Meal Planning Monday w/c 30th of April

I missed last week's meal planner. It was a weird week with the news that my tumour was cancerous so unsurprisingly planning went out the window (almost like the way of the diet!) However the tail end of the week saw me eating a lot of salad and I even made a peach and sweet chilli salsa, which is the most creative I've been in the kitchen for a long time!

So I'm back on the wagon (so to speak) keeping everything normal and planning the menu in advance. I'm following the principles of Slimming World although my heart isn't really in it. However the low fat recipes do help keep my gallbladder pain under control (even if all I want to eat is deep fried mars bars!)

Onto this week, I'm planning the following in no particular order

  • Green Bean and Asparagus Risotto
  • Slow Cooker Pea and Ham Soup
  • Slow Cooker Meatballs and Vegetables
  • Chicken Casserole
  • Homemade Burgers, Wedges, Salad and salsa
  • Tinned Soup with Tiger Bread
We've a family meal planned over at Mum and Dad's and I already know they are cooking roast beef with all the trimmings, delicious! I think I'm going to taking a taxi over so I can indulge! I'm going to treat myself to some champagne and will partake in port with cheese and biscuits! Sod it, you only live once!

Don't forget to check out other meal plans over at Home with Mrs M!

A Number of Things about New Zealand I Need to Get Off My Chest

Hopefully you can all see I've dedicated a whole new page to my brother's e-mails. What do you think?

The latest instalment is here for your delight and delectation! Enjoy, I know I did


Hi Fay,

So it’s all good news on the cancer front then?  Not according to mum and dad.  They say you just can’t wait to get the rest of the scans and stuff out of the way and get on with your life.  But then I’d have no reason to write you an e-mail every week.  So think on…

After having a whinge about meal planning and Eva’s fussiness last time (to add to the whinges this week she wanted her chickpeas individually peeled and less ice in her ice cream) there’s a number of things about New Zealand I need to get off my chest.  It’s not all Lord of the Helicopter Shots and Top-Ten-Places-To-Live-In-The-World in New Zealand, oh no, the place has it’s serious down sides for me.  Like for example …

There’s a lot of Americanisation of the English language here in New Zealand and one of them is naming “crisps” as “chips”.  That would be fine if they went the whole hog and named their “chips” “French fries” but they don’t.  They call “chips” (as in fish and chips) “chips”.  So someone can say they’re having chips for lunch and it could mean (a) crisps or (b) chips.  That’s madness.

Especially as some fast food outlets advertise “hot chips” for “chips” so you don’t get confused between “chips” and “crisps”.  But who wants “cold chips”?  I don’t. I tried to explain once that advertising your chips as “hot chips” is bordering on being a pleonasm but you know, they were selling chips out of a burger van and for some reason didn’t give a f*ck.

It’s Ugly
Not the scenery, which is smashing.  No, I’m talking about the towns.  If you want to get an idea of how ugly nearly all New Zealand town centres are just get yourself some shoe laces, some shoe boxes, a pair of scissors, some glue and a stack of magazines.  Lay the boxes out in a grid fashion, cut out adverts from the magazines and stick them all over the shoe boxes.  Then string the shoe laces up between the boxes to represent the power cables.  Now lie down on the floor and look at what the typical New Zealand town centre looks like.

Of course you can save yourself some time and do a Google Street View if you want but afterwards you wont be able to stomp all over the miniature town while pretending to be Mr Stay Puft from Ghostbusters.

No Exit signs on roads
In the UK you have the words cul-de-sac written on a street entrance to indicate that it’s a dead end.  Of course the word cul-de-sac means something like “bottom of the bag” which makes no sense really but if you think about the words “No Exit” like I have then this makes even more no sense.  It’s the Hotel California of road signs - "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."  You have a road with “No Exit” sign next to it, so once you go in it goes all Stephen King on you and you can never leave?  That is what the sign is saying, I can’t be the only person here who’s noticed.

Apparently I am.

