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OGFB Blog: Sue

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 04 May 2008
Surely its not so long since I wrote. Its been a busy week and a tiring one mentally. I am sure the readers of this blog have also read the forum on Decisions. Having seen the spinal surgeon I chose to have a Cortisone injection in my back. Ever since I have regretted my actions and have spent some time doing some research. I now have a string of questions for my GP , the answers of which may lead to a change of plan.

I told Dad to day that I may have an operation, and in his usual distant manner he said, Oh!  Hmm I need a shave. He was the one person I was worried about and I don't suppose it has occurred to him yet that he will not see me for over 2 months. He worries when I go away for a week, so what he will be like after 2 months i do not know

Whilst there we noticed that Dad's rhubarb was more than a good crop so we cut it for him. Whilst I write Bob is making Rhubarb and ginger jam and I will later make Dad some rhubarb pies.

Back to the beginning of the week. Over last weekend we saw a Bob Ross starter  paint set on ebay. I have wanted one since attending my oil painting workshops, but have resisted because of the cost. Anyway this one was  in the States. I know the set is much cheaper in the States as I have been searching the net for suppliers and comparing prices, like you do. So I expected that any maximum bids would be low from there. Any way, whilst I was at my Art class on Monday Bob managed to acquire it for a fraction of the price in the shops here, and that included postage. I can't wait for it to arrive.

On Thursday we set off to Blackpool  via Boundry Mill to see the Ice Show there. I struggled again at Boundry Mill. It is so painful and exhausting walking around. especially shopping and queing for changing rooms.  I managed to buy a couple of things but very soon I was seeking solace on a chair...

The Ice show was good and well worth a visit. It is amazing how fast they move on the ice, but how quickly they can stop. It has always been a wish of mine to ice skate, but perhaps I am too old now. The next day we went up to a  clothes outlet village , near Fleetwood once again a struggle for me but my 2 friends enjoyed it. Bob and I parked ourselves in a n outdoor cafe with a view and within a very short time had acquired a pink neck and face. Its a good job I had sun protection on.

 The last couple of days have inspired me to think of the summer, so shopping has consisted of searching for summer bargains. I feel  particularly happy with my buys and then today we are back to rain. The weekend was successful and Kath had a good birthday celebration and Bob and I a good 37th wedding anniversary. ( the same day as Mel's birthday  I might just add)

This week includes an Art workshop and a day trip to Coventry to see our eldest daughter , and the house she and her husband have just bought. Settled at last , it being nearly 10 months since she came back from the States. We are taking over the furniture that we have stored for some 4 years. The fridge, microwave, pictures, TV etc. plus a wallpaper stripper and scrapers. This could mean a busy afternoon!!! Of course I will only be able to supervise.!

More next week


 20 April 2008
Another week over, in fact more. This last week has been a lot better, mainly because we had a long weekend in France at our house over there. The weather was so much warmer than here. Well only a few degrees but it felt like much more. On the front of our house it was comfortable enough to sit out and read. I didn't do much but did manage a spot of pruning of the climbers, clematis honeysuckle and passion flowers, as they were at my level. Otherwise anything more strenuous was out.

We visited friends for a meal on Saturday. These are an English couple that we met in the local Super U supermarket. They live out there permanently as their daughter married a French man. Its funny as Audrey and I have many common interests  including Art. She was baptised at St Lukes church Brierfield, which is where Bob and I married. What a strange coincidence we thought

On Sunday we went out to lunch and had a typical long leisurely french meal. Not much got done after that. Then on Monday were invited to join our neighbours for a small BBQ. Experience told us this would be a late affair and it was getting on for midnight when we ate. The children ate earlier and I was treated to a rendition of the Beatles song Love me Do, that they had learnt in school. Surprisingly they had been told nothing about the Beatles so that became a topic of conversation. As the wine flowed our French flowed too. Our neighbours could speak no English when we moved there but now they delight in speaking a few phrases. These too flowed more easily as the evening ( or should I say morning ) wore on.

Tuesday it was time to return home. We decided to visit Nantes centre, as we were flying from there in the evening. I was disappointed that my back didn't hold up but it was still a pleasant afternoon. The flight home was at 9.50pm French time, and we were home in bed at midnight English time. It was a good weekend , and all for 1 penny out and £19 back each. Including taxes etc it only cost us £80 return for the two of us

Back home  I have done the usual round of GP, physio and acupuncture, and have also invested in a Tens machine. I am hoping this will give some relief. I have managed another swimming session but disappointingly not as good as the previous sessions.

Its a busy week this week, a fair bit of socialising, with lunch out and friends here for meals, also a french lesson , oil painting class, and a trip to Empress Mill at its new site to observe one of their sewing demonstrations... Oh yes and the hairdressers. No time to worry about my back!!!

