Update 25/11/19: with some painful thoughts

I didn’t really know how to title this post as I decided to write out some truthful and painful thoughts today. I started this blog, back in January 2017, as a way of getting myself back into writing again and, since then, I have written about quite a wide variety subjects. Some posts have been fairly frivolous: about fashion, my daily outfits and my love of scarves etc. Others have been much more serious: about my health issues, hospital visits and difficult family circumstances. Today’s post will be about the latter and I urge those of you who prefer to read about scarves to skim over this and return later in the week!

Cracking under Stress by Bernard Goldbach on Flickr

To be honest, I’m using today’s post as a way of getting my feelings out and recording them for myself. My memory is still so poor that I struggle to remember things from an hour ago, never mind a day or a week. Events from decades past are, in contrast, very clear! Also, I apologise if this post is muddled and confusing – my thoughts are too.

Life in this household is becoming increasingly difficult:

  • Lovely Husband is disabled with severe back problems that he has had for almost 30 years, diabetes, depression and other serious issues. He can still drive and go out shopping and he cooks, cleans as well as he can, and organises everything for us all. However, he is beginning to slow down and is under a huge amount of stress.
  • I am so ill now, both mentally and physically, with a pile of meds which I have to take daily. I can only get up and go downstairs for a couple of hours before I have to return to bed. As I said above, my memory is poor, I cannot do housework or cook because of my chronic cough and dizziness, but I do help with some of the household organisation (via my iPad) and can put a load of washing on. I am afraid to leave the house except in a dire emergency or a medical appointment. I am terrified of having another, even worse, stroke.
  • Elder Son is becoming more difficult to cope with as we get older. His autism means that his moods are very changeable. One minute he is cheerful, helpful and lovely to be with; the next he is angry, violent and unreasonable. LH and I are now struggling to manage the fallout from his condition and an event (which I cannot write about in detail) happened yesterday that sent him over the edge and us to the brink too. We now have to wait for a resolution to the event in order to move forward. In the meantime, we also have to manage ES’s reaction to it all as he always turns his worries against us, as his parents!
  • Younger Son now lives and works away from home. We try to support him from afar when he needs us (and he does his best to offer support for us), and he does not add any stress on a daily basis. Of course, as his parents, we worry about him, but that is only normal, I think!
  • All of LH’s and my parents, and their generation of relatives, have now passed on and we have very little support from wider family. In addition, we have no close friends locally. Of course we really appreciate the online support from friends who live further away.
  • Our house is causing us a lot of stress too. It is basically sound, but we have been so overwhelmed with other issues that we have allowed regular maintenance to slide for a quite a few years. We don’t have money worries, thank goodness, but we cannot find the headspace to sort everything out: windows need replacing, the loft cleaning out and boarding, carpets cleaning or replacing, the rendering removing, many rooms decorating, loads of basic maintenance jobs doing, masses of general clutter removing… We feel helpless in the face of mess and just “stuff”. LH has suggested that I move out to a hotel whilst he sorts it all out, but I am struggling with the idea of leaving my safe space.
  • The future frightens us all. We really need to move to a house with a downstairs bedroom and bathroom for me and LH to stave off having to use residential care. ES worries about how he will manage without us. We worry about how long we can cope with him at home, but would it be even worse if he didn’t live with us? I suppose that this is the major cause of stress for us – what will the future bring?

So, now that I have got all of that off my chest, I will try to be more cheerful and hope that ES’s issue is sorted out favourably as quickly as possible. I have an appointment with my Consultant tomorrow, so will probably write about that later in the week.

Love and best wishes,



Image credits

Cracking under stress by Bernard Goldbach on Twitter

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Outfit of the day 22/11/19

OK, so it is really yesterday’s outfit as I have spent today, so far, in bed feeling a bit sorry for myself! Elder Son had to go for his flu vaccination yesterday and he was so nervous that he asked me to go in with him. Of course, as it turned out, the nurse was brilliant with him and he hardly notice the actual “jab”, but my presence did seem to calm him down.

I’ve already had mine, so we are all set for the Winter. Now, I “only”have to think about Christmas! Actually, I think that present circumstances will mean that the festive season will be very low key for us. Lovely Husband always enjoys buying the food and doing the cooking, the “boys” (if they are both here) do loads to help, and I usually do the decorations and organise the presents. As present giving seems to have shrunk down to very little (LH doesn’t want anything and ES and YS always want cash) I don’t have much to buy, although I will look out for the stocking filler type of thing – any ideas? Oh, and LH will get something anyway! (I have something lovely planned for myself that the others will contribute towards – he, he!)