Verbally abbreviating words
Remember the halcyon days of the eighties when we watched Neighbours and Home and Away and we exposed to the verbal abbreviations such as “barby” for barbeque and “uni” for university?  Weren’t they great?  But at some point a line needs to be drawn.  I heard a breakfast radio show where some New Zealand broadcasters were laughing at Australians abbreviating the name “firefighters” to “fireys”.  They were laughing because “fireys” was said by a voice of authority a news reader; “a fire broke out at such and such as street last night but fireys were dispatched and the blaze was brought under control.”  They laughed in a “shine on you crazy diamond” way at the Australians and then went into a traffic update where the traffic update guy verbally abbreviated the word “avenue” to “’av”.  This wasn’t done as a joke, he does it all the time.  “There’s some roadworks on Connington av so you may want to avoid the area this morning.”  Av?  What next, you going to start doing the verbal abbreviation for street or will that make you sound like a reject from The King’s Speech?

Stop doing this now or I’m going to send Eddy Grant around to your house to beat you up.

The New Zealand Accent
Harsh I know, especially as you think I’ve picked up a bit one already but here’s the secret to putting on a New Zealand accent.  If a word has an “e” in it, try saying the letter “i” before pronouncing the “e”.  I was asked by a telephone company call centre guy if I had a “pin ready” and I said that I hadn’t been issued a “PIN” to which he replied “No, a pien, something to write with, or perhaps a piencil.”  Come on!  I tried to explain to someone once that the letter “e” should be pronounced as a monophthong and not a diphthong like New Zealanders do but all I got was “look, you got your hot chips, you’re just holding up the queue now.”

Ha, see what I did there?

Okay, these are minor annoyances but so is having to wait a bit longer to get over Teddy Cancer.  Of course you’ve covered this in your Reasons to be Cheerful bit of your blog when you said you get more time to do your hobbies and of course mum and dad could be wrong about you being fed up, but you know I write these e-mails off the cuff and can’t help but feel like it’s naturally evolved into something a trendy vicar would write for a Sunday morning sermon.  Probably need to add in a few more “f*cks” to stop that happening next time.

Mark xxx
Did you find yourself trying out the accent? I know I did. I also had to look up a couple of the longer words on Google, he's obviously more intelligent than me too! But at least he's reading the blog! So with that in mind, why don't you leave him some comments and show your love?

And Mark, I'm sure you know already but......

I had a dream......

I had a dream last night

I can't remember the details, although they were vivid and vibrant when I first woke

What I do remember is in my dream, I was dying

I wasn't panicked, distressed or frantic

I was calm, collected and determined

In my dream I'd decided dying wasn't an option

I was fighting it

I've woken today feeling calm and happy

I think this is what acceptance, the what will be will be, feels like

I like it

I should add I know I'm not dying in the real world and with all dreams they are figurative and ripe for interpretation. I tweeted earlier and a follower said it really well



Reasons to be Cheerful Week 17 - C words

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

This week's post has been brought to you with a healthy dollop of positive thinking and a sprinkling of hope.

It's being written with the view of if you can fake it, after a while it becomes easier to do and hopefully the fake becomes something real and tangible.

It's been a difficult post to write (again!) and I kept putting it off. I want it to be real, I don't want to be fake and say it's ok when its not. So I'm reframing the facts to come at them from another angle.

Saw my Consultant on Tuesday who confirmed Ted the Tumour was cancer, grade 2 and semi aggressive. So at least we now know. Am now waiting (yes waiting, but at least it can't be urgent) for an oncology appointment to discuss what the next steps are re treatment. Fingers crossed and all that.

To keep my mind off things, Mum and I went back to Cowslip Farm Workshop in the morning, our new favourite place for lunch. We discovered Homily Pie, I must get a recipe! It's an open pie filled with potato, onion and leek and topped with cheese, delicious.The wonderful menu there is primarily vegetarian and inspired me to cook again, so we enjoyed a tasty vegetable lasagne yesterday, with the extra sauce being used in a pasta bake today. Maybe my cooking oomph is back? Time will tell.

Spent a few hours with Jane, my daughter's partners mum who is so fantastic with everything crafty. She has hundreds of books to flick through to get inspired and she is so knowledgable. We took over my Mum's sewing machine for Jane to check out and make sure it was suitable for quilting, which is something she is hoping to get into. Mum's owned it for over 15 years, so her face was a picture when Jane showed her the different seam width options and the zig zag stitch. She was over the moon but also a little bit embarrassed!

