#FOWC – Ruckus

https://fivedotoh.com/2023/03/31/fowc-with-fandango-ruckus/

“Get me a solicitor,” yelled Stella into her mobile phone from her hospital bed. She started to create such a RUCKUS. She had had enough. First, they had taken away her table with her water on it. They had failed to provide the customary pillow for to rest her arm on after they had put the cannula in through which she would receive her chemo. The pharmacy was late in delivering the chemo drugs to the ward, and she had already been waiting two hours to receive her treatment. They had taken away her button with which to call the nurses if she needed anything or if anything happened to her. She was in a little cubby hole at the end of the ward, and they had closed the doors so she could hail no one. She had yelled out numerous times that she needed a commode but no one had listened to her. She was almost wetting the bed. She had yelled louder and louder and had shouted in the end for them to give her her discharge papers so she could leave and go home. No one did anything. In the end, when she was absolutely bursting, a nurse had come to her and told her to “do it in the bed. I don’t have to wash the sheets.”

Stella was horrified. Where was dignity? And so, she yelled to her husband to get a solicitor up to the hospital immediately.

Strangely, within minutes a commode appeared. The RUCKUS had worked.

NOTE, this is a true story of my own treatment when I was receiving chemo.

TULIPS – A poem by Sylvia Plath

The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.
Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.
I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.
I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses
And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons.

They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff
Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut.
Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in.
The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble,
They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps,
Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another,
So it is impossible to tell how many there are.

My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water
Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently.
They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep.
Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage——
My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox,
My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;
Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks.

I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat
stubbornly hanging on to my name and address.
They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations.
Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley
I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books
Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head.
I am a nun now, I have never been so pure.

I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free——
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.
It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them
Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet.

The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe
Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby.
Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down,
Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.

Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.
The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me
Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,
And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow
Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,
And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself.
The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.

Before they came the air was calm enough,
Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss.
Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise.
Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river
Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine.
They concentrate my attention, that was happy
Playing and resting without committing itself.

The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves.
The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes
Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.
The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
And comes from a country far away as health.

Sylvia Plath, “Tulips” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1960, 1965, 1971, 1981 by the Estate of Sylvia Plath. Editorial matter copyright © 1981 by Ted Hughes. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers

DOES ANYONE LIKE SYLVIA PLATH?

I like to read the poetry of Sylvia Plath and her life story is tragic. She was obsessed with suicide and made severalfailed attempts at suicide. She finally managed it by putting her head into a gas oven.

It is said that her husband and poet Ted Hughes was violent towards her but he denies it and no one knows.

I find her compelling though I do find her poetry hard to understand at times.

CATCHING UP

After a couple of days feeling ill and then the mess up with the WP changes I have got bery behind. I will catch up on everybody tomorrow. I have read everything but will respond properly now. I am so glad that WP saw sense and rectified the situation I was in.

#FOWC – Spry

https://fivedotoh.com/2023/03/30/fowc-with-fandango-spry/

Does anyone remember the lard called Spry?

It was a vegetable lard that was eventually discontinued but it made the most wonderful pastry. I remember making all sorts of pies and pastry with it and it makes my mouth water to think of those days. Steak and kidney pies, meat and potato pies, minced beef pies, rhubarb pies, apple pies, cherry pies. You name it, I made it. Those were the days.

BLACK CANONS AND A BEAUTIFUL LADY DRESSED IN PINK

Picture yourself making your way along dark narrow corridors carrying an oil lamp on a winter’s night with the wind howling outside and running real fast past the narrow steep staircase on your right hand side to get to the lav before bed. All kinds of ghosties and ghoulies seemed to roam in those corridors, to a small child. Indeed there really could have been the ghosts of the black canons wandering around, and there certainly was a beautiful lady dressed in pink.

The place was my grandparents’ farm and it was the second oldest building in the village of Blyton in Lincolnshire. The oldest building was the church, built in Saxon times. My grandparents’ farm was built in the 1400’s. As you can probably see from the photograph above, it looked very “churchified” with its pointed arched windows and door. It was only when I researched its history that I discovered its real history. And it was an amazing history.

It was originally a grange of Thornholme Priory which was about twenty miles away as the crow flies. It was farmed by lay brothers. In one of the fields there is an ancient fish pond which the brothers would have stocked with fish for food.

Sadly the farmhouse was pulled down when my grandmother finally left it to live in the village once my grandfather had died. It was a travesty and they had a job, even with the huge demolition ball, to get it to fall down. It did not want to go.

I remember the farmhouse having very uneven floors and you always felt you were on the waves of the sea when traversing them. My grandmother had problems getting lino to stay on them. It always cracked and started falling to pieces. The front and back walls of the building were tied together with huge iron rods called tiebars, which went the full width of the building. This was to stop the building falling apart and these would have been put in in around the 1600’s. The photograph also shows windows from three different periods. Those around the huge heavy oak front door are the original ones. The front door was also the original one and was two inches thick and almost too heavy to open.

