Friday, 29 April 2011


Blimey, it's taken long enough :)

It looks like we've found the source of my strokes.

I had my 'biggie' stroke aged 35. I'm in my early 50's now. Since then, I've been plagued by TIA's . In a nutshell, little strokes. The 'T' stands for temporary. The heck they are. The idea is that they clear up in a few hours. But it's a half truth. You lose something - anything from paralysis, cognitive and speech functions, or combinations thereof.

Already knackered by the 'biggie', as you can imagine, it's not much fun. But, what happens is that with a TIA is that you lose a lot, but you get some back again. But not everything. If you have repeated TIA's the loss has a cumulative effect.

Not complaining. One has to take what life chucks at you. Well, ok, I do get fed up sometimes.

I've been tested and fed tablets 'till I've turned funny colours. Seriously. I spent 3 months an odd yellow colour. One of the tablets messed up my liver functions. I'm on 23 tablets a day :)


But the medics and I have found the cause. Macrocytosis. Big Red blood Cells. Now, this is quite common amongst alcoholics and vegetarians. Excess alcohol causes the bod to absorber less B12 and Folate. Folate is otherwise known as Folic acid. Likewise, alcohol prevents the absorption of B12, otherwise known as Thiamine.

Vegetarians don't get much folic acid or thymine. There is no Thymine in veg. That comes from meat and dairy products. Many have to take vitamin supplements.

Stay with me here :)

Phew. With low levels of thymine and folic, one's bone marrow produces immature red blood vessels, which are quite large. These clog blood vessels, and lead to strokes.

I rarely drink. But a knock-on effect of my 'biggie' Stroke is that I never, ever get hungry. That's due to the brain injury. Unless there is someone around to remind me to eat, I often forget.

So, I'm not eating enough, and not eating enough of the right stuff. Hence the TIA's.


And, just to make life complicated, I have, what appears to inherited, type 2 diabetes.

Tip :)

Didn't Katie look live a fairy tale princess at her wedding today? Gorgeous. And by gosh, what a uniform. Very Dashing!

Oh, and that's the Google Doodle. I have two monitors, so things are easier, but should you want a picture from yon 'tinternet, and assuming, like me, you tend to have your internet browser (I use firefox) full screen, to copy a picture to your computer make the browser smaller by clicking the square box top right.

Click and hold left mouse button on the picture. Hold it down, and drag it to an empty space on your desktop. You'll then have a copy. It doesn't always work, and sometimes its a lower quality copy. To find it to use it or display it, look for 'Desktop'. Sorted :)

Thursday, 28 April 2011


Oh. Dear. Me.

The Bear went to yet another wedding party last night. The Bear has a sore head.

Being the kindly chap I am, knowing how much she loves her her grub, I offered to cook her a full English Breakfast, as I'm told that a good meal helps in such circumstances.

To wet her appetite, I explained enthusiastically in glorious detail what I would cook for her, and how.

D'you know, I don't think I've seen someone move so fast. Making some very odd gurgling noises.

Some time later, she returned to explain, in somewhat graphic detail, why she considered I have not, nor ever had, parentage in any way, shape, or form.

How very ungrateful. Well, I had wondered why she's never got on with my mother, hmm......

Insert Wicked Grin Here :)

Never had a hang under myself. Nor, would it seem, would I want one......


Oh, very witty. She's just returned from the supermarket and dumped five 500 ml cans of Carlsberg Special Brew on my desk. 9% proof. And flounced off into the garden. That's the equivalent of 4.5 pints.

Do I detect a gauntlet being thrown down? Sorry Dearest. I'm on a diet. Remember? ;)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Well, there's a wotsit. What a dubrie thingy, Apparently I'm not allowed to travel to Malawi.

An automated phone call.

Its slightly warranted. In my twenties, I was a Courier Diplomatiqué. It would take me ages to explain, but I was a clerical dogsbody who's job was to ferry forms for ex-pats and holiday makers who needed help with health care to enable them to get support from the National Health Service.

Surprised? You shouldn't be. There are thousands of people who have access to the NHS, DLA and ESA who don't live in the UK.

I also ferried documents between various embassies across the north of Europe.

Malawi? Never going to happen. I'm a cold weather fella, Its kinda odd tho that after all these years I'm still on the list.

Weigh up!

At long last, late last night I managed to get above 24g Carbohydrates. A full 400g can of Ravioli. Yup. Not home made, out of a tin. A whopping 60g Carbs per 400g tin, plus a couple of door wedges of home made wholemeal bread which worked out at 3oz (umm, 85g in new money) that wacked it up to 103g.

That was close. My limit is 120g max Per Day. There had to be a downside though. That little snack (burp!) knocked me back 525 Calories. I should point out tho' I'm supposed be on 2,500 calories a day, a normal fella is expected to be on 300g carbs. Thank god I'm not normal. (no tittering in the cheap seats!)

Apparently though, my weight is dropping by about 1lb (454g) a week, which is a Good Thing. So the technique of eating more to lose weight is actually working. However, we have a disagreement about how much 'more' is. Theirs is four times greater. Not a chance. No way hussay, nope, knickers. Not going to happen. 2,500 Calories? I'm an Eeaw wanting to be a Tigger, not tother way round.

By my reckoning, I'd have to grow another foot. I'm mid 50's. Howma gonna do that? Use a car jack? Wear platform heels (again?).


Is it me, or are ladies much more forthright nowadays?

A young lady of 18, who I've known since she was 9, knocked on my door today.

"Dee" she said "Can I borrar y'phone?" Borrow, I said without thinking. "Whatever. Can I BORROW your phone?". Sure I said, rising to the challenge. "As long as you put it back".

