Monday, 31 October 2022

Restful weekend and back to same old, same old for husband

 I had what I needed - a relaxing weekend.  Saturday I did nothing, other than one wash load in the morning, put on the electric airer as I was up very early (another bad night) and could make use of the off-peak electricity.  The rest of the day I just read my latest book, a David Baldacci thriller, and did quite a lot of rows on the Christmas present crochet blanket.  I did cook the dinners of course, although it was more a case of just quickly preparing it - frozen battered cod steaks done in the top oven, I put them in ciabatta rolls with sliced Swiss cheese and mayo, with salad and coleslaw on the side for Saturday, bubble & squeak with homemade veg and bean burgers on Sunday.  We went for our flu jabs at 8 am Saturday morning, all very well organised and we were very swiftly in and out.  No ill effects other than a slightly sore arm - I could say tiredness as well, but as I'm always so tired lately due to all the bad nights, I've no idea whether it was due to the jab or not.  With the clocks going back, in theory we had an extra hour in bed...the reality is I was still up extremely early on Sunday.  I just can't do lie-ins, never could, even as a teenager.

It's just a run of bad nights, it gets like this occasionally, sooner or later I'll get back to normal (whatever that is!).

Sunday morning we went to town, they have a monthly craft and artisan market, although this is the first time we've been to it, I think we've been at the caravan most other days it's been on.  Husband mooned around with his hands in his pockets, doing his usual 'bored teenager/husband' thing, refusing to look at most stalls and exclaiming at the cost of things he did see.  I bought some homemade wheat-free dog biscuits, in banana and peanut butter flavours, both of which Betty likes.  I also got a beautiful hand-decorated glass, a birthday present for a friend.  There was a cheese stall, I bought a couple of wedges of goats cheeses.

Forgot to mention the other day after seeing the GP....I asked him about the kidney function test and app, he confirmed it is because I'm at risk of getting kidney disease, partly due to my diabetes, but also because of the existing small lump on one of my kidneys and my family history of kidney cancer.

Husband's helpfulness is beginning to wear off, he's started going back to his not doing much and lounging watching TV (falling asleep in front of) ways.  It's always the same, he has a few weeks of doing more and then tires of it and slips back into his old laziness.  I'll have to have another chat with him, sigh.  I know he's getting older (72 in January) and his health's not great - but nor is mine, I have a list of ailments as long as my arm and am in pain or feeling unwell pretty much every single day.  But I just get on with things - partly because if I didn't, nothing would get done at all, and partly because I refuse to just give up and vegetate into old age.  That's no way to live the rest of my life, and I'm not going to.  I sometimes wonder what he would do if I had a stroke, say, or fell over and broke a few bones.....something that meant I COULDN'T do anything.  He would have to do stuff then!

Friday, 28 October 2022

Soup, midweek roast and loss of energy

 I made a lovely soup yesterday, using a small butternut squash, 2 parsnips, 2 carrots and a red onion.  Served with some croutons and a swirl of cream on top, it was really nice.  Enough for today and tomorrow too.  Then I chopped up a load of veg for a midweek roast dinner - husband had a chicken breast wrapped in bacon, I just had the veg, stuffing (out of a packet) and gravy.  Husband helped with prepping the veggies.  I prepped some more of our apples and made 2 apple crumbles for the freezer.

We're off to Weston this morning, there's a big shoe shop there and I need some new winter shoes, as well as some new underwear and a few things in Wilko.  There are a couple of shops husband wants to look in as well.  So it'll be good to have the soup ready to just heat up when we get back, and dinner will be cauli cheese batch cooked and frozen, with oven baked mushrooms and garlic bread, an easy meal.  Husband can have bacon with his, if he wants.

I've been very busy this week and it's affecting my energy levels and hip, so will be having a weekend of relaxing.  Had a few bad nights as well, so I need to catch up on sleep, if possible.  Chopping up all that veg for lunch and dinner, making the crumbles and putting washing out yesterday wore me out - well, it was the culmination of the very busy week and lack of sleep.  I felt like I was dropping with exhaustion so after lunch I had to go upstairs for a nap in my recliner chair.  Went to bed early too, but had another bad night, my hip was really killing me.

Betty had a whole chicken breast for her birthday dinner yesterday, poached in low-salt chicken stock, she wolfed it down.  She then shared some of husband's pear and banana, both of which she loves.  We made lots of fuss of her and played with her a lot, I think she enjoyed herself, she certainly slept well, unlike me.

I won't be blogging over the weekend, probably back Monday.  We've got our flu jabs early tomorrow morning, other than that I won't be doing anything.

Thursday, 27 October 2022

Test results and a new project

 Husband's chest x-ray showed no significant changes since his last one.  However, the ECG showed signs of some heart disturbance and means he needs further investigation by cardiology....we thought the GP had already referred him, but it seems he was waiting for the test results first - seems sensible, I guess.  He was going to do the cardiology referral straight away yesterday and in the meantime has increased the dose of the new heart medication he gave husband last month.

My hip x-ray revealed no particular concerns, other than low level osteoarthritis, which the GP said shouldn't be enough to cause my current pain.  However, after doing a lot of manipulations of my leg (which hurt like hell), he said I have Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) - used to be called Trochanteric Bursitis and is what I already have in my right hip, diagnosed a couple of years ago.  He said it's obviously significantly worse in my left hip - I can vouch for that!  He's referring me for physio - actually, it's self referral nowadays, he gave me all the details.  He also said he thinks steroid injections in my hips would be most beneficial, but it's up to the physiotherapist to prescribe and administer them, not the GP.

I've rung the physio department, the very nice lady said there's a waiting list currently of around 10-12 weeks.....which was a pleasant surprise, I thought she was going to say 10-12 months!  She did say they could text me details of an app for self management of the condition - honestly, what is it with blimmin apps for all health stuff nowadays?  Sooner or later nobody will actually see a medical professional, it'll all be done by apps or robots!  Anyway, I declined, I'd rather wait and see an actual person.

I gathered up my yarn supplies - well, the ones in bags in the bedrooms and one or two in the lounge and under the stairs (I didn't send husband up into the loft) - and put them all into my craft cupboard drawers.  There wasn't as much as I was anticipating, I vaguely remember giving a bagful to my neighbour for her young daughter who wanted something to do during the summer holidays, I think I also gave a bagful of odd balls to a charity shop.  Anyway, I found around a dozen full balls of Aran, in autumnal colours of forest green, brown and orange.  I don't recall what I bought them for - they are certainly not colours I would normally go for, far from it, so I must have bought them for a specific purpose.  Thinking about it, it may well have been for a lap blanket for my late mother, they were definitely the sort of colours she would have liked.  So I've decided to make a lap blanket for an elderly neighbour, the colours will go well with her home decor and it'll be a nice Christmas present for her.

