Weekly Blog No 118 – Winter Olympics 2018

This time 4 years ago, I was watching the Sochi, Russia, Winter Olympics in Canada. This year I’m watching the Pyeongchang, Korea, Winter Olympics in the United Kingdom.

Great Britain are not as fortunate in the Winter Olympics for medals as they are blessed in the Summer Olympics.

In Sochi 2014, Great Britain won 4 medals in total. One gold, one silver and 2 bronze.

Liz Yarnold – Gold – Skeleton

Men’s Team – Silver – Curling

Woman’s Team – Bronze Curling

Jenny Jones – Bronze – Snowboarding

I read in the media at the beginning of the Olympics, that Great Britain’s goal was to win 5 medals. I’m glad to report as of today, only day 8 of the Winter Olympics we have won 4 medals. One gold and 3 bronze.

Liz Yarnold – Gold – Skeleton

Laura Deas – Bronze – Skeleton

Don Parsons – Bronze – Skeleton

Izzy Atkin – Bronze – Skis Slopestyle

Congrats to Liz Yarnold for achieving her second consecutive gold medal in the skeleton. Hopefully Team GB will exceed their goal of 5 medals in this years Winter Olympics.

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Weekly Blog No 116 – Goodbye 40’s and Hello 50’s.

I had previously mentioned in a blog that when I was diagnosed with cancer, I put out to the universe, to please let me reach my 50th Birthday. I’m glad to report, I made it. I do believe its a combination of a positive attitude and gaining a knowledge on Carcinoid Cancer.

The last decade was a mixture of excitement and emotions. We moved to Canada experiencing everything Canadian. Then I suffered with my spine and endured 4 surgeries. To add to the emotions, I was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Yet my husband & I continued to enjoy Canadian life with such amazing friends. 3 Cancer ops later it was time to go home to be nearer to my family in UK and Ireland. We have no regrets but my heart is still in Canada. Therefore goodbye to my forties and hello to my fifties.

Firstly I would like to thank everyone who has been telling me I look mid to late 30s. I have to thank my parents Irish genes for that one because its nothing I have done. I haven’t had any invasive beauty treatments or used any special beauty products.

Last week, I was fortunate to have friends come and see me throughout the week. We celebrated with bucks frizz, coffee and tea. There was chatting over a variety of cakes and fresh fruit. I do love a girly gatherings because there is no subject out of bounds and the room is always full of giggles.

Saturday was my birthday and I was showered with birthday cards. Every available surface was covered with cards of love. I got balloons full of helium floated in euphoria. I had flower arrangements, salt and peppered around my house. I was sprinkled with gifts of generosity. The house was full of bliss and kindness.

I’m so so grateful to everyone who made my birthday so special. My 50th Birthday is one I shall always remember. Thank you.

Love to you all. ❤️

Weekly Blog No 115 – 1968 Facts

Historical Facts.

As I was born in 1968, I thought what a better way to celebrate 50 years is to provide some historical facts.

The monarch was Queen Elizabeth 11 and the Prime Minster was Harold Wilson of the Labour Party.

Northampton the county town of Northamptonshire is designated a new town. The prime Minister hoped it will double its size by 1980.

Baggeridge Colliery closure in the Black Country. Ends mining after nearly 300 years.

Mauritius 🇲🇺 achieves independence from British Rule.

London Bridge sold to an American entrepreneur Robert P McCulloch

The Abortion Act 1967 comes into force legislating abortion on a number of grounds with free provision on the NHS.

Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 reduces right of entry for citizens from British Commonwealth to the U.K.

Mr Fredrick West (aged45) was Britain first heart transplant patient.

Manchester City won the 1st Div, Football League.

Ronan Point Tower Block collapses after a gas explosion killing 4 people.

The Kray Twins and their brother Charlie were arrested in dawn raids in East London. 18 men were arrested for murder, fraud, blackmail and assault.

Five and ten pence coins were introduced to the run up to decimalisation.

Floods in South West & South East, England.

BBC sitcom Dads Army is aired on television.

General Post Office divides the mail to first and second class services.

The rebuild of Euston Station opens.

The M1 is completed, when the Rotherham and Leeds section is opened.

Tennis player Virginia Wade wins the US Open, Women’s Singles.

Cotton trading at the Manchester Royal Exchange ceases trading.

NHS reinforces prescription charges.

Celebrity birthdays this year.

Heather Mills – Ex Wife to Paul McCartney

Patsy Kensit – Actress

Daniel Craig – Actor

Paul Merson – Footballer

Mike Atherton – Cricketer

Howard Donald – Singer

Adam Woodyatt – Actor

Weekly Blog No 112 – Overview of 2017

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog, due to me recovering from my surgery. I thought I would count how many blogs that I did last year and the result was only 20 blogs out of potential 52.

