Monday, 21 June 2010

Remembering My Daddy

Spent a quiet day yesterday lost in thoughts of my dad, as not only was it Fathers Day, it was also the anniversary of the day I lost my precious dad, so today I will try and write a tribute to him.

Dad was a self made man, after his stint at National Service in the RAF where he learned to play the accordian with great aplomb, (his claim to fame was that he fell out of a Lancaster Aeroplane without a parachute. It was on the ground at the time, thankfully). He then was employed as a cabinet maker, as everyone had a trade in those days, he hated it with a vengance and made it his ambition to never work for an employer again.

Dad loved dogs and sport, so the obvious combination was greyhounds. He managed with a natural eye and lots of studying of bloodlines to buy, breed and train many winners in his lifetime, making trips to southern ireland to buy puppies for training. All the dogs and pups lived with us as family pets and they are wonderful gentle creatures.

Both dad and grandad had a flair for bowls, first outdoor green bowling, and then indoor bowling too, and between them they won many championships and trophys over the years, my display cabinet still has several of his trophies in pride of place.

I can remember as a child that my brothers and I never got pocket money as such, but there was always a ritual on a Saturday morning of dad sitting us down, emptying his pockets of all his silver and with great ceremony picking up each coin and getting us to guess the date !!! This was done in strict rotation till one of us got it right and won the coin, the process was then repeated till the pile was doled out.

When I was about ten dad opened his first betting shop, it was in Great Yarmouth, and had a flat above the shop where we spent all our holidays. I can remember that the tannoy was clearly aubible upstairs, and that we used to giggle when the commentator said "they are running at Bath" which we thought meant the jockeys were having their ablutions lol (well we were young).
As I got older it was my job to sort the winning tickets into numerical order ready for payout, it was my first "real" job and I got real wages for it too, but dreaded Grand National and Derby days as there were so many boxes to be sorted. Over the years further shops materialised, another in Yarmouth, then one in Lowestoft, Bungay and finally Norwich.

Presents from dad were always slightly bizzare too, on my brothers 10th birthday dad arrived home from a trip to London with an african bateleur eagle it had a 8ft wingspan and ate chicks and rats and mice ( and any neighbourhood cats if it had its way ) It had leather straps attached to its legs for tethering, and when it flapped its wings, it almost lifted my brother off his feet.

We went to see someone to get a pair of rats so that we could breed them to feed the beast, but on getting them home, the first night one had a litter of 12 and the second night the other had a litter of 14. They were chinese hooded rats, and so cute that we couldnt possibly feed them to the beast, so we kept the rats and donated Fred the Eagle to a local wildlife park, as feeding him best chuck steak was getting expensive.

On my birthday I wanted a rabbit, dad bought me a white angora one, and he then visited a neighbours shed with my bunny to introduce her to his buck, a few weeks later i had lots of bunnies !!! Over the years one of my bunnies got out, now it is not unusual to see very fluffy wild rabbits in the area some of them still showing white patches lol.

So dad i had a good day yesterday, hope you did too, I smiled and reminesced about the good times, and also about my other dad, father in law Leslie, you were two of the best, and I miss you every day. Sleep in peace xxxxxx

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


We have a "posh" wedding coming up in July, so our mission this week was to find wedding finery for mum and myself. The corsages have already been ordered, mine is Ivory and mums is orange and yellow.

I was sent out on Saturday morning to do a recce of various ladies modes in the area and do a risk assessment on wheelchair access, floor space between rails etc. this is important, as one establishment we went in recently there was so little space that we ended up with allsorts attached to the wheelchair as we brushed past things in impossibly narrow spaces !!

We are fortunate enough to have in our village a ladies boutique (Big and Beautiful, sizes 14 to 36!!) so off we went on Monday to start our mission. First thing mum saw was a lovely greeny bronze silk 3 piece trouser suit. it really was exquisite with a price tag to match its raw silk quality.

