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Keeping Busy



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I'd have to say I'm much better this week than I was last. Sean and Wendy came over as planned and they had a hand in getting me out and about again. I had a bug last week that probably didn't help my mood, but that has now gone and I am much more focused and not taking ages to get things done with the lack of concentration I have had for quite some time now.

It was a bit of a shock to realise how much knowledge Sean had of the bird world and apart from showing him the birding sites and Ravens nest on Langness, I hung on his every word as he trotted out the names of the birds. Wendy, Sean and I had a good time together and I m looking forward to their return later in the year. We may even get down to the Sugarloaf Rock on Toms boat the Silverburn if the weather is nice. They took loads of pictures and they sent me a couple. I will include a picture he took of one of my canaries nests and you never know, he may send some more of the 100's he took.

Saturday I decided that on the Sunday, instead of eating out as we (Toms Mum, brother Lenny and his wife Rosie and my nieces Becky and Alice) had each Sunday since Tom died, I would cook dinner for us all. It was an ambitious task considering how dozy I have been for months, but I felt it may help me to concentrate my efforts. I have also become firm friends with Ann the Hospice nurse who supported Tom and I from the start of his cancer through until the end. We meet early each Sunday morning and go on a different walk lasting around 3 hours. I enjoy Ann's company and we view the birds, wild flowers and anything else that takes our interest on the way. This also means that Skipper and Suzie get to a different location as well. Anyway, last Sunday I had done the walk before I cooked the dinner and also had the aviary to do. It all came off for me and I was pleased I had managed it. It's only a simple thing, but with the way my mind has been, it was yet another milestone. It seems to have set me up for the rest of the week so far.

Monday I got stuck into cleaning my aviary and got on top of that task.

Yesterday the Vicar that did both Tom's and his Father's funeral came to see me. She is a lovely woman and she seemed quite at home with me and has been a great help. No doubt we will meet more in the future.

This weekend I am going to the wildlife park to see the birds of prey. I went a few years ago with Rosie my sister in law and it was brilliant. I got to hold a Golden Eagle and Tawny Owl, the feathers of which were the softest I have ever felt. There are lots of different kinds of birds and we get to be pretty well hands on with them and then watch the display afterwards which is quite something. Last time we were also allowed to hold and stroke a python and were taken on a guided tour of the park. I don't think it will be quite the same this year, but there is a hot lunch and I am looking forward to it. This year I have persuaded a few more to accompany Rose and I and so there will be 7 of us altogether on the VIP tickets.

A couple of my friends (Ray and Pauline) are camping at Sulby in their motorhome this week, getting used to it before they go away on holiday and it is also getting them away from the house and giving them a much needed rest. It still brings back my first memory of the Bambi Motorhome we had. We bought it when we moved to Ramsey and we used it all over the place, Ireland, Scotland, England etc but mostly on the Island. We would often go to Castletown for the weekend and stay in the camper. Tom also liked us to go to the Ayres and I was to ship spot for him. I became so proficient that I could spot ships like the Saga Moon and River Lune miles away by their shape. The first trip we ever did in the Bambi was to the Ayres just to suss it out and have a cuppa. I can remember it like yesterday. We made a cup of tea, took the dogs for a walk and had a sit for a while. The time came to leave and as I set off I learned the first rule of a motorhome; making sure everything was put away and shut up properly. AS I set off, the cupboard doors opened and everything flew out onto the floor. "Just a minute." I told Tom and I went to secure everything. Then I was ready to set off again. This time we were going nowhere as the wheels spun in the sand. "Oh no" I cried, "We're stuck in the sand" and I was about to get out of the Bambi to try and push it when Tom said he would push and I was just to accelerate. It didn't take hardly anything at all and the motorhome shot forward and was free. I sat there with the handbrake on waiting for Tom to come and he was taking his time. I presumed he was taking the opportunity to have a quick widdle as I sat working out the radio etc. Eventually Tom opened the door and he shouted quite out of breath, "What are you doing?" "I'm just waiting for you to get back in why?" I did think he looked a bit red in the face and breathless. He didn't realise the vehicle was free and he'd been pushing like mad the whole time I sat there with the handbrake on. I thought he would have felt it shift to be honest. My excuses didn't really appease him and he was quiet for the rest of the way home. I'm not sure if that because he was totally knackered or because he was annoyed. Either way it certainly stuck in my mind. :-)

I'd better go and walk the dogs now and have a bit to eat.

Have a nice day everyone. This is Barbara on the banks of the Silverburn, reminiscing.

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