Wayne's Blog

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Reflections 10 Dec 2019

Posted on 10th December, 2019

Just a few things I've done since I last blogged... went to Brighton again with Jezz, a bit of retail therapy and a few more Christmas gifts. We bought each other something from one of those shops in St. James's Street.

I took the plunge and drove to Aldershot on Mother's birthday. It was to see her, give her a birthday present and we went out for lunch with Jamie too.

 

I've spent a lot of time reflecting and thinking... and in particular, about my pal, David Jack. I haven't stopped thinking about him, to be honest. I know we didn't see a lot of one another but we were very much in touch, almost daily. I miss him so much. He wins the award for longest delay of shock when someone dies! 

Life at home has been pretty perfect of late. I don't want to jinx it but it's all been pleasant. Apart from the telly blowing up in the lounge last week, things have been ok.

I bought all the Christmas presents early this year and have kept an amazing budget. It's allowed me to spend a little more on Jezz this year... which is good because I feel that he deserves it.

Afternoon High Tea at The Grand Brighton

Posted on 10th November, 2019

On Thursday 7 November 2019, Jezz and I set off for another day out in Brighton. We parked up and went for brunch at Burger King. After a bit of shopping we timed it so that we would arrive at The Grand Hotel by 2.15pm. We were shown our table in the terrace and we ordered our choice of tea. Then quiche and sandwiches arrived followed by cakes and scones. We took photos and it was quite an emotional time. We left there after a couple of hours and drove to St. James's Street and bought one another a gift. It was a really lovely day.

Good company... good mood... all good

Posted on 22nd September, 2019

Last week, Jezz was off work for a week, annual leave. We spent a lot of time together and it was great. We genuinely enjoy each other's company and it always feels special when I reflect on my time with him. We mainly shop and eat out but it's nothing extravagant and sometimes just involves a day out, like Eastbourne and browsing in the local charity shops. Lunch can just be fish and chips and a mug of tea... whatever it is, it's so nice to be doing it with Jezz.

Also, last week saw Jezz joining the gym I have a membership with. I mentioned to him that if he joined, that I would be his gym-buddy and go with him, whenever he goes. He joined and started that very evening. We've been twice now and intend going three times a week, resuming tomorrow evening, Monday. We've both downloaded the app and following different workout plans. I'm not sure how I'll get on with mine, probably a bit ambitious but I'll do as much as I can manage. 

It's been a year since David died... I've spent some of this weekend, reflecting on some of the happy times we shared together. I miss him so much more than I thought I was going to.

A bit fed up

Posted on 2nd September, 2019

It gets a bit samey. Each day with little or nothing to look forward to. The pains in my legs have returned without explanation. I want to go back to the gym... it's paid for 'til July next year... what is the matter with me?

I have a horrible dilemma that has been in my life for some time now. I last experienced something like it with a previous relationship. There are moments of happiness and excitement and it's a pleasurable time in the company of somebody you think is as appreciative of your company as much as you are of there's. Then there are times when it is manageable but a challenge and there are really bad downtimes when you reflect if it is all worthwhile. Hurtful comments that hit when you've asked for it, typically as a comeback in an exchange of put-downs and insults I feel I am able to cope with. When they are made without provocation and completely unexpected, the hurt takes on a whole new set of symptoms. Someone in your life that you are fond of can call you names and you can return the friendly fire without too much damage either side but an insult, either uncalled for or unexpected can re-shape my general and global mindset of the person. I start to reevaluate whether pleasure is derived for them to be unnecessarily unkind or if there is any validity in their post-explanation when they say they are only doing it for my own good or I was just thinking of you.

One thing I am learning as I get older is my tolerance for nonsense, excuses, lack of consideration, abuse and being taking advantage of is reducing dramatically and noticeably. With this particular issue, I am conscience that I am stalling and shelving the problem until I find the strength to throw in the towel. I have reached a stage where I can see to compare the benefits with the disadvantages of having this level of hurt in my life but loneliness and uncertainty, not related to this person, kicks in and I ceasefire until the dust settles.

I am reminded that my importance in this person's life is insignificant, that there is no fondness freely admitted if only to serve as a means of reassurance that it's all a worthwhile effort.

