Tuesday 31st May 2016

Up at 4am this morning to check Hugo and he was OK and decided just to read and then I realized that as time was going on, I decided just to stay up. When the weather now is so good then why not take advantage and possibly have a nod later.

This morning was again our early morning treatment at radiotherapy and the hospital was very quiet covering for many people on holiday. Ted MBE was there as usual and I promise that I will have a pic with him before he disappears on his holiday at the end of this week.

We rushed back as we need to check on Hugo who has not eaten for three days and we need to either get to the vet or as later we discussed on the phone to discuss seeing to a specialist for a final view.

Back at home, I wanted to finish the sealing with the driveway and firstly had to cut a large hedge way, power was and after dry before I brushed on the sealer. Done and dusted then and I will be happy. Whilst getting it dry, I had to post two really important and our Higher Kinnerton Post Office had closed. The nearest one was Doddleston, about 2.5 miles which is a beautiful typical English village and decided to just get changed and go on my racing bike. The 5 miles will have done me good as the muscles need to have gentle exercise.

Felt very good on the cycle, got to the Post Office and then decided not to go back the 2.5 miles and continued for a larger circular route in all in about 10 miles. The sun was shining, the field looked amazing and I also felt good. Not just someone 17 days into treatment. IMG_0218

This has given me a real boost today and I need to set gentle targets for walking and then cycling. You will see the half which I then sealed and now you have a new drive. Trying to get all the ways out of way as soon as the 6 weeks then nothing will hold us back.

In the afternoon I went to my ‘corner’ and chilled out for a lovely sleep for about an hour and back to fully refreshed for an hour. Eleanor was working in the office and it allowed her get catching up with her business. People do not realize how difficult how to be looking after someone me, a pain in the a**e and still perform at the work you would have to deal without some husband who normally worked over 60 hours every week.

One of my neighbors, Nigel is a retired school headmaster, goes walking the weather man from Welsh television is filmed and proving a big viewing. I asked if he could speak to him for an opportunity when he is going to be filmed the winner of a auction prize is they accompany him! Could raise a good amount.

Anyway Holby has just started and I am off to see it.

All in all a very relaxed day and relax, chill and remember live in the moment.

Night my friends.

Bank Holiday 30th May 2016

Wonderful day!

We was asleep at 10pm the night before and woke up at 4am. Bit of a baking disaster as I thought I would put everything in the bread maker for fresh bread in the morning but I changed the flour from white being Alison brown and the following will see the result. Opps! Then I made scones as per the Scottish recipes which my mum had bought me on Saturday at Culzean. I was panicking as in the time given they didn’t look right, gave it another 5 minutes and whew!! Eleanor and I had with a coffee in the morning and they were tip top.

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I went back to bed at 5am and the luxury of waking at 7.30. This was like a long lie. The sun was shining and we started doing the odd jobs and doing the normal if you had a weekend day. Preparing to go for radiotherapy at 3pm due to the Bank Holiday, we had a call at 11am from the hospital and can you get here for 12 noon as another machine is now working. A quick shower, change and off to Clatterbridge. Arrived good time, booked in and then was called to go not to the normal machine, Rowan but directed to another room with the exact machine but they realized the mask is now getting very but managed. They can adjust later which will be more comfortable.

You will see by the photograph of my hair falling out and I can understand the panic that people have when this comes out in clumps. Well I am still alive and I can put up with this and I will be able to negotiate a  half price for a haircut.

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When we came back to the house, I wanted to power wash half of the driveway in preparation of sealing the pattern printed surface. I stated this company. Artists in Concrete around 1994 and sold out when I started Living Floors. I was asked my friend Jenny Sale I would love to know your businesses and one time I will give you a really LONG blog.

After I had cleaned the area then I was really tired, went to my famous round chair and had a lovely sleep.

