I went away for a couple of days...not literally, you understand, just out in the garden sitting about, watching the birds and soaking up the sun. But the warmth makes me sort of sozzled so by the time I come indoors it takes ages to get my bearings and writing seems to be a complete non-starter when I feel like that.

It's too hot in my workroom, so I've abandoned the patchwork in favour of cross-stitching which I can do outside...looking for a picture to stitch led me to a heap of the freebies which come with the cross-stitching magazines...some are pretty dire...sugary sweet depictions of teddy bears and kittens which I can't bring myself to do under any circumstances...and some are fine...flowers and such like.

Now the freebies come complete with all the threads you need and often with a ready made card to turn the stitching into a birthday card for instance...but...and it's a big but...the actual pattern is in the magazine itself. And where are all the cross-stitch magazines? With all the patterns? There lies the problem 'cos I had that clear out last year and gave the entire stack to the charity shop...

I've not done anything on Ancestry since being ill...just can't concentrate for long enough but Des sent me some info about a fairly remote relative who went to Cork prison in the 1900's and served six months for forgery...and he was a bank clerk! And that reminded me of the solictors in Sligo town who are named Argue and Phibbs...you might have to think about it for a while...

And I went to see the smoking lady...she isn't really a smoking lady of course. Her proper title is a Smoking Cessation Advisor and she holds a weekly clinic where she tries to persuade you to give up the dreaded weed...after about twenty minutes she admitted she'd never smoked herself so I said thanks for your time and went.

The smoking lady in the hospital was excellent...and she had been a heavy smoker herself before becoming seriously ill with the same condition as me. She was very good indeed and really understood the vice like grip that nicotine has on your system. Now she's rushed off her feet because Sligo Hospital has become totally non-smoking...not in the grounds or the car park or anywhere at all and as most the Doctors and nurses are still puffing away she is trying to prevent an all out mutiny.

One of the best suggestions is to save up the money you'd otherwise be spending on ciggies and buy yourself a treat...that sounds alright in principle but I have less money than usual at present because we've been relying on ready made stuff rather than cooking everything from stratch...and I'm still on this weird six meals a day diet which means copious amounts of food I'd not normally much bother with.

But I've been buying loads of strawberries and making milk shakes and they are delicious...tried banana and didn't much care for that...was a bit sort of slimy actually.

So...anything else positively riveting that you really need to know about? I went for a bike ride as far as the river yesterday and made it there and back without getting breathless which was something of a first...though it's stuck in first gear so pedalling up inclines tends to be a problem...I cheat and get off and walk rather than huff and puff and get nowhere fast...the water lilies are in bud at the edges of the river but not out yet and the dreaded Japanese Knotweed has spread all over Freds old cottage garden and is now encroaching on the roadside verge...didn't see any wildlife...just a few fish jumping. Didn't see any people either...there was a lovely cool breeze coming off the water but there wasn't anyone fishing.