Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter in Wales


We went to Aberystwyth (or Aberwishwash as it is sometimes known). The skys were blue but there was a cool breeze.

We took in the sights.

Kathleen thought she was on the Titanic.
While David pretended to be a football manager.

Building works, motorhomes and parked cars - the British seaside.

The following day we went to Machynlleth - try pronouncing that before breakfast!
This is a nice small town with an outstanding clock tower. For the past few years it has been shrouded by the renovation work, but now that is finished and it looks great. Unfortunately it is surrounded by giant green road signs to keep drivers happy so I've toned them down to B&W- what a waste of a beautiful building.

Other local attractions include a door, a garden and a veggie cafe.



On our last morning in Llanidloes the sun was bright but there was a haze.

Went for a walk after breakfast through the Oak woods.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Return to driving today so I took some photos

After almost 8 weeks of not driving, I became well enough to start again. It's all to do with one's sternum repairing enough that you feel safe stopping. I didn't go much above 40 mph and as it was a lovely sunny afternoon, I took my camera.

While I've been laid up I have been reading about how to use my new camera and to take better photos. So today I thought I would try out two of the tips I picked up from Nicole S. Young's excellent book; I went out to find some landscapes to photograph using a tripod and HDR. These are some of the results.

This first picture is an HDR image of the marina at Glasson. 

 
The second is also HDR os the suns rays over the edge of Bowland Forest. It was very hazy looking this way.

I've also tried a B&W version.



The fourth picture is not HDR, but I used the tripod.

 Looking down to the end of Glasson Dock, there appeared to be a pile up of boats and tractors.

And finally, after Glasson I went to Pilling and tried to get a picture of Heysham in the haze.

It's nice to be mobile again!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Home for Xmas

Had four coronary artery grafts on Monday afternoon and was home in time for the Strictly Come Dancing final on Saturday evening. I feel more battered and bruised than I imagined possible, but it seems incredible that it is over - the surgeon always said 5-7 days and he wasn't kidding.

I'm looking forward to 2014.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Work to Start on Bypass

Retired in July, heart attack September, bypass next Monday. What an eventful year.

I was looking at my blog and realised I started this year with a minor celebration, that I had survived 10 years of cancer. But illness does make me think about my life. My dad had died of a heart attack in his early 60s within a few months of retirement. This was one of the reasons I decided to retire at 60, to make sure I had some time to enjoy not-working.

I was told 2 years ago that I was in a high risk group for heart disease so I went on a diet. I lost 50lbs which took me from a BMI of just over 30 to 24. I also exercised regularly and was feeling quite fit by the time I retired in July. So having a heart attack two months later has been quite a shock.

But not really recovering and feeling so limited has been even more shocking. I find it quite tiring to walk to the local shops and it feels risky.

I'm very hopeful that the bypass will make a difference, that I will have an enjoyable retirement. It appears to be quite a common operation that is also very successful, so by this time next week...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Nitrolingual Pump Spray Blues

I don't wanna lose my heart, I need it in good shape,
So when they come to fix me up, it doesn't break;
I've got my wife to love, and some life ahead,
But just for now, I need to stay in bed;
I'll try to smile, I cannot choose;
I got the nitrolingual pump spray blues. 

I got statins and nitrates, they wanna block my beta;
But that ain't gonna stop me, findin' my metre;
I wrote this in B flat cos they've slowed my heart;
But when I'm back up, I'm gonna try A sharp;
Just for a while, I cannot choose;
I got the nitrolingual pump spray blues. 

When I play rock n roll, I gotta slow the tempo;
If I'm playing jazz, I need to be sure it's blue;
I gotta slow things down, and keep myself calm;
Feel the beating sound, with my love on my arm;
I try to smile, I cannot choose;
I got the nitrolingual pump spray blues.

I got statins and nitrates, they wanna block my beta;
But that ain't gonna stop me, findin' my metre;
I wrote this in B flat cos they've slowed my heart;
But when I'm back up, I'm gonna try A sharp;
Just for a while, I cannot choose;
I got the nitrolingual pump spray blues. 

When I couldn't leave with you, it tore me apart;
Stuck in that place, but imprisoned by my heart; 
Out on parole waiting, to see Mack the knife; 
To know how many cuts it takes, to give me more life; 
I try to smile, while I cannot choose;
I got the nitrolingual pump spray blues.

I got statins and nitrates, they wanna block my beta;
But that ain't gonna stop me, findin' my metre;
I wrote this in B flat cos they've slowed my heart;
But when I'm back up, I'm gonna try A sharp;
Just for a while, I cannot choose;
I got the nitrolingual pump spray blues.





Lying in bed in the medical assessment unit of Preston Hospital was not a pleasant experience. OK I'm being well cared for at a time when I needed help, but being in the middle of so many dramas, seeing other people's lives at their weakest was traumatic rather than dramatic. All these songs went around my head - Rescue Me, I Gotta Get Out of this Place, Don't Go Breaking My Heart - and I began to write my own heart song, a blues of course.


The title I owe to Steve who read it off the bottle when visiting.