Sunday, 22 December 2019

Merry Christmas to everyone.

I am wishing you a Merry Christmas today because from tomorrow onwards it will be all go.Our daughter,son I law and two granddaughters will arrive early afternoon on Christmas Eve and will stay,probably until the 27th.Most of the shopping is done apart from fresh food on Tuesday.Tomorrow will be house cleaning and checking crockery,cutlery etc .
We haven't done Christmas for years because we are usually at our son's or our daughter's .I can't believe how many times I have been shopping and I am bound to have forgotten something.Our daughter has offered to bring stuff but money is very tight with Mike's op coming up in Feb.If you remember he should have had it done earlier this month and had cancelled all his work contracts then the hospital cancelled so he has very little work in now and of course there will be none in Feb and March as he recovers.A double whammy on income.Hard times.
Anyway we are going to have a brilliant time ,play loads of games,eat lots of food and forget about Feb's op.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

We won't see Ella for six months.

Our eldest granddaughter,Ella, who is 20 is at university in Manchester doing American Studies.Manchester is only an hours drive from here so we pop up regularly and take her out to lunch.Her home is in Cambridge which is four hours away so we have seen a lot more of her recently.However, as I have mentioned before she is off to Madison in Wisconsin for a semester as part of her course.Our son went with a hired van to pick Ella up plus all her stuff and they came to spend the night here.We had a lovely evening just chatting .They left at 11 this morning to call at our daughter's to see her and her family before heading home to Cambridge.She is excited about going but also a little nervous which is to be expected.Giving her a huge hug before they went was quite sad.It has to last me six months!!!!
Our daughter,husband and Emily and Ruby are coming here for Xmas.I am a bit worried because we have not "done" Xmas for a number of years.As I get older I am finding I get more anxious and also tire easily.
Mike has a new date for his brain tumour removal which is not until Feb 4th.We take this is a good sign that they don't think it is critical but it is hanging over us.Such a shame last weeks op got cancelled.
Take care in the run up to Xmas.Back soon.Barbarax

Thursday, 5 December 2019

I bought a magazine today..

I bought Your Home magazine today.I started reading the Editor's letter and this is what it said...
"Now the Christmas decorations have been taken down,our homes can sometimes feel a bit sad and bare"

It is the 5th December and I have not even thought about putting UP decorations.Why do magazines always have to be a month ahead?I just don't get it.

My son in law was due to have his brain tumour removed next Tuesday and we were all geared up ready,presents bought and wrapped,food shopping done etc all ready to help.He had a phone call yesterday postponing the op .We don't know till when.It is so disappointing.So it will be hanging over us over Xmas and I am sure they will not do it until January.The only good thing is we now have three spare weeks!!

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

This a different Advent Calendar!

I never buy my OH an Advent calendar but when I spotted this one I could not resist it.A different sachet of chilli sauce for every day.He normally has a cup a soup with his lunch so these are quite handy to spice them up.He has had three(obviously) so far,all very different.What will they think of next.

Monday, 25 November 2019

A happy Saturday.

Here I am with my three granddaughters.Ella ,the one on the right,is in her second year at Manchester University reading American Studies.She is off to Madison,Wisconsin inJanuary for a semester.She is our son's eldest.The other two are Ruby and Emily who are our daughter's girls.They only live half an hour from Manchester.So,it was great to have all three together plus Sarah and my O H.We saw our two grandsons in Cambridge the previous weekend.I am pleased to report that Angus is on the mend but still not back in school.
I spent five hours in A&E yesterday with my daughter who had chest pains.Thankfully she is fine and they put it down to stress.It is a sobering experience in hospitals at the moment.Corridors lined with people,mainly elderly ,on trolleys waiting to be seen.Ambulance crew waiting to hand over patients and not able to go  on another call until they have.The staff work so hard and always with a smile.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

It never rains but it pours.

I told you a while ago about our son in law having a brain tumour.It is going to be removed on Dec 10th.Our daughter in law has Coeliacs and has not been told she has fibromyalgia.Last Thursday our grandson Angus(13) was rushed into hospital with appendicitis.They kept him waiting 20 hours before they operated.He is still in hospital and has had to start another course of antibiotics which may mean another 5 days in hospital.They live four hours away but we are going tomorrow for the weekend and maybe longer.Our son has to go away on Monday to Singapore for work.What a mess.It should be us oldies that are ill not them.Such a worry.
On a brighter note our granddaughter Ruby is 12 today and we are all going out for a meal tonight.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Three finished projects.

 This is a scarf knitted in lace weight.The pattern is on Ravelry and it is called Upstairs and is free.It was an easy pattern to follow.
 I decided to reduce my stash and make a granny square blanket.It is a shame the colours are not true as they are all very rich colours.The pale green is actually lime green.I decided to edge it is brown to make the other colours stand out.It was meant for the homeless or refugees but I may not be able to part with it.    .....yet.

