Monday, 29 December 2014

A lovely and loving Christmas

It was a grand Christmas this year.. it seemed to creep up before I really felt ready and although I had been buying little bits and pieces all the previous months, I still didn't feel ready...Then, it was upon us... We had a quiet day with a singleton friend of John's coming for the xmas lunch.. this went well, even John had great enjoyment of his vegetarian offering I made.. In the evening we went to John's daughters house where John's first wife and husband were also staying. We spent the whole of the evening with them and funnily enough it went very smoothly, returning home around midnight, we found my youngest son[ who had travelled up mid afternoon], fast asleep on the couch with the two dogs either side. The next day we had free as my son returned to feed his cat, and we spent time together. This saturday,[ the day after Boxing day ]is the traditional day when everyone comes over with their kids and stay a night... massive fun and games and happy times.. Now they are all gone, the last this morning, and the sun is out the snow is thawing and yet very icy outside. We are in the warm, dogs snoozing by the fire, magic indeed. Our joy was greatly enhanced by the news yesterday afternoon that John's son and wife had given us a baby granddaughter called Amelia Ivy and she had come into the world,safe and sound. John was so relieved, he had been quite anxious since he knew the baby was expected. The news made our day, and made the whole festive season even better** This is the first whole year I have spent as a retiree, and I have not found it easy. With no job, no extra money is around for me to do things that I would wish to do, so I spent the first half pottering around, then I had a refund, and straight away I booked a holiday to see my brother and wife in their south of france home.. Best thing I ever did, a whole fortnight doing just resting, visiting and eating wonderful meals, and swimming in their garden swimming pool and getting tanned! It was the first time there for ten years, and since my ops five years ago I had not dared to travel anywhere, but this time I did, and I am so happy that I took the chance to do so. Relaxed and happy that I achieved this visit, I then went online to book a ticket to visit my son in Perth Australia, and will go on January 23 for another fortnight! AND in June I have tickets to go to see my daughter in Canada, so next year, I will be doing the most travel I have done in over ten years... Next year is also a big one for a couple of other reasons.. In May I turn 70, and in September we shall celebrate twenty five years of marriage, so that will call for a party in September to celebrate both events* All in all, I cannot wait for this New Year to start!!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

AT LAST I have found a way to post again on this site... whilst I did found another one called Rosiedayzesummer, I was sad to lose all my followers, so tried hard to get back**

Here I am again, as we get to count down the last days of 2014.. Its been quite a year... one when I closed my business and became fully retired.. one where I had to learn what to do with myself if I didn't have a job to do each day. Its been quite hard, and it was not helped by losing the way to get onto this blog.. it was utterly useless...I could find it, but it would not let me post anything... so this is the reason that I have been absent for so long. However, just to cap a just about perfect Christmas with our family and friends, we received the news this evening that a little girl had been born to John's son and wife. She had been expected on the 21st of this month but was too comfortable to move just until today, and it is just the most wonderful way to finish a wonderful week of celebration. It has been quite a year as I said, and I lost two very dear friends much too soon. That was shocking too, but life carries on even if you dont feel like it* I am just so delighted to be back, that I shall finish here, wishing everyone as good a time as possible when the New Year comes... and will blog again as soon as I am able.. see you soon... Janzi

