Recalling the Past


What an eventful year has passed and I am glad it has gone by. A year of being ill, Lots of tests fighting to find out what was wrong with my body, but no result. What has amazed me is that I had pain in the buttock area every day for long periods at a time, lasting 1 year. My walking became very slow and had to walk with a walking stick. The pain was October to October, yet slowly pain is subsiding and now being able to walk at a proper speed, but do use my walking stick. This part of the year I am now going to forget.

Plans are now a foot on the arrangements for my Grandsons’ wedding in May 2023. My daughter has been exceptionally good with the organising and on of her frequent visits to me kept me informed how it was all going. Back in June I showed very little interest (but did not show her) as I thought I would be unable to go but now am getting really excited. My mind improved.

The wedding is in Barcelona and there will be lots of us there. I am looking forward to meeting my son from Ireland with whom I haven’t seen for a while. This place is the couples’ favourite place. As it won’t be officially recognised by the U.K. the ‘proper’ wedding with close family, will be in Newbury in April.

There will be no ‘backing out’ now as the plane ticket and hotel are booked. I’m constantly looking for a blue vintage dress to wear ( on Amazon). I am crocheting a ‘ponchette’ to wear over the dress in the evening. It’s a small version of a shawl.

As you are aware you know I love my garden. The past year gave me surprises. My fruit trees had a second fruiting. There was an abundance of apples  which I have picked, wrapped in paper and put in a drawer, enabling me to eat through out the winter. I was able to employ a workman to trim the Buddleia tree. This tree goes wild if not controlled. My top green house needs to replace and I will need to get a sun lounger in the Spring.

At last I’ve a bird station that the Sparrows visit regularly.I use bird seed and fat balls.

Life in the outside world has dramatically altered. Our food and Gas/Electricity prices are up. A lot of shops have shut. One in particular shut suddenly. All the stock had been reduced and the staff did not know whether they would have their jobs after Xmas. This shop had been trading for 110 years.On Boxing day the staff were informed the firm was in Liquidation! Myself and my knitting friends are shocked  and saddened. Here we purchased our wools. They sold bed linen, curtains and other things related to ‘drapery’. My last visit I bought some will but seeing the empty shelves I had to fight back the tears.

The library where we meet for knitting will shortly being move to our new Leisure Complex, a brand new building. It will be sad to leave such a fine old building but unfortunately our council could not keep with the repairs needed.

We are experiencing various people on strike. trains, postman to name a couple. But as most of us are being strong and cope as best we can. with food prices high Food Banks are are in abundance. Covid and Winter Flue flu are around.

On that note I will leave you by saying ‘keep positive, stay healthy and don’t let life get you down’     and have:



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Happy Christmas for 2022



Suzie with her Xmas collar, crocheted by her Mum

To all my readers a peaceful and healthy New Year

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Animal Capers

We had just woken up. I’d been downstairs and made my cuppa and came back up t bed. Suzie lay across my chest and placed in her paw in my hand. A special time we share together each morning, when I give her some of my plain morning biscuit. Next we just give each other a cuddle, But this particular morning she went quickly, to look out of the window. This is what she saw.

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The mark on the wall.                             clinging on                         Close up

He stayed completely still for 45 minutes, until I made an attempt to move on. I guess he was very scared.

One advantage of this episode, it taught me to put my camera so I could focus on far away stuff to be close

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The New Gardner

I had a quote for the garden £30 to trim the butterfly tree, mend the fence, do the weeding. Yes I agreed for him to arrive on this particular, the Tuesday. He would arrive 11.00am. Well 11.00am came and went, no sign or word from him. 11.30am I phoned him and this was his excuse: I had an accident with the car, its being sorted through the insurance. A few other cars were involved in the incident, A lorry had shed its load causing damage to the cars, it did not stop, the cameras along this road were all switched off. The road concerned  I know, would not have them all turned off. This all happened on the Friday before. ? Why did he not phone to let me know he couldn’t get to me?  A week after, beginning of the week, I phoned to see what what was happening.  He sounded half asleep and gave me the impression he did not want to do the work.  I decided he was not worth waiting for. In no time at all  found someone else, contacted  Tuesday and today MY TREE WAS TRIMMED. Excellent service, clean tidy worker and his team of 2 very pleasant. He also can do many jobs inside and outside. I will definitely have him again.

