Wednesday 31 January 2024

PS. and what happened next!


I have managed to read 9 books in January, probably because I am awake at night, so I read. I can't say I had a favourite but the 'Sally Diamond' one sticks in my mind the most. Dh read it after me and said he was surprised I had read it, because I don't usually read books that make me feel uneasy especially at night. I don't sleep well in the best of times, so don't need anything that preys on my mind!

Sea Tragedy

After the 5:55pm phone call for the Coast guard, to report there was a woman who had gone into the sea, there was some talk that it might have been a hoax. There were three Life boats called out, plus the helicopter and police, so there was a lot of rescue agencies involved. There were messages on FB asking people to stop speculating to respect the family's feelings. That was 24th January, Sunday 27th it was reported that a body of a young woman had been washed up further along the coast, her name is being withheld, so a very sad time for her family.


Both houses along the close from us are continuing their building work and this morning on our way out, we had to navigate around 6 vans and a lorry!! But it looks as though they might be finished by summer! Hurrah!

New Choir

We've now been to two sessions of our choir and it is super, just two 15mins sessions of learning, then singing what we know and then a singalong to a popular song I love it! This week the singalong was 'Something Inside so Strong' Dh and I sang out because we once belonged to a pop choir in Essex and so we know all the words.


And ... here are my newest snowdrops flowering! YEH!

We planted these on 23rd January.

Hen night and after.

Two years after,  Ros and I were on a 4 day break visiting the Eden project and three other gardens in the West country. On the second day I was in the shower when Ros popped her head into the shower room to say, my phone was ringing. I thought it might be my son phoning, so I said to answer it.. It was a man! 

Yes it was Dh, he was phoning me, would you believe from the top of the Eifel tower, Paris. He was there as a parent helper for his twin daughter's school and had been given some free time. So I had to tell all and it all started from there really.. altho Ros and I had other breaks away and of course she came to our wedding.


So that's my January 2024. I did not lose 5 pounds but I didn't gain any weight, so that's ok. How was your January?

And my chair?

Best not talk about that!


Tuesday 30 January 2024

When I was little!

 When people think of Porthcawl, they see photos like this.. in fact this photograph is in the BBC 'Songs of Praise' opening credits, so it is a famous photo.

But its not always like this, we do have calm sunshiny days even in the winter months.

Because I've returned here after 46 years, the question I get asked the most is, do I think it's changed; of course it has, but some things are the same. 

The beach where I played is still the same! Sandy Bay is 650m long and south facing. It was only a few minutes from my home and from a very early age I went there to play with my cousin and friend, we were all the same age.

(Stock pic)
I remember it,  as being with golden soft sand and we stayed there all day. Each of us had a jam sandwich, but I can't remember us having a drink, like the bottle of water you see most people have today. If I remember rightly there was a water fountain by the fairground entrance.
We took off our sandals and dresses and played in our knickers. Sometimes we might have our bathers with us, but often we didn't because, if we had taken them with us, our parents, (my grandmother) would know where we were going!

We made sand castles  and went home when it started to get dark. We paddled and swam in the sea, in fact I can't remember ever not being able to swim!
We were as young as seven or eight, although there was one occasion when we were just four, that we stripped off to our knicks to swim. It was winter and I can vaguely remember there was snow, we arrived home with our wet clothes in a bundle! We were grabbed and given a hot bath! I think I'd lost a shoe and my aunt went back later and found it on the steps leading down to the beach!

Playing on a beach is not what children of any age do today without an adult present, but children did play out in those days. Hot sunny days, running and screaming, splashing in and out of the sea, enjoying ourselves in the carefree way children can. I was as brown as a berry, no knowledge of the dangers of the sun then. In fact a postcard joke was how 'Dai looked so healthy in his coffin,' and the reply given, 'that holiday in Porthcawl two weeks ago, did him the world of good!'
    There are often posts on a Porthcawl FB page saying how they remember their families had holidays here years ago and how they enjoyed themselves in the Miners Fortnight.(The last week of July and the first week of August)
Who knows they might have been one of the families who stayed at my Grandmother's? They often booked the next year, the day they were leaving!

Monday 29 January 2024

My Hen Night!

Before I married Dh I had a strong group of girl friends, all either divorced or widowed. I still have them; some of us had holidays together, which I looked forward to every year.  One year I sent cards inviting them to join me for my Hen night. I had phone calls in response, all asking the same was before mobile phones played such a big part of our lives,

Who is he? Where did you meet? When is the wedding?  I had to tell them, I hadn't met anyone, but incase I did, this was what I wanted for a Hen night, a visit to the open air opera in Verona.  Ros my church friend said she'd love to come.  

