Thursday, 5 August 2021


August proceeds - here we are at the fourth day;  we shall be at the first week end before we know where we are.   How quickly time flies and let me assure you that from my ancient perch in life, each year flies past more quickly than the previous one.

Everyone was kind in enquiring about my hospital visit yesterday but I need to explain more carefully why I was called in.   As regards 'them' not being able to find my pulse in my wrist:  after I broke my hip last October I was transferred to a 'recovery hospital' for a couple of weeks once I had rcovered from the operation to mend it.   And it was whilst I was in there that no-one was ever able to find a pulse when they came round twice a day to monitor blood pressure.   The sister on the ward said it was not at all unusual - towards the end of my stay they could find it in one arm but not the other.   That is why I was referred to a specialist.   Yesterday the Nurse Practitioner couldn't find it either but was expecting it to happen after reading my case notes.   A stronger, more sensitive machine together with a special cream located it loud and clear and she said that it was possibly due a slight thickening of the arteries at my age.   (We are a bit like old cars you know).

I am still here, I am still able to walk with the aid of Priscilla and J, my taxi driver, and I had a lovely drive into Northallerton on a pleasant sunny day and whole new buildings had sprung.   The forbidding prison in Northallerton has disappeared and in its place stand large Lidl and Iceland stores.   A sign of the times no doubt.

Since the advent of Covid hospitals (and G P 's surgeries) have  changed out of all recognition.   Yesterday it all seemed empty apart from a person on Reception and a Nurse who appeared, who took Priscilla and I where we needed to go.   The corridors were all empty, the chairs looked new and were spaced and fastened to bars, so that even if you had wished to pull them nearer together you couldn't have done so.   Masks were of course compulsory.


Enough of hospitals.   It is time I went for my walk. Priscilla is getting rstless and what started out as a clear blue sky is taking on an ominous look as heavy rain clouds drift in (it is forecast).    So I shall abandon this but hopefully I shall return.

I don't know about anyone else but I shall so miss all these young, strong, fit and healthy young people pitting their strength and expertise against one another in an effort to win the Gold for their country.   I am all for a bit of Patriotism when it is used in something like this.   I just hope no really young folk try to emulate their BMX skills.

Travelling to Northallerton yesterday we were reminded for the first of many times no doubt that next week is The Appleby Horse Fair and Gypsies and Travellers from far and wide are beginning to converge on Appleby in Cumbria for the annual event, which should have been held in the early Spring but was postponed because of Covid.   On the village green in Crakehall  - a village between Leyburn and Northallerton - there was a beautiful, colourful Gypsy caravan, together with various other vehicles, caravans, horseboxes, and of course three or four beautiful gypsy horses grazing off the greenery.   A lovely sight.   When I was a small child in Lincolnshire gypsies and their caravans were a common sight around our villages - the ladies coming round selling their home-made (and very efficient) clothes pegs and their mock chrysanthemums made out of dyed wood.  All long gone now of course.



Bonnie said...

I'm so glad your day at the hospital went well. It sounds to me like you have a shy pulse! I hope you and Priscilla got your walk in before any rain fell. I enjoyed hearing about the Gypsies. If we ever had any here it was long before my time. Enjoy the rest of your day!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

One of the few good things to come out of Covid is that when I go for my eye check-ups I'm seen on time and the various checks are conducted in about half the time it used to take, with very little waiting around. When I walked the Pennine Way back in the 70s our arrival near Appleby coincided with the Horse Fair. When they heard that we were "fellow travellers" they were very friendly and even offered us a rabbit which they had just shot - not sure how we'd have cooked that on a Camping Gaz stove.

Heather said...

So good to know the hospital visit went well. I hope all young people with skateboards wait a few months before trying any Olympic moves, giving our hospitals time to recover from Covid! I would be terrified if a child of mine wanted to train for the next Olympics. As the youngest is 46 I think I needn't worry.
I know I am guilty of romanticising, but I love the look of a true Romany caravan. A few years back there was one parked on a large roundabout on the A38 with plenty of room for grazing ponies. A lovely sight and a reminder of childhood days.

Ellen D. said...

I have enjoyed the Olympics also. So many inspiring athletes trying hard and doing their best!
Glad your visit went well and your pulse is steady and strong!

