Following Debbie's example, a short note to say I have posted a new entry called Belgians & Chocolate.
It’s been an exciting week for me and a very busy one.
First I need to clear my conscience. I have to confess to buying a bar of Lindt dark chocolate full of yummy, intensely orange bits. Not a small bar mind you but a large £1.50 bar. I came home with it on Wednesday afternoon plus a hot, barbequed chicken from our local supermarket. I’d called in on the way back from school to buy a couple of things we needed and I had a complete breakdown of common sense and into my basket went the chocolate. I got home and devoured half the chicken with a few tomatoes, without even sitting down.
Then it was time to take Harper to the Vet’s. I was worried about what was going to be said. I knew he was showing classic signs of dog senility but I didn’t know if anything could be done for him. One thing for certain was that something had to be done, he’d woken us at four that morning and I just don’t get back to sleep afterwards. Even if I did, he would only allow about half an hour before he starts crying again.
Anthony, our Vet, is very good. We started going to him when Catherine worked there as an assistant/receptionist. All Vets should be like him, no nonsense, explains everything, gives you the options and supports you in whatever decision you have to make. He advised some tablets, which are actually anti depressants, (for the dog, not me!!!) one dose a day. The blurb on them said to try for 2 months and if nothing happened after then, to discontinue. He said that’s rubbish for a start, we would know in a few days if they would work, so just gave me ten days worth, as he didn’t want to waste my money.
I came home, relieved and hopeful and then set about eating the whole bar of chocolate, whilst catching up with my emails. The good thing is, after a month of taking Oregano Oil capsules, my body seems to have got back into a more normal state and I didn’t get any palpitations after my binge eating.
One definite, I will not now be taking antibiotics unless my life depends on it, it has been very sobering over the last few months to realise how over-prescribing them has almost ruined my life.
Whilst not wanting to go on about it too much, it has been a huge discovery for me to realise that the palpitations and shortness of breath, which were diagnosed as panic attacks, are actually a reaction to sugar and starch. This is caused by the rampant Candida I get after having two courses of antibiotics, back to back, when I have had a really bad ear/chest/sinus infection.
The two times in my life I have ended up on Valium and Anti-depressants have been after bronchial pneumonia and a really nasty bout of flu. I now feel a much stronger person, as I know what has caused these difficulties in my life. As I spent most of my childhood on Penicillin, it’s no wonder I was considered a problem child, if I’m honest I do feel bitter about the life I didn’t have and the fact that the tablets that were supposed to be helping me actually made me ill. Anyway, as the kids at school like to say ‘Get over it!’ So I will, no use crying over spilt milk.
Harper had his first tablet that evening. We’ve had him in our bedroom since the crying got really bad and he stayed there that night, as we didn’t know if there would be any improvement.
They worked, it was brilliant……… well it would have been……..
At 4 am Mike woke and wanted the loo. On his way out of the bedroom, he kicked over the dog’s water dish. Large dish, lots of water! He had to get a bath towel to mop it up. Then he had to go and refill the water dish. On returning to bed he obviously wanted to test the effect of the tablet and fell over the dog. Harper just moved and went straight back to sleep, unfortunately, I didn’t. I’m now considering some form of medication for Mike.
Thursday night we put Harper downstairs, in the doorway to the sitting room. I asked Mike to put his food and water bowl in the hall. Mike decided to put them right next to the dog’s bed, so he wouldn’t have to go far if he wanted anything. The result of that was, Harper knocked his water bowl over. But last night was uneventful and we slept until 6.30, the first time in months. I hope we can continue like this.
I’ve been corresponding, by email, all week with two newly discovered relatives from my Welsh/Belgian line. I have always been intrigued by the idea of a Belgian great great grandfather, who I imagined to be dark haired and good looking. I was despairing of ever finding a photo of him; he was born in 1852 and died in 1891. My mother had seen a large photo of him when she was a child but no one knew where that had gone. One of these new relatives said she had a photo of Paul and I was over the moon to receive a copy of it this week. I have to write up a family history for all the relatives I have found, which is keeping me busy, their number increases weekly at present.
This is Paul, we think, with his eldest son Edward. When I first saw it, I felt, 'Oh! It's you' He looks just like I imagined, it was as if I had always known what he looked like.
