Sunday, 27 March 2011

friends doing stuff…

See this article online about my friend Annabelle! Or read below. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw her in the Mirror online…looking stunning as always :) Go Annie!

annie "The dress may look familiar, but the brunette modelling it is new.

And while Kate Middleton is likely to hang on to the Issa dress she wore to announce her engagement to Prince William, Annabel Titmuss – who won exactly the same dress in our ­competition – won’t be holding on to hers. ­

Annabel would love to keep it, but she’s ­planning to put it up for auction to raise funds for the charity that supported her in her battle with ovarian cancer three years ago.

“I absolutely love the dress,” says Annabel, who at 29 is the same age as Kate and ­William. “It’s gorgeous and very classy.

“I really enjoyed modelling it for the picture. It’s really flattering and I think it would suit most body shapes. But selling it is my way of saying thank you to Ovacome, who helped me so much when I was ill.”

Annabel, a nurse who lives in Crewe, was just 26 when she was diagnosed.

“My husband James and I had been trying for a baby for some time and nothing was happening so I went for some tests.

“It was during the fertility ­examinations that they found the cancer.”

Annabel had to have a full ­hysterectomy and her ovaries were removed. She then had to undergo six months of chemotherapy. Happily she has now been in ­remission for two and a half years.

“I couldn’t have won the dress at a better time as it’s actually Ovarian ­Cancer Awareness Month, and Ovacome are in the process of setting up a support group for younger women,” she said.

“Ovarian cancer is more common in older women who have had their families, but when you are diagnosed young, as I was, there is obviously the issue of infertility.”

Annabel plans to auction the dress online on eBay, hoping to raise some much-needed funds to help the charity.

“I am so glad I entered this competition. I love Kate’s style – and I really like Kate and William as a couple.”


Just thinking thinking thinking this evening. I've been far too tired recently. And although I have a ton of work to do, I decided to have break and just listen to some music, play some games and generally have a skive this evening. Glass of wine, Sennheisers, fags – jammies. Lovely!

Listening to the White Album…it's always going to be, and always has been, so evocative of Dad's reel to reel tape of the Beatles -

…memories of David as a baby, trundling about in a pair of terry towelling pants and a suntan cutting his teeth on empty beer cans [perfect childhood!], this photo will shock and horrify most modern mums…so funny! And so harmless..

slide-000089Remembering walking to school in HOT rain in Papua New Guinea with Pete. Pete was always such a stick insect :) Pete on the left.

slide000333Mum under our house on stilts, buying fruit or carvings from the locals, who were mostly naked. And happily for us, we found this perfectly acceptable. This chap not so – he wears the sarong that normal people wore before David Beckham made it such a bore.

slide000328 Mud that dried to look like broken Easter eggs – it always fascinated me as a child. Still does.

Blissful days at the beach, where the sea was warm and only about a foot deep for ages, then suddenly VERY deep and cold…floating about in massive inner tubes from the huge Mac trucks used on the mines. The sand was soft – this is one of my favourite photos of all time…

slide-000185_w And Mum always made iced coffee – that's a surprise memory. Just recalled it. Odd how there are things in the mind hiding away. Then they suddenly surface when you don't expect it. Picnic. Iced coffee. Sun. Sand. Happiness. The hot car.

Losing our flip flops when we had to cross the river to go to school, as the mud was so gluey. Worrying about hook worm?! Mum and I had matching dresses – made by Mum's best friend Kay. I remember the colour. Blue. My favourite. I felt so important to look just like Mum. HUGE steaks cooked by Kay's husband, our adorable 'uncle' Ralph…which apparently 'fell off the back of a truck'. Heh heh. The 'Bloody Red Baron' tape. My 'best' friend Tamara. Her surname escapes me for the moment.


No-one else can ever know what is going on in your mind. They can never understand how you feel unless they ask – or you tell them. Therefore it's easy to assume that nothing is happening in there that's too serious. This lays one open for accusation.

Sadness is hard to share.

When someone asks you how you are, you don't TELL them do you? Well, unless you really are ok all the time? And if you do tell them, as in: "how are you?" - "oh, terrible, I feel ghastly / sad/ ill etc" – the face!! Like, ''what? You are seriously NOT going to really tell me how you are are you?'' Society dictates NOT…

So I am walking around with this big big heartbreak inside me. And when people ask how I am, of course I tell them I am fine, thank you. Or risk a strait jacket for my pains.

