Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Oooooh Nooo!!

.... they're back and we were sooooooo hoping they wouldn't be!! 'They' are the seagulls that nested on our dormer roof last year for the first time. No problem initially and all was sweet while they were just incubating but, once the chick hatched they turned into the gulls from hell! Well, at least if we wanted to go in and out of our patio door, which leads from our lounge onto the back patio - and ultimately the garden and OH's car - they did. I guess that most of the time they were just on guard and they didn't seem to have a problem with us leaving the house. They just didn't like us walking towards it! I suppose they thought we were after the chick (there were, in the beginning, two chicks but one disappeared) so, every so often, they would start dive-bombing. They came down quite close sometimes and OH took to carrying a broom with him so he could wave the broomstick around to avert attack. Anyway, they're back, nest building and practising - very noisily and with no care as to who can see - LOL!!

One of last year's parents.

Last year's surviving chick.

If anyone has any ideas on how to stop them using our dormer, now they think it's a valid nesting site, they would be gratefully received. A friend suggested that we put a 'dummy' owl on the roof but somebody else said that, if it remained static, they would ignore it. As I'm not into climbing onto the dormer roof on a regular basis to move an owl of any persuasion (or could possibly be persuaded if it were a real one ........ maybe!) that suggestion was shelved. Any other ideas - sensible, I hasten to add - will be given due consideration - LOL!!!

2006 Card Selection

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

It's official.

Check out those blogs again as the news is now official - 'La Pashe' designs - REMEMBER WHEN series ............. BRILLIANT!!

Selection 2005/04

Here's a slideshow of a few of my earlier cards. These are prior to 2006 - mainly 2005 but could be a couple of 2004. Guess they're not too bad but hopefully there has been some improvement as time has gone on - lol!

Main technique is 3D decoupage (papertole) which I love. It is so effective, especially since I found silicone - lol!

Comments are welcome, good or bad, as long as they're constructive!


Seems as though there's exciting things on the verge of happening if this imag-enation forum thread is anything to go by! Take a look at the following blogs as well - Crafter's Kitchen, Cards n Candles and All the Things I Love They certainly know how to keep things close to their chests while creating a sense of anticipation - lol!!

Brand new product, brand new company with a posh name - La Pashe. Bring it on!

Monday, 28 April 2008

More catch up ...

... and I really must blog more frequently if this is going to be worthwhile doing - LOL!

On Saturday I was at a school reunion. Not mine, I hasten to add!!! I hated school with a vengeance and had no intention of having anything to do with it ever again - LOL! This school reunion was hubby's and it's the first he's been to. His circumstances were completely different to mine as his school was also his home for 8 years. He was a boarder and often spent the school holidays there as well as term time - including several Christmas's. His school pals were like his family and he knew them and his school better than he knew his own home and parents. That sounds awful and, in many ways it is but - his parents were in show business and they made the decision that he would receive an education and not be dragged all over the world with them while they worked. Anyway, Caius College (now Shoreham College) held their reunion at the school in the afternoon, where the current Headmaster and his wife hosted the visit, and there was a buffet meal in the evening at the Hove Club. I had to laugh at the 'education' in this school because, as the reunion went on, it became increasingly obvious that Caius, although a private boarding school, was not exactly high on academia! It seemed that none of the 'boys' left with any exam success to speak of but all developed a love of sport! The recurrent theme was that it was 'character building'. Having said that, many of them have done really well for themselves.

Hubby thoroughly enjoyed himself and managed to catch up with a few old reprobates and the daughter of the then, Headmaster. One of his old pals was also the son of the man that used to make hubby's Dad's stage shoes. Turns out, although he's now retired, that he is very well known amongst dancers worldwide and his Company supplies the English National Ballet. Any dancers will probably know the Company -
Freed of London - and hubby's pal is Rodney Freed aka 'Dr Pointe' (to the left in the photo) - and what a lovely man he is.

The future

Thursday saw me on baby-sitting/child-minding duty. There was a teacher's strike which affected my eldest grandchildren but not the youngest. I finally had to do a 'proper' grocery shop, first I've had to do in weeks, so eldest grand-daughter spent the morning with me while Mum was at work. She is sooooooooo helpful now that she's older. I hate this type of shopping but she loves it - oh what it's like to be 11 years old - lol! Grandson, at turned 16, is old enough to look after himself but it's better that he and his sister are separated when a few hours are involved - lol!!

The afternoon was spent looking after the little ones for a couple of hours while Mum & Dad went hospital visiting for their 20 week baby scan - YYYaaaYYY!!!! Seems things are progressing nicely and there's no date change so it's still 5th September, or thereabouts. Could be earlier as it's likely to be a C-section following the last one. They think they may have found out what variety it is, inadvertantly because they didn't actually want to know. They're not completely sure though, so that's good!


