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CFM Babs from Chorley FM


Joys of Spring!

Posted by CFMBabs , 09 April 2008 · 723 views

Oh! The joys of spring, and I'm not about to burst into rhyme here, but it conjures up sweet little images of fluffy yellow chicks, buds bursting into life, birds singing merrily in the trees, well at least that's how spring should be.

I woke this morning to the manic barking of a Jack Russell Terrier, Geese honking and flapping, goats bleating so loudly, I thought they were in my bedroom, and the sound of heavy trucks, pneumatic drills and voices shouting up the hill -- If this is spring I must be dreaming! The road is closed outside my home for major repairs. How they ever expect me to get out is another thing. They park in my drive with their monster trucks and throw all manner of equipment all over the place.

I managed to escape yesterday, only to be faced by two men shaking their heads thinking I was using the road as a short cut -- I was livid! So I jumped out of my car and gave them a talking to. "I live here and you keep blocking me in. How do you suppose I get out? You park in my drive, upset my geese and shout and swear outside my home at 7.45 in the morning. Don't you shake your heads at me!"
They both looked at each other and these big burly men smiled. "Sorry love, we thought you were some idiot trying to use the road."

Now where have I heard that one before? Ah, yes, an accident last week that wasn't my fault!. Woman drivers, eh? I felt like a schoolteacher wagging her finger at two naughty boys, but at least I got an apology!

The road surface has been scraped right back to a quaint cobble road. It looks so lovely and it would be great if they could keep it that way. Today's traffic would ruin it so fast so I understand why they cover it, but it would surely slow down some of the drivers that pass our farm. Honestly the speed they fly around that bad bend is unbelievable! I lie in bed at night hearing the screech of tyres wondering if this one will get round the bend without hitting my stone wall, that looks more like Hadrian's wall now but in a much worse condition on account of several demolitions by cars over the years.

That brings me to a rather funny story a couple of years ago. We were living in the trailer then and the whole farm was in pitch black, in fact we never ventured outdoors after dark because you just couldn't see. We were watching a programme on TV and my husband had decided to go out for a pizza. Armed only with a torch and car keys, he set off to the next village. He'd been gone only a short while when we heard a thud! "That's someone crashing" I said. I'd heard a car revving and screaching prior to the bump and then revving again so whoever it was, wasn't hurt!

I was making a drink when at the trailer door came a hard bang. I knew it wasn't Steve, it was far too early. I nervously opened the door and found a young guy stood on my step, blood pouring from his nose and a lovely black eye. "Oh no" I gasped. "Come in." He declined and told me that it wasn't the accident that had done this but a garden rake left outdoors. It was so dark he couldn't see and he'd stood on the rake as he came to tell us that he'd demolished our wall.

The poor lad got more than he bargained for because my husband turned up at that point with pizza in hand and began cursing him for hitting the wall. The dog was pulling at his pant leg and the geese had been woken by all the comotion. The poor lad was terrified but I'd hoped it had taught him a lesson about driving too fast on country roads.

Another day of imprisonment, I can see a huge truck at my gate. Oh well, at least it's peaceful at night.

The Joys of Spring!


What's Really Important!

Posted by CFMBabs , 09 April 2008 · 735 views

Having a chronic illness means you come to expect very little, least way's thats my opinion. Endless hospital appointments and the total misconception of a disease that no one has ever heard of, except the ones closest to you, it kind of makes you feel unwanted or just plain neglected.

It's no surprise that depression goes hand in hand with scleroderma or other related illnesses. The truth is that we've all had a life before the disease struck, it's not something we were actually born with, although some would dispute that. It's so confusing and much better for the medical profession to hold up their hand and say, "We just don't know?" rather than add their two pennies worth of knowledge.

I've been very worried about my daughter recently. She's shown some signs of having poor circulation and now has IBS. At 17 I did not expect her to be tested for sclero but I suppose in the grand scheme of things it's a wise move. I went along to her hospital appointment. It's true to say that the medic was more interested in me than he was in my daughter, and then went on to conclude that the CREST varient of sclero can be hereditary. This confused me because here I was with a doctor who knew very little about my condition, telling me that it's hereditary?

My doctor is based in Manchester -- a specialist in sclero! I've asked numerous times if my condition could be passed on to my daughter. She's never actually said no, but not a shred of evidence has been produced to testify that it is hereditary. So, there I was facing a different doctor in another city telling me that it is. I could scream!

