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Wednesday 11th May 2011

Back from a short holiday
Anyone who called over the weekend will know that we were closed from Friday until Monday - me and the family had a long weekend at the south coast - our first holiday in almost 4 years!

Nothing fancy, just one of those £9.50 holidays out of the sun newspaper (although they always manage to add on entertainment passes, electric, and linen charges to bump the cost up!) in Pontins at Camber Sands in Sussex.

Being a family with 3 kids under 5 the park management thought it would be a good idea to put us next to the entertainment centre and right on the main path down to one side of the rest of the site. To make matters worse there was some kind of dance competitiongoing on and most of the teams also seemed to be in the same block as us so by day we had scantily clad teenagers practicing their dance moves to ghetto blasters out on the green and by night thumping bass until midnight followed by hoards of even more scantily clad, drunk-out-of-their-minds screaming and shouting teenagers running about hitting on each other and being sick (not necessarily in that order) until about 2am! The kids got a bit frightened by all the screaming etc and we all ended up squeezed into the bedroom at the back to get away from it a bit! Anyway, it was good to have a break from working my normal crazy hours and to be with the family 24/7 for a few days, and the weather was kind to us so we can't moan too much!

We visited Drusillas on the way back on monday which was really good... i used to go there as a kid as i used to family down that way and it was a lot smaller than i remember (things always are though aren't they?) but the facilities were excellent and i'd very much recommend it to anyone with kids under 10 years old.

Thursday 23rd December 2010

At Last, baby is here!
I'm very proud to announce that the latest addition to my family is finally here, Connor James Aston Aitken, born 4.45pm yesturday 22nd December, 7lb 4oz 18.5 inches long!

It wasn't an easy one - usually Mrs 4x4cb gets 'em out pretty quick but delays at the hospital meant that what should've been "arrive at hospital 8am monday for induction, baby out by 2-3pm" turned into a mammoth 3 day waiting event with me sleeping on the hospital floor for 2 nights and latterly rushing backwards and forwards sorting out babysitters for our other kids and generally not an easy birth for mum and baby... still, he's here now and seems right as rain which is the main thing.

Because of Mrs4x4cb's complications that we knew about (gestational diabetes, blood disorders, polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) and SPD - Symphysis pubic dysfunction) they both need to stay in hospital for 48 hours or so for monitoring so they are still there and i'm on babysitting duties for our other younger ones - 2 year old and 4 year old, so i'm STILL not able to work a normal working day.

Apologies to anyone who has been phoning us this week - as i've tried to stay with her as much as possible, the phone has been on answerphone prettymuch all week... all outstanding parcels despatched though which i'm pleased about!

Sunday 19th December 2010

Baby Tomorrow! (hopefully)
Well, we've made it through the weekend so tomorrow morning Mrs 4x4cb and I should be off to Epsom hospital for the birth of our 5th child - that's as long as the midwifes make it through the snow - we had another 4 inches or so over the weekend!

Fingers crossed!

Thursday 16th December 2010

Chistmas is coming... and so is something else...!
Well, Christmas is just around the corner but here at 4x4cb HQ we're awaiting something else rather important thats going to happen before Christmas does... the birth of our fifth child (yes, 5!)
Anyone who's read our page showing the opening times over Chistmas & New Year will already know that Mrs 4x4cb is due to be induced on Monday 20th December although with a few contractions earlier today and an appointment at the hospital for a "sweep" tomorrow, it might just happen before ... but then with luck being the way it is, we will get to the 20th and now it's started snowing again and more is expected over the weekend, theres the chance we'll get there on Monday to find all the midwives haven't made it into work and they'll postpone it! (god help us all if that happens as Mrs 4x4cb can be a pretty outspoken person at times, and she won't be happy at all if that happens!).
All i can say is - watch this space!

Staff Illness
In the last 2 weeks i've managed to get Gastroenteritis which basically consists of chucking up and feelin shite for 4 days, and now (i think cos i'd been laid low with the Gastro stuff) i've managed to get a chest infection which has turned to bronchitis and sinusitis. So now i'm croaking my way through phone calls, coughing like a 40-a-day smoker (i'm not) and giving myself a constant banging headache with all the coughing!
Got some antibiotics from the Doc which will hopefully take care of it, but obviously it's the last thing we need with baby imminent. Mrs 4x4cb has got a version of it, luckily it doesnt seem quite as bad as mine but she's managed to rip or tear a muscle in her abdomen with coughing - just what she needs! Day before yesturday she was screaming saying she'd rather give birth than have this pain, and roll on Monday so she could have some gas and air and could actually cough properly! Flippin winter ailments!

