Sunday, 30 April 2023


 I've just told husband I need a break from literally everything, as I feel like I'm on the verge of a breakdown - having to think about, plan and do absolutely everything is causing me so much stress I feel like I've got a concrete block on top of my head, pressing me down into the ground.  The ongoing situation with problem relative (who is currently posting numerous stupid messages about a bloody lightbulb (he ordered the wrong one) is doing my head in, so I've temporarily blocked him again, if he drops dead so be it.  I'm going to do only what's absolutely necessary for the rest of the day, then stay up in my bedroom for a few days until I feel calmer.  If I don't calm this stress down I'm not going to be able to cope with my sister and friend coming here in a fortnight.

And after I told husband all this......he merely asked if we were having the quiche I'd made yesterday for lunch today!  I'm having a meltdown and all he thinks about is his stomach.

Saturday, 29 April 2023


 Thank you again for the lovely warm comments, what was so nice to see also were all the comments from readers who don't normally say anything.

The situation with the problem relative continues to be concerning since they discharged themselves from hospital against doctors advice.  I've seen a copy of the self discharge form and seeing "Could cause sudden death" written by the doctor is certainly worrying.  Not much we can do about it though, if they choose not to accept help (or even open the door or answer the phone) then that's their lookout.  It is worrying for the rest of us, but is just another crisis to do with them, in a very long line of crises over the years.  One of these days it will no doubt have a sad ending.  I normally block them temporarily when they're bombarding us with ridiculous messages, but don't feel I can at the moment - they are clearly quite seriously physically unwell, as well as mentally.  

I am so tired I feel like I need a month's worth of sleep - wouldn't that be a luxury?!  If I could have a wish granted by a fairy godmother (or should that be godperson nowadays?!?!), it would be just that, a month's worth of sleep.  Preferably in just one night.  If I had 3 wishes, the 2nd and 3rd would be for good health for both the relative and my husband.

Betty smells lovely after her grooming session yesterday, she likes going to the groomers and they love her and say she's always as good as gold there.  It was much nicer weather yesterday, sunny most of the day, albeit very windy again.  I think wind is my least favourite weather, I blimmin hate it.  At least the sunny weather meant husband spent a fair bit of time in the back garden, mowing the grass and doing a bit of tidying up.  

I'm keeping busy, which is the best way to keep my mind occupied.  Today I'm making 2 quiches, the bacon & cheese turnovers and the chocolate brownies.  I've just got the turkey mince out of the freezer, for the meatloaf tomorrow - I'm making 2, one for husband and I for dinner tomorrow and then cold for lunches for the next few days, the other to be frozen.  I've also got some crocheting to do, a pretty shawl I've made as a gift, the bulk of it is done, just needs edging and finishing off.

Friday, 28 April 2023


 Well, having thought about it, I've decided my lovely readers are right - this is my blog, I'll write what I want, both good bits and bad, I find it cathartic to write and I'm not going to let a few nasty people put me off.  Thank you all so much for all the lovely supportive comments.......I've also had another few nasty ones.  One from someone giving a name, but seeing as they don't have a blog and don't appear to be a regular commenter (if at all prior to this one), there's no way of knowing who they are.  They wanted to know why I only ever publish "sickly sweet" (their words) comments.....erm, what, instead of snidy, rude and sarcastic ones?  Ooh, now that's a hard one! 😂😉 (For the record, I'll publish or bin whatever I want).  I also received a further 2 anonymous ones, both nasty, one simply saying "Good riddance!".  Why, if you dislike my blog and what I choose to write about so much, do you even bother reading it?  Please close the door on your way out and don't bother coming back. 😜  The vast majority of my readers are very kind, thoughtful and supportive and I appreciate you all so very much.  But for the few waspish, bitchy, passive aggressive ones, and those who insist on offering 'advice' even when I haven't asked for it - if you can't be kind, well then just bugger off, I have enough stress and anxiety going on without you anonymous nasty pieces of work adding to it.  I feel sorry for you, what sad lonely little lives you must have.

It continues to be a stressful and anxiety-filled time.  The problem relative, who has several health problems both physical and mental and who lives alone, refusing all offers of support, fell backwards down their stairs a couple of days ago.  To cut a long story short, they had a head injury which had to be glued, mild concussion and, worryingly, an ECG showed abnormalities in their heart.  A blood test showed very high potassium levels too.  The hospital naturally wanted to keep them in for further tests, but the relative had a panic attack and point blank refused - as they're a (relatively) responsible (although that's debatable) adult in their 50s, there was nothing other relatives who'd accompanied them to hospital, or the medical staff could do to prevent them refusing treatment, leaving and returning home.  They had to sign a self discharge form, on which the doctor had written, amongst other things, "risk of death".  There's a lot of messages flying back and forth and various arrangements being made, but it continues to be worrying, not least because the relative refuses to accept help.  If anyone's tempted to offer advice about possible sectioning, or something similar, please don't - there's a lot more to the situation with this relative that we've endured for many many years and is never going to be written about here.

Much as I love going to my caravan, I've decided that we're not going back there if the weather forecast isn't good - I simply cannot cope with being subjected to a bored grumpy husband who has the TV on all day long as he's got nothing else to do - his choice.  Earplugs or headphones won't make a difference - the caravan is a small space, the TV is literally only about 7 or 8 feet away wherever I sit in the lounge so I can see it clearly, as well as hear it.  My bedroom there is too small to have a chair in it, so I can only sit on the bed - which isn't comfortable for crocheting, although I can of course lie on the bed to read.  In any case, my bedroom is so small (just 5ft x 7ft) I have to have the door open, otherwise it's too claustrophobic.

It's been bad weather here again so husband hasn't been going outside, so you know what that means!  Thankfully the weather looks to be better today.  I've kept busy by doing all the normal housework, some banking and admin stuff concerning health matters, doing a freezer inventory, and some cooking of things to freeze for when my sister and her friend come down to stay.  So far I've made a lasagne, a fish pie, lemon drizzle cake and some cheese scones, all now in the freezer.  We've been eating things out of the freezer all week, so there's room for me to make some other things for the guests, both meals and treats.  I want to make a turkey mince and stuffing meatloaf, some bacon & cheese little turnovers for breakfasts, chocolate brownies and some more of Jamie's icecream, think I'll use chopped Maltesers in it this time.  If any of you want to make the icecream, it's so quick, simple and rich, I would urge you to give it a go - it's just 600ml double cream whisked, then a tin of condensed milk stirred through well, then fold in some chopped chocolate or dried fruits or nuts of your choice.  Put in a lined loaf tin and freeze.  And that's it - no need to take it out every hour and stir it to break up ice crystals.

