Just me

Posts about me, my family and friends (yes I have some), Seymour the Wonder Cat and his not-so-trusty sidekick Norman the Newbie Cat and life in general, both online and offline

The latest designer accessory?


Before: Just an innocent box that once housed my favourite handbag, awaiting its next mission as a Christmas decoration storage facility …

I was packing up our Christmas tree decorations a few weeks ago when Norman the cat discovered the Louis Vuitton box I was planning to use for the tinselly bits and bobs. She just couldn’t help herself and ended up sleeping in there for most of the night. Excuse the blurry second photo, the box was moving!

Perhaps there’s a market for Louis Vuitton: designer pet beds?

Oh, and what would Gareth Morgan make of all this?


After: Norman the cat makes herself at home.



The dicky ticker: update

DSC_0006_MorgueFileThe latest update on my dicky ticker.

Had a shockingly good result yesterday … my cardiologist is very happy with my progress. So happy, in fact, she wants to hold off for six months, do another ECG and then decide on the hardware because I might not need it.

OK, so my heart is still damaged, I still have cardiomyopathy and will be on these drugs for the rest of my life. But I might not need surgery because the bundle branch blockage has improved and my heart has reduced in size (from 5.7 inches across to 4.9, she tells me).

This was very much unexpected: the hope was that I would stabilise so I could have the surgery, but there was no suggestion that things would improve like this, so all-in-all we’re pretty bloody happy with the results.


Mysterious Monday

key-and-lock-workIt’s always good to learn something on a Monday, so if you’ve ever wondered about the inner workings of your locks … here’s the answer.

I’m perpetually perplexed by the fact that our front door has two locks and I have two corresponding keys on my keyring but while they both fit into the bottom lock, only one turns it. What is so strange about this is that the on the other two sets of keys for the house, the keys for the lock at the top of the door don’t fit the bottom lock.

Ah, the mysteries of Mondays.


Cab # 202: you rock

taxiJust to prove that I’m not ALWAYS in a pissed off mood, I recommend Invercargill Taxis, cab # 202.

Why? Well, we were at Farmers on the Saturday before Christmas and it was chaos. We were leaving the car park and expecting it to take forever because of the volume of traffic from Farmers, the Warehouse across the road and the lights and crossing between the two (when we arrived traffic was backed up for as far as the eye could see because the lights weren’t green long enough each time to clear the backlog of cars get across the crossing, so the cars trying the leave the two car parks on opposite sides of the road were also backed up. Oh joy!)

Anyway, we were leaving the car park with the expectation that we’d be waiting for a while, when a lovely driver in an Invercargill Taxis car stopped to let us out. So thank you cab 202, I hope you had a splendiferous Christmas.


Merry Christmas!

xmas-ugly The big day is here and we are about to embark on a gift liberation mission, freeing the many lumpy but brightly wrapped offerings under the tree from their red and green confines.

Unlike last year, we managed to make it to the big day without Seymour the Wonder Cat opening and eating his present two days before Christmas. It was a lesson learned, this year there’s nothing with catnip under the tree. Besides, he doesn’t need it … he has his very own catnip plants now and has turned into something of a pothead.

Norman, on the other hand, seems to be one of those cats who isn’t really affected by catnip. Good thing, too. She’s crazy enough already.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and happy festivities one and all, and to everyone turning up here later for the annual Christmas barbecue: I’ll be mixing drinks today but not partaking.



Customer service? Pfffft

It’s nearly the end of the year, so it must be time for me to have another rant: this time it’s about a large, well-known cafe at a local department store.

Nick and I went there the other day for lunch. We looked at the specials sign outside the door and decided the menu looked reasonably appealing (hey, it was mid afternoon and I needed to find some lunch so I could take my heart pills, the offerings weren’t spectacular but they were okay-ish).

issues-burgundyAfter queuing for what seemed like an eternity but what was probably really somewhere between five and 10 minutes, the wee chicky babe at the counter informed us that no, we couldn’t order anything from the menu because the kitchen had closed.

I told her we had only come in because of the items listed on their specials board at the door and, after rolling her eyes, she informed me the sign was no longer there.

