Tinker and Scrappy go on an adventure

20 January 2018 | York city centre
08 December 2017
17 November 2017
18 October 2017
28 September 2017 | Sade before the lumber test... With big pants
03 September 2017
03 September 2017
13 August 2017
07 August 2017
31 July 2017
09 July 2017 | Harbour at Cassis
05 July 2017
19 June 2017
19 June 2017
16 June 2017
18 May 2017 | Photo of San Simplicio
26 April 2017 | Ostia, Rome

Life is worth living by Tinker

23 February 2018
Life is for Living
I feel like a Yorkshire lass, as I was there last week spending half term with Ruthy, Grandma Jane and Farmer Frank. It’s not like the Black Country, I am not even sure they speak English at times and everyone is a duck!!! ‘eh duck.... thanks duck.... it’s a pleasure duck”. If only they offered you duck to eat the place would be perfect! It has been brilliant, we have been walking in the countryside in the snow, and by the coast in the sleet, and have seen bright blue kingfishers and lots of sheep with winter woolly coats. Farmer Frank had a cow literally blow up with wind whilst we were there, he was very worried, but he should see what Scrappy Doo is like some nights!! Grandma Jane is in the dog house, as she made at least 30 pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, but only left me one!!!! However, given the fact Ruthy ate at least a dozen to herself, no one else had a chance!

Back in the Midlands we have been amazed by the amount of signs saying no car cruising. Scrappy has now given a whole new meaning to the phrase. He is becoming more and more reluctant to walk and so each day Mom and Scrappy take a car cruise round the streets. Scrappy sits in the passenger seat with his head out of the window and then refuses to get out of the the car. He sits for hours on the drive, watching the world go by, and his ‘stake out’ has meant the dog who has been pooping on our drive got a nasty scare when Scrappy tried getting through the window. We have not seen him or his owner since!!!

A few weeks ago we saw a huge full moon, close to the earth. Mom was warned at her yoga class of the potential affects on women, dogs and children! Apparently it can make us all behave in emotional, bizarre ways and can make us feel very heavy and full up. That is what Scrappy claimed the day he piddled all over the rug!! Mom got emotional and angry when taking up the rug, and I got hyper trying to wrestle with it in my mouth, so perhaps this full moon business should not be mocked after all.

Mom got through round four of chemo and was more sprightly on day two and took to her sewing room when she came back from hospital. She felt a little spaced out, and so decided against operating machinery ( the sewing machine!!) but cut out some material with the rotary cutter. She missed the material and cut off the end of her finger. Reluctant to go to A&E, Dad bandaged it until her nurses looked after it the next day, and she had to agree to ‘no cutting’ next month! Mom has put on weight as she becomes obsessed by food the week after treatment. She can only think about spicy food.. curry, curry, more curry, Thai curry and the occasional Chinese. If she is not careful she will begin to look as round as Scrappy Doo!

I am afraid to report that Dad had to ban the crocheting hooks. Mom has always wanted to learn and went along to a class with her friend Cherryl. All did not go well, with the most boring teacher in the world, and it is truthful to say that she dropped more stitches than when knitting! Her language became blue, and since banning the use of crochet hooks, calm has been restored once more. Her stained glass making on the other hand is brilliant, but I think Connie the dog does most it it for her as it looks so professional.

And finally there is our big news. Mom’s oncologist Prem strongly believes “life is for living”. Mom and Dad now have to accept that her life is a going to have some big mountains to climb in the future. Medical advice is that the leukaemia will return, the question is when. No one can answer that, but the law of probability says it is unlikely for two years. So Prem has agreed that when (we never use the word if in our house) mom goes into remission in June we are going back to the boat and getting her ready for the trip of a lifetime. We are crossing the Atlantic and hope to be in St Lucia by Christmas or the New Year. It will be between 21-28 days at sea and already Scrappy is worrying about how we are going to store enough food. Mom has a huge itinerary- the Caribbean islands, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela , Mexico, America and so on. We are planning a two year trip, and Prem is happy that Mom would not have to return for tests during that period.