Wednesday 27th October 2010

The cable thieves have been at it again
This is mad... yesturday i went to the post office as per my usual daily trip down there only to find it was closed... this was because their phones weren't working, and so their computers couldnt talk back to royal mail hq or wherever they communicate so they weren;'t able to do anything. This was because some toerags had broken into a bt box and dragged out miles of cable - so they could flog it for its scrap value! I know the scrap price of metal has been high (i've been trying to buy a £100 el-cheapo car to do the school runs and runs to the post office instead of our Shogun which seems to guzzle fuel on these shoprt journeys, especially in the winter) and had no luck - someone told me it's cos you can get over £100 for a scrapper nowadays... gone are the days where i had to pay to get my old scrappers towed away!

Fire station open day
Our local fire station had an open day at the weekend, great fun, the younger kids were chuffed to bits to sit in a fire engine, wear a firemans hat, shoot high pressure water at a target etc but eldest son (15 and fairly unimpressed with such sillyness) decided that after 10 minutes he'd prefer to sit in the car and listen to his ipod and then it all went to pot when a fireman mentioned to 4 year old daughter that the st johns ambulance van which normally turns up at house fires to look after the house owners while the firemen do their job, had chocolate biscuits on board and that was it, screaming ab dabs for chocolate! Still, a bloke from the local paper was there and took a couple of photos of me and the youngest 2 so you never know, we might make it into print!

Finally finished my bridge!
I've had a little diy project going (one of many to do) of improving our old bridge... added a couple of extra sleepers to make it wider, added some heavy duty side rails with stock fencing (thats the end of the kid's pooh sticks games, but at least they won't fall in now!) and hung a 5 bar gate... all looks pretty pukka now. Thats one off the list at least.

Saturday 14th August 2010

New water main... what a pain
The water board have decided that the water main running down the side of the lane leading to 4x4cb towers needs replacing. We're a mile down a narrow unmade track that snakes over holmwood common - I've greenlaned on more substantial tracks, so during the work they have to shut it to all traffic for some hours every day. On Friday, Mrs 4x4cb had a couple of hospital appointments up in Epsom, so we bundled the kids in the car and headed out early before they could shut it, to reopen at 2pm - they said. We duly arrived back at about 1.45 to be told they'd hit a problem (in fact they'd hit a plastic services pipe that wasn't on their plans and had a major problem on their hands) ... luckily we found somewhere we could park up and hoofed it - unfortunately we'd been shopping and it was raining so me, the heavily pregnant Mrs 4x4cb, our two youngest kids and a couple of bags of frozen food trudged the mile back. Luckily they'd sorted it out before Fedex came to collect my outgoing parcels at about 3.30, or I'd have been making some apologetic phone calls! Next week is going to be worse as they're still on the first 100 yards of the lane and it'll be closed every day next week... something to look forward to!

Happy Birthday Ella!
Our beautiful daughter Ella was 4 in the week and we'd planned a party/gathering in the excellent playground and recreational area in Reigate Priory today... unfortunately it's been raining cats and dogs yesterday so in a rush we had to change venue to our house. One of the reasons we wanted to have it at the Priory was that the house and garden here aren't really set up for loads of kids... sure, we've got the room in the garden but due to the (still going on) renovations, theres piles of rubble, a good couple of skipfulls of rubbish in various piles, cement mixers, cars on trailers and god knows what else. Our kids are well used to it and keep away from the stuff we don't want them to go near but a bunch of excited kids who've maybe not experienced a work-in-progress garden which is essentially a clearing in the woods aren't so wise! It went ok, most of the parents stuck around (as we'd asked them to anyway in our original plans because of the public nature of the rec at the Priory) and it was on/off rain so wasn't too bad & highlights being one of the parents handing me an axe that one of the kids had found round the back of my office (I'd been digging out some foundations for a shed and had been using it to cut through roots) and one boy who was absolutely terrified of our german shepherd while a little girl who was fixated with her was begging me not to shut her away cos she just wanted to play with her! Anyway, all went well in the end and a good time was had by all, our good friend Sarah made a fantastic Minnie Mouse cake and all the kids seemed to enjoy themselves which was the main thing!

