Friday, 27 January 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #231 Chilly R & R

I hope everyone has survived the week - the weekend is here, yippee! I'm still resting a lot as the temperature is not desirable for my tempermental body. The good news is the temp is slowly increasing! That's good news. 

I haven't been up for doing craft work, but hopefully as the temperatures rise (sadly no heatwave just yet) I'll be getting busy with my hook and yarn. Until then I am rather addicted to gaming, especially Hatsune Miku rhythm game (both PS3 & 3DS versions). It requires little brain work which is exactly what I need right now. 

I am also reading a lot! Today I read Fatal Option by Chris Beakey publishing next month,  which was a fascinating thriller about how far a father will go for his children when circumstances put him the wrong side of the law. 
Out 21st February 2017
Up next on my reading pile is Devour by L. A. Larkin (out now)  which I'm in a blog tour on my other blog, Nayu's Reading Corner on 31st January. I'll probably read that Sunday as it's a thriller and I'll want a few hours free to read it one sitting (thrillers tend to need uninterrupted reading witth me) 

Tomorrow I've got family over, then Monday I'm out in London for a heart check up (routine annual event), so will be resting Sunday and most definitely Tuesday. Plus today too as I have hyperactive relatives under 10 years old coming. Time for lunch then gaming and anime! 
& a great weekend!


Monday, 23 January 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #204 Tablet chucked down stairs

My Aikatsu sticker decorated tablet with a miffed Belle beside it.
I'd like to say that I flung my fruit themed tablet down the stairs because I hate that brand of technology, but that was not the case. I use it only because it has Love Life School Idol Festival game which I'm addicted to and can't get on my android tablet due to age and lack of space. I simply had a clumsy moment as I went down the stairs, and down went the ipad. 
You won't throw me down will you? (No, and this is not my cat or staircase)
I wasn't all that surprised to see it intact and working because my android tablet has suffered similar abuse and survived. The key points are 

a) to give your tablet a protective cover (see top photo, cat optional)

b) try not to be clumsy!
And for extra cuteness here's a picture of a staircase in a Hello Kitty restaurant (possibly in Hong Kong/Singapore/Shanghai/somewhere in Asia)
That pretty much covers it (pun actually not intended but made me laugh). We are still in the grips of super cold weather so I'm as productive as my sleeping cat until it gets a few degrees warmer. I can be found reading and gaming - latest gaming exploits in Animal Crossing New Leaf over on my other blog, Nayu's Reading Corner. Craft & writing require more brain work than I have available.
As mentioned on social media recently I feel like a snow bunny trying to hide from all the cold!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #203 Goodbyes and Hellos

My much loved crested bengalese finch Tanuki and normal bengalese finch Ushio (right)
So Monday I did get some craft done while I visited a friend, but it's not quite neat enough to show you yet (ends need sewing in), so I'll do that another day. This is a quick post detailing what happened when I got home. Please skip the next paragraph if you don't want details of some sad news. 

I got home to some odd chirping from my birds. Found Tanuki (funky hair bengalese finch) dead in the nest, with Ushio beside it (still no idea who is male/female). Poor Ushio died a few minutes later in my hand. I'm not sure why they died, but they did. It was totally horrid having no birds in the cage when I went to sleep and when I woke up. Even when they sleep I get the occasional chirp and shuffling about. It was a bit of a long night. 

Fast forward to mid-morning the next day and I have 2 new feather babies! The silvery traditional looking one is Tomoya, and the paler one is Hibiki. They are male zebra finches (females are extremely rare). It's a joy to have zebra finches again, their sound is distinctive and I'd missed it a lot. 
You can't see the fawn parts on Hibiki, but hope to take more pictures soon.

I'm super sad that I didn't get longer with Tanuki and Ushio, who while not zebra finches were fun in their own way. I was still getting to know them, and I love them very much and miss their little selves ducking in the nest when I peek in on them. 