Mom had chemo in the spine yesterday and round five begins next week. We are counting off the months now. Chemo days are quiet days, where Mom and I snuggle up on the settee with a quilt. We both dream of warmer days, crystal clear seas, flying fish and dolphins..... not long now!

Half way through Chemo

20 January 2018 | York city centre
Half way there!!!

It is a wonderful thing to be half way through chemo and to be feeling so very well. We have had a wonderful month since I last wrote, which started with so much snow. Having been in hot climates for Christmas for the past four years it was lovely to get out and walk in deep snow, although I am not too sure that the dogs liked it much. Scrappy held up his paws in disbelief and demanded to go back into the house and Tinker who would walk to the ends of the earth with you, just looked pitiful and sad. Our Christmas tree looked fabulous and we had decorations from all our friends at home and from across the world. It was very moving to read so many kind messages of love and support and reading the many different reasons the decorations had been important to the person who gave them.

With Jules working away it has been friends that have kept me occupied in the week. Wolverley quilters are a lovely bunch of ladies, who are very friendly and kind and their shared lunches and cakes are definitely not something to be missed. It is a delight to be sewing again with Madge, Jan and Sue who I learnt all my bad habits from over 15 years ago. We all have a motto, "if it does not fit, snip it off"! We had our 'Christmas lunch' last week, which was great food and company. Jo and Connie have kept me and Cherryl entertained with stained glass making, we have made angels and are now trying something far more complex. We are not entirely certain that they will look anything like they should, but we have had real fun making them, and Tinker and Scrappy anticipate my return, as Connie sends best doggie biscuits for them. Jo's fire is always roaring and we like her taste in music. I had forgotten simple pleasures like going to a cinema where the films are in English, and I have enjoyed the 'silver surfer' showings,( obviously living away from the boat is taking its toll, as they let me in to the over 55 showings) where I have got into the delights of salted popcorn with my friend Lois. I have been meeting friends for breakfasts, lunches, morning coffees and afternoon teas. I saw two friends Nigel and Sarah who I had not seen in at least twenty years, and the years just rolled away. I have made a new friend called Pam, and I spent a lovely morning at her house, where she gave me the best reiki I have ever had. I had friends drop by with presents and mince pies and have enjoyed my next door neighbours popping in to check on me whilst Jules is away. I have taken up Pilates and yoga classes and my sun salutations and cobra are looking quite good. Unfortunately one lady always has 'the wind' as we go into downward facing dog which has me stifling the giggles.

It has also been a busy month on the family front. My Mom and sister visited before Christmas and we had a beautiful day in Bridgnorth, taking Mom on a trip down memory lane and having breakfast with my Uncle. We had a lovely evening at my brother's and went to Christmas Eve service with his family. I have never seen a church so packed, with at least 300 people sitting and standing in every conceivable space. It was a little different at the 8am Christmas morning service where we did not get into second figures!!! Despite having the spinal chemo altered as my oncologist was meeting with Jeremy Hunt, we still managed to get to Yorkshire for a night, and enjoyed after Christmas presents and meal with mom, Ruthy and Farmer frank. We had a wonderful day in York and got to go on the helter skelter , even with the excesses of Christmas our bottoms still managed to fit!!

I have never had new bike in my life, being the second child, I always got the 'hand me down', so I was extremely excited when a big box arrived a few days before Christmas with an electric bike inside. We opened then on Christmas Eve and cycled to Jules family for an evening of festive fun. We enjoyed cycling out to country pubs on the week after Christmas. It is no wonder I have put on weight, I can not turn down a bag of Tipton's finest scratchings in front of a roaring log fire.

We had a superb day out at Worcester, where we enjoyed seeing over 100 Christmas trees, but it was the mulled wine in the cloisters that I enjoyed the most on a very cold and crisp day. We have also done plenty of walking along the canal and at Himley Hall and have enjoyed the crispy frosty mornings, but are not so keenness on the grey drizzly days.

