Slow down

Why has it taken so long before I figured out that I only had to say slow down. When the lady from the hospital phoned to make the appointment for my treatment she was speaking too fast.

I actually asked her to slow down. I explained that I am partially deaf and needed her to speak slower. Which she was happy to do. The conversation was much easier for me to understand. Very often, and my husband is guilty of this, people think that because I have a hearing impairment they need to increase the volume. Sometimes that is the case but usually I can hear them but my brain has to translate what it’s hearing. If someone is talking too fast my brain can’t keep up and it sounds like a foreign language.

When I say slow down I don’t mean speak in an exaggerated slow speech. Just speak normally but not too fast. If we are talking in person please make sure you are facing me and don’t cover your mouth. It is so annoying when people talk to me when facing away or in another room. Equally (I had a supervisor who did this) talking with their hand partially covering their mouth.

Wearing face coverings in the last year hasn’t helped. Stupidly I find myself wanting to remove my mask in order to properly hear what is being said. As if that helps!

Yes I have not one but 2 hearing aids. I don’t wear them as much as I should. In many situations they don’t help as they magnify all the sounds around me but don’t help with conversation. I tend to wear them more to listen to the TV.

Thats another bug bear for me. Why can’t everyone on TV have their microphone on the same volume. I can be watching something and hear one person clearly but not others.

In the days when I had control over what to watch on TV, I kept the TV controller to hand. If it was a commercial channel I would have to turn the volume down for the adverts but up again for the program.

Is it just me ? When I listen to music I find that a lots of the music over the last couple of decades I have no idea what they are singing. The words are not clear enough for me. When I hear Will Young singing leave right now I hear the words Pooh Bear right now. There are several songs where I hear the lyrics incorrectly. Those are only the songs I can hear distinct words. Many songs are a jumble of nonsense with the occasional word decipherable.

That reminds me. Recently I tried to use the word tenterhooks. Only I had never seen it written down and always believed it to be tender hooks until a friend pointed it out to me.

Tonight on a question of sport (TV sports quiz game) one of the sections was about sports personalities whose surname began with the letter G. I heard E. For this reason I have s tendency to use the phonetic alphabet when telling someone my email address or post code even my name sometimes. Just ensure they get it right. I also using it to check that I have heard something right.

I’m pretty sure one reason I prefer to communicate with written words is so that there is no misunderstanding what I am hearing/reading.

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Do you ?

Do you?

Looking into your pale eyes
As they sparkle with your smile,
Our faces just inches apart as we laugh and chat.
Do you read what is written in my eyes
Do you see the hidden desire

The need to reach out
To touch your face
To taste your breath
As together we allow
Our lips to meet

The light touch of your hand
About my waist
So brief yet indelibly
Burnt into my memory
To cherish until next time

Do you have any idea
Of the calm turmoil
You create within
Your touch, your smile
These things I crave so much

Do you want it too
A time and a place
Where we can share
Much more than
A simple kiss

Writing

In my family it would seem that the women are/were writers. Both my grandmothers wrote. I have always known that my maternal grandmother wrote short stories. I have a copy of one that she wrote. I believe that she wrote stories for WI but also sent some to magazines. My mother told me years ago that her mother had earnt money from doing this. It was only in recent years that I discovered that my paternal grandmother had a whole file of poetry that she had written. I have never read any of it.

When I was young I liked to write short stories (mostly for children) I never did anything with them. It was just a hobby during the quiet periods at work. When I was 21 my maternal Granny died of a heart attack. After her death I couldn’t bring myself to write any more stories. I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up a paper and pen. I thought that was the end of my writing. In truth I carried on writing but not in the same way. Over the years when I was troubled I would write down my feelings. If someone had hurt me, whether in my romantic life or in life generally, I would write them a letter. I never gave /sent the letters but it helped me to put my thoughts together.

I have always known that my mother liked to write. we were talking about it yesterday. She has a file of poetry that she has written throughout her life. I can’t say that poetry is my thing but there have been a few scribblings in the past. Writing must be in my blood. Both my husbands have been good at art (second husband was a graphic designer). My eldest son and his fiancee are both artistic. I can’t draw a straight line let alone anything else but my artistic side comes out in my writing and recently my knitting.

