Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Years Eve!

Here we are about to head into the New Year - I am always hopeful that it will be a good one, Happy and Healthy and this time I am hoping it will be the year that I have less (or even better NO) pain.

Some photos from my garden this week - we have had some lovely frosty days where the blue sky has been prominent but the last few days have been damp and very foggy/misty and as such grey.

Crisp frost still on the ground late in the afternoon.

Water droplets on roses.

It is amazing to still see some of my roses bravely blooming in December!

I haven't posted photos of our Christmas Table yet.

Similar food to last year

The Sailor and his Fiancee were absent this year as they are having to work on their ship.  Our younger son did join us though which was nice.  My Mother in Law and her partner of course always join us for the day.

I made my trusty Pavlova for desert as that has become a traditional part of our Christmas meal and a firm favourite along with the fresh fruit salad I also make.

I almost had a bit of a disaster with the Pav fact I DID have a disaster.  I woke later than intended on Christmas Day - the first Christmas morning we have not had at least one of the boys with us - and got up and turned the oven on to pre-heat it ready for the turkey and forgot the pavlova was in there cooling from the night before!  After some time I smelt something burning - that's right, the pav!  Result = Ruined Pavlova!  So I had to make ANOTHER one!  Fortunately that one turned out okay and although Christmas dinner was slightly later than originally intended all was well.

In the evening my Aunt and Uncle joined us as usual.

We had a bit of a laugh opening presents.  My Uncle is always fun to buy for as he has a hobby and we always try to get him something new for it.

During the week it has been lovely to see the sun shining in on the Christmas Tree and its decorations

Such a cheery sight in the morning with them sparkling in the sunshine.

I am still waiting on my Christmas present from my husband - Amazon let him down this time.  It is a Haley Westenra CD - I guessed from questions he asked me the other week, although I don't know which one.  Seems it has gone missing.

Tomorrow I will be embarking on my Whole30 in the hope that it will help the pain problems.  I am not starting just because it is the New Year, but rather because it is a Monday, the first of a month - so easier to know exactly what day in the 30 Day period it is - and because it is after Christmas and all the celebrations and extra food that come along with it.  If it works and one of the eliminated food groups is what causes or contributes to my pain I will very happily be able to cut that out completely - time will tell and I will know more next month.

Someone looks exhausted!

To all I wish a Very Happy and Healthy New Year, stay safe if you go out and celebrate.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Pain's Embrace

She wraps her arms around me in an embrace,
the flames lick up the side of my face,
Tightly she holds me, crushing me, bruising me,
My ribs, my arm, the whole of my back,
No release, not even in sleep,
Day and night, night and day,
She keeps up with me in a most relentless way.
She is no stranger this companion of mine,
I've known her since 10 years plus 4
When the chair was pulled and I fell to the floor,
To provide a laugh to those with small minds.
But after a while it wasn't constant, there was an off switch,
Life could resume, she often left me alone, it was not all the time
Now it has all changed and this 'friend' of mine
keeps me company too much, she is with me always,
Day and night, night and day.
For the last long eight years there is no relief,
And now it has spread, you see
not just my arm, my side, my face,
but my whole trunk front and back
the pain never leaves, and is growing
Her company is wearing, I get fed up,
Just to leave me alone for a while would be good
So I could sleep and wake feeling rested and refreshed
Not constantly caught in her tight embrace.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Cakes, Decorations, Health

Gosh only another couple of days before Christmas!  I know this is a worn comment, but it really does seem to approach far too quickly.

My husband and I did our food shopping at 7.30 am this morning to avoid the crowds and rush, and I have to say it was great, hardly anyone in the store.  

Each Christmas I cook the Christmas dinner for us, usually the boys, my Mother in Law and her partner and then my Aunt and Uncle come round in the late afternoon/early evening for a light tea.  This year our older son and his fiancee can't join us as they are on their ship.  This year is the first year we will have woken up Christmas morning without one of the boys here.  Will seem rather strange.  Our younger son is coming for dinner this year which will be nice. 

A few 

A couple of Christmas cushions.

This lovely friend was made by an Australian blog friend of mine a few years ago now when I used to actively craft and take part in swaps.  It comes out every year and is very special.

Looking at the two trees one morning.

The teddies have their little Nativity Scene.

The Christmas sleigh came round the other evening so I took a couple of photos of it.

I love watching it go past as it plays Christmas songs and collect for Charity.

It was our Wedding Anniversary yesterday.  We had a lovely quiet day and enjoyed a lunch out at one of the local Cafes.  We then had a wander round the Vintage Shop nearby.  Popped over to a garden centre as we had some vouchers to spend and we bought our yearly Christmas decoration for the tree.  Each year we buy a decoration for the tree.  (I forgot to take a photo, so will have to show that tomorrow)

After Christmas I am going to try something else to try and combat the continual 24 hours a day pain I have.  I figure it is worth at try after having read lots of reviews and viewing several you tube videos from various people who have tried this approach with some amazing success.  I figure what have I got to lose (apart from the cost of the books) and hopefully will have something to gain.  I have to do something as the pain although not intense is constant - some days more intense than others of course. but it has spread and really is quite wearing!

