Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thank You!

Just a quickie to say thank you for all your comforting comments.  Today is turning out to be one of my better days,  and special thanks to Cheesepare for sending me that unexpected gift - it arrived about 15 minutes ago, and just the type of book I love to read.

Got up early this morning and so managed to accomplish several chores before 9.00am, so am on the right side of 'things still to do'.  Am sleeping better and for longer, so maybe that helps - at least today I don't feel so tired.  

This afternoon is the last episode of the series "A Place to Call Home".  Will miss watching it.  I hadn't seen the actor who plays 'George' before, but how he looks now reminds me a lot of King George VI (our Queen's father).  In profile it could be him. 
The young daughter 'Anna' reminds me a lot of me at that age.  Same size (and I was quite slender in those days), same hair, same style of clothes (incl jhodpurs), nearly the same face.  We have a lovely photo of myself and B taken around that time, so will ask Steve to put it on the blog so you can see how much I've changed (and not for the better).
How I wish I could go back to the early 50's and start again (knowing what I know now would make things a lot easier). 

With Christmas Eve tomorrow, and then many days of festivities, I will not be blogging until sometime between Christmas and New Year, or maybe wait until New Year.  Despite my current situation, am quite used to spending this time on my own as it was then that B used to go off sailing on the Tall Ships in the Canaries, for several weeks, taking in Christmas AND New Year, so things won't be so different and for that I'm thankful. 

Looking forward to hearing from you all soon, have a lovely holiday, then noses back to the grindstone again (at least for me - which I will enjoy).   TTFN xxx


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Shortest Day...

Today is the shortest day, and here in Morecambe a very wet, windy and dreary one, but good to know that from now on the days will get longer.   Roll on summer.

Firstly do hope we get some 'proper' winter weather, such as snow that falls in huge flakes.  Haven't seen those for years, most of the snow these days seems to look as though it has been sifted through a sieve and falls like fine powder.

As ever, many thanks for comments.  The most recent have referred to 'A place to call home' and I see that this coming week will be showing the end of the series.  Not sure how it can end as the Jewish nurse has just found out that her husband is still alive and she is leaving for Paris to find him.

Australian drama/films etc always appeal to me.  Although not one to find much enjoyment with 'Skippy the Bush Kangaroo', did enjoy 'The Sullivans', then 'Sons and Daughters', and twice watched the whole series of 'Prisoner Cell Block H'.  Also 'Flying Doctors'. Was a fan of 'Neighbours' until we moved here and couldn't get channel 5 on TV for some months, so stopped watching when it was able to be shown.

Favourite Australian films have been 'Muriel's Wedding', 'Crocodile Dundee', 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert', 'Walkabout', and several others, names now forgotten.

Sorry I've not been blogging recently. Have been feeling very tired this week, think more due to depression than anything physical.  Just not interested in anything at the moment.  Last Sunday the car was collected, so that was another part of our life chipped away.  At least it has gone to a good owner.

The paperwork is getting on my nerves.  Forms keep being returned because some part hasn't been filled in correctly, one even because it had not been signed, and I know it had been, because my daughter and I were at the office where they asked me to sign it before they gave it to us to post.  But seemingly that page had got lost. So we begin again...!!!
By the beginning of 1915 am hoping most will be sorted and I can make a fresh new start. 

Nearly chucked my mobile phone out the other day, every time I began to do something (like lifting a pan of hot liquid from the hob, the phone would ring (or text).  Three times while I was writing out a short order for Tesco to deliver.  First made me jump and I pressed the wrong key and wiped out all the order, so started again, but when it was delivered discovered I must have hit wrong keys as some products I could swear I hadn't ordered, and the milk that came was whole milk not semi-skimmed as usual.  The statement matched what was sent, so will have to check back and see what I thought I'd ordered and I bet any mistakes would have been mine, not theirs.  Just shows how lack of concentration (and annoying mobile calls) can cause havoc when ordering on-line.

