Thursday, 21 September 2023

Mix of nay and yay! 😄

 The ECG I had at the GP surgery yesterday showed sinus bradycardia - slower than normal heartrate.  I guess that's why the GP requested a blood test for hypothyroidism, and it may explain why I've been so tired recently - well, if it's not just the lack of sleep!  He said he'd like me to have a 24-hour heart monitor, although apparently there's a waiting list for that.

The surgery Carers Champion, Sarah, rang me in the afternoon - she's really nice, we had a good long chat.  She's registered me as husband's official carer, is sending me a Carers Pack in the post, and gave me details of loads of useful websites and people to ring, such as the Village Agent who she said knows everything about everything!  She also said I can ring her (Sarah) anytime for a chat over the phone, or make an appointment to see her at the surgery if I'd rather chat in private.  She was lovely actually and I felt a lot more positive and 'heard' afterwards.

Husband has this very irritating habit of ordering car parts off the internet for whatever car we have at the time - not because we need them, but because we MIGHT need them in the future!  He's still got a complete new clutch assembly for the car we had BEFORE the one that's just been scrapped.....he bought it because it was a bargain - in his words.  The thing didn't actually need a new clutch, but he said (when it was delivered and I asked what it was/why he'd bought it) that the car would probably need it sooner or later 😒😠.  So now we're stuck with it cluttering up the garage - he's tried selling it but nobody wants it - well, it is kind of specialised and the car it fits wasn't exactly a popular one.  So what did I notice yesterday....him looking at car parts on ebay!   I could brain him sometimes.

I've given him explicit instructions NOT to order anything for this new (to us) car - it comes with a warranty, we've got full breakdown cover and he's got a parts & labour warranty with the AA in any case, so we don't need any random spare parts!! 😜

We're back on the housing register as I (think) I said, I've put in a bid on the one suitable property available this week - it's a nice enough property, but isn't in our preferred area - too far away from the caravan really.  One bonus though is that it's within walking distance of a GP surgery that has excellent reviews for care.

Another good thing - I've finally broken the stone barrier with my diet, I've now lost 1st 2lbs, which pleases me greatly.  I've settled into a habit of having a small brunch around 11.30 am - perhaps 1 slice of sourdough toast or a couple of rye crispbreads, with cheese or cottage cheese, some gherkins and olives and an apple.  I have a normal dinner of fish or something vegetarian, with mostly green veg to accompany it, followed by a couple of small easy peelers or a yogurt.  My appetite has certainly reduced, I'm having smaller portions and no snacks between meals - I've never really been one for snacking anyway (that's husband!).

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Take a break?!?!

 Thank you for all the lovely comments, I'm feeling a lot better than I did last week.  Sue, I hope you get on ok with the echo, yes I hate medical stuff too.  But unfortunately it's necessary!

My GP, who is brilliant and we feel fortunate to be under his care, was very thorough.  He's had the report from the A&E doctor, although he said some of the bloods results were still unavailable, and no ECG results - apparently the hospital routinely do not send ECG results to the GP, no idea why not.  I have to go back to GP this morning to have yet more bloods taken (good job we have pints of it in our bodies) and yet another ECG, so the GP can see exactly what's going on.  He gave me a GTN spray (the same as husband has for his angina) with instructions to make sure I use it whenever I get the breathlessness and/or tight chest.  And to call 999 if it doesn't work!  He's referring me to cardiology.  Wouldn't it be ironic if both husband and I have heart problems?!  Obviously I hope it isn't heart problems, I'm inclined to think it's all down to stress and anxiety - of which I've had an overabundance the past few months (ha bloody ha).

The GP, who knows all about husband's problems, asked me if I have opportunities to take a break from caring and go do something else away from the home regularly......I didn't know whether to laugh hysterically or dissolve into buckets of tears.  NO! is the short answer, not where we live and with me not being able to drive.  Apparently they have a 'Carers Champion' at the surgery (who knew?), he is going to get her to give me a call.

My head feels like a large bowl full of bits of paper detailing what I've got to do and remember, and it's constantly being added much so that it's now full up and overflowing, with the bits of paper constantly falling out as there's just no room left for any more.

More stress and hassle yesterday - we rang the car hire co. to let them know they can come and collect the courtesy car on Friday.....only to be told that actually they are coming to get it today!  We told them that no they cannot have it back until Friday, as that is when our new car is being delivered and because of where we live and our health conditions, we absolutely cannot be left without a car.  They rang the insurers and rang us back (I was busy and husband answered it) - saying the insurers had agreed we can keep it till Monday - which husband agreed to, at which point I had to quickly intercede and say no it has to be this Friday, as we're going away on Saturday! (he'd forgotten already).

See, this is what I'm up against - husband can't remember anything, therefore, he can't be trusted to arrange anything as he will almost certainly get it wrong.  I've told him on numerous occasions not to make any arrangements without running it by me first, and said it would be preferable to hand the phone over to me, or at least put it on speakerphone so I can hear what's being said.  But of course he forgets.

It was terribly windy during the night, which kept waking me up, fortunately it's supposed to die down today.  Off to the surgery for more bloods and the ECG this morning, then I've got some cooking and several other jobs to do.

Monday, 18 September 2023

Crises, dramas and good things

 Apologies for the absence, we've had a crisis going on - I'm not giving any details, sorry.  It's not over yet but has eased a bit.

To temper that, there's been some good news - we've found and bought another car, it's being delivered to us on Friday.  It's a nice small SUV, much nicer than our old car and will perfectly suit our needs.  It's had just one owner from new and been regularly dealer-serviced.  We're very pleased.

Our housing application review has been done (miraculously, they advised us the day after I emailed asking when we could expect to hear, as they'd exceeded the time limit given 😉😒) so we can now carry on searching for a suitable property.  Not that we are expecting to be successful anytime soon, but at least we're now back on the ladder.

I haven't been feeling well for some time now, I'd put it down to stress, I hadn't gone to the doctor (my reasoning being it was indeed most likely to be stress, and I haven't got time to be ill).  However, last Thursday I felt very unwell all day and come the evening it got significantly worse, to the point where I felt like I was having a heart attack.  To cut a long story short, it wasn't a heart attack according to the paramedics' ECG, but the reading wasn't 'as normal as it should be' in their words!  They said there was something showing up and they needed to take me to hospital for further tests.  We arrived about 11 pm and I was whisked into a cubicle in the emergency ward straight away, bypassing the queue of other ambulances already there - they said they needed to have me in so they could monitor me and do further tests.  Throughout the night I had a further 3 ECGs, some chest x-rays and several tubes of bloods taken.  I had my BP and oxygen sats checked every hour, along with a few stethoscope chest checks.  I was there all night, seeing a doctor finally around 5 am.  He confirmed I hadn't had a heart attack but agreed with the paramedics that my ECGs were somewhat abnormal, although the chest x-ray seemed fine.  My bloods showed no infection, but a couple of results (for what, I don't know) wouldn't be back for a couple of days.  He said I could go home, but that I needed to go back for an echocardiogram (different to an ECG apparently, husband has had a couple) and some further checks, which would be arranged by my GP, I'm seeing him today.  The hospital doctor said he would be recommending to the GP that I have the echo within 2 weeks.

A large hospital emergency ward is not a nice place to be throughout the night - it was very busy indeed, and several of the incoming patients were drunks or obviously high on drugs - being very loud, falling over and causing no end of problems, both for the accompanying Police and the unfailingly patient, kind and cheerful hospital staff.  One patient, with mental problems, brought in by 3 carers, had apparently superhuman strength and was fighting with all his carers, 2 security guards and assorted medical staff - he was eventually taken away, I know not where.  The staff were all wonderful and I can't fault them at all, I don't know how they cope.  

Obviously I'm a bit concerned, but am not worrying until I know whether there's something to actually worry about.  I'm glad I've been checked out.  I think it's given husband a short, sharp shock (he didn't accompany me to hospital, I told him to stay home with Betty).  I certainly feel better than I did last week.

We're hoping to go to the caravan again at the weekend, for a few days, can't say for sure at the moment as we still have a few things going on, including the new car arriving and taking away of the courtesy car.

Incidentally, the insurance settlement offer for our written-off car was actually MORE than we paid for the car a year ago - so Mrs LH, you're right, prices of second-hand cars have risen dramatically.  We are lucky to have found the new car at a good price.


Sunday, 17 September 2023

Thursday, 14 September 2023

Well blow me down!

 I've not been feeling at all well the past few days, I'm sure it's down to stress.  Yesterday I had a day off - I only did what was absolutely necessary in the morning, then went to bed for a couple of hours after lunch.  I gather husband sat downstairs and watched back to back episodes of some sci-fi thing on TV....he doesn't think to do anything at all in the way of housework or things that need doing unless I specifically ask him to do it.  Well, that's how life is nowadays, just have to accept it.

But anyway, we've had a phone call from the 3rd party insurers this morning - they are writing the car off (as expected) and have given us a settlement figure - which amazingly is actually considerably MORE than we were expecting.  So no arguments, we've accepted it straight away.  The money should be paid into our account early next week.  Husband is of course delighted and is already boring the pants off me reading out details of numerous cars he's looking at online.  We won't be buying a car until the money is actually in the bank, so I'm not really wanting to be force-fed tons of car details in the lead up till then.  So I'm getting him to take us to our favourite beach for a walk, that should give my ears a bit of respite for a while.

Thank you everyone for your comments and continued support....I know I've been very remiss in not saying so lately, life has taken over.  Please know that I do appreciate you all, though.

