Blog No 164 – Churchill War Rooms, London

I made the trip to London for more scans back in Dec 19. Whilst we were there, we took a visit to Churchill’s War Rooms in Westminster, just around the corner from the Houses of Parliament. London is oozing so much history and the architecture is incredible.

There is a fee into this museum but it’s certainly worth a visit. The museum is open from 9 – 6pm daily. Check opening times before you travel just in case there’s lockdown restrictions.

Chiefs of Staff Meeting Room

The heads of army, airforce and navy would meet in this room to discuss the war efforts.

Winston Churchill

This was Winston Churchill radio address from the Cabinet War Rooms to the people of France on the 21st October 1940.

Switchboard Operator

Every call taken by a Switchboard Operator was deemed as urgent at the Cabinet War Rooms.

Ismay’s Quarters

Room 61 was Hastings Ismay’s. He was the Chief of Staff to Churchill. He was the link between Churchill and the heads of the three armed forces. A senior officer would have the luxury of carpet in their room.

Access Point

The Camp Commandant was responsible for the day to day maintenance of the Cabinet War Rooms. The key rack with all its keys and labels.

The Map Room

The beating heart of the Cabinet War Rooms. The room was used for gathering intelligence to fight the war. During a shift there would be 5 officers. A duty officer, 3 officers from the armed forces and official from the Ministry of Home Security.

Map Room Supplies

A box of map pins sorted by colour ready to use.

Mrs Churchill’s Room

A little more of a luxury room with a dressing table and comfy armchair.

I would recommend a visit to the museum especially if your at the Houses of Parliament.

Blog No 163 – Dear Cancer

Dear Cancer

I thought it was about time we have a chat. For years I’ve endured your torment to my body. You’ve left me with unsightly battle wounds, missing organs and continuous abundance of symptoms.

Momentarily you may be having fun munching away at my organs etc, although it was causing me continuous problems. I’m not one to usually complain but don’t you ever stop.

I thought this year, I would try and stop you in your tracks. A little radiation cocktail via iv, who doesn’t like a cocktail. I have to say it wasn’t much fun for me but I’m sure you were a little worse for wear. I knew when you were experiencing some discomfort because you would reflect the pain on me, thanks for that. Hopefully in December my scans will show that you have stopped partying and you’re suffering a long hangover.

In the last 12 months you have even had a pop at my immediate family members. If you hadnt realised already we are all fighters with incredible strength. I’ve been battling you for 7 years and I still am pushing your buttons.

Thank you for making me stronger and for giving me the perseverance. Furthermore learning to appreciate life and family & friends. 💕

Blog No 162 – Diary/Bullet Journalling

Towards the end of every year, I always look forward to a new diary. It’s the one thing that I do obsess about. The diary needs to work for me and I’m very particular on its layout.

Back in May 2016, I discussed about doing a bullet journal in Weekly Blog No 77 – Bullet Journal. Then in Feb 2017, Weekly Blog No 94 – Bullet Journal Update, I gave the pros and cons of bullet journalling.

I’m always trying to improve how I set up my diary. Last year I attempted to use technology on my iPhone. Mr Zebrakat and I share calendar, so we are able to be more efficient. Subsequently I still maintain a hardcopy diary.

A diary allows Mr Zebrakat and I to check each other’s availability. We certainly don’t have to call each other up to see if an appointment is ok. If there’s no entry on the calendar, it’s free to book. This works very well for us both, therefore we shall continue this proven method.

I still have a hard copy diary and I’m able to glance on the monthly spread to see what appointments etc I have. I haven’t mastered that on a phone as yet. I can’t always look either, as I could be taking a call on my phone. Having a hard copy allows me quick access whilst on the phone

In Weekly Blog No 4 – Monthly Planner, May 2014, I discussed using colour to hi light appointments etc and my planner/diary was looking like a sea of pink. I have maintained using colour, it allows me to scan a page quickly. Maybe I’m a little OCD as I’ve maintained using colour for different things. This year Ive used Washi tape, a method picked up from bullet journalling.

This week I sourced bullet journal stickers from rebelinkco on Etsy (link below) to organise me better. I will use the monthly spread for appointments all colour coordinated of course. Red for Royal Free Hosp, blue for GP and yellow for scans etc etc. as

Colour is an excellent method for me to scan quickly when I’m searching for something in my diary. I did relay on my monthly calendar a little too much this year and hardly used the remaining diary pages.

Birthdays and anniversaries etc will move to weekly spreads alongside bills, pets meds and ordering medication etc. I will therefore use my diary a little more. See the various stickers above. I shall continue to use technology, my diary and bullet journalling methods. Surely I can only be more efficient and organised than ever before, let’s see, I will give feedback towards the end of the year.

Blog No 161 – Museum of London Docklands

This visit was a couple of years ago before a medical appointment. We went to the Museum of London Docklands.

The museum occupies three of the five bays of No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay. A Grade 1 Listed Building, built with stock brick with Portland stone architectural features. The northern elevations of the warehouse are in a cheaper plum brick. Five storeys and attic with a semi basement below quay level. Triple span hipped slate roof.

