Monday, May 23, 2016

Thoughts on being a Full-Time Carer

I started this blog nearly 12 years ago and although I posted regularly at the start it has been a bit on and off over the last few years.

Now, things have changed in my life dramatically over the last year or so and I feel I need to put my thoughts and feelings down, mainly to clear my mind and to help keep me positive.

In March last year, my wife, Helen, was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer, exactly one week before we were due to go on safari to Botswana and Zimbabwe, and the consultant advised that she undertake an intense treatment of radio and chemotherapy. She  was determined to go on the safari so off we flew for what would prove to be our last foreign holiday, because of travel insurance restrictions.

We had a great time and full details of the safari can be found here on my photography and travel blog.

To cut a long story short, there followed a series of improvements and setbacks, including a double pulmonary embolism, a serious virus infection and a series of brain bleeds, leading from the prognosis going from being in remission just before Christmas, to being terminal in January. 

The third brain bleed occurred just over five weeks ago at which stage we thought we were going to loose her. She is now bedridden and very weak but is in no pain and is eating well. It does mean however that I am now her full time carer as she can not be left alone.

Although we have great support from family and friends I am obviously the one that is here all the time, especially as Helen does not feel happy if I am out of the house for more than a few minutes.

Someone messaged me today and asked me how I was. Of course I replied that I was fine, but then got to thinking how I really was - tired, bored, in Limbo, concerned, anxious, waiting, confused, guilty - all popped into my head. 

I am certainly tired. I get out of bed a lot earlier than I used to and am usually woken up two or three times during the night because Helen needs something. 

Bored - well I am not able to go out anywhere so apart from the cooking, the housework, and the caring, I am left spending time watching tv or generally messing about on the laptop. 

In Limbo - during her illness Helen has remained very positive and encourages me to plan for the future without her and to ensure I lead a full life. She also wants me to go on a photographic safari and to travel as much as I can. I agree with these ideas but am unable to plan anything because I do not know how long it will be - it will probably only be weeks but, hopefully, could be months.

Concerned - well obviously I am concerned about Helen, and whether she will have a painful or a peaceful end to her life.

Anxious - same really as concerned.

Waiting - this is particularly hard especially having been through a time when we thought she was about to die, and I am now waiting for the next stage in her illness, just waiting for her next brain bleed.

Confused - well all these thoughts going around in my mind, what will the future bring, should I be planning for the future, should I be worrying about when Helen will die, when will I have to do the washing, what shall I get for dinner tonight - all minor items but all difficult to put in any order in my mind.

Guilty - sometimes I feel guilty if I have been thinking about my future and my plans instead of concentrating on Helen.

I am assured by friends who have gone through similar situations that all these feelings are quit natural and I have certainly found that sitting down and writing about them has helped me get my brain in order. 

I will probably update the blog on a reasonably regular basis to help me sort my mind out and hopefully if you are reading this and are a carer yourself, or know someone who is a carer, you will hopefully find my thoughts of interest or even of value.

Friday, May 06, 2016

What it's like to be British!!

If you are British, how many of the following points can you relate to? If you are not British, this may give you an insight into the British character!

