Sunday 30 August 2015

Wet Bank Holiday

Rain and a sleepless night combined to make  my return to Anstey less of a success than anticipated,but life can be like that. Lynne is suffering severe toothache but our dentist could identify no reason, which did little to help my sleep pattern or return me to a routine, but overall I still feel better for my Colchester break, thanks to Linda, Terry and some decent last night there proved strange in that, on one of my many trips to the loo I got tremendously disorientated and wandered around the upstairs landing looking for the bathroom door,even though, by then, I was very familiar with the layout .  I eventually found it and successfully completed my mission.  This morning at home I had a similar experience with an identical mission,again successfully completed, but worrying all the same. The old " am I going nuts ?"question inevitably arose without an answer ( my blood sugars were ok and the fuzzy-headed ness had not returned ). Yet another puzzle.

Colchester to Leicester.

My feel-good factor continues  but reluctantly my extended Colchester stay must end, so on the road we go. The Colchester air and water? Change of scenery? Change of company? BT  AND  Sky Sports? Decent weather? Your guess is as good as mine, but whatever it was I wish I could bottle it.
It started to rain as we reached home but it was a good journey otherwise.

Saturday 29 August 2015

Yet another clear day

More sunshine. This is habit forming. My mood since arriving in Colchester  has been good,as has the weather. Lynne has returned to bed with a migraine ( sounds like a refugee, eh? ) can'win them all I suppose.
Newcastle v Arsenal on TV today,early afternoon. The days when all football matches were on Saturday afternoon at 3.00pm are long gone unfortunately. Arsenal have started the season "averagely" and currently sit mid table,sadly expectation has far exceeded reality so far, but such has been the case since I first started supporting them when in Primary school and short trousers (congers up a picture, eh?).

Friday 28 August 2015

All things bright and beautiful

A bright, sunny morning in Colchester and a sneaky lie in until 10.00am. Terry and I went odds and sods shopping whilst the girls inevitably went clothes shopping after lunch. I returned "home" with a  new "Walk off the Earth" cd and a bucket, both unmissable bargains.
From the cd we learnt there is a Walk off the Earth ITunes video channel which kept us fully entertained for the entire afternoon and evening. Terry is now a Walk off the Earth convert. They are absolutely brilliant, but don't take my word for it, check them out yourself. You will not be disappointed.
As you will have gathered, today has been another good one for me health-wise.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Everything pending

I have lots of issues pending at the moment, in mid air so to speak.
1) The boat legal situation. MCC have replied as expected, denying any fault, but we are waiting for further legal advice prior to  the next stage of the saga.
2) My medical state. The NHS has yet again postponed my diabetic check up. I have seriously lost count of the number of postponements imposed to date, but it is certainly in double figures so I have taken the bull by the horns and made my own appointment with an excellent district diabetic nurse I have complete faith in. Sod the consultants.
3) Counselling. Once again I've said " Sod the consultants" and a two year wait so I am arranging more frequent meetings with a phsyciatric counsellor nurse and a nurse experienced with brain tumours. 
We are spending a few days with Linda and Terry in Colchester before a few days with Tom and Hayley in London. It makes a pleasant, relaxing time and changes of scenery.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

More brighter times

The beehive is missing, as are the bees, and the sun is shining, so a good start to the day. Katie and the girls departed whilst I was having a recuperatory snooze upstairs but got home safely in very wet conditions. Lynne has gone off to her Police speed awareness course, having been caught doing 34 in a 30mph zone by a hand held camera near home a few months ago, much to her annoyance, caused by the "sneakiness" of someone hiding behind a bush with a speed camera, which she considers shifts the blame from her to elsewhere. The fact that she was speeding remains a fact.
The rain set in and it got decidedly cooler, requiring a blast of central heating.

Monday 24 August 2015

Brighter times

Sunny morning and a clear head for a change as we waited for Katie and grandchildren to arrive from a very wet south of England, prior to taking them out to lunch at the Red Lion. Not a brilliant meal but a good time was had by all and the rain arrived, whilst southern England flooded again. The girls entertained themselves with my remote control helicopter, one of these days I'll get to play with it myself.

