Project 365 – Week 8

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Day 54 – 22nd Feb – Today was James’s months mind mass in Fermanagh. I was really apprehensive about going because of the way things had been with his family. Ted, James’s dad had basically told mum it was her fault that James had died and that he would’ve been better off without her. So the atmosphere was going to be strained. Mum’s sister, Roisin was coming with us. At first I was really confused because mum and Roisin had basically not been on speaking terms for about 15 years and the fact that they were now speaking was something of a miracle. Mum says it’s because Roisin had finally understood what it was like for things to go wrong in someone’s life and she had seen the way mum had been treated and decided to be nice. But the mass wasn’t horrendous. It was quite awkward at the end though when his sisters came up to us and started to talk to us. Nobody had known I was home so I was getting all the questions about my hip and the “God love you” expressions. That bugs me. But the mass was nice enough and once things were over, we talked to them for about 15/20mins and then went home. I think it would quite possibly have been the last time we will ever speak to them again. It’s a 15 year chapter of my life closed. Or at least I hope so.

Day 55 – 23rd Feb – I didn’t actually do a lot today. I got a new sketchbook in January so I’ve been working on getting some more drawings into it and building it up to the amount of the one from last year. I like doing it by year because then I can see how I’m progressing with my drawing. I’m never going to be Pablo Picasso, or Claude Monet, but I’m still able to draw more than a stick person, which if you had of seen my drawings 6 years ago, you wouldn’t have thought it possible. But mum had been knitting an Eeyore teddy for her neighbours and it put it into my head to try and draw something from Winnie the Pooh. So I tried Piglett and Eeyore! It’s something to work on! TJ wants me to do a drawing for his wall, so I need to come up with an idea for that. But we’ll see how it goes. I’ve a few things in mind!

Day 56 – 24th Feb – For the first time in about 2 years I had to buy ketosticks. For those not in the know of what they are, ketosticks are test strips for checking to see if there’s ketones in your urine. It can be a sign that your diabetes is out of control and you need further intevention. I was getting a fruity breath and feeling rather rubbish so thought it would be worth checking, especially considering how much Club Orange I’d been drinking! It showed traces of ketones, which was quite odd because I’ve not had that problem since Nov 2012. I managed to get it under control by drinking a lot of water and taking better control of my diet. Thankfully it did resolve and I didn’t have to take any more action. But it was a bit of a wake up call that I needed to not drink as many fizzy or sugary drinks. Since then I have actually been a lot better at controlling my diet. I’ve got to see an Endocrinology consultant when I get back, so we will see what he says!

Day 57 – 25th Feb – We managed to have an early pancake Tuesday. I got confused when Cookie posted a facebook status saying she was going to her nanna’s for pancakes. I thought that meant it was Pancake Tuesday and so mum made an absolute shed load of pancakes with some of thee most amazing toppings I’ve ever heard of. We had raspberries, bananas, ham, cheese, strawberries and cream, all different sauces and other stuff. Even if it was an early pancake tuesday, it was amazeballs. When I was in secondary school on Pancake Tuesday you’d get lemon juice, sugar and nutella as toppings, and even then you had to pay for each one!  TJ loved them aswell and it was great fun watching mum flipping them and trying to catch them. Mum’s fantastic. She worked really hard to make sure that we were happy while I was home and I actually enjoyed spending time with them tonight!

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Day 58 – 26th Feb – Mum bought me a tub of ice cream today. Cookies and Cream ice cream is amazing. It’s not quite as nice as Ben And Jerry’s, but it’s still up there among the greats. I’m just having a really rubbish few days. My joints are aching and I feel quite rubbish. And for some reason ice cream always makes me feel better. I think I need to just hide under my duvet for a few days, but I know that I can’t. I think Cookie Dough Ice Cream is still the best ice cream known to man though.

Day 59 – 27th Feb – We went to get Dolly a new collar today because the one she had was falling to pieces. When we were at the pet shop we had a look around at the other stuff they had. Although having a cage saying “Hampsters May Bite” with no hamster in it, with horrendous spelling on the notice! Considering it’s a pet shop, you’d think they were going to be able to spell it right! But while we were there we got her a new bed and some treats. She has never been properly treated before cause it’s never been a case that any of us could afford it, but cause I could I decided I would. So she got a new Toy Story bed that she can’t destroy by clawing it, a nice purple collar and treats. It was funny because Dolly isn’t really a treats kind of dog. She doesn’t really know what to do with toys. I got her one of those shoe things and she took it into the back garden and buried it. So I got the other one and put treats in it. It was funny watching her trying to get them out. She could see and smell the treats inside, but couldn’t get to them. It sent her mad. I will teach my dog what to do with treats! I will!

