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This morning I have banged my head on the garage door, tripped up going up stairs, had yet another run-in with my boss over prioritisation of work and burnt my lunch. However, I don’t regret burning lunch one bit because of the reason for my distraction.

I decided I could top up a bird-feeder while lunch was cooking – I had plenty of time, but as I was fastening the feeder back onto the tree two long-tailed tits flew into the buddleia about six feet away. So imagine me, standing next to the tree, arms raised up, frozen so as not to scare them off.

Well, it worked as one of them decided to fly into the tree less than two foot away from me for a quick peck at a fat ball.

That minute, watching that little bird in close up, makes up for all this morning’s mishaps and I didn’t mind at all that lunch was frazzled.

New year, new blog.

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From Livejournal 2nd Feb 2012:

I haven’t posted seriously here, or anywhere else, since early 2009.

Things happened: car crash, whiplash, Sleep apnoea, CPAP, long-term sickness, mother with Alzheimer’s, work issues, possible job loss, sudden death, more work issues, depression, more work issues…

There you go 2009 – to 2012 in two lines.

LJ seems to have been hacked, blocked, and is slowly sinking. I’m now contributing to its decline.

In an effort to bring some focus to my life (ha) I’m trying to blog again, but I’m moving. I’ve been able to export my LJ, so it also acts as an archive.

To WordPress 30th Jan 2012:

I’m running away from the sinking ship that is LiveJournal and bringing my baggage with me.

2012 may be a new me, the old me, or, heaven forfend, more of the current me.  My good intentions are to write things down rather than letting them sprawl untidily around me.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but here goes.

How It Is

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o1. Make a list of 5 things you can see without getting up.
Exercise bike, fruit bowl, magazine, Christmas presents, seascape

02. How do you style your hair?
Taking more time and products than appearance would suggest.

03. What are you wearing now?
Sweatpants, long sleeved top, socks, glasses

04. What’s your occupation?
Battlefield clearance: after the battle I bayonet the wounded.

05. What do you hear right now?
Birdsong, John Martyn

06. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure treat?
Dr Who boxsets, manzanilla sherry and roasted salted almonds

07. Are you hungry?
No – I’ve had dinner

08. Write the first word that comes to mind.
Bungalow

09. Dog person or cat person?
Both – but it’s a long time since I had a dog.

10. What song is currently stuck in your head?
“Your Baby has gone down the plughole” – a music hall song that came up in conversation today.

11. What was the last thing you bought?
Fruit and vegetables

12. If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Big Sur, San Francisco and Northern California

13. Where do you see yourself in 5 minutes?
In the kitchen making a cup of tea.

14. Last book you read?
Ask Alice – DJ Taylor was last night’s read, but I have 4 books on the go at the moment.

15. What are you doing this weekend?
Visiting my family in County Durham.

16. If you could play any musical instrument, which one would you play?
Piano

17. How are you?
Tired and jaded.

18. What are you doing tomorrow?
Finishing fieldwork and starting to construct a report and having highlights in my hair at the end of the day.

19. What are you looking forward to the most?
My next holiday.

Mothers’ Day

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Today is Mothers’ Day in the UK and so with the usual sense of trepidation I picked up the phone to speak to my mother.  The first call drew no response. I worry and then put it aside. -she could have been in the garden, the bathroom or  didn’t have her hearing aid in. Half an hour later I try again and a frail voice says "Hello?"

"Hello Mam, I’m just calling to wish you a "Happy Mothers’ Day" as I don’t think the card will have arrived. "

"Oh. Thank you, and the same to you!"

And off we go into the distorted world of the Alzheimer’s victim.

How is she – "I’m fine, how are you?"
I mention my neck is still a problem and she is hugely sympathetic; so unlike her real self. We "talk" about my car accident ,but she thinks I was run over and keeps coming back to how awful it was for me to have been hit by a car.

She mentions that she "doesn’t get out much these days".
Interesting , as she’s never said that before AND she went missing two weeks ago on one of her frequent trips to the shop at the bottom of the street. One of at least 5 trips a day she makes to the shop.

I try to ask her  about her grandmother. I’ve been looking at old family photos as part of my research into our family history. I know the answers, but I want to see if she can remember. Although this is supposed to be an area where the memory stays the longest I get nowhere. My questions are met with nervous laughter. 

