Friday, 30 July 2010

The picture that kept escaping

I've had terrible trouble uploading these photos, they kept on disappearing. As I went to type text for this one it disappeared.  It is a collared dove who visits when the pigeon bully boys are not around. Here goes, again.

Pictures, mostly in the garden

Sunday, 25 July 2010

I think I 'll name our house Sleepy Hollow

Well, reading last week's title, I can honestly say that nothing has changed. Sunday night it was 4 am again before I slept. probably this time through overeating. We didn't have anyone call in after Church, and I overdid the cake. However I have tried to remedy this a bit, no cake, biscuits, only the occasional Hall's mentholyptus for my cattarh, and only a little bread, and that Weightwatchers bread. As a result I have lost 3lb. I am still tired though, still unable to get off to sleep. I get into bed,  pull the duvet over, too hot, push duvet off, too cold, lie on side , neck uncomfortable, get up and shut window, kick duvet off again, eventually drift off to sleep. living in a terraced house can be cosy in the winter, but downright uncomfortable in hot weather
I walked into town, can't remember if it was Monday or Tuesday, to take in a repeat prescription form.
I wandered around town looking for cups. I used to buy Woolworth's Country Lane for everyday use, I have loads of plates and saucers, but about 3 cups left, one of which is chipped, another has a crack in it, only one is whole. None of the charity shops have any, although I did once find some in a charity shop in Bexhill. It sames a shame to buy a new complete set when I have so many plates left. Does anyone else miss Woollies?
I had a phone call from my friend C, she was desperate for a chat with someone, she had had a fall on Sunday, at home and was feeling quite low. I tried to cheer her up, but don't know if I succeeded. I had spent part of the morning chatting to my neighbour about watering plants when she goes away. She did some of ours at the front when we were away. I felt guilty with so much chatting and not getting on
On Wednesday when I got up I could not find my thyroxine. I hunted everywhere but to no avail. there were 2 left in the strip, so I thought, enough to tide me till I picked up the new lot.So I just took my BP tablet and hoped for the best. After I got back from Sainsbury's and unpacked shopping, I had lunch, sat down with a newspaper, and fell asleep. I found it hard to wake up, and began to wonder if it was the lack of thyroxine, but it was probably more lack of sleep. I remembered throwing an empty strip away, as by a quirk of going away and taking some with me, I had 2 strips going at one point. Eventually I decided there was nothing for it but to grab a binbag and empty the bin bit by bit. There was not a lot in my kitchen bin, and I soon found the strip, and yes it was the one with tablets in it. I checked again and there were three.The tablets are quite small really, only about 5mm, and I probably wasn't wearing my glasses when I threw them away, excuses excuses.
On Wednesday I also went into Dunelm looking for cups, but didn't like their designs. I managed to get our meal quite early, as I wanted to nip up to daughter's, as Son and wife were going to be there, and I wanted to give them something. Husband said he would come, so I slipped my shoes on (I am nearly always barefoot at home, and it can be hazardous) and off  we went, using my car as it was still out from my shopping trip.
They were all out in the garden, son-in law cooking on a disposable barbecue, cough, cough, cough! We hadn't been there long when daughter said, 'Mum you are wearing odd shoes!' I looked down, and there they were one tan, one cream. I burst out laughing, and thought 'That will teach me to look down when I slip shoes on' I hope I wasn't wearing that combination in Sainsbury's, Son commented that at least they were a similar style. We congratulated Daughter-in-Law on her new job, but she has to undergo so many checks that it will take a while. This is because of doctors who were into terrorism, and as E spent 6 months working abroad about 4 years ago, it is more complicated than the usual CRB, which takes forever.
I walked  into Town on Thursday too, to collect my prescription. Our Ladies' meeting and parent and toddlers are not on in the school holidays, So I was at a loose end.
On Friday I rang C to see if I could go over to see her, but no one answered I was getting on with some housework, and her husband rang and apologised, they had been at the doctor's. C said she would like to see me, but was feeling very low. I abandoned the housework, friends are more important, and drove over, praying that I would say the right things to her. She was very low when I arrived, apparently the fall had knocked her for 6 and she was suffering from the aftermath. I sat down beside her, and eventually she asked me to help her sit up a bit more. She began  to talk a bit more, and I felt that by the time I left she was a little better.
Mum-in -law was back at the hospital this week, the consultant is quite pleased with her and the  hole he made in her eye seems to have reduced the pressure. If this continues, she may be able to have the cataract done on that eye. She seems to want to remain independent, and this should help.
We have actually had some rain a couple of times this week but mainly overnight, and not the torrential stuff my sister in Wales has had. The garden seems to have recovered from the drought when we were away, the raspberries are nearly finished, so more work soon cutting back canes and tying new ones. We have quite a few blueberries this year, and even the original bush has more than the 3 it produced last year.
Well I'd better go and get the kettle on, time for church soon. We had a sermon on the 4th Commandment this morning. I'm hoping that writing a blog doesn't break it.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

