Friday, 31 December 2010
Monday, 27 December 2010
Monday, 13 December 2010
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Orange ............... Orange
of the children could identify the taste.
mother may sometimes call your father.'
'Oh my God! They're ass-holes!
The teacher had to leave the room.
Monday, 6 December 2010
(Anyone who has ever dressed a child will love this one!)
Did you hear about the Pre-School teacher who was helping one of the children put on his wellie boot's?
He asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little wellies still didn't
want to go on. By the time they got the second wellie on, she had worked up a sweat.
She almost cried when the little boy said, "Miss, they're on the wrong feet."
She looked, and sure enough, they were.
It wasn't any easier pulling the wellies off than it was putting them on.
She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the wellies back on, this time on the right feet..
He then announced, "These aren't my wellies."
She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, 'Why didn't you say so?' like she wanted to.
Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting wellies off his little feet..No sooner had they got the wellies off when he said, "They're my brother's wellies, my mum made me wear them.’
Now she didn't know if she should laugh or cry.
But, she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the wellies on his feet again.Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your gloves?"
He said, "I stuffed 'them in the toes of my Wellie's".
She will be eligible for parole in three years!
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Monday, 29 November 2010
I went down to the Royal Marsden a few days ago. The first visit post op. I was supposed to go a few weeks ago but was so pole-axed with anaemia I had to wait til my blood was topped up. It went well. The surgeon is pleased with my progress. I need a lot of physio and time before my leg will be ok to drive. A few nerves muscles and blood vessels went the journey during the operation and there is no saying yet what damage will be temporary, and what permanent. They think there maybe cancer cells still around ( likely because of the scale and complexity of the op) but nothing that can be seen by the naked eye or a scanner. Pretty amazing- a miracle really. Any of you who have had dealings with cancer know there are no promises. Living with uncertainty is something of a skill that has to be learnt.
So three options: chemo ( but we have established it doesn't seem to work for me; radiotherapy-but they would need to target carefully and there is nothing to target or measure; or leave me alone to heal and get strong. Their decision is the latter. Thank God!!
So onwards and upwards. I need to go for a baseline scan on 18th December and all progress will be measured from that. Nerve -wracking but then scans and results loops are and I should be used to it by now! I was hoping to avoid any more London trips until after Christmas but the consultant seemed pretty set on the idea. He also suggested that I stuck to veggie food from now on ( easier on the bowel which has been rather chopped around I think) which suits me fine as I can't bear the thought of meat at all. I can have plenty of fish though.
And one more thing.... he is pleased that I have lost weight but would like me to lose more. I have lost two stone post op, and could do with a couple more off. Mind you- I would be fine with two more gone. It's all on my tummy!! Classic apple shape.
So nice veggie recipes please?
Saturday, 27 November 2010
When you were born, you didn't come with an owner's manual; these guidelines make life work better.
1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's the only thing you are sure to keep for the rest of your life.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called "Life on Planet Earth". Every person or incident is the Universal Teacher.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation. "Failures" are as much a part of the process as "success."
4. A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until you learn it -- then you can go on to the next lesson.
5. If you don't learn easy lessons, they get harder. External problems are a precise reflection of your internal state. When you clear inner obstructions, your outside world changes. Pain is how the universe gets your attention.
6. You will know you've learned a lesson when your actions change. Wisdom is practice. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.
7. "There" is no better than "here". When your "there" becomes a "here" you will simply obtain another "there" that again looks better than "here."
8. Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another unless it reflects something you love or hate in yourself.
9. Your life is up to you. Life provides the canvas; you do the painting. Take charge of your life -- or someone else will.
10. You always get what you want. Your subconscious rightfully determines what energies, experiences, and people you attract -- therefore, the only foolproof way to know what you want is to see what you have. There are no victims, only students.
11. There is no right or wrong, but there are consequences. Moralizing doesn't help. Judgments only hold the patterns in place. Just do your best.
12. Your answers lie inside you. Children need guidance from others; as we mature, we trust our hearts, where the Laws of Spirit are written. You know more than you have heard or read or been told. All you need to do is to look, listen, and trust.
