Wednesday, 6 April 2016

still procrastinating.**

I thought I would be brave and start an Etsy shop, but apart from putting one item on, I have hidden myself away from doing any more and yet I have lots and lots of stuff that I could put on there, but its a bit frightening to me at the moment... I will summon up courage later and have another go, because I have enough to put on the shop and sell it, just getting my head around the fact that everything would have to be posted and I hadn't thought about that fact, as with ebay you can choose if they come to collect themselves or courier... so that's the update on the shop...

Apart from that I see that it is almost another two months since I posted, and already we are approaching the middle of April... each year it seems the time slips by so fast, but this year is getting even faster, and with this decade it seems that 80 is looming very fast on the horizon indeed!!

Yesterday I went and spent hours at a Spa local to our house. It was a typical April day, showers and sunshine, but so relaxing.. We went in at 11 and came home after three thirty, so quite a considerable time just focussing on ourselves. As mothers we never have this luxury do we? So, for my girl to take time out from her full time job and motherhood was great. She bought this day for me as part of my Christmas gift, and I must say I really did appreciate the time spent with her. As she lives two hours drive away we catch up regularly on the phone, but see each other several times a year.. however it is rare too, to have just us talking with no interruptions.

I had head and face massages, and what bliss... each time I do a Spa day... very rarely... maybe this was my third in my lifetime... I think how easy it is to arrange and why don't I do it more often..

When we arrived home my husband remarked on how laid back we looked... so relaxed after our hours together.  I am happy for her too, that after several hard years after her husband left her for another, she is back on track and utterly happy*  All the children are now grown up and on their ways to fulfilling careers and at last she has found a man that compliments her in every way and she is so at peace with herself and happy.  We met him a couple of weeks ago and found him great company and certainly her intellectual equal. Of course at their age, everyone will have baggage,.. he has two grown up children and holds down a very important job with one of our main building societies. He seems utterly in love with her too, so I certainly hope this will work out in the future.

We only want our children to be happy don't we.. despite what happens to them, we cannot interfere, as it is their lives they are leading, but how hard that is, not to get involved...

 Her daughter my granddaughter, is getting married June of next year, and I am sure that will come around very fast.. they have already chosen where they will marry and hold the reception... all very exciting..

 At home, we are still trying to declutter, got so much to get rid of , it seems to take ages and when you look again, it doesn't seem that much has happened although I have been to the dump to rid of the stuff.,.. so you see, life here has been busy and that is why I haven't had the time to get typing recently... so for the moment I will sign off, but hope to have more time later in the week...

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Biting the bullet!!

Well, I have decided after much cogitation that I am going to open an Etsy Shop.. I have been on Ebay since 07 and found it quite useful, but expensive as a lot of my items do not sell straight away and have to be re posted often as much as five times before someone sees it and then buys. This means that I have paid sometimes more than the original cost and have made absolutely zero money, so that is not very good business.

 I see that Etsy allows you to be on for longer periods and I hope that this extension will allow me more success. I have always shied away from Etsy as I never understood how you could have a shop with only one example of each item, but I guess it works at Etsy because it is getting to have more of a public profile and getting better known.

  I love visiting Charity Shops and have done over many years. In the beginning it was because, having five children we used to use the places as where you could buy items for the home cheaper than anywhere else, and if you were really lucky, find some fantastic bargains along the way. All my children had new pushchairs and prams, but only those I found in the charity shops...none of this spending over £400 for a pram that would be used a few times especially when we got a car to get around in.. so charity shops have been my way of spending for a very long time. When we were young and poor, I could still find paintings and curtains and tablecloths hardly used that brightened up my home at very little cost. I know that my sister in law bought all her baby clothes there, but I didn't , preferring to rely on the sales times as the children got bigger and bigger.

Now charity shopping is a daily indulgence that I love. I love to mooch amongst all the items , [ my mother called it 'mumping'- which is an old word meaning getting something for almost nothing..]  seeking out that little something that might make my heart sing, whether it be a jumper or top that has lovely colours, or a handbag that even made in leather might cost no more than a pound to buy! 

Since moving to our present house almost 18 years ago, I have used them more than ever. We moved from a ordinary 4 bed house to a large Georgian Rectory, with 8 bedrooms, three of which are separated into living quarters that have their own front door. This Annexe was so useful when John's parents became old and infirm as we cared for them until they died. Now we rent out this side of the house and the people are just the best we could wish for. However, in the beginning as I said, moving from a normal sized house to one this size with five bedrooms , I had to find carpets and furniture and other items fast to fill the spaces and try and make it all as a home, despite we both working on our businesses from home too.

