Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hectic........

Life continues hectic here.

Very little I can blog about due to issues of confidentiality and privacy of other people, but some nights I am simply *crawling* into bed to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The young ones are well, and DD3 enjoyed her school's residential trip to an outdoor activity centre recently.

Basil the dog managed to rip one of his claws almost completely apart on Friday, necessitating a quick but expensive trip to the Vet's office for them to tidy it up and give him his vaccine boosters at the same time :-)

At least he didn't bleed .....DH doesn't like blood. Not even his own.
Blood doesn't faze me in the slightest, but dealing with eyes, teeth and sputum....... bleuch !

I will try to post photos of more books recently read ASAP. No matter how frantic my life is, there is *always* time to read, even if it is when standing at the cooker and stirring food at the same time !
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Stellan Needs Prayers

This little sweetie Stellan is very much in my mind and prayers at the moment. He continues to be very seriously ill, and his family could sure use all the prayers that folk can offer up for them.

Please pray that God will give them all peace, grace, strength, help and comfort and to heal Stellan if that be His Will.........




Prayers for Stellan
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blessed Feast !

Wishing you all a joyous and blessed Feast of the Annunciation.

Onwards to the joyous Feast of Easter !
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Praying For Stellan

Little Stellan is very ill indeed. He was a miracle baby, and has become very precious to me, though I have never met him. His mommy is a blogger, and I have followed the ups and downs of their family for many months now.

Please pray for Stellan and his family, that they may be surrounded with God's love, peace and grace at this difficult time, and that Stellan be healed if it be God's will for him.........

Lots more info by clicking on the button "Praying For Stellan" in my sidebar.....

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy !
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Forgot To Add.....

....that if you want to see the pictures in their true, large-sized glory, just click on them ! They do look much better !
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On The Way Home

It is one of life's ironies that we can leave Wales freely across either of the Severn bridges, but we have to pay to re-enter God's Own Country.

This is the newest Severn toll bridge. I happen to think it is rather beautiful and worth the £5.40 it costs to traverse it back to Wales. :-)
I was not quick enough off the draw with the camera to photograph the "Welcome To Wales" sign which greets you as you re-enter our home land , but the young ones raised a cheer as we passed it.

Once we get to the bridge it is about 45 minutes more drive till we reach home.



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Alarm Duck And Coffee

This was our early morning alarm duck; he would knock his beak against the patio doors till someone gave him food :-)




DH has always been resolutely against the prices at Starbucks. And I mean resolutely.
But when DD3 was on the indoor climbing wall, I coaxed him to give it a try and sit with me on the Starbucks balcony overlooking the Wall. Especially as they had a special offer on for St Patrick's Day, with free Irish Creme syrup in the coffee :-0

Needless to say, I have seduced him to the dark side, and we went back the following day too ! It was only 30p extra for soy milk for my coffee :-)


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Down By The Lake

The Sports lake at Center Parc Longleat.

It even has a sandy beach, and facilities for lots of water sports and fishing. We walked round the lake each day.




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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Even More Photos

The extensive boardwalk around one part of the Parc. You did need to keep a wary ear and eye out for cyclists, who also use it :-0




I just love trees. Can't help it !



I really liked this huge wooden carving an owl in the Village Square. We heard lots of owls at night :-)


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More Photos

Miscellaneous views :-)










This last one is part of the extensive outdoor rapids, which DH and DD3 happily zoomed down on numerous occasions, whilst DD4 and I sensibly remained in the outdoor hot-tub ;-0


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A Villa With A View !

The main road near the front of our villa.





The view from one side of our patio. This pond filled with rushes was the haunt of many ducks, all of whom would come to tha patio every morning to be fed. One mallard would bang the sliding glass doors with his beak until we gave him food, LOL.




This last picture is the view we had from our sofa ! The picture simply does not do it justice. Peace, tranquility and beauty...... utter perfection.


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What I Read On My Holidays




The original and the best !
Beautifully written, with no gratuitous detail, despite the subject matter. An amazing, clever, terrifying book, well ahead of its time. The only film ever to have done it justice was the BBC production starring Louis Jourdan, Frank Finlay and Susan Penhaligon. I have vivid memories of watching it and being blood-curdled whilst I was still a teenager :-)







My girls have loads of Ahlberg books, and the elder two particularly loved the story of "Burglar Bill", who meets a lady burglar, reforms and settles down......so when I saw Allan Ahlberg's autobiography " The Boyhood of Burglar Bill", I simply had to buy it ! Having read it, I would pitch it at 11+, and it has a heavy emphasis on football. An entertaining read.






There are simply not enough words in the English language to do this enormous tome adequate justice.
I loved it so much, I read it **twice** whilst we were away, which considering it is almost 600 pages long and we were only away till 10am Friday morning, was quite a feat ! I have always loved mediaeval church architecture, and Pugin masterminded the revival of late mediaeval Gothic architecture. He was a tormented soul, an idealistic, passionate, single-minded workaholic, who had been shipwrecked, bankrupted and widowed before he was 21.

The rest of his meagre forty years of life were equally jam-packed with sadness and achievement in equal measure, culminating in his tragic death just when he had really found happiness with his third wife Jane.

If you think you are unfamiliar with Pugin, just think of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the bulk of which was Pugin's work, albeit to save another architect's face........I am simply going to have to buy this book. I will read it over and over again :-)
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

More News

Updated yet again to add :

My brother was indeed "drained" on Monday and discharged home on Tuesday. God willing, there will be some sustained progress this time round........





