Wednesday, 4 October 2023

An away time.

 It seemed the ideal time to have a break, we haven't been away since we moved house from Billericay, so where to go?

We're not very adventurous and with losing Nell, we just needed somewhere we knew and loved, so we went to Southend. We spent so many very happy days there, summer and winter as it was just 17 miles from where we lived, now its 254 miles!

Rossi's was a firm favourite, their Italian ice cream and outside seating facing the sea, perfect.

So there we were at the weekend, watching the little boats and enjoying the sunshine.

It was also to meet up with my #1 son who still lives in Suffolk, a sort of half way place to meet.  And when you're at the seaside you have to have and chips! 
It was so lovely to see my son, it had been 18months since we last saw each other. I hadn't realised how much I had missed him, till be gave me that first hug. Of my four children he is the only one, who keeps in touch regularly and to whom I always knew would help in the past, if I had a problem. 

And of course we had to have one of their delicious ice creams.

It was such a relief to get home, driving on the M25 isn't for us anymore and all the traffic in Essex was horrendous. It was sad when we did get home, no dog to greet us, but we have lovely happy memories of her; she loved Southend too and Rossi's ice cream.


Tuesday, 26 September 2023

14 1/2 YEARS

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our pretty, little Nell. 

Suddenly, she had a sort of 'episode' , couldn't stand, panicked and was floundering and scrabbling to stand, then was violently sick. 

Dh carried her outside where she tried to squat to wee but flopped on her side. We quickly phoned our vets and we rushed off to see her.

Nell couldn't stand properly when we got there and the vet said her bad heart was struggling. 

She hasn't been really well for a few months, off her food and trying to get her tablets down her has been very difficult. She has slept more, she used to be in her bed before we went and wasn't waking till an hour after us. So with a very heavy heart we decided to let her go to 'run free over Rainbow Ridge.'

We've had her joy, fun, and sometimes feisty way for over 14 years, she was such a love, always pleased to see us. Loved playing fetch, in fact when we bought her a new ball a few years ago, she would not go 'walkies..' She went out of the drive and then turned back and once inside the house, she rushed to her new ball; it went to bed with her for weeks on end!

We're weepy one minute, then laughing the next when we remember one of her we not so good moments; she rolled in a dead fox in the meadow where we used to live in Essex.. phew what a smell!!

We miss you Nell, but we'll always remember you.


Saturday, 23 September 2023

It's arrived!

 It's Saturday and its happened! I opened the French doors this morning for Nell to pop out and there it was the first chill of Autumn! I hate that feeling but have to admit that some days in June and July were scorchio! And flowers dried up before their buds opened.

But here we are with late summer blooms.

I take cuttings and plant seeds even without a greenhouse. This bungalow has south and west facing windows, so ideal for seed sowing. 

But today we're tidying up the flower beds after the rain, because suddenly everything has grown. Lots of plants self seeded, but they are towering above the others. And the weeds are gigantic, but easy to pull out as the ground is soft after the rain.
We've picked all the green tomatoes, they're not going to ripen outside now.
But hopefully the grapes will. I've trimmed off the leaves and as they're south west facing, trained up our pergola so they should ripen.
I grow rudbeckia every year altho' this year with the rain a few weeks ago, they grew very tall and then the winds of last weekend, they fell over.

Dahlias give such a beautiful show and these are my favourites this year.

And a peak at our new patio. I had it laid with the zig zag edges and we have already planted trees and shrubs in our new fence border!
It's very white and I do like it after the hassle of having it laid!

So in a few weeks time I'll be putting the dahlias and pelargoniums in store for the winter, in the garage. Then I'll be planting some new spring bulbs, so exciting times to come.
Gardens are life giving and my happy place!


Sunday, 20 August 2023

I always knew I was special!!


