Tuesday 25 June 2013

Heady Ceanothus

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Since my last post, there has been an improvement in the weather. The Ceanothus at the bottom of the garden has come out in glorious array, giving off a very heady aroma which attracts many bees and hover flies. The warmer, drier weather must have reminded it of its original warmer climate in California because flowering seems to have been delayed this year until now.

Also since the last post, I haven't been troubled by the gas smell. Fingers crossed that it won't come back, whatever it was. I had some useful replies left in my comments and I particularly liked the idea of a gas burp.

Over the last week I have been on a couple of day trips because Harry was feeling well enough to be left on his own. However, his next chemo starts again next week. It soon seems to come round. This is supposed to be the last one....... number 10. It is a lot for any human body to endure. He is very brave.

I have been out on the garden the past few days and have managed chop back some of the appropriate shrubs and do some weeding and tidying up, so I am fairly pleased that my back stood up to the test. I do little and often. Long may this good weather last. I was a bit dismayed to realise that the longest day is now over.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Elusive Smells

Over the last few weeks we have had an enigma in our home in the form of a gas smell that is there one minute and not the next.
When I first noticed it, I rang the company who service my boiler and they sent a man round to check the boiler, where it seemed to be coming from.
They used gadgets to check the meter and the whole system. I was told there was no gas leak in my house and that everything was completely safe.
I felt so relieved that it wasn't anything to worry about and gladly paid the fee for the reassurance that the man had given me. He told me he couldn't smell anything.
In case you are wondering if I was imagining it or that I have a faulty sense of smell, Harry had also smelt it. In fact I think he was the first to notice it.

A week went on without a problem and then, to my dismay, we noticed the smell again. This time, I decided to ignore it because it was there one minute and just when I was beginning to panic, it disappeared without trace.
After several days of this, I still felt very uneasy and decided to ring the Gas Board Emergency Service. Surely they would find something wrong?
They were round within half an hour and did a free extensive search both in my home and next doors. They used all sorts of gadgets to test everything and a smoke test on the chimney flue. Everything was passed as safe and I was assured that their equipment would pick up minute amounts of gas leaking and set all their alarms off full pelt. Nothing happened and they could not smell anything.
Feeling very reassured and being told that the most likely cause was a rotting bird behind the boiler that would smell similar to gas. 
Well that was over a week ago and yesterday we smelt it again.
I have been assured that a gas leak would be constant and not come and go like it is doing. However, surely a rotting bird would be constant too and quite honestly I don't think it is a rotting beast.
Has anyone else had a similar problem?

Monday 10 June 2013

Three Year Old Rascals

Photo Copyright Maggie May

One of my regular Blogging friends emailed me recently to ask if I still have my rabbits because I hadn't mentioned them for a while. In view of that, I thought that I ought to do an update on them.
They are now three years old and are as much in love with each other as ever. They live in the house and apart from gnawing on the wood of their run and seriously undermining the strength of it, they don't get up to too much mischief.
Ash, the Netherland Dwarf, keeps himself fairly spruce and doesn't need much grooming. Lily, on the other hand, being long haired, does need brushing, detangling and an occasional trim round the hind quarters to keep her clean.
Several times a year, I need help with having their claws clipped and also when I need to take them to the vets for their yearly injection.
I keep telling myself that I have to stay well for them as there doesn't seem to be anyone who could look after them if I was too ill to do it.

Harry is plodding on with his chemo and will be undergoing number 9 this coming week. He will also be celebrating his 74th Birthday. He is often unwell but rarely complains.
I have recently had one of my three monthly examinations by my Oncology Consultant and he told me that he wasn't concerned and that I can go back in three months time, which will be in September. The hospital always stresses that if I have any new symptoms I must get in touch straight away. The possibility of that happening is something that I have to learn to live with. This Autumn it will be four years since I was told that I had secondary cancer which was quite a shock. 
The media recently stated that very soon, one in every two people will find that they need to be treated for cancer instead of the present one in three. I think it's because we are all living much longer and not dying of other things. However, a large proportion of those diagnosed, will be cured if caught early enough and an even larger proportion of those people will be treated and be able to live with the disease for a long time. In the meantime lets hope there will be a cure so that nobody has to suffer from it any more.

The warm weather seems to be holding out and I have been wearing more summery clothes. Long may it last.

Monday 3 June 2013

Is it a.............Meerkat?

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

I was about to do a spot of cooking when I realised that the sweet potato looked like a mummified meerkat. I almost felt guilty peeling and chopping it! However, it tasted delicious in a chicken stew.

Since my last post, I've had quite a busy time. My daughter and grandsons came for a quick weekend visit, which was lovely.
I was taken to visit a Circus in the Cotswolds by my son and his intended wife and their three girls. My brother also came with us which added to the enjoyment of the afternoon.  
It was a delightful performance by mostly humans and no animal cruelty was involved because they used horses, which seemed to love the routine and a couple of hens and a goose who also seemed happy to take part. The Circus used classical music and played instruments superbly and the singers, whose voices could be heard all over the tent without the use of a microphone, were also extremely talented. There were high wire acts and the clown seemed to be of a very high calibre. I would describe it as a Classical Circus of high standard. All in all a great time was had by us all.

Since my last post, we have had a whole mix of different weather conditions. Fortunately the day we visited the circus was warm and dry. So maybe my idea to leave a post about a stormy day on the blog for a whole week, paid off. Sod's Law and all that. I wonder what the coming week has in store?