About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunday Crafting

Sorry, things have been quiet on the crafting front here at Knitting Novice HQ recently.

This pregnancy seems to have really taken it out of me. 

Well before Christmas I started a Flower Fairies Cross Stitch. Its a tiny little thing, but I have not had any motivation to pick that up, so it is sitting neglected in a box. This was spurred on by the fact that I had a look at all the Flower Fairies Cross Stitch kits I had (9 or 10 I think) and thinking actually it would be really nice to get them all done so I could sew them into some sort of wall hanging.

You may remember my joy when I learnt to crochet. However that joy has been short lived. All I can seem to manage is flowers and things I can complete in one sitting. Anything that involves counting rows, decreasing or increasing is a massive fail. I have tried and tried and tried. I follow so many bloggers & twitterers that love crochet and rave about how easy and quick it is, and I know this must be true as I have managed to do flowers and Imogens huge Granny Square for her cushion. But to actually make something else - a toy or even a heart seems to be beyond me. I have you tubed, I have ravelry'd, I have followed tutorials for Attic 24 and Mollie Makes and have decided that I will stick to flowers.

So you can see why I have become quite lethargic and mojo less. 

But the last couple of weeks have given me a kick. I was sitting looking at the storage pouffe full of wool and the shelf full of knitting books and realised that at some point in the next 8 - 12 weeks I am going to have a new little life to clothe and care for. I know that when that happens my 'me time' will be severely curtailed and so I need to spend some time using up some of the wool I have. Added to that both of the other 2 have had hand knitted cardigans, hats, blankets and toys from mummy & grandma when they were born. I realised I needed to kick myself (not really obviously) and get knitting. 

I am currently knitting a lovely stripy diamond pattern blanket for bump, have taken 3 books out of the library which have some lovely ideas for using up some of my stash. I have also found the socks I made when we went away at October half term and the hat & mittens I knitted for Imogen after she was born and I was bored stupid in hospital.

And so my knitting mojo has returned. I will stick with crocheting flowers and the occasional ball and granny square and accept that I am far more skilled at intarsia, socks, knitting in the round and generally using 2 pointy sticks than I ever will be at using 1

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Are we really responsible for the death of the British High Street?

Today I took delivery of this denim jacket from Next.co.uk.

Nothing wrong with that you might say, it's quite a nice jacket. 

I have to say I love it, it fits really nicely, I can do a button up over my pregnant boobs, and will probably be able to do the rest of the buttons up in a few months once this bump has gone. 

However, this morning I saw this report on the BBC Breakfast News and started to wonder whether there might be other reasons that the British high street is dying.

If you don't know me here are some of my vital statistics:

Height 6' (1.8m)
Inside Leg 35' (longer than standard long length trousers which is normally 33')
Everything else in proportion to being 6' tall.

I have accepted that I will never be able to buy something off the rack and always check out stores to see if they have a tall range. This didn't used to be a problem. New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Top Shop, Next et al all used to stock at least some of their Tall ranges in store. This meant that I could go into a store, browse, try stuff on and then purchase it there and then. Therefore I was contributing to the British High Street. 

Then, gradually, the Tall ranges disappeared. I can't comment on Top Shop as I haven't been able to shop there for a few years. But first Dorothy Perkins made their Tall range online only, shortly afterwards New Look & Next followed suit. 

And it isn't just these retailers a lot of stores do Long or even Extra Long length, but you have to order it online. 

As a tall person I had come to terms with the fact that according to most retailers TALL & PREGNANT were mutually exclusive terms. I got very cross when I was pregnant with Isaac that the only 2 pairs of maternity trousers that I could get to fit me well were both 2nd hand Long Tall Sally from Ebay (at that time Long Tall Sally had stopped doing maternity wear). I did manage to pick up 2 pairs of combat trousers from H&M's Mama range which are still going strong on pregnancy number 3, but whenever I looked at Maternity Clothes they were all designed for people under 5'10" or so. 

I don't know what the answer to this is. Obviously shops cannot stock everything in every store. But, there is a very large New Look & Next in Crawley, neither of which stock a tall range anymore and so I am forced to purchase things online which apparently is contributing to the death of the British High Street