"Don't piss me about Deepy." Sigh. "Ok, come in Mel".

"You know that bloke I met on Facebook that I spent the night with in a Hotel?" Errr....nope? Did what?

"Well, I did, and he texted me and said I'd given him clap". Oh, ho. Round of applause? "Shurrup, chuff 'ead" Yes miss.

"Well," she continued. "Trouble is, I've slept with Shane and Kieren since then. I've had a word with Shane's wife what to do, and she said 'you've got to sort yourself out first love, just in case, so go to the doctors', and take it from there." Well ah. Kieren? " We aren't speaking" Really?

"Doctor says, since I've had unprotected sex, I gotta have a pregnancy test, and I have to phone the VD clinic. What will they do?"

As it happens, her mum died from cervical cancer when she was 8, so I didn't have explain much.

In case you're wondering how a fella knows so much about stuff like that? I spent a lot of time in my churchy days keeping an eye on the nitty-gritty of 'working ladies' and street kids and their pimps, and of course, being married I know about cervical smears and stuff.

Street kids and pimps? Yes. You'd be surprised how many children under 18 are under the radar and are drawn into prostitution and other exploitation, and live on the streets or wherever they can get shelter. The churches pick up the slack where the social services are too bound up with paperwork and wages to 'go in' and sort it.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Google Chrome. For your Information.

I published the previous post using Google Chrome.

The text size option doesn't work. Which is odd considering that both Blogspot and Chrome are Google services. Anyhow, I switched back to my normal browser, Firefox, and edited it again. No problem.

Wheelies Wobble but...

The new tablets - in addition to to the tablets I already take, are very odd beasties.

Pregabalin. Pronounced Pre- gabalin, not Preg -abalin :) - has been been prescribed to try and improve my walking and stop me falling over so much. Or bouncing off of walls or door frames.

It appears that the medics are unsure how much my walking difficulties is due to Stroke, or a side effect of diabetes. I'll go with Stroke myself. But it's worth a shot.

They work by slowing down the grey matter and it's responses.

I've found I've been having some really odd dreams, I feel unusually hyper - I'm off and wobbling, and getting on people's nerves, and annoying them by being "uncharastically" blunt. I'm told.

Do they work? Well, yeah. I feel a bit out of it. I worry about the 'blunt' bit. I ache. I bounce a bit more often = more bruises. But I'm on my feet a bit more. Which is good. I'll see how it goes :)

I see it's also used to help with severe pain and an aid to epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) too. I also see it's addictive. That should be interesting.

If I come across a bit strange, feel free to tell me.


I've been having fun with my new webcam :)

One of the problems with them is that, as supplied, you can only use web cams with one thing at a time. Skype for instance. However, it's amazing what 15 seconds on Google can do.

I came across the free to use program Manycam, which basically splits the video between programs. It also has some very silly effects you can add to the video stream - like making it look you're ablaze, or have a carrot for a nose...

Secondly, I've always been aware there are other uses for them, though I really wanted it for Skype. I came across another free to use program called YawCam, which allowed me to set up a simple web page (the program has a built in one you can use) to stream video from the webcam to the web. It's simple to set up, and has the option of setting up password protection if you want it. It can stream using mpeg, or Java. I chose mpeg because iPhone using relatives

Since I'm still playing with it, the simple page is password protected. All is shows is my hairy mug and my living room at the moment -it's perched on top of one of my monitors. Boring :)

No audio (except on Skype). I'm working on that.

But one of the advantages of the MyCam/YawCam combination is that you can stream to your website any video to replace the webcam image. And you can use Skype at the same time. And their free.

I'm streaming it directly from my own PC, via a free account at No-Ip. Basically that ties my PC to a web address. I'll leave that explanation there.

Another upside. Bear keeps tidying up. :)


I'm quite enjoying getting into website building again. I'm going to dig out an ancient copy of Dream Weaver and have a really good play. Meanwhile, I'm scraping the memory banks and using windows Notepad. Urk!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Bless the Dazman.

We like The Daz Man. He's an unofficial relative. I've known him thro' thick and thin for at least 15 years.

Single bloke who for whatever reason is just kinda there. Says what he thinks, never messes us about. He turns up, joins us for a meal or two, disappears, and pops up again a few weeks later.

Bear and I decided to chill tonight and spend some time with neighbours and have a few beers in the garden. (if I have to listen to 'Downtown' again I'm going to go crazy)

Daz turned up and we got into a conversation about Skype and the webcam I'd like. I use Skype, but through a PS3 web cam and some software I'd hacked to use. But it was unreliable and a bit flaky. Daz, having a bus pass offered to fetch me the camera I wanted from PC World, which is many miles away.

Charge? Nothing. The only condition being I keep in touch by Skype more often.

What's the catch? Daz has diabetic neuropathy. He finds walking difficult. But he takes every opportunity to keep going. Bless the Dazman.

Just had a phone call from my other faithful mate, in his 80's, just to tell me out of the blue he loves me. Which is a bit worrying.


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Nice to see Rachel over at Another Day In Paradise is around again. She hasn't posted much for a while. I love her blog. Her observations about her family life in the States were a perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of the day. Made me feel all cuddly. Not bad for a hedgehog. Please nip across and encourage her to post more - tell her Wheelie said so :)


Bear has been a bit upset since the tree incident. Seems she gave her Pops permission to give it a 'little trim', forgetting he was a tree hater, so she feels responsible. She's also getting bad headaches, and very forgetful.

Daft little things. She'll do a supermarket shop, forget the food I need, despite having a list, and have to go back again. She has doctors appointments, and forgets them, and when prescribed tablets, forgets to take 'em. She's been having nightmares too. I'm a bit worried to be honest. Hmm. Stress?

