Monday, 19 December 2016

The Despair Squid

I wasn't going to write another blog before Christmas but events have spiralled into a downward turn. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse on the same day I had a fight with my childhood friend, we were told a close relative hasn't long to live. Nothing has changed around the house,the fire is still roaring in the stove, the Christmas tree is sparkling in the corner, our dinner, a stir fry, however turns out to be tasteless.

It reminds me of many other Christmas's. Sadness takes the sparkle away. The Christ Child born in a Stable to give life to us all, can't give life back to the ones we love. My mother died on Christmas Day, my aunt, her sister told me, do not pass go, do not collect £200 - go straight to Heaven, paraphrasing that old Christmas favourite - Monopoly.  It doesn't help.

Life is finite, the end is to be expected, and yet such a shock when it comes. A friend of mind died on her beloved Ski Slopes taking novices for a lesson. My uncle died surrounded by family as if falling asleep. One of my aunts phoned me the day she died telling me she had a bad headache and was going to the doctor. We chatted and she said she must rush.

My father was in hospital dying of cancer, he didn't know he was dying, he thought he had a stomach ulcer that had burst. But his throat and stomach had basically gone and that Christmas he sat sucking ice cubes, while we tried to choke down Christmas dinner in front of him.  He was taken into Barts Hospital by ambulance later that day.

The following morning about 8 o clock, I answered a phone call, a bit garbled. It was Dad,
he said he was all right and could I tell mum he was okay. He sounded drugged distant. I told him we'll come in and see you this morning.    Almost as soon as I put the phone down it rang again, it was Bart's hospital. They asked to speak to Mum, I told them she was still asleep, but I was her daughter could I take a message? The nurse said softly that she was sorry to have to tell me that my father died in his sleep during the night. What time? I asked. She said it was about midnight and that she was with him.

None of it makes any sense. I have thought about that phone call all my life. Dad saying goodbye. The other thing that was weird, was the nurse told me that the ward television
was annoying my Dad because it was rolling and flicking, so he got up and fixed it, then
went back to bed. On the day he died he fixed the ward television.

Death changes you, near death changes you, I remember the Christmas we all cried,
three sisters together for the youngest diagnosed with cancer.  She has made a full recovery
thank God. 

Whatever happens, whatever private tragedy we suffer, there are always people worse off
freezing, sleeping rough, bombed out of their homes, starving in their villages, more people committed suicide in the UK in 2016 than any other year. No one knew, no-one helped.

So like the Despair Squid from Red Dwarf, I am full of sorrow and spreading it, and for that I apologise.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Last Post for this year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.
Hope 2017 will be a Good Year for you All.
Sit in front of a roaring fire
Look forward to opening your presents
 Set the table to have friends and family over for dinner
At the end of the day snuggle down and give thanks for food on the table, a roof over your head and your loved ones - and God, because if it wasn't for his son being born in a stable 2016 years ago we wouldn't have a Christmas holiday at all.

Much love to you all.

My friend the jewellry maker

We went to Waterperry Gardens to see my friend Jane Griffin and her first jewellery stall. She's just finished her jewellery course and obtained her certificate and here are some of her finished items.
 Jane Griffin of the Jewelled Hare and her very first stall
 A ring made out of a 1902 silver spoon
 A fishtail mermaid clip made from another old spoon that was pretty smashed up
 Hammered solid silver braclet and ring - all Jane's work is hallmarked

 The piece that got Jane her jewellers certificate made of copper

Some more photos for December

Busy as usual, all sorts going on, the dramas periodically broken by nice things like having my birthday/Christmas party at Hednas Night club at Cleo Laine's place The Stables - kind of appropriate for Christmas.
 Emma, Morwenna and me, I've gone Veronica Lake this time as putting in the the victory rolls made me swear a lot!

