Diary – Day 3, Westminster Abbey

Monday February 6th 2023

Day 3, Thursday 26th January. A much better nights sleep, think the use of earplugs helped. The pillows have a lot to answer for, I just can’t get get comfy.

Waking up in a strange place confined to one room takes some getting used to. It’s like I’ve lost my freedom to roam.

Today is our last full day in London, it’s not my best day.

Emotions, sensitivity running high.

We venture out later this morning, think we are both tired from yesterday’s adventures.

We wind through the streets passing faceless people, no eye contact, no good morning, heads down looking at their phones all rushing and pushing.

The hustle and bustle of London begins once more, no one has the time to even smile!

So strange…so alien, it’s like living in the covid world once again! The only difference is they barge and push into you without an apology…I was beginning to think I was invisible at one point. The underground people pushing in front of me from every direction, just because I’m not as quick as them, at getting through the gates!

I would have never have managed the spaghetti confusion of the tube on my own, I think I would have just froze, as the world passed me by.

My stomach has been in knots with the anxiety, but as Hubby says sometimes you have just got to come out of your comfort zone to experience.

I’ve definitely not been in my comfort zone! 😂

Especially not on the underground tube!

We reach our first destination of the day, Westminster Abbey.

Another wow moment as we just stand looking at the grand structure, the detail, the workmanship is purely unbelievable

After taking in the beauty of this Abbey we make our way through the grounds to the grand entrance

Through the door way, I stop…Wow so much to take in, my head is moving in every direction possible.

Captured by the intricate detail, the ceiling, the stained glass, the carving of the wood, stone and marble.

Words cannot express the true beauty!

Wow!

So many photos, far too many to show, think I got a little carried away with my camera!

I was overwhelmed as my eyes leaked a little, making it difficult to look through the lens of my camera.

What a magnificent place, just to think I am standing in the same building where kings and queens have stood. So many royal weddings and coronations.

The burial site of hundreds of prominent people, monarchs, prime ministers, poets, actors, scientists, military leaders and the unknown warrior.

There is so much history in this architectural masterpiece.

Truly amazing!

Diary – Day 2 Kensington, Hide Park and Lots More!

Thursday 2nd February 2023

Day 2 of our adventure in London (Wednesday 25th January)

After a disturbed nights sleep…Not my familiar surroundings.

We set off walking early doors, reaching the park where Kensington Palace is situated around 8.20am

A foggy cold morning, as the mist surrounds making visibility poor

It was quiet in the park just the odd cyclist wizzing past, but as time got closer to 9am the people started to emerge, rushing around a race against time to reach their destinations.

Hubby had made a flask and we had purchased a couple of croissants. We sat by the pond in Hide Park listening and watching the wildlife eating breakfast. What a perfect way to start the day!

After our breakfast snack, we head off in the direction of Buckingham Palace.

Feet already feeling the thousands of steps made yesterday, we take a slow pace.

All at once we hear music …it’s a drum banging…No surely there is not a parade!

Oh there was!

Funny how my pace quickens!

It was short lived though, as I become out of breath.

I forget I’m not as young as I used to be and also that dementia has moved in!

Well that was a surprise! Right time, right place!

We stand watching as they March down the Mall, what a special moment.

A trip to Harrods after the procession disappeared into the distance

Got to have a souvenir! A couple of mugs purchased 😊

The spots all over Harrods are from the designer. For Lui Viton

I loved the large statue

Look who I got to meet…A gorgeous Harris Hawk, he was on bird patrol, keeping the pigeons away. He was 23 years old.

This is where I get a little muddled on where we went next, so might not be in exact order

Another park, this time St James’s Park where we spotted a couple of different ducks and a solitary Black Swan, oh and a pelican in the middle of the pond!

We pass Downing Street, The Cenotaph, very grand government buildings which line the road of Whitehall

Now both tiring and hungry, we need refuelling!