My next appointment with my sclero specialist will be one of anguish. I want answers and I want my daughter testing thoroughly. Thinking back to what that doctor said, he asked that if they did find markers in my daughters blood -- would she want to know? And that is a very good question! She may or may not go on to develop symptoms but with the possibility of it being within her blood, who could blame her for worrying?
It's a conundrum, and one in which there is no real answer. If it was me facing the prospect of diagnosis --- I would want to know because diagnosis for me was long and stressful, and if I think back, I was 19 when the whole thing started, and then I was branded a hypochondriac for much of my youth.

Last week was just a plain nuisance -- a dented car, a road that I cannot travel on. This week the car seems so irrelevent, it's made of metal and can be put right. The road will be fixed so that even more traffic will use this little country lane, but it's all so trivial compared to what's really important. If only life was that simple.

My moan for today has been one of complete negative thoughts. At least summer is around the corner and there is much to look forward to. Greece is beckoning and I can almost feel the warm sun on my back and the smell of herbs and greek music in my ears! Ah, happy days!


Week Of Woe!

Posted by CFMBabs , 07 April 2008 · 779 views

Frustration! That's what it is? The whole world is out to get me! Of couse if that were true I'd be in a state of paranoia, which hopefully I am not. I would have just cause to feel that way, since my car was taken off the road by an un-attentive driver and since then much has happened to complicate my situation.

I have the grace of a courtesy car at hand. I have to say now that there's nothing like your own choice of vehicle, one which is chosen for you simply doesn't match up to the criteria. My own vehicle is perfectly suited to my needs. I can place my bottom directly in the seat without stooping or climbing. The steering wheel is adjustable and sits snugly in my hands. I have 3 seats at the front so I can strap my feeding pack securely by my side and apart from it being quite a good looking car -- like its owner, er sorry! It's my pride and joy.

They called me on Wednesday just before the arrival of the replacement vehicle.
"A high seated vehicle, we think an MPV would suit your needs" they said. Well my own car is a mini MPV, so it sounded fine. It arrived at 1pm just after my own car had been driven away for repairs. I was still quite bemused when it did arrive as the man who took my own car away left me feeling so. How could I trust a repairer who couldn't even spell scraped? I'd just witnessed him writing in bright pink with some kind of marker pen over the damaged area: "This part scrapped! The aloy wheel to be re furbised!"

"Excuse me, but scraped is one P, alloy is two L's and refubised has another R and an H in it" Seeming to be clever!

"You're right" He said " I never know if scraped is one P or two" I hope he doesn't get this wrong on every vehicle ---- some repairer he is.

I waved my car off up the road having saved it from execution and being scrunched into a cube, and waited for my replacement with a degree of excitement, wondering what I would be driving. I heard a car door slam shut and looked out of the window. Two men and a huge red car stood in my yard. Surely this wasn't my vehicle, but it was! My first thoughts were that it seemed huge in comparison to my own car. I was right, it was! They handed me the keys then left.

I walked around the vehicle -- not my usual expectations. It was very tall. All of my 5ft nothing and this, a bus! By my standards it was, I'd traded my little MPV for an HGV.
I opened the door and had to climb inside. I nearly didn't make it, I had to grab the steering wheel to pull myself in. My feet didn't touch the pedals. I felt like a kid with a new bike that was too big! I was so high above the ground that I was having a vertigo attack, and getting out I needed a parachute, for the only way out was to jump!

I'm not a quitter so I had to be thankful for my situation in some way's. Why was I complaining when at least I had some form of transport? Anyway I had to go out to visit my dad in hospital. I climbed in, moved the seat forward and upwards, so now I was even higher. I reversed out of the yard with ease, it wasn't that bad after all but I hadn't hit traffic then and when it hit me. I could see well over the roofs of the cars in front. I was sitting on a high chair looking like the Queen of England and feeling quite nervous!
Parking was a nightmare at the hospital. I can usually get my vehicle in a spot with ease, but this one took up two parking spaces -- it was a coach not a car. I finally managed to park it close to the hospital and when I looked back across the car park, I could see it a mile off. No searching for my transport on a crowded car park this time!