Betty's off to the groomers for a bath and nail clipping today, we've got a little bit of shopping to do.

Wednesday, 26 April 2023


 Yesterday I received a comment on that day's blog 'Toilet habits' which was quite critical in nature and made assumptions about both me and my husband.....and this from someone, I believe in another country, who doesn't know me and isn't a regular commenter.  I published it initially, as I had no reason not to - it wasn't bare-faced rude, just not very nice - although they worded the criticism in a sort of nice way.  But it preyed on my mind throughout the day and into the night, until eventually later on after I'd gone to bed, I deleted not only the comment, but the whole blog post.  You know when someone you vaguely know says something quite waspish to your face, whilst smiling and patting you on the arm, and then breezes off with a cheerful wave - and it's not until afterwards that you think 'actually, that wasn't nice at all and I wish I'd realised and said something at the time'?  Well, it felt like that.  As it happens, I also had another comment, anonymous of course, which was really nasty, which obviously just got binned immediately.  I'd also had a text from someone I know who more or less accused me of lying about something, which was completely unjustified and the person should have known that I wouldn't even know how to do what they were implying I'd done.

Some while ago now, probably a year or more ago, I got a comment from a blogger who is well known and has blogged for a number of years (still going strong) and who I've always followed and respect enormously for the way they've coped with sadness in their life.  This blogger basically was saying that I should stop complaining and be grateful I have a husband, or something along those lines, and I don't think they've commented on my blog since.  It upset me such a lot.

Unless you know me in real life - and 95% of my readers don't - then you only know what I choose to put on here.....and I don't write about everything by any means, I do hold back on a lot of things.  I don't tell lies, I just don't give the whole picture lock, stock and barrel.  Why would I?  That would be stupid.  Also, we're not all clones, we don't all react to or cope with things the same way.

My blog is warts and all, I don't just write a sanitised happy blog full of sweetness, romance, fairy cakes, sunshiny days and puppy dogs tails where nothing goes wrong ever.  Because it wouldn't be true, life just isn't like that - well, mine isn't!  But perhaps I should, just to keep my readers happy!

I am very stressed and anxious at the moment, and very worried about my husband and other things in my life.  I have a hell of a lot to cope with, not all of which you know, and unless you walk in my shoes then you don't know the half of it, you only know what I decide to tell people.  Coincidentally, there was a headline on an article in the paper yesterday which said "What's the secret to giving good advice?  Wait until you are asked for it".  Amen to that.

As of now, I don't feel like writing a blog anymore.  Whether that will change in due course, I don't know.

Monday, 24 April 2023

Not farting! And planning

 No, Mrs LH, it's not farting - although that did make me laugh.  Yes he does do it, but after 40+ years of being subjected to it, I consider it merely an unpleasant fact of life.  But yes you're right about men finding it ridiculously hilarious - if they must do it, just do it quietly (and preferably out of the room), there's really no need to make a huge schoolboy production out of it.  What's so funny about it anyway?!  So no it wasn't that, it was something else he was doing.....he also does it here sometimes, but it's not so much of an issue here.  And that's all I'm saying.  Oh and yes men's habits do get worse as they get older - and/or we get less tolerant of them.

It's 3 weeks today until my sister and her best friend arrive to stay with us for a week.  I will spend time this week making plans for where to go, and for what we're going to eat during their stay.  We'll be having a couple of lunches out, and a big breakfast out on the day they go home.....the rest of the meals I want to be easy ones, both here and in the caravan - I don't want to spend ages cooking.  There'll probably be a fish pie and some sort of mince meal, a lasagne I expect as that's a favourite of my sister's, both of those I'll make in advance and freeze.  I'll do either chicken legs or sausages with roasted Mediterranean veg one day, something (e.g. fishcakes, chicken thighs or cold meats) with salad a couple of days.  Lunches will be sandwiches or something on toast.  Breakfasts are easy - cereals, toast, boiled eggs, crumpets or croissants or a bacon sandwich, husband can easily do that.

I also want to make plans for our wedding anniversary - 40 years towards the end of next month.  We'll be at the caravan for the week and my intention is for us to have a day out somewhere special every day that week.....sometimes we'll have lunch out, in a nice pub garden e.g. if the weather is good, as obviously we'll have Betty with us, other times we'll take a packed lunch and have a picnic somewhere nice.  It was my suggestion but husband agrees with it.  It would be nice if husband came up with a grand idea himself, especially for a special anniversary such as this - 40 years is a massive achievement these days.  But I know he won't, he rarely if ever does, it's always down to me to plan our anniversary treats - he simply has no imagination whatsoever.

I need to do a small shop this morning for milk and fresh veg, other than that I need nothing else, we'll be eating out of the freezer this week.

Sunday, 23 April 2023


 We're home.  The 8 nights away wasn't an unqualified success, not least because of the weather.  I think we had 3 days of really good weather, the other 5 days were dull, cloudy, rainy and with a freezing cold wind, meaning we couldn't spend time outside.  As I mentioned previously, I have plenty to keep me occupied at the caravan, husband has nothing.  I've tried several times to get him interested in hobbies, suggesting things for him and even buying him tools and kits, to no avail, he's just not interested - or tries something for 10 minutes and almost immediately gives up when he can't do it or it doesn't work out straight away - he's got no patience and the attention span of a goldfish.  So, as I said, the blasted telly was on all day long, which drives me crackers, especially when he's flicking through the channels constantly, is totally indiscriminate about what he watches (he doesn't care what rubbish it is) and invariably falls asleep within minutes of putting the tv on, clutching the remote in his hand usually pressed against his chest, so it's not even as if I can turn it off.  And when I nudge him or say "wake up!!", he always denies being asleep and says he was watching/listening!

It's easy for me to get away from the TV at home - in the kitchen with my radio on, or upstairs in my bedroom or craft room.  Not so in a small caravan - even if I go in my bedroom, as it's next door to the lounge and the walls are effectively made of very thin cardboard (well, they might as well be), I can clearly hear the TV.  He comments/commentates on everything on TV, even when I remind him that they have paid journalists/sports commentators who do a very good job of that!

