Thursday, 17 December 2015

i'm still here

Just a quick post to say I haven't gone anywhere, I was in danger of disappearing under the heap of Christmas cards, most of which are now posted, but I still haven't updated my blog. Hopefully when the dust settles a bit after the annual Christmas madness, I will be able to gather some thoughts together,and give you some highlights of the last few months

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Drifting into september

So for the rest of August we did not have the children to look after. I had to go back to my GP pronto, I didn't see the lady I normally see. This one took my BP, and put the tablets up. A day or so later my BP dropped very low, so I rang him. I was told to drop the dose again, and take in some readings, but when saw the original Dr later, as I was getting side effects she said my BP was high, made me sit on the waiting room till it went down. Then she said all the side effects were caused by anxiety, offered me prozac, which I refused, as I felt it was a slegehammer to crack a nut. So she raised the dose again, and offered me CBT.
Tom came to stay, his owners managed to get through the channel tunnel ok, despite the problems caused by the migrant crisis. We had Nathaniel's's Birthday, he said he wanted a pirate party. So his Mum booked an adventure playground, and set about finding piratey stuff, and making pirate cup cakes. She was having difficulty over fitting in his Birthday tea cake however, so as I had more time I volunteered to make one. I had a recipe I'd been longing to try for years, so got together the stuff and started making it.
His party on the Saturday went well, although Granddad and I gave it a wide berth. His Sunday tea party, with just us as special guests also went well, the pirate galleon cake was a hit, although we had to take off some sails to light the candles, as we don't think the local fire brigade would have been too pleased to be called to a cake conflagration.

The next day they set off for a week in Suffolk, and we had a quiet week with no bike rides, just walks and cuddles with Tom. I treated myself to a 'therapeutic' colouring book, and some coloured pencils, tried to get plenty of relaxation and more sleep, switching to camomile tea as my bedtime drink, as the Ovaltine was affecting my catarrh.
Our son and his wife and Ethan returned the following Sunday with their friend, and stayed 2 nights, and on the Bank Holiday Monday, the others returned. It was to be Ethan's second Birthday on the 2nd of September, so I had been busy making a cake for him too. We had had a trip to Lakeland in Watford for a half  orb pan, Then I began seeing them elsewhere. The cake was in the shape of a ball which is one of his favourite playthings.
We went to the local Harvester for lunch. although I cannot say I was impressed with their menu, never having been before, then back home where we had candles, then I cut a chunk of cake for anyone who wanted some, and parcelled some up for the others to take home then we waved them goodbye.
Ethan's cake

On 4th September we visited Waddesdon Manor. when we go in December for the lights, the main house is not open, so we thought we would like to have a day out. we went and had lunch in the stables cafe again, not so crowded this time, then we walked up to the house and marvelled at the priceless treasures which the Rothschilds bequeathed to the  nation

One of the drawing rooms

Porcelain traesures

Ornate cabinet
We had some quite warm weather around that time, on the 10th we went off to visit Mum in Law. We can now go during the week. We had our usual trip into Eastbourne, for shopping, stopping at the garden centre for some stuff for her and havoing lunch in their cafe for a change. Then the next day went into Bexhill, and had lunch there. Mum In Law had a bit of a problem in her kitchen, which led to me cleaning out 3 of her cupboards. It was a  chance to get rid of some out of date stuff. She has poor eyesight, and cannot see dates so well.
She is having more memory problems. still cannot recall what happened before she ended up in hospital. Whilst down there I got my hair cut, as I had kept forgetting to make an appointment what with all the Doctors appointments I had. We travelled home on the Friday, but the M25 was quite busy by the time we reached it.
We started watching the last series of Downton Abbey on i player we were also watching Doc Martin,and I was watching the last series of Lewis. Husband watches Dr Who, but it's not what I enjoy.
I decided it was time to get out the autumn and winter clothes, just as well as we had some rain and cold weather. I photographed the super moon, but didn't stay up to watch the eclipse, or 'blood moon' as some called it. There were people who class themselves as prophets who were predicting dire events for September, but none of these came to pass. Well if a prophet spoke in Old testament times, whatever was prophesied was certain, and came to pass, so the modern 'prophets' should be classed as false prophets, The bible has something to say about these in Deuteronomy 18 v 20-22, and 2 Corinthians 11 13-15, a sobering thought.
I even managed a bike ride but only 3.8 miles, must try to improve on that.
Sorry this is late, didn't get round to uploading pictures

