Monday, 31 October 2011

To sleep, perchance to dream....I wish!

The beginning of last week wasn't terribly exciting, back in the old routine, washing the stuff we had brought home with us, walking to Sainsbury's to get stuff, as I'd only really catered for the weekend, and trying to slide back into non holiday mode.
Coming home from holidays often brings another problem for me. I don't always sleep well in a strange bed. If the bed is too hard, it can aggravate my disc problem, as can long journeys. During the week away, I found the bed increasingly uncomfortable, should have taken the mattress topper, but it is so bulky, and on holiday last year in Dorset the bed was so hard that it made no difference and I ended up in the other bedroom. I began to feel the warning signs, the pain in my ankle, the burning in my hip, the ache in my leg muscle, and finally the niggle in the back, all signs that my back isn't coping, and the disc is swollen, and the squashed nerve complaining.
You would think then that I would sleep well when back home. Not so! My body has to adjust to my own bed again. plus the annoying cattarhal cough came back, so all in all I struggled to sleep last week.
I had been asked by Son to pass on something to Daughter, so was only too pleased to be able to visit Daughter and see our Grandson again. He makes me laugh, he is always so 'busy' never still, he reminds me of my son at that age. My Mum used to say for many years 'that child is never still'. It was quite true, he used to burn off calories at a great rate, till he hit the teenage years!
Some of the crockery replacements I had ordered hadn't turned up, and I managed to contact the seller who promised a refund. Fortunately I managed to locate more on ebay. I now have a full set plus one spare except  for the cereal bowls. I had discovered that a comfortable range of shoes had been discontinued, so set about tracking some down online.
I also rang our friends C&C, but the wife had a cold so my visit to them was postponed again. A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the fraud on our mobile phone account. The promised refund had not materialised, they had deducted our latest bill from it, but I was annoyed as we were getting close to having  'more month left than money', a situation that would not have occurred had they refunded the money immediately.  I got the letter confirming that I would not be getting any more pension from the NHS, so had to gather all the paperwork on that in order to compose yet another letter to the tax people.
Wednesday was Weight Watchers. there were fewer there as it was half term. the good news is that despite being away I had still managed to lose a pound. I then went to Sainsbury's for the weekly shop, spending more than I had intended to, but I had a triple points voucher. so managed to use that and get triple points on an expensive shop. How sad am I? However I now have over £70 worth of points, so Sainsbury's will once again pay for my Christmas. Husband had left early for a meeting in Bristol, and was home a bit earlier, so was able to refit the child car seat which we had removed prior to going away, to give me more legroom, and also more room for the stuff we take with us, and the shopping on the way to the self catering properties.
Thursday morning I struggled to be up early to go and collect Nathaniel. He however was bright eyed and bushy tailed and raring to go. He managed  to lose a shoe as he pottered around my house. As I came to load the washing machine, I discovered it in there. His efforts at putting everything down the toilet have been thwarted, so he has now found a new repository for stuff! Reminder to self, check washing machine for foreign objects before use on Thursdays and Fridays. He was soon up to his old trick of pressing the washing machine buttons, he loves the way they flash and beep, and I had to completely reset one cycle to ensure it got the required wash time.
I decided to take him into town to get some photocopies of documents and we set off, with him in the buggy, and me chatting away to him, pointing things out. I tried to let him walk with reins on, but he objected and asked to be picked up. He then started to play with the buggy handles. I put him down again and redistributed the shopping on the buggy, so that it wouldn't topple over. He complained again, so I abandoned attempts and he went back in the buggy.
When I finally reached the library it was closed. New opening hours mean it opens from 2-7 on Thursdays. there was a photocopying shop nearby, so I went there and got the copies done for me. Nathaniel fell asleep on the way back through town, but woke up when we reached the bus stop, so he was wide awake when we got home. I quickly reheated something for his dinner, and cooked some veg to go with it. the veg were too hot however, then I put them in the fridge and forgot about them. He ate his cottage pie, and some veg that had cooled, then lifted his bowl and attempted to say 'all gone'. After I had given him his pot of yoghurt, I remembered the veg. I put them on his tray, and he dipped some of the carrot slices in the yoghurt. After lunch he played for a while, then I put him upstairs for a nap. he eventually settled, and I caught up with a couple of jobs, then had a rest myself. All too soon he was awake, and came down for snack time. Later I gave him an egg mayo sandwich, but he wasn't keen, he wasn't too keen on his satsuma either, so I let him get down, and got ready to take him home. Grandad arrived  when we were at Daughter's, and  when Daughter came home we chatted for a while then came home. As I was tired I did something quick; salmon steaks with veg. Another disturbed night, and I struggled to get up on Friday morning. I decided on a fairly quiet day with Nathaniel, a trip to the park on the way back from our walk, he didn't fall asleep this time. I thought he was eating his chicken casserole but afterwards I found a little pile of chicken bits on the seat of the high chair. He went for a nap pretty soon after, and had a good hour and a half.
 I gave him his snack earlier than usual, then he just played quietly, it was a really warm day, so I had the back door open and  the safety gate in place. I gave him a cheese spread sandwich for tea, I had discovered that he knows how to put the cover on his sippy cup, but he had to bring it to me to have it removed. It is fascinating to watch him developing and learning new skills, we are so privileged to live so close. Once again husband came to Daughter's and played for awhile with his grandson.
I had been more organised, and whilst N was eating his tea had prepared a casserole, so when we got home agin all I had to do was veg. I actually got to bed earlier on Friday and slept really well.
Saturday was the usual shopping, but we went by car and then took our sandwiches up to Ashridge, then got out our cameras. I was disappointed  that  all the trees were the same, beech, and there was not much variation in colour. we drove the scenic route home, and  I made a hot pot using lean lamb. We remembered to put the clocks back, and I had a reasonable night.
Daughter and Son in Law had gone to his parents for the weekend, as it was his father's Birthday. Daughter was meant to be doing creche at church on the Sunday, but could not find anyone to replace her, so she gamely got a train to St Albans on Sunday morning, then she rang us up after church, husband collected her, and she had lunch with us, then dragged me out for walk. After tea she came to our church service with us which was good.  The Pastor was up to his usual high standard.
Unfortunately, her husband had taken Nathaniel with him to his home church, and in the creche there Nathaniel toppled over and cut his head on a radiator, so he spent 2 hours in A&E,. They glued the cut together, it was small but deep. His daddy brought him back home after the Birthday tea. Daughter says that when he arrived home he was quite glad to see her.
Well I think I will save what I did today for next week's blog. I am not the world's fastest or most accurate typist. I will try and upload some pics of the woods.