99% of people born between 1930 and 1946 (GLOBALLY) are now dead.
If you were born in this time span, your ages range between 77 and 93 years old (a 16-year age span) and you are one of the rare surviving one-percenters.
You are the smallest group of children born since the early 1900's.
You are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war that rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.
You are the last to remember ration books for everything from tea to sugar to shoes. You saved tin foil and poured fried meat fat into cans.
You can remember milk being delivered to your house early in the morning and placed in the "milk box" at the front door. Discipline was enforced by parents and teachers. You are the last generation who spent childhood without television and instead, you “imagined” what you heard on the radio.
With no TV, you spent your childhood "playing outside". There was no city playground for kids. The lack of television in your early years meant that you had little real understanding of what the world was like.
We got “black-and-white” TV in the late 50s that had 3 stations and no remote.
Telephones (if you had one) were one to a house and hung on the wall in the kitchen (who cares about privacy). Computers were called calculators; they were hand-cranked. Typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon. INTERNET and GOOGLE were words that did not exist.
Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and your dad would give you the comic pages after he read the news. The news was broadcast on your radio in the evening. The radio network gradually expanded from 3 stations to thousands.
New highways would bring jobs and mobility. Most highways were 2 lanes and there were no Motorways. You went downtown to shop. You walked to school.
Your parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into working hard to make a living for their families.
You weren't neglected, but you weren't today's all-consuming family focus. They were glad you played by yourselves. They were busy discovering the postwar world. You entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where you were welcomed, enjoyed yourselves. You felt secure in your future, although the depression and poverty were deeply remembered.
Polio was still a crippler. Everyone knew someone who had it.
You are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our country. World War 2 was over and the cold war, terrorism, global warming, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life. Only your generation can remember a time after WW2 when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. You grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better.
More than 99% of you are retired now, and you should feel privileged to have "lived in the best of times!" If you have already reached the age of 77 years old, you have outlived 99% of all the other people on this planet. You are a 1% 'er!

Now isn't this interesting? Are you a 1%?

Wednesday, 26 July 2023

A Confession

 When Dh and I were married his twin daughters were 16, we had what only could be called, 'air clearing moments!' Lots of talk about school work. (As well as the expense of washing one pair of jeans and then putting the same into the tumble drier!) They watched 'Friends' over and over, so much so that they could chime in with the dialogue. 

When I drove back to the house as I drove up I could see them through the window hurriedly switch off the TV, so were sitting with school books in front of them, when I came in, They were supposed to be studying for their 'A' Levels. 

But years earlier my own daughter in her first half term break from UNI, raved about 'Neighbours' I didn't even know there were programmes in the day time. I was a teacher, so wasn't home during the day and holidays were filled with things I liked to do. And as I was brought up in a home without TV, it didn't feature highly in my life.

But I have a confession, I have discovered, 'Frasier' I love watching it and am in great admiration of the script writers and the actors! There are 274 episodes over 11 series each one with 24 episodes. I'm on series 11. When I've seen them all I'd be happy to watch them all over again!

If we have watched a scary film. I have to watch an episode to take my mind off the film, daft or what??

Do you have a favourite TV Programme? Perhaps I'm making up for my youth when I didn't have a TV to watch?


PS, The patio has turned out very nice, not the size slabs I wanted but ok.

Saturday, 8 July 2023

Did they not hear or understand???

 If you have read my blog in the past, you'll know I love my garden. At the moment we're having a new patio. We had problems getting a firm, as all very busy. We did have a firm booked with a moderate estimate, he came in February, but we had various messages to say, the rain had stopped his other work, so it would be a while before he could come. Then came the message we were dreading, perhaps we should get some one else.

So then came the search to get some one else. I asked on our local FB page for recommendations.  I had 3 different building firms names given to me. Only one turned up and his quote was  £7600 + vat.. so a lot more than we were expecting, but to be honest I was so desperate to have a patio without the uneven slabs we had, I was willing to pay.

Then the man who did our new windows and French doors and front door, gave us the name of these builders, their quote £4300 which was near enough to our first builder.

They are here now and I'm screaming in my head, I'm back to not sleeping because I have that awful anxious feeling again.

We discussed fully what I wanted 350mm squared sized pavers and I had marked out how I wanted  them laid. A staggered shape along side the new fence and garden area and explained to them, that all the trees and plants already planted were all newly planted, but none were in their way.

The first thing was 350mm sized paver may not be stable or could easily not stay level???  I nearly said to him, 'what part of I want 350mm pavers ' did he not understand. He went away that evening and DH and I discussed what to do. I was desperate to have a patio that wasn't a trip hazard.

