Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Time for home soon

 Lovely as it's been here at the caravan for the past fortnight - excellent weather, days out both with sister and friend and outings for our anniversary, plus sitting outside chatting with our van neighbours, I'm feeling like it's time to go home.  We'll have another couple of days here then pack up and go home Friday.  I'm conscious that the big home freezer is half empty now, so need to have some batch cooking days to fill it up again.  The front and back lawns will be in desperate need of cutting and the flower beds will no doubt need weeding.

I'm also feeling the urge to resume serious decluttering and to pack up things we don't immediately need, so as to be ready for our eventual house move.  I'm scouring the housing list and putting in bids every week now, although having said that there's nothing suitable on the list this week.  We're still waiting to hear about the last 3 bids we put in, the housing associations haven't made their minds up yet.

The long range weather forecast looks great for the next few weeks.... perhaps this is our early summer!

Monday, 29 May 2023

A lovely party with lovely friends

 The party was actually very good, around a dozen neighbours including a couple we didn't know that well, so a good chance to get to know them better.  We all played petanque first....refereed by J's (the neighbour who threw the party) partner, who plays for a club.  Apparently our team won - more by luck than any skill as hardly any of us had played before, and didn't have a clue how the rules or order of play or even the scoring worked.  Still, it didn't matter, it wasn't a competition and we all had a lot of fun.

J had laid on a lovely spread, a proper afternoon tea (she had it catered by Mr Sainsbury) - lots of different sandwiches, posh sausage rolls that were delicious, at least as good as homemade, several different cakes and of course scones, jam and clotted cream.  Red or white wine, tea and coffee for those who didn't want alcohol (I had water! which is what I mostly drink anyway).  J had set out several tables in the garden, she'd covered them with beautiful embroidered linen cloths and proper linen napkins that she's had for years, and a gorgeous bone china tea service that's also been in her family for years - she certainly does things in style.  

We've had lots of lovely cards and presents - gorgeous flowers and pot plants, a large Yankee candle in a beautiful ruby glass, a ceramic candle melt pot with several really pretty and lovely smelling melty wax candles to go in it, a ceramic wall plaque painted with a blue tit and flowers, several presents of £40 (for 40 years) cash.  Our artist neighbour who drew my fabulous portrait of Betty drew another picture for us, a pair of fox cubs, it's so detailed and lifelike, she's amazingly talented, I wish I could draw as well as her.  We do have some wonderful kind and generous friends both here at home and at the caravan park, we're very lucky.

Back to the caravan this morning....I think we'll have a more restful week, all this gadding about over the past fortnight has been quite tiring!

Sunday, 28 May 2023

Party day

 Thank you all for your concern.....Betty is fine.  The other dog, a little ball of fluff (possibly a long-haired chihuahua?) didn't actually bite Betty, although did snap at her face whilst yapping it's head off.  It had a lead on but had escaped from the owners' van garden - I guess they hadn't shut the gate properly.  Betty didn't retaliate (thankfully, or she'd have swallowed it whole) except to snarl at it, warning it off - which it did, backing away but still yelping hysterically.  It yelps a lot actually, it's a noisy little bugger, clearly a case of small dog syndrome.  The owners were hugely apologetic.  

We've arrived back home for the neighbour's party this afternoon, going back to the van tomorrow morning as we don't know what time the party will break up this evening.  As we passed her garden, we could see she's arranged more seating on the lawn.

Recently a male friend said to me that "he (husband) had kept me whilst he was working".  KEPT?!?!  What does he think this is, the blinking 18th century?!  Agreed, I haven't been in paid employment since 2010, whilst husband worked until 2018, but I've not sat around embroidering samplers, playing the piano and discussing menus with the cook throughout that time - I've been working at home!  Being housekeeper, cleaning and laundry lady, chief cook and bottle washer, shopper, secretary, diary organiser, appointment maker and keeper, health carer, husband's eyes, ears and memory, and general dogsbody.  And for the past 8 years I've been in receipt of my own private pension, which amounts to more than husband's three small private pensions all added together.  So I'm not, and never have been, a KEPT woman!  Blimmin cheek, and a very old-fashioned point of view.

The weather continues to be glorious, so we're making the most of it and staying at the caravan for probably another week, we'll have to come back home next weekend as we have a few appointments lined up for the following week.  Still no results letter or clinic appointment for husband's memory tests, we'll just have to be patient.

Yesterday, our actual anniversary, we stayed at the van as we knew everywhere would be busy, being a sunny bank holiday weekend.  We had a really nice fresh strawberries and cream gateau to go with coffee, shared with our 2 sets of lovely van neighbours in the afternoon sunshine and, very unusual for us, bought ready meals for dinner.  Husband chose a beef massaman curry and I had a 'special' macaroni cheese....although, disappointingly, there was nothing special about it and I could have made a much nicer one myself.  Husband enjoyed his curry though, and I enjoyed not having to make it!

Friday, 26 May 2023

Out of control dogs

 Earlier on Betty was attacked here on the park by another owner's dog, it's a little fluffy toy-type thing so was never going to be much of a threat.  But the point was it was out of control - it had somehow escaped from their van and charged towards Betty (who was on the lead, as she always is, being taken for a walk by husband), yapping it's head off and snapping at her face, until the owner ran up and scooped it up, apologising.  It's about the 6th or 7th time Betty's been attacked during her relatively short life and not once has it been her fault, every time she's been on her lead, under control and minding her own business.  Twice we've had to take her to the vets for antibiotics following bites to her face, which is permanently scarred.  I am sick and tired of my beloved dog being attacked by other people's dogs off their leads and out of their control.  She's physically unhurt but has been displaying signs of anxiety so I've given her some calming hemp and valerian dog biscuits (perhaps I should eat a handful myself!).