So John took over the ground floor office where the Rector or Vicar had his office, and I used the smallest bedroom upstairs for my office where I work over looking the garden and directly above John's office. It worked out so well.. during the days, concentrating on our businesses, we rarely saw each other apart from lunch break. We each had phones and computers and got on with our own businesses. His was Accountancy and keeping in touch with the office in Buckingham that he had founded several years before and sometimes saw clients  here too.

 I was ringing the world arranging interviews, meetings and taking on business all over the UK and mainland Europe, as I was an international head hunter for Lawyers at senior and Partner level. This is how we managed during fourteen of those years. Now John is semi retired and works only two days weekly, whilst since my operation in 011, I have closed my business and am retired fully from it.

I have found being retired, very difficult to cope with, as in my job I travelled a lot and met so many people whether clients or candidates.. now I had no structure to my days, which was why going and looking in the charity shops took on a whole new perspective.

 I was now on the lookout to upgrade everything that I had bought in the early days and replacing and decorating the rooms gave me a much needed focus to attend to. With the old bits and pieces, I sought to sell them on Ebay and often very happily too, both for me and the purchaser..

It is to give me more challenges that I have decided to open shop with Etsy and see how I go with it... so wish me luck and I will keep you up to date... of course it is going to be called Janzi's World... of course it depends on that name being available.. we shall keep fingers crossed and get back to tell you so....

Sunday, 14 February 2016


Pain is a very strange thing. When someone tells you they are in pain, you try to sympathise, but without actually feeling the pain, its just a noise you make without any real understanding  That is, until you get to learn to live with pain on a day to day basis and then it is all changed  When I had the two spinal ops that changed my life and left me worse off than when I went into hospital** I was without the main pain of sciatica, but strange other pains in my legs, much less than before, but still there and enough to distract my thoughts.. Because the ops had left me semi paralysed below, I had pain which I was able to manage with the use of a strong version of codeine......  However I also developed pain in my right shoulder which they tell me is the rotary part of the shoulder for movement and of the cause which is arthritis  So they cannot do much for that apart from operating, and I don't feel like have any more operations if I can help it- so today despite the codeine, my shoulder has been most painful In fact so much so, that I had to stop the car and take some more in order to be able to drive a little better without the pain  I take almost every day between 8 and 12 tablets a day usually....  as I've said its been much more painful and so now I am sitting here just wondering whether it will be worth sitting up watching tv or would I be better off just having a hot bath and going to bed  The trouble is, that Saturday nights I try and share a foreign film with sub titles with my husband- We have so many things that we do ourselves, he is still working part time, and the evenings in our house, means that I am often upstairs on the computer, whilst he is downstairs drawing or reading or doing some other activity that relaxes his mind after working all day as an Accountant. So Saturdays are our shared evenings together... He much prefers this, than going out to see a film or dinner at a restaurant  I don't really mind, because I would be able to arrange to meet friends if I felt a need to go and eat out, or see a film. But Saturday nights have developed into an almost ritual time where we watch the films on BBC4 and then finally get ready for bed around 11 30. during the week we manage to get upstairs by about 10 30 so a little later, it being Saturday
.[.When I was younger, the idea of getting to bed so early would have been mortifying, but one does change as one gets into the last remaining decades- despite the best will in the world, we do all slow down much as I hate to admit it] 

Earlier today

I was trying to get something from higher up than I could reach, so pulled a chair closer to make the height possible, and you know, getting onto that chair was a much slower action than it used to be ha ha- however I did manage, and got what I wanted to get down, but I really was shocked how much longer it took to achieve.

With five children, I had always been on the go, never stopping for a moment, and the years just whistled by, and then you turn around, to see the kids all gone and grown up with families of their own and gone to live elsewhere, and its then that you realise that they have grown up and you have grown older. No longer can I say I am middle aged, but now if a newpaper wanted to describe me, I would probably be said to be a married pensioner in their seventies!!!  Shock! Horror, when and how did that happen.. When they were younger, and I had three, I used to daydream that in a few years they would be old enough to leave when I wanted to go out at night with their father and that we would do all the things we couldn't do when we were in our twenties.. of course what I didn't realise was that I had missed the boat.. when you are out and about in your twenties, at forties its a whole different question and maybe that its all not right for you any longer...

