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Guest Marmalade

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When I am very rich I am going to have million-count cotton sheets changed DAILY and somebody else will have to launder and iron them. And put the quilt cover on.

I come from the generation that thought you had to start married life a virgo intacta with at least a dozen pairs of sheets. I was a deprived wife and only had four pairs, much to my mother's horror. She was pretty horrified at my choice of husband too, but that's another story - and another marriage.

There is something absolutely lovely about an orderly linen cupboard with everything folded just so, and just a hint of lavender bag about the place. My linen (poly cotton actually) lives under the bed for which it is destined, in those useful pull-out drawer things. But, like I say, when I'm rich I will have the linen cupboard of my dreams . . . and pay somebody else to maintain it.

And thank you Lord for providing us with poly cotton so that changing a bed daily for a poorly person is not the burden it used to be . . .

Veema, it wasn't your bed that Tracey Emin exhibited at the Tate was it ?

Sorry to lower the tone, I'll get off your thread now Marmalade !


Edited by Justamo
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You are all welcome on my thread. Funny how something simple like a bed linen fetish can get people going.

For the record, I like 600 plus thread count Egyptian cotton with long single strands. I iron all my bed linen including the fitted sheets where applicable, sometimes I iron the fitted sheets on the bed but mostly not. Folding a fitted sheet is an art, or is that "a pain in the art". Nearly all linen is white with limited white satin embroidery on the top sheet fold over (yes, I use top sheets so that duvet covers don't need changing every few days, its easier to wash and iron flat top sheet and it looks pretty folded over the duvet to show the embroidery. Occasionally I allow subtle embroidery in other colours such as a duck egg blue border highlight on the duvet cover in the guest room. I have gone a little off piste of late and bought a light grey/beige colour plain sheets and pillowcases for use with white duvet in a room that has white, blue and beige shades. No polycotton, no printed designs. Duvets are silk, pillows are silk or goosedown. I have two synthetic pillows for asthma sufferers.

Mo, you don't need poly cotton, you need more of the superior cotton so that you have plenty of spares for accidents. It the dirty pile gets too big send them to the laundry, they come back pressed.

Actually I really love Jelly Babies DG and used to take them to board meetings to calm everyone down if they got too fractious.

I think I would have to breath in and out of a paper bag if I had to sleep in a "lived in" bed Veema, I'm definitely in the Nige camp and Louis found smooth clean sheets a turn on so another good reason for having them. Gosh, this thread is in danger of becoming steamy ha ha ha.

Thank you all so very much for this little interlude, you are all beautiful people.

Rest well all of you if you can, if sleep eludes you then think about our little band and how good it is to have such lovely, crazy friend, Love to you all M xx

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Have just come up to bed to find a hornet on the landing. As my house guests ( male friend and latest girlfriend) are already in bed I didn't want to crash about trying to kill it before it followed me into my room. I am allergic to insect stings.

I managed to squash it against the top of the airing cupboard door with a pamphlet about the twice in a lifetime invasions of Belgium issued by the Belgian office of public information circa 1948, then thought I could open the door and finish him off but the little devil managed to get into the sheets and towels and although I can hear him I can't see him. In hind sight this was a bad move as he could be hiding anywhere. I will have to take piriton before making the beds!

The hornets are making a nest in a bird box in the garden. Suzie tried to suck them out with the pond vac but they went mental and ended up with three stings. I decided to leave them until they die off in Autumn and then open the box and turf the queen out.

Ah well, at least the beastie is not in here!

Night night, sweet dreams xx

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Do you have a cordless baby Dyson or similar ? I keep one upstairs for dealing with spiders in the bath which reduce me to a gibbering idiot until A Man Deals With It. These days I am constantly reminded that there won't always be A Man To Deal With It . . . .


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This all reminds me of a holiday in the south of france where we were staying in a friend's farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. My son was only around 7 or 8 at the time merrily kicking a football around the massive garden when we came across a hole in the ground housing an enormous wasp nest. Hubby thought it would be a good idea to pour barbecue lighter fuel down the hole and then ignite it to eradicate the little blighters. He was never able to wear those trousers again. His shoes didn't fare well either.

Happy Sunday xx

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Good heavens I can't believe that I have finally found others that IRON their bed linen just like me, all my friends think I am totally crazy.