I could sleep for England.

Last Sunday evening we had a little get together in the manse after church. Our friend who is a a retired specialist, the top man in his field, was going to be 80 on Monday. We wished him Happy Birthday, and Bon Voyage, as on his actual birthday, Monday he was flying to his home country to attend a conference on the disease in which he specialised. We ate cake and he was given an ipod, so that he can download sermons to listen to, and music as well.
On Monday and Tuesday I was trying to catch up on housework, so it wasn't terribly exciting. On Wednesday I was busier. Last week whilst cleaning my teeth, I dislodged a filling, and as the tooth had begun to ache, made an appointment.
Wednesday morning I was out fairly early to Sainsbury's, didn't spend much, what did I forget? Then home, a quick unpacking of shopping, and off to the dentist. I insisted on an injection, and he refilled the tooth then and there. He did a bit of drilling, and had said decay was getting into the root, so I'm sure I made the right decision.
 I popped into Tesco for some soup, the weather wasn't hot, so I felt it was the best thing. Then after a quick lunch of soup and yoghurt,was off to the final parent and toddlers' of  this school year.
Afterwards, I popped into two local garden centres, but left empty handed. As I drove up the hill leading to our road I thought there is somewhere else I should be going. then I remembered I had taken some ironing in. There were 2 lots of bedlinen and some shirts, and as I had a lot more to do, decided to get those done for me.
Thursday was our last ladies' meeting, quite fittingly a prayer meeting.
Our son and his wife have been debating whether to return to their home about 150 miles North of here. Their house has not sold, and he has been unable to get a job worthy of his talents. Daughter in Law applied for a job near where they lived in the North but had been interviewed and turned down. They were thinking this might be a closed door, but out of the blue, the hospital rang and said they had another vacancy that had come up, and it is what she wants, so has accepted it. Son will get whatever he can. We really feel this is an answer to prayer, as the move had not produced a good post for him, and they were not happy in the area they had moved to, and had not found a church which really appealed to them.
I did my weekend shopping on Friday, after going to a coffee morning for pilgrim homes. I bought some home grown gooseberries, and home made jams.  The hosts  have a model railway in their garden, but it was a bit windy to sit out. I also  posted cards to my niece who will be 50 tomorrow. My sister is a few years older than me, but it still feels odd to have a 50 year old niece.
Having said that though, technically I was born a niece. My father was married twice, and was a lot older then my Mum, his second wife. My half sisters were in their 20s when I was born, and one had a daughter. We do not really see anything of that side of the family though, as one sister died, her family emigrated, and the other sister must be nearly ninety. We no longer get Christmas cards from her. I ought to phone her really but last time I'm not sure she knew who I was.
Yesterday was the church barbecue. We went to Wendover Woods where they have barbecues for public use. It was quite crowded there, but a lot of people from our church came, and the children from our children's club and Sunday School. It was spotting with rain when we arrived, but later on the sun put in an appearance. Fortunately the wind had dropped. Then went into town and bought a garden table and chairs for daughter and Son-in-law. the idea is that they use them indoors till they can get a dining table.
The day of the coffee morning I was pretty tired, so had caffeinated coffee before I went. I had two more caffeinated coffees whilst there, and later a cold coffee drink, which most probably contained caffeine.
That night I did not sleep till 4am. I think I have a slow metabolism, certainly caffeine doesn't kick in for several hours after I have had it. So now I am doubly shattered, and found it hard to stay awake in the service this morning. It's a good thing that the pastor doesn't have a monotonous voice.
I will really try to get to bed early tonight, although I did doze this afternoon, and when I should have been out walking I was working on this blog. Have a good week all.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Twas on a Monday morning, (well afternoon actually), the gas man came to call...apologies to Flanders and Swann