Since discovered that father-in-law has laid a few spare paving stones I had, as a path from my Tot's hut, to......... nowhere. Emptying my compost bins to use as a base for them. And dug up my veg bed to get some earth when that ran out. It takes at least a year to make good compost. All gone.

And as for the herb and veg bed, I dunno. I think there's going to be some interesting stuff growing between and from underneath that paving. Guess I'll have to buy (eek!) some compost, replant, and transfer stuff from the sprouting paving back to the bed. Oh, well. Keep Calm And Carry On.


I never was the aggressive type. Never could see the sense in jumping up and down and waving my arms around and shouting, even if I could. Not that I'm meek.

It's just that I have a built in circuit that that clicks in and makes me observe. Have you ever stood back and watched anyone lose it? It looks very silly.

Try it. If you see someone lose their temper, let them get on with it. Watch them. Don't involve yourself. And while you're watching, think CHICKENS. Thar you go! :)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Does anyone check their 'Stats' tab? Fascinating. Though the mind boggles at the person who searched for 'survivor tits' and found themselves here. Ornithologist? More a question for Rare Lesser Spotted perhaps :)

However you found yourself here, welcome. Please feel free to comment and ask any questions about Stroke (or Type 2 diabetes) you may have. Despite the ahum.... rather rambling nature of this blog, I'm sure I can persuade a couple of brain cells to collide and provide an answer.

If I can't - after all, I can only speak from personal experience in the Uk - I'm sure I can point you somewhere, or to someone who can.

For links here, I highlight in red. Click and go.

A definitive place to go is the Uk Stroke Association. If you register, you'll find in TalkStroke some very authoritative sources. I'd recommend 'Countrygirl' and 'Tim'.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Rrrright said Fred.

S'cuse me a min....

Sorry, got a bit distracted there. The Bear just chucked a 5-pack of 'under where?' at me. Or 'knickers' as she insists on calling them. A rather bold horizontal black white and purple stripe. When I held a pair (why a pair?) up, billowing in the wind like a wind-sock, with a "huh?" expression, she shrugged.

"Nah" she shrugged "Nobodies going to see them".

Well. That's nice. How on Earth am supposed to do the "Full Monty" dance on an evening without knowing I'm all erratic looking and dressed to die for?

Ladies. No. White or Black will do. Thank you.


Got to tell you this.

We have an ancient cat. We've had her eleven years, and she wasn't that young when she adopted us.

Sniff the cat hates me. Won't normally come near me. I'm a man-thing.

I dropped off at tea time., and it seems my ladies went out to neighbours. About 25 minutes ago the old lass came upstairs and jumped meowing like crazy on my head. I have tiny little Sniffy holes on my face.

Anyway. I was groggy, confused, very weak, but some instinct kicked in, so I bum-bumped myself down stairs and plonked myself in my wheels, and did a blood sugar test.

It was 4 mmol/L.

It's the whole numbers that count. All this time Sniffy sat on my knee, rubbing her face against mine, padding her pointy little claws on my lap and shoulders. I feel like, well, a pincushion. I knocked back a disgusting couple of spoonfuls of sugar in some fizzy spring water, and I feel ok now. Once my Tots came in for a coat, Sniffy was off and out, doing her Sniff thing.

My hypoglycaemic limit is 3.3 mmol/L.

Hypoglycaemia is where one's blood sugar drops too low. It can lead to confusion, coma, and death. She may well have saved my life.

I've heard about pets doing this. I wonder how they know? Smell maybe?

Anyways, thumbs up to Sniff the man hater. Respect.

Oh, click this

Monday, 18 April 2011

Goodish news.

Yeh, I know what time it is :)

Good news. Four out of the five people I've helped who had their Jobseekers Allowance 'sanctioned', that is, stopped because they allegedly failed to turn up up for appointments of various kinds, have been refunded.

On a 'sanction' they have no income for 2 weeks. They're offered a 'crisis loan' of £50. Payable, should their Jobseekers be reinstated, at £13 per week. How the bloody heck do those maths work out? Meanwhile, their Housing benefit is stopped too, leaving them in arrears.

Meanwhile, they had to depend on friends (That's me folks) to eat. 3 of the 5 have babies under a year old.

Mind you, they had to wait four weeks, after lots of form filling, and the onus was on them to produce the the evidence against the Jobseekers claims. I dunno yet about their housing benefit. Looking into it.

The other one of the five? No word yet.

And Prime Mister Cameroon says "It's all too easy to live on benefits" Goggle it. What planet does the chap live on?

No Weigh

Keep your carbohydrates between 90-120g a day they said.

50g will be fine, but you'll probably have a lot of bother keeping down THAT low, they said.

Definitely cut out white processed bread, and all white bread if you can manage it. Stick with whole wheat and wholemeal, and granary.

No white rice. Brown unprocessed only.

No processed cereals, but home made musili is fine. No raisins tho. (get stuffed)

No Potatoes, whatsoever. Mashed, boiled, fried, chips, fries, baked or roasted. No parsnips. No shop bought pizzas (never have) No ice cream or biscuits (don't like them anyway) Melons or Crumpets. Aw. :( . Definitely no pies. No problem there.

All that stuff wacks up the blood sugar levels quickly, bangs up insulin production, and just as quickly gets slapped around the waist.

Pasta? Eat your heart out. Fruit, small portions - maybe a couple or three ounces, green veg, the same, salad, at least two ounce of each per meal. A couple of ounces of Carrots are cool.

Plenty of protein - lean meat, fish, eggs, grain, nuts - but keep the meats to 4 oz per serving max.

