Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Day Before

Tomorrow is a big day in our household as both Mike and I are heading off to hozzie, different departments though; Mike for tests and me for an op. on my eyes. What an exciting day out it will be - we are certainly a good-time couple!

I have had horrid eyesight all my life and for the past 30 years I've been on 'Glaucoma watch' as my mother and maternal grandmother both had it so it was always odds-on that it would get me at some stage. I had hoped it might have been a bit later in my life but sadly not, hence the op. In fact, my op. was scheduled for a few weeks hence but because I'm getting a stabbing pain (that's never a good sign is it!) I've been moved higher up the queue.

I've had annual checks by an Optician for this but the last 5 years I've had to go to the hospital every 6 months too, which then changed to 3 months as my eye pressures are very high which means that there is a danger that the optic nerve will close up and we don't want that thank you very much. So tomorrow I shall be having a laser peripheral iris iridotomy followed by a course of drops to see what effect that has.

Fingers crossed and all that. I can't wait to see the expression on the surgeon's face when I ask him how long it will be before I can run another marathon!

So this morning I headed out for what might be my last run for a few days at least and took squillions of photos to mark the event but first there are other things to share:

The visitors

There has been a pair of Greylag geese flying over every morning when I'm feeding the horses. This made my heart beat a little faster as many years ago we had a friendly Greylag goose who had lost his mates and hooked up with a pair of wild ducks who used to visit us. The ducks were quite used to coming to the back door and taking feed from our hands and so the goose did exactly the same. We named him Gandalf 'cos I was reading Lord of the Rings at the time. He stayed with us for about 6 months then disappeared only to reappear briefly on our wedding anniversary a few years later.

We never saw him again but of course when this pair landed in our garden and started weighing up the pond as a potential nesting site I pretended it was him and he'd brought his mate back to see us.

Sadly this pond doesn't offer the sort of cover they need but I keep hearing them flying over each morning so they're still somewhere nearby

Our regulars continue to delight us. This is a normal gathering for breakfast - they all arrive at my usual horse-feeding time and come running across the patio towards me.

My view from inside the barn whilst I make up the horse feeds

This cock pheasant has taken over control of the garden and defends it fiercely if any other cock dares to stray onto his patch! 

He currently has 7 females in his harem. Here he is putting on  his mating display for one whilst she tries to eat:

The next bit is censored!

I did get a bit of a shock the other lunchtime when I went out to find this duck with 13 ducklings soaking up the sun:

They headed over to the patio for some feed so that Mrs Duck wasn't pestered by other birds

All of a sudden she looked up and started to shepherd them towards the pond

As I watched them scuttling away I felt huge drops of hail on my head

 Within a couple of minutes this was the scene

It was like a completely different day!

I loved how it highlighted my heart in the gravel garden

The weather really has been bonkers for the last couple of months.

Clearing and tidying

We've been doing a lot of clearing around the wild pond and Mike's been busy trimming back trees and branches with the chainsaw and it looks much bigger now the undergrowth has been cut away. I'm already planning what to plant around the margins but it's far too expensive to buy everything at once.

We already have a bench in a shady spot and it's lovely to sit there with a glass of something chilled on a warm evening

Mike thinks this outcrop on an old tree stump looks like Bart Simpson!

Esther wandered into view as we just sat soaking up the atmosphere

We've repositioned our swing in the orchard to get a different view (great for watching sunsets)

View from the swing - in autumn I'm going to lift the canopy of that pretty Hawthorn to open up the view of the pond. Mrs Rabbit has her burrow just beneath the large oak tree on the left.

Spring - it's official!

How do I know? Easypeasy - when you spot one of these little beauties it must be Spring as they are one of the first butterflies to emerge from its chrysalis at the first sign of Spring:

Mike spotted him first as he was about to dispose of the dandelion clock

Isn't that good camouflage - from a distance he just looked like part of the dandelion seedhead

I knew it was a boy because he had orange markings on his wing tips, hence his name 'Orange Tip' - the female has brown tips on her wings. I quickly replaced him on his seedhead.

A riparian walk

A few days ago Mike and I headed down into the valley for a walk along the river. It was perfect weather for walking as it was not too hot with just a gentle breeze.

The river is very low as apparently we've had the lowest winter rainfall for 20 years which explains why our ponds are in the same state.

We did an out and back route just soaking up the sights and sounds and I didn't take many photos of great interest. It was wonderful to have a cuckoo calling throughout and we even got to spot it a few times as whenever we got close to his/her perch in a tree it flew off.

Another treat was the little steam train was heading into Bodiam station to start its journey taking holidaymakers on their adventures.

This walk ended with a stop at the National Trust tea rooms for a cream tea which is one of the few times I ever have cream so it was a real treat! This actually wasn't the end of the walk as we then had to walk up the long hill to home so it was a refuelling stop to give us extra strength.

Of course we had to share some of it with the locals!

This cheeky pair kept jumping up at the side of us

Look who else we spotted there - it's our very own 'Tufty' who was moonlighting and scrounging elsewhere - I wondered where he went to during the day!

Tufty back on our patio waiting for lunch - cheeky boy

Our walk was just under 6 miles in total so was a nice little leg-stretcher.

...and finally

This morning I've started batch baking so poor Mike doesn't have to do too much if I'm incapacitated for a few days. This is a sourdough loaf made with Rye grains soaked and cooked in strong lager. It's a firm favourite as it smells wonderful and tastes divine. It also keeps well and toasts beautifully.

Keeping everything crossed that tomorrow goes well for both of us.


Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to read through your post and look at your amazing photographs.

Thinking of you both and hoping the hospital visit and treatments go well.

My good wishes

All the best Jan

Anonymous said...

Hope by now you are on the healing side of surgery. Hope it went well and gives good results. So scary when it's your eyes isn,t it?
Best wishes to you

Susie Hewer said...

Thanks Jan. The hozzie visit require a whole new post! Feeling good so far today, Susie x

Susie Hewer said...

Thanks Julie. You are quite right - having really rubbish eyesight has meant that I dread any suggestion that it could get even worse! I must try and do a write-up asap before I forget how the day unfolded 'cos it was an illuminating experience on the state of the NHS. Susie x