Sunday, 28 April 2013

A wet walk along the canal.


Horses and Canal stitch

Yesterday, we set off with the heartbeat gang on a walk along the canal at Mirfield. Because of my illness and also the rotten weather, we haven’t been on one of these walks for ages, and it certainly showed! The others left us for standing, and as usual the weather spoiled itself by throwing it down! Luckily I had had the foresight to take my brolly along, as a second sense told me that as soon as he who is in charge of the weather knew I was out and about, he’d send the rain. Happens every time! (somebody up there doesn’t like me!)  Kerri fell further and further behind, but T said he would stay with her and encouraged me to catch up to the others but I couldn’t do it. 

We three turned around at the ford across the canal, and then slowly made our return. By this time, the rain cloud had disappeared, and the sun came out amongst the fluffy clouds. It was perfect apart from all the puddles and mud that was now adorning the towpath.  Nevertheless, it was lovely to be with the gang again, and we eventually arrived at one of our favourite lunch venues, the Railway Inn, where we enjoyed a very tasty lunch. I had a Turkey dinner and Kerri had a burger meal. All for £4.99 each.  We swilled that down with an Appletizer and Soda with ice. 

Some of our walking friends who live not far from us offered to give us a lift home which we very gratefully accepted.

Here are the pictures taken on our walk along the canal.  Hope that you enjoy them.



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Monday, 25 February 2013

The door lock Saga.

Following being instructed by my Oncologist to ‘sort something out for Kerri’ and following some intense consultations with her social worker, it was decided by all concerned that the best plan was to look at Kerri living in a supported living house with three other tenants who have varying special needs. The only venue with a vacancy was fairly close to where she goes for day care services, and as an added bonus she knows one of the tenants already living there.

We visited to look around. The room that was chosen as her bedroom needed lot’s of work doing to it such as decorating to her taste, new carpet, new furniture etc, and she and I began saving like mad, not an easy task over the Christmas period! Slowly Kerri was introduced to the other tenants and support staff via various ‘tea visits’ and a sleepover which ended up being a complete shambles, where because she couldn’t lock her bedroom door from the inside in order for some privacy and to feel safe, she ended up spending the night sleeping in her friends bed!

So we obviously insisted on a ‘privacy lock’ being fitted to the door before she was prepared to sleep over again. Time went by and eventually a lock (actually an old toilet lock judging by the fact that it stated on the outside of the door ‘Vacant’ when unlocked and ‘Engaged’ when locked!).  Whilst up there delivering some bedding for her new bed, we tried the lock out just to make sure that Kerri could move the bolt on from her side at night.  All seemed well and although it was a trifle stiff to move, needing a lean against the door to fully lock, she managed to move the bolt fully home.  A sleepover was arranged for Tuesday of this week.  I envisaged no problems now that her bedroom was looking attractive and she could lock the door.


How wrong did that prove to be!  Apparently following tea and a bath, she decided to go and lay down on her bed for a nap. Of course this  entailed locking her door, when horrors of horrors, the knob on the bolt came off in her hand!  She was locked in!  Shouting out “Help!” to the staff soon brought assistance and they sent for the fire brigade to come and break down the door so that she could get out!   I could see it all in my minds eye, the fire truck lights ablazing screeching up outside, several burly firemen rushing in to rescue Kerri from her predicament!  And this is only her second sleep over!

WP_20130215_001Needless to say that a new lock has now been put on her bedroom door that seems much more suitable and really should have been installed in the first place. Where the joiner had got the previous one from I dread to think!  A job lot from demolished toilets?  To be honest with you all, I’ve actually been having nightmares about this blasted bedroom lock, and doing some internet homework (entailing scouring Amazon and also visiting our local Wicks) I found some really good one’s for just £10 and was actually tempted at one point to buy one and employ my own joiner to fit it to the door!

PhotoI laughed so much about this incident and my thoughts on how the support staff up there are going to have to adjust to my daughter and her needs (and frequent ‘incidents'!). The other residents have never asked for a ‘privacy lock’ to be fitted to their doors, she has insisted, she knows what she wants, she has demands and voices them in no uncertain terms (though she still uses me far too much as her spokesperson) but little do they know this is probably just the tip of the iceberg.  There will never be a dull moment, that I can promise!

Wonder what's next?


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Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Blue Hood.


The most annoying aspect of the whole scenario I am about to tell was that I wasn’t looking up when the blue hood boarded the bus.  Instead, I was probably staring at my phone like the rest of the human race seem to do these days and so I missed seeing the contents of the blue hood. Had it not ended up sitting in the seat immediately in front of me, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it and this blog post would not be being written.  Instead, I looked up to see a huge blue hood, complete with arms issuing forth from it, one of those huge hoods where the occupant cannot be seen from the side view at all.