After a period of resting our weary feet and filling our bellies, off we go again

The fog has not cleared any, which is making photography difficult but at the same time interesting

Our last destination is passed the very misty London Eye and make our way over Westminster Bridge to Big Ben, which is disappearing into the clouds

We have completed at least 20,000 steps, lost count of the underground hopping we have done today.

One thing is for sure I am making memories which are caught on camera for ever.

Diary – Day 1

Wednesday 1st February 2023

On Tuesday 24th January 2023, Me and Hubby set off on our first adventure of 2023

Toby has gone on a short break to Mr Steve’s our neighbour, while me and hubby take the road to London.

We set off on our 5 hour journey with butterflies in my stomach…

Excitement and apprehension all in one.

We travel down the motorway until we reach Stanmore.

Stanmore is where we will be parking up our car. Our next part of our journey will be by train and underground as we catch the Jubilee line train to Westminster.

I had no idea that the underground was so noisy!

Shortened version as my journey was around 45 minutes

The sound the train makes going though the tunnel…Wow!

My earplugs packed in the hold-all I didn’t realise I would need them.

The horrendous screeching noises that the train makes, as it shoot’s through the black tunnel.

So glad when we reached our destination

Good job Hubby is my guide, there is no way on earth I would have managed to navigate my way through the stations

We arrive at our hotel at 3pm unpack, quick drink then head off to get our bearings of the area…Ha! Ha!

Well I didn’t have a clue and I can’t read maps either, so I just follow my guide (hubby)

It’s late afternoon but just round the corner from our hotel was the Natural History Museum, would be a shame to just walk past this stunning building.

Before I know it I’m being drawn into the doorway.

The architecture Wow!

I was blown away with the vast open entrance hall…Another Wow!

We wander around, me clicking away with my camera.

To be honest I was more interested in the actual architecture of the building than the dead things in glass cases!

We head off to find somewhere to eat as our tummies are now a little hungry.

Full bellies, it’s time to retire back to the hotel.

It’s been a long day and our adventure is only just beginning!

Diary – Changes in senses

Tuesday 31st January 2023

I had never noticed until I sat in the back of the car that when the radio is playing, I cannot hear people in the front of the car talking.

Very weird, I can hear the radio and just a jumbled up mess of a noise.

I did ask for the radio to be turned down, well at least I thought I did, perhaps I was not heard, as I could not hear them.

I have recently noticed that my hearing has changed, certainly sounds seem much louder.

My doctor says it’s my brain / dementia changing my hearing.

I can not stand too much noise when in a confined space, any space when I come to think of it

I was never one for peace and quiet I always liked the TV on, I always had some kind of background noise, hated quiet!

Now it all about the tranquility, maybe that’s why I like to be outdoors with nature.

The open outdoor space

Natural noises of the birds, the trees, the sea and the wind…Calming, soothing, healing sounds

Dementia is starting to change my hearing and now also my eyesight.

I have noticed when reading books I can feel quite nauseous.

Even more so if I’m on my iPad for lengths of time.

At the moment I am juggling writing my blog, uploading photos as quickly as possible.

I cannot bear the feeling of nausea.

I wonder if other people living with dementia have come across the same or similar symptoms with hearing and eyesight?

Diary – Excitement of a new adventure

Monday 30th January 2023

The excitement of a new adventure grows nearer, also does the anxiety!

The planning, the packing, the remembering or not remembering in my case!

Two weeks previous

The hold-all came out of the loft.

I had already started putting things to one side, like our toiletries, nightwear, spare phone chargers.

Planning what I’m going to be wearing is a challenge in itself, always the great British weather to contend with!

I have enough trouble planning what I’m wearing on a daily basis, so I have no idea what I’m gonna want to wear when I’m in London.

It is now only one week away and still no clothes planned.

4 days to go and now gone into panic mode.

So much to think about. Not only the packing, but Toby’s food and things he will need.

Toby will be staying with Mr Steve our neighbour.

I also have my blogs and podcasts to upload.

I’m getting myself in a right old spin!

