The Joy of Dieting…..Not!

I am about to embark on quite a significant year, my eldest son is getting married, my youngest son becomes a parent in June, I turn sixty and my husband and I have been married for thirty years…..though maybe i’m thirty but celebrate sixty years of marriage….wait……how would that work?

I’m attending a weekly balance and stability course, and have since fallen more often, including downstairs. I’ve had balance problems since 1997, when I had a mystery illness, Encephalitis or a virus, or some imbuggerance.

I’ve also volunteered to volunteer,to visit people that can’t get out and don’t see anyone……. like a captive audience, who knows, my psychiatric nurse skills may be deployed and I may be useful to someone.

I’ve also enrolled on an online course -concerning the natural world.

I’m now into my eighth year of a slimming club…. I lost two stone, stayed there for a while, then regained a stone……… believe it or not the club is perfect, but I keeping cramming food into my pie hole. However my sons’ wedding is in May and I would at least like to lose that stone I regained. Besides my joints are straining under the weight….I’m currently fourteen and a half stone and menopausal to boot.

I delve into veganism, decide it’s too strict and I’m ill prepared, so I try vegetarianism but then I’ll make scotch eggs with minced turkey and I eat one……what a dilemma_I’m a true flexitarian, but I try, which is what counts! Isn’t it?

This christmas I used brown paper to wrap presents…… kinder to the environment, apparently- being recyclable, but it ripped when I looked at it, and when I put them under the Christmas tree, they looked like I’d already opened them, played with them,then rewrapped them. This year, Andy (husband) and I were on our own. We haven’t really got any traditions, I think that’s a mistake, we spent all day cooking  the dinner, that I’d prepped christmas eve anyway……..I shit you not! We did watch Disney’s Moana. Even though it was the perfect Christmas day weather, we didn’t make the most of it, by Boxing day it was grey and wet again.

The highlight had to be travelling to Torquay in Devon, about 25 miles away from my living room, to a lovely hotel…….(wait,  that’s not just it) _to meet up with some of the girls I did my nurse training with. One who’d we’d all been trying to track down for years…we didn’t even know her surname, and finally there she was, good ol’ facebook! So there we were FORTY years later. Talking and stumbling trying to say all the words in just one word……it was complicated but such fun and friendship!

So I’ve got much to look forward to this year…… best not eat that biscuit eh?

What a hoot?

One of the things I enjoy most,is lying all snuggly in bed and hearing owls…..I just love them. I look, but I’ve never seen one in the wild.

When I  was a little girl ,I must have been asleep with my eyes open,I think I’d slept walked too. Cos as I  climbed into bed with my sleeping parents,I noticed, or thought I did, two large owls sitting on the top of a roof, just across from us. It was a full moon. I’ve never forgotten that scene, it was right before the moon put on the most gorgeous Technicolor show…..with red,velvet stage curtains and all………it was a dream then……wasn’t it?

This last year I hadn’t heard an owl! Then I read that they were in trouble and the Bto (British trust for ornithology) were doing a survey  for places that heard them. I didn’t want to believe it,not the owls, surely they would be alright. I firmly believed they would recover! That’s what nature does until man destroys it again! Had it gone too far? Was this the straw that broke the camel’s back?

Then one night I heard it…..far away but a definite ‘hoot.

I sprang out of bed……not easy with balance problems, I don’t usually spring,I’ll have you know! Went to the window, opened it, and listened.  Yep,there it was again……..oh and again!

Now,my husband isn’t deaf, but he is hard of hearing.  So after shutting the window and making it back to bed,he’d not been disturbed at all. So it was with some effort  I woke him. It was 1.30am.

ARE YOU AWAKE? I shouted in his ear ( I was very excited…..and it took several shouts until he heard me)

‘I am now’,……oops angry and shocked was he. Immediately I regretted waking him. I would be pretty annoyed if someone woke me to listen to  something I had no chance of hearing,even if I cared.

I  was wide awake and full of excitement…….like a kid on Christmas eve . I told him about the owl, he probably wasn’t in the least impressed but love him,he pretended to be. Both of us found sleep elusive after that.

At 4am we were both sitting downstairs in our conservatory  drinking tea and eating toast.

Since then I’ve only heard one more owl…..before we’d even gone to bed!

I remain hopeful they will recover!


Someone recently said to me,’considering I’ve  had a life changing illness, I cope very well.’ I’d not considered EVER, that it had in fact been life changing, of course it has been. It made me feel a bit sorrowful and vulnerable, sort of flawed, less then…….well,……me!

Though hang on a minute……I feel more ME, than ever, alright I’m not so good at walking, or dancing, or doing anything physical much……but most people are more than willing to help you, to lend a hand, or an arm if you ask nicely, remembering your please and Thank yous.

