2018-01-15 – Thrown into disarray.

I planned to try and cross a few things off my “To Do” list today, but my plans are thrown into disarray by a crisis – my wife rings me mid-morning to say that she has had a complete power failure in her workshop and can’t do any work.  I walk the dog, sort out a few electrical tools, get in my car and drive over to Hevingham to see what can be done.  I end up having to drive to Toolstation in Norwich to get something to repair the main power cable to the workshop, which appears to have been damaged somehow…  My wife helps me to effect the repair (in the rain!) and then I head back to Southrepps to take the dog for her afternoon walk, split some logs, fill the log basket, light the fire and vacuum downstairs.

I do manage to cross one item off my list – I ring Autowerke and book my car in to have a new thermostat fitted this Thursday morning at 8am, so I’ll be up bright and early on Thursday!

I have a large amount of pain at the moment – sciatica is rearing it’s ugly head.  I’ll have to try some exercises to try to alleviate it.  Tremor is back again (left leg) but very mild.  Voice is still rubbish.

2018-01-14 – The car remains grubby!

I am up first this morning (for a change) so I make the tea/coffee and empty the dishwasher while my wife has an extra few minutes of well-deserved sleep.  I really should wash my car today – it’s looking extremely grubby – but I can’t seem to summon up the energy to do so.  The car remains grubby!

I walk the dog and then spend some time reviewing my son’s blog and correcting any grammatical errors, and responding to a couple of emails that have arrived overnight.  My wife decides to clear out the conservatory, while I split a load of logs and light the woodburner.

I’m aching from my exertions yesterday, and my voice is very weak and soft today, although my tremor is much more under control.  The only time that my voice has been anywhere close to acceptable (to my ears) this week was when I was filming myself for my weekly vlog on Friday, and I changed my device over to use group “A” settings.  Group “A” settings offer me a clearer voice, but inferior tremor control.  Sometimes it’s difficult to decide which is the lesser of two evils, but at least I do have a choice!

2018-01-13 – Fence panels.

Today my wife and I are going over to Hevingham to help her youngest son replace some fence panels in the garden that got damaged in the recent high winds.  So, after I take the dog for her morning walk and drink a couple of mugs of tea, we head over there.

I help my wife’s son, his wife and his dad while my wife looks after our youngest granddaughter.  Its quite a straightforward job really, and we have finished it in a couple of hours.   A couple of hours of work is enough to knock me out these days, and I’m looking forward to getting back home, lighting the fire and having a bit of a sit down.

My wife takes the dog out when were get back to Southrepps, while I split a few logs, fill the log basket and light the fire.  That’s me finished for the day – literally and figuratively!

2018-01-12 – Uncommon symptoms.

I have no idea what I am going to vlog about this week, so my first task of the day is to scan all of the Parkinson’s related websites and Facebook groups looking for some inspiration.  I finally decide to talk about uncommon symptoms of PD, prompted by an uncommon symptom that I have been experiencing for well over a year – the tendency for me to bite the inside of my mouth when eating – very painful, and it’s currently making my life a misery.

I have several interruptions to the filming and editing of my vlog – my daughter calls me from York on FaceTime for a chat, my son calls me from Melbourne on FaceTime for a chat, and one of my neighbours drops in to discuss a local planning issue – so my schedule is well and truly out of the window.  I eventually finish editing just after we have eaten dinner, and publish it just before bedtime.

2018-01-11 – A delivery of logs.

I’m up bright (ish) and early (ish) because I’m expecting a delivery of logs first thing this morning.  Sure enough, the lorry pulls up outside our cottage at 8.15am, and then proceeds to block the high street for 10 minutes whilst the driver offloads a huge bag containing 2 cubic metres of hardwood logs, which he puts in the road by the gate that leads to my back garden.  I start moving the logs from the road in a wheelbarrow and stack them against the flint wall at the bottom of our garden.  I have moved a little over half of them when my next door neighbour appears and insists on helping me move and stack the remainder, which was very much appreciated!

I light the fire, and soon the house is feeling nicely warm and cosy.

I’m aching a little (well, a lot, actually) and my speech is slurred and indistinct from my exertions this morning so, after taking the dog for her second walk of the day, the rest of the afternoon is spent sitting on the sofa, warming my bones in front of the woodburner.

2018-01-10 – Fail!

I spend a large amount of time trying to install a replacement hard disk in my MacBook today.  I fail umpteen times, and end up putting my old drive back into it.  I really need to upgrade my MacBook to something a little bit faster and more up to date, but I will carry on with what I have got – at least until after we get back from holiday next month.

