13 on the 13th (and a new Pope)

Well, Frank visited yesterday – 13 seizures in one day. Things had been going better but I think I have caught something, as apparently I was burning up to the touch, but felt freezing. Was quite funny looking back having “words” with Bert over duvet ownership! I was adamant that I wanted it, when I genuinely needed cooling down. Oh the joys of epilepsy and a fever!

I must admit, as a lapsed (and when I say lapsed, I mean REALLY lapsed) Catholic, I saw something last night I though I would never see in my lifetime. I have seen 4 Popes elected by the Conclave of Cardinals. Pope John Paul I, Pope John Paul II (who I had the pleasure of actually seeing in The Vatican when I was 16. He laid his hands on my head and I was really moved by it), Pope Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis I. I was living in Malta when both Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II were elected by the Conclave, and it was a HUGE deal. I must admit, I was quite sad when he passed as even though he lays hands on so many people, he had laid his hands on MY head.

I never really though much about Pope Benedict XVI, but am actually looking forwards to what Pope Francis I can bring to the Catholic Church. Some of his thoughts go totally against my personal beliefs, but hey, were would we be in this world if everyone agreed?

He is happy for single Catholic mothers to have their babies baptised into the faith, a bold step for a Cardinal. He eschews all the pomp and circumstance for a simpler, more modest life and encourages his faithful to do the same. Although against gay marriage, he says that gay people should be treated with respect (thank YOU! – I am pretty sure Jesus would have done the same!). Should be an interesting few years to see what he can do with the mess the Church is in. Sorry about that, didn’t mean to go off on a religious tangent there!

Well, one of my “new” Uncles has arrived on the Isle of Man – I was supposed to go and meet them last night off the boat but was in no fit state, so Lizzy went with my Mum. Can’t wait to meet him and his wife today. Am beyond excited. Well, that is after the more mudane shopping etc that has to be done. I might feel like **** but I am going to get out and get some fresh air.

Cathy is doing really well. I have found a really lovely guy who has been holding my hand via email and she is a little under weight, so we have broken all the rules, and she has had a feed and not brought it back up (known in the snake keeping community as a regurge) and seems quite a happy little girl. I am going to up her feeding schedule from once every 7 days to once ever 5 days. She fed 6 days after her last feed before she came to me, and wolfed it down, so I want to get her to every 5 days asap, that is for sure!

Joshua, Lizzie and Myles have all had a hold of her now (before she was fed, as you have to leave them 48 hours to digest their dinner) so just for a laugh, here is a picture of Joshua looking at Cathy – think he would kill me if he knew I was doing this!

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Yes, my delightful 20 year old son giving Cathy the eye! (and yes, that is a Latin tattoo around my wrist)

So, onwards and upwards to the day – I am so excited about meeting my Uncle (after shopping and a supervised bath as I genuinely look like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards. Twice).

Hope everyone has a great day,

Sarah

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I have taken the plunge..

And set up a different blog for my photography, for anyone who has enjoyed my pictures, but doesn’t want to trawl through my waffle in between. It can be found here, at wheelynotwhatiwantedphotograpy.com . I would love it if you would take some time out and pop on by – will be updating quite heavily over the next few days, but explained how I am going to be using it specifically for my photographs.

Sarah

An afternoon photography post…

As a treat, Bert took me out with my trusty little Fujifilm FinePix S4400 bridge camera. Now, I am going to be bold and post my pictures as they came out. No saturation fiddling, no cropping, no anything. Just raw off the memory card.

When we left the house it had just started to snow, and quite a squall it was

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It had been snowing on and off all day, but hadn’t stuck so we took the chance and went out to see what we could find. All the pictures are taken in the Isle of Man, more specifically the North, Ramsey to start with and ending up at Guthrie’s Memorial. We were quite hopeful for a few decent snaps, so Bert saddled up too with his Cannon DSLR.

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Houston, we have a problem – no way is my wheelchair going to go up there. Such a shame as there was some gorgeous icicles up there. Never mind, there was plenty of gorgeous stuff to photograph as it was.

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The beauty in nature never ceases to take my breath away.

