Movin’ on Down (in a Good Way)

There’s been a lot going on around here since my last post, most of which is house-move related. We exchanged contracts today to buy a bungalow with completion by the end of next week. The bungalow currently has two bedrooms. It has a large garage that we are going to convert into an en-suite bedroom and a utility room – our builder is ready for action and will start within a few days of completion. Jennifer said, as it doesn’t have any stairs, that the bungalow is our “short house”, while I have (affectionately) named it our “tiny little hobbit house”!

It will allow me, G, J and L to live together in our own place for the first time since 1 September last year. It will also allow me to keep the promise that I declared on my recent Mother’s Day card:


As we are “shortsizing”, we won’t have enough room in the bungalow for all of the belongings that we’ve accumulated over the years, particularly my books. Over the last few weeks, Graham has been bringing boxes from storage/the house for us to sort out and decide what to keep.

Paradise Found

For those in the North-East who, like me and my family, have a love of books but can’t possibly find space for the hundreds of them lying around and want to donate to a charity, we found out recently about Borderline Books, based in Team Valley. They have accepted hundreds of books from us over the last few weeks and are actively seeking more, particularly young adult books apparently. The Borderline project is part of the Kittiwake Trust. Borderline Books states on its website:

“We collect books that are no longer needed by publishers, shops, libraries and individuals and redistribute them free of charge to organisations working with survivors of domestic abuse, homeless people, ex-service men and women, former prisoners, young offenders, children’s homes, hostels for young people, refugees and those applying for asylum and vulnerable adults and children.”

As Jorge Luis Borges said: “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library“. From our perspective, it’s good to know that our books will be going to people who need and want them. A win-win paradise for all concerned.

Health Haiku

It’s been a good week

chemo starts again next week:

we’ll see what that brings.

Migraine Memories

Facebook reminded me earlier that I had my first migraine a year ago today. As previously explained, I assumed months later that the discovery of the Squatter meant that the migraines had been caused by the interloper. My Neurosurgeon Consultant, Mr H, however, said that he wouldn’t like to say either way because, if the migraines had been caused by the tumour, he wouldn’t expect them to respond to ordinary migraine tablets (which my migraines did).

The migraines occurred every week or so until three days before the Doozie of all Doozies on 1 September that led to the discovery of the Squatter. I’ve not had a migraine since then and I wonder whether that’s because I’ve been taking shed-loads of anti-seizure medication and steroids – would they prevent regular migraines if they had coincidentally developed in tandem with a brain tumour? Another question that will no doubt go unanswered given that I’m an atypical card-carrying brain tumour host!

Broken Knee

Apart from sorting out stuff to keep/go to charity, I feel like I have “nee craic”.* As we get into choosing paint and carpets etc this will change to “absolutely nee craic!”.

Nevertheless, here is a summary of the week:

Minor Craic

  • Thankfully, my seizure count and severity have both been low.
  • One seizure genuinely came immediately after I had spent a few minutes tidying up the living room (from a sitting position) for the first time in many many months (Graham would say years). I therefore proclaimed a (permanent?) medical exemption from tidying activities effective immediately.
  • I wonder whether the fact that I’ve reduced the amount of time spent reading/watching the news, particularly about Trump and Brexit, has contributed to my recently reduced schedule of seizures?
  • The most amazing meal of the week was Dr Rent’s implementation of this Nigel Slater recipe for pork meatballs. It was absolutely delicious for firsts, seconds and lunch the next day.
  • We had a lovely day in the sunshine in the garden last Saturday watching the kids playing on the trampoline, slide and at the water table and chatting with a couple of friends from work.
  • We’ve had some lovely visits from friends from here, there and everywhere.
  • Today, Graham and my Dad took me and the kids around the village for the Easter Egg Hunt. The wind was a bit nippy at times but Jennifer was pleased with her bounty (a KitKat Easter Egg and some sweets) and it was good to be outside for a stroll and a roll.
  • I have had almost all of my evening meals this week sitting at the dining table with the family, which is by far a recent attendance record!
  • I’ve been sleepy this week mostly because we stayed up to watch Sergio’s epic win on Sunday. It’s been worth the sleepiness to have seen Sergio finally break his duck!
  • Line of Duty is currently the only TV show that Graham and I are watching and we are now up to date. Any recommendations for any other TV shows?

Kids’ Craic

Leo chunters on almost constantly and his speaking is coming on. Today, he said a beautifully clear “hello Grandma” and “baaa baaa baaa” (pointing at sheep) among other words and phrases. With the nodding and shaking of his head and his pointing, shouting, pet lip and crocodile tears, he’s certainly good at communicating what he wants!

I went with Graham to pick up the kids from nursery on Wednesday, which (as always) was a lovely and almost-normal thing to do. Jennifer said excitedly when we got home: “I knew that you were coming and that Daddy was coming. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew“.

Leo held my hands this morning, moved them backwards and forwards and said “row, row…”. I got the message and happily continued the singing and “rowing”.

I asked Jennifer the other day to get a tissue so that I could wipe Leo’s nose. Not only did she go in another room and bring back a tissue, she approached Leo and wiped his nose. When I thanked her and praised her for helping us and being such a lovely and caring big sister, she said in a beautifully heart-melting but matter-of-fact tone, “it’s because I love him so much“.

To finish on the highest of highs, Jennifer said to me the other day: “I love you as high as the ceiling, Mammy, I love you from the floor to the ceiling. I love you, not as much as you love me, but to the moon and back“.


*The first word is to be read with a Geordie accent, the second word with an Irish one.


One thought on “Movin’ on Down (in a Good Way)”

  1. That’s a great news post. Good luck with the house. That will be a big step to “normality” for you all. Can’t wait to see it. Lovely that you’re able to spend more time with the family. Little by little you’re beating back the squatter. Love you loads. Xxxx❤️Xxxx


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