We are slowly getting the hang of towing the caravan and had a great weekend in the Cotswolds, on a site right in the heart of Broadway. We found a superb country pub for a few ciders and made our way back to the caravan where we had a toasty night with all the electric fires blazing. Tinker spent the night nosing out of the window where little bunnies were clearly visible against the snow. This weekend we went to Ludlow and found a lovely site just outside of the town. Jules was my hero when we found a sheep hurting itself trying to escape from a barbed wire fence. He went into the field and managed to rescue the poor thing which was extremely distressed.

Next week sees my third round of chemo into the spine, not my favourite way to spend an afternoon, but it is working and that is all that matters. I have tried to suggest knocking me out before hand might be a good idea, but my oncologist just shakes her head and tells me they only do that for children!! On both tests, no cancer cells have been detected in the spinal fluid, so we are delighted. We continue to blast those cells out of the blood and are half way through treatment.

Chemo - Round 2

08 December 2017
Round Two of Chemo
I am glad to report that round two has gone very smoothly, no reactions and the anti sickness pills have been superb. Driving into hospital this afternoon was wonderful, with thick snow on the trees and perfect blue skies. Chemo into the spine is not until the 21st December, which gives us a little break.

Despite Jules working away and missing him like crazy we both have had a good month. We took our little caravan away and enjoyed mince pies, walking and watching the rugby in the afternoon. It all went so smoothly until we got stuck in the mud when we came to leave,but a very nice man came and helped us get out.

We have been walking in the local arboretum,thanks to a very kind friend who bought us tickets and have enjoyed the autumnal leaves. There is a lovely cafe for a pot of tea afterwards and we were able to order a lorry load of logs from there and have enjoyed the fire on each evening. After nearly five years on the Mediterranean we are struggling with the cold!!!

I have really enjoyed going to the cinema and catching up with the latest films, and had a terrific time watching Paddington, it made me laugh and cry in equal measures. Thanks to my friend, I have got rather addicted to salted popcorn whilst watching the films, and get in on the over 55 showing!!!

It has been great meeting up with so many friends who have spoilt me rotten and my diary has been packed with lunches,curries, Chinese meals, carveries and warm bowls of soup. I must be the only person going through chemotherapy who is putting on weight!! I have started attending classes again, and enjoy the coffee and chat afterwards. Wolverley sewing group have been wonderfully kind, and put together a basket of sewing things and materials as I have nothing at home.

I would like to thank everyone who has participated in our "Christmas Tree Decoration Challenge", we have had decorations from all around the globe and each has been given with a special message or meaning behind it. The tree was given to us by friends, and it looks magical with so many colourful decorations,each with a very special meaning which has made us cry at times.

The only downside of being at home with Jules this Christmas is his newly purchased violin. The one thing we aren't getting this year is a "Silent Night".

Chemo has worked its Magic

17 November 2017
Chemotherapy has worked its magic

The last two weeks have been an utter whirlwind of cleaning, painting and repairing. We got in the house three days before I had my operation and started treatment. We will never be able to get over the love and kindness shown to us by so many people - we had flowers, food, furniture, plants, clothes, candles, chocolates, beer, wine and all sorts of household furniture and equipment. We have also had so many kind offers to help us with decorating and sorting the garden, and will kindly take people up on those offers, but just need a little time to relax and chill at the moment.

The first round of chemo Is now over, so I am celebrating tonight with a glass of cider. It has not been without its hiccups - I reacted to the first drug and it ended up taking hours to administer, with me looking like a huge blister as I had serious hives. The next two days went well, and the anti sickness tablets worked marvellously. One of the things that people may not know is that anti sickness tablets are superb, but in order not to get totally blocked you have to take laxatives. Just the smell of the orange drink has me gagging, but the beetroot and spinach juice has done the trick!!!!!

