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Saturday, 23 February 2019

A CUPPER AND A CHAT BY FIONA CUMMINGS


Good afternoon Bloggets. I’m sitting in my living room with the window opens it’s so warm. February and 12 degrees but it’s so sunny so under the sun, the heat is so much warmer.

 

I have had to say goodbye to my three vases of daffodils that my Son bought me for my birthday but still have my beautiful roses from my brother.

 

My kitchen has amazing aromas coming from it as Hub is preparing us a stew. I got all the ingredients out for him earlier. Onions, garlic, mixed fresh herbs, mushrooms, lentils, carrots, potatoes and celery! Stock cubes and seasoning is all he needs to get. Did you know that 12,000 years ago, peas, lentils and barley grew naturally?  They grew in the middle east. We are making home made bread too later on. Did you wonder why a baker’s dozen comes to 13 rather than 12? Well years ago, bakers could be severely punished if they cheated their customers and way back in medieval England didn’t have accurate scales and dough can rise all different sizes, so the bakers would throw in an extra bread roll to keep customers happy and of course to stop the chances of the poor bakers getting flogged!  

 

My boy is working overtime again all day, but tomorrow is his one day off after working for seven. He has worked overtime every day and today should have been his day off, as weekends he doesn’t have to work, but he has chosen to do so. He’s doing really well at work and has been asked to work with the managers the past week. I’m so very proud of him. I just need him to enjoy life a little more and not work as hard.

 

Our dogs have been on a free run today. They are exhausted now. sleeping on their bed. I say bed, as they sleep together no matter if two beds are available. After they have rested, I shall groom them then clean the floors but first must wait until Hub is finished being a domestic God in our kitchen. Then I can do all the floors. I groom the dogs outside and leave the fur to my Husbands disgust, floating in the garden, for the birds to make their nests. My Husband thinks I should put it in the bin, but why when they can make use of it? I know they do too. I have seen their little birdie signs advertising (A goodnights sleep, come to Fifi’s garden)

 

 Now then sit back and let’s chat about what I have been reading about today. Have you ever wondered why our fingers go all wrinkly when we are in the water, such as swimming? Well since the 1930’s apparently scientists have known the answer and it’s caused with blood vessels below the skin that constrict which seems to have the evolutionary advantage of us being able to pick up wet objects more easily. In 2013, scientists did a study where they found people with wrinkled fingers as in after being in water, found it much easier to pick up wet objects opposed to picking up dry items. People with smooth fingers couldn’t pick up the wet objects so easily or as fast as those with wet fingers.

 

Cats jump into boxes because it makes them feel safe, there’s no surprise there, but I was reading today that big cats such as tigers also like to clime into a box if there is one in their sanctuary big enough.

 

  Pink for girls and blue for boys? Well only 100 years ago it was popular for boys to wear pink and girls to wear blue. It was said that pink made boys look stronger and blues were subtler to make girls look pretty.

 

Did you ever wonder why we say hello when we pick up the phone? Well years ago, our phones were left open all the time and businesses would pick up the phone and so that others would know someone wanted to talk, it was suggested by Thomas Edison, that people said hello!!!

Can you remember party lines, are you old enough? Oh, as a tiny child I loved them I remember sitting at my Mums phone table as everyone had in those days, they were a small table normally in the hall of our houses with a small chair near or even sometimes attached to the table. Why they were so small, I’m not sure, or was that just ours, may be yours was a tall table? I remember sitting sneaking in there when my Mum was busy, as whenever she caught me she would  tell me off before closing the phone, and then feel the Urg to have to go that extra step further and take the phone from me and have to go through the totally unnecessary humiliation of having to explain to whoever was on the other end of the phone, that her naughty little four year old had been listening in to their conversation. Hahahaha. I mean, if she had said nothing, took the phone from me put it on the slot and then told me off, but oh, no, my Mum was so honest and wouldn’t have been able to live with herself in her moralistic world if she had done that. Oh, but I used to love it. One day I heard a huge argument between two of my neighbours and as a four year old, I was more like a  mind of eight years  as I was far too old for my time on earth, so understood everything. Gosh, I’m not totally ancient so when we think back on how we have come along since, but sadly now we are reverting back to the listening days with our home tech such as Alexa and so on. I mean, you say her name to get her to talk to you but she has to be listening all the time to be able to know when you are saying her name? and, last night she started to tell us about some artist and then played their music and we weren’t even talking, spooky.

 

Our credit cards tell where we have spent and how much and our sat navs in our cars tell where we have been or where we are going, right? Our mobile phones can also trace where we are and what we are looking at.

 

So, when we used to talk about big brother in the 70’s and 80’s, well perhaps it was because our powers, were green eyed as they hadn’t learned by that point just how to do this and get away with it, but we just except it now that we are watched by CCTV camera’s and every bit of plastic we share!!!

 

And on that note, haha. My Husband is making me a cup of coffee as his masterpiece in the kitchen has come to an ending. It’s just ready for us to eat now, so I shall take a coffee with him and whilst he listens to his sport on the radio, I shall then do some housework, including our dogs grooming so until later, have a lovely day.

 

  

Friday, 22 February 2019

DIARY OF HOPE BY FIONA CUMMINGS


Good day Bloggets. There is a great link at the bottom of this blog for some exciting news for treatment research for RP. It’s hopeful.

 

 It’s another beautiful day. The sun is so warm. I went to a large shopping centre and it was almost empty. I went to try to find a birthday gift for our Son. Hub was delighted as I brought some of our baker’s vegan sausage rolls back as he’s working from home. Bless him, it was 2 pm and he hadn’t had a minute even to get a cup of tea. Just as he was about to open the bag with the pastries in, his phone rang again, so he had to put his hunger on hold. They are delicious though they are my weekly fix and I don’t like vegan food but these are something else and my Hub loves them prefers them to meat ones.

