Tuesday, 27 February 2018

New Blogging Goal

Just found this blog and apart from the news about my new grandson I haven't blogged here in months.

So I plan to post weekly with my life updates.

The latest is that I now have a new washing machine that is virtually noise free and doesn't try to escape from the flat during the fast spin.

Monday, 26 February 2018

I'm a Grandma again

Robert Laurence Steven has arrived to join his big sister, Scarlett.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017


I am so far unconvinced that the story of my life has that much potential to be entertaining but it might be informative…hopefully both.
I always felt that writing my memoirs was an idea that was pretty indulgent and I was uncertain that many people would be that interested in reading about little old me. But looking back on my life I find that much of what I have done could be helpful to people who may be going through the same things that I have done, only they would be reading it now…if that makes sense.
During my life I have experienced several kinds of schooling and growing up in a services family (dad and both brothers served in the navy). I have had experience of being a parent and carer to two young people, and then adults with special needs, have gone through a divorce, have experienced long term disability and have been a cult member.
I have worked as a ‘listening ear’ for various groups and have been told I am a good listener generally. I like to think that the people I have helped short term will remember what they learned long term and were able to move on. It’s hard to know how I have helped people long term as only a handful of people have got back to me out of the thousands that initially have had contact with.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Feeding Swans, Ducks and Geese - the right way

Feeding Swans, Ducks and Geese - the right way

Please note that their natural diet is best for them and that filling them up with food that is not part of their natural diet should be avoided, as it will prevent them from getting the nutrition they need as well as being potentially harmful.

However, when winter conditions set in and little food is available - our help in providing food is likely to be very appreciated and may be even life-saving.

What NOT to feed:

Anything that is NOT healthy for us: sugary, starchy, fatty foods, junk food, fast food.

Bread, chips, cakes, cookies, and cereal, etc - as these foods can cause digestive and serious other health problem.

Cooked and processed foods.

What to feed:

Note: Any food fed to them should be in manageable size for swallowing. Foods should be as natural as possible, unprocessed without harmful additives.

Particularly in the winter months when grasses or other plant vegetation is scarce, greens such as dark green lettuce, spinach, chopped/shredded carrots, celery and alfalfa sprouts and other vegetables and greens make a great supplement. Note that lettuce may be an acquired taste and the swans may take a while to get used to it. Any vegetables need to be cut up into small pieces. Remember, birds don't have teeth!

Other foods to feed: Healthy popcorn (without artificial coloring and flavorings); corn / cracked corn; whole wheat GRAIN (not processed, not bread - natural state grain); whole oats; brown rice, lentils, split peas and smallish seeds

Equally loved and cherished are peelings from our own food preparations for dinner, such as broccoli, potatoes, green beans, cabbage -- gently steamed (only enough to warm up - NEVER cook and NEVER use the microwave to warm up) and feed warm (not hot) to swans who will especially appreciate that when it's cold outside

Sunday, 25 June 2017

It's Getting Scary Now

Just got the news that I can't get on the heart transplant list until my BMI is below 30 and I just checked and mine is over 34.
To be in the healthy range I need to be around 25 which is around 12st for my height...so still have more than 4 stone to lose.
Pottered around in the garden for a bit today but am wiped out now so am resting up for a day or two
I like to plan ahead and consider all options. The state of play right now is I have only just started on the first of several steps I need to take before I get on the list. 
I am planning to keep losing weight while I work through all the medical stuff then hopefully things will come together

