Can I Take Your Picture Please?

I have just completed the most difficult of our PhotoClub assignments ever… We had to take portraits of strangers, talk to them, get their permission and find out something about them.

No problem, I thought! I’m the type who will talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything. My chidden used to tell me off for doing it; my husband finds it very amusing/embarrassing. I’ll manage to do this one standing on my head!

Oh how the mighty fell!

There is something so very personal about taking a portrait of someone, let alone a stranger. The old adage of taking a piece of their soul seemed to spring to my mind. Let alone posing as a photography student! Which I am. Honestly. I even had cards made to prove it, and give them a link to here… I gave 1 away!

After spending most of the month getting over this ridiculous chest lurgy I eventually managed a day in London and headed up to Borough Market to see who I could find. My nerves got the better of me and I kept forgetting to ask the subject’s name, or tell them mine, and certainly forgot to give them my card!

Eventually though, despite getting to grips with my fab new camera, I managed to meet some wonderful folks who let me snap them…

"John & James"
“John & James”

These two great chaps were already laughing over their morning coffees when they agreed to let me snap them. I was so grateful I forgot to ask their names…

Haley
Haley meanwhile was showing her friend Roxanne round London. 

These are just a couple of my favourite ones…tomorrow night I will get to find out what our teacher thinks…

Lx

New Year New Me?

Is it too late to wish you Happy New Year? I hope not, as this was the week my new year was going to start…as it is I’m just getting govern this dreaded lurgy that is going around for the second time…so I may say  my new year will start next week!

Anyway, did you have a good festive time? I would have if most of it had not been in bed, but it didn’t stop the Men dragging me off on a plane to ski! I managed two mornings of brief skiing before the body reacted and told me not to be a bloody idiot. It was lovely to have our Son guiding and teaching me and I felt so safe in his hands. I even managed to get down a ridiculously icy slope that otherwise I would have scaled on my bum ( I’m not a proud skier!)

Then New Year’s Eve I told Hubby that that was my lot. I wasn’t fit to ski any more and was just going to walk the rest of the holiday. He accepted that without making me feel guilty about the cost of the ski pass or anything, which was fab!

New Year’s Day saw a strange change in me.

Since the funeral of a school friend in the Summer I had been experiencing a lot of anger and almost complete loss of faith ( well, who was I angry at if not God?). AS I walked through the beautiful, peaceful snowy landscape I thought of my friend. She seems dot be walking with me as she loved the Alps, and I felt this complete warmth fill me. And it was complete – since then I have felt so much more at ease with myself, my men, my life. I have looked after myself as this lurgy came back. I haven’t felt guilt about staying in bed, eating chocolate when I want it, not doing any of the things I thought I would…helped in this by my Fabulous cleaner who I regard as a friend and my hero! I even allowed our golf guests to look after themselves rather than rushing round like a mother hen and taxi service.

Is this a new me? I hope so. I feel very grateful to my old friend for visiting me, and helping me. She was such an amazing woman when alive, and she is obviously using her wings to still help others.

So, when I am 100% better I am hoping to continue this complete, warm new life…just to warn you! With my new camera which Father Xmas gave me I shall be showing you all why afab world I ( and you ) live in…I even have cards to give out to those who help me in my pictures – subjects who allow me to capture them etc.

I have also decided to put more things in the holiday cottage – dressing gowns, shower caps and spare toothbrush sets. All from staying in the fab self-catering apartment we used this time. Those were the things we had/ didn’t have that struck me. Hope they make  difference for my guests.

Right, I’m off to take another antibiotic and continue my recovery.

L xIMG_0051

 

‘Twas the Night before Christmas

…and all through the house…

rampaged a panicking woman who realised that it was all too late!

Too late to turn her lard body into the lean fit skiing machine her husband had achieved…

Too late to fit into the ski clothes that fitted two years ago when the personal trainer had worked so hard on her…

Too late to sensibly say to her friend that she couldn’t go with her straight after the skiing trip….

