Sunday, 28 November 2021

What to write about today

 Well, going out for a walk is certainly not an option today.   It was quite pleasant  when I got up (just after six as it is my carer's week end off and my reserve carer comes just  after seven to fit in with her other commitments.)

But by the time I had washed and dressed, breakfasted and cleaned my teeth it became obvious once the blinds were drawn back that the roads were icy and there had been a fall of snow overnight.   And within the next hour or so it snowed again - all morning.   Now there has been about an inch of the pretty but horribly inconvenient stuff, the clouds are clearing away, the sun is coming out and the sky is clear blue. 

I am wearing my new, delightful and beautifully knitted socks from Jenny (My Life in Flip Flops on my side bar) so at least I am warm.   And apparently we can say good-bye to this weather today for a day or two or though it does not promise to be much warmer.

I find my thought today drifting back time and again to the refugees in those dreadful camps by Dunkirk.   Whatever one's view on the refugee crisis, nobody would wish to see those young men women and children out under canvas in weather like this - thank goodness for the volunteers who seem to be supplying them with warming food.   What kind of life the children will have after a start like this I just can't imagine.   Nor can I imagine what it must be like to be so afraid in one's country that fleeing thousands of miles across often hostile country in search of a better life is preferable to staying put. 

We look at - and complain about - so much here.   We need I think to stop and think as the winter draws in that we have much to be grateful for.

Wrap up well dear friends - see you tomorrow.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Winter blows in with a vengeance

The first storm of Winter blew in last evening. angry red and orange shaded areas appeared on the map of the country and - sure enough - it all showed up just as it was getting dark and by bed time the storm was  at its height.

One of the advantages (very few I add)of being deaf is that when you go to bed you can take out your hearing aids, arrange the bedcovers so that your 'top' ear is covered and hopefully get to sleep - and I did.

Drawing back the blinds this morning very early (it is my reserve carer) outside was just as I expected - a covering of snow, slushy roads and a tremendously strong wind.   As the morning has progressed the wind has abated a little so it does look as though the storm is on its way south, which is what it is destined to do.

I can't expect any callers today - everyone will be like me and will have battened down the hatches.   It is certainly a day when I am pleased I don't live on the North East Coast.  'Strictly' tonight for those of us who watch it - wonder who'll go out this week?   Dan??

Friday, 26 November 2021

Out here in the quiet depths of the country.

Do not let anyone kid you! this last few days here have been chaotic.   If nobody comes all day I feel 'alone':  if there is a constant stream of visitors throughout the day I get frustrated by the trek back and forth to the front door.   The last week that is just what it has been like.  Walking with a frame is slow work.

Don't misunderstand me - friends are always welcome - in fact I love all of them being here and rejoice in the fact that I am so lucky to have such good ones.  (where would I be without you T - solver of all my problems - do call and see my lovely shiny stop tap which has replaced that bodged up job that was there before) .

But this is the pattern for the afternoon.   a) the doorbell went (Westminster Chimes and very loud - you can't miss them).  Two chaps stood on the door step, one of them smiling as though he knew me well.   Oh yes, he did but he has grown a beard (who hasn't - even half of the MPs seem to grow one every time there is any kind of a break which gives their whiskers time to shoot up).   By the time I had shown them the offending stop tap in the kitchen (for the outside tap and best turned off in winter, especially when wintry temperatures are forecast)., my tea had grown cold.

They were here for an hour putting in a stop tap.   As they went down their drive another vehicle drew up so I didn't both to close the door.  "Come in and I'll get my cheque book out of the Computer Room "and pay you". I maywell become the last person not to bank on line.   A lady who lives just down the road kindly shops mid week for anyone who wants groceries (bananas, oranges, grapes, bread, ((crumpets)) -for a small charge.   It is a super service for anyone like me who has difficulty getting out.

As I said good-bye to her the Post Van drew up and - what fun - socks and mittens from Ilkley/Italy arrive - Blogland is filled with such lovely characters. Jenny Peacock has knitted me some gloves and some socks - I can't wait to open the parcel.   So that is the order of the day - draw the blinds, lock all doors, turn the fire up. toast the crumpets and open the parcel.   Thank you so much T for seeing to the tap, advising a new stop tap and chatting to the plumber for me and thank you Jenny in advance for the socks - I will thank you again and post off the wool when I go near a Post Office next week.   Tell you this though - the parcel will not be as professionally packed as yours is.   Only a couple of days back after that long journey and you can manage a parcel like that - brilliant.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

The best laid plans........

