October 2008 - February 2010

> 28th - Sunday - Raining again and the sky is grey.  Had a lie in.

The week in pictures.


27th - Saturday - Another grey and drizzly morning.  Off out somewhere soon. Clive is coming over later.

Snowdrops keep lifting up their heads.

Decided to go into Coventry. Had coffee at the new Costa in the Precinct. 

Bought some shoes from Agers in their amazing sale. Swallowed my pride ;) and went into Primark where I bought a long-sleeved white shirt for £4!

Had lunch at Conroys and did some food shopping in the Co-op.


 26th - Friday - A grey and rainy morning. Up at 7 and have put out the wheelie bin which I forgot to do last week!

Did some printing and has some soup for dinner.

Richard came over and we went into Bedworth to the Post Office and did some shopping.

Michael arrived around 5 and we enjoyed our evening meal.


 25th - Thursday - Michael has headed off home.  Hazy sunshine is just breaking through a grey sky. 

Bosses at Stafford Hospital escape scot-free.

Went for a drive this afternoon.

Jordan has broken his wrist playing football! He won't be helping me with phones for quite a while.


 24th - Wednesday - Michael will be here very soon and we're off out for coffee and lunch.

Why does Labour pretend that life can be fair?

We went into Nuneaton, coffee at Costa's , lunch at Masons and shopping at the Co-op - could life get any more exciting? ;)

Made bacon batches for tea.


 23rd - Tuesday - Up at 6 to a cold dark morning. Builders are coming today around lunchtime to do some more work on the damp in the wetroom. I have promised to go over to Margaret's to set up her printer for her.

The builders came around 2 and did some work outside.  I set off for Margaret's about 3 o'clock but was unable to sort the printer problem ;(.

Paul popped round later and sorted her computer and broadband so all is well.


 22nd - Monday - Good morning world!  Another new week swings into action. Don't have too many plans for the day apart from some washing and shopping.

What a busy morning!  Carol rang with laptop problems, so she brought it round and Paul came over with little Ava and fitted a new screen for her. I was great to have their company!

Pictures of the day.


 21st - SUNDAY - Woke up to a blanket of snow  -  no, not on the bed, but outside!  Yuk!!

Having a quiet and leisurely day.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Photos on Sunday - Winter.


 20th - Saturday - A cold and misty morning with something of an ethereal feel.  We're off into Coventry later for coffee, lunch and shopping.

We had coffee at Conroys, then went for a wander around Ikea before returning to Conroys for lunch. Did some shopping at the Co-op before heading home.

The week in pictures.

Some days I just can't believe that Mum isn't still here.

Went into Bedworth this afternoon to get some meat and veg.  Intended to have coffee at the Terrace, but they were closed by 2.55 p.m. Wanted to buy some flowers from King Street, but they were closed by 3.  Market stalls were all packing up too.  What is it about Bedworth?!!

Had bacon batches for tea - yum!

Finished printing and guillotining 2000 A5 flyers.

Watched some TV and went to bed around midnight.


 19th - Friday Blue skies and sunshine at last! We have a blanket of snow which I hope will thaw soon.

Have some phones to post out for eBay today and a dinner to think about for when Michael comes later.

Posted a couple of phones for eBay and then went into Bedworth to get some cardboard boxes to post more. All up to date now.

Started to prepare dinner and Michael was here around five.  

Printed off 2,000 flyers for Paul.


 18th - Thursday - Michael has headed off and is calling in for his dental check up on the way home.

Another grey morning.

Visitors today - Postman1, Postman 2, Carl, Paul, Jordan, the boiler man. Boiler man had to come back to fix the central heating controller which wasn't communicating with the boiler.

Made some more phones for eBay this evening with Jordan's help.

1.25 a.m. now, thinking about Mum and the time we spent together, things we did together, things she used to say, the way she smiled. 

Time for bed.


 17th - Wednesday Another grey morning.  The boiler engineer is on his way from Wolverhampton but has broken down so will be late.

Michael will be here soon and Carl is coming round to give one of the lounge doors another coat of paint.

Boiler man arrived at 10.45 a.m. - it's 2.15 p.m. now and he's still here  ;(.

Craig, the very thorough and efficient engineer, finally left at 4.30 p.m.  Michael and I went into Coventry and had coffee in Marks and Spencers as Costa Coffeehad closed some minutes early and were determined not to serve us - a lesson here perhaps.

The domestic hot water seems to be hotter than ever so today's disruption was probably worth it.


 16th - Tuesday A better morning with some hazy sunshine. 


15th - Monday Good morning world!  Yes, another grey morning, perhaps it will brighten later.

The week in pictures.

A difficult day.


14th - SUNDAY - Clear blue skies and hazy sunshine.  Off to church later this morning.

Clive is popping in for coffee this afternoon.

Well, what can I say? Being back in church was wonderful, almost felt as if I had never been away.


Green pastures are before me
Which yet I have not seen.
Bright skies will soon be o’er me,
Where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure;
My path to life is free.
My Saviour has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.


 13th - Saturday Not quite so grey a morning, but far from blue skies and sunshine. Michael and I will be off into Coventry this morning.

Went into Coventry and had coffee at Conroys in Corporation Street, then went to Barclays Bank to pay in a cheque. A bank official told me to move from the chair I was sitting on while Michael queued to pay in the cheque. I didn't like his attitude and refused to move. He insisted that he was going to move me, and after I asked him how, he said he would call the police, so I told him to go ahead!  He asked a colleague for the number for the police.  Off he went and I  sat there for another five minutes until the attractive manager came up and asked me nicely. She was so sweet, how could I refuse ;)  Nice to have a bit of excitement in the day!

We had a look round the pound shop, shared a pizza at Pizza Hut and then did some shopping at the Co-op before heading home.

Animal pictures of the week.


 12th - Friday - Yes, it's another grey morning, I suppose we ought to be getting used to them by now.

Margaret and Philip are coming over this morning.

Pictures of the day.

Richard came over this morning, wrapped my parcels, took them down to the Post Office and then did some sorting out for me.  He is just amazing!

Philip called in this afternoon to pick up his book and Margaret's printer. Margaret did not come with him as she is not too well.

Made corned beef hash for dinner for when Michael arrived at 5.00 p.m.

Met Ben, the pastor of Holbrooks Evangelical Church, for coffee at Ricoh Marks and Spencers at 6.45 p.m.


 11th - Thursday Late entry today due to hosting problems. Another very cold day so I was glad to be wearing my new thermal vest when I went into Coventry!

Have linked up with Jennifer Griffin of Solihull & South Birmingham ME Support Group who has made me feel a whole lot better about Tuesday's visit to the ME specialist. Had a long chat to her on the phone this morning which was very useful. 


10th - Wednesday Blue skies and sunshine at last! Michael will be here soon and we're off out into Coventry or Nuneaton.

Midsomer John Nettles replacement named.


 9th - Tuesday - Well, earlier we had blue skies and sunshine, but sadly that didn't last long and so we're back to AGM ;(

Off on the train to Birmingham today to see Richard and go with him to his hospital appointment.

Winter weather in Europe.

Carl called in with the dogs to take a look at the lounge.

Paul popped in to pick up his printing as he is going over to Carl's dad just up the road to sort out his PC.

I'm all power-dressed and ready for my trip to Birmingham.

Back from Birmingham, 7.30 p.m. - and a lot of good the power dressing did me.  Totally frustrating meeting with Richard's ME specialist. He seemed determined to be evasive and unhelpful and had obviously taken an instant dislike to me. Ah well, all it did was to make me realise how hard things have been for Richard, how difficult it is to deal with these people. Actually, that wasn't all, it has made me the more determined to get something done. I am disbelieving and angry that so little help is offered to those in so much need.

On a more positive note, the train journey was excellent and it was great to spend some time with Richard and have lunch at Debenhams. We must do this more often.

