The domino effect

It feels to me that I am experiencing the domino effect. Each domino that falls knocks the next which then leads to the next.

Dominoes

Each time I have any serious health issues I get radical treatment which cures the problem.

Unfortunately that treatment leads to another serious problem. That then gets treated but then leads to the next problem.

I am currently waiting for a date to have an endoscopy to rule out cancer. I’m feeling a bit anxious if truth be told.

Monday marvel

Most days are unremarkable in the little corner of ours. The only thing that breaks up our days are when I go out with my books. We also get regular visits from my first husband and his dog.

Otherwise we don’t really see anyone. The cleaner comes every 2 weeks for 2 hours.

This morning we had a couple of visitors. First was the arrival of a man who had come to install a new handrail for mother. He was here for maybe 5 minutes probably less.

Next I had a delivery of 2 boxes. Nothing unusual in that I get at least one delivery every week.

Finally we had the visitors we had been waiting for. We were beginning to worry that the weather was going to change. The forecast being for torrential rain today. Apart from a few spots of rain it stayed dry not just whilst they were here but through the afternoon.

Our visitors were our usual tree surgeon and his assistant. This time they were not tackling ant trees for us but some shrubs that had outgrown their use, in the front garden. The main reason they were here was to secure the hedge in the back garden.

The hedge has for many years been secured to the fence behind it. I could see that the fence nextdoor had collapsed, leaving our hedge to sway in the wind. There is now a wooden frame securing it in place.

While they were here I cheekily asked if they could do me a favour. They weren’t sure if they could do it but would try. It took a bit of effort but the managed it.

To my delight I now have a fully functional rotary washing line. The previous one collapsed late spring last year. Mother ordered a new bigger one which finally arrived in about November. I have been looking forward to using it but needed to find a kind man or two willing to put it up for me. In the past I would have attempted to do it myself. Being that kind of woman who prefers to do things myself rather than ask a man. These days I’m learning to ask for help.

oznorCOQR

Rainy Sunday

I’m afraid to say that I’m in danger. Only a teensy bit of danger but it’s there. I have never been a particularly domestic woman. I do what I need to. I don’t enjoy cooking or cleaning.

Today I dodged the showers to pot up some of my plants. I managed to get 3 pots done before the heavy rain started again.

When i went into the kitchen to get myself some lunch I did something that is very rare for me. I made a Victoria sponge cake. Which we both had a slice of with our late afternoon cup of tea. It must be over a year since I last made a cake. Certainly not since my hospital stay last August, or even the weeks leading up to that as I was too poorly.

I have also occupied my time today reading and knitting. I’m making the sleeves for a cat face jumper. This will be my third one. I have made two for my granddaughter. One with a cream background and one grey. This one is white and has been commissioned by my daughter in law for her niece.

During the afternoon while I was knitting we watched two episodes of a Danish crime serial. I generally listen to the TV more than watch but with the foreign programs that mother likes I really have to keep up with the sub titles if I want to follow the plot.

This afternoon seems to have flown by but then I realised that I fell asleep for about half an hour.

Alcohol and the family

A couple of days ago I noticed that someone had been having a good look around this blog. Whether it was someone I know or not I don’t know. That someone had looked at lots of posts including one called where has my dad gone.

As i scrolled through the list of posts looked at I knew what most of them were about but this one puzzled me. My dad died in 1995. So it couldn’t be about him. This particular post was written back in 2015.

Reading it again it took me a little while to remember it. I was describing a visit to one of my sons in London. On the way to the flat he shared with his now wife and another couple. They stopped at a local shop. Whilst they were inside (I was waiting outside with my youngest son). A drunk was ejected from the store.

When my other son came out he asked “where has my dad gone?” I knew instinctively what he was on about. Growing up with an alcoholic father had an impact on my boys. This particular son could do a very accurate impression of his dad when he was drunk.

When my two eldest sons were going off to university within a week of each other I wanted to take my boys out for a drink. All four of them chose non alcoholic drinks even though two were old enough to drink and one was 17.

All four boys are now adults (2 are fathers) they do all drink now but only moderately. As a young adult my eldest son used to be the designated driver when out with mates. My second son was usually the one taking care of his drunken mates. Although I have heard a few tales of his drunkenness. My younger two are not keen on alcohol.

Talking about it earlier my mother commented that when she came to our house once when eldest was about 8 or 9 he told her. ” If you have come to see my part time father, he’s at the pub”. It is sad that from a very young age he knew the telephone number of the pub off by heart. ( Before mobile phones).

As a family our lives revolved around the pub even if we were not in one. If we went anywhere at the weekends we had to be back before the pub opened. My husband couldn’t cope with getting there after the door was unlocked. During the day his friends would come and go but he would still be there.

He would frequently phone home to say he would be back in half an hour. Other times he wanted me to fetch him. When I did (with boys in tow) he would need to finish his drink. I always refused to have a drink. Sometimes it would take several hours before he managed to leave. Often I just left him there and went home.

