Monday, July 09, 2012

along came a spider

Okay, so it was a small spider, and it caught my eye as I have never seen one like this before. I don't mind spiders, from a distance, but I had to get too close for (my) comfort to take this picture. It was very large in the view finder! 


Last Friday afternoon. The wet weather turned miraculously sunny as we drove towards our destination, and was glorious by the time we arrived. 

The bank at the edge of the car park was full of pink flowers. I see these wild flowers every summer since I first noticed them growing out of a high wall at Aylesford Priory. They grow everywhere, I even noticed them in a garden further along our street.  I wish they would grow in my garden! I meant to take a small cutting when we went back to the car, and bring it home but I forgot.  

We visited a small art gallery, which was interesting,  and there were lovely views though we didn't venture out onto the balcony for a better look, as it propped up with pieces of wood! We sat on a bench looking out over the estuary and ate the lunch I had packed - coronation chicken sandwiches, strawberries and a lovely cup of tea, and then we followed that up with an ice cream on the seafront. 

We drove along the front before going home, it's lovely looking out across the water, and one of our favourite places, despite being pretty/tacky/shabby by turns. 

It was a lovely afternoon, especially with the unexpected  sunshine. Just having the Prof off from work that extra half a day or so made the weekend seem so much longer. 

Friday, July 06, 2012

Here comes the rain again

Photo a day July: on the floor

This little chap and his friends and relatives are a common sight in our garden at the moment, thanks to the almost constant rain. I am now not going to mention the weather again today. 

The Prof is coming home early today, so we are going to take a drive out. We had books out last night trying to decide what to do with his extra few free hours, it's hard to decide where to go. I think we d better when we just get in the car and go, we always come across something interesting. We are going to head for the coast (well, estuary!) and visit an art gallery there. What a lovely day for it (oops).

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

My idea of fun might not be yours

I found the dictionary definition of 'fun' online: 'Enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure'.  I don't know if I find my afternoon's activities amusing really, but the other two definitions definitely fit.

I don't particularly like ironing in general, in fact I iron very little. I find that, if washed carefully (not too many items per load in the washing machine, remove as soon as the cycle is finished, shake or smooth out and hang carefully) that most of our clothes don't need ironing, even my boys' work shirts.

But I love ironed tea towels, and enjoy making up some fragranced ironing water (cheat: add a very small amount of the divinely scented Ecover Among the Flowers fabric conditioner), watching a film and ironing a huge pile of pretty tea towels.

I may even take a break half way and sit in the garden watching my two lines of washing blowing in the breeze. Also fun. Really.

Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along

I finished the Battenberg tea cosy - well, to be honest I haven't sewn it up yet, I don't like that part. I have a pile of finished items that need making up. One evening I will just have to sit and do them all!

I have started knitting a blanket for a friend's granddaughter, due in the autumn. It is very simple, garter stitch only for the centre, knitted diagonally. There will be a lacy border around the edge which is knitted separately, I am going to knit that in pink. I found the pattern on Ravelry. I prefer simpler patterns, I don't enjoy complicated ones where I have to concentrate and count all the time, I just like something fairly mindless that I can do in front of the tv, or while chatting. It calms my mind, I find it very restful. Difficult patterns just make me stressed!

A Perfectly Good Man by Patrick Gale is one of the Richard and Judy book club books for this summer. It is the story of a priest and those around him, and each chapter is set in a different part of his life, sometimes going back and forth in time. I am about halfway through and thoroughly enjoying it. I have read two other of his books, and this is my favourite, I think.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

No ants or demons allowed

Photo a day July Day Three: best part of the day

There are various parts of the day that I enjoy. Waking up in the morning after the Prof has gone to work and being able to snuggle back down for a while in our big bed. My first coffee of the day as I check my email. The Prof coming home in the evening. Chatting with the Young Philosopher. 

Today, my favourite part was coming home just now, after meeting the Prof from work and going to see Men in Black 3. I thoroughly enjoyed it, is there anything better than a really good laugh? We picked up a coffee from McDonalds on the way back, and I am looking forward to an hour knitting and watching tv before going to bed early. I am tired today, probably a delayed reaction from a very busy weekend. I am still feeling good though, not ill. Sometimes I have to remind myself that everyone gets tired if they have overdone it a bit, and it doesn't necessarily mean an imminent crash. 

The plant pot you can see is part of my patriotic Jubilee/Olympics planting scheme. I have this pot and two baskets on the front fence filled with red, white and blue flowers. The white powder on the step is to deter ants, though I overheard the Young Philosopher telling his friend it was salt to protect against demons. 

Monday, July 02, 2012

enjoying being busy

Joining Chantelle for photo a day July. Day Two: Busy

Every morning lately I write a little to do list for the day, and with great satisfaction I tick off the tasks as I finish them. Big deal, you may be thinking. Well, to me it is. For well over two years I have operated at between 30 per cent and 70 per cent of my pre-CFS energy levels. Most of the time I don't leave the house alone, can't manage to do lots of things that for most people are very everyday and easy such as changing a bed, or hoovering, and sometimes even light tasks such as dusting and cooking are not possible. For the past few weeks the Prof and I have been eating differently, partly in an effort to lose weight, partly to regulate his blood sugar, and after the first week or so it has made a remarkable difference to me.  In the last couple of weeks, with frequent rests, I have managed to do several times more than I can usually do. I have been out socially more than usual, done a lot of gardening,  decluttering and organising, as well as housework. I have been trying to take things carefully as I know only too well that when I overdo things it can result in a crash often lasting days or weeks, and at first I was very tentative with what I did...but now it's been two weeks, I still feel really well and there has been no relapsing at all. 

What does this mean? I don't believe my CFS was caused by diet, in my case it seems to have been a combination of respiratory illness/anaemia/ stress (and continuing to ignore all that for months and carry on as usual) that started it off. I am puzzled by such a dramatic change just from changing how and what I eat. However, I have always had spells of going dizzy/feeling odd and knowing I needed to eat something, which I assumed was to do with my blood sugar levels. In recent years this has got more frequent. This eating plan that we are following is based on mostly low glycaemic slow energy release foods, and I have not had any of those funny spells. My energy is fairly constant though of course I am not as strong as I used to be, and I have less stamina, but that is to be expected given my decreased levels of activity in the last few years.  It is just so wonderful to feel 'normal'! I can honestly say I have not even had a whole day of feeling normal in the past two and a half years. At the current count I have felt fantastic for two weeks. I am altogether baffled and amazed, but thoroughly enjoying feeling normal after all this time. I am trying to have a positive attitude and not worry about getting up tomorrow and this feeling of well being having gone, I am trying to make the most of every wonderful day right now. 

Oh, and I need to post the photo for day one of Photo a Day July too - I only came across the challenge today, already day two. I see that the prompt for yesterday was self-portrait. Serendipitously (it's a word if I say it is), I did take a (rather silly) self-portrait yesterday with my phone, so I here it is.