 

As I passed the shops today the smells were so lovely. Chocolate, coffee, roses/lilies, lemons, perfumes and candles just to name a few. I dream of the days when I can look in a shop window like those who can see do.

 

In our news, scientists are searching on Mars as ancient rivers flow. Searching for aliens. If they find them, what will they do with them?  I sometimes hate humans. And if you were an alien looking down on earth, or up through the sea, what would you think? If you can see, next time your news is on, try watching it with the volume down. Humans must look like crazy people and so angry I imagine. And from every part of the world, every country seems to be full of bad people. What is happening to society? Where is humanity going? And I have said it before, why can’t a chemical be released in the air to make people nice, whereas right now, I think there is a chemical flowing making us more aggressive and less tolerant.

 

Did you hear about the world’s biggest bee? It’s the size of our thumb in length. It’s been missing for 38 years… Stupid me asked, how is it still alive? Haha, em, not the same one, Fifi, just the same gene link. Breed whatever you call it. Anyway, its jaw is meant to be extremely strong. Oh, my, I don’t care how rare it is, I hope it never comes to England. And, imagine its honey? Hahha.

 

It’s the weekend again. What are your plans if any?

 After getting up early today for my painter to come. I learned he won’t be coming now until Monday. Oh, our house has been upside down for three weeks now. but praying it will be all done on Monday. Though I said it would be done by this weekend, in fact, I thought it would be done by last weekend. I’m forever hopeful!

 

Why did Van Gogh become a painter?

He didn’t have an ear for music!

What did the painter say to the wall?

One more crack like that and I’ll plaster ya.

 

Why did the bald man paint rabbits on his head?

Because from a distance they looked like hares.

 

I stole this quote from one of our lovely Bloggets and a dear friend of mine.

“as you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, and one for helping others!””

And now for an exciting link for RP news

 


   

Thursday, 21 February 2019

HARD BOILED CHICK BY FIONA CUMMINGS


 It’s a beautiful day, and I have to go and do the doggy doodle garden. And, I really don’t want to. I can’t face it today. I have also got to clean the house which I don’t mind, but ending up with cooking dinner for the family, and that is something else I just can’t face today. I’m bored with the same chores every day. It’s not so much the cooking it’s the thinking of what to cook and then going to find it all. It takes me anything from half an hour to two hours to prepare, ten minutes to eat and another forty minutes to clean up afterwards. So, can take 2 hours and forty minutes for a ten-minute meal.

 

I love to hear my Son enjoy his meal, he is very appreciative and really does like what I cook. But to give him something different every day is difficult. As for Hub, he is as bad. He eats chicken and fish. How many dishes can you cook with chicken and fish? Sometimes I do wonder, if vegan meals are easier?

 

Hub was working from home earlier and has now left to visit a client. So, all morning and part of the afternoon, I have been walking around trying to be as quiet as possible, not being able to do noisy jobs, that is when I should have done the dog garden. Hmm. I just can’t face it. Not today. But I have to. It’s not fair to ask Hub to do it when he gets in as it will be after six, then a quick dinner for him, what? not sure, then turn around and we are back out tonight.

 

No quiz on tonight, but my friend asked me if we will still go out with them for a drink. I’m glad as it’s nice to get out.

 

Remember what I was saying yesterday about how sad I am as a I get excited about strange things, like my new yard brush arriving? Well, keep telling myself if I go and do the dog garden, then I can use my new brush out there on our patio.

Am I inspired to go out there yet?

Naaaaa.

 

I had a great day yesterday as my friend Artie came to see me. We get on so well and have a lovely time together. She brought me a box of chocolates,

 well,

 their gone…

but I did share some with Hub.

3.

And she gave me a stunning what feels like marble stone polished with friendship words on one side and I think she said had a thistle on the other. I told her I collected stones. Well if you know me, you will know I collect everything. But I have two Chrystal dishes on my windowsill on the landing with all kinds of stones in. different colours, shapes and some have words. So, this was a perfect gift.

 

I have to sadly throw away my beautiful daffodils today. The ones my Son bought me. My roses that my big brother bought me are still lovely. His visit on my birthday was so special, I never expected it. His card was really thoughtful too with lovely words. It was so nice to see him.

 

I’m out tomorrow late afternoon. I don’t know where to start, but I need to think about my Sons birthday. It’s days away and I haven’t got him a gift yet. Goodness knows what to get him.

 

I can not believe my baby will be 22.

Did I tell you it was all illegal and I was only 14 when I had him?

Oh, well, how else do I pretend I’m only 34?

If he keeps getting older, I shall have to have a new little brother.

Oh, but hang on, I shall be getting older too, so that won’t work.

 

He of course knows what he is getting from Shamrock. They are going on Holiday number one for the year. Haha, let’s see how many they can do this year? Good on them, BW works hard enough.

 

In our news, Putin is threatening America with Nuclear weapons. He is a scary man. I really wish he would retire and crawl under a large rock.

 

Oh, this may put you off eggs. This is why I really can’t enjoy them as much as I would like to. A 14-year-old boy bought a box of six eggs from his shop in the UK and an incubator for £40. After a few days, he shone the light on the eggs and noticed that one egg had a heartbeat. A month later, a baby duck was born. Did you know that at birth, the egg industry kills all baby boy chicks?  I never knew that and now I do, I’m so disappointed.

 

The thing is, people are going crazy about the thought we may be eating a baby chick if we eat an egg. But those same people will gladly put a full chicken in the oven and enjoy it. Hmm. Double standards, I think.

