Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I think this video sums up very well what the disabled folks of Britain will have to deal with over the next year and more.

It makes me so angry I don't feel able to comment on it, other than to thank the young lady who sings the song.

Monday, November 08, 2010

House building

The renovation and building on the house is coming on fast. You can see the photos on my Flickr House Renovation set.

We've reached the point where we need to decide what to do about the central heating, we've been looking at a system called Thermaskirt. At the weekend they had a stand at the Homebuilding and Renovations show in Harrogate, so we went to it, and met with our builder there.

Trip to Harrogate - Homebuilding & Renovating Show

Saturday was a really gorgeous sunny day for our trip to Harrogate. The trees still had quite a lot of leaves, and we saw some lovely autumn colours, the beeches especially seemed to glow in the sun.

Trip to Harrogate 75

Took photos from the car as we travelled, they're up as a set of 94 (!!!) on Flickr here.

I really enjoy photo shooting from the car, there's a randomness that takes over! :-D I was taking a shot up the side of a house when we were stopped at traffic lights, and just at the crucial moment a pedestrian walked past, completely unaware. I think he made the shot.

Trip to Harrogate 62

When we got home and I loaded the pictures up to the computer I was amazed at stuff that we just hadn't noticed at the time. Round Bradford (I think) there are still quite a few old factory chimneys, and a lot of them are totally festooned in mobile phone transmitters. Here's one example.

Trip to Harrogate 54

And once we noticed those in the pics we started noticing all the other ones too...

Coming into the centre of Harrogate we drove past the Winter Gardens, where there was "The World's biggest Real Ale and Cider Festival". Sadly we didn't make it to it, I was just too knackered after going round the show. But I did take a pic of it for John. Goes on till Sunday 14 November, so maybe we should go back next weekend. ;-)

Trip to Harrogate 87

We drove all round the Harrogate International Centre trying to find parking, but their car park was full. Hardly surprising at midday on a Saturday! We finally managed to park outside the Royal Baths (a Chinese Restaurant), just across the road from the centre.

Discrete Heat (Thermaskirt people) had a brilliant position in the exhibition hall, just inside the entrance! "Mr Thermaskirt" himself, Martin Wadsworth, spoke to us. He seemed to me to be particularly good at including someone in a wheelchair in the conversation, looking at me from time to time to check that I didn't have questions. John did most of the tech talk though, as by the time we arrived I was pretty brain dead from the journey.

We collected samples of the lambs tongue skirting, and the deco, which is what will run along (laid flat rather than upright) below the bifold doors I think.

We trundled round most of the rest of the show afterwards. Saw some amazing glass wall panels and splash backs from a Cheshire firm called The House of Ugly Fish. It's worth clicking through for the large images in their Gallery to get an idea of the effect.

Really exciting colour, just sang out compared to all the other stuff at the show, which was either neutral colour or to do with solar PV panels! ;-) I exaggerate a bit, but there were a huge number of solar and ground-heat pump firms there. At this point in time we're not really thinking about going down the solar route (unless we win the prize draw we entered!), but it's useful to get the info.

I don't think John particularly noticed, but there was one stand with a lot of light oak furniture, really beautiful dining tables. Out of our price range, but lovely just to look at and drool a bit over! ;-) They did rather nice chairs too.

The show was very crowded, and pretty noisy as well. But it was fun seeing some of the stuff there, and I think was well worth the effort. And it was a lovely day for a drive too, which helped.

On the way home we cut off down a little side lane going towards a village called Weeton. There was an obvously "Grand Design" type build going on, just a bit after going under the railway bridge, that we smiled at. It's amazing how much you begin to notice builds and alterations when you're in the throes yourself! We parked up for a while just past that and a few other houses.

John had a 3 bean salad, and I had a stiff gin and tonic. Much needed after all the noise and people in the show. It was very quiet, despite only being a little way off the main drag. Birdsong (not sure if robin or dunnock), and I thought I saw some Guinea fowl running along the other side of the hedge. Good view of Almscliffe Crag between the trees, which John would now like to go and climb!

Trip to Harrogate 89

Lots more images of the Crag on Flickr if you search, including some wonderful shots of views of it in snow.

