Thursday, 30 May 2019

Perhaps i need hypnotising.....

Thank you for comments.  Briony, I don't have too much of a problem falling asleep initially, it's staying asleep I can't do.  I can sleep for the first 2 or 3 hours and then that's it, it's constant waking up every half hour or so after that, or lying awake for an hour or more, or not going back to sleep at all.  And I am always up early, around 4 or 4.30 am.  Joy, the sleep course is for 8 weeks I think, the first week consists merely of keeping a sleep diary every day so they can see what my particular problem areas are and personalise the programme for me.  I'm waiting to hear from the clinic now as to when I can start.

Viv, Mum has a commode chair, we got her one the last time brother and I went up to visit, she'd only just started using it a few days before she went into hospital, she flatly refused before.  Seeing as the Council won't put a toilet/basin into her downstairs pantry cupboard, now sister's cleared it out and painted it, the idea is to have her commode and a wash stand with bowl in it for Mum.  It's big enough for that, even if not for her (non-existent) wheelchair, which is the reason why the Council said they won't do the conversion.  She does have and use a wheelchair outdoors, not indoors though, the doorways aren't wide enough.  She manages ok, just about, with her walking frames - she has 2 or 3 of them.

Husband saw his GP again this morning, who tested his wee and confirmed there's blood in it now, there wasn't last week.  There are also white blood cells aplenty, indicating the infection is still going strong.  He's been given different, stronger antibiotics.  The GP also checked his prostate gland and said it's quite enlarged.  This doesn't automatically mean he has cancer, it may not be cancerous at all, but it could be the reason why he's getting the UTIs.  Once the UTI is cleared up, he's to have further tests on his prostate - they can't do it now as apparently the infection and/or the antibiotics may mask the prostate test results.  So another thing to add to the worry list.  Oh well, life is never boring....sometimes I wish it was!

To change the subject completely.....does anyone else have trouble finding comfortable bras?  I think there's nothing worse than an uncomfortable bra - except perhaps uncomfortable shoes.  I'm a well-endowed woman and have to have underwired bras with plenty of support, I hate trying them on in changing rooms, which are often too small and too hot.  In any case, you don't really know how well a bra is going to fit and be comfortable until you've worn it a while.  I got a couple of new ones by mail order, I'm wearing one today and it's got such push-up powers my boobs feel like they're hoisted up under my chin 😳 .  If only we could buy bras on a week's trial!

Mum better, husband worse, I'm shattered

Thank you for the lovely supportive comments, they do help such a lot.  The workmen did obligingly stop banging until after 8 am yesterday, once husband had a word with them.  They claimed they didn't know anyone lived here - rubbish!!  I sent the landlord another email, he never even bothered to reply.  We've met the new neighbours, a couple in their early 30s with 3 children, the eldest being around 10 or 12, I think (not very good at estimating kids' ages!).  They seem very nice, but we won't know really until they've moved in.  They did say they're moving in at the beginning of July, but as the carpets are being laid and the neighbours have been here every weekend recently moving small bits of furniture in and putting other things in the garage, I would have thought it would be earlier than that, possibly this weekend.  We know the wife works in the office at the landlord's farm, I assume the husband works as he has a very nice newish big 4x4 car, and the kids must all go to school, so it should all be quiet during the day at least, once they've moved in.

I saw my GP about the sleep referral thing, she's agreed and filled out the online form in front of me, so I should hopefully hear from them soon.  I do hope so, my chronic lack of sleep is affecting me more and more.  Husband's UTI seems to be getting worse instead of better, he's going back to the GP today, he's in agony every time he pees and feels very under the weather too.

Mum's consultant says her UTI is responding well to treatment and he says she should be well enough to go home by Saturday from his point of view, but he said it depends whether the physio thinks she's mobile enough - at the moment she isn't, it takes 2 people just to help her get out of bed.  The OT has suggested that Mum's bedroom be moved downstairs to the lounge, that means the lounge will have to be moved upstairs, so younger bro will have the upstairs floor to himself, a sort of mini apartment....I don't suppose he'll mind!  Mum's ok with the idea, she's agreeing to all sorts of help and changes now, I think she's finally accepted that changes need to be made.  And she's resigned to the fact that she'll be having carers in every day when she goes home. 

I feel absolutely shattered today, it was a typical night, I was awake and downstairs for a couple of hours.  I did go up and get back to sleep eventually, but feel even more exhausted now.  I feel like even getting showered and dressed is an impossible task.  The prolonged lack of sleep has affected me more than ever before, combined with worrying about husband, mother and other stuff.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

yet another moan

Husband had to get dressed early this morning and go next door to have a word with the workmen, who'd arrived exceptionally early today.  At the risk of repeating myself, I KNOW the work has to be done, but banging and clattering around at 06.25 is really taking the piss!  Sorry for the language, but I was swearing a lot worse in real life!

I am just SO SICK OF IT.  Being driven out of our home again today, just to get a bit of relief from the noise.  It's driving me insane.

I know they're on the final stretch now, they're taking up the old wooden flooring and laying carpets, but by god I'm going to be a gibbering wreck by the time they've finished, weeks and weeks of this constant noise is just too much.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

More good news

Porlock Weir was packed yesterday, it only has one car park and we had to sit and wait for a few minutes before a space became free.  Whilst it was sunny, there was also a very strong (and chilly) wind, so we didn't do much walking about.  There were also a LOT of dogs there, so Betty wasn't too keen either - she really doesn't like other dogs sniffing her bum (don't blame her!!).  We were lucky enough to get a parking space right in front of the beach, so it was nice just sitting in the car people- and sea-watching and eating our sandwiches.  Betty had some cold sliced chicken for her lunch treat - yes I do spoil her, and why not.