Wednesday, 13 September 2023


 Over the past 10 days or so, husband has had numerous phone calls on his mobile, to do with the car saga.  At least half of these I've had to answer.....because he doesn't have his phone with him, doesn't hear it or has gone out without it, despite me reminding him countless times that he needs to keep it with him, especially at the moment!  Even when it's rung whilst in his pocket, every single time (yes literally) he looks puzzled and asks "Is that your phone?".  No dear, it's yours!  And our ring tones are totally different!  He caused another problem yesterday to do with the insurance stuff - I'm not going into details, but I told him if he insists on going ahead with it, he's on his own, I will not help him as I don't agree with it and it could potentially cause a lot of aggravation.  Basically, he's clutching at straws and is not thinking straight - well, he has trouble with that anyway nowadays.  I'm getting more frazzled and worn down every day.

He's going out to brunch this morning with his mate  - well, he calls it brunch but they go about 08.15 so it's early, and he's always hungry again by lunchtime.  At least I'll have a couple of hours on my own - I don't think I'll do anything, just sitting gazing into space and letting my mind relax sounds about all I can cope with right now.

We're going back to the caravan next week - whether we've got a new car or not.  We'd already planned to go there next week anyway, as our lovely van neighbours C&J will be spending their last week of the season there - they don't go in October, unless the weather is forecast to be very warm.  If the insurers quibble over us still using the courtesy car next week, I shall simply tell them we're on a planned holiday and therefore we still need the car.  We didn't really enjoy our last week there, it was marred by the car incident and all the phone calls and worry.  And of course all our fellow owners wanted to know what had happened to the car (the very visible damage all down one side) and we got fed up with repeating the story constantly.  I need a week without problems or stress - what are the chances of getting it?

Monday, 11 September 2023

Not a dumb blonde anymore

 Not that I ever was.....dumb that is.

I've been colouring my hair since I was about 14, my natural colour was a sort of mousy nondescript dark blonde.  I've always dyed it a much lighter blonde, although occasionally I had it purple all over, or sometimes blue or pink highlights.  I once dyed it red - a mistake, it didn't suit my skin colouring so soon went back to blonde.  I normally colour it about 4x a year.....well, I haven't done it for ages, probably 6 months or more, and consequently it's now mostly faded and grey.  I've not purposely decided to stop colouring it and go grey - what with all that's been going on in our lives, I just haven't got round to it, it didn't seem important and actually rarely even crossed my mind.  As I don't wear makeup and am not one for messing about with my hair (in terms of styling it, I mean - I'm strictly a 'wash and go' type), I don't look in the mirror much anyway, so don't really notice my hair.

The last day or so I've wondered about colouring it again, but decided I probably won't - let's face it, it's just vanity, nobody really cares what colour my hair is.  Husband, being a man, hasn't commented - I doubt he's even noticed.  I've got more pressing things to worry about than keeping my hair coloured, it's really not important.  I'm not saying I'll never do it again, I just can't be bothered right now.  And, to be honest here, it's down to very low self image/confidence too - nobody cares much about me so why should I care about myself?  I'm not looking for sympathy, that's just how I feel at the moment.  And before anyone says it, I'm not depressed - just stressed.

It's now been just over 3 weeks since the Council informed me they were doing a routine reassessment of our housing application - during this reassessment we are unable to place any bids on homes until the review has been completed.  They said it should take 'up to 3 weeks' - but they currently have a backlog and it may take longer (which it obviously is, what a surprise....not).  It's frustrating, but nothing we can do about it - as with everything else, we just have to wait.

Depending on how much the insurers offer us for the car (not much, I'm sure), I may have to give husband some of the money I've been saving for our moving fund, in order to get a half decent car.  So it doesn't really matter that we're unable to bid for homes right now, it'll give me more time to build the fund back up again.

Sunday, 10 September 2023

Getting on with non-car stuff

 I appreciate all the interest and suggestions regarding us getting another car, however, I think I should point out that our car was 13 years old, had fairly high mileage and wasn't in very good condition, so the offer we'll be receiving will be a low one!  I'm being realistic about it, husband is not.  So any car we buy will of necessity be a fairly old one.

Oh, and thank you for the info re keyless cars, I think I get it now.

It was another far too hot and sticky day yesterday, despite a couple of thunderstorms and showers.  We could only do any work in the morning, as by lunchtime we were both far too sweaty and uncomfortable to do anything.  Betty was the same, she was very lethargic and pretty much slept all day, occasionally moving to find a cooler spot.  Husband did a bit of pruning and tidying up in the garden, I worked in the kitchen - 2 fish pies, 2 cauli & broccoli cheese bakes, and a butternut squash chopped and roasted with spices.  We had one of the fish pies for dinner yesterday, everything else was frozen.  We had it with fresh peas (bought), I do love fresh ones and podding them brings back memories of sitting on my Nanna's back doorstep helping her to pod Granddad's peas.  Well, I ate more than I put in the pot back then as a child, they're so sweet and delicious raw.

Thankfully, it's much cooler and fresher today - a week of 30 deg heat and humidity did me in.  I've got plenty of stuff to be getting on with this week, so am very glad the weather is cooler.  I think I've persuaded husband to do more in the garden, it's getting very overgrown again as he just hasn't been keeping on top of it.  He needs to get in the garden to break his obsessiveness about the car stuff, it's taking over his life (and therefore mine, trying to rein him in).


 We've been out a couple of times in the courtesy car - as it's an SUV, unlike our previous car, it's a nice height and is much easier to get in and out of.  I'd been finding the old car a bit of a problem getting in and out of it, with my bad back and hips.  It would be good if we could get a car like the SUV, it would be much better in terms of accessibility and driving view.  We have had several SUVs/MPVs/4x4s in the past and I do prefer them.  Husband's had a few minor problems driving this SUV - it's so much newer and has different equipment and drives very differently from our old car, he's not totally got used to it yet.  I'm having a bit of a problem getting my head round the keyless thing - the deliveryman told husband that he doesn't even need the keyfob thing to open and start the car, he can just get in and drive it off....erm, well how does that stop literally anyone from getting in and stealing it then? 😕😲 The guy did say though that once the car stops, you need the keyfob thing to start it again.  Well, what's to stop any thieves just driving away in any keyless car, then stopping and looking around for the next nearest keyless one and nicking that instead?  I don't understand it, but, frankly, I can't be bothered to google it - we won't have this car for very long anyway, and it's highly unlikely we'll be buying a keyless one.  The courtesy car is covered by insurance in the event of it being stolen, so I won't be worrying about it.

Husband has now come up with yet another totally crazy idea, honestly he's really doing my head in.  You know the 'GoFundMe' and things like that - charity pages people set up to ask for donations?  They're normally done by people who have a relative who needs life-saving very expensive surgery, perhaps in another country, or serious things like that.  Well, husband suggested yesterday that we (meaning I) set one up to ask for donations for a replacement car for us - and he was actually being serious.  He's got it into his head that we won't get enough of a payout to get a 'decent' car.  Well, he's partly right - we won't have £thousands, that's for sure.  But I wouldn't dream of doing something like that - in this case it's akin to writing begging letters to people for no good reason, and I told him quite categorically that I'm not doing it.  I guess it's fortunate that he's not got enough knowledge or computer savvy to do it himself.  I'm beginning to dread getting up in the morning, waiting to see what he'll come up with next.

We went to the local farmers market yesterday morning - as I've mentioned before, it's not one of those hugely expensive artisan markets, it's a market (held at the local livestock market grounds) purely for local producers and growers to sell their goods, at pretty cheap prices.  There's a cheese and cold meats salesman who sells big 1kg blocks of local mature Cheddar at the amazing price of £5 per block.  I buy two blocks at once, when I get home I immediately grate one block and freeze it, the other I cut into 4 smaller blocks and wrap each bit individually in greaseproof paper and put in the fridge, it keeps far better wrapped in greaseproof than in the clingfilm it comes wrapped in.  We eat a lot of cheese, especially me being vegetarian, and I love cheese anyway, and buying it this way works out so much cheaper than buying smaller pieces at the supermarket.

There was a heavy rain shower very early this morning before I got up, it does actually feel a bit cooler and fresher - thank goodness, it was unbearably hot and muggy yesterday.  However, the forecast says it's going to be very muggy again today, although rain showers and possible thunderstorm are forecast.  

Saturday, 9 September 2023

Bye bye car - Edited

 The courtesy car arrived yesterday morning, it's very nice - an MG SUV with just 11,000 miles on the clock.  It's certainly much nicer than any car we've had for a lot of years, and nicer than anything we'll be able to afford in replacement.  So we'll enjoy it whilst we've got it.  It's keyless, which we've never had before, so I made sure the deliveryman showed husband exactly how to operate it, and husband sat in it and started it up whilst the chap was still there - I was worried that the guy would drive off and husband wouldn't know how to even open the door, let alone drive it!

However, the garage people coming to collect our car, having told husband that they'd be coming in the morning around 11 am, didn't then turn up until about 5.30 pm.  No phone calls to let us know about the delay, husband had to ring them twice.  Still, it's gone now and I suspect we won't be seeing that car again - in fact the garage person said as much.  So, once we are told how much the insurers are paying us, we'll be looking for another car, which bores the pants off me and frustrates me in equal measures.  When you have only limited funds and can only get a relatively old car, it's such a blimmin lottery, the potential for problems with the car is huge.  And as I'm not remotely interested in cars anyway, it makes it even more challenging, especially with husband's cognitive problems.  I'm not looking forward to it at all - dreading it actually.

Jane and HH, you're both so right, husband is definitely more anxious and confused than usual and keeps doing stuff he thinks is helping, but it's the opposite, it's just making things more stressful for me when I have to keep either explaining things to him, or dealing with the fallout of his actions.  I know he can't help it, but boy is it frustrating!  As an example, I could ask him the same question 3x within the space of an hour or so, and he'll give me a different answer every time.  His recollection of things that others tell him is very sketchy too, and also changes all the time.  I'm sure the situation with the car has affected him a lot....hopefully he'll improve once it's all settled and we have another car.