 Three times this week there have been big 8-legged things in my bedroom here in the caravan.  Why do they always have to be in MY room, and why just before I'm going to bed?  Husband does get rid of them of course, but it really makes my skin crawl and makes it difficult for me to settle down to sleep.  Other than that, everything's fine!

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Anniversary week, and physio chaos

 Back home very briefly to collect prescriptions from the doctors and check post - several anniversary cards but still no letter from the memory assessment clinic.  I know they're very busy (they said so) so there's no point in badgering them, it'll come when it comes.  It's just a pain in the neck waiting for results etc, although staying at the caravan in this perfect weather is helping to take our minds off things.  Saw the neighbour who's throwing the afternoon tea party for us, 3pm on Sunday so we'll come back home for that Sunday morning.  Whether we go back to the van Sunday evening or Monday morning remains to be seen, depends on how long the party goes on for I guess!  Apparently 3 sets of neighbours are coming to the party so far, J is still waiting to hear from another 2 or 3.  We're going to be in J's garden, she has a large and pretty garden, she said we may be playing petanque or bowls! (neither of which I've played before, should be interesting).  Driving back to the caravan after lunch today.

We're going out for lunch at a pretty riverside pub tomorrow, that'll be our anniversary lunch although our anniversary is actually on Saturday - we don't want to have a meal out on a Bank Holiday Saturday, it'll be too busy.  Daft decision to get married on a bank holiday, we've regretted that date ever since purely because it's Whitsun week and everyone's on holiday meaning it's always busy wherever we want to go! 😂 For Saturday we're having tea and cake with our van neighbours in the afternoon, followed by fish and chips for dinner - odd I guess but it's a treat as we very rarely have takeaways now.

It's been a lovely week so far....we went to Tyntesfield House, a National Trust property near Bristol on Monday, had a picnic lunch in Clevedon by the beach Tuesday, out for a long drive through pretty villages we've not visited before yesterday, taking another picnic with us.  In between we've planted up pots in the van garden - petunias and geraniums - and put up the gazebo, so the garden is looking lovely, I'll take some photos before we come back home.

I've decided not to go to my physiotherapy classes as my hips aren't giving me so much trouble now, since I've been doing my home exercises.  Well guess what, when I rang physio this morning to cancel my 3 booked classes, they couldn't find any record of me on the first class - although my name was down for the 2nd and 3rd...although at different times to the times they'd originally given me and that were written on my calendar!  Honestly, I've had so many appointments cancelled and/or changed by them - never by me - that I've come to the conclusion the entire physio department is in utter chaos and the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.  Complete waste of time, I have absolutely zero faith in them now.

Monday, 22 May 2023

Two weeks of sunshine, hopefully

 We've (well, I really) decided to stay at the caravan for at least another fortnight, the weather's set to be glorious so we might as well make the most of it.  More of our nearest van neighbours have arrived, so it's a lovely chatty relaxed atmosphere.  We will have to come home every few days, to collect prescriptions, post (there are a few letters we're expecting) and most likely for husband to attend more health appointments.  We're very fortunate to have the van just 40 mins drive away, so coming home for the odd few hours isn't exactly a problem.

We'll start our anniversary days out tomorrow, we'll probably go to Tyntesfield, a National Trust property with extensive gardens near Bristol, I'll pack a picnic for us and Betty.  We might not go out every single day, that would probably be too much for both of us.  We'll visit a village called Mells near Frome, never been before but it looks beautiful, it's a very old village (mostly 15th century) with lovely old stone buildings, a big manor house and a walled garden.  There'll be a couple of garden centre visits, some pub lunches out and a picnic or 2 on the beach.  We'll just take each day as it comes really, and do what we fancy on the day.

We've bought a pop up gazebo for the caravan garden, it's our joint anniversary present, we'll be collecting it on our way back to the van today and erecting it this evening or tomorrow morning, it'll give a bit more shade than just the garden parasol.  Our van garden gets the sun most of the day and can get too hot both for Betty and me.

Sunday, 21 May 2023

A quick return

 We're home, temporarily, going back to the caravan tomorrow afternoon.  Looks like we may have to come back again in a couple of days - husband has run out of one of his important heart tablets so I'll have to order that first thing tomorrow morning, they take a couple of days to get the order done.  I think husband can come back on his own though, no need for me to come with him.  Beats me what he does with some of his tablets - loses them, probably, he's often running out of them before he's actually meant to.  He assures me he doesn't take more than he should.  I don't know, I despair sometimes.

Sister and friend went home yesterday, we've had a lovely time, although it wasn't entirely stress-free (family problems I'm not going into).  Sister's health (she has MS, amongst other things) has deteriorated quite a bit in the year since I saw her last, which is worrying.  She hasn't been to her GP (I know why that is) - I've extracted a promise from her that she will in the next week.  I very much doubt she'll be able to come down again, the journey down and back really took it out of her.