The land was given by King Stephen to Thornholm Priory in 1153 to provide an income for the church in Blyton and at the same time he also gave the church to the Black Canons of Thornholm Priory. Aerial photos show that the lane and the farmyard have never been ploughed and it is therefore certain that this is the site of the original grange. All the other land shows evidence of the medieval ridge and furrow method of farming. This was done in the 1100’s onwards. At that time it would have been the only building in that area apart from the church on what was the Kings’s land. My grandfather always had to pay a quarrterly fee to the church in replacement for the tithe.

I remember the wonderful orchard that was there, and there always apples a plenty in the autumn and I would sit around the ancinet range with my grandmother being given wonderful tasting apples to eat. I also loved to climb the trees and get stuck up them lol. I regularly got told off for this as my uncle had to get a ladder to get me down.

I have told the story before of the beautiful lady all dressed in pink, but my uncle saw this beautiful lady at his bedside and he never forgot her right into his eighties. We often wondered if it was the Virgin Mary, given the history of the place lol. I like to think of her anyway.

There is so much more that I could write about this place but that is enough for now.

ALONE

It is so hard
Putting one foot in front of the other
Walking through the pain
Alone
Deep in the darkness
The night suffocating me
Taking my breath away
A body
That oozes pain
That no one can relieve
No one to hold my hand
No one to comfort
No one to care
Just the darkness
Of the abyss
The darkness
The darkness
Stunned
My voice is paralysed
I cry no more
For no one hears
Or they walk on by
Out there
Is a road that is brighter
Than the one in this room
Who would want to come here
To a body oozing pain
Flesh that is decaying
Bones that are dying
A heart that is aching
A fear
Overtakes me
I must not speak my pain
But bear it alone
Once a man
Climbed a hill
Alone
At the summit to bear His pain
Alone
He died in the darkness
I too
Am alone in the darkness
The darkness
The darkness

It is an impossibility to navigate the page following WP changes and not something that can be figured out

Following my discovery of yesterday concerning what WordPress have done, I need to say that what they have done has actually made it an impossiblity for a blind person using Voice Over to navigate the Comments page. Sadly, it will not be case of figuring it out, or updating the IOS thingy or switching to jetpack or an app. What WP have done is unrectifiable. So I will continue to be reliant upon my husband to be here to do certain things for me. This is hardly tenable. He has not the time and I do not like him being involved in what is my blog. It is wrong. WordPress needs to put things back how they were but they will not do that. We have spoken to the Unhappiness engineers. I can still post but will have to wait for hubby to do other things with me. I am beyond angry. Why can’t they leave things that are working, alone?

THE WP CHANGES ONLY AFFECT VOICE OVER USERS AND NOT OTHERS

Just in case you are wondering what changes I am talking about, they will not be apparent to you unless you have to use Voice Over which is an app for blind people. Things will just appear the same as usual to non Voice Over users. So it may be that you won’t know what I am talking about. Once you start using Voice Over, everything is now in a completely different place, where I cannot find thm. I hope I am explaining it properly.

PLEASE BEAR WITH ME AS I AM NEWLY BLIND AND AM STRUGGLING ANYWAY

Regarding the changes WordPress has made, I know you will all bear with me. To be honest, I am almost crying over it as I cannot use the WordPress app anyway as I find it too hard. Me and hubby are trying to work out how to approach it and at the moemnt he is trying to help me when he has time. I just feel almost defeated as I still am not feeling at all well and having to deal with this is almost beyond me. I am no good at being blind.

EXPLANATION OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED FOR ME RE. WORDPRESS

Well, I can still post. However, changes have taken place as to how WP interacts with Voice Over, which a blind person has to use to read the page to him or her.

Without Voice Over I cannot operate at all as I cannot see to read the page on my iPad. But now, when I click on where the little bell is, it opens everything up in a totally different place, and not right under the bell. So as a blind person I cannot find where I am at all. We are talking to the Happiness Engineer.

My husband can still of course read my comments under the bell as for someone not using Voice Over everything is still the sme. He can SEE. So, for now, once again, he has to help me, which I do not like at all. It is MY blog and he should not have to become involved and help me. The whole idea is for blind. People to be independent and yet changes have been made by WP that have rendered me helpless again. I could spit. I am not supposed to be reliant upon my husband for absolutely everything and I was ok until Wp changed it all. Plus my husband has enough to do without spending hours helping me with my blog. I am not a happy bunny again. We jusgt get one problem with WP changes solved and then another rears its ugly head. Why can’t they leave well alone?

FREAKING OUT

I just sent a post that had nothing in it. Is there still a little red bell in the top right hand corner of the scraan? I used to click on that and all my likes and comments appeared. No, they don’t and I don’t even know if the little bell that goes red is still there. At the moments I can’t even find likes and comments.

