Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Getting Steamed Up.

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

 My daughter had come over from the east coast with my grandsons to spend the four days of the Easter holiday with us, so when we realised that Saturday was a warm, dry day, we packed a picnic and travelled by car setting off mid morning for the Brecon Beacons, which is situated in Wales. We crossed from Bristol via the Second Severn Bridge (three miles long) on which I once did a sponsored walk across and back, the day before the bridge officially opened a good few years ago.
As it turned out, we were wise to choose Saturday for that trip as the two remaining days went much colder with rain.

My grandsons are steam train fanatics and they've visited many different lines in Britain but so far hadn't been to this one and neither had I. I'm getting used to doing this kind of trip with them though Harry didn't feel at all up to going, so he relaxed at home and I'd left him a cold lunch which he had with some soup. I worried about him a bit but he answered all my texts to let me know he was Ok.
We had a lovely time and when we were almost home, I popped into a fish and chip shop that we think are the best in Bristol and I brought home a steaming hot portion for Harry, which he really enjoyed.

It seems very quiet now that the family have all gone and we are just the two of us again.
Hope you all had a happy time too.

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter


Wishing you all a Happy and blessed Easter time.

I shall probably do my share of eating chocolate, but to Christians, Easter is more than eggs, chocolate little bunnies and chicks. 
Jesus died for me (and you) and is now risen!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Is This Love?

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Since I reluctantly had to re-home my rabbits back in September, visitors are now able to bring their dogs round if they wish to.
My son inherited two Cavapoos when he got together with and later married Sandy and the dogs come round at fairly regular intervals. They are a cross between Cavalier Spaniels and Poodles. One looks very like a Cavalier and the other other one has curly, fluffy hair that doesn't moult, more like a Poodle.

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

The Jack Russell belongs to Harry's twin and his wife and she comes regularly to visit here. So far, the three dogs have never met but they are all aware and a bit disturbed when they sniff the scent that has been left in the house and they search around nervously at first before settling down.

Early one morning, Sam brought round his two dogs when he had to drop the girls round before school and as it was a fine, dry day, I made the mistake of letting them out in the garden and I had noticed them rolling about on the path at the far end.
When they came back in, there was the most terrible smell. Farmyards and muck spreading is the only way I can describe it. 
We live in a small city house with a tiny garden but we do get foxes passing through. I can only assume that they had rolled in fox mess and before we could stop them, they proceeded to  roll all over the carpets in the back room and the kitchen floor leaving the foulest of smells everywhere.
Sam immediately took the dogs home to bathe them, not pleased as it had upset all his plans for the day.
One of the girls started to cry as the smell was really bad. I filled a bucket with soapy hot water and disinfectant, got down on my hands and knees and washed the whole place down and that took a lot of washing. All through the day, the smell persisted and in all, I had to repeat the carpet washing twice more until neither Harry nor I could detect any odour.
I then took a bucket of water with disinfectant to clean off the path outside.
I had certainly had my early morning work out that day!

After a week or so, I'd forgotten all about the incident until the Jack Russell next visited and she seemed very disturbed and rolled all over the carpets and then went into the kitchen which is fortunately tiled, and did a huge pee.
Is it a sign of my love for them that I just clear up their messes or is it that they do these things because they feel at home and love us?
Little rascals.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Pink Beginnings......

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Six years ago, I'd never heard of a blog let alone owned a computer. I didn't have the faintest inkling how to use one nor did I ever want one.
However, my son, who lived in Japan at that time, must have wanted me to email him instead of using the snail mail and he hated writing letters anyway and phone calls were expensive.

Sam must have been visiting and was here in the New Year and he generously treated me to my first ever computer which happened to be a pink iMac, pictured above.
"I'll never be able to use it," I protested. He was leaving for home within a few days so I tried to learn fast, making copious notes that I don't even understand to this day.
Before leaving, he had told me that he thought I'd be good at blogging so he set one up for me. I was panic stricken. How would I cope when things went wrong?
Anyway, I started blogging in earnest early in 2008.
It was quite a while before I received any comments and what a big day that was! Someone had actually read my post and bothered to leave an answer.
There seemed to be a whole community of bloggers out there and very soon I got into the swing of things and back then it seemed to be the fashion to give and receive awards. That seems to be a thing of the past now, thankfully, as it did involve quite a lot of hard work putting in links and sending them on. I can still remember the thrill of my first one though, even though it seems slightly ridiculous now.

I often wonder if Sam regrets getting me that computer, as he has been the first port of call when things go wrong (and they frequently do) and even though I've got through several different models since that first iMac, I still live in dread of breakdowns and I don't really understand much more about computers now than I did in the first place. I regard myself as a technophobe though I'm really trying to get out of that.