This is one of the things I hate about dementia…It’s taken away my ability to plan and organise my time, and it’s given me so much anxiety!

After a day of trying to work out what clothes to pack, I did complete all the washing and ironing only to realise that the jumper I am wearing, should have gone in the wash!

I wake on Friday morning much, much calmer when I realising there could be a nice sunrise.

A nice walk, always calms and distracts.

Distracts a little too much sometimes!

Especially when a Robin appears, following me on my walk.

The couple of hours outdoors did me the world of good.

Then I’m back in the mix of clothes sorting.

A couple of hours later, clothes sorted! Yay!

Time for lunch and then a few errands.

A very productive day today, feeling like I have achieved something.

To end the day a trip up to the beach to watch the sunset…What a sunset it was too!

New adventure growing ever closer.

Diary – The suns out!

Thursday 26th January 2023

After the wet windy weather we have been having over the last week or so, it felt fantastic to open the curtains to the sun.

The sky was blue, the sun was shining. It was time to be outdoors

I had a rubbish nights sleep, so seeing the sun gave me a bit of positive energy.

Hubby, Toby and myself set off for Fleetwood beach.

When we arrived the tide was way out.

I love how the sand undulates, creating patterns on the surface, looks like it’s been perfectly sculpted.

Toby loves the beach, especially when there are pools of seawater to run and splash through.

He turns into Super Hyper Dog!

A vibrant blue sky surrounds us, the sunlight warms our face.

Camera is out today!

I’m happily clicking away at anything interesting.

Today there are lots of shells, starfish and seaweed. All washed up in last nights stormy weather.

All making interesting photography

As we walk further and further out to sea, we can see all the hundreds of seabirds congregating

So difficult to get a clear shot as the sun is so bright and the birds are moving so fast.

My fingers and brain don’t coordinate fast enough these days!

We splash, we walk, we click with the camera.

I didn’t want to return home, I was enjoying the space, the fresh air and the wonderful calming sounds of nature.

Toby was enjoying life so much he got a little hyper, so I had to give him gave a good talking too!

My camera disappears…I’m busy recording a video…Hubby sneaked off taking photos of me! Cheeky!

Camera back in hand I’m taking my last few snaps before we leave.

I always feel so relaxed when outdoors…I can breathe.

No phones, no iPads, just fresh air the open space and nature.

Diary – Organising

Wednesday 25th January 2023

It was one of those nights where my brain would not shut down!

I saw every O’Clock up until 4am

I decided at 12.30 am to go into my craft room and re organise. It’s time to pack away the Christmas craft materials, well most of them.

I have started Christmas crafting for 2023, so I still need some Christmas crafty things to hand.

The craft room needs a good sort out before the filming of the Sundown documentary begins.

I riffle through boxes and boxes, sorting and labelling.

Labelling is definitely a must or I would never remember where anything is.

4 hours later, I decide to return back to my bed.

I manage a little sleep, 3 hours I think it was.

As soon as I’m up out of bed, I’m being followed around by Toby, whom is desperate to go for his morning walk.

My four legged friend always motivates me to get out, even when I’m not feeling it!

Out on the Nature Reserve the moon is still shining!

Dark sky’s make photography so difficult and rain is a nightmare!

With not much wildlife around, it plays havoc with my mood.

I have really missed my friendly little Robin, not seen since him since Christmas, which has worried me slightly.

Clicking away with my camera as the swans have joined us this morning.

They are putting on a bit of a show with there elegance and grace.

I stand watching, always captivated by natures ways. I hear some high pitched tweeting, again, and again. I turn around, looking all around, nothing.

Me and Toby turned to walk away from the pond when there right in front of me flying into the nearby bush …My friendly Robin!

I’m ecstatic!

Fumbling about in my bag for treats, whilst the Robin watches me, most probably laughing!

I’m all fingers and thumbs with excitement of the Robins appearance.

This little guy seems to know when I really need to see him.

He brings brightness, he lifts my spirits on the greyest of days.

