Got A Date!

No, not one of those…nor those. This is a date for a new knee operation! Woohoo! At last I can plan the next few weeks, and then a couple of months ahead…I like to know what’s going on. This is not to say I don’t like surprises ( so long as they are good ones, involving friends, alcohol, fast cars, nice young men…ahem, back to reality…) but as I get older ( and more forgetful) I like to put things in my diary and know it will happen. It also helps me plan for needing cover for the holiday cottage changeovers on a Friday. Also hubby now knows when I will need his help after the intensive hydro-physio. Did I tell you I am going to the same place Andy Murray went to recover after his hip op? Posh, eh! Apparently this method has speeded up recovery for the majority of users, so I really hope it will get me back up and running ( stop laughing! You know what I mean!) sooner.

The worst bit of all of this is not being able to drive for a few weeks. I don’t mind not being able to do the food shopping – online will be fun for a while, and Hubby can read a list as well as cooking…I’ve trained him well. However not being able to just go somewhere when I want to, with whatever I need in the boot, will drive me nuts!!!! BE WARNED!!!!

My main concern at the moment is the hospital I am going to is so new it has yet to be commissioned. However it is being run by Ze Germans, who are very efficient as we know, and I will be very surprised if anything goes wrong. Then the health insurance company has to like them too…Once all of that is in place I will relax a bit. It is the reliance on others I don’t like; I’m not good at asking for help – my mother was always doing it and I found it so embarrassing somehow – and I really don’t like asking Hubby to help… because he works for a Japanese company who think home life is nothing to do with them and should fit in around your work. That being said, when I am due to leave the hospital for the clinic Hubby will be in a golf committee meeting that cannot be missed! I am raising my eyes to heaven as many a golf widow will recognise. I have some lovely friends who have volunteered to drive me, and I am so grateful, but finding it difficult to say yes. It’s me, not them! I am reluctant to ask my son too…but that has more to do with the size and state of his car!! Small and messy, just like his mother. His car, not him!

So hopefully this time next month I will be doped up to the eyes with painkillers, a lovely scar running down the front of my knee, nice young things answering my buzzer, and nothing but physio to do…reality involves being bullied into walking up and down corridors and then stairs when you don’t want to but know you must, and is good for you. I’m expecting no sympathy from Hubby as he will be at work ( nice air-conditioned office!), but know he will be mildly at a loss as most men are when their significant other is in hospital. All say ahhhh, bless them. Send Chocolate!

Is There A Button?

Oh Dear Reader, I am feeling very much like the bear of very little brain ( Winnie-ther-pooh for those of you not brought up on him) this morning.

I mentioned I had a blog on one of my favourite Facebook sites ( more later) and someone said they couldn’t find the Subscribe Button…Hm, I thought as Hubby chuntered at the US Open on TV (golf), that’s a point…how do people get this blog if they want to? So I have gayly clicked on buttons and answered questions, scratched my head, and am now wondering what the hell I have just signed up for! I really shouldn’t be let out and ought to be sent back to bed!

There should now be a bright ¬†button for MailChimp subscription to this site somewhere (ok, I’ll check in a mo…but let me finish this first, please or I’ll completely forget what I wanted to say!!) where you can follow my thoughts…and good luck to you! Son bought a T-Shirt whilst skiing that said “Don’t follow me, I’m lost too…” Sometimes it really is the story of my life! ūüėČ

I don’t pretend to be a thick person, nor an IT genius, and technology has passed me in the fast lane as I’m still trying to read the signpost, but surely somethings should not be this confusing? Or is it me? Am I losing my concentration…oh, look, a butterfly!

Now a confession…I AM losing my concentration! Stop laughing! This morning I had to drive Hubby to Ashford International train station as his train from Rye was late and he might miss the connection ( transport requires it’s own Grumpy Old Woman post!), and on the way back I was so enjoying listening to Just A Minute on Radio Xtra I drove straight home instead of going to the swimming pool! I even had my costume on under my clothes!! For goodness sake don’t tell Son or he’ll have me booked into the Old People’s Home asap!

So, here’s hoping I have done the right thing and not signed up to some international selling corporation, when all I wanted was to make life easier for you all to follow me…there’s a lot to be said for a trail of breadcrumbs!

Lx

Ps Fav site is about Jodi Taylor’s books about a university that studies History “in contemporary time”, and no its not Time Travel!

Professionalism

Its a big word, which sadly seems to be going out of style in this modern age of emails etc.¬† Ok, so I am in my “Grumpy Old Woman’ mood…but I’m not really! I just think that we have got out of the habit of replying to emails professionally!!

