Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Monday, 25 January 2010

The scariest moment of my life

Early hours of Friday morning I woke up feeling rather unwell. One a.m., and a stomach so upset I almost cried myself. The toilet seemed the right place to be, until I began sweating so much I passed out.

Coming to on the floor after I don’t know how many minutes, my chest was feeling fit to burst. I’d cracked it on the side of the bath as I passed out. I slowly made my way back to bed, still not feeling 100%.
I felt sick; and cold.
Back to the bathroom, and began vomiting. I didn’t know what the hell was happening to me. I felt so scared I even contemplated phoning our night shift at work, to ask if someone would come and hold my hand.
Yes, I was that scared.

Instead I waited till the local Health Centre opened at 8 a.m. The receptionist listened as I explained the evening’s events.
‘I’ll get the doctor to call you back’, she said.
A moment later, she rang back herself, saying an ambulance was on its way, and you might be kept in overnight.
A million things rushed through my head. The most important one for me was trying to get someone to look after the cat and dog if I wasn’t going to be here.

The Paramedic arrived pretty quickly, and started the process of questions and hooking me up to a blood pressure reading machine. I don’t think I was making much sense to the poor man; and even less when the ambulance arrived, and more wires attached to a heart monitor.

A hastily scribbled note, with a key attached, was finally pushed through next-door, and then the journey began in the back of the ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

Four days and three nights; three stents in three arteries to unblock them, loads of pills, numerous tests and I don’t mind admitting a few tears from myself while I was there.
A big heart attack.

Back home this evening, my chest still hurts where I fell, Jim is happy to see me, and I’ve a brand new life style to try and get my head round. It’s not going to be easy.

For the first week of recovery I can’t walk more than 5 minutes a day at a leisurely pace.
I can’t drive for four weeks.
I can’t eat most of the things I enjoy.
And I’ve given up smoking.

Well, four days so far; but the surgeon was pretty sure if I carried on smoking, the next time I wouldn’t make it to the hospital.

I don’t want to go back there.

The Paramedic, Ambulance crew, surgeons doctors and nurses of the hospital all played a part in giving me back my life.
I’m not about to stub it out in an ashtray.

I may be a while getting round to everyones blogs, and catching up, but I’ll get there; eventually.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

One year today

Yup, 194 posts later, and the blog’s a year old today. Thank you to everyone who stops by, everyone who follows, and everyone who comments. I’ve had a great time through the year, learnt a lot from the blogs I follow, made great cyber friends from all over, and even met some in the real world.

First picture I posted was this cold chap;

Coal Tit, from a snowy January in 2009

So, onto the present, sort of. A few days ago I went to one of the local lakes in the hope that the wandering Smew might have dropped in. They hadn’t. They seem to be one jump, or flight ahead of me. Not to worry, the flying Dunlops were about.

Cormorant, thinking about going fishing. Didn’t take them long to decide.

Off, off, and away. One of them, anyway.

Sunday promised some sun, and the day before there were reports of a male Smew at Stewartby Lake, just up the road. The sun arrived on cue, but the Smew had left. Oh well. As I pulled into the car park, I noticed a small flock of birds fly into the trees up ahead. Their undulating flight made me think of Goldfinches, as I raised the bins for a better look.

Nope. Redpolls; or Lesser Redpolls, as they’re called now. I took a few shots, and they happily carried on feeding. Could I get closer? Worth a try.

I slowly made my way towards the tree, stopping occasionally to take a few pictures.

Eventually I managed to get right under the tree. The birds just ignored me, and carried on feeding.

I got my fill of pictures, and left them to carry on getting their fill of food.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Down at the lake

The recent rain has pretty much cleared the snow round here at the moment, but a few days ago I took a wander down the local, whilst the snow was still on the ground, and the lake pretty much frozen over. A small area was untouched by the ice, which meant plenty of water birds crammed into their liquid habitat. Here’s a few.

Young Great Crested Grebe

Male Goosander and a few Coot

Female Goosander

Male Goldeneye

Male Tufted Duck

Young Little Grebe

and a few of the Cormorants; perhaps wondering where the water has all gone.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Small round up so far

A few of the birds from this month that took the time to pose. If the rest of this year is as good, I’ll be very happy.

But warmer, please!

A shy Water Rail.

Cruising Canada Goose

Mute Swan over the ice

Redwing stare

The good ol’ Robin

A very cold Black-headed Gull

Monday, 11 January 2010

In the garden

A few more of the visitors to the frozen garden from the last few days.

A kitchen sieve thing, (probably got a proper name), makes a handy seed holder when attached to something.

Great Tit and Robin find it just perfect; when the Starlings leave for something else.

A bath maybe, in an old dog dish? Too cold for me; but then I don’t have feathers to keep clean.

And wondering what else to eat, from what’s on offer.

A couple of Wood Pigeons take a liking to some seed,

and another picks his way through what’s fallen below.

This one seemed curious as to what the Starling was doing.

A Collared Dove has found a clever way of getting seed from the feeders for the smaller birds.

While another waits his turn.

A Song Thrush searches amongst the snow,

while a Blackbird wonders why I took a picture of his bum.
No, it doesn’t look big in those feathers.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

An apple a day……..

Keeps the Blackbirds happy. Had 10 in the garden over the last few days.

It also gets the interest of some other family members

Robin, contemplating having a taste; or wondering why all these apples are littering his garden.

A Song Thrush. But he’s spied something else.
A bush with tasty looking berries.

You’ll have to be quick though. These seem to be popular.

Blackbird getting stuck in, before another cousin turns up.

Irresistible to Redwings.

Which one to have…………….

Down in one go!
A late arrival, and not too many left now,

A Fieldfare has a quick look,

and wishes he’d come a bit earlier. The best ones seem to have gone.

I wonder if they’ve any left at the garden centre.