Saturday, 25 November 2017

WAD - World AIDS Day 2017



It will be WAD – World AIDs Day – 2017 soon.
Most issues have a week- we only have a day.

1st December!!


I feel I have to say something, if not for anyone else but for myself.

When I was diagnosed with HIV and indeed my husband before me, little did I know I would enter a world that before then I did not know existed. A world that few do, unless they live with HIV or are directly affected because a partner, friend, family or a loved one does.



I stupidly thought I did know.

As I lost a friend to AIDS in 1984, who was a long time before that and before he came out, was in fact a once lover of mine. He died before the wonderful meds that keep us now alive existed.

And then I qualified as a youth worker with a specialisation in sexual health.
Probably due to his death and how it happened affecting me hugely, so when I had the choice in my work as a youth worker, I always worked with HIV issues.
I was involved in running HIV awareness youth workshops in the 90s. I worked to do this with those then living with HIV. I still have the paperwork and the handouts – so little we knew then and then there was no effective medication.
I also helped organise and run HIV awareness events at the then City hall in Truro, Cornwall in about 1993.

But I did not get it, even so.
But my mistake was in thinking, when I was diagnosed that all had changed now. The awareness attempts I  had been involved in, In terms of stigma, and awareness had worked, more than it had.

And in terms of those that live with HIV dying before their time, in terms of suffering, hardship and the daily challenges of those that do was a thing of the past.

I thought by the time I was diagnosed it was a different ball game. That the meds totally worked, for all,  that stigma had gone, that it would be OK for me to be open – I could not feel I could do anything else but be open anyway due to my friend who was and died in the 80s, but I thought it would be a very different and OK thing for me to be so.

I was wrong.
It is different, but it has not moved on as I assumed it had.

On the very good side I have met, either online or indeed in person, with such wonderful people that my life would not have otherwise caused me to meet. And all over the world, mostly online but some in person.

I was introduced to a huge world I never knew existed and at a time that yes, in my then early 50s, I was beginning to get entrenched and less flexible in my views.
Well for me HIV changed that.
I do not find it possible to be fixed in my views, nor blind to others experiences when living with HIV.

It confronts you with different issues, different people, different realities every single day. Well maybe not all, but it does me.

In more recent years, 6 /7 I have been blessed with interacting with so many people from counties in Africa who live with HIV. Mostly South Africa, but also Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique and more.
I did not target any country or origin. Just those also living with HIV, like me and my husband. But many I met were from other countries than myself.
All over the world!! Probably, almost, every country in the world I now know someone living with HIV.

But two of the groups I am an admin in were joined by mostly those in African countries.
I do not think I will ever be blessed to go there. But I think I understand at least some of the issues they face, and they have given me so much.
I have also ‘met’ so many from all around the world.
And it is a funny thing but in the social media world, we know each other well despite never meeting or likely to.

But I have also lost so many.

Some actually due to AIDS, despite the current medications,  and some in the last few months. There has been a lot of deaths recently in the HIV online community. I do not know why.
But maybe in some cases because those that have been battling for so many years are now aging, and despite what many think , even with the current wonderful medications HIV takes a toil on your health others who are not living with it do not have?

Many were diagnosed before these medications existed and others were diagnosed late. Others did and still do not!! not have access to such medications, others they no longer work for, others refused to take them.

A few I knew even here in Cornwall. One lost her battle just 2 years ago who would not take them and another who the meds no longer worked, others that got co-morbidities, caused by the meds or HIV directly,. Those with HIV get cancer and cardiovascular, kidney and liver issues plus HBP, Diabetes, bone issues far more than those without. Plus many others online.

Two I knew,online, died in the last month.
One I know now is battling right now and I am told will probably not make it.

A very long term survivor. Diagnosed initially with GRID - Gay-related immune deficiency - as they did not know then about HIV and that this was causing it and the majority, if not all, known then, were gay.

It must have been very hard to be diagnosed, when heterosexual and male, at a time it was seen as a gay only condition in America, when he is heterosexual and at the time married. This, he said, caused him a lot of problems with stigma, wrong assumptions about how he got it, even treatment. And sadly his wife did not make it, she died of AIDS, at a time most did not accept women got HIV.

He can be very 'difficult' to know, well for me. And he blocked me many times.
I never said an unkind thing to him, not ever.
But he is so very sensitive, lives in a very different world from me and I can be blunt.

But I am very fond of him.
And very sad another warrior is struggling.