Sunday 23 August 2015


Having re-read yesterday's blog I realise some clarification is necessary. Why not solve the buzzy head problem with a Paracetamol?  Unfortunately, the buzzy head is further complicated by being combined with the insects flying around randomly in my scull 24/7. Paracetamol helps with the buzzing ( actually  a loud background hum ) but unfortunately does nothing for the flying insects. Fact.
Today is a clear head day so I will attempt to make the most of it, although how remains to be decided.
Derek took us out  for a wonderful lunch during which the warm, sunny weather changed to heavy rain and considerably lower temperatures. Prior to lunch I opted to walk to Bradgate Park ( and back, obviously ). In the event I failed miserably, only making it to the park entrance, admittedly all uphill.
Strangely, walking uphill proved easier than my return journey downhill, during which I felt very unsteady. The reason for turning round earlier than intended was purely down to common sense, a distinct lack of stamina and the need for me to get home unaided.

Saturday 22 August 2015

Slippery slope

To quote Jeremy Clarkson, after yesterday's bombshell today we are seeking alternative counselling avenues,but where to start? Today is bright, sunny and warm weather wise, so I am attempting to match my mood with it through this continuous fuzz in what's left of my brain, with limited success so far, but it's still early I suppose.
If you can imagine carrying a beehive around in your head,day and night, you'll have some idea of my predicament. It is debilitating and exhausting, with no respite.
MCC/Stensons eventually replied to my letter of 3rd March but it had literally "been round the houses" and was,as expected, a load of bulls**t and downright lies which I will need to decipher on a clearer day.

Friday 21 August 2015

Ups and downs

Yesterday managed massive ups and downs . The first up was a clear head, the second was meeting Chloe at Nuneaton bowl,picking up new bowling bowls for her pending England debut. We had time for a meal before our return home, when a letter arrived very late in the afternoon asking me to contact St George's hospital for an appointment with a consultant took almost ten minutes to get connected from the switchboard to the relevant extension, to be informed the earliest appointment is September 2016.......... I repeat, September 2016. Lynne burst out laughing and informed them I or she, or both, would likely be dead by then !  Good old NHS. Always good for a laugh. The lady on the phone became very flustered, bless her, and promised to see if she could shorten the wait, but we won't hold our breath. Another massive down.

Wednesday 19 August 2015


Joel and Sophie arrived with somewhere near two tons of Joel's dirty washing, accumulated over the last few months whilst his washing machine had been terminally ill. A night of sweat and toil by Lynne miraculously produced somewhere near two tons of clean, dry washing, much nearer it's original colour ( we think ). Whilst it was lovely to see Joel again after many months, the same cannot be said of his washing. 
I awoke with an un-fuzzy head and blood sugar levels suggesting I've cracked that particular problem, which is a big relief. Today is bright and sunny, perfectly reflecting my mood. No plans for today, depending on those of Joel and Sophie, yet to put in an appearance.
The washing was deposited in Joel's car, allowing space for a driver and passenger.
Joel owns a very old top of the range,Vauxhall Astra, bought from an old client of mine with virtually no mileage on the clock in immaculate condition, originally offered to Nicholas, but strangely rejected by him. It has performed faultlessly ever since, never failing the MOT . Amusingly Nick has been through umpteen old bangers since, Vw's, Citroen's,fiat's, all ending up on the scrap heap after breaking down, blowing up, failing MOT's or other sad endings.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Counselling Dentist

One of my cloudy headed days, not helped by Lynne and I having different appointment times for both counsellor and dentist. It was nice to bounce my health issues off a third person, and I've requested a brain tumour "expert" to attend our next meeting in two weeks to determine fact from fiction in my head. Both Lynne and I gained a little from the meeting so some progress was made. The dentist appointment was an hour later than we thought, so our afternoon schedule required hasty rescheduling to fit a visit from Joel and new girlfriend in, but Lynne had it all sorted before what's left of my brain went into free fall.

Monday 17 August 2015


Today started bright and sunny, as did my mental condition, but all went downhill later. The day became overcast and cold,as did my mood. An afternoon in bed cured the latter whilst the weather was beyond my control, unfortunately. My long-awaited NHS counselling session is tomorrow, together with a visit to my dentist, hopefully to replace chunks of fillings that continually contribute crunchy bits to my meals.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Wetted appetite.

An unexpected visit to Tardis Two yesterday on one of my "better days" certainly wetted my appetite for further boating adventures in the future. Given recent health and safety issues aboard I had been seriously considering "selling up" and enjoying more sedate passtimes, perhaps sunning myself in Corsica? 
Lynne had a well deserved lie-in this morning, emerging to announce I had a hypo at 01.15 last night,which was a relief as I had doubted the success of my insulin "changes"yesterday  due to my blood sugar being higher than expected this morning ,no doubt due to the counter-hypo Twix's and Lucozade correctly administered by Lynne but without my knowledge at the time. Another mystery solved ?