13. You will forget all this.
14. You can remember any time you wish.
(From the book "If Life is a Game, These are the Rules" by Cherie Carter-Scott)
Thursday, 25 November 2010
After a tough few years and recent months of defying all odds, I often describe myself as a tough old mountain goat.
I love this link. Hope you can pick it up ok.
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Ø I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
Ø Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
Ø I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.
Ø Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
Ø The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.
Ø Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Ø If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
Ø We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
Ø War does not determine who is right -- only who is left.
Ø Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Ø The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Ø Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
Ø To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
Ø A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.
Ø How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
Ø Dolphins are so smart, that within a few weeks of captivity they can train people to stand on the edge of the pool and throw them fish.
Ø I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a paycheck.
Ø A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
Ø Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "In case of an emergency, notify - - -", I put "DOCTOR."
Ø I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Ø Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?.
Ø Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
Ø Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
Ø A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
Ø You do not need a parachute to sky dive. You only need a parachute to sky dive,,,, twice.
Ø The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
Ø Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.
Ø Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.
Ø Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
Ø I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
Ø Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others, whenever they go.
Ø There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
Ø I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
Ø When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
Ø You're never too old to learn something stupid.
Ø To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
Ø Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
Ø A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as opposed to when you are in it.
Ø If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
Ø Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
Ø When something works just fine,, DON'T fix it !!!
Ø Insanity is contagious, you get it from your children.
Ø Hire a teenager,, while they still know everything.
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
-- Alan, age 10
-No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
-- Kristen, age 10
2. WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
-- Camille, age 10
3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
-- Derrick, age 8
4. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
Both don't want any more kids.
-- Lori, age 8
5. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
-Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
-- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)
-On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
-- Martin, age 10
6. WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
-When they're rich.
-- Pam, age 7
-The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
- - Curt, age 7
-The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
- - Howard, age 8
7. IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?
It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
-- Anita, age 9 (bless you child )
8. HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
-- Kelvin, age 8
And the #1 Favorite is.......
9. HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.
-- Ricky, age 10
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Saturday, 6 November 2010
Please have a look at this page folks. My very dear and oldest friend Louise is walking for the Royal Marsden Hospital and we are trying to raise a £1000. We started with a target of £300 and smashed it. And now we are being ambitious. My friend Bobbie is walking with Louise for company too. We are going to go down to watch and cheer them on. Even a couple of quid/dollars will help. Thanks XXX
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
I am finally home. Arrived back from hospital on Sunday night after one of those 'will I ever get out of here?' difficult mornings. I was in there for eighteen nights.It was a five hour journey and mercifully it went pretty well. I slept for most of it.
It sounds like a long time but it went pretty fast. I remember very little of the first week particularly, I was in ICU for most of that. All I can remember of that part really is hallucinations, and Pete visiting and having to wear a pale pink apron which caused some smiles amongst the family. ICU ( intensive care unit) is like Star Wars. Just a lot of screens and machines and wires. It is very alien and odd. The care is one to one 24 hours, and so specialised. Like being a new baby again.
One morning two teams of doctors came in at the same time. I was drifting in and out of the scenario, but i remember it well because there were so many of them, and all I could see were peering faces. I felt like 'exhibit a'. Two of the more senior doctors were having a disagreement about something. I forget what now. Lots of people were loading notes in laptops. Most of the doctors didn't look much older than teenager to me. All peering at my wounds and discussing them.
I was lucky regarding the aforementioned hallucinations. They were very weird but I wasn't frightened by them which I think can happen to some people. Caused by all the different medicines and drugs, they sure do alter the mind. I told my mum (who was with me during the ICU period bless her heart- just sitting patiently with me) that the nurses bay outside was a toy shop, a book shop and then a chocolate shop. I then decided it was a library. I could see a lot of space type figures wandering around (especially stormtroopers), and I also decided that we are all really IPODs and all we need to get better at things is to be upgraded regularly ( i.e. - if you want to be a tennis pro, get an upgrade. Learn Italian? Get an upgrade etc). It would be good if life was as easy eh?
It must have been hard for the family to make sense of me making sense of my world in there. Other than the strange visions, I also used to use the wrong words to describe what I wanted, and would regularly fall asleep mid sentence, totally denying that we were on the subject when I woke up again.
