..

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Life according to...

Ellie...
Something strange is happening and I can’t exactly put my paw on it?
Instead of us all piling in the car and going to different places, we don’t do that now!  Although I hated the journey in the car, the anxiety of it made me dribble and once I was sick.  I miss it!
We used to go out mid morning or after lunch, for a long walk, then if I was very good I could play in the college field late afternoon. Now we play in the garden all day, and I only get taken out once in the late afternoon.  That wouldn’t be too bad but we do the same walk every day.  And another thing, mum and dad avoid people, so much so  when we walk along the river where the path isn’t very wide I go and sit behind each bench waiting for them to pass, a trick I taught myself!  Mum  reads the inscription on some and goes... ‘Aah!’ ever so sadly, which makes me feel fearful.  And at the best of times I can still get worried about stuff.  It never worries me when she says
‘Bloody dog!’ 
when I have been naughty because even though my take on this funny language they speak isn’t that good I can understand when I am really in trouble, which I ought to say isn’t that often!  If I had a Bonio for every time they say how intelligent I am I would be a very rich mutt.


Monday, 30 March 2020

I feel really...

odd, that way out type of thing!
Coming in from our regulation one hour walk, I sat down under a pall of heaviness.  Not at all like the glass half full glass sort of broad I usually am!  Larger than life and twice as ‘orrible type of thing!
This morning after a slow start (why not? No bus to catch!?!) we have worked in the garden, me in the greenhouse, himself sorting out my idea for a water feature attached to the down pipe.  The sink has stood unloved for far too long.


When life is resumed I will buy a tiny water lily and make a frog hot tub.  It only remains for me to put a sign out directing frogs to hop this way.
A couple of emails and a letter to the ‘boys’ in the Highlands, the day was going well not exactly fine but okay.
Suddenly getting home I felt heavy of heart.  I certainly don’t deserve to be, telling myself this doesn’t actually help though!


Maybe it was stumbling on this photograph taken a few years ago now and looking in the mirror and seeing the ageing old crone looking back?
I think the trouble in a nutshell is I have too much time on my hands for navel gazing!

What a blooming madam!

Sunday, 29 March 2020

You don’t really know...

yourself until...
you realise the inner strengths and skills you actually possess.
After years of honing to the enth degree my persona of dizziness, utter disregard of the word sensible I have to my horror discovered a diamond hard vein of capability!  
Sense and Sensibility eat your heart out!

Me... revolting!

Blooming worrying you must agree?  What will my family and friends make of this strange new creature that is emerging?  At least until I have had time to come to terms with it they will never know. For  now as per the ole Boris’ diktat we are keeping our powder dry and ourselves safe.  Let’s hope we all knuckle down and do as we are told for the greater good of all.

This ruling is feeding my inner recluse.  The heading to my blog says it all really.  The awful thing is the days are just drifting by.  I have a pile of books I really, really want to read, craft projects to do, seeds to sow in my new greenhouse, spring cleaning... NO... NEVER!
Cupboards to sort out, decorating even!?!  The awful thing is I am just so busy doing sweet nothing... how does that work?
Anyway I can’t sit around here chatting to you guys...
sloth calls.
Toodle-pip!


Saturday, 28 March 2020

I’m all of a...

do-dar!
What to do next for badness?
The husband on an undercover mission has located a bag of multi-purpose for me, was this a cunning ploy to give himself a break from my peering at him and wondered what to suggest next, I idly wonder!?!

Already I have made a nutty soda bread.


Yes, yes, I know full well what you are thinking!

I am making my own yogurt, the last lot was a huge success. Just a jam thermometer and a saucepan, I was surprised at my very passable set yogurt.  So good for the gut, what!

From 500g of mince I have made some food for Ellie, spot the meat type of food.  A small shepherds pie for us last night and a curry planned for tonight with the addition of a few veg.  An ageing dal I have discovered cowering at the bottom of the freezer.  Poppadoms we can do without.  
A tasty homemade takeaway, what is there not to like.  Speaking of which the scales show a 1.5lb loss this morning, maybe the batteries are running low?

Friday, 27 March 2020

Random thoughts...