I did read ‘How to stop worrying and start living’ by Dale Carnegie, and ‘The secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, both books have really helped me and continue to help for everything else there’s Andy……… husband, probably my most favorite person ever, (aren’t partners meant to be that though?)

I am quite giggly anyway, I do have a sense of humor…….that helps, but I get a lot of days when I am ‘Woe is me’, luckily they are few and if I do feel ‘fed up’, I try to get myself out of it by thinking about what I love and what I’d like. Ah-I know the modern thing is,’its ok to be not ok’ and ‘you can’t have good without bad’, but for me the more I allow bad feelings to take hold – the more I struggle to get shot of them, and who wants to feel rubbish?

D’you know a lot of good stuff has come out of being ‘different’, I really appreciate everyone that does anything for me, I swear I have a deeper and closer relationship with Andy, sometimes I can’t remember the name of things…… sometimes I’ll try to describe it and sometimes completely random words suddenly sprout forth, seemingly  without any thought, like its automatic….for instance, I was sitting at a table having my nails done ( painted, manicured).A fellow client had got up from her nail technician said ,’goodbye’ and ‘Thank you’, quick as a flash….there was no thinking involved at all but I answered, ‘ok no problem, bye. Luckily all the technicians along with said client found it amusing. And a cute squirrel scurrying over a friends fence…..’Oh look’, a ………rhinoceros,’ says I. Stuff like that!

Another thing that regularly happens ls, my eyes play tricks. Andy often takes me for a walk at Longtimber Woods in Ivybridge, a river runs through it. In a particular part it forms like a pond. It doesn’t matter how often I pass this pond , and the log, half submerged.

‘Oh look, a duck’

‘No it’s a log’, says Andy.

‘Oh look a duck’

‘No still a log’

It’s probably more than my eyes isn’t it? …………….or is it?

I fall over a lot too, which sometimes can be painful, sometimes it can be comical, like when I step on my own feet. Recently I sat on a chair, my foot somehow got trapped underneath it,and I sat down on it. It really hurt! The more I tried to untangle myself the more I sat. Andy said only I could do something like that……… this appealed to my sense of humor. This happens a lot. I get in a kerfuffle……..easily!

Still, this is me now… least for the time being, I’ve not given up hope!


Last week, Andy and I attended a talk………a very informative talk about looking after sick or injured hedgehogs. They reckon if things don’t change (and I think they will), hedgehogs could be extinct in England by 2025. I personally love hedgehogs, but I’ve been lucky in life that they’ve always shared a garden with me, no matter where I’ve lived. I still get that thrill in my tummy when I see or hear one.

It may seem like a no-brainer that I’d love to look after hedgehogs………….oh, the satisfaction of releasing an endangered species back to the wild and knowing (perhaps rather smugly), that without you it wouldn’t be there, och, the joy of it.

But, then there’s the other side, the ones despite your best efforts are no more, the weeping that must surely follow…..I imagine you prepare for that when it happens and I’m sure the releases make up for it. But then I have practicalities to consider with my balance issues and clumsiness, things being of sync. Would I do more harm? It’s a confidence issue really, I know that.

Caring for hedgehogs is quite involved ‘Never give milk’ was a message that was drummed into us …..hedgehogs are lactose intolerant! I knew this having watched many wildlife programs in the ‘behind’ or past but never the less this message rang loud  and clear…….as was don’t disturb a nest or mummy hedgehog, and they usually give birth to odd numbers like three, five or seven, I didn’t know that……..did you? Is it common knowledge?

So watch this space……I probably will nurse hedgehogs, with Andy of course,he loves wildlife too. In fact he has this affinity with animals, he’s very calm. I’m a panicker, But I do love hedgehogs and I definitely wouldn’t give them milk.

Is it my age?

My husband and I sometimes go for breakfast, at a quiet little garden centre at Loddiswell, Devon…….about 10 miles (20 mins) away, from our home. It’s a very country lane drive,that sometimes has lorries…..Loddiswell doesn’t have big roads. Sometimes we get held up,when traffic is busy and  lorries are involved. Not surprising I needed a wee when we got there.

I headed to the loo on arrival. Andy, my hubster waited outside.🚾

On leaving the loo I was shocked and panicked to find the door completely jammed and it wouldn’t budge.

It was a half glazed door,  so I could see Andy  and  he could see me.

He made a hand gesture (Not the one you’re thinking of) waving and flexing his fingers. I  didn’t understand!

I looked at the other side……yes, the hinge side, for a handle,…….it was at this point I thought about screwdrivers? The bar on the door didn’t move when I depressed it…….when I say depressed, I don’t mean sad,though the door probably was a bit sad! I searched high and low for a handle, it was at this point Andy just pushed open the door.

It just didn’t even occur to me to ‘pull’ .

As I’m nearing my sixties ,I do experience more and more lapses of sense… is my age isn’t it?



