Monday, 31 March 2014

Visit to GP

Sigh.......this morning's visit didn't quite go as I expected.  You recall I said I was seeing him about my hip problem?  I anticipated an examination at the very least but there wasn't one.  However, that could be because I had a full mobility examination this time last year.  We had a chat, and I explained how the pain makes me feel low at times. In fact I had such a bad weekend with pain levels that I didn't do very much. I'm thankful for the arrival of my lovely daughters for Mother's Day lunch yesterday.  A wonderful distraction!

Cutting a long story short I now have a referral to a specialist physiotherapist (that's something new!) and a prescription for enough painkillers to knock out an elephant.  Apparently I should take the painkillers on a regular basis as a preventative measure and not wait for the pain to set in.

My body is now full of bloody chemicals and just the very thought of that in itself is enough to make me low. I have to alter my mindset and regard it as a temporary thing until the root cause of the pain can be solved.  Indeed - IF it can be solved.  I know that sounds negative but after years of this, I'm pretty cynical.

I hate my body today.  It's creaks, groans and middle aged malfunctions; nothing about it seems to work properly or look nice any more.

If I feel more myself tomorrow I'll regard myself in a more positive light.  If I can get some days pain free I might feel like doing more activities and stop dwelling on pain.  Something I should be thankful for is that I'm alive!  The pain might be a bloody nuisance but it means I can feel.  It might make me moan a lot but that means I can communicate.  If I can communicate I can laugh.

Looks like I talked myself into something positive!

Happy Monday with ANIMAL CRACKERS (The Best of BBC One's Walk On The Wild Side) [Shamrock ...

This made me CRY with laughing!


Saturday, 29 March 2014

UK Summer Time!

If you're in the UK don't forget to change your clocks tonight folks.

I know it's an hour less in bed but tomorrow should be worth it.  Forecast all bright warm and sunny - so what's that then?  Warmth? Sun?  Oh I remember now!  Didn't we have a few days of it last year?

Have a great time, whatever you're doing


Friday, 28 March 2014

TFI Friday!

Yay - weekend!  Hopefulness is in the is set to be fine and with any luck, warm;  it's Mother's Day on Sunday and the family is convening round at mine for lunch.  I expect I'll cook but I don't mind that much. It will just be wonderful for us all to be in the same room again.  It seems like ages since that happened.

All of that is giving me something to look forward to because I've had a rough couple of days with discomfort and stiffness.  My hip has been bordering on painful and on the scale of 1-10, I'd say it's been hovering around the 7 mark.  My foot which I thought had settled down temporarily has resumed its 'bastard!' status with a vengeance.  As a result, the penguin waddle has been more pronounced than ever.

Grumpy Trousers and I had a little trip out to Tesco in Chesterfield on my way to work this morning, and even though I'd taken 3 strong painkillers I still wobbled into displays of newspapers and flowers like a drunkard.  I'm aware people give me funny looks, and I can imagine they are wondering to themselves 'What is WRONG with that woman?!'  My balance is bad on days like today, yet another day it's not a problem.  I truly bamboozle myself.

Excuse me for a few minutes - there's a bit of excitement outside my window.  I happened to spot a fire crew with two engines and ladders rising up and down .  Must go and observe.  For health and safety purposes you understand.  Not gawping at all.  Or perving.

Well if it was the window cleaners I'd be saying "cue Diet Coke!", but as it was, the team of hunky firefighters  are all uniformed up while performing an exercise. No fire. Nothing to see.  I've lost interest now so here I am back to writing.  

And they did NOT look like this!

Where was I?  Oh yes wobbling into displays.  To help with the balance issue I've been attending a yoga class each Thursday after work, and I have to say in class I can balance pretty well.  If I close my eyes I wobble but apparently everyone does so I'm not unique with that.  I find it helps to hold on to the back of a chair while standing on one leg.  That way it prevents me from keeling right over.  At the start of the session I am pretty unbalanced, but the more I do the better it becomes.  Clearly I need to practice some yoga poses each morning before I let myself loose on the world.  I'd hate to see pensioners, children and small furry animals fleeing for cover!

