Sunday, 24 January 2010


I cannot believe it's been two months since I last posted an entry!

I was up early this morning and have been going through some old friend's blogs, I've missed so much! I do like to read what's going on in other people's lives, is that being nosey?!

I have something going on every day this week, today Peter's daughter is coming with her little 2 year old, she lives just outside Southend so we don't get to see her very often, I think Rhiannon will probably come too so she can see her while she's here. Tomorrow I'm going to see daughter #2's (Lorraine) new flat, we'll be measuring up for curtains and carpets etc and when she moves in I'll be staying over for a couple of days or so to help her unpack, I'm looking forward to that! We've already seen the flat and it's beautiful, brand new and so much better than where she lives now.

On Wednesday, I'm meeting my aunt for shopping and lunch and then my 12 year old grandson Joe will be coming here after school because his mum has to go to work that day, I'll make dinner for them all so that she doesn't have to cook when she gets home. On Thursday I'm looking after Rhiannon's little 2 year old Rico while she sees the surgeon about her forth-coming operation, I hope she doesn't have to wait too long for that.

Then on Friday Peter will be working in the morning and in the afternoon we'll be driving down to Wantage in Oxfordshire, and staying at our usual B & B for the night. It's my Dad's sister's birthday this week so we'll take her out for the day on Saturday, she's lovely, and we don't see her nearly enough. We'll be driving back on Saturday evening because on Sunday we'll have a visit from my penfriend of over 45 years!

When I was younger I worked for a company that was owned by a Czechoslovakian glass company and the country always fascinated me, I saw Irena in the penfriend section of a teenage music magazine and we liked the same singers so I got in touch. She has been over and stayed with me quite a few times and we then lost touch for about nine years when I moved, a friend-of-a-friend of hers managed to find me through the electoral roll and we're now back in touch again. Her daughter is studying at the Royal College of Music in London and she'll be over next week to stay to visit her, I can't wait to see her again, the last time I saw her was early last year.

Well I think I've rambled on long enough, time to get myself moving and make a start on the jobs for today!

Have a good day!

Pat x

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


29 days to Christmas! There has been so much going on that it seems to be creeping up on me fast! I always seem to be saying that there is a lot going on in my life ...but there is! I suppose that's what comes of having four daughters and nine grandchildren, I thought that when I retired there would be more time to play with but it hasn't worked out that way.

When my girls were at school I did voluntary work in our local hospital, I worked four mornings a week in the League of Friends shop and one afternoon going round the hospital wards with the mobile shop. I enjoyed it so much and did it for quite a few years. One of the wards was a unit for women with breast cancer and in the ward the morale was so high you would never believe they had any health problems. There was a hairdresser who went there a couple of times a week, people that gave talks and did crafts with them, it was very uplifting to see them. On the other hand though there were small rooms that had just one patient and those were the ones who were very ill, it was heart-breaking to see all the photos of children and drawings that they'd made for their mum but the hospital did as much as they could to make the time there as comfortable as possible. The hospital closed down quite a while ago and there are now homes on the site but I mostly have very pleasant memories of my time there. I always intended that when I retired I would do voluntary work one or two days a week in a hospital but it hasn't worked out that way, I'm waiting for when I can afford the time and that doesn't seem to be just yet!

Well I had the result of my scan last Friday, the lump IS a hernia but the scan also picked up gall-stones and a cyst on my kidney! I had to have another blood test yesterday and go back to my doctor next Monday to see what's going to happen next. Just along the corridor where I had my blood test at the hospital is the place where Rhiannon had the camera procedure. She said the doctor examined her before using the camera and she has to have it done five weeks time! I have been really worried about her but now I think that if he wants it done that far ahead then it can't be too serious, what do you think? She'll be sent another appointment and she also has to have another blood test.

After my doctor's appointment next Monday morning we'll be going to see my friend Linda in Essex for a few days which I'm really looking forward to. Although we speak on the phone a couple of times a week it's been months since we last saw each other. Peter is one of those rare men who doesn't mind shopping and he'll happily take us anywhere we want to go. Because he starts work in the early hours of the morning, he finishes about lunchtime and always phones me to see if there's anything I need at the supermarket, I really appreciate that in this horrible weather we've been having!

