Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tyne Cot

Tyne Cot

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Here is one of the fallen Botwrights we left a poppy by his name, there are a few of them dotted around the place. I wonder if anyone has visited him before?

After a trip around the Market!!

After a trip around the Market!!

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Here is Beth getting her ideas down on paper after a walk around the town !! It's still raining and miserable and we are suffering the after effects of sleeping in a hard bed!!!
Yesterday we went to Tyne cot cemetery and found the inscription on the wall for Arthur R Botwright who died on the 18th of August 1917. He is in our extended family he came from Bedmond and his parents were Emma and John Botwright. It has sparked an interest in Beth and she now wants to go and research him online.
We are now chilling in a cafe it's a out time the weather changed off of the terrible miserable rain!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Arrived in Ypres

Today Tom, Beth and I arrived in Ypres, we caught the 12 o'clock ferry from Dover and arrived in Dunkirk 2 hours later, nice smooth crossing. We then popped into a hyper market (Auchan) and stocked up on rose before heading on to Belgium. Tonight we have been to the Last Post at The Menin gate and had dinner at Poppies.
Now we are heading in to watch a bit of TV before doing the museums in the morning!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Experiences.

For my birthday I had an unusual present, a bead making kit, which consisted of a load of glass rods....
A hot head torch and safety set up and equipment.Along with everything else that you need for making your own glass beads. I have now been on a couple of courses and I have found an interest in making beads. So i set the whole lot up and got cracking making some beads. The top picture is of the product of my labours. I am having great fun experimenting with the glass and torch. The torch is a bit scary and the first lot I made took a long time. I then realised that I hadn't got the torch full on so one lesson learnt already.

I have learnt that its very addictive, I want to be able to do everything straight away, this is not possible and I need to spend some time perfecting my skills. I do think that I will be able to get there. Its all about learning how the different glasses react with each other and what effects you can get. My friend Debbie bought me a book for my birthday which I am reading, I have picked up tips from there. I am going to attempt one bead every time I fire up and keep going until I get it right. I think that to fund this habit I am going to have to sell off some of my rubber stamps, so look out eBay, if I ever get organised enough I am going to have a massive clear out.
Tomorrow we are off to Belgium for a few days. We are taking Beth to Ypres to look around the Flanders Field Museum. She is doing the first world war at school and they will be taking a trip there. She doesn' want to go with the school , so a few days away will be nice.
More good news Mum came home today to see if she could manage around the house. She did very well and is likely to be heading home next weekend when they have the carers set up.  Whoopee!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm Back

 I have had a few days away in Harrogate on UNISON'S women's conference. I woke up yesterday morning to the return of winter, a good few inches of snow. It was a bit of a shock as I thought we had done with all that and I don't remember ever having snow on my birthday before!!
We arrived on Wednesday afternoon to find that the Hotel, was not quite where we expected it to be, instead of within walking distance to the conference centre it was 2 and a half miles away!! We were left no choice but to drive in everyday. We registered on the Thursday and sat down to the first sessions. I like conferences for the variety of speakers, a lot of people have overcome huge hurdles to get up and speak. This year we had a very inspiring speech from Baroness Blood. A fantastic lady who was instrumental in the Northern Ireland peace talks and the Good Friday agreement. She is an ordinary person who was moved to try and do something for her community to make life better for everyone. She came up against all sorts or opposition but stuck at it and won out. Check her out HERE one determined lady!!!
Yesterday was my birthday so I came home to lots of celebrations, cakes and presents. I simply have not had time to thank everyone yet, there seems a lot to do to get things sorted out, a few days away seems to create a load of washing and general mess.  I did think yesterday that I was just about straight, only to open a card from Sandra FULL of those shiny confetti things, so now my floor is covered in red and pink hearts! I have until November to save up industrial quantities of the same to send back to her!!
Good news on the Mum front, she is making slow but steady progress. She is coming home on Wednesday for a home visit for the staff to see what needs to happen at home to get her reinstalled, so that's a positive move.  We have had a lot of people make contact after the article in the paper including people we met on the cruise last year who had no idea. Tomorrow I will post some birthday photos!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Result.....

Yesterday Keith and I went into the hospital to meet with the managers with regards to the treatment that mum has received. I think its fair to say that they were very apologetic and kept repeating just how sorry they were that it had happened, they had new processes in place to reduce the risk of understaffing. All very well but it has happened again since and I have no doubt it will happen again. No amount of apologising can repair the damage that they have done as far as we are concerned.
There is an article in today's Daily Mirror, page 21 about Mum. Again the trust apologise, but its simply not good enough it should never have happened in the first place. What  I want to come out of this is an understanding that elderly people should be treated with respect and dignity. It did make me smile yesterday when they tried to tell me that they were having problems attracting staff, we are only in the middle of the biggest recession since who knows when and there are millions of unemployed people and they can't recruit essentially unskilled carers to work for them, simply unbelievable and another obvious lie.
We will continue to battle on until we get a result that we are happy with and an undertaking that they will sort themselves out.
Just remember one day if you are lucky enough you too may be a vulnerable elderly person reliant on stretched staff and scant facilities to enable you to recover after an operation or a fall. We need to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. People need to be able to have access to basic requirements of life such as access to food and water and being able to use a toilet when they need to.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Very Topical.

