Monday, 28 March 2016


I've got the worst cold known to man, caught it off Husband - he had it for more than a week, was just getting over it when he got another, equally as bad.  How he managed to go to work, having just 1 day off sick when it was particularly bad, I really don't know, he's a star.  He says everyone at his work has got it, so they couldn't all be off sick!

Normally a cold doesn't affect me too much, but I feel absolutely bloody awful with this one, seems more flu-like with limbs made of lead, zero energy, pounding headache that just never goes, raging sore throat, neck glands so sore I feel like I've been strangled, eyes and nose continually streaming.  And I ache from head to foot, every bit of me hurts like I've had a good kicking.  Feverish too, just dragged myself out of bed because I was boiling hot, now sitting in the recliner chair with a blanket over me with my teeth chattering.

I'll never make jokes about him having man flu again!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Where did that go then?

Wow, a whole week since my last blog.....time has just shot by without me even noticing it.  It's not as if we've been super-busy or got anything to show for it either, it's sort of like some alien being or thing has been stealing hours away from me behind my back.  It's nearly April for goodness sake, how did that happen?!

Thanks for all the lovely comments re husband's work and me sleeping better, it's such a relief to be able to know what we're doing going forward now.  Although, having said that, no doubt his work will spring a surprise on him and change his start times or something, they have a habit of doing that.  This week my sleeping pattern has been....well, not a pattern at all, completely random in fact - a night or 2 where I'm awake more than I'm asleep, a few nights of broken sleep but around 6 or 7 hours in total, one night where I only managed to stay in bed for about 2 hours, another where I slept for 6 hours straight without waking at all...a miracle as that almost never happens.  Was up at 05.10 this morning but don't actually feel too bad. 

I've got back into crocheting again, after what seems like weeks when I didn't do any.  Another baby blanket on the go, this one in bright colours in chunky stripes, modern mums seem to go for brights and bold patterns now, rather than the traditional baby pink, blue, lemon or lacy white.  I'll post some pictures of the finished articles soon, I need to sew in some ends and do a few embellishments on a couple.

The weather doesn't look too great for the weekend, does it.....not that we were planning on doing anything much - living in a holiday area means everywhere is besieged by tourists during school holidays, so we avoid the beach and the popular towns.

Well that's it for now, not much to say really at the moment.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Some good news :-))

Thanks for all the comments.....yes the naughty child dragged out shopping is probably more of a man thing, although some of you ladies seem to be the same!

Anyway, I managed to get a lot done in my 1.5 hours alone time.....went in the bank to sort out a problem, the health shop, Boots, 3 charity shops and finally the library.  My usual routine in the library involves me moving swiftly around the crime and cookery book sections, grabbing a few books and having a very brief skim through the plot description or chapters list, then rushing out of the door carrying 7 or 8 books.  This is because husband is usually waiting outside in the car on a yellow line, and I can almost hear him saying "come on, hurry up!".  Out of those 7 or 8 books, I usually end up reading only 3 or 4, it turns out the others aren't my sort of thing at all, which I would have realised had I had more time to peruse them properly.  This time I only got 3 crime novels, but having had a good glance through them, I know I'll enjoy them.  Plus 2 of them are new books by favourite authors anyway.  I didn't buy anything, other than some necessary toiletries in Boots, but had a lovely time browsing.

And I've had 3 pretty reasonable nights' sleep this week.....last night was even without the aid of a tablet.  I did wake up a few times, the last time (around 04.30 this morning) I didn't think I'd get back to sleep, but did for another hour or so, getting up about 06.00.  I feel so much better for it.

And the really good news....OH has been given exactly what he was asking for, the right days and same start times.  Such a relief!  He starts his new reduced part time shifts in 3 weeks' time. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Feeling more positive today

Thank you so much for all the really kind comments on my last post, they helped a lot.  I had a good think about everything.....I acknowledge that there are some things which I cannot change and have no control over (that's what gets me the most I think, feeling so helpless and unable to do anything to change the outcome).  But I realised there were things I could do to enable me to cope better. 