Fiday 30th July 2010

Oops, distinct lack of blog entries again lately - been very busy with other things and the day-to-day running of the business and site!

Mrs 4x4cb is pregnant again!
Just realised i've posted about this on Facebook but not here! She's 18 weeks now and all seems to be going smoothly... we don;t know what we're having yet but will do in a few weeks. We've got an appointment later this morning at the diabetes clinic as she developed pregnancy diabetes with her last one and it's likely it'll happen again... just have to see. We'd better make the most of this one as we're agreed its probably our last - we're both 41 and already have an 18 month old, a 4 year old and 2 older ones - the eldest has long since flown the nest and given us 2 grandsons!

Update on the ebay chainsaw boot situation
I'd bought some boots from ebay and the seller had mis-read the bottom of the boot and said they were size 11 when they weren't... i believe this was a genuine mistake and the lady refunded me in full and didn't want the boots back, so when i get a chance i'll be putting them back on ebay - whatever i get for them i'll send her, which'll be a nice surprise for her i think... only fair i feel.

Monday 17th May 2010

When is a size 11 boot a size 8?
When it's bought on ebay, of course! I found a fairly cheap pair of used chainsaw boots last week and they arrived today and instead of being size 11, my size, they're size 8... i think its a genuine mistake as i do see a code number or something on the sole that says "11" but the big "42" with a circle around it means that it's a UK size 8 and wouldn't fit my hands let alone my feet. Just have to hope i'll get my money back, shouldn't be a problem as paypal have held it back as the sellers a newly regsieterd unverified seller anyway so hopefully it'll just be the inconveneince and cost of returning them that i'll be down by - we'll see.

Tuesday 11th May 2010

I'm a Grandad...again
My eldest daughter gave birth to a second grandson yesturday...whay!!

He's pretty small but doing well by all accounts, so big congrats to her.

I ended up with the answerphone on all day yesturday as Mrs 4x4cb was at the hospital with her and i was left on babysitting duties for our youngest son who's 14 months old.

The plan was that he usually has a little kip for a couple of hours from around 11-11.30am, so i'd be able to take the baby listener with me into the office (my daily commute is about 20 yards) where i'd be able to work until he woke up - packing the days parcels etc. This didn't work out at all, as he was full of beans all day until about 4pm by which time our second youngest (nearly 4) had been dropped back from nursery school, and i had to babysit her anyway! I ended up not getting into the office until gone midnight as the Mrs didn't get back until 11pm anyway - apologies to everyone who was expecting their orders sent out yesturday. I've had a frantic day today (started off with a journey up to Epsom hospital to drop some bits off for the baby, and then an 11.30am physio appointment for my back) but managed to get everything packed and sent - still got a few people to phone back though!

Still not many blogs...oops
I seem to have fallen behind on updating this page with new blogs again... it's becoming one a month if i'm not careful! It's not that i don't have much to say it's just that i don't have much time to write it - in fact i don't have enough time to do loads of things - i usually have to make do with between 2-5 hours sleep a night doing what i do mange to do and theres a thousand jobs to do on this site and the office is a mess and i'm behind with paperwork etc etc etc! Oh well... keep plugging away i guess, but i must keep this blog up to date - especially as i link to it now with prettymuch every email i write to people!

Tramadol no more
Regular readers or new readers who can be bothered to read my previous posts will know that in the agonising run-up to my back operation last month i'd managed to get myself "addicted" to the heavy duty prescription pain killer Tramadol... i'm pleased to announce that i've kicked this now, weaned myself down to one a day then one every other day, and now none - result!

Tuesday 20th April 2010

Post-op
Well, i've had my operation and so far its seems like its been a success, all the nerve pain down my leg has gone, my scar is healing nicely and i'm feeling stronger all the time!

I ended up staying in hospital for 2 days after the op, ouch it hurt the first day, despite loads of pain killers... i think i wanted to believe the people who told me i'd have an immediate loss of pain - i did, of the pain i'd had before the op, but the actual operation site hurt like hell - still thats all behind me now.

I had my first physiotherapy session today, i think the idea was to ease me back into work but being self employed my 6 week sick note didn't really mean anything and i was actually in the office packing parcels the day i was discharged from hospital, albeit only for an hour or so.

