Friday 29 April 2011

Settling Down

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Not so long ago when my grandchildren were eating in the central part of the city, these two pigeons were watching with beady eyes for any scraps. We don't often feed them because they can become a nuisance but as there are cafes about I expect that they do make quite a few meals out of left overs.
They look as though they might well be thinking of settling down in that hanging basket.

Speaking of settling down, I'm sure everyone knows it was the Royal Wedding today and I was not going to be watching it intently. I just wanted to see Kate's dress and see the actual church ceremony.
However, once I started to watch I was infected by the patriotism and felt I really wanted to see all of it.
There are times when I am hugely proud to be English and I think that todays Royal event really was an asset to the country.
In these times of unrest, financial hardship and wars and uprisings springing up all over the place, it makes a really wonderful change to share in someone else's happiness and to see the way the crowds in London responded to it. William and Kate who are now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, really did look very genuinely happy and I am sure they stand a very good chance of making a go of their marriage and judging by the looks of pleasure on the cheering faces of the crowds, it seems to be the general feeling.
I am sure that I am not alone in wishing them a happy future together.

Monday 25 April 2011

Wheres The Holiday Gone?

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Well there I was in holiday mode. I don't know what I was thinking of..... telling the granddaughters we had at least another week off school and I said it was because of the Royal Wedding on Friday and the May Bank Holiday the following Monday. How very wrong I was.
They go back tomorrow!
So that means that I work one afternoon/evening this week. The choir that I joined starts back this week too and I have one or two other things planned as well. I will watch some of the wedding but not stay glued to it all day.
So it will be business as usual.

We all had a lovely Easter break and chocolate featured quite heavily in it.
My daughter and the grandsons went back to the east coast yesterday and my son and granddaughters have only just left. (Well I do see them a lot during term time so they will be back tomorrow.)
Harry seems to be doing well and has his MRI scan next week.
That just about sums up all my news for now.

Saturday 23 April 2011

Happy Easter

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Today I am writing this post before my two children and four grandchildren wake up. There is no indication, at present that there are so many people in my house.
Soon it will be a very different story as they get up one by one.
Granddad is the first up. He has already gone downstairs to feed the rabbits.
In the space of just one week, he is such a different person to the suffering man he was last week.
He is not in so much pain now and he seems to be walking much better. Harry is not on strong medication but the first lot of tablets that were prescribed made him feel quite ill. The ones he is taking now, suit him very well.
I am not so scared of him going out by himself and he will soon pop to the newsagent for his paper.

The weather has been just like summer. The temperatures up in the twenties centigrade. Today, we have the possibility of rain, but there is no sign of it so far and the temperature is quite pleasant.

We have had a riot in Bristol that has made the headlines on The National News and in the newspapers..... all to do with a supermarket that was built in an area where the local people did not want it. Well, I wasn't aware of the commotion, though it went on all the night before last
and there must have been the noise of helicopters, sirens and such like passing through. That seems to have calmed down now but there is still strong feeling about the supermarket.

Millie, the youngest grandchild has just got up....... quickly followed by her sister, Amber.
The boys are not so eager to rouse these days. Teens seem to need more sleep and don't go to bed early enough.
I must rescue Granddad. He cannot understand why the whole world doesn't get up at the crack of dawn, though he seems to be struggling to do so himself, these days.
He will be getting the breakfasts for the girls.

Soon, this post will be old hat. However I will not be writing another one this side of Easter. The boys won't be be going home until Sunday.
Schools are on holiday for at least another week and the Royal Wedding on Friday has caused us to have yet another day off...... so the holiday stretches on.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.
I will try and catch up with reading blogs and commenting when I get a quiet moment. I am sure there will be some ...... or is that wishful thinking?

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Crochet and Hospital Visits

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Harry and I have just come back from his hospital appointment to discuss the recent bone scan that he had.
Unfortunately he now has cancer in the spine which is very painful and that is why he has had such a rough time of it recently.
He has to have some radiation treatment soon to help the pain and then he will have to start chemotherapy for up to ten months.
However before that commences, he will need an MRI scan to highlight the problem.
On top of that, he has to have a monthly intravenous drip of something to try to strengthen his bones.

We will just have to take one day at a time. The cancer cannot be cured but hopefully will halt the progress for a while. I hope so considering what is ahead of him.

While Harry has been unwell, I have been doing crochet to take my mind of things.
Although I have made crochet blankets in the past, I was inspired by another blogger who I have recently started to visit because of her name initially and then because I liked her blog. She is another Maggie and her blog is called Mrs runof themills Blogspot .
I was recently drawn to some crochet work that she did and decided to do something similar. Hope you don't mind, Maggie if you are reading this.
She posted several weeks ago and took photos of her lovely blankets.

I daresay, the blanket will be the first of many because crocheting doesn't hurt my wrists and hands as much as knitting does.

Thursday 14 April 2011

Ups and Downs

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

Just going to the corner shop, I stopped and took photos as I passed my neighbours' flowering shrubs. The first is a rampant species of Clematis that looks beautiful and the second photo is of a Mock Orange Blossom that gives out a beautiful scent.
The day was brightened immediately.

I had good news yesterday when I went for my appointment at the hospital, as my CT scan proved to be clear. The pains I have been suffering from can be put down to arthritis, IBS or just plain old age. Its brilliant news, isn't it?
However, this good fortune is slightly marred by the way Harry is suffering right now.
On Monday, I asked him if he'd mind bringing a sack of compost from the garden centre so that I could do some repotting and he happily set off in the car. However, when he came home he was ashen faced, vomiting and in extreme pain from his back.