My boys grew up knowing that their father was very good at making promises. Not good at keeping them. They learnt never to expect him to keep a promise. He would buy them play station games or football shirts to make up for not being there. I lost count of the birthdays he missed because he was five minutes away in the pub. I don’t know where he got the money for his guilt gifts. We never had enough money for the bills.

I learnt over the years that everything was an excuse to drink. Bad day at work, good day at work, hot day, wet day. Money worries or me being annoyed with him.

After I divorced him he was upset that he didn’t want to be a weekend father. I said that would be an improvement. He would arrange to see the boys. Not do much the eldest as he was off leading his own life. Frequently he would either cancel seeing them or he wanted them to lend him money for cigarettes or beer or both. When they did see him I would drop them off. Happy to have some me time. It never lasted. I think 2 hours was the longest before I got the plea from them to pick them up.

I am happy to say that he gave up drinking about 4 or maybe it’s 5 years ago now. He is better for it. He is trying hard to rebuild his relationship with his sons and have a good relationship with our grandchildren.

Since i moved back here to live with my mother I see him regularly. He has been a great help to both of us in the last couple of years. I wouldn’t go back to him but we are at least friends now.

Fractured not broken

The other night and it was at night I wrote a post about waiting. I wrote it because I had been reading Abbie Greaves book The end of the Earth. It had taken me back to when I was a young adult. I couldn’t sleep because of the thoughts going round and round in my head. Once I had written it and I apologise I didn’t read it through so there are bound to be errors.

One of my new blogging friends Bitchy after 60 commented that with everything I have been through it would have broken most people.

That post only scratched the surface of what my life has been like in the last 50+ years. I’m not broken yet. I have many emotional fractures and my body is falling apart but nothing has broken me yet.

Last night mother asked if I had experienced depression or anxiety in the last year. The question was in relation to the covid-19 pandemic. The answer is no. I am lucky to have technology that has allowed me to keep in contact with family and friends. I could also order whatever I needed online. I also have plenty to keep me occupied. My garden, reading, knitting etc.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced anxiety or feeling in low spirits. I have but more in respect of my health than the pandemic.

Election day

Today has been election day. We had more votes to cast than usual. The elections that should have happened in May last year were postponed. Today where we live we are voting for local council elections. County elections and Police and Crime Commissioners. That’s one vote for local council, 2 votes for the county and two for PCC.

Usually votes are counted overnight. I did take part in the counting once (many years ago). The hall would be full of long tables. There are a lot of people doing the counting then there are others over seeing the counting plus all the election officials not to mention the candidates and their supporters. That is a lot of people in one room. Obviously in the current climate they can’t do it the same way as usual. Although I am not ultra political I am interested in the process and the results. Therefore whenever I could (work permitting) I would stay up at least for part of the night watching everything on TV. Seeing the predictions the results and the swings of power. This time I don’t believe there will be any result programs on until tomorrow. Social distancing means that counting will take longer.

All my adult life I have mostly voted for the same party. Today I have spread my votes across 3 parties. I am not one to just blindly vote for one particular party just because they are the party of my choice. I always check who the candidates are and see what they stand for. It just so happens that I tend to vote for the same party because the are closer aligned with my own beliefs. Today two of my five votes went to different parties. It is not the party but the candidate that I voted for.

I know that my local area will not change overnight but maybe some of the seats will change hands or at the very least become a closer contest. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens.

If you are in the UK have you voted today?

Elbow bumps, why?

On and off since March 2020 I have wondered about this. Why do they do it? I understand that the advice is not to shake hands in greetings. What I don’t understand and it’s often politicians that I see on TV doing this, is why the elbow bumps? For a start they have to get much closer together in order to do this.

Wouldn’t it be better to not have physical contact. After all we are meant to be keeping space between us. If they can’t bear to forego physical contact then for heaven’s sake wear gloves and have a handshake. No skin on skin contact and not such close proximity.

Insisting on this elbow bumping ( often looking awkward) is not clever. It doesn’t protect them from catching covid-19. I know that it is considered polite in the civil world to shake hands but couldn’t do that for the past year. Considering the social distancing, face coverings we have all become accustomed to is it not possible that these politicians and other business people/ celebrities could just not do anything.

If elbow bumps are permitted then why is hugging not?

Please could someone explain to me why I can’t hug my family but these people can bump elbows.

We are gradually coming out of lockdown here in UK. Will this habit continue or will handshakes resume?

Was my body ever a temple?

I’m thinking obviously about the saying that your body is a temple.

This is how I thought of my body three years ago https://ladyinredagain.com/2018/01/10/my-body-is-a-temple/

Now I think my body is more like a colander. Until you plug the holes the water or in my case iron will just keep running out.

