A-Z ChallengeA-Z Challenge letter: U – Unbelievable



About a month ago, I wrote about the unbelievable chaos that was Asda Pharmacy’s Collect Service – you can read about it here. I would have thought it might have improved since then. But no. Not only did Asda fail to respond to my concerns at all but the madness has continued.

Each month, I should receive, on NHS prescription, eight loaves of gluten-free bread, two boxes each of gluten-free pasta and gluten-free spaghetti, and two boxes each of the two medicines I take.

Since I wrote that post about how, in 5 months, Asda has not managed to get this right even once, I’ve had another bread order – not that one was due, but they ordered it anyway, along with more drugs. Yesterday, they called again to tell me my bread had arrived. This time, there were two months’ worth to collect. I hadn’t ordered any – my freezer is still full of the 16 loaves I’ve had in the last month. Now I have another 16 loaves to find space for.  Along with the bread, there were two boxes of pasta and both the drugs I take. No spaghetti.

Juvela fresh bread

Anyone want some bread?

I can’t understand what’s going on though – how can they order extra half way through the month, then order some but not all of the items at the right time, and order double of some things? It really is unbelievable.

crossedgrainIt’s also worrying – I’m now overrun with bread, pasta and drugs and have asked them not to order anymore of anything at all. But here’s the thing. Not everyone with Coeliac Disease is allowed by NICE to order gluten-free supplies on prescription. Those who can are limited on how much they can order – the current limit in my area is 16 units a month. I generally have 12 units a month, but with Asda messing up my orders so much, over the last month I have had forty units. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I get contacted to say that my allowance is being reduced or withdrawn altogether.  It’s also no surprise now that I have been having trouble getting my regular medicines kept on repeat with my GP. They know how much I need, and suddenly, three times that amount has been ordered this month.

And so Asda, just in case you were wondering, I won’t be requiring your pharmacy collect service any more. Ever. It’s been nothing but a headache in the six months I’ve used it and your staff seem oblivious to the problems it causes. Your service really is unbelievably bad.

100 Happy Days – Day 51

Today brought a surprise package. Well, not quite a surprise, because I knew it was coming, although I didn’t know exactly when and I had no idea what would be in it.

On Ravelry, I’m a member of a Pagan crafters’ group and each Sabbat, they organise a craft swap between members. This is the first time I’ve taken part, and the swap was for the upcoming festival Beltane. I was paired with a crafter in the US who was also taking part for the first time, and she’s been more organised than me – whilst I’ve received the package she sent me, I’m still putting the package for her together. Oops!  I hope she things it’s worth waiting for.

2014-04-23 21.21.44

So, here are the contents of the package she sent me:

A floral headdress – this immediately made me smile. Stonelaughter and I were handfasted at Beltane and I wore a headdress of flowers for the ceremony. Two years later, on a trip to Perthshire at Beltane, we visited a Crannog. After cosying up in front of the fire, wrapped in blankets, listening to stories whilst the rain poured outside, we took part in some crafts. I made a floral headdress, which we dried and kept for many years. We had just found out (two days before) that we were expecting Bean.  This headdress was made for me by my swap partner

Yarn – 50g of Italian cotton yarn in the most delicate sage green – my favourite colour

Chocolate – a bar of dark, coffee infused chocolate with caramel. And it’s gluten free. Combining coffee and chocolate can never be wrong in my book!

Iced coffee – two sachets of Starbucks iced coffee. There’s no such thing as too much coffee!

2014-04-23 21.21.53Dragonfly stitch marker –  with so many crochet projects on the go, I’m always hunting for a stitch marker, so this will definitely come in handy and it is very pretty. In Native American art, the dragonfly symbolises swiftness and pure water. In East ASian art, it symbolises happiness and strength.

This was a fantastically thoughtful and welcome collection of goodies for Beltane. I hope I can reciprocate – I can’t tell you what is going into the package at the moment – not until it has safely arrived with its recipient!

100 Happy Days – Day 50

Half way through already!  It seems to have gone so quickly. Here’s hoping the next 50 days are as easy to do as the first.

shuffle, hop, stamp

shuffle, hop, stamp

Today was the start of the new term for Plum’s BabyBallet class. She has missed it really badly over the Easter break, so was thrilled when I told her this morning that we could go today.



704329362204886650_2416632It’s always a bit hit and miss taking her. She loves to dance, and she loves the class, but her mood can change in a split second and she can go from loving every minute of it to full meltdown without anything seeming to have happened.  Lately, she’s been getting hungry during her class time, no matter how much I feed her beforehand. We seem to have got to a point where she will only take part in the tap and ballet classes she loves if she has a slice of bread and pickle in one hand!  If you look closely, you’ll see said snack in one of these pictures.


An Interesting Take on Cancer Screening

AtoZChallengeA-Z Challenge letter: S – Screening



A little while ago, I read an article by a GP, Dr Margaret McCartney, explaining why she had decided not to take part in screening for cervical cancer. She’s also decided against a mammogram when she is invited, and isn’t convinced about the benefits of screening for bowel cancer.


That’s not to say that she thinks screening is a waste of time, but that she doesn’t agree with screening as par for the course.  People with symptoms of illness don’t need screening, for example, they need investigations to find the problem – screening is for people who are not showing any signs of illness. And she’s not convinced it’s always worth the effort:

Cervical screening does prevent deaths from cervical cancer. But to get that reduction, you have to follow up and/or treat all the women who have cell changes on their screening test. However, most cervical-cell changes found at screening will not lead to cervical cancer. The problem is we can’t predict which will, so all need further monitoring or treatment. A study from Bristol in 2003 found that 1,000 women have to be screened for 35 years to prevent one death from cervical cancer; and to prevent that death, 80 women have to have further investigation, with 50 women having treatment to their cervices. Four out of five women found at screening to have “high-grade” changes in their cervix did not go on to develop invasive cancer.

Cervical screening webShe also talks of the fact that rarely are the risks associated with screening and the follow up treatments made clear. Nor is the fact that screening is completely optional. If you’ve ever missed a smear test, you’ll no doubt have had a raft or reminder letters through your letterbox telling you to book one soon. But there’s no mention of your right to opt not to have one.

Research has shown that when people are made aware of the pros and cons of screening, rather than just the pros, fewer people are prepared to put themselves through the tests. Clearly, some people are more at risk of developing cancer than others, but for people who are low risk to start with, screening offers far fewer benefits than we are led to believe, Dr McCartney argues.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

100 Happy Days – Day 49

oh, today’s Happy Days post is a struggle. Three children, all tired out from three busy days, opted to have a quiet day at home. By which I mean that Plum and Bean opted to argue and bicker most of the day, and PK – tired, getting over the tail end of his chest infection and with three more teeth poking through – was upset and grizzly most of the day. Stonelaughter was in his workshop making flutes all day.

And this, dear readers, is the reason why this is today’s picture, and it is, I believe, well deserved. And it was delicious.


The Life and Times of a Whirlwind WAHM