Archive for May, 2011

Raindrops on honeysuckle

Well so much for my “A Daily Jotting” alternative  blog – I am not doing too well am I?  Maybe I will have think about altering the title to the “Occasionally Jottings”.  I thought I would find this a useful outlet just to put the odd thing down on paper that was not relevant to my main blog “Hurtling Towards 60 and Beyond”.   I have never been a diary keeper, and this proves it.  Some people write avidly, or is that addictively, in a daily diary, not always a lot, occasionally just one sentence, such as “It rained all day today”.

When I started to write “Hurtling …”  I found a constant source of inspiration,  posts came one after the other, maybe too many.  It is easy to flood the market, readers get tired.  I think perhaps if you are lucky enough to have a following,  there is a fine line between keeping them wanting and overloading.   A blog, after all, is better if you have readers, it gives something to aim for.   It wasn’t long before I found it becoming a struggle and was almost about to lose interest in the whole blogging experience.    My thinking was that there is only so much you can write about a small garden to keep it exciting.

Then a most surprising thing happened…. my viewing figures shot up from 40-50 a day to 400-500.   As you can imagine, this took me back a little, so I investigated.  When you look on Site Stats you can see where your hits have come from.

Herm Island, The Channel Islands

I had a post selected by WordPress as a Top Ten new blog and featured on their Freshly Pressed page for a week.  It was amazing and an incredible boost to my confidence.   The post was nothing to do with gardening, gardens, or pictures of flowers but of a holiday in the Channel Islands I had just returned from , I called it  Glorious Guernsey – beaches and bluebells .  Some of the comments were heartwarming, all were complimentary and to my pleasure, despite the number of hits, over 2000, not one was derogatory.   It gave me the impetus to carry on, a much needed jolt.

Now I usually only write one or two posts a week, with a Wordless Wednesday photo on Wednesday.   There is no shortage of ideas with various blog memes,  such as Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day  on the 15th of each month, hosted by May Dream Gardens.   Then there is  Garden Blogger’s Muse Day which is a short poem with a photo, published monthly on the 1st,  hosted by Carolyn at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.   She also hosts Hope Grows Day on the 5th of each month.   One of the best memes is End of Month View  hosted by Helen Patient GardenerThis helps focus the mind on what has been achieved in the past month.

My task now is to remember to write something daily on ‘A Daily Jotting’, even if it is self-indulgent, one liner nonsense.  It may be interesting to someone!  Also I have discovered that when you start to write, words just flow – this post was going to be small and to the point, but ……


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… to this earth I do not want to be the oldest child, the only daughter or a big sister.

Known as the Oldest Child Syndrome, the eldest is expected to be ‘responsible’, doesn’t make a fuss, takes charge over the younger ones.   I think there is too much responsibility put on and too much expected of the Oldest Child.

A little bit of tranquility in an otherwise hectic life.

As the eldest I have taken on the responsibility of my Mum.  She is 92 and lives in a Care Home near me.

I am almost 60 and even now, when enjoying the first evening out for a very long time, it was spoilt by a parent.

Not that it was my Mum’s fault.  She was unwell last night and the Home saw fit to call an ambulance.   So, at 10:00 pm, the first time I looked at my mobile phone all evening, there were a number of missed calls.   The Home x 3, the hospital x 2 and my daughter x 1.

Not only is it almost impossible to find a quiet place, in a house full of partying  people, to make a phone call.   Have you tried using a touch phone as a phone in an emergency?  It is new, takes brilliant photos and is great for Twitter and games.  I have yet to get to grips with using it as an actual phone.  I was dialling the wrong number, couldn’t end a call, and worse still was the number of times I redialed the wrong number.  The frustration was mounting and the phone was nearly launched out of the window.  Oh, how I yearned for a proper telephone.

Mum is, fortunately, ok.  They can’t find anything wrong with her and she will be discharged today.  They couldn’t find anything wrong the last two times she was rushed to hospital either.   She is elderly, even if they did find anything, what are they going to do at her age?  Leave her be, hospital is not the place for her.  She is happy and contented in a wonderful care home with nursing staff on hand.   I suppose they are only doing their job and can’t run risks.

This morning I sat down with my late breakfast, relaxed in the knowledge that I don’t have to spend all Sunday sitting in the hospital, when the phone rang again.

This time it was my brother – he suffers from the Youngest Child Syndrome.   He is 58 and has Aspergers.  He called to say he was going to the hospital tomorrow for tests.   Usually he has a Community Nurse to go with him but she is on holiday and he is going on his own.  He wanted to talk to me about the tests, and anything else in general I think.

It was all too much this morning, my tea had gone cold, my toast had gone soggy and I just wanted to be left alone.  I am afraid I kept the call to a minimum.  Now I am sitting here wracked with guilt.

Was I not sympathetic enough?

Should I take tomorrow off and drive to the other side of  London to go with him to the hospital?

Should I go the hospital to wait with Mum until the ambulance collects her to take her back?

Should I wait at home and not go out so when the Home ring to say Mum is back, I can go and see her?

Should I have told my brother about Mum being in hospital, which would only serve to worry him unnecessarily?

So, if I do come back to this earth, I want to be anything but the eldest child please.

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This was a pic I took of my chives - the flowers are so pretty and delicate - delicious in a salad too.

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