Monday, 21 November 2011

Lovely Party Yesterday

Really enjoyed the party to celebrate the Ruby Wedding anniversary of my good friends Sue and Dave. It's quite an achievement in this day and age. Their family and friends met up for a good lunch, and a great time was had by all. We met at the St Peters Finger pub; most impressed with the choice of menu.
I was one of three bridesmaids at their wedding, and we were all there, and recreated the photos which were taken at the time. Guess we all looked a little different!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Praise for the NHS

The NHS has come in for a lot of criticism recently, a lot of it with due cause I think. However, praise where it's due - last Thursday Mike had an appointment for laser surgery at Bournemouth Hospital. The actual procedure took little more than 5 minutes, and the results are brilliant.

The next day, while driving he commented how clear things looked compared to recent times. He'll never have excellent sight in that eye, but he'd not noticed how bad things had become until the treatment. All praise to the doctor and the technology involved.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Flu jabs today

Glad that we've managed to have our flu jabs this morning, before all the winter bugs are let loose!

What a contrast in temperatures this week to last weekend. Mike was swimming in the sea just a week ago, now we're thinking of getting sweaters out. The good thing is that with the changing weather, the plants are becoming even more colourful with their autumn shades.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

An early start, an incontinent dog and lunch at European time

Up at 5.30 to take my brother to hospital. I'd prepared breakfast last evening, thought I had little to do, only to discover when I went into the kitchen, that poor Gizmo had been 'taken short' in the night. He never makes a mess, but of course he's getting older. Just the wrong morning. We soon caught up though, and I even managed a little walk for Gizmo about 6.15. Left the house at 6.30, and were back again just before 9.
Couldn't go far as we had to wait for the hospital to phone to go and collect brother again. Just about to finish cooking lunch when the hospital rang. He was ready, could we make our way to Blandford.
We decided to put lunch on hold, had a quick banana, plus a glucose tablet, and set off. Lovely day for a drive in the country. Brother taken back home, feeling a little woozy. One relieved wife waiting for him.
We had lunch when we arrived home, about 3.30. Just like being back in Spain! Throws the system here though, as when do we eat our next meal? Gizmo thought it odd too, and told me off for not taking him for a walk at the usual times.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Return to photography and writing groups, and trouble in mouth sorted

Yesterday was like being back in a new school term. In the morning the photography group met up for the first autumn session. We have several new members, so should be very interesting with more feedback and more ideas floating around.
In the afternoon the writing group reconvened, and although we'd expected two new members they didn't turn up. Maybe they're still looking for the venue, or had the wrong date in mind. Look forward to finding out what happened. We had a lot of laughs there as usual, and enjoyed the company so much. It certainly does give the mind and soul a lift.
Back to the dentist this morning. I thought he may be English this time, as I heard somebody say his name is Michael, but he turned out to be a German. However, he seems to have sorted me out now and I can not only enjoy my food again, but converse freely too. (Some say that's not such a blessing.) Great relief to me anyway, so hope he'll stay here for some time.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Trouble in mouth, a miffed pensioner, and a puppy party

Why is it that we spend a fortune on dental care, only to suffer such pain? I've been in pain now for a week and a half, after four visits for something not at all serious - a replacement plate. Can I admit to wearing a plate now I'm this age? It's one of those things we don't like to talk about, but I wonder why, as if we've done something shameful, or neglected to care for our teeth.
It's not so with me; when my adult teeth came through, the four at extreme corners of my mouth were already decayed and had to be removed immediately. This may have been as a result of bad health as a young child and medication for this. Who knows? Whatever the reason I've always looked after my mouth as much as I could. Regular check-ups too.
My dentist has lost its NHS funding, so I've now paid over £300 for the privilege of receiving pain. I'm no stranger to pain; I've had eight operations, so there must have been some pain along the way, most of it long forgotten. When it interferes with my enjoyment of food though, or even conversation, it's serious! Not in terms of life-threatening of course, but quality of life. I'll give the pain one more day, then I'm back again, if not for satisfaction, at least for a refund. Start again maybe. We'll see. The dentist I saw won't be there; he headed off for his own country, Romania, about five minutes after trying to put me right the other day! Coincidence or what?
In between bouts of pain, and various other appointments, this time for Mike (more of which later) we went to the Dorset County Show on Saturday 3rd. I particularly wanted to see Shaun Ellis, the wolf man and really enjoyed his talk and demonstration. I was ready to volunteer to go into the arena, but he asked for young people, i.e. children, so I didn't qualify. A pensioner miffed again, the kids get all the perks!
Mike wanted to see the axe men, and they also were well worth watching - looked dangerous to me. With my passion for dogs, I was pleased that they were followed by the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf - wonderful animals.
Food halls also very tempting! Bought some delicious Dorset cheese with garlic and chives.
Mike's diabetes has been playing up badly over the past few weeks. Having to test blood three times a day and most days very low readings. Would you believe the diabetic nurse only works two days a week in our surgery, when the papers keep reporting that the nation is over-run with diabetics? Crazy or what?
Poor chap had appointment at Swanage Hospital on Monday for eyes, not a problem connected with diabetes as it happens, and he's now waiting for an appointment at Bournemouth Eye Hospital for  laser treatment. Wednesday saw us at Dorchester hospital for an x-ray appointment for him.
Tomorrow he's having some cryotherapy (freezing) at the doctors' surgery, Wednesday reporting to diabetic nurse to see if she can help with the readings, and so it goes on. Is this what being retired is all about? Thursday we're taking my brother to hospital in Blandford, probably collecting him later the same day; if not it will be the following day but they'll have to transfer him to Dorchester if he needs to stay the night.
At least some people are managing to be given appointments. I must return to the surgery to try to see a particular GP, as when I tried to make an appointment the week before last I was told to phone in a couple of weeks as she couldn't give me anything. Since I've not seen him since about February I don't think I'm asking for the moon.
Enough of this pensioner's ranting. A more pleasant situation was a puppy party I attended with my neighbour who has recently acquired a black labrador puppy. It was to socialise young puppies, and there were about eight or nine there, all friendly to each other. It's what I would describe as heaven, being with so many dogs at the same time. Lovely.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

