Sunday, 19 February 2017

Trouble with a capital D

Today I'm offering up for you to peruse, a short story. It's Sunday, you might have more time to read a long post. 😋
---
Trouble with a capital D.

Some people are born, not with a silver spoon in their mouths, but with a halo of goodness which stays with them until the day they expire. You know the kind, sailing through life without putting a foot wrong. If they do manage to upset someone or do something they shouldn’t, their previous goodness butters over it all.

Then you get the likes of me. Debbie Phillips.

As mother has repeated parrot fashion over the years, I was born trouble with a capital D.
"I knew you would be trouble. You weren’t even born before you caused me trouble. Making me so ill with morning sickness, oh I was so ill. Refusing to enter the world [probably knew in advance what I was in for, mother] and finally arriving over six weeks late, via forceps, causing me extreme pain and numerous stitches".

The umbilical cord had wrapped itself around my neck, and had tightened during my travel down the birth canal, so I guess it was rather traumatic for us all. Anyway, my first experience of life was an incubator for a couple of weeks being really poorly. As a result it was some days before mother saw the fruits of her hard work and instantly declared she’d given birth to a miniature Edward G. Robinson, an actor not noted for his good looks. On frequent occasions thereafter, she’d tell me I was an ugly duckling, but never mentioned my turning into a swan.

Probably because I never did.

For my first four years mother, father and I lived on a farm just over the yard from the big farmhouse, and to the left of the cattle sheds. Both my mother’s parents came from farming stock, and the various aunts, uncles and distant relations had farms in all the neighbouring villages. The one we lived on belonged to the Brandons, mother’s second cousins. I remember distinctly that home and life on the farm, even the day we left to go and live with Granny Talbots (Mother’s mum) when she became seriously ill.

From my perch on the wooden steps that led up to our door, I’d watch Mrs Brandon working in the scullery, wiping the newly collected eggs using a deft flick of the wrist in a twisting fashion, the corner of the blue cloth swishing her wrist each time. Or she’d be making butter and cheese, churning away in time to the songs she sung. Bored of watching I’d wander over on chubby legs and she’d turn to me with a smile cracking her rubicund face.
"Come to help have you, then?" And set me about watching the eggs closely.
"Now don’t take your eyes off them, they will run off cos they have little legs you see. No, it’s no use looking for them, they won’t show their legs until you aren’t looking."

Sometimes I’d help her gather the eggs, the wicker basket with the handles tied on with string, would slap against my legs as I wobbled along, leaning to one side to counter balance myself.

My favourite part was thrusting a hand under a sitting hen, feeling the scratchy warmth of her feathers, my fingers scrambling around for the smoothness of a shell, then withdrawing it oh so carefully and holding it aloft to show Mrs Brandon. During my later years, collecting eggs from my own hens, this pleasure never left me, and I’d always think back to that kindly old lady who had so much patience, even when I managed to drop a full basket of eggs smashing most of them.
‘Oh well. Never mind, plenty more to come. It’s no trouble, so hush the blarting now, come on let’s dry those beautiful big eyes of yours.’

My parent’s first real experience of what trouble their daughter could cause came when I was about eighteen months old. It seems I went out to play in the yard about ten o’clock one summer morning, and mother presumed I’d be in my usual place on the step. However, an hour or so later when she looked out to check on me, I wasn’t there and so she began to roam around the farmyard to find me.

"At first I wasn’t too worried, thinking there was no way you’d travel very far and the main road was miles off and not much traffic came up the lane in those days. Not like today. But could I find you? No. Me and Mrs B went to look in the orchard, and everywhere but no sign of you. I took everything out of my cupboards looking for you, you little terror. And poor Mrs B was crawling in hen houses and everywhere. My heart pounded until I thought it would burst from my chest and the more worried I got, the more my temper rose. Oh I was so going to spank your backside! Trouble, troublesome child!"

By now Mr Brandon and his workers had joined in the search, and all work stopped while the hunt for the missing toddler went on, the neighbouring houses were visited, and people had joined in to look for me. But farm animals needed feeding and Mr Brandon went into the sty to feed the sow who had only recently given birth. She was a miserable old sow and very protective of her babies, so he went armed with a stiff stick and a board to keep her from attacking him. As she wasn’t outside, he peered into the sty and did a double take, letting out a terrified yell. For there, fast asleep in the middle of the throng of sucking piglets, was the blonde haired child.

‘It took three men to get you out; the sow didn’t want them anywhere near you. And you were covered in pig lice and stinking to high heaven.’
Mother’s face will display signs of horror even now, and she will go on to tell how she had to stand me in a bowl of bleach water and scrub me down with a stiff brush, before spanking my little arse and putting me to bed with no tea.
The consensus seems to be that I suckled off the sow during my stay there as I never complained of being hungry or thirsty. I probably did, I’d eat anything as mother discovered when she caught me sharing the farm dogs’ dinner.

Whisky and Patty those dogs were called. Whisky was a Welsh corgi with a mean glint in his eye, renowned for inflicting damage on legs of those walking too close by. Patty, the Border collie, was no better but at least she gave notice of her intentions by barking first. Both lived outside and both were my best friends, allowing me to do anything with them. A favourite pastime was making daisy chains and decorating them both, much to the amusement of the farm men who left Patty’s flowery chain on when they took her off to work rounding up the cows. As she ran, snapping at the cows heels, flowers would be flying in a shower of white and green but there’d always be a few left stuck to her muck encrusted fur.
 
It was with these two accomplices that I disappeared a second time, some two years after the pig sty incident. This one I remember clearly, and even know why I did it.

At the weekend mother, dad, and I would make the trip up town to visit dad’s parents. They lived in Stoke, in the heart of the Midlands, in a dark terraced house on a cobbled street. Granddad Phillips was a retired Sergeant Major who couldn’t stop being in the Army and who ruled his house, and family, with an iron fist. When Granddad said move, you moved double quick. Grandma was the complete opposite, a tall, gentle hearted lady with a meek manner. You could breathe when there was only granny in.

This particular day, it must have been a Spring or early Summer day, mother dressed me up all nice and clean in a crisp new frock, white ankle socks and sandals. My long hair had been washed and brushed until it shone like a newly minted thrupenny bit, and put into two pony tails bound with dazzling white ribbon, whose ends were carefully cut into an inverted V-shape. I was then told to go and sit to wait in the car, while mother and dad finished getting ready.

Now, in my defence I have to say the idea of going to town used to fill me with horror. Not only did I not like the stifled, smoke ridden air of the place, I detested my Granddad - he was no fun! So what happened between my leaving the home door and getting to the car can be excused, I reckon. For some reason, my scrubbed up legs took me towards Whisky and Patty and from there to the farm gate, the one that the led to the cow pastures. Dogs trotting behind I lifted the latch and, without a second thought, slipped through. I remember looking down and realising that my socks and sandals were going to get rather grubby, so tried to tip toe over the oozing mess of poached earth and cow muck. Of course, the more I tried to be careful, the more I made mistakes (something that still happens to me in my old age), and it wasn’t long before I felt the softness of mud between my toes. A final clumsy jump and I was in the lush grass and running in the manner of a horse put out to field after a long spell in the stable.

Off I went, arms flailing, sometimes skipping, sometimes jumping, and enjoying the feel of my dress dancing round my legs. Then shaking my head up and down, side to side, feeling my pony tails whip with each movement. I really disliked ribbons in my hair, and when they whacked my eyes a few times, I came to a halt and tugged them out, tucking them in the waistband of my knickers for safekeeping. Even at that young age I knew enough not to incur mother’s wrath and she was so fond of ribbons and other girly gewgaws; rather sad that her daughter was such a tomboy and remained so until she had children of her own. But I left the pony tails in; I liked them because I thought they made me resemble the farm horses with their long luscious tails.

There was a copse in the next field, and that was where I was going. Getting there involved a scramble under barbed wire, and a squeezing through some brambles. The dogs made the crossing look easy so I followed suit, but dogs don’t wear dresses and at some point I got entangled in both barbed wire and brambles. Nothing that a quick yank couldn’t solve; the fact my brand new dress was torn in a few places never bothered me in the slightest. After such an adventure and having by now reached the copse, throwing myself down under a big horse chestnut tree, I relaxed by holding blades of grass between my two thumbs and blowing to produce a farting noise. I must have blown too hard at some point, as the sharp edge of grass cut my bottom lip which was rubbed free of blood with the hem of my dress.

It wasn’t long before I decided to climb a tree, finding the right one became the uppermost thing on my mind. How about this one? No, I can’t reach the lowest branch. This one? Oops, branch not strong enough I discovered as I fell back to earth with a wallop. The dogs took advantage of me being flat on my back and pounced on me, slobbering their sticky, gooey kisses on any bit of flesh they could find. No doubt I giggled, and rolled, and giggled some more, as both dogs decorated my dress with paw marks.

And then I saw it.