I receive an email confirming our delivery of logs tomorrow morning, so I spend some time (between dog walks) cleaning out the wood burning stove and preparing a basket full of kindling.  I also vacuum downstairs, because I’ve made a bit of a mess!

We have a few of the inferior heatlogs (that I bought in the garden centre in Overstrand the other day) so I light the fire just before 5pm.

2018-01-09 – A certain amount of pressure.

I’m feeling under a certain amount of pressure at the moment.   I have two video projects in progress that I really need to finish off – one is editing my neighbour’s safari holiday video (payment in kind for a video camera that he gave to me), and the other is my wife’s youngest son’s wedding video (which I had hoped to finish before Christmas, but didn’t!).

My Macbook is fast running out of disk space, so I need to back it up to an external hard drive so that I can install a larger disk drive in my MacBook.  Sounds straightforward enough, but I was trying to back it up yesterday afternoon (and failed), so I try again today.

This time I’m successful, but it does take me all day to accomplish.  I’ll leave the installation of the new disk drive until tomorrow – should be straightforward… (famous last words!).

2018-01-08 – The Parkinson’s nurse.

My wife and I have an appointment with the Parkinson’s nurse at 9am, so we get up at a reasonable time and I take the dog for a quick walk while my wife makes the tea/coffee and the Nutriblasts.

We are out of the door by 8.40am and arrive at the cottage hospital in North Walsham bang on schedule.  The nurse listens to our concerns (muscle weakness, balance issues and lack of motivation) and actually comes up with some good suggestions (which is unusual).  I was particularly impressed that she knew about forced exercise (which I covered in last week’s vlog) and was also able to offer me forced exercise through a referral to their physiotherapy department which, she told us, she would request for me as a matter of urgency.  She also picked up on my voice issues, and is going to refer me for some speech therapy which should address my vocal problems and also swallowing problems (which have started to become more of a problem of late).   We left the hospital feeling much more positive than we had when we arrived, and I just hope that there isn’t too much of a waiting list for the proposed referrals.

My wife departs for work, and I depart for Lidl in Cromer to see if they have got any heatlogs (they have sold out of them in their North Walsham branch) but Cromer branch have also run out!  It’s just typical that we have to wait until Thursday for our log delivery just as the weather turns cold again…  I drive back to Southrepps via the garden centre in Overstrand and grab a bag of heatlogs from there (inferior quality and higher price than Lidl, but needs must).

I light the fire at 3pm (having put it off for as long as possible) and take the dog for her afternoon stroll.

2018-01-07 – Keeping out of the way.

I don’t do very much at all today.  We make up for an early start yesterday, and lie-in until almost 10am. My wife’s brother and his family are dropping in to see us later on today (with Christmas presents) so my wife wants to clean and tidy the house before they arrive.  She also wants to catch up with the tasks that she would have performed yesterday, had she not been working.  My main task today, therefore, is keeping out of the way and not getting under her feet!

I sort out the woodburner, laying the fire ready to light later on this afternoon, and then I fill the log basket with the heatlogs that my wife bought back from Lidl yesterday evening.

I vacuum downstairs, light the fire and then take the dog for her afternoon walk just before our visitors are due to arrive.

My voice isn’t too bad today and I’m not slurring as much as usual, so conversation isn’t too embarrassing for me.  Tremor is still there (in my left leg) but not troubling me unduly.   My main discomfort today is muscular rigidity, and I find it very difficult (and painful) to move around too much – that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!

2018-01-06 – No lie-ins today!

My wife is working this morning, so there are no lie-ins today!  While she is out I make myself useful – walk the dog (twice), take the recycling out ready for collection on Monday, connect up one of the new Calor gas cylinders to the manifold, clean the woodburner, light the fire and vacuum downstairs.

When she arrives back home, we take down the Christmas decorations (it’s twelfth night), pack them away in boxes and stick them up in the loft again until next December.

While my wife cooks our dinner, I post some links to my weekly vlog on Instagram and Twitter, and then we settle down in front of the fire (with a beer for me) to watch a couple of episodes of Suits on Netflix.

2018-01-05 – Some researching to do.

I jump out of bed early (for a change) and go downstairs to make the tea/coffee and give the dog her breakfast.  I haven’t decided on a subject for my weekly vlog as yet, so I have some researching to do.  I decide to make a video about the effects of exercise on Parkinson’s Disease progression, so I start reading articles and writing a script as soon as I return from the morning dog walk.

Filming is a bit of a trial because my voice keeps letting me down by strangling my sentences.  In the end I decide to change my neurostimulator over to Group ‘A’ settings to see if that makes a difference – it does, and I finish the filming with much less hassle, changing back to Group ‘B’ settings again once I have finished (better tremor control, but worse voice).

