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.

Posted in nature, Photos, Suzie | Tagged , | 1 Comment

What’s Down in The Woods

A walk a few weeks ago

Despite the sun not being around Suzie and I walked in our local ‘Nature Reserve’ Eaglesbush. Birds were singing. The brook could be heard tumbling over the rocks and stones. Yet the trees were still bare as it was still January, middle of Winter. Its an exciting area to walk and observe nature throughout the year. Since my illness (as yet undiagnosed and continuing  to get worse) my walks have been curtailed. Cannot walk far before my pain returns, my pace slow but as I write have been unable to walk for a couple of days. I felt very excited as I observed on the trees, Fairy Doors. Our Fairies had returned and gives a clue that Spring is on the way. I would like to share with you the photos I took.

A lot of folk prefer to dump their rubbish, spoiling for others but those of us who care report to the council. I was interested to see “The Bug Hotel” created out of discarded planks ect.


Bug Hotel Eaglesbush

Fairy Tree 1.                                                 Fairy Tree 2          Fairy Homes

Fairy Tree 3                                                              Fairy Tree 4

The Waterfall

Small waterfasll Eaglesbush

Posted in Countryside, Life, Memory, Observations, Walks | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Suzie celebrates Special Day

Its 2 years since I adopted Suzie from The Dogs Trust in Bridgend, From a very scared, not sure what was going on Suzie been able to adjust to living in a home environment. I’d been told that the first 6 years of her life had been spent in a shed. The secret is to gain your dog’s confidence. Now a very loving dog, not scared of people especially men. She loves to look out of the window, watching life and should a cat/cats come into the garden, barks and gets very cross, racing to the door, jumping up and down until the door is opened. Dashing out she races round the garden, smelling where they’ve been. She taught me to play ball with her, by throwing or giving the ball to me. Always ready for a sit on my lap especially in the evening. At night she settles on my bed and sleeps all night. Her ‘Gotcha Day’ was celebrated last Sunday 23rd January. Now her 3rd year spreads before her awaiting lots of adventures. In the morning I gave her presents wrapped in, placed in a carrier bag. It was a delight to see her put her nose in the bag, bring out the wrapped presents, then tore open the gift so find, squeezy toys and soft squeaky ball. There was no walk as I’d planned as the weather was bad but for tea was Turkey – yummy.


Suzie feeling happy





Posted in Event, Life, Memory, Photos, Suzie | Tagged | 4 Comments

The Garden In 2022

After a very dismal December 2021 my garden has been giving me pleasure in seeing tiny plants begin to emerge from their growing positions. Round the Cherry tree, standing bereft of its leaves in its pot, the shoots of the CROCUS have appeared. Scattered around them, giving protection and warmth, are the old, brown dead leaves of the Cherry.

My Mahoney Tree has throughout its time with me, a year, continued to produce more branches, the top a yellow star shape. Many of the variety of bulbs begin to peep through. In the Autumn I purchased the winter flowering violas of which some have flowered, yet others I await for them to display.  My fruit trees, ie. apples, cherry, pear have dormant branches and await the right time to go into bud. The Buddleia tree I cut the lower branches to leave those at the top to remain with leaves and old flowers. This is a haven for my birds that have decided to come to my garden after 3 years. They’re constantly visiting the bird table. To date I have Sparrows, Robin, a couple of Blue-tits as well as the bigger birds of Crows and Pigeons

Last year my friend gave me Garlic to plant and these have shot up in the pot.

To finish my very best flower I like is the Winter flowering Clematis. I have it just outside my window where I can see it when I look outside. Last winter I had one bud but this year it is covered with very tight buds which are now just beginning to open.

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Posted in Garden, Garden Birds, Observations | Tagged , | 2 Comments

End Of Year News

Belated Christmas wishes to all my readers

Another difficult year involving the Covid. This Christmas we have had it a little easier as we prepare for Christmas and the New Year. Here in Wales restrictions have been put in place to keep us safe. Our “jabs” and “boosters” have been encouraged as they have been found to help with the latest form of the virus “Omicron”.