Monday, 10 November 2014


I am quite sure that everyone has given up on me, but this is the first time I have managed to get back into my own account... I had changed computers, and it led a whole dance of rigmaroles to get back into touch again... So here I am folks... and I will try and keep my entries back up to date.. I have missed not writing, but thats all another tale.. It is the early days of November and this year is getting to leave very soon. I cannot believe all the days rushing by so* for the first time since my operations that left me in a very bad way, I managed to be brave enough to travel abroad this late summer. In September I went and visited my brother in his house in the south of France. The weather was superb and I had such a wonderful holiday with him and his darling wife. They are both retired now and live in their holiday home now, full time. I did not have to lift a finger, I was truly spoiled** And luckily my body only let me down once, and I was at home, and it was the last day of the holiday, so thankful for that small mercy! At least then, my brother and his wife were able to see why I h ad been so anxious not to travel abroad for so many years.. almost four years since the ops. Being emboldened by the success of my holiday, I now have booked another two weeks, this time to travel to Australia and I leave for that on January 23rd to spend the time with my eldest son, and his lovely little family. The boys are now almost two and five. I know that Australia is a lot further to go, but with my gadgets close by, I should be able to manage the trip ok. UI only have one stop too, and that for a couple of hours,so looking forward to that and counting the days! Later next year, possibly in June, I plan to see my girl in Canada too. So next year is a big one for me... not just the holidays, but also I shall turn 70 in May and celebrate our 25th anniversary in September too! I am quite breathless with all of it* What have you all been up to>? I have so missed seeing all the other blogs I loved to read, and I am sitting enthralled in my seat, keeping the reading of them as something to savour and treasure... can't wait.. I have had a lot going on in my life too, and especially dealing with supporting my daughter in Canada who has been undergoing a true nightmare with her 16 year old who has left home because his parents will not let him smoke weed whenever he wants to. and who, because he was thwarted, became violent towards his sibling and mother and father.. Such a long tale, but its not my story, so will not go any further with this. Today is a lovely bright, cold November day and I am feeling pretty good, especially as I am back in touch with you all.. more to follow*

Monday, 21 April 2014

An Anniversary Wish

Eleven years ago in a couple of hours, my Dad died. He had been staying with me over Easter, and it was just a year ago in the March that we had lost my mother. I and my brother were so fortunate to have had our parents stay with us until their eighties. For years my dad had suffered with various heart ailments and my mother with no bad health issues at all. Then her kidneys got an infection and she stayed too long at home before agreeing to go into hospital and there she died a week later. Most unexpected and our world was shattered. She was so lively and energetic and friends with everyone. My dad of course was inconsolable after over fifties years together he felt her loss immensely. Having been a teacher in the large sussex town whenever he went out without her he had had to explain her death and his loss was renewed daily. He cried so often in his last year, although my brother took him to live with them for the summer in their South of France home, he could not seem to gain any thoughts about the future. He just wanted to join her as soon as possible. Being raised a Catholic, he believed most deeply that they would be reunited in death. So this day eleven years ago dad had got himself dressed but suddenly the anourism that had threatened him for many years happened, and we had to call the ambulance. He was in terrible pain and in the hospital I was able to stay with him during his last hours as they had to give him morphine for the pain. I managed to get a priest to give him the last rites and held his hand as he slipped away. I was in contact with my brother and had to tell him the news. We were both devastated and lost. I came home and was sick and went to bed. John my husband was kind and careful to leave me time to grieve. My parents were not perfect, we had a life of ups and downs, but we all loved each other and from the moment they had met during the war, they were inseperable. I got to know my parents as an adult and for that I am so grateful, but getting older made them infirm and fragile despite their best efforts. As I approach a land mark birthday next year, I am reminded that at my age, they were still so energetic and active in all sorts of ways whether with their friends at church, or the long summer holidays they took at their caravan in the South of France. They went every summer for three whole months and adored their time out there. My dad grew up in a place called Aix-en-Provence and for years my brother and I had heard about his time living there. Then when we had finished school, he got a teacher's job in the same area and at last we were able to see why he had loved the town so much. Today I sit thinking of him and all that he meant to us, we were so lucky to have known our parents and to have shared our lives with them, but today I would give anything just to see them again and hear theri voices. Treasure your relatives whilst they remain with you, [sometimes is harder than saying it because some parents and relatives don't get along as well as they should,] but ignore their prickliness if its there, and be glad you have people that have known you and loved you, even if they don't always show it. I was lucky, my parents did let me and my brother know that we and the children that we had, were treasured and loved, and our world was better for knowing them.. I just wish the same feelings for anyone who has family that they don't see often, keep in touch, when they are gone, the time is lost forever.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

How do we deal with drug situations in a family that has been disjointed in parts, but trying hard now..