I am still so sad about my Dad. My heart breaks for my mum. Yesterday would have been their 50th wedding anniversary. I hope to see my twentieth. And thirtieth – we saw our tenth last year…to see our 50th I'd be 88. Well, bring it on! I shall hopefully have a blue rinse, the FH a grade 2.

Happy anniversary for yesterday Mum and Dad. I am so sorry you aren't together for this one.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

more fund raising!

Well, the Golf Day went swimmingly! Julie did everything! All I had to do was design the poster and the prize vouchers, and I got ONE prize for the golfers. Not a great deal of effort on my part, and for that Julie raised £850.50 [love that .50p bit].

DSC_0022 Fingle Glen were very generous with a gigantic bacon butty on arrival and a buffet dinner [beef curry, chicken curry, chips, rice etc] for which Julie gave them a percentage of the days take. Sundry other people donated loads of raffle prizes, and popped down after the event if they hadn’t been there, for a drink and the raffle.

golf day voucher_1

I think Julie spent about a week on the phone arranging all the other prizes, golf days, weekend breaks, TONS of prizes for the raffle, the longest putt [is it putt?], the overall winners, the people who came second etc. The working out of those winners seemed like a right nightmare – Julie was at it for ages, so if you do one of these events, get an expert like her involved!

And, there was wine, designer golf hats, sports shirts, books, you name it, she had it. The winners were delighted, as they went off with loads of swag. I was working all day, so the FH went down and spent his day off helping Julie – the highlight of his day was racing about in the golf cart getting beers to the players ;)

Someone asked me how it all worked, as they want to do one too. Not having personally organised it, I am hoping I am correct in the following. Each person paid £25 [they had to raise a team of 4] for golf, bacon butty and buffet meal after. The T-offs were staggered throughout the day.  Julie sold each team a balloon [and I am not quite sure of the details here, as I don’t understand golf at all]. The balloon could be let go if you wanted to retake your shot I believe. Some of the Fingle girls with their balloon.

DSC_0012 She also imposed fines of £2.00 and £5.00 on people who did naughty stuff on the course. One chap was fined a fiver for being scruffy and mistaking the herb bread for ‘mouldy’ bread in a rather loud voice heh heh. In advance of the event, Julie sold raffle tickets, and four lots of Fitness First vouchers that they kindly donated. During the day she was there making sure everyone went off ok and organising drinks etc. for the players.

Judi Spiers came to help with the raffle and a little auction; people were very generous with raffle prizes and donated so much. All the people who came spent a fortune. So, a fabulous result all round!

My effort – appearing at the end and saying thanks! Then racing off to work at the Port Royal whilst Julie raced off home for a well deserved feet up! Oh, but not after letting a few people know that there may be another one in September…Teign Valley have offered to allow us to stage one there, but we’ll see how gluttonous for punishment we're feeling by then!

Here's the girl herself. Thanks Julie! And everyone who gave their support!


Thursday, 24 March 2011


I am having a fab one! Knowing that one may die earlier than expected is a great contributor to enjoying the moment. And I do – enjoy every moment. I have been told I am selfish. I have been told I am nasty – cruel even. I’ve been told I am all sorts of things.

But I know I am not. Well, I am never intentionally nasty. I am forgetful – perhaps this seems selfish? I am outspoken – maybe this is seen as cruel?

I don’t know…and to be honest, I no longer care. Life is too short after a cancer diagnosis to actually give a f*%k. Bring on the people who love me as I am. The others…well, take the back seat.

I am scarred. I am weak. I have less hair than I had before chemo. I am now a worrier, where I wasn't before. I concern myself with awareness of ovarian cancer…gosh, I am such a bore!

But hell, life is good! I have lots of freelance work, I have a home – I have a wonderful husband. I am strong enough now to do work of any kind. And I am grateful for that.

This is one of the most enjoyable pieces of work I did this week. This woman has raised £30000 this last year -  have you thought about doing some serious fund raising events? They are very satisfying. It takes tons of planning and nagging and running around. One of my friends raised £8000 in one night with a dinner and auction event. Try it!