I've got loads of exercises to do, mainly to do with strengthening the muscles that had been wasted in the 14 months i've had the problem and not been very physical, but also to strengthen my core muscles to make sure nothing like it happens again... the wife's hopeful i'm going to get my 6 pack back i think!

The only major problem i've got now is that after a good 10 months or so of strong painkillers (Tramadol) i now have a habit for the stuff - at one point i was on 8 a day, i'm now down to 1 every day or other day, not to relieve pain but to get rid of the horribly restless feelings and twitchyness in my legs and arms that i get at night... speaking to a mate who managed to get himself off hard drugs some years ago, it seems i'm going through a bit of cold turkey, if its like this with prescription drugs i can understand what he went through when he kicked a 10 year smack habit!

Anyway, onwards and upwards now, and although i'm nowhere near my fitness level i was at a year and a half ago, i'm deffinately getting there. Can't come soon enough as theres still so much to do at home (the renovations of my little cottage in the woods stopped pretty abruptly some months ago when i ran outa money to pay my builder mate and ran outa strength to do it all myself) ... 3 shed bases to dig out, hardcore and concrete, an old cow shed to pull down, more bases to make for whatever is going in it's place, plus a 60 foot x 20 foot patio to lay, and half an acre of garden to tame - not to mention a whole house to final fix and decorate!

We got a walker!
JJ, my 13 month old son is walking! he still prefers to crawl around at breakneck speed but he's very pleased with himself when he does walk - he can get from one end of the living room to the other unaided now, to much applause and encouragement from me and mrs 4x4cb.

He's still getting apnia attacks at night sometimes (stops breathing) but we've got a monitor now - we had to buy one, got fed up with the hospital/health visitors not providing one, and he's still getting chest infections after his last bout of pneumonia and still stops breathing if he falls over or hurts himself so all things considered my lil soldier is doing pretty well.

Friday 19th March 2010

Letter from the hospital
Ooops, i said in my blog post of 16th march that i hadn't received an important letter from Ashtead hospital... well, i've now found this - it was my filing system at fault, not the hospital or royal mail!

Tuesday 16th March 2010

Had a pre-op assessment at Ashtead hospital today, in preparation for my back operation at the end of the month.

I didn't receive any letter confirming my op but luckily Mrs 4x4cb phoned them yesturday, to hear about the appointment booked for today - nearly missed it which wouldve really screwed things up!

Apparently they'd also sent some forms for me to fill in some weeks ago, and i hadnt received them either... now, royal mail gets a kicking in the press etc for post going missing but i'm a pretty big first class mail user, sending between 5 and 20 packets and parcels a day from my local post office and sometimes things are delayed but i can honestly say i havent had anything go permanently missing in over a year, so WTF is happening with these letters from the hospital???

Tuesday 9th March 2010

Regular readers of my blog will know about my back problem - a herniated disc, and the fact that i'm in line for surgery at the end of this month.... well, it really kicked in again last Friday, and frightened the brown stuff outa me later in the weekend!

Not sure if i actually did anything to agravate it, but friday was a nightmare, my painkillers didnt seem to do anything and it was so bad i had to stick the answerphone on and do nothing. During the evening i developed a dull aching in my arms and legs which got worse into the night. A good friends' daughter was having her 5th birthday party on saturday, so i painkillered myself up and me, Mrs 4x4cb and our 2 kids went off to this - held at the new soft play area "Crazy Tots" (although we cant call it that anymore apparently... some legal stuff or something) at Leatherhead Leisure Centre (more about this later).

By the end of the day my arms were agony and had such a lack of strength that i could hardly hold my 1 year old boy or turn the steering wheel of the wifes' Shogun and i was getting a bit worried! It got worse during the evening, ending up with me convinced this was stage one of paralysis and i was going to wake up dead from the neck down!

Sunday morning came and while i wasn't paralysed, i flippin hurt and i couldnt open a packet of crisps or hold a cup - i've never experienced such a weird lack of strength yet it hurt so much trying... so we went off to A&E at Epsom hospital. Waited for nearly 4 hours to be told that other than do my operation immediately (which they werent prepared to do) there was nothing they could do for me, and they told me to wait it out.

Thankfully i was a little better yesturday (monday) - not good enough to work, but i could hold a cup (albeit in both hands), dress myself and type... slowly.

