Tuesday, 21 March 2023


 I'm taking a break from blogging for a few days.  Back soon I expect x

Monday, 20 March 2023

Lots to think about

 We had a nice day out yesterday, visiting an area we're not familiar with....we've decided we're going to visit places a bit further afield where we've not necessarily been before, especially if there's been a home advertised for rent in a place we don't know well.  The idea being, we can check out local facilities and the area in general, to get an idea of whether we'd like to live there, should a suitable place come up for rent.  The place where we went yesterday was very nice, it's a village with a population of around 1,500 people, a mixture of very old and quite new houses, with 2 shops and a GP surgery within walking distance.  Larger supermarkets and retail area about 5 miles away, hospital around 10 miles.  And there's a bus service at the edge of the village, also within walking distance.  Fields surround the village, with dog walking opportunities.  So that area gets a tick for meeting our requirements.  The only thing is that it's quite a way from here and thus we'd be moving away from all our friends we've made here.....we could and would make new friends, of course.

That's something we will have to take into consideration, in view of our, well particularly husband's, health, and especially if the outcome of his upcoming memory tests isn't favourable.  Do I really want to move a fair distance away from people we know well if husband's health might be deteriorating significantly in the foreseeable future?  I'll have to have a think about that and weigh things up.

The outing was spoilt somewhat yesterday by the bloody car playing up again on the way home.  The worst thing about this particular problem with the car is the totally random nature of it - we have no idea when or if it will happen or what triggers it.  A warning light comes on and the steering immediately loses power, meaning husband really struggles to turn the wheel, so we have to pull over and switch the engine off, which resets it.  We've had the car looked at by a mobile mechanic, 2 or 3 different garages and the AA, all of whom have different ideas of what it might be.  So we're no nearer getting it fixed.  That's the trouble with buying second hand cars, you never know what problems they might have.  It's another stress to add to the list.  I bloody hate cars, they seem to be nothing but trouble....well, the ones we have do.  At least we've got a warranty with the car, so that's one good thing.  Although, as it's a problem that nobody seems to agree on the cause of, it might soon be time to think about getting rid of it - I can't be doing with random car worries.

My life always seems to be one extreme to the other - either things are going really well, as they were a couple of weeks back, or problems pile up.  And it's never just one little thing, more a pile of fairly big things.

I am stressed right now, there's no denying it, but amazingly I do seem to be coping quite well with it all this time around.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Mothers Day

 It's Mothering Sunday here in the UK, obviously I think about my Mum a lot, but she's on my mind very much today.  I miss chatting to her on the phone, she was so wise and funny.....unintentionally funny a lot of the time.

I've never had children - by choice, I don't have a maternal bone in my body - husband has 3 grown up children from his first marriage.  Husband comes from a very big family - 10 children altogether, the youngest one being adopted! (but then when you already have so many kids I guess another one doesn't make a lot of difference) - when I first met husband's parents, one of the first things my future FiL asked was if husband (future husband!) was going to have his vasectomy reversed?!  (Husband had the snip after his 3rd child was born).  NO, I said firmly, much to FiL's surprise, several of husband's siblings also have large families.  We had (briefly) discussed having children - after I said I didn't want any, husband said he was relieved as he didn't think he'd like to go through all that again at his age (30!  But he had his children when he was very young, 17 when the first was born).  We only have contact with his youngest child (no, I have no intention of going into that), but she and I have a very good relationship, she calls me by my first name, at my request, as I said right from the start that I didn't intend to be a second mother, as they already had a perfectly good one.

So Mothers Day doesn't really apply to me, other than being a reminder of the loss of my Mother just over 3 years ago (3 years and almost 3 months, to be precise, having lost her on Christmas Eve 2019), husband's mother died about 7 years ago.  But I am feeling a bit melancholy and missing Mum today, so as it's a lovely sunny day, we're going out for a drive, taking Betty with us of course. 

Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful Mums out there, and sending wishes for happy memories to those who have lost their Mums (Joy in particular x).

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Getting on

 Just minutes after we got home from the caravan yesterday afternoon, husband had a phone call from the memory assessment clinic.  A clinician is coming to our home to assess him and do a series of tests on the 6 April, so just under 3 weeks from now.  She asked that I be there too, to give my perspective and fill in any blanks, which of course I will be.  So at least we have an appointment date now.  Coincidentally, on that same date I was supposed to have a physio appointment, which was subsequently cancelled by them - if it had still been on I would have cancelled it anyway, husband's appointment is more important.