My health evidently had an impact on me posting blogs this year. I will endeavour to improve that number next year, even if it is just by one. On a positive note, my followers have increased in numbers and since commencing my blog in 2014, the number of views is approximately 12k. Woohoo.

Friends & Family

Thank you to friends and family for your continuous support. I have a huge amount of respect for people that consistently care and support Mr Zebrakat and I. Honestly from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything. Specifically all the people who sent cards, flowers, plants, mags, chocs & sweets, biscuits and messages.

I have to be honest though and say there is a few people on my radar who haven’t fully supported me and that does shock me. In my eyes that can’t be justified why but maybe in their eyes they can, who knows. I’m certainly not going to invest anymore time wondering why.

Lottie (Dog)

She has settled into her new home and loves the garden. Just like in Canada, she likes to sit in the garden facing the sun catching the rays.

She has adapted so well with all the changes we have put her through including the construction on the house.

Thanks to K who looks after Lottie when I’m on appointments etc. Knowing your pet is in good hands is very reassuring and I have gained a coffee buddy too.

New Home

We been here for a year now and the changes to the property are progressing. New windows, stone window cills, shutter blinds, roof lights, guttering & downpipes, new brickwork, forming a new bathroom, knocking walls down, new stairs to loft, chimney removed, new fireplace, loft conversion etc.

The list is endless and I have to thank Mr zebrakat, my brother and nephew for their hard work. Your help to reach our goals has been invaluable and is really appreciated by both of us. Obviously various trades have done certain things but they moderately have been done by family.

Health

I’m sure most of you have read Weekly Blog No 111 – Post Op Update. I’m now 6 weeks post surgery and doing ok. My wound is still being dressed daily by the district nurses and has a little way to go. I’m no longer in pain, nevertheless I am still contending with symptoms that are relentless. No medication at this moment in time is helping but hopefully that will change.

I still haven’t received my post op follow up appointment but my Net Cancer team are chasing it for me. I will have scans again just before the beginning of February before seeing my Net Cancer Consultant. Mr Zebrakat and I have a lot of questions for that appointment but I’m unsure if we will get satisfactory answers.

Despite the endless scans this year, I don’t have complete faith in them. I will continue to listen to my body, which has consistently given me warnings of tumour activity. I think 4 times on the surgical table makes me an expert in some respects. I definitely feel a lot lighter having less organs. Hopefully this coming year is going to be a more healthy year with less issues.

Hobbies

Well, I did have a successful year gardening. My first year of sowing seeds and planting cuttings did indeed produce various fruits and vegetables. I will attempt sow directly into my vegetable boxes next year to see if I am as successful with my crops.

My reading of books hasn’t stopped but I have been completing books at a much slower pace this year. This year I’ve been lucky enough to be in contact with a couple of authors whose books I read. I’m always amazed how they produce such wonderful work with an outstanding imagination. Were would we be without books.

Travel is on the cards next year and optimistically my health won’t prevent me from reaching those goals.

Theatre visits is a must, there is a couple of big shows in London I want to see. Who doesn’t love a musical.

Overview

This year has been quiet challenging, nevertheless I’m still here to tell the tale. I’m so grateful to the surgeon for making me pain-free and possibly extended my life a little. I’ve learned new skills in the garden and been covered in the bottomless pit of dust through building work. I’ve spent quality time with people I love. Furthermore Mr Zebrakat wins the award for husband of the year for his love and dedication as always.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Love to you all. ❤️<<
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Weekly Blog No 110 – Lottie’s 7th Birthday

Another year has passed and I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I left my homeland Canada. I’ve talked about things that I missed from Canada before but I know my human Mum’s heart is still in Canada. I know she’s missing her friends dearly.

I guess I am too, I miss my furry friends Oscar & Monty. My crush was Oscar, he was tall, dark and handsome, just like what most woman wish for in the male variety. Monty was pretty submissive in my company but could give a great chase for a big dog. Oscar on the other hand was not only handsome but he had adorable ears, I would like to jump up and bite them. It’s not like my furry friends can jump on a plane and come see me nor I to them. Never mind, I will continue to dream about Oscar chasing me through the snow or rolling around the floor with me. Ahhhhh that’s love.

Oscar

Monty

My update is a couple of months late this year and now I am 7 years old. I’ve been looking after my human mum, she’s not been so good this year. I’m keeping my eye on her and snuggling up with her as much as possible. I’ve started to paw her like a cat to sit on her legs etc, it works every time. Who would have of known, I could act like a cat.