He knows he's not supposed to come into the van wearing his outdoor shoes/boots - yet he persistently did, walking mud and grass in all the time.  I'm not obsessive about housework at all, believe me, but I don't like mud trodden in everywhere, especially on carpet.  Nor do I like untidiness - but of course he's very good at that!  I know it's largely to do with his dyslexia and general disorganisation (he puts things down all the time and can never remember where) and I do try not to get annoyed about it.  It's not so bad at home, but in the very small space in the caravan, I do like it to be kept tidy and uncluttered, or it quickly becomes a total mess and I can't live with that.  He rarely puts anything away, but sometimes moves things and puts them in a different place/cupboard and then I have to search around to find them - the kitchen scissors e.g., he'd used them for some job outside and put them (still dirty) in a drawer in the van kitchen, instead of in the utensil pot where he'd taken them from.  He also had a quite disgusting habit in the van (no I'm not saying what!!) which irritated the hell out of me and I had to put a stop to it before I exploded.

I did manage to do quite a lot of crocheted squares for the blanket, and plenty of reading.  We had lots of chats with our lovely neighbours, and had brief visits from our friends (who turned up out of the blue, as they were passing) and my eldest brother and SiL and their lovely little terrier - a planned visit, albeit a short one as they were en route home to Cornwall.  A nice catch up, all the same.  It's just that the week wasn't as relaxing as I'd hoped, as I felt quite irritated with high anxiety levels a lot of the time.

I've got a busy week with several things I need to do, which is good as it will help me feel like I'm regaining control, which in turn will help my anxiety to calm down.

Friday, 21 April 2023

Going home

 When we first planned on coming here a couple of weeks ago, we were intending to stay for a fortnight or so, as the weather looked pretty good.  Well now it's not, it's raining and cold and the forecast for the next week isn't good.  I have plenty to keep me occupied here in the van - several books to read, loads of yarn for crocheting, a drawing pad and pencils, and of course the small amount of cleaning and tidying up to do.  Husband has nothing to do if it's raining, he literally has no inside hobbies or anything, his entire existence here is geared to outside, pottering around doing odd DIY jobs or strimming the grass or just chatting to fellow owners.  None of which he can do if it's raining and everyone is inside.  So all that's open to him is watching (or dozing) in front of the TV - literally all day.  As you're all aware by now, I'm not a fan of having the TV on for hours and hours, especially for rubbish daytime programmes.

So I think we may well go home on Sunday and come back in a couple of weeks when hopefully the weather will be better.  Several of our van neighbours have had the same idea, a couple have already gone home.  Bad weather does put a dampener on things.

Thursday, 20 April 2023


 To cut a long story short, I didn't have my physio exercise class yesterday - after sitting there waiting for 20 mins I enquired if they were running late.  Turns out they'd changed the time of the class from 2.15 pm, bringing it forward to 1.00 pm.  Only they omitted to tell me 😡.  So wasted time and journey.  They apologised profusely and thanked me for taking the news so calmly - well what else could I do, stamping my feet wouldn't change anything.  However, this is the 4th time I've had a physio appointment cancelled, rearranged or buggered up, they seem to be totally disorganised there.  

Oh well, I'm on holiday so shall just relax, no more appointments until husband's head scan in just over 2 weeks.  Oh, Betty has a grooming appointment a week on Friday so we'll have to go back for that.

I was absolutely shattered yesterday evening, it was an early start and a very busy day.  I crocheted a couple of squares, then went to bed early to read...well, I managed a few pages before the book fell off the bed and woke me and Betty up.

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Physio and head scan

 We've come home for the day so I can go to my physio exercise class, collect the post and do a few jobs here.  So far I've put on a wash load, made 3 cakes (all the same, I'm not mad enough to do 3 different ones!) to take back with us, dealt with the post, marked a couple of appointments on the calendar, made an important phone call, and sorted out some more clothes, food and meds to take.  I'm knackered already.  

We've received husband's head scan appointment letter, luckily, considering the problems with the post here - it's on Friday 5 May, just before the King's Coronation.  Let's hope it doesn't get cancelled or rearranged due to any more strikes, the waiting around for tests and results is doing my head in.

Being at the caravan is certainly relaxing physically - I don't have even half as many jobs to do there as I do here at home.  Mentally, though, it's not particularly relaxing, especially at the moment - as I'm not so busy and often sit just crocheting (which I enjoy and do find relaxing), my mind is free to worry!  But there it is, I can't help it, I'm a worrier by nature.

My physio class is at 2.15, husband will go to the vets to collect Betty's monthly flea tablets (we get 6 months supply at a time, ringing the vet was another job I had to do this morning) and then we'll be on our way back to the caravan.  Husband suggested picking up KFC on the way back - we pass one on the way - so it's KFC and salad for dinner tonight so at least I don't have to cook or even prepare anything.

The small air fryer I bought for the caravan works brilliantly, in fact I would say it even cooks better than my big dual drawer Lakeland home one.  I'm so glad I got it.  The Lakeland one is alright, I'm not complaining, it's just that I've found the smaller drawer doesn't cook quite as efficiently as the bigger drawer and so I have to add on an extra few minutes when I'm using the smaller drawer.  No problem really, just something I have to be aware of if I'm using both drawers.  On the whole, I'm really pleased with both AFs, and the home one has certainly reduced our electricity bill as I now hardly ever use my big oven.

Another pair of our lovely van neighbours arrived yesterday, their first time back, put their water on and discovered a burst pipe which flooded part of their van.....we all pitched in to help out.  We consider ourselves so fortunate to have had next to no problems with our van.  We've got a small fan heater we're taking back with us today, to help dry their van out - they need a dehumidifier really, but it'll be a small help until they get it sorted.  They can't get a plumber to come out until next week!

It's not such nice weather today, it's a bit cloudy and there's still a cold wind blowing. although the sun is forecast to be out by the time we get back to the van later.  Should be a nice day tomorrow though.  

My hayfever (triggered by tree pollen) is in full swing, so I'm having to take antihistamines every day - the park is surrounded by trees which doesn't help!  But I'd rather the trees were there, they look nice and provide shelter.

Hope everyone's ok, I am reading blogs when I've got signal.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

The gang's all here

 More of our upper level neighbours have arrived now, the better weather forecast has brought them, so lots of catching up done which is really nice.  Most of us are outside in the afternoons doing some gardening, us included, with laughter and chatting going on, it's brilliant.

