Tuesday, 22 October 2013


My dad has Alzheimer's.

We, his four adult children, his son-in-law and daughter-in-law, noticed something was wrong beyond the usual forgetfulness, oftern associated with age, in the late Summer of 2011.

We spent months trying to convince each other, (and ourselves), that he wasn't very different to 'usual'.  

We knew nothing of Alzheimer's: of it's insidious creeping up on the victim and his or her friends and family; of it's tendency to hide for a while by it's coming and going.  

Then Christmas came around and Dad came to my house to spend Christmas day.  Last year, we'd sat at the same table to eat our Christmas lunch.  We'd sat on the same settee opening presents, watching TV, chatting, laughing.  But this year my Dad was too quiet.  Too distant.  Confused.

It's been a long and hard road since then.  He was formally diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease mixed with Vacular Dementia , in March 2013.  He was 75 years old.

The Bad Bits 
  • Our dad has aged.  We didn't know that a common symptom of Alzheimer's is a loss of balance.  This has resulted in a lurching and stooped walk. 
  • Our dad is shocked every time we tell him he has Alzheimer's.  It confuses him - even more.
  • Forgetting 'events', not remembering what has happened or is going to happen, is the least stressful symptom - for Dad and for us!  
  • He has lost his reasoning skills.  This means that he sees my brother, (who now lives with him), walk into the kitchen in a dressing gown EVERY MORNING and thinks that he's popped in for a chat.  It means that paying two men £7000 to wash his driveway seemed fine.  Paying them another £7000 a week later to clean the patio in the garden also seemed OK.
  • Medical appointments are frightening for him. His short-term memory is all but gone.  As he holds out his arm for an injection, he's already forgotten why he's been asked to hold it out. He's in a room he can't remember going into, with a person he doesn't know, having a needle pointed right at him!
  • He forgets to eat, to wash, to clean the house. 
  • We have had to seek out and ask for every bit of practical and emotional support my dad and us, his carers, receive.  We didn't know where to start, what was available, what to ask for.
I won't go on. 

The Good Bits
  • There are good bits.
  • My dad has become nice!  He didn't particulalrly used to be when we were all growing up.  He went through a frightened, shouting, violent stage when the Alzheimer's began to really get a hold - before he was given the right medication. 
  • He was always such a shy, withdrawn, troubled person.  Now he is calmer, kinder, friendlier than he's ever been.
  • He remembers, and talks about, the good things from his past.  They make him happy.
  • He's funny!  He makes jokes!  I'd never known him do this before.
  • He has his family around him. Caring about him. 
  • The people who work at Leicester Social Services Department have all been fantastic, supportive and friendly.

                        Dad on a happy day with one of his grandsons

Taking Each day as it Comes 

This is how we all live now.  The family.  Somehow, we've settled into a laid-back, (ish), cooperative, supportive unit.  Taking each day as it comes.  Seeing the bright side of watching my dad change.

Last week I took my dad to meet up with the rest of the '25 Year Plus Club' - a reunion of long serving workers from the company he used to work at.  Almost all of them are retirees.  Many are now in their eighties.  My dad didn't remember any of them!  He had a lovely day!  

Everyone who knew him came up for a chat.  They told him who they were, how they knew him, and were kind to him.  They reminded him of things they had done together.  The look of amazement on his face, to hear of this life he can't remember, was sad - but also lovely to see.  He was happy - for the whole afternoon.  I was glad to have been the one to take him there.

We don't know what will happen next - how our dad will change.  But we'll cope with that when the time comes...


I'd love to hear your comments.  Either on this post, or about your own experiences of Alzheimer's.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Yarndale 2013

I went to Yarndale 2013 on Saturday and absolutely loved it!  So, I'm going to record my fabulous day, here on my little blog.

We set off from Nottingham early - for us, that is - and were wowed by the changing scenery.  Now, as hubby and I are both born and bread in Leicestershire, with it's gently rolling countryside, we rather miss hills.  Whoops of joy issued from the car as we drove out of Nottinghamshire and into Yorkshire.  By the time we got to the Skipton area we were beside ourselves!

Note to self:  Buy a decent camera!

So, we arrived in Skipton, parked up and began the decent down a yarn bombed path leading to the auction market where Yarndale 2013 was waiting for us.  By the time we got to the bottom of the path I was already excited - I'd have paid the £5 fee just for that yarnie walk!

                                         Fantastic crochet bunting everywhere! 

