Tag Archives: rural life

Another post….

So, packing for the Oakleaf Camp now and setting off in the morning.

Quite looking forward to it, but I do hope I’m not disabled with another humungous tachycardia attack like the one I had at the camp a couple of years ago. It lasted the whole of Saturday, and left me whacked out for the rest of the weekend. I’ve increased my dosage of beta blockers for the past week to try to head it off – I’ve already had a couple of short attacks. Otherwise, though, my health seems to be improving somewhat. I had my monthly blood-pressure check last week and it was a healthy 128 over 80. My damm knee has been twinging more than usual, so I’ve tried to keep off my feet. Did slip a little Tuesday night – B had gone to bed early, I was bored and restless, there was a letter to get into the post. So off I went in the dark, down to the postbox in the village and back again. The night wasn’t completely dark, but a long stretch of the road is overhung with trees, forming an almost black tunnel. There’s no footpath or verge and there’s a blind bend. So you have to take a lot of care walking it at night. I slung on my cream-coloured jacket and took a torch – I have a reflective tabard that I should really have worn but couldn’t be arsed digging it out from under all the jackets hanging in the porch. Only one car passed me the whole time, but it was on that dark bend so I was glad I had the torch to make myself visible.
The walk was otherwise completely uneventful. There was some strange noises from the bottom of the field bordering on the loch. It sounded a bit like a pair of geese quarrelling, but it could have been almost anything – foxes, badgers, deer. I’m not enough of a countrywoman to know the difference. Whatever it was, it didn’t sound scary, just natural.
The whole trip there and back took me 40 minutes; I was quite breathless back in the house, but otherwise fine. Curious to know just how far I’d walked, I got out the Ordnance Survey map and measured it; to my surprise, I found I’d walked a total of one and a half miles. I’d always thought it was only half a mile to the village, but the map said three-quarters. Fifteen years ago, I’d have managed that distance is about 25 minutes and not got out of breath; in my current state of health, 40 minutes isn’t half bad. My knee complained by the next morning, of course. But that was as I expected. And it had been an enjoyable little adventure.

Ah well, will report on the Camp next week.

Here, There and…..

Red Squirrel

Red squirrel caught on my neighbours' bird table

Yes, I snapped this little fellow yesterday, happily nicking the nuts from my neighbours’ bird table. I was able to get up to within four feet of him; he was watching me, but didn’t seen concerned. Since I didn’t want to waste time faffing with arperture and shutter speed, I had the camera on automatic settings and zoom. So yes, it’s a decent picture, but it’s all down to the camera, not me.
However, taking such a good shot cheered me up after the mess that was Tuesday. I won’t go into details, except that my marvellous (non-) communications skills really put me in the spotlight! So I’m retreating back into my cubbyhole and sticking to what I know I do well (which doesn’t include writing nicey-nice diplomatic emails…)

Caroline is still gravely ill – the news is not good; she’s no longer able to talk and she’s unlikely to be coming home. There’s not a lot I can do from 200 miles away. I’ve said my goodbyes to her.
Although I had to cancel my Lancashire trip and the likelihood of getting the Diary paperwork now seem remote (thanks to the aforementioned terrific communication skills), me and B are getting on with our plans to publish the Elfin Diary. So life goes on, ever changing….

Health-wise, I’m better, thanks to Doc G increasing my levothyroxine dose. I’ve got more energy and I’m sleeping better. I still get tired after walking to and from the village, but it’s now just normal tiredness that’s swiftly dealt with by a sit-down and a cup of tea. Not the oh-god-i’m-aching-all-over-and-can’t-move tiredness that I was getting before. And I’ve not had any more tachycardia attacks – the ones I was having were obviously a temporary reaction to the new dose. B is a whole lot better as well – he’s nearly back to normal fitness. Oh, and we’ve got a new car!

So, things seem to be looking up at last. And of course, it’s summer, though it doesn’t look a lot like it at the moment – we’ve had rain almost every day for weeks. There’s almost no darkness at night now, the Sun is doing it’s usual northern midsummer thing of spending all night skimming just below the horizon instead of setting properly; next week is Full Moon, so there won’t be a lot of difference at all between day and night then.
How many times have I seen this happening? Too many times to count. I’m getting old…..

Spring Iz Sprunggg!

It’s been a beautiful spring day today – warm and sunny.
I ought to be thoroughly knackered – I walked to the village to get on the bus, spent the morning walking around town shopping, hauled said shopping back from the village; had an hour off for lunch and a sit-down before joining B in clearing out the garage for a couple of hours. My feet and legs are aching, but I feel good-tired rather than my usual o-god-it-hurts-i-want-to-curl-up-and-die tired. The sunshine almost certainly made the difference, that and the green sprouts everywhere, and the birdsong and the beautiful sights from the bus on the way back – pink cherry blossom, white buckthorn blossom, yellow gorse flowers all along the banks and verges…. it really lifted my tired old spirits. If the weather is this good tomorrow, I’ll walk up the hill and see if the bluebells are out yet.

Passing For Old…..

Used my bus pass for the first time yesterday. A week ago, we pranged the car – not seriously, no damage done to us – and it has been taken away for inspection. Until the insurance company decides what to do, we are carless. So it was off on the bus I went hey-ho.
I had assumed that you merely flashed the pass at the driver as you scurried aboard. But no – I was hauled up short and told to put my card on top of a card-reader; I hadn’t noticed it, but the card has a tiny chip embedded in the plastic. Going to town? I was asked – like everybody else on the bus, I was, so that hardly needed saying. Going back, I had the same driver – I started to tell him where I was going, but he said it for me; the bus drivers around here know everybody, where they live and where they usually go. As do most of their fellow passengers – the local bus quite the club in these rural parts.

So, here I am, joining the oldies’ club at last.

It’s Library Bus Day!

We have a library bus come round here, every three weeks – a big converted bus full of books that tours around the outlying rural communities. Sure, we can go to the libraries at Castle Douglas and Dumfries, and often do, but it’s important to keep such local services alive (and it’s great having a library stop right outside your house). So we use it every time. It carries a pretty good selection and you can order anything that’s in the library system; the librarian/driver has a laptop hooked up to the main system and can tell you in seconds if a book is in stock or not. He knows his regulars’ preferences anyway and will try to carry stuff that we’ll like.
Today (Tuesday) was Library Bus day; it was also Bin-Emptying Day and Tomato-Man Day (no, not a new superhero but a bloke going round selling tomatoes from his car). Wednesdays are Veg-Van Days, when the mobile shop, selling mainly vegetables, comes round; in alternate weeks Wednesday is also Coal-Delivery Day. In addition, Wednesday is also one of the two Dumfries Bus Days, when the bus going directly to and from Dumfries goes by the house (very helpful when you have loads of shopping to lug home); the other Dumfries Bus Day is Saturday. Other days of the week are as yet unclaimed.
Such is one of the consequences of living out in the ruralities and working from home – days are measured, named even, by local happenings. The rest of the world seems far, far away…..