Boxing Day Anniversary

It’s Boxing Day here in the UK. I gather from my step children that this is not celebrated in USA.

Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their bosses[1] or employers. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on 26 December. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and other Commonwealth nations.

In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland and Italy, the day is known as St. Stephen’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (IrishLá an Dreoilín). In many European countries, including notably Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and those in Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day.[2]

However my reason for this post has nothing to do with Boxing Day Holiday except that it was a year ago today that I first began this blog. In other words I am celebrating one whole year of this blog.

During this year I have made new blogging friends. Renewed other online friendships and shared my world with people in my every day life who have learnt more about me and my life than they would do normally.

I have married my Owl.

We had our honeymoon in California which I was then able to share with you through this blog.

I have celebrated my sons’ achievements.

I made a start at serious writing (on hold at the moment but watch this space)

We have shared the extremes in weather from the harsh cold long winter complete with unusual amounts of snow to the unexpected un British heat in the summer months.

We have also mourned the passing of our faithful cat.

Ending the year with various preparations for Christmas.

2013 has been a year of extremes, extreme happiness as well as extreme despair.

In a few days we will be celebrating the start of 2014 which I hope will bring with it a more relaxed year.

Maybe I will even manage to write something that I can do something with.

How would you describe 2013 for you and what are your hopes for 2014?

Christmas Crisis

The Christmas cards have been bought, they have been languishing on the side for a few weeks now.

Time is running out, the official last posting day to guarantee delivery before Christmas was two days ago.

I keep saying give me a list of who you want to send the cards to.

But the problem is that the labels cannot be found.

A new template will need to be made.

New labels have been bought, 21 to a page instead of 14.

People have moved, addresses need to be updated.

Can’t we just hand write the addresses?

The labels need to be found

He still can’t find the labels.

Maybe you will all get your cards in time for Christmas 2014

I couldn’t do it

Today I had an appointment with the diabetic clinic.

I was expecting to get told off for not managing to keep my blood sugar level down, I was dreading being told that I would have to take insulin. I have a phobia of needles. Over the years I have got used to having needles stuck into me for injections or blood tests but  I am unable to stick them in to myself. I have learnt that I cannot even do a finger prick test on myself. I have no problem with someone else doing it. Oh ok maybe that isn’t quite true, I do still get nervous and dread the moment but if I am not looking it’s bearable.

I can play with the pen like needle no problem but as soon as I put it against my finger I suddenly lose the ability to press the button. I get myself so worked up that my blood pressure shoots up and I feel unwell.

So when the diabetic nurse told me that they don’t feel insulin would be right for me I breathed a big sigh of relief. A relief that was short lived. Next she told me that they want me to use a different type of medication, something I had never heard of before.

I am to take Bydureon, which will be administered by weekly injection. My new regime begins in a week when I have a half hour appointment to go through it all with the nurse. I can’t say that I am happy about this but I figure that one injection weekly is better than I had expected. There is no way that I will be able to do this myself  though.  I walked out of that room feeling a little glum but otherwise ok.

This didn’t last though as by the time I reached my car I was beginning to feel unwell, nausea was beginning to set in. I couldn’t think why I was feeling poorly all of a sudden until it occurred to me that it was possibly shock setting in. Driving to work I noticed a sharp pain in the top of my head. Arriving at the office I was almost (but not quite) in tears. It turns out that several of my colleagues are practised in giving injections of this nature so I have been assured that I will be looked after.

This evening I was discussing this with Owl and he has said that he will be happy to do this for me. It was when he said ‘you would do the same for me’ that I started thinking about this. It may seem selfish but no I couldn’t do that. I know that the answer should be yes I would but I know without the slightest doubt that there is no way I could stick a needle into anyone else any more than I could do it to myself.

I know that if it was imperative to give someone I love an injection, I should be able to do so. I should be able to do this because I love them. Why can I not do this if I love them?

Is there anything you wouldn’t be able to do even for someone you love?

Do you find yourself in a situation where you have to do something, that you find difficult, to help a loved one?

