Better than any tonic!

It’s amazing isn’t it? Battling through the last few weeks, struggling with my body seeming to pack in, throw a strop and have a complete post op breakdown, I have to confess to feeling rather down and low of late. However, today my spirits are lifted and not only by the glorious sunshine and warm temperatures we have been enjoying of late! What has brought about this magical transformation? Well, the answer to that question can be found below in photo form!

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Is it here at last?

Been out stretching my swollen legs today. A slow walk down to the park accompanied by K which rewarded us with some wonderful sights of crocus’s and daffodils all vying with each other for a glimpse of some welcome spring sunshine. It was a very enjoyable walk, not too cold, and did me the world of good especially to breath in that gorgeous fresh Spring air,  though I was absolutely beggared when we landed home! Enjoy the arrival at last of Spring everyone because  I am!



Shopping Shoot in the rain.

Says it all reallyTrying vainly to compensate for my stupid blunder yesterday when my camera’s battery ran out after just one photo on what was to be a collection of shots of Autumn colours taken on a gorgeous sunny day, I took my camera with me this morning ( complete with fully charged battery) as we went down to town for some shopping. It was raining which put a damper on things so don’t worry about the white spots on some of the shots. that’s just the rain on the lens.

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The tale of a two jabs.

Bet you never ever thought that you would hear of someone asking, nattering and practically begging to have a jab done did you?  Well if you read on, I will tell you the tale of my Downs Syndrome daughter who just can’t seem to stand missing out on anything that her mother is having done, whether it be her hair done or in this particular case, a jab for pneumonia.

jab It all began on Saturday when we attended our Doctors to both have our Swine Flu jabs. The nurse who was carrying out the jabs informed me that because I was now 65 years old and had experienced a heart attack previously I now qualified for a Pneumonia jab as well.  She went on to explain that this jab was a ‘one off’ and once I had been given it, it would then protect me for the rest of my life.  K was of course present in the same room waiting her turn for her Swine flu jab whilst this conversation took place.  The nurse offered to give me both injections at the same time, one in each arm, but as I was concerned that might render me ‘armless’ I politely refused and afterwards, made an  appointment to have the Pneumonia jab done this morning. (Thursday.)

During this last week, both K and I  have experienced fairly sore arms following the swine flu jabs on Saturday morning, and K’s was particularly swollen and red.  She has been complaining about it hurting her all week.  So imagine my surprise as we readied ourselves this morning for the trip down to the Surgery to hear her begin to natter on about why couldn’t she have the pneumonia jab as well as me?  Now she has heard of pneumonia, mainly from her Mum who often mentions the word when she is about to exit out the door, full of cold, and clad only in the thinnest of  outfits and her thinnest coat.  It usually goes something like this,

Are you wanting to catch pneumonia or something?  Go back upstairs and put something warm on!”  or if she has just washed her hair and its still damp,

Are you mad?  Get that warm jumper on and put your hat on, you silly girl!  You’ll get pneumonia next!”  (or words to that effect depending on the circumstances at the time.)

jab3  Yes I know!  Makes me sound awfully bossy all of this, but if you only knew how I have tried desperately to learn her during these past 30 years how to dress appropriately for the weather outside, you would all sympathise. Who else puts on thick clothes during the summer months when the sun is blazing down and its 80 degrees outside, yet dresses in a short sleeved t-shirt and her thinnest summer jeans on in the middle of winter?

As a matter of fact, when I leave this mortal coil, unless I leave a warning (underlined in red) for whoever will be looking after her wellbeing  that K just doesn’t seem to get the idea of dressing appropriately for the seasons, she will in all probability be shortly following me. Yes I am well aware that I could stand over her every morning making sure that she only dresses in an appropriate outfit for the weather outside, but I don’t like to do this as I want her to have as much independence as possible, I don’t want to ‘stand over her’ or choose appropriate outfits for her every morning,  and anyway, I keep hoping that it will suddenly ‘click’ in her mind.

