Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Keeping occupied

Hubby has just completed his latest Wasgij. I am not allowed to help him place a single piece. A friend suggested I need to remove one of those wasgij pieces and see if he notices :) Naughty Ann, I couldn't be so cruel :-)

You can just about see my Mother's Day gift bursting into flower in the background, it's a lovely gift. The book, I have only read one chapter  but I couldn't help myself, I ordered a novel yesterday, I'm supposed to be clearing my book stash not adding to it. Underneath the book is a dot to dot book for kids but I am unable to see the numbers clearly and the finished pictures are not quite as intended :)

I have a jigsaw puzzle of lots of of puppies to start on next, we are going to make it together. What are you doing to keep yourselves occupied now we are safe at home?

Remember, we are not stuck at home, we are safe at home.

Sunday, 29 March 2020


When I walked Annie today I called on a friend who lives nearby. I needed to know that she was alright as she lives at home by herself. I stood half way down her garden path and asked if she needed anything or any groceries. I told her I'd managed to place an online grocery order to be delivered tomorrow and I could add to it if there was anything she needed. She said she didn't need anything as another friend worked in a supermarket and had brought her some provisions. I'm so pleased she has good friends to look out for her.

I felt I had to tell her my news and she was so upset for me, I felt cruel inflicting it on her. She's the sort of lady who always, always gives both my husband and I a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. It hurt her greatly that she was unable to do so today. She told me she loved me and blew me a kiss. About an hour later she came to my home with a card containing a a very personal message, she stretched out as she handed it to me. That had me in tears again.

I'm finding it so hard breaking my bad news as it is upsetting for the people on the receiving end. Any other time we could have sat together, had a cup of coffee, held hands but hell, doing this half way down a garden path is so awful.

Walk with me

So yesterday I took my short, daily walk hoping to see my horse. Not my horse of course but I'm hoping he'll become my new friend :)

He came to the fence but only because the grass is greener on the other side

I saw some other heartwarming sights on my journey

Flying the Union Jack 

A picture of support for our wonderful NHS workers

Bears in windows for children to spot on their walks

 Cherry blossom on trees

A discarded bottle in a planter

What? Beer bottles on our tidy estate.  Look again, someone getting rid of corona...Clever!

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Come to me

My daily exercise yesterday was to walk just the few streets away to see if the horse was in his field and he was :) He totally ignored me but that's fine. Perhaps one day he'll look up and come over and say hello.

I used to love going to see the horses in the field next to the park but since the land was sold it has remained empty, no horses, no sheep, no nothing. I used to take the horses some celery or apples and they'd come over to the fence looking for treats.

Sadly I have nothing to take to lonesome horse at the moment but I have managed to secure a supermarket home delivery slot for Monday so I'll order a small bag of carrots and hope he's there when the weather if fine like it is at the moment. The sun is shining and I can hear the birds singing.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Thank you

At eight o' clock yesterday evening my husband and I stood together in our small back garden and clapped our hands for our wonderful NHS workers dealing with this coronavirus crisis. Our immediate neighbour is an admin worker for the NHS, a valuable role and she was outside with her young family clapping their hands alongside  people in neighbouring houses outside in the street. It was an emotional couple of minutes, my husband put his arm around my shoulders and I cried.

I have first hand experience of the dedication of our NHS staff. It was only last week a doctor literally held my hand and gently stroked my arm as radiographers and nurses did their work alongside me.

I want to say thank you to my wonderful daughter. Even though she lives in England she managed to arrange for a community volunteer to phone me and a lovely lady who lives locally came and did a couple of errands for me, collecting my husband's prescription from the pharmacy and calling at the post office for me. I can call on her if there is anything we need or just someone to talk to, such a caring and beautiful person. My daughter also contacted a politician, our Welsh Assembly member for our area and he was kind enough to reply to her and will address her concerns.

I want to say thank you to my blogging friends, with me in spirit as I travel on this journey. I reached out to you and you replied with kindness and understanding.

