Pain, Pills and Bad Nursing

Nearly 5 weeks ago now, my other half did something to her back whilst getting ready for work.  For as long as I can remember, her back has always been a problem but nothing has been quite as severe as this incident.  I found one morning her stuck on all fours, sweating with the pain and on the verge of passing out.  Knowing her pain threshold is pretty high, I was more than a little alarmed and frantically dialled for the paramedics whilst she groaned ‘no doctors! no doctors!’ before wretching with another spasm.  Being a doctor herself, I know how stubborn she can be about receiving treatment so I duly ignored her pleas.

I was less than helpful in this challenging situation. The best I could do was dab her forehead and stuff pillows around her for support until the paramedic arrived, at which point I did what I do best, I made a cup of tea and started to clean and apologise profusely for the state of the house.

The paramedic left an hour later, then the doctor arrived with a look of concern on his face, prescribed a cocktail of drugs and signed her off for 4 weeks.    She has yet to go back to work and I have been chastised for my impatience because, quite frankly, it is hideously dull when your other half is unable to do anything more than crawl from sofa to bed, to bathroom and back to bed.  Having said all that, she is now on the mend and mobile enough to have short, easy walks. I no longer have to play full time nurse, taxi driver, chef, cleaner and waiter, and I shall never take our mobility for granted again!  Hats off to those people who are full time carers.  It’s hard work.

Pain Pills and bad nursing

The Doc’s Birthday

The DocLast week was my other half’s birthday.  The big FOUR OHHHH!

With my event planner’s hat on, I organised a weekend away in a coaching house owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.  The Devonshire Arms is four star luxury on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, overlooking the grounds of Bolton Abbey and into the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  This was a far cry from our usual ‘let’s celebrate by camping’ weekends, which are more often than not, marred by bad weather, inadequate bedding and loud, inconsiderate campers.  Nay! This time we joined the coiffed, well to do, Range Rover driving, hunting, shooting, fishing folk and settled in for a weekend in front of log fires, sipping champagne and watching the snow fall by the bucket loads.  Sadly not enough snow fell to render us stranded in the lap of luxury.

Amongst other things, the Birthday Girl received a book chronicling her life, with comments and anecdotes from friends and family.  At this point, I’d like to plug as an excellent way of compiling and producing books. Whether you are a professional or a lay person, the quality of the blurb books is smashing and there’s no need to faff about uploading images to their website, you can do it all on your own computer (with Adobe Indesign) before sending them the finished product for print.

I also drew here this cartoon which pretty much sums up what she does as a Maxillofacial Surgeon (head and neck surgery).  Despite being dually qualified with both a dentistry and a medical degree, she can often be heard telling people to take two paracetamol and go to bed.  Surprisingly, this cure works for a whole array of symptoms that I present in order to keep her on her toes.  Some might say I’m a hypochondriac.



Everyone is talking about Movember.  It is the one and only time of year I wish I had facial hair – imagine the things you could do with it!  In case you don’t know what Movember is: During November each year,  thousands of men men across the UK and around the world grow moustaches with the aim to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

In the image below, I was testing my new brush pen…


A rather frenetic three days in London have come to an end.  I have skirted around the city on various work visits or on the occasional get-together with friends, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to soak in the atmosphere and visit the top tourist attractions.  My mother, keen to reinforce the maternal / filial bonds, saw this as an opportunity for us to spend some quality time together. So, with a little bit of planning an a lot of luck we left the quiet solitude of our respective houses in the ‘north of England’ and in the Jura Mountains (France) to tussle and jostle with some of the millions of tourists that visit London annually.

Every hour of our three day tour was packed with interest, culture, art, music, heritage, gastronomic delights and shopping.  So much so that I need a few days holiday to recover.  We visited the Houses of Parliament (a real highlight); the London Eye where mum was reunited with her fear of heights; Harrods, where for the first time I felt my bank account was completely inadequate; we took in two shows, Jumpy and Singing in the Rain (ponchos are requirement); we were perplexed by contemporary performance art at the Haywood Gallery; intrigued by the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition, ‘Bronze‘; enlightened by the Royal Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake; moved by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition; felt patriotic watching the changing of the Horse Guards and were calmed by our saunter through St James’ Park.

If you felt tired reading that, imagine how we felt at the end of our stay?!  Enjoyable and draining in equal measures, there has been talk of making this an annual event…

On my return home, I doodled on the train:


Map Schmap!

One of the best things about living in Sheffield is the proximity to the Peak District.  If you’re the spontaneous type (which I am) and fancy a short walk on a sunny summer’s evening, then you can be on the hills within 15 minutes and can walk until sun sets.

Since we’ve moved here, we often head out after work to breathe in the fresh air and wash away the day’s drudgery on England’s green and pleasant land.   In our part of the Peaks there are huge expanses of rolling heathland that intermittently come to an abrupt end where the cliff faces of Stannage Edge or Froggat Edge drop away into the valleys.  The rocky outcrops are a mecca for climbers, walkers, joggers and evening strollers, but if you go late enough, you can find yourself alone in the wilderness with wild grouse, hares, weasels and kestrels for company.

L and I are still finding our way around and we’ll often deviate from our pre-planned route to explore a new path or take in a new vista.  Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for this, coupled with my failure to carry a map every time we go for a walk, often leads to unwanted adventures…