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Put to bed

 Caravan put to bed for the winter.  There were a few people staying for the last week of the season, and quite a few other owners who'd come for the purpose of closing down - we've hardly seen them all year, for whatever reason they hardly ever come.  One man complained to me that every time he comes, it's not relaxing at all, it's all work, work, work.  Well, that's because he and his wife hardly ever come to stay in their van, consequently by the time they do come their garden is very overgrown and their van is badly in need of a complete external wash, so it's no wonder they have so much work to do!  It was a bit sad leaving, of course, especially saying goodbye to friends, but we know we'll be back in March next year, as will most of our friends there.

Both husband and I have GP appointments today, he for his heart stuff, me for my hip.  Let's hope we both get some positive answers for what happens going forward from here.  Husband is taking the car to the garage for an oil change tomorrow, I have more apples to process and freeze and some more veggie burgers and meals to make.  I also want to gather up my yarn stash, which is currently in several places including the loft, and see exactly what I've got.  I feel another blanket coming on - well, it is nearly winter after all - possibly a random colour stash busting one.  Friday - so far - we have a relatively free day, then we're both having our flu jabs early on Saturday morning.  Husband had made the appointments for 08.10 am(!!)....if they hadn't been that early, we could have stayed at the caravan Friday and Saturday.  Never mind.

Cherie, by the time I read your comment about the geraniums, I'd already cut them all back.  But I couldn't have put them under the caravan anyway - there's a tile and wooden lattice skirt all around the bottom of the van, to cut down on draughts (the lattice part is to allow access to taps underneath the van).  And I'd have had to dig up all the geraniums and put them in pots, they're in a flower bed at the front of the van.  I don't really mind if they don't survive the winter, the plantlets are cheap enough to buy in packs in Spring.

Ilona, thank you for your comment, I've read it but am not publishing it - that's not what this blog is about and I don't really want to get involved in discussions of that nature.  Your views differ from mine, which is absolutely fine.

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Kidney disease and last day at the caravan

 I did some research yesterday, going to the NHS website and looking for information on the kidney function at home test.  Seems it's been a 'thing' for the past couple of years, it's targeted at people who are at risk of developing kidney disease.  They send you this kit with full instructions on how to dip test your urine, then scan the dipstick with your phone using the downloaded app, the results get sent to your GP.  It's an annual thing, apparently.  OK, fair enough.....but I have an annual diabetes review, which includes a full blood test and urine test every year anyway, around the time of my birthday (which means it's due very soon).  And the blood test for that includes the kidney function test - I know, I checked on my medical record.  So I'm still a bit mystified as to why they want me to do this at home test, when I get it done every year at the surgery anyway as an integral part of my diabetes review.  I'll be seeing the GP in the next few days, perhaps I'll ask him.

Thanks for the comments about it - it appears that diabetics are at risk of kidney disease, which is probably why I'm being asked to do the test.  I didn't know about the kidney disease risk, it's never been mentioned to me before - I knew about diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy, both of which my diabetes nurse has discussed with me, but not the CKD.  So that's a bit worrying.  But as my diabetes is pretty well controlled, I'll try not to worry!

We're off to the caravan today, to give it a good clean and close it up for winter.  We'll also cut down the still-flowering pelargoniums which have given a fantastic show this year - I doubt they'll survive the winter, and we have nowhere to overwinter them at home now husband doesn't have his polytunnel anymore.  I'll definitely get more next year though.  There will be a few others there having a final few days and then closing up their vans, so we'll be having a few chats as well.  I'd have liked to spend another night or 2 there this week myself, but it's a busy week, we need to be home for a few things so haven't got the time.  I checked in my caravan notebook and we've spent a total of 85 nights there this season - that's just over 12 weeks, plus a few day visits, in the 8-month season.  I think it'll be more next year!

Monday, 24 October 2022

Mysterious text

 I've just had a very strange text, telling me I'll be getting a kit for a kidney function test through the post, for which I have to download an app onto my phone, and click on a link for more information.  My immediate thought was that it was a scam of some sort.....I don't download or click on anything that's sent completely unsolicited and out of the blue.  So I rang the surgery to check it out.  The receptionist didn't seem to know anything much about it, so put me on hold whilst she had a word with the practice manager.  She came back to say it's genuine, it's a new initiative apparently in collaboration with a firm contracted to the NHS, to take some of the workload off of GPs.  However, they were under the impression it wasn't starting until next week.

My first question was why haven't patients been advised that this would be happening, rather than us receiving a seemingly completely random text that we know nothing about?  She said we could click on the link for further info, she seemed not to grasp that it would have been better for us to be forewarned that this would be happening.  My next query was why do they think I'm in need of a kidney function test?  Again, she didn't know but thought perhaps it may be to do with my diabetes.  Which I find doubtful.  Having thought about it, I think it's more likely that they're checking my kidneys for something else, as I do have a documented incontinence problem, and a lump on one of my kidneys which they say isn't cancerous (I've had a scan) and isn't currently likely to cause a problem.  Also, both my mother and sister had kidney cancer.....Mum's was advanced and one of the things that killed her, sister's was caught early and operated on to remove the offending part of her kidney and she's since been given the all-clear.  So maybe I've been identified as having a possible hereditary or genetic risk.  It would just be nice to be told about things like this!

This morning we nipped into town to get a very small top up shop, half a dozen things I forgot last week, and to drop off a bin bagful of clothes to the charity shop - I had a big sort out yesterday.  I've made about 10 days worth of dog food, husband has been out in the back garden and collected the remaining apples off the trees.  I'll have to process them sometime in the next week or 2, the cookers especially don't keep well, disappointingly.  Won't be today though, my hip is really making its presence felt.

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Red doors, no longer trusting, veggies and my lovely doggy

 Yesterday husband did the first coat on one of the 2 downstairs doors in the hallway (the new UPVC front door doesn't need painting, obviously).  I'm so pleased with it, it's the perfect colour.  For those who think I'm forcing husband to do work he's not fit enough to do - of course I'm not, he wanted to do it and I frequently tell him to take breaks and not to do anything he doesn't feel capable of.  We've had our difficulties recently, but I've always been mindful of his health problems and it's actually been me who has stopped him from doing things I know would put a strain on his health.  We've (well, it's me really, husband is a bit clueless about colour schemes) chosen a deep red for the downstairs doors, it goes really well with the lounge and hallway - we have red curtains in both, red rugs in the lounge, plain magnolia walls for the hall, stairs and landing, and cafe latte for the lounge walls.  We're having a deep plum colour for the upstairs doors, which again goes really well with the decor in the bedrooms, which are shades of blue, lilac and plum.  I like plain walls painted in light colours, with accents of deeper or brighter colour for the furnishings and accessories.