I had a way of moving when I was looking at things, creeping along half crouched, head jutted forward to peer closely at a baby bird in the nest, or a butterfly drinking in the sun on a flower. Aunt Sheila described my movement as ‘A ballet dancer with bad piles.’ And it is this way I moved now to peer closely at my new found treasure.

A large hole tucked behind a fringe of long, straggly grass, in the side of a steep dip in the ground. Loose soil and a scattering of pebbles lay strewn before the opening like a welcome doormat, and for added effect posies of dandelions each side. A fairy’s house, and what’s more, the door was open inviting me in. How could any child resist?
Tucking my dress into my knickers, on all fours I stuck my head in the hole, but only got as far as my shoulders. No matter how much I wriggled and squirmed, my chubby body wouldn’t fit. Sitting back up again, swotting the dogs out the way as their noses prompted them to explore, I decided to try feet first. A little more success this time, but only as far as my shoulders again. The darkness in the hole felt warm against my legs as they did a kicking swimming stroke. I lay there, arms stretched out above my head, watching clouds sailing across the sky. The fairies weren’t at home, that was for sure. Dog drool, cold and glutinous, fell on my cheek, bringing me back to earth, and it was at that point I remembered mother.

"One moment you were there, the next you’d vanished. I asked your father where was she? But he’s as bad as you, in bloody cuckoo land. I thought to myself, why couldn’t I have a normal child? But you have to go and take after your father don’t you, couldn’t be like us Talbotses. Oh no, had to be a Phillips through and through. Anyway, we looked all over, shouting and bawling your name, but no sign. Then just as your father was off down the lane to see if you were there, you came strolling through the field gate, in such a bloody mess. Only been down a badger hole, hadn’t you. Never seen anything like it. That lovely new dress in tatters it was. Oh I went mad! I didn’t half slap your arse. I grabbed your ear and frogmarched you home, had to strip you off and scrub you all over, put clean clothes on again. And you had the cheek to smile at me when you sat in the car. Trouble. Trouble with a capital D!"

It would be nice to say that as I grew older the troubles lessened, but not so. There is one thing though, one thing I console myself with - I might have got into a lot of trouble, but by gum, I had a barrel load of fun.

A very young Debbie with her uncle Ray. Standing on the front step of granny Talbot's house. 

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Early morning ramblings

What do animals dream about? It's a question that has never been answered to my satisfaction.

I've come to realise that since FMS /CFS came to live with me, I soon began to put every health blip down to that condition. Example, I get that chest pain that i simply cannot pronounce or even spell but I'll say it begins with Chondri, oh anyway I get that pain and I've become used to it. So every chest twinge I get now I shrug and say "it's OK, just fibro reminding me on its there." That attitude could be rather dangerous couldn't it?
Then again I can't keep checking BP and all, I'd become a hypochondriac. [Note to certain people, no I'm certainly and most definitely am not one already. Say that again and I'll show you that my tongue works very well!] I suppose I'll just go on doing as I do and ignore it unless it really really really hurts.😋

I awoke at 4 a.m just as I was being swallowed head first by Alice Cooper who had told me I was going to hell. Poor bloke must have terrible indigestion and bad breath because I've got a good dose of IBS and can't stop letting off. 😊

Kind of keeping to that topic, why didn't my husband laugh when I told him I'd got Donald in my gut after I'd just gifted the house with a rather obnoxious trump? No sense of humour that one.😋

My dog knows me better than I know myself. He can tell when I'm getting up to go the loo rather than getting up to sit in the living room. In the former case he doesn't move from his bed, doesn't even open one eye. Whereas in the latter case he'll immediately get up and go sit on the sofa, waiting for me to walk in with a cuppa. I've tried to trick him by putting the kettle on before I go the loo then going back to bed instead, but do you know, he bloody well knows I'm tricking him and will stay where he is in his bed. It's like living with Big Brother.


posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

It's a hard fact to face.

Hello, good morning.

Here I am awake at three in the morning, musing about how medication can change your life. It didn't do much for TP-T did it? Such a lovely girl, always seemed down to earth, no nonsense type. Yet she got reliant on a drug or two, was she a junkie? I suppose some would say yes.

I'm a junkie too. Last week I had no pregabalin to help with my leg and spasms problem. I could hardly move. I'm not saying I went through cold turkey because I've no idea what that feels like but I was in such a bad way. My bed became my best mate as I was wracked with pain, even crying at times with limbs that wouldn't stop beating me up. That's what it feels like; my body just goes into attack mode determined to get the better of me. I needed those pills and I needed them just like a heroin addict needs their next fix but not because I wanted to get high or however you get on those hard drugs. No I needed them to function, they've become the only way my legs can move and my arms too because they suffer just as much as my knees do.

So I reckon you could call me a junkie. I'm not the only one either, I can't be. I'll bet that there are many people out there in the real world who are the same because prescription medications, be they for coping with pain, keeping your heart beating, stopping depression, diabetes, or whatever, they are still drugs. And what is the common expression for people reliant on drugs?

Yes junkie is the word.

Isn't that a hard fact that slaps you in the face!

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, 6 February 2017

Just my imagination.

You know, much like everyone else I have spoken to, 2016 wasn't my best year. It seemed to be day after day of troubles, either my own -usually health troubles for me - or my family's or my friends. In fact the whole world seemed to be in trouble. Right? Were you one of them who raised a glass on new year's eve, just as the clock struck midnight, and toasted to hell with 2016 here's to a good 2017?

But the first month of the new year wasn't exactly a good start, was it eh? Famous and not so famous people dying off, some past their prime others in their prime, while others never even glimpsed their prime. Then we have political woes in many countries, the whole world apparently poised on the brink of a world wide disaster. "Oh no, not again!" we groaned as we read the papers and watched the TV news.

I felt much the same as my health troubles increased making walking near impossible and days in pyjamas the norm. Then I had my epiphany! A bright light suddenly appeared and all was clear... No it didn't! I wish! No what happened was I got to thinking. I'm thinking "what if there really is power in collective thought?" If so, then if we all keep thinking about the horrible things that have happened over the last thirteen months and looking to the rest of the year with negativity, eventually we will make things worse all by ourselves, without any help from Trump, Putin, May, et al. Simply because we've all walked about thinking "another crap year!" Logically it follows that if we all walk around with minds firmly fixed on positive things, keeping a smile on our collective faces, then we'll have a good year. We could change the world! Imagine that! So shall we try? From today let's all firmly fix the image of our world leaders running in slow motion trying to catch butterflies in nets. Then add all our armed forces into that vision, see how dainty they are leaping in their big boots and flak jackets, determined to catch that beautiful white butterfly. Any colour butterfly will be OK, I just fancy white with dark blue ermine spots. Eventually push that image further to add every human. What a great thing we'd have done!
Except the butterfly population would be in danger. Drat, always a caterpillar in the salad isn't there! 😊

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, 21 October 2016

Emerging

Well this has been a long time coming. I'm afraid I've not had an awful lot to say. Actually that statement is wrong because I've always got a lot to say, but just lately I've not wanted to share. Don't take it personally, reader, it's not meant to be an insult to you.

Suffice to say my stomach problem has got out of hand and hospital procedures, doctors visits, and plenty of hours spent doubled over the loo or curled up in bed has left me feeling like crap, with no motivation nor energy to do anything productive.

I can't tell you what is the matter because I don't know myself yet, only that it appears to be a functional disorder.

There are two very special people I want to acknowledge, two people who've really helped get me through - my OH, bless him, who has been worth his weight in bullion. I couldn't survive very well without him, I'll tell you. The other is someone so good, kind, caring, helpful, that I'm positive she's hiding wings under her jumper. A true genuine friend and I love her to death, she's that special.

So there you have it, a short explanation for my absence. A bit serious for me, I'll go back to being my normal self now. 😀

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Flutterbye

My bestie has a daughter who loves doing artwork. She's only young, a teenager, but I think she shows great promise. Hopefully, she'll be letting me put more of her stuff on here.
Thanks to Zo for letting me show you. 




                                                   Butterfly by Zo

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Psst, come over here...

 Be gentle how you place your steps,
Be quiet with your heavy breaths.
Something to show you, I have got,
It cost me little but means a lot.
A few years gone, I forget the year,
I was given a pond by my ol' dear.
Not very big, but big enough
Not very posh, in fact rather rough.
Down I dug with my garden spade
huffing and puffing, sweating in shade.
At last, it was done, filled with rainwater,
planted some stuff, just like you oughta.
Dreaming, I saw it filled with pond fae
whose lustrous green skin did shimmy to dry.
Year by year passed, nothing appeared.
Was nothing coming? Nothing, I feared.
Then this month I saw, as I sat by the side,
a quick little move as something did hide.
Held in my breath, pushed aside the dog,
leaned right over and there was a FROG.
A little brown chubby, a frog nonetheless,
I'd not been more shocked had it worn a dress.
So, quietly come near, be careful if you can
for I want you to see my amphibian.







Note
My Pond fae shouldn't be confused with Plumatella repens 









In which I should grovel, maybe..