Today Keith and I go back to the Hospital to speak to the managers about the shambles that purports to be a caring rehabilitation centre. It seems that we are very topical, there is a report out this morning by the NHS Ombudsman which reveals that 20% of all complaints made are about the care of elderly people in NHS establishments. The very things that we are complaining about, lack of pain relief, lack of food, water, toilet, washing facilities.The lack of dignity surrounding people who only weeks before were running their own lives in their own homes are now left to lie in dirty wet beds and dirty clothes. Its an outrage and something that we all may end up having to deal with later in our lives.
Mum had a fall last week on Wednesday in the hospital. She had told the staff caring for her that she didn't feel well and that her legs felt wobbly, but  no one listened she was cajoled and bullied out of bed and she was right her legs were wobbly and she fell to the floor injuring her ankle. She was in considerable pain with her ankle and the Doctor decided that she needed to have an X ray. Arrangements were made the following morning for her to be transported to the local hospital for that X ray, in considerable pain she was dressed and was ready from 7am. The transport did not arrive that day, it finally arrived at 4pm on Friday, two days after her fall. The crew said there was no point taking her as the X ray department was now closed and they left.
We complained as we have every step of the way knowing that she was in for at least a two day wait as everything stops at the weekend. This time Keith went in and complained. He sat with Mum and rung her call bell as she was in a wet bed. They waited FORTY minutes for anyone to arrive and then another 20 for someone to assist to get her up and clean and dry again. Its an absolute outrage.

We have taken the decision to take this to the press, we spoke to them on Friday and they immediately called the Trust press office, Keith was registering his latest complaint when someone came in and told the Sister in charge the press office was on the phone. They then blatantly lied and said that she would be taken for an X ray on Saturday morning, which they never had any intention of doing. The paper phoned back yesterday and asked if she was dealt with on Saturday morning and at the time they phoned she was still waiting for treatment. The press are now taking the matter up and have asked us for photos for the piece they will be doing. The photo at the top is of Mum when she was a nurse back in the 50's. She is in the middle row on the right. I can't see anything getting any better. The staffing levels are wrong the staff are under such pressure that they can't cope and this moth they have had someone off sick on all bar three days. The staff on the whole are caring and are as upset as we are, they hate seeing people in this situation but there is only so much one pair of hands can do. I don't expect I will change the world, but I am going to be a thorn in their side until they take care of the person that matters to me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Good Day!!

Today was a good day, We went to our friends and were treated to a lovely Sunday roast and an afternoon of painting pots. We all sat down to try our hands at painting and decorating a variety of ceramics. Beth and I had flower shaped plates, Tom tried his hand a painting a cat. I can't wait to see how it comes out, he has painted a black face and a chocolate brown body with black spots!!
Beth and I have gone for spots again, hearts and spots. All we need to do now is thoroughly read the books that came with the kiln and work out how to apply the glaze and load the kiln so that we have a product at the end. I think that's going to require another trip back to work that out.
The whole weekend has flown by I can't believe how quickly it goes. Next week I have a trip to Harrogate to look forward to, so that will make it a bit more bearable!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Still Waiting......

Well yesterday was not a very good day, Mum was up at 6am to be ready and waiting for transfer to the QE2 hospital to have her ankle Xrayed. She waited all day in bed for someone to turn up and no one did. At 4pm the transport arrived and immediately said there was no point in taking her as it was too late!!
That meant that she would have to wait until Monday for an Xray, by Monday she will have been in bed for with an injured ankle for 5 days. We have jumped up and down complained and still nothing is being done. The feeling is that they will dose her up with pain killers and wait until Monday.
I am so angry that people can be treated like this. How is it right that she has to wait 5 days?? Mum is miserable which makes me miserable, while the staff have been trying very hard to get things sorted they have been let down by the 'out sourced' transport services. I am guessing that by turning up at all they fulfilled their obligations even if they didn't actually take her anywhere.
We have decided that as no one was listening to us that we had no alternative but take our story to the papers, so yesterday we contacted one of the Nationals who immediately got onto the trust press office, who in turn contacted the hospital. We were in the office when their call came through.
So lets see what happens from here on in. I think that the only option is to keep fighting until someone listens.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Not a Good Evening.

