What was I about to say?

I sat down and logged on here with lots I wanted to say…it took time to get connected with this broadband link ( we live 3 miles form the exchange and the line goes through trees!) and now I can’t remember what I was going to type!!! This is happening more and more in my speech too – I have word blindness every now and then. The family think this is very funny, but it worries me.

I was looking at the wing mirror yesterday and couldn’t think what it was called…Do you ever have this?

I assume it is a bit to do with my age, but perhaps more to do with the lack of using my brain for socialising, or reading – I have been listening to Audiobooks more and more lately, especially as I need to tidy the house! This house is full of books of all sorts; most I have read but there are a few that I have bought, put to one side, and forgotten. I used to put them in a pile beside my bed, but then they got covered with the days’ detritus, so that didn’t work!

Well, today I am going to make sure I speak to friends, and after more tidying up, I WILL sit down and read a book…it may not be a great work of literature ( I have never read and Dickens…don’t hate me!) but at least my brain will be working1

So, until I remember what it was I was going to tell you … have a great…um..thingy…DAY!

 

L xIMG_0867

The Circle of Life

How have you been?

It has been a full four weeks of emotions here, with a Birth, a Death and a Marriage weaved into the usual meeting of strangers and friends.

It started with the birth of a beautiful girl to my husband’s youngest niece…what is that relationship with us called? Grand- niece? It was a lovely easy birth with her sister as her birth partner. We got to meet Ruby at the family wedding ,and I got my fill of couples…but I’m jumping ahead!

Then came that awful news from Ann about her terminal cancer.

The following week we went up to Hoylake for The Open, met up with old friends, met new ones. I played golf with some of the wives…we all survived! Hubby and I managed a couple of evening meals alone which was wonderful; we met up with his family briefly for a meal too.

The week went smoothly and we flew off to the South of France for a complete rest for Hubby, and some precious time alone together. It was a little bit of France we hadn’t explored right next to on ewe know well, so we could dip in and out of the different atmospheres as we wanted. It included a fab trip to Cannes Hermes shop to get Hubby’s birthday present of a pocket handkerchief for his suits..oh, ok, so I got a scarf too (Teehee!) and some perfume, but did you honestly think I could go in there & not?? I do relies I have a fab Hubby!!

Then home for a whirlwind week.

It began with a lovely meeting at Hampton Court with an old friend about to fly back to Australia. We mixed history with gossip and news, enjoyed the modern showings of historical figures and places, and caught up.

The following day I drove to Gloucester to say an official Goodbye to my school friend. I met up with our third wheel, Mary and her husband briefly before we found some of the few free seats in the church. It was wonderful how many folks’ lives Ann touched. Yes, it was sad, yes I had a good chat with old friends, but yes – it has brought up some huge questions for me about Faith, Spiritual life etc. I thought I had come to terms with Death etc, but no…a different blog perhaps.

Then Thursday Son and I drove back up to Liverpool for the Family Wedding! Our middle niece married her lovely man with her son as the ring bearer and her daughter one of the bridesmaids. Lorna looked so beautiful, and Scott was very handsome and ‘together’ – we were very impressed. I think they will have a long and happy life together.

As with all family meetings there are good bits and bad, news and gossip, but i file most of my time cuddling the new grand- niece, Ruby!! She is so small and bright! Already holding her head up at 4 weeks old!!! and her fingers and toes are so long! No, I’m not in a rush to be a grandmother, but it gave me a quick taste of it! Son, I can wait!

Now, life is getting back to normal. The piles of washing and ironing have diminished, the garden has been stared at crossly and will be dragged back into shape slowly but surely. Nutrition-wise I need to detox and get back to my healthy living…am off to the nutritionist in a min…eeek, I must get going!

SO folks. All life in a few moments. in the midst of death there is life, and in life there is death. There is always a renewal going on somewhere, to remind us that nothing lasts for ever, good or bad. SO I’m taking a deep great here, counting my blessings, allowing myself to feel both the pain and the joy of each day; and moving forward.

May your day be filled with blessings.

 

Lx20140103-122003-pm.jpg

The Power of Shavasana (The Corpse Pose)

It seems a long time since I posted anything about my yoga. In fact it’s a long time since I managed a practice at home! I have no idea why, but I have found a fab teacher in Andrea at The Yoga School on The Ridge at Hastings. www.theyogaschool.co.uk

This morning I really needed my Yoga. if you have read my previous post you will know some very deep emotions have been brought to the surface following some dreadful news. The news has brought up feelings of grief from somewhere deep inside, that I thought had subsided.

