Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Mollie has another crisis of conscience ....,

I had been very very ill over a period of a few weeks recently and the last week was not the cancer per say, although no doubt a large contributing factor.  No, rather it started with a little sore appearing on my top lip which, and no evidence to support this, soon developed into what appeared to be a chest infection that left me completely debilitated and in bed for most of the week and left me almost completely helpless.

I had been taken to see the oncologist the previous week by S-i-L Peter who drove all the way down from Northampton and it was really good to see him and it also gave him the chance to come in and listen to what was going on, which is good, saves me remembering to report back to the inquisition that is Marie :).  While there I mentioned the visit to the opticians who had found lesions on my eyeballs and of course this triggered the thought process with little 'Olly' that maybe a brain scan would be in order to check if the cancer was spreading up, I'm sure there was a little voice over my shoulder commenting well if it has, it wont find anything else up there.....

So, on Wednesday, the following week, Jen, S-i-L Steve, Shannon and Lacey May arrived from Woking as I was still in no fit state to do anything for myself and Steve took me to Hospital for my scan to see if there is a brain, sorry, if the cancer has spread up there.....

Mollie, didn't come and was so distraught, why, you ask?  Well she is 11 and we love each other dearly and remember she is the first of our grandchildren so it is fair to say that the bond between her and us and me is a little bit stronger although I do hasten to add I have absolutely no favourites when it comes to the 5 of them but Charlie you are going to get a kick in the bum one of these days if you don't get it.  We are men Charlie, it is one of our roles in life to go shopping with the women in our lives, whether we like it or not, the sooner you realise that the better, so get with the programme kid...... Oh, and cash management Charlie, you either have enough to buy the game you want, or you don't.  If you don't have it this week, you get your allowance the next week as long as you get your chores done.  Save what you have and add to it the following week so that you can buy your game and stop being a tit, leaving it in your pocket contrary to popular folklore, will not make it burn a hole in it, seriously.....

Any-hows, back to Mollie and her crisis. I have tweeted that Mollie, turning 11, has now moved from primary school to high school and Mollie being Mollie has made the transition without flinching or any sort of trepidation and has fitted in so comfortably that she just can not get enough of it.  In fact now that she has settled in and homework being a big part off schooling here she loves that too and while the homework given out is normally not due for a few days or even the following week, thereby giving the pupil plenty of time to study, research and complete, Mollie by all accounts come in each day with her assignments and immediately sets her self up in either her room or at the dining room table and gets stuck in to it immediately, how cool is that.

So, I get a phone call from Jennifer to say that she had just gone up to Mollies room after they had had a family discussion to say that they were all coming over to visit on a school day, so that dad,
S-i-L Steve could take granddad to hospital.  Obviously Shannon and Lacey Mae were delighted at being taken out of school but as it turned out Mollie, while desperate to visit, as she always is, informed her mum, that she had a test the following day and really wanted to take it and didn't know what to do!

My answer was simple, tell her I am ill but I am not yet ready to die and that it was important that she go to school and sit her test and to do the best that she could do and that I would still be here when she came visiting the following week.  It wasn't a problem and we always have face time and Skype to keep in touch with each other as we do.

So, Mollie, dear dear Mollie, this is for you.

We have always encouraged you to be the best that you can be.  Your are small, tiny and petite.  All of your school aged friends tower above you, but you have the heart, brain and intellect of a giant and this is because you are inquisitive and curious about everything, you like your little (big) sister Shannon were always reading well above your age group  and your teachers were forever commenting on this.  I remember you telling me one day that when your teacher asked what you were reading when you were about nine she was amazed to learn that you had just read Beowulf by Seamus Heaney and that you were getting ready to read To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, you never do go for the easy stuff and you still don't.  I love browsing in the bookshops with you.

It is this willingness to tackle the hard stuff at so early a time in your development and to love the process of learning that you do, that made you feel so sad about not coming to see me when I was so ill, but on the other hand this made me so happy as it shows that you both care so much for me but also in the need to be tested on all the new things and subjects that you are learning in your new school.  You made the right decision and you should know that I and Grandma and your mum and dad support you and love you for being who you are and for being the caring loving daughter and granddaughter and human being that you are and will continue to be for the rest of your long life.

I made you a promise recently; about how long I was going to hang around before popping my cloggs.  I know, that you know, that not all promises made can be kept and you know I will try and keep that promise but that I may not be able to.  You are wise enough to understand that, and I know that you are going to be heart broken when the time comes to say goodbye forever,  But when that day finally comes you will find it incredibly hard to move on and get over it, BUT YOU MUST.  Remember all the good times and there are thousand of photographs of you and your sisters and your cousins (ok, I admit it now, I was and am a pain in the butt with my camera, but I love you all too much not to always be taken snaps of you and I won't stop until, well whenever) and you will have these forever with loads of them with me in them too, to remind  you forever of our special bond.

