Friday, 21 September 2007

Ladies that lunch (but in Spain)

Hello all. You may be wondering why I am off to Spain without the husband. Well 42 years ago on the 6th September 1965 I started my nurse training with 30 other 18 year olds. Picture this fairly shy,dumpy girl fresh out of Convent school leaving home to live in "THE NURSES HOME" with regulation black stockings and black lace up shoes in tow. If tights existed then they would have been too expensive for me to buy. The stockings had seams up the back and always had to be straight.

So I arrive to be met by the lady who ran the training school and my fellow colleagues. I was the ugly duckling. There was a tall very glamerous blonde Pauline, and a much travelled daughter of a British diplomat Val, who had travelled the world, and all seemed so much more glam and wordly wide that I did.

It was like being in boarding school with lots of studying and hard graft on the wards thrown in.You had to be in by 10pm and could have one late pass to 10.30pm one evening a week.I spent most of my time off, we worked a 44 hour week when I first started, either in the bath soaking my poor aching feet or asleep.!!! The first year was the hardest when I was always in trouble and hated it. I spent hours crying, but couldn't go home and say can't do this as my mother did not want me do do it and would have had no sympathy. With the help and support of all my friends I eventually settled down and became a state registered nurse in November 1968.

Nursing became a way of life and eventually a long career. This is me taken circa 1971 when I was first a sister on an intensive care unit.

Over the years I came to realise that it was a honour to be able to care for so many people at a time when they were vulnerable, in pain and frightened. I hope I did a good job. My friends have been with me , if not in person,then in spirit all this time. We are all 60 this year and so we are off to Spain to celebrate in style!!They too have all nursed over this period in time and 2 still are. Val married a Canadian and moved to Canada in 1972. I have seen her twice since then. But on Sunday along with Pauline, Pip, Carolyn, Hilary,Kay and Viv she and I will be raising a glass or two. We have to remember two members of our group who are no longer with us and all the others who are out of touch or cannot come.

So to all have a happy and healthy week and I will catch up when I return.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

"If reading be the food of love read on"

Today I must first thank Sandi at http://Holding for her generous award of " You lift me up". She has been having some painful treatment but still retains an amazing sense of humour throughout. Sandi lives in the USA but spent some time in UK in late 1970s. She is currently writing about her English experiences on her blog. Visit her if you want your day to be brighter as its very funny. So Sandi, sweet peas picked from the garden yesterday. Hope you are feeling brighter today and thanks.

This week has been a week of horrible jobs including wallpaper stripping and uncovering horrors! This is a little part of the dining room. We are still awaiting plumber, to replace radiator, plasterer to make the walls look erm normal, before we can paint. I saw a chandelier Sophie Honeysuckle and thought of you! Now will we or won't we have one??

But now to the reading part. Lots of bloggers have been writing about reading! Angel Jem devoted her blog to the numbers of books she has read. I can't apply the equation, am useless at maths, can I just say a lot for me. Reading has been part of my family for ever. Sarah has so many books she even keeps them in a wardrobe, her clothes..... well she is very untidy! We use our 4th bedroom as a study now and as I write this books are everywhere, yes even in piles on the floor. However I have recently bought 2 lovely books at car boot sales. I am ashamed to say I have never read any Daphne but got this for a bargain £1 so have an autumn read.I also spent another £1 on this old sewing book which hopefully will help me to sew but is also a bit of social history.It has amazing illustrations and was a Christmas gift to Patty in 1945. I wonder what todays girls would make of this for a Christmas gift?

You all know how much I hate ironing and it is now Simon's job. Can't imagine he would want to do it like this though!!