Trevor loved a "crispy bed" as he called it and said if he was rich he would have a crispy bed every day too MO.

His nickname for me was " Washy" as he said I drove him crazy, always washing, he used to tell everyone that when he used to come back home at the weekend from a week away, I met him on the door step saying "get your clothes off!! " but only because I wanted to get the washing done, and then the ironing, but he said when he was away and he was fed up, as soon as he got his clothes out he knew they were surrounded with love and he immediately felt better.

I like Egyptian cotton too Marmalade, and have always used a flat sheet as well, now a few friends have decided that that is actually a good idea. Mine don't have embroidery on them unfortunately, I gave up on fitted sheets a while ago as it used to drive me crazy ironing them, so its two flat sheets for me now, find it much easier.

We had a bumble bee's nest in our garage a couple of years ago, felt a bit intimidated for a start but we just left them alone and they didn't really bother us, they disappeared at the end of summer and never came back the next year, again all our friends said get rid of them, but we felt quite honoured to have them, but, I do not like wasps. take care and love to all sandrax xx

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Sadly I have to use the fitted sheets (hate them as you can't get them tight) because I broke my shoulder some years ago and have limited use and strength in my right arm. I find lifting the mattresses a bit of a challenge. Turning them over is quite a performance…

The hornet crawled out this morning and my friend killed it!

Am busy reading guidance notes for probate application and tax forms. I am determined not to pay huge fees for someone else to do them. I am a woman of average intelligence and competence so I am going to do it. I have found before that if you hoof up at you local tax office with forms someone will help you fill them in. Most stuff is on line these days. I am a bit cross that I need to do it but one, and only one, financial institution will not give up the money without it. All the others have coughed up and for much bigger sums because I am the wife and sole executor and have certified copies of the will and death certificate. It really is naughty of this company as it causes more work and expense and time. I may ring them and cry tomorrow, that sometimes works…

Hey ho, maybe we need another thread on dealing with bumf - my advice is don't do anything at all (death certificate excepted) until you are ready, certainly not until after the funeral, don't tell banks and the like until it suits you. They told us this on my hospice carers course and they were right!

Bit of gardening this morning and am now going to darn a teddybears nose. Hope everyone is on an even keel today. Much love M xx

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I feel utterly filthy now...ha ha ha...I have one set of nice bedding...it comes off, gets washed, ironed if I can be bothered (not often) and shoved back on! Even less chance of it being regularly changed now Nige isn't moaning on at me about it...luckily the dog doesn't care what the bedding is like!

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Be yourself Veema my love, this is one place where you can thank goodness!

I think I've taken on a bit much this week. I don't feel very down just can't seem to get going. Since Louis died I've struggled with energy levels. The other thing I notice is that I have lost a lot of confidence. I make a decision then start worrying about it and change my mind. Not like me all. The tears are less now but still come unexpectedly, like now and they are tears of deep sorrow and hopelessness. He is not coming back and I must face an uncertain and solitary future. It seems too hard without him sometimes.

I know the future doesn't have to be bleak and that I will carve a life for myself eventually. My friends and family have been and are being brilliant. I am truly blessed and should be grateful but consolation seems very elusive tonight.

Tomorrow is another day and I have a haircut and a trip to the theatre to look forward to. A thought has just struck me, I wonder if those long periods of mourning that the Victorians had, where they stayed out of circulation for many months, were really to save everyone having to please other people and be good company, which is very wearing.

Too much thinking and weeping for one night I think! Louis would say " that's enough now chicken".

Hope we all have a better day when it dawns xxx

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Dear Marmalade.

I am at work and just popped on for a quick look at what you are all up to and then I saw your 3am message. I hope you went back to bed and got some sleep!

I will message more later but just wanted to say that of course you feel lonely, sad and have taken a knock in your confidence. We are here for you my lovely and you doing just fine as can be expected and you just have to keep going and things will get better.


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Hi Marmalade

You are struggling with energy levels because you must still be physically and emotionally exhausted. You are keeping yourself so busy with visitors, trips and making jam, you've not had a chance yet to let your body catch up.

