Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

More Of The Same...

The weather was horrible, I was tired and overslept. The most exciting part of today? Getting caught up on the washing. It does seem milder indoors which is good.

Been eating chicken sandwiches. Soup for supper.

My friend Andrea is probably right when she says cold, damp weather doesn't help long term health issues like mobility but I can suffer even when the weather is good.

I will regroup and consider whether I should try and go somewhere for a day trip but options are getting a bit thin on the ground when daylight is reduced and you don't want to spend money.

The only days I can consider are Wednesdays and Saturdays if its a longer journey. I'll go and look at some Christmas markets and illuminations and will possibly try and see some carol services*

The trip to the little town approx 3 miles away on Thursday doesn't offer much extra choice in shopping but if I can continue to use a pass there is a great little bakers and I can go there and get home within an hour. Go on one bus, return on another if I want something a bit different. I'm eating a white bloomer at present but unlike some it is soft in texture.

*I may be visiting Durham Cathedral having seen what events are happening between now and Christmas.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Mind Is Willing But The Body Is Weak...

I said that I would go all week...there is a brass band playing, I even went by the church yesterday and called in for details, I have one last bus that I could catch, even a taxi but its cold and wet outside and I felt so tired, sleepy and my joints ache. I did not get up until late afternoon but I reckon the rest was needed. There will be other times I'm sure.

I will see how I feel tomorrow and try to discover if another show in the same town is still on, been cancelled or already taken place. The notice I hoped to see with details had been removed from a supermarket noticeboard.

Or perhaps I'll take myself off for a bus ride during the day tomorrow, a change of scenery not looking at the four walls.

I could not be bothered to watch or listen to my favourite TV or radio programmes earlier.

First meal of the day was chicken noodle soup with buttered toast.

A wasted day? Perhaps. But I feel better for it.

I'm mixed up this evening, not what was planned. I may watch TV, I may cook a meal, I may go to bed again. I don't know. I'll play it by ear.

Tomorrow, perhaps I'll show some spontaneity.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

As Far As My Kidneys Go...

They have not deteriorated any further than previous check ups, both my consultants and myself are pleased at that news. But naturally the illness continues and hopefully the treatment will continue to keep things ticking over. It has come at a price affecting me in other ways. It was a day to say thank you and goodbye as the consultant who extended my life for the last 17 years and came up with treatment not used before, was retiring. I was being seen by a colleague of his and he came in to a personal goodbye to me and shake my hand.

He has been good to me, they all have. Unless something unexpected goes wrong I am not due to be seen again until late March next year. Dates play an important part in my life. When Mum went into the care home for the last few weeks of her life, it fell on was the anniversary of Mum and Dad getting married. My appointment falls on the same date. Coincidence?

I mentioned my flare up of gout and the consultant I saw today has told me they do have a drug to control it should it happen again and this particular one will not cause problems for my kidneys which the one that is prescribed normally at a Dr's surgery would. And he is writing to my Dr to get me it.

It could be drugs causing the problem I have as I write this as I have a rather bad attack of tinnitus. Ironic that I should have that because I protect my hearing wherever possible like at a concert or gig I wear earplugs.

I'm tired so I am watching a bit of TV. I may decide to have an afternoon nap. I have a chicken cooking in the slow cooker that should be about ready when I get in from the bingo club. I have another one for next week. I treated myself to two loaves of bread from a proper baker too, my computer magazine, washing up liquid, more roasting bags and some soup. I am set up again for the next week or more.

I managed to find out more about the concert tomorrow night at the church in a neighbouring town...tickets to be purchased on the door. A church  I have only been in once before many years ago but was the one my Father attended as a child and in his early adult life I would guess between 1924 - 1948. Yes, that long ago. The other concert the notice has been removed so now I am unsure if it has been cancelled. I will try and find out.

If so I will just have a quiet night in on Saturday.

