Friday, 17 October 2014

The Village Wedding


Anyone who's visited my home over the last six months will be able to now say, "Well, thank Goodness you've got that done at long last."It has taken me all of that time to complete this 1000 piece jigsaw. I did have a good rest from it over the summer but family and friends have seen it lurking about in the front room (lounge) in various stages of being put together, but definitely incomplete. 
I was quite inspired by the figures inside the picture but what was so difficult was the large volume of sky and the country path that are not seen in the photo as I sort of zoomed in a bit on the centre.
In case anyone is wondering, the original picture was painted by Sir Samuel Luke Fildes (1843-1927). I must admit that I'd never heard of him but it's the kind of picture that appeals to me.

I am grateful for the way that I can get absorbed in a jigsaw the same way as I can read a book, tackle an easy crossword or a do simple sudoko but I think the jigsaw is more creative and meditative.
I must admit that I do shut myself into the front room quite often. How people can live in a small flat or house with their *other half* around them all the time, I shall never know. All I can say is that you're a better person than I am if you can do that.
Do you like to live in each other's pockets or do you like to spread out? What type of person are you?


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Weather For Frogs Maybe.......

Photo Copyright: Maggie May


There's a real feel of Autumn in the weather now and we've had much cooler, shorter days and our share of rain and high winds too. I guess that is fine for frogs and ducks..... but I like it a bit warmer.
I'm glad of the new central heating that we had installed during the summer, though I'll have to ask our son, Sam, to show us how to operate the settings as I am a technophobe about such things. For the time being, though, I can work it manually, which is sufficient for now.

For those who are wondering about the slugs coming into the kitchen (look at my last post), I think I've solved the problem. I have put cardboard in the gaps between the bottom of the units and the floor. It was such a small space that I wouldn't have thought that a slug could make itself that small. They will eventually eat through the card but I have lots more. Of course, it doesn't explain how they got in under the units in the first place as I can't see any possible place from outside. Other people tell me they're having the same problem, which helps a bit.

Harry's health is much the same. We get good days and bad but on the whole, we're still in a good routine. If I can keep things ticking away like this, we'll be fine. 
Today is my day off, when his carer comes to sit with him. It's not quite so appealing to be out in the colder weather, but I guess I'll find plenty of indoor things to do and will wrap up warm.
I have some shopping to do and then I'll have a little think.........

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Not In MY House



Slugs have always given me the creeps but I have always left them alone outside.
I haven't used slug pellets because of the frogs, toads, hedgehogs, birds and other small creatures who might be affected by eating the poisoned slug.
However, my patience is fast running out. 
For the past week I've noticed small brown slugs crawling up onto my work bench after dark. At first I couldn't believe my eyes and the offensive first few were carefully removed with tissue and thrown outside. I sprayed the tops with disinfectant which I left neat on the counter tops, feeling sure that they'd be killed if they came back. That proved to be no big deal to them and they just travelled around it.
I've searched high and low for a hole or entry point. How would a slug get into my kitchen? Or to be more realistic...... how would an army of slugs get in?
They don't give me a trail to follow to an entry point. That in itself seems strange.
In fact they seem to be very clever in evading detection.
Last night, I thought I'd get the better of them and I left a sprinkling of salt on the floor near the place they seem to choose to climb up to the tops, thinking that would surely finish them off but no........ I went in there late in the evening and saw them just skirting round the salt and seemingly unharmed by it.
Tonight I will be forced to put down slug pellets on the floor. 
Can't think what else to do short of napalming the whole area!
Any ideas?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Summer Break!



We continue to have beautiful weather and it looks like we are experiencing what we call an Indian Summer. Our weather seems mixed up, probably due to climate change, as August was not a good month at all. We are continually being surprised.

Harry and I are settling into a good routine and we seem to be growing accustomed to each other's needs.
Obviously there are good days and there are bad ones but to keep on an even keel like we are at present, seems good.
I just went into the garden to drink a mug of tea while I sat in the sun. I heard a bit of a crack..... fortunately I noticed the metal seat was giving way on one side before I reached the ground. I know I'm a bit overweight but didn't think enough for a metal seat to break. I noticed it had corroded with rust underneath on one side so I'm let off rapid dieting.
Now I have to think whatever to do with the cumbersome thing, as it's wrecked beyond repair!

I'm quite enjoying having the upstairs all to myself and am getting the bedrooms in some kind of order.
My new cleaner comes in for the first time next week and I feel I have to get everything tidier.
I wasn't sure which room I actually did sleep in as I seemed to have things spread over in different rooms because Harry was needing a room to himself so I was moving about a bit while we were in a state of uncertainty.
Now I've decided, I'm back in the front and I'm slowly moving my things there.
In the meantime, Harry really loves his bedsit downstairs and we both seem to get a reasonable nights sleep.
So it seems we are both benefitting from the new arrangement.