SOMEWHAT BETTER

I put a post up yesterday saying I had taken ill and was hoping for a better day. It was not a good day in the end but today is a little better. It was just my general deterioration and not a bug or anything.

Thankyou for all your lovely supportive messages. I have lots of comments to reply to and will do this evening. In the meantime a big thankyou to my friends. X

ANGEL

An angel came that day
Though it may not have seemed like one
Disturbed the waters of your life
I heard your cries of pain
And heard as I listened
The groaning of the Universe
As if the Universe itself
Was held in the pangs of childbirth
For were we not told
That even stones can cry out
For All is One
And One is All
And the Spirit that rules the Universe
That created all things
Animate and inanimate
Is in All
And as the stone is cast
From the hands of what seems like the devil
Into your life
Disturbing you
Afrighting you
Do not fear
For it may be an angel in disguise
Bringing you to healing
Bringing to birth
Your true essence
Your true self

#FOWC – Prevalent

https://fivedotoh.com/2023/03/26/fowc-with-fandango-prevalent/

‘What on earth has happened to you?”

Jenny looked askance at eric. His hair was all over and there was sweat all over his face.

“I’ve had a queer day,” said Eric. “It’s all those bloddy holes.”

:what holes?” asked Jenny.

“Well I had to pick up a load of holes on my lorry to take them to the dump,” said Eric. “Holes are getting a bit PREVALENT these days. I managed to get a load of them onto my lorry, but one of them fell off the back of the lorry and I accidentally backed into it. Me and the lorry went right down into it. They had to get another lorry and some lifting gear to get us out.”

BEEN HAVING A STRANGE TIME LOL

Well, I think that technology has turned against me. Oh wait. Maybe it is me that has flipped. Well, for some of it anyway. First off, I put a lot of one of my posts into the subject box amd it all went queer. Then the button at the side of my iPad that allows me to torun Voice Over on and that takes me back to my Home Page, seized up and cannot be pressed.

I had to wait while hubby woke up this morning to put the post right that went wrong. It is ok now. I “lost” two posts as well.they are back now.

I think all this must be due to putting the clocks forward one hour. Or maybe it is the gremlins again. Suddenly everything that I tried to do last night went wrong.

Let’s hope for a better day today. I will have to swap iPads. What a nuisance.

I THINK MY LAST POST WENT WRONG

I think my last post went wrong but I am not sure. I think I wrote everything in the subject box but I am not sure. I can’t see to see if it went wrong but when Siri read it back to me it sounded wrong. I will have to wait till hubby wakes up in the morning for him to take a look and see if I have messed it up lol.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED

I have learned a lot in my 74 years of life. It has been a very hard road, and much of it for reasons of which I have spoken on this blog. As a child, I suffered abuse and was not loved. When I was 13 years old I discovered a different way to that of my mother and also my father, though he was often absent. I knew sharply the pain of not being loved and of rejection and even the knowledge that my mother tried twice to abort me and then making me suffer because I lived.

The thing that I found at the age of 13 was love. It was a love that seemed to fill the universe. It was a deep and great love. It was an unconditional love that did not judge or try to define me or put me into a category. It was a love that loved even the worst of people and that loved the unloveable. If I had not found that love I would not have been here today.

From there, I made the decision to love and not hate. I made the decision not to be filled with anger, resentment and bitternesss. Love was a far greater thing than all those things. Inside me I had a great capacity to love because I knew the horrific pain of not being loved. I understood and knew the pain of others, and there was no way that I could not love and care for those hurting people.

The one thing about real love that is true grit is that it is costly. It can be painful. To love someone when they hurl insults at you and hate you is hard. But the secret is in looking behind the eyes of the person doing these things and seeing the pain inside that person.

I have been unpopular in some circles for taking this stance but there is no other way that I can be. I do not care about being unpopular. I care about being true to myself and my beliefs. Even when it hurts.

OUR DAY

Following my post about my AWOL sister, our day has largely been spent in contacting the authorities concerning this matter. There is no way in which we would allow anyone to foist her off onto us. Social Services are trying to because they have this belief that families try to abscond from doing their duty with relatives who need looking after. The ones who dealt with my sister did not know our circumstances and my horrid sister did not tell them. We have had a LOT to do. All brought about by my sister. I have been trying to think how we can move as that was always what I wanted. To get right away from her and my family and everything to do with them. It cannot be done though. I was incensed that it should be suggested that she should come to us. I am angry and felt about to burst. My sister has been totally cut off now. My husband for some reason did not cut her off on his phone and so she got through to us. I feel she is a dangerous person and the man she is in with is too. I am toying with the idea of contacting the police but that will be my decision and it might be difficult to do that. I feel terrible about my family. They are criminals. My dad was too. Long story but I have had it with them. I never wanted to move back here anyway but had no choice in the matter. Anyay that is what has been my day. My blog will not sufer tomorrow.

