November/December Update

My exceedingly long headache has been driving me mad, as you well know, after all, I have been banging on about it, for the best part of November and December. It’s led me to spending far too much time in doctor’s surgeries and far too little time doing housework and washing.

My children are now officially classed as neglected.

Neighbours walk along the river, through the forest, and bounce out-of-the-way of oncoming traffic as they hobble along the cycle path, before carrying their groceries/Christmas shopping/wailing children down the scary steps otherwise known as the back entrance to their homes.

All in an effort to avoid walking by our unpristine house.

I think I saw one brave soul (when I was net-twitching) attempting a quick sprint past. He’d cleverly protected himself with a gas mask…

But even that couldn’t shelter him from the spider web, dangling from the bathroom window. Glistening in the winter sun.

I suspect that is what pushed him over the edge. Into vomiting all over his own patch. I dread to think of the state of that gas mask…

Being a person who likes to be busy, I had to find something other than blogging and reading, listening to the Hoover and wobbling my head around wiping surfaces down, struggling through homework and taxiing around, to do.

I thought just a little bit. Too much thinking with a hurting head helps the head hurting to magnify.

My first thought, naturally, was to find a cure. So I drank water, slept, swallowed pills, and allowed people to stick needles into my head, and other parts of my anatomy.

But my head still hurt.

So then I thought, “A-ha, o-ho!” Distraction is the way to go.

Thus, I put on the telly, with the volume turned down really low. Luckily, I’m not due to have my ears syringed for a while.

And as I was watching, my mind wandered onto my film challenge…

Distraction has led me to working my way through 11 whole films.

  • King of Comedy (An old somewhat freaky film)
  • Salvation Boulevard (Light entertainment)
  • Everything Must Go (Hmmm…)
  • Bad Teacher (Brilliant)
  • ¡Three Amigos! (One from my hubby’s childhood, the five-year-old keeps asking to watch it again and again)
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 (Funny)
  • Our Idiot Brother (Funny)
  • Friends with Benefits (Obvious but funny)
  • Mr Popper’s Penguins (Did you know that Jim Carrey has ADHD?)
  • Into the Wild (Parents can really screw you up)
  • Rumour Has It (I liked it)


I also discovered my headache could be ‘chilled’ by the cold air outside.

So being a fan of the Italians, think Horace rather than  Berlusconi, I decided to take the opportunity. Carpe diem. Seize the day. And took the older girls off to a Medieval Christmas Market. My perseverance saw me rewarded with a chance to complete one of my 101 challenges.


And I found out  that I’m absolutely rubbish at it. My girls could have beaten me while standing on their heads with a blindfold on. I was soooo bad the archer actually looked pained with the need to stifle his own laughter.

I guess it was to be expected. I can’t chuck a javelin more than a meter from where I stand. No matter who shows me. No matter how many chances I’m given.

And that time I threw the ‘discus’ will go down in my school’s history, not only as the shortest distance thrown, but also as the only time the ‘discus’ actually hit the team members sitting behind the thrower.

Still, at least the teacher had thoughtfully exchanged the discus for a beanbag.

Spurred on though, by another challenge being struck off, I marched on with the dreaded task of creosoting the shed. OK, OK, it had to be done. The warped building would never have survived another winter.

So hubby, son and mother made a communal effort.

My head stopped aching in the crisp cold air. The pain moved to my arm instead. Variety is the spice of life, you know.

Being in the mood now, for ticking things off, I went online and purchased two Christmas cookbooks. I’ve called one Delia and the other Gordon. Yes, we’re on first name terms now. In fact, I’ve spent the whole of Christmas flapping around the kitchen calling out shrieking, “Where’s Delia?” Or, wailing “Where’s Gordon?”

Christmas has been low-level in the headache stakes and high level in recipe attempts: a very tomatoey Tomatoe Tart, delicious Home-made Truffles, Panna Cotta with Pomegranate Syrup (so good, I’ve already prepared them twice), the divine Scallops with  a Caper, Raisin and Olive Vinaigrette, a crappy Watercress Puree, a fantastic Truffle Mash, and Lasagna al forno the penultimate because it took me six whole hours to cook it. Of course, as soon as they’d stuffed themselves, the children asked, “Could you make that again, Mum?” 😮

My conscience is getting the better of me at the moment. I feel I have to say I may have exaggerated slightly, at the start of this post. I have still been taxiing around. I’ve enrolled Akasha in a ballet class.

But it’s all in a good cause. Another challenge achieved.

It has been two months since my last official update, so to the above I can also add: two new restaurants have been conquered visited (one during a birthday party and one on holiday – both before the headache marathon).

I’ve also stuck to my one date a month promise with my husband.

And I’ve remembered that I forgot to tell you, away back in October, that we nailed the Bronze Age Museum.

Plus, my husband stepped in with the fitness challenge – he purchased me (oh, he’s an adorable man) a cross trainer. It means that I can train as much as I like, whenever I like and I’ve decided to set my challenge as 1001km. As I’m around a third way through my 1001 days it means a little more than 1km per day. I wanted to put in what seems to me like quite a high number of kilometres. However, if I’m doing really well with the challenge, I may increase the total later on.