I feel a complete heel I didn’t clap last night for the staff of the NHS.  My thinking was, we would have had to walk out of our gate, as we don’t have road frontage.  Our little road has just five houses, two of which are empty airbnb, would anyone hear?
Would that honestly matter?  Have you done things in the past that made you feel stupid,  careful how you answer that LL!?!  No, I am going to answer it... Of course I flaming well have and will continue to do, it’s a design fault I have!

We went to Clee Hill, and passed not a soul, quite a few cars though, so they were there.  Then blow me down with a feather on last night’s news we were castigated, not us personally you understand, but folks just like us.  Once again I felt awful, so no more Clee sadly.

As I sit contemplating my next move, my head is full of so many memories, funny and fun times, the crazy capers I have got up to over the years.  If the virus does get me I will have had a wonderful life so full of interesting things, people and places.  When my time does come and the grim reaper taps me on the shoulder  I will turn and smile and look forward to my next new experience.


In the meantime you will see The Coronavirus has been killed by Ellie... the finger says it all!
She has lost all interest now the evil air has left the building! Or to be more exact the blooming thing has been punctured.  Sorry now I only got one on my last visit to the supermarket while the more canny were going into the bog roll and beans battle.  And we all know what became of that... No not only wind...

Thursday, 26 March 2020

The greenhouse has...

landed!

I can’t actually believe it!
We have been sensible and have kept our distance, the workmen’s refreshments I set up in the little kitchen in the garden room.
This time I was even more measured  and didn’t do the usual domestic goddess caper, making cakes, biscuits and other treats... just an unopened packet of quality biscuits.  I know how to treat a man!?!
I have put brightly coloured paper bunting into the greenhouse as a way of alerting the birds as to its presence.  The birds are used to flying away from the Wrenery in just that direction.  Best be safe than sorry.


With no veg. seeds and very little compost I am stuffed for the time being.  I will have to revert to my old ways of feet up reading a book with a chilled glass of wine type gardening... it will be tough, but I might just manage it!

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

What IS the story of...

the sock in the road?


Knickers, bra even I could understand, but a sock?  One sock?
For months now I have watched as the winter took its toll.  Still it lay looking for all the world forlorn and unloved.
What could I do to reunite it with its twin?  The thought troubled me as daily I saw it become ever more disheveled and dismayed.
I couldn’t even with my well honed imagination imagine how it had got here.  It’s not as if we live on a leafy lane where lovers might caste all caution to the wind.  A dead end road leading to nowhere, as a consequence bare-footed pilgrims having lost their way are I ought to say a rarity. 
What else? A one legged mistral stopping to change his socks or should I say sock?
Any idea?

This morning as I gathered the logs left outside, brave with the security of leather gauntlets I decided the game was up.

‘Look here sunshine you’re nicked!  
   I said as I bent to pick it up.  With the offending article clasped securely between thumb and forefinger finger I carried it in and sadly deposited it in the bin, never knowing the story of its let’s face it, interesting life.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Ellie has captured the...

Coronavirus and has it behind bars.  After giving it a very good duffing-up!

Hopefully this has cracked it!?!


 I knew this grille would come in useful sometime!

This is going to be her kennel when the clematis grows through...
air raid shelters eat your heart out!

The greenhouse has sadly been postponed once again: in the grand scheme of things is it important?
I don’t think so, although the husband might say different as his   dream of peace is shelved for the time being!

The plan for today is to make pea and ham soup, well not exactly ham!  I have just found some ham stock in the bottom of the freezer and a half dead packet of dried peas.  
Pea and Imagine Ham soup will be on the menu for today’s luncheon. 
My slink is getting slinkier as the podge as if by magic dissolves.
What is there not to like?

Monday, 23 March 2020

The plus side of...

our self isolating world.

We live in a lovely tucked out of the way cottage with no road frontage.
We are new to the area so folk haven’t quite worked us out yet or even that we’re here!  

I am happy just pottering about, not really doing anything.
My mind floats free with dreams and schemes that I know just aren’t going to happen.

Ellie is our excuse to get out and exercise, although the kibosh will be put on this anytime soon, no doubt?

