Saturday, April 30, 2016

I am still recovering from Thursday and excessive walking although I believe the damage done was the result of excessive standing in the cold and rain. I heard via the local rag that a national leader was visiting Grimsby so after my earlier walk I raced down there to clap eyes on him. I was 'co-opted' into the ceremony to commemorate workers memorial day hence the hour spent standing in the cold and rain. A good ceremony and quite a moving one as well.

 Jezza, I feel I can call him that having suffered for the privilege of  meeting him. gave a small speech and soon after he left accompanied by his aides. He was also chased by the reptiles of the press and with the shenanigans of  Ken Livingstone whose measured and conciliatory comments about Jews and Hitler hit the media, it is understandable that the press were there in force. I guess they were hoping to capture a photo of Jezza goose stepping or making moves on the local Polish delicatessen but they were sorely disappointed. He was a councillor in the London Borough of Haringey, my home turf and he also attended North London Polytechnic (later University), so some shared links. Was I impressed by him? Sadly, I wasn't as he did not strike me as a leader and that is what the opposition party requires at this time. I can't support Labour currently for a variety of reasons but the anti-Semitism, hatred of Israel and the cosying up to and defending of  Islamic fascists who hate Jews, gays, women and democracy really does turn my stomach. I supported Liz Kendall in the Labour leadership election as she was attractive on the eye (Me... shallow?) and had some good ideas but she finished last. The only other national party leader I met was Michael Foot when I bumped into him and stood on his foot back in 1981. In some respects Jeremy Corbyn is a breath of fresh air although that air does appear to blow from the cold reaches of the former DDR and beyond that Siberia. We do appear to have increased polarisation of political views and with the gulf between the haves and have-nots, there lies the recipe for disaster. The Monster Raving Loony Party does now appear to be the only sensible party left to vote for!
As for my feet and ankles, a hot foot spa, peppermint cream rub and rest is helping. I am hoping to take part in some of the shorter walks during the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival in three weeks time hence my desire to keep walking but to avoid any injury. My only regret is that I shan't have the pooch with me unless I put her in a shopping trolley!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The pup is restored to reasonably good health after her treatment yesterday. X-rays revealed this time around no evidence of an enlarged heart but the endoscopy did reveal inflammation and narrowed airways in her left lung. A steroid injection and steroid tablets have given her a new lease of life. She still coughs but the intensity as well as the frequency of her coughing has reduced. She also has a problem with her larynx hence the horrible honking sound when she coughed. The biopsy from her lung will hopefully answer a few questions when the results come in. All in all she is a happier dog and slept very well last night. Unfortunately, from her perspective, she is on a proper diet now as she needs to lose about 4 kilos and will require a chest harness instead of the neck collar for her walks. The heart meds have also been stopped as unnecessary and hopefully this may help.

Talking of walks I cracked on first thing with my walking having missed it yesterday. Isn't Vaseline a wonderful invention. One of the issues runners, walkers and cyclists don't discuss in polite company! As I discovered this morning I am getting faster as I walk, the distances no longer seem so long and it is irritating walking on the spot waiting for traffic lights to change. It also invites some strange looks from the drivers but I feel healthier for doing this.  Good job I did go out first thing as it is currently snowing / sleeting. Ho hum... maybe some sunshine next week.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pooch is at the vet again after she collapsed this morning. Mrs C woke me up and after the mess was cleaned up we made sure she was comfortable before booking her in. Surprisingly, once at the vet she was chipper, lively as a puppy and wagging her tail, making her displeasure known at the temerity of the vet examining her and showing interest in her surroundings. In now for tests including the endoscopy and biopsy of her lungs I put off the last time she was in. This will cost me an arm and a leg so I am back at work next week having agreed to two days per week over the next few months. Poor old pooch, when she goes off her food as well then something is definitely wrong.

In other news, winter has reappeared and the rain, gales and cold has returned. The plants I put out in the garden have died off apart from the chillies. I will be looking to buy new plants as growing them from seed, hardening them off and then planting out has been a disaster so far and it is May day next week! We have put out a lot of wild flower seeds for the bees and butterflies. The latter I am happy with now that netting is up around the raised bed. It's the bees we are really hoping to attract although Mrs C has drawn a line against my suggestion about acquiring a beehive. Time for more tea as I fret about the orange monster.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nearly a week gone and again I ask myself "Where does the time go?" Rhetorical question because my week has gone in walking, gardening, working on the model and wasting time on the internet. The walking left me at the weekend struggling somewhat with tiredness and sore muscles. However, today after forcing myself to go out I found I felt pretty good after a shower, breakfast and coffee. Muscles and stamina are building up plus I feel energised after each walk. It has helped having bright sunshine and warm spring weather these last two days.

           An impression of Grimsby Docks this morning.

The garden is finally taking shape with some plants now situated in the raised bed and covered with plastic. We have had frosts the last two nights so I am taking no chances with the tender young seedlings. As per usual there may be an over abundance of tomatoes and chillies this year but the peas are also doing well. No sign of any aubergine seedlings but I will keep my fingers crossed. This is a brief post because the sun is shining and it is a shame to waste it.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

It's been a more active week with my having taken up walking via the Couch to 5k challenge. Being of a sensible frame of mind I am walking for thirty minutes a day to start with and I will increase that as time goes on. As I have found, my sedentary lifestyle of the past year has caught up with me and I am shattered after my daily efforts. Aching feet, knees, hips and lower back and I am currently a slow walker. That will improve over time and as I become used to walking and lose weight. However, I am enjoying it and I particularly like this time of year as I catch the rare sunshine and meet people out on my brisk walk. I have also taken up a hobby which I haven't done since I was sixteen and that is making military models. Mrs C bought me a Panzer 2 kit for Christmas so this week I have finally made a start on it. It is obsessive nerd heaven which I was as a kid about armoured fighting vehicles (and dinosaurs) and Mrs C realises she has released the beast from the attic. My amazon wish list of further kits to build has grown...  I keep getting side tracked on the net reading forums, looking at videos and pictures as I make my mind up about colour schemes, etc...  It's one of these little beasties...

