Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Our Christmas "Letter" 2015

I was rather late writing my letter this year as we’ve just come back from a cruise to the Canaries and now the house is in laundry and work chaos. (As usual we spend December doing tax returns rather than join in whatever it is normal people do.) We had a great time with some unexpected sunny days and  I’ve put the scrapbook pages done so far on www.sharonhorswill.com 

After spending a whole day trying to persuade my printer to print the pesky letter I gave up! Nearly everyone in the family has internet access so a label - even had trouble printing those - has been put in the cards reminding them this blog exists if they want to read our news. Of course I'll send letters to those who can't get online. I managed to get about 8 out of the 40 copies I started with. Aargghh... I hate those posts on Facebook that say "we're not sending cards, we're wishing everyone a Merry Christmas on here". What about your elderly and possibly lonely friends and family who aren't on Facebook then?

Unfortunately blogging about our exciting lives means we can only tell you news about us and not the family so here's the bit you missed ...

(try ringing the Mums occasionally if you want to know how they are!) 

We did well with our travelling this year and went to Amsterdam for a couple of days and had a weekend in Bournemouth to see the air show. We’re real Red Arrows/Vulcan/Typhoon nerds! It was barking mad staying in an overpriced run down hotel when we could have just got the train each day but we thought we’d try it. Amsterdam and Blankenberge (cold equivalent of Bournemouth in Belgium) scrapbooks are on my website. Here's a picture of the beach at Blankenberge to show you how cold looking it is!

The Amsterdam trip was a late celebration/mourning of my 60th birthday in March. We were supposed to go on the Oriana for three days starting on 31 March but it got held up in a storm and then ended up stranded in one of the lower docks with a hole in it from a “heavy landing”. There it was without me on my birthday! So we spent a windy afternoon at the beach and had KFC for dinner. Here's the scrapbook page to show you how windy it was:

John had a couple of weeks off in September to do much needed work on the house. Here ya go:

The progress was marred by burglars who not only broke in but also took my car keys and drove off in my car. This was while I was in my office upstairs late at night. I must have disturbed them as they didn’t make it past the kitchen (under where I would  have been moving about on creaky floorboards).  That was a small mercy as they missed out on tablets, Kindles, and my bag hanging up in the hall. It no longer hangs there…

We spent weeks dealing with the police and the insurance company and getting hardly any sleep as we jumped every time there was the slightest noise at night. The police were wonderful, I don’t know why people say they do nothing. They never once made us feel it was our fault or that we were wasting their time. They even sent CSI officers who were disappointed there was no blood on a nail on the fence. There will be blood next time as the only nails John had available to fix it were long, sharp ones …

To add insult to injury I had to spend days painting the back fence after the repairs.  Here's a scrapbook page of me painting the fence. Yes, I scrap everything ...

The car was recovered thanks to computers that know when the shape of a car doesn’t match the fake number plate. Then the “I bought it from a mate” thieves were caught later in another stolen car! The car was a mess so was written off by the insurance company but at least John got his watch back as it was in the car along with stuff stolen in several burglaries. It’s amazing how stupid thieves are. It was very upsetting seeing my little “one careful lady owner” car in such a mess.

We’re still without animals, which is a shame but we know we’ll be moving to a flat in a few years. I considered fostering cats or rabbits but I probably wouldn’t be able to give them back and I’d end up as the sad Cat/Rabbit Lady. We’re due to have Maureen’s elderly cat, Amy,  to stay for a few weeks to give Maureen a break. Amy doesn’t mind staying here as she gets her own room but since the spare room is full of holiday stuff she’ll have to wait a little while!

What of the family history and photo project, some of you will ask? Well, there is very little progress. The Hills side have provided loads of photos, the distant Horswill relatives join in with photos and add to the tree. My close Horswill family don’t join in. There’s nothing I can do. I give up. Photos are promised but never sent to me and one day a chunk of our heritage will end up in the recycling bin because apparently “no-one is interested”.  It happens in a lot of families but it’s a real shame.

If you'd like to see my "everyday life" scrapbooks for each year they're here.

Holiday scrapbook are on this page.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Hours of Amusement ...

I've been having a play with my personal website SharonHorswill.com. You can now see fancy moving pictures along the top.

Of course if you're on a phone or tablet you'll see nowt so you can click HERE to see a gallery of what's in there. There wouldn't be much point in adding a slideshow here as you won't see that either. Sometimes, folks, you need to get on a real computer and see what you're missing on the big screen!

