Saturday, 17 February 2018

My valentine man......

Valentine's day is also Hubby's birthday and this year it fell on a Wednesday so our usual gang of three couples, who always spend Wednesday nights together, agreed to celebrate our valentine's and Hubby's birthday together.

All dressed up for a special evening at the lovely old Orwell Hotel in Felixstowe.
Starting with a complimentary glass of prosecco blush in the bar.
We made our way into the full dinnig room, where we were the only table of six as all the rest were romantic two's hahaha. Once seated we were greeted by the maitre d', Costas, (who knows friendsM&P and has seen the rest of us a few times) greeted the men with a handshake but for us ladies it was a kiss, a long stemmed red rose and a small box of chocolates!

This was the menu.....

As you can see if we ordered starters and main course we got a sharing dessert for free, so that's what we did. Dessert was two portions but served on one plate between us so each couple huddled together romantically 😉

Quite late and all very full we still decided to continue the evening and ran to our cars in the most dreadful wet and windy weather and drove to a newish bar that the others had tried once before but I'd not been to. It's called Copas on the Felixstowe sea front, and it's very elegant inside.
It even has a free pool table, so the men were happy and didn't miss out on their Wednesday game.

A lovely evening had by all, especially my birthday/valentine boy! 

Saturday, 10 February 2018

DIYman is at it again......

This is the state of our dining room at the moment, as Hubby has put on his tool belt again! The office is an extension with four outside walls attached to the house by not much more than the doorway. So it's always been colder in there than the rest of the house.

Some years ago he added a second radiator and last year the double glazed windows and door had the glass replaced by more efficient double glazed units. It has improved each time until Hubby just felt it was chilly at ground level.

The original laminate floor just had a paper underlay over the concrete and as the laminate boards had been glued together it stayed as it was and new was laid on top with a heat reflective foam underlay in between.

So a lot of work moving everything out. Desk legs needed to come off and be cut down before going back on. Hubby on his knees for most of the time over three days. Two new flat pack high shelf units installed. And now a good opportunity to sort stuff before it all goes back. 

But when it's all done, unless I'd written it all here you'd probably not even notice the difference just hopefully warmer legs. 

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Not a race but a steady amble.....

Finally getting round to my January catch-up, although there must be lots I've forgotten and even what I've remembered is totally out of any sequence.

...The first Thursday of the month is our Acorn craft day and as it was my first one since the op they made a fuss of me which was lovely.

...O had a sleep over this week. I love that he still climbs into bed with me for a cuddle in the morning. Bedtime story was a classic off my shelf

... We actually managed our family Christmas gathering in mid January, this time hosted by nieceV and her hubby D. They live in Surrey.

...Hubby for SERV has been three nights on rota this month and called out every time.

...lovely lunch out with friends L&K and L&M. Apparently Hubby and I missed the best bit as L&K have a hard-top 2-door convertable which I know from experience isn't the easiest when climbing in and out of the back, and when they arrived L did a most spectacular fall out of the back and was left sprawled across the car park! No help or sympathy just a lot of screaming laughter! They all had starters and desserts but I really can't manage that much any more so just had a main course and even left a little of that. Lots of news to share so a good catch-up all round.

...Our new mattress is deeper that the previous one and sheets don't tuck in so go baggy on top, so I've added a substantial border around all sides to the sheets so they fit better. Only done two so far but that's still a lot of machining.

...made some cards, first two was because I needed them before having time to go out and buy some, then I did three more because I'd been so pleased with the result. Yes they were all the same but three were birthdays, one was a get well soon and the third a sympathy card.

...I suffered a bit with BPPV for a week. This is a form of vertigo that mostly makes me dizzy when lying down in bed. I would normally do the Epley Maneuver but as I'm still getting a little internal pain I didn't want to chance it, but thankfully it went by itself.

...lovely lunch out with friends R&S. These are very good friends and we've always plenty to chat about.

...and our usual Wednesday night gang have had a bargain start to the year with the 2-4-1 discount vouchers at Prezzo used three weeks and a 2-4-1 carvery one week as well.

...and I've just redone the Crete holiday post from last October as I could only find scrappy notes in draft, which has now replaced the finished post I'd actually done but was hiding!!!

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

2017 reading........

eBook. Free download to Kindle reader.
Started 4/5/16 - didn't get far as really not reading books just now!
Picked up again on flights to and from Florida Feb 2017
Finished 9/4/17
Can't believe this took me so long for a shortish book. Probably because there was nothing gripping about the story of teenage relationships.

THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader. Another that Daughter had recommended.
Started 26/11/16 - unfinished
Got really bored with this very wordy classic so gave up!

