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Toms Birthday



Well I seem to be making a recovery at last. It was slightly delayed on Saturday when I woke up feeling grand, fed the ducks and was about to have some cornflakes when I suddenly became extremely dizzy and nauseous. I had Orry out of his cage at the time & I had to stagger to the cage and get him in quickly before mounting the stairs and throwing myself on my bed. I was dripping in perspiration and to be honest I was quite upset. It was the 1st time in weeks I felt I'd shook off the pneumonia and was pole axed by something else. I phoned the emergency doctor as I wasn't sure if it was still connected to the pneumonia and I'd only finished the last of the antibiotics on Friday. They suggested I went in to be checked over and my sister-in-law Rosie, took me in. I passed all the tests of temperature, blood pressure etc and was given an injection to stop the dizziness and nausea. That quietened me for the next day or so as I slept 12 hours that night and 4 hours on the Sunday afternoon. It was a little glitch and it's all over now. Yesterday I really did feel on the up and started to get my act together again.

I started by feeding the ducks and then decided I would take the dogs for a walk. It has been nearly a month since I managed that and so a walk along the Silverburn to what Tom and I called 'mushroom field', was enough for the moment. I have to try and get Skippers obedience back on track again as he is pulling like a trooper again. I just need to gain some control over him. I picked some grass seeds and dandelions for my aviary and the blind goose and ambled home. It wasn't so much ambling as semi dragged. I'd had enough walking with that and was feeling a little laboured in my legs, but happy to have managed it. It seems strange to feel like that when I'm used to walking the hills for miles. Everyone says it takes time to get over pneumonia and now I know why.

I gave Fluffy the moorhen a little play on the river and kept close so he/she would be ok. It looked strange to a dog walker seeing me walking to the river edge with a moorhen perched on my shoulder. "You've not tamed a bloody moorhen now have you?" he asked. "Well sort of!" I replied and Fluffy decided it was time to show off his flying skills and flew onto the railway bridge above us. When he went Fluffy flew down and messed about in the river. He obviously liked it as he found his way to it later in the day when I went to rescue him for the neighbourhood cat. He is quite a character now and is top of the pecking order in the house, except me of course, but Orry and he have had some tussles with Orry backing off every time. It's amazing to see how Fluffy manages to intimidate an African Grey whose beak would do a heck of a lot more damage than Fluffy's. Fluffly growls really deeply and jumps in the air much like a cockerel fighting and Orry doesn't hang around. Occasionally Orry fights back with his bomber plane impression, flying at Fluffy at great speed, but the moorhen is too agile to be caught.

Today would have been Toms 56th Birthday and I find it sad. Reading back to last year's blog at this time, he was so thrilled to make 55 and so was I. I new 56 was very doubtful, but in my heart I hoped we'd see it together. This time of the year he always remarked on how he would be going back to school and hoping the weather would be bad and the boat wouldn't go. He said it every year and it saddened me that he never ever forgot the date and relived the situation for 40 years after leaving school. There were lots of things like that which Tom would talk about that had scarred him in a way and I was allowed a glimpse of the little boy that longed for his Island home and was so lonely without his parents and brothers. In another way it was the making of him as he was well educated and had learned the skills necessary to cope with his blindness. It is often the trials in life that develop our characters and make us what we are. In Toms case he developed into a remarkable man who was almost entirely happy and optimistic. Roger Waterworth the physiotherapist who is blind himself says in all is life he has never met a more positive blind person than Tom and Roger is well into his 70's. I have ordered a wreath in the shape of a heart and I will go to Toms grave with Toms mum later today and then we'll have lunch. If anyone see's me and I am a little fragile, then forgive me.

Yesterday I also went to meet Pauline and Ray at Langness in the camper. It was lovely to have some fresh air and it was so quiet and peaceful out there. The sound of the curlew echoed around the coast and the screeching of the herons and other sea birds where the only sounds to be heard. It felt great to be out again and to see the sun shining silver on the sea through the clouds in the distance. Miriam and her children had taken Skipper and Suzie to Scarlett earlier in the day and then they had the added bonus a walk on Langness with Ray and a little ball throwing. By the time I came home at 6 o'clock, I really did feel like I was on the up. On the way home I had a lovely surprise as one who loves to watch the birds. As I was driving through Derbyhaven I saw what appeared to be a while heron flying over and heading in the direction of Fort Island. I knew straight away it was an egret and can only assume it was a Great Egret due to it appearing to be heron sized. Of course with distance, it could be a Little Egret, but whatever, it was lovely to see a not so common bird. The first and last time I saw an Egret was when I was across with Tom staying at Meols whilst he had his radiotherapy at Clatterbridge. I saw one whilst out walking with my sister and we were as excited to see one then as I was yesterday.

Charlie and Dorothy Lambert came out to see me a couple of times last week whilst they were over. On the Friday we all had a bit of lunch in the Viking as I was taking Toms mum out after not being out with her for weeks. The Viking is about a 100 yards up the road and within my capabilities at that time. Charlie especially wanted to see the moorhen as it was just a tiny thing with big massive feet when he was over in June. You should have seen his face when he came in the house and Toms mum Nel was sitting with a moorhen perched on the back of her neck with its head peeing over her shock of white hair. She sat there with a wry smile on her face, looking like it was the most natural thing in the world to have a moorhen sitting on you. Charlie and Dorothy came back to Castletown on the Saturday when I wasn't able to see them due to not being well. They went for a walk along the Silverburn and came across the field that has around a dozen herons that all sunbathe along the edges. They all spread out and to see so many in a field is quite a sight. Besides fish, a herons diet consists of mice, spiders and things. Standing still in a nice warm field will probably yield them a good snack.

Well it is early morning as I write this blog as I was feeling a little sleepless. I have had a few enquiries from distant friends as to how things are, especially as I have been absent from blogging and not emailing either. Orry the parrot bit through my laptop charger cable last week and I had to wait for a new one to come before I could get online. By the time it did come I was knocked out with vertigo and the injection. So Cheryl, Elizabeth, Wendy and Dorothy, I'm sorry I have been lax and will be in touch soon.

Now I must get some sleep so I can visit my husband's grave with a fresh mind and spirit. I have added some pictures of the moorhen and also of myself so you can see how well I am looking.

This is Barbara on the banks of the Silverburn River about to nod off.

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HI Babs, what a lovely story you have written. I too was awake in the night & i wished Tom a happy birthday. Its Cheryl's tomorrow & i can't beleive Colin & I will be seeing her on Saturday!!!!! We will make up for it then & will raise a glass to Tom too. The moorhen is growing & looks very healthy. We have a squirrel keep coming round but Colin has told me not to encorage it as he doesn't want it trying to get in the house.

We will send you some piccys of our adventures while visiting Cher & Bruce, they have wonderful countryside all around them where they live.

Its good to hear you are feeling better even after your serious illness, take care of yourself, love Pauline XXXXXXXXXX :flowers::hug:

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