Tuesday 26 April 2022

A fresh air day and beautiful water girl.

 With the glorious sunshine here today, we decided to catch up in the garden this afternoon.

These are the last of the tulips, such a lovely salmon pink colour. 

 The lime green grass I bought last autumn, but can't remember the name and the other lime green leaf is a heuchera
And this is the first flower bed we dug, filling up with a variety of plants. We now have birds visiting our feeders and bathing in the bird bath and today there were bees, hover flies and some small blue butterflies and a cabbage white in the garden . When we first came here it was just a weedy grass area and no birds or insects. 

And Dh has dug and set up my water feature, which I bought from the Gardeners World Live show, in 2010. We didn't set it up in Suffolk, because I couldn't decide when to site it, but here we think we have it in the perfect place.
I bought it with the money my Aunty Glad (Gladys) left me, and it is actually called 'Gladys.' Designed by Lily Sawtell; it's a  verdigris bronze figure 65 cm high.
The water comes out of a flower on her hat on the left side, circles round the brim and then trickles off the other side. I love it, I've had so many insulting comments about her, but to me she is so beautiful and I love the trickling sound of the water. She still needs to have more pebbles and the bricks around.. isn't she lovely?


The new beech coloured work surfaces arrived yesterday and they are perfect!

Sunday 24 April 2022

It's going to be ok!

 We dashed off to Benchmarx, our kitchen suppliers,  yesterday and they can get beech coloured tops, however there are 2 in Cardiff and 2 in Bristol. We need 3 so they are collecting the 4 to check they are not damaged as they have been in storage for a month or two; beech it seems is not the 'in' colour! They will be delivered Monday pm. The young receptionist there, was such a nice young woman, and kept saying not to worry and of course you must have what you like.

The builder phoned again, Dh spoke to him, and he's fine about taking out the present tops and said not to stress, he will do what I want. I expect there will be extra to pay!

So I did sleep better last night. 

We are coping extremely well without a cooker, better than we thought and have been able to keep to the SW food plan and we've both lost weight! We had been to Iceland and bought some of the SW frozen meals, and we found out that some of the Coop tinned soups were suitable too. And Friday lunch time Dh did toasted cheese sandwiches, as we were disappointed that both the Costa in Bridgend and Porthcawl were closed for a refurb, both at the same time!! And that was our treat of the week. We'd forgotten we had our toastie maker!

Last evening Dh barbequed some steaks and we had baked potatoes cooked in foil on the barbeque too, with a lovely huge green salad.. I had saved some syns and had ice cream with strawberries, it was all delicious. Today we've booked a meal at the Toby Carvery for a Sunday dinner, so I am looking forward to a beef dinner!

When this kitchen is done, I shall be so relieved!


Friday 22 April 2022

Day 4 ....Huston, we have a problem!

 The kitchen arrived trust up like a turkey, so we hadn't really seen the true colours.. Today the work tops have been unveiled and some have been put in place. The builder has worked hard all day and left ready to start again on Monday 8:00am sharp.. while he is working we keep out of the way and sneak in after he's gone to have a look.

Big problem. I am convinced that those dark work surfaces are not the ones I chose! And well,  if they are I don't like them and want them changed. The builder and I have spoken on the phone and he reckons they look dark, because there are no lights in the kitchen at the moment and if I took the off cut into the hall, it wouldn't look so dark.  He is not just wrong, but very wrong, they are too dark.

I know it will cost me more, but I am not paying for something I don't like. This kitchen is £15,000 plus so I am not paying for something I don't like! 

The builder can huff and puff as much as he likes, I am having what I want, ok I'll have to pay more but it is my kitchen and my money!

This kitchen has and is causing me sleepless nights!


Thursday 21 April 2022

Thusday and Day 3 of our kitchen to be...

Grrrr shops.. we went yesterday to pick up the flooring for the kitchen, which we had ordered 7th March and although we were told that it would be there after the Easter weekend, it wasn't! This was the 4th time we had been told it would be there. I was furious and said we wanted our money back and we wanted to cancel the £1,485 carpet we had ordered.. to which he said it had already been cut off the roll and was ready for delivery.. I said 'Tough!' I want my money back! He phoned the other sales man, who was in another store and told him of my intentions and long story short.. the flooring was delivered this morning at 10:00 am with free delivery and 20 % off. I can be very steely faced and not give an inch when necessary!