So I have 600mm pavers, not in the shape I want, because the pavers are too big to do that shape, 2 plants dug up and left to dry in this heat,  because they were in the way, our brand new wheel barrow left on the side filled with rubble, because they needed 2 and Dh said they could use it, and a big oil mark on our drive from their van. Their quote was for 5 days work, but as they have had 3 hour+ lunch breaks, because it had been very hot, today is day 6 and they were here at 7:30am.

It's all very good work, but not what I wanted and because it not laid  in a staggered design looks boring. So I'm paying for something which is not what I want. As a quilter I could see in my head the pattern I wanted and also could see how to achieve it.. these men may be able to lay down pavers, but they lack imagination and grey brain  cells and I suspect are great at 'man-splaining' at home, because they know what's best!

What part of 'this is what I want' did they not hear or understand?


I'd ask you all if you had any tips on getting trades people and getting them  to do as you asked, but we are NOT having anything else done, Wales is sadly lacking workmen, who even when you speak in English, still do what they think is best And not what you want!


Thursday, 22 June 2023

Where is she now?

We pass this tree on our way home, called The Welcome Tree by the towns' people, but we never noticed it when we used to drive here, every year for a holiday at my Grans and Aunts.

My children were more fixed on the brow of the Three Step Hill, because at the top we could see the sea. So there was a lot of shouting, Who ever sees the sea first loves Holly Stewart!
In fact everything my three sons did revolved around Holly Stewart. 
First one up ths stairs, first to wash, clean their teeth get dressed! Who ever was first loved Holly Stewart!
She was a pretty little girl in my middle son's Junior School class. 
I doubt she ever knew that she was a big 'name' in our home.
Then she grew up and went off to University and we didn't see her for years.... until... my eldest came home one evening to say he'd see Holly. She was working in a local supermarket and had become a 'Goth!'
I saw her a week later walking along the high street; black clothes, black eyes, black lips and hair twisted into the then fashionable nest style.
I'm sure she thought she looked amazing and as a Goth she did;  but she was no longer the sweet little girl they had fought over when they were Junior School age. 
I wonder what happened to her. She wasn't mentioned again and was like favourite toys forgotten. She was my 'arrow in my bow' because I banded her name around when I wanted my sons to get dressed for school etc, poor Holly, perhaps it was good she never knew!
I still have her name in my mind when we reach the brow of Three Step Hill and I can see the sea!

Have you memories of your children?


Monday, 19 June 2023

Does it make you happy?

 At the beginning of April,  I promised myself to  lose 8 pounds in the month, well I failed that goal. I lost 1/2 pound each week and then the first week of May I didn't lose but stayed the same. I was so disappointed I hadn't gone over my 'syns' (the extras you're allowed with the slimming world food plan) So what happened the next week? I gain a whole pound.  And I haven't done much better since. 

But I have now continued on my weight loss journey,  because that number on the scales doesn't tell you:

How strong you are.

How fit you feel.

How well you're sleeping.

And it certainly doesn't tell you how amazing you are; this last week on two occasions different people have said to me, how good they felt after speaking to me  and how interesting I was!

Losing weight didn't give me that ability I always had it! No one would deny that losing weight is better for health and allows you to live better day by day, and that it also promotes a feeling of well being, so I will carry on. 

But I know I can be happy regardless of my weight loss! And according to many friends I don't look my age, even with my greying hair, I have smooth looking skin. I presume that's because I eat a healthy diet and use good facial creams and no soap!

What do you think about dieting?


Wednesday, 14 June 2023

Plane crash!

Great excitement but no one hurt, the pilot scrambled out and paddled ashore. A small singled engine plane crashed into the sea off our town beach.

It was under water for a while, but then dragged and carried over the rocks to be lifted away.. lots of excitement and people there to witness it happening around about 9:00 am yesterday morning.

Porthcawl was on the news!!


Tuesday, 13 June 2023

Where is the rain??

We have had a lovely morning, a sun shiny day again, too hot really and we went off to buy a selection of shrubs. Our nearest garden centre is always full of plants including trees.