More Flying Ants

Tuesday brought another plague of flying ants to our porch. This time the window wasn't open, so we've yet to discover how they got in. Keep checking now to make sure it's not happening again. Paranoid or what?

Friday, 12 August 2011

Decorator in house.

We're having our hall, stairway and landing painted, so having to crawl upstairs on hands and knees to avoid wet paint. Not easy. Also trying to stop Gizmo from adding dog hairs to it all. Since he sleeps most of the time we're OK so far, but just wait till the gloss has been done!
Since now confined to barracks, have made bread; the delightful aroma encouraging me to eat more than is good for me.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Poetry book

My poetry book 'From Glad (and sometimes sad) to Verse' is now available on the itunes web-site. Just copy and paste the link

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Plenty to photograph

The photography is keeping me busy, along with writing. On 28th June, Mike and I went with the photography group to the RSPB reserve at Arne. Saw and photographed scenery and birds including a Little Egret.
The next morning, in the garden at home, Mike called me to show me moths, attached to the tit-house. They were huge. At first they were not only attached to the wood, but to each other. Later, they were separated out. Very big, and I've not been able to identify them yet. No sign of them now.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Antiques at Lulworth

Last Thursday we went to the Antiques Roadshow at Lulworth Castle. Lovely day, and we went armed with a few items we hoped would turn out to be rare and valuable. No such luck of course, but the up-side to that is that we don't have to worry about insuring them.
We needed plenty of patience while waiting in the queues, but it was interesting to watch how the programme is compiled from loads of edited filming, retakes etc. Not quite as seamless as it appears on the television, but all very organised.

Fiona Bruce was her usual smiling self, and we saw several others who are on the programme. Don't think we'll see ourselves on screen, unless we're in a crowd view somewhere.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Writing competitions

Yesterday I finished the 10 competitions set by Christine Carr for Crystal Magazine. Maybe they're not literary marvels, but at least I finished them! Back now to trying to finish other projects I've started, some a few years back. I'd like to complete them and clear my computer and files.
The writing group I go to was rather depleted yesterday, due to family problems mainly. We struggled on without our leader and managed to set some 'homework' too. Several ideas now for future workshops.
This morning I went to the intermediate computer group I belong to. We were mainly a self-help group today, with discussions as well to solve any queries. All quite interesting, but once I get home things don't seem to work quite the same as they do there! Back to the drawing board as they say.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Do my eyes deceive me?

Feeling quite excited. This afternoon, while walking Gizmo on the field opposite, (recreation ground), I'm about 90% certain that I saw a pair of hoopoes. They flew away so quickly, hence the 10% doubt, but how great would that be, here in Dorset? I shall look again tomorrow, and will put out some porridge in the garden in the morning. You may wonder at that, but when we lived in Spain, we put out the scrapings from our pan of porridge, and saw hoopoes eating it. Strange but true.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

 Cara, as a puppy in Spain

I guess most people have at least one pilgrimage they'd like to make. Before I'm too old to do it, I'd really like to travel to the countryside in Spain, to the tree where Cara, my lovely dog who died last year, was brought up. (Non dog lovers need not read on.)

It was such a privilege for me to share Cara's life, and those who don't know her story may not understand why. Her mother led me to an olive tree where she'd hidden her puppies, and I was then the only human who knew where they were. When she was old enough, Cara came to live with me, and I tried to arrange for the other dogs to be cared for. I think the mother and one puppy were cared for, but we moved house shortly afterwards, so can't be sure. Cara was a delight.

Grown-up Cara living in England.

Last year, Cara died after developing osteosarcoma, aged only 6 years. I miss her still, but would love to visit the tree where it all started.

Cara with only 3 legs, (but you can't tell when she was sat like this.)

