Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Fotos..

Before we finally say goodbye to frozen February, I'm going to try and put on some photos which have defined the last month for me. Here goes: above is a reminder of that delightful and "unexpected" day of snow we had. It's the view from my Sitting Room window down into my garden, with the cherry tree looking especially magical and the road looking unusually empty.
Ah well, half an hour later and my computer just won't let me load the other photos I wanted to put on. Never mind. I had a lovely one of Son and Grandson on my Birthday, and a gorgeous photo of Daughter, which is on her Facebook. I'm sure it's my fault, because I'm a complete techno-dummy (as some of you will recall). Daughter is coming to collect Grandson tomorrow morning, so if she has the time, I'll get her to try. Now, though, I have to get myself to bed, because Grandson is sure to wake early. See you in March!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What goes around, comes around..

There's so much going on here that I don't really know where to start. First of all I should tell you that we have had Daughter's results from the Colposcopy, and they're not brilliant. She still has some "bad" cells present, and has to have a follow-up treatment in July. Since she was bleeding for five weeks after the last one, it oviously takes some time for internal healing to progress to the point where further "poking about" can take place. Everyone is saying that at least she is on the lower end of the scale (CIN 1 and 2), but I still feel that we should go for a second opinion. She is going to make another appointment with her Doctor, and I'll go along for moral support and a talk. I think requesting a Private Consultation would be the very least we could do, and hopefully it will be comforting for her.

Next, their house purchase has fallen through! The couple they were buying from found a problem with their purchase (something in the survey), and so have pulled out. They were a bit upset about it, not least because they had spent money on a survey etc. But to tell the truth, I couldn't see them living in that house. I did tell Daughter this after it fell through, and she said that Nanny Daisy (the Boyfriend's Mother) had said exactly the same thing! Amazing. We old birds obviously have sharpened sixth senses (try saying that quickly). They very soon found another house they liked, just around the corner, but didn't get to the stage of making an offer before the owner phoned to tell them that he had just been made redundant, and so they wouldn't be moving right now! This Recession is really beginning to bite, it seems, and I fear that there is lots more to come.

At Hove Towers, I have had more chicks to tuck under my wing, in the shape of Honorary Grandaughter and her mother KT. They suddenly found themselves homeless last week (for reasons I won't bore you with) and so I have them staying here for the present. My nice Czech Student left to go home last Saturday, and my new chicks moved in on Wednesday. They will probably be here for about a month, until they can find something else, but I couldn't see them homeless when I have rooms to spare. In the meantime, I had another Therapy treatment a week ago on Friday (more on this later), and spent last weekend with Sister up in London, which was lovely. We made two trips to her local Ikea, which is just around the corner (what a treat!) and had dinner on Sunday evening with her Son and his girlfriend, at Pizza Express. Busy, busy..

It was Half Term last week, so I had Grandson here from Tuesday through to Friday and we had our usual fun and games. On Wednesday we went for the obligatory muddy walk up to the Jack and Jill Windmills, and then on Thursday it was a game of football on Hove Lawns in the morning and Tenpin Bowling down at the Marina in the afternoon. We nearly lost Grandson's new Spiderman trainers there when we exchanged our shoes at the end - the bloke in charge handed me a ropey old pair of size 12 Reeboks instead of the aforementioned new ones. I protested, and Grandson went fearlessly behind the counter and found them. Phew... Then on Friday morning we drove over to East Grinstead to the Museum, for a morning of Windmill fun. Grandson made a windmill or two, and asked lots of questions. We tasted bread made from flour produced locally, and came home with a lovely Windmills poster for Grandson's bedroom wall - hopefully for their new house, when they find one!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Roses in Winter?

Oh for crying out loud (which is something else my Mother used to say), when is this bloody awful Winter going to let up. I was trying to remember when I was last this cold for so long, and I can't. I know we shouldn't expect sunshine and roses in February, but it has been freezing cold here for at least three months now, with no let-up. I've tried not putting the heating on and adding extra sweaters, and I light my log fires in the evenings to save a bit on gas and electricity, but even so I've still used far more than normal. And of course it's now twice the price it was a couple of years ago. I'm sure that EDF, British Gas et al. are rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of all that money coming in, but personally it makes me sick. Bring back the good old days I say, when gas and electricity were publicly-owned "Utilities", considered essentials for life, and didn't cost the earth. They didn't have shareholders then of course, so the element of pure greed that pervades most of the doings of private companies didn't enter into the equation. I know we can't go backwards, and it's not a good idea anyway, but I wonder if the current economic climate might just make us think twice about grasping for the most we can get. I was brought up not to be greedy, in any sense. In fact almost the worst thing you could do at a tea party was to choose the largest cake on the plate when they were being passed around. The shame of being thought greedy was simply not worth the gain. For a while it seemed a rather quaint and old-fashioned attitude, but I think it begins to make sense again. "Don't spend money you haven't got." was something else my parents used to say. And there's another good idea.
Do you think it might catch on?

