Sunday, 26 June 2016

Hurrying towards the end of June

Moving on swiftly from yesterdays slightly maudlin post.

This is all the other stuff that's been going on here......................

My Wednesday post had a list of things to finish and I'm pleased to say the owl cross stitch and the watering can have both been turned into cards. The puzzle is gradually being pieced together but the book pile is only going down slowly and the lavender bags are still waiting

  A small silver 9 year old Fiesta has entered our life.
 We've been a one car family for several years, ever since the County Council stopped paying a car allowance and forced Col to use a hired works van for bridge inspections - (How hiring a van was cheaper than paying a mileage allowance I have no idea).
Several times in our married life we've  had long periods of only owning one car, simply because we couldn't afford to run two cars. While Col used the car for work I would use my bike, local bus or we would only go shopping at weekends. We've had spells with two cars - usually two very old cars, especially after we moved to Knodishall when we were miles from everything. Now the Hyundai we bought in February 2015 as a replacement for the gas-guzzling Jeep Cherokee, needs a new clutch - the 9 roundabouts, 3 sets of traffic lights and a dozen other stop-starts between here and hospital have worn it out! It really ought to be swapped for something smaller and more economical for town life except that when Col is better and we get around to towing the caravan to all the places on my long list we will need it again.
Hence the Fiesta, I would have liked bright red or blue but Hey Ho! Just got to get used to all the differences between the Tuscan and the Fiesta now and I'd only just got the hang of the Tuscon after the Jeep.

I've  finished another Angela Thirkell book - Northbridge Rectory - it's my favourite so far. This is the new reprint by Virago Modern Classics of the 1941 book, the 10th in her Barsetshire series which were written between 1933 and 1962. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed them before the age I am now - are younger people reading them? So many of the people she created I can recognise from the village I went to school in during the 1950s. I remember elderly spinsters living with even more elderly fathers, sisters eeking out a living by sharing a house, cooks and cleaners and huge families and slightly strange, scholarly, old men. They all appear in the world she created. Each book is a story in it's own right but often mentioning people in previous books.
 Northbridge Rectory mainly revolves around Mrs Villars, the rectors wife and how she and the rest of the village deal with the 8 members of the Barsetshire regiment who have been billeted at the rectory. There is parachute spotting from the roof of the church, bird-watching ( Thirkell invents wonderful names for birds to save her having to research details of real ones -I think!), genteel tea parties. Nieces partying with the soldiers and the awful wife of the Major.All great fun.
VMC are reprinting 3 more  in November but Why oh why have they only done  the 9th -"Cheerfulness Breaks in" - in an e book edition? They've "forced" me to buy an old copy - damn that one-click Amazon ordering thing!

Yesterday I went here

 to listen to this

And very good it was too. Col said he would come too and go down to the beach hut while I was at the talk to check everything was OK, then after picking me up we collected fish and chips and went back to the beach hut for an hour of sea air. We were very excited to spot a seal, at least we supposed that was what it was - one minute what looked like a seals nose popped up and then after a couple of minutes vanished.

We have met our probable-soon-to-be new neighbours. Our previous neighbour has gone into a sheltered housing flat not far away. He is 85 and a nice old boy but had been on his own since his sister died a few years ago. The new people are a couple a bit older than us moving here from the other side of Ipswich to be nearer their daughter and because this is a nice quiet road.  So hopefully  no noisy parties!

We voted - 'nough said on that!

And I actually watched a bit of women's tennis from Eastbourne, it's got more interesting now we have a British lady doing well otherwise I can't seem to work out who's who - except for the Williams sisters who always look so fed -up when playing.

Later today- weather permitting - I'm walking to the library - with camera. I promised photos of Ipswich and so far you've only had the view over the town from the top of the next road!

Tomorrow is the start of two weeks of tennis - Yay! and I believe there is a football match too. Come on England! England!

Many thanks for all the words of support and prayers, I think positive thoughts from so many people is sure to help.

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Saturday, 25 June 2016

More steps on the way

This blog has always been a diary,  first for the self-sufficient smallholding and campsite, then it charted Colin's un-expected heart problems and since January the 'coping with Mantle Cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma'  story has unfolded. I've shared details because that's what's happening and maybe someone reading might have to go through the same thing one day and it's always useful to have a bit of information.

Col  has now  been through six lots of chemotherapy with all the problems and side effects and next we have the final and biggest hurdle to jump over.
A special chemotherapy, 9 days of injections to force the stem cells to overflow from the bone marrow into the blood, stem cell harvest (collection), six days of high dose chemo, recovery, stem cell replacement and more recovery which includes up to 4 weeks in hospital in partial isolation. The aim is for remission for as long as possible - maybe up to 7 years - maybe less. There is a risk with stem cell treatment - 5% of people will have problems, some serious. There is no complete cure for this type of cancer.

 So on Thursday it started and we went to Addenbrookes hospital where the stem cells will be collected, over one or two days in July, to have everything explained, see where it will happen and for signing consent forms. Addenbrookes is on the edge of Cambridge and thankfully, now that we are in Ipswich it is easy to get to along the A14 and A11- just under an hour and a half away. Colin made me drive there and back to see how I would cope with the busy road. We used the Park and Ride at Babraham which is not far from Addenbrookes  and saved us trying to find a parking place at the hospital. When we go for the actual stem cell collection we will have to be there very early so should be able to park on their multi-storey car park on site. Thankfully all the other treatment can take place in Ipswich.

On Friday he had a CT scan to check there are no other visible problems, he has already had several blood tests and a lung function test, all to make sure he is as well as possible and fit enough to cope with everything that will be thrown at him between now and the end of July.

 Monday I will deliver him to hospital for 5 hours for the first thing on the list above - he will be prepared for chemo, the chemo itself and then flushing afterwards.Then the injections will start, (we've learned how to mix up the dose and how to safely inject himself) which will give him flu-like symptoms - lovely!

So on we go, one step at a time towards a recovery - roll on Christmas!

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

I Like to Keep Busy but.....................

.I really need to finish..................

...................... this cross stitch which needs making into a card ( better iron it first!)

.......................and this one I'm still stitching

.................... the small cotton bags need to be cut and stitched to hold the lavender for the sachets

......................... and this big pile of library books need reading

 the jigsaw needs completing

.............and I really should write letters to penfriends and tie up some rain-flattened plants in the garden.

There's probably some housework that needs doing too - if only I could make time for it!

Many thanks for all the cuddly baby comments and to Barbara M for her first ever comment on the blog. AlisonB43 - I hope your tiny  little poorly granddaughter keeps fighting and gets well very soon. Suzanne asked if we will be able to visit our new grandson when Col is better and yes, they are in Surrey but we have the caravan and they'll have trouble keeping us away!( just need to get Colin through the stem cell treatment and the long recovery needed) although by then we will have another grandchild much nearer too - lovely.

And last but not least welcome to new followers Kitty and Debbie.

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