Wednesday, 7 October 2015

13 things I have learnt in 13 years of being a parent.

Being a Mum isn't easy, my eldest is nearly 13 - so I have been doing this job, THE job, for the past 13 years (if you don't count the pregnant bit). Here's some of what I have learnt:


  1. You need to re-define yourself after you have kids, you are no longer, so and so, manager of such and such, who likes a drink and a dance at the weekend. You are a Mum who works (if that is your choice, it was my choice). How do you do that? How do you maintain an element of youness. In my case I got a load of tattoos and work a condensed week so I can have Monday's to myself. Other people may find other, less extreme ways to re-define their youness. 
  2. You have to come to terms with your body, it changes, significantly, and sometimes in your more 'personal' area's. Which is nice (NOT). And you may change how you feel about your body, especially in this ridiculous media and celebrity led world where your body is supposed to be perfect again five minutes after having a baby. 
  3. Babies, children and near teens are all ridiculously demanding, needy, funny and lovable in turns, if you are lucky (and I think I am) you get the last two things more than the first two things.
  4. I thought nappies, and formula milk was expensive, then I thought kids parties (including, presents, party bag and soft play*shudder*)were expensive, now I think my pre-teen is super expensive and I fear for when she gets into brands...the lesson here, is not a new one. Children cost way, way more than you think they will...I need a pay rise before daughter two hits the teens. Ugh.
    Me and my girls
  5. Whatever coolness you may have had as an adult, in your child's eyes disappears, around the time they are 11 and go to secondary school, at which point, they think you are the least cool person in the world, who has no idea of anything! 'Do you even know what You Tube is Mum????' Maybe if I Vlogged this, I would be cooler..hmmm......
  6. You say stuff your parents said, and swore you would never say to your kids. This is FACT. 
  7. Your whole life changes, here are some of the infamously stupid things I said whilst pregnant;
    1. We will have a date night once a month
    2. I will still go clubbing occasionally
    3. I won't need to move anything in the house to make it safe, it's fine 
    4. How on earth do people not have time to read. Ridiculous
    5. How tired can you possibly be?
    6. How hard can this be, women have been giving birth in fields since, like, forever (sorry I briefly turned American)
  8. You will watch an inordinate amount of kids TV. Most of what they like now, is American, which is why my children call rubbish, trash...gah.
  9. You will occasionally fall for big eyed begging, however much you try not to.
  10. Take loads of photo's because they really do grow up so quickly.
  11. You will never have loved as much as you love your children, they come before everybody and everything. They are number one
  12. You would do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, not to hear them cry in pain or suffer in any way
  13. You can't help but be proud of every achievement, every success. You burst with joy. Even their first poo.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Shoes

I have small wide feet, I used to love my feet, they were the one part of my body I tended not ot be highly critical of.

Then I broke my ankle and my ankle and foot vary in size depending on what I have been doing. I brought some shoes just before I broke my ankle, I just tried them on and I can't get them around the ankle at all now.. Too much metalwork.

I used to be able to squeeze them into any shoe I took a liking to, I loved a big wedge, or a 6 inch heel. I liked to mooch around in Birkenstocks or Havenda's. Now, these are too flat and not spongy enough. I need some bounce in my sole.

So I am on the hunt for the perfect shoe, one that doesn't make me look like a granny, that can give my bounce and I can wear all day.

The shoes that are working at the moment are my Fly ankle boots with a small wedge heel and my Fitflops.
Any suggestions, I would love your thoughts.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Five Years

It has been five years since I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML)

I was diagnosed in September 2010.

It was a complete shock - I have talked about that here.

In fact I have talked about it off and on for years. Living with a chronic disease isn't always easy, you need to get 'stuff' off your chest.

Mostly people forget I have anything wrong with me, which is brilliant because the last thing I want or need is people feeling sorry for me.

I would, occasionally like them to remember that I can't try the next fad diet - or take strange vitamins and minerals with out checking with my doctor first.

