Surprise

When I went to bed last night I had no idea.

This morning we had visitors. My eldest brought his little girl to visit. He had been planning to visit in the next week or two but because I have to isolate next week prior to my hospital treatment, decided to come today.

It was a shame it was just the two of them. Mummy had to work. Our little lady is almost 20 months. She chatters non stop, not that we know what she’s saying most of the time. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have any words yet. She most certainly does and can be very clear when she wants to be.

There is a large framed picture on the wall showing a group of ducks. She was very certain that they are ducks (my grandson thinks they are geese). Ducks say quack she tells us. Drawing was the main activity of the visit. Both with my coloured pencils and the crayons that daddy brought with them.

Before they left (before the rain) we had a spell in the garden. Looking at the plants and the ceramic duck. We found a ball that belongs to the dog that visits. So we had “kick” the ball which also involved throwing it “goal kick”.

I was a bit surprised when she took my hand and started running down the garden, with daddy saying” not too fast Granny can’t run”. He is sort of right but I could keep up with her thank you very much.

It was so lovely to see them both. I think my highlight was when she kept coming to stand next to me and resting her head against me.

When it was time for them to go she clearly said “stay”. I’m happy that she enjoyed her visit as much as we did.

Oh and I got a big hug from my son. I am so glad that we are allowed now. (He did get a test before he came, which I thought was very good of him.)

That’s how you say cheese

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.

Besotted granny

One of my friends has joined the besotted granny brigade. Her granddaughter is 4 months old and she is so in love with her.

For years I said I wasn’t ready to become a granny. I hadn’t finished being a mother. Then a few years ago I started to worry about my health etc, that was when it hit me that if my sons didn’t hurry up and start having children I would be to old/ill to enjoy them.

Three years ago I became a granny for the first time. I instantly fell in love with my grandson. Teddy is three now. I was afraid that he wouldn’t know who I am what with covid restrictions and them living in London. Video calls were me watching him play whilst I chatted to his daddy. The other week when lockdown rules were eased I got to spend time with him in the garden (very cold). Then last week on his birthday we had a video call where he actually talked to me. He showed me his toys and books. Today we had another video call with him interacting with me. He knows that I am granny. I love this new stage in our relationship.

19 months ago my eldest son provided me with a granddaughter. After 4 sons and a grandson I was delighted to finally have a girl in the family. She has always been used to video calling with her other family and with me so she has always been interactive. When she visited our garden the other week she would take gammy by the hand to look at things or fill her little watering can.

We also had a video call today. She tells me lots of things that I don’t always understand but her speech is coming along well.

This granny is besotted with both my grandchildren.

Peace at last

I have had great enjoyment out of the last few days with family visiting. Apparently both my grandchildren have been chattering away to their parents about seeing Granny and the things they did and saw. Teddy was convinced he was going to the beach with Granny and Gampa again today.

When I woke this morning I was thinking how quiet and peaceful it will be today. I know that my mother has loved seeing the family but she does get very tired. I am sure she is thinking Peace at Last which reminds me of a favourite book when my boys were little.

Today I am working on my Avon. I have been adding to and improving my Elliesdeals blog. This afternoon I shall be preparing brochures and deliveries. Both of which I have neglected so far this week.

I haven’t been out in my new car again yet but I have looked at it several times.

Earlier when I was checking the stats for this blog I noticed that someone had been looking at an old post from 2014. I have noticed this quite a few times recently. I can only assume that whoever has been looking is probably disappointed when they see what the post is actually about. It called little tits. I also see that the most popular page is Petrol Head.

I know that I have at least one petrol head who reads this blog regularly. I keep meaning to mention for him that on the day I went to look at my new car in the garage forecourt I followed a grey right hand drive mustang along the motorway. (I even missed my off slip). Then last weekend I passed a bright yellow mustang going the other way. I might not be with my petrol head husband any longer but I just can’t help noticing American cars when I’m out and about. I guess it has become a habit.

Just typical

Today was to be the last day of seeing my grandson Teddy for now. I knew that they were planning to meet Grandpa at the beach before coming here to see us again. Having seen some photos of how lovely it looked yesterday I decided to join them too.

On my way I saw a little boy in a yellow coat sat on his daddy’s shoulders walking towards the airfield. I didn’t think there was much point in going to the beach if they were not there.

Next stop the beach. Lots of shells for little boys to collect.

It was sunny and not too cold during our time there. We all enjoyed both being together and being at the beach.

I couldn’t believe it when I got back to my car which was parked at the side of the road. Someone had hit my car. Obviously driving too close. They had hit the wing mirror. Why today? The day I was changing cars. At least it was the old car not the new one.

Teddy and his mummy and daddy came back to the house for a last chat and warming cup of tea. Teddy had a last exploration of the garden. Still getting excited each time a train went by.

I quickly cleared out my car. It didn’t take long. 10 minutes later I saw someone in an orange hi viz jacket outside. I went to the door to discove that workmen were digging up the pavement behind my car. I was due to be leaving shortly to pick up the new car.

I was told they would only be 20 minutes to half an hour. Not too long. I phoned the garage to say that I would be late. It’s just typical that they couldn’t have done this while was out either in the morning or afternoon.

I eventually got to the garage about an hour after the original time. Once all the paperwork was sorted the salesman handed me the keys (in a bag having been sanitized). We chatted briefly about the workings of the car like how to move the seat and how to put the gear into reverse.

As I entered the car the salesman went back inside to his desk. I got the engine started but couldn’t release the hand brake. ( I haven’t used a hand brake for a few years as I have been driving automatic cars). Why oh why do guys have to put the handbrake on so high. This is not the first time I have come across this. I was about to give up and go to find a man to release it for me but I managed it with two hands.