Well I have some housework to do, vacuuming, washing the kitchen floor and ironing, doesn't sound too much but I seem to get lots of phone calls during the day so it always takes me longer than it should! A nephew from my first marriage is coming to see me this evening with his wife, I haven't seen them for many years, they're thinking of moving to this area and I've got the local freebie newspapers for them with the property pages in them....I can feel some baking coming on!

One of these days I'll learn how to put photos on here! I had just mastered it on the old AOL blog and then it was taken away! Oh well, when I get time!

Have a good day,

Monday, 9 November 2009

Monday Morning

Another Monday, what will this week bring? It's been rather unsettling here recently health-wise. I had my scan last Tuesday and was told that result would be sent to my doctor in 7-14 days, I have an appointment to see my doctor this afternoon about my ulcer but she may not have the results in yet. I get occasional pain from the lump but when I do it lasts almost until I go to bed, most days though it doesn't give me any problems, it's just the size of it that bothers me, it's about as big as a tennis ball!

Also my youngest daughter Rhiannon has to have some checks at the hospital because she has abnormal bleeding, she doesn't seem too worried about it thankfully, I think I'm doing the worrying for her although of course I don't let her know that. The doctor asked her if there was any colon cancer in the family and she said there wasn't but my grandfather died of stomach cancer and I keep thinking of that, Rhiannon didn't know that.

Then last week her little Sofia who's 5, told her that sometimes her eyes went 'fuzzy'. Rhiannon thought it best to take her to the opticians which she did straight from school. After testing her eyes they asked Rhiannon to take her back again the next day when they would put dome drops in her eyes and test them again, the following morning she had a phone call from the optician saying that he'd spoken to two of his colleagues and they all thought it would be best for Sofia to be seen at the hospital and they would get a letter sent off. Rhiannon had a letter from the hospital asking her to phone in to make an appointment, the earliest one she could get is for 29th December!! So I am also worried about Sofia as well. There is talk about closing our local hospital and I get so annoyed when we have to wait so long to be seen.

Because of all the uncertainty we have decided not to go to France in early December after all, I don't think I'd be at my best, it's times like this that I just want to be near to my family and be on hand should they need me. Instead we'll be going to my friend Linda's for a few days, we didn't get to go last weekend after all because she wasn't well, so we have that to look forward to.

Peter has been very busy in the house, he decorated the hall, stairs and landing in three days three weeks ago and then two weekends ago he decorated our bedroom. Every eight weeks he gets a three-day weekend off work and the following week a five-day weekend and if we're not going away he feels as though he has to make the most of it! After he did the bedroom I had a good sort through my clothes and have now got a few bags for the charity shop....but why doesn't my wardrobe look emptier?!

Well a short entry as I have lots of things to do today in the house, Peter will be home from work about midday and then I want to get some shopping before my doctor's appointment
I hope you all have a good week!


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Wednesday morning post

It's a rather dismal morning here,raining slightly, chilly and the garden is looking very sorry for itself. I really don't mind the autumn, I love the tree colours and even if all the plants have 'gone over' there are seed heads everywhere for the birds. It's also the time for me to start thinking about Christmas! With so many daughters and grandchildren to buy for, I have to start my present buying early and I already have some that I started buying in July...mad I know!

My daughter had her abnormal cells taken away, Peter took us to the hospital then he went to do some shopping for me, by the time he'd finished we were ready to be picked up, the whole thing only took ten minutes to do and we were in the hospital just for 35 minutes! We then took Lorraine for a lovely lunch at a pub near the hospital that one of the nurses had recommended, it was a very good choice, the food was great and there was so much to choose was just what she needed.

