Oh What A Beautiful Morning.

Really it is, or rather was, a beautiful morning here. It’s gone a bit cloudy and gloomy now but an hour and a half ago at 6:30am it was lovely.

I decided to take the dog for a walk, just along the lane and either up or down the hill, the dog usually decides when we get to the end ;-) The sun was poking it’s way through the clouds and there was a gentle breeze, other than that the only sounds we could here were the birds. Blue tits and great tits fluttering around, the tiny wren darting about, a pair of mallards flying past, a buzzard, now that made me jump a it swooped out of the tree by the pond! There were pheasant in the field, a hare ran along the lane and into a field and then I spied out of the corner of my eye a young deer. It didn’t see me and I was able to stand and watch it for a few minutes. We wandered on a little more, the dog decided to go up the hill today, and a red squirrel ran right out in front of us, over the road and up a tree. The dog was quite excited by this, good job she was on her lead really.On the walk back to the house the deer was still in the field but it spotted me this time but it just stood and watched as I walked past.

I know some people think that I’m mad getting up early on my day off but I know that I get to see things that will be hiding later once all the noise of the farm gets going and people using the lane to get to work scare the creatures away.

In other news the wonderful Tree Woman is coming to stay :-) She arrives tomorrow, we will collect her from the airport and drive her back up here. Then maybe she’ll get to see some of the amazing things I saw this morning during her time here. We have a few places in mind to take TW, if she wants to go of course, and I called into the tourist information place to get some leaflets of different places she might be interested in. We’ll be sure to take her to some of the places the tourists don’t know about too, nice quiet spots where you hardly see a soul. I’m sure I’ll tell you all about it when the time comes ;-)

Six Not Important Things About Me.

The crazy lady Cyanure says I have to tell you six not important things about myself, hmmm, that’s not easy is it? I mean what may not seem important to me may be important to someone else and vice versa ;-)

Well I’ll give it a go….

1. I like making lists of things and they have to be neat. I like my shopping list to be in order if possible and I don’t like crossings out and other folks adding to my list without me knowing about it….oh I sound like some sort of freak ;-) Also I have list for things to pack for holidays, presents to buy, cards to make etc.

2. Although I like making lists I am not a very organised person, I am bad at putting things back where they belong at home.

3. At work I hate it if my workspace is untidy and I do everything in an organised way ( I really am a freak!)

4. This morning I am having strawberry yogurt for breakfast and perhaps some toast and marmalade a little later.

5. I prefer wholemeal brown bread to white bread in UK but when I go to Europe I like most types of bread, it’s much nicer than the stuff in UK shops.

6. I like bumble bees and can spot at least 6 different types in my garden.

Well there you have it, six not important things about me, maybe you learnt something about me that you didn’t know before?

Migraine.

Hey look I’m back, gosh it’s been a while hasn’t it?

I hope you’ve all been well? Me? I’ve been great until yesterday when I had a migraine. I know there are plenty of folk out there who get them and we all suffer in different ways too. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t get migraine what it’s really like though. Often they just think that you’re just exaggerating a headache but as we sufferers know migraine is not just a headache.

Sometimes I don’t even get the headache just nausea and visual disturbance, sometimes I just get the headache, different to a ‘normal’ headache but I can’t describe it well. Sort of a contracting and relaxing dull throb over the whole skull rather than a thumping headache….does that make sense? I know what I mean though. Often if I can vomit then that means I am just about recovered and other times if I take my medication quickly enough I can avoid that misery.

For a few days I hadn’t been feeling my usual self, I was a bit lethargic and fuzzy headed and felt nauseous much of the time, I just couldn’t put my finger on the problem though. Yesterday I went to work still feeling “off” but after an hour I realised that I couldn’t see properly. I rumaged through my bag but I had no migraine tablets with me, I asked a colleague who takes the same tablets (don’t worry they’re over the counter meds) but he had none left either. My only choice was to come home where I knew I had a good supply. I tried to explain to my boss but he couldn’t seem to understand that I needed to go stright away. In the end I got my bag and left without any further explanation.

