Thursday 31 December 2015

Bradgate park adventure

The day started still, bright and sunny so we opted for a brisk walk in Bradgate park, as did approximately half the population of Leicester, their children and their dogs. To say it was busy was an understatement. The weather turned windier and considerably colder so we abandoned our plan to eat lunch at the park cafe, which was full to capacity, and return home where lunch was consumed prior to a sleepy afternoon.

Wednesday 30 December 2015

Blood tests and op discussions

Early blood test appointment ( GP ) and an afternoon chat regarding future operations ( hospital ) which covers my diabetes and tumours treatment. 
Today is fine with gusty , cold winds.
We met Dr Boddy  who showed us a scan of my suspected gist, but until the endoscopy results they cannot be sure. They plan to do the internal scan in January, perhaps grab a cell or two and then decide future actions from there. It does not seem too serious but because of my history they are taking no chances.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Good news and Staunton Harold church

Leicester hospital phoned this morning. They suspect I have a benign tumour attached to the stomach exterior and have arranged an appointment for further checks tomorrow. Overall very good news.
Arsenal beat Bournmouth to go top of the league again last night. 
Staunton Harold church "through the keyhole"
We opted to wedge all 5 of us into our little car and visit a vast estate and stately home at nearby Staunton Harold in very warm sunshine. Owen took the above photo through the estate church keyhole as the church was not open today. Beyond the window is the lake, estate gardens and garden centre. Our trip was curtailed by me suffering exhaustion and an overdose of wobbly legs, culmination of several active days.

Monday 28 December 2015

Watermead park and a fire by road

For today we've opted to visit a nature reserve at Watermead Park by road rather than by  boat. We spent a couple of hours walking around the lake, admiring the waterfowl and a model of a mammoth ( the bones of one were found as they dug the lake apparently ). In addition there were explosions and a big fire at a nearby industrial estate to help keep us entertained. We returned home knackered before darkness descended. The fire featured on the BBC news.

Saturday 26 December 2015

Feel good day until the football

I missed saying goodbye to Chloe by about 2 seconds very early this morning, but the rest of the day was good, including a reasonable walk and appetite. However, in the evening Arsenal failed to turn up for their match with Southampton and got thrashed 4......0.    No, you have not miss-read it, 4.......0.
It was probably their worst performance of the season. Typical..Arsenal. Get top of the league and play absolute rubbish. A bit like a Morris Marina in a Grand Prix.

Friday 25 December 2015

Christmas Day

The lack of young children allowed us a relatively relaxed Christmas Day, having a lay in till 0900 hrs. We now have Chloe staying with us until her return to duty in London Boxing Day, having mutually agreed with Paul to go their own ways. Lynne bought me a new shaver and some unique glass place mats spelling John. The Panasonic shaver replaces an antique Bosch one long past the end of it's effective life.
I have been feeling relatively good for a few days now,despite the family shananagins and my shock  pre Christmas illness news. My head is obviously in a good place and long may it last.

Thursday 24 December 2015

A blue night

Not my best night's sleep for a long time, largely due to my current predicament, healthwise. Thoughts of finishing my book and  adding dedications, but the list is endless. So many people have influenced my life in positive ways, some still around, others long gone, unfortunately, but all worthy of a mention.
Still no word  or cheque from MCC 
Happy Christmas to all my readers, where ever you are and have a wonderful New Year.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Winter sunshine

A bright, sunny morning but cold. We are waiting for health and family conflict updates and the arrival of Margaret and Bob for their Xmas stay, so everything on hold for a while. The Beatles "In my life" is my stuck in the head tune for today, which is pleasant enough although the Bette Midler cover I always consider the best version

Monday 21 December 2015


Having blasted the diabetic consultant for not confirming my scan results prior to going on leave,Lynne received a late night phone call from the hospital saying I now have a gist in my stomach area. According to my research a gist is a small cancerous tumour, easily removed via surgery, but not good news.  
Lynne said this morning she had contacted Santa complaining she had requested humour, not tumour, which even made me smile a little.
Lots happening on the family front, all about relationship issues, so we're playing agony aunts this morning.
The hospital phoned again and the treatment wheels are already in motion, which is encouraging. First thing is an endoscopy, apparently, just to confirm where and what size the tumour is.

Sunday 20 December 2015

Family Xmas meal

We are all meeting for a family Xmas meal ( for 16 ),painstakingly arranged by Chloe at a pub/restaurant deep in the wilds of Hertfordshire. Getting everyone together is no mean feat, so congratulations all round.
All 16 arrived and took over the pub/restaurant. The meal was OK and the service less so, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the afternoon flew by. We returned to Anstey with Joel and Sophie and quickly warmed the house whilst catching up on the Manchester news

Saturday 19 December 2015

A day in the country

Lynne and Chloe spent the afternoon in a spa near Luton whilst I took two corgis for a country walk. A very successful day overall.

Friday 18 December 2015

Blink and you miss it day.

