Weekly Blog No 93 – It’s My Birthday

 

wp-1485718858464.jpg

I’m happy to report I’ve made another birthday and I’m still in my 40’s. When you are informed by a doctor that you have cancer you certainly don’t anticipate celebrating many birthdays in the near future. This is in fact my 4th birthday since diagnosis, however my Oncologist did inform me in 2014, I have about 3 yrs to live so if his prediction is correct this is my last birthday. I can assure you im not treating this as my last birthday

My intention was to get some of my friends together for coffee and cake but I’ve not been so good lately, which is a shame as I do love, a girlie get together.

I was showered with cards and gifts from family and friends. I literally got everything  I needed and Zebrakat favorites. I have a stash of reading material. Some new authors and bibliographies to open my mind up to other people’s lives. Some music to pass the time away whilst doing chores. I shall smell beautiful from all the products that I received.  I can indulge in some online shopping too, the gifts were endless. Thank you to all those people who showered me with gifts.

My birthdays are not exactly celebrated like I used too. I have even been known in the past to be in some exotic location on my birthday consuming cocktails. I will continue to make the best of every birthday where ever I am, that’s for sure. ‚̧

Weekly Blog No 92 – Overview of 2016

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a blog due to ongoing health issues but here’s an overview for 2016.

UK 

Been back in the UK for over a year now, we’ve got back into the swing of life. I have to admit my heart is still in Canada but I’m glad to be back. I haven’t driven for a year due to my ongoing symptoms, a personal choice but you never lose the skill of driving. Things can be easier in the UK, shops can be reached by foot or local transport. Food shopping can be delivered to your home. Medication can be delivered to your home by pharmaceutical companies. Basically most items can be delivered to your home nowadays by a simple click.

Friends & Family

An enormous thank you to all the lovely people who have been there for me & Mr Zebrakat. Your kindness however small or big, blows my mind and please know that I am truly grateful. I know nowadays I’m not the most proactive friend but if you know me well enough, you know that I care but my illness limits me. Consequently relying on people visiting me if they want too. Thank you for those people who have made that effort, it always brings a smile to my face.

Lottie (dog)

Lottie has settled into her new house, she loves the garden and her local walks. Lottie has clearly adapted to moving and hopefully this will be her last move.

New Home

Well we did it, we bought a home in a lovely town in Northamptonshire. A beautiful town retaining local facilities in walkable distance, which is a rarity these days.  The house needs  some work to meet our standards but we will get there. The construction plans are being drafted to be tweaked. However I was able to have Christmas dinner here for family and it was a lovely day.

Health 

Well what can I say, as time goes by my symptoms seem to progress. Even though I¬†have some symptoms under control, there are more and more creeping upon me. This year, there has definitely been more bad days than good and life without a cocktail of drugs would be unbearable. There has been days were my pain relief has gone out of sequence due to one thing and another, no person wants to live with that pain, it’s insufferable. Let’s hope in 2017 there will be more good days than bad.

Hobbies 

I was trying to concentrate on hobbies last year. Cooking skills are still improving and still learning to try different ingredients. Reading has been non stop, I do love historical fiction. I’ve tried out new authors this year and I will continue that. ¬†A friend bought me an OK Magazine subscription, therefore I’m able to keep up with showbiz gossip. Music, there is not day that goes by without music, love love love music. I also did some online courses when I was well enough to occupy my mind.

Theatre & Movies

I’ve managed a couple of shows and a few films. Attendance is not at peak times and always needs to be planned in one way or another. Going to see a movie is always therapeutic, ¬†it’s ¬†like adding normality to your life.

Overall a successful year and I will look forward to 2017. Freedom is going to be my goal this year. I wish everyone a Happy Healthy New Year.

Weekly Blog No 30 – Woman Together Can Be Dangerous.

image

This year I made a big thing about my birthday because last year I was preparing for a liver resection. It’s fair to say I really don’t know how many more birthdays I’m going to have. Ideally I hope to have many more but the reality is I have an incurable disease and time is something I don’t have.

