Sunday, 22 August 2010


this week has been exhausting - chalet bashing 3 days in a row is a tad horrific…but, it's now the weekend, hoorah! One day off. And amazing things this week: I am at 60% of my fundraising target! Yay!! I have raised £2,412.00!! Obviously this is with the help of friends and family…yay them. Chuffed to bits.

AND, one of my gardening clients actually drove out to my house to pay me…now THAT is brilliant. We zoomed down to the Port Royal today - and met up with the chaps that are doing the next event there - so odd, as there was no plan but we all arrived at the same time! Nice to put real faces to Facebook contacts.

Other than that, this evening the FH did a bbq [in the pouring rain!]. Gorgeous chicken…mmm!  And I spoke to one of my MOST precious friends in Portugal on Skype…all told, a good day.

Check out this event:

CF poster_01

Saturday, 21 August 2010


17.06.2010 iphine 004 today I was chalet bashing with a young Slovakian girl who otherwise works as an au pair for my friends. She speaks good English, but still needs to get to grips with nuance and colloquialisms. So she's off to college to learn our language properly. In the meantime, she is chalet bashing with me, as we both need the cash…and today was SO funny. We had 8 chalets to clean, so started out with the customary speed, packing up all the laundry into bags whilst the loafers in the chalets got ready to check out at 10.00.

We drive all over the site in golf buggies. They are quite basic - accelerator, brake. Backwards, forwards. To take the brake off, you simply stomp the accelerator. And that's what happened…we parked the buggy, leapt out to clean the first chalet, and my Crazy Slovak Friend brought a bag of laundry off the buggy. I told her we already had one in the chalet [one we prepared earlier]. So she chucked the bag back on the stationary buggy…and it shot off up the road!! The bag [about 10 kilos] landed on the accelerator, and off it went! The Crazy Slovak was running in front of it, thinking to stop it that way - I was running at the side hoping to leap in and stamp the brake, then along came Andy [who has the longest legs here] and shoved me aside, leapt into the buggy and stamped on the brake.

Relief! And total hysteria - I so wish we had a video of THAT little incident. Laughed for ages. Heh heh.

After that the day just got silly - we had so many chalets to clean it was dizzying. So at 12.30 we decided to stop for lunch with Julie. Nattering away outside on the veranda, the next thing I knew, I'd been stung IN THE ARMPIT by a blasted wasp!! Oh my word - that hurt!! I almost knocked poor Julie for six trying to get her to rip the little beast OFF me…the Crazy Slovak did that, and Julie slapped a load of vinegar on it. That was quite a relief. Then we waited. Last time I had a Bee sting I had one of those weird 'I can't breathe' episodes. But this time there was just lots of pain [still is! silly creature] and I was fine. But it jolly well hurts!

All things come in threes and the final small chaos was the Crazy Slovak smacking her head so hard into a door that I heard it at the front of the chalet! We were so exhausted by 4.00 that we didn't know  whether we were coming or going, and all we could think about was GOING! And finally we did. Uff. What a day!! 7 hours of constant motion…

I spent an hour in the bath getting all the grime of today off me - I am now about to have a lovely COLD glass of Pinot…phew…


I sometimes want to change the title of the blog. to something less 'cancery'. After all, this is not just a 'cancer' blog any more - it's a 'what the hell I am doing now' blog too.  ha! this week we learned that this is a 'not' clever manoeuvre. My friend Tracey decided to do just that. And lo and behold, she disappeared from the bloguverse…hmm. not quite the plan, so I shan't be doing that!!

So - today was rather monstrous. 5 chalets to clean. By the time one reaches the fifth, one is totalled. Uff. 15 beds, 10 bathrooms….etc.

And today I had stomach cramp - which EVERYONE has. But of course, mine were a return of the cancer - or [you guessed it] a return of the cancer. Bah - pathetic! Anyone can have stomach cramp…me too. For no reason at all. It went away. Of course it did.

But having HAD cancer - well, it takes a lot from your life. If you lose weight quickly [like I have] you worry - otherwise you'd be jumping for joy! If you have stomach cramp, pain in the tummy, a sore knee - it's cancer. Grr. Even though it's not.

So a normal life is here, and I am SO trying to live it; except I think I will never be normal again [but was I ever anyway? heh heh]…but one thing is for sure, I have never been this fit in my life! January I will be starting training for the Women v Cancer cycle. Now THAT is going to be interesting!!

Friday, 20 August 2010

an erratic life….

my blogging is extremely erratic lately - but then, so is my life. I am doing so many different jobs i sometimes don't know what day it is. And that's fine - at least I am working and earning something - even though it's not a lot, it's better than a poke in the eye with a plastic daffodil! Plus spinning and fund raising  - uff. Although the fundraising is going well! I am 58% of my target!! Please tell all your friends about it - if they could donate just the minimum I will be thrilled. Thanks - see here for my donation page:

This week I have been out to my 'bijou' garden in Ide - pressure washing the brick pavers. Wow - talk about arm ache afterwards? 5 hours and I only got half of it done. But it looks fab! I know that once I have topsoil in there, and I've planted it up, it will be a delight.  It's a 'hot' garden, so I am planning on putting in lots of drought resistant plants like Mollis, pelargonium and Geranium. It needs to be a relatively 'stress free' garden too, as the property is rented. Here's a sort of 'before and after' pic. Lichen is hard to remove! Makes the bricks white.