I managed to drive home without incident. It will probably take me a day or two to get used to driving a manual car again. I wonder how many times I will forget I have a red car now not blue when I look for it in a car park.

Cold reunion

Today was the day I have been looking forward to for weeks if not months. The day that I got to see my family again. All except #3 son. He couldn’t make it. The train schedule was against him.

Late morning my granddaughter and her parents arrived. At 18 months she enjoyed exploring the garden. The little red watering can I had got for her came into use. Between watering the garden and wanting to “kick” her ball. She found time to do some drawing with my coloured pencils. She even saw some Choo Choo go past. I loved that she wanted to take my hand and lead me around the garden. She can’t quite say Granny yet so I am “Gan”.

After a picnic in the garden we went off to find the rest of the family at the play park next to the river. Even in my big coat it was cold. The two cousins warily eyed each other up but were soon playing on the slide. While the uncles and aunties caught up on the news.

I had gone prepared with my folding chair and picnic rug but it was far too cold to sit around. It became apparent that my granddaughter was ready for her nap so her parents decided to let her sleep in the car. We all left at the same time. The rest of us returned to the house for a hot cup of tea. Teddy was excited to see the trains again. In between playing hide and seek with auntie A and kicking a ball with Uncle J he still had to run and tell Granny each time he saw a train.

Now that everyone has left it is super quiet but I am glad to be able to warm up again after all that cold fresh air.

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.

It’s my birthday

This is my second lockdown birthday. My third non birthday in consecutive years. Tomorrow some of the lockdown restriction are being eased. A day late for my birthday. However we are having a family get together on Tuesday at a near by play area so that we can be outdoors and let my two grandchildren play. It will be interesting to see what they make of each other. My grandson will be 3 later this month and my granddaughter 18 months. With this pandemic they have not had much opportunity to meet. The last time I saw them both at once was our family christmas meal 2019. When my granddaughter was just 3 months old and slept most of the time.

This morning I have received many birthday wishes including one from an old friend I hadn’t spoken to for a number of years. We have had a long chat on the phone catching up with the changes in both our lives. I also had a video call with my granddaughter and her daddy. I can’t wait to see her on Tuesday.

Otherwise the day is not much different to any other day. I have been working on my new Avon Blog. I am treating us to some cider to have with dinner tonight.

Drained

I am sad that Prince Philip died today. I was hoping he would make it to his birthday. I was on my way home from collecting my prescription when I heard the news.

I was up early this morning as I was waiting for a telephone appointment with one of the doctors at our practice. I didn’t know what time the call would be and I didn’t want to miss it.

Just before 8.30 it occurred to me that I should take my phone off silent mode. Oops, I had missed the call I was waiting for by 3 minutes. 3 minutes! Can you believe it?. I waited for the call back. Finally 2.5 hours later it came through. Now in preparation for this call I had written a letter explaining my current situation ( to save time). I addressed the envelope for the attention of the Dr phoning me on 9th April.

I had delivered the letter 2 days ago. I wrongly assumed this would be enough time to get it to the correct doctor. He hadn’t seen it so I had to explain about my cancer, pelvic radiation disease and consequent ileal conduit surgery. My current condition since the surgery. We had a good chat about it and he explained what he thought would be the best plan moving forward, he is calling this the corn flour method.

He sent the prescription through to the pharmacy. If this doesn’t work there is another route we can try.

I collected my prescription and came home. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I looked to see what I had got.

What the heck! I very nearly phoned the surgery to make sure this wasn’t a mistake.

I checked online to see if this is a suitable remedy for bile acid malabsorption. Apparently it is. I had one sachet after my lunch. I was in the loo within minutes. Ok this might just be a coincidence as it hasn’t had time to do anything. Over the next couple of hours I have been in the loo several times and my stomach is hurting. I’ve only had one dose so I shall give it a few days to see how it goes.

I’m not looking forward to the next few days if it doesn’t help as I am going to be taking my mum for her jab tomorrow and dog sitting for my ex while he has his on Sunday.

At the moment I am feeling drained and want to curl up and sleep.

It’s my birthday on Sunday but I’m looking forward to Tuesday when if all goes well I shall get to see my family.

Something I’ve wanted to do

This is something I have wanted to do for ages. Probably the last couple of years. I have gone as far as starting a new template a couple of times but found that starting a new blog is harder now than it was years ago when I began blogging. There are so many templates to choose from. The widgets and plugins are a minefield. Earlier this week I decided to alter a blog that I had started perhaps 5 years ago with my husband. It never really got off the ground. Trying to work full time and run a business at the same time as creating posts for a new blog became overwhelming.

Now though I have more time. I have converted my old blog to one dedicated to my Avon Business and Sunshine Team. I have over the last few days added a few posts for different products. I am also creating a new page for each group of products with links to individual product posts. There are links to my online shop and I shall be adding a link for joining my team.

Elliesdeals

On another note. I had visitors yesterday. No I’m not talking about birds or squirrels or even cats. My youngest son and his g/f. came to see us. Sitting at a distance and with face masks. The last time my son visited, He only lives 20 minutes away by car. Was back in July before my hospital stay. It was so nice to see them. Apparently it was very odd being on a train again after all these months. Sitting chatting felt almost like normal times.

Next week ( just after my birthday) I shall hopefully, providing that everything goes to plan. See my older boys and their families. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone. We are meeting at a local play area near the creek. The last time I saw both my grandchildren at the same time, was our family Christmas dinner 2019, when my granddaughter was 3 months old.

I just hope the weather is better than it has been the last few days. We even had a few snow flurries yesterday. Very unusual for here.