Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Beware

 At the top of my garden is a wall - half of it is a typical Yorkshire Dry stone wall. The other half is a neat stone wall with a parapet on the top and above that a hedge.   And in the hedge, as there is most years, is a blackbird's nest.   When Mrs Blackbird was sitting on their eggs Mr Blackbird would spend a large part of each day serenading her from the rooftops.  Now the chicks are hatched and hiding in amongst the plants in my garden waiting to be fed by Mum and Dad, life is a bit more hazardous for them.  When I go out to do my five laps of the patio Mr and Mrs B give their warning signal to tell the chicks to stay hidden.   As soon as I come in the feeding begins again in earnest.   Except that this morning it didn't - danger signals continued and both Mum and Dad fluttered up and down, tails in the air.   Why?   I couldn't work it out until suddenly, what I had taken to be a root in the hedge moved.   It wasn't the hedge at all.   It was a tabby Tom Cat, curled up at the base of the hedge.  They knew he was there and by golly he knew they were around and he was going nowhere(he fancied a meal of nice fat blackbird chick rather than tinned cat food wherever he lived).

That was yesterday - today is a wet morning and so far no sign of him so Mum and Dad are presumably making up for lost time and stuffing grubs, flies, worms and anything else that appears on the menu down little cheeping throats as fast as possible.   Strike while the iron's hot as they say.

Now my gardeners have arrived to mow the lawns and dead head the daffodils and tulips - oh dear poor old blackbirds - what a tough time they are having.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Chelsea

 My father died in 1971.   He left school at the earliest possible age - when you realise that he was born in around 1890 only 20 odd years after the first Education Act bringing in Compulsory Education then I don't expect he had all that much education.   If any amongst you care to look how much - feel free - but when I started looking it became too complicated.

He came from a very working class background but his saving grace was that although he was one of eight his father was a lay preacher Methodist and education was taken seriously and they were home schooled as much as it was possible when his parents were not educated either.    But he valued it and one thing he did was to teach himself Latin in as much as was possible.   He loved gardening (we had a big garden, he grew lots of veg and flowers) and he loved their names.  He trotted them out at every opportunity throughout.( Latin is an easy language to learn on the surface because you say it as it reads).   He 'rose through the ranks' to have a reasonably good job and made sure the three of us would not fare badly education wise.   I was lucky being born last (1932) and passing the scholarship and 'staying on' at school a little longer.

And so we were away Dad and I - we searched for wild flowers and could trot out their Latin names and those of the garden plants in our garden.   How he would have loved Chelsea.

I have always watched the offerings we are given on the television.   And - one year - what excitement- a friend who was a member of the RHS couldn't go on members day and she gave me her membership entrance card!

I lived in Wolverhampton at the time.   I caught the six o'clock train to London, changed to the tube and was more or less there at opening time.   The tent with all the exhibits, the show gardens, the atmosphere, the famous faces.   I was totally and completely overwhelmed.   Be lunchtime, when I had intended to get lunch (bear in mind that by this time I had gone through University, gone through the ranks of teaching and travelled extensively abroad so was used to crowds)I just wanted to get home.   I left Chelsea and made for the train like a frightened rabbit.

How I love it on television.   I never miss a programme, I gobble it all up, I hear the latin names and remember my Dad, I jot down the names of plants I fancy adding to my garden.   But invite me to go again???   No thanks - I looked at HM in her buggy seemingly interested in what she was being told and I marvelled at how she could keep up and how she could make polite conversation and (if I had been wearing one I would have taken my hat off to her).

 

Monday, 23 May 2022

A wet Monday evening.

 Half past seven - half an hour before tonight;s Chelsea- and so far it is a wet evening.    These last few weeks there have been plenty of wet evenings - trouble is that it is only light rain and it doesn't rain for long.   It is better than nothing but couldn't we do with a real good downpour.   My whole garden looks as though it is waiting.

When you get to my age sometimes you seem tired for no reason and today is one of those days.   I slept perfectly well washed and dressed (helped by my carer) and then using my indoor trolley as soon as I had had my breakfast and she had gone I watered and fed my five tubs by the front door.   They are looking good.   I am pleased I followed the advice of Joe Swift and planted them up in a more haphazard way.   So far so good.

After my lunch I fell asleep again and awoke to the sound of friend W tapping on the window with some magazines for me.   We sat and chatted for an hour.   I have just had a cup of tea and am now hoping I can stay awake through Chelsea.

So really there is nothing of any any import to report today, so I will sign off and see you all tomorrow.   Take care.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Plenty to think about.

 Well I must say, most days your welcome comments to my posts leave me with plenty to think about.   But yesterday it was my Saturday magazine with The Times that provided food for thought and also plenty to chat about, both with H, my neighbour who came round for a cup of tea in the afternoon and also several times with friends who rang.

There was an article about Emma Thompson and her new film, "Good Luck to you Leo Grande".   In it Thompson plays the role of a woman, widowed and a teacher, who has never had an orgasm and wonders what she has been missing.   So she books a young, high class, male escort.   In spite of having had 2 children she plays a repressed, dutiful wife who wants an adventure.

Caitlin Moran, who does the interview,  says Thompson seems to have waited until she had 'enough power and confidence to do sex and nudity in a way that matters'.   Moran says 'it is the first time we have ever seen on film an older naked woman look at herself (in the mirror after the orgasm) with such joy.

We shall have to wait for a full crit of the film until either John (Going Gently) or Rachel Phillips go and see it.    I can assure you that both of them give criticism of films as good as any you will see in the papers.

But it set me thinking - not about orgasms - that is an entirely personal thing and not, in my thinking, something to be discussed here  amongst bloggers; but about nudity in general.   I know that I never, ever saw either of my parents naked.   In spite of the fact that when I was small our bath was a zinc one in front of the fire on a Friday night, I was always first in, out and dried and powdered and sent off to bed.   What happened after that I have no idea, and don't think I thought about.   By the time I reached  teenage years my sister and her husband had had a house built nearby with a bathroom and we went there for baths whenever we felt like it.

Things were slightly different when I married.   My first husband (and father of my only son) was a painter in watercolours and oils and pastel and once we married - and before if my parents were away and the house was empty and we would not be discovered, I would pose for him.   Occasionally I would pose for his friends and once or twice - when the Art School model was unable to attend- I would pose for  a class.  (my parents never knew and would have been horrified. ) So what I am asking is this.   As I now have a carer - a woman who is almost forty years younger than me and who is brilliant to me in every way and who, as she dashes around doing various jobs chats away so that I know so much about the way of life up here - I hear of people she has always known, who went to school with her, or with her brother or sister and who have children from three or four different relationships - are we saying that nudity and sexual relationships have little to do with one another?  Because her attitude - and that of her peers - does not seem all that different from that of my generation.   I said this to her this morning and her reply seemed to suggest that nothing much had changed.


















Friday, 20 May 2022

Friday

 And another week bites the dust.   When you hopefully haven't all that long left on this earth I can tell you that the weeks fly by.   I say 'hopefully' please don't think I am down hearted or depressed - not a bit of it but believe me there comes a time - and I have reached it - when everything takes a lot of doing,  you know what you want to do but it is never easy.   Either it is too far to walk, you can't remember exactly what it was you intended to do, you would like to pull up that enormous weed in the garden but know the effort might lead you to fall over, you get half way through writing an e mail and at the click of something inside your computer the whole thing disappears as if by magic.   Need I go on?   If you have not reached that point yet then it is only a matter of time.   Luckily it is Monty Don's Gardener's World tonight so I shall be back on form again tomorrow.   (I might be 90 in October but some feelings never altogether disappear believe me!)   I will say no more except to say I am pretty near the back of a very long queue I suspect.

Yesterday on my  order I bought my first bunch of British Asparagus so melted butter to the fore and nice bread and butter cut thinly, asparagus steamed lightly and there's my tea for tonight.   I love it.   You can't beat it if you are a fan and it needs nothing more than brown bread and butter to make it a feast fit for a king - or so near to H M's Platignum Jubilee - a Queen either.****The asparagus was delightful - particularly as it was from Tesco and was labelled 'British Asparagus' and was grown in Lincolnshire (the county of my birth) by one Chris Kitchen - thanks Chris - I enjoyed it tremendously'.

