Slow down

Why has it taken so long before I figured out that I only had to say slow down. When the lady from the hospital phoned to make the appointment for my treatment she was speaking too fast.

I actually asked her to slow down. I explained that I am partially deaf and needed her to speak slower. Which she was happy to do. The conversation was much easier for me to understand. Very often, and my husband is guilty of this, people think that because I have a hearing impairment they need to increase the volume. Sometimes that is the case but usually I can hear them but my brain has to translate what it’s hearing. If someone is talking too fast my brain can’t keep up and it sounds like a foreign language.

When I say slow down I don’t mean speak in an exaggerated slow speech. Just speak normally but not too fast. If we are talking in person please make sure you are facing me and don’t cover your mouth. It is so annoying when people talk to me when facing away or in another room. Equally (I had a supervisor who did this) talking with their hand partially covering their mouth.

Wearing face coverings in the last year hasn’t helped. Stupidly I find myself wanting to remove my mask in order to properly hear what is being said. As if that helps!

Yes I have not one but 2 hearing aids. I don’t wear them as much as I should. In many situations they don’t help as they magnify all the sounds around me but don’t help with conversation. I tend to wear them more to listen to the TV.

Thats another bug bear for me. Why can’t everyone on TV have their microphone on the same volume. I can be watching something and hear one person clearly but not others.

In the days when I had control over what to watch on TV, I kept the TV controller to hand. If it was a commercial channel I would have to turn the volume down for the adverts but up again for the program.

Is it just me ? When I listen to music I find that a lots of the music over the last couple of decades I have no idea what they are singing. The words are not clear enough for me. When I hear Will Young singing leave right now I hear the words Pooh Bear right now. There are several songs where I hear the lyrics incorrectly. Those are only the songs I can hear distinct words. Many songs are a jumble of nonsense with the occasional word decipherable.

That reminds me. Recently I tried to use the word tenterhooks. Only I had never seen it written down and always believed it to be tender hooks until a friend pointed it out to me.

Tonight on a question of sport (TV sports quiz game) one of the sections was about sports personalities whose surname began with the letter G. I heard E. For this reason I have s tendency to use the phonetic alphabet when telling someone my email address or post code even my name sometimes. Just ensure they get it right. I also using it to check that I have heard something right.

I’m pretty sure one reason I prefer to communicate with written words is so that there is no misunderstanding what I am hearing/reading.

Skip that

I needed to get to the top of a dead end road this afternoon. I was stopped in my tracks by a skip lorry. It was backed up to a driveway right on the bend of the road. The skip took up most of the drive way so the lorry was parked across the road. Now I have witnessed enough skips being picked up over the years. Also my first husband drove a skip lorry early in our relationship and again from time to time later.

I know a skip only takes a few minutes to be attached and lifted. I was quite happy to wait. Five minutes later and he hadn’t even begun to attach the chains to the skip. It looked like he was explaining to the home owner how it works. He couldn’t have NOT seen me waiting. Soon a transit sized van pulled up behind me and also waited patiently.

Eventually the guy began doing what he should have already finished at least five minutes ago. Finally the skip was airborne and that’s when it happened. To my horror I saw a cable whip through the air. I’m surprised it didn’t hit the home owner or her daughter.

She then told the driver he had hit one of the overhead cables that run from each dwelling.

Now I had to sit there waiting whilst the looked to see where the cable had detached from then knock on that neighbour’s door to tell them.

I don’t pretend that one of my varied talents is driving a skip lorry. However I do know enough that I would have lifted the skip off the ground then moved the lorry far enough forward to avoid the overhead cables before completing the manoeuvre.

The driver realise that he needed to move his lorry so that I and the van driver could pass. When I returned back down the road the driver was still there parked up on the pavement.

Well that was at least 20 minutes of my day wasted.

Maybe this driver won’t be delivering it picking up skips for a while.

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?

Relationships

A few days ago I went to have a look at a blog written by someone who had liked one of my posts. I started reading a post about relationships and letting God into your relationship. So many people give up on their marriage at the first sign of problems but if you let God into your relationship you can get over any problems you have.

This might upset some people but although I consider myself to be a Christian and try to live in a way that is kind to others. I do not actually believe in God. I kind of believe that there is something greater than us mortals but I’m not sure what. I digress. What I really want to say is that I think this philosophy that God will make your marriage work is a dangerous one.

It doesn’t take into account the many relationships that include abuse, either physical or emotional or both. It doesn’t take into account the marriages/relationships based on lies.

My first marriage was to a man who was what is now referred to as coercive controlling. I didn’t realise for a long time what was happening. It started with the dictates over what I wore. He didn’t like me dressing up to look nice. I ended up spending my time (outside of work) wearing baggy T-shirts, sweatshirts and baggy tracksuit trousers. Then there were the constant phone calls which, I now know, were not concern over how I was doing each day (multiple times) but checking up on me. If I was late home from the school run I had to explain where I had been and who with.

