Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fun times with friends......


The workmen are back again. I do believe that there is enough stuff needing fixing around here to keep them busy for another 6 months, but the main things are nearly done. They are finishing up work on the stairs today. They no longer creak and groan quite as much, and the railing has been brought into the 21st Century, thanks to a genius idea by moi and genius workmanship by them. And much measuring, re-measuring and did I mention re-re-measuring? It paid off. My stair rail now looks stunning and the newel post no longer leans.

The house is still upside down, and still needs painting and still needs sorting, but baby steps are good.


As I mentioned, life is chaotic. Finding place to sit and rest ice and elevate has been a challenge, but as soon as one sits, one has an immediate nap. At times that nap lasts for hours. HOURS, I tell you. 

Our American visitors are back in Philadelphia, and a good time was had by all while they were here.  Last Thursday was my UN day. Diana had a friend from New Zealand visiting for a few days, and I had a friend visit from South Africa for the afternoon - she and I last saw each other 45 years ago in school. We both remembered so clearly that I sat in front of her in class, and we had so much to talk about. Like the 45 years, a husband each, 6 children between us, and siblings, travels, homes.......

It was a delight.

And, true to form, it felt as if we had been chatting just the other day. I absolutely loved seeing Gwyneth - and I look forward to many more meetings. Getting to know her lovely husband was also great.


And into the midst of this, my American visitors arrived. Sandy and I grew up a road apart in Cape Town, but only really became friends at UCT, when we were both on the Rag Committee for years. I had never met his lovely wife, Joy, so that was very exciting. They were here for a few days, and we managed to show them our little corner of England, and there was much eating involved.


 Eating I did not have to cook, thankfully. The weather even behaved and they had some incredibly hot sunny days to enjoy the gardens of Castle Ashby and other vital essentials like Waitrose.


And then workmen returned. They were banished last Tuesday because the house had to return to something resembling a home while guests were in and out. And hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. I swear if the stairs looked more presentable, I would just paint them and let them be. They, like the rest of this house, seem to have been built without due care and attention, sadly. And once you put one thing right, the rest looks worse than ever.


White paint will make it all work. I like white paint. The decorator I called is booked till next year, so that was a non-starter. 

We will make a plan.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A not so clever move.......


So the mess continues. There are men in the cupboard under my stairs as I speak. 


They are fixing the stair case, which creaks. The stairs have no carpet. That is piled up in the lounge too. 
And therein lies the tale of the past few days. 

Last Thursday, the plumber returned with the last two giant radiators. One was not quite what I thought it would be, but I have become attached to it, and it is now fine. It was just a bit of a surprise at the time. I was calm, people. Be impressed. Anyway, I decided to leave and go back to my friends' home, where I was keeping their dog company, to escape the drilling and vibration. There were people boxing in pipes, lying on the floor attaching radiator pipes and all the rest. So I walked across the lounge....

tripped over that cardboard...


and executed a move worthy of Olympic Gold. I crashed onto the floor, hitting the coffee table and tool boxes on the way down with the bad leg. The very bad leg. Oy. Breathing became optional. The workmen were lovely, and Diana was a real star  - she came running, and managed to stop them from touching me or my leg and, thinking fast, gathered up the patches which anaesthetise. And that was when I realised that weight bearing was not an option, so we managed to get me into the car and off to hospital, where they showed little to zero knowledge of CRPS, and only x-rayed on the demand of both my present children. David joined us there. Me? I sat in the wheelchair and sobbed. The pain was off the charts.


Both feet were swollen, and so was my knee, but nothing was broken. Or, as the unhelpful Dr K said, the knee is fine. The foot is fine. Hmmm. Fine? If you mean not broken, I get that. But fine? So, with a little urging, he supplied crutches, but told me to go to my GP and ask to be referred to the pain clinic. Not good, given the nature of CRPS,with the need for immediate pain relief, but hey, we are alive and fine. Ish. He did say to go to bed for 5 days. 

So that was clever of me, wasn't it? 

And crutches? They are medieval instruments of torture. 

Monday, July 07, 2014

The house is upside down.......

My house is in chaos. The heating has been (almost) replaced, but the holes in the wall remain, and the carpenters are hammering and plastering and rebuilding cupboards open to the attic as I speak. The large radiators will be delivered and installed (I hope) today, and the last heat testing will be done. Again, I hope. The plumber doing the bathroom is calling later to discuss details. The first windows, and doors and fascia boards are done, and the front of the house will be sorted tomorrow, as in bay windows, door etc. 

And access to this computer has been impossible. There will be photos too, people. I like to share the chaos. The hair remains on end, the house needs to be ENTIRELY redecorated, and my daughter has been dangling from the rafters all weekend, painting the kitchen. Brilliantly.  

We will get there. 

Breathe, Linds.

I am the eternal optimist.

However, the body is creaking mightily. I cannot stand the nest begin disturbed. So I have totally overdone everything. And then today marks the 8th anniversary of the death in this family which changed absolutely everything. Eight years, my friends. Eight. 

And that means that it is over 8 years since I started blogging. 

I have been reading a couple of things recently, referring to those days and how much they are missed by some of us. Yes. Me too. They were good times. In a sense, it is like looking back at the 50s, in terms of the Internet. The innocent times, where we only wanted to connect, communicate, be among people we could learn from, exchange ideas, help, get involved with on our blogs.  Before the days of monetisation, stats and book deals. 

And youth. 

The young ones once grinned benignly at the thought of blogging, especially Mums blogging. And then those young ones suddenly woke up and the rest is history. They took over the internet. Youth generally does this, as it is the way the world works. Old out, new in. Just look at the ages of politicians. After the last European thingy, I googled them all. 30 something. Mainly 47. Hmmm.


The young ones arrived and suddenly it all changed. It was impossible to actually communicate with them, because their focus was on different things, in a sense. Comments were never acknowledged. There was no way to communicate privately and all of a sudden, it was like fan mail. I remember writing to pop stars in my youth. They never answered themselves either, but got secretaries to do it all. 

To be honest, when you have comments in the thousands, there is no way on God's green earth that you can answer them all, now can you??

But what I am trying to say is that the ESSENCE of blogging - that personal connection disappeared. 

And we are responsible for that, you know. 

We took our eyes off the people we had become close to, and eyed the new ones with a little awe and a whole lot of suspicion, and then we rolled over and died. Those of us who were here 8 years ago know what I am talking about. The saddest thing is that some of those lovely women blogging back then just sort of faded away from the blogging world. And this is what I actually wanted to say at the start before I got side-tracked, as I always do........ There is and always has been room for everyone. I think the worst possible development was when those who had been around a while started comparing themselves and their blogs to the new ones, and we ALL KNOW that comparisons are odious, now don't we??? We do indeed. 

There was no need. 

Everyone has a voice. And everyone has the space to use it here on this great big wonderful on-line world. And after a year or so of fumbling blindly along the path of life, I am reclaiming my spot. I am going nowhere. This is my corner, and I just want to be among friends - if I could ever work out why the Blogger reading list is refusing to list recent posts that would help. Or maybe I need to export my list to somewhere more helpful. Girls? Help? 

I may talk about things more later. 

Progress, people. I don't always love it. And the carpenters need tea and coffee. 

PS: I think about some of the absent bloggers a great deal, you know. I wonder if they are okay, how their children are doing, where they are. I care about them. Facebook is not the answer to everything. You can't tell stories on Facebook, can you......