Thursday, 29 September 2016


Autumn is here, so we are told.  Yesterday 28th September we had a lovely summer day and fortunately I was able to find time to garden.
It is 6 weeks since I last wrote a report so here goes.  The main thing that has happened as far as Ron is concerned is that we have started the private Physio .  Today will be our fifth session including the assessment.  We really think she is helping and seems to be very insightful as to Ron's problems.   She thinks his main problem is with his balance so many of the exercises are to address this.  We have been religiously doing all the exercises every day.   We originally agreed to try 6 sessions and then re-assess the situation (at 80 per session it is not cheap).   I think that more sessions would be helpful but we will wait and see and go by her advice, I trust her to give impartial advice.

We went to Hyde Hall and had a good time lots of cars to look at and friends to chat to.  No time for me to enjoy the gardens but maybe we will fit in a visit another time.
Sept 3rd was the date of a barbecue at Graham and Erica's house - this was mainly for Graham's maternal relatives.  It was a very nice day with around 40 people some I have met before and some that I have never seen before.  The weather unfortunately did not play the game as it poured with rain during the afternoon but fortunately Graham had foreseen this and there were two large gazebos.  The following day we went to Capel Manor with RREC, the weather stayed fine which was fortunate as we took a picnic.

The following weekend we planted the winter baskets (pansies).

Then the following weekend we went to Lancashire for a JEC. Mark 10 rally.  We took the opportunity to visit our good friends John and Carolyn Smith who live in the area.  Very kindly our friends Ted and Pat Kelly joined us for the afternoon.
We were lucky enough to win some prizes at the Mark Ten Rally, Best interior, best bodywork and best in show.   All Ron's hard work in previous times is still giving results and I am so pleased for him.    Our. Stay at the hotel was traumatic as on Sunday we were just ready to go down for dinner and when we got to the lift it was out of order, eventually thanks to our good friends John and Lindy Stevenson Ron was taken downstairs on an instrument of torture called an evac-chair.   We were then given a room on the ground floor for our final night.

Last weekend we went to Warren Car Show on Sunday and had a good day although no other members of our car club were there.

That sums up our month.  I am pleased to report that Ron is getting a lot of benefit from his Physio .

In two weeks we have a weekend away with our local JDC club we are going to Warwickshire and visiting Gaydon.

Our cars have been receiving tlc from John  Deed, electronic ignition, new otter switches, new tyres hopefully they will all be better for it.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Catching up with the non-news

The time goes so quickly that I don't realise that the month has gone by without a word from me.  Anyway here I am now complete with diary as I can't remember last week never mind last month.

I went to Green Island Garden and it was well worth the visit, the garden is made up of lots of island beds, hence the name.
Sat 9th was Anita's wedding and that was a complete success, a lovely day, super food and everything you could think of to make a wonderful day.  We stayed the night in the Weatherspoons in Leighton Buzzard  which exceeded expectations, our room did have a step down into it but Ron managed it well.
The following Monday I went on a U3A walk.  I try and do these once a month they are usually no more tha 5 miles and I can manage that easily.  I see from the diary that Ron did a lot of walking that week.  He goes out of our French doors, walks to the end of the path, turns right, along the road, down the front path and through the front door, through the dining room and back into the lounge, this walk takes him between 12 and 14 minutes, we time it on a stop watch.  This gives I'm something to aim for. Some days he does this 3 times through the day.

On Sunday 17th we attended Charles Tabor's 70th birthday celebration along with many other friends.  We had a lovely day and we're lucky enough to meet up wth an old friend, John Deed.    Ron had a long chat with him and he kindly offered to come and look at our Mark Ten (I told you it would need more fettling).
Our Jaguar Drivers Club National was 6th and 7th August and this was held in Coombe Abbey a lovely hotel just outside Coventry.  We had a good time meeting up with old friends and showing off our car on the Sunday.   Unfortunately when we returned to our hotel room late Sunday afternoon Ron had a fall in the hotel room.      Fortunately he did not hurt himself other than a bruise on his back but his confidence was completely shot, it took fifteen minutes for us to get him up after which he was exhausted and then we had to get ready and go for dinner as we had made arrangements to meet other people for dinner.