 Lastly, a pair of socks for my granddaughter who is going to be spending a semester in Madison,Wisconsin,USA at he university there.It will be very cold so these are knitted in DK.Another pair are on the needles.

Friday, 18 October 2019

This week.

Firstly,an update on son in law.He has his pre op on November 20th and the op on December 10th.He is very anxious about it as we all are.
This week we have had my brother in law staying.He lives in Kenya but comes backeverycouple of years to catch up with family and friends.He has never married but does have a Kenyan lady friend.She never comes because she won't fly.For the two weeks before he came a whole host of parcels began to arrive.Things he cannot buy in Kenya.He flew into Gatwick and then caught the train into London and then train to Chester where my husband met him.There is 11 years difference between them.To look at them you would think my OH was the younger one!He arrived on Monday afternoon and we just chatted and had a casserole for tea.Tuesday was our Art Appreciation Group,a talk about "Emotion in Victorian Art" so we took him along.Tuesday evening we ate out giving him a choice of various cuisines.Wednesday morning C and Paul walked into town and then we set off for Manchester.Our granddaughter is a second year student at Manchester University and Paul was keen to meet up with her.We took her to lunch in the cafe of the Whitworth Art Gallery.A lovely glass walled space surrounded by the park.On our way back we called at our daughter's house so Paul could catch up with our middle granddaughter .He is going to stay there tomorrow for two nights but she is away doing the Duke of Edinburgh award.We asked Paul what he would like to eat,what he missed.Fish and chips was called for on the way back.Thursday saw us going to the Lady Lever Art Gallery which he thoroughly enjoyed.Bangers and mash for tea,another thing he misses.Assorted cheeses for dessert because you can only buy tasteless cheese in Kenya.Today has been searching for golf shoes for him(successful) and tonight they have gone to the theatre to see A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie.He has got my ticket.Tomorrow we take him to our daughter's .He is then off to Newcastle to catch up with friends and then to Cambridge to stay with our son and his family.
All I can say is PHEW.I a shattered ,not used to having a visitor for so long and not able to have forty winks.I hope we have given him a good time.
I have some completed project to show but need to find time for photos.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

My son in law has a brain tumour.

When Mike was 15 he had a brain tumour removed and was fine until he was 33 when he got another one.It is benign and not growing at the moment.It is in a place they can't reach.He is scanned every three years and at his last scan another tumour was detected.They think it is benign but have decided to remove it.He will be in hospital for five days,off work for two months but worst of all he can't drive for six months.The trouble is he is self employed and needs to drive for his job.He is a chemical engineer and visits sites all over the country.We live 45 minutes away and they have two girls who are involved in lots of activities in the evening.They are 14 and 11.Sarah ,our daughter, works three days a week.She is a Type 1 diabetic and gets very tired.What do we do? My OH can help out with local driving and we can help out financially.We are toying with the idea of renting a flat for six months so we can be on hand.We are both in our seventies and get tired too.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

To continue......

As I was saying on my blogpost (which just published itself!)I wasn’t very well while we were away.When we came back I couldn’t get an appointment at the doctors and I was in so much pain I decided to get an emergency dental appointment in case it was a tooth problem.He did an x ray which didn’t show anything but just to be sure he gave me a prescription for antibiotics.Well,he didn’t “give” it to me .The emergency appointment cost £30 and the prescription £8.This is a week ago and I am still not right.A check up at the dentists today concluded that it wasn’t a tooth problem but the antibiotics helped.Another £24 and I was in all of five minutes!!!I managed to see a nurse practicioner yesterday who has ordered loads of bloods tests tomorrow and I see a locus GP next Monday.
Do you in your area have difficulty getting appointments to see a GP or is it just here in Wales?

Now,my final question.Do you know where I can find a guide on putting pictures and captions on my blog.I manage the first one and then it is stuck .Help please.

A few photos from the Cotswolds.

 We have just had a couple of days in the Cotswolds.The above was at Croome Court(National Trust).
 This is in Broadway.Allthe buildings are in this beautiful yellow Cotswold stone.So pretty.
We visited Hidcote gardens .There is a view of the red border.



                                          Chipping Camden.

                                          Bourton on the Water.

Unfortunately I wasn't well while we were away.I had dreadful pain when I ate of drank anything

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Today we have been to Powis Castle.