Yes, I know..... I am on a guilt trip because of it but he is an retired builder and is always going on about large sacks of things being no trouble at all. He forgets that he is not twenty anymore.
Well he has been off his feet since Monday lunch time and has had the doctor round and been on lots of pills that all seem to upset him. It is awful to see him like this and his appointment with his Oncologist has been brought forward to next week instead of May to discuss his recent bone scan.
In the mean time he cannot even be bothered to read a paper or watch TV and he isn't eating hardly anything and is still vomiting.
I can't believe the sudden change in him. So you see, my recent good news seems to be swamped by this new crisis with Harry.
Life is all about ups and downs in this household.

Since writing this post, I am pleased to say that there is an improvement in Harry and I hope it is the beginning of him getting into better health.

Monday 11 April 2011


Photos Copyright: Maggie May

My rabbits know that every morning they get moved into their large run and get fed with fresh greens and hay, following a cuddle each. So why do they always try and hide when they know that I am on my way to get them? They are playing a game with me, thats why.

Sometimes they try to make themselves very small and hope they won't be noticed and sometimes one of them will jump into the tray, knowing that I won't want to pick up a bunny with a wet tail end.
However, when I went to collect them from their night time cage this morning, they had pulled a piece of newspaper over their heads, hoping that I wouldn't notice them. They really are are very funny but loveable bunnies.

I am a bit dismayed that so many of my blogging friends have suddenly given up and abandoned their blogs. Some of them I have *got to know* after a couple of years of writing and commenting. It seems so sudden not to have any contact from them at all when this happens and I am left wondering how they are getting on, after sharing with them for so long.
Some tell me that they don't feel that they have anything to write about, while others get interested in other things or haven't the time to blog. I feel we all have this happen to us from time to time but to give up completely after three years or so seems very extreme.

When I compare my blog this year with what I was doing a couple of years ago..... I notice that I am not going on so many trips to lovely places that I used to do. My grandchildren are growing up and there are not so many funny stories to tell and I don't seem to be writing about my past or doing memes any more, so I dare say that my blog is not as interesting as it used to be.
However, I do still enjoy writing it regularly and consider it to be like a journal. I have acquired new readers and I am always very pleased to get to know new people. I am also constantly taking photos for the blog. However, there is a definite gap when some one who I consider a good blogging friend gives up.
I suppose it is inevitable with this kind of friendship. It seems to be of the transient type.
What do others feel about it when it happens to them?

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Forget-me nots

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

Forget-me nots are beautiful little flowers that spring up all over the place at this time of the year. They grow between my patio slabs in my back garden and invade my tub plants but I never mind as they are not really invasive and can quite easily be controlled. Besides..... I really like them.

Taking a short cut through this church yard with my friend, Audrey, I decided to snap the scene as it seemed to be such an appropriate name....... forget-me-not, in the church yard. Most of these headstones are devoid of any lettering as they must be extremely old. So it seemed poignant to me that the forgotten person buried there should have these little flowers growing over them.

Walking around church yards can be quite fascinating and I don't feel it is at all morbid. I think Audrey thought so though as she hurried through.
I can't think what the yellow flowers are right now but they must have escaped from a nearby garden and seemed to compliment the blue of the forget-me-nots. There was a definite tranquility there that caught my imagination.

The weather, as usual, has been predictably unpredictable.
We have experienced cool wet weather for a few days but today is sunny and dry for a change.

I have been enjoying the book, The Butterfly House by Marcia Preston. I am half way through it and don't want to put it down.
It is a while since I felt like this.
Somedays I would just like to sit and read and not have to bother with work........ sigh...... but today it beckons.

Friday 1 April 2011

Two Ways of Looking at Hyacinths

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

These hyacinths caught my attention when I was walking past the Council's bedded plants in a central part of our city.
Not only do they look good, but they give out a lovely fragrance to people who walk by.

When I walk by here, I am either shopping or on my way to the various hospitals that my husband and I have to frequently visit.
Unfortunately, Harry will be starting chemotherapy some time next month and I have been quite upset at the prospects of him having ten sessions to try to halt his prostate cancer.
Similarly, I am also having to pass these plants to go to the hospital that I attend for my check ups and I will be having a CT scan next week but it will be a week or so later before I will get the results.
So the sight of the plants can actually bring cheer to me but at the same time I can feel that they remind me of hospital visits and of the worries that we will both have to face in the near future.
I was told by a cancer councellor recently, that I am allowed to worry for ten minutes each day! I am supposed to write them down in a little book and stop after ten minutes. Then I have to let the worries go and try to divert my thoughts to other things.
I am having moderate success with this and of course, I can write down my feelings separately and I do this daily too.

On the positive side..... I have joined a choir. I used to sing soprano parts in church choirs when I was much younger and I really did miss doing this when they eventually folded up. I went to a *taster* session last week and found I really felt great after a two hour sing. However, I have had to change to an alto part because I cannot get to the top notes of the soprano range that I could manage quite easily when I was in my forties. This will be a challenge as the part will be harder to learn as it isn't usually the main tune. I have a CD and lots of music to practice with over the three week break. Seems I started on their last day for this term.
What do you do to cheer yourself up?