This has been a bit of a mixed week, but not for weather, it has been hot, hot and hot again.  On Monday I promised that I would go to our daughter's house whilst someone came and connected their donated gas cooker.
He said he would be there after 2, but I arrived before 2 and he was waiting in his van. Between us we located the kitchen and cooker, and he set about his job. Before he started he warned me that the previous cooker there had been fitted wrongly and  he would have to alter the piping as it was in the wrong position. I found a chair and sat in the living room reading the newspaper until he had finished.
I got my cheque book out, and he announced that he wanted to be paid in cash. I tried to protest, but he all but insisted I went to the local cash machine, I was a bit flustered by this, so did as I was told I wish I had stood my ground. It makes me  cross when tradesmen do this, as you can bet that they will  not be paying tax on that job. So there is another 'gas safe' chap I will not be using. The point is  we have no choice in paying taxes, but some self employed people think it is their legal right to avoid tax. Goodness knows what will happen if cheques are done away with altogether
I had a good look around the house, as invited by daughter, and it is very nice,  and should scrub up well where needed, ( mainly shelving) but the garden is a rather overgrown.  It is also twice the length of ours. Husband could help if he had more time. Maybe she should invite friends for a gardening party.
On Tuesday I went to Watford to look for something in M&S, no joy, but had a peek at the baby stuff in John Lewis too. I then decided to go to the big garden centre near St Albans to try and replace plants lost whilst we were away. There were no Winston Churchill fuchsias, but I bought 2 more hardy ones, a new Gardenia, as mine had shrivelled. One of the 'water bubbles' had compost in the end and the water could not get through. I also bought Busy Lizzies, as my pansy pot had died off.
I then tried the big M&S by the Savacentre, but drew a blank there. I did however have a welcome coffee in their cafe.
Wednesday was Sainsbury day and nothing special. on Thursday our ladies meeting was at the home of a lady who lines in a nearby town. She has us there every year. we start with homemade soup, the we have our  own sandwich or salad which we have brought. We then have home made yoghurt, or ice cream, followed by cakes that she has specially made for us. After a bible reading and short talk and prayer, we take our coffee or tea into her garden and sit and chat. I followed this pleasant time with a visit to the hairdresser for a much needed trim. This weather I feel like becoming as skinhead!
Friday was spent doing boring things such as shopping, by the time I got out it was too hot to walk and carry shopping, so took the car. I spent part of the morning  picking fruit, and in the afternoon made a summer pudding.
Yesterday I popped out for the papers, it wasn't too hot walking as there was a breeze. I then made a big plate of salmon sandwiches, and after a lunch of jacket potatoes we set off for our church anniversary. There were 2 meetings, at 3 and 6 pm with tea in between. We had a good speaker, but a lot of our normal congregation had other commitments, and for once there were not many visitors from other churches. There was some summer pudding left over, so that was today's pudding sorted. The evening meeting was on the life of John Laing, the builder, who was a fine Christian.
There was a very good congregation this morning, so that made up for it , as the same chap was preaching, and he had his family there, delightful little children.
It won't come as much of a surprise to most of you that I haven't been sleeping well in the heat. Yesterday I stripped the bed and just put on 2 old fashioned stripey cotton sheets. that made it a lot cooler. Well I must make tracks I ought to go for a walk. looking at the thermometer it is hotter in here than outside. Time to switch on the fan methinks.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Doo, dooby doo, doo doo doo- we have been on a Summer Holiday...........