I came home and phoned the car lease company. I stated my plight, a 5ft woman with a disability in a car that was too big to handle. Luckily they were fine about it and sent me another vehicle which thankfully was more suited to my needs. If that wasn't enough -- they've closed the road outside my home for repairs and it's difficult to get in or out. Right across my gate and in both directions. Someone is out to get me! or keep me in!

So much happened last week -- please let this week pass without incident!



Posted by CFMBabs , 04 April 2008 · 747 views

It's lonely out here in blog land! Sometimes I can hear the wind howl
Sometimes I'm just by myself a place to moan and scowl
Am I just a lonely housewife, or a lazy idle mum
I've been at home so long now, that credit I have none

It's lonely here on the farm with no one to listen or chat
My life has been so wonderful doing this and doing that
I can testify to enjoyment for that I've had my share
And if you've been most places, well I'd surely have been there

And now I'm sick and lonely,my life is not a quest
If I just put on the washing, I need a little rest
I go to bed quite early as I tend to fall asleep
I make it up the stairway and go to bed in a heap
I sometimes feel quite useless, my hubby tells me so
With friends as good as those Y'know, who really needs a foe?

I always try to do my best and sometimes it's not enough
Sometimes my days are better and others they are rough
Just doing the least of anything can make me feel quite ill
It's really not that simple to cure it with a pill

Sometimes I sit and write my thoughts and share them all with you
It helps to ease the pressure and stops me feeling blue
Although it may seem lonely and I'm siting on my own
It's good to have a little chat and a little moan
It's good to have a chuckle it clears out all the pain
And you just carry on, life begins again!

Thank you so much for listening and reading all my text
For this has been a poem and my blog will come next!


So Much To Do, So Little Time

Posted by CFMBabs , 03 April 2008 · 737 views

I think I may be entering a certain phase in my life where everything is a task. Just climbing out of bed in the morning is becoming more difficult as I battle to keep my nauseousness under control.

My car is due to be fixed after a collision dented my beautiful mode of transport, which even now my hubby suspects was my fault. I was up and about at 7am knowing that I had plenty to do. Living on a farm, especially in winter makes a **** of a mess inside your vehicle as you drag in most of what's on the ground outside. It doesn't help that my vaccuum cleaner went to the scrapyard as well only last week, so cleaning the interior of a car isn't easy with a brush and pan!

Though I felt terrible and looked a bit green, I carried on and cleaned the carpets and moved all the rubbish you never thought you had from inside. I'd wondered where that bottle of brown sauce had gone -- I was sure we bought some on our last shopping trip. Putting it down to a senior moment, I decided that I must have forgotten to put it in the trolley, so no brown sauce this month! Yet! There it was staring me in the face, under the seat and bringing me a sigh of relief that I wasn't having one of those moments after all.

The geese gathered around nosily looking inside the car. Then came the chickens who were equally as interested. I'd only turned my back for one second when I looked back into the car to find the cockerel sitting on the driver's seat. One swift move and he'd be flapping all over the place and I'd have feathers galore in my newly cleaned interior. "Now C'mon" I uttered as he made himself quite comfortable. I knew that one wrong move would startle him into a frenzied flap, so I had to be cautious. The cat looked on from the wall. I hope that she wasn't thinking of joining in the fun and making her bed on the rear seat -- so much to think about at 7.30am!

The cockerel clucked everytime I went near and it was clear that he wasn't going to move. Then I had a brainwave -- Corn! I went to the shed, pulled out a bucket of corn which then set the whole flock of geese into complete frenzy. Chickens flew in from evrywhere and the cockerel flew out of the car like he'd been shot from a catapult--success! I walked across the garden with an entourage of poultry and fed them corn. This was severely delaying my limited time before the garage man came and coupled with the fact I'd been nauseous throughout, I was now feeling like a hospital case.

With the car done, it was time to go indoors and rest up for a while. It's times like these, you realise just how illness affects your way of life. Most times I never think about it. Indeed I like to feel normal -- I look normal and I act normal, but somewhere deeper is this little problem that raises it's ugly head and literally floors me.

Time to carry on with the day. My dad's in hospital again so visiting him this afternoon is on the agenda. So much to do. so little time! My day goes quickly and I seem to have made little impression. I may as well go and bury my head in the sand -- do you think anyone would notice? Not doing much sat here tapping on my computer. Better go and do something constructive like, build a wall or plaster a ceiling -- Now that's a full and fruitful day and one which my hubby would appreciate!


