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My breathing is rubbish…

Yesterday, when I went to water the garden, my breathing deteriorated quite a bit. When I came in, I felt I was suffocating – I literally could not get air in. It is terrifying, as the feeling is so visceral. So overwhelming. It is not like energy being sapped away.

My body fights to get air in. I can’t stop it. My lungs crave air. So now, I am loathe to do anything. Any exertion seems to result in suffocation.

No appointment from Southampton as yet.

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Struggling a bit…

I had a very stupid fall some days ago. One second I was standing, and the next I was draped over the bath.

My shoulder and sternum are painful. My sternum is very painful indeed. Everything I do seems to cause the pain to be noticed. I take painkillers but there’s only so many one can take.

Watering the garden seemed like agony.

A wonderful poppy is in bloom. I was awe struck. There are so many flowers. It is truly lovely in my garden. Bees bumble around and butterflies are fluttering.

My strawberry plants were looking a bit droopy. There’s lots of fruit.

I still have some plants to plant. I don’t feel up to it with this pain. So I keep them as healthy as possible, and will do what I can when I can.

Some poet friends have blocked Colin Meek, my so called editor who edited nothing. A thief, a con-artist but he is neither an editor or a poet.

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A snack recipe and my breathing…

I eat a low carb diet to prevent insulin being in my system, but we need some for fuel when the weather is cold. I make this snack.

You need

Filo pastry rolled out very thin and cut in half

A pesto of olives – I use mostly black with a small amount of green olives

A pinch of kosher salt

Olive oil

On a greased baking tray, lay one half of the very thin filo pastry. Then spread the olive pesto. It needs to be even and thinly coating.

Lay the second half of pastry on top and lightly run the rolling pin over.

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle the kosher salt over the top.

With a sharp knife, cut into small bite sizes.

Place in a hot oven for 10 -15 minutes. Until golden brown. Allow to cool.

These are very tasty. The olive oil adds a warmth. Great with a refreshing drink. The olives can be replaced with basil pesto.

I have found it difficult to keep my breathing steady. The second course of antibiotics has worked but the cold weather has made it hard to maintain a steady breath. I’ve had to be outside a couple of times. I have had ventolin added to my meds for when I start to wheeze. It did not arrive until this morning so I had to use a neighbour’s a couple of times.

I am longing for warmer weather so that I can breathe well outside.

I have realised that the charlatan who ”helped” with my garden, also took the dust cover that I was using to paint my gates. It is not my dust cover. So that’s another expense. I had to buy more forget me knots as they are favourite flower, and despite explicitly explaining the difference between them and the weeds, he still pulled them up.

I paid him in kind. Generously. And then he had the cheek to describe it in derogatory terms. He told me he wanted nothing.

Another life lesson. A friend has helped me rescue most of the plants he promised to plant but never did. A real friend is coming later this week to help me plant the rest. Pete put some in water today so that they don’t die.

It’s not just Pete. It’s Pete Lambert.

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The days are so fast…

Since I came home from hospital the days are so fast. I have had writing commitments and barely found the time. I had to set everything aside and make a positive decision to do it. Generally, I move from task to task, and my day has time for some relaxation.

I am no longer waking early, or if I do, I can sleep again until a reasonable time, say 7am to 8am. This is good as I am getting the sleep I need.

My body has been rid of some toxins now and I feel better for it. The very luxurious mattress topper is gone for now, and I am still very comfortable. Getting out of bed is less effort!

The third laptop has to go back. The charger is only 2′ long! and the power switch is almost impossible to use. Oh, the trials that are unforeseen when someone else cannot take responsibility for their carelessness. My writing is affected as I can’t get quick links, work out how to copy and paste, and use my photos.

It is sunny and cold, after some warmer days. I had hoped for milder weather. I want to do some light work in my garden, and prepare for tomato plants. It will all happen.

A lady who lives a short walk away wanted to come to help me with these small jobs as she misses having a garden. I felt blessed all through my hospital stay. Now, she tells me she is lucky to find someone who can’t manage their vegetable plot so will do that instead. That she has no integrity, or that doing both are possible, seems lost on her.

Someone will turn up. The right person at the right time.

I am writing this now as my days rush by. I am wanting to record what I can here.

Please click ‘like’ and comment. I appreciate it so much.

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A fresh fig from my tree…

A friend came over today in order to help with my garden. Really, I helped him. We transplanted a few plants and planted new ones.

He managed to get my sister’s memorial rose free from a weed that was choking it. I am particularly grateful for that.

Chatting whilst gardening is a great thing to do. It is so good for mental health. I had a fever, still do, but being in the garden did me a lot of good.

Just before that, a chap from the other end of the Quay came to get some horse manure. I was pleased.

Earlier, a friend came to pick up a box and bag for charity shops. She flattened some boxes for me, and connected my kindle to the wifi. It’s now connected to Amazon.

We had a coffee and a chat. She’s really lovely and I appreciate her a lot.