After a wonderful practice where we ends dup with our legs posed weightless in the air we prepared for Shavasana, and I brought my legs down with the soles of my feet together and my knees falling apart. I think this is a pose which helps release emotions, and is one that is almost a default for me. Andrea asked me if I would like to rest in this position for Shavasana instead of my usual one with a wedge under my legs, as I looked so settled. She put a bolster either side of me under my knees to make sure there was not too much of a stretch getting in the way of my mind, warm pads on my palms, on my stomach and over my feet, a pillow under my head, and a blanket over me. We settled into the pose.

At first I found it difficult to let go, but then, as my breathing slowed and deepened, I suddenly felt this huge weight lift off my chest, almost pulling me up; there was this bright light coming towards me, and in the centre was an eye shape. All sadness seemed to go, and I felt happy. I think I was smiling.

Then I coughed and normality resumed…well, almost. The sadness I had brought with me no longer seemed trapped inside. After the class Andrea spoke to me and suddenly I was crying, telling her about my friend, about my daughter, my family! We talked for an hour, and shared our griefs. She told me off when I tried to apologise for holding her back, bless her.

Now, although I am still sad ( not strong enough a word) about my friend, I feel I have been given permission to acknowledge that I have feelings of grief about her; that it has brought up feelings of grief about my daughter; that I am different from others who don’t have these griefs. I will not bottle them up any more.

Bit of a shame it’s called The Corpse pose tho!!

Lx

 

‘Bye…

hugging_kittensSometimes the World serves up a mug of pain instead of a glass of champagne.

A couple of days ago I had a call from an old school friend who I haven’t seen in a while, but always reconnect with instantly – we went through quite a lot at boarding school, forming a trio with another friend of “Only Children”. If you are not an Only Child it can be difficult to understand, in the same we we don’t get your relationship with your siblings! (I used to dream of having an older brother who would look after me..yes, I realise he probably wouldn’t have now, but in my dream he would introduce me to all his very handsome friends!…well, I used to day-dream a lot!! )

I thought this call was just a catch-up, and in a way it was. My wonderfully strong friend had called me personally to tell me she has only a couple of months left to live.

She has survived a bad session of breast cancer which went to her lymph nodes over a decade ago, has brought up 3 wonderful children, worked for breast-feeding charities, is a very strong member of her church, and now has been struck by primary pancreatic cancer which has spread to the liver. She sounded so strong and matter-of-fact on the phone. She brought me up to speed, and we reminised about our lives, school, children, husbands.

An hour or so later, shell-shocked, and trying not to cry on the phone for her, we thanked each other for being friends, and I said “ok, bye”….and we hung up! And I immediately realised what I had said!!!! I cried, I walked round the house ( I was alone as both men were in London as per), then called our third friend, who was out. I left a message for my husband on his mobile as he never answers it in the evening, grabbed my camera and took the dog down the farm track to watch the sunset.

Going through my mind was how casual my “Bye” had been to her. I will always be grateful to her for having the courage to call me herself, and then I just casually finished the call! Now, I know I can call her back and tell her all  this, but would it help her? I will call her anyway, and we “chat” on Facebook and Twitter, but that moment has passed!

I wonder if I will have the chance to hug her again and say goodbye properly, but if I don’t I know she understands how important she is in my life.

SO, to those of you who don’t even say Goodbye when you hang up the phone ( something that REALLY gets my goat!), think on. It only takes a second.

 

And to my wonderful friend I will not say Goodbye yet, as I know we shall meet again either in this World, or the next. I love you.

Lx

 

Go With The Flow

Good  morning, is your day planned? Do you know what you have got to do today, what you can achieve? I had a great day planned…Art in the morning as it’s Tuesday, and gardening this afternoon…well, IN the garden anyway. ( for that read sunbathing!)

Last night I looked at my Angel cards and one of them was Flow…now I know why! My wonderful Tech guy has decided to come to sort out my broadband problems today instead of tomorrow, bless him. Unluckily for him he has had a puncture, but is still coming here from Ipswich, which is at least 100 miles away. I know, I know, there are peeps nearer who could sort it out, but this guy I trust, and we normally can fix things remotely. This time I need hardwear ( not to mention a few little knickknacks for my new baby!!) to ensure that my home network works, and we can offer free Wifi in my holiday cottage as advertised. Whilst he is fixing problems I’ll get him to give me a quick lesson on Baby for anything I am not sure about/don’t know…tricks of the trade stuff.

SO, I will go with the flow, change my plans without getting cross about it. I will be missing the chance to defeat a terrible drawing I was stuck on in art ( it’s the last lesson of the term) for the first time, but hey – I have learned a great deal in the process, which is what it’s all about. I will be able to help my cleaner cope with all the dust and mess in the drawing room where we’ve just had new windows put in.(..I have done quite a lot already in my defence!!) A problem will be sorted which is always great.