You will need the support of mum and dad and grandma and aunty Marie and uncle's Peter and Brian and your sisters and cousins will be sad too and you as the eldest will need to be really strong to support and help them through that dark period ahead, as your friends Ewan and Holly and others will help you through it and to move on.

Moving on isn't forgetting and not being sad, you are allowed to be sad, But, it is about coming to terms with the cycle of life, knowing one day that those you love will pass on and no longer be part of your life, but we can still be part of your existence. You can call on and recall the good times and the life lessons, the books and the TV and films and the news that we discussed and talked about. You can recall the first time I gave you a sweet when we were walking back from the shops and you asked me what it was called and I replied it was a 'Big Purple One' and you replied, "I'm in purple heaven granddad". This made me smile and still does as I recall it now.

You can remember when we took Lacey Mae and Shannon to the theatre to see their first musical, The Lion King and Granddad crying like a baby when he saw the absolute look of joy and happiness on Lacey Mae's face when that curtain went up and how she sat there laughing and smiling and clapping for the whole performance and granddad was so happy to be alive to see that joy and happiness on all your faces.

The look on your face when you got your first hot towel on your first visit to an Indian restaurant at the end of the meal, I will never forget these moments Mollie and you should remember them when feeling a bit sad too, they will make you happy and sad again, but I think more happier than sad....

My life has been pretty good Mollie.  I met Grandma in Berlin in 1974 and we got married two years later.  We had three wonderful children in Marie, Jennifer and Brian.  Aunty Marie and your mummy Jennifer gave us you and your sisters and Charlie and Holly and we have been blessed having you all in our lives along with your dad Steve and Uncle Peter.

So, the whole point of this Mollie Ing is tell you that I will always support you in your decisions and your decision to stay at home and go to school was the right one.  Your education is the most important thing right now.  You should never stop the learning process.  Some people will tell you that a good education isn't the be all and end all and that you can get on in life without education. that may be true for a small minority in the world but what they don't tell you is that while they might not have the academic qualifications because they do possess an intellect and drive that propels them to be successful in their endeavours and their lack of educational qualifications was probably due to boredom brought about by poor teaching methods, that does happen, or they just weren't getting challenged enough in the learning process.  You on the other hand don't seem to get bored with any of the new subjects that you are learning at your new school and you have always enjoyed the schooling process and you always seem to benefit from having good teachers willing to impart their knowledge to you, helping and encouraging you through the various curriculum's.  Stay on that road Mollie learn, learn learn, be the smartest and brightest star in the school and you will be able with your drive and ambition to achieve anything you want to in the future and I will be somewhere looking down and smiling and enjoying your successes for all time  

Love you chuckles xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Book & Film Reviews: RE-POST - The Kydd Club Bulletin

I never asked , but I'm sure Julian wont mind me reproducing his latest Bulletin here on my blog especially as I don't have much to say for myself these days ....... :)

And all I can say is if you haven't read any of Julians' Kydd novels you really are missing out on a great read, check out some of my reviews too, but bear in mind, I am slightly biased as I haven't picked up one that I couldn't put down until I finished it ........

I'm thrilled with the covers of my two books due out later this year, Pasha and The Silk Tree.

Pasha, as I mentioned in my last Kydd Club bulletin, is the next book in the series and finds Captain Kydd involved in a critical sphere of interest: the Dardanelles, strategic gateway to the Levant. I think I can promise you a few surprises in this book... Advance readers have voted it my best yet!

Here's what two of them said:

'I just finished my advance copy of Pasha and all I can say is WOW!! So many twists and turns. So many questions answered. So many things set to rights, and then it's all a whole new set up!! Totally unexpected and totally enjoyable.'

'I have enjoyed the Kydd series immensely, but Pasha is my favourite. I love the new developments in Renzi's life. I will say no more!'