Little Edward died in his 20’s from TB, as did a number of my ancestors. One 3 x great grandfather died at 29 from Cholera. On my farming side, they all live into their 70’s but many of the manual, furnacemen died very young.
What a fuss at school this week! I was sitting in the classroom working on Tuesday lunchtime and thought I could smell cigarettes. In my innocence, I dismissed the thought and carried on. Then one of the dinner ladies walked by the door to the girl’s toilets and dashed inside. Sure enough, there was a very strong smell of smoke.
Detective George is now on the case! I went found the cloakroom sniffing the bags of girls I had seen go into the toilet. Sure enough, a prime suspect’s bag had a very strong smell. We had a peep inside and there were two, part smoked, roll-ups! This girl is ten years old and she had been coming into school fifteen minutes late, over the last few mornings, with no good explanation. Two other girls had been found to be involved. Parents were called in and there was a general weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. I’d like to think we’ve nipped it in the bud but, probably not.
Other things that happened this week. I have been volunteered to put on a Birthday Party for my sister in law in early July. I don’t mind but it could have come at a better time with my trip to Germany coming up and the Big Family Picnic at the end of June. Still, no doubt I will cope and she deserves it, as life has been very difficult for her over the last few years.
Simon and Tori have come for the weekend, I actually got 24 hours notice this time. They are going to Cardiff on Sunday for the final in the playoffs for a place in the Premiership. If they win, they will be taking my team’s place (West Bromwich Albion).
My cousin came over yesterday, with some old family documents he is giving to me, as I am now officially the Harper family historian and archivist. He wanted to see how I do my research on the computer and was amazed when I was able to trace his father’s line back to 1861 and discovered his 3x great grandfather was born in Portsmouth in 1814. He thought all his paternal line had been born in Leicestershire. We spent a lovely time together and were both shocked to find it was 7pm when he got up to leave.
My biggest laugh of the week was from my friend Catherine, who recently moved to France. She likes to read my Journal, as a way of keeping up with what’s happening here. She was quite excited about the unusual, sideways flying, hot air balloon in last week’s entry and was showing it to her work mates, until they pointed out what an idiot she was and it was simply a photo on its side. Never mind Catherine it gave us both a good laugh. Hope to see you for a decent cheese and wine session here soon.
My Catherine is doing well, according to her doctor but is feeling tired. Three weeks on Tuesday I fly out there!
The garden is calling, I have lots of plants that need putting in , plus I haven't been on Pooh Patrol this week, so no doubt there will be some doggy deposits that need attending to !
Were does the time go?
The last few weeks have been manic with Catherine and Flo here, swapping places in the guest bedroom with Simon and Tori, or just Simon on his own as he goes up and down the country, like a whore’s drawers and in out of my house, like a fiddler’s elbow, with the result that I’ve been going round, like a blue arsed fly!
I love the English language.
Last Saturday saw us trying to get to a surprise 40th Birthday Party in the Cotswolds.
Well it was a BIG surprise to us we ever got there. For a start, never again will I try to get somewhere with the aid of directions taken from the Internet. What sort of sick pervert writes those programs for online map companies? They obviously aim to get the entire Nation lost. We could have used them as the ultimate deterrent in the event of Nazi invasion during WW2.
After we’d ripped those up and started asking people for directions, we thought we’d be all right. (Yes, after years of arguments, Mike now knows it is usually best to ask directions, rather than driving around aimlessly for hours)
Of course, I hadn’t then realised that in small Cotswold villages there are people who are really Aliens, who have taken on human form. Don’t go there. The countryside and houses are very pretty but OMG! The people are odd. If they have a fringe, beware! I think it may be hiding a third eye.
How can two seemingly sensible young women live in a village ,less than a mile away and yet not be able to give us directions to Box village?
What on earth was wrong with the man that said “Go across the common and all that is to the left is Box, take the last turning on the right before you get to the pub, only you won’t know it’s the last turning until you have gone past it”..... Errr. ...Pardon?
If it were on the left, why would we want to turn right? I was starting to think we’d strayed into the set of ‘League of Gentlemen’. If anyone had asked if we were LOCAL, I would have been off like a shot.
We made it eventually but thought we had arrived after the ‘Birthday Boy’ as we were half an hour late; only he was another half hour later than us. They live there and they couldn’t find the place!
Best joke of the evening.