We stayed in a small town on the Italian lakes, very comfortable and the most beautiful scenery and by the lakes so not too hot. I had booked the two operas, Verdi's Aida and Puccini's La Boheme.

We had seats booked for Aida and not knowing what to expect added to the excitement. Ros had never been to Italy before so was thrilled by the sights, the buildings and the atmosphere. We were taken by coach to Verona late morning to give us some time to explore. It was very  hot, so we didn't do a lot of sight seeing, but found a lovely café on the cool side of a small street and sat under the awning with long fruity drinks, at a long table with other tourists. Lunch was pasta for me, and me being me, I had to have  ice cream, which was so delicious. We has several cool drinks till it was time to go. We were given a gate number with our tickets and so we queued with hundreds of other opera lovers, as you can see you needed a gate number.

I should say that Ros had never been to an opera before, so I was a bit nervous as to whether she'd like it, because the cost of the seats was a hefty amount. She like me was thrilled. It was amazing, we'd been given little candles and and when the stage lights dipped, we all had to light them. Wow what a sight!

I don't know how I slept that night, but I was so tired I did. 

La Boheme was our next opera and this time I hadn't booked us seats, we were to sit on the stone steps, we took cushions! Ros and I are 'shorties' so we needed help to get up to a seating row; there were plenty of young Italian men helping, we were hauled up and we settled ourselves on our cushions! At dusk, our candles were lit and the opera started. I don't know how I was able to keep breathing, the music, the singing, the atmosphere was over whelming, a-maz-ing!!

We hadn't realized till the interval that the row, where we were sitting was the cross row where people tripped along to get to both sides. In the interval there were lithe young Italians men in very short shorts with their backs to us, to balance on the step, crossing in front of us, each selling food, snacks and drinks. That was an experience in itself, I had some sort of meat in rustic pastry covering and a long drink. Ros nibbled a biscuit! What an experience, we were flabbergasted, there we were two middle aged ladies and these young scantily dressed Italians practically dancing back and fro in front of us! The opera was fantastic, Puccini is my favourite of all composers and the music makes my heart weep in sheer enjoyment.

I'll never go again, but that trip has lasted me all my life, I can still feel the excitement each time I hear 'Your tiny hand is Frozen.'

It was the trip of a life time.

Sunday 28 January 2024

What a book!


This book was recommended to me as being like 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.' It is in same ways, in that both females have strange ways. However, I think this book should come with a warning, as it has some very dark themes, creepy even.
The first few sentences had me hooked.
'Sally Diamond couldn't understand what she had done wrong, she was only doing what her father had said to do, which was to put him out with the rubbish, when he died.'

I did enjoy it, however it was an emotional roller coaster. I cried,  I was shocked, I was angry, I was amazed at the writing. It was very good. I would say though. its not a book for everyone, some might find it offensive, but it was handled very well by the author. 
That opening sentence doesn't really give us a clue as to how dark the story gets, or with the horrific story of how she gets to be how she is.
There are people who come into her life to help her adjust to a more normal life after her father's death, however there is a separate thread about the brother she didn't know existed. 
The ending was in my view, inconclusive and leaves you thinking nothing much had changed for her and that she has helped perpetuate the evil that lead her to being as she is.  But you must read it for yourself and make up your own mind!

Saturday 27 January 2024

How did it happen? My life now.

Do you sometimes think how did that happen? 


I live a comfortable life and I am happy, although when I look back at my life, there were a lot of things that were against me.
My early life was in a very poor circumstances and that's why my grandmother ran a summer boarding house. She was very Victorian in her ways, she was born 1887, so I often got the brunt of her frustrations. I learnt to keep out of her way. My aunt paid for me to be a weekly boarder at my school, and I think she went without stuff to find the fees each term. I did very well there, but wasn't allowed to go to Art College and my Head Teacher suggested I became a student nurse, so that's what I did.
But after the three years and qualifying I left and got married. My innocent upbringing meant I lacked the ability to judge people and I thought that the young man I married loved me, perhaps he did in his limited way.. I discovered very quickly that he was as naïve as myself about being in a relationship. We muddled along but it wasn't a happy time, until I had my children. We didn't plan four, but I loved being a mum and was a happy stay at home mum, until my husband admitted there was someone in his office. We didn't separate, but I found a College about 4 miles away and got a Degree in Teaching. Then one weekend I said I wanted a divorce, we had been married for 20 years.
The Divorce took 2 years because I wouldn't agree to any settlement that wasn't favourable to me, because for years he had lied about money and when the solicitor acting for me told me how much my then husband  earned, I couldn't believe it. For years we had lived frugally, well the children and I did; he lived in the world of big business and expense accounts.
 I bought my own house and all four children, now young adults moved in with me. (1987) 
I enjoyed my teaching, rose up through the ranks to be a Deputy Head Teacher and when I felt I'd had enough, I retired, down sized my house.
But after a few weeks started teaching part time and then it grew to a lot more and then when I thought I was done, I met Dh I was 64...and .....