The Silk Tree
The Silk Tree is somewhat of a departure for me, a standalone historical adventure set in the sixth century. Forced to flee Rome from the barbaric rampages of the Ostrogoths, merchant Nicander meets an unlikely ally in the form of Marius, a fierce Roman legionary. Escaping to a new life in Constantinople, the two land upon its shores lonely and penniless. Needing to make money fast, they plot and plan a number of outrageous money-making schemes, until they chance upon their greatest idea yet. Armed with a wicked plan to steal precious silk seeds from the faraway land of Seres, Nicander and Marius must embark upon a terrifyingly treacherous journey across unknown lands, never before completed. But first they must deceive the powerful emperor Justinian and the rest of his formidable Byzantine Empire in order to begin their journey into the unknown...An adventurous tale of mischief, humour and deception, Nicander and Marius face danger of the highest order, where nothing in the land of the Roman Empire is quite what it seems.
Collectors Sets
This year I am offering TWO Collectors Sets but don't delay if you're interested. They are in strictly limited numbers. First come, first served...
PASHA Collectors Set
SILK TREE Collectors Set

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

EDF Energy, I just can't stop myself .....

 Especially when they are being DICKHEADS 

22nd July 2014

Steve Hayfield
Customer Services Director
EDF Energy
334 Outland Road

Dear Mr Hayfield,


Thank you for your letter of 16th July informing me that my direct debit has been cancelled and as a result you are going to charge me a higher tariff for both gas and electric. I’ll wager, as a ‘director’ that you sometimes wish that your organisation was efficient but then you wake up each day to the reality of the situation, groan and head off for another depressing day in customer services!

Ah, well, never mind.  If they were efficient they might well have recorded on your systems that on the day I cancelled the direct debit with my bank, 15th July, I immediately called EDF giving my details to Chris informing him that I was changing to another supplier and that I wished to cancel my DD.  He also confirmed that my account was also in credit to the sum of £311.62 at that precise moment in time.  I also informed him that I was changing over to OVO.

He confirmed that I would not need to provide you with a final reading as OVO would do that.  Now he did seem quite efficient and so I was therefore a little surprised to receive your letter. Oh! Who am I kidding; you’re a utility company, efficient at taking money only,  but totally inefficient in doing anything else!

So, yesterday, 21st July, I provided OVO with my final meter readings, and so that you can pass them along and get a final bill raised and hopefully a credit cheque issued with that bill, here are the final readings for you.

Electric 06071
Gas 08521

By the way, in your letter you ask me to provide you with my new bank details on the enclosed direct debit form, enclosed,  which wasn't and then to return same in the enclosed Freepost envelope, which wasn't, but then these are typical examples of a poor quality service, don’t you think?

Yours sincerely

Tom Stronach 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Mr Fat: It's been a while.......

It has been so long now since posted any kind of a blog post and I felt that you at least needed something from me just to remind you that I haven't yet died......

I have been so exhausted over the last few months that I really haven't had the energy to do much, haven't even read any of the many books I still have in my kindle and so many of you wonderful authors are publishing great books and I am buying them and not finding the energy to push the on button on my reader, sheesh ......

Then I started the chemo again a week ago as the tumour seemed to be getting bigger and as usual the actual day of the gunk input was ok and it gave me renewed feeling of energy. ALthough having said that, I did get the right hump over the wait for treatment on the morning and unfairly started to take it out on the nursing and ward staff, but it's not their fault that they are understaffed and there are so many of us cancer stricken old farts hanging about  It even seemed to 'cure' the gagging and choking effect I was prone to every time a morsel of food passed from my mouth into my gullet and that in itself was a relief.  Four days into it though, last Friday I phoned the cancer specialist nurse as I wasn't feeling at all well, lethargic, nauseous, completely run down and in pain.  I was in work, as usual, but ended up going home I just couldn't cope and it went down hill  even more in the afternoon.  I really thought I wouldn't make it to the end of the day, never felt so horrible before and the last time I was on the chemo I was bad and came off it but....

After speaking with Mel the cancer nurse and her reminding me about ALL of the meds ... shit I have so many of them I forgot what I had and for what symptons.  There is one I call Dom Perignon, sounds like it but it's domperysomething .... anyways this is to counteract nausea.  I also have tablets for constipation, have been taking them but then I ended up with diarrhea but hey, I have pills for that too.  Anyway I didn't feel any better Friday and was still at deaths bed on Saturday but began to make a gradual improvement and continued to do so on Sunday but gawd was I pleased that Ishbel took the weekend off to look after me and of course Marie, Peter and the twins Holly and Charlie turned up to cheer me up.  The only problem with that, having gone through life as a big tough scotsman with no outward show of emotion I find it difficult to not just start blubbering and just seeing the kids and the grandkids turning up is enough to turn me into tear streaked numpty.

Oh, I've posted this, as you can see under the Mr Fat page but I can report that he has left the building ...... which everyone but me is getting their knickers in a twist over.  Yep, lost just over a stone and a half in the last three weeks and had a visit from a dietician while I was in getting gunked up last Monday.  Infact they are so concerned he told me I have to start bulking up again... WTF says I.  You do realize that for the first time in 15 years I have just seen John Thomas, if you think .......

