The iPad is great for watching stuff (you seem to have found more interseting stuff than we ahve right now…hmmmm) – I have one for traveling and really need to explore/use it more.
    Enjoyed the progress report. My dad broke his arm once -it was set in a z shape almost and the itching drove him nuts…that and not being able to work around the farm and garden. Casts look a lot different now, but still not fun.
    Hope the hops get easier! Big woofs to the pups! Hugs!


    • Leg injuries are far more inconvenient than arm ones. I learned to put contact lenses in, brush hair, cut food, just about everything except writing, with my left hand. But being immobile? Totally different.

      My arms – as my romantic partner says – are chickens insteps. Perhaps we have similarly feeble arms/wrists? Hopping up steps is one difficult task. Plus, imagine a few pound bags of sugar weighing down the other leg.

      The sofa is good. When I sprained the same ankle last year (no hospital) I stayed on the sofa for prob two weeks. Hopping was easier without the plaster though.

      Snowy has little dog syndrome. He looks so tiny and defenceless when asleep though. (Like now, morning nap)

      iPad is worth it. Compared with price of computer I am impressed. Need to find an airport printer though … Am not a fan of American TV, I really prefer Brit drama. But no, I’ve never seen whatsit abbey.

      Can’t remember if I had an arm in plaster or not. So many injuries, so many bandages and plasters.

      I need to eat my spinach. Perhaps that may help my hops.

      Woofs and hugs from here. Mostly snoozes though.


  9. Always best to be home….once Leo’s treatment was over there was no point in staying in hospital…but the hospital was paid by the social security system and the top up private insurance for every night spent there so they specialised in trying to keep him in….someone needs to do an expose of the French health service…
    At some point I should post about his methods of leaving the hospital..the intervention of ‘security’ and the pressure put upon patients to acquiesce…

    Still, you are safely home, IT equipped and the dogs are happy…what more could you wish!

    Leo is watching Happy Valley and finds it fascinating! I’ll get my turn when he is in bed as the bandwidth is not broad enough for the two of us!


    • I was always a big advocate of people being discharged if they could manage at home – and if there was appropriate care in the community. Ha.

      Leo’s stay and funding reminds me of some pet stories I have heard where owners have wondered about excessive tests and treatment on their insurance policies.

      Home, dogs and in touch with who I choose. Pretty good I think.

      Happy Valley is good. Apart from the fact I know the area, the characters are well portrayed – especially the baddies – it’s well paced, and I found it quite believable. Don’t miss it!


  10. Even in the worst of times you have not lost your wit and humor. Wishing you the best of course and let the recovery be what it is. One day at a time. I’ve just recently graduated from couch and escapism to a venture out of doors after a long haul with a pharmaceutical cure. One step at a time. Best regards, Dohn


  11. Some folks will do anything for wifi and an iPad. (just joking). Thanks for the progress report. I’m so glad you are home. There is no place like home and after what you have been through I am sure you will agree. Your intrepid spunk will carry you through. I’m hoping your recovery will be a smooth one.


    • You know me and my reluctance to buy anything unnecessary. I was quite happy with my seven year old router and laptop – until this happened.

      Home is good. No tedious blood pressure and temp and pulse tests, the odd blood test, ECG, and whatever else they could dream up. Oh daily clexane to thin the blood.

      It will take time, and I need patience. That’s all. I have books, HalPad and a chef. It could be much worse.

      Thank you.


  12. Well, I’llk be danged and all that jazz. Seems the hospital staff liked having you there just a little too much. It would have been a torture chamber for me. I hope you are continuing to healll properly. Do take care. I love the header pic. So cute and Mr. Poddie-en-co :-) is so handsome now. Perfect pic of him standing on the sofa arm.


    • One of the nurses did tell me I was a good patient. I was quite offended, that’s so not me. Didn’t complain, didn’t ask for much, tried to be polite and friendly, so maybe an easier patient to deal with? Don’t know. They didn’t have to take me to the toilet or give me a bedpan, which must be one of the worst aspects of their job.