 

There is nothing nicer than eggy bread don’t you think? Beat a couple of eggs in a dish, add a little salt and pepper. Cut your white bread into triangles and dip them into the egg. Then put them in your frying pan which must be hot. I normally cook it in butter. But I don’t eat them though I love them. My Son used to love that until he became a vegan but sometimes I do them for Hub.

 

Well I have some banking to do and emails to answer, then, the dog garden.

May be! ! !

 

 

 

 

FINDING YOUR WAY IN THE DARK TAKE TWO BY FIONA CUMMINGS


Thank you all so much for your response to some what I hoped would be helpful tips if you are losing your sight or have gone blind. This subject got a lot of response so I thought I would share some more ideas today.

 

For those who didn’t see the first blog, in brief, Firstly, and this takes some getting used to. When you need to bend over, do it slowly. And if you can remember before you bend, to put your hand out to see what is in front of you and to the side, and judge how much space you have.

Remember to stand up slowly too as sometimes we forget when we bend, as we have just missed that other shelf a little higher so we whack our head on the way up. When we drop something though our natural response is to just bend down quickly to pick up. So, as I said it will take some getting used to, but when we do our lives are a lot happier.

 

Never leave your doors half open. Always fully open or fully closed. Try to avoid fitting light switches that are duel switches. Keep the lights so you know when they are on, or off.

 

Ski, when walking in the house, so you don’t stand on a sharp object or a toy. Don’t lift your feet up as you normally do. rather than stand on it. And for outside, the opposite. Heal first, then you won’t trip up a step as we naturally fall forward, so if we do start to trip, we have our toes to support us.

 

Never leave your dishwasher fully open.

Use a worktop saver in your kitchen when cooking to put all your utensils on so you are not looking for them and keep all food in one place too. So before cooking, get everything in two places.

Fridge, items that have a short shelf date, keep to the front so you have to touch them to get something out. If you have short dates at the back, you will forget they are there.

And a great tip from Agatha, keep baskets in your fridge, different sizes so you learn what basket has whatever in. And cheeses in a Tupperware box. Different sections. Just like what I said about frozen food. Different drawers for different foods. Fish in one draw, meat in another veg in another bread in another and so on. Keep to the same boxes/drawers then you will know which draw you are pulling out

 

Thanks, Donna, for telling us this great tip. If you have ever had a guest come to stay and you want to make their bed nice, you open your cupboard and everything falls out on you, haha or is that just our Blogget Ruth and myself? Suddenly you realise all your duvet covers are mixed up with pillowcases and no longer you can match them up.

Well, no need to worry about matching bedding any longer. Fold your sheet/duvet cover up and place into your pillowcase. Then put in your cupboard. Such a great tip. Now obviously with all of these idea’s you will need a sighted person at the start to make life easier. For example, for dates for your fridge, but with bedding, if you open a new pack then follow the pillowcase tip from then on, you will be able to do that on your own. And in time, you will learn what foods are what. I have told you before my Husband is great at knowing what is in jars. He can tell mayonnaise by tapping the bottom of the jar, it makes a different sound. When he first told me this, I thought he was winding me up. But no, I listened and it does make a very different sound if it’s a glass jar. He also can tell what is in most cans by the weight and sound when shook.

 

Use a chopping board to cut your veg. place your onion for example make a bridge with your hand. So, fingers on one side of your onion, thumb on the other and slip the knife under your palm. Never chop into your hand.

 

When buttering your bread, butter one way, from the bottom of the bread to the top, then from left to right. This way you won’t miss any, or have lumps of butter.

 

Remember you can buy a water boiler rather than a kettle. You place your cup under the tap and you can even walk away, no need to pour boiling water any longer.

Tuck all wires near your walls. Use a small plastic tie to keep them tidy. If you have a huge sitting room for example, don’t have a table in the middle of your floor with a beautiful vase on, it will go at some point… tables wobble, as do we…

Place plug in air fresheners near doors so you learn where the smell is coming from you know that is the direction of your door. For me no need my house isn’t big. But I stayed with friends in America, oh, boy, they had a stunning house the  sitting room, was the size of a ballroom.

Place windchimes near your door so when you are in the garden, you know how to get back to your door. Place a water feature also near your door never put a feature in the middle of anywhere. Always at the side so you don’t fall over it. You can also buy those annoying little stone etc creatures that require batteries like croaking frogs or birds, as you pass them, they croak or tweet. Just to give you signs to know where you are going. If you have a garden seat, it’s nice to have something to tell you where it is.

 

I love this tip from May. When cleaning your house, there is nothing worse than wondering what bottle is what. your cleaning solutions can be your nightmare. Once a week I use my iPhone to detect different cleaning items to do my house, but at least twice a day, I use wipes. Why? Well you know you can get glass wipes, then you can get bathroom ones, chrome ones and even wood polishing ones. So, keep your chrome ones under your kitchen sink. Your bathroom ones in your bathroom. Your dusting ones in a cupboard and glass ones next to them. Normally the glass ones are in a smaller pack, but you can put an elastic band on one pack to tell the difference and you can do this too with shampoo for example. If you have shampoo and conditioner that look the same, a band around your shampoo will always let you know what bottle to grab. You could do this too with cleaning bottles. Put the band on floor cleaner for example. Best tip is trying to buy max three bottles to clean your whole house. Remember when we were children, those of you over forty, our parents didn’t have seven different bottles of cleaning solution, or, if you are like what I was like last year, seventeen different bottles, though when we had a clean out, my Husband will report it was more like forty seven different bottles… I have learned which bottles clean all and I try to stick to 3 of those.