Am beginning to envy those creatures that curl up for the winter and hibernate until the warmer weather arrives in the spring.  Each morning now I have to force myself to get up when I'd much rather stay in bed, like ALL day.  But expect these feelings will pass, this is known to be the lowest time of year anyway for a lot of people, even those with no problems whatsoever.  Longer days and more sunshine can work wonders.   

We have had several days of sunshine, trouble is that at the moment I keep the east-facing sitting room curtains partly closed, mainly to keep in the heat from the radiators, so it is the other rooms in the house that get most of the sun. Even with the sun it is very cold outdoors (not that I go outside), but at least am comfortably warm indoors, and with curtains nearly closed, doors shut, don't need the c/h on all day, so haven't got to the shivery stage yet.

Not expecting to see anyone until Christmas Day, so have (incl today) four days to catch up with what needs to be done, then a few more days to plan my future beginning on January 1st.   By then expect to be back blogging much more regularly.

From comments sent in am discovering I'm not the only one to have an uncertain future, and my thoughts go especially to those who are having their own problems at this time.  You have all given me so much support, so firmly believe that at times like this we are never alone and comforting words mean a lot. 
Just writing to you has made me feel so much better.  A good reason to continue, so I will be back blogging, not sure when, maybe just a few words, but will be soon.  TTFN.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A quick Blog today....

Did mean to write a longer blog today, but it's been a stressful and emotional weekend what with one thing and another, so do not feel much like having a chat.  Sometimes I feel fine, can even go a day without shedding a tear, then something happens and it feels as though the wall I have been building round me is being relentlessly chipped away, and I have to start all over again.  But things are getting better.

Once this year is over it will seem like a different world for me, and maybe a New Year is a good time to start.  Thankfully, the increased meds are making me feel SO much better - at least my heart is thumping normally instead of fluttering around all over the place - and am now sleeping at night. 

Regarding the Australian drama 'A place to call home' (is that its name?), didn't realise it was such a long one, and it seems we are now in series 2.  There are no actors in it I recognise, although the eldest son (about to marry the Jewish nurse) does look a bit familiar.  Funny how all the main actors seem to have no Australian accents at all, they all sound very English.

Despite me not planning to have Christmas this year, still find the Christmas based cookery progs worth watching. It's almost as good as having it without needing to cook it myself (I rarely eat what I cook for others anyway), and am getting very fond of Tom Kerridge who is a lovely cuddly chef, one of those I would love to meet. 

Still look at the 'flyers' that come through the door, also the ads on TV and in mags/supplements, and - as ever - find that we could make many of these ourselves so very much cheaper.

Recently there was some hoo-ha in the news about 'poor people can't cook' (relating to Foodbanks etc), and my thoughts immediately were "there are a lot of wealthy people who can't cook either".  Even I, who like to believe I can make something out of almost nothing, did have quite a job working out enjoyable meals from the very limited selection given out by some of the Foodbanks.  It's amazing the difference one onion, or even an egg could make to a meal. But these are deemed 'fresh' foods and not part of the allocation (at least not on the Trussell Trust food lists I have been given).

It's so silly.  Surely if someone BUYS an onion (or egg) then it is up to the purchaser to use it within its life-span.  Being GIVEN fresh food in an 'allocation' works the same way.  A 'use-by' date could be written on the egg-shell anyway if there is a fear of it being kept too long.  Onions keep for several weeks/months.

Anyway, I've my own 'foodbank' (personal larder, fridge/freezer) to work through at the moment. Shelves are now slowly clearing, leaving many gaps, but also plenty of food left to use. Strange thing is I feel quite guilty when planning to cook myself a 'proper' supper, as this I did only for my Beloved.  The thought of cooking a fish risotto for tonight's meal for ME doesn't feel right, but am sure I will manage to make, eat and enjoy it. 

Yet another day that looks as though we will have plenty of sun.  We have been warned that we will be having cold weather in a few days, maybe snow in the northern parts of the country.  Heard that before.  Snow has been seen on the Lakeland hills, but not a flake settled in Morecambe, although when going to the docs the other day did have a fairly thick layer of hail/sleet fall on me in a matter of seconds while I waited for the taxi.  At least that was easily brushed off.