And he says, yes very good but a lot of good John Thomas is going to be to you when you are dead. So, I want you to eat more;

Mashed potatoes with extra butter and grated cheese Double cream full fat yoghurt chocolate .....
Thick Gravy on meat dishes
Full fat Milk
Bread lashings of butter, toast

Now for some, that is an invitation to heaven I suppose, but for me, to be honest I'm finding I am full after a couple of bites, providing I can get it down that is.

And another thing why is that I feel good enough, well most days anyway to come into work, but at the weekends I feel shitty, when I should be chillin and relaxing and then there is the pee problem. What's that I hear you ask? Well let me tell you.

You know this chemo lark.  They want you to get it into your system but perversely they also want it out again as soon as, I mean WTF again.  Well you know me I never argue and alway, always do as I am told. So I have to drink gallons of water.  Not a problem, I like water and so I drink gallons of the stuff anyway.  Now tap water is good enough for me, not Ishbel though she has to have bottled water, just wait till I'm gone and she has to hump it back from the shops, we'll see how long that lasts then... anyway I digress

So, Take the chemo, drink gallons of water and flush the system.  Fine and then that's where if there is a god  he is messing with me again. like the feeling shit at weekends when I should be partying...
I'm drinking gallons of the stuff sat here at my desk in the office but do I need to keep running up and down the corridor to my private loo, yes well what can I say I deserve it.  No, I am not running up and down to the loo although with the amount of water I'm taken I'm thinking there must be a problem there too.  So off home I goes and of course when I get home, it's time to take the next bunch of chemo meds so I'm drinking buckets of water again and do I need to run up and down the hall to the loo, no I bloody don't! But what I do do, is get into frigging bed, close my eyes fall asleep for an hour and then the first of my three or four 5 frigging minute visits to the loo starts... I mean WTF is going on there and who is messing with my head and body sheesh, I just cannae win .........

So after a frightful weekend I have been back in the office today and felt much better, been run ragged with that bloody contractor again and not stopped, but it has been a good day so the sun is shining and all is rosy in the garden again.  The chemo? I did say to Ishbel and the kids that I was going to phone the hospital and tell them to stuff it where the sun don't shine, but I'll give it some more time.  YThe amelioration from the gagging has been good, but it's beginning to creep back again. so maybe the chemo has had an immediate effect but may not be doing all it might be... bastard, but I'll try and persevere and Jules is telling me to try radiotherapy, which wee Ollie the oncologist has also talked about, so I'll discuss that with her next week and by then it will soon be time to go back to Southend for another round of gunk input AND SOUTHEND HOSPITAL IF YOU ARE READING THIS DON'T HAVE ME FRIGGING HANGING AROUND COS I'M NOT NICE WHEN I'M GRUMPY.

Other news: None. Well apart from the fact that we have had astro turf done in the back garden and all the kids love it, including the neighbours kids and tip good quality astro turf seems much cheaper from the carpet shop, I know, I know, than from the garden centres in fact in south east Essex can't give enough Praise to MD Carpets for the job they did with ours.

Steve, Son in Law No 2 who lives down in woking came over and took me to hospital and Peter son in Law No 1 took time off from his work to come over at the weekend.  I said it earlier in the week, life has been pretty good to me, pretty shit upbringing in terms of an abusive alcoholic father, but the hardest working caring mother as compensation.  Ishbel who has put up with me for over 38 years, and I can see the pain in her eyes when I just want her to cuddle me, but not too tightly as it hurts, and three of the most loving, caring and hardest working kids, in Marie, Brian and Jennifer  it would be any parents privilege to have helped bring into this world and from them we have been given 5 beautiful intelligent* loving grandchildren and then the added bonus of two of the most hard working sons in law that you are ever likely to meet in Peter and Steve who clearly love and adore their partners and their children and work all bloody hours to support them - guys take it easy once in a while will you - I love you all dearly and I want to be the first out the door

*intelligence and tattooed eyebrows I'm sure there is a contradiction there.........

So a few photos of what's been going on recently

Fun in the garden before Astro turf

The new Astro turf

Ishbel planting pots but no pot for my pain!

Our first Indian Restaurant Lacey loved the popadoms!

Peter, Holly and Goalie Charlie K 
Mollie loving the hot towel after the meal
Lacey Mae, Mollie and Shannon aks KatNip
Mollie teaching Lacey Mae 

Grandmama and the darlings 

Daddy Steve and cuddly Lacey Mae
MY JENNIFER with curls and.....

Charlie beginning to outgrow Holly 

Daddy Peter also being shown how to lose at archery