Walks With Benji

I really do miss my car! Benji & I could travel to places further afeild for our daily walk. Now we just have our local walks. I could take him on the bus but with his age now (15 years) don’t want to do that. Benji is very happy just to potter around.

We live on a hill and to get into our ‘country’ or ‘small park’ walk go up the hill again. Hence he finds it a bit of a drag, to say the least. Yet once into the woodland path he’s fine. I now take him off the lead and he runs’free’. He does not run off as he knows I’ve ‘treats’ in my pocket. On one side of the path there is a couple of fields with horses in. We have, in the evening, seen a couple of rabbits

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Carpunel Tunnel Op./ Benji

Its been a while since last I blogged. Was life telling me to take a break?

I have not been on the computer for a long while, hence now I hope to be going on more often.

I am still enjoying my garden, enjoying Benji my dog and living in my new home.

In a nutshell I have battled with a variety of ailments (but not got me down). Recently have had an operation on my left hand (Carpunnel Tunnel).

What an exprience. It was done under a local anesthetic takeing 20 minutes. I chatted non-stop for the time. My hand was well bandaged and now I could only use 1 hand.

Before-hand I realized and prepared myself, such as unscrewing bottles and jars, getting in lots of ready meals. I found dressing difficult as with washing and all the other household chores AND I COULD NOT DO KNITTING! This reall I missed but went on to reading .This all continued for 4 weeks. Now in my 5th week. The scar healing, the hand getting more active, no drssings on. ( they came off in the 4th week) Next week I go for the check up. The site has been sore.pricking but other than that its been fine.

Benji is now into his 16th year. June he had his 15th birthday. His company and character are delightful to be with. Loves visiting his friend “Tizzy” and staying at her house when I go away. Benji now walks off the lead in safe places and always comes back. When not out on his walks he will spend time sleeping in his chair.

I do not have the car now as last year it needed expensive repairs and so I decided to stop driving. Very sad as I do miss it but I do find ways round getting out and about. Shopping I do on line, trips to places around Nneath I travel on the bus. I do not take Benji on the bus.

My garden is now how I like it and during our hot weather have spent time enjoying it.

I will now try and load some photos up!  to share some with you all.

20190531_110326          20190326_162144          20190717_094629

Benji in the Garden              Benji and his new Harness         Sweet Peas 2nd flowering




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Knitting Photos

Earlier in the year I decided to crochet in ‘TUNISIAN’ a scarf for myself. It was done in chunky wool.

Well now Benji was telling me ‘Mum, can I have a new warm coat.

 new coat Benji

Now how can I refuse. Having recently been to the groomers, his coat very short and the weather still cold, I decided with the left over wool from my scarf  would do nicely as well I would put a crochet blue border around – blue for boys.

Benji new coat


He was very pleased as you can see by the photos.   Now we both match when  going for walks.

Here are my most recent baby knits for the charities we support at my Friday group. These can be knitted easily as they are ‘all in one’

blue baby cardi          pink baby cardi

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Knitting with wool


What can be more colourful than a grand display of various colours and weights in wool. In the Swansea Market there is a cafe wher I go for a cuppa and as I sit enjoying my coffe for something to eat my eyes will gaze at this amazing sight. Below – left Knitted, right Crochet Worry Monsters


These 2 Worry Monsters have just been finished for a charity scheme in Yorkshire who will distribute them to the ‘therapists’ working with children who have suffered abuse, bereavement and any other serious problems.

The charity have the patterns on their website, for the Worry Monsters and Worry Puppets.

Our Friday Knit & Natter group have been making, in the autumn, hats and scarves of various sizes  for other charity groups who collect and distribute to all those in needy of a variety of items. We also have a soft spot for our local Homeless people. These we are able to go the the collection point in Swansea. When the meeting commenced in January we all knitted 8” squares which were sewn up by one of our ladies, and we produced a large blanket.


Last year I made these small teddies.

No post would be complete if I did not tell you how Benji is. He sleeps a lot now but can stil be mischivious and if I am not carefull will raid the rubbish bin!!!! Our walks are now local as we have no car but am hoping to take him on the bus when the better weather arrives.

This photo is my favourite. My daughter and family were down last August and it was taken where there is a lovely mountain stream set in the woods.


How we long for the warm sunny days of Spring & summer

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New Year Resolutions 2019

How the time flies. We are now in the month of February. Have you kept to your NewYear Resolutiions?  So far I have. It was time for a clear out and I started first with the CLOTHES. Not having a car now I had to find other ways to get down to the charity shops in town.

Who ever invented the SHOPPING TROLLEY  was a life saver. CLOTHES put in carrier bags and put in the trolley. Then was the walk to town ( a pleasnant 20 minute walk from home)and called into a variety of our charity shops. In the bags made it easy to distribute.

After the clothes came the CHINA: plates, mugs. All being kept for the ‘just in case’ times. Same packing and transporting as before. My bookcase & TV table needed to go so called in the charity shop to arrange pick-up. Once at the house the boys took one look at the book-case and deemed it as unsuitable but very kindly dismantled it and took it out-side for me. They also took another collection of unwanted stuff.

