Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Where's the Bus Stop?


This is the path which leads to the town, and starts directly behind the house. I hope to be walking along the length of that path soon, my aim being to have a recce of the town but without my husband in tow, because he would get irritated with the non-manly trawl through what the shops have on offer. There is a womanly need in me to see where things can be bought, as I would like to stop buying off the internet and support local shops if possible. We have already managed to locally source four kitchen appliances and a broom. 

I do not have a map of this area in my head at the moment, so it would be easy to get lost. At the moment my husband does the driving, but I am an independent woman and need to go solo. However, since the operation I am prone to dizzy spells so am not safe to drive, although on foot I am OK because I can park myself up by leaning on my walking pole until the dizziness goes away. I am working on finding a solution to the dizziness and it is reducing. I just need to get my confidence back.  

According to my neighbour, a bus into town passes directly in front of the house. All she does, apparently, is to stand on the kerb and flag it down, but this does not appeal to me because I would feel an idiot waving my arms at a bus whose driver may, or may not, stop to pick me up. For me, the most logical thing is to find the bus stop nearest to the house, so that when I walk into town I can catch a bus back. So, walking along the path to the town has become a 'To Do' project. I shall drive again, but not yet. 

Boots on, walking pole in hand, and off I went for a hunt for the bus stops, but first to do a practice walk along the path. which just so  happens to have the  coffee shop I was telling you about in a previous blog......

 So if you were me, what would you do if a deluge of rain was suddenly unleashed upon you, just as you were passing in the vicinity of the coffee shop? 
 You would stop and take shelter, that is what you would do......

And do you think that it would be impolite to take shelter without buying a coffee and a bun?

I thought so, hence.....


A very dishevelled, wind swept, and rain soaked me!
..... and so happy to have a bun and a hot drink.....

All done!

And returning home, still no bus stops found, but I had a joyful time in the rain after being fortified by coffee and a bun! 


Bye for now, 
Vx

Friday, 22 October 2021

1.5 miles!

And so it became for The Walk. For several days my OH had been making it his planned project for the weekend, that he would take me out for a walk around Colemere, shepherding me should I feel doddery, assisting me should I feel my energies failing. His expectation of me was similar to mine...... that it would take an effort to walk round the lake, because that is what Colemere is ...... " a deep expanse of water shaped like a giant's tummy button, with steep sides and filled with icy water in its lower depths". (www.shropshire-guide.co.uk). Of course I was not going to be going in for a swim, though, because I do not own a swimming costume, and there are huge fish in the lake anyway, which my imagination would turn into the biggest of sharks tout suite as soon as I was ankle deep in the water. Much better to stay on dry land. Much more sensible. 


Here is the lake and surrounding woodland. 
Here is NOT me, but someone else 
- a photo poached off the internet because I forgot to take a similar one of the lake myself!

But here IS a portion of me walking along the path beside the lake, just to prove that I did have my walking boots on and was stoically marching along albeit at a sedate pace.


..... and my OH moving ahead of me because he was a tad fed up with me trying to photograph my feet  in walking mode.....


...... and the wonderful sparkling of sunshine through the trees.....


....a pause for a snack, and Maz hoping for a morsel to come her way.....   


It was a grand day out, 
and I managed to walk, at a goodly pace, for one and a half miles!

It was a personal achievement for both my OH and me. 
I never thought I would ever walk a hundred yards, let alone 1.5 miles.  
Keep on going, that is what I have learnt, and don't give up.
I might not ever be as fit as I once was, but I am fitter than I have been recently. 

Bless you in your journey, 

Bye for now,

Vx


Saturday, 9 October 2021

New fields........

We have moved!
And here is our new home.......

...... It is so different to the house we renovated in France, at least this one was ready to move into, which was a joy. I have done with old houses. The French farm house was at least two hundred years old, and the rented cottage here in England was about the same age, and both were difficult to live in because of the tendency for damp and the tendency for my bones not to like dampness. Anyway, this house was built in around the 1970's, with a pseudo Tudor look which was popular at that time. Building regulations had improved, so the house is dry, which has my bones very pleased. 

