Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Book 56 of 2014: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

I realise I'm still reviewing the books that I read last year. At some point I will have a massive week long catch up with three posts a day and be totally up to date. Or I won't and I'll remain safe in the knowledge that I've got a guaranteed Tuesday blog post every week between now and March 2017.

Anyway. Last year everyone online was talking about this fantastic book they'd read called The Fault in Our Stars by some guy called John Green. Well, my usual tactic when everyone is raving about a book is to avoid it like the plague; it's the reason why I didn't get into Harry Potter until Goblet of Fire because too much hype turns me off.

But The Fault in Our Stars and John Green kept cropping up everywhere I went until in July I was in Glasgow, I finished my book and decided I had to buy some more reading material for the journey home. A quick trip to Waterstones where they were having a 'buy one, get one half price' sale on John Green books and I came away with The Fault in Our Stars and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

It promptly sat on my bookshelf for five months until I finally got around to reading it in the run up to Christmas.

It's written from the perspective of two boys, both named Will Grayson, who lead very different lives and happen to run into one another by chance one night. And from that moment on they find their lives are taking them in very different new directions. It's a story of love and friendship, and how tough it is being a teenager.

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I was vaguely aware that the two authors had taken a character and would be writing all of that character's chapters. I liked that idea because I knew that it would give the characters really distinctive voices; it's actually a writing technique that I would love to try myself sometime, I think it would make a great NaNoWriMo project. Although I wasn't sure what to expect, I really did enjoy it.

I was slightly annoyed when I accidentally spoiled part of the ending for myself. Here's a hint, if you're reading a book, don't look it up on TV Tropes until after you've finished it. You might read something that gives away the ending.

It's hard to talk about the characters in a book when two of them share the same name. Of the two Wills, the one who appears in the story first was my favourite. I liked him right from the beginning and I enjoyed his relationship with Jane. Though as the book went on I found that the second Will grew on me.

One thing that did bug me a little in the beginning was the fact that the second Will's bits were all written in lowercase with no capitals. It's one of those little niggly things and I thought it was going to drive me crazy through the book. Well, it didn't. I actually reached a point somewhere before halfway through the book where I honestly think I stopped noticing. That should be a lesson to me; I will not let quirky grammar issues put me off a book.

I'm definitely a fan of John Green now and I'll be looking out for his books in the future. And I enjoyed my first exposure to David Levithan so I'm sure I'll pick up more by him in the future.

And if anyone's looking for someone to co-author a book with them, let me know, it looks like fun.

Monday, 29 June 2015

TV Series Review: Sherlock

Usually on a Saturday Mr Click and I will watch a film in the afternoon but a couple of months ago we didn't really feel in the mood for any of the hundreds of DVDs or blu-rays in our collection (go figure). We'd both recently finished reading Sherlock: Chronicles by Steve Tribe about the making of BBC's Sherlock.

One thing that struck us as we read it was how much of the TV series we'd forgotten. We've both watched series one a couple of times, but both series two and three we'd only seen once (when they originally aired); and we watched at least two episodes of series two at my in-laws' we missed bits of those as well. I remembered more about it than Mr Click did, but there were still gaps in my memories.

So a rewatch was in order.

And as each episode is about as long as your average film, it filled our Saturday slot quite nicely.

I've really enjoyed rewatching the series. I was pretty familiar with series one having seen it more than once so I don't think I noticed anything hugely new there, but series two and three were like whole new series! I think that series three is probably one of my favourites now; series two did some of the bigger stories which I enjoyed because they were super familiar, but series three just feels cleverer in the way that the stories were adapted.

Last time around I decided that The Sign of Three was my favourite episode but watching them all again just confirmed it for me. I always love it when a TV series departs from the norm and puts its characters in a new or unexpected situation, so Sherlock solving crimes during a wedding speech was always going to appeal to me. I also like the way that we get to see Sherlock out of sorts (read: drunk). It's clever how they play around with things that are expected, like the onscreen text, and use it to show Sherlock's intoxication (sitty thing).

That is one of my all time favourite things about Sherlock; the way we see how he thinks. I like the little trips into his memory palace and how hints are embedded in early episodes which come up much later (like the first time he meets Mary Morstan and one of the words we see surrounding her is 'liar'). It's very clever and it allows the viewer to feel clever because we can think along the same lines as Sherlock. I don't know about you, but I like feeling smart.

We've now started watching the American TV series, Elementary, which basically takes the same premise and sets it in America with a female Watson. It's hard not to draw parallels between the two, but once you stop trying to compare them and accept that they're different interpretations of the same character. Personally I think Sherlock (the series) is a more original take on the modern Sherlock (the character), whereas Elementary is more stock American procedural detective show.

But both are enjoyable in their own way. I'll share more thoughts on Elementary when we finish the series.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Weekly Rundown: One Week On

At 10:20am today I will have had 5BB on board for exactly one week. I'm currently swinging wildly between trying not to think about it and obsessing over every little gurgle, twinge and sneeze wondering if they're some sort of sign that 5BB has decided to stick around. It's exhausting.

Me, this time last week.
It's also tricky to decide what are symptoms and what are side effects of the progesterone pessaries I've been having to use. For example sore boobs can be an early sign of pregnancy, but also a side effect of progesterone. It's not something I've really experienced before but I think my right boob definitely feels different. Unfortunately there's no way of tying it down to anything until I do the test.

I had a good distraction for the first couple of days after 5BB's transfer because my Mum and Stepdad were visiting. Obviously once I'd had the hospital appointment I was rather confined to barracks. I've spent an awful lot of time sitting on my bum, looking stuff up online, reading and knitting. On the positive side, I've finished knitting my rainbow zebra (and am in the process of sewing him up), finished reading Raising Steam and started on Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and become more than a passing authority on the symptoms of early pregnancy.

Mr Click is being wonderful and not letting me do anything (unless I sneak about and do stuff when he's not looking). I'm back at work again now, after what feels like ages off (I was only in two days the week before and I don't think my head was properly there either day). It's nice to get back into a routine again.

Speaking of which, I'm getting back on top of things with the blog. It was never my intention to let things slip during treatment but I was exhausted from hospital appointments, the egg retrieval and the recovery. After last cycle's hyperstimulation I was also wanting to be very careful in case I went overboard again this time. Which I didn't. Plus with my Mum visiting I had to prioritise, but I'm back on track now.

I've got some new blog graphics I've been working on which I'm planning on putting up soon. The sidebar is in desperate need of a spring clean (I've been adding to it since 2011 and I don't think I've ever taken anything off it!) so I'll attack that too. I'm getting caught up with Twilight and The Fellowship of the Ring for my Friday and Saturday posts as well.

I'm also currently behind on the 2015 Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt and on the Reading Challenge (by about a week), so once I'm feeling more up to long walks I'll be out with my camera. It seemed to take me ages to get through Raising Steam but I had a lot going on and I would get to bed, read a page and then fall asleep. I'm getting through Tess of the d'Urbervilles  a lot quicker by comparison (though that's partly because I can pull it up on Project Gutenberg to read on my phone when I'm out of the house).

While I'm mentioning things I'm behind on, I've barely read any blogs for the last two weeks. I think there have been two days I've gotten online and left comments but I'll be trying to get caught up over the coming weeks. So if you see me commenting on a really old post, you know why.

Keep your fingers crossed that little 5BB is burrowed in nice and safe, so that in nine months time I can start sharing cute newborn photos.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Embryo Transfer

I'd been slightly worried when we started this IVF cycle because I'd arranged for my Mum and Stepdad to come visit for a weekend in June. Then my period came two days earlier than expected which threw out all my calculations for the month. In actual fact, it could not have worked out any better for us because on the Sunday we went for the embryo transfer, they were able to come with us. It was fantastic having my Mum there with me on the day, plus my Stepdad helpfully drove us to Glasgow, which saved Mr Click a lot of stress as he hates driving in the city.

So massive thank you for doing that!

I'd been given instructions to go to this appointment with a 'comfortably full' bladder, an oxymoron if ever I've heard one. The nurse we spoke to about it at egg retrieval helpfully suggested a trip to the bathroom an hour and a half before the appointment, then to drink 500ml of water over the next ninety minutes.