I'm not good at grovelling, which is a bit of a surprise given that I'm damn good at apologising. Just ask any of the numerous inanimate objects that I've banged up against and muttered, "I'm so sorry!" before realising what an idiot I am.

Grovelling, however, is a skill (?) that I'm not blessed with. Heck, I don't even know how to! Do I go down on my knees, lick the dirt from beneath your feet while begging,    
   "My dear blog readers, please don't leave me because I've not done anything for ages. Please?"
No, I don't think that's my style, nor do I believe my lovely, intelligent, kind hearted, gorgeous [is that enough flattering or would you like more?] readers would like me to do it. I hope.

Nah, I'll stick with telling you the facts and hope you'll understand.

Since Imbolc I've had a right crappy time, health wise. The lengthy periods of wet, chilly weather didn't help as Arthur Itis, who now seems to have moved in lock, stock, and painful barrel, really came out to play. He loves such weather! In full force, he played havoc with every joint in my body. That, in turn, led Madam Fibromyalgia to flare up and together they did their damnedest to kill me off. Add to this mix something going wrong with my digestive system, having to go for Xrays and tests, pokes and prods, well I really did think the whole lot of things were determined on the murder of their host!
OK, OK slight exaggeration there but it really did feel like they were trying.

It's only three weeks ago that I began feeling that my brain had returned.  Gratefully, soon after my body came back to Earth, enticed by the Sun exposing himself. Luckily, I felt no need to shout, "you dirty old man!" at him, so he's continued to expose himself daily. Apart from the odd time he was shoved aside by a certain gang of clouds needing to pee. Mind you, even that was welcome this week, as our water butt was getting very low.

So, dear followers* readers, now you might understand my absence. I'm raring to go, loads of ideas and little bits of things to tell you. Please accept my rose and do stay.

*on the word followers, while some people might like the idea of being followed, it always makes me think of my school church upbringing (yes, even witches go to school) and how the vicar used to go on about the followers of Christ. I'll stick to readers if you don't mind. :-)



Sunday, 31 January 2016

Awakening thoughts

Happy Imbolc!

As a friend said to me ,"it's a long time coming " , which is true but it's here now. I think most people look forward to this time of year, Pagan or not.

I went in the back garden this afternoon, the sun was giving us a weak smile that generated no warmth but a reassurance he's still there, he's gathering strength for the coming year. The knowledge pleases my spirit. Standing there feet on the sodden, muddy grass of the lawn I became aware of the life stirring beneath me. Sending my minds eye down under the soil so I could feel the roots of grass, shrubs, trees, flowers all nudging one another. ,"eh wake up, we've got to start work. Sleepy time over let's get going on grow! " 

Of course it's not just plants and trees that have begun their wakening; insects and worms become more active, hedgehogs, weasels and the like also begin to stir their limbs into more action.  I've been watching the birds, now becoming aware that mating time is approaching. I can't help but wonder if they are eyeing one another up --

  "phwoar, I fancy my chances with that wagtail!"  A cocky Robin winks at his friend "just look at the way she's wagging! She can sure move!" His friend stops preening his wing to look with disdain and says "don't be so bloody stupid. She's way out of your reach. For the goddess sake cocky, you're a Robin! She ain't going look at you!"

Yeah I know it's all a bit silly and I really shouldn't take pleasure in anthropomorphism, but it is something I've always done. I blame Johnny Morris who I used to love watching on the TV as a kid. I remember only vaguely the programme he used to do, something about a hamster and his friend, but the one that really caught my young eye was Animal Magic. Round the zoo he went in his uniform to talk to the the various animals and it was fascinating. You can see clips of him on YouTube, you might even find the clip in which the ape says "bloody hell", in Johnny's voice of course but it caused a bit of a stir in the news I think.

Where am I? Yes, life springing forth. The honeysuckle is showing tiny buds, such a soft green, so fresh and new. All the bulbs I planted are well growing, buds bursting on the bushes... What more could anyone want!

Enjoy Imbolc, start thinking of the things you'd like to grow within yourself this year.

Blessings, 😘

Part 2

I was skimming through One Note, just idly clicking away, desperate to nod off to sleep. Barely taking in what I'm looking at, when suddenly I noticed a blog post I'd written in November. For whatever reason, I'd forgotten to publish it. It made me smile, I'm such a moaning Minnie aren't I?!  Have i always been a moaner or is it something that's crept up on me? Anyrate,I decided to publish it, seems a shame waste all those words. 😊  Here it is,
                                The Crone always manages get a moan in
 It's 4 am on a late November morning, the storm called Clodagh is kicking up a fuss outside. I know this because through our bedroom window, the dark shadowy outline of our oak tree is engaged in a macabre movement, causing me to recall the Greaser Bop that my friends and I used to do when young, free and fit. The younger offspring of said oak, self set at the side of the bedroom window (which reminds me to remind Paul it really does need lopping down before it gets bigger) mimics it's elder in a half hearted way. You know how a young toddler, barely able to walk unaided, will try to copy dancers on the tv? That's what this young oak looks like. 

Neither of them are unclad yet; russet, tawny, golden and yellow tinged leaves still hold their grip on the skinny branches and twigs. Obviously they're not into nude dancing, no not our oaks! respectable they are!
When Aurora begins to flood the sky with light, in that reluctant way she has in the cold dark months, the early risers, the feathered ones, will appear in the old oak. I'll lie here and watch their ducking and diving, their acrobatics through the branches and I'll smile as they do their morning routine.

I'm so tired. I've not slept at all yet. My legs have been performing their own weird dance that is Restless Leg Syndrome. My arms have joined in also tonight, insult to injury I reckon. "here debs, have a double portion of RLS, because after all,  having two legs spasming ten to the dozen is hardly worth noting. Lets throw in some good arm jerks as well, make a proper floor show of it."

 I am Not complaining, could be a lot worse. 😃

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Smarty Pants. Or 'it's not what goes in but what comes out, that matters'

Well. I don't believe it! Spent 3/4 hour filling in a free online Last Will and Testament. Totally free! OK? Got that? It's a free online Will. Only to discover it just meant "spend ages filling in and saving, that's all free but then if you want your copy to download and print, hand over your dollars !" Yeah, as if.

But that's a topic for another time because what I'd like to go on about comes under the subtitle of -

    What makes a smart phone smart?

and don't nobody say "give it a sharp, hard, slap!"  or "make it wear a suit and tie!' because I've already thought of them and you'd just look a bit, erm, Parroty?

Just hawk back to the start of this blog entry. We were talking about online Wills {of the not so free variety} weren't we? I was anyway. I'd spent three quarter of an hour tapping away diligently on the old Nexus, creating my very own Free Last, Will & Testament. Had I only known then,I could have spent that 3/4hr looking at something much nicer that I couldn't afford).  It began by needing the formal details. The boring stuff. The skeleton to be padded out with layer upon layer of words, sentences and paragraphs of my desiring to burden / gift unsuspecting members of family with various items.

I don't think this kind of thing is meant for a small 7" tablet, especially one with predictive text. 'Place of birth' an easy one that, for me anyway but not for old "Smarty Pants" Nexus. Staffordshire became staff hour, which doesn't even make sense, does it? I mean where was this staff hour I was born in? Or maybe I was born in the staff hour of the place I was born in? Yeah, see how confusing life can be.

I was certainly confused to be told that I now live in "A hole, Devon."  Oh yeah, just like that, no apologetic smiley face or anything, thanks Smarty Pants. "A hole, Devon." How do I take that one then?  Holsworthy might not be Buckingham Palace but it's no hole, capital A or otherwise!  Ahh but, could it not mean something else? Something so offensive in a Carry On manner, that it's making me giggle!  Could it not be a capital A for A#$ole? In which case I'd have to discreetly and deeply inspect each bottom in Devon just to find out what the postcode is. The Royal Mail will duly be informed to start their redirection service, I do hate to miss my post!

Are you seeing where I'm coming from?  Not so clever is Smarty Pants now eh?

Just how does predictive text work? I know how it's supposed to work but exactly how does it work in reality?  When I swipe a string of letters it causes various words to choose. Right?  Most of the time a tool bar will show what words I've typed with examples of similar words. If I've spelt it incorrectly it will show the correct spelling, although I have to admit to arguing with it occasionally. That these arguments have to involve the dictionary is simply a sad statement to life in a disability enforced retirement. I am straying again...

So we swipes our words, choosing the correct spelling versions of course, quickly glance upwards at the screen to make sure it's OK, press send. Sit and wait for your reply (if you're lucky).
"I'll just check that last text."
OMG! Or insert your fave expletive. 'Is she OK? Wanted to ask if she'd help me with my eyebrows.' has turned into 'its she prick I wanted to ask of she would help me with me bestowed.'  I mean... HOW?  I swear to goddess that it was the former words I put. I double checked. Didn't I? Did I? Oh self doubt creepeth forrads! 

So there you go. I guess it can be summed up by simply saying "smart phones are only as smart as their owner."

Sunday, 3 January 2016

And before i knew it the world is a year older!