The operation I had was huge. I can't really say exactly what it was because the title is a paragraph long full of latin phrases. I did ask for a short version and was told the nearest is ' a total right side pelvic re-section'. I think that will do. It sounds general and large scale enough. Lots of people do ask about it and its good to have a simple short reply- not that it really explains a lot. Lots of slicing, strimming, removing, and painstaking work. Oh yes- and I now have no bladder. This will be a different post altogether ( I bet you just can't wait). The tumour has completely gone. That was the complex bit- so near the sciatic nerve and 'involved with' so many different parts of the area, it is a miracle they got it.
Those of you with a less medical disposition can avoid the 'no bladder' post but I want to be honest and open about it all in the hope it may help someone else in my position. Anything that supports someone else is worth writing about. If it raises awareness and helps us all know and appreciate what others are dealing with, or could be, then it's worth writing about it. As regards the bladder I wasn't sorry to see the back of it. I had done me great service but latterly it was causing me some really big problems. It had to go and I have accepted it. Now I have something caused a urostomy bag. Another post that one. I was told I may end up with a colostomy bag but didn't in the end: that was very fortunate. I was pleased when I woke up and found out.
So now I am waiting for the district nurse. The post surgery/ wound dressing circuit that I am sure a few of you maybe familiar with. This afternoon the stoma (urostomy support) nurse is coming to see other half and I. That will be good. We would like some help- it is a lot to take in and learn.
And I will relax like I did yesterday. Spend time with my beloved mum ( she is bringing me a latte in from Costas!), hang out with teenager who is on half term, read blogs and play on facebook. And most of all enjoy looking out of the window at the autumn colours, appreciating that I am alive and feeling better every day. Thanking God.
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
In brief, it's been a roller coaster and the week post off was the longest of my life. A real physical slog with lots to come to terms with. But above it all has been the feeling- I made it, and the operation was a success. Wonderful. Everyday my progress improves. I am sleeping again after last night, I am starting to eat again, and my stitches and staples are all gone. I haven't had time to be even remotely bored, and celebrated my 46th birthday in hospital yesterday with a glass of fizz.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
At 9:45pm the surgeons called and told me that the operation was finsihed. The surgeons were happy that they had been successful and believe that they have been able to remove all the tumour. Plenty of tissue samples have been taken and sent for analysis to confirm everything has been taken out. This is a result beyond our wildest dreams. Jo did extremely well during the op, I'm sure proud of her!
In all the operation took about 13 hours and Jo will be recovering for a long time. Knowing Jo as I do I urge you all to keep an eye out for new posts from Jo by Saturday or Sunday.
Finally, as a person who is known to you all as 'other half' can I express my sincerest thanks to all of you for the constant support you have given Jo. As a community you are all important to Jo and I know Jo draws a huge amount of strength from you all. Jo and I talk a lot about all of you and the connection Jo has with you is hugely significant to her. You are her 'public' and extremely important to her and therefore important to me - please keep the connection and the support going.
As of 5:45pm this evening the operation going very well with no complications. The surgeons have removed lots of tissue and lymph nodes for anlysis and all samples have come back negative, indicating no spread of the disease. A good result!
Jo is stable and her condition is good.
The team of surgeons have been working slowly and steadily in the pelvic wall area remving the tumour millimetre by millimetre. This is the area with the greatest risk, lots of blood vessels and nerves. So far so good.
The surgeon I spoke to said they expect to be working for atleast another 5 hours, so expect to see another post later.
Can I ask everyone to maintain their strong positive focus for Jo throughout the night. Your thoughts and prayers will all be received by Jo and your strength and energy will be used by Jo in her quest to overcome this.
Teenager, mum and other half are doing well, just having a quite day.
I will post again later with more news.
Jo's Other Half
Monday, 27 September 2010
Bobbie, abandoned by me in the North, had a lovely time with teenager (her Godson) and my mum. Luckily she has since followed me down to London so I get to see her after all!
On Thursday I finally got the decision about the operation. It would take an age to explain why but the answer was No. Total devastation. I have never felt so wretched and low. However, remarkably and through the power of prayer and patience, on Friday the decision was reversed. Joy.Sheer joy.
