Sunday, 28 March 2010

Another Sunday, where do the weeks go?

Well I had a very good Birthday thank you, I took cakes to the ladies prayer meeting, and they all sang Happy Birthday. In the evening we  met the family at a small hotel/restaurant that we had not been to before. It was very reasonable. One of our elders and his wife were there for their anniversary, but their meal was almost over, so we did not annoy them too much! Actually for a small place it was quite crowded and a table of men made a lot of noise. Husband assures me that the table of women on his side made almost as much noise, but I was not close enough to hear. I was good with a starter, melon and grapefruit cocktail, but I didn't resist the bread roll as I usually do. I then had sea bass, but they served too many potatoes. The men all had steak which was served on boards with the chips in a little basket. Daughter had rack of lamb and Daughter in Law a chicken supreme risotto. Husband and I had hot chocolate fondant puds, I love the way the choc just oozes out when you put your spoon in, Daughter and Son-in-Law shared one and the other two had ice cream. This was followed by coffee and home made chocolates.
 They bought me flowers,  chocolates, a Gervaise Finn book, and I got an iou for a DVD. apparently some of my Amazon wish list is hard to get. The best present though was a framed photo of all 4 of them, this was a belated anniversary gift. It is black and white, and the two lads are reclining on the floor with the girls sitting behind them. We will treasure it, and must find somewhere to display it.
 Part of  Friday was spent  ferrying Daughter around as her car went in for service.I also managed to get some ironing done.
Saturday we took the car as after we had shopped we went to the garden centre to replace several pots which had split due to all the bad weather. I was also tempted by a ready made up pot which looks good outside the front door. I'm hoping it is too heavy for someone to make off with. I also found some pretty orchid clips which I have been looking for for ages.  A terracotta trough in which to plant some climbers to climb our back porch completed the purchases. As usual I gulped when I heard the total.
We remembered the clock change, but both felt very tired; however  I did manage to fit in a walk, my first for days. Hope you all have a good week and that it doesn't snow where you are. My daffs are coming along nicely now.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Spring Flowers

My crocuses, sadly now over

One more day to my Birthday.

Well I'm in a reflective mood. Since my Birthday last year a lot has happened. Life has completely changed in some ways, whilst remaining the same in others. We travelled many miles last year: to Wales twice, Scotland, Cornwall, Doncaster, Manchester and Macclesfield; to Bexhill several times, and most recently to The Lake District. Inside I don't feel any older, but when I look in the mirror I see more fine lines beginning to appear. Am I more forgetful? difficult to say, sometimes I cannot remember things but I wonder how much tiredness contributes to that. I went upstairs twice today to fetch my watch, but I've been doing things like that for years. The problem is I get distracted by something whilst I am up there.
I don't think that Monday was too exciting, Daughter came round as she had a week off, and had a bath whilst here. Their water supply is a bit haphazard, and their landlord, whilst quite happy to take their rent is not so ready to put things right. Hopefully that will not be a problem for too much longer as they have had  an offer accepted on a house.
I noticed our overflow was leaking, but did not feel inclined to go up into the loft whilst alone, although I have done many times. Husband came home and the first thing he mentioned was the overflow. We quickly put up the ladder and I went up and found the ball floating free, having split and broken off. I managed to reattach it temporarily whilst husband went to  a DIY store for a new one. He bought 2 different sizes, but one would not fit. Then I had to use pliers to take off the broken connection, trying to avoid dropping pliers or torch into a full tank. Every time I tried to fit the new ball it floated so that I couldn't get the thread in the right place. We turned the water off and after  I had released some water I succeeded.
Yesterday Daughter and I went to the shopping centre at MK; she needed new work clothes, and as it's ages since we had a girly day out I went along. I also bought a dress. I fell in love with the design and material, it soooo yelled 'Summer'.Later as I paraded it  for husband and daughter, asking the usual question 'Do I look like mutton dressed as lamb?' It is a fear I have had for over 10 years now, but I do not want to look ridiculous. I guess that is my Birthday money spent. We also lunched at John Lewis, but I was good and had a salad and fruit salad. I also stocked up on M&S low fat sausages. Our branch no longer does them, so when I see them I stock up. The recipe has changed and  I'm not sure I like it so much.
Today when I was  in my kitchen I saw a very unusual sight. 2 men in High vis jackets actually picking up litter on our pavements! Once upon a time the pavements were swept regularly, but now that only happens in the town centre.
Son and Daughter in Law moved some of their stuff on Monday, but as the flat they are renting is so small they only took essentials. They went back to return the van yesterday, and hopefully come back South today. It will  be the first time I have seen all the family on my Birthday for a while, so I am looking forward to it. Hopefully when the house sells they will be able to bring the rest and put it in storage till they get sorted with a new place. Most important is a job for Son, so could I ask you all to pray for that please?
Yesterdays mist and mizzle has given way to a beautiful sunny day, so I feel pretty good and my daffs are beginning to unfold. I love Spring, maybe it's because I was a Spring baby, although husband also was and he loves Winter!
I feel a bit sad as I have been trying to contact an old friend by phone, but her answering machine is always on. The other day her Daughter answered, and said her Mum was busy, but she would get her to ring back. She didn't, so I rang and got the answering machine. I contacted a mutual friend who has also had problems with contact from S and she still hasn't had any response. The problem seems to stem from not long after  S's Daughter had a complete mental and physical breakdown last year, which resulted in a very unusual illness. We have offered help but she doesn't seem to want it from us. I have sent her a note, which is all I can do. I find it hard to let go of  friends, but realise that some friendships do naturally peter out. I will have to pray for wisdom and just be here if needed.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Oh it's Sunday 2

