Hitching a ride

About ten days ago we woke to a thick frost, the first this autumn/winter. Now that we have sold our lovely comfortable warm Vauxhall Monaro and have not yet replaced it with the more economical car we are currently looking for. I had no choice but to drive the Chevrolet blazer to work. The problem with this is the lack of a working heater. We do though have a plug in heater/blower. So on that cold frosty morning I used the plug in heater to clear the windscreen. It did just what was needed of it.

However when I left the office nine hours later, I knew before I reached my vehicle that there was a problem. Pressing the key fob failed to unlock the door. Ok, I managed to open the door the old fashioned way, inserting the key into the lock. Very good, I am now sat in my car in the dark, with a flat battery, guess who forgot to unplug the heater when parking up in the morning.

Luckily the unit closest to our building is a garage. I took a walk over to their door where I made the cry of ‘help’.

With the aid of their portable charger they got my engine started but as soon as they unclipped the charger the engine died. After several attempts the mechanic drove my car (in the dark with the bonnet up and the charger still connected) over to the door of their garage. Once under the light from their workshop they ran a few tests which led to the conclusion. It’s the alternator that is not working properly. I left the Blazer in their capable hands so that they could charge the battery over night. They ordered a taxi to get me home, In the morning I returned to work by bus.

Late afternoon I retrieved my car with it’s now fully recharged battery, driving it home that afternoon I was just glad that it wasn’t yet dark so I could get home without using the lights. With the battery light on constantly I was aware that I didn’t want to use up more energy than I could help. Over the next few days I only used the car when I really had to and prayed that the engine would keep going.

On Tuesday  I managed to drive to work in the morning but knew that it wouldn’t last so persuaded a friend from a neighbouring company to charge it up for me again, which he kindly did. Luckily I have been off work ill for a couple of days which helped. This weekend I knew I needed to go shopping but I was worried I might not get there. As it happens I did, but only just, as I made my way around the car park, the engine began juddering. I just managed to limp her into a space before she died on me.

I immediately phoned home to let Owl know what had happened. My next call was to our insurance company who arranged for a recovery vehicle to be sent out in an hour, giving me time to do my shopping. I received a text message telling me that recovery would be with me at approximately 15.33. As it happens he was early arriving at 15.32.

Here you can see my car being loaded onto the back of the recovery truck. leaving Asda

I won’t be going anywhere in it for the next few days until the new alternator sitting on our table has been fitted. I hadn’t been home very long before I received a text from our friend who is looking out for a car for us, he will be at an auction tomorrow. Here is hoping he finds us something suitable soon.

Age, we all have one or two

I am not well, nothing serious just a common cold but it is miserable. I was up coughing/nose blowing every 10 minutes sometimes 20 minutes throughout the night. My nose is red from all the tissues that have been wrapped around it as the hours crept by. Finally I slept for an hour until about 10am. Waking up, I came to the realisation that today is November 13th. My youngest brother was born in  the early hours of November 13 1964.

We are not friends on facebook but I endeavoured to leave him a birthday wish. For which he thanked me saying that he is finding it hard to get his head around being 50. It has come as something of a shock to me that the youngest of our mother’s children is now 50. There are three of us, myself the eldest and my two brothers. It’s funny but I always think of myself as still being 17. similarly my youngest brother will always be 12 in my mind, yet our middle brother has always been the age he is at the time. He is not stuck in the past in my mind.

I remember once my mother was telling me that she had been asked about her children and it had been a hard realisation that all three of us were over 30. I wonder how she feels to now have 3 three children in our 50s.

My mother is now in her 70’s, but apart from her mobility problems following various knee ops adding to her MS problems, to me she is still in her 50s. She is still the same person she was when I was a young mother of 4 boys.

Much to his disgust Owl turned 60 earlier in the year, but although I know how old he is I have to remind myself that he is not a young man. His health and fitness at the moment are probably the best they have been since I first met him. I look at him and see this man with a good head of dark brown hair. You have to look really closely to see that he does have perhaps a dozen grey hairs on his head. This of course adds to the illusion of youth, that and that I can’t believe I am married to a man near to retirement age. Especially when the toddler behaviour surfaces from time to time (less frequent now than a year ago).

I guess having a semi retired husband is a constant reminder to me that I am getting older myself. I am not the young girl that my head thinks I am.

