Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Onwards and upwards - hopefully ...

Last night, we finished off the Gardener's Pie with some onion gravy and peas, it was delicious, if a little too much!. 

Whilst the oven was on yesterday, I roasted vegetables for some soup today. We had a hearty portion each with some garlic and tomato paste flat bread.

I also made some combined, rye, white and linseed bread, so my kitchen smelt lovely. Whilst the bread was rising, we went out for a small walk. 

That's the thing I like about making bread by hand, you are free to do other stuff. My bread takes up to 2 hours for its first rise so we can do whatever we want then. We have even gone out shopping, forgotten about it, gathered it up, smacked its overgrown bum hard to deflate it etc. Then it takes around another hour for its second rise. 

Thanks for all your interesting comments yesterday. It's nice to know others are in the same predicament and learn what we are all doing about it. 

Following on from my post on Tuesday, here are a few more changes, the first of which is mainly related to us women.

Change 4. There are quite a few changes that take place in the body of a woman, before, during and after the menopause. I may be past that stage of my life (thank heavens) but here are the changes I have noticed (well the ones I can write publicly about).

Hair: My hair is not so much thinning as receding from my temple areas. This appears to be male hairline loss rather than female according to what I have read (yes folks, apparently some women do get male pattern baldness). There is certainly a little more hair than there used to be in the plug hole after washing it.

Skin: The skin on my lower legs has begun to take on a silver sheen. The lady who does my massage says I need to use oil and sea salt to rub off the dead skin before moisturising it. Haven't yet gotten around to doing that but must give it a try.

It is often said (despite some women having a face lift) that you can always tell the age of a women by her hands and neck. I think that is true from what I have seen. When moisturising my face, I have always done it, plus all my neck down to my chest. The reason for doing so was hearing Margaret Thatcher say she wished she had done so, as she felt her chest area showed her age.

Also, my hands, despite often putting lotion on them, are a constant battleground of dryness. It seems no matter how often they are moisturised, they still look and feel dry.

Change 5. This one has gradually crept up on us both but when we used to visit DB,s parents, we noticed they always had everything to hand, on quite a cluttered table, near to where they sat and thought “blimey, why ever do they do that?”.

Well now we know, because we too are doing so. It isn't just laziness but convenient and more practical. Part of the reason I think is we are feeling it more, constantly getting up, plus to some extent Change 6!

Change 6. Memory. We are great believers in “use it or lose it”. It is very easy to worry that you really are losing it (or have something dreadful to 'look' forward too). 

Words quite simply go walkabout between your brain and mouth. We find ourselves using the words 'thingy' or 'whatsit' more often. Worse still, your partner who is in the same state, knows what you are on about it but also can't find the correct word at that moment in time to help you! Mind you, our walking partners say the same thing, so it isn't just us.

Often, we make each other jump by saying the word out loud, quite out of the blue, as you finally remember it some minutes or often hours later. Great pride is taken in letting each other know we have remembered :o)

Another memory thing is walking out of a room to do something, such as going to put the kettle on, only to get into the kitchen and forget why you've gone in there! We have both found it helps to go back into the room you've just left and usually (but not always) the reason for leaving becomes apparent.

On occasions, we have gone to make a pot of tea and either forgotten to put the tea in the pot – not detected until you pour out clear water. Or, worse still, one time quite a few years ago, I put the tea leaves in the kettle and then wondered when I came to pour out from the tea pot, where the tea was! That took a bit of cleaning out I can tell you.

Following a line of thought is another tricky thing. We are beginning to put our hand up in front of us, especially when we are trying to remember something and the other one of us wants to mention something. Eventually, the train of thought pulls into the mouth station and connects. Unfortunately by then, the other one has forgotten what they were going to say. Hey ho! You can't help but laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all.

Lists are certainly becoming useful. I keep thinking I might have a little book on a chain dangling from my waist like a chatelaine! 

Ah, the joys of getting older and there are many good things as well as those more annoying ones already mentioned. We like to watch quiz shows to keep us as sharp as we can be, read, do things, keep occupied etc. As each day melds into the next, our calendar gets looked at more than it used to.  If we have forgotten to strike off a day or more, we aren't always sure what day it is until we hear the news, though I think that is more to do with not working rather than memory.

