Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Today was hard; I felt out of control and lost most of the time. This is the last few days of training then we will be let loose on the unsuspecting world; there will be help and supervision but I just pray that I don't feel like this, then. I have never felt so useless and stupid - I keep making the same mistakes over and over again; not immediately following each other, no: I get it right sometimes then go all to hell...it's a bit like pulling the petals off flowers, now you see it now you don't. Yesterday I was depressed and planning on looking for a job in a sandwich shop. Today I wanted to be a cleaner - I know how to do that, and I'm good.

I almost burst into tears this afternoon. I can't bear not being in control of my mind; it just won't do what I want it to do. By the end of the day I felt a little better but then I took a call that was someone accepting a quote he'd got earlier; I missed out a whole page of script!

It's so annoying to discover that you're much more stupid than you thought you were!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Not laughing open-mouthed yet; this is the fifth day lock-jawed and nothing has changed, not even after two whole days of antibiotics, and a bit of Friday. I'm beginning to hallucinate and dream of huge sandwiches in soft white bread or crisp baguette heaving with hams, pepperoni and jalopino peppers in fabulous sauces. I might be facing some kind of bombardment from gamma rays or lazers to demolish the stone, which is probably tiny. Or maybe I could just get someone to give me a good thump on the jaw. That's what Morag and Hamish said tonight, at the hospital.

She is looking great; even walking better/straighter than she was before. She said that's because the bag's not there; she was always aware of it and the fear of it coming off somehow. She's a new woman, and Hamish is elated at how good she is, compared to all the other times she's been in hospital. I know that the real difference is that this time the operation was elective and she was much stronger - not ill in fact, either before or after. They're so wary of feeling good, of calling down bad luck on themselves; they're not going to think too far forward - their minds are still full of all the other times when she was banging on death's door. Let's hope he's off on tour somewhere.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I've just noticed the advert above here for a 'swollen gland' problem, and the trojian virus too. It's scary how some computer programme scans everything I'm writing so it can assign the adverts. This is more than big brother; Dad, Grandad and all the Uncles have poked their oars right in.

I'm still locked up tight but full of medication. Off to see the Loch Lomond mob today; it's Tough Guy's birthday and I forgot to post anything for him, so I must present myself. He's five already; I am constantly amazed at how people grow when I'm not looking. I'll phone TocToc to find out if there's anything in particular I should buy. I'm thinking I might have a little wander in Dumbarton; I've only ever been there once, for a few minutes...and if I'm planning on moving out that way I should have a look at my new territory. So I suppose I should get up and get dressed then.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I went straight from work to casualty tonight; that's three days with lockjaw and cuppa soup, I thought it was time to do something. Three hours later I'm told, by the face specialist, that there is a stone in the saliva duct and that the gland is infected - which is why my jaw has siezed up. They x-rayed my head in a strange machine where I stood up, fitted my chin into a little shelf and the thing spun around my head. No, it was definitely the machine and not my head that was spinning, though I wouldn't have been surprised if it'd been the other way round. What a day I had at work; I'm sure I actually felt my mind drain out of my right ear as I answered the phone to my trainer who was in the process of assessing my calls. I bumbled through the fake call, trying to remember everything I was supposed to do; it's all these things at the same time that's getting me - not that I can't multi-task. I know that by this time next week it will all be fine but it just feels so awful right now. I've never felt so dumb!

The doctor gave me two courses of antibiotic to take together (well I assume I take both together) and paracetamol - free drugs are always welcome. Actually I was quite impressed because I was examined by two doctors, x-rayed and examined some more. The bad news is that I was supposed to be having a lovely drink with my friend Herman tomorrow night and will have to postpone because of the antibiotic, mainly, but also because I wouldn't be able to wolf down crisps and dip as well as I might. So, it's probably a good time to unpack some stuff properly and do a bit of housework in this flat.

I spoke to Carrie on the phone and she's a lot better, but need to stop her from drifting into the bitter ex camp...and there is a bit of flirting going on when HE pops in for a coffee. So, she's not out of the woods yet. He seems to be skipping gaily along, forgetting that he's broken her heart, and taking the friends tag a little too far - he just doesn't know when to stop.