I have spent a long time this afternoon typing out a scone recipe for Jackie.   If you are reading this Jackie I do hope you receive it and it makes sense.   I have Benign Essential Tremor which makes my hands shake so that when they hover over the keys of the computer when you look up at the screen they have often landed in the wrong place.   If this has happened I do hope it still makes sense.   If it doesn't then please get back to me and tell me where you can't understand it.

Well asparagus calls in all its greenery,   See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

One thing a day.

  I am trying hard to stick to only one major thing a day because sadly more than one and I seem to be good for nothing for the rest of the day.   Today's 'thing' was a Cut and Blow Dry and I have come home, had my lunch and dozed most of the afternoon.   But as most women will agree I feel so much better after my hair do.

It has been quite a pleasant day and now that it is early evening, as with the last few days, the clouds have cleared and the sky is beautifully blue.   Perfect silaging weather as any farmer (or farmer's wife) out there will tell you.   The field at the back of my bungalow is being silaged today and the grass smells delightful.   I feel sad for my farmer, no longer here to judge when to cut.   The town (only a small town of maybe three thousand inhabitants) is so very busy because every farmer is silaging and the road outside the hairdressers is a constant stream of tractors and silage trailers back and forth.

No other news really except to say that about a dozen of my alliums are out - lovely to see that some have come (there was more than this last year and I suspect mice.Also my tubs, only planted up on Tuesday, seem to have flourished already.   I love to see them fill in their space.   I have mixed up the plants in them rather than pot them the conventional way - so I am waiting eagerly to see how they develop!

See you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Wednesday

Sorry no post yesterday - I was just too tired.   I find at the moment that anything different that I do tends to make me very tired.   But I soldier on.   It was my day for going up to Ripon to have my  hearing aids  serviced.  I should have gone a month ago but I was in hospital after a fall and by the time I could go my hearing aid specialist had caught covid.

I rarely go out these days unless friends S and T take me or I have a taxi.   J, my taxi driver, and I have known one another for many years and we always enjoy the drive together.   Yesterday was exceptional- the countrside was so beautiful,   On the way between here and Ripon there are some very pretty villages and every village seemed to be full of Horse Chestnut trees and I really don't think I have ever seen so much blossom - each tree was laden with 'candles' - mostly the creamy white ones but here and there a pink one.   The creamy ones are without doubt the stronger ones but a pink one here and there is pretty.

We always find plenty to chat about.   She has lived in the village where she lives now all her life. She knows everyone so we can always catch up on any village gossip.   Coming back we talked food all the way and she made me quite sad not to be making meals now because she told me some very tasty meals to eat on toast for tea.

But I got home and I was so tired I had a sleep before attempting food.  I was aw akened by the door bell,   My gardeners had arrived to pot up my pots for Summer.  Together we put the plants in the two pots by the front door and two more pots to be put in the back garden.   Very good jobs done.   In the evening I watched Rick Stein driving round France, looking at the scenery (vineyards!) sampling the food both in restaurants and with friends and then cooking recipes (and to some extent adapting them to English food).   He is one of my favourite cooks on TV and although I have seen this series before I am enjoying it just as much second time round.

Dropped off in front of TV,dragged myself off to bed and slept like a log.   So here I am at 1pm putting on a blog.   A rather tasty beef pie sits in the fridge for my lunch, courtesy of my cleaner but as I had a Tesco order which included a Maple and Pecan slice I am not ready for my lunch yet .   See you tomorrow.

 

 


   

Monday, 16 May 2022

This and that.''

 First a laugh to start off your day.   I put a thank you comment on yesterdays replies box.   Meant to put 'plants' but instead I put 'pants' - luckily I saw it and deleted it before Tom's eyes lighted on it - can't imagine what joke he would have made of that!!! Good old Tom - you can always rely on him to make me laugh.

Now regarding the tutu skirt - my grand daughter has said she will open the parcel and inspect it - she says she will know whether it will fit or not - and then she will post it back to me so that I can hide it when they come.   Lovely idea don't you agree?

How well all my family look after me and try to keep me cheerful - as do all of you thank you.   It is not always easy to keep cheerful but I do try and little things like this and funny comments indeed any kind of comment from you, brightens my day.  So thank you all.

Well over the week-end we have had every kind of weather.   Saturday was undoubtedly the best day this year up here in The Dales - warm, sunny, cloudless and with very little wind.   A perfect day for a walk and plenty of folk (and dogs) around for passing chats.   Yesterday the sun never broke through all  day and there was a strongish breeze.   As no possibility of frost was forecast I left the plants waiting to be potted up for by my front door out all night and I was awakened by the sound of them doing a song and dance act round the front lawn in the pouring rain (only kidding).  As I write this at twenty past eleven (am) it is still raining quite heavily and already everything in the garden is showing how much they are enjoying it.   I have left a message on the phones of both my gardeners saying if they want a job do feel free to come round (I am in all day) and do my pots in the garage (I want to be there when they are done as I am trying a new planting scheme this year.)  So far no reply.

I seem to have a permanently residential pair of Jackdaws around - mostly on the lawns (did think they were crows but now realise they are not big enough.)   I can't imagine where they are nesting - I have no chimneys - as yet have seen no young.   I think the crow family are much maligned so I am quite happy to welcome them but I would like to know where they are.  In fact I have as yet seen no this year's baby birds around -I usually have young robins in the garden but no sign so far.

Well

tthat is today's chat over so see you tomorrow.


Sunday, 15 May 2022

Wrapping parcels

Trying to wrap a parcel when one has BET is almost impossible.   I get everything ready on a flat surface, I spread out everything I am likely to need.  I begin and everything goes wrong.   I cannot get the brown paper to lie flat, the sellotape sticks to itself. -   I go through the drawer in which I put everything which may come useful for wrapping parcels - tissue paper, brown paper, large envelopes - but nothing is just right.   Eventually I find a brown card envelope which looks just about the right size  - I put the item into it, seal it down with sellotape and address it.  This morning when I get  up, the sellotape has pulled loose.   I give up and when my friends call for the parcel after lunch they take it off my hands and tell me they will do it.   What would I do without them - each time they save my life.

It has not been a lovely day like yesterday - it was raining when I got up - not  much, just big blobs.   Soon stopped but the sun has never appeared and that cool breeze has begun again.  It is almost five o'clock   My friends have just gone along with my parcel and soon I shall have to think about what to have for tea.   I never feel like much at teatime but it is a long time to breakfast.

I have not walked round the block today.   I wasn't sure whether my friends were coming morning or afternoon so I stayed in - not really a very nice day so didn 't mind anyway.  There were plenty of mind games in the Sunday papers so that kept me occupied most of the morning.   I shall now send my Grand daughter an e mail to say the ballet tutu is being despatched in the morning.   What lovely things there are for children these days (thanks largely I have to say to Amazon)!

Take care.   See you all tomorrow 

Saturday, 14 May 2022

At Last

At last.   While most of the country seems to have been basking in Summery weather all week we have had strong winds off the North Sea blowing and it has not been all that warm.   Added to that, the winds have dried up the land and we are desperate for rain - as is Derek down in the Isle of Sheppey too.   But today there is just a very light breeze blowing and the sun is out and it is very warm - lovely day.

I have managed the longest walk for quite a while and several chats and dog-strokes on the way.   I had a chuckle before I left home.   Any walk I do with Priscilla is preceded with a trip to the loo - getting 'caught short' these days is not an option.   This morning - sitting on the loo I looked up at the window and there was the window cleaner with his brush, giving the glass a brisk wash.  Luckily it is frosted patterned glass but I would have thought he would at least have seen my outline but he happily carried on and then moved on to the next window.   When I opened the door to pay him he had left a printed bill as he does if folk are out.   I could see his van further down the street so I put the ten pounds in my pocket and stood by his van until he came back to it from the back of the bungalow.  I paid him and he expressed surprise saying he thought I was out.   I shall never know whether he really did think that or whether he was being diplomatic shall I?   Wasn't there a song George Formby used to sing about such things altough I rather think it was something a bit more exciting than seeing someone on the loo he used to sing about.

Well London will be heaving this week end won't it - Mens' Cup Final today and Women's tomorrow.   My father will be turning in his grave at the thought of Ladies playing football!   He and my brother used to go every year until one year (when he was in his sixties)  he was carried along by the crowd and his feet were not touching the ground.   He found it quite scary and he never went again.  All of us find it don't we?   Suddenly things we have always taken forgranted become beyond our capabilities and we have to draw in our horns a bit.   Believe me, when you reach my age and look back - my horns have been almost completely drawn in.   All one can do is do  what is possible and live on memories of what once was!   At least  I have plenty of those - and as my little motto on the wall says 'A Moment Enjoyed is never Wasted.'