We had a week of resting following this experience but fortunately this week we are back to normal.  We have decided that we are going to get some private Physio but have not yet arranged this - it is on the to do list.
John Deed has been to the house again to tune up the Cloud which is back from the painters.   Looks like more needs to be done before Ron is happy so electronic ignition has been ordered.
Another Jaguar do this Sunday which is to be held at Hyde Hall - a RHS garden - which I will enjoy

Then nothing more for the next month - just a RREC picnic at Capel Manor on 4th September.

More soon.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

July update

I have just read through my last post and I note that the weather was pretty dismal then.  The rest of June was much the same lots of rain and just enough sun to make the weeds grow like crazy.   However the marigolds are thriving and the begonias are coming into flower.  I don't get as much time in the garden as I would like but I am just about keeping on top of it.

The Cloud is still away at the painters but the Mark Ten has passed the MOT after having a little welding done on the floor panel.

We had some trouble getting it running properly , turns out that something had come loose in one of the carburretors (spelling?)  We paid someone to sort it but Ron was not happy with the set up so he managed to re-set them with just a little help from Graham under instruction.   We took it out on Sunday to Maldon Motor  Show where we joined Area 33 on the JDC stand.   The weather was very good and we had a nice time.     The car ran well although I think Ron thinks it is smoking so no doubt more fettling will be required.  

Unfortunately while the car was away being welded a small amount of damage has been done to the rear off-side wheel arch.   So another visit to the paint shop.

We have not had many outings during June with the cars.   I have had a few outings myself with my U3A club and on 22nd I went to Southend for the day with the bus pass group.   Ron and I joined John and Jill and  Barbara and Tony to have lunch at the Bluebell Inn in Hempstead.   The lunch was nice but the pub was a bit chaotic as it was so busy.   We went to Graham and Erica's for a barbecue for Fathers Day and Elliot was there so that was nice.

I am going to Green Island Garden near Colchester tomorrow and then on Saturday we have an early start as Anita (my niece) is getting married in Leighton Buzzard at 11.30.  We are staying overnight after the reception at a Weatherspoons in the town so that will be an experience I am sure.

Ron has not made any significant improvement his hand movement is still an occasional movement of his forefinger and sometimes a little flexing of the thumb.
We are working on strengthening his leg muscles so that he can walk further without his legs aching.
Ron has been driving whenever we have had to take the other cars to painters, garage etc but he says he does not enjoy it and has no interest in driving.   He gets quite depressed and frustrated when there is anything to be done on the cars and he cannot do it.   He talks on and off of getting rid of the cars but I don't think he is ready for that yet as he still hopes to get much better.   Of course, finances may dictate what happens.  We have always said that it Ron could not maintain the cars, we would not be able to afford them and we are certainly using up the savings lately.

That's about it - my tummy tells me it is lunch time


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Wintry June

1st June today and the central heating is on!


Friday, 29 April 2016

18 Months On

Yes this coming week it will be 18 months since the day that changed our lives.  What a steep learning curve it has been.  There has been times when it all seemed too much and Ron does get very frustrated sometimes but overall I think we are managing well.

In my last post I said I would let you know how we got on doing the Physio ourselves, well the answer is not too well.  We are able to do the exercises but it is the sticking to a routine that I find difficult.  There always seems to be something more pressing, washing to hang out, meal to be prepared, grass to cut, shopping to be done - the list goes on.   I really must get more discipline into my days.  When we have found the time,, Ron is improving.   Still no movement in his hand but there  is still hope.  We have met a couple of people lately who have been as bad as Ron but have got movement back up to 3 years after.   We live in hope.

We have had two weekends away.  The first a RREC trip to near Swansea in Wales when we took the Silver Cloud.   This went well although it rained heavily most of the journey there and we got soaked at the services.  The rest of the weekend it was fine and as usual the Welsh Section had everything organised.   Ron and I were invited to travel with John and Carolyn Smith which was lovely for me as it meant I did not have to do any parking!  Of course there was one problem we forgot Ron's quad stick.  Fortunately we were able to borrow a stick but of course it was a normal stick so Ron was not as good on his feet as he can be but we managed.