MFI are doing a new John Prescott flat pack range…..Two dodgy screws and the whole Cabinet falls apart.
Monday night saw us up at The Hawthorns for the West Bromwich Albion Player of the Year Dinner. As we’ve just been relegated I think that’s enough said about that.
The best bits of the evening for me were the food, which really was lovely and meeting former Baggies player ‘Super Bob’, Bob Taylor. It made my evening meeting him because he was such a top player. No. It had nothing at all to do with the fact he was the most attractive man I’ve been kissed by in a very long time (Mike excepted of course LOL)
Thursday night was a Charity Dinner at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, it’s the annual Spring Gardening Show. Another excellent meal. (what about my diet!!!!)
Harper Dog is getting really senile, very quickly. He has to sleep in our bedroom now and even then he wakes us up at about 4.30am. He seems to think we should be up then and won’t be quiet until we give in and go downstairs. Then he falls asleep on the sitting room floor and we have to do the best we can with the day after about five hours sleep. I should have gone to another party tonight but after being awake so early and then several hours walking round the Show at Malvern, I just couldn’t manage it.
I’ve found a new branch of my Welsh/Belgian family, which has been keeping me very busy and we all keep finding mysteries, but it’s great fun unravelling them. I can see me ending up writing a book with a possible title of, Sex in the Edwardian Era. I can’t believe what was going on!
One of these new relatives is called Marylou and she has given me her phone number. I've never known a Marylou before. I want to ring her up but I'm afraid I'll say Hello Marylou, and then carry on singing 'Goodbye heart, sweet Marylou, I'm so in love with you'. I don't want her thinking I'm a nutter.
All of these activites and work have been liberally interspersed with bouts of gardening. It’s taken me at least 5 hours to weed the Herb Garden alone, which was compacted clay and full of bindweed, I broke one hand fork, the ground was so hard.
I am recording in photographs how the garden is developing over the weeks, the ones up top were taken on Wednesday, so things have got a bit further now. I have loads of plants bought at the Show to plant, I’m hoping this heavy, thundery, rain will soon stop, so I can get some in tomorrow.
Only just over 4 weeks now until the baby is due!!!!
PS I've just looked back to the photos in my entry for 23rd April, I can't believe the difference in such a short time.
Today is the last full day of Catherine and Flo’s visit. I take them back to East Midlands Airport after school tomorrow. If all goes according to plan, I shall be taking the same trip six weeks later, to arrive in Germany the day before the planned delivery of my granddaughter. I say granddaughter, as that's what we have been told by the doctor who did the scans but there is always the possibility of a mistake. I hope not for Catherine’s sake, as she really wants a girl, it will require some adjusting of her ideas if she turns out to be a he. Although she has now reached the stage of wanting it out, whatever it is.
It’s an agile little thing and has been turning itself around over the last few days, I well remember the mixed feelings of fascination and discomfort, when arms, legs, bottom and head, would all be trying to put in an appearance through anywhere but the conventional route. I was convinced Simon broke one of my ribs!
This is one of my favourite pictures of Catherine with Simon ,when he was just two weeks old. Catherine should be very grateful she is not having one this size! She was almost 3 years old when this was taken. I have to say she and Simon were not usually this friendly, it was only a few weeks later that I caught her trying to hide him, as she didn't want him with us anymore. I have to say there were timesI agreed with that sentiment, as he was the worst baby for crying that you could imagine. I even considered putting him in the garden shed some nights!
Time passes so quickly and she is soon to have a child of her own. Flo can’t wait for the baby to come out to play and the new flat they have moved to will be a wonderful place for a child to grow up. I shall have to get some photos when I am over there, I’ve seen it on a video. They are right on the edge of town, their balcony overlooks fields and mountains. Their next-door ‘neigh’ bours, are ponies and she will have plenty of safe space to run around.
Here she is, collapsed, after the barbeque on Saturday. She looks like she ate all the pies!
Yesterday, we went to an 'Open Garden' under the National Garden Scheme and here she is amongst the tulips. I hope it's going to be roses all the way for her but no doubt there will be times when she is tested and things don't go according to plan. I just hope she has the strength to cope with whatever life throws at her and in the words of Chunkichick, I hope it's more Carp than Crap, that comes in her direction.
Love you Catherine.
Mum x x x.
Thanks to SazzyCreationz for the lovely graphic.