Thank you for all the comments, every one is read and appreciated.  Annabeth, yes the person is aware, I've not heard a word from them.  Nor have I heard a single word from my siblings.  I don't know what's going on or why, I don't feel inclined to get in touch right now.  In the past I would have taken the bull by the horns and tried to sort things out - I've always done that, with both family and friends.  Now though, along with other aspects of my life and the way I've done things in the past, I'm taking a different approach.  I think I've been too trusting in the past.....I'm no longer doing that.  That might seem sad or disappointing - I prefer to see it as a positive thing, for my own wellbeing.

I'm so pleased with the way my mostly vegetarian and certainly much healthier food regime is going.  I continue to eat fish, which I really love, and the occasional bit of bacon or gammon....and by that I mean perhaps once a week or 10 days.  I have a bacon sandwich on a Sunday morning every couple of weeks, and a bit of chopped up bacon or gammon used as a flavouring in some of my veggie or pasta dishes.  I wouldn't eat a whole gammon steak though, that doesn't appeal to me at all, nor would I eat any other meat.  I've now lost 8lbs - not as a result of cutting out meat, obviously, but because I'm consciously eating smaller meals and a much healthier diet - lots and lots of vegetables, everything cooked from scratch, no ready meals or processed foods other than the occasional Linda McCartney rosemary and red onion sausage, absolutely no snacking between meals.  We had got into the habit of having the occasional bag of crisps, pork pie, packet of dry roasted peanuts, even a bar of chocolate now and then - well now I just don't buy them.  At all.  I have made cake for husband twice (I don't eat it), I have bought a packet of sugar free oaty biscuits twice - they've sat in the biscuit tin for a couple of weeks, even husband rarely eats them now, maybe having 1 or 2 a couple of times a week.  I feel so much healthier now, and husband is more than happy to eat some of my veggie meals.

We've got a busy week ahead - we're out or got something on every day, so I need to organise my time well.  My lovely Betty is 6 years old on Wednesday, it seems hard to believe we've had her for that long, since she was 8 weeks old.  I can't imagine life without her, she's my constant companion, follows me everywhere around the house, sleeps on my bed every night.  She's a total delight and makes me smile every single day.  Even if it's a smile I'm trying to hide because she's being naughty and I'm trying not to laugh!

Friday, 21 October 2022

A lovely fresh new home (almost)

 Got home yesterday lunchtime, to a lovely freshly painted hall, stairs and landing.....I'm really pleased, it looks so much brighter and cleaner, it's almost like having a new home.  The decorator left no mess, and even put back up the roller blind on the landing window - just as well, we couldn't have done it, it's impossible to reach up there without a ladder balanced on the stairs.  The freshly painted walls do show up just how much the doors, frames and skirtings need painting though - the deal with the landlord was that he would pay for the decoration of the walls and ceilings, if we did the woodwork.  No problem, we can do that pretty easily.  I'll help husband, but he will be doing the bulk of it himself.....there's no rush, he can do it at his leisure over the next few months, it'll give him something to do over the winter whilst we're not at the caravan.  I have asked for the downstairs doors to be done asap though, as they're the first thing seen when we come in.  We went out and bought the paint yesterday afternoon, so husband can get started as soon as he likes.

Being at the van for a couple of days on my own (with Betty) was really nice - I read a couple of books, did some crocheting, made a start on Christmas cards, chatted with a couple of fellow owners.  Did a lot of thinking and planning.  I think husband and I are going to be OK - he's certainly got into the swing of doing more jobs around the house, after the initial shock of being asked to do things when he grumbled quite a lot.  He even does some jobs now without being asked, which he never did before.  It's made a big difference to both of us, I think.  I'm still going to go ahead and finish the application form to get us on the Council housing list - we're under no illusions that it'll get us moved closer to civilisation anytime soon, it'll probably take at least a couple of years I should think (the Council say it could take up to 5 years, depending on the type of accommodation required and any health needs)....but at least we'll be on it.  We may even consider moving away from our local Council area, although we will stay in Somerset.

As for being let down so badly by someone close to me - the less I say or think about that, the better, it's still upsetting me and I've lost all trust in that person.  Especially since they haven't even said sorry.

We brought home quite a lot of stuff from the van yesterday - as much as we could get in the car.  We'll be going back one day next week to give it a thorough clean, collect up everything else we want to bring home, and close down for winter.

Husband's got an appointment to see the GP - his blood tests results are all ok, but he was told by the receptionist that he needs to see the GP to discuss his ECG and chest x-ray results.  The new meds the GP put him on to tide him over until he sees the cardiologist do seem to be helping him, his breathlessness and angina pain have eased.  Nothing heard from cardiology yet - the GP put in the referral just over 3 weeks ago.  Hopefully I'll find out the results of my hip x-rays next week.

Monday, 17 October 2022

Break away

 I'm having a break from social media for a few days - I've been badly let down by someone close to me (not my husband) and am really upset.  Think I'm almost as upset by the fact that I let myself be taken in by them, when I should have known better.  So it's just as well I'm away, mostly by myself (with my lovely Betty of course) in the caravan for a few days.  I'm not taking my laptop.  The telly will remain off and I'll just be listening to music, or nothing at all except the peace and quiet of the park.

Grrr! (And edit - Hooray!)

 This afternoon we're supposed to be going to the caravan, the decorator is supposed to be coming tomorrow to do the hall, stairs and landing.  However, we've not yet had confirmation from him that he is actually coming - he 'pencilled' the date in, with confirmation to follow.  We haven't heard a word from him since then, and haven't been able to get hold of him over the weekend - phone goes unanswered and no reply to voicemail messages left.  Husband was to be spending the night with me and Betty in the caravan, and returning home early tomorrow morning to let the decorator in.  So we need to know if the bloke is actually coming.  Husband will try ringing him again at 8 am (we have his home and mobile numbers).

