Monthly Archives: September 2017

Blackberry and Crab Apple Jelly ๐Ÿ˜‹


Monday 28th August to Friday 8th September

So after an enjoyable but very tiring weekend at The Big Feastival, what did I do on this Bank Holiday Monday? (Bearing in mind that I needed to be at work at 8am Tuesday morning too :/ ) So did I choose something nice and relaxing? No, I decided to give the inside of my car a real good spring clean! (Thankfully Gary had kindly offered to wash the outside of it for me ๐Ÿ˜€)

The rest of August was spent at work, having a cuppa with Jackie and sitting on a bench in the middle of town and having a coffee with Nina (where I was lucky enough to receive samples of the finished products from our recent fruit picking walk, Blackberry and Crab Apple Jelly ๐Ÿ˜‹)

Food shopping with Leah, a leg massage (using some of a voucher which was my birthday present from my sister Lynda) and of course walking ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

And then it became September.

Work, a shopping trip to Witney, a drive to Chipping Camden, a usual trip to Caffรจ Nero, a nice country walk with Jackie, a successful volunteering visit (after having a bit of a break over the summer for various reasons) and of course more walking ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

Look at this. It seems like I’m not the only person that likes to collect ‘rubbish’! Although this nurse has done something quite amazing with all of hers – she’s made a lovely plastic mural which now hangs in Toronto General Hospital, the place where she collected them all from ๐Ÿ˜€

The Big Feastival


Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th August

Back to The Big Feastival, a lovely sunny Saturday too ๐ŸŒค

(We had already spent Friday evening at the Feastival, watching Louisa Johnson (an ex X Factor winner), watching Toploader (a band from the 90s), their most famous song that you might know being Dancing in the Moonlight, singing and dancing along with Alex James and Jamie Oliver while they were both behind the dj booth competing against each other to play the best old and very well known songs and then later dancing with Gary in the silent disco ๐Ÿ’ƒ)

Robyn joined us later on the Saturday. We watched Ella Eyre and danced to Olly Murs and later went back to the silent disco again (which was one of my favourite things!)

It was just SO hot on the Sunday. We all needed to find some shade at times. I enjoyed my black coconut flavoured ice cream! which helped to cool me down for a little while. In the evening we made our way to the barriers right at the front so that Gary could watch his favourite band Madness play.

We did lots of walking around all over the weekend, looking at all the stalls and watching everything that was going on. We tried free samples from the various food stands. We saw people we knew from our town and we saw a couple of famous people! We did silly things …

Gary sampled the Italian beer, Robyn the gin! and I had a really lovely cheese and pesto toasted sandwich (in fact I think I might well have had two of these ๐Ÿท). In the evenings we sat and had a quick warm by the fire pit ๐Ÿ”ฅ

What a great weekend it had been. 

I was now very tired and aching. We had walked at least 13 miles.

Have a look at just some of my Feastival pics on the Photos page …

I went to football! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th August

Wednesday – I was lucky enough to go and watch my first live professional football match ๐Ÿ˜ This was a promised 50th Birthday present from Robyn and Tom.

Cheltenham Town v West Ham (EFL Cup match, second round)

I was very spoilt as we were in a box, we had a lovely meal before the match with coffee and biscuits served at half time and it was a lovely warm sunny evening. It was also only a small stadium so we had a really good view of the pitch.

I even got interviewed by a man from the local radio station, asking me my thoughts on how I thought Cheltenham had played during the match! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿคฃ

Look how close I got to Joe Hart when the players were leaving the stadium! For those of you that don’t know he’s West Ham and England’s goal keeper. He didn’t actually play during this match though.

I would love to go to the football again. Maybe next time I should stand amongst all the supporters, eat a pie and get freezing cold and see if I enjoy it as much ๐Ÿค”

Thursday – A trip to Yarnton Garden Centre with Leah, who saw some cute little crabs in a tank and suddenly got the urge to have some as her new pets ๐Ÿ˜

Friday – At last it was time for my appointment with the gynaecologist! He finally explained the results of my previous biopsy and the treatment that I needed to have. Scary ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Now to wait for the hospital appointment to come through.