And, lovely though it was to see them both, and we did have fun, it was shattering for me both physically and mentally, I am completely knackered.  I'm having an early night as I have a busy day tomorrow - husband has a blood test in the morning, I've put a wash load on this evening, I have the girls' beds to strip tomorrow and a few phone calls to make before we go back to the van, and I need to get a bit of shopping on the way.  So much for us having a week of days out leading up to our ruby wedding anniversary - I shall be too tired at this rate to do anything much.  Husband hasn't come up with any ideas (surprise - not), other than a pub lunch out one day.

It would just be nice to have someone else take charge for once, and have me sit back and relax as they took the strain, did everything that was needed and looked after me.  Oh well, it's never going to happen, but it's nice to dream sometimes.

Thursday, 18 May 2023

Naughty seaside postcards, brain scan and a curve ball

 We had another brilliant fun day yesterday, we went to Minehead for the day, leaving husband and Betty at home.  Walked all the way up one side of the high street and a couple of side streets, browsing in lots of shops, then had lunch in the Wetherspoons at the top.  Walked back down the other side of the street, in and out of the shops, laughing at sister's friend who loves trying on hats, one of which made her look like Bill and Ben (cartoon characters from our childhood).  We all giggled like schoolgirls at a stand of naughty postcards - they weren't really naughty, just the old fashioned sort of cartoonish innuendo ones featuring mostly very fat or very busty ladies and very skinny little men.  Then we sat at the outside tables of a seafront cafe having coffee and ice cream, before having a little walk along the promenade....a little walk as by this time we were knackered (we'd done a lot of walking and it was a very warm day).

When we got home, husband said that he'd had a phone call from the psychologist Hannah from the memory assessment team - she would have to ring whilst I was out! 😒  Naturally, husband couldn't remember many details about what she'd said - she mentioned the brain scan results being in but he'd forgotten what the result was.  She also said they want him to go to the clinic and have some more tests - more extensive ones that they can't do at home - he said she asked that I be there as well once again, so I can give my opinions.  I could ring her today, but she told husband she'll be writing to us with the results and the appointment date, so might just wait for the letter.

Husband also said that one of our lovely neighbours here at home had told him she wants to host an afternoon tea party for our upcoming ruby wedding anniversary, she's going to invite most of our other neighbours, it's to take place next weekend, she was checking that the date would be alright - husband said it was, without consulting me or the calendar.  He apparently also made himself a doctor's appointment for next week.  Now, today we're going to the caravan (sister and friend will be staying in the hotel next door to the caravan park) and we're staying for a may remember I said that once sister and friend have gone home, husband and I (plus Betty of course) are going to have a week or so of days out, to celebrate our anniversary.  Except now we've got to come home, twice during that week, to attend things that husband has arranged or agreed to.  Although the afternoon tea party can be classed as a day out, of course, it is a lovely thing for our neighbour to do, after all.  It's just that I work hard to plan and arrange all our (mostly his) medical appointments and dog appointments....for her grooming sessions and her ongoing regular ear treatment....and anything else we might be doing, fit in when we're going to stay at the caravan, and carefully put it all on the calendar that's on the kitchen door, but husband is always lobbing a curve ball at me and disrupting things.  Oh well, it's not as though I'm not used to having to rearrange things.

The party, although as I said it is a lovely thing for our neighbour to do, will be a bit anxiety inducing for me.  Husband is always the life and soul of a party or gathering, he loves being surrounded by a lot of friends and family, being the centre of attention, talking the hind legs off a donkey and telling jokes.  I'm the opposite though, I'm not really comfortable with being the focus of attention, I prefer to blend into the background and just people watch.  I'm sounding a bit ungrateful - I'm really not, we have such lovely neighbours here, get on so well with most of them and it's such a nice little community to live in.  I just get a bit anxious in certain situations.....I'll have to take a double dose of my anxiety meds on that day!

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Uncontrollable laughter, the best medicine

 After a few unexpected events, sister and her friend didn't arrive until about 5 pm on Monday - no matter, they got here eventually.  We've been having such a lovely time, lots to chat about and catch up on.  We went to Wells yesterday, my favourite little city here, sister and friend have both been before and they like it too.  For lunch we bought hot pasties and went to sit on the benches by the moat around the Bishops Palace (for those who don't know, it's the official home of the bishops of Bath and Wells diocese and is next door to Wells Cathedral).  We ended up in fits of laughter as we quickly acquired a large flock of pigeons as a hopeful audience - especially when one of them suddenly landed on sister's lap and friend was so startled she inadvertently threw her phone right in the middle of the flock (neither pigeons nor phone were hurt!).  We also got the giggles about husband, who sat on the moat wall in front of us, there being only enough room for the three of us girls to sit on the view of his sometimes lack of balance and general clumsiness, we all had visions of him toppling backwards into the moat - we'd have been so helpless with laughter if it happened, we couldn't have saved him if we tried.  The moat is fairly shallow so he's unlikely to have drowned if he did fall in - although the shock of the cold water probably wouldn't have done his heart any good.  Thankfully, it didn't happen!  That set us all off reminiscing about times when each of us had had falls in funny situations, we laughed so much we were attracting amused glances from passersby.

The weather has been pretty much perfect and we're really enjoying ourselves, Betty is delighted at having more people in the house, although she's not keen at being left downstairs overnight.  We're off to Minehead today, husband and Betty are staying home.