I'm doing well with keeping the food shopping spend low, I've spent about half of what I usually do so far.  Mind you, it helps that we've been given a lot of home grown produce by neighbours, and we have our own home grown apples, although not nearly as many as last year.


 For those of you who said they knew of people who had bought back written off cars, done them up and either kept or resold them - that's not happening here.  Husband, at his age and with his health problems, is in no fit state to do that, and I don't want all the hassle (he wouldn't be able to deal with all the admin stuff on his own, never mind the sourcing parts/doing the car up).  The car really isn't worth it anyway - it was falling to bits before the accident, and kept getting random warning lights coming up on the dashboard again.  I shall be glad to be shot of it.

Thursday, 7 September 2023

Oh for goodness sake!

 Just when I thought it was all being sorted out....the promised courtesy car didn't arrive yesterday.  Upon ringing, it transpired that, for whatever reason, it's now been scheduled for today instead.  Nice of them to tell us!  😒

For the last few days husband has been inputting his and the car details into various car selling/salvage websites - without my knowledge and for reasons which aren't entirely clear to me....I assume he's clutching at straws and trying to see if he can get (what he considers) a better deal for the car!  Which means I've been having to field phone calls from these people, telling them we're not interested and asking them not to call again - as if I haven't enough to deal with already ever since the accident.  Husband doesn't seem to understand that the matter is being taken care of by the 3rd party insurers, nor does he understand exactly what is involved if the car is indeed written off, as expected.  He even suggested that we could keep the car as it is and get it repaired ourselves (why?!?!  makes no sense to me).  If it is declared a write off, then he suggested we could keep it, reinsure it and carry on driving it!  I've explained to him - again - that if it's written off, our insurance stops immediately, we cannot reinsure it and the car immediately becomes the property of the 3rd party insurance company.  I've asked him to please leave well alone now and not do anything else - whether he takes notice remains to be seen.

His cognitive impairment problems are being shown up in great detail over all this, and it's really causing problems for me.  All that combined with the horrible muggy heat of the past few days, and consequent lack of sleep, aren't doing me any good, I feel totally stressed and worn out with it all.

It wasn't sunshiney yesterday, blanket dull cloud instead and very hazy - that Sahara dust is covering everything, our windows and everyone's cars are covered in it.  It was also extremely humid, really uncomfortable wet heat.  Betty was very lethargic, she mostly lay in front of the fan all day, and she's been terribly restless throughout the last few nights, meaning neither of us gets much sleep.  The temperature isn't set to drop until next Monday or Tuesday, so another few days yet of humidity.  I know we shouldn't complain, but personally I'd much rather be cold than hot.

I didn't have to print out the vet insurance claim forms in the end.....on ringing the vets, they admitted they've had the emails from the insurers, but have been so busy they haven't yet got round to filling in the forms.  They did apologise and said they'd do it as a matter of urgency.  So that's one less problem.

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

All change with the cars, and more healthy eating/batch cooking

 The courtesy car is being delivered today, our car is being taken away tomorrow.  It's looking very likely that it will be scrapped.  I don't really care one way or the other, I don't get emotionally attached to any car, they're just a means of getting from A to B.  I've been re-reading the paperwork the third party insurers emailed to us with regard to the courtesy car, it states that we may have the car for 'as long as you reasonably need it'.  So presumably we can keep it until we get another car, as we'll have no other means of transport living in this very rural area - well I shall be pushing for that anyway, they do state it in black and white!

I made a dozen large cheese scones yesterday (HH I used the defrosted runny yogurt, it worked perfectly, and yes I'm sure straining the defrosted yogurt in future would thicken it, and provide whey to use in baking), I've frozen most of them.  I also made a crustless quiche, we had half of it for dinner yesterday with some veg, the rest has been frozen.  The final half cup or so of the defrosted yogurt will be used as a starter for a new batch of yogurt I'm making today, I'll make half the quantity I made the first time.  I think I'll add some powdered milk when I'm heating up the milk initially, I read somewhere online that this helps to thicken it - it's worth a try.

By lunchtime it was too hot for any more cooking, so I was glad I'd already made the quiche for dinner.  In the afternoon I made a few necessary phone calls and did some admin, then went upstairs and read my book - my bedroom stays reasonably cool as it's north facing.  Husband mowed the lawns then spent the afternoon resting (dozing) in front of the TV.

I've got quite a lot of green veggies (broccoli, courgettes, runner and edamame beans, Savoy cabbage, chives from the garden) so will make a green risotto for dinner today, there's a 1/3 of a jar of pesto in the fridge which needs using up too.  I will be using brown basmati rice rather than conventional white risotto rice - healthier and doesn't raise blood glucose as much.  Husband will have some chicken with his risotto, I'll just have the risotto with a sprinkle of grated cheese.  I'm happy to say I'm still losing weight, another 1lb off this week, making 13lb now altogether.  I didn't lose anything last week, but didn't put any on either so was content with that.  I've started introducing some carbs, but not every day and only small portions, seems to be working alright and I've not had any gut problems as a result.  The risotto will be heavy on the veg, but only a small amount of rice.  I'm anticipating there being at least half of it to freeze, I'm trying to build up a stock of ready made meals for our next caravan visit in a couple of weeks or so.

Daily irritations and a hot kitchen morning

 It's all problems and irritations at the mo - late yesterday afternoon I had an email from our pet insurers, saying they'd emailed our vet twice with the claim forms (for Betty's ear op) for them to fill in, but hadn't heard back from them.  So I've got that to sort out this morning.  The vet did tell me a couple of weeks ago that they've had a few problems with their email system recently, so I guess that's not been resolved yet, I'll ring them to find out.  It'll probably be best if I print off the claim forms and post them to the vet.  That brings its own challenges though - I'm not much good at printing things (I rarely have to print anything so I always forget how to use the printer and have to look it up each time!  And sometimes the printer doesn't want to talk to my computer!).

Husband locked himself out of his bank account again yesterday, inputting the wrong sign-in details 3x in a row, despite me having written them down for him to copy.  I've told him, several times, that if he wants to check his bank account, just let me know and I'll sign in for him....he forgets though.  It's only a temporary suspension, I expect he'll (well, I'll) be able to sign into it today.

I've got loads of veg to process today - we've been given masses of home grown runner beans, courgettes and tomatoes by neighbours, for which I'm very grateful.  Got some batch cooking to do and freeze as well.  I bought a small gammon joint and cooked it in the slow cooker yesterday, I'm making a few meals with it, I shall try and make it go as far as possible.  I'm thinking a frittata or crustless quiche, a pasta bake and a layered root veg and gammon thing.  I might use a small amount to make a sandwich spread with for husband's lunches - whizzing it up in my mini processor with some Philly-type soft cheese and mustard.  The homemade yogurt I tried freezing has turned out quite watery once defrosted - it still tastes ok but I've decided to use it up by making scones, it'll be perfect for that.

Better get on before it gets too hot in the kitchen!

Tuesday, 5 September 2023

Saving (money and my sanity)

 We both slept reasonably well last night - well, reasonable for us! - although it took me a while to get off to sleep as the farmers were busy harvesting in a nearby field, they work late into the night when they're harvesting.  Betty was restless too (hot, most likely) and woke me a few times.  Predictably, she's now fast asleep.

I'm putting the car stuff out of my mind (as far as I can!!) and am not going to mention it again until it's all settled.  It really is a pain in the rear though, and brought home to me how husband is definitely not capable of dealing with things like this anymore, his handling of it has caused a few problems.  He's been drip feeding me little bits of information (not purposely avoiding telling me, it's just what he remembers several hours/days later), and sometimes the things he's been telling me contradict what he's already told me, so it's all a bit of a jumble.  His own insurers are none too happy but their hands are tied.  It'll be over sooner or later though - whether we'll be happy with the outcome remains to be seen.

Husband's got his diabetic eye screening at the local small hospital today, so I'll have a bit of peace and quiet for a couple of hours.....which is good as I have several bits of admin stuff and banking to do.

I'm determined to spend as little as possible on food this month - it's really important for us to save as much as we can.  The media keeps saying that inflation costs on food are coming down - well, not that I've noticed, they haven't.  There are the odd one or two products that have come down a little bit in price, but certainly not the bulk of the food shop.  When we got home and unpacked yesterday, we went and did a biggish food shop, whilst we still have the car - it seemed sensible as we don't yet know when it's being taken away and we're given a hire car.  I intend to stretch that shop as far as possible, along with using up what we already have.

Monday, 4 September 2023

Home and is it bedtime yet?!

 Home safe.

The car stuff is giving me no end of hassle and headaches, and I shall be glad when it's all over and done with!!

Rude awakening

 I was woken up about 05.45 by Betty throwing up on the caravan doormat, lovely!  It's nothing to worry about, she's fine, she does sometimes bring up bile early in the morning if she's not eaten much the day before....she didn't eat much yesterday as it was a hot day, which reduces her appetite.  I'm glad we're going home today, it's forecast to be hot and sunny the next few days.  Which is great, except that the van gets too hot for Betty and I, we cope with the heat much better at home, more shady cool spots there and more space.

Husband's increased forgetfulness continues, I'm having to repeat things more and more the last couple of days.  We're being bombarded with emails, texts and phone calls from insurers, car hire and garage firms following the accident on Saturday, which is a bit annoying actually, especially with poor signal.  And doesn't make for a restful holiday!

And just to top it all off, the problem relative has chosen this weekend to go off on another pointless, self absorbed, attention seeking rant about nothing, using emotional blackmail and even phoning the police as he wasn't getting the desired response from us (they simply gave him the number of a mental health crisis team to ring, I don't know whether he did or not).  I've temporarily blocked him again, I've got enough to deal with - real problems, unlike his imaginary ones.  His latest obsession is that he thinks he's got skin cancer - as he's severely agoraphobic and never goes outside, not even to sit in his garden, it's unlikely. 

