>Lent – contains crass money talk

>My Gran always used to give up chocolate for Lent.  And I’ve done that a few years although I’ve not succeeded in that goal for a long time.  For her it was, I think, a religious thing.  For me giving up things for lent is more about proving that I can and doing it for her sort of in her memory.

We’re doing Shrove Tuesday at the weekend again this year which was a little disappointing as I’ve been in all day powerchairless.  But tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent regardless of that.

And although I did consider the chocolate thing, I decided that for lent this year I should try to have 40 days of thinking more about whether I actually really and truly need things before buying/eating/using/whatever them.  This is a better goal as it helps me to cut down on my snacks in a healthier manner which should also help with my weight and be better to stick to long term (easier)

Finances have been something of a stress over the last week with the thought that my fridge was going to need to be replaced and so were my wheelchair batteries.  But the fridge issue resolved itself magically and my chair does need new batteries but not immediately (and that it seems is less likely to be the hit I thought it would be).  So that just leaves me with one big one off unexpected  outlay for a TV license rather than three.  Which makes me calmer about the whole thing.

But I would like to see how easy I would find it to be more frugal with my money – and what I learn when I take the time to really think about things.

Oh and as I was powerchairless yesterday I came to quite a shocking realisation.  I had been bemoaning the fact that I need new wheelchair batteries (or so I thought) and they are so expensive.  

Then I got a taxi up to CAB.  It’s 15 mins or so in my chair and 5 mins no more in a taxi.  And the taxi was pretty pricy.  The driver told me all I’d been charged was the minimum.  So I started doing rough workings out in my head… if I got taxis everywhere and just went to CAB and back twice each week, went to the supermarket probably twice and maybe to the doctors or whatever once every couple of weeks… and just paid the minimum charge… I would spend roughly the same each month in taxi cost as I will on wheelchair batteries which this set have lasted about 15 months and probably have another month in them, maybe two.  And that doesn’t take into account meeting my friends for lunch or going to writing or knitting or stuff like that.  I wouldn’t be able to afford that.

>101 in 1001: Item 17…

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Take a crafty course at the Arts Centre

… has been completed!

My contemporary knitting class finished this morning.  I’ve had great fun with it and have learned a lot about thinking outside the box when it comes to knitting.

 And also some new skills.  I was particularly glad to do “deliberate holes” today because whilst I know how to do that with k2tog and yarnover combinations, I’d seen PSSO on a lot of patterns and whilst I knew what it meant I didn’t get how to do it or even realise that was a technique for holes.  So seeing someone show me several times was really great.

I need to have a go at several of the skills I’ve learned, the only one I’ve tried is using DPN’s which I still can’t quite get.

It’s actually not the end of contemporary knitting for me as it was meant to be two five week classes with this week off in between for half term.  But we missed a week due to the snow so it ran this week (although with only two of us and the tutor instead of five) and I signed up for the second lot.  

Originally we thought that there would be four of the five from this time doing the course again starting next week.  Turns out however talking to the people in the centre that only two of us are repeating and a bunch of new people.  So she will show them the stuff we’ve done and maybe try and get some new stuff in too.

I really pleased because to be honest, this second time round for me is going to be less about the class as such and more about the hanging out for an hour knitting and chatting.  Although I do appreciate and love the learning new things and help doing stuff as well.

>101 in 1001 Item 57…

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Start a memory/keepsake box

…has been completed!

I’ve had my eye out for just the right box for a while.  Thought I’d seen it but it was pretty pricy (being Laura Ashley it was nice but it would have meant paying for the name) so I was wondering and looking still.  And on Saturday I spotted just the right one.

And my Dad went and got it for me when we were in Reading again on Sunday (yes, I went both days this last weekend).  I was really pleased too because I thought it was £13.99 but it turns out it was only £8.99.  Did lead to a slightly confused Emma when he gave me a fiver as part of my change though…

So far I have mostly theatre programmes to go in there.  But I have some old letters I want to add.  I just need to find some time to hunt them all out and put it together.  Still actually buying the box was the big thing so I’m counting this one as done.