#SoCS saturday

https://lindaghill.com/2023/03/24/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-25-2023/

On my bed I usually have a box of sweeties or chocolates. As I spend so much of my time in bed due to illness, I tend to EMPTY that box of goodies more often than I ought to. I guess some of it is boredom for what is there to do in bed when you are totally blind and cannot walk either? Looking at complete blackness is so boring and so the box of goodies is really tempting. I imagine the brightly coloured wrappers round the toffees and chocolates and feel the silver paper inside the main wrapping. They are like little gems. Problem is that when you eat too many of them you feel a bit full and a bit sick and you wish you hadn’t eaten them. In the old days they would have made me fat but they seem not to do that now.

Talking about emptying things the one thing that I have had to empty is myself. I mean I have had to empty myself of longings and cravings that I have had since I became virtually bed bound and blind. It is really hard at times because I can hear the sounds of ordinary life going outside my window but know that that will never be mine again. And so I have had to try to empty myself of those longings but it is easier said than done. I have also had to try to empty myself of resentment at being like I am now, and replace that with something more positive. I have had to learn to accept that this is how it is now. I still hope sometimes that things might change but I know they will not. And talking of emptying things I hear the dustbin men every Friday emptying the bins and they make a heck of a racket and often it is so early in the morning and I get a bit fed up. They never put the bins back where they should go and we have a constant battle with them as they leave them all over the place.

I think that emptying whatever it is that we are emptying is very therapeutic. Most people probably like things to be full, but I like empty. It feels kind of virtuous and but also full of hope as you can fill the newly empty space with whatever you like.

CALLING

Soft rays fall gently as I remember
Days in your presence
When my heart was full
And birdsong filled the air
The warmth of summer’s breeze
Danced on my skin
Until the whole of my body danced too
Hearing the cries of love
In the calling of the birds
“Come my sweet one come,
Follow me wither I go,
Across the sky
Onto the sea
Soaring above the mountains
Follow, follow,
Let me hear your sweet voice sing
As we become One with the Universe
I love you, I love you,”
And I believed
And followed
Emptied myself of all but you
Together we danced the Dance of Love
Ate at a banquet for kings and queens
Bathed in the gently flowing water
Drank from the water that gushed from the rock
But now the soft rays turn to darkness
The wind blows cold
No longer do I hear your voice
Calling, calling,
I am alone,
Abandoned
Sightless
No longer can my feet dance
No longer do we twist and twirl together
In the Dance of Life
For now I live in darkness
Unable even to tie my own belt
In a place where I did not want to go
And in this place
I cry out your name
“Come to me, Come to me”
But there is no answer
“Where are you? Where are You?” I cry
The wind blows the sound of my voice back at me
I look up
See my name in the sky
And in that moment
Know that you are with me

SISTER WHO WENT AWOL

I have only just been able to get to my blog today. Yesterday evening we received a phone call from my sister with whom I do not have a decent relationship. Some of you know about her and my family set up and of how I am alone having been rejected by my brother and sister after my mother’s death.

My AWOL sister was in trouble. She knew where to come didn’t she. She went to a Health Clinic in the afternoon and the nurse at the clinic sent her to Social Services. I know the reason why and it was very serious. First of all though, she had to go to what is essentially a Women’s Aid place and then they had Social Services in with them as well. My sister refused to give them the full name and phone number of a man in a nearby city who has been putting her life in danger. According to her, one of the Social Workers called her mental but I think it possible that he was simply suggesting to the Women’s Aid people that she might have mental health issues. They asked her if she could come and live with us. She must have told them she had a sister but obviously not that I am sick and disabled or anything about our circumstances. She told them we did not live near her work. I felt incensed that my sister should not even say that we are both sick.

As the evening wore on, she kept on ringing us and she was in a terrible mess in her head. The Social Service team are going to her house to see her next week and they had been asking her questions as to whether she could cook, clean, make herself a drink, and I feel they were trying to find out of she was mentally competent. It is complex with her though. She is a brilliant and reliable worker and she walks miles to her jobs in all weathers and never a day off. In her personal life though she is in chaos and deep danger.

We had been awake all night worrying about her and about things, and then this morning we recieved abusive texts from her, after we gave her all that emotional support yesterday evening. It cut me in my guts and I have not been able to think or do anything all day. She brought back all my family hatred and abuse of me. She told my husband of how much my mother now dead, hated him. We knew that anyway. There was much more to it, and we have cut her off. It is all absolutely awful and has set off bad feelings in me again and I am trying to get well again from it now.

At least now that they have found out about her, something might get done and she might get the help she needs. She is in her sixties though looks only in her forties. She is a child though and kind of with a child’s mentality. It is all so very tragic and my heart is bleeding. But this is how it has to be for my own sake.

I hope she gets the help she needs. I am trying to get myself back to normal now.

