Sunday, 10 October 2021

Dog Nanny


Youngest son has brought home Bertie. He is 8 weeks old and very cute. Because he is living just around the corner we are grandparents. We like dogs but have never had one in our lives so far, due to working hours, busy lives and the commitment that goes with owning a dog. This is the next best thing though. Lots of doggy cuddles and fun but he goes home.

At the moment there is the toilet training and chewing everything so I’m happy not to be doing that. He’s doing very well though. Son and DIL have been up in the night . Just like having a newborn human but they haven’t travelled that road yet. My son works from home so they will be company for each other.

He has been on a visit to sniff us and get used to new people. I think we are going to be great friends.

It has been a mellow Autumn day today. Surprisingly warm so OH has given the lawn a trim and I have been tidying up the garden and picking up the last of the windfall apples. It has been a great day to do washing too. Dried and aired and put away. 
I love these Autumn days. I hope young Bertie will help me keep fitter in the cold months. He’s not ready for walks just yet but I’m looking forward to taking him out when’s he’s older.

Saturday, 2 October 2021



My lovely Dad before he got really frail. 
It has been a rollercoaster time of funerals, weddings and real life stuff over the last few months. Dad faded away gently and passed peacefully in his own bed as he wanted. I don’t feel sad really, as he was ready to go at 95. His poor old body had given up. His mind stayed as sharp as ever. I do feel loss though. This man who had been there all my life has gone. The chair is empty. All the medical paraphernalia gone. A life well lived.x

Well that happened in August and since then there have been weddings, more funerals and events. The OH had a terrible shock as a colleague of 42 years aged 60, collapsed and died in front of him. They were working alone so OH did cpr until the ambulance arrived but it didn’t help. He had a massive heart attack. OH was in awe of the ambulance service as they talked him through what to do until help arrived which was very quick considering their rural location. He has been deeply affected by this being a similar age. We have had a wake up call that our retirement years aren’t guaranteed. We are trying to get out and about while we have our health.
 We have managed some lovely weekends away in the van.

Beautiful Somerset.

Gorgeous Herefordshire and the Wye Valley.
The Gloucester and Sharpness canal and the mighty Severn

We walked along the canal to the river Severn and the Purton Ship’s Graveyard.

I feel really fortunate to be able to go to theses places in our van. 

We are grounded this weekend and it’s just as well. The rain here has been substantial and it is nice to be inside preparing for winter. I have used a gift voucher and got a Himalayan salt lamp.

The glow is more orange than the photo suggests. It feels cosy anyway. 

Our lovely van is in for MOT. Lots of crossed fingers as she is getting an old girl now. If she’s spared another year I will give her an inside make over. I left the umbrellas and raincoats in her and she is still at the garage. A good excuse to stay in. No petrol and diesel queues here as I’ve heard there’s no petrol and diesel. I am happy to stay in and do some baking. Have a good day everyone. :)

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Cotswold colour.

The bungalow is a dusty mess at the moment. Diamond Dave has taken down old ceiling in the lounge and plaster boarded ready for the plasterer to come hopefully this week. He has also installed a light tunnel in the dark corner over the bookcase. It has made a vast difference to the room. Because of the sunroom built on, the light was poor in that far corner especially in the winter.

There has also been a 60 th birthday last week. The children organised a family get together at youngest son’s house. It was a wonderful day topped off by good weather. My gift was a garden bench with a  plaque to remember Steve. I also got an Emma Bridgewater teapot for my collection. The cake design was  to complement the teapot.

It was a real treat to see everyone in one place at last.

We took our first trip out to theNew Forest.
Not far from the coast so we got our vitamin Sea fix by eating lunch overlooking the Needles Isle of Wight.

Diamond Dave is thrilled with his new Oxfordshire flag. Not much wind here.

 These are not happy growing in our region but this one seems much happier in its pot. Earlier this Spring it was very droopy and sorry looking. In the New Forest last weekend we saw many, everyone seemed to have a rhododendron in their garden in various shades. I am off to a garden sale just down the road. It is in aid of the Oxfordshire Air Ambulance charity. I dare say I will be tempted with some plants.  Have a lovely Sunday everyone.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Some vitamin Sea


Clevedon. Our first long trip out. This was a 160 miles round trip. The closest seaside to us landlocked Cotswoldians.