      Thanks, my boys will be pleased. Mr Pod is snuggled next to me on the sofa right now. But when he’s alert, he has a nice stance I think. Whoever threw him out missed out on a fine dog. And not that I agree with it, but he would have made a fine hunting dog. Better off being a flat and finca dog :)


  13. For some reason the words to Kenny Rogers’ song The Gambler played through my head as I read a little more on your recent happenings.
    You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
    Know when to fold ’em
    Know when to walk away
    Know when to run…
    In hospital you didn’t just comply with the customary processes, you actively made more suitable choices.
    And you are doing better at home than I imagine I would at accepting the situation.
    So I imagine in time that last 2 lines will fall into place.


    • Apart from wanting to wake up from the nightmare, and a couple of low days in hospital feeling frustrated, I’ve tried to balance the inevitable – avoiding surgery wasn’t a pragmatic choice – but yes, take my own decisions where I could. Regardless of whether or not I was given the choice. After a few days inside the one thing I learned was to ask for what I wanted, refuse what I didn’t, and generally be polite and respectful to staff without being a doormat.

      Home is better than hospital, partly because I missed my boys. And although I’m still imprisoned better to be in my gaol. What can I do? Got to accept it.

      Doubt I will be trying to run before I can walk ;)


  14. I’ve had to go through physical therapy on many occasions. I know they are doing a job, but I haven’t liked one of them yet and wonder if they really do enjoy inflicting pain.

    Glad to hear you finally escaped and are now home. And my partner hardly reads my blog but somehow knows when I say something that she wants corrected.


    • I’ve had a few ops in the past, so it was nothing new to me, by when I say in the past, I mean more than 30 years ago. I think the shock of needing surgery for a bad, unstable fracture was as bad as anything else.

      But physio? I’ve got my doubts about them. In theory I think it should be good, but in practice I don’t think they have the time, or even the interest. I could not see the value of staying in hospital for ten minutes of hopping a day. I can get more than that at home.

      He stopped reading my blog ages ago. I was only showing him the dog photos! and he suddenly started reading it …


  15. I know you must have been so glad to get home. Bet the dogs were glad to have you back home too, love all the pictures of them. Enjoy your two toys you have earned them with all you have been through. Sure will be happy to hear when you are able to get around with ease again and I know you will be happy when you can. The bed looks wonderful, very nice color. Healing hugs sweet friend! Give the sweeties nose kisses for us.


    • Thanks Mags and Chancy.

      If jumping all over me = glad! then snowy was certainly pleased.

      iPad + wifi makes internet and writing so much easier. Can’t believe it!

      Am looking mid summer …

      The boys say thanks. And send some back to C.


  16. good to see you back home! lunch time is lunch time, good on you!
    i too can’t believe how tiny Snowy appears next to Pippa. in the one photo recently, where he was trying to think, he seemed so big already. but he is just a little guy. loved all the photos.
    nice colour on the bed. well done A!
    and now, it’s time to mend…. glad you are connected! do take care!


    • It’s easy to get sucked into submission in hospital, a bit like Clare said above. I could not face another weekend inside so I wanted to get things moving, not drag them out all day.

      He does look bigger than he is depending on context and stance, eg on the sofa arm. But yes, next to Pippa and he is a little boy.

      The bed is better than it was. I did ask why it wasn’t darker but that wasn’t too well received.

      I am doing very little right now. Believe me and thanks. Will mail you over the weekend.


  17. What a great descriptive read, I almost felt like I was in the hospital too, which did make me cringe – not your writing, but the thought of being ‘locked up’ for so long.
    Little rat doesn’t look that little anymore, he also looks very solid (a far cry from the once tiny pup), no wonder he floored you.
    You do seen very accident prone with your dogs though, what with Pippa and your wrist and Rat and your leg.

    Great news on the wifi and iPad, you’ll start to wonder how you managed without soon.

    Sarah Lancaster has done some excellent dramas, I must try catch up for Happy Valley, I’d not heard of it till you mentioned it, but it sound right up my street.


    • And the windows didn’t open either. Total air-con. A helpfully reminded me about legionnaires disease :( Not being able to get out did get me down a couple of times. It was a real mental challenge, and I didn’t win every day.

