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CFM Babs from Chorley FM


The Dietician's Visit

Posted by CFMBabs , 03 February 2009 · 619 views

The phone rang this morning and a familiar cheery voice greeted me. "Hi Barbara ---It's George." George is a girl in case you wondered. Short for Georgina and short for trouble! She's my dietician. Her visit is perhaps long overdue, mainly due to my disappearing tricks and the fact that she's been on maternity leave for the last 12 months.

I'm not going to say anything bad about George because if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here writing blogs today. I owe her a great debt. She was the only person who ever did anything to help me when I was so ill a few years ago. The medical profession had deserted me in some ways -- done all they could in their opinion! I was in agony and it was all put down to surgery pain.

You know your own body but no matter how much I disagreed with them they continued to stress that I was making a mountain out of a mole hill! It wasn't like that at all and when George visited me and saw how much pain I was in -- she contacted the hospital, my consultant and arranged for me to see him without appointment. It was no surprise to me and none for George when I collapsed at home with pancreatitis. So long ago now but she's the only person I have faith in. She knows me only too well and I'm laying odds that I'll be in trouble today when she comes.

It's true that I'm my own worst enemy. I don't exactly help mysef very much. I skip my enteral feeding far too much and try to survive on a biscuit or piece of chocolate. I risk choking, losing weight and of course my health and what for? The chance to be normal for a change. To behave like there's nothing wrong is very difficult when you have a backpack and tube. The weight can also be a problem and it's a nuisance when I drive or go out in general.

I've lost weight since her last visit so I guess a ticking off is on the cards. I know she will understand but I also know that she has my best interest at heart so all things considered I deserve a good old kick in the backside.
She will have to get past my goats and geese first, not forgetting the dog who hates everyone and everything.
I shall have to hook up to my feed before she arrives just to show willing, but she's no fool and I won't try to pull the wool over her eyes.

Home truths are about to be revealed!


Deja Vu

Posted by CFMBabs , 01 February 2009 · 667 views

If there was ever a snowman wishing and hoping to be built, his chance would come today. Several inches of snow fell overnight and I awoke to a winter wonderland. Pretty though it may seem, it's an accident waiting to happen. I cannot believe some folk! It would perhaps add a couple of minutes to their journey to take the long way around. Why do they take the chance of ending up in my wall or on the garden, field or ditch? It's senseless!

Thank goodness for my hubby's new truck. It was worth every penny he paid for it this morning. My car just loves to skate and is quite hopeless in winter conditions. My hubby slipped his truck into 4x4 mode and shot up the hill like he'd been fired from a cannon. All well and good since it's my daughter's 18th birthday today and the need to see her friends at college was absolutely the only reason she was up and about at 5.30 this morning. Ironic that her 18th should be marked with the same weather conditions as the day she was born and I recall a frantic dash to the hospital in the snow. It's kind of history repeating itself. We had an old clapped out car prior to her birth and the most sensible thing we ever did was to buy a brand new vehicle the day before she was born. Of course we didn't know that she would make an appearance the following day, she wasn't due for another week, so perhaps it was fate.

The sun appears over the hill, against quite an eerie backdrop of grey heavy clouds and ghostly trees covered with a clothing of snow. My front window an image of winter with snow falling and in my rear window a vision of spring. My fire is leaping up the chimney and I look like I'm about to attempt the ski slopes with my layers of clothing and heavy boots. My day will be spent in one room only, the others are so uninviting. I'm restricting my need for coffee and delaying my trip to the bathroom for that's a climb up Everest itself. I'm sure the goats spent the night in my unfinished dining room, the cat certainly spent the entire evening in the bathroom. Living so close to nature is not my idea of home comfort but it's all I have at the moment. I know I say this again and again but we need to finish the house this year without exception. Having a hole the size of the Arc de Triomphe in my gable isn't good, although we've had plenty reasons not to finish, and good ones at that! This year will hold no bounds, no excuses, no matter what happens, completion is on the agenda.

My fire dies down, my time on this blog will have to end. My inevitable Raynaud's attack will happen as I pick up the logs to place on the fire, so whilst my fingers are not in use I may as well make a hot drink and suffer the consequences!


Daft Dog

Posted by CFMBabs , 29 January 2009 · 652 views

Carefully walking back to my house -- note I said carefully because the whole yard is a slippery mess! I had a sense of pure enragement aimed at the little dog who trotted alongside, head in air and looking oh so pleased with itself. It's becoming an embarrassment and at the same time a nuisance beyond description.

My daughter waited for her driving instructor to arrive. The dog followed us to the gate and began barking almost immediately -- yap, yap,yap! all the time. You couldn't hear yourself think and no amount of "stay, shush, SHUT UP!" would calm the flea ridden thing to silence.