Oh I forgot to mention.... our lovely van neighbour Charlie made me a lovely wooden trug, how nice of him.  He's a very talented carpenter, that was his job for many years and he still loves doing little wooden projects, despite being 87!!  I'm going to put a wood stain on it (he left it natural so I could make up my own mind how I wanted it) and put a couple of nice plants in it (in pots).  I'll take a photo.  

The pile of granny squares has grown, I think I've done about 20 now.

Sunday, 16 April 2023

Quick post (if it works!)

 A quick post - having a really nice time.  The weather yesterday was pretty much perfect, warm and sunny enough to sit outside.  We talked and talked with our lovely van neighbours C & J, it's been nearly 6 months since we saw them last.  It's lovely and quiet here, only half a dozen or so other owners and no children.  Spent time today crocheting a pile of granny squares for the new Joy-inspired blanket, whilst husband went to bed for a doze. 

We'll be doing some gardening over the next couple of days, along with the neighbours.  A nice surprise - my brother and SiL will be popping in to see us on Saturday, on their way home from a visit up country, it'll be their first visit here to the park.

Saturday, 15 April 2023

All ready, and blimmin technology

 Everything's packed, done and ready to go off to the caravan - well, other than the food to be packed in the coolbox, which obviously I'll do just before we leave.

I won't be taking my laptop - for some unknown reason I cannot get it to connect to the blimmin MiFi router thing I bought ages ago to use at the caravan.  Initially, I couldn't remember my password (of course!!) seeing as it's months since I last used the router, back when we were at the caravan last season.  The link to reset the password....sends a text to the MiFi router....which I can't of course read until I connect the router!!  Which I can't do without the password!  I gave up for a while and went and did another job, then came back to it....and this time my laptop wouldn't even recognise the router.  So I gave up.  I bloody hate technology, it's far too sophisticated for me.

I have my phone, of course, on which I can access the internet, although the signal at the park is a bit hit and miss.  I can read blogs but writing a post is a bit of a longwinded thing, especially if the signal isn't playing ball.  So I won't be posting anything until Wednesday, when we come home to collect some more clothes and food and I go to my physio exercise class.  I'll try and do a post before we go back to the caravan.

I've sorted out yarn to take with me for the start of the granny squares blanket, I have several single balls and half balls in various shades of pinks, purples and blues, along with a few complete balls of cream which I'll use for the final round of each square and the edging of the finished blanket.  I'm looking forward to it, it'll be a blanket for my bed here at home.

KirstenM, a new reader?  Welcome, and thanks for commenting.

Husband helped out yesterday, he did everything I asked him to do, although he did get a couple of things wrong, doing the total opposite of what I'd asked (but at least he tried).  Patience is a virtue!

The sky is blue and the sun's up, it's going to be a nice day.  Take care everyone and I'll be back posting next Wednesday - I will be reading your blogs whilst away. 

Friday, 14 April 2023

A stupid bit of paper

 We've had hardly any post lately, we go days without getting any at all, and then yesterday morning we got a job lot of 7 or 8 letters, some of which had been sent a fortnight ago.  People on our local FB pages for surrounding villages have also been complaining about the lack of post, several people said they'd gone to the main sorting office in town to check where important mail they were expecting had gone.  There seems to be a bit of a postal crisis going on - people have been told that if their rounds person hasn't turned up for work, then that round's post doesn't get sorted or delivered and, in fact, there are numerous sacksful of post in the sorting office waiting to be sorted!!  And to think they had the cheek recently to put up the cost of 1st class postage!

Anyway, 3 or 4 weeks ago I applied for a Voter Authority Certificate - it's a document issued by your local Electoral Registration Office which has your photo and address on it and basically proves who you are and that you are eligible to vote.  It's for people who have no other forms of photo ID, as that is now required to be able to vote in local or national elections.  Whilst husband has his photo driving licence, I have no form of photo ID at all - my passport expired about 10 years ago and I only ever had a paper provisional driving licence, which also expired numerous years ago.  Well, the Voter Authority finally arrived yesterday (no doubt held up at the sorting office!) and, much to my surprise, it's a flimsy sheet of paper - I had assumed it would be a plastic card, like the driving licence.  My photo on it, which is a selfie I did on my phone, is horrible - I look like a startled rabbit caught in headlights.  Still, I don't suppose anyone's going to scrutinise it really closely!  It apparently lasts for 10 years.....somehow I can't see a flimsy bit of paper lasting that long, it would have been much better to have a card.  Cost cutting, I expect.

We went to town yesterday morning and did 4 jobs at once - the small bit of shopping in Sainsburys, Superdrug for a chemist thing, the charity shop to drop off some shoes and clothes and get some more books (must have books in the caravan!) and Matalan for some PJs.  I spent the rest of the afternoon packing clothes and more food for the caravan.  I've also sorted out some balls of yarn and a hook - Joy has given me the nudge to start making another granny squares blanket - have you seen her beautiful one on her blog?  Here

I had my phone consultation with my physiotherapist, which took all of 5 minutes, if that.  I've told her I don't need another one.  I asked her if the first exercise class is going ahead next week, it having been cancelled last month (seems to be a recurring theme with physio appointments!) - she confirmed it is, and in fact is now fully booked.  I'm looking forward to it, it should be fun.

Today I'll be planting up some of the geraniums and petunias I bought the other day, I'll put the pots in a sheltered spot in the garden near the house, so they're protected.  The rest of the plants are going with us to the caravan.  I've also got dog food to make, and the frozen homecooked meals we're taking to be put all in one freezer drawer together, so they can be easily grabbed and packed in the coolbox tomorrow morning.  Husband needs to sort out all the meds he's got to take (and I've got to check he's got them all, else he'll forget some of them).  I'm also doing one final wash load, which will be collected when we come back mid week.  8 jobs in total on my list for today....I'm not feeling too good so husband will have to help me out and do a couple of them.  I feel washed out and achy and have a very unsettled stomach - nothing serious, it's all just the result of anxiety and severe lack of sleep over husband's possible diagnosis.  I'm sure I'll feel better having a nice long stay at the caravan and catching up with our lovely van neighbours C & J.  They texted me yesterday to say they've arrived safely at the park (they have a nearly 4 hour journey) and are looking forward to seeing us. 