Hmm, I've taken so long to blog there is no time for a walk. I got home safely from Brent Cross on Friday, but didn't start the baking as I was feeling pretty tired.  I did it after dinner. The recipe used bought pastry, and the tin was marginally bigger, so first I had a job to stretch the pastry to fit. I  tipped in the apple sauce and then re-read the recipe. It said chill pastry for half an hour in tin. Oh great! rule one read recipe first! scraped out apple sauce and shoved tray in fridge. Had to bake pastry with bits of apple sauce sticking to it 'blind'. Husband said I was too tired to be doing it, but before bed managed to produce a reasonable looking apple tray bake.
Got up later Saturday, husband and I walked to Sainsbury's and Homebase, I  picked up papers and odds and ends, then walked to Homebase to find husband. Ever since we had fence done in October  I have had no clothes line. Well I still do, but decided not to attach it to fence, so we bought a tall fence post so that we could attach line and one of husband's aeriels to  it. He is a radio buff.
Husband walked home with long post over shoulder, I walked behind, not too close. It was time for lunch, so I did jacket potatoes and  helped husband by holding post in place whilst husband hit it.  After lunch I sat down for a while, but then realised  I had sat too long. Hastily made a loaf of  salmon mayo sandwiches, shrieking when I discovered husband had started on the butter I had bought for sandwiches. I was sure I had more, but thankfully there was enough. Quickly got changed, got car out, shoved food in boot, and prayed all the foil would stay in place till we got to church.
I got out, and took food in whilst husband parked. Why is the church hall door always shut when I have hands full of food? Balanced traybake on sandwiches, praying I would not drop the lot and got them in one piece into the kitchen, Phew!
 We had the Christian Institute speaking to us,there were many there from other churches, but as in most churches there was plenty of food and  to spare, There was even some apple traybake left, so that was today's dessert sorted. After the mountain of washing up, ( I'm sure we do it all twice) we went in for the 6 o'clock meeting and reports on the current cases they are dealing with. There was much literature to take, One booklet I picked up was about Josephine Butler, who campaigned for an age of consent in the 1880s. Girls of twelve were being sold into prostitution by their parents, and there was a British white slave trade with the young girls being sent to Europe. There are those these days who seek to lower the age of consent to 13. After reading this booklet you see what madness this is.
We came home via our local M&S at Shell, buying an evening meal for husband, and of course butter.
Today I have been to church, had a doze, blogged and after a cup of tea will be off to the evening service. Sabbath, not the name of a day, but meaning rest - hope yours was restful. Son and Daughter in Law  move tomorrow DV  another exciting chapter in their lives begins.

