Monday, February 18, 2019

My nose today is horrendous

That's the problem with having a husband with a poor sense of smell. I can say, 'What's that weird smell?' and he will say, 'I can't smell anything.'

I don't know if I'm going crazy.

My nose has been much better of late, hardly picking up any unusual scents, but the last two days I've been twitching again. Unpleasant smells.

In every other way I'm fine. I wonder if it's to do with getting older or hormones. As I said before perhaps my sense of smell is getting more acute as my eyesight/hearing gets worse. Husband pointed out to me today that the optician does free hearing tests. I said there's no point me having a test as I've no intention of wearing a hearing aid.

My hearing's not that bad anyway. Yo should hear how loud he has the television on when I'm not there.

Friday, February 15, 2019

On the plus side I survived

Finally made it to Boxercise last night. We've been trying since the beginning of term but things have got in the way. Sadly nothing stopped us last night ...

When a warm-up begins with the words, 'Jog across the gym and back,' and you can barely see the other side of the gym, you really hope you've somehow come into the wrong class.

I hadn't.

The group consisted of five men, three young women and me. I reckon I was at least twenty years older than the older man and more like thirty or more years older than everyone else.

For some reason I didn't expect the class to be quite so aerobic. I thought it would be mostly boxing - which it was - but in between he made us do press-ups and burpees and squat jumps and running, oh, such a lot of running. I thought I might die.

On the plus side the men were all very gentle when they had to box against my pads. I think they were probably worried I might fall over, but hey, I'm tougher than that. Well, a bit anyway.
Boxercise class

Monday, February 11, 2019

The really BIG day arrives

I'm delighted to say that Lucia Elisabeth made her appearance into the world on Friday. Weighing in at 3.8 kg (about 8.4 lbs for us oldies), she is, of course, delicious.
baby feet
Granny to the power of seven is Very Happy. 

Lucia, having waited an extra week before arriving, is keen not to miss anything now and is keeping Mama and Dada awake a lot. Big Brother, Leonardo, (GrandSon4) is suitably uninterested.


Thursday, February 07, 2019

The big day arrives

And it looks as though, after weeks of failure, I will finally get to Boxercise. 

And then my friend and boxing partner says she's forgotten and has other things planned. 

If I were a more spiritual sort of Christian I would say, 'This is God's way of telling me not to go to Boxercise.' Fortunately I'm not that sort so we'll try again next week. 

I need to expend a bit more energy and punching something and imagining it's:
a) the inventors of social media;
b) agents who don't recognise my literary brilliance; or
c) whatever has upset me that day,
can only be useful.

The other - and hugely more important - Big Day still shows no signs of being closer. But, I tell myself, no baby ever stayed in the womb forever. Baby will make an appearance when ready. Ho hum.

Meanwhile today I bought myself a new pair of slippers. Reduced to £4 I discovered at the till that they were only £2. A bargain at half the price.
sequin slippers
Husband just came in and pointed out that I could go to Boxercise on my own.
'I suppose so ... but it will be full of people who've been going for a while and are good at it.'
'You did boxing for years in circuit training ...' he left the room mid-sentence to let George out and I imagined the end of his sentence: and it didn't make you good.

When he returned he finished what he was saying, 'You'll be as good as any of them.'

I misjudge him sometimes. Not always but sometimes he gets it right.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

A sudden realisation

Four generations
Just seen the date and realised it's 47 years ago today that my mum died. (Don't feel sorry for me: I'm not sad.)

My mum had had a second operation to try to clear blood from her brain and she'd not regained consciousness so Uncle and I stayed in hospital over-night. Morriston Hospital at the time was just a fraction of the building it is now. Then, 1972, it was just all the old war-time wards running off a corridor going up a slope. The wards were on the right as you went up and on the left were little waiting areas. Open hard wooden pew type seats. We sat/tried to sleep on those.

Early the next morning Uncle went down to the ward to see if there was any news. It was a while before he came back and then it was just to shake his head and say, 'She's gone, sweetheart.'

He drove us home and we were enveloped in the warmth of extended family love and shared loss.