Yoghurt, milk, and cheeses are fine in small amounts.

Sounds easy enough, I said. After all, I never feel hungry (I've been known to 2-3 days without eating). Ah, they said. You're actually going to have to eat more to lose weight. Darn it.

But most of all, count those carbs. Max 120 g per day, and watch it, it'll be tough.

Urgh. But I can do this. No problem with white bread - I make my own breads. Same with bacon, yoghurt, sauces, soups and I love lean meat and all sea foods and salads. I can't stand ANY rices or Pasta. Spuds? meh. No great loss, and I haven't touched sweets or pastries for 30 years. Make my own baked beans, and happiness is nibbling seeds, nuts, and pulses. And they end up in the bread too. I make my own jams, pickles, chutneys and preserves, so I know exactly what goes into them.

Sounds fair enough. Or is it?

Have you ever weighed out 2-3 oz of baby spinach or savoy cabbage? Mixed Lettuces or beet leaves? If that's a portion, it's absolutely Ginourmous! Then there's the carbohydrate content. A massive, and believe me, it is, 3 0z spinach has 1.85 g of carbs.

Meat or Sea food? effectively zero g. Fresh Tomatoes? 0.73 g per ounce. Nuts 3 g per oz average. Cucumber? 0.36 g/oz. Carrots 1.53 g/0z, Celery 0.38 g/oz.......

Do you see a pattern emerging here? The carbs are so tiny per portion as to be invisible. The target is 30-40 grams per meal. The reality is that I've been lucky to squeeze 15 g out of a meal. In the unlikely event I manage 3 meals a day, I'll get a whopping 45 g carbohydrates per DAY.

Sorry Wheelie, they said. You've got to reach at least 90 grams/day, otherwise you'll be in bother.

If only they knew.

So, Dear Reader, I'm open to suggestions.

Here's an example meal I like.


Hot and Sour Prawn soup.
  • Calories 35 kcal
  • Protein 4 g
  • Fat 0.4 g
  • Saturated Fat 0 g
  • Sodium 163 g
  • Cholesterol 28 g
  • Carbohydrates 4 g
  • Fibre 1 g

90 ml fish stock
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass, or 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 fresh red or green chilli, finely chopped
2 oz button mushrooms, sliced
2oz raw prawns, peeled and de-veined
1 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Main Meal.

Baked Rosemary Monkfish

  • Calories 170 kcal
  • protein 20 g
  • Fat 9 g
  • Saturates 4 g
  • Carbohydrates 3 g

1 tablespoon olive oil
4oz monkfish fillet (black membrane removed), in two pieces
2 large garlic cloves, cut lengthways into quarters
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, broken into small sprigs
1/2 lime
1/2 oz butter
1 tomatoes, halved

Served with, say :-

Broccoli Salad

  • Fat 7g
  • Cholesterol 0 m
  • Carbohydrate 7 g
  • Protein 3 g

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch sea salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 oz broccoli, blanched five minutes
1 large teaspoon cream or plain yoghurt
pinch rough ground black pepper
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips

Total Carbohydrate, 14 grams. See my problem?

Starting weight, 85.5 K. Target 74.8 k. Present 83.8 K. (over 13 days)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Terry Pratchitt

I wouldn't know where to begin with the bloke. He's a hugely successful author, having successfully published hundreds of books, but more famous now because he has Early Onset Alzheimer's decease. He's also a promoter of - well, basically, how you choose to die. I may cover that in another post.

Terry is one of those few authors who talks to his fans, I'm one of them. I collect his books when I can afford them, particularly his Discworld series. Even if you're not a big reader, if you want cheering up, get hold of at least his early 'Colour of magic' It's so funny, you won't be able to put it down.

There's also a computer game based on it, if you can get hold of it. If you find it, I'll tell you how to install it on windows XP (service pack 3) /Vista/Windows 7

I'm quite deliberately not telling you the plot(s). However, I will explain that there's a giant turtle, swimming through the universe. On it's back, are four giant elephants holding up the Discworld.

A world of a foolish half baked wizard, and witches anyone would relate to. And ancient magic and a great deal of humour and fun. Honest to goodness.

Go on. Give it a try.

Blast off

I am absolutely furious.

I have a number of trees in my garden, one being a fir I planted ten years ago. I love my trees. I keep them pruned tidy
, trim and attractive. My fir was 16 feet tall.

Father-in-law turned up this morning and offered to cut the grass. Bear gratefully said, sure dad, and let him get on with it, and nipped round to a neighbours for 15 mins.

I've just looked out of the windows and found my fir gone. Kaput. It's no more. A tatty, ugly stump. Destroyed. Why? He refuses to say. His dislike of tree's is no secret - he sees them as just bigger than your average weed.

All The Bear will say is "You know what he's like, he does what he wants. He won't say why".

It's not just the principal that you don't just walk into someone's garden and chop trees down without asking. It goes much deeper than that for me.

I know exactly what he's going to say eventually. We've had this 'discussion' before. He'll shrug, say something along
the lines of "Well you're not in a position do anything about the bloody thing, are you?. I've cut the grass." and walk off.

That, more than anything, is what makes me so angry. Being discounted and written off in my own household. Unfortunately, that kind of attitude is not uncommon. I've had people borrow tools and refuse to return them, dismissing me with "It's not like you need them, is it?" They learn, eventually.

I'm quite used to people talking about me as though I'm not there, or if I'm in my wheels, talking over the top of my head. It's too common that someone will tell my Bear they've done something "for me" after they've done it, and get surprised and upset when they get a short sharp interruption from me.

The "Does He Take Sugar?" syndrome. No I bloody well don't. I'm Stroked, not stupid.

