The “C” Words

No, I’m not posting about either that “C” word or even the Big “C” word. Instead, “C” is for…


Continue reading “The “C” Words”


Al[most] The Real Thing

Our kids both sleep well. They usually don’t require anything more than a couple of books, a couple of songs and, in Jennifer’s case, a review of our respective days by telling each other what made us happy, sad, annoyed and laugh. They then go to sleep after we’ve left the room. I’m not saying this to brag but to explain why I felt like a proper Mam last week for the first time in over a year. Continue reading “Al[most] The Real Thing”

How am I in Awe of Her? Let Me Recount the Ways

The downside of WordPress auto-posting to Facebook (when it doesn’t go awry) is that Facebook now gives me “on this day” commentary of my blog posts since Squattergate began. I didn’t need reminding that yesterday was a year since I got the first hole in my head during my biopsy. It did make me laugh today, though, that I changed my profile photo to this the day after that op:


My head has since become a bona fide metaphorical bowling ball with a further hole in my skull and one in my brain! One ticked off the imaginary bucket list.

There have recently been and imminently will be a number of sad anniversaries within our family. I won’t regurgitate each and every one as I think I included them in my blog last year. Suffice to say that it’s a sad time of year for our family between the end of July and the start of November.


This week has mostly been about recovering from a tiring but exhilarating few days supporting and surprising Emily during the last few days of her stupendous skip across the country. Yesterday was the first day that I’ve had anywhere near as much energy  Continue reading “How am I in Awe of Her? Let Me Recount the Ways”

More Miles and Milestones

Today is 74 years since my Mam’s brother (and only sibling) was born. The last couple of times I saw him was in the Summer of 2010. He had moved to Crete after retirement in 2006 and was back in Newcastle for a week or two. There are two things that spring to mind from that week. I have very happy memories of a lovely family meal at a Chinese restaurant on Stowell Street one evening. The other memory that makes me smile is that we had an amiable “discussion” about Paul Merson’s punditry skills (or lack thereof). Uncle Jim said Merson was a good pundit and I was aghast and firmly disagreed!

That week was when he met (and I think he approved of) Graham. The last time I spoke to him was when I rang to tell him we’d got engaged. He died suddenly a month later. His middle name was Hewison, which is a family name going back to 1832 at least. That’s one of Leo’s Continue reading “More Miles and Milestones”

School Run

The biggest news in this family since my last post, as will be the case in many families across the land (if not the world) this week, is that our girl started school today. My overwhelming feeling is one of excitement. I’m excited for Jennifer Continue reading “School Run”

Great British Rock Off

[Emily has had some more well-deserved publicity and support from Helen Skelton – see here. She starts her epic adventure on Monday morning at 8am sharp.]

On Thursday afternoon, we went for another impromptu trip to the seaside. We caught the last hour or so of a particularly sunny spell before the wind picked up and the sky clouded over.


This week I even dipped my feet in the sea with the help of two of my able assistants, Jennifer and Graham. We had painted Continue reading “Great British Rock Off”

Scanniversary Eve

[We are now T-4 until Emily sets off on her nearly 200-mile journey from coast to coast and a mere 10 days until she finishes! Please take a few minutes to watch this video to hear Emily explain succinctly exactly what this epic challenge entails and how excited she is!

If you are (or can be) near Ferryhill on Friday 8 September, please consider attending the fundraiser that Emily mentioned in the video at the Manor House Hotel.

Since the video was released, the sponsorship money has shot up from the figure mentioned (about £2k) to over £3k. Thanks to all those who have supported and continue to support Emily logistically, financially and emotionally. If you would like to sponsor her, then you can do so here.]

As One Gate Shuts, Another One Opens

Yesterday was the first anniversary of Bananagate, when internet grocery shopping went awry. I thought that the “quantity” of loose bananas I ordered would be the actual number of bananas I wanted. I therefore chose seven. I discovered upon delivery that “quantity” meant weight in kilograms:


Tomorrow at 8.30am marks 525,600 minutes since I collapsed at home due to a full body seizure, a Blues and Twos rush to hospital and a CT scan that showed extensive swelling in my brain. As soon as I got back to A&E from having the scan, I was told that I almost certainly had a brain tumour. Thus, Squattergate began (I accidentally typed Squatterhate there, which works too!).* Continue reading “Scanniversary Eve”