So, here is the outfit:

Outfit of the day 22/11/19 with Richard Allan’s houndstooth scarf

Today’s (sort of) outfit:

  • Navy cotton v-neck long sleeved t-shirt – Sainsbury’s Tu.
  • Navy wool-mix long cable cardigan – LL Bean. You may be getting tired of seeing this, but I am loving it in this cold and miserable weather. Will probably have a change of colours next week!
  • Navy cord leggings – Lands’ End.
  • Silver Celtic style earrings.
  • Blue, navy, black and white enamel and rose gold Ianthe bangle – Liberty of London.
  • Navy suede ankle boots – Duo Boots.
  • Small silk scarf in navy and cream houndstooth pattern by Richard Allan. Tied using a MaiTai Mother-of-Pearl scarf ring.

I have realised that I wore a very similar outfit about a year ago and wrote more about the scarf. If you are interested, it may be worth a look here. I definitely need to change my colours!

I wish you all a very happy weekend.

Love and best wishes,



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Reading roundup 20/11/19

I am still reliant on ebooks for my reading “fix” and am so grateful that our local library service subscribes to an ebook system that is free for us members. The main issue with it is that there are usually long waiting lists for the better books and there are a lot of “fillers”. Unfortunately, I seemed to have borrowed the latter this week!

Trust No One by Anthony Mosawi

My first book was Trust No One by Anthony Mosawi. Here is the blurb:

“My name is Sara Eden. I was born in Scotland in 1980. My mother died at birth. My father was a tourist.”

This is all Sara Eden knows about herself. She has few links to the past: the cassette player, a cheap gold necklace, a few scraps of paper. And a Polaroid of a stranger with one line: ‘Don’t trust this man’.

As she begins to unravel her past, Sara discovers that she was imprisoned by a group of agents now moving heaven and earth to find her. She knows that she is important to them. She knows they consider her a threat. But the highly trained forces on her heels are only part of the danger she faces. There’s something in Sara’s background that is more dangerous, more deadly than her pursuers can even imagine. And the only thing Sara knows for certain is that she must Trust No One.

I did finish this book, even though I found it quite a struggle. My own issues may have had something to do with this (my memory is still poor), but I am not sure. As usual, the reviews on Goodreads are very mixed. Here is mine:

Trust No OneTrust No One by Anthony Mosawi
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A very confusing and poorly written book. I’m not sure why I bothered to finish it, really. Others here seem to like it, but I can’t recommend this book at all.

View all my reviews

Ghost Virus by Graham Masterton

Well, that wasn’t very successful! Sadly, my second attempt was even worse: Ghost Virus by Graham Masterton. This is the blurb:

“The girl had been staring into her mirror all morning before she picked up the small bottle of sulphuric acid and poured it over her forehead.”

Samira was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her. What could have brought her to this? DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel of Tooting Police suspect it’s suicide. But then a meek husband kills his wife, and the headteacher of the local school throws her pupils out of a window. It’s no longer a random outbreak of horrific crimes. It’s a deadly virus. And it’s spreading. Somehow, ordinary Londoners are being infected with an insatiable lust to murder. All of the killers were wearing second-hand clothes. Could these garments be possessed by some supernatural force?

The death count is multiplying. Now Jerry and Jamila must defeat the ghost virus, before they are all infected…

Sorry, but it wasn’t worth writing a longer response! Here it is:

Ghost VirusGhost Virus by Graham Masterton
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I gave up on this when what was supposed to be an horrific scene made me laugh out loud! Totally over the top, preposterous plot. Simply gave up as there are other, far better, books to read and I have too little time left in which to read them.

View all my reviews

I have read other books by Masterton and found them perfectly acceptable, so I am not sure what was going on with this one! At first I thought that perhaps the problem was with me, but other readers have responded in similar ways on Goodreads.

Now I am left in confusion. I don’t think the problem is mine, but that these really are poorly written books. I do hope that I can find better choices for the coming weeks!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



PS. For those of you who are fans of the fabulous Ursula K Le Guin, there is a wonderful TV programme available to view on BBC iPlayer, BBC 4, called The Worlds of Ursula K Le Guin. It is really worth watching, if you are able to access BBC iPlayer where you are.