• Worrying you’ve accidentally packed 3 kilos of cocaine and a dead goat as you stroll through “Nothing to declare” 
• Being unable to stand and leave without first saying “right” 
• Not hearing someone for the third time, so just laughing and hoping for the best 
• Saying “anywhere here’s fine” when the taxi’s directly outside your front door 
• Being sure to start touching your bag 15 minutes before your station, so the person in the aisle seat is fully prepared for your exit 
• Repeatedly pressing the door button on the train before it’s illuminated, to assure your fellow commuters you have the situation in hand 
• Having someone sit next to you on the train, meaning you’ll have to eat your crisps at home
• The huge sense of relief after your perfectly valid train ticket is accepted by the inspector 
• The horror of someone you only half know saying: “Oh I’m getting that train too” 
• “Sorry, is anyone sitting here?” – Translation: Unless this is a person who looks remarkably like a bag, I suggest you move it 
• Loudly tapping your fingers at the cashpoint, to assure the queue that you’ve asked for money and the wait is out of your hands 
• Looking away so violently as someone nearby enters their PIN that you accidentally dislocate your neck 
• Waiting for permission to leave after paying for something with the exact change 
• Saying hello to a friend in the supermarket, then creeping around like a burglar to avoid seeing them again 
• Watching with quiet sorrow as you receive a different haircut to the one you requested 
• Being unable to pay for something with the exact change without saying “I think that’s right” 
• Overtaking someone on foot and having to keep up the uncomfortably fast pace until safely over the horizon 
• Being unable to turn and walk in the opposite direction without first taking out your phone and frowning at it 
• Deeming it necessary to do a little jog over zebra crossings, while throwing in an apologetic mini wave 
• Punishing people who don’t say thank you by saying “you’re welcome” as quietly as possible 
• The overwhelming sorrow of finding a cup of tea you forgot about 
• Turning down a cup of tea for no reason and instantly knowing you’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake 
• Suddenly remembering your tea and necking it like a massive, lukewarm shot 
• Realising you’ve got about fifty grand’s worth of plastic bags under your kitchen sink 
• “You’ll have to excuse the mess” – Translation: I’ve spent seven hours tidying in preparation for your visit 
• Indicating that you want the last roast potato by trying to force everyone else to take it 
• “I’m off to bed” – Translation: “I’m off to stare at my phone in another part of the house” 
• Mishearing somebody’s name on the second time of asking, meaning you must now avoid them forever 
• Leaving it too late to correct someone, meaning you must live with your new name forever 
• Running out of ways to say thanks when a succession of doors are held for you, having already deployed ‘cheers’, ‘ta’ and ‘nice one’ 
• Changing from ‘kind regards’ to just ‘regards’, to indicate that you’re rapidly reaching the end of your tether 
• Staring at your phone in silent horror until the unknown number stops ringing 
• Hearing a recording of your own voice and deciding it’s perhaps best never to speak again 
• The relief when someone doesn’t answer their phone within three rings and you can hang up 
• Filming an entire fireworks display on your phone, knowing full well you’ll never, ever watch it again

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A man walks into a bar…

… with a roll of tarmac under his arm and says “Pint please, and one for the road.”

… and sits next to a man with a dog at his feet.
“Does your dog bite?” he asked warily. “No, he doesn’t” A few minutes later the dog has a real go at his leg. “Hey, I thought you said that your dog didn’t bite.” “He doesn’t; that’s not my dog.”

… with a crocodile and asks if the barman serves lawyers. “Certainly,” says the barman. “Good,” says the man. A pint of bitter for me and a lawyer for the croc.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Farmer

An old farmer drove to a neighbor's and knocked at the door. A boy, about 9, opened the door.
The farmer asked, "Is your Dad home?"
The boy replied, "No sir, ...he isn't; he went to town."

The farmer said, "Well, is your Mother here?"
The boy said, "No sir, she went to town with Dad."
The farmer said, "How about your brother, Howard? Is he here?"
The boy said, "No sir, He went with Mom and Dad."
The rancher stood there for a few minutes, shifting from one foot to the other, and mumbling to himself.
The boy said, "Is there anything I can do for you? I know where all the tools are, if you want to borrow one, or I can give dad a message."
"Well," said the rancher uncomfortably, "I really wanted to talk to your Dad. It's about your brother Howard getting my daughter, Suzie, pregnant."
The boy thought for a moment, "You would have to talk to Dad about that. I know he charges £500 for the bull and £50 for the hog, but I don't know how much he charges for Howard."

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Website Marketing & Traffic Building

I started this blog nearly 11 years ago, as a place to "share my favourite jokes, quotes and anything else I find amusing, or, occasionally, interesting." Over the last year or so I have rather neglected it, instead concentrating on other interests, particularly photography (which you can see in my Photography blog and photography website.) 

I have recently started looking at promoting Traffic Exchanges, Clickbank, and building website traffic generally, and thought it would be a good idea to detail my thoughts, actions and, hopefully, results on here.

The first programme I signed up for is called Traffic Adbar, which claims to "deliver up to 1,022 visitors to your websites every 3 days for FREE". I had used this for a limited time a few years ago, but never put much effort into promoting or using it. 

While there is a basic free service, they also offer upgrades to Pro Lite, Pro and Platinum, and to start with I have chosen the Platinum option which comes at a price of £33 per month, but most users will probably opt for the free service to begin with. If you do sign up for one of the paid for programmes they can be cancelled at any time if you take the monthly payment option. 

A free member can list up to 5 urls which can be your own websites or links to affiliate programmes which you are promoting. As a Platinum member I can list up to 20 urls but am concentrating on 6 at the moment and so far this month have received over 3600 hits.

If you are new to traffic exchanges I would recommend that you join as a free member so that you can learn exactly what is involved. If you have your own website, I would certainly recommend that you place the ad bar on your own site, to help gain more points (see example below).


Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Favourite Football Quotes.

We all know that football is a "funny old game" but here are seven of my favourite quotes from the game.