Over a fortnight ago we cleared the hall and landing (as the bloke was originally supposed to come on 3 October, but his works van broke down), shifting all the furniture into other rooms around the house (which necessitated moving furniture around in those rooms), taking down pictures and moving stuff off of windowsills and cupboard tops.  So we've been living in amongst clutter since then - I hate living in a mess and it's driving me nuts.  Why are workmen so blinking unreliable? **

HH, I bought some washing powder (I didn't have any, as I use liquid capsules for my washing) and husband sprinkled that liberally on the oil spillage in the boiler cupboard in the utility room.  It's worked - well, it's working I should say - it's doing a good job of masking the worst of the smell.  So thank you very much for that, the overpowering oily smell was giving me a permanent headache and making me feel sick.

**HOORAY!!  The decorator has just rung, he's definitely coming tomorrow morning.  What a relief.

I've got a busy day ahead of me before we go off this afternoon, so must get on.

Friday, 14 October 2022

Jobs done, and an awful smell

 I achieved most of what was on my list for batch cooking & freezing yesterday.  I made about 20 dumplings and froze them uncooked.....there was some suet dough left, enough to make a couple of pasties for today's tea, a potato cheese & onion one for me, with added bacon for husband.

Then I made the veggie burgers - chopped up carrot, parsnip and shallots in my little processor and sauteed them,  Mashed a drained can of butterbeans and added to the veg in a bowl.  Stirred through some grated cheese, plenty of black pepper and a little salt and some dried sage and thyme.  Added a beaten egg to bind, mixed the lot together thoroughly and formed into burgers, it made 6 large ones.

I was flagging a bit by this time (lunchtime, having also pegged a wash load out on the line) so didn't get to do loads of apples for freezing.  However, I did make a couple of apple and cinnamon cakes, which went in the oven along with the veggie burgers.  One of the cakes has been frozen, along with all the burgers.

This morning I'm going shopping, then making up the pasties with the leftover suet pastry.  I'll also do some apples for the freezer - just slicing them and putting in the oven briefly with the pasties to make use of the 2nd shelf.  And then I'm doing nothing for the rest of the day!

The engineer who came on Thursday to service the boiler for the oil-fired central heating, found a leaking pipe underneath the tank, so he had to replace it.  He spilt a bit of oil (it's kerosene, I think) whilst he was doing it - it was in the boiler cupboard in the utility room, thank goodness it's not in the kitchen.  Have you ever smelt spilt kerosene?  It absolutely reeks, a very strong oily chemically smell.  The engineer did clean it up straight away, but the stuff had seeped into the concrete floor underneath the tank so he probably couldn't get to all of it, he did the best he could and was most apologetic.  Husband has liberally sprinkled a whole tub of bicarbonate of soda over the area, as far as he could reach (Google advice), and we keep spraying the area with an odour-neutralising (supposedly) spray.  2 days on, however, we can still smell it, although I would say it's marginally less powerful now.  As my big freezer and my larder storage cupboards are in the utility room, along with the washing machine, I go in there quite a lot and am hit with this overpowering pong every time.  According to Google, the smell takes a while to go.  If anyone has any experience of getting rid of this awful smell, or any other ideas, do let me know!

Batch cooking and baking

 I make a lot of soups and stews in autumn and winter - veggie stews for me from now on - and we like dumplings with them.  I've recently discovered that homemade dumplings can be frozen uncooked, and no need to defrost, they can simply be added to the stew as they are, so today I'll be making a big batch of them.  I want to make some more veggie burgers for freezing as well - carrot, parsnip, butterbean and cheese (everything tastes better with cheese!).

I've got a lot of cooking apples to process as well, unfortunately the ones from our tree (they're not Bramleys, but I can't remember the variety) don't keep very well.  I'll freeze some sliced and lightly cooked, for breakfasts with porridge or overnight oats with Greek yogurt.  I'll also make a couple of crumbles or an apple cake or two to freeze.  The good thing about these apples is that they're quite sweet and don't need any added sugar, and I've also cut down drastically on the amount of sugar I use in baking too.  I didn't do it all at once, but gradually, husband didn't even notice.  Now, on the rare occasion I make cakes, I use less than half of the stated amount of sugar in the recipe.  As I use mostly wholemeal flour too, or substitute some of the flour for almond or oat flour, my baking is as healthy as I can make it, and hopefully reduces the likelihood of gut problems for me.

While I've got the oven on for the apple cakes and veggie burgers (which I oven cook rather than frying them), I'll also make some cheese & chive soda bread.

Well, that's the plan anyway - how much of that I actually get done today depends on my energy and my hip, so remains to be seen!  I didn't sleep at all well last night, so I expect I'll be drooping this afternoon.

We'll have fish and chips for tea - frozen and oven baked - an easy meal after all that cooking.  We haven't had that for weeks, not since before I had the yeast overgrowth gut problems and went on the Candida diet, hopefully I'll be fine after.  I'll have a healthy eating weekend to compensate.

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Planning for the caravan - and life

 We're having the boiler serviced this morning.  Whilst husband and the boiler man are in the kitchen and utility room, Betty and I will stay in the lounge.....she'll be following the workman around all the time otherwise, and not everybody likes an excessively friendly dog!  It'll give me an opportunity to meal plan for next week at the caravan, and write a shopping list.

There's a few things we need to do in town later, I have a pile of books to take to the big Cancer charity shop and I'll get some more - they're only £1 for 2 books in there, one of the cheapest places to buy 2nd hand books - most other charity shops seem to charge £1.50 or even £2.00 each now.  The neighbour I swap books with hasn't bought any new books lately, we've been swapping the same books backwards and forwards recently!

Husband says he needs to buy a radiator key - he's left the other one in the caravan.....not that we have any radiators there, he uses it for other things (something to do with the LPG gas installation I think - not my department!).  Charlie, our lovely van neighbour, borrows it a lot - he and husband often share or borrow each other's tools.

The weather forecast for next week at the caravan looks pretty good, quite warm in fact for the time of year, so we may well stay there a bit longer - we've heard there'll be several others there, making the most of the last fortnight of the season and reasonable weather.  We'll use the time to earmark a few jobs for next year - the fence needs sprucing up, for a start.  It's a metal fence with a wooden handrail along the top, which needs sanding down and revarnishing, the gate needs a bit of attention as well.  We'll try and get that done as soon as it looks like there'll be a few days of good weather early next season.  The van exterior and the windows will need a good wash when we go back next March, after the winter weather has thrown everything at it.  And I'm thinking about getting new curtains for the lounge for next year, thicker lined ones, the ones we currently have aren't really thick enough for early and late season when it's colder.

