Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Facebook addict

It used to be that the first thing I turned to, when my computer switched on, was Facebook to see how my family were doing and what other comments from friends was on there... now it is later in the day when I switch over as most of my thoughts are with the blogging world and who is saying what and what pictures and inspirational comments are being posted.. it truly has opened my world and I just love it.. I have joined a writing group and will start to see how to get started on that.. always thought I would write after the children left home, but never got around to it.. j ust like my painting and drawing, all these skills I want to rehone and do again and feel enriched by doing so.. Can't wait to get started.t as spring approaches fast and I do not have ops to think about... then all the ideas will come together.. and we shall be off... going to get a little shop on Etsy too.. that will be amazing... so sooner than I think the time will be here... but facebook is taking a back seat for now..

My rose tea cups and saucers

Today as is my wont, after the visit to the dentist  I went to the Charity Shop and found these lovely tea cups and saucers and side plates with a larger plate for the cake or sandwiches.. the design was so pretty I just could not walk out and leave them behind.. they are roses with a trellis design and although the gilding is worn there are no cracks to see, and the shape is delightful with a fluted design,, quite how that works whilst sipping the tea, not sure, but it does look so pretty.. they will go and join my other lovely sets that I have collected over the past years.. then when I get bored, or they haven't been used for a long while I will sell them onwards for someone else to enjoy their beauty.. I think these are  victorian, and I just love the shapes..

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

My New Chair hurrah!!

This is the newest chair to join us and one that I can finally sit in and feel comfortable since the ops... it is dark brown leather and stands at the end of the three piece couch that I have moved around to fit... it is high, firm and so soft leather it takes me in and lets me out quite easily... the other chairs are lower and harder to exit from... I am so happy with it, delivered this morning before I left the house for my meeting, and straight away fitted right in** Another Charity Shop find.. I am so luckly with my finds, but then I do have to go each day to see what is new in stock.. they know me well now after 15 years going.. and they have helped me furnish this house in so many different ways..*

Monday, 23 January 2012


I have this annoying cough that tickles my throat making me cough out loud, but it doesn't seem to want to go away for long.. I have hours not having it, then it starts up again.. All well and good, just have to ignore it whilst I have been reading all the amazing blogs that cover design, interiors, books, thoughts, poetry and artwork.. what an amazing group of women there are out there in the ether..
 Tomorrow I have a meeting to go to . Its the 1st one of like sufferers like me of C E S which is Cauda Equina Syndrome.. You might have heard of it, but many people havent.. its the most annoying and upsetting part left to me from the spinal ops I had last May.. However I will get to meet others and find out how they cope and maybe I might learn a little more about how to manage it better..

 Its been a great day here with the sun shining and the wind less blowy.. I also got a beautiful  real soft leather armchair from the Charity shop that will be delivered tomorrow.. It is in dark chocolate brown and will match in colour the armchair my husband has. I found it the most comfortable seat to sit in and just had to have it although it will cost me £40 its a fraction of what it would have cost new, and they are going to deliver it for me! I cannot wait to see it in my front room. I have moved the furniture around again and hopefully it will all go together well.. Since the ops I haven't been able to sit well in any chair except my office chair, so this will mean I can spend more time together with John downstairs instead of up here typing to the world ha ha.. I think that I have paid at least a tenth of what it would have cost new, so I am very very happy...I have also sold a few things on Ebay which has pleased me too.. all in all not a bad time..

 This month of January is always a hard one here in our house , because it is the time when all the accountants have to get their client accounts in to the Inland Revenue tax office before the deadline of 31st of January, so John works flat out and long hours and barely has time to speak, but then in Feb we can relax and maybe go out and about a bit visiting friends just to have a break.. the last three months of the year and January are always so stressful because of getting all the clients paperwork sorted and sent off..
 Also Feb is when you start to see Spring really arriving and its so uplifting to see the shoots breaking through reminding you of life cycles continuing  hurrah for the newness and the continuence of living...

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Falling in Love again!!

I just had to share this with everyone... It is so gorgeous and so right... Becoming  a Grandparent is the most wonderful thing after becoming a real parent... the joy is unbelieveable and so unique, couldn't you just scoop this little one up for a big big hug!!!!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

My grandson Griffin is 2 years old already!!

Living in Perth Australia, I haven't seen him since he was 4 months old, but we keep in touch by facebook and videos, he is absolutely gorgeous, as are all my lovely grandchildren, I am blessed indeed!! It was second birthday on the 19th and I have sent the gifts, but guess that hasnt arrived yet as no one called to say... I hope it won't be too long before I get over to see him, he will not know me and that hurts, but one day he will know he has two grannies.. the other one lives very close and has a wonderful relationship with him and her daughter his mum... still, its great to know he is growing up healthy and happy..

Hair today- gone tomorrow??

My hair is long now, and its taken almost two  years to get this long.. I decided that before I really turned old I would find out how it felt having it with a centre parting like I did when I was in my twenties, and hanging loose... I have discovered that hanging loose is not my thing anymore.. it irritates me around my face, so I have it up all the time, which is not much different from having it cut short as it was before.. then it was layered all over with a tiny fringe that was wispy across my forehead./.. but the big question is, why am I afraid to cut it short again, will I be disatisfied again, and is it because a lot of things in my life make me disatisfied, and really should I be looking at other areas that need changing rather than my hairstyle!!!

Hmmm, a big ponderable don't you think.... we all have areas that are not quite what we want, but changing them is hard as you have to look deep inside your self to see what the problem is, and most times you flippin well cannot really pin point it, or if you can, it means a major change in your life.!!

I mostly like my life, I have a great family of children and their kids, a very loving and patient husband, two wonderful dogs, and I live in a house that my grandparents could only dream of... but..... it is big, and suddenly with all my ops and recuperations I am finding keeping it clean and tidy harder than before... I  would like to run a business from here, much like the other bloggers are doing, on Etsy.. I want to carry on searching out treasures in far flung places and bring them home to sell, and so I am going to make some really big decisions which might or might not mean I do cut my hair... we shall see, but the journey is still starting, and I have my wonderful daughter in law to thank for getting me on to blogging... I am on facebook of course keeping in touch with the family, but the blogging is a whole new area that I find mindblowing and life giving... utterly amazing!!