I know why he wasn’t coming out of the bushes, the magpie was waiting in the undergrowth

Me and the Robin had a good few moments together enjoying each other’s company.

Amazingly this little bird always gives me a boost, put a spring back in my step, a smile on my face!

Back home, feeling energised I’m off into my craft room.

Inspired to try something a little different.

Out come my watercolours.

By the end of the day I had created something totally different, as I try watercolour and salt.

Diary – Doing My Own Thing

Tuesday 24th January 2023

What did I do after receiving my dementia diagnosis…

I felt lost

I felt cheated

I felt much sadness

I felt anger

I felt so low

I often thought…what is the point of my life now!

Hey!…

So much life left to live!

Still so much to give!

Remember the important person is Yourself!

Do what YOU want to do!

It’s taken a while for me to work that one out!

This year I’m gonna spend more time outdoors with my camera. That’s if this rain ever stops, it just seems to be constant at the moment.

I love being outdoors especially surrounded by nature. I feel so much calmer and at peace with myself

My camera distracts from the hum drum life, the confusion of dementia.

I love the peace and quiet, my head can be free.

Free from the noisy conversations of too many words being spoken. Words mingling together, a jumbled up noisy mess!

Finding something to distract from dementia is a wonderful thing because in that moment of time, it’s like dementia doesn’t exist.

Diary – Tired and confused

Monday January 23rd 2023

I wake not sure of the day, is it Saturday?

The rain is pelting the windows of the house. The wind is howling. How i hate the wind, I hear all sorts of noises, which makes me feel so uneasy.

My walks have been hit and miss due to the awful weather we have encountered.

I usually go for my walk early morning but the weather has changed that!

The heavy showers are keep me indoors, wishing and hoping for a reprieve.

The first fine spell I see, I’m off! Coat on, wellies on, camera in my bag, Toby on lead. It’s a race against time!

The rain comes back, now I’m in for a soaking!

These showers are so heavy!

I have been taking photos through the window, feeling so sorry for the pigeons outdoors in the garden.

Hubby reminds me they are used to being outdoors…Still feel sorry for them as they huddle into their plumage

The sea is so angry

Seafoam builds and covers our beaches

It is lovely to watch, but not when it’s blowing around covering what ever it touches in a salty residue.

We can’t see through our windows at the moment, due to the white salty film of salt, the joys of living at the coast!

The weather has been upsetting to my system, I have been waking much later. I have no motivation to move, only to get myself a cup of tea and return back to bed.

Today I’m not sure of the day or time even after constantly checking my phone…Today feels strange!

We all have those moments of what day is it?

It’s when that moment carries on, when you have checked your phone, iPad, watch, diary and it still not registering.

It’s a strange one today…I just go with the flow and hope for the best!

Diary – Studies

Thursday 19th January 2023

Being involved in studies, can be exciting, interesting and inspiring. Especially the ones I think could be beneficial to others.

One of the studies I most enjoyed was reading one of my blogs to some medical professionals. The blog I read was about receiving my diagnosis and the negativity that surrounded my experience.

The feedback from this was so positive, which resulted in my blog being used in the university.

When a study is prepared and presented well, it makes it easier to understand for all persons involved, especially when the person involved is living with dementia.

Studies that are complicated, with lots of things to remember, long threads of messages and emails, are a nightmare.

Then comes the changing of meeting times, it just blows my mind!

One particular study that I was hoping to be involved in, turned out to be so confusing.

The contact through messenger was at anytime of the day or night, expecting an immediate response. I even had a request to have a teams meeting during Christmas!

There was Pages and pages of notes to fill out.

I received a requested to print out a booklet. Later I realised it was 60 pages long!

They also wanted me to print a booklet for hubby too!

That’s a 120 pages!

Teams was the preferred online meeting. Requests through messenger sent and we confirm times that are suitable to both parties.

Meeting then changed at short notice.

This was so stressful and getting far to complicated to remember what I was supposed to be doing.

Nothing was inspiring me.

There is no need for complications !

Keeping things simple works better for everyone!