This was an incredibly optimistic amount of water for my pea-sized bladder to handle. Especially as it's still somewhat squashed by my oversized ovaries.

Going to the loo ninety minutes before our appointment time (which was at 10am) meant a quick trip to the toilet before we got off the ferry. I proceeded to drink half a bottle of water until I realised it was 9:30am and I was getting pretty full.

We got taken through to the Quiet Room quite quickly and the nurse gave us our chic Embryo Transfer gear.

Here you see Mr Click sporting a stylish paper over-gown and paper hat. Not pictured are the highly sought after blue paper booties over the top of his trainers.

I meanwhile went for something I'd already rocked earlier in the week:

I've gone for a paper hat to match my husband's, I'm also wearing blue paper booties over my pink Winnie-the-Pooh slipper socks. The socks are cleverly accessorised with my pink fluffy dressing gown which I decided against wearing in the end, because once again the Quiet Room was roasting. I'm also wearing an elegant backless gown, though unlike the one on egg retrieval day, this one did up!

We seemed to wait for ages, it probably actually wasn't that long but time moves slower when you're in danger of wetting yourself. A little after 10am we got a visit from the embryologist who told us that we had one perfect embryo to put back, one that was definitely going to be frozen and two she was going to monitor the rest of the day to see how they got on in the hopes that they too would be suitable to freeze.

We had a quick crash course in embryo grading as well. The one I got transferred was classed as a 5BB, while the one we were freezing was a 4BC. Our clinic grades them from 0 to 6 with 0 being a collapsed, or non-developing, embryo and 6 being a hatched one. The doctor explained that they wouldn't let an embryo get to the stage where it had hatched so a 5 is the best you could get.

The letters refer to the inner and outer parts of the embryo; these are graded from A to C, the first is the bundle of cells which will form a baby, the second is the outer 'shell' which becomes the placenta. 5BB is a pretty damn good example of an embryo and 4BC isn't bad either.

The doctor ran through some details with us and then we were taken through to the room where transfer was going to take place. We'd been asked before hand if we wanted to see a picture of the embryo on a screen before it went in. I was slightly disappointed that we wouldn't get a print out of it so I was very enthusiastic about 'meeting' it on the screen.

I assumed the usual position (gown open, feet in the stirrups) and laid back, looking up on the screen on the wall. And up it came. It was a perfect little circle with a little pointy, almost triangular bit near the top; that was where the blastocyst was starting to hatch from its outer shell, making it perfectly ready for implanting into the uterine lining.

I'd be lying if I said that embryo transfer was a pleasant procedure. It's likened to a smear test, except you feel like you're going to wet yourself (you may also pee a little bit with all the stuff going on in that area). I had an ultrasound on my belly showing me my womb (and my wicked huge ovaries which are still all full of fluid which helps to explain the bloating I've experienced). I didn't get to see all the stuff that was involved in the process, but there was a speculum and some other things, plus a catheter which went up through my cervix.

The embryo was sent along the catheter and I saw a little whoosh as it went in. The best thing I could liken it to is the bloom of colour you get when you pour milk into a cup of tea. It was beautiful.

And that was it.

The catheter was checked to make sure 5BB wasn't still hanging around. I headed back to the Quiet Room with Mr Click to get changed. The nurse stopped by with a pregnancy test and to go over some details for the next couple of weeks.

And then I was free to go (and pee).

Oh, and later we got a call from the embryologist to let us know that all three of our remaining embryos were good enough to freeze. I've nicknamed them Olaf, Elsa and Anna, though as the embryologist said, hopefully we won't be needing them for a little while.

Now it's just a question of waiting.

I'm having fun with my Progesterone pessaries (you do not want to know), I've got a list of things I can and can't eat. I'm supposed to be taking it easy, which Mr Click is being very strict about. We just have to hope that 5BB is bedding down and getting ready to hang around for another nine months or so. I really hope it does.

Friday, 26 June 2015

The Phone Call

After egg retrieval you feel kind of funny. You've had an operation which basically involves someone sticking a needle through your vaginal walls and into your ovaries multiple times. In my case they did this at least nineteen times (and considering that some follicles might not contain eggs, you can assume they did it even more than that).

I'll give you a hint, you'll want some time to recover.

Luckily I'd got the day off on Wednesday so I took it really easy. Mr Click parked me in the living room while he reorganised the bedroom and I worried that my phone wasn't getting a good enough signal to actually ring when the embryologist called.

There was one spectacular moment when I stuck my phone in my hoodie pocket while I nipped up to the loo, only to hear Mr Click's ringing. I rushed downstairs, which I wouldn't recommend, only to find it was my Father-in-Law.

I needn't have worried.

We got the phone call at around 10:20am with the great news; we had seven 'normally fertilised' embryos.

I should add here that the way Glasgow Royal works is that if you get ten or less eggs, all are ICSI'd, if you get more then they do half IVF and half ICSI. All of our fertilised ones were ICSI'd, which is such a relief, if they just done IVF on them all we could've ended up with nothing!

The embryologist was so thrilled with our results and we were too. He said that due to the number we'd be trying to get them to Day 5 or Blastocyst stage, when they would look something like this:

Note: Not one of mine!
Embryos can be transferred on Day 2, Day 3 or Day 5 (not Day 4 because the stage of development, Morula, is hard to grade so they can't always identify the best one). We were given a provisional date and time for our appointment on Sunday 21st, with the warning that we might have to come over sooner if the Magnificent Seven weren't doing too well.

Well, as you probably know if you've read my other posts this week. They held their own. This didn't stop me from worrying for an hour or two each morning that we were going to get a call from the hospital to come in for transfer.

It never came.

And so come Sunday we headed for Glasgow again... but more of that tomorrow!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Egg Retrieval

As I said earlier in the week, I'm trying to get caught back up with the blogging and despite giving a really brief update last week, I thought I would go into a little more detail on just how egg retrieval went mainly because when I was waiting for it, I spent hours reading blog posts about how other women got on during egg retrieval.

On Sunday (the 21st) I had my last Menopur at 8am, my last Metformin at around 5pm, my last Cetrotide at 6pm and my very final injection at 9:30pm. I may have slightly cocked up my last Cetrotide (the one which stops your body from releasing any eggs before the doctor is ready to collect them). The needle didn't seem to screw on properly and as I tried to squirt it into the vial it leaked out everywhere. Luckily we had a spare but it really freaked me out for the trigger/booster shot.

The booster shot (also called a trigger shot by some clinics) consisted of three vials, one syringe and two needles. The vials were glass and needed to have the top snapped off; a job which I gladly passed on to Mr Click. This injection needed to be administered exactly thirty-six hours before egg retrieval so timing was really crucial and I was paranoid that if we messed it up, we'd ruin the whole cycle.

We didn't.

Though it did really hurt. I may have pushed it in whilst crying ithurtsithurtsithurtsithurts!

Monday was a strange day. No need to take any more medication, winding myself up to that evening when we caught a ferry and checked into a hotel in Greenock because there was no way we were going to rely on CalMac getting us over in time first thing in the morning.

It wasn't exactly the best night's sleep though. Nothing to do with the Holiday Inn we were stopping in; it was all nerves. Tuesday morning was a very big day for us.

I had to fast from midnight and we got up and on the road really early. To add insult to injury, as we were checking out the hotel we were told that if we wanted to wait a little while longer breakfast was just being served. Mr Click went without breakfast in solidarity with me.

We arrived at the hospital at 7am only to find that the unit didn't actually open until 7:45am! We hung around a bit and then, once we got into the department everything moved pretty quickly.

First up we were taken through to the (extremely hot) Quiet Room where we met with the doctor (who ran through the procedure, the risks and the consent), then a nurse (who brought me a glorious cup of water to take two paracetamol with), then the anaesthetist (who explained the sedation process) and finally the embryologist (who told us what would happen to the eggs once they were collected).