It's disability discrimination, pure and simple. The only thing that's stopping me going into total rant mode, is that often it's well meaning, unintentional, and often in the name of caring.

Latest news is that he's told Bear "thought he'd give it a trim, it's not like 'he' can do it" A trim? 15 foot to 4? I'm afraid I can't bring myself to talk to the man. My diplomatic circuits have gone off line, big time.

I'll post a photo of the remains of the poor tree when I've cooled down a bit.


Bear has decided she's going to fetch me a beer. So she tells me. Not the best plan in the world. But it'll do for now.

I feel a bit better getting that aired. Cheers for reading.


Thar you go. I mean, well heck. That was a 16ft tree. To quote Terry Pratchett. Buggerit, Buggerit, Buggerum.

Saturday, 16 April 2011


Phew, an exhausting but lovely day. My 'little' sisters wedding went very well. She looked absolutely gorgeous. The groom looked very dapper - but then again, he always does.

Must have been over 150 people there, so much so that 20 or so were left standing at the back.

A really nice, not in the least bit religious thingamabob at the town hall. The registrar - I think that's who he was - delivered a very professional and moving ceremony, with music from Enya and Snow Patrol playing in the odd pause.

Bit of a comedian. After a moving poem that he'd chosen, he paused for just the right effect, and quipped "Now then you two - looks like you've gorn and dunnit!" to lots of laughter and applause. I was well impressed, when you consider he does this four or more times a day. He made it seem individual. A real skill.

A nice meal at the reception at the nearby Novatel hotel. A couple of large roast potatoes, (More for the Bear there - I'm not allowed) more some juliet (little sticks of ) carrots, celerac and green beans, with some grilled chicken with a wonderful mushroom sauce. Who's taste I'm desperately going to keep in memory because I want to duplicate it, garnished with fresh herbs.

The sweet (again, more for the Bear) was something that resembled a square of cheesecake, with a chocolate topping, with some kind of choccy twizzle stick, with a strawberry (yuk!) served on a slate.

Yup. A slate. My brother said he was might collect a few for his roof. Perhaps they were short of plates. It looked posh, I have to admit. Just.....odd.... Ah well. I suppose they were dishwasher proof.

The red and white wine was rationed - as Bear found as she tried to weedle another glass of red from a waitress. Plenty of champagne tho'. Didn't drink myself though - but that's ok, there was tea, coffee, and fresh orange juice by the gallon.

Gobsmacked at the prices at the bar. Coke at £2.52 a tin? 330 ml (same size as a coke tin) Bulmers Cider £5.20 a tin? £4.50 for the same size Kaser non-alcoholic lager. My son and I looked at the price list, then at each other, dropped it, then we both looked at the Bear, and Son'o'mine said "Mother, No!". And he works for a bank.

Poor Bear.

Despite a furious last-ditch nag-attack, I'm not at the evening do. I'm knackered. So I've bribed - well, loaned (naturally) - a long time mate, Daz The Man, to take Bear and Tots the Teen to the same hotel for that.

Hey, if he wants to pay tenner, for 2 minuscule drinks and pays me back, that's cool by me, mon ami ...... I'm not daft.


Stupid The Dog is spending the weekend with his little half brother at Bears parents. So until Bear staggers in at weird o'clock, after some of what Tots The Teen calls 'drunk old lady dancing', it's just me, the cats, Monsters Inside Me (about parasites - fascinating ) on Animal Planet, and a 500ml can of Carly Special Brew. £1.50. That'll do for me. Naughty, but nice.


In case you're a-wondering what the backing music for the latest Dulux advert is, that sounds so familiar? It's the theme music from a TV series called "The Littlest Hobo".

And if you remember that, you are of a certain age :)

Friday, 15 April 2011

By jimmininy

Doctors appointment today.

Woke up got outa bed, dragged a comb across my head. (click to link)

Actually, The Bear went to the Gym at 0805, (a free one-off sorted by a neighbour) staggered back again at 11 o'clock, and insisted on cutting my hair.

I feel naked.

She was, and is, in panic attack because we have my sisters wedding tomorrow morning.

T'ween you and me, I think my sister (in her early 40's) a is mad impetuous fool. Guess there are tax advantages.....

The Bear went to check my suit. It's only brought out for weddings and funerals. And discovered THE TROUSERS ARE MISSING.

Sherlock Holmes said that "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”. Oh yeah? Some buggers nicked me trousers. No sugar Sherlock.

So Bears orf down town, looking for some charcoal black trousers. Wimin. I'd gladly go without them.....


Oh, Doctors.

Our relationship with our doc's is excellent. Diabetic appointment. Everything hunky-dory except it seems my blood cells are about 4 times the normal size. That means that tiny blood vessels can get blocked, causing mini- strokes. If you think about it, that makes sense. If you can get four little 'un's through, no problem. If yon big bugger gets in the way, it's a squeeze, blocking blood supply.


Because I have trouble walking, I've been prescribed 50 mg Pregabalin. 1 tablet for 'a few days' , then two for 'another few days', followed by 3 a day. Googling around, I've found it sends people high as a kite. So if my posts get a bit wayward over the next week. Please forgive me (linky)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Coat of many colours

Bear and I took a trip to town today to visit the credit union. First time I've been 'down' there in many years, and at least two years since I took such a long bus journey. About half an hour. Gosh, I'd forgotton how long it took.

The first really nice surprises were the number of young people who caught the bus and high-five'd me as they came up the isle with big smiles. "Yo' 'Deep", "Yay, Wheels", "Nice, Pops!" and "Nah then, Santa!", and "Ha, who unlocked your cage Dray!". In case you're wondering, I'm a man of many names. But they're all me, and I didn't pick 'em. They did. (shrug).

