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Showing posts from October, 2016

Monday morning

Good morning all, the clocks have gone back an hour but that was just an extra hour tossing and turning.  I guess I slept badly anticipating all the arranging I now have to do.  It feels a bit like waiting for a dam to burst.  Being Monday morning my chances of getting through to the doctors is very limited so I may have to just go and stand in the surgery until they do their part of the job so I can get on with mine.  Needless to say, I have been planning and researching for most of the weekend.  There are a few obstacles which will have to be sorted - I really didn't want a bun fight afterward but with people traveling some distance I feel I should do something.  The house is an impossibility as it is in total chaos and I don't have a sitting room which will mean laying on some sort of tea at a local hotel.  How many for? who knows.  I also have no room to put anyone up overnight so hotels are the only answer.  There is a hotel quite near the crematorium so they will be my …

Sunday morning

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Good morning all, Yesterday I paced up and down like a caged tiger unable to do anything my mind was racing with all that will need doing but as yet nothing can move forward until we have a death certificate, very frustrating.

Thank you, Joy, these are the flowers you sent they are really lovely and in a nice little basket, the quality of the photo doesn't do them justice.


Friends rang me throughout the day to commiserate and many of them have been through the process so they understand my frustration at not being able to get the certificate so I can start the process. Even my estranged sister rang me, she lives in Italy but I have no idea of her surname so she has been impossible to find.  As youngsters, we fought like cat and dog as we are very different in character. However, lots of water has passed under the bridge since then and we may both have mellowed out a bit, especially as we are now both widowed.
Today, is going to be another long drag I am itching to get into the ro…

Saturday Morning

Good morning all.  We have hit a bit of a log jam as I still haven't managed to get the death certificate from the GP which is holding everything up.  They were supposed to ring me when it was ready for collection but the call never came.  Of course, now it is the weekend and they all turn into pumpkins so we are in limbo land.  I have been making lists of things I need to do but most rely on the death certificate being available.  I am a strike while the iron is hot sort of person so this is a refined form of torture for me.  
Yesterday afternoon I felt really tired and went to bed and slept like I haven't slept for years out cold and completely relaxed.  I think it is going to take a little while for me to realise I now have my freedom back.  The boys are adults so they can look after themselves and I can come and go as I choose. It is going to be a big readjustment.  Denny and Shiona are coming on Wednesday to clear out the front room and I will need to ring the council to…

Friday morning

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Good morning all - as most of you know yesterday was a bit traumatic and the worst part was waiting to get the undertakers in which didn't occur until lunch time.  Of course, I had a plethora of phone calls to make to alert family members and then my friends.   Angela sent me a beautiful pose of flowers in my favourite colour.


Sandie, who had hurt her back also dragged herself for a visit and Elaine dragged herself to me also despite being half dead from her flight back from Prague.  Thank you all for your condolences.  Mike could not have gone more peacefully than in his sleep.  Now, of course, I am faced with the horrendous paperwork however the undertaker has left me a big to do list so I will be working my way through that.  First I need to get the death certificate from the GP so that I can then make an appointment with the registrar to register the death and once that has been done we can then look at funeral arrangements.  This will be the worst bit as I don't really be…

Thursday morning

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Good morning all just an update it has been a long night I have been up for most of it checking on Mike who is now febrile and fading fast.  I have alerted his brothers and I think David is going to come and see him today and the hospice nurse is due at 10am and David is due around 11am, however, I have made it clear that the catering department is closed and there are plenty of pubs for lunch.  I really don't need to be catering for visitors I have quite enough to do without that.  
Yesterday I organised some lovely mackerel fillets from the fish monger which I cooked simply with some gremolata [garlic parsley and lemon zest].  I served it with a shredded fennel salad which was ideal. Quick easy and very tasty.  The boys fed themselves for supper and James went and got me a small chow mein.  Which kept me going through the night, in fact, I still feel full now.  I would like to give Mike a wash and brush up but he is asleep and I will not wake him. There is no point in pulling h…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday I had a day of total indolence and didn't even get out of my dressing gown.  I cared for Mike but little else and as he is now sleeping a lot especially at night I am able to rest more easily myself.  The only things he wants to eat are biscuits or other sweet things so I am keeping him supplied with jaffa cakes and the like.  He is drinking very little maybe 200mls per day just enough to keep his mouth damp.  I have backed right off and I am leaving him to do precisely what he wants the only thing I am really monitoring is his morphine which I am making sure he get regularly so he is comfortable.  I have alerted his brothers to the situation and asked them to stay away as Mike really doesn't want to have crowds of visitors.  I think he is embarrassed about his decrepit state and though he shouldn't be he is.  If he changes his mind I will, of course, summon them immediately.
I am a very lucky person not only do I have the boys for support but…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all, I have just slept like the dead and the boys just left me to sleep.  Mike had a good night as I finally managed to get him some Oro morph.  That was a real song and dance the GP come to see Mike and agreed it was time for some morphine but it took me 7 hours to finally get the prescription filled.  Total cock up at the doctor's surgery, so numerous phone calls and finally they tracked down the prescription and the pharmacy filled it.  Fortunately, we had it ready for the night which was great.   I think we all had a good nights sleep so recharged batteries all round.  I woke at four as usual but soon drifted back off to sleep as the house was silent and my blackout curtains stopped the light waking me.  It was the phone that finally woke me and it was the nurses from the hospice who would like to come and see Mike on Thursday morning.  He is a little more chirpy this morning following a very good night.  I have made him some breakfast now I had better do some fo…

