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OGFB Blog: Sue

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 19 November 2008
Is it really over a month since my last entry.Since that time I have been working towards full health and can now easily manage a  good walk of one and a half hours. We have recently spent a couple of weeks in France. Unfortunately I felt it was not wise for me to do any gardening which I found quite difficult. So much needed doing since our last trip in August.We did manage to plane some fruit bushes and shrubs between us, although I was mainly acting in a supervisory capacity. Bob managed to plumb the laundry room and things are looking good. We should get another trip in before Christmas

In France we invited our neighbours for a traditional English meal. This was very successful and I was asked for my recipes, which I take as a major compliment. In our next visit we will have our annual Christmas get together withall our friends that we have made over there. This increases in size each year. We now have some new English friends to add to our invites, a couple from Bolton. This year we are adding mulled wine to our traditonal English festive fare 

Whilst away I became a great aunt once again. This really is making me feel old! Oh yes and I have also sold a painting at our local Art Gallery where they hold an annual PEOPLES ART competition. This came as a pleasnt surprise and instills me with enthusiasm. I am still undecided what to spend my money on !

So things continue in the same vein. Walking, eating, socialising and painting.


 11 October 2008
A lot has happened since my last entry. Out of the blue the following Monday afternoon I had a phonecall asking me  to come to the hospital at 7.00a.m on the wednesday, for the operation later in the day. There was no time to panic, just time to get a book organised asI felt it would be a long lonely wait, and get packed

 Now it is commonly known amongst my friends that I don't do mornings, or to be strictly correct early mornings. However such an early start entailed a 5.00 a.m rise, as we had to battle our way down into Manchester. as it happens we were so early we arrived at the admissions ward at 6.20a.m , with the ward not even open.

As soon as the paperwork was completed Bob was asked to leave, and there I was at 7.15 a.m reading a book ( something else I am not known for). For the next few hours I was periodically disturbed for all the usual tests and form filling, and before I knew it ( and three quarters of a novel later ) I was trundled into the theatre at 2.00pm. The next I knew I was back on the ward to be told they had difficulty waking me. Nothing new there then, and hey I was up early!! By 7.00pm I was walking round the ward and eating a 3 course meal. I came home the following day feeling wonderful

 Ever since then I have followed to the letter my exercise programme. I am up to 30 minutes walking per day and yesterday I started to reduce my painkillers. It will take 6 weeks to get off one type then we start on the other 

I have to say I feel wonderful

All thanks to my GP and the wonderful surgeons at Salford Royal Hospital


 10 September 2008
Isn't the weather depressing, I feel that autumn has come all too quickly. We have seen so little sun since I last wrote. For several days we just sat in the mist of the clouds. Today is bright and Bob has gone walking. I am left once again to entertain myself and must admit that the novelty of indoor hobbies is now waning.

There is still no news on the operation front, and still no change in the pain in my legs.However I have managed short spells at the gym where I mainly do the exercises that my physiotherpist gave me. Afterwards I manage quite a long swim as when I am in the pool I have little pain and am very mobile. At least I can maintain some degree of physical fitness

Because of said operation we have just cancellled atrip to france. We shouuld have gone yesterday for 2 weeks but felt it best to sit and wait to be called in. Its a shame as I feel the need of some warm sun, and the weather in Brittany is goo this week

My watercolour classes have started again so Monday nights finds me at the Syke Community Centre. Its a good group  and we have fun but Rosemary goes so fast that I always feel my pictures lack something. The same community centre featured in the TV programme yesterday about a Millionaire giving away money. She has provided funding for the next year as she was so impressed with the work that goes on there.

Yesterday I started to write my book on the Widdups and Maylards, the lost families of my heritage. It makes a fascinating story if I can manage to write it correctly. I feel that my style at the moment is rather scientific and perhaps not a style for leisurely reading. Today I am have set myself a target of starting the story of John Widdup but admit to doing other things this morning. I have been trying to teach myself how to draw flowers. I am just having a rest before lunch and then I will start my writing

 I'll give a progress report next time


 28 August 2008
August the 3rd when I last wrote. Since then we have been out and about to anumber of places.

On August the 8th we attended a wedding in Nottingham the place of my birth. What a fabulous venue for the reception Pierrepont Hall. The weather was Ok but could have been a little warmer. The next day it rained ALL day. We took the opportunity to go and photograph the two houses where I lived when I was a child. We moved from Nottingham when I was just 3 years old, I have not been back to the places since and yet I remebered them. The human memory is a wonderful thing.

The day after the wedding we drove through driving rain, first of all to Coventry to have lunch with our daughter and then on to Cardiff for my sister in laws 60th birthday. Apart from the weather it was a very pleasant do, even if the BBQ was rained of a bit. Then it was a quick dash home up the M6 and over to Burnley to check Dad was OK.

