Monday 28 March 2011

A Sunday Stroll

 Yesterday was a glorious day.  After lunch, when chores were finished, we walked to our local beach in Poole harbour.  Silly me didn't take my camera.  These pictures were taken in September 2009, but nothing has changed much.  The lake in the second picture is on the common behind the beach.  If you take a car, you can walk to it from the car park, then further on take some steps down to the beach and come back that way.

Friday 25 March 2011

Parents' Worries Don't Stop With Age

It's hard for me to concentrate today. I'm worried about my 46 year old son. Before going to work this morning, he went to see a consultant at the hospital to hear the results of recent scans.  He was going straight to work afterwards, but I made him promise to call and let me know what happened.  It turns out he has a small, slow-growing tumour at the back of his head, not life threatening as it hasn't metastasised, but it needs to be checked as it can affect the brain.

Last July was when the symptoms first became obvious, and it has taken all this time to get the diagnosis.  I really feel it was an unnecessarily long process.  He first went to his GP and reported numbness in his left hand (and of course he is left handed).  The doc said to come back in a month if it's not better.  Then he was sent for nerve route tests.  A month later there were blood tests. Meanwhile the numbness crept up his arm and down the left side of his torso and into his left foot.

In October, he was referrred to a neurologist, but the first available appointment was not until January.  I went with him to that and the consultant gave us lots of info, and sent him for an MRI scan.  It was another three weeks before he was called for that to an evening appointment.  After the scan, he was told he probably needed another one and would be contacted.  Another three weeks passed before he had to go again, this time during the day when a doctor was available so that he could have a liquid injected.  That was ten days ago, and a week after that the consultant phoned him and asked to see him this morning.

The tumour needs to be analysed, and for some reason a biopsy is not recommended.  Now we have to wait for a call from a specialist unit in Southampton to hear what they have decided to do and when he has to go there.

My mind keeps switching between fury at the excruciatingly slow turning of the NHS wheels, and terror about the future prospects for my boy.

Monday 21 March 2011

That King's Speech Film Again

The background of this movie is the period of British history leading up to the time that Albert, the second son of King George V, had to take over the monarchy unexpectedly in December 1936. His older brother had decided to abdicate in order to marry the love of his life, American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. Bertie, as he was known to his family, was to become George VI and lead his country in the second world war against Hitler.

Friday 18 March 2011

Celebrations and Jubilations

I woke up at 5.30 this morning, writing in my head.  This happens sometimes when I have had an idea the day before that I'm about to work on.  In some ways it's good, in others pretty dire.  I'm not particularly good on only five hours asleep, and there's no way I can drop off again.  On the other hand, it's great to get an early start and not have to carry on working long into the evening if I want to get something finished.

The reason for it today, I think, was because of something that happened yesterday.  I didn't have any commissioned work, so I wrote an article for a customer's public request at Constant Content.  The pay offered was pretty good so I knew the competition would be hot.  Anyway, I got it written and submitted, and it was snapped up straight away.  That was the first good news, and then I got a message from the customer asking for more in the same vein.  By the time I went to bed I had the idea for the next one going round and round in my head.

This also is not too uncommon, and my strategy for pushing the thoughts away so I can sleep is alwasy to read a book that I'm enjoying for a while before I turn out the light.

Well, that second article has also been submitted now and I have high hopes for another good sale to boost my CC income this month.  Wish I could celebrate in ome warm place like Lanzarote, where I am in this pic.

Monday 14 March 2011

Forgetfulness, Senility or Dementia

I am a little worried that I might be going senile.  I often have trouble these days finding the exact word that I want when I'm speaking.  It's strange  because it  doesn't happen that much when I'm writing. 

Sometimes I buy things that are on special offer, even if we don't actually need them at the time. I'll just put them away and store them until they are needed.  The trouble is when I open the store cupboard I find one or more of the same already in there.  I should have saved my money.  I also have a number of places  for these little caches, and I find myself thinking, "I know I bought one of these last week, But where on earth did I put it?"