Thursday, 13 April 2023

Things moving along

 A welcome surprise - yesterday afternoon we had a phone call from Hannah, the psychologist who came to do husband's memory assessment.  If you recall, she said she would be discussing husband at a case conference yesterday and would give us a ring today or tomorrow, so it was a relief to receive her phone call yesterday.  She said they haven't yet come to any firm conclusions and need more information - to this end they want husband to have a brain scan, and will discuss things further once the scan result is received.  She said he'll get an appointment through the post within the next fortnight, the scan will be done at Musgrove Park, the big hospital in Taunton.  So more waiting to do, but at least we know.  And I'm pleased he's having the brain scan.  The scan will be looking to see if his carotid arteries are narrowed or furred up (his cardiologist was already of the opinion that they may well be, causing lack of oxygenated blood to his brain) - it will also show if there are any areas of husband's brain which are damaged.  Or indeed already dead.  So we may as well try to put things out of our minds until he has the scan.  So good job we're going to the caravan on Saturday and our lovely van neighbours will be there, they are actually arriving today and staying for a fortnight.

We'll be staying for a week, longer probably, but will be popping back home once or twice so can check the post for the appointment letter.  As it happens, I have my first physio exercise class next Wednesday at the local hospital in Bridgwater, so we'll have to come back then anyway (that's if it actually goes ahead!).  We'll pop back home after my class, to bring home some washing and collect more clothes and frozen food, then go back to the caravan.

This morning I have a phone appointment with my physiotherapist - a waste of time as far as I'm concerned, if she suggests another I shall decline, I don't think it serves any purpose really, all she's doing is checking I'm doing my exercises (I am, when I remember!).

At least now I know I can go do our little bit of needed shopping anytime this afternoon or tomorrow, without having to wait in for a phone call.

We've got a few pots blown around the garden due to the gale force winds last night, I expect there will be at the caravan too.  Much calmer this morning, thank goodness, the winds kept me awake a lot last night, a few showers forecast this morning but not much wind.  It's sunny at the moment, albeit with a few clouds.  My hayfever is in full swing, very itchy nose and eyes.

Oh, and that bungalow we really liked that ticked all our boxes, other than being far away from our preferred area, still hasn't been let, so we're sort of still in the running for it.  And I'm still ambivalent about it!

Wednesday, 12 April 2023

Busy morning

 I've been busy and achieved a lot already this morning.  Sorted out a wash load and put it in to be done overnight on the cheap(er) rate electricity.  Prepped tonight's dinner - some of the rich mince I cooked yesterday, topped with a tin of macaroni cheese, with grated cheese and breadcrumb topping, with Savoy cabbage prepped and ready to cook.  Packed a bag of food and treats for Betty to take to the caravan, and part packed some food things for us.  Done a menu plan for next week (I have enough homecooked frozen dinners for 5 days to take with us) and written a short shopping list for Friday.  Now I'm just about to make some cheese scones to go in the AF, we'll have them with tomato soup for lunch.

I asked husband to sort out his unwanted clothes and shoes for the charity shop - he's done the shoes but not the clothes, he'll need a bit of encouragement to continue with that.  I've had a look through mine, there's not much I don't wear, I've mostly thinned it out already.  I do need to buy a couple of pairs of leggings/jeggings though, one or two of mine are pretty much at the 'only suitable for home' stage.  I could also do with some new PJs, I generally get changed into them soon after dinner, I like to be comfortable in the evenings.

Now I've got everything on my list done, we might sit and watch the Agatha Christie mini series 'Why didn't they ask Evans?' this afternoon, we've recorded it.  The weather is dreadful now, chucking it down and galeforce winds, so certainly not going out weather, even Betty won't go out.

Tuesday, 11 April 2023

Growing my own flowers

 Thanks so much for the comments on my last post.  I'm not feeling depressed - as I said yesterday, life is what it is and we just have to get on with it.  Husband and I have been together for more than 42 years (it's our 40th wedding anniversary next month), so it's not like I'm not used to his lack of romantic gestures.  He did used to buy me flowers quite often, but appears to have fallen out of the habit over the past few years and isn't likely to change now, especially with his memory loss!

This morning we went out early (before the forecast rain started - it has now) to go to a plant nursery near Brean.  We got a bag of ericaceous compost for my camellias in pots as we'd run out and they need top dressing.  I also got a mixture of geraniums and surfinia petunias in purple and pink colours, some for here at home and some for the caravan garden.  They'll be kept in the utility room for the time being, prior to being hardened off and planted out in a couple of weeks.  I can't wait to see loads of colour in the two gardens - if I can't get given flowers, then at least I'll be growing them myself!  And they'll be longer lasting.

I'm making a big pan of (turkey) mince and veg this afternoon, to be used for cottage pies, lasagne and jacket potato toppings, some to be frozen for the caravan.  I'll do some scones in the AF as well, also to be frozen and taken to the caravan.  The rest of the week will be taken up with getting organised for an extended stay at the caravan - at least a week, as the weather is meant to be much nicer from next week.  We'll also be sorting out surplus clothes and shoes for the charity shop - whilst donating them, I'll also be getting a few more books from there, the big Cancer UK one has a big selection. 

Monday, 10 April 2023


 By the time we got to Blue Anchor Bay yesterday the sun had well and truly vanished, it was cloudy and quite windy.  Despite that, there were plenty of families on the beach (with coats on!), children and dogs running about and lots of people walking along the promenade above the beach.  We walked along the prom for quite a way (the tide was out so no wave watching), then went into the caravan park cafe for a hot coffee and slice of cake.  It's a smart nice looking cafe, we've been in there several times, but it is very expensive - obviously catering to the tourists on the holiday park, who are captive audiences really.  Still, it's nice as a treat now and then, it's not somewhere we go often and there's the lovely view across the bay to South Wales.

We're not going anywhere today, the weather's not nice at all, raining and windy again - in fact it's forecast to be unsettled all week (there's a surprise!).  So we're doing some more sorting out this week, our wardrobes this time, and I'll be doing some batch cooking I expect.  Hannah the psychologist said she will be ringing us Thursday or Friday.  I'm trying not to think about it.

