Needles

For months now during this pandemic the news has been full of vaccines. Whether it is about which vaccines have been approved, how many have been administered or the different priority groups. Lately it has also been about Britain versus EU vaccine availability. I’m sick of it!

It isn’t so much the news that I’m sick of but the images shown on tv.

You see for me watching the news has become a thing of torture. I know I am not alone in this. I have a needle phobia. I don’t mind the talk about immunisations. It is the many many images of needles going into arms. Why do politicians and journalists even have to say ‘jabs into arms’? Why can’t they talk about vaccinations without saying it that way. Why do they insist on showing film of needle going into arms. It just isn’t necessary.

I’ve had enough, we all know what a vaccine looks like. We all know that it involves a needle. Over the years I have had many many needles in my arms and hands. That’s ok, so long as I don’t have to do it or even look.

Please please can they stop showing it. just talk about it don’t show and and don’t call it jabs in arms.

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Car trouble

My car has been sat on the drive since Monday. During this current lockdown I am only going out twice a week at the moment. Usually Mondays and Fridays. On these days I do my Avon deliveries put out books and pick up those that I put out the time before. I am not doing a huge amount just a dozen or so books at a time. ( I am still building up my strength after my surgery). Any other errands like shopping or picking up prescriptions that sort of thing.

This morning I loaded up my car ready to carry out my missions for the day. I went through the usual routine of starting up the engine and putting the car into reverse. I park facing inwards on the drive. However my car didn’t want to go into reverse at all. It’s an automatic so that was something of a problem. It was going from Park to Drive. Going back through the gears it went from Drive to Neutral to Park. Still no reverse.

After several attempts it was telling me to Check ESP or Check Gear Box. Each time I tried it either missed Reverse or went from Park to blank and a big judder. I was beginning to panic by this time. I shut off the engine and went back inside the house. After studying my handbook I found out that ESP is Electronic Stability Program. I was sat on the drive so I obviously wasn’t skidding or driving erratically. About an hour had gone by and I decided to give it another go. Yipee I got it into reverse, I backed out of the drive and headed off. The warning light “check ESP” didn’t go out so rather than risk getting stuck, I headed back home.

Eventually I spoke to a local garage and arranged for my car to be booked in there for Monday morning so it can be looked at. They were not promising they could fix it. It might need to go to a specialist in automatic cars. Having had a rest and a bite to eat I decided that I really did need to go out if only to pick up my books. If I say I will pick them up on a certain day then I make damn sure that I do.

I got back out to my car, started the engine, no problem this time. I set off, did what I wanted to do, even stopping to pick up my mother’s prescription. The warning did flash up but only for a second. Almost home I stopped at the top of the road to drop off a couple of books ready to pick up on Monday. ( I had already done the ones nearer to home on foot this morning). I pulled into a space for two cars, not quite close enough to the side that anyone else could park next to me. I was only stopping for less than a minute after all.

It doesn’t always pay to be confident. Even though I hadn’t even turned the engine off trouble struck. Guess what! I couldn’t reverse. I shut off the engine and tried again. Just like this morning it was skipping Reverse. This time as well as telling me to check ESP or check gear box it was also telling me to check pollution output.

Several rounds of trying it and turning off, leaving it then trying again after several minutes I gave in and called RAC. (There are other recovery services but this is the one I use). They are very busy at this time and I could be waiting for up to 3 hours. In normal times I would walk home from there, I’m not sure that I would manage it at the moment. I could possibly just about manage to walk home but not carrying everything I had with me. I’m not certain I would be able to walk back very easily. Instead I was prepared to sit and wait it out. More than anything I was worried about the fact I was taking up two parking spaces in a place where each space is taken up most of the time. I could just imagine how upset the residents would be that I was taking up so much room.

I guess I had been waiting for a little over half an hour when I gave it one more go. It went from Park to Neutral to Drive. Going back from Drive to Neutral and oh my gosh! reverse! quick move! I slowly edged back then got myself and my car back home. The warning light still on. I phoned up to let the RAC know that I had got it home but still having problems. A short time later I had a call back. As it’s not now urgent and they are busy, I am now booked in for tomorrow morning. I shall have to be up earlier than usual but at least I know that even if it isn’t fixed I will have a better idea what the problem is.

Anyway, it was worth picking up my books, I only got three back today but that was £75 worth. This was from a road I hadn’t been to since I got ill last February. Its good to see that my customers are still there after such a long time.