When I woke up had two things to do, one was to seal the driveway as the weather is perfect and second, go for a ride in the tricycles. Got the bikes out for my inaugural trips. We have surrounded with  country lanes and we took the route which we had taken many times with the horses. In some ways it was like riding a horse but not having to feed them. We had an amazing ride and when a hill comes up, some electric to help and easy. This was great exercise and allows me the freedom. A cyclist stopped to have a chat and he was passionate about this sport. He had completed 100 miles in the morning and was still going the lanes early evening. His age – incredibly 85 old. Well I was embarrassed.

Back house I then sealed the drive and thought only for the night a cauliflower/chickpea curry which Eleanor is making, TV and a rest.

One thing I had a surprise was a comment sent from my great friend Jim Loy, who is also a competing cyclist and he is so impressed by Maggie’s Centre that he will dedicate to this Ride 100 London-Surrey. This is very kind and thoughtful – thank you Jim. http:ukvirginmoneygiving.com/jimloy

I am going to as I smell the curry aroma coming from the kitchen and all I would say is always live in the moment, taking any stress from your mind, it grabs it in two hands and toss it away.

Sleep well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday 29th May 2016

Staying at my dads in Ayr and going to bed about 9.30pm after a great day. When my head hit the pillow I was straight away and it is strange that I keep to feel that I might wake up but deliberately kept my eyes shut and it feels like it is for ever but eventaully I have to give in and look at my watch. 4am and I may as well get up, go to the kitchen, make a cup of tea and then work on the blog. At 5.30 there is no point going back to bed and just go and get changed and do the beach walk again. It is certainly again the best part of the day and arrived about 7am to make Eleanor a cup of coffee as we have a schedule to go and see mum in Annbank before an 11am trip back to Chester.

I felt sorry for Eleanor and I am frustrated that I cannot help with the drive but the weather was good and she is an excellent driver.

Maggie was delighted to see us again and you can imagine the car is getting packed with both parents loading with things to take back down south.

Back at Chester about 4pm then we had to unpack and then to get dogs but find there is no improvement in Pug Hugo and if this cannot be solved then it may be very sad but I will have to allow him to be put to sleep. We have always loved dogs and I hate when their lives come to an end but there would be cruel to let him suffer.

On the journey from Scotland I made up an hour sleep and I am may be asking to allow me to further cut back the steroids as I would love to come completely as it changes the shape of my face and I hate the belly as people must think I drink about 6 pints of beer a day!

Tomorrow I am going to go in to see the workers at Living Floors depot and I have never been into since the April Fools day when this started. I will use the tricycle and make sure I am there for 8am and surprise them. I have retired and will never be involved again only to advise if asked but I have seen that as another life but the guys have never been ready to face them and tomorrow will be OK.

I know I will never sleep in as you might know!

I am going to check on the tricycle is fully charged and I will sue the pedal power where I can and then be lazy otherwise. I know I am very weak but I need to keep moving.

I was eating my diner tonight and kept seeing hairs in my food and I now realize that  my hair is falling out especially where the radiotherapy has been directed. After the 3pm schedule tomorrow, I will call in to my hairdresser and ask him to make it look less lop-sided. Not that I have always been into hair style but Steve will do what he can.

I am now off to bed and I would say to all people in commenting –  thank you and keep them coming. Over 100 views even today and again thank you, great support.

 

Sleep well.

 

 

Saturday 28th May 2016

Again, I apologize for for your late blog as I am catching up with being in Scotland and I must assure you have not been trying the whisky which surely I would love to be having a wee dram.

It is important to keep a log of my sleeping logs as I can see what may work better, it may be the things I would worry about or the stupidity of doubling up on Piriteze like I did on Thursday evening.

I was staying at my fathers and I got up at 1am and thought a good time to get the Friday blog. I stayed up to 4 am then back to sleep till 5.30. Remember the last Saturday we were in Abersoch which has a fabulous long beach and likewise the town I was born, Ayr, has a long beach and I got up, dressed and walked the 10 minutes to a long  beautiful beach. This looks over to the island of Arran and you will see in the photos below. In some ways I will give you many pictures and this this may be a ‘sale’ from the Blair’s Ayrshire tourist board.