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      BEFORE                                                              AFTER

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Garden Surprises

The  past week has been extremely hot. I’m afraid I find it difficult to do anything. My day has started reasonably early and have filled the watering can and watered the pot plants which included the Runner Beans and the Cauliflowers. My success with a ‘hosepipe’ is not good. Last time I tried the top part of the hose came off, water escaped, to send it cascading all over me, I was drenched!!!! I have picked a couple of cucumbers and some baby tomatoes, yummy. The Nasturums are loving the heat, the colours amazing.

The rest of the day spent doing only essentials. Not even Suzie walked with her dog walkers as it was too hot, Today is cooler, this week maybe she’ll be able to go. There’s been some surprises in the garden. Here are some photos.

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                                    Tree ?plum, with flowers

This was in full flower in Spring but not fruit produced. Has anyone else experienced a 2nd flowering of fruit trees in the same year?


I recently contacted a ‘gardener’ to call and trim the Butterfly tree. He came a couple of weeks ago and for a reasonable price would do the tree and weed the garden. The day he was due I had to phone him to see where he was and he said he’d had an accident with the car (yet failed to contact me!) but would be in touch. Previously I’d tried to find someone to sort the tree so took it on my self to try and have a go, hence half a tree. Men!!!


                                           The apples are doing really well


                        ‘ I’m enjoying this Mum but I will go indoors if I get too hot’

                             Below: I’ve been able to walk Suzie recently

Oh Mum, its great you can take me out again. I loved playing ball and to run all over our lovely large grassy area’.



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Happenings of Late Mary,Suzie Visiting

It’s been a while since I last posted. To say the least my illness still prevails. One wonders why one has to have pain every day ( and quite bad some days), to see your quality of life slowly detreat, yet one has to be optimistic. For a few months now I’ve been to a chiropractor. She found a muscle in the buttock was stiff and been working on, which both agreed this week was much improved, but this week I’m still sad to say my pain in the lower back is still there, having moved from to the buttock to this area. After my last session more pain experienced and pain in my shoulder and neck. Monday will be in touch to ask what’s going on. 2 weeks ago I visited my daughter for 6 days and was actually in NO PAIN. Had it finally decided to go?

I am lucky to have a bus stop very close to go into town. Mornings are the best time and where as I used to call in lots of places, go to just essential ones. I have a very good friend who has a car and take me to hospital appointments and therapy We combine the last with a food shop. I also use the food delivery service and buy stuff on Amazon. We are so fortunate to have modern technology.

I am not able to walk far without being in pain and am using a stick. Mentally I can feel really low and frustrated but know I’ve to fight it and be positive.

I miss walking Suzie, those country walks, down to  the canal ect. But resourceful as I am have found THE CINNAMON TRUST who provide (free) people who can walk your dog. Its specially to help the elderly finding it difficult to care for their pets.

Suzie now has

lady (L)  phones about an hour before one day a week (been regular): Lady (M) occasionally calls: Last week we had a new gentleman (C), a regular dog walker with the Trust, we’ve arranged for once a week. and finally, not with the Trust but my neighbours a couple of doors up, who’ve said they can walk her in the week. So that’s my little-one sorted.

I have been feeling that I am letting her down. She’s been so good with with me. She still loves to play ball and I’ve to throw it for her, she fetches, gives to me to throw again. She cuddles me in bed at night, sits on my lap. Her fear of new people has gone and she’s friendly with all. The only issue is still other dogs on walks but my dog walkers say they will help with this. So should I be able to walk her again she will be cured

For myself I have a cleaner (K) coming on a Wednesday, weekly to clean, hoover and change my bed.

Hence now my life has changed to suit my needs.

Our country is in a tight spot at present with food prices rising, fuel costs too. Luckily I’m not running a car. Everyone is having to tighten their belts. I too have been looking into savings. They have doubled my Direct Debit payments. My friend has given me a slow cooker and I’m using less gas for cooking, using the microwave. At present my TV is with Sky, as the contract runs out soon, it’s not being renewed. Am looking into Freeview via the Sky Dish. Yet I was overjoyed yesterday and was able to fix up the BBC and HTV Hub on my-pad.

