Such a little name for such a big character in my life.  A dog. A Westhighland Terrier. Who would have known that she would change my life.



People ask what do I do now I am retired from the NHS. I happily reply I walk the dog.  I walk in the rain, the sunshine, the snow and ice. We just go. It has quickly become a habit.

Lola I think believes she has landed in doggie heaven. My estate is very dog friendly with lots of paths without cars, large green areas and of course lots of other dogs to play and run with.  We live in Somerset and have reasonable access to lots of place others come to for a holiday.

She is my first thought in the morning and my last at night. She is a good girl but can challenge me.  We have known each other for a year or so.  We met via borrowmydoggie.com.  We walked for a year while I was caring for my mum.  Then her family found they had taken on too much and wanted to rehome.  Of course I wanted her.  We were meant to be together.


She loves rolling in poo. She can get really dirty.



But she is such a jolly girl. I always come back happier than I go out. We meet other doggies and their owners. It is a very sociable activity. I am loving it.

Maybe I should start a blog about Lola’s adventures.  Or Lola and Tommy’s adventures. Yes we have acquired a tortoise who we estimate to be 50 yrs old.  What a family we have become.



better living, Life, Uncategorized

Inefficient – Daily post prompt

Hmmm.  I think it is inefficient that there are few people with lots of money in this world and lots of people with none.

If there were more people with money. More people could buy more things. The economy would boom.  But with the mega rich keeping it to themselves the prospect of this boom is minimal.


But the rise in the need for million pound homes, cars, boats, aeroplanes for personal use is rising.  Few people getting the benefit. It is highly inefficient for these people to use this money in this way when their fellow countrymen, continental cousins or citizens of the world are suffering.

If you are getting lots of money for what you do. Please ask the question. How much do I really need to live well and happy.  The answer from research is – not very much. The more you give, the more happier you will be.  This is a very efficient use of resources.




Christmas in Chaing Mai 6

Boxing Day 26th Dec

Today we travelled by red truck to Royal Park Rajapruek.

We hired bicycles as it us a very big park. But you can travel on free train.

It had a section depicting farming life in Thailand. Complete with pigs.

Then onto the fantastc Orchid House.

We loved cycling around to the temple. The different parts of the garden showing different parts of the world.

Back to Chaing Mai for lunch. Then siesta in new room.

I had by mistake only booked 5 nights instead of 6. So now we had superior room. Nice.!

Another walk. And home to bed as my knee hurting after yesterdays fall and maybe the cycling at Rajupruek.



Back caring for mum to give my brother a break.

She is expectedly slower when walking, her short term memory totally gone. She is so afraid of everything. A symptom of the disease.

She still makes me laugh. When wondering why she feels “soooo tired!” She says she has run all her life. For the bus; for school; for work; for her kids, for work; for her grandkids. ” I am exhausted!”.

We have moved onto winter clothes, though the house is very warm. Snuggly jumpers and woolly skirts have replaced cotton tops and summer skirts.

I am reassured she is being cared for well when I am not here. My mental health better now living away again. But the guilt never goes away.

She does not sleep well at night. I call her a napper. Doesnt affect her quite as much as it does the person with her overnight. We then nap in the day.

I tried keeping her awake during the day but this had no effect at all. Need to learn to nap in the day with her.

She cries, she is sad. I try to make her smile. But she hates losing her independence. She is still aware.

Time for a nap.

better living, Life, shopping, Uncategorized


This morning I was charmed by something being shared on Facebook.  A cuddly bear playing peek-a- boo.  It was holding up a sheet in front of it’s face, then putting it down.  The child laughed.  It was very cute. According to the comments everyone apparently loved it, wanted it, recommended it.

I then began thinking. Why did the people commenting not want to play with their child themselves?  Why did they want to buy a bear to do it?  Or, was it just a sad marketing ploy to put all those different positive comments? Were those comments real? Hmmm


I do recognise that if we don’t buy lots of “stuff” the commercial world will collapse.  The world runs on the creation of products and services that we buy.  We are purchasing to support jobs, the economy etc, but really!!!! Who is getting rich with our money?  Manipulating us to buy products we really don’t need and stop us from interacting with our children.

Why don’t we use our buying power to encourage them to make stuff we really need.  Things that are useful to society as a whole. Big business won’t make as much money out of us.  But maybe we won’t have bought useless rubbish that is good for no one.

Is it not about time that we recognised that the discovery of eyebrows was yet just another marketing ploy. The development of one more section of the huge cosmetic industry to sell us yet more stuff. To entice us to buy products we just don’t need.  We apparently “want” them, because the companies have cleverly told us we do.

Advertisements do work. Isn’t it weird that suddenly wallpaper is in fashion again! So off we go and buy it.  That we need a new sofa “before xmas!”  That we really must have something in “check pattern” to wear, because that is the latest thing. No, no, no we don’t.  Please think. If you have money to spend in this manner how could you use it to help someone else. Buy someone else a new sofa who hasn’t got one.


The thing that children need most is time with people who love them. Ask them they will tell you.    To show them how to live in the world. How to be kind. How to have fun.  I promise you, you do not need to buy a toy to occupy them with something you can do together. Time is free.   It is a lovely feeling to know it is you that have helped them smile and giggle


Oh, and just because the “Kardashians” have it, does not mean you need it too. Really you don’t. Whatever the product is it won’t make you happier or more beautiful, whatever the advert says.

