Thursday, 6 May 2021

Continuing our holiday at home

 Yesterday we went to Wells.  It's been so long since we last went that I'd forgotten Wednesday is market day there, so it was a bit busier than I'd have liked.  No problems though, most people were wearing masks (including us), even outdoors.  We really wanted to have lunch outside one of the cafes there (they all now have outside seating), but there was a strong freezing cold wind, even though it was sunny, so we decided against it - I just didn't want to sit there shivering and trying to stop my lunch blowing away!  Never mind, we enjoyed having a mooch around the shops and I did get a few things I wanted.  One advantage of having to wear a mask is that it keeps your face warm when it's cold!

It was cloudy with a couple of showers this morning, but cleared up by lunchtime when the sun came out (the forecasters are doing a very good job lately).  So off we went to our lovely Dunster beach after lunch, much to Betty's delight, she was charging around on the sand like a mad thing.  There was a lovely clear blue sky and plenty of sunshine, but boy was it cold - that blimmin freezing wind still.  No wonder there was hardly anyone there, sensible people probably stayed at home in the warm.  We didn't walk right to the end of the site like we usually do, it was just too cold and the wind was blowing right in our faces.  At least it was behind us on the way back to the car park.  Betty doesn't care about the wind and cold though, she had a lovely time.

We're thinking we might possibly go to Exeter tomorrow, it's supposed to be another sunny day, hopefully not with such a cold wind though.

Husband's consultant (for his foot) said he'd benefit from having physiotherapy, his foot is being very slow to heal and is still causing him a lot of pain.  He got the appointment letter through today......for a course of phone appointments.  What good is that going to do him?  He's disgusted and says he's going to see what his consultant says about it, he's due to see her again (an actual face to face appointment) the week after next.

I have my 2nd jab next week, husband had his last week.  He had no side effects at all, although with the first one he had a headache and felt very shivery and feverish for 12 hours.  I'm hoping I'll have no ill effects either, as I have the dentist the day after.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021


 For various reasons, we've come home early from our holiday today - we were due back this coming Saturday.  It's not been bad, Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning were all mostly sunny and we did get out and about a few times.  It helped a lot being away, in that it consolidated our thoughts about our future plans and we gained some useful information.  And we're not just getting back into our normal routine now we're home, we're treating the rest of the week as if we're still on holiday.  So we're planning a couple of days out - a trip to Wells tomorrow, one of my favourite towns, a Dunster beach long walk with Betty on Thursday, and another trip out somewhere on Friday, yet to be decided.

The forecast storm yesterday afternoon and evening wasn't as bad as expected - quite windy and a few heavyish showers, but nothing drastic.  Looks as though it was worse here at home, several things blown around in the garden, both our polytunnel and next door's have taken a battering, the covers are ripped.  Well, never mind, we'd already decided we're not growing too much in the way of veg this year.

Betty is so pleased to be home, she's been charging round the house, up and down the stairs, in and out of the garden, clearly enjoying the space.  We stayed in a static caravan - very nice, but not very spacious for an energetic (and clumsy!) dog.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Nothing shown up

 Husband's bloods have come back as normal, and there's nothing worrying noted on the ECG - he hasn't seen the GP, he was told this on the phone.  There is clearly something going on though, to cause his chest pains and breathlessness, so he's got a face to face appointment with the GP the Monday after we come back from holiday.  I think he might well need a referral back to cardiology.

Yes we are going on holiday - he insists he wants to and feels up to it.  As we won't be doing anything much whilst away (the weather forecast is for showers the whole week), a week of rest shouldn't tax him.  Although being stuck in a static caravan with him having the TV on all the time might stretch my patience a bit - I'll have to take Betty out a lot!  I've checked and there's a hospital and 3 GP surgeries near where we're going, in case of emergencies.

I've been sort of preparing stuff for the hol all week, although haven't actually packed anything until now, so as not to tempt fate.  As I said before, I've cooked and frozen several meals to take with us, as I don't intend to be slaving over a hot stove whilst we're away.  I expect we'll eat out a few times, even if it's just fish and chips in the car overlooking the beach (we get a small piece of fish for Betty, she loves it, although we take most of the batter off).

There's nobody staying in the caravan this week, we are the first guests since self sufficient holiday lets were allowed to reopen, and the site owners have assured me they've given it a very vigorous and safe clean.  There's no-one else booked into the 2 other caravans either, so we'll have the place to ourselves, even better.  And the owners said we can arrive there anytime after 10.00 am, instead of the usual 3 pm, so it's like having an extra day....normally, if you can't get into a holiday place until 3 or 4, it means most of the day is wasted.

We have a house sitter taking care of the house whilst we're away, so no need to worry (not that there's any crime round here anyway, fortunately).  There's good WiFi and phone signal where we're going - makes a change, it's probably much better than we have here.

I'm glad we're going, I feel like I'm on my knees right now.

