Thursday, 26 July 2012

If Only

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

I used to be a Lively Lady in the good old days and hope one day I might still be one.

I'm waiting for an MRI scan because my consultant now feels that I have a slipped disc or something like that.
Because this has caused me a lot of pain, I haven't spent as much time on my blog as I'd have liked to but I will get back to normal as soon as possible.
So please bear with me.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Secret Gardens

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Have you ever wondered what is behind the rows of terraced houses that you might pass regularly? Have you ever wished that you could see into the back gardens? If only that was possible.
Well, this weekend, I had the opportunity to do just that.

I noticed there were posters on local lamp posts and fences advertising that for a fee of £3 it would be possible to visit a whole group of local back gardens. At the time I wasn't sure if that meant that I could view them all for £3 or that I'd have to pay the fee for each garden that I visited. However, my friend Audrey said that it might be worthwhile to view a couple of gardens and see how we got on, so we arranged to meet in a house very near to my home. In fact all the gardens were within walking distance We presented our entrance fee and were told we could now view all the gardens if we produced the ticket each time we moved on to another house.

For a start, after months of rain, the weather was suddenly sunny and dry. That in itself was a miracle and made viewing so much pleasanter for everyone involved. Some of the gardens could only be reached by going through the house, so imagine having all these visitors trampling wet through your home. The owners must have been very pleased that this was not going to happen.
I haven't enjoyed myself so much for a long time. Each garden was very different from any other. Some were extremely tiny like my own, while others were very long and had divided the space into many little sections, some with lawn and borders and some with patios and gravel. There were vegetable patches and wild patches with ponds. Some gardens had hens in runs and another had beehives everywhere. Each had a different look and character. Some were inviting us to sit in comfortable garden chairs and have tea and cakes while others only had standing room in their tiny patches of land, but there was always someone there to give advice and the owners seemed to be very grateful for positive feedback.
I was able to get some advice as to why I was struggling to grow white flowered Jasmine on my fence. The lady who was able to grow it well in her garden, suggested that I put rabbit or hen droppings over the roots to give it a good start. Well that would be easy enough to try in our home. I couldn't wait to get out there with my rabbit droppings and trowel.

I was able to visit about half a dozen homes but unfortunately, time ran out so I missed two of them. I can't wait to go to the next batch of gardens but I doubt very much that they will be in my area. It was, apparently organised by the Bristol Botanical Garden Trust and thats were all the profits went to.

I wonder if other readers have ever had the chance to look at secret gardens in your area?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Seeking Comfort

Photo Copy: Maggie May

I am still seeking comfort from the pain I am in and nothing seems to help.
Sam took me to *that certain Swedish store* this week and although I had gone there to buy something else, I found myself sitting on one of these chairs and I was so comfortable that I could have fallen asleep.
I was urged to buy one and I didn't take much persuading. It came in a flat pack but for my carpenter son, that posed no problem and it was assembled in next to no time.
It is very comfortable and wobbles slightly balancing on its arms and legs in a soothing kind of way. Lets hope it doesn't collapse under my bulky frame.

In spite of the pain, I was able to sing in the concert last weekend in the Colston Hall, together with another excellent community choir singing alternately with us. I think both these choirs are the two largest community choirs in Bristol. We had been practicing a large selection of eclectic songs for months and when I developed this awful pain recently, I wasn't sure I whether I would be able to see the concert through.
I shovelled in the pain killers and was able to really enjoy the singing and the lovely atmosphere. There was a full house and judging by the applause, it went down well.
However, I'm beginning to wonder whether now seems the right time to drop out of the choir, with the summer holidays stretching ahead, as I am becoming quite suspicious about this persistent pain and I feel it is getting quite difficult to get about these days. I will see how things pan out over the summer.
I am continuing to hobble about and try to tidy up the house but everything takes much longer these days.
It seems that I am having to sacrifice more and more of the things that I want to do but can't.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A Question Of Comfort

If you read my last post, you would know that at the time of writing, I was plagued by Sciatica  and all sorts of useful advice from blogging friends and family started to come in from that post as to how to overcome it.

 Sandy's mother was getting rid of a perfectly good double mattress as she was downsizing to a single bed to make more room in her flat. She had paid £1000 for it not very long ago and she asked if I'd like it as it was going to end up on the city rubbish tip. Usually I wouldn't consider a second hand mattress unless I knew the owner and knew that it was going to be clean, which I did on this occasion and I jumped at the suggestion. So Sam and Sandy brought it round and took my 15 year old mattress away to the tip. The old mattress was really hard and never very comfortable and Sam couldn't understand why I'd put up with such discomfort for 15 years but it just seemed too much effort to change it again.
Surely this new mattress would help ease my back problem?  
What I didn't realise was that Sandy's mother smokes heavily and the mattress, although in very new condition did stink of cigarette smoke and our night attire and bedding picked up the smell and had to be changed frequently. After spraying with fabric conditioner every morning and evening for a week, and leaving the mattress bare in front of the open window all day, the smell gradually decreased. The mattress is more springy than the old one, kinder to the bones and we did both get a better nights sleep.

Another blogger who I hadn't heard from for a very long time put me in touch with certain exercises for sciatica from the net. This got me interested in self help and I did a bit of research and found a simple stretch to ease the trapped nerve. This morning the edge seemed to be off the pain and I could walk a bit better so that seems to be the way to go. I'm all for self help and hope to cut the pain killers down soon.

So many thanks to all those who made helpful suggestions....... I really don't know what I'd do without my blogging pals (and family and non blogging friends too). You are all really brilliant.