These don't look a lot but they are shrubs that will grow up and out and the photo doesn't do them justice.
But I have still had to buy some shrubs on line and those that have  arrived are in excellent condition.
This an Amelanchier tree in flower, is my favourite

These Gooseberries are called Giggles!

And to come are a crab apple, a Victoria Plum and a Russet eating apple, in the mean time my red hot credit card bought 3 climbing roses that I had seen on the Chelsey Flower show on TV!

We really need rain to plant these, at the moment our back garden registers 29.2° C. Planting them in this heat would be risky, so at the moment they are grouped where we can water them in the evenings.

Yesterday we visited a member of our U3A Gardening Group.. what a lovely garden, quite small and wall surrounded, but climbing pink sweet scented roses to to the skies and frothy clumps of Erigeron every where, in the cracks in the pebbles and all along the wall of her drive. So, so pretty, and something I'm going to do I usually pull it up when it self seeds.
So that's what I'm doing, Erigeron everywhere!! 
Come on rain, come here!! To think my old neighbours in Suffolk said I'd be upset with all the rain in Wales!!LOL

Have you had rain?


Saturday, 10 June 2023

A Boat, Corn beef sandwich and a paper bag!

 Trips on the Waverly paddle streamer have started up again. They go to Ilfracombe across the Bristol channel and west to Swansea and Lundy Island.

I went on one with my Aunty when I was 12 years old. I can remember being excited and scared! It had been decided we'd have breakfast on board and we did, big thick doorstop Corn beef sandwiches. 

Omgosh was I ill, and spent a long time with my head in a paper bag heaving! It was the first time I discovered that the sea was ok to swim in, but not to ride on! 

Ilfracombe was ??  Can't remember that at all, altho I've seen photos of us walking along eating an ice creams. I don't know how I was on the back but I guess I was alright, as there were no family stories about me!

Since then I have been on other sea journeys, but with very strong sea sickness pills! 

We are going to watch the next arrival just to see it docking along side the pier,  but I don't want to go on it and it took me years as an adult to have a corn beef sandwich!

How are you on sea journeys?


Thursday, 25 May 2023

Hedge gone./new Fence!

 When we moved into our bungalow, which will be two years on the 6th June, I said right away I didn't like the very high hedge, which went all round three sides of the property. Everyone I knew said, it would cost too much to have it removed and it was nicely green! Environmentalists said it would be alive with insects and birds and what a shame to remove it. But they didn't have the headache of getting it cut, nor the cost. The cost has risen over the two years and is now close on £1500 each year! But guess what.... it had no birds in it and apart from the odd spider or ant not a lot of anything else.. And as it was my hedge I have had it taken out and a fence in its place. 

We still have the Copper Beach hedge down one side and the half size one that edges the front garden. And now this wonderful fence! We plan to grow some small garden trees and at the top perhaps a Bramley and a Victoria plum. As well as roses and shrubs, I'm delighted and love it. We have gained extra ground,  where the hedge had grown out as well as up. I have plans and can't wait to go out and buy new plants. I already have bought three roses, 'Sweet Syrie,' 'Chanfos Beauty' which I saw on the Chelsey Flower show TV last evening, its so exciting.. Watch this space!


Sunday, 7 May 2023

Yes I did after all.


Yes I watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Shame it rained for all the street parties and picnics planned and the people who had camped out along the Mal were soaked, but it didn't dampen their enthusiasm.
King Charles and Queen Camila were very regal with their crowns. Charles looked very emotional when William was swearing his allegiance.
Loved the Princess Royal riding the horse behind the gold carriage.
The Princess of Wales, Kate as  beautiful as ever and little Charlotte dress just like her mum. And proud Prince George as lead Page carrying the long King's cloak. Wasn't Louis lovely singing the National Anthem. 
An amazing day!
Did you watch?


Monday, 1 May 2023

Getting ready for summer.

 It might not look a lot, but this is our start in the garden. One flower-bed weeded and edged, flowers to come are lupins, sea holly, verbena and aquilegia.. as well as dahlias, and my seedlings of antirrhinums and zinnias.. so come summer full of flowers and colour. 