I’ve had some dodgy haircuts this year too, why is it so hard to produce the same cute hair cut. I’ve looked like a floor rug, someone clearly likes scissors and a sheep after shearing. The last cut has made my legs look longer and my body even shorter but not for the better. Paws crossed for a nice cut in 2018.

Guess what, we have moved again, this is now a permanent address, I think my human parents have a gypsy streak in them. I don’t know if I was coming or going. Finally I think they have settled down and I don’t have to deal with the previous neighbours cat crossing my garden. My current neighbours cat has more sense and avoids my garden, he knows my boundary line. However I do have a small human next door shouting doggie doggie, no!!! my name is Lottie.

The new home is cute, I don’t need a map like my Canadian home. Furthermore I don’t get the warm air heating like my Canadian home, its a metal panel fixed to the wall, I think the humans call it a rad. I did like warm air flowing through my fur, it was just like a permanent blow dry

Some of the items in this home verses the Canadian home, say for instance the shower in the U.K. is a like size of a laundry chute. Ridddddiculous. The bathroom hand basin is so small, an ideal size for a cats lick but not a deep filled bubble bath lol. My human parents are changing all those items and making great moves on creating a beautiful home.

Ive been to my human dads workplace on a few occasions and again I’m flooded with kisses and cuddles. They all want to take me home but there’s no way I’m leaving my human parents oh no. My human parents mean the world to me, nevertheless my human dad is still the soft touch in regards treats, let’s just say he’s putty in my paws every time.

I actually go to a dog sitters home when my human mum has medical appointments in London. My dog sitter is lovely and her human daughters and I’m showered with love and affection. The only problem is I won’t eat as I’m pining for my human parents. I know they are coming back for me but my anxiety gets the better of me. If only I could drink wine like humans, they always seem to be more chilled after a couple of sips.

I had better sign off now as I have to snuggle my human mum before she has another op this month. She’s a real superstar, you wouldn’t get me going under the knife 4 times just picking and chopping organs for dandelions(tumours). Them doctors keep dissecting her like a science lab class rat or a frog nowadays. She’s has scars like a patchwork doll but so so brave. I hope they take good care of her otherwise I will have to start sharping up my gnashers, enough said. (Disclaimer: I don’t condone violence)

Until next time and love to you all

Lottie. X ❤️🐾🐾

#letstalkaboutnets

Weekly Blog No 108 – Cancer Update 


Cancer Update.
Last week I seen the surgeon in London and he further agrees that I need surgery. The goal is another bowel resection and ovary removal. If he feels a resection is not viable then an external bag is the only option. The surgery is mid Nov because we are trying to get my blood pressure under control. (Cancer related) I did scare them a little with a heart rate 115 and repeat readings not much different. He then sent me to pre admission today to avoid additional travel.

 I think I had a full M. O.T. including swabs, bloods, ecg etc etc. Once the nurses had finished I was sent to the anaesthetist who was also very lovely and fully aware of the problems my cancer has caused. Therefore as an extra precaution I will go in a day early for special meds and after surgery I will go into a high dependency unit or icu for at least 24 hrs. Overall it was a successful day.
Roll on operation freedom. 🤞<<<<
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 Weekly Blog No 107 – Black Country Living Museum ( Part 2). 

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St James School, Salop Street, Eve Hill, Dudley

In 1811 the Church of England established the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor with the aim of setting up a school near to ever parish church. There was 4 schools in Dudley and St James School in Salop St, Eve Hill was built in 1842 just 2 years after the parish church.

Hobbs & Sons Fish & Chip Shop, Hall Street, Dudley

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The building housing Hobbs, Fish & Chip Shops and Morralls Menswear Shop was sited originally in Hall Street, Dudley. The building dates back to the 1700’s, however was recladded with pressed brickwork in 1889.

H Morralls Gentlemens Outfitters, Hall Street, Dudley

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Originally next door to Hobbs, Fish & Chip Shop at 42 Hall Street, Dudley. From 1935 the shop was a tailors and Gentlemen’s outfitters ran by Archibald Victor Rogers.

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4 shops formerly known as 12, 14, 16 & 18 Birmingham Street, Oldbury. In  2005, Black Country LM arranged for the transfer of the block dated around 1850 – 1875

A Hartill Motorcycles, Birmingham Street, Oldbury

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in the 1930’s,  Number 14 Birmingham St, Oldbury was Humphrey Bros premises, ho but use to reconstruct 1930’s motorcycles by A Hartill Motorcycles.