Secrets

This one is from 2010

secrets

some secrets are good
some secrets are bad
this secret was just a secret
neither good or bad
but now it is nolonger
the cat is out of the bag
they all know
there is no more hiding the truth
they are relentless
they will not rest
a secret once revealed
is no longer a secret
in time it might be forgotten
but it won’t be a secret again

Now that they know
they will bully and cajole
until they get what they want
they will plead
some might beg
demands are made
no excuses are acceptable
now that they have realised
mother makes the best roast potatoes ever!!

A question of wind still

Back in 2009 I wrote this piece , reading through it makes me realise how long I have had these thoughts and still do. The issues have become more urgent.

A question of wind

I find it incredible in this day and age that this is even an issue.
We all know that our natural sources of power as in fossil fuels are running out. We all know that as humans we need to reduce our carbon footprint if our world is to survive. We should all want to create a better, healthier life for our children and their children and all the other generations to follow.
For centuries we have harnessed water and wind to make life easier. we are used to seeing traditional windmills although these days there are fewer and fewer still in working conditions. I did see a fair few on my holiday in Norfolk.

Now though there are a new kind of windmill …..the Wind turbine there are wind turbine farms, usually situated in remote locations. During the summer there were protests against one such wind farm being set up on the Isle of Wight not far from my home near the Hampshire coast. Local residents on the island were very much against this happening near them. At the same time there were other protests on the island involving a sit in by employees of a company that was about to close which would mean job losses for 600 people on the island. The company produce components for wind turbines. The closure of the company was due to a lack of demand for wind turbines in Northern Europe.
Now maybe I am the only one who can see the irony of this. However the Islanders are not the only people who do not want these great white structures blotting their landscape. As the months have marched slowly by in recent years I have heard of a fair few protests by residents refusing to allow a wind farm to be built near them. Maybe if the Islanders and others like them were not standing in the way of progress, then there would have been no need for the company to close and those 600 people would still have jobs (something to hold onto in this current climate).
Personally I think they should be considering the bigger picture and what these turbines mean to our future as oppossed to what future our children and grandchildren will have without them.
Whilst in Norfolk not only did we see far more of the traditional windmills than we normally see these days but there were also clusters of turbines in remote fields plus others dotted around standing alone. It was quite an unexpected view on our boat trip to see two traditional windmills seemingly next to each other although actually on opposite banks of the broad, then in the distance a solitary turbine appearing to stand between the two older structures.
The place where we were staying has a wind turbine farm just a little way out to sea. Far from being put off by the sight of these majestic towers I found them fascinating. I do not understand what all the protests are about. There are far worse things we can live near such as the electricity pylons that stretch across our countryside buzzing away day and night. If we went back in history to the days when windmills were first constructed we would probably find that they were considered to be unsightly and unwanted. Now we find them quaintly magical. Perhaps in years to come we will forget how ugly some people find the turbines. My son has just returned from his 28 days travelling across US and he tells me that these Wind Farms can be see all over the place.

I would like to say that if such a farm were to be situated near to my home I wouldn’t bat an eyelid but somehow I doubt that would be true …….perhaps the novelty would wear thin after a while but I think I would be fascinated by them for quite some time.

If such a wind farm were proposed in your local area would you welcome or reject it. If this has already happened did you protest or welcome the progress for our future?

8 things

I recently got in touch with a fellow blogger after a number of years. This got me going back to my original blogs. I am rereading random posts. Some of these I shall share here. This one was interesting to see what if anything has changed since 2007

8 passions in my life

my four boys
my music
my writing
my reading
fresh air
my computer
my friends
compassion

8 things to do before I die

ride in a hot air balloon
ride in a helicopter
learn to ride a horse (I have a fear of horses)
finish at least one book
see my boys grown up and settled
find a man who is worthy of my love
finish my IT course
travel widely

8 things I often say

I suppose you can’t get home any other way
What homework have you not done ?
Use headphones we don’t all want to hear it!!
Hugs as always
You know where I am if you want anything
How much do you need?
I’m getting there
I may not have any money but I am happier than I have ever been

8 Books I read recently

The Beachcomber – Josephne Cox
Trust Nobody – June Hampson (my writing tutor)
London – Edward Rutherfurd
The Quest – Wilbur Smith
Tease Me – Dawn Atkins
Sinners – Jackie Collins
Triumph of the sun – Wilbur Smith
Sex, lies and online dating – Rachel Gibson

8 songs that mean something to me

I’m not in love – 10CC
Lady in Red – Chris de Burgh
I just called to say – Stevie Wonder
Cherry Cola – Savage Garden
I will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
Whole Again – Atomic Kitten
All Woman – Lisa Stansfield
All your Attention – Daniel Bedingfield

