Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tats Tips


You look fabulous in print, 3 (THREE) pages in (new just off the press) Tonic magazine (Oct. edition).

Includes Tat's top travel tips.

I hope you can't read the print - because you need to go and buy your own copy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jiggity Jig

Home again home again….

… from a good week with my parents.

The first couple of days were hard as my mother was not so good, and slept most of the time. Which makes it seem as though she really is slipping away – and makes you feel as if you should somehow be preparing yourself (how?) for the worst.

But after that, she was much much better – to the extent that we even went to Eastbourne for lunch one day.

We revisited the Hydro – a very genteel hotel previously mentioned in this blog as the kind where one constantly expects Miss Marple or Poirot to appear around the corner. It was M’s first visit. He found it rather disconcerting, feeling that we were contravening some minimum age requirement, and that too long a visit would hasten the onset of arthritis.

Lovely lunch though!

We then cavorted on the beach.
Watched by lots of beady black eyes

Stones... of course, you have to. And yes, I did bring some home with me. Including one perfect tiny speckled birds-egg stone.

The creature from the Black Lagoon.

LG swam, even though it meant swimming in her T-shirt and undies, and changing furtively on the beach!!!!!

My family all arrived on Saturday (brother and sister, with respective families) – completely surprising and delighting my mum – for a wonderful birthday party. Possibly the first ever surprise birthday party in my family. (!) (Yes, really!) Certainly the most precious birthday.

My father had bought a card for her with the following words, by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke:

I am so glad that you are here.

It helps me to realise how beautiful my world is.

I can find no words to describe how that felt/feels.

Mum said she woke the following morning “brimful of happiness”.

The rest of our visit was spent visiting charity shops, taking afternoon naps, getting early nights (lots of sleep, in fact), sitting chatting/reading/making tassels. (will blog about these, I promise, need to get around to taking pictures….) Relaxing and feeling so very very tired.

So we left my parents both in pretty good form, which makes the leaving bearable. A scan in a week or so will tell us whether or not the chemo is having any beneficial results on the secondaries. In the meantime most days are far better than we might have hoped – and each one is a day we might not have expected to have at all.

And home again home again jiggity jig.

Back to reality – LG begins secondary school in a weeks time.
Must remember to buy school uniform

Must remember to buy school uniform

Must remember to buy school uniform

Must remember to buy school uniform

And a circular protractor thingy.

Our term doesn’t begin for another 3/4 weeks.

I have so far been unable to coax my mind into facing the fact that I WILL, before long, HAVE to do some work. Not that I’ve done much coaxing, to be honest.

RW and her girls are here for a couple of days, which is wonderful, and the best possible excuse not to face up to work for just a little bit longer.

We went to the cinema last night (A Scanner Darkly – v. much enjoyed it) (dozed off just a little at one point – problem with me, not with the film) and it felt just a little chilly in the evening air. PTB – end of summer also approaches.

G&T will be drunk, sheds will be complimented, TK Maxx will be visited.

I will report back later.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Summer time/s ...

... and the living ain't easy.

Well, isn't it quiet in Blogland? - people being on holiday/ in the garden / on the beach / preoccupied / doing other, better, different things..... summer time, different kinds of time ...

Plenty going on though, in other lives, countries, times, realities.
Time can go at such different rates, in different areas of one's life.

This week I have been mostly:

sorting recent vintage button acquisitions

sorting some of the above for a button swap with Donna (little things, great pleasures)

failing to spend time in the garden due to persistent rain
(at least, at the times when I've been up and feeling like gardening)
(but my repairs on leaky water butt seem to have worked, hurrah)
(but of course persistent rain means I don't need it now, doh!)

spending too much time on the computer (games, mostly .... )

bickering with LG DC (most definately DC not LG) - 11 - going on (permanently - pre-menstrual -) 14 years old
(and no she wouldn't like it if I talked to her in that tone of voice and I wasn't shouting actually yet)

finishing painting of hall/stairs/landing - started last June - could be worse....

not thinking about work
(who? what? students? marking? essays? timetables? means nothing to me ..... )

not doing housework (hardly any, anyway ... )

making tassels (details will follow, on my other, crafty blog) (yes, its as weird and gratuitous as it sounds)

visiting parents

managing not to drink too much wine
(when there is wine in the house, that is. Not much shopping being done these days).

Easy times, at times.

Not always easy.

