Friday 20 August 2021

Bunco and Zentangle Flower Mania

 Have you heard of Bunco? Well I certainly hadn't until quite recently. You see that's the beauty of the u3a you meet people that have tried all sorts of things that you have probably never even thought or heard of before. 

For those of you who haven't heard of it it's a game where you throw 3 dice. You need three tables and twelve people and that's the fun bit bringing twelve people together to play a very easy once you get the hang of it dice game. 

It takes a while to get it because you have to move tables depending on whether you are a winner or a loser. And remembering which table you should be moving to can get quite confusing until the penny drops the problem is everyone's penny drops at different times so there can be a bit of hilarious confusion.

My friend Paula organised it as a way of raising funds for Macmillan. We all pay a small fee to join in and there are lots of small prizes, like chocolate or maybe a bottle of wine.

 There are many talented crafty people in the u3a and many of them contributed by making knitted or sewn items for Paula to sell before we started playing the game and then again a week later at a Macmillan coffee morning.

I did some decoupage both on a bottle which Paula had kindly supplied and on some stones.

Painted Stones

Now we come to the zentangle flower bit, I was inspired by Linda from crafty gardener and this post.

Since then I have been zentangling flowers none stop, it's the easiest and most relaxing way to get into the zone as it were. I can do this for hours and I always love the results.

There are zentangle flower bugs all over my garden and they have found their way into friends and families homes and gardens too.

I am actually having a break right now because my neck is hurting a lot and looking down all the time can't be helping, that's the problem when you craft a lot it requires you to look down onto your work and I've been doing it for years, all my life really. I'm trying to lift things up closer to eye level which doesn't work for stone painting but I can manage to some extent for crochet. 

My brother's burns are healing very slowly but are now extremely painful we have had to get him stronger pain relief especially for when they change the dressings. 

He actually asked me to call into a warden controlled facility near to where I live to get a brochure so it appears he is beginning to accept that he does need more help.  I know that it will be difficult for him to find a place at Harbour Lodge  which is very close to me as there's always a long waiting list but it doesn't do any harm to try.

Have a great weekend. 😊

Friday 13 August 2021

A Big Thank You! some Good News and a Bit of Crochet.

 A Big Thank You!

Thank you for all your lovely kind thoughts and comments about my brother in my last post, you have no idea how much they mean to me.  I'm sorry to hear about those of you who are suffering with long term illnesses and have experienced the same sort of difficulties we have.

We have spent a difficult couple of weeks, the accident has taken it out of him both mentally and physically, he's now unable to drive which is hard for him to bear. 

My brother is a nature lover and a brilliant photographer, his photos are amazing he took the one at the top of my blog and his wildlife photos are beautiful. It's getting increasingly difficult for him to hold the camera and alter the settings but he still loves to drive out into the countryside and do the best he can.

I'm hoping that once his burns have healed be might regain the little strength he had before and get out and about again..

On the bright side he seems to be healing I know it will take time because the burns were deep in places but thankfully so far so good.

The Good News... 

After several weeks of emails and phone calls I have finally got my refund for the treadmill I returned in this post.  I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to get my money back especially having read some of the one * reviews for the company, if only I had read those before I ordered anything from them.  There are several people still waiting for items which they have paid for and others waiting for refunds like I was. 

I am speaking about Studio Catalogue I would never name and shame unless I had good reason to do so.  They are very polite and say all the right things when you contact them by phone or email but then nothing seems to happen. In the end I threatened to take it further if it wasn't dealt with immediately, even then I got no response until I emailed them again to ask what was happening and they told me they had sent a cheque. It took 10 days to reach me and I'm hoping it won't bounce when I pay it into my bank.🙏  

A Bit Of Crochet

As I mentioned previously I am working through the patterns I have accumulated to see if they are worth keeping and this one is the Easy Peasy Cardigan.

I adapted the pattern a little to include an extra row all around the edging and added buttons right down the front. It's another keeper as it's easy to follow and of course very easy to make.  The chest size has turned out at 18" which is a large new born size.

The hat is my pom pom baby hat without the pom pom but with the addition of  a heart which I made one stitch size up to what is written in the pattern.