Saturday 15 August 2015

Puzzle solved

The ongoing issue of my lethargic state is currently and belatedly being tackled. Even with my scrambled brain it had become obvious the link was my insulin not performing as normal, rather than any tumour changes, but with 63 years of diabetic control experience it should have been spotted far,far sooner via my abnormally high blood sugar readings. I have always kept a stock of spare insulin phials which need to be kept in a fridge, but definitely not frozen or allowed to get warm. Having led a fairly active life, including camping across the African Serenghetti  and the Australian outback,I have always managed to keep my insulin stock at a constant temperature via a very clever, but simple devise called a Frio pouch. However, somewhere on our canal travels something has gone wrong with my storage regime ( ? ) and some insulin has gone "off". Insulin is made in batches, each carrying a unique number for traceability ,so at 0300 hrs this morning I was attempting to isolate the dodgy batch or batches, with some initial success. At this point I should stress the insulin manufacturers were almost certainly not at fault, more likely dodgy storage/ transport. Sorting out the rogue batches proved very difficult with the current state of my brain, but I got there ( I think ).  Because our extended canal trips force me to carry more spares than usual and the limited fridge space,we had used the boat underfloor drinks cabinet as a back-up, obviously unsuccessfully. But onwards and upwards.
I put in a repeat prescription to my chemist for fresh insulin supplies and the remaining sorted ones worked perfectly so I had an active, alert day, including a visit to Tardis Two and friends at the marina.
The evening was spent attempting to repair punctures in our two folding bikes,unsuccessfully as it transpired. But there is always tomorrow.

Friday 14 August 2015

Despite rain, a brighter day.

For the first time in ages I awoke late with no sign of a fuzzy head. The steady rain outside meant my original gardening plans were severely curtailed, but  I intend avoiding sleeping until tonight. My London Councils Freedom pass suffered badly during my last swim in the canal, refusing to work on buses and the underground. It seems impossible to replace it so I have been forced to apply for the Leicester version which should work everywhere except on the London Underground. Moral of the story being, take out your wallet from your trousers before falling into a canal, or avoid falling in at all.

Thursday 13 August 2015

More of the same

From the heights of the top of the pile,I now find myself firmly at the bottom, for reasons beyond my comprehension. I feel lethargic, my joints ache , my balance is iffy and I struggle to stay awake. To say it is worrying is a major understatement. 
Apart from an hour during late afternoon I fought the need to sleep with great success, and still suffered a fuzzy head when I awoke, but also remained cold, another unwelcome feature of my current condition. Middle of July and I'm suffering being cold !!! 

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Me and my big mouth

Having admitted to being in a better place after a hassle free week  it quickly turned out to be an empty statement, caused by subsequent external events. Lynne, bless her, is working her socks off to avert a possible disaster. That is all I will say on the subject, other than I intend keeping a low profile on this one and work to recover myself to the better place I had reached.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Bridgewater monument

A leisurely breakfast and we are off to the National Trust Bridgewater Monument, Ashridge estate,( note the canal link ),to visit my sister Margaret and her husband Bob on our way home. Weather overcast but warm.
My life seems much calmer at present,I'm pleased to say. Long may it last. 

Monday 10 August 2015

Reading by road.

Nothing went wrong with our meeting arrangements or our transfer to Reading (the town, not the library) where Brian had prepared a delicious dinner for us and an equally delicious breakfast this morning. Lynne and Marlene then left us to collect next year's Women's Institute calendar ( not another rude one apparently - what a shame.) in the meantime Brian and I popped round the corner to tidy and water an old boys garden. He is retired, diabetic and almost blind, but has a small garden which only took an hour or so for us to complete, between showers, although he obviously won't notice. It was good to get on the end of a hoe after so long. Satisfying but tiring.

