Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Missing parcels, a missing delivery, what else am I missing?

Oh dear. I am getting later and later with this blog. this last week has been a bit eventful.  I saw the physio Tuesday of last week, got a thorough examination, was told my joint mobility is quite good, The diagnosis was confirmed,and I was given ultrasound and magnetic therapy. I also have to work on my gluteus maximus and other related muscles. I am gradually getting used to the foam mattress topper, but still not sure I like it too much.
Wednesday was the usual chase around, Weightwatchers. where I had stayed the same, Sainsbury's, where I didn't spend too much, then parent and toddlers, where I was suddenly called upon to lead the singing as the lady who normally does it had to leave early. Nathaniel refused to take his nap, so Daughter brought him there for a time.
On Thursday and Friday I looked after him, he is still full of mischief, climbing higher and higher, to reach  out of bounds stuff, a very determined little boy. Thankfully he took quite long naps, so on Friday afternoon I started on this:
Mary Berry's ultimate chocolate fudge cake

Nathaniel, who had fallen asleep over lunch slept until after I took the cake out of the oven. He ate quite well on both days, and Grandad came round to Daughter's after work, Nat was full of beans charging round, shouting and having fun.
I made the ''icing' and filling in the evening. I believe the proper name for it is ganache, it's basically dark chocolate melted with cream, not Weightwatchers approved I hasten to add. On Saturday I managed to get up early for once, there were a few Birthday cards in the post. We rushed off into town, did a quick bit of shopping, then I did a quickish meal, small gammon steaks with eggs tomatoes and mushrooms, and made a pile of salmon sandwiches.
We set off for the Fellowship day at church, and I managed to transport the sandwiches and cake fairly safely,  although unbeknown to me some of the chocolate slid off the cake, and was discarded. I had foolishly put the cake on the baby seat, and it had slipped off, had I known, I would have spread it back on as it it had fallen on to some clean kitchen paper I had used to stop the cake sliding.in its box.
Some of our own folk were away, but there was good number form other churches, and we were soon engrossed in a talk from Philip Bell  from CMI, on the science of Creation.  I now know how to answer people who want to know how did they fit the dinosaurs onto the ark
We  had a break for tea, tables groaning as usual, and the family who had been celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary came in. All the salmon sandwiches went, and about half of the chocolate cake. I couldn't resist a slice of Lin's pavlova, but did try not to go overboard. All to soon we were in the kitchen washing up, with Kath and I at the sinks complaining we were sure the plates were coming for washing twice.
Soon we were back listening to the second half of the talk, but I got a bit lost when he explained carbon dating. Husband always likes to eat after the meeting , so we went to the petrol station which does M&S and he got a curry, which he reheated himself.
On Sunday morning I opened my cards, then enjoyed getting ready in a relaxed way; not having to prepare veg and calculate times for cooking meat to coincide with our return from church. (I usually resort to slow cooking).
We popped home briefly, then back out to the venue which I had chosen for lunch. There were a couple of other families there, one celebrating a 90th Birthday, the other family also had cards and presents. so presumably I wasn't the only one with a birthday that day. I had melon for my starter, and refused the bread roll. Husband had soup. We both chose roast beef, and unusually were asked to choose our dessert when ordering the mains. We both chose Bakewell tart and ice cream. It was all very yummy, and we returned home, to stretch out for a rest.
The phone rang at about 3.30, and it was my friend C to wish me a happy birthday, and to ask if I had looked outside my front door. I went to look and there was nothing there. When I told her she said 'Oh'. apparently her husband had left me a gift behind the plant pot on Saturday, they thought it would be safe as there was already a parcel there left by the postman. Bells began to ring! so that's why I didn't appear to have heard from our Son. I quickly rang him, and he confirmed , 'yes' he had sent a gift via Amazon. the postie had failed to put a card through the door.
I went upstairs to husband, who was awake, and asked him if the CCTV had been on. 'yes 'he said, and came down and began to examine the footage. we could quite clearly see our friend putting the card through the letterbox, and leaving the gift. However there was too much tape to examine in one go, so we left it  and went to church. After church, Daughter came round and we had the candles on the cake. She had been unsure how long we would be out for lunch, so they had taken a picnic up to Ashridge as it was so sunny.
M&S 'ruffle' cake, highly calorific