I've a consult booked next Tuesday about removing my gallbladder. Ironic I still need the operation considering it was the original investigation to the gallballer pain which led to the ultrasound which found Ted the Tumour in my right kidney. Silver linings though, at least Ted was found reasonable early.

I'm so grateful to everyone I work with for all their messages and telephone calls. You've all been brilliant. My boss has been wonderful (thank you Vanessa) and very supportive. I'm very lucky and can't wait to get back to it.

In the meantime I've started another crocheting project which I tried 6 months and gave up. The wool I've bought has tiny sequins which glitter very delicately. It's taxing my ability to read patterns, but I'm determined!

I've decided each day to tackle each challenge with strength of purpose and an expectation to succeed. It just may take a while for the faking to become real, so wish me luck

Don't forget this is a blog hop, from the brilliant Michelle of Mummy from the Heart. If you'd like to join in, then get writing and linking!



It's 3 o'clock in the morning.....So what?

It's 3 o'clock in the morning.

I can't sleep
I've just been out to buy some chocolate milk, no idea why, I just fancied it. Very proud of myself for getting out of the house without waking MrC and even Fritz kept quiet (Although I was a little concerned when his tail wagging was banging up against the door!)

I tiptoed out of the bedroom with trackie bottoms (classy) and trainers in hand. Slipped the tracky's on over my pj's, big coat on (to hide the fact I'm wearing no bra) and I'm off.

I don't do supermarkets at silly o'clock very often, but my god it was weird. Loads of staff milling around filling the shelves, whizzing around on trolley things cleaning the floors. It was definitely 'staff are king, long live the king' as I had to dodge out of the way of them instead of the other way around. Mind you they did outnumber the customers in a lot!

Grabbed a bottle of creamy banoffee pie milkshake (which I would recommend if you see it on the shelf, very creamy)  and a bag of giant buttons (as an after thought) and out was out of there and back home in 15 minutes flat. It would have been sooner, but I came upon a herd (yes a herd!) of deer as I drove back. There were at least 20 deer milling across the road as I came out of the car park. I'm not sure who the most surprised, me or them. They darted off pretty quickly, but it was an amazing sight.

But this is all fluff and small talk, I know why I can't sleep. Today (as in Tuesday) I'm seeing the consultant for the biopsy results for #Ted the Tumour aka the nasty 90% chance cancerous tumour on my right kidney. 

It's been an incredibly stressful few days leading up to this and I've really been worrying about it. But I've finally realised, its no big deal.

The best thing he can tell me is, 'it wasn't cancer'

The next best is 'it was cancer, its now gone and we will monitor you for the next five years'

The next best best thing is 'it was cancer, its now gone but we want to give you some treatment like chemo to make sure we got it all'

That's it. So what?

What have I got to worry about? The worse case scenario means it will take me a little longer to get back to work, so what? More time to get better acquainted with my hobbies. Yes okay, I may lose my hair. I've a haircut booked for the weekend, if I'm going to lose, I might as well be brave and change what I've got (My hair style hasn't really changed since I was 18. Sad but true fact) So what?

So I thought, as I was awake, I'd drunk my milk and eaten some of the buttons (who am I kidding, I've finished the whole packet) I'd share with you my 'so what' moment

So after that epiphany I'm back to bed (although I do feel a little sick now) with Pink's track ear worming into my brain! 

Can you think of any other 'so what' statements I can add to my list? And also help me figure out who sang the lyric in my post title, its doing my head in!?

Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC week 16 - the nearly not written edition

It's my chance to round up the good things to happen this week, celebrate and reflect all the things which have made me cheerful. It's a big list!

