That’s better!

You may recall I was writing about the state of the garden following the demolition of our garden shed and a good old sort out! Anyway we ordered a 6 yard skip,  anf after paying for it I saw one for £50 cheaper than what I had paid with a different company! Still, no good crying over spilled milk is there. So the pile of junk in our garden was nothing short of the UK’s number one eye-sore to see. Honestly, I can tell you that I have muttered under my breath about gardens that were not in such a bad way. I guess now you’re probably thinking I’m a snob? I am no such thing of course. But I do like to see things in some sort of order, and our garden was not.

Our skip was soon full, and Mrs Dave decided there was still room for a few more bits. So she began filling it as I shouted: “They won’t empty it if the level is above the top of the skip”. Now at this point I am not sure if she had her ‘selective hearing’ or whether she genuinely didn’t hear, I will go with the first option! As luck would have it the skip was a nigh on perfect size for our rubbish, and it has now gone! The garden looks so much bigger without the shed, not to mention tidier!

I think I may well have annoyed some of our neighbours though as I did decided to burn some of the old shed that had broken down into ‘burn size pieces’. I did this over three nights in a small bin incinerator. The last night we had just a few sticks and I thought I’d finish the job, so put the wood in the bin and lit it. I didn’t expect the dense smoke that came from not only the chimney but the edges of the lid too. It was in fact so thick that it blocked out the sun from the clear blue sky (I kid you not). So I decided to leave it, and I sneaked out to find room for the remaining few sticks.

Now I happy to say the skip has bin collected (see the pun there), and the garden looks a whole lot better, and with the blue skies and warm temps due to stay for the bank holiday weekend some members of the family have mentioned the dreaded ‘B word’. Yes Mrs Dave suggested we might have a Barbeque on Sunday. Does she not know after 31 years of marriage that I am not into BBQs? Yes they are OK occasionally (like every six years or so). But then live-at-home daughter said the same sole thing, it worries me to think the flames may still be rising from our back garden again this weekend, what will the neighbours say?

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London trip

Last Saturday was a lovely day, but also horrible. How can I come to such a conclusion? Let me explain…

We travelled to the capital by bus and train and everything went smoothly enough,  approaching Kings Cross station we got a text to tell us that the rest of the group was in situ and sure enough we met up with Bryan within a minute or so of getting off the train! We then went by taxi over London city to Charing cross station where we met David (good name aye). We had some lunch and Nathan and Bryan went off to their football match, while David Naomi, Lily, Mrs Dave and myself stayed around Charing cross station walking to St James Park, Downing Street, the Strand etc. All went well and when the football fans had finished we met up for an evening meal. This proved problematic in itself. All the restaurants were packed and we had to wait to get into cafe rouge. And thats about where things started to go downhill. For a start the restaurant service was painfully slow, and the menu didn’t have much to appeal (although we all found one thing). The restaurant was very noisy too with music being pumped out and voices, didn’t bode well having to shout at each other.

And then we left to catch the train home, and the night just got worse. We went to catch the 19.53 train and it was so packed an ant wouldn’t have been able to get on it. So assuming the next one would be just as busy we watched out for the platform announcement and when it came we rushed over to it. Again it was extremely busy and not a single seat in sight! So I opened my wheelchair and sat down on it. We were told we would have to change at Hitchin at the station, on the train it changed to Welwyn garden city. We got off the packed like sardines train only to find other people waiting. When the train pulled in we just managed to squeeze on and open my chair again to sit down. While at Hitchin we were told by a staff member told us that we would need to change again at Stevenage, and the train would be right behind us. At Stevenage we waited for forty minutes for the next packed train. We eventually got to Cambridge at 10.40pm! By the time we got out of the station (with toilets etc) it was 11pm +. The last bus to our hometown leaves the bus station at 11.10pm and the buses to the city centre take 10 to 15 minutes, so ultimately we had missed the last bus home! We walked through our front door at 11.50pm… None of us were amused, although my two year old granddaughter did sleep pretty well that night. So this morning we have been filling out ‘delay – repay’ forms to claim compensation! I’m not a great believer in the compensation culture, but to me this is bad service and the company need to repay as they didn’t provide the service I had paid for. Additionally I had to pay an additionally £39 for a taxi to our hometown.

Rant over… Below I have added a few pictures from our day

        

For a few more pictures see: Here

Stay safe

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Happy birthday to COAD

Today is Confessions of a diabetics first birthday, can you believe that? A whole year has past since my first post on WordPress, and a lot has happened through that time. My hb1ac has dropped a bit, and overall my control has been better for a start. We’ve had a nice family holiday in Majorca, and spring is in the air (well sometimes). On the negative side there have been a few things, with my daughter having a cancer scare, ill health, and of course more recently I had the scare of receiving a phone call informing me that my mum was about to die and that I should go say my goodbyes. She is still alive, and as the person who knows her best I think she has some time yet!