"Where did your granny live?" Laughs.
"What was your Dad’s Mam called?" Laughs.

I give up and ask what she is doing for lunch. I know that she goes to my sister’s every Sunday and unless my brother’s wife has stepped in because it’s Mothers’ Day, that should be where she’s going.

" I’m going to my daughter’s , it’s just around the corner".  That’s true, although she can’t bring my sister’s name to mind even though she sees her every day.

I say goodbye and she thanks me for calling. She has no idea who I am; she probably hasn’t for a year now. It all adds up; she didn’t send me a Christmas card; I sat at Christmas dinner with her and she thought I was my sister’s friend, and made asides to me about my sister’s parenting skills; I didn’t receive a birthday card from her on my birthday earlier this month and when I talk to her on the phone she behaves as if I’m someone she knows, but she can’t remember my name and doesn’t recognise it when I introduce myself.

I call my mother out of duty, but then I always did. We have always had a difficult relationship and it got worse after my Dad died as she became a bitter old lady only interested in my siblings offspring.
My mother has gone and has been replaced by a nicer person. Well. at least someone who is more polite to the strangers who are her children.

I’m still here, thankfully!

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 The run up to Christmas was hectic with a lot of reports to be finished and issued by Christmas Eve – as if people are going to read them then.
My best laid plans of getting cards in the post early and presents all bought by the 14th December fell apart when a pile of cards disappeared under the car seat to re-emerge after last post and Internet suppliers let me down. So I was running around the shops the day before Christmas Eve.
Christmas with the family went well, although Mam had no idea who I was and looked a lot frailer than when I saw her in October.

On the journey back from my sister’s my car was rear-ended. I’ve no idea what speed he was doing when he hit me, although I remember his frightened face in the mirror when he realised everyone was braking and he wasn’t going to stop in time. No serious damage visible to my car, which was just as well as I had another 4 hours driving to come. That tow-bar to carry my bike was the best £200 I’ve spent.

Once I got driving again I started to ache and I was feeling very grim by the time I got home; on a weekend, so I couldn’t see a doctor until Monday. That was the 27th December and various whiplash symptoms have been coming out since. So, I’m on sick leave nursing shoulders, back and head. This is the first day I’ve managed to do anything much at a keyboard, as the nerve pains in my arms and hands are subsiding.

The car is being repaired; I’m inundated with insurance paperwork and I’m not reading as much as I’d like due to the headaches and general tiredness. The PC is generally off-limits so apologies for the lack of comments or contributions to decluttering, crocodile sandwiches and bookcrossing.

Happiness Days 4 and 5

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Day 4 and I’m very happy and pleased with myself that I kept a pair of fingerless gloves from their heyday in the 80s.  I’m working in a grand house which is closed for the winter and the temperatures are kept low to preserve the paintings, furniture and carpets. Unfortunately it is also down to freezing point outside.

The office I’m in is several degrees colder than the next room down as it has a open chimney which is sucking up any warm air. The person I’m working with seems oblivious to the cold, although it is fair to say that she’s been there a year and is "well-padded"( euphemism) . So I’m wearing : underwear, thick tights, socks, boots, a vest, a roll-neck, a business suit , a  cashmere scarf and the gloves. I can work at my laptop and keep my hands relatively warm hands.

I had a meeting in a stable block later in the day and had to borrow a torch to avoid falling in the river on the way back to my car! I envy the staff who work and live there the beautiful setting , but it’s not always comfortable, all the buildings, even the accommodation are pretty cold. No wonder the English aristocracy lived in tweed.

Everyone was helpful and friendly ( apart from the chap who has just trained to be a barrister in his spare time – for fun!)

Day 5 My hairdresser tells me that she and her partner are to get married next May , in Gibraltar. They are restoring a house in Southern Spain and one day , in the next 18 months, she’s going to tell me she’s off to Spain permanently. I shall miss her, but I’m  pleased and happy that things are working out well for her.

Happy Talk meme- Day 3

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Today started badly as I got up late, got stuck in a traffic jam and travelled 12 miles in 50 minutes when I needed to be at a site on time or the whole day would be thrown out, not just for me , but the people on the site too. Luckily I made it there on time. The day ended with an unexpected Christmas gift from one colleague ; mmm pudding wine 🙂 and a very silly Christmas card through the post from another..

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