Slowly the woman calmed down, made a list of what she had to do, realised she could do the important things, including supporting her friend, and still fulfil everyone’s expectations. it was all a matter of timing and prioritising.

Nothing could be done about the lack of fitness, but she knew what to do on the slopes, her son was a qualified instructor, and she could always do something else on the slopes ( like have a hot chocolate whilst taking pictures). She had plenty of time to try on the ski clothes, pack those that could be worn, substitute those that couldn’t and pack, pack a small suitcase for the couple of days with her friend afterwards, and most of the house was ready fro the guests arriving the day after that.

So what was the point in panicking? It was 5 am and that is the worst time for this sort of thing! She breathed, went downstairs to be greeted by her loving pets, fed and watered them, and then came back to bed with a mug of tea and wrote her blog…

SO, Dear Reader, I am wishing you a wonderful, Peaceful Christmas. Life is never as bad as I think when I sit and really think about it, and i hope you realise this too.

May your God bless you and keep you safe.

L x

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Is THAT What You Think?

This weekend gave Hubby and me a huge example of how differently we view things, and how differently we think, whilst assuming we are on the same wave length…WARNING – I may not come out of this looking good!

Hubby has been asked to take on something in 2016, outside work which will last 2 years and take up quite a few weekends and parts of his holiday too. It is something that we have talked about in the distant and relatively recent past, and as always I am behind Hubby 100%, dutiful wife etc. He works hard and deserves to enjoy his ‘down time’.

The problem for me is that we don’t see much of each other at the mo with his present extra-curricular activities, as he has to use quite a lot of his holiday time to take part in two things other than work…oh dear, I can see I really am beginning to look bad here…

My reaction was “oh no, not yet, please” silently, to myself, as a wave of sadness hit when I realised Hubby had already said yes to this new thing. I’m not too sure I hid my feelings as well as I wanted to during the dinner, but wine was drunk, laughter and fun was had, and a good night’s sleep ensued.

Once the guests had departed on Sunday morning we had a chance to chat…but I started it. I just quietly said that whilst I was really pleased and proud of this opportunity for Hubby,  I would have liked to have been consulted first, as a courtesy; the way it had occurred made me feel as if my feelings were not important to Hubby. This is how I felt. He was shocked, and said he didn’t mean me to feel this at all – it was just that he knew I was ok with it, and if he didn’t say yes this time he may not get asked again.

The sadness and lonely feeling lifted, only the odd tear fell from me, and harmony resumed in The Bisson household. ( sounds of cheering in the background should accompany this reading.)

Now, Dear Reader, I wonder if the way you react to this blog will be tinged by your gender? Or am I just a spoilt brat? I don’t think I am – well, not in this instance! I feel being consulted on something that impinges on my relationship with Hubby is important – It is a sign of not being taken for granted.

It does work both ways, and I have always included Hubby in the decisions I have taken about occupations and hobbies that have taken me away from the family. To feel as important in a relationship as the other person is, I think, one of the ingredients required for a long and happy marriage…which so far we are achieving. Long may this continue. (fingers are being crossed as I type)

The point of this blog? Please make sure your significant other half feels they are included in decisions.

On that note, I’m off to have The Little Miracle checked and hopefully turn dup a bit! Have a fab day wherever you are.

L x

I am…

 

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Morning. I am starting the day with a little more force than usual.

I have fed the pets, everyone has been out and all have safely come in, and here I am chatting to you.

Why? I got woken at 4.20 this morning by a hot flush. Not unusual as I had had some Cadbury’s chocolate yesterday, and sugar is my trigger. So, I listened to an Audio Book whilst dozing until Midweek Motivation by Jayne M Cox came into my inbox as it does every Wednesday. here’s the link…http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=2616f02d31b1e827414add1cb&id=417b5d6fd2&e=4227bc274b

This one is a Ted talk about Faking It Until It’s Real…something I do often on Twitter – now, stop yelling at me! I tweet happiness and positivity because who wants to read about a moping, sado?! I don’t consider it lying unless its lying to myself, and it makes me feel better, it really does! I Fake It!