Monday, 15 May 2023

On their way - eventually

 My sister and her friend were due to leave their homes at 9 am this morning, however, that's been scuppered - friend has had a minor family emergency she's had to deal with, so they're not now leaving until around 11.30 - 12 noon.  They would have arrived at lunchtime, now it'll be late afternoon.  No matter, they'll get here when they get here.  We weren't planning on going out anywhere with them today anyway, just resting after their long drive and having a catch up.

The house is spick and span (well, as much as it'll ever be), everything's ready, so now I can just relax and await their arrival, and hope there aren't any dramas whilst they're on their journey - sister's friend, who is lovely, just happens to be one of those people who seems to attract drama and strife, without even trying!

Sunday, 14 May 2023

Brain woken up

 I went to bed just after 8 pm last night and got up at 06.20 this morning.  I wasn't asleep for all those hours, but certainly slept quite a bit, with a couple of fairly short wakeful periods when I put the light on and read for a while.  So this morning I do feel a lot better and more 'with it'.

Just the Jamie Oliver ice cream to make today, I'm using smashed Maltesers in it this time instead of the mint Aero I used last time.  All dinners and a couple of lunch things are cooked and in the freezer (which reminds me, I must get the lasagne for tomorrow's dinner out of the freezer later on today), my menu plan for all meals for the coming week is done, so I'm feeling organised.  Just the bed linen to change tomorrow morning and hoovering to be done.  The girls are arriving at lunchtime, so I'll make sandwiches in the morning and put them in the fridge, ready for when they get here.  The weather looks as though it's going to be pretty good for the week, which will be lovely, I know the girls will enjoy sitting in our van garden.

It was very misty when I got up this morning, but that's fast disappearing, cloudy and dull at the moment but due to cheer up.  I'll ask husband to do a bit of weeding today whilst I'm busy indoors, I'll have to keep an eye on him though as he's not good at differentiating between weeds and flowers.  He pulled all the flower buds off my alliums last year as he thought they were seed pods on bulbs that had already flowered! 😒

I won't be posting every day this week whilst my sis and her friend are here, we'll be too busy enjoying ourselves, obviously!

Saturday, 13 May 2023

Eye-watering shopping

 Everything on my 'to do' list is done now, apart from changing the bed linen on Monday morning - oh and ice cream to make.  Husband is in the back garden cutting the grass, which was very overgrown....mind you, it does grow quickly with all the rain we've had recently.  

I went in his bedroom to have a quick check this morning - having made a pretty good job of tidying it at my request the other day, and asking him to keep it tidy, I was a bit irritated to see yet another pile of clothes that he hadn't bothered to put away, plus 3 pairs of shoes left scattered in the middle of the floor.  He's a right Imelda Marcos when it comes to shoes, he's got more than I have!  

I woke up just after 02.30 this morning and just couldn't get back to sleep.  I don't want to go up for a nap, else I won't sleep tonight.  I've got a bottle of Baileys, I might have to have a big glass of that to knock me out before I go to bed!  I almost never drink nowadays, having a couple of minor liver conditions I'm not supposed to drink anyway, but the main reason is I just don't like the taste of alcohol least Baileys more or less tastes like cream with a bit of a kick to it.

We went shopping this morning, we had two full bags extra to what we normally get, in view of the guests coming.  The price was a bit eye-watering, but needs must.  When I asked my sister the other day to remind me what she drinks, she said Scotch and strawberry Nesquik!! 😂😂  Not together, I hasten to add - I didn't even know they still make Nesquik, I do remember sis loved it as a child, she's clearly never grown out of it.  I wasn't actually referring to alcohol anyway, I actually meant tea or coffee 😁

So is there anything on TV tonight other than Eurovision, I wonder - anything worth watching, that is.  I can't be doing with Eurovision, doesn't appeal to me at all.  I would rather watch a good film on a Saturday night - having said that though, husband's and my ideas of a good film don't really match - he likes sci-fi or violent thrillers, I prefer a thought-provoking film with a good storyline.  Or a musical!!  I do love a musical, My Fair Lady, Phantom of the Opera and Mamma Mia being favourites.  Mind you, I doubt I'll be able to keep my eyes open long enough to watch anything much tonight.

Friday, 12 May 2023

3 more sleeps

 We've been to the caravan today, for a flying visit.....just to take a few laundered things back there, check if we need anything for next week, and give it a clean.  We did some gardening too, I weeded the pots and the little front flower bed (amazing how quickly the weeds had grown) and husband mowed the grass around the plot.  Chatted with some fellow owners and the site owners and were given our invitation to the site's grand 90th anniversary celebration bbq which is taking place on 1 July.  Amazing to think the site has been in the same family ownership all that time.  I wonder how many owners will attend, it'll be a chance to get to know some of those we only know by sight and a quick wave.

I'm so tired again, really not sleeping well at all.  Which is daft really, as I'm well organised for next week's visitors and have already done more than half of the things on my to do list.  Husband's current and potential health problems are weighing on my mind, along with the bids we've put in on bungalows.  Hoping I can catch up with some sleep over the weekend.

Sister messaged me this afternoon to ask about going to a couple of places - she clearly doesn't realise quite how big the county of Somerset is, as both places she mentioned are over an hour's drive away.  One of them is also very hilly, and as she's disabled and walks with sticks she won't be able to get around very well.  Nor will I, come to that!  We'll enjoy ourselves, wherever we go.  Just 3 more sleeps until they get here (assuming I can sleep! 😂 ).

