Monday, 31 July 2017


This is Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.  In Fraserburgh we have a small A&E.  But if you need to see a consultant and/ or have an operation you have to go to ARI.  Aberdeen from here is 41.2 mile and takes 59 minutes , according to google.  This does not take into account the roads one uses, the current ongoing dualling of that road, the bottlenecks which still remain despite many road improvements and then doing battle at the hospital which has limited parking, even more limited as they attempt to redress all that by building a multistorey car park.

So by the time you get there you are exhausted.  The DP does the driving.  Had I just been going to Dunelm I could cope but getting there for an appointment - no.  My appointment was at 2.15. ( in the pink zone.)  The DP had to drop me off with chariot and then find somewhere to park.  I went to the most disgusting disabled loo which stank, was airless and very claustrophobic.  We had driven through torrential cloud bursts but Aberdeen was sunny and hot.  The hospital had the heating on full tilt.  I must remember to wear nothing but jama bottoms and a vest when I go there again.  So as I headed off to the pink zone my breathing had a lot to be desired.  I managed it.

Waiting room.  Daytime t.v. Now I know why I do not watch it.  Plus there was the mental agony of there being no lip sync.

The DP eventually turned up.  I was just heading off with a nurse who said " She will be about an hour as this is her second cataract op and we have all her details."  Whoopy do.  So the DP buggared off for an hour.

So question and answers, wee sample, bp test oxygen levels, bad, then I got asked questions I have never been asked before.  "Tell  me the months of the year backwards from the end."  So I did.  Then it was how old are you?  What year is this?  So after proving I was compos mentis...... Also eye test, ok for driving as my left bionic eye zoomed through the examination.  Right eye - zilch.  Back to the waiting room and more of looking for a very expensive house in Cornwall.  On the t.v. Which was quite interesting as I used to live in Cornwall.

The next was into another room and  I was told that as I had been through all this before they had the measurements for the bad eye, I do hope the eye doesnt change then in two years.  So back into the waiting room. By which time we were onto 'Flog it'  Never seen that before.  What a dubious set of experts.  Fortunately the last bit in the last room was putting drops in my eyes so my sight was blurred.

I then had to wait to see THE CONSULTANT.  Who was so clever I was placed out of order.  So - remember - the DP had been told, an hour, we got there at 2.00 for a 2.15 appointment and it was 4.45 before I saw the consultant.  But being British and a Labour Party Supporter I said nothing.  So a 6 month waiting now for the actual operation.  It will take us that long to have recovered from today....I am to have extra general anaesthetic as apparently on the last op I 'grabbed' a lot.  You hold onto a nurses hand as you are not allowed to speak, from memory I grabbed as I was fed up of hearing the blow by blow account of how we are cutting into your eye rather than any discomfort but hey ho.  I am also liable to be left blind, have to have it all again, some sort of liquid stuff could emerge which could mean the operation takes longer than 30 minutes, sign here. I did.

I came out. The DP went to find the car and pick me up.  There were two cars double parked in the ambulance bay having dropped off some glamorous female who hot footed in to the hospital.  I took great pleasure in standing there with chariot shouting "Oy piss off."

And they did.

We then had another hour of traffic to get home.  And the wine.

Sue, Col and everyone else who has to visit hospitals on a regular basis you have my total admiration.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

All over now.

That is it.  The open weekend is over.  Thoroughly enjoyed by the DP and myself.

The photograph was taken by one of  our last visitors today.  It was after 4 p.m. when the shedudio closed so I was being rewarded with a glass of red.  So quite a good photo of who I really am!

The DP with a fellow birdwatcher and photographer.  He has given me quite a few commissions over the years and bought quite a few of my paintings.

Despite the weather forecasting thunder, lightning and rain, we had one light rain shower.

Over the weekend and in between visitors I have been experimenting with Gesso, feathers, grasses, corn and wild oats.  The latter three are just begun.  But the feathers have been fun.  I have used watercolour and acrylic ink in the second.

My friend and framer who came yesterday says he can frame them so they will be behind glass.  He pointed out that the first thing anyone does when they see such a work is touch it.  And that is not good.  So I am excited about that.

Its good to try something new.  It also means that come North East Open Studios (NEOS) in September I will have some new and different work for people to view when they visit my studio.

Tomorrow is the last of the antibiotics.  So I can start the physio exercises again.  We also have a trip to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary a round trip of over 60 miles..... for my pre op assessment for my second cataract operation.  Unless something else drops off that will then be the last medical procedure I have to worry about.

