Tomorrow is the big day!

So, yesterday Bert and I went to the pet shop to price up me getting a corn snake. I duly looked, read, and spent about an hour doing the deed and came up with the following

Terrarium kit (heating inclusive) – £89
Haven furniture for shedding – £13
Coconut dome for dry hiding – £3
HEAVY water bowl – £6.50
Aspen bedding – £10
Sphagnum moss (for shedding) – £7
Food (don’t ask unless you REALLY want to know) – £4 (for 3 months supply)
Feeding tongs – £8.50
For want of a better word, poo remover – £2

so, without the snake, just to set it up, would cost £143. I was rather impressed at that. Now, as you know I was just pricing it up and Bert could see how excited I was getting so unbeknownst to me, went and got the reptile expert to come over and speak to me. She asked to see the list I had made, asked about my budget etc, basically interviewed me and….. I passed! I was thoroughly impressed when she told me that they refuse to sell more snakes than they actually do sell due to prospective first time owners not knowing what they are letting themselves in for. Although they are pretty little things when they are the length of a 12″ ruler, they can live up to 20 years in captivity and have been known to hit 5′ in length regularly, sometimes even 6′ depending on the husbandry.

Little did I know, that Bert had already told her I was allowed one (he had phoned the housing board and we have verbal approval) so we got a trolley and popped all the stuff into it.

THEN the big moment came – time to pick a pet who hopefully will be with me for 20 years. Now, you don’t just waltz in and buy the terrarium, bits and bobs and snake in one go – you have to set the terrarium up and go back 48 hours later to get your chosen snake as the temperature is very important.

The lovely reptile expert (Steph) brought several corn snakes down for me to see – of course they are up high where I can’t see whilst sat in Lilith! I decided that I would like a female as they are more docile, and don’t become, how to put this delicately, aroused, unless put with a male snake. There were several different morphs of corn snake but one stood out head and shoulders above the rest. She is an albino lavender and I am going to go and pick her up tomorrow. When Steph brought her down to see me, she opened up the box and brought her out, as she had done with the previous ones, but this lady just had a look in her eye. She lifted her head up and slithered into Steph’s hands. When Steph brought her closer to me, she literally flung herself at me, so with a quick squirt of antibac hand gel, I was allowed to hold her. She held her head up high and looked me straight in the eye. Then she gracefully curved round my fingers and wrist, so delicately it was gorgeous to see. She took a little trip up my cardigan sleeve to see what was going on up there and Steph was just about to get her, when I said it was fine with me as long as it was fine with her, and she let us be for a while longer. She was really surprised at how at ease I was with her until I explained that my grandmother on my father’s side of the family used to have an 8′ boa constrictor as a pet and would regularly cook tea with it draped round her neck!

At this point I hadn’t realized but a few of the other staff had come over to see what was going on – apparently snakes don’t often pick their owners, but I had well and truly been singled out by this gorgeous lady. She has seduced me completely. So, after having a good ten minutes of time with her, I reluctantly put her back, but knowing I could pick her up tomorrow.

So, tomorrow, our house is welcoming its newest arrival. Miss Catherine Earnshaw. She is spirited, inquisitive and above all, different. Just like me! I will, however, be calling her Cathy!

It was very sad putting her back in her little box, but Bert and I bought her new home, furniture and food and it is set up ready, heating up on track, for her arrival tomorrow. I was VERY impressed that the pet store required us to set up Cathy’s home in advance, and we have to take a picture of the thermometer to show that it is at the required temperature before they will sell her to me, even though she is ‘reserved’ until tomorrow.

Today is feeding day at the pet store, so I won’t need to feed her until next Sunday, and it is going to push me to the brink of my self control not to mither her when I get her home, but I have read extensively, and all the sites on the internet say that a new juvenile corn snake should be left alone for its first week in its new home without handling. AAARRGGGHHH!! Going to sound like a 5 year old here but “I wanna play!”.

I will, however, point out that I am not going to – I do not want a distressed pet. I want a bright, happy Cathy who hopefully will live a very long and happy life with us.