Oh, it's Sunday, yes it's Sunday

I can remember a dj in my youth singing that, can't remember who. It's not been a bad few days. I am definitely sleeping better, but what the quality of my sleep is I am unsure. On Thursday I suddenly realised I had lost a magazine that I had bought which had a recipe in which I was going to use for our Fellowship day tea on Saturday.Time for a tidy and a hunt. I knew I needed something to top the traybake with, but what I was unsure.
Eventually I located the magazine and realised it was apricot glaze. Great!that's easy enough. read a bit further, and realised I did not have the right tin in which to bake said traybake.
Off to Sainsbury's, bought the papers, plus local paper, which was a day late. Located apricot glaze, checked apples for Jazz variety, No joy, bought Royal Gala instead. In the baking aisle, no fluted oblong tins.
 After soup and fruit went off to Ladies meeting, by car. The speaker was the LTS student who is with us for 3 weeks. He spoke on a Psalm. He was quite clear and very good. After coffee and washing up I headed into town in search of a fluted tin. None in Dyas, none in Debenham's, tried Wilkinson's- no joy. walked back to car and headed for one of our 'neighbourhood' shopping areas which has just about the only old fashioned iron mongers left in this town; no fluted tins.
As I drove home I prayed 'Lord, where can I get a tin?' I did think maybe John Lewis, but it wasn't till I got home I thought, 'oh yes, Lakeland'. I looked on their website and yes they had them, J L had something similar on their website, but seemingly dearer.
On Friday I was up earlier than usual. Husband took my car and I took his for its MOT. I then walked into town, a good two and a half miles before I reached M&S. I did stop off in the shopping centre for a call of nature, but was cross, as I had passed 2 loos on my way, one of which the Council has permanently closed, and one which has limited opening. In M&S I did my fruit and veg shopping, to save time on Saturday morning, and discovered the elusive Jazz apples, so I bought two packs as they were on offer. As I left Marks I realised I was starving as all I had had was a  banana in my rush to get the car in. I scoffed a Jazz apple, quite nice very crisp and not too sweet. It was a nice day, but I was cold walking and wished I had picked up my gloves.
I got the bus back up the hill, then did a bit of tidying and waited for the garage to phone, they had promised the car for 12 noon. At 11.45. I rang the garage to be told  'we're working on it, no wait it's done, we rang you at 11 am.'  'No you didn't' I said hastily checking my mobile. After I repeated my number he said ' oh sorry, we've got too many 7s in your number'.
I grabbed coat and bag, and went for the bus. It was raining! I waited 15 minutes for a bus, which goes into town first. In the town centre the bus invariably fills up, and there are always young women with buggies. I have nothing against young women with buggies, but nowadays they do not collapse the buggies, but the platform is lowered for them. On Friday there were 3, all with shopping bulging out at the sides, and the area  for buggies/ wheelchairs was soon full and the aisle completely blocked. They then got cross with an elderly chap who had to squeeze past all their shopping. I felt sorry for the poor chap. Goodness knows what would happen if a wheelchair user got on.
Eventually I got to my stop and soon picked up the car, which had passed its MOT. Home for a quick, goat's cheese salad and yoghurt, then off to Brent park which is our nearest Lakeland. I must admit I did buy more than the tray, and then thought as I was so close, popped over to Brent Cross. Ages ago I caught my carving knife somehow in a drawer, and it bent, and no matter what I did it would not straighten. I have been looking for a replacement carving set ever since. I'd had that one since I was 19; in regular use since I was 21. John Lewis had one set, no steel £55, and one £75. As I left JL I saw the unmistakable Marc Warren, sitting on a bench, looking as if he didn't want to be shopping, and being hauled to his feet by a lady friend.  I felt sorry for him too. I got a carving set, not exactly what I wanted, in Fenwicks, and only £ 25. I think I might complete the rest of this post later.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The middle of another week