 

update

I have now had 4 of these injections, the first administered by the practice nurse, the following two weeks I was helped by colleagues but with the holiday period being here I had to accept that my husband would do this for me this week. Out of the four injections so far the only one that has hurt was the one given by the nurse. They do sting afterwards but don’t hurt at the time, even so I still find myself getting stressed before the injection. I am sure in time it will get easier.

Fireworks and storms

Last night I had just got in from dropping Skater at the station. I had heard the voices and laughter in the darkness and wondered what was afoot. I was in our kitchen at the back of the house when it began. We have been hearing bangs and whooshes on and off for the last week or so. It is the same every year. Fireworks night seems to go on for about 2 or 3 weeks.

But this was different. At first I thought it was from one of the back gardens a few doors away, soon I realised this was at the front of the house coming from the green across the road. This was no 5 minute wonder. I made my way up to the spare room that I have claimed as my office/laundry room. Opening the vertical blinds and kneeling on the bed I began to watch this amazing display of colour and sound. I could make out a group of shadowy figures moving around with lights I can only assume strapped their heads. This was a well organised display, the people lighting the fireworks obviously knew what they were doing. There was barely a break between each firework. This display continued seamlessly for more than half an hour. It wasn’t until I joined Owl watching from his office window that I saw the group of spectators standing a safe distance from the display.

I don’t know who these people were and as it was only a small gathering on public land I can only assume it was a group of friends/family who had got together. They must have spent a small fortune to put this together. Whoever they are I applaud them.

This morning sitting in bed with my cup of tea, kindly brought to me by my husband I was reading my short story magazine that I have started buying for inspiration purposes. I read a story about a storm which reminded me of a short story I wrote 5 or 6 years ago.

I have decided to post it here as a small treat for you.

Silently

Waking he finds the empty space beside him where she had lain as she fell asleep wrapped in his arms. He knows she has not long left his side; there is still the residue of her warmth emanating from the sheet that still carries the scent of her. Turning his face into her pillow he breathes in the faint reminder that she was here recently. Silently he arises from the pale blue king sized bed, padding across the deep cream pile he moves through the door. It is not long before his eyes rest on her silhouette. He stands for a moment or two as he watches her. He knows why she is there, he knows what she is looking at, he has heard it too.

Another crash and the room around him becomes illuminated for a split second. He watches her as she stands there all alone watching the storm as it makes its wild and beautiful way across the bay towards them. This is another thing they share this love of the wild weather. They are so lucky to be so close to the beach, the storms that race across the ocean towards the land like this are always the best. From where he stands he can hear the waves crashing on the shingle so close yet still a safe distance away. He marvels at her serenity as she stands there with the wind and rain whipping at her.

He knows that taste of salt as the rain runs in tiny rivulets down her face and the tails of her hair as the water drips from the end of her soft brown curls. He can imagine the tiny beads of moisture resting on her eye lashes as she stands oblivious in her fascination. Slowly he moves forward until he reaches out his hand to her naked shoulder. Gripping her softly but firmly, she turns her head to look at him as he slides his free arm around her cold waist drawing her back into the warmth of his body, sheltering her from the chill that will soon have her shivering. He places her black silk wrap, which he had carried with him, upon her shoulders.

He kisses her neck and shoulder before he moves to stand slightly behind and to the side of her with his arm still around her.

‘I knew you would come.’ She whispers,

‘ how could I miss such a beautiful sight’ his soft heartfelt reply.

He means this beautiful creature he thinks of as his soul mate as much as the storm. The combination of both delight and arouse him so that he swiftly lifts her in his strong arms carrying her to the fur rug beside the gas fire, they can still see the storm through the Picture window that he now closes. The room suddenly silent, now that the weather has been shut out once again. Mutely he collects a fluffy cream towel from the Airing cupboard. Testing the warmth against his face he returns to his sweetheart. Removing the slip of black silk from her skin he gently dries her as she gazes into his eyes. Her attention now fully on him, she watches as he pours two chilled glasses of champagne from the now empty bottle from last night.

A toast ‘to a beautiful woman on a wild stormy night’

‘to my handsome, sexy hero who knows me so well’

 

***********

Talking of storms we seemed to have survived Monday’s St Jude storm relatively unscathed. I have seen some damaged trees but otherwise nothing much.  How did you fare (if you are in Southern UK)

I’ve got it!