I was hoping my Gardener and his assistant would be here today so that she could help me pot up my tubs while he mowed the lawns but no such luck.   So a few more days to go.   I am - with hard work - bringing the plants into the  garage each night.   If I left them out, that is when there would be a frost so NO - I must bring them into the garage every night.   Luckily my carer puts them out each morning.

See you tomorrow....

 

Friday, 13 May 2022

A Lonely Friday

It as as though everyone has 'gone to earth' today.   It is cloudy, windy, not cold but just not a pleasant day somehow.   Apart from my carer this morning and then the girl from down the road who always brings me fruit at the week end to top up on the fruit bowls I have seen no-one and I have spoken to no one.   I have bought a rainbow ballet tutu party dressing up skirt for my Great grand daughter - I was going to hide it - along with a few other things - for her to search for while I look at and admire her little brother (I have not seen him yet because of covid) but now that it has come (made in China - bought from Amazon - what isn't these days?) but now that it has come her mother (my grand daughter) and I have had a discussion on fit and have decided it needs to be tried on.

Sadly I can no longer get out so jobs like this - getting to town to go into the Post Office and post off the tutu to Glasgow, where she lives - involve a major operation, not helped by the fact that some days (and today is one of them) when my hands shake so much I can't begin to pack a parcel. Thank goodness for friends like S and T who always step into the breach.

It is my favourite gardening programme tonight Gardeners' World and I always learn something new every week.   If you want to see some magnificent Aquelegia then go over to John (Going Gently)'s site - his photograph shows a beauty.   My garden is full of them but they are mostly the ones which are almost the wild blue ones  - lovely but not compared with the ones in John's garden - pop over and have a look.

Till tomorrow dear friends. 

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Waiting

 It is half past two in the afternoon and I am waiting in for the District Nurse to come.   I do believe my heel is on the mend although I could not keep the fancy 'blow up' thing in the bed - it was far too uncomfortable.   Weatherwise, as I sit here and look out of the window, it is sunny now and then - then it clouds over.   At present the sun is out but there is a strong, cool wind blowing.   I have not walked round the block but Priscilla and I have done 5 laps of the patio and we intend to do another 5  later in the day.

I am pleased to say that I can happily distinguish between dying tulip buds (if you can call them 'buds when they are 'going' rather than 'coming.' ) The tulips have been a sight to behold and the alliums seem to have been in bud a long time. But nowthe alliums are winning and telling me they are on their way loud and clear.  What can be more perfect this time of the year than looking out on the garden.

Further along a glorious patch of deep pink osteospermum are in full bloom.   I bought five more a few weeks ago (each a different colour) because I feared this pink one had 'given up the ghost' but no - it is back -stronger than ever.   If you want a recommendation for the border this is it - flowers all summer long.

The Nurse had just been and has 'signed me off' as my heel is so much better.   The latest E45 cream seems to have done the trick.

Enjoy your evening dear friends.


Wednesday, 11 May 2022

weather

Well it has not been a very nice day here today.  It has rained in the wind all day and not been very warm.  My carer kindly put my plants out for me this morning, after lunch I gently watered them with the hose which is quite close to where they are sitting in the day time so now they have had a good drink.   I am much happier about them.

My new cleaner came as promised at eleven o'clock and she is lovely.   I am so lucky.   And added to  that Ifind she is the sister of my 'reserve' gardener - the man who did the major operation on my patio eighteen months ago .  Luckily she was not short of time because we chatted for three quarters of an hour before she started.   (and yes I did  payher for the time).    She is a keen gardener too and  - as any gardener will tell you - when two gardeners get together they can always find something to talk about.

Well, as that was the high light of my day there isn't a lot more to say except tonight is The Sewing Bee - my 'in' programme at the moment - a programme which is made up of brilliant sewers who just serve to underline what rubbish I am at sewing!  See you tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

I always polish the Welsh Dresser ii

 I really was too tired to do a lot yesterday.   The walking round the Garden Cenre (which I loved) really took its toll on my old bones.   And to add to that - today I have had to do certain jobs because I have a new cleaner starting in the morning.    J, my Carer and I do the cleaning between us each week but then - once a month I like someone to go right through with the vaccuum and the polish - wipe all the door handles, wipe the skirting - that sort of thing.   I always polish the Welsh dreser in the Hall.    It has so many things on it - gifts from friends  and many things I have brought back from abroad - nothing valuable just mementos.   I have done this this morning.   Then I like to do the fire surround too as it has things which I would not like to get broken.   I shall do that in the morning before she comes.  I am not suggesting she is more likely to break them than I - but I would rather she didn't have to blame herself if for example my buddha met with an accident (I have had him for over seventy years and I know how much my son wants him!

What's the weather like with you today.   Here there is a glorious blue sky and a strong sun but there is far too strong a wind for Priscilla and I venture out.My dear friends P and D - along with a group of friends - are on the Norfolk Broads this week.   They sent me a photo yesterday of this very modern, streamlined boat.   Rachel tells me the weather is good in that part of the world - as does the weatherman so I expect they will all be enjoying themselves.

Well friends.   I shall pour myself a glass of apple juice and then go out and sit in the sheltered sun for half an hour.   Enjoy the rest of your day.   I really will see you tomorrow.

 

Monday, 9 May 2022

Sorry

 Sorry - two days without a blog!!   No excuse except that I had no time.  I can't remember why I didn't do one on Saturday but yesterday Friends T and S called in the morning and had a coffee.   T was going to a Bee meeting in the afternoon and S asked me if I would like to go out for a ride somewhere.   I never say no to a ride out these days so of course I said 'yes please'.   She kindly asked where I would like to go.

I read an article in the Sunday Times by Joe Swift talking about planting up one's pots by the front door.   At present I have pansies in two of mine - pansies which have been in all winter but will not last all summer too so need re-planting.   The other two have recently been planted up by my gardener - each one with an osteospermum and already growing strongly - each pot will  soon be  filled and we shall see how they turn out.  This leaves the pansy pots.   Joe Swift says be adventurous - don't plant them convent ionally with perhaps one plant round the outside (alyssum/lobelia springs to mind) - fill the plant pot really full - perhaps something a bit taller up against the wall (I have chosen a pink dahlia), then fill in with plants of various sizes and colours and put a couple of trailing plants to hang over at the front.  Once planted fill in between the plants with good compost and  then feed and water regularly.   So I am doing just that.   And we shall see how they turn out.   My son brought me a bag of compost round this morning.   The plants are out in the day time and in at night.   In about another week I shall leave them out at night and cover them if frost is forecast.

It was a delightful journey - we went Richmond way, did our shopping at the Garden Centre and then back round by Marske.   The gorse was everywhere showing us its very bright yellow - as were the dandelions.  Gardens had white and Purple Lilac in profusion.   How I miss being out in the countryside I love and how very good it is of S and T to think of taking me.   It is a nuisance for them.  I have to sit in the front as I can't get into the back and they also have to fold Priscilla and put her in the back because I can't walk without her.   So sincere thanks T and S for taking the time for me.  (Incidentally - they called today with a share of their black grapes and blueberries - they had been to market).

I have had to stay in today for MedEquip to call and bring me a fancy inflatable  thing to put into my bed for my feet to be on in the night in an attempt to stop me getting another ulcer starting to form on my heel..

It is now half past seven and the sky is incredibly black with huge black clouds scudding across and a sharp wind blowing.   Not really a May day.   I will see you all tomorrow - I have absolutely nothing marked on my calendar so should have plenty of time.

Friday, 6 May 2022

Who's a big boy then?

 Yes indeed.   I just have to post this for any  one    who doesn't take The Times or any other newspaper the story has appeared in today.  In a small town near Dallas lives the World's Tallest Dog.   His name is Zeus - well it would have to be wouldn't it?   He is 3ft 5.18in (1 . 046metres)  tall  He drinks directly from the tap.   Apparently he is prone to 'short bursts of intense activity'   (rushing about the house for thirty seconds and flinging himself into his chair for a rest.)   He eats around 12 tins of dogfood a day.   (work that out for yourself on your Tesco order each week).