And here I am 18 years later, with an amazing man living the married life I thought I'd live in my first marriage. It amazes me when I look back, and I think of the song, 'Something Good.' from 'The Sound of Music' Because I must have done something good to have met him and he love me so much. He is so patient with me and does such a lot for me and never complains. And we love being together and doing things together.. so I can say honestly...  Thank you God.


Friday 26 January 2024

Brr brr, brr brr, are number 9!

 If you ask anyone about their experiences with our surgery here in the town, I would say 98% would criticise the arrangements of getting a Dr's appointment. (Isn't it a super building?)

I must add, I have had my own frustrations in trying to get through to speak to someone.
One morning, I got through almost straight away to hear. 'You are number 9.' I thought not too bad, in the past I'd been number 15. I was through to speak to a receptionist by 8:10 am. only to be told there were no further appointments available, only emergencies. But the phones had only been open for 10 minutes!
I persisted, as I had very nasty ear ache and really needed something to relieve my symptoms, which included very severe pain. She did say it was possible for her to speak to the Duty Dr and ask for  prescription, and I said 'Yes please'.
I did get a prescription, which cleared up my earache.  I'd had a similar thing and had been given the same prescription a year ago.
There are a lot of people, who have not been able to get treatment and complain on the FB page. 
When I had a real complaint, I didn't talk about it on FB, but wrote to the Practice Manager. I had a reply back right away and my complaint resolved.. however there is a problem here of getting to see, or even to have a telephone appointment. Some people are so desperate to get an appointment they go to the surgery at 7:30 am and queue!! Is this trying to get to see a Dr,  just happening here or is it a country wide problem.

What's it like where you live in UK?


Thursday 25 January 2024

Awful tragedy.

 When there is an emergency at sea we can hear the helicopter as it flies over head; it's a really heavy sound. We heard it last evening and then we were sad to hear,  that a young woman had been seen rushing into the sea after her dog, at the front town beach. It is not a sandy beach, just rocks

The call for the RNLI was timed just after 6:00 pm. There were very rough seas, as we drove along the prom earlier in the afternoon; there was a ferocious wind and a thick sea mist, so it must have been very much  worse later on. There are notices everywhere to keep away from the rocky shore in rough weather. At that section of beach there are steps that go down onto the rocks as part of the sea defenses.  The sea was on the ebb and has very strong drag currents.

The coast guard and RNLI were praised for their attempts to go  out in such dire conditions. Other crews were brought from Barry and Mumbles to help.
The search was called off later that night and resumed in the  morning.

Wednesday evening, there hasn't been any further news.. so sad.


Wednesday 24 January 2024

Out of our comfort zone!

Our Friday U3a 'Sing a Long' was fun and we all sang with gusto.. so imagine our surprise when the  leader of it came to Dh and myself in the tea break, and suggested  we might like to join a new community choir.
Its a weekly session on Tuesday afternoons, so we said thank you and we'd think about it.
Lots of things to think about, did we want a regular weekly afternoon commitment? We've been very 'laissez faire' since moving here, just doing what we wanted to do, when we wanted. And this would push us out of our comfort zone. We wouldn't know anyone, we knew that where it was held, had little or no parking. But we thought it was worth giving it a 'go.' So even though it was pouring with rain, we set off hoping we'd find a space to park near the church where it's held, to avoid getting wet! (we did)

We absolutely thoroughly enjoyed it; it was friendly and welcoming and great. Only formed October last year so still fairly new about 25 people. Hosted by a husband and wife, both musicians. She is the Musical Director and I loved it. I love singing and have done a lot in different choirs in Essex as well as organising school choirs through out my teaching days. We learnt two new songs, me singing the Alto part, Dh with the men. I glanced across at him and it was lovely to see him singing his part with the other men and smiling.
We had what was called a fun Karaoke song, Abba's 'Thank you for the Music.' It was wonderful, we're looking forward to next week. We're pleased we stepped out of our comfort zone. and I absolutely loved it! 
Do you like singing?