We as humans are better than this. We know when we are being manipulated; exploited; used. Your children will still love you and appreciate the things you can give, without bankrupting the family.

Look around your house at all the “stuff” you have. Does it make you satisfied?  Look at the people you love. How does that make you feel?

Please don’t buy the peek-a-boo bear.  Interact with your child yourself.  The smile you get in return will stay with you longer than the “flashing light glow headwear” you just had to buy for halloween/bonfire night.


Mum and Me  – Catch Up Blog

Have not been blogging for a while. It has been full on since mum had to go into hospital after her fifth fall!!  Amazing no broken bones.  They kept her in for a whole week. Took so much blood she looked like a bruised pin cushion. She had scans and xrays and the final conclusion.  She has a long term urine infection.

Hmmmm could have told them that weeks ago.

Anyway having been seen by physiotherapists and occupational therapists the thoughts were that mum needed a rehabilitation place on discharge from hospital.  This would of course be in a care home and my mum really hates the thoughts of a care home.

So with agreement we moved the single bed downstairs and had access to the downstairs toilet (commode in the small room off the kitchen).  She continued to use her zimmer frame given after the 2nd fall and we were able to cope.

It did take her a while to come round from the experience of hospitalization. The worst bit for me was catching a nurse feeding my mum.  My mum has never needed feeding as yet.  It felt like a blow. How easy it is to get institutionalised. Needless to say my mum has fed herself since she came home.

Yes, she is still a bit wobbly on her legs but with the help of a physiotherapist who is coming to the home to do exercises – my mum has moved on from the zimmer to a walking stick.

I cannot claim that she enjoys the experience of exercise but she does do them with encouragement.

We also attended the memory clinic which ended up being a long three hour assessment of my mums ability to recall stuff.  But I am glad they took their time to get to know my mum and understand her character. Sadly, the diagnosis of vascular dementia was not a surprise to me. But now we know what we are dealing with.


The thing that is becoming most difficult is the night times.  Although we have the commode upstairs, so long wobbly trips to the loo are now unnecessary at night,  the broken sleep is taking its toll.  My mum can actually get out of bed herself and get back in, but it has become a habit to call me. I think she just needs reassurance that I am there.  But it is killing me.


I have had one night away in a hotel that was really divine. But really can’t afford to do that too often. Next week I am going away again and my brother and his wife will be on duty. I am staying at a friends so this will be a cheap getaway.   Have agreed that I need at least one day and night as a day off if I am to continue to care like I am.

I have found a great support person for me. She comes and visits every couple of weeks. It is lovely to be able to emotionally vomit all over her, turn the page and go back to caring for my mum.

 Oh, we now have a stairlift and ‘care on call’ pendant. Both of which are causing my mum some anxiety but over time I think will be very useful for her care.


Onwards and upwards.

age, carers, Dementia, Uncategorized

Where is the ………..?

The game of finding things is challenging at times.  My mum constantly asks me where something is.  I thankfully have some idea as know where she generally keeps her purse, her watch, her rings etc. But if we put something down that is a bit unusual it might be lost forever. There is a pair of glasses that we have not seen for a while.  Thank god for back up spares.

My mum loves tidying up after me, she thinks I am untidy. She is correct.  But then she or me will ask where something is and she will have put it somewhere different and we have a mad moment trying to find it.  My mum gets upset at her inability to remember, she chides herself that “it is just stupid”. It is just that short term memory vacuum.

She put her rings in a dish on the coffee table the other day. Then one went missing. She remembers that she has them all together most of the time. I know she keeps them in a box most nights. Luckily today she had not put on this particular ring and it was safely still in the box.  This must be a nightmare for care home staff who often get accused of stealing but it may well be the person themselves secreting it away.


“Have we made a list for the shopping?”.  “Yes, it is on the pad” I reply.   But I have to show her that this is true.  She worries about forgetting something while she is out shopping.  She herself can no longer write the list.  Her handwriting now is something like a tiny spider. Unrecognisable from her previous script.  She got upset again when trying to sign my birthday card.  All of this is very challenging I don’t like my mum crying.

My mum remembers where she has always put things not necessarily where she has put them now. Her drawers are kept the same to help her find her clothes. There are different things in wardrobes so she generally knows where her coats are, etc.  But there are several drawers with tops in so I can hear her going from drawer to drawer trying to find a particular top. Then along the way she forgets what she is looking for and continues around.  “What am I looking for?” she asks. We talk constantly about downsizing her wardrobe but she is scared she will need something she may throw away.


My mum has been washing up for years. No dishwasher at our house. Things have been in the same drawers and cupboards for years. But alas she has a daughter and occasionally a son who move things or use unusual items.  For some reason my mum cannot remember where the unusual item goes, as she may have not used it  recently.  The colander, the grater, the salad bowl cause her great distress.  I reassure and say I will put them away. It is just great she has washed up.  But it irritates her she cannot remember.


Some things were moved when the new central heating was put in. This caused great upset for my mum who really couldn’t remember where something went if there was a query. We tried very hard to put everything back as it had been before but silly me did not take photos. It has taken two months to find a home for a plate that “just wasn’t right”.

I sometimes ask her where something is and she looks back very frightened and in a small voice she say’s “I just don’t know”.  She is worried and concerned that she can’t remember. Terrified she will forget something important.  I reassure her she has three brains trying to remember now, her, me and my brother.  But, we are all over fifty, there are no guarantees.