It is almost five o clock in the morning, Colin is snoring away at the side of me, though he will tell me in the morning he hasn't slept, so what better time to begin a new blog.
Late afternoon and early evening I was waiting for the headache from hell to really send me reeling and it didn't! I can still feel the low grade headache I have all the time since ten days into the trial medicine. I can live with this, I hope this means my body is accepting the new trial medicine. Maybe it might work so I can have more energy after lunch and so enjoy my days better, We shall see but I certainly hope I don't get slammed again with the headache from hell.
A good friend of ours is staying over with us on Saturday and Sunday, he lives in Canada. Indeed, it was Gordon and his wife we were with in the Grand Cayman where we had our honeymoon. It is always a pleasure to spend time with him. Unfortunately we don't see much of his wife Pat as she has lots going on in Canada. We like to make him feel welcome and we are always looking for things to do with him that we know he will enjoy.
Gordon loves our old buildings as I have said before so we have mapped out quite a nice afternoon and evening with him. Our Art Center is having a Christmas Market so we shall take him, and Izzy as we shall be having her here for the day too. I shall enjoy looking at all the lovely crafts for sale whilst Gord will be busy looking over this amazing mill, and Izzy can draw or mould things there so she will enjoy this. Such great use has, and is, being made of this brilliant building. I know he will just love it.
On entering the place your nostrils are assailed with all the smells of bygone times when the mill was used to weave cotton. The smells are of the oils used to keep the machines working well and seamlessly work their magic with the cotton. The roofs are so incredibly high and I close my eyes I can imagine the clatter of the machines and the banging of the clogs on the floor as the women did their work, and the shouting that would have been going on so they could be heard above the clatter of the looms. I love the steps, they are many, very many, but the treads are so narrow, a testament to the times long gone when we were all so much smaller than today and so were our feet, You can see the wear on them from many feet over the years and as I walk up and down them I wonder who the people were from the past who did this self same thing and which job they had in this huge place, The doors are huge and so heavy, made in the most part of iron. I wonder as I go towards them who pulled open these doors, what were they carrying? Maybe they were stopping for lunch and had their tuck with them. Always fascinating for me who always wants to go back in time for a day and live their lives. I do hope the day goes as well as planned, I shall tell you in a later blog after he arrives and our time together has been spent.
Later when Izzy has gone home we shall have our meal. We are not sure if we will have it in the cabin with a fire lit inside the pot bellied stove or indoors here, it is very much dependent on how I am feeling. Michael our good friend will be with us too no matter what. We have planned our menu carefully to be tasty but easy to do. Colin is in charge of the starter, a really lovely salad with crunchy lettuce, pecans, cranberries, Stilton cheese and crunchy apples topped off with pea shoots and dressed with a French dressing, it is a simple but tasty starter. The main is simple too being a chicken cacciatore served with rice. This will sit in the slow cooker until ready to be eaten. I like simple things. The dessert will be one of Colin's favourites being a million cheesecake. Easy to make though there are a few different stages. I personally am not keen as I am not a chocolate fan but I know it will go down well with the three men at the table. I would prefer a nice Tart Citron as I just love the sharp tangy lemon taste.
Speaking about lemons, and I do have plenty lemon recipes after living in Spain and growing them, I saw a nice recipe by Mary Berry I should like to try out. It is a sort of lemon meringue pie. Now I have made gallons of lemon curd and lemon fillings in my time but hers was different to any I have ever made so I shall try it. I also liked that her base was one made of crushed biscuits as opposed to the normal shortcrust base on a lemon meringue pie so yes, one for a try out.
The joy of the phone
I was delighted today to have a proper catch up with my good friend Sue Reid. Sue and I met on Facebook but soon became good friends and we went to visit her in London. She is a fascinating lady as she writes books, mainly for schools to teach children history, I have bought a few myself and if you are fortunate enough to come across one of them then don't pass it over, they are great reads even for us older generation. Today we spoke on the phone for an hour, I truly don't know where the time went but oh how lovely to hear her voice, Next year she will come and stay with us for a while so I shall look forward to this very much indeed.
Brrrrr, too cold to go without heat and hot water.
A friend who lives opposite me has had no heating and no hot water for a week! Her place is a cold place too in winter so I do worry about her. She is waiting for a new boiler which will be some time coming yet. She came over to us for a shower today, first one in a week, though she does keep herself clean, How she enjoyed the warmth of the shower and the comfortable warmth of our place. After her shower I settled her in a cosy spot with a glass of white wine, I could see her visibly relax as the welcoming shower and the warmth and wine were relaxing her so much she felt sleepy. That is until a tornado hit, The tornado was in the shape of Izzy arriving home from school, There were high pitched squeals of laughter as she and grandad made paper planes and saw which one flew furthest. Then followed lots of drawing. Izzy drew herself and a dog whilst grandad drew elves, pretty decent ones too. Then came a game I didn't follow but it did include plenty of hats! The laughter got louder and louder and pretty frenzied too as they dashed around from room to room. The sleepiness quickly wore off my friend. She was telling me she was using plenty of wet wipes, the pampers variety to keep herself clean whilst waiting for her new boiler. I was surprised to learn from her that these wipes are amazing in that they remove stains from clothes. Hannah personally had spilt chocolate down her top, hard to get off whilst wearing it but she just wiped it with a baby wipe and hey presto, gone with no mark to be seen. I shall certainly be trying this one out.