So, until tomorrow afternoon whereby I will no doubt run out of superlatives, I shall sign off!

Sarah

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Fangirling

It is official, I am an Apple fangirl. I blame my son completely. Last summer, Joshua bought me an iPhone 4. I had been quite happy with my little Samsung BlackBerry wannabe, but he treated me to an iPhone 4 (got himself the iPhone 4S mind!)

I was a bit dubious at first, but within ohh, about 4 minutes of getting it up and running (bearing in mind, I had been running Safari and using iTunes on a Windows 7 laptop for some time) I was seduced, completely. It really is a thing of beauty!

So, fast forwards about 2 weeks and I accidentally find myself looking at iPads. What? I couldn’t help it! Now, they vary in price SO much I really did have some research to do so after much deliberation, decided on the iPad 2 (16GB if anyone is interested).

The main reason for getting it was because if I am sat in bed after a seizure I can’t stand the weight of a laptop on my knee and can’t use the right hand side of my body for quite some time, so for browsing, YouTube and the likes of SongPop, Words With Friends and email it was perfect. So yep, got that too.

Had a little browse on Amazon a few weeks ago and found a bluetooth keyboard for it that came in at £10 which surprised me as it had an average 4* out of 5 rating so I must admit, I did read all 100 odd reviews and thought for a tenner I had nothing to lose and ordered it – WOW. Absolutely fantastic.

Once charged, it was set up within minutes and I was exceptionally surprised at the speed at which the data transfer via bluetooth happened.

This is the one that I actually bought

So, obviously this got me thinking. My old and faithful Samsung RV510 has hit the floor so many times whilst I have been having a fit, it is starting to play up a bit. Nothing that isn’t fixable, but I do have a greater plan in my life which involves pursuing my love of education and writing and the poor old Samsung just isn’t up to it anymore.

I had a look in my savings, and had my heart set on a MacBook Pro Retina that was well and truly out of my price range – the one with the new flash drive instead of the solid state drive. I am not in need of a TB of storage but it was well and truly out of my price range so went up to the local store with every intention of coming home with this MacBook Pro

And, genuinely would have been ecstatic with that one. BUT – the shop had a sale on and I came away with the MacBook Pro of my dreams…..

Oh yeah – I was over the moon! I paid £1,000 for it and can’t believe that I am now the proud owner of a MacBook Pro Retina.

Now I didn’t get it from Amazon (it was just the best place to show the spec I got). I have wanted a mid to high spec computer for some time with flash rather than solid state drive so have taken the plunge.

I was chatting on Skype to my friends in the US yesterday and telling them what I had just purchased and apparently I have bought good! The only problem I could find (ahem!) was that all our USB flash drives are USB2. Well, that just won’t do so have a rather nice Sandisk 16GB USB3 flash memory stick on its way to me as we speak. Apparently I should be able to watch films without any lag off them (as the MacBook Pro Retina doesn’t come with built in DVD R/W which isn’t a problem for me as that isn’t what I have bought it for, considering I have a brand new PS3 for that purpose).

This is the little flash drive that I have gone for – I know there is a whole lot of arguments for and against Sandisk vs Kingston, but I prefer Sandisk

Just need to save up for goodies for the Thunderports!

All this is is coming full circle to where I am actually hoping that I am going to do something for the family.

I have had some really bad bouts of seizures recently and they are taking their toll on Bert. I am battered and bruised and have fallen up and down the stairs so many times in the past few weeks since the medication drop that I am exhausted, never mind the rest of the family. I spoke to my GP a few weeks ago about perhaps getting some day respite to give Bert and the family a break. Well, my GP looked into it for me and it turns out nobody will touch me with a bargepole, my needs are that complex.

I am going into respite, but the only place that will take me is our local hospital. I hate hospital, but I can see what is happening to those that I love around me so am going to go in. Bert and I spoke at great length about it and I am going to go in for a week, to see how it goes, full time. Overnight, the whole shebang.

It has genuinely got to the point that if I shut a drawer everyone comes running to check if I am ok, and this is NOT what I want for my family. They are on DefCon 5 at all times and it has got to stop, and stop it will for a week for them.

