Monday, August 30, 2010

Good and bad

I've been wanting to post something for days but have been waiting until I had some good news to share. Well I'm sorry but there isn't any. You're probably not supposed to write a post when you're feeling down but here it is nevertheless.
The only good thing about it will be the pictures of Zebedee and friends that Roxi took a week or so ago when the lovely Louisa was still here. We did have a nice time and as you can see Zebbie had a wonderful time getting naked in the river at the ford at Snetterton
We filled the digger scoop with minnows and sat watching the fun.
The weather has been rainy with small patches of sun and that hasn't helped the mood here.
It feels like there are storm clouds on the horizon and I keep having dreams of being in the path of something huge and scary. I dreamt I was camped in the woods with no tent but still with a blanket and an airbed. I was lying down trying not to be afraid of the dark when I heard and then saw a herd of large deer approaching. I just lay there wondering if they would be able to see me lying in their path or whether I'd be trampled. Then it became more frightening as the deer became wolves. Would they see me, would they kill me. I had to wait and see and hope for the best. Which is exactly what I'm doing now.

Richard is gradually sliding. He's become shaky and confused and is so thin. He still thinks he can do stuff, so it's only when I'm on my hands and knees for the third time cleaning up a bowl of spilled soup or drink that he sheepishly lets me feed him. Only when he scalds himself in the shower that he realises he's forgotten which way it is to turn the tap off. Yes the Ludbrooks are a stubborn bunch.
Roxi and I have changed his medication lately as we thought that was the problem, however it seems when we stop his anti nausea pills - he throws up and when we stop his nerve pain killers - the pain returns. There is no easy solution.
He has been going into hospital to be drained regularly and his skin is stretched now so he can last a fortnight. The next draining is booked in for this Tuesday. Hopefully there will be some relief then.
However he and I managed to get out yesterday morning to the most beautiful Church nearby in Larling.
As it says on the Norfolk Churches website.."This is a church in which to imagine the ploughman learning his catechism, the blacksmith and the wheelwright seated side by side."
This Church is in the tiny hamlet where Richard first came back from Australia to live in the UK in 1969. He lived at Shrubb farm cottages, one of the oldest surviving communes in the UK. It and the friends he made then are the reason we live in this part of the world. It is indeed a wonderful community here and we are so cared for. Often when we open the door, Tony Fry has left a punnet of homegrown raspberries and some beans, Jan Francis has left some perfect courgettes from her Father Rod's allotment or someone has left an anonymous donation in an envelope. I never feel like I'm forgotten or on my own but still it's a lonely existence losing the one you love.
There is love though surrounding us and as my Mum says "No love is ever wasted".
I leave you with a wonderful picture of Zebedee coming home from the river on Yusuf's shoulders. Happy as the day was long.
All my love comes to you who read this blog, I know there are a lot of you now and I'm so thankful for your comments and emails.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sue Thomas

It's the second last day that my Sister Sue is here making our life better in the UK. What shall we do????
I know let's take her to a STATELY HOME....which one though, we can't go too far nor spend too long....maybe one that's amazing outside and...
...amazing inside.
Blickling Hall. Perfect. Only an hours drive away yet a million miles away from everyday cares.
The sun shone. There weren't too many tourists as we were rather late in the day after having the essential cream tea in the restaurant.
Here are the three of us, Sue, Roxi and I but the person who's taking the photo is Louisa, Richard's niece who has come over for a week. Louisa the bold, Louisa the brave, Louisa the incredibly brainy. (There will be a post devoted to her soon too I promise)
In the mean time......What a hedge!
What gardens!
What a dining room!
What a kitchen!
Phew.....I needed a long rest in the "Long room".
But there was fun to be had with the girls outside in the "Parterre". If you click on these pictures they will show you the fun that was being had.

Roxi found the biggest connect four in existence. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time for a game.
At one time Anne Boleyn lived at Blickling Hall and the spelling of the Boleyn name was variable. Sometimes it was written as Bullen, hence the bull heads which formed part of her family arms.
It wasn't only the Bulls heads which were noticed!
Then today we had to do the right thing and set her on her path back to her little brood in Melbourne who have so selflessly let her come for 6 weeks now. It was so amazingly good to have her here.
She's mothered us all as she knitted and played cards and cooked wonderful meals and kept us all in good humour. She will be sorely missed.
Quick there's the train.
Farewell Sue Thomas, travel safely all the way back home.
Thank you from the bottom of our very full hearts.

Friday, August 13, 2010

En Famille

A lot has happened and yet nothing has happened lately. Richard is home with us again thank God. Maudie has been for 6 days and now it's time for Sue Thomas to go back to Melbourne and change with Richard's niece, Louisa who has come to visit for a week or so from Melbourne too.
Here are some photos from Maudie's visit and our morning rambles across Harling Heath, listening for Sky Larks.
I know, I know, no comments now about the apparel/umbrellas and the fact that it is meant to be summer.
Here is a rather lovely photo of Ricardo with Maudie at the hospital before he came back home.Here we are with Richard's brother Ray and sister-in-law Mary and Roxi in our remarkably suburban looking lounge room.
at the hospital sharing a "moment"
Back home with the other family, Clarry, Yusuf and Roxi looking at the inevitable and hard to resist; facebook (even though I'm trying to).
and one of me that Sue took when we managed to get a rare sisters moment together. Luckily it's in sepia and thus doesn't make me look as old as I am feeling at the moment.
I'll try and think of something more intelligent to talk to you all about when I get my act back together.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Big dipper

Just a mini update for you all...
Richard WAS home last week for 6 whole days but went back into hospital early on Sunday morning (the 8th August)as he was in a lot of pain, hardly eating and feeling incredibly tight in his abdomen. I spent the day with him as we waited to be admitted; first into A & E then into Guist ward with all his old favourite nurses but minus the pooing and snoring bunch (small mercies).
I rang to see how he was feeling this morning and he was in top form. Had eaten all his dinner last night including the jelly and ice cream!!! (Note to self...must make more mashed stodge in future, not the usual gourmet fare) had a brilliant nights sleep and was keen for a game of our favourite card game...Yanif . Crikey, I can't keep up with him. So now it's back and forth to the hospital again always forgetting some vital piece of kit (toothpicks/pocket knife/nail clippers).
Hopefully they will drain him tomorrow and he'll be back home and thrashing us all at cards very soon.
I leave you with a lovely photo Roxi took a couple of weeks ago when Zebedee came to the hospital to visit. A real heart breaker.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Coming home!

He's been in hospital for 4 weeks and I never thought he'd come home. It's been horrible trying to talk with him intimately while the other patients in the ward beep and groan and snore. There's been the odd episode of explosive diarrhoea (not Richard's I might ad) and codes blue when the guy in the next bed has a bad fit which is usually once or twice a day. Then there was the episode when Richard went off to go to the toilet and all hell broke loose in the corridor where I'd last seen him. Doctors came running from everywhere, they closed the doors to our ward and pulled screens around the doors and the patient on the floor and I was left silently and terrifyingly alone - only to see him shuffle out the door of the toilets blinking at all the noise that was going on around him. I've never been so glad to see him upright in all my life.
In other news to hand... the beautiful Maude has arrived from cold old Melbourne. Here she is in the English Bush with Sue Thomas and Roxi ready for our morning walk with the "poo machines", Carryll's dogs. (Yes it was raining)
Sisters and sisters is very very nice.
MY sister Suze and I managed to get an afternoon off and go to Wiveton café for scones and jam and cream........
....and a walk round the spectacular walled garden there.
yes there was some wildlife action too.