The driver's door on the car, which took the biggest impact, has dropped a bit. Husband can still open and close the door, with a bit of lifting and wiggling, hopefully it will get us home without incident.  A garage firm rang this morning, they're arranging to come and collect the car.

Sunday, 3 September 2023

Bugger it

 The other driver's insurers have already been in touch with us, they will give us a courtesy car and arrange for an assessor to come out to look at our car.  The insurers say it depends on what the assessor says as to whether our car will be scrapped or repaired, as expected.  Frankly, I don't care one way or the other, I only know that if it's scrapped, it'll likely leave us without a car for a while, as they'll no doubt want the courtesy car back as soon as they scrap/pay out for ours.

Meanwhile, all this seems to have scrambled husband's brains even more, his forgetfulness and confusion are worse than ever.  Which means I'm having to explain and repeat things constantly.

It's a pity it happened whilst we're away, I have only sporadic WiFi and phone signal here meaning I can't really deal with it all until we get home.  I've already had several emails with attachments from the insurers, which I can't open and deal with until we're home (tomorrow). It will also disrupt our plans for the rest of the week.

And of course it's more work and problems for me.  Needless to say I didn't sleep very well at all last night.

Saturday, 2 September 2023

Better and better - not!

 Somebody reversed into the side of our car this afternoon, in a car park.  Husband was in the car, along with Betty, thankfully neither was hurt.  I was inside a shop so didn't see what happened, apparently it also involved a third car, a learner driver (being taught privately, not by a professional) who caused the collision.  The driver of the car which crashed into ours accepted full responsibility, he was apparently observing the learner driver and didn't see our car.  The front wing, driver's door and rear door are bashed in, husband says he's fairly sure our car will be a write-off due to its age.

Due to his disorganised mind, he finds it difficult to explain things properly, he's already told me twice what happened and I'm still totally confused on the details, so writing the accident report, which obviously I'll have to do, will be a nightmare.

The car is drivable at the moment, but if the insurance writes it off we'll be without a vehicle for a while, which, amongst other things, will make it difficult to look at other cars.

I could just sit and howl.

Strange behaviours

 It's a misty morning here at the van park, with a bit of a damp chill in the air.  Forecast to get better though.

Husband has been exhibiting some strange behaviours lately, which I assume are connected to his cognitive impairment.  It's as if he's lost all sense of what's appropriate or not, with regard to his interactions with others.  I've been told that he's asked some inappropriate or cheeky questions or favours - I don't mean anything rude, nothing like that, just stretching the boundaries of what could be considered reasonable to ask as a favour.  The people in question (2 of them) politely declined, but both then mentioned to me that they found it a bit strange and uncomfortable.  They both know about husband's cognitive impairment, so made allowances for that.  I also discovered that husband had sold a present I'd bought him to a friend, without mentioning it to me.  So that's something else to worry about, I can't 'police' him all the time, I can only ask people to take what he says with a pinch of salt and smooth ruffled feathers over later, if necessary.

Life certainly isn't getting any easier, that's for sure.

Thursday, 31 August 2023

Rainy day

 Absolutely chucking it down at the mo and forecast to go on until mid afternoon, so it's a day in the van today. That's fine, the radio is on, husband's chattering away (as he does) and doing a bit of tidying up in his bedroom.  Betty's dozing, alternating between the sofa and my bed, she never lays in one place for very long.  I've got a good book and the baby blanket crochet, and jotting down a few meal ideas for the month ahead.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm going to see if I can make September a very low spend on food month.  It shouldn't be difficult, we have a fairly full freezer.  I'm going to try buying cheese (which we do eat a lot of, especially with me not eating meat) and veggies from the farmers market held at the local livestock market on Saturdays.  It's not one of those fancy expensive artisan markets, but a gathering of local farms and producers selling normal everyday homegrown and made produce, so it's fresher and cheaper than supermarket stuff.  And it's supporting local growers and the food hasn't come 100s of miles.

The small inheritance from the distant relative I didn't even know about landed in my bank account a couple of days ago.  I've given husband some, bought a new pair of slippers for myself and the rest has gone into the moving fund savings account.  I'm grateful to him, despite not knowing of his existence.  He was a cousin of my mother's, she never mentioned him at all, nor did her siblings so I assume he was a bit of a black sheep.  Pity there's nobody left to ask about him.

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

How many socks?!

 Yesterday morning I asked husband to get out his clothes for me to pack prior to going to the van....I reminded him we'll be away for 6 days and the weather is forecast to be mixed sunshine & showers, and a bit cooler than of late.  I went through the clothes he'd put in a pile on the bed:-

3 pairs tracksuit trousers, 5 pairs shorts, 9 assorted polo shirts/t-shirts, 10 pairs socks but only 4 pairs boxers.  And no jumpers - he'll need one for early morning/late evening dog walks I expect.

There's no rhyme or rhythm to what clothes he chooses - it's not even a case of choosing them, he basically just grabs a random selection of whatever clothes are nearest or on top in his wardrobe and drawers.  It's a good job I go through them before packing - I discarded some and added others as necessary.  And the irony is.....he doesn't even change his clothes (apart from underwear) every day, he frequently wears the same clothes for several days running, so 9 shirts was a bit excessive!

All packed now and ready to go, just the cool box of fresh/frozen food to do.  I've got the packing down to a fine art now, as we go so often, plus it helps that we do leave quite a bit of stuff in the van - tinned and packet food, tea & coffee, dog food & treats, toiletries, some clothes and shoes, spare bedding and towels.  I keep loads of books and DVDs there, plus a few games for wet days.

The neighbour who plays petanque rang yesterday morning and asked if husband wanted to go for a game in the afternoon - they normally play Tues and Thurs afternoons but had been offered the chance for an extra game as it was a bank holiday.  Husband agreed, it was just going to be an informal friendly, not a match game, so it was a good introduction for him.  He said he really enjoyed it.

Monday, 28 August 2023

The Talk

 We've had 'the talk', husband agreed with everything I said and has agreed to pull his weight more.  But he's said that a few times, his resolve generally lasts a week or two and then it's back to his old ways.  I should keep on top of it and make sure he doesn't slip back, but it's so wearing and frustrating to keep having to remind him all the time.  I'm very nearly at breaking point though, so something needs to change permanently.  

There's a few things I want to do/places I want to go whilst we're at the van this week, so I shall make sure we do them.  I have pointed out to husband that virtually all our van neighbours go out and about several times during their stays, whilst we do nothing unless I insist we go out - left up to him, husband would sit around doing exactly what he does at home - bugger all in other words.  There's a nice, fairly big garden centre near Cheddar that has very good plant sales at this time of year, I want to go there and pick up a few perennial plants to go in the van garden, also some bulbs for the van pots.  I also want a beach day.  And a car boot sale before they stop for the season.

Husband did say he's feeling very despondent over the fact that the Council have suspended us from bidding on any properties for 3 or 4 weeks (or however long it takes them to review our application).  I can understand that, it IS frustrating, feels like we've been penalised through no fault of our own.  However, there's nothing at all we can do about it, once again it's a case of simply having to wait. I think husband expects me to wave a magic wand and MAKE things happen, I've explained to him till I'm blue in the face that it doesn't work like that, there is literally nothing I can do to speed up the process of getting a successful bid and being offered a property.

I've decided to have an experiment for the month of September to see how little I can spend on food shopping - we've got a nearly full freezer, including plenty of frozen veg, which I will make more use of rather than buying fresh veg all the time.  And now I know I can make yogurt easily and cheaply, and we have enough homegrown apples to last us a few weeks, that'll take care of puddings for husband and breakfasts for me, when I feel like having breakfast.  I'll need to buy some dairy stuff, and probably a loaf or 2 for husband, and some dog food, but shouldn't really need much else.

Sunday, 27 August 2023


 Some good news last night - my Uncle H has staged a bit of a rally, he's improved enough to sit up in bed and even managed, with nurses help, to sit in his chair for a short while.  He's been upgraded from red to orange status and the hospital are restarting his treatment.  They say he's not out of the woods by any means, but there's definite improvement.  He's clearly a tough old boy, despite having Parkinsons and heart disease - some years ago he went into hospital for routine stents, only to have a massive cardiac arrest whilst in theatre (the best place to have one!).  He was put into a medically induced coma for a few days to aid his recovery, he recovered extremely well and continued with his active golfing and plane spotting life, until fairly recently when the Parkinsons advanced enough to put a stop to that.  So there's always hope.

With regard to husband, he and I are going to have some serious chats (he doesn't know it yet!) whilst we're away in the caravan this week.  This sitting around doing bugger all has got to stop, he's just giving himself a slow death.  And it's no life for me, having to struggle to do everything and getting more and more resentful.  He's dragging me down and I'm not having it, I'm 63 not 93, my life is not over!  Nor is his.  So there will be changes, and I'll make sure he sticks with them rather than doing things for a couple of days and then going back to his old ways like he always does.  I'm not having my life defined as carer and general dogsbody, and he's not a helpless invalid - if my 84 y.o. seriously ill uncle can rally, so can husband.

Saturday, 26 August 2023

Running out of patience

 I'm having a battle again to get husband to do anything, he's really slipped back into his bad old ways of doing absolutely nothing yet again.  It's his job to do the hoovering - and before anyone says I expect too much of him with his heart failure, he was the one who actually volunteered to take on the job a couple of years ago, because he could see how I struggled with it because of my bad back and hips.  He doesn't do the whole house at once (not even one floor at a time) and nor would I expect him to, he just does usually one room.  Which is fine by me, as long as all the rooms get done eventually.  With a dog who sheds hair all the time, the hoovering really needs to be done every other day, but I always knew that would never happen with husband, but as long as he does it at least once a week, I don't complain.  Well, we've now been back home from the caravan for 9 days, and he's not done the hoovering once.  And it shows!  