Last weekend we went away with Area 33 Jaguar Drivers Club.   This was in Hetherset, near Norwich and we took the S type and of course a much shorter journey.   The weather was very cold and showery but we managed to get out and about.   We went to a Game and Country Fair on Saturday and to Sandringham on Sunday.   There was lots of fun and banter at the dinner table and in the bar and we were really glad we went.

I don't think we will do any longer that 3 or 4 days away as I think this is about long enough for both off us to manage.   We don't have another weekend until August but lots of Sunday lunches and one day outing with the cars.

Ron continues to become more independent and I am now able to go out for the day and Ron encourages me to get out and about so I am gradually resuming my social life.

I think that more or less bring us up to date, looking forward now to some warmer weather.  The African marigolds that Ron planted are all doing well in the greenhouse and our begonias are beginning to sprout.

I will write again in a month or sooner if there is anything to report.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Time flies when you are having fun!

I can't believe it is a month since my last post.  Not much has happened in that time.

After a few assessments with Suzanne Ron has been out driving a few times.  He is fine but says he does not enjoy it as he used to, he says he needs to concentrate all the time.  However it is good to know he can do it if he wants to.

We had our last OT session on Wednesday and we now have no professional involvement at all.  We have drawn up a schedule so that we have a framework to work to so we don't just sit around but continue to do the Physio ourselves.

I hope that Ron will continue to make progress.  I am a bit concerned about his walking pace I am sure he used to walk a lot faster but his comment is that there is no rush and that he would rather be slow and safe which obviously makes sense but if he would go just a little faster he would not draw so much attention.

We are busy filling in our diary with car club outings on Sunday's through the year plus several weekends away.   I am gradually returning to my club activities as Ron is OK to be left home alone and he is adamant that I resume these.

I will write more and let you know how we get on with our regime.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Busy times

Well I see it is a month since I last wrote something so here goes with a catch-up.  After the excitement of seeing Ron's thumb moving it turns out that it was an automatic movement and not one that Ron did.   However since then he has moved it under his control just a few days ago.
We have been so busy as we have had visits from the Papworth team, Physio once a week, OT twice a week plus Saffron Walden Gym twice a week.  In addition the Neuro psychologist has been and spent three hours assessing Ron.  We were delighted with the results which she gave us verbally on the day.  Basically she assessed Ron as almost normal for someone of his age.  She said that he needs time and/or repitition to absorb information and she is going to send us a written report together with suggested strategies to put in place such as repeating information such as appointments.   Best of all she could see no reason why Ron could not drive our converted Jaguar.  She said some people in this situation would take some driving lessons to gain confidence and since her visit Ron's daughter who is a qualified driving instructor has been out with him twice.  He got on well, just needs to get used to the controls.

Ron continues to progress regarding becoming more independent with personal care, toilet and washing.   He now walks in the house, rather than use his electric wheelchair, he sits at the table, pulling the chair in himself.

On Sat 14th we had the last visit from the Papworth Physio and she did all the measurements and tests again to compare with those she did when she started.  Ron's original score was 32 out of 54 and he was 49 on Saturday so a huge improvement and his test walk outside had gone from 16 mins to 11 so again very satisfying.

We are so grateful for this extra help we have had from Papworth Trust.  The OT's last session will be around 3rd March and our Saffron Walden Physio finishes on 1st March and then we will be on our own.   I think this is going to be a bit of a let down so we have to make sure that we organise ourselves as it is all too easy to get lazy.   I will set up a spreadsheet and hope that this will motivate us.  
The Physio is going to recommend another session and this will be great if we can get it.   If not we have the option of paying privately we will just have to see how it goes.

We have been out for various lunches with the car clubs, Ron is able to walk in, albeit slowly, and this makes it a lot easier.
On Wednesday 10th I went out all day and Ron managed perfectly well.  I can go out for a few hours without any problems or preparation.

I will write again when there is something to report.