Thursday, 28 May 2020

Family present and past

My daughter arranged for this card to be sent to us and on the reverse side is a lovely personal message. I've put it on the fridge door so each day I'll be reminded that she's thinking about us and wants to see us as much as we want to see her. We'd give anything to be able to give each other a big hug but of course it's not possible yet and she is not allowed to travel into Wales from England. I'd give anything to walk with her two greyhounds again but of course it's not possible. We've just had a nice long chat on the phone and we keep in touch often but obviously it's not the same as seeing her in person. Our son sends emails but he has a busy life in London and we worry about him and the job he does and we'd love to see him and our daughter-in-law again soon.

I've been trying to keep my mind off the treatment I am about to undertake. So late last evening I posted hubby's fourth attempt at a DNA test after the previous three tests failed to produce  a result and thankfully the post box is only a very short walk from our home. I had sent off for the free replacement test kit many weeks ago but it has sat unopened on our dining table.  I haven't had any interest in doing the family research for at least two months, I've tried a couple of times but I haven't been able to concentrate for one reason or another, studying records and documents needs full attention.  Then yesterday I suddenly decided to activate the test kit and hubby provided his saliva sample although he says it will definitely be the last time if this one fails again.  I'd spent an hour or so looking at some records of a third cousin from four generations ago who'd emigrated to the USA in the the 1890s at the age I am now and as sometimes happens I stumbled upon something interesting that needs further research. If I can keep up my present enthusiasm this will keep me occupied for the next few months, so fingers crossed.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Happy and upset

Today is a special day for us but I'm not meaning because it's the late May day bank holiday, nope it's special for us because it's our wedding anniversary. We won't be going out for a meal like we would normally do as no restaurants are open because of the lockdown. The supermarkets are open though and I've just had my weekly grocery shopping delivered, I'd ordered a bottle of prosecco and a box of chocolate truffles. Forty six years together is a big achievement but there's no cards or gifts we'll simply enjoy a nice meal for two this evening and celebrate at home. Somehow I don't think we'll be raising a toast to another forty six years together but we will be raising a toast to our future happiness.

It's been a tough old year this year. Another hospital visit for me again this week to have some blood tests and all being well I will start my chemotherapy treatment early next week and I'm remaining positive and hopeful that I will get through this alright. It'll be more important than ever for me to shield at home once my treatment starts and sorry but I am so upset that I need to write this here. For the last nine weeks the vast majority of people have been following official government advice to help stop the spread of the virus. We've had it drummed into us to stay at home and not to travel. Last evening I listened to our Prime Minister condone the breaking of the rules by his chief adviser, so is it one rule for them and another for everyone else?  I'm just wondering now if people will bother to self isolate if they have symptoms making it more likely there will be a second more deadly wave of the virus. It beggars belief it really does.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Not a windhund

Here is my new wind chime dog hanging in the tree all charged up with solar power. It's still very windy today but thankfully not as rough as it was yesterday.

Having read my previous blog post my daughter informed me the German word for greyhound is windhund but she thinks my windhund might need a diet :)  She would know that as not only has she got two beautiful greyhounds, she is learning to speak German and she loves  to visit Berlin and her German friends.

Firstly we took not a windhund into our garage and turned out the lights to test if he lights up and he does.

 Then I photographed the English side of the box.

How can you tell there's not much to blog about anymore :)

Friday, 22 May 2020

In the garden and my bargain buy

It's blowing a gale here today and the wind is battering the plants I put in yesterday. I'd been to the local garden centre and was pleased to see they are being very careful with their social distancing measures in place, much better than the place we'd visited the day before.

On returning home with the plants I chatted to a neighbour from across the road. She knows about my health condition and asked how I was. I explained that I will start my treatment very soon and it's going to be a lengthy process. I think we'll be writing off the rest of this year as we'll be shielding at home even if lockdown measures are eased. I was thrilled when later in the afternoon she rang our doorbell and left a bouquet of flowers to cheer me me up, so very nice of her to do that and much appreciated.

I'll add some photos of what I bought and planted yesterday, photos taken in the strong wind today.  I bought this wind chime to hang in the tree but it's too windy to put it up today! I've photographed the box from this side as my daughter likes dogs and most things German :)

I am no gardener so I don't know much about plants so it's fingers crossed and hope for the best. 

Three Pinks, two in a tub and one in my camper van planter

In the raised bed a Salvia and a Genista. I had to point out an anomaly to the sales assistant, the Genista was £7.99 each or 2 for £35 - so I only bought one :)

and last but not least a Red Hot Poker Primula

So that's my lot in the garden and leaving the house and hopefully I will be able to sit outside and enjoy the summer months. Now if only this gale force wind would drop!

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Taking precautions and in my garden

I needed to go to the post office today to post a parcel and withdraw some cash. Our window cleaner came a couple of days ago and we hadn't seen him  since March. He explained he was diabetic and had been self isolating and if we were happy for him to clean the windows then he was happy to resume his duties, so I put his cash into an envelope and all seems well and my windows are sparkling.