On Wednesday the operation will go ahead. It will take 12-14 hours. It is very risky. They may not get all the cancer out. I will have quite a bit removed partially or totally. I will be in hospital a long time. Recovery will be slow. There are absolutely no promises. But I have been given a chance. That is all I have ever wanted. A chance. To see my boy get to eighteen. That is what I am focussed on. If I don't make it at least we gave it a go. Took the bull by the horns. I gave it my best shot. I have looked the cancer in the eye without fear. I will take my chances. I am at peace knowing I have done everything I can. Now I trust in God and what will be, will be.
Pray for me on Wednesday.
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
I need to make progress. I need to get better for London next week. I get my decision a week on Thursday. Will they or won't they operate? I will find out on that Thursday. So it is tough at the moment- no point dressing it up.
But I am so blessed to have a lovely family to support me, and friends who shower me with cakes and flowers and cheery texts.
And the good news- my pride and joy passed his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award, and continues to be my inspiration and strength.
Friday, 10 September 2010
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Sunday, 15 August 2010
We went paddling and here is a picture of teenager with his cousin.
We also went to see NUFC ( Newcastle united) at a training session. It was a free event and thousands turned up.
Teenager got his very first season ticket. This means he can go to every home match. He has been over to Newcastle on the train with his friend, so he is hoping to go to lots of matches.
There was a first team player signing session and teenager got lots of autographs and photos, including this one with new signing Sol Campbell.
Sunday, 8 August 2010
My good friend Ann has lent me these books. I have read them both. They are excellent and I found them inspirational. The sort of books you can't put down. Has anyone read them? Let me know your thoughts if you have.
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Thursday, 29 July 2010
Teenager had a wonderful time in Chicago. Here he is at a Chicago Cubs match at Wrigley Field. How lucky is that! I am glad he had a lovely time. Chicago is such a fab place. Thanks again to my very good pal Expat Mum and family.
I have been for a second opinion consultation with the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. It was impressive. Organised and friendly. I felt happy to be there. I told them I had been very poorly after my last lot of chemo and that I wanted a break. They agreed that since it does not appear to be working, I should have a break. They advocate listening to your own body and instincts. Refreshing and hurray. They want to try a different regime further down the line, but not now. What a relief. Chemo is ok if you know it is making a difference. I feel instinctively that this is making no difference at all other than making me ill and down hearted.
Royal Marsden continue to consider options to get me the best possible outcome. To help this I go for a scan next week down in London. I am going to stay with my friend Louise. We were at school together and London flatmates in earlier days. It will be like old times. It will be great fun to be girls together again- shopping and eating I hope... and going to the cinema.
So we are focussing on symptom control and having a happy and fun time at the moment. Especially during August when teenager is off school and on holiday. Not only do I need a holiday- the family do too. Having some normality will be good for all of us.
Meanwhile, three friends of mine are in hospital at the moment. What's going on? Wherever I look someone seems to be struggling.
I am so glad I have my faith. I don't know what I would do without it. I went to a worship session at the Keswick Convention last week. It was uplifting and comforting. When nothing else seems to soothe me my faith brings me peace. Be still, and know that I am God.
Friday, 16 July 2010
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
I am afraid that google/ blogger decided to lock me out of my blog for a while. It kept saying that my password or user name was wrong. Eventually I tried the 'forgotten password' route and it has worked. Very odd. Anything like that ever happened to anyone else?
Anyway, quite a bit has been happening at this end. I spent a few days last week in Newcastle ( upon Tyne) seeing other half's family. It was a lovely trip. A couple of nights with my mum in law, and then a couple of nights with our friend Martin who has a flat in the city. Other half was working so I had a chance to hit the city centre for a few hours alone. I had a lovely time. Lunch in Yo Sushi, a chocolate shot at a chocolate fountain at Thornton's, coffee in a fab coffee shop called Central Bean, visited a new part of the Eldon Square shopping centre... bought books and clothes. Found out that Jo Malone is coming to Fenwicks, and that White Company is already there. Heaven.
Ok, so I overdid it a bit. Walked further than I had for an age, didn't take as many breaks as I could have done, didn't take enough heed of the warm temperatures AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. WHAT A TONIC.