Now on to other happenings.   I have just had a much better walk round the block.   Still only a short one but I felt much better and more supple.  And I had three really good chats so on my way up to six a day again.   First a man caught me up and started to chat before he reached me.   People often do this - very kind of them as they don't make me jump when they pass.   As is often the case the subject was the weather and as we walked along together we agreed that the gardens really needed rain and I told him heavy rain was forecast in a couple of hours (it is very black, cloudy sky)).  At this point he said he had better hurry home to take his washing in!

Shortly after that I met two ladies I often meet with their Black Labrador bitch and again we talked dogs and the differences in behaviour between dogs and bitches.   I must say - since I retired I have always had dogs - Tess, my last and much lamented Border Terrier was my first ever bitch.   And yes, I agreed - bitches and dogs have totally different behaviour.

And so on to my last chat - with my next door but one neighbour who was cutting his privet hedge - short and well cared for.   We discussed gardening .  He has the most beautiful Red May tree in the front garden - variety Paul's  -Scarlet.   I remember my father having plants named after Paul - I must find out who he was.   My phone rang (he heard it ringing I didn't) so I said goodbye and made for home.  (it was the nursing service to say that MediQuip would deliver my heelcups on Monday...

Altogether a pleasant morning wouldn't you agree? Off I go now to eat my lunch left by my Carer --a delicious salad with hard boiled egg and pork pie.  I shall add potato salad, sweet beetroot and cole slaw. See you later as they say round here (which could mean anything between later today, tomorrow, next week or even Christmas.)

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Thursday

At last!   Even with my poor eye sight and my inability to climb the steps into the garden I can now see which are fading tulips and which are alliums coming into bud.   I have no idea how many so far but at least there are some, so I am  happy.   And after a few showers - notably in the night so that they have done more good before the sun dries them up- everything is looking better.   Except that is for my iris.   I have just noticed that my gardener has covered the rhizomes with mulch.   They do not look happy and neither am I.   When she comes I shall explain to her that the rhizomes need to see the light of day.

It is the final  of Master Chef tonight.   It is years since I went to a restaurant that I would class as 'Fine Dining' - certainly not during the days when I was married to my dear farmer who would have considered it a complete waste of money.   But I do enjoy watching folk who devote every waking minute to preparing food to perfection.   I know Derek disagrees when maybe more than half the world is starving and I appreciate his point of view but to see the standard of perfection is something I enjoy.

Similarly with last night's Sewing Bee -   how anyone  could be clever enough to make a pair of trainers (and most of the contestants did) is beyond my imagination.

Tonight is the final of Master Chef.  I hope the youngest of the three wins - all are equally good but she is so young and so eager.   But good luck to all three - any one of them deserves the crown. 

** The District Nurse came and saw my heel problem.   She is coming back tomorrow with heel covers to wear in bed and for tonight has told me to raise my feet on a pillow.


 

 

 

  

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Busy doing nothing

 Working the whole day  through .  Trying to find lots of things not to do.   That has been my day today.   I will try and tell you how it has been although it has been so odd I may get muddled.

I have been so exhausted that I slept all afternoon but I am pleased because I do wish to be awake for Master Chef and then for Sewing Bee tonight.

For a long time I have had a sore heel.   Since I broke my hip I have only been able to sleep on my back.   I sleep very well but it does mean that one place on my left heel stays in contact with the same place on the sheet all night.   For the last few nights it has woke me up in the middle of the night and I have been unable to get back to sleep.   The night before last things came to a head when I was conscious that the skin on my heel had broken and it was very painful.

My carer thought I should have the District Nurse so at 8.30 I started the process of booking one.   Each time I rang the number I was abruptly cut off.    Eventually I decided to ring my doctor's office.   They are naturally very busy in the mornings and I was a long time getting through.   The receptionist must have been new because she didn't know what to do and said she would ring me back.   She was a long time in doing so but when she did she told me exactly what to do.

 

 

 

I followed her instructions to the  letter but when I finally got back to the District Nurse's office and they looked me up in their records it was too long since I had seen her and I had to start again by ringing the doctor and getting a referral.  I was told that the doctor would ring me at six this evening and I described my heel and how difficult it would be for me to get into surgery (and they couldn't give me an appointment until 16th in any case).   The very nice doctor said she would deal with it and that the Nurse would call in the morning.   I said could it possibly be in the afternoon as I hadan appointment to get my hair cut in the morning.   She was very nice about it.

Breathing a sigh of relief I put the phone down and made myself a cup of tea.    The  phone rang - it was my Hairdrsser - she has Covid and was cancelling my appointment for tomorrow morning. I rang my taxi to cancel it for morning

 

I sat down with my cup of tea.  Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Help please.

 I need help please from all Mums, Grannies and Great Grannies out there.  My Grand daughter and her husband and their two children live in Scotland.   I have not seen any of them since the beginning of Covid although we have had phone/birthdays/Christmas contact.   The elder of my Great grandchildren is now five and a half, the younger six months old.   They are coming to see us in July  and of course I don't want the older litle girl to feel left out.   I have knitted the new baby a teddy (well I started it but my shakes made knitting the nose and sewing it all up impossible.   My friend S kindly took him home and brought him back all sewn up and looking very smart.   So that is his present.  I thought of an idea for my Great Grand daughter.   I thought I would buy perhaps four little presents and wrap them in pretty paper and hide them in the sitting room for her to find.   I thought a set of 'grown up' crayons and a sketch book (a 'proper' grown up one) for two - but I want a couple more.   Please has anyone any ideas?   It will have to be something I can buy on line as I hardly ever go near shops.   I asked my grand daughter to suggest something - but her list is really not specific enough.   I am not talking expensive stuff here.    The baby will get the teddy and some clothes as he is too young to appreciate things.   Here is the list my Grand daughter sent back:

She likes unicorns, princesses,animals, nature, magic, witches, wizards, teddies, soft toys, dressing up, ballerinas.

I have just thought.   Can you still buy those books full of a doll and then a lot of card clothes with  tabs so that you can cut them out and change the outfits the doll is wearing (all made of card).

Any ideas would be fully appreciated.   It is sad - I feel as though I hardly know her because it is so long since I have seen her.   Now and again I have sent some money for her to buy a book - I don't even know what she likes to read.   There must be so many families like this because of Covid and we can never reclaim it back.

Thank you in anticipation of a bit of help from some of you with the experience in that department.

 

 

Monday, 2 May 2022

May Day Zoom

 Well it has been a dull day here - the Sahara is supposed to be sending us warm air later in the week but no sign yet. Priscilla and I had our walk this morning and felt much better for it.  All that is left now is our five laps of the patio and hopefully that will be done after tea.   But in between W and I have our fortnightly Zoom at 5pm with P and D in Grange over Sands.   They sent  photographs of wild flowers for me to identify but five years of no going over that side of  the country - in fact no going anywhere - and anything I ever knew about wild flowers of the Lakes has been forgotten.

S and T came this afternoon for a coffee and to collect six varied pots which have held bulbs, now finished.  They are all attractive pots and at Christmas will easily be planted up with hyacinths and the like for presents.   I shall never do it so I suggested they might like to do so and they have collected them out of my way.   Isn't it a good feeling as the shed or garage begins to look tidy?

I think we are beginning to have nests of baby birds in the garden.   Dad birds sing early in the morning and them Mums and Dads are searching frantically inthe lawn for grubs and the like.    We even have a Mum and Dad crow digging their long sharp beaks deep into the lawn after grubs - all, in fact, helping the gardener.

Well, what topics shall we cover on Zoom today?  If anything interesting I shall be backlater to report.  Otherwise see you all tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

May Day

I have only just realised when friends called and mentioned it, that today is Mayday.   In typical English weather pattern it is dull, damp and chilly.   We have had a little rain but not anywhere near enough.   But all the plants have perked up.

I sat down after lunch to watch the Snooker final and woke up an hour later just as friends were calling.   As is usual when waking up in an afternoon I do not know what time it is for a few minutes and am quite confused.   Still I got my head round things eventually and we chatted about a local mill which is still grinding and selling flour. It is interesting just how much the coming of the railway changed  things.   Before the railway got here villages had their own mill and housewives baked their own bread using local flour.   Once the railway arrived flour could be brought in and gradually local mills died out.   Ones which are still working are mostly museum pieces and my friends had been to see a local working mill this afternoon.   It is in the village of Crakehall near Bedale and is on the side of the beck which actually starts on the moor above our village here.   Every village between here and Bedale had its own mill - now almost all have been converted into houses.   In the 'old days' the miller was quite an important man in the village - along with the doctor, the parson, the farmer, the vicar and any other person 'necessary' to the life of the village. Now these villages are full of incomers and sadly many young people have been priced out of the housing market and often by second home owners.   It is in many ways a sad old world.

