Friday, 20 March 2015


To take full advantage of the chance to see the eclipse, you have to be prepared.

My friend and I donned welding masks ( my friend looks as if she is about to go deep sea diving). 
As we posed for this photograph, it occurred to both of us at the same time that we really didn't 
need to put on our best smiles for the camera!  This knowledge resulted in the giggles.  
Serious giggles. The sort that have you almost falling down with laughter.  
The photographer losing patience made us laugh even more.  

So it was probably just as well that there was no chance of seeing the eclipse because it was so cloudy.  We'd have missed it anyway.

Then things got really silly.  

Saturday, 14 March 2015


Love it or hate it, Insomnia (with a capital 'I') is like that unwanted companion you had as a child, hanging around with you just on the edge of your life.  There was a girl who followed me around, popping up in random places, getting on my nerves.  I remember times in the sweet shop. She'd suddenly be there when I was deciding what to buy with my precious pennies.  I quickly realised that whatever I decided on, she would have too.  So when she asked, I'd say what I was going to have, wait until she'd bought them, and then I'd 'change my mind' and buy something else.  ( I wasn't very nice, clearly). Eventually she disappeared. 
Her name obviously wasn't Insomnia.  That never goes away.  Then, through half closed eyes,  the morning comes.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Bedside manners

Day 1:  The first thing (well, after the kissing and the crying and the questions: "How are you? What have they said? Has the physio been yet? Are you moving your legs? Have you eaten?  Are you drinking enough?), the first thing is the weather and the rain ( it's Wales - everyone expects it to rain) and the disappointing view from the bed.

Then after five hours I have to leave.  Will they look after my brother properly while I'm not there?

Day 2:  He's sleeping.  Shall I wake him?  I have to kiss him.  He's really fast asleep.  So out with my iPhone, catching up on messages, one handed of course, cos I have to touch him, have to hold his hand, even though he still doesn't know I'm there.  It's funny really. Odd. I sit staring at him and am reminded of the time almost fifty years ago when we thought he'd swallowed our grandmother's pills. I remember the rush to hospital and the doctors' insistence that he needed a stomach pump.  Who did this 20 month-old want at his side?  His mother?  No.  His grandmother? No.  He wanted his sister. Of course.  Me. I won't describe it - your imagination can work it out for itself.  

But at least the weather had improved.  So when he does eventually wake, we can admire that old familiar view and reminisce about our photography exploits in the mountains and at the seaside.

That's a better view from a sick bed!

Day 3:  Hand holding. Teasing with the nurses. Reassurance that all is as it should be under the circumstances (this is my big sister routine). More reminiscences.  

Why do I depend on you so much?  Because you did as a child.  Why?  Because we shared a room so if you woke in the night I tended to you and got you back to sleep. (Then I would get up for school!) 

Don't fall out of bed.  I've never fallen out of bed.  Oh yes you have - many was the time when you were first in a bed and I would wake up at your bedside holding you, stopping you from falling to the floor.  

Such a long time ago, in the mists of the past. Then look out of the window on the present!

Saying goodbye again is painful, tearful and heart-wrenching.  Where's the magic wand when you need it?

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Twenty four hours

It was a busy day.


After an early supper, we decided to drive, in the pouring rain, to Old Town to see the cars.  

On Fridays and Saturdays they have a gathering of old cars, a live band, and an atmosphere of fun and laughter.. Even in the rain.  


Two safaris before breakfast


I haven't given enough time to this and I am hoping that when I get back to the UK, I'll be more disciplined. (What are the chances?)

Oh dear. I rushed it because we were going out.


For some reason I feel really emotional about space exploration.  This is the command module of Apollo 14.  Imagine that!  I wish I could have been an astronaut.   And when I see the space shuttle Atlantis just feet in front of me and think of all those millions of miles it has travelled in space, I get quite tearful! 


Another emotional experience - fireworks.  They make me tingle from head to toe.  I love these so much I have never taken a photo of them because I'm totally preoccupied by them.  It's a wonderful end to a day. 

This is Germany, from the other side of the lake.  

I think we walk many miles in a typical day here.  All around the world in fact.  

And yes, it was twenty seven hours.