Once inside - Wow!  This really was a yarn show.  The bunting hanging on the ceiling at the entrance was enchanting.  I loved the colours. I loved the shapes.  But mostly, I just stood there thinking about the time,  effort and love that had been put into this display.  It set the tone for a wonderful day!

                                 The bunting at the Entrance to Yarndale 2013

Being a fairly recent returner to all things yarn, this was my first time at any sort of yarnie event - well what a first!  Couldn't have been better! 

Spencer, (hubby) had wanted to come with me so that we could stay in the area for a couple of days and explore.  He had promised not to look bored - he didn't have to look enthralled, just not bored!  Well, he succeeded.  In fact, he even looked interested occasionally!
                                                     Spencer's favourite exhibit! 

I've never seen so much yarn and it was great to see the journey from live fleece, (alpaca, sheep and angora rabbits) to the final, yummy ball of yarn ready to be made into an end product.  If only money wasn't so tight at the moment, I would have spent a fortune!

                                                                 My purchases. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013


Trying very hard to add a widget/gadget, (?), to my blog page to take people to my facebook and Twitter pages.  Can't do it! Every tutorial I find is different and based on a different version of Blogger!   Must do more research...

To calm down, I now need some theraputic crochet time!   

Think I'll make the other fingerless mitten!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Winter Warmers

The awful, wet, cold weather, has prompted a flurry of warm crocheted goodies being made for my Etsy shop over the last two weeks...


I saw a woman in the super-market queue wearing an ordinary cowl which she had 'squashed' together at one side and held with a brooch.  It looked stunning!

So, off I went, straight to one of my local yarn shops, bought some multi coloured King Cole lightweight chunky, went home, made a cup of tea, and got
designing... and crocheting.

The result was my 'Autumn Colours Buttoned Cowl'.  I designed it to drape over the shoulders slightly - to avoid that cold bit on the back of the lower neck! - and have a removable 'strap', with a large button, which would do the 'squashing'  - sounds strange, but bear with me!  It looks better than it sounds...


Having crocheted a few baby blankets recently, and thinking of starting another, my mind went back to my first newborn, (26 years ago!), and how complicated it seemed at first to wrap him warmly without stifling him - when he got a bit livlier, kicking and waving about, it got even harder.  

"A cocoon!" I thought.  On to Pintrest to look for ideas...   The ones I found looked even harder to get a wriggling, delicate, new baby into than just using a blanket.  Just a long 'bag' really!

Now, I LOVE buttons!  So, the answer was obvious.

A dusky pink and cream, stripy baby girl's cocoon with matching dusky pink hat.  Very snuggly!


Discovered I loved making newborn cocoons.  But remembering how small 'newborn' items are for babies like mine born 23 years ago at nearly 10lb, I decided to make a slightly larger one, this time for a boy.


My Cloche Hat:  
I just went round and round until it fit me and could also have a higher 'brim' on one side.  Fixed with a button.  Voila!   This is, for once, all mine though...

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

I'm back!


The first blog post, back in July ended up highlighted in white!  Not a good start.

Then, having set myself some goals:
a weekly blog post, (!)
Kick-starting my teaching career by becoming a supply teacher now that I'm fully well again
Doing wonders on my facebook page by adding a new crocheted or knitted item every week
Attending auctions to fuel my addiction to buying and selling 'vintage'
Starting a Twitter account
And fulfilling the wishes and dreams of everyone else in the family at the same time....

I failed miserably.   MUST be more realistic!  I get side tracked! 

Anyway, here it is: my next post! 
Thought for the day?   Breath...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

First up!

Well, never thought I'd be a blogger and never even followed any blogs until recently.  But...  after a period of illness, while trying to recover, I took up knitting and crochet again - after a break of 22 years!

Why did I ever give up?  Two young children that I gave every ounce of my time and energy to.  Happy, happy years, but no yarn!   When they had both started school I began my teacher training year, then got a job as a teacher, did that until last year when I became exhausted and ill.

Persuaded by a very supportive friend to make items to sell, I developed a small stock of goodies and actually sold them at a craft fair!  Great feeling!
I started a facebook page, got networking, and now here I am...

... sitting on the sofa at 22.:37, after an hour spent unblocking the kitchen's drain, (always something to do isn't there?), writing this and wondering what the post will look like when I've finished.  I can't even remember what background I chose!

Had to laugh! The preview shows my text is highlighted in white.  Don't know how, don't know why...