Tomorrow we’re off to London, my son (special needs) is going to a premier league football match with a family friend. We’ll share a meal before they leave and another when they get back. This time (our third such annual London trip) we’ll hopefully be popping over to Buckingham palace area and having a tea or six no doubt!  We’re also meeting up with another friend this time so that’ll be good too. But with Mrs Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday and the London marathon on tomorrow, London is on high security alert, in relation to the Boston Bomb.  I’ve never been to the capital when security is near the highest alert setting we have, and part of me is dreading it for the reason of crowds.

Grandchildren are wonderful aren’t they? They keep you fit free of charge having them play with you all their waking time. They give their unwanted food and drink to you to ‘eat’. And they like a bit of TV. But our youngest grandchild is driving me a bit on the mad side. Our Lily has three ‘must watch’ tv programmes. Firstly, and her favourite is Peppa Pig! I swear that I have  in the last few months watched every episode of Peppa Pig ever made. Next on the list is Cbeebies Show me show me, now while the content of the show is fine and non-addictive, the tune is something different. In fact I have woken up in the middle of the night singing the tune, how do you get a tune out of your head like that? And thirdly (and lastly) there is another show on Cbeebies is called something special, it’s a BBC show aimed at pre-school children with special needs. But despite it being aimed at special needs children I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t like the show (and indeed Mr Tumble himself got an MBE for his services to children, and well deserved in my opinion).

Right I’m off for the evening, so please stay safe and I’ll see you soon

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There’s a reason why I’m not a doctor..

I’ve often thought that people who become doctors are wonderful human beings, because I simply couldn’t do their job. Despite my fascination and yearning to be a medic, I know it is a dream beyond my realm!

For a start a programme on TV the other night had a man with half a face (See picture left), I recoiled in horror when I saw it. It’s not that I was being horrid or discriminative because I am anti that as you are probably aware. I think rather it is a case of shock and how uncomfortable or painful it must be. The man had wonderful support from his future wife, and he wasn’t down trodden despite what he must endure in his day-to-day living. I guess that makes me a little squeamish in some ways. But how this man copes living everyday, is amazing. He doesn’t hide away and want to die, rather he’ll cover his face and walk hand in hand with his fiancée. I take my hat off to him, I’m not sure that I could be that strong in those circumstances. As it transpired on the TV programme, they have now made him a prosthetic face,  which is amazing and can only boost his confidence even further. Additionally despite having numerous surgeries for various things, the thought of sawing, drilling into someone’s body is just beyond me, not to mention eyes, operations and removals etc. So reason one for me not contributing my (lack of) skills to the medical profession is down to my squeamishness.

doctor

And then if I got ill I’d self diagnose, worse still you would know exactly what to expect. My own GP (General Practitioner/doctor) recently died from cancer, she was a lovely woman who I thought did a good job. But imagine knowing exactly how the medication will give you side effect, or if you don’t go for the medication how it will affect you in time to come. Of course being a doctor is about helping others out, but when you know what’s coming it must weigh heavier on your mind? So for my second reason I’ll classify it as: Knowing what is coming.


Thirdly, imagine having to tell someone they are going to die? I’d be useless at doing that not to mention probably being in tears with them! I dare say you’d get somewhat ‘used to it’, but it still in my opinion takes a certain type of person, to remain detached when giving such dreadful news. Reason number 3 worry too much

And then you have the worry about ‘getting it right’. We’ve all heard of doctors who have told patients they are dying, when in  fact they aren’t, they are perfectly healthy. There was a case in the UK not too long ago where a young cancer patient was given loads more radiation treatment than she needed. Instead of getting better she was dead within a few months – suffering! And that was due to  a doctor making an error and the radiologists not picking it up. So reason number four Mistakes

So as you can imagine I would make a lousy doctor, which is probably why I leave it to others – those who have that ‘special quality’, those who have the ability to remain detached. So congratulations to every doctor who qualifies that does their job to their best, and may God forbid any who are like me… 🙂

 

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The big D

Diabetes, most people have heard of it – some don’t know what it is. I for example used to know nothing about it, and in my head only assumed that people who had the condition ‘died’ earlier than those without it. And I guess that might have been the case in years gone past, but things in diet, health advice and medication have come on in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years or so. Insulin treatment has advanced and other medication is ever getting better. Additionally food has grown in variety too, we have also got the knowledge that low fat and high fibre is good.