 I guess my point or writing this at all is HIV has not gone, nor sadly has death via AIDS or due to complications of living with HIV and some so very young.
I am in my 60s I am very lucky to still be relatively OK and I so know this.

And that sadly  new diagnoses are still happening and to live with it is pretty dire, wherever you are in the world it is not good, but in some places it is very bad.

I have good medication from the NHS. No social support I only find this online but my medical care is good.
But I am lucky, as I live here in the UK. I talk to those every day that are still on medication that I was on myself up to 9 years ago that if I was still on it I would either be out of my mind or physically in a very bad way. I have bone problems due to it and kidney problems and it sent me totally loopy.

All now recognised side effects including the fact it crosses your blood/brain barrier and causes mental health problems. Some it causes psychosis. I was affected and near to this. But when it got really bad I had the option to change meds as other ARV medications had come online within the NHS by then. Also I changed to another med when my kidneys started to be damaged - too late for my bones but at least my kidneys and mind is relatively OK!!

But many in many parts of the world do not

All too many in the world I talk to have no choice but to take this and other older  medication.
It is all that is offered under their countries HIV schemes. Often funded by aid and only generic versions – which is a different issue again
But like I had to when that was all that was offered, they have to take it.
As anything is better than the alternative.

An alternative I saw when my friend died in 1984 and when, not so long ago I watched my own husband nearly die of AIDS.

This is a draft.

Just my first thoughts. I may add to it.
But I wanted to start to get them down

 



Sunday, 1 January 2017

What do I have. Apart from HIV?

At 16 I was diagnosed to be a psychopath. Actually I was first called psychopathic at 12
Try having that as a diagnosis? At that age??

Despite the fact I have never knowingly or deliberately harmed another person physically or mentally, ever, but that is that is what I have as a diagnosis/label .

I think now it would be called a 'personality disorder'? Which does not carry the stigma psychopath does..3
But .......I had to live with this label most of my life.

And that they call it something else now, does not really help me much

Well I can agree I am a bit odd
But to live with this has been so dire.

And then to get HIV in my 50s really was the last straw for my sanity. But I am trying I am really trying.

But think how it is to live stigmatized your whole life??
I was put in an asylum - it was that then -  and later once admitted to a then so called 'theraputic community'

The Henderson. Did me a lot of good. Taught me how to live with what I have and make a good life

But I never appreciated the then head psychiatrist, when I was there for a year - Stuart Whitely and his colleagues who I also met.......~Writing  the book, about us, that he called  'DEALING WITH DEVIANTS'

Just because he could and got credit for his work.


Dogs, drugs, bands and Chocolate - and other New Year ramblings about my life

Panic over. While cleaning up today and moving and putting away, Christmas decos, sweets, pressies etc. without thinking, while tiding put a small bit left of a chocolate bar lower., that had been safely, with all the chocolate, up high, out of animals reach,

None of our dogs like or will go near chocolate. But we have a guest dog that does, is mad for it!

Maybe its like an addiction for them? Something like alchohol, or speed, tobacco you may find distasteful to smell and even taste a tiny bit until by accident or because someone fed it to you it, ( or you thought it was cool LOL!!) you get addicted!!?


Certainly worked this way with me..


Well not speed, weed, coke, etc. Well it did all of this and more, as but only because it was 'cool'  I did it because it was 'cool' and weed makes me very sick!! So sick I have no idea why I did it more than once?? Even now it makes me sick.  Speed though once I got over the distaste of shoving it down my throat or snorting it, I really so liked it, for a while.

But while tried it all at 13 onward, I have long, since my mid 20s, knocked this on the head, thankfully . But I can rationalise and a dog cannot LOL!

Wish I could now over my later, and sadly legal, addictions

I totally once hated the smell of tobacco. And growing up in the 50s, everyone smoked. We were brought up on cigarette smoke!
My dad was a chain smoker so I hated it. Even our walls and ceilings were yellow with it and my mum did not smoke and did her nut trying to clean the place and keep it nice and smelling nice. As she was partially sighted, this was very hard on her.

So while then on  social occasions then hold a cig in my hand to look cool or take a drag of someone else's - it truly was cool then, believe it or not - it was only for effect on my part.

I did not actually smoke until my early 30s. But at first only socially. To be fair I could not have called myself a smoker at all until I met Barry who is, like my father was, also a chain smoker and is to this day.