So as my Manga ( grandma) always said “Count your blessings” and I will…it could take me all day!

Lx20130820-071842-AM.jpg

 

The Bins! Love Them or Hate them…

Which are you? A Lover or Hater of the bins?

You can guess which I am from this blog!!!!!

I have just emptied the kitchen bin bag, putting it in the big black wheelie bin to discover that the window men had just dumped their rubbish from Friday night into it without a black bag!!!! GRRRRRRRR!!!!!! in fact…(*^$^$%£&^%(*^&(^£%%$^%*^(

When I was little it was always my father’s job to empty the bins, as well as polish our shoes on Sunday evening. Our lives are too different now, and it is left to whoever finds the bin full – which in reality means me as the Men are good at not seeing that it’s full!

Add to this the difference in every borough and county bin-emptying system, and you get bad bin etiquette! Oh for the days when it was all the same, and simple, and clean!!

And being the coward I am, I will say nothing to the chap that is here, and clean it up myself, as I did last week after the painters had done the same thing! I will then put a reminder up in my kitchen to myself to ask the next lot of builders NOT to do the same!!!!

Shame I have to.

Lx

New Week, New Technology

Morning. It is Monday, the start of the week for most people, and the sky is almost clear of clouds as I look out into my garden. It rained in the night, saving me from watering before breakfast, and allowing me to type this on my new laptop.

This new bit of technology has been long-coming for me, and produced very conflicting emotions. The main reason for buying it…well, one of the main reasons, was to be able to edit my photos not he fly, or at least wherever I am, and be able to send them off to the teacher even if I have no broadband here!!!

Last Sunday night saw me awake until well after midnight sending raw pics to our Photo club teacher over my mobile account as the phone line had died! usually I convert them into Jpegs with LightRoom, rename them, and put a little comment with each. None of this was possible due to ending to download LightRoom again onto my new hard drive on the main computer (which everyone uses). Oh the Frustrations!!! i’m surprised none of you heard me yelling!

Photo on 06-02-2012 at 16.00

SOOOO, I plucked up courage and looked at refurbished laptops on the Apple site…and looked, and cogitated, and argued with myself. I checked my bank balance…it could be done, but SHOULD it be done? It’s one of the most expensive etchings I have ever bought myself. (The last huge outlay was must first sound system with my first bonus in the ’80′s)

Being old-fashioned I wasted to talk to a human about it, and spoke to a lovely Irish lady who went through all the specs, the pros, the cons, and finally she said I deserved it!

Of course, she has no idea whether I do or not. I’m not too sure I do deserve it, but it is too late now!! I went ahead, despite having to phone my bank to assure them it was me trying to spend so much money with Apple, not a fraudster. In fact Apple called me back after that …the cynical amongst us will say they wanted my sale; the rest will do what I did, be thankful, and fork over the dosh!!

SO, this blog is brought to you care of my MacBook Pro, and a very dodgy broadband connection…which is a whole other blog!

Lx

Oh, What a Night!

And before you lot start saying “lucky Girl”, it wasn’t that type of night!

This weekend our phone line died. Which meant no broadband. Sunday might night was the deadline for this month’s Photography assignment, and as per I was leaving it all till the last moment…note to self, do it before the weekend next month!

I suspect it is all my fault, but don’t tell the phone company! We have a pressure washer, and the front door step needed hosing down after the door had been painted…getting the picture? The wiring is old, and I assume water has got into the line. So now when you pick up the phone it is like someone else is on the line…nothing…not even have breathing.

On the plus side we might get better broadband if they put in a new line ( she said fingers crossed)

Add on to that a flat battery in my car from last Wednesday night (I think) when I left the keys in it…took me ages to find them too!!

So, when Son returned from the supermarket trip, and before he disappears up to London, we will jump start my trusty, if dusty, steed and I will go on a long journey to recharge my batteries….in both senses!

I have decided to go to Lewis in East Sussex as I haven’t been for decades! It is the county’s administrative centre, plus has loads to see and do. I didn’t know that .anne of Cleaves lived there, for example. Also the re is a shop of Polish Pottery that I keep seeing at the Country Living Fair and have always wanted to look at some more (ok, so I want to buy some too!)

I will make sure I have my AA card with me incase the car doesn’t start again when I return home though, as I’m not too sure I trust it…the battery. Googling how long it takes to recharge just gives you loads of different advice form “forget it, & get a new battery” to ” just drive for over 20minutes” It also depends on your car, the age of it and the age of the battery.
So, here’s to a better day after a very short night of brain fizzing; to new sights, sounds and discoveries.
I hope your days go well too.