- It was Mum's birthday and she loved her pressie! Yay! Wasn't sure if buying her an exercise bike would go down to well, but she knew where I was coming from PHEW
- Mum has gotten the quilting bug and we went back to Cowslip Farm Workshops for more supplies, inspiration and lunch! It's a beautifully inspiring place, and we need to go back next week (what a shame) so I will take some photo's to share.
- Completed a couple more projects, crocodile stitch gloves and scarf for Mum and a tea cosy for my friend Kim! What do you think?
- I've bought 2-ply hemp to try crocheting more fine and delicate projects which will be very challenging!
- James is competing in the Dartmoor Jail Break on Saturday. He needs to get as far away from the prison as possible in a week without spending any money! He's planning on walking! I expect a call at some god awful time asking for a lift back, but am very proud of him and hope he raises a lot of money
- My Mum spoke to Amy this week and my heart was lifted when she said she sounds so happy. That's all a mum can ask for, happy kids.
- MrC has bought me a new telephoto lens for my camera and a monopod! Looking forward to taking some pictures next week.
- Finally a GP (my new favourite one) has looked at my numb toes and agreed there is some nerve damage rather than fobbed me off! That's all I needed, I can live with the symptoms for a while (think I've got enough on my plate)
- I get my operation results and the next steps explained when I see the consultant on Tuesday, six weeks waiting nearly over.
- Been signed off from work for another two months. Another eight weeks to get better, relax and improve all my hobbies!
There you go, I wasn't joking about the list. Don't forget this is a linky hosted by the wonderful Michelle from Mummy From The Heart. Check out some of the others and please leave a comment or two, it makes us bloggers up very happy

PS I spent 30 minutes writing the original post and then very nearly didn't bother at all. It's been a crap week, rows, tiredness, shocked I've been signed off for so long, and the GP appointment has brought Cancer (with a capital C) to the forefront of my thoughts. Got a horrible feeling I will need chemo. However it was draining just writing it and a really crap post! So was deleted. This one is much better and uplifted me. It really works, just listing the good things makes see it was all bad, give it a go!

P*ss taking e-mail from my brother down under

An early mail (plus me being laid up on the sofa) means you're getting this installment early, a two in one week, almost a BOGOF. My piss taking meter is off the scale though, knew it wouldn't take long before they started to come through.
Hi Fay,

How is it going? I’m sending you an e-mail early this week because this Saturday I’m off on a “Boys’ Night Out”. A “Boys’ Night Out” is basically me, my brothers-in-law and Maurice, lour father-in-law, out for a meal and a few beers. We usually discuss the works of Charles Baudelaire, James Weldon Johnson, Virginia Woolf or Geoffrey Chaucer. If things are a little slow we fall back on the works of Shakespeare or Michael Bay. Usually it’s Michael Bay because we really enjoyed Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, Bad Boys II and Armageddon.

I see from your blog you’ve been meal planning (if this were a sitcom I’d turn to the camera and wink) and that it’ll take another week to get the cooking oomph back. Do you want to meal plan for me? Well do you punk?

Of my two brothers-in-law and one-father-in-law all of them came out to New Zealand as vegetarians. Only one of them still remains a vegetarian because New Zealand doesn’t do all the meat substitutes that the civilised world does, New Zealand does meat. Juliette ordered macaroni cheese the other day and it came with bacon in it. You order ice cream here and it’s going to have bacon sprinkles on it.

On our property when we came to view it they had a “beefy” out the back. A “beefy” is a live cow kept specifically so you can look after it, feed it and then when Christmas is near, send out for the home kill butcher to dispatch and carve that cow up on your patio table like it’s cheese cake. That’s hard core meat eating and its normal here. So when I have to meal plan for Juliette and the kids (all vegetarian) it can become a little bit difficult. Especially as Eva has entered the fussy eating stage.

I always thought “whining like a little girl” was some sort of slightly misogynistic slur but it turns out that yes, a little girls’ whine has its own special place as a punishment in one of the seven circles of hell. Eva has weaponised her whining.

We have UN inspectors around every day to check on Eva’s whining in case she exports it to Iran. Eva’s whining cuts glass. The top ten percent of Eva’s whining can only be heard by dogs. When Eva starts whining Mother Theresa’s ghost comes down from heaven and says “cut that sh*t out, it’s f*cking annoying me”. If there’s a zombie apocalypse we’re setting Eva out the front to whine about the colour of the sky not being right and the zombies will give this place a berth so wide we can set up the human civilisation rebirth.