Finnaly a few nick-nacks went too. There is still more to sort but thats it for abit.

Have you collected many photos over the years and not got them into any ship-shape order? Well, I had. Now this task takes longer, as one sorts one remembers and memories flood back. There is still more to do but have sorted out what I desire to keep. They need to be put into catagories, put in albums or into photo frames. The unwanted photos were all shredded.

My next task will be sorted and wiping out the drawers – kitchen, bedroom.

Benji is well, sleeping in his chair at present. We have had a light dusting of snow, escaping the worst around Wales & the rest of the U.K. Seems to have melted and the sun is out. May try a walk in a while.

All for now and Thanks for reading

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I would love to post a picture of Benji and myself but have forgottton how to to do it.

When I went to plug in my light to see my connction BANG the light bulb exploded!!!!!! so will write.

Last year was eventful “HEALTH AND OTHER THINGS” hence not much blogging. I am hoping for a better year in 2019.

Since the begining of the year I have suffered with severe abdominal pain and constipation, swollen belly. I have had to buy clothes 2 sizes larger! Most distressing. Doctors and specialists are very difficult to see and they are still ongoing but have lost confidence in them. I have now consulted my local chemists, searched the internet and finally have solved the problem myself. At the begining of December I hagan to get better. My belly near back to normal, normal bowel action and no pain.

In August the car needed to be repaired for a third time (in the last 3 months) so I decided I had to give her up. Oh how I miss her! YetI have good buses and trians all near. With the shopping I buy on line and have delivered. I have never liked to shop on line but its surprising how you get used to it and I do enjoy now.

Benji is 14 and a half now and still full of beans. When I go to visit my daughter for the weekend he goes to stay with my good friends who also have a dog too. At the moment he’s lying on his chair looking at me with such contentment.

I have 2 knitting groups I go to each week where I meet other friends. I have crocheted small blankets, hats. Knitted tiny baby clothes as well as for older children – all in one cardigans. Knitted hats scarves and mitss for the HOMELESS.

I went on my “holiday of a life time” on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. An experience I will not forget.

2019 I would like to get back to the computer

I will close now and wish you all a very



image                                            image

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Catching up

My apologies for the lack of blogs this year. Much has been happening . I am hoping to get back into “blogging”.

I have just purchased a “tablet” so instead of sitting at the big computer I can do everything sitting in my chair.

The Tablet is 10″ screen. I decided the bigger size would be better due to the eyes at my age. I have been busy putting on the various “apps” including this site.

Will blog again shortly but having had breakfast time to go to town.

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Fungi Identify

Can any one help. Whilst walking in our local ‘valley’ I came across this. The area is trees, rocks one side and the stream gurgles along on the other. Our path used to be the old railway line, now tarmac. There used to  be the Iron Works many years ago and has some remenants hidden away (old walls ect.)

                                       fungi 2 (2)     Fungi eaglesbush

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Senior Student–Nurse in the 1940’s

My late Aunt did her Nurse Training in the late 1940’s. She wrote her memiors and I am now typing up to add to the Family Archives. I would like to share one of her pieces with you all. Life in the N.H.S. so different in those days.


ORIGINAL –  by Kathleen Phyllis Dicker

copyright Miss mary

Senior Students

(Nursing experiences)

The ‘wastage rate’ in nursing is the number of students who leave their hospitals without completing their training. The national average has always been around 30%, but our hospital must have had a really bad spell because about three quarters of the nurses immediately senior to my set left altogether at the end of my first year of training.

This didn’t seem to make us short of staff – a lot of new juniors must have come – it simply meant that we moved up in the world.

Suddenly we were senior students, expected to take charge of dressings and medicines trolleys instead of bedpans and wash-bowls. This was exhilarating but we were not ready. Not having completed any of the more advanced lectures we hadn’t much idea of the action of the medicines we dished out, and were learning the more complicated dressing techniques as we went along.

My biggest nightmare was preparing trolleys for the doctors to do treatment. I was sure that I wouldn’t have everything they would require. Then patients would suffer because of the delay while I ran to collect whatever it was, and the doctor would be annoyed.

When I’m teaching students today I tell them that the trolley is easy. All they have to do is visualize the treatment being done, and collect the things in order they’ll be used, but obviously this method doesn’t work if you have not seen the treatment done.

I had to constantly rush to someone for advice, although I studied like mad in my off duty, hoping to be ready for anything which might happen on the ward.

One day – when Sister was at lunch, and Staff-nurse had gone to X-ray department, – I even dragged a surprised doctor to the cupboard to choose his tools.

‘Ah – what’s this gadget’? He said, pouncing on a fearsome looking syringe with several taps. ‘now wrap it up carefully in gauze before you boil it. I’ll be back in 20 minutes.’

I was relieved. Nurses should, of course, know their work, and I hadn’t expected the doctor to be so helpful.