 

 When dusting, do it slowly. Try to remember where you put your ornaments. Gently lift, dust that spot then place ornament down. If you only have say three items on a shelf, then remove them all, remembering to count to know how many you need to put back. Place ornaments on a arm chair. Dust then place back. Cleaning a mirror or any kind of glass, finish off with kitchen paper towelling then you shouldn’t have marks left. And if you do leave your windows with a bit of fog, then tell your guests when they comment, they must have cataracts. Haha.

 

If you want to use a spray to clean with, spray the solution on a cloth that way you will only use what you need and you won’t leave any smear marks on your furniture/windows.

    

I said in my last blog about ironing. Always keep the iron in the same place when you are not using it. For example, when you are putting away an item of clothing. Returning to find your iron, go slightly under your board feel for the wire as the wire will lead you to the back of your iron. I get asked how do you know how to iron? I use my fingers to feel the creases pull tight on the board and iron. Weight a few seconds until it cools then check if it is wrinkle free.

(I haven’t managed to find a way to do that for skin)

That may be in another blog. hehehehee

 

When ironing a shirt for example, feel where the shoulder is and make your crease then iron it in.

You can buy different shaped buttons and buttons that interact with your iPhone which talks to you so you sew them into your clothing. Then you know what colour clothes you are wearing if your work trousers all feel the same.

 

When buying clothes, for example shirts, thanks to Jake for this, try to buy your shirts in different either fabrics or different buttons, o you can learn to differentiate your colours. Same goes for most clothes. I made a mistake one year I bought four jumpers that were in the sale all the same, but they were in different colours. One was black, one cream, a red one and dark blue. So, when wearing a black skirt, I didn’t want to wear my dark blue jumper. When wearing navy trousers, I didn’t want to wear my black jumper. If I had sewn a different shaped button inside, then I would have taught myself which was which.

 

Keep items around your house, in a regular consistent place.

Always leave your keys and white cane harness for your dog etc near the front door.

 

I hope this helps keep your great ideas coming and I shall share with our Bloggets. X

 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

INDEPENDENCE BY FIONA CUMMINGS


A dear friend and our faithful Blogget Vicki has asked me to write about being independent and suddenly finding yourself relying on others.  When I went blind, I didn’t have anyone I could ask for help, my parents died very soon after I lost my sight, so I can only speak from when I realised, I needed help but what it felt like not to get it.

 

There are a lot of days even now when my Husband and I feel totally useless. When we want to do the simplest of things to some, but to us it’s impossible or, not worth the stress and pain of doing whatever, so we just don’t bother this leaves us feeling like failures.

 

Most things Hub and I manage really well and we do a blooming good job. Some of my sighted friends say we do better than what they do and I have to agree. But when it comes to things like painting and decorating, or building fixing something, then we really do rely on others but just get let down all the time by people. If family can’t or won’t help, we just stop asking or we are too ashamed to ask in the first place. Personally, when my Mum was alive, I just knew what she wanted and I did it with little fuss. Her health was never good. She suffered with breathing/Emphysema had a bad heart and was a diabetic. Sadly, she didn’t do anything to help her and this made it worse for me because she lived to help me with trying to find treatment for my eyesight, but I couldn’t help her to be healthier.

 

I bet there were days when she too felt hopeless. When she wanted to do something but couldn’t. she never asked me for help, so what I did for her was what I felt she needed, but what about what she wanted? What she would like? I seemed to do the basics for her like pick up some shopping, do her ironing and wash her bathroom. I used to wash her doors inside her house down all the time as I could see the yellow from her dreadful cancer sticks. I would stand at the kitchen sink pealing vegetables for her as her back hurt her when she stood. She had a condition with her back too remember she was forty years older than me.

 

I’m sure I didn’t iron her clothes in the way she liked, everyone has their own way, don’t they? I’m positive I missed a bit or over did some parts of her cleaning. What I failed to do was take her places, I wish I had, but life for me back then was a challenge. My ex was good he did take her out a couple of times a year, but the rest of the time, he worked and I was partially sighted, never have been able to drive.

 

I guess to always have been able to do something, and to have that removed, is so painful.

 

When I went blind, I couldn’t do the simplest of things like tell the time. How could I see the clock? Reading letters was impossible. Seeing who was at my door was too much to cope with at the time. It was really scary and still today, I know of a lot of blind people who don’t like to answer the door.

 

Sorting out washing, whites from darks. How do you do that if you are blind? Remember I lost my sight twenty years ago so there wasn’t the technology then what there is now and even now, it can be so frustrating.

 

When I am doing my washing, I just have to have a very good memory. Try to remember exactly what colour things are from when I was told when I bought them. Luckily our Son does his own washing now, but obviously when he was a child, I did it all.

 

When we last moved house, my Husband was abroad so packing our stuff was a challenge. It didn’t help the fact I didn’t want to move either. My brother in law was brilliant on the day we moved, he came to help us. But leading up to that day was so hard. And when we got to our last house, gosh it was so hard to unpack everything. It took weeks. We did label our boxes in print and Braille. But I was pretty stuffed not being able to see and my Braille skills are poor.  But we got there. We also got our Son into a great school. Took him there and Hub walked him to get him used to where to go so it wasn’t daunting for him on his first day. Of course, Hub didn’t have a clue how to get there, so we relied on our Son, it was more like supporting him to show that he could actually do it on his own. To be with someone we hoped would be better than doing it alone. Thank God on day one of our Son going to his new school, he made some great friends. He was not a small child, he was just turned fifteen, the days when he was very young, when I battled to get him to school and back every day are in other blogs.

