Baby's age counter

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Allergy delight

Last night I was treated to a Thai meal at a nice restaurant near my home. I tucked into the starter with gusto, dipping my prawn toast in sweet chilli sauce and nibbling the lettuce garnish. Then onto the main course; huge mounds of egg fried rice, vegetables with beef or prawns. Delicious! I dug in greedily and quickly polished off a plate with a little of everything before I started feeling a bit odd. My tongue felt a little ‘strange’, almost like it was developing a life of its own. I stuck my tongue out to show my dinner date who screwed up his face in distaste and suggested I go and look at it myself in the Ladies. Off I trotted with a knot on concern growing in my belly – my tongue was feeling VERY odd by this time. I quickly locked myself in and stuck my tongue out as far as it would go in order to inspect it fully in the little mirror and poor lighting.

It looked like parts of it had literally melted away! There were odd craters where my tongue used to live! At the back of my throat you could see massive red lumps rising. (I should have taken photos to scare people with.) The knot of fear tightened, after all how much would everything swell up?

Fortunately after about 30 minutes it started going down again. My only conclusion is that perhaps I had prawns or peanuts that set it off. This adds to the list of foods I now need to avoid: dairy, strawberries and now shell-fish. Plus, my delightful and sadly regular mosquito-bite swellings problem and a growing number of allergies to make-up/beauty products. All of my favourite things! Perhaps I should just give up and live off potatoes and water. It would make things more straightforward.

Hopefully a little visit to a specialist will sort out anything else I need to stop trying to eat. It’s so depressing. I am going to become one of those people who goes out to eat and sits there saying “oh, I can’t eat that as it contains x”. Those kind of people annoy me and now I am joining the club.

Friday, 24 August 2007


A lovely week in Sorrento. That was the plan.
The first few days were great. The area was beautiful (as is evident in the photo!) and the hot weather was a (mostly) welcome change. We had fun walking about the side streets looking at the different shops and restaurants, planning where we'd eat each night.
Then 2 days in... I got tonsilitis. How annoying. After a couple of days I decided to get some medicine for it to speed up my recovery. What an adventure! As a completely non-Italian speaker I was a little nervous as we took a taxi to the hospital. The whole episode turned out to be very confusing. First of all we sat in a little entrance bit which seemed like the waiting area, but were not able to find Reception. Being English we'd automatically joined the queue that seemd to be in place, but after about 20-30 mins some investigating was done. You had to go INTO the treatment areas to register and get into the queue!
Then George Cloony (or whatever the Doc was called) took me into the treatment area. There were a few drops of blood on the floor which was a bit disconcerting but I was a little happier when a guy starting moving the serious looking equipment. The doctor had only a tiny peek at my tonsils and then said "lots of inflammation" and walked off to write me a prescription. I didn't have to speak Italian at all!
Having sorted out the tonsilitis problem I thought I was safe to enjoy the rest of my holiday. I felt quite rough still the next day... and developed a cold! How unlucky!! Some would argue I had also contracted a serious case of Man-Flu, but that is by the by.
Although a lovely place to visit, my trip to Sorrento was seriously curtailed by my stupid health. At least the hotel was lovely and it was nice to sit out in the warm beside the pool. Moreover I've never had tastier tomatoes (when I could still taste them!) Next time I go to Italy I can't wait to hire a scooter and dash all around town!!

The trilogy

The lost memory of the Left Alone Trilogy… after about 4 years I have seen the first one again and also saw the two subsequent films. That first part seems to epitomise that moment in time in my memory of those guys. Love it. Plus I love the scenery (particularly the parts in my old university flat!)

The genius that is the film maker Robert Parker lives on. I really hope Rob does well in his career making movies because the trilogy shows so much potential.

However, the question I really want to know the answer to is: when will Den be starring in more movies?

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Birthday cake

Having the French girl around for so long means that she has also joined me on mundane tasks such as food shopping. One afternoon she spent a long time in M&S as I browsed which biscuits I fancied eating just then. Her attention turned to the array of birthday cakes. Strangely in France such cakes are not common for birthdays.

Seeing her excitement at the cakes encouraged me to purchase one for last night when she cooked us a dinner of traditional French crepes – complete with French cheese! Although it was not her birthday for another 6 weeks or so, I thought that would add to the surprise.

The crepes were delicious. My favourite turned out to be egg, cheese and ham. A short while later we settled down for a cup of coffee and a chat… we brought out the birthday cake with the addition of a candle. Never before have you seen such excitement on a girl’s face. She literally leapt up and was thrilled. When she cut up the cake she could not stand still and it was lovely to watch. You’d never believe she was about to celebrate her 19th birthday!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

My baby’s ill

Last Friday Liam the cat disappeared for a long time. This is highly unusual as he is a bit of a baby and rarely strays further than the back garden. Hours later he nearly knocked me off my feet and he leapt through the front door. Then I noticed that although he’d moved fast he was limping badly. He then threw himself down onto the floor and looked up mournfully, rather like Puss in Boots in the Shrek films (2 and 3).

In a panic I took him to the vet where they said he’s not well and kept him in over night. This, rather than calming my panic, only set me off into a greater sense of fear. My over-active imagination kept ticking over all the awful things that may result. The next day I went to fetch the little lamb and he was a little better. However, he didn’t stay better. He was pathetic all weekend so on Monday I was really happy to be taking him back to the vet. He had barely eaten anything at all and that was highly unusual.

So now I have to give him pain relief liquid once per day and one and a half antibiotic tablets TWICE per day. What a palava! So now, not only is he ill and feeling rough, he’s starting to resent me. I give him his medicine and then he goes and hides elsewhere and sulks until it’s time for me to pin him down again. Back to the vet this afternoon and hopefully he’ll get the all clear. Please…. No more medicine to administer!!!!

Summer holidays

Almost half way through the summer holidays and I can’t even think what I have achieved! But perhaps that is the point of the holidays – to NOT achieve things and just relax. Although relaxing is not something I can think of having done too much. I hope my colleagues and students have had more luck in that department.

The French girl has been here for almost 3 weeks and we’ve been tourists quite a lot. We went to Windsor and saw the town and surrounding countryside. It was a beautiful day and it was fun to realise that the Queen was in residence. I also took her to Hayling Island on the south coast. Unfortunately it turned out to be a nasty rainy day (despite what the weatherman had said) but we had fun nonetheless. We had the delights of a fish and chip lunch in the drizzle on the beach, where I introduced her to the delicacy that is mushy peas! We then spent a few happy hours playing with the 2p machines. Oddly they don’t seem to have them in France so it was quite funny to see the look of surprise on her face when she saw all these tiny English kids shoving 2ps into the machines like there’s no tomorrow.
To be honest, it’s been good fun to be a tourist and it makes me wonder why we all go abroad so much. In the same breath and just to be a total hypocrite, I am soooo excited about my trip to Naples next week. It’s going to be amazing. Lots of sun and the hotel will be right next to the sea. Once I am back from that trip I really will be focusing on getting my school stuff sorted out. I still haven’t been into school to do my filing or organised myself for the first few weeks of term! There’s so much I could do, it’s just a question of prioritising what would be the most beneficial.