Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Sympathy please!

Not Cornwall.

I've been to Cornwall for a few days.  'Cornwall?' I hear you cry, 'why, how lovely!'  And yes, you are right, it was lovely.  I stayed in beautiful Polperro and the weather was glorious.  However, the visit started and ended on a low note.

Firstly I forgot my camera.  I was in Big Trouble with the other half for that.  As I have no photos I shall paint a picture with words.  To fully appreciate the following poetic masterpiece you need to know that the Cornish town Fowey is pronounced 'Foy' (to rhyme with boy).  Now without further ado

Ode to Cornwall
Fowey is a joy
and Polperro
made me mellow.
But Looe was poo,
and St Austell?
I'd rather be in Borstal. 

Truly, my talents know no bounds.

After a lovely stay, just before I was about to come back to Shrewsbury, I fell over.  I hurt my wrist.  A lot.  As I hit the ground I used the sort of language that would make a salty old Cornish seadog blush.  And quite rightly too as it turns out.  My wrist hurt more and more and looked stranger and stranger during the course of the five hour trip home.  

Once back in Shrewsbury I headed for the hospital where, after a fair amount of waiting about, I was told I had a broken wrist and was walloped in plaster.  After a follow-up trip to the hospital today, I was given the dismal news that I need surgery and will be having a steel plate put in later this week.  The 'silver lining' (of sorts) is that I will still be able to have chemo, as planned, next week.  My cup runneth over.

So now, while you are all feeling sorry for me, I urge you to rush off to read my brand new blog post for Vita Oline, a breast cancer magazine.  Click here to make an old lady slightly less grumpy.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The unexplained

A mystery greeted me this morning when I walked into the kitchen.  The floor was covered in feathers.  At first I thought, with horror, that Cyril (three-legged monster cat) had finally got the better of his arch-enemy Fat Pigeon.

Fat Pigeon spends a lot of time in our garden, largely because I put bird food out for him.  Cyril hates Fat Pigeon with a passion.  He has been stalking him for months but, as Cyril has only three-legs and no wings, he's never got within a few yards of his prey.  Fat Pigeon watches Cyril's attempts at hunting with a contemptuous look in his beady eye.  This hasn't helped their relationship.

Anyway, when my eyes finally focused (it was early and I hadn't had my first cup of tea yet), I realised the floor wasn't covered in feathers, it was fur.  And black and white fur at that (Cyril is black and white).  However, Cyril was intact, unmarked and asleep on my bed.  While I was standing there dazed and confused Cyril lolloped downstairs from the bedroom to demand breakfast.  He sat amongst the fur looking very pleased with himself.  

I can only assume another black and white cat came in through the cat flap in the dead of night, had a very quiet scrap with Cyril, and departed with a lot less fur than he had when he arrived.  That or perhaps Cyril's opened a night-time cat barbers in the kitchen.  After all "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio".

Speaking of Shakespeare (see what I did there) my next blog for Vita has been accepted and will be online next week I think.  Rest assured I will bombard you with links.  In the meantime, the old one is here.

And while I'm on the subject of blogs, I've recently found some more by people with secondary breast cancer, hurrah!  That's hurrah for the blogs not the cancer.  I've added them to the list on the right hand side of this page.  So do have a look if that's your kind of thing.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Gardeners' Question Time

A couple of posts ago I wrote about how the back garden has looked like this

ever since the builders left, after using it as a storage area, last June.  This despite the fact that the other-half used to garden for a living.  Well I'm pleased to say he finally ran out of excuses (one being 'I've got gardeners' block') and now it has been transformed.  

Behold the new garden:

Ha ha ha.  I am very funny.

Actually it looks like this:

It all looks a bit plinky plonky at the moment but once the plants start growing it'll be a thing of beauty.  We haven't replaced the grass opting instead for flowers in the hope of encouraging bees.  This may be a tad foolish as the other-half is wildly allergic to wasp stings.  He's never been stung by a bee so we've no idea how he'd react but maybe I'd better think about life insurance.  The eagle-eyed among you may be wondering why there is an unconnected shower head fixed to the shed (far left).  It's because, here at Discombobulated Towers, we are not afraid to embrace the twee.

Talking of twee I went shopping in lovely Ludlow the other day.  I meant to buy sensible things like toilet rolls and socks.  Instead I came home with a handbound notebook, a quince for the garden and an hourglass.  That's just the kind of town Ludlow is.  I've been sad enough to check and it actually takes 62 minutes for the sand to trickle from the top to the bottom of the hourglass.  Should I ask for a refund?

I had chemo yesterday and, after feeling like a dog's dinner last time, I am stuffed to the gills with anti-nausea medicine.  On the plus side I have spent the day lying on the sofa with the cat, a packet of ginger biscuits and a book about the nasty Normans duffing up the Ango-Saxons.  I've had worse Wednesdays.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Fruit, falsies and fame

Thirteen days into Lent and I'm still being saintly and not playing Fruit NinjaI have found myself doing more juicing but sadly chopping up real fruit isn't the same at all.

A very poor Fruit Ninja substitute
The other half has given up chocolate and puddings.  This has led to some heated debates as to what is and isn't included.  Apparently it's alright to eat cheesecake and chocolate flavoured biscuits.  Yeah, me neither.