I can't run or walk quickly to things, as I do get breathless because of the anemia which reduces the amount of red blood cells in my blood, this is caused by the drug that keeps me alive - Dasatanib.

My CML is now undetectable in my blood and has been for some time. This is amazing because in principle I am in full remission, but unlike other cancers, I am not cured nor am I likely to be, there is no cure (yet). So it is always there, in the back of my mind, could I get sick again?

The Dasatanib is a second generation Leukaemia drug which is awesome. The side effects, that I have been affected by are; headaches, this improved after a few months, nausea, I still get that off and on, anemia, fluid retention (I ended up reducing my dosage as I swelled up all over the place....not pretty), fatigue (which at times can be quite crippling) and bone and muscle aches.

However, I am so grateful that I haven't had to have traditional chemo or bone marrow transplants, which are both grueling and not always successful.

There is a part of me that would love to come off my tablets for 6 months and find out exactly which aches and pains are age related and which are infact because of the Dasatinib.

My emotions are always mixed when I talk about this, I am lucky, lucky to live now, 10 -15 years ago my chances of survival were significantly reduced, see all the lovely stats below for more info - you know how much I love a stat!

But, I am not lucky, if I was lucky I wouldn't have got the disease in the first place, I wouldn't have been one of the 15 women around my age in the UK diagnosed every year, and honestly, I resent that.

For the first two to three years I got panic attacks anytime I did anything outside the norm. Like when I went out for a drink with friends or visiting places I wasn't familiar with. After some counselling and serious naval gazing, I realised I felt fragile, I was no longer indestructible. I could die.

Now, at five years, I suppose, I am more pragmatic, I could get run over by a bus, or fall down the stairs and break my ankle (which I did) See here.

Now, I am feeling more fiesty, I want everyone to have what I have had, so I have been and will remain dry for September for Cancer Research UK - Please sponsor me here, you have no idea what a big thing this is for me..em...hello...my name is Jane and I am an alcho...you get the drift.

I try and do the MacMillan Coffee morning every year (that's on the 25th September - next Friday, just saying, if you want to sell some cakes at work, Macmillan will be very pleased with you)

And, coincidently, it's Bloodwise month, Leukaemia and Lymphoma research re-branded in June this year and became Bloodwise, and they are trying to raise awareness of blood cancers, hopefully you have seen the posters. Next month for Macmillan you can go sober for October, if you are inspired by my efforts. Its not as easy as it sounds.

And finally, one last thing. Dasatinib has really saved my life, it is now on a list of drugs that the government want to cut, as I have been on it's clinical trial I am not sure if I will be able to continue with it based on what the cuts mean. This could mean a whole new situation for me and many like me (By the by it is affecting lots of drugs, not just blood cancer ones, but breast cancer as well) so if you want to sign the petition you can here.



So here's to another five years. Cheers (picks up imaginary drink and downs it in one!)

Statistics and Stuff (thanks to Cancer Research UK for the info)

About 8% of people diagnosed with Leukaemia in the UK have CML,

CML accounts for 0.2% of new cancer cases.

675 people were diagnosed with CML in the UK in 2011 of which 273 were women. For women my age, there are about 15 cases diagnosed per year, it is more prolific as you get into your sixties.

CML was first diagnosed in 1960. Prior to that I can find no reference to diagnosis or prognosis.

Prior to 1983 around 15% of people diagnosed with CML survived for more than 8 years.

Between 1983 to 2000 prognosis improved to 42% to 65%.

From 2001 it has increased to about 87%

Monday, 14 September 2015

Why I choose Grey

First some facts:

In 1860 (approx) hydrogen peroxide was first used as hair bleach, kicking off decades of broken strands and burned scalps. 
 
Approximately 92%: of women have coloured their hair, according to a Wella survey

Last year sometime, I got bored of dying my hair. I had been bleaching it blonde from about 30 and dyed it just about every colour prior to that.

I looked like this then.

About 31
About 41

Pink at 44


The trouble is, my hair is quite fine so I can't grow it when I bleach it.
 And to be honest it is quite a palaver to bleach your hair, and then constantly apply a platinum toner, then and having it cut regularly...bleugh. I am over it.