carpet of leaves

a giant begins to fall

 a pigeon bathes in a puddle

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Wettish and Windy Welsh week

Well here I am, back from a week in North Wales. I had my flu jab nice and early on the Saturday, then we spent time packing, tidying the house, and loading the car etc. We didn't set off very early, and had two stops, one for lunch at Corley, they have a Waitrose there now, so we had a browse there. I chose a chilli jacket potato from the Eat menu, but I was disappointed as the jacket potato was a watery variety. We stopped again, at Sainsbury's Chester, to stock up on food for the weekend, and had a cuppa in their cafe.
We arrived at the farm cottage where we were to stay, and were greeted by Holly, one of the farm dogs, who came into the cottage with us till we shooed her out. She is a golden labrador.
Rear view of the cottage
 the 'view' after sunset

 The farmer's wife came over and  chatted to us about the cottage, apparently she and her husband renovated it, with the help of his brother. It was derelict old bakery and coach house, they lived there for 11 years, then moved into the main farmhouse, a beautiful red brick Georgian  house, built in 1776. After a meal, I drove down to see my sister, whilst husband flopped in front of the TV to recover from the drive.
On Sunday we went to the little chapel in Rhuddlan, Gosen. They have a new pastor, an American. he was very good, very simple but very clear and easy to listen to. After wards we chatted over coffee, and I caught up with D. She  was converted at a the same church as me, around a year later. Her brother died last year, and it seems he came back to God before he died. He was a very gentle chap, but like his father had an alcohol problem, although he hadn't touched it in the 3 years before he died.
We went back to the cottage for a steak lunch, and then set off for my Sister's home where we saw some family members, ate tea, and watched TV, unusual for us. We saw parts of Downton Abbey, but will have to wait a while for the rest when the DVD appears. Maggie Smith doles out her usual one-liners.
On Monday we went down into Rhyl.  It was blustery and showery, and husband went to get his hair cut, it had grown rather long, and he looks like a different man now. We had lunch in a small cafe where we have been before, I say lunch but typically husband chose the 'all day' breakfast, and I had a lovely warm honey and mustard chicken salad. It was really quite yummy, and better than cold chicken which can be quite dry. Sadly the cafe is up for sale, as the owner now has grandchildren and understandably wants to see more of them. They do a lovely yoghurt surprise, which is low fat yoghurt with fruit salad and meringue, so I didn't feel too guilty, as all are allowed at WW.
We had a good walk round Rhyl, and I used an internet cafe, as husband's laptop is so slow, and the connection not wonderful at the cottage. Rhyl has a very short season compared to somewhere like St Ives, but they do get people there at half term. Most people seem to be day trippers though. They have reprieved the M&S store, at least till the new one opens in Prestatyn. We walked on the promenade, but had  to keep away from the sea wall as the sand was blowing around, and it was going in eyes, hair etc We then went back to the cottage, read papers and dozed till dinner, then visited sister in the evening.
Tuesday we went over to Llandudno. I bought a pair of shoes at the 'posh' shoe shop, they were rather expensive but comfortable. Then we went to Tiffany's which was always our favourite place. They have dropped most of my favourites from the menu, so I had a Greek salad which tuned out to be a bit of a disaster. Husband had lasagne. The Greek salad was feta, with anchovies, horribly salty; a couple of olives then a mountain of iceberg, about two slices of tomato and pepper and loads of cucumber. I loathe cucumber, and as I piled it up on the side of the dish, I did wonder whether they had sliced a whole cucumber into my dish! We would have loved a coffee, but were ignored till I went to pay the bill. We may have to find a new place to eat.
We did our usual tour of the shops,  hurrying across side streets, as the wind was  quite strong. I bought hat and gloves in M&S, as I hadn't packed any. I put them on straight away. When I met up with husband I asked if I looked like the village idiot (probably not very PC) and he said ' not quite'. I am always a bit self conscious of beret style hats but it kept my ears warm. We didn't buy much else, but got plenty of exercise walking around.
On Wednesday we were not sure where to go, husband suggested Conwy, but I thought it might be too windy by the coast. I found a leaflet in the cottage on Mold, so we went there instead. had lunch in a nice little cafe, soup and a sandwich, just the job for a cold day. The cafe was called 'truly scrumptious'. Then we wandered around markets, indoor and out, browsed shops, not many big chains, and I found husband a new spout brush for his work teapot, which he uses for green tea. We came 'home' the scenic rout via Ruthin, Trefnant and St Asaph.
On Thursday I overslept, husband had been staying up late, so had I. so we were late leaving for Chester. It was a sunny day, not much wind. Husband set off for the pasty shop, and I bought a sandwich in Marks, then headed down Souter's Lane to eat it in the sunshine in the Groves, by the river.
children being taught about the amphitheatre, by a 'Roman' guide

