Archive for the Henry Category

Episode 120. In which I am a terrible blogger.

Posted in diabetes, Henry, home, inanimate objects, people, Uncategorized, weather on September 8, 2011 by diabetses

Forgive me, reader, for I have sinned. It’s been about nine months since my last blog post. A lot has happened in that time.

Let me just cut you off at the pass here and reassure you that babies do not feature in those 9 months. At all. Complete lack of babies. No babies here.

So let me try and bring you up to date, month by month. I apologise if I forget anything, but do keep in mind, I’m not a very good person.

December 2010. *stares at screen for ten minutes* Well this is a good start. What the hell did I do in December? Oh, I know what I did. I went to bed on Christmas Eve happy, and woke up on Christmas Day with a big ugly burn on my arm. I slept on my hot water bottle, you see. Which burned my arm so I had a big blister. Mister had to go out and borrow a bandage from the first aid kit at the pub. This led to my new years resolution, on which more will follow.

January 2011. I started a new blog, called Clumsy Diabetic. Basically I am cataloguing all my self-inflicted injuries, and counting my new scars. If I get five new scars this year, I will, get a tattoo. *spoiler alert: I have more than five new scars already.*

February 2011. I got a manicure. I know this is lame. But I did. Mister went away for a week and while he was gone I just pottered around, as one does, and then I went out and got a manicure. I went to Lanes Health and Beauty, and had a nice relaxing half an hour. It was pretty.

March 2011. We moved house! From a flat, into a house, actually. With a garden. I know! It’s lovely.

April 2011. I don’t remember what happened then. Presumably we unpacked and got settled into the new house, the new commute and all that.

May 2011. May kind of sucked, and kind of didn’t, but I mostly want to cry when I think about it.  Our awesome cat, Henry, loved by everyone who met him, the cat most like a person that I will ever meet, I am sure, got sick very quickly and died. It was devastating, I was broken, and it hurt. It still hurts. I feel like I let him down, like it’s my fault, like if only I could hold him it would all be ok again. But he’s gone, and it’s shit. After a while, because the house felt so empty, we went to the RSPCA to start the process of adopting another cat, and happened to fall in love with two, a brother and sister, who we somehow managed to adopt really quickly. We named them Margot and Jerry, collectively known as The Leadbetters.

June 2011. I had my birthday! Happy birthday, me, you’re 32 now. I had a lovely, lovely day in the Northern Lights Scandinavian bar in Brighton, where they gave me a free shot of some liqueur that smelled very strongly of Fisherman’s Friend. It took me all afternoon to drink it, including watering it down as much as possible, and I still handed the glass back with more in the dregs than there would have been had it been, say strawberry cheesecake flavoured liqueur.

July 2011. Well, July was good. In July I was unemployed for a week, after my contract ended at my job, then I got another job, at the same place, and was employed again. Permanent contract this time, which is reassuring. And then, at the end of the month, I met Caitlin Moran. I went to an event for her book, which is brilliant in case you didn’t know already, and waited afterwards to get her to sign my copy. Which she did, very graciously. And she recognised my name from Twitter. And I totally spazzed out, because I love her work and her book and her sense of humour, and even just my name taking up a micron of her brainspace is amazing.

August 2011. August was my man’s 40th birthday month. I got him presents he had asked for, and we had a kind of dinner party, where I cooked a bunch of tapas type stuff that turned out quite nicely. Later in the month my mum visited, which was brilliant, and I made her a roast dinner, all by myself. And even later in the month, I got a Touchpad. It was a late birthday present from mister, he really is far too good for me. 🙂

September 2011. And here we are. So far, the rest of the year is planned out as a bunch of brilliant things. In a couple of weeks my sister comes to stay for a week. In early October I have to go to a conference in London which means I get to spend an evening with my best friend. And then at the end of October she is coming to stay for a weekend. In November my best friend from high school might be down here from scotland for a conference, and I will get to hang out with her, which would be cool beyond words. And then at Christmas, mister and I are going to Scotland. The flights are booked and everything, we’ll be up there for nine days in total. Mister has never been to my hometown, and I’m hoping to show him a proper white Christmas (one of the ones where you couldn’t leave the house even if you wanted to) and I can’t wait to show him where I grew up.

However, I will try to blog more.


I promise to try.

Diabetic moment of the day

So far ok, I think. Oh, I left the house without my insulin kit this morning and only realised when I was at the bus stop so I had to come all the way home for it. I am a twat. This isn’t news.


Episode 82. In which I make up the words.

Posted in food, Henry, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2009 by diabetses

I like to sing, although I really do sound abysmal, and I also like to make up the words as I go along.  Don’t get me wrong, I know the lyrics to a lot of songs – this was once explained to me as the reason I made a great ‘fag hag’ (the one and only time I’ve ever been called that, but I cherish it).  It’s just that I have a highly developed sence of the ridiculous and singing whatever pops into your head will often uncover moments of genius that you might otherwise have decided to keep to yourself.