Lx

20140623-090526 am-32726371.jpg

Long time No Type

Is it really that long since I put fingers to keyboard on this site? I wonder why I have not been inspired to do it until now?
Who knows. I think we come to these things as and when we need them, don’t you? I have not seemed to have “needed” to blog for a while.

How have you been?

I have started with a new nutritionist who has introduced me to smoothies for breakfast (noisy to make but FABulous to drink/slurp), spices in more of my food, something called quinoa which is good at clogging up the drains and maddeningly difficult to get out of the sieve but has an interesting taste and texture, and the joys of coconut water and oil and everything thereof… I’m not going to mention how it clears you out in the morning, but guess!

Hubby is now captain of his golf club which is great for him and our son. He is so good at that sort of thing, and smoothing out any wrinkls…not that there are any, I hasten to type! Of course, my golf is coming back now that the knee is feeling better, and the ladies at his course are being very friendly and kind to this outsider.

At the mo I am in Tunbridge Wells pottering whilst His car gets a service etc…always a dangerous day to be honest, and it has started in a very expensive way…but oh so worth it! No, really! Ok, so I have spent a vast fortune on a top/dress and a scarf, but they are sooooo useful! I promise! The top is black (boring) but with a beautiful gentle neckline and two slits up the skirt bit at the front.
At first when Annie, the very glamorous, older-then-me, assistant showed it to me on the hanger I was not impressed to be honest. I inwardly groaned at more black, but had never heard of the designer… (Dives into the beautifully wrapped parcels to remind myself)
Annette Görtz
There…oh, so much for the beautifully packed parcels!
I HAD to buy the huge scarf that went with it, and then I have let Hubby buy a sliver/grey sort-of-seethrough jumper thingy which will look fab over some smart black trousers…
Do you think I’ll be hanged when he gets home? Naaagh! I bought the first two, and they are perfect for The Open in July.

Yes, we are heading off the the golf again as Hubby is refereeing, and will be for another two years after this. We wives are beautifully looked after and we are all royally wined and dined, so the clothes are ESSENTIAL to hold up my end!

If I’ve told you all this before skip to the next bit…who yawned??

Meanwhile (yup, I got bored as well!) Son I a still at home with his knee as it has not healed as well as it should have after the op. Bless him he is sending loads of emails off for jobs etc but is hesitant as he may have to have another op, so his future is still uncertain.
I am enjoying watching Game of Thrones with him, and feeling angry as all my fav folks are killed off, or about to be! The latest films get watched, politics argue de about and hints at helping with gardening and washing are actually being heard! To those of you with teenage boys I yell loudly
“IT GETS BETTER, PROMISE!”

A I sip my liquorice and peppermint tea in a fab tea shop called Juliet’s in the old High Street, listening to the late 30-early 40s on the table next door I am planning the rest of the day here, as I have now done the clothes shopping!
It is ages since I’ve been to The Pantiles so that is next, with a walk up the hill back to the main shopping area for lunch and hopefully being picked up by the garage at a reasonable time after lunch.

I just have to stop dreaming about a pair of white and a pair of red slim legged trousers to go under the new dress/top…luckily(?) I don’t think there is a large sized shop for that sort of thing here…that I know of…at the mo…!

I wonder if I should just Google them…

Lx

Showing off never pays!

Ahhhhh…at last I’m snuggled in bed with my iPad, books, teddy and TV…. No, no Hubby, he’s in London.

Did you enjoy the glorious weekend weather? I did until I decided to show Hubby what I had learned on Last Monday at the WalkActive
We took our dog down to Rye Harbour where there is a tarmac path that is ideal for the walking…along with hundreds of others enjoying the sun!
Off I set, dog running at my heals as we wove in and out of the other strollers, leaving hubby behind. He later said his thoughts were “bloody hell” which is very unlike him so I must have been doing a good pace.
On I went, getting into my stride…and then it all went wrong! Can you guess what I had forgotten to do? Yes, warm up & stretch before starting the style walking!!
My left calf muscles started to swear at me so badly that when I had to side step for a group coming towards me I had to stop and try to stretch it out using a bench.
Hubby caught up to me looking very impressed, but it was too late! I had to walk at his pace for the rest of our walk…which he then took me off Tarmac round the bird sanctuary in Barefoot shoes… Not ideal folks!

But I did show him…even if showing off lead to pain. Next time I will warm up first and wait until I am past the slow strollers before showing them all my Open Ankles!