I know exactly what you mean about lack of confidence. You are vulnerable. You have lost your life partner and the one person who's advice you could trust. Before hubby came along, I had my parents for that unconditional love. Then when they passed, I had hubby of course. Now I just have my son who I've noticed is becoming more and more unable to talk about his dad or look at photos (more of that over on my thread) so I tend now to make decisions myself and like you, I doubt whether I'm making the right choice.

However, you don't need to feel that YOU should be pleasing people or have to be good company - true friends and good family will take you as they find you. Let your feelings and those tears out, will do more harm otherwise my lovely. xxx

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Hey Marmalade,

I hate to think of you crying on your own at 3am in the morning. You are too hard on yourself, stress is the most exhausting thing and yet it never lets you sleep. Of course it is hard and you know it will be for a while and that there will always be moments in your life that has reflection on this point. I can remember when I went through a very stressful stage in my life and I used to say it was like the beautiful south song 'everybody's talking at me'. It is like a daze and of course you question everything. But like the song, you are going where the sun keeps shining through the pouring rain. We are here for you and this was never going to be easy.

Try and get some sleep my lovely. x

Edited by Dandygal76
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Hello lovely people, I am struggling to find words to post at the moment. I am in a holding pattern, resting, doing admin, popping into the shop for a few hours, actually I have done two whole days this week, but inside nothing has changed. I think of it in the same way as divorce, to begin with everyone is interested but after a while your story becomes boring for them. I am determined not to bore people so when they ask I say I am okay, not great but okay and talk about something else.

I feel very sorry for my business partner because I keep calling him Louis, he is a quiet young man who doesn't say much but is kind, he just smiles and says he doesn't mind being confused with a good guy.

I have a good friend coming this weekend, he is an Italian and always used to come to us when he was in the uk on business. Louis loved to practice his Italian. This friend did his best to help me take Louis to Italy, a wish I was not able to fulfil as he was just too poorly by the time the hospital finished messing him around and confirmed the diagnosis. I will not forgive them for that. We knew what it was in January but incompetence meant that the wrong scans were ordered which meant delays, rescans, waits for MDT meetings, wrong referrals and so it went on until the end of March. I find myself getting worked up about these things more now than at the time. I guess I just focus send on Louis and his wellbeing at the time.

My friend Sally has found us a holiday so it looks like we will be off to Cyprus to flop on a sun bed and have spa treatments for a week. Another wrench from the house but I have to leave it sometime, people won't always come to me. I'm excited but filled with angst.

I hope everyone has a good weekend.

M xxx

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Just want to send you a hug Marmalade, holiday is a brill idea.

Its 2 years since Jem died and today someone asked did I still love my husband. It took my breath away and I felt the tears come to the surface.

Hope you have a good weekend with your friend. Always thinking of you



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Gosh Jayne...some people say the most bizarre things!

I was talking to Phoebe about holidays last night...did she want to go to France again next year (as we have for the past 9 years) or on a plane to somewhere like Tenerife etc (which we used to do in October half term), but she doesn't want to do either of those things...she's asked if we can go to Cornwall or somewhere because those other places won't be the same without Dad.

I hope you enjoy it Marmalade, but understand how you're feeling. I just don't feel like going anywhere ever again, but know I'll have to. Cyprus is lovely though, we went last October to Paphos, still nice and warm, but dark by about 4.30!


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Heavens above Jayne, how crass can people be? I presume this person has not lost anyone close to them or they are a sociopath! Of course you cried, and I expect we will all cry at the loss of our soul mates forevermore. The loss continues but we get better at coping with it. Love is not something we can control or turn on and off, it is not some inanimate object we can bury, it exists and stays with us forever, in our hearts, our minds, the daily habits we shared, the children we created and every memory of our time together. It does not fade and is not conditional.

The world according to Marmalade ha ha ha

Be rested and feel loved all of you,

M xx

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Speechless Jayne, just speechless. What did he/she expect you to reply - no? For goodness sake. I am so sorry that someone can be that thoughtless and made you cry.

Marmalade, Cyprus will be just the tonic for you, I know that can't of been an easy decision for you. Can I come too?!!!!! xx

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Hello lovely people,

How very kind of you to think of me. The holding pattern continues…

I enjoyed the visit from our Italian friend, we talked about his business ambitions and people we both know from international corporate world so it provided an interesting diversion, he even offered me a job, well some lucrative consultancy. It was very sweet but as I am still struggling with concentration and sleep and leaving the front door wide open while I go out for the day I don't think I would provide very much value for them!