I find myself making a sufficient effort to keep in touch, let them know that I think of them and care about them and for me, it is not about having that same level of care reciprocated because we all show that we care in different measures and completely different ways... but you do need a small and simple sign of recognition every now and again to reaffirm that your love is needed or wanted.

REFLECTIONS - Friday 23 August 2019

Posted on 23rd August, 2019

I've experienced a scenario that has highlighted a mild defect with my choices and decisions in life. It has left me feeling very much on the fence, 50-50 with whether my choices are correct or not, right for me. Before I share with you what the incident is, I feel compelled to almost justify why I set my life choices up and just what it is that makes me both comforted and distressed at the same time.

When people in my life move away, it's inevitable that relationships will take a swift change and usually in the direction of some distance between them and myself. It's no one's fault... opportunities happen that make people take the chance or improvement of moving to another part of the country or the world... relationships, a business proposition, a family matter, the desired place to live, cheaper lifestyle... so many different reasons. It's never been a problem but people nearly always say... we must still see one another and stay in touch. If this kind of comment is just said as part of the farewell spiel then it's all ok with me. But if the person moving away is expecting to share the responsibility and is announcing that expectation, then it's not ok... with me. And yet, at exactly the same time I love that people are moving on, even more, if moving up. No one should expect a loved-one to forego life-changing positive decisions because it may upset or offend them.

By way of example, I've realised and appreciated that if I chose to be involved with a home swap that involved my moving away, to Bognor for example; I already have in mind not to preach to my sisters, who currently live local to me, that they will be expected to visit, travel and make the effort!

My example today is that my beautiful daughter, who coincidentally moved 60 miles away a few years ago, decided recently to acquire a dog to add to the wonderful family that she has made with her fabulous husband and my two handsome grandsons. As she was in the area, she called and wondered if I'd like to see them but stated that she had her dog with her. I have never wanted to own a pet and have several reasons for this. The main one is a bereavement issue but another one is that both Jezz and I do not want animals in our home. I have the same attitude about smoking which even extends to around the home but I have to relax that sightly or I'd look crazy if I said no smoking outside too. Lol.

So I said no and mentioned that I didn't want a dog in my home and she was ok with it, I think. And it's here that I have mixed feelings. I want to relax my boundaries, it would only be a short while, not be so dramatic if there was an issue and it would have meant that I would've been able to see everyone. However, the other part of my mind is suggesting that I set my boundaries for my comfort and security and adjusting them changes how I feel to a point of not being comfortable and that that may have an impact on any hospitality that I am capable of. A small element also makes me think that there is no need to alter your own comfort zones if it is going to be remotely unsettling but to perhaps take into account, that as a result, I am going to miss out on an otherwise pleasant and relaxing experience.

 

I have spent the entire morning thinking back how this attitude of mine has affected my day-to-day living and enjoying, or not enjoying, my life. I've not gone to family gatherings because (a lot of the time) I don't like busy environments. This particular feeling has variables because sometimes, normally dependant upon the venue, I weigh up any anxiety possibilities and then choose to go, or not. I still struggle with the problem of not being comfortable with travelling, especially for my daughter's wedding in Scotland, earlier this year. To try to combat this feeling, Jezz had a work engagement at a busy pub, on a Saturday night and invited me to be with him. I wanted to if only to show willing and support, so I took the plunge and said that I would. I enjoyed being with him but wouldn't jump at the chance to do it again. It was noisy and I felt vulnerable throughout and only relaxed slightly once back in the car and on the way home.

The fear of travelling and being away from home prevented me from going anywhere and it is a huge regret. As a result of that, I went crazy and renewed my expired passport and announced to Jezz that if he wanted to go anywhere in the world... I will now go with him. The very disappointment that I felt by not attending my daughter's wedding was enough to make me realise the selfishness that people in my life invite me/want me to be with them and my fears stops it all from happening. It was a last-ditch attempt to overcome this problem for once and for all but more than that, I figured that any fears that I have for Jezz travelling on an aeroplane, with me with him, we go together. It's a horrible thought but real enough to make me rock my stance off its stubborn axis.