Silent treatment

No this isn’t what either of us are subjecting the other to. It is the name of a book. A book that I read on my kindle last year and have given to mother in paperback version for her birthday last weekend. This book The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves. (Her first book). This book is very different to any I had read before. I found myself not just wanting to but needing to turn the page to see what was going to happen. Constantly trying to guess the whats and whys. As I am writing this mother is deep into the book. I am looking forward to getting Abbie’s second book which is released tomorrow. I found out about Abbie’s first book through my daughter in law who put a post on instagram last year. I’m on tenterhooks waiting to receive my pre ordered copy of The Ends of The Earth. If I go missing for a few days I will be reading. In US this book has a different title. Anywhere For You.

I am hoping that any of you who also love to read will find these books and enjoy them too. I say enjoy but maybe that is the wrong word to use as certainly The Silent Treatment was heartbreaking I belive The Ends of The Earth will be equally heartbreaking but unmissable.

Another book I read recently was Tales of The City, by Armistead Maupin. There was a question on Pointless (tv quiz that mum has watched for years). One of the answers was Armistead Maupin. I later looked up his Tales of The City series of books as I gathered that they were set in San Francisco. A city that I am interested in. Whilst I enjoyed reading about the city and checking the maps to see where various roads were the story itself was not really my cup of tea. I wasn’t sure I would read much of it but I persevered and got to the end. Now I am in two minds whether to read the second book. As I said it wasn’t my cup of tea but by the end I had figured out who all the characters were and how the many connections came about. I might read the second book to find out what happens to them.

I have been for a blood test this morning. The Dr I spoke to recently wants to see what my hormones are doing plus I am due my diabetes blood test. Afterwards I collected up the last of my Avon books for April. I have now got £600 in sales for the month. I still have a few more customers who need to let me know what they want. I don’t think £600 is bad for two weeks work. I am continuing to post products onto my Elliesdeals blog but not quite as frequently as I started off doing. Two days ago I posted about our Radiance Tinted moisturiser. I have noticed that my customers have ordered quite a few tubes of this in the last couple of days. I have been using it myself for a couple of years particularly at this time of year.

I have just received two packages. Quite telling really that one was more half coconuts for the birds and the other was 24 mixed trailing lobelia plants. My garden is starting to take shape but I could do with finding someone to do the work on the ground that I can’t manage anymore.

Granny train

We had visitors today. It’s the first day of the new lockdown easing. My grandson brought his parents to visit us. The last time we saw them was last July when the schools broke up. (His mummy is a teacher).

When Teddy was born I busted them in London every 6 to 8 weeks staying in their flat for a weekend. I wanted to be sure that my grandson knew his Granny. Just before his first birthday I became ill, not leaving the house for 6 weeks. It took a while before I was strong enough to make the two hour journey. The last time I visited them was last February.

Obviously with Lockdown we all missed his birthday at the end of April. When they came to visit in July he was not much over 2 and hadn’t seen me very much since Christmas. He was very shy. I was still waiting for my surgery and my health was not great so I couldn’t do much except watching the little boy playing in the garden.

Now he is almost three. I worry that I am a stranger to him. He did talk to me on a video call at Easter which was brilliant. Usually I end up talking to his daddy and watching him play.

Today my heart is overflowing with live for this little boy ( my first grandchild). This small child isn’t interested in any soft toys what he likes are vehicles. Any vehicle, trains, cars, planes, boats or buses. So that he wouldn’t be bored being here we let him have his birthday presents. His Great Grannie had given him an action man with some extra clothes. Teddy found this rather curious but he politely said thank you.

Next he opened the big box covered in football wrapping paper. Inside the box was a big yellow transporter truck and five smaller trucks. Cement mixer, tipper truck crane and so on. He delighted in insisting that Granny have races with him. At first I thought he wanted me to run around the garden. I soon discovered that we were to race the trucks down the wooden slope from the decking towards the lawn.

More than anything (even the peppa pig ice cream) the thing that he enjoyed the most was the trains that pass the end of the garden every 10 minutes or less. Whatever he was doing he would run to me. “Granny train, super fast train. Yellow, red, green, blue”

For a little boy who loves vehicles, seeing real trains so close and so often. (Three different train companies). I am sure was pure heaven for him.

For me it was wonderful to watch his enthusiasm and know that he wanted to include me, his Granny, in everything he did.

We had to water the garden. I wasn’t sure his little hands would manage to squeeze the handle. I especially loved it when he handed it to his mummy to water one of the pots. Telling her once she had done it. “Well done”.

They have gone now, staying in an Airbnb a few miles away. In the morning they are meeting Grandpa at the beach to walk Grandpa’s dog. Before meeting up with me and his cousin who is bringing her parents to see us.

I am looking forward to seeing my two grandchildren together tomorrow.

Considering the wintery weather this morning we were lucky that whilst not warm it was not too unpleasant to be visiting outside.