For instance: our wonderful new conservatory ( Hubby keeps on calling it an Orangery…I am rolling my eyes as I type) is now finished and is almost everything I dreamed it would be. In fact I have to restrain myself from saying “I was SO right to have this done” every time He and I sit in it. It now needs an energy rating thingy so we can get our building regs etc finished off. The conservatory company arranged this, but didn’t bother to tell me they were doing it. The first I got to know about it was a phone call whilst I was driving from some chap called “Steve” saying could his chap come at a specified date…his name was Alan. I asked Steve to call me back, which he did later, and I expected an email from the main company to back all this up. No such email arrived.

At the specified time a man turned up in a high vis vest, and a clip board, and proceeded to ask me for plans of the house, any drawings etc. I was rather confused as “Steve” had lead me to believe this was just for the new bit. Perhaps I should have looked into it beforehand, but when I questioned “Alan” he said some chap called Steve, he didn’t know from where, had asked him to do this. I gave him a coffee whilst I tried to get hold of the conservatory folks and “Steve” with no luck; Steve tried to sell me food supplements in the meantime, telling me I had a weathered face which needed collagen!! I called my husband who immediately said “no, ask him to leave; we don’t know who he really is, and don’t let him take photos of the place.” … so that plus Hubby’s comments lead me to ask “Alan” to leave as I was not happy, and wished for official confirmation etc. He left shrugging his shoulders.

I eventually got the right person at the conservatory company who told me it was all above board, but agreed it had not been handled very professionally, and we would re-book it all but with confirmation emails about everything.

Now, am I being rather old-fashioned? Am I to let any Tom, Dick, or Alan into my house on a telephone call, to take photos etc? I don’t think so!

I am not really a shrinking violet; if I sat on someone I’d probably break their ribs ( if I could reach high enough to get them on the ground!) However it unnerved me that there was no official documentation about any of this. What if I had been a little old lady? No, I am NOT that yet, thank you very much…I can hear the sniggers at the back! It really hasn’t taken that much effort for everyone involved to email me their details etc this time, so why wasn’t it done in the first place?

I also have to get a fob re-sent from a key company because they didn’t inform me it had been sent and I needed to be in for the delivery! I really am rolling my eyes at this one!

Ok. rant over. However folks, can we just make sure everything that needs to be confirmed in writing/by email is done so? That way nobody’s time is wasted!!!

I’m climbing off the soap box now…could someone just lend me a hand, it’s a bit high for me…someone?…anyone?…hello?

Lx

 

New Room Update

 

How many weeks is it since we started this project? Sometime in September the old conservatory went and a brand new conservatory-end of our old TV room emerged. It has changed the nature of the room, and has given us the wonderful problem of what to call it…TV room is just not descriptive enough, nor is gym room despite the treadmill going back in there when it’s finished. It most definitely is NOT an orangery (Hubby take note) (he won’t, he doesn’t read this…does he know it exists??) Family room, Snug, Den…all good names, but not for this fab space! Of course, MINE springs to mind, teehee, as I shall be in there at almost every chance…the view, the light, THE WARMTH.

SO far the underfloor heating is working, and has produced THE warmest room in the house. This just adds to my frustration that we are not further on. The screed seems to be taking a long time to dry out, and now we have a dehumidifier helping it along. I don’t want to get the engineered oak for the floor yet to avoid any warping: it needs to be left in the room for 2 weeks before being laid to allow it to acclimatise. The new little window won’t go in until just before Christmas, so no decorating until that happens…there is enough dust in there anyway.

One reason it is all taking so long is apparently we should have rubbed off the white latex layer soon after it solidified…who knew? Not me, no-one told me. The builder, who changed it from dry screed to wet for some unknown reason, has not been seen since it went down ( done by an expert company, not the builders), and I have not heard from him…en email will be going this weekend.

As with all building projects there have been niggles. I shall never do this again (hopefully), but if I do it will all be done by local builders I know, rather than using the ones suggested. I shall get professional help locally…oh I could go on, but it’s all academic now.

Now I just have to be patient..um, not one of my virtues, as any member of the family will tell you. I will be surprised if its ready for Christmas sadly, nor for The President’s Putter at the beginning of January (it’s a golf competition for anyone who played golf officially for Oxford and Cambridge universities, played in all weathers, with great camaraderie and keen competitiveness). Hopefully it might be ready by the time the Cambridge golf team come to stay at the end of January…PLEASE!!!!!!!

I will now concentrate on Christmas…OMG it’s only 3 weeks away…out of my way, I need to panic!

Lx

The Builders are here, put the kettle on.

