Wednesday, March 28, 2018


So, this time 10 weeks ago I was being wheeled around Stoke Mandiville A & E...
First time in A & E, first break of anything, first enforced stay in a hospital, first operation under general anaesthetic ...

10 weeks later, here I am in a pub having a reasonably good local Pilsner( Rivertown Brewery AKA McMullens...which surprised me as I'm not an aficionado of their ales...)

My first time flying solo out of the house!!  The grand J & D dropped me off, then 3 months of hair chopped off at Micks The Barbers

a hobble along to Costa, ( Latté and a cheese & ham toastie), then here...plan is to hobble from here to taxi rank around the corner and wend the way home.

So, how have i arrived here?  

2 weeks hard caste, nearly 4 weeks fibre cast - all NWB and Air boot since then, PWB.  Still another 3 weeks boot to go till I'm free of their support and shoes AND being able to drive!!

The frustrations... hopping like a flamingo everywhere... chest hurting as if I've been up and down Whitby's steps a couple of times, in a gale!! 

The sense of missing a whole season.  Looking out of the window it's at times been like that image from the H G Wells "Time Traveller" film where the images all blur by. Snow, ice , rain, sun, shadows on me wardrobes lengenthing.

Not being able 'to do anything', Mother feeling abandoned, Suzie balancing work/home/domestics - I was supposed to be taking all that pressure off her...

The atrophication of my leg, no muscle, skin falling off, the smell!! 

The good bits... my first hobble with the airboot and THE FOOT touching the floor; the first night in bed without a caste on, really not enough of a wordsmith to describe it, just good...

The 'all of a sudden' eureka moment when I could stand without a crutch or the faithfull zimmer, sort of wobble across the room...

My walk to club and a have beer by end of April :)

Friday, February 02, 2018

So, 2 weeks and counting...

How's it going the, this recovery process...what have I learned?  

1. When the Doctor says to elevate, that is exactly what you do. As a fellow recovereee says :-
"Gravity is a beast that can’t be fought, and as the blood rushes down to your broken place- you will surely do what the doctor says." 
2. Crutches - probably great if you have a sense of balance.  Reckon Suzie wouldn't have any problems with her dancing feet, me...feel as if every step is a step closer to oblivion!!

I want one of theses!!

3. Sleeping is glorious- if the pain lets you do it. Sleep as often as you can- both for healing purposes and even more for your mental well being. It passes the time!
4. Have to keep reminding myself that the house will be fine...  It may be messy, and surely not how I do it all, but things will somehow get done. One of my mantras since I retired has been that it's my job to be 'house person' and take the strain of domestic stuff off Suzie - come a little obsessed with routine of when and how I do a certain thing, wash on Monday, iron on Friday etc..   It will all be there waiting for me, when healed. Chill!
5. Don't get discouraged. I thought I would have  all sorts of time on my hands to read and rest and watch movies etc. But as time goes by, and low and behold- Ive done nothing worthwhile at all. Just lots of lying here...
What discourages me is that I find it really hard to lean on the zimmer, or against a wall, or whatever other household appliance I'm next to, while trying to concentrate on NOT putting that bleeding heavy, cumbersome bother of a foot down to actually do anything - especially if I have to potentially carry the end product.  
I made sandwiches, and had the choice of standing in the kitchen and eating them, or finding a way to get them to the sofa...a) in a jug and b) wrap them in foil and throw them!!

