Sunny Sunday Musings

We finally got some of the Summer I was waiting for. On one day this week, I was actually uncomfortably hot! (Only becuase I was overdressed for the unexpected weather)
Not so great for Ollie of course, who spends most of his walk in and out of the river, cooling off. Also not wonderful for Hay Fever, which hit me hard on Friday. But I will take the tablets, and enjoy the sunshine.


As most of you already know, I have the DVLA ‘Pass or fail’ eye test next Friday. If I fail, that’s it. No more driving, ever. Meanwhile, I have been driving at every opportunity, in case I have to try to remember the feeling of just driving down the road with the window open on a lovely day after next weekend.


We went to a family celebration in Suffolk last night. It was a delight for Julie to meet relatives she had not seen (for various reasons) for seven years. We enjoyed a delicious meal in beautiful surroundings, and there was much laughter and catching up. This is where it was held.

As a result, we got home quite late, and stayed up to amuse Ollie who had been left all evening. That meant I didn’t wake up until 9am this morning.

Here we are at the dinner table.


I have decided not to mention British politics or the war in Ukraine today. I am trying to keep a good mood going until next Friday.


I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday, a relaxing and peaceful one.



For as long as I can recall, I have always been a ‘sneezer’. When I was very young, my mum taught me to put my hand over my face when I sneezed, and as soon as I was old enough, she gave me a cotton handkerchief to keep in my pocket, telling me to sneeze into that when I could.

When I sneezed as a toddler, I actually remember her singing the old nursery rhyme to me.

Ring-a-ring o’ roses,
A pocket full of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all fall down

As I grew up, it got worse. Almost anything could make me sneeze, and once I started to get Hay Fever in my teens, that trebled the amount of sneezes during the high pollen season. I had some notion that I would grow out of it eventually, but that wasn’t to be.

There are occasions when I might sneeze as many as twenty times, with hardly a pause in between. Unlike some people, I am not able to stop myself sneezing, by wiggling my nose, or some other method. And these are not ‘polite’ or ‘snuffly’ sneezes, oh no. Each one is a full-on blast that rocks my head back and forth, and can end up leaving me exhausted.

Being such a prolific sneezer has many social disadvantages. I sometimes had to leave a film showing in a cinema when I was sneezing so much I annoyed the other patrons. I stood in the foyer of a theatre once, when my sneezing all but interrupted a play in the West End of London.

Another night in a Soho Jazz bar, the main act was halfway through his show when I started sneezing. I was sitting at a table only a few feet from the stage, and he finally stopped singing and playing his piano. Turning to me, he smiled and said. “When you’re finished, I’ll get back to my song”.

I went outside until the sneezing fit passed.

At an awards ceremony, I was on stage about to be given a medal, when I started sneezing so violently, the man dishing them out had to wait until I had finished before pinning it on. And that was in front of over 200 colleagues.

Driving my car can be dangerous too. I once had to pull onto the hard shoulder of a motorway when a continous bout of sneezes made it unsafe for me to continue driving. Then yesterday when I was walking Ollie, I started sneezing as we walked along the riverside path, and couldn’t stop. The final sneeze was so violent, I fell over sideways.

Luckily it was onto the path, and not into the river.

Hay Fever

When I was fifteen years old, I started to get Hay Fever. It came out of nowhere, and hit me very hard. Eyes streaming and itchy, constant sneezing and a runny nose, easily able to get through a couple of boxes of Kleenex in one day. It was relentless, stopping me sleeping properly, ruining concentration at school, and making the commute to and from that school unbearable, as I sneezed and spluttered all through the journey.

I soon consulted the family doctor, and received a prescription for Piriton. That tablet helped immdediately, drying me up and reducing the symptoms considerably. But it had the side effect of making me very drowsy, and that didn’t help at school either. So I stopped taking it, and just suffered in silence.

There were some places I could get relief. The coast and seaside helped, as it never seemed so bad there. And later on, once I was married, I could enjoy foreign holidays as I seemed to get no symptoms in any country outside of Britain. Something specific was causing it, and whatever it was definitely existed only at home.

Then one year, it stopped. That year was a supposedly bad Hay Fever season, but I got nothing. Not a sneeze nor sniffle.

Moving to Norfolk in 2012, I expected to get Hay Fever again, after being free of it for more than twenty-five years. Surrounded by countryside and fields, out for hours every day with Ollie, it semed likely to return.
But it didn’t.

Then today, after eight years when Hay Fever was only a bad memory, wham! I had to cut Ollie’s walk short, after constant sneezing and raging itchy eyes made me wonder what was happening. I didn’t wonder for long. Some perfect combination of weather conditions had been the cause of something happening that I had avoided for years.

It’s back, and I am not happy!