Out and About – Just for a change;-)

After a pretty miserable start to the year, things now seem to be more settled. The cough from my cold has finally gone, and my energy levels appear to be lasting longer. Although I have also accepted the fact finally (I think), that my stamina levels are never going to be what they used to be. Part of this is just down to the fact that I am getting older, but even though my activity levels have not changed much, I am definitely noticeably slower than I was last year, especially when I am walking. When we go out walking now my hubby is having to slow down his stride a lot more than he used to so as I can catch up, this does not however manage to stop me getting annoyed by people that walk slower than me… This I am sure will cause great amusement for my children, as when they were young they were always asking me to slow down!

After my last blog, I had a lovely but quiet Mother’s Day and a surprise card from my daughter in Canada. As the UK has a different date for Mothers day to the rest of the world she usually sends one in May, which is fine by me as I get to celebrate it twice.  My grandson also brought me a lovely pot plan in a little watering can, but the excitement got the better of him so a lot of the soil ended up on the hall floor.

We didn’t go out, which is just as well as it was one of those days where I needed to be near the loo. I don’t know about anybody else, but I always feel like I am under house arrest on those kind of days, can’t even take the dog out for a walk.

The weekend after Mother’s day we were off to London for a couple of days, but before we went the snow came down, and for us it was the worst we have had all winter. Living in the Midlands though we had got off very lightly compared to other parts of the country. On the Saturday before we left my grandson brought his mum and dad around for breakfast, and then he spent the rest of the morning wandering around the house in Moopa’s motorcycle helmet and gloves. Watched TV with it on, steamed up when it got to hot in there bumping into no end of things whilst refusing point blank to take it off. He truly was a delightful sight to behold!!

In the evening we had our friends Greg and Shelle over for a meal, we had an early start as we didn’t want a late night. It wasn’t until it was time for them to go home that we realised how much snow had come down, in the space of a couple of hours we had over 3 inches of the white stuff. The next morning it wasn’t any better, resulting in our taxi to the station being over half an hour late, we made our train with literally 2 minutes to spare. It is 6 years since we have visited London, the last time was for my 50th in January 2012, and let me tell you it was a lot colder this time than last. We had a nice hotel just off Park Lane, and after booking in and dropping off our bags went for a wander. Cutting through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace we then walked up the Mall to Trafalgar Square and a visit to the National Portrait gallery. We didn’t stay in the gallery long though as it was far to busy, so we made our way back to the hotel, grabbed something to eat and had an early night ready for the main event the next day, the reason for our visit, the Natural History Museum.

After a good breakfast we ventured out having decided to walk to the museum, well it seemed like a good idea at the time… Starting with the war memorial on Hyde Park corner we saw for the first time bronze cast WWII memorial to RAF Bomber Command, what a wonderful commemoration to those who fought so hard for the freedoms we enjoy today. I defy anybody not to be moved emotionally when they see it up close.

From there we wandered on down past the Albert Hall and Memorial, through Kensington and a visit to the Diana memorial. Overall the walk to the museum took us an hour and a half, by which time I was flagging. Hard to believe that 6 years ago I did the Moonwalk for the second time to raise funds for beast cancer without giving it a second thought, all 26.2 miles of it. Now after a few miles I was done, don’t get me wrong the moon walk is not easy, but apart from a bit of stiffness the next day and a few missing toenails, I never suffered any after effects. So first stop when we arrived was the café for a caffeine boost and a dose of painkillers. Then we started our visit  off `with the Dinosuars, and even though we knew he wouldn’t be there when we arrived, it was still a major disappointment not to see Dippy the Diplodocus there to greet us in the entrance hall as he is off touring the country.

As always we had a great time, there is so much to see and as a result we only got half way around before closing time. So you know what that means, we need to go back. After we left we got the tube back to Leicester Square so as we could eat, the square was packed as it was the premier of the latest Stephen Speilberg film, and there were barriers up around the cinema where is was being held with big screens showing who was arriving. We saw Stephen Speilberg on the big screen going in, but we didn’t hang a around as it is not really our thing. We had a lovely meal at Steak & Co, we discovered the place on our last visit. They serve the steak on the hot stones, it was delicious and well worth the detour on the way back to the hotel.

