Saturday, 1 October 2016

Oh for October

I do hope that October is going to be a positive month!
It hasn't started that well with a miserable, wet and cold day, but tomorrow is supposed to be better. I find that the weather sometimes has a really rough effect on how I feel; think I may be dusting off my Lumie Lamp, one of those SAD-helping lights. It certainly won't do any harm!

It is a bit of a blow that on day one of a new month I am already beating myself up.
It is the Gala Night for The Tempest, a new ballet that Mr B has been working on and I had a ticket to go, but didn't make it. With luck, I'll get to see it in Plymouth at the end of this month, but, oh, the things I have missed out on over the years, with this damned depression.

Also feeling a bit non-plussed about my body pain levels. My GP thought it might be due to a problem with my gallbladder, (which I then had to Google to find where it was!!), causing referred pain. I had an X-ray appointment on Thursday, which caused enough problems and upset just to get there. But I did and for all there is so much knocking of the NHS, my results were there for my GP yesterday morning. She was amazed!

My gallbladder is okay as are my other organs that were ultrasound-ed at the same time. There is some fatty tissue in my liver, which could be caused by anything from my being overweight to my medication.

But they did find an 8cm fibroid. Due to my age, it should start to decrease in size, which is good news. But it could be behind my bladder problems as it could be pressing on it. All in all, good news, but no reason for the pain, so a new prescription is being delivered by my chemist on Monday.

the view from the end of the road where we stay in Plymouth
Not the best start to the month, but my health is better than it could've been and I have a trip to
Plymouth to look forward, so, hurrah!
October...bring it on!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

August Break 3 - Handwriting

So, I'm not putting my handwriting out there to be deciphered.

This is a photo taken 28 years ago, when Mr B and I got together; an old fashioned camera with negatives and real photographs!

ran out of 'O's in this tin, that last word should be lots

Yes kids, I know you are always told not to play with your food, but we're adults and we're allowed!

The really bizarre thing is I don't like tomato sauce and spaghetti makes me retch. So I can safely say that this wasn't my meal!

Can you even still buy Alphabetti Spaghetti?

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

August Break 2 - Leaf

Or, in this case, leaves!

On yet another grey damp day, this is what I can see from my back door. French beans, Virginia Creeper and an unknown tree on the other side of the fence.

Monday, 1 August 2016

August Break 1 - Morning Light

The light this morning was not good.
One of those grey-white skies that makes my eyes hurt!

So I'm choosing a photo of Devils' Point in Plymouth, taken in 2010. As for the light, probably more lunchtime than morning, to be honest.

Just one of my fave photos of my fave places.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Is There Anybody There?


Long time no blog.
Started doing more on Facebook and then found out all the joy I had been missing on Instagram.
But I miss the writing involved in blogging, the composing.

Way back in 2010, a fellow blog friend joined in with 'The August Break', something organised by Sarah Conway. I was going to start my own version, just for me to get myself back into it gently, but found out she is running it again this year.

It's a photo a day and this year there is a list you can follow if you are stumped for ideas.

I must admit, 2010 had quite a few shots of courgettes (!), as it was the first time I'd grown them and I was fascinated by these amazing plants.

So, let's keep our fingers crossed that I manage to get back into the groove! I'm hanging out for
No 31, August was...brilliant!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

BEDM - Day 12, Poetry

Philip Larkin.
Larkin plaque, Belfast - - 596930
Thanks to a very inspirational teacher, Mr Hathaway, when I was 10 or 11 years old, got us to make 'Anthology of Poetry'.
I don't remember what else was in it apart from Larkin.

Image Philip Larkin, Poet & Librarian, Hull University
A family friend went to his memorial service and gave me her Order of Service.
It is one of my treasured possessions.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

BEDM - Day 8, Sandwiches

Give me some bread and butter and a jar of Marmite and I am as happy as a pig in mud!

A strange mix that I only had at breakfast at school...sausage and marmalade. I think we must've been desperate to concoct something more than a sausage for the main course and then bread and marmalade.
Eat your heart out Masterchef!!

Saturday, 7 May 2016

BEDM - Day 4, What's In My Bag?

I have deviated slightly here.
Rather than my handbag, I thought I'd show my little 'important-bits-when-travelling' bag.
It's not very big, 17 x 10 cms, and came as a poppered insert to a larger make-up bag that came with a Clinique Bonus Time many moons ago.
It's what goes in my back-pack when going away.

Working from the top, I have a ball of foot insert and Compeed plasters, 'cos I never know when once comfy footwear becomes a pair of killer shoes!
There's cotton buds, a travel-size nail file that was designed by that bloke off The Apprentice.
A couple of fancy hair slides and a variety of hair elastics and hairgrips and bun pins.
Eyelash glue(!), and a selection of 'lucky charms; lucky pennies, a giant sequin that came off a stage costume, my flying pink pig from Christy, (one of my original blogger mates in the USA), and my ring from Vix. I have this as part lucky charm and part to get it mended (sorry Vix). The ring bit was loose and broke off so I need to find somewhere to solder a new one on. I do believe this was a ring that her mum made, so it is extra special.
Plasters, elastic bands, safety pins, a bit of ribbon, a piece of thin elastic, a wooden hoof stick and a waste bag. It might be one of those waste bags but it'll work on any number of levels!!
Finally, a handy little sewing kit, with threads, a needle and a button.
I am one of those people who is forever swapping my handbag, so depending what I'm doing, the contents change.