Just sitting here getting more and more angry.


8th - Monday Guess what?  Yes, AGM - no, not 'Annual General Meeting' but 'another grey morning' !! ;)

Have got some eBay items to post today and some washing and tidying up to do.

The week in pictures.


  7th - SUNDAY Would you be surprised to hear that it's another grey morning ;)

No special plans for the day.

Animal pictures of the week.


 6th - Saturday Another grey morning, but I'm brightening it up by listening to a CD of the most amazing trumpet playing by Sergei Nakariakov

Michael and I will be heading off to Nuneaton for another adventure when he's taken Judy for a walk.

Went into Nuneaton, had coffee at Costa's and then lunch at Masons.  Michael did some shopping for me at the Co-op while I sat int he Rope Walk and watched the world go by.

Popped into Bedworth for a few bits and pieces when Michael had left for home.

John Terry is the model of the modern footballer.

Ian Carmichael, actor with a zest for life.


5th - Friday A damp, grey morning. Up at 7. Binmen have been. Have a dental appointment today to fix my broken tooth. 

US missionairies don't deserve to rot in jail inHaiti.

Richard came over to do some sorting while I went to the dentist and also called in on Margaret to collect her naughty HP printer.

Prepared roast chicken for dinner and Michael brought the sweet.

A much better day!


 4th - Thursday Up at 7 to a grey and very misty morning.  Sorted the Keycode for my car radio and popped down to the cashpoint to withdraw some funds.

Michael took the dog for a walk and then was off.

Carpet fitters arrived at 10 and are getting on with it.

Paul came over to lend me £50 - didn't want to leave the fitters here on their own -  to cover replacement underlay as recommended by the skilled artisans!  ;)

Carpet looks amazing!!

Popped into Bedworth with Paul to have a bite to eat at The Terrace. Bought some orange gerbera from Trina at her flower shop in King Street.

Lounge/Dining Room now finished - take a look:

 Jordan popped in around 6, closely followed by Lloyd and John who wanted to tax a car online and leave a laptop for me to have a look at.

Doing myself a meat pie, roast potatoes and sweetcorn for dinner.

Britain and the government should listen to the Duchess of Devonshire!


3rd - Wednesday Get my car back today!!!!!!!

Michael arrived at 9.30, took the dog for a walk, then we were off to our respective banks in Bedworth to get the cash together to pay for the car!

Having reclaimed the car, heaven, we drove into Coventry, parked on Belgrade Plaza, then had coffee in the Belgrade Theatre. 

Lunch at Conroy's, shopping at the Co-op, then off back home - we know how to have fun!  lol

Had a meeting of the Members' Panel  at George Eliot Hospital at 3.00 p.m., so Michael went with me and walked from the hospital car park to Costa Coffee in the Ropewalk, so he could buy a paper, do the crossword, drink some fine coffee and watch the GOFs go by.

Carl, who recently made such a great job of my decorating, is starting up as a cleaner-come-handyman, so if you want anything doing, call him on: 07540 804411

Aurora borealis photos.


2nd - Tuesday Another day comes into view.  No idea what is happening today.  It would be good to be able to collect my car, but at the moment, funds just don't permit. 

Richard is here now, and he always makes me feel so much better.


1st - FEBRUARY  - Monday   Bright sunny morning.  All quiet on the western front.  Hoping to get my car back today.

Into economy class, Lord Mandelson.

Sometimes it's hard to think of a reason to go on.


 31st  - SUNDAY   Up early to a fine day with weak sunshine. No special plans for the day.

Animal pictures of the week.


30th Saturday Cold, bright morning with blue skies and sunshine.

Michael and I are going on the bus to Nuneaton this morning.

I've decided that bus travel is not for me and can't wait to get my car back on Monday.

Had Coffee at Costa and met and chatted to a lovely lady called Trina.

Had lunch at the Community Cafe after a failed attempt to buy 60W candle light bulbs at Wilkinson and BHS.

Carol called in this afternoon to pick up her DVD and bring me some cheese biscuits.


> 29th Friday Dropped the car off at the garage at 8.30 a.m. and waited forever in the freezing cold for a bus to take me into Coventry for the NHS Conference at the Transport Museum.  Was an excellent morning and free lunch! Said hello to Michael who was having a bite to eat and coffee in the new Italian in Trinity Street. Hopped on a 56 bus home.  

Carl gave me a lift into Bedworth to pick up a package the postie had left a note about.

Richard arrived in his Kangoo to start on clearing the loft ready for new insulation.

Have started on the roast potatoes and veg for dinner, Michael is bringing two pork steaks.

Enjoyed our pork steaks, fried onions, roast potatoes, sprouts and carrots.

Had a game of Scrabble which Michael won.

Pictures of the day.


 28th Thursday - A lovely bright morning, blue skies and whispy clouds. Carl is here cleaning the leather suite and Michael has just left but will pop back later.

The man to fit the blinds will be here this morning and an ex-student of mine, Paul, is calling in to see  me.

What Elaine Paige really thinks about Susan Boyle!

Paul came, together with his partner Mel and their daughter Ava.  It was wonderful to see them, especially Paul, who I hadn't seen since he left school.  It was quite an emotional moment, greeting him and giving him a hug.  Excellent.

Carl has finished the decorating and has made a great job of cleaning the leather suite.

Decided to pop into Bedworth on the bus this afternoon. What a trial, will be so glad when the clutch is fixed!

Paul called in for a chat and we reminisced over our time at Woodway.

Have spent time in the lounge and dining room just being pleased and happy that the changes are so dramatic.


 27th Wednesday Up at 7.  Michael will be here later and we'll be off out somewhere, but not in the car, as it needs a new clutch ;(.

Joanna Lumley wins Oldie of the Year Award.

Some Diary entries for today seem to have mysteriously disappeared.  I'm sure they included the trip by bus Michael and I made into Nuneaton and a decision to make a chocolate cake, but where they went I really have no idea!

Carl has finished the lounge and dining room and it looks wonderful!

Watching a new episode of Midsomer Murders - excellent!


 26th Tuesday Another grey morning.  Have a doctor's appointment at 9.10 a.m. 

Carl is here and on the last lap of the decorating. Will need to get more paint later.

Clutch has gone on the Mondeo ;(

Have got to have blood tests, chest x-ray, ECG etc.

Miniature models.

Invasion of Iraq had no legal basis enquiry is told.

The crusades of 'virtuous' Tony Blair have come back to haunt us all.

Richard has arrived and as usual is sorting me out. He has managed to clear away lots of rubbish and has tootled off into Bedworth to post a parcel and bring me back a pork steak and some veggies for dinner. What would I do without him.

The lounge is looking wonderful!

"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me

                                                                                 Emily Dickinson

Mum is not here any more and never will be again.


25th Monday Up at 7 to a grey still morning.

Labour has made a mess of GP services.

Carl has arrived to carry on with the decorating. Emulsion on the ceiling and walls today.

It's looking really really good!

Dave Alger called in to take samples of the Orders of Service I'd designed and printed for his Grandma's funeral.

He rang me later to say that his Mum is very pleased with them, so I'm printing off 50 copies for him to collect tomorrow.

Had to dash over to Staples early evening to get some more 160 gsm Ivory card.


 24th SUNDAY Up at 9 - well, it IS Sunday.  Dry day, blue skies with whispy white clouds.

Making another fruit cake this morning and Peter and Richard will be over later.

The week in pictures.

Peter and Richard arrived around 12 and made a start on his cake!

Went over to see Michael and called at Homebase on the way back to get some more paint.

Jordan popped in after his football match and L came over this evening.

Went to bed at midnight.


> 23rd Saturday - Slept in till 9. Michael and I are off into town this morning.

Went into Cov, had coffee in the Belgrade and bought some ink cartridges from the machine in Cathedral Lanes - a great idea.

Had lunch at Conroys and did some food shopping at the Co-op. 