The Newgate

pleasure boat on the river
Bandstand, and  suspension Bridge

Husband and I met up for a while, then went our separate ways, then met up for coffee. I bought some fleecy joggers in M&S. Will have to see how warm they are.before throwing my worst ones out. Footsore, we picked up a dinner main course in M&S, then headed back to the park and ride There are massive roadworks in Boughton, at the A55 roundabout, so were glad we didn't need to go to Sainsbury's. When we got back, I lit the log burner for the first time, and gave Reg our faithful farm/guard dog a treat I had bought at Chester Market. I nearly lost my hand!. Husband thinks I am a softy.
The old range and oven, no longer in use
some of the Dairy herd

The Lovely Reg

Alcove in the walled garden.
Thursday evening we went to sister's, and as we left said our goodbyes. Friday morning I popped over to Sainsbury's for some lunch, and flowers, then off to the cemetery to visit Mum and Dad's grave. I never seem to be able to find it first look, I must write it down. Back to the cottage, a quick lunch, then finish packing, tidy cottage, and inform M&J cottage owners that we are leaving early to visit Son and wife.
Leave at about 3, and have a lovely traffic free drive to Sandbach, where they are now renting a house, having sold their's in Macc, they are looking for something to buy in the area as it is nearer their church. Son however still works in Macc, now full time, but still not earning much, and working most Saturdays. Please pray he will get something better, nearer home.We arrive too early, so head back into town centre, wander round the shops, most cafes closing up, but find a cafe in Waitrose for a cuppa. Arrive back about 10 minutes before Daughter in Law, and have a tour of the (massive) rented house. Son arrives home and he cooks dinner whilst we chat, then we spend a pleasant evening, going to bed early. I don't sleep well, I've been in too hard a bed at the cottage, which has upset my disc problem, probably my own fault as I didn't bring the mattress topper, ( very bulky).
Next morning see Son briefly, have first shower for a  week, no shower in cottage, the only bad point, although I did use the bath, but not ideal for hair washing. We walked into the town centre, took Daughter in Law out for lunch, browsed an antique place, then bought food for when we got back, from Waitrose, to save having to shop here at home. A good journey home except for congestion at Birmingham on M6, an accident involving a few cars and a lorry. Seeing the awful queues going North, we are glad that we no longer have to go away at half term! Stopped at Corley for a break, then home about 6.30.  Unload car and try to sort out mess before dinner.
Good to be back with good phone reception, (cottage walls at least 18in thick), and good internet connection. Back to our own church today, numbers down a bit as it's half term, ease back into our Pastor's preaching style, and feel challenged by preaching. Back to Normal tomorrow, but at least I  relaxed last week.

Friday, 14 October 2011

A taxing time, a tidying time, and a telephone nuisance.