At speed the husband will read his birthday present, the great tome that is the last in Hilary Mantel’s trilogy of Cromwell.
‘The Mirror and the Light’
I am hardly containing myself to get my mitts on it.  I do have lots of my own library books which I wisely got anticipating this happening.  Like a toddler with toys, I don’t want to read mine...
I want his book.  Not to put too fine a point on it, his obvious 
enjoyment is making me feel rebellious I can feel a hissy fit bubbling just below the surface! I want to rush over snatch it out of his hands and on stout legs run away.  Problem is I wouldn’t get very far as it weighs a ton!


The dust deepens as we know for a fact no visitors will darken our door.  Suits me as I am a top show girl, as long as everything looks fine and artistically arranged I’m absolutely fine with that.  The dust will be settling long after we are dead.  Come to think about it, all dusting really does is stir it up for it to find some other surface to inhabit obv!

The garden is being made my own, I have to resist nipping out to the garden centre to buy compost’n’stuff.

We will inadvertently lose weight as I make a very little go a lot further.  I have always made a point of never throwing anything out that I could make into something else.  I hate waste.  At this rate I might rediscover my waist... one can only live in hope?




Sunday, 22 March 2020

When a glance or...

a wave can kill?
Or maybe not?



Bright idea of the day...
‘Let’s go to Clee Hill!’

A wild isolated, isolating spot.
Wrong!

Cars, motorhomes, motorbikes all congregated.  Lots of space for all to keep clear of each others bugs and virus’s.

A beautiful sunny and bright day, 
a happy thought: a marvellous place for all to share yet be safe.


We walked our usual route hardly seeing a soul apart from cut-out silhouettes on the skyline.
Until that is, we turned for home along the fallen stones of an bronze/iron-age hill fort.
Tucked smack on the path were a family having a grumpy looking picnic, eldest son sat apart valiantly trying in the bright sunshine to see a picture on his flat thing, his whole posture was of ‘Do I have to be here!?!’  Leaving the path and giving them space we trogged over the tussocks of rough ground.  As we passed a goodly distance away we both waved in cheery acknowledgment.  Not a glimmer, not a nod, a wave, any sign to let us know they were aware we had deviated from the path.  Just stony faces glaring.  Why?

Rejoining the track we hadn’t gone far before another couple were hunkered down also very near the path.  Once again we did the same, they watched us without a smile or any sort of recognition.

Fear flavoured sarnies maybe?

We walked away sadden by our experience.  Is this what we all have to look forward to I idly wonder?

Saturday, 21 March 2020

In my weakened state I...

 got to thinking... what is it exactly about loo rolls, bog rolls, toilet rolls, toilet paper call it what you will.


Am I thick?  I just don’t get it!
Hang your head in shame if your cupboards are full to overflowing of things that you know in your heart of hearts that you won’t need in the foreseeable future.  
After which those who are fixated with best by dates and sell by dates will chuck it all out when things get better.
The world has gone stark raving mad, when half of the world are starving.
Let’s get real here and consider folk needier than ourselves...


Friday, 20 March 2020

Normal service will...

 be resumed as soon as possible.  

Today I am poorly, just a stinking cold.

I leave you with the base for the greenhouse which is now coming on Tuesday!?!


And the harvested grass...


Thursday, 19 March 2020

Beneath the slothful...

exterior lies a dynamic woman craving to escape.  My mind whirs  with plans, schemes and dreams.  This is the lot of an only child, I live in my head.  I quite wear myself out with thoughts hence (another word I like) nothing really gets done.
My latest thing is I am up 
early-ish with the thought that I ought to go to the shops to get special biscuits for the workmen coming tomorrow to erect the greenhouse.  The fact that we have everything we need for ourselves is a mere bagatelle.  My workmen usually get fed home baked biscuits, scones, luncheon even!
I know, I know!  I’m a feeder, you see!  Now my latest worry is I don’t want to give them our germs. The husband isn’t 100% free of the cough, me I feel a tad below par, so you can see the dilemma I face?
The decision I have come to is, for the greater good... stay home make a few scones, cheese and maybe sour cherry and chocolate ones, offer them and let them be the judge of whether they accept!
Sound like a plan?