DECEPTIONS

When this life is over as sure it soon will be
Where then will the birdsong go that joined in tune for me?
Is there then another life awaiting in the wings?
Or will the dust that’s on the ground become the thing that stings?

Can we imagine our lives gone and nothing to remain
Except the call of the mourning dove in grief for a life that wanes?
We make up talk of heaven above a place where we will go
But do we know it’s really there, that what we’re taught is so?

How many lies have we believed in our time on this earth?
Deceptions cruel that cut our hearts in pieces of no worth
How many masks have people worn when talking love to us?
How many words that were of nought creating such a buzz?

Some tell us that we will be safe no fear must then remain
Reaching out and speaking words that are their own refrain
Illusions live within these words to wrap around our soul
One day my friend your pain will go and then you will be whole

So take this Bread I offer you believe in what I say
It will go in be part of you until another day
But soon that Bread becomes as nought, broken like your life
And words remembered come to you and cut you like a knife

And so the dust will be your home the soil will be your clay
Hardened like your heart within no words now can you pray
Just leave me now to die my death alone in this bad world
Illusions gone and lies all dead deceptions all unfurled

OUT OF MY BOX

The man I knew is on the rocks
Soon his games will be ended
I am out of my box

Crafty he was, like a fox
No one my soul defended
The man I knew is on the rocks

I can’t turn back the clocks
None of it was intended
I am now out of my box

His love was like sweet smelling stocks
On deception he depended
The man I knew is on the rocks

Those he despises he mocks
I the one he befriended
I am out of my box

Now for a good detox
My spirit has now ascended
The man I knew is on the rocks
I am out of my box

THE BRIDGE

The bridge is still there
Beyond it new worlds waiting
Still in morning’s haze

One day I will go
Across that old wooden bridge
When time has run out
Many have trodden
The path to those bright new worlds
I too will follow

I hear love calling
I must heed its soft sweet voice
Those lands await me

WHO AM I?

Sometimes I think I don’t know who I am any more. My moods change so much. Someone once said to me,

:death changes you,” and I agree but I also want to say that cancer changes you.

When I had not been long in remission, I felt that I did not know who I was at all. So much had changed and so much was going to change. I had gone from a person who walked twenty miles and swam and cycled to a person who could not walk far at all and often had to use a wheelchair. Additionally of course I was going blind. Who on earth was I now?

At first I kind of did not feel too bad, even though I did not really know who I was. But as time went on and things change further, I truly did not feel good although I did not show it. I remained the person who laughed a lot, smiled a lot, and who would always listen to other peoples’ troubles.

More recently I have not been so able to maintin that personality quite the same although it is still there. Sometimes, upon hearing or reading something, it keys into my own bad feelings. The ones that I keep mostly under wraps. I am not a person who is outwardly very emotional though I do feel it. It is hard for me to cry even when I need to, though I am learning to. My mother never cried and she brought me up not to. Sometimes that is hard.

Some days I am determined to be the person I used to be. In my wardrobe I sill have my two chick dresses lol. I bought then a year or so after I went into remission. I call them chick dresses because they are shorter than usual and are very bright and pretty. I would love to wear them again.

I really do not know who I am half the time. I have conflicting emotions and I guess that is natural given what is going on for me. I do not see myself as old at all and I am not. I do not look old. I look young. I almost feel that I could put on my dancing shoes but I know that really, I could no longer dance. So I dance with my hands.

This cancer thing is a bugger. But whatever is happening to me, and however dark the road is and however weak and tired I might feel, I do not want to waste away. I still have life in me though some days I do not think I have.

I wonder if anyone else feels like me. Depression and blackness gets me sometimes and the blindness makes this much worse.

Who am I? I think I am a lot of people all rolled into one.

I READ A BLOG TODAY ABOUT DEATH CANCER AND LOSS

I read a blog today
About death and cancer and loss
I heard the animal noises
And knew they were mind too
Do you know how horrible cancer is
Can you bear the sight
Can you witness the pain
And can you peer into the abyss of death
And be unmoved
Or maybe you are paralysed
In awe
And as I read this blog
And let loose my own animal noises
I thought
And I thought
And I thought
And I knew
That I too must be authentic
That I too must tell the truth
And though technically
I am cured
My body was destroyed
By the cure
And now I am still dying
And each day
As the pain increases
I become more of an animal
Complete with noises
And as I try
Once again
To walk to the bathroom
Body shaking with the effort
Knowing I might not make it
Bent crooked
I wail
And know the truth
That there is no honey
And that all I have is shit
Yes I read a blog today
And cried
And knew
That I too
Must have a second blog
Where I can let loose the animal in me
And use words
That no one has heard before
For I too
Am on my way to death

A DREAM THAT I KEEP HAVING

I fall asleep quite often during the day. I hate doing it because I always have horrible dreams. But I can’t help it because I am so tired.

One dream that I have over and over again is that I am in front of my budgie’s cage, and he comes to the bars and looks at me. That is what he used to do when I could see. But I wake up to find it is not true and I will never see him again.