When my daughter and her husband and son went to live in Canada, I comforted myself by saying it was only a day's ride away in an aeroplane, so not too far** Of course that was true, that it wasn't too far, but I never factored in the cost of the travel... which is why having had my health issues takecentre stage for the last four or five years, I didn't have the money to get over to see them.. My daughter and her husband have always been workers full time, and so the little boy who was three went off to nursury school as soon as he was a few months old and this continued in Canada until it was time for him to go to school full time.. Having a child that was left at the nursury from 7 in the morning and collected after 6 in the evening meant that meal times at home could be difficult because everyone was tired, and Father could not stand a child that was fractious and reaction to that was more noise and shouting.. Over the years, they settled into a routine, but moved from Vancouver to Toronto where the days became even longer and he was joined by a little sister when he was 6 years old. There are some men who believe that their role is to toughen up the boys lest they become too 'soft' and obviously this treatment caused much heartache to my daughter but for the sake of peace it continued, and I am afraid that he landed up with a terrible fear which caused him to say he hated his dad.. My daughter was fortunate enough to hold down a very highly powered job which brought in more salary than her husbands, but which allowed them an amazing lifestyle, much better than they could have had in England. Over the years with a couple of more moving houses, they have now ended up in a semi rural area with land around their house and they should be so happy.. BUT drugs have become a way of life for my poor grandson and it is tearing his family apart. So far we think it is the weed, but this is not the strength of those sold in the 60's it is even more enhanced and therefore I think more dangerous. Take a child that feels alienated from his dad, a sister who he thinks is loved more than him, moving schools at 15 to a completely new area, having make new friends,with no support system of family or cousins to help.. they are all struggling to make it through each day ... like walking on ice, never knowing what condition they will find him in.. he has been stealing items from the house and money from purses to fund his now pressing habit.. he is for the first time deciding to do this action where he is in control, although choosing to use a drug that lessons his own controls of behaviour.. There are no deterrrants, apart from tough love, which would turn him out into the streets to fend for himself, and no matter that he thinks he is savvy in the way of living , he would be so vulnerable left to fend for himself.. This is so much in slow motion, this picture of self destruction building up in front of his family and they are stuck not knowing how to get this situation back under control.. with no possibility of chastisement, how are you to teach these kids from a very early age, how they get to know what is acceptable in society without having parameters to be drawn around them.?? I found it hard enough when my kids were exposed to the same sort of temptations, although it was more alcohol than weed... but they did of course have a go, but thank goodness it remained a phase they went through.. My youngest did try a few other things, but told me that he had weighed up the chances of dying from using them, and statistically he worked out he should be ok..!!! Can you imagine how I felt when he told me that.. I am sure he would not be the only one who could think in the same way.. luckily none of mine got addicted, but my grandson is at the moment highly addicted, to the point where he has to have it daily... The further difficulty is that a lot of his friends'parents do not think it is such a terrible thing to smoke weed and in fact in his school the headmaster told my daughter that some have shared their stash with their kids!!!! Along side this, there is action to have it declared legal high... which would immediately open the floodgates to everyone experimenting as much as they like. Of course at every level, I know that my grandson is lost and depressed and not happy in his family life.. this feeling hits a lot of us when we get to our teens.. we are so eager to be adults, and we all think that our parents never understand how grown up we feel, and they are always seemingly too out of touch to understand what we are getting at!! This is a stage that most get through without too much trauma and drama, and even with out drugs or alcohol its a very very trying time for parents all over the world !! .. But drugs whether almost legal or not, upset the balance of the brain. This organ is so finely tuned, that even a little usage of illicit drugs can damage the unfortunate 'one in a million.'.. can cause paranoia, illness, schcitzoid tendancies or trigger other illnesses that are not easily remedied. I despair for my daughter and husband in their attempts to try and help him come to see what he is doing is self destruction, not self medication as he sees it.. He is deeply depressed but this will make him more so, and underneath all the awful exterior when he is 'high' is a charming, well behaved handsome and clever young man.. They see this side of him from time to time, and he relates then, when he is 'normal' and they heave a sigh of relief, then, as soon as he is given more freedom, the first thing he does is get the drugs and gets high.. prowls around their house in the early hours of the morning.. such a terrible calamity is just waiting to happen and being the other side of the pond, I cannot do anything but be there for my girl to listen to her and try and interject a few words which might help her turbulance to lesson ... but most of all, I feel such sadness for this child who is in such a terrible place in his head.. Trying to get onto counselling appointments takes ages, there are so many other parents facing all this ... tring to get the professionals to help, but they feel that he should have been put onto ritalin when he showed signs of attention deficiency when he was 9 years old, and that therefore his parents might have been to blame for what is happening now** As I said, my son in law is trying hard not to shout and explode when the boy does wrong, but getting him to acknowledge that use of this smoking drug is not acceptable because of the havoc it causes, and how he is completely out of control when using it...seems not to be getting through to him at all.... when there is no form of punishment acceptable by law, when no on can help you in this nightmare, back you up or offer useful advice, [apart from saying let him leave home when he is 16 and see how h e survives in this big world out there.. if he gets into trouble then, the police will handle it and he will then be absorbed into the system !!!!]... This is NOT what they had that child brought into this world for,.a darling little being whom you only wanted to love and protect, and now you see him descending into a very real nightmare and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO to keep him safe from harm... In writing this, I know we are not the only family on the front line, seeing their child facing such shocking temptations, but its really shocking how alone it makes you feel, knowing what is happening and there being so little to help mend the situation.. I am hoping that this is going to be a phase, that she will be able to get him to the doctors and see if his mood swings can be help professionally, maybe by meeting with a professional who can sit down and take time to chat and communicate... this is a hard ask, as I know that alongside all his feelings, he is also dealing with hormonal swings as he becomes a man which also complicates matters. [I thought that dealing with a husband that drank was tough, but watching your darling child self destruct is light years away from that in pain and suffering..] god knows what is going to happen, but I trust that his genes will kick in and the sensible part of his makeup will help him get to a place that will be safe and not self harmful. His turning 16 in May is going to be a real hard time as he wants to leave home at the moment.. I just hope over the next few weeks he will have professional help to get him to be able to manage the reality of his life...<>

