Saturday, June 22, 2024

A day: the good and the bad

So the out-of-hours GP referred Husband to the medical admissions unit where he's been ever since, either on a fairly comfy chair in the waiting room or a reclining chair in the treatment room. 

They have concluded it is an infection probably around his lungs, diaphragm and gall bladder and he's had a number of x-rays and scans today. He's on IV fluids and antibiotics. I went in this afternoon and was told his temperature was still high and they had increased the strength of the antibiotic. 

He must be exhausted and I'm hoping that's partly why he looked so grim.

They have seven patients in there waiting for beds but the hospital is full so it's likely Husband will spend the night on the recliner.

Elder Son stayed in hospital with Husband until 6 this morning. Meanwhile Italian family arrived at about 4.00 am so I got a few hours sleep. Had a good time with all the family today. Would have been better of course if Husband had been there. 

Praying for better news tomorrow. Thank you all for your words and prayers.

Friday, June 21, 2024

One of those nights

You don't usually get posts from me at half past eleven at night but this is turning into one of those nights.

The blood tests results didn't arrive before the surgery closed but Husband can access them online. Some of them are pretty crazy. He called 111 for advice and they said a doctor would call him back. 

Meanwhile I messaged one of my young doctor friends and asked her advice. Showed her blood test results and she said she would want him to be seen tonight, even if that meant going to A&E. It got to 10.30 pm and no call so I called 111 again. I explained the situation more clearly and she agreed to move him up priority order. 

Soon after the GP called. Result is that Elder Son is just taking him to the hospital out-of-hours GP surgery for an appointment at half past midnight.

Elder Son insisted on taking him even though I said I could. Thing is Younger Son and family are due to arrive here around somewhere between 1.00 and 2.00 am.

Like I said, one of those nights.

Not as bad as I think

I have achieved a 250 day streak on Duolingo but Younger Son and family arrive late tonight so there'll be no Welsh for a week. I wish you could book holidays on Duolingo!

I'm currently learning words for technology. You wouldn't think there'd be that many - I didn't think there would be - but there are. Nothing is sticking in my brain and I've forgotten everything I've learned in earlier lessons. I have a real problem with past and future tenses. I have to rely on the rest of the sentence to help me i.e. is it happening tomorrow or did it happen yesterday? I'm sure I'm not as bad as I think I am. I hope I'm not.

I had a lovely walk this morning with Daughter and dogs. They have a seagull nest on their skylight and now there are babies. Here's one next to the nest.

They also have this lovely colour combination in their front garden.
* * * * *
Thank you for all the good wishes for Husband. He had his blood test this morning and the doctor said to phone this afternoon for results.

Meanwhile I have been re-hanging a door curtain in what will be the children's bedroom. Standing on the bed I could get the rail down but not back up again. Undaunted I fetched the step-ladder from the garage. The things I am doing while Husband is incapacitated!

I re-hung the curtain then thought, "Now is there anything that needs doing with a stepladder before I take it back to the garage?" I tell you, there's no stopping me!

But there wasn't. Now I'm going to sort out the understairs cupboard. I could be gone some time.

* * * * *
I remember. Austin Kleon in his weekly newsletter set this assignment for anyone who wanted to do it/think about it:
What would happen if you believed that it's not inside you trying to get out, it's outside you trying to get in?

Thursday, June 20, 2024

End of the world is nigh

Husband still poorly and children nagging me to make him go to the doctor. I tell them I've tried!

But he must have been feeling bad because he allowed me to use the online triage system that the surgery has this morning, and he had an appointment this afternoon.

Probably flu or covid - they don't differentiate any more - but he's being sent for an urgent blood test first thing tomorrow. He must be proper poorly because he's not objected to me filling the dishwasher, not once but twice, and it will be three times today. And I had to put the rubbish out! 

And I have an ulcer on the side of my tongue and a cold sore inside my nose but do you hear me complain? No. Well, you would if you were here but you're not so I'm grumbling to myself.

* * * * *

We have some unusual characters in Zac's. One man, who comes now and again, has positively peculiar ideas. We walked in together on Tuesday and with barely a 'hello' he launched into his, "Trump will be elected and in four years he will lead hundreds of thousands to God, America will be great again and show the world how to live, and then the end of the world will come." 

You heard it here first: you have four years left on this planet!

And that isn't even his craziest idea.

He knows, by the way, because he was told by a prophet. I've tried to find her on the internet but I may have got her name wrong so I won't mention it.

* * * * *

the man who was going to come for the bible couldn't make it but another man came today and collected it. He and his partner are renovating an old chapel in mid-Wales. His partner is an artist and he has taken the bible for her to be creative!

* * * * *

Some might say I planted the roses too close together; I say I wanted a carnival of colour.

Speaking of colour, here's a proud dragon I spotted in town yesterday.