Update:I don't think that I have ever had that before...a can of Heinz Beef Broth soup but it was really warming and tasty. That's tea taken care of.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Day Of Doing Little...

Well, what's to do as we near Christmas, the days are dark, the weather is generally miserable. I decided not to go anywhere. After all, I have the hospital check up in the morning so taking it easy seems the right thing to do...

If all goes reasonably ok I will do all the tasks put off today, tomorrow.

I watched a couple of episodes of the 60's TV Sci-Fi series The Invaders(I was around 9 years old)when that aired. Still looks good after all these years. Frightening where the time has gone. I watched a western with Rock Hudson(I'm not even sure that I have ever watched a film starring him)

He's ok I suppose, no strong feeling either way. The films were adequate and Rock filled the roles in a similar fashion, a mixture of something attractive for the females to look at especially in the 50's equivalent of a "Rom Com" probably under the description of "Beef Cake"

And yet an all action guy for the Male Cinema goer wanting a rough tough cowboy or soldier/hero. And because of the time, attitudes were different and so as far as the public goes and the fear of the movie studios and whether his sexual orientation would affect his popularity and his movies it was kept hidden. It may've done but after all an actor plays a part and live in a world of make believe.

Today whatever your private sexual orientation is, you can mostly get away with it not affecting sales. But there are still exceptions. And its no longer straight forward because a male star will have fans(both male and female)who like their work but may have an attraction to them on a physical level too and the same is true of a female stars.

Some stars, straight or gay accept the adulation from wherever it comes(often because financially it pays)but they don't go looking for it and others knowing they appeal play to everyone. The biggest area that still seems to suffer from discrimination is sport and my observation would suggest it is still
more of a problem in sports mainly associated with/played by males.

Where did that all come from? I had no plans to write that...probably because I mentioned Rock Hudson. I tend to watch films/TV or listen music on face value and not even think about being attracted in a physical way. If I like their work that's all that matters to me.

I found out that as of tomorrow I can no longer watch a film channel on my Freeview TV unless I have access to High Definition version but luckily as I have Freesat I can still access Film4+1 using the alternative system and I certainly don't want to replace a newish TV yet because channels are changing their formats.

I found myself getting into the Christmas spirit by watching a favourite associated with this time of year but I haven't seen it in years. The fact that I was able to this time means that I am finding that I am able to accept this time of year without it being as painful as it once was being on my own.

The film is "White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. Music by Irving Berlin. Classic Hollywood from 1954. Having said about watching without being attracted to actors/actors I watch, the female stars were manufactured to look a certain way by the studio and had to watch their weight, were lit a certain way and had the best make up artists
but the leading ladies(Clooney and Ellen)did look attractive and perfect.

Remember me saying about actors playing parts? Its all make believe.

If this quartet had been getting it together in "real" life(They get together as couples by the end of the film)age wise Crosby(51)was paired with Clooney(26)and Kaye(41)with Ellen(33)

Away from films, the good news is that after checking my blood pressure today I have managed to get it down to 121/71 with a pulse rate of 74. I haven't weighed myself in ages so it will be interesting to see what that comes in at.

I have cooked a meal that I haven't had very often and took little if any preparation, ready in approx 5 minutes. A Chinese type stir fry with pork. It came in at around £1.84 a portion.

Update:Decided to have some potato and leek soup with toast for supper. Been weighed...came in at around 70kg. I really cannot get the weight down any less than that. Considering I try to walk but when I do it takes such an effort that it is like a workout. Generally my food intake is low in calories with lots of vegetable content.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Am About To Attend The Music Club...

should be a good night, we have Bob Surgeoner, Flossie Malavialle and Pipe Dream. It is raising money for the Salvation Army Anti Trafficking campaign. Maybe I'll have some images and something to add later.