Day 60 – 28th Feb – Went into town with mum today. TJ’s going out tonight with friends to youth club, so mum and I are planning a DVD night. Think I want to watch Gravity. That new one with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney that everyone has been raving about. Everyone I’ve spoken to says it was brilliant so I want to decide that one for myself.

Every year in Ireland the registration plates change. So for 2014, it becomes 14 – MN – XXXX. Because I haven’t been home since before Christmas I hadn’t seen any of the new plates. For some reason they’re doing it in halves where the first half of the year has 141 and the second has 142. They did it in 2013 and apparently it was because of people being superstitious about the whole 13 thing on license plates. But when I was younger I used to think I was amazing because I could recognise all the different counties on the number plates. Every county has an abbreviation, so Monaghan was MN, Dublin was D and so on. So it’s always been something that makes me smile when I see the new plates!

So until next time!


Project 365 – Week 7

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Day 47 – 15th Feb – I was very naughty. I’ve wanted a mac for as long as I can remember, and specially since I knew James. Because he worked with Macs, he always had one and I always thought they were fantastic. So I decided with the amount of time I spend in hospital and travelling, and the fact that I got a massive amount of back pay, I was finally able to warrant buying one. I used a pic I’ve nicked off the internet. I had taken a picture of the box that my MacBook Air came in, but it’s really not a fantastic picture so I stole this one! It’s a 13″ MacBook air, which in comparison to my big 17″ Samsung is tiny! It’s very thin and light, which is why it’s so ideal for travelling and taking into hospital. One of the things about these laptops is that they generally have very little hard drive space, and don’t have a DVD Drive installed either, which is part of the reason why they’re able to be so thin and light. Because my old external hard drive was not compatible with Macs I had to order a new external hard drive that I could use with it. I’m going to Ireland in the morning, so I’ve got to pack for 2 weeks in Ireland, install a new laptop and transfer my stuff from one hard drive to another. It was a very busy day. I had to make a few trips out aswell to appointments, the chemist and tesco. So I was definitely ready for my bed that night!

Day 48 – 16th Feb – Off to Ireland today! I’ve not been home now properly for about 4 months since I took TJ home in November. I was going home partly to grieve for my stepdad and partly to see the family. I knew going home was going to be hard and I knew I was going to be going to his Months Mind mass. A months mind is basically a normal mass that’s said, but with a dedication and prayer for the deceased. It’s a bit like a memorial. I knew I’d be going to the one in Monaghan that was being held and organised by my mum, but wasn’t expecting to be going to one in Fermanagh aswell. Unfortunately, things weren’t on the best terms with his family since he died, which is really unfortunate. They had all, bar one of the brothers, been exceptionally nasty to mum. I might go into it at some point, but I don’t think that now is really the right time. But it made me angry. When someone dies, the family is meant to come together to comfort each other, and be there for each other. But this wasn’t the case, and I think that’s partly why I was so angry. But it’s all over now and mum won’t have to deal with them again.

Day 49 – 17th Feb – Anyone who has been to Ireland MUST try Club Orange. It’s a fizzy orange that you can’t actually get in England, and it really is one of my favourite drinks. It’s quite a sweet fizzy orange with bits in it, like the pure orange. Anytime I go home I drink gallons of the stuff (blood sugar allowing! ;)) and end up always trying to bring some back for Cookie. Obviously with the cabin baggage restrictions, it’s not the easiest of things to get back, and being heavy, you can’t stick a shedload in your case and check it in! But I ended up drinking too much of it while I was home, and ended up a bit poorly. I then decided that it was probably best to stick to sugar-free cordial for a bit! Doesn’t mean it’s going to put me of the next time I’m home though!

Day 50! 18th Feb – So I’ve actually managed to do 50days of Project 365 so far! I must say I’m pretty proud of myself that I’ve managed this far! Anyway, meet my doggy! This is Dolly, named after Dolly Parton. My mum and James had been to see Dolly Parton a few days before she showed up at our back door, and they’d bought a calendar while at the show and while we were sitting trying to decide what to call her, I looked at the calendar and piped up with Dolly! She’s a Jack Russell terrier, and we think she’s about 7 or 8 years old. We’ve had her now for about 5 years, and she really is part of the family. When you have a dog that you love as much as we love Dolly, you let them away with murder, and as you can see, she does! I came in to go to bed after brushing my teeth and found her in my spot on the bed! She’s a right charmer! But I promptly shifted her to the other side of the bed and climbed in. She is better than any anti-depressant available. She knows when I’m unwell and is able to tell when I’m having a rubbish day. A few years ago when I was living at home, she used to sleep at the foot of my bed, and if I started to wheeze would come and wake me up. While I was home I was having problems with my sugars, and one morning had a pretty good hypo. (1.7 for those interested!) She somehow knew something was up and started licking my face and nudging me until I woke up and got some sugar in me, then sat watching me for the rest of the day. She’s the best dog I could ask for!

