Tomorrow I have a day off work.

One of my sons asked me if I minded my husband being at work tomorrow instead of being at home with me. Before I could answer he pointed out that I never get any time to myself so, thinking about it, I probably don’t mind being home alone tomorrow.

It’s true, though, what my son said. I never do get time to myself. I enjoy ‘me’ time. I’m more than happy in my own company. However, at work I’m surrounded by people which is fine. You expect that at work. And, at home, I’m never by myself. Over the past four and a half years my family have tried, not always successfully, to never let me be at home by myself. Quite what they think will happen to me I don’t know but there was a time when none of them would make plans to go out unless they knew that one of the others would be home to look after me. But, every time I moved, someone would ask me where I was going or what I was doing. If I got up to get a drink or something to eat someone would say that they could have got it for me. There was one occasion when I was at home by myself when I got my car out so I could look for something in the garage. I put it away before anyone got home but my husband and eldest son both knew, somehow, that the car had been moved and wanted to know why. Why did they need to know?

I love my family and don’t want them to think I’m ungrateful for what they do for me. There are times, though, when I wish they would just give me some space.



Some months ago I bought a pack of Pom-Pom makers.They look a bit weird but how hard can they be to use?  After all we used to make our own Pom-Pom makers by cutting out two circles of cardboard (usually from dad’s cornflake packet, which didn’t go down to well at breakfast time), cutting a circular hole in the middle, winding the wool around, a bit of snipping and voila! One perfect Pom-Pom.  

All very well but I couldn’t work out what to do with them.  The instructions were pretty poor so I had to resort to a You Tube video to find out what to do.  And success!  My first Pom-Pom.Not as good as I hoped it would be but not bad for a first attempt.

And here it is attached to the Christmas Wreath.So, with apologies to my husband and sons, and any other visitors to my house, this is what will be gracing the front door over the festive period.  It’s go to be better than the rather sorry Wreath we’ve been using over the last 25 years – it was quite pretty when we first got it but it’s now so old that robin on it has gone bald.

Last Day of June

I was up early this morning to listen to my nephew again on Radio 4.  This time, he was talking about the woodlark.

I have failed with my list of things to do in June.  We did attend the concert we had tickets for but I didn’t finish the book, On Chesil Beach by Ian MacEwan, nor did I finish the blankets.  I did lots of light reading but didn’t seem to have the concentration to read anything meaningful and I’ve spent too much time crocheting with thicker yarn and hooks to be able now to enjoy using a thin yarn and small hook.   I must steel myself to get it all done in July.  

I’ve recently posted about things that make me happy.  Well, here’s something that’s made me decidedly unhappy.  I posted a week ago that my new shoes had been delivered.  I discovered today that Seasalt, where I bought them from, have got them in their sale at half price – £70 reduced to £35.  Even at £35 they’d have been the most expensive shoes I’ve ever bought!  And I haven’t even worn the damned things yet!  So I’m quietly fuming.

Marbles came in for an hour this evening.  He sat on my lap for all that time, just quietly purring in his sleep.  It’s so soothing.

Proud Aunty Moments

My nephew has mental health issues.  He won’t mind me saying this as he’s very open about it and will talk about it to anyone who’ll listen.   

After a particularly bad day at work a couple of years ago, someone suggested to him that he tried bird watching as a way to relieve stress.  He took to it like a duck to water (no pun intended) and, combined with his love of photography, is building up quite a following on Instagram and Twitter.  He’s also been invited to write a couple of pieces for birding magazines.  

The thing he’s most proud of, though, is setting up a group called Bird Therapy which promotes the benefits of bird watching on mental health.  In April, he spoke about Bird Therapy at an event in Cambridge called ‘Earth Optimism Day’.  He spoke for an hour and a half and, at the end, a gentleman in the audience asked to be introduced to my nephew as he had been so impressed and wanted to discuss the issue further.  My nephew agreed to the introduction (as I said, he’ll speak to anyone about it who’ll listen) and found himself shaking hands with Sir David Attenborough!  Radio 4 was also at the event recording some segments for use in a program they were putting together.   The producer had listened to my nephew’s presentation and asked if he would like to contribute to their ‘Tweet of the Day” series – a two minute piece each day where a bird watcher, famous or otherwise, talks about a particular bird they’ve encountered and a short clip of birdsong is played.  My nephew recorded three pieces; one has already been featured and a second one is to be played later this month.The family is just so proud of him.

Catching Up

The WordPress app has finally decided to stop crashing every time I open it and I can, at last, post something.  I was going to post the drafts I’ve made each day but it’s now been a week since I last posted I decided not to bother.  Just one short catch-up post will do.

