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Just musings

Evening all.  As the title, I'm just sharing my musings and wondering if you are interested in sharing yours on the events or non events during Covid restrictions.

My much longed for wet room and wheelchair accessible bedroom building work commenced March 2nd. Just before our first lockdown here in Ireland.  The diggers and heavy machinery arrived and the weather duly took a turn for the worst.  The garden quickly resembled Flanders Fields and the ground workers imitated yellow ducks, as they trundled about in high visibility jackets.  During the lockdown we were glad of their company, albeit through the still intact window or sign language. Time passed swiftly and the weather improved vastly. 

My beautiful black boy, Arnie (my photo) had to be put to sleep in April.  He was a very fine, fit fifteen year old boy  I found him on the street, barely had his eyes open and hand fed him until he got the idea.  As far as he was concerned, I was his mum.  To my complete dismay bone cancer was diagnosed and he was in a lot of pain.  If it could only be this simple and kind for humans.  My oldest and dearest friend in England died from covid in April.  Our girls are the same age. Gone in ten days, and I will always miss her.  I found myself in hospital via ambulance and A&E for a week during this time also. Tremendous difficulty breathing and excruciating pain, I honestly believed I might die.  Blood clot on my lung was detected, anticoagulant administered, iron deficiency resolved by infusions and I was safely home. 

Mr Poppy and I usually have a trip to gran canaria planned for this time.  I was so pleased it wasn't so this year.  I didn't need the stress of cancelled flights and trying to get refunds etc. Building work was completed in June and the wet room is a marvelous addition, for which I'm very grateful for, and he the grant received towards it.  During the time frame I had moved from walker to being completely reliant on the wheelchair. The extension wasn't finished a day too soon!

Our days in the autumn seemed to be filled with occupational therapist, physiotherapist, personal care helpers.  Before the end of the year my personal help (showers and help dressing) had increased from three mornings to five.  There are days when it feels like an invasion of our home and lives, but they are a team of four lovely ladies on a rota and it's not a problem to text and tell them, "not tomorrow please".

My walker returned to the health board and a new, more suitable manual chair ordered for me.  My right side is my problem and had decided to do it's own thing.  My hand was curling into a clenched fist now.  My wonderful occupational therapist decided to order me a better motorised chair too! I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have such help. 

The manual chair will be for easy transport if we ever travel abroad again, or visiting family or places where we know my motor chair will not be manageable.  So, before this flurry of activity, my intention was to learn another language perhaps, or commence some online course.  Hmm.  Never happened. My builder's cat had kittens and Mr Poppy surprised me with two of them.  Gorgeous Oscar the enormous, and Tilly the terror, have provided endless hours of entertainment, as well as wasting hours of the day.  Well I mean you just can't disturb a sleeping cat on your lap, can you?  It wouldn't be fair!

I did however come across some wonderful inspirational lady on YouTube.  She's been planting three acres of bogland here on the west coast and over sixteen years, has created a woodland that is truly incredible.  So, full of inspiration and hope, I bullied/pursuaded Mr Poppy to buy up various trees in the 'clearance' sections of garden centres and paid the small amount asked for by a local older man who enjoyed helping me get them planted.  We have an acre and I gave up trying to have pretty flower beds. The salt laden winds and exposed site rendered it a waste of time and money.  Now from the kitchen and bedroom windows we have bird feeders galore and the activities are amusing and interesting. I'm looking forward to the spring and the blossom on my trees, hopefully. It'll be interesting to watch the nest building and family life of the variety of tits, Finches, doves and reed buntings.

Well if anyone has got this far, would you like to share how you are getting through this very strange, unprecedented time?

My life's too dull and boring to write about, but I envy you your acre!  I have a half acre side field that I'd wanted to turn into a butterfly garden, but the random flowers I planted all died off.  I'm not able to mow much any more, so I let the field grow up, and I wound up with 2 small patches of thistle that brought in a nice flock of goldfinches.  I've decided to keep letting it go and just see what happens. 

Dear Nora's mom! During this lockdown everyone's life is boring! 

This was our dream, to return to Ireland and live in the countryside and keep hens.  I had an enviable garden in suburbia in England and wanted a larger space to work with.  Thus the acre here.  However my ms diagnosis and speedy progression put the damper on that.  Wheelchair dependant now I am grateful for my lovely man, who charges so little, to come and help. Dan the man.

Mother nature knows best and will do what she thinks best with those little patches.  Do plant some buddleia shrubs though. A magnet for butterflies and tough as old boots.  It can be cut down to the ground and will flourish again. There are many shades of purple, white and almost black.  A magnificent sight when the resting butterflies all take off at once!

Hi Poppy,

Thank you for this beautiful post, full of good news which we have so little of these days.

So very sorry to hear about your precious boy, Arnie. 

My Poppy has come through as a hero by bringing you 2 kittens to love.

Thank you dear Poppy for this feel good post of the year.

You thoroughly deserve all good things.

heart Carole xxheart

Thank you Carole.  I was on a bit of a ramble last night, as I'm prone to do when I get deep in thought. 

Mr Poppy, the hero...hmm.  He has his moments. ;-)

Ahh, yes what a wonderful post indeed......and oh so sad that your beautiful boy was taken from you...but just look at the marvellous long life you gave him...from that day you found him and nursed him back to health.......

The trees, the birds and all other wildlife that will find it`s way to your haven acre for them all, will provide you with months of magic!

It is a chuff and a half the way your MS has progressed. I lost my mobility around 18 years or so ago....lost track of time TBH. My hands are not as good as they were.

Your eloquence and joy of writing a descriptive piece shows how much zest you still have for life.

Bless you and I look forward to reading how everything evolves.



Ah thank you Bouds. Watch this space, as they say.

What a wonderful post, and so much good has come out of a year with more than its share of loss and troubles for you.

We live in a semi-rural place, and are blessed with farms and forests nearby.  I am very thankful for that.  My lock-down good intentions have thundered into the distance as well, with my New Year resolutions hot on their heels.  But our garden birds bring great joy as well, particularly the occasional visit to the peanut feeder from flocks of long-tailed tits, such delightful little creatures.  They all bring me joy, though, even the magpies, swaggering spivs that they are.  

Our elderly ginger ex-farm cat still charges about like a youngster for about 20 minutes in the morning before curling up on something soft for the day: fortunately he regards himself as a gentleman sportsman who surveys the birds genially without troubling to go outside and chase.

There's plenty of time to cook at a leisurely pace, and books to read and audiobooks to listen to, and ways to keep in touch with people, and sometimes I find I am in closer contact with people - particularly friends who live some distance away - han in normal circs.  

And Spring is on the way.  And so are vaccines.  There is much to be thankful for, and I am.

Thanks for posting.

Lovely visuals Alison. Thanks for sharing.

Yes, a year of loss and troubles but we're still standing (metaphorically of course!) and I know there is always sunshine after rain. 

I have to add, as I listen to a raging wild wind and see the rain lashing the windows, being in lockdown doesn't bother me too much.  Wood stove burning, lamps alight, the smell of beef casserole in the slow cooker filling the kitchen with the promise of a hearty dinner and four cats velcroed to the furniture, it's a cozy place to be.  Hurry up though, Spring!

January, sick and tired of you hanging on me......



I had a song from the same era as yours.

mine was Build me up Buttercup