We had a nice meal out in a restaurant called the Black Door brasserie. Very good. We had lunch in a vietanemese restaurant called Little Saigon. All in all, very successful.
It was hard to walk into chemo again on Monday morning after all that fun and sensory delight. But I did it and day two is now complete. One more and it's done for another four weeks. Reaction to chemo has been mild,so that is great news.
Meanwhile I have a referral to a hospital in London. It is the Royal Marsden and is the main cancer hospital in the UK. A second opinion. I am hoping for a consultation date soon so fingers crossed and prayers this way please. It has been a big decision because of the logistics but I feel I need to seek some more answers and perhaps some other avenues. What will be, will be, but I have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Teenager is in Chicago with Expat Mum and is having a ball. She is a good friend to us. What an opportunity for a fifteen year old. He is very happy and settled and I get to chat to him every day on facebook- easy and relaxed. Bless it- for all the criticism of it it has many advantages.
Sunday, 4 July 2010
I took these photos the other night from my bedroom window.
Teenager ( far left) on the last day term June 2010 with his pals. And now his case is packed and he is off to stay with Expat Mum in Chicago. She is a good friend to us and I appreciate it XX
Thursday, 1 July 2010
Lots of fresh air and sunshine was had by all.
And teenager's house 'Strickland' won the competition this year.
And yes- that is still my hair ( just!) after three cycles of chemo.
I am now chemo free until July 12th and making the most of feeling like a human being.
Monday, 28 June 2010
'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'
'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'
'I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'
'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'
'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.'
'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back...'
'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'
'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'
'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back...'
'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn...'
'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'
Saturday, 26 June 2010
1. Which do you prefer city or country?
Countryside but near nice stuff to do like shopping and restaurants. I crave quiet especially at night.
2. Do you feel old?
I feel as old as I am -no older, no younger!
3. What was your most embarrassing moment and can you share it?
Meeting Pele the footballer, not recognising him and not knowing who he was when I was told.
4. What was the best thing you ever did at school?
Enjoy it. I really did. I had some really good friends. Also I won a drama prize. I am still proud of that.
5. Who do you most aspire to be like?
Not a particular person. I admire traits in many people. I like to notice what people do well and try to model it if I admire the gift.
6. Do you think you are ambitious?
No. Not anymore. I was once. I don't value the same things as I used to.
7. If you didn’t do what you are doing now what would you like to have done?
I think I definitely ended up in the right line of work. No regrets. Politics perhaps if I had a tougher skin!
8. What would be your most perfect meal?
Not so much what to eat but where. Paris or Nice with other half, and lovely wine.
9. Have you ever broken the law?
It's impossible not to break the law in Britain these days-there are so many laws to break!! Hopefully that will change now. I have had the usual run of parking tickets and speeding fines. Nothing else springs to mind.
I went on a speed awareness course a few months ago. I was very sceptical about going and went instead of getting points. In fact, I learnt a lot and haven't done any speeding since. I am especially careful in built up areas.10. What songs would be in your Top 3?
She's Gone. Daryl Hall and John Oates
Every Little Thing She Does in Magic- The Police
World in Motion- New Order
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Apparently is is good for iron levels and is seen to be a tonic by some. Whatever works- bring it on
Sunday, 20 June 2010
But if you are eagle eyed ( or not as the case maybe) you will spot he is on crutches.
On Friday, as I was settling down to my post chemotherapy sleep the phone went. Teen had sprained his ankle badly. Could I take him to urgent care to get an xray? The school nurse was concerned- it was badly swollen. Perhaps broken?
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
The FBI had an opening for an assassin.
After all the background checks, interviews
and testing were done, there were 3 finalists;
two men and a woman.
For the final test, the FBI agents took one of
the men to a large metal door and handed
him a gun.
'We must know that you will follow your
instructions no matter what the circumstances.
Inside the room you will find your wife sitting
in a chair .. . . Kill her!!'
The man said, 'You can't be serious. I could
never shoot my wife.'
The agent said, 'Then you're not the right man
for this job. Take your wife and go home.'
The second man was given the same instructions.