Stereotypical Middle Aged Woman

Posted by CFMBabs , 03 April 2008 · 766 views

I've just been given the biggest humiliation ever. I can't talk about it as it's too crude, but here I am splitting my sides -- it could only ever happen to me!

I've never had a life less ordinary. I consider myself fortunate enough to be touched by a sense of humour, but is it a curse? Wherever I go I find trouble -- doesn't matter where I go, or in what context it may be! My whole day is a battle, my life an open problem page to solve. I can't do anything right, I can't do anything wrong - -What's wrong with me?

I have a car accident and I battle with the insurance company over an excess payment that applies if at fault. IT WASN'T MY FAULT! But becuse they hadn't contacted the other party's insurance and got admission of liability, I had to pay, er sorry! NO WAY! I stood my ground and told them they could whistle for the cash and the car goes nowhere. I'm quite happy to drive around with a dent, it's their loss! Needless to say I won my argument and my car goes into the garage tomorrow, with a courtesy car to boot and no prepayment.

The next battle was with the local council over the road outside my home. It's full of pot holes. I could fall into any one of them and you'd never see me again. In fact I need a helmet, rope and a pick axe when I go out just in case!

My next battle is with the hospital on Monday. It's decision time, a kind of will, I won't I? My GI wants me to have another bout of surgery on my very abstract stomach. I've got more scars than Frankenstein and a button which resembles the valve on a beach ball. My head is a shed and I don't know what to do. I'll see how I feel on Monday, perhaps I'll be in a reasonable mood and not irrational -- whatever! Who cares anyway?

On our own tonight. Daughter away for the weekend, if we go to bed early it will mean nothing but tiredness, gone are the days of passion! I like nothing better than bedsocks, hot water bottle and a good curl up in a nice warm bed. If my hubby had any other ideas it would be a total let down by the time he'd got undressed. Is it my age I wonder, or is it scleroderma, or am I just tetchy. No wonder my mum used to complain so much about getting old. I used to think -- **** I'll never be like that when I get old, and here I am emulating my mother and my hubby the image of my dad. Brrrr! -- perish the thought?

Whoops it's gone quite dark I'm the opposite of Count Dracula -- I go to bed, I can feel it beckoning. The only thing I will sink my teeth into tonight will be a hot milky drink. My goodness I sound so boring! Help! I'm becoming the streotypical middle aged drip. No hope for me then!


Men vs Woman Drivers?

Posted by CFMBabs , 02 April 2008 · 767 views

All is calm -- but wait, it's only 8am! After the tribulations of yesterday my expectations for today are more hopeful. I hope it doesn't "come in three's" as they say! By that very reckoning I still have two more to go!

My car is sitting looking like a scrap yard challenge in the drive. And somehow, though I don't know why, this whole thing seems to reflect my driving as a woman as seen through the eyes of a man.

The assumption that if involved in an accident, no matter who the party is, it's always the fault of the woman, and if it happens to be two women involved in a bump, an accusation of "No wonder!" usually follows. Why do hubbies have such a low confidence rate in their wives' driving?

After the bump yesterday, I phoned my hubby at work, if only for a shoulder to cry on. I wasn't crying by the way, but I was mighty upset and a bit shaken. I was here on my own wondering what to do next? I'm not very good with insurance companies and not quite sure what to do in the event of a claim. My hubby's reaction was, "How did you do that?" not, "How are you, are you hurt?" And the very tone of his voice told me that he was thinking it must have been my fault.

Sometimes I scream! I do, I really scream! Maybe it's despair, frustration or just plain temper -- surely I'm not so stupid! The crash really wasn't my fault: there was nothing I could have done to avoid him hitting me, in fact, I avoided the worst by swerving away from the impact, if he'd hit me side on, the airbag would have inflated and therefore more damage. I'd say it was a nifty piece of driving and I was very calm about the whole thing. I reckon if it had been me who had reversed across the road without looking into a passing car, I'd have probably been threatened at the very least.

Anyway, yesterday's gone and the bump happened, nothing can change that! Today will be different, I'm not venturing out on my own.