To round off today. Sarah, Sophie and I are having a home made Christmas challenge so sewing is involved. I am patchworking with squares for someone ( not them ) and Dougal decided he would try and help!! Hope everyone is keeping well. I'm off to sunny Spain on Sunday but more about that before I go!!!!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Happier Days

Today we are going to be happy.I got some advice about washing the eiderdown that I bought about 2 years ago. It was always a bit "mucky" and I wasn't sure whether it would wash. Thanks to the advice from jessica daisy I washed it at 30 degrees and tumble dried it and then gave it a very good shake and it looks about 10 shades lighter. Thanks Jess it has a new lease of life. This is its close up and below is the whole thing. This is for all of you that love eiderdowns!!!

Sarah bought the October edition of Country Homes and Interiors and low and behold the dinning table, chairs and dresser that we have ordered are featured on the front cover. Hope they look as good in our room when they arrive. We are off tomorrow to order a new fire for this room. We have seen some cast iron vintage ones which I love but I want to be sure as they are so expensive and don't want to make a mistake.

On a different note I enrolled for a day school course for 10 weeks to do some basic craft things. I am really looking foward to it and all the others there were so enthusiastic I'm sure it will be fun.

Meanwhile I'll leave you with the 2 boys Dougal and Hamish keeping each other company!! Many thanks to all of you for your good wishes following Lucy's death.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Sunshine and sad news

We have been in the country for 2 days getting some fresh air and picking these lovelies. When we returned yesterday it was to find that Lucy had become very unwell again. The daughters had taken her back to the Vet who found her to be very dehydrated. Despite syringing rehydration fluids into her she became very distressed today, with very rapid breathing. Simon and Sarah took her back to the Vet whilst Sophie and I said our goodbyes to her. The Vet said her lungs were full of fluid and on his advice we had her put to sleep. We couldn't let her suffer any more and the vet thought she had a tumour in her abdomen as well as her thyroid problems. We have buried her in one of her favourite spots under a bush, where she used to lie to cool off after her sunbathing sessions.

I know I need to thank some of you for awards but I will do later in the week.

Monday, 3 September 2007

I have been a naughty girl

Today is a very quick post. Jenny has returned to OZ this am. She will be winging her way back right now.The cats were very quick to jump on the bed.
Lucy ( the white and black one ) is the cat who is ill at present. She has an enlarged thryoid gland which is giving her some heart problems. Trying to get tablets down her is a work of art! She knows when you are going for them and hides! She has improved and we all hope this continues. Hamish likes to keep her company. I think he knows she is ill and is watching her.

Now to the Damson gin. I have had some requests for a recipe for this. I'm not good at precise measures. It's mostly done from memory as I have lost the original recipe.

You will need a large glass container ( old fashioned sweet jars are good for this) which has been sterilised. I use the tablets that you can get from chemists to sterilise baby bottles and rinse throughly afterwards. You need one bottle of gin ( can use cheaper brands), to 3 pounds of damsons and 1 kilo of sugar.Wash the fruit and discard any stalks and any not in good condition. Place gin in jar with the sugar and prick the fruit in several places with a fork placing them into the jar. Place lid on and leave in darkish place. Stir gently ( try not to disturb fruit too much )once a week and leave for approximately 3 months. You can then strain it and place gin into bottles of your choice. It makes a nice little Christmas present in a jazzy bottle. You will get approximately twice the original volume. I have a friend who used the damsons to make pies afterwards. She says they were very alcoholic!!!! You can drink as is but can be very strong or have with ice, lemon and tonic water/lemonade.

Now why have I been a naughty girl? We visited Laura Asley on Saturday and they had 20% off the dinning furniture that I really wanted so... a new table. 6 chairs and dresser will be with us in October. New curtains came home with me! The hard work on this room has now started. I am planning before photos as well as after. I may have to go back to work if I carry on buying anything else for this room. But it has not had any sort of face lift ,except a coat of paint for over 20 years.

I have an appointment to see an Orthopaedic surgeon regarding my shoulder next week. For those in UK I got a letter from my GP to say he had refered me one week post X-ray and a reference number and password so I could choose and book my appointment on line, where and when it suited me. How good is that. Well the sun has decided to appear this afternoon but its not very warm. I think I'll make veggie soup tomorrow.