Author Archives: valpinny



Friday 12th to Wednesday 17th February

I had received a phone call from a doctor at the John Radcliffe Hospital. Would I like to take part in the OCTAVE study, which aims to measure the immune response to the Covid-19 vaccination in immunosuppressed patients.

Yes of course, I’m always up for helping with research.

I arrived for my appointment. I knew straight away that the first nurse was not going to be too successful in getting any blood from me, she was being way too gentle! You can’t be like that with my veins, their very tiny and they disappear when the needle goes in (that’s what I’ve been told on many previous occasions) and you can’t mess around with them! She got a little bit out from two attempts but my veins just kept giving up on her and they really needed to have more blood from me. A junior doctor came to have a look, he decided he didn’t really want to attempt it. So I suggested that I went up to the liver ward (where I volunteer) to see if anyone there could get some (it was SO nice to be back to see the hustle and bustle of the ward again, to have a cup of tea and a little chat, I have missed going there). Anyway the first nurse had one attempt, no luck. The second nurse finally managed to get some – on her third attempt!

Six attempts all together! I haven’t had such a problem like that since when I was ill. Trying to take my blood was always a nightmare then.

After all of that performance it was then time for yet another jab, my Covid vaccination.

No side effects from this first time, lets wait and see about the next.

Happy Birthday to my brother πŸŽ‰

Happy Birthday to my sister 🎁

And Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone πŸ’–



Monday 8th to Thursday 11th February

It’s been SO cold, I can’t bear it πŸ₯Ά

Makes for some good photo opportunities though.

My succulents in the snow

and despite the snow, Spring is on it’s way 🌱

On a little trip out I just had to do some dangerous roadside photography, I just couldn’t resist! It all looked so amazing.

Mother Nature sure does create some beautiful things.

Back in January Leah decided to make us a little birdwatching area in our garden!

She bought a flat pack bird table and put it all together herself, got some logs and made a little woodland area too, and has been putting out fresh food and water daily.

Nothing came ☹️ for ages 😰

But now – we’ve finally got some little visitors coming to our garden πŸ˜ƒ

This was the first one I spotted, I managed to get a quick pic through the blind.

We think it’s a pied wagtail. He comes with his little friend every day. Every now and then you will see them grab a mealworm but these two little wagtails mainly just wander about on our gravel 😍



Monday 1st to Sunday 7th February

Is this the most exciting news of the year so far?!

January is over (although I do like January) and it’s the start of a perfectly square month.

According to Wikipedia, February is the only month of the year that, once every 6 years then twice every 11 years consecutively, features 4 full seven days weeks (starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday). It last occurred in 1965, 1971, 1982, 1993, 1999 and 2010.

Simple pleasures. (It’s also my birthday month!)

So where do you fancy going this Squarebruary?! Have a look at this and see where you might go …

I love these drawings based around food and drink which I saw on the Internet.

Aren’t they great? Some people are so clever πŸ‘

Jigsaw gene 🧩


Wednesday 27th to Sunday 31st January

It was nice to get out for a Sunday walk to somewhere different, even though it was painful!

What do you think?!

My mum used to love doing jigsaw puzzles. She was very good at them, she used to do difficult ones – Wasgij, where you don’t actually know what the picture is going to turn out to be and also she enjoyed doing double sided ones 😱

So I’ve started one of my Christmas presents now. It sometimes frustrates me and it takes me an awful long time, I didn’t seem to get the jigsaw gene from my mum, but this one is quite fun to do featuring all the things that happened during 2020.

This is just one of the exhibitions that has been displayed in one of the Oxford University Hospitals recently.

“During this extraordinary year, art – created by, and of, staff in our hospitals – has played a really important role in our hospitals, offering gratitude, support, a release, and documenting this moment in time.”

Have a look at the photos of staff at work during the Spring 2020 peak of the pandemic, which were displayed for the #OneTeamOneOUH exhibition

Now I had some bizarre enough dreams as it is when I was very poorly in Critical Care. Some of them were about the staff that were looking after me but were all set in different unusual situations, so I dread to think what on earth I would have been dreaming about when all the staff that were dealing with me were having to wear all these awful masks and goggles and whatever 😏

Very confusing and scary for the seriously ill patients now.