And speaking of sad worlds yet another 'scandal' in Parliament after Partygate - now we have an MP resigning for watching pornography in the House of Commons.   I can't help wondering if it is the first time it has happened or if it is the first time it has been discovered. Any thoughts on the subject?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 29 April 2022

Ran out of time -

The days fly by.   I suppose that is a good thing at my age but not always the case.   I am no longer a swift mover (take that in whatever way you choose) and by the time I have cleared away my breakfast dishes and had my walk it is lunch time.   My laps round the garden take up another chunk.   But if you happen to take the Times you will see from the headline today that doctors are now saying that painkillers are no good for arthritis (one of the main reasons for my poor movement- arthritic ankle from an undiscovered broken ankle fifteen years ago when five years later a scan caused the specialist to remark 'God, what a mess!) added to my broken hip a couple of years ago.   Doctors are now being told by the powers that be that the best treatment is exercise.   That is fine in the spring/summer but not so good in winter.    So by the time my walks of the patio had been completed there was no time before bed - so a missed blog day.   Sorry - I don't like to miss -  blogging is one of the things that keeps my mind sharp.

The lack of rain both for farmers and gardeners (to a lesser extent) is really getting desperate.   I see looking at the forecast this morning, we might get a drop of rain on Saturday/Sunday but it is by no means sure (although it is a Bank Holiday week-end so it would be 'par for the course').   All the plants I bought and which my gardener put in for me, must be really suffering.   And there is no way I can get to them so they are having to take their chance.   The only ones I can water are 2 osteospermum in pots on the front step and two more on the side border which I have watered a couple of times and which don't get the sun all day.   We have seen neither hide nor hair of the sun until today having been cloaked in cloud off the North Sea but this morning it is full sunshine and a very sharp frost,

I shall be back later if anything happens of interest during the day.   So good-bye for now.  It is my carer's week end off so C will be here Saturday and Sunday.   See you tomorrow if not before.

I.m back and it is just after seven in the evening.  I went further today on my morning walk.   When I got back I decided I reallu must water the pots on my front steps - two of pansies and two of osteospermum - they were looking decidedky thirsty.   I managed it with difficulty and then took Priscilla round on to the patio to sit in the sun and read my Country Living magazine which came this morning.   I have various ways of getting in and our of my bungalow but mainly using my Zimmer to get into the garage and Priscilla to get outside.   This I did with a degree of difficulty and it was only when I came to think about coming back in that I realised I had forgotten to take the key to my garage door (it is an electronic one).  Today my son has taken his wife to hospital  for various premed tests as she goes in on Wednesday for an operation on her mouth - hopefully as a day patient but we shall not know for sure until the day.  I didn't expect him to be back so visualised me sitting in the front garden for some time.   But when I rang they had just come in the door so he was able to nip round and sort things out for me.   Other than that a trouble free afternoon.   See you tomorrow when there is a faint possibility of a shower of rain.   I think all of us who are gardeners really hope so.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

It has been a dull day with.........

.....no sign of the sun - and not a single drop of rain and we really need it on the gardens.

At least I feel my old self again after a couple of days of feeling under the weather.   And today I was able to walk round the block and then this afternoon I did my five laps of the patio. Nothing to tell though otherwise.   No one has called other then my carer of course and I did have a chat with H next door who was gardening as I walked my patio.

Is anyone else 'into' The Sewing Bee'?   Most of my friends are and it starts tonight.   Although until my tremor became too pronounced I did a lot a craft work - quilting, beading and the like, 'ordinary'sewing has never been my thing.   But that does not stop me enjoying and admiring the skills of others.

I also enjoy Master Chef.   Before I began to be shaky I enjoyed cooking.  My mother was a good cook and always enjoyed economising - we never had all that much money but she made very appetising food.   Derek asked yesterday how we could enjoy watching cooking when so many people had very little money to 'play with' when cooking these days.   And I thought back to my mother.   We would have a joint of meat on Sunday.  On Monday we would have slices from the joint cold with the veg left over fried in the pan (bubble and squeak).  What was left she would perhaps mince (she had one of those mincers which screwed onto the kitchen table.  Remember them? and she would make a cottage/shepherd's pie.  We always had fish on Friday so that only left Saturday and Thursday when she had to think of something else.  My father grew masses of veg in our garden so often it would be a vegetarian disn or something made with eggs (we had hens),   My  mouth waters as I type this!

Well dear blog friends I found something to say (as I usually do!) - until tomorrow...... 

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

To Listen or not to Listen - that is the question.

 I want to know what is going on in the Ukraine so I turn on the television News.   Then it depresses me to see the devastation, the destruction of buildings, the bodies of young Russian soldiers - many of them look to be not long out of school,  the old Ukrainian ladies with nowhere to go but to stay put.   As is always the case in war - there are no winners or losers just survivors many of whom are scarred for life both mentally and physically.   And because it has now been going for three months many of us are able for much of the time to push it to the back of our minds because we can't do anything.    And really we only get to know what "they" choose to tell us - whoever "they" are.     So this evening, after watching the News I have now pushed it to the back of my mind and shall talk of other things.

In my garden, standing on the patio and loo king up into the garden I think I can see some alliums - don't bank on it - but live in hopes.  The tulips, which have been lovely, are in their last throes until next year.   Will I be here to see them?   At my age it is always a question to be asked.   Also will the new plants my gardener planted live without a watering?  The day after he planted them all we did have a wet day but not a drop since and they have had to take their chance as there is no way I can get up to them.

I have not felt 100% today.  I think I twisted my back yesterday - I felt something 'go' and today I have not been for a walk or done my laps of the patio.   I have not been entirely idle though because it was the day for my Tesco delivery so I like to wash out the door and the shelves in my fridge before my delivery comes so that I can put it into a nice clean fridge.

There is one shelf in one cupboard - where I keep my cake tin and my bread bin - which gets crumbs  and I can't get down to reach them.   I must  remember before I go to bed to leave a note prominently in the kitchen to remind me to ask my carer to wipe it for me.   It will only take her a minute and she will be happy to do it for me.  I have bought on my Tesco order two packs of Lincolnshire Sausage to give her in the morning - Tesco Lincolnshire Finest is a delight to me coming, as I do, from Lincolnshire.   It is quite highly seasoned with herbs - you either like it or you don''t.  I have bought twelve sausages - enough for her family and the two people she cooks lunches for..   We shall see - I will report back.   If you haven't tried it do.

Almost time for Master Chef - we are up to the semi finals and I enjoy watching it, so I shall go and pour myself a glass of apple juice, put my feet up and relax.   Take care dear readers.   see you all tomorrow metaphorically speaking.


Monday, 25 April 2022

Weather and other topics

Suddenly it is very cold again.   The sun has more or less disappeared and there is a sharp easterly wind blowing.   The folk passing my window - most of them elderly like me - are swathed in hats and scarves - and they need them.  It is a bit disheartening after the spell of warmer weather but we do have to remind ourselves it was ever thus in our capricious Spring.

My computer had somehow got itself in a mess   - no -correction - I had somehow got my com puter in a mess.   My saviours S and T arrived today just after lunch to save me.   T to walk into town to do a bit of shopping for me and S to tame my computer and make it do as it was told.   So now, thanks to them,I am back in business again and for that I owe them my sincere thanks.    T also brought me a cheese scone to eat with a bowl of soup for my tea.

I was reading the Times when they came and somehow it took me a while to get my mind out of the Times and into computers but all's well that ends well thanks to S's patience. 

I have not been for my walk today - I have not really felt up to it and it is really quite cold.   I shall view the  situation after tea and decide whether to walk the laps of the patio.

Still no alliums to be seen Derek but I shall send up a rocket in your direction if any appear.   Otherwise the naughty mice have eaten them.   I do know I have one hole in the wall where a family of fieldmice live in the winter - I am rather fond of them but if it is a case of mice versus alliums I shall have to make a decision.

I shall go and heat up a tin of soup to eat with my cheese scone.   Looking forward to it.   See you all tomorrow. 

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Progress?