The daffodils have gone and the tulips have started to drop their petals.
We decided to list some manageable jobs and keep to that today; its very easy to carry on and exhaust ourselves!
To day I've potted on some tomato plants and Dh has cleared the patio of the old herb box, we have a new larger pot. Cleared away the odds and bods and the extra patio furniture ready for a builder to lay a new patio. 
I'm very excited about it and can't wait, but wait we must as the builder has been held up on his other job with all the rain!!
We did sit out and admire what we had done, and by next week we hope to get the other flower beds done and me pot on some more seedlings.
I love my garden.
Are you getting ready too?


Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Will you or won't you??

 Are you like me fed up of seeing posts about Megan and Harry and the Coronation? So who will watch it?

If someone wrote a book that named me and my family as not being very nice and I had a party planned, I'd probably not invite them.

Megan and Harry decided they wanted their own lives and weren't happy with the press coverage, but it seems to me they have done everything they can to stay in the public eye.

So who cares what happens to them? The vast number of people in this country living below the poverty line, using food banks, worried how they can afford their energy bill and how their children can eat healthily, do they care? I think not!

Megan and Harry are now winging whether their children will have Prince and Princess status. These Royals have no idea how the every day person lives and don't care. OK so they shake a few hands and smile but the world has vastly changed, and today the modern young person doesn't have the same respect for the Royals as did past generations.

Truth be told I don't think I do any more either.. so will I watch the Coronation? Probably just the high lights on the news and hopefully if its a sunny day, we'll enjoy working in our garden, and sitting enjoying a cuppa in the sun.

What will you do?


Sunday, 16 April 2023

Life changing on the 14th April

April 14th 2015. was the anniversary of the day when my life totally changed. I tripped, put out my hand to break my fall and ....... I fractured my right humerus. I remember looking at it at the time, amazed that when I went to move it, it didn't respond and at the time it didn't hurt.

Simple broken arm??? Yes? but no.. I didn't have a plate and screw repair because the Trauma surgeon on Duty in the hospital, where I was taken  that night, didn't do that, because he believed it would heal by itself. It didn't and it hasn't. 

2016 Two operations the following year with a different surgeon, failed.  I was in a lot of pain and fed up that I couldn't use my arm, my dominate arm. I needed my Dh to help me to dress. 

I went to see my own GP in tears. He was so nice, and advised me to get a second opinion and insist on an app. at The Royal Orthopedic Hospital,  London. The untreated fracture and unused arm meant my muscle had weakened and it had slipped out of my shoulder socket. 2017 I had  bone insertion and a complete shoulder replacement, twice. The first one failed so I had two 6 hour ops. Dh stayed in a hotel each time, one in September and one in November, while I was in hospital and came in each day for the four days. He brought me decaff tea from the Costa shop there!

I've known a lot of pain and my life has changed completely. I don't have full use of my arm. I can't drive, I struggle to cook, so don't, I take ages to dress, I find anything where I have to lift my arm up to use it, very painful. I do a little gardening, but can't dig; I can sew but slowly, crocheting for a short period of time is ok. but knitting is a no no. I could go on and on about where my life has changed and I won't pretend I don't have really down days even now 8 years later, the frustration of not  being able to do the simplest of things is depressing.

But Dh helps me and today we've spent the afternoon in the garden. I was able to do a little weeding, easy here as the soil is sandy. I then supervised Dh while he finished the rest and then he took photos of our pots. Some half price bulbs we planted late, such a joy to see. So I do have blessings and still love to look at my garden.

It has given me a real boost to be outside and these flowers fill my heart with such a joy. I can do somethings that I couldn't do a year ago and I keep trying to do something more all the time.
I have to use a walker ( rollator) walking outside, because I am paranoid about tripping again, but on flat surfaces I can speed along. We have a builder booked to lay a new patio in a couple of weeks time, so that's another blessing.

Monday, 3 April 2023

Vitamins or big girl pants??