I myself am waiting for an appointment to have a scan on a lump that I have at the side of my stomach, it's there continually now and isn't painful (unless I press it!) but I have had a couple of days where it has been really painful and even paracetamols don't do anything. The doctor said they can't give me anything stronger because of the medication that I already take. There is a waiting list of six weeks for the scan and I'm almost half way through now! We're off to France again at the end of November, (just make the start of the Christmas markets!) but I won't book the car ferry until I've had the scan and know what they're going to do about it.

In just over a week's time we're going to spend a few days with my friend Linda, we speak on the phone quite a lot but the last time we met up was last January when we went to see her for her birthday. I'll have to take her Christmas and birthday presents with me as I don't think we'll be seeing each other again for a few months. We've been friends for almost forty years and there's nothing we can't tell each other, we've each been a shoulder for the other during the nasty points in our lives and she's very dear to me, I'm really looking forward to seeing her again.

Well that's about it for today, I'm off to the hairdressers this morning, I have been meaning to go for a few weeks now and it really needs cutting.

I hope all is well with your world, speak to you soon,


Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Where has the last six months gone?

I just can't believe that it was six months ago when I last wrote! I've just read it and I was talking about the plug plants for the garden...well they've almost finished now and we're now on a 'glorious tidy-up' of the garden for the winter.

We heard that we had the planning permission for the conservatory the day before we went to the South of France so when we got home it was all systems go for getting that built. The company we used were absolutely brilliant, the builders, the glaziers, the admin staff, everyone! We're so pleased with it. I tend to use it more than Peter because I'm not really a television person, I like to watch some programmes, (Strictly Come Dancing for instance!) but as I like to read or go on the internet, I now sit out there. It's lovely first thing in the morning....well it was when we had the light mornings, I can drink my coffee there and it feels as though I'm sitting in the garden without the cool air.

This I'm going to the hospital with my daughter Lorraine. When she had her regular smear test a few weeks ago they found abnormal cells, she then had a biopsy and was told she'd have to go back to have the cells removed. She went to Spain for a week and today is the day that they'll be removing them so I'm going with her to hold her hand. We'll find out the result of the biopsy too so I'm just hoping it won't be bad news. I've had some health problems myself recently but I'll write about that maybe next time, I have to get ready for when Lorraine gets here.

The rest of the family are all keeping well, thank goodness, although Rhiannon phoned me this morning to say that Isabella was bad in the night with her asthma again, not bad enough for the hospital but she's keeping her off school today to be on the safe side. The last time she was in hospital with it was in April.

I'm hoping to catch up with other journals soon, maybe tonight, and also to make regular entries of my never know!

Love, Pat

Sunday, 29 March 2009

A gardening Sunday

Today was going to be a gardening day for me. We have bought loads of plug plants that need to be repotted into bigger pots until they're big enough to go into the ground, the window boxes and patio pots. The weather was so nice an hour ago and now it is looking decidedly overcast...again! We've had quite a bit of rain this week and have already repotted over 100 plug plants and still have as many again to do - we should have a lovely display in the summer! Peter is at work until lunchtime and I wanted to do as much as I could before he got home.

Our beautiful ceanothus has to come out, it's much too big and also it's right on the corner of the patio where the new conservatory is going to be built, subject to planning permission which hopefully will be granted any day now! I have been trying to get outside to start hacking away at the ceanothus for some days now but the weather hasn't let me. We were hoping to take some cuttings and start new ones but I think it's the wrong time of the year, we'll have a go though. Peter says I'm a nightmare once I have the secateurs in my hand! The difference between us is that he's afraid to chop anything back in case it dies, I keep telling him that it does the plants good.

Our week in France was very nice although we didn't do as much as we usually do. I now think that staying a week with our friends is probably too much. Arthur is an old war-time friend of my Dad's and we only met after my Dad died in 1996, he is English and married to Denise who is French. They love us going over there but of course the older they get the less they want to do. They're still very active, indeed they're hoping to come over to us later in the year, Arthur still drives and they're both in relatively good health. When we first visited them in the Alsace we used to go out every day doing the tourist things and then fitting in shopping the day before we came home, last time though we only went out on the Tuesday into Germany for the day to meet another friend, Dagmar, (Arthur and Denise came with us too) and on the Sunday to a lovely restaurant by a lake for lunch and after lunch we walked all round the lake which took us about an hour.