After the end of my first marriage I joined the world of blogging. Years of living in a coercive controlling environment for many years my confidence was at rock bottom. Blogging helped me to grow my confidence. I became part of an online community. I received feedback from everything I wrote. I was getting the affirmation I hadn’t had before. I started writing posts about my life. I also began to write short stories which I shared with my friends. A few years down the line I was writing less and less. I was running out of inspiration. I was also working full time again as well as running a home and family as a single mother. I was tired.

I had been married to my second husband for about 9 months when a friend inspired me to start this blog. Over the years I have had problems with finding things to write about. I didn’t want to constantly write about my marriage. I didn’t want to write about people in my life. I have written the occasional piece for several years. It is just recently that I have begun to write more regularly again. I am never going to write a best selling novel. I might eventually get back to writing short stories again but for now I am happy just putting words together for my blog. Each day is something different. That in itself is amazing in this current life of not going anywhere or doing anything.

Now and then

Now that I have got back into blogging I have decided to create a new blog to promote my Avon business. It’s currently in the pre launch stage of setting up. Taking a break I went back to my very oldest blogs to have a read through some old posts. It was interesting remembering or not some of the things I had written. I wrote those blogs during the years between my two marriages. There are posts about my life as a single mum to four teenaged boys. There are posts about my life as a single woman. There are quite a few of my attempts at creative writing.

What struck me was the feel of optimism, a love of life. I didn’t have much. Each month was a series of struggles but I was happy in my own way. I was free to be me. I was free to go where I wished (so long as I could afford to). I could have friends.

These days I don’t have immediate money worries. I am able to treat my sons and their families in ways that I couldn’t in years gone by. I am happy sitting with my laptop, knitting, reading, watching our wildlife. I don’t have the same freedom. I’m single (separated for 3 years). I don’t feel any great desire to meet anyone new but that doesn’t mean I have given up on romance. (maybe one day). I can’t just get up and go. I live with and care for my mother who in her late 70s is disabled. She has MS which for many many years didn’t affect her mobility but in the last few years has rendered her housebound. I have to make sure she is ok before I can go anywhere, keeping an eye on the time.

Six months ago I underwent major surgery, I was terrified before hand but now even though it was life changing I feel so much better than I had done for several years.

I should be feeling positive and anxious to get on with the rest of my life but I feel as though I have lost my sparkle. My zest for life has got up and gone. As my health improves I am determined to make the best of life and continue to make sure I actually do have a life instead of being buried in the life of being a carer.

The highlights of my life are watching my family grow. Seeing my two grandchilden develope their own personalities. I do miss them all as they all live at a distance from here.

My current life is comfortable I just wish I had the zest for life that I had before.

Clatter

The clatter of studded boots on concrete floors as the players spill out of the changing rooms, on to the open grass, heading towards their allocated pitch. Parents and other spectators standing in groups stamping feet rubbing gloved hands in an attempt to get a little warmer. Clutching flasks of tea or coffee for later.

Nets being hurriedly put up whilst managers and coaches go through the warm up exercises, practicing set pieces, corners, penalty shots and the rest. Numb fingers trying to collect money and write names onto official forms. The shouts of abuse from opposing sides sometimes friendly banter other times intimidation. Persuading one of the spectators to take up the flag and run up and down the side line keeping up with the run of play, taking the flack from spectators annoyed by his decisions.

The man or occasionally woman in the middle all dressed in black with whistle, note book and cards to hand. Good or bad he must be paid, his decisions unquestioned, rarely appreciated, isolated from the masses, a lonely figure, dedicated to the game.

Turning out no matter what the weather, cold and wet, freezing or hot, wind or snow.

These are the things I remember as I receive the text. ‘stay under duvet, game is off’

Turning over in my bed, snuggled in the warmth………that’s ok then.

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!!

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 quiet world

I was in my mid twenties when I first realised properly, what I had always known. I am partially deaf. As a young child I remember several late night visits to the Dr with ear problems. At primary school we had regular hearing checks. We would sit in a quiet room wearing headphones with the instruction to tap the box when we heard the beep. For some reason nobody picked up that I was tapping the box randomly just because I hadn’t heard a beep for a while.

In my mid twenties I was working on a cash desk in a cash and carry store. I realised that it depended where in the line I was working as to whether I could hear our supervisors. I also noticed that I could hear better from my left ear than my right one when using the telephone.

I had a hearing test and was told that unlike the majority of people with a hearing loss I was losing the lower tone spectrum where for most people it is the higher pitch. There is an operation that could be performed but the difference it would make would be minimal so at that time not worth going through, however at some point in the future if the change in my hearing was so that it became more beneficial I could have it done.

