Friday, December 31, 2010

On the Mend.

Mum is now day two post op, we went in to see her yesterday and she was awake but still somewhat confused. The nurses confirmed that she had been out of bed, they had the physios around and they stood her up and walked her around the bed to the other side and back in again. That is real progress!! Mum said that it was painful, but she knew she had to do it.
She is in a bay with three other ladies, one lady waiting for an operation, the two others are quite vocal and Mum is finding that hard going. The lady next door is a Nun and Mum is convinced that she is trying to get her to join a sect, she said that in the middle of the night people arrived and told her to change her religion, Mum said she wouldn't !! Most of last nights visit was full of bizarre conversations about religious sects and the fact that the hospital tea was undrinkable because they use grapefruit juice instead of water to make it. I was really concerned as mentally she was worse than the day before. The staff have said its the Morphine and the general, once that is out of her system she should improve.
Tonight is New Years eve and traditionally we celebrate this with Madeline and John. This year they are coming to us so I am about to go and buy our traditional Big Bang firework!!!
Happy New Year !!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

She has had the operation.

Finally yesterday Mum had her operation, she went down around 11am and made it back to the ward for 4pm. I went in to see her last night and she was awake and a little confused but she knew it had been done. She is on a self administered morphine drip so that is the reason she is confused again. The staff say that the op went well and they plan on having her up this morning. I know that she will find that tough going and that has been made worse by the delay to the operation. I know she will be reluctant to get up as she is worrying about the pain but they will have to get her going.
I have calmed down a bit now and I do realise that its hard on the staff as well they are having to deal with the back lash of the cuts which leave them short staffed and having to continue with the work. I still think its wrong to have kept her hanging around for so long.
I am back at work today so I will call in and see her later.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Still Waiting

I think its fair to say that we are not exactly very happy with the hospital as it stands, I am amazed that in a developed country (supposedly) that its OK to leave a 75 year old woman in bed with a broken femur for three days and not operate to put it right. Yesterday it was nil by mouth from Midnight at 6pm they told mum they couldn't fit her in. I spoke to the nursing staff who have given me conflicting information. One said they had run out of time to operate it being Bank holiday blah blah blah. Another said that it was because of blood results that they were not happy with. If I consider all the excuses given the run out of time is the more honest. The blood results were in in the morning and she was put on the operating list , why at 6pm were they suddenly not 'right'?? She had not had any further tests during the day so I believe they said that to get us off their backs.
We had been in to visit on both visiting times and the staff said the Doctor wanted to speak to us, they have our number and we live 2 minutes from the hospital. To date we have not been able to discuss her situation with any of the doctors looking after her. In Mums drugged up state she thinks the reason the operation has been delayed is because she is not able to pay enough to have it done straight away. She told us that the Doctor said he was far too busy to operate on her. I suspect that most of that is drug talk, but no one was with her when the Doctor spoke to her so who knows what was said.
I have checked with them this morning and they say she is on the list for today, lets see if we will be having a repeat of yesterday. What is sad and upsetting is those folk in hospital who have nobody to stand up for them. Nobody to make sure that they have access to the call bell, no one to ensure that the staff actually 'care' and tend to the needs of the patients, i.e ensure basic comfort and that their worries are taken seriously. The thing is we have no choice in what care she receives, the NHS is the ONLY provider of emergency medicine. You can have private health care but emergencies leave you at the mercy of the NHS and all their under staffing and cut backs. Until you are faced with this you have no idea.
When the NHS performs, it is exceptional and does fantastic things, but I can still remember them spending a lot of time, money and expertise operating of Dad 5 years ago after his ruptured aortic aneurysm, weeks in intensive care and high dependency. Once out of those places they virtually left him to starve to death, leaving food out of his reach, serving him food when he was asleep and not aware it had been delivered. So if we hadn't been there ensuring he was looked after he would have been forgotten and all the expertise of the surgeons lost. Can  you tell I am frustrated??

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fingers Crossed.

I have just called the hospital and they have said that Mum is on the operating list for today, her blood is now balanced and blood pressure down, she is very tearful again this morning but that's the pain and the morphine so hopefully they should have her sorted today. fingers crossed.
Beth came in to visit her last night and took her in a 'love heart' Beth had a kit for Christmas and she has spent sometime making a variety of hearts, this one was for Nanny!! (Thanks Fran, Pete and Becca)
So I hope that they actually do the op and that all goes well.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Moving On......

