Monday, 1 June 2009

Reflections, a Rolf Harris moment, and why isn't my square, square... or flat?

Yesterday was the 23rd anniversary of my kidney transplant, and during the day I reflected on what had been happening at that time, all those years ago. I can remember it as if it were only last year... the panic when the early morning call came to tell me there was a kidney waiting for me at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge... the mad dash to take our sons to my inlaws who, very luckily, lived only a ten minute drive from the hospital... then once at the unit, I totally relaxed. Now anyone who knows me well will know what a revelation this was/is. I get anxious about going for check ups, going to the local surgery, white coat syndrome with knobs on, which doesn't help my already raised BP! But waiting to go into surgery, I felt so calm and peaceful, and at 2.30 that afternoon, after waiting four hours, down I went to theatre. I remember a lovely anaesthetist asking me to count backwards from ten... then nothing until that evening when I partially awoke to find my husband sitting where he had been all day, at my bedside, patiently waiting. He had actually been home to his parents, seen the boys and eaten a meal, but didn't stay away long. Every day I give thanks for this gift of life, it is just such a wonderful thing to give, and to receive. There have been a couple of news reports on local television about people who have had transplants recently and the rather unusual circumstances surrounding them. One had been waiting two and a half years, the other ten months. This is not long to wait at all, and I sometimes wish they would make a fuss of some of the hundreds of patients who have been waiting over five years, some many years longer, when they finally get a transplant that will transform their lives. Hundreds die each year, waiting....
So this is a copy of a very old photo of said in-laws, Gus and Ellen, taken at Southend a few years after WWII ended. Neither is with us now, lovely mum-in-law.... it was her birthday the day of my transplant, so she had been in my mind as well. She was my second m-in-law, and such a contrast to the first, a dragon-in-law if ever there was one. I always vowed I would be more like the second than the first... sadly, it turned out more the other way around I think! But I just love this photo, it always reminds me of a spiv and his girl, out for the day.... Dad laughed at that notion!
And this is a pretty nosegay picked from the garden to decorate the celebratory Sunday lunch table, a meal we cooked together... and now today I regret that extra bowl of home-made trifle!But in here are peonies, heuchera, nigella, mini foxgoves, dogwood foliage and three of the many wild poppies which grow every year down one side of the driveway. They range in colour from white through to deepest carmine pinky-red, with so many variations in between - pale pink edged with a dayglo pink, mauvey grey striped with pink or white. Of course, they only last a day inside, but even so.... there is also some red valerian in there, which grows down the other side of the drive, the space in the middle is getting narrower as the season progresses, thank goodness we don't drive one of these ugly, huge gas-guzzlers, there wouldn't be room!
And now for the Rolf Harris moment.....

Can you tell what it is yet?

I need help identifying this very tall shrub. Planted about eight years ago possibly, as a small 18 inch thing in a pot. Now it is between 12 and 15 feet tall, is a fabulous conical shape as I hope you can see by the picture below.

It is evergreen, has shiny mid-to-dark green leaves, and at this time of year produces delicate panicles of flowers, almost lily of the valley-ish in appearance, but not smell... they smell a bit soapy, not particularly pleasant, tiny creamy white flowers that open. Does anyone have a clue please?

The next query is this.. why isn't my crocheted square, square, or flat. It is a bit wavy as you can seen, and definitely not square. Maybe I am a tight worker and it's pulling. So I tried another deliberately working looser than is normal for me. Nope.. that didn't make any difference. So does anyone know why, please?
Hope you all had a fandabbydozy weekend, the lovely weather we should apparently be making the most of as this is the last day of the high temperatures and clear blue skies. For now anyway.


Arosebyanyothername said...

I think that your shrub might be a 'Cherry Laurel" Prunus laurocersus. If you Google it and look in Wikipedia you will see some nice illustrations.
As to your crochet if you could copy the instructions in a PM I will have a go at a square tonight and see what the problem is - if I can. It is probably something to do with the increasing rate.
Your garden sounds so floral - mine is very much a 'green' garden although I do have some flowers, notably a wonderful honeysuckle near the conservatory door which fills the air with a delightful scent in the evening, and my Wisteria over the pergola.
Congratulations on the longevity of your kidney transplant. No experience or knowledge of this but it sounds as if you have done rather well - long may you continue to do so.

pinkfairygran said...

Thanks for this.... have had a look and you could be right about the prunus, it does look similar. This is the first time it has flowered... late developer!... so I will need to wait and see what the berries are like to confirm. As for the square, I have a friend who has the same book I have for the squares,and is going to have a go... I did wonder about the increases since that is what is pulling it out of shape. Again, thank you..

Mid Life Hopes said...

Wow 24 years!!!!!, and I truly hope for 24 and more for you!!!!!
Lovely flowers, you know I am envious, and lord, I could never say what would be going on with the square. I am not gifted in that area at all...
I hope you can resolve the problem, but meanwhile, I will close my eyes and inhale the lovely bouquet of flowers, and wish you many more years of living, loving, and enjoying life.
By the way..Love the picture of your inlaws..
Hugs and smiles always
XX MLH : )

Mid Life Hopes said...

I meant 23, but hey, I just moved you forward another whole year. : )

gotta love me...(please)
My fingers get ahead of me at times..

: ) MLH

Pondside said...

I thought 'laurel' right away too, as I have a couple here that look an awful lot like that.
Sweet photo of your in-laws - they look so young and happy. I've had two mothers-in-law (husband's mother and step-mother) and not a keeper between them. I vowed to be a good one and so far, so good!

Pink Feather Paradise said...

Thank you for popping by, I love the vision of you spiralling around the washing post... I use to do that on my roller skates when I couldn't stop... I use to have those ones that you tied to your shoes... until my brothers took them apart and screwed them to pieces of wood to make skateboards!

I think it may be a prunus too, I will check my books later, and the crochet square may be a increase problem.. but blocking it might help... I have never blocked but it involves pinning it out and lightly steaming it.. without touching it with the iron.. or make it damp and let it dry.. (I think) I love old photo's I am trying to gather photo's of all my family members.. aunts and grandparents etc... They always look so well turned out and daper!

Happy anniversary and love and hugs for many more to come...

x Alex

Calico Kate said...

Useless person today as I can't help with either the crochet or the plant!
Happy Birthday to the kidley though!

Anonymous said...

You had me in tears at, "Yesterday was the 23rd anniversary of my kidney transplant," and then it just kept going for me. The tenacity of the human spirit and the longing to LIVE, is so innate for us as humans, stories like yours make me cry the good tears. Your MIL looks like a doll! I hope to be like her to the girls who marry my boys, how I hope I can be a gift and not a dragon!!

vanessa said...

I wonder, if you block it, it might be tamed into a square? I've got that book, and it's superb, isn't it?
Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

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