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Candlemas flowers

We've had a very pleasant afternoon at our U3a gardening group yesterday.
 Talking snowdrops!
It's what gardeners do when we can't get out into the garden because the weather is too bad.
We plan, talk and even show photographs of our gardens and today it was snowdrops. And we chatted over a cuppa and a biscuit.

What ever house I have lived in, I have always bought several hundred of snowdrops in the green.  And each time we've moved I've thought about those beautiful clumps left behind. (I've never moved when it was the time the lift and separate them)
In this garden the 100 I've just bought are the second lot. The heat of last summer might have dried some up, or they are looking for Australia!
Those little spires of green are the newest bought snowdrops. We planted them two weeks ago on a freezing cold morning. They're in groups of 10-ish I wrote about this a few weeks ago.

But did you know that snowdrops are associate with Candlemas which is celebrated on February 2nd, the feast commemorating the   Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

Known as Candlemas flowers because they often flower before Christmas. This could just be folk lore but their pure colour the first of the flowers of the cold winter are beautiful to see. I know my heart gladdens when I see them. I can't wait for mine to flower.

Do you have any?

Monday 22 January 2024

A Noise, Tea and Toast and Hormones!

 I have a friend who lives in a flat, who says when her bed is freshly made, sometimes when she goes past her bedroom, she feels like a lie down!

I could do that today! I've had three nights of broken sleep! Thursday night we were both up. I was just about to switch off my bedside light about 11:20 when there was a thump. Dh sat up, and we both looked at each other.. what was that?

Dh looked out of the kitchen window, which over looks the front garden and was flood lit; we leave our outside lights on all night. Then he's out through the front door, and with our huge torch, dressing gown flapping and wearing shoes, he decides to walk round the bungalow!! ..In spite of me saying there couldn't be anyone round the back as our metal side gates can't be touched without making a clanking sound.

He then goes out the back via the French doors, waving the torch around, which it like a light house beacon. Nothing to be seen, but by this time we're both wide awake.. so it was tea and toast. 

As we sat in the lounge, we were laughing remembering our neighbours in Suffolk, whose husband complained that our outside front door light was keeping him awake at night. How?? Our front door was tucked around the side of our bay window.. but they complained about anything! And we were right away from them with our drive way between us and their house, which was set back from ours. But Dh being the lovely man he is, he went out the next day and bought  some downward facing lights. I said to tell her husband to close his eyes!

After the tea and toast, and before we went back to bed, we had a look in the end bedroom and had a laugh, when we saw the cordless vac had slid down onto the floor. It was ages before I was able to go back to sleep.. Dh stayed up till early morning. We both slept till gone 9:30 so missed the SW meeting.

And the last two nights I've woken to visit the loo and then was awake for hours! Its so tiring and being awake for hours steals my days. I have bought a new pillow, firm and memory foam for side sleepers. And it's comfortable, but I was still awake. My Dr said its post-menopausal hormones or rather lack of them! So ladies we can't win, at any stage of our lives our hormones get us! I do have hormone treatment, but obviously they are having the rest I want at this moment in time!

Do you suffer from insomnia?


The bedroom picture is not our present bedroom,  but the one we had in Suffolk, Why not our present bed? Guess? Yes... you're right, the bed's not made! (Written Sunday)

Sunday 21 January 2024

A Big Thank you and a PS.


I want to say a big thank you to all the bloggers who have left me comments on my posts, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading them all and laughed at some too.

Even to the odd anonymous one, who thought I had good grammar, your comment too odd to publish, but nice to know I can write well! (Smiling)
Seriously I do very much appreciate that you all took the time to tell me, that you too have a chair robe and some of you have a floor robe!
And thank you to those who like me find losing weight difficult. It is so encouraging. I loved the Waitrose item Angela, my favourite store, and we have one just 5 miles away.
And thank you Angela for the explanation about Hospices, they sound wonderful, I needed educating about them.. Sadly now it seems that Ester Rantzen is not expected to live long enough to hear her petition discussed in parliament. 

I love reading your blogs too and have found some wonderful books recommended by you. I try to leave comments each time. Thank you Chris, Joy Sooze,Jabblog, Bev, and all you others whose blogs are listed in my side bar. 
Isn't it amazing that we can learn from each other just by blogging, thank you again and please keep writing. I hate it when I read that a person is giving up. And very sad to hear that some lovely people have died, but while they wrote it was lovely to share their lives.