I will be seeing the doctor on Monday about my hip problem.  A Sports Therapist friend has suggested that it might be a form of Bursitis which is  inflammation in a small sac near my hip joint.  It seems to have been hanging around a long time to be Bursitis, but I'm clinging to any suggestions and possibilities.  She told me if he actually confirmed it as this then she can help me with some physiotherapy.  I also may need to see the Acupuncturist again.  I will know these things better after Monday.

I recently did a post titled Menopause Crap in which I moaned about my night sweats and itchy skin etc.  Well, that seems to have abated due to stopping using some HRT cream that  I had to use  for, ahem - ladies personal stuff.   I only used it one or twice a week anyway but even such small doses can leach into the bloodstream causing symptoms like I was getting. I'm glad I got to the bottom of that as it was starting to worry the bloody socks off me.  I shall resume using the cream as and when I need it, and maybe not use the full dose.

A few more appointments in the offing as well.  MRI scan on my foot in a couple of weeks, then back to see the foot specialist for the results.  I do hope he can do something for me, whatever it may take.  If my foot is corrected, there will be less strain on my hip.  Result being I can walk a straight line and there will be no more trashed displays in shops, or freaked out people running for cover!

If you're in the UK, I hope you have a Happy Mother's Day.  Sorry if you're elsewhere, but your Mother's Day is different to ours.  But whoever, and wherever you are, kids or no kids here's a cute bouquet from me to let you know I'm thinking of you.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

What's Your Oldest Appliance? Is it Vintage, or Antique?

Now before we go any further, please don't say your partner!  I posed this question on my local forum and some bloke answered with 'The wife!'

Anyway, this question hit my brain a short while ago when I heard a guy saying he'd got a light bulb that was still working fine after 20 years.  I can actually top that with one that was in our porch lamp for 32 years!  It was still working fine but Grumpy Trousers decided to replace it with an energy saving one.

Then I got to thinking about electrical stuff we have that's still going strong, and below is the three that spring readily to mind.........

1.  My Carmen heated rollers - they were my mum's and were bought in 1968, so they are proper vintage.  I can't bear to part with them and I use them occasionally when the old barnet needs a bit of a perk up between washes.  

2.  Electric carving knife.  This was my father in laws which he got for a present about 1975, and I guess it could be classed as vintage too.    I still use it every Sunday.  I'm sure the blades are a bit blunt now but it works, so I'm fine with that.

3.  Hairdryer - circa 1980.  It weighs a ton and makes my arm ache!  Still works fine but I ditched  it in favour of a much lighter model.

I'm sure there's a multitude of other stuff in the garage (the man-cave) that I haven't even thought of!

Have you got any stuff that's not been pensioned off yet?

Monday, 24 March 2014

Neo-Amazonian Pirate Queen? Hell yeah!

Wow, check out Roseanne Barr.  How good does she look?

I'll have a pint of whatever she's on!

I found this on Facebook on the page of author, Sue Fitzmaurice.  She's worth checking out.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Stressed out yoga teacher

Hi all  Are you having a great Sunday?

I'm sharing this post from my daughter's blog - the one who's a yoga teacher, and who dispels all myths that yoga teachers are smiley and serene.  Actually she is a lot of the time, but she's only human and therefore stress affects her in the same way as the rest of us.

I can relate to a lot of what she's written, and I'll lay bets you can too.  Here's her post.....

We undoubtedly live in an era where most conversations with your friends being with, “Oh I’m so stressed!”  The 21st century lifestyle means that everyone will have encountered stress somewhere along the line.  Unless of course you are one of those really annoying types who wears a coat made of Teflon, so the stress just slides right off you.6 signs you’re totally stressed out (funny)

