Need a short read?

Thank you for the nice comments I have received about my blog during our holiday to Scotland. Are you now short of something to read?

Now I am back I have continued with my favourite hobbies of reading and writing. Yesterday I wrote ‘Lilian’s Last Protest’. I have added this and seven other stories I have written during Lockdown to my site. If you would like to read them click on ‘Create’ to access ‘My Creations’.

Lilian’s Final Protest

I realise that, at 88 years old, I was getting a bit long in the tooth to be protesting, especially by climbing up a ladder and spray painting the side wall of the corner shop. Fed up with the ‘black/white lives matter’ nonsense (obviously all lives matter) I was adding my own view by painting ‘Old Lives Matter’ on the wall.

Just as I was putting the finishing touches to the ‘r’ a car behind me honked its horn. I jumped, and turned round, the walker overbalanced, and here I am in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with a broken hip and battered face. Talk about wearing gloves to stop leaving any DNA! I left plenty of blood and skin cells, and was still holding the spray can when the ambulance arrived.

It’s not all bad, though. No one is pressing charges, my hip needed replacing anyway – been on the list for months, and everyone is being very kind to me. I’m a bit of a local celebrity. Jordan, the young man who was in the car with his brother, managed to take a photo of me before Jackson hooted his horn. That photo, and one of me being stretchered into the ambulance, has been in the local paper, and on TV. I’m the ‘Old Lives Matter’ lady!

I’ve had loads of calls and gifts from well wishers. Not many visitors as it’s still ‘family only, one visitor per time slot’, but Keith drove down from Aberdeen to visit, so that was nice. Haven’t seen him in ages. I even got a card from Sir Captain Tom. Imagine that!

I’m getting out of here on Monday. They won’t let me go home as I will find it difficult to cope with the stairs until my hip is stronger. I’m going to ‘The Gables’ care home. It’s a lovely place according to the social worker. Couldn’t bear the thought of going to ‘Parklands’ where my Bill spent his last weeks.

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“Morning, Lilian. It’s another beautiful day. Did you sleep well, Lovie?”

“Not too bad, mustn’t grumble.”

“You never do, Lilian, but some of them others ….” Amy’s one of the senior carers in the home. She always has a smile on her face. So do the others. I don’t know how they do it. Caring for us old ‘uns all day long, for a pittance. The last few months have been hard for them, and I know they lost a few residents in the early days. They must have been worried sick about taking the virus back to their own families. Been Covid free for weeks now though, thank goodness. I’m quite enjoying my stay. It’s almost like staying in a very solicitous hotel, and I’m getting to know some of the others.

The hardest thing for most of the elderly people in here is that they can’t enjoy visits like they used to. Elizabeth’s husband used to visit every day and have morning coffee with her. Now he has to book a half hour slot once a week and that is cancelled if it rains as they have to meet outside. She’s worrying about the winter time. Will she ever get to see her Robert? Some of the dementia sufferers won’t remember their loved ones if they don’t see them regularly. Michael used to enjoy a daily walk with one of his family but now he’s not allowed out. I realise that it is not the fault of the managers here, but I wonder if people know what is happening in care homes around the country. Boris seems to have forgotten us.

Art and Craft class that morning gave me an idea. I asked if I could take a few sheets of paper and pens so that I could work on perfecting my still life drawing. After tea I sat with Elizabeth at a table in a quiet corner of the lounge. When I explained what I wanted to do she was delighted to lend a hand. By bedtime we had six signs ready –

Families Matter

We Need Visitors

Let us Meet

We are not prisoners

A visit a day keeps the Doctor away

Dying for a visit

Breakfast time tomorrow morning should be interesting! Hope someone has their camera/phone ready.

I fall asleep with a smile on my face. Bill would be so proud of me.

Day Seventeen

We set off back to England via the new Queensferry Crossing across the Firth of Forth, and alongside the route of the re opened Borders railway towards Carlisle. Then the A7 and M6 to Morecambe.

The Queensferry Crossing opened two years ago.
All 3 bridges
After 16 sunny days, as soon as we got to England it rained!
View from our bedroom window in Morecambe.

We stopped for the night in Morecambe to break up the long journey from Dundee to Dursley. Also it was nice to revisit a place I visited as a child.

My Grandma, Mum, Dad and siblings sitting on a bench on Marine Road, probably 1961/2. I’m on the left at the back.
Me sitting on a bench in the same place.
View from the bench over Morecambe Bay.
Andy and Eric Morecambe

Tomorrow we will be back in Dursley.

Thank you for following, I hope you enjoyed my posts.

Until next time,

Carol

Day Sixteen

View at breakfast in Invercarse Hotel, Dundee

Today we went to St Andrews to meet up with Ralph and Jean, who we first met on our way to India in February. We had a bracing walk on West Sands, followed by lunch at the famous St Andrews Golf Course.

It was a bit windy!

After lunch we followed the Fife Coastal route, visiting Anstruther,

Pittenween,

and St Monans.

Back in Dundee we went to the Tay Bridge Disaster Memorial. On 28th December, 1879, on a very stormy night, 13 spans in the centre of the bridge collapsed as a train was crossing. Everyone on board perished in the River Tay.

Tomorrow we leave Scotland. Our amazing road trip is nearly over.

Carol

Day Fifteen

After an ‘unusually rough’ crossing (according to one of the crew) we arrived safely in Aberdeen. That is not a journey I would want to undertake again!

Sunrise at Aberdeen
Entering Aberdeen Harbour
We stopped at the Ythan Estuary beach at Newburgh,
and at the Forvie Nature Reserve,
and had lunch at Ellon.
Then we drove through the Cairngorms.
Ballater Station was used by Queen Victoria when she visited Balmoral.
We followed the course of the River Dee to its source.

Now in Dundee for two nights.

More tomorrow

Carol

Day Fourteen

Early post today as we are leaving the Shetlands and taking the ferry back to Aberdeen, a 13 hour crossing, including a stop on the Orkneys.

Unfortunately the weather has deteriorated and it is very windy!

The skies were still blue and the sun came out while we visited Jarlshof, a prehistoric and Norse settlement, with evidence of buildings from Iron Ages to the Middle Ages. Very interesting, and we nearly got blown off the cliff!

We drove back across the runway and had to wait at the red lights for the plane to cross.

We went back past the Bay of Scousburgh where we saw basking seals earlier in the week, and there they were again

We saw this rig further out but today it was inshore.

Dundee here we come. Fingers crossed for a not too rough crossing.

Carol

Day Thirteen

Today we drove to the west coast, towards Sandness. The views, as always, were fabulous.

There are abandoned, ruined crofts all over the island, some dating from the time of ‘the clearances’ in the 1800s when landowners threw the crofters out to put sheep on the land.
The scenery constantly amazes.
We stopped at West Melby beach and did some seal watching.
Can you see the seal?
Here it is!
From there we drove South.
The roads are empty.
We stopped at Minn Beach

Beautiful, but cold.
Andy had a lovely swim. I did go in but it was too cold.

Today is our last night on the Shetlands, but as our ferry isn’t until 5.30pm tomorrow we will have some time on the island. One more place we want to visit. Find out where it is tomorrow.

Carol