Well I am blogging early this week as I have a busy weekend ahead, starting with my flu jab first thing tomorrow morning. It has been an up and down week for me really
I was very cross on Monday to get a letter from the tax people to say that they could not refund the £400 odd pounds they had taken from my trivial commuted NHS pension as I had not sent various parts of a P45, which I had told them on the form I did not have. I spent the best part of the next hour holding on the phone whilst listening to all the messages that  are recorded to prevent us from actually speaking to a human being. Briefly the tax office told me I needed a P45, I explained I hadn't got one. I was told to contact my employer. When I pointed out that I last worked for the NHS in 2006, I was told to contact NHS pensions, to ask for a P45. They also said I 'had started receiving an NHS pension'. I replied that I have not and would not receive a penny over the amount they had sent me. NHS pensions said they could not send me a P45. They suggested I spoke to 'The Paymaster'. More hanging on. The paymaster's office said they could not send me a P45, but the chap to whom I spoke did concede that he could send me a letter of explanation. I asked what was meant by the assertion that I had started receiving a pension, and he said 'Well you have, but you got it all in one'. I should receive the letter in the next 10 days. By the time I had finished my head was reeling and to be honest I felt like crying Latr in theweek we got our mobile phone bill and found they had used some of the huge overpayment to reduce our bill. they were intending to carry it forward, till husband insisted on a refund.
I went for a walk to help clear my head, then spent quite a lot of time sorting out summer clothes, ironing and putting stuff away. I have kept a few T shirts handy though, as it is quite mild.    I got the winter stuff out, I can get into one of the skirts that I couldn't get into last winter, but the other is still a bit tight. Funnily enough they are both CC, and the same size. I hasten to add that I can't normally afford CC clothes, these 2 skirts were both reduced considerably when I bought them. Sadly we have lost our CC, the nearest is a good 5 miles away. St Albans has also lost its Edinburgh Woollen Mill. I often get Mum in Law a voucher from them. I'll have to wait till we get to Llandudno, or Chester. I need warm joggers, most of mine are ancient, but M&S don't do much in the brushed lining these days, and they are not as warm without.
On Tuesday I called my friends C& C with a view to visiting them. However the husband said the wife was unwell and had gone for a nap, so I decided to go to Watford instead. I have been keeping my food processor upstairs as since husband bought a coffee machine, the working surfaces are too full. When I get my new cupboard up, things will improve. So I decided to buy a mincer from Lakeland as  bits of my old one were missing, and rusty so I had ditched it. I also went into John Lewis, they have their Christmas decorations out in the basement, very beautiful, but I intend to make do with last year's. I may buy some new lights, but that is all.
 I walked as far as the old TJ Hughes / Clements, the furniture dept of Clements now have 2 shops near the market. good to know they are still trading. I grabbed a wrap form M&S, stocked up on low fat sausages, and got back to the lifts to find they were not working and hiked up to the 3rd floor of the car park. I pottered around doing things after lunch, then left home about 5.15 for an appointment with my consultant. Bad move, I should have left earlier. Rush hour traffic was awful, but after taking a short cut in Harpenden I arrived in plenty of time. When I made the appointment, 6pm on October the 11th sounded ages away, but here it was! He was very pleased with me, and said he would like to see me again in about a year, but to ring him if any problems in between. There was a query recently over whether husband's medical insurance would continue due to the merger, but it seems to be safe, at least till he retires.
Husband wanted to look for something and did some tidying. he unearthed my 'round tuit' which I had taken down last Christmas to put up a decoration. It is now back in place but I now need a new place for the picture of Nathaniel which  had taken its place. Husband asle produced 3 paper piles, one for shredding, one for recycling, and small one for filing.
I got my Lanham's brochure for St Ives this week, we haven't been for 2 years, so I got the go ahead from husband to book the flat which wasn't in the brochure last year.  On Wednesday I set off for Weight watchers thinking I hadn't lost, only to be told I had lost one and a half pounds.  Strangely enough, I seem to beeating more on this diet than before. I have reached my 5%, so am going for the next 5%. I took off for Sainsbury's afterwards, didn't spend quite as much, then after lunch daughter and I went to the last hour or so of parent and toddlers. Nathaniel seems to enjoy it more now that he can run around. We stayed to help clear up afterwards.
Yesterday I picked Nathaniel up at 8am, then brought him back to my house. I needed to go to town to transfer some money to pay the deposit for next year's holiday, so off we set with the buggy. There is a narrow pavement, and I could see a young woman with 2 young labradors coming towards me. I pulled as far over as I could with the buggy, and Nathaniel said 'Dog, dog'. The young woman was struggling to to control the dogs, and I was speechless as once again poor Nathaniel had his face licked by one of the dogs. The young woman told him to get down, but he repeated his actions, the young woman did not apologise, in fact she spoke only to the dog. As I wiped Nathaniel's face with a baby wipe, I said 'An apology would have been nice'. I don't know if she heard me but I feel like firing a letter off to the local paper about inconsiderate people who don't control their dogs. I am a dog lover, but wouldn't have let my dog behave like that when out walking. Fortunately Nathaniel doesn't seem to have been put off, But I dread the day when it is an unpredicatable dog. I met an old friend in town and we chatted for a while One of her Daughters was a dancer and led a fairly glamorous life, now she has 'retired' from dancing (she is 27), and is working in an art gallery. She is one of these very attractive slim young ladies, who seems to look good in anything she wears.
Nathaniel fell asleep in the buggy again, and I left him asleep when we got home whilst I did some housework and prepared lunch. I waited till he was properly awake before I gave him his lamb casserole, and he ate quite well. I was annoyed to be rung by BT for the umpteenth time, asking to speak to husband. Why do they expect him to be at home in the middle of the day? If I go out when I get in they have  always tripped the answering machine when I get back and it sits there beeping at me. I told the young woman that it was tantamount to harrasssment. They haven't rung today!!
We made it to women's hour, just halfway through the first hymn. I had prepared the study, but couldn't answer the questions as I couldn't find my glasses to read my notes. Nathaniel played fairly quietly with the other young children, but insisted on giving toy farm animals to our oldest member, 95,one by one. She ended up with a pile on her lap, poor dear. At the end of the meeting I found my glasses in the pocket of my fleece!
Afterwards the little ones ran around the hall again, full of energy and shrieking with laughter, Oh the joy of being alive, with no cares!
Home, and we met a neighbour whom we hadn't seen for a while, she was amazed how he was walking. we caught up on news then I came indoors with N. A nap for him, and a soothing cuppa for me, then after an hour, up for a tea of scrambled eggs with cheese and then toast. I barely had 5 minutes back at daughter's before she arrived home, followed by her Dad, who had taken my car home and walked up the hill. We stayed till 6.45 when Daughter's husband came home.
Today has been different, N's Daddy has had the day off and has been looking after him. I haven't been at a loose end, have been catching up with house work, walked to Sainsbury's found some new exciting Oatso simple flavours, including a chocolate and raspberry. I also spent part of the morning potting up some bulbs and winter flowers, then planted the rest of the pansies in the flower bed. I also tidied the garden a bit. I spent an hour ironing too.
I called in on Son-in -Law to lend them something, he had had a doze whilst N was napping. No wonder, he had walked miles, pushing N in a pushchair a lot heavier that my lightweight buggy. N was having a snack, he indicated he wanted me to hold him, but it was only so that he could reach the microwave, he wanted to play with the buttons but is not allowed. Just as I left he wanted to come to me too, but only to reach the door handle to try and turn it; cupboard love, that's what it is.  He was weighed today and is apparently now 24lb
I had planned an easy meal, oven fish and chips, but it was not very successful, as the oven wasn't hot enough, some of the thermostat numbers have worn off the dial. I really must start to seriously look for another cooker. One burner doesn't work at all, and one burns with a lopsided flame.
Well it's almost time for bed, I hope the weather stays warm for a bit longer, one forecast says it will, another says it will get colder, do they really know?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Autumn leaves have turned to gold