A busy week again for me, expecting quite a few people to call (occupational therapist etc - but that could be later rather than sooner), and domestic things I need to keep up with.   Am hoping that I'll be blogging again by Thursday,  or Friday (or Saturday/Sunday).  All depends who calls in  - and when.
Certainly by Jan 1st my intention is to make that the first day of the rest of my life and put as much of the past behind me as possible, then I should be back on track with this blog.   There is much I can still do and should do, so plenty to write about I'm sure.  But will keep blogging (even if only a few words) up to the end of this year and then a new Shirley will hopefully appear, until then will continue blooging, maybe not every day, but certainly not before too long. TTFN.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Just a Quickie

It's been a very busy few days so have not had time to relax and write my blog.  Just thought I'd pop in to let you know I'm OK, and hope to blog either later today or tomorrow (or maybe Monday), so much is happening at the moment, and I get tired more rapidly than before.  But things are looking up.

Will reply to comments in my next blog.  So watch this space.  Back sooner rather than later....TTFN.

Monday, December 08, 2014

A new week begins.

Am feeling much better since taking the increased meds.  Also managing to sleep at night.  Had a really long sleep last night, perhaps due to the fact I'd wrapped  round myself a fleecy blanket.  How cosy and warm that was!
In fact decided - at 7.00am (when I woke) to grab an extra hour in bed, and it wasn't until I hear a voice call out 'Shirley' that I checked my bedside clock and it was five minutes short of 9.00am!  Could almost believe the voice came from my B, and perhaps it did, for there was no-one there.  Someone is watching over me, and that gives me a good feeling.

All the rubbish has been put into the respective bins ready for 'him upstairs' to wheel them down the drive to the gate early tomorrow morning (the refuse collectors come alternative weeks, but now I've hardly enough to fill half a bin in that time so it makes things easier all round.

Weather has turned cold with lots of frosts, but think it is warming up a bit again.  Sun still shines most of the day and am wondering if we will be getting a proper winter, or like last year when winter never arrived at all (at least not in Morecambe).

You are all so kind sending in lovely and caring comments, and I feel very guilty not replying to each individually as I used to do, but they are all read and I give silent - if not written - thanks to everyone as I read them through.  When the New Year begins, that will prove to be 'the first year of the rest of my life' and after a bit of tweaking, things will get back to almost normal, and I can begin 'thinking food' again. 

Grief seems to come in stages.  My neighbour - who sadly lost her husband about 18 months ago - said what is now happening to me, also happened to her.   First the really bad times, the dreadful gap that can never be filled, and buckets of tears for the loss.  Now second stage is 'chatting' to my B, but also wagging my finger at him and asking 'why did you leave things in such a mess for me to have to clear up (like the garage roof leaking badly - he was going to do it, but when?).  B could have repaired it himself, but now I have to pay someone to do it.  I have a long list of other things that needed to be done, so tears of misery are now changing to a few stern words when the next crisis hits me.

...Just realised that I hadn't finished writing my blog, other things too precedence, amongst them what seemed to be hours-long telephone conversations with the Pensions dept, DVL dept, and other places in the hope of being allowed a benefit or two (much of the talking was done by my daughter, but I had to fill in details, some of which I had mislaid.  Not surprisingly.  I am snowed under by paperwork that I thought I didn't need anymore, luckily not yet shredded, so more hunting to be done.  It'll will all be sorted eventually, at least the wheels have been set in motion - that should save a week or two.

Tomorrow am expecting a builder to call re the garage roof, so may not have time to blog, hope to be back on Wednesday.  Thursday morning have an appointment with my GP, so it will be Friday (if that) before I blog again.  Have to take each day as it comes at the moment, but fortunately time seems to be moving fast, so I don't have too many hours to dwell on the past as always try to keep myself busy.

All the media (papers, mags, TV...) are full of Christmas cheer, festivities and food.  So many good ideas that I wish I felt like talking about, but sadly this year feels as thought I should turn pages quickly, and switch onto another TV channel although do like to see new ideas that cost very little (or nothing and could be used at any time of the year.  That way it is as though every day is just another normal day of self-sufficiency, and it's not that bad when you get used to it.