Thursday, 11 May 2023

Houses - well, bungalows

 Hopefully one day soon(ish), my blog title post will be 'Moving!' - I can but wish!

Currently we have bids in on 3 properties, all bungalows - ironically, given that we've recently decided to expand our search by including houses, as bungalows are in short supply.  One bid is from last week, two from this week - we can have 3 bids per week.

The property we like the most is actually the nicest place we've seen on the social housing list so far, since we were first accepted onto the list last November.  It's a lovely looking largish bungalow (from the outside, we don't get to see inside until the landlord is considering us as a tenant), in a very nice small village of perhaps 100 houses, all in fairly close proximity.  In our little hamlet here there are about 20 houses, well scattered about.  There are fields surrounding the village, just like here, so it's still quite rural - the bungalow backs onto fields, just like we do here.  A bigger village with amenities (shop and doctors) is about a mile away, and a town with lots more amenities around 5 or 6 miles further on.  There are also buses, so it's fairly easy to get around without a car.  The landlord (it's a housing association, not the local Council) is very well respected and has a reputation for being very good with their tenants, so that's another bonus for this particular property.  The downside, if it is one, is that it's an area we're not familiar with, quite a long way away (over an hour) from where we live now.....but it's nearer to our caravan park.

The 2nd property is also a housing association one (in fact, all of them are), quite nice looking and in our preferred area, so we would be able to keep the same GP.  However, parking is an issue - the bungalow has no parking space, it's on-street parking, and this village is renowned for having a parking problem.  People on social media are always complaining about having nowhere to park and/or being in dispute with neighbours who they consider have parked in 'their' spaces - erm, when it's on-street parking one can park wherever one wants, within reason.  The bungalow is situated in a small narrow cul de sac which doesn't appear to have enough room to accommodate many cars at all, so I think we would have a lot of trouble parking there.

The 3rd bungalow I think will be too small - I know we're downsizing, but we both think that the small size of this property will be a step too far.  If we are invited to go and see it I dare say we'll still go, if only to confirm our suspicions that it is indeed too small and thus we'll know not to put in any further bids on properties of a similar size in the future.

What's the betting that we'll be invited to go view one or more of the properties next week, when our guests are here......and that husband will be contacted by the Memory Assessment team asking us to go see them to get the results of his scan, and perhaps have further tests (which they said might happen)?

Looks like it's going to be a nice day so my washing is going out on the line.  I'm having my hair cut this afternoon, my hairdresser neighbour asked to change the appointment to today rather than tomorrow.

I didn't have much sleep at all last night, what with my mind churning about the bungalows and Betty being quite restless - I had to go down and let her out in the garden in the early hours as she was asking to go out (she scratches the doormat), she didn't settle very well afterwards, fidgeting about on my bed.  So this morning my brain feels like it's stuffed with cotton wool.

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Back and ready

 I've finally managed to get a couple of good nights' sleep (well, good for me) and feel a lot better.  I've also really pared back my diet and eaten nothing but smaller portions of plain homemade food with lots of veg, so that's helping to sort my guts out as well.  

Monday I did next to nothing, other than making lists of shopping, menu plan for this week (eating out of the freezer again) and jobs needing to be done before sis and friend get here next Monday.  One of the jobs was for husband to tidy his room, as my sister will be sleeping in it (husband will be in my room with me whilst sis is here, sis's friend will be in my craft room/spare bedroom).  My bedroom is an oasis of calm and serenity, very tidy and minimalist as I don't like clutter - husband's bedroom looks like a teenage boy's room, clothes scattered everywhere despite him having a large wardrobe and chest of drawers (he rarely puts anything away).  Shoes he leaves in the middle of the floor, in the place where he took them of these days he will trip over them and probably knock himself out when his head hits the wardrobe or drawers.  The top of his chest of drawers was covered with numerous things - toiletries both in use and empty ones, odd tools, pairs of glasses (he has several), just general clutter.  I asked him to sort it all out, put everything away and get rid of all the clutter - amazingly, he's done it.  Now he just needs to keep it that way!

I now have lists for everything, so I know exactly what jobs need doing and when this week, when we're going shopping and a completed list for what I need to buy....well, I say completed, it'll probably get another few things added to it as I think of them.  We're going to the caravan on Thursday, just for a couple of hours, to take a few things back there and make sure it's all tidy, including the garden.  I'm having my hair cut on Friday, I don't think it'll need colouring again just yet so that saves one job (I always colour it myself).  I have just one meal left to cook and freeze for next week, and a batch of chocolate chip muffins, both of which I'll do on Sunday, and that's all the meals sorted for the week, just some fresh stuff to get on Saturday when we go shopping.

I've planned where we'll go for our girls' days out, one place is my choice, the other I'll leave up to sis and friend to decide, I'll give them a choice of 3 places.  I think I've got everything sorted now, I feel so much better when I know everything is under control.

For Scarlet - Thank you.  I'm sorry you and your family have had so many problems, I can only feel fortunate that we haven't really suffered any of that....other than some prejudice towards those family members who follow a certain religion.

Monday, 8 May 2023


 The day with husband's family visiting went well, but I'm totally knackered now.  I'm taking a break for a few days, be back soon.