 Well I had planned to get down to organising things today but I woke at four and didn't get back to sleep so I have not been very active today I'm afraid.   It has been a pleasant day though.  Sunny and cloudy in turn and a chilly wind blowing so I have not missed much in the weather stakes and very cold weather forecast from tomorrow so I may be shut in.

This morning the Lifeline lady called.   For anyone not familiar with Lifeline, it is an organisation for the elderly.   I have a button on my wrist which I never take off apart from when I have a shower.   It costs me just under thirty pounds a month and is connected to an organisation which deals with emergency calls.  I made full use of it when I fell in the sitting room and broke my hip just over a year ago.   I pressed the button and a disembodied voice issues forth from a mechanism on a side table and asks me if I need help.   When I told her I thought I had broken my hip (I heard it 'crack') she said to stay exactly where I was and she would get the ambulance and shortly afterwards both my son and the Ambulance arrived together.      After the Landline lady had gone it was time for my lunch of scampi, chips and beans - delicious (chips and scampi in frying pan and beans in microwave).

Various small jobs done (a load of washing done in the washing machine by the carer transferred by Priscilla and me to the tumble drier in the garage), small amount of washing up done, and then S and T called.   I was more 'with it' today and happily made us a cup of coffee.   They stayed about an hour and we chatted and it passed a nice afternoon.

Now it is time to heat a nice big bowl of veggie soup (brought this morning by my carer who made it in her soup-maker yesterday evening. )    That is my tea sorted - and a good one too.    See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

What a day and a half.

 Well folks, I have been 'on the go' every single minute of today.   I am tired out, my legs are swollen with too much exercise and I am just trying to keep awake until a reasonable time.

Tuesday is the one day when I don't have a carer.   This means I have to do everything for myself.   You might think this is a good thing but believe me it takes most of the morning to do what my carer does in an hour.   I do not make my porridge - I usually have cereals and a banana when I have to get it myself.   But getting all blinds opened and curtains drawn back, making my morning cup of tea and taking it into the sitting room so that  I can watch "Breakfast" takes quite a while.  And this morning the television was playing up as it has been for several days now.

Once this is over the paper has arrived.   I always stay in bed a little while longer on Tuesdays - it is the only chance I get for a lie in, so I didn't get up until just after eight.   The paper is too much of a temptation and the Mind games too much of a draw so I  sat and did those.   Then, just as I was about to go and have a wash and get dressed my two Gardeners arrived.   It is quite a long time since they came and the lawn was very long and the winter tidy up had not been done so I knew they would be here some time.   D has been ill with his heart and I had resigned myself to not having them again until Spring.    This estate is extremely tidy and everyone keeps their gardens neat.   I used to enjoy doing some of it myself but I can no longer do that so they have to do everything.  It costs me of course but it has to be done.They were here all day but now it is nice and neat and tidy for winter.

While they were here S and T arrived for Tom to do a little job for me.   The stop tap to my outside tap needed turning off and I couldn't do  it.   (Last year my gardener did it for me but of course I asked T before I knew the gardeners were coming.)   I provided the gardeners with tea mid-morning and a slice of cake - and that takes me an age to prepare and get out into the garden.   Then at lunch time I made them cheese and crackers and another cup of tea - I reasoned that they just could not go all day without food.

But all this activity really takes it out of me.   I made S and T a cup of coffee but I made it too strong and I started to push the trolley without pushing down the strainer on the cafetiere and - yes true to form -I knocked it over and coffee went everywhere.   S kindly mopped it up.  What would I do without them.

When they had gone the gardeners finished their work, told me how much I owed them and off they went.   That was my day.   I closed the blinds and curtains, turned up the central heating, sat in the chair and promptly fell asleep.   Tomorrow is another day as they say.

Monday, 22 November 2021


 Are you a list-maker or do you muddle through life doing jobs as they occur to you?   My sister who was more than twenty years my senior and long gone, once said to me that she made 'mental lists' before she got out of bed in a morning but usually found that by evening she had only done about one thing on the list and it was most frustrating.