There are several tunes that I mess with on a daily basis, these are staples, like potatoes and baked beans.  One of my main targets is the theme tune to Spiderman.  The original one, that went with the original cartoon.  For the most part, I use this tune as the starting point to make up songs about my cat, Henry.

The first song I remember making up about Henry went as follows.  To the tune of Spiderman, remember;

Garlic cat
Garlic cat
Does whatever a garlic cat does

Does he stink?
Yes he does
No he doesn’t
Yes he does

What appears to be random, mindless bullying is, in fact, based in truth, and features a complex emotional struggle.  Henry ahd just been caught up on the coffee table finishing off the remnants of my chicken kiev.  My chicken kiev with garlic butter.  I warned him he would stink of garlic, and then I put the sentiment into verse.  I immediately felt guilty about saying he stank, so I issued a denial, and gave him a little cuddle to apologise.  At which point it became clear that he did, in fact, stink of garlic, and so I repeated my original assertion.

Later sections of the song tend to be meaner still, a typical verse going as follows;

In the dead of night
He will cover you in fluff
He will hog the bed
And he’ll e-bay all your stuff

The other staple of our song-writing repertoire (because you’d better believe My Man’s got a piece of the action) is Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No.  This song plays a very important role in our day.  We sing it every morning as we’re leaving for work.  Here’s an example to give you an idea;

Got my keys
Got my phone
Got my lunch
Got my book
Got my purse
Got my scarf
Got my gloves
I’ve got my brolly

One morning recently we forgot to sing our morning song.  We left the house without lots of things we needed.  We have clearly come to rely on it.

I was recently dozing on the train and became aware of the fact that my brain was making up a song without telling me.  I tried to remember it but it slipped away, and all I remembered was the last line;

You’re all fluffy, and your hair smells like shit

Oh, how I wish I could remember the rest of that song.

There are songs I don’t know the words to.  This is likely to be because I haven’t heard them a lot, so it doesn’t bother me, but once in a while I hear a song I half know and in attempting to sing along I will fill in the gaps.  One of my favourites examples of this, and one that is currently stuck in my head (since a man who could’ve passed for David Bowie’s brother sat opposite me on the train home yesterday), is this.  Having looked it up, I know now that the real line is;

Here am I sitting in a tin can.

What I sing is this.

Why am I sitting in a binbag?

Diabetic moment of the day

Today I bought a huge pile of chocolate.  For personal reasons.

Episode 80. In which we watch Rush Hour 2.

Posted in Henry, home, inanimate objects, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2009 by diabetses

Rush Hour 2 happens to be on TV right now.  We just ate dinner and it happened to be starting as we sat down so it’s what we’re watching.  In the absence of anything better.

Here are the reasons I like Rush Hour 2.

  • Jackie Chan films have great action, because you know it’s Jackie Chan doing all the stunts, and there’s as much slapstick as there is action.
  • You know you’re going to get a load of excellent bloopers on the end credits.
  • Rush Hour 2 has that girl in it that is quite scarily pretty but manages to look bitter enough to be a cold killer, which of course is what they want you to believe.  I do.
  • The bit with the karaoke.
  • The neck dancing (although I do prefer Rush Hour and War (What Is It Good For?))

That’s all I can think of.  But then this was a bit of a stretch to start with.

Today My Man planted some vegetables in our new garden, and did some laundry, and I continued to unpack, and watched loads of rubbish telly, and had a wonderful nap, and now the cat is asleep on top of a box.  He sleeps on a cushion on the armchair usually, but last night we had a friend round, so we moved the cushion (cat and all) to one of the cardboard boxes we still have lying around from the move.  To start with he was a bit put out but now he seems to have decided that the box is easier to get onto anyway.  It was great fun watching him leap up onto the armchair.  Anyway, if he’s happy sleeping on a box it’s fine with me, although I might get some kind of little table or something for his cushion to go on.  Just cos having a cardboard box lying around for ever and ever will piss me off.

Diabetic moment of the day

None.  Again.  Yay me.  I did have to find a place to keep my stuff though.  I’ve got boxes of needles, boxes of lancets, boxes of test strips, all that crap, and I needed a place to put them.   I’ve created myself a little dressing table on top of my chest of drawers, they have their own little corner.  Yay drugs.

Episode 76. In which I go back to work.