Monday morning

Good morning all it is still pitch dark outside so I guess winter is not far away.  Mike is going down hill and didn't even get out of bed yesterday he is eating enough to keep a shrew alive and also not drinking so I wonder if now is the time for some palliative care.  Mentally he is ok and has given up fighting us.  I think he may have realised that we have been trying to help him and I think he is also now aware that he is not going to improve significantly.  He has voiced, to me, several times that he would like to end it all but doesn't have the courage and he has signed a DNR [do not ressusitate] while in hospital.  Difficult times but now my nursing skills will come into their own.  Sorry to start the week off with such depressing news but I am not first nor will I be the last to go through this and I value your support.
I am trying to keep myself healthy and strong and to that end, I am reading and applying the advice in Tom Rath's book "Eat Move Sleep".…

Sunday morning

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Good morning all.  It is Sunday yet again but for us, it is a working day as Denzil is out at work and we tend to have our major meals when he is off.  Yesterday was successful in that the Bibo water machine is now fully functional and not leaking so the cleaning process did the job. I decided it was time to change from a quilt to a duvet on my bed as winter is coming and I put the quilt through the washing machine [it is single so it fits] out it went on to the line to get a good blow and I just managed to get it in before the rain started.  Now it is destined for a vacuum bag until next spring/summer.  Soon I will have to do the same with my summer clothes but not quite yet.  I put a pedometer app on my phone which should make sure I move a bit more apparently the mear fact that your steps are being counted makes you walk more.  I did my penance and walked to the end of the garden which was a bit of downer as it does look dreadful.  However, it provoked me to write to the gardening…

Saturday morning

Good morning all here we are at the weekend again. This week has flown by as I have been quite busy catching up.  I had my flu vaccination yesterday so hopefully, that will increase my chances of not getting flu.  I believe the success rate is about 70% so I hope I fall into that category.  I have also been plowing on with my course in "A life of happiness and fulfillment" which I would strongly recommend to anyone.  I didn't realise how badly wrong I have been in my attempts to be happy the course is heavily backed by research and has completely corrected my misperceptions.  Yesterday saw me have to write a letter of forgiveness to someone who has wronged me, then I had to print it off and put it in the shredder telling myself that the matter is now closed.  You feel a complete prat doing it but it does work and I feel better for having let it go. Harboring resentment doesn't make you happy and this is a great way to gain closure and put it behind you.  My next tas…

Friday morning

Good morning all I seem to have been charging about all week catching up on jobs that I should have done before I left anyway, I think I am back to where I was before my little break. One thing I have noticed is that I am sleeping much better and also for longer which can only be a good thing.  There has been quite a change in Mikes demeanour he has gone from aggressive to pathetic which I find really hard to cope with I don't do pathetic and needy.  I can only assume that his brain is being addled by the quantity of medication he is on and the lack of oxygen.  Though he is lucid I do not recognise who he is anymore as his character has completely changed.  
Well, enough of that, I made a big pot of leek and potato soup yesterday which we had for supper and I used some of the piment d'espelette that I brought back from France to just sprinkle on the top which made a significant difference.  It is a very gentle chilli type but nowhere near as fierce as most and just adds a mil…

