31 July 2014

I am so very sorry....

I am so very sorry
That you’re feeling rather ill
I wonder, yes I wonder
Did you forget to take a pill

You need a dose of TLC
Now you’ve taken to your bed
The formula is guaranteed  
To ease a pounding head

Also you will find enclosed
An additional provision
A hug that I created
To beget a fast remission

I fashioned it with sympathy
Coloured with affection
Adding reassurance
To fight off the infection

I took a crumb of wisdom
To include inside the mixture
To make it known that hereon in
Your cold is not a fixture

So hurry now and get well soon
Your buddy’s very troubled.
It feels as if you’ve gone astray
And missing you has doubled 

If only it was a mere cold that takes Joe away. Yes, he is in hospital again and with everything so upside down I can't get in the blogging mood. An operation is imminent to try and widen the neck of the bladder ... fingers crossed that it works. 

I shall continue to trawl my favourite blogs and will write something as soon as I feel in the mood.

Love you all xx

28 July 2014

Babes in the Garden

The other day I came to within five inches of having a baby robin on my hand. There were two babies but this one was friendlier and stuck around while I sorted out the bits of suet from the seed. The babies were first on the scene when I appeared but only the lively one came closer. He didn't mind me taking his picture but he wouldn't oblige me by sitting in a suitable place. 

I feed the birds in an area under the apple trees so there are plenty of branches they can sit on. Braver than his brother (I have to call them something so I might as well use the masculine gender) he hopped from branch to branch until he was right in front of me. I offered a piece of suet, which he looked at but didn’t move. I put the suet in the palm of my hand and tried gain and he looked more closely, but didn’t move. So he did a bit of taunting, hopping to different branches and coming back, each time a little closer. That’s when I reckoned he was about five inches away. The performance was repeated for a couple of days but now they've gone. Sob! The same thing happened last year, they were there one minute and gone the next. Still I guess they have to find new pastures. Perhaps next year …

Now it's the turn of the mice… yes, two field mouse babies come for seed. They are so tiny I could easily have missed them. I tried to get them on the phone camera but they were too small.They didn't move while I tried to focus, just carried on bravely eating. Pretty soon, like the birds, they will disappear to pastures new because that’s what creatures do. 

25 July 2014


I sit alone, breathing in the silence of early morning. Outside the dawn is beginning to break. From where I sit, huddled against the cold, I can just make out the awakening light through the trees. Soon there will be bird noises. The tiny creatures will need to fluff their feathers to keep warm. They’re lucky it didn’t snow in the night although it would make a nice scene for me to look at.

All my nights are spent in this chair because a recurring dream dictates that I do not go to bed. Did I say recurring? The word should be used loosely because each one has a difference.

Have you ever had a nightmare, one so scary you dare not shut your eyes again? Did you experienced the cold sweat of relief when you realised it was just a dream? That’s how it used to be with me but now… now there is no reprieve. I am doomed to spend my days and nights in fear.

It started a year ago, after the office dinner-dance. I had been dancing with the handsomest man in the party, presumed to be an invited guest from another branch of the firm. Yes, I fancied him.  And why not?  We were free agents. Newly freed, both divorced from our partners, both childless and living alone.

His name was Nick. Friends laughingly referred to him as Old Nick because he was older than most of us by about twenty years. With his dark looks, age didn’t matter.
That evening I fell for the smoldering eyes and the way he held his head to one side when he spoke. You may think there was nothing remarkable about that, but you can’t see what I did. The gesture seemed inviting and I was determined to find out to what I was being invited.

I wore black that night, a strappy, slinky number that suggested more than it showed. I know he liked it by the way he fingered the straps as we danced. I’d only ever danced inches away from a partner but with Nick I was held close to his body, the way I’ve seen in films. We moved in unison, swaying, his body moulded to mine. I didn’t know I was that lithe, to be honest.

It was like that all the way through the evening. I had the greatest time and as the night wore on I began to think about what might happen at the end. Would he want to take me home? Would I invite him in? Of course, I would. He’d got me rearing to go and I was determined to see it through.

You can imagine my frustration when he left me after the last waltz. ‘Catch you later,’ was all he said before disappearing through the double doors to face the moonlit night alone.


It’s a man thing, I realised, as I lay in bed and went over the evening events. Even so, ‘catch you later’ was very off-putting. A girl didn’t know whether he meant it or if it was merely an opt-out. Later on that night I was to find out.
Nick came to me as I slept. In a dreamy state I welcomed him in my arms. It was him, yet he looked different, older. The handsome face was, well, odd. If I told you it was distorted you’d think, yeah, that’s how dreams are. I tried to recall how he looked at the dance but those striking features eluded me. Now all I could see was pockmarked skin and bloodshot eyes.

Although his suggestion that we go on a train journey was met with surprise, I agreed.  How we got there is a mystery but, yeah, that’s how dreams are. We were comfortably seated in a compartment, the only two people there, when he suddenly got to his feet, dragging me up as well. The next thing I remember was being hustled along the corridor. I dropped my bag and began to fret about losing the valuables, credit card and cash, but Nick wouldn’t stop. Instead he dragged me further along until we reached the door. The train was rocking with speed as he pushed it open and tried to throw me out.

I woke up screaming. My face and throat were wet with sweat. The duvet was on the floor, pillows strewn on top. It took a long time to regain my calm and grasp that it was only a dream.

Normally I forget dreams the minute I wake, but this one lingered.  It haunted me through the tea and toast, it bothered me while I dressed, and worried me even more when I was ready to go and couldn’t find my bag. Had I left it at the hotel? Still somewhat taken aback by Nick’s sudden disappearance I’d walked home, trying to analyse the whole thing. There was no need for money and my house key was hidden under the pot in the garden. I never took it with me when I went dancing.


The first thing I did when I arrived at the office was to ring the hotel. No, Madam, no lost property was handed in. I went round the staff, asking questions. No, Maria, they said, they hadn’t seen anything lying around. Perhaps you didn’t take it to the dance, suggested my closest working companion. I was pretty sure I did.

So I reported the loss to the hotel, the office administrator, and the police.

It bothered me that I should lose a bag in a dream and then find it really was lost.  

After doing the important things like notifying the bank, I settled down to work. In fact I worked extra hard in the hope that the awful day would end quickly.  


There wasn’t much of interest on television but I carried on watching until my eyes began to blur. A hot shower and an early night would be good, I thought, and then bed.

I climbed in, hugged the comforting duvet to me and tugged the pillow into position, then went straight to sleep. For once my overactive thoughts left me in peace. 

23 July 2014

More Souvenirs

These wooden Matryshka dolls were bought when Joe and I went to Russia. As a child I was fascinated at the way each doll nestled inside another so when I saw them on sale in St Petersburg I just had to have my own set. Actually I had forgotten I had them since they were out of sight in a little used cupboard it was only a comment from Pamela Beers that reminded me. I hunted them out and took a picture. 

Russian Matryoshka Dolls and Italian Cruet

We loved St Petersburg, especially the tours round ornate palaces learning the history of the place, but our coach had to pass through rougher areas first which served to emphasise the wealth we were to witness. 

  • Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia, politically incorporated as a federal subject. It is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. In 1914 the name of the city was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd, in 1924 to Leningrad, and in 1991, back to Saint Petersburg. 
  • I collected that snippet of information from 

  • We had lunch in a hotel and were entertained by folk singers. That was where I tasted my first olive. They were huge. In fact, I've not seen such big olives since. Other passengers didn't like them so I ate the lot. Oh Happy Days!