It keeps me off the streets and allows, nay it positively encourages me to sniff glue! Windows open and lungfuls of fresh air every so often.


Saturday, April 09, 2016

That was an interesting night out... fifteen women and me. The looks I got from some of the other blokes in the pub and the restaurant was priceless! It was a good send off for the three people moving on to other teams with a lot of conversation and laughter. The majority of people stuck to soft drinks apart from a couple of us who did not have to drive and enjoy drinking alcohol. I'm suffering this morning from over indulging on the nan bread and the spices. I also had a chat with my ex-boss and I have agreed to do some bank work, two days a week assessing new referrals and doing the injections. Having looked at non-nursing jobs I ran, once again, into a brick wall as I am too old, over qualified or they can't understand why a nurse wants to do low paid part-time clerical / driving jobs.

Once back in the saddle with some money coming in I will bite the bullet and look at buying a 'new' second hand motor. The Suzuki runs ok for local journeys but it is no longer up to travelling long distances. Everything rattles and shakes, it also seems to drive very slowly... or is that just me? I certainly feel thoroughly shaken after any journey over an hour long spent in it. I will be sensible this time and look at newish small dependable cars although I still have that hankering for a small motorhome. We discussed part-time retirement and travelling via motorhome around the UK last night. One ex-colleague has never travelled outside of the UK which astonished me as she is now in her fifties. Hence the discussion about UK holidays and my desire to visit Scottish castles and whisky distilleries as well as walking up there. It also helps that one ex-colleague has a caravan up there and knows Scotland very well. For today however, a slow recovery from the excesses of last night with plenty of tea and toast, a trip to the bookies for a bet on the Grand National and an indoors day as the rain continues to drench the garden.


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

                                    This blog is ten years old today.

I am amazed that I have written this nonsense for that period of time and that an occasional reader pops in to look at my inane drivelling. For much of my time I have self censored the blog, often removing or discarding posts because of my need to remain under the radar whilst working as a mental health nurse. Managers, CEO's and HR departments have kittens / attacks of the vapours / worry we will let the public know how crap it all is when staff express personal opinions about the service. I am also aware that at times I have had little of interest to say, primarily because of work and living a dull life lacking in whistles and bells. So where to next?

I have applied for some part-time work and I am once again looking to implement that elusive work - life balance as I earn enough to keep bread on the table but also time to grow, smell and if needs be, paint the flowers. I am meeting up with some ex-colleagues this Friday for a meal to celebrate more of them moving on which may involve a drop or two of beer and a late night boogie to live music. I am wondering who is left in the team because that will be six people who have left. I am also considering what it is I would like to do for the next twenty or so years. Lots of ideas are bubbling away although the main one is to sort my weight and health out... again! That is necessary because some of the other ideas involve cycling and walking e.g. Hadrian's Wall. It would be very nice to finally get there, clap eyes on it and to walk some of it. To do that I need to regain some fitness so I shall be joining the fat fighters club and dusting off the bicycle for early morning rides.

It's also been pointed out to me that my fear of going away and leaving the dog for a couple of days is stopping me achieving these things. Given her age my fear is that I will be away for a couple of days and she will drop down dead. She seems to have aged rapidly these past several weeks and despite the medications we are mopping up damp patches from both ends. Notwithstanding that, she plods on and is otherwise ok. Mrs C has told me that the pooch mopes, goes off her food and is generally miserable when I go away. Sadly, she now walks short distances only and she would not cope with a walking holiday. When I started this blog she was in the prime of life and a lot of changes have happened in my life over the past ten years. I wonder what the next ten years will bring when I will be sixty five years of age when that comes round. I still won't be able to claim the state pension at that time! For the next few weeks my priority will be the garden (It's a mess) and with better weather (fingers crossed) I can have windows open so that I can get on with some much needed redecorating. Life in the fast lane indeed.


Monday, April 04, 2016

Still here and pottering on. Little to say other than the usual although the weather has 'improved' and I can now spend more time in the garden in between the showers.

I started this post yesterday but I am afraid I am currently experiencing the 'doldrums'. I put it down to the change from a high pressure job where I was constantly busy and had little time to think beyond the work I was doing; to my current status of having lots of free time. I am not complaining because I like the lack of stress and as well as the daily walks, reading and now renewing my boyhood hobby of building military models, I plan to pick up and play the mandolin again. I guess a sense of mañana has crept in and I now take my time doing things. I do feel sidelined from a lot of what is happening but I also have the luxury of sitting back and observing life. Boy! Do we humans ever make a shambles of it all. The latest revelations that those in power are crooks, thieves and charlatons.  Tell us something we don't already know and this is apparently minor compared to what else is going on with other tax havens, although I suspect these leaks will give more grist to the conspiracists out there.

I mentioned reading and I pulled together the recent books I bought...

A bit of an eclectic selection which shows some of my interests particularly history, poetry and spy / crime novels. As today is somewhat wet (understatement!) I guess I shall give myself over to a good book and brew up some fresh coffee. I haven't dared to consider what I have awaiting me on the kindle although the majority of the real books I buy tend to be second hand and when the postage of £2.75 is £2.74 more than the cost of the book... I'm surprised I restrain myself so much when perusing amazon.  I hope your day is enjoyable and productive, I am off to lose myself in the written page.