I think it is going to take about 3 weeks to sort, but I am actually quite surprised that it is something that I want. I want my husband and children to get a break from it all. Myles and Elizabeth have been fantastic and are always on hand should we need some help – Myles to help get me onto the bed, Elizabeth to administer my medication whilst Bert counts, films (my lovely Neurologist wants video footage of my seizures) and generally gets burned out from it all.

So, on a seizure count averaging out at 60 a week at the moment, I shall say bye for now!

Sarah

4am, another sleepless night precluded by a fantastic day.

Well today has turned out to be rather fantastic to say the least! I say today, if being pedantic I mean yesterday but I can promise you I will forget to say that so let’s just pretend it is still Saturday for now.

First up – a trip to pick up a stair lift for my Mum in our beloved LDV Convoy. We had lent it out to one of my sisters in law to move and it had been gone over a week, was great to have it back – Bert and I love a day out in it. So, off to get the stair lift we go, from a house where my Mum is a private Nurse.

Now, not that I expect anyone to be able to confirm, but these things are hellishly heavy!! I really wished I had been able to help Bert get it into the van but half an hour later, and with a combination of ratchet straps, boards and sack trucks it was safely installed in the back.

Just over the road is a Supermarket with a household section so we thought we would pop over as Mum phoned in the middle of it all with the most random request possible – dishwasher tablets! So, dishwasher tablets duly acquired we had a gander round the home wares section. It is our first Christmas in our new home as a married couple so we decided to buy the kitchen table a present – a table cloth and mats. Oh I tell you, I know how to live the high life now I am married!! If someone had told me 3 years ago I would be with married to Bert picking out table cloths I would have laughed in their faces. Yes, it is official. I am, to borrow a term, turning into a ‘smug married’! The only thing they didn’t have was a table runner so Bert came out with the fantastic idea of going to B&Q for one?? Methinks ulterior motive and was proved right!

Up we go, and yes, most definitely an ulterior motive! We decided when we moved we were going to get a new Christmas tree as both ours were a bit tatty. God, they had some really nice ones up there but after much debating on his side and even more compromise on mine, we agreed on a nice traditional green (fake because a real tree would give me an asthma attack) tree of the alleged Scandinavian Pine Variety. Ok, I am being harsh, it is a lovely tree, just not my taste. I have seen so many friends who have been pure in love before their weddings for it only to go tits up as soon as they are married as neither seems to think they should budge. I think I am going to use this blog to document my first year of marriage too, with regards to compromise etc. Bert does so much for me, I can hardly put more on him, so if he wants a green traditional tree as opposed to the conical pop up black one that had caught my eye, I can more than live with that. His will still be in fashion when the one I wanted will be relegated to the civic amenity site within a couple of years due to it ageing!!

Oh god let this have worked as I am now pulling what is left of my hair after radiotherapy out!!! Anyway, my idea of a nice slimline 6′ conical tree were dashed for something along the more traditional line, but it makes Bert Happy and that is the main thing. So all 7′ off Christmas tree (the box was BIG) safely ensconced into the back of the van, it just so happens that ‘Pets At Home’ is at the other Industrial Park, about a 2 minute drive away, so off we went to go and have a look. I think I was being placated at this point, only to find when we turned the corner a bit Curry’s and PC World staring ame at the face – I need to get out more!! I had no idea it was there.

So, I dismounted (half pike, twist and somersault) from the van into Lilith and was duly wheeled in. Honestly, when I get better I am going to go into planning – I would have had to be on steroids to have the strength to push myself across that car park! Well, Pets At Home finally helped me out with something I have been wanting for a while. I had wanted to get a pet, just for myself. The kids have dogs, Bert has tropical fish and I genuinely fancied a corn snake some time after Christmas as company for me when I am sat in bed for days after a bad bout of fits. The reason I wanted a corn snake is that they very easy to take care of, need feeding once or twice a week and, after the initial setup of vivarium, bulbs, furniture etc, would cost about £4 a month to both feed and keep warm and looked after.