And then he lead Mr Click back to the waiting room and took me through to the pre-op area. I clock watched for a while before being led to a bay where I changed into a fetching gown (which didn't tie up at the back), dressing gown, blue booties and, when the time came to go to the operating room, a stylish hat.

I'd been given a card with my details and Mr Click's details on, which I had to hand to someone through a little hatch in the operating room. These are used to keep your embryos from being confused with anyone else's. From there you hop onto the bed and lose any remaining dignity you've brought with you.

The gown is undone at the back, your feet go in the nice padded stirrups, the gown is then rolled up to somewhere around your belly button and someone may or may not peer over you to frown at your nether regions for a moment (I suspect they were looking at my rather fantastic bruises from my injections).

While all this was going on, a rather nice male nurse was saying reassuring things to me and the anaesthetist was putting a cannula in the back of my hand for drugs. Honestly, I was more concerned about this needle stick than about any of the other stuff they were going to do to me; I knew I would be unconscious during egg retrieval, but I would be awake when they stuck the big needle in my hand.

It wasn't that bad.

First up was something to relax me. Then a painkiller. Then the anaesthetist said something about the next one being the sedative and it wouldn't hurt but might be a bit cold in the back of my hand. I have no idea if I felt it going in though because at this point I looked at the clock on the wall and realised that my head was starting to feel a bit swimmy.

And the next thing I knew I was murmuring 'I was dreaming I was in a hurricane' and being wheeled through into recovery. I was woozy for a little while but a very nice nurse brought me water and tea and toast so I soon recovered, though I felt slightly light-headed and sleepy for the rest of the day.

Then came the best bit; the doctor stopped by and told me we got nineteen eggs! Two more and I would've had to freeze all due to hyperstimulation, but nineteen was within the threshold. Mr Click had done his thing and everything was being hooked up right then.

Once I'd gotten up and dressed I was reunited with Mr Click and we were given our list of instructions. I was told that I had to keep my fluid levels up to help prevent hyperstimulation and take it easy, then we were told we'd get a phone call from the embryologist the next day to confirm how many had fertilised.

Which I'll get to tomorrow.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A Brief IVF Update!


Remember me?

This is the longest I've gone without blogging for quite a while, but I've been busy and tired and I feel like I've had a pretty good excuse. I'm hoping to get back on track with the usual schedule next week but this week I'll be sharing some posts about the actual IVF process we've just been through.

But next for the news you're all waiting for. Of our seven fertilised embryos, four made it to Day 5 (Blastocyst stage) and one was selected as a clear forerunner and was transferred back into me on Sunday. We've also got three in the freezer as well. As the embryologist said, hopefully we won't need them for quite a while.

Check back to hear more about exactly how things went down.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

IVF Update: Egg Collection & Embryos

Thanks for all the lovely messages.

I'll post a proper update explaining exactly how collection went when I've had time to write it but for now I'll keep things short and sweet.

Egg Collection was very successful; we got 19 eggs!

We had combination IVF and ICSI which has resulted in seven 'normally fertilised' embryos.

We're aiming for a Day 5 transfer, which will take them to blastocyst stage, but they might go back sooner if they're not doing so well.

Think lots of positive, embryo-growing thoughts for me, please.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Book 55 of 2014: Secret Santa (A Bluegrass Series Novella) by Kathleen Brooks

As you read this, I should be recovering from my egg collection. This fact obviously has nothing to do with today's post, but I felt like sharing.

Last year, in the run up to Christmas, I was a lot less choosy about the books I read on my Kindle. Normally I only go with novel-length books but last year I decided to go with some of the shorter ones. I wanted to cram in as much Christmas as possible, so one of the books that I selected was Secret Santa which is a Christmas special from an established series by Kathleen Brooks.

This book follows a number of the residents of Keenestone in the run up to Christmas. The annual Christmas party is going on, two local women are expecting babies, another couple is trying for a baby and a mysterious stranger shows up and starts handing out gifts.

It's a short read, clocking in at just 72 pages. I managed it in about two sittings. It's currently priced at £2.49 but when I picked it up, it was free. I'm glad that I got it for free otherwise I'm not sure I would have appreciated spending money on it. Then again, for someone who is already familiar with the series, it might be a lot more enjoyable.

Part of this is obviously my own fault for reading a book set in a series that I'm not familiar with, though this one probably would've been okay if there weren't so many characters. If it had just focused on one or two of the couples I would've found it easier to get into. There were obviously references to things that had happened in previous books which were lost on me, but would be appreciated by people who were fans of the series.

For my first introduction to the inhabitants of Keenestone, there were just way too many people crammed into 72 pages for me to get to know any of them properly. Plus the names were way too similar; at one point there were three guys named Cade, Cole and Cy. In fact all of the names were something else; McKenna Mason Ashton, Chrystal Sharp and the Rose sisters (Daisy Mae, Lily Rae and Violet Fae).

As I said above, it would have been better if it had just followed one or two couples or (if everyone had to be included) expanded into a full length novel so everyone could've been given more page time (rather than being trotted out, given their moment in the spotlight and then abandoned). Personally I would've liked to see more focus on the two expectant couples and the couple trying for a baby, Dani and Mo. They offered a nice contrast to the others.

Although I do have to admit that Dani and Mo's story did frustrate me. As one half of a couple that's dealing with infertility their story just didn't ring true. They'd been trying for six months and had already gone onto fertility drugs, had experienced a miscarriage but still went on to tell their parents they were pregnant the minute they found out, despite the pressure they were under to produce an heir just didn't ring true for me.

It's good that authors try to address infertility in their stories, but I just wish some of them would put a bit more effort into it.

In short, it's a fluffy little read, but don't expect too much from it.

Monday, 15 June 2015

IVF: Pen or Syringe?

I'm in the lucky (though that's probably not the right word to use) position to have had experience of IVF treatment in two different hospitals now so I've experienced two different kinds of treatment. Today I thought I'd share my thoughts on two different ways of administering the medications needed during IVF treatment.

When we had treatment at the Glasgow Nuffield we were given the choice between using a prefilled 'pen' to administer our injections or old-fashioned medical syringes. I immediately went with the pen option because mixing medications sounded way too complicated for me.

This time around treatment has been with Glasgow Royal Infirmary and you get no such choice. I'll admit, this really freaked me out. There's already so much to remember and do during IVF treatment that adding other complications to the mix just doesn't bode well. But it turns out it's not as bad as you will might expect.

What I liked about the pens:

  • The medication is all ready for you, just stick it in and press a button. Easy.
  • Easy to store and transport; everything you need is in a box, you take it out, use it and put it back in the fridge, if you're out somewhere it's just the medication and a sharps bucket to take with you.
What I didn't like about the pens:
  • It can be hard to know if you've given yourself the full dose; you have to press the button down about ten seconds but if you pull it out and there's still liquid on the end you have to do it all over again.
  • You're still giving yourself an injection, just because it's in pretty packaging doesn't make it any easier.
What I liked about the syringes:
  • It's a lot easier than it looks, once you get into a routine and get the hang of mixing everything it really is simple.
  • You can see the medicine going in, there's no way of having any left over because once that plunger is down there's nothing left in the syringe.
What I didn't like about the syringes:
  • Feels like a greater margin for error; one of my last doses of Menopur I nearly cocked it up by bending the needle which meant starting over on the process; you can't help but worry that you're not going to mix it properly or you'll do something wrong.
  • There's a lot more equipment involved; you've got a vial of powder, you've got syringes (a syringe of water and an empty one for the injection), you've got needles, you've got your sharps bucket. It's just not as portable.
As you can see, lots of the things that are good about one are what's bad about others. At the end of the day, it's about personal preference and what you think you can cope with.

Personally I was dead against the syringes; the pens seemed so much more practical for me. Now I've had the experience of both, I'm actually perfectly happy with the syringes. Yes, it's a bit of a faff sometimes (my Cetrotide in particular; squirt water into a vial of powder, stir it with the needle, suck it up, change needles, then inject it) but once you get used to it, it's actually quite easy.

Have you gone through fertility treatment? Did you get a choice in what you used? Which do you prefer?

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Weekly Rundown: We've Almost Made It!