An extremely quick cuddle with baby James and then off to The Big Feastival I go …

Secret mission


Saturday 19th to Tuesday 22nd August

A trip into Banbury on both days this weekend!

Gary needed to get a new glass panel for his door which was followed by getting an all day breakfast ๐Ÿฅ“ ๐Ÿณ in a local cafe!

Then a visit to the Banbury Food Fair. The Flower & Produce Show runs alongside which I always find fascinating. How do people manage to grow such perfect things? How do we know that they haven’t really just gone out and bought the best they could find in the local supermarket? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿคฃ

Monday was a secret mission to London! with both Robyn and Leah joining me.

Up early to catch the Oxford Tube and then we spent the morning doing lots of walking, getting lost :/ and sightseeing around London.

A quick stop for some food which we hardly had time to eat! but at least the waitress helped us to sort out our next stations, train journeys and times, which definitely saved us some time and confusion.

Unfortunately I can’t go into every detail about what happened next, but it was quite an amazing adventure. Pictures of my scar were taken, so you now know that it was something connected with this department! I will always try and do my bit to help where I can ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Time to travel back. I think we eventually got home around 9.30pm. An exhausting day, both physically and mentally. I’m really pleased I did it though. And yes, if I get the chance, I will do it again!

At work for 8am Tuesday morning. You could say I was rather tired ๐Ÿ˜ด When I got back later in the afternoon it seems like my body decided it really couldn’t do anything else. I even had a little afternoon nap. There was certainly no walk for me today either ๐Ÿ˜•

Please sign the Organ Donor Register ๐Ÿ™‚


It’s Organ Donation week.

“Thanks to my donor I am alive

Thanks to my donor I can breathe

Thanks to my donor I can drink

Thanks to my donor I can eat

Thanks to my donor I can travel

Thanks to my donor I can laugh

Thanks to my donor for my life

Thank you my donor, my lifesaver, my hero”

If you haven’t already, please consider joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and then have a chat with your family and let them know your wishes as they are the ones that have to make the final decision, at what would be a very tough time for them.

‘Last year 88 families declined to donate despite knowing their loved one was on the Organ Donor Register’

‘There were 519 people waiting on the transplant list for a liver at the end of March this year’

‘The average waiting time for a liver transplant is 145 days for adults and 72 days for children. However, your waiting time may be a lot shorter if you are on a high-priority waiting list’

I got my first liver in just over a month and my second within five days! How lucky was I?



Sunday 13th to Friday 18th August

A couple of extra nice walks this week.

A walk with Robyn, her friend Shanice and Gary, which ended up being over 5 miles. We just seemed to keep on walking! It also seemed to be the afternoon for seeing wildlife, both dead ๐Ÿ˜ซ and also very much alive. Two deer, chickens and SO many rabbits. 

A walk with Nina which was over 6 miles! We set out to go blackberry and crab apple picking as Nina had previously seen where there were lots. And there certainly were. We got loads. It was good fun. I haven’t done this for many many years. The warm sun ๐ŸŒค was shining down on us too.

We then decided to carry on walking. Nina showed me the way to a different bridlepath nearby which I haven’t been down before. It went through some really lovely woodland and countryside. I would really like to walk it again.

We came out near Sarsden, made our way to the village of Churchill and then walked home from there. My feet were hurting A LOT by the end of it, I was pretty tired (I had already walked to work for 8 o’clock that morning and then home again) but it had been a really nice, enjoyable walk.

A visit to Banbury to see my original consultant Dr Ellis. He finally agreed that it is a bit of a waste of my time to have an appointment with him when I am still quite regularly going to Birmingham. They look after me there, there is nothing else he can really do for me at the moment. I did feel a little sad about this though, I have been regularly seeing him for many years, it was Dr Ellis that actually diagnosed what was wrong with me and he has looked after me through my many years of suffering with PBC. Although if I can keep doing well, my consultant in Birmingham may one day decide to share my care with Dr Ellis, so sometimes I might be able to go to Banbury for some of my check ups and I will get to see him again ๐Ÿ™‚

I spoke to a doctor at my surgery as I needed to order some more Noresthisterone (hormone) tablets. The doctor I spoke to wasn’t too keen on the idea, she said people normally didn’t stay on them for as long as I have done. I explained that I needed them because they were stopping the heavy bleeding that I would otherwise get. I also explained that I had an appointment soon with my consultant to try and sort out what the plan of action was going to be to finally sort me out in this department! So she agreed in the end that she would prescribe me some more of these tablets, as long as I only took them for a short time.

