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I had a lovely Poetry Awayday on Monday. It was a glorious warm day and Shepherd's Dene is a beautiful old house, full of panelling, stained glass, and lovely polished wood floors. It's very simple and partly in that Arts & Crafts decorative style with touches of Rennie Mackintosh.  There are lovely views from the garden and the terrace and large grounds.  It's all a little bit neglected because it belongs to the diocese and I daresay they don't have funds to make it picture perfect, but it's a lovely place to sit and gaze into space and dream.  I might even go to one of their monthly quiet days sometime.

I used to love spending the day quietly at Nashdom or the Cenacle, even if I wasn't actually on a retreat, and I think Shepherd's Dene might turn out to be that sort of place, too.  I shall have to see.

The food and drinks, biscuits and cake at tea-time were all home-made and simply delicious.

I didn't write a great deal, but we all had a great time together with lots of fun and laughter and I have quite a bit of material to use later.

I arrived home 8 hours after I left and felt rather exhausted. I had a dreadful night with knee pain but had a good long rest on Tuesday so as to be recovered in time for cardiac rehab on Wednesday.

Cardiac rehab was fine and I managed everything quite well, but felt extremely tired in the afternoon.  I had a dreadful night on Wednesday with a lot more knee pain and didn't manage to get any sleep until about 5.00 am, so didn't go to my writing class on Thursday.  I spent all day asleep and all last night asleep and I still feel exhausted now.

Something horrid has happened to my digestion, too.  I don't feel at all hungry, in fact I feel slightly queasy and anything I eat, no matter how simple gives me indigestion.  I haven't felt able to cook anything for anyone for days and am relying on Charles to provide me with little scraps of very plain food.  He has taken it as an implied criticism of his cooking and isn't very happy.

The cardiac nurse at rehab has recommended that I get a prescription from the quack for quinine to prevent the awful cramp I sometimes get at night which often wakes me up.  I never had cramp in my groin before and it's difficult to know how to tackle it - I don't know what to stretch or which way to stretch it!  So I shall try the quinine and see if it has any effect.

Sadly the new medication is either not as effective as the one which gave me such awful side effects, or it's cumulative and hasn't fully taken effect yet.  I do hope it's the latter.

I still have the horrid cough, although it's nowhere near as bad as it was and doesn't prevent me sleeping, thank God.

It's been a horrid overcast cold day today, so much so that I turned the heating back on for a while, but it has cheered up and warmed up a little now so I've turned the heating off again.  It seems to be building up for a windy night.  I can hear a drinks can rolling up and down the street.

We had a letter from the City council informing us that they are going to start restoring the pavements in our street on Tuesday, which is fine, and well overdue, but they want to do all of it at the same time so none of us will be able to park outside our houses for four weeks.  That will be the least of it - it seemed to take them three months to do the other half of the Triangle, which was a shorter street than ours.  That's all very well, but I can't walk too far to get to my car and I really don't fancy parking it outside the back gate for four weeks.  Someone is bound to damage it.  I feel quite worried about it.  I wish we had a garage we could use.  Lots of people in our street have garages they don't use, so presumably they can just clear them out and use them, but our yard is just too small.  We could fit a garage in, but there would then be no room for anything else.

Oh bother!  If it's not one thing, it's another!  At least we don't have anything much we have to do this weekend, so if it's nice we can get on with the yard and/or the front garden.

Good grief!  It's suddenly started to pour with rain!

For my Sis

Apr. 27th, 2008 11:22 am
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As you liked the other one, I thought you might like to see this. I don't know whether you've ever heard the story before about our poor dog Buster and her pups who had to be destroyed after the pups were bitten by a rabid dog, and how we had to drive for a whole day to collect the vaccine, which then had to be administered by painful daily injections into the groin, 21 each for Ma and Pa and 14 for me.

Afternoon Rest 1951

The mad dog stands
by the basket of pups, fangs
bared in a terrible smile.
Their frantic mother barks
frenzied, stranded by her lead
wound round the table legs.
The yellow dog grips the pups
in his jaws, tossing them
yelping, one by one
into the air.

Frozen beneath the mosquito net
I for help......
risk attack................ or stay silent,
and who knows what will happen?

"Daddy come quick and bring your gun,
the mad dog's here", that and the barking
bring him full pelt and naked
loading as he runs.
Shaking, half-blind without his glasses
he shoots....................and misses.

The rabid dog stares drooling
as Pa reloads, then,
contemptuous, indifferent,
leaps through the woven grass
of the hut wall.


I'm actually now trying to construct a web-site where I will put all my poems, but I think it will take rather a long time.


Geraldine Messenbird Smith asserts her copyright over this and any other content of her LJ except for anything which may be directly quoted from another source.

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Went to my writing class this morning. As usual it was really good and I'm quite pleased with what I wrote. It still needs polishing, of course, and then leaving for a few weeks till I look at it again. I've just typed it up, and made several changes, editing as I went along. I must remember to put all the new stuff on the database!

We've been talking at the writing class about having some awaydays in the summer. As usual Sue has kindly offered us the use of her tower on Lindisfarne for a day, but we're also thinking of having a writing weekend somewhere not too far away. I'd go tomorrow!

I'm not feeling too bad today, even though I'm swollen and bloated, especially my feet and ankles. I can't help wondering if I've somehow got hold of fake drugs, since they worked perfectly up till very recently. Never mind, I'm seeing my Lovely Lady Doctor next Wednesday.