She’s a fussy eater and she whines about. She whines about food she doesn’t like, she whines about food she does like but isn’t the right colour, she whines about her portions being too big, she whines about her portions being too small, she whines about food being too hot, then whines about it being too cold. Meanwhile Sam, being a toddler of only one and a half, sits to the left of her silently shovelling food in his mouth like he’s the Ying to her Yang.

So here’s my meal plan for the week;
Monday : Full roast dinner with Quorn roast substitute
Tuesday : Vegetable soup with garlic bread
Wednesday : The Dashed Dreams of a Hopeful Romantic on a Bed of Lettuce
Thursday : Unicorn tears and Pegasus breath in a broth of Fresh Ideas
Friday : Fish and Chips
Saturday : Griffin eggs scrambled on toast.
Sunday : Sweet and sour Life, drizzled with Experience vinaigrette.

The thing is even Juliette would get to the second week and complain about “it’s not the Dashed Dreams of a Hopeful Romantic again?!” Meanwhile I’m dreaming about Findus Crispy Pancakes.

“Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?” says William Shakespeare in As You Like It.
Meal planning sucks donkey dick.

Mark xxx
See what I mean!??
Mind you I still


I know you are hurting

The silence, staring at the TV, your inactivity and inability to look forward affects others. I know the words you use are concise and correct, but tone betrays.

Responding to a conversation isn't enough when you never start one yourself.

Why should it be down to me to ask what the problem is, to probe the sore points, to find out the why's? What's wrong with coming out with what's on your mind so we can talk about it, discuss and sort?

Pretending you are okay, going through the motions, saying things in the right places isn't helping US

I want to help.

Please talk.

We are a team, we are strong, we complement each other, Yin and Yang

But not at the moment, we are disjointed, fractured, out of key, dissonant

It's a difficult time, we can cope with anything life throws, when we work together. But this isnt togetherness and I'm frightened not of the news, but how WE react.

I'm hurting too.

Medieval Myth Buster and Busting My Dad : latest email from my brother

Yay! The next instalment for why I should feel sorry for my brother and his life is so much harder than mine. He was nearly winning me over until last week's faux pas, but at least he's man enough to admit to it. Which is more than can be said for my Dad.
All will become clear.
Hi Fay,
I’ll start with an apology this week. Sorry I didn’t know your cancer was called Ted. I don’t always read your blog but Juliette does and she told me first thing on Sunday morning that I’d screwed up. I say first thing on Sunday morning because I bang out my weekly e-mail between 10pm and midnight on our Saturday night when the kids and Juliette have gone to bed. So I sacrifice sleep time to write you an e-mail of questionable entertainment value. (I’m building up so that you feel a bit sorry for me).

Sometimes lack of sleep shows – Juliette says when I wrote the long long e-mails with too much history it really shows. So last week I had a vague inkling that you had named your cancer but was a bit too tired and a bit too lazy to double check. So I winged it. It’s not the first time I’ll screw up and it won’t be the last I’m sure, so sorry Joy. I mean Fay. Sorry Fay. ( Joy is my sister, dear reader.....Fay)

In fact the last time I felt this bad was when someone did the Wallace and Gromit two hands knuckle down fist knock to me across a crowded room and I construed it as the “Friends” TV comedy Monica and Ross Geller two hands knuckle up fist knock that meant the middle finger. If you’re confused about what the heck I’m talking about imagine the plasticine character Wallace being happy that there’s some Wensleydale cheese available and that he’s got a big oversized grin, he’s holding his two hands up like a begging puppy would and he bumps them together in excitement. That’s the Wallace and Gromit two hands knuckle down fist knock.

Know remember “Friends”? When I left the UK in 2009 it seemed that Channel Four were doing a good impression of being the official “Friends” TV channel showing back to back repeats of it. In the show brother and sister Monica and Ross Geller had invented the two hands knuckle up two fist knock to represent the middle finger so as get past their parents sanctions on rude hand gestures.

Yes, you’re probably more aware of the “Friends” gesture than the “Wallace and Gromit” one, as was I. Anyway this person did the “Wallace and Gromit” one to me and I did the “Friends” one back. They knew both the gestures. Textbook how to make enemies and alienate people.