Happy 50th birthday little brother.

Life in a mirror

Recently I did something that I couldn’t believe I was doing. It was a Wednesday evening and I had just arrived at a meeting of the Writers Circle that I now belong to. The meeting hadn’t yet begun, the last few stragglers were taking their seats. It was announced that due to personal reasons our Treasurer was resigning after 15 years. A request was made for a volunteer to take up the mantle.

That was when I heard it. It was my voice, and the words, not unfamiliar, were not what I expected to hear coming from my own mouth.

‘If nobody else wants to do it I will.’

It didn’t make me feel good, I had misgivings about this. Although I had done it before, twenty years ago I was the treasurer of our local Playgroup. I was worried about having other people’s cash in the house whilst we were struggling financially ourselves. Over the last couple of weeks since we sold our car, our own situation has become more relaxed. I began to feel better about my new role.

This weekend I called round to visit my predecessor for the handover of all the Treasurer’s paraphernalia. We chatted for several hours. We didn’t spend much time discussing the Writing group. Instead we talked about our own lives.

I had never imagined that I would meet another person whose life was such a mirror of my own life. She has lived my past, she has lived my current life. She is living my future.

It is strange but the revelations that came about through our conversation are both scary and at the same time comforting.

Plastered

This morning as I listened to the radio I heard a song I hadn’t heard for a long time. It got me thinking about one of my philosophies in life. The song was this one by Ralph Mctell  . The streets of London tells you to stop feeling sorry for yourself because you really don’t have much to complain about compared to the people living on the streets of London.

My life has never been easy, it has been a struggle right through my adult life for one reason or another. I might at times write about the things that have or are happening in my life but I usually manage to laugh it off rather than complain. The reason being that no matter how bad things might get, I know, there is always someone worse off. 

When I lived with my first husband who was an emotionally abusive alcoholic, life was difficult and at times unbearable I was grateful that he never hit me or my boys.

When I had stage three cancer, I was grateful that I was treatable, 13 years on I am still here to tell the tale.

When I was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, I did at least have a roof over our heads and our health even if there was very little money for heat or food. We still had each other.

During the difficult times in the first year of my second marriage, my husband’s ill health (both physical and mental)  were made easier by the support of family and friends.

I do know people who always see the negative in everything, I feel sad for these people who never seem to be able to allow themselves to be happy. People who live their lives as victims of life make me feel mad. Yes there was a time when I felt like one of those victims where nothing in life ever seemed to go right. Then I realised that there was only one person who could change my life, me.

Coincidently this morning the girlfriend of my son Pug, posted this quote on her facebook page. ‘We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it’

Now, when things don’t go right I count my blessings instead of my problems. When I am feeling my lowest I think of the things that make me smile.  I remember my wonderful sons, I surround myself with flowers, music and laughter. I watch the birds as they go about their day.

From where I am sat writing this I can see sunshine through the windows, there are four vases of flowers in the room and when I look through the kitchen to the back door I see one of the pigeons, that frequent my bird feeder, strolling  around as though he owns the place.

A few days ago my husband had a fall when he was crossing the road, a kind man, who happened to be walking near by helped him up and got him home. He had blood on his hands, arms and more worryingly on the back of his head. I left work to take him to the hospital. He was assessed and taken to ‘major injuries’. We were left in the corridor with a growing number of others for about 1.5 hours (it could have been worse). Finally he was checked by a Dr, x-rayed, put on a drip and sent to the observation ward where his broken hand was plastered.  After much deliberation and conversation the Dr concluded that my husband needs treatment for his alcohol intake. This is something my husband is in full agreement with.

He may be in pain and having to learn to cope with being one handed whilst his hand is in plaster. The cut on his head was merely a graze which appeared worse than it was due to the amount of blood. However his fall has led to something being done about helping him to stop drinking. If he manages to complete the treatment on offer and stops drinking he should be able to get his strength back properly and maybe he will be fit enough to actually work. He will then be able to earn some money as well as save money by not buying drink.

Now here is a little something to lift your spirits The Corrs

Guilt and other stuff

I am feeling guilty that although I have wanted to keep up with my writing both on here and elsewhere I have just been too weary. At first I didn’t think too much about it that I was coming home form work exhausted. It has been a very tiring time in the office recently. However as the days stretched into weeks and I was still exhausted I became concerned.