I can't believe how quickly the weeks pass. the weather has definitely got warmer. On Saturday we decided to walk down to town. Then it was still quite cold. We did our normal shopping, and had lunch in M&S. husband decided that we should walk back up the hill, so he carried the heaviest bags, and we kept up quite a good pace. The only problem is as I haven't  been sleeping every night, when we got in I was so tired I could not even take my coat off. I flopped on the sofa, and whilst husband pottered a bit I dozed off. I had a horrible night on Saturday, waking with palpitations several times and a terribly dry mouth.
On Sunday morning I did not have much to do before church, and afterwards we drove to our Daughter's flat  as she had invited us for lunch for Mothering Sunday. She had also bought me a mug, which is the same as I picture I have in the spare room, a terrier type dog wearing a hat, who appears to be grinning. It is so like our old Peppi.
We had Roast Beef and all the trimmings and some  'Nigella' chocolate mousses with fresh fruit They were delicious. Now remind me when does the diet start? My daughter is such a good cook.
I had a text followed by a call from Son, who had been entertaining friends for the day.  They are moving next week, back to nearer here, and he wanted to tell me the revised arrangements.
Sadly I did not have a good night on Sunday, and on Monday I was looking up palpitations on the internet, whilst trying to get through to my GP. The nurse's words,'we must get this sorted out' going through my mind.
Suddenly I saw the words on the computer screen, palpitations under 180 beats a minute are anxiety. I put the phone down, and began to think. When did these 'loud' heartbeats start up?  I had had a couple of higher BP readings when I got my new cuff, so, as we were going away, I had started back on the diuretics that I had abandoned because of horrible side effects. It was soon after this that I started to get a faster pulse and the sensation of my heartbeat keeping me awake. Dehydration can cause palpitations, and my mouth was permanently dry, especially at night, no matter how much I drank.
I resolved to drop the tablets again as I have always found them too harsh. The nurse had said my monitor was ok ,and my BP is normal. To be on the safe side, I have been taking Kalms at night, but for 2 nights have slept much better, with only my previous problem waking me. My heart is beating quite quietly.
On Monday I tackled the ironing pile, changed bed linen, vacuumed, went for a walk, tidied the kitchen, and popped over to see a neighbour for a catch up. She is in the middle of having her kitchen done, so has much reduced sitting space. I remember it well. I vowed that next time I had my kitchen done I would move out for the duration.
Yesterday I visited a couple we have known almost as long as we have lived here, the wife does not enjoy good health these days, but we always manage to find something to have a good giggle about. I can remember once or twice us getting dirty looks in church meetings in the past. Last evening husband was watching a Shakespeare play, and I, too tired to concentrate was attempting a crossword. I felt my eyes closing, and after a few minutes opened them and looked at husband.  He had switched the DVD off and had his eyes closed. The next thing we knew we both woke up together at 9.15 pm.
I have obviously been disturbing him at nights too.
Today has been quite normal. Sainsbury's and my last parent and toddler's for this term.  I can't believe it is Thursday tomorrow! Oops  have got italics and can't turn them off. One day I will get the hang of this blogsite.

Friday, 12 March 2010

The holiday is just a memory now

An Island in Windermere, infested with cormorantsIce on Grizedale Tarn
Well,I have tried to upload some photos and succeeded, although they have published in the wrong order,and not all posted for some reason, perhaps I was over ambitious. I will try and upload at least one that I missed, but it may well end up at the top of this post as I still haven't quite worked out how to move the pics around

I have been taking the herbal sleeping tablets all this week, but have been having very vivid dreams, and Wednesday night woke 2 or 3 times with pounding heart.