This is why....

 I've always hated sewing, probably because when we did Needlework at school (it was one of the compulsory classes for girls back then) I didn't much like the teacher, and the project I chose was ridiculously over-ambitious.  We all had to choose an item of clothing to make throughout the term - we could pick from a range of patterns and choose the material.  Most girls chose to make simple tops or A-line skirts with elasticated waists - I chose.....a pair of trousers.  With a zip.  What an idiot!  The teacher, who was a bit of a sarcastic madam, raised an eyebrow and said I'd find that hard....which just made me all the more determined to do it and prove her wrong.  Unfortunately, she was proved right, and took great delight in telling me so.  And I never did finish making those trousers.

When I first moved in with future husband, I made a point of telling him I didn't darn socks, or anything else for that matter.  His mother was a professional seamstress and he'd picked up enough knowledge from watching her work to do a bit of simple sewing himself, so used to darn his own socks.

The other day, I bought a lightweight summer cardigan, a black one, something I'd been looking for.  It's just what I want, I love it - but I don't love the buttons.  They're far too blingy for my liking, sparkly fake diamond things, but the main problem is they're far too heavy for the lightweight knit of the cardigan - they'll pull holes in it and fall off in no time.  But I like the cardi so much I thought, no matter, I've got a button tin, I'll just remove them and sew on new buttons from the tin.  Not that I'm in the habit of sewing on buttons.....I use them for crafts and cardmaking.

The first problem this morning when I sat down to do it - upon looking through the button tin, I found I didn't have 5 buttons the same 😒.  Oh well, I thought, I'll just use 5 completely different buttons for contrast - it's something different and makes the cardi unique to me - nobody else will have one the same!  Sorted.  Well, the next problem was trying to thread the needle - blimey, my eyesight has deteriorated more than I thought (I clearly do need to go to Specsavers again).  And then actually sewing on the buttons.....well, the thread kept going into knots for a start (cheap thread I suppose, think I bought a job lot of threads from a car boot sale years ago).  And I pricked my fingers numerous times.  And at one point I accidently got a loop of the thread caught around the previous button I'd just sewn on, and didn't notice until I'd sewn through the holes of the current button several times.

And this is why I don't do any sewing unless I absolutely have to.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Everything's up in the air

 Husband is getting chest pains regularly now - not severe ones, but enough to make him rub his chest.  They're eased by him using his GTN spray.....although I still frequently have to tell him to actually use it!  He doesn't like using it because it doesn't taste very nice (apparently), makes him a bit light headed and gives him a headache.....all side effects which wear off very quickly.  I just say to him 'well would you rather be dead?!' - yes I know, not very sympathetic, but effective as it makes him use the spray.  He's also still getting very breathless with the slightest exertion.  The last time he was like this, he had to go in hospital and have 3 stents fitted.  

He had an ECG and bloods taken yesterday, I told him to ask the nurse to ensure the GP rings us immediately if the ECG showed up anything worrying, as we're due to go on holiday.  He hasn't rung so far - husband will ring the surgery this afternoon to hopefully get results.....the ECG results can be noted as soon as the GP looks at it, the bloods generally take 1 day to come back from the lab.  I'm still not sure whether we will in fact be going away, it depends a) on the results, and b) how husband is feeling.  He says he wants to go, as do I, but we'll see.

Betty had to have a second lot of drops when she went back to the vet this week for her check up, the ear infection is being slow to clear this time, hopefully this second lot will do it.  She seems brighter and isn't shaking her head so much, and was keen to play early this morning (I'm not really in the mood for playing excitable games at 06.30, but did my best to oblige).

We had big plans for an exciting project that would give us something lovely for our's in doubt now though because of husband's health.  Never say never though, I'm not giving up entirely, we'll just have to see what happens.  There's no doubt that there's something going on with husband's health, his heart failure worsening most likely, but hopefully it can be helped by either more stents, or an adjustment of his medication.  Or both.  

I'm stressed up to the eyeballs with it all, not sleeping, so forgetful i have to make lists every day of things i need to do.  I completely forgot about a pan of veg I was boiling yesterday, until husband noticed the smell - the pan had boiled dry and was burnt.  I didn't smell anything as my hayfever was really bad yesterday, I'd sneezed my head off all day and my nose was totally blocked.  I have a perpetual headache and keep getting palpitations - they're stress related, I haven't got heart problems (I was checked out a while ago).  I need to take a bit of time out for some slow breathing listening to a meditation app on my phone - i keep thinking i must do it and then something else crops up and i don't get round to it.  If we do get away on holiday, I'm doing nothing all week - I'll take art supplies with me (I've got some new art pens, coloured pencils and 'adult' type crayons) and some books and just relax.  I've bought husband a load of second hand DVDs so he'll be content watching all those.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Body image

 Angela from Tracing Rainbows has written a post that's prompted me to write something too - thanks Angela!  Her post is entitled 'You're Beautiful' and is about perceptions of beauty - how the world in general sees us (women) and how we see ourselves.