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Bert was busy climbing up the hillside like a mountain goat getting some fantastic pictures as we have had quite a cold snap of all the icicles that had formed on the trees, and I was really looking forwards to seeing them, when he sprang the most romantic (and he would kill me for saying that!) gesture on me. Let me show you:-

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He brought the icicle encrusted boughs that he found lying on the ground to me! I was absolutely blown away by the gesture, and may have leaked a couple of very happy tears.

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I was so enthralled by what he had done, I had failed to noticed that it had stopped snowing, which brought different light to photograph in.

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So, we thought we would move up the Mountain Road to Guthrie’s Memorial to take some more photographs, the views were again, breathtaking, but on a different level…

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With my back to the Irish Sea, I got up close and personal with some icicles of my very own. I took a lot more, but these are my favourite. I turned round to my favourite sight in the world. It doesn’t matter if I have only been to our main town Douglas, or have been on a 2 week holiday, this is the sight that takes my breath away every time I see it:-

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Now this is just a small selection of my afternoon out that started off with a heavy snow squall and ended up with these final pictures. And all of it done in about three quarters of an hour too. I had a fantastic time, and I hope you enjoy my little offering today. Just photos, and not very good ones at that, but ones that I love and I hope you have too. If it wasn’t for the wheelchair, I could have got such different ones, but it is sometimes nice to be able to show you life from my perspective.

Sarah

I could merrily strangle Frank…

Frank Fitzgerald that is, my body when it goes into it’s alter ego when I am having a seizure. Most of yesterday’s plans had to be modified.

First up, as the fits hit about 2pm, Cathy is going to have to wait for her meal today. I didn’t wake up properly until about 6pm from them and it was only to have a lovely meal the children had done for Bert and I, but we still watched The Hunger Games (think Battle Royale on acid, then you will get my drift).

Lizzie was on her own with me when I had the seizures, and once I started head banging the wall, she leaped in with my midazolam and that was it, Frank disappeared, no more fits. She did regale me with a funny story of how she tried to lug me round the bed to get me comfy, but truth be told, as long as my head is on a pillow, I have what the kids lovingly refer to as my “stinky Beth bear” (a little teddy that Bert bought me when I was in hospital last June and who wears a wedding dress/nightie that Bert made her, and the duvet, I am fine. She did a fantastic job, and wrote the time and type of fits down for Bert to put on my chart when he came home which was literally 5 minutes later as he had been dropping my Mum at work.

I did change Cathy’s water (duh, can’t leave any kind of snake without fresh water for over 24 hours) and Myles asked if he could watch as he hasn’t even seen her properly yet. Well, Madame didn’t disappoint. I put my hand in to get her water dish (I have had advice not to just top it up as a lot of them like to relieve themselves in their water and we wouldn’t see it). Realizing she was in tip top form, I gave Myles a shout as Bert had collected her a lovely flat rock to sit on, and Lizzie had given me 2 HUGE pieces of flint so we sterilized them to go into her vivarium yesterday by boiling them and then baking them in the oven to 120 celcius to rid them of any bacteria. I will point out that Bert got some stones for his fish tank too – that is the bargain for me having Cathy – he is getting a large 480 litre fish tank for the living room for compatible plecs and sharks, with a stone background.

So, water dish disinfected and refilled, Myles came up to see Cathy. I had popped her in her RUB so I could get her dirty substrate out and put her new “toys” in her vivarium so as I was popping her in, Myles came to have a stroke of her. He was really surprised as she didn’t feel how he expected her to at all. He wanted to take a picture of her so may I present his offering (of my iPhone, which doesn’t do macro shots too well!)

New Cathy Pic

We are both absolutely thrilled as she has what looks like a smiley face on her head (Myles noticed it first) and she had a good old taste of the air around him too. I asked him if he would like  hold, but he said he was happy just to give her a stroke for now. He was more than confident doing that, so I don’t want to push him at all. Oh, and please excuse my nightie in the background and be grateful I cropped my head out of the picture too!

