Monthly Archives: June 2016



Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd June

So it turned out to be another Monday afternoon visit to Costa. Robyn’s boyfriend Tom met us for a little while today too. He had been to a music festival over the weekend and was still feeling a bit hungover and very tired!

I came across this on Radio Oxford’s Facebook page Biff, Chip and Kipper. Just a blast from the past – Robyn and Leah learnt to read with these books! πŸ“š

Both Tuesday and Wednesday were spent at work (staying to do 2 hours overtime on Wednesday) and then at home.

I know it doesn’t really sound like a whole lot has been going on! But I haven’t exactly been feeling my best as I’ve still been suffering with my aching tummy and feeling sick. But I’ve still been going to work and even stayed on and worked extra!

I’ve also had my financial head on at every opportunity, adding up our monthly income and expenses, adding this figure and that figure, and whatever else I can think of, that will help me to decide if we are really able to afford to BUY a house rather than find another one to rent. My two daughters would get the mortgage and I would use the money I have from the sale of our old house as a deposit. Would this all work out? Is this a completely stupid idea? I do feel extremely guilty about thinking of going down this route, I should be able to provide a home for my children until they choose to leave it, but the fact is that I simply can’t. One very good thing is that the mortgage payments would actually be much less than the new rent amount we would have to pay, we will in fact be better off! so surely we have to give it a shot? 😏 I’ve been going through this in my head over and over, in the mornings when I have woken very early and can’t get back to sleep, when I’m at work, doing some jobs at home, whenever and wherever.

It’s been quite a tough few days actually and I have very often felt like doing something like this:



Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th June

A trip into Banbury and then back to spend some time in the garden as it was a lovely sunny afternoon and evening. 

I was lucky enough to be spoilt with another barbecue and another onion, courgette, pepper and haloumi kebab πŸ˜‹

We were also joined by another friend in the garden yet again.

Ugh, they make my body shiver when I see them! But it does fascinate me as to why these toads seem to like to live in Gary’s garden 🐸 I always wonder where they have come from in the first place? I have always associated them with living near water and there is none anywhere near! 

In the evening we watched the film Django. Now normally I fall asleep when I set out to watch a film, or I get fed up and get my iPad out but unusually this film kept me hooked and I was gripped to it from start to finish πŸ™ƒ

On Sunday, after getting a few jobs done first, we went for a lovely family walk around the town πŸ˜‚ Even Jack came with us. We were having a bit of a look around to check out some houses that we had seen on the Internet which were up for sale.

Leah and Jack had fallen a bit behind as they had seen a little dog and they went to check it was okay! so we waited for them to catch up in the bus stop and then decided to have a little random photo taken 😊 Leah looks pleased with herself anyway and Robyn was all ready to take herself off to the gym!
I have still been feeling a bit unwell this weekend. Sometimes I have felt sick, other times my tummy has felt unsettled and just been aching. This was really starting to annoy me as I don’t like it when I am not feeling 100% anymore especially as I have been feeling really quite well lately. Well physically anyway, mentally I still find it hard sometimes. Plus I am now also going through all the hassle of trying to sort out where on earth we are going to live, which is not easy at all I must say, along with various other things that have been going on.

I really don’t know whether I should dare to say this – I seem to have been clear of my Shingles type virus for a tiny little while … 😏

Funny dream πŸ˜‚


Thursday 16th to Friday 17th June

A good morning spent visiting patients at the hospital. I went to see the man from last week again that has recently had his transplant. I could see the difference in him in just a week, he was looking brighter. I also went back to see the old lady that was confused last week and what a difference! She was so much better. She was very chatty and the confusion seemed to have almost completely gone. Such a sweet lady πŸ‘΅ All she wanted to do was go back home to her husband, they have been married for 62 years. I sat there thinking that I really wished she was my own relation so that I could continue to visit, such a dear lady. And the really nice thing was that she remembered me from last week, and when I left said she had enjoyed our chats. And that gave me a much needed boost too πŸ˜ƒ

I also visited another man who has been waiting 4 years for a new liver. Imagine that :/ He goes into the JR every week so they can drain his fluid off. He was very pleased to have a chat and said he would look forward to the next time! 😊

I do have a funny story that happened to me this morning to tell you now. When I first went on to one of the wards I went over to the container on the wall and got a squirt of the ‘alcohol rub’ (hand sanitiser) and was rubbing it around in my hands while I was stood talking to the housekeeper, but it wasn’t just disappearing which that stuff normally does, it was getting bubblier! She said to me ‘you’ve used the soap dispenser not the alcohol rub’ It sounds like such a silly thing for me to tell you I know, it was one of those times when you ‘had to be there’ if you know what I mean, but I did feel so stupid, what an idiot! How many times have I visited hospitals before? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ˜«πŸ˜±

Evening walk πŸ‘£

I think Robyn must have got some new gym stuff for her birthday!