I have just got back from visiting Mum in Hospital. She is in a reasonable state they have her well drugged up with Morphine, her leg is in traction and she is finally 'comfortable' She was due to be operated on this morning and got as far as the theatre but they decided not to do the op as she had very high blood pressure and they thought that she wasn't stable enough. She came back to the ward in a state and they were very concerned about her. I had told them last night that they needed to keep an eye on the amount of morphine they gave her as she is on morphine patches which means she is 'used' to it. Finally this morning they have taken that on board and they have upped her dose .
This afternoon she is away with the fairies and hasn't got a clue how long she has been there or much more really. I feel that is a good sign and I am feeling hopeful that she will be able to come through this. The plan is for them to test her blood and maintain her blood pressure so that at 6am tomorrow she has the operation.
I am sorry that I have not been able to update everyone individually.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A mixed Christmas

Christmas got off to a good start, no one wanted to get up too early, I got up and put the Turkey in and Beth got up with me and helped me to do the veg. Carl had been out Christmas eve and didn't really feel too grand so he got up around 10. We were expecting Mum and Dad around and Tom went to get Laura. As it turned out Mum and Dad were both unwell with funny tummys so they decided to stay at home.The roads and paths are terrible solid ice now. We haven't had any snow for a week but its still terrible underfoot and very dangerous.
Beth was thrilled with her gifts particularly the panda hat which she had been lusting after all year.
Boxing day got off to a terrible start, I got a call from Dad to say that Mum had fallen in their lobby and had hurt herself. I got around there pronto and it was quite obvious to me that this time she had done something serious. she could not move her left leg and was in agony. I called the ambulance and they arrived and gave her morphine and gas and air. The next problem was how to get her out of the confined space with a little discomfort as possible. It took 4 of us plus drugs and a slidy sheet thing to get her out of the lobby. Once at the hospital they upped her morphine and took her to Xray. The staff suspected she had broken her hip but as it turns out she had broken her femur a bit lower than her hip and he leg was out of shape.
Then the problems started, the hospital was standing room only with no seats anywhere, all the bays were full and the staff decided that they were beyond capacity and started to shunt people out to the doctors out of hours unit. Mum was moved to the clinical decision unit. There we waited for three hours while they tried to find a porter to take her to the ward. Turns out there were only three porters on duty and they were trying to shuffle people around from one ward to another to free up bed spaces.
Mum is still in agony and they are unable to operate on her until tomorrow at the earliest as they do not have enough staff due to the holiday. Unbelievable, this is the thin end of the wedge the credit crunch hitting the NHS. I wonder if this is going to be the norm from now on, perhaps I need to call the papers and ask them what they think about the lack of facilities ? I just hope they get it done tomorrow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Little Red Head!

Beth has been going stir crazy stuck in the house with all that snow outside. Not able to go out because of her knee. She has been pestering me to have some chunky red slices put in her hair, so I have given in and used a semi permanent dye on her hair to see how it looks. She can't have it in for school so hopefully it will have gone by the time she returns in January!
I think it has turned out well, I like it!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

This week has been dominated by the weather, England has come to a complete standstill, it has been snowing. Again a few inches of the white stuff has stopped everything. It snowed on Saturday and the airports are closed and the roads are impassable.  I took Laura home on Sunday night and the temperature on my car thermometer was showing minus 9.8 !!
When the snow is on the ground the birds somehow seem more obvious.This little chaffinch was jumping around in the fir tree right outside our backdoor. First of all I took a few pictures through the glass. The bird didn't seem to bothered so I opened the door and took shots directly. I was only a few feet away while it was feeding on the pine nuts.
They look so small and vulnerable. We have now hung up some fat balls and peanuts just outside the door and we already have blue tits stopping by.

Hunny loves the snow, she runs around like a puppy jumping all over the place and snuffling under the snow with her nose. She is always happy to go for a walk when there is snow.
I love the post box covered in snow, all it needs is a Robin Red Breast and I'd have the perfect Christmas card.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Whats going on here then????

Once upon a time four ladies took a trip to Belgium. They were quite surprised when they woke up on the first morning to find that it was snowing very hard and the temperature was minus 10!! Three of the ladies had taken the precaution of bringing along suitable footwear for that eventuality, but unfortunately one lady failed to realise that it was winter at all and did not have any boots with her. So the only thing to do to stop a terrible slipping accident was to put a pair of socks over her shoes to aid her grip!!!

So here she is with her special pixie hat and her carer trying to decide how to go about getting the socks 'over' the shoes. It was decided that the best plan of action was for her to sit down in the rather snowy bus shelter in the middle of the  Grotte Market. In full view of the market stall holders, who were somewhat amused by the antics of the strange British women, In the rest of Europe it was traditional to wear socks inside the shoes. This was a revelation!