You have: –

  • The Ayr beach at 6am and I only saw one other person enjoying the early sun and peacefulness. Everyone should try!
  • Walking back, I will see the Ayr Fort, then on the High Street, Wallace Tower ( directly across from a grocers called also Wallaces where I was a ‘messages boy’ at fourteen. This was the first supermarket in Ayr.
  • Then you see the famous Tam O’Shanter Inn where Tam left drinking after the market day and slightly, no really drunk, on his mare and soon to have an experience at the Alloway church and fleeing from the devil and the others raised from their graves, chased him to the Bridge of river Doon where he galloped over but unfortunately they managed to get his horses tail and pulled it off. I am sorry but you must look up this story it is world famous.

 

My weekend was to spend time with my mother who had not seen me from the tunour was discovered and due she was not able to travel to Chester, it was important to let her know that I was dealing with this situation and after a another early walk with my father and Eleanor, again soaking up the beach, we made our way to the village of Annbank. There was Linda, sister, and then we had an opportunity of the latest member of family Adriana where Eleanor enjoyed holding this lovely girl who was born premature and a beautiful wee thing.

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The sun was glorious and the countryside is the most beautiful at the time of year and made our way to the coast south of Ayr and passing through a small town called Maybole, where I opened my first shop when I was  nineteen years old. This was an old bank which I rented to sell fruit and vegetables. Soon after I bought a off licence with the house above, some land at back and a cottage which dated to the 18th century. Plenty stories about this but not for the blog.

We arrived at a small village, Kirkoswald, near to Trump’s Turnberry Hotel and golf club. There is a amazing restaurant which is thatched and a few years burned down but was renovated and I must say was a first class to eat. But Kirkoswald is where Souter Jonnie’s house who was one had been drinking with Tam before he left for his fateful evening loosing the tail of his grey mare. Please google the story this is fascinating.

We then made or way to a fishing village maidens, where I used to keep a small sailing boat, had a nice beach walk then headed to a few miles to Culzean Castle. A favorite of mum’s and spent time at the swan lake, the walled gardens and the home farm area. A lovely day and one to remember. Some pics for you: –

It was arranged that we would pick up my father and have an early meal as both Eleanor and I are exhausted and had a lovely meal at again a highly recommended hotel, The Chestnuts, Ayr and after dropped my father, ran mum home, returned to dad’s house to get an early night.

Overall a wonderful day in Ayrshire countryside and beaches. You might think I am having too good a time 50% through the treatments but hey, why not do what you can and both Eleanor and I are enjoying every second minute we can and I an so privileged for all the professional NHS staff looking after me. Thank you.

Speak soon from Bonnie Scotland.

 

 

Friday 27th May 16

First of all for the apology for the Blog for today. The day before I had a better sleep when I took a antisemitism table and it worked to an extent. I thought I would go one better, I too two tiny, really tiny pills and then ensure a good sleep, set me up for the Scotland road on Friday, (today). Big mistake and I slept walked half the day and wondering whether this was the real fatigue for the treatment or I should be kicking my  backside and really hard.

At a moment when I came to alive was as the four radiotherapy team asked me if they stay in the EU or leave. The mask in their hands and then I burst into a four minute pitch about Brexit and they had never been so glad to get that mask hammered down on a patient. As they left the room I was still babbling through in the air holes in the mask. They will be saying, ‘never ask Smillie about the EU again’.

I slept to Clatterbridge for 8.30 am, had the radiotherapy, had the blood test and back into car for a sleep to home. Slept through getting dogs to kennels, packed some clothes and into car for Eleanor to drive to Ayr, Scotland and then I slept to just after Preston. When I eventually came properly ‘came too’ it was Tebay Services on the M6 and knew that Dr Blair Smillie could resign from self medicating.

Just to keep you up to date with the Pug, Hugo. He is not well and the vets are trying various things but I think there is little home for this 8 year lovely wee dog. A decision will have to be made soon and viewing a pet may also have to be at peace and viewed who is someone also made to look at his short future!