I do not see us as joined at the hip. I do not think I am at all. I have spent most of our married life apart from him anyway as she was a seaman. It was only when he retired, when he got HIV, when they basically chucked him out, that he has been home all the time.

But I guess having the odd drag of his, more and more frequently, just to 'join in'?? finally got past my distaste and to the addiction stage????
I so wish I could stop it now, and he. It will kill us both. Worse think you can do if you live with HIV is to smoke tobacco.

I also hated alcohol as a kid. My dad was also an alcoholic. I am not just saying this but he was, but was a functioning alcoholic. This can be harder for all concerned in some ways - as functioning alcoholics rarely seek help until they stop functioning???

He never did, when he died at 80 he had two business on the go and still drinking!!!. And did not die from anything alchohol or smoking related!

But not saying when very young and stupid I did not give both a go.

Which led to some very amusing situations where my very drunk father - he was drunk every night - drove out to Newbury or Basingstoke ( we then lived in Kingsclere which was half way between both and I went out to both to see bands etc)  out to get his - sometimes, but not indeed always by far as it was not really my thing - drunk daughter from 13 years old onward, while totally off his tree himself!!

About 9 miles to Basingstoke , 8 to Newbury. Thankfully a straight road. And in those days, little traffic after 9pm.

The funnest one I remember, and I was sober and had not had anything at all that night. Was when he picked me up from Newbury Plaza, The Cream I thank I had gone to see?
YEP - Found it!! it was the Cream  14th April 1967 http://www.whereseric.com/eric-clapton-tour/14/04/1967

And I was about 14 and was there.

And when my dad arrived after, he was when he arrived, paralytic!!
I doubt he could even see!!!!

On the way back he somehow strayed off what was a very straight road from Newbury, through Kingsclere on to Basingstoke.
How anyone could stray from that road I do not know. But he did?

And in the side lane he had got into he drove into a ditch, , front wheels first.
But by chance it was just outside the farmers house? I went and knocked - my dad was slumped at the wheel and unconscious by then. I was not alarmed, it was not unusual -  and the farmer came out................almost as drunk as my dad!!!

 He sympathized with my father. Woke him up, got his tractor out and pulled our car out of the ditch.
Shared another whisky with him and somehow my dad drove me home!!
!

But you have to understand he was doing his best for me. There were no taxis then at night. He could not see his daughter just hang around until the first bus back - well I had and did in the summer, but he did not feel he could let me do so in the winter, this was April and very cold.

The buses any way in those days was only about once there and once back at day , at most twice each way. Which as the gigs were a Saturday, the next day would be a Sunday and there were no buses on Sunday on that route. And he could not stop me going out.
I was unstoppable in my bid to have a life and see the music I loved.

Unusually I went alone. I did not expect any other young women, certainly not any of the guys as they were so straight, I knew in my village to do what I did and they did not.

Very ironic to me now. As now I ain't even got the courage to go down my local pub on my own!!!!!!!!

If I could avoid him picking me up I would. I took the bus there then often hitched in the summer months, but that was not viable in the winter so would have to find a lift or call my dad. No mobile phones, I found the nearest phonebox. We were very lucky then as my dad had a business so we were lucky to have a phone in our home.Most then did not.

I would often get a lift from an older person back to Kingsclere, 
from Basingstoke or from Newbury, who was at the gig. I was very good at finding lifts.
Some, many,  I had to have sex with in return. But hey top me then, a lift is a lift.

Especially if it avoid being picked up by a very drunk dad or spending a night on the streets in the cold!!

 I once got a lift 8 miles home from Newbury on the back of a mods scooter. Poor guy, he lived in Newbury, took me all the way back to Kingsclear, for just one kiss!!!

But I found I did not like booze as we called it at all and my dads behavior put me right off it, so my experimentation with it was very early 13 to 15

But by my 20s I would drink on social occasions as did not want to seem like I was the party pooper but never more than one!! I really did not like it at all!

Barry when I met him was a real drinker. When I first met him he used to laugh at me as I would make one beer last a whole evening.

Still was a bit like this all our married life until he found out he had got HIV, because basically he had had sex when drunk and it is the drink he sees as to blame - not so sure.. However . Since then he has knocked it on the head

I am not saying I was squeaking clean, just that alcohol at that time was not my thing.

As I did start to appreciate a nice wine and once drunk all Barrys supply of wine when he left me on my own for our first Christmas and New Year together, in Ashton when I knew not a soul.