 

Again, I didn’t have help getting my Son to school. Every day I had to face the dreaded walk hoping to God I could find my way there and worse back. As on the way back home, I was alone and I used to be ill the night before thinking if I had got lost on the way home, how would I get back to school to pick him up later on?

 

But I learned the white cane then got a guide dog, so I relied on my dog. To learn to put your trust in a dog took a long time. And once you do, you learn just how important dogs are.

 

When my Son was a small child, he had extra responsibility at school. When it came to parent days other people would look at their child’s books what work they had done, my poor Son had to talk me through everything. When he was tiny as in four, he used to get my finger and put it on his drawings. When I asked him why did he do this, he replied. “Mummy that is how you see!”” my heart broke, he actually thought I could see with my fingers. He shouldn’t have had that pressure of showing me his books. The teachers could have been more compassionate, but fact is they weren’t and from friends who still have children at school, a lot of them still go through hell sadly.

 

There are days when I would love to just get in a car and go out, but obviously I can’t. When Hub is away on business, he has to rely on people as he is often in different places, but he copes. Though it is stressful but not half as stressful to what it used to be when he was really on his own when he worked abroad.

 

I wish right now I could go to the bedroom and paint it. Three long weeks I have been waiting for it to be done. But I can’t. I would make a mess. Though if I had the tools, I think I would be giving it a go right now.

 

I know I need to paint my wooden fence, but I shall wait again for a gardener to do it. And then, wonder, what kind of job he has done. You should see the mess of my wood what the last painter did?  It’s all pealing off. I’m going to have to get it all done again. Again, if only I could do it. But gloss is not easy.

 

I know of a lady who has MS. She really is ill. She used to be a nurse, caring for others. Now she can’t even get herself dressed. Someone comes in to her each day and washes and dresses her. Cooks for her too. Someone else takes her shopping. I was so very sad to learn that she dropped something and her family, son and daughter, mocked her telling her not to be so pathetic and bend over to get it. How cruel they were to her leaving her to be broken hearted that her so called loved ones did that to her. So, it’s not only needing help but it’s the uncaring families who really can break us.

 

This same poor lady knows that her husband is seeing other women because she can’t be as intimate with her Husband as she used to be. He actually speaks to them on the phone in front of her. Total disregards for this lady. She is human and she has feelings. She can’t express herself as she used to but she is the same person.

 

People can lose their dignity. Their lifestyle. Their friends and family. It’s not just all about cooking or cleaning, dressing washing, taking us shopping, its words said by others. Why do people do this?

 

I know of someone who is deaf and she feels so left out when she goes to where there are a few people gathering. Friends of hers. She can’t join in with the conversation any longer and feels very left out. So, she can drive, and do all the things that some people can’t, but still she would love to be a part of her friends’ conversation. Or eves drop on her kids. Listen out for people coming to the door or out side of her house when they shouldn’t be as she lives in the middle of the countryside, far from anyone.

 

And this is another thing, when you can’t see if like me your Husband/Wife/partner is also blind, then you don’t have a choice where to live as you would if you could see. You have to live close to where you can get out and find.

 

I feel for those people who can’t get out of the house. Who have no help or family who can help them? Somewhere right now there is someone, not too far from you, you may even be this person, who is so alone. Who wishes just to get out even for half an hour? Who just wants to be able to chat to another human? But they are prisoners to their disability. To their fears. To the cruel life that has been given to them. Not everyone is strong and not everyone wants to be strong. Some people don’t want to be told they can do it but be told they can do it with help but to get help to be chained to someone all the time too is very sad. When we are young and free, we don’t expect at some part of our lives to be relying on others. I have friends who pay loads of money to get what they need. But again, is it what they want? And to have to hand over money to someone for doing something that would take a family member or friend half an hour to do, must be awful.

 

As a society now we are turning into a very hard and uncaring race. We care about ourselves far too much. We have no regards for others. If everyone who went to church was to help one person a week, what a massive difference that would make to someone’s life. if everyone who worked rather than do as many hours overtime, just gave up one hour per week to someone who really would appreciate you, it would be better for you than any amount of money could give you with working overtime. And it would mean more to hit person you are helping than ten years of money earned with overtime.

 

You may think your Mum or Dad is a Burdon. Your uncle or friend, well stop and think just how do they feel? Did they ask to be in this situation, and one day, it could be you. Your perfect world may come crashing down, as did theirs, only they know now just how it feels to need someone and moreover, to need someone who isn’t there!

 

© Fiona Cummings

 

 

Here is a link today for news on RP

 
 

 

FINDING YOUR WAY IN THE DARK BY FIONA CUMMINGS


Thanks to Carrie I’m writing a short blog combining everything well, almost everything that I get asked about with regards to life as a person without vision.

So many of my friends still daily hurt themselves. Don’t get me wrong as do I, just now it’s less frequent. You do learn. For example, my lovely friend joked as she bent over and hurt herself on a shelf. She said she did it twice on the same day. On each eye so now, she looks like she has eyeshadow on. But the truth is, it’s not funny. It makes us feel so sad and sometimes alone. Why do we have to suffer in such a way, it’s bad enough not being able to see and who understands us? Well I, do and this is why I hope to give you a few tips.

 

Firstly, and this takes some getting used to. When you need to bend over, do it slowly. Still after twenty years I forget and bend like a sighted person. Bang.

Right into whatever is in front of me.

 

 When I remember, I firstly put my hand out to see how much space I have. Then I bend really slowly so if I do misjudge, it won’t hurt. Sometimes you manage to bend ok but then forget that there is also a shelf higher above and you have missed it on the way down, but oh, boy, on the way up? It almost knocks you back down again, so when straightening back up, again, do it slowly.

 

I have said this many times but every day we have new readers. Never leave a door half open. Always wide open or totally closed. Then you have so much less chance in walking into it or stubbing your toe.

