Waiting Room


Thanks to Marie Gail Stratford for the unusual photo for the prompt this week and to Rochelle for her unswerving dedication to Friday Fictioneers.

 

Copyright Marie-Gail Stafford

Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Waiting Room

Children play quietly with toys in the corner, they look up as a parent or grandparent walks from a consulting room to the x-ray department. I watch them as I wait for you to come back to me.

Not able to sit still, I join a line of worried relatives at the coffee bar. We buy coffee, tea, cake – anything to fill our minds, to give us a moment free from doubt and fear. No-one mentions the word we all dread, but ‘what if’ is whispered and hands are clasped tight.

Then suddenly, you’re walking towards me.

And you’re smiling.

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An Uncertain Future


Our fabulous group achieved recognition by WordPress – the comment I liked best- We love Friday Fictioneers as much for the blogging bonds it cultivates as for the range and power of the stories it inspires.’

If you missed the post you can read it here. So pleased for Rochelle and for the whole group too, as it is always a good feeling when your work is admired.

Back down to earth now, my story this week follows the lovely photo by Erin Leary.

Copyright Erin Leary

Copyright Erin Leary

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

An Uncertain Future

She waits outside the door, listening to the conversation between the doctor and her husband. Her nails dig into her palm, the discomfort a distraction.

‘Last question, do you know what day it is today Daniel?’

‘Yes, of course I do.’

‘Can you tell me?’

A slight pause, ‘you know it as well as I.’

‘I’m not sure, will you tell me?’

Silence

Sadness envelops her; her worst fears confirmed.

Later when they leave he holds her arm. Safe again, he looks at her with shining eyes, and wide smile.

She smiles back at him, immediately recognising her new role.

 

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Dementia is a cruel and unforgiving thing. This story came to mind as soon as I saw Erin’s photo. It is based on a close friend and her husband – a former accountant with a brilliant mathematical mind. She always described his illness like  ‘a mist that slowly descends until the way becomes totally obscured.’

 

 

 

Watching Trooping the Colour wearing tight pyjamas


Saturday 15th June was the Queen’s Birthday Parade in London.  We  had tickets to watch the pomp and pageantry in Horse Guards Parade; our seats were in a row that backed onto the gardens of Downing Street.

On Tuesday 11th June my husband complained of feeling unwell. He got worse throughout the day; our doctor decided that he should go to hospital and arranged for us to attend the Acute Assessment Unit at A&E.  We arrived at 9.00pm with overnight bag at the ready and were seen almost immediately for a blood pressure check and blood tests.  Next, my husband was sent for X-rays, and then we were told to return to the waiting area to be seen by the duty doctor.

We waited with a lot of other people; some moaning softly in pain, some just staring into space, some playing games on their phones or talking with friends and family. One woman was having an argument with her husband over the fact that he never took the rubbish out; he just sat and held her hand, understanding perhaps that this was her way of handling the uncertainty of what lay ahead.

At 12.30 we were called in to see the doctor. The results were back and it seems my husband had a kidney infection.  We were given antibiotics and pain killers and sent home.

I wasn’t convinced.

For one thing one of the antibiotics had to be ‘taken with or after food but NOT on an empty stomach.’ As my husband hadn’t eaten properly for three days and wasn’t about to have anything to eat now, I knew we were going to have problems.   He went to bed with one of the other tablets as I crossed my fingers and hoped he would have a peaceful night.

Wednesday dawned and things weren’t much better. He still didn’t want anything to eat but managed a piece of toast so he could take his tablet. He still felt ill and had a high temperature, but didn’t want me to call the doctor.

Om Thursday he seemed worse. I rang the surgery and spoke to the doctor. He asked a lot of questions, then told me he was going to admit my husband to hospital and I should take him over there straightaway.  On the way, I realised that I had forgotten to pack his pj’s.  We called in to a large clothing store on the way to the hospital, they had no pyjamas only ‘Leisure Wear’.

Once in hospital, we waited for what seemed like an eternity before he was admitted to a ward. Finally about 11.30pm he went to get changed into his ‘leisure wear’.He wasn’t impressed with my purchase; the top was too tight and the trousers too long.  I kissed him goodnight and left him in the care of the night staff.

I left the hospital and went to stay at my son’s house, not wishing to be on my own that night.  My daughter-in-law had laid out a pair of her pj’s as I had nothing with me. I was touched and amused that she thought her clothes would fit me; she is at least two sizes smaller than I and a good four inches taller. We had a hot drink and discussed what had happened during the last few days, then I climbed into their spare bed in a top that was too tight and trousers that were too long, but I was too tired to care.

The following morning I switched on the television to watch the Welsh Guards trooping their colour on Horse Guards Parade and wondered who was sitting in our seats.

In Horse Guards

Trooping the Colour

In the Mall

(More photos and full report @ BBC)

And a couple of balcony shots, courtesy of my tv.

