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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Haltwhistle Spring Walking Festival

Very busy this week with preparations for the Spring Walking Festival.  Suddenly there is loads to do, and I've lost time while Mum has been ill.  (Still no at all well, but managed to get dressed yesterday.)  Booking starts online on Wednesday 20th January, and there are lots of things to sort out to make this go smoothly.  I'm also trying to sort out the new leaflets we want to use for publicity.  The printers we had chosen are not able to batch the leaflets for us, so I have to find a new printer and a good price; so far impossible.  I also have to make sure that the entries for the Haltwhistle Challenge run smoothly. They are much more complicated than the walks bookings. I've had a few nights of wakefulness while I try to work out appropriate solutions. I do like having problems to solve, as long as I can find good solutions that is.
Reading Ruth Rendell on writing a good detective novel.  Very interesting book so far.  It's a break from reading detective novels.......

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Leaking windows and walls

Oh the joy. I went to bed last night and could hear a noise. Thought it was the cat doing a noisy manicure. Turned out to be water dripping from the window frame - not the window that opens.  Had to get a bowl and towel, and then move bedrooms so that I could sleep.  Lay awake worrying for ages.  It's not good when the house lets you down, even in exceptional weather conditions.
Going off to destroy icicles now - that might make me feel better!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Reminiscences of past winters 2

In 1981 I had started in general practice on Jan 4th. The weather was terrible and I scraped the side of my car doors against a low wall that was covered with snow. That was before I arrived at work.  Oh dear. So embarrassing.  Not long into my tenure the snow was bad and we had to borrow a tractor to do home visits. That was fun once, but not when it had to be used again. Most patients in the outlying areas were very good and did not call.
One night I went to North Skelton to visit a family who lived up a farm lane. The directions were not too helpful, and I found my car stuck on a narrow track. I could not move in either direction. I walked about 300 yards back to the village and went into the tiny pub. I was covered in snow from head to foot. There was a sudden silence as I entered. I said "I'm the new doctor, and my car is stuck in the snow, and I need help to get it out" or words to that effect. The silence was deafening and for a few seconds I thought that no one would respond. Then a few men downed their pints, put on their wellies and came with me. They lifted my little mini and turned it 180 degrees so I could drive back down the lane.  Wonderful.  I never found the house and the poorly child recovered without my attention!

Reminiscences of past winters 1

So much snow, and such low temperatures.  Of course it makes me reminisce about the previous winters when the snow was excessive. I  can remember '63 and '81.  My Mum can remember '47, when one of her family had to climb out of a bay window in order to dig the snow away from the front door. Then the rest of the family could get outside.  In '63 I had just started grammar school. We had no days off, but trudged through Barnes Park every day. The worst thing was getting up the steps from the park onto the school field. The boys (from the next door school) stood there and rained snowballs down onto us - poor little fusties (first years) that we were.  It was grim, but I remember just getting on with it.  I don't suppose I told my parents, or if I did, they would not have complained to school.  (I probably didn't tell them in case they made me walk around the park, a much longer journey to and from school.  Same as when there was a flasher in the park - I didn't know what that was all about, but I certainly did not tell them. I knew I'd be banned from the shorter walk.)

Monday, 4 January 2010

Bravely into the New Year

The days have blended one into another with a routine developing as Mum continues to be ill and I continue to look after her. I requested a nebuliser on New Year's Eve and that has helped with her symptoms, improving her breathing with each dose, but then slipping back again before the next was due.   We are both pretty tired but doing our best to be positive.
Today I asked for another home visit since we were out of medication and she still has lots of chest signs (consolidation of the left lung base). The new GP at the practice came - excellent - did all the things that proper doctors are supposed to do. Mum is now on steroids and feels much more confident about her treatment.
I've been shovelling snow to try to make it possible to use our drive.  Hard work!!  I expect my back will object later.  The snow is very beautiful and I realise I have not uploaded any images from the last few days.

Taken on Jan 1st in the evening from our lounge.

Taken by the road end where the Wark Road passes our village

A field near Lincoln Hill

Everyone I met on my walk yesterday was cheerful and enjoying the weather.