Today i've been able to move about more normally but still hurting arms and neck and prettymuch no strength at all, but it looks like i havent done any permanent nerve damage and should recover - thank God!! Still flippin hurts though! Hopefully tomorrow i'll be back to work in some kind of normality!

Leatherhead Leisure Centre, Crazy Tots / soft play area / Birthday party
If you've read the above post, you'd have seen that we all went to a mate of mines 5 year old daughters birthday party held at Leatherhead Leisure Centre.

Well, i have to say that it seems they have a solid stream of parents booking this place for birthdays - the idea is that you get an hour in the soft play area and another hour o so in one of their rooms, for the birthday party itself.

My mate only got 45 minutes before being told to vacate the soft play area, and the leisure centre refused to give him a 25% discount which i thought was a bit much but what i really thought was bad was the room we got to hold the party in.

I've never been to visit anyone in prison but this room is exactly what i would expect to find as a vistors room in a old nasty jail (not one of these light and airy new fangled jalis, either)... brick walls painted a nasty dark colour until halfway up and a kindof dirty magnolia above, not a single window and very very oppressive.

Thing is, it seems that they have a constant stream of kids parties being held in there (judging by the speed the cleaners came in to clear the tables in readyness for the next party, before outr party had actually finished), so how come theres NOT ONE kid friendly poster or indeed any poster or party thing in there at all, the walls were totally bare - not what i wouldve expected from a room thats used constantly as a kids party room. It was nasty. Luckily the kids didnt seem to mind too much... i think its what you make it, but the atmos and look of the room really did no favours at all.

If you've found this blog because you searched google for childrens parties at Leatherhead Leisure Centre i would seriously make sure you know what room you're getting before you part with any money!! It aint cheap either!

Tuesday 16th February 2010

The other day i had an email from GoCompare.com regarding a campaign they've got going to get links to their site on other sites.

Their email read "We are looking for good quality websites to partner with and having looked at your website, blah blah" ... thing is that the site they're wanting to go onto is not a site at all... the domain name was a dropped one (not required by the previous registrant, left to lapse and eventaully made available again by Nominet) that i had picked up for it's 4x4 related traffic. It's just a redirect/advert page for 4x4cb.

It's amazing to me (maybe i'm silly here?) that a company with as big a profile as GoCompare would send out an email to prospective business partners that had a blatant lie in it - crikey, you'd think they'd at least take a quick look before sending out the email??????

Sunday 14th February 2010

UPS - uninteruptable power supplies
Do you use of these for your computer? You should do, but guess what, you should also use it if you have a Samsung LCD tv... they are very susceptable to voltage spikes and sudden powerouts - these spike protectors are ok, but for a really clean, stable voltage supply, you should try a UPS.

I got a pair off Ebay, very cheap, it was given that the batteries had given out an would need replacing... a quick google for sites selling them they came in around £60-£70 each - and i was needing 2 !!

In the end, i returned to Ebay and got 2 brand new, delivered for £41!

Good news for all the family as the household wireless router that gets assulted by laptops, x-box, iphone etc will have one too, as due to our location in the midle of the woods, we sometimes get power cuts and weird things happening to the supply.

Monday 8th February 2010

My little man, the Birthday Boy
JJ, my baby boy was one year old this weekend... we ended up having 2 parties, one on saturday for Mrs 4x4cb's mates and their youngsters - JJ's one of the oldest of the group and he loved every minute of it!

We had another party on sunday with a couple of other families who couldn't make saturday, our eldest daughter and our grandson (8 months old i think), and my mum. Good times. I'll try and stick some photos on here soon.

25th January 2010

24 hour bug
Apologies to anyone who phoned today, we were closed due to the worst chucking up session i ever remember having.

Started on my nightly dogwalk sunday night... was staggering along thinking "why do i feel so rough" until i just had to let go at the side of the lane, a couple of times.... managed to get back home to continue until the early hours... both ends... i wont go into great detail but it wasn't nice!

Set my back off again, and i wasnt able to keep any of my painkillers down so even now i'm aching.

I was going to be working, answering emails sunday night and tonight (writing this 1.20am tuesday) but i've just got out of bed, and cant see me spending much time doing it now, so i'm 2 evenings late with work - anyone who works evenings will know how much work i've missed!!!

Monday 11th January 2010

Sheet Ice
Well, we've still not had any post or deliveries or collections - we did have one van down here today which resulted in much fun on the ice!