Friday, 20 January 2012


On the 10th of this month I was going to have a tea party to celebrate the new year, bring out my lovely vintage china and share cakes and chat and have a ball... well the stupid replacement  knee was crippling me with pain and as it was so off and on, decided to cancel the tea party... only- although I sent everyone emails and texts, one person did not get it, so arrived on time, just as they saw me leaving the driveway onto the road.!!!!. of course when John answered the door he knew nothing about it, knowing that it was cancelled, but nought else.. embarrassing for him or what? (as these nice people a couple I met whilst in hospital.. she was having her third spine op to straighten her spine.. and was in the bed opposite...) and so I had to grovel on the phone and tell them how sorry I was and that we would have a tea party all to ourselves on Friday 20th... well, guess what???? TODAY is friday 20th, and when the door bell rang I was in my oldest clothes, hair not very tidy, no makeup and slippers... AH Ha you say,,

YES IT WAS THEM!!!! come to have tea with me and I had totally forgotten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Luckily I had made scones yesterday, so quickly buttered them and made some tea and went into the front room to join them.... (I might add that I hadnt taken the shutters back today in the front room, so had to do that to let the light in, but finally it was all done,) we had tea and scones and a lovely chat and John joined us and it went very well... but what a ditherer I am, fancy forgetting their coming over!!! I am having too many of these senior moments at the time, I shall have to write everything down, which I abhor doing, but it seems it might be the only way I might operate properly- I am so glad I was in, and not out and disappointing them again as they are such a nice couple!!


I went to the charity shop this morning and bought a bundle of scented  joss sticks to light and let the house smell of roses... that is what it promised on the wrapping, so I put three in each vase and lit them in the dining room over the open fireplace.. the smell has wafted all over the house,and it is nothing like roses as I wish them to smell, but still pleasant.. I love the deepness of a true rose smell. We have a bush in the garden that each year produces roses that are such a dark red they are almost black, and the perfume is so wonderful and deep and musky, you just want to stand and breath and breath it all in until the whole world around you smells the same.  I guess of all the scents, rose is high up on the list...
when I was in my teens I loved the smell of musk, which I wore a lot along with my long dresses, hair loose and down past my shoulders, parted in the middle, the bell around my neck and bare feet when I could get away with it.. I was a hippie, living in london on love and not much else.. poor was not the word for it, and yet in that summer of 66 the whole world of young people believed that love would make such a difference and wars would end  because if we all showed love to each other, what was the point of fighting... there was a little bit of drug taking, but in our group it was only canabis, not the harder drugs at all although of course lsd was doing the rounds, cocaine and heroin didn't seem to appear until much later..
We walked everywhere, we smiled at people and tried to make kindness and love our goals>  once the hard drugs made an appearance things changed and it got nasty.. but my experience was wonderfully uplifting for me- and I put it amongst my treasured times.. The feeling in the 60's was of energy and positive vibes with you believing that anything could be achieved, you just had to try.. LIfe was really there for the taking, and if you did, who knows what success might be... the materialistic attitudes today were not there, everyone was into sharing... sometimes even their partners... but the basic word was love. 
Now with so much more pressure to achieve, those Hippies went along with the flow and somehow somewhere we had to grow up and take care of families which happened along the way.. got jobs,settled down and hippiedom for the most part faded away, although the spirit of it didnt,and even today I am glad I had a go at that way of life as it has coloured everything since.. despite being responsible for parenting and having a job to pay the bills, I believe that all  material items are replaceable, and if I had to start again from scratch I could do so,., as long as I can manage to get around, see family and  friends and be in good company thats all that matters - the rest can be got along the way..  Ialways believe that things happen for a reason, and even this latest bout of annoyance in health matters must be for a reason, just having to find out why is taking a little more time thats all!!

What truly does  make me happy is perfume and colours and scenes of great beauty and poetry and art and inside decorations in home.. the scent of happiness is made up of many things, one of which smell, but the eyes and the heart have a part too..
I read somewhere that when Edith Piaf was dying in hospital, her friends covered her ceiling in bright coloured balloons so she could feast on the colour and fade away gently... what a way to go, that would be my choice definately and over and above that would be the scent of roses, gently wafting around the room...whilst Samual Barber's Adaggio played in the background... perfecto!!

BUT I don't have to wait until then!!! I could do that now... maybe I will get those balloons and fix them on my ceiling and watch them whilst playing the music and scenting the room... what a project. I will arrange that for my birthday tea party!! 2 years ago, I held a tea party in my house to celebrate my birthday.. I had neighbours that I hadn't met before, who are now dear friends, and my friend Patzi brought some others with her when she drove over, so we had a super tea party, with little cakes and various teas of choice..
 Last year I spent my birthday in Hospital, the second time ever on my birthday, the original one and that one.... The first might have been a day of joy, but the second certainly wasn't*** It was awful and lonely and I cried a lot with pain and unhappiness...

  Anyway, this year I shall have another Tea Party for my birthday where I can get out my collection of vintage tea cups and saucers and plates again and have a ball....and I will get those balloons fixed on the ceiling and play lovely music and scent the room throughout... gorgeous don't you think!??


When I was at school, as a child of mixed race, I was the only one with a different albeit slightly darker skin. I didnt have any close friends and was always the last to be picked for any team games. My skin is olive, which these days is not unusual, but back then in the 50's it was and so I found myself buying friends. I would bring all my latest gifts and presents and give them away to belong in a group of girls.. they accepted the gifts and then would let me play with them one time all day, then the next day I would be back to being on my own again.. In my last years at school I made friends that I am friends with still almost 50 years later, and those friends are very precious to me indeed. They were part of the same groups that had found it hard to include me in, but as they matured and made their own minds up, they chose to be my friend, finally- and without having to give any more bribes!!- I have made friends later through my life, through work, meetings on train stations, at mothers and baby clubs, through children making friends at school and then meeting their mothers,. so in all sorts of ways I have found my dearest friends.. Friends that I can talk about in all sorts of ways, about my thoughts, about my problems or just for being there.. can be away from them for years and years, then pick up the phone and its like yesterday again and the chat flows easily between us. Now with this new lark of blogging I am finding more friends on my wave length who will I am sure join my cherished group of friends, and its so amazing that this will happen.. already I feel in complete harmony with people that I have not met, might not ever meet, but who talk to me in a depth that is rare amongst just acquaintances- just magical, and looking at the blogs, the designs, the art work the making of items or refurbishing of junk items is just empowering to me as its what I have been doing for years... colour lifts my soul, and now blogging is doing the same, so thank you all those Bloggers who have commented, I welcome you as my new friends**