A couple of years later my grandfather died. My grandmother lived on for another sixteen years. She was in a nursing home at the time and Uncle, who'd been called in to the home, phoned me in the middle of the night to say she had died. 'It's just you and me now, Liz,' he said.

In three days it will be the second anniversary of his death. So I guess I could say, it's just me now - but it's not. I have a loving husband, children and grand-children whom I adore. I am very fortunate.

How are you spending Valentine's Day?

An interesting invitation arrived in the post today. 'Discover retirement living to the full...'

A chance to see around a retirement complex on February 14th. In return they'll give me a free M&S voucher worth £20. And light refreshments.

It's probably the best offer I'm going to get for Valentine's day.


Spent the morning playing with GrandSon4. His baby sibling is now two days late and as I am on call for baby-sitting during labour I am on tenterhooks whenever the phone rings. Fortunately that's not very often. And when it does I don't hear it anyway. At least not the landline when I'm in bed or possibly asleep.

So it was Husband who leapt up this morning when the phone rang at about 7.45. It was Adam from Microsoft. Husband told him what he could.


Monday, February 04, 2019

Do I remember Errol Flynn

Pressed my turbo button this morning. Slightly depressed to realise it had gone rusty from lack of use but did manage to fit in a bit today including visiting my cousin/godmother in a nursing home.

She is an invalid and has gone in permanently because her husband is seriously unwell and unable to cope any longer. They're both 87 by the way.

She was so pleased to see me it quite made my day. As did one of the other - I suspect slightly loopy - ladies who kept saying what a lovely smile I had. 

June aka Olive looked well and for much of our conversation was with it, if repetitive, but every now and then she mentioned her father having been to see her and still doing occasional shifts on the railway even though he's retired. Uncle Jim has, of course, been dead for at least forty years. 

errol Flynn
I would say it's very sad but she is happy. Content with where she is, the company - 'they're all very friendly' - the food, the views of the bay, the nice cups of tea. 

And she still has that spark, the sense of humour. Although I think she was serious when she said, 'Do you remember when we used to go mad over Errol Flynn?'

But at least she could see the funny side when I said, 'Oi, do you mind? I'm not that old!'


Sunday, February 03, 2019

Oh what a beautiful morning!

The sun had risen over the bay and was shining on the still blue mirror of the sea when I drove to prison. It was so glorious I began to sing, 'Oh what a beautiful morning ...' I'd nearly got through it when I stopped and said, 'My word, you do have a terrible voice.'

I have a good reading voice but a dreadful singing voice but I didn't let it stop me for long. I just sang very loudly so I couldn't hear how bad it was.

The prison is on the main road that follows the line of the bay but where the bay is beautiful the prison is grim. Opened in 1861 the Victorian blocks are meant to house 268 men but numbers currently are in the region of 430. A recent report was highly critical of the prison saying, 'It was easier for the men to get drugs than clean bedding,' but most criticism was reserved for the lack of support for vulnerable prisoners following four suicides in four years.

It seems to me from what I've seen that most of the staff do their best but under-funding and staff shortages are, as ever, to blame.

One of the men in the chapel today said his cell was freezing with its badly-fitting windows allowing draughts in. The chapel itself was very warm today and is a pleasant enough place with the bars on the window being decorative wrought iron making it look less cell-like. 

The chapel was originally the visiting area and was apparently dark and gloomy in those days. I remember one young man many years ago saying he remembered it like that from when he used to visit his dad. And now he's inside. Cycles are so hard to break.

Talking to the men they always say, 'I'm not coming back in,' and they leave prison full of good intentions, which last until they're jobless and or homeless, or they fall back in with their old mates who haven't been caught yet and get led astray.

I'm sure many of the men come to the Sunday service simply to get out of their cells or to chat to/pass things to their mates, but sometimes their seeking is genuine. the lad sitting next to me this morning said it was his first time in church since he was ten - he was probably in his early twenties. It wasn't the best service as it was a communion service that entailed following and saying words on a sheet but he said he'd be back. They can put on big brave faces but underneath they still need love, forgiveness, self respect, and a sense of belonging.

I just hope my singing didn't put him off.