I was gradually pulled away from my friends. “They are using you”. When I eventually got a mobile phone the checking up increased. Even if I was with my mother the calls would be constant. In the end she would ask me to turn it off. If I had plans to go out, he would only arrive home at the very last minute to look after the children. Even having a part time job was difficult, I felt I was becoming unemployable because he often didn’t come home in time for me to go to work. That’s just a sample of what life was like in that relationship. I fail to see how this would have been helped by having God in my life.

My second marriage was not better, it was different. Again I don’t believe God would have made life better. When I met my second husband he knew that my first husband was an alcoholic and I didn’t want to travel that road again. It wasn’t until 6 months after we were married that I found out that he was a secret drinker. Our marriage was based on lies. I never would have married him or even gone out with him, if I had known he was an alcoholic. With my first husband his drinking was public. 18 pints of beer at the pub, any excuse for a drink. My second husband was home alone all day while I was out working. Now I know why nothing ever got done. He was sitting in his home office drinking bottles of vodka. No wonder he got through so much cash. No wonder he didn’t need to drink much when we were out.

My second husband is a narcissist, everything was about him, his needs, his wishes. His dislike of my children (he had promised to treat them like his own). He could never refer to them by name, to him they were ‘pond life’ or worse. I know this was a reflection on him not them. How would God have made life better when one partner is a narcissitic alcoholic?

These are just simple examples of the relationships I had with my husbands. There are many many people, not just women but men too who live in worse situations than I did. For them they need to get out of their situation not invite God to help them stay in it.

I’m not saying that there is not a place for God in marriages, just not all marriages. Some people would also find God helpful in their lives whilst they get out of their situation. God also has a place in helping people recover from those situations. I don’t think it’s right to say he can make every relationship work.

My quiet world

I was in my mid twenties when I first realised properly, what I had always known. I am partially deaf. As a young child I remember several late night visits to the Dr with ear problems. At primary school we had regular hearing checks. We would sit in a quiet room wearing headphones with the instruction to tap the box when we heard the beep. For some reason nobody picked up that I was tapping the box randomly just because I hadn’t heard a beep for a while.

In my mid twenties I was working on a cash desk in a cash and carry store. I realised that it depended where in the line I was working as to whether I could hear our supervisors. I also noticed that I could hear better from my left ear than my right one when using the telephone.

I had a hearing test and was told that unlike the majority of people with a hearing loss I was losing the lower tone spectrum where for most people it is the higher pitch. There is an operation that could be performed but the difference it would make would be minimal so at that time not worth going through, however at some point in the future if the change in my hearing was so that it became more beneficial I could have it done.

In my early 30s after having my youngest son I noticed that my hearing had got worse. Where most new mothers don’t want visitors knocking loudly on their door for fear of disturbing the baby, I had a note telling them to knock loudly. I was often surprised when one of the family rushed to the door when I hadn’t heard it. I had another hearing test. My hearing had deteriorated and now both ears were of a similar level. I would get a hearing aid but needed to decide which ear I wanted to be fitted for. I chose my right ear (I’m not entirely sure why but it seemed logical to me at the time).

Wow! I could hear the trains from our house, I hadn’t known that, or that our cooker made a noise when in use. I wore my hearing aid to work. Ouch my world suddenly became noisy, I could hear every printer, fax machine etc.

In my 40s I had yet another hearing test and this time got a hearing aid for each ear. This helped but it wasn’t really helping me to hear people. It was more a case of amplifying everything. I couldn’t wear them in the company of a group of children. Being involved in a local youth football club I was often in a sports hall with a group of enthusiastic children. Because I have no problems hearing high pitch it would become painful for me.

By now I had learnt that most children and the majority of women (so long as they spoke normally and didn’t whisper) were fine for me. However I have a problem if people are facing away or speaking from another room. Men who have lower tone voices and or have their hand over or near their mouths I have no chance.

I don’t watch a lot of tv, or rather I only half watch it because I struggle to hear what is going on. I miss the punchline on jokes. I guess I probably only hear about a third (if I’m lucky). It’s almost like watching silent movies with the odd words thrown in. Even talking to my own family especially my sons is a struggle. It is not unknown for me to think the topic of conversation is completely different to the actual topic.

Sometimes my problem isn’t the volume, I can hear people talking but it sounds to me like a foreign language. I have to listen out for clues but by the time I have figured it out the conversation has moved on to something else.

Contraction words are a big problem for me. I never know if someone could or couldn’t, would or wouldn’t etc. This is why I prefer to communicate via the written word rather than the spoken word. This has also caused a problem in my creative writing. I find it very difficult to write as people speak because I feel a need to make every word clear just as I would when I speak. Which I know is not natural for most people.