The Kiss

These are my two fur babies, or dogs if you prefer... The one on the left is called Reiver, after the brigands that lived in the Marshes between Scotland and England and where John thinks he had ancestors... and Millie who is recieving the kiss.. Millie is 2 years old now and so is Reiver. Millie is part staffie and part collie and very very bright and naughty** Reiver is part staffie and part lurcher, so he is larger and is Millie's best friend. We got Millie through friends, and she joined us when she was 3 months old and tiny - so I would have a reason to get out and walk after my knee operations.-.Sasha our old dog was too infirm to take out far, so Millie joined us and I think that the last months of Sasha's life were happy with this new little friend.. When Sasha died, Millie was sad and so when she was almost a year old, Reiver joined us. His background was awful, he was a rescue dog and he had been kept cooped up in a bathroom so small that when he was rescued his back legs were so weak he had to be carried.. He joined us when he was a year old, so he is her big brother now.. He was gentle and quiet and didnt jump up like Mad Millie did, so we thought he would calm her down... well he didn't --the opposite happened--, he followed her lead and thought jumping up was fine and dandy... but he does stop, which she doesn't until she is tired out, and everyone else is too--, she thinks that licking a person all over and jumping and wriggling is the way to greet people, and although she is 2 now, she is still doing it... She doesn't jump as high as she could, before she could jump onto the counters in the kitchen, but she's heavier now, so cannot reach the same heights as before...
#Reiver loves her to bits and often kisses and licks her all over, and as you see in the  picture she accepts it as her due! As if she is the queen of sheba!! These dogs have turned our hearts over and they really are loved... although the other week when Millie found my dentures and crunched them up into little pieces, I would not have said I felt anything but red hot anger at the results!!!!!!!!!!!
She was the only one in the litter that looked like this, her mother was the staffie, and her dad a collie.. the others were all black and white and as that was the colour of Sasha, I thought I would go for different .... Reiver also has staffie colouring, but it is a lot darker, but the gold does show through... he is the most darling of dogs, but does pull a bit... John finds it hard to manage when they are both walked together... he allows them to pull as his arms are stretched out in front... when I take them walking, I make sure my arms never leave my side, so they pull less...

 So this is the kiss that Millie takes as her due, and Reiver gives as her courtier, makes me laugh to look at it again...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Missing my kids

I miss my kids all the time.. two are in far off places, but the rest scattered around England I miss just as much.. of course I get to see them more than the other two, but I do wish it was the old fashioned way where we all lived in fairly close proximity. I know they have their own lives to lead, but take for instance the other week when my youngest, John Jo called me to say he was just leaving hospital because he had had a water infection and then passed kidney stones.. and he'd dealt with it all on his own as he is not in a relationship at the moment.. I felt awful and he only lives about a 2 hour drive away... when Gaby in Canada wants to talk to me its usually when I am gone to bed and as she is 5 hours behind in time, its always difficult to catch up unless its during the day when she is at work.. she is living the dream out there, has a great job and husband and kids, but I haven't been out to see her for almost 8 years now, but I did go a lot when they first moved out there.. Daniel living in Australia with his wife and little son, almost two years since they left and today is his baby boy's 2nd birthday.and I still have not been out to visit yet... Rebecca  lives in Oxford and is going through a marital breakup after over 20 years marriage and I am not close enough to hug her when she needs it although we are on line a lot and text a lot.. and Chris is in London with his lovely wife, but he has off days too that he has to deal with on his own as I am 2 hours away again too.. I would love them all to live within a few miles, and the big thing is that when I die I want them all to come and be buried with me when they die in their own time, but that won't happen.. but it would be nice.. My parents are buried over 4 hours drive away and I rarely get down to see their grave, so having a family mausoleum sounds like a great idea!

Since my last round of ops having lots of thoughts about mortality and how much longer I have in front of me.. it does get morbid, but I do want everything to be just so, when I pop off, and my affairs certainly aren't in a straightforward position at the moment... that's another thing to do... disciplining myself to do it..

Waiting around early mornings

Yesterday we were looking after the boys, Joshua and Sam, and got them home after school. Josh was quiet and pale and it turned out he had had a headache all day and wasn't feeling too wonderful,. I sat him on the couch under a throw blanket and bought him drinks and gave some calpol for his headache.. all afternoon he sat on the couch and was a bit weepy. Sam however was his usual exuberant self bouncing all over the place.. they watched the very old original Batman progammes and Sam barely moved as he was watching so hard! When the parents came in we told them that Josh was not hundred percent, and as we left I said I would come over for 7am if they wanted him to be staying at home..I really thought I would be called, so set alarm for 6 am and got up... watched my blackberry for any messages, but nothing came, so I have been up for hours now, but I was ready to dash over to help... at least if they had called me.. so I guess either one of them stayed home instead, or he was feeling a lot better this morning.. but last night he was a little poorly boy.

. Its still only 8 am, could get back into bed if I wanted to, but better to start the day and carry on perhaps... Today is also the 2nd birthday of my youngest grandson, the one that lives in Australia.. Griffin is his name.. unusual in this family, but my son and his wife thought it a great name, so that's his name... he is a little darling, and walking and talking advanced for his years!  the hardest thing is not being known to him, I am not close to him, despite the pics and drawings and videos, he doesn't know me like his other grandma that lives nearbye.. Jealous ain't the word!!

The man has gone for his jog- this is him just before his departure ha ha... he is all equipped for the cold winds out there... he runs for over an hour and then wonders to himself and me, why he is tired!! He has done the jogging for many years, and marathon running, but he is slowed down a lot recently since he got an infection that affected his breathing and now he has to use puffers to keep the airways open properly.. I am sure it has affected his weight too.. but he's happy running, and whilst he can do it, why not do it..