Sunday, 7 May 2023

A long but good day for the King and Queen

 Well I loved the Coronation, I thought it was all very moving, if a bit long, despite being shorter than the Queen's.  The King did look strained, as if the weight and responsibility and stress was all getting to him (as I'm sure it must have been) on the way in, but looked relieved afterwards.  I liked the diversity of it all, with so many representatives of other countries, and other faiths.  I wonder what some of them thought of it all?  The military parade was amazing, especially the rousing 3 cheers they all gave the King.  

I suspect that when William is crowned, things will be very different.  That's assuming Charles lives a good few years yet, as did his parents and grandmother, and that we still have a Monarchy by then - I wouldn't like to put a bet on that, despite being a royalist all my life.  I think William will be a very different King, much more modern and a man of the people - more like some of the European royals.

Events like this always remind me very strongly of my grandfather, as an Armed Forces veteran of WW2, very patriotic and a staunch royalist, he loved all pageantry and would have been glued to the TV for this Coronation....he would even have worn a jacket and tie, stood up to toast the King and pledged his allegiance.  I miss him a lot.

I wonder whether Prince Harry was thinking about all that he's given up, and now being merely on the fringes of his family - which was very evident yesterday.  I do think he's brought it all on himself, and he and his wife make mountains out of molehills and seem unwilling/unable to let things go.  But I do feel sorry for him, nonetheless.  I think seeing all those nationalities both as guests and playing all sorts of important roles in the day makes a complete mockery of Harry & Meghan's claims that the Royal Family is institutionally racist.

It's going to be a long day today, with our guests arriving around 10 am and they most likely won't leave until late evening, despite having a 3 hour drive back home (oh to be young!).  I'm so tired lately, really bone-achingly tired.

Saturday, 6 May 2023

That's over with, and long live the King

 (but no I won't be swearing allegiance, that's just silly and unnecessary, in my opinion)

Husband was in and out of the scan place in just 10 minutes, and that included waiting time!  He said the scan itself was so quick he barely had time to blink.  Bit of stress (for me) beforehand - we were due to leave the house at 4 pm, husband had taken Betty out for a 'quick' walk 3.55 he still wasn't home and I knew he'd most likely have to go to the loo etc before we left.  He breezed in just on 4 pm, completely oblivious - he's got no conception of time or urgency, he'd been gassing to a neighbour at the top of the road 😒.  Fortunately, traffic was light and we actually got there 15 mins early.  No idea how long it'll take for results to be sent to the Memory Assessment team, they didn't say and of course husband forgot to ask.

Well now that's over, we can (attempt) to put it out of our minds and just relax for a bit.  I'm really looking forward to sitting in front of the TV all day today 😂😂 - and husband will NOT have custody of the remote control - I'm not having him flicking between channels all the time like he always does.  The  quiche and some snacky bits are all ready and waiting, and I'm just about to make the scones for our cream tea.  I almost never drink alcohol, but will probably have a G&T (just the one) to toast the King, it is a probably once in a lifetime momentous event, after all.

The weather is supposed to be fine tomorrow, which is good as it means after our lunch with husband's daughter, SiL and grandson at the animal park tomorrow, we can all walk around and see all the animals.  It's a farm not a zoo, so they haven't got any exotic animals, but some alpacas/llamas, rabbits and guinea pigs, fancy chickens, small ponies, along with all the normal farm animals.  It's a nice place.

I've had a text from our lovely van neighbours C&J to say they're arriving back at the caravan park on the same day as we're going to stay there with my sister, which will be lovely.

I had an awful night, not much sleep at all and feeling every single ache and pain this morning.  I feel totally flat, probably due to all the stress lately and a reaction to husband's scan yesterday, so it's just as well I'm doing nothing today, other than the scones which take no time or effort to make.  Watching the Coronation will be the perfect thing to cheer me up.

Friday, 5 May 2023

This is how it goes nowadays

 A strip of sealant (the actual strip you can buy as a length, not a tube of stuff) underneath the shower fitting in our bathroom had perished, it was letting in water and looked really unsightly, husband knew about it and I'd been asking him for ages (literally weeks) to do something about it.  It wasn't a big job, the piece was only about 18" long and the job would only have taken around an hour or 2.  However, it's taken husband nearly a week (5 days to be precise) to do it.  This is how it's gone......The first day it took most of the day for him to search in his shed and garage for the necessary tools and things he needed, he'd been given a sealant strip by a builder neighbour.  The next day he started to remove the old perished strip, clean the area down, sand or scrape off the sticky remains, clean it down again - this actually took a couple of days as during the cleaning down process, he had to go out to the shed to get something else he needed (he never, and I do mean never, remembers to collect together ALL of the necessary tools and supplies in one go at the start of a job - his lifelong disorganised mind due to the dyslexia).  On the way back from the shed, he decided to make himself a cuppa, took it into the lounge to drink it and ended up spending the rest of the day dozing in front of the TV and/or playing on his computer, the job forgotten.  He didn't remember the next day either.  The day after that (day 4) I reminded him - to be fair, I'd also forgotten about it the previous day, but that was because I was busy all day and wasn't actually aware that he hadn't finished the job.  He ummed and ahhed about it and said yes he'd finish it off.....but it didn't get done that day.  So on day 5 I asked him to please get on and finish it that day, which he finally did.