I've been spending time on so many other things this week (including playing with slideshows - lol!) that I've let blog slide a little. Given up on having this purely for crafting, especially as I haven't done any this year yet :o(( Really looking forward to my Glitterpot class in couple of weeks though :o))

A week ago yesterday was forecast to be rain, rain and more rain. Eldest son was competing in his first InterCounty Shoot as an adult, representing Sussex. Last time he shot for County was 20 years ago! This shoot - Sussex v Hampshire - was held at Eastleigh, near Southampton. As it was a 1½ hour drive away I acted as chauffeur, as well as team supporter - lol! Fortunately the forecast was wrong and the weather was really good, albeit a little on the chilly side for those of us sitting doing nothing! We didn't hang around at end of shoot as we were told there was no need to and Hants always won anyway. Next day we were notified that, in fact, Sussex had won and by over 300 points (Sussex Juniors beat the Hants Juniors by over 3000!).

Even better - he made the team and not in bottom position! Exactly where we will know when the official result is published. Hopefully he will be selected again now .....

Friday, 25 April 2008

More interesting .....

........... hopefully! I've managed to add a couple of slideshows to the sidebar on the right. Just a selection of cards from the last couple of years. Not made any this year as yet but I hope to remedy that in the not too distant future - lol!! Not sure if I'll add any more. I'll have to decide if I think I've any cards older that are worth showing - :o))

Wot d'yer think of it so far?????


I've been reading a new blog (to me) and discovered that the rules for the Arte y Pico award are a little more specific than I thought. Thanks to Martine at The Craft Table and, I hope she doesn't mind as I've copied the following from her blog .......

The "Arte Y Pico" (Art & More) is given to bloggers who share their art and creativity making their contribution to the blogger world.
The rules!

1. You pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and the link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4. Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of the Arte y Pico
blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

Having visited the Arte y Pico site (which is predominantly in Spanish or Portugese) I have discovered that there is a 5th rule and that is -

5. To show these rules!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

St George's Day

Well, it's nearly over but today is St George's day - the patron saint of England. We English don't tend to celebrate our Saints day much but it seems right to mention it and at least acknowledge that we do have a Saint's day. Perhaps, one day, we will actually do something about making it an occasion - lol!!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

I need to thank ....

.... all my friends on the imag-e-nation forum and elsewhere, for all the kind thoughts that have been sent to me over the last couple of weeks by whichever way they've been sent. I've had personal emails, PM's, posts and cards. They have all been of great comfort and it is brilliant to know that so many people care. So, here's to all my friends, to those I've known a long time, to those I've known and met only recently and to all my friends I've yet to meet - THANK YOU!

My hubby has been brilliant. Although wheelchair bound he has been seeing to everything in the house while I've been running round like a blue-a***d fly with the arrangements and looking after Dad. He's cooked, hoovered and dusted and generally kept everything ticking over, all the while fighting the additional pain that all these activities create for him. I couldn't have wished for more support and help than he's given and I definitely couldn't have managed without him and nor could I continue with what's left to be done without his support and help. He can be a right pain in the bum (well, he is a man after all) but I wouldn't change him - lol!!

I also need to thank my sons and their families. They have been so supportive and it has been truly appreciated, especially as they're grieving themselves and having to comfort their own children - my beautiful grandchildren - at the same time. I don't tell them enough what I think of them (they probably wouldn't want to know most of the time - lol!) but I love them, so to both of you -


.... Who needs the Oscars and/or Baftas???

Friday, 18 April 2008

Today was the day.

Well, it's over and have to say it's just what she would have wanted ... simple and dignified ... although I can hear her say "and even that was too much!" My brother told me that it was the best he'd been to (if there can be a 'best' in these circumstances). No words were said. It was left to the music and our thoughts. The recording of 'Edelweiss' was hauntingly beautiful and very emotional and it couldn't have been bettered for her arrival. There was a couple of minutes quiet for us to reflect in our own thoughts and then 'So Long, Farewell' was played as the curtains came round. 'My Favourite Things' was exactly the right choice for us all to leave by.

We didn't have 'Lonely Goatherd' at all but, another spooky thing, Tuesday evening I had just finished telling my friends about the music choice and that I had wanted that track when it was played in the restaurant on their musak!

The flowers were just as ordered - bright and cheerful and full of daisies & chrysanth's - lol!