>101 in 1001 Item 39…

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Go shopping at Hobbycraft

…has been completed!

That place is sooo much fun.  We were in there an hour and a half and probably could have stayed a bit longer.

I bought loads of beads, and wire, and earring hooks.  And I bought crepe paper and crayons.  And I bought a load (3 balls) of sirdar denim ultra (which if you’ve been keeping up is one of my favourite yarns) for dirt cheap.  Oh and a yarn needle which I’ve been sort of needing but never spotted at the time I thought of it.  oh and two balls of DK, i knew there was at least one other thing!

Mum bought a load of stuff too.

And one of the best bits?  I had more stuff than she did and she was convinced I’d spent more that she had but I’d actually spent a lot yes.  I was rather pleased by that.  Probably more so than I should have been.

>

Go shopping at Hobbycraft

…has been completed!

That place is sooo much fun. We were in there an hour and a half and probably could have stayed a bit longer.

I bought loads of beads, and wire, and earring hooks. And I bought crepe paper and crayons. And I bought a load (3 balls) of sirdar denim ultra (which if you’ve been keeping up is one of my favourite yarns) for dirt cheap. Oh and a yarn needle which I’ve been sort of needing but never spotted at the time I thought of it. oh and two balls of DK, i knew there was at least one other thing!

Mum bought a load of stuff too.

And one of the best bits? I had more stuff than she did and she was convinced I’d spent more that she had but I’d actually spent a lot less. I was rather pleased by that. Probably more so than I should have been.

>101 in 1001 – Item 17…

>

Take a crafty course at the Arts Centre

… has been completed!

My contemporary knitting class finished this morning. I’ve had great fun with it and have learned a lot about thinking outside the box when it comes to knitting.

And also some new skills. I was particularly glad to do “deliberate holes” today because whilst I know how to do that with k2tog and yarnover combinations, I’d seen PSSO on a lot of patterns and whilst I knew what it meant I didn’t get how to do it or even realise that was a technique for holes. So seeing someone show me several times was really great.

I need to have a go at several of the skills I’ve learned, the only one I’ve tried is using DPN’s which I still can’t quite get.

It’s actually not the end of contemporary knitting for me as it was meant to be two five week classes with this week off in between for half term. But we missed a week due to the snow so it ran this week (although with only two of us and the tutor instead of five) and I signed up for the second lot.

Originally we thought that there would be four of the five from this time doing the course again starting next week. Turns out however talking to the people in the centre that only two of us are repeating and a bunch of new people. So she will show them the stuff we’ve done and maybe try and get some new stuff in too.

I really pleased because to be honest, this second time round for me is going to be less about the class as such and more about the hanging out for an hour knitting and chatting. Although I do appreciate and love the learning new things and help doing stuff as well.

>Ooooookay then

>The last several times I’ve written to the assisted travel people about things not going according to plan they’ve made mention in their replies that if it’s easier I can call and raise comments and complaints.  

And Saturday was fuck up city when it came to assisted travel (add in my slowly dying powerchair and having had a crap few days and it wasn’t great).  So today instead of writing I called them.

“Which leg of the journey did you have problems with?”

“both”

“and which station was it?”

“both”

“oh my god I’m really sorry.  I’ve made a note of all the details but if you could put everything you’ve told me IN WRITING we’ll investigate what happened.”

Yeah, so I’ll file that one under “can ring and complain but they’ll ask for it in writing anyway”

And I tried to make a doctors appt.  My doctor isn’t in this week.  The new government targets which specify the majority of patients should be able to see their own GP within 48 hours of making the appt?  Appear to be being massaged slightly by my surgery.  As I was told to call back first thing Friday to make an appt on Monday.