Thank you
I applaud you one and all 

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

It's oh so quiet

I've had my once a day exercise taking Annie to the dunes this morning. We didn't meet anyone on the dunes path just saw one solitary man  on the bench on the mound. That's a nice quiet place overlooking the sea to gather your thoughts.

This afternoon I had to travel for medical needs. The Expressway was exceptionally quiet of traffic and we arrived at my appointment way ahead of time. It's a beautiful warm, sunny day almost like a summer's day but without the influx of tourists.

Now hubby and I are isolating ourselves. Still no delivery slots for our online shopping but we'll be alright for a week or two. I'm going to keep on blogging but it may well be something about nothing :)

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Taking no chances

I've been out for my daily exercise and happy to see our friendly neighbourhood giraffe is taking no chances.

He's staying at home in his garden and making no unnecessary journeys or social contact. He's staying at least six feet away from other giraffes and as you can see he's wearing a protective face mask.

I had wondered if I passed too close and he sneezed would I be showered in giraffe germs but I'm so pleased to see he is taking sensible precautions.
I love that giraffe :-)   


Sunday, 22 March 2020

Mother's Day

My daughter sent me the perfect Mother's Day card which really made me laugh out loud.
She said being awesome is obviously hereditary, haha!

She's a chip off the old block :)

She told me she was sending me a gift but the parcel wasn't delivered until 4.40 p.m. but was worth the wait, it's lovely and again very much appreciated.

My son is working nights and is very busy in London as you can imagine. He's never been one for sending cards but he's been in contact with us and that's all that matters.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Surprises and shopping

Thank you to family and  friends who have sent me good wishes and offered emotional support at this difficult time in my life, every message has been much appreciated.

My daughter told me to expect a pampering gift set to arrive at my home and I was surprised to receive such a lovely gift when I had been anticipating bubble bath. This is much more welcome and thank you so much for a very kind and thoughtful gift.

We've agreed that she musn't come to visit us because we are all in self-isolation due to having underlying health conditions.

I took Annie to our local park yesterday and avoided the few other dog walkers who we encountered which isn't that many as we live in a very quiet area, in fact I have always jokingly referred to here as God's waiting room.

Last evening our air fryer gave up the ghost and I was keen to replace it. I looked online and I could have had one delivered for a small charge but on comparing prices discovered I could buy it cheaper from another store on the same retail park and have the old fryer recycled for free. This was a dilemma but I decided to go early this morning before the store became busy, take the old fryer for recycling and save some money. I needn't have worried about crowds but the sales assistant wasn't keen to take the old fryer from me. I decided on the spot if there was no recycling then there would be no sale, anyway he must have read my mind because he reluctantly agreed to take the old fryer from me and I now have a brand new replacement.

While I was there I called into the nearby supermarket for a few basics like milk, eggs and bread. I usually do my shopping online and have it delivered but the earliest slot is now four weeks away and that just won't do. I have a delivery saver contract but there is no priority given to regular customers. My last delivery was a week ago and had lots of substitutions and I actually returned some items which were not to my taste. I have not been one of those panic buyers and have witnessed them in action and there are some very selfish individuals. Luckily I have always kept a decent stock in my food cupboard and freezer and I have a good stock of toilet rolls, soap and washing liquid etcetera.

Unfortunately I don't have any family living nearby who can help out with my shopping. I'm reluctant to ask neighbours although I'm sure they wouldn't refuse to help if the knew our current circumstances. I've heard that even these special hours the supermarkets are dedicating to the elderly and vulnerable are extremely busy which rather defeats the object of social distancing. I commented elsewhere just how much I have appreciated human contact this week, a hug, a touch on my arm and a squeeze of my hand. It's a tough balancing act but thank goodness friends and family can stay in touch online and by phone. I'm blessed to have such caring family and friends.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

A good hug

I had two hospital appointments scheduled for today but the one at the eye clinic was cancelled at short notice. I'd been referred to another specialist prior to surgery but I fully understand the reason for the cancellation due to the coronanvirus crisis.