 

In our house our sitting room and staircase have those awful duel light switches. Where you can turn on the light at each side of the room or downstairs at the bottom of your stairs and at the top. If you can make it so you don’t have those in your room that would help. As normally when a light is on, the thick bit of the switch is at the top and the pushed in bit is at the bottom. This is when the light is on. When the light is off, the thick bit is at the bottom and thin pushed in part of the switch is at the top. But on the duel switches, nothing makes sense as it could be switched on at one end but the other off. Or down stairs on and up off. Gosh, I hope that makes sense to you?

 

Learn to ski. Not with skis or snow, just around your house. So, don’t lift your feet up as you would outside. Then you won’t stand on your dog toy or child’s toy. If you have ever stood on your child’s Lego, you will know what I mean. It hurts. It cuts.

 

Never leave your dishwasher open whilst you go to put a dish away. Just close it enough not to stick out enough to trip over it. I don’t know any person who is blind who hasn’t gone flying over a dishwasher lid. I don’t know why they can’t make them like a washing machine door so it opens sideways? Then at least if you walk into it, the right way, it will just close you wouldn’t be hurt.

 

Try to buy one of those work top savers. They are great, before cooking, put all your utensils out on there and leave them there in between use so you know where everything is, put all of your ingredients on for example your sink top so they are all together. It makes it so much easier.

 

When you are putting things in your fridge, the things that have a short lifetime, keep them near the front of your fridge so you don’t forget them. If you put them to the back, not being able to see means you will forget they are there.

 

Make your freezer into sections. Veg in one drawer, bread etc in another, fish in one compartment and meat in another. Vegetarian food in one and vegan in another in our case at home. We have a fantastic tall freezer it’s seven drawers tall so this makes life so much easier, of course you have to know what you have firstly to be able to pick your drawers, but if you have the app Seeing a.i., it will help you and you do get used to what things feel like, weigh or sound like.

 

When ironing, always put your hot iron in the same place on your board facing away from you whilst you put away a shirt for example. How to find your iron again? If you put it to your left for example, you know that is where it will be. Go below the height of the board, feel for the wire, in most cases, the wire will lead you to the back of the handle of your iron.

 

Pouring boiling water in your cup? Before you start to pour, place the spout against the top of your cup then when you are sure you have it in place, start to pour. You can hear when you are at the top as the sound changes. Try to listen for this next time.

 

You also can buy a water boiler. This is where you place your cup under a tap and you can walk away the tap does it all for you. No more burned fingers.

 

Never leave wires sticking out from the walls. Tuck them in. and if you are lucky enough to have a huge open plan house, and have wood floors use the odd rug for a sign when to turn. Or a large plant pot near a doorway. A strong-smelling air freshener also near a door way so you can learn to smell when you are there.

 

I could write forever on this subject. I’m sure my future blogs will return to some tips and if you have any, let me know and I shall pass them onto our Bloggets.

 

 

DIARY OF WRONG PLANET BY FIONA CUMMINGS


After a mini meltdown yesterday, there was some news on our TV which gave me a little boost.

This was news about eyesight. I shall give you the link at the bottom of this blog, it’s not for RP, but for AMD. The most common cause of blindness in the UK. And so close to what I have in a way, this is to stop your eyes getting worse, so again too late for me, but again, we are really heading in the right direction with this brilliant breakthrough.  To be on our BBC news too is unusual as there is never anything on our news about treatments for blindness. So, I was a happy bunny after reading and hearing about this. As I said, the link is below.

 

The hottest February day on record is to hit the UK. 18 C is forecast this week but then snow is due. So, in our street we have sun this is bringing out neighbours cutting grass. In February? There will be a frost and your grass needs a blanket. It’s far too early to cut grass.

 

I get asked to write about some really different subjects. Some things require a special certificate, believe me, and those subjects I won’t touch on. Yet. But todays email aske me to write about hotels. Okay, where to start? I guess I shall write about things in hotels that is said to be that are no longer. Such as remember when we used to be given proper metal keys to open the room doors with? And they normally had large plastic tags on them with the room number and address of your hotel. Well not now, you will probably get a slim credit card like thing.  I remember in Russia, we used to get the most enormous key rings. During the Moscow 1980 Olympics, we got the most beautiful silver solid metal really heavy bear named Misha, who was designed by a children’s illustrator whose name was Viktor Chizhikov. The bear was the simple of the games. A really cute mascot and believe me, you wouldn’t want to carry that round in your handbag and this was the reason they did this so you had to leave your key behind the reception so they knew when your room was empty so I guess they could take a look…  well just trace when you left and returned from your day out.

 

Can you remember guest books? Oh my, I do feel old. Before computers we had to sign our name in the guest book. still now in small B&B’s for example, they may still have one but this is normally for you to leave a review rather than any personal information.

 

Sadly, in the UK the Bible is seen less in our hotel rooms. I used to think that was such a nice feature.  I also remember when in really nice hotels as you walked in the reception, the carpets used to be so thick. Now they are ether thin or you have some kind of hard floor.

 

Ah, the good old days. The best thing about the good old days is they were good, but I wasn’t old.

 

In our news iPhone 11 will be able to charge other phones just by touching them together. That’s clever. But it will be far too expensive. I do have an iPhone and I’m so grateful for it as the apps you can get to help to recognise things is so helpful, though frustrating as far from just like looking with your own eyes if they only worked.

And other headlines read

Smoking stops body from fighting cancer and makes you 40%

 Less likely to survive.