I have tried Nytol in the past.....although it does help me to sleep, it leaves me feeling really doped up for virtually the whole of the morning the next day, which I really don't like.  Perhaps I'm ultra sensitive to it.  However, I know that a big reason why I've been feeling so stressed lately is not so much the stresses/problems themselves, but the fact that I've had so little sleep which has left me feeling unable to cope with even one more tiny thing.  So getting more sleep is a priority.  I found out in the chemist that Nytol comes in 2 strengths (I didn't know that before, think I must have had the stronger one), so got the weaker one....the dosage is 2 tabs, but I took just the one last night.  Guess what, I slept for just over 7 hours and don't feel all dopey this morning, and I feel heaps better, much more alive and even quite cheerful.....result!  I reckon if I take just one tablet, maybe once or twice a week, then that should sort me out.  So thanks to those of you who suggested the Nytol.

It helps too that it's lovely and sunny, it's a real mood lifter.  We decided to forget everything that needs doing at home and have a day out yesterday, so took a picnic and decided to go to the beach.  On the way, we deviated and had a drive round a couple of local villages that we've passed by no end of times but never actually visited....they're so pretty, one in particular, it made a nice change to be sort of touristy in our own area.  Although it was gloriously sunny yesterday, there was a bitingly cold breeze, certainly not warm enough to sit out in.  So we parked on the beach and ate our picnic in the car looking out to sea and watching the dog walkers, it was really nice.  I know our beaches aren't anything like as nice as Cornish ones, but I still feel so privileged and happy to live just a few minutes' drive away from a beach.  Particularly when up until 5 years ago we lived in the Midlands, just about as far away from a beach as it was possible to be. 

On our way back from the beach we stopped off at the garden centre, needed to pick up a few more strawberry plants.  It was obviously a pensioners day out, there were several coachloads (literally, 3 or 4 coaches in the car park!) of them wandering's a big garden centre.  We were planning on having a latte in the restaurant, but it was full of pensioners....OH said he didn't want to sit in amongst a load of oldies in case he was mistaken for one, even though he is now technically a pensioner!  Haha, bless him. 

Husband's got a hospital appointment today, I'm getting him to drop me off in town first, so I can go to the library and have a mooch around the's so rare for me to be able to do that on my own these days, seeing as I can't drive and there's no public transport here, I can only get to the shops if he takes me.  He hates shopping and I hate him being with me!  It's like shopping with a small naughty child, he's bored all the time, slouches around with his hands in his pockets constantly moaning and asking if we can go home now, and is forever exclaiming loudly "HOW much?!?!?!"  every time I pick something up (he lives in the dark ages when it comes to prices, he thinks everything over £5 is extortionate).  So it will be a treat for me to be able to have a good browse on my own.....I don't even want to buy anything, it will just be nice to have a look.

Oh, and he's got a meeting with his manager at 4pm tomorrow, so hopefully all the details re his reduced hours will be sorted out then.  About bloody time!

Saturday, 12 March 2016


This post, or indeed this blog, isn't written for anyone else, it's written for me, it's my online diary.  The fact that people come and read it, and continue coming back and reading, is quite amazing, humbling and pleasing.  Having said that, this post is all about my feelings right now, it's not done for sympathy, it's all about getting things off my chest before everything overwhelms me.  I've suffered with depression in the past and was on antidepressants for 3 years, I've been well and off them for a year. 

However, things have been getting on top of me over the past few weeks and I can feel myself being dragged down again.  Since I've been going through the menopause, I really don't cope with stress or problems very successfully anymore - things that I wouldn't bat an eyelid over in the past and could just shrug off now seem to knock me for 6.  When problems arose a few years ago, I'd just get right on with sorting them. 

Husband's future reduced work arrangements (or rather, the lack of) have been dragging on for so long now - ok, they are close to being settled now, hopefully next week when his boss is back from holiday, but the stress of not knowing what he was going to be doing and his work's total inefficiency in getting their fingers out and sorting it out have just infuriated us both.  He put the written request in, on his work's advice, last October for Christ's sake!  We just feel like we're in total limbo until it's all done and dusted and the final details ironed out.  What was the point of them telling him he needed to make the formal request as early as possible, i.e. 6 months before he wanted to start his reduced hours, if they then don't get it all arranged until just THREE BLOODY WEEKS before he's due to start?

