Luce went to New York at 1am this morning!! Exciting 🙂 Later on this morning I woke up bright and early to get ready for a really fun weekend that Belinda and Andrew had kindly planned. We were going to see Pemberley from Pride and Prejudice and then go to Sherwood Forest and stay overnight in Edwinstowe, the rumoured home of Robin Hood. Then we were going to stay Saturday night in York. Instead, I got up and pretty much couldn’t walk, or dress myself, or get down the stairs. It’s finally caught up with me. So I rang the physio and Andrew drove me there at 9am. The physio helped me a little with my hip and then took one look at my knee and ankle and told me to see a doctor. So we drove to the doctors surgery and made an emergency appointment and waited, and then the doctor took one look at my hip and told me to get to casualty to get it x-rayed. So then we all drove to the hospital.

We arrived at about 1pm and left at about 8pm. It was an incredibly long day and Belinda and Andrew waited with me the whole time because they are lovely. Apparently there was a bit of confusion as to what department was going to look at me which accounts for the long wait, but once they’d got blood pressure and drawn blood and wheeled me off to a nice doctor who poked and prodded me for a bit, they took me for x-rays which came back….completely normal. The doctor was, in her words, flummoxed, but they gave me some realllllllly strong painkillers and sent me home with a sufficient supply and some crutches and told me to rest up. The painkillers seem to be working, so hopefully I’ll feel better in the next couple of days. Belinda and Andrew bought me fish and chips for dinner and I need to go to bed now because the painkillers have made me really tired.

Electrical pulses

Apologies for the lack of blog over the last few days. The charger to my netbook has died and I am trying to conserve the battery power. Sean, being the lovely man he is, has arranged for a new one to be sent and it should arrive sometime today, so fingers crossed! The last three days we have had a continuation of utterly gorgeous weather. Weather that is too hot to wear jeans in, with completely cloudless skies and a very faint breeze. It’s been unbelievably beautiful and I wish, wish, WISH my back/legs were feeling better because it’s the kind of weather that makes you want to run around in a park. The last three days I have been for walks around Crosby, completing various errands, then coming back to the house and putting frozen peas on my knee and trying to stretch my hip. On Tuesday I went to a physiotherapist and he was pretty amazing. He gave me a very painful massage to loosen up my back and then put a machine on my back that sent electrical pulses through my muscles. The machine went for 15 minutes and it was about the most bizarre sensation I have ever experienced. My back felt like someone else’s when I stood up afterwards, and for the next hour, I could still feel the same sensation after I left the physio’s, but it definitely felt better than it had. I’m going back on Monday for a follow-up. Belinda and Andrew have been the perfect hosts, and it’s been so nice to have home-cooked meals and a place that is not full of strangers while I am feeling so rotten. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting new people, but pain makes me anti-social. Since I had the crazy electric therapy, I have felt quite good once the day gets going. Mornings are the worst though, and that is what I am hoping will get better. Sean is having a great time with Tim and Helen and seeing a show every day. I miss him but I am really pleased he’s getting to see stuff at his own pace rather than have to constantly be waiting for me. Today I plan to do much of the same – walk, sun, read, ice my knee, stretch. Until my next blog!

Crosby times

The last two days have been very relaxing and really good for my back. I have spent a lot of time lying down on a camping mat, reading and watching British television, but we went for a long walk today along Crosby Beach. It’s difficult because I should be staying active to stretch out my back, but the pain in my knees and hips make it hard. Yesterday we went to lunch at The Courtyard (Mum, Dad, next time you visit Liverpool, you need to go here for lunch, it’s gorgeous). Crosby is lovely because it’s really close to the city centre, but it’s also on the beach, and you only need to drive ten minutes or so to get to the country. It’s the best of all worlds; all it needs is a nice mountain range. I hear Sean has been having an awesome time at the Dr Who convention, hopefully the weather in Cardiff is as nice as it is here. Brilliant sunshine the last two days – real beachy, t-shirt-and-shorts type skies. A really nice change from wintry grey 🙂

Liverpool again :)