He is a beautiful budgie and very special. We were in a Garden Centre one day and one of the budgies had escaped out of his cage. He was high up on the rafters of the Garden Centre. No one could catch him, though they were trying to with a net. Eventually after a very long time he was caught and returned to his cage.

We left the Garden Centre and were walking across the car park and I said to my husband that we had to have that budgie. Any budgie that could escape for so long like that and sit up there on the rafters having a good time was worth his salt and was worth having.

So we bought him and a cage and we called him Billy. He was going to be Houdini but we though he might not be able to say that. Can you imagine keeping on saying to him, “Pretty Houdini.” Lol

He is bright yellow mostly with some lime green on him. To realise that actually I cannot see him after in a dream I did, is absolutely awful i start to shake. Keeping on realising the extent of my blindness is soul destroying and causes intense grief.

#FOWC – Fundamental

https://fivedotoh.com/2023/03/23/fowc-with-fandango-fundamental/

It was FUNDAMENTAL to him. No different to anyone else. His need for air. In his case it had to be fresh air. None of this city stuff. He felt stifled in the city, and he couldn’t wait to get on a train and escape the city. So that was what he did every weekend. Get on a train and escape the city. He loved his clifftop walks. Looking out over the sea. You couldn’t get air fresher than that. So there he was one Saturday, walking along the clifftop, when suddenly he heard a voice behind him.

“Now you will know what it is to feel pain,” the voice said.

He spun round. “I saw you with that other woman the other night,” she said. “And now you are going to pay for it.” Then, swiftly she pushed him in the back with all her might. Over the cliff he went. Soon he was history.

HAS IT REALLY HAPPENED?

It all happened quite suddenly. There I was listening to a book, when it hit me. Just a mention of something and I was catapulted into a dark dark place. I remembered being normal once. I remembered being that little girl getting lost in Woolworths. I remembered being able to walk. I remembered being able to see. It was as if I was facing my state for the very first time. And yet it was not for the first time. It was just that this time it overwhelmed me. Became unbearable. I looked at myself with my blind eyes, and I asked if this had really happened. Was I really sitting on this bed, immobile? Had things reallyb come to this? A baby. I felt like a baby. Unable to look after myself. Reliant upon others for absolutely everything.

I longed to be normal. I longed to go out. I longed to be able to see the birds once again. I longed to take my dog for a walk. But it was more than that. It was the indignity. The not being able to dress myself. The throwing of my food everywhere. That wasn’t me at all. I was the one who wore the chick dress. The one who loved shocking pink. And yes, I did love to shock everybody.life and soul of the party, I could be. And now here I was on a bed, every single hour of the day. Was this really happening? I was not me. What had I become?

I broke. I really broke. Thought of throwing myself down the stairs. Sobbed for a while. Sobbed like I had never sobbed before. It did no good. It could not change anything. It was hopeless. I was tired. Oh so tired.

Then, I thought. There MUST be a way through. There really must be. But what? How?

Suddenly I heard something on a video I was listening to. The darkness. The darkness. Someone else had known the darkness. Someone else had been bed ridden. She embraced the darkness, just as I had been doing. I was not a freak.

In that moment I came through. For another day at least. For another day.

PROBABLY THE MOST MISERABLE POST I WILL EVER MAKE

I am tired of it. Trying to say it is ok really and I can get through this. Tired of trying to be cheerful. Trying to be positive. Just trying, tryiing, trying.

This afternoon I just burst into tears and could not stop crying. It was a book that set it off. Just a description of normal things and mormal life. I could not take it any more. I do not have a life. I am totally dependent. I can do hardly anything for myself. I try to kid myself that I DO live in the normal world, to make myself feel better. But I do not. I live in hell.

There is no way out. I should be grateful. I should be ok. I should accept. I should be brave. I am not.

I feel I cannot go on any more. I need to find a way out. I have tried the other way. Living. Trying to overcome etc. I can’t do it any more. But no one would understand and that would be because they do not live my life. I have never ever described myy day in full and divulged everything as it is too gross. But I will say that it is gross. I cannot be calmed down any more. I have tried everything. Tried to help myself. Tried being positive. For about three years now I have tried as my health has got worse and worse and there is no remedy. I cannot live with blindness looking at a black piece of card all day every day, plus pain and not being able to walk. Today I called myself a piece of meat on the bed. And I am.

I wanted to start a new blog where I could tell the absolute truth. Where I could be as raw and miserable and honest as I want. We tried to make one. A second blog. But it would not work. But there, people would know what they were going to get.

Inside I am dying. Inside I am in blackness. Yet if you met me you would see me laughing and smiling. That is me. But also me is utterly miserable. Wanting to end it all.

I cannot stop crying. I am at the end. I cry out sometimes but in the end where is there to cry out to? Nowhere. Yes, this is probably the most miserable post I will ever make. It suppose it will be business as usual soon.