Thursday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was fairly busy as Dennie was here trying to restore a semblance of order and cleanliness.  Once she had finished with the kitchen I hid in there and made a ratatouille as I had all the ingredients.  Not difficult but time-consuming.  It turned out very well and we had it with some sausages for lunch.  Supper was easy as it was just a big bowl of the chicken broth I had made with the carcass of the bird with some pasta that looks like rice and a healthy amount of parmesan on the top.  
I am not sure what I shall be doing today but I am racing to use up vegetables which are on the blink I have a bag of real spinach which is in need of using so I will use that as my starting place for lunch perhaps eggs florentine might be a good solution.  Anyway, I have to go out today and restock as we are low on meat and fish and a wash with vegetables.  
There is some good news our new neighbours are now the proud parents of a new daughter.  I would love to pop round a…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all chilly this morning down to single figures.  Shiona came yesterday to collect the fireworks I had bought for her in Aldi and between us, we managed to cobble together an adequate lunch which was a lesson in how to stretch one chicken breast to feed 5 people.  Shiona made pancakes while I made the filling of chicken, onion, garlic, sour cream and courgettes.  The thermomix made a nice cheese sauce which we tipped over the pancakes and then set under the grill we accompanied it with a big green salad and that was lunch.  The washing up fell to the boys and we had successfully used just about every piece of equipment in the kitchen. Some women do not work well with others in their kitchen but given that Shiona and I had shared an office at one time and we are both team players it is rather nice to work together in the kitchen.  We have both worked in operating theatres so we are used to being totally in the hands of an assistant.
Today the wonderful Denny is due and the…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all sorry about the interruption in service yesterday but it was not my fault all our virgin services were lost for 24 hours.  No telephone no TV and no internet, I think they must have had a major meltdown as I have never suffered such an outage. Anyway, things are back up and running and if I am not mistaken a bit better than of late when things have been a bit wobbly.  
Mike was delivered home to me at about 10am on Sunday and then two nurses arrived some hour later to make sure I had all that I might need by way of equipment.  Equipment is not the issue carpet and incontinence is the issue but the carpet is now a right off so no point in crying over spilled milk. It is just difficult to clean up.  He is eating very little and is very cross with me for no being around. Yesterday his youngest brother came to see him.  He has just retired and so took the opportunity to drive up from Reading outside rush hour.  It was really nice to see him and I did us a nice roast chic…

Sunday morning

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Good morning all, it's raining, what a surprise I was going to do all my laundry today.  I guess the tumble drier will be put to good use.

I went into the hospital and had a chat with the staff who are going to discharge Mike today as he is physically fit. He is eating well and making his way to the toilet without any trouble, in fact, he is being a model patient because he wants to come home.  No problems with continence and eating his vegetables and drinking fine.  It is my opinion that his problems on Sunday last were due to panic as he knew I would be away.
Now to some pics of my time in France
 Main view of the centre of Bordeaux 
 Lovely old bridge across the river
 Massive sand dune 
Arcachon

 This was my personal accommodation
please note my own fridge and all the coffee and tea making equipment
 I had my own private bathroom
This is a beautiful bush the name of which I am going to research as I think it might be hardy.
Well as they are discharging Mike today I had better …

Saturday morning

Good morning all. Here I am back in the UK after my retreat in France.  I have had four days when my brain was switched off and others did everything for me. The only decision I had to make was which of my shirts to wear.  Not only have I had five-star accommodation but Michelin star food.  My hostess cooks really well and provided me with every possible delicacy available from foie gras to oysters.  I feel as if I have been away for a month.  James was at Gatwick to collect me despite the delay on the return leg and arriving at the wrong terminal at Gatwick.  When we arrived home Dan was so delighted to see me he almost knock me flat on the floor with his effusive greeting and I was left in no doubt that he was pleased to see me home.
Just to fill you in on where we are with Mike as expected he threw a major wobbly on Sunday before I was due to leave on Monday and flatly refused to either eat or drink so I was left with no alternative but to call an ambulance.  The paramedics came f…

Sunday morning

Good morning all. Yesterday was a day of mishaps first of all my land line went down and I spent some time with Virgin on the phone [mobile] and they are going to send an engineer out on Monday between 4pm and 7pm so James should be back from dropping me at the airport to deal with that. Then my outgoing email decided it was not going to send anything incoming was not a problem but no outgoing so that will be my task for this morning to try to put that right before I leave tomorrow.
Mike is cutting up rough as he knows I am going and would rather I didn't.  However, I am going to stand firm and not fall for all the histrionics.  He is being left with two competent adults who will feed and water him as necessary.  At the moment he is refusing to eat so the dogs are doing well. Last night he wanted toast and marmalade so I made him a couple of slices which he gave to the dogs.  I think today is going to be a battle but I am going to hit the shops at 10am and fill the fridge with ea…

