Monthly Archives: February 2017

Birthday weekend


Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th February

OMG i am 5️⃣0️⃣ !

A train ride to London, a walk around Camden Town and the markets there (thank you to Solomon who gave me a free ‘birthday’ cup of coffee).

A boat trip along Regents Canal to Little Venice, a visit to the scary London Dungeons, a bit of walking and various tube rides to get us from one place to another, spaghetti bolognese in Bella Italia! and a walk through Chinatown. This was how I spent this Saturday, my 50th birthday 🙂

Keep a look out for the piccies hopefully appearing soon on my Photos page 📸

And then on Sunday afternoon Robyn had arranged for some of my family to get together at a local cafe for a nice cup of tea and …

I got a birthday cake 🎂🤗

Scary swans 


Thursday 16th to Friday 17th February

I made it to volunteering this Thursday. Followed by one of my walks around the streets surrounding the hospital. A doctors appointment for my feet (yes I have finally given in 😏). And then my usual evening walk.

And as it was a nice sunny day on Friday we had a bit of an unexpected day out in Stratford. One of the conditions being that we had a walk along the side of the river so that I could clock up a few miles! So off we went – Robyn, Leah, myself, Julie, Hannah and her friend’s little boy Harley.

We had a tasty lunch, a jacket potato with chilli and cheese for me, and a good wander about. The walk along the river was fun. Feeding the ducks and the swans, Robyn and Harley being surrounded by them and then playing in the trees. A visit to a couple of shops and that was the afternoon soon over. 3.46 miles 👣 ✔️

Later on, when we had all got back home, it was time to try and sort a few things ready for my birthday outing tomorrow. Of course, just the same as all the other organising I have tried to do has caused me problems, this did too, resulting in long complicated phone calls with my sister and a mad dash down to her house to use her printer, which then also decided it was going to play up. But finally we managed to sort it all. Only then to receive a phone call from my brother being just a little awkward about the plans I had made for the day!  😩

Oh goodness me. I have had enough. It’s my birthday tomorrow and in some ways I wasn’t really looking forward to it 😶

Then I saw this heartwarming story ‘jumbo sweaters‘ – have a little read!
Goodbye forties 👋 you have certainly challenged me (in many, many, many ways) and right up until the very end too! I somehow made it through, goodness knows how at times 😳 

Now it’s very nearly time to say hello fifties 😱 – I’m ready for you …

Birthday wishes


Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th February

Happy 60th Birthday to my brother Peter 🍻 He had been taken off to Cyprus ☀️ for a week to celebrate, the lucky thing.

As it was a nice day here too, I went off for a Monday afternoon walk with my friend Kate.

Tuesday. Valentines Day 💕 And this time my sister’s birthday! Happy Birthday Julie 💐

So after a normal work day, in the evening a few of us went to the Toby Carvery restaurant in Banbury for a nice roast dinner to celebrate. I was looking forward to this but I was also wondering how my tummy would cope with it 😏

I’ve been to work on both Tuesday and Wednesday of this week but I still haven’t been feeling especially great while I’ve been there 😷 Since my ‘sickness’ last week, no matter what I seem to eat now has been giving me horrible pains in my tummy. What with this, and all the stress from still trying to arrange my outing to celebrate my birthday, food has not been high on my list of priorities. I guess as a result of that maybe, I am still feeling so tired and weak 😖 Makes everything so much harder to cope with. Not a great week so far.

If only I lived in Australia. I would just be able to visit this – ‘A behind-the-scenes look at organ and tissue donation, the Giving Life exhibition showcases the powerful stories of families and medical professionals touched by the gift of life’. It actually officially opens on my birthday so my problems would be solved!

And if my tummy was better I might be able to try these Scotch Creme Eggs. Look delicious don’t they, but think they may be a little sickly! Or how about these Cadbury Choc Tarts …

which apparently are coming out in the shops soon 😋

Chemotherapy? 😱


Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th February

I started to feel a little brighter from Thursday. Though very tired. I didn’t volunteer as I went to an appointment with Robyn. Then sneaked in a nice Costa coffee! ☕️ I wasn’t sure if I had recovered enough to be able to do the walk in the evening, but I gave it a try and I managed it 🙂

Friday was a trip to the Churchill Hospital in Oxford for a dermatology appointment. I didn’t realise until I got there that I was going for a full body skin check 😳 I thought it was just a check up for my procedures last year. But anyway, I have recently been waiting for this appointment to get here as the solar keratosis that I had removed from my lip last year has recently returned, although I noticed that some of it had come off itself just this Wednesday 😏. I still needed to get it checked out though along with a little dry patch of skin on my arm that I have also noticed, which is sometimes itchy.