So. As we made our way down to the doctors, she began the assault. 

I should have the ammonia jab as well.” followed by  “I would be ill if I got ammonia.”  and the inclusion of,  “ I might die if I got ammonia.”   “I have a poor mune system.”  (She means she has a poor immune system.)

This continued all the way down to the doctors.  “Will you ask them if I can have the ammonia jab?”  By this time I was so tired of hearing her nattering that I agreed to ask the receptionist, which I promptly did although K got her twopenneth in as well.

Jab2I would be very ill.” She said to the receptionist trying vainly to persuade her. The receptionist  told me to ask the nurse when we were called in.  I promised K that I would ask.  Eventually we went into the nurses room, and she gave me my jab.  K was looking at me, mouthing as she did so, “Ask her.” or words to that effect.  So I asked. The nurse then poured over her ‘bible’ to see if K was included in the criteria for the pneumonia jab.  Lets face it, she wasn’t 65, although she had actually toyed with the idea outside in the waiting room of actually saying she was!  She doesn’t even look 30 let alone 65!

Bet you never EVER thought you would meet a patient begging and pleading to have a jab done, did you?” I asked the nurse.  She agreed that she had never met anyone else so desperate to have a jab in all her years of nursing. 

I can’t have anything without K wants the same. She hates missing out on anything,” I told her as she arrived at a decision and gave K the pneumonia jab as she had requested.  “ Mind you K” I added realising one of the repercussions that might occur now that she had been granted her wish,   “Don’t think that now you have had the pneumonia jab you can go out in the middle of Winter with next to nothing on! “


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A typical November morning.

When I peered out of the window this morning, it was a typical November morning, frosty, foggy, damp and dismal. Hastily getting dressed I dashed out of the door, camera in hand, to try and capture it all. (Just hope that none of the neighbours happened to be watching. They all think I am ‘gaga’ as it is without seeing me dashing out into the frosty fog at 06.30am in my slippers to take some photos.)

It's foggy and frosty! Brrr!

Typical November morning stitch 

Somewhere up there is a farm

Can you see the frost?

You should just be able to make out the frost on the grass in this one.

Can  you see the moon?


Can you see the moon in this shot? It’s a half moon so I should be safe. Seems I am only affected by the full moon. (tarot reading a while back.) Do you think I managed to capture November and the cold and fog?

And you might be wondering where was K whilst I was busy rushing about capturing all this? Just getting up out of her nice warm bed. Good job she is used to me and my strange behaviour isn’t it?





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The Saga of K’s knee.

Since K returned home from respite, she has been complaining off and on about her left knee being painful. Now I know what you are all thinking. Why has it taken her mother all this time (nearly two whole weeks) to take any action on the matter? What sort of mother is she that leaves such a vast amount of time before taking her Down’s Syndrome daughter to the doctors in order to have said knee investigated?

the problem knee Well I will explain.  K can tend to be a sort of hypochondriac in that if you are suffering from any ailment, she gets it as well.  Arm hurting? So is hers. Back ache? She has that too. ( I suppose a psychologist might suggest that she suffers in sympathy.) So when she declared that her knee hurt when she went downstairs, you can hardly blame this arthritic kneed mother who’s knees happen to creak and groan every time she ascends the stairs, (which K has actually heard by the way) arriving at the conclusion that she was just announcing a sympathy pain, especially as on examining the complained about knee, I could see nothing untoward.

In my defence, as any parent of a special needs child will readily tell you, it is far from easy to gather information that can help you to come to some conclusion on the matter. I had asked the usual questions. When did it hurt her? When she descends the stairs. Did it hurt to walk? No. Did it hurt to stand? No. As she also seemed fine when attending exercise class last week, I wasn’t particularly worried about it. She insisted it was Arthritis. ( Doctor K mode.)