We had a lovely restful few hours at the caravan.  Still not many more flowers coming out, although I did notice the roses in pots are all showing lots of leaf growth now.  There was nobody else there, apart from the same guy in his touring van down the bottom end of the site - he appears to live in his touring van on site for the whole of the open season.  I checked back - this exact time last year we stayed over for our first long weekend of the season, and the weather was beautiful apparently.  There were also a lot more flowers out, so clearly early Spring was much warmer last year.  I think we're unlikely to stay there overnight until the end of the month/early April, looking at the unsettled weather forecast.  At least it wasn't so cold in the van as it was on the 1st March - we put the electric fire on for half an hour when we first got there, just to take any chill off, but it was absolutely fine after that.

I've lost focus a bit recently (things on my mind), but am going to change that.  From Monday we're going to start decluttering/packing again properly.....I'm going to spend this weekend planning what needs doing and making lists, I'll get husband involved too.  I'm also going to knuckle down to some serious saving, I want to add as much to our new home moving fund as possible.  The two Sues (A smaller and simpler life and Sue in Suffolk) have inspired me to make the most of the foodstuffs we already have (and we have a lot, especially in the larder cupboards) and to cut down on shopping, only getting fresh stuff when we really need it.  I'm going to make more use of frozen (or even tinned) veg, rather than going out to buy fresh veg a couple of times a week.

I've been feeling a bit lost in recent weeks and getting overwhelmed again - when all decisions, choices and actions are all down to me, it is hard - well, I find it so.  I sometimes feel like there's just too much going on and only me to cope with it all.  I feel close to a breakdown sometimes, but the knowledge that I can't have one - because we'd be in big trouble if I did as husband couldn't cope - weighs heavily on me at times, it's a big responsibility.  But I just have to put on my big girl's pants and get on with things.

Friday, 17 March 2023

An unexploded bomb

 I do wish they'd hurry up and give husband this memory assessment and brain scan appointment, I know they said it would be within 6 weeks and it's only been 10 days so far, but when you're waiting to see if your world is going to be shattered, it's a bloody agony waiting.  And yes I know (we both do) that it could be something fairly innocuous, but it's human nature to worry.  We've only told a very small handful of family and friends about the memory problems and referral so far, so as not to worry anyone else unnecessarily, but it does feel like we're sitting on an unexploded bomb.  Thank you all so much for your support, I do appreciate it enormously.  I need a great big hug and reassurance right now, very disturbed sleep is making me feel very anxious.  And of course night time thoughts are the worst.

We're off to the caravan for the day, there's some sun forecast in between the showers.  If we wait for a good sunny, warm, rain-free day, we'll be waiting forever.  Hopefully, some more of the Spring bulbs I planted last year should be flowering, and there might be a few more owners there, which would be good.  It would be nice if the site owner had managed to cut the grass, but I won't be surprised if he hasn't.  Speaking of which, our home lawn needs its first cut too, it's quite high in places and looks decidedly scruffy.  When it hasn't been raining it's been too cold for husband to do it (very cold weather makes him breathless and hurts his chest), and when it's warmer (like now) it's either raining or has been and the grass is too wet.  Using the mower hurts my back and hip and thoroughly wears me out, but I may have to bite the bullet and do it if husband can't.

I didn't make meatballs with the chicken mince yesterday, there were a couple of red peppers in the fridge that needed using.  I lightly fried the mince with chopped onion, mixed it with a pack of brown and wild rice, a splash of cream and some grated cheese, sage and paprika and used that to stuff the peppers, which I'd cut in half as they were large ones.  I air fried two halves, they cooked beautifully, we had them with green veggies.  The other two halves we'll have tonight with the leftover veggies, saves me having to cook when we get in from the caravan.  There was enough of the chicken and rice mixture left to freeze as well for another meal.

I really fancy a bit of chocolate right now, sure sign that I'm feeling stressed, I'm not a chocoholic at all, preferring savoury things.