Blog land is wonderful place with joyous moments and a blessing to many people. I hope my blog has given you some moments of joy, a laugh, a cringe even and frustration if my ideas are not yours, we are all different and as I have got older my thoughts have gotten kinder, I'm not so critical but willing to admit I may be wrong in my views!

My PS....
 I've finished the book, the majority of the 306 pages was just two people talking, while sometimes driving all over the dry, dusty Australian roads and over a period of only 3 days! Yes, well written, good language and came to a satisfactory end, but I would not have read it if I hadn't bought it for Dh! He assures me he thoroughly enjoyed it.
Good blogging all.

Saturday 20 January 2024

A Duty Read?

Knowing you have something 

good to read before bed

is among the most 

pleasurable of sensations.

Vladimir Nabokov

And that's what I think most evenings, and when its a really good book I will read till quite late, or even early morning.
However this one ... giving me mixed feelings. I bought it for Dh for an extra Christmas present and he's read it and said he enjoyed it. So I'm reading it now and I'm struggling with it. It was advertised as a book like those of Chris Hammer's, who we've both read. Hammer's first book had a shocking start where the town's priest, standing on the church steps,  opens fire and shoots five men before turning the gun in himself. So I was expecting something similar. I'm nearly half way through and no 'fireworks!' so far. So a bit disappointing but I'll carry on because I feel a bit guilty giving Dh a bit of a dud!

But my library books look good. A Nora Roberts, and one by a new to me author Liz Nugent.. so I shall sit one afternoon this weekend and read Red Dirt Road, till I finish it, Dh says it speeds up a bit after you get past the middle. I do hope so, as at this moment in time its not thrilling me. 
Have you ever read a book out of a feeling of duty, perhaps a Book Group choice?

Friday 19 January 2024

Why, Why, Why?? I look at Pinterest and all these lovely foody things are there? I seem to be pulled towards the most calorific scrumptious ones. 

But don't they look amazing? My food plan with SW doesn't include such delicacies.

But I can salivate just looking at them and almost smell them!

I torture myself imagining them coming out of an hot oven, steam rising and the fat glistening! (I can almost hear them!)

But I don't have them, although Dh said of the asparagus envelopes with cheese, we could factor them in to our food plan. But I know I'd be hopeless and eat more then one, so better none at all.

At one of our 'Bring a Taster' sessions, in SW when we lived in Suffolk, one member brought stuffed  spinach leaves. They were absolutely unbelievably delicious.. and I had several, they were quite small. But why were they so gorgeous? They were not quite SW friendly, and had a high quota of olive oil mixed in with the filling as well as the cheese. So wonder  they were so tasty. (She was a very new member.) 

So why oh why, do I look at forbidden foods? I have struggled this week to keep to the plan, but I'll keep going. It is for my own health benefits!
It isn't easy is it? If you've every tried to lose weight, but love food you'll know what I mean.

Thursday 18 January 2024

Oh dear!

This is me, and some mornings all I do is sort out the chair! Some of the clothes could go in the wash, but I have this idea to wear them while doing the housework, to dirty them off.. but then I forget and they're still there.
Some need a button, or a stitch. If I put them in my drawers or wardrobe they'd be out of sight and forgotten, so they need to be where I can see them!
One dress is a wool mixture so hand wash only. Dh is not allowed to touch it, as he washed a beautiful Fair Isle cardigan and it ended up in a rag bag! And the sad thing was, he had bought it for me.
And then there's the pop socks. which do need to be washed but it's so easy to dump them on the chair, although my wash basket is near.. so I must sort out my chair. Needless to say Dh hasn't got a chair.
There is also the fact I don't seem to have enough hangers, so the chair is a very needed half way house for my clothes.
Do you have a chair?


Tuesday 16 January 2024


I'd been asked to take care of my two grandchildren while their Mum had a short hospital stay. They were living in Norwich, not a city I knew, but I had been given a rough route to a near by McDonalds and evidently my grandchildren knew what they were allowed to have.
Would you believe I had never been into a McDonalds until then?
We arrived and it was busy, in fact as it was a school half term, it was crowded. 
My Granddaughter age 5 said she and her brother (age 3) would get a table while I queued for the food. The noise was horrendous, children all shouting and I shuffled along with mums in the queue. I looked up at the food all pictured and numbered. I ordered and was just about to make my way to where they were sitting, when I heard my Granddaughter shouting..