So, with help off the forum I signed up to, we have identified her as a possible strawberry snow morph (colour). I don’t know whether or not to be thrilled or bloody annoyed to be honest. I thought I was getting a plain snow which, if you are into genetics is a double trait, whereas a strawberry snow is a selectively bred reptile, and can come with all the problems that are associated with selectively bred anythings. Fingers crossed she is just a snow.

One thing is for sure and that is that she needs feeding up, so with advice and help, I am upping her feeding schedule from one pinkie every 7 days to one every 5 until she sits properly on the chart where she should for her age and length. Although she is still in the “healthy” range, she is on the very low end of the scale and unlike dogs or cats, she can’t tap against the glass asking for more food!

I have made a lovely friend on the forum I signed up to, and he has been fantastic this week – no problem or question to trivial for him to answer as we have exchanged email addresses. It was him suggesting that I move her home round  a little bit given how settled and inquisitive she is this week.

I have to admit, I laughed at Bert when he told me that she was watching TV, but last night, as we settled down, sure as eggs is eggs, her head popped out of her favourite hide and we have worked out she can see half of the TV screen and there she was, either watching the shadows the TV threw or the actual TV. The glow from the laptop screen has alerted her again, and she is watching me type (quite disconcerting to say the least – I am SURE she knows I am talking about her!)

Anyway, I hope Frank doesn’t pay a visit today, and on that note shall bid the adieu

Sarah

To any Mums reading this blog..

Happy Mother’s Day! (OK, I realize that this is only going to work for UK Mums, but to any Mums reading, have a great day too).

Well, so far having a great day. My (step) son Myles and daughter Lizzie bought me the most gorgeous little Boofles key ring (mine says “My Keys” on it) so now has pride of place on my keyring, along with my Marvel keyring (yes, I am a geek, and care not one jot!). At least it is now big enough that I can’t lose it in my bag.

Apparently today later on Myles, Lizzie and I are going to watch The Hunger Games on Netflix together – that is the film that they have chosen for me. I really am looking forwards to it very much.

Cathy is settling in very well, today is feeding day so (with some trepidation) I am looking forwards to doing that too. Myles is going to help me as I think for my first go it is going to be a 2 person job. I have the following things to do:-

1 – Get her dinner out of the freezer

2 – Clean and disinfect her RUB (really useful box, where she is going to eat)

3 – Once her dinner is defrosted, pop Cathy in her RUB, and dangle her dinner in front of her.

4 – If Cathy doesn’t take her dinner, I am going to have to brain the pinkie (her dinner) and leave her for an hour.

5 – No dice on her eating? Back into her vivarium she goes.

6 – Whilst she is eating (or not), Myles and I are going to clean her vivarium out and move it around a little for her, as she is one inquisitive girl.

Yep, just because it is Mother’s Day doesn’t mean I am going to renege on my responsibilities as a Mum to Cathy.

Oh, I took a couple of pictures of her the other day, I woke up at 9pm to find Bert the other side of the bedroom glaring at Cathy’s viv. I shall explain further, aided by pictures of course…

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THIS is apparently Cathy eyeballing Bert. Oh yeah!

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And THIS is her watching Wheeler Dealers. Honestly, they are verbatim the words that came out of Bert’s mouth!

Slight case of paranoia? Methinks so!

So, I am off to finish watching one of the Bring It On films with Lizzie. The things a Mum does!

It was 5.30am yesterday, so just a little 5.15am post today!

Well, today is D Day. Actually, I was just thinking how that came to be used in our vernacular. I use it quite often, and genuinely mean no disrespect to those that fought. I think I should reign it in a little thinking about it.

Today, I can go and get Catherine Earnshaw (already shortened to Cathy). The shop sent me her feeding and shedding records last night, and the last time I visited her, they got me to rub some kitchen paper on my hands and face so they could put it in a sealed bag and give it to her 24 hours after she had fed and apparently she has chosen to digest on said crumpled piece of paper half in and half out of a loo roll instead of her coconut shell where she would normally digest.