Yesterday she began to complain about the knee more frequently, returning home with tales of a member of staff at the day care centre trying to give her some relief by applying a bag of frozen broccoli to the affected knee. Hmm. This information told me that she was obviously relating her knee problem to members of staff and not just to me!  Time for some action. This was obviously not the usual aping of Mum’s aches and pains!  I grilled her again about when this problem had first surfaced.

electric hospital bed       I banged it on the hospital bed at the Respite Care home.” she suddenly admitted. “It knocked me sick” (this description borrowed heavily from myself when I cracked my knee against the door jamb one day whilst fetching the milk in many years ago, and very nearly for the first time in my life, passed out with the pain.)

Ahh! Now we were getting somewhere! She had banged here knee hard!  Off to the doctors today as a precaution and to let her examine the affected knee thoroughly. She asked K to lay down on the bed, and began raising it to a more suitable height. (the bed, not K’s knee.)

Is this bed safe?” K asked in a terrified voice as the bed lifted up higher. She followed this question with another. “Will I need my leg chopping off?” (I keep saying she watches too many movies, one of which recently was ‘Dances with Wolves’ where he very nearly has his foot amputated.)

Frozen broccoli tescos “I don’t think we’ll need to do that just yet K! “ she said laughing. (Our doctor spends most of her time in fits of laughter at us two.)  After a full examination of said knee, she wrote a prescription for some inflammatory gel to be rubbed on the affected knee four times a day, and advised K that she didn’t want her to be immobile but do some gentle exercise such as walking etc. We thanked her and left to the surgery to collect the prescription. As we waited in the bus station for our bus, I ended up making K laugh out loud when I said

Yes and did you notice K? She didn’t prescribe an application of frozen broccoli to be administered four times a day!”


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All the D’s and other letters. Winter.

rain460Dank, dark, dismal, drab, dripping, drops, drizzling down, soaking the fallen leaves on the ground, feet slipping and sliding, hood pulled over my head, shoes slopping, soaking wet.


Miserable faces pass me by, scurrying to shelter, traffic splashes past, soaking me. Shoes squelch, hands soaked, darkness arrives, dashing, dripping, door key desperate to get inside.

Cold, chilled, cross, cantankerous,cursing winter. Cold creeps through to chilled bones, aching back and creaking knees.

Wailing winds whistling wildly through the trees, bending, bowing,blowing, whipping up the fallen leaves, wailing at my window.

windy leaves 

Hurry Winter and be gone, I won’t miss your passing.


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Will it be trick or treat?

Small narrow throat?? K was in a state of shock last night when she received an unexpected phone call from her Dad inviting her to accompany him this morning on a rare outing together. It must be at least two months since he took her out anywhere. She was so shocked and surprised that it set off one of her ‘choking do’s’ as she calls them. (blames these occurrences on having a small narrow throat though I have never quite fathomed out how she has arrived at this diagnosis seeing as she can neither look down her own throat to compare it with others, or measure its width in any meaningful manner, and despite being small and narrow if she is correct, it still manages to allow the passage of vast amounts of food.)

SNC13594 As our pumpkin container for any treats intended for any Halloween revellers was rendered only half full owing to our need to test the safety of all the contents, she has been given the task of buying some more spooky looking sweets to fill it to the brim whilst out in town with her Dad. I instructed her to get more of the same if possible, chocolate, marshmallow type sweets and jellies. What she will actually return with is anyone’s guess. They will no doubt be paying their favourite ‘help yourself to as much as you can eat’ restaurant Jumbo’s a visit for lunch.