6. wipes are a blessing :)

7. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go. Same goes for eating, bathing, dressing, and attempting to get from ANY one place to the next. Plan accordingly. Plan AHEAD. These simple tasks are not so simple anymore.
8. Emotions...I have been lucky so far, only 2 real episodes of downright feeling sorry for myself, why me, why cant I just get up and go for a pee without all this bother of hopping, bouncing, grabbing...( first one being outside the hospital and that was really just shock setting in). 
Again, that fellow recoveree says it better :- 
'If you want to cry, cry. I get it. All of us gimps get it. It’s absolutely no fun to be motionless and hurting. No fun at all. You think it will be a nice break from responsibilities, but you quickly realize that it is so much harder than any workplace you ever entered. Cry.'
Then, I thought about others I know who won't get better, won't get their bothersome caste off, and perspective comes flooding back. 
9. If somebody offers help - TAKE IT!!  Thanks J & D xx
10. Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude. Find it. 
11. If you find a comfortable position...stay there!!
12. Take your pain killers...
13. Repeat to yourself: “This is temporary.” Keep saying it and remind yourself that this is truly a blip in time. 
14. Remember that healing has its own timeline. It’s a precarious thing, really.
So far, my pain has edged away, hospital next week, then the next phase...

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

#Recovery!!..Day 3 into 4...

#day 3. 2337 

Lying down def best - lots of moving around this evening and ankle now really thudding away...looking forward to last of the days pain killers!!

#day 4 0600

First all night sleep for a long time - (pre break as well), but def since last Tues. 

Downside, woke up on my back, but lying to my left, which meant my foot was lying to the left rather than straight up - and it immediately let me know....#complaining in its own hurty way!!

Next part of the adventure is to take pain killers, wait a while, then loo - which is an issue all of its own in my life!!  #oldgit. 


Well #pain. 

Just been to loo, which entails dropping left leg first out of bed, then poorly right one...waiting a few seconds for the blood surge, which is when first tranche of payback for sleeping on my side. Pain here is sharp, cutting. 

My limited anatomy knowledge suspects it’s the blood vessels swelling up against caste... 

Next move is to pull myself upright and hop towards door. Yesterday I could grasp radiator- can’t today ‘cos I pulled it off the wall last night!!  

Then, bent the way I have been moaning at my Mother for doing over the past few months (at least her excuse is she’s 90!) I bumble along by grabbing the end of the bed, and hopping and bouncing of wardrobe door - ending the bedroom part of the adventure by flinging myself to the safe hands of the Mr Zimmer!! ( never thought I would be saying that at 61 and a half). 

Part 2 of the early morning loo leads me into the bathroom and a Naked Gun style standing relief...we can’t shut door at the moment because we now have a ‘support’ loo ( kindly lent and kindly meant) for the more robust business that will hopefully happen later!  I say later, because that well known side effect of codeine is truly working!!  

By now the pain is a long constant ‘look at me’ call from the ankle joint area- and I am trying to hold poorly foot off floor, balance in a very wobbly way and keep my aim..not good at multitasking at the best of times!  

Finished, flushed, now to return...turning around is a right royal palaver by itself!! Grab hold of Zimmer, do a rain dance on the one foot hopping around to face bedroom again and repeat part 1 to throw myself back into the bed and put ankle back up ( straight up ⬆️) and pretty much instant release from the sharp, cutting pain...leaving the now deeper, background thud. Definitely not a dull thud yet, but it’s good to like back and realise that’s what it will become when drugs properly kicked in   😀

Of course, it’s only a temporary relief, it’s going to happen again when nature calls. 

  Preparation for a long day in bed...with feet UP!!!

#day 4 11.24am
This time last week I was lying back in a lane looking at the sky and feeling numb!!

Clean!!  And knackered, sat here breathing as if I have just climbed Cairngorm again!!  Even with a perch chair, everything at hand, it’s the effect of not being able to stand/balance or bend naturally- shaving a weeks grey whiskers off felt good though!  


I feel I have rush at it all, start shaking quickly- in fact I am shaking as I write this, #recovery!!


Frustrating - it’s hard to accept that you really CAN'T just POP into the kitchen, or the loo, or help with the washing or even just answer the door in less than 5 minutes...if it’s not the broken ankle, it’s the other foot/leg, in fact the whole of remnants of the body that appear to have to work 10times harder than before!! 

Upside is that it feels really good when I do flop back onto the bed with foot propped up high!! 
Killing the pillows though!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ankle Recovery etc...a blog

Okay, I fell, cracked me ankle in 3 places, was looked after exceptionally well by the staff at Stoke Mandeville...
pre op...