The beautiful weather of  last week came to an end this week. Monday was still fine, I went out for my usual walk in the morning, I had a physio appointment, but not until the afternoon. I managed to find a parking space in the shade, and when the physio asked how I had been, I remembered suddenly, I have hardly any pain these days. I did however remark that my shoulder had felt weak whilst I was filling the watering can. I had had to water all the plants as some were looking quite dry in the heat. She showed me some more exercises to do, one involving pushing a ball up a wall. She said she would like to see me one more time.
From the hospital I went to the big garden centre. I needed to repot one of my orchids, but couldn't find an outer pot big enough to take the new plastic pot. I was quite thirsty because of the heat, and hadn't taken a bottle of water so I went in their cafe and had a fruit juice, and bought a bottle of water. I found a pot big enough, rang husband to ask if he needed anything, and he asked for crocus and snowdrops to plant in troughs.I also bought gravel to stand in the outer pot to keep the orchid  just above the water level.
On Tuesday, After doing some housework, and walking I decided to repot some of my orchids. I went into the shed to find  orchid compost, and thought, I really must clear out this shed, it hadn't been done for ages. I eventually found the orchid compost, but carried on with the tidying. There was spillled compost all over the floor, here and there chewed up bits of paper, where the field mice that take refuge in there had made nests. I got everything out, including husband's rusty old bike, the saddle of that also nibbled by mice. For ages we had discussed taking it to the dump as he hasn't ridden it for years. There are 2 bikes in my rented garage, one left by Son the other by Daughter, so even if we did decide to go for a bike ride we wouldn't need 3! I phoned husband to get the go ahead, and he said 'I suppose so'.  I managed to get it in my Fiesta, plus odd bits of furniture that had never been repaired, an old mini barbecue, an old shower curtain rod, and a few bits and bobs.
After a trip to the dump I got out a broom and tried to sweep up the mess. Eventually I finished off with the Dyson, put back the various tools in a new place,stacked the composts so they were easier to find, and went indoors to repot the orchid. At least we can now get both feet into the shed, although I'm leaving husband to sort out more of his junk his discarded possessions. I did one orchid, then decided another needed repotting. Later I vacuumed upstairs and down the stairs. Every now and again I seem to get a burst of energy and work like mad all day long. Unfortunately it doesn't last long.
When I got up on Wednesday, husband had already gone. He was off to Bristol for a meeting and was picked up by a colleague. I  decided to use his car, as his garage is nearer. At Weight watchers I had lost one whole pound. so that takes care of last week's half pound rise. The computer had been playing up, so I had to come home to print out my shopping list. I was late getting to Sainsbury's but had a fairly uneventful shopping trip. I unloaded the cold stuff and put it away, then decided I was starving. I'd only had fruit before being weighed. I quickly made up a wrap using some goats cheese and cold roasted veg which I had done the day before. As I ate it, it fell to pieces, so i ended up eating it with a knife and fork.
I unpacked more shopping then decided I needed a rest. I hadn't been sleeping well since Sunday, the herbal tablets weren't working, and I was tired after the previous day's efforts. I sat down and drifted off to sleep, As I awoke, around 3.15, I suddenly realised someone was coming through the living room door.'Can't be Daughter', I thought, 'she comes round the back'. It suddenly dawned it was husband, home early. I was pleased to see him, he was pleased to be home. I had to  drop off a prescription request, so we walked down to the doctor's together, and then came back via Sainsbury's  as there was something he needed, and I had forgotten 2 items, one being mayonnaise for his packed lunches. The weather had changed on Wednesday, it had become much colder, and there was a bitter wind. I got  my fleece out of the cupboard.
Thursday morning I was running late to pick up Nathaniel and missed my breakfast, so when I got back here with him, I quickly got Weetabix and a sliced banana. I sat on the computer chair to eat it, and showed him what Nana was having for breakfast. He disappeared into the kitchen ,and came back with a teaspoon which he proceeded to dip into my bowl, then to his mouth, with cries of 'Mmmm, mmmm' of appreciation. Obviously a hobbit in need of second breakfast!
I needed to go into town to buy a small ball to do my physio exercises. Not much joy, balls apparently are 'seasonal'. I went into another toy shop, and picked up some things for him to play with at my house. I asked about balls and a helpful assistant said she would look upstairs. She came back with 2, I bought both, one for me one for Nat. He fell asleep on the way to the bus stop, and stayed asleep for about an hour again, whilst I prepared his meal and my lunch.
After wards as I was changing his nappy he weed all over the changing mat, it went on my carpet, as I tried to clean it up he stood in it, so I had to do an almost complete clothing change. I just about made it to Women's hour, didn't have time to switch off my mobile, and of course it rang, I was dying with embarrassment! Nathaniel sat quite well through most of the talk, but did get down to play with his little friend after a while. I apologised to the pastor about my phone, but he said he hadn't heard it. I rang back and it was Daughter asking me to check that the slow cooker had in fact been switched on.
After the meeting I took Nathaniel to my house and gathered up some stuff to take to Daughter's. When we arrived  I checked the slow cooker, yes it was on. I gave N his tea, and he made a thorough mess as usual. Daughter came home and immediately got stuck into preparing dinner, then husband arrived having dropped my car off at home. I volunteered to bath N, and discovered he has a penchant for drinking bath water. Dear child. After he had gone to bed we had a very pleasant time eating and chatting, and all too soon it was time for home.
On Friday Nathaniel was asleep before we left the house with the buggy. I called in at Wickes to check their door cylinders as our lock has been sticking, and I had visions of being unable to open the front door. I don't know how we would get round that one. Then I went into Dunelm Mill for a browse, whereupon the sleeper awoke. So I took him to the small park and he had time on the swings. The slide was a bit of a failure as his shoes stuck, he then toddled around in the fallen leaves, and played peek a boo through the tunnel. He thought better of climbing through it. He wasn't very good at lunch time,  but eventually I got him to eat some casseroled beef and his favourite- yoghurt. I felt so tired that as he napped I also closed my eyes for a bit. I wish I could sleep as easily at night!
Enjoying the swing