Sunday, 20 March 2011


I am bloody exhausted! I want someone, somewhere, to just give me a break.

another week – another weep

This year seems to be a year of death and terror. I seem to have been crying almost constantly. It started with my dear Dad, and since then I have lost another friend, and recently yet another has been told she’s terminal. Terminal?? What the fuck? [I have given up being polite on here by the way – ever since I used the word ‘bloody’, Google decided my blog is obscene. Or some such. Like I care…]. Terminal – what IS that? But as she is dealing with it with aplomb, so shall I. But it’s so hard.

On top of that, another couple of friends have had recurrence. Oh God that dreaded word…it ends ‘Life as We Know It’ and starts ‘Life Ruled By Treatment and Fear’. Scary scary and more scary. It has made me upset all week – I don’t sleep, and if I do, I have dreams of dying or being cut open to find monstrosities…plus one of my dearest friends has had her ovary removed, and is waiting for the biopsy result. Her ovary was apparently 15cm of tumoury mess. Cursed ovaries!!

I am so tired. Of worrying. Of death. Of cancer.

PLEASE spare anything for my fund raiser – it’s for ovarian cancer, cervical cancer and breast cancer research. We desperately need this research – please help to fund it? Thank you…ONE pound would be enough and greatly appreciated.

Oh – almost forgot! Was in the paper again this week for the next fund raiser. Most of the facts are right – one of them, that I am 48, is rather chuckalicious ;)


Monday, 14 March 2011

attitude is everything…


The LIVESTRONG Manifesto. Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.

…the part where the man shaves his head made me cry…I am SO grateful to be alive!!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

naked ping pong??

can you believe this…they’ve made a film specifically for viewing on the internet?  Girl Walks into a Bar is interesting. The first feature-length Hollywood movie created specifically for the web. There are no long, drawn out scenes, no car chases, no horrendously dramatic music [thank you Film Gods]…but still it’s engaging. Have a look – this is the full length movie.

"a comedy about a seemingly unrelated group of characters spending a single night at 10 different bars throughout Los Angeles."

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

just a thought…

Dalai Lama:

Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives.

The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend -- or a meaningful day…

good news :: Ovarian cancer survival rate has doubled to 41%

See this article or read the article as an image below [yay – no adverts, I deleted them ;) ] – quite good news, on the back of one of my friends dying this week, and another having a living wake this weekend before she dies. I am angry.

Stupid, stupid disease…remember, knowledge is power. KNOW THE SYMPTOMS!!! Get with the bloody programme here women!

It’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness month in the UK – I don’t see much ‘awareness’ actually. Apart from amongst the women who already know about it, because either we had it or we have it! And because we have been through it, and know the ongoing terror of it, we try to spread the word…

But it’s absolutely astounding how closed women are to listening to this. And I know why – I was one of those women. I didn’t want to hear about cancer before I was dx. And actually, I’d LOVE to never hear about it again – never gonna happen…but we do our best eh? One woman’s life saved is worth all the frustration of women like one I spoke to recently…”I don’t need to worry about that. I’ve had kids”. Ok…in kid speak – WHATEVER!! grr

Actually my favourite remark is: “ok, so you had cancer, but you’re fine now, so stop going on about it”. ehehe – you can imagine my little brain working overtime at that moment…as in: ‘where the fuck can I get an AK47?’’

PLEASE see the symptoms link. The ‘bit about persistent pelvic and abdominal pain’ I don’t actually agree with. I never had any pain – but the bloating, feeling full [and thickening of the waist]. Yup…for sure. Easy to ignore and easy to think it’s just age or diet or whatever. Tiredness was my main symptom after the bloating…total and utter exhaustion. I am exhausted now, working 7 days a week – BUT I feel positively frisky compared to how I felt when I had cancer. But I didn’t know.

Be sure to know. The result of ignorance is not pretty.

Monday, 7 March 2011

¡Ya basta!

I thought today was being a pretty crap day – it started with the car only having petrol to travel 3 km…damn. Just made it to the garage. Then when I got there, half the pumps were closed. So I had to go out and back in again. Grr. Then, at the office, I was doing ten different things at once, the Macintosh crashed in the middle of a job, and 2 hours of work got ‘lost’. Somewhere…it’s definitely there, but we couldn’t find it. So I came home this evening and did it all again, as the deadline is tomorrow. Grr.