Who or what was inside that hood?  A girl? A boy? An alien? I had no way of knowing. Judging by the arm casually draped over the back of the seat, it was probably fairly young of age, we oldies don’t tend to sit arms akimbo in our bus seats as a general rule.  The more I looked at the back of the blue hood, the more curious I became. There was just a shape hidden underneath that hood, head shaped yes but that meant nothing.  Oh how I wished the object under the hood would turn around!  I was almost tempted to prod the shape in the back in order to cause it to do so,  but managed to stop myself in time.

It could be anything inside there!  I couldn’t even tell if it was male or female. Hmm. Perhaps I would eventually have my curiosity sated and be able to see the occupant of the blue hood when they alighted from the bus!  Keeping my fingers crossed that it would alight from the bus before me, I continued to sit there staring at the back of the hood hoping against hope for clues.  Ahh!  The bell rang, the blue hood arose from its seat in front of me, and much to my annoyance without so much as a glance back down the bus, got off and walked away, blue hooded top covering the whole contents apart from some legs which protruded from underneath. Drat!

So next time your busy on the bus or train, gazing down intently at your mobile screen, do remember the strange creature I encountered inside the blue hood won’t you? You never know what your missing!


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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A few flakes.

Just a few flakes of snow. That’s all it seems to take to bring the whole country to its knees.  When will the United Kingdom ever be able to cope with a few flakes of snow and not grind to a standstill? Because winters were far harsher when I was a girl, with snow that fell for days, blew into drifts sometimes six feet deep, and necessitated everyone having to ‘dig’ their paths in order to even leave their premises to get to work or school, its so amazing to see how a  few inches of snow can devastate a country as it tends to do today.


The difference is of course that way back then, we didn’t rely on cars, nor was the whole country planned around car owners.  Our place of work was usually a walk away from where you lived, there were no ‘out of town’ industrial sites miles away from any residential area in those days! The same applied to shopping, your local shop catered for all of your needs and was usually again just a short walk away, not incorporated in some ‘vast shopping centre’ miles out of town.

It’s our reliance on the car to get us anywhere these days that is the real problem, not the few inches of snow that has fallen.  I watched a car owner spend half an hour yesterday clearing his car of snow, he could have walked to town in the time it took to scrape the snow from his vehicle and been far healthier for it into the bargain! 

Moan over.


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Monday, 7 January 2013

2013, A new start!

I’ve been badly neglecting my blogs of late, in fact I haven’t posted since my trip up to see my eldest son in Scotland which seems an age ago!  My readers have no doubt abandoned me, and I don’t blame them in the slightest, but in my defence, I have been ill and my blogs have suffered in the meantime.  But now its 2013! A brand new start! A new year in which to blog till I drop!

Much has passed during my blogging lull, we spent a long weekend in York, luckily my health stayed fairly stable whilst there, but if we had gone for Christmas as I originally planned, I would have been ill whilst there, and I dread to think how that would have panned out!  I’m including a Photo Album of our weekend in York which I hope you all enjoy looking at. We were there for the ice festival, which is an event in itself, but the highlight for me was the carol service on Friday night in the Minster, where I sang my heart out despite my wracking cough, as did Kerri.


Christmas day was eventful in that I did manage to make it through the Christmas dinner at our usual venue the Lane Head Hotel, only to find myself transported to hospital as soon as I arrived back home, with a high temperature. Kerri had to pack and head to respite. Luckily they keep an empty room for emergencies such as Mum’s being ill etc. I felt terrible, and although I hate it in Huddersfield hospital, for once I was glad to be there!  I’m back home now, still complete with wracking cough which I can’t seem to get rid of, and I am feeling really tired all the time. I’m probably anaemic as I have been expecting the announcement that I needed some blood for some time, the amount I’ve lost via the Fragmin injections and frequent bleeds from cannula’s, blood taken etc. It’s a wonder that there’s any left to take!

At our last chemo session, which seems eon’s ago, Kerri and I tried to enter into the Christmas spirit, and at least someone had made an effort to decorate the place to cheer everyone up.

So that’s what has been happening during the last few months that I haven’t been blogging, now its a brand new year, and I intend to write one blog post every week from now on, no matter how boring or uninteresting!

Happy New Year to all my readers who have stuck with me through the silence!

TG Open-mouthed smile

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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Up to Scotland. Kelvingrove Art Museum.

On the Saturday, we all set off to the Kelvingrove Art Museum in Glasgow. I was very excited about our day there, but my youngest grandson was none too keen, as apparently he had visited many times with school, so was a reluctant participant. On arrival, as is usual with this type of venue, we parked up and then my son had to go and buy a permit to display on his car.  I didn’t take much notice of whereabouts on the car he attached said permit, as a none car owner, I don’t really notice such things.