The staff were excellent, allowing mum to try it on in the store room which had loads of room for manoeuvers . Unfortunately there was no room for mum to manoeuver into the suit, 3 years of sitting in a wheelchair have spread her derrierre somewhat, and no way was it going to fit. Meanwhile i had another wander round, and found a beautiful soft buttermilk jacket and teamed it up with a silky camisole and trousers, she tried it on and hummed and harred, it really did look lovely, but she was not convinced.

So back and dressed again we perused about another 100 outfits, but she said she could not get over the disappointment of her favourite not fitting so we would go and look elsewhere.

Installed mother in the car again and headed another 10 miles down the road. Here the ladies department was on the first floor, and the lift was the size of a portaloo !! The clothes were hideous, I had visions of mother turning up to the wedding in acid Lime green or popsicle pink definitely not on for a white haired octogenarian.

After a quick cuppa to calm frazzled nerves we decided to head for home, 100 yards from home mother said "that buttermilk suit you sorted out really was nice, I think I would like it after all"
for once I didnt argue, I almost did a handbrake turn in the middle of the road, went back to the first shop, ran in and bought it on the spot. Job done, now all I need to do is find something for me !!!

It is with regret that I have to report that Charlie, my punk rocker canary alas is no more. He passed away peacefully on Sunday at the grand age of 10+ years. The house is quiet without his cheerful singing, and I have already decided to replace him in the near future.

I went shopping for my outfit today, dodging the torrential thunderstorms. I was in and out in 5 minutes, outfit in the bag, plus a new "Up and At Em" bra that mother insisted I needed.

I still have to get new bag and sandals, but decided instead to stop off at the supermarket for a case of lager to celebrate instead, Happy days xxx

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Happy June everyone, that is if anyone bothers to read this any more. Here I am another year older, having admitted to a birthday in late May, I am now a whole year older, and another year siller than before. Its been a constant stream of appointments finally got the new appointment for the MRI scan that I previously had missed, believe it or not, it was 10:30 am on Bank Holiday sunday. Still the parking situation was easy.

Went in on time, and had to lay flat on the trolley (i dont do laying flat, cos I cant breathe,) had to have a shield on my chest, so my stents didnt jump about, and some huge headphones, I was then shoved into the tunnel and exposed to the noise of 1000 jackhammers for 25 minutes while they scanned my neck. I had to force myself not to panic, I was having trouble breathing, the bed was agony on my spine, and i was so pleased when they rolled me out again, but by then I had seized solid and couldnt move at all. I sounds such a small procedure, but it seemed like a hard days work for me.

The previous week I was sent to Cardiology for an autonomic function test. This involved being wired up to an ECG machine while I did various tests which included blowing out for 15 seconds, five minutes at a time, with an ECG and blood pressure reading taken before, during and after, and squeezing a ball for different lengths of time for 9 minutes (harder than it sounds) Again I had a problem standing up after this silly little test, I felt sick and dizzy, not surprising as my blood pressure was by now down to 60/30. The technicians were not surprisingly quite concerned, and made me a cuppa and a packet of custard creams before allowing me to leave.

I got the results back from the consultant this morning, the tests show I do indeed have damage to the nerves that control heart rate and blood pressure, and this is also the cause of the gastric upsets and sweating I get after eating, anyway he says he will discuss this at my next appointment in July , but basically there is no treatment and the severity will increase with time.

Mum is doing well, she has had her last physio session and just has excercises to do at home. Her garden is looking good, tomatoes in the greenhouse, and we (I) have started digging the new potatoes from the garden, She is getting a dab hand at scooting herself round the garden in her wheelchair watering can or weedkiller at the ready lol. I started picking the Lily of the Valley in mid May, one of my favourite flowers, and so heavily perfumed, it cannot be reproduced synthetically. The strawberries are now making lovely fruits, and if this glorious weather continues, it wont be long before they are gracing our table too.

I had a lovely lunch and girlie natter with maudie today, first a chinese running buffet, then coffee in the garden by the river, I really must make the effort to get out more, but fear that my trips will have to be local, as I am not strong enough to travel as far as I would wish at the moment.

Anyway I hope everyone is as well as can be expected, keep smiling and be happy xxx