An hour after taking the tablets, which I did as soon as I got through the front door, it was like someone flicked a switch and the visual disturbance stopped. It’s a weird feeling, you’re pleased it’s gone but you half expect it to come back. Yesterday I had the dancing grey squigglies, a bit like when you are out on a hot day and you see heat haze in the distance. That starts at the edge of my vision and works it’s way from one eye right over the other and then I’m ok. Luckily the tablets got rid of it so I didn’t have to cope with it ll day.

Often sleep is the best thing but I just didn’t feel comfortable, I guess feeling nauseous doesn’t help when you try to lie down. I’m still not sure what triggered the migraine, although I guess it could be stress related. It’s been an odd few days at work, quite tense due to an argument where I stood up for myself for a change instead of being a pushover like I usually am. So maybe that was the cause I don’t know, the main thing is I feel fine this morning, and it’s my day off too :-)

45, can you believe it?

Hey, it’s my birthday, I’m 45 already. Where did the time go? It doesn’t seem that long since I was at school and sitting my exams and yet in reality that was 29 years ago…scary or what?

On a good point I have had quite a good day, although I know the evening will involve several phone calls to and from my family. Hubby has to go on a night shift so any idea of going out to celebrate, or even staying in to celebrate, went out the window a week ago. I’ve had loads of birthday greeting from friends over on the John Howe forum, which really made my day. There has been quite a pile of cards and several presents too….I got Johnny Depp in a box, well Sweeny Todd dvd to be more precise, but that will have to wait a week or so before I’ll have chance to sit and watch it in peace.

One of the best presents was the French version of the book Fantasy Art Workshop by John Howe. I got the book as a gift from hubby  and amazingly he had arranged to get the book signed, how cool is that? :-)   A friend in Paris helped with this gift so I have to say thanks to her and also to JH himself for  signing the book.  Fortunately I have the English version already  so that will help as I try to read and translate from French to English.

There will be more presents on Saturday when my family arrive, I’m a big girl now I can cope if I don’t get my gifts on the big day itself….hehehe.

Well, off to eat more yummy chocolate cake :-)

Marathon Madness.

Today when I got home from work I sat waiting with G for a big delivery. It arrived after a couple of hours waiting and we unpacked and assembled the thing. What was it? I hear you ask, well it’s a treadmill/running machine/instrument of torture, call it what you will ;-)

The reason for this machine is that after watching this years London Marathon I decided to enter. I have entered the ballot at least and must wait now until October to find out if I have been accepted or not. In the meantime I need to start some training. From my house I can either run downhill (too easy) or uphill (too hard) and as petrol is so expensive at the moment driving to somewhere more level is not a good thing to do. The treadmill is my birthday present, and part G’s late birthday present too.

So why the London Marathon? It looks fun that’s why. I’ve watched it every year on the tv and said to myself that one year I will run in it. I want to do this before I reach 50, as I turn 45 this year I thought if I didn’t apply now then I probably never would. Also it gives me 5 years to be accepted in the ballot. Along with this I will run for charity, not 1 but 5, for several reasons. The charities will be…

Cancer Research

The Stroke Association

The British Heart Foundation

The Alzheimers Society

Diabetes UK

The reasons I picked these charities are as follows…both my parents have diabetes, the chances are quite high that if I don’t keep on top of my weight and fitness that I will get it too.

Graeme’s grandfather and many friends relations have suffered Alzheimers, it’s a frustrating illness and I wish there was a way to prevent it.

In the UK strokes are the 3rd biggest killer, many people on my post round have suffered strokes, some survived, some didn’t.

Heart problems are also in my family, another reason to keep my fitness levels up, and my Mum and Dad wouldn’t be here if there hadn’t been so much research done in the past.

Cancer affects too many people, again a few people on my post round are battling this and a friend has recently had her grandmother go through a serious operation to remove her cancer.

I’m no scientist and I can’t find a miracle cure for any of these illnesses but maybe, just maybe, the money I raise for these charities will help some clever person to find a cure or a treatment in the future.

If I get a place in the London Marathon then I plan to gather the names of the people I know and also friends relations who have suffered from these diseases and put the names on my running shirt so that all those people know I’m running for them. Having the names on my shirt will be a way of keeping me going through those 26miles 385 yards (42.195k). At the moment I can run the 385 yards no problem, it’s the 26 miles I need to conquer :-)

Yippee!

