Night-time Conundrum

I don’t sleep well.

There are regularly nights when I get up and read for an hour because I have been unable to fall sleep, or to stay asleep.

Last night I did sleep, but when I woke, a dream still lingered in my brain.

For whatever reason, I had been set a challenge to complete a word with the following gaps:

E_E_ _

In my mind I it was imperative for me to solve the riddle, and perhaps in my dream I had the chance to save the world from some impending disaster.

Well, now I was awake, and although no longer playing the role of a superhero, the conundrum continued to bug me. Perhaps there was no such word, or maybe there was just one word that would have been the key to saving the world.

It was in the middle of the night, and I was not 100% awake as I ran through my limited vocabulary, but suddenly a solution crept out from a stone at the far corners of my memory banks.

EXERT

As a few more minutes of seeking other solutions, my half way house dream mode decided I must have discovered the only solution, and the world was safe again.

I rewarded myself with a trip to the toilet – yes I am of that age – and when I returned to my bed I settled and began to doze off again.

Sadly, the puzzle was still churning around in my head, and suddenly words came flooding through:

ERECT – EVENT – EVENS …….

I was wide awake again.

Fortunately I did manage to get back to sleep, but when I woke properly at 7:15, and it was time to go and make some tea, I was still trying to solve my slumber challenge.

Why me?

I am one of the worst people to be saddled with such a challenge. Why not offer it to Deb, who has far more words in her memory than me?

Oh, and by the way, I am positive there are numerous other solutions to the puzzle, so if you are reading this just before going to sleep, I apologise if it leaves you with temporary insomnia.

More Rain

After a very pleasant few days break last week from continuous rain, it has come back again. Worse still we even had hail rather than rain.

Never mind, the cold, wet, and wind, is the price we pay to ensure we enjoy the warm times to come.

… well hopefully anyway

I have been doing a bit more on the project to get rid of some very institutionalised lamp fitting for some more homely lights. There is just one left now, but sadly is in our lobby area which has a low ceiling. The planned lampshade will be too low and the door will hit it. While pondering on what to do there, I did a bit of the filling of holes in the ceilings crated by the previous fittings.

Now, all that work required standing on a step ladder, and much to my annoyance, that has encouraged my knee to become painful again.

I hope it is just a temporary setback and the pain will soon go again. My fear is that the steroid injection from last week may have already worn off.

Elsewhere, I was thrilled to see the English cricket team have won the test series against South Africa. Now I wonder if they can keep up the standards and win again in Sri Lanka.

A brief mention here about football. The FA Cup has reached the serious games where the big boys of the Premier League attempt to kill off the hopes of the lower league teams. Sadly there seems to be an attitude by the rich Premier clubs to almost discount the FA Cup as being a trivial competition.

When I worked at Goonhilly Satellite Station during the 1970s and 1980s, this was the absolute pinnacle of the Football season in England. The final each May was one of the most watched matches throughout the world with satellite broadcasts going east and west with multiple commentaries for the countries.

It was the biggest broadcast we had annually, and on the same level as the Olympic Games.

It is so sad to see that football clubs are using it as a way of resting their millionaire players, and send out a weakened team. They usually still win, but it deprives the supporters of the lower league teams of the spectacle their team competing against the household names.

I think this is an insult!

Those lower league teams can’t rest their players, and will be fighting against another team in a few days time to keep their place in their league, or to challenge for the chance of promotion.

Political Moan

I don’t want to offend millions of Americans who voted for Mr Trump to be their president, but I do wonder about him sometimes.

He seems hell bent on ignoring the almost unanimous warnings from scientists around the world about Global Warming. The situation is becoming urgent as we are close to an unstoppable acceleration of the earth’s temperature.

OK, so scientists over the years have got things wrong, but that has tended to be a minority who consider the majority have got it wrong. But here there is a ridiculous amount of data that backs up the predictions.

  • The ice caps are definitely melting
  • The water temperature is rising
  • The sea levels are increasing
  • The weather conditions are showing horrendous changes

To question these warnings is acceptable, but to actually suggest they are utterly wrong, is a sign that President Trump lives in a world of his own.

I actually wonder if he is a paid up member of the flat earth society.

There are other countries around the world where the politicians are equally following a path towards the end of life as we know it, and potentially the end of mankind.