8 Qualities I look for in a friend

compassion
humour
honesty
warmth
trust
intelligence
spirit
courage

Spaces

Something else I wrote back in 2008

Spaces

Spaces everywhere
Spaces full of noise
Where children play
Where dogs bark

Spaces everywhere
Spaces full of things
Where books spill over
Where food wrappers collect

Spaces everywhere
Spaces packed tight
With houses and shops
With factories and schools

Spaces everywhere
Spaced dotted with things
Where occasional trees grow
Where lone sheep graze

Spaces everywhere
Spaces full of activity
With people hurrying
With music shouting

Spaces everywhere
Spaces that hurt
Spaces that feel so empty
Spaces where you should be

My Decision

This is a piece I wrote back in 2008

It has been a couple of years now and I don’t have any regrets. Some time ago, I think it was the middle of last summer my mother asked the question.

‘If you had known how hard it was going to be would you still have done it?’

I consider this carefully before replying. I am not sure why as I knew the answer, there was never any doubt in my mind.

‘Yes most definitely, it was the best thing I could have done.’

Indeed it was the only thing I could have done. I had given it my best shot. 19 years of my life I had given to that man. But the day had come when I realised that enough was enough. He couldn’t understand it when I told him I didn’t want to continue living with him. He couldn’t work out what was wrong with me. We had a good marriage didn’t we, we never argued did we?

He was right in a way, as until the last few months we had very rarely had a row. Firstly he was never around to have a row with as he was always either at work, pub or asleep. (the perfect marriage in some ways).

Secondly we never rowed because, when he was around he made me feel so useless and weak that I never dared to argue with him and on the occasions when I tried to vent my anger on him he would turn it around to be my fault. Like the many Saturday mornings when he came home from shopping. (I wasn’t allowed to shop I spent too much, whereas he always bought bargains – you know the deals where if you buy this you get that free or the end of date things). We had a freezer full of things we would never use and a fridge full of things that had to be eaten in one day but nothing for the rest of the week.

He often came in with a mood on, this would make me grumpy, (no one likes to be moaned at for no reason). Because I was now grumpy he would complain about my mood and stomp off to the pub.

During all these years he would tell me that I was

‘fat, ugly, useless with a brain like a sieve’

Now after so many years of being told this it becomes hard to believe otherwise. I believe that if you get married you should try to make the marriage work. I was not going to give up easily. I had to try to make it work. Besides I had nowhere to go and 4 children to consider. Because I had done such a good job of trying to make our marriage work he had no idea that it wasn’t working. The end of our marriage came as a big shock to him. For me it never really was a marriage. I had never been in love with him. We had never courted as such, just fell into a relationship as when we met we were both getting over broken hearts and needed someone to turn to. If I hadn’t got pregnant the marriage would never have happened.

Now, though we are divorced and I have never been happier. Financially we were never really solvent as a couple. Does anyone know a solvent alcoholic? But we did have two wages coming in, his full time wage and my part time wage (part time!! I worked longer hours than he did for half the money).

Now it is just me and the boys, I am the only one bringing any money into the home. It has been a struggle and there are days when we have to keep our coats on because it’s too darn cold and I don’t have any spare cash to buy gas. (Yes I have had to get a key meter for both the gas and electricity). There are days when we have just 2 slices of bread and no milk. But we manage, I have not killed any of them off yet.

Are we better off now? Financially no we are worse off but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it isn’t going to be like this forever and now that I have a full time job that I enjoy things can only get better.

However we as a family unit are much happier. Gone are the days of dreading the door opening, wondering if he is in one of his soppy drunk moods or in a nasty bad tempered mood that has everyone either cowering behind a cushion or hiding away in the bedrooms. Gone are the days where everyone had to be silent or risk his bellow of

‘Stop that noise’ or ‘be quiet’

In the past two years there has very rarely been a cross word spoken between any of the five of us. It took me a few months to realise that he was never going to be here again chastising me for staying up late or reading when I should be doing something else. I can have friends here if I choose. (visitors were forbidden when he was here).

Our house rings with the sound of music (not always to my taste, teenagers!!) and laughter where before there was only silence broken by shouts of ‘silence’.

There is an air of confidence about us all that was not there before. I have learnt that I am worth so much more than I ever knew. I am happy, I laugh, I joke, I feel sexy, I feel worthy, I have finally come to love the person I am.