Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Making Raspberry Jam in New Zealand!

Husband and I are visiting our daughter, (my step-daughter, actually) and her family in New Zealand, for Christmas.  I may say, a very different experience for us, Christmas in the warm sunshine, however we are making the usual preparations for the imminent festivities.  Except that they are a bit unusual for me. We have been jam making.

Now, in spite of my blogger name, making jam just isn't my forte.  Usually something to be avoided at all costs, as, apart from one very good batch of strawberry jam (obviously), it is mostly disastrous.  Chutney, I excel at, but that is for another time!

So, making jam.  I had been out with SD, picking raspberries from the garden when she declared we would make jam. I demurred, explaining my past history with the procedure, but was told firmly that this was easy, foolproof even and I would be doing her a massive favour if I just got on with it.  So I did!  And it was foolproof!  And the result is delicious!  I am thrilled!

I won't be changing my name of course because it's a whole story how I came by it.

 So the Christmas preparations continue, in the usual? way!  And I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you who read this a Peaceful Christmas Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


H is for Hisbiscus


and Holly

Thanks to Denise and Roger and the ABC Wednesday team. For more looks at the letter H, please click here.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

ABC Wednesday - F

F is for Flamenco

On a recent holiday in Spain we went to a local restaurant for Sunday lunch and were entertained by Flamenco dancers. 

I realise how this next picture appears but I'm sure the only thing he was Feeling was the music!

I found these tiny Fans whilst we were on holiday, perfect for a handbag.

Thanks to Denise and the ABC Wednesday team. For more looks at the letter F, please click here.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

ABC Wednesday - E

Recently our 3 Exhuberant grandchildren (ages 14, 11 and 10) were Expected for a visit.  I was very Excited.

They have plenty of Energy and Enthusiasm so Each day, quite Early, we took them out until Evening to Expend that Energy and hopefully Educate them along the way. They all had different appetites for Eating so a variety of meals was Essential.   Being Elderly (in our 70's), we were glad to Escape to our bed at the End of the day.

We had Exceptional weather Every day, the time didn't seem Endless and we did not Experience Exhaustion, (though it was close)    Their behaviour was ExemplaryEventually they left to return to their parents, our home felt Empty and I am Eagerly planning the next visit.

Thanks to Denise and the ABC Wednesday team. For more looks at the letter E, please click here.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Donkey Derby update

Thanks to everyone who commented on the Donkeys!

The derby did take place last week, the rain held off long enough and only started again during the last race.  They managed to raise £1300 that night.  (the previous week in better weather the total for the night was £1800).  At the end of the six week season the total proceeds will be split between 3 local charities.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

ABC Wednesday - D


D is for Donkeys
Each Tuesday for the 6 weeks of the school summer holidays husband Bob runs a Donkey Derby in aid of local charities.  This is the 29th year and in all that time there have been very few occasions when the event has been called off due to bad weather. 
Today has seen darkening skies and downpours of rain, in fact at one point it was a deluge and the streets were like rivers!  However, a few minutes ago Bob set off to see if the event could take place this evening.  Fingers crossed as it is very popular and raises approximately £1,500 each week which will be split between 3 local charities. 
Here is a picture of some of the donkey runners enjoying a diet of hay for their dinner (lunch)!


Thanks to Denise and Roger and the ABC Wednesday team. For more looks at the letter D, please click here.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Another Quick Update!

I look into blogworld so infrequently now that I find it a bit difficult to negotiate my way around (or is it just my age - 70 earlier this year)!

At the time of writing it is 1.20 am.  I have got into a silly habit (not every night) of going to bed, and then sleep, at the usual time and waking about half a hour later feeling completely refreshed.  So tonight I thought instead of reading or playing games on my kindle, I would use the time to see what is happening to my blogging friends and acquaintances.  I am amazed to see how many, like me, have "fallen by the wayside", but I have looked up a few old friends and left a comment. 

A quick update on what has been happening to me and mine.

Husband Bob who suffered an unexpected heart attack in January has been signed off from the hospital.  He just has to "keep taking the tablets" and see his GP if anything else occurs.  He is keeping very well, staying sensible and pacing himself.  We had 3 of our grandchildren (aged 10, 11 and 14) to stay for a few days last week and he was brilliant.

As far as my mum is concerned - well that is a bit of a story!  On her 92nd birthday in early March I felt that she possibly wouldn't see another birthday.  She was sleepy and uncommunicative most of the time, wouldn't do anything or go anywhere.  I asked the staff at her residential home to mention this to her GP.  He is not a new doctor just new to the home as the previous one (who I never really rated very highly) had retired.  So the doctor said to reduce the dosage of the antidepressant that Mum had been on for about 3 years and I noticed the difference within a few days.  I've got my mum back, it's like she has woken up.  So now she enjoys going out in the wheelchair and in particular going onto the sea front and having an ice-cream.  There are other age issues but as I say she is 92 and most of them are to be expected. 

