Thanksgiving Turkeys

11 Mar

This is my friend’s husband…..

Fortymoreturkeys

My wife and I are off to a Christening in Hampshire as my wife has been asked to be God Mother. Strangely, the parents were not remotely interested in God until they had children, now you cant get them out of the church. They are desperate to get their kids into a good school and as such, have to evidence excellent attendance on Sundays, and a repentant demeanour. The Church was a tiny brick and flint affair, sweetly nestling amongst tumbled down overgrown gravestones. I glanced at one of the barely legible headstones and apparently Lt.Col. Daruius Jones has been missing in Acton since July 1942, poor old Darius, Acton is dire.

I knew we were in trouble when we sat in our pews and the vicar came out wearing a hessian robe, with at least three metres of tugboat rope wound about his waist. Hanging from his neck was…

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RECOVERY WEEK 2

18 Feb

Well, I can’t believe that 3 years (almost) have just disappeared without my realising it.  There’s so much to tell & I’m not sure I’m going to have time to update in the next 5 minutes (the precious 5 spare minutes).

2015, for me, was a year of achievements and goal reaching; I ran the Reading Half Marathon in 2h2min (which I was really pleased about, though now I’m thinking I need to do a few more so that I can get in under that 2 hour time.  Competitive? Moi?), and I also reached my black belt in tae kwon-do, after months of intensive training.  The hardest I’ve worked towards something for a very long time.  Since school, in fact.  Ah, the joys of slog.  Having done the black belt grading, I truly appreciate that if you do make the effort to put in a lot of work for something, the satisfaction and self-pride feelings are definitely worth it.  Everyone should try it – it’s very uplifting.

2014 was a good year, if non-eventful, until September.  That’s when we found out that my lovely father had pancreatic cancer and was given 3 months to live.  He actually died on 23 December, so Christmas felt a bit like a false celebration for all of us, but we muddled through and the kids had all their cousins to play and compare presents with.

I don’t know if many of you lovely readers have been through watching a very close relative gradually slip away; it’s obviously a terrible time for all, not least the patient, although we were assured by the nurses and doctor that the morphine would take away all his pain and his cares.  I think it’s worse for the relatives and friends who see a cancer patient in the late stages of the illness and feel so helpless; I felt myself worrying about what Dad was going through and how he was feeling, though when you have so much morphine in your ‘system’, you’re probably not worrying at all.

Trying to get a night nurse was a huge problem for us – when Mum called the emergency palliative care nurse in the middle of the night, a couple of nights before Dad passed away, she had to wait 4 hours before any nurse could get to the house.  This was because there were only 2 emergency nurses on call in the the whole of Gloucestershire (it’s a big county), and they were tending to other similarly placed patients.  So all we could do was wait for them to arrive.  Quite shocking statistics; until you are in that position, you don’t find out these things.  Mum tried to get a private nurse to come for a night to look after Dad, so that she could try to get a little bit of sleep, but there were none available; all the Macmillan nurses were tied up with other patients and there were no agency nurses available, throughout the whole of Bristol, Gloucestershire and surrounds.  Ridiculous situation.  She rang one agency who told her she could hire a carer (no medical training) for £600 for a night!!   Not even a nurse!  We were lucky enough to have some family who could help us out, but I do feel sorry for people who perhaps don’t have anybody else they can ask to help.  The only other option was to get Dad into hospital, but Mum was determined that he should die at home, as was his wish (and hers).  We did eventually manage to find a Macmillan nurse for Dad’s final night, thank goodness too, as we would never have been able to manage without her.  She was amazing – very understanding, gentle, kind, efficient and empathetic.  She told me that she liked her job because she wanted to help people and that made her feel good.  She was really lovely.

Moving on, the children seem to be growing like weeds.

Bella is now 13 (and a half, as she would put me straight on in an instant) – she passed her Grade 4 piano in 2014 and decided to devote herself to her school work at secondary school, rather than taking the piano further, at this stage.  I’m still hoping that she will want to take it up again and maybe get a couple more grades, but it’s up to her.  She is now a red belt in tae kwon-do (2 grades away from black belt) and will take her black strip grading in April.  Then it’s September for her black belt, if she wants to do that.

Milly started secondary school in September.  She still struggles with her allergies and asthma, and the black labrador had to move out as he was one of the allergies (it was a very sad day), though he is now safely ensconced with a couple of black labrador bitches up the road at Park Farm, which he doesn’t mind at all.  He is always very pleased when I take him biscuits every week.  Milly passed her Grade 1 piano before leaving primary school and has given it up in favour of Instagram and Youth Club!

At the beginning of 2015, Sophie had all her long hair cut off (never been cut before) and raised over £150 to help a friend of a friend’s son to fund his debilitating illness, so we were all very proud of her for doing that.  She is currently learning piano and getting on very well.  Hoping to take her Prep Test in the summer term.

Rory has just celebrated his 7th birthday with a lot of Lego and a bowling party, which was great fun and involved a lot of sweets and a big cake.  Obviously.  He has been going to soccer coaching with ‘Mr Neil’ on Wednesday nights, which I never thought would be possible (the coordination wasn’t looking that impressive), but he does listen well and seems to be enjoying it.  His love, (apart from Lego and chips), is golf with Daddy, though he is definitely a fair weather golfer and won’t go if it’s chilly outside or raining!