I hope this is true because I don't seem to be able to 'pull myself together.' I've lost my 'zip' and don't really want to do anything. I can spend hours staring into space and then realise I've lost an hour.
I got hooked on the TV programme 'Race Across the World,' And watched it for hours! Why?  I never used to watch TV or at least hardly at all. But these days I switch on when I get up! I am at a loss; is it an age thing, have I reached the age when slowing down is 'stop?'
I used to be able to get out of bed and shower right away, then I started to shower after that first cup of tea, then I progressed to after breakfast during lockdown. As my friend said, 'no point rushing, nothing to rush for.' 
These last few weeks I've showered after all that and after I've looked at my emails and our morning cup of coffee, the only caffeine drink I have. There was a time, if I had a spare 10 minutes I would start something, but lately I've thought with only 10 minutes, its not worth starting anything now.
It took me ages on Saturday to sow some tomato and flower seeds, then clearing up afterwards I felt like chucking the spare pots and seeds left over, because it seemed too big a job to do. I didn't because Dh helped. 
I eat a healthy well balanced diet, and believe that taking added vitamins produces expensive 'pee', so that's not for me. But perhaps I do need that mixture that used to be advertised to 'fortify the over forties?' Or is it just  a kick up the backside I need? I know I'm getting on, and not twenty something anymore, but I would like to be a bit more active. I try to walk on each day, if its fine; rain does not agree with my arthritis and so I avoid getting wet.
Any advise is welcome, but climbing mountains is not something I can do. What do you do to get that 'zip' back?

Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Right hand/ left hand!!

This morning Dh has received a letter from a Building Society with papers asking for his mother's vote in their end of year AGM for the Executives of the Society.

It was addressed to him, however sadly his mother passed away in December last year. He dealt with her estate and closed her account. 

He had conformation from the Building Society and the residue of her savings account was paid to him and his sister and conformation that the account had been closed.

Yet here was a letter asking her to cast her vote??

Me thinks it's a matter of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing!

Computer error? We hear of people fraudulently cashing in on pensions of relatives who are deceased. Easy I'd say if the DHSS is run by a similar system as that of that Building Society. What do you think?


Sunday, 26 March 2023

Luck?? Not at all!

 I still have a friend here that I knew when I was 8 years old. We sat together in Junior school but had vastly different lives. Her father owned two shops in the town and she appeared to be well off. I was living with my grandmother and two maiden aunts,  we ate food grown on the old allotment and I wore hand me downs and in the summer my grandmother did B&Bs. But I didn't know how different our lives were, I didn't notice.

We do meet for a chat and a coffee, but not as often as she'd like because she is for ever saying to me.. 'You're lucky, with your husband, and no mortgage. I don't believe in luck and do point out to her, that she had a lot more than me once.

At one time she was managing one of her father's shops and had a husband, who had his own company and they lived well. Often visiting big gambling clubs where they won and lost thousands of pounds. At that time I was teaching, earning money to pay my mortgage and working hard to keep paying the bills myself, with my four older children still living with me.  I had left and divorced my then husband. At one time I did some private math lessons to earn extra money just to make ends meet. 

When I realised I wasn't getting any younger at 58 and didn't like where I was working and still had a mortgage; I resigned my Deputy position, sold my big house and down sized to get rid of it. It was a release, but hard, the three bedroomed house I bought needed quite a few things doing. But it had a nice sized garden and an open hall way as you entered it, so it won me over within minutes of looking round. I had all that needed to be done, bit by bit as I earned the money, doing part time supply teaching. It took 4 years but I loved that house. When I had a tax rebate, I bought what I had always wanted,  a raspberry pink carpet for the lounge, hall, stairs and landing, I loved it! And just doing supply teaching was good. I  did a regular three days in a local school, and really loved it. And didn't retire till I was 64, but that school was lovely.

I met my lovely lovely husband when I was 62 and we married 2 years after.. and so I am well off, not money,  but rich in blessings and we have a lovely home here in S Wales and are enjoying living here.

So when she says.. you're lucky,' I do point out to her, that she spent 4 1/2 years 'dallying' with a married man, re-mortgaged her house because she liked her detached house in that part of town, which is now too far out. She still works part time for Carlton cards in different supermarkets, restocking the shelves and will be 80 in a couple of months time. Like me she has arthritis and walks bent, but too proud to use a stick.

