Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Day Surgery!

   What a long day yesterday was and what a disappointment. My eldest daughter took me in to hospital at 7 am for day surgery removing a fibroid from my uterus. My big worry was really being out of action for any length of time as I have to go to my Mum and Dad's to help so often. I wasn't really worried about the procedure. All seemed to be going well and I looked at the clock when I was lying in the anesthetic room it was 11 am.
   You can't imagine my disappointment when I came to in the recovery ward to be told they had to abandon the procedure as I had been bleeding so much. I spent the rest of the afternoon lying head tipped down with oxygen on and drips going. At one point my blood pressure was 60/28. They transferred me to a ward at the end of the afternoon while they decided whether I could go home. I would hate to scare people who are having this done as all the other women in the day surgery unit, who were having similar procedures done, were all dressed and waiting to be picked up by 2pm so I suppose I have just been unlucky.
   The doctors came to see me that evening and I was discharged at 7pm. I was so relieved to see Tom and my two daughters when they came to pick me up I almost cried. They made me something to eat and had bought me a box of chocolates. I was so glad to be home but very disappointed that after all this, the initial problem hasn't even been resolved.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

A Disorganised Person's Guide To An Organised Christmas

   I am a very organised person when it comes to my work. However this almost obsessional behaviour sadly doesn't seem to spill into my family life. I try very hard writing lists but that is about as far as I get. Last year I wrote a long list when I went shopping and handed it to the assistant in Waterstones as it had the ISBN number next to the name of the book I was ordering and then left the shop without it. I'm sure you get the picture. I think it is panic which makes my disorganisation worse so this year I am taking things in hand!
   I have pushed everyone this week into eating every item of food in the freezer (Not fish in batter again Mum) and it is has been defrosted. I have two plans in mind. We have just had a really good little store open up near us with a big variety of food at really good prices so with that, the Co-Op, a butchers, bakers and a little farm shop a short walk down the roads I must be able to buy our food daily at good prices. It will make a nice change from the same old weekly shop. I'm really looking forward to the challenge. If I can keep down the daily budget instead of a weekly one I will buy an item of Christmas food every day for the freezer or store cupboard.
   Strangely I actually feel a bit of pressure taken off already as I don't have to think ahead to plan meals for the whole week just for each day. I love going up to the farm shop as I take Bud with me and a little backpack for my shopping so I'm looking forward to doing that every few days. I suppose the hardest part will be fitting it all in the day but at least I'll be supporting the local shops even more than we do now. I shall record my progress.

Our local Co-Op And Butchers

Our Local Bakers.

Our Local Farm Shop.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Remembering A Little Lost Dog

  When we were out having our family meal on Sunday night my eldest son was telling us whilst he was working he had a couple of hours to kill in London so he popped into Battersea Dogs And Cats Home. We always used to have days out when our children were young going to Battersea Dogs Home, then round to Battersea Park to the best adventure playground in London and then tea by the lake. Happy Days. Our Dog Bud is a Battersea dog and our old cat Archie also came from Battersea. He was telling us there were some really lovely dogs there and as usual lots and lots of poor Staffies. As a breed I feel so sorry for Staffies, I'm sure it is the same in other cities but in London they are often owned by people who should never have a dog and goodness knows what fate awaits many of them.
   It did remind me though of one very sad incident that happened 14 years ago. My eldest son had just left home and was living in a flat on the other side of town. One day he brought round a little black Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It was a little portly dog all grey round it's whiskers and was obviously not in the first flush of youth but it had a little waggy tail and wiggled it's bottom when it wagged. He had found it wandering near where he lived. You must report it to someone I told him. He told me he had put up posters and no one had come forward. But she's such a little cutie someone must be missing her I said.
   When he got home he phoned the local dog warden who came round and said she had to take the dog away. He wasn't happy but she said it was the law to keep it for I think it was about 14 days. He asked her to please phone him after 14 days if no one claimed her as he would give her a home. We all kept our fingers crossed and he waited for the time to go by. The day came and there was no phone call so my son phoned the dog warden to ask after the little Staffie only to be told by the dog warden that she had been put to sleep as no one claimed her and she was too old to rehome. No one even seemed bothered that he had wanted her. My son was devastated and I don't think I had ever felt so guilty. I still feel terrible now just remembering it. Her final days could have been so different. I often think I will give a home to an abandoned Staffie as there are so many of them. Maybe one day I will, to make up for that poor little dog with the grey muzzle and waggy tail.
   If anyone hasn't been there and is able to go, try and give Battersea Dogs And Cats Home a visit and maybe someone else will be won over by a little cute Staffie. Also the cafe by the lake in Battersea Park does the nicest toasted sandwiches you can imagine!

Monday, 21 November 2016

A 21st Birthday!

   Yesterday was my youngest daughters 21st Birthday. The whole family went out for a meal and had a fantastic time. My youngest daughter is funny, artistic and totally flamboyant! She is six feet tall and yet happily goes out in four inch heels. When she and her friends are out in London they are always being photographed. Photographers are always giving her cards to say contact them. Even a scout from Channel 4 stopped her and asked her to contact them for a reality programme. When we went up to London with my eldest daughter and her boyfriend recently he said he felt as if we were her entourage!  Enjoy your life I always tell her as it goes by in a flash.
   Yet when she is at work looking after the severely disabled children she loves and talks about all the time, she is the kindest person in the world. I could not possibly be more proud of her.

Our  youngest daughter on her 21st before we left home and with her sister.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Feeling Rather Old But I Don't Really Care!