Mum has been moved to another ward and was out of bed sitting in the chair when sis got to the hospital yesterday, sis said mum looked much better.  She's no longer on a drip nor the intravenous antibiotics, taking them by tabs instead.  A physio had been working with her to try and get her more mobile....the physio said there's a way to go yet before she's mobile enough to go home, so will be working with her for the next few days.  And, big and positive news, Mum has - finally - agreed to have carers in twice a day, so that'll relieve some of the pressure off sis and younger bro.  The OT lady will put that in motion before Mum leaves hospital.

I'm seeing my GP later on today for this sleep referral thing....I hope she agrees to it, no reason why she shouldn't.  My lack of sleep is becoming - no, has become - a real problem over the last few months, I am permanently knackered and suffering from constant brain fog, the simplest tasks take me so long or defeat me altogether.

We are trading in our money pit problem car and picking up a new (to us) one on Saturday, I hope it works out alright.  I know we take a risk with any second hand car, they could be MOT'd yesterday and develop a problem today, but this new one seems ok, it's in very good condition and has low mileage for the age, and has all relevant paperwork dating back to first purchase.  Fingers crossed.

Monday, 27 May 2019


No sign of a coming home date for Mum yet, she's confined to bed in the hospital.  Sis said she seemed a little better yesterday, although is still very confused.  The nursing staff keep coming to ask her questions like 'what day is it today?', to check on her mental state, presumably.  I must be confused as well then, as I often have to stop and think or check on the calendar or my phone!  She's in an assessment ward at the moment, will be another day or two before they decide where she's going next.  The doctors have said she really needs a catheter fitted, but she is flatly refusing to have one so far.  In her own words, she 'doesn't want them messing about with her down there'.  Can't say I blame her, her body her choice.  Although it would make life a lot easier for both her and the nursing staff, as her UTI is making her want to have a wee very frequently (as it is with my husband too!) and she has to buzz for a bedpan all the time.

It's our 36th wedding anniversary today, still amazes me that so many years have gone by.  Bit of a dull start weather wise, but it seems to be brightening up.  There are 2 areas in the house that are irritating me, a shelf in the lounge and windowsill in the bathroom, they're both very cluttered and messy looking.  So this morning we're going to clear and sort them both, that'll please me on our anniversary (I'm easily pleased!) and will be a start on our decluttering journey.  Then we're going to take a picnic lunch and go out to Porlock Weir, a pretty little harbour village, taking Betty of course, dependent on the weather.  We can always eat in the car if there are the threatened spots of rain - the car park overlooks the sea.

Ooh, more blue sky is appearing and a hint of early sun, so we might be alright after all.

Thank you all once again for your lovely kind comments.  Annabeth, you asked if it would be possible for mum to have a stairlift fitted.  Sadly not, we did investigate that some months ago, someone visited her to assess her house and it was decided that no she couldn't have one, because of the position of her stairs - right beside her front door so the stairlift would block the door, and upstairs it would block my brother's bedroom.  

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Things are looking up, and lovely friends

The tests have shown that Mum has a serious urine infection - again.  So that accounts for her confusion and near collapse.  The hospital are keeping her in for a few days, she's on a drip as she's very dehydrated and on intravenous antibiotics.  An occupational therapist had a talk with her and with my sister yesterday afternoon, she was of the opinion that Mum needs more living aids at home (we know she does, but Mum has refused most of them up till now).  The therapist said that she should have one of those emergency call button things and will arrange it for her.  She also said that Mum should either stay upstairs all day (her bedroom is set up as a bed-sitting room and even has a small fridge), or come down in the morning and stay downstairs all day, she should not keep attempting to go up and down the stairs.  It has been suggested in the past that she should move to a bungalow or ground floor flat, but she flatly refuses to even consider it, as it would mean moving away from my sister, who lives next door.

We're glad she's not at death's door right now, but it's certainly been a roller coaster for the past few months, and will no doubt continue to be.

Spent a really nice evening with our lovely friends who invited us round for a bbq, had a really good time, they thought it would help us to relax a bit after all the traumas we've had lately, and it did.  Got home just before 10 pm, went straight to bed and I went to sleep as soon as my head touched the pillow.  Still woke up ridiculously early, but I did have 4 or 5 hours of unbroken sleep so that's good.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Not yet

Seems it's not the end, just yet.  

Mum's in hospital, had a battery of tests last night, didn't get settled in a ward until 02.30 this morning, when sis finally left to go home and I went to bed (sis had been WhatsApping me with updates the whole time).  Should get some results this afternoon.

The doctors' initial views are that it's mainly heart related, although they think her kidney cancer could be a factor too.

Thank you everyone for your kind words.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Is it the end?

Sister has put us on notice that Mum is very unwell indeed, so it looks like the inevitable is coming.  Although she has come back from the brink before, so who knows - but it will only be putting off the inevitable by a short time in any case.

We shan't be rushing up there - husband's not well enough to drive all that way (nor is the car really, come to that) and with his current urine infection he keeps needing a pee every few minutes anyhow.  I did speak to Mum a couple of days ago and it was a very strange conversation, she was clearly very confused, to the point where it was almost like we were having two totally different conversations.  She was pleased to hear from me though, at least she knew who I was.  So I'm just glad to have spoken to her.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Ho hum

Our run of bad luck continues.  After the car failing and then passing the MOT last week with a few advisories, it went back to the garage yesterday to have work done on the brakes, one of the advisories.  The garage rang yesterday afternoon to say they'd found another problem with the brakes (seized caliper), so the car wouldn't now be finished until today.  So it's taking twice as long to fix and now costing more than twice as much as the original quote.  This car clearly has it in for us and thinks we have a bottomless pit of cash.  😡  The sooner we can get rid of the bloody thing the better, I'm just so sick of it.

Looks like husband has another water infection, he says it hurts to pee again, so another trip to the GP (when we get the car back!!).  And Betty has the runs and is very restless this morning (unusual for her at this time of the morning, she normally doesn't get up until around 07.30 or 08.00 am).  And I've been up since 03.50.  So just another normal day for us then! 👅😒

It's no wonder my hair is falling out and I can't sleep.