I'm doing extremely well in my resolve to work less and live and enjoy life more. To the extent that the house is getting a bit squalid, tbh, and there isn't much food around. In the fridge/freezer that is..... theres always enough in our famously capacious cupboards to keep us gong for at least 2 weeks. A result of being brought up with a well-stocked walk-in larder.

I'm spending time playing games on the computer, leaving the washing up, letting M. do almost all the cooking, ceasing to see dust and dirty windows, becoming hardened the sight of "needs to be done" and almost completely innured to the pig-sty which is LG's bedroom.


So life is easy in some respects.

(M cooked a roast tonight. Yummy. But could I throw out the carcass etc.? - as we are going away tomorrow? could I b******. The stock pot is hissing and steaming even now, to make tasty, nutritious, cheap chicken stock to go in the freezer for a meal on our return. A result of being brought up by someone who grew up during the war. Dig for Britain and all that. Sigh. Though I can now sometimes leave food on my plate. If I'm seriously too full. Sometimes. It is an achievement, titter ye not.)

My grandfather fought in WW1. In the trenches at Ypres. Blimus. And there are values which I do value, imbred into me, as a result of all that. But its a dodgy business, inbred values.

Things "at home" are also getting much easier.
No more counselling till Sept., but some corners have been turned, I think, and the view ahead is now brighter. (I think) (mostly)
( :o} )

My mother is also fairly stable and comfortable at the moment. She's having chemo - purely palliative, but seems to be working for now, slowing down the secondaries. She's got v. good pain control, a wonderful Macmillan nurse who visits at home. And its her birthday on Saturday.

I've been buying dresses for her - always small, and recently shrinking because of osteoperosis, most of her is now about size 8. But she can only wear dresses now, not trousers/skirts, loose around her waist because of the main tumour and needs size 18. Maternity dresses are the perfect solution, so I've been shopping on eBay.

I'm also buying headscarves, and looking in my craft books at little crotcheted hats, as the side-effects of the chemo set in.

Not easy. And leaving is not easy, at the end of each visit. And thinking about the future is not easy.

But in the meantime - we have another birthday with her, which we'd anticipated we might have to face without her.

Keep your fingers crossed for her wedding anniversary, which is Sept. 1st.

We're off again tomorrow, myself, LG and M, to spend up to a week with her and prepare (secretly and furtively) for the arrival of the rest of the family for her birthday.
Looking forward to early nights, tassel-making - and just being there.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Moi - according to Pink

I forgot, in my last post (about my vacance francais(e?)) to show you this.

This is me, according to Pink (Tat's 3rd and very artistic daughter).

Can you guess what I was doing?

Only one clue - I wasn't AT ALL as miserable as I might look here!

What a brilliant picture!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Back to reality

Remember this?

Nearly didn't bother posting it, after I eventually found it - not one of The Greatest Songs Ever - but firstly, the words are rather apt actually for my situation (though I've never listened to the words before) and secondly, now you'll be humming it all day. hahaha.

(btw I tried to embed this, but blogger kept telling me the tag wasn't closed... though it looked closed to me... any help from anyone out there?)

Back from Perpignan.


Grey, rainy and a little on the chilly side in the UK at the moment.


I gather the weather turned just in time for our return yesterday. I had to open my suitcase on the train and find more clothing to wear. With sleeves.


Work emails to deal with.


Missing Tat.


Enough of that.
Some photos:

Fantastic clouds on the plane over.

Did you know there are cloud-spotters?

Like train-spotters, but devoted to unusual cloud formations.

The second of these pics. reminded me of a Roger Dean album cover, very 70's. Though not nearly psychadelic enough of course.

There was lots of this going on in Tat's pool:

A bit of this on the beach

This is LG's purchase from a Perpignan flea market.
I blame the parents myself ...

And my gift to myself.

The only flip-flop to be seen in in Perpignan.

Back to reality now.


Another Blogger commented a while back that when someone close to you is dying, it is rather like living in a parallel universe. And it strangely is.

It was hard to come back from France - from a week when I relaxed, switched off (mostly), lounged around, spent lovely time with lovely Tat and less - but still lovely - with Trac (also lovely) (skinny dipping incident to be related hopefully by Trac (?) later ?) - to my various situations at home.

But my mum seems to be as well as we can expect - mostly comfortable, a recent blood transfusion and more chemo seems to have had some beneficial results - and I'll be back down there to see her soon.

So.... my blogging will probably go on being intermittent.

Please don't stop visiting.
(another help request - if my sidebar has slipped to the bottom, please let me know - and tell me which browser you use. Thanx!)

I'll try and find time to visit you too.