God has wonderful promises for us as we travel on through life and into later years.The best news is that,inside we need never grow old because He has actually promised to renew our youth day by day.

Isaiah 40:31



Thursday, 30 June 2016

Visitors With a Purpose


Each Monday morning two people (whoever's turn it is on the rota), go into church early and dismantle the floral display. Then the flowers are made up into three, sometimes four, bouquets.

These bouquets are then taken out to people who the weeks Pastoral Visitor chooses.

This Monday it was a friends turn on  the rota so she turned up on my doorstep , accompanied by another lady from church, with this bouquet.

Visitors with a definite purpose!

Unfortunately, I do not now have a vase large enough to hold an entire bouquet. 
Did once upon a time but it got broken when we moved house.

So had to set to and divide the flowers up so they would go into two vases instead.


The pink Carnations went into one tall slim  vase



The other wider vase holds the  Lilies. 
The kitchen and hall way smell divine.


Then there was this flower...is it a sort of Chrysanthemum?  
 Am really not sure at all.


....and then there are these. Have absolutely no idea what these are!

They do look a little worse for wear and even though there are several buds waiting to bloom they are drooping badly and turning brown.

Should have taken photos straight away on the Monday, but these photos were taken yesterday, Wednesday so they are not at their best.

I don't mind at all. The only time I get a bouquet/basket of flowers of any size is from my son on Mothering Sunday.

I tend to pick single or a couple of flowers to put in a small vase instead, or more often then not some greenery or sweet smelling herb. 

My visitors came, and went again after thirty minutes. 
We chatted and prayed together and shared God's love for all His children.

Great to share hugs too.

Happy Day





Monday, 27 June 2016

A Small Garden!



This is the view from my front doorstep as I saw my husband off to work at 8.0am this morning.
It is a dull day and heavy rain fell in the night. 
The rain just seems to make this small wild patch of garden blossom..so I went and got my camera to share it with you.

As you can see...it is not over large!!

The Gleditsia tree always makes my heart sing, it is such a glorious shape , the leaves are very tactile and the colour is wonderful.

The green Dalek shaped object is my compost bin, and the boxes are for recycling; there are three of them, and hidden from view by this green fence arrangement.


Have now taken a few steps down the garden path.
There is an abundance of Foxgloves this year, no flowers at all last year but that is what Foxgloves do...all leaves one year, then flowers the next.
They are rather battered by the rain now and past their best and in need of a prune to encourage a second flowering.


Tucked in a small patch of soil next to the fence and front window I planted  several Broad Bean seeds last winter. The first lot of small plants were eaten by slugs and snails so this is the second planting and they have produced a nice small crop of fuzzy pods.
I am the only person who loves them so I get to eat them all. 
They will soon be ready to pod...yum!
I see that there is a dratted orange poppy popping up, they self seed everywhere and the ones in my garden have blown in from somewhere.


In the far left corner my Rhubarb crop is struggling this year and has been completely covered by the fallen Foxgloves.  
Not sure what to do for the best with it as the crop has been thin and spindly...but very sweet and juicy.

The Marigolds have just been dead headed as the seeds get every where .
I have picked a lot this year to make Marigold Oil as the batch made two years ago has all but run out. And they do look wonderful in a small vase to brighten up a dull day.




This gigantic Foxglove has self seeded itself  and keeping guard over the dustbin. Isn't it glorious.?



Thought I would share this with you, something all cat lovers will understand:-


It had started to rain...the cat hates rain but loves sitting out in the garden... 
"shall I go in, or stay out and hope it soon stops raining?"


Think that face says it all!

Have no idea what she decided to do in the end as I got on with what I was doing and left her to it!





Friday, 24 June 2016

Visitors



Since my accident  and being  mostly housebound I have been a sitting duck for "visitors".

I have to confess here that both my husband and I are not at all fond of "visitors". By that I mean those folk who turn up , usually unannounced, for no reason at all, just for a "chat".
They tend to plonk themselves down in a seat and stay put for quite a while. One visitor I had stayed for two and a half hours...just talking. Not about anything specific, not gossiping, just...talking.

We do have visitors, but they come for a purpose and have rung before hand to ask if and when it is convenient.  They turn up, stay for a short while and then go again.  That is what a visitor should be and do.