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Outfit of the day 18/11/19

Looking out of my bedroom window, I can see blue sky and fluffy clouds. At least this is better than the slate grey and heavy rain that we have had recently. No, I still haven’t managed to go out – Elder Son is quite ill with a horrible stabbing headache and he seems to need (want) a lot of TLC. Perhaps I can pluck up my courage and strength later in the week.

I have become so lazy since the stroke, staying in pyjamas all day. So, today I decided to get properly dressed. After all, I have so many lovely outfits and accessories and I really should make the most of them!

This is today’s outfit…

Oitfit of the day 18/11/19 with Hermès’ Cosmographia Universalis scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Navy cotton v-neck long sleeved t-shirt – Sainsbury’s Tu.
  • Navy wool-mix long cable cardigan – LL Bean. I am really enjoying this new purchase as it is so snuggly and warm.
  • Navy cord leggings – Lands’ End.
  • Multicolour earrings – present from my sister.
  • Cream enamel and gold Byzantine bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Silk scarf, 90cm, in bright pink, sky blue, white and navy – Cosmographia Universalis – Hermès. Tied in a criss-cross knot using a MaiTai mother-of-pearl scarf ring.

Yes, I know that my hair is in an awful mess, although it’s not really as bad in real life. For some reason, it doesn’t photograph well with my iPad. It is thin and fine, but the grey and silver seem to fade away on screen. I really need to book a haircut, but my health is so precarious at the moment that I don’t think I can be reliable. I must try soon, though.

Now, I shall return to my book because I want to be able to write a reasonable Reading Roundup post on Wednesday. So goodbye for now!

Love and best wishes,



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Update 15/11/19 with some Friday fun!

I still haven’t managed to leave the house this week! It’s fear, mainly, and other things going on in our family. All I can say is “Thank goodness for my iPad!”

Anyway, I came across this video as I was wandering around cyberspace. It certainly took my mind away from my troubles for a few minutes and I thought that it might entertain visitors to this blog too…

Whilst thinking about the idea of “entertainment”, I then stumbled across this by the same chaps…

If you have enjoyed these videos, the fellas have a whole load more on YouTube. I particularly like the Game of Thrones compilation.

My first piano teacher also used to play the cello, now if only…

I do hope that you all have a great weekend. I will try to pick myself up and do more next week – keep you fingers crossed for me, please!

Love and best wishes,



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Update 13/11/19: not a Reading Roundup post!

Sorry folks! I haven’t managed to finish my current book, so I will have to write about it next week. Reading has been a bit of a struggle for the last few days, due to concentration issues. I should probably have chosen a better book to keep me more absorbed. Anyway, I will try harder…

So, instead, here is a quick photo of today’s outfit…

Outfit of the day 13/11/19 with autumnal scarf

I am sorry that I haven’t made a collage, but I was very busy this afternoon helping Lovely Husband and the time slipped by. Today’s outfit consists of one of my lovely bright blue v-neck cotton tops and my new thick cable cardigan in navy, both from Lands’ End; pyjama bottoms and slippers (soooo very elegant!!!); together with a beautiful old silk scarf in autumnal colours and my new dragonfly earrings.

Here is a better photo of the scarf…

Autumnal scarf by Accesorize

I am planning my next post to appear on Friday. Until then…

Love and best wishes,



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Update 11/11/19 with birthday gifts

Well, that wasn’t the best birthday ever! Unfortunately, it seems that I caught a viral infection last week that resulted in a few days with an almost constant violent cough and aching limbs. And that was on top of everything else! So my birthday was not very nice. My presents, however, were lovely and I am very fortunate to have received them.

I will really enjoy wearing these over the next days, weeks and months…

Birthday jewellery – 2019

The lapis lazuli necklace and earrings, from Lovely Husband, will go with so many of my outfits and accessories – you probably know by now that I adore bright blue! Elder Son gave me the dragonfly earrings – these are gorgeous! All of these items are by Bill Skinner (link in the sidebar). The silver earrings, sent by my sister, are amazing in real life – they glitter and shine so beautifully. These are by RR Designs on Etsy. I think I will save up for the matching necklace! Please note that the images in the collage above are not to scale with each other, if you see what I mean.

Younger Son sent me a striking and beautiful copy of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, which matches the design of the sequel, The Testaments, that I bought for myself quite some time ago. I originally read The Handmaid’s Tale when it first came out, but have never bought my own copy, so this is such a lovely addition to our bookshelves.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I think that the virus has been conquered, so I hope to get a bit stronger this week, although other issues in the family are causing a lot of stress. LH and I really need a meal out, or something to give us a positive boost!

Love and best wishes to you all,



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