 Powis Castle is near Welshpool in Mid Wales.It took us one hour to drive there.
The Herbert family spent 400 tears transforming this medieval fortress into a lavish home filled with sumptuous furnishings,loads of portraits and amazing painted ceilings.The castle has views over the Severn Valley and amazing gardens.
During the Second World War George Herbert was a governor of the Welsh Girls school in Ashford,Kent.He invited the staff and pupils to evacuate to Powis in 1939.All round the castle there are recordings of the girls and the family,done by our wonderful Theatr Clwyd.George Herbert did not approve of education for girls!!!

The herbaceous borders and the clipped yews are superb.


 Inside a yew.
            The herbaceous border.

                   The wonderful view.

From Powis we drove onto Montgomery which is a medieval market town with some amazing buildings but I didn't take any photos.Shame on me.
I am now well and truly worn out.My legs ate tingling from all the stairs and just generally walking but it was " grand day out".

Monday, 12 August 2019

Three new projects.

 This should have been number 4!
 I fancied doing something it ting other than socks and quite liked the look of this teddy bear.I thought if it worked out ok I could do some for charity.The yarn is Shetland Yarn in a natural Cleese colour.Easy to do watching TV.

 Now this is different.Not something to do watching TV.It a reversible cowl done in Brioche stitch.This is something new to me but I do like a challenge.Watch this space.

This is my third project.Can you guess?This is a large ball of twine to do macrame.I did macrame in the seventies.My OH said you must have a book on it(I have lots of craft books).I didn't have one but I found this M&S one from 1976 and yep ,macrame is in there.

I must also press on with my black stitch.

I read on someone's blog (Eileen?) about nonograms.I am looking into that too.I do like to keep busy.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

My blackwork

 My Blackwork is coming along very well.It needs a lot of concentration but that is good for the brain cells.You just hope it is all going to meet up!Gold thread and beads are added at the end.
I had a dreadful night last night.OH was snoring( it is usually me) so Idecided to move bedrooms.Still I could not get to sleep and ended up moving back.We gardened all morning and so I went for a cheeky little sleep this afternoon and slept for two hours.We have spent the last week cutting back shrubs in the garden.They seem to have gone mad this year.Two more full cubes waiting Togo to the tip tomorrow and at least double that piled up on the lawn.
Did you experience the Painted Ladies butterflies phenomen?It only happens every ten years but I was lucky enough to walk into a swarm of them Truly incredible.
We went to see Vita and Virginia at the film theatre onFriday evening.It seemed very slow to me but perhaps I was just tired.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Have you tried these....

Have you tried these for the birds in your garden?They come as a pack of three.1 fruit,1 berry and one peanut.They are solid blocks and go on the bird table.I have a nail in the middle and fix one on there (to stop the squirrels getting it).The blackbirds and robins love them because they find it difficult getting on the feeders.The only place I have found them is at Charlie's store. £2.97 for a pack of three.Excellent value!

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Photos from the last week

 Cathedral of St Omer

 View out of the window from a restaurant in St Valery

View across the Somme where the sheep graze freely and produce superb meat.

 St Valery.William the conqueror sailed from here.

My iPad has frozen .Hopefully to follow is a photo of our son's new house and our Cambridge grandchildren and some old French houses.

Friday, 19 July 2019

We are back from a trip to France.

Well,it was a quick visit.Spent Saturday in Cambridge with the family and then off to France.Three nights in Abbeville visiting Bay de Somme.Then two nights in St Omer.Lots of wine buying and we ate some amazing food.
Back onEurotunnel this morning BUT then it is a six and a half hour drive home,round London on the M25,then round Birmingham on the M6.Traffic,traffic and more traffic.Ididn't do any driving ,not on motorways.C seems remarkably lively but I am sure will be nodding off watching TV tonight!!!!
Photos tomorrow when I have had a good sleep.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Does anyone know what plant this is?

The shrub is about one metere tall and wide with lots of these tiny yellow flowers.I can't find it in any of my books.I live in North Wales .uk.
Any suggestions ?

Saturday, 29 June 2019

We have been to Northumberland.

 We stayed in a Studio flat attached to a pub in Boulmer,Northumberland.It is east of Alnwick on the coast.These are fishermen's cottages by the inn.
 This is the view from our window.

 It is a wild and rugged coast and very beautiful.We were there for three nights but packed a lot in.Below is Bamburgh CastleWe went round this at the end of the day and it was hard work,steep and lots of stairs and slopes.Next was Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island.

Blogger will not let me scroll down so Here is where else we went
Cragside(NT)This was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity.Wow.It was a pretty impressive.It was also an Arts and Crafts masterpiece with stained glass by Rosetti and tiles etc by William Morris.
We also visited Wallington(NT),again very impressive.
C wanted to visit Hadrian's Wall which we did on the way stopping at Housesteads Roman fort.
While we were in Alnwick we visited Barters Books ,a second hand book store with