We now have a dilemma. Dagmar came to stay with us last August, and since then has been asking us to stay with her, well not exactly with her as she still has teenage twins at home and hasn't the room but her friend has an apartment next door that we could rent. Peter and I would really love to because then it would mean that we'd be able to see more of Germany, Dagmar lives in a little village in the mountains and there are some lovely places that she's told us about and we've looked up on the internet that we'd like to visit. The dilemma is that we get the feeling that Arthur and Denise would be rather put out if we stayed with her rather than them, they're always telling us that the door is always open and we can go whenever we like, we already visit them twice a year as it is. Peter thinks we should just go and not tell them but it seems rather underhanded to do that, he said they must realise that we have other friends that want us to visit them. At the end of April we'll be going to stay with Arthur's daughter Leslie who lives in the south of France, she and her husband came to us for a week in January. While we're with them though we'll be going into Spain for a week or so which we're really looking forward to. We went to Arthur and Denise's last week because if we hadn't they'd have been asking us why we were going to Leslie's and not theirs! Oh it's a nightmare just thinking about it! We do go on other holidays apart from visiting friends, we're going to Tenerife in September for instance, but it seems that going to France has now become a ritual and we don't look forward to it as much, which is a shame.

Oh well, that's my little moan for the day! I'm off to check the weather, I can see some blue sky but I bet it's really cold out there!

Have a good day!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Thinking of my Mum

Today my Mum would have been 85. She died 20 years ago last December and I can honestly say that not a day goes by when I don't think of her. She was never very demonstrative, I don't ever remember her cuddling me although I suppose she must have done when I was small, but I do know that she loved me, she showed it in a lot of other ways. I know she was happy with her life, she and my dad lived very comfortably, perhaps not at the beginning of their marriage but certainly the latter part, I know money isn't everything but it enabled them to do what they wanted to do, which included spoiling me and the grandchildren from time to time! I think it gave my Mum a lot of pleasure to buy things for us and take us to places we couldn't have afford... now I am in the position where I can do the same for my girls and I know just how my Mum must have felt when she did so!

I shouldn't be on the computer, I have so much to do before tomorrow evening, at 3am on Friday we will be leaving for France so everything has to be done before then. Peter will be going to bed really early tomorrow night as he will be driving for five hours once we're at Calais and off the ferry, I usually manage to have some sleep as we go along although I like to stay awake to make conversation - perhaps he'd rather I slept though, I'll have to ask him!! Today I have to get some Euros, the exchange rate is terrible but we need to top up what we have left from last September, I also have to go to the bank, the post office and get another few bits and pieces that we'll be taking with us.

The friend that we stay with is an old friend of my father's, he is English but married to a Franch lady, they're a lovely couple and we always look forward to our time with them. When we're in France Peter does all the driving and we ask Denise where she would like to go while we're there. Arthur does drive but prefers not to drive for too long and as Peter likes driving anyway he's happy to take them wherever they want to go.

A few years ago a colleague at the Museum where I worked showed me a cookbook that she'd bought for her cousin's birthday, it was French cooking but was in English. One of the photos had a lovely jug in it, I really loved the jug and my colleague managed to find it on the internet, it was being sold in a shop in Dijon! She printed the website of the shop for me and when I showed it to Peter he said we could go there when we next went to France which was only a few weeks later. It was a three-hour drive, we stopped for coffee on the way, but we were so pleased we went, Dijon is a lovely old town and we were only sorry we didn't have longer there. It was market day too but by the time we got there the market was closing which was a shame. Of course it's also where the mustard is from and every shop sold all kinds of mustard in all kinds of containers, it was wonderful! We found the shop in a small cobbled street and I ended up buying the jug in two sizes, bowls, a tray and a metal sign all in the same design as the jug I saw in the cookbook!

Well I'm off to start getting things done!