For many years I was a personal secretary to a building surveyor, we had clients come into the office so I had to be presentable all the time - that meant dressing smartly, having neat hair and nails and wearing makeup.  Which is so not me - even as a teenager, I was never particularly bothered about plastering on the makeup to go out, although I did always wear some (mascara and occasionally eyeshadow and blusher), as it was kind of expected, I felt like I was letting my girlfriends down if I didn't make an effort.

Once we moved down here to the country, that was it, I just stopped wearing makeup altogether.  Our neighbouring cows and sheep don't care what you look like, and it turns out people don't much either!  I have very occasionally been asked if I'm tired (usually because I am and it shows on my face!), but nobody's ever asked why I'm not wearing any eyeshadow or lipstick.  Do they even notice?  I guess some, mostly young, women would.  Men, by and large, wouldn't.  So presumably wearing makeup is something we ourselves feel obliged to do, mainly because the media, magazines, beauty editors, beauty counter assistants etc etc make us feel that it's our duty to present a good image, and that means a full face of slap.  Well, bollocks to that (sorry, that was my lovely Mum's favourite word and it makes me smile every time I use it 😁).  I'm not one for being told what to do, I make my own mind (and not my face!!) up.

The other thing that women are concerned about is our bodies.  All women, even supermodels, have bits of their bodies they don't like, we all look in the mirror at our bodies and see things we dislike, whereas others might not even notice.  But we know they're there, and again our fears and perceptions are fuelled by what society sees as a woman's ideal body - size 10, but with curves in all the right places.  But the curvy bits must be firm, but soft and rounded at the same time!  And the pressure on women to get back to an 'acceptable' size 3 weeks after having a baby is utterly ridiculous, made so much worse by all these minor celebs flaunting their flat stomachs in a bikini when they've only just had their baby a few weeks previously.  And what's with Liz Hurley?  She's always bombarding the papers with photos of her in her latest bikini - does she not actually own any clothes?  So she's getting on a bit (erm, somewhere in her 50s I think) - well bully for her, she's got pots of money and no real purpose in life so needs to do something to while away her time, I suppose.

But then if I had a figure like hers, maybe I'd want to show it off too.  My figure, however, is nowhere near hers, I'd make two of her.  My consultant last week said that I was 'carrying a little bit of weight' - very good of him a) to be so understated about it!, and b) to point out something I'm already very well aware of.  My body image tends to fluctuate - I'm under no illusions about all my wobbly bits (very wobbly in some areas) and I'm well practised at wearing things that disguise them quite well.  So most of the time I feel....well, not at ease with my body, I'm never that, but alright about it.  But when I'm feeling low, I hate my body.  And there's definitely more of my wobbly bits following a year of lockdown.  Funnily enough, I read something in the paper this morning about women's fears about their bodies when in bed with a man - we tend to be very self conscious about all our 'problem' areas - what WE see as problem areas, that is.  Whereas a man just thinks 'Wow, I'm in bed with a naked woman!!'.

I guess what I'm trying to say, in my usual long winded way, is that we really ought to stop feeling pressured to conform to society's ideal of what our bodies or our faces should look like, and just be ourselves.  Easier said than done though, when it's been ingrained in us for decades (well, centuries).

Friday, 23 April 2021

Being put on hold

 Thank you for the comments.  Husband's health has become a concern again, so we are definitely having to choose our battles and make compromises.  He's got some tests booked for next week, nothing much we can do until they're done and he gets the results.  Doesn't stop my mind going into overdrive though.

A couple of things we've talked about and definitely decided on - he's stopping doing odd jobs and gardening for neighbours.  He does too much and knocks himself out, I've told him time and again to pace himself, rest and don't overdo things, it falls on deaf ears.  Well now he's not doing any of it, he has realised he just can't anymore - well, not for a while anyway.  He's had a word with the neighbours he was helping and they understand.  To be honest, they can all easily afford to get paid handymen and gardeners in anyway.

I've also said he doesn't need to grow much in the way of veg in our garden, that's also too much for him to cope with when his health isn't good.  We can get a few little veg plants from garden centres in due course, and I'll help him put them in and look after them.  He was laying more paving in the front garden, I've told him that doesn't matter, he doesn't need to do it.  However, if he feels up to it, he could perhaps lay one slab at a time, there's no rush.

I don't want him to just sit around doing nothing except dozing in front of the TV all the time.....with his heart condition he's been told he should try and be as active as he can comfortably manage, so that's what I'll encourage him to do.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep stressful stuff away from him and deal with it myself.

Who cares for the carers though?  I don't begrudge looking after him and taking on the bulk of the day to day things, of course I don't, that's what marriage is all about.  But it does seem like carers are expected to just keep ploughing on.  It's a good job we love each other 😁