Diary – Home Sweet Home

Friday 20th May 2022

On Friday 13th May, It was back to my familiar surroundings…Home

We are greeted not by Deer today, just lots of new additions…Baby starlings…They are everywhere!

And of course Stephen Seagull, whom flew into the garden almost immediately

I was a little worried that my feathered friends would disappear if I was not around.

How wrong was I, as they all fly in to greet me.

I have definitely been missed. Perhaps not me exactly…I think it’s the tasty treats that I feed them they have missed!

Now I have to find my routine again, but first I have washing to do.

Today I will be spending the day washing and cleaning the car.

It’s so good to be home!

The newly fitted kitchen is a little confusing as I haven’t got a clue where anything is, so plenty of door opening and closing taking place.

You would think because I was the one who put all the pots and plates in the cupboards, I would be able to find them…No that is not the case! Hubby is struggling too! It’s all fun in the kitchen today!

As the day progresses more and more baby starling visits our garden, we have had a few accidents as they took a liking to our pond. The only thing is our pond is covered in netting to stop the seagulls from taking our fish.

One little starling got stuck in the netting, so while hubby held him I gently snipped off the net to untangle him. No damage done, as the little guy flies to a dry spot to shake himself dry

They have flown in to walls, fencing and our windows, startlingly themselves in the process, they are so clumsy! Learning to fly is definitely not as easy as they thought!

Most importantly there have been no major injuries.

My latest podcast is now available, if you would like to listen please click on the link below

https://open.acast.com/public/streams/62436d750d52760014eb5758/episodes/628499d45628ec0013f42bf6.m4a

Diary – Holiday and Dementia

Thursday 19th May 2022

When you crave for home Thursday 12th 2022

As our holiday week progresses, the agitation creeps in. I don’t know why this happens but it does. Even though hubby has tried to plan and make our break interesting, my sidekick starts to crave for normality.

It is a very strange feeling…I’m just missing everything… My routine, food, bed, home comforts.

Even though the place we are staying couldn’t be any better to relax and unwind.

The surroundings of nature giving me so much camera time…I mean come on! I had Deer greeting me every time I have enter the woodland, how amazing!

But…It’s just not home.

We have had ducks landing on the roof of the lodge, rabbits running around the perimeter of the lodge

Deers galore

Baby ducklings, goslings, even Mandarin ducks, something we don’t get where we live.

It’s has been so nice to see something new.

Thursday evening I was packing my suitcase, with wonderful thoughts of being in my own home.

Also the thoughts of leaving such a beautiful place, confuses the way I feel. So very mixed feelings.

Until agitation kicks in again, home is now definitely winning!

I have really enjoyed the woodlands, the nature and especially the Deer.

One thing I won’t miss is the winding roads!

Diary – Our Visit to Coniston

Wednesday 18th May 2022

On Thursday 12th May 2022 it was a visit to Coniston.

Coniston Water is the fifth largest of the lakes, Coniston lake is well known for Sir Malcolm Campbell and his attempt at the water speed record in 1939, which he achieved at over 141 miles per hour. On his death, his son Donald Campbell took up where his father left off.

His aim was to exceed 300 miles per hour, which he did on 4th January 1967, but the craft, ‘Bluebird’, shot up into the air and disappeared into the lake.

On 8 March 2001, Bluebird was raised from the bed of Coniston Water.

We have a short walk around the lake taking in the views, while Toby and Charlie play in the water

We make our way to the Blue Bird Cafe for refreshments, where we sit for a while, just watching the world go by.

Looks like a children’s activity group are having fun on the lake. When my daughters were at high school they had an activity week at Tower Woods in the Lake District, that’s some year’s ago!

Lots of water activities taking place today.

The Coniston Gondola taking passengers on a tour around the lake.

Hubby suggested that we should hire a little boat… seemed like a great idea.

Not sure about the dogs and how they would react.

Off we go in our little motor boat, chugging across the lake. It was a little rough at times from the wake of other boats which I didn’t like. As we rocked from side to side Toby was a nervous wreck, shaking and panting, obviously not liking the boat. Charlie wasn’t too bad as long as he was sat next to me.

As long as the boat was stable Toby was fine as soon as it rocked…well that was a different story.

So there’s me hold of two dogs trying to take photos and keep myself calm!

clicking away with my camera, when I spot a mother duck with 11 baby ducklings.

Wow! 11 all in a line, swimming across the lake…oh my goodness she has along way to go to reach the other side. I hope the ducklings stay safe.