Anyway I heard grey is in, people are actually dying their hair grey - who'd have thunk it! So I am going to be on trend with my greyish hair.

I look like this now.
47
I want to grow it to just below my shoulders and two grey plaits. I think that would be cool.

My only problem with this is when I look at celebs who are the same age as me.
There seems to be some contradictions. If you are a woman, your hair MUST NOT show grey.
 Like the lovely Kylie, Davina & Julia - all my age, all gorgeous, no grey on sight.



If you are a man, grey is fine.


Like Eric, Mark & Matt, all my age, all gorgeous, plenty of grey hair in sight.

So why is that? Why is it OK for men to look their age, and women not?

When I googled about grey hair I largely ended up with photographs of women celebs who are a bit older who have a 'grey hair shocker' (i.e their roots are showing).

I am 47, very nearly 48. I am what in olden times we called middle aged, because you are at the middle of my life. Based on stats and stuff, I am actually over middle aged, not two thirds over but maybe five eights aged (that's what you get when you look at stats too much, you start talking in fractions. Beware the stat).

Basically, I am over half way through life, I have experienced some stuff, my body has some scars my face has some wrinkles and my hair has some grey, this is normal.

Why are we obsessed with the fountain of youth, people get botox, skin smoothing, face lifts, bum lifts, implants, tummy tucks, men and women alike.

We should be proud to show our age, it shows we have seen some stuff, we might even know some things and be a bit wise. Oh yes.

It seems I am not normal, all my friends and colleagues dye their hair, I cannot think of one woman I know who has let their hair go grey.

So by being natural I am going out on a limb and being the weird one. Not normal. Again.

Who wants to be not normal with me - Up the revolution sisters!!!

For previous hair related blogs and if you want to have a good laugh at previous hair do's you can go here and here (and that's the one's about the hair on my head!)



Nine

My Lola is nine, my much wanted baby girl arrived at 4am, 4 weeks early 9 years and one day ago, completely perfect. Here she is year on year,

Lola at 0

Lola at 1

Lola at 2

Lola at 3

Lola at 4 (that's a Pepper pig cake, there may have been some issues with colour....

Lola at 5 at a trip to the Zoo with Godfather Ken and her big sister

Lola at 6 - ready to dance in a dance show

Lola at 7 all grown up in her school uniform (excuse the state of the house we were having work done)

Lola at 8 after being at her friends makeover party

And Lola at 9 all hot and bothered after playing laser quest with her friends
Like everyone we have birthday traditions, one of them is to get measured. She still isn't quite as tall as her big sister at nine, but she is closing the gap.

Today, I am relaxing at home, and guess who is with me, full of cold and not very well at all, my newly nine year old. Poor Lola. One week back at school and already lurgified, but still gorgeous and still my girl.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Autumn

The kids are back at school and the leaves are turning russet reds and oranges, mmmm it must be the start of Autumn.



I love Autumn.

Myself and both my daughters have birthdays in Autumn, I got married in Autumn, and Autumn leads up to CHRISTMAS, whoop whoop! (Not sure I could have fitted the word Autumn more into that sentence).

There is nothing wrong with Autumn at all, the smell of bonfires and fireworks, sparklers, conkers and frosty walks. Lovely.



Its the time of year where you get to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and a warm fire. It is OK to watch dreadful telly (X Factor & Strictly) because it's just 'that time of year'.

Everyone stops talking about 'bikini bodies' and dieting, because a nice long cardie covers a multitude of sins (Yes I am THAT old) and it is not a standard time for a beach holiday.

Everyone just relaxes a bit, it's pre-Christmas party season and post holiday, it's the season where you can just chill. It's OK to eat cake, particularly on the 25th September when it is the Macmillan Coffee Morning.

For me it's a time to do leaf prints and autumnal photography (lovely light), buy a few bits to enhance the winter wardrobe (more cardies) and drink port and mulled wine - not together, that would be ridiculous! Still no alcohol until the end of September as I continue to be sober for Cancer Research UK (You can still donate on my just giving page ...HERE)

So what are you all up to this Autumn, I would love to hear x


Saturday, 5 September 2015

Addiction, and how I manage it.