Sunday 9 August 2015

Hassle free end

It is the end of my hassle free week, but I think the experiment has been a great success. All that remains is for me to link up with Lynne at the wedding shop and we will make a fast exit to Reading for a short stay with my sister in law.  What could possibly go wrong?  Tom, Hayley, Chloe and Paul have, as usual, been great support. We'll be sorry to leave, but I do so in a better state than on arrival.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Seamless transfer

A bright,sunny and warm start to our short stay with Tom and Hayley. Lynne continues working at the wedding shop where Sky TV plan filming this weekend, but I suspect Lynne will shun the bright lights and the chance of fame by hiding in the shadows. The plan tonight is to pack our worldly goods in the car and I'll meet Lynne at the shop tomorrow for a quick getaway to Reading during the afternoon. That's the plan anyway,and in my current relaxed state I'm not bothered by it in any way , which is progress I suppose.

Friday 7 August 2015

Hassle-free week analysis

The hassle-free week experiment has ended with Lynne and I scheduled to move to Tom and Hayley's this evening before returning North on Sunday or Monday, perhaps via Lynne's sister in Reading. I have massively gained from the week, although others have clearly not, which causes me problems in that it acts as a stark reminder life is not just about me, even at this late stage.
Today is the first of the Premier League season with real signs of an Arsenal challenge for the title, following an un beaten pre season against some very strong opposition,winning the Charity Shield and Emirates Cup in the process. 

Thursday 6 August 2015

Hassle-free 4. Groundhog Day

A virtual repeat of day one,home alone with my music, but after yesterday's gargantuan effort I can have no complaints.
All things considered I have very few aches or pains, which is encouraging and something of a relief after all the threatened ailments painfully suffered yesterday afternoon. This has been a real mental boost, alongside disproving my physical fears. Thank you Chloe.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Hassle-free day 3 but knackering.

Chloe, bless her, opted to give me a day out at Port Lympne Reserve, part of the Aspinall As a life member from my younger days today was my first visit for many years and my, how it's changed.
I failed to recognise it.We chose to take the safari trucks, as my legs and stamina indicated them as the essential option. It was great to see all my old gorilla and other animal friends again in brilliant sunshine and overall I fully  approved of the "improvements". Chloe's newfangled watch which measures breaths, heartbeats, blood pressure, steps and poohs, amongst almost everything else, told us we had walked over 6 kilometres and Port Lympne is very,very hilly. I was knackered and slept most of the way home, but thoroughly enjoyed the day.
However, it also emphasises my inability to achieve anything without the help of others. If I could drive I could repeat today as often as I wished, which would lift my spirits enormously, but it is not to be.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Hassle-free day 2

Continuing my hassle-free week today was spent helping Chloe transporting nanny to and from her day centre, interspersed by a spot of clothes shopping in Hounslow and having lunch with Lynne in the wedding shop. I came "home" with two new tee shirts for wearing on the boat, one bright yellow so I can be easily spotted when I next fall in.

Hassle-free day1.

As a hassle-free day yesterday could not be bettered. I spent the day listening to my iPad music collection, with a break for an impromptu lunch, a shower and then awaiting the return of Lynne and Chloe for tea. No phone calls ( apart from one, or two, or more check -up calls from Chloe and Lynne),reassuring at least.

Sunday 2 August 2015

Hassle-free week planned.

On dry'ish land for a few days, hassle free hopefully, but time will tell. My mental ups and downs reach both ends of the scale quite regularly these days for no perceptical reason, equally frustrating for both Lynne and I. It is easy to blame my treatment, particularly the radiopherapy which has scrambled my brain, but it is probably too easy to lay all the fault there. Given the total void of NHS counselling it became necessary for Lynne and I to improvise, but after the initial success we seem to have hit a brick wall. An added frustration was the time and effort it took me to compile the initial letter to MCC, even with help from Citizen's Advice, claiming compensation. Normally, and pre-treatment, letter writing was enjoyable and easy for me, but not now. Along with driving and the associated freedom, it is a considerable loss.
Lynne will be working in the London wedding dress shop for a few days while I stay with daughter Chloe, who promises to transport me to Port Lympne animal park for a re-union with my old gorilla pals, which should be very enjoyable, weather permitting.
Keep checking for blogs. They won't be daily ( thank God, I hear you say) but I'll attempt one whenever the mood takes me.
We took 92 year old nanny Weames out to lunch yesterday ( we still know how to have a good time ) followed by her "exercise walk" in a nearby park, when she proved to be far more sprightly than me.
Later I had a roast dinner with Chloe and Paul at their flat Prior to "flaking out"with a hypo  before bed. I remained totally confused by the new surroundings for a considerable time before regaining some composure for a good night's sleep.