Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Last Fairy Visit?

Photocopy: Maggie May

Millie, my youngest granddaughter has now grown up. Whilst staying with friends for a sleepover, she lost the first of her top teeth. The tooth was carefully wrapped up so that she could take it home and put it under the pillow for the tooth fairy to collect and leave some silver for her.
She came to me the next day and showed me the gap.
"I don't think there is such a thing as a tooth fairy. Its really the parents who put the money there,"She declared.
"Well, one thing for sure," I replied, "If you don't believe in her then she certainly won't leave you anything." I then, tongue in cheek, started to say, "Every time you say you don't believe in fairies......."
Amber who is ten, rolled her eyes and finished the sentence, "A fairy dies......." (Thats according to Peter Pan.)
Millie, ever ready to please everyone and obviously thinking of the financial loss, said......."Yes I do believe....... I really do" but her words were hollow and I knew she had grown too big for that. 
When the second teeth start to grow down, that *baby look* completely disappears. It is the end of an era. My last grandchild has now grown up. 
Am I sentimental in feeling slightly sad?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A Gambol that Payed Off

Photo Copy: Maggie May

We have experienced some very wet and much colder weather so I was surprised when Harry made a decision to go to Weston Super Mare on the bus. He made the decision several days before he intended us to go and as he is far from well, not having gone such a long way for at least eighteen months, I didn't really think we would end up being able to do it.
The day before his intended journey, he was still so enthusiastic that we both decided we would definitely catch the bus from Bristol Bus Station and go, no matter what the weather was like, as long as we both felt well enough on the day.

So today, we both took a haversack each filled with warm hats, scarves and gloves and waterproof jackets and I took my walking stick and boarded the bus for the hour long journey and arrived well before lunch time and found the sea was calm. The night before on the local television news there were pictures of waves spewing over cars trying to travel along the sea front road, washing over the sea wall and through some open flood gates, flooding a couple of businesses. The tide had been exceptionally high and the strong wind had not helped the situation and this hadn't been expected
However when we arrived, the sun was out and the sky was blue and our skin soaked up the warmth and we walked quite a lot and browsed the shops and had little rests on benches and watched the people as they passed. 
After all this exercise, we worked up quite an appetite so we went into a little fish and chip shop and ordered Pensioner sized meals that were designed to meet with smaller appetites because we thought we ought not to eat too much fattening food.
When the meals arrived, they were on beautiful square plates and arranged appealingly and there were also two rolls with butter and two huge cups of tea. I thought we'd never get through all that food, as they turned out to be very generous helpings but we both tucked in and finished everything. The two of us agreed that it was the best meal of fish and chips that we'd ever tasted and believe me, we have had many a plateful in our lifetimes, which might account for our thickened waistlines.

We never needed to put on our woolly hats or the waterproof coats as the sun was warm and
after more walking and watching the world go by from benches, Harry said that he'd had enough and so we caught the bus home. As we neared our local area in the late afternoon, the rain fell down and it had gone cold, so once again, Harry had made the right decision to leave when we did.

Our gambol had payed off and we both felt really pleased that we took the chance and had had a really pleasant day. In fact both out moods lifted a lot.
Sometimes you really do have to go with an idea or impulse and take the chance, don't you?


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Steps Of Life

Photos copyright: Maggie May

It seems that living is just a series of steps and at the end of the flight of steps, is our departure from this world. This seems to be another subject that people don't like to talk about but I believe that when you get to the door at the top of the steps, then life goes on. 
I happen to be a Christian so I have my own set of beliefs but I know that others have theirs.

Last week I went to my friend, Pietra's funeral and as soon as her personal choice of music started as she was brought into our church, the tears rolled down my face as I sobbed silently. However, by the time we were asked to do a Mexican Wave (yes, really....... Pietra had written her own funeral and she had a great sense of humour), we couldn't help but smile and get into the requested task and there were many people in the church so it took a while for the wave to reach the back and then go down to the front again. I went home having gained something from this experience and I learnt many things from older friends that I didn't know about her.

Now I have learnt, this morning, that one of my Blogging Buddies has died of cancer too. Moannie  whose blog was called The View From This End  will be really sadly missed. She was a very clever writer and I have been following her blog for a good few years now. 
She had the knack of writing about her life in the past and it seemed so vivid and real and she did have a great sense of humour too. She even laughed at her cancer and called it The Fecker. Her computer was called Pacco and she was always moaning about the way Pacco was behaving.
Her daughter, Saz has kept all her Followers informed of her wellbeing, in the Hospice and when she was at home and Moannie didn't feel well enough to blog herself. However, we've been informed that  Moannie did follow all the comments and news on line which makes me feel that Blogging Friendship is a very special thing.