Pattern Links

Magic ring
3ch, 2tr, 1htr, 1dc, 1ch, 1tr, 1ch, 1dc, 1htr, 2tr, 3ch, ss to centre, pull up tight.
To make the heart bigger just go up a stitch size or use a larger hook.

I'm now off to have a bit of retail therapy with my daughter, I had better get moving she will be here in half an hour and I'm not ready yet!

Keep safe everyone and I'll see you next week. xx

Friday 6 August 2021

A Difficult Week

 It just takes one thing to knock you way off balance and bring home to you just how helpless we really are. My brother called last week to tell me that he had badly scalded himself, he had called 111 and was still waiting for them to reply after nearly an hour.  He sounded desperate and in considerable pain.

My brother has MS and is confined to a wheelchair he stubbornly manages his day to day care and refuses help even though his hands are now affected and he can barely stand.  I called 999 and made it clear that he was in need of urgent help gave them his history.  They said they would send an emergency Ambulance but there could be a bit of a wait and they would phone and speak to him.

 I live a good distance away so I jumped into my car and picking my daughter up on the way made my way to his home, he called me while I was driving and said the ambulance had phoned him and when he knew I was on the way sounded much calmer.

The sight that met my eyes when we arrived was heart breaking.  He had made himself a large cup of coffee and placed it into his lap, it had tipped over and scalded him, he had managed to remove his trousers and shoes and had gone into the garden to douse the burn with the hosepipe, so he now sat in a very sodden wheelchair every item of clothing was wet. 

I'm sure you can imagine what followed trying to help him is difficult because he feels embarrassed even more so in front of his niece but we got him as comfortable as we could.  The burns were quite extensive on both legs he had lost most of the skin and what was left was blistering.  I applied cling film to protect it and gave him some pain killers and fluids the nurse side of me automatically kicking in. I could see they needed dressing quickly to minimise the chance of infection.

To top it all my back had gone off earlier in the day and I could hardly move myself. I had called the ambulance at 1pm and they didn't arrive until 7 pm! In the meantime we had tried unsuccessfully to try and get him into the car to take him to A&E ourselves but he's a tall guy and his legs wouldn't fold he can barely stand, I had no strength because of my back and it was impossible for my poor daughter to do it alone.  

To cut a long story short he wasn't seen until 10 pm and he didn't get home until 4 30 am when my daughter and son in law went to collect him because the ambulances were too busy.  It took four people to get him into the car!

We have had a very difficult week as you can imagine firstly because of the burns and the pain he's in but also because of his attitude.  I love my brother dearly but he's very hard work, because I have been with him a lot this week I have seen first hand the difficulties he must experience every day because of his MS, the burns of course have exacerbated the situation.  

Everything I have suggested he has dismissed, from getting his pills dispensed in a weekly pill box  (he can't open lids on bottles and finds blister packs difficult) to bringing in social services to assess his care needs. I will of course do my best to help him in anyway I can but although I hate to admit it am an old lady and don't have the strength both mentally or physically to give him the help he needs. Thankfully I think the burns are healing, they are getting dressed often but it's early days yet and I hope that they don't become infected.

I worry about the way our health care system has deteriorated, when the 'emergency' ambulance eventually arrived they told me that they had dealt with 105 calls and that's why it had taken them so long to get to my brother. I pity those who may have had a heart attack or a stroke! When the nurses were dressing my brothers burns they said we will give you some dressing so you can dress them yourself!! It had taken three of them to do his dressings how did they expect him to do them himself? Only when he said he wouldn't be able to manage did they reluctantly agree to get him a district nurse and when she came the following day had great difficulty because of the extent of them and the position they were in.

I could go on and on because what I have experienced this passed week beggars belief. Thinking back from when I did my nursing training in the early seventies and the care people received then compared to now I can only wonder how did it all go so horribly wrong.

If you have managed to get this far, thank you all for listening and hopefully normal service will be resumed next week. Sending love to you all and I'm hoping and praying that every single one of us stay fit and healthy because if you need health care it appears that here in the UK you will be very lucky if you get it. xx