I met a lovely guy up there who was buying stuff for his pet collection and he gave me some valuable information. He also gave me a borderline ‘interview’ to see if I had really thought properly about the cost involved and was more than satisfied that I had. All this time, Bert was off looking at the fish so when I asked him to come over and have a look at this beauty

<img src="http://” alt=”Corn Snake” />

the look was as plain as the nose on his face. It was going to be a no. God love him he tried, but I can read him like an open book. So, I have decided that once I have got my driving license back I will rethink it. It is a shame, but I have to contemplate who would look after it if I was taken into hospital and the suchlike and I don’t think he would be up for it. I know we have only been married a month today but the only way this is going to work is compromise every step of the way, and I am more than prepared to compromise on this one.

So, with my new found need of having a pet dissipated, we headed off to PC World (some where we would both love) for a look. WOW was it full of rubbish and highly inflated prices!! Windows 8 was a huge let down, so off I wheeled to the accessories section. Now I am an apple fangirl and not ashamed to say so. I have the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 (would have a Mac Air but finances do NOT allow that kind of spending!!). I had tons of fun in there looking at all the stuff.

Bert and I went to have a look at the televisions. Now, a couple of years ago when 3D first started rearing its ugly head again, we had the discussion as to whether or not 3D or Internet TV was the way forwards. I have always been on the Internet TV side of the fence and our current setup is a 40″ Toshiba TV and the latest 500GB PS3 (the last one they are releasing before the PS4). I use it primarily for Netflix, LoveFilm, iPlayer – you get my drift. I am not a huge gamer but that is only because I haven’t found one I want just yet. So with hitting on vouchers, flash deals etc, we managed to get a 40″ Internet TV setup for £500. Wow am I glad we did considering the prices of the stuff in there! Bert was convinced that 3D was the way forwards but had to agree, the only place it really works is at the cinema. The TV’s just aren’t a patch on what we have come to expect.

Talking of flash deals – I did a really good thing yesterday morning. Amazon had a Black Friday flash deal on for the Kindle Fire which Myles has asked for for Christmas. Oh yes, you guessed it!

<img src="http://” alt=”Kindle Fire” />

This little beauty is now winging its way to us at a saving of £70. God I am on the ball this year!!! And this was at 6am so I am rather proud of myself to say the least.

Not going to lie, I was a little disappointed that Bert didn’t share my enthusiasm for a corn snake so I consoled myself with a half price pair of these little beauties

Purple Skull Candy cans

so not all bad at all. I have been using ‘in ear’ headphones since I was in hospital so as not to annoy my fellow ward mates, but I find them very uncomfortable – well comfort be damned, I adore these new ones! They are fantastic and as I am completely deaf in one ear, I can fiddle round with them to get the volume just how I like it.

Unfortunately that did kind of bring our shopping and mooching trip to a stop as yep – Captain Epilepsy struck so we came home to WW3 breaking out. Now, I am a bit hazy on what happened but Elizabeth had been home sick yesterday and let Myles in at lunchtime. He had forgotten his key so left her asleep in the house all afternoon with the door unlocked. She went back to her Dad’s, Myles came home and locked the door. Unbeknownst to me, Bert had popped out to get Myles’ prescription from the chemist and had been inadvertently locked out so I am in bed (I am not allowed out if Bert pops out for 5 mins), Myles is in his bedroom and Bert is ringing the doorbell. I asked Myles to go and open the door but he misheard me and the doorbell kept going which can cause me to fit so I went down to unlock it, only to trip over my own feet on one landing as Myles got to the front door.

Much yelling between Bert and Myles ensued which set me off into a simple so I had to try and get the words out that I wanted Bert to apologise to Myles as it was ME that had tripped over my own feet, NOBODY else had caused it!!! Oh god, never a dull moment I tell you!!

This is what I mean about me being over sensitive. I felt awful for hours about it all when I know there was no need, but it caused about 4 seizures. I so need to try and get this sorted, but it doesn’t help when the neurologist doesn’t want to see me until October next year.

Right, according to my reckoning it is coming up to 5.30am so I am going to go and get coffee, and put the news on and try and start the day in the hope that it will be seizure free – wish me monsters!

Sarah