I have been given this extra appointment as there has been a lot of confusion going on. I was getting phone calls for appointments for treatment which I refused, because I didn’t know anything about it as there was a big delay in me actually receiving the letters which the doctors had actually written for me! ๐Ÿ˜ So I am kind of looking forward to seeing my consultant so that I can hopefully find out what’s going on and get things sorted. It’s been ongoing since April โ˜น๏ธ

Some nights I don’t sleep too well. I wake up to go to the loo then my mind starts racing and I can’t get back to sleep. One night this week was particularly bad, I didn’t sleep well from 3am, which is very tough when I have to be up early for work.

Maybe it’s because of the above that just lately I keep remembering my dreams? The following two came to me when I was sat on my till, so I wrote all the details down so that I could remember to tell you about them!

I think I was in a hotel on holiday, sat around a swimming pool with some members of my family watching some kind of entertainment that was taking place in the water. We moved around the pool to get a better look, I left my iPad behind and when I realised and went back to look it had gone ๐Ÿ˜ณ I started to madly look about for it. For anyone that knows me well they will tell you that this would be my very worst nightmare. Thankfully I woke up then and realised that my iPad was in the bed right next to me! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I also remember lots of old ladies attending a service at the church in our town but bizarrely they were all stood around outside singing. This one seems to be a very short dream!

My mind is very weird! ๐Ÿ˜–

New tyres ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


Saturday 5th to Saturday 12th August

Up very early to set off on my holiday (with Gary and his family) to Crantock, near Newquay in Cornwall ๐Ÿ–

We arrived early afternoon and the sun was shining โ˜€๏ธ It didn’t stay perfectly dry for the whole of the week though, we had some rain too ๐ŸŒง

We spent some time on a couple of different nearby beaches when we could. We visited a cider farm and an ice cream farm!

I went go karting ๐ŸŽ !!! The others I went with are all SO extremely competitive so there was a bit of a battle going on as it was very important to each of them that they were the winner. I’m not competitive in the slightest. I was last! All I achieved was a bruised bum the next day ๐Ÿ˜

When the tide was out one morning we walked across where the River Gannel usually is! and on into Newquay. We walked around the shops, to the beach, to the harbour and then we walked to Fistral Beach where Boardmasters, a surf, skate and music festival, was taking place.

(Photo courtesy of Gary Walker ๐Ÿ™‚)

A great day that was.

I went out for as many walks as I could. It was just so lovely to be able to walk on the beach and feel the sand in my toes and also be able to walk along paddling in the waves. One evening we did the Gannel Estuary Walk (the tide was in this time) so we got to watch the paddleboarders coming down the river ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿฝ Made a nice change from pounding the streets of Chipping Norton.

During the week I think we had about 3 family barbecues in the evenings. We also went to the karaoke where Tim (Gary’s brother in law) became a star from singing his Elvis songs!!! The whole clubhouse loved him and kept chanting his name! It was funny ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

There were some lovely sunsets ๐ŸŒ…

It was SO busy on the roads, I think it must have been peak holiday time, so when we tried to get to places we got stuck in such horrendous traffic. This was pretty frustrating for everyone, just sitting there with nowhere to go ๐Ÿ˜

So one day, after a nightmare of trying to find somewhere to park, we got the Park & Float (rather than the Park & Ride) ferry into Falmouth. That was a nice little boat trip up the river, and no cars anywhere! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

And then the holiday ended with all of us having a meal out together in one of the local pubs.

The journey home started off with a search for two new tyres for Gary’s car as he had discovered they were bald and therefore illegal :/ So after finding a garage and waiting for them to be changed, we finally set off on the long trip home.

Have a look at some of my other holiday pics on the Photos page ๐Ÿ“ท