Lost in Space

It hasn't scanned well. It's brighter than this and has sparkle and liquid pearl dots.
It hasn’t scanned well. It’s brighter than this and has sparkle and liquid pearl dots.

I mean, how can you be lost when you know exactly where you are?  But we were. We had decided on an afternoon out at an ex stately home near Leeds which is now a museum and park belonging to Leeds City Council. It’s called Lotherton Hall and is about 40 miles from where we live. The weather forecast was good and we fancied a bit of fresh air, so off we went. It’s not somewhere we’ve been before, so I checked the map – north on the A1 to junction 43, turn left onto the M1 but only for one junction then off at 47 and follow the B1217 to the front entrance of the hall. Easy peasy.

So when we got to Junction 43 to discover there IS no left turn onto the M1, our plans were scuppered. A quick re-read of the map and I found an alternative route without much trouble, turned left just where the entrance should have been and went careering off into the wild blue yonder – no entrance to be found. Getting a little frustrated by now, I asked the loved one to U turn back to the last signpost, turned the opposite way, and there it was. If we had gone straight on instead of left, we would have found it. I knew where we were at all times and yet…

However, we then had a lovely afternoon, strolling in the park and looking at the exotica in the bird garden.

Don't know what this is but it ain't pretty. A face only a mother could love.
Don’t know what this is but it ain’t pretty. A face only a mother could love.
A condor - not a picky eater, I might add.
A condor – not a picky eater, I might add.

I can tell you, the world holds some very ugly birds and a fair few of them were there.


As a teensy treat, the loved one and I went out for dinner to a local pub, very nice, very civilised, and we received a call while we were out from our daughter, Ben’s mum. He’s been off colour for the past few days and she took him to the doctor this morning because he isn’t improving, temperature 39.7, feeling sick and can’t keep anything down. Spent the afternoon getting slightly worse, so they took him back at the end of evening surgery and the doctor is worried enough to have him admitted to hospital. So now we sit and wait and bite our nails. The joys of parenthood are a bit thin sometimes aren’t they?

At about 10.30 in the evening we got another call to say he was being released from hospital because they had managed to get his temperature down and had identified the problem – not stomach, but tonsils, making it impossible for him to swallow properly and therefore he was regurgitating instead. Of course, this is MY family and therefore nothing is as simple as it should be – they set off home only to discover that the road was closed and they had to make a 20 mile detour. Great.

Anyway, the latest news is that he seems to be on the mend but his parents are going down for the third time, since he keeps having bad dreams and waking them several times in the night. What did I say about the joys of parenthood?

An excellent place to lunch.
An excellent place to lunch.

So today the loved one and I had booked lunch at a restaurant up in the hills, using a Groupon voucher he had been given as a birthday present. In addition, he decided that today was the day to try out his new satnav. (Is this a snide comment on my map reading skills, based on our experience going to Lotherton Hall?)  Well, the nice lady  in the satnav was OK except she had a tendency to give us 100m warning of turn offs, which is a bit close if you are doing 70mph on the motorway,  but we found the place and had excellent fish and chips with a pot of tea. Very civilised. If you get the chance, I’d recommend the Old Canteen at Shelley.

As for drawing, well it was my FB friend Rae’s birthday so I did her a card but sent it electronically. You can see it at the top of the page. I’ve also done some more on the peacock feather but it’s a big piece so I’m taking my time with it. My cousin came over on today (Saturday) and we did some colouring and patterning on a Joanne Fink free download page. That was very enjoyable.

And then…

A couple of days ago,  I was appalled to receive a letter asking me to ring for an appointment to have an MRI scan. (I have had a problem with my neck/spine in the past and it may have come back.) I may have to have surgery but the thought of an op doesn’t scare me half as much as the MRI does. I’m claustrophobic (It’s one of the reasons I don’t like flying) and I break into a sweat at the mere thought of having to go into one of those bloody MRI machines. (Being a hefty sort of female doesn’t help, as it means the space seems even smaller.) The nice lady on the phone thought she was helping by telling me I would only be in it for 15 minutes. Believe me, that’s a thousand years when you are hyperventilating on the verge of a panic attack.

Well, by the time you read this it will all be over so I’ll let you know what a big brave girl I was. (Or not, of course, gibbering wreck, screaming lunatic, crazed murderer of NHS employees…)

Don’t know if I’ll manage the Challenge this week, may still be hiding in a corner.