On the following Tuesday we flew over to France where we remained for the next 10 days. I managed a little gardening but my legs are now suffering from the effects of my slipped discs. As the week wore on I realised that things were not as good as they had been. However, a little pain is not going to spoil a good holiday. We had a day in Rennes and another in Malestroit. On otherdays we both entertained friends or were entertained by others. So much for the diet again. 2 good lunches out , plus one Sunday lunch and  entertaining friends for a meal soon stopped any progress there , although there was also little weight gain

Home again this week and still no date for my operation. My GP is making enquiries again as he feels the urgency is increasing. The highlight of this week however was my oil painting workshop. Once again I was more than pleased with the result, and thank my teacher Tony for all his help. Still on the Art scene I have framed a watercolour for the local libraries PEOPLES ART display. This year I am attempting to sell my first picture

We hava French lesson on Saturday and in the evening we are entertaining again as we, have invited 4 of our friends for an evening meal

 So you can see it has been a busy month. Doesn't time fly when you are enjoying yourself


 03 August 2008
l haven’t written for some time as I had hoped to be able to give you news of what was going on with my back. In fact I had hoped to write and say all was done but it was not to be. I heard on Friday that the operation is now likely to be October and I only found that out by asking my GP to find out. The patient enquiry line always had an answer machine which said ’Leave a message and we will get back to you’. But they never did! Obviously the NHS does not count to 11 (as in 11 weeks) the same as every body else. I have no idea why it is being delayed a month but that is the National health Service for you. I am not in much pain but cannot walk far much to my frustration. Any way it is allows us to have one if not two more visits to France. I am more annoyed that I wasn't informed than anything else
Last Thursday we went  to  a funeral , down in Birmingham. Bob's Uncle had died after a period of illhealth and Alzheimers. He was the last of Bob's mothers generation and siblings. It was quite a small family gathering but allowed both Julia, Claire and Myself to meet family relatives of bob's that we either had never met or only met at family weddings some 35 -40 years ago. Uncle Arthur, himself had never married but had always loved his nieces, and great nieces. The girls had fond memories of him. He leaves behind a house that he had lived in since he was 12 in 1932, and a treasure trove of family memorabilia as he never threw anything away. The genealogists in us can't wait to see what turns up.

 Talking of genealogy I have been genealogically active over the last couple of weeks. Someone ( Paul Needham )
contacted me from Lincoln about my Mum’s side of the family. We made a connection as they say, and apart from one link we have taken the family back in Lincolnshire to 1610. We have a Samuel Needham born 1777-1780 that we need to confirm exactly who he was. Paul and I had both worked out the same information , but now Paul’s HOMEWORK is to search the Lincoln archives to see if there are any other Samuel Needhams fit the bill, other than the one we have found.
Next weekend we are at both a wedding in Nottingham ( daughter of a close friend) and my sister-in-laws 60th birthday in Cardiff . I suppose there will be a few more such birthday celebrations over the next couple of years. Bob is 60 in February! As I said , the wedding is in Nottingham a place we are not familiar with although I was born there and lived there for the first three years of my life. We are travelling down a day early and hope to visit where I was born and the houses that I lived in . Dad has remembered the addresses and I have very distant memories of these houses. It will be fun to see how correct my memory is!
Dad is fine if a little grumpy at times. He does have a lot to be grumpy about. He is going deaf, losing his co-ordination and ability to get his thoughts into words. He is also developing cataracts. His carers change constantly and  both he and I find this very annoying. he sometimes gets extremely angry and worked up over the slightest thing. However I do understand that life must be very frustrating for him. On our visit today he was his more usual cheerful self , which  was nice to see.
Well we had our French tutor on saturday. he worked us very hard indeed. He actually brought his french girlfriend with him so it was a real opportuntiy to practice our French. After a couple of hours we were quite worn out.
 Summer continues to be cool here and a little damp, mainly at night, but when the rain comes down it really lashes straight down. The hostas, astilbes and waterlilies and arum lilies look superb in the garden and pond. Last week was glorious and Bob and I decided to spend some 'chill out' time in the garden. I even read a book in two days which is most unusual. THE COASTLINERS  by Joanne Harris is well worth the read, especially if you are a bit of a francophile
I have been pottering with my painting and been to a couple of Art classes, mainly oils which I love. Bob is out this afternoon so I am just doing a few emails, finishing the washing, and then I thought I would do a little knitting. A hobby I come back to every now and again. I just love unusual knitwear and i have found this lovely pattern for a summer cardigan. It will probably take me until next summer to make it!!!
 It sounds like the washer has finished its cycle so must be off. More news in a week or so


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