We prefer to be contacted by phone, letter or cards rather than being "visited"...especially when I am stuck inside with no escape!!  At least you can make excuses to postpone a visit if someone phones first.

We are a small family and apart from one daughter who lives round the corner, they are not nearby so visits have to be organised and co-ordinated...just how we like it.

People have their own lives to lead and don't want all and sundry turning up out of the blue, I don't do it to them and hope that they don't do it to us!   My family are well aware that if I am ill or in hospital then I want leaving alone to  hibernate and recover.

As a child my Mother was a 'professional visitor' who made it her business to visit anybody and everybody  who had been taken ill or had problems or difficulties. This visiting was reciprocated and our house always had an assortment of unknown folk traipsing in and out, so am guessing that my dislike of the ad hoc visiting stems from that.

No doubt a psychologist would have a field day with that.



Before we moved to this town I too was a 'professional visitor', but structured and trained within the Methodist Church as a Pastoral Visitor.   We were each assigned  two or three church members who we  'kept an eye on', some we visited  more regularly than others, at their request and with their permission. Pastoral Visiting is something non conformist churches are very good at.



Am sure that many of you love visiting just to chat  but I have never been part of the drop in for coffee brigade that many of my neighbours seem to be. It is unnecessary. That doesn't mean that I don't talk to my neighbours, we all get on fine  but we talk about specifics..for example, I have been asked to water next doors plant whilst they are on holiday and we all take parcels in for one another.
Now my mobility is increasing and I can get out and about am hoping that my ad hoc visitors will take the hint.





Monday, 20 June 2016

Progress....


I finally got to church on Sunday...it took me ten minutes longer walking than normal as I can't go at my usual moderate pace. Slow but sure, as the Tortoise said to the Hare!


This is what it looks like on a weekday .....

this is what it looks like Sunday morning....


Had numerous offers of lifts but as knee does not bend enough that leg sticks out making it impossible to sit in a car or anything else.  Did manage to make it through the whole service as standing up for hymns meant that I was not sitting for long periods at a time.

Had such a warm welcome , lots of hugs, so great to be back.

Have to admit though, by the rime I had walked home I was rather tired and my knee hurt so spent the afternoon resting with my legs up.


Have been busy working on the cards and envelopes found in this wonderful book that my daughter had sent me..


Since my accident have found  solace in colouring. It is very therapeutic and calms the soul. And kept me sane before I was allowed out again!

Now I am walking  short distances outside, though rather slowly as any speed puts pressure and therefore pain on my knee even though it is tightly encased in the brace.

Am at the stage now when I feel well in myself, the pain is minimal unless I do something to aggravate it...yet my body has to go slowly in order to heal. It has only been a month after all and there are many more weeks and months ahead. So am learning to be patient!!

Have also taken a three trips into town on the bus...physios suggestion to get me used to 'sitting' in awkward situations. 
Have discovered that the 'disabled seats' on the bus are not really fit for purpose.


As you can see in the photograph the 'disabled seats' are the first two on left and right. 
The spaces in front are for  wheelchairs but more often than not these spaces are occupied by mothers and children in buggies.

As I have said before, my right leg does not bend so can only really sit on the outside seat on the left of the photo. When this is occupied I have to stand. Once when I got on the bus in town to come home an able bodied person was in the seat and I did politely ask if they would move.
Another time I had to sit  on the far right of the seat on the right of photo. A mother with twin buggy got on and asked me to move my leg. When I said that I couldn't she tutted very loudly and nicely manoeuvred the buggy so it slammed into my knee.

My eldest daughter is physically disabled and uses either two crutches or a rollator, every day, all day.
My experience has given me new insight to the difficulties disabled people have. 
The list is long...including shop doors that are very heavy and my left wrist is also in a splint so hard to push and people seem to rush through without noticing my struggles.

However, there has been a lot of kindnesses shown to my plight, holding doors open, a helping hand under my elbow on steps that turned out to be too steep.
These helpers have all be men...not one woman has offered  help. 
That has made me think too.

Am learning a lot.


On a lighter note..... can you spot the pigeons waiting for me to feed the birds early morning?

There are actually five of them, but couldn't get them all in shot.