Right, I’m switching off the technologies and turning to my book before hopefully dreaming of a mixture of George Cloony, Brad Pitt and My Hubby!
Night all?
Lx

The Morning After The Day Before

It’s Tuesday, 4th March. It’s Pancake Day (woohoo). More importantly it’s the day after the WalkActive introductory day in London.

Did I survive?
How are my knees?
Will I ever walk again?

Such big Questions!

Well, dear Reader…oh YES,YES,YES!!!
To be honest I can’t believe it! My knees feel fine!! No pain, and in fact no stiffness either. I walked downstairs to make tea and had to remind myself I had walked loads yesterday! (15,889 steps!)
Ok, so my ankle tendon on one side did that slightly; and it may have helped falling asleep in a lovely hot bath of muscle relaxing bath salts, but it’s true! My body is not swearing at me for punishing it.

Now, before you all start saying, “well, it’s was only walking” there is no “only” about it! The WalkActive style is different from your usual slouchy! scuffing lope down the road to get the paper or walk the dog.

Let’s start at the beginning.
In my last blog about this I admitted to pre-conceived fears about my fellow walkers. I was completely wrong. My 39 fellow walkers came in all shapes, sizes, and ages, and we had one brave chap who came with his wife too. We all had read the article in the Daily Telegraph and had booked our places ages ago. When I chatted with some ladies before it all started we had the same slightly nervous questions and feelings about what had we let ourselves in for.
The majority of us were dressed ready for action, but there were some different foot wear examples, and one lady braved it in a skirt and tights( with trainers). One fellow walker had not thought about whether we would be walking outside. We sipped our coffee/tea/herbal drink, nibbled on fruit skewers, which were delicious, and waited.

Joanna came straight from another walking group, and shook hands with us all, glowing with health and vitality. She went through the technical points of why we all have been walking incorrectly and how to walk actively. We all had a quick practice standing near our chairs and then headed out to Regents Park to have a go… Imagine a slightly aged school group on an outing!

Spilt into two groups and with Joanna plus two of her trainers, Caroline & Julie( hope I’ve go that right!) , we were slowly shown how to put the 4elements together, feet upwards.
It rained!
Now, I would normally have headed back inside for another tea, but thanks to my golfing wet weather gear and the fascination of watching the first group emerge from the slightly-slouchy, apologetic walkers into the strong active walkers they became took my mind off the rain in my face. Of course when it came to Group 2′s turn the rain eased, and we too were transformed.

Think I’m exaggerating? Not a bit of it! We walked back into lunch, and couldn’t help but walk in the new way…even me!

Of course the fun began after lunch with the retail bit! Oh, I tried to resist! Honestly! After all, I have trainers (they were a bit damp, true), and how many bum bags and back packs have I got in my cupboards? But this beautiful pair of bright blue shows just yelled at me! And I couldn’t keep carrying my water bottle, could I?? See?

Camera Club

In the spirit of an Aquarian, I love trying new things. You all may have read my blog about the Camera Day Hubby gave me for Christmas? No? TUT! For those of you who have… Andrew runs these camera clubs in pubs (stop grinning) & I have joined the Eridge one. We met last Thursday night for our first session.

 

Around the big table was a group of folks with varying experiences with cameras, making for an interesting mix. After discussing our assignment for the month – Movement – we started to tentatively ask questions of Andrew and each other.  I started to try out this new idea to me of changing the shutter speed, moving the camera a the same time… as well as chatting with my old friend who had introduced me to all of this (Huge thanks Caroline).

Where are the pics I hear you cry…well, I am ashamed to say I don’t want to show you yet! i have had great fun, firstly rushing off to the nearest camera shop to buy a Negative Density Filter ( to compensate for all that light flooding into the camera on a slow shutter speed) (sounding knowledgeable am I? HA!) and ‘accidentally’ buying a fish-eye lens too (“but I’ve always wanted one, you see, Darling!”). Then trying out different settings as I took the dog on a walk. I have had a look at the results…some are not bad, some grotesque, others just plane black! i have altered a couple in Lightroom to see how they look…that’s allowed, before you start complaining!

And the real reason I’m not showing you? We have to submit 5 of our favourites/best to Andrew by the deadline. He will critique them for us, print them, and then he chooses one to print as a blow up and…yes, you’ve guessed it! My ugly competitive head has peeked out! I am ashamed, but there it is! i think I have a brilliant pic already, but we will see, faced with a semi-professional I don’t think I’m in with a chance!…

(You do know it’s the Oscars on Sunday? How am I doing? Teehee!)

So, wait until the end of March for an update!Photo on 01-03-2014 at 11.05 #2