We've had a busy week since the last time I posted. On the one hand it seems like ages since my last Weekly Rundown post, on the other the week has totally flown by and I can't believe I'm here on another Sunday writing another post.

So I'll get to the point first of all and then we'll work back to actually getting here:

We're getting to Egg Retrieval this time!

If you were reading last time we had a go at IVF you'll be aware that we had to cancel our last cycle at the eleventh hour when I hyperstimulated and became very poorly. All that money and effort and it was all wasted. It was heartbreaking.

It's been my biggest fear during this cycle. We've had two scans since the last appointment I blogged about and at both of them I was expecting to be told some bad news. And it's not happened.

Friday we had our one and only appointment so far that has not been affected by disruptions to the ferries. The clinic was heaving and so we had a bit of a delay, first I got my blood taken and then after a short wait we were called back for the scan.

And it all looked good. I'd been feeling twinges (kind of like extreme ovulation pain) and tightness on the right hand side and things were starting to come along nicely there. I had a bunch of follicles there measuring up to about 14mm; on the left I'd managed to grow two 15mm ones without even feeling it.

The nurse was very impressed and said we could be looking at retrieval as early as Monday so we got a brief explanation of how to do the booster (sometimes called a trigger) shot, before being sent away to await a phone call to let us know when we would be back.

Which as it happened was the very next day!

We got the phone call on the way home which immediately sent me into a panic. This obviously meant I was overstimulating (especially as I was told not to do my morning injection on Saturday). That evening I turned to Google and decided that they were probably 'coasting' me to allow my blood levels to go down to avoid any danger of overstimulating.

My nerves were not helped by yet another disruption to the ferries; we'd planned to catch the 11am boat but when we heard about the problems we headed out to catch the 10:10am one, only to find that at 9:55am the 9:30am boat hadn't actually left!

Suffice to say, we made it to the hospital (an hour and a half early for our appointment) where I didn't need another blood test. Instead we had a scan and were told that we would be having egg collection on Tuesday!

They wanted me to have at least three follicles measuring 17mm before going forward with the booster shot; I had at least one plus a couple of 18mms and some slightly less than 17mm. They grow at roughly 1mm every twelve hours so those ones that are lagging behind at the moment will have a few days to get caught up. Basically they're all plumping up nicely.

And boy do I know it!

The best way to describe the feeling in my abdomen right now would be to take a couple of bags of marbles and tape them to your stomach on either side of your belly button. Every time you move, they move. Obviously certain movements make them move more; things like sitting down and standing up. It's not painful, just different and a little uncomfortable.

Things feel rather crowded in there as well. If I sit upright I feel like something is squashing my bladder. The something is probably my ovaries. I have nothing but sympathy for pregnant women.

Today I'm counting down my 'lasts'. I've done my last injection of Menopur. After tea I will have my last Metformin. At 6pm I will have my last injection of Cetrotide. Then at 9:30pm I do my booster shot. It has to be done exactly thirty-six hours before egg retrieval so I'll be in on Tuesday morning by 9:30am.

As I've mentioned, we've had a few problems with the ferries recently and due to the time sensitive nature of our next appointment we can't afford disruptions; so we've booked a hotel. It might be almost romantic, except we can't y'know and after midnight I'm not allowed to eat anything.

You can probably imagine that all these appointments haven't left me much time for blogging so I have next to nothing scheduled for the coming week. Plus I've got family coming to stay so we're getting ready for that as well. Don't be alarmed if I go silent for a day or two. My regular Friday and Saturday posts will be subject to disruption (because I've not read any more of Twilight or watched any more of The Fellowship of the Ring).

In the meantime, cross everything for me and if you feel like sending happy thoughts, good vibes or prayers, all are greatly appreciated. :-)

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Film Review: The Fellowship of the Ring, Part 3

We're almost halfway through this viewing of The Fellowship of the Ring now. All the set up stuff is kind of out of the way now so we can get to all the rest of the action, after a little more talking first of course.

Last week things started going rather badly for almost everyone we'd met so far; Gandalf went to hang out with his old friend Saruman, only to be taken prisoner at the top of a big tower; the hobbits headed out for a strolls and ran into some creepy guys on horses who wanted to kill them, and even though they've been saved by the mysterious Strider, things are about to get a lot worse for them!

105. Since they've not encountered the Barrow-wights, this is where the Hobbits get their weapons.

106. "What are you doing?!" "Tomatoes, sausages, nice crispy bacon." Hehe.

107. They all gather around Frodo to protect him and do absolutely no good whatsoever. At least Sam has a go, Merry and Pippin are just pushed aside.

108. And I think that's the second time Frodo has fallen over in this film.

109. When will he learn that putting on the Ring is not the solution to these situations?

110. At least Strider's shown up. Although if I was a suspicious person I would wonder where he had been for all this time. He just left the Hobbits to fend for themselves.

111. He's got good aim with a burning torch anyway.

112. In the darkness I can just about make out Isengard. They've been doing some new developments there since the last time we saw it.

113. Luckily Gandalf's got company, in the form of a moth.

114. I love the way we just drop down beneath Isengard here, so very cool. It's like being on a rollercoaster.

115. This is some sort of Uruk-Hai birthing chamber. I've never really thought about how disturbing that is before. Lurtz is the ugliest newborn I've ever seen.

116. Ooh, stone trolls. :-) I love these little links to the books which we've now gotten to actually see in the Hobbit films.

117. "What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?" I know that this bit should be Glorfindel, but Liv makes a fantastic Arwen. I really don't mind her having a bigger role in this film than in the book.

118. Sam sounds really American when he shouts at Strider there. "Whaddaryoudoin'?!"

119. Turns out that all the Wraiths were just waiting for you, Arwen.

120. This whole bit is a wonderful example of music and editing making a scene that would otherwise be a bunch of people riding horses feel really dramatic.

121. Arwen's face after telling them to come and get her kind of smacks of 'oh crap, I didn't realise they would actually come over here'.

122. I love that they included the white horses in the water. It's little bits like that which make me smile.

123. Don't worry Arwen, Frodo's not dying, he's going to be in the next two films.

124. And Gandalf saying lines exactly as they are in the book makes me smile as well.

125. Time to fill us all in on what's been going on, just in case you weren't paying attention. And so we know just how Gandalf got off that tower.

126. The Eagles are coming!

127. That's got to be one of the best movie escapes ever. How many other good guys escape on the back of a giant eagle.

128. Oh look, more pretty New Zealand landscapes.

129. Rivendell is so pretty. I could quite happily move in there.

130. And they get to be reunited with Bilbo. Bilbo's book is beautiful and it's so cool to hear the places he mentions now that we've seen The Hobbit films.

131. Sam's one of those people who's like 'I've been there now, let's go home'. Then again, considering that their journey to Rivendell wasn't exactly a walk in the park, I don't blame him for wanting to go back.

132. The idea of Frodo's wound never fully healing is kind of gross, like he's always going to have a weeping, open sore there.

133. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Frodo, the Ring isn't going to be allowed to stay. And Elrond's not got much faith in Men being able to take over the care of the world from the Elves.

134. Oh look it's Boromir. And Legolas. And Gimli (and Gloin).

135. Perhaps Elrond should've just pushed Isildur into the fire. That would've solved the problems they're having now.

136. And just in case you're wondering who they're talking about when they mention 'the one' who could help them, we cut to Strider. I wonder what he's reading.

137. It's funny that Boromir is a 'man of the South' when he's got such a Northern accent. ;-)

138. Boromir's obviously never been to a museum. You don't play with other people's broken swords.

139. At least Arwen's there to give Strider a little pep talk. And then they take it outside where the moonlight is more romantic.

140. This also helps clarify that Elves are immortal, just in case you didn't know that. But Arwen's giving it all up for love. Aww.

141. But now it's time for Elrond (and his eyebrows) to chair a committee meeting into what's going to happen with the Ring.

142. Frodo seems so relieved to put the Ring down on that table. If I was him I would take off out of there before anyone could give it back.

