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Monday, 11 February 2019

Snow, Robin and health

I found these photos of the snow last month still on the camera so thought I would post them to show we did actually have some snow.

Today I was very happy because I had my Skype consultation with the private clinic to find out the results of the tests I had. I actually know now what is wrong with my gut and how to put it right. I have virtually no friendly bacteria and quite a lot of stuff which is harmful. I have been taking a probiotic recommended by the hospital for nearly a year but it has done no good which didn't surprise me. There are a few other things on the action plan as well. This test is not done on the NHS but would save them a lot of money if it was.

Now I am finally starting to shake the cough and flu off I walked to the town partly to pick up a prescription and some cards and for the exercise and Vitamin D sunshine. I am on the borderline of low so trying to get back outdoors more again.  I took my camera and on the way I heard the robin singing on a tree near the fire station so took a photo.

I couldn't zoom in any more without making a fuzzy photo.

The idea was to walk back taking photos of my route to post but I had a bad flare up of pain and sickness so just struggled to get home then spent the rest of the afternoon on the bed with a wheat bag but was able to use the time making phone calls. In spite of the flare up I am happy that I can start getting better even though I know it will take time.

Thursday, 31 January 2019


that made me happy today. The big beaming smile of our little grand-daughter as soon as she sees me. The beauty of the trees in the frost. Having a very good coffee with DB in his favorite cafe after his hospital appointment. Being able to afford frozen fruit in Iceland as I felt too unwell to do my usual frugal shopping. Watching a girl sitting on a bench playing with her dog. Seeing my son, daughter-in-law, daughter and grand-daughter all getting on and chatting happily together.

They are only little things but it is these little things that seem very important especially when I remember not everybody has these little things.

Now I am wrapped up in a quilt in a nice warm house and will enjoy Winter Watch soon.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Looking forward

I've already looked back and now nearly a month into the new year am thinking ahead. Actually I've already started on the first goal which is to get my health back. Last year was hard as I have always been so well, had a healthy diet and could eat anything. Now I have such a restricted diet and its not really doing much good. The only result is that I think my immune system is suffering as since the end of September I have had 2 colds and now have something else. I have been coughing for 3 weeks and now feel shivery and ache all over.

My goal is to get to the root of what is wrong rather than have the symptoms treated. I can't fault the people treating me but their hands are tied as the NHS does not do a lot of tests. After a lot of research I contacted a private clinic, had a Skype consultation and was sent the equipment for a comprehensive stool test. The consultant was brilliant and dug deep into my history such as foreign travel and work etc. If nothing shows up at least I have ruled out fairly basic things. Then i can go down the next road.

My second big goal is to move to a smaller place but I can't do that until DD has her place and has moved out. I just want a simpler life to do more of the things that are important to me.

One thing is to spend more time with friends and family. We used to invite people back a lot but that has gone by the board last year so hopefully that will happen again.

A couple of years ago I had lots of days out using my bus pass and Oyster card and doing lots of walking and exploring new places not too far away. Hopefully that will happen again.

In the meantime we are grateful for our cozy warm home and the fact that we can rest when we feel unwell as being retired there is no worrying about work. Lots to be thankful for.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Another funeral

I went with my daughter to the funeral of a friend today. She's known him years through the greyhounds. He was often referred to as the greyhound man as over the years he had adopted 35 retired greyhounds. At one time he actually had 5 old boys as he called them. He always took the old dogs that nobody else wanted, mainly boys but also one or two girls.

He was brilliant with dogs but sadly not so good with people as he was so independent and rigid in his views. So he pushed people away and several times he fell out with DD as she wouldn't agree with him but I'm proud that she never held a grudge and could also see his good points. As he got so sick he realised that we all need other people and he became more patient.

He made his peace with his estranged daughter and in spite of past differences she arranged a funeral to do him proud. She wrote and read a beautiful poem. The neighbour who had known him since their teens gave a tribute and the celebrant read out a piece my daughter had written. Also at the end a humorous email which the deceased had sent to my daughter some while ago was read out.  One thing happened which I have never seen before at a funeral. One old lady turned up with a greyhound and said there had to be a greyhound at this funeral but she would just wait for the hearse to arrive and then she would go. During the service, the celebrant talking about the greyhounds mentioned how good that one was present. We all looked round and sure enough there in the back row was the old lady and the greyhound!

One thing in common at both the recent funerals I went to was that although they were non-religious, the Lord's prayer was said. I've not been to many non-religious funerals so maybe it was a coincidence but it seems that even non-believers have a spiritual side.

DD has inherited the last remaining old dog so he has settled in happily here.

Sunday, 20 January 2019


For a while now I have disciplined myself to focus on what is around me when I am walking anywhere instead of mulling over what I have to do or what problems have to be solved. I look at the trees, listen to the birds and notice seasonal changes.

On Saturday as I walked the mile to town I decided to see what colour there was. Mainly green and lots of brown and red leaves on the ground. Then I spied this

A few bright yellow berries which had escaped the birds. It is amazing what you notice when you are really focused and it is so relaxing.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019


I had to go to town for a few errands so popped into Iceland for some frozen blueberries and picked up a box of sushi half price for a pound. Then when I went to Asda for DB's prescription I had a quick look for any reduced items there and found a 7.5kg bag of potatoes reduced from £3.75 to £1. Also oranges on rollback from £1.25 to £1 so got two bags. I hesitated at the potatoes as I had walked up with my two wheeled trolley but didn't have much else so couldn't bear to leave that bargain.

It always gives me a kick to get a good bargain especially basic things like potatoes and fruit. The sushi is a treat and as it's frozen can be eaten gradually. I find a lot of things that are reduced or on coupons are not what I would eat especially at the moment on my restricted diet.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Elspeth Huxley

I love reading but don't get a chance to do much nowadays. On the cruise I borrowed a book from the library called Nellie, letters from Africa with a memoir by Elspeth Huxley. Christine told me that Nellie was played by Hayley Mills in the Flame Trees of Thika which I had never seen. I enjoyed the book but only managed to read half on the holiday. I found a copy on world books and bought it along with "Out in the Mid-day Sun also by Huxley which I still have to read. 

I have finished the book now and thought Nellie was amazing. She finally died at the age of 92 and right up to the last had projects going on. She lived through tremendous changes in Kenya which started as settlers beginning a farm and ended with the white settlers leaving. Nellie in her 80's left Kenya and settled in Portugal living like the locals and always finding new things to learn.

I did also watch Flame Trees of Thika and enjoyed it especially the scenery and the animals.