 When my first husband and I were 'courting' - we met in 1950 when I was 17 and we married in 1952 - he had a motor bike.   I was forbidden to go on it - and as most of us did in those days we did as we were told.  When we married we lived at home with my parents for a year and saved up hard.   We both worked and the first thing he did was to sell his motor bike and put the money into his savings account - and I can remember he got £50 for it.   My father, who had just retired, gave him his bike and for quite a number of years he went to work on his bike.

Then we bought our first house ( an old school which with the help of a grant we had converted into a cottage).   It was twelve miles from Lincoln where he worked so he had to decide what vehicle he would buy.   Because he already had a motor bike licence he could drive a three-wheeled vehicle on it if you blocked out the reverse gear which he did and for quite a few years he drove Reliant three wheelers - the last one being a new one.   We thought we were in clover.

Then came the really big decision.   Did he take a four-wheel test and move up the ladder.   He didn't like the idea at all.   Finally we all worked on him and he took the plunge but had a few sleepless nights before he took it - and passed first time.   From then on he always bought Ford Fiestas and updated them every three years when the warranty on the new car ran out.

As far as he and driving were concerned that was as far as he wished to go.   We had many holidays abroad but did he ever drive abroad.   You have to be joking.

I thought of him this morning when - because it is Election Day in France- there was a commentator standing by L'Arc de Triomphe.   The traffic all seemed to be going every which way.   It was horrendous.

Then my carer came and was chatting as she busied about doing various jobs.   She had seen a programme about how it wouldn't be all that long before cars were driving themselves and the "driver" needn't even look where he was going.   "Well, said my carer, "you won't catch me driving one of those."


But we can't stand in the way of progress.   Or can we?

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Change

 Well after a few days of my new regime I was quite hopeful that there was a slight improvement in my mobility.   That hope has gone today.   There is a strong wind blowing from the East and it is very cold in the wind although the sun is shining.   Although I have walked round the block I can't say I enjoyed  it and I found it quite a struggle to get back home.   I am not going to attempt my laps of the patio after tea - best to leave it at that and hope for the wind to die down a bit tomorrow.

My very dear friend from childhood - six months older than me and with very bad cellulitis- has just rung and we had ten minutes comparing aches and pains and agreeing that old age is not particularly fun.   I can't say that that has cheered me up so I have come on line to say hello and of course I am more cheerful already - how 'you lot' do cheer me up every day.   Do keep it up - and thank you all most sincerely.

I met a lovely Lakeland Terrier on my walk round.  I thought it was a Welsh Terrier (like John's Mary) but no - there is a slight difference in height I believe.   I also met two Cockapoos - black and full of life.   They were not very old.   I don't really think I approve of all these Labradoodles, Cockapoos and the like, but the deed is done now and they are usually very friendly dogs.

Sitting here looking out on to my very  pretty back garden with its tulips in red and yellow I am still waiting for an allium.    Last year I had fifty or so - this year none so far.   I am beginning to wonder if the mice have got them all.    Has anybody out there got alliums and if so have they put in an appearance yet please?

I shall go and make myself tomatoes on toast for my tea - I just fancy them.   Pop a handful of cherry tomatoes and sugar in a pan and gently warm them while toast does in the toaster.   Once the tomatoes become 'sloppy' butter the toast and pour over the tomatoes and eat while piping hot.   Yum!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, 22 April 2022

Cooler

 Today is a pleasant sunny day but there is a stronger, cooler wind blowing.   As with most Aprils here in the UK, we could do with some rain now.   Everywhere is looking very dry and the plants my gardener put in for me are really looking for a drink.

I have kept up my fitness regime today and am finding everything that little bit easier on the old muscles.

Friend M, who lives within walking distance, rang and said should she come round for a chat this afternoon.   Of course I said yes - all visitors are always welcome and we had a lovely afternoon chatting about when we were children and how things have changed - particularly in what we eat and how much cooking our mothers did compared with now.

When she had gone I had a quick tea and then did my five laps of the patio before coming in, locking up everywhere and now I shall settle down to watch Master Chef and then Gardener's World and Have I got News for you.   What did we do before we had television?   See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

The Roar of the Greasepaint

and the smell of the crowd - and above them both the s mell of newly mown grass in the early spring.   Is there anything in this world more guaranteed to raise the spirits?   I doubt it.   It is everywhere this morning because there are several patches of grass around here which belong to the council and yesterday they were mown.   And the dandelions disappeared with the mowing but already today they are making a comeback - you can't keep a good dandelion down.   Oddly enough I specifically looked for bees - both bumble and honey on my walk round and I didn't see one.   I am not sure what that means.   I do have friends who keep bees and they say that there are hardly any hives around here which might account for a lack of honey bees but not sure how that works out for bumble bees.

There is a very chilly breeze today but a cloudless sky and a pure bright sun.   So sheltered from that wind it is lovely.   This morning I visited the hairdresser - and if any man amongst  you  is reading this I hope how you all realise how good this makes a woman feel. 

I still have my five laps of the patio to do but my walk round the estate was done immediately after my son brought me home from the hair appointment (my usual taxi driver was having a day out at the races).   As I got on the home straight of my walk I saw a friend and neighbour J chatting to another friend and neighbour M.   I stopped to chat with them and because I can't stand for long I sat down on Priscilla's seat.   All was well until I came to stand up and walk the last few yards home.   My confidence failed and I dare not stand up although Priscilla's brakes were on.   J is also more or less wheelchair bound we were in a bit of a pickle.   I hoped a Tesco van might come along as most of the drivers know me.   But no such luck.Eventually I managed it and arrived home safely.   I shall remember in future not to sit down to chat.

Well, I think I can chance going round the back of the bungalow and doing my five laps now.   Might add to this later if anything momentous turns up - otherwise see you all tomorrow, 

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Invigorated

 Not sure how or why but after a day of feeling tired yesterday, today I have felt completely invigorated.   It has been without doubt the warmest day of the year so far and wall to wall sunshine.   After doing the Mind Games in The Times I went round the block with Priscilla - the easiest I have done it since falling.   On coming back home I was able to get the washing into the tumble drier and set if off before making my morning coffee, drinking my coffee and also reading a bit more of my Times.

After lunch friend D rang to see if she could visit and duly arrived half an hour later.   We had a super chatty afternoon - they had recently been to Turkey on holiday and enjoyed it greatly.   It is many    years since my first husband and I had three weeks there - Istanbul, then across the top of the Sea of Marmara,  to Gallipoli, across the Dardanelles and then down the coastal area to all the ancient sites - Troy, Ephesus, Didyma and the like.   We finally had a few days to recuperate in Alanya before flying home as it had been such a hectic holiday.   The farmer and I also had a brief trip to Ephesus from the Greek Islands.

My friend and her husband had a week in Antalya with lovely weather.   She always suffers in Winter without the sun so it really did her good.

After D had gone I managed my five 'laps' of the patio before I had my tea.    It took very little effort today - I could hardly manage it yesterday but found it pleasant today.   The after watching Michael Portillo's rail journey from Berlin through Germany I have come into the bedroom to 'pen' this.   Hope it finds you all well and happy.   See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Tired

 Today seems to have been a day and a half and although it is only half past nine I am well ready for bed.   My carer has her day off on a Tuesday so I take care of myself and it shows.   Waking up late and so getting up late, getting my own breakfast, washing and dressing myself, making my own bed, dealing with my commode, tidying round, washing up and running the duster round - jobs which J, my carer, does in an hour each morning- take me all morning and thus make me running late all day.   I had no callers today until tea time when my neighbour came round with the local paper which she passes on to me each week.

I was hoping my gardener would call in today to mow my lawn as I have a magnificent crop of dandelions, but he hasn't been and I try not to chivvy him as he is very busy so I leave it to him.  My taxi driver the other day says that if he sprayed them with a weed killer called 'round up' it would kill them without killing the surrounding grass so I shall discuss it with him when he comes.

I managed my five laps of the patio again today but with difficulty so I didn't add the  walk round the block - I don't wish to overdo it.   Now I feel very tired so I shall sign off.   Until tomorrow dear friends......

Monday, 18 April 2022

Busy day.

 I had nothing planned for today and was expecting it to be a very quiet day.   Instead far from it.   I walked early and I did arrive home feeling a little more energetic than usual.   I decided to have a quick coffee and then make a start on cleaning out my coat and trouser wardrobe.   No soon had I sat down with a coffee than the door bell rang and there was my step grandson with his partner and their two children aged four and six.   What a lovely surprise.  Because of covid it is more than two years since I saw them although they actually live quite near.   We had a lovely morning together with lots of laughs and the children were pure delight - so well-behaved and such lovely children - a credit to their mum and dad.