143. Gandalf gets all big and dark again to scare Boromir away from the Ring. Elrond is not impressed.

144. And it's still not enough, Boromir still wants to use the Ring.

145. Legolas doesn't like people dissing his Aragorn, the Ranger formerly known as Strider. He's like 'Yo Boromir, that's your King you're bad-mouthing!'

146. On the commentary when Elrond says 'one of you must do this' Orland Bloom says 'well why don't you do it then mate', which I can't help but think every time I watch this bit.

147. Hehe and here's the line that's launched a thousand memes.

148. And just like all committee meetings, the discussion soon descends into an argument.

149. Gimli's clearly still bitter at Legolas mistaking a picture of him as a child for a goblin when Gloin met the Elf.

150. Oh dear. Frodo's taken all the arguing to mean that he should take the Ring. At least that stops the argument and everyone starts volunteering to help him out. Could they not have done this without all the shouting?

151. I have no idea why anyone agrees to let Boromir go with them though. He's really sinister.

152. Elrond looks really horrified when all the Hobbits start popping up. You just know he's thinking 'oh no, not another Hobbit infestation, we only just got rid of the last one'.

153. He's probably just glad that he doesn't have to take the Ring to Mordor himself.

And so we'll leave the newly formed Fellowship there.

Next time we'll have more beautiful scenery, more action and more dramatic bits as the Fellowship of the title finally gets underway.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 10

Once again I'm posting this from my phone, hence the complete lack of pictures. I promise that I am now back on top of stuff though, so from here on out everything should be back to normal… unless I fall behind. Let's just say I won't make too many promises for the next couple of weeks.

So earlier today we read Chapter Nine of Twilight, titled Theory, and saw Bella getting a lift home with Edward. She got some answers and I concluded that Edward clearly has an antisocial personality disorder. It was a good chapter.

Next up is Chapter Ten: Interrogations.

What Happens?

Bella gets a ride to school with Edward and they spend some time together. This means that everyone knows they're an item. Edward reads Jessica's mind to find out how Bella feels about him. Then they have lunch together so Bella gets to learn more about Edward's eating habits and Edward can get moody again.

Thoughts as I read:

This chapter is called 'Interrogations' which kind of threw me for a minute because I thought that was sort of what Bella did to Edward in the last chapter. There were a lot of questions in Chapter Nine. Does this mean that we're going to get more questions and answers? I bet it all happens at lunch time.

True to form, this chapter begins with Bella waking up. Did nobody ever explain the concept of in media res to Stephenie Meyer?

I dressed in my heavy clothes, remembering I didn't have a jacket. Further proof that my memory was real.

Translation: Bella knows that she is delusional and has to look out for subtle clues to help her be aware of what is real and what isn't.

I'm also slightly bothered by the description of Bella being halfway down the driveway before realising there's a car 'in it'. I get what this means and I'm sure it's correct English, but I can't help but picture Edward's car being sort of sunken into the driveway rather than being parked on it. And yeah, the car is Edward's, because what he meant when he warned her to stay away was 'except when I come and pick you up'.

We're reminded of Edward's Super Speed Skillz™ as he zips around the car, letting Bella in and then getting behind the wheel. I hope we learn more about this Quicksilver thing he does soon. It's also about this point that I notice that while Edward shows up on page 173, he isn't actually named until page 175. It's just as well that we know Bella wouldn't be associating with any other guys otherwise this could be confusing!

Edward starts criticising Bella for not reacting when he tells her stuff. Then they have a little huffy moment when he moans at her. I'm not actually sure what they're having a snit about here.

When they start talking again Edward explains that the rest of the vampire clan rode with Rosalie in a red convertible which they don't normally use because it stands out. Edward has decided that since Bella knows about him there's little point in trying to blend in. Yeah, because as long as one person knows all your secrets, practically everyone knows all your secrets. Also, how do these teenagers afford these cars anyway?

Speaking of cars, Edward claims that they all like to drive fast. Why?! And why hasn't Bella's dad ever caught them?

Now that they're at school Jessica is able to return Bella's jacket and she's clearly bursting with questions. Perhaps the interrogation refers to Jessica's questioning of Bella; she obviously can't question her right now because Edward is right there.

Edward helpfully violates reads Jessica's mind to tell Bella what she wants to know – Jessica is wondering if Edward and Bella are dating and how Bella feels about him. And what's Bella's immediate response? She asks Edward what she should say. Uh, you're a big girl, I'm sure you can figure it out by yourself. Just because you're going out with him doesn't mean he needs to think for you.

He paused to catch a stray lock of hair that was escaping the twist on my neck and wound it back into place. My heart spluttered hyperactively.

'Spluttered hyperactively'? Spluttered hyperactively? I don't think I really need to say anything here.

Edward is all sorts of creepy in this chapter. Bella basically can't keep any secrets from him because he'll just read other people's minds to see what she's saying. Bella, when it comes to Edward, say nothing to anyone! And maybe stop dating him because he's a bit weird and controlling.

Time for more interrogations as Bella heads off to class to be ambushed first by Mike and then by Jessica:

"How did you get home so fast?"
"He drives like a maniac. It was terrifying." I hoped he heard that.

She really doesn't like the speeding either. She really needs to make a bigger deal about that, like refusing to get in the car with him when he does it.

I'm guessing that Jessica's pushing Bella for answers is the interrogation referred to in the chapter title. There's not much point in mentioning too much of this right now since we already know pretty much all of it.
Through all of this Bella is telling Jessica stuff that she wants Edward to know; she's hoping he'll read Jessica's mind and find it out. I don't think that this is the best way to encourage honesty and openness in a relationship. You know, she could try actually talking to him about the stuff she wants to know instead of expecting him to read her friend's mind.

"I do have some trouble with incoherency when I'm around him," I admitted.

And when you're not around him…

Conversation moves on to the Jessica and Mike situation until Jessica figures out the latest hot gossip: Bella's eating lunch with Edward!

"See you later, Bella." Her voice was thick with implications. I might have to turn off the ringer on the phone.

I think I'm missing something here. Why would Bella need to turn the phone ringer off? Oh, hang on! Will she be calling for gossip later. I think I get that. I hope I'm not the only one who didn't quite get it.

Edward gets a full tray of lunch to eat which is really weird because he doesn't actually eat. He's clearly a feeder. Bella wants to know what Edward would do if someone dared him to eat. He kind of dodges the question.

Also, I'm obviously right, the rest of the interrogation is happening over lunch.
I'm momentarily distracted by the fact that Bella takes a bite out of an apple and then switches to eating pizza. That's a bit weird. Am I the only one who finds that weird?

Their discussion is basically about what Bella said to Jessica. This mind-reading thing could put Bella in a difficult position if she goes off Edward and wants to break up; he could know right after she voiced her doubts to a friend. That's not good.

"You aren't precisely right, though. I do want to know what you're thinking – everything. I just wish… that you wouldn't be thinking some things."

Gee! Possessive and controlling much? It escalates from there with Edward getting kind of creepy and pushing Bella to answer a question about something she said to Jessica. He even gets annoyed with her again. He's such a jerk.

It's almost like they're arguing over who cares more for the other one. Bella raises some of the weird things he does that make her feel like he doesn't care for her, like all his weird behaviours. They're almost as bad as each other.

"I'm absolutely ordinary – well, except for bad things like all the near-death experiences and being so clumsy that I'm almost disabled…"

Because clumsy = disabled.

By this point I really have no idea what they're saying to each other now. This is pretty standard whenever Bella and Edward have a conversation. There is something about the trip to Seattle and Bella's accident-proneness. Oh and Edward wants to do something else (like suck on her neck, perhaps).

At least Bella is able to come clean about how scary Edward's driving is. Edward's shocked that this is the only thing about him that worries her. I agree with him for once. The scary driving is one thing, but it's just a tiny part of a much scarier whole.

He promises to show her what happens to him when it's sunny. Bella gets all excited and it almost feels like they're talking about something else. It's almost sweet until Edward starts getting all creepy again:

"Why in the world would I do that?"
His eyes were suddenly fierce. "To give me some small incentive to bring you back."