I am very sorry, but to all these leaders, it really is time to stop looking out of the window on a hot sunny day, and say “I’m all right Jack“.

The time has come (and is actually overdue) for mankind to stop plundering the earth, and repair some of the damage we have caused to Mother Nature, before she gives up on us.

Yoga

There was another first for me yesterday. I went to a Yoga session.

It is one of the sessions that are put on by the centre, and included in the ‘Well Being‘ aspect of our monthly charges. Hence it appears to be free.

The session is fortnightly, and there were about 10 of the residents sitting on chairs in the dining room. Most of the exercise classes we have here are designed to be for people sitting, but some (Deb for example) will use the floor and extend the moves.

The 45 minutes turned out to be much better than I ever anticipated, and I was amazed at how quiet the residents were. In the background a gentle piece of music slowed the pace of life, and I wondered how close this is to beginning meditation. The exercises certainly stretched bits of my body, but the quiet calm voice of the instructor was very relaxing, and I didn’t feel any strain.

I didn’t have to get into extreme positions, wasn’t expected to put my leg around my head, or to sit cross-legged. It was simply a series of gentle movements and positions that made me stretch limbs a little more than usual, while my head was encouraged to think about what my body was doing.

Yes I will certainly go to these classes again.

As for the hip issues, there were moments when I decided the moves were probably going too far for me, and I reduced the stretches, but I didn’t come away feeling any worse.

Knee Update

Well, 24 hours on from my steroid injection, and I think there is a reduction in the pain from my knee. I am not uncrossing my fingers yet, but just maybe, I can have some relief for a while.

On the downside, my suspicions about my hip replacement being in trouble have not reduced. I am suffering many of the symptoms that I remember pre replacement? This is worrying.

I had my appointment with the dental hygienist this morning, and it was a painless way of spending almost £60 for 30 minutes with a spike hacking my teeth. The lady suggested I am doing the right things with my teeth, so I am not sure if I need to think about further hygienist treatment in the future.

I was very pleased this morning to find I had 4 of my books in the top 50 of the Amazon Cruise category.

Thanks everyone.

My Knee Problem

I have just come back from the doctor’s surgery after being given a steroid injection into my dodgy knee.

My doctor hopes it will ease the pain, but warned me the outcome may be anything from no effect at all, through to a long term relief.

To be honest, if it gives me a few weeks of relief I will be thrilled.

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Yesterday there was some amusement with our online grocery order.

Yes, we have our groceries delivered.

It saves us driving into the shops, fighting for space with other shoppers, and is actually cheaper than the fuel costs getting to and from the store. It also means we help someone have a job to deliver it, and one van with 20 or so orders, is more efficient than 20 cars going to and from the store.

Anyway, what was amusing about the order?

They often try and offer an alternative to something out of stock, and sometimes these alternatives are way off the mark.

Yesterday it was a lack of swede. They offered a celeriac as an alternative.

OK, so it is about the same shape, and roughly the same size, but the taste is radically different.

More importantly, to any Cornish person, a swede is one of the major ingredients in a traditional pasty (or pastie). My taste buds went absolutely into revulsion at the thought of sliced celeriac in a pastie instead of swede.

As a side note here, I do not wish to annoy the older Cornish people who actually call the vegetable in question, a turnip rather than a swede.

This might have confused my readers too much.

Incidentally, as a child I was tod that I was eating broccoli which the rest of the country called cauliflower.

The outcome of the vegetable issue was that we are not having pasties this week… and certainly not any celeriac!

Lost Gardens of Heligan

The sun shone again today, so after defrosting the car windows, Deb and I jumped in and drove to the nearby ‘Lost Gardens of Heligan’.

We have a ‘local people’ membership which gives us free entry, and we hope to explore each month to see how it changes throughout the year.

This vast garden was the property of the Tremaine family, but became abandoned as a garden around the time of the first world war. The estate then had a chequered history and become overgrown.

In 1990 the garden was rediscovered by Tim Smit and John Willis (descendant of the Tremaine family). Over many years the garden was brought back to life, and using original plans, it was restored as close as possible to how it was.

Now the site is a magnet for local people and tourists, and was voted as one of the top attractions last year.

Visitors can wander the acres of lawns, woods, lakes, flowers, and vegetables, and look at a working farm with rare breed animals.

