Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019


It's been a mainly cloudy day with occasional patches of blue sky.  Although recently I've waking quite early and have got my first exercises done before Peter made our morning tea, today wasn't one of those days. So not a lot of extra work done. While Peter was out I used his pc to fill-in an on-line passport renewal form and print off the declaration I have to sign. Maybe by the time my new passport arrives we'll be thinking about driving over to France or even take a more adventurous holiday somewhere.
I'll soon be off to choir without Peter this time. He needs to be at the hospital at 7.30 tomorrow morning for his second cataract operation so he's planning an early night. 
The front garden is looking quite cheerful with primroses and celandines adding a splash of sunshine.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019


It's been a day of wintry showers. The house feels snug and warm even though the heating isn't set to turn on until 5.00. Warm enough for me to still be wearing shorts and flip-flops though except for when I'm doing my exercises I've been wearing a fleece over my vest top.
This afternoon I finished copying photos from 2017 onto discs while at the same time sewing more felt patches on my old wrist weights.  That was after an admin session so today has been productive which makes me feel good.
I wrapped up well before setting out for Pilates though the worst of the downpour stopped before I set out. After last week's crowd we were down to 22 which was a much more sensible number. I was especially pleased today as I finally was able to do unassisted sit-ups once more. We don't often do them and for the last year I had struggled and rarely been successful. My physiotherapist had advised me not to do them for a while which was a relief but frustrating. Before my back surgeries I would do vast numbers of sit-ups but I'm not aiming to do that again.
Six of the sitting room orchids have new buds which are beginning to open revealing a variety of colours and patterns.

Monday, 21 January 2019


Not too cold today, just miserably grey with the rain holding off until the evening. I walked into to town for an eye check. I haven't had my eyes tested since I had laser surgery in 2009 and as eye tests are free I thought I'd better get one done. Mainly to check out the other things that go wrong with the eyes as we get older. As I thought, my distance vision is fine and for close work the cheap over the counter glasses are sufficient. I already knew that 'floaters' are normal and untreatable but it was a relief to find that the optic nerves are healthy and there are no signs of glaucoma or macular degeneration. I made a point to ask about cataracts as Peter had a clear eye test only weeks before the hospital found advanced cataracts. I do have a little misting in line with my age but nothing to be concerned about. 
After being given the all clear I did some browsing and shopping in the High St. including this fish serving bowl for £1 from a charity shop. In the early days of our marriage we had two pasta? bowls and a larger serving bowl in the same design but with a blueish background which eventually got broken. We still have a saucer sized bowl from which Speedy eats and two enamel shallow bowls which are in the camper. When we downsized our kitchen stuff I only kept the white bone china which still leaves enough for 8 people so the white background fits in nicely.
The light was a bit flat but I walked by the church instead of going round by the road to take a few photos.

 The church was dedicated in 1259.
Today I began using the extra weights on my wrists and ankles during my exercises. The new weights are just about big enough to strap on over the old weights. For the time being I've cut down the number of times I repeat the arm and knee exercises and will work my way back up gradually.  

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Mostly Dry.

Although it looked like we were going to have rain today we escaped with the merest hint of  drizzle. That made a nice change for Peter who was rowing this afternoon. Up till today it had rained every time he was rowing. Today instead of rowing in the River Taw they took two gigs over to Appledore so that they could launch directly into the sea which is more fun. It's 11 miles to Appledore and being in the last two crews out they were asked to turn up at the boatyard in Barnstaple to clean out and put away the gigs and all the equipment. Two crews equals 14 people but only 4 turned up to help in the boatyard so Peter got home after 7.00.  The 10 others just went home. A case of 'somebody else will do it'.
Meanwhile at home I felt the need to get out and stretch my legs so I walked down to the Co-Op. I thought it might get wet so I didn't take my camera. On the walk down I occupied myself by seeing what was flowering in the front gardens along the way. Plenty of camellia bushes with white, red or pink flowers. One was a spectacular double red and another had white flowers splashed with red. Lots of winter flowering heather in white, pink and purple along with nearly open snowdrops and a few daffodils. Also spotted Skimmia berries, flowering Viburnum and a solitary Vinca flower. Another thing that caught my eye was a major building job on one of the bungalows along the road. The whole place was surrounded by clear plastic around and over scaffolding that reached up over empty space. The whole roof had been removed as well as the ceilings of the ground (US -first) floor leaving just the walls. The bungalow is of typical block construction and they must be adding a whole new floor as well as extending out to the side.
At the Co-Op I got myself a few treats, not the sugary kind (shame) but baby sweetcorn, button mushrooms and Cox apples all of which I can eat without feeling guilty. On the way home I met a former work colleague who retired before I left work. We had a nice long chat before I carried on home to more exercises.