Friday, 6 November 2015

wildlife park pics

I had trouble fitting everything into the last post, so here are some wildlife park pics:
deer on wildlife trail

Granddad takes a picture of them playing on pirate ship
swingy bridge

together on the slide
wet white tiger

Bactrian camel

sloth behind glass
sleepy lion

Angst in August

I forgot to mention that we went for a bike ride on the last day of July, only as far as Kings Langley as I was still having a problem with the new saddle and it needed adjusting.
I had some difficulties during August. We had told our Daughter that we wanted a break from child minding, as we had been doing it for getting on for 2 years. Unfortunately Lydia doesn't get her free child care till January, so it was going to cost them. However as things turned out it seemed I needed a break.
We took the children on a day out to Mead open farm.  They have been there before, but still enjoyed feeding the animals, going on a tractor ride, playing in the play area etc.
Nathaniel in play tower

Coming down the chute

Lydia looks at the ride on tractors
feeding the goats
fun in the sand pit

playing on the old tractor

It was our Daughter's Birthday that week and they were a bit disorganised, so we only made it to Leigh on Sea again. Her husband came this time, and once again the weather bucked up, and it was baking hot. The tea room garden was full, but we went to the Peter Boat and ate Later the children went on the little beach and used the padding pool, then we saw a cockle boat come in and unload there was a crowd watching,and it was fascinating to see how many bags they unloaded. Later we bought ice creams, then went up into the town, and had tea and coffee, then Daughter and Husband took the children into a play park, so we set of for home. We had the blowing out of the candles later.
cockle boat comes in
(in wrong order)

just been paddling

On the second Sunday in the month, as I was going into church, I started getting palpitations. I went out to try and control them, but they seemed to get worse. Someone fetched a Dr from the congregation, and he checked me over, and asked if I would like to be checked by paramedics. I wish now that I had said 'No I will recover in a few minutes'.  So I was checked over, ecg fine but even being in the ambulance was stressful, so my BP systolic was higher than it should be. So they said they were obliged to take me to the A&E. Husband followed in the car.
Of course on arrival I was so nervous that my systolic was up again. I was taken to a cubicle, given another ecg,and had blood tests taken. a cannula was inserted in my arm. I eventually saw a very junior Dr, who asked me loads of questions, then another who asked the same questions did lots of tests, and went away.
The Aussie nurse, who said she didn't believe in 'white coat syndrome', kept on checking my BP, but over the cannula, which meant that every time the cuff inflated, the needle dug into my arm and caused excruciating pain. Then when a registrar came to speak to me, he said I had recorded the highest systolic ever seen in the department. I was given a calcium channel blocker, which I hate taking, as they make my face flush and my heart pound. I was also offered a sandwich, husband had rung Daughter earlier and got her to turn our oven off. Eventually, after much waiting, a dose of a strong diuretic,and readings taken on the other arm, the A&E consultant arrived, said my BP was not ideal, but they couldn't keep me in for that, and discharged me. He also said that a busy A&E was not conducive to low BP. As we got in the car, I relaxed and all the tension dissipated. It was good to get home, albeit too late to attempt to go to the evening service.
The doctors in their wisdom, had decided that I should take a daily calcium channel blocker, despite me telling them that they did not agree with me.
The next day, we set off on a bike ride, only to be recalled by Daughter, who had a dental appointment and needed a babysitter. On the Wednesday, I booked online tickets for Paradise wildlife park. Husband checked the weather forecast,and said it didn't look too good. The satnav took us on a convoluted route then petered out. Eventually, we found the place, and walked round a wildlife trail. Then the children went in the play area for a time, then we went in for lunch whilst the cafe was still quiet. Suddenly husband said 'look outside'. It had started to rain. The cafe soon filled up, and we went out and started looking at the animals. The meerkats were all hiding, but we saw camel, zebra, tigers. white tigers, monkeys sloths and lions. Most of them were outside. At one point it thundered, and husband said, 'Oh yes that was forecast' We had a bit of respite, feeding some farm animals, and then as we were setting off to see the birds of paradise, a little voice piped up, 'I want to go home'.
I almost cheered! At home I changed their soggy clothing, then nipped up to their home for dry socks for Nathaniel, and wellies to take them home in.
On the Friday, I was due at the GP surgery, as the A&E had insisted I saw my GP for a BP check. I hadn't slept for 4 nights due to a pounding heart cause by the Amlopidine. My systolic hit the roof again, and the GP said she would have to send me into hospital to have it brought down.
I was in quite a state of anxiety, so she arranged for me to go to the ambulatory care unit instead of A&E. I had to phone husband, he drove me there, I had more blood tests, MRSA swabs,  ecg, was given a sandwich,and was eventually admitted to AAU, where the 'urgent' treatment was delayed till. 11.30 pm. Husband left at 8. I had a super nurse assigned to me, I was given a hospital nightie and toiletries. Then a technician had 3 goes at finding a vein, leaving me with some nasty bruises, and him having to wipe blood of the bedside chair.
A drip was set up, and I had my BP checked every hour. Someone else's drip kept beeping, and the heating was noisy, so another sleepless night. I had a bit of respite for an hour when it reached 'textbook', but had to go back on the drip as it rose again. My phone battery had died, but I had asked husband to bring stuff in at visiting. I was eventually told I could go home, my blood tests were fine, but the prescribed 'newer' beta blockers which are not supposed to affect the lungs, I had a lunch of chicken salad, and yoghurt. Husband was late for visiting, as there was a football match on, literally next door to the hospital. We had to wait for my drugs, then I dressed and came home, with instructions to learn to relax.
bruise from failed cannula insertion

