Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
~ Hal Borland ~

Thank you for helping me to get through a difficult year.  I am so grateful for all your empathy and support and so glad my son persuaded me to start blogging eight years ago come January.
I wish you peace, good health and love.
Back soon.  Keep the faith.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Boxing Day 3

Why I prefer to be behind the camera:)
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Boxing Day in Minehead

This one escaped.  See below.
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Boxing Day in Minehead

North Hill

There's Wales

Watery Lane with St Michael's Church

Two of the neighbours
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Medical Emergency

There is some confusion regarding dialling 111 or 999.

If you need medical advice dial 111.  If you need an ambulance dial 999; speed is of the essence and can make the difference between life and death.

In the latter circumstance when there is more than one person present, try to make sure the person on the phone has good hearing and that another person stays with the patient calmly reassuring  them and ready to follow any instructions dictated to the person on the phone.  All other persons should remain calm and silent so that the advice can be heard and passed on to the person with the patient.  Then someone should stand by the road to guide the ambulance.

 When medical help arrives just one person should relay to them what has happened and everybody else should retreat and allow them to do their job.

Yesterday was the Christmas lunch of our Bereavement Group.  There were 13 of us and we held it at The Bistro where Kym and Robin served us either turkey or one of the four alternatives we had ordered.  All the regulars had made way for our long table – I think some of them even shared a table with each other which was a happy sight to see.  It was all very relaxed and pleasant – Veronica gave us all delicious handmade edible goodies and cards were exchanged but not from me.  After my little card fiasco I had used every Christmas card in the house and resolved not to do any more local Christmas cards- which I think is a bit daft.  As Veronica said - that allowed the ones who had done them to feel smug

In recompense I invited them back for coffee, chocolate cake and mince pies.  Only seven could make it – such gadabouts!

I set off up the hill the second time that day to make sure the house was toasty and the kettle on the hob.  To my surprise cars were left at the bottom of the hill and everybody walked.  Soon we were all sitting comfortably – relaxed and idly chatting when we noticed Joy seemed to be dozing.  I asked her if she felt like nodding off – as one often does after lunch but then we noticed her pallor and expression and all became concerned.  We rang the emergency services explained what had happened and then – as best we could followed their instructions.

They told us to lie her down on her side - in the recovery position, and slowly she came to.  By the time the medics arrived she was fully conscious and asking to go to the bathroom.  They stayed with her for about 20 minutes - asking questions and explaining what had happened.

She had had a Vasovagal experience – what we used to call a faint and the old remedy of ‘put your head between your knees’ is not far from good advice.
In these circumstances, after exertion or a hearty meal the blood goes to the stomach from the head and the patient can lose consciousness.  If Joy had been too heavy for us to manoeuvre onto the floor we could have held her head down.  The important thing is to prevent them from falling and injuring themselves.

We were relieved to hear this as at one time we weren’t sure if she was breathing and Chris and I (her husband died in the street in Spain within a few days of MTL’s death)
were reliving painful memories.

When the medics were finished they pronounced Joy fit to walk home - quite a bit further up the hill but we decided otherwise and James went to get his car and then he and Chris took her home and waited until she was settled in and comfortable.

If one is going to have an episode it does help to have it amongst good caring folk like my new friends.

I spoke to Joy’s daughter and son – as I had promised to do if ever I was worried and the consensus of opinion is that she should inform her doctor and see him when things settle down.  She phoned me this morning and is feeling back to normal.

My car has been collected – no tears no fuss – as Chef kindly pointed out 'Many lives have been saved.' I’ve only once cried over a car when my beautiful little white Spitfire  was stolen and then dumped in a field – topless - rendering it useless. 
Onwards and upwards!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Farewell to the Albatross

They say don't make a big decision in the first year but the year is almost up,
I have thought long and hard, talked it over with seers and this morning was the final
Up early to take it for a run to stop it dying, miss the Sunday traffic and post more cards the engine
was as flat as a pancake and the decision was made.  Tomorrow I phone the garage and ask then to take it away.  A great weight has been lifted form my shoulders.
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Do you know what day it is?

One of the countless things I miss since I lost my love is having a daily reminder of what day it is.  We did it for each other.  In retirement the days tend to merge - distinguished only by the days the gardener and home help come and our various appointments.  Diaries and calendars are religiously kept updated yet even with two moderately intelligent people errors still occurred.

 We had a jolly evening last night at the Wellington,  the two love birds seem happy and marriage has been mentioned; James kindly escorted me home, had a cuppa and I was in bed well before midnight.  This morning it was clearly Friday so I stripped the odd bed and changed my pyjamas.  Once showered and dressed I opened the sun room, unlocked the side gate and set Karen’s tray complete with her Christmas present.  She is due at 9am so when it got to 10am I felt a little concerned and checked this was her week – she comes alternate weeks – it was.

I phoned her mobile.


‘Hi Karen.  It is your week isn’t it?’

‘Yes Pat but its Wednesday today.’  Her day is Thursday.


You see what I mean?


To finish the sad story I have been bleating on about how my ordered Christmas cards haven’t turned up and as a consequence went and bought local ones.

Yesterday, in the post I received my original order plus cheque and a note from the card people requesting the charity to find my address and return the cheque to me.  Seems I filled everything in correctly but omitted to put my address.


And the name of the charity I hear you ask?



Monday, December 09, 2013

More Greece

We reflected

We walked

Museum Athens

Beware the ouzo.

We cycled

Turtle beach Zakynthos
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Saturday, December 07, 2013

In the Final Analysis

In the Final Analysis...


I know it doesn’t matter a dam but I’d like to get something off my chest.

One of a kind,” is a well used phrase which slightly ruffles my hackles.

Michael Buble has even written a song with the title and his interpretation – forgive me if I’m wrong Michael - is that the person he is singing about is a rare creature who stands alone - is unique, unparalleled.

Kind – one of the meanings - is a natural group of animals, plants etc.

Ergo one of a kind is one of a group so not unique not unparalleled.


Just thought I’d mention it and nothing to do with delaying doing the Christmas decorations etc.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Our House

An old aeriel photo taken in the eighties
Paul on the new leak-proof garage roof.  Mick is holding my ladder.
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Yesterday at The Valley of the Rocks

Rock climbers - not us - Andrew and Tom just scrambled.
Watched anxiously by Alice and Pat.
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