I have come to terms with my physical life narrowing and there are adjustments to be made to my commitments but I am feeling very upbeat.  Hope everyone had as good a weekend as I did.  One of the best things was having visitors who came to see me as well as my paintings.

Saturday, 29 July 2017


Today the sun shone.  All day.

The final hanging.  Now with my own hanging gear.

The D.P.'s Chocolate cake with secret ingredient. (Tabasco sauce.)

His Lemony biscuits.  

We were ready.  (Two people actually turned up at 12 and proudly announced they didnt do facebook and had been told about us opening the shedudio by their daughter.  I suggested politely that perhaps they should as we were not open til 2 p.m.  As they were on their way to shop they didn't mind and said they would return on their way home.)  (One time I would have just missed my lunch and left out the final tweakings, but the older I get I refuse to let people walk all over me.)

So at 2 p.m. I was sat down the shedudio playing about with feathers and gesso.  Classic FM in the background and the DP on standby.

From then on we were welcoming visitors, into double figures!

In fact there was an overspill onto the patio and no-one seemed to want to go.  Brilliant.

Then of course after everyone had gone (including the 2 returned from their shopping, ) and we were closed and were just beginning the clear up and we got another visitor!  He was given cake, we chatted, then I was on the point of collapse so as he is also a friend I suggested he come back tomorrow between 2 and 4 and he was fine, I think he was quite pleased to have had his weekend now fully booked!

Lets see what tomorrow brings.  I dont really care as today has been wonderful.

One of my new followers asked about my COPD.  Well its no secret that I was a lifelong smoker.  In 2009 I contracted swine flu.  And that was the beginning of COPD. I stopped smoking, after many failed tries, last year.  

Friday, 28 July 2017


The new Chariot.  Yet to be personalised.  A lime green hooter is on its way.  Not really road tested as the furthest I have been since its delivery is the shedudio.

I did go for an amble on Tuesday, the old chariots last outing with me.  We have now donated it to a bike recycling place who the DP said were totally thrilled to have it. I should have obeyed the Practise Nurse as it was indeed a step too far.  Just to the railings and back.....
Ha ha.  Which is what I did.  

Skurries (Herring Gulls.)

Lobster Boat.

This chap was not hurling rocks.  He was using them to exercise. Over the head and down and up.  

I have been unable to do any exercise this week.  Its a no from Physio when one has a chest infection.  So no walking and no exercises.  A lot of bed tho.......

When one has a chest infection with COPD then all ones energy goes into breathing.  So you stop eating as it is - well basically impossible so to do.  So I have to have these things so I don't waste away.

So - here I still am.  The garden has had a lot of gazing on.

I planted this Clematis  some years back.  This is the best show of blooms so far.  The wicker tower has been blown over so many time I thought I had lost it.  

I also planted the Day Lilies.  No more planting for me I just direct!

A small Tortoiseshell visited the shedudio and after taking the photo I managed to discourage it from coming inside and being trapped.

So - tomorrow.  I open the shedudio from 2-4 and on Sunday.  Everything is hung now.  Cards made. The DP has made a Chocolate cake and Biscuits.  He is going to be around so all I have to do it sit, welcome and talk.  The latter will tire me out.  But it will be fun!

Monday, 24 July 2017

No walking!

Got in to see 'The Practice Nurse'.  I doubt this means she is still practising?  This after an hour of dialling and getting the engaged tone.  Then told "All the Doctors appointments have been booked."

After many goes with her stethoscope she said "Ahhhhh.  Beginnings of a chest infection."  

My stats were ok, which presumably meant I had oxygen in my blood.  So - antibiotics. Again.  And of course another chest infection is another nail in the coffin, each one damages my lungs a bit more.

She said I hadnt to walk for a few days until the antibiotics kicked in.

Now there isnt much in my life that I can do, enjoy, feel good about and walking on the prom is one of them, the other is painting, and the other is a glass of red wine.

So I have done a deal with the DP.  He will accompany me tomorrow and I will amble, not walk the half mile and more.

More boring photos of Gulls tomorrow.  Bet you can't wait.  I am fine had an extra glass of red.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

All is calm.

We have a rule in this house - visitors max time 2 nights.  

Imagine my horror when the last lot said they were enjoying themselves so much they were stopping another day.  It isnt just me and the cat but the DP who does everything preparing and cooking meals, once into three days he gets very, very, very tired of being host with the most.  Hey ho.  We survived.

Yesterday I walked.  First, a Blackening with a difference.  For some reason, probably a loo stop, the lorry on which all the females sit - and scream - parks up on the Esplanade.

The blonde with the floral headdress, I assume the bride to be, leapt off the lorry and led her entourage down the steps and into the sea.  Lovely.  A cleansing rather than a blackening.