Err? Santa? Hmm. Good point. Must get Bear to cut my hair, it's between my shoulder blades at the mo.

Took me while to remember all their names. Not seen some of them since they were knee-high. Their all strapping teenagers now. Took me ten minutes to realise one was my nephew who I hadn't seen since his dad died a few years back. Blush.


The reason they know me is because a long time ago, in a land far, far away, (early 90's?) I was a highly visible city 'presence' in a multicoloured jacket with a bright red cross on the back emblazoned with the words "Jesus People, Loving People'. Chuckle!.Guess that makes one stick in peoples memories. Along with transport like this piccy :) The ladies, ex and present keep in touch with each other. It's called the sisterhood, and you don't mess with the sisterhood :)


I spent a lot of the journey with raised eyebrows at how much Sheffield city centre - at least the bit we visited - had changed. Lots of new roads and towering concrete-and-glass buildings. Quite impressive.

Except for the Castle Market, which at least from the outside was scruffy, decrepit, and quite frankly, a dump. I was deeply disappointed. I have some fond memories. It's going to be demolished soon, the area landscaped and quite frankly, I can see why.

I'll look forward to the remains of the ancient Sheffield Castle seeing daylight again. It's always been there, just hidden under hundreds of tons of flaking concrete.


Joined the lengthy queue in the Credit Union. Lots of young mums and toddlers, clutching paperwork. The odd fella, about my age, looking bored, shuffling, looking at their feet, wearing the inevitable baseball cap, while the little 'uns wove in and out of our legs.

Bear was instantly at home, wandering up and down the queue, chatting to the mums, getting their life histories and cooing at the babies, while an annoyingly good looking twenty something volunteer young chap dealt with everyone efficiently. "Doing your community service?" I quipped as I reached the counter. "And you're not?". Touché :)

I spotted a hand waving over his shoulder. Another blast from the past. "Dray!" Errr. J. Something. Twenty-odd kids and people went quiet. I've not seen her for 10 years. "Your little lass's account has a lots in it and's gone dormant - I've reactivated it"

Oh. I fumbled for my ID. Handed it over "Hang six" Hang six? Blimey. "Hang six" she said. "You've been nagging your local school and Community Forum to open a credit union, and they're going to do it." Oh? "So you won't have to traips down here, and by the way, I've told them your good for volunteering. Nice to see you." The horribly good looking young chap grinned. "I think your ID's ok"

Oh. My. Here is the first lesson grasshopper. You may have many names. You may think your invisible. You may not get around much. But people have long, long memories. Oh. Wear a mask or something. And cut your hair more often.


Lost 5lb weight in 10 days. Struggling to get above 30 carbohydrates per day, recommended is about 90-120 ish. Now at 84 kilo's and falling.

Tip. Don't take off a pedometer and leave it where a teen can find it when you've gone to bed. She's found if she gives it a good shake, she can add a 120 steps or more, the little...........

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


I'm a well matured geek. I just love a gadget. I can't help myself. I don't have an Android or iPhone, because I can't justify the cost. That's why I'm a mature geek. It isn't that I can't afford. I can't bring myself to.

I hate myself sometimes.

However, faced with a bang up to date blood glucose testing meter at £25 quid plus delivery that plugs straight into my computer, that downloads built in software to any PC, and updates itself from the net, graphs and track my levels, comes with a USB extension , and once registered, they send you a better carry case than the one provided, record book, independent wall charger and slinky slip over cover.

Oh, matron!

Well, my old one is 10 years old. The manufacturer of that, Roché, had switched its testing strips from whole blood to plasma, so the readings were showing 12.5% higher, and needed converting down, and it would have cost me as much as a new meter to buy a pc connection kit. I wasn't convinced on the accuracy of the readings either.

I'll not bore you with the details of how these machines work yet. I have to say tho' I'm impressed with the new one.


Now that's awkward. My 8 month old grand daughter has just developed 'chicken pox', and my sister is getting married in a few days. That's a pain.......

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Remind me not to...

Leave my soldering iron on the coffee table.

Yup, my dad discovered over 40 years ago (I was 8) I had a knack for repairing valve radio's, then TV's, and I went on to build a games console before there were such things as a games consoles (It was the size of a modern microwave) and a home computer well before even there were such a thing as home computers. (That was the size of 2 bricks) and connected it to 'Janet' - Joint Academic Network, a connection between Universities, and the forerunner of the internet. Missed a trick there didn't I? You could have been using a 'Wheelie' branded PC. Right little smart arse I was ;) Not bright enough....

Doesn't mean I want to repair everyone's knackered everything for free though. Sigh.

Slice home-made bacon while I have visitors. Oooh, can we have some of that? Nope. Not for free you can't. No takers? Good. It'd give the tax man nightmares. Oh, and that includes barter, annoyingly. Seriously, barter is taxed.


Home made pickles, chutneys, jams or bread. See above. I can get away with it at Christmas or birthdays. I know from experience that some twot will tell the taxman or the Department of Work and Pensions in the mistaken belief that Disability Living Allowance is means tested. It isn't. Employment & Support Allowance - formally Incapacity Benefit - is. World of difference.

However, as I've discovered, that doesn't stop the taxman or Work and Pensions investigating every time they get a report. It's right they should, and though it's little more than an inconvenience, it doesn't mean I have to like it.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Love is....

Going to get that darn gate made today.

Well, I will when temperature drops below 20°C. I know my limitations, and that's one of them. It's good to push the boundaries - I spent many years as a long distance runner and working 12 hours, 6 days a week, and I've paid a price for that. I want to get back to the way I was. A dead Wheelie is only good for high quality compost.