Here’s some of the Museum exhibits. I’ve provided photo’s and a little info.

No 1 Warehouse

Carts would of be used to move cheese, casks, boxes and bales of tobacco.

Trade Expansion 1600 1800

The stone fragment dated 1619 craved with the coat of arms of the East India Company.

London, Sugar and Slavery

Anti-apprenticeship banner dated 1813 produced by campaigners opposing to the imposition of compulsory apprenticeship on those liberated from slavery.

City and River

Painted wherry seat back dated 1824 middle right hand side. This is awarded to the winner of the 6th Queenhithe Waterman’s race and includes a painted view of Southwarks Bridge.

Sailortown

A pub in one of the streets and alley in the vicinity of the docks and river Thames.

Warehouse of the World

Wine labelling bench dated 1900 – 1939 on the right hand side. The Port of London Authority offered merchants a range of services including wine and sport bottling and labelling.

Docklands at War

Casing of an unexploded German bomb that fell on Millwall dated 1939 – 1945. In 1941 the basement of Bullivant Wharf, Millwall, was in use as an air raid shelter.

Sainsbury’s Study Centre

Sainsbury is one of the nation’s oldest food retailer’s. Sainsbury’s started in London in 1869 thats over a 150 yrs old. That’s enormous achievement and succeed through recessions and pandemics.

The museum offers free admission, however you can make a donation. I would thoroughly recommend this museum, it’s truly amazing.

Blog No 160 – Bath, Somerset

Last February, we went to Bath, Somerset for a weekend away prior to my cancer treatment. I’m truly embarrassed to say that I’ve never been to Bath. Although it has always been on my wish list of places to visit in the U.K.

I’m going to show you some photos in colour but the remaining photos in B & W as the weather was diabolical. The U.K. was experiencing Storm Ciara, so everywhere was very grey, windy and wet. Sorry about the rain droplets on the next photo but the weather was horrendous.

Royal Crescent

Bath is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. The Royal Crescent is one of the most desirable addresses in Bath. One of the greatest pieces of Georgian architecture in the U.K. 30 houses built between 1767 -1775. Designed by Architect, John Wood. The Royal Crescent is 538ft long and each building is approximately 50ft high.

The Royal Crescent has been a filming location for the following tv & film appearances. I have listed a few

  • Bridgerton (2020) Netflix
  • The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen (2011)
  • The Duchess (2008)
  • Persuasion (2007)
  • Joseph Andrews (1977)
  • The Girl with a Pistol (1968)
  • The Wrong Box (1966)
  • Having a Wild Weekend (1965)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (1964)
  • The Fighting Pimpernel (1950)

It is believed to be the very first crescent built anywhere in the world. I’ve seen one in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, which is also a spa town. The properties are believed to be regency style.

The Circus just around the corner from the Royal Crescent was also designed by Architect, John Wood. The Georgian Houses form a circle overlooking a green space and were built in 1754 – 1768.

We then went to 25 Gay Street, Bath, now known as The Jane Austen Centre. Jane born 1775 – 1817 was a UK Novelist, she was known more for the 6 novels as below:-

Sense and Sensibility – 1811 Pride and Prejudice – 1813 Mansfield Park – 1814 Emma – 1815 Northanger Abbey – 1818 Persuasion – 1818

Jane only lived at 25 Gay Street, Bath with her mother and sisters following her fathers death

Some of the exhibits at the The Jane Austen Centre.

The Ivy Restaurant is a popular and famous venue in London for celebrities and the media industry in London. The restaurant provides you with excellent food and 5 star service. Furthermore, we hadn’t ever been to The Ivy Collection Restaurants before, however Cambridge is on the radar for our next visit.

Pulinery Bridge

Bath Abbey

Bath Roman Baths

Put Bath are on your list of places to visit in the UK.

Blog No 159 – Final PRRT Treatment #4 in London, U.K

Near Holland Park, London

Travelled down to London ready for my PRRT Treatment No 4. Here are some of the views from the Embankment, just before Waterloo Bridge.

What a view from the Embankment just before 6pm. There is so may tall buildings in around the city of London now, it’s beginning to look like downtown city in USA & Canada.

We took a trip to Portobello Market, Notting Hill. The market wasn’t on nevertheless there was a selection of vintage & antique shops that were open. Notting Hill is such a hippy chic place with different colour residential and commercial properties. Cute little coffee shops and lots of art & jewellery stalls too.

Signage for Portobello Market

I understand that the movie ”Notting Hill” was made this side of town with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. I’ve not only never seen the movie but I also appeared to have missed the photo opportunities. I walked by the travel book shop twice and missed the blue door photo to Williams flat. Oh dear, I do have some nice photos of Portobello Road. It’s a beautiful area.

What can you see on the Building.

Some of the other glorious buildings.

Let’s see how this PRRT treatment goes. The last treatment, I had was gave me a bit of a rough time with bone & tumour pain etc. I’m very hopeful this treatment will be easier and I’m to expect a Ga68 scan in approximately 6 weeks. Let the results be good. X

Blog No 158 – Chocolate Toothpaste Tart

Completed 1 Tart

Another UK school dinner favorite, although I’m not a huge fan. I’m sure chocolate lovers will love this recipe, as no baking is required, especially if you purchase a ready made pastry case. I assume the name chocolate toothpaste comes from the consistently of the filling representing toothpaste.