Humphrey Brothers Builders Merchant, Birmingham Street, Oldbury

Humphrey Bros were number 12 Birmingham St, Oldbury from 1921 until about 1960 although one time they also occupied 14 and 16. The shop display is dominated by a large fireplace surround of mottled brown,  beige tiles and dark oak. The green basin and wc represents mid 30’s.

A. Preedy & Sons, Birmingham Street, Oldbury

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Number 16 was occupied by two small independent tobacconists up to 1932. A Preddy & Sons was a well known wholesaler and retail tobacconists in the west Midlands, established in Dudley in 1868.

The Workers Institute, Lower Hill Street, Cradley Heath 

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The Cradley Heath Workers Institute stands as a monument to the struggle of the women chain makers of Cradley Heath who laid down tools in 1910 to strike for a living wage. Focusing on Britain low paid workers and establishing the principle of a minimum wage.

The Boat Dock & Boat Collection

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The museum has built the boat dock on a canal branch believed to have been formed by mining subsidence in the middle of the 19th century. The branch  arm formerly joined the canal arm built in 1839 to link the Limekilns with the Birmingham Canal Navigation (BCN).  The second photo is inside a canal narrow boat,

The Penfold Letter Box

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Letter boxes arrived on our streets in the 1850’s and the contract for making the first national standard design in 1859 was awarded to Cochrane & Co of Dudley.

Anchor Maker’s  House, Lawrence Lane, Old Hill

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This house is one of a pair built around 118 that used to stand on Lawrence Lance, Old Hill. The homes were condemned by the local council in the mid 1970’s. The museum dismantled the property in 1978 and rebuilt it at the museum. The property as a side entry to a back yard.

The Hardware & Ironmongers Shop

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The Ironmongers shop and hardware shop occupy two properties, which formerly stood on the corner of Piper’s Row and Tower street in Wolverhampton. The shop contents have been collected to represent a typical hardware shop of the 1930@s. The stock includes a selection of household equipment – tin baths, pots and pans, tableware, lamps, laundry irons and heath equipment.

Veal’s Bakers Shop, Birmingham Street, Oldbury

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The Veal’s Bakery shop was carried out at 50 Birmingham Street, Oldbury from the 1870’s. George Veal was a confectioner brought the shop in 1879 and he died in 1884. His wife remarried Arthur Smith and the properties remained in the family until the 1920’s.

Providence Chapel, Darby Hand, Near Netherton.

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The Darby Hand New Connexion Methodist Chapel was originally opened on the 29th January 1837. Methodism had emerged in the mid-eighteenth century through preaching of John Wesley (1703 – 1791) who made 15 visits to Dudley and other parts of the Black Country in 1749.

The Greengrocer’s Shop

 

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the building is a replica of two shops out of a row of 3 in Lower Lichfield Street, Willenhall before 1848. The Willenhall shops were originally built as houses and converted into front room shops in the early 1900’s. The greengrocer was owned by Gertrude Adey, wife of Willenhall Locksmiths

Museum employees dressed in period costume

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Station Road Cottages, Station Road, Old Hill

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The two cottages are replicas of houses which stand albeit mortified on Station Road, Old Hill near the Great Western Railway station. They were built in 1848 and formed part of the Earl of Dudley’s estates. Dwelling of that time were typically 3 rooms, a kitchen, pantry and a bedroom.

The Coal Yard, Station Road, Old Hill

This reconstruction of a Coal Yard is based on evidence collected from several Black Country coal merchants and dealers. Small yards selling coal could be found almost every neighbourhood catering for domestic consumers and small businesses such as bakeries and sweet shops etc. Most people used coal for cooking, laundering and room heating and could consume as much as two hundred weight (over 100 kg) a week.

Limelight Cinema, Harts Hill, Brierly Hill.

IMG_0212The Limelight cinema is an example of a small family run cinema typical of the period 1910 -1920 although it did not open until 30 August 1921. It was owned by John Henry Revill an engineer with Cartwright & Paddock and tucked away behind a row of houses on Vine St, Harts Hill.

Blacksmith’s Shop

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The Blacksmith’s Shop its housed in a reconstructed building from the Great Bridge which retains the original corner fireplace. The equipment is from Eliza Tinsley Works in Old Hill.

Anchor Forge, Woods Lane, Cradley Heath

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The Museum,s Anchor Forge is set in the 1920’s and preserves the equipment from the last anchor forge to operate in the Black Country. Anchor making was a prominent industry in the Black Country and anchors for some famous ships like the Great Easten, the Titanic and Royal Yacht Britannia.

Peaky Blinders Filming Location for the BBC Drama

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