Friday, 31 July 2015

Friday morning

So here we are at the end of not only the week but also the month of July which has been a grotty month in many ways.  It is absolutely perishing this morning with the temperatures down to 11ºC but the sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky.  I was feeling a bit wobbly yesterday so abandoned the idea of breaded chicken and instead I put the chicken thighs into a roasting tray along with an assortment of vegetables, mini peppers of all colours, tomatoes, courgettes, red onions and a good bunch of herbs.  I also made the peach and amaretti dish for desert which went down very well. 

Shiona brought me three pieces of knitting which need finishing off, actually they have only just been started, so there is plenty to keep me occupied.  One is a sort of cardigan in the same yarn as the shawls which is only half way up the back so plenty still to go.  Actually I knitted the back while we were in Scotland so I will now just continue where I left off.  There is no pressure as all the pieces have been abandoned so I can take my time to finish them. At least it gives me something constructive to do while I watch garbage on the TV.  All the pieces are made in difficult yarns which I guess is why they have been abandoned.  Anyway I am delighted to have a small project to occupy my hands.  

I am continuing with the pill regimen and am pleased that this morning I am up later and with no signs of panic which is very gratifying.  The men are continuing to be helpful and the atmosphere in the house is much more relaxed.  All of which make my life a bit easier.  

As yet I have made no plans for the day and will just play it by ear.  I don't need to put any pressure on myself just yet so I am just continuing to fill the charity box with bits and pieces as I come across them.  I will tackle some of the more major jobs when I feel a bit more stable.  Good job I gave myself a long lead in to get the house ready for the market.  

Well that about it for this morning time for my second cup of coffee and I might even have some breakfast.  Have a good day all even if you will need a cardigan!!!!


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Thursday morning

Yesterday was a good day I didn't have any panic and therefore had spare energy to get on with life.  I did the supermarket run and then handed the car over to James who did the dog walk while I got on with the lunch.  No panic equals no nausea and no exhaustion so I was feeling quite normal.  I repeated the same process with the pills but this morning I am a bit wobbly nothing dramatic but not quite right so I am going to have to work really hard to stay on track and not let the feelings get the better of me.  The really annoying thing about this whole thing is that my rational mind seems unable to override my emotional mind.  The fact that I know and understand the whole process and what is driving it doesn't make a halfpenny worth of difference.  No amount of talking to myself seems to have any effect.  Anyway I am hopeful that Shiona's visit will be a big distraction and I should be a bit more stable.  Life is hard enough with out the added bonus of the panic attacks which leave me completely exhausted.

Now on a lighter note I have planned to make some fried chicken in breadcrumbs with some stuffed little peppers and my favourite dessert of stuffed peaches, well nectarines actually.  I had real trouble in the supermarket finding fruit that was nearly ripe.  There seemed to be only stuff that will be ripe some time next century.  This is my own fault as peaches are really not in season yet so heaven only knows how long these have been kept in storage.  

I don't know if you watched "Trust me I'm a doctor" last night but there was some interesting stuff about oils used for cooking and guess what the safest are things like butter and lard not the vegetable oils like sunflower etc which are safe at room temperature but develop carcinogens once heated. Olive oil and rapeseed oil are the least worst of the oils.  So as usual it seems we have been wrongly advised.  I am a great believer in a little of what you fancy does you good and I like butter so have been ignoring all the hype about margarine type spreads and often fry in butter because I like the flavour it imparts. 

I hope that this saga might help someone else who is suffering with similar emotional problems though it is hard to admit all the failings I am trying to be completely honest.  That said time I got underway and made some preparation before Shiona arrives, however she is a really good cook so she is a great help in the kitchen and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty.  The weather looks good at the moment with nice sunshine even though it is quite cold a mere 13 degrees which is quite chilly for the time of year.  Yesterday started off like this but soon clouded over and we were left with a very dull day.

Have a good day all and thank you all for your kind words which really do help me feel a little less stupid.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Wednesday morning


Not everything in the garden is a disaster the lilies have really put on a nice display.