The buffet lunch at the alternative venue to the Garden Centre was superb. I think they catered for 150 instead of 15 so there was plenty for doggy bags but still loads left behind. I would not hesitate to use them again - I'd just halve the number to be catered for - lol!!

I think I now know why we couldn't book the Garden Centre. The venue we ended up using was a place that Mum, Dad, me & OH were going to have a meal at to celebrate our birthdays, earlier in the year. We had been waiting for Mum to be well enough for us to go for that meal. It looks as though fate stepped in and the whole family went instead ......

...Pity I didn't notice that the orchids (Mum's favourite flowers & given by her eldest grandson, my eldest) had twisted round in the cellophane so all I managed to photograph were the backs of them :o((


Youngest son rang last night to check arrangements for Mum's funeral today. He told me something that happened yesterday which is really spooky and, if anyone can put a rational explanation to it then, feel free! My daughter-in-law was out with the little ones (the 2 and 6 year old) and were driving through Rottingdean on their way home. As they drove up the High Street the youngest one said...... "I see Grandma" - not once but 3 times in succession. It gets spookier! She said it as they passed the Funeral Directors where Grandma was laying at rest at that moment. There is absolutely no way that the little one has any idea of what's going on. It's going over her head completely. Rottingdean holds no memory relating to Grandma for her and, obviously, she wouldn't know about the Funeral Director or anything else relating (she was only 2 in January) but ....... she saw Grandma.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Really disappointed...

The Garden Centre is unable to take us on Friday after the funeral as they already have a booking for 30. Really disappointed and upset as there is nowhere else that means what the Garden Centre did to Mum and the little ones. I've managed to find an alternative venue but it means nothing other than somewhere to have some refreshment afterwards. Feel a bit flat about it now and have to admit to having shed a few tears but I guess I need to look on it in the way I look on most things........ that they happen for a reason and if it was meant to be then it would have been. It makes the logistics of getting the youngsters, who won't be at the funeral, to the venue, a bit more difficult but it's not insurmountable. C'est la vie and I guess there's always something that's not quite as we'd like with most things.

You'd have to see it

Started clearing Mum's clothes. I thought I had a fair few and I knew she had stuff she'd never worn and a lot still with price labels on but - I didn't expect to find around 60 skirts, 45 blouses, 20 jackets, coats and macs, 30 pairs of shoes, 10 pairs of trousers (from somebody who didn't wear trousers until recently) and I've still to see to jumpers (whole wardrobe full on their own - lol!), nightwear and general bits and pieces that Dad wants to go. So far I've taken 4 dustbin bags of skirts, 1 of shoes, 2 of jackets & coats and 1 of blouses to the Dogs Trust, Shoreham, for their shop. I reckon that, by the time I finish sorting everything out, they could stock the shop with just what has been supplied by her - lol! Mum rarely bought cheap and most is very high quality so, if the items are priced sensibly, the Dogs Trust should make a good bit out of the donation. I do hope so as she would be over the moon to see the dogs benefit.

Dad has joined me on the trips to the homing centre, just for the ride out. Did the first trip on Monday, yesterday he was asking when we were going again so off we went again today. Weather has been good - bright and sunny - and, with the centre being about 15 miles away it's made quite a nice afternoon out.


Went out with some good friends last night. Couple of large glasses of red and a good meal. Came home feeling all comfy, cosy (from the red) so went to bed to snuggle. Woke up around 3am and here I am, still awake and given up on sleep! Oh well, have the last episode of Torchwood and the first of the new series of Dr Who to watch so looks like I'm in for a couple of hours of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and David Tennant. Could a girl have any better company if she can't sleep?????

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Relaxing day

Spent some time with my little grand-daughters yesterday. They are adorable. There's something about them that has the effect of taking away negative thoughts. The tiniest one, 2 years old, is so funny with her little ways and the things she's says. She points at me and tells me 'You're so funny!' If I'm funny then she's hilarious - lol!! Her 6 year old sister is so much a girly, girl and is so loving and sensitive. She's feeling the loss of Great-Grandma at the moment and needs reassuring that she's not going to lose anyone else. These 2 are chalk and cheese but have a very close bond - for the moment! They certainly put things into perspective and have a way of helping you through. They did their card to go with Grandma's flowers and I have to say a very colourful card it is as well. It's very pink as the elder one was the 'designer' with the little one adding her bit at the end. I'm sure Grandma will love it!