I said goodbye to Kim and Sean today! Big hugs all round. The delightful Derry taxi system showed up for me without me even phoning. I had mentioned to a driver yesterday that I was going to the airport at 10am this morning and he told me to phone him. I was literally getting to my feet to call him this morning when there was a knock on the hostel door. It was a different taxi driver. The man I spoke to yesterday had been called away to something but he wanted to make sure someone was there to pick me up at 10. These people are so considerate and lovely. I had a great chat to the taxi driver on the way to the airport. We talked about Australia and Ireland and snow and our families mainly, and when he pulled up at the airport, he took all my luggage into the terminal because he could see I was having trouble with my back. It was a really lovely way to start the day.
Derry airport is tiny. It’s about the size of the toilet blocks at Tullamarine. There were two gates, and the tiniest little lounge, and everyone was really friendly. I chatted to the nicest Liverpudlian who told me all about her family and her city and how much she loved it. The plane trip to Liverpool took 40 minutes, but I closed my eyes briefly and then felt this almighty crash. I thought it was the most mental turbulence I’d ever encountered, but I opened my eyes and we had actually landed, so I can only assume I drifted off to sleep as it felt like we’d been in the air for 10 minutes.
I took a bus to the city centre and Andrew picked me up and drove me to their house in Crosby. It’s really nice to be back. I scared the living daylights out of Luce when she got back, but after that we spent the afternoon chatting, with me sprawled out along the floor which has become the custom. The lovely Belinda bought me fish and chips for dinner and we watched Sport Relief 2012. It feels hideously selfish to be whinging about a bit of back pain when children are dying of the most pointless and treatable illnesses. It really puts it into perspective. And I need to donate some moolah.
Later kids!

Crosby Beach

Our last full day in Liverpool! I actually surfaced before 9.30 today so I had time to Skype Dad for his birthday, then I headed to the doctor to just make sure I wasn’t going to kill myself by accidentally taking too much ibuprofen for my back. Apparently I won’t. Yay! Then Sean and I walked down to Crosby Beach to see Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ which are a series of cast-iron sculptures (100 in total) of men that stretch for 2km down the beach. It was beautiful, and not quite like anything I’ve ever seen before. Then we stopped for a truly epic hot chocolate (it was drowned in whipped cream and marshmellows and involved a mug of hot milk and a block of milk chocolate on a stick. You melt the block in the milk and it’s delicious) and scrambled eggs, before heading back to the house to do some washing and veging out. When Andrew and Lucia got home, we took Luce for a quick grocery run and Andrew cooked an amazing roast for dinner. After dinner – more tea and conversation! I will miss this nightly routine greatly.

Waterstones is my favourite

Another glorious day, involving a sleep-in, washing my hair, breakfast at a lovely cafe and a two-hour trip to Waterstones (including actual purchases! Exciting!). We also did productive things, like buying toiletries and booking our train to Edinburgh and registering me as a temporary resident so I can go to the doctor tomorrow about my dicky back. Then Sean and I met up with Belinda and had curry for dinner before seeing A Streetcar Named Desire at the Liverpool Playhouse. I really enjoyed it, and that play is a favourite of mine, so I am usually hard to please. I thought Blanche was the standout, but Sam Troughton played Stanley and I have never seen him play a role like that, so that was enjoyable. And Monica from Shameless was Eunice! A grand evening all round. Also: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!! I love you!

Exploring Liverpool….Waterstones

More sleep-ins today! Yes! Once I surfaced we took the train into Liverpool Central and went for a lengthy walk. Then Sean headed off to The Beatles Story and I sat in Waterstones for four hours and read. Sheer. Bliss. I got up to use the toilet and eat fruit salad, but the rest of the time, I was holed up in a comfy armchair with a book. It was simply perfect. I then joined Sean for a wonderful pub lunch (late lunch!) before meeting up with Belinda, Andrew and Lucia to see a movie. We saw ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ and it was delightful. Wonderful cast, wonderful performances, a real, feel-good movie. And now we are back at the house, having more tea and conversation!! I could realllllly get used to this. I know Scotland will be fun, but I am really enjoying being in a house!