I gave her a copy of my book. Last Monday, I attended a zoom poetry event and read from my book. Afterwards, I was thrilled to see they had put a link on their facebook page. That is what creative people need. A lot of encouragement. Thank you, Exeter!

The book has had two really good reviews on Amazon. It so helps, otherwise we tend to feel we are writing to a void.

Zoom meetings have been great during this pandemic.

So yes, I still have a fever. I slept well last night. My breathing seems a bit better. I so don’t want to go into hospital.

My daughter will be home soon. I can’t wait to see her.

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Strange times…

England has just back stepped in it’s opening up of the economy. I think this was inevitable. One cannot pretend a virus is ‘under control’ while there are still infections occurring. Indeed, people are still dying of Covid 19 here. This is not a second wave. The first wave is not over.

For the last ten days or so, I have woken thinking I have Covid 19. Whether this is becauseof dreams, or because I wake with a dry throat, I don’t know. I think my dry throat or sore feeling is the chronic fatigue that I get once or twice a year.

I started this summer waking very early and not sleeping well. Now I don’t wake early and find it hard to get out of bed. Sleep comes more easily, but is reluctant to leave. My mornings are sluggish and reluctant. Next week I have an X-ray appointment before noon. That will be a challenge.

My late mornings correlate directly with the loss of seeing the harbour from my bed. For fifteen years I have only had to rise on one elbow to see the vista of the the water and boats. I can still see the harbour but have to leave my bed. It is no longer my constant companion while writing or thinking. Daydreaming.

It is a bereavement, a grief, and one I feel keenly. If I am struggling this much now, how much more worse will it be in winter? It is unimaginable. And yet I have my garden. It bearsfruit. I have just picked and eaten my second fig, and tomorrow’s is marked out. They are so refreshing, so sweet, so unimaginably good. There are strawberries and tomatoes waiting, blueberries ripening. And my flowers. My trees.

So, there are many not as fortunate as I am. Counting my blessings and gratitude for what I have is my strength. It keeps me going in hard times when my mood is low.

My only regret in life is that I married the man I did. But then I wouldn’t have my daughter. I often think of dropping the name Brady, but the expense and inconvenience are too much.

My pain is manageable. Most days I have none and then my hip will start to hurt. That is manageble. Meditation and prayer take it away.

I am aware of my body though. There is always a sensation somewhere. And I know I look different and I wonder how many men would talk to me if I didn’t.

We need to stop putting the economy ahead of human lives. This virus kills and when it doesn’t it can leave nasty side effects for life or a long time. This will be with us for a long time.

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Weary but satisfied…

It feels as if I haven’t done much today. But I have poddled along, doing this and that.

The editing is finished. I have shared some tomatoes with neighbours. I am keeping an eye on my figs so not to let them over ripen. My blueberries are changing colour. It’s all good.

I watered garden and then finished planting my plants. It was very satisfying.

My hip has been ok. I leaned back and felt a bruise on my pelvis. I don’t know how I did it, but it is the same place that got badly bruised last November. I should keep an eye on it.

It’s been a glorious day. I love where I live.

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The first fig from my garden…

It was perfect. Sweet, moist and refreshing. Straight from the tree. The most perfect fig I’ve ever eaten. I am thrilled.

To eat and enjoy the fruit, literally, of one’s labour is so satisfying. I saw the fig almost by accident and noticed it was no longer green. I touched it and there was a softness. I worried that it was over ripe, but no it was perfection.

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It was hot…

I barely slept last night. I fell soundly asleep after 5.30 am. I was woken by a call from the police. I was not amused. Last they phoned it was 23.05.

I didn’t get a chance to say what I wanted. I was mid sentence when he said thank you and ended the call.

I felt better after a shower. It was really muggy today. My garden looked thirsty. I watered it this evening and tomorrow I will pick my first tomatoes.

I was able to give a small table to two ladies who needed one. I no longer need it. I like it when things like that happen.

I tried to call my surgery about my hip. It is really not good at all. They were closed for staff training. I hope I remember tomorrow.

I have been editing. Not my favourite job. My memory gets shorter and shorter as I work. It’s tiring as it can get repetitive. I try to refresh my brain regularly.

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Another day…

I deliberately wanted a quiet day. To read, to nap, and to ignore the dull weather. I got two very pleasant phone calls which I really enjoyed.

It seems the lifting of further lockdown measures has brought my county and the neighbouring two to gridlock. What did they expect? It’s happened twice before so why would today be different?

As it rained in the night (although I don’t know how much) I only watered my hanging baskets, the fig tree and tomatoes. There are so many tomatoes. They should start ripening soon.

I am pleased with the soap holder I made from twine. It’s like a bag and gives the soap something to stop slipping out of ones hand. As I’m trying to be plastic free, I no longer buy bottles of shower gel etc. I get organic bars.

It has been obvious for a while that I am not over my sister’s death. So many negative things happened at that time. It stuffed everything up.

I have other emotional loose ends too. I’m in a weird sort of place.