Through out my life I have been asked “what was that?” or “did you hear that?” Very often I didn’t hear anything. I am sure that for everyone who can hear properly it must be difficult to understand what it’s like to be in my world. I often get asked why don’t I wear my hearing aids more often. They don’t actually help. If I wear them I still can’t understand what people are saying but when I take them off I notice that the world has gone quieter. They make the world around me noisier but rarely make it easy to hear the spoken word.

My husband often said he would get an old fashioned hearing horn to shout into my ear. Not very helpful.

I want to ask my GP to arrange another hearing test for me(its been about 7 years since my last one) but feel that with everything else going on at the moment it wouldn’t be a priority for the NHS. I manage my life reasonably well in my semi silent world, it would just be nice to hear everything going on around me.

Brexit bloody Brexit

Now this is a very rare event for me. I have my political views but very rarely share them with others.

Since July 2016 we have been (OK, Theresa May) has been negotiating our exit from EU. I am not afraid to state that I voted to remain in the EU as did my grown up sons and their friends. However as much as I was very angry (much to my surprise) that the vote narrowly went to the Leave camp. I have said all along that we shouldn’t have a second referendum as that would make a mockery out of having it in the first place.

Having sat through so many updates on the current saga, I am afraid to say that our Politicians have made a right pigs ear of the whole thing. There has been so much squabbling over what each camp don’t want but nobody has put forward any sensible plan for what they do want. I do believe that, not all but a huge number of those who voted to leave did so under a very simplistic view of what would happen. No one on either side had any clear view of how complicated the whole thing would be.

I have now come to the conclusion that with the current shambles that is our Government. It is now time to reconsider. Our Government are insisting that to revoke Article 50 would be to let down the Electorate who voted to leave. The Electorate would no longer be able to trust our Government. Do they truly believe that any of them has our trust at the moment?

I now believe that had the Electorate been made aware of all that Article 50 would entail then the results of the referendum in 2016 would have been different. Maybe the end result would still have been to leave but at least everyone would have had a clearer idea of what they were voting for.

I can understand why the Government are saying that we have to go ahead because it was the will of the people. The people didn’t know they were voting for this. I don’t want to say we should keep voting until The Remainers get the result that they want.

I am saying now that we know more about what it involves, lets have a go at starting again.

Revoke Article 50

Being nice isn’t wrong

I have been thinking about my life. I wouldn’t say that it has been a bed of roses but there have been moments of joy and I have people on my life that  am grateful for. I have a loving family and supportive friends.

When I was between marriages I was given a book to read. why men love bitches

I tried to take the advice given in this book but eventually I came to the conclusion that if I took this advice and behaved accordingly, yes I might meet someone but they wouldn’t know the true me. It wouldn’t be easy for me to be anything but a nice person. I always think of how the other person would feel if I acted in certain ways. I don’t want to be a bitch in order to get what I want. I need to be true to myself. If others don’t want me because of that then that is their loss not mine.

In the last year I have gone through a tough time especially the last few weeks. I’m not saying that the time before this last year was not tough also. However it is the last year that I am thinking about right now. I am not going to delve into what has been going on, those who know me already know anyway.

What I am thinking about is that when people like myself have a tough time with the people around them, basically get treated badly for being a nice person. The general view is that the person being treated badly is in the wrong for allowing others to treat them as a door mat. I guess that people like me are thought of as being too weak to stand up for themselves.

I can’t speak for others but for myself, I don’t view myself as weak, I am actually fairly strong. However I do try to be a nice person, there might be rare occasions when I fail. Some people in my life have not treated me very well. I might never forget but I do try to forgive. I do my best to treat others as I would like to be treated. I know that many will think I am wrong, I shouldn’t allow myself to be treated so badly. I do not deliberately allow myself to be treated badly. I just try to be a better person by responding with kindness.

I do think there is something wrong with society if people who are kind to others are looked at as being wrong. In my mind it is those who treat others badly who are wrong not those who are treated badly.

It’s a wrap

Feeling rather weak after my delivery round whilst suffering from a rotten cold, I am beginning to get my appetite back. I fancied making a cheese and beetroot sandwich providing that the bread I bought last week hasn’t gone off.

Surprisingly when I got home my husband was sat in the kitchen watching tv and drinking beer. He made me a cup of tea for which I  am grateful, and said he had bought me some lunch. I was then presented with a plate containing a wrap. I so appreciate the effort but when he told me it was my favourite I was excited to eat a mexican chicken wrap. What I found in front of me was southern fried chicken. We have been together for over 6 years, surely by now he must know that I never ever eat southern fried chicken of any description from any source.

I have lost count of the number of times we have discussed which wraps I like and which I don’t. I would rather he didn’t bother, than get it wrong every time.

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