So, when everyone started to wake up on Twitter etc I put on the light, my dressing gown, and came down here, and I have done my power stance…outside! Looking up at the stars, swilling my coconut oil in my mouth, loving the odd twinkling star, and amazed I can do that in November…but I am digressing!

Today I am going to fake being an organised, energetic, lively, thin person…those who know me will know at least one of those is not real. And I can hear Jayne already yelling at me! I CAN be those things, but I find it easy to slip into the mindset of the fat, lazy, detached, TV slob. Just being honest here – you can switch off anytime if you are bored

I USED to be the former, when I was younger, a working mum, and even after we moved to the country and I gave up work to look after the kids ( something I never regret!). I can be those things again, I just need the motivation – and I don’t think I’m alone here! It’s only going to come from me!

I even started to fill out the forms for these 2 wonder pills that make you lose stones in a month…mainly for skiing after Christmas…as they say you don’t lose energy etc. I will ask my nutritionist first ( a 24 year old beauty!) who will talk me out of it, at least I’m assuming she will…

Anyway, back to the Fake it to Make it thought…It has hit me at just the right time. My mind feels as if it is disintegrating, I forget words very easily, and listening to others at Art yesterday I realised I am wasting my life at the moment. One of the ladies, who was a high-powered school teacher, is taking an Open university course in the History of Art. What am I doing? Nothing!

SO…from today I am going to fake being an interesting, intelligent, engaged, organised, self-disciplined, woman who knows her own mind. It won’t hurt to drink a lot more water and eat less sugar which is half the problem right there! I used to be all these things, and as I am not about to pop my clogs any time soon, I WILL be again!

Another thought just comes to me as I get ready to sign off…talking to Hubby recently I said how I hate to be judged (my holiday cottage had its inspection on Monday – 4 stars again!) – I think I know who is my biggest Judge…me.

Go be fabulous, folks! You know you can!

Lx

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Pump Up The Volume…please

Yes, I am asking for the volume to be turned up …on the Little Miracle!

I have, I think, got used to using my LM, and now there are situations where I really would like more volume. Certainly not in the cinema earlier this week whilst watching Interstellar…a fab film, btw! I came away wanting to go into space asap…never going to happen sadly! However there have been a couple of days when either in a restaurant or listening to the car radio when i could have done with more volume.

This hearing aid is not the type you can fiddle with – it is set up by a computer by the expert, and when it was first set up he did say most people come back asking for more.

The other morning, sitting in the kitchen over a cuppa and the computer I became aware of the ticking of the clock…something I have been missing but didn’t realise. It is such a peaceful sound, I just stopped to listen for a while.

All of this makes me think of my mother, who was deaf from the age of 8 following hooping cough. What she had gone through – the frustration, missing the little things…it just makes me admire her; and perhaps gives me a little more understanding of what drove her. I am a little sad that I can’t share this experience with her.

SO, in a couple of weeks, I go back to The Expert and I will be asking for more volume!

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It DOES make a difference!

I’m sitting in my kitchen watching breakfast TV, sipping a herbal tea ( I’ve actually run out of  milk!), a purring cat on my lap – just, he’s slipping as I type – and I’ve NOT got my hearing aid in…and it is different!

Occasionally yesterday I wasn’t sure if the Little Miracle was working or not. I’d take it out and turn it off and on just to check. When I put it in my ear after turning it on I can hear some chimes that sound rather like those on a station platform, and I almost expect to hear the announcement that the next train will be for… I am taking this as the sign that my brain is very quickly getting used to hearing through both ears again. Who thought I’d get it retrained so easily?! Teehee!

I do keep touching it, making sure it is in properly…I went for a dog walk with it in, and as it started to rain I put my hood up, and just caught it falling out. The sound of the rain drops falling on the hood was amazing! It reminded me of sitting in my pushchair as a toddler feeling warm and safe whilst my poor old mum pushed me home! Very evocative! I will start yoga with it in and see what happens today. Must remember to wear trousers with a pocket tho! And to put it on my house insurance!!!