I checked my BP about an hour after arriving home, it was quite normal, and proved that my problems were caused by anxiety.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

July Journal

 I am really sorry for neglecting this blog, I started this post weeks ago, but had some minor health problems, more of which later, and didn't really feel like updating. The beginning of July was quite eventful. We'd had a wedding anniversary to remember at the end of June, Son and wife, and we had another on July 1st. We babysat whist our Daughter and Husband went out for a meal. The weather was hot the children were bent on not sleeping. I had taken husband with me, as he has a commanding voice, but he fell asleep.
I lost count of the times I went up and told them off, but in the end I just sat and watched a detective story on iplayer. Their Mum soon settled them when she got home, and the next day, I bought them both some summer pjs, in case it was the heat keeping them awake. We had already discarded the  duvet, and had cotton satin sheets on with a very thin cotton bedspread.
The next day, I got a phone call to say the rector had seen an ambulance outside Mum in Law's house, had gone to investigate and was told she was being taken to hospital, as she had been found confused in a road at the other end of the village. At the mention of the word 'ambulance', I'd had a massive adrenalin rush, then palpitations. It was going to be 6 years the next day since her husband died.
I managed to tell husband, and he phoned the A&E dept and actually spoke to his Mum. She said she was ok, but had some sort of fall, and they were going to keep her in overnight. She didn't want us to go down. She actually ended up staying till the Tuesday morning,as she needed to see a physio,and they don't work weekends. She had various xrays, a brain scan, 3 ECGs, but they couldn't seem to find anything that had caused a fall, and she has no recollection of the accident other than that she was on her way to the hairdresser's, and was taking a short cut through the car park. so how she ended up cut and bruised, in a road about a quarter of a mile away, remains a mystery. Perhaps the memory will come back later.
On the evening of the 3rd July,we'd had a couple of really hot days ,and then we had a huge thunderstorm, which went on for ages. That weekend we went over to Aylesbury for shopping as there was something I wanted to buy. I didn't find it but we saw some very interesting people.
New comic shop opening

Roald Dahl festival


Mum in law came out of hospital on 7th July, but was quite sure she didn't want us to visit, so it was difficult, as we didn't want to put any extra strain on her by going there to stay.
Our Daughter took the children to the dentist for the first time, so I went with them to help out whilst Daughter was being examined. July was a fairly wet month, but we also had some very hot days. The front garden really flourished again, there were loads of raspberries and blackcurrants,and we ate lots of them, I froze some, I made 2 lots of jam.