I'm crippled with backache today, it's been getting worse the past few days (since I sorted out all the garden pots the other day) and is making my hip pain worse.  I've got a few things to do today, so will take painkillers and get on and do them, and then take it a bit easier this afternoon.  Husband has a tendency to say he doesn't feel well and uses it as an excuse to sit and doze in front of the TV literally all day.  I've tried to get him to see that life doesn't come to a halt if we're not feeling well - sometimes we just have to grit our teeth and get on with stuff, else we become invalids and expect everything to be done for us.  I know he's got heart failure, I'm well aware of it, but the 2 new meds he was prescribed last October and the small adjustments to his existing meds that the GP has been doing have helped enormously, he's no longer really breathless and isn't getting the angina anymore, he just gets tired quite quickly so he just needs to pace himself and take breaks.

I do wonder sometimes what would happen if one morning after a particularly bad night, I said I really didn't feel well and was going to stay in bed for a couple of days.  I am always tired, literally 100% of the time, I always have some degree of hip, back and knee pain, that never goes away.  I have frequent stomach and bowel issues and go through periods where everything I eat seems to upset my gut, usually caused by stress.  I have headaches and the occasional migraine, again stress related.  Sometimes I just wish I lived on a desert island, with just books and my dog to keep me company.  Husband could feed himself if I stayed in bed, he'd be happy to do himself something on toast, and there are nearly always homemade meals in the freezer, so food wouldn't be a problem for him, he'd also feed Betty.  He'd have to use the microwave for the frozen stuff, he wouldn't know how to use the AF - I have shown him a few times, but he forgets instantly.  However, nothing else would get done, and I do mean nothing.  I'm not putting it to the test though, it's not in my nature to stay in bed, and that would exacerbate my back and hip pain anyway.  It's just that sometimes it would be nice for someone else to take over and look after me.  It's not going to happen though, so I don't dwell on it.

It sounds like I'm feeling very sorry for myself right now - I'm not really, there's no point in wishing our lives were is what it is and I've got to work with it.  I'm sure nobody has a perfect life - even if they did, something would be bound to happen to disrupt it sooner or later.  I guess that right now my head is full of 'What if's....' - understandable under the circumstances.  We've had a pretty good life up till now, which I'm thankful for.  

But a bunch of flowers, for no reason, and a little note telling me I'm appreciated would be nice!

Sunday, 9 April 2023

Quiet Sunday

 We had a lovely time at our friends' house yesterday for a barbecue.  They had another couple of friends over, the chap we've met before and like, his partner we'd never met, we got on really well.  It turns out I sort of know her through a FB page we both belong to, although I didn't realise who she was until I met her yesterday.....small world.  The only pity was the weather - having been forecast to be a nice sunny warm day, the sun was coming and going, with grey clouds in between, and at times a very cool breeze, so eventually we had to beat a hasty retreat indoors as we were all sitting there shivering.

We were going to go out somewhere today, but decided against it - being Easter Sunday everywhere will be crowded, especially beaches, and shops and garden centres are closed.  Betty doesn't like crowds and gets very anxious, so she wouldn't have enjoyed going anywhere where there were likely to be tourists and families.

Having said that, change of plan - we've decided to go for a brief walk at Blue Anchor beach to blow the cobwebs away - the sun's gone in but it's not cold, although I expect it'll be a bit breezy at the beach, it usually is.  The dinner is all prepped and some of it partly cooked, so won't take long to finish off when we get back.  Husband's having a gammon shank, I'm having all the normal roast dinner veggies and homemade Yorkies.

Hope everyone's enjoying their Easter weekend, whatever you're doing.

Saturday, 8 April 2023

Still not a meat eater

 It's now 7 months since I decided to go vegetarian - well, pescatarian.  And you know what?  I don't miss meat at all and wouldn't go back to eating it.  By that I mean beef, pork, lamb and gammon, I do occasionally eat homemade things like cottage pie and lasagne, for which I use turkey mince - beef or lamb mince taste greasy to me now, even low fat ones.  And about once a month I'll eat a bacon sandwich, usually when I've been making one for husband and I think 'Ooh that smells really nice, I think I'll have one'.  Oddly enough though, every time I find the taste doesn't match up to the smell - I don't really like the taste or texture of the bacon and always resolve not to have it again.  But the smell of bacon cooking is just so nice....

It's not an ethical thing, as I said when I first decided to go veggie - it's just that as I've got older, I've found my tastes have changed and I no longer like the taste or texture of meat.  A couple of weeks ago we had a KFC takeaway - husband really wanted one and it used to be one of my favourites so I agreed.  Well, the best bit about it was the southern fried coating, I wasn't at all keen on the actual chicken!  When I first went veggie I tried a few of those fake meat burgers and sausages, you know, the ones that are actually made to look like meat.  Well, I quickly decided I didn't like them - apart from one or two exceptions, they just don't really taste of anything at all I found, unless they're very heavily spiced.  I guess for people who've always been vegetarians they might taste ok, but if you've been a meat eater then I would say that they simply bear no relation to real meat.  And the list of ingredients puts me off as well - quite often they contain a long list of things I've never even heard of and I wonder what the hell it is I'm actually eating!  The only 'fake meat' product I actually like is the Linda McCartney rosemary and red onion sausages.

I do like fish and eat it a lot - 3 or 4 times a week, I especially like salmon, natural smoked haddock, lemon sole, cod and king prawns (I buy them raw frozen, they taste better than ready cooked).  I eat a lot of tinned fish too, tuna, salmon and pilchards - I love mashed pilchards on toast.  Although I like tinned tuna, I'm not keen on fresh (or frozen for that matter) tuna steaks, the texture is too much like beef steak for me.  The days I don't eat fish of some kind I eat something veggie instead.  So I think I can safely say I'll be pescatarian for the rest of my life now.  Husband still eats meat, which I'm happy to cook for him (except for offal, that really turns my stomach now and he has to cook that for himself - and for Betty).  He does eat less meat now though, and will happily eat some of my homemade veggie meals.

I'm still having disturbed nights, which will continue at least until we get the results of husband's assessment, and possibly after that too, depending on what we're told.  The doctor did say that they may want to do some more tests, not only a brain scan but also some more extensive tests which we'll need to go to their clinic for, it's only basic tests they do at home.  It's not nice waiting for results.  Husband seems ok though, I think he's mainly just relieved that she didn't say he'd got to give up driving immediately.  Thank you again, everyone, for your kind comments and support, it's so nice.  Frankly, we're getting little support from anyone else right now, even from family - although, to be fair, they don't know the full extent of what we're going through at the moment.