Lloyd called in for his CD and the business cards.

Jordan came round and we made up some phones for eBay.

Late to bed - 1.00 a.m.


22nd Friday Carl here to make an early start at 7.30 a.m.  Michael will be here later.

Will be making another cake this morning!

Cake made!

Half the cake has gone.

Carl made great progress on the lounge.  I popped into Bedworth to do some shopping and post some eBay parcels.

Made a hotpot for dinner - minced steak, onions, carrots, mushrooms and sliced potatoes. Delicious.


 21st Thursday - A much nicer morning, dry and with hazy sunshine, 6C. Carl has arrived and is pressing on. Michael will be off soon and will be back tomorrow.

Just made a fruit cake and put it in the oven.   Here's the recipe as I know you'll all want one when you smell it cooking!

Boiled Fruit Cake

6 oz sultanas, 6 oz raisins • 4 oz self-raising flour, 4 oz plain flour • 8 fl ozs water • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon Mixed Spice • 6oz Soft Brown Sugar • Pinch of Salt

4oz Butter or Margarine • 2 Eggs


Place mixed fruit, fat, sugar, 8 fl ozs water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand and cool while the following is carried out. Grease and flour a 7" cake tin. Prepare a moderate oven - gas 4, electric 350˚F, 180˚ C.

Sift dry ingredients together and add to the cooled liquid and add the eggs. Mix to form a fairly smooth batter and place in tin. Bake for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2   hours in centre of oven.

The cake is delicious - one of my best!!

It's been a busy day with lots of visitors - all the cake has gone!

Carol came and brought me a hotpot - thought it was Betty from the Rovers for a minute ;)

Snowdrops bloom late.


20th Wednesday Up at 7 to a still, grey morning. Judy is in fine form, leaping about, especially when I told her that Michael was coming. We'll be off out somewhere later.

Cadbury's adverts through the ages.

Michael and I went into Coventry.  Had coffee in the Belgrade, popped into Wilko, and then lunch at Conroy's in Corporation Street.  Excellent prices and service and lovely coffee!

Went to a members' meeting at George Eliot Hospital at 6.00 p.m. to discuss car parking charges.

The dining room is looking amazing now it's almost finished!


19th Tuesday Up at 7.30 and showered and shaved - have the interview for governor at Exhall Grange School at 11.

It's another grey day, but at least it's not snowing or raining.

Carl has arrived and is getting on with it.

Met John Truman, head of Exhall Grange, at 11. Had a good long chat and a cup of tea and then was given an extensive tour of the school. Asked some questions and then left. Got home to find Pam was there - had come to look at the ornaments before I take them to a charity shop.

Took Pam into Bedworth where she got her bus back home. Did some shopping at Iceland, then bought myself a nice lamb steak from the butchers.  Called at Homebase on the way back to buy some more paint.

Did some washing this evening. Broke one of the globe lampshades belonging in the dining room ;(. 


18th Monday Grey and misty morning with damp in the air, 6C.  Carl has just arrived and is pressing on with the facelift.

Lloyd the builder is coming at some point today to check out some damp in the wetroom and a problem with the shower.

Cheque books still in demand.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser. Proverbs: Ch.9 v.9

Postman has been and brought a health questionnaire for Mum - returned it 'deceased'.

Jennifer, one of Mum's carers from GP Homecare, called in to see how I'm coping.

Richard is on his way over.

Lloyd the builder hasn't yet arrived  ;(.

Lloyd and his partner David arrived to look at the damp problem. They seem to know the answer and will start work on it in a couple of days.

Richard sorted out the ornaments in the lounge and then took a parcel to the Post Office for me. What would I do without him?

Feeling very sad all day today.


17th SUNDAY - Up at 7.30 a.m.  - at last, a nice sunny day with blue skies and a few white whispy clouds.

Off out to see Clive for breakfast later.

Went to B & Q and then on to Clive's - had a lovely full English, even had fried bread!  What a treat.

Animal pictures of the week.

Did myself a pork steak, roast potatoes, carrots and cauliflower for my dinner.


16th Saturday Well at least the snow has gone.  Would be nice to see blue skies and sunshine though.  Michael and I will be popping off out somewhere this morning.

Michael Parkinson: The dignity every mother deserves.

We decided to go into Coventry.  Had coffee at the Belgrade then wandered around W H Smiths and Pastimes before having lunch at Conroys in Corporation Street.

Did some shopping at the Co-op before heading home.

Nothing more eventful today.


 15th Friday A grey and rainy morning with the hope of all the snow disappearing at last as the temperature is rising also.

Kevin from Sol Energy arrived at 8 to check the boiler as the domestic hot water is far from hot enough.

Carl arrived at 8.30 and is getting on with the work.

Carl worked till 2.30 and then left for home.  I popped to Homebase and then to Bedworth to buy some fruit and vegetables.

Had beef and onion pie, new potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and sprouts for dinner followed by apple pie and custard.

Watched Popstar to Opera Star on ITV - beats X Factor hands down!!

Thinking about Mum a lot tonight, wish I could hold her and talk to her.


14th Thursday - Still, grey and misty morning. 3C. Carl is due later. Michael has just got up, I beat him to it today.

Michael has gone back home on the bus.

Carl is here now and is getting on with things.

Richard is on his way over but has rung to say he has had an accident.  Some stupid woman has run into him. He says he's ok but the Kangoo is damaged. Really upset for him.

Richard is here, a bit wobbly but being very brave.  Have rung his insurance and given them all the details. He'll get a courtesy car while his is being repaired. 

Went to Homebase to get the paint.

What would I do without Richard? He emptied the cupboard in the kitchen with Mum's meds in.  Also sorted another cupboard which had other things in.  I find it hard to handle stuff like this.

Had lamb chops, new potatoes and sprouts for dinner.

Lloyd called in and took away one of the laptops Richard has repaired. Have now got the charger to the other laptop so that can be charged and reinstalled.


 13th Wednesday More snow!  Huh!!  Exhall Grange have called and asked if they can reschedule my appointment for the interview for the governor's post. Will now meet on the morning of the 19th. 

Michael will be here soon and we may be going out somewhere.

Carl arrived just before Michael. Michael and I drove to Homebase to get some plaster and skirting etc.

Carl is working away on the lounge.

Think Michael and I will go into Nuneaton this afternoon.

Had lunch at Cassandra's in Abbeygate Shopping Centre,  then noticed a lovely shop - 'Finishing Touch' a few doors away.  Looking through the window spotted some beautiful oil on canvas paintings.  Just had to go in, and quite quickly had made up my mind to buy two paintings.  Served by the warm and friendly shop owner, Kath. Her shop is full of tempting things!

Carl is doing a great job in the lounge/dining room!  He has done some filling in and plastering today, very impressed.

Snow sculptures.


 12th Tuesday Have an appointment with Job Centre Plus in Nuneaton at ten o'clock.

Took the funeral bill etc into the Job Centre. Called in on Homebase for paint colour charts for the lounge.

Richard is coming over later.

Carl started work on the lounge around 11.  Richard came over soon after lunch, and Andrew stopped by on his way home from Nuneaton.

Carl is doing well, will be back tomorrow. Richard did loads of work and dealt with some of the paperwork connected with Mum's death.


11th Monday The thaw has begun!

Off to the Funeral Directors this morning to pick up the bill and meet Daniel.

Met and had a chat to Daniel and his mother, lovely people. Collected the bill and drove home.

Went to see Carl after lunch. Lovely house, great atmosphere. Met daisy, who is beautiful. Very nice to be there.

Decided to go into Bedworth to get a haircut. Bought some meat, fruit and veg.

Grilled my pork steak and was delicious with new potatoes and sprouts.

Been thinking about Mum a lot, imagining the bell ringing, picturing her smile, hearing her voice.


 10th SUNDAYUp at 8 to grey skies, but thankfully no further snow.