I have been thinking long and hard to find it.

Today I got it

Today I decided on a working title for my book.

From today my book will be known as

The secrets of No 15

In other news I had a lovely visit from Statto and his girlfriend over the weekend. They arrived late on Saturday evening. In the morning I took them to the station so they could travel to Portsmouth. Statto was taking part in The Great South Run.  He did it in  78 minutes.  Later we went for a meal with my mother, my husband and my youngest son..

I also made my Christmas cake on Saturday.  For those of you non Brits this is what I mean. Traditional Christmas Cake

Next week I shall be having a minor surgical procedure at our local Super Hospital. Unfortunately my husband is unlikely to be able to take me, so some of my colleagues  have kindly volunteered to take me and pick me up. Thank you ladies.

On her last legs

DSCF1179

It has been a funny old day.

Last night I noticed that  our elderly cat was having trouble walking. Her back left leg was splayed out to the side and her front paw was folding under.

She didn’t seem to be in pain or distress but I couldn’t watch her struggle to walk and not do anything.

I went to work as usual but  on the dot of 9 am I was on the phone to the local vets. (the website said that they open at 9 am). I made an appointment for my little black and white fur ball.

At 10.30 I raced home to collect our family pet, she was very good going into the basket, it has never been easier.  Why could she not be so well behaved before?

I had taken a tablet (antihistamine) before picking her up. Can you believe that I have been allergic to her for about 10 of her 16.5 years.

Owl started up the Chevrolet Blazer whilst I sat with Nipper on my lap (in her basket), talking to her stroking her little black face. It didn’t take long to get there.

Once in the consulting room we let Nipper out, she came out of the basket willingly if slowly. The young vet was very good with her, examining and explaining as she went along. No complaints from us or our pet who continued to purr at all this attention. The diagnosis was either a stroke which is what I had suspected due to the speed of the change in her, or a tumour on her brain. Either way it was neurological.

It was with tears in my eyes that I gave my decision to accept the offer of euthanasia.  I would rather that this little cat of ours should breath her last  whilst being pain free and not distressed.

The deed was done and I paid for the privilege with my cat in my arms.

Text messages and phone calls to family and friends meant that my phone was quite busy almost running out of charge. Interestingly I noted that certain family members whilst sad for Nipper were also concerned about Skater. For Skater has grown up with NIpper, since he was a toddler she has been his baby.

Among the facebook messages there was a post that I was tagged on. It was a fellow writer who I met online through blogging quite a few years ago, alerting me to this. Richard and Judy search for Best Seller. Thanks Sweetie 🙂

I have looked at what this entails and it is certainly a tall order. It could possibly be do able but what to write. I have the basic idea for my first book. I have my main characters  and some side characters. I have a basic idea of a setting. If I am to get the first 10,000 words written I shall have to shape up pretty quickly. The first thing I need to do is build some structure into my story.

I better go and get started ………

Time to write

Saturday morning the sun is shining and we have had a relatively calm week at home which is just as well as I have had a busy few days at work.

My short story has been well received by those in my office who have been privileged to read it. Now I am writing a second short story which may well end up being chapter two of a short book….you never know. In the past when I have written fiction I have put it online for my friends to read. Now I am not doing that until I have decided what to do with it.  I have been told for years that I should get my writing published. After several years I am finally coming to believe that I might be ready to investigate further.

April time

It has been a funny old month. I should have had loads to blog about and actually yes it has been a busy month but each time I have thought about blogging I either haven’t had the time or I just couldn’t decide what to write. Have I missed it yes I have but maybe not enough. Or perhaps I was just feeling weary in general.

There have been birthdays, his, mine and hers. There has been illness, mine and his. There has been family, mostly mine. There has even been the eventual appearance of spring. Bird feeding to organise and watch. Seeds to be planted and nurtured.

There have been long distance conversations isn’t technology a wonderful thing. There have been celebrations and confrontations (quickly followed by making up).

Yesterday we visited our beach retreat and walked along the beach in bright sunshine although the wind was quite strong. We both felt uplifted, as we always do when we go down there. There is something about being near water that soothes the soul. My face is now flushed from the sun and wind.