*
Yesterday strolling through the woods in my Berghaus which I ought to say is beginning to feel like a corset!  I got the distinct impression my body was going one way, the waterproof the other!?! Tum and bum felt tightly encased as I sized up clumps of grass.
Clumps of grass? 
Yes, clumps of grass!
Carefully I selected a trowel- shaped piece of timber.  Husband looked on wondering... Now what?
I spied a suitable specimen and bent with difficulty I ought to say in my newly acquired corsetry!  As he saw what I was about to do he plaintively cried 
‘Wouldn’t it be better to bring the trowel tomorrow?’
With total disregard to his pearl of wisdom I set to.  The wooden implement soon gave up in the face of my determination.  Undeterred I carried on now using my God-given tools... my more than capable hands.  The grass soon saw who was the boss and roots’n’all gave in without not too much of a fight.  I filled the poo bag with a goodly amount.  The very few people we passed looked and looked again at the vision in the blue corset, carrying what to all intents and purposes was a dog turd the size of an elephant poo!?!  Worse than that it had grass in it.  Their next glance was at Ellie, with marvel in their eyes at the discrepancy of the two.
They wandered away I am sure with the thought...
‘The world as we know it is changing!’


My partners-in-crime this morning.


Wednesday, 18 March 2020

As I sat twanging my...

elasticated trousers I got to thinking... just how am I going to play this enforced isolation?
Am I going to let my true slovenly self out, which I ought to say is very appealing to me?
Stop wearing a bra, as no one will be able to see the resulting swing?
If I wore dentures I could keep them safely in the glass beside the bed without fear or favour. 
I could eat for Britain and the rest of the world combined... well until my bunker full of store ingredients ran out.  That or the waistband of my trews got elastic fatigue and died, revealing my lower half to the unseeing world.
I need never pluck a stray hair out of my chin ever again.
I wouldn’t need to wash, well apart from my hands, floss my teeth or clean them even.  The food parcels I make and send I could still make and scoff the contents myself.  I could tell folk I am booking a world cruise knowing full well it wouldn’t happen.  How impressed all would be at my great wealth.
I could start to be kind and considerate, well that wouldn’t happen because there would be no one around to enjoy my bonhomie.  It would be wasted on the husband as his suspicions would be on high alert.


What’s a girl to do I ask you?
Not to touch your face...
I know, I know.

Worrying times.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

The effects of...

the virus thus(I just love that word?) far...
I feel odd!
Not worried just odd!
The world as we know it is having to change, not before time I honestly think.
For too long we have taken things for granted.  Old folk often used to say the trouble with this generation is they have never experienced a war.  Well we are now on the cusp of doing just that.  Not admittedly war as we know it, but one of a totally different kind.  And ‘kind’ it ain’t!
Don’t be fooled by her name...
Mother Nature!

The kindness and consideration that has been sadly lacking with the me, me, me attitude of today will have to change.  Let’s all become less self centred, open ourselves up to others views, their needs and wants and let’s put ourselves in second place instead of the pole position so many of us think our 
divine right!



Stand by your beds for further bulletins and nuggets of nonsense from the old soothsayer of Ludlow.
Pearls before swine?
Maybe!?!

Monday, 16 March 2020

I am...

ready!  
For some strange reason the husband who is the conventional one of us is kicking against the government ruling for us oldies to self isolate. I wouldn’t mind but he is the one with the flaming cough!  Yesterday bossy boots, me decided that he should stay home, the Sunday paper ritual we could do without.  We already have it on our iPads so what is the fuss about?  
Today, himself was saying I have only got until Wednesday until the seven days are up and I can get on with my normal life.  This afternoon that all changed when Boris announced we now have to stay home for fourteen days if one in the family has the symptoms.  The funny thing is, it is usually me kicking against any sort of rules and regulations.
I totally get it!  We must all do our bit in order to crack this thing.


My only worry now is, do you think I might be getting a tiny bit sensible?  I do hope not!