I'm not the only one am I? Don't tell such a bloody lies! You can't say Christmas eve hadn't seen you being swept up in a typhoon that began in the supermarket and dumps you, fagged out, amidst the ruins of lucidity some 13 days into the new year? Now, not only has the world begun a new number, your body has a new number too, something like 14lbs extra than it was! It's never happened to you? Oh be like that then, you're perfect! I'm not and that's why I finally focused on this blog and realised that it's still stuck in 2015.

Not that it's a bad thing, after all 2015 was nice to me in many ways. It being the year my sojourn in the village of the dimmed came to an end and I came back home, to the peace (scuse me while I guffaw) and beauty of the Ruby Country. Back to Mr P and his never ending love and care, to my familiars who made it clear they were happy to see me back. Back home safe and sound. Where I belong. (There's a song in that somewhere!)

2015 also saw me with a clean bill of health in the private areas. My cervical smear came back OK!! Wow that's something I tell you! I've had so many colposcopys and Lletz that it became routine to open wide and look at the ceiling. We even had a joke that the consultant was actually going pot holing, "have you got your torch and ropes, doc?"  I'm one of those who like to see what's been taken away from my body, so I always ask to look. It's fascinating to see an oxo cube size lump that's been quietly living in your body. Be gone damn cells!

Ladies please never be afraid to go for a smear test, never be afraid if they ask you to go and have a colscopy or anything like that. Does it hurt? Only if you want it to. The worst part for me was my first one and the injection into my cervix. It didn't so much hurt but made my pulse rate higher causing dizziness and nausea. The cups of tea and biscuits that they give you after are nice though! Try to understand that even if you have cells that are cancerous or liable to cancer, you can be treated and healed. I'm proof! Obviously the HPV virus remains in the body but I'm not letting that bother me I'll just keep going along for smear tests, let the docs sort it.

Anyway. Now it's 2016 and I've no plans or resolutions. Can't do the former because I live day to day and I don't believe in the latter. For goddess sake it's just another stick to beat yourself up with. "I made that new year resolution to stop squeezing my spots but I've just had to release that tiny volcano that was on my chin! Oh I'm a failure!"
Instead of resolutions I've made something of a bucket list for the year.
Wanna see?

1) finish writing my book, I've had three on the boil for the last 6 year, ridiculous! This year one will be finished and published!

2) visit as many as I can of the properties that the national trust and English heritage look after. I've been a member of both for years  and yet not taken advantage of it. For this I need to get my fibro under control. So maybe that's two things on the list, not one. Who cares?

3) finish the wall hanging and get it sold! Three years in the making, I think it's more than overdue to be finished.

4) try to find something that makes holding brushes and pencils easier for me. I really miss doing my art but get so frustrated with shaking hands and cramping fingers that turn dead with Renaud's at the drop of a hat.

5) Love myself for who I am and what I can still do. Don't keep beating myself up over things I can't do much about. I've never loved myself, really need to learn how to do that. I wonder though, is it too late at 57 years? Can an old crone learn new tricks? Why not! I've learnt how to crochet, surely learning to love myself can't be much more confusing than that!

So those five things are my list for the year. They're not plans and they're not resolutions. Simply five things that I'd like to do this year. If I don't manage, then so be it.

We'll see won't we? 😜

I'm tired now, my energy tank has been running on low this afternoon therefore it's been nighty on and in bed at a ridiculously early hour but Hey Ho who cares!

I'll finish by wishing all my five readers a very happy, prosperous, healthy and fun filled 2016.  Enjoy every moment!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Granny's Christmas magic

It's approaching that time of year again. As a young girl I would wait impatiently for the wheel to creak round the twelve months, to that day that the big man in red would visit us. There was a family tradition of Santa's helpers leaving little gifts on the hearth in the weeks up to Christmas. My gran started it I'm told. 
We lived in the kitchen, it was the heart of the home. The other rooms stood bereft of human occupants while the kitchen held us in its bosom and absorbed the joys, the wails, the life of our family. It's still doing it after s hundred odd years. So when Santa told his helpers to leave the little girl who lived down Spot Lane, a surprise gift, naturally it was left in front of the kitchen fire. I don't know how Granny did it. Did she possess some magical power? Was she an expert in sleight of hand? Could she hypnotise me into not seeing? I've no idea. All I know is that we'd be sitting there in front of the blazing hot fire that was held beneath the oven. Our legs and faces red with heat. She'd be sat, in her flowery pinny, red beret half covering her wispy hair, her feet snug inside her pompom slippers, on her chair to the right of the fire, I'd be on the little dolly stool* to the left, probably leaning on the wall behind me.
"What was that noise?" She'd whisper loudly in a dramatic manner, her head thrust forward tilted to one side, eyes rolling from side to side in a quizzical way. "Shush, I've heard a noise up the chimney!"
Mother would join in then, "oh yes, I've heard it too! Debbie go look outside see what it is."
Debbie, that is I,  didn't want to go look outside in the dark. Debbie wanted to stay right there on the stool safe with gran. But before I could even stand up somehow laid there on the hearth, in front of the fire there'd be a chocolate bell, a chocolate bauble, a small chocolate Santa. I never saw it being placed there! Right in front of me! How??
"Santa's been Santa's been" I'd leap up on chubby little legs, chocolate gift clenched in my hand, waving it under granny's nose, shoving it in mother's face. "Look ! Santa's been!!!" They'd both feign surprise, although the look on granny's face was one of sheer delight certainly not pretended. Her little granddaughter, her pride and joy, the one she held so dear to her heart, was in the thralls of happiness over a small chocolate.
"You know what you have to do now, Debbie, go on then..." Before she could finish I'd have thrust my head as close to the fire as possible and shouting up the chimney "Thank you Santa! Thank you very much, thank you Santa!" I was raised to have manners, so even at the risk of singeing my eyebrows I was determined to make Santa hear my thanks.
And so, I'll leave you with the image of a roaring fire, a bonny old lady sat on her chair with such a beautiful smile on her face as she watched her granddaughter carefully unwrapping the gift from Santa. And look, see that pure love on her face when she takes the tiny nibble of chocolate offered by her granddaughter.
"this is for you granny. I love you granny so you can have some too! "

*  a three legged contraption made from a washing dolly, about a foot high, made from wood and painted white. It also had a hole in the seat where the handle once was, which would suck down your bum cheeks if you didn't sit right.
    

Friday, 4 December 2015

One of those awful parent moments

I can't think of anything worse than what a parent goes through when their child goes missing. I can remember when my little tyke, Jake, climbed over the back gate while I was upstairs on the loo. He hadn't been walking long (early walker/early talker) and I've no idea how he managed to get over that gate, I thought he was safely playing in the living room!

I remember how the blood rushed to my head, the horrible feeling that swept over my body, how my heart pumped ten to the dozen as I ran up the shared path shouting his name. When I got to the car park and saw the little sod running along the pavement on the opposite side of the road, the  relief, fright, anger, love all mixed up in a huge wave that reached every part of my being. How I ran on those shaking legs I'll never know. Dashing over the road, sweeping him up in my arms, half sobbing, half laughing,  to squeeze the little buggar tight and carry him safely back home. I was drenched with sweat and tears wouldn't stop flooding down my face.

Of course he didn't have a care in the world, he just wanted go to the shop for sweets and wasn't very happy that he was being carried away from them!

I'll never forget those feelings, undescribable really. I feel so sorry for parents whose children go missing, my heart goes out to those whose kids are never found safe. I don't know how they carry the grief.

Stay safe please.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The one wherein i complain about sweating (and granny knickers)

I hate this sweating.
It's totally ridiculous; sweat running down my face, neck, chest like a mini Niagara Falls. No longer can I cheer myself up by slapping on the make up or messing with my hair. It's pointless because before I've even finished the final sweep of lippy, the whole lot is melting causing my face to resemble a child's painting, or an artist's palette where the colours have ran into each other, a muddy mess. False lashes lose their stick and hang off eyelids like dead millipedes, while my hair clings damp and limp on my wet scalp.

No longer do I open the wardrobe and randomly pick an outfit for the moment. Not that any of my clothes from twelve months ago would fit me anymore;  I've gone from size 10/12 to 14/16 thanks to medications and enforced inactivity. 
Now my wardrobe holds few basic things in natural fibres. Cotton. Cotton mixes. Linen. More expensive than the man made materials and less to find going cheap in the charity shops. I have more pyjamas than clothes, I'm not ashamed to say i practically live in pyjamas (well, i am ashamed really but i like to pretend I'm not),  far more comfy to wear and easier to wash and dry.
Having such health issues like fibromyalgia means practical thinking. Out have gone corsets, Basques, stockings and suspenders. No more six inch stiletto pleaser shoes. Goodbye thigh high leather boots with the high heels and long long zips. Hello flats, elasticated waists, leggings, extra large loose tops, yoga style bra tops and granny knickers. And pyjamas!

Goodbye femininity. Hello boring old woman!