Had a day away from everything today. Eldest son was competing in an early season, friendly, archery tournament. It's an annual 'start of season' shoot organised by Hastings & St Leonards Bowmen (Archery Club) that we normally do but I'm not shooting at the moment due to a frozen shoulder. He'd booked his place some weeks ago and, despite what's happened this week, we decided it would be a good idea if he went and I went with him. The organisers are friends so I thought it would make a relaxing day for me as well. He's won this tournament for the last 2 years but, although hoping for a successful defence, wasn't expecting to do anything this year for the obvious reason and also because he has been ill for the last couple of days. He ended up scoring a PB and winning by quite a margin - for Grandma, who used to come and support the lads when they were juniors. Weather was good, although a few black clouds came over and it was quite cool and very breezy but, we both came home with sun caught faces and feeling relaxed.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Busy, busy!

What a busy few days - well, today and yesterday at least. What a shame that I had to 'lose it' with a Doctor on Wednesday to start to get anything done!

I phoned the hospital bereavement office at 10am on Wednesday, as instructed, to arrange to collect the death certificate so I could register Mum's death and start arrangements, only to be told that it wasn't available yet but they would contact me when it was. Expecting that to be within a couple of hours max I waited - and waited. I phoned back again but still no cert available. Waited again, phoned again - same reply. Made comment that it wasn't good enough and was offered to be put through to a doctor so I could complain ............. which I did. I have to confess that I ended up shouting and crying however, half hour later certificate was available. I did have to make the point that Mum might be dead but she was no less important, especially as I'd been waiting, that day, for 6 hours and she had, in fact, died the night before! Bereavement office thanked me when I finally got to pick up the cert yesterday morning as they say they have great trouble with the doctors completing these forms. They don't consider the people left behind.

Things have now moved on and everything - and I mean everything, not just the funeral - is arranged or in hand and all we can now do is sit and wait.

Cremation is next Friday, 18th April followed by lunch at the local Garden Centre where the youngsters, who won't be at the Crematorium, can join us. It is where Great-Grandma took them for 'Breakfast with Santa' every year. There will be no service and the music will be from the Sound of Music. The committal will be to 'So Long, Farewell'. The only flowers will be a small cut and tied spray bouquet of as many daisy varieties as possible plus a few chyrsanths - from 'her babies'.

There is a story behind all this. Mum has spoken for years about what she wanted when the time came - 'No fuss, no flowers and a cardboard box' She didn't really want a funeral at all but, as needs must, it is going to be as close to that as possible. Unfortunately the 'cardboard box' is somewhat more expensive than the cheapest traditional coffin so, because she'd hate the idea of us spending more than necessary, it's the cheapest coffin! The flowers from 'her babies' are our compromise to take the plainness off of the coffin but are going to be daisy's because Daisy was her name and - she hated it! She was only ever known by her middle name (which is also mine) Joy. The music is because she loved Austria and The Sound of Music (although I was the only one that thought 'The Lonely Goatherd' would be a good choice to come out to) and she didn't want any mourning so it's 'no black' as well.

All in all I think we'll have done her proud and I can see her smiling ruefully while we still get it in the neck for the few flowers (& type) that will be there but finally, we can do something our way and not hers!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

It is now ....

Mum passed on earlier this evening. She's now at peace and her years of suffering are finally at an end.

Life is going to be very strange and different from now on. She has been my Nemesis since I was a young girl - couldn't live with her but not sure how I'm going to live without her.

Rest in Peace Mum

It's not over yet.......

............. but it's near. She is still on the infusion pump of morphine and sedative - and will remain so - and is not giving any indication that she is aware of anyone around. She's not taking any food or fluid on board and the saline drip has been taken away. We're not spending quite as much time at the hospital, although there is somebody with her most of the time from mid-morning to late evening. I've spent the morning there today but had the afternoon with Dad & Ollie and I'm having the evening off. I feel so tired and totally drained and just wish it was over now. I'm having to stay positive for Dad. He's coping extremely well at the moment but he has the odd moment where a few tears slip through. Totally understandable considering the number of years they've been married and the experiences they've shared.

Ollie is still not showing the symptons he had last week and he's still taking his medication, although the 2nd lot of pills he's not so keen to take so it involves me rolling round the floor to get them into his mouth and then keep the mouth shut until gone!!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Mixed emotions.

