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Very severe flashes of light; I thought it must be migraine. Now includes or replaced by heavy floaters, in the right eye only.

Not sure if my own Sword of Damocles has started to fall, or at least slip. I was told to go to hospital if this happened so, if it gets worse, I'll phone them or go to their A & E.

Update; apparently the condition is caused by gel separating from the retina, inside the eye. Not painful, but these symptoms are identical to those of retinal detachment - after I got back from hospital I was trying to sleep in a pitch dark, curtain-closed bedroom. With my eyes closed the flashing was comparable to having a lighthouse just outside, or lightning flashing with every pulsebeat ...

Some time ago an F'lister found a large lump and wrote about boob-mice. There's something there to remind me, but it's difficult to describe - the process leaves "floaters", especially a tangled, dense thingy that looks and moves a lot like a jumping spider. (Creep, creep, cre... Hop! and it pounces on whatever I'm looking at.

Anyway, I'd better get used to the spyder or I might swerve to avoid something that isn't actually there. I've been very strongly warned not to fall. The tugging of the gel can detach the retina and a knock or a jolt could make the difference.

There may be other tricky after-effect. I evidently slept for 12 hours after returning from hospital - the downside is that they were from about 5.30 a.m. to 6p.m.

Anyway, I must start getting on with things - it looks as though there's a lot that I'll still be able to get on with.

Prayers of gratitude are top of the list.

A winter of changes. A summer of ...?

It's getting easier to use the journal again now that I'm adjusting to this new laptop. I would never have thought that one day I'd be using a machine with hard plastic taped over its touch-pad because it's ticklish, but if I don't protect it the cursor jumps, wriggles and it's clearly only a matter of time before it hits something vital and deletes it.

So now I'm updating in arrears. I was there for the last moments of one of my old gardens. I was passing to go to the supermarket, heard the machines and ... just had a feeling about it. I'm not sure why I went down the ramp.

It was the front garden, the one in the icon. So I was standing, helplessly, while it was returned to the nitrogen cycle. I tried to get cuttings but it was the wrong time of year and, as far as I know, nobody ever managed to strike or save a cutting from the tough old honeysuckle that made up most of the hedge.

A honeysuckle hedge is a lovely feature; it isn't self-supporting but it will run joyously over almost any kind of fencing material. (It's also possible to have it growing over one little section that slides along and back, so the garden apparently has no entrance unless you know exactly how to do it)

28 years - at least, I was there for that long. I've been here since 2010 so the gardens at the old place were about 32 years old. (I got the huge golden rose the month N was born.)

They were strips of mud and rubble when I moved into the old place, as fertile as a wet brick. (I terraformed them both; the back garden was so bad that it needed methods from a Heinlein book - strips and pockets of fertile soil together with earthworms begged from a friend in Addlestone. The worms clean and colonise the surrounding ... stuff. You can judge when soil becomes wholesome by the colour of your earthworms.)

Afterwards I was trying to get the old laptop to work well enough to make a post about it; however, when I read my f'list a friend's beloved pet had died on her birthday, and she wrote, "As though he had waited for me". I cried a bit when I read that, and then a little more every time I thought of those words over the next few days.

The other side of the building is completely fenced off. I have no idea whether the back garden, with its wall of scented golden roses, is still living or not - but I brought a lot of that one with me.


Farewell to my garden,
the bulldozers roll,
To take down the place
that gave balm to my soul.
The place full of birdsong,
the place full of quiet,
(the border of roses,
that saved me from riot.)

Farewell to the fuschias,
they've grown into trees,
bedizened with bells
that ring quiet in the breeze.
Farewell to the place
that my heart loves the most,
While the trumpets of daffodils,
Sound the Last Post.
and now

This has been a grand year for roses, so far. "R's rose" (the big Rosa Schoolgirl by the fence) flowered so early that it's already over; I must prune and hope for a second flush of blossom.

The Dreaming Spires are gorgeous, this year. I have those front and back, here. One is espaliered against the bungalow wall, in front, and the other three are against the wall that runs between me and the school playground. I could see them peeping over the top when I went into the school to vote.

May. 27th, 2014

It seems to be nice and quiet out there tonight - not that it made any difference. I woke at midnight anyway...


foxes - and the night has almost fled.

E Moon quote
It's been quiet and peaceful since about 3 a.m. Not a squeak or a yap.

I felt so guilty about using the flash camera to scare the fox-cubs. Then I took the trash out - and the half-grown cubs were almost directly outside; they stopped playing, bounced away from me and dived into the bushes, all in perfect silence! Apparently they've worked out what the problem is and adapted.