The house is on a housing estate and close into the town, which I can walk to when my legs let me. Or else I can get a bike. Or even a scooter. Or even catch a bus. Having lived in a rural community it is nice to have people around. Living remotely is OK, but does tend to make me feel 'not of this world'. There are a lot of people around here, and I like this. It makes me feel 'in life'. 

 I feel very blessed that this is the house which has become our home, and now opens up a new chapter in my life. This house, and its environment, will not let me give in to being elderly. I am, after all, seventy four year old and with a major operation behind me. But no! This house will not let me be weak and feeble about my advancing years. It will not let me park up on the sidelines and let life pass me by. For a start, there is an excellent coffee and cake shop,  which is a ten minute walk along a green lane just behind the house.  Do some walking exercise.....stop at the coffee shop..... have a chat..........then return home. Now that seems like a good idea! 


Part of the back garden. Unlike our farm in France which had thirteen acres of land, this garden is small ..... but big enough to have a garden full of flowers. 



And this is the lower part of the garden, which I have not gone into yet because the steps are a bit steep for my legs to manage. Not to worry........ a few more walks to the coffee shop and back, should get me up and down those steps in no time!

So, bye for now. 
In love and light,
Vx


Tuesday, 13 July 2021

An Update......

  So I was laid upon a bed in the x-ray unit of Stoke Hospital. After a two bouts of hospitalizations in the last six months, one of which included open heart surgery, I was not in the mood for another CT scan, which is what I was about to have. My newly furbished heart was beating loud enough in my ears enough to worry me in case it wore my new heart valve out before I had chance to adjust to it. In other words, I was a tad stressed although I was trying not to be. 

The vein in my arm was found, instructions about the procedure were said, and the scanner started moving towards me. It is a big circular tube which surrounds the body and it can be claustrophobic, although I had never found it to be on past CT scans.  This time I did. 

And then, zooming in, came my support team....... comprising of angel guides (I shall explain who they are another time), bringing with them a calmness of self and a feeling of being able to conquer all that is laid before me. Not only that, but my dear departed Uncle Jim, Aunty Rose, Uncle Don, Nan and Grandad also made their presence felt, making me feel very supported. I rode through the scan very well after that. The team and my family saw me through.

Now this might seem a bit weird to you, and I would have thought so too if I was not as psychically endowed as I am, and although it is an effort to stay connected to the Source of all that is, which was difficult during the time of my operation and recovery and often I was worried in case that link would never come back. I have worked hard to recovery that link, which has required several weeks of self healing meditations and positive thinking. It was a life test which I found to be long and hard. Not to worry, I am coming out the other side, with a greater connection to the Source of all that is, (or the Universe, or God, or any other name you use to define that power ) 

And I was reminded by the angels on my team that providing I spend time to make the links between me and them, that they can make a call to action when I need it. As for my family members who have passed on........ I never reach out to them like I do my team, they just seem to make their presence known as and when....... and it is not like I am remembering them from the memory files in my head, it is a different energy which I can only but know that they are still around even if they do no longer have a body shape. And, as a matter of interest, Mr Lobb, my piano teacher in my teenage years and who I had forgotten in the mists of time, spoke to me this morning, saying, " Keep your fingers flexible". Being psychically sensitive does make like interesting!

So I have started doing my piano exercises, but think that I shall not play the accordion again. It is a heavy instrument to play and in deference to my re-plumbed heart I think it has to go into history. But not to worry........ I am thinking about learning the melodeon and / or the concertina, which will not have the huge sound of the accordion, but at least I can play some of the our catalogue of music because they are lighter instruments to play.  Meanwhile I shall keep the piano practice going, and I shall not give up on my music. Mr Lobb has said so. 

The House Project:

It is still ongoing, and at the moment we are hoping to purchase a house in Oswestry, on the Shropshire and Welsh border. 

