Tag Archives: learning


This has not been a very good week for me. The week before had been good, with the book group meeting being a success. I had also come to terms with the fact that I would have to wait a very long time for an operation on my spine. It seems to have been one of the longest waiting lists. Now that I am sleeping better, with the help of strong medication, I can manage the pain and do the best I can.

I have also made a big decision about my future.I still work a day and a half a week as a receptionist in a chiropody clinic. It is a job that I enjoy because I live on my own: I enjoy meeting and talking to clients. When I first started work the clients were just names on record cards, now they are my friends. I have just come home from work having decided that I will only work on Tuesdays in the future: the effort of getting there and back is no longer outweighed by a half day’s work. Tuesday is the day when most appointments are booked. I will make sure that all my best friends have future appointments on a Tuesday.

In the meantime, it suddenly struck me that I was drinking an awful lot of water, and losing weight. It was lucky that I had an appointment with Dr Davies to discuss the failure of the spinal injections, so when I told her about these new symptoms, she took a blood sample. Dr Davies rang up today to say that the sugar in my blood is very high so I shall have to take yet another tablet: I have developed type II diabetes. Dr Davies made an appointment for me with Sarah, the practice nurse, so that she can take more blood samples and explain the new situation. I do not know much about diabetes, except that it can occur in old age when certain organs do not work properly. I am certainly going to find out and let you know. I do not feel unwell, just thirsty, very very thirsty. I have never eaten a great deal of sweet food, as I prefer savoury.

Today, Tuesday, is my one day of work so I was looking forward to seeing my best friends who come in on that day. What a surprise when I got inside. The main shop had been broken into. Six electric bikes had been stolen and the Chiropody Clinic had been completely trashed. Every drawer and cupboard had been thrown to the ground, papers and instruments had been kicked all over the floor. It looked as if the thief had lost his temper because he could not find any thing to cash. I returned home before the police arrived. All appointments had to be cancelled. There was nothing that I could do as we had to leave the crime scene untouched, so that the police could take finger prints and so on. Apparently they were a long time coming to investigate because there had been a bad accident on the nearby motorway. When the police arrived they found a lot of evidence to identify the burglar. There were large fresh foot prints on the clean floor of the surgery, fingerprints everywhere, and a metal implement left behind covered with fingerprints. It will be interesting to find out how the investigation turns out. The police have, to date, no suspect.

Next day Dr Davies telephoned to give me the result of the blood test. It was not good. I do have diabetes, my blood is showing a high blood count. A normal count is between 5 and 9. At the moment mine is 22, so this has to be lowered gently with medication and diet. No carbohydrates, nothing containing refined sugar, no bananas because I have high levels of potassium. All this amazes me as I have not felt unwell at all. I have just complained about my long term back injury, while this other problem lurked. Apparently it is not caused by me eating too much sugar, but more by old age and my pancreas not working properly. I might be wrong. I am telling you this so that if anyone develops an enormous thirst,or starts to lose weight suddenly, please go and see your Doctor straight away, it is better to treat an illness early.

A week later.
I am not finding it easy to change my diet. I used to eat either a baked potato or baked sweet potato with salad as the main ingredients of my main meal. No more, they are forbidden, as is the biggest culprit, bread. Now I have to eat vegetables that grow above ground, fruit not containing sugar and proteins, i.e. bacon, eggs, meat and fish. This is quite expensive, therefore not so easy for someone living on their own. No sugar for my coffee until I find a replacement sweetener. I am gradually coming to terms with a new era. I do not feel at all unwell, thank goodness.

I hope that you have all had your influenza jabs.

The Day of the Spinal Procedure

I have to be at the hospital at twelve thirty this morning. The spinal procedure will take place during the afternoon. I was allowed a light breakfast before seven thirty, no food after that, just sips of water up until eleven.

I am writing this to pass the time and not think about food. I always want what I have been forbidden. I am not afraid of the procedure, just a bit apprehensive about the outcome.  I am not expecting miracles, I will be pleased if I can get back on the bus to go to the library, and the nearest shops. I hate being dependant on other people, everyone is so busy. My grocery shopping ‘on line’ is excellent except I always forget something important. I am pleased to say that ‘Morrisons’ is very  efficient, delivering the goods into my kitchen. This is all good, but it would be nice to browse around and pick my own groceries.  The downside is that I would spend a lot more money.

It is now  eleven o’clock, I am waiting for my friend to take me to the hospital. Yes, I am getting a bit nervous, it is showing in my typing – I have made at least four errors in the last two lines. I had better stop and pick it up again when I come back, and I will describe everything truthfully.