 

Hub travelled to work today three hours.  Such a long way. I don’t know how he does it! My brother though works all over the country and in Scotland, he too is a work aholic. He has been since I can remember. Same as my brother in law and even my ex worked so many hours. Well, then there is my Son, hahaha, what is it with me and being linked to men who work a lot? My Son put in sixty hours last week and more this week. I don’t even know how many hours my Husband works as he works whilst in transit. That is a bonus when you are blind, well for whom you work for anyway, if you can’t drive. I guess that is when you work. But when is down time as he works weekends and nights too? Even when he is on holiday, his lap top is always around and is opened at least once per day.

 

It’s a beautiful sunny day cool but with the sun, it’s warm. There are no birds around at the moment, I really hate that. The sky without birds is really depressing. I think it’s been a few weeks since I heard any sweet songs. We have a wood pigeon in the distance and a crow visits, but apart from that, it’s silence.

 

And finally, food for thought

250 lbs on earth, is 94.5 lbs on Mercury. So, as it’s said, I’m not fat, I’m just on the wrong planet.

If we shouldn’t eat at nights, why do they put a light in the fridge?

Reminds me, is our bulb still working? Hahaha. Seriously, one time my friend went into my fridge to get some milk for a cupper. She told me my light wasn’t working. I said to my Son, darling our light is off in the fridge. He replied I know Mum it’s been like that for ages…. So why he didn’t tell me? Bless him, could have been because he just felt a little awkward? I mean, why would his Mum and Dad need one?

 


 

Monday, 18 February 2019

TEARS TODAY LAUGHS TOMORROW BY FIONA CUMMINGS


Good day Bloggets. Thank you so much for your kind words this week. Donna and Ruth, Terry and Carrie, bless you all for your feedback re blogs. Remember if there is anything you wish for me to write about, then just let me know.

 

Well today is Sunday and it’s been busy. Hub now is chilling as he isn’t at all well.

 

Our Son is working hard, he has seven days in a row of work before a day off. And early starts too as he is working overtime every day and weekends.

 

I was reading today that wrapping your feet in cabbage can relieve joint pain like arthritis.

And now for a soup that is meant to be so good for us.

Coriander, great for inflammation and more. Lemongrass is essential for   vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and vitamin C. lemongrass is also known to be good for your stomach, insomnia, respiratory disorders, fever, aches, rheumatism, type 2 diabetes and fights infections. Kaffir lime leaves are good for the blood, help cure digestive issues, they are good to fight against stress and so much more. Ginger, we all know the benefits of that, it’s great for your stomach and colds. As long as you don’t put too much in too, it tastes so good in soups. To this mix add chili paste if you wish, mushrooms green onions at least three garlic cloves and whatever else you fancy basically, I love soups because you can just chuck in whatever you want. But this base is so good for you.

 

  A strange thing in our news today. Two brothers killed in fighting for ISIS in Syria, have also lost their brother in the UK. He was stabbed to death. How odd is that? What are the chances of that happening three brothers, in two different countries on the same day? The fourth brother is still fighting, so, I guess their parents will soon be childless.

 

On Tuesday there is to be a super snow moon. Which will be so bright.

(Must watch out for that) haha.

 

This was a bit of a scare. 1 in 2 people in the UK, will get some form of cancer in their lifetime. But there are signs to watch out for. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK the causes are unknown but if you realise the signs, then the chances of treatment hopefully will be able to help the person to live longer.

 

Signs of prostate cancer are as follows. 1 needing to pee more often. Normally during the night. 2, you have difficulty in going to the toilet even though you really really need to go. 3, a weak flow and once you do go, you still feel like you need to do more. 4, blood in your urine or semen. My poor Dad died with this dreadful disease! Its heart breaking and if you can prolong the outcome by many years or even get rid of it all together, it’s a visit to the Doctors as believe me, catch this in time and your life will be so much better.

 

And now for some ironic facts I have read about of late. Did you know in America, what is the most stolen book? as in shop lifted?

The Bible. Serious. And the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous asked for whisky on his death bed.

Apparently, the nurse refused him. Gosh, why?

 

William eno, the founder of the stop sign, taxi rank signs, one-way street, roundabout and crossing, couldn’t drive.

 

This has to be my favourite. The condition of not being able to pronounce the letter R, has a name.

Rhoticism

 

And that was written yesterday, today is Monday. Good job I have my blogs, it’s how I remember what day it is. Haha. I received a delivery today in a long slim box. It’s about five feet tall. The box is square and my palm in width. Five feet by the way is about 1.5 meters. It’s very light. Can you guess what it is?

It’s used outside and our old one rotted in the winter weather.

Remember what an exciting life I have and the amazing things that get delivered to me. Haha. Well it should be used with two hands. You can use it with one, but it’s more difficult. Guessed yet?

A yard brush.

I told you it was exciting.

Not!

And if we were clever, we could have kept the handle and got rid of the brush. But we are not so we had to buy it from start again. But this time I have avoided wood.

 

Is it just me or are there any other odd people out there? I really don’t like using new brushes. I want to keep them so clean. How sad is that?

 

When I woke up this morning, I felt fine. I did the normal things housework, answered emails and thought about what to cook later. Then got my guide dog Waggatail harnessed up and went to our post box to post a letter, well, what else would I do at the post box, order a pizza? Seriously Fifi, what next, anyway, Waggs was great, and the weather was perfect. Not windy so I could hear perfectly, not wet so the roads didn’t sound like they were chasing me, not icy, so I wasn’t in fear I was going to slip, no snow, so I could feel the path and define roads grass verges etc, just right. I then came home and groomed the wagging one and came in to do some writing. Then came over really emotional. Seriously, started to properly cry. Tears ran down my face. Suddenly my guard was let down and I really don’t know what on earth reacted it. I mean, I got to the post okay, one time a couple of years ago, I had a hell of a time just going to post a letter it ended up where I cut my eye and it poured with blood. I got so dizzy and got totally lost coming home. But today was fine.