My face masks arrived in the post yesterday and are a huge improvement on my makeshift one as my specs don't steam up in these medical grade masks. I bought them from the diabetes online shop if anyone needs to buy one. I'm not diabetic but my husband is and we both need to be very careful when going out on our essential journeys. We will have to shield at home for many months to come once my treatment starts.

I called to buy a couple of plants while I was out, people in Wales are allowed to visit garden centres.  I have to say the plants on sale looked badly in need of water so I stood the two I bought in a bowl and gave them a good drink once I returned home. I do love fuchsias and this one caught my eye.

I have two fuchsias in my mole garden already, a red one and a pink one.

For those who don't know why I have a mole garden it's because my son works underground. He told me yesterday that many of his colleagues are either off work sick, self isolating or shielding and a former colleague of his has passed away from the virus. Take no chances my dear friends.

My other purchase is a red star cordyline plant

My climbing roses are looking lovely and hubby's yellow rose is catching up but does not look like the yellow rose on it's label but no matter, it's tinged with red and looks beautiful.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Last week

I'm beginning to get cabin fever from staying at home. What makes things worse is being aware that once my lengthy cancer treatment starts then going out won't be an option as it'll be even more important to avoid being exposed to this damn virus.

So what have we been doing. Well hubby had a birthday and I'd ordered him a birthday cake to be delivered with the grocery shopping. I only put eight candles on it as I didn't want to risk setting off the smoke alarms :)

Hubby enjoyed his birthday spent at home and had some lovely cards and gifts. When the postman delivered something I'd ordered  for him I saw his face drop as he correctly guessed I'd bought him a mug but he didn't expect an Annie look alike in a heart and it's true to say he really likes it.

He has completed a birthday wasjig this week and I've photographed the lid and jigsaw separately so you can see how different the puzzle is from the picture. This one is a bit saucy and reminds us of those old seaside postcards you could buy.

On Thursday afternoon the postman delivered the book I'd ordered and had been eagerly waiting for  and I'm already half way through. It's the sequel to the book my blogging friend Eunice kindly sent to me and it's just as good as I'd anticipated.

Sadly Queenie is dying in a hospice but waiting for Harold to arrive. The book is both gently humorous and moving. I thoroughly recommend the two books.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Face and hair

This scarf was a gift to me from my daughter-in-law, she sent it to me from Japan but quite a long time ago. I now fold it in half and use it to cover my face on the rare occasions I leave the house. I've ordered a couple of those good quality face masks recommended for use by the WHO during this coronavirus outbreak but I'm still waiting for them to arrive.

My hair, well it is in need of a good cut now but I've resisted the temptation to take hubby's hair clippers to it and he won't do it for me as he's worried he'll be in trouble if I'm not happy with the result. 

He's given me permission to post a photo I took a couple of years ago of a disastrous haircut which was entirely his own fault. He passed the hair clipper to me and as soon as I made that first cut I realised the guard wasn't on it. This is the finished result but the accidental first cut was still noticeable. He wore a hat for a few weeks after that particular haircut. Strangely enough we're much more careful now. He's just told me to stop laughing :)

Tuesday, 12 May 2020


When I started this blog at the beginning of the year if anyone had told me what this year had in store I wouldn't have believed them, it's like living in a parallel universe.

Last week I really believed that Bank Holiday Monday was on Monday, it said so on the calendar. It didn't feel like any other day but that's the new normal now. I had somehow missed the fact the Bank Holiday had been moved back four days to Friday. The weather forecaster on the TV was talking about the coming Bank Holiday weekend and I wondered what he was talking about as we'd just had the Bank Holiday.

I had my hospital appointment on Thursday and had been given a lot to think about over the coming Bank Holiday weekend. So Friday came and I took myself for a walk to the park as I hadn't been out of the house for two weeks apart from the hospital visit. It was a lovely, warm sunny day and many people were sat out in their front gardens eating and drinking and I merrily said cheers to a few folk as I passed by but keeping my distance. I had by this time realised they were having street parties to celebrate the anniversary of VE Day. My walk to the park gave me some thinking time but just wasn't the same anymore not having my little dog with me, it had been five weeks since we said a final goodbye to her.

I've been looking through old photographs of Annie as we are both missing her dreadfully. I came across this one which I like, taken at a time when we had the two dogs who got on so well together. They both loved going out in the car and loved their walks especially if we took them to the beach. I emailed this photo to a friend who replied that Annie looks like she's wondering if we're there yet :) Ignore the red threads on the top of her legs they were from the red jumper she used to wear.

Now here's the thing that confuses me the most. On Friday it was announced that the lockdown in Wales has been extended for a further three weeks with some minor adjustments. At least our local garden centre will reopen soon but with social distancing measures in place but only one person per household at a time please.  From tomorrow my daughter and son-in-law who live over the border in England can get in their car, drive wherever they want to, take their dogs for unlimited amounts of exercise but no, oh no they are not allowed to come and visit us because we live in Wales. I'll look on the bright side though, I start my chemotherapy soon! Is all this really for real?