They wanted to freeze the two things there and then but as it’s my birthday at the weekend I didn’t especially want to be left with a big red mark on my lip so the doctor said she would prescribe me with some Efudix cream and I could wait to start the treatment.

But since I have read about the cream, a form of topical chemotherapy, and the effects it’s going to have on my face while it’s working, I’m really not sure I want to go ahead and use it 😫

‘What are the side effects of Efudix cream? – The main side effect is skin irritation (dermatitis). The cream works by directly destroying the sun-damaged skin cells. This will cause intense inflammation, crusting, redness and oozing of the whole area treated. Inflammation is a good sign, as it shows the cream is having an effect. If the inflammation is too uncomfortable a steroid cream can be prescribed to calm down the inflammation.’

‘How long should I continue with the treatment? – After 2-4 weeks your skin will be red, crusty, and uncomfortable, this is what we want to happen. The cream can then be stopped, to allow healing.’

Oh goodness me ☹️

Leah was back from her holiday when I got in. She had a great time. But it was nice for me to have her back home.

A reasonably quiet weekend. 

A trip into Banbury on Saturday.

A visit to my sister’s on Sunday afternoon. I tried so hard to get the others to come out for a walk with me, but no, nobody would. So I just walked home on my own the long way round, in the rain! 🙃 just to get a tiny walk in.

Have a look at these two great things, a succulent turtle 🐢 and a mini pond 🐸 that you could have a go at making to go in your garden as Spring is coming – well hopefully. I love them both!

Sick 😷😩


Saturday 4th to Wednesday 8th February

A lovely day weatherwise so a nice country walk on Saturday afternoon.

Lots of cuddles with baby James when I got back.

Leah and Jack were babysitting! (I don’t think they got too much sleep 😱)

I went along to Gary’s in the evening. And then, from nowhere, I was very sick 😷

All through Saturday night into Sunday morning. Ugh 😩 

Towards the end I felt like I wanted to just lay down on the toilet floor and give up, I was in so much pain.

I kind of lost Sunday. I either just slept or was in some kind of daze. I literally could not get my body to move to get out of bed. Later in the day the diarrhoea started. Robyn came and picked me up and took me home. I was like a zombie! I went straight to bed. And slept some more.

Monday I still felt terrible. I didn’t want to spend any more time in bed though so I managed to shakily get myself downstairs and onto the sofa, and that is where I spent the rest of the day. I was very weak. I couldn’t face food. Could only manage sips of my drink. I had a headache and my eyes went very blurry 😨

Leah left for her ‘already booked’ few days away with her friends (in a lodge with a hot tub, the lucky thing) so Robyn, when she wasn’t at work or gallivanting about, was left to be my nurse. Hounding me to keep drinking and trying to get me to eat when she did appear!

I couldn’t go to work Tuesday or Wednesday. Thankfully I didn’t feel sick any more but I was still very weak and wobbly and so tired. By Wednesday afternoon I was able to manage a bit of a slow and unsteady walk along to the salon, but then at least I could just sit there while Robyn did my hair for me 💆

A very quiet and lonely few days. Didn’t like it, don’t like being so ill anymore 😩

But anyway, enough about me! Here’s a lovely story about a brave mum and her little boy.

And look at this 😳


Big puddle


Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd February

Work, an unexpected afternoon trip into Banbury with Leah, back to volunteering after not being able to make it for the last two weeks, another bizarre 2 mile walk around the outskirts of the hospital and then an evening walk where I got sprayed by a car as it drove through a big puddle! followed by another morning at work – this is how I filled these three days!

My feet were really hurting on my walk to work on Friday morning. I have been suffering with them for a while now and I have noticed that driving does make them hurt a bit more! 😫 I guess I really do need to go to the doctors and find out just what is going on. I’m hopefully not going to let it stop me doing my walking though.

Transplanting Pig Organs and Brain change in early PBC – two interesting articles I have found for you to have a read of.

And also – there’s new piccies on my Photos page 📸

Waterproof trousers


Saturday 28th to Tuesday 31st January

Just a trip into Banbury and then later a Chinese takeaway to celebrate Chinese New Year was how Saturday was spent!

A horrible wet Sunday 🌧 But me and Gary went out for a 3 mile walk in it!

We walked through our town, around the back of the church, through Pool Meadow, across The Common and then back through the town to finish.

A very wet and muddy walk, but I really quite enjoyed it. Just the very simple idea of wearing waterproof trousers makes such a difference, so much more comfortable and bearable. I would have been absolutely soaked otherwise.