Stressed out Mary
Stressed out Mary
All of the following are completely true.
1. You arrive at work, take off your coat, make a drink, turn on your computer, read some emails… then a colleague points out that your jumper is in fact inside out.  If you can get away with it, it’s best to pretend that it is supposed to be like that.  Otherwise you look like a complete flake.  You’re sh*t out of luck if said jumper has a huge washing instruction label on it though.
2. Having visited your local purveyor of fine produce and olives in little tubs, you carefully place your very expensive purchases in the boot of your car, ensuring that the olives remain upright, lest they spill their olivey goodness all over the boot (that’s trunk if you’re an American).  Your posh eggs from very happy chickens are reverently placed on the front seat so you can keep an eye on them.  You return your trolley to the bay and leave your handbag, containing your brand new phone and your wallet in the trolley.  Luckily I got it back.  And everything was still inside my wallet.  Honest people do exist… at least they do where I live.
3. You wake up in the morning only to find that during the nightyou’ve been digging the nails of your left hand into the palm of your right.  The resulting marks take all day to fade.  There is not a lot you can do about this apart from not waving at people across the office because then they’ll realise you’ve been maiming yourself in your sleep (again).  If this becomes a regular occurrence you need to keep your nails short and consider wearing gloves in bed.  Seriously.
4. You forget that you’ve promised to go to Hot Yoga with your Yoga BFF, and now you feel mortified and embarrassed and daren’t phone her because you are a total stressed out mess.  This comes from not really knowing what day it is.  A solution would be to try to keep a paper diary with your appointments in your handbag (providing it has not been left in a supermarket trolley), and then actually LOOK AT IT so you can see where you are supposed to be.
5. Going to bed seems like the best course of action, even though it’s only 3.30pm.  Cuddling up with a good book and the cat at 3.30pm in the afternoon seems like a good idea.  Where do you think I am while writing this?  However, if it happens too often you might need to have a think about why you are in bed.
6. Knocking over a cup of tea results in an apoplectic-raging-beast-screaming-crying-fit that causes you to nearly pass out in anger when you realise that was the last of the milk too.  Birds in trees get scared and take flight.  The cat runs out of the room at top speed, leaving a cloud of fur behind that then floats nonchalantly into the big tea puddle on the floor.  Each and every tiny, simple task just causes you more stress and inconvenience.  And so you sit sobbing in the middle of the kitchen floor, hot tea soaking into your eco-friendly yoga leggings until your poor long-suffering husband/partner/boyfriend concedes that he will go fetch some more milk from the shop.  Anything to get away from the noise!
Now for the serious bit.  If you have symptoms of stress, if you feel out of control, anxious, depressed and/or unable to cope, you need to get some help.  Talking to loved ones, doing something fun, getting a massage and attending a regular yoga class are all things that can help relieve some of the burden you feel you are carrying.  Don’t suffer in silence.  Try a little smile right now… go on, you can do it!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Menopause crap

Despite it being International Happiness Day I woke up distinctly grumpy this morning.  I hoped it would wear off but there's no sign of it abating just yet.  This blog address isn't called 'grumpydrawers' for nothing, so I guess I'd better tell you what's causing it. Menopause crap that's what.

I'm on 'Round 2' can you believe!  I started my first menopause at the early age of 39, avoided HRT and got through the whole caboodle by age 48.  I was well happy about that, I can tell you.  For the last few months however, I seem to be having some kind of resurgence of symptoms that I escaped first time round.

Listed in order of the annoyance factor, there's....

1.  Night sweats (hot flashes) - some nights I'm burning up the moment my back touches the mattress!
2.  Itchy skin - mostly on my legs.  I shed flakes of skin on the inside of my black work trousers - eek!
3.  Aching joints - my wrists are hurting a lot today.  Lifting books are a problem.
4.  Extreme lethargy - may be due to not sleeping because of the night sweats.
5.  Head pains - similar to the electric shock type pains I had first time round.  Not as intense this time.

How I think I look.....

Bless her she's probably drunk, and NOT menopausal - it's another Grace Robertson image from the book, Grace Robertson Photojournalist of the 1950's.

I need chocolate!

International Day of Happiness, 20 March 2014

"Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day of Happiness, 20 March 2014

Battersea pub outing circa 1954

The Daily Mash - New pound coin provokes tiresome pensioner nostalgia!

Your sense of humour has to 'bend' a certain way for The Daily Mash to amuse you, and it seems mine does.  It's often scathing, never politically correct, and frequently downright bitchy.  But it never fails to strike a chord, and an article today about the proposed new £1 coin is no exception.

