Saturday, 28 September 2019

Sisters



Sisters Freda & Finch do like to snuggle up together. After having cats that all slept in different places it's lovely to see this pair together so much. Love the feet crossed & on top of big sister Freda.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Welcome Back!

Over the last few years I've really missed the posts from bloggers I used to enjoy following. Crumbs that makes me sound like a stalker!

Some I've managed to check up on where they have an email and been glad to see they are OK. Many have gone over to Facebook which I know is not so time consuming but to be honest I always think it's just flashes of "stuff" that doesn't give a real insight to people's lives which blogs can do.

Today I found a new post from BunnyMummy who posts such lovely photographs & great crocheting stuff. She hadn't posted for about 6 months so it was lovely to hear from her again especially as she had some brilliant photographs of Stratford upon Avon. Take a look if you have never been. I've only been once and it brought back memories of walking along the riverbank from the RSC Theatre and seeing a simple plaque on the grass below a silver birch tree planted in memory of Vivien Leigh. 




Sorry the photograph isn't brilliant, you may not be able to read it but it simply says, simply says:
"In memory of Vivien Leigh, 
Actress 1913 - 1961, 
A lass unparalleled". 

It's at the base of a silver birch planted in memory of her.

The words on the plaque come from Charmian at the end of Antony and Cleopatra when she describes her dead mistress:

"Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
A lass unparallel’d. Downy windows, close;
And golden Phoebus never be beheld
Of eyes again so royal!"

Very apt!

Monday, 12 August 2019

A Bit of a Day

I posted back in January about being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation & how great the treatment I had in hospital was. 

Something like this is a wakeup call & has certainly made me think about things. I found a book my sister recommended called The Doctor's Kitchen - Eat to beat illness which was written by a doctor, Rupy Aujla who developed atrial fibrillation & didn't want to have the procedures that normally would be offered to patients with this condition. Basically he has written the book which he describes as "a culinary journey through food in medicine". He takes a holistic approach and looks at how food and your lifestyle can improve and maintain your health and there are lots of recipes too. The book isn't just for dealing with atrial fibrillation it's for everyone even those with no health problems.

I've been trying to do some of the things recommended but changing your lifestyle isn't something you can do overnight. My main struggle is with exercise, I do swim a couple of times a week but I need to do more. I hate the gymn & our climate isn't always conducive to walking so I need to find another way to exercise.

The main problems I have day to day are with sleeping, walking up the slightest of inclines, carrying bags plus swelling feet & ankles. Not too bad compared with a lot of people & I was resigning myself to making the best of it as I had decided not to have a cardioversion procedure which was offered. Basically they they give you a light anaesthetic, stop your heart & then give you an electric shock or two to start it which may get your heart back into a normal rhythm. I wasn't too keen on the whole thing especially the risk of stroke & the fact it's not always successful & may not last.

Out of the blue I got a hospital appointent for the procedure & after some thought decided I was going for it as I was sick of having massively swollen anles & feet & was worried about the amount of medication I was taking. 

Well the day was today & with a lot of apprehension I was at the hospital for 7.15am. It's a new surgical centre which is really lovely, I had a lovely view of a little patio. 




I have to say the people were wonderful & thankfully
the whole thing went well, with one shock they got it back into rhythm. So it's thanks once again to the amazing NHS which gets so much unwarranted criticism.

Now I have to wait & see whether it will last. Time will tell, but in the meantime I have to follow more of the advice in the book!



Postscript:

Sadly the atrial fibrillation returned last Thursday so we're back to square one just using the medication. Don't really like taking lots of stuff but don't think I'll go for any other procedures if the medication route works. 

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

The Covers are Off!



Durham Cathedral

The Tower covers are finally off, the scaffolding is down after 3 years & the main tower is open again! 

This is what it looked like with the covers on and often a lot of stuff in front of it.



It's sad that most of the time these lovely buildings have to have so much work going on which maskstheir beauty but it's the price of keeping them alive for future generations. Here's the BBC article about the work.

St Mark's Basilica was covered for ages, I stopped taking photos of it when I was doing the Great Rail Journeys tours. I can't imaging what Notre Dame will look like as it is being renovated. Think it will take more than the 5 years they forecast but I'm sure they will do it even if it doesn't look like the original. It's hard to get the specialist people to produce the craft work necessary. Durham have their own team & train apprentices as I suppose all cathedrals do but the amount of work needed to renovate Notre Dame is colossal.

Now there's lots of work going on inside Durham cathedral providing new entrances to improve access and to show more of the architectural features of the doorways which have been hidden. Hopefully it will be finished by Christmas.

