You wouldn't believe how many times in the last 2 weeks that I have been going to write a blog and just haven't seemed to find the time or too tired to do it. I have been doing a little sailing, socialising, walking etc and will attempt to remember the main things that have occupied me.
I have discovered yachting as opposed to motor boat sailing and have found it an entirely different experience altogether. Toms friend Michael has taken me out on his yacht the Raven which is a gaff rigged boat for those who know. I personally haven't a clue, but he told me it was to do with the type of sails/rigging. Anyway, I have to say that I have found it totally exhilarating and exciting. We were even out in a force 5 and instead of being nervous, I loved every minute of it. I wasn't nauseous as the boat dipped and rose with the waves. I felt so much a part of the sea and so natural. I did look at the empty seat beside me and felt such a longing for Tom to be next to me. Tom wasn't very fond of yachting and I puzzled over it for a short while and then decided it was because it is a much more unpredictable sail. The boat can be leaning right over and he would have to shift his body weight to the other side of the boat and along with that, the mainsail is also swung from one side to the other at times and that would be very scary for someone who couldn't see. It wouldn't be as pleasant a sail as sitting in a motor boat chugging along. In my case I am small enough for the sails to pass over my head and was able to see what was happening with the sea, sails and boat. I was on the tiller for each sail and loved the feel of moving the boat about and keeping her steady. I'll never have a yacht of my own as I am not confident enough and I am just happy to sail with experienced people. I have even given up trying to keep on top of Toms boat the Silverburn. All summer I have been relying on different people to bail it out etc and it has been a weight on my mind. This week I have handed it over to Toms brother Lenny who loves sailing and fishing and only discovered his love for the sea when Tom took him a couple of years ago. I wanted to keep the boat in the family and so it is fitting that Lenny should continue to enjoy the sea from his brothers boat.
I have been increasing my walking each week and last Sunday got up to 4 miles. It still isn't a patch on what I was doing before the Pneumonia, but I am slowly getting there. Last week Anne and I walked from King Williams college to Langness and back. It was a lovely morning and there were so many birds out. The Curlew was in full chorus and when I pointed out his call to Anne, she recognised it although she wasn't aware that it was the Curlew. I also managed to positively identify the Egret as the Little Egret. A heron challenged it and seeing the two birds together enabled me to see the Egret was so much smaller. I love to see it flying with its pure white body and wings lazily flapping overhead. Yesterday I walked a little up the Silverburn and saw a large flock of Goldfinches flying and playfully landing in and around the river. The blackberries are still on the bushes and I have to confess to not having the patience to pick them much this year. I had every intention of, but without Tom it seemed so boring and lonely. We used to go each year and take a flask with us. It's just not the same.
I've organised Christmas very early for us this year. I didn't want to be in the house cooking for just Toms mum and myself whilst we thought of our missing loved ones, so I decided we would eat out. Toms Aunty Trudi has also decided to join us as her husband Norman died in January this year. So the three of us have booked with the Flying Club for a 7 course lunch on Christmas Day. It won't totally take our minds off Tom, Dennis and Norman, but it will be an enjoyable outing for the time we are together and we will enjoy being waited on. It is a nice cosy, friendly place and so we should have a good time. We went there last Sunday for our weekly family gathering and we all agreed that we hadn't enjoyed a Sunday lunch like that for a while.
I went out last Saturday evening with my friend Eileen. She bought tickets for a French Themed evening at the Abbey Church hall. We decided to go with onions around our necks and Eileen went one better and wore the beret as well. It was a great evening and you wouldn't believe how well a church hall could be made to look like an authentic French restaurant with the vicar in evening dress showing each group to their candle lit tables. We had a starter followed by beef bourguignon which was delicious. Then came a choice of sweets followed by different French cheeses, coffee and then chocolates. People took their bottle of wine but we just had Dandelion and Burdock due to me driving and Eileen not trusting herself. It was just as well really as we laughed that much that I thought I wouldn't be able to take a breath and Eileen thought she'd popped a healing broken rib. God help us if we'd got drunk. There was entertainment on in the for of the Harmony singers. This is a mother and daughter singing duo with the most beautiful voices with which they sang all the familiar French songs, finishing with a rousing and entertaining rendition of the can, can. Our next 'do' is a pudding evening on the 24th October. So far Eileen, Elaine, Pauline and I are down to go in our group. I'll have to starve myself for a month so I can go and enjoy tasting the puddings laid out on the night.
I really should do these blogs more often as I find it hard to remember all that I was going to say when its left so long. Fluffy the moorhen never returned and I have come to the conclusion that he has need taken by a sparrow hawk or something. I have deliberately not dwelt on it as I can do nothing about it and so I can only remember the positives that came out of our little time together. He focused my mind at a very bad time for me and I learned so much about the shy little birds. He in turn lived longer than he would have done and lived like a king for that very short time, ruling all beneath him which included Orry, the dogs and anything else he felt he could boss. lady came to the house last Sunday morning and I brought her through to the conservatory to say hello to Orry. She was fascinated with all the birds I had in the aviary, the hens, Gerty the blind goose and then she spied the heron which sits on the shed roof waiting for me to feed it in the morning and at night. "Oh Barbara!" she shouted excitedly "aren't you worried at leaving him outside? Shouldn't you have him in?" I tried my best to explain that whilst he appears to be tame, he is a wild bird and no, I don't worry one bit about a 3ft 6'' heron being left outside. Having a little moorhen in the house was one thing, but a flamin' great heron is another!
Suzy is on heat again and she has driven poor Skipper mad. He is castrated and has tried his best to keep her happy but she is just too demanding and he has started to lose his rag with her now. She even started howling last night and the quicker she has a heart scan to check whether she is fit enough to be spade, the better for all of us. She managed to take off on Sunday morning on the beach and straight away found a willing dog. Anne ran the length of the beach to catch her but the deed was done. Suzy now has to have an injection to make sure she doesn't have any more pups. It's a nightmare at the moment. Hopefully she should be lessening off soon.
I'm picking up some hens tomorrow. If I mentioned them a while back, it never happened as the lady lost my telephone number and I hers. Now she has advertised again we have regained contact and my flock of 6 will be 12 tomorrow. That will mean eggs through the winter for me and my friends.
I am due to return to work next week but a plan hasn't been put into place yet. As I haven't been to work since a year last March, the firm do a gradual return to work plan. I meet with HR on Thursday for a chat and pretty soon it will happen. I haven't a clue how it will work out and I am just going to give it a try. A lot of water has gone under the bridge and I just have to see whether this is the right thing to do or not. I also see the chest specialist tomorrow and will get the results of my chest x-ray I had last week. This is to determine if I have fully recovered from the Pneumonia. I feel fine but boy can I sleep.
I am going to put a few photos on of the dogs at Langness and also the boat trip I had.
This is Barbara on the banks of the Silverburn River busy as hell but missing her soul mate so much.