Yesterday was a bit of miserable day as I had the usual panic attack first thing but I agreed to go out for a walk with Sandie and her dogs at the time the last thing I fancied.  I know that fresh air is good for depression so out I went. Needless to say once through the barrier of the front door I felt marginally better and watching all 5 dogs have the best fun in the water was wonderful. Back at home the left over pizza was order of the day for lunch but I felt too nauseated to eat.  So I left mine until I was feeling a bit better.  The one thing about panic attacks is that they are very tiring so I went and put my feet up.  I managed to catch an hours sleep in the afternoon but again come supper time I was back in a flat spin.  I had to force myself to prepare the supper then couldn't eat it until a couple of hours later.  I had finally got round to making the tuna sauce which I served with cold chicken tomatoes and a few basil leaves all helped down with some crusty bread.  I spent some time reading up on antidepressants [not smart] only to discover research showing that they are no more useful than a placebo.  However there is also research to show that even when people know they are taking a placebo they still work.  I fell asleep with no trouble feeling absolutely washed out.  

When I woke at 3am I took a sleeping tablet which is a mild benzodiazepine it kept me asleep until 6am and hey guess what no panic attack.  I feel quite calm and reasonable this morning the sun is shining and I too am brighter.  I'm sure I will have good days and bad but today is looking like a good one.  I am going to look at altering my diet to suit the situation so it is up with the carbs which have serotonin boosting properties.  Up with the omega 3 also good in this respect - so lunch will be pasta and pesto with a green salad.  Supper will be some salmon new potatoes and a tomato salad.  Yes I am thinking of cooking this is a good sign.  I have decided that while the drugs might help the major effort has to be mine.  James has stepped up and did all the laundry for me yesterday so I have a small pile of ironing to occupy me this morning.  Then I will need to go and do a bit of shopping while the spirit is with me.

Tomorrow Shiona is coming over and I know she will kick my backside into action as she is a human dynamo.  Everything in me wanted to turn down this offer but I know it is good for me so, like nasty medicine you have to take, I agreed to the visit.  Now I will have to sort out something reasonable for lunch for the four of us.  Hopefully a trip to the shops will give me some ideas.  She is also bringing over some of her knitting projects which have hit the buffers so that I can finish them off.  That should keep my hands occupied and maybe even my turbulent head if the patterns are difficult.  I think this is called distraction therapy.  I can't tell you how delighted I am to start a day off calmly rather than in a flat spin of anxiety.  I have plans and they are not to crawl back into bed and pull the duvet over my head.  Positive thinking can only be good........


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Tuesday Morning

Well all in all not a bad day.  I managed to get a doctors appointment at a surgery out in the sticks. Thank heavens for computerised records.  Anyway I am now on a month of pills which hopefully will help me out of the hole I have dug.  I don't want to speak too soon but the men seem to realised that they need to be more supportive. Which can only be good news. How long it will last is another matter. 

While out and about I off loaded a couple of boxes of  bits and pieces to the charity shop so I am making some headway all be it slow.  Thank you all for your thoughts I do find them helpful so thank you for bothering to reply to my whining.  I'm swinging around from feeling a self indulgent fool to thinking I have every right to be depressed.  Both positions are incorrect but hopefully as I settle down I will get a more realistic handle on things.  Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment so I am not counting on the pills alone I know I need to try to help myself at the same time.

The next door dogs had a barking session at 2.30am but fortunately I managed to drop off again and slept generally quite well.  I know it will take several days for the pills to really kick in but my anxiety levels this morning are more tolerable.  I think this may be due to the fact that I took some action which has of itself made me feel a bit better.  I have done my fair share of sitting and waiting and hoping which has failed miserably.  James got us a pizza each for supper last night and though I felt hungry enough to eat a horse I only managed half as did the other two so guess what is on the lunch menu today.  You've got it reheated pizza!!!

I had a lovely chat with my friends in France who kindly phoned me having read my blog.  It is so nice to chat with people who understand where you are coming from and who have their fair share of life experiences.

So plans for the day! nothing too dramatic after days of dark clouds and rain today the sun is shining so a nice walk with the dogs is on the cards - I must admit I don't feel much like going for a walk but I know it is good for depression so I will have to brace myself and get out in the fresh air.  I also have tons of laundry and today looks like it might offer a good drying opportunity.  