Don't have any special plans for today.

The week in pictures.

Andrea brought me a home made curry over which I had at lunch time with some Uncle Ben's rice - delicious.

Lloyd called in to see how I am.

Have been tidying up on and off all day.


 9th Saturday Michael and I went into Coventry at 9.30 and parked in Leigh Mills, then went into Costa for coffee.  Good vantage point overlooking the Lower Precinct. After a wander round the market and some shopping in Home Bargains and the Co-op we had lunch in a new restaurant in Corporation Street then headed for home.

David Alger called in to say hello, was great to see him.

Michael left at 1.30 p.m.

Home alone.

Tony from across the road popped in early evening for a chat and a few glasses of wine.


 8th Friday Up at 8.15 a.m.  Have an appointment at Job Centre Plus Nuneaton in an hour to claim for financial help with the funeral expenses.

Michael is making me some toast and coffee.

Meeting at the Job Centre went well.  Bought some chicken and some veg for dinner tonight then headed for home.

Spent the rest of the day cleaning and tidying up and preparing dinner for when Michael arrived at 5.


'I will love the light because it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.' Og Mandino


Wearing Mum's wedding ring.  Feeling more positive.  Missing Mum, thinking about the things she used to say, the way she looked at me, her smile.


 7th Thursday Well, today's the day. It's here. Mum's funeral. At least it's a bright day and it's not snowing. Michael and I are up and having breakfast. 

I'm hoping to read out this tribute to Mum:


What can we say about Rose Mills?  Our mother, yes, but much much more than that. Having brought up my father’s three daughters after his first wife died, then twin sons Michael and myself in days when little help was given. Among my mother’s many skills was dressmaking – so often Michael and I listened in as Mum had a ‘fitting’ in the front room of our house in Lockhurst Lane. It was Mum who made our grey suits when we both passed the 11 plus to go to Bablake.

Writing poetry, gardening, decorating – Mum was multi-talented.  She taught me to wallpaper and she taught me to drive. She was a wonderful cook and skilled at knitting and crochet.

Mum had a quiet, calm faith in God. In the 60s she would rise early on a Sunday morning to go and stoke with coke the underground boiler heating Durbar Avenue Methodist Church.

She worked hard in the Buying Dept at Dunlop Holbrook Lane, and as Chief Transport Clerk at GEC Whetstone.

For 32 years she was with me at Goodyers End Lane, Bedworth. In recent years arthritis gripped her body and prevented her from standing and walking. Mum never complained. Reluctant to take to a wheelchair her concern was never for herself, but for anyone pushing her   -  ‘Aren’t I heavy to push?’ She would ask. 

Towards the second half of last year Mum got weaker, noticeably quieter, and her sparkle was shadowed by pain, about which she never complained.

As she slipped away while I held her on the morning of the 23rd, it was a moment of wonder and of beauty, as before my eyes she passed from this life into the next.

Hear then my tribute to the unique and irreplaceable Rose Mills.

2.30 p.m.  All over. Blue skies, sunshine and glistening snow, the perfect day.  Back home, alone, Michael has popped back to his but will be here later. Managed to give my tribute, just about. Bless you Mum, you leave a space in my life and heart nobody will ever fill.

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o'er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict'ry, thou o'er death hast won.

  Michael is back which is very good.  All seems so final now. Not even Mum's body is here on the planet any more. This convinces me even more of the life eternal - we have no more need of the body, the temporary home of the soul.  Reminding me that it's unwise to set too much store by the tangible, visible things of this world. How easy it is to be embroiled in this world's passing fancies.


 6th Wednesday - Cleaned 4" of snow off the car so I could go and pick up Michael with his suit and shoes.

Peter is bringing Richard over later.

Peter and Richard are here and having a blitz on everything, fantastic.  Michael has caught the bus into Nuneaton.

On my own while Peter and Richard pop into Tesco Bedworth to get some food for tomorrow.

A lovely flower display has arrived from Peter and Janet.

Directions for Mum's funeral tomorrow.

Michael is back from Nuneaton.

Feeling a bit shaky.

Readers snow pictures.


 5th Tuesday - Up at 8.45 a.m.  Richard is coming over to help me today.

Despite his best efforts Richard wasn't able to get away due to the snow and ice.

I've managed to get hold of a much better bargain ref. the table and chairs locally, so Michael has been into the store in Coventry and got his money back.  Excellent.

Carl and his Dad delivered the table and chairs this afternoon and they look great in the lounge.

I've been sitting here on my own in the silence designing and printing the Orders of Service for Mum's funeral on Thursday. Sad.

Have now completed my notes for Mum's tribute. The minister will have a copy in case on the day I'm not able to deliver it myself.

Lots of support still from visitors, email and text.


4th Monday - Picked Michael up at 9.30 a.m. and headed off to the station for our trip to Walsall.  We left from Platform 4 after parking the car and were soon at Birmingham New Street where we changed for Walsall.  The station exit at Walsall is right in the city centre. We emerged near TJ Hughes, Marks & Spencer, PoundWorld etc and were soon in Costa Coffee enjoying Coffee Creme Brule, mince pie and croissant.

Spent a while looking round before we had lunch at BHS, then caught trains back to Coventry.

I popped in to Tesco on the way home after dropping Michael off. Needed some tomatoes to for my cheese and wholemeal bread sandwich.

David Devall, the Funeral Director, came at 4 to bring Mum's ring to me and to collect the floral tribute brochure.

Michael has purchased and paid for a table and chairs from Wilko which we'll need for after the funeral on Thursday.

Sue arrived at 5 with some sheets etc that she had washed for us and we discussed the food for Thursday.

Hmmmm... lots of thoughts and images flashing through my mind.

Snowdrops - the outriders of Spring.


 3rd SUNDAY - Up at 9 after a good night's sleep to a bright sunny day with clear blue skies and frosty footpaths.

Baroness James and her killer instinct.

The lamb steaks, mint sauce, roast potatoes and sprouts I did for dinner was lovely and well worth the effort. Mum would be proud of me.

Off to see Michael later.

Went to Michael's for 2.30 and called at the chemist on the way to buy some Beechams with hot lemon.


 2nd Saturday - Michael and I went into Bedworth to do some shopping. Had a pot of tea in the Terrace Cafe in Congreve Walk, then picked up various bits and pieces, including some lamb steaks for my Sunday dinner.

Did some risotto for lunch with some fresh new wholemeal bread we bought from Greggs.

Andrea from over the road called in to see how I was coping.

Michael headed off home around 1.30.

JordanJ popped round for a chat.

All is quiet on the western front - and every other front come to think of it.


1st JANUARY - Friday - So, another year begins.  What will it hold I wonder, certainly the start of a new chapter in my life.

Up at 9.15 to a lovely bright frosty morning with blue skies and sunshine. Michael and I will venture out somewhere soon, but we're not yet sure where.

Kenilworth was our destination, and we parked near Talisman Square. Costa Coffee was our first stop and it was relaxing to sit in the window, drink our coffee, and watch the world go by. Had a look around the recently opened W H Smith and bought some paper and blank disks in the sale.

We set off for home, looking for somewhere to have lunch on the way back.  Decided to eat at the Bull and Anchor, which proved to be a wise decision. Two meals for £8 and a quiet atmosphere in a window seat, again to watch the world go by.

Spent the rest of the day relaxing, emailing and poking round the web. All in all a very satisfying day.




 31st - Thursday - Up at 9 to a grey day but dry.  Michael made me breakfast and then was on his way but will be back later.

My friend Keith came down from Carlisle to see his family in Nuneaton and called in to say hello around 12.  He took me into Bedworth to do some shopping at Tesco. Excellent.

Jordan came round to pick up his external DVD drive.

Tony popped in from over the road to wish me a Happy New Year before driving down south to stay with a friend.