And then there's my close relative's possible cancer diagnosis, which still hasn't yet been formally diagnosed or even properly investigated, due to a catalogue of problems put up by the hospital.  Again, it was last October when she first went to her GP with her very particular concern.  I'm not going into all the details as it's not my story to tell....suffice it to say that if it was me, I'd have put a rocket up their arses weeks ago.  I so want to be there with her, but a) she lives a long way away, and b) she doesn't want me accompanying her to hospital, for a couple of reasons.  I do respect and understand her wishes - it's her illness, not mine.  But I'm really concerned and it feels like she's denying me the right or the opportunity to help her (except for one thing she's asked me to do which I'm not terribly keen on doing, and that in itself gives me a guilty conscience), and that's making it harder for me to cope with it.  And I feel bad and selfish for feeling that way.

I'm also having a lot of problems with a very good friend of mine....we've known each other well for 8 or 9 years, we have always got on so well, but despite that we do tend to butt heads occasionally, we are both equally stubborn.  It's got to the stage where we just can't seem to get on for more than a couple of days without falling out, I feel like it's all coming to an end and that saddens me so much, we've gone through a lot together. 

All this has meant that my insomnia, which I've suffered with my entire life, is just out of control right now, I'm lucky if I get 4 hours sleep in total a night.  Consequently, I'm shattered, completely knackered, which is clouding my judgement, giving me brain fog and making me extremely ratty (which my long-suffering husband is getting the brunt of, which he really doesn't deserve). 

I REALLY don't want to go back to the doctor, I REALLY don't want to be back on antidepressants, nor do I want sleeping pills.  I know things will settle down eventually, it's just a case of holding out for a little while longer, and accepting that I have to do something which I've never liked doing - taking a nap during the afternoon when I get really tired.

I think husband and I need to take time out and have a couple of days out, choosing to do something we both really like doing, like sightseeing, browsing round lovely little craft or artisan or second hand shops, and having a couple of nice meals out, and leaving all the problems at home for a few hours.  

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Glorious morning and the finished desk

We do frequently have the most wonderful mornings here....even if it clouds over later, we often start the day off with a lovely sunrise.  Here's what it was like this morning:-

(excuse the smears on the window!).  What a contrast to yesterday's howling gales.  I just adore this view, the first thing I do every morning (well, after having a wee of course!) is to come and look out of the front bedroom window.  I love the changing seasons, watching what the farmers are doing, seeing the livestock - sometimes sheep, sometimes cows, none at the moment obviously.  I often see a hare or occasionally a deer in this field early in the morning, quite often buzzards (there's a pair living nearby), once recently I watched a barn owl swooping low over the field....magical.  We're so lucky to live here.

The desk is all finished now....2 coats of wood stain followed by a top coat of light oak oil on the desk surface, the base cupboards painted with a shade called Brandy Crème.  The wall behind the desk has been papered, so we don't have to move the desk out next month when we come to decorate the whole room.

A close up of the new door knobs:-

I love them, still quirky but more appropriate colours than the original bubblegum pink dotty ones.  I might have the pink ones on our bedroom wardrobe (much to OH's disgust, I'm sure!).

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The desk and stocking up the freezer

Thanks for the comments on my last post about our search for a wardrobe and desk.  No, the expensive 2nd hand wardrobe we saw wasn't in a BHF shop, it was a local hospice charity.  It surprised us as their prices are normally very good, certainly usually a lot cheaper than BHF prices....which yes I agree, are well over the top.

Here's the desk as it appeared on the seller's ebay listing:-

I liked it straight away, it was exactly what I was looking for.  As it's going in our lounge (we don't have a separate study), I didn't want an office type desk (our current one is a wood veneer computer desk which I've never really liked), I wanted a good solid wood one, a nice piece of furniture in other words. 

When we arrived to collect it, it wasn't really possible to have a really good look at it - it was in the back of their van as they said they no longer had room for it indoors, and it was a freezing cold day.  It looked ok from a quick inspection though, so we were happy to bring it home.  Having got it home and had a proper look, there are a couple of faults with it.  There's a split in the top, several inches long although not wide and it is towards the back.  The right hand cupboard at one time housed 4 or 5 drawers.....there's only 1 left, and there's no base to that cupboard, although there is on the other side.  None of this was mentioned or photographed in the seller's listing, which did annoy me initially - when we've listed something for sale, I've always made a point of giving an honest description, warts and all, which I think is only right and proper.  Clearly some other people don't feel the same!!