I've been asking him for days now to pick a load of apples off the trees, before the wasps (we are inundated with wasps right now, there's obviously a nest somewhere close) get them all.  He hasn't done it.  He's got an appointment for his diabetic eye screening in a week's time, he needs to have someone take him as he has to have drops in his eyes which affect his eyesight for a few hours afterwards, meaning he can't drive.  I've been reminding him for the past 4 or 5 days that he needs to ask someone to take him - nope, not done it, he's now said he'll cancel the appointment and rearrange it for a later date - it's the easier option for him!

He insists he's not depressed, mutters vaguely about breathlessness - well I know that's not the case, he only gets breathless upon exertion and he's certainly not exerting himself lounging in his chair dozing in front of the TV!  And the breathlessness wears off with 5 minutes of rest.

No, he's just got into this pit of apathy again, lying there with the TV on all day is the easiest thing to do and he does enjoy watching any and all old rubbish on the TV!

It's so unbelievably frustrating having to try and get him to do things, I get accused of nagging (what is nagging except having to repeatedly ask for something to be done that should have been done the first time of asking!!  In which case we wouldn't HAVE to ask again and again!!), and then get resentful because yet again I'm the baddie.

Well I can't worry about it now, I've got a busy day even if he hasn't.  But he'll have to get his finger out and do something, before I run out of patience.

Friday, 25 August 2023

Autumnal, and putting up with things

 The sky is a most peculiar colour this morning, sort of yellowish-grey thick clouds coming over, it almost looks like smog.  Forecast is for clouds and showers.  

It's definitely feeling autumnal now isn't it.  For a start, we've had lots of the dreaded 8-legged things appearing, I feel like a permanent nervous wreck.  There was what I thought was a big one upstairs yesterday turned out to be a large grasshopper!  And there are loads of wasps around too, they're a blooming nuisance coming indoors all the time, it's still very warm (muggy actually) so we have lots of windows open.  The nights are drawing in, we have to put lights on before 9pm now.  Flowers are dying off, shrubs are dropping their leaves.  Putting washing out on the line will be a bit hit and miss for the next few days, mixed weather with showers most days.

We haven't had many apples on our trees this year, but those we do have are looking good, a nice big size.  I think we might pick them over the weekend, leaving a few for the birds - we're back off to the caravan next week and I don't want to come back home and find the remaining apples have been decimated by wasps and birds.  We've been given yet more tomatoes and runner beans by lovely neighbours, so lots of prepping and freezing to do over the weekend.

Husband has fallen back into the bad habit of dozing in his recliner chair in front of the TV all day, trying to get him motivated to do anything is an uphill struggle.  I persuaded him to go in the garden and do a bit of weeding and tidying up yesterday - he was only out there for literally 10 minutes, he said he didn't feel like it.  It's a good job I don't say the same (despite it being true!) about the cooking, washing, cleaning etc.  I've had lots of admin and form filling to do this week, which I hate doing but it's got to be done, I don't have the option of saying I don't feel like doing it as I'm the only one who can do it.

I was talking to a neighbour the other day, we had coffee together.  She had no idea about the extent of husband's health problems and what it means for us both, and was open-mouthed in astonishment at some things.  She said she wouldn't put up with half the things I put up with and do.  But when things need doing and I'm the only one who can do them, I have to, I have no other choice.  As for husband's apathy, lounging around doing nothing, rudeness and argumentativeness....I guess I just have to keep telling myself he (largely) can't help it and put up with it, although I won't stand for being abused for no reason.

Anyway, enough of that, I've got plenty to do today - keeping busy keeps me out of his way and helps to take my mind off my back pain (seems to be the season for backache!).  I'm feeling totally worn out this week, it'll be good to get away next week and do nothing except rest, read and crochet.

Thursday, 24 August 2023

Funerals, and getting husband out of the house

 My brother went to visit our uncle in hospital on Tuesday, he stayed overnight in a hotel and went to the hospital again yesterday before coming home.  Bro is very close to Uncle H, who has been kind of like a surrogate father to bro (our father buggered off  50 years ago and we've not seen him since).  Uncle H had 2 daughters, no sons, so my bro was like the son he never had.  He says Uncle is conscious, on oxygen, very weak and frail indeed, but has all his faculties and recognised my bro.  The hospital have stopped all his meds and say the end could come anytime.  My siblings and I have all said the same thing - waiting for Uncle to die in his last days very ill in hospital is just like it was with our mother, Uncle's sister.  And, in my case, with my beloved Aunt Sylvia (their youngest sister who was nearer my age) as well.  Sylvia, who was like my big sister and I was extremely close to, died a few months before my mother, I last saw her in hospital just 2 hours before she died, and it wasn't a nice experience, she was unresponsive, her breathing was strained and jagged, and she had a coughing fit, coughing up blood, it was horrendous actually.  It made me adamant that I didn't want to watch my mother die, I wanted to remember her as she was in better times.  I saw Mum 10 minutes after she died and that was quite horrific too, how she looked (not peaceful at all) has always stuck in my mind.  So my mother (who was the oldest sibling, Sylvia was the youngest), her brother and her 2 sisters will all have died within 3 or 4 years of each other - my other aunt died 2 years ago.  So I'm feeling very emotional and vulnerable right now.

Thank you all for the comments concerning the funeral.  I do want to go to the funeral, when it comes - it does seem a bit disrespectful talking about Uncle's funeral before he's even dead, but it is going to happen very soon and we all know that, so just being pragmatic.  My family has always been very supportive of each other with regard to serious illness and funerals, we all attend the funerals, even of those who technically were no longer in the family following divorces, when the divorce was amicable.  Whereas husband's (very large) family aren't close at all, they're scattered geographically, some of them are always at loggerheads for one reason or another, and they're more or less indifferent to each other.  So I will be going, with husband taking me to meet up with brother for the onward journey to the funeral.  I'm sure husband can drive back home by himself, I am probably worrying unnecessarily - I am an inveterate worrier by nature.  I'll get husband to ring me when he gets back home, just to settle my mind.

I had a nice long chat with a neighbour yesterday.  She and her partner both play Petanque (a kind of French bowls game) and had asked if we would like to join them.  Well, I'm not particularly interested, but I knew husband would be - when I asked him he said yes.  So I've arranged for him to go along with J and her partner, starting in a couple of weeks - they play twice a week.  So that will get him out of the house, socialising and being active (well, reasonably, it's not an energetic sport) for a couple of hours twice a week, and give me some much-needed time on my own to do whatever I want.  Win-win!

I've got dog food to make today, and a bit of batch cooking for the freezer.  Also bread - I have a packet sourdough mix, it's not a genuine sourdough, it has a few extra ingredients, but it tastes alright.  It's nearing the use by date so, although I'm not eating bread much at all lately, it needs to be used up, I'm not going to chuck it away.  When it's cooked, I'll slice and freeze it.

Wednesday, 23 August 2023

How to go, and clumsiness

 I was thinking about uncle's funeral - although he's not dead yet of course, but it's clearly imminent.  It's a 2.45 hour journey to where they live on the south coast in Hampshire, and there's no direct main route so it will be cross country through little country lanes.  It will be too much for husband, both in terms of length of drive and taxing for his concentration, so him taking me is not an option.  My brother will be going, it's an even longer journey for him from Cornwall, he won't be able to come and pick me up as to do so would be an hour's diversion for him to collect me, and then another hour to get back on the route.  However, husband has said he'll be happy to take me down to a point where we could meet up with brother, which is doable.  I would be a bit concerned though as it means husband would have to drive back home (and come back to collect me from the meeting point) on his own - he says it's no problem, he's perfectly happy to do it.  We could always leave our car at the meeting point (a service station) and husband could come with us, but that would mean leaving Betty home alone for a lot of hours, and we wouldn't do that.  I'll have to have a think about it, husband would probably be alright driving on his own, I'm probably worrying unnecessarily.

Husband was having a clumsy day yesterday (which is one of the reasons why I worry about him!).  He carried the basket of washing out into the garden for me, put it down and then tripped over something invisible (!!) and lost a shoe.  He bent down to turn the shoe up the right way, stumbled and fell into the rotary washing line, causing it to lean sideways.  His coordination is rubbish, he's always bumping into things, he drops things (cutlery, his keys, his tablets, letters, packets, pretty much anything he's holding) literally every day.  He's always treading on or (accidentally!) kicking the dog, which he says is her fault for laying in awkward places.....erm, she's big enough to see, she's not a chihuahua!  He's a walking disaster actually, or an accident waiting to happen.

Another lovely neighbour gave us a big bagful of tomatoes yesterday, they've grown far too many plants to use all the produce themselves.  They're Gardeners Delight, so a medium size and very tasty.  We'll eat some for lunches over the next few days, but I've also frozen quite a lot for future sauces.

I've been having some of my homemade yogurt every day but still have a lot left, so will use some to make a yogurt and apricot cake (found the recipe online), I'll take it to the neighbour's coffee morning gathering.  I've just googled and found out that yogurt can be frozen for up to 2 months, so will put a tub of it in the freezer.

Monday, 21 August 2023

Scary driver (no, not husband!)