As for myself, I keep very well and count my blessings every day.

See you again soon!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Taken For Granted

I imagine that most of us take things for granted.  I know that I do.  And sometimes circumstances give us cause to think about that. 

Until recently husband and I have said that we know just how lucky we are to be in such good health, given that we are 72 and 69 respectively.  Many of our friends are not so fortunate and are having to undergo treatments and operations and to take all sorts of medication to get by.  We have had to do none of this.  Only the odd headache pill or indigestion tablet and our annual 'flu jab.  Until recently.  Bob was lucky that his heart attack actually occurred whilst he was in the care of the medics in the ambulance.  So now he is on prescribed medication to keep him fit and well and will have to undergo an MRI scan in a few weeks to determine what further treatment may be necessary. 

Yes, we did sort of take our good health very much for granted.  Last autumn some friends suggested that we go on holiday with them in March and we all agreed on 2 weeks in Lanzarote, the holiday was booked and the balance paid just before Christmas.  As we are hoping to go to New Zealand to see step daughter and family for Christmas 2014 we decided to wait until nearer our March holiday to take out travel insurance.  Why not, we are fit and healthy, or so we thought.  Then husband, completely out of the blue, had a heart attack.  His heart specialist has said he feels that we should not go because it is in such close proximity to the MRI scan.  So we have had to cancel our holiday and, naturally, although we have had some money back from the travel agent we did not have travel insurance and have lost about half our money!  A timely lesson. 

A few days ago, as we were sat having lunch, stepson turned up with a large bouquet of flowers for me.

What's this?  It is not my birthday and Mother's Day is a few weeks away yet (March 30 in UK).  They were to say thank you for looking after his Dad so well since his heart attack.  Obviously I thanked him very much and said how much I appreciated the thought.  "Well" he said, "everyone is fussing around Dad and no-one has asked you how you are".  

Not completely accurate but at least he hadn't taken me for granted!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Happy New Year

2013 proved to be a really good year for me and husband Bob.  It all began with his being awarded and MBE in HM Queen's New Year Honours (although we knew about it in late November 2012).  Early January saw us jetting off to the other side of the world to visit daughter and family in New Zealand as well as visiting some other Antipodean countries and returning via Fiji and the USA.  We were away for just over 6 weeks.  Then after a few weeks we had another holiday (this time with friends) in Goa thus spending the best part of winter in lovely warm sunshine whilst the UK was freezing in the ice and snow. 

All through the year we had some lovely weekends away, two more holidays (in Spain) and of course the highlight, in June, was Bob being presented with his MBE by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace - a very special day and many happy memories.

This year hasn't started so well.  We had a lovely Christmas with family and saw the New Year in with friends.  However on Wednesday 8 January, at around 6.30 am Bob woke saying that he felt unwell and that we needed to call someone.  After a brief conversation when he explained that he had been having burning pains in his chest whenever he walked upstairs and they were now much worse (after 7 hours sleep) and seemed also to be in his mouth and gums, I dialled 999.   The ambulance was with us with a few minutes and although Bob said the pain was now lessening they decided to take him to hospital in Weston Super Mare to be given the "once over".   Did I want to go with them?

I decided against it as I would need to get back home and would need transport for Bob anyway.  They told me to give it about an hour then ring the hospital to clarify the situation.  I went back inside and made another coffee!!  A few minutes later the phone rang and it was the medic to say that Bob was actually having a heart attack and they were now taking him to Taunton (in the oposite direction) and I should make my way there.  That was about 8 am.  I rushed around getting essentials to take to Bob, not really thinking straight, and drove to Musgrove hospital in Taunton (about 35 minute drive).  On arrival at the coronary care ward at 9.10 am I found husband sitting up in bed, quite chirpy and feeing much better.  The doctors and staff had been waiting for him in the car park, took him straight to the operating theatre and inserted a stent into his main artery, job done! Incredible.  I still haven't really taken it in.  He was back at home 3 days later. 

We cannot praise too highly the NHS doctors and staff and the ambulance crew (and the paramedic they also called to administer care on the way to the hospital) for the care and attention he was given.  His other 2 arteries aren't looking too good and he will have an MRI scan in a few weeks to determine whether or not to stent them also.  He is doing really well now and getting stronger each day.  No more pain!  He had had a bad cold over Christmas and he thought the burning pains were a chest infection and had resolved to see the doctor later in the week.  He hadn't mentioned anything about it to me!  Of course we now know it was angina pain.

We are in the second week of February and now all is well!