Since I have been on my weekly injections I have found that my appetite has been greatly reduced, which is a good thing. I began to wonder if this was impacting on my energy levels.  I noticed that I seemed to feel quite poorly on Sunday evenings, once or twice I was even sick. I figured that on Sundays I was having a lazy morning followed by a light lunch then a busy afternoon. By about 6 to 6.30 in the evening when I was thinking about preparing the evening meal,out of the blue, I became unwell. I am a great one for analysing everything and worked out I had probably been going too long with out eating. Now I am trying to eat little and often, instead of little not very often. In the last week I have felt much better and certainly less  exhausted.

Over the Christmas period I was reading Maddie Cochere‘s books. Which are all ebooks. As I didn’t have an ereader, my preference even in these electronic days for ‘real books’ I was reading them on my laptop. I was finding this cumbersome and limiting, so when I bought this new notebook I decided to take the plunge and buy a Kindle Paperwhite.  I read Maddie’s remaining books and then started to download a few more by other authors. I had intended to only use my kindle when away from home, so much easier when waiting for an appointment carry my kindle in my handbag than a proper book. I have always found carrying a book with me everywhere was not good for the book. Even though I had vowed to carry on reading ‘real books’ at home I have found myself increasingly opening my kindle. Where I had always had my nose in a book I now have my kindle open at every opportunity. I go to bed early and read for half an hour whereas for ages I have been reading one or two pages of a book before falling asleep.  I still have my stack of books waiting to be read, but for now it is to my kindle that I keep turning. Instead of writing I have been reading.

I am currently reading  ‘The Deadliest Game’ by H E Joyce. Which I am only 4 chapters in but it has me gripped already.

The previous two books I have just finished reading ‘Silence’ and ‘Broken Silence’ by Natasha Preston were both good reads. Although I do think that as much as I enjoyed reading these two books they did lack a good proof reading. They were littered with typing errors which I found very distracting. Probably because I always read every word aloud in my head, if a word is in the wrong place or missing altogether I have to keep going over the sentence until it makes sense to me.

At work I get very frustrated when I read an email that is grammatically wrong, I have even offered to proof read emails for various members of staff. I get alarmed at some of the things that are sent out that just shouldn’t be.

I am currently working on a course for proof reading. Maybe once I have completed the course I shall be in a better position to tell people where they are going wrong.

The main reason I have not read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is that I had heard it was not well written, I image that rather than enjoying the story I would have been correcting all the errors. For that reason I decided not to jump on the bandwagon at the time. Perhaps one day I will give in and read it. However I have been told that some of my own writing has been just as good if not better, among other things some of you are aware that I have dabbled in writing erotica in the past.

Oh and I wasn’t sure we would get here but yesterday was our first wedding anniversary. The last 9 months have been a bit of a roller coaster to say the least but we seem to be coming out the other end of it now and I am pleased to say we reached our anniversary without killing each other. Last night we celebrated with the two friends who came with us a year ago. Here’s to the next year.

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?

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.

Sometimes

Sometimes I just feel I want to find somewhere to curl up and hide from everything.

Just when things begin to get back to normal something happens to slap me back down.

I have been very lucky to have a job that I enjoy. Currently it is becoming depressing. I am sure it is only temporary.

After 12 years in remission I am now back to hospital visits and examinations.

After spending a year without a driving license, my husband has decided to foolishly throw it away. He goes to court next week.

After months of being unwell and beginning to get back to normal we are back to short term memory loss issues coupled with falling over problems.

 

But hey tomorrow is another day.  🙂

Apologies

Two months ago I started writing my account of our trip to California. I have enjoyed doing this, not only have I enjoyed sharing our trip with you but it has been lovely reliving our memories of the trip. It is also something we can go back to in the future to remind us of the wonderful time we had.

I have found that whilst I started off well it has not been easy to get to the end. Not because I don’t remember, I do and I am in the middle of a post about San Francisco. However life since we returned from our trip has taken a turn that we couldn’t foresee. This change in my home life has made it difficult for me to dedicate time to writing my blog or reading and commenting on your blogs.

Please forgive me and hopefully normal service will be resumed in the not too distant future.