Posted in general health, Henry, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2009 by diabetses

As a general rule, I try not to take long periods of time off work in one go.  By long periods I mean anything more than about three days (not counting weekends, of course).  Today was my first day back at work in nine days, and it was very, very difficult.  There was a lot for me to do and I worked through lunch to get through it.  Unfortunately I forgot that I can’t do working through lunch.  I have a certain number of hours in me each day, and if I work through lunch then I am completely run down by 4pm and I spend the last hour and a half a lot less productively than I could.  I need to remember to take my lunchbreak and start again at 2pm, so that I can work right up to 5.30 and, if I’m lucky, have one of those “is it that time already?” moments.

They’re great.

Also, Henry’s not well, My Man’s got to take him to the vet tomorrow.  I thought at first it was just the stress of moving house, although he doesn’t seem too stressed in his personality, just he’s constantly in the litter tray, but it’s been a couple of days now and he’s still happy enough but he’s still in the litter tray a lot.  So we’ve got to get him seen to.  Poor ickle kitty.

Diabetic moment of the day

I don’t think I had a diabetic moment today.  I don’t think I had time.  I checked my blood sugar a couple of times and they were perfect.  Yay pancreas.

Episode 74. In which we hire a carpet cleaner.

Posted in Henry, home, inanimate objects with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by diabetses

Today we’ve got a proper carpet cleaner, to make sure that we give back our old flat nice and clean, as a good tenant should.  It all sounded like great fun until we actually turned it on, at which point it became a bit scary and “yes, the carpet will be clean, but what are the possible downsides to this?

It’s going fine, don’t get me wrong, My Man’s done the bedroom and it’s drying right now.  It’s just a bit serious, put this much of this liquid in, spray that liquid on the carpet and leave it for ten minutes, mix that much water at no hotter than that temperature in with this liquid and then put your hand on this trigger and so on and so on.  Basically, just begging for me to go and do something idiotic.

While we were doing this Henry appeared outside the back door.  We let him out at the new flat quite soon because he doesn’t explore far, I mean he will do but to start with he stayed in the courtyard, then he strayed up the stairs a bit, then he went into the upstairs garden but always where he could see us, and now he’s exploring around the place.  I think he must’ve heard me or something in the old flat because I looked out the window at one point and he was sitting by the back door staring at me.  He may think he’s been bodysnatched, after all how else can he explain there being a me and My Man at the new place, and also a me and My Man at the new place?  I eventually had to carry him through the front door and back to the new flat.  Hopefully he won’t go back, or at least he won’t hang around if he doesn’t see me in the window gazing back at him.

He’s still getting used to the new place.  To be honest, he’s pooing a lot.  Or at least scratching around in his litter tray a lot.  For now it’s in the hall by the front door, just because there are still boxes everywhere else.  And we must’ve been woken up at least ten times last night by him scratching around.  I think he might be working through a little bit of an unsettled tummy, caused by all the moving around and confusion.  My Man thinks he may be bulimic.

Diabetic moment of the day

We are still without internet, TV or landline.  We are being blamed for this and this morning it was implied very strongly by someone in customer services that we had done something wrong and were making things up and lying about whether or not we’d received a letter about it.  As soon as I can get hooked up to a printer a very strongly-worded letter will be going to the company, with a copy for Ofcom, just for good measure.

Whilst talking to customer services I was made so angry, and so offended, and I was making such an effort to stay rational that I somehow managed to dump all my blood sugar and had to eat a handful of dolly mixtures as soon as I hung up.

So presumably the implication would then be that I had lied about what I knew and didn’t know and the effort of lying was such that I faked a hypoglycaemic attack for attention.

Episode 70. In which we go for a walk.

Posted in food, Henry, home with tags , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2009 by diabetses

We’re still doing the housemoving thing, this morning we moved a load of stuff round and then we dismantled the sofa and put the pieces in the new living room, ready to be put back together when I’ve washed the covers.

I managed to persuade My Man to go out for lunch with me, so we went for a walk to see if the place we had lunch last time we moved house was open.  It wasn’t, and it wasn’t going to be open for another half hour, so we went somewhere else.  Only to find we’d missed their lunch service by about three minutes.  We went somewhere else again and missed their lunch service by seven minutes.  In the end we came home and had a tin of soup with chips.  And bread and butter.  OK, I admit I only made bread and butter so I could have chip butties.  And they were among the best chip butties I’ve ever had.  But still, it was a very pleasant walk, but a waste of time as regards treating ourselves.

We’re hoping to get most of what’s left moved tomorrow.  We move in officially on Saturday, so that’s when the bed, fridge-freezer, washing machine and bookcases will go in.  Then we have a week before the landlords of the flat we’re leaving get home, so we’re cleaning the place up good and proper – hiring a carpet cleaner and everything, it’s going to be spotless.