Currently watching England play Denmark in the Euros. (Only because I was eating dinner in there.) Half-time and they go to the commentary team.
"That's a peculiar hairstyle!
"Oh now, that's the same but better.
"Don't you think?"
Husband: "I'm not really thinking about their hair."

Well, the football's pretty boring.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Continuing the math theme

Well, it seems if I want people to comment I should write about maths! So . . . over here we call it mathematics, which I assume is why we then call it maths. Do you call it mathematic?

Incidentally, apart from disliking the number seven, I don't have a favourite number. If pushed it would probably be two or five.

* * * * *

Machines hate me. At least hospital machines do. If you recall the audiologist had to call in someone to help her with my hearing test because the machine wouldn't work. It happened again yesterday when I went for my fitting. Different machine but still didn't work properly. 

This time the advice was, "Ignore it."

So I have my hearing aids! Fascinating procedure adjusting them to my hearing - without me having to say anything. All done by machine - one that was working - and displaying images of sound waves that were fiddled with appropriately. I guess. Still looked like a jumble to me. But that's why they have trained people to do these things and not me.

I wore them last night to Zac's. I could certainly hear more background noise and people were louder but still struggled to understand what the man I always struggle to hear was saying. He must talk funny! Or I could turn up the volume. 

I have two settings: one for all-round sound and one called Restaurant setting, which cuts out the noises behind so you can focus on the individual to whom you're speaking without background noise.

I won't be wearing them most of the time, just when I am in family gatherings or Zac's probably. Or when I am listening to my grandchildren making music. GrandSon3 passed his grade 1 music exam this week, with a merit. And earlier this year, his brother, GrandSon1 passed his first guitar drum exam. 

I would like to take credit for this musical gift but have to admit all this talent comes from Daughter-in-law's side. I love to sing but no-one likes to hear me!

* * * * *

A while ago I got an old bible from a charity shop and I used a few pages to make a collage with Zac's artwork. The bible has been sitting around the house ever since. I was on the verge of throwing it out when Husband suggested freecycling it. 

"Who's going to want a tatty old Welsh bible?"

Anyway I put it on the local group this morning and within half an hour I had a request for it. 

So what do I know?

* * * * *

First thing yesterday I went for a walk with Daughter and dogs. I got home and realised it was only twenty-five minutes before my appointment. I was in the bedroom at 11.11 and back in it by 11.17 having showered, dried and dressed. Fastest shower in the world, yes?

Husband has been poorly all week, a sort of fluey thing where he aches all over. He dropped me off at the hospital yesterday because it's impossible to park and I was rushing but I decided to walk back as it was a lovely morning and it's not far. 

And I got to walk through the playing fields next to this stream.

Monday, June 17, 2024

World, you have let me down

If you'd walked past my large pink rose bush just now you'd have heard squeaking coming from behind it. It was me trying to pick out the baddies. I was halfway through before I remembered I had my new gardening gloves in my back pocket.

* * * * *

I've had a painful shoulder/upper arm for several months, the result being that when I am in exercise class, while I can lift my right arm straight up my left arm is only capable of a Nazi salute. This morning I had an extra problem: the feeling that at any moment I might 'break wind'. 

I didn't.

* * * * *

I listened to a fascinating program on the radio today all about maths. (Why do Americans call it math?)

Do you have a favourite number? A worldwide poll that covered all nationalities and ethnicities found that, by a statistically significant number, the world's favourite number is my least liked number!*

The Sumerians were the first to make a representation of numbers, and the words for one and two were the same as for man and woman. Various theories for this go back to the idea of man being created first therefore number one, but also suggested was the numbers represent what differentiates man and woman i.e. man has one and woman has two.

But the idea of numbers having a gender/sex seems to be widespread albeit probably subconscious. People were shown a photo of a very young baby and asked if they thought it was male or female. there were two photos, identical baby but one photo had a string of even numbers next to it and the other had a string of odd numbers. People were told to ignore the reference number and just concentrate on the baby's face. 

People who had the even-numbered photo tended to say it was female; people with the odd numbers were more likely to say it was male. 

Again people were asked to describe the numbers one and two. The words used to describe number one tended to be those associated with masculinity while the ones used for number two, with stereotypical feminine qualities.

What else? Ten is considered boring while eleven is magical. 

It really was a fascinating program!

* * * * *

I think of this and full bloom above as my peach melba roses

* Number seven is the world's favourite number. Elder Son pointed out that is Ronaldo's number and was also Beckham's. 

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Making the connection

Going into prison this morning I dithered for ages over what to wear having been reprimanded for my sandals last time. Good news: I passed the test.

I find I get very tense during the prison services. The chaplain has mellowed a lot since she started here but still can get quite sharp with the guys, and this morning there was a bit of chatter that annoyed her. And she got cross when we were singing a new song as some of the men were singing it too fast.