Today was much more breezy and cool.

Not as many people so plenty Gulls.  Eating rubbish.  Orange peel?

Up the Path of Doom.  Masses of White Lipped Snails.  Every where one looked.

I doubt many walkers even notice them.  I get some funny looks when taking photographs of Hogweed !

A different way of walking the dog.

For some time now I have been struggling with breathing after the slightest exercise.  I can do the physio ones, no problem, well.....
Last night I had not enough energy to eat my dinner and went to bed.  Didnt even finish the wine. (Something serious there !)  Lying flat - fine -.  Woke at 8.30a.m. after going to bed at 7.20p.m. I am sure there were loo trips during the night but this isnt right.

So think of me in the morning as I do battle with the rottweiler receptionist . Must remember to have emergency inhalers to hand before I start   .

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Possible blogging gap.

It was too hot to walk yesterday.  I got as far as the beach car park, which was full.  Managed to slip into a space that was just being vacated, but not a disabled spot, so was cream crackered by the time I had extricated the chariot, without hitting the car alongside.

This Grumpy old woman scanned the beach.  Then looked to see if there were any feathered beach walkers.

Only these two Back Headed Gulls skulking by the rocks on the far left.

It was way too hot for GOW.  So I came home.

Noticed the Cornflowers in the Bucket were flowering.  Which surprised me.  Desperate to come out of the bucket.  Hope I can rescue them so they continue living.

Now the gap in blogging.

We have visitors.  The DP's sister and her husband and - the dog.

Which chases cats.  Sith remembers a previous visit.

This is where he went when he heard the dog's nails on the stairs coming down this morning.

I am therefore spending most of the time they are here closing doors and being extra nice to a traumatised cat.  He and I are spending most of the time shut into our bedroom.  He can get in and out through the window and his food is on the window sill too.  As, if it is in its normal place, the dog eats it.  The owners of said dog would let it wander about, so I made it clear re doors being shut so never the twain should meet.  I dread to think what could happen to their dog should it get Sithcat cornered......

So methinks a gap on blogging in case I say what I shouldnt.

Monday, 17 July 2017

The 'Proper Blog' of today.


I did my pulmonary physio exercises today - all of them.  

Due to more stupidity from Sithcat at Dawn I had to lie down and sleep after lunch.  Havent killed him yet, and he can't be deaf as boy has he heard me shout.  If anyone has any suggestions I would be most grateful.  Should we give him a plate of food later on so he stays asleep longer?

When I got up I went off for the walk.

Looks beautiful doesnt it.  

I am getting old.  There was so much bare flesh out there it was embarrassing.  Kids screaming so loud (I dont remember my kids screaming like that) and many dogs wanting water to drink.  Why do men in shorts have to constantly readjust their tackle?

For once it was more pleasant to do the Path of Doom, even though it was boiling hot and not even a munching noise from the now many White Lipped Snails.

Later on I had sat in the shedudio done a bit of painting and cooled down.  Back up to the house and then our new gardeners arrived.  Well.  They removed the hose for watering the patio plants and PUT IT BACK.  Instead of one strimming and one cutting grass.  One strimmed, then got another cutting machine out so it was all done.  And beautifully.  Well pleased.

One other thing we found from the last lot was a dead silver birch.  When they strimmed they had stripped off the bark, so we had a dead tree.  By the time I noticed this it just snapped off at the base.  Gardeners?

Quick Question = Quick Answer x 2

Blogger Chris Elliot said...
Jill, quick question. A friend took a photo of a bird while in the UK. It was about the size of a robin with a red breast but it appeared to have a blue head and back. Any ideas what it is?

The original quick question.  All I could think of was a male Chaffinch.  So the pic I put up was from the RSPB website.

Carol from West Lothian here. The blue on the crown, neck and shoulders should be grey and the blue on the beak is unusual.
Hey ho, only trying to help.
Anyone else want to chip in?
Chris Elliot can you show your friend........

Quick question = quick reply.

Chris Elliot.

Common Chaffinch ?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Sunny Sunday.

Quite a breeze.  But that means there is more oxygen in the air.

The tide was well out.  Not many Gulls.

Lots more Harebells in bloom.

More White Lipped Snails.  From what I saw - but did not photograph - it is the breeding season.....

Still loads of 6 Spot Burnett Moths.

I had spent the morning doing lots of secretarial work for FASE4, the annual Art Exhibition.  I have also been successful in getting a Visiting Artist on board, Jane McMillan.


Although Sunny it was too breezy to do more potting on.   What a shame.  So I did some painting instead.