I will now describe what happened at the hospital yesterday. My friend picked me up with her car at exactly the right time, no worries there. We soon found the Day Surgery and I was booked in, said ‘Cheerio’ to my friend and limped off with the nurse. I was taken to a ward where there were beds with chairs beside them.  I chose to sit on the chair while they took my details and asked me a lot of questions about my medication and checking that I had not had food or drink since seven o’clock. All was well,  because of the ‘starvation’. I thought that I was going to be completely anaesthetised, but no, I was going to have a large number of injections in my back. I was a bit relieved. I was also given an explanatory leaflet, which explained in big letters that the procedure did not work in all cases. I had been warned, but I had never expected miracles,  I just hoped to be able to walk a bit better with less pain. I was  divested of my trousers and my upper clothing and put in a hospital gown. I waited for my turn  which came at three forty five. I had already noticed that the previous patients had been away from the ward for about fifteen minutes, so I expected to be back soon. I was wheeled into a small operating room where  I was introduced by my consultant, Dr Guru, to his team, three kind nurses and two handsome young assistants, who were in charge of the screen, which showed Dr Guru where to give the injections. The first thing that happened, was the removal of the clothes from my upper body. I kept my pants and socks on. I then had to lie on my tummy on the trolley, head in my hands on a pillow, not too uncomfortable. I was sprayed twice with an extremely cold solution. I heard numbers being called. eg. L3. 5. 4. All I felt were very slight pricks, which the nurses at my head warned me about before they happened. It all seemed to take a long time. After three quarters of an hour, I heard Dr Guru say that they would move to the other side, which they finished in a quarter of an hour. I went straight back to the ward where I was given a drink and some welcome ginger biscuits.

Dr Guru came to see me to tell me that the procedure had not been completely successful, they had tried very hard to locate the nerve on the left side but failed, because the bone was in the way. All was well on the right side, there was a small chance that there might be  some small improvement in my right leg, but none at all in the left leg. I thanked him for trying so hard for so long. He told me that he was passing my case on to  a spinal surgeon.

My daughter collected me and I walked to the car just as I had in the morning. Today I feel exactly the same as I did yesterday, hoping that my right leg might get better in the next few days.   Just a word to anyone who might  have this procedure in the future, there is absolutely nothing to fear, no pain at all, just very little pricks.

Meeting The Neighbours

In 2014, I lived on my own, in a large ground floor flat overlooking a beautiful park. My flat had a south facing yard which I turned into a vegetable and fuchsia garden. It became too much work. I had to carry heavy pots up steps, also bags of compost and other paraphernalia to keep all the tomatoes, beans and courgettes healthy. I did have a long hose so ‘watering’ was easy.

I now live in a smaller ground floor flat in the house next door. I have the use of the small grass patch, north facing. The plants are all in pots standing around the edge.

The fuchsias have settled in their new home but now flower later in the season.. They have been joined by hydrangeas and a blanket of self seeding nasturtiums.

I have read through all my old blogs and found most of them exceedingly boring. All about my amateur gardening exploits. I am not going to do that anymore, well, perhaps just a little ‘mention’ now and again.

During that wonderful hot fortnight this summer, all the gardens in my road started to dry up. I was the only person with a hosepipe, so every evening I would sit outside my kitchen window with my hose attached to the tap inside, filling up the watering cans and buckets of my neighbours. It was a chance to get to know some of them. I even offered a ‘shower’ to any one brave enough to appear in a bathing costume. Unfortunately, there were no customers. However, it had been a pleasant way to  chat to the people who ‘ nod’ to me as I wait for the bus each morning. It was great fun!!!!! Thank goodness I do not have a water meter, if I had it would have cost an awful lot of money.

Starting once again!!

I have been trying to get ‘ Back on the Bus’ for some time. My computer died, 3 years ago. It had worked hard for 12 years and could not be repaired. At the same time I took out a funeral policy. As a reward the Company sent me a ‘Tablet’ and a very nice pen. The pen is great but the small ’Tablet’ is not suitable for the Blog, in truth, my poor old fingers are not suitable for the Tablet.

I had already thought of buying a new laptop because I wanted to write a booklet of my family recipes to g ive to my children before all the writing fades from the hand written one that I started in 1957. All went to University with a copy of Delia’s Complete Cookery Course and all four phoned home to ask how to make  gravy. What made my mind up was an e -mail from one of my readers telling me that she had read the old blogs and they had cheered her up. Thank you Ann, this encouraged me to buy a good reconditioned one, I am now trying to get used to it. I agree with your recommendation, ‘Stoner’ by John Williams it is one of my all time favourites. I have just read ‘The Secret Scripture’ by Sebastion Barry. I heard his interview from the Hay Festival and was impressed with his wonderful way with words. That book is so good that I took another of his to the Book group to be chosen among others for our next meeting at my flat in August. It is ‘Days Without End’. It won the 2016 Costa Book of the Year. The other choices were ‘Marriage Plot’ by Jeffrey Euginides. ‘Run’ By Ann Pratchatt, and’ Golden Hill’ by Frances Spufford. ‘’Days without End’ won the vote, I will tell you all about our discussion after the meeting

.                 Once again, I will try to provide something delicious to eat, after the discussion which is difficult when we have Vegan members. It will probably be a quiche, soup, trifle and a cake. Perhaps an exotic crumble with Joe’s ice cream. The Vegans will have to bring their own toppings

This piece has been a trial practice run, relearning how to use my more modern computer which is much more sensitive than my old one.