Friday, 7 April 2023

Wrung out and sleepless

 I've been awake since just before 03.00, I did try reading in bed for a while but couldn't concentrate on the book, so I got up about 04.30.  My mind was full of husband's assessment and tests yesterday and what the outcome will be.  Hannah (the doctor) was asking husband all sorts of questions about his childhood, medical history, employment history past and present (well, until he retired), hobbies (he didn't say TV watching!), what he did last week - I guessed she was testing to see how his memory was working for both past and present events.  She occasionally asked me if I agreed with what he was saying.  She asked if he'd ever been knocked unconscious or had any kind of head injury.  She took copious notes - I wished I could see what she was writing!  I've been trying to work out what she was thinking he could be suffering from - trying to second guess her I suppose, which is ridiculous really.  She did say that if it's not a form of dementia, it could be a kind of cognitive impairment - whatever that means.  Having to wait now until the end of next week is going to be agonising - although husband said yesterday that he feels relieved, I could see for myself that he seemed lighter and less stressed.  Personally, I just feel wrung out now.  I shall just have to try and keep as occupied as possible for the coming week.

This morning we're going to be doing some gardening, as the forecast is very good.  Husband will cut the grass and do a bit of tidying up in the back garden, whilst I sort out all the pots in the front garden - quite a few have flowering Spring bulbs (going over now) and anemones, but they're also full of weeds.  Some have perennials in which need last year's dead growth taking off, and most need top dressing with fresh compost.  We might have a drive out somewhere this afternoon.  Tomorrow afternoon we're going to friends for a barbecue, which will be good.  I want to do a bit more decluttering and sorting next week, husband has said he wants to thin down his wardrobe and shoe storage - amazingly.  He has about twice as many shoes as I do!  All my footwear fits in a small square Lloyd Loom ottoman, his footwear is all over the place.  And he's just bought a new pair of walking boots, his previous most-used ones have split and started throw them out then, not much point in keeping them!

I need to have a day doing batch cooking, and I think I'll make some cheese biscuits to take with us to our friends tomorrow.  I bought several packs of cheap veggies - carrots, parsnips, swede and Savoy cabbages all on offer for Easter at 19p.  Most of the carrots and parsnips I'll prep and roast in the air fryer, the swede will be boiled and mashed and all frozen.  I'll make coleslaw to have with dinner tonight - salmon and a jacket potato I think.  

Thank you so much everyone for the supportive comments and good wishes, I really appreciate it.

Thursday, 6 April 2023

And breathe......


The doctor was very nice, despite looking about 12!  She was married and had a German Shepherd dog, however, so clearly not as young as she looked....and anyone who's a dog lover is obviously nice!

She told us what would be happening during the assessment and tests, and said that she firstly needed to tell us that if the assessment raised any serious concerns for her, then she could ask husband to stop driving immediately - bit scary, but not surprising, I guess.  Fortunately, at the end she said she had no immediate worries about husband carrying on driving, although stressed that this could change at a later date.

She asked questions about husband's recent problems, then about his previous health, early life, employment history etc.  She then gave him some written and verbal tests, helping him out with the written ones due to his dyslexia, which she was quite interested in.  She also gave me a sheet of questions about my observations about husband, which required tick box answers.  She took reams of notes.

She said she couldn't give us any definitive answers today, she would go away and write up her report and then it would be discussed at the team meeting next Wednesday, when it will be decided if husband needs to have a head scan.  The head scan will show if his carotid arteries are narrowed, and if there are any areas of concern in his brain caused by his heart failure or diabetes.  I wouldn't have thought his borderline diabetes had caused any problems.....although, having said that, he already has some minor retinopathy and neuropathy issues, whereas I have none, despite me being diabetic for 10 or 11 years.  We will get the results of the assessment at the end of next week, so not too long to wait - I don't know how long the head scan results will take.  Husband said he feels relieved.  I'm relieved that the assessment is over, but won't feel entirely happy until we hear back from her.  We should both sleep better tonight though.  I feel as if I've been holding my breath for the past fortnight, and can now let it out.....slowly.

The Sword of Damocles

 Thank you for all the good wishes yesterday, right now it feels like the sword of Damocles is hanging over our heads (I'm such a drama queen! 😂).  I don't know whether we'll be told the results or conclusions of the tests/assessment today, we'll just have to wait and see I guess.

We shared the housework jobs yesterday and so were finished by lunchtime, makes it so much easier when both of us are doing it.  I didn't have to press-gang husband into doing it either, he volunteered - wanting to keep himself busy.  Made a few plans in the afternoon, discussing what we're going to do in the garden this year - not much, just keeping it tidy really.  The pots in the front garden need sorting out, weeding and top dressing with new compost, I'll get some petunias and geraniums to go in them.  I had those at the caravan last year and they put on a really good display all summer long, they weren't too bothered about the lack of consistent watering, the geraniums especially, when we weren't there either.  Got a tiny bit of top up shopping to do tomorrow morning, things I forgot the other day, so I'll get the plants then.  

I didn't sleep very well last night, as expected.....husband said he slept reasonably well though.  He's pulled a muscle or something in his back so took paracetamol and codeine last night, which probably helped him sleep.

Mostly sunny today and tomorrow, thankfully.  That's all I've got to say, for now.

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Taking our minds off things

 We're keeping busy today as it's husband's memory assessment tomorrow.  I asked him how he's feeling about it - he said the thing that worries him the most is being told he's lost his driving licence.  I said that's not guaranteed by any means, it may not be a form of dementia at all, and even if it is, he's highly unlikely to lose his licence immediately.  I said we'll cope with it, whatever it is.  It's the uncertainty that's the most worrying, once we know what we're facing - if anything at all - then it'll be easier to deal with.  And even if it is some kind of dementia, then there's help available - not a cure but medication to help slow it down.  And I'm sure there'll be other kinds of therapy or assistance.

The assessment and tests are going to take around 2 to 2.5 hours apparently, the doctor (a psychiatrist who specialises in memory assessments, so I've been told) is coming here to our home.  That should help husband relax a bit more than if he had to go to a hospital or clinic.  I think we'll have a day out somewhere on Friday, to either console ourselves or celebrate!

What a change in the weather today, it's gone from warm bright sunshine for the past 2 or 3 days to grey and rainy again.  Consistency would be good!