The Tree Bumble Bees are still nesting in the bird box, they keep themselves to themselves unless we get too close.






Friday, 10 June 2016

"Bombus hypnorum" in a box!


We have a happy band of 'Tree Bumblebees'  in the Wren nest in the bird box on the fence

They started arriving three days ago and I first spotted them when I went out into the garden to see what the cat was getting so excited about...... this is what I discovered...




Having never seen a bee with these markings before I went a Googling...this is taken from and article in the Telegraph. You can read it in full here


"Several bumblebees are found in Europe, but not in Britain, and one that many naturalists always thought “should” be here is the tree bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum. The tree bumblebee is found throughout much of Europe, as far north as the Arctic Circle. It also seems to like gardens, and has generally become more abundant during the 20th century. So there was no great surprise among the bee cognoscenti when a specimen was captured on the northern edge of the New Forest in 2001. Because bumblebees are social – that is, they live in colonies – if you find one bumblebee there are inevitably plenty more somewhere nearby.

Since 2001, the tree bumblebee has spread rapidly, with the first records from Wales in 2009. I saw it for the first time in my Sheffield garden in 2010, and in June last year (the peak month for activity of this species) it was by far the commonest bumblebee in my neighbourhood. There seems no reason why it shouldn’t eventually colonise the whole country, but it isn’t everywhere yet. I looked for it on the south coast of Devon in June last year, and didn’t see any.

British bumblebees generally nest in holes in the ground, or on the surface in tussocky grassland. The tree bumblebee, as its name suggests, nests in holes in trees and is particularly fond of nest boxes provided for birds. These nesting habits are so different from any native bee that there is no reason to expect it to compete with them. Like all bumblebees, B. hypnorum is a useful pollinator and completely harmless as long as you leave it alone."

There is another interesting article about them in the Guardian

There is actually a website where you can log sightings of Bees, Wasps and Ants, and a map of all last years sightings. 

As I like all geeky things like that my sighting has been added to the rest.

My first concern was, where they going to develop into a large swarm, but no, they have just crammed themselves into the small bird box and no more have come to join them. There seem to be three bees on guard duty at all time as they hover back and forth near the entrance.

It is such a privilege to have them here, feel greatly honoured by their company



Saturday, 4 June 2016

Knee News


Having been lazing around at home doing nothing for the last two weeks in great pain a return visit to the hospital and Fracture Clinic has meant that have now been able to lose the long leg splint and have it replaced with a footballers  knee brace, specifically designed for dodgy Patellas and Cruciate Ligament damage... very fetching..


I now start gentle Physiotherapy exercise...in theory...but as there is a two month waiting list to actually get to see a NHS physio have had to seek advice elsewhere as mobilisation now is essential to build up strength of leg muscles to support the knee and reduce the pain. Eventually 

As with a back injury...you don't actually exercise the back but strengthen stomach muscles, so it is with my knee. Exercises to strengthen  leg  muscles, hip and derriere are what is needed.

Everything in moderation though, it will be three months minimum before the ligaments are knitted together enough...if that is the correct term, am sure it isn't.

Twenty years ago I cracked the Patella on my right leg though no ligament damage and it still gives me problems on a regular basis and then I have to resort to a knee brace..so now I have a matching pair.....uhm....

My left hand has continued to be very painful and not able to put any pressure on it, so further x-ray shows cracks in the small bones so that explains it. They will heal on their own...eventually, but that splint stays on.


My birthday was 30th May and we had planned a day out and a meal out which was impossible. So we planned a Take Away meal instead. 
Though that all got scrapped as husband caught the 'bug' that is doing the rounds and spent the Sunday night and Monday morning being sick and me up and down being a ministering angel so neither of us got much sleep.

When the day dawned it was a typical English Bank Holiday, cold, wet, windy...so I just cancelled my birthday this year. My husband had already bought me six tins of paint  some weeks previously when they were on sale in the shop, and I had happily repainted the whole house (inside) finishing two days before the accident. My middle daughter and family had gone away for the week and  so didn't hear from them. Eldest daughter  rang early morning as always and it transpired that son had actually totally forgotten so a hasty phone call at 7pm  with apologies.

I absolutely love birthdays, always have done, so needless to so I was  rather grumpy by bed time....

Will try again next year