We had just spotted a cormorant diving into the waters.

At last back on dry land which was a relief for Toby, Charlie and myself

So I won’t be rushing to do that experience again, well not with two dogs!

Diary – A visit to Keswick

Tuesday 17th March 2022

On Wednesday the 11th May, hubby suggested we have a road trip to Keswick via a few other places which I can’t remember the names now.

Firstly our morning walk, which was a little damp underfoot, it absolutely threw it down in the night

Being in the lodge the rain sounds so much louder than at home, it’s like being in a tin can! The noise didn’t bother me, we had a static caravan for years and loved the sound of the rain.

Didn’t see any Deer this morning, then again didn’t have time to hang around looking, we had a road trip to commence.

Off we go down the winding roads, I had forgotten just how winding and narrow some of the roads are in the Lake District.

I’m not a good traveler at the best of times…never have been. The winding in and out, the up, the down, the car moving from side to side really affects how I feel. I am now getting agitated, Hubby knows I’m not a good traveller.

All I am thinking at this moment of nauseousness is …“ why would you do this to me”!

We stop at the side of the road to give me a break, hopefully I will feel better once out of the car. The views distract me from the sickly feeling, as I take more and more photos.

Unfortunately it wasn’t the best day for photos, it was a little misty, obscuring the spectacular views.

We drive a little further where the mist looks to be lifting, a very welcome stop, as my feet are now on firm ground

Then it’s on to Keswick, these roads seem to go on and on, just winding in and out. A few hold my breath moments as larger vehicles come towards us…how will we ever get through!

At one point we had a large wagon with a trailer full of logs coming towards us, pushing us into the side of the road…Me I am panicking…My car! …My car!

We had only collected our new car last week, so I’m on mega alert. Me and my cars always have a special bond! I do get very attached and over protective where my cars are concerned!

So this particular journey is not making good memories at the moment.

After about an hour of winding roads, I now feeling rubbish. Stressed from escaping damaging our new car, we arrive in Keswick.

Keswick is a special place for Wendy one of my friends, so I couldn’t come to the Lake District and not visit Keswick.

Unfortunately it’s a grey cloud day, does not detract from the beauty that surrounds us.

The weather briefly brighten up a little while I captured a few photos.

I wish we had been able to spend a little longer at Keswick, but do you know what…It gives me an excuse to visit again sometime.

I made a collage of just a few of my photos from our visit to Keswick below

Wonderful memories captured on camera.

Tomorrows blog is a visit to Coniston

Diary – Settling in my holiday surroundings

Monday 16th May 2922

My diary is from last Tuesday 10th May 2022,

It took me a while to settle in my new surroundings. Takes me a good while to get my head around where things are…the simplest of things like a light switch throws me

All switches in a row…mmm which one shall I press, as I flick the switches on and off like Blackpool illuminations! Lights illuminated in every room!

The unpacking – When you unpack and put your clothes in the drawers. The day after you simply can’t remember where you have put things, so you have to open every drawer to find a pair of socks.

The routine – familiarity of home is no longer, a simple routine of charging my iPad and phone is thrown into confusion…where and when… I can’t even find my charger. Every single thing is in a different place causing confusion!

Planning- Hubby is planning my day so at least I have some idea of what I will be doing. I keeping my morning walk routine, the only thing is, I have to walk with hubby. Bang goes my independence.

Morning walk – I haven’t ventured out alone for a walk as it’s like a maze of lodges winding through trees and woodland. Far too confusing for me, so I do feel a little restricted.

Sleep – I’m finding it too dark at nighttime, especially when I go to bed and turn off the lights. I can’t make out where the furniture is placed, where the door is situated, it’s a little unnerving.

There are no street lights to shine a soft glow into my room or the moon to brighten the dark sky. The canopy of thick lush trees encase the lodge, creating a more natural habitat…The dark forest.

I love forests through the day when they are alive with bird song and wild life. At night it feels different with the rustling of trees, the eyes from animals illuminate and look quite scary almost evil. Funny how our brain plays tricks…Is it real or is it dementia making me question if things are real.

The bird song is definitely real, as I press record on my phone.

Bird song and nature…now that’s relaxing! There is the odd whimper from Toby in the recording, he most probably spotted a squirrel or a rabbit.

A holiday with dementia might be a little confusing at times, makes life a little more difficult. Life is never easy if you moan and groan about it. You have got to give things ago…You won’t know unless you try.

There are things that i would possibly change on my next holiday…See there will be a next time!