 We had a day shopping in Watford and husband went into Lakeland,and bought a cheap ice cream maker, so ice cream is added to his repertoire. I need a bigger kitchen! I was left with egg whites, so I made a pavlova, which we took to Cheshire when we spent a couple of days with our Son and family. We had a day out in Chester, but our Son had to work on the Saturday, so we took Ethan to a local children's farm.

making friends with the goat
The children finished school for the summer. The first week I wasn't feeling wonderful, so we didn't do anything much with them, but the second Thursday we took them to Wendover woods, where they used the play area, we had lunch,and then went for a walk through the woods. They both fell asleep in the car on the way back.

At the end of the month it was the local steam fair again. We had had 2 days of rain, but the filed wasn't as muddy as we thought it might be. there didn't seem quite so many steam partcipants but we had a good afternoon there. The Sunday was cancelled as it poured again.

shire horse demo

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Home again.

So after a night in the Day's Inn, we continued our journey home, transferring to the A303, and stopping at Cartgate picnic area, for bacon and bacon and egg rolls. We arrived home at around 1 pm. We unpacked the car, then I went to the supermarket to stock up. I had done a fair amount of washing whilst away, but there was still more to be done.
On the Sunday it was Father's Day, and we should have been going to our Daughter's for lunch, but she was unwell so had to cancel. Fortunately I had something in reserve.
On the Monday we had a dental appointment, whilst there our Daughter rang to say she had locked herself out,so she came to wait with us, and made appointments for herself and the children, then she came back with us to collect the spare key. It was uncanny, both of us had lost a filling, and our bills were exactly the same. I went out into the garden which was somewhat overgrown,and began to cut back the honeysuckle, which had finished flowering. Then later we had a go at the tall ceanothus, hacking it right back so that it doesn't overhang the steps. I also pulled up loads of rhubarb that had got too large and stringy. Between us we managed to fill up the green recycling bin.
The front garden was doing well, all coming in to bloom

Add caption

On the Tuesday we took our bikes out and rode to Hunton Bridge, later that day I had a nasty moment when the handle fell off my teapot just as I was emptying it. I was so thankful it wasn't full of hot tea. We were back to childminding, and on the Thursday it was sports day for Nathaniel's school. Neither of his parents could go, Dad having just started a new job, and Mum being short staffed.
Husband finds sport a bit like watching paint dry, so I took Lydia, having first smothered her with an incredible blue suncream,and found her last year's sunhat. We arrived a tad late, due to Madam being a slow lunch eater. I realised my first mistake was not to have taken a chair, and the second was to have forgotten my camera. I sort of positioned myself so that I could see the finishing line, but I didn't really know anyone. I seemed to be a bit close to  so me of the Mums who insisted on screaming and yelling at their children to win, and then shrieking as they punched the air. As I later joked, it was a hot day, there were lots of tattoos on display - and that was just the women!
Then I spotted a familiar face, someone whose Daughter had been in the same year as my Son came over. We chatted, and she pointed out her Daughter. Last time I heard of this lass, she was married . However it now seems that the marriage didn't work out, and she came home whilst pregnant with her 4th child.
So her Mum and I chatted for a while, but then Lydia needed the potty, so I was back on my own again. I was proud that Nathaniel won his first ever sprint, but he didn't do too well in the 'egg and spoon', which was actually a ball on a wooden spoon. At least Nathaniel didn't cheat by holding his on with the other hand .
On the Friday of that week we rode to Berkhamsted, husband had lunch sitting near Waitrose, but I had something light,as I don't think I could ride on a full stomach.
Stream near Berkhamsted

handsome fellow

 I was incredibly uncomfortable and sore riding back, and later we discovered that my saddle struts had somehow bent, and it was impossible to bend them back. Later we visited the garden centre,and I found enough plants to do my hanging baskets,and had some left over for the beds.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Pictures of Port Isaac/port Wenn

I'm uploading these separately, as the last post was a bit full:

small house is the Doc's house

Bert Large

P C Penhale