They had a coffee  and stayed to chat for quite a long time.   By the time they went and I had heated up my lunch it was almost two in the afternoon.   And I decided to do the five walks of my patio - I did them although I didn't find it easy.   My neighbour M has her daughter staying with her Bull Mastiff dog, Theo.   We had a long chat through the gate and by the time I went in from that it was time for my cup of tea.

My friend W arrived reminding me that it was our evening for Zoom with our friends P and D in The Lakes at 5.30pm!  That over - lots of laughs and chat about various things as usual- it was time for my tea - just a toasted tea cake and a cup of tea - a wash up of today's pots and now - at a quarter past seven - here I am opening up my computer for the first time today.

Phew!   Busy day, lots to do.   No coathanger tidied today although I vowed to take one hanger out of the wardrobe each day.  Many of the trousers in the wardrobe either no longer fit (yes, I admit my hips have spread rather over the past couple of years) or are well past their sell-by date.   I can really only do this job a bit at a time as I can't stand longer unaided.

So 'tomorrow is another day' as they say.   See you all then.

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Too tired to post

 I don't really know why I was tired but I read all your posts and then it was time for my son and his wife to come round.   We had decided to have a Pizza evening and I have to say the pizzas and the company were both very enjoyable.   But when they had gone I was just too tired to put on a post.

So here we are on Easter Day wishing you all  a Happy Easter.   It has been a pleasant day here weather wise but not all that warm.   I had a short walk this morning and just now, after my tea I decided to walk my patio five times.   It is flat and in the evening it is sunny.   I am going to try and keep it up all week if I can in addition to my short daily walk.   My friend and neighbour H, both the same age, have decided we have got to work at our core strength in order to get any better.   So see how it goes.

As a child, living in a staunch Methodist village, the tradition was that all the little girls had a new dress for Easter day.  I don't know whether it is still the case now.   But on Thursday morning I sat thinking about the past and I suddenly decided I needed something new to wear.   No I can't justify it.   No I do not need any new clothes.   I have several 'tops' which I have not worn yet.   But I wanted to cheer myself up.   So I searched the internet and finally found a 'sweater' called 'Patchwork' which was nice and colourful and I actually found that it was stocked by the ladies outfitters in our little town and they had it in my size.   It is now sitting there, paid for, in a bag with my name on it - my Easter present to myself.  All I have to do is find somebody to collect it for me.

Easter Monday tomorrow and then it will be back to normal - I rather think our schools here may start back to school on Tuesday.   Enjoy the sun while we have it.   And see you all again tomorrow.

Friday, 15 April 2022

This and that. Regrets

Do you have any regrets?   This month's Saga magazine seems to suggest in an article that we all have regrets.   So I sat down and asked myself whether I had any.   Yes - a few - maybe we all do.   My biggest regret and one about which I can really do nothing, is sending my son away to Boarding School when he was eight years old.   The school was only abour thirty miles away and he never said he hated it.   He spent his first term there, came home for the holidays, went back and two days later he ran away.   Luckily he and the boy who had gone with him were found after one day.   He came home and we never sent him back.   He went to a school literally round the corner from where we lived until he was thirteen and then we moved house to a town where there was a school he could attend.   At the time I was training to be a teacher.   I did not know what I know now and it was not a sensible thing to do but both my husband and I thought he would like it.   We were wrong.   I have spoken to him at length about it - all he has said is that he has 'got over it' and so should I.   I don't often think of it - but when I do I regret it.

No regrets in either marriage.   Yes, I would have liked to stay on at school until I was eighteen and then gone on to university - but I didn't come from that kind of background and it never it entered my head that I could stay on over sixteen and I am sure it never entered my parents' heads either.   Do I regret it?  No - I went in my late twenties, enjoyed it hugely and just saw myself as a late developer.

I have had an interesting and fulfilling life, two very happy marriages - 39 years and 23 years.   What has there been to regret,   Perhaps I have been lucky.   Perhaps I can't think of anything.   Perhaps I belong to an age where you just got on with whatever hand life dealt you.   One thing is certain, we didn't give our parents the tough times that many do now,   I really can't remember my son giving either my husband or me a single moment of worry after the boarding school episode. And I can remember so many happy times,

Now the local kids here seem to be in constant trouble.   I live in a small town - between two and three thousand inhabitants and the local weekly paper is always full of 'crimes' committeed by local young.?      Were there drugs in our day?  If there  were I never heard of such things.   Did the young marry 'in haste'?  Only a few that I remember.   And divorces were few - couldn't afford such things - you stuck at it and made it work.  No alternative.

Perhaps it has always been thus/   Each generation looks back on their young days and then thinks 'what is the world coming to?'

Any other thoughts today? well, there is certainly a smattering of blue sky showing so perhaps it is time for a walk.   In Ukraine a battleshiphas been sunk - where will it all end?   How many more brave men on both sides have to die before some uneasy cease fire is sruck leaving thousands of buildings to be rebuilt,  thousands of young and old lives to be rebuilt, certainly much hatred left behind.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

A Good Day

 Today has been a bit like the curate's egg - good in parts.    But even the 'not so good' parts have been weathered surprisingly well and I actually felt like having a short walk - a very short walk really- but it is a start to getting back to relative 'normality'.

Dead on 9.30 my son turned up to assist me down the drive.   He needn't have come because the taxi was closely following behind him and backed right to the top of the drive.   I hadn't used that taxi before but he  was charming and chatted all the twenty odd miles to Hawes.   The hawthorne hedges were greening up,  the fields were full of gamboling lambs, the trees were coming into leaf, almost every village had been planted with golden daffodils and the sun was shining.   The road follows the River Ure the whole way - Wensleydale was at its best.   It is a long time since I was out and about - not over the Winter at all - so I really enjoyed every second of it both there and back.

The taxi driver found a parking spot right outside the chemist and went in to see him.   He sent out a piece of paper for me to write my name, telephone number and date of birth on and while I was busy slipping my arm out of my jumper the chemist emerged from the shop and put the syringe into my arm.  We had to sit and wait for ten minutes before driving off.   Hawes really is a pleasant little town.  There did not seem to be any unoccupied shops, there was plenty of activity and already a lot of folk about.   I so enjoyed just sitting there and watching the world go by.

The return was just as pleasant and the sun was still shining when I got home in time for my salad lunch before the chiropodist arrived to give my feet the 'once over' so I am also walking on air.   Then I suddenly realised that my pendant which  I ring in an emergency was not round my neck.   I knew it had been on yesterday - so where was it?   I searched everywhere but there was no sign of it.   I rang Lifeline headquarters and they told me the procedure until I found it or a new one arrived.   I rang my carer.   She had visitors but as soon as they had gone she came up and she found it quickly - it had slipped down between the beds.   So then I had to go through whole procedure in reverse telling them I found found it and things could go back to normal.

Then I had my short walk - not far but it is a start and the sun was still shining.   As I go home my neighbour saw me  and came out for a chat and a quick visit to my garden.  Then a five minutes sit down.   I don't know about anyone else - maybe it is something to do with old age - but some days I sail through the Mind Games in The Times and other days it is a struggle and I think I am 'losing it' but today was a good day and my mind was fully alert and I sailed through them all.   That did me good too.

Now at half past six in the evening I am winding down.  There are several programmes I feel like watching, everywhere is clean and tidy (my cleaner came on Tuesday), I have had my latest jab, the lady who does a bit of shopping for me mid-week has just brought it (which means toasted crumpets for tea) and I am not short of tulips in the back garden - all nodding their red or yellow heads in the breeze,

Take care - see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Thank you

Can I just say a huge thank you to you all.   When you get to 90 next October it is not always easy to keep cheerful.   Some days, especially at the moment when my dearest friends have covid and are not calling in for coffee and my mobility has taken a beating with a couple of falls, some days it has been very hard to keep positive.   But you help me a lot.   Please do keep it up.   You remind me that we all have our troubles and that many people are in a much worse situation than I am.   Also, because I like to 'chat' to you every day if I can it gives me a purpose.   Alright, so I am not meeting you face to face but I feel I know you all very well now, having 'spoken' to most of you for years.   I look forward to Tom's dry wit, to John's great stories, to Cro's chat about food,  to Rachel's words of wisdom,  to John's wonderful photography, to Sue.s talk of country life, and to so many of my American friends who talk about life in the US, so different in many ways to life over here.  And that is just the ones I can remember off the top of my head - and all those I have left out.   It's not that I don't appreciate you, it's just I shall remember you when I have switched off.