The instructor arrived, the dog barked even louder and then began to run around his car playing catch - me - if - you - can! Yap, Yap! By this time there was a line of traffic stopped in the commotion and a very bewildered instructor wondering whether or not to move off or stay put until I managed to grab the little mite. Of course I never attempted to catch it, the last time I did that I nearly put myself back in hospital with a ravished percutaneous tube that the dog latched onto with its paw. The instructor moved off carefully, the dog ran in circles, first round the front and then round the back. He sped up the hill with the dog chasing the wheels and now cars were stopped in both directions.

It trotted back down the hill right in the middle of the road. I screamed "Get in here!" so many times that I lost my voice. Such trauma because of a little Jack Russell Terrier. I needed a swift cup of tea for shock once indoors and the geese kicked off because they missed out. My daughter will come home with such shame and repeat her hatred of all things farm. If it's not the goats creating havoc it's the other lot.

Peaceful countryside it is not!


Old Friends!

Posted by CFMBabs , 27 January 2009 · 606 views

I opened my mailbox and what did I see
A face I once knew - a friend of the family
It's been so long since we last met
Had such great times you never forget
Had such fun and our kids have grown
My how those years have simply flown

We travelled for miles each weekend free
Loaded cars with kids, daft were we
Pulling a trailer behind in which to live
Not a care in the world we would give
Come hail or shine on a muddy site
With boots and raincoats through rain we'd fight

Many nights beside the fire
Planning our trips before we'd tire
And the very next day we'd up sticks and go
Ending up where we didn't know
With screaming kids and toilet trips
And filling their faces with fish and chips

The wine flowed free as the sun went down
Happy laughter in your dressing gown
And poor old Kate with her stuffy ways
Fell in the mud, in a tipsy haze
And the school teacher waits as the kids returned
With stories of weekends and what they had learned
For many had never seen the open sea
Or been on safari, sat outdoors with tea
We'd been up mountains and boats, on a train
And been round the hillside again and again

I'm meeting my friend this week you see
I can't wait to see her or her to see me
Can't wait to hug those children, teenagers now, oh my!
What memories linger and days you can't buy
I feel so excited and yet so full of regret
It's taken so long to have finally met.
10 years older --- Oh I'd rather forget!



Posted by CFMBabs , 25 January 2009 · 642 views

My little stint on the radio waves has gained enough publicity for me to be recognised as a local celeb----- Me!--- a celeb, I ask you? It's a bit un-nerving being identified in a shop as "The dish of the week." I therefore wonder if they feel disappointed in my appearance being that all they know me by is voice alone!

It's not my intention to have attention, if you know what I mean, and now they're talking about me being poached by a larger commercial station. They, of course being the ones in the know, already know that my little slot is rather unique and although not intended I've made a good little spot for myself.

They know nothing about the fact that I can't eat a morsel of anything I make. Ironic don't you think? But my love of cooking has never grown out of me so to speak and if I can spill the family's secret recipes for the good of promoting home cooking then so be it! So many people don't know how to create a simple dish and strange though it may seem, many don't want to know either.

My own daughter has no interest in culinary arts. She'll lick her lips with the very thought of dinner, yet has no idea how it ended up on the table. I've tried to teach her but something goes on in her head and the domestic cell switches off. It saddens me when she asks how to make a poached egg and it's all the more worrying when you know she means it!

So much fast food and probably too much choice is to blame. The humble fish and chip take away which was more of a treat than a family meal, has become a statistic in the fast food chain. My gran would buy a portion of fish and chips on a Saturday evening only if we were hungry after the main meal which was very rare in fact. She'd be so proud of my accolade and I owe her a great debt because although she will never know it, she taught me all I know and the importance of sitting down around the table to a home cooked dinner and all the trimmings.

My family take it for granted that a hot meal will be waiting for them when they come home. Okay, they moan sometimes when it's not exactly what they fancy, but it gets eaten anyway.

My daughter came home from college with a tale that made me think. She told me that her friends challenged her about her diet when she declined to eat chocolate or sweets before lunch. Have we really lost the plot? "No wonder you're thin," they said and I said, "Well it's no wonder they are overweight then." It wasn't meant to be sarcastic, just realistic and so typical of the youth of today.

Well with Brownie points stamped on my rather smug face and the realisation that someone asking for my autograph is so bewildering that I'd better sign off and practise my signature.


Such Is Snow

Posted by CFMBabs , 24 January 2009 · 680 views

Woke up this morning to a blanket of snow -- a gentle reminder that winter is still with us! Huge flakes fell yesterday but melted as they hit the ground. January can be a hard month and I have a daft goose nesting on the wall. Still, pancakes on the menu or custard tarts are looking ever likely!