Well I guess you cant have it all, and we did have five healthy clever and loving children that have remained in touch and who like us as parents and want to share time with us., so it cant all be bad.. I don't know what I would advise people to do...get married early and have the family, or wait until you had done all the traveling and nightclubbing you wanted to do, career built and then look around for a husband to father your children... I think you become more picky as you get older, want more than one does in their twenties.. I think if I had left having children and marrying until later, I might have totally missed the boat as so many young people do.. and besides, having children in your late thirties and forties is much harder work than when you are younger... a hard choice, but I think I would still come down on having it earlier rather than later..

what do you do when a friend's husband changes his mind all the time and its driving her mad****

I have a dear friend who has been married a long time, to another friend of the family. They share a daughter and both work very hard at their jobs. However, whenever this husband has an idea and then gets his family all excited about it, he will then change his mind without warning and leave the others high up in the air, not understanding why or what had changed his mind. ~The latest episode was last week. I agreed to go to another European country to look at houses, so my friend might look to purchase. We were going to stay three days and hopefully the Agents would show us around and take us to see the houses. Whilst we enjoyed a four star hotel, and were ferried everywhere by the Agent, we were very interested  in seeing Off Plan apartments and houses that were going into their first phase. Accordingly we were shown some very fine examples and my  friend fell in love with one plot. She rang her husband who didn't ring her back until late in the evening and by this time, she was feeling most deflated indeed. All her enthusiasm was slipping away and she was very anxious that he was going to repeat history and change  his mind. However he had agreed that she go, that if she found something, she should say yes and purchase, and also he knew that I was going along, so that was another amount of money that I had to find in accompanying my friend.

Finally he did ring, and she explained it all and he said YES..go ahead... Of course she was over the moon and really did believe that her dream was coming true.  For the next two days we were reassured by this, and thoroughly enjoyed our visiting and the Agent took us to local towns and paid for the extra night we stayed over.. Just before we left the airport, she received a text saying he agreed to all she wanted, and to enjoy our trip home.  We had a terrible time getting home, delay on delay meant that we didn't actually arrive home until after 6am in the morning, instead of the expected midnight**

Over the next few days, things were up and down, up and down and she was feeling very very weary, and upset with all the mind games he is playing... and finally after telling the Agent to go ahead and they would be sending the deposit, he changed his mind again and so it was all off again... Now tonight he was supposed to come over to discuss business matters in arranging the money for the deposit, and he cancelled the meeting as he has definitely decided that buying a house abroad is not what he wants..

This man makes a whole load of money and owns a few houses that he already lets out in the UK, so money is not the problem, I think it is his controlling nature that doesn't allow his wife to make any decisions on her own...

She qualified as a Lawyer in her home country, went to University and is highly intelligent, but she has to give him all the receipts of everything she has spent in the week, and they have to total the bills up so that they balance, if they don't , he gets into another rage... not a pretty sight as he calls her bad awful swear words and all in front of their child.. he has a completely different nature when he loses his temper. 

She has had to work in a part time job, because he will not allow her to work from home in a self employed capacity, he makes her meagre salary go straight into the savings accounts which they add up and use when buying the houses to let. Every penny she spends, she has to account for... Also he has had software installed where he knows exactly where she is at any given moment, to the point when if she buys something in a shop, he is texting her to ask why she is in that shop and what has she bought! 

I find all this behaviour absolutely difficult to understand how she has put up with it for so long.  She has been living with a person with two sides to the character... one that is kind and loving and the other that can appear without warning, that is swearing and shouting and flinging things all over the place. This home life has gone on for years, but I have only seen it at close quarters this trip, and I am at a loss as to how to help her cope with all this change and verbal abuse she has to suffer daily.. Of course her child is also deeply affected and barely speaks at home or school... although with friends, she is more relaxed and chats a lot.. .

Now he has started on his child, who is going to sit exams this summer and who is already highly anxious as she is expected to get no less than A's in her results of all subjects.. with the atmosphere in the house highly charged all the time, despite him being away all week until Friday, she is getting more and more worried in case she will not get the high marks he expects and he has started to harass the staff at her private school about her mock exam results*(*

If anyone has any ideas that I could relay to my friend on how to cope at a difficult time of exams for her daughter.. I would be grateful... a tall ask, but maybe someone would have an idea?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

failed twice

I have failed twice to save my post and then I hit a wrong note and bummer it all went pear shaped and I lost all the I am going to have another go, and on a different subject..