I try to make a bit of a list and one thing that is first at present is to UPDATE FILES.   I have only one son.   You may find this thinking macabre but I hope that when I die (let's face it however much longer I live one thing is certain - I have lived far longer than I have left on this earth) I leave my affairs  (no not that sort) in such order that he has as little work as possible to sort them out.   To that end my filing cabinet (a set of drawers in my computer room) has labelled files.   They are all in the process of being updated.   One has been done, updated and ticked off the list (and that one is the organisation of my funeral arrangements - with the proviso that if he wishes to change the whole thing that is his prerogative.)   So that file is now the only one in the drawer.

The next one I intend to tackle is the Utilities file - Gas, Electricity etc.   I shall start on this the minute I finish this post.   I don't feel like it but I shall take it into the sitting room, tip the contents out onto the   carpet in front of my chair and then update them as I put them back.   Drastic it might be but when I have sorted every file out I shall feel 'cleansed' - a good feeling.

Now to other things - we have had a couple of cold days but the sun has shone non stop and the sky is a clear blue.  Priscilla and I walked the walk this morning we saw only one couple (I always try to speak to everyone) and I was able to say to them "Good to see a joint effort" because each had a bucket of soapy water and a cloth and each was tackling washing one side of the same car.   We had a bit of a laugh about it before I walked on.   I didn;t find the walk as arduous as yesterday but I am tired now.

When I arrived home I heated up my roast pork and veggies in the microwave and then took my fruit salad and coffee into the sitting room.   Then I watched Simon Reeve on iplayer in The Lakes - an absolutely excellent programme - so different from the usual 'travel' programme.  Now it is almost tea time  and the heating has just come back on.   I hadn't switched it off but once the sun gets into my South-facing windows they soon warm up the whole bungalow.

Looking out of the window into the back garden I see it is a mass of self-sown yellow antirrhinums.  I put  them in as bedding plants  at least five years ago and left some at the end of the season to go to seed- now they are everywhere and I love their feast of late colour.   I wish I was able to get out there and do a bit of work but I'm afraid my gardening days are now long over.

Back again tomorrow - in the meantime sleep well and stay well.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Nice afternoon.

Short post today as I want to watch the results from Strictly Come Dancing which will be on TV shortly.   I have had a pleasant day - it is cold but sunny and I had to walk down to pay the lady who does my mid week fruit shopping so I carried on round the block.   As I have not had the opportunity to do so all week  I am  out of practice  and it really tired me out and I had to put my feet up on my return.

Shortly after lunch H my friend and neighbour brought me round sweet peas which are still flowering in  her sheltered back garden - only a few but they smell nice and add the last touches of summer to my sitting room on what is a cold Autumn day.

We chatted about this and that all afternoon and it passed a pleasant Sunday afternoon.   Who could wish for more?


Saturday, 20 November 2021

Good morning

 Good morning bright and early.   Well it would be wouldn't it?   Lots of visitors (all very welcome) but tired by Friday and then sleeping in on Friday morning, dozing on and off for most of the day on Friday.  Staying up until eleven thirty on Friday evening because I wasn't tired and here I am - fresh as the first daisy in Spring - waking at four this morning, lying in bed until quarter past five - going through the geneology of various families in the village to try and persuade myself to drop off again and at six o'clock up and in my dressing gown doing a few minutes on the computer before I go and make myself a cup of tea.   That'll learn me as they say up here.

But it will have done  my brain no harm at all to go  through the geneology.   When friends S and T called, they were talking about somebody I used to live close to when o n the farm and I had difficulty in recalling their family for a few minutes.   Now, lying in bed this morning I was thinking about them, thinking about their parents and their brothers and sisters and getting them all in order (didn't help me to get back to sleep again of course).   And it did strike me that up here - until fairly recently looked at in the long term- transport and wages and opportunities to travel meant that you found a partner in the vicinity in most cases.  And so still in many cases grandparents, parents and children  live in fairly close proximity to one another - although the young people now are beginning to spread their wings as opportunities to do so present themselves.   And methods of meeting and forming relationships have changed so much since my day with computers opening up the world.

I shall now go and make myself a cup of tea to drink with my annoying tablet I have to take one morning each week when I have to stay upright, drink a full glass of liquid and have nothing to eat for at least half an hour afterwards.I shall return later.