I only ever ask him nowadays to do small jobs that I know he is very capable of doing, but even they take him so much longer than they used to, mainly because of his disorganisation and forgetfulness, but also because he's increasingly cackhanded and clumsy.  And before anyone starts accusing me of complaining and being unfair - I'm not at all, I'm very aware of his limitations due to his health and dyslexia.  I'm merely saying this is how it is nowadays - for everything.

We had some unpleasant news yesterday - a letter stating our rent is going up by quite a substantial amount, 5 or 6 times more than it's ever gone up before.  We're going to CAB next week, to get some advice.  It just feels like something else kicking us in the teeth.  We've decided that rather than wait, holding out for a social housing bungalow, we'd do better to consider a house - each week there are only 1 or 2 bungalows available on the Council's housing list, some weeks none at all, whereas there are always half a dozen or more houses (even more flats, but we're both adamant we don't want a flat, for several very good reasons).  Our main priorities are living close to amenities (mainly a GP and shops), either in walking distance or on a bus route.  And we do really need a downstairs toilet, and an enclosed garden for Betty (and for our sanity!).  We can both manage the stairs at the moment, but that may change in time, we'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it.  If we move to a house, it may be possible to do a transfer or mutual exchange to a bungalow in the future.

The main thing that's not in our favour is the relatively short period of time we've been on the waiting list - anyone with medical issues such as ours who has been on the waiting list for longer, trumps us.  I've not yet seen a property we like where our ranking has been less than 30 (meaning 29 people will be considered before us), for most properties our ranking has been well over 50.  Still, all I can do is keep looking each week, and widening our scope to include houses, not just bungalows, and areas away from where we would prefer.

So today is husband's brain scan, it's not until 5 pm so we have all day to wait.  Must keep busy!  Although it's not the actual scan itself that's the worrying thing (it's just a scan, he's had enough of them before, albeit not a brain scan), it's the waiting for results.  At least the week after next my sister and friend will be here with us for a week, I'm looking forward to that enormously.

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Baking and more stuff to (try) and remember

 Nethergreen (new reader?  Welcome), that video clip did make me laugh!  As did some of the other comments, thanks.

So I started off yesterday by making pastry and putting it in the fridge to rest.  Then I made a chicken curry for husband - his request for his dinner last night.....for some strange reason, ever since I've become (mostly) vegetarian, I no longer enjoy curries, even veggie ones, and I certainly don't like the smell.  I made enough for 2 portions for him, one to freeze, but he decided it was so nice he ate it all.  He's certainly got a big appetite.  (I had a lemon & pepper dusted basa fillet with new potatoes and peas for my dinner last night).

I then made another turkey and stuffing meatloaf, adding finely chopped onions and grated carrot to the mix, along with extra sage, thyme and chives, tomato and garlic puree, that's been frozen as it's a meal for when sis and friend are here.  Next I did our own quiche for the Coronation - turkey sausage, mature Cheddar, fresh chives from the garden and sage, much more to our taste than spinach and broad beans!  I don't even like broad beans and even if I did, would never think of putting them in a quiche, just seems weird to me.  I sliced the sausages and part fried them first, so they didn't look anaemic in the quiche.  I ummed and ahhed about keeping it in the fridge until Saturday, but decided to freeze it so as to be safe, I'll get it out Saturday early morning.

I decided not to make cakes as well - my back and left knee were protesting about standing in the kitchen for hours, and I didn't want the cakes going in the oven at the same time as the savoury stuff.  I'll do them today instead - a lemon drizzle cake and chocolate chip muffins.  Scones for our Coronation afternoon tea I'll make on Saturday morning - they take no time at all to mix up and always taste nicer freshly baked.  I'll bake them in the AF, they turn out quite well done in that, I've done them a couple of times now.

I had to stop work in the kitchen a few times for things to do with husband - e.g. he was wanting to order something off ebay and wanted my opinion.....he just orders things willy-nilly without checking where the item is coming from (China?), or the feedback ratings of the seller, both of which I've suggested, several times before, that it would be a good idea to do.  I'd asked him to sweep the alley path in front of our garden and trim any overhanging bits of the hedge, as the post and delivery people have trouble getting through otherwise, the alley was getting overgrown and the path very slippy with moss and leaves.....he'd forgotten so I had to remind him.  He also needed reminding to make a necessary phone call and to go to the surgery to collect our prescriptions.  One of his important heart failure meds (the latest one prescribed by his cardiologist, it's to prevent angina - a tablet, in addition to the GTN spray he already has) is always hard to get hold of, every time we've ordered it so far the pharmacy have none in stock and have to specially order it, which takes a few days.  So now they've suggested he (that means me) orders it a week in advance of when we (I) normally put in our monthly order, to ensure that he gets it on time - he's run out of them every month since he was prescribed them due to the delay in the pharmacy getting them in, and the fact that they're in packs of 28 rather than 30 like most of his other meds.  As they're a repeat prescription for him, and he won't be the only patient on them, I don't know why the pharmacy can't put in a regular order every week or so, it seems daft to only order them when he (the patient) needs them.  But I suppose there's something going on behind the scenes that we don't know about....perhaps they're in short supply or something.  All I know is that it's yet another thing I have to remember.