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Looking ahead

It's been two whole weeks since I left the house but I've been resting, relaxing and recuperating after my operation three weeks ago. I've read all of the novel kindly sent to me by my good friend Eunice and I enjoyed it so much I've ordered the sequel. Hubby's completed another Wasgij and is currently upstairs choosing another to start on. I bought him no less than eight jigsaws for Christmas so two down just six to go!

Look what I saw through my living room window yesterday. I had to take a sneaky photo through the vertical blinds. It's the horse I like to go and see in the nearby field and I don't think I've ever seen him being ridden before. The lady rider was having a five minute social distancing conversation with the driver of the car. Made my day it really did :)

Today I had the phone call I was expecting and have a hospital appointment booked for tomorrow to discuss further treatment. I feel very fortunate in the midst of this current epidemic and I can't praise our NHS highly enough.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Remembering Annie

Today would have been Annie's 13th Gotcha Day and this is the story of how she came into our lives.

It was March 2007 and we'd taken a donation to our local animal shelter and I'd promised myself to drop off the cheque and not look at dogs needing re-homing but of course I did look at them. There was a little Patterdale terrier that caught my eye  but we weren't considering having another dog at that particular time and we returned home. Over the next couple of weeks I couldn't stop thinking about that little dog and convinced myself our dog Amber needed a companion. By the time I phoned to enquire about that little dog I was too late as he had already been re-homed.

It was love at first sight - little orphan Annie

I was a member of a dog rescue forum which was closely linked to the greyhound rescue that my daughter and son-in-law were actively involved with. It was on that forum that I spotted Annie. She was being fostered in Essex. We didn't know anything about her background except that she needed some tender loving care. The rescue arranged a home check which we waited an anxious couple of weeks  for and during that time there was plenty of other interest being shown in offering Annie a home. Having been deemed suitable adopters, a  request for a transport run was made to get Annie here to us. Unfortunately there was only one volunteer to take Annie just over forty miles on the first leg of the journey and son-in-law kindly volunteered to make the two hundred and eighty mile round trip to collect her. We will be eternally grateful to our son-in-law for making that journey.  I had no choice but to work that day as we were stocktaking, so after finishing work at about 6.30 p.m. on Saturday, 5th May 2007 husband and I together with Amber our dog travelled  to our daughter's home in the Midlands. By the time we arrived Annie had already bonded with their dog Eric.

Annie came with  a letter from her foster carer, some food and toys together with a note from the vet's surgery that had treated her informing us she weighed just 9kg and was underweight.  The letter is dated April 2007 and they'd even nominated a birth date of 1st July, 2006.

We stayed overnight with Annie sleeping in our room in our daughter's home but the following day Annie much preferred to share a sofa-bed with their dog Eric, they'd had some lovely playtime together.

The three  dogs enjoyed a walk together before our journey to what would become Annie's forever home in north Wales, I'd even treated her to a new Wales dog disc in preparation for her arrival. She sat contentedly on my knee in the front of our car while daughter, son-in-law and Eric followed in their own car.

The following day we introduced Annie to the beach, her first taste of ice cream and the thrill of racing through the sand dunes with her new best friends. She wasn't keen on the sea and seemed to be frightened of the incoming waves.

This was to be the start of her new life with us and Amber and she enjoyed many more adventures with Eric. How she'd changed from that skinny, little dog I saw online to the  gorgeous, scruffy love of our lives.

 just a few more photos

the sideways glance

this photo was taken by Eunice aka Tigermouse when we met in 2016

this photo is my computer screensaver
Annie and Amber eager for their beach walk even in the snow

what more can I say ....  she was unique!

Sleep tight Angel Annie xx

 Sadly Amber passed away in 2012, Eric in 2016 and Annie in April 2020. 

It would be nice to think they are all together again, running free.

Friday, 1 May 2020

A nice cup of tea

There not being much to blog about at the moment with not going out and not doing anything but rest, relax and recuperate I thought you might like a post about tea. I was so pleased to receive the gift of a hamper from my son and daughter-in-law who both live and work in London, it meant more to me than the gift itself.

When I unpacked the contents of the gift hamper I realised the caddy contained loose leaf tea. I mainly drink coffee but we always have a box of tea bags on the go and it's years since I used loose leaf tea. Hubby fished out our old teapot from somewhere in the depths of the cupboard but I didn't have a tea strainer, I used to have one at one time but it must have been thrown away. No matter, I was able to order one online and wait for it to arrive. So yesterday we were able to enjoy a nice cup of tea and enjoy it we did. We have yet to sample the tasty sounding chocolate pearl biscuits and damson and claret jam. I can still remember in my mind's eye my mother's tea caddy and spoon, I was always fascinated with the caddy spoon for some reason, I think I may have to source one and make taking afternoon tea a habit :)

Last week

Once again nothing much to report just my daily walks with Tilly. The other day I took her to the harbour and walking alongside the river  w...