So, Saturday.   I ticked off another item on my things to-do list by going to the Leo Sayer concert in Huddersfield Town Hall.  Neither of us had been to Huddersfield before and we got hopelessly lost.  The sat-nav was worse than useless and the road signs in the town were rubbish so we just kept driving round and round hoping for the best.  We knew we were getting closer to the venue from the mileage indicator on the sat-nav, but then the numbers started going back up so we knew we were heading away.  We became quite expert in rapid illegal u-turns and creeping the wrong way down one way streets just to get ourselves back on the right road.  Eventually we found a bay of disabled spaces so decided to park there even though it might mean a bit of a walk, then I realised I’d left my Blue Badge at home.  We had to move on.  A few more illegal manoeuvres later brought us to an almost deserted Pay and Display carpark which we thought would do except we couldn’t find the pay point.  An enquiry made to a young woman who had just parked her car got the answer “No pay today.  Machine, he broke.”  Bonus- a free car park.  Double bonus – it was right next door to the Town Hall!  We had unintentionally found where we were looking for, it was free, and couldn’t have been closer than if we’d parked on the Hall’s doorstep.  I never look forward to an evening out because of this sort of thing but, once arrived, I usually enjoy whatever the event is.  And this was no different.  The show was excellent, the band did a fine job and Mr Sayer played all his old hits, plus some album stuff which I wasn’t familiar with.

On Sunday, to Scunthorpe hospital for my regular 4 monthly scan.  That was pretty uneventful.

Monday and Tuesday, nothing to report although our eldest son came for his tea on Tuesday.

Wednesday, our youngest son got a new car.  He came round late in the evening to show it off.  It’s very posh.

Thursday, Election Day and I went for an eye test.  My eyesight has changed so much over the last 3 months that my current glasses are no longer adequate so a new prescription has been issued and I pick my new glasses up next week.

On Friday we woke up to find that the Tories had won the election, sort of, but can only form a minority government, relying on support from the DUP.  Expert opinion is that this is not a good idea and wont last.  The good news is that UKIP were wiped out and they no longer have any MPs.  The leader Paul Nuttall has stepped down which leads to the bad news – Nigel Farage has said that he has no choice but to return to British politics.  

I haven’t seen much of Marbles all week.  The bad weather has confined him to his house and he’s been reluctant to even cross the patio to come indoors.   My husband sees him every day when he goes out to feed him and, on Friday morning, after I’d gone to work, this was his chosen perch (Marbles, that us, not my husband).

First Day of Summer

I decided yesterday that the first day of the Summer is today, 1st June. 

I got up early to listen to my nephew, a keen bird watcher who writes about the therapeutic benefits of bird watching on mental health, present ‘Tweet of the Day’ on Radio 4.  It was only a two minute segment in which we heard some bird song from the Skylark and Joe talking about a walk he took during which he encountered six of the birds.  He spoke beautifully and we could really hear the passion he has for his bird watching.  A Proud Auntie Moment indeed.As I was up so early, I took a few quiet moments to just gaze out of the window and observe the early morning light and sky.  We live in a fairly rural area so it’s always very peaceful at that time of day.My plans for June have started well.  I had my own quiet early morning celebration of the start of Summer, I’ve started reading a good book, and I’ve done a couple more rounds of one of my blankets.No sign of Marbles today; he’s been about and has eaten his food but I haven’t seen him. I don’t like days when I don’t see him.

I shouldn’t complain but the heat today has been quite oppressive.  It has left me feeling very tired.  It’ll be an early night for me tonight.

Things To Do In June

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, or mid-year resolutions. I don’t even have long term goals. I do, however, set out at the beginning of each month a short list of things to achieve that month. Here are my things to do in June. 
Celebrate the start of Summer. There is some debate at the start of every season whether the season starts on the first day of the relevant month, i.e. March, June, September and December, or at the equinox or solstice. I’m opting for 1st June as the start of Summer. I have good reason for being up early on Thursday (my nephew is delivering a short segment on Radio 4 at 05.58 on the song of the Skylark) so I will use my early rising as an opportunity to enjoy the sunrise over the rooftops and fields I can see from my bedroom window

Go to a concert. This is a bit of a cheat as we’ve had the concert tickets since the end of January and the concert just happens to be in June. We’re going to see Leo Sayer perform in Huddersfield town hall. I wouldn’t call my husband a fan of Leo Sayer but he does enjoy his music and as the tickets went on sale in time for his 60th birthday my sons decided to get them as a birthday treat. Although, thinking about it, I ordered the tickets and the boys have never paid me for them

Finish two crochet WIPs. Specifically the two near identical blankets I intend to give as Christmas presents

Have my hair cut. This might seem a surprising thing to find on the list as most people have their hair cut on a regular basis. Not me, though. When I was told in December 2015 that my cancer had come out of hiding and was spreading, I knew that the chemotherapy would cause me to lose my hair. Again. So I last had my hair cut in October/November 2015 and it has taken until now to grow back enough to now need cutting

Read a good book. I generally read psychological thrillers or crime novels. While these are a step up from the ‘chic-lit’ I was reading when my treatment left me too tired to concentrate, they couldn’t be described as classical or ‘modern classical’ literature. Currently on my bedside table (or Kindle) I have On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’ve already read On Chesil Beach (which I can remember only vaguely) and Brooklyn (which I can remember even more vaguely) but I’ve never read ATLWCS. I think I’ll start with On Chesil Beach