Now off to get my lunch - not yet sure what but am sure will be inspired once I open the fridge door and discover what needs using up.   Maybe a meatless Chinese stir-fry, with possibly an omelette on top. 

Today sees the return of an Australian series "A place to call home' (or similar name) on BBC 2 in the afternoons.  It was off for a week due to snooker, but I am hooked on it.  Seems to be set in the early 1950s (so I can remember wearing the style of dresses/hats etc), so perhaps taken back to the past in a country that I wish I could have visited, is a form of comfort for me. 

Also been watching a re-run of Lark Rise to Candleford (3 episodes, back to back) on one of the Freeview channels at the weekends.  Any period drama appeals to me, especially of the more rural type. ;However bleak some of the lives seem then, I still wish I could have experienced them.  People seemed to gain so much more happiness from small things than they do today.   The more 'advanced' we get, the more enjoyment we seem to have lost.
My idea of heaven would be - once dead - we can return to earth again but not necessarily to the future, but anywhere we wish in the past and a life-style of our choosing.

It would be interesting to hear from readers when/where they would like to return if they had a choice. Their favourite era/s.
After having had more than one regression session, it seems that - in the past - I've always been associated with the domestic side, either as a scullery maid - or even a cook (kitchen always played a big part in past lives).  Was once even a nanny.

That's it for today - expect me when you see me.  TTFN.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Not Quite Sure....

As ever, many thanks for your comments.  What with not sleeping am getting a bit confused as to what day it is.

Went to the docs on Monday - it had to be at another surgery miles away, I was so stressed, but the doctor IS lovely, and he has upped some of my meds and have to say I now do feel a lot stronger and am beginning to sleep at night.  Have to see him again next week.
Another medical problem (not related to the heart) has suddenly appeared, so this needs to be looked at, and the doc wanted me to be checked out immediately, but I asked for a few days grace as I just cannot take on any more worry at the moment, and he did understand that I'd had an awful lot on my plate these past few weeks so said if the problem has begun to cured itself by the time I see him next week, may not need to go to hospital.  Just have to wait and see.

Of course the central heating broke down AGAIN!  A different repair man came (very handsome), and he gave it a thorough check, he said he thought it was now OK but (fortunately) it stopped working again while he was still here, so in the end he had to order new parts.  These he brought at 8am this morning and so far it is OK.  Bitterly cold in the bedroom last night though, but it reminded me a lot of my early married life when we had no central heating and the weather was VERY cold.  We had sheets and blankets and quilts then, so this time put large blankets over the duvet, wore a woollen bed jacket (that I pulled over my head to keep my ears warm) and was very comfortable and cosy.

A few minutes ago a local garage collected B's car to get a new MOT (the old one ends on Jan 1st), and if repairs (if any) don't cost too much then it will go to one of the family.  If they decide not to go ahead with it another member of the family will buy it from me or it will be sold to a stranger.  I will be glad when it is gone as I can't bear to keep seeing the car.  Too many memories.

Still the paperwork keeps arriving, but most of it is done and dusted, and this weekend I will be having more visitors so am intending to rest as much as possible until then.  Luckily, with more energy now, and managing to sleep for several hours a night this does make me feel a lot better, so can do quite a few things.  It's when I'm out of the house I get a panic attack.  As I said to the doctor "I feel like a snail that has lost its shell", all I want to do is scamper back home and lock myself in - only then do I feel secure.

Still have to sort out whether the garage roof can be repaired or whether it needs a complete new roof.  I can't open the garage doors as one lock is high on one side, the other down close to the ground and some distance from the other, I need two hands stretched out to open the door so depending on health circs may decide to have an up and over electrical door that works by just pressing a button.  The garage is the only place I can keep Norris.  But one day at a time.

Not sure if I'll be blogging tomorrow - maybe not until Monday, it all depends on what happens.  Each day brings a new challenge, and these take priority.  So expect me when you see me.