Not very flattering pic of me blowing candles out
Monday was quite mundane, I managed to clock up a couple of points on my pedometer with walking. I had cancelled the appointment with the nurse as I had been getting paranoid about having blood tests, asthma check and blood pressure check all together so, I had to take control. Monday evening husband managed to find footage of a young woman coming down our steps and picking up my presents. Perhaps she just didn't see the camera. Yesterday was fiasco. I had heard that J L were going to deliver the replacement for the broken part of the guest bed. I had reiterated it was to be sent to Daughter's as she has the bed on loan. I arrived there before 7.30 am as I'd had phone call, at 8.15 I rang JL as they hadn't arrived. they contacted the driver,who had tried to deliver it to my house where no one was in. The drivers promised to call on their way back, so Daughter and I spent a very boring morning waiting, and reading the papers that I nipped out to buy. We had lunch in the garden. Nat had gone for his nap, and at 2 pm I rang to be told 'Oh those drivers are back' Grrrrrr! How maddening.
 I rushed home, and got changed, hung out some washing and dashed off for my appointment with the physio. On the way I realised I had no cheque book, so parked in the village High Street and hot footed off to the cash machine. The physio told me off, in the nicest  possible way and said I could have paid next time.More of the same treatment, my exercises doubled, and I was off then to collect a prescription and rearrange my asthma check.  I went into town to get the prescription, as I wanted to got to the police station to report the theft.
The PW was quite sympathetic and her eyes lit up when I said we have CCTV footage. She took my details and later I got a call to say that my case had been allocated to a local officer. The PW on the desk had had birthday flowers stole from outside her house!
Later that evening I discovered 2 messages on my phone saying that the J L delivery had been re-scheduled for next week. Today I went to the hospital for fasting blood teats, then scoffed some fruit. I went to Weightwatchers, where I had stayed the same, not surprising in view of the weekend. When I got to Sainsbury's I still didn't feel right, so went in their cafe for tea and toast, as soon as I'd had the tea I felt ok  Tea addict!
Husband has been to Bristol for his monthly 'elfn safety' check, so is home nice and early. I have to take some stuff up to our Daughter. She is off this week, so no babyminding for me, perhaps my back will recover a bit!

Monday, 19 March 2012

March madness, and Mothering Sunday

Well, the beginning of the week was a bit of a disaster, I'm not sleeping well because of the pain in my hip. I toss and turn, have difficulty with lying on my left side, and end up feeling tired all day. I managed to get a pile of ironing done, but there's still last week's shirts plus a whole load more that I have washed since.
After lunch on Tuesday, I was about to doze off on the sofa, when my eldest sister rang. We chatted for quite some time, and I'm sure she told me about a problem she had with her health, but my mind is a total blank as to what it was. We did discuss her Daughter's problems though, and I can recall that. I hope it's just tiredness that makes me blank things out.
On Wednesday, I managed to get an appointment with a doctor I know and like. She examined me palpated the area till I yelled 'Ow', then checked my hip rotation. She said that it was fine, and said I have a trochanteric bursitis. As it started at Christmas when I was sleeping on a firm mattress she thought that was the cause, as I haven't fallen on that side at  all.  She has recommended physio. I thought it might be what she had said it was, as many years ago I had the same problem on the other side, and when I googled my symptoms that is what came up.
Going to the doctor's meant I missed the Weight watcher's meeting, but I did go along to get weighed, and had lost 3lb, 2 from last week, plus a 'whole new pound' as a lady I know says. The Doctor also took my BP and the bottom reading was normal but the top one high, however she accepted my home readings and discussed ways that I could use to try and control my white coat phobia. She also gave me a form for my annual blood tests, and suggested I have my asthma check together with the blood tests at the surgery, so I booked a fasting blood test for the day after my Birthday. Mustn't eat cream in my Birthday!
Later in the afternoon I took a card up to the post office, for my cousin's Birthday, dropped off another charity shop bag, and called in on Daughter. Nathaniel showed me how he can do most of the actions and some of the words to 'Wind the Bobbin up'. Big round of applause. My back started playing up, I think it was from when the Doctor rotated my hips so I was glad that Daughter had 2 days off and I didn't have to look after Nathaniel.
Nathaniel finds a new perch
I did mind him for an hour or so on Thursday morning, as she had to go somewhere and preferred not to take him. He was no trouble and kept himself (and me) amused.
video
 I have tried to upload a video of him dancing to a musical toy, but I am not  sure it worked.
On Thursday afternoon I should have gone to Women's hour, but my back was so bad, that I felt I didn't want to move from my comfortable position. I just rested instead.
Last week. my husband was complaining the the heater in my car would not work properly. He was right! It seemed to have three settings, 'hot', 'even hotter' and 'stop for a moment and take your coat/cardigan etc off.'  I put it to off and the heat just went on, so I resorted to opening the window. Anyway, I booked it into Ford's as our local garage proved useless last time I had problems with the heater. So Friday morning I was up early, dropped the car off, and decided to walk into town. My pace was slower due to my back and hip problems, but I managed to get there. I picked up the newspapers and a few other things at Asda, so I could use their toilets. I walked right to the end of town and got the bus up the hill. Then I tried to contact Daughter. She eventually called me back, and came round to pick me up for our trip to Milton Keynes
We arrived in time for lunch, which we had at John Lewis. I had a rather nice quiche and salad, but left the
pastry crust. Then we set off for a tour round the shops beginning with John Lewis. I still have some money left from Christmas gifts, and was looking to see if something would catch my eye. There is a huge open space in the shopping centre there, where they usually have exhibitions, or Father Christmas village, but on Friday there was nothing there, so Nathaniel was allowed to run around for a while. He isn't very good at walking on reins, wants to go off and do his own thing, so he spent part of the shopping trip confined to his buggy..
He had his feet measured, and got a new pair of shoes, but Daughter and I didn't buy much. we were tiring and couldn't be bothered to go down the extension to Debenham's. Instead, Daughter treated me to a pot of tea whilst I chatted,on my mobile to a mechanic, about my car. Daughter drove me to Ford's and I collected my car and came home.
We were just relaxing after dinner, when  pouffe! out went all the lights; the computer went off so did the radio, and the fridge freezer stopped humming. It was eerily quiet. Husband grabbed his torch and checked the fuse box,- nothing wrong there.
He went outside and the only lights were coming from the cars. Our neighbour called to me and I went over to tell her it was definitely a power cut, and to check she was OK for candles.
 In the 1970s power cuts were frequent as the power workers used them as weapons to get their way in the pay wars. Then we had the 3 day week. I worked at Manweb head office  in those days, and although we could have had our lights on, we didn't as a  PR exercise. Our building was unique in that we relied on the lights for heat, so on  our official 2 days without power, we all dressed warmly, and went into the office and worked until it became too dark to see, then we left.
I went round the house lighting candles, and husband went upstairs for these
Oil lamps





Of all the junk items we have collected over the years these have proved the most useful
 as well as being ornamental. I sat down with the newspaper and a torch, husband fiddled with his smart phone and located a message form the local electricity company,  which said the engineers were on their way. I had almost finished the paper when up came the lights again, about 57 minutes after they went off.
Thankfully the boiler reignited itself,  so we were ok.
Saturday was a slow day again. having slept badly I awoke late  and we ran late all day again . I couldn't face walking into town, so we took the car. We didn't stay long, but the fruit and veg stall had plenty of stock as it had rained all morning, and people were late coming into town to shop.
I took it easy for the rest of the day, not sure whether I should rest my hip or not, I see the physio tomorrow so will have to ask her. I'm going privately again, as I can claim the cost from HSA.
Yesterday started bright and I wore a suit for church, which I've had for over 11 years, but have only been able to get into on occasions. It was colder than I thought, so for evening I swapped the short sleeve jumper for a long sleeve one, and swapped the jacket for  a wool coat.  We had 2 excellent sermons again, we are really spoilt.
I'd had a card form Son for Mothering Sunday, and later Daughter and her husband came round with Nathaniel,  and a card, and this:
'Cauldron', with daffs and primulas 
It is now sitting on my patio. Husband missed his nap because of the visitors, but he didn't mind too much as he enjoyed  seeing Nathaniel. He did however have trouble keeping his eyes open during the sermon.
Today I have had husband's car MOT'd, and then went to Watford in search of a memory foam mattress topper, to see if it will help my back. It was toss up between J L and M&S, but M&S didn't have the size I needed. It has to air for 24 hours, so tomorrow night will be when I start to use it. I just hope it works.




Monday, 12 March 2012

March musings

Well another week, another post, not much excitement at the beginning of the week, but I did walk into town on Tuesday, to buy some cards, and deposit a cheque, I thought it wouldn't take me long, but I bumped into 3 people who I hadn't seen for a while, Ben's nan who was full of her medical problems, a Christian lady who used to come to parent and toddlers when she had 2 boys. She now has 3 and is expecting number 4 at any time. I wonder if this one will be a boy too? I suppose it's still 50/50.
I popped into M&S for a sandwich as I was running so late, and on my way out  met one of the ladies who used to be a midday supervisor with me at our children's school, so we had a long catching up session too. Her Daughter married quite young, and she now has 2 grandchildren, one off to Secondary school soon. Doesn't time fly? I managed to get quite a pile of ironing done, but felt too tired to change our bedlinen.
On Wednesday at Weightwatchers, I had gained 2lb, obviously the result of our high living last week, never mind I don't regret it, but I must stay off the chocolate. I didn't buy a lot at Sainsbury's, but it came to more than I expected. I popped up to see Daughter for a while, and Nathaniel was full of beans as usual, he rarely seems to sit still.
Last weekend I bought the book 'Call the Midwife', but I didn't enjoy it very much, in fact I thought that one chapter was quite pornographic. It dealt with brothel scenes, but I am sure it was not necessary to the story. I don't think I will buy any more of the series.
I was up early on Thursday, to collect Nat. Daughter was a bit behind, so I had to wash and dress him again. I brought him home here, and once again he showed he was not that interested in toys, but would rather climb up and grab our things. Oh dear, where can I find that is out of reach? I took him upstairs with me whilst I  stripped the bed, then after I put the sheet on, he was slip sliding on the duvet, trying to reach the bed. I lifted him up, and he rampaged over the bed, sat on the pillows, and fiddled with my radio alarm. Foolishly I showed him the buttons which made the radio work. I left the duvet cover till later, and took him downstairs.  We went out for a walk and  called in Sainsbury's. he is always fairly quiet in the buggy, but he didn't fall asleep.
At home I gave him some lunch, cottage pie which he ate quite well, it is fairly soft if, as we think he is teething.
I wanted to try and get to Women's hour, I haven't been for weeks, and it was the anniversary. I toyed with the idea of walking him down in the buggy and hoping he would go to sleep, but I have a painful leg at present, and wasn't sure I could make it in time, plus the fact that I couldn't see one of his shoes.
 I found it on the cupboard by the TV, wonder who put it there? I decided to go by car and take the buggy, hopefully he would sleep in that. He hadn't fallen asleep when we got there, but I wheeled him into a side room, and within minutes he was asleep, so I was able to enjoy the meeting, and some fellowship. Sadly our oldest member, 96.was unwell at the end of the meeting. We all moved into another room. The ambulance station is less than 200 yards from the church building, but the ambulance didn't get there for 20 minutes. Her Daughter came along, and was persuaded that L should go for a check up at A&E.
As I was ready to leave Nat woke up. I was concerned he hadn't slept long enough, so I went for a country drive, and he soon nodded off again.
By the time we got home it was almost time for tea. He wasn't too keen on cheesy egg, but devoured a large slice of toast. I think I may have got the cheesy egg recipe slightly wrong, must try it another way. I took him home, and Grandad arrived, having parked my car and walked up. Mummy came home and Nathaniel played to the gallery, charging around shrieking and generally having fun. He was trying to get onto the sofa, and his Mum said 'he can't quite get on our sofa yet, it's too high'. So guess who proved her wrong?
On Friday morning I was awoken by a horrible beeping instead of soothing Classic fm, oh well my fault I suppose. I should have known he would have a go at the buttons on my alarm.

I brought him here and went upstairs to collect some washing. I took him into the garden whilst I hung out the bed linen and he enjoyed tramping round the grass, sitting on the edge of the patio, and dabbling his hands in the birdbath. We came back indoors and  he beat me into the kitchen and showed how helpful he could be.
Nathaniel loads the washing machine




Sorry, the pics are a bit blurred. Later he came up to me saying, 'No, no no', and handed me a 2 pence piece. I had to smile because if I see him pick up a coin I say, 'No no no, give it to Nana.  A walk, a good lunch again, a long nap and a dose of 'In the Night Garden' ensured that the day flew by. I have to confess to napping when he did. More antics with Grandad and Mummy back at his home, then husband and I came home for Sea bass fillets potatoes and peas. We watched more antiques road trip, after I had phoned  Mum in Law.
Yesterday I overslept again, we ran late all day. we drove into town, and husband decided to make our camera system into a  full CCTV system, so he spent the afternoon wandering around with cables. Irecently read an article by an ex burglar, who said he wouldn't touch a house with cameras, so hopefully we have now upgraded our security.
Today was lovely and sunny quite Spring like, out came some of my Spring wardrobe. Our eldest member was back in church today, her problems were thought to be caused by an infection, and dehydration. Sadly she had another 'turn' today, and family were summoned again. I really don't think she will be able to insist on living alone much longer. Two very good sermons, and some tender  Border lamb for Sunday lunch made it a good day.  I can't believe it's Monday tomorrow.
It's official

Flowers in my untidy garden

show that Spring is here
When I went to the postbox  this afternoon, I saw the red kite. It's definitely a kite. I have checked online, must start carrying a camera.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to Bath we go

Well I can't remember too much of what happened at the beginning of last week, apart from looking after Nathaniel for a short while on Monday whilst his Mum went somewhere. I was back to eating normally by Monday thankfully, I did buy a small piece of beef, I nearly said took out a mortgage on a small piece of beef, what on earth has happened to to the price of meat?
Wednesday was quite busy, off to Weightwatchers, where I had lost one and a half pounds, had hoped it was more as I'd been so ill, but  better than nothing. I had had notification that a replacement for the missing parcel had been sent, and of course it arrived Wednesday morning whilst I was out. For once I didn't spend a fortune at Sainsbury's, but noticed that the pork had also shot up in price. I read in the local paper that a lad who was at primary school with our Son had died. J had suffered from neuroblastoma when he was quite small, in fact there was doubt that he would ever make it to school. His Mum practically lived at Great Ormonde Street, and attended many funerals of young sufferers. However J recovered, and I well remember the day when she came into the school where we both worked as midday supervisors, and jubilantly told us that J was considered cured. Strangely enough, several years before, a friend who had been a health visitor had asked me to pray for a little boy who was very ill. So I was praying for J before I even knew him.
Last Summer, I met his sister and she told me that he had developed cancer somewhere else, and was desperately ill. Once again I offered to pray for him. Sadly at that stage there was not much that could be done, a medical error had robbed him of the use of his legs, but determinedly he managed to walk again with sticks. So I bought a sympathy card for the family
We heard of another death of a younger person last week too. H was sweet young woman who we met when she was doing Beach Missions in St Ives, many years ago. Later we met her Brother, who told us that H had gone to train to be a nurse, in London, but had spent more time in hospital than in training, as she had severe asthma,and the pollution in London made it worse. She eventually married and moved from Cornwall, but Daughter met her sister at University, so still had contact. Sadly H was divorced, and had diabetes, but her death is still a shock to her family, they need our prayers at this time.
Wednesday afternoon, I drove to the new sorting office, anyone who doesn't have a car now can't get there. I eventually found the entrance, and claimed the parcel. On the way back I popped the sympathy card through G's letterbox, then called in on Daughter. Nat was in a grumpy mood, but it turned out he had another nappy rash, his skin is so sensitive. I noticed he was walking like a cowboy, so Daughter changed him, applied magical metanium, and he was a different child; happily spinning round and applauding himself and grinning.
Thursday morning first thing I popped up to daughter's home.  Her husband was looking after Nat, as we were going away for 2 days. Daughter had told me that her Husband wanted to borrow a tile cutter, he looked a bit bemused when I handed it to him. I also took husband's car to the car wash for a much needed clean.
We packed and set off at about 11.30, M25 and M4, stopping for lunch at Reading. It was our 32nd wedding anniversary, so we had decided to visit Bath. the hotels in Bath were expensive, and charged almost double for Friday nights, so I had booked one outside Bath. We arrived about 2.30 which was check in time, and were shown to our room, where there was a large cardboard box, containing flowers for me. Husband had not had time to shop for a card.
Hotel

our room
My flowers
We relaxed, I explored the hotel and spa, then we had a walk around the grounds read the papers, browsed TV channels, and went down for dinner at 7.30. We were seated in the lounge in front of a roaring log fire to choose from the menu. It was modern English, the sort where you don't seem to get much on the plate, but by the time you have eaten all the courses you are really full. I had scallops for a starter, husband had smokey bacon and a pheasant egg, there were complimentary mini rolls from the chef. I should have resisted, but didn't, I had forgotten how good butter tastes. There was also a complimentary mini roast root veg crumble too, which tasted divine. We both chose sea bass for our main, then a scrumptious chocolate tart with creme fraiche and black pepper ice cream. Coffee and petit fours followed, and  we went to our room somewhat satisfied. The bed was reasonably comfortable, you all know what difficulties I have. I slept fairly well, and we woke fairly early, to see the grounds covered in fog.
After a good breakfast, yoghurt and fruit, followed by various items for the full English then toast and marmalade, we returned to our room and husband use his smart phone to find a park'n'ride. That was free, and we used our bus passes to go into Bath. We explored the roman Bath, and other sights, till footsore we stopped at Costa, for a coffee and a bite to eat, then we explored more, and went into the Abbey. We were quite tired so found the bus and returned to the hotel, where we tried to rest before dinner.
Abbey

Roman bath

carving of god from temple

Drain from bath
The Circus

Assembly rooms

Royal Crescent

weir on Avon

Bridge with shops

abbey window

carved angels

restored organ

ornate ceiling
This time husband had a Cornish sardine, I had a goat's cheese tart with beetroot ice cream, another amuse bouche from the chef, and more rolls, then Somerset lamb with Rosemary mash. I had a trio of orange and chocolate,and husband a toasted coconut parfait with pineapple crisp. He had decided to have a glass of port, so only I had the petit fours with my coffee, although he did have my mini doughnut.
After another good breakfast we packed and left, and arrived home at about lunchtime, although neither of us felt like lunch. I walked to Sainsbury;s for some odds and ends then had a doze, and phoned various people. Back to reality, it poured with rain yesterday, bur we were in our own church, with our pastor, and apart from the road being closed in the evening due to a fire, leaving a problem with parking, we enjoyed 2 good sermons. I remarked to husband 'I couldn't eat like we did in the hotel for long'. Now I  have to cut back as it's weigh day on Wednesday. Oh well it was nice while it lasted