 Mini Harry DJ'ng the 78RPMS
 Tom singing a George Formby song to make up laugh
 Natasha (Joe's daughter) and Joe not a Spiv for once
 Dreamy moment listening to White Christmas
 Edna and Harry without whom Hedna's Nightclub would not exist
Getting us ready for the Conga!  Da da da da da da da, Da da da da da da daaa!!
In the back of this photo my cheeky monkey of a husband has his arms round 3 young ladies due to lack of male dance partners!

All in all a brilliant 1940s party though two people got a bit mixed up and came as a couple of kinky sailors in thigh length boots and sailor suits!


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Some fun photos for Christmas

Ludlow Castle Medieval Fayre 2016

 Knights of the Household of York, me having a go with a longbow, Andy on a Crossbow.
Hunting birds and views from the castle windows. Was a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

It's not all that bad I suppose....

Apparently I am the victim of identity fraud.

I wouldn't have found this out if the car hadn't needed replacing.

But the car doesn't need to be replaced immediately, the gears are back in and working.

Luckily because it was in the garage, they found it had a faulty fuel line - so that's now repaired and I should get more MPG.

Both cats are still alive. Ted has taken to re-arranging my cushions - i.e. dragging them into the hall.

My rant at Agetur (builders) seems to have galvanised them into actually repairing our road properly in one day and not taking a week (as they had threatened) to do!

I had a rather lovely coffee in a cute coffee house with my friend Sue today. Her house was being vandalised - sorry - repaired by non existant plumbers. They came they took everything apart, and were supposed to come back and fix. No they didn't.

So we sat in a window in a quaint little town drinking expensive coffee (Sue paid as it was my birthday treat) and we wouldn't have done this if her house was isn't in bits and had heating.
I'm trying desperately to get some rest - hrmmm - how does that go again?

Basically I'm not going out and doing stuff this afternoon.
That was good because I had a delivery of a cream Poinsettia for my birthday from my dear friend Linda.

I am very lucky my friends.

So it may be frustrating but it's not all that bad!

Next time I'll pop up some pictures of Ludlow Castle and my Christmas Decs.


Friday, 2 December 2016

Things can only get better - can't they?

Went to the garage with the car this morning - £1,700 to repair a car worth £500, and even then the mechanic tells me, don't do it, the engine is shot and could go any minute. May not last a week.

My mother's youngest brother, Uncle Patrick died yesterday morning at 10am, and is being buried tomorrow at one. No time to say goodbye. I spent the morning trying to find a florist who would deliver with a day's notice. Irish Interflora would.

Came home and spoke to the bank, they are not willing to lend money at this time for me to buy a car. I asked why, because I had checked my credit rating before asking them and it came up as exceptional, and they said they couldn't give a reason at this time.

Both cats are still ill, and I am feeling very down.

This too shall pass, this too shall pass, I keep telling myself. I have been in worse situations and time and tide took them away.

I don't understand how things have all gone so wrong so quickly before my birthday - it's on the 9th and I'm dreading it - what else will happen? 

John Lennon was shot around my birthday, wars started, famous people died, there's something about that date.

I was my mum's first child, and she went on her own, on a bus after her waters broke, to Highgate Hill hospital to have me. My father was away in the Navy at the time and his sister Flossie and her husband Ted were the first to come and see me. Auntie Flossie leant my mum a kimono as a dressing gown as she hadn't packed anything. Uncle Ted had just come back from the Far East and had brought it back as a present for Auntie Flossie.

So a red haired, red faced, squawling child entered the world on the 9th December in London, to fight her way through life and end up frustrated and blogging in a Cotswold Village.

Hoping that this too shall pass.


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas cards

I'm going through my address book writing my Christmas cards. This year there has been a lot of crossings out on the pages. I'm thinking that perhaps I should get a smaller book.

There are friends who I have seen this year who I know are okay. Some are off to try new lives, one family I know off to live in a castle!  Some are fighting illness and others are like the new acronym - JAM - Just About Managing.