But it was not regular, by the time I was about 37 I would drink a bit of wine, but then I got pregnant and had a baby after that so did not bother. But one day I found, at around 45, why people drink it!!

Had my first hangover ever after my husbands 50th, 15 years ago!!!

And when I was at a very low ebb and then I found when I had my accident at 50, how while it does not kill pain it sure makes you forget it!! And the loneliness.
I have been addicted to alcohol ever since.

And I started to drink at the exact same to my daughter Caja, from a similar age from me,  also started doing the same as me at age 13 to about 17 when she moved away and got her car license .

As at about 13/14 She also started to go out from this small village to see bands/parties/whatever etc and call me to pick her up, sometimes in the early hours, when I was as by then a drinker . And I was at times drunk. Drunk when picking her up late at night, when drunk, just as my dad had done to me!!!!!! And a drunk in all other ways. Just as my father also was.

And she has never forgiven me.

It was not my fathers drinking that damaged me, not even stuff like nearly killing me several times because he drove me home drunk. I can forgive this and indeed at the time it did not matter. As I knew he picked me up because he cared.
It was the nasty things he said to me while drunk, that did the damage.

And sadly it is the same for my daughter about me!!

What goes around does come around, my mum used to say

Anyway back to the dog


As years ago had a rescue lurcher that was the same about chocolate. She would go mad for it so Christmas was a nightmare keeping it out of her way.

Yet our current dogs even find the smell distasteful. One once licked some left for a second, hoping it was tasty, but recoiled from it and she will eat anything!!

This guest dog is a rescue too and came to its human already with a chocolate addiction. It has sadly done it before at Christmas with its human family here and a few other times. Ate a whole chocolate cake once. Not its humans fault. Someone else left it within reach.

But due to having this guest dog, that we have often, so we know. We have been careful to keep all chocolate, even biscuits, up out of reach or in tins with with lids safely on and also up high - not that easy if you have a guest/guests that do not have dogs so do not understand. This is essential as this dog is tall enough to reach any work surface.

I forgot for just a minute and the dog ate the chocolate.

I did a check, body weight, amount eaten and it will be OK. There is little or no risk from the amount our guest dog ate.
If you want to check too, you can here. http://www.askavetquestion.com/chocolate_toxicity.php

Pity we cannot check at the time about the chances of damaging our children!!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

I do not have Bi-Polar at all


I don't have Bi-Polar. But I do have another labeled mental health issue that I have been long diagnosed with. At 15 and I am now 63. My poor parents were once told I'd never live a 'normal' life?

I am so very glad they both lived long enough to find I could and so very much did

- trained as a teacher and then a youth worker and I know I was useful to so many

And so grateful they died before they knew I had HIV.

Which
I can't cope with well, and so thankful they did not see me crumbing as I am now.

Well my mum did live a few years after my diagnosis but she was by then blind - She was partially sighted all her life but was blind by then and at the time of my diagnosis she had  has
Dementia , which I so fear too.

People with HIV, even with the now marvelous medications we have are  more likely to get
Dementia, and a lot of other things
And my mum her mum, her mum etc, etc, died of it

I value my brain above all else. But I may very well lose it

I have had many friends with Bi-Polar, and I have, over the years,  got on so well with those that do.

Once I even sadly had to call the mental health team/ambulance etc for a dear friend with it who was, sadly, having a very massive 'episode'. This was so very hard, I cannot explain how hard it was??

What a decision to have to make????
And then, from the very minute she was admitted, I fostered her child until she was well enough again to look after him again

- he is doing so well, been to uni, and a lovely person by all accounts. She is, as far as I know, good  now and settled with her partner. I am so thankful I could help.

But wish I saw her now. Or her son? If even just now and again.

She also helped me, and very big time, before this, and so very big time too.

When I had my accident and was so weak and ill - had an infection in my bones - and non weight baring anyway. I could not walk at all and my husband was at sea.

It was her that came to collect me from hospital and while I was in there as Barry was then at sea.
Actually I discharged myself. Another story of yet another abuse/lack of care by the NHS.

I was readmitted 3 days later with this infection and was critical on IV antibiotics for a few weeks, but thankfully not into St Micheal's ......where they had missed, how ill I was, despite me saying and saying!! I was suffering an infection

Yes I did. She saved my life by coming to get me that night. I would not be alive if it was not for her!!!!