I also went out with my partner in crime, Julie, to another garden in Exwick. NIGHTMARE!! The first thing we had to do was dig out a gigantic Flax…wow does Flax stink!! But the rest of the job was ok - clearing and weeding. Simples! Here's the triffid Flax…in it's death throes…


Apart from that I am still 'chalet bashing' and [brilliantly], I have  a few design jobs in the works - one of them being DR Debt. He needs a manual - yay. Another being Feelgoodecobeds, postcards and once they're printed, distribution - and then Fingle Glen want a bit more work too. Yay - little bits make a whole…a few paying jobs are fantastic. I am also doing a lot of voluntary work - this weeks is the Cystic Fibrosis fund…poster for the event on the Bank Holiday weekend.

Aargh - in the middle of this I got the 'jumping leg' syndrome. Had to run outside and stamp up and down the patio. What's that all about?? I haven't had that for ages?? Grr.

And a wonderful piece of news this week - my friend Jo, has had what appears to be a reprieve. Bring it ON!! So far, she's nervous - me, I am delighted. An inoperable tumour becomes operable? Amazing. And fantastic. Woop!!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

friday 14th

aj Check out the cool t-shirts, kindly donated by ACES t-shirts! 01392 211921

The reason I am doing the Fingle Glen stuff at severely cut price is because they have given me work. Cleaning. I really need it. I am constantly applying for graphic design jobs in the UK with no luck. Imagine that! I have 10 years experience in corporate graphic design - suddenly I need experience in 'web design' as well?? That's not normal -  it's ok for me, as I have made web sites. But not for job seekers, as they require a 'qualification' in web design before they will give one a job…well.

Plus - Fingle Glen donated a 3 day weekend at one of their chalets to my fund! Oof - brilliant!! Can't thank them enough - yay Andy Bridgeman!!

Qualifications are great. But web design for GRAPHIC designers? So I am basically knackered unless I get a web design 'qualification'…which will be a basic. Probably what I already know about Dreamweaver? So. I WILL get the qualification - just to be irritating. The whole thing does my head in - but this week  i have applied for a new job - event organiser for CLIC Sargent. Its a three day a week job - and I really want it!!

It's an Assistant Events Fundraiser - organising events for a children's cancer charity. Woo hoo - bring it on -  I know I can do it - I want to do it. And I need to do it. And I so want them to just give me an interview - I am sure I will get the job. But, hey ho, we will see.

In the meantime; the Port Royal event! Amazing!! Brilliant!!  I made about £490.00 there!! Just waving the pink boxes!! My friends ran off with them down the north end of the Quay - yay they  made loads!! And that, added to the raffle I did in advance of the event, made about £1000.00!! Whee! Bloody marvellous!! Still drawing in the funds. Thank you so much in the meantime; the Port Royal - and thank you so much all the friends who helped me with this event - Mark Blackstone [Freeway Split] for playing for free [totally brilliant!!] and Judi Spiers [did the raffle for me - totally amazing, plus she was soooo funny!]…plus everyone else…you know who you are!!  Thanks for selling raffle tickets in advance of the event - Thank you - I am overwhelmed …here are some pics!!


the Port Royal Crew


Freeway Split



Grace. And Sue. And Julie - talking to John Hore, of the Exeter City Legends.

Friday, 13 August 2010

friday 13th

The last few weeks have been nonstop pressure. Work, fund raising, work - the same as everyone else I think. Except normal people don't run around fundraising like crazy types [usually] in between jobs.

I seem to be like a spinning top right now. I am completely lacking in coherence. So many different jobs mean having a lot of different 'heads' on [and that's the problem -  leads to chaos heh heh]…chalet bashing [job 1] is simply racing from one chalet to the next at top speed. Strip the beds [3 per chalet; one double, two singles] boom boom; clean 2 bathrooms [WHO invented the toilet?? kill 'em], 2 beds, lounge, kitchen diner, bam…pack up the laundry and haul it out to the golf cart [groan!], collect clean laundry, make up the beds…race to the next chalet. And so on and so forth x 4, 5 or 6 chalets per shift. The laundry bags weigh a ton, especially if all the towels are wet [aaargh!]. The Horrible Henry Hoover is like a Thing of Satan - I SERIOULSY hate that Hoover…grr. It can't turn corners and it's always smashing my feet to smithereens…beastly thing!! Just look at it!! WHO would invent a cleaning machine A: with wheels that can't turn over it's own cable [it falls on it's facetious face], and B: with a smiley face?? Only a man…smiley face…fft…it should have Evil Eyebrows. Anyway…


Then [job 2] there's the feelgoodecobeds number. That's mainly graphic design, but also happily includes a bit of actual furniture making - well, not making, but finishing. I was having a cool time last week waxing and polishing bedsteads. Not that it's not exhausting - it is, but in a good way. This week I have postcards to get printed and then I need to run them out to shops in the hope that someone will buy a bed or two. I get 15% of any bed sales I generate - woop! Bring it ON! I have noticed peeps going to feelgoodecobeds from my blog even! yay!!

Then there's gardening…[job 3, 4 and 5]. Julie and I do a couple of BIG [and I mean BIG] gardens together. We also have a little gardening job or two that we do independently. This morning both of us were in tears. TOO MANY THINGS! We are both run ragged. No time for the 'normal' stuff - housework, ironing; sunbathing?? We are both racing from pillar to post, just trying to pay bills. Once you've had cancer, you really NEED to try and chill your life out - stress is very bad for us. Ffft - so much for theory eh?

And then there's [job 4] which is a little number doing html emails for Fingle Glen hotel  - at a severely cut back rate [but there's a reason for that - next post!]. Nice work, as it's using my brains. And my experience. And I enjoy it. That's always a plus. Here's one. They loved it - yippee. Self esteem slightly elevated.


And today, the umpteenth refusal letter from another job app. Oh well. At least they had the decency to reply eh?

My hands are killing me from stripping beds….but at least I CAN strip them…for now.