Things are improving a bit here, husband is getting used to doing more jobs and helping me out, and has even done a few jobs of his own accord, without me having to ask him.  I guess we'd both got into a bit of a rut - me doing everything because it was easier, even though it was making me resentful, and him doing nothing because he knew I'd do it all!  The fact is, I cannot leave because I simply don't have the finances to support myself, and with the likelihood that husband's heart failure may be getting worse, he'll need my support.  I will still go to the CAB to see what, if anything, I'm entitled to, and will continue with the Council social housing application - if we can move to somewhere a bit nearer civilisation and all the facilities we need, including public transport so I can get about, then it will definitely make life easier for both of us.

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

A nice morning

 We went to the caravan this morning - I'd left my hooded rain mac there last time, and husband needed the strimmer he'd left there.  There were a few people about, we had a chat with the owner and his partner and her lovely Labradoodle - poor thing is old, partly deaf and partly blind, but is very friendly and is always pleased to see me....she sniffs my hands carefully before she realises it's me and starts wagging her tail!

Planted up a couple more tubs of bulbs whilst we were there, and put a few in the bank bed at the rear of the van, did a bit of weeding and watering.  I was going to cut back all the pelargoniums in the bed at the front, but they're still all in full bloom so I left them.  I should have taken a photo but forgot, if they're still flowering next week I'll try and remember, they've given a really good show this year.  I checked the van cupboards to see what things I could bring home today, and what I need to leave for use next week - we're going on Monday, for a few days.  Betty had a sniff round the garden, before going to sleep on the sofa.  We had lunch and a coffee after doing the garden, and then came home after washing up.  It was a nice way to spend the morning.  I'm looking forward to spending the last few days there next week before we close up for the season - I don't feel quite so sad about it this year, the winter does go quite quickly.  I'll put a countdown thing on my computer again, same as last's amazing how soon March comes round again.

Yesterday I shredded and cooked a whole red cabbage, along with a couple of chopped cooking apples and a large red onion.  I did it in the Multichef in some veg stock on the slow cook programme for 4 hours, it's cooked beautifully and obviously there's loads left to freeze.  Today we're having spinach & ricotta filled pasta with pesto and cream, some of the red cabbage and long stemmed broccoli.  I might make a veggie curry tomorrow, husband can have chicken in his.

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

A nightmare journey

Thank you for all the comments, and I seem to have a few new readers - welcome one and all.

I collected my new electric airer yesterday, it seems to work fine - thanks for the suggestion to put a sheet or duvet over it to keep the heat in, that's a good idea.  However, it's a lovely sunny day again today so another wash is on the line and should hopefully dry well like it did yesterday's wash.

We had to go to a village the other side of Bridgwater yesterday, it's about 40-45 mins drive under normal circumstances.  However, there are roadworks this week on the journey into Bridgwater, with 4-way traffic lights, which would have meant waiting in traffic for 10 mins or so.  Husband absolutely hates sitting in traffic - a legacy from all his years as a lorry driver, I think.  So he decided we'd go across country - the scenic route, he calls it.  It may well be scenic, but I'm not overly keen on the way he goes - the lanes are extremely bendy and narrow, with few passing places, often necessitating vehicles reversing some distance to get to a passing place.  The lanes are bumpy as well, as they're used by lots of farm vehicles and aren't very well maintained, so it's not a comfortable ride at all.  It's ok for a Sunday afternoon leisurely drive out, but not when you've got an appointment somewhere that you need to get to on time.  

Husband took a wrong turning at one point and didn't immediately realise - I was no help as I had absolutely no idea where we were, I didn't recognise the area at all.  I couldn't use the satnav on my phone as there was no phone signal!  So what he claimed would have been an easier and quicker route to where we were going, turned into a frantic drive deep in rural areas halfway around the county - or so it seemed.  We kept meeting up with other vehicles and having to get right over into the hedge, or reverse to a passing place, and on one occasion nearly had a head-on collision with another car coming round a bend at speed - husband wasn't exactly going slow either, since he realised we were going to be late (he's already been done for speeding twice in the past).  By the time we finally arrived, fortunately only 10 mins late (but that was because we'd left home early anyway because of the expected roadworks), my nerves were in shreds, I was irritable and stressed up to the eyeballs and had a tension headache.  I've told him he can bloody well sit in the traffic with a bit of patience like everyone else in future, I can do without all that stress. 😒

He's doing a lot of gardening jobs today - with no grumbles.  His way of getting back in my good books, I think.  I've got some more plants to put in, whilst he's hedge cutting and clearing away the rest of the now dead veg plants.

We're going to the caravan tomorrow, just for the day, to do a few odd jobs and bring home some stuff that won't be left in the van over the winter period.

Monday, 10 October 2022

Who knew?!

 I had a bit of a sore arm last night, following my covid jab on Saturday morning, but it didn't keep me awake and is fine this morning.  So no real side effects to speak of, hopefully the flu one will be the same.

When I saw the GP last week, he asked what pain relief I take for it.....I said paracetamol, but only when the pain is bad, and on rare occasions when it's really painful I might take cocodamol.  He sort of told me off and said pain relief meds don't work like that, to get proper relief I need to take them regularly, every day (he said 4x daily) and not just once in a blue moon.  Well, turns out he was right, who knew?! 😒😂  I haven't been taking them 4 times a day, nor will I - I've always been reluctant to take lots of pain meds, I don't want my body getting used to them - but have been taking them morning and night for the past few days.  The pain is now much more bearable, I'm pleased to say, so I will continue to take them 2x daily for a while.

The hospital was practically empty when I got there for my x-ray yesterday morning - hardly anyone queueing for the covid jabs, and nobody waiting in x-ray, so I got in straight away.  A very nice man, who said he would be x-raying both hips (2 for the price of 1, he joked) - it said just the left one on my referral letter from the doc, but I wasn't arguing!  Makes sense to me to do both, anyway.  Around a fortnight's wait for results, he said.

Husband's taking me to a garden centre this morning to get a few more plants for the back garden new flower beds.....he didn't even grumble when I asked him, although did roll his eyes.  I think he's getting the message that I want him to do things for me when I ask, and without complaining.

I've bought an electric heated clothes airer, apparently they use much less electricity than a tumble dryer.  As my dryer has given up the ghost anyway and I'm not getting it repaired again (it's already been repaired twice before) or buying a new one, getting washing dry in the winter will be a problem.  Even on sunny days, the washing isn't completely dry after being out on the line all day, the sun's not strong enough now.  And I don't want wet washing hanging around the house for days.  It's a lovely sunny day today, so I'm about to put the washing out now.