It's embarrassing.
Sweating in public causes people to look sideways at you, some with amusement others with a look bordering on fear. My attempt at humour "it's OK it's not Ebola" fell with a resounding echo in the halls of failed jokes. 
I'm sick to the back teeth of people, including my doctor who really should know better, assuming I'm having a menopausal hot flush. I want to scream "Ffs! I'm a decade past my menopause, it's not that. I've had my hot flushes and even those weren't like this!" But I don't because I know from experience it just causes people, including my doctor who honestly really should know better, to smugly smile. Because everyone knows better than I do - I'm just a boring fibromyalgia suffering old crone.

Did I say I hate this sweating? 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Drama on an Autumn morning!

Autumn. When the land around me turns into a tapestry of orange, red, yellow, green, purple, brown and grey - all woven and layered on the ground or draped over the trees and hedges.

Autumn. Mornings of mist, of grass heavily sodden with diamonds of thick dew. The fine delicate webs, patiently designed by spiders, become necklaces adorning the bushes. The whole scene could be a lavish set from some Gothic opera, all it needs is a caped, masked gentleman floating into view...

Oh! What's that movement my terrified eyes have spotted? Who is this ghostly figure that makes my bosom heave in trepidation? That sends the back of my delicate hand to my clammy brow as I feel suddenly faint with fright!

The postman shoves the brown envelope through the letter box and trudges off again down the path, unaware of the role he's just played in my dramatic scene. Such an anti climax!

Ah Autumn! How I love the way your drenched air and rusty palette of colours send my imagination into overdrive.

Monday, 26 October 2015

What can I say?

I've got my son staying until Friday, that's my youngest one. He's 30 in a couple of months but still mum's lad. It's strange really how I never really see our kids as truly grown up. It's that baby snapshot burnt into the very fabric of my brain and heart. It's the smell of a newly washed infant head on my chest as he drifts off to sleep. It's the feel of a little chubby hand holding into mine. It's the memory of those big big eyes, snub nose and brilliant white baby teeth showing as they smile.
Now my eyes tell me that big strapping bloke sitting on my chair is fully grown up, or that other bloke in the wedding photo with the gorgeous bride, is another fully grown adult with a home and life of his own. I know all that and what's more I'm glad they've developed into men, I'm proud as punch of them both.
But I can also see the little lad with the curly hair asleep in his chocolate pudding,dimpled legs dangling from his high chair. Even when the other, my eldest by the way, was pledging his troth at the altar three years ago, my mind went back to the toddler who loved the "Early Werly Shop" and proceeded to drive the staff nuts by playing with everything he could lay podgy fingers on. (To be fair the Early Learning Shop did encourage kids to play, but hyperactive 2 year olds go berserk in a room full of toys!)
No matter how old they get, how successful they may be, how independent they are these two men will always be my little lads. The best things my body has ever done. The greatest gift I've ever been given. I am very lucky indeed.
What can I say? I just love my children. So be it.

Friday, 23 October 2015

I'm really back into it now...

I am.
I've made a solemn promise to this blog that I'll make an entry of some sort at least a few times a week.
I will. Honest.
I WILL.

I've been lacking motivation, feeling that I've nothing to share with the world. The shaggy black dog has been walking on my heels, giving a toothy nip every so often. A nip that says "you're pretty crap as a person aren't you? What have you got to offer society now then?"
Reader, if you'redepressive you'll understand what I mean. If you don't understand - you're one very bloody lucky person! Be thankful for that.

At the risk of you finding my blog a good sleep aid*,  I'd like to think aloud about how fibro found me.
I suppose most people when first diagnosed with fibromyalgia search about for a possible cause. It seems so strange to be a "normal", fairly active, working body and the next finding even a touch in certain body spots can cause you to buckle in pain and an ouch to escape your lips. Reading Web M.D, the words  (quote) "There have been some studies that link fibromyalgia to sudden trauma to the brain and spinal cord" (unquote) were like a lightbulb moment; I wonder if my car incident 4 years ago triggered this fibro of mine?

At the time it seemed such a minor incident. An old man reversing his car down the street, seemingly trying to reverse into a parking space but instead drove bang into my little Lucy Toyota.  Although I'd tried to get his attention by peeping my horn, flashing my lights, sticking my head out of the window to shout, the old chap put his foot down a bit harder on the gas. The resulting kiss of cars shot Lucy backwards with a kangaroo jump, it didn't really feel like a big deal but it caused me a bad whiplash injury and gave my already damaged spine something else to moan about.

A visit to the doctor and some days on strong painkillers followed and to be honest I thought nothing more of it. Well I was too busy seething about my poor little Lucy being damaged! Her front end all buckled and crumpled. Up until then I was renown for having a really high pain threshold; once I nearly chopped my index finger off with parrot loppers whilst trimming up the bay tree. Don't bother asking how on earth my finger got in the way, I've no idea. I remember seeing the glisten of bone beneath the spurting blood and thinking the loppers were sharper than I thought. It stung a bit, made my teeth grind a bit but certainly didn't send me crying with pain, flinching and ouching. See what I mean? I could stand a fair amount of pain.

Within a few months of the car incident I was ouching and wincing at the slightest touch. I hurt all over. And how strange! The pains seemed to travel along my body. What the heck was going on here then! It took another year and a serious bout of shingles before I was told it seemed I had a thing called fibromyalgia. I thought it was something to do with fibroids and was wondering if I would end up having a hysterectomy! Lol, so naive I am at times.

So I reckon I'm going to stick my neck out, now there's a pun!, and hazard a guess that it was my car incident that triggered it all. If only I could go back in time and avoid it happening. I'd still be the "normal", fairly active old Crone.

And I wouldn't be writing this.

What do you think triggered your fibro/ M.E/ lupus, or other such illness? Please don't be shy, if you'd like to share then use the comment boxes. I'm really interested.
          }

*and if it sends you to sleep that's all well and good. At least it's done something worthwhile.

Note: This was originally intended for my Farcebook but before I pressed 'post', I thought again. Even though I want to invite other fibro/lupus/ M.E sufferers to tell about what they think triggered their illness ( I'd love it if you would use the comment boxes), I'm aware that there's family and friends who don't like to see me talking about it on Farcebook. They feel that in talking about it, I'm dwelling on it, making myself worse. I know that's not the case but to keep the peace I decided to put it on here instead. We all need to think aloud on occasion and get things off the chest!

Friday, 18 September 2015

It's been ages.....There's good reasons.

I'm well aware that it's been simply ages since I last blogged. I could say that I've been travelling the world by air, sea, land; that I've sampled the delights of foreign cookery, and had my photo taken on some exotic shore, where the warm azure sea ever so gently lapped my ankles.
I could say all that and more. I'd be lying of course.
Truth is I've had a couple of months  completely drained of energy, overwhelmed by pain and wrecked with IBS / nausea. All effort has been concentrated on getting through each day.  Add to that various appointments at clinics and hospitals -- well I need say no more eh. You get the idea don't you?

There have been good days, nice times,  for sure there have!

Mr and I celebrated our 11th Wedding anniversary at the beginning of the month, taking a few hours out at the Gnome Reserve. It's such an innocent, natural place where the glum/old/knackered you is temporarily forgotten, as (donning the Gnome hats that come with the entry fee) the child within delights in the chubby grins of the many and various garden gnomes that reside in the wooded garden.
The dogs, Zaffi and Lulu, came along too; they got as much pleasure out of the place as we did.  We had tea and sandwiches in the cafe area, then had a wander round the wildlife garden. Yes, we had a really good time for very little expense. Roll on next spring when our next visit is planned.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

On creative juices and their flow

I've always been a writer. There's a silly thing to say eh! Aren't most people writers as it's one of the first things we're taught in school (and well before school if the parents have any sense). I'd hazard a guess that being creative is indeed part and parcel of all living creatures with hands and feet. Give a child or a monkey a crayon and they'll no doubt scribble away on anything to hand. Including their hands.
Or they'll eat the crayon.
That's being creative is it not?

Anyway, back to yours truly. Yes, I've always been one to put pen/pencil to paper and form letters that make up words, that flow into sentences, turn into paragraphs, and eventually reams of paper full of thoughts, ideas, wishes, fantasies, that could be called a story.
I love escaping in words. Strangely, in painting and drawing I find it difficult to go into the depths of my own inner self and I tend to create portraits of what it's in front of me. (I specialise in animal portraiture, but have done very little since I developed fibro). But in the world of pen and paper -- or more usually nowadays my trusty Nexus tablet, or my little sweety HP  Streamer -- I just dive into the fantasy world of me.

After much urging from Mr P I've decided to dive in again and already have a good plan, what I call ISCOPE (Idea, Setting, Characters, Otherworldly, Problems, Ending). All I need to do is stop blathering on here and get cracking and write.

I'm a bit nervous. It's been a while since I wrote properly. I'm procrastinating aren't I.
I can do it. I know I can. I have a diploma and a BA  in the subject. I might be a tad rusty but I can give myself a good polish. I'll get on.
I'm going now.