At the beginning of my second year I did more night duty, this time in charge of a busy surgical ward. This must have been a trial to the patients and the poor little junior nurse who had to work under me, to say nothing of the added responsibility for Night Sister. I managed, and gained a lot of confidence.

The Operating Theatre

I always hated changing wards – even those I didn’t much like became dear and familiar when I had worked there for three months, so I devised a method of boosting my morale when the dreaded ‘change list’ was published. It’s always fun to have new clothes, and I used to replenish my wardrobe then. Usually it would be undies or knitting wool, but when I found that I had been posted to the operating theatre I was so alarmed that it was necessary to splash out a bit – I bought a tweed suit.

One heard such awful things about our theatre- the surgeons were supposed to throw instruments about, and Sister was renowned for her sharp tongue. It was said that one of the Staff-Nurses was a ‘ghoul ‘ who spent all her off duty in the post mortem room, that you had to wash the walls from floor to ceiling every Sunday, and be on call at night. I didn’t really believe this, but it did nothing to re-assure me.

How I managed to oversleep on my first morning I’ll never know, but when I crept up to Staff-Nurse to apologize she looked surprised.

‘Oh, we hadn’t noticed you were not here.’

For the first week I spent most of my time scrubbing mountains of instruments, then I graduated to ‘running’. This means being the odd – job nurse fetching and carrying for the team in theatre. You do anything from picking up things they drop to mopping sweat from the surgeons’ brows.

As they were all ‘sterile’ and unable to touch anything that wasn’t, they were helpless if I went away. The signal for attendance was a loud kick on the side of the bucket which was under the operating table. The term assumed a new meaning for me.

I was glad to find nobody did any shouting and nothing was ever thrown. In fact the atmosphere in theatre was usually cordial. Some operations even went with the ‘party spirit’.

Then, oh, horror! I had to learn to be ‘sterile’ myself. Don the gown and gloves and hand instruments to the surgeon! Sister taught me to fold my hands ‘in an attitude of prayer’ to preserve their sterility while waiting for him to be ready. She guided me through the first few operations, then I was on my own. I even took my turn at being on call at night to take emergencies. We were paid for this extra duty if it happened after midnight, at the rate of ten shillings a case.

Patients’ Labels.

Today all patients have wrist bands with their names and the operation they are expecting to have printed clearly, so that no mistakes can be made. If a limb is to receive surgery, it is marked with a special pencil.

But we would have been shocked at the very thought of labelling patients as if they were parcels. Writing on the human body would have seemed almost sacrilegious – even our dead were only labelled on their shrouds. I shudder when I remember that our patients were identified only by the case notes lying beside them on the theatre trolley. But I don’t think there was ever a mistake over an operation in my hospital.

Sterile Equipment

I trained a little later than the time of Lister with his messy carbolic spray, but we were still having to boil instruments between cases, and re- sterilizing many things which are used once only today – syringes, catheters, rubber gloves. Some of the swabs we used were rather ‘nice’ ones, made in our sewing room, and these were soaked in peroxide, boiled, autoclaved and used several times. I don’t remember there being a lot of infection in our surgical wards.

Theatre Routine

The actual routine work in theatre hasn’t changed a lot since I trained – things have become easier and more streamlined, but nurses still hand instruments, and they still ‘run’.

Not sure on next sentence, had she written something before?

But they are no longer used instead of splints.

Let me explain.

During operations surgeons often required patients’ limbs held in certain positions so that their work can be done with convenience. It seems obvious that splints and supports should be devised for this purpose, but oddly enough, such aids are a comparatively recent development. When I trained nurses sat or stood – often many hours – holding these limbs just so.

It was comfortable – even easy – task to sit at a patient’s head holding her arm at your own shoulder level while the surgeon removed her breast. Even though you sat for almost three hours, it wasn’t tiring, and you had a wonderful view.

But I remember – could I ever forget? – having to stand on my toes on a footstool, to hold a patient’s arm vertically while she lay unconscious on her side and several people worked on her shoulder joint.

After an hour of this I was in agony, and the arm began to slip down. Nobody noticed my difficulty they were absorbed in the operation, and simply told me to hold it up higher. Then someone realised that I wasn’t an inanimate splint – I was a human nurse, they were subjecting me to torture. Suddenly everyone was full of concern, and many hands came to help me until the operation was over. But they couldn’t release me until the operation was over. I had been imprisoned within the sterile drapes, and firmly fixed there with towel clips.

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We have recently had a few weeks of hot weather which has encouraged the flowers and other plants to flourish.

The following photos show what I put in last year. I am often impatient waiting for plants ect. to grow but recently have discoverd that plants will take a year or two to get established. The last plant I have been unable to remember the name but these are the climbers to grow up and cover the wall.

The sun flower is interesting as on the stem not only is the one big flower but others are there too. I did not plant it but the birds must have dropped the seed there, back in the Spring.

1. SUNFLOWER                 2 SUNFLOWER





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