Whilst visiting my daughter the weather was extremely hot. We were due to to up to London to see ABBA THE VOYAGE. but it was the Monday London experienced its Heatwave, many trains were not running and people advised not to travel.  The day before my daughter, husband, and great granddaughter and I went on a horse drawn  barge trip on the Kennet and Avon canal. There was a lovely breeze blowing through the boat. Being mid-day there was not much wild life t0 see, just one or two ducks. A few barges were moored and on passing one 2 dogs rushed out and barked furiously, attempting to scare the horse, he started to turn round but our guide on the barge (who also looked after him) was able to re-assure him and soon he was able to continue pulling the barge. As for the owner of the dogs, he remained calm, not all concerned and said’ “I was watching the cricket” Passing on the way back we noted all his doors shut so dogs could not escape. We had the experience  of going through a lock.  The place was Kintbury and this was where Im spent my first 5 years of my life. My Mother was cook to the family who lived in The Vicarage, walked along the canal to where I could see the place. There is a lawn that stretches down to the canal. The lawn where as I child I’d played, my little table and chairs with with dollies sat on and played tea-parties. The trees still the same, even the one that had a swing, remember swinging to and fro over the water as it seemed but of course it didin’t really and I was quite safe. That evening we had a bbq with all the family. A very enjoyable time away as hadn’t been up for befor Covid – 3 years.

On that note I will now close and hope it won’t be too long before I write again. Thank you for reading.

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Winter/Spring – the Garden 2022

Winter has passed,  the cold air with biting, gale force winds, snow and heavy rainfall disbursed, A time when plants, nature, rest in the Earth below, time to revitalise ready for the Spring. Its a time when when many folks plan their gardens for Spring, send for catalogues to browse the various trees,  bushes, flowers and vegetables and this includes my self. I have visited a garden centre with my friend where to my delight discovered they delivered at a reasonable price. Here I purchased 2 new large pots, a cucumber plant, and 2 pots of Sweat peas. They were able to deliver a 50 ltr bag of compost free compost. I have now ordered a further 2 bags. On line I ordered a raised bed made of weather resistant  fabric. Else where I have 5 Cauliflower and 5 Brussel Sprouts that are going to be grown in this container. The Runner Beans & Peas are in the pots in the Greenhouse. Tumbling Tom Tomatoes are waiting to go out.This year I‘m doing Hanging Baskets, already planted I’ve put in Petunias and another set of Tumbling Tom Tomatoes. All pots in the garden have been weeded. I’ve sown the Sweet peas in.

Over the past few weeks the weather has warmed and days have been dry. To walk around my garden at this time I see how my fruit trees show their buds and this year the blossom on them has very productive, now showing signs of the fruit developing. Birds are especial prone to eating the new fruits so I have covered them with netting. Tulips have flowered, now dying down. Various perennials are showing through. My honeysuckle and Passion Flower , looking healthy. Hosta, Lilly of the Valley, Lavender with fresh new growth, Mums White Rose, Foxglove, & a few more of which off hand their names slip my memory. The birds, Sparrows, Pigeons, Doves, Blue-Tit, Blackbird, have visited the garden through the winter months, still continue to visits. Lighter mornings being awake earlir I hear the dawn chorus. I’ve only seen 1 Bumble-bee so far but it’s early days yet.

So to all you Gardeners out there, Happy Gardening, enjoy the challenges of growing your Fruit,Vegetables, and Flowers & harvesting.

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My New Coat–Suzie

A message from Suzie. well, my Mum has been poorly but I’m pleased to say she’s “turned the corner” and is on the mend. No long walks as yet but I don’t mind as the weather is still a bit on the chilly side. Despite all my Mum has found time to knit me a lovely warm coat. So here are the photos:


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Being Poorly

Hi everyone. I’ve been through a rough time recently. A time, I feel, of testing my pain levels and how long I can manage the pain. The quality of life  diminished, daily tasks a struggle and getting help from our doctors extremely difficult.

