A Visit from Elisheva!

December 6, 2011

…..So a 3rd member of my worldwide online community came to visit with us at home in London…..

Or as my Dear friend, AG, who started this whole visiting ball rolling back in June said, our house is fast becoming the Asthma Embassy of London!

I picked Eli7 up from Ruislip station on a cold and frosty Monday morning, after her early 6am start from Luton airport. Geez, why do people visit England in the Winter! Brrrr.

We went home and settled her in comfortably on the same sofa Steve had sat on, 2 weeks previously-(I should get a plaque of the names of all my visitors who have sat there, actually!)

And the doglet appeared and jumped all over Elisheva and had her usual tuggie tuggie fun and games! AB was extremely fascinated in Eli7’s rucksack-could have been due to the enormous stash of chocolate she had with her! She gave us lovely gifts of Israeli Halva and Bittersweet chocolate with nougat in which sounds amazing.

We chatted away happily -Britain’s Got Talent, Eurovision Song contest, all things Jewish, and of course, Eli7’s WAD party!-and at 10am decided to go to my Club to have a posh coffee. It was a nice drive in the frostiness and I hope she enjoyed seeing something of our surrounding area and actually how rural we are here.

The Club was bustling. They had a Christmas bazaar on and everybody was wearing funny hats which really amused her. I showed her my pool where I swim so she can now picture me there. She seemed amused by the reserved parking space up front that I have my badge for!

We got back home at about 11.30am and Julian was awake and up (he’d been working all weekend and was whacked out!). This meant we were able to get him to take the statutory photo.

I then did my ‘Jewish Mother’ impression and made her a packed lunch of kosher cream cheese and bagels to eat on the long train journey up north, and got her back to Ruislip station at 12pm in time to get to Euston for her 1.30pm train.

**J and I were very relieved to hear when she was on the train, munching and ready to depart.**

It was such a lovely morning, meeting with a special friend who had journeyed so far. And so confident to travel alone in a strange country and I’m glad that now she is back on her Symbicort – she was breathing excellently.

…..However, I have a strong suspicion that when she arrived in the Lake District that evening, they’d had heavy snow! Safe travels, Eli7 and enjoy Barcelona next week…..


Celebrating Jonny’s Birthday

October 25, 2011

…..A great day was had by all on Sunday at  Elbury…..

We all gathered (a week late) to celebrate Jonny’s 27th birthday. My parents were fresh back from California and my sister and I were happy not to be worrying about school this week as we are now both on half term.

It was beautiful weather and we had lots of fun and a lovely walk over the common in the afternoon.

…..And everybody got a lovely cuddle with Anna-Bell!…..


‘Mugged’ of air by Mist and Fog!

October 17, 2011

…..We woke up to a right pea souper yesterday….

Of course, the temperamental bellows knew what was out there even with the curtains drawn and every window in the house shut. I guess it comes in through the CO2 vents in the windows! AB wasn’t amused either-she sneezed when I took her out at 5.45am. We had to get up early. I was driving J to work at 7am-something which turned into rather an adventure in such horrid driving conditions. I had to get out the manual for his car as I didn’t know how to switch the fog lights on!

And all the way to the BBC, the lungs were protesting so. J sounded like a record getting stuck “You need a neb”  and “Promise me you’ll have a neb as soon as you are home” turned into “Make that a double neb, please!”

Actually when I did get home a little after 8am, I ended up on a triple neb whammy, a double ventolin plus an atrovent and then a super seven percent saline one and a spot of gunk clearing physio.

Fog is my worst enemy.

Forget Floridian Humidity, which in itself finishes me off, Fog is evil, with a capital E.

I may have done my good deed for the day in driving J to work to help him, but silly me, I didn’t exactly help my lungs in time. And then spent the day in bed, accompanied by my mini Furry Fajita who herself does not appear to like the Fog either.

It did lift mid afternoon-my friend Tasha saw to that by single handedly blowing it away, all the way from Holland 🙂 😉

Today the fog is lesser this morning-but I took the time to wrap a scarf around my face before I entered into the great beyond to water the dog at 7.30am. Thus doing a wonderful impression of a burkha woman.

I’ve had a rather broken night-up twice for nebs. Oh how these little barometers do annoy me so. I’m in for a bit of a duvet day again here, no doubt.

….Reckon the time of year has arrived to dig out all the scarves and gloves!…..


Airless Indian Summer

September 30, 2011

…..Its currently hotter here than in Hawaii!…..

And whilst it isn’t hot by some people’s standards, namely my friends in Palm Springs, where it is still in triple digits, our 84F is certainly out of the ordinary-about 18F above average.

We are currently having a really hot Indian Summer spell. They’re even talking  about it reaching 90F later in October! But of course, I keep getting AirTexts about the moderate air pollution levels that are also hanging around.

It has certainly hit my lungs at school, particularly yesterday. I had to indicate to my classroom assistant to instruct my class to clear up after lunch and she had to dismiss them for me as I simply couldn’t breathe. I always teach with the door open, but with no fresh air coming in it was like sauna meets steam room, and apparently we have air con? My lungs love dry desert heat but hate England’s almost Flordian humidity. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I have an invisible illness anymore, it’s rather obvious I clearly can’t breathe at the moment. The guy who came to fix the blind yesterday tea time commented on my asthma “are you really ok?” “that’s the worst I’ve heard anybody?” He must have asked me 5 times if I was ok. But I really was gasping and had just pulled out the sofa bed so he could get to the window easily. Shucks!

