Sunday, 10 December 2017

Blog Reader



It's  been a hard year, with mum dying suddenly in January, leaving my forgetful father constantly asking where she is, but showing little or no emotion when he has to be reminded yet again, along with my useless brother who, at the age of 51, has been looked after by mum all his life and as a result is a stranger to the oven or anything practical around the house. Quite happy to live there rent free, but anything to do with the upkeep, however small, is nothing to do with him.



This has resulted in an unsatisfactory arrangement of myself and my sister travelling hundreds of miles across the length of England each month to stay for a few days each week bar one.
It is depressing when neither of us meet very often, and we have had not an ounce of sympathy from dad or brother, who are just concerned with their own comforts.
So I send my sis photos, as we are forced to sleep on an uncomfortable sofa in the conservatory.
The Christmassy lights I attached to a funny indoor, ornamental bird box my mum bought on a whim when she was out with me at a garden centre.
Its in the conservatory where me and sis sleep, adding a touch of Christmas cheer in an otherwise gloomy house.
When I used to drive up to visit for a week, me and mum would go to a different garden centre each day. By the end of the week she was exhausted but insisted we still go out, as my dad never took the car out and mum didn't drive.
A lot of the time we bought the same things, ornaments for the garden or sun catchers, or wind chimes. Now I see mine as reminders of happier days.
On a more practical note, I have also taken to sending photos of minor domestic achievements in my dad's house, like the clean fridge!






The fridge has a reputation for being a danger zone, scary to open on the first day of a visit for what you might find lurking within. Both my dad and my brother have no sense of smell ( and appear not to notice mould on food either) the fridge is a health hazard, in a ridiculous position where its nigh on impossible to open the door wide enough to get the tray and shelves out.
Quite an achievement to clean it, I felt the need to send a photo to my sis to get a bit of acknowledgement, seeing as my dad and brother did not even notice I was cleaning / had cleaned it.
So, blog entries this year have all but stopped. Blogs to me represent happy memories, and if I don't have any to share I just read others. I rarely comment these days on others posts, because I think they will click my blog and see I have not written anything for months.
I read of people who may also have problems but are battling on. Finding happinesses sometimes when faced with terrible illness. I also keep up to date with the cat stories, and the bloggers who live in the type of remote abodes I can only dream of.
I like to read of self-sufficiency and chickens and beaches and living on a boat, and of visits to historic houses and arty creations, craft fares and junk shop discoveries.
The list is endless. One blog often leads to another, and another....
Passes a few lazy minutes, anyway.






Me (in red) & Mum & sis 


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Still here



A few years ago Blogger and Flickr were my two favourite things on the internet. I had a laptop so blogging was much easier.
When my laptop broke, it was the second one to fail to last more than 3 years. It cost over £300, not a lot by some standards but a lot for me.
We have a desktop computer, but it is not so easy to just have a quick session on the internet with sitting down at a desk and loading it up, plus the fact that m.o.h uses it to listen to horse racing. 
As a stop gap I got a tablet cheap, its a kindle fire but its too heavy and reflective for reading books so I just use it for the internet.






I have a kindle paper white for e-books but I'm finding I'm reading more and more 'real' books recently. Much quicker to pass them on as a recommendation and I enjoy browsing bookshelves far more than trying to find a new author on Amazon website. 
I work in a library. Most of the staff have e-readers as the library has a free e-book service, but we're hearing more and more people are coming back to paper books. Of course, the popular best selling e-books are as expensive as buying an actual book nowadays. 
Anyway. I digress!
I used to love downloading music and creating my own CDs on the laptop. 
I used to love uploading photos from my camera to Flicks. I don't do this anymore.
The kindle fire has a useless built in camera, then offers about 6 separate places to store your photos, so you can always find them until you are on a website and you press the upload button, which inevitability takes you to an unknown file.





Its hard to write this on the tablet as the keyboard hides the words as I am typing.

It's easy to press the wrong letter. Its difficult to get the words to centralise.
Sometimes I press and nothing happens.



So I don't do blogging much. I look at other peoples photos on Pinterest  and Instagram. I read blogs from people who don't have problems I have .




So I've lost a few pastimes I briefly enjoyed, but there's always a book to read, snuggled  up with a cat or three.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Lost in time

I haven't added anything on here this year, and now it's almost half way through.


We had a lovely, quiet Christmas. We drive to our favourite beach and walked, and collected sea glass, fossil crocodile scales and cowrie shells. We also had several early morning visits to a lovely cafe that overlooks one of the Island's ferry terminals. We always managed to get a window-side table, where we could watch the Christmas visitors leaving this lovely place to return to their jobs and daily life.



