Sunday 29 October 2017

Getting back in the saddle again.....

Oh I did enjoy that extra hour in bed this morning, courtesy of the clocks going back an hour, but it does mean that we swing into winter mode, when I allow myself to start using the canned produce harvested during the growing season. However, I must admit to using several jars of canned tomatoes already, so I think the rest of the jars will be soon gone. The supermarket tins of tomatoes do not compare with the recipe I used to can our tomatoes this year. But I have not opened our jars of canned cherries and plums, nor the green beans, the pickled beetroot, the carrots, or potatoes. They will stay as a treat in the darker winter months.
The Rayburn can also be lit now the clocks have been changed, but Lester needs to clean it out first. Not to worry, the weather is still mild, and we are not feeling cold in the house yet.
Our first five years of living in a caravan here have made us stalwarts when it comes to dealing with winter temperatures. Thermal vest help as well. I am already wearing mine.


Getting back in the saddle, that is what you have to do when you have any sort of blip in your life. Finding myself down on the floor and unable to move recently literally had me falling out of the saddle, that's for sure. Then the ten day stay in a French hospital made sure I stayed dismounted from my life for a while, because I could nothing else but stop. I did have time to think, though, and I did crochet some more squares for a jumper I am making, and in the middle of the night the Universe did connect powerfully with me, but I shall leave the writing about that to my other blog.
Nevertheless, I was considerably overwhelmed by the helplessness of myself.
This, and other things, could have contributed towards me never quite getting back in the saddle of my life ever again.

So, if you are me, what would you do when you get back home is to try and pick up the rhythm of the daily routine, which did not seem to be want to be picked up again at all, but  you try anyway. And you try not to mind the weakness of self that you feel, and know that to stay in bed, as everyone says that you should, would be devastating for any future attempts to pick up the rhythm of your old life, because you are stubbornly you.

Most of all you have to work hard at getting out of your head the files of stored memories about the recent health episode, because if you keep staying in the shock of what happened you will start believing that you will never be entirely well, and that the same thing might happen again.
Such thoughts will keep you in a weakened state..
It is a battle to get these memories sorted out..... to keep the positive, to let go of the not so good. And not to moan about what has happened, not to think or say 'poor me', and to be patient with the lack of speed and agility which you have and to say 'it is only temporary, it will pass'. You have to work hard with what is in your head, because the way you think will either make you well again,
or not.
And you need to forgive yourself, if, for the moment, hauling yourself back in to the saddle of your life seems ever such an effort. Not to worry, if you are me, you will still keep trying anyway.

And being me, you will be back on your computer again toute suite............ and sitting in my email inbox was a request from a friend asking if would I consider being the piano accompanist for a temporary choir who were getting together to sing at a carol concert in a local church in December. And being me, without thought, you say 'yes', because your instincts say that you need this diversion to put distance between yourself and the memories of that hospital stay.
Unfortunately I did some scything in the veg garden yesterday, took an extra big swing at a stubborn stalk which refused to be cut down, which brought the scythe to a full stop, the shock of the force ending up in my wrists. Not to worry, although letting me know that they were not impressed by my enthusiastic efforts to tidy up the veg garden, my wrists are still letting me play the piano, just about.
First choir  rehearsal in three days time.
And why, might you ask, was I scything in the veg plot anyway.
Because I am me, that's all.....
.... just proving to myself that I am not on the downward spiral towards being an invalid,
but on the upwards move towards full recovery.
Bye for now,

Thursday 26 October 2017

An unexpected 'holiday'

..... and here I am once more, recharged and raring to go after a ten day 'holiday' which separated me from my day to day life on the farm and gave me time to think about things. And one of the things I came to realise was that I  miss writing, and that I must not allow the busyness of my life to push aside this need to write. The 'holiday' made me realise this, hence this blog.
However, ......................... the 'hotel' I stayed in was not my first choice, nor was my mode of transport to get to it, being a ride in the middle of the night in an ambulance, the destination being the hospital in Tarbes which then became my 'hotel' for the next few days. Thus did the holiday arrive unexpectedly into my life.
I could not say that it was the best of times staying in the emergency cardiac ward for ten days although the view from the window in my room was superb, being a close up of the Pyrenees mountains. I spent hours looking at them, and seeing the light play on them throughout the day was fascinating to behold. I missed that view when I was shifted into the main cardiac unit.
I thought I had flu, but it seemed to be lingering on and on. I was having high night time temperatures sufficient to soak the bed, but I thought it was the flu virus. And then a night time visit to the loo fetched me up down on the floor, and nothing seemed to want to work to get me up again, hence the trip in the ambulance to be deposited in ICU, where I was fussed over by the most gloriously handsome set of male nurses and doctors who spent ages looking in amazement at the heart monitor which was behind me, quizzing me as to why I did not have any heart pain when the monitor was showing that it should be otherwise.
Not to worry, I stayed affable and kept on smiling, because that is what you do when you are an English girl living abroad, 'stiff upper lip' and all that.
And so my 'holiday' began as I was shipped out to the emergency cardiac unit, whereupon I had needles inserted here and there putting I don't know what into my system, and then there was the tube which was inserted into my nether regions with a urine bag attached to the other end of it which I prefer to not talk about because, well, it was not the nicest of experiences I have ever had.
And reminding you that because I live in France, that these were French nursing staff looking after me, so of course they spoke in French. I can speak French as well, but my French vocabulary was nowhere to be found, except for the odd word popping into my head, mostly 'merci' (thankyou), 'pas probleme' (it's not a problem), ........ just small words meant to reassure the nursing staff that I was OK about their treatment of me, which was not alright sometimes, but being 'stiff upper lipped' I would not have complained even if I had had the French words to do so.
Anyway, I survived. It was not my time to pass over.
So what had happened to make me fetched up on the floor of the bathroom?
Well, my liver and kidneys were under attack by an infection which must have been brewing for days if not weeks, which then eventually made my heart go silly with the effort of coping with it all.
I am not saying that my heart is sound, but it is doing well enough for the years it has been working, 70 in total. As for the liver and kidneys, these I must be more attentive to, making sure I take notice should they complain again in the future.
As with any difficult experiences, rather than feeling sorry for myself I have put the experience behind me, preferring to look upon it is an unexpected holiday, and that it has made me review certain things in my life, which is good.
And so I returned back to the farm, a little shaky, but on my feet.
And I feel blessed that I have this life to return to, that keeps me busy, that does not allow for laziness of self which could happen if all I had was the TV and social media to keep me occupied. It is good that we had a very good harvest of peppers to bring in from the veg garden, and which I had to do because  a large oak tree had fallen on the fencing of the back field and broken down the wiring of the fence so before it could be mended, so the tree had to be cut up, and this was the job of the moment for my OH. He has just counted the rings on the tree and it is fifty years old. It was toppled by some sort of rot at its base. Well I was not toppled this time, although nearly was, and I am now off into the veg garden to plant some onions.
Onwards, ever onwards!!!
PS. Should you ever have to stop an escapee cow from cavorting round the veg garden and therefore trampling everything to death under the weight of her  mega sized feet and pregnant body, if you have a scarf around your neck then remove that scarf and flip it about like a whip. Of course the scarf will lack the resilience of a proper leather whip, but if at the same time you yell in as deep and gruff a voice as you can manage  'turn around, go back' or any other words you care to use, then the cow might feel challenged enough to take notice of you. Just offering these thoughts to you should you also find yourself in a similar position.
Bye for now,