Funnily enough, Edward's creepiness doesn't really surprise me so much any more. He's all annoyed again now and I have kind of given up trying to keep track of his mood swings.

So the conversation turns to what Edward was up to when he was staying at Goat Rocks. They were there because Emmett likes bears and hunting is only out of season if you're using guns. Edward likes mountain lion best and this news pretty much renders Bella speechless.

Edward gives Bella a little ecology lesson about how they're careful to only go for overpopulated predators to keep from messing with the natural order of things. And he also makes it very clear that their weapons of choice are their teeth and super speedy powers. He promises Bella that she'll never have to see that:

"Is that something I might get to see?"
"Absolutely not!" His face turned even whiter than usual, and his eyes were suddenly furious. I leaned back, stunned and – though I'd never admit it to him – frightened by his reaction.

And of course, he promises it in the scariest, most aggressive way possible.

Which brings us to the end of the chapter. There's no more time for dismissing any more of the hows or whys because lunch is over. It's time to get back to class.

I'm glad we're finally getting more information but I can't help but feel like half the time Bella and Edward talk I don't actually know what they're saying. I'm not sure if it's me or them. Maybe I'm just getting old. Also why does Edward have to be constantly irritated/annoyed/frustrated with Bella. I'm the world's biggest shipper and this couple is not making me want to get my ship on!

So what questions have been raised by this chapter:

  • Are we going to get more questions and answers? Yes.
  • Why is the default chapter opening 'Bella wakes up'?
  • How do Edward and the gang afford their fancy cars?
  • Why are Edward and the gang such speed freaks?
  • Why have Edward and the gang never been caught speeding?
  • What is happening to a heart if it's spluttering hyperactively?
  • Why would Bella need to turn off her phone's ringer?
  • Why does Bella start by eating some apple and then switched to pizza at lunch time?

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 9

It's Friday which means it's time for Twilight again. I'm still working my way through the book and we're getting on for halfway through it now which I think is good progress. As with last week, I'm a bit behind and still catching up so this is being posted from my phone, hence the lack of pictures and possibly funky formatting. Menopur = exhausted for 99% of the time.

Last week's chapter had our heroine Bella visiting Port Angeles, almost getting attacked by a group of guys and then being rescued by everyone's favourite vampire, Edward Cullen. She then got to have dinner with him and discusses whether or not he might in fact be something supernatural.

Now the conversation is moving to the car as they travel home in Chapter 9: Theory.

What Happens?

On the drive home, during which Edward is rather irresponsible, Bella gets to ask him lots of questions which means we finally start getting some answers. The main on being, yes, he's a vampire. And he's almost as fixated on Bella as she is on him.

Thoughts as I read:

I know how these chapter titles work now. There's no double meaning here. In a chapter called 'Theory' we will literally discuss Bella's theory about Edward. Let's see how right she is…

"Can I ask just one more?" I pleaded as Edward accelerated much too quickly down the quiet street. He didn't seem to be paying any attention to the road.

Great, so we can add dangerous driving to Edward's list of crimes!

He goes on to tell Bella that he was able to find her because of her scent. Is he saying that Bella smells? Also, does this mean he just had to drive around Port Angeles with the window down, sniffing? Can he smell Bella through his Volvo?

And now it's Bella's turn to ask all my questions:

"How does it work – the mind-reading thing? Can you read anybody's mind, anywhere? How do you do it? Can the rest of your family… ?" I felt silly, asking for clarification on make-believe.

Okay, so not all my questions. She's not asked about the mood swings or why everyone's so damn attracted to him though! That said, perhaps this chapter should be called 'Answers' because we're getting quite a few. So far we've learnt that Edward is the only one of his family with this 'gift' and if you're 'familiar' he can 'hear' you from some distance.

Except he can't hear Bella because they're on different frequencies:

"My mind doesn't work right? I'm a freak?" The words bothered me more than they should – probably because his speculation hit home. I'd always suspected as much, and it embarrassed me to have it confirmed.

To be fair, I have been wondering about Bella since the beginning of this book. She seems completely incapable of being happy for one thing!

Oh and then Edward says the chapter title, just to hammer it in.

And so the subject changes somewhat as Bella realises that Edward's driving at over 100 miles per hour! Edward isn't even concerned about this, he always drives over the limit and without watching the road. That's reassuring.

"Charlie's a cop, remember? I was raised to abide by traffic laws. Besides, if you turn us into a Volvo pretzel around a tree trunk, you can probably just walk away."


So he slows down. To 80 miles per hour. And then starts snapping at Bella. Gee, that's attractive. Does Bella have a mobile phone? I think I'd be getting out and walking by now. Hell, hitchhiking would probably be safer than a joyride in the VampireMobile!

At least the story starts to move along slightly and gets to the whole point of the chapter. Bella's going to elaborate on her theory. It takes a page to get to the point but she comes out with it at last. Shock! Horror! She thinks Edward's a vampire. Or rather, Jacob told her a silly rumour about Edward's family being a bunch of vampires. She comes clean about everything from the last three chapters; the flirting with Jacob, the research online, the Cullens not being allows on the reservation, the works. This page basically exists for Edward and all the people who haven't paid attention up to this point.

Edward appears to be annoyed by what Bella is saying, though I think it's mostly because she says she doesn't care whether or not he's a vampire rather than anything else.

"How old are you?"
"Seventeen," he answered promptly.
"And how long have you been seventeen?"
His lips twitched as he stared at the road. "A while," he admitted at last.

How awful would it be to be perpetually seventeen?! Not able to drink, not able to see the really cool movies in the cinema, stuck at school. Yikes! Maybe that's why Edward's always so grumpy.

Now we've established that he is in fact a vampire, even though he's not actually said it. Edward dispels some myths about his kind, things like going out in daylight and sleeping in coffins. He doesn't sleep at all. I'm guessing that explains some of the mood swings too; I get cranky when I don't get much sleep.

Obviously the most important question Edward wants Bella to ask is about blood but then we get side-tracked by a discussion about Jacob and the Quileutes. Oh, and just in case you weren't paying attention before, Edward is dangerous. Make sure you remember that. I'm sure there'll be a test later.

It's also dangerous for the two of them to be alone together. This is probably for the best, Bella. I'm not sure I'd want to be alone with crazy Mood Swing Boy anyway. Then again, if it's so dangerous for them to be alone together, why did Edward insist on taking her for food and driving her home? He could've dumped her on Jessica and Angela and left it up them to figure out what she was going to eat.

Despite the inherent danger of associating with Edward, Bella's not ready to let go, so she does what any self-respecting woman would do; she keeps pushing. Now she wants to know why Edward's family hunt animals instead of people. I'm guessing that she means aside from the obvious; animal corpses are clearly going to raise fewer questions than human ones.

Edward's got an answer for everything though. He's a 'vegetarian' vampire. He's not a monster after all. Eating people would be barbaric! I wonder if vampires in this series are born or created. I can understand being put off eating cow if you used to be one, perhaps Edward feels the same way.

Bella's also got her theory about Edward's eyes; black equals hungry and gold equals safe. And it would appear that for all Edward is signed up with the Vampire Temperance League, he still doesn't entirely trust himself not to chow down on Bella. Edward's rather lacking in the trust department because he doesn't trust Bella to be on her own either. I guess that this is the caring Edward that everyone goes wild for, though for me it's coming across as more weird and possessive.

We're learning an awful lot about Twilight vampires in this chapter; they can't really go out in the sunlight after all. Sunlight doesn't hurt them, but it does something else. Oh, this'll be the sparkling. I can't wait to see this. Is that why they have settled in Forks, because it rains so much of the time they don't have to worry about giving themselves away by sparkling in the sunlight? Edward's promised to show Bella when he can (i.e. when Forks sees more sunlight). He's dazzling in so many ways.