CharlotteP said...

Ditto...I enjoy the Olympics. I enjoy watching most different cycling events, having cycled myself; but somehow the world championships in other sports fail to grip my imagination in the same way the Olympics do. It seems the same for most of the Olympic gold is the ultimate prize.

Bovey Belle said...

Keith has a hospital appt. next week - this will be the first time he has SEEN a Consultant since being diagnosed over the phone/via blood tests. It almost sounded like you had a "day out", going out of your immediate area and into Northallerton where things had changed a good deal by the sound of it.

I've enjoyed the bits of the Olympics I've watched, but Keith's not that keen on it these days - not when there are alternative programmes to watch.

As for gypsies, I grew up in an area where there were many. Ponies tethered on chains on every spare patch of ground, flat trollies and coloured cobs pulling them. Gypsies knocking on the door to sell pegs or little baskets of Primroses planted in moss. They would ask for any spare clothing or shoes too. They all lived up at Botany Bay and the old Queen of the Gypsies, Queenie Goddard, lived opposite us in a darkly creosoted cabin with three huge fir trees in the front "garden". We sometimes see travellers with ponies tethered and an old vardo drawn up on the big wide grassy verge near Talgarth.

angryparsnip said...

They have always had a hard time finding my pulse.
Nice to know you had a nice drive for the check in.
The Gud Dugs send woofs !

Joanne Noragon said...

All's well by you, then, especially the medals.

Susan said...

Sounds like you had a positive surgery visit. Are gypsies and travelers the same? I've only heard negative things about travelers in the UK. I've heard they: take over land/buildings they do not own and refuse to leave as well as leave litter/debris throughout the area.

Cro Magnon said...

I remember those days of clothes pegs, strange flowers, etc. My Surrey village had a Wheelwright who seemed to specialise in working on old Reading Wagons; there were always a few in his yard. We also had a 'King of the Gypsies' living on the outskirts of the village; Nelson Smith drove an old Rolls, and after he died was cremated in his wagon to the biggest gathering of Gypsies I'd ever seen. Kushti bok.

Derek Faulkner said...

Once again, the annual romantic view of gypsies and travellers, but from a bye-gone age. You'll probably find that the majority of those people now live a virtually sedentary life in large communities of mobile homes, nothing like the lifestyle that they're re-inacting. It'd be interesting to get the views of people that have to suffer this annual invasion and disruption in their town.
Where I live the travellers that we see on a regular basis are as described by Susan. They arrive overnight in their caravans towed by clapped out transit vans, pitch up on land that they do not own, spend a couple of weeks turning it into a refuse tip and then depart after being forced off, leaving all that mess to be cleaned at local rate-payers expense.

Librarian said...

Although I am about 3 decades younger than you, Pat, time flies by for me as well. The first August weekend is almost here; next week it will be my Mum's birthday, then O.K.'s sister turns 60 (we hope to be allowed to celebrate under Covid regulations) and then his Mum turns 81. September will be here in a flash, especially now that work has started again and is steadily picking up pace.
Glad to know your hospital visit went well!

Sue in Suffolk said...

I shall miss the Olympics too. What I've noticed is bloggers from other countries haven't mentioned watching at all.
I like the idea of Priscilla getting restless and hopping from foot to foot like an impatient dog waiting for her walk. :-)

thelma said...

Well as always there are two sides to the stories of gypsies. The local gypsies at Pickering were tidy people and he was a knife grinder with his two sons. Horses always tethered on the long grass verges and a camp that was neat with its caravan and gypsy waggon. Sadly it is almost impossible to be a freewheeler in the English countryside but sometimes people escape to live in self-sufficient harmony.
Glad all is well Pat.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Surely you mean from one wheel to another Sue!!

Cro My mother as a child lived near a huge Common and she used to speak of a Gypsy funeral she had witnessed there which sounds very similar. I doubt it would be allowed now.

Thanks everyone for your comments. Unfortunately some gypsies/travellers (not the same)get all of them a bad name.

Jules said...

There was a similar caravan at Kirkby Lonsdale earlier this week. X

Eileen in Fla. said...

I so enjoy your remembrances and descriptions of the "Old Days" in England. Different but the same in many ways as here in the US. Thank you for sharing.

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