My skin feels very much better. I bought myself some Dove Pro-age shower stuff at the weekend and it's made my arms and body feel so much better moisturised, and even my legs, except the back of my calfs.

I wonder if that's the correct word or whether it should be calves? I CBA to go and find out at the moment.

I must work on my left elbow, though, where the skin still feels rough; it's the one I lean on when I'm reading in bed. And my feet are horrible! I used to be so good about keeping them moisturised, but lately I just can't be bothered. Bad, bad diabetic!

Charles and I have both run out of ideas and motivation, so it will probably have to be baked potatoes with cheese, purple sprouting and baked beans tonight. Last night I planned to make a spring stew with lamb and vegetables, but Charles took the whole project away from me and produced a complicated lamb dish with juniper berries, black pudding and the remains of both red and white bottles of wine. It was very good indeed, although in my opinion he overdid the peppercorns. John thought it was wonderful, though.

Phew! I found my precious old writing notebook which I thought I had lost or left somewhere. It didn't have my address in it and it's stuffed full of ideas and memories I plan to use; I felt very upset to think I'd lost it; I couldn't even bear to tell anyone, but it turned up under the bed this morning. It's lucky I found it, because the bed, which is a divan, only gets moved every few months when I think the dust is probably so bad that it ought to be vacuumed. If it hadn't been for Morgan losing his favourite toy mouse under there, I might not have found it for weeks!

It's funny how each of the cats has his/her favourite toy. Morgan will play with anything, but he particularly likes this little grey felt mouse, which is probably quite near the size of a real mouse. He plays with it and carries it around in his mouth just like a real mouse. Bramble prefers a small cushion with a feather attached, on an elastic string which hangs from the banisters or an old champagne cork and Phoebe plays either with a tiny slinky or a blue white and lavender stuffed tick on a fluffy string. They all play with those little plastic tags off milk bottles and Phoebe has a thing for blue plastic. She'll sit for ages, entranced by the smell of our big blue IKEA bags, or anything else made of blue plastic. There are other assorted things which have bells in or on and which run across the floor eccentrically, but those are their favourites. Today I saw the Wake up Cat video on YouTube again, and noticed that the cat owner's bedroom floor is littered with cat toys, just like mine. Wouldn't it be lovely if human beings were so easily pleased?
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Yesterday we went to the garden centre, and I was so pleased to see that they hadn't sold out of any of the things I wanted. I even managed to get six well grown runner beans, although it didn't say what variety they are.

I got loads of lobelia and petunias, which were the things I was afraid would be sold out, I got 2 new sage plants, one purple and one green and a few other odds and ends. The rest can wait till next week. I also bought a slug-deterrent spray, and in the evening after I'd watered all the new plants (sitting on top of the garden table), I applied a spray all round the edge of the table. I hope it works. I'd hate the hootering slugs to get at the plants before they've even been planted.

I couldn't plant the stuff when I got home, because I had to immediately get ready to go to Poetry School. Sadly it was the last seminar, although we hope we will be able to do it again in the Autumn. Unfortunately this course has not profited Linda in any way, because although six people signed up, two never came, so she said that she's not made any money on it at all. She loves doing it, but practically, she has to make a living. It seems that the other one which has been running in Newcastle is coming to an end because Sean has too many other commitments and feels it's affecting his work, so I hope we shall be able to mop up a few of the people who have been going to that one. I'd be sooo sad if it came to an end. It's been just what I needed. I'd got to the stage when I needed feedback on my work, and that's exactly what I've had from her. She's very tactful with it, too, but still manages to get her point across. I feel as though I've learned such a lot from her.

It appears that Gillian will be coming back to teach the other class this year, too, so I shall have to try to find the money for both of them. £350 is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but it's a lot for me to find, especially as I shall have to find it all at about the same time.

Anyway, by the time I got back from the seminar I was, as usual, completely exhausted, so I couldn't plant the stuff after we'd eaten, which was why I watered them and sprayed the slug repellent. Wouldn't you know that it would rain later in the evening?

I'm hoping that the rain which appears imminent will hold off for this afternoon, when I plan to get the plants into their pots. I can't do it earlier because John won't be available to take the rubbish away till then and I can't get at all the things I need to at the moment. If I can't do it today, I won't be able to do it till Friday because tomorrow we're going to Stoke on Trent, where I have an all day meeting on Thursday. John is taking me because I still haven't got my heart medicine sorted out, and in any case the mileage allowance is generous enough to make it OK for him to miss a couple of days' work, even though the it works out much cheaper than a first class rail ticket. Anyway, we're all going out for a meal tomorrow night, although I don't know what delights Stoke on Trent has to offer, an Indian or Chinese restaurant, I imagine.

John has a couple of museums pencilled in to visit while I'm at my meeting; he quite likes this arrangement, he might even keep on doing it when I'm feeling better.

If I can't plant the stuff till Friday, it will be much more prone to dry out and I shall have to rely on Charles remembering to water them. Sigh!

I had a letter from the hospital yesterday. Well, actually it was the copy of a letter Doctor Adams has sent to my GP recommending prescription alterations. I've made an appointment to see her next Wednesday, so maybe something will start getting better at last.

Now I have to make a list of what to take tomorrow and I need to read all the papers I've been sent before ironing a blouse for the meeting.  I don't normally iron, but I thought I'd lost this blouse, which I found all scrunched up at the bottom of a laundry basket. and it's nice and cool to wear on hot sticky days.


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