Back to my original theme - do you think it matters whether you stay in one place all your life or move around?   When you die your life's experiences die with you so it is easy to say it makes no difference but of course you pass so much on to your children - so much of your experience of life is helped along by interaction with others - and I happen think that is vital.   Without that interaction we are depriving our children of so many experiences.

Nothing much has happened today - it has been a very quiet day.   The only thing different is that my Tesco delivery came this morning which meant that after my carer had gone i had to close down whatever job I was doing and wash out the frudge and wipe down the shelves in the cupboard so that I could put the food away when my  order came.   Three boxes of pigs in blankets.   I read somewhere that there was likely to be a shortage this year so in case there is i have ordered three bo=xes of one and a fourth as an insurance policy.  As I am quite likely to eat Christmas lunch alone here in my bungalow maybe the sixty 'pigs in blankets' I have ordered and stored in my  freezer are a bit excessive.

I am tired again and keep falling asleep at my computer as I write this  so I must sign off and get my head on that pillow.   See you tomorrow......

Friday, 19 November 2021

The Obvious Outcome.

 Yes, I should have known.   You will know from my posts that for me I have had a very busy week.    Well at last, this morning, it caught up with me.   I woke at six thirty and thought I would have another five minutes before getting up (my carer comes at half past seven),   The next thing I knew a voice was calling 'wakey, wakey' and a hand was shaking my foot.   Yes - I had gone back to sleep.

Once up and in my chair she brought what she had promised - scrambled eggs for my breakfast.   It is ages since I had them and she had scrambled them very well.   Some folk over-scramble but these were just the right consistency and I enjoyed them very much.

When she had gone I did what I always do - got out my pencil and pen and did the mind games- my mind is always sharpest first thing in the morning before it fills up with 'rubbish'.   Mind games done I promptly fell asleep and awoke at half past eleven!

I have not been out at all today but have sat in my chair and dozed after my salad, chips and scampi lunch followed by a fruit salad of grapes, orange and banana which I made for myself.   Now at around half past eight in the evening I have suddenly come alive - hope I sleep tonight.

See you in the morning.


Thursday, 18 November 2021

Busy, busy and very tiring.

 Isn't it annoying that busy days always all come together rather than space themselves out?   This week has been enjoyable mostly, irritating in parts and very tiring.   The irritating part of course was going all the way to Ripon in a taxi (hugely expensive) only to find that the hearing aids were not any use and having to start again, which entails yet another visit.

Monday was my visit to the doctor which went off well and finished with a lovely walk back down the road looking at the gardens and enjoying the warm, sunny weather.   Tuesday was the hearing aid day - and even then the journey was pleasant and the Autumn leaves were so pretty everywhere.   Wednesday - yesterday - I did put more on my post that was readable but at the last minute (as happens often) I lost the lot.   There is no doubt that my shake is getting much worse and I catch something which wipes my post off.

So - yesterday half way through the morning I had a phone call from a friend who had been trying to contact me by email to say could she come for coffee (after she had gone I searched and - annoyingly - the email had gone into Spam.)   She set out immediately and not only did she stay for coffee but we shared the lunch my carer had left for me (home-cooked gammon with a good salad, piccallilli, cheese - to which I added my favourite baby beets in sweet vinegar and good bread and butter) and then I went with her to a poetry afternoon at W's.   By the time I got home again I was very tired but it had been an enjoyable day.

Today was hair cut and blow-dry day.   My taxi could take me down but not bring me back so I had arranged with my son to collect me.   Then this morning early he rang to say his wife, who is an invalid, had been very ill overnight after her third Covid jab yesterday.   He dare not leave her.   But luckily friend S stepped into the breach and arranged to collect me.   That went off without a hitch and back home she came in for a cup of tea and stayed a while.  A mutual friend rang asking for help on her computer and that took up quite a large part of the visit (S is my first 'port of call' too on computer issues - she has wide experience and also has a good, analytical mind).   After lunch another friend M rang and said could she walk round - she came and we had a good old chat for a couple of hours and now it is almost tea time.   Phew!   what a busy few days.

Luckily this afternoon my son rang to say the paramedic, the ambulance and the doctor had all been to his wife and after treatment with hydracortisone she was steadily improving and had actually requested something to eat.   The whole episode had been triggered by a third Covid  jab yesterday.

It is now 7pm and I shall go and find something for my tea -not sure what as a piece of my birthday cake this afternoon has rather taken the edge off my appetite.