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IMG_4544Japanese Cherry Fragrant Cloud (640x480)

Japanese Cherry ‘Fragrant Cloud’

We have been fairly busy during the past few weeks with not much time for trips out.  Not that the weather has been conducive to those type of activities; we get one quite nice day with sunshine and a bit of warmth and then we revert to cold, windy days with grey skies and some rain too.  We are still getting cold nights and looking at the photographs I took this time last year, the flowers and blossom I am seeing now were ones I saw then during the second half of April.  The photos I am including in this post have been mainly taken on the few nice days we’ve had this month.

IMG_4547Crabtree Evereste (640x480)

Crabapple ‘Evereste’ 

I took my mother to the hospital for her six-week check-up and we were sorry to be told that both her eyes had suffered a bleed or some damage and she would have to return to have injections in both eyes at the same time.  We duly returned a few days later and she had the injections.  Her eyesight has deteriorated again and for someone who has always enjoyed reading she is finding it so hard not to be able to read with ease any more.  She can’t read sub-titles on the TV quickly enough either so has had to give up watching her favourite foreign-language programmes.  She has also been told her kidneys are not functioning too well and her GP is having to re-think what medication she should be taking now.  She is a brave and sensible woman and is trying to make the best of the situation.

IMG_4550Crabtree Harry Baker (640x480)

Crabapple ‘Harry Baker’

My mother-in-law has now moved into her care-home.  The actual move caused her some distress and she is still very unhappy.  She had lived in her home for over forty years and she had been very happy there.  She knows that she wouldn’t be able to care for herself if she went back home, even with a full care package, as she is almost totally immobile now and has so many other serious medical problems.  But that thought doesn’t take much of the sadness and frustration away; it probably adds to it.  Richard and his brother spent two full days last week going through her whole house finding the few things she would be able to take with her to the home and then trying to decide what to do with the rest of her belongings.  They had four trips to the tip to get rid of things no longer needed and have stored the rest of her possessions in my brother-in-law’s cellar.  My poor mother-in-law is sad that she has to sell her house to pay for her care and that she won’t be able to leave anything to her sons when she dies.

IMG_4553Pear Concord (640x480)

Pear ‘Concord’

My eldest daughter Alice is working hard on the few corrections that have to be made to her thesis before it is printed and bound.  She is also rehearsing for her next production with her drama group.  Because of her work schedule she won’t be able to visit us until the beginning of June.  We haven’t seen her since 31st December – the longest time we have ever gone without seeing each other.

IMG_4560Bergenia (640x480)

Bergenia flowers. I took this photo on the 5th of May thinking that they may not be around that much longer. In past years I have had all my bergenia flowers eaten by deer or rabbits almost as soon as they came out. Not this year (so far). They are still flowering and have got so tall and look wonderful.

Elinor has taken her Art exam and has finished and handed in all her course-work.  She was pleased with the way her exam went.  She managed to do all she had wanted to do and didn’t panic at all.  Of course, she is now starting to worry that she hasn’t done enough and might not pass her exam!  She has an interview on Wednesday with tutors of the next two-year course she has applied to go on.  She wants to do Graphic Art and we and her current tutors think that she will do very well.

IMG_4563Lathyrus Spring Beauty (640x480)

Lathyrus ‘Spring Beauty’

We are currently applying for assistance for Elinor for next year.  This will provide her with one-to-one mentors who will be able to help her if she experiences anxiety at college and it may also be possible to provide her with different equipment and/or furniture which she may need because of her mild scoliosis.  She suffers from frequent back pain especially when she has to stand for any length of time.

IMG_4631Apple Discovery (640x480)

Apple ‘Discovery’

She has her other exams during the first two weeks in June and is trying to revise for these at the moment.  English and Psychology are no problem to her and she is predicted to do well in both these exams but it is Maths as always which is causing her, and us all, such headaches.