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Day 51 – 19th Feb – Although this isn’t technically a picture, it still happened on the day and makes me smile! I sat Leaving Certificate English, and got an A grade in it, so I’m a mega grammar pedant. So when people make grammar errors I’m forever pulling them up on it. I actually have a friend that takes pictures of all the mistakes he finds in places that should know better and posts them on his website! But I was reading an article on the BBC News app this morning and noticed this classic. “It is the first time the catch-up service has past the 300m viewers mark.” Who wants to find the mistake there then? But considering it’s coming from the BBC, who are meant to have some of the best journalists in the world, it did make me giggle that I could find that error on a first read and I’m nowhere near as qualified as them! (And funnily enough while I was spellchecking this, it came up with me to change it to passed!)

Day 52 – 20th Feb – This was the view from the front garden of my house. We live quite close to the edge of the town, and right beside the Garda station, which has proved to be both a blessing and a curse in the past! Back when James was hassling mum a lot and she had to take out a restraining order against him, it made it a lot easier to keep it enforced because I don’t think anyone would dare break a restraining order on the police station’s doorstep! But on the other hand, TJ has quite a lot of nightmares and one night had quite a graphic one involving James hurting mum that woke him up. For some reason that night mum had gone to sleep in the spare room and TJ didn’t know this, so when he got up to go into her after her nightmare and she wasn’t there, TJ panicked. Because he was half asleep it didn’t occur to him to check the spare room, and he immediately thought something had happened to mum. His first instinct was to get the police and started walking in his pyjamas and bare feet to the police station at about 2am. Something had made mum wake up, and to this day doesn’t know what it was. She says mothers instinct. But she went to check on TJ and found him not in his bed, but the front door was open. He was halfway up the road to the Garda station to tell them that mum had gone. Bless him.

Day 53 – 21st Feb – The last of the good weather was yesterday, and today it was back to normality with rain! But we were in the shopping center car park driving round while we were looking for a decent spot, I spotted this. I had to take it through the car windscreen, which at the time was covered in rain, so it’s not the best picture in the world! But can you spot what it is? Some adventurous person has obviously been kayaking and has it strapped to the top of their car. It made me giggle because a few years ago there was major flooding in Monaghan, and there was a picture of one of the managers of the Leisure center kayaking across one of the busiest junctions in Monaghan in about 6 foot of water. It really was a sight to behold, and seeing the kayak in the rain just reminded me of that!


Back in England.

Well I got back to England yesterday. I’d managed to be a complete goon and get my dates mixed up. I thought I was due to come back on the 29th, and it wasn’t until I went to check in online that I realised it was actually the 30th. Unfortunately it mucked up many plans I’d made and plans others had made aswell. Incredibly annoying. But I’m back now, and can try and get back into some sort of routine.

While I was home, I was able to chill out alot, which was exactly what I needed. I spent two weeks doing very little and when I did do things, I wasn’t doing things that could’ve waited. I was doing stuff I had to do. But I’m very pleased with myself. I got my first pair of Converse Chuck Taylor Hi’s while I was away, and my first Monaghan GAA jersey. I’ve been after both of these for a very long time and I happened to be very lucky that the GAA jerseys were reduced from €60 to €20. I managed to buy the wrong size the day I bought it, so I sent mum in the next day to change it. They tried telling her they’d increased the price back to €60 but they hadn’t removed it from the sale rack or changed the tag on it, so in all fairness they could bugger off with their “It’s not €20 anymore”. Mwahahaha.

It was also really good to see some of my best mates while I was home. I got to see Michelle and Chris. Both of whom I don’t get to see anywhere near as much as I want. Chris lives in Belfast and came down for the day, but it got to 17.15 and we were still in town and hadn’t eaten, and his bus was at 1800, so we made a spontanious decision to find out if he could stay over. So he was able to stay over with me for the night which meant I got to see even more of him. It was great being able to spend some proper time with him. We might not be going out anymore, but we’re still best friends.

Then Michelle came round for a bit. Michelle was in my year at school and we have been friends since I was in 2nd year. She was always there when I needed someone to chat to about things at home and to this day is one of the kindest, caring people I know.  She’s going to Romania for 2 months to work in a camp for English speaking kids. She had no music or anything on her phone, and no decent headphones, so I put a shedload of music on my 4GB micro SD card so she had music on it, and then had the 2GB one she had as back up. She had no headphones either, and me being me had about 3 pairs going spare so gave her my spare skullcandy’s and one of the mini capsule speakers I had.  So hopefully now she’ll have enough music to listen to while she’s gone. I’m expecting her to take lots of pictures! She got me a slinky and a knitted bag kinda thing. But tbh, I’ve ended up using it as my snuggle (yes, at 21 years old I still use a comforter…) cause it’s really soft and reminds me of her.