Then on Friday morning I was entertained with the story of Robyn’s dream πŸ˜‚ She was telling me all about how her feet were being sewn to the floor with green cotton and she had to keep cutting it so she could try and get away as Voldemort (from Harry Potter) was going on the rampage and was trying to kill everyone, but he was especially trying to kill her! She could remember so much, in such great detail. Dreams – funny things aren’t they? Our amazingly complicated brains.

This dream must have happened to you in your ‘rapid-eye movement’ stage of sleep Robyn! Goodness knows what ‘stage’ I was in when I had all my crazy dreams in 2015 πŸ˜–

At work this morning I served a lady I know that has been waiting 7 years for a kidney. Can you imagine that? Add this fact to the man I met yesterday that has been waiting for four years for a liver, it makes me realise yet again just how extremely lucky I have been 😏

My stomach started hurting while I was sat on my till today though and I really didn’t feel that great. Oh no 😫 

Good job stocktaking this evening at work had been cancelled or I would have had to be going back again at 5pm and I really don’t think I could have faced that today.

Robyn is 24


Wednesday 15th June

Happy Birthday Robyn πŸ’πŸŽ

In the end, luckily, I was able to arrange to have today off work, which meant we were having a day out πŸ˜€

But first Robyn had to be spoilt with all her breakfast on a tray!

Then we set off for Busy Brush Cafe in Wallingford with Julie and Hannah (poor old Leah had to work). 

Robyn and Hannah had taken all their scrapbooking things with them. Julie and me chose to do some decoupage. Good bit of stress relief for me that is!

What a great way to spend a morning! Well quite a good few hours actually. I think they might have been waiting for us to leave :/ 

As if we hadn’t drunk enough tea and coffee we then called in to Caffe Nero on our way home. Good job we did I think as look at the lovely ‘summer’ weather we’re having at the minute. Such heavy showers 🌧

In the evening it was birthday meal time! Me, Gary, Robyn, Tom, Julie, Hannah, Leah – and Jack joined us a little later (he had to go to his college awards ceremony, well done Jack πŸ†).
Julie and Hannah had excelled themselves with their cake making skills again. This time Robyn’s cake was made completely out of fruit πŸ‰πŸ one of Robyn’s favourite things to eat  #fruitcake

Hope you had a good day Robyn 😘

‘Another Chance to Fly’


Monday 13th to Tuesday 14th June

A trip to Banbury on Monday afternoon for me and Robyn. We were visiting Costa coffee first for a while so I could have my blogging session. Whenever we decide to do this Robyn takes all her own lunch with her and I normally have a coffee and a cake! 

The bad thing was that I then needed to go shopping to get some last minute things for Robyn’s birthday. We were both already feeling very stressed about our housing situation and I know I was feeling pretty fed up generally. Neither of us were really feeling up to it! So Robyn decided to just wait for me in the car as she didn’t need anything herself. Well, as always I had a few disasters! and I seemed to come up against every problem there is going. The correct sizes of the things I wanted to buy were unavailable, ‘would she like this, would she like that’ and every till I went to seemed to have a problem of some kind or another. Grrrr! I took rather too long and Robyn was a bit grumpy with me when I eventually got back to the car 😠 We were quite late getting home.

On the way back Robyn suddenly started singing to the tune that was on the radio but she was inserting her own words. She made up some really funny songs. One was about prodding Leah with a fork when she got back (which she actually did when Leah was in the kitchen whizzing about at 100 miles an hour like she always does, preparing all her food for the next day! πŸ˜‚). At least this made us laugh for just a little while.

In the evening I came across these Unique plants from around the world. How great they are. And how amazing is nature 🌺🌼🌸

Tuesday was back to work. With an evening spent wrapping presents 🎁🎁🎁

When I was just a few months old this man was doing the first heart transplant!