IMG_4632Heavy rain (640x480)

Heavy rain on 8th May

IMG_4640Dove's-foot Crane's-bill (480x640)

Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill (Geranium molle)

Richard is fine and is getting used to the fact that he will need to be on medication for the rest of his life.  Join the club, I say!  He will be seeing the specialist in a few months time to have his situation reviewed with regard to the lesion on his pituitary gland.  Will he or won’t he have to have an operation to have it removed?  He is counting down the days until his retirement at the end of August but in the meantime is having to work very hard at work and has been allocated a number of jobs to do at locations all over the country, all to be done in the next couple of months.  The firm is getting its money’s worth out of him before he goes.  He is naturally saddened about his mother’s situation but knows she is being cared for properly now.

IMG_4639Lilac (480x640)


IMG_4636Bush Vetch (640x480)

Not a good photo of Bush Vetch (Vicia sepium)

I continue to have a problem with my dry throat.  I have seen a different doctor at our local surgery a couple of times and he has prescribed artificial saliva spray and also pastilles that should stimulate saliva production.  This all sounds unpleasant but the treatment has improved matters a little.  I would have liked to find out why I suddenly got a dry throat in January, which can be very uncomfortable at times, and would also like to know if there is anything I am doing or eating which has brought it on.  It would be good to know that I could get rid of it by a change in life-style.  I cannot get anyone interested in this and am just supplied with medication to alleviate the symptoms.  The GP says I am to tell my Rheumatology specialist about my dry throat when I next go to see her – there is a possible connection between one of the tablets I take, rheumatoid arthritis and dry throats.  I asked if the specialist might be able to do anything for me.  Oh no, I doubt it, said the GP, she will just find it interesting!  The one unfortunate side-effect is I am unable to sing properly any more.  I get great pleasure from singing and hoped to be able to re-join a choir when circumstances allowed but if things stay as they are I would be a liability.  It saddens me that I have had to give up so many hobbies because of my health and I had hoped that I would be able to sing for a while longer –  I hope nevertheless that the medication will eventually enable me to sing again.  I have also had a very upset stomach for the past ten days.  I have had to continue with driving my daughter and mother to the places they need to be and also had a few appointments of my own to keep, but when I have eventually got back home I have no energy for much housework or any gardening let alone the enthusiasm for reading and blogging.  I have felt quite a lot better today and have managed to catch up with commenting on the blogs I follow but if I have said anything over the last couple of weeks that has been a little odd please blame it on the stomach bug (it wasn’t me!).

IMG_4635Bluebell (480x640)

Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

IMG_4645Orange-tip on bluebell (640x480)

Male Orange-tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines) on bluebell. It’s a pity the butterfly chose to drink nectar from a bluebell with a bird poo on it! 

On May Day Bank Holiday Monday, Rumburgh village had its annual fete and as usual I provided a couple of cakes for the church’s cake stall.  Richard pulled a large amount of our rhubarb as well which was also sold on the stall.  I spent most of the day before baking the two cakes I took to the fete.  We went out in the afternoon to Captain’s Wood to see if the bluebells were flowering.  I will put that visit in a separate post.

IMG_4541Honey cake (640x480)

Honey Cake tray bake. It’s always good to provide tray bakes or individual small cakes for cake stalls. They sell for more money than a large cake does.

IMG_4569Rumburgh Fete (640x480)

The tea tent at the Rumburgh fete

Last week, while Richard was away in Manchester helping his brother sort out their Mum’s house, Elinor and I went to Minsmere RSPB reserve to walk through the woods.  This will also be the subject of another post.

IMG_4564Eve's Pudding (640x480)

While I was baking cakes for the fete I also made an Eve’s Pudding for us to eat at home. I didn’t manage to photograph this before some of it had been eaten. The other cake I made for the fete but didn’t photograph, was a Mincemeat Cake. A good way of using up the extra mincemeat bought at Christmas.

This is the sum total of our activities so far this month.  Quite gloomy in places I’m afraid.

Thank-you for visiting!