She is now talking about buying something smaller if she can afford it, in town, so she won't have to worry about driving.  I do care about her, but sometimes you have to distance yourself from some people. I really don't agree with her about being lucky, I earned every penny I have and worked hard. I do talk things over with her, but it's her decision and to be honest I think she is still thinking she'll be lucky and it will all work out for the best and even thinks her married man friend might come back.. WHAT??? .. 

It's true, some people never learn!


Saturday, 25 March 2023

Wool gathering, do you?

 I often sit on the edge of the bed in the mornings dwellings on things; wool gathering a friend calls it. Nothing earth shattering, I didn't care that Gary Lineker was off air,  nor that Boris was being questioned about Party gate, and especially not, if Harry and Megan will be present at the Coronation of Charles. 

But sometimes about the garden, shall we buy more daffs for out the front next year? Shall I wait till I lose enough weight to get into that lovely dress I bought, or simply use the cut off excess length to make it those few inches bigger? So many decisions about???.... not a lot!

I suppose now as we're into Spring I should review my New Year suggestions.

 I. I did not lose all that much weight, but didn't gain any.

2. I did walk at least 3 times a week, except when there was snow and it rained.

3. I did not manage to get showered and dressed every day before 9:30am, but was showered and dressed before 8:30 on mornings when we had to go out. The others... well nothing was planned so need to hurry.

4. I sorted out a lot more than 3 bags for the charity shop, so got rid of a lot of stuff.

And the end room, is clear of boxes, with items, books and sewing stuff neatly stored on the 3 book cases in there, plus a table set up with my sewing machine, so I can sew.

Life moved on and I did my best, and thinking about it, that's all anyone can do.

We're settled here now and loving the little town and joining in some of the many activities and groups. Next week I'm joining a craft group and have been asked to explain how to make a quilt! The people in the book group are very interesting and pleasant, the U3A is flourishing and attendance to one talk was 147 people. I have found an excellent hairdresser, and a gentle chiropodist and a private dentist, and the SW consultant is a real fun interesting person, so all good.

And this morning in town we met some people we know and stopped and chatted, which was very pleasant.

The photograph doesn't really do these justice, but we planted over 400 bulbs so you don't just see the odd shaped moss choked weedy grass, as you drive up to the bungalow and several people who pass by, have remarked about them and what's more important is I love them.


Saturday, 11 March 2023

A mere sprinkling!

 This tree is on the road leading to our town, called The Welcome Tree by the towns' people and this past week had snow! But not a lot.

We never have snow here well hardly ever being a seaside town.  I do however have a photo (somewhere) of me in a pram on the beach with snow all around about 1944. 

We didn't have as much as some places, but it did flatten my daffodils and crocuses although they have popped up again. We still only have purple crocus flowering, we never realised that purple ones flowered first, then the yellow and orange ones flower, its only since I've grown them I knew this, did you?

Have you had a lot of snow? Lovely to look at but horrible when you have to go to work, thank goodness I'm retired. What about you?


Thursday, 9 February 2023

How could I think I could compete with this?

 This is my amaryllis, it started to flower 4 days ago and I had not lost 5 pounds. That was my commitment to do before it flowered when I planted the bulb 10 days ago. I said I wanted to lose 5 pounds before it flowered.  I lost 2.5 pounds.. but I am not discouraged.

I've been ill all this week with a very heavy cold. I've had a sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, cough, aches and pains. My cousin reckons it is probably covid, but whether it is or not, I feel awful. I can't remember feeling this ill for years. 
My lovely husband had made me tasty meals, all on plan but I haven't been out walking, I felt too ill and tired.

But I do feel enthused to keep trying to lose this weight.
Today although the sun was shining, it was very cold, only 2.4°C.
I have 5 coats all too small, but I had bought a puffa jacket two years ago and I tried that on this morning, albeit without a thick cardigan and I could zip it up which I couldn't last year. So I know it will soon be fitting me with a cardigan, I feel really excited about that. 
I hope I'll start to feel better tomorrow.
Isn't this trying to lose weight so hard for some of us?


Thursday, 2 February 2023


 I'm trying very hard to think happy grateful thoughts, but its hard. I feel depressed about 'stuff.'