It won't surprise long term blog readers to hear that the names were chosen from anime characters (I'm enjoying having Japanese names). I had to think quite a while for names not because there were so many to choose from like girls' names, but I wanted to pick nice guy names (and I pay far less attention to the guys in anime shows). Tomoya is from the classic and one of the best anime ever, Clannad + Clannad After Story.
From left to right Tomoya, Ushio (Sound familiar?!) & sweet Nagisa
Tomoya in the anime/manga is a lone ranger but it's a sweet romance (nothing imappropriate, he and Nagisa (who I adore) barely hold hands, watching the two grow through their teens and start a family. A lot of tissues are needed for that anime! Tomoya the bird worried me a little because as he was being caught in the pet shop he seemed to be going for the other birds. When I first got them home he did go for Hibiki. Males can be terrortorial, but he seems to have calmed down. 

Hibiki is from the skating anime Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream. He is a singer in a boy band, and eventually becomes engaged to Rhythm, one of the main characters (they also feature in Pretty Rhythm Dear my Future). I realise Rhythm's name may sound odd, I'm so used to it that it seems perfectly normal to me. She's impulsive, works super hard on her skating, and has a big heart. Hibiki the bird is holding his own against Tomoya and  sometimes sings along with the latter. 
Hibiki with one of the main characters, Rhythm

Last night I spied them huddled together on top of the nest at  my bedtime. If they don't figure out they can go in the nest by  the weekend I'll buy them an open style nest (the current one they have to duck into.) I want them to be able to snuggle down somewhere at night - sleeping on the perch/on top of the nest can't be that comfy for them. Maybe they will have a brainwave and realise what the nest is for, if not I'll make things a little easier for them. 

Anyway, that's all for today. Having a quiet day tomorrow which will be nice after a mixed start to the week. 

Pets are precious.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #202 Audiobooking

Cute pic found on - I love audiobooks!
It's late in the day, I'm tired and couldn't think of a title longer than one word. I'm pretty much over the immediate side-effects of taking my mega strong meds (that was on Weds night) - it takes a good 4 days to get through my system, but mercifully works almost instantly. I've been resting lots with dvds and gaming. Today has been a quiet day, filled with finishing book 1 and starting book  of the Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot, the audiobook versions. I've read them before so know what happens which makes them relaxing to listen to as I don't have to focus on a new to me story. 
Saw this pretty pink tiara online!

Tomorrow I'm visiting a friend (& doing craft!) so I probably won't blog as I'll be tired when I get back (happy though, as it's fun catching up). I hope you've had a great weekend and have a good start to the week! 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Nayu's Feature Post #2 Motability cars & PIP assessments

Morning/afternoon/evening all! Whatever time of day it is I hope you have a great Wednesday.  Feature posts was the best category to put this post in, which is not craft related but a topic I'd like to talk about. 

Please note this is a necessarily long post. Originally I wasn't going to say anything about getting a new car, as it's a luxury many can't afford. However, I'm blessed by the Motability UK scheme which allows eligible disabled people to have a car which is paid by a certain benefit. If you ever want to donate to a good cause Motability is a charity to support. 
It really does!
So long as you have the higher rate Disability Living Allowance or the enhanced rate of Personal Independance Payment (PIP) you qualify for a car with Motability. A lot of the cars have nil advance payment (down payment). Motability simply take the DLA/PIP money each month so I can have a car. If you need them there are many adaptions that can be added to make driving easier. If you personally can't drive you can still have a car with a nominated driver. All you have to pay for is an excess if you need to make an insurance claim, and petrol. That's it! I'm getting my new one today!!!! 
There's no MOT cost, no tax cost (I'm actually tax exempt because I'm registered disabled), no service cost. There are some things that may need payment (I don't know about broken windscreens/wipers), but I don't know them offhand. I couldn't afford a car without Motability. It gave me my independence, meaning that I could actually get a job (currently self-employed), whih was necessary since I live in a village with no suitable jobs here. I can see my friends whenever I want, and take myself to medical appointments.

Double and triple check all your PIP application info
Time for a brief talk about PIP. This year I finally had my PIP assessment. PIP is replacing DLA. There are lots of horror stories about PIP assessments, but I know they are much better than they were when they first started. Don't go online and read anything about it, if you have to have one. Do get support from a medical professional. Not only do you need them for evidence about your disability, they provide emotional support through what is a stressful progress. I underestimated the stress of it.