Yesterday, I had chemo into the spine which went extremely well until I had a reaction to the 'happy' pill. I went a bit grey and very hot and clammy but the oxygen was rather nice and I did enjoy the wheelchair, as I was not staying in hospital accommodation overnight. I slept for 14 hours and felt as right as rain this morning. And the amazing news..... All six lumps have disappeared in my neck and my eye sight is fully restored. Five years ago I went to the Sutton Coldfield Cancer support centre and tried to get my head around chemotherapy. An amazing guy called Roy got me to see my oncologist as an alchemist, and the treatment as a magic golden liquid that would heal cells, and it certainly is working its magic on me.

It has been hard with Jules working away, but friends and family have rallied round. My sister in law has helped with my injections, Ruthy rings me on her way home from school each night, and my mom rings several times and sends cards most days. My aunt also sends cards each week, knowing that I love having post. Mom is on constant standby in case I need her here. Jules boss has been very kind, and he works from home on treatment days and pampers to my need for curry and more curry. Neighbours have been great and have offered to do shopping and look after the dogs. Friends have visited or taken me out and have rallied round with a sewing basket and material so I have plenty to keep me occupied. Friends have constantly messaged, text me and offered every sort of support. Tinker and Scrappy have been wonderful, when Jules is away, they won't leave my side, and Scrappy has become rather keen on sleeping on Jules pillow, whilst Tinker prefers the bottom of the bed.

I have one more request from everyone that reads the blog. All our Christmas decorations are on the boat, and have 24 years of meaning. When we first got together we had a red and gold decorated tree, but over the years have learnt that decorations from places, or given to us have far more meaning. Each one is labelled with a special memory and I shall miss them when we put up the tree. We could go to Asda and buy a bag of cheap decorations, but instead I would prefer a decoration from each of my friends. If as you go through your decorations you find one that you really do not like, I would love to have it, and it will be very special to me, as the tree will remind me of all my special friends and family..... Those of you whose love heals and nurtures my every fibre.

Leaving Yorkshire and starting treatment

02 November 2017
My time in Yorkshire has drawn to a close, and we hope to pick up the keys to our house tonight at 6.30pm. We will then have a few days to turn it around and get furniture, kitchenware, bedding and general household items. Sadly, a few days ago I started to have limited vision in my other eye, so treatment has been bought forward. We knew that delaying treatment was risky, but we are gutted that my diagnosis is now affecting my vision once more. So I have an operation to fit a port on Monday and my first round of chemo starts next Wednesday for three days.

Jules and I have a sailing bucket list, but we also like to experience new things. So last weekend we went and stayed in a Shepherds hut for a night. When we arrived the log fire was roaring, and the smell of fresh pine in the hut was very Christmassy. We enjoyed a cup of tea and a good book curled up on the bed together. At night the little hut was lit outside by solar powered fairy lights, and inside by tea lights. We sat on the decking wrapped in rugs enjoying a glass of wine until the cold became too much and we retired to bed for the best sleep I have had in months. Next morning, the fire had gone out, and neither of us wanted to leave the cosy bed, but breakfast called. Sandra cooked us a superb English breakfast in the farmhouse, and I enjoyed playing with the litter of baby Jack Russell's. Dave sat and kept us company and it was great to meet a couple who believe in showing love and kindness wherever they can. Dave is my sister's gardener and until a few weeks ago I had never met him. He and Sandra invited us to the Shepherds hut for a night of relaxation before my treatment started free of charge. Their kindness and hospitality was overwhelming and we will never forget them or their beautiful shepherds hut and hope to remain friends and repay their hospitality at some point in the future.