Had a very tasty roast chicken frozen Tesco dinner - 7/10 ;)

Michael will be here around 5 and I'm doing sausage and mash with sprouts and carrots. I can use the new steamer I was given for Christmas. 

Lloyd called in to have a chat and some coffee, that was good. 

By way of starting as I mean to go on, did sausages, mash, carrots, parsnips and carrots for dinner and had bought a raspberry trifle from Tesco this morning. Michael was here by 5 and we shortly after enjoyed the meal together.

Played Scrabble later, and Michael won ;)

Those of you who know me know my dislike for New Year, so not a lot to add here apart from at least the transition is fairly swift - sadly not painless.


 30th - Wednesday - Remembered it was bin day today so had it out in good time.

Grey damp morning 7C.

Michael will be here at 9.30 a.m. and my sister and Richard will also be coming over to help.

Michael, Pam and Richard have been here sorting out Mum's things for the last couple of hours. What can I say?  I owe them such a huge debt, I cannot even bring myself to look at Mum's clothes and things at all.

Well, what a day.  So much has been taken care of  -  all Mum's things sorted, the service planned after a visit by Roger Woodward, equipment taken back by Social Services. All this in between Christmas and New Year. Incredible. This is what can happen when God is on your side.

2.43 a.m. Even when she wasn't the person she was, she was still the person I loved.


 29th - Tuesday - Up at 5 as I thought I heard a sound downstairs - went to investigate. Nothing.

Got up at 8.15 a.m. - breakfast and fed the dog.  Carol sent a text to ask if I would be in and said she would pop round.

Chatted to Richard on iChat.

Funeral Director rang, Mum's funeral will be 12 noon Thursday 7th January.

Rang the Social Services to check on collection date for electric bed etc - said they would collect some time tomorrow.

Roger Woodward rang, he is to take the service, said he will call and see us tomorrow at 2.0 p.m.

Had a visit from Carol this morning and from Carl and his chocolate labrador Rossi in the afternoon.

Ordered a pizza.

The evenings are the hardest.


 28th - Monday - Up at 8.  Michael will be here soon and we're off out somewhere after he has taken Judy for a walk. It's a cold, still and frosty morning with an atmospheric mist.

Michael has arrived and has taken Judy for a walk.  We're off into Coventry in a little while I think.

Coventry was excellent.  We had coffee at Costa's in Waterstones.  Bought some blank CDRs at Argos then had lunch at the Bus Stop in the City Arcade. We saw Pam passing and called her in for a cup of tea.

Did some shopping at the Co-op on the way back to the car and home to the dog who was excited to see us.

Sue popped in about 4.30 to collect some washing she said she'd sort for me.

The nights are definitely the hardest.


27th - SUNDAY - 9.00 a.m. - arise and face the day.  Slept well. Fed the dog and made some toast, though Judy always expects to have some of that too!

11.00 a.m. Mince pie and coffee.

Carol from next door rang to see if I was OK.

Had some Christmas pudding and double cream.

Not a lot to say, feeling flat.  Went to bed at 11.30 p.m.


 26th - Saturday: BOXING DAY - Woke up at 8 to a dry day with sunshine and blue skies with whispy clouds. Michael and I are going into Coventry, then I'll drop him off at his house and make my way home.

Michael and I went into Coventry and had coffee at Weatherspoons as all other genuine coffee shops were closed.  Bought one or two things in town and called in at Michael's on the way home to set up his DVD player so he can watch episodes of the Golden Girls. Forgot that his bike was back at mine, so we came here, Michael made me some coffee, then cycled off. Will see him again on Monday.

So  -  just me and the dog.....

Decided to start as I mean to go on and so I made the Christmas dinner I didn't have yesterday.  Put the turkey crown into the oven, prepared some sprouts and potatoes, made some stuffing and gravy and hey presto! The dog enjoyed it too!  ;)

Thinking about Mum.  Looking at a picture of her and just being so thankful for all she was and for all she did for me.


 25th - Friday: CHRISTMAS DAY - Up at 9.00 a.m. after a very good night's sleep. My first Christmas Day without Mum and of course it seems very strange. One thing though, it's a lovely day with clear blue skies and sunshine.

Suddenly violently sick about 9.30 a.m. Michael took the dog for a walk and I lay down on the settee. Michael tells me I was asleep for 3 hours!  When I finally awoke, it was time for Michael to go on his traditional Christmas walk from 3 till 5.  Just after he'd gone David opposite came over and asked if he could plate up two Christmas dinners for us, which he did and soon appeared with.

Michael was very pleased upon his return to have a meal to eat!

We played Scrabble early evening, then Michael took the dog for another walk.

Have had lots of emails, texts and phone calls with messages of support.  Thankyou everyone.

Michael and I watched some evening television.

Richard phoned when he got back from Worcester. Peter isn't very well.


> 24th - Thursday - Up at 7.45 a.m.  Stood at the bottom of Mum's empty bed thinking about her.  Very hard to accept and believe that she isn't here any more.  We have been in this house together for 32 years.

Peter and Richard arrived at 8.45 a.m. to take me to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Riversley Park, Nuneaton.

Armed with the Death Certificate from the doctor and other details, we set off.

A very cold and foggy morning as we entered the building and were quickly seen by Stephanie Wright the Registrar, who was lovely.

Peter and Richard dropped me off outside the house and then left for Worcester.

So, I entered the house and was on my own for the first time.  The start of another adventure, a new journey, a whole new life in fact.

Michael will be back by 4 p.m. when we are meeting up with David Devall, the funeral director.

Michael was back at 4 and David arrived shortly afterwards.  I haven't seen David since he left school  -  I taught him when he was 11, how really strange life is.  He spent 2 hours with us going over the arrangements, much of the time we were reminiscing about those great times in the 70s.

The funeral will take place towards the end of the first week of January.

How strange the house seems without Mum.


 23rd DECEMBER - Wednesday 

MUM DIED AT 7.43 a.m. 


1918 - 2009

So much help, so much support - it's overwhelming. Michael my twin brother, is here, and my friend Richard is here too. My doctor, Raj, has been to certify the death.  Have spoken to David at the funeral directors. 

The undertakers have been and collected Mum's body.  She is at peace.  All is in hand and I am OK.

The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. Psalm 37 verse 18

Hope is the Thing with Feathers 
by Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)

"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune - without the words
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird 
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest Sea,
Yet, never, in Extremity, 
It asked a crumb of me.

 What a busy day it has been.  So many things to think of and do, but also so many messages and calls of support.

So how do I feel?  Hard to say, impossible to describe, as I've never felt like this before: I have nothing with which to compare it.

Going to bed might be a test, knowing that when I wake up and go downstairs in the morning Mum won't be there.

Michael is here and is staying over.  He is a wonderful brother and tremendous support.


 22nd - Tuesday - 6.00 a.m.  Mum is sleeping quietly.  Carers are due any time now.

Carers came at 6.30.

Then all at more or less the same time, the 2 district nurses, the doctor, 2 carers - then my friend Clive, who has done some shopping for me. That was between 11.30 and 12.

District nurses spoke of the possibility of an all night sitter, so that would be a great help.  I could get a full night's sleep and be alerted if necessary.


> 21st - Monday - 6.00 a.m.  Carers aren't here yet but will be very soon.  Mum is asleep.

Mum just wants to be left alone, the carers say.  I have spoken to her and she said the same to me. She is refusing to eat or drink. 


District Nurse arrived at 10, but could not carry out any procedures as she was on her own - she's coming again tomorrow with a colleague.

Carers came at 11 and managed with the use of a syringe without a needle to get 10 ml of water into her mouth and she swallowed it.  They will try the same again when they come later.

Mum has spoken today and made complete sense. She didn't really say anything at all over the weekend.

Richard has arrived to help me, which is wonderful.

Philip came to drop off a bottle of wine and ask about his computer.