The goats stood in a group with sad expression. It was almost like they blaming me for the snow. I mumbled "What can I do about it?" before I went indoors to a nice warm fire made in the early hours.

The house is cold and somewhat uninviting. Of course I can't help but mention my lack of a gable end, lets not forget that! The stairs run adjacent and open to the elements. No wonder I cross my legs till bursting before I dare take a trip to the bathroom. Can you imagine the problems of taking a bath? I've got undressed so quickly on many occasions, that I've climbed in the tub with my knickers and socks still on. It's sanctuary to slip down in the water but grief getting out!

My hopes lie with a decent summer or at least a dry one. I can't remember one day without rain last year and when it did stop, my hubby was at work and unable to fix my gable -- that rhymes! If there was ever a rhyme to write about this one -- no wall at all, it's a pain in the rain, my sanity I fear if it happens this year! Yeah! I know babbling on as usual!

My hubby bought a new truck -- yes, new truck! It arrives on friday. We traded old jalopy in for a new sleek model in black. It's not as big as the other but at least I will be able to drive it and it's a four wheel drive which means I'll make it up the hill when icy and hubby can take it over the fields. My daughter was dismayed to find it only has 2 seats but showed little interest in the other one, in fact her words were "I wouldn't be seen dead in that." The horror of collecting her from college in a scrap truck, was too much for her to bear. We never did, pick her up that is, Lady Steph always comes home in style!

Car insurance companies have had a ball with us this week. Have they no scruples at all? -- Have you ever tried to insure a young inexperienced driver, and a truck at the same time? The quote came back more expensive than the car is worth! To say she may be a liability is an understatement of the year! I'm sure Rolls Royce would be cheaper. No wonder they are queuing up for your business!

At least the sky is blue. It's market day in town but I'm giving it a miss -- too cold for me. I'm making Chicken Broth with barley and dumplings. I can almost hear the groan when my daughter comes home. "Gruel again" Sounds like Oliver! but she won't be asking for more I shouldn't think!


Chewing The Fat!

Posted by CFMBabs , 24 January 2009 · 838 views

I truly believe that my life is an open book. Every day a page to be written. I can't imagine anyone's life to be dull or boring, yet people ask if I get bored or lonely living on a farm with just geese, goats and chickens to keep me company when my family are out about their business I'd say keep me on my toes actually because every day they keep me active with one thing or another. If it's not the local do-gooder or some frustrated motorist telling me that the goats have wandered by the wayside, it's an hardened rambler who dares not tread my land for fear of a butt or two or a nip from my vicious gander who just loves to splat his stupid feet in the mud hot on the heels of some fleeing and usually frightened person.

It all adds up to brighten the day somehow. I'm sure we're the talk of the village and so what? I'm a country girl born and bred and I know the way things are and how they should be, it's not all jodphurs, wellies, wax jackets and Land Rovers you know!

Take yesterday when the neighbour of some 3 fields away shouted over my gate for a chat. She's old stock and by that I mean -- farmer of some experience and birth. Her two large Great Danes as tall as herself peering over my gate with a certain interest in my goats who were peering back with just as much curiosity. Cruffs champions those dogs but I can't get Scooby Doo out of my head! We chewed the fat and agreed that all is not well in the country especially when the idiot in the red sports car screached around the bend turning the conversation from the weather to shaking fists, frightening the dogs and scattering the goats. I couldn't count on both hands the amount of interest shown by passing motorists in two huge dogs standing at my gate. At one point I thought we were going to witness a pile up.

We both remembered back to a time when there was perhaps only one vehicle passing throughout the whole day and they'd even stop for a chat because you could bet your life you knew them. Nowadays people need to get from A to Z and they don't care how they do it! Even the old ramblers stopped for a while with much respect for the countryside. If you asked for them to keep their dog on a lead because the animals may get scared if they run around, it wasn't problem and actually I can never remember asking because they had the sense to realise that their animal was not the only critter on the field. Cows, goats, sheep or any other farm animal are not domesticated. Try asking the same today and you're met with a torrent of abuse and dog owners that encourage their animal to chase anything that moves.

Putting the world to right was topic of conversation over the gate. So few of us left and so little of unspoiled countryside. Land is precious and they don't make any more of it. I can see residential estates on the horizon, swallowing up farm land for riches. I'm beginning to sound like my gran but boy! was she right. I can predict my land will become residential in the next few years and what will I do then---- Should I tell you? Come close I'll whisper (Crete) Sssssh! Yep, We'll be off and won't come back. A little villa or a huge villa perhaps. I can picture myself living off milk shakes and Tsatziki!
Pipe dreams maybe but what else would you do? I can't see myself hanging around with a million eyes peering at me over the lawn. We have enough trouble from the odd walker never mind a whole estate.