Will obviously report back in due course.

Today I baked four cakes, two Lemon Drizzle cakes and two Fruit Cakes.  

These two cakes I took up to my lovely elderly friends for Christmas.  Elizabeth likes the Lemon Cake and Ray likes the Fruit Cake.

Tomorrow is tidying day!  

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Sunday visitors and a slice of cake.

Imagine my delight this morning when I saw we had some more Goldfinch visitors to our bird feeder.

The news is obviously getting around and these birds are so lovely and colourfu.

It really was a delight to watch them.

I tried a new cake recipe the other day posted on a blogger friend's page.  It is very tasty - the only thing I should have done was use a bigger cake tin as I didn't have enough room for the topping, so had to transfer it to another tin and have it poured over more like icing.  But it still worked.

The recipe can be found here.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Five on Friday

I thought I would join in with Amy's  'Five on Friday

As the theme also seems to be Christmas  and I have just started decorating this week, I thought well, why not?!

Initially I didn't really want to put a tree up this year...but on Wednesday I needed some distraction from pain so I thought just go for it, and before I knew it I had both trees up and decorated!

1:  Our Lounge.

Just a few of the decorations we have collected over the years.  All have special meaning and significance.

2:  Outside

The decorating outside hasn't really started yet as my husband has been unable to put the lights up this week due to work commitments so they will have to wait until Monday when he will have a bit more time.

From outside looking in, this Nativity Scene was made by my older son when he was about 7 years old if I remember rightly.  (or possibly younger)

This snowman was our last year's bargain at 75% off!

3: Dining Room

On my writing bureau

On top of the wall unit.

4: Kitchen Doorway

5: In my Garden

Not Christmassy, but still gorgeous to look at, it amazes me that I still have some roses and a Hebe blooming at this time of year.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Real Books versus Kindle

A few years ago I was given a Kindle for Christmas 2011, which while it never replaced 'real' books, was handy for me with my pain issues - it was light, I could use it one handed and it was easy for travel purposes as I could take several books with me at once.  Plus you could increase the font size to make easier reading.    However, it wasn't so easy to flick back if you wanted to re-read something, or remind yourself of something you might have read, which if you tend to fall asleep when you read, I do this often now for some reason, is something you need to do often!

My kindle started to get lines across it last year but it was still readable and I was able to take it to NZ with me earlier this year. I got it out the other day and it has completely had it!  This is what it looks like now:

Totally unusable.

So they are far inferior to real books which sit on a book shelf and are always there (unless packed away in boxes).  I cannot access any of  the books on the kindle now and will have to get a replacement  if I want to read any I have on it. Having to replace a kindle every few years doesn't sound like a very good scheme to me...considering when you think how old some of my books are -- a kindle has to go a long way to beat that!

Will I bother getting a replacement?  I really am not sure.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Monday Monday

Gosh we have been back a week now since our fantastic week on the Isle of Wight.  I can't say the weather has been anywhere near as good here!  In fact we have only had one clear sunny day which was yesterday and it is back to grey, damp and miserable again here today.

I had great plans of things I was going to do today, yet all I have done is shower and wash my hair, walk down the road to post a card and a small gift to a friend and knit!  So semi-productive I guess, but not really.

Hopefully I will do better tomorrow.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Isle of Wight - Sunday morning, our last day.

Sunday morning and our holiday was coming to an end...we had to be out of our cottage by 10am so decided to head over to Ventnor Gardens to have a breakfast knowing that we could also take the dogs in.  Lovely fresh produce and a yummy breakfast later we went for a walk before we had to catch the Ferry.

Not a sign you would necessarily expect to see in England!

It was lovely to see the garden with the sunlight reflecting off the leaves.

We wanted to walk down to Steephill Cove to also see that on a bright and sunny day.

We of course were not disappointed.

I think Percy was reluctant to go on the sand!

The wind was blowing

Stanley seemed to like the effect the wind was having of blowing his coat back.

For me there is something about the sea and sand and cliffs.

I am not a 'sit on the beach and sunbathe' type of person, but I love being near the sea, walking along beaches and feel most alive when near the water.

Yet I don't like swimming - mostly because I hate getting cold!

But the sea, waves, and all that goes with it feels right somehow.

I could watch it for hours.

But of course we couldn't as we had a ferry to catch

So I took quite a few photos to see me through the coming months

Time to say goodbye to the Isle of Wight for now and sincerely hoping that by this time next year we will be living there (if not in NZ! Okay so I can still have wishful thinking)