Last week, I attended my first ever auction. Mom and I went and bought a catalogue the day before, and had a look round and the next day we went along with the intention of bidding. Farmer Frank came with us and we had a great day out, disappearing to the tea rooms for lunch and afternoon tea. We arrived miles too early, but enjoyed the speed of the auction, and seeing the telephone bids that raised prices significantly, particularly for art work.. We were also surprised at the price of a box of whistles and fountain pens which went for stupid amounts of money. Then the Iranian rugs were up and Farmer Frank bid on my behalf and I got two huge amazing silk rugs for just over a hundred pounds. Everyone else had to hand over their number, but Farmer Frank was so well known by the auctioneer (who also runs the livestock auctions) that they had a bit of a chat in the middle of the auction, and the bid was just placed down as "Frank". There was no stopping me now, and with heart pounding I bid myself on a three hundred year old antique chest of drawers and Victorian mirror. I got both for well under the guide price, and just over the hundred pounds for both. I was so excited that it was a good job it was the end of the auction as they may have mistook my hand clapping as more bidding!!!! Farmer Frank also thought I might well need CPR if I kept on bidding!!!! The day got even better when we left the auction, and the paint shop in the square had a whole box of free paints outside!

We have had a couple of days out in York, which is just a superb city to walk around. We had chocolates in the Shambles, and Jules and I found a very authentic pub, complete with a 'snug' room, real ale and pork pie. Jules was in heaven. I enjoyed the vaulted cellars that I went into with Mom and Ruthy, where they had 6 different types of ciders, and I was given free samples. However, it was the carousel that was a first for me as an adult. It was a very old one, complete with colourful wooden horses and a musical organ in the middle of the carousel. It seemed to go a lot faster and a lot higher than when I was a child, but it was amazing fun. We all really enjoyed going on it, although Mom was a little offended when they came over to check "nana" was ok. Ruthy, my sister is sixteen years younger than me, and it took me right back to when she was born, and people used to think I was her mom.

On a negative note, I have also learnt how to catch and dispatch mice. Ruth seems to have an entire family living under her stairs, and she is next to useless when it comes to dealing with them. So far we have caught 16 in less than a week, and I have managed to deal with each of them. They are little field mice and are extremely cute, although I would not want them in my house.

So today I shall pack the car and head down to the Midlands, it is bittersweet. After nine weeks I can not wait to get the house back, but I shall miss my mom, Ruthy and Farmer Frank enormously. Yesterday we celebrated Ruth's thirty second birthday which was a fitting end to our time together. We had a superb meal at Cafe Rouge in York, Sparklers and Chocolate Birthday cake. I am hoping Ruthy gives me my elf freedom before I leave!!!!

We only have three days to get a house together before I am in hospital, but we can do it, even if we call upon a few of you to bring round paint brushes or gardening gloves. As for the treatment, I am both terrified once more, but keen to get it started, and hope and pray my eye returns to normal. Those of you who know me well, know I am terrified of being sick, so I shall be asking for the best anti sickness tablets, and I have a new mantra, "I shall not be sick, I shall not be sick..... All will be well".

Love and Kindness

18 October 2017
We are finally getting a little used to having our feet on dry land and are enjoying planning all the places we want to sail to once the next seven months are over and chemotherapy is done once more. We are still homeless, but will be back in our own home on the evening of the 4th November, after nine very long and agonising weeks. Treatment has been delayed and will start mid November, allowing us time to move back in and to get the house sorted and equipped with furniture. We received a solicitors letter stating that our tenants will only move out if they are not made to put right the long list of items we complied on our inspection, and if we do not take legal action regarding those things once they have moved out. If not the letter stated we would have to go to court to get possession of our own home, and it would take 6-9 months to go to court and to get bailiffs to evict. We agreed as it is not feasible to have treatment in the Midlands and live in Yorkshire. Nor is my oncologist happy for me to start treatment in a caravan with the risk of infection. So I am still waiting to start treatment, and am finding it very difficult as I would just like to get started now. I am sick of panicking when I get a headache or sore eyes. The delay also means I will be having round two of chemotherapy very close to Christmas, so I think Jules and the dogs will be feasting without me!!!