So onward and upward!!!!!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Monday morning

Wow what a day of deluge we had yesterday it finally gave up at about 3.30pm by which time I was past the point of caring.  By 4pm it was tipping down again. The dogs weren't even clamouring to go for a walk.  They were happy to huddle indoors with us lazy ones.  I should have had a go at my wardrobe but the spirit was not with me.  In fact I have been feeling pretty low of late, sleeping badly and erratically but what worries me most is that I don't have the will to cook.  Now you know me well enough to know this is abnormal.  Avoiding the wardrobe is one thing but total lack of interest in the kitchen is another. I seem to have lost the spark necessary for life.  The anxiety attacks are back with a vengeance so this morning I am going to make an appointment to see the doctor and see if I can get some help to get me through this.  I hope it is just a temporary phase. I was hoping that once the gun issue was solved I would bounce back but I have just fallen deeper into the hole.  I am not sure if I should be saying all this but now I have admitted to myself that I need help I guess I might as well go the whole hog and own up to my friends.  July has been a particularly bad month for us what with the 10th anniversary of the bus bomb James too has been off balance.  I feel like King Canute trying to stem the tide and failing.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sunday morning

Yesterday was a reasonable day. Though we had been forecast rain it stayed dry.  In the end I just plain roasted the chicken.  However last night was the night from hell.  The dogs next door started barking at 1am and woke me after which I couldn't get back to sleep.  First I was too hot then I got cold, on with the duvet, then off, then on and so on until I gave myself backache thrashing around.  I finally got back to sleep around 2.30 only to wake as usual at 4am feeling shattered as if I had not slept at all.  So having just scribbled a few words I am going to try for a bit more sleep before I face the day.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Saturday morning

Good morning all a bit later this morning not that I didn't wake at the usual 4 am I just decided to stay in bed and snuggle under the duvet for a while.  Yesterday was a generally quiet day with lots of pottering in the kitchen.  It was definitely the best place to be as the rain was bucketing down for most of the day.  James had managed to get the dogs out before it started which was just as well as once it started it didn't stop.  Hopefully the garden will have appreciated the drink and looking at the forecast we are in for more of the same.  I do feel so sorry for the kids who sat through 30ºC heat stuck in a classroom.  Now it is 12ºC pouring with rain and blowing a gale just when they should be outside enjoying themselves.  I does seem that sod's law is in full operation.  

Looking outside I think I am going to have another indoor day.  I still have plenty of pruning to do but today is not the day for it.  Yesterday I made a batch of salads including potato salad, which I have passion for, I also made a kohlrabi salad as one had turned up in my box of vegetables.  It is not a vegetable I am very familiar with so I grated it and salted and allowed it to drain then rinsed it and dressed it with a mustardy dressing.  It all disappeared so I guess it was alright.  Today I have a chicken which I am thinking of dismantling and making into egg and breadcrumbed fried chicken which I also have a passion for.  I wonder if these things are reminders of the summer holiday meals my mum used to prepare for our journey over Europe to Italy.  I can remember sitting on rocks next to fast flowing mountain streams as we made our way over the St. Gotthard  pass  there was always fried chicken, potato salad, tomato salad and cucumber salad all of which survived the 24 hours it took to cross France. Very often there was snow on the top and we were allowed to play in the snow while the grownups had a break and a coffee.


I can remember it being a hairy ride as there were no barriers to stop you falling off the mountain and with the traffic moving very slowly lots of cars would boil their engines.  I suppose this is an eternal memory of childhood.  Since then I have been through the Gotthard tunnel several times and you can still see the old road clinging to the mountain side.  It gave me the collywobbles just to look at it it looks so dangerous.  The picture is of the famous hairpin bend section pinched from google.  It used to take 3 days to get to Trieste day one crossing the north of France as far as Basel then the whole of the next day crossing Switzerland as far as lake Como and the final day Bergamo, Brescia, Verona, Vicenza, Treviso, Portogruaro, Monfalcone, Trieste.  My mum was very car sick so I usually got the copilot job and to this day I can navigate the whole route from memory.  The first time I did the trip with Mike he had armed himself with every map imaginable but I assured him that as long as you can read road signs no maps are needed.  Sure enough the maps never came out and we made our way across without a hitch.  The last time I did the journey Switzerland took just 4 hours and the whole trip took just 28 hours driving time.  A far cry from the three days of my youth.  Interestingly we have towed the caravan to Italy and the only time we needed second gear to climb a steep road was only a couple of miles from home up over the north downs.  Switzerland was a piece of cake and appeared to be flat!!!!!