Regarding Black Friday, apparently the Monday this week was called 'Cyber Monday' when people spend £££££s buying things via their computers.   At least that saves all the fighting in the shops, but too easy a way to encourage the spend, spend, spend that seems now to rule many lives.

A really heavy frost last night, first one we've seen this autumn, and snow is forecast in the North, don't know how much.  Hope we don't get too much - at least until the car has been moved from the drive (the garage is full of B's tools, work-benches and junk to put the car in there for shelter).

That's is for today, sorry my blogs have been very bitty with not much substance, and very little written about food.  Once I get my health sorted, then I should be able to get back into the normal routine.  Until I'm sure of my future - as I said, have to take each day as it comes, but half the time can't even remember what day it is.  TTFN.

Monday, December 01, 2014


Unbelievable that it is now December.  It still feels like September as even though all the leaves that do fall have fallen, the sun still shines and it is still fairly warm. 

It's been a tiring few days as although having visitors are lovely, I tend to feel exhausted when they have left (family excepted). 

Am still waiting to speak to my GP re the increased dosage of some of my meds (and removal of another),  he has been absent from the surgery for 2 weeks, and I've had to hang on the phone for half an hour to speak to a receptionist (10 or more calls waiting to be heard first).   Have left a message to ask the doctor to ring me (he won't be in until lunchtime) and as I'm having some unpleasant side effects (expected) from one or more meds, want to try and sort that out too.

Otherwise things are much the same, the central heating broke down AGAIN, but I managed to get it working.  There appears to be a leaking roof in the garage, so that needs repair as there is electricity in there (and Norris).  Other minor repairs need doing (B was intending to do them - eventually!), and things need doing before they get worse, otherwise it becomes more and more expensive.

My main problem at the moment is not being able to sleep. many nights I've just lain awake (but did grab an hour or two earlier when I nodded off in my chair).  Last night I did sleep better, so am hoping from now on things will improve. 

Forgive me for not replying to each comment.  All are read, but at the moment my concentration seems to have left me.  ; The only thing I've noted to write about was Black Friday.  Incredible how so much fuss and fighting has gone on just to buy something that much cheaper that was probably not needed in the first place.   It was pointed out on the news that this 'sales day' is an American invention (the day following Thanksgiving - and for some reason we Brits have now taken to celebrating that day too, probably due to the supermarkets wanting to sell more turkeys, and then persuade us to buy a goose for Christmas), and it crossed my mind that just about every American 'tradition' (if you can call it that), is based on spend, spend, spend, leading to mass hysteria at times.

I ask myself "are there any American 'ideas' that we have adopted that has been worth knowing about?"  (Trick or Treating, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Burger bars, cup cakes that have more icing than the cake itself....and innumerable sweets and 'cookies' come first to mind.  There must be others. What British traditions have those in the US taken on board?)

Suppose I'm generalising again, but at the moment am inclined these days to notice how much money is often spent on 'unnecessaries'.  Nothing wrong with that as long as later people don't start grumbling (maybe months later) that they don't then have enough to pay the bills.  But we've all been down that road.   Think before we spend.  If we don't, we shouldn't put the blame on other's shoulders.   That's what my mother taught me, and I'm only sorry it took me so long to understand the sense of it.

Think today I'm in a far too critical mood to write anything worth reading.  Once I've got my health sorted (it won't be cured, but should be able to be improved) - then I'll have more energetic be les breathless, and able to do more,  but am certainly better than I was.

Thankfully, most of the paperwork has now been sorted.  Just waiting to hear about benefits (if any), and today learned that this year I will be receiving both B's and my winter fuel payment,  next year it will be adjusted to the correct amount for a single occupant.

Not much else to chat about, my mind still having blanked out much of life, just doing what needs to be done, keep telling myself that things could be so much worse.  Look at what's happening in the rest of the world.  I'm one of the lucky ones. 

Will be back again later this week, maybe tomorrow, maybe not - it all depends on what I have to do, who I have to go and see.  Some health probs still need sorting out, this may mean another hospital visit - who knows?   Take each day as it comes.  Hope to be blogging sooner rather than later, so watch this space.... TTFN.