I used to run too, ran when the last two boys were babies, taking my older daughter Rebecca out with me, doing long 2 or three mile runs through the streets and feeling good at the end of it.. one day my track suit bottoms were feeling really loose and I said to her that I was so pleased that at last my clothes were becoming loose after all this running, and feeling very good in myself, until I realised that the elastic had gone in the trousers ha ha ha... wasn't getting thinner at all!!
I used to be proud of the fact I could walk for miles, my legs were strong and I was healthy and getting better with all the walking around I did when the kids were small in and prams.. now I have to be careful where I park the car so it isnt too far from where I want to go.. these legs are still so weak and silly, it makes me quite angry at times.. how do you tell if its just the aftermath of the ops, or it is because you really are getting older now you are in the late sixties>?>?
Another thing I have noticed, and probably I am to blame as I do not wear rubber gloves whilst washing up, is that my nails are cracking and many times below the nail in the quick area, so its pretty painful, and they bend back without warning when I am lifting or doing things, a really painful thing to happen, but my nails have never been strong, could never grow long nails, would always break, so guess there is something missing in my eating that makes them weak like this..
Despite the warning, it looks like another mild day, no frost on the ground.. thats good.. Have to put on paper all my figures for the tax man to file at the weekend.. hate this yearly job, and John gets fun out of watching me struggle as its his job all the time to be an accountant and get all these tax returns filed for his clients, but he is amused at my struggles.. I am not a paperwork person, more of an ideas person, could happily take all the receipts and paperwork and put it down the toilet!!

Already we are half way through this month, last year I missed altogether - so hope this year is much more beneficial and I get more things done.. I must say this blogging does inspire me when I see the other blogs particularly those with the interior decorating ideas.. magic..

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Biscuit Wednesday

Today is our day in the week when we collect John's two grandsons from school and sit with them at their house until their parents return around 7pm, so we have them from 3 to 7 each wednesday and its called biscuit wednesday as there are always biscuits to eat when they get home and before their supper.. They are aged 7 and almost 5 and as quick as any squirrels to notice things.. John plays football with them first, then its scrabble or reading, then some tv and supper then more reading or games.. the time goes quite fast and we look forward to each week.. so off we go now...

a title for this year- focus and action= DISCIPLINE

Looking at another person's blogging where she chooses a word for the year.. I have decided my word should be discipline... I am not disciplined in my actions, I do not retain focus and therefore I have lots and lots of things that need doing, and  I think that I will get around to them in time... hmmm... well maybe having this big word Discipline in front of me as a word for the year, will mean that instead I will finish each task I start, and get my self organised all over, from doing the house and all its rooms, to finishing off projects that I have bought the material for, to hang the curtains where I said they would go and to generally finish everything I start to do... This might even include the diets that I start and never continue.. so discipline is my big word... lets see how far it will take me this year!
 This is day one for actioning Discipline in all that I do including diet..

Not so frosty today

Its almost 10 am, John is still abed, feeling tired today.. of course it wouldn't be anything to do with long jogging runs yesterday would it.. of course not! thank goodness its not so cold today, yesterday was really freezing and took ages to clear car to get warmed and ready to use... its much nicer when its just cold and not frosty.. I am dressed and ready to go out for my perambulation around the charity shops, just in case they might have something I like.. I go most days and its fun, doesnt take long and they keep items that might interest me, so they know what i am looking for... just hav eto put my hair up and get tidy, and off I go!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

running away

I saw this post on another bloggers diary and just had to steal it...

I tried to run away, but the kids found me!!!!!!!

this is the front of our house

this is my office, where I speak to the world and my clients, it overlooks the garden at the back, and is my domaine, which is why its still very busy with items that should be stored away... one day I will succeed in having cupboards that hide everything!!!

how to learn humble

It seems to me that I have been going on a bit about my problems, which have been life  changing, but I am managing to cope and get around and see my friends despite accidents and annoying routine to follow.. Today when I spoke to an old school friend I haven't see for a long while but we keep in touch over the phone, she told me that she had got news her husband yesterday was told he had bowel cancer.. then she let slip that her own stage 4 cancer was ok, she had a malicious melanoma 2 years ago that she told me nothing about just got on with it!! I had orginally called to catch up and see how one of her grandsons was doing... he has a condition called EB which means that he missing a layer of skin, so it blisters and rarely do the children live long.. but here he is at 9 doing very well indeed although having to be bandaged all the time.. but bright as a button... and then she told me another grandson of 11 having seizures because of a massive brain tumour... I mean how lucky do you have to be to get all these things happen to you- and she is so calm and loving and caring and just gets on with living... Well, I truly do feel humbled after talking to her, but I know she would just brush it off and say, oh stop being stupid, its just another day to get through... 

 I have been reading a little book by Fay Weldon, a well known british writer, who is ok I guess, but is lauded a lot over here... never really related to her in the same way... and then I got to thinking about Collette, the french writer who I discovered in my twenties and is one of the rare authors I can read and read over and over again... there are not many I would choose to re read, but Dickens is another and so is Jane Austen.. Anyway, Collette, just seemed to reach out to my wave length and I have loved her ever since.. I am trying to re read books I read when younger and see if I still have the same reaction to them as I did then... but now I find a lot of these books are out of issue., so have to research online to see where I can find them again... all good fun...
 I have been out and about this morning too.. buying dog food and seeing if anything worth buying in the local charity shops.. not today.. but every day I go, and sometimes I find a real treasure*I am still cold, despite wearing the thickest socks I could find, could barely squeeze the old lady shoes on! and still the feet are frozen.. my nose is ice cold too ha h
a rather dark view of my desk and where I am talking to the world or my clients..
This is our front room this morning before I plumped up all the cushions and dusted... outside you can see the hoar frost is still hanging around and its bitterly cold... at least thats how it feels to me!!
This is the view from my office overlooking the garden, with the heavy frost showing... the church is in the background, it is very close, but a fine one, built on saxon church before.. we are the first non rector people to live in this house.. when the last rector was appointed he saw how much work needed doing, and said no thank you, so they bought him a brand new house.. this one was built in 1823 so qualifies as late Georgian.. will take more photos now I know how to put them up.. hurrah!!!