And she had, in the meantime got all the things I needed at my home for when I returned to be able to survive once at home - aids like a wheelchair, perching stools, crutches, walking frame, toilet frame and seat, chair I could sit in etc, etc

And it did not end then.

She came up to see me daily. Every day for about 9 months, every day???!! I could not even walk then, nor often then get out of my bed. Pretty much no one else did I see. Excpept also Sandy - Sandy I cannot also thank you enough.


Even though up to the minute i fell off my horse and big time on that hill - and was airlifted to Treliske ( Royal  Cornwall Hospital) I thought I had loads of friends.

Well I thought so as they were here most days, eating my food,. drinking my tea and coffee, their kids riding my ponies, us sharing so much due to our kids being the same age??

But the day I fell off my horse that all ended

But this friend, no she carried on being a friend. She came to do the things others could not or would not do.
I did have a daughter but she was only 13 and at school, I tried not to put things on her, I so really tried. This friend, with Bi-polar, and struggling herself at the time. Came up to see me and fed my daughter almost every day.
I owe her a whole lot that I can never repay

And I also paid a carer, or rather a caring business, Penhellis http://www.penhellis.co.uk/ -- changed hands now so that they were lacking no one can do a thing about now.


The actual people that did the caring  got shit all --- to come in twice a day to get me up, get me to the loo ( if I had to go between the times her and my friend were here I had to crawl ) and give me a cup of tea.
I paid them quite a lot of money to do this

But one was outstanding Rachael. She also in my view saved my life. She went above and beyond the pittance she was paid to do her best for me.

But others , sadly no long out of my life, as either dead or are just not in my life any more, did so much also.

I owe my life that I still have it to the very few friends that were there then and stuck with me then.
Roma, Gelly, Sandy, Ali, etc .........what can I say or do? I can never repay and not at all now as some have since died

But I hardly ate as no one cooked me anything, this friend did get me some meals however, for which I was and am very grateful. But there were a lot of days I never ate anything.

But the bonus was I lost weight LOL!!

But my friend came in every day and of course for nothing.

And I also owe a debt to my other friend at the time that then lived in my caravan. She rented it, so was a tenant Sandy.

Who saw to my cats and dogs. When my daughter, understandably,  could not

Sadly I had to get rid of my then 5 ponies, my goats..loved my goats, chickens etc ..... either it was this or I would have inflicted cruelty on them , and this could never be allowed to happen

Jaffa he went to a riding stable as no way could I part with him. But the others, so sadly, to Barry Rowe a local horse dealer ......... https://www.facebook.com/groups/161532660715278/ it broke my heart .......I still wonder where they are? I loved those horses. Two of them I bred

But all my other friends just faded away!!

As all/most except them that love you do when you are on hard times and cannot give them what they want from you.

Even more have faded away since my diagnosis of HIV. Sad isn't it!!

I am guessing that why I do get on with those who have this, and have had many friends with it, because some of our behaviors, especially this in the meme below, are similar, so we understand each other. But because I do not have the manic phase, I can be level headed when they have been high, so have helped to hold those I know with it together and to get them help when need and reminded them to take their medication - when you have Bi-polar, someone who is not perturbed by how you are and 'gets it' to 'remind' you to take your medication is in fact so very important.

And I am so very glad that Bi-Polar is now beginning to be understood and be less stigmatised.

But sad for me that my diagnosis isn't at all.

Monday, 6 June 2016

I do not think I am cut out for the 'hospitality ' thing' ??

I do not think I am cut out for the 'hospitality ' thing'??


A very good friend at the time, Gelly, said when I first decided to let out Yurts, camping and the Studio flat to visitors 'are you sure? I am not sure you have the temperament for this?'

She was totally right, I don't. But I have done OK during the last 8 years or so.
As we/I had no choice.


We had both been diagnosed HIV positive??

Barry had lost his job and directly due to this. We had no money, few savings and a too big house and land to maintain and animals that depended on us.

And we were too traumatised at that point to even consider selling up and moving.~So we sunk the little savings we had into it and despite my 'temperament' we made it work!!!!!


But I guess now I have stopped my main business, the Yurts, I now have less patience?

The visitors three weeks ago seemed fine.
Except when as when they booked, it was as a couple I had only made up the one King size bed?

But when they arrived they did not want to share the same bed?? And said they thought it was a two bed apartment, when all my advertising plainly says it's a one room Studio flat!!!!