Sunday we went to the garden, and John planted a LOT of garlic. I did some gentle pruning. Grass could do with a mow, but it was far too wet. John tells me that one of his colleagues said there was heavy rain in Liverpool on Saturday. We had a lovely sunny journey to Harrogate, and dry on the way back too, so that was a bit of a surprise.

We finally managed to order the induction hob from John Lewis on Sunday morning, by phone (Jump up and down with joy - we didn't have to drive in to L1 and go to the shop!). It's been out of stock for a while, and I was getting a bit worried it wouldn't be available by the time the kitchen guys come in.

Both of us seem to be sneezing a lot and have runny noses. I'm hoping it'll have cleared up by the weekend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sun halo

Sitting on the deck just outside the caravan door on Saturday I saw this wonderful sun halo. While it doesn't always foretell bad weather, it certainly did on this occasion. Makes me think of Stargate!


I'm being highly entertained by the flock of sparrows that come to feed off the bird table and various feeders we have on the patio here. They are very rowdy, but also shy - they fly off even if I just move around inside the caravan.

Last week I was sitting in the van with the door open, and a house sparrow flew in and perched on the peg basket by the door. I'm not sure who was more surprised, him or me! A number of them have tried to fly in through the (closed) windows too. Fortunately they all have survived, but I guess it comes as something of a shock to them.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Got lost for a while

Sorry been missing for so long, had immense problems logging in and have been too tired from gardening to spend the time sorting it out.

The roses in the garden have been wonderful, despite the hacking back they got in the winter.

Roses by the arch

Potatoes are mainly flowering now. We did dig up one of the First Earlies (Lady Crystl) but despite delving deep we only found 2 spuds. But the garlic is good, and we've had our first meal from the garden.

First garlic

First garlic

First produce from the garden

First produce from garden

First meal from the garden

First meal from the garden

The twins are 7 weeks old today, and growing fast. We spent the afternoon with them yesterday, were totally shattered afterwards!

So we went back to the new house and chilled out with the living room window open for a while. Suddenly a fox sauntered across the lawn... He looked me straight in the eye, then kind of shrugged his shoulders, and continued his saunter up the central path, and presumably across next door garden and into the others along the road. Grey of muzzle, and quite a lot of grey on his coat too. Neighbour had already said she thought he was an elderly fox.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


We're having fun trying to get to grips with the garden. Lots of lovely birds visit, but we are really happy to have a pair of woodpeckers call in and eat some of the food we leave out.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

International ME Awareness Day 2010

The last few years my life has changed a lot. Since my parents died in 1997 we have had to battle with legal stuff, but the end is possibly in sight now over all that.

We completed buying a new (to us) house in December 2009, and the plans for an extension have just gone in to the City Planners. Meanwhile we are trying to get to grips with what was once a beautiful garden, but was very overgrown and wild with brambles and ivy. We are fortunate to be able to still live in our old home while the renovation and extension work is going on. I really don't think I could have taken on a project like this otherwise.

But the biggest change happened just two days ago on 10th May. Our younger daughter gave birth to twin boys. Yesterday we saw them for the first time - two tiny little babies. Our grandsons.

So I am thinking at this time of all of those people with ME/CFS who have not had children themselves, and so are deprived of the happiness that I have right now.

Most of what is written about ME/CFS research seems to be about getting folks back to work, coping, blah blah. But I don't recall seeing much (anything?) about the loss of personal lives.

I was lucky in that I already had my two daughters when I became ill.

After returning to the work place part time back in 1988, I became ill in March 1992. I missed a lot of my girls growing up, they had to help me rather then me helping them. But they have stuck by me, and have always helped as much as possible, both were godsends during my parents' decline and final illnesses.

But I know of so many people with this DD (Damned Disease) who live alone, who cannot get out to meet with potential partners and friends, who have to face the possibility of never sharing their lives with anyone.

Meanwhile we are all left with clinics run on psycho-social theories that do not address the effects of this illness even in psycho-social terms.

I delight to have the joy of twin grandsons, but I despair that many of my fellow patients will be deprived of this joy in their lives.

It's time the MRC and NICE woke up to the fact that around 250,000 people in the UK are not only lost to the work place, but also are losing out on one of the most important aspects of their lives - their family lives.

Tiny fingers

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Keyhole Gardens

I saw this link on a gardening forum, and thought it was a lovely and useful idea.