Thursday's walking group.
We did one of our favourite walks today being a nature reserve called Cromwell Bottom. There is always something different to see. The colours of the flora and fauna are changing often too and we see the rise and the fall of the river. Today there were lots of the volunteer working party heading out to do their things and Colin has decided he will join after Christmas. Afterwards whilst most were enjoying a nice cuppa we were asked if we could think of anything to improve the reserve as they were always looking to do this. One suggestion was more seating going around as for the disabled such as us we do need plenty of sitting places and I suggested the poo sticks seen in some nature reserves. These sticks hang over the boughs of certain trees and can be picked up whilst walking around with dogs. The sticks are then used to flick the poo into the undergrowth in the hope of stopping all the bags of poo people decide to hang on trees. Why do they do this. Why do some people believe they should not have to clean up their own mess. I wish I knew the address of some of these people. I would ask all my friends to go and poo in their garden, pick it up and bag it and hang it firmly on the boughs of their trees for them to have the pleasure of collecting, or indeed the pleasure of just watching all the bags swing merrily amongst the trees. Or maybe we could do as some do who don't even clean up the dog poo but just leave it for us all to walk through and take it around with us on our shoes until we get home and have the facilities to clean their dogs poo from them. If my friends all did this in their gardens and on their paths it just might give them some idea of how irresponsible they are with their pets and their pooing. The Nature Reserve people are going to look into these sticks as the bags are so unsightly. This won't stop the ones who can't be bothered to do anything at all but may help with the bags being strung from trees with dog poo in various states of decay because the owners can't be bothered to carry their bags to the bins provided,
Izzy and her "operation"
Izzy rang us this evening to ask us when we are taking her for her operation as she knows we are taking her as her mommy is so busy in the run up to Christmas. What is this operation being carried out on our darling girl? Well it's a flu jab!!! I have said before she is a wimp and cried when her mommy asked us if we would take her as she said she is scared. I truly hope she does not grow up with the fear of needles. How pleased I am that I don't or with all the needles we have as ph patients I would be on my knees. So she is NOT having an operation, just a tiny jab next Wednesday. I do know I am fortunate as I know some people have a very real phobia about needles and I truly do feel for them.
I well remember Hazel Roberts a ph friend of mine who sadly died after her lung transplant. She dreaded her visits to the hospital for the very necessary blood tests. She said she would sometimes feel physically sick at the thought of going. I hope Izzy does not grow up with that very real fear as there are many times in our lives where there is an absolute necessity to have these blood tests.
She also asked us if we would be able to go and see her collect her prize for good reading.
Sadly on this occasion we had to say no as we had a prior engagement. It is a pity but there are so many of these awards given out so we can't possible make every one of them. She accepted this ok though and I have promised,to look out for an airplane she wants. Not a pricy one, just one of those that you buy for around 50 pence made of some kind of polystyrene, Both her and grandad are into throwing planes around these (sadly despite searching and searching today I can't find these planes anywhere, maybe they have stopped making them). She will have to continue with the paper plane variety and be content.
Not sure if any of you made it out for Black Friday. Maybe you shopped online to avoid the queues. Colin reluctantly agreed to go with me and we decided we needed to leave early to avoid getting caught in the traffic into Leeds. We planned on leaving here around 6.45 a.m. Colin had been really tired the last couple of days and yet had trouble sleeping so he took a sleeping tablet. I was up at 5.30 which was no hardship as I am generally up at 6.00 to take my medicines. He slept right through my showering and blow drying my hair and getting dressed. I did then try to wake him but to no avail so decided to go it alone. I texted my son who lives in Leeds centre to tell him I would be in his neck of the woods if he wanted to meet me. I did then write a note to Colin and left it on the bed.
The journey in was seamless and I arrived at 7.00 which was perfect timing. I bought myself a couple of bits and then went for a drink and a sandwich and my son arrived just as I was thinking of leaving. We had a lovely time just wandering and I bought him a pair of jeans in the sale with a 20 percent discount, I managed to find a small toy for Izzy as she had got her reward at school for it turned out good maths! At least it wasn't for good sitting! Meanwhile Colin had rung me to see where I was. I told him I had left a note but it had got lost in the duvet. He got up and looked all around the house for me and was worried as to where I could be at 8.00 which was when he had woken up. Upshot was he decided to go on and see Izzy get her award and he said she was so thrilled to see him, really excited and pleased so in fact the day could not have gone any better. Pity my daughter couldn't have shopped with me as she has oodles of style whilst I have none but work dictated otherwise. I have now arrived home with feet the sorest they have been in a long time but it has been a great day. The great thing here was that rather than the frenzy of last years Black Friday most people had decided to shop online so the stores were really quite quiet, well certainly at the time we were there, though it did begin to fill up by lunchtime and Haydn's' search for the right jeans. Certainly by this time Harvey Nichols had its fair share of bargain hunters.
