After today’s launch of the 20th radio rocket to knock it (time for a Double Length Testimonial perhaps?), I have eight sessions to go. So the traditional Starter from Ten Countdown has already begun, it’s just taken me a couple of days to write a post about it. Continue reading “Countdown”


Cole’s Miscellany (Part Nine)

  • Meryl Streep’s speech rocked. Kellyanne Conway’s response did not (unless she misspoke and meant to refer to her paymaster instead):


  • Perhaps if I had the time and energy, I’d write a book about the impending transfer of power in the States called “From The Audacity of Hope to Mendacity and the Dope”.
  • That reminds me: the first rule of Narcissism Club is that no one else can join. But enough about Trump.
  • I recently came across the phrase “lift while you climb”*. I hope that we all aspire to do this (even if we forget it and/or fail from time to time) but fear that it’s not something that reflects modern life.
  • On a lighter note, the Flash Mob craze passed me by – is it still a thing? Anyway, I recently came across this one, which makes me smile not because I’m a big Black Eyed Peas or Oprah fan but because of the sheer number of people involved, how it started with one girl at the front and Oprah’s obvious excitement at the surprise.
  • My favourite piece of trivia that I’ve learned this week is that one of Newcastle’s many claims to fame is the world’s first electric street lighting, which illuminated Mosley Street from 1879.


*The full quote from which it derives is by Mary Church Terrell:

And so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping that the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition ere long.

Bring Me (Little Miss) Sunshine

This time four years ago I was in the RVI, having given birth at 4.57am to Jennifer Anne Cole, the most amazing and beautiful little girl I’ve ever given birth to! The first thing I said to her as she was placed immediately on to my chest was “hello baby”.

I had been admitted to the RVI the day before, having been referred to the maternity assessment unit by the community midwife after a regular 38-week appointment. The RVI did various tests and checked my blood pressure regularly. When the results came back, Graham and I were taken into a room and “informed” (in a manner of speaking) by an abrupt doctor, whom we thankfully never saw again, “so you know you’ve got pre-eclampsia, right, and will have to be induced?”. (That is one of the very few negative experiences with NHS staff that I have had (and I’ve had some experiences!).)

Continue reading “Bring Me (Little Miss) Sunshine”

The Midterms

Today’s session marked the half-way point in my radiotherapy schedule: 14 sessions down; 14 sessions to go. I had originally been given a schedule of dates (but no times) listing every working day until 1 February. Yesterday, I realised when looking at my Radio Times schedule that the Psychics at Caltech, Dosometrists and Oncologists had worked out my tailored treatment plan and I’m due to finish on 25 January instead. So this post is a half-time report. Continue reading “The Midterms”

You Cannot Not Be Serious (Part Two)

Some further thoughts on how the Squatter has already been a life-changing event:

  1. We went to Gibside on New Year’s Day in weather conditions that would have been, up until recently, less than ideal for me: short bursts of freezing cold rain; and, an arctic breeze. It was bliss for me to get outside and feel fresh air on my face and I enjoyed feeling cold for the first time in weeks given my recent (and ongoing) overheating problems! That was the icy icing on the cake of kids-watching.
  2. The hair loss has accelerated. To see a status report, including photos, please see Hair Today, Gone Yesterday!
  3. Mr C bought me an iWatch for Christmas, going against my Fiscal Responsibility concerns that I reported in the first post in this sub-series. I’m glad he did, though, because I love it (as he knew I would)! This is the guy who, until recently, used to spend months and sometimes years deliberating over whether he was ready to buy a new pair of jeans/shoes/coat/anything else that he desperately needed!
  4. I know that I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I don’t think I can convey exactly how odd it is that I’m waking up early each day (4am this morning). As I said to a friend on the phone last night, early starts have never been my forte, to which Graham commented: “Rach, starts at any time have never been your forte”. It was a good point, well made and a good example of how things have changed over the last four months!


The 2016 Collection of Complexion: A Section of Reflection on Infection, Dejection, Affection, Detection, Resection, Introspection and Recollection (but not on THAT Election)

I hope for you and for me (and the entire human race) that 2017 brings more good than bad. 2016 (as with any given year) had some truly shocking and awful moments for lots of people around the world, including some of those around me and, of course, inside my head.

Looking back from a personal perspective, I break down 2016 into three periods:

1) Infection and Dejection (January to April)

The first four months of the year were dominated by Leo’s various struggles with feeding, colds, viruses and poor weight gain. I was a bona fide stresshead during this period! Continue reading “The 2016 Collection of Complexion: A Section of Reflection on Infection, Dejection, Affection, Detection, Resection, Introspection and Recollection (but not on THAT Election)”

Fallout 3

I’ve started to lose some of my hair over the last few days (how careless). I first noticed it on Tuesday, when I ran my fingers through my hair and about half a dozen strands of long hair came away (i.e., not the hairy hedgehog hedgerow that has grown back since Mr H gave me my second reverse Mohican as a Halloween present).

Since Tuesday, half a dozen or so strands have come out multiple times a day. I can’t really see in the mirror where the hair has fallen out but I’m sure it will be obvious enough very soon. Of course, parts of the hedgehog hair are likely to be coming out too but it’s not currently long enough for me to run my fingers through it or to notice (necessarily) a few strands of that shorter hair coming out. Continue reading “Fallout 3”