Tag Archives: Elly

A new beginning

While I slept, the new year began.

The last days of 2015 were special with a late Christmas visit from Elly, George & Buffy. Good food, wine, treats and shared time are what I like about these visits. Storm Frank howled about outside, but indoors, the fire sparkled and glowed as we chatted and shared stories from the past few months. It has been a busy year but Elly was here at the important times – making the days around surgery easier for me, and assuring her that I was coping well.

I gave Elly life, but not a life sentence to be tied to my apron strings for all my days. Some people find this difficult to accept, there are those who feels she neglects me… just because she does not run up the road every other weekend. I never want her visits to be a chore for her, she still has a key and knows the door will always be open for her and or George.

We may not see each other for months at a time, but we are in contact on an almost daily basis in the background. Modern technology allows her many options of checking on me. We share a calendar, so she is aware if I have medical appointments, meet friends for coffee or have lunch dates with Toyboys! She knows if I am active on social media, and if I am missing in action or awol …  She will make contact to check that all is well with me. Once I am happy, she is happy!

It is not much fun for her at times being a ‘one and only‘ with no siblings to share the burden of her mother. Thankfully with George she has been welcomed into the heart of his family, and for that I will be forever grateful.

I try not to be the Motherinlawfromhell, but George assures me that I am not and that I came as part of the package with Elly when they married. He is always helpful, kind and caring to me. I am so lucky – there are many out there who are not so fortunate with family relationships or in-laws.

So, all the ‘Mum you need to try this’ or ‘Mum you need to install that’ and ‘Mum can you fix this or sew that’ moments, keep me not alone up to date, but using the grey cells and my talents.

Day and daily I give thanks for life’s greatest gift:-

A bundle of joy and wonder, effervescence and caring for all she meets – a real chip off the old block that was her father. 

That is my Elly!

On this first day of the new year, my wish for her is a long, loving and interesting life with my son in law, George.


George & Elly on the first steps as a married couple.

May there be many new years ahead for them.

I am a lady in waiting…


No. I am not pregnant, or sitting at the window waiting for my ‘Date’ to arrive. I am actually keeping myself busy preparing for vitrectomy eye surgery at the end of the month.

Once I make a decision to go ahead with a particular surgery, I then work out what I need to make the recovery period as easy as possible. Six years ago, I was booked in for hip surgery (can you believe it was that long ago?) and prepared myself for every eventuality. It was worth it. I was totally on my own pins and independent after six weeks. All due thanks to Elly, George and a few friends.

Nurse Hitler Elly will don her matron’s cap once more and move back in with me to nag me back to normality care and help me through the awkward few days while posturing – head down for 55 minutes in every hour. Hopefully the posturing will not last more than a week, but I accept it might be longer. I have been told that “The vitrectomy patient’s daily routine will be much more manageable with the help of friends and family members”. Do I need to hide my camera?

Bathing should be fun. Would I find it easier to take a bath rather than a shower while keeping my head down? Next week, I’ll move the soap, shampoo and any other bathroom necessities to a low spot where they will be easily reachable. How soon can I wash my hair? I hate unwashed hair, but they (whoever ‘They’ are) say that if you leave hair long enough unwashed, the natural oils do the cleaning for you. I am not anxious to try that one for size!

My usual trousers with buttons and zips are not recommended or any clothing that needs to be pulled over my head. The jumpers and tops can all be washed and put away for the duration.

I have been shopping. I now possess a couple of pairs of trousers with elasticated waist bands and a couple of button through cardigans. I already had two button up shirts and I purchased a couple of night shirts, if I am cold, then my pyjama bottoms will pull on easily. Hell, I’ll have a great excuse for hanging about in a bath robe OR to join the world of the ONSIES!

All day facing floorward, might not help my back, I wonder if I pretend to be Buffy and go around on all fours, will it help or just confuse Elly? I have no wish to be fed dry doggie food or to lick my fluids out of a bowl. Woof! Woof!

I am told that swallowing will be easier if bending more from the waist than from the neck. All drinking should be done through a straw. Do they make straws suitable for hot drinks? If so, I have not found them yet…. I need to do some more research. If I drink more than two sips of cold water, my body goes cold from the inside and I stop. Give me boiled water and I will drink it by the bucket full. What a picture: me drinking with a bendy straw from a bucket!