Okay, so Juliette religiously reads your blog and she filters to me what’s what. You can blame her if you like, I just don’t have the time she does because I have two pre-schoolers to get up, feed breakfast, dress and get out of the door in morning… (she’ll f*cking kill me for writing that).

I understand there’s been some feedback on the weapons naming front. JessHackHer – axe (Just Hack Her),
Boooow – bow (as in boooo?)
icb4me – dagger (Is This A Dagger I See Before Me)
Harry – bow (Haribo)
Axel/Axelle – axe (axe in the name)
Dirk (there’s a Scottish dagger called a dirk).

I also had dad suggest to me to name one of the bows “Derek” (Bo Derek). Nothing from you though I see. What’s with that Miss Lazy Bones? Eh? Eh? Who’s feeling bad now? Oh, it’s still me.

Having lots of people to help has resulted in me asking “you” another question. In about seven months there’s another Arts and Sciences competition based on Medieval Mythbusting. In the same format as the TV show Mythbusters you can pick a medieval myth, research it and either confirm, state it’s plausible or bust a medieval myth. As an example the competition was inspired by someone finding a medieval woodcut of a mattress made by sewing pigs bladders together and pumping it up full if air. Yes, the air mattress was a medieval invention.

There are no rules other than I’ve got to give five minute presentation on my findings. I’ve just got to find a myth worth investigating. So what myths have you heard about the middle ages? I just need one that you can’t Google to find out if it’s been asked before. I was thinking about doing a presentation on castle arrow slits because it’s my theory that the majority of castle arrow slits were never designed to have an arrow shot out of them. I could of course go into my reasoning but as this would be

(a) historical
(b) long

And it would indicate that it’s late and I need to go to bed. (That hasn’t stopped me from writing a long historical reason and then deleting it from this final e-mail.)

I would like some myths though….

Love Mark

P.S. Say sorry to Ted for me.

P.P.S. Second thoughts, tell that f*cker Ted to c*ck off out of it, the bucket f*cking c*nt.


Thanks Mark for the confession that you don't read my blog. I nearly feel sorry for you. It's a hard life looking after the kids, @reluctanthousedad and @SAHDandproud would agree with you. But they still find time!!! Shame on you!

And I've spoken to dear Old Dad .......Bo Derek was my idea. I just hadn't gotten around to putting a comment in. So tardy I may be, not lazy!

But you are my little brother, the chap who I remember showing me and Joy a new super dooper karate move. I think you were meant to look cool with a high double kick and land lightly on your back foot. However somewhere along the line your brain didn't get round to telling your leg to get back into position and you landed flat on your bum with a mahoosive thud. Me and Joy laughed....a lot. So I owe you.

I'll get my thinking cap on, promise, but in case I luck out (likely) can you dear reader help?

Do you know of any medieval myths you wish to have busted? Please leave a comment, it keeps me amused and more importantly, gets my little brother off my back!

And as always Mark......

Meal Planning Monday (w/c 16th April)

It's Monday, so it's Meal Planning. Am I a little more excited about this than last week? Ummm, no not really, but we've got to eat. It will just take another week for get the **cooking oomph back!

Here is my menu

  • Sausage Casserole (we didn't have it last week)
  • Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Risotto
  • Spanish Chicken
  • Roasted chicken with Mediterranean vegetable couscous
  • Baked potato, beans and cheese
  • Bolognaise
  • Homemade Burgers in rolls

Bit samy, but again easy to cook

Fingers crossed **cooking oomph comes back soon! And all this talk of pasties on the news means I'm going to have one for lunch! Mind you, won't be as good as the ones my Granny used to make. Proper Cornish bird, she was and they were delicious.

Don't forget to check out more menu plans at Home with Mrs M Meal Planning Monday. It's a great linky for meal inspiration! Go and take a look!

** cooking oomph actually means energy!

Reasons to be Cheerful Week 15 #R2BC

Phew, got away with last week, hope everyone was ok with me hosting. We had a couple of first timers joining in too, so thank you to everyone who linked up. But I'm glad it's back in the hands of Michelle over at Mummy from the Heart. Mitch, I'm happy to see you back!