All we can do is hope that we're left alone even if our values are not quite the same


Driving Firsts!

Posted by CFMBabs , 17 January 2009 · 667 views

Waving with a huge lump in my throat as I watched my daughter disappear up the hill on her first driving lesson. I remembered with a sly smile, my first lesson oh so many years ago! I shared her nervousness as we stood anxiously waiting for the instructor to arrive. Her documents in hand and pacing up and down like it was her driving test never mind first lesson!

Finally, he arrived in a blaze of colour. The car plastered with "L"s with the name of the school painted down one side.

"Oh mum -- he's here!"

"Go on -- get in, you'll be fine"

A huge man opened the door with an equally huge smile. "Hello love, my you're a little one, we'll need a cushion," he joked!

My daughter wasn't impressed by his observation I could tell as she leered at me before climbing into the passenger seat. A few moments later they climbed the hill and were out of sight. I returned to my home, fighting off goats who'd all arrived to see the action, and then I sat wondering and hoping she'd enjoy the experience and not come home with a frustrated face or a degree of disappointment. I watched the clock -- two hours would go quickly I thought but as I write it may as well be an eternity.

She will become 18 in two week's time. A milestone reached and a new era about to begin. This could be the start of her independence as she goes out into the world a woman and not my little girl. It's difficult to let go, to realise that she no longer needs my approval or guidence, hoping she'll have enough sense to face a tough world out there. The jigsaw almost finished and the final piece about to fit.

Twenty minutes to go and I wait with optimism. Will she love the driving experience or will she hate it? All will be revealed when the clock strikes 3.


Loss Of Wisfaom!

Posted by CFMBabs , 09 January 2009 · 613 views

Huge sigh!---- This life can be the pits and there's me thinking that humour cures all. I guess I'm disillusioned with the world and the first week of the new year promises little hope of a bumper bright 12 months -- Why do I hate January?

It always seems that January has it in for me. Anything bad that ever happened to me has always been in the first month of the year! Pneumonia, gastric problems and pneumonia again, all happened at the beginning of the year! Deja - vu you could say because today I'm losing my wisdom tooth. Oh not to decay or anything as simple or as understandable as that, but due to my age according to my dentist! --- I'd hate to be his wife -- and if it were that simple then I'd take it lying down so to speak.

I have a fracture -- really! So when was I ever qualified to tell a dentist what was wrong with my tooth? He flatly refused to X-ray or suggest anything wrong with my tooth. I'm wearing the stupid thing so I should know! Finally he succumbed to my firm stance and found that it was fractured and infected just as I'd described. To make the pain worse, he's going to charge me for the diagnosis!

My daughter wants to go shopping seeing as we're in town. Can you imagine how I'll look? Mouth full of blood, frozen and probably in shock? I should think the shop assistants will think I've been dug up or I'm on the wrong side of October and due to enter a fancy dress!

With the prospect of the day looming, I'm about to jump in the bathtub. Hopefully my cares will soak away and there's always rubber ducky to confide in!


Ice Cold

Posted by CFMBabs , 07 January 2009 · 686 views

Yikes! Seventh of January already and not a pot washed, as my gran would say! The week's been pretty bad weather wise and I had a very sulky teenager at home yesterday on account of being ice bound and confined to barracks. For most of the day she sat at the computer scanning the chat service for friends online. Of course most of them were at college except for her and the number of text messages she received was mind numbing.

Her mobile vibrated like a demented bee in a tin can. It drove me to the point of despair at one point, followed by "Why do we have to live here?" She was referring to our situation and the fact that we were probably the only family in the entire world to be ice bound. "I'll never catch up with my assignments" she moaned!

I had to remind her that it was only one day and if she resented staying home with mum so much then perhaps it was time to become independent, to which she retorted with a chorus of, "I love you, but..........!" Thankfully the rain came, and I can never remember being glad to see the old wet stuff fall, but it cleared the ice and she made it to college today -- hurrah!

My home is like a junk shop with decorations heaped in a bundle on the chair and on the floor. The boxes are way up in the attic, so before I can pack them away they need to come down. I hate this part of the festive season. Everyone joins in the trimmings but are reluctant to put them away. I guess the tree will have lost all of its needles before it gets chucked out and I'll be sweeping them up until July.

Back to the dentist this morning. My tooth is nowhere near right and hasn't been since I last went when he told me nothing was wrong with it. He doesn't fill me with confidence at all but I'm not leaving until he takes a good look. I'm a walking paracetamol bottle and I'm not putting up with it any longer.

Better get along. My fire won't get going no matter how much wood I put on it. It's freezing in here and I'll be glad to get in my car with the heater on.

At least it's raining!

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