Not impressed with the slide

peek a boo

enjoying the leaves

Another trip out later to fetch my prescription, but this time I managed to trap the door mat under the door, and I couldn't even lock it. I knew that the back gate was bolted, so I had to ring husband and get him to come home, he didn't mind leaving early, and Nathaniel enjoyed toddling up the road at the back of our house. He would have gone further, but I wouldn't let him. Eventually husband arrived and let me in. A quick tea of eggybread, half an oat bar and a satsuma, and it was time to take the youngster home to his Mum.
Yesterday was the usual  walk into town, bus back etc, but I had to go back to the pharmacy as one of my inhalers had not been in stock. I also went to Homebase and found a new cylinder, so we now have a new front door lock All I have to do now is make sure that the mat doesn't get trapped.
Today, slightly warmer, two good upbuilding services with excellent sermons, one continuing the story of Abraham, the other in Acts 14. Good news of a family member of one of our friends being out of hospital. Other news we have had this week of  a Mum in her 40s very weak after treatment for breast cancer, and the birth mother of a foster son of friends of ours,desperately ill, with very little time. All of these folk held in our prayers. Great rejoicing too at the birth of twins to another couple we know. Well time has gone, and I need to finish this for today. I am thankful that we have a God who not only hears our prayers but answers them, even if we don't get the answers we expect. All glory to Him.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Here comes the Sun, it's allright!