Onto my week and it's been a good one.

  • I'm driving a little bit more now, just short journey's but makes me happy to be under my own steam!
  • I've discovered Draw Something (I'm faycglass if anyone wants to play! And I may be addicted)
  • I've also discovered Tweetbot (little bit in love with an app, if that's possible) and iPhoto ( why didn't I know about this app before now?)

The treadmill has been oiled, so it's not making creaky noises anymore. I've been walking without fear of a break down. If I'm being honest I did have images of it coming to an immediate stop mid stride and I'd have a comedy fall off the back, with legs going one way, head the other and knickers on show. Comedy for everyone I told, but my body is fed up with the onslaught (plus I'm running out of hash tag inspiration!!)

  • Wound is all clear now, and no longer need to see the nurse! Yay!

I tweeted yesterday that I was going

out to somewhere which wasn't Tesco, the GP surgery or my parents house and I was so happy I was doing a happy dance.

( I also later said that what I really wanted to say was that I was so excited I might wee myself, but thought it was maybe a tweet too far)

I had a great lunch with my Mum and Amy's mother-in-law to be. Jane is a wonderful, energetic and friendly woman, who introduced us to the pleasure of Cowslip Workshops near Launceston, Cornwall. It's a working farm with the side business of quilting, the art of sewing two or more layers of fabric together.

There's a treasure trove of a shop (with amazing quilts and projects on show) which gave me lots of ideas and a wonderful cafe where we had lunch. I would recommend taking a visit if you are interested in quilting or want to buy one for a special occasion. The people working there are so friendly and helpful! I bought some wonderful buttons and some fabric squares for Mum to start her first proper quilt! We've also arranged to visit Jane next week for some lessons! Again, I'm excited and looking forward to it! ( wee may or not be involved )


I was however extremely tired at the end of what was a long day, and I'm okay with that. I've spoken to my Renal Nurse who agreed with what everyone else has been telling me ( I know, I'm a bit on the slow side sometimes ) , it's okay to be tired. I'm beginning to accept it was a major operation and not something I can bounce back from quickly. And that acceptance is a good feeling.

What has also been good is seeing people, who then say I'm looking really well (hopefully not in the 'you look well' you say to a friends who's put a bit of weight on!) Jane even apologised at one point as she'd forgotten I'd had major surgery only a month ago. That makes me feel good, I feel I am improving and long may it continue

So although I am very tired (sorry twitter, I'm missing you too) I'm doing stuff and it makes me happy.





Meal Planning Mondays w/c 9th April

The week has come around so quickly and here I am trying to get the oomph for planning meals. I'm feeling really tired at the moment, and my love of preparing and cooking meals has just slipped through my fingers for a bit. It's taken a lot for me to put the plan together, but hey, at least I'm actually cooking which is progress from a couple of weeks ago.

I'm still working through stuff in the freezer (it never bloody empties! But seems full of crap!) but I've come up with the following

  • Tinned soup with fresh crusty bread (my first solo drive out today to get it! Yay, go me!)
  • Bolognaise, pasta and green salad
  • Sausage casserole and rice
  • Noodles with a tomato sauce
  • Baked potatoes, beans and cheese
  • Roasted peppers, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and meatballs
  • Burgers and wedges

It's all stuff I can manage, quick and easy. But if I don't feel like it will keep for next week! Simples! Check back next week and see if I've got my mojo back, in the meantime, click here to take a look at Mrs M's linky for more meal plans.


Email from my brother.....Stabitha, Britney & Space Time Continuum

Another email from my brother for your delectation. This one Is a bit deep, I'm still thinking about the river, I had to ask MrC about Britney (when he told me ...... Duh! I'm a Thicko!) and I can't think of suitably appropriate names. Bit of a conundrum, but will let you read and see what you think.
Hi Fay,
So I spoke to mum and dad again this morning via Skype. Their microphone wasn’t working on their laptop or something so I phoned them at the same time to fault find. I’d forgotten we still had Skype open and my microphone was fine and we were both on speaker phone so everything I said and everything mum said went bouncing down the phone line and down the Skype line and back dozens of times until a worm hole opened up in the space time continuum and we managed to high five Alexander Graham Bell in the 19th century. Well, until mum said she’d had enough of listening to her own voice coming back to her on a five second time delay and closed down Skype. It was one of those slap your own forehead moments.