Don’t let the worms eat ANY of our organs I say! Please ask everyone you know to sign the Organ Donor Register πŸ“

And here’s another lovely memorial @BurtonHospitals

Love that ‘Another Chance to Fly’ 

As always, massive thanks to my donors  πŸ•Š πŸ•Š

Heavy shower


Saturday 11th to Sunday 12th June

A Saturday spent at home. With Emma’s 21st birthday party in the evening. 

Robyn and Tom came along too but Leah had a last minute invitation to go to Devon with her friends so she took off there. Lucky thing being away for two weekends in a row!! 

We had a good evening with lots of dancing πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

And very delicious cake πŸ˜‹

Sunday was our Chipping Norton Town Festival,  which is a day of live music, childrens’ rides, hog roast, stalls etc. This year there was also a street party for anyone that wanted to join in and a cake competition, both to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.
It was raining first thing and I thought to myself that it was just going to be a washout, but it did clear up for a while. When the sun did come out it was actually very hot and then later it turned into showers with one being very suddenly particularly heavy. I think it caught everyone out πŸŒ‚

So I walked down with Gary and we joined Robyn who was already there with her friends. Julie and Hannah were there too for a short while. We all sat on the bales listening to the different bands and chatting. It was a fun afternoon and evening.

Weekend over!

Blogging heaven


Thursday 9th to Friday 10th June

So my first morning of volunteering starts today πŸ™‚

Important me!! all organised with my mug of tea for the journey. I even managed to catch my first choice of bus this morning too, normally I’m a few minutes late and I have to hang around for the next one 🚌 πŸ˜• 

I went back to see the man that has recently had a liver transplant, I met him last week briefly after my induction. It was good to have a chat with him, he seemed really nice, and he said he had enjoyed talking to me! I then went to see an elderly lady (who was actually in the same bed that I was in when I was on that ward having my two drains before my transplants!) She was very sweet but a bit confused and it was quite hard to keep a conversation going. Another man the doctor recommended for me to see was asleep when I went into his room so I didn’t wake him. They had an emergency on the ward so a lot of the staff were busy with that. So I decided to leave it at that for this morning. Being my first time there I was a little unsure of things and didn’t want to get in anyone’s way 😏

So I decided that while I was out in my car I would travel on to Banbury (to avoid all of Oxford’s terrible traffic) and go shopping. The fact that I needed to do this was really annoying me actually because I knew I had a whole lot of jobs I needed to be getting on with at home but I also knew I had a party to go to at the weekend and I didn’t really have anything suitable to wear for it!!! Anyway after lots of trying on I managed to get myself a new frock! πŸ‘—

By the time I got back it was another rush to get ready for my walk. It was actually this week that I quickly ate the two small sausage rolls and a few crisps like i told you I had done last week! Oops sorry πŸ˜” I think last week it was a filled wrap that I had to gobble down quickly 🌯 Not very important or interesting information I know, but I do like my blog to be accurate!!!

Friday morning. And Robyn says to me ‘so what have you got on your lip now?’ I look in the mirror.

Now what? Is this the same kind of thing that just appeared on my eye the other day? Am I continually going to keep getting all these weird little things?

Off I went to work 😏

Look at this.

How I wish I could take myself off and live there! Or was just able to visit for a day of blogging, coffee and cake eating 😝 Heaven!

Footballer Pinny?


Monday 6th to Wednesday 8th June

Well the girls had returned safely from their weekend in Scotland. Yay πŸ™‚

Poor hardworking Leah! had to go straight back to work but Robyn had her usual Monday off. As it was going to be yet another warm sunny day, when Robyn got back from her gym and yoga session we decided to take our lunch and have a little picnic. So we drove in to Banbury, took our blanket and went and sat by the side of the canal. A lovely way to pass a couple of hours. 

Then we had the food shopping to face πŸ˜– As the girls had been away for the weekend Leah hadn’t done her usual Saturday morning weekly shop! Now I have got out of the habit of having to do the food shopping I hate it when I do have to go, I never know what to buy, and Robyn hates taking me too as she complains that I take much too long as I always have a good look around at all the offers and everything :/ So I made sure that I was a good girl this afternoon and I just let Robyn take over and do it πŸ€— I think it was a bit more successful that way!

We went back to Julie and Hannah’s then to have some tea with them in the garden as it was a lovely evening. And Leah had come along also when she had finished work. Hannah had cooked some little new potatoes and we had some cold meats and salad with it. Yummy!