Monday, 2 May 2011

Squirming worms

Yesterday Mike decided to clean out the wormery. He had probably a thousand of the squirming creatures when he tipped it all out. They'd broken down all the vegetation with the exception of egg-shells, so now we have some good compost to use, and the worms are back in their home with some fresh food and new soil to start all over again.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Weekend in Mudeford

Last weekend we took Gizmo to Mudeford, the first time we've taken him anywhere on holiday with us. Also the first time we've stayed in a caravan. The weather was glorious, though cold at night, and we all enjoyed it. We can't leave Gizmo in the kennels any more as he's too old now, and has never been in kennels without his late companion Cara. It would be too cruel.
Views all around us were lovely; we were directly opposite The Needles, but the view above is looking at the quay and beyond to Hengistbury Head. Very peaceful although loads of people about. I've never seen so many children crabbing! Great place for them.

Gizmo on his holidays.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Computer group

First visit today to the Purbeck U3A intermediate computer group. Subjects today were communications, such as Skype and Yahoo, and media streaming. All very interesting, and not above my head as I'd feared. There were about 30 at the group, most had been before many times. Next group in April will be about databases.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Throughout my life I've endured frequent bouts of insomnia. Like many people, sometimes it happens when I have something on my mind, but often happens for no apparent reason. The strange thing is the time I awake during the night.

More often than not, I awake at 3.33 am. When I spoke to others about this, they said the same thing. Is there something magical about that time, or could there be a scientific reason for it?

Can anyone explain it?
According to some web-sites, it could be due to angel activity!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Creative writing group

This afternoon second meeting with the creative writing group. We all read out our homework - our lives in 3 pages max! After that we wrote haiku for about an hour. All read them out, some funny, some serious. Good group of people.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Photography group

Had my first visit to the photography group, which I've joined through the U3A. Very interesting, and I hope that I shall learn a lot and more importantly, understand it and use it. Should be a help when writing articles. Today we learned about photographing micros, so I'm to practice taking photos of flowers, insects etc. All good stuff.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Writers' Group

I've at last found a writers' group not too far from home, via the U3A which Mike and I have just joined. First meeting for me today, and only the second for the group. It's good to have somebody to meet up with and hopefully make my mind spring into action! About time too.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Bought a copy of Stephen King's 'On Writing' today for £2.50 in BHF charity shop in Dorchester. Been looking for ages for that one. Last Sunday I picked up a book called Crime Time about writing your first crime novel. That cost 50p in Wimborne market. All I need now is Dorothy Brand's 'Becoming a Writer' and I'll have no excuse!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

British dentists

Where are all the British dentists? Since returning to live in England at the end of 2005, I've had 6 different dentists. At the first surgery, they were Greek, followed by Asian, not sure where from. The surgery I'm with now started me with a Chinese man, he seems to have retired. (Some say not before time.) He was followed with an Italian, a Romanian, and today another Romanian. Don't we train dentists here any more?

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Hard of hearing

What an unsociable affliction being deaf can be, even if only temporary. I'm not completely deaf, but am having to strain to hear what others are saying at present. Hoping not to have my good ear syringed, as the other one isn't working too well, but if the oil doesn't solve problem may have to go down that route. How hard it must be for those with this difficulty permanently. Not to hear music, or birdsong, apart from conversation. Just think myself lucky.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Technical frustrations

The problem with creating blogs or web-sites, is that I spend so much time trying to understand it all that I don't leave any time for writing! How do others manage it so well?

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

Hurray, there are flowers on the witch hazel! I know they are supposed to be there in winter, but thought they'd succumbed to the ice and snow. Also lots of trees in bud, and bulbs sneaking out of the soil.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Monkey World

Been to visit monkey world today. Those capuchin monkeys have the wisest eyes, so human in their expression. In fact I'd go so far as to say better than some humans.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Brave Australians

What a terrible disaster in Australia with the floods! Notice how the people there have not begged for any help from the outside world though. They simply get on with it. An example to us all.
Does anyone else think there are really strange things happening throughout the world? Birds falling from skies, fish being washed up, dogs dying here from unknown causes, and so many weather phenomena. After all, it should be summer in Australia now.

Sunday, 9 January 2011



When the well of creation begins to run dry,
Do writers sit in a corner and cry?
Do they open a bottle, smoke one more cigar
Or hasten down to prop up the bar?

No, we take up the duster, the Hoover, the broom,
And systematically clean every room.
For the housework's forgotten when the writing is BIG,
We leave cobwebs hanging – we don't give a fig.
We could even forget what each meal time's about
If it wasn't for stomachs giving out a great shout.

But if housework or gardens don't do the trick
We tear out our hair, beat ourselves with a stick.
We return to the day job, or go on a hike
To encourage the old inspiration to strike.

At the end of each day we hatch up a scheme
Whereby all the answers appear in a dream,
But when all's said and done and our guard is well down
A spark can emerge while we're walking round town.
Don't know where it comes from, but help can appear
When you least expect it – pass me one more beer.

I'm feeling a little like this at present, but know if I persevere it will pass!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Good intentions

It's already 8th January and I'd like to wish all my friends a very happy New Year! Not making resolutions as such for the year, but each day I'll focus on positive aspects of life. I may not put them all on here, we'll see.