We didn’t take the motorhome as it is cheaper and greener to go by car. Quicker too. We were there in just under 2 hours. The tide was in which was a treat. We packed a picnic and ate it in the car park.
There were quite a few people strolling along the esplanade. We made our way up to Poets walk where it was quieter. It was hazy. In the distance we could see the Welsh coastline. When the tide is in, it looks further away.

It was very pleasant in the warm sunshine. 
On the way home we decided to ditch the M5 and came took the scenic route. We went up into the hills of South Gloucestershire and the towns Wotton on Edge and Tetbury. We stopped in Cirencester for some bits in Lidl. Then through the  Cotswold water park, Fairford Lechlade and home.  It felt a little strange having such a long journey. Staying local has been our new normal.. It was strangely exciting to go so far in one  day.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Well that was Easter

2 degrees C and we  went on an Easter Monday walk. We drove to the Jubilee gardens in nearby Shipton under Wychwood. We were the only people there. Even the ducks were hiding somewhere out of the icy wind.. A big change from the warm sun on Easter Sunday.

We have had little garden visitors and it has been good to see people sitting in the garden over the weekend. 

We inherited a roll of bamboo screening so Diamond Dave put it up. I did some weeding with my warm coat and hat on.

The solar lights are giving a vague light. Some nothing at all. I ordered some solar rechargeable batteries so I hope I can save them from landfill. The string lights are the problem. They don’t seem to last. The glass globe garden lights have kept going for years.

Today is shopping day for the elderlies. I am no longer doing click and collect. I will go in and out the shops as fast as I can. My mum does a list and I add to it what I know she needs. I don’t want to take her independence away completely. I make light of the things she forgets. I don’t think she will ever shop for herself and Dad again. She is set in her ways and likes things from different shops. I have had to get her out of that habit. I only do one shop per week. It might be Aldi one week or Morrison’s or Asda the following. She’s getting used to it. Asda prices are really good so I don’t get too much opposition.

The Caravan and Motorhome club sites open on the 12 th April. I booked some dates months ago but sadly won’t be going anywhere. The sites are open but the facilities not until May 17 th. Our old van has a shower and water heater but it would be a big task to clean and fill just for the odd night. We have a portable toilet but I would rather use club facilities for the unmentionable  calls of nature. That’s us grounded for a while longer. Some warmer weather would be good but looking at the forecast there is nothing on the way. A big change from this time last year where we were in our summer clothes and wall to wall sunshine everyday. Going out will be worth the wait. 

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Dentist day and my new toy.

I had the first part of a root canal today. It wasn’t too traumatic but now the  anaesthetic has worn off. It is aching again. The dentist said it should settle down in a day or two. I hope he is right. 

It has been warmer today and the camellia is finally in flower.

The rhododendron is a bit pot bound and droopy looking. 
I gave it a good water and topped it up with some compost. It may be diseased but I didn’t have the strength to pull it out of the pot to look at the roots. I will do it at the weekend. 

Back in 1981 when I got married I had a kenwood chef mixer. It finally gave up on me after 30 years. For the last 10 years or so I have had hand mixers.

I have got through quite a few so decided the time had come to have a decent mixer again.
They still look quite bulky but the technology has changed. My old mixer never got to the sides of the bowl and I always had to scrape around  with a spatula to get the unmixed bits. This one tilts as it rotates to get to all areas in the bowl. I just put all ingredients in and pressed go. No skill required. 
I had to taste it to see if it was ok. Cake is soft enough for me to eat without pain so I enjoyed a slice for an afternoon treat.

I am pleased with my purchase. I think it will be well used. I’m hoping to start bread making again . I also had to replace the garden hose as it split last year. That is enough spending for now. 