Have you, now or in the past, ever had The Builders in? Those of you who have will know how I am feeling. For those of you who have never had this phenomenon, here are a few tips for survival…

  1. Tea/Coffee. Always have a huge supply of these in your store cupboards. They may or may not be needed, but you can guarantee if you haven’t got either of these The Builders will ask for that one!
  2. Biscuits. Now you may have one of those rare Builders who doesn’t eat custard creams or ddigestive biscuits, but I haven’t come across them yet. Certainly British Builders love to munch.
  3. Earplugs. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a mansion where you can’t hear what goes on down the other end, buy some of these. Alternatively, plug yourself into your favourite music…no, don’t try an audio book, you will miss something vital. Ah, you think your noise cancelling headphones can block out the sound of a jackhammer? FORGET IT.
  4. Loo paper….enough said!
  5. Draft Excluders. Dust can move through walls and doors through the smallest of cracks. Be prepared to hoover every night, every day.
  6. Go Out! If you don’t feel you can leave Them alone with your precious house, invite friends over for a Watch The Workers party. The Builders might even join in!
  7. Pets. If you have any Precious Pooches then it might be an idea to board them with a trusted friend; I don’t think they make ear defenders for animals, but I could be wrong… Don’t worry about your cats, they will get their own back in their own way!
  8. Have a PLAN. Know what your are expecting the builders to do and when. Go through it with The Builders when they first arrive, watch as they collapse in laughter at your time frame, and rate of work per day chart.
  9. Cash. Now some Builders respond to the old paper stuff and will do just what you want for the thought of extra dosh. But be careful!
  10. Pills. If all of the above fail, ask your doctor for something soothing, just for a few weeks (months?) until the project is finished…well, add a few weeks onto that please Doc, the final bill isn’t in yet…
  11. Budget. I would have put this as number one but lets face it, the final figure will bear no resemblance to your budget, and The Builder will have given you lots to think about along the journey.

These little tips have been given in jest, as I have a great bunch of lads working on my property now. However, for those of you who are planning some work in the future, here’s the number of my psychiatrist…;-) On the whole our “project” has gone swimmingly, from The Builders point of view. They know what they are doing and when, how long concrete takes to go off, how thick the base needs to be, and how many sugars in tea they all like (2…they all like 2! Makes it much easier for me). The unknown factor in this project is….ME! every time I am told something that makes sense at the time, I am in a blind panic when I try to describe it on FaceTime to Hubby on the other side of the World…well, He shouldn’t have asked how it was all going as He is about to go to sleep, now should He???? Why should I be the only one awake at 4am, worrying that they might not have put membrane down where they should have whilst I was away playing golf. I should NEVER have listened to Hubby who said to just get on with my life!!!!

I Love September!

 

 

Weird? I don’t think so. To me this month means new beginnings. As a child it meant getting back amongst people of my own age, new exercise books, learning new stuff ( not sure I can remember any of it now tho!). As a teenager it meant going back to boarding school (that bit wasn’t so great…I still feel sick in Headington, Oxford), seeing friends again and putting up with those who weren’t.

 

For me this month has never been “the end of summer, sob”. As I have got bigger and bigger it has also given me respite from being too hot. A chance to move more without looking like I have just run the London Marathon, to put on¬†big baggy jumpers that I love, and in the past BONFIRES! I love bonfires!!! Although I ¬†have had to let the gardener do the last ones as they had just got too big, and I got scared of burning down our shed!!

 

 

Now it means the start of another photography course, another drawing course, golf gets easier (when its not raining), another chance to try and lose weight by exercising more… yes, September for me means New Beginnings.

What does it mean to you?

Lx

I’ll Be Good…I Promise!

Calling all mums…have you an only child? Is it a boy? Then you will understand, hopefully, and the rest will just lecture I am sure.

If you have read any of my blogs you will know I have a great Son, aged 27, and I am proud of him for loads of reasons, not just that he has survived the loss of his sister when he was 13 and in the first term of his boarding school without going off any rails.

I love hearing about what he is getting up to in London, at work etc…and he occasionally phones to let me know. As he shares a flat with his father but rarely sees him due to work/social commitments on both sides it’s great to catch up. Nothing wrong with that surely?

(At this moment I have my Hubby’s voice and a few friends’ voices too, yelling “It’s none of your business” . Let me say right off I KNOW!!!!!! but I can’t believe I am the only mum who feels like this ….)