THE TEST by Mark Haysom
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook.
Started 7/2/17 - finished 7/2/17
Very predictable short story but well written.

A SISTER'S PROMISE  by Karen Lenfesty
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader.
Started 10/4/17  - finished 13/7/17
The story was a good idea but unfortunately it was dragged out a bit to make it book size. A holiday read but it didn't draw me in enough as you can see by the time it took me to read it.

THE TUMOR by John Grisham
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader.
Started and finished 14/7/17
This isn't a novel although at the moment it's sort of fiction. Outlining the difference between today's treatments for cancer and what's possibly available in the future. Very interesting and we all need hope!

eBook. Free download to Kindle reader.
Started 15/7/17 - finished 30/7/17
This was very silly but very funny in places. Loved the little hints on how to spy and murder told in a women's magazine way. Very descriptive erotica preceeding some imminent slaughter was hilarious. 

eBook. Free download to Kindle reader.
Started and finished 24/9/17 Short story read on a flight.
Wasn't meant to be a comedy but everything was too wonderful to be believed. Utter nonsense hahaha. 

eBook. Free download to Kindle reader.
Started and finished 29/9/17 Short story read on flight.
An ok story idea about a dying actress needing to dictate her biography...... but so badly written it's obviously a poor translation.

THE GREY AND GUILTY SEA by Scott William Carter
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader.
Started 6/10/17 - finished
Retired Private Investigator gets drawn back in to investigate a murder then we find out about his past and watch how his future changes.
This has been quite a good read, although as you can see is still unfinished.

Think it's just me no longer into sitting still with a book for long. Although I've now three new books, 2 paperbacks and 1 hardback waiting, so maybe I'll give real paper another go over Kindle in 2018. However I don't think it's worth noting them just for the sake of it, so watch this space for just in case I read something truly worth sharing.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Can positive be negative?..........

Normal life throws all sorts at each of us, hopefully a fair mix of good and bad stuff. For so many of these things we don't have control as to what happens but we often have choices for how we deal with them.

This seems especially true for medical issues and I've always tried to be educated and informed about whatever effects me personally but definitely choose not to worry about what may or may not happen as I feel it is wasting my "enjoyment of life now time" because I'm worrying about something that may happen in the future.

Not sure if I've explained that clearly enough. As some of you may know I was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in August with surgery not happening till mid-November with no other treatment in between. Everyone kept saying how brave I was being for carrying on as normal, I didn't feel brave. I didn't mind talking about it but certainly didn't want it to be the main conversation or people making a fuss when there was nothing happening to make a fuss about. I did hate the thought of surgery and the painful recovery but there was nothing I could do about it, I needed the tumour removed so "grin and bear it" as they say.

Surgery went well, with all medical staff repeatedly telling me that it was a really major procedure and I would be in a lot of pain for a long recovery. I chose to focus on the fact that now retired it didn't matter how long it took, and how very lucky I am to have the best hubby/carer/domestic goddess by my side.

I've really appreciated all the support from family and friends. Being swamped with flowers, cards and gifts, constant messages and feeling so loved. It's very humbling. I'm a very lucky lady indeed.

Six weeks on now and I had the post-op followup at the hospital. The registrar's first words were "you are looking so well" and he was really pleased with the scar and my recovery. Histology report was that it was definitely a cancerous tumour and they confirmed that it was removed in full yaay! I'll be referred back to Ipswich Hospital for ongoing monitoring, so nobody wants to see me till my next CT Scan in six months time.

Obviously I've spread the news to family and friends and the replies back were all on the lines of......amazing can now really have a happy new year.......what a relief.......that's excellent news.......I expect you are both over the moon.......I'm so relieved you must be too......I'm so pleased, you must all feel so's been such a worrying time for you must think ahead without that hanging over you!

In fact one friend wrote "you have borne this so bravely, a real strong woman, I'm very proud of you"! Certainly don't feel brave as there was no other way for me to deal with this. Thankfully Hubby and our children act the same, or at least they do around me.

So now I'm actually feeling a little cheated. To feel great relief implies I've felt great worry, which I haven't. I didn't allow it to be hanging over me when we holidayed in Spain in September and Crete in October. It was good going into hospital relaxed and tanned, just a shame the surgeons got to see the white bits hahaha.

Actually I'm not even sure why I've felt the need to write this down at all. Yes I'm really pleased the uninvited guest is gone and we can all get back to normal (whatever normal is) and maybe it's just the end of another year that's made me publicly acknowledge how lucky I am.

Wishing good health and happiness to you all for the year ahead.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Theatre: The Elves and the Shoemaker......