Today we went for another walk. This time our local country park just a few minutes from our home. It was about time we had a proper explore of this place so close to us.

Now I am going to take you on our walk.Tree dragon 28 april 2013first stop was at this tree carving which can be seen from the road. I drive past this work in progress every day. It has been interesting to watch it evolve over the months.chainsaw carvingsWe had a chat with the chainsaw artist.tree giantBefore we set off for our walk proper. very late daffsThese very late daffodils looked remarkably fresh for late april.great oakThis magnificent tree would be great as the focus of one of my childrens stories.lakesideI took this view while Owl stopped to chat to some of the fishermen/boys at great length.how manyI love seeing the wild life, I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of the tiny bluetit. There was pair of swans nesting on an island in the lake.wild primroseHeading away from the lakelooking backmore wood carvingscarvingson our way out of the park IMG_0392drat I forgot to take a picture of the incredibly bright red rhododendrons that we saw.

Now we are going for an early Sunday evening drink at our favourite pub. I shall be back in an hour or so.

Private problem

When I got home from work Owl asked me to check the cd player in the car I have been driving for the last 10 days. (Our Chevvy Blazer went into a local garage for it’s MOT).  I duly found a cd which the previous driver had left behind. We drove down to the garage to hand over the disc. I had already made up my mind that at some point in the near future, I would give Owl a surprise.

Ok so pulling away from the garage forecourt  I decided that there is no time like the present. I had earlier studied a map for the route to my chosen destination. I was taking Owl to a country pub that he had taken me to once last summer. I do not know the country roads around here as well as he does.  When I was studying the map I had checked out the route from 2 directions but now I was taking the third route (which I hadn’t checked out).

My husband hadn’t expected me to turn off our usual road home at the point that I did. I was now driving along uncharted territory for me. However I managed to find my way to the lane leading to our destination without saying where we were heading to.  Once Owl realised where we were going he cheered, giving my decision his approval.

Walking into the bar Owl greeted the solitary bar man like an old friend (he was an old friend of his). We chatted for a while, including giving him the news of our recent marriage. We had been there a while when I felt the urgent need to find the ladies room. But before I could make my move, my husband up and trotted off to the gents. I waited for his return before scuttling off on my own errand. Climbing down from my high bar stool (I’m only 5′ short) through the bar, past part of the restaurant, through a door leading to the toilets, pushing through the entrance to the ladies room. I was faced by two narrow doors, by this time I was in difficulty. Opting for the door closest to me I squeezed in beside the porcelain (is it my imagination or are all pub toilet cubicles getting this small these days). Managed to get the door shut (there was only just enough room for my small feet). Tried to close the wrought iron latch only to discover that it slides not lifts. Grappling with my skirt and under garments I slumped onto the seat. It was only then that I discovered I had chosen the cubicle with no toilet tissue!!

Quite a few pubs in this area seem to have toilets that are so small that it becomes a major operation to get inside and then get the door shut, not easy when you are in a desperate hurry.

Returning to the bar we had another drink before heading home for a gourmet meal of cheesy scrambled eggs 🙂

B is for Bananas

The second part in the series of Alphabet posts.

I have a thing about bananas.banana

I buy bananas a couple of times a week or I did until a month or so ago. Bananas are Owl’s favourite fresh fruit. Skater quite likes them too.  I would say that the majority of the people who work in the office where I spend the larger part of my working day all eat fresh bananas. My mother adores them, she will eat them as they are (obviously not the skin), or she will slice them up and have them on cereal or in a sandwich.

banana slicesMashed banana seems to be a favourite too and I mustn’t forget the popular banana cake.banana cake

Another way to enjoy them is sliced and dried like potato chips.banana chip

Personally I don’t like them, I do not like the texture, and I detest the smell of them. I don’t eat them fresh, I would decline banana cake and avoid banoffee pie. The only form I can stomach is the dried chips.

None of the above pictures are mine. I found them online from the following sources. watchpeoplejump.wordpress.com

beautifulbrowngirls.com

http://www.taringa.net

http://www.alibaba.com