What am I chuntering on about? My son has met a wonderful young lady and they are about to embark on the next phase of their lives. Bless them, they came down to give me a great Mother’s Day after my long drive back from Yorkshire ( another blog in the writing)…great food, lots of drink ( oh my head!), and my son told me of their next move. I am so pleased for them!! I have only me his girlfriend twice now, but she seems kind, loving, and they seem to make eachother happy, which is what its all about, isn’t it.

I think I was good, and didn’t tell them what I thought they should do…I am sure my son would have told me if I’d been a nightmare!! However, I keep thinking “this is what I’d like to say to them from what Hubby and I did”…NO – NOT telling them what to do!!!! It IS their life, not mine, and boy, have times changed!! But not everything has, and I would like to tell them it might be a good idea to rent for a year or two to get used to living together first. After all, my son might have some dreadful habits which might drive her nuts- hIs father did!!

Are you yelling at the screen yet? I asked Hubby how he felt about it, and of course he is happy for them both “but its nothing to do with us”… GRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Am I a sad old biddy? I do have a life of my own, but he is our offspring and I am interested in his life….ok,ok, I am a nosy old biddy for sure, but I promise here that I really DON’T want to be one of THOSE mothers of sons who expects to be involved in every aspect of his life. I know they¬†will chose the best thing for them, and all I will offer is my support should it be needed, a bed and a meal whenever they want; I promise not to assume they will spend any public holiday with us ( as my mother did), unless they suggest it ( although some planning of food etc will be needed…no, no I will resist!),

In fact all I can promise is that I will do my best to be interested and not interfere. I will look forward to hearing what they are up to, but unless its been a month since I heard from them I won’t call to see if they are still alive…I am sure Hubby and friends will keep me to this! However I also promise I will never stop caring for them, and I do mean them not just him. I know he has grown up to be a good, kind, thoughtful chap (he had a good model), and I am sure she is wonderful, otherwise they wouldn’t be together.

Right, that’s me done…I am sure you want to yell at me that “it is none of your business!!!”…

L

Work in Progress

I am sitting in a new venue to write this – my husband’s desk in our study….sounds very posh and business-like doesn’t it, but as the desk is covered in my husband’s stuff there isn’t much room. It is all golf related with a no-longer-used cigar humidor in one corner, books, envelopes, golf rules files…It is my husband in a nutshell. I could move it all off so I can work in an uncluttered environment, looking out onto our garden (split lawns, one nick-named the Gin and Tonic lawn!) but I am reluctant to. Hubby is not here, and probably wouldn’t mind, if I put it all back where its supposed to be, but I am reluctant. It is his space.

Why aren’t I using my desk?? Its far too cluttered, is a drop-down desk, and if I open it I will have to acknowledge there is stuff in there decades old that I no longer need or use…that’s after I’ve picked up most of it that has tumbled out all over the place as it is so full. Do you shove things into draws to tidy up? Besides, it faces a dark wall, and there is an armchair in front of it….

So I have the perfect excuse to invade my husband’s space…and he is in London anyway until Friday as per usual.

I am trying to start a new discapline of sitting down to write something at least once a week. Stop groaning, I know I’ve said all this before! I need to change my mindset, get myself going, set new goals…yeah, yeah, heard it all before, I’ve said it all before – etc, etc! but that doesn’t make it any the less valuable for all that. Humans are always Work In Progress, as a species and as individuals. It is when this process stops that civilisations crumble, stagnate, decay. That is what I feel is happening with this individual, and so I look to the outside World for new influences.

At the moment that is scary, with all the tradegy that is out there. However, as always, thankfully, there are positives going on; humanity helps eachother in times of need, stress, horror, as it should. Let us hope that this continues!! For me it means making sure the world around me is a kinder place, showing those I know that I value them as friends, family, neighbours, even strangers. That also includes myself. It is tricky for those in power to know where to start to make things better when there are so many things needing improvement. For me it is much more simple…I need to move more, get out more, stop stagnating; the need to face the world even tho I am larger than I have ever been, to move more (even though on TV over the weekend I saw I am walking like Winnie-Ther-Pooh with stubby legs), and to concentrate on what can go right instead of what might go wrong.

So as our government here in the UK tries to work out how it can improve the lot of its populace, so I am going to work out how to improve my overall health, starting with a game of golf this afternoon…

Now, please don’t think I have been flippant comparing my obesity to the awful things that have happened in the last few weeks. I have typed my thoughts as they have flowed, realising that I have very few readers, but wanting to share what is going on with me. You can unfollow me if you feel strongly enough about it – I will be sorry, but as I don’t know you personally I am not going to have a huge outpouring of grief on social media. Just because someone does not pour their hearts out on Twitter or Facebook does not mean they are not feeling sadness or horror over things occuring in the outside world. I think perhaps common sense and a real perspective are being squeezed out by the desire to look more upset than anyone else. There, probably that is another unpopular view I have revealed.