This has been an interesting week for us, Monday looked as if it would be a normal day, but it turned out otherwise.  As the end of the month was approaching, I decided to check our bank statement online. I came across a direct debit which I did not recognise, so I rang husband to check whether he knew anything about it. He did not. I then rang the building society and they told me that it was a payment to our mobile phone provider. It was  in effect nearly 5 times what we usually pay.
I rang husband again, and he said he would investigate, as  the contract is in his name, and it is the company for whom he works. Husband has a habit of leaving statements unopened, so I hunted for the statement and opened it, I didn't read every page, but husband rang me back to say that it had already been spotted by the provider, and someone, presumably an employee had added an expensive package to our contract, and proceeded to make £90 worth of calls in one day to Nigeria! The company are investigating. I hope that they find out who did it and dismiss them. We are in line for a refund, but had I not checked the account we could easily have gone overdrawn. I now open all mail addressed to husband, with his permission.
I also helped with the distribution of the harvest goods on Monday was almost late as I had been dealing with this problem, then got to my garage and found I had the keys for the Focus, not the Fiesta. Despite people being away there were still plenty of us involved and I only delivered 2 packages.
Tuesday I took a  longer walk, to a DIY shop to find  screws to fit the brackets I bought last week. I forgot my reading glasses, so it was difficult reading the labels, but managed to find some 'all purpose screws', which looked long enough and strong enough to hold. I measured up, and fitted the two top brackets, but it was a horrible job, in that I couldn't find husband's rechargeable screwdriver, so had to keep swapping from drill head to screw head on his rechargeable drill. We have been having lovely hot sunny weather this week, and our porch is well insulated, so I was dripping. I managed to get the two fixed and fitted the gate in place, Eureka! I could close it, without the extra extension bowing, which was what was happening before.
On Wednesday I went to WW sadly, I had gained half a pound, no idea why, then I dashed off to Sainsbury's for the shopping, then home for a quick lunch.and unpack of shopping before the electrician arrived. He came a few minutes later than promised, but was unable to fit two sockets where I had wanted as one was already a spur. He chatted quite a lot about the messes he has to sort out when called in by people who have bought a property, need something doing, then discover what has been previously done is wrong or unsafe.
When we bought this house, more than thirty years ago, a light switch had been put in the understairs cupboard, and every time that light was switched on, the living room light came half on. Husband had to sort that out. He also added a light switch on the wall by the back door, as previously we had had to come in the back door, and cross the living room to switch on the light  not pleasant or easy in the dark. Because of his training as an apprentice years ago husband is competent to do such things, Now though, he would have to have it done by  an electrician, or have it checked for safety.
I spent part of the afternoon fitting the two lower brackets, then went to collect some shirts and bed linen I'd had ironed. I'm finding I have less time for ironing these days, but don't feel inclined to do it in the evenings.One evening this week we watched a video, the Young Victoria, about Queen Victoria's youth, and all the politics and machinations surrounding her. Much of it was filmed at Blenheim, so husband and I had an enjoyable time spotting which bits were Blenheim, having been there twice this year.
I collected Nathaniel at 8 am on Thursday, brought him back here, and later we walked into town again, or rather I walked and he rode in the buggy. I had to transfer some money to pay a couple of bills. He seems to enjoy riding in the buggy, so much so that he fell asleep. I got the bus back up, and left him sleeping in the buggy whilst I did some chores and prepared his meal. He ate well, beef and veg casserole, followed by yoghurt, then he played for a bit, then I loaded him and the buggy into the car and took him to the surgery (again). This time I was the first to arrive again and had the letter of consent. One of the staff was quite taken with him as he toddled around the waiting area. Suddenly his name flashed up on the screen, much posher than having a number to hang on a hook when a buzzer is pressed. The letter was read, his health pronounced ok, and I had to hold him whilst he had three injections, two in one arm one in the other. He was not happy at this but soon cheered up, and we headed off for the church for Women's hour. I arrived a tad late, but well in time for the speaker, who is actually someone who was on the holiday when husband and I met, so he is an old friend. His wife was there too. Their son is working for an organisation called 'Caring for Life', which was set up by a Pastor in Leeds. It helps the homeless and those with serious problems.I have read a book about it called The Deafening sound of Silent tears, which is quite harrowing, but describes the difficult but rewarding work that these folk do. We then watched a DVD of the work. hearing the testimonies of people who had no family, but have now found unconditional love from this organisation, and  look on it as their family, some have found Christ too. At the end there was a bit of  brushing of eyes.