 Yesterday morning, as we'd finished our freezer food shop and were starting to drive out of the car park, we witnessed something quite scary - another driver, an elderly man, who was trying to park his small car.  There were 2 empty spaces behind his car and one in front, with kerbs and other parked cars beside them.  He couldn't seem to make up his mind whether to drive into the space in front, or reverse into one of the two behind, he shunted backwards and forwards 5 or 6 times.  We had to sit and wait whilst he did this, as he was totally blocking our route out.  The scary thing was that every single time he moved either forwards or back, he bounced up the kerbs and nearly hit the other parked cars and a fence, he just wasn't turning the wheel enough and couldn't seem to judge the angles.  Husband said he was tempted to get out and offer to park the car for him, but didn't want to embarrass the poor man.  The guy eventually managed to park in the front space, but he didn't judge it right at all and was just millimetres away from hitting the large black Audi in the next space with his front right wing, whilst mounting the kerb with his rear left wheel.  I said to husband that if he ever gets to that stage, I will personally stop him from driving again, regardless of how much it will inconvenience us.  That poor old man (in his 80s by the look of him) most certainly shouldn't be driving, he's clearly a danger.  But I guess he doesn't want to give up his independence, doesn't have anybody else to drive him around, or - worryingly - doesn't see anything wrong with his driving.  Or perhaps his eyesight is frighteningly bad! (he was wearing glasses).

Our freezers are fully stocked again now and I shouldn't need to go shopping again, except maybe for some fresh veg/fruit, for another month or so.  Incidentally, if you have a FarmFoods shop near you (it's next door to our big Iceland shop), they are selling 500g packs of Anchor spreadable butter for 99p on special offer.  I don't know how long the offer lasts though.  I bought 4 packs.  Lurpak is my preferred brand of butter, but I buy whichever one is on special offer.  Oh, and I've noticed some butter brands have quietly dropped their pack sizes to 400g down from 500g, but of course not dropped the price!  Do they think we're stupid?!

I'm glad to see that the killer nurse has been jailed for the rest of her life, with no possibility of parole.  She refused to leave her cell and appear in court, as stated by her solicitor the other day - scandalous and totally cowardly.  I can't imagine why it's even an option for convicted criminals to refuse - they give up any rights they might think they have the minute they're convicted.  I suppose one tiny bit of comfort (if there can be any) for the bereaved parents is the knowledge that she will certainly not have an easy time in prison, she'll be a target for attacks forevermore, as well as being on constant suicide watch.  

My cousin rang last night to say that the doctors have said there's nothing more they can do for my uncle, and it'll be a matter of days before he passes.  So sad.

Bad night, form filling done, and sad news

I went to bed around 9.30 last night, read for half hour or so, then light out just after 10 pm.  Went to sleep pretty quickly, but then woke up just after 01.30.  And that was it, I haven't been able to get back to sleep.  So I've finally got up at 04.30 and am now sat here in the lounge with a mug of Horlicks and my laptop.  Will be fit for nothing today.

Luckily, the various DIY noises didn't go on for too long yesterday, so I was able to go upstairs and do what I had to.  The housing form I had to more or less completely review from the start, although some sections I could just skip over as they hadn't changed.  Others, though, needed things added to or changed (and I even found a couple of minor errors I'd made the first time round!  Quickly corrected).  Had to scan and upload husband's cognitive impairment report - scanning and uploading documents doesn't come easy to me, it really taxes my brain.  Anyway, it's done now.  We cannot bid on any properties whilst the application is being reviewed, I knew that, but it seems nor will any of the bids we've made in the past couple of weeks be considered whilst the review is being done, which is a bit of a nuisance.  It's supposed to take up to 3 weeks for the housing department to review our application, however, the confirmation email said that they currently have a backlog (well what a surprise) so it may take longer.  Seems to be the way nowadays, we're kept waiting for everything.  I find it increasingly difficult as I get older to fill in forms, especially as I have to do husband's paperwork too.

My brain felt too strained to do any other admin stuff yesterday, so I have that to do today, if my brain is functioning after the lack of sleep - I need to sort out the insurance cover for Betty, the calendar needs updating with appointments, and some banking to be done.  I also need to go to the freezer store to stock up on some frozen foods, and get some more dog food supplies.  I didn't do the menu plan yesterday either, so that needs to be done as well.

We've been invited to a neighbour's coffee morning on Wednesday, which will be a nice little get together for our hamlet.  I'll make a cake.

Had some sad news yesterday - my uncle H, the last remaining of my late mother's 3 siblings, has gone into hospital having been injured in a fall a couple of days ago.  He also has a severe chest infection, heart disease and Parkinson's and isn't expected to come out of hospital, he's got very thin and frail in the past few weeks.  When he passes, that will leave me as the oldest remaining member of my maternal extended family.  Which is a very strange and disconcerting feeling and makes me feel quite vulnerable.

Sunday, 20 August 2023

Betty, the killer, yogurt, free food and aarrggh!

 To answer a few recent comments - Donna, thank you for your kind words about my beautiful Betty, yes she is half Shar Pei, half English Bulldog.  She takes after her mother, the Shar Pei, in looks, but has her father's deep chest and strength.  She's quite aloof, a Shar Pei characteristic, but is goofy like a bulldog.

Sandi, yes the nurse baby killer says she's innocent, despite having been almost caught in the act a few times and numerous consultants and fellow nurses voicing their serious concerns about her.  Personally, I think she's a psychopath, she's certainly mentally ill of course, nobody in their right mind would do what she did.

Lola's Mum - I initially googled yogurt making, it did seem simple but quite a few recipes were fixated on exact times and testing temperatures with a thermometer - I can't be doing with that (I don't have a food thermometer anyway and wasn't going to buy one).  So I just winged it really - what did I have to lose, other than a carton of milk and one of yogurt?  I poured 2 litres of full fat milk into my slow cooker and set it to Low, for about 2 hours or possibly slightly longer, I didn't time it as such.  At the end of that time I took the lid off and stuck my (clean!) finger in the milk to check the temperature, it was fairly hot, although not boiling.  I put the lid back on, switched off the cooker and left it to cool for another couple of the end of which time the milk was warmish, certainly not hot anymore but not cold either.  I took out a couple of ladlefuls of the milk and put it in a jug, then added a 200g pot of full fat live Greek yogurt, stirring it well until no lumps visible.  Poured it all back into the slow cooker and stirred well to mix through.  Put the lid back on and covered the whole cooker with a couple of hand towels, as recommended.  Then I just left it overnight, still switched off.  In the morning, when I took the towels and lid off, I was surprised (but very pleased) to find a big potful of nice thick yogurt!  You need to think about the timing of when you do it, it's best to start the process off in the late afternoon, it needs around 2 hours heating up initially, then a couple of hours cooling down before mixing in the yogurt before you go to bed, and then leaving overnight (8-12 hours is recommended).  2 litres of milk certainly makes a lot of yogurt, I decanted it into 3 big tubs.  In future I might just use 1 litre of milk and 100g yogurt.  If you want it to be really thick, like Greek yogurt, then the recommendation is to strain it through muslin into a large jug or bowl, apparently you leave it until the whey drains out, which could take some time.  I didn't bother though, what I (or rather the slow cooker) made is plenty thick enough for me. 

I need to do the council housing application review today, so will take my laptop upstairs so I can do it in peace.  I've also got some other admin stuff to do which needs concentration, luckily, I slept fairly well last night.  Need to do a menu plan as well.

I was a bit annoyed with myself for forgetting something when we were coming home from the caravan the other day.  The park is surrounded by trees and shrubs, including blackberries, fruit and cob nut trees, we are told we can help ourselves.  Just near our van is a huge Victoria plum tree which is heavily laden with fruit, I meant to pick a bagful and bring them home.  With everything else I had to do to pack up, I completely forgot.  I wonder if there'll be any left worth picking when we go back in 10 or 12 days, or whether the birds, wasps and squirrels will have had them all?


So much for peaceful concentration today - both our neighbours are doing DIY of various sorts today, they're both DIY fanatics.  The one attached to our house (a semi) is using power tools which are loud and making the walls and floors of our house vibrate.  The one on the other side of our drive has got scaffolding up and is doing something noisy to his roof and gutters.  And husband has just started mowing the lawns.  Think I'll put my Meatloaf album on and play it VERY LOUDLY!

Saturday, 19 August 2023

Unbelievable! And awww how lovely

 I made my first batch of yogurt in the slow cooker yesterday, left it overnight as instructed.  Somehow I wasn't expecting success with my first lot - although how it could go wrong with just 2 ingredients and a very simple method I don't know!  But it's a success - lovely thick fresh yogurt, 3 big tubs of it (I used 2 litres of milk and a 200ml pot of Greek-style live yogurt).  It's so thick I don't think I'll bother straining it.  So now I'll be eating yogurt in some form or another every day.  Yum.  So easy I won't be buying it anymore.

Husband had his painful back tooth out yesterday, he says his mouth feels a bit sore today but nowhere near the pain he had before, only a 1 or 2 on the scale now, whereas before it was an 8.  He wanted soup yesterday as he couldn't chew anything, so I knocked him up a very quick and easy one - a can of chopped tomatoes, can of baked beans, some herbs and a little smoked paprika, squirt of tomato puree, whizzed up with my stick blender until smooth, then warmed gently and finished off with a swirl of soured cream.  He liked it, there's plenty left.  He reckons his mouth will be fine to eat his massive pork chop tomorrow.

That angel-faced nurse who killed all those babies - I was astounded to hear that she REFUSED to appear in court for the verdict and is apparently also refusing to be there for the sentencing next week. 😲 Unbelievable - refusing to attend shouldn't even be an option, she should be dragged there in chains.  I gather that new laws are going to be rushed through so that criminals are forced to appear - and so they should, it's an outrage that it's even allowed for them to refuse, how very dare they!  I feel for every one of those bereaved families - but especially for the poor parents of the babies where a verdict couldn't be reached....they're left in limbo not knowing what happened to their babies, and possibly having to sit through yet another trial, just to prolong their agony even more.  I hate watching the news nowadays and avoid it if I can.  Some things I'd rather not know about.