Updated to add:

I was asked if this was a common occurrence with the NHS...oh yes, unfortunately.

There are many treatments for diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's etc, for which there is ample evidence of benefit, but a wonderful committee called NICE evaluate the cost/benefit ratios and decide whether or not they will recommend them to be used on the NHS. You can still get them if you pay privately, though.

Shortages of staff, equipment and medication are all too common. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes not.

And to complicate matters, each area health authority can decide which of the NICE authorised treaments or drugs they will fund for NHS use in their own area.

You can end with a situation where people in the same town are on completely unequal drug protocols for their identical ailment, because they live in different streets and have different postcodes (zip codes)which means they fall into different hospital catchment areas.


Up till now, my brother's care on the NHS has far surpassed the care he recieved from a well-known private medical company here in the UK, but I own to being upset that he is in unremitting and needless pain for 60 hours because our local hospital doesn't have any of the "right" drainage needles or a qualified member of staff on duty this weekend to do the procedure.
It sucks, frankly.

But he has been told he will be first on the list for the procedure on Monday morning :-)


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


My brother is back in hospital again, but his treatment can't start till Monday due to no staff able to perform the necessary procedure and also they have run out of supplies of the necessary needles.
Sigh......
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cookies

We have been making cookies in our school to raise money for Comic Relief Day on Friday.

We made loads, which the children will sell at playtime.

The smell was luscious...........
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Brushing Up My Latin

I have added the awesome Latin Vulgate bible verse of the day widget to my blog :-)

It makes me happy :-)
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Where Does The Time Go ?

This week has simply flown past !

For the first time in several weeks I have been able to get to Fencing class on Saturday, though DD3's tendinitis flared up and she wasn't well enough to come with me.
My superhero of a DH offered to keep the girls occupied so I could go by myself, though I have a sneaking suspicion that he decided I was so stressed that a/ it would be more peaceful at home if I was out and b/ I needed to de-stress :-)

Whatever, it worked, and I returned home exhausted, exhilarated and thoroughly enjoyed spending the weekend at home with my family after a very stressful week indeed.

My brother has seen the Consultant again and he will indeed need to go into hospital as soon as a bed is available for his third abdominal fluid drain since 2009 began. Despite this, he is making some steady progress in the right direction.
My mother is afflicted with lumbago and a chest infection, which on top of her arthritis and severe asthma is not a fun combination.

And last week we confirmed that I do indeed have gall-stones.
Oh joy.

I am glad we are having a few days away next week, we need it.
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Monday, March 02, 2009

Yes, I Have Read A Lot Recently !



This book about the Royal Martyr Elizabeth had me a litle perplexed. The author most obviously has much affection, esteem and reverence towards Ella, yet his attitude to Ella's sister who became Tsarina is exactly the opposite.

It contains much insightful information about Ella's early life and upbringing which explains her piety, devotion to the cause of serving others and her selflessness. She is depicted as a flawed human, yet someone who was special and indeed touched by God.
An interesting book, which I will certainly buy for myself !




Shadows is a heart-rendingly sad yet unbelievably funny book ! It chronicles the lives of some of the characters that Jennifer Worth encountered whilst working as a midwife in the London Docklands in the 1950s.

It is a sequel to "Call the Midwife", itself an amazing book, yet I must warn you that "Call the Midwife" contains some depictions of the sexual depravities to which people could sink inasmuch as they pertain to the life stories of the people she worked with. Caveat Lector !




Proust and the Squid is a fascinating book if you have ever wondered how and why people learned to read. It covers much ground and explains the biological differences in how left and right handed people process information and learn to read.
I found it utterly absorbing, but a bit dry :-)
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What More Can I Say ?

I have had great fun reading three Discworld novels dealing with Sir Samuel and Lady Sybil Vimes :-)




The Fifth Elephant, wherein we find that Lady Sybil is pregnant, in the midst of Sir Samuel being on an ambassadorial mission to Uberwald where he is being attacked by dwarves, werewolves and vampires.......





Night Watch, wherein Sir Samuel, awaiting the birth of his first child, is transported back in time and has to get history back on track in order not to destroy the future.






and Thud !, wherein the annual replay of the Battle of Koom Valley gets completely out of hand and Sir Samuel's family is threatened once again.......
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More Reads



I loved The Dragonfly Pool, by Eva Ibbotson. She is one of my favourite writers, and has been ever since I read to DD1, many moons ago, her immortal classic "Which Witch?". This new story tells of Tally, coping after being sent away to a progressive school in Devon to escape the London Blitz, and how she gets involved in rescuing a Prince from his country after the King was assassinated by Nazi sympathisers. A cracking read !






The Battle for Gullywith, by Susan Hill, is a great children's story, full of mystery, adventure, unearthly happenings and being uprooted from a familiar and much-loved home. To say more would be to spoil the story :-)
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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Blessed Feast !

I wish you all a joyous and Blessed feast of St David of Wales and Forgiveness Sunday !

I ask forgiveness of you all for my many shortcomings and failings.

May God give us all determination to gain spiritual benefit from Great Lent.

For a rather nice online story book about St David, go here and click on Would you like to .... open this resource.

If you eliminate the appalling description of receiving the Holy Mysteries, it would be very useful :-)
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