He took the gun and went into the room. All was
quiet for about 5 minutes.
The man came out with tears in his eyes, 'I tried,
but I can't kill my wife.' The agent said, 'You don't
have what it takes. Take your wife and go home.'
Finally, it was the woman's turn. She was given the
same instructions, to kill her husband. She took the
gun and went into the room. Shots were heard, one
after another. They heard screaming, crashing,
banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was
quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the
woman, wiping the sweat from her brow.
'This gun is loaded with blanks' she said. 'I had to
Beat him to death with the chair.'
Women are creative problem solvers. Don't mess with them
Saturday, 12 June 2010
What music/tribe defined you as a teenager?
I loved ( loved!) the Police and Sting, and punk.
Urban or rural?
Rural mostly but not too much. I wouldn't like to live anywhere too remote. What I like about where we live is it is a great combination of scenery, but there are lots of shops, restaurants and things to do. We can be in fabulous remote countryside in five minutes, or busy madness by the lake in the same amount of time.
Worst relative story?
What? On a public page? Hardly!
Seriously - I have a very small family and they are all lovely. Very lucky
What are you reading at the moment?
Load of books on the go. Even more than usual! Here's a few:
Shattering the cancer myth - Katrina Ellis - lots of good information
Northanger Abbey- Jane Austen
The White Witch- Phillipa Gregory
Who pushed/inspired you to start blogging?
You have her to blame- heh heh ( and it was inspired)
Are you a learner or a teacher?
I don't think you can be a teacher if you are not a learner. I would like to think I am both. I have 'taught' for a long time, and have always been committed to my development.
What is your pet hate?
At the moment it's the horns on the World Cup matches- sounds like a hive of bees. So annoying.
Millionare socialists get on my nerves as well. Spouting about social conscience and fairness with thirty million in the bank.
Swanky bars, and sawdust on the floor affairs?
Former always. Dislike latter immensely.
What will you be doing while the football world cup is on?
Watch it mostly- but those horns are putting me off!
What picks you up when you're down?
My mum. Spending time with my other half and lovely teenager. Coffee with my friends. Going to lovely shops. Wine! Talking to resourceful positive and optimistic people
Indian or China...we're talking tea here, not economics...
I like both and drink both
What do you value most about blogging?
It is like a diary for me. I love it when I find out family and friends are reading ( even if not commenting). I love my longstanding blog buddies. It is a really supportive community.
What can't you bring yourself to throw out of your wardrobe?
I love leggings. Too old for them for sure- but they are sooooooooooo comfortable! And handy
Would you rather someone didn't ask your views on controversial issues?
I don't mind a bit. As long as they don't mind a controversial answers!
Do you recommend people..and then wish you hadn't? A couple of times I have recommended colleagues who I trusted to clients and it turned out to be a disaster. But usually it works really well. I have learnt from it.
Do you own up to reading light novels, or hide them under the cushions if visitors arrive?
I don't read them. Not snobbery but I just don't. I like mags like Hello and OK though
Content with your own company or gregarious?
I am very gregarious but increasingly happy with my own company.
One thing which would noticeably improve your life.
Better health. But really I am very blessed indeed. I have people to love and people who love me. It doesn't get any better than that.
My questions are:
- If you could only visit one foreign country which one would it be?
- Ironing or hoovering?
- Football or rugby?
- Have you kept any soft toys from childhood?
- What is your favourite film and why?
- What is your idea of an entertaining evening?
- Do you have a favourite place?
- Extravagant or thrifty?
- What is your favourite shop?
- School day memories. Happy or sad?
I am over 60 and the Armed Forces thinks I'm too old to track down terrorists.
You can't be older than 42 to join the military.
They've got the whole thing backwards.
Instead of sending 18-year olds off to fight, they ought to take us old guys.
You shouldn't be able to join a military unit until you're at least 35.
For starters:- Researchers say 18-year-olds think about sex every 10 seconds.
Old guys only think about sex a couple of times a day, leaving us more than 28,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy.
Young guys haven't lived long enough to be cranky, and a cranky soldier is a dangerous soldier. 'My back hurts! I can't sleep, I'm tired and hungry'
We are impatient and maybe letting us kill some ratbag that desperately deserves it will make us feel better and shut us up for a while.