I think we have probably had the nicest day so far this Spring - warm and sunny as long as you keep out of the wind.   I sat in the front garden for an hour - that way I get to chat to folk going past. Then I walked round that back to look at the garden, had a chat to a neighbour and then went in to get my stuff ready for my early start through Wensleydale for my Covid jab in the morning.  My taxi is coming for me just after half past nine and my son is coming round just to help me down my steep drive as I have not yet been down it since coming out of hospital.

The breeze has dropped - Mr Winkle will be pleased  - he always looks quite chilly standing there.   I'll be back for a chat tomorrow on my return from Hawes,   My chiropodist rang to say she will call just before one - I should be back by then.   So see you all tomorrow dear frriends. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

A Good Day

 As I said yesterday. a jolly day all round with plenty of activity and plenty of chat.   Just how I like it.   I had to  keep going and looking at my garden to admire it - I do so wish I could show it to you but nobody who calls can put photographs on my blog.   But I will keep trying.    But D my gardener put in the osteospermum and moved several other plants around and also top-dressed.   Monty Don in his garden programme the other week said that really perennial plants in herbaceous borders do not need feeding but they really do benefit from a top-dress each year with a good compost.   Do not dig it in, leave it on the top, the worms will pull it down and distribute it far better than you can.

And just to add to my pleasure it is slightly warmer today and after a dry start by about ten this morning it was raining steadily. It is now twenty past two and it is still raining steadily.   That much 'natural' rain does far more good to my plants than I can ever do.   They all look settled and happy already.

A, the young lady who cleans for me once a month, going round with the vaccuum and the polishing cloth and the damp cloth, has been, gone through the bungalow in an hour and a half and has now gone off home.   Young folk have such interesting jobs these days, they all seem so versatile.   She comes from a farming background but her parents split when she was a teenager and the farm was sold.  Now, after a degree in agriculture, she works on a huge farm in the area - at present they are lambing so she takes her turn at days/nights; in     addition she does her shifts at milking and really is gettting a good all-round training.   Her live in boy friend has done ten years in finance after his degree and has now also gone into agriculture.  He too is from a farming background and has done the ten years in finance in London.   Now he works two days a week on line at his old job and the rest on a farm up here.   How versatile is that?   I understand them when they say London living is just too expensive to save anything.  I really do wish them every success - they really do deserve it.

What opportunities there are for young people now providing they are prepared to work at it.  See you again tomorrow.

Monday, 11 April 2022

No shortage of visitors torday.

Well certainly no shortage of visitors today.   Friend  W r ang to say she would call for a couple of hours this morning.   No sooner had she rung off than D and J called to get my garden sorted.   So I had a really pleasant morning.   All five osteospermum are planted - two in blue pots by the front door and the other three in the beds round the back.    A plant which was  in one of  the pots by the door and loves full sun has now been transplanted to a sunny spot round the back and then the whole garden has been top dressed with a layer of compost.   All I need now is a good morning of rain - the plants were all watered in well but it is not the same as a good shower of rain.

After lunch I managed to empty and polish the welsh dresser.   My cleaner comes in the morning and I like to do that job myself.   I had just sat down for a rest when friend H from next door came round for an hour.  So this is the first time (5.04pm) I have managed to sit down at my computer.  Friend P also rang from The Lakes.   H and a neighbour were preparing to saw down a dead tree which has been strangled by ivy so they will have had an adventurous afternoon.

No sign of the pair of partridges today.   They really are the most beautiful birds - not  particularly highly coloured but with the most precise and beautiful markings.   It would by lovely to welcome their nest to my garden but really no chance of that.   There is nowhere concealed enough and there is a field of grass just over the wall - although early silage always makes that a danger.   One year we had a pheasants' nest in the middle of a field destined to be made into silage and the farmer put bamboo canes and green string round the nest to remind him it was there.  He has also done the same thing several times with curlews' nests.

Well friends - a much more 'with it' day today I am glad to say - my cleaning lady tomorrow so plenty of chat in the morning.   See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 10 April 2022

New arrivals

The most beautiful partridge seem to have taken up residence in my back garden.  My back garden has a dry stone wall at the back and then a large field and even as I type this I see them going over into the field.   Maybe it is a bit early for them to start nesting but they do seem to be a pair.   But even if they are occasional visitors it is good to see their beautiful markings at close quarters.

Since I am brilliant at falling and then ending up in hospital, I have been advised that perhaps one 'episode' a week is plenty - I am sure the doctor is right.   This week's outing is to have my booster jab.   This will entail going by taxi through Wensleydale (the friend who intended to take me has herself got covid) so I intend to enjoy it.   There will be lambs about by now (we are not early to lamb up here) and so plenty to look at.   On the run up to the Easter week-end there promises to be a bit of an improvement in the weather.

I am finding my mobility much impaired at present, which is annoying.   But I am keeping going in the hopes that that is the best way to improve things. So see you again tomorrow - hope there is more news by then - at present there is nothing to write about.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

Cold

 Gosh I do wish it would warm up a bit.   It is half past seven in the evening and it feels like winter outside.   As has been the case all week, now that night is coming on, the sky has cleared to a pale, icy blue and the frost has come down.   My gardener promised yesterday to call round and plant my five new plants - but he hasn't been.   I presume he has forgotten - fingers crossed he remembers and pops round in the morning.   He only lives a short distance away.

From your kind and thoughtful comments yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to outline my circumstances to you today.   I shall be 90 in October.   I have lived alone since my farmer husband died in 2017 but I do live amongst friends. My friend H lives one side of me and she lives alone and is actually slightly older than me.  Friend M, also living alone, lives the other side.   She is younger but is a great help and always cheerful.  I live on an estate on the edge of town - a small town with under three thousand inhabitants and having lived here for more than thirty years I know many people.   I have a Carer who comes in six mornings out of seven for an hour - she gets my breakfast, helps me wash/shower and dress, does my washing and puts it into the tumble drier and then takes anything which needs ironing home to iron.   In addition she cooks me a lunch daily - bringing  it to put into the microwave (apart from days when she brings one of her salads - I would happily have one every day she makes such good ones.)

In addition I have a lady who comes in to clean once a month - she cleans right through.   I have Lifeline, an organisation which keeps an eye on elderly folk.   I have a pendant round my neck which I keep on twenty four hoursa day.   If I need help or if I fall then I press the pendant and help arrives.   For that I pay thirty pounds a month - an excellent investment as I can fall at the drop of a hat.

My son lives in a nearby village.   He has an invalid wife so can be of limited help but it is still a great comfort to know he is here.   Someone yesterday asked if I could ever get taken out by car.   Yes I have friends who do various jobs for me such as bits of shopping.   They also call often for a coffee but yesterday one of them went down with Covid. Once a fortnight I go to the hairdresser - then I have a taxi as I do for longer journeys - for example this week I have to go for my booster covid job - the friend with covid was intending to take me - now I have booked a taxi.

So you see I am nicely organised and have plenty of company.   Under normal circumstances I have a speak to six people a day rule you may remember.   Over the last few weeks this rule has not been working but I am sure normal service will resume when the weather warms up and I can sit outside.

So I am sure you will appreciate that I  really do hope to keep out of care and live as I am doing at present.   There may come a time when I have to go into care - falling is my greatest hazard at present.  So long may I remain upright.


Friday, 8 April 2022

Quiet Days

 Oh dear!   How my life has changed over the past month or so.   Since my first short spell in hospital my walking has been very poor indeed.   Now, after another spell in hospital it is even worse and I dare not even go down my drive at the moment.   Added to that the fact that it is bitterly cold here - we had a snowstorm today, and you can imagine I dare not venture out.   My friends S and T, who usually call once a week for coffee, have both had very bad colds so have not been near.   Yesterday I did have two welcome callers - and very welcome they  were indeed.  Today, once my carer, J,  went, I have not spoken to a single person until about five minutes ago when I rang my gardener to speak about his putting in five osteospermum plants I ordered.

When I think back to my days with Tess and the walks round the estate with her - and the chats with other doggie owners - I feel sad that it is all over.  I am more or less sure I shall not get back to that state again.   Once the warmer weather comes at least I can sit out in the front garden and chat to folk going past - in the meantime I shall just have to grin and bear in.   Until tomorrow folks....