Update:I have some images, not sure how good they are and a friend has better ones because its a great camera and he had a better seat at the venue. But I'll try and put some on the blog. Around £650 was raised for the cause and the night was a great success. The fact is that everyone who appeared was superb. The person who works with the club but arranged the event(because she is employed by or is involved in a local branch of this cause)

She is a pretty good singer too and last night sang a varied a new selection of songs I haven't heard there before. I don't think that she has before and that could be because they were suggested by Bob Surgeoner who always seems to find something usual in his repertoire.

The only downside...I prevented a beer being knocked over by the person sitting next to me and had created space for a couple of raffle prizes on the table in front of me that he had won and it meant my belongings were moved slightly, unbeknown to me and whilst talking with someone he noticed the camera cable that is needed to charge and attach it to the PC had gone over a tea light candle and was melting.

It is quite badly damaged but it works. Without it I am unable to do much with the camera. I may still try and find a new one later in the week. There is always the worry that it may stop working. A quick look on the internet suggests that it will not be too costly to replace and quite easy to find. Certainly online that is so but I hope to find one in a local retailer.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hitting My Second Wind...

I had my bloods taken at the surgery and it went well as far as I know. I managed to bus to Durham and pay my insurance. Luckily the office is next to the bus station so I was back there ready to board a quick bus for the next task but two buses were parked in the bays my bus should've parked. It came into the station but did not stop, disappearing so I had to hang around for another half hour.

This only allowed me 40 minutes to complete my business before getting back to my afternoon bingo with my group. I managed to get my ticket for the Christmas show I mentioned in a previous post. My other plans were a let down.

One retailer had nothing of interest, the other had closed since my last visit and had it not been for the purchase of the ticket, there was no reason/is no reason to go there much in the future as I don't need or buy much other than food these days and most retailers are on my town or situated at two or three neighbouring towns within a five to twelve mile radius.

Not having had much sleep because of my overnight TV watching I found myself falling asleep during the bingo(the heating was on high too)which didn't help. I probably missed winning some games...I did that trick where you doze quickly and wake as quick. I know that I missed a line for definite. I did win one line that I did not mess up and being few in number that was all of £2.

I had plans for a pork stir fry tonight but went back to an omelet containing ham, cheese and tomato. I watched a little TV but took a brief nap. I just fell asleep and had no choice in the matter to be honest. I am reasonably warm and awake again but will probably have an early night or have a longer lie in. There's nothing pressing or anywhere I need to be.

I have perhaps only two Christmas presents to sort out and everything is complete. The housework I will now leave until the New Year.

Today has been difficult. My legs have been giving me real problems and one really kept locking and hurting especially when getting it moving again. And of course I don't have full movement in one of my shoulders but as I have said before I need to pace myself, work out my good days(or rather my better days)and those days, stay close to/be at home. All this can interfere with sleeping in bed too.

I have some good food in the house so good meals continue. Using what I have and then I hope to get some of the little luxury foods they always have in the stores for the festive season.

I think I only need a few odds and ends now...like roasting bags and washing up liquid. Maybe frozen vegetables and more food storage boxes. I may treat myself to one more Christmas jumper and perhaps a novelty hat. I can use them in the future too.

Having An All Nighter...

Not sleepy and I don't have a TV recorder so the only way I can watch a favourite TV Western is between 2am and 6am one night a week. That's Gunsmoke. I never saw it first time around. And I have bloods to be taken almost as soon as the doctor's surgery opens so I'm thinking I may as well stay up now. I can catch up on my sleep easily.

If I haven't already said so I then plan to pay my house contents insurance. It has only gone up by £1 for the year. I still wonder with much of my furnishing being old and the few newer items not being top of the range nothing is worth that much money wise. But hey I guess £53 annually for peace of mind isn't bad.

I didn't win the bingo with my friends yesterday but I had a go at a domino card and wouldn't you know it...the number I tend to choose won...the bad news...my friend's number had been chosen by someone else and so he choose my number and...it won. Typical!