An 18-year-old doesn't even like to get up before 10 a..m.
Old guys always get up early to pee so what the hell.
Besides, like I said, 'I'm tired and can't sleep and since I'm already up, I may as well be up killing some fanatical son-of-a-bitch.
If captured we couldn't spill the beans because we'd forget where we put them.
In fact, name, rank, and serial number would be a real brainteaser.
Boot camp would be easier for old guys..
We're used to getting screamed and yelled at and we're used to soft food.
We've also developed an appreciation for guns.
We've been using them for years as an excuse to get out of the house, away from the screaming and yelling.
They could lighten up on the obstacle course however.
I've been in combat and didn't see a single 20-foot wall with rope hanging over the side, nor did I ever do any pushups after completing basic training.
Actually, the running part is kind of a waste of energy, too.
I've never seen anyone outrun a bullet.
An 18-year-old has the whole world ahead of him.
He's still learning to shave, to start up a conversation with a pretty girl.
He still hasn't figured out that a baseball cap has a brim to shade his eyes, not the back of his head.
These are all great reasons to keep our kids at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off into harm's way..
Let us old guys track down those dirty rotten coward terrorists.
The last thing an enemy would want to see is a couple of million pissed off old farts with attitudes and automatic weapons who know that their best years are already behind them.
How about recruiting Women over 50 ....in menopause!
You think Men have attitudes! Ohhhhhh my God!
If nothing else, put them on border patrol....
They'll have it secured the first night!
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
My mum and I often laugh about the fact that we don't have to look for trouble in our family because it always finds us easily. Anyone else know that feeling?
What we have learnt over the years is that it is easy to look through the prism of life and experience one problem and challenge after another. It is very daunting. But we have always learnt that if you look for blessings these are there too. Every day and even in the most trying of circumstances. It is a much better frame through which to see life. No doubt about it.
Some examples. Yesterday evening I found out that my chemotherapy has been delayed another week at least because of my blood count. This happened last time. I should be going in today as an inpatient for chemo cycle number three. So teddy and toothbrush are unpacked again. I told quite a few folk straight away as they were involved in the inevitable logistics of the week, and I received lots of texts and messages saying how sorry people are for me about it. I appreciate their kindness and concern. They think I will be keen to get on with my treatment,and to some extent they are right... but....
There is an element of disappointment and frustration in there, but it is just an element. It is is what it is, and what will be, will be. I decided at the beginning of this stage of the journey that I would just go with the flow, just float along in the river of life and not cling to the sides too much. It is a strategy that is working well for me. It is less tiring and frustrating than fighting every inch of the way.
My wonderful friend B is here to see me from Seattle ( yes- Seattle USA- she came over for a week to see me and her son). The postponement means I get to spend another day with her. She was our matron of honour and is teenager's Godmother and one of my oldest friends. It is a great support for me to have her here. We can spend more time catching up and drinking coffee. Excellent. She leaves on Thursday.
The delay is much better for other half. He is around much more next week and will be here while I get my treatment which takes pressure off the system all round. Much more relaxing for me while I am recovering from the impact of the treatment. Much less strain on him.
I get the chance to look after teenager while the rest of this exam week works its way through. I will be here to pick up, drop off and cook lovely healthy brain boosting food.
I can spend time with mum going to drink coffee at Blackwell House or Marks and Spencers. I can drive about and feel vaguely normal for a while longer. My brain is sharp, and my energy is great. I will still have hair for at least another ten days or so. I can go to Church on Sunday. I can have coffee after school drop off with my school mum friends tomorrow, Friday and next Monday.
And next week, I will probably get my treatment. It is waiting for me, and next week I will even more prepared, and stronger.
Sometimes it takes a magnifying glass to spot the privileges and benefits in a diffcult situation. I know this very well, but I getting to be a master at it, and it is definitely the best way and the only way to live in my opinion. Call it silver lining spotting, call it frustatingly optimistic, call it deluded. It maybe all of those things, but it really works.
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
We got back in at half nine. It was spontaneous and fun. Unexpected after a draining energyless day.