Anyway we all got out alive. 

* * * * *

Father's Day today here so we're all having dinner together this evening. I'm cooking and Daughter is bringing cake. I may write some more later about Father's Day.

* * * * *

If you do Connections, the NY Times game, and haven't done it yet today, stop reading now as I'm giving away an answer. 

If you don't do it, you are given sixteen words or phrases and have to make four groups of four words with a connection of some sort. One of the groups today turned out to be 'Things you may see in a garden,' and the words included flamingo and pinwheel. I don't know which gardens the creator visited but they're not that common here.

Saturday, June 15, 2024


Well, I might have been feeling low but I have discovered something that has cheered me up no end! It's the interrobang! Have you ever written ?! at the end of a sentence and thought, "There must be a better way of expressing a question and exclamation simultaneously"?

Well there is but nobody told me about it. Not until I read a newsletter from Austin Kleon in which he mentions Keith Houston and his website Shady Characters, all about punctuation and typography. In 1962 Martin Specter, editor of Type Talks, a magazine about typography in advertising, introduced the interrobang.

Very briefly the interrobang became a thing although a very small thing. Only one typeface (Americana) included it and only a few typewriters were made with this extra symbol. Interest in it was gone. However the very first version of Unicode in 1992 included it and it is there to this day. U+203D since you're asking. 

I think I will start a campaign for the return of the interrobang!

P.S. If you're like me and don't know how to use that code this is what you do (I googled it): type 203D. Select it and hold down Alt and press X.

Proposed interrobangs from Type Talks, March-April 1962, drawn by Jack Lipton of Martin K. Speckter Associates, Inc. (Image courtesy of Penny Speckter.)


Never the Tories

I hadn't even been out there five minutes before it started raining!

So I came in and have done lots of those little odd jobs - putting things away etc - that don't take long but you never seem to get round to.

In a comment on an earlier post Boud said she hoped whoever got into power would be able to sort out the weather. I replied, "I'd vote for them!" Then I thought, "But what if they were the Tories? Would having sunny weather make up for that?"

I think the answer would have to be no. The NHS, human rights, fair treatment of would-be immigrants. Too much to sacrifice.

Now I have a week off work! Okay, not work but volunteering. Younger Son and family arrive next Friday night for a week, so I'm having that off, and I decided that, as I'd not had any time off since September, unless unwell, I deserved a little extra break. So I'm off this coming week too. I already have appointments to have my hair done and my hearing aids fitted so I shall be a new person by the end of it!

* * * * *

Last Tuesday in Zac's we had an Australian visitor, Mike - not John, which for some reason I was convinced was his name. He's a member of the God Squad Sydney chapter and was on his way back from the Ukraine where he'd been visiting God Squadders and taking aid. He'd been accompanying Irish musician, Sammy Horner, a good friend of Zac's, and Corky, another Irish God Squadder. 

From left, Marcus, a faithful Zaccer, Sean, Mike, Nigel, Stu

Sammy wrote this on Facebook:

"I'm well aware of wars in other countries. Gaza, Congo, Burma...the list goes on and it's overwhelming.  So, what do we do?  Just sit here? So far my experience has been that people in places of conflict amazingly leave me with much more than I ever leave them.  

"Resilience, courage, community, love and yes, even joy, hope, faith, laughter, fun, music, art and creativity.  . . . those I met in Ukraine are beautiful people. kind, welcoming and servants in so many ways. Sure, we brought our stuff but almost without exception what we heard was, 'just come ... be with us ... hear our story ... don't forget us!' 

"Seriously an honour to be with these dear people...and so much fun and joy! "

* * * * *

I've just done some blog visiting and saw these on Granny ?'*s site, and had to borrow them. 

* Unforgivable. Will find out the correct name asap.

Gloom and doom

Last night and this morning felt a bit weepy. I'm not a cryer so it's more of a gloomy feeling. No particular reason at all. If you've experienced depression on any level - and mine is very low level - you'll know it doesn't need a trigger; sometimes it just happens.

Cheered myself up a bit by eating half a cranberry and pecan loaf from M&S. Could job they only make small size ones. And shortly I shall go and do some gardening.

* * * * *

Becoming more and more of a Republican. Really can't be doing with Charles. I didn't mind the late Queen, was fairly indifferent to her, but seeing royalty wearing rows of sparkly medals at the 80th commemoration of D-Day just seems to demean the real heroes. Yes, get a medal for being involved in military action but not just for being in the forces, or worse, being Colonel-in-chief or whatever.  Mutter, mutter. 

* * * * *

I was delighted to find a copy of The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch in a charity shop recently. Less delighted when I got it home to find the middle pages missing.

* * * * *

Gosh, this is a cheerless post! I'd better get myself out there and take out my misery on the bindweed and brambles. On a positive note I've bought myself new gardening gloves!