I have a slightly addictive personality, that doesn't mean you can't help but love me (that's obviously the case), what I mean is, I can get addicted to things easily.

Take cigarettes, I was a 40 a day girl, I tried patches (numerous times) and hypnotherapy to give up. Nothing worked. Even when I was pregnant with my first girl I smoked, I reduced it significantly but I still smoked. I am not proud of that.
It was almost impossible to find a photo of me, without a cigarette.

What finally stopped me?

I couldn't stay pregnant after my first baby, I had an ectopic pregnancy then two miscarriages, and no, there is no explanation for miscarriages, but I really wanted to give myself the best chance, so I stopped. No patches, no hypnotherapy, nothing. I found something I wanted more than a cigarette. A second child.

I gave up on September 7th 2005, On September 13th 2006, I gave birth to my 2nd daughter. It is almost exactly 10 years since I gave up smoking. I have not even had a drag on a cigarette since then for fear I might start again. Giving up was absolutely horrendous, I don't want to have to do that again. I also told myself I could start again when I was 60, because the thought of NEVER AGAIN, was too much.

Another example of this is tattoo's, I had my first tattoo at 29 (I wanted them from about 18, but it took me 11 years to get the bottle to do it). I don't know how many tattoo's I have now. I have a sleeve that's nearly finished, the top of my back and a leg tattoo, plus 3 tattoo's at the base of my spine, I am far from done. They are addictive, but at least they aren't bad for my health.

Something that is bad for my health is alcohol. I like wine, red wine, it's lovely, it relaxes me, it makes me giggle. I like a glass or two in the evening, but lately it's been a bottle a night. This is not healthy and I should try to be healthy as I have been living with blood cancer for the last 5 years. So I am being a Dryathlete this September for Cancer research UK, and because I am putting it here I have to do it.

Please sponsor me HERE on my just giving page. With out all the research into blood cancer I wouldn't be here, so let's kill two birds with one stone. I stay a bit healthier and you donate to a great cause that all of us have been touched by.

I have blogged a few times about my blood cancer, here are a couple of examples - here and here
if you want to know more.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

10 ways I am enjoying myself more.

I can't believe that it is nearly two months since I last posted anything on here, but life, work and everything doesn't half get in the way of the things you really enjoy.

I have been trying to spend more time doing the things I do enjoy and less of the things I don't.

I started the year with a bit of bad luck, I didn't manage to continue on in a job I loved, and was doing temporarily, when I completely messed up the interview for the permanent post and had to go back to my substantive post. Then a week later I broke my ankle and ended up being off work for 3 months. I have talked about this before - here.

On the upside I have now got a years worth of holiday to take in nine months. So this has helped me do more of the things I enjoy.

Here is my list of things I enjoy.

One

I read a book the other week whilst on holiday in France - this may not sound like a big deal but at   the moment I am managing to read approximately one book a year. (This is a bit rubbish considering I used to read at least one book a week at Uni). It was Funny Girl by Nick Hornby, which is a great read. I am now attempting to read Ulysees by James Joyce and Freak Onomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner. I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

Two

I have spent more time in my garden, since we had it 'done' it is the perfect space to hang out and generally chill. I am writing this in my pod.

The Pod and the Beach Hut Shed
Three

And I managed to paint the shed to look like a beach hut - which is nice.

Four

I have done more gardening, I know the names of flowers and everything!!!! My Mum would be so proud.

I have been growing some heritage plants, like these.....
Heritage multi-coloured carrots

Chocolate cherry tomatoes - not quite ready yet

Boothy blonde cucumbers

Cuca-melons
Five

We've had more BBQ's and fun at home.

Six

I uploaded Windows 10 onto my computer (I am a sad geek) and I have messed about on Pinterest, played a lot of Candy Crush and words with friends.