Sitting down was proving quite difficult there was no alternative, the carer had to get up close and personal. She had to make a quick assessment and decide if a swift return to use the facilities at the nearby Novatel was in order, or if the underwear was holding up in the circumstances and could last for another visit to a bar.
The other two ladies stood watching and laughing at the antics!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Around Ypres

I can't believe that this time last week we were glugging back Mulled wine and walking around the snowy town of Ypres. It is quite a spectacular place with beautiful buildings and fantastic mulled wine shops!!!!
So here is a glass of the famed Mulled Wine complete with a slice of clove studded orange and a piece of spicy bread pudding Mmmmm Yum. Today I have been and purchased a couple of bottles of Mulled Wine to try at home (in the interests of research don't you know!!)

One of the things that Belgium is well known for is the lovely chocolates. All the chocolate shops have wonderful window displays  full of their tempting offerings.
Here we are outside one of the shops, Sandra had been inside to buy up the entire stock of chocolate before the sold out!!!At least by the time we took this photo the snow had gone!!!
The other reason Ypres is so famous is the Last post which is sounded every night at 8pm at The Menin Gate. Its a really moving experience to be there when the ceremony takes place, it really makes you think about what so many soldiers gave up to ensure our freedom.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Fun Weekend.

I have just returned from a 'girls weekend' in Belgium. It was touch and go as to whether we actually made the trip. On Thursday last week the snow was bad in Kent and it was a big worry. As it happens we decided to give it a go, we left home at 5am Friday morning and took a steady run south. It was quite an experience. The M25 was clear so we made good progress there. Once we hit the M20 the snow doubled and there were huge drifts at the side of the road. The biggest surprise was the sudden drop in the temperature. Most of the journey it had been - 2c. As we hit Kent the temperature plummeted to -8.5c !!! I just kept things steady. We didn't really hit a problem until we got to the part of the road where the police were parking up lorries on the hard shoulder. The road became very icy with big lumps of ice. In the end we arrived with nearly an hour to spare. The Ferry was covered in snow and ice and from the restaurant we could see flurries of snow out at sea.
Leaving along the white cliffs of Dover looked as if we were going by an iceberg!!!
Once we arrived in France we stopped off at our 'usual' Hypermarket - Auchan. We stocked up on wine and nibbles. The weather got worse, more snow. That said the roads were clear and salted. The drifts were much bigger than any we had seen in England and the roads were still running. I think we could learn a thing or two!!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Some Beady Presents

Last week we went back to Homebeads in Knebworth and took another evening class. This time we took Debbie along for a go. She enjoyed herself and together we made  a few different bits and pieces. I made this bracelet out of odds and ends of beads, so its a good way of using odd beads up. What I like about Homebeads and Charlie who teaches us, is that we make everything from scratch which means you don't have to use expensive pre made bracelets. She is also very patient as she has a range of people to teach, I am sure it would try my patience!!!
Debbie and I had a go at making feature pendants, single beads on pins attached to a central loop. Then its attached to a leather thong. It was interesting to make, quite fiddly. Another good use of odd beads!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Presents

This year I have decided to make  few of my Christmas Presents. I have managed to collect quite a selection of beads this year. I have been having a bit of fun and relaxation making them into creations for Christmas presents.
I have made a few using illusion thread and pretty beads. They look good and don't actually use too many beads. I have made up sets with matching ear rings. Just need to wrap them now.
Its quite a relaxing past time and it has even provided me with some nice Chrissie presents.
Since coming back off of holiday its been so cold and chilly, makes balmy Florida seem a long time ago :(

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Beth

Its hard to beleive that our baby is 14 years old. She was so excited about her big day. She had been really struggling with Tonsilitus and had been to school and off of school for the whole week. She was still under the weather but she still enjoyed herself. We gave her a jewelery making kit with some beads. She also had a new paiur of pyjamas and a few bits and pieces including chocolate!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

While we were away we decided to have a bit of fun. All around the parks you see groups of people wearing matching T shirts, with 'Family Reunion' on them, so we thought we would do our own version of the T shirt wearing fun!!
Before we left home we asked Rick to print us some shirts, Subtle little numbers in white with Black writing, we decided that we all needed suitable names so with those chosen it was over to Rick and his magical printing machine.
The first time the shirts had an airing was on the evening of Sam's birthday. We decided to all wear them for Planet Hollywood. On the way out we took a few snaps by the big mickey Halloween pumpkin.