I have to wait until 12pm to go and get her but that is no problem as we have a few jobs that we need to do first. You know, just the normal thing like sending elephant’s feet in the post (eew, eew and thrice eew – I hasten to add they are from when it was legal to do s0). Fortunately, we are also going to get Myles a new phone so he can keep in touch with Sophie as his contract is nearly up and a new pair of jeans. Also brain bleach for me for the elephant’s feet.

Oh, Sophie sounds like a total darling. She sent me a friend request on Facebook last night and we had a little natter via PM and she is a total doll. I told her that when she is ready, to come and see us and apparently she had been not dreading coming to meet us, but nervous and I had taken that away in one message. She is coming to see us this weekend. She has told me she is shy until she gets to know people but by the way we were nattering via PM, I think she might be over the shy bit already with me. I am so looking forwards to seeing her.

Bloody Frank paid a visit yesterday when we were round at my Mum’s house sorting the bloody feet out. All I remember is being really tired and asking if I could put my head down and next thing I remember is Bert waking me up. Apparently I had had a series of simple partial seizures, followed by 4 complex partial seizures. And do I remember any of them? Nope! I was actually quite surprised at the amount of people who do have epilepsy in the public eye.

So, today is going to consist of embracing some form of personal hygiene, getting rid of the bloody feet (I have made Bert keep them in the car – over my dead body were they coming in the house), popping into town to get Myles some jeans and a couple of other bits and bobs,  and finally, after a whole 5 days that seemed like 5 months wait – getting Cathy and bringing her home. Oh ffs, here I go with the Wuthering Heights quotes agian! I suppose I have asked for it calling her Catherine Earnshaw.

I joined a very welcoming and informative forum on corn snakes and they have told me that although she is going to need a week to settle in, it is perfectly permissible to take some photographs of her when I am putting her in her new home as long as the flash on my camera is off – yay for buying bridge!

So, with what is possibly the weirdest list of things to do today (post elephant’s feet and get snake), I shall say farewell.

Sarah

Imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth…

Well, considering I have called my corn snake Catherine Earnshaw – Cathy for short, there should be no other title for this entry! I am SO going to be having unquiet slumbers tonight – I called Cathy’s breeder today and she has kept her pinkie down and, come 11.30am I can call to double check she is OK, and then it is off to go and bring her home! I have had a little more information on her morph, she is a snow lavender hypo morph.

I haven’t got any pictures of her yet, but have trawled the internet and found the nearest I can now I have a bit more information. This is what she looks like now:-

Cathy baby

When she is grown up, she is going to look like this, but only with red eyes:-

Grown up Cathy

It is ridiculous how excited I am!

Fortunately today had had some mundane distractions, I enjoyed my pampering session, we went and did the weekly shop, posted Myles’ Mother’s Day card to his Mum, bought my Mum her present – a door stop, and then went and got me a Radar key for using disabled rest rooms whilst I am out. Now, I rang the Government department where I live to ask them about acquiring one and they told me to go to my local authority Town Hall, present my Blue Badge and I would be issued with one. At the price of £6 which they forgot to tell me! So, I also have one of those should I need whilst I am out. I was stunned to find out that you can buy them off Amazon for 66p! I was a tad miffed, but am glad I went through the proper channels to get mine. It is abuse of these things that are causing the disabled facilities to be shut down at an alarming rate.

Right, I have more of the mundane to do – like going and wrapping elephant’s feet (if I can keep my food down) for shipping. I hasten to add, they are NOT ours, we are merely doing it as a favour for someone. I can promise, no pictures of that for sure!

Sarah

Last Sunday afternoon’s wheel in Douglas, because I can’t sleep

Well, it looks like the new drugs might have kicked in a little earlier than I could have dreamed for – I had a visit off Frank last night, but they were nowhere near as violent as they have been, and I came round a lot easier. Downside is, I can’t sleep and seem to have got a little confidence to post some more of my pictures up, so, for your perusal, a selection of pictures I took last Sunday. They were taken up Marine Drive and Douglas Head in the Isle of Man.

Taken on a Fujifilm FinePix S4400, run through Aviary and TitleFx, as per usual.

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This is as far South as you can go by car on Marine Drive now, looking towards Keristal and Port Soderick.