 

I have realised now that the 'taking the plunge' and going for it normally does pay off. I get my fears into check and just go for it. The feelings of the trip this year to Alton Towers with Jezz was, and to some extent still is, mixed. Coping strategies were to share the driving, stay in a luxurious boutique b&b and pace the day with Jezz's total support of needing to stop for a break, abandon a particular ride or possibly the day. His readiness to abort at any stage was a huge comfort for me but that didn't stop the panic when we arrived at Alton Towers or queued for some of the rides.

 

Another example of being outside of a comfort zone and it impacting on my life is going to see my ole pal, Vicki as she fosters cats and Jezz has an allergy. If I go, I have to go alone or we arrange to meet at places like quiet pubs for lunch.

 

What I do feel today is that over the past couple of years I feel that I have learned not to have expectations of others. I think it's kind to be pleased with how people live their lives and not let it interfere with my friendship with them. I suppose, in return, I expect them to have the same attitude towards me. Without the need for any excuses, I am convinced that I would be more outgoing if my health was better and not so temperamental. 

Brighton Pride 2019

Posted on 6th August, 2019

Brighton Pride 2019

Last Friday (2nd August), Amanda came up later in the afternoon. Jezz came home from working a late shift. We had sausage and egg muffins. Amanda stayed the night on a z-bed in the lounge. The idea was all of us to be up and out by 8 Saturday morning. We were heading for Brighton and it was Amanda's first time in Brighton ever but we only discovered the night before that it was also Brighton Pride. A little hesitant, I still wanted to go and I drove. We managed to get an ideal parking space and headed straight for Bill's restaurant for breakfast. We then waddled our way back down the lanes and did a bit of shopping and window browsing. We then stood amongst hundreds of others in North Road and watched some of the parade passing by. After an ice cream each, we went on the pier and played on the 2p arcade games and won a prize for Amanda. Naturally, had doughnuts on the way off the pier. We headed back home via The George Hotel pub in Henfield for a late lunch. A great day out.

 

Life At Home

At home, I've been more tired than usual. I'm not sure if it's the new tablet added into my regime to help lower my glucose. The tablet seems to be working and I monitor my blood each morning. It was as high as 16 but have managed to get it down to 6.1 (on a good day). I have cut down on chocolate a lot, almost cut it out but have a craving every so often.

Depression and mood seem moderate but I do still feel helpless. It's usually when I'm alone at home. I potter about the place and can get about day to day but my energy levels keep me indoors. Even supermarket shopping is a task that I seem to need to prepare for these days. Sunday evenings at Gary's gets me out of the house and only once recently was I too tired to go.

Spending time with Jezz

Posted on 13th July, 2019

I've been spending a lot of time with Jezz over the last few days while he takes a week off from work. On Wednesday (10th July), we shared the driving to Derby and stayed at a hotel and bar called The Cow in a beautiful picturesque village named Dalbury Lees. The place was amazing and very luxurious. We had our evening meal there too. After breakfast the following morning Thursday (11th July), we set off for a day at Alton Towers Resort. We went on many of the rides before I gave up after running out of energy and being completely exhausted. It involved a lot of walking from one ride to the next.  We ended by having a hot dog a foot long each and then a trip to the gift shop where I bought my biggest mug yet.

Today, Friday (12th July) we both spent the day relaxing but Jezz drove us to Botley Hill Farmhouse in Warlingham where we had lunch together. It was a really nice day.

As I mentioned, I've been spending time with Jezz a lot and I've realised how much I depend on him, love him and enjoy being with him. He really is my number one.