So, I’m off to shower and then put the LM (Little Miracle) in and start the wonder all over again. I’m sending a huge grateful thanks to the inventors and manufacturers of this creation! I wish my mother had had such a wonderful one!

L x

What’s that noise???

It’s was momentous day yesterday! I had just been terrified in the supermarket by a huge, unidentified noise as I was on the phone to Son!!! A roaring, rushing, metallic sound. I spun round, telling Son that there was something going on…

And there, round the corner, came the metal cage that the supermarket workers transport lots of boxes in!!! Who knew they were so loud??

Yes, you’ve guessed it, I have finally got my hearing aid! Whoop, Whoop!  You can’t imagine the difference it makes…the noise of the tapping as I type, the rustle of pages turning, I seem to breathe rather loudly too! The TV doesn’t have to be up so loud now, which will please the men in the family…but hopefully I shall also hear them when they are muttering together on the sofa!! HA!

This miracle is rather small, and fits inside my ear Photo on 03-11-2014 at 18.33It comes with a full kit of brushes and whistles to keep it clean and in working order, in a lovely black crash-proof box… I wonder if they have been watching me? ( and looking at this photograph I can see the odd wisdom hair showing!)

The down side is A) The cost (£££), and B) It goes through batteries every 4 days! But it is a wonderful HiFi system, so it will be worth it…Must remember to put in a standing order with Amazon!

I tested my hearing last night by watching one of the Alien films…well, it is that time of year… and we didn’t have to have it blasting out so much the furniture shook, so it’s worth it!

On a serious note, I am lucky that I grew up with a mum with lots of different sized hearing aids over the years, so this little thing will be no problem to wear. I do wonder if it is going to make me feel slightly older. As it is I seem to be looking older these days…must drink more water!

I’ll let you knowhow I get on…so far I’m loving it!

L x

Can you hear me?

imagesRemember I told you I’m getting a hearing aid?

I am, aged 55 ¾, suffering form 70% hearing loss in my right ear after an ear infection 5 years ago. It has steadily got worse, so the consultant sent me off to a hearing centre near us, where I was re-tested in a fab enclosed chair with all those knobbly bits on the walls that remind me of the insides of an egg carton.

I was then injected in the ear with gunk to make a mould of my inner ear…I wish I had a picture to show you – I’m hoping to be allowed to have a copy of it to put in my china cabinet, it fascinates me that much!

Sadly when I went to the fitting of the hearing aid the computer told us there was too much “leakage” of sound so it had to go back to be remade. I can’t tell you how upset I felt. I had just heard full sound on both sides of my head for the first time in years, and I was astounded at the difference. Then to be told I couldn’t take the hearing aid with me was a bit of a blow!

Worse was to come ….on Friday a very apologetic lady called me to say that between the makers and the delivery service my hearing aid has been lost!!! I could have gone ballistic, but what would the point be? It wasn’t that person’s fault…we had a laugh over it, and she has promised to call me the minute it arrives – even if it has to be remade. It’s amazing how many puns can be made over not hearing something…I’m waiting to hear from them!

For the moment I still feel lopsided, and have to cup my good ear towards whoever is speaking in a noisy environment, but soon I shall hear EVERYHING!  You have been warned! Teehee!

Watch this space!

Lx

Its Monday Again

True, I know, it comes every week! Some people find it the worst day of the week, others find it a great day – a new start, a chance to get things done, start new projects; for house folks its the time to get the house straight after the weekend.

For me this week Monday brings a chance to remind myself that I am not as much of a klutz as I think I am! We had a dinner party for the golf club board, wives as well thankfully! I had panicked over the food, but managed to not poison anyone. The food came roughly on time, the puddings, made by a friend, were fab, and the guests were very well behaved…ie great conversationists, and made me feel a great hostess. Well done Ladies and Gents!

We all know that practice makes perfect and if we entertained more I wouldn’t get in such a panic! Hm, me thinks we may be grumpy hermits! Well, one excuse is Hubby works so hard, or is travelling or, naturally, on the golf course!  No, I’m not going to put this on a New Year’s Resolution List!! Those things never get done!