In the middle of the evening I discovered that Sweet Jayne died this morning. Fuck. The day’s problems suddenly seemed far less significant. See Jimmy’s post here. I’ve been in touch with Jayne for what seems like years. We met through the blog, and then became friends on Facebook – we never met in the physical world, but we chatted and supported one another. Jayne was awesome. She battled ovarian cancer for 10  years – she wouldn’t listen when they told her she had a few months to live either! Feisty thing :) She lived on long past their gruesome time scale. And gave them the finger to boot.

jayne 01 And she really LIVED her life as far as she possibly could. Please see her blog. She is a truly inspiring person. Was? No. IS. And so is her husband Jimmy.

It was because of Jayne that I have managed to ‘contain’ my fear of a recurrence. After all, she had one – more than one – but she carried on. And on. And it wasn’t easy. I know she is now in a place where all that pain, and all those restrictions on her having fun – well, they’re gone. But it does bring it all to the surface again…

I shall miss her and her pot smoking, pet loving, cycling, blogging ways. I’ll miss her support, friendship and her brave example. But I shan’t forget her. She has her wings now. And no more pain.

jayne 03

¡Ya Basta! – enough is enough…I like it, it  sounds like a swear word! WHEN WHEN WHEN will someone find a cure for this horrible, terrifying disease?? I am sick of death.

Goodbye Jane…you’ll live on in my heart.

I want to ride my bicycle…

So, I have a brand new bicycle specially for training! My lovely pink Free Spirit bike is not quite up to the task, so I am trying to sell it. This is it:


I reckon £40 or £50 ono would be reasonable, as it’s in good nick, plus it has handle bar shift Shimano gears. And a great bell! ;) PM me if you know anyone interested in buying it. I need the money toward the new one.

Anyway, back to the cool new bike – it’s a Land Rover Maharari. I have always wanted a Landy – now I have one heh heh. To go with my Land Rover key ring, given to me years ago by some wit. Check it out:


Mean machine and even meaner saddle. Which I had to be measured for. Hmm -  it was a rather weird experience to say the least!!! Apparently I have an extremely narrow pelvis and it’s a “good job I never had kids” ? So glad the cycle shop experts are so knowledgeable…and disturbing! ;) So I now have a very narrow saddle. To match my pelvis. Which looks like a torture device. And likely IS. Hmm. This fundraising malarkey is getting a tad expensive. Boot sales for finding the cash - here I come.

Specialized Gel Saddle

AND…I had to buy shoes [breaking the bank, this darned fundraising is]. The shoes because my feet really hurt during spinning, and apparently this is because the soles of trainers are too ‘bendy’. The cycle shoes have a totally solid sole – very funny to walk in, but great on the bike. I tested them at spinning and they are great. So I now clomp about in them like Frankenstein…

shoes sonama wmn

Looking good – lots of BLACK things. Next acquisition is shorts – I ordered some from Chain Reaction Cycles. Pffft – useless. They said they are out of stock [their site shows them IN stock] and then they had the gall to tell me that the shorts are discontinued! LiveStrong cycle shorts do NOT get ‘discontinued’. NOT impressed. But they did refund my money in 3 days, so I am not complaining. Just peeved, because if the web site says ‘in stock’, they should be forced to supply the item. Grr. Back to Plan B which is ordering them from LiveStrong. Handily, Julie gave me money for  my birthday especially for buying cycle shorts, so I am not out of pocket there at least. And last, but not least, I need some Oakleys.


Reason being: they don’t fall off, no matter what; they have 100% UV protection [prevents sun damage to your eyes] and they are just cool.

Apart from all that, I am working from the crack of dawn until this time of night [must go to bed soon!] – not in touch with anyone [bad] and I am so tired of being TIRED that I have no words for it. I am utterly exhausted. So is the FH. WE desperately need a break. Roll on the week in Spain. I shall be prone the entire week. No joke. TIRED!!! And being this tired always makes me nervous….

One fab thing – my neighbour and friend, Claire, is going to train with me! Yay her – I am desperately in need of some support, as I am not particularly inspired right now, and none of the other W v C girls live near me. Yay for Claire :)