So here is the rear view with all our names!! from left to right Zandi, Brandi, Shandi, Candy, Andy, Sandy and Randy!! We certainly turned a few heads that night and even managed to get a special request read out for 'Andys' Birthday in Planet Hollywood. Made a few people laugh!!!
I love this shot as we all start to walk away!! its so funny. I can't believe that we only came back this month it seems like an age ago since we were there. Now we are all shivering with the cold and getting sorted for Christmas.
I was really hoping that I could make a start on my Florida scrapping. Last week I ordered a couple of hundred photos from Snap fish. They arrived on Friday and were terrible. Three packs all the photos were stuck together, on the back was written 'wet' so they had helpfully told me they were wet when put into the packets. I contacted them and they have refunded me, but it'll be another week before the next lot arrive. I can't believe  that knowing they were wet they would pack them up and send them out!!!
 Have a great week.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good Job!!!

Yesterday I ventured out to try and do a bit of Christmas Shopping, Once I was in Stevenage I realised it was the wrong decision for many reasons!! I had really wanted to go to the new Range shop, until now I had to travel to Norfolk or Harlow, neither very close to home!! I knew they had some great stuff in there from previous visits. What I had forgotten about was the fact that Stevenage were playing at home and the place was gridlocked. It too ages to get in and once in the car park it was heaving, every man for himself on the parking front. When we finally found a space, the shop was as bad full to over flowing not my idea of a good afternoon out. Anyway I did pick up a few presents but I found this cute Santa cake stand which I treated myself to, made the day seem worth while!
This morning we had to drop Carl in town as he was leading his cubs at Remembrance Sunday parade. Due to a bit of a mess up with practices, we had to pick Beth up at the last minute missing the parade. My friend Sue spotted Carl and took photos on my behalf!! He did say he was worried she was a stalker, but afterwards one of the cubs mums told him that she knew me!!
I have been making some necklaces with my American bead haul. I have plans to make some from Christmas presents. I think I need to get my eyes tested though as its getting harder and harder to see the holes!!!! Obviously my age.
Yesterday saw the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from Home arrest in Burma. I was not aware of this lady until last year when her situation was reported on at UNISON National conference. She is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and has spent the past 20 under house arrest. She is a remarkable lady who has fought for democracy in her country and has suffered the loss of her British husband while she has been in captivity. I hope that she stays free and is able to achieve democracy for her country.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Harry Potter Land!!

One of the things that we really enjoyed on holiday was the early entry to Universals Islands of Adventure. This was to take advantage of the recently opened Harry Potter Land. We had to be at the gates for 7am, which wasn't as bad as it sounds because we hadn't fully adjusted to Florida time, so it was fairly easy to get up. Once we had been checked in we walked through the very dark park. The floor was wet where they had washed it down. We had breakfast of porridge and toast in a restaurant. It was named after a pub from the film, but as I am not a Harry Potter devotee, I can't remember the name!! I mean I do enjoy the films and book, but I haven't committed to memory every little detail.

The buildings really looked good and in the early morning light it could even have been real snow, apart from the fact that it was already steamy hot and sticky!!
We were heading up the 'high street' of Hogsmeade looking for our breakfast!
At the end of the street there was the roller coaster and the 'big' ride which I didn't attempt. There had been a lot written about how small the seats were, so as Tom didn't fancy it we let the kids go on while we went on the small roller coaster. The little one was great and we had about 8 goes before the park opened!!
As soon as the park opened it was swamped with people who must have headed straight to Hogsmeade and within 30 minutes the wait for the ride was 90 minutes long!
Great day out was made even better when we were sitting waiting for the kids to come off the ride and we witnessed a butter beer explosion. The man on the butter beer stall was trying to set it all up when he experienced a bit of a mega blow back and the whole stall started to squirt butter beer all over the attendant and the floor. It was funny, poor bloke  is possibly still trying to beat off the wasps now!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time has flown....

I can't believe that we have been back just over a week and it feels as if we have never been away, already my thoughts are turning to next year and what we might do. Two weeks ago we were sunning ourselves in the Florida sunshine and today we had driving rain, real stair rods that got you really really wet. We had wreath laying at work for Armistice Day. My colleague was representing our department, she missed the inside two minutes of silence when a meeting over run. as soon as the time was up she rushed outside for the wreath laying and was soaked through to the skin, her hair was plastered to her head, it took the rest of the day to dry out.
So it hardly seems possible that it was only a short week ago that we were enjoying the brilliant sunshine and moaning about it being too hot to do anything!
Carl and Beth walking around Universal Studios.
We went on the great movie ride, this is a scene out of the classic film, Wizard of Oz.
This is the entrance to The Big Movie Ride, There was hardly anyone in the park, I was able to take photos of the place and hardly had any people in them.
So what to do next year?? Its always nice to have something to look forward to. I do have a mini break with the girls in Ypres at the beginning of December so that's good news.
Christmas just around the corn and not a thing prepared - HELP!!!!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Not Long until Christmas