He was pulling away when he just stayed still, wheels spinning on what is basically sheet ice out there.

He'd blocked us in, so Mrs 4x4cb pushed him out of the way so she could get past and hooked him up to tow. The driver had never been towed before so i jumped in and we set off - for about 20 feet, then the Mrs' Shogun's spinning all 4 - unfortnuately just allterrains... they dont cut it!

We've got some ballast left over from some building work so i'm loading this up in my cart and shovelling it under the wheels and on the ice and we're off again.

We've got about 300 yards of very tight track before we get onto the main track (still just a dirt road) - we get up that ok, snaking around on the ice but where we turn onto the main track theres a big incline and left turn and very unfavourable camber and whoops, she's off and into the side - luckily not the side with the big ditch!

Stuck fast, cant go back and the more she tries, the more it's sliding off the track into the woods.

Back i go to get more ballast, by the time i'd get there a couple of neighbours had arrived, one in a rangie, offering a tug - luckily the ballast under the wheels did the trick and she just reversed out with a bit of persuasion from me, the van driver, the neighbours, my eldest son and the rangie guy - best suit on and up to his knees in dirt and snow!

We all get out of the way and stick some ballast under the vans wheels and he's able to get traction and he's off - without a sideways glance or a thank you!! Me and the Mrs just laughed - what else can you do!?

On it's side, and wobbling a good 'un
We'd had some ice related fun earlier in the day, on the way to take my youngest daughter to nursery school.... someone had turned an mpv on it's side by slipping on the ice and running up a bank... it had just happened, maybe 4-5 cars in front of us.

The ever intrepid Mrs 4x4cb jumped out and left me with the kids, and went to help. They'd just got the womans' daughter out of the side window (facing sky) and was being helped into an elderly couples volvo estate, meanwhile Mrs 4x4cb's holding the womans hand as she's having one - understandably, screaming for her daughter but also as her every movement rocked the motor on it's side threatening to turn over!

The Mrs was able to calm her down and she was helped out and which point two fire engines an ambulance and two police cars arrived. We milled around for a bit longer, the Mrs gave her details to the cops, although we didnt actually see it happen and then we were off - only half an hour late!

Saturday 2nd January 2010

Well... the start of a new year, goodbye to the old one... quite a hectic one for me - in 2009 these have been my main "happenings" :

Bad back, sir?
Sometime around early February i developed my now infamous herniated disc back problem. I was at home, working late on the 'puter, stood up and BANG, the worst pain i remember having (and yes, i've had broken bones, fights, work & diy accidents etc so i'm not a wuss!).

Mate, that was the start of a world of pain, certainly for the first few months - i continued to work (as i have done all the way through apart from about a week sometime mid year) but was having no pain relief, no medical intervention at all - i just expected it to go away as all my previous back pains have, although it was immediately obvious within days that this was something else.

I went to the quack who refered me to Leatherhead hospital physio who warned me that if i missed a single appointment i'd be struck off and i'd have to go back to the doctor and get refered again. Well, me being me and a pretty hectic family and work life to juggle plus this back pain slowing me down, i didnt make the first treatment appointment, and yup, they struck me off - i was a bit fed up to say the least - i think we had something going on with one of the kids and it made me late for work, which made me late for the middayish appointment - i cant remember now.

I went for about 2 months taking light meds and over the counter painkillers with little relief quite honestly - every day was a nightmare, i'd have pain standing up, walking, sitting, in fact everything, but it was all down my left leg and buttock, varying pain, stabbing, moving, aching, all sorts, so very difficult to block with 'mindpower'. I wont go into the details of all the pain i was in, but some days were like hell for most of 'em.

The wife's ex hubby (we get on ok) had a good experience with a chiropractor in Worcester Park surreychiropractor.co.uk so i undertook a course of treatments there which i have to say did make life more bearable, but it was 3 times a week, and a real drain on my pocket and time. In the end, i had to give up going, even though i was eventually down to once a week (by july or thereabouts) although i still wasn't right by any means and still in daily pain.

My mate George has a few back problems (which is inconveninent as he's my builder in all the work thats going on here!) [more about the work later] and he went to see an osteopath who helped him recover from his, so i gave her a go - she did warn me that it would hurt but for part of the time she was pressing on my back and leg it was almost as bad as one of my worst days when it first happened! Weirdly, the pain would dissapear immediately she stopped manipulating whatever she was manipulating - in my BACK, remember :-) I deffinately felt better after our sessions but she suggested i go back to the doc and ask for an MRI scan - so i did.