 I had an appointment with the nurse yesterday, as the Doctor, who did my review, insisted I should have my home BP monitor checked to the surgery one. I walked down  to the surgery quite briskly, and it turned out that it was my favourite nurse, Hazel whom I have known for nearly 30 years. I can discuss any fears with her, and she is very sympathetic, so I can relax. It transpires that my machine reads about 10% higher than hers, so I blame the replacement cuff. She also saw the duty doctor, who arranged some sleeping tablets for me for 7 days.
However when I read the patient leaflet and the possible side effects I was put off.
I had made  a bolognese, but as I had quite naughtily been snacking, through tiredness, I gave myself a very small portion and skipped dessert. Husband suffered indigestion during the night so I felt guilty. I decided just to take some painkillers for a neck problem I have, I would have only taken half a sleeping tablet anyway. I slept really well, apart from when other half was rattling the Tums bottle.
Today I fell calm, my BP is normal and I spent the morning uploading pics. loading the washing machine, and making a Birthday card and a Mothering Sunday card. I walked down to town, posted the cards, went into M&S, and bought some cotton pyjamas, it's too early for my short sleeved ones, and too hot for my winter ones. I also bought the papers.
Mum In law's rector was on the radio today he has banned the Tai Chi group from the church hall and it hasn't gone down too well. Unfortunately she missed it. My sister from Brum rang and we chatted for over an hour, it must be a family trait, as my Dad was quite quiet, or perhaps it's just the women of the family. When I've finished this I must vacuum up the bits from the card making, and wave a duster around, might spray some polish too, always a good ploy if you want people to think you have been working ;o)

Some pictures of the Lake District

at the top at Grizedale andthe start of the climb at Griizedale
Windermere ice

Boat wake on WindermereOne of the few reflections in Tarn Hows

The old man of Coniston in the backgrounda frozen Tarn Hows
Lodore falls
Handsome stranger at Lodore Falls ;o)Derwentwater

KeswickThe road to Keswick

front of hotelChocolate House KendalView from our hotel window taken with long lens Not very flattering pic of yours truly

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Coming down to earth

Well after last week I am slowly getting back into some sort of routine. it was good to be back in our church on Sunday, and we enjoyed having an LTS student with us. we had stopped at an M&S simply food on the motorway, and stocked up for the weekend. I had a joint of pork in the freezer which I defrosted, and I could only buy ready prepared veg, so I was eased in a bit on Sunday. M&S welsh cakes and some rather naughty cup cakes did us for tea.
On Monday I had to go into town to collect what turned out to be an unstamped anniversary card from the sorting office, so did more shopping in M&S. We do not have much in the way of town centre supermarkets except for a small Asda at the other end of town. I was going to walk up, but my shopping bag was rather heavy, so I came on the bus.
Not much has changed about the town centre, no further closures, but annoyingly we are now going to get yet another betting shop in a prime position. One has also been approved in a former bank, but I suppose that this is to be expected as Nu lab seem to have relaxed all the rules on gambling.
I don't think that I mentioned that Son and Daughter in Law had been down again at the weekend. They stayed here Friday night and on Saturday went to the town to which they are relocating to search for rented accommodation till their house sells. Son has also applied for a job in that area, his wife already has one lined up. Son will really need to work as they will still be paying a mortgage as well as rent. Please pray that he may get a full time permanent post soon. He has also registered with an agency. They will probably have to settle for a much smaller property, as the area where they live is much cheaper, but being nearer to London will hopefully help with Son's employment prospects.
They called in to see us and took away some chocolates, from the Chocolate house and some biscuits we had brought back.
I accompanied daughter and husband on another second viewing of a house on Monday. It is going quite cheap, but a problem with damp. House prices around here are artificially high because there is such a shortage on the market.
Yesterday I seemed very tired after my walk an did not achieve what I had hoped to.
Today I was up very early, I'd had a vivid dream and woke up with a 'dead' arm as it had been under my head. So I got up. I was due at the endodontist in Borehamwood at 9 am. I left about an hour for the journey, but the approach to the M1 is always choc a block as we have 2 roundabouts and everyone who comes off the M1 wants to turn right to the trading estate, thus slowing down those wanting to get on the M1.
I made it with just over 10 minutes to spare. She took out a deep filling and put in a dressing, and I have to wait 6 weeks to see what happens.
I had printed out my shopping list, so headed straight for our local Sainsbury's and got home with enough time to unpack the shopping and have some soup and fruit before heading off for parent and toddlers.There were not so many there today, but there is a biting, freezing wind with grey skies. Maybe we are heading for another ice age!
I have to go into town again tomorrow morning, so that is another walk. In the meantime I have received a form so that I can book my own cardiologist's appointment online; that will be an interesting experience