Thursday, 16 March 2023

This blimmin weather.... getting me down.  The weather forecast for the next couple of weeks at least is very depressing - rainy and cloudy most days with little in the way of sunshine, quite windy too.  The only good thing about it is that the temperatures will be a few degrees higher.  So we've decided to go to the caravan tomorrow, just for the day, we won't be staying overnight yet, if we wait for good weather we'll be waiting weeks.  Hopefully there might be a few more people there, we'll see.  I'm fairly sure we'd stayed over a few nights in March last year, I'll have to look back at my posts then.  One thing that can be guaranteed with British weather is the complete uncertainty and changeableness of it!

The latest homes for rent list came out yesterday, there are 3 bungalows, one of which is really nice and would be eminently suitable for all our requirements, so I've put in a bid for it - my first ever.  It's doubtful, very doubtful actually, that we'll get anywhere with it, it's bound to be popular - there were already 29 people with more eligibility ahead of us by yesterday evening.  But nothing ventured.....and all that.

My hips, having been much better lately, were so stiff and painful this morning when I got out of bed that I could hardly walk and getting down the stairs for my coffee and then back up again to shower and dress was agonising.  It's eased up a bit now though, both the pain and the stiffness.  I didn't take any paracetamol when I went to bed last night, so perhaps that's why.  It would be nice to have a place with no stairs - it would benefit both of us.  My guts seem a lot more settled this morning, so that's good.  Several days going very low carb and smaller portions seem to have done the trick.  I'm going to make meatballs today with chicken mince (chicken or turkey mince is the only meat I eat now), we'll have them with a homemade tomato sauce and green veggies.

Having put the decluttering and packing of things we don't need immediately on hold for a while, I think we'll get going on it again next week.  I want to completely sort out my craft room-cum-spare bedroom, I'm going to pack away all my craft stuff for the time being.  I have a little stock of cards both homemade and bought ready for birthdays, anniversaries etc, so won't need to make any for ages yet, and I haven't done any drawing or crocheting for weeks and weeks....I've been reading a lot instead.  As my sister and her friend will be coming down to stay for a holiday in a few weeks, I need the spare room to go back to being a bedroom and not a workroom.  We're due for another tip trip too, we've got a couple of bags or boxes full already, and there'll be more next week, we may as well fill the car up before we go.  Incidentally, speaking of the car, it seems to be behaving again....fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

It's all 'oh bugger'.....'oh ok'

 We wanted to go to the caravan yesterday (it was forecast to be a bright sunny, albeit windy and not very warm, day, and so it was), but with the car problems we decided it was best not to.  Husband finally managed to get through to the AA yesterday morning - he couldn't get through at all the previous day on the journey home from Taunton, they just weren't answering the phone - just a recorded message saying they were having problems!!!  Oh really?!?!  What did they think we were having?!  😒😡.  Anyway, the AA man turned up at home (thank goodness for home start) fairly quickly yesterday morning.  He thought he'd identified the problem and told husband to take the car to the garage and give them the work sheet he provided, he said the garage could claim for the work direct from the AA (we have a warranty with them, as well as roadside and home assistance).  So hopefully that'll get sorted soonish.  However, he said the car should be fine in the meantime.

My bank card problems appear to have been resolved - I tried using the card again yesterday and this time it worked perfectly on idea why it wouldn't work on either contactless or PIN before, although it let me get cash out of a hole in the wall - go figure!  Anyway, it works now and that's all that matters, one less thing to worry about.

The problem relative was at it again yesterday, virtually as soon as I unblocked him, so he promptly got blocked again.  I know he's got mental problems and to a large extent he can't help it, but his so-called problems that he goes on and on about in massive amounts of detail, and for hours, are so completely and utterly trivial in nature, they can't even be classed as problems.  And he's so totally self-absorbed, he's oblivious to other people's real problems.  He won't listen to anyone and the longer he goes on and on, the more abusive he gets.  He had both a mental health worker and a social worker, but was eventually really rude to both of them and ordered them to take him off their books and not to contact him anymore.  If he refuses all professional help, then I'm afraid he's on his own.

We've got quite a lot of Spring bulbs flowering in the garden now.....some of them got beaten down by the snow last week but they've all bounced back.  I've got a pot of pink hyacinths in full bloom on the kitchen windowsill and they smell wonderful.  Lots of trees around are in full blossom now, I do love the blossom.  And there are little newborn lambs everywhere we go.  Spring is truly my favourite season, it's full of new things, promise and hope.

It's back to being frosty and very cold this morning.  That's preferable to rain or snow!

Thank you again for all the comments.  I'm holding myself together at the mo, my sanity is (just about!), I don't know 😂