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You can see the remnants of a landslide we had recently – given how wet February was I was surprised it wasn’t worse.

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Proper view of the landslide.

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Quick peek North towards the Marine Drive archway at Douglas Head

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This is the rock formation it its original rotation. Up Douglas Head and Marine Drive there is mainly slate, granite and limestone. It gives the most stunning natural patterns and formations is quite breathtaking.

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Not particularly interesting, but it was to me.

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Steps up to a long gone farm house.

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Again, the rocks in their original orientation – no messing round from me on this front at all – nature did it all for me.

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And that is 3 strikes for nature…

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The top of the original Victorian archway to Marine Drive – I have cropped out all the road works and speed signs as I thought they spoiled it.

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Sir William Hillary – founder of the RNLI.

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I have enjoyed putting these up, it is Wednesday now isn’t it? 2 more sleeps to getting Cathy!! I am ridiculously excited about her arrival! I keep looking at her home, all ready for her and not with her in it. She had better chow down today or I will be having words with her when she gets home!

Lizzie had her ears pierced for the 3rd time yesterday, and now Myles wants his done, so guess were we are going when he goes on study leave – oh yeah, to get his left ear lobe done.

Joshua has got a new job – he starts today and I am thrilled. I think it is exactly what he needs. Even with everything that has been going on, it wasn’t his fault he was made redundant – cutbacks have that nasty side effect. So, he has got a job in a garage and I am over the moon for him.

Ok, not going to lie – I bought a Mac magazine yesterday and I am dying to read it so I shall bid thee adieu for now,

Sarah

 

In the absence of a Catherine…..

Bert treated me to an afternoon out with the camera. Now, please remember that these are taken from a wheelchair, so aren’t going to be the best. Something a gentleman said on his blog (he is a professional photographer) gave me the kick up the bum that I needed to want to share some of my pictures with you. To paraphrase something he replied to one of his comments – if you are taking pictures for someone else, you shouldn’t be.

It was that that gave me the gumption to share my favourites with you all, so here goes – my little efforts from today, but there are a couple I am particularly happy with them.

Ok, first up, I use a Fujifilm FinePix S4400 bridge camera, and all my photos have been run through Aviary for cropping, filters and saturation, and have had the text added by TitleFx. So – here goes. Constructive criticism always welcome, I am not the kind of person to spit my dummy out of the pram – I genuinely want to learn as much as I can.

(Pic heavy, 9 incoming)

Clypse reservoir car park

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Bert very kindly posed for the next photograph for me – not sure why, but I like photographing shadows…

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Now the next one was a bit of a one off, I just turned round and it caught my eye……

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But I have saved my personal favourite until last – yet again, no planning, just me looking round and being mesmerized by what was in front of me….

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I am genuinely quite proud of this last shot. I know they aren’t much, but I feel as though I have accomplished something as I am a wheelchair user and can’t get to all the pretty places I would love to, buy hey ho, I like to think I am making the best of what I have!

Until the next one (which will hopefully be a Cathy spam)

Sarah

Just a little photography post..

Having recently acquired a new Fujifilm FinePix S4400 Bridge camera, and having a new found love of some of the cheaper apple apps out there for manipulating digital photographs, I thought I would post a few I have taken up.

I use Aviary and Snapseed for filters, cropping, brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness fiddling with the raw file, and then run them through a lovely little app called TitleFx to add text. I am not in the realms of being arrogant enough to watermark my work as it really isn’t good enough, but I like to pop a little tag on it more for my own reference.

So, without further ado, 3 offerings:-

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I honestly adore this pic as the rock looks (at a glance) like there is someone sat on it. I must have caught it just at the right point of the tide.

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A lovely little pic of where the tide seemed to produce the most gorgeous patterns in the sea. Must admit, wouldn’t fancy being in the swell!

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And my very favourite from my trip out that day – the remnants of a Victorian archway onto a place called Marine Drive. Quite proud of this one considering I haven’t had the camera long and am only just learning how to use it properly!

Hope you have enjoyed my paltry offerings – any photography nuts out there willing to give an enthusiastic amateur some constructive criticism, I would be very grateful.

Sarah