I've got to do a review of our housing application today, so I've been informed via a message on our social housing account - apparently it has to be renewed every 9 months, or else withdrawn.  At least it gives me the opportunity to add husband's cognitive impairment to the list, although I doubt it will have any effect on our banding.  Whilst the Council are reviewing our application, we're not allowed to put in any bids for 3 weeks, so I hope the perfect property doesn't come up in that time!  Wouldn't that be Sod's Law!

Betty's got the vet today for an ear check up following her procedure under anaesthetic, I'm sure it'll be fine, she's had no ear trouble since then.  Although, having said that, she has been shaking her head a few times this morning.....although the vet said it could just be her trying to dislodge some wax when I mentioned it to them before.  Oh, when husband was waiting for me in the supermarket car park the other day (he has the tailgate open and sits there with Betty), a man stopped and said Betty was the most beautiful dog he'd ever seen....aww, how lovely.  She does get a lot of praise from strangers actually.

Small wonder, who could resist that face?!

Friday, 18 August 2023

Eating simply

 Whilst we were away in the van, we had essentially a cooked breakfast for dinner one evening - bacon, chipolata sausages, eggs, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms and a hash brown.  I've been eating the odd rasher of bacon and pork sausage very occasionally, although I now usually buy turkey sausages - somehow, I can stomach them better.  Well, this time, for whatever reason, I just couldn't eat the bacon or sausages - one bite of each and that was that, the dog had the rest, I just ate the eggs, toms, mushrooms and hash brown.  I think I can safely say now that I'm not eating any kind of meat anymore - I've not eaten beef, pork, lamb or gammon for about a year, although I have continued to eat a little bit of chicken (and the aforementioned bacon and sausages) about once every 10 days or 2 weeks.  I use minced chicken to make cottage pies, chilli, lasagne etc, I find beef mince far too greasy tasting now.  But I've now totally gone off the idea of eating any sort of meat, it'll just be fish and veggie dishes for me.  I do love fish, more or less any kind, and some shellfish - prawns and crab, I don't eat mussels, cockles or the like.  Oh, I don't like calamari either.

Like Sue of A Smaller and Simpler Life and now her new rations blog, I do like the idea of eating simply, and fresh food cooked from scratch.  I think nowadays there's just far too much choice - not that that's a bad thing per se, but it kind of makes one feel they've got to mix things up and eat masses of different things all the time.  Our parents and grandparents didn't have such a huge choice of foods, they all ate simply but well.  When I was a child Mum cooked more or less the same things on the same days each week - a roast on Sundays, cottage pie using the leftover meat on Mondays, sausage mash and peas another day, liver & bacon casserole, soup and a cheese sandwich, chippy tea from the fish shop on Fridays (Mum and Dad had fish, us kids had sausage or fishcakes or a Saveloy - what even are they? 😂).  Saturdays we usually had something with chips or something on toast that we could eat in front of the TV.  Mum wasn't a very imaginative cook and didn't enjoy cooking, but we were always fed well, no hungry bellies, and she did make cakes and puddings - fairy cakes or rock cakes, puddings were sponge with fruit underneath and custard, or rice pud.  Sundays after the roast we had tinned fruit and evaporated milk, or sometimes Angel Delight, a real treat we thought.

Husband continues to eat meat, he's a real carnivore and I wouldn't dream of making him become vegetarian, although he's happy to eat veggie meals occasionally.  He got himself a doorstep thick pork chop for this Sunday (that's assuming he can chew it after his dentist visit!)....the look of that thick slab of meat with the white fat edging and rind makes me feel queasy.  He'll cook it himself, thankfully.  I love a plate of roast and green vegetables, stuffing and gravy and sometimes a Yorkie, it's the most carbs I eat in a week.  I sometimes have a slice of homemade nut roast, but quite often just the veg.

I've decided to have a go at making my own yogurt, the slow cooker way.  I eat a lot of Greek yogurt, on the rare occasion I have breakfast it's usually a bowl of yogurt with berries and nuts, and one of my favourite lunches is thickly sliced cucumber, crumbled feta cheese and olives topped with Greek yogurt flavoured with mint and a little garlic paste.

Thursday, 17 August 2023

Good news (for a change, ha)

 It was nice to be away at the van, even if it wasn't as relaxed and happy as usual, what with husband's bad toothache and me not feeling well for the past fortnight.  It wasn't just us with problems, several of our friends there also had difficulties of one kind or another.  Our lovely van neighbours C&J had a stone from a passing car hit their windscreen, causing a foot-long crack.  The friend on the other side of them was bitten several times by some insect on his leg, he had a bad reaction to it (he's got quite poor health anyway) and felt so bad yesterday he and his wife had to go home.  Another friend there had a 'funny turn' (his wife's words, a couple of dizzy spells) and spent a couple of days in bed.  And yet another van neighbour rang the site owner yesterday to say his wife, who's been quite ill for a while, has now gone into hospital and it looks like she may not come out.  That's the trouble with an ageing population I suppose, I would say two-thirds of the van owners are retired couples.  Every year in our site annual newsletter, the owner has sad news of at least one van owner having died.  Our van neighbours C&J have gone home too, but are coming back in a fortnight, so we'll no doubt go back there then.

Anyway, it's nice to be home, much more space and a much bigger bed!  Although Betty does sleep on my bed in the van for part of every night, she can't stretch out properly as it's too small (being a narrow single) so gets off (thankfully!) after an hour or two.  At home though, she stretches out comfortably on my big bed and stays all night.

Husband rang 111 this morning, as instructed by his dentist - they were kind but ultimately unhelpful - no available dentists, take painkillers in recommended quantities and rinse with salt water (as I said, he's already doing that).  They advised him to ring his own dentist every day to see if they have any cancellations.....well he did that straight after and, miracle of miracles, he's got in tomorrow morning!  It means we've had to change the time and day of Betty's vet appointment, but had no problem changing it to Saturday morning.

Another thing that pleased me - I weighed myself this morning, my weight loss has stagnated at 10lbs for the past 3 or 4 least it wasn't going back on, so I wasn't too bothered.  We actually ate quite sensibly whilst away - no crisps or chocolate biscuits, stayed fairly low carb although we did have beans on toast for lunches a couple of times, and had battered cod from the fish shop (no chips, just the cod) yesterday.  And I ate all the batter!  So I wouldn't have been surprised to see a small gain on the scales - to my astonishment I've lost another 2lbs, so 12lbs now in total, yippee!  Incidentally, we've not had fish and chips (as a takeaway from a chippie I mean) for probably more than a year, so I was quite shocked to find out it cost just under £20 for 3 pieces of battered cod 😲.  Eating out has skyrocketed in price, we won't be doing that in a hurry again.  We got 3 pieces because Betty had one, she loves fish - we don't give her all of the batter though.  It was lovely I must say, despite the huge price.

Wednesday, 16 August 2023

He already is

 Husband has been taking cocodamol and using a salt water mouth rinse for the past fortnight, ever since the toothache started.

On the subject of medication, some of you have suggested his statins may be to blame for his memory problems.  Actually, I don't believe they are - he's been on statins for years, but his memory problems have only occurred in the last few months.  Both the psychologist who did the tests and his cardiologist have said it's due to insufficient oxygenated blood getting through to his brain, caused by his heart failure - hence his diagnosis of cognitive impairment with vascular properties.  I know statins are demonised (I'm not sticking up for them, I refuse to take them myself!), but they're not the culprit here - his heart failure is.

It's 02.30 and I just cannot sleep, brain is whirling.  I'll be fit for nothing in the morning, just as well we've decided to go home early.

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

The limit

 We've decided to go home Thursday.  Husband has had quite severe toothache for a fortnight, he can't get to see his dentist until the end of the month. When he asked how he was supposed to cope with the pain until then, they told him to rinse his mouth with salt water and ring 111 if it got too bad.  Helpful - not!  I've been telling him to ring 111 but he won't, says he'll wait until his appointment (and keep moaning until then).  In the meantime, he's like a bear with a sore head - well I suppose a sore head/face is exactly what he's got.  Being stuck in a small space with someone who's grouchy and doesn't want to do anything or go anywhere isn't pleasant.  Him more or less telling me I was stupid this morning, over something I didn't know about and had no reason to know, resulted in a big row.  I put up with a lot, but there is a limit and that was it.  He's now acting like nothing's happened, whereas I'll probably have a sleepless night with it all preying on my mind.

Thank you all for your support, in the form of comments and emails.  I'll try and reply when I get home.

Sunday, 13 August 2023

Actually, one of those weeks

 Whilst I do love being here at the van, I've not felt at all well since we got here.  I'm incredibly tired, regardless of how much sleep I get, feel totally run down, off my food (everything makes me feel queasy).  Even our lovely van neighbour Charlie (and let's face it, men are not known for noticing things) asked me yesterday if I was feeling alright, as he said I looked peaky (now there's an old fashioned word).

I do feel peaky.  I expect it's because of all the worry leading up to husband's diagnosis, the feeling of being abandoned without any help when he was simply diagnosed and then immediately discharged, the daily and ongoing stress of more to do and coping with husband's ongoing memory loss.  I know he can't help it, it's not his fault, but it is so incredibly wearing having to repeat things over and over again, numerous times a day, every day.  And coping with his snappyness and biting my head off when I have to remind him of something, or ask him to do a job.  I don't retaliate, I bite my tongue so often it's a wonder I haven't bitten it off.  I sometimes feel I can't do this anymore, but I have to, I don't have a choice.  There's no way he could cope on his own and no way I would leave him to it.  I think I'll have to focus on improving my health so I can cope better.  I'm certainly finding it very difficult indeed to cope right now.

I have told a couple of people (in real life I mean) how things are and how difficult I'm finding it, but it's clear they don't understand - or don't want to get involved, probably.  So writing it down here is my only outlet, I'm not risking talking to people who I thought would care but clearly don't anymore.