Which probably means I’ll end up calling on Monday to go later in the week (unless I can get an appt for first thing Monday and arrange for my batteries to be picked up Monday lunchtime) as I won’t have batteries in my powerchair the first few days of next week 🙁

And then my mum, having spent about a month asking if I’ve made the appt yet and nagging me about it, asked why I was trying to make an appt.

Today is just annoying, I feel like I’ve wasted most of the day.  And most of what I have achieved isn’t really an achievement.  But it has made me sit here going “oooookay then” about most things.

>25 things you (maybe) don’t know about me

>I’ve been avoiding doing this on facebook but I’m tempted now.  I’ve been a blogger for so long however I don’t know how many of these actually are new.

  1. I don’t like February
  2. I’ve given up on Thing a Day for this year as I have little motivation for it (or much to be honest) at present due to high stress levels.
  3. When things go wrong I tend to get angry but if people admit their mistakes AND apologise it bothers me less than if they don’t
  4. Sometimes I wonder if things would be easier if I had an acquired disability rather than a life long one.  I suspect it boils down to the same thing but I do wonder.
  5. Sometimes I get really het up about things that don’t matter because I know they don’t matter really but it’s the principal of the thing
  6. Tomorrow I really must make a doctors appt to discuss my depression
  7. I often think I know best but then get proved wrong
  8. Lately I get really… something… about all the people I see on facebook announcing their engagements/weddings/pregnancies and I wonder when it will be my turn (kids more than anything else)
  9. I miss being in counselling which I suspect is a sign that I don’t really need it but I would say yes if offered the opportunity to go back
  10. I can be easily influenced
  11. I can’t see my desk for piles of crap mostly rubbish that will get binned when I clear it off tomorrow
  12. I’ve been wanting to do some scrapbooking for months but haven’t got round to it
  13. I’m really into the Thunderbirds tv show, was when I was a kid and rediscovered it this time last year.  
  14. I like reading medical and disability blogs but some disability blogs leave me feeling that I don’t feel strongly enough about certain issues.
  15. At times I miss living in a city
  16. I fought against getting a powerchair for so long and cried when circumstances forced me to get one (when I was going to be living in the middle of nowhere).  Now I love it and I will struggle to cope without it for the three days I won’t have it next week.
  17. But I also really hate the fact I’ve lost so much of my strength and stamina since I’ve had powerchairs.
  18. Sometimes I am secretly shocked at the differences between what some of my friends do and what I do.
  19. My library books are two and a half weeks overdue (and unread)
  20. Several times lately I’ve thought I’ve seen an old acquaintance working somewhere but not had the nerve to actually see if it is who I think it is.
  21. I went shopping in the same place both Saturday and Sunday this week
  22. I plan but I often don’t follow through
  23. Most people see me as different to how I see myself.  Usually, stronger.
  24. I want to change the world but I don’t know how to achieve my goals
  25. The bottle of mystic violet hairdye has been sat on my shelf so long my previous lot of the same colour has grown out in all but the tips of my hair.

>Two “things”

>

I never got here to update on thing a day yesterday.  I had planned to use whatever exercise we did during my creative writing class as my thing but it was cancelled.  So I did some journalling by hand instead.  I may scan that on and post it to my blog but I haven’t yet.

And today I’ve done more colouring.  I cut most of the outlying white space off of this one (there is some white space in the middle of it still).  I like the way it looks now I’ve changed the shape of the paper (cut round the outline of the coloured bits which makes it all pointy like.  If I could remember where my black a4 card is I would stick it on a pece.

I’m sort of toying with the idea of putting some of the colouring I’ve done up on one of my cupboard doors to make it more interesting.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have more energy and inspiration for this project now the stressful stuff that’s been consuming my energy is done with.

>Memories

>I’ve had this on my facebook page for a few days and I’ve been loving the memories people have left (if you’re on my facebook and haven’t commented please do so!).  So as some of my friends read this but aren’t on facebook I thought I’d post it here too.

Think fast!

Leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! Don’t send a message, leave a comment on here. Next, re-post this intro in your notes and see how many people leave a memory about you. This could be scary!