changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

A series of unfortunate events but a cracking holiday regardless. August 19, 2012

Filed under: cancer,out'n'bout — eclectic chicken @ 12:28 pm
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So…. Annie (of last years Whitby ‘fame’) and the boy and I set off on our summer holiday. Annie’s big Landrovery Discovery thing was pretty well packed, Henry dog was in half the boot and Lucky was on my knee with his head out of the window… the sun was shining…. the sky was blue….

…..and the car broke down just outside Peterborough.

We had a visit from an AA man… who suggested another man with a big tow truck would be a good idea… we saw some horses in a field and Rafe had his first poo in the open air (since he used to run naked and pre-toilet training incontinent in the garden).

The tow truck, driven by a very nice man drove us back to the start of Annies journey…so the boy and I were going away from holiday at that point.

The garage Annie uses lent us a courtesy car….a smaller car… so we moved our gubbins from one car to the next… jettisoned some things we hoped wouldn’t be neccessary for a week in Suffolk… pondered briefly where we’d put Annies daughters (joining us down there) on the way back…

…and set of again for Suffolk.

We arrived at dusk and the house was lovely… its in a village I used to live in, but a part of the country Annie didn’t know at all.Ā  It was lovely for me going back… lovely with a dollop of poignancy.

I took the dogs for a walk up the track by the cottage and immediately met someone I used to know… unsure she’d remember me after a decade I cautiously said hello – to be greeted with a hug and a five minute fast pace highlights of the doings of the parish council – of which I used to be a fairly bolshie member it would seem.

Back to the cottage and a sleep in the true darkness of a rural night with only the distant hum of the overnight harvesting.

Oh yes…. and as I unpacked I realised I’d forgotten my purse with all my bank cards in! (second disaster?)

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and we went to the beach in Thorpeness… my local geography came back fine and the boy and dogs (yes even the aquaphobic Lucky) frolicked in the waves.

The boy ate iced-cream, we saw the house-in-the-clouds and the mere and then on returning to the car discovered we had a flat tyre… not a bit flat…. but totally flat, with a ruddy big twig through the side-wall.

Ah..so this must be the third disaster… I reckoned we could change a tyre between us and set to. It was at the point where I was winding up the jack fairly ineffectively and had just broken a nail down to the quick that Annie managed to achieve eye-contact with a male of the species and reeled him in with her damsels in distress routine.

Gallant man he was too…. dressed in his towel from the beach he did indeed change the tyre, whilst we chatted to his wife and small boy.

I wish I’d got their name and email as that small boy promised if he ever found pirate treasure he’d give me all the diamonds. šŸ™‚

The next day Annie’s girls arrived and the week became a lovely holiday of continual sunshine, beaches, a castle, visiting old friends and neighbours, celebrating Annies birthday and generally kicking back into the slower pace of life Suffolk brings.

Oh… except for Wednesday.

Wednesday Annie drove me to A&E with another gall bladder flare up… where I spent two and a half hours waiting to be seen. The doctor, as my GP said, did offer to refer me to a surgeon but I’d end up with an out patient appointment in Suffolk ; sooooo… she gave me some drugs, anti-inflammatories, anti-spasmodics and anti-biotics… or rather she gave me a perscription and a half hour wait in the hospital pharmacy (when we eventually found it).

And then… like all good things the holiday came to an end. I hadn’t managed a walk on the common, there just wasn’t time.. there just wasn’t time in a week to see all my favourite things… and becuase of my restrictive diet no reason to visit my favourite foodie places down there like the Orford smoke house, Swiss Farm sausage shop…. and only the boy got to eat chips in Aldeburgh as they are cooked in beef fat which kinda put the vegetarians amongst us off.

An early rise on Saturday morning… I hailed the morning with the dogs on a last walk and spent a few minutes wondering howcome I ever left and then into the car, mostly packed the night before, and the last bits of luggage packed around us in any available scrap of space and we headed home.

 

A grand day out…. April 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 9:07 am
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Last week (as mentioned previously in this blog) we went to Brighton to visit the hospital and meet the surgeon in anticipation of Jane’s operation.