I’ve also agreed to take on the task of helping out at a local music festival next summer.

Finally, we have even more new challengers!!

Please welcome:

Piglet in Portugal


seashell by the seashore

Things ‘n’ Stuff

Adventures in Mediocrity

Shell Louise

the Thought Palette

Fi’s Mutterings and Mumblings

22 thoughts on “November/December Update”

  1. Well done south achieved in the face of adversity. Shame about the archery but guess that’s you put of any robin hood reenactments. Happy new year! Must do one of these updates – thanks for prompt.

    1. No problem. Let me know when you write one and I’ll let the otheres know for you.

      No, now I know I’m no Maid Marian!! Like the swishy dresses though…

  2. I love that you’re still dating your husband.

    Into the Wild disturbed me for some reason. I was really, really upset after it was over. Partially because I wanted to kick that guy for being an idiot, and partially because of the awful manner in which he met his end.

    1. Keeping the romance is important, don’t you think?

      Into the Wild really disturbed me too. For exactly the same reasons as you. (I’m glad it wasn’t just me). And it’s a true story, which makes it all much, much worse.

  3. I am so glad that all of those distractions and the cold air are helping you. Hopefully, the pain will disappear altogether with time. Here’s wishing you a very happy and HEALTHY new year!

  4. King of Comedy is classic – I haven’t heard of any of the others I’m afraid. The recipe stakes was my personal fav in this blog – I’m off to make an elaborate supper involving as many of those ingredients as I can. Happy New Year!!

  5. Not sure how you’re possibly doing all of those things with a headache, but well done you. I think there’s already a bit (lot) of the ‘mule’ in you 🙂 So hoping that headache of yours is gone soon

    1. Yes, I think you get me – stubborn as a mule, that would be me.And I get bored if I’m not doing something at all times, so the list is perfect for me.

  6. Good for you managing to cross things off your 101 in 1001 list while being impaired by such a terrible headache for so long, and life in general.

    I would disagree with your comment on Into the Wild and how parents can screw you up. That guy’s parents gave everything they could to their children, even paying for a very expensive education. And how did he thank them? By bailing out on them and making it sound as if he was a horrible childhood. What a nasty spoiled brat!!! He had no freaking clue what a crappy childhood was like and I couldn’t offer any sympathy for him throughout the movie. His arrogance and idiotic behavior caused his death and it looks like he never regretted the way he treated his parents until the end. Gosh I hope my boys don’t grow up like him.

    1. Thank you!!

      I think they did give their children a lot in terms of education and things. However, I think the deceit, pretence and violence in the family home was enough to tip him over the edge.
      But I agree with you that he was arrogant and his behaviour was idiotic and he definitely brought about his own demise.

      Considering it’s a true story, I actually think the parents are quite brave – I don’t think it shows them in a good light. They have quite obviously supported it out of love for their son.

      I found the film really distressing. A bright, well-educated young man basically threw his life away on a whim. I wanted to shake him and say, “Just go and get a job somewhere, let your family know you’re safe, and start a new life.” And then he died in such a horrible way…
      To top that, along the way he had chances, like with that old man, who was so nice. ARGH!!!!

      And what about his sister? The film depicts that he had an excellent relationship with her. Why didn’t he at least contact her? Very selfish…

      1. He really was a very self-centered person, thinking his parents did everything to ruin his life and only considering himself in all his decisions. Watching this as a “mature” adult, I see his stupidity and where his arrogance led him (clearly not far). Unfortunately I think younger viewers would think he was a really cool guy with horrible parents. Trust me, I know what horrible parents are, and I would have picked his parents over them!

      2. I didn’t even think about young viewers finding him cool…

        I’m really sorry about your parents. As a mature adult, the one thing a crap childhood does give you is the perfect template of how not to be a parent. Hugs.

  7. Wow! You’ve done a lot for a girl in pain. Are you a mother, by any chance…?

    Well impressed by your cooking. If I manage to get through one meal without burning anything, I glow for days.

    So glad you had a good Christmas.

    1. Hmmm… I suspect I might be!

      I love cooking. Though I do get stressed sometimes and then I get a bit louder. Sometimes I cook things and they taste great, other times I’m found running through the house with a burning pan.

      Yesterday, we had black omelette for tea. Hopefully, today will be one of the better days as we have a friend coming over for dinner!!

  8. I’m very impressed at how many challenges you ticked off despite your pain. I don’t think I could have done it.

    I’m glad you did Archery – its one of my challenges too. I tried it as a child and did quite well. Fingers crossed I can still hit the board when I try it again. (You say you were awful but you did hit the board, didn’t you?)

    I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting my blog buddies and fellow 101ers. Welcome aboard new challengers! I promise to try to make more time in the evenings to cheer everyone on!

    1. You need a whole lot of stubbornness, mixed with a few ounces of stupidity…

      Erm… no, but I did get rather close to a hay bale…

      Don’t worry! Just do what fits for you. 😉

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