Saturday

Good morning all.  We have had a downpour overnight and everything is dripping and the bamboo is bent double with the weight of water.  In fact, I think it is still drizzling but it is that fine misty rain definitely not a day to hang out any washing.  
After much messing about I finally made my chorizo and potato stew which will do nicely for lunch today and leave an ample portion for the freezer. Yesterday we finished off the pork which we had with sweet potatoes and broccoli and Denzil did sausage egg and beans for supper which was nice as I didn't have to do it. Fortunately, both boys are competent in the kitchen and therefore appreciate the effort it takes to produce meals.  I have a chicken in the freezer which I am going to take out now and defrost for lunch tomorrow.  Then hopefully there should be enough for the family when I have left. James is going to run me to the airport as Denzil will be working but he is a day off when I return so I expect he will fetch me on the …

Friday

Good morning all no I have not just got up. I have been sat here watching a progress bar as the computer updated itself which took forever.  Yesterday was a relatively peaceful day I roasted off the piece of pork loin and there is still enough for lunch today.  As we had had a reasonable lunch supper was just some spaghetti with a really good pesto.  When I went to make the chorizo stew I discover that while I had all the other ingredients I was short of one chorizo.  I now have that so I am ready at last to make the stew.  What a lot of faffing around.  I think I am getting less and less efficient as everything takes me so much longer to accomplish.  
My mind is also on the trip to Bordeaux and what to take by way of clothes - the ball gown and tiara can safely be left at home.  I think an assortment of trousers and shirts and the odd cardigan should do.  From what I have seen of the weather it is a bit warmer than here but not hot which suits me fine. I will, of course, take a mac …

Thursday morning

Yesterday was a nice bright day if a bit breezy, anyway good for getting the washing up to date.  I went over to Faversham to replenish my coffee stocks and needless to say I had a bit of a spend up in the butcher and at the cheese counter.  For lunch, I bought us a chunk of ham a gruyere pie which we had with a tomato salad. For supper, we had a pile of sticky chicken wings with a tossed green salad.
Today it is my intention to spend my time in the kitchen.  I have a pork loin to roast and I think I will do sweet potato wedges to go with it and perhaps some cauliflower.  I am hoping that it is a big enough piece to allow for a cold meat supper.  
I have assembled the ingredients for a chorizo and potato stew so I can get that on the stove and leave it to bubble away merrily. I have doubled up the recipe so I have a portion for the freezer.  I must admit it is quite nice to get back to comfort hot food rather than salad.  Don't get me wrong I love salad but you can't beat hot…

Wednesday morning

Sorry about yesterday but I do have a valid excuse.  On Monday we successfully got hacked in a major way and spent the whole day trying to secure the computer and making sure the bank accounts were safe.  All very distressing and a considerable nuisance, hours spent on the phone to various bods and the cyber fraud squad.  Anyway, when eventually I got to bed my brain was in a complete jumble and I fell into deep sleep so much so that I was due to leave for Shiona's at 9am and at 8.30 I was still unconscious.  Fortunately, James poked me and brought me a coffee but I had no time to spare and dashed off forgetting one of the things I said I would take her so I had to turn around and come home and collect said item.  Finally, I was underway only to hit a traffic jam and it took me well over an hour to get through Maidstone.  I had taken the dogs with me and they were fairly fed up by the time we finally arrived.  Anyway, they were delighted to find they were at the big garden and ha…

Monday morning

Sorry about yesterday's absence but I was having a really bad day and rather than pour vitriol over the page I decided to give it a miss.  After all, no one wants to hear someone rant about how miserable they are feeling especially when we all know that it passes with time.  I try not to give in to feeling sorry for myself but sometimes it just overcomes me.  Anyway, I took the opportunity to give my back a good rest and I dozed on and off for most of the day.  The boys took up the slack and made sure Mike was fed and watered.  The dogs got walked and the world didn't come to an end because I was not there to supervise.  I think it is actually a good thing to withdraw my services from time to time if for no other reason than to remind everyone that I am here and on duty most of the time.
Today I am off the hairdressers first thing and then I must go to the shops as we are out of lots of basic bits and pieces.  Four adults get through lots of food one way and another, then tom…

Saturday

Well here we are in October it seems only yesterday we were anxiously waiting for summer to come.  Sod's law is still operational in this house my new hedge trimmer arrived yesterday so I immediately got the batteries on to charge and made plans where to start today.  All has been put on hold as it rained quite heavily last night and all the bushes are heavy with rain so not a good time to cut them, much better done when the leaves are dry and the bushes are in their correct shape not leaning down under the weight of water.  So I guess hedge trimming is off for today.  I sometimes think planning is the problem if you don't plan you are not disappointed.  Anyway, one thing is for certain the bushes are not going anywhere and will be available for cutting as soon as they dry off so it is just a delay but I wanted to play with my new toy. 
As it is the first of the month I have several monthly chores to do first the meters need reading and the knives need sharpening and the dog …