My neck hurts today, I mean really. Maybe I should take a painkiller and have a nap.
Come on start writing!!!
I'm going then.
Does no one want to say anything? Anyone need any help? No? Oh.
I'll go write then....

Monday, 6 July 2015

Fibro & Me. A nonsense ditty.

Oh I have got fibro
But fibro don't got me,
It tries it's best
Won't give me rest,
I'd love to be pain free.

Yeah I've got the fibro
And I am always sore.
This stupid ache,
For heaven's sake,
Coming back for more.

I wake up in the morning
Count my problems one by one.
Can I move? Now what pains?
Fibro fog? Oh not again!
I'm Always hoping fibros gone.

But, I've still got the fibro
Looks like fibro still got me.
So it's all grin and bear
Don't touch me there !
Cos I'm not fibro free!!

Gwearbennen © Hedgerow Art 2015

Sunday, 28 June 2015

I'll just say this {through gritted teeth}

If there's one wish I'd be happy to rub the Genie for {what's that? You rub the genies lamp? Ohhh, that's where I've been going wrong!} , start again... If there's one wish I'd happily rub the little persons lamp for it's for all the broadcasters, namely SKY Movies/News/Other,  CATCH UP TV, QUEST, Al JAZEERA, MOVIES FOR MEN, amongst others and THE FILM COMPANIES, to go deaf for a couple weeks. LET'S SEE HOW YOU LIKE HAVING TO WATCH SOMETHING YOU'VE NO IDEA WHAT IS BEING SAID. Yes, I'm doing some shouting because I'm totally sick of being discriminated against.

In this day and age there is no good reason why all programmes cannot be subtitled. I don't get any help with understanding the television I pay a hefty sum in licences for. I don't get any discount for not being able to hear. I don't want a discount, I want to know and understand what's being said!! For heaven's sake it's not asking much.

This past few days I've been house sitting in a home with SKY TV and was looking forward to watching some good programmes and films. I've been disappointed to discover very few films on SKY Movies are subtitled, and on the whole it's been the usual Freview programmes I've watched.

Since becoming largely bed/sofa bound I've been watching more TV than I've ever done in my life and can't help but notice that instead of an increase in subtitled programmes there's a decrease. That's really shocking in this techno world.

So come on Genie, let me give you/your lamp/whatever a good rub, I'll even use Brasso if you'd like that, and grant me this wish. Let's reach the idiots a lesson they won't forget.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Mr P's Perfectly Scrumptious prescription for calming the black dog

I've not been very well. Feeling rather down with that dratted Black dog skulking round my being, giving the occasional nip with fangs that drip hot and nasty thoughts into my brain.  I won't go into it with great detail, it's enough for you to know that Mr P has been brilliant, keeping his cool while I bubbled over with red hot lava spewing from a tongue of nastiness.

Well, I hate myself so I'll hate everyone else shall I??  And make everyone else hate me at the same time!! Such is logic from the brain of a mad old crone.

But that  husband of mine showed how decent and caring he is .... and made me a cake!  Hey, I'm now on the cake making redundancy list; his cakes are so light and tasty he knocks that other Mister's exceedingly good Crown right off Victoria's sponge! I certainly will hesitate to bake a cake in future.  It'd be like barking myself instead of letting the dogs do it. ..

Talking of dogs did cake get rid of my black dog? Not if I'm honest, but it surely made it so stuffed that it went dozing for some time.  So Thank you dahlink Mr P, I'll suggest that doctors prescribe Mr P's Perfectly Scrumptious Sponge to all depressives and Bipolars. :-) xxx

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Art by Gwearbennen or just another bit of doodling

""Tribal Owl" made into poster for my niece's birthday gift.

The Witch's Garden on Litha

Since I've returned home to the loving care of my husband and our animal family, one of my delights has been pottering about in the garden on the days I've been released from the binds of  fibromyalgia and my spinal disease. 


It's not been easy, certainly not been often, but bit by bit I'm getting our part of Mother Earth just how we want it. So far I've been rewarded by visiting hedgehogs (rather large ones too), numerous bees of different varieties, ditto butterflies, not to forget the ladybirds and other insects. Oh and even a damselfly! I was overjoyed when i saw frogs have moved into the little pond and hope they stick around.  

These  photos show what she looks like on this day of Litha. I think she's gorgeous, but can't wait to put final touches. 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Lost Words

I'm aware I've not been posting to my blog very much. I could say I've been so busy living life, that I've been traveling in foreign lands exploring different cultures, or that I've been enjoying entertaining visitors. I could say all that and more as a way to make myself more interesting.

I could but I won't. I won't because it'd be a blatant, big fat obese lie.

The fact is I've been doing very little while in the grip of various ailments that arrive at the drop of a hat. I'm too exhausted to even swipe the keyboard on this tablet. Words scarper round like kindergarten kids high on sugar, totally out of control, giggling and running on chubby legs to hide in long forgotten corners and recesses of the witch's brain.  I see the backend of a word I want but it's too quick for me, disappearing before I can grab it by the scruff of its neck and put it to work here.

By and large, this is how the last few weeks have been spent. There's been some good days though. {Straining to pull one out as an example. It'd be easier to grab a centipede's ear!} 

I'm sorry but I'm leaving it there. With a bit of luck plus plenty of painkillers, my next posting will be really interesting with words that string together seamlessly and effortlessly as they dance over each page in unison.

Until then,
Be Well and Blessings.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

The one where I have lupins, lilies, and laughs.

On the 30th May 1958 I finally decided it was time to enter the world. One month late, so instead of being a Taurean Bull, I became a Two-sided Gemini. Fine by me, I'd much prefer to be a butterfly flitting here and there, growing bored of routine within half an hour of experiencing it rather than a cement booted, scared of change stubborn Bull. Believe me I know bulls, both planetary ones and flesh and blood, hooves and horns ones. The latter far more understandable than the former. Note of importance-  I am jesting. I happen to have a number of really lovely human Bulls in my life, including my darling husband. So definitely jesting. Pulling your leg. Tongue in cheek. Easy now, shhhh, that's a good bull. Stop scraping the floor with your foot.

We'll swiftly move on to lupins and lilies...

For the first time in many years my birthday was spent in part with the company of both my boys. That's not a complaint in any way, I'm the kind of mother who understands that her children have a life of their own to lead. My birthday, like everyone's, doesn't often fall on a weekend so it's not easy for the boys to see me. Goddess forbid I become a demanding old crone who believes she's the centre of the universe, whose first words of greeting are along the lines of  "Oh it's you is it, you've not visited me for ages. If you want a cuppa put the kettle on. Teabags are in the same place as they were last year."  No I want my offspring to enjoy visiting me!
I'm digressing again. I've now forgotten what I was going to say...

Of course! I had a really lovely birthday in the company of my family. The weather was nice; nice enough for my sun lounger to make an appearance.*   A day of cuppas and cake, hugs and hurrahs, and lilies and lupins. The latter being simply beautiful gifts from my children. Gifts that will grow. I'm so blessed. I'm so happy. Confused with fibro fog but nevertheless happy.

*It happened again. No sooner does my sun lounger appear, the sun gives a shriek of horror and goes to hide behind the thickest rain cloud he can find. The bloody wimp! He's terrified of the green check cushion and green tubular metal. Someone give the sun a dose of courage, a kick up the solar backside to get himself up and at it. He's got Devon to bathe in sunlight.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Trying to explain the unexplainable.

I've just managed a shower. Looked in mirror and to all outwards appearance I look a healthy middle aged crone.  I don't blame people for disbelieving fibro.  It's really difficult to understand that inside that outwards look I'm struggling to move, that each movement feels like agony, that I've no energy left after showering to towel myself dry so I just wrap myself up and drip dry flat out on bed.  Again.  Head hurts, bones feel like they're full of flu, skin is crawling with unseen ants and I've got freezing feet even though I've got thick fleece socks on.  But none of it can be seen by the onlooker so they think we are pulling their leg. 
I'm not after sympathy but asking you to just try to understand.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Saturday, 18 April 2015

P's Crackle glazed balls

In the evening when the sun has dropped out of sight and darkness has found each corner of the bedroom, P's (Mr Debz) crackle glazed balls entrance me. I love watching them put on their ceiling show as they change colour and pattern. The green presents like a wild fantasy forest, really vibrant and inviting. Then comes red causing the forest to glow with flame until the blue casts it's soothing cooling over. The other ball has purple too but that's faint and not very remarkable, sorry purple you should get your act together!
 Thank you P for giving me this calming, soothing amusement. Such a brilliant idea to buy those solar crackle glazed ball lights, charging them during the day on the window ledge and putting them on the bedroom shelf at night.


Not what you thought is it? {Cackles evilly} 😁

Friday, 17 April 2015

Pssst. Are you awake?