The building itself was a sight to behold, with ornate statues and carvings above the entrance door. Inside, it was even more elaborately decorated, and it took a while to take the carvings etc in without actually looking at the exhibits on display! Above the entrance hall as you entered was a full sized organ which was being played by someone who was out of sight as you gazed upwards. The whole place was huge, with countless corridors and exhibit rooms leading off the entrance hall, plus flights of steps taking you to other floors above and below.

The Entrance Hall

The massive organ was playing

As you can see from the shots above, the place was packed with visitors, and in the entrance hall, there were lot’s of information available about each exhibit room included in the Museum. It was vast, and it would take easily a full day (or probably more) to see everything.


Each separate room seemed to have a different theme attached to it, this room, called ‘Scotland’s Wildlife’ was dedicated to all of the animal species that used to live or reside in Scotland over the centuries.

Heads full of expression

Another area was dedicated to ‘Expressions’ and was adored with loads of ‘heads’ hung above the staircases showing different human expressions. I loved it!


Yet another area was dedicated to ‘Conflict and Consequence’ and was full of armour and weapons of every description.  It would have taken a far longer time than we had available to enjoy every aspect of the Museum, we only had time to have a quick glance at the Art Exhibition for example. I did take other photos and they are available in the following photo album. Just click on it to view them all.

However, our visit was spoiled somewhat when exiting the museum, to find a parking ticket had been slapped onto the front of my son’s car, despite the fact that he had paid for a display. He dashed off to find the parking attendants and returned fuming with the knowledge that they had given him a parking ticket simply because he wasn’t displaying the paid for ticket on his front windscreen! He had placed it on the back window instead! This incident rather took the enjoyment of the rest of the Museum away from all of us, so if you find yourself in Glasgow anytime, do pay the Museum a visit but remember! Only place your parking permit on your front windscreen!


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Up to Scotland. The journey there.

Sorry I’m late with this post everyone, haven’t been feeling up to blogging much of late, anyway, here it is!

I set off on Friday morning to our local train station to catch the 10.58 to Leeds. Kerri had been despatched to respite the day before, complete with huge hefty case. Train arrived dead on time, and I landed in Leeds station with just under half an hour to wait for the Cross Country train to Glasgow Central. I spent the waiting time taking a shot of a Battle of Britain train stood at the opposite platform.

Battle of Britain train

Our train arrived right on time, and after spending a lot of energy pelting down the platform in the wrong direction looking for coach F, I finally boarded, stashed my suitcase in the rack and settled down into my reserved seat. Lot’s of lovely leg room to stretch my legs, and no one sat beside me! Yippee!



For my lunch on the train I had taken a McDonalds Chicken Caesar salad and I could also plug my phone into the provided socket and enjoy the free Cross Country wi-fi all the way to Glasgow! How’s that for travelling in style? The journey up the east coast mainline is always enjoyable, especially when you begin to travel alongside the sea. I was lucky that I was sitting on the side next to the coast, and managed (though at the speed we were travelling it wasn’t easy!) to get some shots as we flew past which I’m including below as part of a photo album.

 We absolutely seemed to fly all the way up to Glasgow, changing crew along the way. This is necessary because this train has journeyed all the way from Plymouth, and its quite a journey! We arrived in Glasgow Central early and my eldest son and his family were waiting on the platform. It was a tearful reunion for me, I knew it would be! I haven’t seen my two grandchildren for two years in the flesh, and they had both grown so much and are both far taller than me.

My eldest informed me that they had had to park the car some distance away from the station as a fish and chip shop outside had burned down, so there was no access for cars at that time as the fire brigade had closed off all the street. There had also been a big water leak nearby as well, so it was a bit chaotic to say the least.

We all had lot’s to talk about and before I knew it, I was being greeted at the door by Sandi the dog and all the cats!  A welcome cup of tea, then we set off to the supermarket so that I could buy some bits and pieces in, such as my gluten free bread and cereals etc, then we all spent the night watching Prometheus on Blue Ray which I had taken there with me so that they could watch it.

Tomorrow, they planned to take me to the Kelvingrove Art Museum, so I was really looking forward to that!


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Monday, 24 September 2012

The best laid plans.


We had one of those days on Saturday. A day where none of my plans came to fruition and it was all my own fault.. The initial plan was to walk down to our local train station, catch a train to Leeds, buy my train tickets for my forthcoming trip up to Scotland to visit my eldest son and his family, then another train to Huddersfield and from there the last leg home. That was the plan.  We did arrive at our local train station where unfortunately I began to suffer from griping stomach pains, no doubt caused by eating lot’s of soft liquorice the day before.