Ok time for more coffee hope you have a reasonable day despite the weather......

Friday, 24 July 2015

Friday Morning

Good morning all, I am pleased to announce that after yesterdays melt down I am feeling much better today.  I had a day of total indolence yesterday while I tried to get my head together.  What you are not aware of is that I have been in an 8 month battle with the firearms department. Actually it was not them but the superintendent who got egg on her face when she tried to punish James.  It is a long story which I will not bore you with but suffice to say that I was threatened and coerced however my retaliation in the end was to correct the appalling grammar, misspelling and poor punctuation of the last letter I received. Don't you just love a red pen!!!! Anyway, the battle is won but the sudden reduction in adrenaline levels left me completely destroyed.  The poor firearms officer, who has visited me on several occasions, was just embarrassed by his superiors who were behaving like spoiled children.  Anyway, I can now retrieve my gun from Shiona's house and I can start having the odd days shooting instead of being trapped in the house.  As you can imagine with all this going on in the background the amount of stress on me has been immense. The superintendent who caused all the trouble has apparently moved on - I hope she has been promoted to tea lady where she can do no real damage and being illiterate will not prove a disadvantage.

Now I can concentrate on the declutter and the move and trying to get my men knocked into shape. At last James can now look to do some voluntary work which will give him a bit of focus and allow him to escape the house.  July and the tenth anniversary of the bus bomb have stirred up lots of his suppressed emotions so it has been a difficult time for us all.  There is no cure for PTSD only strategies to cope with the symptoms.

Today the weather is miserable and wet but the garden really needs lots of water as the ground is as dry as a bone so I for one am not complaining.  


The dogs are knackered after their walk and happy to cuddle and snooze together.  I hope you have a good day, I know I will as I feel so much better.  There is nothing like chalking up a success to raise the spirits. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Thursday morning

Yesterday was a most successful day.  Mark came and worked marvels in the garden in three hours thing we're back in shape.  I helped out where I could and spent time with the secateurs dead heading the roses.  The pile of ironing got done and put away.  The mince ended up as chilli con carne and the sad mushrooms were made into soup.  The courgettes were made into pancakes to accompany the soup.  As I had a very early start I tried to have a nap but sadly next doors dogs decided to have a barking and howling session which kind of put pay to that.

I woke as usual at 4am but in a total panic which is rather distressing and it has taken an hour for the feelings to subside to tolerable levels.  The distraction of writing this blog has helped to redirect my thoughts.  However I now feel exhausted so as everyone else is sleeping I am going to see if I too can get  some more sleep.

At the moment I have no idea what I want to do today I may just have a day off and sleep watch TV and knit.  Sorry to be so boring hopefully I will pick up a bit soon.

From this mess to these nicely clipped bay trees.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday saw the house cleaned and the laundry done.  It was quite a hot one once the sun got going.  I am noticing that the days are getting shorter as it is now still dark at 4am instead of just light.  I made a large potato salad and together with cucumber salad it did us for lunch with smoked mackerel and for supper with a scotch egg.  Today I have a pound of mince defrosted but as yet I haven't decided exactly what I am going to do with it.  I am in for a busy morning as Mark is coming and I am really embarrassed about the garden which is in a terrible state.  I am hoping that once he has cut a few things back I might be more willing to keep it in order.  There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I want/need to do.  Decluttering takes time.  It is actually quite scary as I can see just how much stuff needs shifting.  Fortunately we are all decorated in neutral colours so there are no major decorating jobs to do.  

The tensions in the house are gradually subsiding but living in a war zone is very stressful and tiring. I feel exhausted before I have even started and I am really having to push myself to keep the show on the road. Now that it  is light I can see we are covered with cloud but hopefully it will stay dry at least until Mark is done. The forecast is for rain but I hope they have got it wrong.  I have asked for 3 hours work and he is a real grafter so I am hoping most of it will get done. As today is Wednesday the bin men will come early to empty the garden waste bins so there should be 2 empty wheelie bins for Mark to fill.  I know he wants to make an early start so I am expecting him by 8am  job number one is to clear the garden of any dog messages so he has a clear path to work in.

Ok time for the second cup of coffee then burst into life.  James had intended an early start this morning to keep the dogs out of the way but he has been blessed with yet another sleepless night so I am going to leave him to sleep while he can.  Now what to do with the mince?