#FOWC – Plan

https://fivedotoh.com/2023/03/22/fowc-with-fandango-plan/

LINKS TO VIEWS OF THE FITTIES

https://i0.wp.com/hutters.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/humberston008.jpg?ssl=1

https://i0.wp.com/hutters.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/humberston018.jpg?ssl=1

It is always bad news when you read that the council has a PLAN. Where I live it is not too far to the coast and you can soon be there. At Humberston, which is on the coast, there is a magical place called Humberston Fitties. It consists of some lovely little chalets that you can buy and go and stay in for so many months of the year. I think it is only at Christmas that you can’t be there. Some people live in their chalets almost all year long. We used to go there often and we too had a plan to buy one but we never got around to it and we did not have the money. We thought of ways of getting it though.

It is a wonderful place and it is right beside the sand dunes and from there you can see the sea. It is beautiful if in a rather wild kind of a way.

After you have driven through Humberston Fitties you come to a beautiful lake where all kinds of sea and wateer birds gather. We used to sit there for hours just watching and eating our sandwiches. I would get out of the car and take my two dogs for a walk on the dunes. I saw all kinds of amazing birds. Further out to sea there was a fort, and people would try to walk to it, but it was very dangerous to do that, as when the sea came in you could get cut off really easily and many have drowned. We never tired it.

The plan that the council has is to sell the site to a nearby caravan site, and of course everything will change then, and who knows what will happen? All the chalets are different and people have done all kinds of interesting and sometimes amusing things with them. How sad that all this may go just becaause of a council plan.

YOU ARE NOT TRYING TO HELP YOURSELF

Having made two posts this morning about the lack of community and the call from the lady at the council, I want to tell you what happens next. You explain your difficulties, hoping that something will be offered to guide my into places, and we then get “you are not trying to help yourself.” Or “you don’t really want help do you.” Eh?

There is nothing like victim blaming is there ? We have done nothing but try and try and seek and seek and make plea after plea only to be ignored or to be told “oh we don’t do that.” Or we have to pay exorbitant fees to get someone to help bugger.

STRANGELY

Strangely, after I made my post about community this morning, a lady from the council rang us and we told her of our plight and our feelings of utter hopelessness. We told her how alone we were and how we had no one in an emergency. We told her just how bad we were feeling. She suggested the church, and we told her of how they are now going, and so then she told us of a few groups that meet at a place called The Hub. We explained that there is no one to take me in and as I am blind, I cannot manipulate my power chair without guidance. As my husband is in a wheelchair too, he cannot help or guide me. He is too busy manipulating his own wheelchair.

Following all of that, the lady kept going on about the fact that that building is wheelchair accessible and some rooms are upstairs but there is a lift.

What part of “I am blind and cannot see to guide my wheelchair into a building and I have no one to guide me” did she not understand? She was insistent that we could go to groups there because the place was wheelchair accessible. Duh.

A FEARFUL STATE. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO COMMUNITY?

There are people now living in fear. They are alone. They have nobody. What has happened to community whereas this can happen?

I will say that my husband and I are in this fearful position. There seems to be no remedy. Many people said that the pandemic would lead to a greater sense of community when the pandemic was over. It has actually made matters worse, and of course the pandemic is not yet really over. We still have many people still getting Covid, some for a second the third time.

There is little opportunity nowadays to go out there and make friends, especially when you are a bit older. If you have no family then you are sunk. I well remember when we needed that light bulb changing not too long ago, it was assumed that we had a family member who would help, or a neighbour. We had not. It was hard getting anyone to understand that. It was actually quite frightening, emphasising the precarious position we are in. And if one of us goes. What then?

We have also met the ridiculous position whereby even the church can no longer be friends with people. Whether one believes in God or not is not the issue. The church used to see itself as a caring community and it did not matter if one believed in God or not. But now, there is Safeguarding. This has become a millstone around everyone’s necks because of all the abuse that has gone on. Admittedly this was a serious problem and needed addressing. But now, no one is allowed to visit us in our home because they might abuse us or we might make a false allegation against them. Even in church, two people are not allowed to be in, for instance, the kitchen, together. There has to be another person there too. This is breaking up friendships and community. In our efforst to break our own isolation we did turn to the church where we went in the past, and were told that no one can visit us because of this. We are thus left alone.

We are in the position whe we can only turn to a befriending service whereby someone would come for an hour once a week, but we would have to pay a lot for that. Paying for friendship. What the hell……….

In any case, we have been told that we do not qualify for a befriending service.

I ask again, whatever happened to community? Back in the fifties this would not have hhappened. In fact it would not have happened in the sixties either.

Every day we live with fear. We keep trying to push it down and just get on with things, but it comes up in the end. It is there and it is not irrational. It is real. I wonder how many other people live with this fear? I bet there a lot.