Millie our youngest granddaughter still comes for breakfast most mornings before school. Amber, her older sister started secondary school this term so I don't see much of her now.
However, I was coming home from a shopping trip in town the other afternoon and I saw a person who was taking up a double seat because of a musical instrument and I asked if I could sit there. What a surprise when the person smiled and I saw I'd sat next to Amber. She looked so grown up in her school uniform and the instrument was a trombone that she is learning to play.
We had a lovely chat and she got out her music to show me. She is most fortunate to get into a very good school where music is predominant.
I wonder what the chances were, of me getting on that very bus in our busy city, at just the right time and attempting to sit on that very same seat next to Amber?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Home Sweet Home


Harry has been longing to come home for most of the days of the month that he's been in hospital. The first week that he was there, he really couldn't remember a thing about how he got there or why he was in hospital in the first place. In fact he can't remember any of it.
Maybe that was for the best as he gave all the family a really bad scare, being practically unconscious for the first week.
The following three weeks, he steadily improved for the better, though at the beginning I was very doubtful that I could look after him when he was discharged. Well, he has been home for two days now and we fixed him up in a bed downstairs as he isn't safe to walk up and down the stairs any more.
When he first saw the new arrangement, he was very pleased with his new *bedsit* with everything in it for his needs that would make him happy.

Although I was very nervous about having him home, as I wondered if I had it in me to provide for all his needs, the first two days have gone well. We make a good team. I didn't think that I would sleep at all for worrying about him being downstairs and wondered if I'd hear him if he needed me. He finds it peaceful after all the hustle and bustle, lights and noise, buzzers wailing and people calling out for help in the hospital ward.
I have managed to sleep for five to six hours per night, so I can manage on that.
In the end, I didn't have the offer of six weeks free help so I decided to look after Harry myself. 

For those who don't know about our *free* National Health Service (that seems to attract so many overseas people), I find the treatment is good, though you might have to wait to get it and queue for hours. We are used to it over here. I have a lot to thank them for.
To us, it isn't really free, as all our working lives, we've had money from wages stopped towards it and at one time that would have meant free treatment from the cradle to the grave. Not any more though.
I feel the thing that is really bad, is the aftercare of the elderly who need ongoing care from hospital.
If you have no money then the basics are free. If you've saved, then you have to pay, even if you aren't wealthy and have little income coming in.

I soon sussed out that it was a better deal for me to provide the personal care that Harry needs and to pay for a cleaner to come in to do the basics that I now haven't time for. I'm seriously thinking of having a monthly gardener too. That should free me up no end to give Harry the care he needs.

It is still lovely late summer weather and that makes everything seem better, somehow and of course, I don't have to visit the hospital every day and climb that huge hill!
Bristol is a lovely city in many ways, but it's impossible to go far without climbing a hill.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Last Surge of Summer.

I had hoped that if I waited long enough then I would have something different to report about Harry's predicament but I thought I'd better do an update as people are wondering what is happening. He's been in hospital for three weeks now and I've managed to visit him daily. Walking up the huge hill every day seems to be keeping me fit and my back and hip problems seem to be calming down a little.

He will be coming home soon and I'm going to have to try harder to cope with the fact that he's now less able than he was before.
I will have more free help for the first six weeks but I'm going to be left pretty much on my own with it after that. However, six weeks is a long time to me.

In the mean time we are having a last surge of summer weather and it has been warm and sunny again which is a real bonus.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Stuck Between A Rock And A Hard Place

The very next day from the last post I wrote, Harry started to be very ill and although I'd called the doctor, by the next day on my Thursday afternoon out, his carer phoned me to say that Harry was in a state of collapse and he was getting the ambulance. Fortunately, I was only ten minutes away because I knew he wasn't well and had decided to stay in the local vicinity.
He was kept in a general hospital for a few days and then transferred to the Bristol Cancer Hospital, where he still is now.
Trouble is, each time he has one of these episodes, he is left more disabled than the last time. I have noticed that he is now unable to transfer from bed to any apparatus he needs without support. I see that in the hospital he has a notice over his bed stating that he needs 2 people to support his weight. I know in my heart I'm not physically capable of supporting or lifting him. I know my own health problems and weaknesses, though I love him and want to help him. He deserves that.

I now learn he doesn't have the criteria to go into a Nursing Home as he is too able bodied and I would have to fully fund it if I insisted. They can't tell me how long this situation is likely to go on.
I wonder what state of physical decline I would have to get into before I get listened to?
The NHS is in a tricky situation, I know, but there must be thousands of carers at their wit's end trying to cope with situations like this or even worse. The only thing we can do is empathise with each other as no one else can possibly know what its like until they get into this situation.

I really can't apologise enough to all the people who I normally visit and leave comments on their blog.
I don't seem to be able to get much time for blogging although I really want to keep things going.
Please bear with me for a while........