Panic set in, and we ended up dashing down the road to Sainsbury’s for a toilet instead of clambering aboard the Leeds train.  At this point, we did discuss abandoning the whole trip and going back home, but eventually deciding that the risk was worth it we caught the bus to Huddersfield, thereby completely cutting out Leeds altogether.  It was a beautiful day, with a cloudless sky and far too good to waste, even if I was in some discomfort and having to keep my shop browsing to shops which I knew contained a loo. How embarrassing I thought and completely self inflicted as well! What idiot eats a ton of soft liquorice when they are planning to venture out on a run-around the following day? You all know the answer to that one!

Needless to say, I did make it home without having any mishaps or embarrassments and can assure my readers that I won’t be so foolish ever again.  So remember everyone, if your planning a day out the following day, keep off the liquorice!


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Facing reality.

It has taken me a full week of indecision, of toying with ‘should I compose a post or shouldn’t I?’ questions. How to word it? How to explain how I feel about my current situation? Should I just keep quiet and keep it to myself? As I’m am a great believer in the old saying, ‘A trouble shared is a trouble halved’ and although I don’t know most of you personally, I am also sure that putting it all down ‘on paper’ as it were, might help to clear my thoughts and my mind, so here goes.

You see, the last three sessions of Carboplatin  I have received have not worked. Not only that, the cancer is now spreading into my bones in my spine. I never do anything by halves, and this particular cancer is a swine. Serous Carcinoma. You can Google it if you want to know more about it. It’s quite rare and a sneaky little so and so, wandering around via your blood stream or lymph nodes into other areas, and is seemingly immune to anything you throw at it.  I was told the news last week by my Oncologist, and although I have insisted on trying another type of chemo before throwing in the towel in defeat, she also advised me that I really needed to sort out Kerri’s future.  We had a heart to heart chat about how it may ‘pan out’ and she warned me that although I might be feeling okay now, once my liver begins to pack up, my deterioration will be fairly swift. Not painful she assured me, but occurring rather quickly, hence the advice that I must sort out arrangements for Kerri’s future.

It is this aspect that fills me with dread. We have been inseparable she and I, for so long and the thoughts of her leaving to go and live somewhere else fills me with a sadness I cannot explain to anyone. I don’t fear dying, its something that we all have to face sooner or later, its a part of living and will occur to us all as sure as eggs are eggs, but the thought of seeing my sidekick leave, knowing I face it all on my own without her is almost too much to bear. Yet, I have to do it, I must know she is settled and happy somewhere before I leave. Truth be known, I’ve been putting it off for so long, I should have encouraged her to move to a shared house years ago but she didn’t want to go, and I secretly didn’t want her to go either. We’re never apart, so much so that people in town who know us both pass me by without recognising me if I’m by myself. It’s come to the point these last few years, as I have begun to have health problems, that I need her as much as she needs me. But I have to be strong and unselfish and think of her and her future needs, not mine.

In the meantime, if the Taxol I am to be given in the next few weeks, doesn’t begin to shrink the little blighter, I will then continue fighting by myself by keeping myself fit till I drop with exercise and walking, and by eating a cancer busting diet. I won’t give in until my last breath, its not in my nature to do so. I shall also keep smiling and making the best of each day as it comes, although without my trusty sidekick that will be more difficult to do.

I will also keep blogging as long as I feel up to it, and as long as I feel the subject matter is interesting enough to write about.


Saturday, 8 September 2012

Thoughts from the corner seat.


I don’t want to give the impression that I tend to spend a lot of time whiling away the hours sat in the Merrie England coffee bar, but I did find myself sitting in my usual favourite corner seat on Tuesday, contemplating some of the other patrons as I did so.  It wasn’t planned at all to even pay a visit, but suddenly I was overcome by an urge to sample a piece of their delicious home cooked apple pie, an experience that I wish you could all try out. Oozing with apple and surrounded by melt in the mouth pastry, its to die for, and this Granny shouldn’t even eat it!  Knowing full well that in all probability, I’d be wracked with tummy ache afterwards, I decided to risk it and found myself standing at the counter ordering a piece of apple pie (without ice cream or cream though!) and a small latte coffee.

Peering down the room as I waited, I noted that my favourite corner spot was currently occupied by a lady known to me.  I made my way down the aisle towards her just as she was just about to leave.  We made polite conversation and I then took her place in the corner to enjoy my treat.  Glancing around from my vantage point, I couldn’t see anyone that I recognised.  As I sat there observing everyone, I noticed a lady trying to find somewhere to sit.  As most of the tables already had at least one occupant, she eventually ended up asking another lady who was sat at a table in the middle row if it was okay to sit at her table.  She sat down. They obviously did not know one another.  After a few minutes of sitting opposite each other in silence, they eventually began a polite conversation, such as the one that took place between myself and the man with a Kindle on my previous visit to Merrie England, when I ended up sitting at his table.

As I watched between these two ladies who had previously been strangers to one another, it did made me wonder how many people had become friends simply by sitting at the same table and striking up a conversation with each other.  It would be very interesting to be able to find out wouldn’t it?