I'm feeling much better than this morning.  It's very hard being here alone.

Long long night. Mum is asleep. I have sat holding her hand and talking to her, but no response.  Her breathing is very shallow, but she looks peaceful, and to me, beautiful.

Stayed up till 4 a.m. talking to Mum, holding her hand, and dinging carols.


 20th - SUNDAY - Up at 6 as the carers arrived. Mum was changed, which I could hear was very painful. Have contacted an out-of-hours doctor to see 

if I can get Mum put on a drip.

Doctor rang. Drips at home are not allowed now. They will send out a clinician to assess Mum's needs.

Doctor called at 8.30 a.m. and spent some time with Mum.  Seems she has constipation and he has prescribed some enemas to be administered by a 

District Nurse.  Have called Jean to go to the chemist with the prescription.

Saw Tony across the road and asked him to go instead.

Carers have just been again, 11.45 a.m.  Mum is very sleepy.  Am hoping to make some mashed potato and carrots to give her a little to eat soon. 

Tony has got the items from the chemist. He has also promised to get me a couple of ready meals when he goes shopping later.

It's a lovely crisp sunny day with clear blue skies and sunshine. I don't feel quite so crisp, more 'blue' I guess ;(

My lovely neighbours David and Sue opposite have brought me over a delicious lamb roast dinner!  Yummy!!

Mum is very quiet and her breathing is laboured.  I've tried to feed her a little mashed potato with tuna but with no success.


 19th - Saturday - Up at 6 as the carers arrived. They changed Mum, though how they do it I just don't know, they're amazing.

Sat and chatted to Mum for a couple of hours, reminiscing about the past.

Long talk with my neighbour Tony who was very upset and needed cheering up. A special friend.

Michael went home. Just me again. Lonely and scary.

Sat with Mum all night till the carers came at 9.45 p.m. Took a break for ten minutes, wondering whether or not to go to bed.



 18th - Friday - Up at 6 and let the carers in at 6.30. Mum is very tired and it's a real struggle to get her to eat or drink anything ;(.

Carers have been again and got Mum changed.  I have managed to feed her a little mashed carrot and potato and she has had a few sips of tea.

Carers came at 4.00 p.m. closely followed by Michael, much much better now he's here.

10.00 p.m. and the evening carers have just been. Mum is very weak and sensitive and is deteriorating rapidly. I am so sad and so empty.




 17th - Thursday - Waiting for a call from the hospital.

On my own.

The hospital called - Mum will be home between 1 and 5.

2.45 p.m. - Hospital called - Mum is on her way.

Mum is home. In her bed, all tucked up and fast asleep.



16th - Wednesday - Michael arrived at 9.30 a.m. and has taken the dog for a walk.  We're off out somewhere later.

Have an appointment at the hospital at 3.00 p.m.

Met with the social worker and the doctor. All things being equal, Mum will be coming home tomorrow.


 15th - Tuesday - Up at 8 to a quiet house and another grey day. Are all days going to be like this from now on?

Rang the hospital.  Mum is about the same, not really awake or aware.

Spoke to the hospital again and told them that I wanted to bring Mum home.  Michael and I have a meeting there tomorrow with the doctor, dietician and social worker to make arrangements.

Went to visit Mum at 7 this evening.  She was much more with it and very obviously pleased when I told her we were making arrangements to bring her home.


14th - Monday - Up at 8 to a quiet house and a grey day. Spoke to the hospital and I have to go in to see the doctors at 3 o'clock.

Back from the hospital.  The news is not good. Mum will not eat. The alternative is to feed her through a tube in the nose and down to the stomach, which the doctor is reluctant to do.  She was sleeping peacefully for the time I spent with her today. Michael and I will return this evening.

Back from the hospital.  A dark miserable and rainy evening. Michael and I were able to chat to Mum a little tonight, and she said she wanted to go outside and was tired of lying in bed.

Fact for the Day: The quills of a porcupine are soft when they are born.


13th - SUNDAY - Up at 8.30 to a quiet and empty house with only the dog for company. Strange.

Who will turn the heat on Tony Blair?

My friend Saul has arrived to do some work on the PC in a situation of quiet and calm. We met around 4 years ago when he was working on the experience of Carers for a course at Warwick University. We developed a rapport, and it is wonderful to have him here, especially at this time of unexpected and imposed solitude, my mother being in hospital as earlier recorded. He has brought some food for us and is tapping away on the keyboard rather than eating his, so I am impressed with his work ethic and commitment.

Michael and I went to see Mum at 7. She has been moved to another ward, Dolly Winthrop.
She looks so small, so frail and vulnerable, nothing like her real self. I feel the same.

Fact for the Day: There are more movies produced in India than in Hollywood.


12th - Saturday - Up at 8.30. with Michael making me breakfast and a new day swinging into action. Rang the hospital who said that Mum has had a good night and is a lot perkier this morning. I'm going in to see her this afternoon and Michael and I will go together this evening.

We're off out to Nuneaton later for a look around and some lunch.

The worst Christmas gifts ever.

Went to Costa Coffee, then got Michael's phone unlocked to 02.  Had lunch at Masons.

Off to the hospital again in a few minutes to see how things are. Watch this space.

Fact for the Day: The first submarine was designed in 1578.


 11th - Friday - Up at 7.  Mum is not well at all.  She cannot put her teeth in to eat as she 'gags' each time she tries. I have asked the doctor to call and think it very likely that today will be the day she goes into hospital.

2.00 p.m. - Mum has been taken into hospital.

Michael and I went to visit Mum in hospital this evening. She is in the Emergency Medical Unit (EMU) and on a drip. We'll go and see her again tomorrow.

Fact for the Day: 5 billion crayons are produced every year.


 10th - Thursday - Had a very good night's sleep, up at 8.40 a.m. 

Grey skies with weak sunshine struggling through, 7C.

Mum seems a little better this morning and is eating some toast.

How can I convey to anyone how lonely and scary a time this is. Mum is hardly able to lift a sandwich to her mouth and is still not drinking.  I think it is inevitable that I will have to make the decision for her to go into hospital today.

Mum seems somewhat improved this evening and had some sausage and mash for dinner.

Snow storms pound America.

Fact for the Day: The can opener was invented in 1858 by American Ezra Warnet.


 9th - Wednesday - Up at 4 as Mum needed help with the loo. Back to bed and up again at 7, just after the two morning carers left.

Michael arrived at 9.20 a.m. - I shot off to the surgery for the nurse to remove the stitches in my nose.

We took Mum into Nuneaton at 11, but he to come home soon afterwards as Mum just wasn't well enough to cope.

Mum is very quiet, hardly eating or drinking anything today. Very very upsetting and very worrying.

Fact for the Day: There are more TV sets in the US than there are people in the UK.


8th - Tuesday - Up at 3 and 6. Carers came at 7 and I was up at 7.40 p.m. 

Blue skies and sunshine, 6C.

The 25 worst Christmas album covers of all time.

Richard came over and when Brenda the Crossroads carer arrived, we popped into Bedworth to post a parcel and do some shopping.

Cooked lemon chicken for dinner.

Carers came at 10 to put Mum to bed and I was in bed by 10.30 p.m.

Fact for the Day: One in ten people live on an island.


 7th - Monday - Mum rang for me at 6.45 a.m. - carers haven't been yet, so I phoned the base. They will be here at 7 this week, not 6 for some reason. 

7.30 now and the milkman has just been. Hey ho . . . .

Europe tramples the Magna Carta into the dust.

A shout from the lounge and somehow Mum has managed to fall out of her chair and onto the floor, banging her head. Have swapped the chairs back to how they were and she is now not in the recliner. Seems none the worse for the ordeal, but it's hard to tell as she's saying very little.

Carers have been again. Mum is asking to go out, but I know I can't manage that at the moment, especially in the wind and rain.

Is Harriet Harman mad or just bad?