I had a fab Birthday, with cards, flowers, presents and friends turning up all through the day on Saturday. Every time I looked out there was some other intriguing little parcel outside, and it was such fun opening them. I mostly waited for Grandson to arrive so that he could help me with the weighty task of unwrapping presents. And when he came, he was carrying a bouquet of long -stemmed roses and lilies which was nearly as big as him! His smile was wonderful to behold too. We all went to a lovely local restaurant, called The Coach House, for lunch. It has an open fire in the middle - very cosy on such a cold day. Son arrived from London just as the starters turned up, and we all had lovely food and glasses of wine. Then we wandered back home and had Birthday cake and tea (more presents waiting on the doorstep) before they all left. It was such a lovely day, and I think I've decided to have a Summer Party on the beach to celebrate my Birthday properly - it's just too cold and wintry to think of having a party now. Roll on the Summer!

I keep meaning to Blog more often, and to catch up with all my Blogging friends, but I'm not doing very well at the moment. I have been busy with some design work, which turned up out of the blue, more or less, and I have also been back for another therapy session. This completely blew my mind and senses away again - it was at least three or four days before I could think coherently. My Therapist gave me some homework to do, which involved metaphorically cutting the ties with my dead twin sister. It was a rather complex procedure, involving taking a warm bath, and with lots of candles and warm towels around me to create a comfortable and safe environment. I then had to visualize cutting the chord which joined us, with some imaginary golden scissors, so that we could each let go of the other. This I have done, and I do feel quite different - lighter somehow, and more positive about life. One of the things she said was that I have spent my whole life feeling guilty that I was the twin who survived, and consequently have not felt that I was worthy to live! Now this is big stuff, and all I can say is that during the session I was quite aware that I was dealing with huge issues. I was trembling and shivering, sobbing and trying to take huge breaths. It was, to say the very least, extremely traumatic, and it took me a good hour again before I felt able to concentrate on driving home. And when I was finally safe and sound at home, I just collapsed under several blankets and slept. I thought it would be difficult to write about this, but actually, it's fine. I feel as if I have shed several skins and can, somewhat belatedly, get on with my life.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Snowy Day in London Town

It was as if the world took a cold and snowy breath yesterday and decided to have a day off. At least my world did. We woke to a hushed and beautiful scene with nearly a foot of snow on everything: branches, grass, walls, trees, my balcony and everything in sight. Strangely there were practically no cars in the street - just mine and one other parked oppposite - and they were each covered in a thick blanket of perfect white snow. Sounds were deadened and the sky was grey. Snow continued to fall for most of the day; not serious snow, but a continual soft drift of tiny flakes over everything. A few people ventured out. I took some photographs of the views from my windows, and will try and put them on for you to see, if they're worth doing. We rarely have this sort of snow, so it was a delightful surprise really. And it meant that many people took a day out - an unexpected and cosy day off. Daughter and Grandson were forced to stay at home for the day as his School and her Office were both closed. The Boyfriend was at home too, so after a hearty breakfast of ham and eggs, they put on their warmest clothes and went out to make snowmen and throw snowballs. Later they went to a sledging slope nearby and whizzed downhill in Grandson's blown-up Paddling Pool - what a great idea! In between times they retreated indoors to get warm, and had hot chocolate and cosy food to keep their strength up. Despite the fact that they were snowed in (or perhaps because of it), they made the most of their time and the weather, and had a wonderful day. It was a day they wouldn't have had otherwise, because nowadays it seems that every moment in our lives has to be accounted for.

In London, Son managed to get to work on the Victoria Line, but was the only one in his office. At one point he wondered if he was the only person in Soho! He was pretty cheerful about it, and had taken some lovely photos of snowy London which he put on his Facebook.

I sat most of the day, by the fire, reading a delightful book which I re-discovered yesterday. My new Student, a very nice man from the Czech Republic, brought me a present: a book of short stories by a Czech writer whose name seemed familiar. When I looked among my old books, I found a lovely old gardening book which I had completely forgotten about: "The Gardener's Year" by Karel Capek, illustrated by his brother Josef. My copy was published in English in 1931, and the writer died in 1938 - before I was born. It is a delightful book - one I would recommend to anyone who is interested in gardens. It's charmingly naive (as are the drawings that illustrate it), and I spent a happy few hours buried in it yesterday when I could have been doing many other things. Thank heavens for that snowy day...