Diamond Dave has been investigating a leak under Vera the van. It seems to be the radiator hose has perished. I need to get inside and check everything is working. One of the hobs doesn’t stay lit so we need to fix that. I can hardly believe that in a few weeks we can have our first trip out. It seems so long ago since we went anywhere. What a year it has been.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Waiting for Wednesday

 Wednesday will be the date of my root canal attempt. I say attempt as I’m not confident it will work for long. The more  I googled  Alendronic Acid that I take as part of cancer treatment, the more I am dismayed that my  teeth may cause me trouble. I understand why I am taking it. The anti hormone treatment is eating away at my bones and it helps prevent breast cancer moving in to my bones. There are probably more reasons to have it than not. I have come to realise over the last week that tooth and jaw pain seriously interfere with quality of life. I don’t want to face that in the future either. On paper, the risk of jaw problems is low overall, but on closer scrutiny it is high for my circumstances and age. It is all a balancing act to stay well sometimes. Ibuprofen and paracetamol are my new best friends. Rant over. It is what it is. 

I have been trying to entice some little birds into my garden. All I get is pigeons, and huge greedy birds. Even baby red kites have been known to come and see what they can get. These fiesty birds were fighting over a fat ball which ended up all over the ground. The little birds are keeping out of their way.

I spent a Thompson and Morgan garden gift voucher back in January. My babies have finally arrived. I chose an olive tree and a hardy banana.
I am trying some more exotic plants in the garden this year. My friend  has a tropical garden nearby. She and her husband tend it together and their hobby has grown into something really special. If you have Facebook they have a page at oxfordshire tropical gardens.. It is worth a look. When you walk into the garden it could be an exotic holiday location. It is just a normal sized urban garden .Amazing. 

Mother’s Day saw some lovely things being dropped off. I have a Monty Don gardening book,
That arrived Saturday evening through the letterbox. Made me jump as it landed  on the doormat. I also had  a selection of convent garden soups. A thoughtful present as I can’t chew anything much

and I’m living on soup. I usually make my own but have not been bothered this week.

A new Emma Bridgewater mug was dropped off with some scones jam and cream.

A beautiful huge bunch of pink tulips. They are drooping a bit now but I put them in the front window to bring some Spring cheer to the passers by.

I have a fleeting sadness each Mother’s Day when I see four cards on the fireplace where there used to be five. 
Steve always came up trumps on Mother’s Day with the most humorous card and thoughtful gift. He was with me in spirit.
The sun is peeping out so time to get outside. I have a grapevine in a pot that needs to go in the garden. Apparently this is the best time when they are dormant. Hopefully it will survive. Take care bloglanders. Back soon hopefully pain free and more cheerful.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

A little spend.

 Now I have had my first vaccination I’m getting a bit reckless. Instead of a Morrison’s click and collect this week, I went in the shop with my list. On paying, I received a £5 voucher. Well, that burned a hole in my purse because as soon as I had loaded the shopping in the car I went back in! Twice in one day. I bought 2 packs of primula for £6.

I had a pound coin in my pocket that I always keep for a trolley and the £5 voucher.What a difference a bit of colour makes.

I dotted them around and felt is was money well spent.

Almost a year ago I had tooth trouble with no sniff of a dentist during lockdown. That got resolved eventually. Now it’s a different tooth but this time I did get to the dentist. I have a cracked tooth and much pain. I thought he might do something to take the pain away but he couldn’t see any significant infection so no antibiotics I will get a root canal treatment in 12 days.It already feels like it will be the longest 12 days of my life. Because I am on alendronic acid for brittle bones he has also referred me to the hospital as I may need to have the tooth out sooner than later. I asked will the root canal take the pain away? His reply. Mmm, maybe, it should do. Might be better to think about an extraction, but I can’t do that for you here. So with COVID I could have a precarious tooth situation for a while. I don’t think urgent appointment means urgent at the moment. I just yearn for a simpler life. 

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Where smooth waters glide.

 Yes, it was down to the river again. This time a little further upstream. I needed some compost so we drove to a local garden centre a few miles away. My local garden centre is Burford Garden Company just a mile down the road. You have to be wealthy to shop there. Just a few yards from the garden centre we went to, is tadpole bridge over the Thames. We parked outside the pub and took the Thames path to Rushey Lock.

The sun was out but the thermometer in the car said 5 C. Another woolly hat day. No boats or people around. Like last week, just the odd fisherman and we met one family walking their dogs.

The river was calm and still. I could just about see a reflection of clouds in the water.

We didn’t see any swans today but some geese were basking in the sun on the bank.

It was certainly bracing. The air has a real nip to it. I did 14000 steps on  my fitbit watch. Hoping our next walk will be a bit warmer.