Husband did some gardening for friends on Tuesday and nearly brained himself by walking into a tree branch, he's got a lovely long, but thankfully shallow, gash on the top of his head, good job he had a hat on or it would have been a lot worse.  He's always been clumsy but even more so since his heart failure diagnosis, and he bleeds because of his blood thinner meds.  I frequently say he shouldn't go out of the door without wearing a full suit of armour.

It's our wedding anniversary next Monday, we'll have to think of something lovely (but cheap) to do, we really need a bit of time out.

And would whoever is throwing all this crap at us please give us a break?!

Wednesday, 22 May 2019


The plumber turned up next door at 07.15 this morning, I thought 'oh no, really?!  That definitely is taking the p**s!'.  However, seems he just came to pick up some tool he forgot yesterday, he left again straight away and there's no sign of any other workmen yet.  Perhaps they're giving us a day off.  The scaffolding's still up, no idea when that's being taken down, it's been there well over a month now and they did the roof weeks ago.

I had another terrible night, my sleep pattern (well, lack of) is just getting worse and worse, I got up about 04.20 this morning after tossing and turning for an hour or so.  Roll on next Tues when I see my GP about the Sleepstation referral thing.

I've been thinking about doing a bit of reorganisation indoors.  Our lounge is quite small and looks cramped with a leather 3 seater sofa and 2 large leather armchairs, a fairly big desk and large office chair and a sideboard.  It doesn't help that the chimney breast (out of use and boarded up, so serves no purpose) sticks out quite a lot taking up valuable space, nothing we can do about that, however.  I'm thinking about getting rid of the desk and sideboard and getting a corner desk to fit in one of the alcoves either side of the fireplace.  The TV and computer can go on top, and we'll get one of those kneeling stool/chair things to go under the desk, so it doesn't obstruct the telly view.  I had one a few years ago and they are surprisingly comfortable.  Then one of the armchairs can go in the other alcove, that'll make better use of the space.  Won't be able to see the TV from that armchair, but that's fine by me, I'll sit there and read or play on the laptop whilst husband falls asleep on the sofa in front of the TV (I don't know why he puts it on really, he's never awake long enough to watch a whole programme!)

The other room that needs sorting out is the dining room.  I currently do my cardmaking on the dining table, which means I have to keep putting everything away in my boxes, which then clutter up the place.  We do have 2 spare bedrooms but I don't want to use either of them.  The landing is quite big, it currently houses my Ikea 8-drawer set with all my yarn in (erm, plus a couple of boxes on top for the surplus!) and a large heavy duty exercise bike.  Which is almost never hurts my hip to use it, and husband is too busy.  (Or asleep, lol).

So I'm thinking about getting rid of the bike, and getting a desk or table to go in that space on the landing.  A desk would be better actually, as it'll have drawers and/or shelves.  The desk we have in the lounge is too big though, so can't use that.  Our landing is lovely and light, with a big window right opposite, so would be perfect for my crafting.

So now I need to keep a lookout for a nice secondhand corner unit for the lounge, and small desk for the landing, in wood - we never buy any furniture new nowadays.  I'll try selling the sideboard, desk and bike on our neighbourhood website, they have a For Sale section on there.  There might well be someone selling what I want, if I'm lucky.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

A crafting day

It's been a lovely day, 22 deg with blue skies and almost unbroken sunshine.  If it wasn't for the fact that there was a bit of a breeze, it would have been too hot for me.  Forecast to be less sunny and more cloudy the rest of the week, but not much rain and still fairly warm.

Husband was out all morning, I did a few little housework jobs, then a bit of crafting, I have a few 'occasions' coming up to make cards for, I have a few ideas floating around in my head for them.  Having been doing the cardmaking for a few weeks now, I'm finding out which bits of equipment etc. I've bought are the most useful (my cutting board with lines and measurements and the paper trimmer that came with it - a bargain sale item from The Works - is by far the most useful), and which aren't so good (one of my craft knives - the blade is far too wobbly, and the PVA glue and brushes - I'm just too messy with that).  I'm also realising I could do with a few other things - a smoothing and folding tool, some blotting paper (I'm always forgetting ink stamped designs stay wet for ages) or some kind of fixing spray, and some more greetings stickers and toppers.  Think I'll have another trip to The Range, they have a really good crafting section, which is just as well as there's no Hobbycraft nearby.

The workmen were only here for a couple of hours this morning and, other than a bit of banging, there wasn't much noise, thankfully.  I do think (hope!) the end is finally in sight.

I'm so tired I could go to bed right now (7.45 pm), but know if I do I'll be awake around 2 am and unable to get back to sleep.  

Monday, 20 May 2019

Early morning sick and noise, huh

8.07 this morning the workmen started drilling next door....we keep being told there should be no more noise now, yet it still keeps on.  Just as well we're going out soon and will be out most of the morning.

Betty's going to the groomers at 9.30, then we're off to the library in the village.  After that it's into town, we have a few things to do there, we tend to wait until there's a bunch of things.  On the way home we have to stop off at the surgery to pick up a prescription for husband.  Oh, and pick up Betty!

She was sick early this morning, luckily on the kitchen floor so it was easy to clean up.  She's fine, just something disgusting she scavenged on her walk in the fields last night I expect.  She's been sitting in front of me looking at me with pleading eyes for a bit of my toast (she's not getting any though), so she's clearly over it.  When she's sick I starve her for a few hours, then give her a little bit of cooked plain rice and chicken with a little parsley and ginger in it to settle her stomach - I keep 3 or 4 tubs of it in the freezer for that purpose.

The builders 'graced' us with their presence on Saturday - they don't usually work weekends, I'm hoping it's a last push to get the work done soon.  The new tenants turned up yesterday (they come for a look most Sundays) and brought a few small bits of furniture with them, so it does look like the works will be over soon.  The tenants did say they'd be moving in early July, but perhaps it's being brought forward.