So the recovery (in the title of this blog)?  Well, I had a hernia repair a couple of weeks ago, that’s all.  I’m fine though, but my friend Julie keeps telling me not to do anything, not to lift anything and not to keep rushing around and that I’ll do myself more damage than not and it’ll have to be done again and it’ll take twice as long to recover, etc, etc.  I expect I’ll be back at tkd in a week or so…

EEK! I’ve run out of time for now……

 

nagged to post again

23 Mar

today’s blog cometh.  I am completely worn out today.  Must be the never-ending dull, grey and miserable weather.  Even drove through snow today on the way to Grandma’s house, past the Highwayman pub on the Cirencester to Gloucester road.  I thought we’d seen the last of that, but obviously not.  At least the kids liked looking out of the car windows and oohing and aaahing at the snowy distant hills (“They look like mountains, don’t they Mama?”).

Arrived safely at Grandmas, having also had to risk driving through a flood about 100m long (I can’t stand water, especially muddy flood water in a very small lane).  I did watch another ‘normal’ car attempt and get through it before me, so knew it could be done.  Kids, excited, Mama, nervous as hell.

Consumed large portion of cheesey pasta AND chips (bloated still at 9.15pm), and a glass of Prosecco.  What?  Well, I enjoyed it all.  Quite a change from a lettuce leaf and soup.

Arrived back at home, having driven back along a different tiny lane (non-flooded, thank the Lord), through the lovely Gloucester (ha!) and more grey, dull and dreary weather, fed the animals, cleaned the kitchen, did the ironing and a couple of loads of washing (even a goddess must partake in this mundane chore from time to time), gave the kids some dinner, gave the OM some dinner and went back to the lettuce.  Recovery lettuce, with a large glass of red.  Also very nice!

Yawn.  Bit of a dull one this evening, but been off track for a while on the old blog front x

23 Jan

A little bit tipsy after delicious birthday dinner at the fantastic Vine Tree in Norton. Rack of lamb with green beans and dauphenoise Potatoes followed by sticky toffee pud with vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce. The Beaumes de venise was delicious as well, but I don’t remember the journey home. Thank god. Because it was very snowy and very slippery. The Mercedes coupe did not need a 3.2 litre engine. I just needed Ugg boots and a sledge and bachs rescue remedy. Actually, fuck that, it was a case of a large glass of brandy to get over that skiddly trip home (and it only took ten minutes at most. But it was heart in mouth) I did suggest that the VW with winter tyres may be a slightly better choice, given the blizzard like conditions and amount of snow settling on the ‘gritted’ lanes, however mr laid back I’m a golf pro love of my life butler disagreed. Who am I to argue? We did get home safely, so he was obviously right…

fts100's Blog

This is it.  My first EVER post on a blog (well, not just any old blog – my blog, actually).  I am surprised I’ve come this far at all, being extremely (in this day and age) un-technology friendly.  Unlike my nerdy (yet lovely) younger brother, to whom the computer studies lessons actually sank in.  Thank goodness there’s somebody in the family who can mend my laptop whenever it gets a virus.

Who am I anyway?  I am Fifi married to golf pro with 4 amazing (aren’t they all?) children aged between 4 & 10.  Just an every day, albeit manic, Mum.

We live in an ageing money pit with very draughty windows and doors (the freezing Easterly is at this moment blustering through the front door and the snow is settling on the window ledges (hopefully in all the window cracks as well, so the wind will stop getting in).  It’s…

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First Post Fifi

22 Jan

This is it.  My first EVER post on a blog (well, not just any old blog – my blog, actually).  I am surprised I’ve come this far at all, being extremely (in this day and age) un-technology friendly.  Unlike my nerdy (yet lovely) younger brother, to whom the computer studies lessons actually sank in.  Thank goodness there’s somebody in the family who can mend my laptop whenever it gets a virus.

Who am I anyway?  I am Fifi married to golf pro with 4 amazing (aren’t they all?) children aged between 4 & 10.  Just an every day, albeit manic, Mum.

We live in an ageing money pit with very draughty windows and doors (the freezing Easterly is at this moment blustering through the front door and the snow is settling on the window ledges (hopefully in all the window cracks as well, so the wind will stop getting in).  It’s like Siberia in our bathroom, which was lovely with the underfloor heating until it packed up about a week before the current sub-zero temperatures.  Now we have a VERY cold slate floor, and slippers have become an everyday essential.

My 10 year old has been wearing a woolly hat and coat to practise her piano in the front hall, as the wind has been whipping up a frenzy under the front door and all around the ivories.  The violin practise has migrated into the next door room, where only a moderate breeze is getting in.

Don’t get me wrong, though.  I do love the look of the snow and very much enjoyed building an igloo with my 8 year old on Sunday in the paddock across the road.  Fifi the builder.  I was very proud of my efforts.  It is warmer than the house when you are inside it.  I may have to move in for a couple of days, with the cats and the dog.  Or perhaps a few of the 127 sheep which have moved into our field.  The sheep sound like a warmer option (I am very focused on getting warm at the moment), though I expect the cats and dog would be more willing to snuggle up next to me than Shelley and Sheilah.

Got to go; I have a young yeller upstairs…