It made me smile, and I'm afraid I also succumbed to the nostalgia, mostly centered around Sherbert Dabs but that's another story.

Let's see if it does the same for you.

New pound coin provokes tiresome pensioner nostalgia

THE ‘thrupenny bit’-influenced £1 coin has left pensioners unable to shut up about how cheap everything used to be.

Likes bargains and memories of sexual activity
Likes bargains and memories of sexual activity
The new coin looks like a 3d piece from wartime, which pensioners say would get you tickets for a George Formby film, a ‘great big’ bag of Little Imps and your tram fare home.

89-year-old Mary Fisher said: “One thrupenny bit bought you a week’s worth of tripe, a family tin of snuff and a two-picture double bill at the Palladium.

“It was always two pictures back then, and they had a man playing the piano during the interlude when they came round with the ice creams. They had one sort of lovely British ice cream, none of this foreign Solero rubbish. “Of course the Palladium’s a Lidl these days. Oh no that’s the Empire. The Lidl was a butcher’s, or something else. “Anyway everything’s ruined now.”

25-year-old Tom Logan said: “Since my nan set eyes on this coin she’s been unable to shut up.
“I’ve tried explaining how ‘thrupence’ wasn’t the paltry sum she remembers because grandad only earned a shilling a week for 90 hours of shovelling coal into a furnace.

“Luckily she’s already in a home, so we can avoid her simply by not going there.”

Monday, 17 March 2014

Husbands and their erm... noisy habits

Grumpytrousers had me in hysterics this morning.  Literally!

At first I just wanted to hurl things at him, followed swiftly by yelling at him to "Sod off!!"  The reason being, he makes noises.  All men make noises, but age 60+ men seem to make more noise than their younger counterparts.  When I say noise, he's not playing Whitesnake at 115 decibels (that's me), or hammering and drilling.  No he coughs, blows his nose, sneezes and farts.  It can be any on that list and often accompanied by the last one!

On Mondays I begin work at 1pm so its my one leisurely morning where I take breakfast a little late, then watch a couple of programmes on TV before I go for my shower and get ready. One of these programmes (ah go on then - I confess it's Homes Under The Hammer)  fascinates me.  I enjoy seeing how a buyer turns an almost derelict property into something modern, clean and habitable.  Towards the end of the feature they give valuations for the done up property, and the one I was keen to see this morning was a cottage in Cornwall.  For some reason at this exact time, as often happens it was husbands cue to exit the man-cave, walk past the TV at the point of the valuation, blowing his nose and completely obliterating the information I'd been waiting for. Except this morning he not only blew his nose but farted loudly at the same time so all I could make out were the lips moving of the guy on the telly.  No price, just lips moving.

I shot Grumpytrousers such a look which stopped him in his tracks. "What?" he asked, scratching his head and completely oblivious.

"Must you?" I asked mournfully.

"What did I do?" he wanted to know.

"Blowing your nose and farting!"

"I can't help it, it's my condition!"

"Condition my arse!"

"Erm, no.  MY arse!

Well, I have to say his rapid response was the thing that had me in hysterics, to the point of tears squirting out of my eyes! The thing is, Grumpytrousers in not known for his quick wit, so the arse comment came out out the blue and caught me unawares.  I couldn't stay cross with him after that.

I best tune in to BBC iplayer tonight then.  After I've booted him and his noise off to the pub.  Good plan, eh?

Friday, 14 March 2014

Lynda Renham and Confessions of a Chocoholic. Tena Pads Required!

I don't know how I've only just discovered the Queen of Chicklit author Lynda Renham.  Well I do; I saw she was followed on Twitter by my other favourite author Carol E Wyer.  Anything Carol does has me interested, so I checked out Lynda.  What I really mean is, how come I've not noticed her before?  I usually home in on exceptionally great authors whatever genre they write.  This is one of the perks of being a library assistant.