Jean collected Mum's prescription, took it to the chemist, and brought back the new antibiotics.

Philip came with some shopping he had done for me, and also brought a bottle of wine and a pot of honey. Excellent.

Did sausage, mash and carrots for tea. All washed up and tidied away. Mum still very quiet.

Fact for the Day: Dinosaurs did not eat grass.


 6th - SUNDAY - Checked on Mum throughout the night and she seemed to be sleeping peacefully. Carers came at 6.45 a.m. and advised another call to NHS Direct. An out-of-hours doctor will be here in an hour or so.

Doctor called at 11 a.m. and gave Mum a thorough examination.  Although the look of the urine sample was alarming, he assured me that the infection should still clear up with different and stronger antibiotics and plenty of fluids. He gave me some of the antibiotics from his car, together with a prescription for more to be filled tomorrow.

Quiet day. Carers putMum to bed at 10.00 p.m. and I went up to bed shortly after.

Fact for the Day: The British royal family changed their name to Windsor in 1917.


 5th - Saturday - Up at 8.30 after a lie in.  Michael made breakfast and I popped round to my friend Jean to take and set up the cordless phone she'd asked me to order from eBay - it's a Doro with backlit keypad, splendid piece of kit for the price.

We took Mum into Bedworth, but she wasn't really well enough to be wheeled round in her chair, so I stayed with her while Michael did some shopping, then we came back home.

Michael has left and it is very quiet here. Mum is asleep with Liz Earle QVC on in the background.

It's a very grey afternoon.

The week in pictures.

Carers came at 9.45 p.m. to put Mum to bed. Things are not good. Have spoken to NHS Direct and we will see how things are in the morning.

Fact for the Day: Air filled tyres were used on bicycles before they were used on motor cars.


 4th - Friday - Up at 6 when Mum rang her bell, but carers were just on the way in so I dodged back up to bed. Started the day at 6.30 with some breakfast and washing. Nice. 

Clear blue skies and weak sunshine. 2C. 

What a busy day it's been!  Lots of visitors and phone calls!  Another Mac has found its way to me and it is a thing of wonder - and a joy for ever!

Carers have been and put Mum to bed. I shall be going shortly. Michael is staying over, so I'll get a good night's sleep.

Fact for the Day: The great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World that still survives.


3rd  - Thursday - Had a lie in till 8.30 as Michael was here.  Sarah has just arrived to do some cleaning.

It's a very grey and wet morning, 5C.

Susan Boyle tops US album charts.

The brilliant Blanche - some of her best Coronation Street put downs!

Did sausages, roast potatoes, sprouts and carrots for dinner, followed by Angel Delight.  Delicious. Have also done all the washing up, so the kitchen is clear, clean and tidy.

Fact for the Day: The tomato is the world's most popular fruit.


2nd - Wednesday - Up at 6.30 a.m. just after the carers left.  Michael will be here this morning. I'll keep my hospital appointment, and perhaps we'll head over to Coventry later.

Wettest November on record.

Back from George Eliot Hospital after a little op on my nose.

Think we'll take Mum into Bedworth and do a little shopping.

Went into Bedworth and had coffee and a snack at the Terrace in Congreve Walk. Then we trudged over to Tesco to get some groceries.

Coronation Street's Maggie Jones dies aged 75.

Carers came and put Mum to bed at 10 o'clock. Michael and I had a long talk about things.

Fact for the Day: The first credit card was issued by Diners Club in 1951.


1st DECEMBER - Tuesday - Up at 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Mum was awake and uncomfortable.

Carers were here at 6 and I got up at 6.30 just before they left.  Mum seems a bit better this morning, now on another course of antibiotics.

Have a hospital appointment at 10.30 a.m. - a lady from Coventry Crossroads is coming to sit with Mum at 10.

Spirit of Christmas is lost on Anglican bishop.

Sadly the arranged carer did not show, so I had to cancel my hospital appointment, again. I was able to sweet talk the nurse I spoke to though, and she has agreed to see me tomorrow morning at 10.45.

Evening carers came at 10 p.m. and put Mum to bed. I was in bed myself at 10.30 and had a good night's undisturbed sleep.

Fact for the Day: There are about 1 billion bicycles in the world.


30th - Monday - Had a very good night's sleep, totally undisturbed - a good start to the week. 

Blue skies and sunshine, 6C. 

Have dropped off the sample at the surgery and arranged for a lunchtime consultation call from Doctor R. Bodalia.

Carers discovered Mum had been bleeding somewhat this morning, so I contacted the doctor.  Results of the sample shows that there is indeed a serious urine infection and antibiotics will be needed. Keeping her in bed for now.

The 'just war' that was illegal and immoral.

Melanie McDonagh: I vote we have many more referendums.

Should I really be drinking Blue Nun at 11.30 in the morning?  ;)

Pictures of the day.

Waited and waited for the prescription to be delivered and in the end had to leave the house and go myself to pick them up from the chemist.

Just had a massive falling out with someone I thought of as a friend. Turns out I was wrong. Now I know what he really thinks of me after the insults and criticisms he threw at me, another lesson learned. Just what I didn't really need today.

Carers came at 9.30 p.m. and put Mum to bed. After tidying around I went up soon after.

What a day. So much has happened, and the Ian thing was such a total shock. Ah well, tomorrow is another day . . . .

Fact for the Day: Venetian blinds were invented in Japan.


29th - SUNDAY - Up 8 times between 3 and 6 a.m.   It's now 8.00 a.m. as I went back to bed for a couple of hours when the carers came.

A grey morning, 5C, but with some promising blue sky in the distance. 'Promising blue sky in the distance' - now there's a thought . . .

Animal pictures of the week.

Carers called again at 11 and took a urine sample, seems Mum probably has another infection, so I'll have to get the sample to the surgery tomorrow for testing.

Susan Boyle tops UK charts.

Carers came at 9 o'clock to get Mum ready and put her to bed. I knew that would be too early, so I asked them to put her into her night clothes and I would do the rest. Put her to bed at 11 and here am I in bed myself finally after a very long day.

Christmas 2009: Chocolates

Fact for the Day: A person can survive for more than 30 days without food, but less than a week without water.


28th - Saturday - 9.30 p.m. and I've just got back from Bedworth, doing a bit of shopping.  Have been up since 7.30 a.m. Mum is very sleepy and sort of 'out of it'. Ah well, will do my best to engage her and cheer her up. Michael has just taken Judy for a walk and he is going home around 12.30 so it's 'tig, you're on' till Wednesday, scary.

Very grey and drizzly morning 5C.

Taking aim at Lord Mandelson.


Michael has gone and carers have been.  Just tidying up, sorting out my eBay and printing off some letterheads. What a gay day - shut that door! ;)

3 p.m. and Mum started on a coughing and choking fit as the carers were about to leave. They gave her some water, patted her back and said she would be OK. Not so. They left, and I was on my own.  A few minutes later she was coughing uncontrollably and gasping for breath. Phoned for an ambulance which arrived within minutes. The paramedics gave her oxygen and performed all the usual checks. I followed the ambulance to hospital and we were there for three hours or more. We would have been longer, as the doctor wanted her to have a chest X-ray, but she insisted on going home, so she signed herself out and I brought her back. The doctor thinks the attack was yet another manifestation of the problems caused by dehydration. She just WILL NOT drink enough. ;(

Lord Pearson: UKIP's formidable leader.

British policing has 'lost its way', says top officer.

Carers came at 9.30 p.m. to put Mum to bed. After a tidy up I came to bed too. The night monitor I bought last week from Amazon has stopped working, so I can't listen out for her. She has the bell by the bed which she can press if she needs me - it sounds up here near my ear.

Tomorrow is another day. . . .

Fact for the Day: Butterflies' taste sensors are in their feet.