Instead, here's a day from our exciting life. John had a week off recently and we sneaked a few days out as well as getting some work done on the house so more scrapbooks coming soon.

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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas from Sharon and John

I heard a really nasty - and lazy - piece of dire DJ chat on the radio the other day (just before I leapt out of bed to switch it off - radio works well like that!) - two smug morons bemoaning Christmas letters ... Don't get me started on the internet habit of "I'm not sending cards. I'm [insert sanctimonious activity here] instead. I don't care about elderly friends and neighbours who might be lonely and love to get a card."

So with that preamble I'm going to repeat most of what I said in our Christmas letter, leaving out what I think about John's employers. You can guess what vein that bit was in!

Once again our yearly report is mostly health miseries. I still don’t walk properly and have a lot of pain after double arthroscopy  knee surgery last year so I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. John was diagnosed with Type 1 LADA - late onset in adults- diabetes in the summer and is now on two injections a day, it may be more later. He lost four stone and was very ill for longer than he should have been since our GP refused to do the blood test which would have shown he is Type 1 (pancreas packed up completely, no chance of staying alive without insulin) as opposed to Type 2 (pancreas not working as well as it should, body resistant to insulin). In the end we were glad of private medical cover. An earlier diagnosis would have stopped him being so ill for so long.

He has very good care from the local specialist team although unfortunately Southampton is the worst place in the UK to get an insulin pump, despite denials of a postcode lottery. As in “There’s no postcode lottery but if you have a Southampton postcode you can’t get one”.

We were lucky to have fantastic weather for our week’s holiday in Bournemouth in July. We didn’t go too far in case John wasn’t well but we had better weather than most of Europe and stayed in a fabulous apartment with a sea view. There are LOADs of scrapbook pages on the sharonhorswill.com website. Click HERE to go straight to the Bournemouth one. There are also several day trips and yearbook albums on the site and a sad tale on the blog about our failed cruise HERE.

So a dull year for us, here's hoping for better health in 2014. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Here's the view from our balcony during our holiday:

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

One year ago ...

It's a year since my lovely Molly went to the Rainbow Bridge. It seems like yesterday. I can still feel the pain, smell her fur, remember how she felt when I held her, still feel her soft muzzle and whiskers when she stood up on her hind legs to give bunny kisses. She was always affectionate  so we knew something was wrong when she stopped doing that a week before she died. She was having trouble breathing so I took her to the vet where the nurse on reception immediately decided she needed oxygen so she took the basket upstairs to put her in the oxygen "hutch". That was the last time I saw her alive.

The vet called a few hours later to say she was OK with oxygen but when they took her out she died. She was very very old. The kind of "Come and see this old rabbit" to all his colleagues old. It was immensely distressing because I hadn't said goodbye. I'd expected she might have to be put down but then I would have been with her, as I was with Dolly. She was whisked away in the vets and I spent months thinking she'd died believing I'd abandoned her. Molly and Dolly were rescued rabbits so we always tried to be careful they never thought we were abandoning them.

Molly was so friendly and intelligent (but thick compared to Dolly ...). It breaks my heart to see rabbits left alone all day in tiny hutches or used as photo props without any thought for their welfare.

Molly and Dolly both lived much longer than we expected and they were a joy. It was a bit barmy two grown-ups getting rabbits but we loved them to bits. We won't have any more as we plan to live in a flat soon. I'd ready and willing to be a bunny Auntie when neighbours go on holiday! In the meantime I still save the last bit of a banana, go to the back door and then remember the bunnies are gone.

This is one of my favourite photos of Molly and I believe "Be yourself" was her mantra. (Quickpage by Connie Prince)

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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

We're on Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I have to confess I never really understood the whole Google Reader/Friends/Connect whatever thing. I'd just about got a handle on it when they  announced they'd got bored with one or all of those. So I didn't mourn for it...

However, it's nice to have the blogs you read collated neatly for you so I joined (free) Bloglovin and it seems easy to use and fine so far. Give it a  try! To follow this blog and/or add your own  you can click on the link above or on the button to the right.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Two into one ....

My bunnies' blog, Dolly and Molly, has been merged into this one. Both bunnies are now at the Rainbow Bridge and, as you can see from the dates of the posts, I still haven't been able to write about Molly, who went there last June. I'll do that soon. I'll also bore you with details of my knee surgery and other non-happenings in my life. Layout below was made with Indigo Designs' Spring Memories tempalte:

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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Don't believe everything you hear

...or everything your speaking toy (we have lots of them)says:

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[Kit is Etc by Danyale's Shabby Couture Christmas] Merry Christmas!