I turned around to see who it was,who obviously knew us and had shouted a greeting.  I  was walking….carefully……..with my trusty husband,along the street, to go to the shop’s, husband..Andy had turned around too. There was a bit of an awkward moment……balance wise,I don’t have much! It’s easily lost when my counter weight (husband) gets distracted.

Neither of us recognised the young man,then we realised he was speaking, quite loudly, to someone on his mobile phone.

We encountered a couple more youths,  ignoring the world,and speaking loudly to an unseen body, on the other end of a mobile phone.

Sadly, we see young mums pushing pushchairs with their young offspring  on board for a nice country walk , ignoring the scenary and the child, giving all their attention to the mobile phone.

One of the the most disappointing things was, whilst we were walking at Wembury Point,a local beauty spot,overlooking the Channel…English Channel,  sunshine twinkling off the water,blue,cloudless sky and kestrals treading (whatever the air equivalent is) the air, a young toddler was desperately trying to get his mother’s attention but she was too engrossed in her phone. I couldn’t help thinking she’d regret that….So soon he’ll be grown-up.

Perhaps I don’t understand, I  too have a mobile phone,but I  can’t see the importance of using it whilst I’m out and about. To be honest, I don’t think I could talk on the phone and walk,I  have to concentrate on staying upright, cos of the balance imbuggerance. I have grown up in a different time,and well,it’s not unusual to criticise the younger generation …….it’s my job! I do think modern technology stops  folk noticing life going on….shouldn’t there be some kind of balance?



It doesn’t have to be like this!

Have you ever wondered why you suddenly feel so miserable.

I’m not talking clinical depression or other actual illness. I mean one minute it’s all perfectly, normal,happy,everyday life, then you turn on the television and within a couple  of  minutes, doom and gloom reigns.

Why does it seem so necessary for major sellers, to convince you to buy something through fear and dread? Surelyit doesn’t have to be like this?,

Personally, I’m more likely to buy something if I  feel happier.

I no longer buy newspapers, I don’t trust anything they say anyway, and I  don’t like the way they make me feel…..I so easily get upset. We don’t have the news on,  for the same reasons…..ever. but I still know what’s going on…..kind of,well I’m informed, I couldn’t have a conversation about it(not without crying anyway).

I recently heard, ‘there is more kindness than cruelty in the world’, more good things happen than bad,and there was another cheery thing too……..but I can’t remember it. What I’m trying to say is we only get a one sided view, so we all think the world is more inhospitable than it actually is.  Maybe we should all ignore the media, and I’m including all the rubbish posted on social media etc .

….and instead listen to our hearts, cos I think most of them are just fabulous!

Change of address.

My youngest son and his girlfriend, have just had their offer on a house accepted. I feel both happy and anxious for them. I  remember how stressful it all is, though actually I don’t feel stress this time, probably cos it’s not me moving….but all the same I don’t want them to have let downs or upsets. Being organised…..thats how to do it. The first time I moved I was in a right kerfuddled. Loads of boxes, all unmarked…..couldn’t find a kettle, milk cups, sheets, towels….nothing,and three hours in and getting tearful,grubby and tired -I just wanted a cup of tea, a bath and a good sleep. Both my sons were young Blake being four years old accepted everything and got on with it…….Luke was just a baby but I’d had the foresight to get organised with his stuff,with all his equipment being stuffed into a ‘Mothercaŕe’ changing bag.I was very late to bed that night. Then I learnt to  pack special survival boxes,with tea making equipment..and biscuits  got to be chocolate digestives ,bed making and bath stuff,oh and toilet rolls,lets not belittle their importance! And mark the boxes.Now it’s difficult to get a mortgage, they need a hefty deposit and repayments are practically their wages… does make me wonder why its so expensive these days? I mean we all need shelters,so why?Though we lived through a time houses got repossessed… indeed ours was. I wonder now if it was meant to happen….for the best I mean? The house I’ve ended up with,I  completely love.

Doctor online contd.

……sorry meant to save but accidentally published…..So many lovely buttons!

Anyway……I  was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor at twenty eight years,  which I didn’t even need treatment for, it was all encapsulated. In fact I recovered so fast and so well, all my Doctors were surprised. That’s marvellous but it did leave me with a lasting anxiety……I mean ANXIETY about my health.

Now any little symptom is checked, then double checked online, and I always think it’s the worst possible thing.

Of course, I’m not the only one who does this,but I would like to stop. Yet,we hear horror stories about  so anď so who suddenly  dropped dead,but we aren’t told the whole story cos it’s less sensational..not so gossip worthy.

Common sense should prevail, we have to remember _more good things happen than bad…….we don’t get told about them,of course.  But on a daily basis, it’s true!We really weren’t designed to live off bad news……and the more we hear it. and believe it_the worse our health becomes!

A Doctor once said, ‘if it sounds like a horse and looks like a horse, it’s probably a horse!