He (being my ex husband and of course K’s Dad) has been informed that he needs to lose two stone before his consultant will operate on him, but the likelihood of this operation ever taking place is to be honest very slim indeed owing to the fact that like his daughter, my ex loves his food. Or should I say, he loves any food that is bad for him. (Please don’t enquire of me what exactly this operation is for because as we are no longer together, I only receive snippets of information about it from my various sources, and other than hearing that he has something that his surgeon states that he has never EVER seen before in his entire career, I haven’t a clue what the needed operation is for or what is is intended to correct)

Oooh! Look at the Halloween treats!I finished up toddling down to town myself in the end as in my email inbox this morning was a calendar alert that tomorrow is my sisters birthday. She was here last night. Visiting. I had forgotten all about it. (As a rather lame excuse, I shall blame my lapse on all the excitement of Halloween)

I have a lousy memory. Anyone who knows me will vouch for that fact. And yet, you would think that at my age I would have found some way of compensating for it wouldn’t you? Especially as I am so into all this new technology lark. Get your mobile phone to message you when its someone’s birthday! Get reminders to pop up on your screen on your computer! Stick sticky notes everywhere so that you can’t miss seeing them!

Get some new RAM memory installed into your brain! (I wish!)


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A wonderful walk down to exercise class.

SNC13579 This morning we enjoyed a wonderful walk down to exercise class in the warm (yes warm!) October sunshine. The rich and vibrant colours of the Autumn leaves were made far more enjoyable during out trek to the centre by the lovely sight of sunshine shining through them making them look even more beautiful. What a glorious day and so warm that by the time we reached the centre, I was perspiring! If only it would stay like this all winter I would be in seventh heaven! My usual winter bout of SAD could take a vacation and mosey off somewhere else!

It’s difficult to know what to wear on days such as this which tend to feel quite nippy first thing in the morning  and then warm up rapidly once the sun puts in an appearance. Mind you, I always tend to put on more clothing as you can always take something off if you become too warm. Following exercise class we did our usual shopping in Tesco’s, but before returning home on the bus I took the time to take some pictures of the many varied offerings of Halloween treats in our local bakery shops, who are always quick to take advantage of any seasonal happenings to produce cakes, buns and biscuits to tempt and delight everyone. (well apart from me of course who can’t eat any of them owing to my wheat intolerance, bah!)

Scary cats, spider cakes,skeleton biscuits,pumkin buns

Which really does beg the question why I then put myself through untold misery by standing there taking photos of them all looking so delicious in the window. For my blog readers of course, who else?

bloodshot eyes,skeletons,blood jellies,skulls,marshmellow pumkins We also bought our usual assortment of Trick or Treat sweets to dole out to any visiting trick or treaters who are brave enough to ring our doorbell on Halloween. We have placed them all in a soft squashy pumpkin shaped container to await our visitors. K will dress as usual in her terrifying Wolf attire in order to greet them at the door, hoping against hope that by doing so she will discourage them from ever darkening our doorstep again.

 I had been considering buying a full witches outfit complete with hooked nose, but then I had second thoughts seeing as it is only for one night and therefore I haven’t bothered. (I know, miserable so and so aren’t I?) Will leave all that to my lovely daughter who enters into the spirit (pun) of Halloween with as much gusto as if she is still a child herself. ( She will probably growl at them as she opens the door, so I do hope that there is not a small child present because it will be blood curdling and I would feel awful if they screamed and suffered nightmares.) On the other hand, K won’t be in the least bit bothered.

She scares me and I'm her mother! She loves anything like this because of her penchant for acting of course. If we do not receive any ‘trick or treaters’ then we will obviously have to devour the treats ourselves. (which tends to give K more incentive to be even more terrifying.) In addition and in the interests and safely of all children who might venture to our door, we have done a taste test already on their behalf just to check that there were no small ‘bits’ included that could possibly choke a child and that each one tastes alright. ( we are both so careful where children and their safety and taste buds are concerned.) Of course as usual whilst attempting to empty the treats into the pumpkin bag, I had to resort to using the usual scissors in order to cut open the plastic bags that contained them all.)

So. We are ready for Halloween. We are ready for the trick or treaters. We are all prepared for the onslaught. Treats ready. Wolf mask and wolf hands stashed nearby. Woooo!


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