On New Years Day I rang my mum to wish her Happy New Year. I had gone to bed early, too tired to wait for the fireworks on the TV.  December 31st is the anniversary of my mum and dad's wedding. They went out for a meal! It is a rare event, but they had a lovely meal and my mum sounded full of hope for the new year, with plans for the garden and her hobbies


My mum told me my brother had a bad cold. The doctor said it was a virus, and there was nothing he could do apart from advise to drink water and take paracetamol.
Two weeks later my mum caught the same virus. Knowing what the doctor had said, she didn't bother him with her symptoms.
She died on 17th January.




Since then the weeks have been a blur. Every sunny day I think my mum has missed this. Every new little bird I see in the garden, I cannot tell her about.
Yesterday was my birthday, my first without my mum. No card from my dad, he has memory problems but even if he hadn't , my mum did all the card sending.
On my birthday we went to the cafe overlooking the ferry terminal for the first time since Christmas, and got our favourite seat by the window.


Then we walked on the beach, in the sun.
And now I have written something on here, for the first time this year, and my last entry, about sleepy cats, seems a lifetime away.
Life goes on. The swallows returned. The apple trees blossomed. The leaves emerged from their winter sleep. Flowers bloom. The sun shines. Birds sing.



But a bit of my head is stuck in Christmas still, and the last photo my mum sent me of her small and ancient tree with new lights, pink and blue and looking great!









Friday, 4 November 2016

Creature Comforts

As the nights draw in and the air chills, we have already had our first frost. I can only remember a couple of frosty days through last winter. The sea air tends to keep frost at bay.
Feeling the coming of winter, the cats have taken claim to their winter sleeping positions.
During the day Kitty owns the carpet directly in front of the stove.



Smudge and Whiskers sleep on opposite ends of the bed, keeping one eye on each other.
But in the evenings things change. Whiskers and Kitty migrate to my small sofa, one at each end. Smudge chooses his red cushion on the kitchen chair.
I also sit on my small, red sofa. I like putting my legs up and lounging, but with two cats happily snoozing on either end, I find myself sitting upright and uncomfortable in the middle.
I have tried moving one, but the look of disappointment I received was too much.
So I bought a square bean bag, exactly the right size to rest my legs on and still sit upright on the sofa.




Smudge ran in and made a leap for it. He loves it. He looks smugly at me as if he's saying thanks for this, mum!
Oh well, no slouching for me!
As for the poor feral cat, I've bought him a large wooden kennel, covered the large entrance with a piece of plywood that has a cat-sized hole cut in it and inside there's a fluffy carpet, a cat cushion and a brand new igloo.
Has he been inside? I can't tell, as I cannot see the entrance from my window. He certainly walks past it, and there are some bits of leaf and such inside, but I don't know for sure.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Cats just sleep!


It's sooooo hot here on the Isle of Wight! The beaches are buzzing, even late into the evening.
That's the best time of day for me, just sitting out on the patio under the large patio umbrella watching the sky turn dark and then the solar lights all come on. In the evenings we sometimes hear fireworks from the weekly summer displays a few miles down the road. ( if it wasn't for the trees I would be able to see them too)
The cats just sleep, all day and all night, only seeming to move when a shady spot suddenly gets the sun.
The stray has started hanging around after his feed, and also sleeping on the grass. Still can't touch him. He can visit two or three times a day, then we don't see him at all for a day. I wonder where he goes, and is he keeping out of trouble.
I have a large, wooden kennel ready for him for winter time, but whether he will ever use it remains to be seen.











Thursday, 2 June 2016

Catch up.






 Some photos from the last few weeks......





 

 Little bird, garden warbler I think, we saw it a lot in the spring but not recently. 






 Aquilegia, one of my favourite flowers.








 The swans at the Causeway have hatched their eggs. Seven cygnets! That's the most we've seen since we have been visiting this spot regularly over the past five years.






We don't see hedgehogs often here, but we found out that this cheeky chap has been taking the food we leave out for the stray cat. He ate a whole bowl full!









 Smudge on his favourite quilt, outside in the sun.




And on his second favourite blanket.....






The stray. Still being fed once, twice or sometimes three times a day. He will eat while I sit quietly near by, but after all this time he still won't let us get any closer, and stares at us as if we are about to throw a bucket of water over him. As soon as he's finished his food, which he always clears completely, he is off without a second glance back.
If only he knew what a safe home he could have, if only he would be brave enough to approach us instead of running away.




Sunday, 8 May 2016

Sunny all the way!

I'm going to write this and add photos straight from my kindlefire, which I now use as a tablet since my tablet died after 1 year of use!
Today has been so sunny, the birds are singing so loudly and, hey!, the apple blossom is coming out!
We have been down the beach,and then just lazed about at home, so let's see if I can add on instant pics!










Well, that was quick! And all done from on the patio!
Unfortunately Whiskers didn't appear until after I had uploaded all the photos, never mind. He's busy these days on patrol, protecting the house from the latest stray I have been feeding daily. Photos to come , as soon as I can get close enough!