Sunday, 9 October 2022

Some improvements at last

 Had our Covid booster jabs yesterday morning at the local hospital, very well organised as usual but very busy, they were running late and we had to wait about 25 mins past our time.  No matter, it's done and that's the main thing.  Neither of us had any symptoms at all afterwards, not even a sore arm.  Having said that though, around 9.30 ish last night, I suddenly came over really tired and had to go to bed - I normally read for an hour or so in bed but last night I just couldn't keep my eyes open and switched the light off straight away.  We're having our flu jabs at the GP surgery at the end of the month - we could have had them yesterday but I didn't fancy the 2 jabs on the same day, in case any possible side effects were doubled!

It's my hip x-ray this morning, at the same hospital (it's a small cottage-type hospital, the main big hospital is in Taunton). 

The vegetarian diet is going really well, I'm thoroughly enjoying eating veggie things that I've made and not forcing myself to have the big meaty meals that husband likes.  Last night he had a big gammon steak with eggs and chips, I had a homemade veggie burger.  Today he's having a (bought) steak pie, I'm making myself a veg and cheese one with wholemeal pastry - well, I'll be making 4 actually, the rest to be frozen.  I've not yet tried any Quorn or tofu products, to be honest they don't really appeal to me, I prefer making things myself using a combination of fresh veggies and beans or pulses.  Having said that, I do buy the Linda McCartney range of veggie sausages, I like those.  And I do have the occasional bacon sandwich!  (I've had 2 in the last month, I think).  

I'm easing up on the very restrictive candida diet, I've reintroduced several things now and still have no symptoms reappearing.  So I think the yeast overgrowth must have been killed off now, by starving it of the things that caused it in the first place - too many carbs, frothy coffees with glucose in them, crisps, the occasional bar of dark chocolate.  I still have none of that now - carbs are kept to a minimum, I only eat sourdough bread and not every day, I've reintroduced frothy coffees but only decaf/unsweetened.  I have brown basmati rice or wholewheat pasta about once a week, along with plain wholegrain cereal or porridge once or twice a week.  And I have an acidophilus tablet every day, to keep my gut bacteria healthy.  I do feel so much better for it.

Every day now I'm getting husband to do 1 or 2 jobs....he doesn't grumble so much now (I ignored him when he did) and does get on with them, albeit with a bit of reluctance.  And.....the telly is off!!  Finally, he doesn't have it on all the time anymore, so that's a victory.  He put it on for the news for half an hour this morning, then switched it off and hasn't put it back on since.

Saturday, 8 October 2022

I've been busy

As I said, I've set a few things in motion.

I'm not State Pension age for more than 3 years yet - I do have a small monthly private pension but no other income.  Although I am feel ancient and decrepit, I'm not actually disabled - I can walk (just about!), wash and dress myself, cook and look after myself, so I really don't see that I'd be eligible for any benefits.  However, I've discovered that Citizens Advice hold an advice session fortnightly in the next village along, so I should be able to pop in there and speak to them soon (I've just missed this week's session).

And I've taken the big step of registering on the Council social housing list - well, I've started the application, it's numerous online pages long.  Apparently, depending on what type of housing and whereabouts one is looking for, there could be currently up to a 5-year waiting list - although medical requirements might make it shorter.  From what I've seen so far, Council housing rents would certainly be cheaper than we are paying now.....although our private tenant rent here, in this very rural area with no amenities, is much less than we would be paying for a house in town - private rents locally have gone through the roof, due to the big influx of Hinkley Point C power station workers.  Whether I'd be able to get a Council place on my own, I have no idea - but nothing ventured, nothing gained.  And even if we had to get a place together, as long as it was near facilities and on a bus route I'd be fine, it would make life so much easier for me.

I'm feeling a bit better now I'm taking some action.  I've decided husband isn't getting away with doing next to nothing from now on, and if I want something doing, I will make it clear I want it done now, with no arguments or grumbles.  We've had a broken curtain rail in the hall for over a year, unbelievably - husband broke it by dropping something on it as he was coming downstairs in summer last year, it's been hanging off at one end ever since, despite my asking him regularly to either fix it or buy a new rail.  Well, the other day he had to take me to town as I needed a few things in Wilko, whilst in there I told him to go and buy a new rail - he did.  And he actually put it up too, without any prompting.  I've also made sure he got done the 3 little jobs I wanted him to do before we went away last week.

Thank you again for all the supportive comments, helpful suggestions, empathy and care, it means a lot.

Thursday, 6 October 2022

Makes it real

 First of all, thank you, just.....thank you 💜  And for the emails.

I've been very tearful and down the last couple of days.....unburdening myself and putting it all 'out there' to the whole world on my blog, whilst being sort of cathartic, also makes it all so real.  Admitting my long marriage (39 years married, 42 years together) has collapsed, after going downhill for the past 2 or 3 years, makes me feel a failure.  I don't know what will happen in the future - I have no immediate plans to leave, as I said I can't as I simply cannot support myself financially.  And if husband's heart failure is getting worse, then there's no way I can even contemplate leaving, I just couldn't leave him to cope alone, he wouldn't be able to.  Even if he was in good health, he'd have a hard time doing everything that I do, on his own.  Although he claims he'd be fine on his own (when I've semi-jokingly threatened to leave in the past) - I seriously doubt that.

Over the past couple of days I've been making him do some jobs - every time I ask him to do anything, he grumbles under his breath, heaves big sighs (god forbid I should interrupt his computer game playing!) or moans outright.  At the moment, I'm just ignoring his moans and moodiness, I simply say "Just do it, please", my tone of voice giving him no choice.  Eventually though I am going to have it out with him.

I have started making some plans and set some things in motion, I'll say more about that next time.  I went to the GP yesterday about my hip, he thinks the pain is caused by either osteoarthritis, bursitis (which I already have in my other hip) or osteoporosis.  I didn't even have to ask for an xray, he suggested it as the first step in diagnosing the cause of my pain.  I'm having the xray on Sunday - as I'm having the Covid jab on Saturday I just hope that doesn't affect me too much - but I think I'll be dragging myself to the hospital for the xray even if I feel terrible, I'm that desperate to get this hip pain sorted.

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

My reality

 This has been locked up inside me for a year or more and if I don't let it out, I'm going to implode.

My day to day life has become intolerable and I have nowhere to turn, to get help or even moral support, I feel completely alone.  For reasons I do not know or understand, it appears my siblings have been talking and making plans via WhatsApp or phone conversations which don't include me....we have a family WhatsApp group which one of them posted on accidentally the other day, concerning some plans which I knew nothing about, it was obviously a mistake and is how I learnt about it.  It's not the first time it's happened, a few times things have been said on the family group which were complete news to me, yet it was clear the others had been discussing elsewhere.  I don't know why this is happening, but am too upset to find out right now.  