Tuesday, 4 April 2023

Lovely time

 We've had an absolutely lovely couple of days away, it's done us both good.  The days were sunny and warm enough to sit outside, the nights however - well, the early hours of the morning to be precise - were blimmin freezing.  I'd forgotten just how cold it can get in an old caravan that has no central heating and only single glazed windows.  We have an electric fire in the lounge and electric oil-filled radiators in the bedrooms, but it was still really cold - frosty and -1 deg outside early mornings (I know for some of my overseas readers that's quite mild!!).  Oh, and the electric fire has developed problems - it has 3 heat settings but now 2 of them don't work, only the lowest one does!  Good job we have plenty of blankets in the van.  Husband doesn't know how to fix the fire (or even if it can be fixed) so we'll probably buy another - that one was second hand anyway, it only cost us £30 and has lasted 2 years, so we can't complain.

One of our neighbours on the upper level was there, so caught up with them, there were quite a few owners on the lower level.  I also spent a couple of hours chatting in the lovely sunshine yesterday with the site owner and his partner and their lovely Labradoodle Molly, such a nice-natured friendly dog.  She's very old now, 14.5 yrs, partially sighted and half deaf and has heart problems, so probably won't be around much longer, her owners will be heartbroken when she goes.

We discovered a very small patch of damp in the corner of the ceiling in the back bedroom of the van.  I asked our caravan engineer friend for advice and we followed his suggestions, husband was up a stepladder (with me firmly holding the bottom part and keeping an eye on him) this morning cleaning off the roof and gutter and applying the recommended flashing sticky tape.  The damp patch inside actually doesn't feel damp, it appears dry (we assume it happened over the winter sometime) a few weeks when hopefully it will be completely dry, we'll paint over it, we have plenty of the paint we used to decorate left.  If our friend pops over in the meantime, he can test it for us with his professional damp meter.

Some of our plants in pots there don't look like they've survived the harsh winter, so I'll get some more.  We're intending to go back and stay for a longer time in a couple of weeks, our lovely van neighbours C & J will be going then also.  We don't really want to go for Easter weekend, we know it'll be busy there, several families with children are going and it'll be a bit noisy - it was busy and noisy Easter last year, I think, I'm pretty sure we were there at that time.

Got back home just before lunchtime today, after unpacking the car and putting things away (only took 20 mins or so) and having a quick lunch, we went shopping to stock up on frozen stuff, as we've been eating through the freezer food and have plenty of room in the big freezer now.  We went to Iceland Food Warehouse, it's pensioner discount day on Tuesdays, 10% off - every little helps!  I stocked up on fish, frozen veg and some pork steaks, chicken and a couple of small meat joints for husband.  We've been to the surgery and collected our prescriptions and sorted things out with the receptionist - the mysterious phone call husband had was made in error, as I guessed.  I didn't ask about the registering as an official carer thing, I'll wait until we find out the results of husband's memory assessment on Thursday.  He's not been grumpy or verbally aggressive since I had a word with him about it a couple of weeks ago, so I think it was just a case of him worrying, understandably.  His memory is still shot to pieces though, no change there.  I hope the tests get to the bottom of it, not knowing what is causing it is worrying in itself.  We'll soon know though and can then begin to deal with it.

That lovely bungalow we saw that ticks all our boxes, other than being over an hour away from all our friends here, still hasn't been let, so we're still sort of in the running for it.  There are several people with greater eligibility than us in front of us in the queue though, so it's unlikely we'd get it.  I'm still feeling ambivalent about it.....if only I could pick it up and move it nearer here!

Sunday, 2 April 2023


 It's a lovely morning, blue sky and sunshine and the wind has dropped considerably.  We're off to the caravan as soon as we're ready, which will be around 09.30 ish, back sometime on Tuesday morning (have to come back then as we need to go to the surgery to collect prescriptions and have a word with the receptionist).  I'm so looking forward to these first couple of days away there, even Betty's excited (she's clearly picking up on my excitement!).  Had a text from our lovely van neighbours C & J yesterday to say they'll be down for their first visit in 2 or 3 weeks, it'll be so nice to see and catch up with them.

I'm not taking my laptop and doubt I'll be blogging on my phone, so will post again Tuesday.  Have a lovely few days everyone.

Saturday, 1 April 2023

Preparations, and a bit of sadness

 Thank you everyone for the comments.  We already gave the surgery signed authority for them to speak to either of us about the other a few years ago.  It might be a good idea though to ask for a note to be put on husband's records to say that any phone calls to him should have me included as well, thanks for that suggestion Marlene.  We'll be going to the surgery next Tuesday to collect our repeat prescriptions, so I'll have a word with them then in person.  Apparently, I can also ask to be registered on their records as an official carer, so I'll find out about that as well - although what benefit that brings, if any, I don't know.

Yesterday I made a dozen large sausage rolls, a few to take with us to the caravan and the rest have been frozen.  I also made a fruit cake for husband, using half a jar of the mincemeat I bought very much reduced just after Christmas, it makes a lovely moist cake.  Today I'm making a rice pudding as I have a pint of milk and bit of cream to use up, I'll also use a tin of coconut milk, we like that in a rice pud.  Again, some of the pudding will be frozen, it freezes alright, just needing a bit of a stir when it's defrosted and reheated.

Just got a change of clothes to pack, along with the food - the towels and bed linen we already took over to the van on one of our day trips, along with toiletries.  Tinned food and treats already in the van for Betty, along with some of her toys and a new bed.  I'm really looking forward to staying over, I've been itching to do it ever since the 1 March!

Husband was having a clumsy day yesterday, he'd already dropped a kitchen knife and a large chopping board in the kitchen before it was even breakfast time.  He's always making Betty jump out of her skin, poor thing.  Fortunately, he's not like it every day.  He asked me the other day if I would still take care of him when he's completely ga-ga....he said he wouldn't expect me to.  I said of course I would, there's no question of me not doing it, but there's no certainty yet that he will be affected like that!  It's obviously preying on his mind though, bless him.  I had to go upstairs, shut myself in the bathroom and have a little weep.

The galeforce winds were terrible last night, Betty really didn't like it at all, she was very unsettled.  She was up and down stairs, whining, fidgeting, so consequently keeping me awake too.  She went to sleep eventually.  So I feel a bit like death warmed up today, just when I have quite a lot to do - I'll get it all done this morning so I can rest this afternoon.  Fortunately, the wind has died down quite a bit this morning, whilst it's not very good today it is forecast to be really quite nice for the next 2 or 3 days.  I think we might well be staying at the van until Tuesday.