A childless womb

Maybe, because of my collaboration and befriending with many mummy bloggers, through my social media work with Orchard Toys, I have come to meditate more on my childless state.

Maybe reading your blogs, looking at your photos and tweeting with you about your children, the days out with your children, their childhood illnesses and the loss of your children,  has made me think that there’s something missing in my life, not having a child of my own. Not, that is, to continue my ‘line’, I don’t give a toss about that, but a living being that would need me, that I could teach, and from whom I could learn. A child that would give meaning to my life.

I was never one of those women who felt the need to procreate. To be honest, the thought of swelling up like a  whale, was never appealing. The thought of the actual birth really didn’t do anything for me either.

I had friends, when I was in my 20s, who decided to go through the experience of carrying a child and childbirth, because God had given them the body to do it. They wanted to experience being pregnant, and they wanted to have a baby. The man was just the means to the end.

I always thought that to love somebody and to have their child was the ultimate experience, but somehow I was never in the right place at the right time.

Many articles have been written about the menopause. All the different ways it affects the female body, but I have never, ever seen any articles about how it can affect you mentally. That is if you are childless. Knowing that the your body clock is ticking, that the ‘change of life’ is imminent and that you are childless.

I had always thought, at the back of my mind, that I would have children. We all think that don’t we?  Coming to terms with the onset of the menopause and the realisation of  “Well, that’s it, no babies for me” is quite something to come to terms with. Why don’t journalists write articles about it? Why isn’t counselling available?

Still, I have got past that all now and am looking towards another milestone in my life, retirement. How will I cope after having been brought up with a strong work ethic? Suddenly to find that I am not ‘earning my living’ any longer? To not have to get up in the morning to go to work? How will I cope, with the sudden change in my regime?

About this I have no fears. I have many projects, as you will see if you follow my blog. It will be a new world of learning about life, and myself, and I welcome it with open arms.

Photo of the week – Long-tailed Tit

I was just going out of my back door and I saw this lovely long-tailed tit in my rambling rose. Fortunately my camera was in the porch so I grabbed it and managed to get a few shots before it flew off. It’s not brilliantly in focus, but I’m happy having managed to get it in the frame, as they move so quickly!

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Photo of the week kindly hosted by htpp//teamlloyd.com/ Why not pop over there and see lots more photos?

Team Lloyd

A red letter day

Friday, day off, yippee.  Plans to clean out the greenhouse and prune my roses went awry during the yearly visit from my plumber, to service the boiler.

Last week I discovered that everything, yes, everything on the shelf under the sink was sodden and all rather strangely coloured blue!  Closer inspection revealed a packet of those blue thingeys that you put in the toilet had burst open and had mixed with the water leaking from the sink bowl, with the colourful result. As it appeared to be a slow leak from around the plug hole, I was confident that my plumber could sort it out in a jiffy.

How wrong can you be? After backing out from the bowels of the sink unit Chris, the plumber, had bad news. Yes, he could solve the leak around the plug hole, but there was a hairline crack in the sink and, worse than that, water was steadily dripping from the hot and cold pipes feeding the tap. All that water was dripping down and saturating everything at the bottom of the sink unit. *Groans* Luckily it was where I kept old Tshirts, etc., to use as rags, so they had soaked up a good bit, but judging by the blue colour on the pipes, it looks as though they had been leaking for some time. You’ll need a new tap unit he said, and we should replace those old pipes with flexible ones, and it’ll be difficult to do that with the sink in place……

So, while he was doing his bit in the boiler room outside, I was surfing the net looking for a cheap replacement sink and monoblock mixer taps. *Groans* again.

The one consolation for  my lost day was… Eureka… a beautiful new laid egg!! Dear ol’ Polly, my Light Sussex hen, had laid her first egg for 5 months. Probably be the only egg this year, the way things are going. Still, we have to be thankful for small mercies.

The Gallery – Boys

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The Gallery is kindly hosted by Tara over at Sticky Fingers blog.

Until about 18 months ago, I had three boys in my life.  Now, I have just the one, Max my horse. He is a thoroughbred cross Welsh, and is 19 this year. He is my best mate and my loveliboi!

Sadly, I haven’t ridden him for ages. What with the rain, wind, fog, ice and snow the weather hasn’t been good enough for me to get out for a hack. I’ve reached the age when I am a fairweather rider. It’s no fun going out and getting wet through or frozen to the bone! So roll on warmer weather!

Thoughts on a Big Project

One of my last projects for the winter was to strip out the shelves and wallpaper in my kitchen pantry and redecorate it the same colour as the kitchen. But then I started this blog and, ever since, every spare minute has been taken up trying to get to grips with WordPress! My learning curve has been, and still is, vertical!

At the end of April I will be retiring (yippee) so I will be able to put some real time into my Big Project, the garden.

22 years ago, when I had all but given up hope of finding a place where I could keep my horse at home,  I found my dream cottage through a friend.  I was in the right place at the right time and I could just afford the mortgage on this little ‘attached’ cottage with stables, outbuildings and a turnout paddock. Luck was on my side as I found a buyer for my house the day after I had placed the ad in the paper and in just over six weeks, my horse, two cats and I moved in.

Luckily the garden was a blank canvas, with only a few fruit trees and  shrubs. Over the next 10 years I toiled hard creating flowerbeds, planting hedges and shrubs.. It wasn’t on a par with the Lost Gardens of Helligon, but it certainly felt like it!  I planted over 60 old roses, and constructed a rose tunnel and trellises for them to climb through. The perfume on a summer’s evening was overwhelming.

Just a few images of my garden 12 years ago…

Garden 2000 Buff Beauty

Garden 2000 C

Garden 2000 D

Garden June 200

Cottage garden 2000 A

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That is what it looked like in its heyday.This is what it looked like last year…

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Clematis viticella

As you can see the roses have all, but a few, died. They are high maintenance. They need to be sprayed for greenfly and against blackspot, fertilized and dead headed regularly. I just didn’t look after them as I was too busy going for long rides on my horse. The garden was neglected for too many years. The black spot gets into the stems, the leaves all fell, and the roses died. So sad. I had worked so hard on getting my old rose collection established, then I neglected them. Sad too, that now I’m going to have time to look after them, I can’t replant new roses where the old ones were. That is, not unless I replace something like two cubic metres of soil for each rose. This would just not be feasible!

Luckily the Cecile Brunner and the Rambling Rector, on the other side of the garden have survived. Can’t think why because they’re planted next to my neighbour’s conifers that take all the moisture out of the soil. They are beautiful…

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So, the challenge is, what to plant in all the gaps!