Today there were visitors from many countries including France, Canada, Australia & the USA. Hope they enjoyed their visit even though they are not seeing the cathedral at its best.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Notre Dame in Flames

Notre Dame, Paris     Image Wiki Commons - Licence 

What a tragedy today seeing much of this beautiful Gothic building being destroyed by fire, luckily the main structure has been saved.

The symbol of Paris survived 2 world wars and a revolution but today fire ravaged it. 

BBC coverage is here


Saturday, 23 February 2019

Computers!?*#?!!!!!!


Well when they work they are great when they don't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've had this laptop for a couple of years now & mainly it's been great. It wasn't too expensive, it's easy to use, fast enough for me & has a lot of storage. 

It has had one problem, the same one at least four times where it freezes and then won't boot up. This has meant taking it back to the shop to be repaired which is a pain, waiting a week or two & even more of a pain they wipe it so I have to keep reloading the software & getting all the settings back. Worse still they wouldn't tell me what had been the problem. All I was told was to leave it plugged in all of the time as it is set to do Windows 10 updates in the background & if the power is low it sometimes wrecks the update & causes problems. I thought that was the whole point of a laptop, not having to keep it plugged in all of the time!

Well it is now out of the warranty so I thought I was stuck last night when it froze again. So this morning I went onto the Tinterweb (as you do) and found a video explaining what you can do when this happens. I had been loathe to do any fiddling about with the laptop whilst it was under warranty as companies use any excuse to get out of repairing things if you have had the back off stuff!

Well I had to take the battery out which was a bit of a pain (not the easy external one) but I eventually managed to unscrew it slide it out without doing any damage and reconnect it again.

Well it took a while to boot up (I held my breath) but it did eventually. Whew!!!!! Apparently some kind of a charge builds up (you can see I am non technical) and unplugging the charger & taking out the battery can sometimes resolve the issue. 

If it doesn't I also now know that there is a NOVO button which resets the computer back to factory settings. You don't get hard copy manuals now so if your computer isn't working you need a second computer or smartphone to access info on the Internet. Resetting sould be a bit of a last resort but worth a try.

Well I feel a sense of achievement getting it working and it's a bit of a relief to know when it's my turn to do the church newsletter in a couple of weeks I do have a computer that works. Well it does at the moment!




Saturday, 16 February 2019

Blue & White Stuff!




I'm a sucker for blue & white stuff. I love it!

Blue has always been my favourite colour. When my sister & I were little she got the pink dresses & I got blue, my choice!

I use white crockery for everyday but my best stuff is blue & white willow pattern. I used to use that every day until Wedgewood in their wisdom stopped producing and I couldn't replace it.



Blue doesn't seem to be very fashionable & it's often difficult to buy things for the house. I struggled to replace my blue carpets a few years ago, I could get a hideous bright blue synthetic one but wool was difficult. I eventually ended up with a medium grey, not as nice as my previous airforce blue one but OK.
Blue has a reputation for being cold yet I find it very relaxing & fresh. It hasn't been in fashion for clothes though for  years, well other than denim which seems timeless. Odd but navy was out of fashion for donkeys years, I couldn't buy navy shoes, coats, jackets or dresses until a couple of years ago & I never wear black so it was a nightmare.

I can never buy light blue jumpers or T shirts and it's not easy to buy blue fabric. Luckily blue wool is easier to buy and so is light blue cotton yarn, I've had some stored away for a few years. I had intended to make a couple of jumpers but never got around to it. A few months ago a lady from our charity knitting group gave me some white cotton but I had lots of other things on the needles so never did anything with it.

Last week I decided to get cracking on making this. (It's a blanket not a cloak just in case you were wondering!).

Well an easier version of it just using a single square to get it finished quicker.



I've made twenty squares now so more than half way, I need at least 36 if I have enough balls of white cotton but I think I fancy joining the squares in light blue.

Hope I don't get distracted and start something else before I get it finished! I'm a terror for doing that. 

I've just finished crocheting a shawl for a friend & a knitted chick to hold a Cadbury's cream egg.




  • Currently I have a lace shawl on the go which I have been knitting for over a year now. It's been pulled out at least 3 times but I can't seem to accept that I can't finish it for some reason. 
  • I am also making another crocheted blanket made up of tiny little squares, that's an ongoing activity which could take years!



That's not a photograph of my squares, it's the gorgeous picture from Annies Place Blog which got me interested in making little squares. (There are lots of great crochet ideas there.)
  • I have two advent calendars half made which didn't get finished at Christmas as I was in hospital and a large Christmas stocking cut out. They can wait until next autumn.
  • I have three replacement cushion covers for my dining room chairs to finish and at least four cushions for the living room cut out and ready to sew.
Think I had better stop it's getting too depressing!

Sisters

Sisters Freda & Finch do like to snuggle up together. After having cats that all slept in different places it's lovely to see ...