 'Grandma, Grandma!' I thought oh criky I've done something wrong... I turned expecting to see something horrible going on with her and her brother, I nearly dropped the tray in my haste to get to them, 'what's wrong' I asked, 'Its the Spice Girls,' she said. And there above the screaming hoards of children were the strains of the Spice Girls singing!
When we got home my daughter and husband were there,. 'How was it?' She asked. 'It was an experience,' I replied!

This  year is the 30th Anniversary since the Spice Girls first started their careers. I did like them and their sound and so did my granddaughter. The Post Office has brought out sets of stamps celebrating their anniverary.

Do you remember them, and did you like them?

Cleaning?? Nah!

 Monday morning and we should have been cleaning but instead we sat and chatted, first about the Book Group book, which was ok but not exceptional. ' The Legacy of Hartlepool' by Paul Torday, (Author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen') About a young man who inherits the family mansion, but all is not as good as it looks. So a pleasant read. And then we chatted about what we had to do.. was...sunny and ...

...a crisp day and the garden was calling, because these little tuffs of green are 100 snowdrops bought in the green, which arrived packed in a flat box through the letter box on Saturday. We had planted them in groups of approx.10 in the shade of the Copper Beech hedge, hopefully they will survive the heat of the summer. I bought them with the £20 voucher from one of Dh's daughters. 

I can see them from the top step outside our French doors. When Dh could see I was looking out side, he asked, 'Are they flowering yet? Ha ha! But a reason to walk around the garden, just to check them
. It is bigger than the average garden and too big really, but we have a big petrol mower so it makes short work of the tumpy grass!
Lots of self seeded foxgloves, which I'll move when we start our spring clean up

And the garlic has grown in the veg plot, of which Dh is very proud.
And lots of daffodils sprouting up, we've planted over 500! There was nothing here when we first moved here, just weedy grass.
Christmas Roses, several of these so we have some colour already.
And the ever faithful Viburnum, sporting not just its blossom, but a seeded weed alongside!
I can't wait for Spring! There's about 65 more days, but being me and older, I tackle a lot of things before a set date, when I feel I am able to do it!
Are you looking forward to Spring too?


Monday 15 January 2024

Off Limits!

 One of the places I used to play was here, called the Wilderness. 

It wasn't as lovely looking years ago. Its value is now appreciated and is kept in a better condition by a volunteer group called 'Friends of the Wilderness.'  When I was young it was a smaller rough scrubby area with a muddy stream, which had a rope swing over it. I fell off it loads of times into the muddy stream, but then I played there until my dress dried out and I could brush off the mud. If I had gone home in a state, I would have been sent straight to bed. The wilderness was strictly off limits as a play area for me, but it was one of the many areas I went without my grandmother's knowledge.
There is a sizable lake there now and the swans there breed every year. This is the hen, named Angel, she has a broken wing, so is not able to fly..

The 'Friends' are strongly protective of her, as the RSPCA, wanted to take her and they were suspicious that they would 'put her down?'
It seems so strange to me that the wilderness is such a beautiful place today and much bigger, more or less right in the centre of Porthcawl. It is along side the duel carriage way, the road built where the railway used to be. 
I never gave it a second thought when I was young, just some where to play. It is so different today.
Did you play in 'forbidden places?'

Sunday 14 January 2024

Our Day Off!

 Just an ordinary Saturday, sunny and dry but frrrrreeeeezing cold. It was a wooly scarf day, with my new woolen gloves., which I love, they are so pretty, what do you think? I didn't knit them, I bought them from Etsy.

My reserved books at the library were ready to collect, two recommended by someone in my slimming group. I don't usually read Nora Roberts books, but I have read one other and it was really quite good. She seems to have changed her subject matter so not the lovey dovey stuff she used  to write. (But still might)

Liz Nugent is a new to me author, recommended again. I hope I like it as she has written five crime books in total, so I could read them all. 

Then we walked to the main street in the town, up the road I call the 'obstacle' track as the pavement is so very uneven and broken in places.
We always have a coffee in town. I didn't even glance at the raspberry almond slices, that are my favourite. I wasn't denying myself, but being positively affirming, because I was protecting my weight loss!

So a lovely morning, we drove to the front prom, to watch the sea for a while, its so relaxing.

And then came home, so a nice Saturday morning, the walk was sort of  brisk for me and the coffee good. 
We had a meander around our garden, checking the bulbs, I think we'll have daffs next week; the garlic is looking good, about 8 inches growth. Dh is very proud of it! 
Both the bird feeders were full, the one is favoured by sparrows, and the other nearer the house is always full of tits, Long tail, Blue, Great and Coal tits.. I love watching them from the lounge window. 