27th - Friday - Up at 5.30 a.m. as Mum was in pain and uncomfortable.  Gave her some painkillers and sat and talked to her until the two carers arrived at 6.  Went back upstairs, got washed and dressed, then joined them downstairs just as they were leaving at 6.30.

It's a lovely sunny day with blue skies and fluffy white clouds, 6C. Time now 10.00 a.m. and have just had a text to say the washing machine engineer will be here between 10 and 12.

He arrived at 12.05 and took half an hour to fit a new heating element and PCB. Machine seems to be working OK so far.

My friend Carol came and sat with Mum for an hour while I popped into Bedworth.

Have made a sausage hotpot for tea served with fresh carrots and sprouts. Delicious, but I won't be having any since Clive is picking me up later and taking me back to his place for a meal and a few glasses of wine.

Mum doesn't seem very alert today and is in some pain. Have administered some diclofenic.

Fact for the Day: Ants can run faster than horses.


26th - Thursday - Blue skies and sunshine, 7C.  Up at 7.45 a.m. suitably refreshed.

Michael has gone home, just as Sarah, Carl's sister, arrived to do some cleaning - and what a job she is doing on the kitchen and the bathroom!! Fantastic!!!  Suddenly I feel much less scared and much more hopeful.

Postman has just been.

Lloyd came to pick up his TomTom charger and JVC car CD.

Carers arrived at 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. Such a great help!

Gave them a letter to post for me - have written to thank Graeme Betts and his staff of Warwickshire Social Services.

Lots of phone calls today!  Hoist which I asked for on the phone this morning arrived just after lunch. Amazing.

Useless banks let off by useless Supreme Court.

Mum's been very quiet today, hardly able to get two words out of her.

9.30 p.m. and the evening carers are here and are getting Mum ready for bed and will put her to bed.  I will be in bed by 10 o'clock.

Tomorrow is another day.

Fact for the Day: Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories per hour.


25th - Wednesday - Carers came at 6, I was in bed and went back to sleep till 7.30 a.m.

Michael will be here at 9.30 and we're off to the Rope Walk, Nuneaton.

It's a lovely sunny day with clear blue skies 7C.

Had to bring Mum home from Nuneaton as she didn't feel very well.

Richard came over in the afternoon, helped me tidy up and took me over to Coventry to pick up a pair of computer speakers which I won on eBay for 99p! We met up with the seller, Alan, in the Pool Meadow Bus Station and homed in on each other with the help of our mobile phones.  I paid him £10 for the speakers, as 99p would have been an insult. He seemed to be an affable and exceptional young man.

5.00 p.m. Washing machine has just blown up! VERY loud bang and smoke, extremely dramatic!  How relieved am I that I took out the extended warranty!  An engineer will call on Friday between 8 and 5.

Mum is feeling a little better than she was this morning but has not eaten much all day. I hope tomorrow brings a happier day.

Have just listened to the most amazing piece of trumpet playing I have even heard, breathtaking! Variations on a Theme from Bellini's Norma by Arban - here's the YouTube clip.

9.45 p.m. and carers have arrived to get Mum ready and put her to bed, but she stubbornly refuses.  I knew it was all going too well.  I was close to a breakdown a few weeks ago and carers recognised that. A new assessment by the Occupational Therapist brought the instant much-needed help. All it takes is for Mum to cooperate, and if this can't happen then I really don't know what the next step will be.

It is very very sad to see my mother deteriorate this way.

The carers talked her round, they are wonderful.  She is in bed and I'm on my way upstairs for another early. Michael is 'on duty'.

Fact for the Day: There are 6 million parts inthe Boeing 747.


24th - Tuesday - Mum rang the bell to call me down at 3.00 a.m. because she needed some help, then again at 5.30 a.m.  Went back to bed and slept till 8!  When I got downstairs Mum was up and dressed, in her chair and had had her breakfast, thanks to Derek and Kim.  I like these new arrangements.

Embarrassing family photos.

Carers came again at 11.45 a.m. made Mum some tea and sandwiches while I carried on designing some business cards. When Brenda arrived at 1 I popped into Bedworth to get some meat and veg etc. Bought the turkey crown from the butcher.

Evening carers here at 9.45 p.m. Mum had had her teacake a cup of tea so they got her changed and ready for bed, then put her to bed and left. So,  here I am in bed for 10.15! Amazing!  I love these new arrangements.

Fact for the Day: A one ounce chocolate bar has 6mg of caffeine..


23rd - Monday - Today was the first day of 2 morning carers instead of one and it seems to have gone very well, as I slept all the way through! 

Andy Murray beats Del Potro.

Has been mad here this morning!  First the carers, then the district nurse, the postman, Carl with his new puppy -  the chocolate labrador Rossi!  Philip also called in with his PC which needs re-installing.

Carers came again at 11.30 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. I was able to pop down to the Post Office with my parcels. I certainly like the new arrangements.

Two more carers came at 10.00 p.m. and before I knew what was happening Mum was undressed and in bed!  So I was in bed by 10.15 p.m. which I am very happy with!

Fact for the Day: One-third pound stalk of broccoli contains more vitamin C than 204 apples.


22nd - SUNDAY - Mum called me up at 5.00 a.m. and I have to get her up and dressed.  So stayed up then and made some toast and tea. All quiet on the western front ;)  Hardly any traffic passing. A lovely start to the day.

Have to do some washing today and a bit more tidying up.

Lots of contact recently from friends who have found me on Facebook and others who have seem to have rediscovered my number on their mobiles.

Daniel Hannan: EU is in a democratic mess.

Lloyd came for his disk of photographs of his work to show to prospective customers for Pattern Imprinted Concrete driveways.

Set up the Aiwa mini hi-fi I bought from Gumtree ages ago - I can now listen to sensible discussion on the radio and a choice of CDs instead of the rubbish on TV.

Made a delicious sausage hotpot for dinner.

Fact for the Day: Water expands by about 9% as it freezes.


21st - Saturday - Had a lie in till 8.45 a.m. Excellent. Grey sunless morning, but 13C surprisingly. We're going into Coventry this morning weather permitting.

Houses of horror.

Change of plan: weather didn't look too promising so I stayed here with Mum while Michael went into Bedworth on the bus to do some shopping at Tesco.

Have started reading Kim Woodburn's 'Unbeaten' which I bought from Amazon in the week.  It is totally compelling and almost impossible to put down. Highly recommended and very appropriate reading, in the light of her current appearance on 'I'm a Celebrity....

Enjoyed a quiet evening reading and channel hopping.

In bed by 11.00 p.m. - how amazing is that!


Fact for the Day: No piece of paper can be folded in half more than 7 times.


20th - Friday - Up at 6.15 and Jennifer was here totally in charge and coping well.

District Nurse Jodie and Occupational Therapist Sheryl turned up almost the same time around 9.30 a.m.  Sheryl was following up on her visit from yesterday to see how Mum might manage with the use of a lifting belt and banana board. Because of Mum's limited strength now, this wasn't entirely successful. We need a rethink.  The help I receive is impressive and reassuring. Sheryl is knowledgeable and thorough, and, along with so many other of the support agency workers I have met, manages to create a sense of safety and well-being.

EU appointments most ridiculous in history.

Mike from the Royal Oak picked up his posters.

Richard came and helped me tidy up, was a great help!

Jordan found his lost phone!  Yay!!

Making corned beef hash and rice pudding for dinner.

Had a lovely 'night off' with Michael looking after Mum.

Fact for the Day: 1 out of 20 people have an extra rib.


19th - Thursday   - Up at 6 to make sure that everything was OK and that Katie would manage.  Mum seems much more alert this morning.

Looks like being quite a busy day.

Social worker Cheryl has been to assess Mum's needs, and mine also to an extent.  She was wonderfully thorough and understanding and extra help is just a day or so away!

Expecting a visit from the doctor very soon who wants to assess my needs.

Mariah Carey's Christmas Lights demands - totally UNBELIEVABLE!!