Wednesday, 9 January 2008

And so we begin again

In my last blog six days ago I told you how I 'on New Year's Day I plodded round the park looking for the first signs of early flowers, perhaps some snowdrops? Well, today I found them! Just these in the picture above. I only saw them as I was leaving Lenton Recreation Ground after doing one slow perambuation just before lunch. I saw four places where green shoots were showing just above the soil and was thinking to myself that I might see some snowdrops tomorrow, but there they were, alone, at the base of a large tree beside the Derby Road entrance. I wonder how many other visitors have noticed them?

Seeing my first snowdrops of the year made my day until I got a telephone call from an old work colleague who has just followed me down the early retirement route. Wendy will be 60 in May, one day after my birthday, so she was close to retiring anyway. We always got on well and she was a real pleasure to work with, so after a chat about what's happening with our lives today and a little about work, we agreed to meet in Newark in 2-3 weeks time with a couple of other former colleagues. With Wendy in charge I can be sure it will happen. I am looking forward to it already.

Susan is on the sofa in the living room reading a book and nursing a nasty cold and cough. It's that time of the year when many people get hit by a bug or a cold of some kind. Compared to some friends in Stoke, Susan is getting off lightly at the moment. I just hope she can resist the urge to do anything. I think colds have to well fed and nursed — if you can't beat them with syrups and tablets, then kill them with kindness and food is my approach.

I also heard today that Susan has successfully registered the website name (or should it be 'url'?) of '' for me, so I will at sometime in the future being moving my blog to its own website, which I hope will also carry information and pictures of lots of other parks as well, so watch this space for details. I've also been working on the news for the next issue of The Nottinghamshire Historian which Susan will be putting together in the next few days, assuming she's able to feed her cold to death.

Looking back at today before I go down and do tea, it seems to have been about another year and beginnings not much different to last year. I'm one year older and nearly 64 (once I would have written 63 and not mentioned being older). I'm not bored by the repetitiveness of it all at one level because things are never quite the same, but there are things I want to complete so that I can move on. Unfinished business. I had expected to be ensconced in our bedroom today after having a bunion removed yesterday, but the operation was cancelled the Friday before last because, the NHS clinic says, there are problems with the theatre where the op was to be carried out. I am now waiting for another date. Once upon a time I would have believed them. Now I wonder if the problem with the theatre has been created to delay operations so that savings can be made on their 2007/8 budget?

In some ways it's inconvenient. In others it is an opportunity to delay would-be 2008 plans until 2009 and use the operation as my excuse. We shall see.

One thing which is different is that this time last year I didn't walk around Lenton Recreation Ground with my camera looking for snowdrops. It's a new pleasure which will be with me for the rest of my life and in a way I have Judith, Rosie and Susan to thank (my very first blog explains why). Tomorrow I will again go around the park looking for green shoots and snowdrops — a simple pleasure which can begin again and again as far as I am concerned.

A mother of two from Ghana terminally ill with cancer was taken from an NHS hospital today and deported to Ghana where she is unlikely receive medical care because she cannot afford it. Her visa ran out last year after she had been diagnosed with cancer, but she stayed on to continue receiving medical treatment.

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