However, amidst all the heartache, fear and worry I have so much to be grateful for each and every day. Despite having a diagnosis of cancer, I am so well. I am jogging twice a day and walking long distances. I feel amazingly healthy, which is why having treatment is such a hard decision to take. I am also loving the autumnal colours and have missed them in the last four years. When I jog in a morning, the mist is lying on the fields, and spiders webs gently catch the rays of the sun. I have seen lots of wild deer in fields, and have had the odd barn owl majestically fly overhead. Tinker is beside herself with the smells of sheep and goats in the local fields, and I just love watching the red leaves fall to the ground. I try to visualise them as bad cells falling from my body once treatment starts.

However, it is to friends and family that I am most grateful to at the moment, and could not get through this tough period without so many wonderful people.

My hero, who has got a contracting job to tide us over financially before he receives his pension next year at the age of fifty. He has worn flip flops and shorts for the last few years, but has polished up beautifully in suit and charity shop shirts and looks rather sexy!!! He has a huge hotel room with a four poster bed as part of his work package, but drives back midweek (getting up at 4.30am to drive back to Worksop) just so we can be together. He is there beside me at every test and trip to the hospital, and supports me in any decision that I take. He is finding it so very hard living in a house and a conventional life and is missing the boat terribly. He looks as if he has aged ten years, but he never complains and is my rock. He is my best friend and my reason for living. We have this little dream that we will fall off to sleep rocking gently on the tide at anchor when we are 114, and I will not let him down!!!!

Tinker and Scrappy
They have been cleared of all wrong doing by the dog warden, and are just so adorable. On nights that Jules is away, Scrappy sees it as his job to keep me company in bed, (if he has not forsaken me for my sister as her bed is bigger). They are old and grey, but still behave like young pups. Their smiley faces and waggy tails still warm my heart, even at 6am when Tinker trots upstairs to warm her nose on my back!

I am currently living with my little sister Ruthy,. We have had a great month - singing our favourite songs at the top of our voices in her car on the way back from the shops; going out on a very fast rib in Scarborough and eating chips and fresh crab sandwiches on the beach after paddling in the sea. She curled my hair and applied my make up before we paraded around Pickering in our 1940 outfits for the War Weekend. We had a brilliant time, trying on fur coats, listening to War time music, watching the parades and dancing In the street. We nervously attended Vespers at the local abbey, where there was something completely magical and comforting in watching the monks assemble in their hooded cassocks, even if she was 'making eyes' at the younger novices. We had the giggles at the harvest festival, which led to some terrible face pulling by Mom, which set us off even further. We bid on beetroot and cheese scones at the harvest auction and were delighted that our organic box of veg got the second highest bid. We have enjoyed visiting local pubs and have rated them on their roaring fires, choice of ciders and pork scratchings. We both have a love for a good curry, and have enjoyed visiting the local curry houses. Sadly, being sixteen years younger Ruthy did not have to take part in Domestic Science at school, hence her cooking, ironing and housework skills are none existent She is however, good at management skills and has delegated all these roles to me, along with marking all of her school books and assessments whilst she lies out on the settee watching TV and texting friends!!!!! Now I know what it feels like to be Dobby the house elf!!!