Seven

I have saved all my photo's onto a big drive somewhere other than on my computer so they are safe no matter what (and the geekiness continues)

Eight

I have had long lie ins (I love my bed).

Nine


I have stayed up late and drank too much wine (I love wine).

(During both 8 & 9 I have spent a lot of time thinking about my next tattoo, check out my Pinterest to see what I have been looking at)

Ten (or the most important one of all)

I have spent loads of times with my kids and my husband

So not the most rock and roll list in the world, but a happy one. I would definitely recommend gardening, wine and long lie ins. Just not all at the same time.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Gallery - Sports

We are not a sporty family, we do very little 'sport'. The most sporty thing that happens is my husband rides his bike to work.

My eldest is starting to experience lots of new sports at school and my youngest, loves dancing and is turning into a bit of a gymnast as a result and go into a bridge from a handstand unaided. Something I never managed to achieve.

So it is lovely when my family and friends get together and suddenly some impromptu sport happens.

A couple of weeks ago my youngest had her holy communion, after we had a BBQ and suddenly out of no where kids and adults alike, where all playing dodge ball in the back garden.

This caused much laughing, heated discussions of rules and lots and lots of fun. That's surely the best kind of sport ever. So here is my entry for this weeks Gallery on Sport.

 

Monday, 15 June 2015

The New Rules (or Nature Abhors a Vacuum)

I had my downstairs completely redone last year (not a euphemism).

It looked lovely, we got rid of LOADS of stuff, we de-cluttered and I spent six months going back and forth to either the charity shop or the tip, or on the computer selling things with eBay.



But what's the saying? 'nature abhors a vacuum'.

That's my home.

Where there was once space there is now clutter once more, I am not saying that I am not complicit in this, and may have bought the odd new thing to fill the space.

But, oh my God, children totally fill space.

So I set some new rules:

All shoes to be tidied away in their bedroom....now I spend all my time telling them to take their shoes upstairs.

No socks on the living room floor. (What is that, anyway? - the minute they come in the socks are off and the bare feet are out, even though they have multiple pairs of slippers!)



To the eldest one, her end of the sofa is no longer to be her 'office' where she leaves her school books, headphones, sweet wrappers, pens and used tissues (Ugh!)

To the youngest one, rubbers, pens and pencils are to be put away in the cupboard provided and her yoga mat is to be rolled up and put away after use.

Then there is the hair brushes, I have no idea how this happened but it is like they are breeding, they are quite literally EVERYWHERE. This has to be a girl thing. I wonder what a group of hair brushes are called? If a group of starfish are called a galaxy then a group of hair brushes must be called a follicle or something.



Having said all this, I am someone that thinks a house is not a home without a bit of personal 'stuff' in it. I like family photos to be all about the place, I have lots of knickity knacks, all of which mean something and couldn't possible be thrown away, including a tub of shells from various beaches and a favourite stone (don't judge me). I have too many books to be minimalist, ever. And although I do shave the numbers when the bookcase is overflowing there are some that are just too special and I hope my girls will read them one day.

But what I don't understand, when I go to other people's houses, who are a lot less cluttered/messy/not full of 'stuff', is where do they put it. They must have personal items, things that mean stuff? How do they hide their wires, where are the half read, and you are definitely going to come back to, magazines? How do you get your kids to be tidy and put stuff away? I am baffled.

So I am curious, is my home the only vacuum of 'stuff' or is everyone else just better at hiding it?




Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Animals - The Gallery

On the gallery this week we are talking animals.

I adore otters.

They are funny, personable, cuddly but excellent at swimming. In short, they are awesome. 

They are also unbelievably cute when small. Please see below.

I suspect my love of Otters came from reading Tarka and Ring of Bright Water as a child, if I could live close to otters I would. I would befriend them. They could be my best friends....ok getting weird now. Anyhoo, for more animal love head over to the gallery at The Sticky Fingers Blog.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Work, Life, Home, Kids...

Whilst I have been off work I have been home to see my girls when they come home from school.

I have heard about their days, I know what homework they have and when they need to do it by.

