Sunday, 30 June 2013


I said the last time that I was thinking of going to Germany, following the sad cancellation of York CTC Rally.

I perused the web, checked the flight timetables with SleazyJet and tried to find cheap hotels within easy walking distance of the station, as the one flight going from Liverpool to Berlin only arrived there at 9.30pm. Normally I would seek out a VERY cheap B & B, or guesthouse but that cannot happen in a city I've not visited since the 1960s. Once I go, the next time will be easier. I never want to spend much money on somewhere to sleep, but if you're staying on your own, it's much nicer to be with other people, rather than in an apartment. A hostel is out I think, as I'm not sure of the security of belongings in German hostels in Berlin. I did stay in one in Worms and had a room to myself, but nowadays rooms are MIXED! I consider myself pretty broad minded but to stay in a room with men & women doesn't appeal to me greatly - if I knew the crowd I was with, I suppose I could share a large tent, but I'd have to have known the people pretty well beforehand!

Well, to cut the story very short, I was going to go to my son's to talk over where he thought was good to stay, as he's been a couple of times recently. So I didn't book the flight/hotel. I went to my Mum's on the Thursday and there was nobody around. I thought it pretty weird and then found her collapsed on the bedroom floor. Still breathing but pretty much unconscious. I ran across the road to a neighbours, she is in the Police and I thought she'd be able to help. She told me to ring for an ambulance but of course, I'd have done it anyway. They were there within about 10 minutes, the paramedics, followed about 10 minutes later by the ambulance. All were marvellous. 

I remained at the hospital until about 11.30 that night, had to go eventually as I couldn't do anything, and had no idea whatsoever what time the doctor would arrive on the ward Mum was eventually admitted to. TH was still at work waiting for me to ring. He has to watch to eat fairly regularly as he is type II diabetes, diet controlled, so was a bit concerned about that.

The next day she was much improved, still pretty shaky and then improved day by day. She was out in two weeks. We are to go to a clinic for either bladder or bowels on Tuesday, forgot which. She seems to be back well under control, as she is calling the neighbours for bringing their dustbins in/out at 4.30 in the morning. When she came home, I made sure she could deal with the stairs etc easily, as she didn't get around much in the hospital.

So, all in all, a pretty shattering experience. I feel as if I've been through a wringer and hung out on the line.

On a lighter note, I went to see Dirty Dancing with my lovely daughter in law V, and before the show we visited Richmond Street Tearooms, in Manchester. It is a very shabby chic place, serving lovely teas, tiny sandwiches and cakes that would put on two stone within a week! We were quite restrained, me having fig and goats' cheese sandwiches and V having prawn sandwich. We decided to share a scone which seems quite large. I could really have eaten a whole one but it was getting time to go.

The conservatory area we had our tea in

The reflection of the street outside. I love that muted shade of green.

I hadn't expected to enjoy the show as much as I did, as it wasn't really my scene, but I did enjoy it and the dancing was marvellous. We are going to the ballet on 23 July to see Giselle. It's getting quite a habit.

Today I attacked the bushes at the front of the garden. There is a Euonymous which has completely taken over. Don't ever trust me with scissors! I cut half the bush away, and had a go at the completely overgrown soil. I had to leave half of the branches on the ground as I had sneakily put some clumps of intrusive roots in the green bin (don't tell, please), beneath the branches and so had to make sure it was not too heavy.

It's getting there, and at the end of the year when I have the tree pruned, I will have the holly bush cut down too, it is taking over. Then, hopefully I can plant some heather and stuff which will act as ground cover.

My back garden is inundated with Horses' tails. I have a product called Kurtail, which seems to kill them and the roots but they still come back like dismembered worms. They have just grown and grown underground, and reached the opposite side of the garden. There were hardly any at all a few years ago. Anyone any ideas what else I can do?

To be honest, nowadays I wish I had a nice walled, yard with room to put plants in a border around, and some pots for colourful plants. I seem to have lost interest completely, I'd rather be out on my bike but at the moment I haven't time, because of doing the garden, killing Horses tails and pruning plants. This is just so the garden fits in with the others around me! Bonkers.

I made a curly crochet scarf for my mum's neighbour, who helped us. This is a picture of it, I remembered to take it before parcelling it up and giving it to her. I loved the feel of it, it is wonderfully soft.

Crochet curly scarf

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


I always look forward to attending the CTC Cycle Show held at York Racecourse, Knavesmire, York. I meet up with friends I only see on this weekend and we 'hang around' for want of a better word, rather than do any serious cycling. One of the things we do is cycle along the York Selby cycle route to Riccall, where the ladies of the chapel there open up especially for the cyclists and provide a wonderful display of cakes, sandwiches and endless quantities of tea and coffee. The all is usually full and people waiting to sit down. If you want, you can make a longer journey of it but we usually like to get back to the showground and take advantage of what the show has to offer.

Sadly this year, the committee has decided that looking at advance bookings, and taking into consideration the last couple of years poor attendance, together with the bad weather around the same time, they wouldn't even break even and reluctantly cancelled. I don't think there has ever been a cancellation in the whole time of the rally. Hopefully it will go on next year, in conjunction with something to do with the Tour de France.

HOWEVER, last night I had an invitation to a party! Not Manchester/Liverpool/even London but Cologne. Now I immediately thought that I would go, then I thought that I've been wanting to go to Berlin for ages and haven't never had the guts to go and book it. Why not use this as a spur to book? After all, I can visit my friends in Cologne any time, no need for a party excuse. So now I am trying to co-ordinate flights with places to stay, not easy, for if you book one, the other might have just slipped away.

I will let you know what happens. The other thing is that if you go with EasyJet, the flight arrives at 9.02, so I would have to get from airport to whatever flea ridden place I decide to stay in. Not entirely accurate, although I wouldn't mind a hostel if I were with other people but I'm mostly concerned if there is anywhere secure to leave your stuff when you aren't there. I don't want an apartment as I would wish to mix with other people, rather than being isolated. A nice small hotel/guesthouse would suit me just fine.

MORE TO FOLLOW: What area shall I stay in?