The Walking Project:

I am not walking up and down the lanes outside the cottage very much, but I did walk unaided through the hospital for my CT scan which surprised both me and my partner. And I walked quite strongly up to where he was waiting in the car park after the scan. I am aware that my legs are getting stronger, and that I am doing more jobs in the house. In other words, I am on the mend. 

My heart is settling down, and I am growing in confidence that it is a 'working' heart and not a 'soon to retire' heart. 

All is well, despite the ongoing trials of living life through these unsettling times, which only serve to make us stronger if we try to stay positive that all will turn out alright in the end.

Hope all is well with you. 

Bye for now, 

Vx

Friday, 18 June 2021

Getting better......

28th May 2021: Five weeks post op

So I was lying in bed, thinking about getting up. I am now post op....... five weeks since I had open heart surgery. Four things were done. One was a replacement heart valve, for which I have the paper receipt. Not sure what to do with a paper receipt if the  new valve fails and I am rendered without life......too late then to have a refund.........! Three other repairs were made as well, one of which was some tubing made of cloth...... no receipt though. All good stuff, or it would be if I wasn't so beset with a weariness which is undermining  to the soul. These are the thoughts I was having as I tried to raise myself up of the bed, an effort which took up to thirty minutes if my OH was not available for a 'haul me up' arm to act as a hoist. 

Back in early March I had a phone call from my  would-be surgeon, explaining in graphic detail about  what would be done during my open heart operation ...... He mentioned the possible negatives,  but said if all went well with the op then that I would be out of bed within two days, walking by five, and home within seven. Well that sounded OK. To my mind I would be up and jollying about on my life's pathway again toute suite...this is what I took from his phone call. 

I was feeling no pain pre-op. However, post op ..... and I was fetched up in a completely different landscape, not only full of physical pain, but all sorts of other pain as well....emotional, psychological, physiological, and all sorts of other depressional pot holes as well. This was a landscape I thought I was never going to escape. Gone was my optimism for life, but worse still was my zest for life, ........I was rendered all in pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces jumbled up. 

It is now the 16th June, three weeks after I started this blog, and eight weeks post op, and I am driving my husband mad, because my jigsaw puzzle pieces are now slotted back together and I am now in mid recovery although still tottery on my feet,  huff and puff with my breathing sometimes, and my energy levels are still not up to maximum. Sometimes my mind feels ten steps ahead of my body, which has my husband frequently telling me to slow down and rest. But I am me, and I am feisty, so I argue back, but then feel guilty because he is right and only wants to look after me, bless him. 

I can now walk 100 steps along the lane, but use a walking pole to stop me from tottering too much, but it is one hundred steps more towards recovery and the next chapter in our lives which will begin when we have finally found a home of our own and we can stop living out of boxes. 

Bye for now, 

Love and hugs, 

Vx



 


Tuesday, 23 February 2021

The Dawn Chorus.....

 Through the open window I heard the first tweets of the Dawn Chorus, that joyful singing of the little birds as they greet the day. It was not a large sing song this morning though, just a little male bird starting to wake up his voice, refreshing his repertory ready to engage a female in his desire to create more of his species. 

It turned into a precious day, a day which had Spring gracing the hours of the day, and saw me out in the garden and chatting to the neighours, feeling the warmth of the sun on my back as the buds on the trees swelled up in the sun's warmth. 

We have put an offer in for the house we viewed on Saturday. It was accepted. 'Jasmine cottage' is the name of the property.....

And today I have a heart scan again. Apparently the one which was taken during my hospital stay was too fuzzy. 

Off to do some meditation to prepare for the day, and ask for blessings of help from The Universe at the same time. I shall ask for you as well. 

Bye for now, 

Vx


Friday, 19 February 2021

Astra Zeneca

Astra Zeneca,  what are you doing to me, for you have made me all stiffo and slightly wobbly.
Punched into my arm yesterday morning, you and I have been introduced by The Government. 