While writing this I have just taken a call from the hospital who took so long to confirm Louis diagnosis, mis ordered tests, one of which was an extremely dangerous procedure that the intervention radiologist quite rightly raised alarms at, and needlessly refused him sedation for others and, on occasions were downright rude. Our final appointment at the hospital was the only one we had with the oncology department. We were the only people in the waiting area both before and after our meeting. The consultant got angry with us at the meeting because Louis remarked at how late he was for the appointment (over 45 minutes). Mr Oncologist told him that he had to deal with people who were sicker than he (Louis) was. Considering that he went on to tell him he would be dead in three to six months and that he felt palliative chemo was a waste of time we thought that was a bit rich. The whole interview took less than 10 minutes.

I am not making an official complaint (big supporter of the principles of the NHS) but I am persisting in making them acknowledge and address the things that went wrong. "Sophie" just called to say that the MDT consultants (or at least some of them) think it would be a good idea to have a meeting so they could explain things to me. I told her that I am perfectly capable of understanding their systems and protocols, my issues were that a) they were not followed correctly and b) they fell short of addressing the needs, wellbeing and concerns of the patient. I have therefore responded that I would be happy to meet once we had agreed the attendees and an agenda. I'm sure they think I am taking my grief out on them and am probably a bit unhinged but I am not going to let go until I see concrete actions being taken to ensure protocols (including communications) are followed and that they are fit for the needs of the patients not just the MDT. I am not a vindictive person but I have the time, the experience of working in big process driven organisations and the motivation to stop others having the same experiences.

So, today I must ring a share dealing company who have sent me 16 pages of absolute twaddle to find out what on earth it means, then I need to do some food shopping, sew some labels on teddy bears, and finish clearing the office so a nice man can replace the carpet with one that has been rolled up in our garage for 14 years! Fortunately its a good carpet and hasn't suffered too much. The one we have has worn out under the wheels of the office chair. I now have a static chair so hopefully that won't happen again. It does however mean I have to redecorate because its a bit tatty and I have to sift all the filing down to something manageable. Louis kept everything back to when God was a lad. Everything I touch seems to domino into 10 jobs at the moment and it feels like wading in treacle at times. I feel very sorry for those who don't have a financial or legal background, they must be driven to distraction and robbed blind by the professionals. I have to say the DWP have been the most efficient and easiest people to deal with. I got my bereavement grant and what used to be the widows pension through very quickly, both of these are not means tested and everyone should apply.

I seem to have wittered on an on and been very dull. My friend is still trying to sort the holiday (strangely, deals on the internet are often spurious, even from famous names) and I am losing heart now. She is working so doesn't have time in the day and she won't let me do it as she wants to do something for me, what do you do? Stop press, we have found somewhere!

Must go now as have done nothing on the list or told you how I am feeling but I think you will get the idea from this diatribe. I will try to be a better person tomorrow :)

Suzie is giving an important presentation to an international conference tomorrow and is very nervous so have just popped out to send her a card, I always think its nice to receive hand written communications by post instead of bills.

I love you all (genuinely, I think of you as close friends) and am so grateful for the psychotherapy opportunity that the forum provides hahaha

Hope the day has been good for you and those you love.

M xxx

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I am glad you're taking the hospital to task over their inadequate treatment of Louis. These people trot about their daily duties and have meetings and write each other e-mails and hold their workshops (how I HATE that word) and they never seem to have to face the consequences of their actions. Or lack of actions.

An official complaint would simply cost a great deal of money which would be better spent on patients, and cause you a lot more grief. However, a little plain speaking, properly recorded by both parties might shine a little light on their current shortcomings and their future policies. I hope you have a positive outcome. Positive for the people that matter, that is.

You are an intelligent and articulate woman. If DandyGirl can take on the NHS and win then surely you can sort out a bunch of white coats and their respective departments.

Go for it Marmalade. And good luck to Suzie.

love and support


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Mo and Marmalade... I am here and I will have a little chat with you all tomorrow. I have to drag the 8 year old out of the house at 6:30 am so an early rise for us. I hope you all sleep okay and sending lots of hugs to you all. xxx

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