Clicking my fingers (I wish!). And the Coronation

 I was trying to explain to my husband the other day just why I'm so tired, stressed and irritable lately - I could see both by the expression on his face and a couple of things he said that he just doesn't 'get' it.  E.g. he said "But you go upstairs and read or do things on your laptop for a couple of hours, so you're getting plenty of rest!".  What he doesn't realise is that when I'm on my computer, I'm not just reading the paper or blogs or playing games - he bases it on what he does on his computer, which is play chess or watch silly video clips or look at umpteen cars on Autotrader or stuff on ebay.  I do all our banking on mine, enter appointments in our calendar (as well as the paper calendar we have on the wall), look up directions for the various medical appointments we (well, mostly he) have which aren't all in the hospital, some of them are in outreach clinics.  I do menu planning and look up recipes, google various bits of information we both need to know, and deal with and send emails.  So I'm not just resting when I'm sitting with my laptop upstairs, I'm busy working.  And when I do read up there, quite often I have to go back and re-read a page because my mind is always on the go, thinking about the next thing I've got to do, so I haven't taken in a word of what I've just read.

I know for a fact that husband doesn't think about everything that needs doing - I'm not suggesting he's got nothing at all on his mind, I know he's worried about his general health and the memory stuff and what it all might mean for the future, and he's definitely worried about possibly losing his driving licence.  But I think he's so used to me doing everything that he doesn't have any idea about HOW it all happens - I'm sure he thinks it all just happens as if by magic....if only all I had to do was click my fingers!

My mind is always on the go lately, it's so crammed with information and stuff that needs doing or planning, worries about husband and ill relative, questions to ask.  I sometimes feel like it's all spilling out as there's no room for it anymore - I keep forgetting things!  I don't think it's dementia or any medical problem, I'm pretty sure it's just that I've got so much on my mind at the moment.

Having done minimal but necessary stuff over the past few days, and made lots of lists, I am now feeling more organised and thus a bit less stressed.  I also slept reasonably well last night, which helps a lot.  Now that husband gets Attendance Allowance and I get Carers, I've been considering employing a cleaner, say once a fortnight - that'll take some of the pressure and work off me.

I'm having a batch cooking and baking day today, doing the last couple of meal/cakey things for when my sis and friend come, plus a few extras, all to freeze.  As it's the Coronation on Saturday, and I'm a staunch Royalist, I shall be watching it all on TV (ha, something I actually want to watch, for a change!).  So I want to make some food that will be easy to grab and eat in front of the TV - not the official Coronation Quiche though, spinach and broad beans!!  Yuck.  Maybe some sausage rolls, and I've got a pack of sourdough crumpets, I might add a sort of pizza topping to them.  We'll get some fresh salad on Friday on our way back from husband's scan, and a tub of clotted cream, as I'll probably make scones too - a good old British cream tea sounds the right sort of thing to have on this occasion, I've already got the jam.

I won't be swearing allegiance to the King though, I don't think that's necessary for us ordinary citizens.  I just hope there's no unexpected drama and it all goes well for the Royal Family, it'll be a stressful enough and long event for them as it is.  And I sincerely hope the media focuses solely on the Coronation and doesn't bring up Meghan - it's the King's day, not hers.  Will you be watching the Coronation?

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Learning to say no

Thank you again for the support, it's much appreciated as always.

Husband's daughter rang him yesterday, wanting to come down for the day on Sunday along with her husband and (adult) son.  She's anxious about her father's brain scan this Friday, understandably - we won't know any results from the scan for probably at least a fortnight but I can understand her wanting to see her father to check he's ok.  I get on very well with all of them so have no objections to them coming, however, I've told husband he must plan what we're going to do, and eat, as I'm not cooking for all of them - one of them is an extremely fussy eater, they all eat different things to us, and I just don't feel up to making several different meals.  He's volunteered to take us all out for Sunday lunch to a local farm park on the coast, they have lots of animals (they're all animal lovers) and a restaurant that does a good carvery.  Then we'll just have some cake to go with a cuppa before they go home early evening - I'll buy the cake, not make it.  So that's that sorted.  It's normally left up to me to make all the plans but right now I'm just not up to it.  One of the things I'm having to work on is admitting that I cannot do everything anymore - which is hard after a lifetime of doing it.

Problem relative seems finally to have stabilised, having been exhibiting extreme bipolar behaviour ever since discharging themselves from hospital.  No further news or progress on their 'could cause sudden death' diagnosis, I really don't know what's going to happen, they're still refusing to go for any further tests.

For the past couple of days I've stuck to my resolve and only done what's absolutely necessary, putting washing on and preparing the evening meal - I rarely eat breakfast so husband gets his own, and we've been getting our own snack lunches.  I do feel a bit calmer and more relaxed, although I'm still not sleeping very well.  I've done all the planning for when sister and friend arrive, both what we're going to do, and all 3 meals for each day they're here, I've already cooked and frozen most meals.  We will be having a couple of girly days out, leaving husband and Betty at home, I'm looking forward to that, as are my sis and friend.

Husband booked Betty's next grooming session for the week of our anniversary, when we'll be at the caravan for the week and going out every day 😒 the groomers is just down the road here where we live, it won't be possible to take her that day, so I'll have to ring and rearrange it today.  On a good note, I found and downloaded a voucher for free entry to a big National Trust property up near the caravan park, so that's one day out sorted, the voucher will save us £34.  We can take Betty, dogs are allowed, although not inside the big House.  That's ok, husband's not really interested in looking round big manor houses, although I enjoy it, so he'll be happy to stay in the grounds with Betty whilst I look round the House.  It's Tyntesfield, near Bristol, has anyone been?