Having lived with diabetes for 16 years now, it is still  disease that confuses me and sometimes worries me. When I was first diagnosed I was told the usual things like: If you don’t control your diabetes it can cause a multitude of health problems (Strokes, heart attacks, blindness, amputation etc). You will need you eyes tested every year. You will find you take longer to heal from cuts and ‘normal health problems’ etc. I have to confess I didn’t believe half of it, especially the longer time in healing, and the possibility of infections. I now know that to be true. As you may have read over the past year I have had trouble with my ‘stump’ (my amputation was through trauma not diabetes) in the form of sores on it. One healed after many months, only for another to open and begin bleeding, that healed after some months and I got a sore on my stump knee, and while that continues I noticed some blood in my liner last night. So I can now see that slower healing is very true in the form of the disease. Additionally people with diabetes generally have a lower immune system, leaving them vulnerable to ‘cold and flus and the like’. This I have found is another true statement from the professionals. So in hindsight, perhaps the highly trained professionals who offer all their years of training through advice – actually do know what they are saying, and me the mere mortal knows very little. My point being that we all need (whatever health problems we might have) need to listen and take on board that advice.

So do I consider ‘my’ diabetes to be a curse? In ways yes, I can’t simply go to the fridge and pick up a bar of chocolate like I once did. I am unable to buy cheap travel insurance for holidays as it now needs to be specialised. Life insurance is a no no so I have had to buy ‘over 50’ plans which I’m not greatly enamoured by. In other ways, it does make you think about what you put into your body and how you treat it, in fact there is hardly anything that I don’t questions about fat and carbs etc, before it goes into my system. So overall while its not the curse I once thought, it also isn’t a pleasure to have either.

Food is an essential of life, but being brought up in an era of ‘hardship’ in the 60’s/70’s I was ‘trained’ if you like to like foods that aren’t good for you. Don’t get me wrong my mum cooked from scratch most of the time, but her food was coked in full fat, and her chips were deep fat fried and she added nigh on half a tub of salt into the lard. Her roasts (while being extremely tasty) were cooked in the traditional way of the fat from the animal. But that was the way things are, and life has changed, food has become healthier, and the choice has become far wider too which is a good thing of course. But I still yearn for those tastes of ‘Mum’s cooking’. As a diabetic a low fat, low sugar, high fibre diet is the advised. But that is no different to the one advised to the rest of the population (with exception through medical alerts). I used to smoke (which I gave up when in hospital for months), so when I gave that up the only pleasure in my life was food. Altering that was going to be difficult, I knew what I liked and I liked what I knew. But I opened my mind to try ‘things’ that were different, and I found actually it’s not so bad. For example today we have beetroot and goats cheese roasts with saute potatoes. OK the beetroot roasts are pre-packed, but the fact is that before being diabetic I would probably have been extremely reluctant to try anything like this.

I’ve always said (and firmly believe too) that no matter how big your burden is, no matter what you are going through at the minute –  there is always someone worse off than you. And how many times have I began to think sorry for myself only to see starving children with bloated tummies on my screen, with words saying unless you donate this child might die. You know the sort of ‘guilt trip’ charity advert that I’m sure we’re all familiar with. And then TV programmes show other people who have young children with the very strong possibility of dying young, and who will go blind and deaf before they die – see Diabetes is really put into the right place when you look at it like that. But on the same token, I am not silly enough to dismiss the disease as trivial – because again I have seen what complications of it can do.

Upon closing I can confirm that the beetroot and goats cheese roast was edible, I didn’t realise that goats cheese was quite so ‘strong’ in flavour. But we all ate them and all agreed that we wouldn’t order them if we went to a restaurant.

Stay safe

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To the pharmacy and beyond

I posted the first tale on KalamityKelli’s post today, so forgive me if you have read it before. I also posted it over at Ezcooking so you could have also read it there, please do read on afterwards though as that isn’t a repeat.

My daughter said to my grand children Kristian and Chloe (5 and 3) “I have to go to the pharmacy to get my medication” So they prepared and set off on the two minute journey. She picked up her medication they left the pharmacy again. Shortly after leaving the pharmacy my grand daughter (Chloe) threw a paddy and had the terrible two tantrums that all Parents dread. “What on earth is up?” her mum asked. “Mummy, you said we’d go to see the farm horsey”. Needless to say it hit my funny bone right on the spot…

You see I have what might be described as slightly odd sense of humour, or perhaps its the norm I don’t really know. I find mishaps incredibly funny, whether that be in real life on TV or anywhere else. If it strikes me – it strikes me and nothing can stop me. I will recall a few instances of this ‘humour’ and you can make your own mind up..