I havn’t been to Brighton for probably twenty years or more although it is on our shortlist of places we’d like to move to and it was so lovely to be down by the sea, eating chips, watching the waves, walking on the beach.

Except Jane it appears doesn’t ‘do’ beach walking…and certainly not in ‘these’ boots.

But we walked on the beach (mostly up and down a small stretch for the benefit of the filming) and one of us voiced memories of a similar beach almost eight years ago, where we met and walked (in fact i seem to remember being given a piggy back over the pebbles)… and the other of us whinged about the cold, the greyness of the sea and her boots….always the boots. (and no I didn’t give her a reciprocal piggy back… just a lecture onĀ  sensible footwear).

And then on the the Nuffield. (where we did more walking up and down).

Its a lovely hospital.. and by the end of the day I was certainly wishing I’d prioritised being able to afford (at least my second baby) under private healthcare. My two main memories of my stay in the old Peterborough maternity unit are a plate of gristle they atempted to pass off as food and a midwife who upon being approached by a post c-section mother trying to share a bed and breastfeed a 10lb 7 oz baby on a second night without sleep and only gristle to eat and just needed her baby taken for a couple of hours to another room PLEASE….told me (yes it was I) to go away ‘it’s not like its your first child’.

Lovely….

I know the NHS do wonderful things… but sometimes they don’t.

Anyway…I digress…

We had a guided tour of the facilities…. lovely room…view….own bathroom…meet the one to one nurse….and the other nurse….and the surgeon.

We were there three hours (ok..partly being followed by a camera slows things down)…but everything was explained properly… everything covered…. all questions thouroughly answered.

And we left with hugs all round.

The other thing of interest with the Nuffield is this.

 

Girls on film… April 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 11:41 pm
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Contrary to two things we are taking part in the making of a documentary about trans-women and their families. In our case this includes the run up (and very likely includes) JanesĀ  ‘op’.

Two things?

The first is that I swore after the Mail piece to never ever ever ever….ever… get involved in any sort of media shebang ever…ever…. (did i mention ever)? again. Not becuase I think the Mail piece […and no you can’t have a link…just trawl back through the blog or google til you find a pig in a wig (thats me that is)] is/was intrinsically bad per se. But becuase of the aftermath.

No, silly…. not those terrible bigotted cis types wot said all the wrong things and displayed their ignorance. But those trans types….who should know better and indeed let everyone know, at every opportunity that they DO know better and said the most horrible things.

Secondly… when I say ‘we’ are taking part. Our son (age 6) tells me its actually a documentary all about him (and perhaps the chickens).

But anyway….contrary to both those things we’re in cahoots with the lovely ladies at Wild Pictures and the end result should be shown in the Autumn on some ITV channel.

I fought tooth and nail not to be in it at first through shyness mostly (and tv adding HOW many pounds to ones visual weight)… but last week was first visit to the hospital in Brighton. To refuse to have been filmed would have made filming a nightmare for everyone….so I caved in… signed my soul away and tried to remember not to swear too much.

I know the end result will do the job it intends to do…same as the Mail piece did. It will get a message out that gender dysphoria happens to normal people in normal families and that those families one way or another have to deal with it.

Having us in it (and I don’t know the circumstances or any of the other people involved) will show it can be coped with… that life goes on. It may even educate people a little. It’ll certainly draw in an audience who want to gawp… but even if it makes a small percentage of those people pause for thought even onceĀ  it’ll be doing its job.

I think I trust the girls at Wild pictures to do a good job… what I don’t expect is a result that will please everyone.

Especially the politicised trans community… the consensus amongst most (cis?)people making the effort to show trans to the wider population is that they are buggers to please and that is perhaps what holds back their cause the most.

This is the sort of documentary that can’t hope to use all the right language in all the right places at all the right times… if it did it would have a very small politicised audience who understood it. It would be preaching to the converted.

It (I hope) will maybe make some small steps educationally and a HUGE step in just getting the subject out there and ‘all in the best possible taste’. [hmmm…not the best reference point to make methinks].

…and by the way… we don’t get paid. (though we did get bought some chips on Brighton beach)

 

 
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