When we moved here June 2021, it was during lockdown, so there were no charity shops open; you had to book a time slot at the recycling centre to dispose of unwanted items, but there were few spaces. Consequently we had to bring a lot of stuff with us.
We had a lot and I mean a lot, probably 50 plus boxes of things we rarely used, all put in the end bedroom. Mainly because we moved from a large house, in which we'd had fitted wardrobes installed, a very large pantry, and a very large under stairs cupboard. There were no cupboards here, except for a hall cupboard for coats. 

It's not a small bungalow and all three bedrooms are double sized.  We bought 4 double wardrobes right away, and a small half size cupboard which now holds our towels, no airing cupboard here either.
We have our bedroom and the second bedroom sorted, but that end bedroom still has boxes to unpack. Every time I go in there, I feel over whelmed with the amount of stuff!
I feel like screaming there's so much 'stuff' A lot is craft work which I can no longer do.. 

Soooo....... these last few days we have made real effort and so far we have taken over 24 bags of wool, stuff for card making, ornaments, books and larger pictures plus some crochet throws to various charity shops. I've lost count of how many large bags.

But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel; we've bought a small incinerator to burn ' important?' papers from older houses which I have kept for years. 
I would very much like to use up the fabric I have to make quilts for various charities. We have the table from the kitchen, which can go in that end room and I can sew all day if I want! I feel excited just thinking about it. BUT we still have stuff to clear. 

Do you need to de-clutter?

Saturday, 14 January 2023


Have I said we're learning to speak Welsh? We started in September last year; we're really enjoying our twice  a week zoom lessons, although after the 2 hours we feel exhausted, with concentrating so hard. As well as the lessons we do daily exercises with Duolingo and on Fridays we take part in a group zoom reading aloud with others. So you can see we are putting in a lot of effort and time.
I can remember a little bit from school when I was 7 years old, just odd words and numbers, so no real help, but what is a help I can pronounce the words. I can remember a lot of French!!
One of our lecturers said I do have good pronunciation! Strangely Welsh is phonetical, so we've learnt the sounds, and its a help us say the words.

We watch bits of the Welsh TV and laugh together and agree it sounds like a foreign language, especially if they speak fast.
We have favourite words, mine is ... archfarchnad, which is supermarket and what about... ysgrifennu.. which is write.  So some odd looking words, but we are getting used to saying them. I doubt we'll be fluent at the end of the year, but we're giving it a good try. 
So I'll end with ..
Noswaith dda.
Have any of you learnt a language in later years?


Thursday, 5 January 2023

A really nice person!

 I stopped to look at the flower shop in town this morning while waiting for Dh, who had been to the library for me.

    There was a man with his dog in a dog pram there too.. and incase you didn't know this, dog owners chat to each other all the time. I said 'posh pram' and he explained their dog had been seriously ill and the vet had been wonderful and I agreed.. because even though they appear to charge a lot, you can get an appointment the same day as you phone, they make a diagnoses there and then and then produce the treatment too, or are able to do what ever surgery is necessary with in hours, unlike our NHS! Vets are good we both said.. 

Then he quipped tongue in cheek,  that his wife and himself had come to the realisation that dogs are better than children and grandchildren.. because...

1. They don't eat you out of house and home

2. They don't ask for money

3. And if they have children you can sell them!

I came away from that man smiling, what a treat to chat to someone who gives you a smile!  I really enjoyed our trip to town.

Aren't some people really nice, what do you think?


Monday, 2 January 2023

Bank Holiday in Winter

 Today it was a sunfilled day, but there was a really cold nip in the air, it was 9°C.

                       The front promenade was crowded.

This was one of the cafes.  
People were there looking at the RNLI's craft, brought out as a fund raising activity. Our volunteer crews were called out 49 times last year; the one time to rescue a dog, which was featured on TV!

Dh and I had been to a town café and drove home via the sea front.
We were in a nose to tail line of cars as people surged across road at the crossings.
There was a huge queue snaking outside the fish n chip shop and the smell from it was very inviting, but we drove on home... ohhh I could have eaten a bag of chips!
It's not even summer and the crowds are arriving already.
Well it is a seaside town and it was Bank Holiday and the sun was shining.