Thank the Lord we forked out for our full house air con system this summer. Julian is on Nights and has his bedroom set to 20C which is perfect for him sleeping in the south facing brick front of the house. He has had no idea of the melting pot going on outside all day.

So after multiple extra nebs, a bit of added physio as I was really inflamed and producing more mucous yesterday afternoon (sorry), and a bolus dose of Pred last night, I am ready, I hope, to face a long hot gruelling airless and no doubt very breathless day at school.

All I can do is dose up, and take it very slowly. And keep as many doors open as I can in the educational greenhouse I teach in.

…..Going to be a hot airless weekend out there too…..



London’s Burning

August 9, 2011

…..We have woken up in NW London to a beautiful blue sky…..

But for a third night in a row, all over London last night vans, cars buildings shops and warehouses belched black smoke into the air.

This is London, this is where we live and it’s like a warzone.

Like everybody reading and hearing the news reports, we are equally shocked.

As a teacher I have one question: Where are their Parents? Yes we fear for the safety of the police. Yes we can only hope that this will somehow fizzle out, although I believe there are still many targets still to be hit. I truly hope not.

will continue to drive J up to work at 10pm if it is safe for me to do so, although if not, I would fear more greatly for his safety on the tube at night.

To my friends due to visit London this year and next for the Olympics: this is not the London we know. These people have come in from elsewhere and are anarchists not proud Londoners. The areas this all stems from are the poorer ghetto areas which you as a tourist would not visit. Please still visit our beautiful city. The LA riots of the early 90′s did not stop my family returning.

….But of course I not only fear for the safety of friends and relatives here, I fear personally for myself, as the air quality is sure to deteriorate with all these fires-it’s been very windy…..



@Asthmagirl’s visit!

June 30, 2011

…..They have been travelling around the UK and Europe for almost 3 weeks, and found themselves in London…..

So what do you do when you’re in London, have trudged around the Tower and now have a spare afternoon/evening then?

So Mr and Mrs AG hopped on the tube and journeyed West to our suburb.

We talked in the house-discussing drugs, asthma and of course, our Chihuahuas (they have 3!!) We watched a bit of tennis-played with AB heaps-boy was that fun for her and us watching Asthmagirl down on the floor with our baby girl playing tuggie-tuggie with her new Nessie toy (which now needs a few stitches in it!)

And Julian did a great BBQ-loads of food, loads of smoke initially-but AG and I survived-no spurny lungs as we were both so full of fun and merriment that the adrenaline kicked in! (Spot the baby doglet in the photo!)

And Mr AG got to try a pint or two of English bitter for the first time…

And at the end of the evening after we were all thoroughly stuffed and they needed to travel back to the hotel for their last night in London, Julian whacked up a tripod and we all posed on the lawn, in front of my Grandma’s hollyhocks! (Thanks AG for the photo!)

(apology-don’t know how to enlarge the thumbnail thingie!)

So we took them back to Ruislip station and I know they got home quickly and in one piece as AG Facebooked me!

Here’s to my online friends-who I have now met in the flesh-everybit as adorable as I thought! Long may our friendship and our Chihuahua fun times continue.

…..and hopefully one day we will be able to visit them in Seattle too!…..


“Killer Pollution in London is coming from the Continent” (article)

June 9, 2011

…..I just read this article in yesterday’s Evening Standard newspaper…..

I have printed the article below:

Toxic pollution is blowing across the Channel and harming Londoners’ health, MPs were told today. On unusually high pollution days, up to four fifths of a dangerous pollutant seeping into parts of the capital and the South-East may be from overseas. The alarming warning came from a leading environmental health expert. Professor Frank Kelly of King’s College, London said: “A large proportion of the PM2.5 (particulates) associated with loss of life expectancy in the UK arises from neighbouring countries.

“The UK should press for significant reductions in emissions from neighbouring countries and in turn should commit to similarly significant reductions in its impact on other countries.”

Professor Kelly estimates that between 3,000 and 5,000 people a year in the capital die early because of pollution. Some will have had their life cut short by up to 10 years. The worst particulate pollution is normally from traffic in London, especially diesel-run vehicles, or from heating homes. But Professor Kelly told the Commons environmental audit committee that a “secondary” source is created by power stations and industry. Easterly winds blow this air pollution from the Continent into southern England.

“Long-term exposure to this type of air pollution underlies many of our chronic diseases and results in people dying earlier than they should do,” he said. “The EU needs to tighten controls further on these pollutants emitted from power stations and industry.” Labour MP Joan Walley, who chairs the environmental audit committee, said: “Londoners are entitled to clean air and we’re going to be fighting their corner on this neglected issue. “We know that the UK and other EU countries are breaching safe limits of particulate pollution from cars, lorries and power stations.”

…..Rather alarming for those of us who live in London, isn’t it…..