A very warm day for the time of year ( tee shirts near Christmas ? ) but mind- boggling fast. Although I was stranded at Chloe's for some considerable time  with no door keys and not a hope in hell of re entry if I ventured out. What would I do for tea ? Lynne had promised me trip to the noodle shop but with time getting on and no contact, with injection/meal time looming one of my panics set in and I managed  to locate Lynne in an old friends place ( by phone), who confirmed our original arrangements stood. Within minutes we were off for very welcome noodles, from where we decided to see if we could find my Original rowing coach, who lives nearby. Somehow we succeeded in finding his house, but understandably he was out, by which time both Lynne and I were exhausted, having left Leicester very early this morning.
We made it to Chloe's by which time Lynne was clearly too tired to drive and we collapsed into bed.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Old friends

Steve and his wife Gina popped in for lunch yesterday from their home in Leeds. Steve and I have been very good friends since meeting at Hertfordshire College of Horticulture in the 1960's, subsequently moving on to Askham Bryan College of horticulture near York. He was best man at my first and second   wedding and I returned the compliment several years later. Whilst not living in each other's pockets we have always supported each other through life's ups and downs.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

A new scan

Another wet and miserable day. Leicester hospital had arranged yet another body scan, although this was a different type and very quick. I guess I will receive the results next week, an early Christmas present. 

Monday 14 December 2015

A dry day and not alone

For the first time in living memory it is not raining. Whoopee.
Lynne is home and I managed to cook an edible dinner of chicken steaks.carrots and potatoes. Whoopee.
No great plans for today but I might take advantage of the dryness and catch up on some gardening.
Arsenal are top of the league yet again, subject to the result of the chelski v Leicester match this afternoon. With matches virtually daily it is difficult keeping track of things at present. If Leicester win they go top again.
Leicester won.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Confused, or what? And Nokia.

Up and about at 05.30 this morning with my right leg giving pain for some unfathomable reason, but the reliable Paracetamol sorted that within minutes. Strangely I could have sworn Lynne was here last night, but no sign this morning, although she normally leaves later than this. No doubt all will be clarified when I speak to her later. I think I must be down to my last memory cell. Morris Marina. Checked my diary and today seems to be free, so, apart from getting something for my lunch and dinner  I can take life easy. Famous last words? 
My Morris Marina day continued, although this time it was not me with bits falling off. Firstly the bedroom phone has packed up. My dodgy leg is still dodgy so it took me forever to get downstairs to find my ringing mobile, which I keep threatening to throw in the bin. Nokia were recently taken over by Microsoft who have tinkered around with the previous cheapest version. "My"phone  I loved, so when it finally packed up I bought a new one, but unfortunately Microsoft had "improved " it. The damn thing is useless. Do not buy one. Making a text is a major event, as is every other function. i suspect Microsoft want me to buy a mega- expensive all singing and dancing model of their own make. I hope they are holding their breath. Wait for the headlines about the entire Microsoft top management dying of asphyxiation.

Windy again

Today started wet but has now turned to gale force winds once again, so I do not plan to venture far.
Lynne sneaked off to London today so i intend playing music home alone and cooking whatever she has prepared for  dinner , although I need to purchase something for myself tomorrow at some stage. Luckily the Co-Op supermarket is only a short walk away ( in distance, not time in my present physical state.)

Friday 11 December 2015

Morris Marina

The Morris Marina was a supposed replacement for the much loved Morris Minor built by British Leyland between 1971 until 1980. It was really constructed of various old British Leyland parts found lying around the factory and as a consequence was old fashioned, ugly and unreliable. I awoke this morning feeling like a Morris Marina,with mechanical and body parts failing left, right and centre, my right eye being the latest of many. I get patched up each time and relaunched on life,'s highway until the next part inevitably fails. 

Thursday 10 December 2015

Tv repair

Thanks once again to our family for putting us up, or should that be putting up with us?
Anyway, it's always nice to return home, albeit for a short time. The TV repair man is due today and I hope to get my hair cut (which one ? Lynne always asks .) 
Arsenal remain in the European Cup following a sensational 3.  -   0 win over the Greek champions last night, a brilliant performance. My mood has improved ten- fold.
MCC have been instructed by the court to repay the cost of boat repairs and legal costs before Christmas , subject to appeal. A pleasing and fast response, but I will be amazed if I get payment without the need for court bailiffs, knowing MCC as I do.
It was my annual diabetic eye check today. For many years my right eye has been deteriorating very slowly, but much quicker in the past year it seems. My left eye has always been no problem and continues to be so. I should get the report soon after Xmas but I would guess I will need to see a hospital optician and be issued glasses.  Whatever next will go wrong physically ?
Due to my eye check running half an hour late I missed the Tv repair man. The problem was due to the Sky box needing updating, which was done and all seems to be OK now.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

WWF party

The annual World Wildlife Fund Bromley Supporters Group Xmas party ( I use the word loosely) was held last night. Basically a get-together of the surviving core members of the extremely successful fund raising group of the late 1900's, this year it was held at a new venue near Bromley. As a founder  member and  ex Group Secretary I never miss this event,even though now living in Leicester. It gives everyone a chance to meet and   swop old memories of "the good old days", when we were the biggest fund-raising group in the UK.
The sat-nav lost us in South London so we were extremely late getting home.Lynne is working again and I will bus to Hounslow later for the return trip to Leicester.
In the event Chloe gave me a lift to Hounslow and Lynne and I promptly journeyed home without problem.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Lost in Hounslow