Here I am digressing.  Let's get back on track.  So, Lynda Renham.  What a revelation!  The first of Lynda's books that I read was a collection of stories titled Confessions of a Chocoholic.  I was about half way through when I figured that this woman seems to have been shadowing me for the last 30 years!   Aside from the chocolate, Lynda touches on hospital car parks which are coincidentally the bane of my own life, not to mention the other annoyances of useless builders, a barmy cat, together with hapless husbands, Waitrose rotisserie chickens, bloody Christmas and generally being utterly distracted.  Oh, and setting fire to herself.  Yes, I forgot that one.  I rolled about laughing at this collection of stories relating to each one in turn as if I'd actually been there.  

One of her Amazon reviewers asked if she and Lynda had been separated at birth.  I take that to mean the reviewer like me, feels the connection.  Maybe it's women of a certain age who knows, but I have to say that Lynda grabs everyday life and finds a way of writing about it with the highest level of grumpy humour.  My kind of humour! 

Here's the Amazon synopis of the book and the link to the page

A collection of short funny tales and a unique insight into the world of chicklit royalty, aka Lynda Renham. A right comedy of errors if ever there was one. If you're looking for her beauty secrets and fashion ideas you've come to the right place. Read of her intimate sex life, her secrets for staying young and how she keeps her man - just. A fly-on-the wall true account of the life of a romantic comedy novelist, written in her own words. It's all here, the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

Publisher Note: We are not responsible for any of the advice given in this book. If you do not look like Lynda after reading this we cannot be held accountable. 

Warning: Tena Pads recommended while reading. 

As you know I gravitate to humour of any kind to distract me from the pain in my hip and foot.  This book is high on my list of successful distractions, and I can happily recommend it as a blooming good read!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Music and Happiness

Since I had my little narrative published on, I've been following a lot of their other contributors.  Julie Gorges is one who never fails to strike a chord (pardon the pun) with me, and more so with a posting on her own blog today.  

You too can follow Julie on Baby Boomer Bliss. 

Here's what she wrote:

Music and Happiness

by juliegorges
Ilusión centesimal
Silvia Viñuales / Foter / CC BY-ND
Are music and happiness really connected? “Music... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you,” said Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Can music do all that? Yup, it’s true; music can soothe the soul and refresh the spirit.
New findings offer a biological explanation: listening to moving music causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical.
If you were watching the Oscar show and saw Pharrell Williams with his funky hat perform the song "Happy" from the movie Despicable Me 2, was there any doubt that everyone in the audience was feeling some of this natural feel-good drug?
Turns out music can be a real life saver when our lives become overwhelming. Studies have shown music can ease anxiety, lower stress, and even boost heart health. Evidently, we’re hardwired to react emotionally to music and the process starts early. Babies as young as five months old react to happy songs and these feelings only intensify as we grow older.
Live music is a potent happiness trigger because it provides a way to forge social bonds. What’s even better? Research shows that learning to play an instrument or - if you're fortunate to already know how - continuing to practice and play an instrument offers mental benefits as we age. In fact, a recent study published in the July issue of Human Neuroscience, found that older adults who learned music in childhood and continued to play an instrument for at least 10 years outperformed others in tests of memory and cognitive ability. It also revealed that sustaining musical activity during advanced age may enhance thinking ability.
Hey, we can all use some more of that as we get older!
A friend of mine, who also happens to be co-grandma of my grandchildren, Tam Cole, has been playing the flute for 46 years and is living proof of all the benefits music can bring. “I feel that music is a treasured part of my soul and one of the most beautiful gifts given to us by our Creator," she recently said. "With music we can worship Him, and we can soothe and comfort our own damaged hearts. From infancy, we are fascinated by the rhythms and melodies we hear and feel. In our older years, we are instantly transported to youth and vitality just by hearing an old tune. With music, we can connect with others, even someone we've just met, even if they speak another language. When I listen to music, I can go from tired to energized, from a feeling of sadness to one of absolute joy. When I play music, I can truly express myself at those times when mere words would not suffice. When I play music with other musicians who share that same joy, I feel a wonderful connection that could not be achieved in any other way. Music can transport any one from a state of mediocrity to a state of bliss.”
Well said! By the way, those who live locally can hear Tam play the flute and witness the joy it brings her at Randyn & Friends Concert this Saturday, March 15th at Cathedral City High School. Tickets can be purchased at Ticket River. If you can make it, I’ll see you there.
So, what kind of music can increase your feeling of happiness? That depends.
By now you probably know what can lift you out of a funk. Immersing yourself in a work of ethereal beauty that gives you the shivers or chills like a symphony or a great jazz player wailing the blues is an effective strategy to transcend sadness. Classical or jazz may be your best bet if you're seeking calmness and relaxation. A sad song may even bring about happiness indirectly for those who know the value of a good cry or cathartic release. On the other hand, consonant, up-tempo music in a major key may be the best choice if you simply need a pick-me-up after a stressful day at work.
More than any specific type of music, it’s songs that personally bring you joy, bring back happy memories, and make your spirit soar that can increase your happiness. Here are 15 of my favorite happy songs. And yes, some of these songs show my Baby Boomer roots. No matter what generation, I dare you to listen to these and not tap your feet and feel better!
A few of my friends mentioned songs such as Feeling Good by Michael Buble, Mr. Blue Sky by ELO, and Happy Together by Turtles. My lifelong friend, Susie, reminded me of Brighter than the Sun, which I like so much I'm claiming it as my own in the list above. My sister and a friend both mentioned Happy by Pharrell Williams.
What songs never fail to bring you out of your funk?
juliegorges | March 10, 2014 at 3:09 pm | URL:

Monday, 10 March 2014

5 Dream Places I'd Like To Visit

Are the years romping along far too quickly for your liking?  They are for me!  It seems like yesterday I hit  60 which was an achievement in itself.  My darling mum never made it to that age, sadly passing at 58.  My dad only got to 63.  Losing both parents so prematurely has always made me think that life's too short, so here I am at almost 64 feeling that as a result, life must be grabbed by the short and curlies.  I have this urgent need to make the most of it so at least I can slide into my dotage knowing that I did some good, and saw some awesome stuff.

So today, it's sunny here in the UK and I no longer feel in hibernation mode. My thoughts turned once again to places I'd love to visit.  I've had this travel 'bucket list' for a number of years and while everything on it remains the same, the order of priority has changed.  Somehow, it seems more important to see certain places than others now. I really don't want to shuffle off without having seen.....

1.  A tour of Canada with my younger daughter, predominantly Prince Edward Island, Jasper and Vancouver.  For some reason we feel an affinity with the the place though neither of us have been.

This is Price Edward Island...

2.  Monument Valley, Arizona (or is it Utah?  I can't be sure.  Someone put me right please!)  I've wanted to go here since I was a kid.  I'm fascinated by native Indians and long to be among them, talk to them, see their work and creativity.  I want to see The Mittens, walk near them.  See the stars in what must be the biggest sky EVER!

3.  The Caribbean.  White beaches, turquoise seas, palm trees, rich colours, laid back people.  I can't settle on one island in particular, so I'll start at Barbados, then island-hop them all!

I know it's a stereotypical view, but one I never tire of seeing.

4.  The Taj Mahal, Agra.  Grumpy Trousers worked in India on several occasions years ago and told me so much about it.  He missed out on seeing The Taj Mahal as he had a 'fiery belly' and had to stay on the work compound on his own, writhing in discomfort and trying to eke out the loo roll!  I know he'd like to see this majestic monument, and I have that yearning to sit on the bench and be photographed like Princess Diana.  That's if I could get near it.

5.  New York  Just a few days in New York would suit me.  I don't think I could hack the crowds and the busy-ness for too long.  But I still want to go. It hacks me off that almost everyone I know has been and I haven't!  I want to see it all for myself; photograph it all; do the tourist thing, see the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, do downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge for example.  Oh mustn't forget Bloomingdales, Central Park and riding in a yellow taxi.  It will be exhausting and enormous fun!

Any one of these travels is do-able.  Canada will almost certainly happen.  I may have to toss the others into a hat and draw one out.  I don't think I can afford them all!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Grumpy Trousers idea of pruning!

Anyone who knows my husband is aware he gets his words a bit mixed up. When he decided to make the most of the sun this morning to go and 'do a bit in the garden' I asked him what he was planning on doing. "Pruning your Clitoris" was his reply. When I looked a bit non-plussed he realised what he'd said. 

He meant my Clematis!