Opening the post today was massively exciting.  My knitted knocker arrived.  I tried to take a photograph but just couldn't do it justice.  Knitted Knockers knit or crochet prosthetic breasts in an amazing range of colours (mine is stripey!) and, best of all, charge nothing whatsoever for the service (not even postage).  What a bunch of good eggs they are!  Find out more about them and their fantastic knockers by clicking here.

Also today fame came knocking at my door.  And me, being the shrinking violet that I am, have been Facebooking and Tweeting about it all day.  So, apologies to those of you who've heard it already endless times, but I'm now writing a blog for Vita, the online magazine for the Breast Cancer Care charity.  I'll be writing one blog post a month for them for the remainder of 2014.  To see my March effort click here.  And to think you lot knew me when I was nuffink!  I'll still be blogging here though so, one way or another, there is no escape from me.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Challenge 1

A thousand years ago (oh alright, last year) we had building work done at Discombobulated Towers which, although a lengthy and often infuriating process, resulted in me having the Best Kitchen in the World (I might be a tad biased on this one).

The only problem has been the total destruction of my garden.  The tiny garden was the only place the builders could store their materials.  So it went from something like this

to utter devastation.  However the builders finished and moved out months and months ago and yet the garden still looks like this

Ok,  he's painted and moved the shed but let's not split hairs

Given that the other-half used to garden for a living this is a very sorry state of affairs.  Initially he claimed to have gardeners block, then he told me he’d lost his gardening mo-jo (full marks for inventive excuses).  Then, just as he’d got his motivation back, the rain started.  It rained cats and dogs and rats and elephants for months and months and months.  Well now the deluge has ceased and, by happy co-incidence, the other-half has next week off work.  He has promised that I will have a garden by the end of next week.  So I’m using this blog to encourage* him.  I will post another picture at the end of next week so you can see if he’s kept his word.  Gardner’s block my arse!

*I say encourage, I mean, of course, threaten.

Challenge 2

My old chum Al is running a half-marathon in June and will be raising money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, a charity which, among other things funds the development of new treatments.  If anyone has any spare bundles of cash lying around you can sponsor him here.

Actually I'm not telling the entire truth when I call Al an old chum.  He is, in fact, my ex-husband. Still, water under the bridge and all that.  Running a ridiculous distance for a breast cancer charity is a lovely thing to do.  Smiley face.  And of course I wouldn't dream of standing in the crowd waiting to trip him up.  Or would I?  Sinister laugh.  I only say this to encourage him*.  See, now I've planted the seeds of doubt in his mind the least you could do is sponsor him.  No pressure.  

*I say encourage, I mean, of course, threaten. 



Monday, 3 March 2014

Thoughts from on high

Scotland (yes again)

As someone with an incurable illness I have obviously given thought to all sorts of deep and meaningful matters and, after a short struggle, have achieved enlightenment.  I have generously decided to share two of my insights with you lesser mortals (if you are a fellow illness sufferer then do bear with me while I talk to our benighted chums).

Insight 1

Do not think that, while simmering porridge on the stove, you have enough time to go into the garden for two bloody nanoseconds to feed the birds without there being a huge and Vesuvius-like oatmeal disaster back in the kitchen.

Insight 2

In the event of a huge and Vesuvius-like oatmeal disaster do not think that it is a good idea to let the spillage cool before trying to clear it up.  It sets like sodding concrete.  This is a particular pain if, as in the case with my stove, the manufacturer’s instructions insist that you clean the hob with nothing more abrasive than the downy fluff from an Angora rabbit’s armpit. 

Which reminds me, I saw a TV quiz programme the other day and, when asked to name a country being with A, the contestant said ‘Angora’.  Honestly, some people.  Actually I only mock the poor woman to make myself feel better about last Friday. 

The other-half and I went along with our pals J and M to a village quiz.  J and M will be moving to the village in question soon so we were on our best behaviour in order not to disgrace them before they move in.  This meant the other-half having to concentrate very hard on not falling over and breaking anything and me trying to remember not to fart loudly in public (harder than it sounds).  Anyway all went well until the sport round when we scored a big fat zero.  As our score was called out the room went quiet there was a gasp of disbelief at our incredible stupidity and then a round of applause.  No other team managed to score zero in any of the rounds.  Oh the shame.  We did redeem ourselves a bit in other rounds though.  All I can say is thank goodness for the 80s music questions. 

Before I go, just a word of warning.  In search of even more all round fantastic-ness I will be observing Lent (which starts on Wednesday) by giving up Fruit Ninja.  There may be some tetchiness. 

Friday, 21 February 2014

Reasons to be cheerful

Picture from here

I saw the oncolcolgist on Wednesday and I'm a Stable Mabel.  There has been no marked change in my lymph nodes or lung lessions since my previous scan in November.  Also there are no new appearances of the little cancer bastards anywhere.  So while not as thrilling as last time (when the lung crap had shrunk) it's still very good news.  

Also good news is that the oncologist, Dr Oily, is retiring.  When he told me of his impending departure I think I was supposed to express regret.  Pah!  However, I was restrained enough not to leap around the consulting room punching the air shouting "see ya, wouldn't want to be ya".  I am the model of decorum.  Anyway, I'm hoping to see a less smug and self-satisfied doctor in future.

Other things that I've found cheery of late are:
  • An advert featuring a cat and budgie, click here
  • A biscuit advert with a huge aaah factor, click here
  • Channel 4's Sochi advert, good on 'em, click here  
And on that jolly note I'll say ta-ra for now.  Normal whinging to be resumed next time.