When Edward can't seem to comprehend that Bella might actually worry about him I can't help but wonder if there's something not quite right with him. I can't decide if he's a psychopath or sociopath but he definitely ticks the boxes for an antisocial personality disorder:

  1. Regularly breaks or flaunts the law
  2. Constantly lies and deceives others
  3. Is impulsive and doesn't plan ahead
  4. Can be prone to fighting and aggressiveness
  5. Has little regard for the safety of others
  6. Irresponsible, can't meet financial obligations
  7. Doesn't feel remorse or guilt

Apparently if you tick three of these boxes you have an antisocial personality disorder. In the last two or three chapters alone we've seen numbers one, four and five. I could argue a case for two and three as well.

I'm glad we've got to the bottom of this.
Number seven is kind of sketchy though because after he tells Bella off for being obsessed with him (and makes her cry) he does actually apologise. Looks like he is capable of feeling remorse/guilt. Then again, psychopaths can be fantastic actors so who knows if he's actually sincere.

I do love the conversation where Edward asks Bella what she intended to do when it looked like she was going to be attacked:

"You were going to fight them?" This upset him. "Didn't you think about running?"
"I fall down a lot when I run," I admitted.

Hehe. At least she recognises her limitations.

Considering not a few pages back Edward was warning Bella away from him, he's now promising to save her a seat at lunch and is letting her keep his jacket. Mixed messages much? He also has her promise not to go into the woods alone because there are more dangerous things than perpetual teenagers with antisocial personality disorders. What brings all these things to Forks?

Charlie's got no idea what Bella's been up to and she's got absolutely no intention of telling him. She spins him a tale about lots of walking and is then interrupted by Jessica calling for the gossip, which Bella obviously can't share since her dad is right there.

Which allows the chapter to end in the traditional way; with Bella going to bed and thinking about Edward:

About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was part of him – and I didn't know how potent that part might be – that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

There's been an awful lot of talking in this chapter which made for a quick read. Most of it was just clarifying what we already know but I feel like I'm getting a grip on Edward's character now; he's obviously got issues.

Still don't get why he had to speed like that though.

And so what questions have been raised by this chapter?

  • Why is Edward such a dangerous driver?
  • Is Edward implying that Bella smells?
  • How does this scent thing work? Can he smell her through his car?
  • Just why does everyone find Edward so attractive?
  • Why has Edward not had his license taken away for reckless driving?
  • Does Bella have a mobile phone?
  • Is Edward grumpy all the time because it sucks to be seventeen permanently?
  • If it's so dangerous for Bella and Edward to be alone together, why did he insist on taking her to dinner and running her home?
  • Are Twilight vampires born or created?
  • Do the vampires live in Forks because they don't have to worry about the sunshine showing off their sparkles?
  • Is Edward a psychopath or a sociopath?
  • Why is Forks such a magnet for supernatural creatures?

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Wreck This Journal: Freeze This Page

I'm still wrecking. I have slowed down a little bit on the wrecking front, since colouring in has kind of taken over as my go to evening destress recently. I've also developed a slight Frozen obsession. Seriously, there is no better way to destress, or prepare for the day ahead for that matter, than by playing 'Let It Go' at top volume and dancing around the living room. Or is that just me?
Okay, moving on…

Last time I shared my FIGURE OUT A WAY TO FREEZE THIS PAGE it had a pitiful five stickers on it:

I'm still slowly adding to this one. Last time I mentioned the fact that people online had decorated their versions of this page with Frozen characters. Well, part of me wanted to be totally unique, but the other part of me loves Frozen so I decided to just go with it. I've actually got a stack of Book People catalogues from Christmas to snip wintry-looking pictures and words so I'll be adding more to the page fairly soon.

As you can see, Anna, Elsa and Olaf have made an appearance now. I couldn't resist. And I wasn't sure about the polar bears, but they live in cold climates, so I figured they'd feel at home on this page.

The current plan is to keep adding to this page until it's all full and then stick it in the freezer (just to freeze it a little more). I'm not sure how well all the stuff I've stuck in will cope with that; we may be picking pictures of Elsa and Olaf out of our frozen peas for the rest of the year!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Book 54 of 2015: Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

I know, I know! It's the middle of June, it's completely the wrong time to be blogging Christmas book reviews. Then again, you might be like me and organise your reading material six months in advance, in which case this is entirely the right time to be blogging about J.R.R. Tolkien's Letters from Father Christmas.

I've reviewed this book a couple of times before, since I reread it each year and inevitably end up posting the review on here so you're probably already familiar with it if you're a regular reader. Basically it's a collection of the letters that the Tolkien children received each year from Father Christmas. They tell the stories of life at the North Pole, what the North Polar Bear got up to, what events were causing problems with the presents and include little drawings by Father Christmas. It's a beautiful little book.

I read this one at the beginning of December last year and it prompted a slightly different emotion in me than before because at the time we were waiting to hear back from the hospital about what was going on with our IVF treatment after we had been removed from the list. Normally when I read this book I imagine doing something similar for my imaginary future children, but reading it last year I wasn't sure if there would ever be any future children which made me a little sad.

Which meant that as you read the book and see the Tolkien children growing up, the sadness is just amplified. Gradually each of the boys stop writing their letters to Father Christmas until only Tolkien's daughter, Priscilla, is left. I always find the last two letters heartbreaking as you realise that Tolkien is preparing to come to the end of a yearly ritual that he has been doing for around twenty years.

One of my favourite things about this book remains the same as always; I love the illustrations. Last year my Mum got me a Christmas doodle book and I resolved to try copying some of the illustrations from this book into it. Then I got distracted by colouring in the pictures and doing my own unique doodles, but this year I'm definitely going to crack it out and have a go. I always forget what a talented artist Tolkien was (along with all of his other talents).

As always, my one complaint with this book is that it doesn't contain more letters. I'd love to see some of the letters the children wrote to Father Christmas or perhaps a little bit of insight into what was going on at the time when the letters were written to help put what was written in context. But it's only a very small complaint about what is easily one of my favourite Christmas books.

Monday, 8 June 2015

2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt @ Gallo Organico

Last week, I briefly mentioned the Photography Scavenger Hunt which Pempi told me about. As you may have noticed, I do enjoy a good challenge so I hopped on the bandwagon right away. I foresee lots of talk of the Scavenger Hunt here in the future so I thought I should probably just share a little bit about it, just in case any one else enjoys snapping photos and wants to take part.

This is the third year of the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, hosted by Rinda @ Gallo Organico. The Challenge runs from the 1st of June to the 22nd of September and features a list of 21 items (plus three substitution options), the catch being that they must all be brand new photos (none that you've taken before June the 1st that just happen to fit a category).

Hopefully Rinda doesn't mind me sharing this handy little list that I made myself to keep in my camera bag for when I'm out and about, looking for interesting photos. It's not particularly fancy, but it does the trick:

As you can see from the list, the 21st point – A photo of you with a sign reading "2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt" can't be swapped for one of the three alternatives, but any of the others can be swapped for one of those three.

I'm a little late out the starting gate because the weather we've had recently isn't exactly the right sort of weather for taking your camera out and about. We've also been all kinds of busy. All the same, I'm already planning which photos I'm going to take and how I might interpret them in different ways.

The easiest one is probably going to be the toilet one (point 12) because we have old Victorian toilets on the island as a tourist attraction. A quick trip down town and I'll have that one sorted. The natural body of water (point 20) should be easy too, we'll just have to take a trip to one of the local lochs.

The one I'm most likely to have to substitute will be the 13th (a merry-go-round or carousel) since we don't have one on the island and I can't think I'll be going somewhere with one; luckily alternatives A and B work okay for me. Actually, with our recent weather, someone with an umbrella shouldn't take too long to find!

I've already got my bouquet of flowers and I'm planning my person walking a dog. I just need to get the photos edited so I can share them here and online. I've joined the Facebook Group as well so I can share them there, plus you can share them on Instagram using the hashtag '#rindas2015photohunt' as well.

Now that I'm a little more organised (and there's rumours that the weather is going to improve soon), I'll be able to take my camera and brand new lens out for a little bit of exercise. Look out for my photos here. ;-)

Are you taking part in the Scavenger Hunt? Have you started? Which items in the list are going to be sticking points for you?

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Weekly Rundown: And So It Begins...