The sleeping schedule has been tried. Sleeping face down will take a little getting used to. I have a V shaped pillow and I already made a start to get my body used to that idea. I managed one hours sleep face down on Wednesday. I hoped to increase by an hour each night and maybe by the time I go to surgery, my body will be comfortable with sleeping face down. Thursday night I managed to remain face downward all night but my back played merry hell most of Friday. Friday night was a total wash-out and I never slept at all. As Fagin sang: I think I need to think it out again! Mind you Elly tells me she has gone ahead and rented a Face Down Sleep Support. It is due to arrive a couple of days before I go to the hospital, so I’ll have a chance to practise with it.

I have a long low coffee table that will be useful for setting my food tray, drinks, tissues et cetera on. The leaflet given to me suggests ‘The patient may prefer softer foods which are easier to swallow’. That reminds me of a guy who had his jaw wired following an accident. He was a fan of McDonald’s – I am not. He bought his Big Mac and a Coke and brought them home, put everything in the blender and had his meal through a straw!

The actual operation will take place in day surgery under a local anaesthetic. Just like my previous cataract surgery on both my eyes, I will be wheeled into theatre in day clothes and the whole procedure will last about an hour while I am awake. It is most lightly that I will stay over-night in the hospital. I suppose that will depend on how things go on the day.

Now what more do I need… Plenty of tissues, straws and more meals for the freezer and a few wee treats for matron.

Nearly ready.

Happy ‘push’ anniversary!

That is a greeting I found on my Facebook page this morning. It made me smile!

My youngest niece, Clare, went on to explain:

On our birthdays, me and my siblings give my mum a ‘push’ present. Happy ‘push’ anniversary!


I like the idea of a ‘push’ anniversary.

Thirty six years ago, I did do some pushing, but even back then, My Elly was in a hurry and made my job easy. She has not stopped running since.

Yesterday, was the last of our Spring Bank Holiday Weekend, and Elly took full advantage of the day off work.

She chose to return to childhood for an early birthday, playing giant jenga, bean bag toss, and sack races!

Sack race Photo courtesy of Mary Burke

Sack race
Photo courtesy of Mary Burke

Typical! That is my Elly, strolling along, while encouraging everyone else to do the hard work. :mrgreen:

Have a wonderful Birthday today, Elly, you deserve it. You bring so much joy to my life and to everyone you meet along life’s way!

Chocolate cake next weekend, me thinks!

Where has all the Traffic Gone?

My story today took place about 10 days before Elly started Nursery School. The new intake for the year started in small groups adding three or four children each week. The teachers worked according to the alphabet and since our surname belonged in the second half, it was October before her exciting first day.


Elly always found waiting difficult; she liked to be in the forefront of all the action. I am not sure that she has changed much over the years! I was running out of ideas to keep her distracted and knowing that my trips out shopping would have to fit in around her schedule for a couple of months, I decided to have one last morning in town. Since Jack, Elly’s dad was working in the Belfast area that day he offered to drop us off and then we could make our own way home when we had finished.


As we were getting out of the car Jack pushed something into my hand and told us to have a good lunch before going home. The note he gave me was well more than the bus fare, lunch and a few books at Cranes Bookshop!


Despite the regular frisking and checking of our bags as we entered each shop, we had fun looking at all the new autumn fashions and found a few items to add to our wardrobes. We picked and bought a tie for ‘Dad’ before heading to see Miss Crane. Being a normal Business/school day Miss Crane had plenty of time for Elly. An hour passed quickly as we browsed, checked out suggestions and finally selected three or four books to add to the growing library in Elly’s bedroom.


Adding this latest purchase to our ever increasing shopping bags we went in search of a good lunch. The garden Restaurant on the upper level of the Fountain Centre was our choice. Don’t go looking for it now, because it’s no longer there. We had a very enjoyable lunch and feeling satisfied with our morning we decided to catch the next bus home.