Sunday, 7 March 2010

A very special week

Just over 5 years ago we were coming up to our 25th wedding anniversary and wanted to mark it in a special way. Husband is not a party person, so, as he had never been to the Lake District, I suggested that we booked a hotel there for the week. After some deliberation I settled on one in Bowness on Windermere, described as a Country House hotel, once owned by Beatrix Potter's family. It was in the middle price range, not too cheap, and not 'suck air in through your teeth' prohibitively expensive. Well we went there and had a lovely week. For various reasons we have never managed to go back there, but decided that it would be the perfect place to celebrate our 30th anniversary.
As it happened we were both really ready for a break. There was a slight problem with the booking as they were very busy last weekend, but we ended up on the second floor, no lift, in a deluxe room, complete with iced water, towelling gowns and slippers, bucket of ice, iron and ironing board, and our very own safe. The room was about 3 times the size of our own bedroom and overlooked the gardens, with a glimpse of the lake. We could also look out to snow capped fells.
The food was as good as ever, 5 course dinners with a complimentary 'amuse bouche' from the chef, and canapes whilst we chose from the menu, and petit fours with the coffee in the lounge.
We went to Kendal, and had hot chocolate (mine with ginger)in the Chocolate House, visited Lakeland's head quarters at Windermere, went to Keswick and walked up to the Lodore Falls, walked around Tarn Hows, which was frozen, spent time in Coniston, cruised Windermere, and had a good walk in Grizedale Forest. Despite the cold, the weather was mostly sunny. We were however glad of our warm wear.
One evening we were the only guests for dinner, everyone else must have gone elsewhere, we thought they were mad, the restaurant has 2 rosettes. I suppose not everyone is a fan of new English cuisine though. I think my favourite was trio from the sea, a mini fish pie, sea bass and a large seared scallop. I do weigh a little bit more than when I went, but we had been so active that it is minimal. Last time we were there one lady told me she had put on a stone on her previous visit.
There are things that I am missing about the Lake District:
The Beautiful view from our window
being waited on hand and foot
not having to think, what shall I cook tonight?
not having to wash up
my bed turned back and a chocolate on my pillow.
Things that I do not miss about the Lake District:
Freezing cold public loo seats.
public loos that only have cold taps for hand washing
and the hand dryer at Coniston which blew icy cold air, my hands took hours to thaw out.
Walking up 4 flights of stairs at least three times a day, (however I do feel fitter)
I will try and upload some pics, but there will be more on my facebook page.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

So how am I doing?

Well it was good to see Son and Daughter in Law at the weekend,even though we did not see too much of them as they had things to do,and a party to attend.We don't mind being a hotel really
Friday I had an awful night managed one hour's sleep, Saturday was a little better, but obviously the measures I took haven't worked. I have gone back to the herbal sleeping tablets which seem to help.
I am trying to get to bed earlier, to see if that helps. I was thinking of what my dear Mum used to say 'You need to get out and get some fresh air. Maybe I should walk more, but it's not easy pounding pavements,and the canal can be so muddy. Actually, one Christmas we stayed with my Mum, and all caught the Norovirus. Husband and I had been taking it in turns in the guest loo all night,and when we were lying half dead in armchairs, her suggestion of fresh air didn't go down too well
I saw a heron yesterday, they always strike me as being big ungainly birds, and oh so lonely looking. I've often wondered what they did for a mate, but I recently read that herons had been gathering at the reservoirs at Tring,for the mating season.
Unlike us, now married for 30 years. We had a lovely meal last evening, We both chose the same starter and mains, which is unusual for us, but we had different deserts. Diet starts back next week! Actually I had lost 7lb,so maybe it's not too bad.