Monday, 16 January 2012

This is the dining room where we can sit by the open fire

High heels

I loved wearing high heels, adored the height they gave me- I am only 5.4 and a hlf./.When I first was married at 21 I owned 51 pairs of shoes, many needing mending or re heeling, but I loved them all... these days I do not own so many shoes and now because of the ops, I have to wear almost flat shoes, sensible shoes, shoes that I hate and do not love and sling away from me as soon as I can take them off... Sensible was not in my dictionary when I was young... now as an approaching old lady, it is.. and I hate it!! My high heels were gorgeous, at only size 4 and half, they gave me beautiful feet... with great heels I felt a million dollars.. My mother was even smaller at 4ft 11 and a half inches, her size shoe was 2 and a half or 3 depending on the maker.. when they travelled to france on holiday, my father always made a point of buying her the prettiest shoes., the french really did know how to make a beautiful shoe.. The last times I was able to wear shoes that size I was about 10 and I remember borrowing a pair of brown high heels to walk to the newsagents to get a magazine and felt the whole world saw me as a grown up! Of course they were probably looking at me saying to themselves, 'what is that child doing wearing high heels!' but I thought they were admiring me and my legs and my gorgeous shoes!!! what I was wearing at the time, I have no recollection but it probably didnt go with the heels at all**

So along with all the problems these ops have given me, I cannot forgive it for stopping me wearing lovely heels.. slooping around in flats just is not the same... doesnt give the same uplift to oneself as heels do.. never thought I would have to stop wearing them, because until the end, my darling ma wore her heels on shoes and boots until she was over 87... so I had thought I too would do the same... never had a bunion or sore blisters from wearing them either-

Its another day, harder frost again last night... what does actually make the frost... I have so many questions that I want to ask and its probably way too late to start asking now.. but I shall,. every time I have a question I am going to write it down, and maybe someone out there or close to me will answer the questions and give me the answers... maybe.?

Its pretty cold in this office, the heating has not yet come on, although it is almost 8 am, so will go and get dressed in order to start facing the day... I hope everyone has a good day today too...

when I was young

When I was young, my biggest ambition was to be stage costume designer.. I was going to go to Slade Art School in London and I was going to livein the ambiance of all things arty! Having been to Art school I was pulled out after one year,as my dad had accepted a teaching post back in his childhood home of Aix en Provence, and so my brother and myself and mother went with him to learn the delights of living in the South of France.. it was magical, and that town is the very best of them all.. the culture, the arts the living and the whole way of life was just as he promised us in all the stories he had told us about the place whilst we were growing up in England.. My brother and I attended the university, and made friends and were very happy there..
On a visit home staying with a friend, I had a blind date, and met my husband to be for the first time... and that was that, within 2 years I was married, expecting a baby and living in England and never got to live again in France.. my heart aches for what might have been as I really felt at home there much more than any place in England.. and now its almost 50 years since we went to live in Aix, and I am still in England.. My brother however married a french girl, lives in Brussels and speaks the two languages and his kids are bi lingual and he has homes in the south of france and paris.. so he has done better on that front than I did... but I had more kids!!
When I was young, any thoughts of doing other things- I could put in my mind and say.'.one day I will get around to doing that', but the years slipped by and suddenly I have more years behind me than I am likely to have in front in the future... so that quote about seizing the day is soooo right!! Seize the day is so important... to value every moment is a joy that we miss too many times.... whoever that ancient person was who said ' youth is wasted on the young' was so right too** We never value what we have at the time, and this is just such a waste... I was looking at some photos the other day and I saw some I had done about 20 years ago and I remember being dissatisfied with them thinking they were not flattering... well, looking at them again, all I can say is I wish I could look like that now! Now I have lines on my face, probably more in the last year because of the health issues, I have grey hair that turns up after 3 weeks after the hairdresser has coloured it,, in fact it is snowy white in parts... my goodness.. it does make me wonder should I let it go without colouring at all and see what happens... but I did try that once and I felt so old immediately like Methusula- not sure how you spell that name... anyway you get the drift... so back it was to colouring again.. I have also decided to let the hair grow, which it has and is just about below my shoulder blades at the back, well, you might ask, how do I wear it.... UP of course, so I might as well have a short hair cut ha ha.

Actually the only seat I can sit comfortably on is this office seat in front of the computer, so that is perhaps a reason why I am so often at the puter and doing all this blogging into the ether... I guess I am really fortunate having a lovely loving family who put up with all my mad ways and eccentricities..  It was very amusing the other day when I was talking to my eldest daughter Rebecca and she said to me' you are turning into your mother you know'! and I could say back to her..'so are you!'  She was right though... my mother was delightful and a real artist.. she was a soprano singer and gave up her career to rear my brother and I , but she sang in Church and at Weddings all her life right into her 80's and even then she was taking singing lessons to keep her voice flexible... wonderful woman, never said a bad thing in her life about anyone, and her religion was so important to her. When she met my dad, she was a protestant.. and because he was catholic, she took instructions and was recieved into the catholic church when they married.. that was what happened in those days.. these times, they are more tolorant, but then you had to be the same to marry in a catholic church... I do catch myself saying things she would have done... funny isnt it, and sometimes when I look or catch a glance in the mirror I can see her and her mother in me!

Monday16th Jan 012

Another birthday, this one is my first husband's birthday and although we are fairly cordial to each other amd meet at social family gatherings, I do not have his address to send a card... which is a shame, because he will always be the first man I ever loved and he gave me these five wonderful kids,so I would have liked to have sent a card. We met when I was 19 and he was 18 and after a couple of years we were married with Daniel on the way to join us. We had no money, he was studying at the University of Sussex, newly established then..  and then London University and boy were we poor... we muddled through, somehow, I don't really know how... but when you are in your early 20's you just get on with it... he was the only one married amonst his friends at Uni, and he did find it hard and as the years grew and we had more kids join us, as he climbed the corporate ladder successfully, he found it hard to keep a lid on things and finally we ended up after 23 years going our separate ways.. but he will always have a very special place in my heart forever. So whereever you are , Happy Birthday**

Its a glorious day outside although the frost was even harder last night and took ages for the car to be warm enough to drive out. I posted some stuff and have more to do this afternoon... then went for my favourite jaunt around the local charity shops.. or thrift shops... I swear with out them I could never have furnished this huge house without them! I also love to car boot, visit and selling, but haven't done that for almost two years now.. so this year going to get all active and do some more..
 I have loads of things Iwant to do, and painting furniture is one of them, and  learning how to use my electric sewing machine that I bought new last year and still haven't dared turn it on!!! I am like this with electrical gadgets, they have to sit around until I am ready to use them, then I wonder why it took so long... but sewing is different... a- because I haven't used one since I was 15 and then it was only one hour a week learning... and b- I have os many projects that would have to be done and could be completed much quicker than hand sewing.. which is how I have coped before..
 around 17 years ago I bought another sewing machine new and rather than use it gave it to my son and his wife to use, which they did and then it was passed on to another son and wife and until it finally gave up the ghost without me ever using it... so this time I am going to really get to grips with it!!!!!
I am waiting to learn how to put up pics/photos, then I will show you my house in all its glory and the projects I need to make it even better and more beautiful.. it is georgian and has great space... we moved from a 4 bed to this, which is 8 beds, spread over two houses, the little one next door, was separated off for the curate, the asst to the Rector here in the  1940's.. it has three beds in that side, and we have 5 in our side.. As John and I both work from home, we use two of the five beds for offices, and the two extra for guests when family or friends stay over. It is pretty basic yet, with one family bathroom and separate toilet, no ensuites and a downstairs toilet.. But we like it this way and doesn't present problems even with guests staying.. 
All in all, its turning out to be quite a positive day for me, and I am sure its all to do with this office being much more organised!!S0  on that note I shall finish here until I think of something else to say!!