So mum says you’re beginning to get back on your feet. Great. You can help me solve one my most serious and pressing problems. I’m counting on you. All it takes it for you to apply your brains and come up with some suggestions. (ummmm me? My brains are mush....... Fay)

It all started this week when I felt the need to clear out some space on the PC. We’ve got terabytes of storage but somehow we always end up filling them up with crap. Stuff like pictures and videos of Eva and Sam being super cute, y’know, irreplaceable memories and stuff. Remember when we were kids and we’d have maybe thirty, forty pictures tops of our child hood? Not anymore. Now with digital photography it’s like the Truman Show. You can make a flip book with all the pictures we’ve got of Eva and run it backwards so she eventually jumps back into the womb.

Anyway I was trying to sort through things to delete and found a folder called “Fighting Fantasy” that I’d forgotten about. In it was downloaded files from every Fighting Fantasy choose-your-own-adventure book from my childhood. I remembered downloading them so that I could print them off and give them to Eva and Sam so that they could do what I did and get into reading through these interactive books.
Fooled you! I totally downloaded them so I could do them all again myself. Of course I never did because

(a) I don’t have the time
(b) they’re crap.

There’s an applicable saying here that goes “You can never step in the same river twice”. If you’ve never heard it before I’ll let you mull that one over for while … or go and get a cup of tea if you have.

You can never step in the same river twice because of course the water in the river has moved on and it’s impossible to step into the same body of water. But also on a deeper level you’re never the same person you were either, you’ve moved on as much as the river. “You can never step in the same river twice”. So of course reading through these books that I thought were brilliant thirty years ago aren’t brilliant now. Also I’ve got more experience in some specialised areas such as lugging swords, shields and bows around and I’m reading this stuff and thinking “no way can anyone carrying a heater shield, a two-handed sword and a bow do that.”

Which brings me to my problem. In the same way that those chose-your-own-adventure heroes have too many weapons, I’ve got too many swords, axes, bows etc. Obviously I don’t need to carry them all around at once like those adventure books (I need an estate car to shift mine), my problem is that they all need names. Not just any old names like Excalibur and Sting, I need funny names, like Excalibrogue and Gordon Sumner.

It started with a bit of joke because some of the Anglo-Saxon re-enactors really do have names for their swords, spears and axes because that’s what they apparently did back then. Sometimes these ancient people named their weapons because they were so valuable and costly they earned a name, sometimes it was for mystical and magical reasons, sometimes it was because they wanted to be like the US marines in boot camp from Full Metal Jacket.

Now I didn’t have names for my stuff because I’m fourteenth century and so not like those Anglo-Saxon dudes … but for comedy reasons I started naming some of the weapons after girls’ names. I have a sword called “Kutrina” (do you see where I’m coming from?), I have a dagger called “Stabitha” and a spear called “Britney” (you may need to work that one out). And then after naming those three I’m drawing a blank. I’ve got two longbows, another dagger and an axe to name. It’s killing me now, help me out?

At a pinch I’ll take boys names too. I promise you that you’ll be spending the next half an hour going “Keith? Beith? Steith? Reith? No. Stavros? Stabros? Stab! Ross! No, that’s shit…” But you know, have fun with it. Get a white board and some magic markers, do some brain storming.

Good to hear you’re getting stronger. I hope the biopsy goes okay and if it doesn’t, you know what? We can come up with some least threatening names for your cancer or something. I’m currently thinking "Humphrey".

Love Mark,

Well firstly dear brother, I'm a little bit hurt you don't read my blog, because if you did you'd know my cancer is called Ted, which I'm sure you'd agree is perfectly threatening enough!
However I'm stuck on names for your various battle weapons.
Over to you, dear reader. I'm sure we won't disappoint, I'm counting on you! Two longbows, a dagger and an axe to name, leave a comment so we can all share
And as always Mark........