I have cooked dinners, healthy family dinners with secret vegetables smuggled inside sauces.

I have got to know my children better, and realised that they are growing up into fine young ladies. They have their own views and thoughts on all sorts of things.

Normally, I only get this experience on Mondays as I work a condensed week, so for the rest of the week I work really long days and usually only see them just before bedtime when we are all tired and fractious.

They say everything happens for a reason. Falling downstairs and breaking my ankle has meant I have had loads of time at home.

I have experienced what it is like to be a stay at home Mum. It's been lovely.

I have had time to research the best organic & local ways to food shop on the internet. I have subscribed to have fresh flowers delivered once a month (from Bloom & Wild). I have bought a slow cooker & and a water filter.



Sadly, I could not afford to be a stay at home Mum and do any of the things in the paragraph above. And there's the rub.

I like nice things and I am not brilliant at budgeting, I like my children to have nice things (without spoiling them, obvs), I want to ensure they can go on school trips and I can take them on outings and holidays (when I am more mobile). I want them to eat healthily and encourage them to understand why I prefer to buy organic and local foods. Similarly why we recycle.

In order to achieve this and to lead a relatively comfortable financial life both my husband and I choose to work.

This experience has made me think. If I didn't work would I be a better Mum.

Could I be more of a presence in my girls life?

I asked my girls what they thought.

Lola said "I think working, cos' you get more money, but I liked you being off and around for dinner".

Heather said "I think working because you enjoy it and you are with your friends. You can get more promotions and then maybe get more money and work less and be around more. I would like you to finish earlier".

So, the verdict, they are quite happy with me working but they want me home for dinner. Food for thought. Oh and I need to get more promotions and work less...Blimey!

And they are right I do enjoy it.

The eternal work life balance remains unattainable, but I think I am close.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Gallery - Boys

This week on the Gallery we are celebrating boys.

Not being a super girly girl I often prefer the company of men, my husband is definitely my best friend, and his friends have become my friends over the years. I trust and respect them, so much so, two of them are Godfathers to my children.

Sadly I don't see them often enough (It would help if one hadn't moved to Australia and another to the far and distant Scunthorpe) but when I do see them we usually have great times.




There are other boys in my life; my two nephews, who are referred to as 'The Boys' are gorgeous great men, one turns 18 next week and the other is 20 in a month, I remember holding them as babies and not being able to imagine them as men and now here they are, going into the world and starting their adult lives - I know they will be amazing.

This was taken about 4 years ago so still boys here.

My girls also seem to have an affinity with boys. My eldest daughters first best friend was a boy and although they are not quite as close right now, as they go through the awkward pre-teen years, they still see each other from time to time and get on famously. They will both kill me for this photo, but I love it.


My daughters have also grown up with our friends boys, who are like family to us and who my daughters definitely see as family. With them, there is no sense of boys and girls they are all friends, which is lovely.

This was taken a couple of years ago, but I love the photo, and the hats!
All of these are the boys in my life and I love and care for them all. For more boys pop over to Tara's blog here.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

30 Things I have learned about being broken

I recently broke my ankle. Here is what I have learned since I broke my ankle.
  1. Breaking your ankle hurts, not just a little bit but properly like giving birth. I have only gone into shock twice; giving birth and breaking my ankle.
  2. No amount of morphine will stop the pain of having your ankle manipulated into a temporary cast whilst awake.
  3. Staying in an NHS hospital can be great and can be awful.

    The Great

  4. The student nurse who helped me have a shower and lifted my spirits.
  5. The other patients who develop a blitz-like mentality and keep each other going.
  6.  Some of the nurses were awesome, caring and considerate.