Very uncomfortable and difficult times for the staff.

THANK YOU NHS – you are all quite amazing 🀩

Snow ❄️


Saturday 23rd to Tuesday 26th January

A snowy Sunday.

Look at this amazing photo, Chipping Norton from the air.

I saw it on our town’s Facebook group and just had to share it.

I could only make it out to the back garden, so this is my snow picture. Not as spectacular but I thought it looked quite nice!

Anyone else feel like this?

New wellies


Wednesday 13th to Monday 18th January

On 13th January 2015 I went live on the transplant list.

From my blog back on that day –

“Tuesday morning I get the call. I’m now live on the transplant ‘Priority’ list. Phones to be kept charged, not on silent etc. Now on standby for call any time, day or night. Wonder how hard this is going to turn out to be, could be out shopping, in the shower, having a meal, anything 😏

So if I go quiet you will know where I am!”

And we all know what happened next πŸ₯

That was 6 years ago now, gosh I was SO unwell at that time.

Thanks to my two donors and their families I am now fit and well.

And able to spend some of my time in the kitchen making these chocolate cupcakes!

Myself and Leah also tried the Breakfast wrap hack

Perhaps a bit more filling next time, but it was rather πŸ˜‹

Time to christen my new wellies. My old ones have been leaking for so long. Such a treat to not come back from a walk with wet and muddy socks and feet!

I love them 😍

Mind blowing


Thursday 7th to Tuesday 12th January

‘The world is currently experiencing a pandemic of an infectious disease called coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19. COVID-19 is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and is part of a large family of coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are transmitted from animals to people, with this particular strain of coronavirus thought to have originated from a seafood market in the city of Wuhan in China in late December of 2019. Symptoms of COVID-19 resemble that of the common cold, with those infected often experiencing fever, coughing and shortness of breath. However, infection can lead to pneumonia, multi-organ failure, severe acute respiratory syndrome and even death in more severe cases. The elderly and those with pre-existing chronic health conditions have accounted for the majority of deaths from COVID-19.’

On 31st January 2020 the first two cases of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom were confirmed. At the end of February there were 23.

On 11th January 2021 there were 45,533 new people with a confirmed positive test result reported!

And between 31st January 2020 and 11th January 2021 there have been 3,164,051 people who have had a confirmed positive test result.

Over 90 million cases have been confirmed worldwide and the disease has claimed nearly two million lives.

You can see from the above figures how quickly it has spread and how much it has affected people all over the world.

Now many things have blown my mind during this coronavirus pandemic, many things about it are way above my understanding, but can you actually believe that the total amount of Covid-19 that is infecting humans around the world would fit into little more than a teaspoon?!

“All the chaos in the world … is down to a teaspoon’s worth of trouble”

Have a read ofΒ World’s Covid almost fits on a teaspoon

Now I know that this article was published back in November 2020 and the number of cases has now gone up but even so, the mathematician says that even at the upper end of his estimates, all the Covid virus on the planet would fit inside a shot glass.


How can that do so much damage!!!

In other exciting news – This is the cover photo of our town’s new 2021 calendar. I sent in two picture entries back before Christmas and one of my photographs was chosen to be December’s pic 🀩 so watch this space …



Friday 25th to Thursday 31st December

Happy Christmas Day πŸŽ…

Leah cooked for us, we had the most delicious Christmas dinner πŸ˜‹

#ILoveStars 😍

As always I was VERY spoilt with ALL of the wonderful presents I received.

Myself and Leah were very excited when we woke up one morning to find snow β˜ƒοΈ

Off we went on an early morning walk πŸ‘£ It was freezing πŸ₯Ά

Some great photo opportunities for us both though!

So now its time to send you my best wishes for 2021 πŸŽ‰

Let’s see what this next year is going to throw at us …