    The other week Tom and I went to a jumble sale at the local scout hall which was on a Friday evening. Just before we left my eldest son gave me a ring before he left for a night out with some friends. I can't stay long I explained to him as we are going to a Jumble Sale and I don't want to miss all the first bargains. Eldest son roared with laughter "Oh my goodness it's Friday night and you're off to a Jumble Sale you two really are living the high life." Tom and I couldn't stop laughing as we set off agreeing we are so easily pleased now. Our packed social life in the early 80s is just a distant memory.
    Despite being made to feel ancient we had a really successful time and bought lots of fantastic items for virtually nothing. The boy scouts were all so polite and helpful. This was my favourite item, a wooden pencil case from probably the 1930s, still with the little girls name on it. What ever happened to Norah Smith I wonder?

    I found some old wooden tennis rackets in their wooden presses, just like I had at school, and wondered if they would sell on ebay. I decided against them and put them down and walked away. As if I hadn't been made to feel ancient enough that evening, I heard one of the little boy scouts say to another "What are these, they look like snow shoes." His friend replied "Oh no they are tennis rackets from the olden days!"
    Tom and I had laughed all the way there and we laughed all the way home. As we sat down later that evening with a cup of tea and a piece of toast each we had to admit the high life was a long time ago but you know what we don't really care!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

A Blustery Day

    It has been a really windy day today. I had to go for a blood test before a minor op as a day case the week after next. The only thing left open at Sutton Hospital is a little pre fab unit for blood tests. The rest of the building is either demolished or all boarded up now. I don't think many people are aware this little unit is there so I dashed in and out with only one person in front of me and Tom and I set off for the charity saleroom to buy some more stock before he had to go back to work. I only bought a few bits but did manage to find some really nice silver plated items which will look lovely when I have cleaned them up. Sometimes I can hardly bear to put the items up for sale but I try and be firm with myself as my little Nostalgic Store is not going to build up with me keeping all the stock!
    The wind had really got up when we returned and the barometer has dropped significantly which is never a good sign. I'm not really frightened of heights but this telephone engineers up a pole on a windy day is a braver man than me! He's not even holding on. Apparently there is a named storm heading our way in the next few days. So I think we better check all the chicken runs and hope our old roof tiles survive.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Joys Of Southern Rail

   I had to be at my Mum and Dad's house by 9.30 this morning as my Dad had a hospital appointment. Easy you would think, but changing twice on the train journey gives Southern Rail far too many opportunities to completely scupper any chance of that. By the time I got to Epsom it was 9.28, the train to Ashtead had been delayed until 9.43 and I still had a twenty minute walk when I got off the train. I could feel my blood pressure rising.
     I wonder if in future I should stay on the Epsom Downs train and then wouldn't have to change at all, but it is 3 1/2 mile walk to their house from the station much of which is without pavements and I would have to cross a golf course which I'm sure would be lonely. I could get murdered. I suppose I could take Bud my trusty guard dog with me! The only trouble is he hates trains and dribbles constantly. It would be packed at that time of the morning and I doubt my fellow travellers would enjoy starting their day covered with drool and border collie hairs. I sometimes wonder if I should just give up, get fit and walk the seven miles to their house, it has to be better than the train option and their are more strikes planned.
    I immediately felt calmer and happier though when I was walking up to their house, I stopped to look at the pond I used to go fishing in when I was a child, all those little minnows that were caught and brought home in a jam jar. I used to love feeding the ducks there and was disappointed not to see a duck in sight. Just lots of seagulls bobbing about in the water.

    Then I saw them all standing around on the pavement in what looked like a little huddle of gossiping ladies. I'm sure they are complaining about the seagulls moving into their home.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Respect To Our Servicemen And Women

    I watched The Festival of Remembrance on television last night through very misty eyes. To see the relatives of soldiers killed in action and to try to imagine what they must be going through is heart breaking. There was young girl who spoke so eloquently about the death of her father I'm sure he would have been so proud of her. It reminded me though that life can be very dangerous for servicemen and women and not all of them are killed in conflicts but like her father, died in the line of duty.
    My Dad was a pilot in the RAF in the early 1950s, he is on the right hand end top row in the photo below but not in the photo below that as he took it with his little Box Brownie camera. Life was very dangerous for the young pilots and he told me that very sadly nearly half of the young men in these photos died in flying accidents. In the early 1950s countrywide many of these trainee pilots were killed but it was all covered up at the time. It is very sad to think of it and I'm sure after all this time people still aren't aware.

     I remembered an incident that happened when my Mum was in hospital, My Dad went down to the hospital shop and there in the queue was a very tall extremely handsome young man wearing only a theatre gown and his boots totally unconcerned at the strange looks he was getting. Typically my Dad started talking to him and he was saying he was a soldier from the rehabilitation centre for wounded servicemen and women at Headley Court but their X Ray machine was out of order. He told my Dad he was in the Guards. He asked my Dad if he had ever been in the services and my Dad told him he had been a pilot in the RAF. He said the soldier took a step back and said a long drawn out "Respect!" No said my Dad "Respect to you!" So on that that note I would like to say "Respect" to every serviceman or woman who has been killed or wounded in conflict or in the line of duty over the years.

Friday, 11 November 2016

I Am So Happy!

I have had so many ups and downs this year, many more downs than ups. I know I am not alone, it is life, everyone has there really bad times. This week my eldest daughter gave me this photo of the scan of her baby due in May. It has lifted all of us beyond words.

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