Mom lives in the next village has been wonderfully supportive in so many ways. She has driven me all over the Yorkshire Dales in hot pursuit of charity shop furniture for me to chalk paint. We have had a giggle at her near misses in the car - there was the incident where she just managed to swerve round a lorry at the roundabout, the near miss on Morrison's car park when she shot forward into a brick wall and there was the grass verge incident near the coast!!! Having survived that, we have had some wonderful days out - walking along the beach, driving through spectacular scenery, enjoying little tea rooms and sitting through an hour of aged nuns singing which gave us both the giggles. She has cooked the best Sunday roast and has treated me to some stunning bone china tea cups and soup dishes. We have rated the Yorkshire tea rooms and old manor houses and have become addicted to cinnamon toast and pots of loose tea. Mom treated me at the iconic 'Betties' in Harrogate and we enjoyed bagels and wine. We had a fantastic day out in Sheffield visiting my aunt and never stopped laughing. We had a superb lunch and the most wonderful trifle, and I was given a stunning bracelet with jade stones which promote longevity and good health.
Mom is married to Farmer Frank, and he too has been wonderfully kind in so many ways. I have enjoyed visiting his bulls and bullocks, and had to resist naming the cute looking ones with curly hair and ginger coats. He shares my love of wild Heather honey, and bid on some for me at the harvest auction. I think I am in his good books as I have encouraged mom to give up M&S shopping in favour of Lidl!!!!! His choir have also volunteered to do a charity event for Samos Refugees.

I have had cards and well wishes from so many other members of the family, some who are also dealing with their own diagnosis and treatment. I had a very, very kind gift from across the sea and have been blessed by Facebook pictures of autumnal colours in New England, a place we dream of sailing to. I am truly stunned, and lost for words over such kindness and help. It makes me feel so humbled and loved.

I am wowed continually by my all of my friends. Our dear friend Ross just turned his house over to us for a month in Bridgnorth whilst he was doing Charity work in Samos. Friends have offered houses for us to stay in for the duration of my treatment, whilst others have offered to turn part of their house over to us, or to move out of their home for seven months. These offers have been so generous and kind but I just want to have treatment in my own house. Several friends are having a tidy out of kitchen and household goods for me and others have gone out and bought gifts. We have had offers of cleaning and painting parties, and other friends have offered to keep me entertained and well fed when back in the Midlands whilst Jules is working away during the week. I have had inspirational gifts with kind words and beautiful butterflies. We have been bowled over by everyone's kindness and support and we are just so appreciative of everyone.

My oncologist and nurses
I am so very lucky that we have continued with my private health insurance, as the treatment I am receiving is just superb. Prem, my oncologist is an amazing person, and never complains about my long list of questions, refusal to have all the treatment on offer, or balancing conventional treatment with my holistic ways. We have decided to take the 3 day FCR chemotherapy every 3 days in a 28 day cycle for 6 months and chemotherapy into the spine once a month for six months. However, at this point in time we see no benefit in having the chemotherapy which will hospitalise me, but will keep it on the back burner in case I need it. It is never too much trouble for Prem to answer my emails, or to fit us in whenever we want to see her. As for my nurses, they are brilliant fun. Last time we had a complaint on the ward, that we were making too much noise giggling and laughing!!!

Total strangers
Those that know me well, know that I love to talk to anyone. After receiving the solicitors letter I was beside myself with anger, rage, upset and hurt. I was out in Harrogate and I noticed a tramp sitting on the pavement in the biting wind. I went over and gave him some money and a big hug, which was warmly received. I had a chat to him, and it put things in total prospective, I have nothing to complain about compared to him, he was cold, dirty and alone and I have a roof over my head, a full stomach and surrounded by the love of others.

Yesterday, my sister had a new gardener arrive, I had a chat and cup of tea with him and he was asking all about why I was staying with Ruthy. When he came in from mowing the lawn he asked me to google a luxury log cabin in an idyllic setting in the countryside. It looked beautiful, and he then told me that he owned it, and wanted me and Jules to have a night free of charge in it before I start my treatment and breakfast at the Manor House the next day.

There are some wonderful people in this world, and I am lucky enough to know so many of them. That love and kindness will carry both Jules and I through the next six months and it makes us realise we are truly blessed.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Vessel Name: Leslie Frank of Bursledon
Vessel Make/Model: Moody Grenadier 134
Hailing Port: Southampton
Crew: Jules and Sadie , Tinker and Scrappy
About: KEY ROLES Jules .. skipper Tinker .. first mate Sade.. master and commander Scrappy .. ships boy
Extra: A continuing journey of exploration and adventure with our two adorable dogs
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