Saturday, 19 January 2019


It's been a day of sunshine and showers. At one point this morning all we could see were blue skies yet rain was falling on the conservatory roof. Apart from the usual daily stuff I made some peanut and chocolate cookies for Peter as he's almost reached the end of the Christmas biscuits. I did weigh Patch, using my bathroom scales rather than the kitchen scales and he's reached 3.6 kg which is only a tiny gain and not enough to increase his medicine. 
I also spent some time filling in a form but I need to speak to someone regarding one thing and I'll have to get a friend to witness my signature. And I thought I'd just need to fill in and post off the form. If I get organised and sort the passport form there's another similar page I need to print off and get signed.  
Quite a nice golden sunset tonight.

Friday, 18 January 2019


After yesterday's lovely weather today was a grey disappointment. Frequent icy showers were not an invitation to go out for a walk. Personally I'd be happy to wrap up and head out whatever the weather but I can understand why most people would rather not. Instead I got on with the usual round of housework and exercises. The only variation was when I cleaned out the head of the hoover. I always check for hair caught in the brushes when I'm hoovering upstairs and today I thought I'd try and pry out any hair/dust caught in all the gaps using some fine tweezers and a needle. I worked for a while, and then a while more and finally thought I might as well dismantle the hoover head for a proper clean. It was simply a matter of undoing some screws and laying out the parts including two springs and hoping that I'd be able to put it back together again. When I did that I uncovered a thick mat of fluff & cat hairs. It was satisfying to clean everything out before reassembling the hoover head. Maybe the hoover (Vax) will be more efficient now. I've always been willing to have a go at dismantling appliances when they go wrong. I heard an article on the radio recently about the move to force manufacturers to 1. make goods to last and 2. not to make the innards of appliances inaccessible. 
Poor old Patch is showing his age. His arthritis seems to be not so well controlled by the steroids, I'll try and weigh him on the kitchen scales to see if he's put on enough weight to increase the dose before I resort to the vet and another £50 bill. He also tends to follow me around a lot. Partly for food which he gets as much as he wants except first thing when eating more than a tablespoon makes him throw up. After his first small meal he usually eats quite a lot. The difficulty is keeping Speedy away as he certainly doesn't need any extra food. Once Patch has eaten he likes to sleep on or next to me. In the mornings when I'm busying about I hear the patter of him following me up and down the stairs and he tries to sit on me as I do my exercises. Today I gave in and watched a programme on tv with Speedy lying on the chair seat behind me and Patch resting his head on my lap. By the time the programme had finished Patch was fast asleep and I could get on with things.

Thursday, 17 January 2019


Today has been bright, crisp and cold. It would have been a good day for a walk but Peter had stuff to do. There was enough wind to make it worth hanging out two loads of washing including towels. They didn't dry completely but I'll finish them off on the radiators. Instead of a walk I got on with filling some ceiling cracks. I wasn't too happy with the results when I tried using decorators' caulk so this time I mixed up some filler and already it looks a lot better. 
There were a lot of sheep, and seagulls out on the hill. I had a good look through the binoculars but couldn't see any lambs yet. We saw some lambs when we travelled up to Basingstoke but around here the hill farmers lamb later to hopefully avoid the bad weather. 
Whoever it is that burns stuff behind the houses had a very smokey bonfire going this afternoon. There's been a lot in the media recently about the pollution being caused by household woodburners which although they have become more popular can hardly be compared to the pollution caused by diesel vehicles. The difficult neighbour (the one who drives over the grass) has a woodburner in his kitchen and I smell the smoke every evening. He's a builder and it smells like he burns wet wood which is  unpleasant. I wouldn't mind if he was stopped from using his burner.