Before I loose every single  reader I am going to sign off, get off my backside, and go do something else. Have a wonderful day whatever you are doing.

Lx

I’m Back!

Hello!

Did you miss me? No? I have been off-line due to Jetpack update sending the site haywire… I think several folks have had that problem, but were more tech savvy than me and could fix it. It’s taken me all morning, and several goes to fix, and now I will celebrate by having lunch on my terrace! It is thanks in part to a friend on FB and the site hosts that I managed to get through this.

It is scary to go in and “fiddle” with computer stuff when you are not used to it, even with YouTube videos etc, as they show pages that look nothing like mine, or the addresses aren’t the same…you know what I mean, right? I’m wondering if I should go on a computer ¬†course for ‘almost oldies’…because, of course, I am not old yet!

Anyway, once I have sorted a particularly nasty looking bramble that is in my line of site, I will get back to entertaining you all.

Lx

Oh no…my fault!

Photo on 09-03-2017 at 14.16 #2 OMG!!!!! 

Have you ever had a day of panic when you find something isn’t working, you can’t remember passowrds ( or how to even spell the word itself!), and you can’t get to speak to a human being to talk you through what you think you need to do???

That was me yesterday when I logged onto this site and found it disabled! Arrrgh! Just as The Meuse, who rarely comes these days, had decided to pop in for coffee. I tried going in in different ways, then once I had got to a certain point I would be told of an error in large red and white banners. I stomped around the kitchen trying to wrack my menopause-addled brain for any passwords I had forgotten.

Late in the afternoon I realised I needed to contact my “server”…who??? Isn’t that WordPress?? Hold on, I’m sure I pay an annual sum to some company or other…begins with…A? Frantic calls late in the afternoon to a friend gave me a company…I emailed them, and then realised they are just my anti-spam guys; oh bugger! More help from Jo led me to discover a company under whose umbrella other companies get to host our sites. I had a lovely digital chat with Craig who said it wasn’t them, but try this company; discovery by Jo of yet another company, cries for a large gin to no-one ( Hubby in London during the week ), and then a rummage in the draws of the computer table (ok, so I am not organised and yes, I KNOW I should be! Give over!) triggered a memory of someone beginning with S….SI….SIG??? Ah ha! SGIS hosting! Got it…..

I managed to send them a cry for help, and poured myself that longed-for gin, cook supper, and fell asleep watching Sophie Rayworth finding out something about her ancestors (I’ll have to re-watch it later).

SO, here we are , and of course you can see all is resolved. What? You want to know what happened? oh well…confession is good for the soul…it turns out I had forgotten to pay my annual renewal…OK? Satisfied? Feeling smug? Or have you just checked when yours is due??

From today I promise not to procrastinate, and when the reminders pings into my electronic mail box, I will pay immediately! I am even now making a note of all the new passwords, sites, companies I need to know…I just want to check on April the Giraffe…

Lx

I admit it, I get depressed

“Oh don’t we all” I hear you cry.

It’s true, we all get down at times, have the Black Dog as Churchill called it, and I have those days too. However recently I have been having worse days – days when to be honest the thought that if I wasn’t here it wouldn’t matter. Other bad things too, which I won’t bore you with. Enough to say having to put my last cat down was the last straw…and no, I’m not a mad Cat Lady!

So now “in therapy”, and it is helping!! I hadn’t realised how much I was missing being able to honestly say things to another human; to have my views shown to me in a different way; to have questions asked that trigger different thoughts. It is early days but I do feel more positive now.

I wondered about posting this…but I am not ashamed of needing, and receiving, help. Sometimes it is good to confess.

Lx

 

 

Are you there?

Morning from a cooler South East of England. There is moisture in the air and the birds are singing like mad. Me and the pets are much happier now the intense heat has abated, even though it was only a few days.

I have a big decision to make about this site. I have just looked at my stats and realised a few things…

  1. I hardly blog any more
  2. hardly anyone is reading the blogs
  3. its costing me money!

SO…. do I keep this site going and try and blog more, assuming that the more I blog the more people will read it; or do I cut my losses and save the dosh in the long run?

Only I can decide this, and I’m not going to do it today…so You, whoever you are ( and indeed if you are there!) will have to wait for the next instalment!

In the meantime it is an art day today, so I will look out my pastels, find something in the garden I want to attempt to draw, then check the email about what we are supposed to be drawing (!), change the item, panic that I am late, and dash off!

 

Laters, dudes!

L x