Feeling silly

I have just done something that I have never done before and I’m feeling a bit silly.  I went shopping this morning and found a lovely joint of meat, free range and on offer for a brilliant price.  I got home and was unloading my groceries and when I’ve put everything away I realise I am missing the joint of meat!  I go back and look in the car but was sure there was nothing else in the boot.  Nope, not there.  Back into the house and take another look in the obviously empty bags.  No meat to be found!  So, I have to admit to myself that I must have left it at the checkout.  I dig the receipt out and yes, the first item on the list is my lovely, great priced joint.  How embarrassing!  Now that I have admitted that I left it at the shop I have one other issue.  I bought it while in Oakham this morning so I’m 20 miles away.  I pluck up the courage to call the shop and see if they can hold it for me.  When I ring it is an 0845 number so I know I’m going to have to talk to the call centre not just the shop.  Oh this is going to be fun.  I keep thinking how stupid I was and how could I have done it.  When the call centre answers and their recorded message starts to give the menu options,  much to my surprise Option 2 is for people who have left groceries in the shop!  Are there really that many people who do this that it gets its own option on the phone menu?  When the Customer Service lady answers the phone and I tell her about my missing joint of meat she says “oh I do it all the time, I have even left cash back before”.  I have to admit that made me feel a bit better.  She contacts the shop and they say they have my wayward joint and will hold it for me.  So now I have to plan another trip 20 miles back to Oakham.  So much for me buying local meat with a low-carbon footprint…I just blew that away driving 40 miles to go back and pick it up.

I should have stayed in bed this morning!

Today was not to be my day.  I got up and got ready for my trip to London, skipped my morning coffee thinking that I’ll get one on the train as I had treated myself to 1st Class tickets. (Don’t worry I only expense the Standard fare.).

Mistake number one. I arrived at the train station in plenty of time walked into the station I immediately see many folks hovering around, not a good sign.  I check the departure board to see that my train has just been cancelled. I ask someone if they knew why ans they said a reason had not yet been given. Ever the optimist I proceed to the platform hoping for the next train. On this side of the station I find at leat 100 people wearing that same “I wish someone would tell us something” expression. Uh oh bad sign number two. Still no explanation from the train staff just more cancellations. After about 40 minutes of waiting with still no clarification or options I decide to drive and meet someone else halfway to drive the remainder. I go to the car park pay station expecting to be charged foe approximately an hour. Oh, how wrong could I be? The machine charged me for a full day at £9.00.  Okay onward to Cherwell Valley Services to meet my co-worker, I now have to pay another £10.00 to park here. At 10:00 finally securely ensconced in someone else’s car and care I proceed to spill my first cup of coffee on the floor of her Volvo! It is not even midday and I’m ready to surrender. I knew I should have stayed in bed.

You know you are getting old when…

A side bar to my earlier post about our adventure at A&E last night.  You know the old cliché “you know you are getting older when the doctors and police officers start to look like children”.  Well I lived this last night.  My mother-in-law’s doctor fit the bill.  At one point during our marathon wait  someone asked him what time his shift ended.  He said “midnight”.  I wanted to ask if he had permission from his parents to be out that late!  I swear the guy did not look old enough to have finished medical school…talk about Doogie Hower or what.  Don’t get me wrong he was very kind, considerate, thorough  and had a decent bedside manner.  He just made me feel old.  It reminded me of last autumn when we had something stolen and had to make a police report.  The officer walked in and both Pam and I stood with our mouths open.  It literally looked like this kid borrowed his dad’s uniform and boots!  I guess I just need to accept that I’m getting older.

Things that should never be seen together…

…an 83-year-old woman and a balance beam in a children’s playground!!

Yesterday however the two came into very close contact and you can imagine the outcome!  My wonderfully lively and active mother-in-law was enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon in the park with her 2 1/2-year-old great-grandson.   She decided to demonstrate to him how to walk on the balance beam which stood about 18 inches off of the ground.  (In the meantime said great-grandson toddled off to the slide and was not was even watching.)  So, here is my mother-in-law up on the beam…oh did I mention she was still wearing her high heels??  Next thing she knows she is flying towards the spongy mat.  Although the spongy mat broke her fall it also acted like a catapult and shot her sideways into one of those big spider web things with the nylon ropes and metal poles.  She hit one of the metal cross bars impacting at her ribs.  This was approximately 3:00 p.m.  It took the ambulance one hour to get to her and then a trip to the A&E.  Being a former emergency services person this is where I lose patience very quickly when I see that simple things just are not being done.  I won’t name the specific hospital but let’s say if this hospital was a person then this man’s name would have been Lester!

Pam and I get the call at about 5:00 asking if we could come to the hospital after making a stop at mum’s to pick up an over night bag etc.  We arrive at the A&E at around 6:15 to find that mum had just been assessed and was waiting to see a doctor.  She was having trouble breathing and they gave her some pain killers while she waited and waited and waited.  The A&E was like crammed full with people waiting everywhere.  For the first 4 hours or so no one seemed to move out of A&E.  They just kept piling up.  Finally shift change came and a nurse ,who I wish I got her name came, in and saw the chaos.  It did not take her very long to start sorting the place out.  She got the staff moving and before we knew it we actually saw patients going to X-Ray, being moved on to the ward, getting discharged.  It was an amazing transformation.  Although grateful that this woman was making such an immediate impact it just underlined that fact that the chaos could have been avoided in the first place if someone had taken charge as she did!  It still took a few hours to unravel this huge backlog and as a result we left the hospital at around 1:00 a.m.  So just a few words to the NHS…overall I think you are very good however there is room to improve and having an organised A&E makes a massive difference.  The ambulance crews were backed up 4 deep not being able to off load or handover their patients this in turn caused a shortage of emergency ambulances on the road.  Patients need to be triage and assessed faster and X-Ray needs to support great capacity.  I realise these are easy things to say but they are doable and would make the NHS a more efficient operation.  So, thank you to the unknown nurse who took command and kicked butt.  We need more of these people.  My mother-in-law is resting at home with her cat.