SO, today the sun is shining on our part of the UK, the cottage guests are ready to depart, and I have a pile of washing and ironing to keep me going all afternoon…this morning I’ll hit the supermarket to stock up on fresh, healthy food for home made soups etc…oh, who is sounding like a Domestic Goddess? And don’t think I can’t hear you sniggering out there! IT WILL GET DONE!!

Righty, I’m off in my new beast to cruse the country roads towards Tummy Heaven….ok, “going shopping”…honestly, I try to bring poetry into you lives…

Have a great week folks!

L x P1090767

What a Week!

Its Friday morning, and per usual, I have the Cottage changeover about to happen. Another lovely couple have had a great week relaxing, despite the weather. I love that feeling I get when I know my customers have enjoyed them selves and another couple are coming for more of the same in a few hours.

This week has been a full one, and so far has left me feeling more confident…thank goodness!

Tuesday was a REALLY full day. Art was cut short so I could go to the garage to pick up my new car. OH BOY!!!! If you are not into cars you just won’t understand…She is a Black Beauty inside and out. No frills, just the basic model, but Audi can pay me to do an advert on how brill the basic model is these days! I am having to get used to the stop/start thing, where the engine shuts off when you are in traffic or at lights…very useful and appeals to my “watch out for the environment” bit. I am loving the hands-free ability to call folks safely! That was really useful on my way from the garage to the hospital to pick up Son from his second knee op.

It was only a Tuesday but some bits of the journey were bad – traffic jams and roadworks; me clutching the steering wheel tightly as I wasn’t used to the car yet. She got my there by 6-ish having left Eastbourne about 3-ish.

Son and I were so relieved when the surgeon came to see him, showed him the photos of inside his knee, before and after shots. He certainly needed this op, and has been told there should be no reason why he can’t ski again! WOOHOOs all round.

Sadly we didn’t get away from Harrow until 10pm. With a well-needed stop off for some refreshment…well, I say refreshment. I am NEVER going to have a McDonalds’ beef burger every again, but it was the only thing open at midnight! We got home after 1am.  Bed by 1.30 and I was out like a light!

Since then I have “had to” do a few trips in the car, to get various things for a V important dinner on Saturday night…and stopped off at a friend’s house to show off! She is far more of a petrol head than me and kept asking Qs I had no idea of the answers! She is threatening to give me a quiz next time she sees me!! I’m going to have to read the handbook!

So off to clean the cottage now, and prep it for the new guests; then try to decide what I can make the day before so that I’m not in a panic tomorrow!!!

Have a great day folks, and smile at strangers! And welcome to my new followers!!

Lx

 

 

 

Decision Made!

 

The Decision is Made …

And the car I have chosen is…(play the music link above please…)…

The Audi A6 Allroad Estate…generic_image.img

Now, don’t you feel so much better for knowing that? I know I do. No, really, I DO!!! I was beginning to get a headache, stressing about which car to chose before my beloved Doris finally gave up on me! Him Indoors and I almost had a disagreement about it over the phone, and we hardly ever do that!

I have test driven Lexus, Audi and Mercedes…doesn’t seem a lot but those were the makes I had focused on. The Mercedes guy was very helpful, letting me rock up and test drive on spec, but he blew it with his mildly patronising attitude about when would my husband be able to come in and see the car…yes, I want to discuss it and agree with Him, but the final decision is MINE! Luckily that attitude is on the way out. I won’t tell you the restraint I had to use when he tried to show me how to use their website too!!!!

SO, next week I take possession of my very first brand new car. Ever! I always said it made more sense to get mildly used ones, but the deal was just too good, and He agreed with me ( sensible chap). I will be able to collect our son from his second knee operation in The New Beast and drive him him home in comfort; Audrey (just trying he name out here) will look good on the drive when we have guests fro dinner that Saturday…yes, I AM that shallow, get over it! I just hope the trip to the supermarket won’t be too traumatic, the first time trying to park without my beloved parking camera! Well, you can’t have everything!

Just so long as I can get Radio 4 Extra on the DAB radio…

Wish me luck…

Lx