I have 2 close friends - one of them lives on the Kent coast, so the other side of the country to me, I see her a couple of times a year when she and her husband come over this way on holidays, she's often said she wishes we lived nearer each other.  My other best friend, who lives 5 minutes drive away, is so busy I rarely see them, and because of the nature of their job and the long hours, phone calls are few and far between.

I'm so isolated here at home because of it being such a tiny hamlet in a very rural area, with no buses or facilities nearby and, being unable to drive, not able to get out unless my husband takes me.  Our neighbours are all very nice, but they're either old, have health problems themselves or extremely busy lives and are away a lot.

And then there's my husband, relations between us are at an all-time low.  To be brutally frank, if I could live on my own I would, but I have nowhere to go and no means of supporting myself financially.  He does have heart failure, of course, along with ongoing prostate and foot problems, but has been in relatively reasonable health since being discharged by his cardiologist 3 years ago, as his heart problems had improved and stabilised with treatment and meds.  He is now getting more breathless, so is in the process of having tests and investigations.  I'm dreading the results - if his heart failure is indeed getting worse, then I will be well and truly trapped here, I can't leave him to cope by himself, I just couldn't do that.  Our relationship has gone downhill since he had his foot operation 2 years ago, had his foot in plaster and was unable to put any weight on the foot for 6 weeks.  He was allowed to move around with crutches - but the hospital FORGOT to provide them or give him any instruction on how to use them, so I had to buy him some (the hospital is too far away to simply go and get some) and show him some YouTube videos on using them.  Due to his lifelong clumsiness, lack of coordination and patience or perseverance, he found it difficult to use them so simply gave up and just laid on the sofa watching TV for the entire 6 weeks.  He literally did nothing.  I had to do everything, including the few jobs that he used to do, and walk the dog twice a day as well - which, as it was winter and our little narrow lanes and fields were full of mud as it rained a lot, wasn't a pleasant experience, especially as I had back problems and a bladder problem which necessitated me having an exploratory operation - I had to put off my scheduled op date, which I'd been waiting months and months for, until after husband's foot was out of plaster.  Meanwhile, my health has gone more and more downhill over the past 2 or 3 years, but every time I think I can begin to get things sorted, husband's health issues flare up and take precedence.

They say that if you do something every day for 3 weeks, it becomes a habit.  Well, husband laid on the sofa doing absolutely nothing except falling asleep in front of the TV for 6 weeks, and it well and truly became a habit, one he's never really got out of.  To a large extent it's my fault - I've always been the type to get on and do things rather than waiting for someone else to do it, I've always been the one who arranges our lives, holidays, days out, house and garden renovations, finding and buying the caravan etc etc - pretty much everything.  I have always done all our banking and admin stuff, as husband's dyslexia means paperwork is very difficult for him.  He has never arranged a holiday in all our 42 years together, he rarely if ever suggests days out (he'd rather stay home), if I ask him to take me somewhere, he scowls, grumbles and says "Where?" - he has absolutely no imagination.  If I ask him to do something for me (well, actually it's not for me, it's for US as we BOTH live here!), he moans, mutters under his breath, or more or less ignores me, he almost never does it straight away, meaning I have to ask him several more times over the next few days/weeks and then I get accused of nagging.  Last week, several days before we went to the caravan, I asked him to do 3 small jobs.....we're home now and each of those jobs is still not done.  So it'll most likely be me doing them, as usual.

When we got home from the van yesterday morning, I spent an hour or 2 unpacking and putting away clothes and food, plus the extra bits and pieces we'd brought home from the van as we'll only be going there once more.  Put one load of washing on and sorted out another to go on overnight.  Put away the dog's food and stuff, and our medications (we both have loads nowadays).  Husband....switched his computer on and played chess, he appears to think that driving 40 mins home is his contribution, after I'd packed up everything at the van, did some cleaning, made sure all was tidy, switched off and closed up before we left.

I can't rely on him to do anything - I've reminded him numerous times to write appointments on the calendar in the kitchen (his dyslexia isn't so bad that he cannot write at all), yet he forgets so many times, or writes them on the wrong day, or wrong week or month even.  Or I've said he could just tell me and I'll write them on the calendar - he even forgets to do that.  So just in the past couple of months, he's missed a phone consultation with his prostate team because he didn't write it down and didn't even tell me he was having one, it having been arranged when he'd had a face to face appointment at the hospital which I didn't attend with him as he had to go alone, due to Covid restrictions (still).  He was out when the doctor rang and I could only apologise because I knew nothing about it.  Betty missed a grooming appointment as he didn't write it down - the groomers rang me on my mobile to ask if we'd changed our minds about bringing her in, and as we were out at the time and didn't have her with us, again I could only apologise.  Husband turned up at the surgery last month to have his toes re-dressed by the nurse - only to be told his appointment was the following day - he'd written it on the calendar (for a change) but on the wrong day.  He wrote his dental appointment down on the wrong month, luckily I noticed and amended it so he didn't miss that one.  

I'm sick of it all.  I'm sick of having to do everything, and sick of having no support, moral or practical.  I'm no longer a wife (haven't been for ages) - I'm simply a carer, housekeeper, secretary, chief cook and bottle washer and general dogsbody.  We're civil to each other (most of the time) but that's it really, it's not much of a life for either of us.

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Sigh, change of plans again

 Well, the decorating isn't happening this week - the decorator has to wait for parts to repair his van.  Bit of a nuisance, but can't be helped I suppose.  Having looked at our calendar (I take a photo of the month when we come to the van), we can just about squeeze him in the week after next, mid week.  So we've had a very quiet and unexpected couple of days here in the van, and will now be going home today - I've got plenty to do at home.  I want to plant up another couple of tubs of Spring bulbs here at the van this morning before we leave.....I've also got quite a lot to plant at home, and husband needs to clear the last of the veg beds ready to cover over for winter.

When we come back to the van when the decorator comes (assuming he does!), that'll be our last time here, we'll close it up for winter then.

I'll ring the GP Wednesday morning for an appointment for my hip - husband has his blood test and ECG on Wednesday as well.  We went to Matalan yesterday morning, I wanted another couple of winter jumpers - plenty there but I didn't buy any as they all seemed to be dull sludgy colours - not my taste at all.  Or they were very short jumpers, almost midriff baring - I don't want my fat aged stomach hanging out!  Just that short walk around the store really played havoc with my hip, I was limping badly by the time I got back in the car.  I'm going to have to start using my walking stick again.