A pity that all the neighbours children aren't that bright!
sleepy - bright_light
I finally got the new laptop working (too late to wish a friend a happy birthday on the right day.) It's Windows 7 because everyone told me that's better than Windows 8.

Windows 8 must be truly dreadful.
Computerless days

and the long chatless nights
The songs are too sharp
and the city shines bright.

The foxes are yipping,
It's not quite the loneliest sound.
Went out with a camera,
and that's when they all went to ground!
There's four little cubs,
When they flee it's the funniest thing.
But I did my duty,
'Cos no-one can sleep when they sing.

I can't get a picture
the lighting is wrong for the flash.
It's best that the cubs learn
that bothering humans is rash.
a flash-photo startles,
so playing cubs may become rare.
But worse could be waiting
if they go on yapping out there.

(There's a real risk that a fox-cull may be coming because of the fearless beast; it's the beast's attitude that scared people - so using the camera to scare the cubs seemed the best way to stop them from being fearless. The flash camera caused a mini-panic.

I feel so cruel, but a cull would take about 70% of the foxes.

The cubs are tiny, cat-sized but fubsy; very, very cute. The fearless animal that gave me the slithering creeps about three weeks ago was very much bigger and so much darker that I'm pretty sure it's not related to them. I'm hoping that the resident pair have sent him on his way.)

Midnight beasts at 2 a.m.

a consequence and action
Once again, I was asleep and was woken by ... sounds. This time it was a scraping, bumping sound that was clearly just outside my window. It sounded very much like a peeping Tom.

That used to bother me, especially when I could never get to the window fast enough to catch the culprit - but one night the sounds went on, and I looked down to see the big dog-fox scrabbling behind the flower-pot directly below. After that the sound was vaguely reassuring; rats and mice that are on the fox-menu aren't trying to get into my home.

I found the sound doubly reassuring for the first few seconds because I connect it with the old fox; (the nicely mannered, silent, appropriately behaved beast who was wary of humans.) Then the brute started to whimper and ululate as it roamed ... From the sounds it then bounced off the railings and then probably tried for a cat about 10 minutes later.

From the sound-track it's now wandering about just outside. I haven't seen it but it might help if I had a telephoto lens. If this is distemper there should be signs by now.

Update; when I wrote the above I actually wrote that I wished I could get a photo of the noise-maker; then I remembered that my camera wouldn't do it unless I was close enough to the beast to be only a fox-leap or two away from it. Or closer.

So I thought, "be careful what you wish for" and edited the entry.

(However, I had wished.)

So I didn't take my little camera into the bedroom.

So when the bumps, yips and other sounds seemed to be right outside I didn't go and get the camera before looking out of the window.

So I missed getting some lovely pictures of three healthy, well-grown fox-cubs playing right outside my bedroom window - yipping and warbling and making cat-like sounds, especially when carooming off the railings!

By the time I thought of the camera again they'd gone racing away down to the other end of the road.

Midnight Beasts

a getting there
I blogged the story of the midnight foxes on the 7th May, but I haven't told it locally because the neighbours were away and there were no witnesses to an odd story. I really wondered if I'd been dreaming after my own experience, it was quite like a nightmare I used to have.

The man who contacted me urgently on Friday did so because I'm the secretary of the Residents Assoc. He then e-mailed me to confirm his statementCollapse )


Since his phone call and e-mail I've been ringing everyone I can think of, but Council, RSPCA, Dog Warden and Police all say it isn't their problem.

Two incidents (that I know of) ten days apart. (I hadn't told anyone; I've been housebound following another flood for much of it.) I suspect there may be others and people just kept quiet about them because they didn't expect to be believed.

The incidents took place on either side of the old peoples home. (Whats the betting the lair is in the grounds?)

The Midnight Beasts

E Moon quote
It happened as midnight turned...

I suffer from insomnia and badly broken sleep but I'd been sleeping at night for some weeks. Even the clocks going forward didn't change the new 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. routine, until something woke me just before midnight on Thursday night.

I tried but I could not get back to sleep.

cut for length and disquieting stuffCollapse )
The whole thing was so peculiar that I found myself wondering if I'd dreamed it, after I'd finally slept (at about 5 a.m.) and then woken at about noon. When I checked the phone my record confirmed the calls.

Normally I wander about out there at night as happily as a vampire, owl, but it's 5a.m. and I must admit that I'm hesitating about taking out the trash. Anyway, that's my next job before I make another attempt at sleeping.

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