She loves me..

I needed to show I love her...

Post op...

Wash...pah, whats one of them...

Still loves me...(even though she cant see out of her gummy eyes!!)


Look...outside world!!

my new bestest friend... I'm home and for the first time in my life, a proper invalid.  Not someone who is coughing and spluttering with pig flu or man flu or some other idle complaint..

So, lets keep a blog of my recovery ( my..our because I won't recover without the help of Suzie and friends,,,)..

Op #day 1 Sunday 21st January 2018

My first operation, didn't really know what to expect...all very professional, anaesthetist calm and clear...went 'down' at 1240, into anaesthetist room at just about 1 pm, chatting to me...then I woke up!!

No sense of doziness or dizziness before op at all!!  I have a fleeting recall of a short dream by then I just opened my eyes looking at ceiling in the recovery room!!!  Remember looking at clock - 2.45. They must have been waiting for me so they could finish their shift!  Zoomed back to the ward.

My leg below my knee felt like a block of cement - they had put a 'block' in for pain relief, no feeling in nerves for upto 24 hours.

Suzie had stayed at mothers Sat, (they are both unwell!!), so she arrived around 4ish...

still loves me...

Post op #day 2 Monday 22nd January 2018

Although they had mentioned, in passing really, that it would be expected that I would be discharged 24/48 hours after 'The Op', it came as a bit of a culture shock to be told I was going home yesterday ( Monday) ...Suzie had the baby car, no warm clothes for me and I became quite distressed ( and probably depressed) with it all.  But we made it!

Oh, but the pain!!  By the time we arrived at The Nest, I was a tad hurty...

The lovely John and Denice ( who is having to deal with her mum passing away on New Years Day) were here to help me get in the house, which was fun with the Zimmer, in the dark - but as ever Denice is the organised one with torches etc...I have never been so glad to sit down on a sofa with me legs up!!

Emotionally I had gone from shocked, depressed, distressed ( I cried my eyes out at one stage in the afternoons proceedings) to now into organiser mode - all selfish, all aimed at MY comfort..lets put this here, lets do this, put that there...need shopping...SIGH...

End result?

Pizza delivery for tea, J & D are being our shopping buddies and bed is the BEST place in the world..

Post op #day 3 Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Hectic start -
Made a tick list !!  But it worked!

Suzie wasn't TOO late leaving for work, I'm sat here lying, as per the only real instruction from surgery team, with my foot 6 inches high than my heart and i have all my needs for most of the day!! 

Pain...was feeling okay at first this morning, then I went to the loo, as soon as I dropped my ankle towards the floor, WHAM!  Blood shot down there and it complained in the LOUDEST possible fashion. I am determined ( being a wimp and all) to keep the pain level well down below my threshold for as much as I can for these first few days, so bed it will be...

Welcome to the least I have a window with a breeze and birdie noises outside!!

Friday, January 19, 2018

There's always a first in, my Ankle!!

So, there I was, happily wandering off on my Wednesday walk, this time at Watlington Hill
I had just said hello to this guy...
and taken in this view... 
and walked through the little side gate along The Oxfordshire Way...

when i slipped!!  I felt my left foot go sideways, shoved down my walking pole and then my right foot went woooshh under my left foot.  I heard THE CRACK!!  
Found myself on my back, looking at a beautiful clear blue sky and, in all honestity, a tad numb of mind.  Then I looked down and ...
Yep...hurty!!  SO, and here is where modern life has its real upside, took out my lovely, gorgeous iPhone and dialled 999.  
(Without the mobile, i would have had to drag myself up the pathway, through 2 gates and across a field to get back to the roadway...)
Wonderful people there organised things exceptionally quickly..'cos I was alone and in a remote location on a cold day, initially they were going to dispatch the air ambulance from RAF BEnson, but as i was so close, sent the medics in a land rover instead...i was churlish enough to feel disappointed at that - sorry!!
My View...