The whole process, once I sent the application in, took about 3 months. It's possible to get an extension on the deadline, which I did since I was unwell for a little bit so couldn't do it.  I did pay postage so I could do signed and tracked delivery (they provide an envelope with postage paid but I need reassurance that it got where it needed to). My specialist nurse checked through my 8000+ word essay (all my answers). It took well over 12 hours on my account to finish it (writing it all, making changes, printing & sticking onto the form). The waiting was hard. I did get a letter or two from PIP saying that they were still considering my claim, which was nice of them. I'd signed up to the text service, which kept me updated with each stage too. 

Once I sent it off I didn't have to wait long for an assessment (which I'm sure they say can take up to 16 weeks to happen). You can reschedule at least once, which I did. Do ask what centers are near you, as they may not give you an appointment at the closest. I was automatically given Swindon yet my nearest was Reading & Theale, which are far closer to home. Theale had a super lovely team. I expected really stern doctors, but got a lovely female doctor who put me at ease. 
Assessments vary in time, they often go over material you've put in the application but that's normal. My took under 30 minutes. Then I anxiously waited for the result. I was fully prepared if I didn't get enough points to keep my car, but I was so pleased when I got the news I'd met the criteria needed to keep it. I'll be reassessed in a few years (no indefinite awards even if your condition won't ever improve), and until them am happily using my Motability car! No more dreading brown envelopes in the post! I know I'm one of the fortunate ones, many have got what they needed through the appeal process. Make sure you put everything down in the form, no matter how small the detail. 
Bye envelope of doom!
As a Motability customer I have the RAC for my insurance needs (which are all take care of by Motability). If you need help with your car just give the RAC a call and they'll help out (you'll get a tiny leaflet with the right number for a Motability customer). Years ago I did have an accident which wasn't my fault. Motability were amazing. I simply called the RAC who kept calling to let me know how far away they were. I got a replacement car quickly, and to my delight it was a top brand car (think it was Mercedes) which are a dream to drive! I was sad to return it but happy that my car was fixed. I've had a bird randomly fly up and take my wing mirror off, but I didn't claim insurance as it wasn't really worth the exceess. 
I've had a car with Motability for over 10 years now. I get a new one every 3 years. I've always been with Ford, first I had a Fusion, and now I have a B-Max. I've had purple, silver, and mid blue. This time I'm having black! It's been a colour I've really wanted for a while now (& it's nice to have a change). Black isn't always ideal in the dark, but I never drive at night (too tired & can't see as well as during the day), so that's not really a problem. 
This will be mine by the end of today!
It means so much to me to have a car through Motability, and I know it gives freedom to thousands of disabled people. Motability even had a scheme where they paid for 50 driving lessons for me, and 3 attempts at both the practical and theory driving test. It took me 3 attempts for the practical, and I did have to pay for extra lessons, but I got there eventually. I don't know if they still offer this scheme now, or the one positive of being disabled by being able to learn to drive a year before other people (I learnt when I was at uni), but I am forever indebted to Motability for giving me independence. This isn't a sponsored post in any way, I just want to let you know about what Motability does for me, and to consider it as a worthwhile charity to donate to. 

This seemed a post appropriate ending phrase!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #201 Still recovering from evil cold

I've not been up to much but my plants are busy being gorgeous!
Yup, it really has been a good 10 days since I last posted (good in length of time, not in how I've been). I am recovering very slowly from this evil cold: had 3 consecutive days of napping the day away because I had a migraine, then 1 day of feeling so sick it wasn't true (thankfully no migraine then) but thankfully I didn't need to use the bin again. I only started picking up yesterday, and it's going to be a slow process. 

Unsure what the two end plants are (the middle is an African Violet). Just know I got them from M&S or Sainsbury's months ago, and they are reflowering possibly for the 3rd time!
So please bear with me while posts are sporadic. I'm only doing what I need to. I will reply to emails when I can, but expect a delay in those. Everyone in my family has had this nasty cold, and due to my pre-existing health issues my body struggled with the virus. So I'm doing lots and lots of rest! Will be back as soon as I can. 
Slightly belated!