Its official, its nearly Christmas!!! I have done absolutely nothing in preparation apart from make my Christmas Cards. I suppose that's not too bad then. I am determined to try and keep costs down this year in light of the recession and loss of pay at work. I have enough equipment to enable me to make some nice Jewelery for my friends and family so I think I will be going down that route. I might start NOW!!!!!
Disney this year was full of Halloween stuff but if you looked carefully there was plenty of Christmas stuff on the shelves.
I really liked these baubles, but I couldn't justify spending $11 on ONE, they were made of glass so the chances of getting them home in one piece was remote. None the less they are pretty and they came in loads of lovely colours.
I have finished downloading all my photos and will have to start the Marathon job of deciding which ones to scrap after I have photo shopped them!! I really need to get my new craft station ordered so that I can find space to work its all such a mess at the moment.
Its quite depressing coming home in the afternoon after work in the dark, we are really in the dark days now and tomorrow they have forecast gales and heavy rain. Button down the hatches!!!!

Friday, November 05, 2010

The day has arrived........

I am going back to work for a one day guest appearance before having a weekend off!! Still it won't be long until I am away  on my girls weekend to Ypres!!
Wish me luck, I'm going back........

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Home Again.

We are home and within minutes it feels like we have never been away!!
We had a good flight home, seemed to pass quickly, I think it was something to do with the interactive TVs which had a built in games console which kept us all busy. None of us was able to sleep on the plane which was a nuisance because once we arrived back we were exhausted and faced a drive home on a day where there was a train strike.
The M25 was closed at a junction near to our home so we had to go the other way around it which added to the journey, but we eventually got home at lunch time. I put the first load of washing on and then went to bed for an hour or two. When I got up I felt a little better and just got cracking with all the sorting out. Its a  mega job just getting that done let alone sorting the rest of the house out. I have now put away all my new craft buys, done 6 loads of washing which has given the tumble dryer a good work out!! There is still a load to be done, but we are plodding trough it all.
Yesterday I had a lovely surprise, my neighbour and friend Karen welcomed us home with one of her famous home made Victoria sandwiches, Yum!! I was so tired yesterday I never even tried it, but today I will.
So back to the laundry and the scrubbing in preparation for going back to work tomorrow  :(

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Oh dear storm time!!!

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Now at the airport in the middle of a storm :( its quite interesting lights have gone out but the wifi still works visibilty 10 yards. First rain of the holiday .

The last morning

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Well going home day has arrived and I am sad. We have enjoyed ourselves here for what is likely to be the last time. It's time to move onto different types of holiday USA is a big place to explore and I'd love to go back to New York and maybe go to Canada.
Last night we went back to old kissimmee although there were far fewer people there were far more mossies!! This morning I have at least six bites that I can see possibly more that I can't see! They are so itchy.
We have just about finished the packing we will have breakfast and then think how we will spend the day . We have to be at the airport at 5 pm so we plan to leave at 4.
We are off to breakfast for the last waffle of the holiday :(
See you all soon !

Monday, November 01, 2010

M and M's in action!!

Today has been a little cooler and it's our last full day before heading back to the cold of England. It's going to be a shock to the system!!we have finally made it to the M and M shop which was full of things but mainly M and M's!!! We had lunch at the Mall (read that with an American accent!!!) a nice Chinese . Since coming back to the hotel Beth and I have been swimming and sun bathing (well shade bathing really!!) it's a hard life!!

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Happy Halloween!!!

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Tonight we went to the Disney Port Orleans French Quarter resort for a Halloween party. We joined our friends for a childrens get together. The kids joined in with a 'Monster Mash' which included games with prizes. Beth won loads of rubber ducks!!! There were loads of balloons, bubbles and glow sticks. Everyone over here dresses up and I mean everyone this morning at breakfast there were people who were old enough to know better wearing flashing wigs!!!
Still at least they are having fun!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A night on the town

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Last night we went into Old Towm Kissimmee to see the vintage drive by and to take in a few if the sights and smells of the old town. The atmostphere was great loads of sparkling vintage motors done up for Halloween I was also went back to the bead shop this time I found beads fir 50 cents a string it was a very good evening!!
Today it has been a lot cooler with a bit of cloud coverage so we took beth to International Drive indoor flying experience. She had done something similar fur her birthday last year so she had another go and that little bit of experience paid off she was away far better than anyone else in her group she really enjoyed it and it was fun to watch as well !!