We set off for London very early but stopped on the M1 near Luton for 2 hours caused by a car and Lorry crashing and igniting. Hence the normal 2 hour journey was doubled. Fortunately there were no injuries, unless you class bum-ache as one.
Before I headed home to Chloe's by bus I ventured to McDonalds for lunch and promptly got lost in Hounslow, occasionally phoning Lynne for some idea of my whereabouts.As a result the half hour trip took over 2 hours and caused virtual exhaustion, but Lynne's boss sensibly suggested I waited in the shop for when Lynne finished for the day ,which was a considerable relief. God only knows where I would have ended up asleep on that bloody bus ! 
Today was leisurely, resting at Chloe's. Apart from falling out of the bath/shower without injury or damage to furnishings the day proved uneventful.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Early start

In contrast to yesterday today had an 0600 start which meant me being dropped at the wedding shop and making my own way to Toleworth by bus and train  ( it's too complicated to explain, let alone undertake ). Wish me luck. 

Late start

My second sleep ended around 10am,confirmed by the obvious daylight. My quick calculations and a certain amount of guesswork last night resulted in excellent blood sugar results, which boosted my morale considerably and successfully returned me to my 62 year routine.

Saturday 5 December 2015

24 hour clock

Lynne watched the X Factor final ( it seems to go on forever ) on the tiny iPad screen whilst I listened from a discreet distance, falling asleep in the process, causing considerable confusion when I awoke around 10 pm.I was convinced I had administered my long-term overnight insulin dose and "supper", noting it in my record book. However, Lynne was unconvinced, so several minutes of confusion reigned. I was convinced it was 10 in the morning but obviously not supported by the darkness outside,in which case had I missed my overnight injection ? I have only been diabetic for 62 years, after all. Several blood tests failed to give a clue so eventually I settled on an agreed compromise of a chocolate biscuit and Coca Cola, plus an early morning blood sugar reading. Thus here I am at 05.30 doing just that. My readings ( twice for reassurance ) proved average, but at least I am back on schedule with no harm done, which is reassuring, but worrying all the same. Back to bed and an ambition to purchase a 24 hour clock.

Gales and more gales

The bright sunshine this morning cunningly disguised the warm gale force winds which meant merely standing outside proved a challenge for me and driving to the marina equally challenging for Lynne.     It was a definite non-cruising day, for sure. However, as much as yesterday was a"bad" day for me, today proved a "good" day, for no definable reason. My counsellor Chris has written a very detailed and accurate letter to Leicestershiire's top NHS neuro- Psychologist outlining my problems to see if he can help in any way.
The boat was fine but we, because of the strong winds, opted not to adjust the ties. John the fitter will attend to them when winterising Tardis Two within the next few days, but in the meantime there is not a problem.

Friday 4 December 2015

Walk off the earth

Another TV - less day. We were supposed to have gone food shopping, but after getting up early ( for me) and dressing ready to go out it was suggested I needed a shave. However, by the time that was completed (5 minutes) my shopping transport had gone so I sit here writing today's blog listening to Walk off  the Earth.

Thursday 3 December 2015

More radio 5

Lynne had as much success as me with the TV but thanks to John Lewis we discovered a few days of the 3 year guarantee remains. An engineer will visit in a week's time, armed with a temporary replacement in case he cannot fix it. Another week of radio 5 looms ,although we can catch the odd tv programme on the iPad if we need to escape the cold turkey.
It's raining again. We have the lights on indoors,as much to cheer the mood, as imitate sunlight.
Lynne's commute from London took 5 hours last night due to a series of M1 accidents and inevitable hold ups. 

Wednesday 2 December 2015

The Arsenal syndrome

Today was day something or other of my latest home alone sequence where despite having little to do my injury list mysteriously increases - known as the Arsenal syndrome. Today was particularly windy which severely hampered my getting out and about. Unsteady on legs, hills and gale force gusts are not an ideal mix. At times the only things keeping me upright were garden fences and/or railings. Lynne had requested from afar I collect a dozen or so Bramley apples from Derek's garden, a simple enough job in normal circumstances, but the aforementioned issues made it the equivalent of an African foot safari for me. Exhausted but unscathed I eventially returned home, leaving part two of the safari ( to the Co Op ) for later. On paper part two appears a doddle, but transferred to real up-hill terrain with in-your-face gales it  became a feat of sheer endurance, fortunately successfully completed although I collapsed on the settee for an hour or so of sleep once home.
To complete the weekend the TV packed up, leaving me with radio 5. Whoopee.  

Tuesday 1 December 2015

November/December. Spot the difference.

December started just as wet as November ended. The joint counselling session went well , indicating I may be at rock bottom depression-wise,which was no surprise to me but a shock to Lynne, who chose to take sole responsibility,for some unknown reason. Her solution is to allow space between us starting today as she is off to London again for a few days. I am fairly convinced she expects me to whither away, left to my own devices. But we shall see.