This is a wonderful way to remember the fallen.
There is nothing like sitting with your feet up, with a cat on your lap and some comfort knitting, when you’re feeling poorly!
A couple of weeks ago I had the flu jab. So did Larry. Two days later I started feeling feverish with a sore throat. I don’t suppose it was the jab, but who knows? Since then I’ve had mild flu symptoms and felt quite low. I still don’t feel right, but I suppose it will work its way out of my system eventually.
Additionally I’ve been deaf in my left ear. I went twice to the doctor’s to have it syringed but that didn’t work so now I have to go to the hospital for a further procedure. I keep putting oil in my ear and it’s helping a lot but I’m not back to normal yet. The hearing is still dull on the left side. I now have sympathy for those who cannot hear properly permanently, including Larry. I had no idea how awful it was! It’s like living in a world of your own, detached from reality. I can’t even think straight to be honest and I am missing so much. It’s the little things which I miss the most, like hearing the birds singing in the morning. At this time of the year the birds don’t sing much anyway, but when they do, it’s beautiful and I miss it. I love to listen to the radio when I’m in bed or having a rest in the afternoons. Now I can only hear with one ear properly so if I turn over, the world goes quiet.
I discovered that with only one ear working, I can’t cope with more than one noise at once so when I go down in the mornings and put the kettle on to make my tea, I can’t hear the radio for the din the kettle is making. All very disconcerting.
If someone is in another room and they talk to me, I can’t hear them! That’s annoying for all of us.
I can’t appreciate my music properly. It’s all lop sided.
Perhaps the worst thing is the tinnitus. It’s like standing under a waterfall at times. I hope that goes soon.
I have told myself that I will be more tolerant of deafness in future. It isn’t very nice!!
I am a big fan of Tone Finnanger who designs the most delightful things. I just bought two of her books, which I can show you another time. These garden angels are from a previous book, ‘Crafting Tilda’s Friends’.
If I was a little girl, I would love to play with these little farmers and there would be endless possibilities. As it is I am a big (old) girl but I still like to play.
Tom listened to Martin chatting away. He knew what Martin was trying to do, but it wasn’t working. Nevertheless he appreciated the effort and tried hard to give back a little of the kindness that Martin was sharing with him. Martin droned on and Tom attempted a smile, but soon he was lost in his thoughts again and his coffee turned cold and the sun went in behind a cloud.
He remembered happier times in his life and tried to recapture the moments. We all do that, don’t we? A certain smell of flowers, grass even or perfume can take us back to our childhood or a time when the colours of our life were brighter and sounds were clearer, summers were longer. Tom remembered the smell of a field where he used to play as a child with a group of friends. In that time he was closer to the ground. Sometimes crawling along on his tummy like a soldier and all the small animals were right in front of his nose. Mice and voles scuttled away and the pungent smell of the weeds and flowers in such close proximity filled his mind with their presence.
‘So Tom, Tamsin and I would love it if you came over to our place on Sunday and shared our barbecue. What do you think? Some of her friends will be there too.’
Tom smiled a little. He appreciated the thought and ‘hell, why not. He had nothing to lose and everything to gain.’
‘Thanks Martin. I’d love to come. What time do you suggest?’
‘Whenever you’re ready Tom. Just turn up – late afternoon would be ideal.’
Ok mate. I’ll see you there; oh and thanks…’
Martin returned to his own table feeling pleased. Well, it’s a start, at least he thought.
Over by the window, her cake now finished, Pat brushed the crumbs from her blouse and reached down to get her handbag so she could check her face in the small mirror, which was a gift from her late husband. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Mick coming towards her so she aborted the mirror and went for her handkerchief instead. It wouldn’t do for Mick to think she was vain. It was two years since Pat’s husband, Dick Clark, died. Every day that passed since Pat found herself thinking about him. Sometimes the thoughts made her laugh or smile as memories came back, but more often she felt a tear in her eye at a reminder of some past event that they shared together. Now though she must move on in life. It was time to look ahead, not back. There could be new memories to come, but they would need a little encouragement. She was still attractive and she still had much to give and wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to go to the theatre with now and then or out on one of those inviting day trips she kept reading about in the daily paper.
Take that nice young man in the corner for instance, the one with the striped jumper. He shouldn’t be looking so down and depressed. What could have happened to him? Perhaps he’s lost his job or failed his exams? Maybe his girlfriend has finished with him. He looked well cared for. Perhaps he’s been living at home and now he’s been told he has to move out. We all have our problems, thought Pat.
She looked up into Mick’s kind, smiling face. He wanted to know if she had enjoyed the cake and if today was a special occasion.
‘Yes, it’s my birthday today,’ she told him, ‘so I thought I’d give myself a treat.’
Mick smiled broadly and replied ‘Well we can’t let this day go without celebrating, how about another cup of coffee, on the house?’
to be continued …
ps Yesterday I noticed that someone from The Faulkland Islands had looked at my Blog. I want to say ‘welcome’ to that person in particular because as you all may know, The Faulkland Islands belongs to Britain, even though it is on the far corner of the world. I was delighted to see that one of our own had found my Blog. It made my day.