With all this going on, my day did not start off well, I was up and ready to go--ish at 7:20am,  Dh had already showered and then wow.. I had an enormous nose bleed.. Dh wanted to take me to A&E after it was still pouring out after 2 hours. But I would not go, the last time this happened I was hospitalised for 3 days! It eventually stopped at 10:20 and then I waited a bit to shower. 

I do admit, I still feel a bit shaky, but the stress of it is getting to me.. was it the flooring....or the electrician adding £200 to his £1300 quote.... or trying to keep to our SW food plan without proper cooking facilities, it all seems too much for me, plus I have seedlings that need potting on? I don't want to give up on trying to lose weight after losing nearly a stone, which has not been easy for me. So I am trying to keep calm and breath, without sniffing which is the worst thing for nose bleeds. My nose is horribly blocked.

As well as all this going on, we have had to change our plans about the tiles we wanted. The builder pointed out to us that, how we wanted the 2 colours wouldn't work. So we have been to a local DIY store and bought a greeny/blue tile to have instead and want it like this.

We have the wood coloured work surfaces, so it will suit very nicely with our cream units. I am pleased.. 
Moral of this is...having major work done in your home when you're getting on in life is not easy on your nerves, especially if you don't sleep well at night.
Dh says, it will all be worth it,..... me?  .... I hope so!


Tuesday 19 April 2022

New clothes?

 Several friends have got the spring bug and been buying new items of clothing..

Me?? No. not at the moment. I want to lose at least another stone or two or more before I buy anything else.

I have new dresses, which I'm ashamed to say, I had to buy in a bigger size, and these will last me till summer really does arrive. My wardrobes are bulging with clothes but only about 20% fit me!

My weight constantly bugs me and I have very good weeks and then very bad days! In the last lockdown, I gained a lot of weight, some that I had lost.. the anxiety got to me and then the stress of moving house and before I realised,  my weight had ballooned and I needed a bigger size of clothing.. ugh!

This morning we were up showered and dressed before the builder arrived at 8, then as soon as he was happy with what he was doing we left and drove to the next town to visit Iceland..where we bought their Slimming World meals, so that over the next 2 weeks without a cooker we won't veer too far off the food plan. We have booked a Carvery meal for Sunday, we can't go without our Sunday dinner!

So two weeks planned without a cooker!

Thank you for all the kind comments on my previous post. I'm not that brave and I only cope because I have a very loving super husband, who can never do enough for me. He's the best husband I could ever have found, this July we will have been married 16 years. Best years of my life have been with him.


Monday 18 April 2022

To wee or not to wee, that is my problem!

Do you recognise these? They're dandelions, and used as symbols for incontinence clinics. I don't suffer from that, but I do have a bladder problem. I have to get up 5, 6 or more times at night to use the loo.

 It's really getting me down, and I'm tired, the lack of sleep is stealing my days and today I'm crotchety and miserable! 

To add to my moans, we're having a new kitchen fitted. We have had this builder booked since last November and he starts tomorrow, so we have had to empty all the cupboards and everything out of our little pantry. Just as well we have a good size lounge and we left off getting the new carpet as the room is full. 

I have various tests booked for my problem and for the first time ever in my life I feel anxious about them, anyway will tests make me better?? Dh has suggested that we do a dummy run next week to suss out the hospital, where to go and where to park etc. And that will help some of my worries.
I've already had two cystoscopies and they were clear 2 years ago.
I am taking Magnesium and Pumpkin seed extract, both advertised for bladders.. Only just started so can't say if they will do any good, but I'll give them a good try.
And I'm fed up of repeating myself to different Drs, who class pain as uncomfortable, let them have it and then they can say.. just uncomfortable!!

I wish I could blow it all away like this seed head....


Friday 15 April 2022

A delightful morning.

 We've had a lovely coffee in town and a mooch around. There's a market there today and I sampled the fudge, but it was so small a piece I could hardly taste it! But at £6 a very small slab, it was easy to resist buying; I love fudge but at that price I can leave it!