Yippee! At last I can say that I have got the holiday organised for my niece, other half and myself planned :-) We’re off to Paris in August for a few days, I’m looking forward to it already.

I visited my niece on Sunday and took her a package of her favourite hot chocolate drink…Suchard Express…that a crazy Swiss friend kindly posted over after spending her whole lunch break in the post office. A thousand thanks my dear friend…you know who you are ;-) Also there was a cow keyring sent from another friend…Moomoo ;-)

Well I’m quite happy right now but there isn’t much else to talk about without reverting to the weather, which is odd at the moment, snow/hail/sleet/wind/rain/warm sun, but I wasn’t going to talk about the weather was I? hehehe.

Maybe now that all this passport nonsense is sorted out I’ll be more likely to write here more often :-)

Feeling More Positive.

Well after the last rant I had here things are looking a little more positive but it will be a week or so before I can say for sure what’s happening with my niece and the holiday.

Last night I went outside with the dog and spent a little time in the garden. It was a pleasant evening, clear sky, reasonably warm for the time of year and there were no sounds of traffic close by. Whilst the dog snuffled around in the long grass I walked around and looked into the pond we made last summer. There was some frog spawn, so soon we’ll have tadpoles and then froglets, which is great news. There were lots of birds singing but the loudest was a blackbird sitting in the top of the old oak tree. It was obviously having a singing contest with the other blackbirds round about, or maybe it was a conversation? Whatever it was it was great to listen too.

I’ve missed being out in the garden but the weather has been awful all winter and the ground has been waterlogged for much of the time. Yesterday we changed the clocks and now it’s officially British Summertime…more rain for us then ;-) At least there will be more daylight in the evenings to get outside and do something if the weather is nice. The grass needs cutting, the flower borders desperately need weeding and there’s a shrub that has to be moved…that’s just the start of it. There’s a veg plot to dig over and potatoes, peas, onions, carrots and tomatoes to plant. The greenhouse needs cleaning out and more tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and chilli plants can go in there. Normally by now I would have many trays of seedlings growing but this year I decided to just buy small plants at the garden centre, it saves so much time. Pricking out seedlings as they grow is time consuming and it can get boring too. A lot of the plants in the border just outside the front window are perennial, they come up every year without fail and we get a great display of geraniums, plumbago, bleeding heart, and other stuff whose names I forget right now. I like to plant things that attract the butterflies and the bees and I’ll be looking for more plants like that at the garden centre.

Well for now I’ll leave on a good note and say that I have my new glasses now, it’s been 4 years since I last had new ones and my eyes had gotten worse. So with stronger lenses and fancy new frames and I can see properly again :-)

Useless.

Ok I’m afraid it’s rant time. I’m not going to name names as such but most of you will have an idea who I’m talking about.

Why do some people just not see the blindingly obvious? They think that when someone tells them they hate them and don’t want to go anywhwere with them that the person will suddenly change their mind and go to Morroco/Spain/Rome/Disney or wherever it happens to be in each conversation.

Oh sod it I’m talking about my late sisters ex husband, the useless piece of crap. His daughter lives with my parents but he has her passport and won’t hand it over to my folks and without it I can’t take her out of the country. He applied for the passport but it was issued against everyone’s wishes to his address, it should have gone to my folks to be legal. The passport office don’t seem to be able to do anything and so if I really want to take her abroad I’m going to have to apply for a bloody court order. Argggghhhh.

Well he can think again ‘cos I’m not going to do that. If he thinks his daughter will go anywhere with him he’s in for a shock. She even told him last night that she wouldn’t go. He can’t seem to make up his mind where he would go anyway. My parents lawyer requested the passport be returned and he sent a bloody photocopy!!!! The customs and immigration people aren’t going to let me use a photocopy to take her away are they. He’s a useless piece of crap…did I say that before?