A TERRIBLE REPORT

On Tuesday evening we had some terrible breaking news come through. We had already heard of the appalling report concerning the Metropolitan Police but the terrible news was that our own local police force was as bad as the Met. It was said to be misogynistic and that women in the force suffered the most awful sexual harrassment and bullying. Some had been raped by male police officers and some had ended up needing treatment for their mental health. The force was referred to as a “monster.”

Additionally, male police officers had written detrimental comments on reports of women who had been the victims of domestic or sexual violence such that they were seen to be the aggressors. Therefore their cases were swept aside.

It comes as quite a shock to read such a damining report of your own local police force.

THE LAST THING I EVER SAW

As I gradually went blind, things disappeared and I never saw them again. The very last thing that I ever saw were the trunks of the silver birch trees in the forest. What a beautiful memory. The sun would be shining on them and lighting them up, and they stood out against the brown and dark green of the rest of the forest. The glistened in the sun, with their white bark with bits of silver on them. They were like gems. How beautiful that they were the last things that I ever saw.

GARDEN FOR THE BLIND

This is the interior of St Edith’s church mentioned below

Many years ago, when we were in our twenties, we went on a lovely holiday to Scarborough, which is a seaside town on the east coast of England. It sits on two cliffs and is an amazing place in my view. Whilst there, we found a Garden for the Blind. It was set on the cliff top and when we went in there it felt so peaceful and wonderful. We spent a bit of time there, and I felt transformed by it. There truly was something wonderful in there. Of course, it was made of flowers and plants that had a scent to them, and also many of them were tactile. When we left there and returned home, it was that garden that got me through a very dark patch that came upon me in the form of a very serious illness whereby I had to be hospitalised and barrier nursed for three months. The memory of that garden came to me and I was so thankful that I had been there.

In latter years, after going blind myself, I wanted to set up a garden for the blind, and I decided to try and do it at the little ancient church that I have written about in my blog. I approached the church warden and was told that yes, I could do it. So I began to plan. One or two things were done, and then some bad things happened at the church and then the pandemic came, and it was dumped. It cannot be resurrected now, but how sad. It would have been an ideal place for the garden, as it is already what is known as a Quiet Garden that people can visit for peace and quiet. Though the place is isolated, people do visit it and enjoy the solitude that they find there. The garden is not cultivated but is quite wild and there are lots of ancient trees too. What a great place it would have been for a Garden for the Blind.

GARDEN CENTRE

I want to go to Kirton Garden Centre.lol. It is not too far awy and in there at the moment will be beautiful flowering indoor plants and also some for the garden. It will be a riot of colour. There will be young tress and shrubs. I long to go and see them as I used to and feel and touch them. Maybe buy a tree for the garden. Then I want to go into the restaurant and have scampi and chips or fries if you call them fries. But even if I could go there, it is 2 o’ clock in the morning lol

#RDP MONDAY – Golden. A ghost and a walled up monk

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2023/03/20/rdp-monday-golden/


I am going to take you to another wild place where the wind blows and a ghost walks. It is a place called Thornton Abbey and it is about 14 miles from where I live. I hope the ghost does not get blown off course.

The gatehouse to the Abbey was the first structure to be built in brick in England. It was built in the 1200’s. The Abbey itself was built in the mid 1100’s. It was one of the few monasteries to survive the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Its founder was William le Gros, originally as a priory for the Augustinian or Black Canons. It was raised to the status of an Abbey by Pope Eugene III in 1148. It became the most weathy and prestigious house in the country.

In 1538 the abbot took part in the Pilgrimage of Grace that started at Louth in Lincolnshire and then spread to many other parts of the country, and disappeared. No one knows what happened to him.

In the 1800’s builders found a walled up room within the gatehouse with a skeleton seated at a desk with a book and a candlestick on the desk. It is believed that these were the remains of a twelfth century abbot who was walled up as punishment for licentious behaviour and practising witchcraft. It is his ghost that is said to walk the grounds.

A plague pit was discovered in 2016 with 48 adults interred together with lots of children.

The gatehouse itself was constructed in the GOLDEN era of monastic buildings. It is one of the finest examples of medieval brickwork. It is approached by a colonnaded causeway leading straight to the main gate. I must say that the first time I visited that place and walked up that causeway I had the most strange and eerie feeling. I truly did feel taken up into the past. I did not meet the ghost however.

PARALYSIS

How can a soul sustain so much loss?
Grief too deep to bear
A world torn apart
By so many Goodbyes
Pain too deep even for tears
Paralysis
Sets me like stone
Yet even stones can cry
Or so they say
I become mute
As if even one tiny movement would break me
Afraid almost to breathe
Knocked to my knees
Silence
How long can I stay here?
I never want to get up again
Just be silent with my God
Without words
Asking nothing
Giving nothing
Saying nothing
Just paralysed
Stunned
Keep me in this cocoon for ever
So I don’t have to venture out
Oh God
Take my silent paralysis