A friend suggested I get a TENS machine, he too has a bad back and has a super-duper all singing/dancing one, which he says works a treat. I don't know why it didn't occur to me before actually, as I've had treatment for my back with a TENS machine on numerous occasions over the years, during physio and chiropractic sessions. The one my friend has is out of my price range, so I googled and found that a local chemists do one for only £20.99, with spare pads available for just under a fiver per pack of 4. Much more affordable! When we got to the shop, I discovered that they had it on offer at 15% off, even better. And it works just fine, small and portable and very easy to understand and operate.
We've had a lovely couple of days working in the front garden, digging up the old beds, forking in new compost, putting lots of new shrubs and perennials in, laying down a mulch of woodchip. We've erected a temporary chicken wire fence in front of the beds, to allow the plants time to get established and grow a bit before Betty starts trampling on them! Husband has also put up a new fence between us and the neighbours - partly to get rid of a very old but still extremely vigorous passionflower which goes wild all the time, meaning we're constantly having to cut it back. As we get older, we want an easier to maintain garden! The other reason for the fence is to stop our and their dogs (they have 3) barking at each other. We still have another small bed to dig out and replant, and that will be it for the time being. We plan to dig up a small grass patch that is more weed than grass and concrete it over, and another paved area which is all cracked and uneven will also be concreted. But they're projects for a few weeks ahead, when we've saved up a bit more. It'll all get done in time, there's no rush.
After yesterday's efforts my right shoulder was particularly painful, more so than my lower back, so I used the TENS machine for 20 minutes and it helped a lot, I was pleasantly surprised. Looks like it's money well spent.
Isn't it just lovely to have prolonged sunshine at last? Even if I have already got a bit of sunburn, heat rash and a few insect bites! Oh, not forgetting the hayfever.