Back for a shower and then we went out to listen to some music in the Blue Boar. It was just a young man singing on his own but quite unusually he was singing some different, older songs that you don’t usually hear anymore. I was quite happy sat in this comfy chair (which seemed to match my jumper!)

listening to the singing and watching a family – a few ladies and even the men! and two little girls in their pretty ‘party’ dresses, dancing.

Monday and Tuesday were just fairly quiet days. I made sure I got a little bit of walking done though, a walk into and around our town yet again! followed by my usual walk to work and back.

Even during my ‘quiet’ times I am usually doing something. Their just not very exciting to blog about maybe!  Normal everyday things. But like I have already said I am still trying to sort my bedroom out, I am a member of a few online groups made up of people suffering with PBC or who maybe have had their own transplants etc. so I like to to get involved with some of these and try to leave some helpful comments when I can! I’m trying to arrange a suitable time to meet a lady who is doing some research into PBC. I always like to take part in those things. I’m in the process of arranging to make my volunteer time at the JR last a bit longer throughout the day. Lots of little odd things like this. And I’m also trying to fit little extra walks in wherever I can now. Thank goodness I am feeling well at the moment so that I am able to do all of these things. I have lots of different stresses on me mentally at the moment, but physically (apart from the usual aches and pains that I just have to live with now) I seem to be doing okay 👌

One quite major thing I am trying to do at the moment is to think of a way I can celebrate my special birthday which is coming up in February, but I just seem to be coming up against lots of brick walls. How can you find an activity/day out that lots of different people are prepared to do? It’s almost impossible and it’s driving me mad! 😖

Big bed


Thursday 26th to Friday 27th January

I didn’t go volunteering this Thursday as Robyn had a doctor’s appointment and I went along with her. Robyn went back to work and I spent the rest of the day at home. I think I was fiddling about in my bedroom quite a lot as I still have stuff to sort out in there and a few more boxes still to unpack. I have too many clothes! I know its taking me a long time to do but I am trying to have a good sort out at the same time, rather than just stacking everything away in just whatever space I can find.

Leah has been waiting to get a new bed for I dont know how long 😖 Her old bed was not much use and finally broke last year sometime. She decided to postpone looking until we had moved into our new house – a nice new bed for a nice new bedroom!

Unfortunately she hasn’t been able to find one that she likes anywhere, so as Jack’s brother is a carpenter it was agreed that he could make one for her, a real nice chunky solid one, but this would need to be fitted around his regular work. Eventually it was done and it arrived in the house a few weeks ago but then – it didnt fit!!!!! Another wait for the ‘brother’ to have the time to come over and make the alterations, so meanwhile the bits of the bed were stored behind our sofa in the living room and behind the dining room table. But finally this evening, the time had come. It was all going up to the bedroom to be altered and fixed together. 

But it was time for my evening walk. I was kind of dreading coming back, as I thought something was bound to have gone wrong 😳 But thankfully it was all good 😆 So now for the varnishing …

Think I’d like to go and stay here while that’s going on! Don’t these Atlantic Surfpods look great? You could even stay in a treehouse 🙂

After that Friday was just a normal work day followed by jobs at home.

Cold ❄️


Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th January

An early start this Monday morning. I went to the Churchill Hospital with Robyn for her yearly check up appointment for her kidneys. I don’t know if you will remember that Robyn has Polycystic Kidney Disease which she has inherited from her dad (Leah also has it too. So I think we are now in competition to see who grows the biggest cysts! 😏)

This disease will hopefully not affect Robyn (or Leah) until she is much older and she is well at the moment, as far as this illness is concerned. While you can put everything to the back of your mind most of the time and carry on with your daily life, I know from my own experience that when you have your clinic appointments everything becomes a little bit more ‘real’ for a while, so I like to go along to all the appointments that I can to give my support 😐

I decided I liked yoga 🙏 and went back again this evening.

I went for a lovely walk with Kate and Dougal after work on Tuesday. It was very squelchy and slippy in places, I wasn’t sure that we would complete the walk without either of us falling into the mud, but we managed it! Also isn’t it amazing how you can live in a place for 49 years and still not know where a footpath that I have already walked many times before can actually take you, if only I had ever just thought to carry on walking a bit further! Now I know where to go (well I think I do) I will definitely be doing this walk again.

And then I saw this when I was walking home 🌅

Wednesday was SO cold. And when you are sat on the tills in Co-op I think you may just as well be sat outside! I was absolutely frozen. A colleague on the till in front of me gave me her fingerless gloves and her blanket to wrap around me while she was on her lunch break, because she knew how cold I was. So kind of her to do that! It did help a bit 😀

I was glad to get home. But then after about an hour, I went back out into the cold again for a walk with my friend and her dog 🐶 I must be mad!