In my early 30s after having my youngest son I noticed that my hearing had got worse. Where most new mothers don’t want visitors knocking loudly on their door for fear of disturbing the baby, I had a note telling them to knock loudly. I was often surprised when one of the family rushed to the door when I hadn’t heard it. I had another hearing test. My hearing had deteriorated and now both ears were of a similar level. I would get a hearing aid but needed to decide which ear I wanted to be fitted for. I chose my right ear (I’m not entirely sure why but it seemed logical to me at the time).

Wow! I could hear the trains from our house, I hadn’t known that, or that our cooker made a noise when in use. I wore my hearing aid to work. Ouch my world suddenly became noisy, I could hear every printer, fax machine etc.

In my 40s I had yet another hearing test and this time got a hearing aid for each ear. This helped but it wasn’t really helping me to hear people. It was more a case of amplifying everything. I couldn’t wear them in the company of a group of children. Being involved in a local youth football club I was often in a sports hall with a group of enthusiastic children. Because I have no problems hearing high pitch it would become painful for me.

By now I had learnt that most children and the majority of women (so long as they spoke normally and didn’t whisper) were fine for me. However I have a problem if people are facing away or speaking from another room. Men who have lower tone voices and or have their hand over or near their mouths I have no chance.

I don’t watch a lot of tv, or rather I only half watch it because I struggle to hear what is going on. I miss the punchline on jokes. I guess I probably only hear about a third (if I’m lucky). It’s almost like watching silent movies with the odd words thrown in. Even talking to my own family especially my sons is a struggle. It is not unknown for me to think the topic of conversation is completely different to the actual topic.

Sometimes my problem isn’t the volume, I can hear people talking but it sounds to me like a foreign language. I have to listen out for clues but by the time I have figured it out the conversation has moved on to something else.

Contraction words are a big problem for me. I never know if someone could or couldn’t, would or wouldn’t etc. This is why I prefer to communicate via the written word rather than the spoken word. This has also caused a problem in my creative writing. I find it very difficult to write as people speak because I feel a need to make every word clear just as I would when I speak. Which I know is not natural for most people.

Through out my life I have been asked “what was that?” or “did you hear that?” Very often I didn’t hear anything. I am sure that for everyone who can hear properly it must be difficult to understand what it’s like to be in my world. I often get asked why don’t I wear my hearing aids more often. They don’t actually help. If I wear them I still can’t understand what people are saying but when I take them off I notice that the world has gone quieter. They make the world around me noisier but rarely make it easy to hear the spoken word.

My husband often said he would get an old fashioned hearing horn to shout into my ear. Not very helpful.

I want to ask my GP to arrange another hearing test for me(its been about 7 years since my last one) but feel that with everything else going on at the moment it wouldn’t be a priority for the NHS. I manage my life reasonably well in my semi silent world, it would just be nice to hear everything going on around me.

Life on hold

I have been wanting to write a new post for days now but what to write that has been the problem. I don’t have an exciting life to write about. I don’t want to be constantly writing about the wild birds we see in the garden (there are not that many at the moment).

I would rather not be writing about the ongoing saga that is my current marital situation. However I can now say that the house is finally up for sale and an open day is planned for this coming weekend. Although my husband has been feeling rather low recently he is now being much more positive.

Personally I am not really living, I feel that my life is on hold. I go to work (which although tiring I do enjoy). I return to the home I am sharing with my mother. I either read or sleep interspersed with conversations with my mum. Sometimes I manage to sort through some of the many boxes and bags that have been transported here to be stored around the perimeter of my single bedroom.

The big news of recent weeks was our outing to a Rotary Club Quiz night. Yes I know I really know how to live the high life. Our team came second (losing by just 2 points).

Next week I shall be taking two days off from my work. The plan is that I will drive with my mother to London where we will visit my son and his fiancee who I am pleased to say will be making me a Granny in May.

I have said for many years that I am not yet ready to become a grandmother as I haven’t yet finished being a mother. I know many of my friends love having grandchildren, for me it has not been something that I have been in a hurry to participate in. However I was beginning to worry that my sons were going to leave it so late that I would be too old to enjoy my grandchildren when they do finally arrive. Having four sons I do anticipate that I will have more than the one grandchild.

I am hoping that by the time the summer arrives I shall have sufficiently recovered from recent events that I will be in a better place mentally as well as financially to be able to start enjoying life again.

life on pause