It's been a hive of activity in my bedroom over Easter........What? NO! Not THAT sort of activity!
The incredibly famous Mike (Pob) the stunt driver off Thomas the Tank Engine came to stay for a few days. He said he was absolutely desperate to practice his DIY skills but didn't want to ruin anything in his own house so I offered the use of mine. (Generous to a fault, yes I know). He came with his car loaded up with a work mate (not a hunky, "Oh Lord! Please let there be a heatwave so he takes his top off" kind, the workbench sort, hmpf). He also brought a scary looking circular saw that I might pretend caused the vertical scar on my belly and other miscellaneous tools. I should point out I have a damn fine selection of tools myself, including two sanders, drill, jigsaw, allen key set, spanner sets, socket sets, bradawl, counter sinker, hacksaws etc, but you know how artists like to use their own stuff.
Wednesday we just ate chips (no curry sauce, the Codfather got the order totally wrong, much to my dismay). Thursday involved Mike crawling around on my bedroom floor ripping up floorboards and putting right some loose wiring and finding a bottomless pit. He lost his leg down the pit at one point and Skittles, the daft apeth, under the floorboards. Somewhere along the way we consumed a bottle of wine........and one evening some serious vodka and "This is England" which was a terrifying trip down memory lane for me and a source of amusement for my daughter at the awful hairstyles and glasses of the 80s.
He then spent an entire day chiselling out rock solid concrete so I could have the lovely pretty sockets in more convenient places. Oh how he laughed when he got grit in his eyes and blood on his knuckles where he missed with the lump hammer............oh no that was me laughing. Until he made me have a go and my wrist swelled up and was very, very hurty indeed. I made him more tea and plied him with biscuits to keep him here. I now have beautiful brushed satin finish sockets and light switch. Lovely.
It's all a bit of a blur for the rest of it (probably the vodka) but I now have an incredibly neatly laid laminate floor - having laid one myself single handed it was a damn sight easier just being the "whoa!" woman and holding the boards to be sawn. I also have a lovely (if horribly cheap) beech laminate bedroom door complete with brushed satin modern door handle. Gone is the nicotine yellow, badly glossed door with 1950s original door furniture and hinges padded out with strips of leather - which never actually shut properly the whole time I've been here. To any DIYers out there who've hung doors before: my doorframe is so wonky it was 2.5cm out on one side! Maximum amount to be trimmed on all sides of door = 0.5cm. All I'm saying is, thank god for the Stunt Driver!
I did manage to keep feeding the poor chap and supplying tea, even amazing myself by having a spare bag of sugar when I ran out. I also finished painting the walls (in between holding floor boards and running to the toilet). All that is left is to finish the skirting board (yes, YES, I KNOW you're supposed to do the woodwork first, I've been ill, stop having a go) and fit some trim and then I can return the furniture to the walls instead of the pile in the middle of the room!
We had an "eat all you can" carvery on Bank Holiday Monday by way of celebration at the Merry Monk listening to the most dire selection of music I've ever heard. It was kind of cool in a kitsch way.
Anyway. Tuesday I went to see Mr A, the surgeon. Not much to report really. Surgically I'm fine and there is no reason for the amount of pain I have, but he believes it will eventually go away as the radiation damage heals. As this part of my body has spent 9 months doing nothing and it's only been a month since surgery it's still early days. I'm to try brufen twice a day. The scar is healed nicely, if still a little hard and lumpy around it. He's very impressed with the 10 incher! I mentioned the hard painful lump a week or two ago and he checked for hernias but there were none. Phew. I'm having my next scan in June sometime which will be a year since surgery and we're hoping the spots on my liver will have receded, if not disappeared, proving them to be chemo damage and not new tumours. I still, therefore, can't actually think of myself in remission at this point. Believing them to be chemo damage and proving it are two different things.
Since I, sort of, got the all clear I went to the gym for the first time. I managed 7 minutes on a bike, 7 minutes on the rower and another 3.5 on a cross trainer, did some squats and a couple of machines for triceps and shoulders and skipped the abs exercises. Trouble was, now my feet have worsened with the nerve damage and it hurts like hell to stretch out my legs - I can't do it! I wonder what Dr Tom will have to say about that next month?
Vegan Rigatoni Alla Norma
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