Sorry for the lack of blogging, we have been away. We stayed in a sleepy village called Wootton Fitzpaine in Dorset; a lovely spacious bungalow with a smallish back garden that backed onto fields.   We sometimes had cows for neighbours. My only complaint was that the master bed was too hard, so after a few nights of not sleeping, I decamped to the other bedroom, and managed to sleep a bit better.
The weather, of course, was hot, very hot, so much so that husband decided it was too hot for going out walking, so instead most of the time we visited various places, Bridport, where we also went to church, Lyme Regis , Charmouth, West Bay, Seatown, Sidmouth, Seaton where we rode the small  tram, Axminster, Beer, and Budleigh Salterton.
I went to Axminster Library on the middle Saturday to update my blog, and found that the local department store had an air conditioned restaurant-bliss. I have eaten so many crab sandwiches that it is a wonder I am not walking sideways. We ate out 3 times, on two of those occasions I ate locally caught fish, and on the third had crabcakes for a starter. On the middle Sunday we went for an evening walk down the road to Catherston Leweston, and last Wednesday it was a mite cooler, so we walked across the fields to Charmouth.
As usual we were disappointed with the quality of television, avoiding the football (as I predicted England did not even make the quarter final). Most of our viewing was old detective stories, Poirot, Wycliffe and the CSI American series. There was one very interesting programme  about food production, where a chap rented an old barn and attempted to reproduce various foodstuffs. It has made me glad that we don't waste money on a tv license
I had a bad moment when I realised I had packed an almost empty inhaler, and the other which I was using suddenly had a red line appear in it. That means that it will soon be empty. The heat and country dwelling meant that I was using it more than usual. It was an overcast muggy day and we went into Lyme, where the pharmacist at Boots directed me to the local health centres, both about half a mile away-uphill!  ( almost in Uplyme) Anyone who knows Lyme Regis will know that the hills are as bad as those in St Ives. I eventually reached the second health centre, the one that dealt with emergencies, and was given a form to fill in, and promised that an inhaler prescription would be waiting for me in the adjacent pharmacy at 5pm. Needless to say we drove there.
There were trees at the bungalow and holders for seed and peanuts, so we bought some and were rewarded with visits from many sparrows, tits, goldfinches, and best of all a woodpecker that came every day to peck at the nuts. It was a bit shy though, and not keen on being photographed.
As you may recall, we had a death in the family before we went away. We were quite keen to go to the funeral, so was Mum-in- Law, and in God's providence it was to be held on the second Friday of our holiday. Son and Daughter  had offered to help Grandma get there, but we decided to leave the bungalow on Thursday, drive across the South to Bexhill, stay overnight, then drive to Croydon and back on the Friday, then come home on Saturday. This worked out quite well, and meant that we were with Mum-in-Law for part of Saturday, which was the first anniversary of Father-in-law's sudden death. She did say however that she missed him every day, so that day wasn't particularly significant.
On the way over on the Thursday we stopped for a while for lunch at a place called Abbotsbury, a pretty village where there is a swannery, and access to Chesil Beach; certainly worth a longer visit if we go to Dorset again.
The funeral went well. as funerals go, Aunty J had requested that we all wore bright colours, and had planned the service herself. We had some good hymns too.  Her Granddaughter bravely and sweetly sang a solo. Our Son came, but our Daughter had spent 2 days moving into their first house that isn't rented, and was exhausted. Being heavily pregnant she is also feeling the heat. The good news is that her husband passed his test on Friday morning, so I am now less likely to get a call in the middle of the night to drive her to Watford. I was good to see all the cousins again, and some of their families. We all used to meet up on occasions, but these days it seems to be only for funerals.
The main 'downside' to the holiday was the lack of T mobile signal in the village, so husband could not use his stick to access the internet. One evening we drove up to Coney's Castle car park to try and get a signal. he did manage to get on-line when we went to places where there was a signal, to download e-mails. I had packed my spare Vodaphone, so that was ok if anyone needed to reach me. Oh the joys of modern technology! However did we survive before the days of laptops, mobiles and netbooks? I hope to post some photos later. Must go the garden needs attention after 2 weeks of  only being watered 3 times.  Thank you I and  L, you did your best. One casualty has been my beautiful Winston Churchill fuchsia. There are raspberries, tayberries loganberries and balckberries to harvest too, and the honeysuckle to cut back. I am going to be busy.