Nathaniel was quite good and sat on my lap for most of it, but got noisy in the final summing up, so I took him out for the final prayer. Afterwards he and the other little boy disappeared together, to run about in the big hall. Someone was watching them and thoroughly enjoyed their antics. I caught up with J and his wife, she seemed quite enchanted with Nathaniel. I think it must be the huge blue eyes!
On Friday I took a longer walk with him, after getting the newspapers we walked along to the canal, then back along the bank. I was going to take him to the swings, but when I reached the gate along the canal which leads into the field, I realised he was fast sleep again. Again I reclined the buggy and left him to sleep in the hall. He ate a good lunch, and afterwards I took him with me to the garden centre. My pots and troughs out at the front have been getting rather straggly, so  I needed some new plants and some spring bulbs. I managed to park in the shade. as the car was hot from standing and had taken a while for the air con to cool it. I hadn't brought a drink for either of us. I put N in trolley seat and picked up packs of winter pansies and the filled pots with bulbs. The pansies were on offer, the bulbs two pots for the price of one. I also got another pot for one of my orchids which is busy climbing out if its pot.  Nathaniel didn't think much of that when I placed it in the baby seat beside him, so he threw it out. I thought that they had a drinks machine, but they didn't , however they do sell soft drinks. I bought a bottle of  mildly fizzy lemonade. With the discounts and my garden club vouchers I didn't have to pay very much. Nathaniel and I then shared the bottle of lemonade, he hasn't had a fizzy drink before, but really seemed to enjoy it. We drove home and he played for a while then went for nap. I am pleased to report that the baby monitor works very well, I had settled down with the paper, but then woke with a start when he cried!
After a teas of mashed baked beans, another first for him, and eggy bread, I took him back home, husband called round again, and when Daughter came home we chatted for a while. I had to call at the supermarket for some items for a cod dish I was making, then it wouldn't cook properly, I don't know if it is because my oven is getting too old, or whether the gas pressure was just low, we were pretty late eating.
Yesterday we took the car into town as it was too hot to walk, did the shopping, bought lunch from Marks and drove over to near Ivinghoe beacon again to eat it. It was very pleasant up there and we watched lots of cyclists who we discovered later were practising for a race to be held today. then we came back via the garden centre, husband wanted more lavender and I bought some heathers to use in my pots. I had spent part of the morning redoing the troughs with bulbs and pansies, so hopefully they will now not need attention till Spring
Husband had persuaded me to get an M&S meal for two. It was very nice, but oh dear when I came to add up the points I was well over my daily limit; had to use all of my exercise points and some of the weekly 49! Did he have to choose a dish containing cheese and a potato dish containing cheese, as for the profiteroles.....
Today we went to church in the morning, but I had difficulty staying awake, not because of the preaching I hasten to add, that was very good as usual. I just seem so tired all the time. We had our main course in the garden at lunchtime, but husband was so hot that we ate our raspberries and ice cream indoors. He handed me a coffee, but I was too tired to drink it, and fell asleep for about an hour. I woke up and used the computer whilst husband went for a nap, I still felt tired, so tried to sleep again without success. I decided to start my blog, then later thought I must stop  and have a cuppa. suddenly husband appeared, not dressed for church and said 'have you seen the time? It was 6.10 pm. Realising I had a headache and still felt sleepy, I said 'I don't think I will make it this evening', husband agreed, so we had a quiet evening, I tidied the kitchen and made husband's packed lunch for tomorrow instead of leaving it till last thing
Later I phoned Mum-in law for a chat. I am not allowed to phone her till she has finished watching Charles Price on the God channel. We chatted till 10.15pm. now I'm trying to finish this and get to bed before 11, don't think I will make it somehow, funnily enough I don't feel as tired as I did. will just upload some pics if I can and wish you all a good week.
My replanted troughs

The ready made up pot I bought last time

The ceanothus we bought in the Summer, still has lots if lfowers