Sunday, 15 January 2012


what a gorgeous after noon it is now, the sun is shining so much, but the frost is still around on the ground.. I am dressed now and will be going to make some scones for this afternoon tea... I have just put the phone down on a darling friend that I have known for over 40 years, how young we all were once... she lost her husband 3 months ago and is having panic attacks and dreadful days of depression and gets so angry with herself for not being able to cope and get stronger inside instead of allowing herself to get deeper into the mire... However I keep reminding her that her grief is every bit as valid as anything and trying to shake herself out of it won't work as her body has to go through this process... She nursed him for 6 years and was at home with him all that time caring and sharing the days with him.. then when he did go, it was not expected and she had gone home to catch up on her sleep so she endlessly queries why she left him at the most important time... but how can one tell when is going to be the final moment.. he seemed to be asleep and not in distress so she left him for a couple of hours to take care of herself.. They had a true love story which probably makes it harder, and they battled a lot of things to be together, and now he is gone.. Life is so fleeting and is gone before you know it.. she had many years with him, but I bet it doesnt feel enough even so.. When I lost my parents in 02-03, my dad being the last of 13 people whom I knew well and intimately in the family who died that year from jan 02 to april 03 - I didnt realise what a toll it would take.. I put everything on the back burner to cope with these matters later... which I did.. and how!!!... 4 years later I was stricken with panic attacks that I thought would make me die... hospitalised twice, but it was all the backlog of these losses and stress caused that gave my body the inclination to say enough, and it was truly weird how I had no control over why or how or when I was going to get the next attack... I felt very mortal all of a sudden, realitiy kicked in and for the first time I could see myself not around anymore... Even when I was in my early twenties and they had told me that my kidney failure whilst pregnant could lead to another fatal failure in my forties, I had somehow known I wasn't going to have that happen with a family to rear... but in my 60's it was a whole different ball game! suddenly I wondered if I was going to be around in a couple of years time, did I even have a year left... all this because of panic attacks... Luckily the medication mild though it was, did help and I have avoided feelings like that for a long time, but my body and brain took control and I just had to wait until they felt they had got rid of all the built up stress... which is what I have been telling my friend to do... she will have to ride it out, and honestly three months after a life time together is not time enough for it to have worked through..
On a more positive note, I got a drawing from my grandson in australia who is nearly 2 and I am going to frame it and put up on the wall... his dad my eldest son I could keep happy in his high chair with a piece of paper and a pencil to draw from when he was 13 months old, so Griffin is following in his dad's steps... His dad -Daniel by the way, became an art Director at a highly sought after Ad Agency in Perth Australia where he moved almost 2 years ago with his australian wife after many years in the industry and running his own agency ... so maybe the little one will do  artistic too later on..!!.

sunday.again, the start of another week..

Another much harder frost than yesterday is making it so cold and breathless outside.. My man is out jogging again, he has done so for over 30 years and kept him lean until just recently.. now he goes a lot slower and it shows, but he is still good to look at!!Yesterday I almost completed cleaning and re arranging my office, it has so many things in it, it still looks busy, but I know it is clean and dust free so that will have to do.. Put up new lacy curtains too to let the light in and make it feel more springlike.. a new beginning tomorrow.. For the last 6 years I have had a lot of things happen healthwise.. I have had my right hip replaced, then the right knee, then the left knee, then last year my spinal ops that didnt go too well, and so this year I am determined no more ops.. ! And accordingly my little business has suffered.. I always managed to keep it ticking over, but it didnt make the money it should.. when done properly, recruiting is a good solid and well paid job, but with all the breaks for the ops and the recuperation it has slipped into just ticking over and I made money in between by selling stuff on Ebay... now I must refocus and get my final year running this business sorted by at least a couple more assignments and finish off with a flourish!! I have run this businss since 1987 so its a long time, and luckily having my husband subsidise me all these last years has helped, but I would like to end on an up note with a successful recruitment campaign.. I work on Search - so its not just like waiting for the candidates walking in.. I have to seek them out for my clients, so this is first priority tomorrow to get back into contact with a whole load of my clients and see what their plans are for this year.. Of course the recession didnt help at all.. cut backs and everything, but lawyers are always sought after.. so thats the plan for the week.. other than that I would like to lost at least 70 lbs but that has been ongoing since the last 15 years!! maybe this year I will do it... since my ops last year have lost 20 s maybe I can! Going to get dressed now... when John goes out for his jog I get onto the puter, how sad is that not even getting dressed for the day first!! so will go and dress and start the day properly... bye bye world for the minute**

Friday, 13 January 2012

another book title, not today

Its been a very hard frost outside, but the sun is coming out and all is well with the world, well, here anyway... I feel quite positive today, I am moving around the office and getting it all spring cleaned so it doesnt look quite a tip as usual!! I shall change the curtains and have a totally different outlook for the desk and I shall feel renewed,,, Did not wake up with another book title, so seems it doesnt run in threes!! I have been inspired looking at other blogs and all the beautiful pictures, I shall start to look out pics of my won and find out how to share them with the world soon.. I shall feel quite invigorated and inspired and getting on with changing my work world and outlook so the coming Year is a much better one that the last one* so thats it now until my office is changed and cleaned..