We had a lovely couple of hours yesterday afternoon, sitting chatting in our friends' garden, they have a really beautiful garden and it was a nice warm afternoon.

Friday, 17 May 2019

We're not moving

Thank you for all the comments.  Everyone seems to have latched onto one thing.....that it might be time for us to consider moving.

I have to say, right from the off - moving house is not an option, certainly not in the near future.  We don't want to move.  Our rent and Council tax are low, due to the house having an agricultural connection and being in a very rural area with no facilities nearby - what we pay here for a 3 bedroom house and medium size garden with lovely views is what we'd pay for a 1 bedroom flat with no garden in town.  And we're not ready for a flat with no garden.  Nor do we want just 1 bedroom - we need at least 1, preferably 2 spare rooms for family and friends coming to stay.  We know the limitations of living here, and the likelihood that we may have to move at some point in the future - but not yet.

The way we feel is more to do with all the problems we've had for the past year or so - husband's health (and mine to a lesser extent), the ongoing expensive problems with our bloody car and the financial strain that has put us under, my mother's deteriorating health and us not living near enough to visit regularly and help out.  There are also another couple of things that I don't talk about on here, but which cause us a lot of problems.  And then there's all the building works going on next door with the incessant noise, which has dragged on for weeks and weeks, that has really ground us down (me in particular).   

I think once the next door stuff is over and done with, things will improve - well, I hope so.  Right now, a little voice in the back of my head is saying 'yeah, until the next thing comes along to break us'.  

None of our problems is insurmountable - well, other than husband's health, he's not suddenly going to get better, nor is my mother.  My mother's situation will come to an inevitable conclusion, probably sooner rather than later, we've all accepted that her time is limited.  It's just been one thing after another for us, with barely a breath in between, and it's worn us down and made life a struggle.  But I don't suppose it will go on forever.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Where do we go from here?

Life feels like it's become very hard over the past few months, for both of us, what with financial and health matters, the problems with next door, car problems, family stuff.  I'm not even enjoying living here anymore.  We both feel weighed down with worries and anxieties and they seem to overshadow everything and leave us very little capacity for enjoyment.  We have one good day where we think things might be picking up, but then it's followed by another crap week or fortnight.  I'm just so tired of worrying about so many things.

Don't get me wrong, we're not thinking of ending it all.  Whilst we didn't think giving up our busy lives in the Midlands and moving down here to a slower rural life in the country would be a bed of roses, nor did we think we'd spend our latter years struggling, which is all we seem to do lately.  I just don't know where we go from here.

MOT update

The car failed, initially....on emissions.  However, the garage said taking it out for a 20 min run at a brisk speed (within the speed limit, of course!) should bring the emissions down, and luckily it did, so they passed it.  They gave it several advisories though - it needs a couple of new tyres, the tracking is out and the back brakes need seeing to, so more money needs to be spent.  The sooner we can get rid of this bloody money pit of a car, the better.  I think in all the 37 or 38 years we've been together, we've only had one previous car that has cost more than this one to repair and maintain.  I don't envy the next person who takes this evil expensive car on.....but as we'll hopefully be doing a part exchange with a garage, that'll be their problem.

The builders this morning were drilling and banging almost continually, as I was marooned here whilst husband was out getting the car done I was practically tearing my hair out, the noise was unbelievable, worse than ever.  So much for the landlord blithely telling husband yesterday that it should be quiet from now on - I'd love to have him here and staple his ear to the party wall and see how he gets on with the racket!

I just feel wrung out - I feel like taking Pam's cwtchy Welsh blanket and running away.

Ok, thanks!!

Our car goes in for MOT today, husband is not very hopeful that it will pass, it's old and tired (bit like us!).  I'm just trying not to think about it.  If it passes (well, if it doesn't we'll just have to fork out more money to get it repaired so it does pass), we're thinking about trading it in for a different car, not the same make as our present one as we've had one thing after another wrong with it and it's drained us financially.  I don't really care what car we have, or even how old it is (it will have to be several years old), just as long as it's fairly tidy, reliable and cheap to run.  And with a big enough boot to hold Betty's travel cage.

Yesterday I took the bull by the horns and emailed our landlord about the noise next door.  I was polite in the email (which will surprise some people who know me, as I do tend to speak my mind and be quite blunt), I said I know the work has to be done and there's nothing much they can actually do about the noise, however, we wanted them to know exactly what impact the works and noise are having on our lives and our general sanity.  I also said we feel we are continually being forced out of our home just to get away from the noise, which means we can't get on with things we need to do here, and are having to fork out more for fuel for the car.  His response?  He said sorry.  Well, that makes it alright then.  He spoke to husband....I suppose it's best for his sake (and ultimately ours, I guess) that he didn't speak to me, or he might have had his ears chewed off.  He also told husband that the remaining works should 'only' take another 2 or 3 weeks....😵😡

I'm just glad the weather's been nice recently, I'd really hate to be stuck here indoors because it was chucking it down and having to listen to that racket constantly.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

This week is a fab one, for a change!

As Marlene of Poppy Patchwork blog mentioned recently, there is a botanical garden called The Walled Gardens of Cannington in the nearest large village to us, only 3 or 4 miles away.  We've been to the gardens several times, it's not huge but is lovely, set in the grounds of what used to be a very old Priory, it has various different types and styles of gardens and borders, including vegetable, arid, colour themed, shady, etc, 3 or 4 large glasshouses, a plant nursery, gift shop and tea room.  They have different open days and events on during the year and even have a few free entry days (we usually go on those days!), normal admission charge is £5.95.  

