Saturday, December 19, 2009
Posted by Maggie at 7:35 pm
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Posted by Maggie at 7:07 pm
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
We seem to have had several rather gruesome days at the caravan!
Saturday, June 06, 2009
These clouds are really amazing!
Not doing very well at the mo, just more of the same old...
House is a complete mess with all my folks stuff here. Well, we've got rid of a lot, but it all just takes so much time! Plus we still have to keep a whole load of paperwork "just in case".
We've been planting courgettes and tomatoes this week (and gazenias and lobelia), but I reckon my carefully germinated peas at the caravan will have had it over the last week as it's been pretty hot. The back yard is looking really lush. :-) Guess we'll do a bit more work in it this weekend if we don't get the heavy rain that's forecast!
Intended to go to the caravan this weekend, but have felt too ill to pack and then travel. Plan was to stay on alone while John came home to work his 3 days. Maybe next week instead!
It's very muggy here today, and I think that kind of weather is very enervating, even for healthy folks. Plus there's been thunder near (not that I've heard, was on the weather news), I find that I seem to feel kind of agitated when there's thunder around. On edge.
I don't know if it's the electricity or the air pressure, but something makes me feel very uncomfortable. And I only realise why when the storm has broken and I suddenly feel much better.
Wish we could be using our new table and chairs on the deck this weekend, but I know we'll have time to enjoy them later in the year.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Blogging for ME/CFS Awareness
Way back in 1955 there was an outbreak of M.E. at the Royal Free Hospital. It mainly affected nurses and doctors, they would have been young people back then. Now they will be pensioners, and I wonder how well they are doing now. Hopefully some will have made a recovery, but how many of them went on to become some of the 25% group who are housebound and/or bedbound?
Recent campaigns by M.E. Charities have concentrated their efforts on young people with M.E. This is a good thing, as it is a very difficult thing to live with M.E., and it is sad to see young people suffering, losing their teenage (or even younger) years to this horrible illness. It impacts on their education as well as their social life. So even those who recover have lost a part of their lives, and will have difficulty catching up on qualifications they need for the careers they wish to pursue.
But I begin to feel that older people with M.E. are being forgotten.
Even in "the prime of life" (whatever that is!) M.E. is a difficult illness to live with. It is hard to meet friends; let's face it, it's hard just to make a cuppa tea or coffee!
Last year I turned 60. I now receive my Old Age Pension. At least I will never have to fill in another IB50 form, sweat over it for weeks, and worry that I will lose my Incapacity Benefit.
In the previous few years I saw my parents becoming more and more frail, and eventually dying after some months in nursing homes. I was not able to help them in the last years they remained in their own home.
My Mother pleaded with me to go and stay with her after she had a fall, was in pain, and couldn't manage at home. I couldn't. The next day she was admitted to hospital, descended very quickly into dementia, and after a few weeks in a nursing home she died.
While my Father was in a nursing home I hardly managed to visit, as most of our energy went on trying to continue to help my Mother, and then visit her in hospital.
As an only child I felt stretched between them, unable to help either.
I am one of the lucky ones. My husband continues to care for me, to do nearly all the shopping and cooking (we gave up on the other housework other than the most basic cleaning!). Our daughters help when they can. And because of the help that I get from my family I am lucky enough to be able to enjoy the little energy I have, to take some photos, to do a bit of gardening, and currently to be staying at our caravan in Abersoch - John has left me with a large pan of delicious stew, and plenty of other easy to prepare food.
But what happens to those M.E. patients who live alone? After many years of struggling with the most basic of life's chores, as they age, how will they manage? I don't see that Social Services will be of much use - already I hear stories of how "carers" provided by them are refusing to do things that in the past they might have done, such as shopping and cooking.
We all are getting older, we read in the papers that the aging population is a time bomb, there won't be the money to look after us baby boomers. But how much worse is it for those who for years have had this damned disease? No job, so no comfortable pension, no circle of friends, no supportive partner or family for many. And as we age, those of us whose parents have looked after them may see their only support become too incapacitated themselves to help any more. So who will help them then?
Perhaps it's time for the M.E. Charities to begin to campaign for us old age pensioners with M.E.?
Sunset at Bwlchtocyn
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
I'm sure daughter won't be terribly pleased that I've posted this here... But I want to keep it somewhere it I can find it, and not lose it merely because the tatty piece of paper it's written on disintegrates. I think it's a great poem for an eight year old. Proud Mum!
After all these years am still a proud Mum of both my wonderful daughters.
25th April 1989
Mrs Snail went out for a slither one day
And the sun was shining bright and gay
But Mrs Snail gave a silent wail
For a small thin bird was out for a glide
And of course Mrs Snail didn't want to be spied
So she quickly went to hide.
The hungry bird flew out of sight
And Mrs Snail felt Joy and light.
(It must be fairly obvious that I wasn't a gardener back then!)
Sunday, January 25, 2009
We went back to the Flat again today. John washed the bathroom floor, and I did more hoovering. It really was hoovering, as was using Mum's Hoover. But between all of that I sat and watched the sky some of the time.
We packed up yet more stuff and have brought it home. We need to do some decluttering as a matter of urgency!
John picked up some Chinese meals from Morrison's as on special offer for Chinese New Year. Spring rolls for starters, which I am eating now, but they're a bit on the hot side, so am only nibbling till they cool a little more.