      Little Rat is small compared to Pippa. He’s bigger than a Yorkie I guess. And prob Schnauzers. I’m trying to think of dogs in Gib that he is bigger than! Not a lot.

      But for all his elegance and apparent slightness he is quite solid. Put together with speed = one powerful small dog.

      It was mad half hour time this morning. I was just reaching to the table for something, bad leg waving in the air cos I can’t put it down, when he cannoned into it mid gallop from one end of the flat to the other. A bit later when he’d calmed down, he walked into it. My poor leg. Good thing it’s in plaster.

      Two dog accidents in seven years. Two dog accidents in 28 years. Probably old age plays a part too. Can’t blame either of them for me spraining left ankle last year.

      Not so much that, just, I would certainly miss it. Especially right now. It was the right time to buy without a doubt instead of messing around. A is happy too as he can watch crap TV that I’m not interested in.

      Not sure how much longer episode 1 is around, so you might want to catch it quickly, although you can pick it up from ep 2.

      Here’s an interesting piece from the Daily Star about it. I totally agree with the columnist even if I am jealous that he’s previewed the last episode.

      Given my I’m-not-bothered-about-TV-stance, if I say something is good that is a rare accolade. Come Tues evening, the world can fall in around me but I will be glued to HalPad (wifi permitting of course).


    • Hmmm not dark enough for my taste. Just that I’m not in too good a position to get him to dismantle it and slap on another couple of coats.

      Home is good. In spite of a cantankerous husband and a boisterous little Rat. Big dog is good :)


  18. Hey … what an entertaining read this was, while having my morning coffee! Even though the subject matter … your ordeal … must be utterly tiresome by now, it so nice reading about it. I must have been the one talking about Wallander. I liked the British version even more than the Swedish, but that might have something to do with Kenneth Branagh. He’s one of my absolute favourite actors. Also; it gets more … special to watch Swedish milieus when you’re not there. Speaking of which, we found a Swedish/Danish production, last night: The Bridge. Seems really good, only watched the first episode.

    It’s been over a year with my iPad, and I really like it. I bought a keyboard for it, which is also a cover at the same time. It hooks up with a magnet thingy at the edge of the pad, and Blue Tooth. Although I’ve had it for this long, it took me quite some time to start reading books in bed at night, on it. Now that I have, it’s hard to get back to regular books. I’ve found a terrific British author: Rachel Joyce. First I read «The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Frye» and right now, I’m reading another one called «Perfect», which I like just as much!

    Take it easy :) Good that you’re home!


    • I look for a decent read in the morning while I’m waking up. Usually have to rely on what got posted overnight.

      I don’t think it was you as I remember it wasn’t a Scandinavian person. Not seen the English one but it seemed to get mixed reviews. Can’t see the point of making another version when there is a perfectly good Swedish one out there with sub-titles. The other night, Partner said ‘Shall I turn it up?’ Yes please, it’s just like I understand Swedish …

      Had a customer who had a keyboard with it. As I’ve got the laptop, that serves for serious writing. I can read, write blog posts, comment on blogs, send emails well enough using touchscreen.

      I still prefer books, but I did read one quickly the other day on here. And I’ve got two others on the go. Much easier reading on here than on the laptop though. Probably the book shape helps.

      That Frye story sounds whacky! I guess it depends on her style. Good style can make pretty much anything work.


  19. Ah yes, the ‘husband reading the blog posts’ thing… I have that problem too! It’s so good to see you home, if hopping. Re Scandi-crime, if you can try to find the original Swedish films of the Stieg Larsson trilogy ie NOT the one with James Bond. James Bond is fine, but the Swedish cast is fantastic. Thx for your comment on my blog about ‘Ignoring Gravity’, if you e-mail me I’ll send everything over.. you are a captive reviewer of course at the moment! :) SD


    • The Podenco is descended from North African greyhounds brought to Europe years ago. In this case, mine is a pure bred albino Podenco Andaluz. Chucked in a rubbish bin at a few days old. In Spain, people often stop to admire him now. But would they have given someone else’s rubbish a home? I doubt it.


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