Diary – Arrival in Windermere

Friday 13th May 2022

Our first day in our woodland retreat was Monday May 9th 2022

Me and hubby had decided a short break not too far away would be a good idea. Just somewhere to chill out for a few days.

We chose a lodge at the edge of lake Windermere. Setting off for our destination we have a short stop off at Kendal.

The last time we visited Kendal it must have been about 10 + years ago, when hubby arranged a activity weekend for us both, clay pigeon shooting, quad biking and a spot of off road driving in a Land Rover. If I remember rightly, It threw it down the whole all weekend! We still had a great time though.

This morning as we pull into Kendal, i imagined things to look familiar. Nothing was familiar at all, apart from a little stone bridge over the river.

We park up the car, wander for a while, then spot a quaint little cafe that have lovely cakes. Tempted by the tea and cake we take a table outside as we have both dogs with us

We sit watching the world go by, as we delve into the warm scones, jam and clotted cream. Oh my word they where so good!

Next stop was the lodge situated at the edge of Lake Windermere, our home for 4 nights.

We arrived at our destination, looks wonderful. The lodge we are staying in is nestled into the woodland.

We could immediately hear the sounds of the birds…Oh this is Heavenly!

Ooo was said on several occasions! As I stand looking and listening to the sounds all around us.

Quickly unpacking our belongings we set off for a short journey to Ambleside.

It’s cloudy but fine…Not really bothered what the weather is doing, it’s just good to be somewhere different.

I could possibly wear my camera out at this rate!

The pleasure boats, some on the lake, others stand waiting at the jetty. Lots of visitors all eager to take in the beautiful views of the lake and surrounding areas.

At the edge of the shore there are lots of rowing boats, this one caught my eye “Emily “ My grandma was called Emily.

We walk for a while joining a public footpath to a higher position, yellow and orange poppies line the edge of the pathway, making a dull grey path come to life with colour.

Now tiring, we return to the car and head off back to the lodge for a rest before we eat.

After the dogs have eaten their tea, hubby takes the dogs into the woodlands while I rest. He has not been gone long when he comes back. “ Gail get your camera…Deer!“

Funny how my tired weary legs pick up and move.

Grabbing my camera as I leave the lodge, feeling excited at the thought of capturing a Deer on my camera.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, literally 2 minutes away from our lodge…Deer in the woodland, surrounded in a blanket of bluebells

Wow what a perfect end to the day.

Just Amazing!

Diary – Kitchen Finished!

Wednesday 11th May 2022

By the time you read this blog I will have already spent 2 days in The Lake District.

Hubby and I decided we needed a well earned break.

I don’t know how the change will affect my sidekick. I am hoping time out will benefit us both as the last 12 months has been a busy one with all the building work taking place at home

I have become a danger to myself! I was very unfortunate last week when a piece of wood fell catching my leg, 7 days on I still have a whopping bruise down the back of my calf

I am relieved to say, all bits of wood and building materials are now removed as our kitchen is now finished!

This is how our journey started

The foundation’s where dug out as per planning application. As soon as the concrete was set the building work began.

Hubby has built our extension single handed whilst also going to work 6am – 2pm. Then coming home and starting on the build till 9 – 10pm. I really don’t know how he has managed it, but he has.

Me, well I have done a bit of labouring when needed, wallpapering, cleaning and most probably complained about the dust and mess.

Below is a collage of the stages of build

This has been the biggest project we have taken on. It has been stressful, messy, frustrating, time consuming and exhausting!

Would we do it again… Not advisable with dementia in tow!

It has definitely been a journey!

Hit a few bumps on our way.

The main thing is we got there in the end 😊

Diary – Disappointed

Tuesday 10th May 2022

I have had some really rubbish head days over the past week or so. Unusual for my head to feel so fuzzy for this length of time.

I normally try and carry on the best I can, sometimes I not do myself any favours pushing on through the foggy. I know I should be kinder to myself and relax more, but that’s just not me!

This time the fog has seemed different, it has been lasting much longer. It has been thicker, heavier making my balance wonky, concentration nil and unable to think straight, the worst feeling for me is the nausea.

Foggy head mornings have been the worst.

Mornings are usually the my best part of my day.

The foggy fuzz has been hanging around far to long for my liking, disrupting my plans to travel to Pontefract to the Dementia Campaign Celebration, for Yorkshire Ambulance Service

I was so honoured to be asked to produce a couple of sketches for the campaign

The first one i tried to capture the negativity, leaving my art work just grey and dull.