The cards are chosen to suit my friends' personalies. Those that live by the sea get Lifeboat Charity Cards, those in the cities get glossy gold professional cards. My friend who is a Vicar is the only one who gets a Christmas card with the Nativity on it.

I'm wondering if I am writing to people who no longer exist, whose partners have gone for one reason or another.

I started writing this yesterday, Tuesday, and it was a bad day. I had to rush off mid Blog to take my cat to the vets as he was crying in pain. He went on Monday for a scan of his bladder, and the vet did an unauthorised procedure by putting a catheta into his uretha. Then she tells me that while he was sedated it seemed like a good idea to have a look inside.

Fine you might think.

No. She then told me this was a very dangerous procedure and he could die if he didn't urinate within 24 hours afterwards and to rush him back if he was in pain. She told me this AFTER she had done the op that she charged me £315 for.

So that's why I dropped everything and made a mad dash to the vet.

I was angry that she did not ask if she could do this. As it turned out there was nothing wrong with his bladder BEFORE they operated - he just had cystitus.

This is the same vet who performed an operation without anesthetic on my other cat
last year. Again I had to rush back with an emergency.

After the lovely vet Will gave Ted a painkiller and told me there was nothing wrong he was
just really sore, I needed to clear my head, so I went for a drive to the Garden Centre and
Henry the Butchers - his stuff is all free range and top notch. Guess what? In all the stress I'd forgotten he'd moved!  His shop was empty.

He is now about 200 yards away from my house and I drove 10 miles to the Garden Centre!
As I drove back the anger in me was growing so I tried the old technique I was taught at the
Beeb to release pent up tension. Screaming in the car. Fine - had a good old scream and made my throat bleed. Lovely. (That's sarcasm by the way).

Then the car's clutch started to stick and I couldn't get a gear. I had to stop miles from no-where and try and get it into a gear, any gear, I eventually got it into 2nd and then third after that it wouldn't do gears thank you very much, I coasted to a stop outside my house.

I was lucky to get a space. The two bedroom bungalow across the road from us has 8 people and two children living in it, and there were eight cars blocking the road. They have no sense they have a drive that takes 3 cars and a big front garden which they don't use.

No-one here says anything to these people as Tim the gardener told us that they had to move quite a few times as he put it because"the wife was a bit stabby."
"Stabby?" I asked thinking it was Oxfordshire for something or other.
"Yes," he said, "she keeps stabbing people."
End to a perfect day.   

Friday, 18 November 2016

PHEW! Been so busy.

Yesterday another Movember Bake!  This time - the Cheesy Scones - again by request. Old  fashioned flatcakes, with raisins and cinnamon and nutmeg. Cappucino Coffee cakes with squidgy chocolate centres.  

So far we have raised £100!! Brilliant! When I think of the men I know who NEVER if they can help it, go to the doctors until it is almost too late - raising awareness by the Movember Charity is worth the cash.

Selfishly, it gives me a chance to practice my baking, although yesterday when the kitchen was sky high with every used bowl, knife plate, cutters, rolling pins, I wasn't so enthusiastic!
I would cook loads more if some-one else did the washing up!

Why is it that all my equipment is handwash only? The dishwasher was sitting empty!

Waddesdon on Wednesday was manic, we had over a thousand visitors through the doors.
Went home exhausted, after standing in the cold for 4 hours I needed a hot cup of tea and a snuggle on the sofa with my cats.  Lots of the Gingerbread men and ladies were being eaten by the visitors!  See below:

 These are part of the Chlidren's Trail and are on the Xmas trees the children spot them, tell a House Host and we give them a sticker for their folder. However some of the children and
their parents have other ideas. So the strong man, the policeman, champagne Charlie and
the Queen have become amputees.  When asked why they are doing this the answer usually is "to see if they are real."  Perhaps we should go about biting the visitors to see if they are real!!

Anyway a list of chores awaits - so have a lovely weekend everybody.