My symptoms cause me many problems, which can limit my day to day life. Although, I seem to have had a guardian angel on Monday & Tuesday because I was able to do things just like a normal person. It all changed on Wednesday and Thursday evening I went to see my GP and within 13 hrs, he had me having a scan. Further investigation is still required and I don’t know the outcome as yet.

On Monday, I spent a few hours with my coffee partner having spa treatments, which was amazing because as a rule sitting down all that time is not my normal day. We then had a coffee and soup in the famous Canadian coffee shop Tim Hortons. Thank you to my coffee partner for her lovely birthday presents and magical day. Thank you J for treating me to the luxury that was once my monthly ritual

It’s my birthday.

Today I had arranged for friends who I knew would not be working to come for coffee & cake. I was nervous because what if I had to leave my guests if I was feeling under the weather with symptoms. They are all good friends and I knew they would understand if that was the case.

The coffee machine was on giving off a dark roast aroma. The table was decorated with pinkness ie balloons and napkins etc. Serving plates were filled with an array of pink cakes. I’m ready.

First guest geordie girl arrives with balloons, gift bag and more pink cupcakes lol. Then comes along 2 more guests unknown to each other google queen & my bombay partner in crime both loaded with gifts, cards and flowers. Next comes my cockney sparrow loaded with gift bag, card and grain free, dairy free cup cakes. Finally its my little weegie loaded with gift bag unfortunately my fellow blogger was caught up in meetings so she was unable to attend.

Not all the girls had met each other before, however I knew the chat would flow. Armed with coffee & cake the conversation flowed, there was no subject out of bounds. We talked about the 80’s music, concerts, fashion, celebrities, TV shows and even Paddington Bear made an appearance. Now the gathering kicked off at 11am so no alcohol was involved yet for some reason we got onto explicit topics. I’m not sure if it was google queen or cockney sparrow who started the conversation but we were in stitches & horrified at the same time. In fact, I thought I was pretty street wise until I got this lot together yet it seems to me, I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life. I must explain the explicit topics was not the actions of the people and to be fair some of them would have been dam impossible because of their gender. I will have to give the invisible trophy to cockney sparrow for being the most educated in the explicit topics.

Woman can seriously be dangerous together and I would hate to think what we would all be like on an evening infused with alcohol. Laughter is good therapy

Thank you to my family & friends, I had a great birthday this year.

Weekly Blog No 28 – My Love for Music

 

 

 

IMG_0871-0

Where does my love of music come from? Where and when did the passion start?

Could the passion be passed down the genes or is it a learned behaviour. I don’t know,let’s see what you think with my situation.

My parents and brothers are all huge fans of music. I can remember my parents playing music around us from an early age. Country, Rock & Roll & Irish music seem to be their favourites, my earliest memory is an artist called Jim Reeves. Jim Reeves was a country western singer from the USA in the 50’s. My mum would play 7″ or LP vinyls and my dad played 8 track tapes moving onto cassette tapes.

image

Jim Reeves

image

7″ Vinyl

Most weekends we would attend an Irish dance after watching Val Doonican on the “The Val Doonican Music Show”. Val was an Irish singer from Waterford, Ireland who was around since the mid 60’s. He had various hits like ” What would I be”. He was a man with a girl’s name and wore an amazing array of knitwear.

image

Val Doonican

My extended family is very artistic too, with musicians and singers. They use their talent both professionally and as a hobby. As for me, yes I can play a couple of instruments but I can’t hold a tune. My poor husband has to suffer my awful singing and I’ve had 40 years practise, yet I can still murder a song. Although I do have one talent, if you can call it a talent. I can sing along to nearly every song that I hear yet I can’t name any song title beyond one word. Lol I can’t even manage to name the band, yet I can sing all the words. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a sharp memory and I can name groups/singers from different era’s yet I can’t necessary put a song, title or a band together. How weird is that!!!!!!

I was trying to remember what instrument I learned to play first and like most children I am sure it was the recorder. I was an owner of a recorder at a young age, nevertheless at about¬†the age of 7, I got my first percussion instrument, a xylophone. I received this Christmas gift in the 70’s and nearly 40 years on, I still have the instrument to this day.

image

 Xylophone

I did learn to play percussion, woodwind, string and harmonic instruments, nevertheless I couldn’t make a living from my talents. My dad was a self taught accordion player but I have other family members who are exceptional on the accordion/squeeze box.

image

Accordion

In school I played the guitar with a group of school friends, who also read my blog. Well girls, I still have my guitar in its original case too lol. I got my guitar when I was about 13/14 it must be a vintage piece. I need to replace broken strings, which I am sure got damaged whilst travelling from the UK to Canada.