Last year it took ages to get the passport off him and we had to book a holiday at very short notice, we had a great time but it was far too stressful and obviously more expensive as we had less choice of flights and places to stay. This year I wanted to take my niece to Paris but it looks like it’s not going to happen. I want the holiday booked by the end of March so that we have some choice in where we stay etc. Niece has been warned she may have to take her holiday in the UK this year, she’s dissapointed of course but she knows we’ll have fun wherever we end up.

I mean my niece has even refused to see him since last November so why would she change her mind? Why would he even think she would? She’s told social workers she hates him because he doesn’t look after her properly and that she’s scared of him. They told her if she doesn’t want to see him she has to tell him..and she does, every time he’s supposed to come and take her out she tells him not to bother. He never questions her about why she doesn’t want to go, which I find rather strange. If she didn’t want to come and see me I’d want to know why and what I could do to help her change her mind. I know when she gets older she may not want to go on holiday with us it’s to be expected.

At least I have won the battle in one way….she does want to see me and go on holiday with me and she won’t go with him.

Ok rant over…for now!

On a good point, I have a whole week off work and I’m looking forward to going out and about later in the week and maybe seeing some places I haven’t been before, hey I might even get some photos put in this blog too :-)

Being A Friend.

What does it mean to be a friend to someone?

Recently a couple of friends had some sad news, they couldn’t work out how to tell other people this news so I offered to do it for them. I passed on the news and several people have said thanks for doing it. I don’t want to seem ungrateful but I don’t want thanks for doing that. It’s what friends do, help each other out. I’ve actually never met these two people for real, they’re online friends but we share similar interests and I hope that I will meet them one day. It was relatively easy for me to pass on their news as I am an ocean away and not emotionally involved in their situation. I can’t say it was a pleasure to help as it was a hard thing to break to others without being too dramatic about it. I just did what I usually do and kept the news brief and to the point.

Today while I was at work I was thinking about what makes a good friend, as I have few who live locally, so few I can count them on two fingers and I don’t see them very often. When we do meet up or chat on the phone it’s easy. However, they have kids and their lives, naturally, revolve around the routines of the kids. I used to go shopping every Friday with one friend but as soon as her first child came along we haven’t been able to do that, it’s been almost 5 and half years since we shopped together :-(

Those friends have seen me through some tough times and I hope I’ve done the same for them. They stood by when my sister died 5 years ago and listened to me when I went on and on and on and on. They tried to offer advice but the situation my family found itself in was tricky and all these years later it is still not resolved. My friends still try and help me when I need it.

Being a friend isn’t just about helping each other through the tough times though is it? You’ve got to be able to laugh and enjoy each others company, in life or online. I have far more online friends but probably because our interests are so similar. I’ve met some already and I care for them as much as my real life friends.  People who I associate with at work just aren’t the sort of people I’d want to be friends with, they just want to go drinking all the time and have no other hobbies that I find remotely interesting. Some are shocked when I say I read books, like to draw, take photographs and travel, but to me these are my basic requirements, if you share these interests then it’s likely we’ll have something to chat about, if you don’t then I can’t see much of a conversation developing.

Sorry if I sound a bit miserable today, I’m very tired and a little stressed but it’ll be normal Jools back soon, I have a week off work coming up and I can’t wait :-)

Weather.

You know we Brits love to talk about the weather right? It’s too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too windy, too calm and so on, we’re never happy with the weather here. Well what a funny old day we’ve had so far today. At 4:30am when I got up for work it was trying to snow, this was after a night of heavy rain by the way. By 7am we had clear skies but a dusting of snow on the ground. At 8:30am as I set off on delivery it was starting to rain and the snow turned to slush. There was a biting cold wind but it wasn’t as strong as the previous days. The sun came out and it actually got quite warm, I took off my hat and scarf and stuffed them in my mail bag. I undid my jacket a little and removed my gloves, big mistake….less than 5 minutes later the sky was very dark and huge flakes of snow were falling. Out came the hat, scarf and gloves and the jacket was done up again…sigh. I got a text message from my hubby saying the weather was bad at home too and I should take care. I sent a text back saying thanks but I already knew about the bad snow etc and guess what? The sun came out and for 10 minutes there was another clear blue sky, until it started to rain…again. See never happy are we? It really has been like all 4 seasons in a morning though ;-)