Saturday, 31 December 2016

The best laid plans...

Oh dear. Poor Shirley and Andy have succumbed to the dreaded lurgy, which was brought up north by their son over Christmas. He was ill the whole time while with them, but at least they had fun with their granddaughter and his girlfriend. But what that means is that our New Year plans are scuppered.

I could, of course, go over there and hold my breath for 2 days in the hope that I don't get sick before I jet off to South Africa in a mere 6 days time, but given that it seemingly takes 3 days for the bug to hit and then the sickness which lasts for well over a week, Shirley and I decided it probably would be an extremely bad idea to even contemplate it. So that's that.

I'm now thinking about joining in with the village New Year and will reveal all in due course.

Apart from all that, I've had some bad news from my dear friends in France and my very close friend in London too and it seems that 2016 is still reaching out it's awfulness and spreading it around the world to affect us all. At least there's just one more day to go and then it'll be 2017 and we can only hope that it'll be a better year.

The only thing is... I have a distinct memory I said that at the end of 2015 and probably 2014, 2013 etc etc too! But we can all live in hope and that's the way I'm playing it.

I wish you all a brilliant year ahead. Roll on 2017!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Home! Phew!

I'm really sorry to admit that I couldn't stay in London until today, so came home yesterday after having lunch with my brother's ex-wife and her boyfriend.

Christmas was as awful as I thought it would be, but there were some very funny moments and I just feel so grateful that my wonderful sons were there to help me through it all.

It started when I got a phone call from my brother to say my mother was complaining that no-one was bothering with her. Meanwhile I had been running up and down the stairs to check on her approximately every half hour from around 7 and when I said she'd been asleep every time I'd been up she said, 'I wasn't asleep, I just had my eyes closed.' Yup... that'll be right!

My mother was alternately weepy, bad tempered and kind and that went on all day. We drank fizz and ate.

She informed me she didn't like nut roast (in spite of having it every time she goes to my brother's for Xmas!) and so I needn't have bothered to make my own and could have had the Sainsburys substitution. Ah well... I enjoyed my own cooking. My mother sat at the Xmas table for all of 5 minutes before declaring she was going to go back to bed and decided she didn't want anything to eat until she did. I'm saying no more.

The boys and I played games and watched Kubo And The Two Strings, a film No. 2 Son had brought with him on his hard drive. It was amazing and I urge you to check it out.

We also went on lots of walks to just get out of the house and have some fresh air. We needed it.

On Boxing Day the boys and I went on a very long walk and then back in the afternoon. My mother was still not feeling well and I made food for her and opened a bottle of fizz. The boys and I made our own dinner and sat in my room on the bed eating as my mother had gone to bed, but then she suddenly appeared and started shouting at us about the mess her kitchen was in. Great!

After getting her back to bed, we cleared up and then relaxed by watching another one of No. 2 Son's movies, Zootopia... another great film, and drank more fizz. As we were sitting there No. 1 Son said, 'There's a mouse.' And sure enough there was. In spite of my mother wanting her house to be clean and perfect, there was still a mouse. I had to laugh. We left it to its own devices.

Yesterday, when I got up I realised I couldn't possibly stay with my mother on my own, so exchanged my ticket home from today to yesterday and it was with huge relief that I got into my house at just before 10 pm.

I should have been in before then, but just one teeny tiny problem is that I dropped my house keys in my car and couldn't find them. No matter I thought, I'll get the spares from their hiding place and get a torch and search, but as I didn't have a torch I couldn't see a thing and didn't find the key. Back to the car and after a rather long look I found them in my open pocket of my bag where they'd dropped when I was fiddling trying to get myself sorted. Gotta laugh!

And that's the end of that. Now I'm looking forward to New Year with my dear friends, Shirley and Andy, which I know will be stress-free and fun. I need it, believe me!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Happy Xmas!

Here I am, in London, after a stressful couple of days getting everything in order and ready for Xmas Day.

The food I ordered from Sainsburys and was sent to my friend's house had a touch of disaster about it, when they substituted the nut roast I'd ordered for a mushroom and pumpkin wellington. In anyone else's world this would have been fine, but my mother hates mushrooms with a vengeance and so I had to do a last minute rethink.

What actually happened is that I got out my old recipe book and chopped and packeted up my own nut roast to make today. Hopefully, it's all there, but at least the bottle of sparkling Shiraz I bought for myself will go someway to making my day zip by and should ameliorate any stress. I think I'm gonna need it.

Yesterday I got on the train for London to discover that No. 2 Son was on the same train. We had a short conversation before he went back to his seat to sleep and then we met up with No. 1 Son who'd come on a slightly earlier train and had been in Kings Cross half and hour before us. So far so good.

We got to my mother's house to discover she was feeling very unwell. I left the boys to it and went off to my friend's house to collect the meat I'd ordered for them. Managed all of that with little problem and then it was time for us to go out to dinner to the restaurant my mother had booked. She didn't come and we had a lovely evening.

Then it was back to the house for chat and laughs before heading for bed.

So all that remains is for me to wish you a very happy Christmas and I hope yours will be stress-free. I can see that I'm probably going to have to employ pretty much every one of my stress management tips to keep mine that way, but then at least I know them all by heart!

Have a good one!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Results are through

I've now had the results from my biopsy. 