It was a requirement of my surgeon, the one who will be excavating in me to patch things up, that I have the vaccine, because this is what Astra Zeneca is, a Covid vaccine. 
With me and my partner expecting dire things to happen, it was with a sense of relief that all I experienced was a day of very mild flu like symptoms. Although I did go to bed for a few hours, I really did not need to, but thought I would anyway....sort of as a present to myself for getting the vaccine done. 
Today I feel all woozy-headed, which may or may not be as a result of the vaccine, or it may be because of the endless hours we have spent on our computers scrolling up and down as we start searching again for a home for ourselves. 

The Telford bungalow is now filed away in history. A search found that there were some irregularities to the title deed documents, so we had to let it go. A day or two of mourning for the loss of hope, then we got another packet of hope out of our mental cupboards, and are now off to view another property this afternoon. 

It is amazing that we still seem to have enough 'packets of 'hope' to keep going..... that and 'keeping faith that everything will somehow turn out alright'......

Bye for now,
Vx


Monday, 8 February 2021

Deep Thinking Times, 1, 2, and 3

It has been a while since I blogged, but life has got in the way unfortunately. Although not particularly chaotic, certain events required me to have deep thinking times, which rendered me without the words to send onto the pages of this blog. 

So, Deep Thinking Time One:


In October 2020, despite the lockdowns in France, we had people come to view the farm, which we had put up for sale when we left in May 2020 due to circumstances beyond our control. 


Despite our doubts that the young couple would go through with the sale....they did just that, and on 29th January 2021 the farm became theirs. 

Much heart felt thinking have I done over the last few weeks as a result. For a while I felt a sense of loss, almost of home sickness, for the farm, and the life style we had there. 



 





Thirteen years of hard work, and good work, and fun, and downturns and upturns, .......living life, that is what we were doing. But now the farm is in the hands of a young French couple, who hope to continue on what we have built. Time to move on, that is what we are now doing, but only after a lot of thinking time has been spent on making this transition. 

Deep Thinking Time, Two:


Since May 2020 we have been living in a typical English country cottage, which is rented while we search for a new home. We thought that we would move into a house in the country, maybe with a bit of land. A continuation of the smallholding life, we thought. But the months of 2020 brought about Deep Thinking Time Two, that perhaps we were done with smallholding life, that we had enjoyed the experience but that the memories of that life belonged to France and not England. Gradually we were shifting away from that life, and allowing ourselves to do so without holding on to what had been. 

A week before Christmas, and we thought we might have a look at a ground floor dwelling, in other words....a bungalow. Now in my head I have always equated bungalows with old age pensioners......somewhere where you would live when most of your faculties were gone...... but my partner was adamant that we should view the property. 

To my surprise it ticked all the boxes, previous viewings of houses having given us the experience of what we needed to have in a home and what we didn't. Mostly it was to do with floor space for an office, a craft room, a recording room, and maybe somewhere where a meditation room could be set up as well. We were not too bothered by the size of our actual living space, it was the work space which was most important. As for the garden, we found ourselves not wanting agricultural space, but maybe somewhere which would give us a garden which was more of a hobby rather than a 'must do'. The bungalow ticked all these boxes. 

We are currently in the process of purchasing the bungalow. I shall show you photos of it if and when it becomes our home. There are several factors, all to do with finances, which might scupper the purchase. But the bungalow is on New Road, Telford, Shropshire, and is called Libourne. A search on the internet said that Libourne is the name of a village in Aquitaine, France. This village is just north of where the farm is, which is called Labartere. So if we do end up with the bungalow, every time I say its name it will remind me of the connection we had with France. It will feel as if Labartere has led to Libourne, and I am really alright with that, and see the hand of Greater Forces moving me along with the plan of my life. 

Deep Thinking Time, Three:


Towards the end of last year I was having episodes of coughing and general malaise to my breathing apparatus. On the 9th of January 2021 I went into hospital with a particularly bad bout of breathing difficulties,  and was diagnosed with pneumonia, which cleared up within a few days with the help of oxygen and antibiotics. 