Then come the change towards a more positive approach, bringing back brightness.

I was absolutely gutted I couldn’t be with everyone for their celebrations.

Laura from Yorkshire Ambulance did however send me some photos of my art work, which was on display at the event. She also thanked me for creating these thought provoking sketches for the dementia friendly campaign, for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Even though I was disappointed not to attend it was the right decision to cancel as I wake Thursday 5th May to yet another fuzzy head! I’m feeling so deflated by all the bad head days I have been having.

Looks like it’s a quiet day for me.

Later in the day as the fog is lifting, I potter about working on the fairy house, I started last week.

I have just to add some moss around the top and a little sign, then the house is ready to go to it’s new destination.

Really enjoyed the challenge, it has been 2 years since I made my last fairy house.

Diary – Bank Holiday Gardening

Monday 9th May 2022

It was a very grey day for Bank Holiday Monday the 2nd May, fortunately we did escape the rain.

Me and Toby out and about first thing. This photo was taken at the Nature Reserve at 6.30am

A very soggy looking dandelion.

The birds where quiet this morning only a few little birds around

As I reach the pond I notice the swans are back, they have been missing since their nest was abandoned, so it was good to see them both.

The Grebes where busy with their youngsters, it was so difficult to capture a clear photo, due to the fact they have been spending lots of time right at the back of the pond. Which is some distance away.

After 90 minutes we return home to start on some gardening.

I have planned today to start making up our hanging baskets. I have quite a few to put together.

I start around 10am having a break for lunch.

I can not believe how long it is taking me this year. I struggled to remember if I had mixed in the slow release food and water retaining gel. In the end I made a big bucket of compost mixed with gel and food to make things easier…Don’t know why I didn’t do that to start with!

The next thing was rembering which basket was going where, I don’t want to risk hanging them out just yet because we have had a few mornings with some ground frost

I make labels and put in each basket, so now I know where each basket will be hung in our garden…I am a bit of a coordination freak!

Most of the baskets done, which is a good job as I have no room left in my little greenhouse.

Diary – Finding “Me”

Friday 6th May 2022

I have often spoke about fitting in or trying to fit in

There are people we gel with and find it easier to talk with, have fun with and share problems with.

But is life really about fitting in?

Do I have to fit it

Or is it about being me!

Why should i try to fit in! Mould myself into something I’m not comfortable with.

I have realised, it’s not about fitting in…it’s about “being me”

When you are being yourself everything comes from your heart, usually unfiltered, we just go with our first thoughts.

Sometimes I suppose people are upset by, as it’s normally the truth.

To be me means that I embrace the authenticity of myself ( that’s a big word to try and say now!)

There is no right or wrong way to be myself. It is simply just being me!

I needed to find and embrace the “me” in my life. That sometimes felt uncomfortable.

I have been working through a process of finding “me” I do think my diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s definitely confused me, making it difficult to find who I really am.

The world gives so many distractions, opinions, truths, and pressures that I was finding it hard to know where the real me began.

My role in life has changed which has been difficult to come to terms with. I was always in charge, organising people from a supervisor, to a manager to owning my own business.

Now my role now has dramatically changed. No longer managing and organising. Im just a wife, mother, daughter, stepmother, grandma, and a friend. These are my roles.

I think it is important to say, i am not passing any judgments here.

I am just trying to accept and appreciate all the experiences I have encountered over the last few years, in what is, the new chapter in my life.

The experience that I have taken with me over the last 3 years have empowered me to be the person I am today.

Acceptance and appreciation is the key to me being “me”

Embracing the real “me” meant that family, friends and acquaintances may have felt uncomfortable with me. Even though this has been an uncomfortable process for me too. I had to embrace the moments the best I could to find out who I am.

Some friendships that I cherished ended due to my dementia. Friends believing that I am no longer the same person I used to be. That’s how some see dementia.

What is an important thing to remember is , I still cherish those severed friendships along with the experiences because I was lucky to have them in my life.

The reality was that these people were unable to see “me”. They only saw the “me” they wanted “me to be”

The people that have accepted “me” I am happy to say our friendship / relationships are stronger.

For me to “be me” I have to be comfortable with myself, in my own skin and to let go of what and who is preventing me from being my self.

I think now, I have a better understand of my values and I am learning to letting go of anything toxic that may surround me.

After all I’m just trying to find “me”

My latest podcast Episode 4, you can listen by clicking below

I share my experiences of the benefit system