Dh cooked Chicken Kiev, SW style which we had with a baked potato and a large green salad. for our evening meal. And then my Saturday treat a full cream yogurt with a prunes, it's absolutely delish!

Later on I actually picked up my sock knitting, with a Netflix film.

Even though we're retired, we still treat Saturday as a day off!
How was your Saturday, was it your day off?

Saturday 13 January 2024

Assisted death?

Have you watched the Drama Truelove ?(Channel 4) A story about a group of  five older people, who had known each other since school. They make a pact  that should the need arise, they'd help any of one of them, to end their lives. Good acting and worth watching. I won't give the end away here.
Its very up to date with the petition originated by Esther Rantzen, who has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She has stated that she has already joined Dignitas, the Swiss firm where you can have help to end your life.  She wants to be able to chose the time and place of her death. She doesn't want her family's last memories of her to be painful. 

Assisted death is a criminal offence in the country, so even if her family accompanied her, they could be prosecuted. 
It isn't against the law in some other countries, so why here? 

I have given this some thought.. since my arm fracture.  It wasn't the pain that drove me to say, 'I would rather be dead,' but the frustration at not being able to do so many things; it totally changed my life. I am right handed, so a lot of craft things I used to do are no longer within my capabilities.. but more so, the every day things. I struggle to dress, to wash and style my hair, to cut up food. I can't eat puddings with a spoon with my right hand, cooking, digging the garden, ironing, it won't lift up to brush my hair, I can't write and a load of other actions that my useless arm can no longer do. It looks ok, apart from the jagged scars, the disformed muscle and the shaking when I try to reach forward, it won't function. And I miss driving so much!

Dh hates me saying, 'I'd rather be dead, than be like this,' so I try to keep my frustration to myself.. but I hate it. He helps me with everything, he does all the cooking etc. He sat with me in hospital, when I had to wait for over an hour, for a painkiller injection after my second shoulder/arm op. I groaned and cried till I was exhausted. He rubbed my back and spoke quietly the whole time, never once leaving my side!
So am I in favour of assisted dying, even though I am a Christian? I think I am.
What about you?

Friday 12 January 2024

Drs ?? And strikes!

A simple trip caused this... and now 9 plus years since, I still don't have full use of  my right arm. The Consultant in charge that evening of the hospital, where I was admitted had a  policy, that was to allow fractures to heal unaided, so no surgery. A year later, even with ultra-sound treatment it hadn't showed any new growth and it ached all the time.
So another surgeon said he'd operate, but by this time it was too late
 and the screws and plate fell out of my bone. So, he tried a different op. There were Dr strikes and although it wasn't my surgeon, it did affect his team of Junior Drs. Consequentially my post op follow up was delayed by 7 days, so by the time I had the appointment, my wound was seeping blood stained fluids and the pain was horrible. We were using clean towels to keep me clean. When I saw him late in an afternoon, as my appointment  had been squeezed in, my cardigan and blouse were very bloody and he wanted me to stay, for him to open up my wound to stop the flow. I said a very strong and loud, NO! The nurse suggested it wasn't fresh blood and he agreed.
With the delay, the stitches had embedded in the folds of skin under my arm and the nurse took nearly 45 mins removing all 21 of them, it was agony. I came home wearing a hospital gown, as my clothes were too bloody. 

Then the pain really started and I was back to not sleeping. I couldn't get a hospital appointment because Drs were on intermittent strikes, so I went to my own GP and he was amazed at the state of my arm and was very concerned.
A week later, when I did see the surgeon, I insisted on a second opinion as my own GP had suggested. The increased pain was caused by my arm dropping out of its socket! So through my own GP's suggestion I had appointment at the Royal London Orthopedic Hospital, which took a wait of 6 months and then another 7 months before I was admitted. So three years after my break,  I had a part bone transplant and shoulder re-placement, first one failed so had a second op. I can't described the pain I have suffered, but to say I groaned and cried  a lot is an understatement! And I found out how it is as a patient, rather than a nurse in a hospital, not nice! 
So these days if I have to see a Dr, or should I say speak to one on the phone, I speak up if I don't think I'm having the correct treatment!
Have you ever been caught up in a Drs' strike?



Thursday 11 January 2024

Do you believe computers?