The surgeon and I have decided that, as the first free Wednesday (the day he does Moh's surgery - which is the one I want rather than the NHS hatchet job where I lose half my nose), is the day before I go to South Africa on my hols, that won't work. So the date for the actual surgery will be 1st February.

In some ways I'm really pleased to know and get it sorted and, of course, in others I wish I didn't have to go through it. However, as cancers go, this one is minimal. It's just the reconstructive bit that's invasive and that depends on how big the hole is that the surgeon makes - and none of that will be known until the day.

So there you are. Nothing more to report on any of this until beginning of Feb.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

I succumbed

I really don't like all this 'selfie' stuff... multiple pics people seem to take and post. However, I have actually succumbed, after many people telling me I should get one, to getting a selfie stick. Why, I hear you ask?

Well the thing is, I am mostly on my own and very occasionally I want to take a pic with me in it and have discovered that holding my phone at arm's length doesn't actually do much but make my nose look large.

I came across one stick that was reduced to a very reasonable £8.99 on Amazon with no p&p charges. It had pretty good reviews and, although this didn't really matter, it was a rather nice shade of pink, which kind of matches my phone and my life at the moment (!). So I made the decision to go ahead and buy.

I know it will probably stay in the drawer a lot of the time, but I'm going to take it to London with me for Xmas so that I can take some pics of me and my boys together - undoubtedly all making faces as we do - but hopefully will get some nice photos.

And it's worth £8.99 just for that!

Monday, 12 December 2016

An extra day

I had a real blip while in London. I thought I'd booked my ticket for Saturday and was all geared up, case packed and just about to head out of the door when I looked at my ticket and realised it was for Sunday and not Saturday!

Ok, so I had an extra day in London... what to do? I decided I'd take myself to the theatre and really wanted something lively, so picked School of Rock. What a great choice! It was an amazing show. Everything from the sets, to the singing, to the kids was just fantastic. A truly great way to spend an afternoon in a very overcrowded, rainy Central London.

That evening my mother wanted to watch Strictly, so we settled down with a bottle of wine. However, little did I know that, although my mother has been watching it for a long time, she hadn't quite caught on to the concept. The conversation went like this:

Mum: I like that couple. He's a fantastic dancer.
Me: Yes. He won last year I think.
Mum: Well what's he doing back this year?
Me: He's the professional.
Mum: Professional?! That's appalling! Only amateurs are supposed to take part!

There then followed my explaining Strictly. All I can say is, luckily there were only 4 couples taking part and thank goodness for wine!

Apart from that, the office party went very well, with lots of hilarity and was great fun. My catch-ups with friends were also just lovely. Even my meetings with solicitors and accountants went without a hitch. So all in all a good time was had, but I am pleased to be back in the peace and quiet of my own home.

Now I just have to gear myself up for Christmas and going down to London again. I'm already feeling stressed just thinking about it!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

It's Christmas party time!

Today was puppy party time... so much fun!

Chaos reigns!

Try getting 9 puppies to sit and look at the camera is a highway to hell... so much so I didn't bother to take any pics, but left it to others. This one was taken by Susan who is Molly's puppywalker. Molly is the photogenic one at the back on the right, in Susan's husband's arms. Molly was a proper photo diva, staring lovingly at the camera all the time while all around her chaos reigned.

Games were played, prizes given and then the people ate the food we'd all brought while the pups just continued to have fun with each other.

Now I'm packing my gear ready for London tomorrow. I have a party of my own to go to on Friday, but before that there's meetings to attend, mother to deal with and friends to have dinner with. Some things I'm looking forward to more than others!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Puppy power?

This week has been pretty full-on.

On Monday, Ziggy, a 12-week old Guide Dog puppy came to stay as Alex and Jackie, her Puppy Walkers were off on a jolly. It was supposed to be until Thursday, but sadly on the Tuesday Jackie got taken into hospital with suspected diverticulitis and so Ziggy stayed until today.

I'd forgotten just how exhausting young puppies are... and also how little I get done, but it was so much fun. I also used her stay as an opportunity to brush up on my training skills and, although her sit was pretty good when she came, by the time she left she could sit and wait and down and stay. I was very pleased and Alex was thrilled when he came to pick her up and Ziggy showed off her newfound skills.

Ziggy doing her perfect sit and wait!

On Wednesday I had to go to Glasgow for my biopsy and Ziggy went off to spend the day with Molly (aged 15 weeks) and Folly, (yes that's Guide Dog names for you!), who's a 2 year-old rejected Guide Dog due to her skin allergy. Apparently they had lots of fun. Ziggy was exhausted when she got back.

I was also exhausted as I'd had to drive to Glasgow, get the biopsy done and then drive straight back. There's no news on the biopsy front and won't be for 3 weeks as the doc has gone on his hols. Meanwhile, I have a lovely large scab on my nose, which looks utterly delightful... not! I'm hoping it heals by this coming Wednesday as I have to scoot to London for meetings and Xmas party. I can see me sticking a plaster over the top so I don't frighten the children!

Today has been marketing day. The price of the paperback version of my book, for just one week only, has been discounted to £3.99 ($5.48). I was told it would make a great stocking filler and was charged with taking a pic of Ziggy and the book together... something to do with puppies being able to sell anything. We'll see if that's true or not, but I managed, after not too many attempts to get the perfect pic, as Ziggy's new found down and stay expertise came to the fore.

Ziggy doing a brilliant job!

If you'd like to buy a copy at this incredibly cheap price then do go to:

It's just at this price until next Saturday.