We decided to go there yesterday morning, when husband said he'd take me out away from all the noise.  The tea room are doing a special offer of a mini cream tea this month, just £3, lovely for a mid morning break in the courtyard garden of the tea room.  You don't have to pay the garden entrance fee if you're just going in the tea room or gift shop/plant nursery.  Whilst there, we decided on the spur of the moment to buy a season ticket for the gardens - £33 for joint membership for a year, it'll be our anniversary present to each other (36 years at the end of this month).  So now we have somewhere local and very lovely to go whenever we want to get away from the noise, the membership will pay for itself in just 3 visits.  It's dog friendly, so we can take Betty and a book and spend a couple of peaceful hours there in the lovely garden surroundings whenever we like.  I just wish we'd thought of it earlier!

The one complaint I have about the place, and I think I'll email the Gardens about it, is to do with parking.  They have a free car park with about 50 or so spaces, mostly undercover.  The trouble is, the Gardens recently had an office and accommodation block built (and paid for) by EDF Energy, who own the local Hinckley Point power station where a lot of construction work is going on.  They have commandeered most of the parking spaces in the car park, nearly all of them now have 'reserved for' name plates on them, leaving just five spaces for Gardens visitors.  Visitors who can't get a space are recommended to park in the car park of  the local College, about a 10 minute walk away.  I think it's a blooming cheek....ok, so EDF paid for the works and they do put money into the local economy, but their workers are paid to work, visitors to the Gardens (and of course the Gardens encourage visitors to come) have to pay to get in.  So why should they (we) have to park offsite and walk there?  Luckily we managed to get a space in the car park yesterday, as we got there 5 mins after it opened.

I didn't sleep very well again but who cares, it's a lovely morning again.  This week is turning out to be a really good one, for one reason or other (I should whisper that in case it all goes downhill!).

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Bloody noise!!

Husband is out for a couple of hours this morning, so in theory I would have a peaceful time.  However, as THREE workmen's vans plus another man in a car (there was only 1 guy yesterday) have arrived, and power tools are already being used, along with the ghetto blaster and the men shouting to each other to be heard over the noise of their power tools and radio, there's not going to be any peace!  I'm so sick of this, it's been going on for more than a month now.  I do try to ignore it, but it's impossible, the noise just grates on my nerves so much.  It's like mental torture.

Husband has just said (without any prompting from me) that he's cancelling his plans and will take me out somewhere, to get away from it.  Bless him, he understands.

Monday, 13 May 2019


Two friends, one bloggy, the other real (not that bloggy friends are any less real - they are very real indeed, we're just not likely to meet on a regular basis, if at all), have been amazingly kind and thoughtful to us this past week - you know who you are!  I was thinking about it on and off throughout the night - what makes a good friend?  This is what constitutes good friendship for me, in no particular order, just as I thought of them:-

1.  Shared interests, it's nice to have someone to share your passion for something.

2.  A good sense of humour - important to me as I like a good laugh.  Even better if they have a somewhat juvenile, schoolboyish sense of humour, as I have.

3.  A shoulder to cry on when necessary, someone who will listen without judgement, give you a hug and just make you feel safe.

4.  Someone you can tell anything, whom you trust implicitly, who understands where you're coming from, doesn't necessarily agree with it but supports you anyhow, because you're friends.

5.  A person in whose company you're happy to be, even without talking.  Someone who makes you smile when you see them, and who knows just how to make you laugh.

6.  A kindred spirit, someone who you just connect with automatically, who's on the same wavelength as you, knows how your mind works, each of you knows what makes the other tick.

7.  Someone you love and who loves you unconditionally, recognising you each have faults but accepting them, as it's part of what makes them and you who you are.

8.  Someone you can count on, for anything, be it practical help or advice.  Someone who will tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear, but who recognises that sometimes you just need them to say what you want to hear.

9.  Someone you can look at or think about and think 'I'm so glad I met you'.

I don't have tons of friends like I did when I was in my teens and 20s, life changes and house (even area) moves mean that you lose contact with some friends.  And as I get older I tend to have less patience with people who aren't really true friends.  I can count on my fingers the number of true friends I have now, some are local, some live some distance away and I don't see them all that often but still count them as good friends, nonetheless (thank goodness for the internet and phones!).  I love all my friends unconditionally and feel privileged to have them in my life.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Astounded and humbled

This has just arrived in the post:-

A 100% Welsh wool blanket, made all the more special because it came completely out of the blue, totally unexpected.  With the purples, lilacs, stone and green (the photo taken on my phone does not do justice to the colours), it is just perfect for our bedroom....I have just taken it up and put it on our bed straight away.  It was accompanied by a lovely handmade card.

Who sent this beautiful thing?  It was PAM of A New Life in Wales.  I am astounded at your kindness and generosity, Pam, as is my husband, we both send you our heartfelt thanks.  I shall have a big smile on my face all day, and indeed every time I go in the bedroom and see the gorgeousness that is on our bed.

I wish you were here so I could give you a great big hug - a gentle one in view of the fact that you're probably feeling sore and bruised after falling down the stairs.  How incredibly thoughtful of you to send this gift when you're feeling battered yourself!  And with your other health problems too.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful, thoughtful, generous friends in Blogland.

Thank you so, so much xxx

Friday, 10 May 2019

Blooming traffic

Been out shopping early this morning, they're really going to have to do something about our town soon, it's gridlocked most of the time, traffic is so bad now.  Trouble is, they're building lots of new housing estates all around the outskirts of the town (just heard about another one), which of course means more traffic going in and out of the town.  More infrastructure is needed too - hospitals (we have a small cottage type hospital, but the nearest ones with proper A&E facilities are miles away), doctors, dentists, leisure facilities.  Not much point building lots of new houses if they don't provide the necessary local facilities.  And the town itself is pretty dire, the high street is mostly mobile phone shops - loads of them.  

Another night of waking up constantly and I'm really feeling achy and knackered today.  Don't feel like doing much, so I won't!

