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Life Blog – Back In The Groove

Kevla’s Birthday Bash and a Fun Weekend

Right now my life living with the Big C is just about as normal as it gets. I went back to work straight after my holidays and promptly caught a cold and cough which saw me take Monday off with a Goddamn cold! Anyway all is well now and today I did my first day back on full time hours.

After the weekend, I had no excuse not to if I’m honest as we really packed some fun and hard work into the weekend. Friday night saw us head off to The Forest of Dean for our friend Kev’s 40th birthday. It was a glorious night and the drive there from Malvern is simply stunning and we enjoyed every minute of the trip with the roof down in the Opel. When Kev saw us at the pub he was just stunned and so pleased to see us that he made us feel like Posh and Becks! It was lovely and he really made us feel like we had made his day. As well as Kev another old friend, Andy (PAA100) was there and we had a good old chin wag with Andy as he told us of his forthcoming road trip around Europe. Bloody exciting it sounds and that is the fun of it with Andy – where will our paths cross next, (in truth in Bristol at GrillStock probably) it could be Spain, it could be Finland – anywhere! Great fun though catching up with Kev and Andy. The drive home gave us three fox sightings and a family of wild boar crossing the road. Loved it!

Next day saw us up early and heading to Bicester to see The Elf and Fandango. We got there to the sight of them weed picking on their front drive, so we got out of the car and mucked in.  Next thing we are in the thick of a major back garden makeover as I helped Fandango build some raised beds out of some wooden planks he had got from a builder. I really got stuck in and found I was able to really help even though some of the work was quite physical and it felt fantastic just to be able to get stuck in and lend a hand. Perhaps the biggest help we gave them though was encouragement – you can imagine what I’m like and every time they thought they had had enough I just kept driving them on. The end result though was a fab garden for having a bbq and a jug of Pimms in. So… we had a bbq and a jug of Pimms! Great day.

Saturday night was Eurovision and Sunday afternoon the Monaco GP. Sunday night saw us back home in Malvern having dinner and watching Hot Fuzz with our pals StarGirl and Dealmaker. Awesome weekend.

Malverns Hill Walk confirmed for the 18th August 2012

On the back of this weekend and brimming with confidence because I leaned on a spade for an hour, I have committed myself and Peanut to walk the length of The Malverns Hills on Saturday August the 18th. I would like as many of my pals as can to join me on this to make it a really fun day out on the glorious Malvern Hills.

The walk is not for the faint hearted as it is 11 miles from one end to the other. We have done this twice in the past but let’s be honest that was before I had a bowel resection, 3 months of chemotherapy and two liver resections as part of my fight against the Big C, so I will need to do a bit of training before this walk. We will meet at North Quarry car park, leave some cars there and then head to the south hills to begin the walk, heading back to North Hill. let me know if you want to play, I hope so as it is a big deal to me and gives me a goal to aim for as I work back to full fitness. If you are up for this just let us know!

See you soon xx:)


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Life Blog – RIP Robin Gibb

Bee Gees’ singer Robin Gibb has died aged 62 after a lengthy battle with cancer, his family said.

The announcement was made, it said, with “great sadness”.

He had battled ill health for several years. In 2010, Gibb cancelled a series of shows after suffering from severe stomach pains while performing in Belgium. He went on to have emergency surgery for a blocked intestine. His twin brother and band partner Maurice died in 2003 aged 53 following complications from a twisted intestine.

He cancelled a series of shows in Brazil in April 2011, after again suffering from abdominal pains. Later that year, he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon after having surgery on his bowel for an unrelated condition. He was later also diagnosed with cancer of the liver, and underwent chemotherapy and surgery.

His increasingly gaunt appearance prompted press speculation that he was close to death. But in February he told the BBC that was making a “spectacular” recovery and he was feeling “fantastic”.

Last month the singer fell into a coma after contracting pneumonia. After 12 days he regained consciousness and his son Robin-John said his father was “completely compos mentis”.

“He has beaten the odds… he really is something else,” he said at the time.

Gibb had recently undergone intestinal surgery.

RIP and thank you for the music.

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Life Blog – A Holiday in The Cote d’Azur

The 1st May saw us set off to the South of France for a holiday and to attend the MINI United Festival at the Paul Ricard Circuit at Le Castellet.  Click on the picture above to view a set of iPhone photographs taken during the holiday and take a look here to find out more about the MINI United Festival. The holiday has helped my recovery from liver surgery on the 26th March enormously and upon our return from the break on Tuesday I was immediately able to return to work on the Wednesday just gone.

The journey down we did at a leisurely pace as I was still suffering with every bump in the road. Tuesday then was a simple drive to Peanut’s Mum’s for an overnight stop prior to catching an early Tunnel crossing to France the next day. I love the Tunnel, it is so slick and easy – if you are early catch an earlier train, if you are late catch a later one. It is not that easy with a ferry crossing and you lose so much time. Wednesday, then was an easy drive to Beaune a lovely town about halfway between Calais and Port Cogolin in the south. The trip is motorway all the way and the road surfaces are lovely and smooth so no bouncy tummy syndrome – bliss. We had a simple Pizza/Pasta combo meal in Beaune coupled with my first (and modest) glass of wine, since the operation. Yep we were on holiday! :)

At this stage in the holiday Peanut was still giving me a lift in the morning to pull myself out of bed and I was getting a tad worried that I would not improve any over this holiday. Nonetheless once up there was no stopping us and Thursday saw us reach our flat in Port Cogolin where we were pleased to see that they had  almost finished painting the whole resort and it looked fabulous. We are very organised and Peanut quickly unpacked our cases and gave the flat a quick once over and an hour later we were settled in. This despite Peanut being supervised by me – well done that girl!

Apart from our weekend at MINI United, the holiday was a very lazy affair for us, but each day I did more walking and exploring and very quickly got so much stronger and Peanut balanced the walks with lazy afternoons on the beach. Clicking on the picture below will reveal a second smaller slideshow of pictures from our trip.

By the end of the holiday I had improved no end and with this trip our lives felt very normal again. Peanut’s smile grew daily and the worry lines she had carried, fretting over me fell away. The sunshine warmed her skin and like a spring flower she blossomed before my eyes. And if at this point reading this you are sticking your fingers in your throat at this mushy nonsense, trust me that is fine, because truly I hope you never  have to see such a beautiful transformation as a weight is lifted off a person’s shoulders! :)

By the end of the trip we were so confident of how well we felt that we were able to drive back home in one hit, which in truth is the way we prefer to do the drive. We left Port Cogolin at 9 in the evening on Monday and were back home in Malvern the next day at 2.30 in the afternoon. Wednesday saw me start back to work doing short hours 10 till 3 and the sense of normality was truly complete!

So here I am on Friday afternoon, home from work and just like every one else I’m saying “Thank God it’s Friday!” But you know what I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to say that and to have the weekend demarcated by work! :)

Take care and have a great weekend – I know I will! :D