The peace and tranquility of home. Birds singing, the cockerel crowing -- so good to be alive -- What's a car? A piece of tin that rots with time, a gas guzzling polluter of country air and a money gobbling pot that depreciates in value faster than water down the drain. But it's also my independence, my freedom and my pride a joy. I love driving, love my trips outdoors and I love the ability to go wherever I please without asking. Poor motor on the drive, not my fault.


Bang! Goes My Day

Posted by CFMBabs , 02 April 2008 · 775 views

I can see this is going to be "One of those day's" It all started with a bang! -- literally.
I simply hate taking my daughter to college, not because it's inconvenient or anything, just that it's a rat run and pandemonium! Cars strewn everywhere, parking a nightmare, frustrated drivers and gungho teenagers zooming around in souped up rust buckets. No wonder there are accidents on a regular basis and the road is purely trecherous!

I dropped my daughter off in the usual manner, finding a safe place to park and then cautiously progressing down the road to the junction. I'd just moved off down a clear road and was doing no more than 20 miles per hour when a man in a huge BMW decided to reverse out into the road without looking. He shot across the road from the right and ended up on my side of the road, hitting me right across the rear.

A huge cheer ensued from a gang of youths who witnessed the whole thing. I screamed something colourful and I could tell by the bang that there would be quite a bit of damage caused. I climbed out of my vehicle and upon inspection it was clear that my 'pride and joy' was severely dented. The man, who was quite nice actually, apologised and admitted liability almost immediately to my relief. I'd tried to avoid the collision and it could have been much worse if he'd hit me front on. To my credit I was very calm -- no use getting annoyed when it was simply an accident. The only problem is the inconvenience of being without my mode of transport for several days, which will severely impair my ability to go shopping or get outdoors.

I had so much planned for today, mostly my daughter's passport renewal, that will have to wait a little longer.

I'd better clean my car insde and out if it's going to the garage. It resembles a skip!


Barbara The Great (why not?)

Posted by CFMBabs , 31 March 2008 · 738 views

Y'Know whenever I'm feeling down, There's one thing I recall
My life has been full of battles and I've kept up with them all
I ran a fruitful business and stood my ground most times
I never reached the dizzy heights but I almost made the climbs
And when I think about all I've done, about all the worry and all the fun
I'd never swap my life, no sir! For every trial I have won.

They said I couldn't do it! Build a house, why not!
I might be a bit decrepit but I can keep up with you lot
What's so hard about a pile of bricks growing in a stack?
If I couldn't get it straight, I'd knock it down and put it back
It's really quite that simple and when my hands could work no more
I'd go indoors for respite before they got too sore.

They said my life was different I'd never be the same
They gave me little confidence, no chances and no aim
I had to do it on my own and slowly out of my shell
Came this little lady making good of being unwell
I may be a touch disabled but honey, I can compete!
And I'll attempt to do the impossible or any kind of feat.

So whenever my head begins to drop or I'm feeling a little low
My memory trip reminds me of the one thing that I know
This fragile piece of nothing is the Great Barbara Lowe!

(How's that for self esteem!)


Dawn Chorus

Posted by CFMBabs , 27 March 2008 · 747 views

All is quiet down on the farm
Animals tucked in, safe from harm
Another day gone, dawn chorus will begin
No chance of sleeping, or a little lie in

The geese begin honking at dawn's early light
Flapping and scrapping, out breaks a fight
And I'm trying to sleep, I turn to the wall
If they don't move in a minute I'll neck them all

The goats begin bleating, the cockerel crows
Out through the window my hubby's slipper goes
The dog runs riot and makes off with the shoe
At least she'll stay quiet for an hour or two

All this commotion seems to wake the wildlife
The birds in the trees and the song is rife
I'm sure it's on purpose, just to make us mad
They do a good job -- not one good night I've had

The postman cries his woe at the gate
Not only the dog he's beginning to hate
The geese fly at him with heads to the floor
And he's running like mad away from the door

My mail ends up in the yard and often gets wet
How could he make a mistake or even forget
That if the dog doesn't get him, the geese surely will
I'm sure he remembers as he runs up the hill

A hiss from the window tells me he's gone
That gander's a mean and nasty one
And when the day's over I sit and reflect
I guess I'm quite lucky, if not perfect

To live in such a lovely place with so many good friends
But I wish they'd go to bed at night and call it day's end.

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