Friday, 7 February 2014

Here we go

I just love reading other blogs, seeing what other people do in the rest of the world.. its very very easy to believe that no one out there is interested in anything you think or write down, and that is possibly why I have not written for quite a long time.. In the beginning of my writing I found I had things to write about every day, and it went along so well, chatting as you do, then I ran out of things that I would be interested in writing about.. So that is my excuse for the gap in between blogs. It is now well into February and at last we can relax. We had a lovely quiet Christmas but as my husband is an Accountant with his own firm and several partners, the end of the year is always always so busy getting the client accounts in before the Tax deadline, so its only in Feb when we feel we can really start to appreciate a New Year. You might have noticed that here in the Uk we have been having some awful weather which is seemingly starting to make a pattern as we have had other awful windy wet winters just recently.. So there are all those poor people fleeing their flooded houses, the Ministers have kept quiet about all the work that should have been done in order to prevent such catastrophies happening. Yes there is the point that the houses should not have been built on land that was historically flood plains, but I cannot ever remember in any house purchases over the years, being asked, or told about such flood plains.. wejust bought the houses and got on with living.. Nowadays these questions are asked, but they never were before.. I know too that we are not the only country having freak winter weather.. what about all that ice and snow in America? They are used to snowy winters of course, but not to such a degree they have been getting, and its getting to be quite scary if you think that this is going to be the pattern of winter from now on!! It does seem to go in cycles and we have to plan it better for our kids to manage. It seems the Gulf Stream is changing its direction and even if its only slightly to the left or right, the effect is as I said before, catastrophic! Not much we can do about that.. They go on about Global Warming and all the things we can do to make it better... it is my view that its too late, what is going to happen will happen, whether its in this decade or the next century, we are all on course for something major to appear. We had the Industrial Revolution that started all the pollution and its where China and India are at at the moment.. but what about the space ships and shuttles to outer space, or the big satallites... didnt they do something to the Ozone layer on their way out of the Earth's atmosphere? All these questions would drive anyone mad trying to think how to deal with it.. the best thing is to keep your head down and do as best you can in your little corner of the world! Apart from worrying about Global warming and Gulf Streams, I have had a lot of pondering going on. Just in the last month, I attended two funerals of friends of mine who were only a few, very few years older than me.. very thought provoking as both of them had been such fit and active men who really were non stoppable and always doing and making things happen.. then out of the blue, heart attacks for one, and cancer for the other.. woa... what happens next. When I used to think about getting old, I would imagine I'd have a few wrinkles, maybe a bit larger in the beam, that my outline and energy levels would be almost the same, just a little slowing down in fact.. I never thought it would mean hip and knee replacements before I had the spinal ops that made everything just a whole lot worse.. never thought that each day would mean several pills in the morning when I got up and when I went to bed.. that getting out of bed so stiffly that it is my first action to get rid of it before the day begins! BUT.. the very hardest thing I have found to deal with , is being RETIRED.. I just Hate it** I have been sitting around trying to think of something that would be worth while to do and also create a revenue stream, because pensions are not so hot when you actually receive them... All those amounts that you were told you would get after steadily saving year in and year out, are actually worth only possibly half of what was estimated... so thats a bind straight off... not much money to go travelling around.. just enough to supplement the government pension and thats a pittance too.... Boy have I turned into a real grouch here, but getting it off my chest and I will be able to be light and carefree again.. ha ha... I am really fortunate though that I have a very optimistic nature