Since October I have been very poorly and diagnosis taking a while due to the heavy demand on our NHS services. The X-ray showed osteoarthritis of my right hip. The pain has been excruciating. Finding the right pain relief, very difficult.  Paracetamol , Panadol and pills from the doctor proofed to have no effect. November and the doctor recommended a Steroid injection but this could o0nly be done at the hospital. She put me down as ASP. I experienced side effects from 1 of the tablets which involved making me feel spaced out, walking like a drunk, loss of concentration, loss of co-ordination, weakness. I had the pill for 2 weeks, 1 week weaning off and another week before the all symptoms left me, just before Christmas. I have a very caring doctor who was able to get in touch with the clinic at the hospital last week and am pleased to say that 5 January I go to the clinic they have at one of the surgery’s. I was also given a prescription for Naproxen and what a delight to find this tablet has helped my pain. I started it 4 days ago  and am down to taking half a tablet in the evening, with effect. For months I was in pain when walking and spent most of my time sitting. I found no quality of life. Suzie has been a Blessing. My companion and friend. She knew I was unwell and when I took her for her “very small” walks, she understood. Today I was able to walk with her up to our local country walk and I WAS NOT IN PAIN.

My daughter visited in mid December, despite my illness I was able to do a little with her. We went to see Abba, a tribute band, took the bus to Swansea and continued to Mumbles where we enjoyed a meal and the following day met my son for yet another meal together.

I don’t mind being on my own and so Christmas Day was spent with Suzie. Id wrapped her presents and mixed them in with mine. Dogs are clever, she found her gifts, ripped the paper off and played with them. This was followed by having fun with all the Xmas paper strewn on the floor.

She’s had her mischievous times too. One day I came into the room only to find the gold paper from the chocolate money had been scattered all over the floor. Chocolate eaten by her. I hasten to add there was no ill effect. She’s pinched my blackberry jam sandwich, enjoyed. and has eaten a raw Brussel Sprout.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and may you all stay save, be happy and have all you desire for 2022

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Bird Observation

When I first moved here about 5 years ago, I left behind one of my enjoyable interests, Wild birds in the garden. I’d watch them from the window as they flew in the nearby tree by the feeding station. I’d be buying various bird food. wild seeds, fat balls, nuts.

In my new garden I looked forward to seeing what different types of birds would be visiting. I was disappointed as in the first few years no birds would visit. I had to be content with watching the Seagulls flying over. Living on a hill my view is looking over to the mountain in the background and nearer the terraced houses below. Further round is the town of Neath nestled in the valley and onwards up the valley towards The Brecon Beacons.

About a couple of years ago, in the Spring, baby Sparrows began to sit on the fence. Winter arrived and they fed from the feeding station, but not staying long. This year and I am delighted to find many Sparrows, a Robin, a Blackbird taking advantage of the food I am putting out. At the moment it has been colder.

Yesterday was gale force wind and despite this they were able to still feed as the containers  swayed to and fro. This morning I re-filled the containers with seed and broke the ice in their water, back they came. The wind now gone, a calmer atmosphere, yet cold

Since the end of October I am experiencing much pain when walking, hence I’m spending a lot of time sitting. In my chair I can now watch the birds and Suzie stands on the arm of the settee to look outside too.

Posted in Actions, Garden Birds, Life, Observations | Tagged | 2 Comments

My Toys

Suzie has a mind of her own and knows where she likes to keep her toys. She can look out for the cats getting in the garden, jumps down, dashes through the kitchen and out the back door, barking frantically to tell them “keep out of my garden”. Yet by the time she gets there (despite the speed) they’ve got over the wall. The next few minutes are spent sniffing all round the garden. Cats are very clever and stubborn too. I’ve tried many ways to try and stop them but all fails.

With so many toys to choose from she still has her favourites, her hard plastic ball that only she can squeak.


My apologies for the poor photo. Since having my laptop and windows 10 and the phone where I take photos, transferring is difficult. Been trying to work out how to synchronise with no joy. This way I done this was by emailing photo to self, then used the ‘snipping tool’ Such a pain! Bring back the old days when I went to a computer class and any problems could be discussed and resolved.

Posted in Challenges, Observations, Pets, Photo, Suzie | Tagged , , | 1 Comment