At first, I thought it was a hoax and not a nice one either when a notification from my cousin in New Zealand said that we had lost her brother, my cousin, a few days previously . He had been on Facebook for ages and it was comforting to know that he was happy in his marriage and step children and step grandchildren all loved him

 My oldest Uncle in my father's family had married his mother when she was a young girl of 19 and pregnant and in those days, a terrible thing to face in public- my uncle feeling sorry for her offered to marry her before the baby arrived and so we all attended the wedding. A few months later he was born, a little blonde blue eyed boy  .

Later, his five siblings joined him and he was the only blonde in the family Being young, I never knew the circumstances of his birth nor worried why he looked so different from his brothers and sisters.  That was how it was in those days, things were never discussed and besides we were all children and it was not our place to know anything.

Over the years after our Nana died, the family stopped gathering at the house on a sunday afternoon as we had during her life there, so we drifted off to cope with our own lives and somehow all the years in between meant that I had not met up with him since he was a child.

Now in his sixties we were all back in touch and it was fascinatingly good to know how well everyone had done and that he had recovered from his time of self harming and self medicating and was at last in a truly happy relationship.

 I was intending to go to meet up with him and his family, the wife that he had been married for over 20 years and to meet his family., but the week after Christmas we had the news that he had left us. 
He died in his sleep just before the New Year began and so hopefully he was not aware of pain or suffering at the end. I am sure it was a terrible shock for his wife to discover him like that, but maybe its the best way to go after all....

We all know in our hearts that one day we shall suffer the same fate, but as humans we do not discuss it too much do we - Now I am into my seventh decade, I really do feel the touch of mortality more and more, and when events like this happen, it feels a lot closer and more worryingly near** 

I had hoped to attend his funeral, but it is being held on a Wednesday, the one day in the week that I cannot attend as I have to babysit the grandsons of John on a Wednesday afternoon each week, and as we only have one car, cannot go, as John could not look after the boys and I certainly would never be back in time for him to go to them.

So I have missed out again in meeting up with members of my scattered family and to speak to my aunt who is still alive in her nineties and managing to cope as well as she can at this time.....

. I like to send a living plant or bush to plant in the garden as a living reminder of that person, rather than sending a wreath or money , so I feel like I failed twice in not keeping in touch, not that anyone would feel like blaming me, as we have all been busy in our lives, and they too did not make the effort to keep in touch with me, but as the eldest girl in the family, maybe I should have done a little bit more to hold it all together.

 When Nana was alive, we went without fail to the house every Sunday afternoon for the adults to chat and the cousins to keep in touch and grow up knowing each other, but when she died it all seemed to stop.

Our lives now are so different. I have 1`2 grandchildren and they are scattered around. the world and those that are living in the UK are not just around the corner but a good two hours drive away so we have never had that tradition of them coming to me each week to keep the cousins all in touch and that is a shame too. but society and our lives are all so different now, with mothers in full time careers and dads too, that weekends is just a time for them to catch up with their own children, let alone anyone else's

.I shall remember my cousin as he was when I last met him, a tall blonde boy with lovely golden hair and bright bright blue eyes.... no matter in mature years, he didn't look like that any more, in my mind he will always be that young man with a whole life in front of him.

 At least I can relax knowing that nothing bad will ever happen to him in his future, as he is at rest already.

Monday, 18 January 2016


well, its aready half way through January and I still have not blogged this year much about anything- when I first started, I had so many thoughts that I wanted to let out of my head, I could manage to write something almost every day, then I got lazier and ran out of ideas- so then I decided to read the other blogs and along the way became a bit discouraged as they all seemed to be so busy doing things around the house, the children or in the kitchen, and I had served my time doing all those things, a very long time ago.