We'd seen a shop selling all manner of stuff, but never been in, such a small frontage, but inside it went right back and appeared huge. It had beach toys, crab lines, screws, tools, and hardware stuff and all manner of things, an Aladdin's cave! My boys when they were younger would have loved it and I could remember times,  when on holiday down in the West Country, they would have been in a similar shop every day buying bits and pieces with their holiday pocket money.

We went in there for some glue to stick the frame on my prescription sunglasses and spent a lot more than we intended.

BUT.. When we got home I went to check on my tomato plants and sad to see some had blight. In the little plastic green house with the sun on it, too humid and insufficient air, so I'll sow some more seeds right away in my little propagator. 

We drove home and detoured through the village and down past the  12th Century church.

My school friend, Judith is buried here killed in a car accident when we were 16 years old, a sad memory.

We drove on down to the beach, just to look at it and reminisce of times we used to stay in the dog friendly B&B there. Shame they gave up,  as it was perfect for us; there was a kitchen for your use and a café where we used to have tea and a cake in the afternoons. 

Home now and someone's mowing their grass,  so too noisy to sit outside for lunch, but we can't complain, as it was their first time and we've cut ours three times already! But we did sit and have a decaff coffee outside,  admiring our garden and watching the birds, all the feeders being used now and the bird bath, none here when we first arrived; the sounds of their song is magical.  Loads of hover flies and small bees around as well,  I think our gardening has been a success.

We've even planted our vine, which we've had in a pot ever since we bought it 5 years ago. We have had grapes in the past so hoping for a lot more now its in the ground

YEH, come on summer. we're ready for you!


Thursday 14 April 2022

14th, April the day my life changed.

 14th April is not a good date in my life. 

7 years ago I tripped and broke my right humerus.. and my life totally changed.

It wouldn't heal and 4 ops didn't do much, except to cause me a lot of pain. It still hasn't healed properly and is still very tender. 

I no longer can garden using my right arm, I can't dig.

If I can't do it left handed I don't do it.

I fail at cooking, because I can't lift anything just slightly heavy and I can't raise my right arm up to stir liquids.

I struggle dressing, I struggle doing anything that needs two hands.

I struggle drying and styling my hair

I rely on my husband for a lot of things.

And what I really miss is driving.

I have nightmares where I can feel myself tripping and falling.

And sometimes dreadful weepy days when I've tried to do something and failed.

For 7 years I've thought of that first Dr,  who said they didn't do plating and pins on fractures to hold the bones together to help them heal, and just relied on the bone healing as long as the bone was in alinement.. mine didn't!

A year later a surgeon did pin and plate it,  but it was too late and the bone wouldn't hold the pins. 

Then he had another try, which failed again.

I went to my own GP in tears, who said get an appointment at the Royal London Orthopaedic Hospital.. and so 2 years after I broke my arm, I did.. By this time non use of my arm had caused it to dislocate, so I had 2 huge ops, 6 hours long, a lot of horrible unbelievable pain.. And here I am, with limited use of my arm and and still days of pain,  7 years after my fall.

Without my right arm I'm not able to balance properly hence why I bought my Rhett (wheels).. Just a simple trip totally changed my life!


Monday 11 April 2022

What's to come......

 I have always gardened,  since I was first married and we had our own house. Since then with experience,  I have managed to fill my different 8 gardens with flowers and veg.  This garden is my 9th! 

I did have an advantage here, as I brought some small snips of plants and two small trees from our previous garden in Suffolk.

My neighbours wondered if we would take the new shrubs and small trees we had bought, as we had totally transformed the garden. In our second week there we had 8 dark leylandii removed which opened up the garden. And made new flower beds and rockeries and new circular lawn and paths. Plus we then had a new patio laid.

I left a lot of things thinking I didn't want to be mean to the new owners, however when I learnt they'd moved in and then gone to relatives in Italy for 2 1/2 months I wish I'd brought more! Especially the soft fruit bushes and raspberries. We were astonished to hear that and wondered what their reaction would be when they got back at the end of September to a wilderness! 

These were bulbs I forgot I'd bought when we first arrived, which to me look like 'ballet' dancers!

My Suffolk neighbours had lived there for 60 years plus,  and were all doom and gloom with our move to Wales,  forecasting that we'd have a lot of rain. Well, we would be pleased with that because, the three summers we had in Suffolk were too hot and we had to water every evening. Our peach tree failed to keep its fruit even with regular watering. Pretty alliums budded and dried before they opened, as did the camassia and other flowers,  it was so hot.