Firstly in laws

 

 

I was sat in my future in-laws sitting room, having a tea meal (sandwiches cake etc). They offered me a coconut jam/mallow biscuit which I took. As my future wife and I took a bite, both of our teeth were nearly broken – the mallow was absolutely rock hard. I looked at my fiancee and the laughter started. And continued, and continued. In another instance my (now in laws) were sitting in sitting room and my son Nathan who had not said a word other than Mummy until then, looked out of the window and proudly said in a loud clear voice “Do you know it’s p***sing down out there”. Again laughter ensued which was compound even further when my MIL said “It’s not that funny”.

 

 

 

 

 

And one from the TV

 

 

Eamonn Holmes was presenting a TV show when he took a phone call from a woman. After the initial banter he asked what her husband did “He is a lecturer, he has a PHD in insects”. “I’m sorry” Eamonn said in disbelief, and the woman duly repeated her sentence. He then turned to his co-presenter and said “Oh my, I thought she said her husband had a PHD in sex”

 

 

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Read all about it… And getting older

It’s amazing how one years can change your life, and although I feel I ‘keep’ going on about it I recently came across a newspaper article that was written a few years after the actual accident. They did a cover story a few years earlier about the actual accident and what had happened and how it affected me etc. And now they wanted a ‘catch up story’. I’ll try and see if I have the first article in my scrap book (is that sad keeping a scrap book?) Anyway here is a link to the follow up article.

Additionally over the first few years I used to get a few pounds by writing letters to magazines, many of which got published (though not all for cash). They appeared in National press,National gardening magazines, National computer magazines, Health magazines and more. I’m not blowing my own trumpet in any way just thought it might be something worth having a nose at.

Changing the subject; kids, you may know them as Children. When I was younger I had enough patience to have three of our own children with my wife: Look after disabled (mentally and physically) through social services through a scheme they operated: My wife child minded and we often did extra babysitting (sometime overnight): And we run the local pentecostal church Sunday school. So you could say we could cope. Now some years on, with things seriously changed I struggle to be nice to the kids who insist on kicking their football over our back garden wall; not once a fortnight, not once a week, not even once a day, more like once an hour! Yeah haydays and holidays are a nightmare with the ball being kicked over. I am polite for the first couple of visits, and then my blood pressure rises and while I’m not rude or horrible I do state my case. And tell them not to keep kicking it over else they won’t get it back. Tell me I’m not alone… I remember my mum having to tell me once to knock on the door for my ball, and if the person wasn’t in or said no, then I didn’t get the ball. Of course like all kids if there was no answer I’d often nip and get the ball anyway.

Finally, to convince you the world really has gone mad, have a read of this story about a police woman who is suing a garage owner after he rung 999 because someone was breaking into his garage. The police officer fell up a kerb and is now suing him for damages. (BBC news version)

Stay safe

Dave signature

Its all white now

We woke up to a sprinkling of snow this morning, and it has been snowing on and off for the rest of the day. But for the last few hours the snow has been more like ‘blizzard’ style (without the strong winds). Now for many snow is a horrid weather that they want to avoid, and understandably so too. In fact I am one of those people to a point. I never go out in the snow, as it is simply too difficult for anyone to push me in a manual wheelchair or too treacherous for electric mobility aids. So I stay in and watch the snow fall, which I admit I love! There is something about snow making everything white that is lovely (see pictures below)

I finally got my second appointment for the hospital (diabetes), and once again they gave me a day I couldn’t make – despite informing them of days. So I rung up and rearranged to a time suited to me. I now have to wait until March, for my December appointment. Am I being picky? No, I just need someone to help me go to the hospital and they were the only days I could get the help.

Over Christmas and new year I gained a few pound in weight. So this week sees us collectively as a household beginning to try to lose weight (note the try bit). Friday we had sea bass and cous cous, which I thoroughly enjoyed  – I love sea bass. This time I did it in the oven (as stated) rather than doing the normal grilling. And to be honest while I still thoroughly enjoyed it, the flavour is much better when grilled. On Sunday we lapsed (due to having it in) with a roast chicken dinner, and tonight is the turn of  roasted Salmon in a herb sauce (daughter cooking), new potatoes, broccoli and asparagus. As I have rarely had asparagus I have forgotten if I like it or not (only had it once before due to expense anyway). In fact we’re not even sure how to cook it, my daughter thinks she needs to either boil or griddle. Thank goodness for the internet where this sort of information is so freely available.

Fudge and Lily-May in field at back of house

Fudge and Lily-May in field at back of house

 

The snowy pond at the fields behind our house

The snowy pond at the fields behind our house

 

Stay safe

Dave signature