Sunday, 15 March 2020

What to do...

for the best?
I have all my life been a planner, get ahead of the game type of thing.
A catch phase of mine is
‘What can I do next for badness?’
Yes, really!
Now as I sit here in the quiet of the morning, husband still slumbering, still coughing.
I must say I am mildly alarmed.
Reading in this morning’s electronic newspaper how things will rapidly change and how we must all alter our ways for the greater good.  Today the severity of this virus is slowly occurring to even the most cheery and optimistic person i.e. ME!
Early on I had slowly built up a few extra tins, being a tomatoholic I feel strangely bereft if I don’t have eight tins in the house.  Tins of many and various beans, tins of sardines have always featured large on my shopping list.  My MO hasn’t changed.  Even the dreaded loo rolls, I have avoided the temptation to buy more than we want.  My cupboard boasts one pack of nine bought  weeks ago, which we haven’t even opened why buy more?  Being a cordon bleu chefette I can make nutritious food out of very little.  Dried beans and pulses make for a tasty well balanced and healthy dish, given the right amount of imagination.  Ready meals and the dreaded sell by dates don’t even come into my consciousness, let alone my culinary world!  If food gets really scarce folk aren’t going to say 
‘It’s a nanosecond out of date so I won’t eat it!’
Blooming ridiculous!
They will if push come to shove eat it and be grateful.
I make my own bread, I have a few bags of flour in store.  We have a milk delivery.  Inadvertently we have cracked it.  Wonders never cease!

Hold tight LL!  All your crowing is getting a tad OTT.  You do have one achilles heel...
Canapes?

Well not exactly canapés, canapés, but 
Cheesy Wotsits!


My son wandered in with a glass of wine to offer his visiting mama.
‘Just a mo while I get the canapés!’
I visibly brightened!
In he came with his mother’s secret passion... a large bowl of Cheesy Wotsits!
Ever since in our family world they are canapés.
Now in the event of you discovering a long lost bag of the aforesaid I would be extremely grateful if you could send them to me.  I will even pay the postage!




Saturday, 14 March 2020

Hangover headache...

I have today, strange as not a drop of alcohol touched my lips yesterday or today.  The aftermath of the BPPV I suspect?  

‘Capstan Full Strength’ 40 a day cough he has, so staying home seemed prudent.  I stepped out to get the paper, this time with a more restrained gait, not the usual turbo take off I usually adopt.  I nipped into the fishmongers to thank them for  being so helpful to the 
Moby Dick/Moping Sick that wandering in yesterday.  Saturday morning early in town is a total different world, folk have a spring in their step, smiles abound... it’s the start of the weekend.  The butcher was singing, all ‘seemed’ good in our little town in Shropshire.


Home to himself having finally finished the base for the greenhouse.  Ellie as always overjoyed to have me home.
Just wish this flaming headache would bog off and leave me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  The husband is I get the definite impression enjoying the peace that me being a tad less enthusiastic brings?  
It won’t last...

Friday, 13 March 2020

Hold tight, how the...

mighty have fallen... in one short day from yesterday’s blog post!

The husband has a cough, we were going to see some dear friends on Sunday.  The dragon that is me decided that it would be prudent in view of their very elderly parents to postpone the trip.
A superbly sensible decision, even though I say it myself!?!
I was on a bossy roll, deciding to rush out and get enough loo rolls to build a impregnable wall around our little patch.  That I ought to say is a stonking fib, I only got enough for a drawbridge... fib... ditto!
For an old girl I only have one speed, warp factor... squillon.

Getting home unloading the shopping, I sat long enough for one cup of coffee to be downed, then off I strode up to town. For this self-imposed exile I needed library books, so best I go before that emporium of maybe germ-ridden items, sported a black cross on the door.
As I stepped smartly out, a woman was stood smack in my path.
She said,
‘I saw you coming from way off and I just have to tell you how wonderful you look!  You have obviously taken a deal of care over your outfit!’
My mouth opened and closed a couple of times as I glanced down at my hastily thrown-on togs!