As i was lying here waiting a couple of Red Kites kept swooping down across this gap...never when i had my phone in hand ready!!!
They couldn't find me!!  I saw the blues go past the upper field twice...lots of shouty stuff from me, a couple more phone calls and they arrived, just like in a rescue movie (well from my angle anyway!!)
And here I am, Stoke Mandeville Hospital..
and please donate to..

few more pics...
Ambulance driver told me he walks his dogs up around there, and none ever goes down that path!!

Queueing...not overly long and everybody was very polite to each other.."after you you first" etc...

then siri got in the act!!

naked broken ankle, now know its 3 places!

post manipulation and temp cast..

Operate? nope...still swollen...

Wifie sorted out decent clothes :)

Sunny room...

Monday, December 18, 2017


Since forever I have been reading the journals of James Boswell.

I had heard of him, had even heard of his bio of Samual Johnson, but didn't know anything about either of them, or really of the 18th century in which they lived and died. I knew about George III being mad and losing the Americas, had heard of Bonnie Prince, and in fact visited, Culloden, had some inkling of the following clearances. The names of Reynolds, Goldsmith and Garrick had been picked up from somewhere...

Then in a bookshop I picked up 'Boswells London journal-1762-1763'. I was hooked.

Here was man completely sharing himself. He didn't hang back on what he thought of himself, those around him, the age he lived in, being 'Scottish'...( he hated it!!) It covers the time from November 15, 1762 to August 4, 1763, beginning with Boswell's departure from Edinburgh, and ending with his last day in London before leaving for the continent, not to return until 1766.

He writes about his attempt to secure a commission in the guards, his affair with Covent Garden actress Louisa Lewis, his (declining) relationship with actor and elocutionist Thomas and playwright Frances Sheridan, his reunion with old chum William Johnson Temple and the beginning of his friendship with Samuel Johnson.

We also hear of the gay life in London with his fellow scots Andrew Erskine, George Dempster and the 10th Earl of Eglinton, as well as his occasional depressions and a visit from Signor Gonorrhea.

What follows is a library of journals edited and published by Yale University, using his journals and letters, written right up until nearly his death, and all with the same viewpoint ...his.

He was shallow, self centred, egotistic, alcoholic at times, a bully, a mysinogist, lecher, unfaithful (often!), not very good at his job but thought himself the bees knees and often looked for positions way above his ability.

For the past 15/16 years I have lived his life with him. I have empathised with him, hated him, been revolted by him, surprised by him. He has led me through the second half of the 18th century, ignited my interest in the places he lived, visited, the people he met, wrote about, gossiped about, moaned about.t

He was abused emotionally by his father, people who had the power over him ( power because of his ego - looking for something he was never going to get)...he put it all down. I have walked over the places he walked in London, tried to eat and drink in places he may have visited, found Goldsmiths grave near The Temple church because of him ( and discovered that wonderful spot as a consequence...). I have learned more about the man he hero worshipped ( Samuel Johnson) and delved back farther into the first half of the 18th century.

Then this week he died. I came to the end - May 19th 1795, he was 54. Here's a drink to you Jamie...

(he like a bit of hot cider...and claret..and brandy...and, well, you get the drift!)

Monday, June 19, 2017

ummm Half Yearly Update!!


Here we are nearly at Summer Solstice and I've completed TWO posts this year; BAD to quote Donald T!

So, what occurred then?  Ive started investigating the family - hoping to create a timeline of Wood's, Pennocks, Youngs and Jones, with possibly a small dash of Bull added in.

Found Nan...:)Eliza May Jones

What else...been on 'holiday!  The Cam/Mal Arson 🔥🔥 Kingsmead Experience..good old Facebook...see it here

Went to Scotland...walked up Cairngorm (can't say climbed!!).  Great few days to myself camping in a forest

The latest incarnation of The Veg Nest is going well...loads of pics here

Ps...Retirement is grand...