The cat’s been in a weird mood, which isn’t surprising really, given that everything’s a massive mess and the furniture he’s used to sleeping on has gone missing.  There are nooks and crannies that weren’t there before, and we keep coming and going out the front door.  He doesn’t get to use the front door, we let him out the back but the front door leads to nothing but the main road and we don’t want him out there.  He sniffs it sometimes, and he tries to sneak out if we leave it open for more than a minute, and while we’ve been coming and going he’s been sticking around close to the front door so that when we go out with boxes, or come back with empty boxes, he can try to slither out through our legs.

He’s not getting out.

Hopefully he’ll settle into the new flat quite quickly, it’s almost exactly the same after all.  It’ll be a little while before we can let him out the back, because we don’t want him standing outside the old flat miaowing to be let back in.  He’s a lovely cat, and he likes living with us.  It’s going to be fine.

Diabetic moment of the day

Haven’t had one.  Not even one.

Episode 52. In which it’s snowing.

Posted in diabetes, Henry, weather with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2009 by diabetses

That’s right, it’s snowing.  The flakes are varying in size every few minutes, it started off quite small but respectable, then pretty huge (an inch across, maybe), and now it’s gone down to tiny little dandruff flakes.  It’s very disappointing, but better than nothing.  I’m a Highlander transplanted to the South Coast, I need snow from time to time to keep me sane, and it’s snowed a few times since I moved down here – I wouldn’t be surprised if it had snowed more in Brighton in the past year and a bit than it had in any comparable time period during my lifetime.  Of course, all the snow Brighton’s had in the last century probably wouldn’t add up to one of the snow days I got used to growing up.

Walking home from the pub last night there was frost on the cars, so I’m hoping that if it continues to snow through the night, there’ll be more of a chance of it lying.  However, I do have some limitations on what I’m hoping for.  I wouldn’t be devastated if the trains stopped running, let’s face it none of us would complain about a genuine reason to stay home on a schoolday – and I’m perfectly happy to work from home in that case.  However, with my luck everything will be fine until I get to… probably somewhere between Gatwick and Croydon, that’s the longest distance between stations on my commute.  So my train will get that far and at that point the rails will get all upset about the snow.  Just in case, you can bet that tomorrow I won’t be leaving the house without at least ten thousand calories in my rucksack.  Just in case.

Ooh, big flakes again.  It’s still not lying, but it’s the thought that counts.

And now I’m going to read yesterday’s papers.  I read the papers every day except Sunday, for work.  I mean, I read every day’s papers, except I don’t read Sunday’s papers.  From this, I have discovered two surprising things.  Number one is that I hate almost everything about the Guardian, up to and including how much it smells.  The exception is Charlie Brooker.  Number two is that I actually quite enjoy the FT.

Also, I’m not talking to Henry today.  He was lovely this morning, and I gave him a little bit of the fat off my bacon.  For this he repays me by jumping up onto the table to eat the rasher My Man couldn’t finish, right off his plate.  He’s not allowed on the table, and he shouldn’t be eating off plates, so I’m not talking to him.  And he’s not allowed to curl up in my lap as he likes to do.  I’d take away his TV privileges too but I’m watching Sea of Souls, which isn’t spectacular viewing but I like it, and it used to be filmed (before they started taking it around Britain) in a building at the University of Strathclyde, where I got my MSc.  And short of locking him out in the snow, which would be a bit tight (and is still going strong, by the way) I can’t stop him from watching it.

Diabetic moment of the day.

Today’s diabetic moment started yesterday.  I tested my blood sugar in the pub when it was time for my ‘bedtime’ injection (which is actually at a specific time every day, that time being bedtime most days, but some days it’s just when the party’s getting started, and which you can see here (N.B. this picture is for comedy value, I can do better if I really really try)).  It was 4.1, which is lower than it should be, but I had no symptoms so I left it for an hour and when I tested it again it was 5.3, so either some stupid barman slipped me full-sugar coke instead of diet, or my body is now regulating its own sugar as well as its own insulin production, but only doing either when it feels like it.

Anyway, we went to the kebab shop on the way home and I got a big fat burger with chips.  I should’ve taken some of my mealtime insulin but I forgot.  Fast forward to this morning and I checked my blood sugar when I woke up, having remembered my oversight – it was 5.0.  Spot on perfect, what everyone (diabetic and non-diabetic) should read before a meal.  All in all, it’s confusing, but handy, and if my body wants to be diabetic most of the time I’m happy to keep up the injections, so long as if I forget every now and then, my pancreas picks up the slack.  That sounds fair.

Incidentally, no word from my diabetes nurse about the Exeter study, but I think the above should count for something.  Also, if I do have some new type of diabetes, it has been suggested to me that I insist (and have it written into any medical disclaimer or legal contract I might sign) that it be referred to in the future as ‘Diabetses”.  Oh, for any strangers reading this, the joke is that my name is Betsy.  Betsy.  Diabetes.  Diabetses.  Just imagine if one day this nonsense is the oldest online record of a proper medical condition.

That’s intense.