To phone the doctor this is the procedure:

Example: 8 am Pick up the phone, 1st question “Do you speak Welsh or English, press 1 for English 2 for Welsh”.

2.  follows a lot of information on if its an emergency, Covid information, serious or not so serious illness. if you are elderly and haven’t had you flue jab tell the receptionist to arrange, and finally press 1 for appointments and enquires – press 2 for test results after 3pm. Next comes the music, same one they have had for as long as I can remember, or the engaged tone. If the latter you sign off and start again. otherwise a receptionist says “  You are 1 –7 in the queue,your call is important to us please wait.” once through you tell the receptionist your name and age and telephone number, symptoms. “ The doctor will get back to you” At this point you put the phone down and wait for the call. Its not always the doctor but the receptionist will have a message.  You may see the Nurse or Medic. Speaking to the doctor means you have to repeat your symptoms again. He is the one who will say whether he wants to see you.

I tried 18 times the other day to get through.

Since October I’ve had an X-ray,  a test to see if the blood vessels are not blocked and an M.R.I. scan. Always long gaps before having them as well as the results.

I’ve tried many pain relief tablets of over the counter and prescription, all to no avail.

I am hoping I’m on the last leg of this journey. I saw a physiotherapist ( which the doctor arranged) who instigated the scan. When the result came back he said I’d Osteoarthritis and the ‘Chanel’ running down the back had some swellings. He suggested physio but to speak to the doctor who would also recommend a nerve painkiller. So there we were, still no change. He prescribed the tablet which was after I had chased him up, no mention of Physio. A couple of days later I phoned and spoke to him about the physio, the result, an appointment but there will be a long waiting list. I’d heard of pain control clinics and asked about this too. On the list but another long wait. Throughout all this  time my pain was not improving. Even taking the nerve pill had no effect. Hardly any activity, mostly sitting in the chair or going back to bed. Am so pleased to have my best friend Suzie who has helped me through out all of this. Dogs understand.

My friend suggested what about a Chiropractors. Last Wednesday I spent an hour with my chiropractor. We discussed all my issues and she moved the various parts of my body. A ligament seemed to be the problem. She suggested Acupuncture, had I had this before. The answer was NO but willing to try. Into my buttock area  where the pain was she placed the needles. A small pin prick, the needles remained insitu for 10 minutes. She told me then the pain would not go instantly and to expect the pain to continue for  a few days. She obtained my permission to have the report of the MRI scan be forwarded and at my next appointment would discuss the matter further. I really felt at last someone cared about my health.

Yes true to word my pain continued but I remembered her words. On the Saturday I did not get so much severe pain. Sunday more improvement. Was it it really subsiding? Can I walk without being in pain? Monday a very slight ache and as I had a chiropody appointment decided to walk down – all good. After walked into town for a bit of shopping – all good. At this point I quite expected the pain to arrive and when I got home – pain killers and bed. BUT all was good again.

Today I go again to see my lady. Today I feel real good!  Is this the turning point?

What I’ve missed most is taking Suzie for walks in the country, down by the canal, even start her getting used to going on a bus and finally the train and up to visit my daughter in England. On that cheerful note I will sign off. The last 6 months have been HELL and I shall want to forget it ever happened.

Posted in Challenges, Health and wellness, Illness | Tagged | 3 Comments

Welcoming Spring 2022

Suzie on the seat

Spring is on the way. Suzie took advantage of the Sun and it being a little warmer. Whilst shopping in Marks & Spencer I noticed an abundance of Daffodils in bud. A sign of Spring. I purchased several bunches. At home I placed  them in various vases & this lovely jug bought in the charity shop, to await them to burst into bloom.



As perhaps you are aware I’ve been unwell for a long time, finding it difficult to carry out the basics of every day living. Maybe I’m getting better so I hope to get posting again.

Recently we did a small walk and this is what we found.

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What have we here Mum. Primroses, your favourite Spring flower   

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Crocus & Daffodil. On this patch of waste land some one had thrown away these bulbs and they are now thriving to give one a sign that Spring is on the way.

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