Thats it for now

 09 April 2008
No change here except I now have another appointment with the specialist. I have however managed to do a few sessions swimming , and a couple of short walks. I can't do much else now except wait to see what happens. My own physio who I haven't seen for 3 weeks noticed a considerable improvement which is reassuring. I don't notice it so much myself

I have spent most of my week being artistic, religiously following my new aid to drawing book.  I amazed as to how much time it absorbs. Last Wednesday was my one day watercolour workshop. We painted daffodils. How hard. Jeremy had to help me out more than once. In the end it wasn't really my picture at all. I have tried redoing the picture with no success, and I have tried drawing these beautiful flowers,. Again no success, back to the drawing board as they say.

On Monday my evening waterclass restarted after a 3 week break. Although I managed to complete the picture with reasonable success, I was not happy with it, and had another go at home yesterday. This  one, I am pleased with. I have managed to get the more delicate tones of the sky by using Jeremy's technique rather than Rosemarys, whilst retaining Rosemarys technique for rocks and grasses.I suppose it is all about developing your own style. I am still waiting for that to happen in my drawing!!!

Today I am visting an art exhibition with  one of my friends. (Wendy). It will be good to look at someone elses technique. Later I have to get my head round some card making. Another of my friends ( Kath) is 65 in a couple of weeks I want to make something a little different. We were going to Austria to celebrate but we have had to cancel. Instead we are going to an ice show in Blackpool. I am a great fan of ice dancing and  am looking forward to it.  We are combining the trip with a stay in yet another friend's( Arlene) hotel plus a meal. Not the same as Austria but we have resolved to go there as soon as I am well

More next week , oh yes I also need to polish up on my French for our forthcoming trip. There is always something to do.  I knew there was a reason I retired early!

 02 April 2008
It's been a week of change. Last Tuesday I could hardly move, my right hip was worse than ever. Two acupunctures later and a tweek of pain killers and I have been able to drive, go to the gym to do some walking exercises, and swim.

The latter was wonderfull, especially dangling in the water just out of my depth. In fact yesterday, with the sun streaming on to my face I nearly fell asleep. I have been three times now and have got to a level  of activity that I will now try and maintain. Unfortunately it has not left me pain free but  I feel so much better. It has certainly been good for my weight, and I have already lost some of the excess pounds brought on by inactivity.

I am sure that most of this movement is because of good pain management, but perhaps the movement will help to solve the problem, although I am not sure I really understand why, as Stanley and I have discussed in  the forum 'Today'. My physio will be getting interrogated on Friday

I think Spring is on its way. I know we keep getting these awful squally showers, but when the sun does come out it is  certainly getting warmer, even leaves are appearing on trees. A friend of ours who lives near our house in France, says that yesterday people were in shirt sleeves/T shirts and cutting the lawn, and doing other spring like activities. Perhaps it won't be long before we are the same. Not that we can cut a lawn, we have shingle, flower borders ,and fruit trees  and pond in our garden. We never had a lawn , just soggy moss, no matter how hard we tried.  I just love the sound of walking across shingle. I call it Le Crunch. It always reminds me of warm sunny days in France. Unfortunately in the winter, our le crunch sounds more like  Le Slurp as the garden and all underfoot becomes muddy and waterlogged.

Today was watercolour workshop. To keep in the mood of Spring we did 2 daffodils. NIGHTMARE. I am sure that landscapes are much easier. I have not had to have so much help for ages. What I brought home I could hardly claim as my own, as Jeremy worked hard to restore it to some presentable  form.I learnt a lot however, and am keen to have another go myself as soon as possible

I think that is all for now, more next week

 23 March 2008
In general it has been a much better 10 days.My left leg seems painless, and I can't believe that pain killers are so selective that they cure pain on the left hand side and not the right hand side. Unfortunately my right hip renders movement on that side almost impossible. The physio thinks it is inflammation brought on by a change in posture over th last few weeks.Meanwhile we have had to cancel yet two more holidays due to my problems

Enough!. This week I ventured into Art oil painting how superb. I attended a 6 hour workshop with a couple of friends. It was great fun and  I was really impressed. I can't wait for the next lesson

Friday saw us taking Dad out for and Easter lunch, we had arranged to be joined by my sister but she had to work. However her daughter, ie Dads grandaughter surprised him by turning up. She now lives and works in London and does not get up very much

The real surprise of the weekend was that Warwickshire daughter and hubby decided to go camping in South Wales. What a shock when we woke upto snow here. They too got a shock and after braving it for 48 hours we have just had a message to say they areback home. Well after 3 years in Milwaukee I suppose this small amount of snow was almost tropical at this time of year!!!!

Two acupuncture appointments this week and one GP, anything else has to be arranged around them . I lead such an exciting life!!!!!!


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