On Twitter today I read about an amazing miracle that happened for these Identical Twins. Just imagine how much more difficult things would have been if the donor hadn’t been a match for BOTH of them. What an extremely difficult decision would have had to have been made …

After yesterday’s nice day, Tuesday was just spent at work. And poor Robyn had to go back to work too πŸ’‡ after her week off, which she was not particularly looking forward to.

In the evening I was taxi driver for Gary and took him to Charlbury for his Riverside Festival meeting as he is one of the organisers for that, which is coming up in July. While we were in there we could hear a massive thunderstorm going on with lots of heavy rain β›ˆ and when I was driving home later the roads were steaming from where they had got so warm during the day and then all that rain had fell on them.

Wednesday and Happy 21st birthday Emma 🍾

I wasn’t feeling quite 100% today but I went to work in the morning and I don’t think I was able to do too much in the afternoon. In the evening I went with Gary to pick Emma and Jamie up and then we all went over to Gary’s mum and dad’s in Charlbury for a few nibbles for Emma’s birthday. It was yet another warm sunny evening spent in the garden. Then back to Bitter & Twisted where Emma met a friend for a birthday drink. So a late shower and bed, I needed to be up early in the morning!

Just thought I’d show you a pic of work underway on some new artwork to celebrate organ donation πŸ™‚ 

Also I wish I lived nearer to Widnes in Cheshire. I would definitely be going along to watch the Liverpool Transplant FC v #Hollyoaks football match taking place tomorrow. Following my new love of football, do you think they would let me sign up for the team Robyn? πŸ€”

Delicious meal


Saturday 4th to Sunday 5th June

A trip into Banbury on Saturday afternoon followed by some time spent sat in Gary’s garden as the weather was nice! So then the barbecue got fired up and we had a delicious meal πŸ˜‹

It was so nice I even finished the whole plateful!
Sunday was another nice day and so more time spent in the garden.

Our local pub, the Blue Boar, is closing after today to be refurbished and is going to be under new management when it reopens. So we went down to have our last drink there. It was VERY busy. We stood outside having a chat with our friends, one of them being the drummer in two of the bands we like to go and watch. We are all wondering if the new people will continue with the live music. We will have to find something else to do otherwise :/ It was a nice evening though, which was finished off nicely by having a meal out πŸ˜ƒ

Passed 😬


Thursday 2nd to Friday 3rd June

Thursday, and this afternoon I had my induction at the John Radcliffe hospital. I had passed all the checks including health and disclosure, and I must have been given good references πŸ˜€

We were all handed two tests today which we had to complete before we could actually start our volunteering duties – Fire Awareness and Safeguarding Adults. So I decided to stay on after the meeting and complete them straight away as I knew I would be distracted with other things to do when I got back home. So they brought me another mug of tea and I made a start. For both subjects there was some reading to be done and then a whole load of questions to be answered. My concentration is not good at all, put this together with the fact that I was sat in the hospital restaurant (and I like people watching!) and I was sat near a lady that wanted to keep chatting to me, I had to keep re-reading some of the questions to try to make them clear in my head! I find out my results tomorrow … πŸ˜–

I met up with Dr Collier then to update her on things. She briefly introduced me to a man who is in the hospital at the moment and who I think might be my first ‘patient’.

For some reason this took me back to when I was just led in my hospital bed in critical care when I was so extremely weak. I can remember a time when the nurse brought me a pen and some paper as I was trying to communicate (I’m wondering if it was when I had pneumonia and had the really big very tight mask on so I couldn’t talk) but I couldn’t control the pen or was even able to press down hard enough to make any sort of mark on the paper. I wasn’t even strong enough to be able to suck water up through a straw! Even though at times I do get upset when I think back, I do also think it is a good thing for me to do, so I can remember just how ill I was and how well I am doing now, as I am very hard on myself and often think I should be doing more.

I think I eventually got home about 6.30. I quickly ate two small sausage rolls and a few crisps and was straight back out for my evening walk 🚢🚢🚢

Leah and Jack had been a little more energetic than me and had been to the gym πŸ‹

Friday, and this morning Robyn and Leah went away with their dad to Scotland for the weekend. They were going to visit the town of Dunbar, which is also their surname!

A sad day for me though. I had to be at work early so that I could finish in time to go to my friend Sue’s funeral. She certainly was, and quite rightly so, a much loved and very popular lady – the church was packed full. Sue will be greatly missed.

One tiny bit of good news that was waiting for me when I got back and checked my emails, was that I passed my tests yesterday πŸ€— Can you believe that? And I only got 1 question wrong from each test. I’m cleverer than I thought!!