Having said all that, I am still very happy with the desk, it is a good solid piece of furniture in lovely old wood and I do think it's definitely worth what we paid for it.  OH has made a base and shelf for the cupboard with the missing floor/drawers, and we'd already bought a small leather drawer unit to stand on top of the desk, which will cover up the split anyway.  We've now bought new knobs to replace the bubblegum pink with white polka dots ones that were on it:-

I do like the knobs actually, just not in my deep red/cream lounge!  The new knobs are very similar, quirky but in more appropriate colours.  I just feel the sellers should have been honest in their description of the desk...I'd still have bought it anyway, but others might have been put off I suppose.  It was also a bit scuffed and marked, I've cleaned it up and repainted the doors and base, cleaned off the top and given it a coat of oak oil and it's looking so much better, I'll post more pics tomorrow when it's all dry and in position in the lounge.

We now buy all our meat from our local butcher rather than the supermarket - it's much better quality and all locally produced.  Some of it costs more, some is cheaper, but since we buy in bulk (having saved up for it) and he knows us now, he gives us a discount as well.  So this morning we went and collected the order we placed last week, which was 3kg each of boneless and skinless chicken thighs, minced beef and minced lamb, plus 1kg each of pork & leek, pork & cider, and venison sausages, and a kilo of smoked bacon rashers.  Along with the half a lamb we got from him a couple of weeks ago, we now have enough meat to last us for about six months.  I think saving up and buying the meat in bulk like this saves us costs a lot more to buy small packs of sometimes questionable quality meat from the supermarket.  And we know where the butcher's meat comes from, so we're supporting the local butcher and several local farms.  All the meat is portioned up and in the small chest freezer, which is now full up.  My fingers were frozen by the time I'd finished!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

One down, one to go

Thanks for the comments on my last post, and welcome to a new follower, Pixie Mum.  Sorry I haven't posted anything for a while, we've been busy and time has flown by.

We visited pretty much all of the charity furniture shops within a reasonable distance, along with some second hand furniture places and even a couple of shops selling new stuff - yes well, very nice if we had several hundred pounds to spend, but we haven't!  We saw nothing suitable - either they didn't have what we wanted, they did but at a price we weren't willing to pay, or we just didn't like what they had.  One of the charity shops wanted £225 for a wardrobe - really?!  Ok, so it was antique style pine and quite nice, but it was well worn and battered and needed a bit of TLC and new knobs on the doors and drawers, and I wasn't willing to pay that sort of money and have to do work to it.  In the end, we decided to give up looking and just wait for something to come up.....this is what's happened in the past, some of our favourite pieces of furniture (like my lovely oak dining table and chairs) we've happened to spot when we weren't even actually looking. 

Having said that, I checked on ebay a couple of days ago and saw the perfect desk - solid wood, oak top and cream painted cupboards underneath, and at a really good 'buy it now' price.....I snapped it up, we're collecting it tomorrow, I'll post a pic in due course.

I've cleared out the old desk and small filing cabinet, which gave me the opportunity to get rid of old paperwork and all the odds and ends which had accumulated on the desk....a case of 'oh I'll just put that there for a minute' and then of course it never gets put away or disposed of.  The old desk will be recycled - someone we know wants it - and the small filing cabinet has been found a home under the stairs, I'll keep old but important paperwork in there. 

OH has said he wants to paper the wall in the alcove before the new desk goes in, which makes sense, so we don't have to move everything off the new desk and shift it in the future when we come to decorate the lounge.  This of course means that with one wall newly decorated, the rest of the room is going to irritate the hell out of me until it's done.  So we've decided to have a definite plan to decorate the lounge next month....we were going to do the twin spare room first but the lounge will now be more important - I can't live with a room part decorated for months on end!

I do hate decorating, not so much the actual painting (OH does the papering), but all the mess and upheaval.  Once we've done the lounge, twin spare room and dining room, that'll be the whole house done and we hope we won't have to do any of it again!

So now the only furniture item left on our list is the wardrobe.