The Red Rose Chain Theatre Company
Our Christmas Show!
adapted by Joanna Carrick
This Christmas get ready to slip on your fanciest footwear, tighten your laces and hop on over to see The Elves!
It’s the 1st of December. The countdown to Christmas is on in Elvedon, everyone’s scrambling to find the perfect gift, and all the shops are heaving…well almost all of them. Lovelace’s Boots & Shoes hasn’t seen much action lately…but Elvira is hopeful…there’s still a few weeks left, right? Everyone needs shoes…and they’re the only shoe shop in town.
Elvira has bucket-loads of talent, her shoe designs are legendary, just ask her best buddy Frank. It’s just a shame her boyfriend Englebert doesn’t appreciate her, er, we mean her shoes…But he’s a catch, everyone says so! And then there’s Elvira’s father – Norbert – who has owned the shop all his life, and knows exactly what people want…better than the customers know themselves! Who wants fancy green Wheezies when you could have sensible grey boots?
Elvira is determined to change their fate, and dreams of the perfect Christmas…and making an honest man out of Englebert, but it’s going to take some serious help from two very special visitors to turn things around! Together, can Elvira, Frank and the Elves work their magic to save the shop, overcome the odds and make all of Elvira’s wedding dreams come true…All before Christmas Day?
You’ve heard the story of The Elves & The Shoemaker, now prepare to be wowed as we sprinkle lots of Red Rose Chain magic all over this timeless Brothers Grimm tale. Expect a feel-good love story full of shoes, shenanigans and something for everyone!


Clever and funny and fast paced with lots of audience interaction that kept everyone entertained, especially the front rows of children that loved getting chosen to help.

Hard to believe there were only three actors. Elvira was the lead character all the way through, however the two men covered eleven characters between them sometimes achieving leaving the stage one way and appearing somewhere else within seconds including a costume change!

I went with Daughter and O, meeting other friends there. O loved it. Meanwhile R was working front of house some of the time and backstage during the performance, in fact she is so permanently part of the theatre volunteer staff that it was the first time I'd seen her in more than a month. Theatre is very much part of who she is now.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Scarred for life.......

Thankfully I'm here to write "scarred for life", it could so easily have been different!

Although I've never really been content with my shape (perhaps one day I'll grow to 7ft 10in and be the ideal weight) I do try to see the permanent marks as signs of my body blog I guess.

You'll be relieved to know there's no photos hahaha.

I'm not sure if I was pre-school age or infants but remember being quite small when out with my sisters I ran straight into a lamppost, they all laughed as apparently I just sat back stunned like a clown while blood poured down my face. It was nothing serious but I do still have a small scar on my forehead. I must have chipped the bone because in later years I grew a bit of a lump which I was told was bone that had been over enthusiastic when repairing itself. It's high and on the side so always covered by my fringe. Now had it been in the middle I'd have shown it off, unicorns are magical right?

There's a scar across my right knee, barely visible now really.  When I was still in junior school we were playing the game where one person turns round and round while we all run to catch their hand and the next runner latched onto number two, next to three etc, well I was never a fast runner so often joined the line when it was already long so having to run very fast or be dragged round. This day I slipped and was dragged and ended up with lots of gravel in my knee and remember the sight of a doctor with long forceps poking around to get the bits out. Ouch!

No outside scar from having my tonsils and adenoids removed when I was 10, but just before that hospital stay and in that same year my appendix burst and an urgent removal caused a scar but saved me from being poisoned to death.

Our two beautiful babies were both born by Caesarean Section when I was 26 and 28. One scar over the other that will actually twinge even now if my children are hurting in any way!

On the back of my left hand I've a couple of hot glue gun scars when going back to work part time at a factory to fit in with school hours. I was early 30s.

I seem to easily develop lumps after nasty insect bites have gone, they are scar tissue. There are three on my legs that I can mostly ignore, however there was a large lump on the back of my left upper arm which always looked red and angry so it was removed by my GP in the surgery and (as warned) it has left a reasonable size scar but it's also stopped me worrying about it. Very rarely I don't seem to have kept my own record of this so can't tell you how old I was.

Around my 60th birthday a very large tumour was discovered having taken up residence in my right kidney. Thankfully it was completely contained and removal of the tumour wrapped in my kidney was enough to cure me of cancer. A major op done by keyhole surgery so I'm left with three puncture and one small incision scars.

Now at 64 I've just removed the dressing a week after yet another major surgical procedure, this time to remove a small tumour from my lonely left kidney. The surgeon couldn't do this keyhole as open surgery meant they could be quicker and more accurately remove the whole tumour while leaving me with as much live kidney as possible. So another five inch scar. Hopefully I'll feel fully recovered soon.

So yes I'm proud to be able to write about them all, because the alternative could have given you very little to read about.