and after a bit of a sit down, can manage to get up and carry on without that awful black dog of depression. I have friends who suffer so badly from it, and nothing seems to help.. tablets from the doctors worry them as they read all the paperwork and the possible affects and then don't take them, so they are still anxious and feeling awful and there doesn't seem to be much out there to help. Of course I do have days when the black dog comes calling, luckily in my life , about 3 times, when I cannot raise any hope to feel good and strong and energetic in myself to cope.. A few years back I had a panic attack just as I was going to sleep.. All of a sudden I was gripped by the feeling that I was going to die, that I could not breathe and I just did not know what hit me** I had the thought that I needed a doctor to see me.. as this was way passed midnight, my husband said, just try to sleep and it will get better... but then I started to walk the hall upstairs, one side of my brain saying you are not going to die, you are walking and talking... but the other side was utterly convinced that I would not live through the night... as my husband didnt want to call the ambulance, I did it myself, speaking to the lady and telling her I was in such a state, but she calmly spoke and got the address and then few minutes later the paramedics were in my house.. of course once they were there I did calm down, but they took me to hospital to be sure and checked out.. From this happening, I know that when the brain decides to go into overdrive and give panic attacks, or anxiety attacks or deep depression, there is not much you can do to help yourself... certainly it doesn't work by giving yourself a good shake and tell yourself to buck up your ideas- then all will be well***...well it will not! I still have strange days when I feel odd,but if I can distract myself I manage to move on past. I believe that because I internalise my worries and fears, one day that door broke down and I was swept over with the feelings of panic..It is the oddest thing, because you know that there is so much good things going for you, but it doesn't matter, your anxiety takes over and you just have to ride it through.. When the paramedics asked me that night if I had had anything extra to worry about...trying to find a reason for the attack... I realised that I had kept a lid on things for over 40 years and never let anyone truly know what I was thinking or how I coped with working, having five children and a husband I loved but who was killing the marriage with his drinking.. 40 years of stress and keeping smiling, did me in that night, and in a way it did help get rid of a lot of worries that I had carried subconciously all those years. the other day I noticed that a few of my friends and their children always seem to be on the point of tears.. emotions too near the surface.. and I wondered.. whether it had anything to do with our modern world? that they are over whelmed with all the information and electrical connections that we now accept as our way of life? For instance we see people all over, not just walking around, but on their phone all the time, playing games, talking to friends, watching films, playing music, apps etc etc etc its an electrical overload.. and its getting worse all the time!! On Sunday last, I read an article about a little boy of three years old, who was addicted to playing on his dad's Ipad... this child woke him up at 4am to demand his dad get it for him straight away.. of course he was persuaded to go back to bed... and later when the writer got up for breakfast, he found his child had searched the rooms and found the IPad and was busily playing with it* He had to deal with a major scene when he took away the tablet, and did not let him have again for several days during which time he rediscovered his toys and how to play with them.. We are all suffering overload and I am sure that this does not help us deal with the world any better. The amount of information we receive on a daily basis, is more than Michael Angelo or Leonardo da Vinci recieved in all their lifetimes and we get it daily!!! The best thing to do is to allow children only short bursts of time on these gadgets, but as they do keep them quiet,more and more they are being used as baby minders... ah well, won't go there, thats a whole new subject.. So now I have finished my ranting.. I hope that our other bloggers recover from all that terrible wet trouble.. though only God know how, and that all the lovely people in blogland dont have too much damage from the storms and snow and ice.. I do hope that the next week will be alot better for each and every one of us..