Looking back, it seemed totally different to the blogging life today. 
Not many of my original blogging family are still writing now, though some are.
I think Facebook and Twitter have taken away most of them and I don't take part in either of those.
I really appreciate my present blogging friends and value comments very much but I don't take it as seriously as I used to and only seem to write a post  once a week, whereas I'd publish at least three in the old days.
I live a fairly full life, have many interests, family, friends, church and other activities and hobbies...... so why do I keep thinking of the many people who I considered to be good blogging friends and wonder what they are doing now and how they are? I really miss them.
Is that pathetic or what?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Golden Moments


We will be celebrating another Golden Wedding at the weekend. (You might remember that Harry and I celebrated ours early last December, when he narrowly missed it through collapsing and being taken to hospital). He was sent home the day before but was too ill to attend any kind of *do*.
This time it will be his twin brother and wife who will be celebrating. They got married three months after we did and I can still remember at their wedding, overhearing my newly acquired mother in law telling everyone that she had lost two sons within three months.
Not a brilliant way to start off a relationship.
Still it's all water under the bridge now.
The four of us are hoping to have a quiet meal together in a restaurant in town. We won't risk going too far because neither of the twins is particularly well and we will be relying on public transport to get there and back. So nothing too complicated was arranged and we are hoping that there'll be no snags this time.

Harry is not walking very well at all right now but I do go out with him once a day for him to get some exercise and to give him something outside the home environment to think about afterwards. However, it is very slow progress and we manage to do very short walks and allow plenty of time to complete them with the aid of a stick, which he hates to use.
He was such an active man and very strong and it does make me sad to see the way he is being so limited by ill health. However we still have much to be thankful for.

The weather has gone very cold again but it is officially Spring now and all the bulbs have been flowering away in the tubs in my garden and in the parks that I visit and now there are trees  blossoming too........ cherry, magnolia, forsythia to name a few. The clocks will go forward one hour at the weekend and the evenings will get lighter. Definitely my favourite time of the year.



Sunday, 16 March 2014

Bungee Jumping In The Sun


We've had a week of warmer, Springlike weather and that certainly makes me feel more cheerful
I've been dusting and gardening quite happily.
I've been walking when I can. There is a lovely place of natural beauty in Bristol that is called The Downs and stretches for a long way and everyone can walk there. It's a very popular place to go. I'm not sure that the word, Downs is a good name to call this place as there are certainly many hills to climb to get there. However, The Ups doesn't sound right, does it?
To walk to The Downs from our house would be about a mile and a half each way and then there could easily be a couple of miles of walking once there.
One Saturday quite recently, I walked to The Downs and sat on a little bench in the sun watching people walking by, families playing ball, while mentally noting which buses came by on the busy road nearby and how often. Well, none of them go in my home direction. So after I had finished sitting in the sun, I decided to get a bus to the city centre and stop off by the harbour waterfront. It was still sunny and I noticed that a lady near to me suddenly gasped and everyone was looking in a certain direction. I noticed a huge pole with a lift going up to it, some distance away and a bungee jumper had just leapt off the pole and was swinging away over the water, upside down.
Well, I was far enough away for the jumper not to look like a human being at all, with feelings and personality, but rather like a slender sack swinging about till it was drawn up by the lift and taken slowly down to safety.
I stopped to watch several others jump off the very high pole from the lift but they all looked alike, swinging and indistinguishable as humans though my imagination was making me wonder what it must be like to be make that jump.  I couldn't see whether the jumpers were men or women because I was too far away but they seemed to be very brave to me.
I doubt whether I'd ever have had the nerve to do that at any stage of my life. Now, I think it would finish my poor old back off for good. I suppose there must be an upper age limit for this kind of sport/activity.

I wonder if any of my readers has ever bungee jumped in their lifetime?


Friday, 7 March 2014

Guilty Or Not Guilty?

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Last Tuesday, Harry had to attend the local Oncology hospital for his 6 weekly check up and as he had caught the bus and walked the short distance at the other end many times by himself and had assured me that he didn't want me to go with him, I decided to go to my Silver Screen film of the week, *One Chance.* It was about a man, Paul Potts, who wanted to be an opera singer since he was a young lad and the film portrayed all the difficulties that he faced because of his background and circumstances holding him back. It was based on a true story and I like that kind of film. As the story transported me to another plane, was a bit funny in places and had a happy ending, I came home in a happy frame of mind, ready to tell Harry all about it. That is until I got home and found he had been brought back in a Police car because he had collapsed on his way home from his check up. Thankfully there are many kind people about and three different individuals stopped to help him and called a paramedic, who gave him the once over and it was decided that his legs just gave out and that he hadn't lost consciousness. As Harry refused to go to A and E, the Police decided to give him a lift home, much to his indignation. The hospital had told him he has Shingles in a band round one side of his chest and prescribed some medication for this. He had no idea that he had it and I wonder if that had made him feel unwell. 

Now why didn't I have any idea that he had Shingles let alone a rash? Do I have to examine him all over every night? And........ does this mean that I'm a horrible, neglectful wife to leave him to his own devices? Even had I been with him, I'd  have been unable to do much more than the people who helped him while he was on his own as I have no car. If I'm not, then why do I feel so guilty and feel now that I shouldn't go out and leave him?