Now to turn to the other unmentionable subject that I referred to in my last post about head lice. Yuck!
Thank you to everyone who gave me advice on the subject and I did take it all on board. I hadn't realised that I'd get so many comments.

This is a marvellous little comb that I got on line and it gets rid of everything, nits and eggs and all.
I was amused and somewhat horrified to read of one of my bloggers who was a teacher in a school and she had travelled some distance up a motorway and found a hair with nit eggs in it, stuck on the bottom of her shoe. This could have hatched out if it had come into contact with another person's hair. However these things cannot be passed on through combs and hats and pillows etc like one reader thought, unless there was a hair with a live egg on it that was transferred onto someone else's head. The lice need blood to survive and the nits need a scalp to chew on too when they hatch out. They can't live in bedding or carpets.
Anyway, as long as the other mothers have got rid of their daughters' problem too, then that should be the end of it. Everything is nit free this end! Lets hope that, with the regular use of this trusty comb after conditioning each time their hair is washed, will be an end to the possibility of any more establishing themselves in my granddaughters' hair.
I hope that this will be the end of a nasty subject.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Sadness and Frustrations

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

The only drawback to making a friend with a terminal illness is that there is going to be a sad ending and one risks being hurt.
I was first drawn to Pietra, who didn't live in Bristol but who came to my church every few weeks, because she was also suffering from cancer. Unfortunately, her outlook was not too good, but she had proved the Oncology team wrong on several occasions when she was given only months to live and had gone on for several years. We emailed regularly and I looked forward to the Church visit and felt she was a source of inspiration to me over these last few months as I got closer to her.
Now the inevitable has happened and I am really sad.
To the people who are left behind, it is really tough especially for her children, her mother and sisters.  She died very peacefully and unexpectedly without pain. She was a Christian with a strong belief and seemed to accept where she was going with anticipation and confidence. I will be left without my email friend who was a powerful prayer warrior, who put others in front of her own needs. She had encouraged me to be strong on many an occasion with my own illness by her cheerfulness and enthusiasm. Yes, she will be truly missed and certainly not just by me.

My friend Audrey has been coming weekly to help me with the heavier work in the garden. She wondered whatever had gone wrong with my Eleagnus Maculata bush that had started off as an innocent little shrub and ended up towering in height over the kitchen roof and some might describe it as a thug.
Audrey is fairly strong and for the last few weeks she bravely sawed off thick branches, while I gathered up leaves and chopped up smaller ones that soon filled up my Council garden waste bin several weeks running.
The last time Audrey came, she was merrily untangling top branches from the tree when a very angry bird started frantically squawking and flapping about. I looked up and saw a nest........ not a very tidy one at that. I halted all tree work much to Audrey's irritation. "There is no nesting in October," she retorted. I knew that, but what with Global Warming things don't necessarily follow normal patterns, do they? After searching the web for any information on late nesting and sitting under the tree regularly to watch and listen, I am none wiser about whether the nest is in use or not and that particular bird, who I think was a wren, seems to have gone away, leaving us with a flock of cheeky sparrows who use the tree to shelter in and keep an eye out when they are using the feeders in my garden.

My final frustration comes from the out break of head lice that seems to be plaguing my granddaughters. Can I really talk about such things as this in public! It would certainly not have been possibly in my youth when school nurses would examine everyones hair and send notes to parents to keep the children away from school. Then the offending child would eventually be sent to school with sticky foul-smelling chemicals on their hair and I'm sorry to say these poor children would then be taunted or avoided. It was definitely a thing to be ashamed of.
Now the whole of this middle class infants school seems to be riddled with the pests. No one seems to take much notice and the advice given is not to use chemicals because the beasts are immune to them anyway and the recommended treatment seems to be to use masses of conditioner on the hair with nit combing over and over again until they are all dragged out with broken legs. Well that would be fine if all the children did this at the same time but this seems to be a never ending infestation.
Most of the parents just shrug and say that this doesn't happen in the Senior schools because the children don't sit tightly bunched together with their hair touching the child on either side.

I went and broke the white plastic nit comb on Amber's strong, Japanese type hair and Millie, who seems to have inherited fine, English hair was just as difficult to untangle even with conditioner and I broke another one on her. They will insist on having long hair, flowing out on the shoulders like Alice In Wonderland. My children never had this problem because they always had short hair or was I just lucky?
I am soon expecting a consignment of metal nit combs to come through the post........ ordered from the Internet.
I think I will end on this itchy subject and hope the combs come in time for next weekend's slaughter when I will tackle the little blighters again. This time I will be ready for them.