We reached the High Street bus stop in good time and sat on the wall at the ground level car park to await the arrival of our bus. It was a nice bright day and Elly enjoyed watching the world all around her. Busses came and went, cars passed and people sauntered or walked briskly to keep appointments. From the sky above we heard the drone of hovering helicopters, a sound we were very used to in this part of the world.


After a while I noticed the traffic was very light, no busses were arriving and then the cars disappeared completely. A few minutes later we heard the blare of sirens and Police and Army vehicles roared past. Things quietened and then after a pause with sirens blaring some of the vehicles returned from whence they came. It was a real indication of a bomb scare. This went on several times and we heard a few explosions. I had no idea if the explosions were controlled or from abandoned vehicles. None of this bothered Elly as she watched all that was happening around us. Never once did she ask why the bus did not come.


It was still early days for me in the North of Ireland, mobile phones were unheard of, and I only knew of two routes from Belfast to our home town. One of these was the motorway, not a possibility for walking home and the other was through some highly charged areas. There was also the fact that I had no idea of what to do if we were re directed at any point from this strife torn part of Belfast. My strong southern brogue was more a hindrance than a help so I decided that staying put was the safest option. The bus would come at some stage, so we sat on.


After a couple of hours I realised that Jack would be aware of what was going on and begin to worry about us. All drivers in those days stayed tuned to local radio for the latest traffic problems and delays. I saw a phone Kiosk on the corner of the street and checking I had sufficient coins I decided to call Jack’s office to see if he was there, alas he was not so I left a message for him saying we were safe and staying at the bus stop in High Street.


Ten or fifteen minutes later the traffic started to move and busses were allowed to leave the bus station once again. Our bus arrived and we boarded gladly. The traffic was very slow and the journey involved many changes to the normal route. We travelled on roads that day I had never seen before or since. The main part of the journey took us up the Crumlin Road, past Ballysillan to the Upper Hightown Road. Up on that high ground I had the most wonderful view of Belfast way below us glowing peacefully in the late afternoon sunshine. It was hard to credit the chaos that we had left behind us and it was almost worth the long delays just to get that view.


It was 5.30p.m as we arrived at our local bus station and alighted into the arms of a much relieved Jack. He had called his office and was given my message within five minutes of my call and he tried to reach us in High Street. A bus was drawing away from the stop when he turned into the street and he was unable because of the traffic to overtake us. He decided to make his own way home and wait at the bus station for us.


Safely home and preparing our meal I contented myself with no more visits to Belfast for the foreseeable future.


And Second Place goes too……

I wonder if realising, makes acceptance of the fact you are in second place any easier. I have known for several years that the eventuality of gradualness has brought me to this place. I am not complaining it is the natural order of events in life. Why am I thinking of it now, I hear you ask. Well the short answer is that my baby is away working in a place where her day is our night and while I am pottering about she should be catching up on her beauty sleep.

I am counting the hours until she arrives back in our time zone. I won’t be at the airport to meet her as that privilege belongs to the Love of her life. Perhaps we shall not see each other for several weeks but hearing her voice on the phone and knowing she has landed safely on this island will please me very much.

I am reminded of the first time Elly went away without her dad and me. It was a school trip to York. She was nine years old. We drove her to Larne to meet with her school pals and teachers for the ferry trip to Scotland. Once in Stranrear they boarded a coach for York. Children did not have mobile phones back then so we had to wait until her return on the Friday for any news of the week’s adventure.The young folk were discouraged from phoning home during the week in case it made them homesick.

We were back in Larne in good time to see the ferry sail into port. My husband’s footsteps and whistling speeded up as we joined the group of parents happily waiting to be reunited with the weary travellers.

Elly looked, happy, tired and as if she had not washed her face for a week! We were given a run down on the trip in the three minutes it took to walk to the car (she still does this and you have to listen well or you may never hear again half the details!).

As we drove home she was very quiet, so I turned round and discovered that she was quietly crying to herself. I asked if she was alright and she said “Yes” I asked if she was happy to be home and she sniffled “Yes!” Confused I asked why she was crying. Through her tears she told us, that as soon as she got into the car with us away from everyone else, she realised how much she missed us!

I have given my baby her wings; she uses them well and often. But that “Hi Mum!” when she returns from a trip puts a skip in my step and a song in my heart.

Roll on Saturday!