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Monday, November 28, 2016

There's a Chill in the Air

“When the cold comes to New England it arrives in sheets of sleet and ice. In December, the wind wraps itself around bare trees and twists in between husbands and wives asleep in their beds. It shakes the shingles from the roofs and sifts through cracks in the plaster. The only green things left are the holly bushes and the old boxwood hedges in the village, and these are often painted white with snow. Chipmunks and weasels come to nest in basements and barns; owls find their way into attics. At night,the dark is blue and bluer still, as sapphire of night.”
― author Alice Hoffman, Here on Earth

 The weather forecast for this part of Britain is COLD moving in today from the northeast and becoming COLDER over night. We put it off long enough: time to cover the windows with plastic to create a double glazing effect which stops drafts and shuts out the cold. 
   I washed and dried the windows and Les cut the tape, peeled away the membrane, meaured and cut the plastic sheeting to fit and wrestled it on to the windows; I followed along behind with the hair dryer, tightening up the plastic. By the time the first five windows were covered the change in termperature inside our floating home was amazing: dry, deliciously cozy, still; like the warm breath of a lover next to you in bed at night. 
   As Les tidied up the scraps I fixed a pot of South Western Chile Cheese Potato Soup. This is potato soup with chunks of onion and green peppers sauteed in ground cumin, garlic and butter and added to the potatoes cooked in milk. Some Creme Fraiche or sour cream, salt, pepper, chopped green chiles or for those with a hankering for a real fire in their belly, several spoonfuls of diced jalapenos, simmered for thirty minutes and topped with grated cheese. Mmmmm good!
   On our personal health front Les is experiencing more prolonged aching and pain across his buttocks and lower back which we will have sorted out this week with a change in drugs. The nerve pains he was experieincing have been addressed by Pre-Gabbeline, and liquid morphine is used for breeak thorugh pain. He uses one crutch to get around now but seldom lets anything slow him down or stop him for long. 
  I had my right knee replaced on the 26th of November at Warwick hospital. This time there was a considerable bit more pain and my leg muscles are all tighter. This all has to do with my right S-I (Sacro-Iliac) joint which keeps popping in and out. I was doing well though, until the bandage came off and an infection set in to the incision. Before I could say "Damn Gina" Les had me in a taxi to Stoke Mandeville hospital A & E where in under three hours I was sorted with blood tests, an x-ray and a determination: The infection was just getting started and hadn't reached the joint so that was good news. The bad news: a ten day treatment of antibiotics Doxicyclene. 
   Me and antibiotics don't get along. By day three my gut had shut down as all of my billions of healthy gut bacteria died in agony: I felt and grieved each extinguished cell as nausea and dizziness gripped me all day long, allowing me an eight day diet of water and yogurt. Of course by day seven I was blessed with a full flung yeast infection and no tub in which to soak. Sponge baths and showers every four hours are not quite the same but they do provide some relief. 
   This infection knocked me for six and put my recovery back about a week and half. All I want to do or seem able to do is sleep in between short bouts of boat cleaning to keep on top of laundry, dishes, dirty floors, etc. Les has been willing and able to hold down the fort with the help of occasional rides from friends and local boaters to town for prescription refills and groceries.
  NB Valerie goes in to the marina on Monday next (December 5th) for three days as she is blacked, inspected,  and a couple of other projects are undertaken for us by marine engineer Darren Killick. Our fancy hotel in London is booked for those three days, having used all but two of our 63,000 Avios airline points and £150.00. We are going to take a boat trip on the Thames, and we have a list of London peculiartities we want to find from Simon Leyland's book A Curious Guide to London. We will bus hop as our energy allows, Les with his crutch and me with mine. We will enjoy recovering in the large tub back at our hotel and eating meals prepared bysomeone else.
 At some point when I feel better I will undertake a post with pictures to show everyone all the work Les has done since August to tackle the long list of projects and issues which needed attention.


life afloat on nb tickety boo said...

Lovely to read your post. The soup/stew sounds delicious! I must try that plastic film sometime. You two have a loveky time in London! Look forward to the photos. As always love and hugs to you both xx

locheriboll said...

Glad things are at least improving. Hope you get to have fun in London and come back safe to your cozy home. Love, Sally

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Good to know you are still moving onwards and upwards to recovery, Jaq, and good to know your pain is being suitably managed, Les. We ares ending biggs hugs and kisses, and lots of love.
Jaq, you know of course that yoghurt applied topically is also soothing, yes? Messy, but soothing ...
Have a lovely time in London, take it easy, and enjoy being cared for - being fed, and cleaned up after is what you need and deserve right now.
Hugging you both again, Marilyn and David xxoo

Mike & Phill Muir, nb GARNET. said...

Well done Jaq, for getting another "procedure" ou of the way. Well done Les, just for "filling in"!
Curiously, we were talking about Thames boat trips earlier. Not this winter, though. Just keep on keeping on, the pair of you.
Mike on Garnet.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what you have achieved between you over the past few months, well done yous. Enjoy your break in London and we look forward to seeing the pics of your escapade when you return to your cosy little floating home. We use the same double glazing over our roof-light every winter, always works a treat too.
Bye for now, Ann and Keith aboard Oakfield xx

Anonymous said...

Have text you Jaq, any chance I can catch up with you while you are in London? If not some dates for after would be great so I can drive up to see you both? Lots to tell, mwah. Carol BV

Carol said...

Have a wonderful time in London both of you. Take care, don't overdo it! Love and hugs xx

Unknown said...

NB Valerie doesn't get to go to London town.
Ah well, better her underbelly be up to snuff and all related completed.

As for two invalided owners enjoy yourselves, you both deserve to do so given all.

Shall communicate once you're on NB Valerie and all is settled. Ask Les to do a historical lesson if he has time.

Bryce Lee in Canada

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs