Thursday, 23 January 2014

Lazing around a lot

The Saturday after Christmas was a fairly quiet day, just us and Mum in Law. She had been talking about going into the town centre on the Friday, sure she could manage it alone, but she didn't budge from her chair apart from to wash up. She does take along time over the washing up, but I suppose it;s her age. Whereas we use really hot water, then leave everything to drain and dry off, she dries everything down to the last teaspoon. So on Saturday when we said we were going into town, she said she would come. I wasn't confident of walking,as since tripping over the leg of the high chair, my back had got worse.
We went by car, but I wasn't comfortable sitting in the car. We did what shopping we needed to do, including buying lots of nibbles for teatime on the Sunday. I had decided to invite Daughter and Son in Law, as Mum in Law had said she didn't want to stay too long with us,as she finds it difficult to get used to being alone again. So as Daughter and co were travelling back that day, and it would help them, then they would also get to see Grandma one more time.
Travelling home in the car from town, I was in considerable pain, and realised I would not be able to cope with church the next day. We had a spag bol, and I rested quite lot. Then on the Sunday, Husband and his Mum went off to church,and I just pottered, as much as I could, and got dinner ready. I had bought desserts to lessen the work. Everything went well, and then I enjoyed a good rest. We had a help yourself buffet style tea, sadly no one made it to church, but I think everyone enjoyed it.
We had already decided that husband would take his Mum home on the Monday, I said why not come back Tuesday? but he was adamant he would do it in one day, and he did. I managed to sit on my specs again, and the lens popped out. I fixed them, but the lens popped out again. When I tried to tighten the screw, I realised that the actual frame had broken. On the Tuesday, we decided we would get the bus into town, to get a new pair. However, as I'm still not sleeping, the mattress we bought  does nothing to ease my pain, so I was up late, and by the time we arrived in town the opticians had closed, early closing  2 pm on  New year eve. Next door to the opticians is a bed store, so we went in and tried a few mattresses. I cannot cope with firm mattresses, indeed my osteopath says they are wrong for me. So we went from bed to bed, trying quite a few. There was one which seemed better than the others, but we decided to go back another day.  As usual it was useless going to bed before midnight,as there were lots of fireworks. It is only the second time in about 8 years that we haven't been on the South Coast taking Mum in Law back.
New year's day was fairly quiet, husband came to Sainsbo's with me, and helped with the shopping, I spent a lot of time resting again.
The next day, we went out a bit earlier,and got to the opticians. We walked down, which was a mistake, and I had to go to the bank, so walked further than  normal. The opticians had had lot of people in with broken glasses, they had a matching frame, not the same shade, but it cost far less than I had thought it would. The we went back to the bed shop.  I still couldn't quite decide, but to be fair, waking had given me a lot of pain. We were told that they had a bigger range in the Watford store including a very soft mattress.
Normally we would have looked after the children, but Daughter had refused to let me as she could see how I was suffering, so she and her husband took a day off each. We had lunch in M&S on the Thursday, last time we had done that was when Ethan was born, and later that day we got a 4 month picture. We got the bus back up the hill,
On the Friday, we decided to go to Watford. I went out to the recycling bins, a couple of times, and heard about 5 claps of thunder, then suddenly we got a terrific hailstorm.

So we were a bit late setting off for Watford, and arrived in John Lewis in time for lunch. Afterwards, I returned a pair of shoes which I had bought in the sale. I'd tried them on in the summer and they appeared to fit, but I was put off by the price, They were reduced in the sale, and J L had tracked them down to the High Wycombe store, and they had posted them. However they were far too tight, and as they were patent I didn't want to stretch them, so they had to go back. Then we met up in the bed dept, and started trying out mattresses. They do mattresses which are firm on one side and medium the other, we tried several, but kept going back to one that was medium.
We were told the same as we had been told in the other store, that it's the men who can sleep on anything, and the women who complain that they can't sleep. We also tried a few Tempur mattresses, but did not find them too comfortable. Apparently the format of those has been changed too. We learned that Dunlopillo, had been taken over by a different company,and the composition is different, which could explain why I have been unable to sleep on ours without a topper.
At about 4 pm, husband said we should really be going, so we walked back to the car, which set my back off, and when we got to the other bed store, the one with the branch in our town, I was in such pain that nothing felt comfy. The softer mattress turned out to cost £2,500, which was way out of our budget. After lying on several mattresses and finding they all felt the same, we came home without having bought anything.
On the Saturday we were late going out.We'd had lots of rain, the enormous puddle was back in the car parking area, and neighbours warned us that the road we were planning to use was flooded. On impulse husband suggested we went over to St Albans, so we shopped in Waitrose for a change.
We were quite concerned to see the awful damage in Aberystwyth, our daughter was there as a student, more than 10 years ago, and she spent her final year in seafront halls. The B&B we stayed at when I took her for open day was also flooded.
Sorry, I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but didn't get round to adding the pics.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

A Happy Christmas was had by all

Well I did forget to mention the carol service. Mum in Law decided not to come, so it was just us two. We didn't have my favourite, Joy to the world. I did manage to buy the dairy free ice cream, Daughter managed to get some too. I completed icing the cake, and got most of the cards hung up.
I spent part of Christmas Eve making new stockings, for the children, and replacing one that had got lost. They were done very quickly on my new sewing machine.

New stockings
Our pot grown tree on its third Christmas

Tree ornaments

Winter Wonderland cake               

Son and his wife, baby and Tom arrived at around 5 pm.They were planning a meal out, but as they went to book in the travel lodge, they discovered that the place was closing early.
We had offered them gammon, which is what we were having, but Son ordered a take away from the place and drove over to pick it up. They went off later to the lodge, leaving Tom with us.
I was up relatively early, we opened our stockings, and I got the Turkey sorted and into the oven before church. Husband took Tom out, the we went to our church for the service at 10.00 am. We still didn't have Joy to the world, so I felt deprived.
Home again, Son and his wife joined us. We were a tad later than I'd hoped sitting down, but all was cooked well, I seem to remember it was the sausages which had failed to brown that held us up.
Baby Ethan was a bit fractious, probably from all the change to his routine, but Son took him upstairs
and laid him safely on a bed so that they could eat in peace. Excuse the pun, but the ice cream bombe, which I had bought for those who didn't like Christmas pudding, went down well. Some of us had clotted cream with our pudding, but Grandma had her dairy free ice cream.
After the washing up we headed off to Daughter's, where we all opened our presents, then later ate an enormous buffet tea. Son had provided a trifle, which he had made and managed to transport without spilling much custard.
Opening gifts

The wonder of Christmas

baby talk

Great Grandma
Add caption

daughter with nostalgic toy


As usual, most had bought what I wanted, or given me money, but there was a huge box of chocs, and a tin of choccy biccies, in addition to the tin of shortbread, which our Son had discovered tied to our front door when he took Tom out the evening before. This was from husband's ex work colleagues. We made our way home later, and as  a treat Tom had the turkey giblets with his meal.
On Boxing Day, the younger family members had a trip out to Ashridge Forest for a walk, so I went out and bought the Telegraph, then we watched Downton Abbey, and Call the Midwife on the catch up services. I couldn't go for the Forest walk as my back was really painful. Grandma needed company anyway.
Son and his wife arrived back having had lunch, had to bath Tom as he was so mucky. Fortunately they left a drop of dog shampoo here in the summer. So we had a salad, then later Daughter and family came round, and all squashed in,and I opened the box of chocs, and they were handed round several times, so there were not many left for me to be tempted by. Daughter and family left later to travel to her husband's parent's home in Kent.
Our Son and his wife came round the next day, having been to buy something they really wanted. They left some time during the afternoon, as they were off home, as he had to work on Saturday, they didn't get home very early as the traffic was bad, but the weather was not as bad as predicted. We had been shopping that morning to Sainsbury's, I usually go on a Wednesday for the weekly shop, but was completely thrown out by they Christmas holiday. It was nice to have husband with me to help, but he does sneak things in the trolley which I normally would not buy, there was no weigh in for 2 weeks unless I went to a different class, so I've kept an eye on the scales at home so that I didn't gain too much.