This morning I took books back to the public library, intending to find some more I'd like to read.  When I got there, I found my library card was missing from my handbag.  I must have taken it out a few days ago, when I went on-line to renew the books I had to avoid paying fines for taking them back late. In fact I should have paid a fine for a book I thought I had taken back weeks ago and recently discovered it was still here. But I couldn't pay without my card, and I couldn't borrow any more books, or the Eat, Love, Pray DVD I'm dying to watch.

Sometimes I think about other things while I'm brushing my teeth.  Then I can't remember whether I actually used the mouthwash that finishes off that routine.  I'm sure sometimes I do it twice because  I can't remember the first time.

Often it's my hubby who finds things we need, or that I've misplaced. I've forgotten where I last took off my specs, or put my gloves when I came indoors. we laugh about it, but it's a bit worrying, all the same.

I'm a senior so is it just me at my age?  Or is this more common than I thought?  Are you a forgetful person?

Friday 11 March 2011

Musings About York

The last time I was in York was in July 2009, just after we moved to our house on the south coast. The weekend with friends had been long planned and was a welcome respite from all the hassle of moving home. The time before that was many moons ago when I camped there en-route to a wedding in Newcastle.

That time York Minster was closed after fire damage, but I did get to see it in 2009. Also the Teasurer's House, a National Trust property in which I did the tour of the cellars, where several people have seen the ghosts of Roman soldiers marching by on foot or riding their horses through the walls.

We walked all round the walls of the ancient town and saw many of the old buildings from their high vantage point. Nowadays of course, the residential areas spread far beyond the city walls, and in our two days there, we could only see the tip of the iceberg. But I was impressed by York, and if I were considering moving away from the sea and up to the north, I might think about living there.

I did wonder, if I took my son with me, whether it would be difficult for him to find a job up there. When I looked at this jobs in York website, it looked as though there were just vacancies for people in car sales, dentistry and training, but then I used their search facility and found more. it looks as though they advertise for a number of recruitment agencies, so if you are seriously searching for work in York, it would be a good place to try, although you might need patience as they haven't quite got their sector categories properly sorted.

For us though, it was rather an academic exercise. I don't think anything could tempt me away from my seaside home where I want to spend the days I have left.

Monday 7 March 2011

Musing About Swans

Musing about what to write in here today, I decided to look back at what I was musing about at this time of year in 2009. I found these photos of swan families. Last October I used another one that you can see here.

So I thought I'd find out a bit more about swans. And now I have enough material for a couple of articles.

I've learnt about the mute swans that live here all year round and the Berwicks and Whoopers that visit between October and March; I've learnt more about them being the royal birds that belong to the queen, and why; and why the practice of swan-upping is still carried out today. I can also recall visits to the Abbotsbury Swannery here in Dorset.

All grist to the mill of a writer. Blogging is definitely useful to this one.

Friday 4 March 2011

Thinking of Summer in Winter

This morning I got up to yet another white frost outside. While I shivered I tried to think myself back to the summer, and to other summers in far away places.

Summer outside is glorious, but it's not so good when I come inside. When it's really hot here, the air indoors hangs really heavy. Once a room gets hot it takes a lot to cool it down. At night I move my office desk clip on fan upstairs to my bedside table, and spend half the night turning it on when I'm too hot and off when it has cooled me down too much, because it was so close to me.  What I could do with is a ceiling fan.

When I lived in Singapore, we had ceiling fans in every room. They kept them cool but not too cold. At night we left the fan on its lowest setting and it kept the whole room at the right temperature so we slept through with just a light sheet covering us.

If summers here are going to get hotter with global warming, I might follow the Singapore example and get some ceiling fans fitted. I found a helpful site with pages that tell you all about them. You can find out who makes the best ceiling fans here and see who makes the most efficient and environmentally friendly fans this year.

On other pages you can lean more about: the top selling Minka Aire Hugger Ceiling fans that are so easy to assemble and fix; traditional but quieter Casablanca ceiling fans with 4 speeds for maximum efficiency; the Hunter Classic Original still going strong; the more recently introduced Hunter Hotel Original with a large lamp set below the blades; and plenty of others.

I'm bookmarking the site so that, if and when I'm ready to buy my first ceiling fan, I'll be looking again at the Hansen Wholesale ceiling fans.

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