We are free to do what we want, when we want. We get braver as we get older as far as speaking our mind goes, yet we get less brave with regard to taking physical risks. We all know we can get up on a chair to look for something high up, climb a ladder, or jump a small wall. We just don't always take the risk due to that nagging voice that seems to say 'careful, you might hurt yourself'

One of the things we have both noticed, and still notice since giving up work, is the slight guilt complex when doing nothing, or very little. If I sit to read a book for more than a chapter or so, I think I shouldn't be doing it. The guilt feeling is diminishing but is still a little annoying. 

With regard to list making, daily as well as long term things. Now we understand why our parent/grand parents had days for things, such as wash day, iron day, shopping day etc. It just makes life easier. Whilst we both acknowledge why they did it, our days are not so set in concrete. We are different to our ancestors, but in others, we are very similar.

Other more personal bodily changes also take place, which are best not discussed here, except perhaps one. I was once at an open market walking past a stall, thinking about what I needed when the chap said 'cheer up'. Actually I was quite cheerful but am at that age where facial muscles relax, and the corners of your mouth turn down, so I do have more of a look of not being cheerful. Mind you, I'm not sure I want to grin inanely all the time either! Needless to say, he lost the sale he was about to make!

If you are reading this and find yourself laughing out loud, just remember, that in a few years time, when you do so, you might need to keep your legs crossed – just to be on the safe side! Oops:o)


  1. I read somewhere that forgetting where you have put your car keys is ok but forgetting how to use them is not.
    I m afraid that I have always had a bit of brain fog - it is worth getting your thyroid checked if you think it is getting worse.
    I think being retired sometimes you get a bit relaxed and let your mind wander and the result is your thoughts are a bit scattered but also some of your best idea happen in these situations.
    dry skin is a problem but I never use any cream that lists water as the first ingredient (except on my face)
    I m 70 next birthday - I think it is so important to keep up with technology and not become grumpy about the younger generation etc.
    I think some elderly become bitter and that is something to be avoided.
    I would, as a woman, admit to some pelvic floor issues but the exercises I have been given seem to be helping. (Hope this is not too much information ! )

  2. The technology issue is certainly one I agree with. Luckily for us, our son is in that line of work so keeps us up to date as does DB, who likes to read things and pass them on. Can't get to grips with it all but we enjoy trying to keep up. That is also why I went to uni a few years ago to do my degree. I had the time, the need and still the brain power to tackle it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. Yes, when I sneeze my radiator leaks and the exhaust back fires! How embarrasing

  4. I'm almost 41 and I'm beginning to see the beauty of the logic of #5. :-) I feel like if I am working on something I spend more time hopping up and down...very frustrating.

  5. Hello I've just found your blog and as I read through this post I'm going 'yes! OMG Yes! Us too! me too! ' I'm 61, other half is 62 (yesterday actually) and we both retired from the Health Service 2 years ago. we are finding exactly the same things happening to us. And though we are both very busy people - stitching/ fishing/ fiddle&melodeon playing/ Molly Dancing/ writing/ cooking/ gradening...oh, AND LOOKING OUT FOR MY MUM....WE STILL FEEL THAT LITTLE TWINGE OF GUILT WHEN WE HAVE A QUIET DAY AT HOME DOING.....NOT VERY MUCH THAT ISN'T PURELY SELF-INDULGENT. BUT WE MANAGE TO OVER-RIDE THE GUILT FEELINGS! OH I'M SORRY, I'M NOT SHOUTING, JUST CLIPPED THE CAPITAL KEY AND REALLY CAN'T, at half past midnight, be bothered to untype it all! Now I'm going to further indulge myself by reading through your archive! Cheers...a fellow Norfolk blogger!

  6. Hi, Just catching up on some blog reading and your post has made me laugh out loud!! How true it is and your observations are spot on! I feel as if I am turning into my mum!
    About the guilt thing, doing nothing, I definitely have a problem with that, I find it very difficult as I feel I should always be doing something.X

    1. I was laughing myself whilst typing it, at the absurdity of it - legs tightly crossed of course!


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