    The Awful

  7. The delays (my operation was delayed 3 times, which meant I was nil by mouth for 3 days) and in a bed 3 days longer than I needed to be.
  8. The lack of empathy from some of the nurses, particularly those on night shift (I appreciate working at night is horrible, but this shouldn't be taken out on the patients).
  9. Having the wrong bed (this is definately a first world problem). I really could have done with an electric bed that had the remote control to lift the back and the bottom (my ankle was supposed to be elevated above my heart to reduce swelling). I had two beds in six days, neither were electric, and there were plenty of patients in the two wards who had electric beds but didn't need them (two patients offered me their beds but we weren't allowed to swap).
  10. The consultant; he had little time for me and didn't answer my questions. He was intimidating and I believe, he had me moved for one night, to another ward, so he would not have to go down one flight of stairs to see me, which is a waste of all sorts of resources. He also had a go at me because my leg wasn't elevated enough, but did nothing about the bed, or provided me with a way to elevate it.
  11. They have to draw an arrow on your leg so they don't get confused?
  12. I was told I had a bad break, both my tibia and fibia were broken, but that was it. After my operation I was told I had plates and pins. No one prepared me for this 
    I saw this for the first time 3 weeks after I broke it.
  13. The NHS is under funded, under staffed and badly organised (see point 7). This wasn't news but the first time I had really had first hand experience of it. 
  14. Occupational Health were great, and kitted out my house with all the bits and pieces I would need prior to my return home.
  15. Shopmobility will provide you with a wheel chair to take home, if you give them a deposit and pay £2.00 a night for the first fortnight and £1.00 a night after that. I had no idea about this.
  16. The scaley crocodile footness is hideous. And when they take the plaster off you will find that your whole leg looks like this. *Vom*
  17. And when they take the plaster off the smell is quite...hmmm...tangible. Ick.
  18. I had funny turns (if I was Victorian, you might call it a fit of the vapours) both times they took my cast off, apparently this is quite common. Who knew.
  19. I had to inject myself in the stomach daily to stop blood clots, this causes severe bruising that is both painful and unsightly.
  20. Pulling yourself upstairs on your bottom does wonders for the old bingo wings. I have guns of steel at the moment.
  21. My leg that had the break is now half the size of the other one and has lost all muscle tone.
  22. It can take 3 months or more to recover from a bad break completely.
  23. Losing your independence is depressing at worst and boring at best.
  24. I miss driving my car and having the freedom to go anywhere, whenever I want.
  25. I miss walking, I miss my garden.
  26. Everything takes longer.
  27. I can not imagine what it must be like for someone who is never getting out of the wheelchair or off the crutches. I have had a small insight into what it is like to have a real physical disability and I am filled with admiration and respect for anyone who copes with this day in day out.
  28. I have discovered that some disabled toilets are a joke and clearly not adequet and that most pavements and ramps are jarring and bumpy.
  29. My balance is awful.
  30. I now have a fear of falling.
I would just like to say a big thank you to all my friends who have visited me and brought me lunch and generally cheered me up, and God bless the internet for saving me from day time telly.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Black and White - The Gallery

On the gallery this week the theme is: Black and White.

I love black and white photography. I think I inherited my love of it.

Here is my Grandad.

He fought in the First World War. When he returned he married, he had six children, worked for the Post Office and took photo's in his spare time. Mostly his photo's were of his wife and family.
My Grandma long before I knew her
My Dad grew up seeing Grandad taking photo's so he took it up as well.
Dad (taken by Mum) and Grandad.

And I saw Dad and Mum take photo's, they mostly took photo's of their family.

Mum, me & my brother


I had my first camera when I was about 8, it had a film that was a round disc shape. As I got older I took more of an interest, and I was given an old 2nd hand Olympus OM20 SLR.

I took and developed my own photo's.

Here is one of my first efforts, this is my old friend Eleanor.

Hope you liked the patched sheet backdrop.


My old Drama teacher Mr Calvert, we were rehearsing Mother Courage
Here is a promo picture I took on timer for a comedy double act I was involved with back in the depths of time.

Don't ask - it was 1990.
Even when my now 12 year old was small I still used a film camera, this is one of my favourite black and white photo's I took of her when she wasn't even one.


I was very reluctant about digital camera's and relatively late to it, but I still like a black and white photo, and like my Grandad and my Dad, I like to take photo's of my family.


My Irish Family, New Years Eve 2014.

So for more black and white photo's head over to the Gallery.

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