Mum is determined to go to her oldest friend's house for lunch today, sis has been there helping her to dress this morning as Mum finds even that increasingly difficult now and often doesn't bother, staying in her nightclothes all day.  Mum's not really well enough to go out, but really wants to go - I think it's because her friend is as old and unwell as Mum, and both of them are conscious that they may not have many more opportunities to see each other.  Friend has a younger friend (known to Mum as well) there helping her, who will get lunch for both of them and keep an eye on them - they both have a tendency to fall over and need help getting to the loo etc.  It's a bugger getting old and frail.  

Apparently it's going to be a nice weekend weatherwise, so it would be nice to get out and do something.  Will have a think.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Where's the sunshine and warmth?

Thank you for comments, as always, I do appreciate the support.  Our landlords are certainly going to town on the house next internal doors have been delivered this morning.  Pity they're not spending as much money on our house....but then do I want the noise and the added nuisance of the workmen in our house?  We've been told they will be coming to lay insulation in our loft - we've had none in the 6 years we've lived here, despite asking for it.  Husband went up there a couple of years ago and put down a few old duvets on the part of the loft that's over our bedroom - better than nothing.

Hasn't the weather been horrible?  Heavy rain on and off all day yesterday - good for the garden, of course, but meant another day stuck indoors for us.  This morning it's not a lot better....drizzly rather than heavy showers, but very overcast and miserable.  And it's so cold!!  Well into May and we've put the heating on.  My hot flushes seem to have disappeared, for the last few weeks I've changed to feeling the cold a lot.  Don't know what's worse!

I didn't do the banking and budgeting yesterday, just couldn't be bothered, I really didn't want to do it.  Husband's out this morning though and it needs to be done, so I shall crack on and do it in a minute whilst it's relatively quiet, the plumbers are in next door but so far they're not making much noise, hopefully they got all the drilling done yesterday.  I hope so, it really was driving me to distraction yesterday.  I reckon our landlords should waive our rent for a month, as an appeasement for all the noise.....I don't hold out much hope of that though.

I actually slept for 5 straight hours last night, a minor miracle.  Got off to sleep very quickly and didn't wake up until 04.15.  Had to get up for a wee and, as usual, couldn't get back to sleep after that, so eventually gave up and went downstairs just before 05.00.  I dream of sleeping the whole night through - well, I would if I could actually sleep!!

Finally, a pic of my lovely Betty, taken this morning when she was having a snooze under the desk....she gets up out of her crate bed under the stairs in the morning, and immediately gets in the one under the desk, as if she hasn't had enough sleep (she's such a teenager!):-

And I get to look at that gorgeous squidgy face every day!

Wednesday, 8 May 2019


I know I keep going on about the building works next door, but it really is irritating and impacts on our lives daily.  At the moment the plumbers are in, taking out the old central heating boiler from the utility room and hot water tank in the loft and installing new ones, along with renewing most of the copper pipework.  They are then ripping out the entire bathroom suite and fitting a new one.  Builders had already removed the old kitchen units and yesterday started fitting the new units - they downed tools and left yesterday morning, no idea why, and have yet to put in an appearance today.  Yesterday morning there was lots of drilling going on all morning, it drove me to distraction and we just had to go out straight after lunch as I couldn't stand the noise anymore.  

I know there will be an end to it, but it doesn't make it any easier actually coping with the noise right here and now.  There is nowhere I can go in the house and nothing I can do to escape the noise, and it's the noise more than anything that really gets on my nerves.  The only thing we can do to get away from the noise is to go out in the car.  And that's just not possible every day.  Yes I know it'll all stop eventually, but I feel like slapping the next person who tells me that (you don't actually live here with the noise!!).

In other news....well, there isn't any really.  Mum's not been at all well since her fall and hospitalisation last week.  Husband is back to normal - well, normal for him.  I'm still not sleeping (what a surprise).  Got some banking and budgeting stuff to do today, that'll be fun (not).  That's if I can concentrate.  And I can't go somewhere else that's quiet to do it, as I need the internet, and I don't do banking on my phone.

Just kill me now (that's a joke!!!).

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

A nice weekend

Thanks for comments re Line of Duty....Alison, I didn't understand the Morse code explanation either, glad it wasn't just me.  Apparently, although there is going to be another series, the writer of Line of Duty hasn't even started writing it yet, so we'll have a bit of a wait by the looks of things.

We've had a lovely, restful but more importantly, peaceful weekend.  The builders are back now though, using a power drill already and making the walls (and my head) vibrate.  Sigh.  A reader asked if the inside work would be quieter.....erm, no - it's a pair of semi detached houses, so next door is the other half of our house and the party walls are quite thin.  We met the new neighbours at the weekend, they'd come to see how the work was doing - they seem nice, apparently they're moving in at the beginning of July, not June, as there's still a lot of work to be done in the house.  Oh well.  I'll either be immune to the noise or completely off my trolley by then.

A mixture of sunshine and showers forecast all week, not particularly warm and quite breezy, but apparently due to warm up and be quite summery next week.  That'll be nice.

Husband is out all morning, so I'm going to put my music on (loud!) and do some card crafting.  Easy meal prep today - ham salad for lunch, bubble and squeak with a fried egg and baked beans for dinner.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Line of duty!!

*SPOILERS*  Don't read if you haven't yet seen the last episode!

Well, who watches it then?  Wasn't it gripping last night?  And so frustrating as well - yet more unanswered questions!  But then they need to keep things back for the next series, don't they?  Lol.

I never thought Hastings was 'H' - but then he still could be the 4th member after all, there are so many twists and turns, we'll just have to wait and see.  I knew there was something off about that lawyer woman Gill, she was just too smarmy and all over him like a rash, highly suspicious.  

So, the things I want to know:-

What was on Hastings' laptop that he didn't want anyone else to find?  I don't believe it was just porn, that's just too commonplace nowadays.  Unless it was extreme stuff or paedophilia, which I don't believe anyway.

Exactly why did he go and see the OCG bloke in prison, and what did he say to him?  