 

I just wished for a moment, that I could see. And I try to block that wish from my mind because what is the point of living just thinking about being able to see every second of the day? I did that for ten years, ten long years. It kills you it eats you up. The older I’m getting the more scared I’m becoming that my time will run out before there are any serious advances for my eye disease. I fear I will never see and I just want to make life easier for my Husband and myself. I would love to see for my Hub. To be able to do for him what he can’t do. Just stupid things like we had vouchers for a shop we go to. It was to save quite a lot of money. We knew they were the vouchers as our wonderful app on our iPhone read that to us, but it doesn’t read every detail so the date for example. And of course, we learned yesterday it’s ran out. And things like workmen letting us down, well if we could see we could do those jobs. Instead, we have to rely on others to do those jobs and they are never in a hurry. Or I prepare things for their arrival and they don’t turn up. So, our house is in a right mess and as a blind person, that can be very disorienting but for a blind person like my Hub who has never had sight, it’s much worse, at least in my mind I still just about see, so can image what things look like as in the lay out of a room. But for Hub, he can’t do that.

 

I’m OK now, but my sadness grief, wasn’t a place I wanted to stay in. I tried to research latest news for our eye disease, or any kind of blindness, but nothing new today, but hey, there is always tomorrow, in the meanwhile, we battle on and we do laugh. Ps
 Here is a good link for those who are interested in the future for RP


    

 

Saturday, 16 February 2019

THE EGG DIARY BY FIONA CUMMINGS


Good evening. It’s been a beautiful day. The sun has shone and it’s been really mild. Almost too mild for this time of year, but apparently next week we are to have snow again. Hub and I went out for our walk through the forest. It was unusual there are houses in this place. Like the fairy-tale Little Red Riding Hood! That was a strange story to tell children before bedtime, wasn’t it? As a child it gave me the creeps.

What am I saying, as a child? Haha. It still does.

 

A fact about the fairy tale. It existed for hundreds of years before it was recorded as a stranger danger story. First written by 17th century French author Charles Perrault, but in his terrifying version, Little Red Riding Hood gets into bed with the wolf and he eats her up and she doesn’t escape. I wonder what makes a children’s author write such things for young minds. I really hope one day to try my luck in writing for children, but I wouldn’t want to write stories that are going to be scary, I would want to preserve the innocence for as long as possible. May be to escape into a different world but not a world full of fear, for sure.

 

The village we were at today was so cute. It had cottages with smoke coming from the chimneys as I could smell the fumes, not too good. As a child I can’t remember fires smelling like they do these days. We always had a coal fire so I remember the smell well. Because of the fires, the air wasn’t clean sadly an yet there were trees everywhere.

 

To get to the cottages you had to cross a little bridge to get to the front door. Across a stream. The roads are very narrow. I guess they have been there since horses used to pull the carriages rather than built for cars. We could never afford to live in such a place. The houses start from £400,000 and that is for a two bedroom. There was one house Hub looked up on the internet when we got home and it was a six bedroom far too big for us of course, but for a laugh we wanted to see how much it was going for. it didn’t have land with it, and the rooms were not that huge. But three hundred thousand pounds under three million pounds, imagine that amount?

 

The locals are obviously very rich too. I could tell in the way they spoke to their children. Oh my, one woman kept telling her child in her plum accent to come quickly out of the swamp. Hahaha. Swamp? What swamp? He was playing in leaves. There are no swamps there.

 

A strange topic. Hub and I were discussing people who are dying normally in hospital who want to marry before they die. He said he can totally understand why someone wants to do that. I said I couldn’t because it must be the saddest thing to do. One, to promise your wife to be for example to be by her side in sickness and so on, knowing she is going to die very soon and two, for the wife to look into her Husbands eyes and know she is leaving him.

 

Our Queen apparently went horse riding with her Son Prince Andrew today. Remember our queen is 92. Good on the old gal.

 

Reading the news today one headline that got my attention was as follows.

“The libertarian fantasies of cryptocurrencies””

Yeah. Em, I didn’t read on!

 

A few facts especially for one of our Bloggets Terry. I’m sure I have shared this one with you before, but I like it. Octopuses lay 56,000 eggs at a time.

Heck, that’s a lot of omelettes.

But when the babies are born, they are the size of a grain of rice.

Egg fried rice then?

 

Apparently, it’s in a dog’s genes to follow you. Firstly, your dog knows if he follows you, he may get a walk with those puppy dog eyes pleading with you to take him, or he may get a treat, or at the very least you will turn to your cutie and talk to him/her. But it’s in a dog’s genes to follow the pack and fit in with a pack as best as they can.

 

Reading on about dogs today I learned they hate head rubs unless you crouch down to their level or if they know you. But a stranger doing it, they really won’t like it. It’s suggested that chin or chest rubs are better for your dogs. It’s also said that dogs hate mixed rules. So, if your partner hates your dog in bed with you both, and as soon as they go to work you allow your dog in with you, then the dog will get anxiety apparently. Which could lead to aggression. It’s important to give your dog the same rules and stick to them.

 

There is a link at the bottom of this blog which is a small article of interest if you are blind. I have been reading a few hopeful articles of late, but nothing that has made me jump out of my seat. When I jump, I shall tell you. But I have leaned forward this week in the ready position.

 

Well tomorrow is another day. The day before the storm. Or could it be your day after your storm? Well let’s hope we have all had a pleasant weekend and week to come and that your weather is far from stormy. Until tomorrow, with love.