Friday, 16 June 2017

Alzheimer's.....A daughter's view. by Jaquie Williams

Alzheimer's.....A daughter's view.
(Written by my awesome big sister)
Hi all. It's been a while since I've posted about how mums doing ....and she's doing ok.
I didn't feel that I could really post anything for a few months as family and friends have lost loved ones recently and it just didn't seem like the right thing to do somehow.
But as the Alzheimer's Society are raising awareness again, this week, I thought I'd let you know how mum is and how we're learning to live with things.
When we went to see mum this week she was asleep at first but soon woke up when we opened up the Cadbury' fingers! We had a bit of a sing song, as usual, and I told her all the news. I never know if she takes it in but I tell her anyway just in case. At one point mum reached across and tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear and said 'that's better'. I could have cried. These personal, tender moments are so rare these days. They are so precious and mean the world to me now. I just wish I could remember, clearly, how she used to talk to me and how we laughed together before Alzheimer's started to steal her away.
This afternoon one of mums carers came and sat with us too while we chatted together. We talked about mums life before she was so ill, the places where she'd worked and the countries around the world that she'd visited, always including mum in the conversation, trying to jog her memory in some way. Mum's carer said 'such a strong woman' and I agreed, saying that mum has always been strong and determined and never lets things get her down. Even now she still has a smile on her face and whistles a happy tune, making the best of the situation she's in.
As the carer got up to leave she turned and with a smile on her face, she said' yes your mum is a strong woman, but I was really talking about you'.
Well, I can only say, as I'm sure those of you who've been on the front line of dementia will agree, we certainly don't feel that strong at times. I've had my fair share of wobbles and meltdowns, believe you me, usually when least expected, as my closest friends can tell you. The emotional torture of seeing a loved one slowly fade away before your very eyes is heartbreaking and so cruel. It's enough to make the toughest person weep, and I've certainly done that on many occasions, and I still get that lump in my throat and tear in my eye when I see mum shuffling along in her odd slippers, a fragile shadow of her former vibrant self, or when she tells me to 'go away' in her colourful way, glaring at me angrily, wondering who the hell I am. Every week, when we visit, I wake up with those anxious butterflies in my stomach and that tightness in my chest, nervous about how mums going to be that day.
But things are becoming calmer. Familiarity with the situation means it becomes a way of life. And acceptance is a wonderful thing.
In those years when mums illness was really taking its toll on mum and us, when we couldn't really understand what was happening, and when she first moved into the care home, the feelings of desperation, frustration, anger, resentment and stress were overwhelming, and I would beat myself up everyday for feeling that way. I now know, through talking to others in the same situation and reading comments on dementia carers forums, that most people feel this way and it's understandable under the circumstances. But the guilt, the sadness and the helplessness were the worst. I kept thinking that I should be able to fix this....but of course nobody can fix it. You just do what you can.
Even though it's hard, and the responsibility weighs heavily on my shoulders at times, I'm glad that I'm the one...... With my husband at my side sharing the load and with my sister's invaluable, emotional support....I'm glad that I'm the one to be mums primary carer and advocate. I was always going to be the one....just because I was here and because I was the best one for the job. I'm not a strong person, I'm a bag of nerves most of the time but I now realise that I'm stronger than I thought I ever could be.....and I'm proud of what I've done, so far, for my lovely mum, and I know that mum would be proud of me too, if only she knew.....
Please feel free to share this if you think it will help others in a similar situation.....there's a lot of us out there. Stay strong. X

Saturday, 1 April 2017

One Year On

Today is the first anniversary of when I came home from hospital following multiple organ failure, a cardiac arrest and several days in a coma.

Some of the advice I was given was just silly. My copy of the Heart Matters magazine turned up in the post with some advice from a male cardiac arrest survivor, which included making goals like making a cup of tea...lol

The day I came home I was cleaning the flat, making the bed, doing the laundry and I was back in my previous role as a full time carer.

I was meant to spend some time convalescing only I haven't started on that yet.

On the upside I have managed to fit pottering about in our tiny garden most mornings.

I bought some long handled shears to cut my lawn with and thought I was doing a good job going out there each morning and snipping away.
Billy just asked me if I wanted someone to come round and mow the lawn for me.
We have very different ideas about lawns. I like the grass to be green and I love all the tiny flowers that randomly appear to add colour.
Apparently Billy prefers a yellow patchy lawn with loads of headless flowers

Today I was in the garden around 7:30 am. While I was out there some plants turned up so I had to clear some space and prepare the ground to plant 12 ground cover plants. It took ages and I was still out there just before noon when the groceries were delivered.

I'm finished with gardening today so will get back with it tomorrow if it doesn't rain too much.

I'm up and down energy wise and my balance is a bit off for much of the day but can currently walk the 50 yards or so to the post box and back with only needing a day or so of taking it easy.