I bought three jumpers and a couple of pairs of jeans and a leather jacket. Haydn at last found the means he had been searching for for a long time so I can rest in peace.
Still no headaches from the trial pill so that is a bonus as I only had them for around ten days in total, don't think they will come back now. Pleased about this as shopping and headaches don't go together.
Health Care @ Home
Well I DID get my delivery though not as I was told. My expected delivery slot was to be Thursday evening so you can understand my surprise when we were enjoying lunch at 1.30 in a lovely olde worlde pub when we received the call to say they were outside waiting for me to open the gates so they could come in with my meds! We told them my delivery slot was for the evening but they said they had me down for three o clock! So even then they were one and a half hours earlier than the time on their slot, though certainly not the evening delivery we have been promised. We were astounded and as there was no way we were leaving with a fabulous meal half eaten we asked them to go to another address and have it signed for. Fortunately this was done and I received my medicines. It was so good then when I read replies to my last weeks blog with news of the cock up that I read what Nikki Bennet does about this and I think it is such a great plan and I shall certainly see if I can do this.
Nikki Bennet had a great idea about deliveries for our drugs. She asked her chemist if they would accept her drugs and they agreed. The result is that she is not tied to the house and the chemist is happy to sign for them and she collects them at her leisure. Brilliant idea Nikki, I bet others on here try that too, a great time saver.
We have had this before
Primary pulmonary hypertension is a condition where the blood pressures in your lungs is too high in the blood vessels that supply the blood to your heart. We all have TWO kinds of blood pressure but this one cannot be measured by the blood pressure cuff. Often my blood pressure reads normal even when I know my pressures in my lungs are way too high and rising. This is why we MUST have a right heart catheter to really see the pressure in our lungs. So you can imagine how pleased I was on seeing a new doctor at my own surgery to discover that he had referred two patients to Sheffield from Leeds who HAD been diagnosed with ph. No of course I am not pleased they have ph but he obviously knows his stuff and for sure he is the one I shall ask for on any future visits. If you have symptoms of ph and doctors is saying you are fine, your blood pressure is great it's just asthma and the medicines do not help ask to see a ph specialist where this simple procedure can be carried out to confirm or deny pulmonary hypertension. It just could save a life of worsening ph.
The guys were in Leeds centre playing the pan pipes. They were all dressed in the traditional gear and looked amazing, The music always brings back memories to me of many holidays. These pan pipes always seem to be playing in busy town centres throughout Europe, in particular Greece. York Center always seems to have them too as we go there often and see them. Colin always sits and listens to them, he finds them extremely soothing. When my daughter was around eighteen months old she used to dance in the square to this music, which inevitably brought more people in to watch as it was so cute to see a tiny baby swaying and moving around to the sound of the pipes. They always collected more money too so she was a great crowd puller! This time as they were playing one of the extremely long beautiful feathers came out of his headdress and floated towards me where I grabbed it. It must be eighteen inches long and beautiful colours. I did offer it back but he declined with a shake of his head so I have brought it home to give to Izzy. Way too big for my memory box but we shall keep it somewhere as she will love to play tickle games with it,
A strange coincidence of music being played in the streets. Many many years ago whilst I was out shopping I stood and watched and listened to the beautiful bag pipes being played by a piper in full regalia. I knew my eldest brother Tony loved the kilts and the sound of the bag pipes so much that two years earlier when we truly believed we would lose him to a terrible illness he told us he wanted bag pipes playing at his funeral. How relieved were we then that he recovered his health and his weight going from 6 stones back to a healthy twelve stones. In my head as I listened to the pipes being played I thought then of my brother and felt relief that we never went down this road, I checked my watch whilst standing listening and the time was just 10.30. I continued with my day and arrived home in the afternoon and the phone rang, I answered the phone to be told the devastating news that my brother had died that morning at 10.30 after a valiant effort by many doctors and nurses to save him. He had died as I was stood listening to the sound of the bag pipes. I have never forgotten and now whenever I see or hear the pipes I feel sad and wish for my brother back. Of course he had his wish from two years before and he got his humanist burial in his garden with the pipers playing him to his final resting place. How I wish he was still in our lives. He was a kind gentle and generous man, doing much for the under privileged in our country and abroad.
Whilst she was doing this Gord rang to say his arrival was imminent so Colin went to collect him and brought him back to the mill. He really enjoyed this.
Dinner was in the toasty warm cabin and all went well though I was so exhausted I did fall asleep on the sofa. Now woken to a new day, church and now a chocolate cake is baking in the oven.
Amazing lunch out and back home for a rest. Picture of the mouse along with the things from Jessica's baby shower for our memory box, always a memory somewhere.
All is right with the world, though the weather is terrible!
Love to you all.