On the balcony

On the balcony 2

Red Arrows over Buckingham Palace

Dieting, baby Beckham and Twitter…


I have always been a fan of actress Pauline Quirke and so was delighted to see her new look in the paper the other day.  Losing weight is not easy.  I have tried various diets at different times of my life and, like everyone else who has ever dieted, find that some work, some don’t. I have never been a fan of the cabbage soup diet – very anti social, or the banana diet, very binding.  Likewise shakes and snacks, they don’t do it for me either. Pauline followed the LighterLife plan and lost 6 stone in weight, the results speak for themselves.  I think she looks amazing.

                                                                  

The Dukan Diet has also been in the press lately and it does looks interesting; and although health experts say we should eat from each food group each day in moderation, I don’t think foregoing carbs for a few days can do much harm.  As you get older any excess weight becomes difficult to shift, so while I’m not sure about following the programme long-term, for a kick-start it should be ideal.

 I was intrigued by the names of baby Beckham.  Harper, although very different I can at least understand, but Seven…….  It has been explained in different ways but seemingly the baby was born just after 7 in the 7th month of the year and David played at number 7 …… if this catches on then my eldest son will have to change his name to Four, following the same reasoning as above.

 Lastly Twitter – a while ago I wrote a post about Twitter and whether to tweet or not.  Since then I have to say I have become quite hooked.  I exchange tweets with some great people and have found that if you strip away the celebrity chit-chat, underneath there is a seriously free marketing and PR tool.  I have watched as businesses have attracted more and more followers by selective tweeting about what they, grow, sell, produce, make, let, buy etc.  And it has also become a sort of advice directory, just post a tweet asking for help or advice on almost anything and before you know it, replies come flooding in. Charities seem to have benefited too and there are people on twitter who work tirelessly to retweet appeals for help with raising money or to publicise new campaigns.

Amongst other things it has renewed my faith in human nature. People still want to help people.

 

 

Staying Young


1. Enjoy the simple things

2.Laugh often, enjoy your life

3.If  you are wrong, admit it

4. Tears happen but you WILL endure

5. Keep learning new things don’t let your brain get idle, keep it working

6. Look after yourself, eat sensibly, exercise regularly

7. Tell the ones you love that you love them, every chance you get

8. Only keep friends who are cheerful – you don’t need the miserable ones

9. Don’t envy others – you have all you need

10. Love yourself, if you do, others will too

Life is not a dress rehearsal, seize it with both hands and enjoy it

Fish oils could be the “Elixir of Life”


During my search to find what’s best to eat while trying to lower my cholesterol, I find that apart from porridge oats, the omega-3 in fish oils can be another “super cholesterol reducer”

Not only that, it appears from recent research that an added bonus could be their anti-ageing properties too.  The report makes interesting reading and I shall certainly be increasing the amount of oily fish in my diet.

Read the report in the today’s ” Mail Online”  http://bit.ly/cm6Sg7

So….it’s porridge for me!


Since finding out that my cholesterol level is 8, not a good number to be, I have been reading up on what to do about getting it lower.

I have found out that porridge oats are an excellent thing to eat if you have high cholesterol, as the soluble fibre and beta-glucans helps get rid of the nasty cholesterol stuff in your blood stream.

In the course of trawling the internet, I came across this amazing site that tells you all you ever need to know about oats, how much is grown, how long we have been eating them and why you should add them to your diet.

http://bit.ly/cUY9G9

So, I will now start each day with a bowl of porridge oats and see if they can help me get from a level of 8 to one of 5 which is much more healthy

How do I lower my cholesterol?


I have had a blood test recently to try and find out why I feel so tired all the time and have no engery.  The tests didn’t find anything other than I my cholesterol level is too high.  It is 5 which is not good evidently.  So I have set about trying to find out what I should do to get the level down.  It seems that we make cholesterol in our bodies anyway but it is only when it is high that it becomes a bad thing.

I have read lots of stuff on the internet, some of which is quite confusing, but there is evidence that you can reduce the level by changes in diet and exercise. So out go prawns, eggs, red meat, cakes. biscuits, pastries

 and in come porridge oats, walnuts, olive oil, blueberries, chicken, oily fish, turkey….

     hmm doesn’t seem too bad!      

I will also have to start doing some exercising as I have been quite lax of late.  Do I have to hit the gym or would swimming be OK? Anyone got any other tips, they would be gratefully received

Health and Beauty tips – 2


Honey

Honey is an all-rounder, it can boost the body’s supply of antioxidants and promote well-being. It has been used for years as a complementary remedy for coughs and colds because of its’ high antibacterial properties.

Help ease a sore throat with a gargle made up of two tablespoons of set honey, four tablespoons of cider vinegar and a small pinch of salt. 

Flush out your system each morning and give a boost to your day by mixing two spoonfuls of honey with the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water.  Drink this each morning before breakfast.