Well Done Mother Nature

Wow!  What an awesome day.  Mother Nature out did herself today with the sunshine and the lovely warm temperature.  It made it to 17 today!  I hope that you had a beautiful day wherever you are.  It is amazing what sunshine does for the human spirit.  Life is tough for most of us right now but when you get a day like today it is hard not to feel a bit more optimistic.   Springtime is truly here.  What perfect timing as we move the clocks forward tonight.  (I hate to lose that hour in the spring but I do love it when they give it back to us n the autumn.)  Let’s hope that we get a repeat performance tomorrow of today.


Just had to share!

Today has been my day for elevator humour.  I’m not talking about funny things that were said in the lift but the actual lift itself.  The lift in my hotel this morning was made by Schindler….so of course my brain immediately said “Ha, Schindler’s Lift!”

Then I go into the office and I guess I have never paid attention before but the name on this lIft was Porn and Dunwoody.  This is one for the Americans as “woody” has a specific connotation which does align with porn.

Oh what fun can be had if you just look around you everyday!!

A World Apart

I’m back in Richmond today and decided to get a proper lunch instead of a ready made sandwich which is my usual work day fare. There are some nice places very close to the office so I picked one at random. It was a lovely little bistro with an extensive menu. After ordering I sat and absorbed the atmosphere and conversation around me. (When eating alone what else is there to do?) I listened to the ladies to my left, it was a bit difficult not to actually. They were talking about choosing a boarding school for one of their daughters. I never knew it was important to have “quality shopping” in walking distance. I was also unaware of the specific requirement that the area’s architecture needs to be interesting and “pleasing to the eye”! They mentioned their favourite so far featured “Neo Georgian mansions”. I sat there thinking how yesterday I was on the farm where the conversation surrounded which sheep was next to lamb and a warning to watch the pile of sheep poo outside the door because SJ the “free range” sheep had been trying to get into the house again. How can life be so totally different just 130 miles away? I will say that my preference certainly falls towards the farm. My granddaughter won’t care about the architecture around her school she will only care to know if her favourite lamb will be able to ride on the school bus with her.

Farm update…


We have spent the weekend at the farm and it has been my responsibility to look after and feed Lola the two week old lamb. She has to be fed every 5 hours and boy is she ready when that time comes! It is amazing to see her growing along side all the other lambs.  Last night was quite an experience for me. I had just finished giving Lola her dinner and helped Rach get the sheep into the shed.  When one of the ewes, that Rach had been watching, started to have some difficulties. Rach called Simon for reinforcements as she knew this was not going to be easy.  Sparing you the specific and not so pretty detail, the ewe finally gave birth to her little lamb. Without the intervention of Rach and Si her lamb and potentially her own life would have been lost. Instead they have a healthy ewe and lamb to continue to grow the flock.  I have to say that helping out here has been the best therapy I have had for the Fibro.  The fresh air, constant activity and learning experiences have kept my focus on the farm and I have not given the Fibro a look in. This after a trip to Richmond and a bout of the plague before that I’m feeling great. Might have to think about retiring to the country.


It was all going too well…


It was all going too well…

Today was an unplanned trip into Richmond from Northamptonshire. I got a call yesterday to be in the office to prep for a new client.  If you read this blog you will remember that my last journey to Richmond was a disaster. So, I was dreading today but much to my delight the trip into Richmond was surprisingly easy. So easy in fact that I made it all the way to the office by 9:00 and even the taxi driver from the Richmond station was lovely whereas last time my driver made me feel like rubbish for not walking to my office from the station.  No dramas I arrive at the office ready to go.  The rest of the day did not run as smoothly but that is work and you deal with it.  My luck held out and I actually found a taxi to take me to the station, this is a first for me as I always end up walking this bit due to a shortage of taxis.  I’m feeling pretty good now that I have finally cracked this route into London.  I arrive at St Pancras for the last leg of my journey. The train is boarding but I check with a train crew member that it is the correct one just to be sure.  I’m on the train for 10 minutes and it is almost time to depart when they announce the stops and I realise I AM ON THE WRONG TRAIN!

I have to create chaos around me as I try to get off the train before it leaves. I make it off the train and now have to “run” two platforms over to get my real train which leaves in 2 minutes!  Can you believe it? The travel Gods were kind to me and I find a way to screw it up.  I did make to the correct train and should be home within the hour.  Phew!

New born lambs

Wow, lambing at the farm is in full flow.  Pam and I actually watched a lamb being born!  What an amazing opportunity.  It is incredible that literally seconds after they are born they are up on those tiny skinny legs and walking around.  Those first few minutes are full of activity as the new lambs need to suckle and mum needs to clean them up and encourage them to walk.  Rach has preventative medication to give to each one, they need to be weighed and then moved to their own pen.  The shed is reconfigured several times a day to accommodate each new arrival and their mum’s so they have space to themselves.  It is a logistical exercise that would be admired by the military.  Talk about a refreshing way to recuperate from this rotten virus, to stay with Si and Rach and watch their farm at work.