Even though she kept referring to him as her 'boyfriend'. She was aghast that she may have to sleeping the same bed with him!!

She was from Brazil he works for london transport and they were 49 and 50 years old, so not either young or I thought , inexperienced??

Not sure he realised she would not share his bed??

But OK , I made up the sofa bed and very quickly. But just wish they had made it clear before they arrived?

From then on it all went pretty smoothly.
And they were interesting visitors as visitors go.

As her grandfather was fascinatingly born and lived in Helston near us in Cornwall and she had always wanted to come here to see where he came from?? That is such great history and I chatted to her about her memories of her Cornish grandfather, who of course was a miner who once in Brazil for work, married a Brazilian girl and stayed and it was very informing and interesting!!

But I have to admit, I was a little taken aback, when she out of the blue,!!!!!!!!!!!!!

................. suddenly pulled me out of sight of her ' boyfriend' grabbed me by both hands, said ' I have something very important to tell you'

starred into my eyes and said - Jesus loves you, you are saved??

And tried to continue, still clutching both my hands and staring into my eye, telling me all about Jesus!! And how she knew and for sure, he had forgiven my 'sins'?

I was a bit relieved as I thought she was going to tell me about her sex life or lack of it, or to complain about the size of the room!!!! or that it was not 2 bedrooms??

I had no choice but to disengage from her and to say - but very nicely - so not to offend as I respect all peoples beliefs and religions and their rights to have them.

'Sorry I am not a christian and never will be? But I thank you so much for your thoughts.'


I have since realised she had looked me up on the internet - we supply free WiFi- and realised, as my name is easily Googled and we are open about this .......that we have both have HIV, that we live with HIV, and she then must have thought I am particular need of saving??

Very ironic as my husband got HIV from a women he met when working in Brazil ??

And I have been faithful to him since 1984!! what crap assumptions people make about those that live with HIV??

Not all are as religious as her or their religion says no to sex outside marriage - but each to their own? and I got HIV from sex, but with my husband who I am, of course, in any religion, 'allowed' to have sex with, without it being a sin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh well!! But her obviously staunch Catholicism explains why she was not willing to share a bed even at 49 years old and single, with the man who had paid for her ticket to England and was paying for her trip to see her roots.
But not sure he got it before he got here??

But that was OK. Their business , not mine.

So she, and he, mostly her, were fairly interesting. All went well during their stay. Until they left on the Saturday and the next people arrived the same afternoon for the flat?

I had spend since they left cleaning etc and it was a bit more dirty then than for most and with two beds to wash as well?

But fine. That is my job!

But it was not at all 'fine' in my book when the new visitors ran out of gas on their very first evening!!!!! -

I guess the women from Brazil felt the cold???? And OK I get this. but she burnt any profit we may had made that week and then some!!!

We have no mains up here so gas bottles does the heating and hot water in the Studio.

I had had two full 47KG bottles or propane connected when Mrs Brazil and partner arrived. Costing about £70 each. I usually recon in one bottle even in the middle of winter for the Studio flat, at most a week. But somehow it seems they had used two bottles??

Must have had the heating up full blast all 7 days and a shower two if not three times a day for both of them?? Cleaning away their sin perhaps as I am pretty certain they ended up sharing the same bed??!!! Do not ask me how I know this, TMI, but I do and they did!!!

But OK, this was their concern and the gas, I guess, it was not the new visitors worry it was ours.

So we panicked as we had no more gas bottles of that size that the Studio flat requires to effectively run the gas boiler. They are too big to collect ourselves and none could be delivered here until the following Wednesday. So we put a smaller bottle we use for our own gas cooker on it, Barry had to carry it, further hurting his bad back, and crossed our fingers it would do.

It did, thankfully. But we could not cook ourselves for a while. As could not get gas bottles delivered until the next Wednesday and then it was Sunday. But that was not their problem

As a family of two adults and two boys, paying to stay, they at the very least expect to have hot water and heating.

They were very good about it.~ that it took a while to get them hitched back on with gas.
~but it seems were not that enamored with what else we are offering in the studio?

The said in the visitors book..................

We have a lovely view but the Studio is too small?

Well we make it clear it's really suitable for couples but if you do want to save money on your family holiday and squash a couple of kids in as well, then that's fine by us and we will even supply the bedding and make up the Sofa bed.

But we can't make the room bigger!!!

They added we need to turn the sofa bed around so you can sit and look a the view while watching TV, or get a new sofa bed!