How are all these people supposedly in custody or police protection or whatever, allowed to be stabbed or shot or able to hide phones etc?  Are they never searched?!

How were AC12 allowed to go and carry out another mission, on Hastings' orders, when they'd been kicked off the case?  Surely he can't have been the only one who was told, news must have filtered through to the other team members too.

I reckon Hastings is John Corbett's father, although he didn't actually know he was until that nasty DCS Carmichael (didn't she play a brilliant part, what excellent acting) told him who Corbett's real mother was.  I think Hastings was having an affair with Corbett's mother for a lot longer than was first thought, he knew she'd had a kid but didn't necessarily know it was his, although he must have suspected.  The fact that she kept the kid away from him when he visited shows that she didn't tell him the kid was his.  The absolute shock on his face when he was told the true identity of Corbett was genuine, I'm sure.  The realisation that he'd given the order for Arnott (he's a bit of alright!) to shoot his own son must have devastated him, as did the knowledge that his son had been brutally killed.  Hence why Hastings was shown at the end about to give £50k to Corbett's wife for the guilt and the grandchildren he never knew he had.

And as for that really nasty evil little OCG gang member who slit Corbett's throat and has just joined the Police.....really?  They couldn't find out any incriminating evidence at all in their pre-employment checks?  The Police, of all people?  I mean, it's not like he was applying for a job in W H Smiths was it?!

I guess there's a bit of poetic licence in everything, though, for the sake of the storyline and future programmes.

Here ends the review, hehe.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Garden day

Sorry if any of you are having not so good in Somerset it's gorgeous, sunny and warm with hardly a breeze.  Perfect gardening weather, in fact.  The front garden has been a bit neglected so far this year, other than grass cutting - husband has laid half of the new patio, no rush though, it doesn't matter if he takes his time doing the rest.  The shrub borders and all the pots were in drastic need of pruning, weeding and tidying up, so that's what we're doing today.

Husband cut the grass whilst I made a sourdough loaf first, before going out to make a start.  I pruned and tidied up all the shrubs in pots, then pulled up all the weeds (and masses of rogue lemon balm that sprouts everywhere) from between the cracks in the slabs and around the lawn edges.  Gave all the lavenders edging the long shrub border a haircut and lightly pruned the shrubs that needed it.  Husband edged the lawn and dug up a few deep-rooted weeds.  

Have just come in for lunch and a rest for my aching back, then will go back out to finish weeding the borders.  As all the shrubs were new last year, I'm hoping they'll all spread this year and fill in the space in the long border by the front fence, thus meaning Betty can't trample all over the bed like she normally does.  She knows she's not allowed on there, but when someone walks up the path to one of the other houses she forgets...she's just so keen to greet a potential new friend that she runs along the bed beside the fence, snorting and tail wagging like mad, trampling everything in her path.  Little monkey.  I can't get cross with her though, she does get off when I tell her to, she just wants to be friends with everyone.

Our lawn is full of solitary bees, they're no trouble at all, they mooch around the garden gathering pollen, then tunnel back into their holes in the lawn.  Betty used to chase them last year, but thankfully hasn't done this year....I don't know if they sting, we've certainly not been stung.

Thank you again for comments yesterday, I do appreciate them.

PS  If any of you watch Countryfile, tonight Ellie will be at Steart Marshes, which is the big nature reserve near to us where we take Betty walking...we were there on Friday.  It's so beautiful, we're so lucky to have places like that nearby.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

A better day all round

Lovely morning, bright sunshine but definitely chilly.  I slept pretty well last night, having only had a couple of hours the night before....still woke up a few times but didn't take too long to get back to sleep.  Had to get up twice for the loo, I really shouldn't have a milky drink before bed thinking it'll relax me - it just makes me wake up wanting to pee!  So not really relaxing at all.

Husband is much better today, he says his wee is clear now and it didn't hurt him to pee this morning.  His chest seems better too, he's hardly coughed since he's been up.

Mum has had a few good sleeps since getting home from hospital and feels a lot better too, although she's quite battered and bruised, according to sis.  A family friend who we all know and love because she's very kind and so funny (sometimes without even meaning to be) is going to see Mum today, that'll cheer her up.

I'm going to have a day doing card stuff.  I have a huge pile of cards we've received and kept over the years, I'll go through them all and cut out any nice pictures or wording on them that I can use in my card making.  I shall also watch a few YouTube videos of die cutting stuff, to see exactly how to use mine - now I've got it, I really need to work out how to use it!

We have 3 days off from the builders, so hopefully a nice peaceful long weekend.  Husband spoke to them yesterday, apparently they'll be working until the end of the month, the new people (a youngish couple with 3 young children) will be moving in on 1 June.  We've caught glimpses of them when they've been here a couple of times to view the house, they seem nice enough but of course we won't know until they move in!

Friday, 3 May 2019

Mum ok

Thank you all so much for the kind and supportive comments, once again (not a word from real friends!).

Mum's not broken her hip, thankfully, and the head wound turned out to be superficial, it just bled a lot, as head wounds do.  However, she was very confused and didn't really remember how she came to fall, so the hospital kept her in overnight for observation.  They've just rung my sister to say she can go home later today, if all is well.  I had a panicked phone call from my younger brother, who lives with mum, in the early hours of this morning...he has all sorts of health problems, physical and mental, and wasn't coping.  Consequently, I've had hardly any sleep again, couldn't get back to sleep after that.  Good job you don't die from lack of sleep.

On the subject of sleep, our surgery rang me yesterday to say they'd received the referral request from Sleepstation, but my GP wants to see me before she gives consent.  Fair enough, but as it's non-urgent, the appointment I've been given is 28 May!  Still, as I've suffered with insomnia for over 50 years, I don't suppose 3 or 4 more weeks is going to make much difference.  Sleepstation have emailed to say they can't start the programme with me until they've had the referral.  There's always a spanner in the works.