I was right next door to Morag in the hospital tonight but missed the visiting time; but desperate to get home anyway - starving mostly. As soon as I arrived I got Musician to order a pizza - it took over an hour to get here but it was worth it. Eating was excruciating but I had to get some solid food down me. And now it's bedtime already. Nighty-night.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Well, tomorrow is the last day of study in our training period; we take to the phones in the model office on Monday!!! My head is full of criteria, excesses and vehicle details, which will all drain right out when I answer my first call. We spent a day on the phones last week, doing sales, and that was a complete nightmare. The talking to customers was fine; it was just the idea of keeping them on hold while we bumbled around trying not to make serious mistakes. It’s amazing how the mind copes with the strain of all this – it just pops off on holiday, dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops.

Customer Support is a little different; we’ve spent a few hours listening-in to seasoned agents, some of them pretty fresh meat themselves. I’m sure I’m going to like the job; I mean what’s not to like? There are quiet times when you can chat to colleagues, read your email, scribble some poetry or have a quick manicure…and, you get your own desk where all kinds of paraphernalia can adorn the divider in front of you. I’ve never had a job with a desk; I’m 53 and have my own desk - isn’t that cute? They operate a tidy desk policy, so I don’t think plants are allowed, but I can have a photo of one, I suppose.

I do like the idea of just sitting there, queen of my little castle, solving myriad problems with a click of my wand/mouse…oh my god, I’m the Fairy Godmother!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I know I've always wanted to be different, create my own particular space in the world, but it's just getting ridiculous now - I've got some kind of lockjaw! Other people get colds and flu, broken wrists or tonsilitus. I've been on cuppa soup all day and now am pretty hungry. Of course I've shoved chocolate in there, but because I can't open my mouth I want all the things I can't fit in. I stood at the hot plate in the cafe at work this lunchtime and eyed up what looked like lovely mince with carrot and stuff; I was trying to make my jaw do the popping thing it was doing earlier but it wouldn't move, and pain was rearing its ugly head. I realised that I wouldn't be able to eat anything except soup and left the queue.

I had this about twenty years ago and it lasted for three days I think, but of course, I didn't go to the doctor, it went away and I never discovered what had happened. A few years later I had the most excruciating pain in my jaw every time I ate something really tasty and the more I tried the more it swelled. That lasted a day or so and went away, but when it happened again I did go see my doctor and she said I had a stone in my syliva duct. She sent me to hospital for tests and I felt so stupid by then because it had long gone. They had me lying on this mad machine with my head on a separate section; it was all very odd. I don't know whatever happened after that, about the results I mean.

I had the pain with tasty food earlier this year, for a couple of days; and now it's back with a vengeance; all symptoms together in the one place at the same time. The popping jaw is horrible, the click sounds loud as anything inside my head; every time I open and close my mouth the hinge of my jaw kind of bangs in and out of place - maybe I've dislocated my jaw! Maybe it would be a good idea to find out about this. I did call the doctor's office to ask if they could squeeze me in after work but they don't see patients after 5pm. They're not open at the weekend, so when can I get to see a doctor for a minor complaint? NEVER! it seems. I'm not taking a day off work for a minor thing and I wouldn't go to casualty, so I suppose I'll have to make an appointment for my day off and try to describe the symptoms. Wouldn't it be better all round if the doctor could see us when we were actually ill, and displaying said symptoms?