Today’s being spent primarily in bed. My joints are giving hell after sitting down for most of yesterday so I’m trying to lie at about a 30-45degree angle in bed. It seems to be the most comfortable spot I can find. I’ve an appointment on Friday at the doctors, and I want to get them to sort my painkillers out and give me something for the eczema on my scalp. The shampoo has helped it scab and stop being as raw, but it’s still there and itchy something shocking. So I’m hoping the Dr will be able to give me something to help it. I’ve got my pre-operation assessment on the 9th May. I’m semi terrified. On one hand I want it over and done with, but on the other I’m dreading them saying I’m not fit enough for surgery. I also want to try and put my point across of wanting a General Anesthetic. I don’t think anyone understands just how scared I am of this. I’m having horrendous nightmares about it and all sorts. I understand why they’re reluctant, but hopefully they can see my side.

It’s good being back. I think. I get to see Cookie a bit more now, I wasn’t really able to spend much time with her when she was home for the few days before I went to Ireland and it was a bit tense because she knew she had to go back to her Nana’s and wasn’t able to stay in the flat. But now I’m hoping to be able to stay at home for a bit, until my op at least. So she can get a bit settled again in her flat. On Friday we’re initiating the bed swap, so that’ll be interesting to see how it goes. I’m hoping it goes smoothly and there’s no arguments. I don’t think there will be though, Cookie understands why I need her bed and knows I wouldn’t ask if I wasn’t in serious trouble with my joints. As it is I think they’ve gotten significantly worse while I was in Ireland. Now any sort of movement is agony.

But for the rest of the week I’m planning on chilling. Apart from an appointment at my GP surgery tomorrow for bloods and then the dr’s appointment on Friday, and our support worker coming round on Friday afternoon, it’s a relatively quiet week. Normally there’s appointments left, right and center. But I’m getting a bit of a break 🙂  Might use my free time to finally finish Super Mario Bros 2 and Lego Lord of the Rings for my 3DS.

Till next time! x



Impromtu Trip to Ireland.

Well after all the dramas of the past month, I decided I wanted to go home and see my mum. I needed some family cuddles after everything that had happened. I don’t want to go into it in details because it’s not up to me, but a very close friend of mine has been quite unwell and its been difficult for me to try and persuade her that people are trying to help her. Luckily since I went away she’s gotten a little bit better and I think she’s starting to get a bit better having seen her earlier this evening. 

I went back to Ireland on the 8th November, which coincidentally is my little brother’s birthday. I was able to surprise him because nobody had told him I was coming home. Seeing the look on his face when he saw me sitting in the living room made all the shit I’ve seen in the past month or so worth it. Like I said in my previous post, I have a very close relationship with my little brother, and even though we fight like cat and dog, I love him to pieces and he said it was the best birthday present he got, even better than his x-box, although I’m not convinced 😉Image

While I was home it was also my Nanny’s birthday which was quite good. I was able to see both my Nanny and little brother on their birthday. I’d already given mum her birthday present as it had been in October and I gave it to her when I was home in September. She still takes her kindle everywhere. I took my Nanny to lunch and got her a little book keyring for grandparents. Nanny means a lot to me, and I won’t see her at Christmas when I’m home because she’ll be in Tenerife. But luckily I’m due to go out to Tenerife in early January to see my dad. I’m really looking forward to this. Cookie was meant to be coming with me, but due to her own health won’t be able to. Her chest’s quite unstable at the minute and we don’t think the Tenerife weather would be good for it. It’ll be sad not to have the company, but hopefully she’ll be able to get out again next year. 

While I was home, I got to see Chris which was fantastic. He arrived about 11am and I made  him a bacon sarnie and we sat and nattered for ages. He was absolutely knackered bless him and we just spent most of the day chilling. Neither of us were really feeling up to doing much. He’s a great mate and I really enjoyed seeing him. Hopefully we’ll see each other again at Christmas, but otherwise we’re going to try and sort something for when I get back from Tenerife. 

I’m being admitted to hospital today (Monday). My chest’s been going downhill since I was at home and I was doing some extreme stuff to stay out of hospital. My consultant wants me in now and I think it’s probably a good thing. I’m dreading it. I have my bag packed with my pyjamas, underwear, toiletries and a few essentials. I’ll throw my phone chargers in tomorrow and hope that someone can make it to the flat while I’m in to pick me up some stuff. 

I’ll leave you with a few photos of my trip home.


TJ with his cake on his actual birthday. He had a party at the weekend. 

ImageDolly trying to be cute and succeeding.

ImageTJ with his cake at his birthday party.

ImageTJ and Dolly

So until next time!