Needless to say, The Bear is not chuffed. But that's the Bear. She ain't called Bear for nothing. ;)


I was watching an advert for one of those match-dating sites with some puzzlement. They claim to help you find someone just like yourself. Why? How very narcissistic!

I'd drive me mad.

MY Bear, my carer, and I have been together for 25 years - married for 22 of those. Lived together from day one. Seriously. I was 28, she was 19, and the bugger would not go away. I kept sticking her suitcase outside the front door, and four hours later, I'd open the door to find her sat on it, doing her nails. Again.

Perplexed the heck out of me. Perplexity gave way to a grudging admiration. Wow. Gutsy. Like that.


I'm a 'head man'. I plan everything I do in fine detail. I'm never happier than when I have peace and quiet, notepad and pen. I don't plan ahead much. But I won't do anything unless I've got it down to a fine tee in my head and rehearsed it mentally. If there's a change, I sit down and do the figures again. Then I do the job. I'm so laid back, I'm almost horizontal. Having said that, I'm told I'm good in an emergency.

Favourite quote "Wot?"


The Bear is a bulldozer. She plans her days way ahead. She isn't into fine detail. She loathes it when something gets in the way, and isn't afraid to say so. Goes for it like a herd of elephants. When she has an idea in her head, stand well back. It's awesome to behold. It can really get to her when things don't go to plan. If you want subtle, Bear went that-a-way. She's The Bear. She can be quite religious. I'm easy, man. Day to day, it's an approach that works well.

Favourite quote "Don't mess with the sisters, bro!'"


Call me old-fashioned, but we have one Golden Rule. I'm the head of my family. She's always deferred to that, not quietly mind (she hates it when I sit grinning at her), but she does.

I'm a tidy freak, she isn't. She was brought up to resolve by argument, I do what I want when I want. She goes for it - anything - but I can wait. We couldn't be so very different.

But matched personalities? Nah. No way. But it works and it's worked well for 25 years.

I wouldn't have my lass any other way. Psst. Don't tell her that :)

Friday, 8 April 2011

Weigh to go.

I've been researching diets suitable for diabetics (I've been a type 2 forever).

My diabetes is controlled by tablets - Metformin 500 mg 3 times a day. It's so well controlled, at a steady 6 mmol/L blood sugars, that I tend only to eat to keep it between 4-6 mmol/L. It helps, of course, that I have no idea what 'hungry' feels like.

I'm advised that to lose weight I've got to eat more. Sounds daft doesn't it?

However, it does make a certain sense. If you aren't a big eater, the body goes into emergency mode, because it doesn't know when it's going to be refuelled next. So it hangs onto as many reserves as it can, for as long as it can. It's for that reason that people who 'crash' diet become discouraged because after an initial weight loss they suddenly seem to pile on the pounds again.

As a diabetic, if I crash dieted my blood sugars would be swinging around wildly, which on the low end might send me hypoglycaemic, which can be fatal. Too high, and I could become hyperglycaemic, which is equally dangerous as they have problems with neuropathy, which leaves hundreds every year with ulcers, limb or digit loss or arteriosclerosis (blocked arteries) weight gain and sight loss.

I've escaped all that by tightly controlling my diabetes. I'm not going to screw all those years of hard work by messing around with some fad diet.



Gosh, don't people 'alf get fanatical on the Internet? All one way or the other. No carbs, low carbs, high protein, no fat, mid fat. Keep protein up, down left right. Heck, it makes you dizzy. As for exercise? I'm tempted to post a video of The Bear hammering the heck out of the huts hinges to straighten them. Pure pornography. That'll show 'em, by 'eck. Makes me sweat just thinking about it. Phew! I love to see a woman yielding a lump hammer. I think I need a lie down.

I'll not get into the technical gumph. Basically, I have to use carbohydrates to maintain my blood sugars at around 5-6 mmol/L. I need to lose just over a stone, and get my body fat ratio (BMI - Body Mass Index is a little outdated now) down from 30.2% to around 20% or less.

I've decided to keep tight track of my carbohydrates. They're converted to sugars. As an experiment, I'm going to limit carbs to 100 - 120 grams max per day. That means keeping tight track of my veg, basically. Luckily, I have freebie diabetic program that helps. I'm going to eat at least 2 meals a day. No way am I calorie counting! Bear has Done That for years - it drives her mad.

As I have to reduce my total body fat by 50% (not to be confused with weight) I have to watch all my fat intake - good and bad. Spare (unused) Carbs are converted to waistline.

My diabetic meter is 10 years old. So My Lad has ordered me a more modern one that plugs into my computer for better accuracy. (a Bayer Contour USB) because it would have cost the same for the equipment to connect my present meter.

I'm not too worried about exercise. Walking is difficult, but I've worn a pedometer for the last few days which measures how many steps you take, and with rests I hit 257 today. Cool!

I'll keep you updated now and again how I get on.

Me souhaiter bonne chance les amis!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Short snips

Amazing what you get used to.

Wheelie Manor has some minor social service adaptation's. Grab rails on outside doors. Grab rails and extra hand rails on the stairs, bath board so I can sit in the shower, that sort of thing.

Poor Bear has a cough and was a bit off colour in the night, so she asked me to fetch her some cold spring water from the fridge. Thought I might grab a glass myself. Oops. That meant walking upstairs no-hands on the rails.