Monday, August 20, 2007


Number one grandson is, Bouncer
Number two, Shouts at the Sea
Number three, Comedian
Number four, Tough-guy
Number five, Power Ranger
Grandaughter is, Grubby Angel

The best thing about them, by far, is the fact that I am not responsible; I can leave when it all gets too noisy, or if they're at mine I can call their parents to come get them. I don't see them often enough for them to get too familiar and rude; so I usually get them at their best, which is NICE. I'm planning to go visit them sometime after work this week. This is a big year for a few of them: Power Ranger and Tough-guy started school; Bouncer started secondary school; and Grubby Angel started nursery. I haven't been up there since I've been back; they turned up here in my first week and terrified Musician's little cat, who I'm now going to rename Topcat.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


As far as food goes, today is Hedgehog Bloomer Day; I have to eat it while it's fresh, soft and crisp, so that means lunch, dinner and supper - even though lunch was around 5pm. I've been to visit Morag in hospital and she looks great. Things are moving along nicely and she might be out in four or five weeks, hopefully; if she doesn't get any infections that is.

I spent most of yesterday working my way through a website-builder wizard and I am happy to say that it's all looking rather bloody good. It'll be a writing website mainly but it will include the arty farty, and stuff for sale. I haven't attempted to upload photos yet, I think I'm going to leave that for tomorrow night. At this rate It'll be a couple of weeks before it's finished and published. The whole arty stuff for sale bit has given me an idea; I thought I might make up a little book of my published poems and scrapbook them - something simple, cheap but that will effectively make them different and attractive.

The rain has stayed away today, though the sky was purple in the distance as I taxied it back from Asda with the lovely bread. I'm finding it difficult to believe that I'm in the same universe these days; four years in Devon has wiped all memory of Glasgow summers. I look at the sky most days and am astounded that it is still only August; it feels like February.

Friday, August 17, 2007


And another lovely weekend hovers; I've never looked forward to weekends for years - never worked 9-5 or these regular hours for decades.

Musician brought me a box (a little one) of chocolate macaroons, so I'll be having them for dinner. See what I mean about me not eating proper food when I'm let loose in the world; I need old people around me to cook for. I don't think I've had a vegetable for four weeks!

So, I'm popping off now to eat my macaroons with a mug of Earl Grey.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


This boy, Musician, was let loose on my laptop on the net for one day and caught himself/me a Trojan! He says he turned off my AVG and turned down my security so everything would go faster. When I accused him of damaging my lovely machine he denied it and said that the flashing pop-up was from my system. I couldn’t believe that I actually knew more than him about it; I think it was just that I know my own machine and that it was completely obvious it wasn’t a real message from my system. Apparently it’s a new piece of spyware from a Trojan called Zlob, called Virusprotect Pro…so watch out for it. It sits on your task bar and flashes up a warning every five minutes, taking the curser so you can’t continue typing! It tells you that you need to update your spyware protection and when you click into it, it demands that you buy their product; we’ve tried everything to get rid of it and can’t. I googled it and found a few references and descriptions and an offer of a free download called Spyhunter that would get it out of my system. I got it and ran a scan which told me that it had found a lot of spyware but when I clicked on the FIX button it demanded that I buy their product in order to do this.

So the next thing is for Musician to disappear the task bar and see if that helps. If not, I’ll need to ask a computer technician for advice…even to buying Norton or something; I won’t be blackmailed into buying programmes I don't choose. This is all so annoying and I don't want to go into my bank or buy anything if there's this spyware watching everything I'm doing - especially when I don't know exactly what kind it is. I don't want to fork out for a big programme if it can't fix this; if it's as new as it might be then Norton probably won't do it. Just had a thought to contact Microsoft...yes, that's what I'm going to do first, and ask their advice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I got to speak to Morag on the phone tonight; the staff nurse took the mobile unit to her - handy that. I called the High Dependency Unit this afternoon and they said that she'd been sent to a ward, and gave me the number. I couldn't get through to them because they were busy every time I tried. When I called tonight the ward said that she wasn't there, that she was in the HDU. My God - who the hell is in charge of this place?

She sounded good, just as if she was sitting at home on her sofa. She's been cut and trimmed and sewn up completely; no bag, no leaking holes - let's hope she stays that way. The main worry now is infection; that could kill her. After the operation they sent her from HDU to the ward far too early and she had to be taken back. Apparently the surgeon was mad as hell; he worked on her for nine hours. Hopefully I'll get up to see her by the weekend. She and her husband are ecstatic that the bag is gone - what a blight on a life is a stinky bag, outside the body, with the ever-present threat of bursting.