Thursday, 12 January 2012

7 letters from a Liars Market

The last two mornings, I have woken up with a title of a book in my mind... dont know why or where these ideas come from but the first one yesterday, Liars Market, and then today Seven Letters, so my husband suggested that I put them together like I have in the title of this post... Its quite fascinating to think that it could lead to all sorts of ideas... who would read or believe letters from a liar? Was it Liar, or Lyre, dont know, but got me thinking how authors find what to call their books. When I went to meet Michael Connelly who was over here signing his latest book just before Christmas he said he started with the title.. And all the different meanings that it could have.. his latest was called The Drop,. which could allude to the blood spot, the way a person's life was going and a million more ideas he said to us the audience,.,. It was a fabulous evening meeting an Author who you like and read everything from* I do also like to email Authors and let them know I loved their books, from speaking to them, I have found they do find the feedback interesting and uplifting at times, so thats good, and I love the connecting~~From looking at a lot of blogs, I think that there are a lot more writers out there that have not been published.. perhaps everyone has a book that could be read inside of them... so back to my two titles, what to do with them and will I have another one tomorrow as I wake up to add to the list!??

back from the dentist

Its sunny outside but the wind is cold and my feet are still freezing from standing at a bus stop waiting for the bus to take me into town to catch another bus home. I had to take a taxi to the dentist to start the procedure of getting another Dental bridge fixed.. My dog Millie decided my last one was too delicious not to bite into tiny bits!! Well, I did go into major meltdown that night... my poor husband didnt know what to do with me.. This year has been such a terrible one for me and I have had a very long learning curve in trying to cope with it all. Getting sciatica was not pleasant, but I could just about manage with strong painkillers.. could take the dogs out walking for at least 2 miles, but as it was constant was referred to specialist who said they were amazed I was still walking as the MRI showed how compressed my nerves were and that I would be in a wheelchair very soon... hummm.... well of course I agreed to the op didnt I?? WEnt in on May 9th last year, and after a few days it was obvious that my voiding from both ends was not stopping, so on the 26th they did another op, which gave a bit of tiny control..ish that is..... which left me with a condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome... not good, still able to walk,but not so far with the weakened legs... plus all the other effects that condition causes... As you can imagine I have been devastated and feeling less female and my self.. so when the dog ate my teeth, I was sunk into a very very black hole... all night,, but somehow its not worth going on and on about it, so next day, back to normal again, or at least pretending to be as normal as is possible, and carry on... so now we are starting the process of making a bridge for me which wont be ended until mid Feb... believe me I could have given Millie away that night... however, the sun is shining and spring is on its way, and I can get around, and I have a husband  and family that love me as I am with or without all the extras**!!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

exciting to be contacted from across the pond!!

This blogging lark is amazing, and how well everybody seems to write... there are a lot of craft ones and religious ones, but I want to just share my thoughts without any preaching or praising or showing off... I have the most wonderful family whom I communicate with on Facebook, so that gets me in touch with them all the time... I have friends around the world too, but blogging is even better as you can put your thoughts out there in the ether and maybe some soul the other side of the world will catch that thought and send a message back to you, which is what has happened..** I live with my husband, we have two mad dogs who are 2 years old and should know better.. I love buying and selling antiques and bric a brac... must come from my background.. in the 19th and early part of the 20th century, my maternal grandparents came from coster monger families and had market stalls** My darling mother had the most wonderful voice, and she sang opera and sounded very like Maria Callas, but to my ear, much better!! My dad was musical too Chopin being our surname I guess it was taken for granted!! My parents love to make music, entertain their friends and have a sing song in the evenings when we were all with family or friends.. these days, entertainment seems to be the box, or computer, but back then we did our own.. I had a reasonable singing voice which is all but lost now, and my brother had a lovely tenor voice too.. we even joined a group that entertained the old people in homes for  a while when I was in my teens. My mother became part of the entertainment group ENSA that travelled all over to give concerts for the troops in the second world war.. My dad was a wireless operator in the Bombers in the RAF.  We had my parents around for a lovely long time, and they only left us at the beginning years of this century when they were in their mid 80's.. We actually managed to know them as grown ups and they had the joy of seeing great grandchildren come along to join the family.. I miss them dreadfully, but glad I had them a longer time than most. I am looking forward to finding new friends through this medium and will now look at tv and watch a programme I've been promising myself to see..

greetings to a friend called Livia

What a lovely name, probably roman in origin? I too have had that op and it does get you down trying to get better and recuperate.. it does take a while and one is very weepy with it too- I was back working after 3 weeks, but really shouldnt have been; I was aiding my husband in his Accountancy practice and really could have done without having to get to his office to help with the admin at that time.. I got so bored staying at home.. but it did get better and after several weeks I became to feel a bit more like myself again. Since then I have had several operations for various things.. but each time managed to recover quite well except for this last one that has left me with a lot of damage... However, I am back driving and getting around even slowly is a bonus than being cooped up in the house! all my kids have fled the coop, so I live with my husband and two dogs in a large house and we both work from home.. I use an office upstairs and his is downstairs.. we hardly meet during the day** I am writing this and hearing John take the dogs out for their evening walk, and Millie the girl dog is barking like mad... she doesnt do it when I am there, but with him she shouts and barks all the time with her excitement at going out.. Reiver the other dog is much quieter, although he does bark when she gets him annoyed! I live right in the middle of England, equally distant from Nottingham and Derby and not too far from Leicester.. The M1 which is our main route through UK is o nly 3 miles away and the airport 8 miles away.. Our house was built in 1823, so is georgian in design and size.. this is the biggest house I have ever lived in, and we had no children living here when we moved, they had all grown up... Between us we have 8 children and several grandchildren... Do not worry if you cry a lot after your op, it is all part of the healing and letting go of the awful pain... go back to docs to get sttronger ones if they are not dulling the pain as much as they could.  Look forward to hearing from Livia again, but to anyone who has taken time to read this. thank you very much for y our support!

Monday, 9 January 2012

without the car

Well, truly lost without a car... ours having been taken in this morning to have tyres changed, had to catch the bus to get to hospital for xray.. took me over 25 mins to walk to bus stop slowly of course.. and then another same distance to hospital.. by the time I managed to catch the bus home I was completely whacked out! So I must make sure we never get rid of the car !!
I have joined an organisation called CES which stands for Cauda Equina Syndrome...a rare condition caused by nerve damage to spine... mine was inflicted by doctors, but you can get it from bulging discs that arent seen to... whichever way to get it, its horrid and life changing... I shall be involved if I can in making the world more aware of it... even medical people dont seem to know about it... or want to, if truth be told!! It is the hardest thing on earth to accept a life change like this, and I know I should be grateful that I am not completely paralysed, but I am not.. just furious that I am like this through no fault of my own..
 there, thats my vent for today....
 what else is happening... managed to get quite a few nice things sold on Ebay and that has made me happy, so will end on a happy note ****

Sunday, 8 January 2012

First sunday after New Year

Cold and damp, but still fine for a january day... got things downstairs ready to hand over having sold them on Ebay.. they should all be coming to collect today... dont like waiting to be paid, as they can still change their minds which can be a bore.. I am liking Ebay a lot, but find that I do hardly ever sell first time, the one who makes the most out of my transactions is Ebay of course as I relist and relist...I do have lots of things I want to clear out, but getting a proper price for them is not as easy as it seems..I  have been using Ebay now for over 4 years and found it useful in many ways, just wish I was better at selling the items first time round!!I am also in the midst of clearing out my office, creating new space, cleaning and tidying and also finding the paper work for my year end accounts. so its all higgledy piggledy at the moment, but the end of the week should see it sorted..