‘Thank you, my husband often says what is it about us women that we compliment each other?’
Thanking her once again I floated off at speed, into the library.  In, two books chosen then home via the fishmongers.
And this is where it all came tumbling down.  Marching away, I looked down at my scarf which was coming untied.  Ever so gently I felt a slight shift in my head. Oh no, not the dreaded BPPV!  Just disregard it I thought as I slowed my pace.  As I stepped onto the walkway to the High Street, I started the usual listing to starboard.  Just get to the fish shop and then it will go... famous last words!  I got the fish paid and then said
‘Do you mind if I sit down as I have a vertigo attack just about to overtake me?’
They couldn’t have been kinder.
I phoned up the man for him to come and pick me up. I sat trying not to move and willing myself not to gag!  I was led away by himself looking for all the world like the drunk I probably appeared to passers by!  Once in the car I dry-heaved all the way home!  
Getting in I was horribly sick I then went to bed with Gromit, my go-to sleeping companion in times of illness... a hottie bottle!
After an hour’s sleep I feel a lot better, still delicate... not a word anyone would describe of me!
And here I am large as life and twice as ‘orrible!

Strangely enough I thought as I hadn’t had an attack since moving to Ludlow, I had grown out of it!
Wrong!  In fairness yesterday I had moved enough soil single-handed to make the ancient Egyptians proud.


Thursday, 12 March 2020

I’m one of those...

blooming awful people that always looks on the flaming bright side... well to be 100% accurate most times!?!
Don’t they just get on your t*t ends?
It was brought home to me when the 2004 tsunami hit.  I know for a fact that I would have said
‘Relax, it’s only water!’
Whereas husband was a diver and knew the power of water.  Me a not exactly confident swimmer has self confidence inflated water wings. So I ask you what do I know?
The idea of self isolation is for me, a latent bag lady i.e. tramp, a  chance to hibernate, distance myself from folk, apart from my germ-free blog obv!?!  The garden, the books, the hunkering down, the walking on the wild side in the woods, the reemergence of a moth so stout it is unable to fly is an experience to be well...
experienced!

Don’t you just always hate these always look on the bright-side people?  I know I do!


Tuesday, 10 March 2020

My mouth dropped...

open making a perfect O 
my mascara wand hovered in midair as if I was the conductor of this performance.  There from the bedroom window I witnessed the most graceful display.  A pair of red kites were wheeling and circling over the college field.
Various fly-pasts were executed low over the mirrored glass of the orangery allowing me to look down and identify the undercarriages of the stars of my own personal fly past.
My breath stood still as I watched in awe.  The crows had a different take on things!  The kites swooped dipping slightly, showing  
total disdain at their entourage of noisy very disgruntled clergymen of the air. As with black cassocks flapping, harassing and haranguing they made the most unholy of rackets!

Home alone and no one to share it with... 


What a magical start to my Tuesday morning!

Monday, 9 March 2020

Does it say more...

 about me I wonder that I felt discombobulated by her assuming I remembered National Service?
Sadly I think it does!
This afternoon as a volunteer I was charged to sit with a lady who had just been admitted.  She had a very painful break which was causing her a huge amount of discomfort.  Tears rolled down her face as she recounted her life story.  Her marriage, her children, their happy retirement until her husband was diagnosed with cancer and his very speedy demise.  She was one of life's talkers.  From tears to smiles and then chuckles.
As she told me about her man doing his National Service she said  ‘Do you remember those days?’  Fleetingly I felt disgruntled as I replied
‘No!’ followed hard on the heels by the thought... well I obviously look as if I should!  The next thing that crossed my mind was...
what a tart to be put out by this simple question, how shallow is that  as I sit here hale and hearty!?!  Our conversation was free flowing, she started to ask things about me, a good sign I thought, taking her out of her particular painful here and now.
Listening is a skill, knowing when to shut up, knowing it is okay for them to give free rein to the tears and sad times.  As we said our goodbyes she looked perkier, brighter and in a small way I felt I had made a difference.
Walking home through town I glanced at this old dear reflected in a shop window and thought...
Yes, I do look as if I might remember men being called up for National Service.  Get a grip LL age is just a number, you’ve had a blooming good life...
madam that you are!






Sunday, 8 March 2020

He walked into the bedroom with...

what I could best describe as a plate of dark pink blancmange?
‘It’s for you to help build up your strength!’
‘What is it?’ I feebly enquired.
‘The liver from a freshly slaughtered lamb!’
‘Thank you so much Iain!’
What else could I say as my tum did back flips in horror?

Most nights the shepherd would call, climb the stairs to come to see whether his neighbour showed any improvement.  After hard days on the hill he found the time.
My admiration for the kindness and generosity of the Scots knows no bounds.