My other hospital appointment was more urgent. I met someone I'd known for a long time who'd also been recalled for more tests. She wanted to give me a hug but said she couldn't but we hugged anyway.

On the way home hubby and I stopped for coffee and cake and the cafe which is usually crowded was empty bar for one man sitting on the upper level.

 Hubby and I are in self-isolation. We have enough food and toilet rolls to keep us going for a while.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Poor Annie

I had to take Annie to the vets yesterday. I was having a soak in the  bath when I heard her cry out like I've never heard her before. Hubby said he heard a thud first so we think she has either fallen backwards trying to get onto our bed or has fallen off the bed. After about five or ten minutes she got up and seemed OK but I needed her to be checked over. She was due her three monthly checkup anyway and  needed a repeat prescription for her medication.

Annie was seen by a very nice vet who was very thorough and confirmed Annie has no injuries to her spine or legs but said she still has some noise on her lungs and her heart murmur was still a grade 4.  She also said that Annie's heart rhythm is irregular and doesn't go lub dub lub dub like it should do. So another increase in her tablets it is and we'll continue to treasure every day with her.

I went and bought a baby gate for the top of the stairs today, I need to know where she is and what she's up to at all times now. A baby gate had been suggested to me some time ago but unfortunately I didn't buy one then but better late than never.

Just a couple of photos taken this morning to show she is right as rain and still as cheeky as ever.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Not things you see everyday

Yesterday I walked through the town centre to take Annie to the beach. On my way I encountered a large stuffed toy giraffe leaning against a bench :)

Then there was this guy collecting money for sitting on fresh air ;-) I've seen him in a different town and given him money for a photo, but not this time.

Then on the seafront the recent high tides have washed up half a forest onto the promenade.

The steps down to the beach are steep and Annie no longer wants to go down them. It really is surprising that the tide managed to wash up so much debris. The power of the sea.

Twelve years ago

 Wishing my daughter and son-in-law a very happy 12th wedding anniversary.

They had a dog-friendly wedding. 
It was a lovely, joyous day. 
At the end of the ceremony when they were pronounced man and wife, Eric did the typical lurcher Aarrooooo :)

(Sadly their Eric and my Amber are no longer with us)

Saturday, 14 March 2020

A tenuous claim to fame

Hubby's family tree has proved difficult to research as he is Welsh born and bred and has many of the most common Welsh surnames in his tree.  However I made an exciting breakthrough when I discovered that his great grandmother was born in London and came to Wales as a servant in the 1880's along with a sister who also worked for the same family as a nurse. Much later in 1898 another older married sister came to live in north Wales with her husband and two of her sons Albert and William Dodman. These sons are hubby's first cousins twice removed.

Albert and William had trained as boot makers and cobblers but young William was looking for business opportunities. The mining industry around Wrexham provided that opportunity. All the miners needed boots and William was the man to provide them. He opened a workshop churning out worker's clogs, he  established a shoe shop in the town and never looked back.  William  became one of Wrexham's most influential residents and businessmen. He and also found time to follow his many other interests in football, boxing, and amateur dramatics. He was a local councillor and elected as the town mayor in 1931. He even gained the contract to repair the boots of US servicemen stationed in Wrexham during the Second World War.

William had opened a gymnasium in the town and in 1912 young Johnny Basham came to Wrexham as a recruit with the Royal Welch Fusiliers. However, it was Johnny's boxing career that made him famous and William Dodman became Johnny's trainer and manager. Johnny became the first Welterweight Champion to win the Lonsdale Belt and shortly afterwards he won the European Championship. He later moved up to Middle Weight where he became European Champion winning the title in 1921. During his career Johnny had 91 professional fights, winning 68 and drew 6. He died in 1947.