Well it was fecking there when we arrived, not our fault we had to wait so long to be served. Anyway, after suggesting they should actually have the time fact the kitchen closes part-way through the afternoon noted on their sign, I said we’d go elsewhere.

But no, we would still have to pay for sandwich and cake Nick had put on the tray as we made our way along the queue to be served.

I didn’t want anything they had to offer because of health issues: I’m diabetic and have a slightly buggered heart (hence the medication and pending surgery).  I didn’t want a salt-laden ham sandwich or one of the luminous yellow pastry things lurking in their food cabinets. I was hoping to order soup. I tried to order soup. I got an eye roll and attitude in response.

This isn’t the first time I struck this at this same cafe: earlier in the year we went there one Saturday and discovered the kitchen had closed (it was earlier in the day) and once again, there was no indication of this until we got to the end of the counter and tried to order.

And again, I got attitude.

Anyway, I told the cheese-roll jockey serving us that we had come into the cafe only because of the sign outside, which gave no indication the kitchen was already closed. Eventually she went off to see her manager, then came back to the counter and told me we wouldn’t have to pay.

That was something, I suppose. An apology for the rude attitude would have been better.

And before anyone mutters anything about it being close to Christmas, overworked staff etc, shut it! We’re all in the same boat and I”m pretty sure that if I started taking out my pre-Christmas mood on our readers and advertisers, my boss would be spitting sparks.

Besides, the last time I got bad service and bad attitude there it wasn’t Christmas, it was just a quiet Saturday afternoon.



Moggy mail after weather bomb

As anyone who follows me on Facebook will know, Seymour the Wonder Cat had a traumatic weather incident a week or so ago during that sudden wee soggy spell we had.

A few days later, a letter arrived for him:

Front of envelope

The front of the envelope that arrived for Seymour

The back of the envelope read: Here’s a new coat and boots so you don’t have to wear that angry face any more

The content of the envelopes from Seymour’s mystery benefactor: a plastic bag and four condoms.

He wasn’t keen on the idea of wearing the “boots”, so we might have to revisit that. However, Norman took an interest in the plastic bag “coat”.

Seymour covered in mud

And for anyone who missed it, Seymour after being weather bombed. He was not impressed with the whole mud situation, as you can probably tell.



The traveller returns

Our wee trip away was relaxing and reasonably quiet: a few days in the capital, followed by a couple of days in Dunedin, including a visit to the cardiologist.

It’s now confirmed that aside from the dilated cardiomyopathy, I also have a left bundle branch blockage, which means the left side of my heart isn’t working in synch with the right side. The plan is to continue to attack the first problem with drugs (lots of them, taking my daily dose of beta blockers from the current 6mg a day to 50mg a day) in the hope that there will be no further damage to my heart and it will begin to function at a better level. I’m also scheduled to have an angiography done in October and if the bundle branch blockage doesn’t improve fairly quickly, the doc wants to consider cardiac resynchronisation therapy.

Wonder if I can get an iPad dock built in?


Clearing out the tumbleweeds again

It’s been a while. And it’s not so much that I’ve been slacking off, it’s more a case of being sick.

The past few months have been interesting and while finding out I was diabetic a couple of months ago was a bit on the crappy side, the latest diagnosis is certainly more craptastic than the first:  heart failure caused by dilated cardiomyopathy, along with a spot of mitral valve regurgitation for good measure isn’t really something you want to hear.

Guess that explains why I’ve been feeling so knackered.

The new drugs are, um, well, equally crappy (lots of side effects that go ever so nicely with the side effects from the medication I was already on).

Anyway, I’m off to see the cardiologist in Dunedin again this week and for some more tests. At least I can now categorically state that I’m not a heartless bitch … I do have one, even if it doesn’t work properly!


… was that a tumbleweed?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. More than a month, in fact.

I haven’t been avoiding you, my poor little neglected blog, I just haven’t had the time or energy to do anything beyond work and sleep. My health has been kind of crappy over the past couple of months and now that I’ve finally dragged myself off to the doctor to get checked out I at least know I’m not imagining things and after lots of blood test am now popping lots of pills and slowly getting things sorted.

So, apologies my wee blog, I’ll dust off the cob webs and get on with it.



Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.


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