Saturday, 7 March 2020

It didn’t go...

away and it didn’t go away, if anything things got worse!
The doctor was called, he examined me saying my chest sounded clear. A bottle of jollop was given, red cough mixture.  The next visit... ditto, only this time orange tincture.  By the third visit, I had developed a pain that I can only describe as a sabre being plunged between my ribs deep into my chest.  I laid in the bed to all intents and purposes like a corpse in a coffin.  The reason being I was scared to move because the pain was excruciating.
 As luck would have it on this visit my GP was accompanied by a young doctor who said 
‘Could it be psittacosis?’
A blood sample was immediately taken and sent away for analysis. Back came the results, a large percentage parts
per million of the virus!  
Back they came with an antibiotic that had not long been discovered that tackled it.  The doctor said a few years ago without this drug you would have died!  With the cross over between birds to humans the symptoms don’t develop or show in the same way.  That was why he couldn’t hear fluid on my lungs.  Pneumonia, but not as we know it!  The next question was how all that way from civilisation had I picked it up?
I wracked my brain as to just how; the only conclusion I could come up with I had not long before visited my father in Deal and had stepped into a pet shop.  A long shot especially as the shop didn’t have a resident parrot!?!


The final thought was maybe I had breathed in the dust from my hens’ feathers?  
The Coronavirus sweeping the world has reminded me of my skirmish with the disease crossover from animals to humans. How so little us supposedly intelligent beings know about the weird and wonderful world we all live in and I ought to say take totally for granted.  Best we all wake up!

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Let me tell you...

a story.
A long time ago when I lived a self sufficient life on the North West coast of Scotland.
I developed psittacosis.  Yes, parrots disease!  Some who have followed my exploits for a while might not be surprised?  The surprise is where did I pick it up, living as I did ten miles from the nearest village, let alone the nearest flaming parrot?

It all started when one snowy morning I was driving to Inverness 101.6 miles away.  The start of the journey wasn’t the greatest.  My plan was to drive into Lochinver to get petrol.  Driving down into the village the snowplough was slowly coming up the hill.  The car started to skid on the ice, and as if in slow motion I was heading for the blade on the front.  As luck would have it my cool head was on that morning, thankfully I managed not to oversteer and we passed with just a whiskers breath between!

As the journey got underway it was obvious the snow was becoming more of a problem?  Blizzard, whiteout conditions. You realise pretty quickly how important the snow poles are at the side of the road!
Then to add to the problem the alternator started playing up.  It was decided we should call into a garage in Ullapool about halfway there to see what could be done.  Nothing as it turned out!  A new one would have to be ordered.  The advice was to turn round and drive  home with the strict instructions to keep the use of the windscreen wipers to a minimum in order to get us home before the wipers completely killed the alternator.
Well you can imagine the drive I had, the weather was deteriorating, the snow falling thicker and faster.  How I got us home to this day I will never know?  The joys of being the only driver, the man of the moment couldn’t drive, had never learnt!?!
As I parked the car I struggled in exhausted.  The strain of the day I assumed?  I started to cough that was the start of me being confined to bed for six weeks...
to be continued...

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Ground control to...

Major Ted!


Work goes on a pace.  If there’s one thing I love and that is getting out there and doing stuff.  I suppose it comes from my other self sufficient life?  Oh and my very hands-on farming life.  I well remember a rep calling and saying to me
‘Look at your hands!’  
Horror writ large on his face, as his well manicured digits hovered over his order pad!  I have my mum’s hands... large, capable!  I can still feel the stinging on the back of my legs as I ran ahead of her up the stairs, in trouble again!  And they say only children are spoilt!?!
Yes my hands are built for work, soil under the nails, I just love it!  No acrylic nails for me thank you!  Come to think of it it would be like putting lipstick on a pig... so wrong!
Anyway back to the greenhouse base.  The slabs have been jiggled about, it is now a case of levelling.  The husband is the main man here as my ‘That’ll do!’ mantra, all my life (yes really!) just won’t do.  Reluctantly I will be the second-in-command, novel but there you are!

Life on the

allotment.  A flavour…   Ludlow town wall stands guard    No Dig is the way forward Charles Dowding