 So far here in Wales we've been watering just to get the newer plants established. It's still spring and without a green house I have managed to germinate a whole load of seeds.

Sunday was beautiful here and I sat outside and made 48 newspaper pots because we can't find any small pots I'd packed when we moved, typical!

My friend would be horrified to learn I bought these grape hyacinth bulbs, (Muscari  Latifolium) as she digs them out and chucks them. But as there was nothing here when we arrived I bought a whole lot of stuff I wouldn't have normally

And here are just some of my newspaper pots with antirrhinums, petunias and aquilegia seedlings. And in my little propagate are rudbeckia seeds, my favourite flowers.

Have you guessed I love my garden where ever I've lived. 

What about you?


Sunday 10 April 2022

Do you have favourites?

I have had the opportunity of going to two talks by this author, Patrick Gale, at book Festivals.
He was very entertaining and his book 'A Perfectly Good Man.' was given to our book group before it was published so we could review it.
He writes the first drafts in an A4 note book, by hand!
I've read most of his books and loved some, especially 
'A Place Called Winter' 
A story about a man called Harry Cane, a shy young man in Edwardian England.
He marries but discovers something about himself, that forces him to flee to a place called Winter, a town in remote Canada.
Called then the 'Forbidden Love', Harry struggles to learn the skills required to build a homestead from scratch, but what was more important was Harry coming to terms with his sexuality.
Patrick Gale is a great writer, who is able to write about sensitive issues and his prose is fluid and moving.
When speaking about this book Patrick Gale suggested that this was possibly his great grand father.
Interestingly he said he didn't write his stories in a chronological thread! That is, he writes sections and then fits them onto the story, from the overall plan. He researches and takes two years to write his books.
I'm presently reading his latest book,
'A Mother's Boy' and thoroughly enjoying it. And there are 6 more I haven't read yet.

Anita Shreve (1946-2018)

I was so sad when I read of this author's death. I had bought and read all of her books, after I read that first one, 'The Pilot's Wife.' I couldn't read them fast enough. 

The Pilot's Wife is about Kathryn Lyons, whose husband Jack, an airline pilot is killed when his plane crashes. Trying to come to terms with his death and working with his airline, she finds out things that makes her realise she didn't know her husband at all. And things come to light, which showed he was leading a double life. 
The book was made into a film, which was good and true to the story.

I was shopping when I saw her then latest book 'Fortunes Rock,' and wanted to buy it, but it was a hard back and £14.99 so I thought a bit too pricey.. when I got home and told my daughter about the book, she said..'But she's your favourite author and if it was for some one else you would have bought it!'
So I drove the 12 miles right back and bought it.  

Her last book 'The Stars are Fire,' was published after her death.. Another lovely book..
These are just two of my favourite authors and why do I love their books, because every story is different, none are similar. The language is good, and the writing has great sensitivity, the stories flow, and the characters come alive. I always feel bereft when I have finished one and struggle to get into another book for a while.
Reading has always been one of my greatest pleasures. I grew up a lonely child, without a TV and lost myself in books. 

    Do you have favourites?


He's got courage!

 Say what you will about our PM Boris,  but he's there in a war zone in a suit, a very white shirt and tie!

All around him are in army greens, and he is there as though he's walking along a street in UK. So whatever you think of him, he's willing to go and speak to the Ukrainian President, Zelenskyy,  right in the middle of the war zone.
I admire him for this and am pleased that he has, no other head of state has left their cosy home to do anything similar.
What do you think of him doing this?


Friday 8 April 2022

A horrible morning.

 I'm not having the best of times. I have recurrent urinary infections, so my Dr referred me to a consultant. I thought in Urology but she was Gynaecology? 

We started off wrong as Dh was using the sat nav, while I who knew the way to go, wanted a different route, so we had an argument 10 mins into our journey, Dh said he would be better following the sat nav so we did.. It was a back road over the mountain, narrow twisty roads, me nearly screaming! We got there, never been there before, a small cottage hospital. The carpark was uneven and hilly and it nearly killed me with my walker. By the time we got there my only thoughts were ...'a toilet!!' The receptionist wanted my details as I didn't have a letter with me, because it never arrived. But I went to the loo first, buggar my details!! 

