Posted by: digibirder | July 28, 2007

Another week (or two) flies by

It’s been quite a week (or two). Mostly I’ve been running back and forth to see my sister, who had a fall (on Friday 13th!), badly fracturing her ankle. She’s in hospital at the moment, having had some plates and screws inserted, so we don’t know how long she’ll be there. She had to wait a week for the swelling to subside before they could operate, as the fracture could not be repaired by manipulation. Recovery is likely to be a long process, too. She had the fall as she left her friend’s house, so we had to go and collect her car and take it home. Then I had to capture the cat to take him to a cattery. It wasn’t too problematic, as he was a little confused at seeing a stranger appear, and was quite laid back about being apprehended and launched into a cat basket. Only when I had the door safely closed did he start to realise what had happened. And it was off to the cattery, then back to the hospital with essential supplies.

I’ve had a bad hormone week. I went to hospital last week to see the dermatologist about the rash I’ve had for about a year. I’m not sure if this is menopause related, but it’s gradually spread around my waist towards my spine at the back and my navel at the front and has been totally unresponsive to either anything the doctor prescribed or any of the natural remedies I’ve tried. After not being too irritating for the most part, it’s now been driving me mad for the past few weeks. I’m getting rather fed up with it now and it’s depressing me. The hospital gave me some cream and tablets and I go back in two months. I also had an appointment with my GP this week and he decided, because of my mood swings, to change my HRT. I haven’t actually been taking the original HRT, as I am not too keen on these prescription medications. The first HRT was a bio-identical one (apparently the safest to take), but this new one is a synthetic one, which I’m very dubious about. I would rather go the natural route, but I am so desperate to get back to some semblance of normality that I agreed to give these new tablets a trial. I’m still looking into alternatives, though. I was so emotionally and physically drained, I had to have a couple of days off to recharge my batteries. We may have a little trip somewhere on Sunday, but I haven’t felt in the mood to go anywhere, really.

We did have a slight respite from the awful weather we’ve had of late, so last weekend we decided to make use of our English Heritage membership. We kept fairly local and went to Conisbrough Castle – the upkeep funded by EH, but not actually run by them, as we discovered, although they jointly funded the restoration of the roof and two floors in the keep. In the EH handbook details, it appears not to have a tea room, but there is one, run by volunteers, and we had a nice scone and pot of tea. Apparently, there are some talks going on as to whether EH will take it over completely, but Doncaster Council feel that keeping control local is the best way to go, although they don’t have sufficient funding to maintain it properly. It certainly needs sprucing up a bit, and more historical information, in the form of leaflets or books, would be good. But it was an interesting place. There was a medieval event happening, but we didn’t stay for that. Conisbrough Castle was the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Ivanhoe’.


The Castle keep


The lord’s chamber – where important visitors would be entertained

Following our light refreshment, we drove to the hospital to see my sister following her operation. As there was a little time to wait before visiting hours, we stopped off at Boston Castle Park in Rotherham, from where there are extensive views over the area.


You may just be able to make out Meadowhall Shopping Centre in the middle background, and the ‘twin towers’ of the former Blackburn Meadows Power Station, which was demolished in the 1970s. These towers have been the subject of much debate over the past few years, with some wanting to keep them as a landmark and paint a giant design on them, and others wanting their demolition. This latter option is quite risky, as they are a hair’s breadth away from the Tinsley Viaduct part of the M1 motorway. It appears that E.ON UK, who originally wanted them demolished, have now decided to approve the artwork, as long as it has an energy theme, but also they have proposed to build a carbon-neutral power station on the site of the old coal-fired one.

We had a new visitor in the garden, too – a Swallow-tailed Moth. I’ve only come across this species on one other occasion – in the toilet block on a campsite in Cornwall a couple of years ago, but I was a little apprehensive about going in there with my camera!


Anyway, I followed this van the other day. I have seen it before but I didn’t have a camera with me and was too slow to think to use my mobile phone. I was driving on this occasion, on my own in the car, but we stopped at some traffic lights and I quickly got the camera function ready and managed to snap a couple of shots before the lights changed. These guys certainly know how to treat a tool!!




  1. didn’t they have an audio guide? EH properties often do and its free

  2. No – probably because EH don’t actually run it. It was all very basic.

  3. Yikes! Sorry to hear about your sister. And your rash.

    Is any of the new stuff helping?

  4. Hi Digi
    I like the new site …very posh!!

    Will now redo my link to your blog on my blog!!

    Wow on the Swallowtail Moth…


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