Totally impossible, there is not the room!? That sofa bed is the only one we have found that fits and it will only fit in one position - but heigh ho!!!

They further added that need to get a screen for between the king size bed and the sofa bed??

Well you are paying the price for a one bed Studio. And cheap even for that??

So in my view if you want to have nooky without your kids seeing , then I suggest you book a two bed apartment and pay the price for that, or just wait till you get home??

They also added that we need to get the lane fixed, as to bumpy and too narrow - Oh I soooooooooooo wish!!!!

We'd love to get the lane fixed!!!

It does not do our cars any good either.
Does anyone think we want to live up a lane that is like this??? If we had a choice???

But it is a 'non adopted lane/bridal way.
and not directly ours or any ones responsibility

~Yet in fact up until this year my husband went up and down the lane, every single year, for over 30 years!!!! filling potholes with concrete and bags of DIY ash-felt ....by hand.......for over 30 years!!

Occasionally others who use this lane have contributed something to keep it usable.

And in the many years until the last 10 years the farmer next door would occasionally get a load of ashfelt from a friend to fill the worse of the potholes and we would help him lay it.

But not in recent years and not ever our next door neighbors and not anyone as consistently as Barry for the last 30 years!!!!

But his back has now given out , finally. And he is just not capable of pushing wheelbarrows of concrete or whatever, up and down that lane!!

But we would always join in and contribute a fair share to get it solved.

But no one else who uses it seems to have any interest and some damage it far more than we ever have - i.e tractors, lorries and recently a JCB???!!!!!!!!!!!!! going up and down all the time, that really damages the lane etc.
When we have only ever driven cars up and down it??

But we cannot afford, not on our own, to put it right? To ash-felt, or whatever, it on our own, but we are here and always willing to contribute. If others would??

It seems no one else that uses it, has any interest whatsoever in paying anything to fix the lane??

This saga does not quite end there.


Those in the Studio until yesterday also did something that really got to me - they put toilet paper in the key hole in the door between us and filled up the gaps in the door with this and cushions and other stuff, between us and them?

To me this was a huge insult.??!
They could never hear any noise from us as we deliberately and carefully do not make any.

Hard to explain the situation - but

But the Studio we let was once our 'granny flat' for my mother in law.

It has its own en-suite bathroom, own heating, own front door. It is completely self contained from our house. But because it was built for our then over 80 year old MIL there was a connecting door built in between us to the house. For her then safety

But while we have not taken it out. As you never know when the Studio flat maybe needed for a one of us, a family member or a friend in need. In fact when I was in a wheelchair for 2 years or so I lived in there myself ........ with this door open between me and the rest of the house

But we have effectively since blocked it off, for all intents or purposes while we have strangers in there.

There is now a wardrobe over it on the Studio side.

Yes inside, when you open that cupboard, you can see the door, from that side. So I assume they thought we could hear or smell them and they us??

But on our side there is also another storage cupboard. Packed full of duvets, bedding towels and everything for letting the Studio and no noise or anything can get thought?

Least I did not think so?? We cannot hear or smell anything from anyone in the Studio and we are always very quiet.

I would love now and then to have a blast out from my stereo . Listen to music very loud and even now and then have friends around to do so with me.

But since we have let the flat, I have never dared and we creep around so as not to disturb anyone staying.

But what I am guessing happened this last week is...............

Barry sadly now has a very bad back. So unusually he was spending a lot of time on the sofa in the room just behind the Studio. He could not crawl upstairs, and he smokes, and a lot. especially when in pain. Then he smokes more.

OK we know he should not, for his health and it is not PC, But he does and it is his life and his ( and my) house??

But because we let out a small part of it to holiday visitors we have just have to suffer the huge embarrassment and the feeling that we are persons non grata, of our visitors stuffing toilet paper into the keyhole and around the door to keep out the smell, or noise, or whatever, from us???

And that is my point.

I am not suited to this 'hospitality ' lark. As it hurt me to be so non approved of.......by anyone.

Barry says 'stuff em ' and they know what we are offering and it is so very cheap ( when we go away anywhere we have never paid as little per night as our visitors do) and it is his business if he smokes or not etc.

But my feeling. If we let out any part of our house to anyone.......it is no longer our house?? Even though we struggled and for so many years to pay for it. As long as we have to let out even just part of it, it is not ours??
So wish we could afford not to do this at all anymore

But reality says ....we have no choice??

Not the end - to be continued