When we got home on Tuesday I was very tired and sore, but I didn’t care as we had had such a lovely time. It was worth it. So I spent the next couple of days mostly on the settee with my close friend the hot water bottle, as we were having our grandson for a sleep over I needed things to calm down, and quickly. We had great fun with him, and his headgear of choice this time was a white hard hat with earmuffs!!

By now I knew I was on the down ward slope to jab day as fatigue was hitting me big time, but I did manage to meet up with my old team from work for a meal, Teresa, Ann and Margaret, last time I wasn’t well enough to make it. We had a great time and laughed all night, I do miss them all so it is good to be able to touch base every so often. We are more than just colleagues we really are good friends.

But the travelling wasn’t over for me, following my jab I was off to Manchester with the girls on Good Friday. We had booked a hotel last year as we had tickets for this years ‘Dance for Life’ for cancer research. As it was unfortunately cancelled we decided to still have the night away as it was all booked, so we had an early start to get a full day in. Starting with a glass of Prosseco on the train to get the party started and an early check in at the hotel we went for breakfast. Then for me it was followed by a visit to the Apple store, not I may add by choice. The day before our big brown hound decided that for whatever reason, my phone was easy picking and completely destroyed the cover and cracked the screen. The cover definitely saved its life, but it was still an expensive fix, and unlike our old dog he showed no remorse.

Once it was back in working order we did a bit of shopping and then met up with the rest for a lovely meal at the “Grand Pacific”, followed by everyone piling into our room for a pyjama party with wine and snacks.  Much more civilised than fighting our way to the bar in the centre of Manchester on a good Friday night after a day on our feet.  Well that’s my opinion anyway, and I’m sticking to it!

I also received one of my new favourite things whilst in Manchester, my Tropic Skin Care travel pack. My friend Bridgette’s daughter Lisa is an ambassador for this range of skin care, and after hearing rave reviews from Bridgette I decided to give it a go. Now I don’t usually get excited by this sort of thing, but wow; this stuff really is the bees knees.

The difference in my skin is amazing, for the first time in years the skin tone on my face is quite even, I have rosacea, it is quite mild these days but I still get a very red face especially around my t-zone. Since treatment started, I don’t seem to get the same problems I did with the spotty rash, but I am still very red in the t-zone area, or should I say I was, it is now more pink. After two weeks the fade in colour for me is most noticeable on my nose. Also on Lisa’s recommendation I bought the mini Tamanu balm to try on my skin lesions and keyhole surgery scars. I really wish I had taken some before and after photo’s, as the bright red surgery scars I have had for the past three years are fading, as are my pink skin lesions. Usually I am a massive sceptic when it comes to this sort of thing, but I truly am amazed and have now stumped up the cash to buy the full size products so as I can save my travel pack for travelling.

If you want to know more please check out Lisa’s Tropic page, and if you have any questions or are interested in trying any of the products, I am sure she will be more than happy to help😀

After a busy Easter I was back on the settee again, including one day mostly in bed, but there is always something to focus on and keep me going. I have re-started a jumper I was knitting for Arthur, as I haven’t touched it for 12 months I have had to rip it back and start for scratch as he is now 12 months bigger. But time on the settee makes it grow quicker, I also made the latest Stoke NET natter meeting this time. As always it was a good meeting and it was nice to see a couple of new faces, to me anyway. One of the conversations we had was on pain and our perception of it, it was very interesting, in that most of us came to the conclusion that our pain threshold is probably higher than a lot of people as so many of us live with it on a daily basis. This then makes it more difficult to explain to others when we are asked to explain and rate it, when you are living with something every day it gets very hard to break it down and describe as it is no longer something out of the ordinary. I know that for me on some days this can make me my own worst enemy, as I will put up with the pain for maybe longer than I should before taking action.

So what is next on the agenda? Well it is that time again, and on Wednesday I will be getting my scans done, with the results 2nd May. To take my mind off it I am going on a yoga retreat with my friends Shelle and Amanda, the best bit is that it is in Tuscany Italy. I am going to have my jab a few days early to save having to take it through security at the airport, so fingers crossed that everything behaves both before and during. It is a shame that I cannot afford to distract myself in similar ways every time results are due. I will give you a full update when I get back. Namaste 🙏🏻

“I’m not afraid of dying, it’s time I’m afraid of…” Interstellar 2014

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