I am sooo knackered. Just got in from another gruelling day sitting down, listening and practising telesales; we have to do two days on the phone in sales…TOMORROW, as part of our training before we move on to the last two weeks. It’s scary stuff. I’m not scared of the talking on the phone but I hate the thought of ending up in a clunky babble and keeping the customers on the line for ages waiting for their quote. I know I’ll be alright eventually; it’s just trying to remember all the information that’s clogging up inside my head, and to get the right bits out at the right time.

I haven’t had time to go to Amazon’s and get online but we’ve got the landline here at Musician’s now, so everything is just hunky-dory. I've got him cooking lovely food at the moment so I will be quick here, for now. We're having bacon, sausage and scrambled egg; scrambled eggs with cheese is his speciality.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


I've just spent ages setting up an account with 1 & 1; it wouldn't accept my address properly, kept adding bits that had no business being there. Eventually I got through it and now have to wait for the free software to arrive so I can build my new writer's website. I'll have a blog with it which I will keep strictly for writing stuff; I shouldn't need to update it every day. I'll play with links; still don't know how to add links here.

Went to see Harry Potter at the IMAX cinema yesterday; the last twenty minutes were in 3D - absolutely fantastic. I took Bouncer, number-one grandson. He loved it, and kept muttering what was happening all the way through, just because he's read the book. I had to tell him to shut up several times. If you're anywhere near Glasgow, this is definitely the place to see this film, and it's only about a pound more expensive than the ordinary cinema. I just couldn't believe the effects; found myself saying, 'My goodness, oh my, wow!' I even reached my hand out a few times because it seemed like the characters were right beside me. Absolutely stunning.

I actually did some writing last night, so am very pleased with myself, and deserve a gold star for writing a poem too; a whole poem! It seems I'm back in writing mode - I can't settle in to reading. Ususally if I'm reading I'm not writing and vice-versa. So, maybe I can get on with things now. Don't know how it's all going to go with the new job and all that entails, but I feel very optimistic.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Well I got the lovely job; at least I hope it'll be lovely. I was out and about all day yesterday; all the things I had planned went off like a dream - timed to perfection.

I did my surfing at Amazon's new flat, had a bath and washed my hair there - because I'd given her my hairdrier and haven't found the other one yet. Then it was off to Morag's for lunch; she's kind of saying goodbye to her close friends and family because she goes in for a huge operation next Thursday and might not come out of it. She has Crohn's disease and had an operation that left her with a fistula (a hole in the wound that leaks into a bag) nearly two years ago. She could carry on living like that but she's had enough and wants to take the chance that they can successfully fix it. So I'm sending up prayers for her and if anyone wants to join in please do. It's an eight hour operation; a long time to be under the knife. My daughter was under for over five hours and that wait was a nightmare - especially after the surgeon had impressed upon us the fifty-fifty chance of death.

6pm found me and Musician buying tickets (buy one get one free with orange wednesday) to see TRANSFORMERS; it was a great movie - amazing how they make those intricate movements. Musician is always listening for interesting sounds; he'll get me to buy him DVDs so he can copy little snippets of sound, like explosions, and all kinds of whizz-bangs to use in his compositions.

Then it was straight back in a taxi for the third episode of HEROES on telly. It's so long since I saw the first two that I've forgotten a lot of it, but a little came back as I watched. I'll be working three twelve-hour shifts in the weeks to come and won't be able to follow all of it; working three days on and three off, but I haven't been able to follow serials for years - I'll buy it on DVD then I can have whole days to catch up.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


The hallway, looking towards the living room where everything was piled on top of each other; a little mountain of our possessions.

This is my daughter's bedroom; her head would've been just there on the left. The picture that you are trying to identify, is a window, and a hole in the floor beneath it.

Our very own mountain. My photo enlarger is amongst this and mould is growing on everything.

What's left of the mattress on the three-week-old bed.

The white horse was one of the first presents I bought my grandson.