The Calor gas delivery arrives, and I stash the full cylinders in their enclosure in the back garden.

The dog and I take our afternoon walk (in the rain) and then I light the woodburner because I’m feeling chilly.

I have finished editing my vlog and have uploaded it to my YouTube channel and published it by the time my wife returns home from work.

2018-01-04 – A few things to sort out.

I have a few things to sort out today, but I’m suffering the dreaded lack of motivation at the moment, and I’m struggling to make myself do even the most basic of tasks.

The dog gets me out for a wet and muddy traipse around the field (which I definitely didn’t feel like doing) and then I get the Calor gas empties out from the gas store ready for the delivery tomorrow.  I renew my car insurance (I couldn’t find a better price than that offered by my existing insurers) and then notice that my phone and broadband bill has suddenly doubled in price – my discounted deal must have come to an end and they have put me onto their standard tariff without notifying me.  I’m so annoyed that I immediately send their customer service people a snotty email inviting them to call me to “discuss”, and start looking for an alternative service provider.

I contact the log supplier that I placed my order with yesterday, hoping to get a delivery before the weekend, but they can’t deliver anything to me before next Thursday (which is a bit of a bummer).  I expect I’ll be picking up some more little bags of logs from the garden centre tomorrow…

My wife arrives home from work and I cook the dinner (for a change).  Then it’s time for a beer, some cannabis and some telly (not necessarily in that order).

2018-01-03 – Not feeling very motivated.

I’m not feeling very motivated today.   The weather is damp and miserable, which doesn’t help.

The company that I tried to order some logs from yesterday have been in touch by email this morning, so I place my order online (as instructed) and keep my fingers crossed that they can deliver by the weekend.  The house feels chilly, so I decide to drive to the local garden centre in Overstrand and buy a couple of small bags of logs so that I can light the fire.  I would have also bought a sack of food for the dog, but they were out of stock – typical!

I light the fire as soon as I get back home, and then take the dog for her afternoon stroll.  I really need to check car insurance premiums, because my car insurance expires tomorrow.  My existing insurance company has quoted me a very reasonable price for renewal (which is most unusual these days) but I still want to make sure that I’m getting a good deal.  I spend the rest of the afternoon comparing insurance premiums online!

2018-01-02 – Relative normality.

Back to relative normality today.  My wife leaves for work, and I consult (and add to) my list of things that I need to do.

I receive an email from the holiday company confirming the holiday in Egypt that I booked online last night (which is good!), and I follow some advice from a traveller’s review on Tripadvisor and book an Egyptian taxi firm for our airport transfers at a fraction of the cost quoted by the holiday company.

I (at long last) prepare an invoice (for tasks I performed at The Executor’s request) and email it to the solicitors who are Executors of my late next door neighbour’s will (that one has been on my list for at least 3 or 4 months – crossed off with a vengeance!).

I order some Calor gas cylinders (for my boiler) and then try to order some firewood (and fail – they are still closed until the end of the week).

I get the last of the logs in from the back garden, and light the woodburner – the last fire we’ll be having this week, I’m guessing!

2018-01-01 – New Year’s Day.

Happy New Year – best wishes for an amazing 2018!

It’s New Year’s Day and my wife wants to make some progress with the house – I can’t say that I really blame her, we moved into the cottage almost 3 years ago (before I had finished renovating it) and I’ve not made very much progress since we moved in.  Today we are putting pictures up on the lounge walls (as well as one or two on the landing), and I have to say that it does make the place feel more homely.

I finish my holiday investigations and book a week in Egypt (Marsa Alam on the Red Sea coast) and we then sit and watch YouTube videos of the hotel and surroundings, and start getting excited about going there.

2017-12-31 – New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve, and I spend most of my day looking at last-minute holiday bargains online.   My mum gave me £1,000 for my birthday last year so that we could use it to go on holiday, and we just haven’t got around to doing anything about it as yet.  We usually like to go somewhere warm for a week while the weather is cold in the UK – I don’t see the point in leaving behind the British summer, we might as well stay here and enjoy what little sunshine we do get!  By the time I have finished browsing, we have narrowed our choices down to one or two resorts around the Red Sea in Egypt, so now all I have to do is find the best possible deal!

We are supposed to be setting in the new year with my wife’s sons and families, so we head over to Hevingham when were have had our dinner.  By 10.30pm, most people have departed to put children to bed, and it feels like we are keeping people up!  My wife and I return to Southrepps at 11pm, open a couple of beers and see 2018 in together.