Makes 1 Tart

Ingredients

  • 70g margarine
  • 150g sugar
  • 20g instant hot chocolate powder
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 230g dried milk powder
  • 1 ready made pastry case
  • 150ml warm water

Method 

Cream together 70g margarine and 150g sugar until smooth. (I used caster sugar as the granules are smaller)

image

Add 20g hot chocolate powder and 20g cocoa powder to the margarine/sugar mixture and cream together.

image

Mix 230g dried milk powder and 150ml warm water together in a separate bowl until smooth.

Blend both mixes together until smooth and thick .

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Pour into a ready pastry case and put in the refrigerator until set.

I apologise for the messy edges to the pastry case, I wasn’t having the best of days.  Enjoy

(Written in UK English)

Blog No 157 – Happy 10th Birthday Lottie ❤️

I can’t believe we’ve had Lottie for 10 years. I can still remember the day we got her. If you didn’t know already, she’s my little Canadian. We drove towards the USA border in whiteout conditions. The snow that day was very heavy and visibility was poor. We met the sellers in a Tim Hortons (Coffee Shop) car park and exchanged money for our wee bundle of fluff.

She was a tiny little thing and the rut of the litter. I didn’t care as her advertisement photos were just adorable. She got the name of Lottie from me as I loved the name. She was the cutest thing ever, her legs were so small the actual stairs were bigger than her. She was toilet trained to go to a pee mat, which was a blessing when she arrived.

She’s never been any trouble, ok she does get excited when people come in. I think that’s normal for most dogs and she yaps again when people stand up to leave. I think that little habit came from when she was a puppy. People would love to pick her up as soon as they came in and again when they left because she was so cute.

She’s been by side everyday and still to till this day she is all over me. Mr Zebrakat will spoil her with treats, yet she favours me. She is wise too, I know when the cancer is being naughty again as Lottie will sit on the spot. She loves snuggles and when I sleep, she will sleep too. Here’s some facts about Lottie

  • She still only weights about 4lbs
  • Her favourite drink is water
  • She loves a walk
  • She has no interest in toys
  • She loves cheese and ice cream
  • She paws you for belly rubs
  • She loves snow and the sun
  • She hates rain
  • She’s doesn’t have a go at the postman
  • She’s smaller than Hamish the cat

She’s been my most loyal pet to date. I would be lost without her. Happy Birthday Lottie!!! Thank you for 10 years of snuggles and happiness. ❤️

Blog No 156 – Travel Visualisation Board

I don’t know if anyone has read the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. The author is huge believer in visualisation boards. Basically having a board with pictures of your dreams, therefore your dreams go out to the universe and they become reality.

When I was looking for artwork for my hall, I decided to do travel visualisation boards with words and not pictures. There is an extended list of places/locations that I want to visit or revisit with Mr Zebrakat. I did 2 visualisation boards of destinations, nevertheless dreams can come true.

Visualisation Board

There is a few destinations that I may have visited with/without Mr Zebrakat. For this reason, I’ve added them to the board for a revisit, for instance New York. We visited December 2005 and we were fortunate enough to see the dropping of the ball on NYE. It was a beautiful place to visit at Christmas time and all the festive decorations were stunning. I remember the weather being freezing cold, which I had never experienced cold like it before. Mr Zebrakat has never been to Dublin, I have done it many times. I really want go with him, to be a tourist and for him to experience my irish culture. Canada, we lived there for god sake but we never got to the west coast. Both of us want to visit Vancouver and I’m sure we will slot back into Canadian life there.

The list was inspired by us both but I want to continue travelling after my cancer treatment/covid-19

Let’s see how well I do within the next 12 months. I will write a blog this time next year and let you all know. X

Blog No 155 – Soda Bread

I did an Ancestry DNA test a couple of years ago and I was 100% Munster Ireland. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never made soda bread until recently, yet I’ve eaten it all my life.

My grandma was a fantastic baker and she would make a currant soda bread too. I have fond memories of her baking. She would get out the homemade blackcurrant jam, irish butter and a freshly made soda bread.

All my aunts are fabulous bakers, yet my mum is not a baker. She’s an excellent cook but she’s more than likely to bring out a nice cake from the cupboard to have with your cup of tea.

The photo above was my first soda bread. Therefore I would like to share the recipe I used. Serves 4 – 6 people

Ingredients

  • 450g / 1 lb Plain flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 400ml/14 fl oz Buttermilk

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 220’c/425’f/Gas Mark 7.
  • Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the buttermilk. Mix well together using your hands. The dough should be very soft but not too wet. If necessary, add the remaining buttermilk.
  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly. Shape into a 20 cm/ 8 inch round tin.
  • Place the bread on a greased baking tray, cut a cross in the top and bake in the preheated oven for 20 -30 minutes. When done it should sound hollow if tapped on the base. Eat whole warm, soda bread is always best eaten on the day it is made.

Please share your recipe with me? Is your ingredients different?