This time my GP refered me to the specialist back pain clinic at the Medwyn Centre in Dorking, where i asked for an MRI, they agreed and put in a request for one.

Funny old thing, the MRI scanner - you lie on a trolley and get pushed into the hole of a huge polo, about 7 feet long - 10 foot diameter on the outside but the inside of the hole where you lie is barely 2 foot, feels like it anyway. They give you earplugs and further padding around your ears which bring the banging and buzzing noises down to a moderately loud level, but i wouldnt like to suffer from claustrophobia and go in one - not for the 25 minutes or so i was in for! You have to lie dead still, i moved during one of the 7 or so scans they do, so they had to redo - it was the second scan and i was sure i was absolutely still during it ;-O

Anyway, the Medwyn Centre restored my faith in the NHS although i get the feeling i might not see the same person twice but if they make things happen which they seem to so far, its good enough for me.

I went back to them a week after the mri and saw the consultant who would be doing the operation (although she has a longer waiting list than her dutch colleague, but she seemed to know what she was doing so i elected for her to do it). Aparently she's been doing the operation to sort the herniated disc for 13 years and mine isnt the biggest she's seen, but one of them (again, we're talking about my back, right?)

So thats basically where i am at now, i went to the gp's for bloods and urine pre-op, i presume to make sure i've got no nasty things that might surprise them in hospital, and just waiting for a date for surgery.

I've got the pain under control now as i'm on 2 painkillers which seem to make me almost pain free, as long as i take them when i should do, which i seem to have a bit of a problem with, as i've never been a big one for shoving pharma chemicals in my body unnecessarily and a bit of pain is ok, but then i dont take them, and have to cos pain comes on bad and then have to wait half hour for them to work!
Posted in Jims Personal Blog

My Little Man!
My beautiful little boy is born! He's such a treasure, i love the little chap so much, this week he's standing up using the sofa to help him, and crawling prettymuch anywhere he wants and we allow. I'll post a few pics of him on here sometime, but see www.facebook.com/4x4cb where you can see a few pics on facebook.
Posted in Jims Personal Blog

House renovation & moving in!
We've been renovating our old cottage in the woods since April and a couple of months ago we moved in... the renovation isn't quite finished although most big jobs inside have been done but even now, we're halfway through the kitchen being fitted. My good friend George (who has prettymuch singlehandedly renovated the place for us - i cant do much more than make good and decorate because of my back, my lack of time and my lack of knowledge to do the job - in pretty even measures) is off until next week.
Posted in Jims Personal Blog


You have reached the end of the 2010 blog...

There were no blog postings in 2009 or 2008 so the posts below are from 2007.

You can view older posts in the archives

Thursday 1st February 2007 - Jims Blog

Car troubles
Both me and Mrs 4x4cb have had problems this month - she's got a vauxhall frontera (and regularly gets it in 4wd) but of late the gearchange has been difficult - i check the hydraulic clutch fluid level - its down, top up and better but not great - few telltale signs of fluid on the back of the carpet - yup, the master cylinders gone!

I'm alright with simple servicing, bodywork, electricals and welding but its been a long time since i've done a hydraulic clutch, so luckily a mate of a mate is gonna stick it in for us. We got a new cylinder from camberley auto factors in Leatherhead, or at least we shouldve done - the first one we were given was a brake master cylinder, and it wasn't even a Frontera one! As it happens it was a bit of a result as they did the right one for the same price as the wrong one (they'd typed in the wrong number and their product description very helpfully said "master cylinder") which ended up as £80 plus vat, instead of £125 plus vat - still blinking expensive in my book, but nowhere near as bad as it could've been!

I've got a water leak in the old T5 - gotta check it out this weekend, at the moment i'm topping up the coolant before every journey (yes, sometimes 3-4 times a day!) so i need to get it sorted pretty soon.


8th January 2007

I just wanted to post a few of the latest pics of my baby daughter...


READ MY 2004, 2005 & 2006 BLOGS! ...

(They weren't separated into topics then)

2006 - July to December
2006 - January to June
2005 - July to December
2005 - January to June
December 2004



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