I'm not giving out prizes for guessing that yours truly cannot sleep tonight/ this morning. I'm tired, indeed I am, but I'm in the throes of various muscle spasms and nerve twitches and pins and needles all over and and and... Enough. You know I've got fibro, or you should by now if you've bothered to read any of this blog.
I reckon all five of you must think I'm the most boring, depressing old crone you've ever read about. Moaning and groaning and moaning again. "Put a cork in it" I mentally see you saying. (A cork would have come in handy today, yesterday rather, as my IBS sought to help me exercise  by unblocking the pipes. I doubt a colonic irrigation in some fancy clinic could have done a better job, a bit shorter in duration but not as thorough as Dr Fartypants IBS. Oh and BTW those puppies on a roll don't last as long as they think plus they turn to porcupines half through. Soft my a#*e!! Pun intended. )
Went off track there... What was I going to tell you?... I started saying summat didn't I?... { making a cuppa today I found myself in the bathroom looking for the milk. Don't ask ME why, I'm just no-brain, I've no idea. Eventually found milk in usual place in the fridge in the kitchen.}
Yawn. I'm so bloody tired. Maybe if I stop this writing, do some grounding and meditation , maybe I'll fall asleep.
Maybe later I'll remember what it was I wanted to tell you.
Maybe.
May.
Be.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

One of those weeks

Look, I KNOW there's people out there much worse than I am. I also know I've much to be thankful for and of course I bloody well know that at least I'm alive and not six foot under. So yes! I know all that and I don't need anyone telling me!
But listen, my knowledge of those points of fact doesn't and isn't making me feel better. Freakin fibro hasn't suddenly top toed away in shame of causing me so much bother.  I'm still stuck with a spine that is spineless. The old ticker is still wonky. And the ears are still made of cloth.
Mate, my entire body hurts. No muscle is spared and the pain is ceaseless. Even my skin is on one today, the slightest touch makes it try to flee shrieking 'it burns it burns!' . IBS is conducting its orchestra of wind instruments and the occasional cymbal, not to forget its sidekick 'Ol Bloat' the water carrier who is stocking up for a drought and causing me to look like Humpty Dumpty.
Standing up hurts. Sitting down hurts. Goddess knows lying here hurts as well!
So please excuse me today for not bloody caring who has it worse, for not giving a s*#t how thankful I should be. Normal kindness and caring will be resumed tomorrow. Hopefully.

***

On a more calmer note, we've got the most colourful spring going on outside. Those carpets of celandines, primroses, daffs, daisies, and now bluebells are a joy to behold.  And the blossom on the trees! Beautiful. Thank you Mother Nature.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Restless Leg Syndrome

Just a small thought that might help if you suffer from RLS and you've tried everything else that doesn't involve medications. Recently I had week of extremely bad legs and arms that were going hell for leather every evening, causing even more pain to the point I was actually crying with them. So I mentioned it to my new doctor, explained that I was taken off Ropinrol by the hospital when I had the heart episode. She asked if I'd like to try Pregabalin a newer drug apparently being used to help fibromyalgia amongst other things. Nothing ventured, nothing gained thought the old crone while saying yes please!
Three weeks on and while I can't report any difference in my fibro I can tell you that the RLS has decreased. Not stopped completely, damn, but the episodes I'm having (now 3 or 4 times a week) are very quick to end therefore more bearable than they were and I'm actually managing to sleep! 

Info on Pregabalin  - 
http://www.drugs.com/cdi/pregabalin.html

Blooming beautiful blossoms or beautiful blooming blossoms

The one where I'm back

Hello again, I'm back from sampling the delights of the farmers markets in Kauai, from relaxing under the shade of gently dancing palm trees while digging my bunions into the hot white sands and sipping fruit concoctions that cool and soothe my dry throat.
Like hell I have!! In my dreams, yes. Actually no cos my dreams entail running from knife/gun wielding maniacs or saving camels from rivers. Let's not get into that eh!
Start again... I'm back from nowhere. In the couple months of silence on here I've simply moved back home to Devon from 'that-place' in Cornwall. Don't get me wrong 'that-place' is a nice enough area, but while I was there I was so unhappy and ill, now I'm home I'm happy and ill. Makes a difference it does. I'm back with my husband, my dogs, my garden, in the area I love the best, closer to my sons homes, among the friendliest people, with good medical assistance.
Not any Hawaii, Kauai, or any other glorious isle could make my smile broader at this point in time.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Weather, woolies, wonder

I've been busy crocheting. For those who don't know I'll just explain that until a year ago, anything that came under the term needlecraft sent me scurrying in the opposite direction. For a start I've got fumbling thick fingers on large hands that I'm sure have expanded due to years of holding reins and shoveling muck from stables and barns. Not only that, said fingers and hands are now arthritic and don't always obey my orders. So it's really something that I picked up a crochet hook in the first place, and then proceeded to learn from the internet how to twist that, pull that through, wrap that round and repeat often enough to end up with something resembling a coaster for a mug. Truly, it's really something!!
   But stuck in bed with fibro I had to do something and I really do like learning new things, hence the start of crochet. I've made fingerless gloves, hats, wrist warmers and other small items to wear. But I get bored so I've never started a larger project, besides I discovered freeform scrumbles and that was it, never really wanted to do anything more than create those. Until I saw a gorgeous crocheted jacket. I mean it was gorgeously gorgeous and probably would cost not only an arm and leg but a head too if it was for sale in some shop. And good goddess! My word! It was made from crocheted granny squares! Well I never! (Yep, you're right, I was shocked). Granny squares that I've done before, I can do those. If I can do those I must be able to make my own gorgeously gorgeous jacket. Right?!
    So it began, the whirlwind of fingers twisting, turning, tumbling, thrashing out squares a mile a minute....... No it didn't. That's how I envisioned myself crocheting this jacket, in reality , harsh as it is, I'm managing three a day and that's good for me. I've got the two front panels , now need the back and sleeves. Then put it all together, so come May I'll be sweating in my self made heavy Woolie.
         
                                       ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Such fabulous weather we've had this week! Tuesday night was given over to thunder and lightening, lightening that lights up dazzling white sheets. There's a name for it but I can't remember. Course,I don't hear the thunder but I do know when it's going on, the whole atmosphere changes doesn't it, but also I can feel it growling in my bones. Not so silly as it sounds, it's all to do with vibration I'm told and that's why I can feel loud noises in my bones. So I'm told. Anyway, that storm on Tuesday was awesome (I'm told that word is so dated I shouldn't use it but do I care?). Tuesday day saw our local area invaded by the hurling, hurting, hurtling {grin} icy white kibbles from the sky and whichever deity was throwing them should be ashamed of themselves, waiting till I trundled out of co-op with my loo rolls under arm before they let fly. I slipped, did a one legged slide that Torvill would be proud of, but managed to keep bum from hitting pavement by grabbing shop window ledge. (So that's what they're there for. I always wondered the use of window ledges!). Considering I had a hole in my woolly tights in a VIP place I can only hope my leg didn't spread too wide. The good people of Holsy don't deserve such punishment.
    The remainder of the day and the next day were spent ouching more than usual, the result of my dancing on ice.

                      ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

More wonders of the week.....

Zaffi on his venture outside to toilet nearly got blown away. Literally. Not at all good for a little man with his pelvis fractured in two places. The vet did tell us to keep him mobile every so often for toilet etc but never said anything about flying.  He learnt from it and has been keeping to the area near the back door where it's sheltered from the wind. He's a clever 'un.

There's been so much rain the garden can't absorb any more and has turned into a forlorn, woeful area.  Wonderful to think in a few months it'll be all green with new leaves where plants have survived to bloom once again. The Great Mother's gifts, how I love them.

When I was young, taking the veil only meant one thing - you were going to be a nun.
I went to the village school, which was C of E and invisibly joined to the church over the road by some strong pulley that brought the vicar thrice a day to school. In fact after morning prayers he'd have his breakfast at school, after lunch prayers he'd join in with a hearty lunch. I know after home time prayers, when all us kids had gone, he'd sit with the two school teachers and partake of tea. So school must have been like a cafe for him I suppose. He was a large, big bellied, black robed, dog collared, bachelor who lived in a house made for a family with a dozen children. Such a waste!
I remember the vicar asking me and my friend if we would be taking the veil when we left school, then before I could reply he glared at me and announced " You,of course won't be, because you're the one with the devil on your shoulder. Aren't you! "
He'd told me this before at school and on that occasion made me crawl on my knees for most of the afternoon. My sin? On being asked where mankind came from I said from the earth. I was six years old. Religious people have always caused trouble in this world of mine.