Friday, 11 August 2023

One of those days

 Don't get me wrong, I'm having a lovely time here. Especially as today I'm on my own for a very welcome and much needed few hours alone whilst husband has gone home with Betty.  But sometimes, thankfully rarely, life as it is now just all gets too much for me and I've been in floods of tears and feeling very much like those who should care, just don't.

It'll all be back to normal tomorrow, I'll have my big girls pants on again. And I'll have an even bigger barrier up around myself, so no bugger will get in.

Wednesday, 9 August 2023

The gang's all here

 It rained pretty much solidly, albeit fairly light, until early afternoon yesterday, and then the clouds cleared and the sun came out late in the day. And now we have bright sunshine this morning, lovely.  Several of our van neighbours are here, so we're going to have a really nice time.  Our neighbour on the other side has acquired a 3rd dog, a bouncy noisy Labrador puppy to go with her 2 very yappy spaniels, the three of them together do make a lot of noise which unfortunately makes Betty anxious, but hopefully they'll be going home soon, they don't tend to stay very long.  Having the boiler serviced this morning, gardening the rest of the day - everything has shot up, including the grass, due to all the rain.

Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Off then, whatever the weather

 Not much sleep the past couple of nights, tossing and turning all night, too much on my mind probably.  It'll be better at the caravan, I generally sleep fairly well there - except if it's too hot through the night.  I'm up very early this morning, but that's no bother - got a couple of things to do before we go off.  I've just boiled half a dozen eggs, they'll do for lunches for the next couple of days, or if husband fancies a quick snack he can just grab one out of the fridge.

Just the chilled food to put in the cool box, and our medications to sort out - I've done mine, husband's will take a bit longer as he takes so many.  I've put the frozen food for next week in the top freezer drawer, so it's easily accessible for husband to bring back with him on Friday or Saturday (he may stay home overnight Friday, he's not made up his mind yet).  I've also put fresh clothes for both of us on my bed for next week, so he can bring those as well.  It's so handy living fairly close to the van, means we don't have to pack tons of stuff for a fortnight away, and we can easily pop home for a day when required.

I've got no real plans for the next fortnight, we'll just take each day as it comes.  Bearing in mind it's school hols, we definitely won't be going to any tourist places, and any shopping will be done first thing in the morning, whilst holidaymakers are having a lie in.  I'm just looking forward to 2 weeks of relaxation, catching up with friends, reading and crocheting.

The weather's dull and a bit showery for today and tomorrow, but a lovely day is forecast for Thursday.  Forecast is mixed for a few days after that, but there will be some sun and it won't be raining all the time.  We know there will be more fellow owners there, so husband will have pals to chat to.

I no longer take my laptop with me (still can't get the blimmin mifi thingy to connect, I know not why), not that it's a bother, I can access everything on my phone, although the wifi signal is a bit hit and miss.  And I can't comment on blogs on my phone, again not sure why.  I'll probably do the odd short blog post whilst we're away.  Have a good time, whatever you're going to be doing.

Monday, 7 August 2023

Attention span of a goldfish

 I spent nearly all day in the kitchen yesterday.  Cooked the chicken mince and then made 2 lasagnes and 2 cottage pies from it.  Chopped a butternut squash, half was boiled and mashed (which became the topping for one of the cottage pies), the other half diced and roasted.  Sliced a whole bag of carrots and roasted them in the air fryer, then portioned and froze.  Finely sliced a whole green cabbage, stir fried/steamed it in butter and a tiny splash of water, portioned it up and froze it.  Sliced and lightly fried the courgettes a neighbour gave us and open froze them on a tray.   That's all the veggies done for our first week at the caravan, along with some frozen peas and sweetcorn.  We'll have one of the lasagnes and one cottage pie at the van this week, I have some chicken fillets which I'll wrap in smoked streaky bacon for another meal, along with a pack of turkey and caramelised red onion sausages and lemon & pepper dusted sole for 2 more meals.  Lunches will be the gammon I cooked for husband, as sandwiches or salad, and canned tuna or salmon or cottage cheese with salad for me.  Breakfast he pleases himself, I rarely eat breakfast.

I asked husband to make sure he cut the lawns front and back yesterday.  The front lawn is the size of a postage stamp so only takes him 5 mins max, the back lawn he generally has to stop for a break halfway - it's not huge by any means but does wear him out, understandably.  I couldn't hear the lawnmower going whilst he was supposed to cutting the front lawn, but could hear his voice, he was gassing to one of the neighbours, but it eventually got done.  He'd been out the back for 15 mins or so when I realised he was nowhere to be seen (the kitchen is at the back of the house and there was no sign of husband from the kitchen window).  As I needed to speak to him anyway to remind him to give a message to a neighbour, I went out to look for him - he was in the service road at the back of our house, this service road leads to the other 3 houses which have their parking spaces in their back gardens - our parking space is at the side of our house.  So really the service road is nothing to do with us, our garden is accessed from the side behind our parking space and garage.  Husband was cutting the grass along the verge of the service road. 😒 Since mowing the lawn does make him breathless, and he hadn't even started on our back lawn (which arguably is more important than a verge along a service road which is not our responsibility!), I suggested it might be better if he stopped that and cut our lawn instead.  Honestly, he's got absolutely zero idea of priorities, and is so easily distracted from a job.  Which I know is a feature of the cognitive impairment.

Just the 2 fruit cakes and cheese scones to make this morning, pack the clothes this afternoon, pack Betty's food and treats, bit of banking to do and then I'm done, thank goodness, I'm knackered.

Sunday, 6 August 2023

Busy day

 We all slept much better last night, in fact I didn't wake up until 06.50, which is late for me.  I didn't get all the batch cooking done yesterday, the day ran away with me.  I riced a large cauliflower, cooked it then made it into cheesy herby cauli mash, portioned it up and froze that.  I also cooked a small gammon in the slow cooker, for husband's lunches during the week.  I then did a freezer inventory and menu plan for the first week of our van stay.  Husband will be coming home on Friday with Betty, she has a grooming appointment, he'll bring home washing, collect some more clothes and some more home cooked ready meals from out of the freezer - I'll give him a list.  I also did a short cool wash and loaded the machine again with an overnight wash - yesterday's wash went on the airer upstairs as it was raining (for a change....not!) and far too windy, the wash from overnight will go out on the line today (hooray!).

So this morning I'm doing a huge pan of chicken mince, browning it off with red onions, tomatoes, grated carrot, herbs and spices.  Half of it will be used to make lasagnes (as mentioned before, with thinly sliced courgettes instead of pasta sheets), the other half for cottage pies, awaiting a topping of cauli or butternut squash mash.  I've got a large b'nut squash to peel, chop and cook today - half will be boiled and mashed, the other half diced and roasted.  I season both with smoked paprika and sage, which I think go really well with the squash.

I'm making 2 fruit cakes tomorrow, one for our lovely van neighbours C&J, the other (a small one) for husband.  I'm also going to make half a dozen cheese scones - well, we will be going to the van so we need a treat! (I won't be eating any of the cake, but the scones - oh yes!).

The tins, jars and packet food we're taking with us has been gathered on the table for the past few days, ready to pack tomorrow afternoon, when I'll also be packing the clothes.  Some tinned food, all the toiletries, bedding and towels and some clothes are kept at the van anyway, so there's not too much needing to be taken with us.  So Tuesday morning it's just the freezer box to pack and then off we go.

Husband loads the car, that's his job.  I'm very organised with regard to the food and packing and don't need him to 'help' - he only hinders and needs telling what to do every 5 minutes, it's easier for him to just stay out of my way and leave me to get on.  I do ask him to get his clothes out ready for me to pack (and then have to go through them, discarding some and adding others - he always gets out too many tops and not enough bottoms!).

And then it's going to be a fortnight of relaxation.  And oh boy am I ready for it.

Saturday, 5 August 2023

Better weekend

 Betty had a bit of a restless night, which meant I did too.  She'd sleep very deeply for about an hour, then wake up and jump off the bed and wander round the bedroom and landing, whining a little bit.  She soon came back to bed when I called her though, and settled down again quite quickly.  She seems fine this morning, she's had her breakfast, been out for a (wet and windy) walk and wee and is now fast asleep again.  What a life!  😂  Her ears seem fine, they're not drooping anymore (which was a sure sign she's got an ear infection) and she's not shaking her head anymore either, so looks like the procedure and the soothing medication did the trick.

I'm doing a lot of batch cooking and food prep this weekend, making and freezing stuff to take with us to the van next week.  I'm really looking forward to going, we're planning on staying at least a fortnight - weather permitting!  It seems ages since we last stayed at the van, the weather's been so crap lately.  Although we have had the odd day there about once a week.

We normally have potatoes in some form or other, rice or pasta with our meals, although that's not an option with our current low carb diet.  So instead I've been doing cauli cheese mash, mashed spicy butternut squash, roasted Mediterranean veg, Julienned courgettes instead of spaghetti (I did have a spiraliser but it broke ages ago).  I've also used courgettes thinly sliced lengthways, boiled for a minute or grilled first, instead of the pasta sheets in a lasagne, very successful.

I've got several books to take with me, and have started on the crocheted blanket for our next door neighbour's expected baby.  As she's quite Bohemian and hippy-ish, I thought rather than cream with perhaps lilac or lemon or mint green accents, a more 'alternative' colour scheme would go down well.  I'm using dove grey for the main part of the blanket, with border stripes of deep teal green and mustard yellow.  I'll also crochet some flowers to stitch onto the main part.  I'm not following a pattern, I just more or less make it up as I go along.

It's stopped raining and there are patches of blue sky now, but still very windy.  It's forecast to be better tomorrow, so I should be able to get washing on the line, it's not ideal having washing on airers indoors but needs must sometimes.