Brighton Day Out, 2019

Posted on 9th July, 2019

Monday 8 July 2019

Jezz and I went to get our hair cuts early in the morning so that we could head off to Brighton and be there early. Halfway there we stopped off for a quick loo break and a hot sausage roll. We arrived in Brighton around 10.30am and headed for the restaurant bar where we went last time. The waiter, Maté was there and we had a good catch up with him. Jezz and I shared a chicken, BLT sandwich with hand-cut chips and we also shared a chicken liver pate platter with more chips! We started with a lager and a cider and I finished with a pot of tea. We then took a stroll around the lanes, not looking for anything in particular. I bought a couple of badges and coasters. We then dropped stuff back at the car and walked over to the Pier. We played on the arcade machines and won a couple of prizes. I bought some rock and we used the machine that flattens and embosses one penny. It pressed an image of the Pier onto the penny and it cost a pound to do it. With another drop back at the car, we then headed to the Dorset Bar and had a drink and another rest. We then went looking for somewhere to have dinner. We found a Chinese restaurant in the lanes called Gars. It was expensive but lovely. Across the restaurant on another table was Chris Eubank Jr. I really wanted to get a selfie but didn't have the balls to ask and sort of didn't want to disturb him.

We headed home and got in around 9.30pm.

Diabetes is misbehaving

Posted on 5th July, 2019

DIABETES

I had my usual blood tests done at the clinic in readiness for my 6-monthly consultation. I don't know why but asked to have an HAb1c done and the result came back a week later. It was 85. I notified the diabetic clinic at my GP surgery and they asked for it to be repeated. Again, I had arranged for this to be timed with my annual checkup with the diabetes nurse. The result was 75 and there had been a gap of weeks from one result to the other. While the diabetic nurse was pleased with the dramatic reduction, it was agreed and decided that I should have a secondary tablet added to the pill regime.

I'd been doing daily morning finger prick tests and measuring the glucose levels. They were as high as 16.4 and as low as 5.0 but the general average was 9.3 after the scare of the first HAbc1 being 85. I went cold turkey with everything sugar related, chocolate, sweets and cakes were out. The spike may have been as a result of having cut up fruit salad in the mornings for breakfast. I hadn't known that it was way too much for a diabetic.

I've been on the new drug for a few days now and the finger prick test readings are dropping but fluctuating between 7.0 and 9.0 at the moment. 

I'm certainly having to take it a lot more seriously now whereas before I was merrily carrying on as each year the diabetic nurse would say: 'whatever you're doing, carry on.' So while I've cut out sugars and treats, I will have the very occasional Magnum ice cream or cake. I've started buying the sugar-free biscuits so if I get a crazy craving, I sneak one of those in with a cup of tea.

I'm being reviewed in three months time to see if the medication and food habits have worked.

 

PASSPORT

I'm entirely sure why but I thought I would get my expired passport renewed. I've been having thoughts about Jezz not going away anywhere and it's certainly not because he doesn't want to. I felt that if he couldn't go with certain people because they couldn't make it, for one reason or another, then he'd not go. I also realised that he'd always have me go with him and I decided, as I'm not getting any younger, that it should be me he goes with. For now, the idea of a short break away feels manageable and I'll entertain the idea now. Before I was way too afraid but a little bit of me is thinking if I am going to meet my end in a plane, then at least he'll be with me!

 

ANXIETY

Anxiety levels have been up and down a lot recently. I worry still and cannot stop it. At best, during the panic, I realised that it's unfounded but I still resort to medication when it's needed. I do know the trigger points and I fear that I may be as comfortable as I'm ever going to get.

As Time Goes By

Posted on 26th June, 2019

I've been keeping busy doing some artwork for someone's wedding invitation and renewing the clinic website from scratch.

Since my last post, I think I've got my friendship with Gary back on track. I went for lunch with him yesterday and should be seeing him again later in the week.

I made an appointment to meet with the new housing officer in her office. It was nice to put a face to a name and introduce myself a little less formally. We've been communicating via email and I felt that our correspondence was a little too official so a friendly and informal meet was all that was needed and we ended by saying that we were both pleased to have met one another.

My beautiful daughter graduated this week and got her diploma in Safety and Health.  So proud.

Last weekend, Jezz treated me to a HomePod. He already had one and that caused a few teething problems initially but it's all working and up and running now. It's great fun and works with Siri so instantly. Beforehand, relying on my iPhone's response when calling Siri was a bit hit and miss but now, turning on and off lights and other commands are extremely responsive.

Also, at the weekend he bought two new upright oscillating fans, one for each of our rooms. It was a timely purchase as the hot weather is just starting and it's getting very humid and muggy, inside as well as outside!