Last wonder.....What Mr Debz and lulu bought me. Isn't it beautiful!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The one and only Zaffi . pt 1

Some years ago, six years to be correct, when we lived in the bigger place and had my last GSD lady called Maddy (her quick name, her real registered name too long to keep saying/ writing/thinking), I decided it was time to give another dog a home for life. Maddy was getting very old, very stiff, very near the end and I wanted to have another canine to look after when the horrible time came to say farewell to my beloved lady. I needed to have a saviour, another soul to stop me from drowning in a bi-po depression caused by my loss. Not a replacement Maddy! Heck no, nothing could ever do that!
    I couldn't cope with another GSD, not now my spine had gone and collapsed on me. No, I'd give my love and care to a smaller dog, but which one? From where? Weeks passed by while I searched adverts, looked on the dog homes websites, kept my eyes open as I went about the local area, but nothing caught my interest. If I'm honest my heart wasn't in it. It was acknowledging that Maddy wasn't going to be around much longer and I really didn't want to face it.
    For some weeks, in the post office window, there'd been a scrawled note on a postcard "free to good home, Patterdale x Border terrier dog. 8 months old. Black & tan. House trained. Call ........" I stopped and read it every time I walked past but the thought that niggled me was "what's the catch?" Such breed of dog don't come cheap, even the crosses, especially that kind of cross. So although I wrote the number down I never got anyone to phone for me.
   Weeks went by, Maddy grew older, and i found the mornings increasingly difficult. My heart would momentarily stop, a nervous heat /chill would crawl over my flesh, and I'd literally force myself through the door into the kitchen, prepared for the sight of a lifeless Maddy lying there. On seeing her body rise and fall as she breathed,I too would expel the air held in my lungs until then. On a few occasions she'd be so deep in sleep that she'd not stir, not bat an eyelid when I spoke her name, patted her body, gave her a firm nudge as panic rose in my throat. Then with a heaving motion she'd lift her head off the floor, her deep brown eyes looking at me with indignation, "what's up? I was enjoying my dream!" This followed by the equivalent of a dog smile, as I'd put my arms round her huge, extra hairy, stinky* body, muttering how much I loved her with a voice slightly chokey .
    There couldn't be any more hanging around. If I was to get through losing my big lump of hairy lady, then I needed to find another ball of hair to love. Sooner rather than later. Sadly.
     On my next walk past the post office I found myself rather pleased that the scrawled advert was still there, even with a mobile number rather than a landline phone. Something I'd not noticed before. Within ten minutes I was waiting on tenterhooks for a reply to my text "hiya, is the dog still available please? I'm deaf and unable to phone, deb". I waited, waited some more. Walked back home, looking every few moments at my phone. Holding it up this way, that way, turning round with it, just in case I was missing a better signal. (That's how my brain works,lol). Still nothing. Looked at the inbox just in case a reply has gone unnoticed by phone notifications. No text.
    I was peeling potatoes for tea when my phone did a jiggy dance of vibration across the worktop and I leapt on it, cat with mouse fashion, pulled up the incoming text " Hi, yes he is. Are you coming to see him? " I dashed a reply back "I'd love to, I'll get someone with ears to phone you and arrange it. Thanks ever so much. Deb"
    And so the story of the crippled dog, Zaffi, begins.

* Maddy was a long haired GSD. Her story and how she came to me is another one proving that dogs respond to kindness but firmness, loving but fairness. Maybe one day I'll be able to open the memory box in my brain and tell her story. Not yet. I'm not ready. At the end of her life it became impossible to bathe her, try as I might there was no way I could safely and comfortably , both for her and me, wash her. Therefore, despite having a regular top and tail wash she became a stinky lady. Especially at the very end when she became incontinent. Worth mentioning here is that just a few days before the end, we'd discussed helping her to go over to the Summerlands by getting the vet to come. None of us wanted to cause her suffering and we acknowledged her shame and sadness when she became incontinent. A very clean lady through out her life, she really hated not being able to stop herself from soiling inside the house. You didn't have to be a dog whisperer to see that.
However, she took the decision to lie down and go to sleep permanently, in the garden, in her most favoured spot. Bless her, loving and loyal to the last. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Is it morning yet?

Obviously not yet morning cos it's still black as coal outside. The four legged ones and the two legged one are all slumbering accompanied with twitches, little kicks, jerks, the odd fart (I can feel them vibrating through the mattress) and I'm certain I felt a snore although not sure if it was human or animal. So sleep has descended on the house of pain.

    All bar for one being, who still abides in the land of consciousness. Buggar! I need to be sleeping for I've got to go with the young-man-with-four-legs to the vet hospital in the morning. This morning. At 8.30am. That's in approx 6 hours. So if I put this down now, maybe I can grab 5.5 hours to refill my body with much needed energy.....

     Wish me luck and if anyone has any good ideas for managing to get a half decent sleep, you know where to message me. I'll love you forever if your suggestions works. 😉💖

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The House of Pain wishes you happy new year


Calm down, I've not opened a decadent home for the sadomasochist. Although I'm sure it would be a welcome retreat for some. {I'm so not going there!} No, the house of pain (minus Vincent Price) is what our cosy bungalow here in Devon has become since Yule and the young-man-with-four-legs' fall off the bed.

      Poor little soul is in much pain with his back and both Mr Debz and I feel totally useless as all we can do is dish out his painkiller and try to ensure he's comfy. He goes for X-Rays on Monday to see exactly what's going on, which will be interesting because not only will we be able to get a diagnose (hopefully) but after all these years of knowing his back end is fastened to his body by screws, pins and wires, we'll be able to actually see them.
     Anyway, the home walls are resounding with yelps, Ouches, groans and swear words as the three of us go through the days in pain. No wonder the little-girl-with-four-legs is sighing and eye rolling, she's the only one bounding about at the moment. Good start to the new year, not!

      Here's hoping your 2015 will be a good one, with happiness, health and wealth.
     

Sunday, 21 December 2014

From me to you.

Gwearbennen wishes you every good blessing at Yule.

On the rebirth of the Sun may your days be peaceful, your heart be full of happiness, and your body be strong.



Friday, 19 December 2014

Creating Yule blessings.

Remember I've told you about the android apps I have on my Nexus, the arty ones? I decided to use those to do the 'special' Yule time greeting cards this year. I usually do these few special* cards in watercolour or maybe acrylic but I've just not been up to sitting up for that long, ergo those apps were a boon! To get them printed, despite my having a very good printer I had no card stock (not very well organised this year)  I turned to the funky bird, who made a real good job as they always do. I use them often, in fact I have their app which makes it all very easy and quick.

Now that the recipients have got them in hand I thought you might like to have a look yourselves....






* Special people get special cards, although this year I ran out of time before I ran out of special people. Apologies to my sons and my sister and a few others!  But I hasten to say that if you got a shop bought card you are no less special, indeed not!  If you weren't special to me, you'd not get a card at all. I don't believe in being two faced like that. I mean why would I go to the trouble and expense to send a card to someone I never see or speak to or even email during the year? I'm hardly wanting to wish then blessings at Yule am I? <emphatic nod of head>

I have to apologise for grammar and spelling mistakes. I'm making no excuses, just apologising.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Occurrences occurred.

It's been a while.
Things have either been happening within a whirlwind, or not happening in that very boring, 'stuck in bed unable to do much' way. The latter days I've simply not been up to threading a sentence together, which is annoying as writing on here would be the best past-time.

A few things have occurred.
It's become obvious that my new meds have the side effect of clinging to all food that enters my body and turning it into fat! Not ideal. Not ideal at all. I'm not saying I've become obese, I'm a long way off that, but I'm noticeably carrying a spare tyre. And not a bicycle sized one either! More of the Ford Fiesta size. Like many other physically disabled people, I'm in a catch 22 situation - exercising is difficult, even walking is hard or impossible on many days, so I rely on trying not to eat very much. Without exercise no matter how little I eat, I'll put weight on. But extra weight is really bad for me, my joints and spine suffer and of course, my old broken ticker will struggle to cope.
I read that Devon NHS has said it will refuse to treat overweight people*. It's so easy for them in charge to make such announcements thinking they're helping by scaring people into dieting, they don't seem to understand the problems of the disabled who can find it one frustrating issue.

* http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-30318546

∆∆∆∆∆∆

Another occurrence
 the new addition to the family has finally arrived; J'Max my new yellow Nissan Juke Tekna. Crammed full of the latest gadget
ry including monitored tyre pressures, voice control, cameras, reversing assistant, and heck knows what else. By next Yule I might just know half of what the buttons, knobs and switches actually do but right now I'm using the instruction manual. Nicest thing is the heated leather seats, a real help for my spinal problem. And did I say it's all in yellow? Yes, yellow. A massive event for one who always chooses black or grey, isn't it? I fancied a change.


∆∆∆∆∆∆

Couple more occurrences that are worth mentioning.
My youngest son had his 29th birthday at the beginning of December. I managed to make him a cake, a chocolate Bundt cake. Sadly I forgot to take a photo so you'll just have to take my word for it, it was very nice, both in looks and taste /texture, even though I say it myself! I was relieved tbh as it's simply ages since I've been OK enough to bake.

Finally, my eldest son has been very poorly. I don't want to discuss it without his knowledge as he's a very private person, but he has finally been diagnosed with diverticulitis, something I know little about as it's something I don't have! Oh my! Something I don't have. How good to see and speak that sentence! Lol. Seriously, I've never seen him in so much pain, what a nasty condition it is. Thankfully the antibiotics have worked their magic and he's on the mend from the infection but has to alter his diet, which will help keep the condition in check.
If any of the five reading this suffers from diverticulitis and has tips and advice to give, I'd be grateful so that I can tell son.