A few days ago Larry, Jim and I went to visit the Tiggywinkles Wild Animal Hospital near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. That’s about 18 miles west of where we live. The hospital is set in the countryside and cares for wild animals who have been injured in some way. A lot are injured on the roads but there are also lots of natural casualties. The ultimate aim of the hospital is to release the animals back into the wild, but this is not always possible, sadly. If they cannot be released, then they will spend the rest of their natural lives in the beautiful grounds of the hospital. The first picture is of a Red Kite bird of prey (red tailed hawk if you are American!). Larry has helped me out with a lot of these sorts of words and descriptions being American himself. I also learnt a lot while I was living over there. It was quite sad to see how many of these beautiful birds were remaining in captivity but at least they are safe and they have a very large area to fly around in. They look wonderful as you can see from the picture.
Caring for wild animals is quite unlike caring for domestic creatures and requires a lot of skill. Tiggywinkles is a charity which relies on donations and benefactors and is always pleased to receive a gift.
Quite a few of the animals are nocturnal so we didn’t see all of them, e.g. the badgers and foxes but they are there just curled up in their burrows and forms etc. If we went back at night I’m sure we would be aware of a lot more, although I doubt if we would see much!
Interestingly there were lots of gulls that couldn’t fly and three legged deer and others.
In the beginning, Tiggywinkles was set up to care for injured hedgehogs. Hedgehogs used to be very common in England, but over the last thirty years their numbers have reduced so much that now it is a delight to see one let alone have them living happily in the garden. Here at the cottage we used to have lots of them but for the last few years we have had none. Here is a video showing baby hedgehogs. I’m sure you’ll agree that they are just delightful.
Tiggywinkles was named after a Beatrix Potter character called Mrs. Tiggywinkles. Here is a video of her if you are unfamiliar:
If you would like to know more about Tiggywinkles Wild Animal Hospital, you can click here and go to their website. Please do. I’m sure you will enjoy seeing all the good work they do.
Please let me know if the videos worked?
Well it’s nearly Sunday again and Sunday is gardening day here in the cottage. Today we had some much welcomed rain. In fact we had today half the total rainfall for the whole of September. Amazing!
The picture above shows the fifth dog blanket I am making for Battersea Dogs’ Home. This one is going to be in different shades of blue and is made in an ever popular blanket stitch. The home likes this because the dogs can’t get their paws caught up in it.
My new quilt is finished and now on my bed, ready for the cold nights ahead, which we have been promised!
Lucky me! Larry is making me a tabard on his weaving loom. Here is the pattern from the weaving book…
and here it is in the making…
I can’t wait to see how it comes out.
On my spinning wheel is some of the white Polworth fleece and I’m already making a jerkin with some of it, see below. Millie likes it because it is so warm so she is usually to be found curled up underneath while I’m knitting.
So another busy week and tomorrow we’ll be in the garden.
ps there is a little good news about my son. He has found someone to share a flat with, albeit on the sofa! and he is training for a job in customer service with a well known bank. I have hope !
The sun is shining in the Paradise City. A man enters a cafe that smells of happiness. Friends are seated at adjacent tables and they look up as he comes in. They smile when they recognise him, but he seems preoccupied. A chain of worries hangs around his neck and weighs heavy on his already strained shoulders. He buys a coffee and takes it to a seat in the corner where the sun cannot reach and taking a spoon he adds sugar and begins stirring, seeing only the world through the steam and fog of loneliness that his mind cannot shift…
The man in the cafe, the lonely man, was not young any-more, although not old either. He had seen many birthdays come and go and not all in the Paradise City. One of his friends stood up and came across, heading for the table in the corner where the sun didn’t shine. He wore a smile and a cloak of greeting as his hand came up and touched his forehead briefly.
The man in the corner, the lonely man, looked fuzzy today, not quite all there, lost in the mist. A flicker of warmth appeared in his eyes. He looked up, then down again, watching the swirling coffee as it whirl pooled around the spoon.
“What’s up?” asked the friend.
It was the first real voice the man had heard all week…
The lonely man, let’s call him Tom, was wearing jeans and a striped sweater, which suited him, thought the grey haired lady in her early sixties. She had chosen to sit at a table by the window where the sun streamed in and sent sparks of light from her knife. Carefully she cut her cake in half and lifted a portion of it to her mouth. The cake was a treat because it was her birthday and she wanted to spoil herself. To go with it she had a large coffee mocha, but that turned out to be a mistake because she found it sickly. She persevered, determined to enjoy her special day, which was just beginning. She looked across at Tom, whose friend was now seated opposite him, attempting to engage the sadness in Tom’s eyes with some lively conversation.
The owner of the Humming Bird cafe looked around at the tables to see how many were occupied on such a sunny morning in Paradise City. He noted with satisfaction that almost all the tables were hosting. The sun always brings out the customers, he thought as he mopped up a spillage on the counter. Next he checked to see how many regulars were present. There in the corner was Tom, looking sad and preoccupied, talking and listening to his friend Martin, who always seemed to have an entourage. Opposite and by the window sat Pat, eating a cake and stroking her newly coiffured grey hair. It must be a special occasion, thought Mick and he made up his mind to ask her what it could be. Mick was a widower and so much of his social life revolved around his work. Wiping his hands on a tea towel attached to his apron, he made his way towards Pat’s sunny table…
to be cont’d …