At the moment it is my pink skull & crossbones Custard Shop bag. Going for the summery vibe and needed a bag that a long cross-body strap, so I could be hands-free for taking Rene to the vet on Thursday morning as she had been retching and didn't sound too good. The vet said they could put an endoscope down to check there was no obstruction or we could try something to soothe the throat. I went for the latter and she is doing fine.
Will probably keep that bag on the go as I am taking her back for a check-up Monday afternoon.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

BEDM - Day 5, Cinco de Mayo

Received another shoebox-full of eBay winnings today. Rather fittingly, for todays' post, it had a large collection of cacti.

In their very own greenhouse.

OK, this next bit is pure plagiarism!
I saw the picture on Instagram and fell in love with it.
I traced its' home to the blog, Poppytalk.
Aren't they just brilliant?

Butter's Shaped Cookies 
(from Butter Baked Goods, published by Random House)
makes about 24 cookies, using a 3 1/2-inch cutter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 
2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. 
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. 
4. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
5. Shape the dough into a large disk, about 1 inch thick,  and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
6. Divide the disk in two, and place half the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. 
7. Use the cookie cutter of your choice to cut out about 12 cookies. Carefully transfer to the prepared cookie sheets and place about 1/2 inch apart. You may have to combine the dough scraps and re-roll the dough to cut out enough cookies. Avoid doing this too many times, as the cookies will become tough with over-handling. 
8. Use a rolling pin to roll out the second disk of dough to about 1/4 inch think and repeat step 7. 
9. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges.
10. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool for about 10 minutes on the sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. 

Royal Icing 
(Makes 4 cups, enough to coat about 24 cookies)
4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
6 to 8 tablespoons water
1. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the icing sugar and meringue powder. Mix on medium speed until the meringue powder is evenly distributed throughout the icing sugar. 
2. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the water, little by little, until the icing reaches the desired consistency. 
3. Once the water is incorporated, beat the mixture on high to create some volume and lightness in the icing. 

Monday, 2 May 2016

BEDM - Day 2, Monday Musing

Remember to take time to enjoy the little things that Life sends your way.

This little lovely landed on me yesterday and just sat there with its' wings closed, for ages. Then when the camera came out, it very kindly showed off its' delicate markings. 

Today I didn't get to go out in the garden until late on, but just caught the last little bit of sun to hit the willow tree,
So pretty and delicate.
And look at the colour of that sky.

Yep, there's loads of cr*p that we all have to deal with, every day. But every time I see one of those little flutterbys I will think back to that one and smile, and that must be a good thing, right?

Sunday, 1 May 2016

BEDM - Day 1, ECG Whizz

As a starter for 10, for Blog Every Day in May, a little catch up and something that you bloggers don't know about me!!
The other night I was whisked off to NGH, (Northampton General Hospital), with a suspected heart attack!

Don't panic...I'm all OK; just a bit of an achy chest.

I'd put out the big brown wheelie  bin that was full of garden rubbish and although it was on wheels it was still heavy! Then I put out the food refuse bin. Big, big mistake as Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman. Having cleared out the freezer of old out-of-date stuff, the bin was stuffed to the gills. And so much of it still frozen, it was heavier than normal. Thought "ooo" when I picked it up but carried on, as you do. Came back in and the 'ooo' turned to and 'oow'!
"Just a strained muscle", I thought.

I started the dinner and Mr B came home. Still hurty, but OK.
Went to bed and it just wouldn't go away. Mr B was so concerned he called 111 and they sent out a paramedic in a car and an ambulance really fast.

Atal, my wonderful, kind paramedic
(photo by Mr B, not me! Y'know, in case you were wondering...)
An ECG was done, bp checked, a bit high, but that's why I am on meds for that. Other checks were done and although it was probably just a strain, the only way to be sure was to have blood tests done in hospital.

When heart attacks are shown on telly, it always seem to be a gripping pain in the arm and a giant "Arrgh" and a chest clutch as the person hits the floor!
Well, for all we thought it was a strain, the symptoms I had were also pointing to an attack. The fact that I could pinpoint one place for the pain, whereas a pulled muscle would radiate pain even to the back.
So, better safe than sorry!

It was the night after the 'doctors strike'; I was wheeled straight in and dealt with immediately. Fast, efficient and supportive. Kind and caring. I had to wait a couple of hours for the blood tests results but was seen by a doctor prior to them arriving. He checked things out 'manually' so to speak, in my eyes, 'proper doctoring'.
Thank goodness, when they arrived, the results were negative.

I feel a bit of a dope at the moment, even straightening out the bedclothes makes my chest really hurt and I am scared of doing anything in case it causes more pains. I mean, I need to lift things and move stuff and it's not always lightweight!! But it will get better given time.

So, there you go, something you didn't know about me!!
Ha ha!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Mr Blossoms' Blossom

Well, everybody may be celebrating the 90th Birthday of The Queen but here at chez Pennyblossoms we have our own celebration going on.
Mr Blossoms birthday!