big ideas from a little garden

tales and stories of how we make the most of our garden and our terraced house.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sleep Tight Daddy.....

My wonderful Dad and beautiful sister.
One of the reasons I have had an absence from the family home was that my Dad had fallen ill. He had battled illness for so much of his life.
He was born with a blocked portal vein feeding his liver and over time his liver deteriorated because of this. He was prone to internal bleeding and ascites.
This led to increasing poor health.
Around 2-3 years ago he was put forward as a possible candidate for a liver transplant. However, this was not to be. If he could not feed the liver with a healthy portal vein then the operation would never be a success. We were informed that by controlling his condition and the associated symptoms then there was no way they could predict the length of his life. There were just so many ifs and buts.
He spent many years going back and forth to Llandough Hospital in South Wales having his stomach drained. He had built up a rapport with his nurses and doctors. The repeated appointments had become routine for him. Being followed up by a regular endoscopy or colonoscopy. Invasive procedures that had just become a day to day way of life.
In June my youngest sister, Steph got married. Dad was in attendance as the proud Father. Steph was radiant and beautiful. My Dad could not have been more happy and proud of her. I have no doubt many of the family were shocked at how poorly he looked. Even though he was clearly a very sick man we did not know just how little time he had left.
On the Thursday after the wedding he was admitted to hospital for a routine drain. This time, however he would not come home. The fluid in this stomach had become infected in recent months. This in itself had complicated matters.
Over the coming weeks he was to become more poorly until eventually he passed away.

I am sure in the future I will feel able to post more about happy memories and joyful times. But for now I cannot.

All that remains to be said is that My Dad was loved. I miss him everyday.

Books books and more books.

It seems an age since I last posted here.
Here, at the tinyholding we have had a roller-coaster of a few months.
I, myself, have been away, staying with my parent(s).
There comes a time in a child's life when you have to be the adult. Your parents have given their adulthood to raising you and the rest of the family and it is time to return the favour.
It will rarely be a happy occasion that brings this about but it will inevitability happen. Hence a prolonged absence from the tinyholding for myself.
However, more about that later.
Back to life on the ranch.
The house still is still in dire need of expanding walls. Where on earth do we accumulate all this "stuff"?
Have the Mummy and Daddy books been up to no good under cover of darkness? Austen and Shakespear springing forth volumes of Charlie and Lola? Or do they split, amoeba like, in the dead of night? Perhaps they spit out wee little volumes if fed after dark in a gremliesque manner? What ever is happening we do seem to be climbing some sort of literary mountain, unfortunately I don't mean this in a metaphoric sense. We could build a whole new house with the many paperbacks that I hoard.
I know I should be whittling down the library but I just can't part with the written word.
Somewhere, someone had an idea! They then expanded the idea into a dream. They wrote it down, slaving over each word and sentence. It was edited, published bound and illustrated. How on earth am I to put that aside and dispose of other peoples work?
I love books, can you tell?
I have ever encouraged the barefoot babes to follow in my footsteps. But of course no two people are the same. Hence a whole new collection of genres and authors.
I have recently parted with so many children's books that they have simply outgrown.
Board books, touchy feely books, musical books, books with just pictures, books with silly stories, books with simple rhymes, books with clever rhythms and melodic tomes.  Everyone loved and read over and over. If my children take one magical memory from their smaller years I hope it is the melodic tone of their mother reading to them until the drifted off to sleep. Many of the books have found a new home. However, I couldn't part with "snuggle down ducklings".
I have also retained all the hardback beauties that we have sighed over together. Children's classics such as Milly Molly Mandy, Little Alfie, Flower Fairies, Brambly Hedge, Winnie The Pooh and Peter Rabbit.

Then we have the mountain of practical theory books I require. Herbalism, massage, aromatherapy, botany, reflexology, not to mention physiology and anatomy. There are many to help one dispose of pesky insomnia. Wonderful bedtime reading.

Who can resist a craft book? Cross stitch, patchwork, quilting, sewing, painting, spinning, dying, cooking, gardening, all of them requiring a good book to show you the way.

I have come to the conclusions that I will never be able to part with these friends. So the next project? Bookshelves......I wonder if I should buy a book about building them?

While I ponder this conundrum. Spend five minutes looking at this bookish extravaganza !