     The brilliantly named Johnny Basham
Internet photo

William's granddaughter Gaynor who is my husband's third cousin finally closed Dodman's shoe shop in Wrexham in 2003 after it being in business for more than a century. You can read her story here.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Whatever the weather

Nothing much to blog about at the moment so the weather is as good a topic as any. It was a lovely day on Friday so we had a run out to Conwy. Lovely blue sky and quite a bit warmer than of late, even the sightseeing cruise boat was sailing. We were lured into a cafe with the promise of coffee and doorstep toast with butter from their menu. However on taking a seat inside we were told they only had thin bread available but we could have extra. What a disappointment that turned out to be as thin toast simply does not cut it.

This is a photo I took this morning, different beach and what a difference in the weather so I dived into a nearby cafe to escape the drizzly rain. I ordered coffee to go and toasted teacakes to eat in the car. I had a look in the gift shop while I waited and saw this pawsome  hanging sign for sale and thought it would be ace for the sidebar of my blog :)

Hopefully I will have some blogworthy news next week.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

A wheely nice day

Following on from yesterday's blog post  I was reminded I'd totally forgotten to mention we'd bought a new car. We decided to downsize and apart from it needing a good wash it's a good little runner What do you think?

OK - not really :-) 

I haven't seen a  Robin Reliant in years, in fact my brother-in-law used to own one. Today I've seen two in a short space of time. We were travelling behind this souped-up one along the promenade and I was willing the traffic lights to be on red so I could take a quick photo. My goodness it had a roar for a three wheeler. It made me laugh out loud as I read " Don't worry I cable tied it"!

I was on my way to yet another car park but this time to a very different set of wheels.

Look at that beautiful blue sky, such a lovely day for it :-)

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Bad manners

Hubby has to have regular blood tests, so today we visited the hospital for his blood to be taken. It's almost impossible to find a vacant car parking space in the hospital car park mid-morning but after running round a few times we managed to secure a space after seeing someone else leave. The outpatients department isn't in the main hospital but in a separate building across the road. Even the road is jam packed with parked cars on either side.

As hubby was about to enter the outpatients department we witnessed a white van trying to reverse park into a small space. The driver got so close to the red car in front he actually scraped the paintwork and then to our amazement just drove off. So while hubby was in the outpatients department I waited outside with Annie as the tests don't usually take very long. At the end of the road is a crossroads and I was amazed to see the van driver had driven around the block and parked the van in the road opposite. I watched the driver get out and examine the damage to his van so I took a sneaky photo of the scrapes he had caused to the parked red car with the intention of walking down to look at the damage to the van once hubby had left the outpatients department.

So hubby comes out and I start to tell him that the driver of the van had parked in the road opposite, that I'd taken a photo of the scrapes to the red car and I was going to walk down the road and see what damage he'd done to his van. At that moment a man at the side of me said that it was he who'd scraped the car. I told him I'd watched it happen, seen him drive away and I'd seen him examining his own van so he was well aware of what he'd done. He replied that he was now waiting to see if anyone left the building to return to the red car and he'd own up. I said he could be waiting all day if the owner of the car worked in the hospital to which the man replied he would go back to his van and get a pen and paper to leave a note on the car.  At no time had he been to look at the damage he'd caused to the car so I didn't believe him. The man seemed quite irate with me so I told him it had nothing to do with me really apart from the fact I was a witness.

Hubby and I  crossed the road and returned to the hospital car park and just as we were driving out we saw the van driver driving away. He hadn't returned with a pen and paper and as we later commented he could have done that in the first place. No, we think he was waiting to pick someone up from the outpatients  and having overheard my conversation with hubby and that I intended to check his van he thought he'd make a quick getaway. Unfortunately I hadn't seen the man approach or stand next to me. I actually wanted the ground to open up  and swallow me when I realised he was the offending van driver listening to my conversation but even so I wasn't afraid to confront him. Talk about bad manners, his not mine :)

Sunday's viewings

Just a  couple of photos from yesterday's walk at the harbour, it was a bright day despite all those clouds. I stood and watched the lif...