I'll try and post images of the Brass Band concert and the show I saw at Durham of the members of Lindisfarne. I was remembered by a band member who I saw approx 2-3 months ago at a more intimate venue and had promised him then I had a ticket and I would be seeing him. I got a smile, a thumbs up and one of the strongest handshakes ever. A really genuine, warm guy.

I was so close to the Brass Band on Friday, I was almost in it...two really good nights.

Coming home from the concert I again witnessed someone sleeping in the doorway of an unused nightclub near the bus station. When I first started up to Durham perhaps a couple of Christmases ago I came across another such person in the doorway of a national retailer and as rubbish is often left out for early collection the first I realised was when the cardboard moved.

At first I thought the wind was the reason, then I took a closer look. I do see a fair few people begging when I visit. They don't bother anyone or get in your face...they just sit crossed legged on the pavement, usually in worn out/dirty clothes with a hat or something similar in front of them. I don't know their back story, whether they are genuinely homeless, have lost work, have benefit issues, drug or alcohol problems and to be honest...I try not to be judgemental. I know that lives can change in seconds. I never know what the best thing is do regarding giving money. You hear so many stories about money being put to addictions.

I made the effort and did a small amount of shopping yesterday. It was not an expensive day and I was in one of those pound shops and got simple things, you know...a door mat for the porch, a clothes airier that fits on a radiator, toilet and kitchen rolls, kitchen scissors, a chocolate orange(a birthday gift for a friend)Christmas gift tags and wrapping paper.

And I couldn't resist an extra gift for my friend. We're all a bit low income wise but he really is down on his luck and according to more information from a relative the other day...it was conformed what I already knew(he is special needs)he loves trains so for £3 I found a calendar with lots of images of steam trains and with it also 2015 diary. All the gifts I have are wrapped, gift tagged and ready for giving.

More than I planned but not terrifically expensive in reality, helped by many of them(if to be believed)worth more than I paid as they were on offer.

I'm getting into my cooking again and making some really simple but tasty meals, on Saturday I had baked beans, oven chips and a really fluffy cheese omelet. I'm thinking of trying to do a stir fry with some pork later today and I have a chicken to cook in the slow cooker. That will give me a few meals. Anyone who thinks a microwave and slow cooker has limited uses needs to think again.

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Value My Independence...

But generally know what I can/cannot do and I will pace myself. Or avoid some tasks. Yesterday I had to replace two centre ceiling lightbulbs and it was a struggle. Luckily one to replace is rare so replacing two more so. It really was difficult. I may have to consider asking a neighbour to help next time.

Or I need a longer stepladder with a longer rail so I have something to hold onto and not have to stretch so far. I am unsteady on steps if I have nothing to hold onto and then one arm cannot be raised above my head so you can imagine the pantomime trying to remove and replace a bulb in the holder.

I managed on this occasion.

I haven't had to think about buying Christmas gifts for sometime. But I now have some acquaintances and last year I was shown kindness being invited for my lunch and to have a few hours in company. That also meant I was given a few little presents to open and by more than I thought I would so this year I am prepared a bit better(just in case)and yet without going over the top and being careful I will have spent perhaps £80 but with offers on certain items my goods are worth nearer £120. But of course included in that is the ticket for the Buddy Holly show I gave as a Christmas treat.

I am good at picking out quality items and then finding they are a bit too expensive for one person. If it was a close friend or family that would be different of course.

I am not buying much in the way of food at present other than milk, bread and fruit and attempting to create space in the fridge/freezer for some of the special items that come into the supermarkets for the festive time and if I keep buying I will lose out.

Later today I will travel approx 6 miles and watch a concert of a local brass band and local singers performing music from shows and films.

On Saturday I will see two members of the Geordie Band "Lindisfarne" telling the story of the group and singing their music. Then no more big theatre shows are planned until next year. Though I hope to attend a couple of local shows raising money for charity in a local hall and a church. And a Christmas one in early December which hopefully I will attend with my friend Andrea. It is an annual show but though it is done as a festive event, no Christmas songs are sung.