In January it may not have the wonderful range of flowers and vegetables that comes with summer, but it is fascinating to see the preparations as the ground is made ready, and seeds begin the cycle to eventually become delights for the eyes, or delicious food.

We like to wander along the various trails through the woods. Sometimes it is steep, but other paths suit most people’s capabilities. Once exhausted there are cafes to recover in, or just to have a treat.

One of the walks take you down into a valley with lakes and a river. It is a jungle area with bamboo trees, ferns, and even a rope bridge. It is superb.

There were a lot of people there today with older people getting exercise, and mums with toddlers playing on the park, and falling over in the mud.

Once again, I recommend Heligan to anyone coming to Cornwall soon.

The weather continues to be good so now we have to decide where to go next.

Pendennis Castle

Another crisp winter’s morning, and we decided to go out and visit Pendennis Castle in Falmouth. We had been there before, but this was a chance to use our English Heritage card for a free look around.

The journey was fine until getting lost twice while finding the car park entrance. It didn’t look busy with just a handful of cars parked up. The walk from there to the castle was still frosty white in places, but the sun was doing its best to warm everything up.

Inside the castle grounds, we made for the cafe to get an early-ish lunchtime snack. We had a hearty vegetable soup accompanied by cheese scones. Wonderful combination.

It was time for a stroll then, and we wandered around the gun implacements and enjoyed the views across the water to where the smaller St Mawes Castle also stood guard over the Carrick Rhodes sheltered waters. We went to that castle soon after we arrived in Cornwall.

We didn’t intend to stay out long this morning, so we finished the visit with a look at the castle itself. It was strangely quiet with perhaps half a dozen other people in the fortress.

I didn’t tackle the twisting circular stairs to the upper section. I have had painful experiences on previous castle visits, and remember that these types of stairs give my knee major problems.

It was time to drive home again.

We have plenty of time to come back here again. The castle is a lovely place to see a bit of Tudor history. If you are considering a visit to Pendennis Castle, I recommend it.

Car parking is simple, and the disabled can park close to the castle to avoid walking too far. Be aware that the site has got a quite steep slope, and some of the exhibitions have stairs to climb if you want to view everything.

There are numerous buildings with exhibitions of life for the group’s who once guarded the site, and manned the guns. The grounds have plenty of space for picnics, and dogs are permitted. Children can have a good run around as well as pretending to be back in ancient times exploring the castle, and looking at the cannons.

A dry day

Quite a change today to wake to a dry day. The sky was completely blue, and the sun was shining. Of course it is January so it is cold.

Deb and I had coffee with the other guests in the lounge, and then we went for a walk on our usual route around Tregony.

On our stroll we saw snowdrops, which were not a shock, but also lots of daffodils. Cornwall is slightly warmer than the rest of Britain, so these golden yellow flowers are a treat.

The walk did me good after almost a week of rain and wind. My legs need regular exercise, or the knee aches. My troubles seem to be changing over the last few days, and I am now getting almost constant cramp in my legs.

I am seeing the doctor on Wednesday when I hope to have a painkilling injection in my dodgy knee, and I will be mentioning the cramps.

The week ahead also has a date with our hairdresser on Tuesday, Wednesday it’s me at the doctor’s, and then I go to the dentist on Thursday for the hygienist to do her worst. Oh, and there is the choir on Wednesday evening.

I think we had better have a drink of wine this evening to prepare me for the busy week.

Singing Again

Last night (Wednesday) I joined the local choir. I have wanted to get back into singing for a long time, and finally I went along to the church hall, and the Roseland Choir.

It was all a bit confusing. The choir has been going for many years, and the majority of the people knew the songs. I might have recognised the songs, but the ‘lower’ voice range singers have their own parts, and hence total confusion.

Eventually I got into the swing of it, and listened carefully to what was going on around me, and sang quietly what appeared to be the corrects notes.

I learnt afterwards, that I was probably not sitting close to the ideal singer, and hence hearing some unusual sounds.

I will choose carefully next week.

There was a good range of songs including quite modern stuff (for me anyway) from Take That, Elbow, and Cold Play, as well as ELO and the Beatles.

Next week I will be receiving my pack with all the songs in it, and then I can begin to get used to what I should be singing. There are a few songs where the men sing the melody rather than harmony, and I am looking forward to those.