A Brand New Year

January sunshine on the park

Happy New Year to you all, wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year.

We had all the family staying for a few days during the New Year festivities, so a full house with grandchildren, dogs and all. For me, a fabulous way to spend the first day of the year and the best way to start off a whole new year ahead of us.

Rose and Freddie

Our thoughts turn to new resolutions and new beginnings when it’s a new year. It does feel good and quite exciting to know and feel there’s a whole fresh year stretching out in front of us, with ups and downs, but which may bring new things, new people in our lives and more precious time with family and friends.

Freddie and me just having a little rest
Our gorgeous Darcy

I haven’t really made any new resolutions, but just resolved in my mind quietly to try and focus a little more on some of the things I have been doing and want to keep on doing more of.

I’m always committed to reading, but want to make sure I keep this up and even read more and more variety and genres. I’ve been given some lovely books for Christmas, both fiction and non fiction and recently joined an online book club. I’m also doing the ‘Goodreads’ reading challenge, which I do every year, so hopefully plenty to keep me motivated with my reading.

I realise I’ve been neglecting my blog too, which I’ve had going for so many years now, but life is so busy sometimes and has changed with my health and having grandchildren. I want to try and readdress this and start writing more. I think with writing, the more you write and practise, the easier it becomes and your writing flows. I’m just going to make sure I make writing my blog a regular practise, like I always used to do.

I’m still working on my second book and I’m determined I’m not going to pressurise myself with it, but equally determined that I will complete it too. I’m working on my first redraft, which is a big task. I was so pleased to complete my first whole draft manuscript last year, and I’m tackling the redraft a chapter at a time, as and when I can find the time and in between all the other things that are important to me.

There will be more redrafts before we get to the publishing process, so this will be a continuing work in progress, a good project to have on the go and tackle step by step.

Teddy on squirrel alert!
Cyclamen in the January sunshine

I’m also determined to get out and about like we always have, despite the restrictions with my lungs. I have oxygen and a wheelchair to help for trips out. It may only be a simple trip to the park, which is on our doorstep, but I do think getting out of the house is important, however I’m feeling and even if I feel under the weather.

There’s nothing like the stimulation of fresh air, nature, seeing the world around us, meeting new people or just browsing in the shops. There’s always something new to see or learn and with going out comes the chance to keep up another favourite hobby of mine, photography. Every positive step feeds another one I feel.

Getting out and about also gives me the chance for exercise, as walking is my favourite exercise and I’m limited with my lungs as to what exercise I can do. There’s always a chance for a bit of walking wherever we go. I’m talking about walking slowly in my case and for a managable amount of time before I get too tired, but every step counts in trying to keep healthy. Keeping moving is so important to keeping as well as I can. I guess, therefore, one of my mottos this year is to keep moving.

Sunset on the park

We’ve had a busy start to January as Rose is moving back in with us for a few months, so we’ve done a big clear out upstairs, to make some room for all her things. She’s having her flat renovated, so that will be great for her and David once it’s all done. Building work is always stressful, but hopefully it will all go smoothly. We’ll enjoy having her and David back for a while though. Sarah and Oli are also having lots of work done on their home too, starting this week, so I think we may have a full house now and again. There never seems to be a dull moment, but that’s a very positive thing to me!

I hope you’ve all had a good start to the New Year 😊

Having a quiet read and a little time out

Autumn/ Winter 2019

Autumn was a very beautiful time and we managed to do so much. We started off in October in Norfolk with a week away with family celebrating our wedding anniversary, Rob’s birthday and the 6th anniversary of my heart and double lung transplant. It was a very special time for all of us being together.

We also enjoyed a couple of visits back to our home in Cumbria, enjoying some glorious autumn days and sunshine and of course the beautiful Lake District scenery.

November was a very busy one, Rob spent quite a lot of time rehearsing for his play at the Barn Theatre, The Railway Children in readiness for December when it was running in the lead up to Christmas. We also held our Transplant Support Group Christmas party and attended the PH Support Group Christmas party too. We enjoyed a lovely Christmas family get together on the Nene Valley Railway too. That’s become an annual habit now and this year we had our beautiful Darcy. It seemed the Christmas festivities started in November.

In December we sneaked in another visit to Cumbria and enjoyed doing a little Christmas shopping and seeing the Christmas lights and cosy log fires everywhere. We were busy preparing for Christmas and Rob performed in his play. We enjoyed another family get together when we all went along to see him.

Actual Christmas was another wonderful family time. I was pleased I’d managed another December away from hospital. We did catch colds, but we all had it, I was lucky mine didn’t turn serious and the fact that we all had the same virus meant we could be together. We enjoyed the Papworth Hospital Charity Christmas Annual Carol service – the first one I’d been well enough in December for since my transplant, so that felt an achievement.

We finished December with another family outing to see the ‘Enchanted Christmas Lights’ at Audley End, an English Heritage place. This was lovely, we had perfect dry and mild weather conditions and the lights were amazing. We enjoyed the fun fayre with Freddie and toasted marshmallows and then finished off with hot dogs and mulled wine for supper.

It was a lovely end to another great year. A year where we felt we’d spent so much lovely time with family and friends and made so many happy memories once more. Despite my health setback in April, I’ve managed to go the longest run yet in the last three years without needing intravenous antbiotics or an actual hospital visit. A chance to get a little stonger, despite my lungs being a little frail. That’s got to be a positive way to end the year.

A Little Catch Up

It’s been a little while since I’ve been on here, so this is a little catch up post.

I’ve had a few ups and downs with my health since February including a serious incident with sepsis and a pulmonary embolism, which landed me hospital for a while. Then, as I was recovering from all this, I had a couple of pneumonia infections following just picking up simple colds, so it’s been one step forward, then two steps back.

There’s had to be a lot of laying low and rest and recuperation, but in between we’ve also had some lovely family times and best of all celebrated the birth of our beautiful new granddaughter Darcy. I’ve been concentrating hard on getting better and spending time with my family and especially my gorgeous grandchildren. They are so important to me and with my fragile health, even more so.

My medications have been stepped up considerably since last autumn, including antibiotic nebulisers twice daily to try and help prevent the respiratory infections and blood thinners to help the blood clots in my lungs and prevent any further clotting. We don’t know where the clots came from, so the blood thinners are permanent. I’ve also been provided with both home and ambulatory oxygen to help my breathing, just as and when I need it. So I’m seeing how I get along with all of this now and if it helps. We feel the nebulisers have helped, as although I’ve picked up colds, I’ve mainly managed to stay off intravenous antibiotics and stayed out of hospital just on oral antibiotic medications, so I’ve been pleased with that.

We’ve been trying to make the most of all the times I’ve been well, getting out and about with the family when the weather has been good and enjoying life to the full. We have had many lovely times in between the mishaps and we have some lovely things planned for summer. I’m keeping fingers crossed that things are on the mend now and I’m having a lovely steady spell where we can just enjoy the summer and all it brings.

Thanks for reading and I hope to be back blogging more regularly now things are much better. Wishing everyone a lovely summer.