It's been a bit of an interesting week here at Chez Click, not least because we are Officially Officially started on the IVF now. I realise that we officially started in March, and then Officially started in May, but now it's June and now we're Officially Officially started.

But before I get to this I must tell you something important. Last week one of our ferries caught fire. I wasn't on the ferry at the time, but as you can imagine it caused some problems for the poor people on the ferry at the time. It's also caused some problems for all the people who weren't on the ferry because while that ferry is off being fixed we're down to just one. And when you're used to having boats pretty much every hour, having one every two hours is quite the inconvenience.

Especially when you have hospital appointments.

And there's bad weather forecast!

But more on that in a minute.

As you know, Friday before last I started taking my Metformin pills which I've managed on just fine and I was given the instructions to double my dose after a week as well as to call when I got my period. Well guess what showed up early last week? So a hospital appointment was scheduled for yesterday, at 9:30am.

Now you can imagine that having boat issues would be enough of a problem but by mid-morning on Friday the CalMac website was already warning that the boats might be disrupted by the bad weather. It's kind of hard to believe that we're at the beginning of June right now. It's been so cold, wet and windy!

There may have been some panicking on Friday night. There may also have been some frantic googling in search of hotels and hostels so I could travel over that night to make sure I was in Glasgow for the morning. Ultimately we decided to just keep everything crossed that we would get off the island and if the main boats weren't running, we'd have to drive the long way round.

Luckily it didn't come to that. Although the crossing was rather unpleasant, we made it with time to kill (special mention to Mr Click for managing to drive to the hospital without any problems).
It was actually really weird being in the hospital on a Saturday. There was virtually no one around. We got in pretty quick and first port of call was my scan. That's an internal one with my old friend, the Dildo Cam, to assess the womb lining. I also discovered I have a little cyst on my left ovary which shouldn't interfere with the treatment at all but did look kind of cool on the screen.

With that out of the way we were on to the next item of business; the drugs. I had been given a sheet with my protocol on it, but I'd been focused on taking things one point at a time so hadn't read on past the Day 3 scan bit. Turns out that Day 3 is also the day for the injections to start, as I learned after having another vial of blood taken. It was a bit of a shock.

An even bigger shock was the discovery that these injections are done with actual needles. When we tried it before we used Gonal-F which comes preloaded into a pen; this time around I'm on two different drugs (Menopur & Cetrotide) both of which come in little vials of powder. You have to add the water from the syringe to the vial yourself, draw it up and then inject it. It's a little daunting but the nurse did the first vial for me, handed the syringe to me and told me to go wild. Well, not quite, she just kind of looked at me encouragingly and I did it all by myself.

I'm a bit of a pro at stabbing myself in the stomach with needles now, though I have to say the one I did this morning was really stingy. It's harder to actually get the needle in and then halfway through the injection it stung and I stopped pressing the stopper bit before I realised that at that point, the only thing you can do is keep going.

I've got another scan at the end of the week to see how we're getting on, then we'll hopefully have a better idea of when egg retrieval is likely to be. I'll be sharing updates on the Click's Clan Facebook Page so stop by if you're curious.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Film Review: The Fellowship of the Ring, Part 2

Last week we started off a viewing of the three Lord of the Rings films, with The Fellowship of the Ring. It's probably my favourite of the trilogy because it's the one which introduced me to the world of Middle-earth.

In the last instalment we got to learn the history of the Ring, met Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Bilbo's nephew/cousin Frodo. In this part things start going downhill for a group of four hobbits from the Shire, and it's not looking so good for Gandalf either!

58. On the commentary there's a discussion about how Tookish this Hobbit looks. I'm not sure if it's the nose.

59. "Hey Ho! To the bottle I go!" I have it printed on a mug.

60. I love that Merry and Pippin are singing while Frodo just skips round them, kind of random.

61. Hehe, Sam's so worried about Rosie knowing an idiot when she sees one.

62. Why do people in films never turn lights on when there's something creepy about their house? If my house looked like that, lighting things would be the first thing I'd do!

63. How does the Ring glow like that? You can see the writing shining on Frodo's face.

64. "This is the one Ring". Basically you're screwed.

65. Time for another little lesson in the history of the Ring and Sauron.

66. Ooh, is the Ring whispering. That's creepy.

67. I like how Frodo's answer is to 'put it away' and he strolls through the house looking for somewhere to hide it. Stick it under the bed, Frodo, Sauron will never look there!

68. It won't just lead them there, Frodo, they're already on their way.

69. Gandalf's going to go visit the leader of his order, someone who is wise and powerful, and also completely gone over to the dark side!

70. Ah there's something outside! Is it a black rider?

71. No, it's Sam Gamgee!

72. I love that he pleads not to be turned into anything 'unnatural', Gandalf says he's thought of a better use for him and the next scene is of Gandalf with Frodo and leading a horse. It's like he's turned him into something useful.

73. And now the two little Hobbits are on their own.

74. Time for some more New Zealand scenery porn.

75. I wonder if Sam has been counting his steps up until this point, or if he's never gone any further through that field than that bit of it. How does he know he's not been any further outside Hobbiton than that?

76. You know the Elves are different from the Hobbits because they're glowing as they walk by.

77. Sam complains about having a root sticking in his back and never being able to sleep and Frodo smiles. Why is that something to smile about Frodo Baggins?

78. Isengard certainly looks impressive. Though why has it never occurred to anyone that someone living in a tower like that might be a little bit evil?

79. Saruman seems to know an awful lot about what is going on with Saruman. I think that Gandalf is figuring it out right now.

80. Gandalf putting his hand on the Palantír acts a little bit like hitting redial on a phone. Turns out Saruman's been conversing with the Big Bad of Middle-earth.

81. Uh Saruman, your evil is showing.

82. Old man fight!

83. "Sam we're still in the Shire, what could possibly happen?" Famous last words.

84. I like that Farmer Maggot gets a mention, even if it's just his voice that we hear.

85. The pile of poop they nearly land in magically disappears when they all rush over to the mushrooms.

86. I remember being thrilled when I discovered how to create that effect of the road sort of shortening on my video camera.

87. This bit still sends shivers down my spine, only I think it's less because of the Black Rider and more because of all the beasties and bugs.

88. Oh well, looks like Merry and Pippin are going to have to come along on this little excursion now as well.

89. This is another scene which largely takes place in the dark, but at least the dramatic music and squealing horse noises tell you how scary the action on screen is.

90. Hehe, I love that the Bree gates have a Hobbit-level window as well as a Man-height one.

91. Oh look, it's Peter Jackson playing 'man eating a carrot'.

92. Uh oh, Gandalf's not in Bree. This is a problem.

93. "What's that?" "This, my friend, is a pint!" "It comes in pints? I'm getting one." "But you've had a whole half already!" Hehe.

94. I love how sinister Strider looks, sitting there in the corner smoking his pipe.

95. And there goes Pippin, sticking his Hobbit-sized foot well and truly in his mouth!

96. Ooh, the Hobbit has just disappeared. Everything in Ring-vision looks sort of dark and scary and windy, what's with the wind?

97. Oh, I love Viggo Mortensen. He could not do a better job in this film, he's just perfect!

98. The commentary for this bit is really funny. They make some comment about how the Hobbits are made out of feathers. Poor puzzled Nazgûl.

99. Just in case you were wondering who the Ringwraiths are, Strider fills us in. It's a cheery little tale.

100. Hehe, and Strider's bow bomps the camera as he walks past. It's like the Fellowship of the Ring version of the Stormtrooper banging his head.

101. Pippin is wonderfully baffled by Strider's lack of knowledge of meals. Also, I love the way Pippin looks up when he's hit on the head by an apple, like he's wondering where it could possibly have come from.

102. I'm so pleased that they included some of the songs from the books in these films. I never used to like those bits when I read the books ten or more years ago, but now I really like them.

103. Oh Saruman, you should really be nicer to those trees. I think you might come to regret tearing them down like that.

104. Poor Gandalf up on the top of the tower. It does not look like a comfy place to be.

We'll leave Gandalf up there for now. Next week we'll let him down and get to hang out with some of the other races of Middle-earth at a big old committee meeting.