Friday, 13 February 2015

Friday the thirteenth comes early

Are you superstitious? Do you live in dread of Friday 13 and avoid walking under ladders? Friday 13 normally does not bother me. It is usually just like any other day. I have to admit that I try to avoid walking under ladders, especially since I accidentally walked under a ladder about 18 months ago. In the following weeks all manner of things went wrong. Maybe it was simply coincidence, but my experiences certainly gave some substance to the old wives tale. Today, Friday 13, has so far been a normal day, but yesterday most definitely was not.

In the early hours of Thursday February 12 I woke as I often do and got out of bed to go to the bathroom. Something that I must have done, quite safely, literally thousands of times, but this time was different. I caught my foot on something and before I knew it the chest of drawers in the corner was speeding towards me with a Maori greeting and it was not friendly. I know what you are thinking - she was drunk. Well I am afraid that you are wrong. It was three days since any alcohol had passed
my lips. Before I could indicate that the feeling was not mutual my nose had made contact with the chest of drawers. Suddenly there was blood everywhere, on my PJs, on the bedclothes and the carpet, although I have to say that it was not as gory as Wednesday evening's episode of Wolf Hall when Anne Boleyn's miscarriage was depicted in graphic detail, which I am sure was not necessary.

Half asleep, shaken and shocked, panic set in as the blood poured out. Thankfully I quickly realised that I needed to get myself to the bathroom and put my pharmacist's hat. Then I quickly managed to staunch the bleeding. I considered waking my husband who was fast asleep, blissfully unaware of what was going on. He could sleep through an earthquake and in any case he does not like blood and the last thing that I needed was him passing out. I cleaned myself and things up as best I could and took myself back to bed. I knew that I would not sleep for some time, so read and debated whether to take myself to A&E or my GP in the morning. Had I broken my nose or was it just bruised? My mother had broken her nose as a child. I remember her telling me how it had been painful and tender and had bled for a long time. Her parents didn't take her to a doctor and her nose set itself crooked. As she got older her nose became even more crooked. I did not want to suffer the same fate. Eventually I managed a few hours sleep. By the time that I got up I had changed my mind about going to see anybody. As a result of the lack of sleep I really did not feeling like dragging myself anywhere. I reasoned to myself that my nose had not bled for a long time. It did not look or feel broken and was more uncomfortable than painful. My diagnosis was of a bruised rather than broken nose. Once up and dressed I consulted Dr Internet as most people do today and found this page which set my mind at rest. My symptoms did not fit those necessary for a visit to my GP or A&E. In any case the last thing that I needed was to mix with coughs and sneezes, which could result in my bruised nose having to cope with a streaming cold.

Thursday 12 was a write off of a day. I spent he morning clearing up the aftermath of the night's events and booking the carpet cleaning wizard who lives in the next village, to come and remove the blood from the carpet for me. In the past he has successfully removed red wine from our off white, living room carpet. In the afternoon I pottered around the cottage. My plans for the day in tatters. It seems that for me, at least, Friday 13 came a day early and the worrying thing is that it could all happen again next month. Then a few days later we have the Ides of March.

Friday, 23 January 2015

One to remember

Well the holiday over new year was certainly one to remember, although it was not the holiday of a lifetime, and it was certainly different. In the run up to our departure the weather here in the UK was subzero with the threat of fog for the morning of our flight, which made me wonder if we would even get to the airport. As it happened the motorway to the airport was clear and the fog did not materialise. In fact we had a very smooth and uneventful trip to our holiday destination, unlike our journey home. Our problems started at the airport with the slowest, most chaotic check in that we have ever experienced. Our flight was delayed, but that is no excuse for a slow check in. Eventually we were informed that the reason for the delay was a medical emergency on the outbound flight, which resulted in a detour to get the passenger, who was ill, to hospital. Nobody wants to be in that situation and everybody was very understanding about the cause for the delay.  Our return flight took off nearly three hours late with the promise from the captain that he would be stepping on the gas to get us home as soon as possible. About forty minutes before we were due to land we were advised that they had another medical emergency on board and would be landing back in Manchester as fast as we could. Once on the ground we were to remain in our seats to allow the paramedics to take the casualty off. And boy the landing was certainly fast! Forty five minutes had been shaved off a flight which should have taken four hours. So we had landed safely, but now the bridge to the airport terminal could not be connected to the plane. At least the captain, who must have had a stressful day, could see the funny side of things.

For us problems did not end there. Husband had woken me up early on our last morning with what seemed like heavy breathing. During the journey home a cough and a snuffle developed. He was obviously coming down with some bug. The first day back he went to work, but by the next day he really was not well enough for work. He ended up having three days off work, which for him is very unusual. I could count on the fingers of one hand, the number of days off sick he has had in the 25 years, that I have known him.

So on a lighter note, where did we go? Well I do know where we went, but I wonder if you can guess from these clues where we have been. We went to an island where the second language is English. They have cable cars and a toboggan run but there was no snow when we were there. 

The streets are steep

and the taxi cabs are yellow.

It is a popular port of call for cruise ships, but we were not on one having flown there.

It is an all year round destination with millions of visitors every year. Time wise the island is on GMT, with milder climate than the UK, making it a paradise for horticulturists. It almost looked like England in the Spring, but these yellow flowers are not daffodils.

Everything seems to grow there from the most English of plants - the ubiquitous Ivy, to the colourful South American bougainvillea

 and the exotic South African protea.

The island is famous for its' cake and wine and recently a museum dedicated to one of the island's famous sportsmen was opened. We really enjoyed our stay and hope to return to the island at a different time of year.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Amnesia or dementia?


I am back from warmer climes and no longer singing the praises of technology. I am a very patient individual, but over the last few months my patience has been sorely tested. After the problems of recent months with a tired laptop, erratic broadband, problems commenting and third party cookies,  I  had hoped that a new all singing and dancing laptop would solve the problems that I was experiencing, but no. This shiny new laptop cannot/does not want to/will not see photographs that were taken before some arbitrary date in September 2014. I do not know if this is due to Windows 8 (the previous laptop was Windows 7), Blogger, which also seems to be a different version to my previous laptop or Picasa, which seems to delight in being a law unto itself. The photographs are at least still in my camera and I can remember taking them. It just seems to be the laptop that is suffering from amnesia or dementia. Well whatever the diagnosis this latest difficulty has given me a bit of a headache. When I started to have problems preparing posts I decided to opt for subjects where I could use several photographs as a quick means of generating the post, as putting in text was proving very time consuming. For a time this approach worked. However, the post Last Month had to be prepared using two laptops - the new one and the old one, as the old one will at least see my photographs, although it has other problems. Loading the photographs onto my old laptop did not please husband who had started to wipe my old laptop. Clearly I cannot continue to operate in this fashion and in any case it was very time consuming.

The consequence of all this is that I shall not be able to write some of the posts that I had planned to write where photographs would have been key to the subject matter. For a time I was thinking of throwing in the towel, but I have realised that posts can be written without photographs and the schedule of posts that I had planned is not set in stone. I needed to do some lateral thinking and make some changes. However, all is not lost as when I did some forward planning I loaded some photographs onto the draft posts and they are still  there. It is disappointing to say the least and just goes to show that change is not necessarily progress.