Thursday, 4 December 2014


I am so angry about what this Conservative/Liberal government has done to our National Health Service.  They have cut funding so far that there is now not enough clinical staff to give even a very basic service.  
My Daughter in Law is eight months pregnant and is unfortunately in hospital with pneumonia and pleurisy.  The treatment she is getting is absolutely appalling and it is purely down to staff shortages.  She should be getting pain killers every 4 hours, she is lucky if she gets them every six hours, which means she is often left in severe pain.  The necessary antibiotics are given when the staff gave time, not when prescribed.  Nobody has even queried the fact that she has not eaten for days, in fact despite the fact that she is very dry and has a sore throat from constant coughing, she is being given toast or sandwiches.  So now we are taking her in food that she can eat.
She has been left naked on the bed for hours, until her mother arrived to cover her up, so distressing for anyone.  They send two young men to give her a bed bath. WTF is that all about?  No woman would like the indignity and humiliation of that.  She did send them away and waited for her mother to give her a wash.
If she needs help and pushes the buzzer, it goes unanswered as the staff just do not have the time. I do not blame the staff, they are doing their very best under difficult circumstances and many eventually collapse under the stress and go sick themselves.  If you don't have family or friends support, you are just left to get on with it as the staff don't have time for the 'extras' like feeding, washing etc.  And the lovely sympathy and understanding that you need when you are sick has just gone, there isn't time for a patient to be treated as an individual. 
Our health service has deteriorated so far that we come behind third world countries in several areas of healthcare. Yet it used to be the pride of Great Britain and the envy of the world.  I can only assume that this government wants it to get so bad that they can say that they have no alternative but to privatise it. Then heaven help anyone who is poor if they get sick, it doesn't even bear thinking about.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Laying Up

I posted a while back about the high ropes that Fellowship Afloat had built to entertain the kids when they couldn't sail.  Well, this weekend is Laying Up weekend and the high ropes took on a completely different use.  Laying Up is basically putting the boats and the yard to bed for the winter.  Volunteers come from all over and do lots of different jobs.  The boats are washed and parked in their winter berths, sail lofts are washed down, paths weeded, gangplanks pressure washed and so on and on.  All the sails are washed and are ready for drying and this is where the high ropes came in to their own......

Someone obviously had a stroke of genius.  The absolutely glorious, summery weather we are having certainly helped in getting those sails dry.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Poppies at the Tower

We got up early this morning and drove up to London to see the poppies at the Tower of London.  They were certainly worth the visit.  The poppies are absolutely beautiful.  It is quite a stark reminder of the huge amount of people who lost their lives in World War One and is very moving to see.  I was not the only one who was moved to tears.  Such a simple idea but an amazing memorial.

Alfie came too and wore his poppy red collar and lead as a tribute to the fallen.

For my blogger pals that don't know, the poppies are ceramic and each one represents an individual from the UK and Coomonwealth who lost their live in WWI.  The poppies are on sale for £25 each with all the money going to veterans charity.  Once the poppies are removed later in the year, the buyer will get his/her poppy sent to them along with a commemorative certificate.  

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Our Barge Garden

This post is inspired by a post from Val over at Watery Ways and her canal side garden.  I thought I would show you the natural garden around the barge.  We have to be very careful about what we 'plant' and leave around, so that we do not upset the natural habitat as we are in an area overseen by Essex Nature (who incidentally really don't like boats and do all they can to get rid of us, even though we are probably more marine/environmentally aware than many landlubbers!).  So, politics aside, I keep flowers, herbs etc on the decking or decks.  But I am going to introduce a few things to our 'garden'.  I have just planted a crab apple tree in the hope that one day I can make crab apple jelly.  I would also like to introduce a quince tree.  We have wild blackberries, rose hips, haws, samphire, sea beet, purslane and various other edibles around us already, along with thistles, nettles and dandelions.  Our wild flowers are very pretty when they are all out in bloom and I will add a few more traditional wildflower seeds next year for a truly spectacular display.  By the way, yes you can see a buddleia, not really a native but lovely in full bloom and great for the butterflies.  And the beauty of this of course, is that we don't have to mow it!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Happy Birthday Scarlett

One year ago tomorrow this little girl came in to our lives.  She has been such a delight and has given us so much joy.  I don't think I have ever met a child who laughs so much and dances and sings all the time.  Here she is with her first car, with mummy and daddy and finally giving her proud Nanny the best cuddles ever. Happy Birthday Scarlett, we all love you so much xxx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Baby Bumps

Some more wedding photos to show whilst we are waiting for the official photos of the day.  Here are two of my sons with their ladies and bumps!  The girls are looking so beautiful, definitely blossoming in pregnancy.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Just For Connie....

More photos to follow (when I have sorted out some good ones) but this is just to show my lovely blogging pal Connie my hat as promised.

Oh and a cheeky one of my beautiful niece and granddaughter who were both bridesmaids.