From a young age, I was exposed to music by other family members. I had a cousin who took me to a friends record shop on the Narborough Road, Leicester, UK owned by a band member from Showaddywaddy I believe. Showaddywaddy was a Leicester band and had many UK hits including a number 1 “under the moon of love” in 1976. Thank you cousin K for the introduction and you can correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t they buy me ice cream too? If I remember the ice cream was more interesting than meeting a celebrity.

image

Showaddywaddy

Another fond memory was when I stayed with family in Yorkshire as a teenager and my cousin P brought a 7″ vinyl. The song was ” can’t take my eyes off you” I know Andy Williams sang the Frankie Valli hit but I don’t who the artist/band was of her version. All I do know is, she played, played and played the record and when I hear that song now, I think of cousin P and the wonderful time I had in Yorkshire, UK.

I have another cousin A who was into northern soul and still to this day she travels around the UK attending events. I don’t know if I loved some of the music because of her or whether it was because of the mod influence in the 80’s. Cousin A used to dress in 60’s attire and could totally pull off the look.

As kids, music was involved in our chosen activities discos at the local social club and “Studio” nightclub in the city centre. Every weekend we would go to roller skating at Granby Halls were they would have, what they called a roller disco. Basically dancing on skates and going around in circles showing off our skating techniques.

image

 Granby Halls, Leicester

For years I would listen to the UK Top 40 on Sunday evening, whilst washing up the pots with my brother. I would buy fortnightly magazine “Smash Hits” and learn the lyrics of songs with a friend on the bus travelling to college.

image

 Smash Hits Magazine

I could go on for hours telling you different stories of my music journey but the blog would be never ending. My music taste is quiet diverse from Dean Martin to II Divo to Olly Mars but my ultimate favourite music is dance music from my rave days. I am a big fan of dance music and I haven’t missed a Ministry of Sound annual cd as yet. My cd collection is ridiculous and I have to get used to downloading. Furthermore I have a collection of 7″ vinyls dated back to the 60’s including LP’s & 12″s along the way. I’m afraid I can’t let them go so am I now considered as a hoarder. Lol.

image

Ministry of Sound CD

What do you think, is music in my genes or is it learned behaviour?

(Written in UK English)

Weekly Blog No 27 – Welcome 2015

image

This year is all about self development and to achieve some new personal skills.

image

Firstly, I want to accomplish some new cooking skills. I have purchased the tools, a kitchenaid food processor and food mixer. My goal is to use as many unprocessed ingredients as possible and develop some healthy dishes for me and my husband. I’m not trying to change my way of eating as a result of the cancer as I have previously spent thousands on natural therapies and treatments prior to my diagnosis. My opinion at the minute is not a good one in that respect, I have invested in my body yet I have an incurable cancer so I’m struggling how it was beneficial to me. I do believe eating sensibly is beneficial for your body but not as¬†a cancer cure. Perhaps my line of thought may change over the coming year.

Secondly, I would like to explore music, i don’t know whether to learn a new musical instrument as I can play a few or continue lessons in music theory. I loved music theory at school and wish that my school had offered the subject as CSE/GSC(High School) qualification.¬†The fiddle seems appealing or perhaps I will do both. Time to investigate where to learn the fiddle.

image

Thirdly, I want to paint or craft in one way or another. Ideally it would be nice to earn some money from my existing skills.

image

Fourthly, I would to continue my writing skills as I do enjoy to writing. I have been writing for nearly a year and the feedback has been wonderful. Thank you to my readers, I shall continue to write with enthusiasm.

image

Fifthly, I would like to travel, nowadays this would be a huge achievement. I can’t help but hope that my cancer treatment will improve my quality of life thus allowing me to travel to see family & friends and to make new memories.

Hopefully in December, I will be able to inform my readers of my achievements. Do you have any personal goals his year?