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With the bank holiday, we were lucky with and excellent clear road and I felt sorry for Eleanor, who is well used to this road, I cannot contribute. Frustrating, but have to understand that I will be reliant on others which is going to happen increasing as time ticks on.

We arrived at my mothers house in Annbank, the small ex-mining village in Ayrshire, where most of my life here and we had an hour to see her and I hope the swollen face from the steroids did not scare her. I see a big difference and this make the mask going on a bit tight as the days go on. Great to see Mum who is going to be 85 on June and although is not mobile to being on oxygen, she still looks good and can enjoy what she can, and seeing her close family close to her.

Mum at the Burns Centre.

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My father lives in Ayr and we were staying there for two nights. We arrived him at 6pm unloaded and at 7pm we walked to the Abbotsford hotel a 5 minute hotel for some dinner. Ayr is a great town, a fabulous beach possibly 2 miles long, two rivers, golf courses and lovely parks. The most important tourist draw is Burns Cottage in Alloway, the home of the Scottish National  Poet. Well worth just coming to see.

The dinner was excellent and decided that I would be in bed early and back at house and sitting to a nice fire, it had changed colder, I felt the eyes going and made my way for a cozy bed. Now to overlap Saturday  but this is 1am, sitting at the kitchen table and writing this Friday blog. Was going to do this before bed but nearly threw the laptop through the window as I couldn’t connect to my fathers modem.

Before I must go I showed the tricycle I am going to show ‘me and me bike and if you can see the top of the picture, you see a young admirer. Do you think technology has moved in nearly 60 years?

 

Now at 2am in kitchen at Ayr I am saying that I hope now are are really enjoying for restful sleep. Another cup of tea and back to bed.

Thank you for following and sharing.

Thursday 26th May 16

Last night we switched off the TV about 9.30pm and decided to put some some gentle music and we ended to near midnight chatting and had the Piriteze to help the sleep. I was delighted that I really woke up properly at 5.30 am and laid until 6 am which was a record. For this I will feel better today.

The two Linda’s arrived very early to take me to Clatterbridge for the early treatment. As normal this was done quickly and they really enjoyed to see the special place and meet some of the staff and Ted who mans the reception and for his reward was awarded by the Queen in 2008 with a MBE. He deserves this.

I spoke to Elsbeth at the Clatterbridge Charity offices and have set a date with the main fundraiser manager next week to go through some ideas. I have some ideas and if they could help then it will make a substantial long term funding.

Linda, sister, had produced some lovely shawls for Maggie’s and they were delighted and will raise some funds for this.

Today was a good day to get things sorted and went to get the tax for the Peugeot which will carry the tricycles. Speaking about this, here is me on my bike: –

Never driven the Peugeot and Linda, niece, was elected the driver and the three of us went to go and visit Llangollen which is only 1/2 hour away but is beautiful and a lovely place to visit to get a genuine Welsh atmosphere. The Peugeot Express Tepee had the two tricycles was perfect to carry them but to give us the freedom. This has everything to visit but also has the Steam Railway.

We walked up to the restaurant at the canal where they organize the canal trips and had some lunch with wonderful views. Now I took advantage of the chef asking why their scones look so good and she then wrote out her recipe and there was a clear difference with what I was doing by Bill Granger’s book. I promised to go back for a competition.

I had a call coming from my solicitor this afternoon and we made via the scenic Horse Shoe Pass and stunned then with an amazing scene and believe it or not was quicker to get home.

Back home I had an hour of deep sleep in chair and was wonderful.

The two Linda’s are due to go back tomorrow by train and they arrived to have some dinner and bring back the Peugeot which they had taken to Chester. We had Lind, nice, try out my bike and loved it. I am sure when they returned home they will tell the stories and take a few orders.

Before I close for the evening I saw this hanging at I would like to share with you.

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I am smiling and as I wish you to a lovely evening and don’t forget – sleep well.