 The dreadful scandal of the Sub-Post-office Workers is in the news every time and so it should be. They were accused of stealing when all along the computers were at fault. Listening to some of those workers who were pressurised into accepting a guilty charge, because they couldn't see a way out of the situation, you could cry. So it set Dh and I talking about computers and our own experiences of them last evening.

Dh's job was writing computer programs for a re-cycling firm. If you've ever seen one of the TV programmes of what happens in a food production factory, every part of the action of the machines is a computer code.

When I was teaching, when computers were first introduced in schools, part of the children's' learning was to write a simple computer program. First they wrote out a word flow chart along the lines of 'yes' or 'no' questions.

Eg:How to make a cup of tea

1. Fill kettle with water.

2. Is there water in the kettle?

3. Yes... go on

4.No.... go back

5. Switch on kettle

6. Is it switched on?

7. yes... go on

8.No... go back

And it continued like this.. until you've made the cup of tea....then the child wrote it out into the computer with a series of codes.. They worked in twos and threes to consult with each other, writing out the 'soft ware.'

Simple? BUT.. They only had to get one full stop, comma, forward slash, bracket...  wrong and it didn't work and that was just a very simple program. 

The programs that firms have are very complicated, so lots can go wrong. Dh had many late nights, and even spent hours on the phone for firms abroad, where their machines were going wrong where they had introduced an extra 'line' into the computer.

People who haven't had a lot of experience with computers don't think they can be wrong. 

Fujitsu is the firm who had erroneously registered cash shortfalls leading to hundreds of convictions of theft, fraud and false accounting from 2000 to 2014. 

I hope our Government will sack Fujitsu and if they don't. I think the people will demand it. The woman who was CEO of the Post Office at this time Paula Vennells has already been dammed and she has returned her CBE. I think she should returned some of the millions she was given too!

I don't care what the Post Offices bosses say, then or now, they knew something wasn't right. 

All those lives ruined, some killed themselves, other were broken they lost their homes and businesses.  

There are 11,635 sub post offices and about 1000, people were accused of these fictitious crimes.. are there more out there too afraid to come forward and who just made up the shortfalls who weren't guilty of anything?

What do you think about it all?


Wednesday 10 January 2024

My old home. (Sigh)

 This a google map picture of my old home.. its where I grew up and became mine after my Aunt, who brought me up died. The house was 4 mins from the beach!

I don't usually like to go to see it,  but Saturday when we were driving home from town, I had a sudden longing to see it, so asked Dh if we could have a detour to see it. 

It looks really sad these days.. that built up wall was my Aunt's pride and joy and even when she was older she'd paint it white each summer.
The red quarry tiles that were the front path have gone, it was my job to wash them down every morning and sweep them clean ready for the day. I got my 1/- shilling weekly pocket money for doing it. Then they dried and shone in the sunshine. The name 'Roseville' is no longer on the fanlight above the door and the three standard roses no longer exist either, in the sandy strip of garden in front of the small wall. She loved those and thought it quite posh that one was a blue rose, she watered it with some sort of 'blue stuff'!
I felt really emotional looking at it, remembering, my growing up years there, birthdays, Christmases, piano practicing in that front room, lots of happy times. Although I do remember my grans cranky moods and learnt to keep out of her way, but I did get quite a few whacks.. but when I was 12 my Aunt paid for me to board at my school, so I was away on week days.
 And so many photographs were taken standing in front of that wall. I must look them up to show some here.
I did keep the house for 5 years, but then had to sell it in 1995, I just couldn't afford to keep two houses.
It was a good decision, I wasn't ready to move back here then.  Now and then I can hear her voice saying one of her favourite sayings. 'You don't want to let yourself go!' if I'm skimping something!
Memories... do you have any of your childhood home?

Tuesday 9 January 2024


There were loads of photos on our town FB page last evening to show it was snowing!

No that's not us, this was our snow, just a thin sprinkling!

After a loo visit last night I disturbed Dh, as I was getting back into bed,  who then got out of bed.. When I asked if he was alright, because he rarely wakes... he was pulling back our curtains like a small boy to see if it was snowing!! Really??
;No snow,' he said... we both settled back down and slept till gone 8..
This morning there is brilliant sunshine.
We're cosy warm inside, our bungalow having been build pre 1940 has thick walls and it holds its heat; sometimes we're too hot!
An early morning photo of the café that over looks the harbour with frost on the tables.(FB photo)

We always had a coffee here, when we had Nell; nice coffee and very nice ice cream!

Moussaka for our evening meal, one of my favourite meals. I like to think about our evening meal through the day, it keeps me on track!
Have you had snow?