You know how it is, been busy at work all week finally got finished today and went to visit Mum only to find that just before we arrived that she had taken a fall while getting out of bed. On the positive side she was with a nurse and she managed to grab her and break her fall, so she slid to the floor rather than a full blown fall. The nurse said that she was assisting her out of bed to go and get her tea when she simply failed to put her foot securely on the floor and sort of went over on it.
Within a very short while of it happening they had pushed the emergency button and got other staff straight there and hoisted her back up on the bed. Mum is very shaken and is now again frightened to get up or attempt to get up. I am not really sure whats behind it, she said that she felt odd, her legs felt like jelly and she didn't feel in control. She has done so well, she has managed to come off of the morphine patches that she has been on for the past few years and the difference in her mentally has been very noticeable. On talking to staff it seems they have replaced the patch with a medication called Tramadol, which on looking it up is another addictive drug of the narcotic family!!! Not really sure why they would do that. We don't want her to be in any pain, but she has not been reporting having any pain and she has been having paracetamol to help her over the little aches.
We have been very encouraging to her tonight but she is seriously down in the dumps and doesn't believe that she will be able to get out of there any time soon. I am hopeful its just a mini setback and that she will soon be back up and away!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Getting Hot and Beady!!!

Yesterday I went on another 'learn to bead course' over at Ware, I went with my friend Debbie and her mum, I really had a good day. I feel that although this is only my second course, I have made some improvements. I was able to form the beads with relative ease this time although I think doing it again and again I will get better at it.

The problem with doing a course is that I really want to get my own set up and do it myself. I have the mini kiln just need the scary gas and all the glass and tools, at least the heating bill would go down in the conservatory!!! The beads I made were actually a whole lot better than the last batch. If you keep the glass high in the flame they don't go muddy brown. I actually made some pretty ones this time, so I will photograph them tomorrow and let you see. If there is a down side to the course, its the fact that you can't anneal them, in fact you can't really make anything useful after lunch as they simply do not have time to cool sufficiently before they need to be removed from the mandrels. I think I may do a few more nights practice at the Artshed and then decide if I need to ask for glassy things for my birthday"

Saturday, February 05, 2011

{Joy of Love} - Love to Hate!!!

Today's prompt for the challenge blog {Joy of Love} is Love to Hate! Beth is a born joker and I think she gets some of that from her grandmother, who in her day was ore than a little naughty!!Like all kids Beth gets fed up with having her photo taken, So as a result of that we have a fair few photos where she is pulling faces. Generally I can con her into one or two decent ones before she has had enough. She couldn't believe her luck when I asked her to pull a face or two for this photo!!
Check HERE for the other photos!!

I have heard from Mum today, the reduction of her morphine patches seems to have made her understanding of how her mobile phone works, far clearer. She can now magically phone and text with very little problem. So perhaps all along it was the drugs. She has said that she has been fine today, had a bit of a lie in this morning. Dad has seen her and has said she is doing well. I am going in tonight!!

Friday, February 04, 2011

{Joy Of Love} - Day Four - What they wear

I think this sums up Beth's sense of humour, she loves to do funny things, I am happy with this photo, she has a slightly dirty face (look around her lips) and the make up shows her in full funny flow!!
These photos are being prompted by THIS Challenge Blog.
Please go and look at the other photos!!

Tonight we have been to see Mum, she has mastered getting into and out of bed, she had been very worried about the whole bed thing. Today she has been with the occupational therapists and they have had her stand on her own and tip water from a jug into a glass, which she has managed with ease. So things are moving along nicely now.

Because we have been visiting on just about a daily basis we have got to know the other patients and some of their more regular visitors. We have seen people get better and move back home. We spend some of the time talking to the other patients. This is because people are all sitting in the day room and are not in bed like a normal hospital. Space is tight and you can't help but talk to people. Tonight we noticed that one of the ladies who we regularly spoke to was missing. She had been having a hard time with her hip, which she had had replaced and it was not healing like it should do. She has all her marbles and was funny. We asked where she was and it seemed that she had a fall and has broken her other hip. The poor lady is now back in the QE2. I expect she is devastated.

We have a busy weekend in prospect, Tom is going to take Laura to Birmingham for her course which starts on Monday, during the day on Sunday. Debbie and I are going to a bead making course in Ware and I will take Beth over to Malcolm's for the day while we are busy. Whoop whoop, crafting fun!!!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Day two - {Joy of Love}

Today's prompt is Capture your loved one at their best or worse, paying attention to the angle of capture. This is a shot of Beth  after her shower. There is both natural and electric light in the room and the angle of capture is is low, on a level with her face, I am pleased with this photo!!

Check out the other photos HERE .

Tonight we went to see Mum she is mentally a lot lot better, much sharper and with it, although she said she was feeling despondent because she was having trouble getting into bed. She can now get out alright but getting back is a big problem. She was getting herself worked up worrying about getting back into bed tonight. The sister said that she is doing very well, but she won't have any of it. I don't know what we can do, she has made good progress, two weeks ago she wasn't walking, now she is, so that's progress, I think she was fed up and looking for a fight!!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

{Joy of Love}

I have decided to join in a photo challenge blog, hopefully I will be able to squeeze in a photo a day, or at least every other day.
Today's prompt is 'what they do' So I snuck a few photos of Beth and her friend Megan while they were looking a video on you tube, I like the way that they were concentrating hard on the screen that they hardly noticed me there!