Posted by: digibirder | December 26, 2008

Oh Dear!

I do feel really lazy, not keeping this blog up-to-date very often. I could blame lots of things, but that would just be a cop-out. The reality is that I can’t actually be bothered a lot of the time. Whether that’s a consequence of the menopause, I don’t know, but there are a lot of things I can’t be bothered with lately! So this leaves me nothing to blog about, really, as I don’t do much.

Christmas is one event that I can’t be bothered with. For some years now we haven’t really ‘done’ Christmas. Initially we stopped buying presents in order to save money for a holiday to America (in 1983). We liked it so much we carried on that practice, even to the extent of not buying each other gifts. We carried on sending a few cards out, but we’ve cut those down to even fewer as the years have gone on. So, Christmas has been a bit of a non-event for us and normally I can’t wait for it to be over.

Usually, my sister joins us for Christmas Day, but I really didn’t feel up to it this year, and in any case, Keith has managed to catch the lurgy-bug that seems to be spreading round everyone at work and is not feeling too chipper at the moment. She’s already had a bad infection which took weeks to clear, so I didn’t want us to be responsible for giving her another one. Keith went to the doctor’s on Wednesday and was prescribed antibiotics. Unfortunately, he seems to have had a bad reaction to them, in that this morning he woke up with stomach pains and has diarrhoea and vomiting. He’s in bed at the moment, curled up with a hot water bottle to relieve the stomach cramps. If he’s no better in a few hours I might have to ring the emergency doctor.

Nevertheless, we had a nice enough day yesterday on our own. We cooked a nice joint of pork, lots of veggies and we finished off with a nice Christmas pud. I even came over all domesticated and made some mince pies! Haven’t done any baking for some years, but I did make a few earlier in the week as a practise, and took them in to work. No one died, so I made some more! Then we simply vegged in front of the telly for the rest of the evening.

I don’t really know what was going on, but as well as becoming domesticated, I came over all creative this year and decided to make the few Christmas cards we do send. I bought some card blanks and some stick on decorations and had an evening with glue and glitter. The cards have a cut-out aperture so that a photograph can be mounted behind it, and I used a picture of a Robin that I took on holiday in the summer. I suppose I should have taken a photo of the card, to show off my skill (or lack thereof) but I sealed them up before I thought about that!

Even though we haven’t bought presents for a long time, I thought I would get Keith a little surprise this year. While at the gym the other week, I noticed a sign for gift memberships valid for the month of January. As he’s been coming with me on the odd occasion, and talking about joining, I decided to get him one so that he can go more often and get a feel for whether he really does want to join for the whole year. It includes the swimming pool as well, whereas pay-as-you-go would involve extra cost to use the pool as well.

This plan almost went a little pear-shaped, as he was then given an appointment to go in hospital in January for a toe operation (re-doing one that he had some years ago and which hasn’t been a success), so the gym would have been a no-no. As he has this chest infection, that has now had to be postponed, but another problem has now arisen. At the doctor’s the other day he mentioned a long-standing groin discomfort and it turns out he has a hernia, which needs an operation! We don’t know when this will be, as the doc has only just sent the referral.

I seem to be getting on OK at the gym. I feel better and, surprisingly, feel motivated to go. I haven’t lost any weight or inches yet, but I really do need to sort out my diet properly. We do still indulge in alcohol some evenings and most weekends, and I suppose I eat a lot more sweet treats than is good for me. I think the exercise is helping me to feel better overall, but the hot flushes are coming back since stopping the HRT. I went back to natural remedies, but nothing seems to work, so I will just have to ‘ride the storm’. Three or four weeks ago, I had to miss a week at the gym as I fell on some ice just outside the house. I think I twisted awkwardly as I fell and I was unable to move comfortably for a couple of days. I had very large bruise on my upper thigh area. It’s a good job there was plenty of padding to stop me cracking my hip joint!

I saw the doctor the other day, to get the results of a blood test (my cholesterol has been high). Cholesterol is now back to normal (just by modifying diet), but when I mentioned the menopause issues, he was wary about prescribing more HRT as someone in the practice has been diagnosed with breast cancer, so all of a sudden they are against it. What he did suggest was that I see the new counsellor that started at the practice recently, so I have an appointment in the new year to see him. Perhaps some of my symptoms are emotionally based, so we’ll see how this goes.

Quacky will like this story: Last weekend while making the first batch of mince pies, I saw a bit of a commotion in the garden and a Sparrowhawk had flown in and scattered all the birds off the feeders. He sat on the fence for some time, and I carried on baking, taking the occasional glance out of the kitchen window. A while later he had moved to the opposite fence, and then later still he moved to the fence at the bottom of the garden. Keith kept telling me to get the camera out, but I insisted that would make him fly off (it usually does)! The mince pies had been made, cooked and I had cleared up the mess, and he was still there. All told, he must have been there about an hour, even with the kitchen light on, blinds open and me walking around. Eventually, I thought I would get the camera out, so I moved slowly into the hall where the camera equipment is in a cupboard. I took out the camera bag and a tripod, went back into the kitchen to make sure he was still there (he was), came back out of sight and set the camera on the tripod, swithed on the camera, and ventured slowly back into the kitchen – GONE!!! Story of my life. I’m sticking to landscapes.

To close, I will leave you with a couple of videos, which I found on the BirdGuides blog. The first one involves a poor Mistle Thrush being taken over by a party of Waxwings. There are a lot about at the moment, and today would have been an ideal day to go and see some nearby, but with Keith in his sickbed, that’s now out of the question.

The second video is from the BBC Breathing Places campaign, and is very well done (and hilarious).

I hope everyone is having a great Christmas and that next year brings good health and happiness to all.



  1. i am not laughing honestly.


  2. Sorry to hear Keith’s not well still but pleased to hear your cholesterol is back to normal.

    All best to you both for the new year!

  3. Just watched the Breathing Places video – great stuff. Had both Mum and me giggling! Thanks D.

  4. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!!

  5. That poor dainty Mistle Thrush! Those cedar waxwings are such a mob! Have a very Happy New Year !

  6. Thanks for all your comments. And a Happy New Year to all.

    Starr – although very similar, the Waxwings are actually the Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) – native to Europe, not the Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum), a native of USA. It was rather remiss of me not to put the full name.

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