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Life Blog – A Happy New Year

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!

The Tempest Act V Scene 1.

Miranda was just 14 and had been removed from the world for twelve years  living on an island, when she spoke thus, on seeing people for the first time. Clearly then there is a naivety to these words but they have stuck with me ever since I read The Tempest over 40 years ago. I still look for the wonder that it is to be found in this world of ours, I still savour those moments when I discover such wonder, such beautiful people and if you look, really look, then these people in truth are all around us. With this wonderment I welcome 2016, a brave new year in which I will seek its wonders in equal measure with the way I seek to meet its challenges. So a Very Happy New Year to all our family and friends from myself and Mrs P here at Beastie Folly.

The sun shone early on New Year’s Eve and we explored the Malvern Hills and allowed the sunshine to wash over us. Peanut armed herself literally with rose tinted glasses, ensuring that she will meet the new year and see it in its best possible light.

First Though we have a quick look back. February saw us having fun in Venice for the Carnevale, while May saw us grab a week in the South of France at Port Cogolin. July had us exploring Berlin on a Segway and September saw us enjoy a massive driving holiday taking in the south of France, Tuscany and Venice once again. It was a great year for holidays. August, also saw Peanut retire from work and it was like a huge weight falling off her shoulders. She is loving the life, not having to work and I thrive on the happiness that exudes from her. Meanwhile, my fight with the Big C has got harder and I have had a fair bit of pain since I had some radioactive bead treatment in October. This came to a head with some excruciating back pain on Christmas Day which meant I had to cut short the celebrations with my family in London and come home on Christmas Morn, which is also Peanut’s birthday. However, we have managed since then to control the pain so much better, so I look forward to a return to work early January after the Christmas break. I have started some new drugs to fight the Big C and the primary side effect of these is teenage spots. Well the spots are there in force so methinks this is working. The radioactive treatment and these new drugs have perhaps then bought me some more time to enjoy in 2016. In March I am 56 and will be the same age as my Father was when he died of exactly what I am battling with. November would see me live on this planet for the same time as my Dad. Let’s see then how 2016 pans out.

Looking forward, is challenging, but with Miranda’s eyes the wonder and fun will be found and the holidays and adventures will be snatched with gusto. Time with family and friends will be treasured. I’m fairly at peace with the man I have become. I think my Dad would be proud of me and that is more than good enough for me.

Once again then a very Happy New Year, Love Beastie and P.xxx




Life Blog – Radioactive Treatment Scan Results.

It has been over a month since I last did a Life Blog but the scans have been done since then and yesterday I had a consultation at Worcester to discuss the results. Basically the treatment has done its job and the tumours in my liver have shrunk back. In about a fortnight I restart chemotherapy this time a blocker type which stops the signal that tells the cancer cells to replicate from reaching the cells. This can work well so fingers crossed this will attack the tumours in my lungs. The side effects of this are mainly rashes and spots, so I am looking at this as a great opportunity to rediscover my teenage years.

The last month though has been very tough and I have hardly been to work. Back pain and tummy ache have been awful. I have been given Morphine by my GP which causes constipation so the battle has been to stop the pain while not getting constipation. Pyschologically I think the good news yesterday will help me with this as that has been troubling my mind a lot lately, especially with the pain I have had. I hope to return to work tomorrow, but sadly I have said that a lot lately and not made it.

Peanut as always has been a saint, trying to coax a smile out of the wounded Beastie and having her by my side is just fantastic. I have been in too much pain to concentrate so have watched little television and find reading very hard. Peanut has been reading old Biggles books to me and this really relaxes me and helps shoo the pain away quicker when I take a tablet. Peanut really gets into the characters and I have relished listening to her add character to Biggles, Ginger, Bertie, South American gangsters and evil Nazis. We have both come to regard these reading out loud sessions as something very special, somehow very intimate and it really takes my pain away before i settle for a night’s sleep.

The photo above is oldish now over a month. Peanut had planted the window box and outside pots for the winter season and now with the scan out of the way we dare to plan our next few months. First I need to return to work, feel the benefit that one gets from making a contribution. Catching up with old friends and new will make December busy but fun. Christmas day will be spent with my side of the family and then hopefully Boxing Day will see us grab a week in the South of France before beckoning in a very challenging 2016.

As this Christmas nears most families will know pain and heartache and have their own battles to fight, be they poorly family members, or money worries, or matters of the heart. We as a family know that in truth we are just like any other family with a dollop of pain but also a dollop of fun and joy. Never give up, never stop trying to add a spoonful of happiness to the fun side of the scale and never try to measure it out. Rather with a glass of wine in one hand  and spoon in the other, just ladle in the happiness and sometimes a tear in your eye might mean you miss but don’t worry just keeping on ladling as the bit you spilled will land on someone else’s appreciative lap.

Fingers crossed then it’s back to work for me and then I’ll dive into the world of fun at the weekend and find me an adventure.