Here it is, the start of another week, and today my youngest son started a new job with a much bigger firm than before... He continues to surprise me all the time. About two years ago after working his way up the ladder at a building supplies firm on a graduate scheme, starting in the wood yard, and becoming a manager of a large outlet.. He decided to try and see if he could actually get out on the road and become a proper salesman. I was anxious as I know how hard that job is, but he sailed on, got big contracts and then was head hunted by a larger firm and leader in the building supplies industry, so he is joining them this very day. I am so amazed how he has taken to real sales, like a duck to water, and of course I am so proud of him and the fact he was right, he does suit that life*

When I was fourteen I would get the evening paper, The Evening Standard, and read all the adverts, imagining what kind of job would suit me and that I would enjoy doing. Of course, it didn't work out like I had planned... I had wanted to be a theatre clothes designer, and carried dreams of going to attend the Slade school of Art. I had friends who would have helped me get in, but financially the family could not afford me going, so I had to start working. I began my work career in a Bank. My father had talked to his friend who was a bank manager, and so I managed to start at his branch at the very bottom of course. I had not stayed on for A levels, and just had my ordinary five passes in GCE. I worked in banking for three banks for the next five years. Always never having enough money as most of it went on the trip into London where my work was. I was always in debt to my parents, and never managed to be able to save... That hasn't changed, I still find it almost impossible to save any money at any time**
Anyway, after the Banking bored me, I went and got a job as assistant to the Accountant at a company that was situated in Pall Mall London. This company worked out the money owed by radio stations all over the world, who by playing the records would have to pay for the privilege and each week the accountant would work out how much each station owed and send an invoice.. This was not as challenging as I had imagined, so after a while I went and found another job, this time in Reception where I answered the phone from people all over the world, as it was a PR company, one that was well known internationally.. From there I joined Ogilvy and Mather which was even more famous and for them I was working as a secretary to the accountant again* Me, a secretary, it took me all day to finish a letter! how they had such patience with me, was astounding as I really was not such a hot shot at being a secretary!  Finally I did find what I was going to do with myself when I joined a Recruitment Company.. At last I was interested and found it challenging each day, in a positive way, where I could help others get their perfect jobs*

I worked in recruitment for almost forty years, and closed my business just two years ago. Now I have retirement to find a way to engage me, and that is why I thought that blogging would be a good outlet.. However as I said, I ran out of words.. so I am going to try in the next few weeks to get some photos done and maybe discover what way I want this blog to go. So, hang on to you hats, as I take off on another great adventure.. I hope... speak again soon..

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Birthday Boy

Today my husband of 25 years, turned 70* He is still active, still jogs along outside every day, and keep himself as healthily as he possibly can. He was diagnosed with COPD about five years ago, and has to rely on puffers and pills, but he never gives in to this ailment.. he ploughs on regardless.
 Although since 20, he has never smoked, he grew up over a Pub, as his parents were publicans and had a lot of different addresses as they moved around the area managing the pubs for a Brewery. Of course in those days, smoking was even looked on as helpful for people with a nervous disposition, so smoking took place everywhere, especially in public houses. Living above the pub itself, he was absorbing passive smoking, long before it became known. When he was diagnosed, the doctor told him, that even though he had given up smoking at 20, as  his lungs were still developing, and do so until one is 25, and living above a pub, he had become affected and now his breathing was less affective than it should have been. He was diagnosed with this COPD and without his medication he would find breathing normally almost impossible! Before he had his latest medication, his breathing was so bad that he lacked energy and kept falling asleep and would not go to the doctors, as they had already told him that this illness was incurable and could only get worse...
After much nagging he did go, and they put him on different meds, and his life was given back to him again.  As I said, he has always jogged for the last thirty years, taking part in marathons and long runs, and he was able to resume this practice after a short while on the new meds.. Thank god he went to the doctors, as I am sure he would not have been here today to celebrate his 70th Birthday.
We spent the day with his children who treated us out to a lovely lunch, and then tea back at their home, with a special birthday cake with candles on it too! Now we are back home and going to relax on this Saturday evening and chill out again. We have celebrated such a lovely loving happy Christmas with friends and family, we have been very spoiled indeed.
I got  him many gifts, not all expensive, but thought out that he would enjoy and appreciate... it very rarely costs a lot to find items that will please him, and by giving him more than one, makes the enjoyment more precious.
I was so fortunate to be given a second chance in life and I found him after suffering years of coping with a brilliant minded husband, who used alcohol as a relief crutch and who as my children got older, became harder to cope with. Finally I left after 23 years, and a couple of years later I found my present husband.
 How lucky I am that I have been able to be with him for this long.. and now we are both 70, and still have a lot of living to do together. What fun that is going to be, and how much I look forward to it.. Today has been a blessing, and I hope we have many more blessings to receive in the years ahead.