Thank you for all the comments lately, I'm sorry I haven't been answering, or commenting on your blogs, although I have tried to keep up with reading.  Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things when we're back home.  Things have been a bit stressful lately, and I've been distracted.

Monday, 3 October 2022

A lovely surprise and a disappointment

 The disappointment first.....had a phone call last night (8.30 pm) to say the decorator's van has broken down, so he won't be starting our decorating today.  Bit of an annoyance, but these things happen.  Let's hope he can get it fixed today so can start tomorrow - else we're here at the van for no reason really (there's almost nobody else here, it's as quiet as the grave).  And we have lots of commitments throughout the rest of this month, which will make it difficult to reschedule the decorating.

We have 2 separate electricity accounts, one for home and another for the caravan.  I hadn't expected to get the Government energy rebate on the van account as well as the home one, but had an email yesterday to say that in fact we are also getting it for the caravan.  How absolutely lovely - as we're in credit with the van account (as well as the home one), the leccy company have suggested we put our monthly DD for the van down to....£1.00!  And since we use no electricity at all at the van during the winter months, we'll be well in credit by the time the new season starts in March next year.  More importantly though, it means we can have the electric fire on in the van as much as we want - I've been rationing it before.  The fire is very efficient, throws out plenty of heat and keeps the van lovely and warm, so I've no need to worry about having it on now.

When husband took Betty out for her final wee last night, they saw 2 deer here in the park....we knew they were around, but hadn't seen them up till now.  We see deer regularly at home, in the field behind the house.

There's some family stuff going on which has really upset me, I'll need to get to the bottom of it in due course but right now I'm so upset by it that I'm distancing myself from them, it's too raw right now.

Sunday, 2 October 2022

Strictly and off again

 I had my hair cut by my lovely hairdresser neighbour on Friday, it's been about 3 months since I last had it done.  Whilst I do quite like my hair longer, being fine and thin (another downside of old age!) it just hangs limply when it's too long.  It's a nice neat cut, I do like it, but now more of the grey is showing so I need to colour it again....unless I decide to just go grey.  Unlikely, I tried that once before and it's just not me....I'll probably be dyeing my hair blonde until arthritis stops me lifting my arms up!

It's 06.38 and is still really dark outside....I hate winter and these dark mornings and evenings with a passion.  And it's not even winter yet!

I had to go to bed straight after Strictly finished last night, after all the shifting furniture around and being busy with other stuff, my body was on the brink of shutting down.  It gets like that sometimes, when I've not been getting enough rest.  Fine today though, thank goodness, as I've got lots to do this morning.  We're having Sunday lunch early (we normally have it around 4pm ish on a Sunday) and then going to the caravan this afternoon.  Staying probably until Wednesday, I doubt there'll be many other owners there so it'll be really quiet.....especially since husband will be spending the days here at home with the decorator, so the van will be a TV-free zone 😁.  I've got lots of books in the van, a bagful of crochet (another lap blanket on the go) and will be taking my craft stuff to make a start on Christmas cards.  Betty will be keeping me company.....when husband isn't around, she's as good as gold, he tends to tease her and wind her up (he calls it playing with her).

So.....Strictly Come Dancing - do you watch it?  Who are your early favourites?  Will Mellor for me, he did a fantastic dance last week but looked a bit strained this week.  The wildlife photographer Hamza, with the amazingly long dreadlocks (practically floor length, he's clearly never had them cut) is also a bit of a surprise....for a big bloke, he's amazingly light on his feet and has plenty of rhythm.   Each year though there seem to be more and more so-called celebs who I've actually never heard of - 4 of them this year I don't know at all, and another 4 or 5 only vaguely.  I reckon the footballer (never heard of him, but then I don't follow football) or the Loose Woman will be the first out tonight.  I'm always a bit cynical about the ones claiming to have no dance experience....such as Helen Skelton, who apparently won a tap dancing competitition when she was younger.  Oh, and I don't like the singer Matt Goss much, despite liking Bros years ago.....he's a bit weird now I think, he's very image conscious (his face has clearly been worked on and his hair dyed) and seems a bit stiff and overthinks everything.  I like the ones who just throw caution to the winds and are just determined to enjoy Will, and the Radio 2 presenter Richie Anderson - he's like a big excitable puppy and, being gay, he's so bouncy, full on and demonstrative....I think his pro partner, the lovely Giovanni, is a bit wary of him!

Can you tell I'm a Strictly superfan?! 😂

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Health stuff being sorted

 As I mentioned before, husband was discharged by his cardiologist into the care of his GP 3 years ago.  He was supposed to have yearly checks for his heart failure, but - well, you know - Covid intervened and GP services practically disappeared.  So he's had no heart checks since being discharged.  Well, he's been getting breathless after even mild exertion lately, and certainly is more tired and more reluctant to do anything at all.....he's going to wear the sofa out with all the lying on it watching falling asleep in front of the TV he does.  I've been telling him for weeks he should go back to the GP, but he hasn't bothered.  Well, yesterday morning I made sure he rang the GP first thing, and he got an appointment for 9.15.  Our surgery has a new system now.....oddly, we can't make appointments in advance, but if we ring first thing in the morning we can choose to either see a GP that same day or have a phone appointment.

The GP gave him a good going over - listened to his heart & lungs, checked his breathing, pulse and oxygen levels.  He's arranged for husband to have a blood test, ECG and chest x-ray (he had the x-ray yesterday afternoon, the blood test and ECG are next Wednesday).  He's also referred him back to the cardiologist.  The GP thinks he may be having mild angina symptoms again and has given him a new GTN spray and tablets to take as an interim measure until he sees the cardiologist.  So that's husband sorted - or on the way to being sorted.

So it's just me now.  I should be able to make an appointment to see the GP next Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how soon the decorator finishes and we get back home from the van.  As I said, I'm going to insist on an xray or scan of my hip, and make it clear I want to find out the actual cause of the pain I'm in, rather than simply being fobbed off with painkillers and interminable waits for physio.

The hall, stairs and landing are now cleared of furniture, pictures etc - and cobwebs and dust!  I'm just doing my best to ignore the furniture etc cluttering up the other rooms.

I made a mixed bean chilli yesterday in the slow cooker function of the Multichef.  I did a panful of minced beef and onions for husband, then mixed some of the bean chilli in with his, we had our chillies with brown basmati rice.  It was yummy.  Plenty of both left to go in the freezer.