Saturday, 7 January 2012

doggie people transition

It can happen without you even knowing its going to!! When my daughter left england to live in Canada over ten years ago, we took on the responsibility of one of her dogs, a darling collie called Sasha.. she was already an adult dog with all her own ways and foibles... the worst was trying to walk her out... she would pull so much I could not take her, but it was funny to see her almost on the floor pulling us along... as she gradually grew older she calmed down and became quite the dowager queen.. in the last year of her life, we introduced a puppy who was part staffie and part collie... she looks staffie colours, but more collie intelligence... full of bounce though and she used to really try and get Sasha to play... when her moves got too much for the older lady, she let her know in no uncertain terms, but together they learned to play and live and love each other. I do believe that Sasha enjoyed Millie's company and made her last days quite happy. When Sasha did finally join the other dogs in the sky we were introduced to another lovely dog we named Reiver. He is also part staffie, but the other part is lurcher.. he is bigger and quieter and much more quiet... or at least he was until he fell under Millie's influence... he has come out of his shell a lot and they play so well together despite all the growls and barks at each other they love each other a lot... Millie is an inveterate jumper upper and seems to think that you have to lick a person to death to show your affection for them... so she will calm down later I am sure because Sasha too was like this... the funniest thing is when they are dozing in the evening and I call downstairs, Millie starts to bark with a squeak as if to say,' I wasnt asleep just dozing.... where's the panic..'. then she will push at Reiver to go seek the reason for her waking up... she really does push him around, which he takes mostly, but if she over does it he tells her off! I guess we are so affectionate with the dogs as our children are all grown and they are so easy to love even when they get smelly after rolling in muck or diving in the river.. my kids think we are mad, but then I would never have believed how quickly a couple of puppies could take over your life.. we have had them 2 years now and would not change them for the world... despite the committment.. life just wouldnt be the same without them.........doggie people indeed!!!!

Friday, 6 January 2012

falling apart

I am falling apart again..this getting old is no fun, just like a famous film actress said..'getting old is not for cissies'! how right she was. Now I need to have glasses for reading, never needed them before but this old body has decided it does now, and quickly too... first sign was a weird flashing and breaking up in right corner of right eye.. went to opticians and he said it was likely to be a low grade migraine..I never get them any grade, but apparently I had had nothing major, just change glasses and use for reading... As I read a lot, I have to obey him... I have been pushed around and made to go from hospital to hospital and everyone not sure what to do with me... Monday have more of the same although this time I shall have to go on the bus as the car will be in garage having tyres changed.. the bus trip is not too bad, just hate all the hanging around on corners waiting for them to come along.
 I was wondering the other day what advice. if any, I would have given to my 16 year old self..probably the most  regret I do have is not having done a university degree, because in those days it really counted and helped you get a really good job, and I would have loved to have gone and worked on tv- interviewing and reveiewing and researching.. too late now, but I would have said to that 16 yr old, stop all the histrionics and get down to some real studying and achieve as much as you possibly can before settling down and raising a family.. of course I married at 21 and had three children by the time I was 25... No time for much night clubbing or socialising outside for me or my young husband... much too early to have taken on responsibility for raising a family... we did alright though and by some miracle they turned out well and proud of them we are  too!!! All have in their own ways achieved a lot and taken the flag and run further and longer and more  successfully than we did.. I went back to work when the youngest was three and loved my work in Recruiting.. a job I was born for, never found it tedious or boring ever! then a few years later had the final two , a lovely couple of boys, who were delightful but much more demanding, and if I had had them first I might have stopped at two children instead of five!!¬!!Now they are all grown up, some with children, others waiting to be parents in the future, but all of them make me so proud they are mine... and how much knowledge I get from them, its quite amazing.. I love learning and their experience of the world  has different perspective and fresh outlook.. wonderful to chat and discuss with them any subject in the world..  also I would have told myself that life is to be experienced and taken in both hands... so much to see and feel out there, not to be afraid to be alone... to enjoy and savour being young and single instead of worrying about being left on the shelf!!!!!!!!!!!!!1so on that thought, I will end here and return to my waiting bed**

Monday, 2 January 2012

better days are here again?????

Today was my husband's birthday and his family came over this afternoon and we had a great time together... its getting colder outside so he took the dogs for their walks, as I can no longer guarantee this knee of mine won't collapse... which is just as well as it got stupid again this evening and even walking downstairs was a really difficult operation... I tried to see if the  Doctors were back at work at our local surgury, but of course they are still off, will have to try tomorrow.. I am finding blogging harder than I thought when I look at what other people are blogging about, mine is sorely missing something intelligence probably!!!

Sunday, 1 January 2012


I had the two spinal ops done in May last year, and after being sent to different departments in the hospital they have come up with a name for the condition they gave me. Cauda Equina Syndrome... awful and non cureable but liveable with- just-... any dignity is taken away, no modesty preserved, and a life that is changed forever... I know its not as bad as lots of other terrible illnesses  that people get, but oh my, how it does make me feel bad and alone and lost. When I was discharged from the hospital, no one had any advice to give me and I spent a lot of time on the phone trying to get various items that I needed to survive in any way. Tonight is the the start of a new year, but I am feeling pretty down as it is not going to get better or go away and not much to do but take it as it comes. If you look online to see  what happens, it takes away the best bits of your life too, the connection between yourself and who you are and also in the relationship however caring and loving, it leaves you high and dry and quite bereft..I'm going to stop here as I shall get more maudlin, but hopefully tomorrow I shall be on a more positive note.. tonight I am angry and sad and humiliated all by myself...