However, this is the time of Covid, and on the second night in the hospital I was transferred to another ward which had a patient who had actual Covid symptoms, which rendered me as First Contact Covid in the eyes of those who monitor such things. At the same time I had a CT scan which showed up certain problems, which then encouraged the cardiac people to want to keep me in hospital for further observation. 

So I was put into a Covid isolation 'tent', which is a white plastic gazebo looking appliance designed to keep everything Covid related outside of the tent, and me safe inside. It was a good idea, I suppose, but the nurses had to come in and out of the tent, and I refused to stay in bed, and there was no way I was going to have a chamode to go to the loo on and insisted that I was fit enough to go to the loo by myself and on my own feet. I wore a facemask when anyone came into the tent, as did they. I washed my hands frequently and did all the 'safety' precautions as given by the government.

But I was not going to stay in that tent all the time, so when the six bed ward was quiet I would walk up and down to stretch my legs, and have chats with other patients whilst social distancing, which was easy because all of them stayed in bed. I would not do that, because I thought that actually getting back into bed would be the finish of me. To lay on top of it was alright though, as was sitting in my bedside chair, crocheting, reading, making notes about future projects, and meditating.  

Because we were all in lockdown, no one could have visitors. For four weeks I did not see my other half, although he did bring to the door of the ward items I had requested, but I was not allowed to see him. For us, this was not too bad as we had mobile phones to keep in contact with each other, but for the elderly folk in the wards this was a deep distress. I learnt so much about the human condition during this time, and also of the feeling of comradery between us patients, and the way in which we supported each other. The nurses too, those generous hearted people who took care of us with patience and love. With Covid such a fear in most people, these nurses went beyond their call of duty, especially in the wards 10, 10B, and 8, which were the Covid related wards. 

But I only saw one lady who had actual Covid, the rest of us were First Contact Covid, but with negative results showing when tested. 

And sending blessings to Norah, a 97 year old lady, bed ridden, hardly able to walk, who had to have help with eating sometimes, and was so lonely for her family that it pulled at my heart strings. And to Rosemary, at 93 she had walked into the hospital but was now on a Catheter, and was probably not every going to get out of bed again as she had given up because her family could not visit. And to Chris who helped me sort out my thoughts about being in hospital, and to many others, including the nurses.....some of whom I helped emotionally, some of whom helped me. As I say, it was time of great comradery because of being so isolated from the outside world.

I was alright for the first three weeks, but when week four started I began to feel institutionalised. By now I was in a ground floor ward, and was feeling the effort of continually being positive starting to go beyond me. I had 'enjoyed' the thinking time that being in hospital had given me and had regarded those first three weeks as a time of rest from life. Everything was done for me, and it was good to just enjoy. The pneumonia was now gone, and there was no pain anywhere in my body. However, I was starting to feel that my mobility was sliding away, .....

So what do you do if you were me? And a cardiac doctor comes for a visit? A visit that he should have made four days ago but didn't? What do you do if you are me? You stridently demand that you be let home...... you say that you need to 'rebalance' yourself...... and he is saying that he wants to keep you in for a possible two to four weeks....... and you are resisting, knowing that he might want you to stay in because it is appropriate for your body, but for your mind it is no good because you can feel yourself not yourself.......So he said to give him two more days so he can have a meeting with the cardiac team, and you say 'sorry' to him because he is, after all, only doing his job of trying to take care of me, and so on Thursday he appears and says that I am go home, but to attend Outpatients. 

--------

And that's it so far! It was magical to see my partner waiting to collect me from hospital, and I was relieved to be able to walk from the hospital to the car. I had gone into hospital in a wheelchair. It felt an achievement to be able to walk away from it. 



Overall I feel better in myself. The farm is now in our history, and hopefully soon we shall be in a new home although the cottage is alright for the moment. 

Bye for now, 

In love and light

Vx.