I got a no-holds-barred reminder of why I'm a stroke survivor. It took me five minutes. Every single step was a challenge. 14 steps, and I had to fight every step. But, by golly, I didn't spill a drop, and didn't fall once. It was horrible, I was exhausted, but I'm not complaining. Far from it. I'm very proud of myself. It's amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it :)


Had a medic appointment today. Guess what? It was upstairs at the docs, and the handrail was on the right hand side. My right side is the sugared side. 18 stairs. Bear and the nurse were sweet. They didn't interfere - sort of . They walked one step behind me, and when I stopped, they pressed up behind me and waited until I moved again. Not a word. I was deeply, deeply touched.

Good news. Blood pressure was 108/68. That is absolute magic! (the 68 is the important bit) However (sigh) at 13st 5 lb I'm a stone overweight at 5' 11", and my body fat percentage is an annoying 30.2 %. Not good - should be 25% max. As I only eat a meal alternate days, (well, I forget) as I lost the 'hungry' thing 17 years ago with my first stroke, I'll let them get back to me on that. Blood sugars are totally cool at 5.3 mmol. Cholesterol is 5. That's good too.


How very un-British of me to go on about my poorlies :)

However, I'm one of many stroke survivors who sometimes get the feeling that they get written off - did you know I'm NOT ALLOWED in a Job Centre because I don't claim Job seekers allowance? Yup, that's right. You have to claim Job Seekers Allowance to have help to get an income.

Obviously, to have an income, you don't need to work for anyone else. But that's not the point. Every option should be available to everyone, no exceptions. xx

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

My bad mood from yesterday wasn't helped by someone sending me a link to This video article from the Guardian. Nor was it improved by a friend of my daughter explaining that she'd turned up for an interview with her baby last week, only to be turned away because they didn't allow young children in the Job Centre any more.

Because she was turned away, they decided she hadn't attended, so they 'sanctioned' her. That is, they've stopped her income for at least two weeks, and wouldn't be refunded unless she went through the appeal process.

Worried I was being fed a load of bull, I had someone phone the Job Centre pretending they wanted to attend with their child. They confirmed that young children are now banned. They asked why they weren't told, and were told that it would be impossible and too costly. Jeez.

If you have any information that can contradict that, please feel free to do so. It would be helpful if you could point me to/put me in contact with another reliable info source. Cheers.


Monday, 4 April 2011


My (very) old church leader used say I was a 'nutter magnet'. My Practice Nurse says I'm a 'plopper' - if something weird is going to happen with anything official/healthwise, it will.

Add the Employment Service to that.

As it happens, my lass worked for them for years, so I have an inkling how they work. Though her job was more putting answers together for Prime ministers question time, rather than dealing with the public (What? You didn't know that the antics in the monkeys cage at PM's question time was scripted? )

To give you a bit of background, if you scroll down a few posts, I've helped out a few people with 'sanctions' recently. Job Seekers Allowance stopped for weird reasons.

Phone call. No Bear in sight, had to answer. "Mr Wills?"


"Mr Wills" said a rather determined voice. "Nope" I said, doing a bit of brain juggling and getting a faint suspicion that....... "I think you have the wrong number ducks"

"Mr Wills. It's about your Job Seekers allowance claim." I'm sorry. I couldn't resist it. "Huh?" I said. I have a rather large mirror over my landline, so I knew I had an evil grin on my face...

She relentlessly ploughed on. "According to our records..." "I have never claimed Job Seekers".

"What? You are ? Can you tell me your postcode please? And your national insurance number?"


"I'm sorry?" "Wrong name. I don't give out personal personal info over the phone, and I haven't nor have I ever, claimed Job Seekers Allowance, nor have I ever signed on in my life".

"You are ?" "Well" I said, "If I wasn't, you've just given an address out to a complete stranger. I do not claim Job Seekers".

I wasn't going to be Mr. Nice Guy and spend half an hour describing on an unrecorded line that I THINK has happened. That's because I've helped a few people negotiate the minefield and because I've used my name and address, they've chuffed up and got their details in a mess.

Anyways. " Mr Wills" (not my name - but hang on, Wheelie) "You do realise that unless you sign on soon, you will lose your benefits?" I told her to go back, start again, and hung up.

I know. My approach was uncooperative and a bit bad tempered. I don't suffer fools gladly.

But I know of a few unemployed, perhaps not as well qualified as some job centre staff, who could at least fill in a bleepin' form on or off a computer, and get the details right. They are, after all, the unemployed, experts at form filling.

Sheesh :(

Wills. Indeed.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

You fill up my fences..

Did a deal with The Bear, who's being nagging me to fit a new front gate.

For some odd reason, my curvy front fences and gates seem to have become a bit of a standard in my neck of the woods. So my template is doing it's rounds just as some wally decided to kick the heck out of mine. Probably the local joiner. He charges £50 a pop for a gate, and £75 per panel for a fence. Minimum.....

So I said to Bear. Ok. You take the old one off, I'll build a new one. I've watched in amazement at a combination of a thundering hammer and a screwdriver. After half an hour, the neighbour across the road had enough, and after thirty seconds of furious activity, shazzam. Done.

Darn him. I was trying to put off building a new gate until tomorrow. Sigh. I hate it when a plan doesn't come together. Aha! Bribery. I have some steak in the freezer. Oh, Beeeaaar! ;)

Surprising how it costs up. Seven planks at 47" long, 1" between them, plus the 'Z' bar to hold it all together. Then it needs shaping, and I can't resist a bit of simple artwork. Clover or heart maybe (three holes) roughly about 329 inch plus wastage, at about £5 (min) per meter = at least £40. Plus screws and preservative and paint for the recycled hinges. Adds up doesn't it?

My teen was invited to Alton Towers by her big bro. Sure, I said. Sounds nice. But she wouldn't go without her cousin from Jump, Barnsley. Their skint. £40 per person? Chuffin' eck. Looks like beans on toast for a week :(

But it will at least be home made baked beans :)