We waited 40 mins, what's new? I eventually saw the consultant, who spent a lot of the time complaining my medical records weren't available to see on her screen?? She asked me the same questions as my own Dr and did the same exam.. then she continued to explain what tests she'd like me to have, but didn't talk to me, but to my husband! It was a case of a person with a walker isn't 'compos mentis?' 

It was a complete waste of time and a horrible journey there, we came home my way! A bit longer but good roads and no twists and turns..


Sunday 3 April 2022

Even further than Disney Land in the US!

 40 years ago on Monday, the weekend after Britain had declared, that we were at war to protect the Falklands, my class of 11 years olds came tumbling into our class room shouting....'we're at war, will we be bombed?'

'Are we going to be given gas masks, will school be closed, will there be tanks and bombers?' Of course their only knowledge of wars was the Second World War from an earlier teaching experience.

I must admit if the BBC hadn't shown maps of the Atlantic on the news, I wouldn't have known where the islands were. No internet in those days, but I did have my child's Arthur Mees Encyclopaedias and I had looked at the maps of the Atlantic the evening before to see how far the Falklands were away from Britain. Those Encyclopaedias were bought for me by my Aunty Glad who with my grand mother brought me up, thank you Aunty Glad. They were useful when I was 10 and even as an adult I consulted them!

So the first lesson of the day was geography and to explain how far the Islands were from us I used the children's own knowledge.. Most had been to Disney Land in the US and so we looked at how long it took to get there and then how much further to get to the Falklands.. Even further  than Spain too I'd said.. We spent the rest of the week, looking up that far away place and how the people lived there. Drawing maps and maths about time and distance, and that the people there were not that different to us in Basildon Essex. 

The children were happy to learn about it, altho' some of the boys wanted the gory details of bombing and ships on fire and soldiers killed, most were content to learn we weren't going to be bombed and they loved colouring the maps they drew!

We didn't talk about the 255 soldiers killed, but most watched the news with their parents so they knew what was happening. And I hope in my classroom they learnt the geography of the Falklands and where Disney Land was in the US,  and what a green and pleasant land we lived in and freely.

Did the news that it is 40 years since it happened bring back memories for you?


Saturday 2 April 2022

Y Llyfrgell

 We were up and out in the sunshine to y llyfrgell,  the library, this morning. It was newly re-furbished a few years ago and is very nice inside. It's not the library I used when young, that was in the John St. the main high street. I was there quite a few times a week, just a couple of rooms, but my favourite place.

With those steps up to this new library,  I use the long 'S' disable ramp.. it's my exercise for the day, especially when I then walk to town via Lias Rd, which I call the road of obstacles with the broken pavers and the steep camber slope to the road! So was it worth it?

Oh yes, I picked up this book by T M Logan, which I've had on reserve for weeks.
I've already read the first few pages and its good!

And this one which is the reader groups choice for April. I asked about joining it when we first moved here but covid of course had disrupted the meetings.

But we are to go to the meeting on 20th April so I am so pleased.
I've looked up the comments on this book and some are not good, but as its the Book Group choice, I'll read it.
And of course we stopped here!

Do you use your local library?

Friday 1 April 2022

No snow here.

We've got up to bright sunshine and no snow, but the bird bath was frozen and there was a sheen of frost on the grass, so we were glad we'd covered our peach tree again. 

Although there was sunshine, there was a keen breeze when we went out, but it was very pleasant walking along.

Since having a decorator here a few weeks ago, every day for 2 weeks, we're back into getting getting showered and dressed before 9:00am.. So this morning we were out just after 9 o'clock for Slimming World. I'd not had a good week last week as I 'd not been well and I'd had a few naughties,  so half pound loss was a pleasant surprise.

Then we went to our favourite café in town, a big chain of coffee shops, its always warm there, cosy and I love the 'hubble' of chat, the smell of coffee and they do a very tasty cheese toasty! 

Dh went to the fish mongers and I strolled along slowly window shopping. I love the gift shops they have in our town. It is so nice to be back where there are shops to see and lots of people shopping and we went to the greengrocers too. Lovely fresh veg and he sells plants!

Do you like your town for shopping?