This is one weekend I do not wish to repeat! I've had 2 hours sleep in the last 48 hours. Got to hospital yesterday lunchtime to find Mum had been moved to a side-room and there she stays. Apparently she was so noisy and disruptive they had to move her from the main ward. She told me she was frightened and didn't want to be on her own and she was only trying to tell them but they wouldn't listen. I found out she'd asked the staff to phone me and had they?? All the family gathered through the afternoon and she was more content - so much so that the nursing staff commented on how much calmer she was. Sometimes you wonder where brains are kept! The family decided that somebody would be with her 24/7 to keep her calm and told the staff that was what was going to happen, like it or not. I did the night shift. This morning she was put on an infusion pump of dia-morphine and late morning they decided that she needed to be sedated as she was so stressed - something she (and we) had been asking for since she arrived. She's not stupid and, although she's not been told the outcome of this illness she has worked it out for herself. She has been persistent in her request - and I quote - 'to have something so that I won't know what's happening to me' This afternoon she was saying goodbye and requesting 'no fuss'. She has been sleeping peacefully since teatime and tonight we are all in our own beds - except her. Shifts will start again tomorrow morning, although not 24/7, and will continue until no longer needed. We are all hoping that it will be sooner, rather than later, for all our sakes but mainly hers. I see a once strong, proud and very private & 'proper' woman devoid of all dignity and feeling the need to apologise, in every waking minute, because she feels she is being a nuisance. Don't anyone ever tell me that euthanasia is wrong where there is no doubt as to the outcome of an illness. You wouldn't allow an animal to suffer in the way that my Mum is expected to - and I'm not talking physical, necessarily - life is about more than that. I am upset, but also very angry. Most of all we are all longing to see an end to her suffering.

In the meantime, Ollie seems to have found a new lease of life. He's either been 'jesting' or the vet's medicine is having wondrous effects. Whatever it is, for Dad's sake, I hope it continues for a long time as Ollie is currently giving him his purpose in life. I'm making sure that Dad is safe and getting his meals, calling in on a more regular basis between the hospital shifts and I'm having to persuade Ollie to take his meds twice a day. Dad's so confused, bless him, but he's managing, with help, and I'm so proud of him.

Friday, 4 April 2008

It was the lull!

I was hoping to have some good news and some new 'makings' to show today as I'd planned an afternoon of playing with my mate Cally. Unfortunately I haven't - on either count.

I had to rush Mum to hospital this morning. She hasn't been out a week yet from her breathing problem/pneumonia last week and now she's had an aortic aneurysm bleed (we didn't even know she had an aneurysm) and, because of all her other health problems, they are not putting her through the huge operation that would be needed to correct the situation. She just wouldn't come through it. Instead it's down to palliative care and she's now on heavy duty pain relief (hallucinating nicely) and we have to sit and wait for the inevitable. On top of that Ollie had the cancer diagnosis confirmed yesterday and he's also waiting. Poor Dad is having trouble understanding and coming to terms with it all and only time will tell how all this will affect him. It's bad enough facing the loss of the family 'baby' but to learn that he is also losing his wife of nearly 60 years could be just that one step too far. I saw him cry today for the very first time in my 57 years - so sad!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

It's a new day.

Phew!! Ollie is a lot brighter this morning and has decided to start eating. Perhaps it's not such gloomy news after all. Spoke to vet and he seemed relieved. Now I've to take Ollie to the surgery tomorrow to be checked over more thoroughly. Keeping fingers crossed as don't think we can take much more bad news in the family at the moment - and the year started off quite well - LOL!!
He's 12 years old this year. Mum & Dad got him from the Dogs Trust, ,as a 6 week old puppy. They changed his name from Dallas.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

It never rains ....

.... but it pours, as the saying goes. Just getting Mum and Dad settled back into a routine, of sorts, and now their dog is ill. He was fine yesterday but today he was very lethargic, unable to stand for more than a couple of seconds but most oddly, he was very quiet. He usually spends his time, when I'm there, running around trying to get me to play and barking at me. Today - nothing, nowt, nadda!! Quiet as a mouse but tail still wagging. Told Mum & Dad to keep an eye on him and if he got any worse to call me. If he didn't show improvement by the morning then vet was going to be called. Hadn't been home an hour when phone rang. Ollie (that's dog's name) had gone out to garden, laid down and wouldn't, or couldn't, get up to come back in. When he saw me he got excited enough to manage to stand and I got him indoors but it looked to me as though he may have had a stroke. Anyway, called vet for home visit (he wouldn't have got in car and he's too heavy to pick up) and it's not looking good. The vet is a lovely, caring, very knowledgable man who has looked after all the family animals over the last 20+ years and ............ he thinks it's stomach cancer. There is one other thing it could be and the next couple of days will tell him more depending on how Ollie reacts to the meds he's been given but, I could tell he was pretty certain. Just hope he's wrong for all their sakes. Not sure what it would do to Mum & Dad if they lost their 'baby' right now with everything else that's going on with them. An ultrasound may be required to confirm a diagnosis but we've to report in with the vet daily at the moment but he said that if it was what he thought Ollie is just likely to go to sleep one day and not wake up.
As I say, it never rains!!