It feels like a lifetime since I wrote that last bit. The MRI scan was just as awful as I thought it would be. (Self fulfilling prophecy?) I was not a big brave girl,; I gibbered and cried and did it anyway because what are the choices?  They gave me Diazepam (Valium) to take beforehand as a calming down thingy but either it did no good or it did work and I would have been raving hysterically without it.  The male nurse /radiographer who took me through it was so nice and didn’t seem at all phased by the fact that I was gabbling my explanations and started crying as soon as I saw the machine. The point is, it’s done now and I can relax until they tell me I need spinal surgery, which will, ridiculously enough, be less frightening because I’ll be out for the count. I either will wake up or I won’t but at least I won’t ever know while it’s happening.

Well, world, sorry to have burdened you with all that but, if it helps, it made ME feel better, even if it bored the living daylights out of you.

And maybe I will manage the Challenge after all, feel ready for anything now.


So the Diva is back and, although I have enjoyed the other Challengers, I’ve missed Laura and her family. Her challenge this week is to use the new official Zentangle pattern – Zenith – and funnily enough, I’d been having a look at it already. At first sight it looks like one of those patterns that don’t float my boat but I like it more as I use it more. So I tried it two ways so far and I can see it being rather adaptable. DC 233a DC 233b









Yup, I can see a lot of uses for this.

P.S. – I ring my daughter-

ME – Hello

BEN – Grandma!!!

ME – Hi Ben, yes it’s Grandma

BEN – Hello Grandma, only I thought it was someone important.




11 thoughts on “Lost in Space

  1. I started hyperventilating just reading about your MRI experience. I’ve had one and somehow managed to keep it together without drugs. My husband had warned me to keep my eyes closed before entering the tube. Still, I knew I was in a tube, so I still had to force down the panic—–and I’m not particularly claustrophobic. But, let’s face it, an MRI machine can best be compared to a coffin, IMHO. My husband (a physician, no less) said he almost couldn’t finish his MRI.

    Will your grandson have to have his tonsils removed? Back in the day (i.e. in the olden days when I was a child), many of my friends had their tonsils removed, but I read that they are not as quick to do that anymore. I was always jealous because the deal was if you had surgery to remove your tonsils, you got to have as much ice cream as you wanted.

    I like what you did with your Zenith tiles. It definitely seems to be a natural border tangle.

    1. Ben’s tonsils stay in situ for now but I had mine out at age 20 and his mother lost hers at 18 so I suspect it will happen sooner or later. But the ice cream thing is a myth. Because I was an adult they gave me toast to scrape off the scabs. Not a happy bunny at the time, as you can imagine.

      1. Not a myth on this side of the Pond unless all my friends were lying. Not a peep about toast though.

  2. Hi Margaret,Love the ‘Live Life to the Full’ card. You are a busy bee going here, there and everywhere and still having time to do Diva Challenges etc.I hope the MRI scan didn’t show anything untoward and that you are recovering from the experience. I know I would be very scared of the scan and any operation I had to have.Just been to Center Parcs for a few days. Quite a mixed bag of us. Daughter Jo, Frank,Lucy23 and Emily 21 plus son David, Kate, Kiran 7, Miles 5 and some old codger known as Grandma.A good time was had by all — well the old codger enjoyed it anyway.Take careLove from Ann. 

  3. Enjoyed the reading. Fun to go along for the ride. Funny about the MRI… I’ve just had two recently. They were lumbar spine area which means that, no, you doubt get to go in feet first(!) rather heafmd first alllllll the wayeyesorest he lower back to be scanned. The first time i did it I kept my eyes closed the entire time. I looked over my shoulder after it was over and only then realized how tiny it was! Whew! Repeated the second one the same way. Closed eyes!! We get headphones and a choice of music…
    Great art work! Thanks so much for just sharing your life.

  4. O dear, I was feeling for you being so scarred and remembering some of my fears (different ones, but I know the feeling is the same) and then …. I read what Ben said. I’m still smiling!!!!
    I love your tiles, especilally the tangleation on the left. It is awesome.

  5. Oh, Margaret, here I sit past my bedtime in a chair because I have a bit of a stomach ache, and you made me laugh so about the navigation system an then again about the call to your grandson! Oh, ow, haha, ow… Glad you made it through the dreaded MRI. I may be one of the few on this planet unbothered by that thing. Maybe we have all frightened each other in advance that it will be so terrible that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I love your Zenith tiles – I saw them on FB earlier. My fave is the sunny one!

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