The builders have just arrived next door and immediately put their ghetto blaster on, we can hear it quite clearly as the party walls aren't very thick.  Guess I'll just have to turn mine up even louder.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

oh no, when will it end?

My mum's had a fall at home, she's got a head injury and paramedics think she's broken her hip, she's on her way to hospital.

I've got nothing else to say, it's one thing after another.

Oh and he's diabetic too

Husband had an appointment with the practice nurse yesterday, to discuss his newly-diagnosed borderline diabetic blood results, I went with him as the nurse is a new one who's apparently red hot and dead keen on diabetes stuff, so I might see her in future instead of my current nurse.  He took in a new wee sample, as requested by the GP, to check how the blood and white blood cells in his wee are doing - very little blood now (at the weekend it was more a case of seeing if there was any wee in his blood!) and no white blood cells, so presumably the antibiotics are working.  His wee test results aren't back yet though.  

We were both a bit surprised that he's been hit with the diabetic diagnosis, however, the nurse said that as his mother and one or two other relatives were/are also diabetic, he's probably genetically predisposed to have it.  She said, however, that as it's borderline at the moment, with dietary changes and losing weight, it can probably be reversed.  She's a big advocate of Dr Michael Mosley's Fast 800 diet, eating in a time-restricted window and cutting down drastically on carbs.  We will, however, carry on with our Mediterranean way of eating as we like it so much, but will cut back on carbs and reduce our portion sizes.  

Thank you for comments, Hazel suggested we find a nice park to spend a few hours to get away from the builders.  Lovely idea - if there was one!  To expand a bit on where we live - it's literally the middle of nowhere, we are surrounded by farmland, fields full of crops or livestock, there are NO amenities nearby - no shops, doctor, pub, bank, library, sports facilities, parks....nothing within walking distance, and no public transport.  The only way we can access any of these facilities is by driving there.  We tend to only go to town, etc, when we have several things to do at once, to save time and fuel.  We can't afford to use too much fuel, and our car is old and falling apart.  So, much as we'd like to go out every day to get away from the builders, we can't - it's as simple as that.  We do go out dog walking twice a day, but there are only a few fields that we are allowed in - some of the farmers don't want people in their fields of crops or livestock and actively discourage it, understandably.  Our local lanes are very narrow, just one vehicle wide, with high hedges and in some cases a ditch on one side, there are passing places spaced out, but you take your life in your hands when walking along the lanes as if a tractor or large farm vehicle comes along, as they naturally do all the time, there's simply no way for them to pass you unless you sprint along to the next passing place.

So for the most part, we just have to put up with the noise next door, which will be ongoing for another few weeks, as they're more or less gutting the entire house.  A load of new kitchen units were delivered yesterday afternoon, so presumably they'll be installed next week.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Taking control

It's one of those nights again, never mind, I'll go back to bed soon.

Thank you so much for all the supportive comments, so kind, some of them brought tears to my eyes.  Monday was a particularly bad day, what with chronic lack of sleep, hip and back pain and the worry over husband's latest problem.  Other worries too, which are preying on my mind, like the fact that our car is old and falling apart and husband doesn't think it will get through the next MOT due at the end of this month.  And the bloody builders next door are in full force again with sustained and prolonged periods of noise - loud hammering and power tools mainly, it really does my head in, having my music turned up doesn't mask it, although I am trying to ignore the noise, not always successfully.  We had to go out yesterday for a few hours, I couldn't stand the noise anymore.

Husband's pee doesn't look bloody anymore....whether it does still contain blood remains to be seen, he's got to take another sample into the GP this morning.  He's still got pain when peeing and is still needing to go very frequently, so whatever it is hasn't cleared up yet.  

I've begun taking steps to help myself.  Whilst googling to see if there are any NHS sleep clinics nearby, I found something called Sleepstation, it's an online programme aiming to help relieve sleeping problems in 6 weeks.  You can be referred by your GP, or pay privately at a basic cost of £95.  I've filled in the forms, they'll contact my GP and arrange the referral.

I discovered (from our village newsletter) that there is a smallish library in a neighbouring village, it was originally run by the Council but was threatened with closure.  Well, a committee was formed to garner support for it to be taken over by a team of local volunteers, they were successful and it's now open 3 1/2 days a week, staffed almost entirely by volunteers.  It's much nearer us than the town Council library, parking is much easier (they have their own car park) and parking is free, unlike in the town.  We went there on Monday and I joined up and chose some books.  I have also registered to join their list of volunteers, I've always fancied the idea of working in a library.  There's a waiting list for volunteering at present, but I don't mind, it's something to look forward to.

I sat and thought about it, and identified 3 things that are causing me the most stress and anxiety, then had a good long talk with husband about it all.  One of the things is the amount of clutter and mess he makes in my utility room....when he first refurbished it for me a year or so ago and made it into a usable and lovely room, it was meant to be my room, for my washing machine and tumbler, spare fridge and freezer, wall cupboards for dry and tinned foods and lesser-used kitchen equipment, and plenty of worktop space.  I agreed that husband could have one cupboard and small area of worktop - he doesn't need any more as he has a huge shed and garage.  Well, unfortunately husband is (has always been) very messy and disorganised, it's partly to do with his severe dyslexia I think.  It means that somehow or other, over a period of a few weeks he starts to bring more and more of his 'man stuff', and what seems to me to be general rubbish, into the utility room, until eventually it's so messy and cluttered in there that it's like he's taken it over.  Every so often I have to tell him to get it all out of there.....he does it, but then it all starts up again.  Well, this time I've said that he's got to stop cluttering it up in the first place - for good, as I'm not prepared to put up with it continually in the future.  Especially when there's no need for it, he's got more than enough space for his stuff in his shed and garage.  Admittedly, they're very messy and disorganised too, but that's his problem.  He's agreed to sort it all out and try not to mess it up in the future.

So that's one stressful thing addressed.  I'm working on solutions for the others.