We've cleared most of the stuff from the flat now, last few bits need help to shift - eg bookcase still there is too heavy for John to manage on his own. Helen may be able to help on Thurday - last day before Completion of sale.
John had fun watching a boat practising sailing skills.
Posted by Maggie at 7:53 pm
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Went over to the parental flat again today after John took the Band to catch their train back to Cambridge and did the shopping.
I washed the fridge really thoroughly - it wasn't that dirty, but now I would happily put food in it. Before my feelings were it was a bit iffy.
Cleaned bath and basin. Hope we can wash bathroom floor before Completion on 30th.
We brought more stuff back. We have more stuff to bring back still. Prob 2 car trips still.
I am shattered! Sorry no photos - while it was sunny and still when we arrived, wind got up and clouds came over while I was cleaning the fridge. Fortunately the wind abated before we left - was beginning to worry about negotiating the wind tunnel outside the front door to the building!
We may go back tomorrow, depends if I can move at all after today's exertions.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I made the Resolution at New Year, but power cuts at the caravan prevented me trying to blog about it at the time. And then the car breakdown left me knackered and then other stuff happened too! Sometimes Life doesn't enable good resolutions!
This year's Resolution is to have more fun. The last few years have been very difficult, and we both seem to have lost the concept of fun.
So, will be reading the backlog of books that I bought 1-2 years ago that haven't had time enough to look at yet.
Hoping to get back to drawing more regularly, once a week if I can't manage once a day.
Having re-joined Ancestry when my initial subscription expired, I haven't done anymore work on my Family Tree. I was enjoying this, the hunting aspect is great when you find somebody new! So now the newly released 1911 Census may get me further in that, and maybe a jolt to continue my research.
When I first joined Fotolog, I tried to take a photo every day. Since then I mostly use Flickr, but it would be good to get back to trying to take more photos. Both sites have put me in touch with like minded people, but I haven't kept up with them over the last few years - I want to try and re-connect.
All of these things are fun to me, it will take some time to get back into better habits, but if I can manage one of them each day I will be having a lot more fun!
Edit: PS hope to blog more too!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
John was able to get most of New Year's Eve off work - just had an hour to do in the morning. He had a part day of holiday left since he began working only 3 days a week. So we headed off to the caravan around 2pm. Bit of a grey day until we got past Conway, when the sky brightened, and by the time we reached Pwllheli we were in glorious sunshine... But bitterly cold! I was very glad of the heated seat in the car!
We arrived at the caravan while it was still fairly light, John got the central heating going (and lit the gas fire as well!) and unpacked the car. I was very tired after the journey, so climbed into a nest of duck down quilt and slept for a while.
I woke up in time to see most of Jools Holland's Hootenanny, and we saw the New Year in together. John was pretty tired by then so went to bed, I began to watch the Kath and Kim Christmas Special. Suddenly around 3am the lights went out, everything went off (including the central heating- urgh!) and everywhere was pitch black. Drew back the curtains, but only starlight. In other words, very dark!
I couldn't remember where the candles were (note to self, in future put ready when arrive in caravan!), so shouted for John, but he was really fast asleep. Eventually he woke, and between us we found the night lights and got one lit. We could see the lights were on in Abersoch, but none by us in Bwlchtocyn, so we both went back to bed. I lay and looked at the stars through the front windows, and eventually fell asleep.
Woke early to a beautiful dawn.
Power back on, but only on low voltage. Enough for lights, and to boil the kettle (though that took ages!), but not enough for the central heating pump or the television. Lovely morning though, just awful cold! We were both really glad that we had the gas fire, just wish it was easier to get lit and turned up to full. But we got there in the end.
Power came back on fully around 3pm, after another total outage - presumably for final work on the system. We were really glad to get the heating back on, made the bathroom much more bearable!
John got in a couple of walks, but since he started his own blog I'll let him write about them.
We enjoyed looking at the new decking - Tim has done a fantastic job.
I just did one gardening job - pruned the oregano. I cut it back really hard, we really hope that it will grow back as it did last year, as an almost perfect part sphere... until the wind changed its shape and it became more wild.
We had intended to come home on Sunday, and had packed the car ready to come home. Had a variety of error messages come up, and car wouldn't start. Called RAC Motability number, and they could arrange transport. But by then I was so knackered was almost asleep.
So we deferred travel till Monday.
With one thing and another (mainly the freezing weather so lots of accidents happening) we didn't get our tow till about 2pm. Our rescuer, Jasper, told us that it was incredibly snowy in Beddgelert and around, he'd had some scary rescues to do with folks sliding on the ice as well.
Took some time to load the car onto the trailer.
Our driver was Jasper, and he had lots of interesting stories to tell us - he knows the area well, and many local people and places. He came from the North Wales Recovery service who I highly recommend as being friendly and helpful.
We got towed on the loader to Conway. At the office there we were offered a very welcome cuppa tea, and then were then given a courtesy car to drive home. We got home about 7pm, unloaded the car, and I went to bed while John headed for Tesco to get some food in.
Today I've handed back the courtesy car (collected by a very cheerful chap), and taken delivery of a hire care (delivered by another very cheerful chap) from Motability. I have this for 2 days, if repairs on Big Blue 2 take longer than that we must contact them to extend the hire. While the whole business has been a nuisance, it has been mitigated by the helpfulness and cheerfulness of everyone I've been involved with.
Am so glad I went for another Motability car - wonder if the care and service we have been so fortunate to have would have been so good otherwise.