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Category Archives: Personal anecdote

Reblog: Post treatment update

I thought you would be interested to hear how Lanthie is doing, following her treatment for throat cancer, so here’s her latest update…

Lump, what lump?

So here I am 3 months after my treatment.  I have my follow-up PET scan next week and I am nervous as hell.

For the first scan, I knew I had cancer.  It was a matter of finding out where it was. It was pretty routine for me at that point as I was being pocked and prodded daily by some or other specialist.  This scan is a bit more serious for me.  It tells me if the HELL I have gone through has been worth it and will tell me if I am clear or not.

I am reluctant to go for this scan as I’m worried I may not be clear – even if I’m told that the prognosis is very good and I have nothing to worry about.  “Oh and by the way if anything is left we will operate and remove it. ”  I’m told by…

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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Blogging, Personal anecdote

 

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March of the Internet Nobody, day twenty six: Memories of mum…

There have been a lot of matri-centric activities today; ringing mum this morning to wish her happy mothers’ day, watching Rhonda opening her gift from Audrey (a book of 150 cup cake recipes, silicon cup cake moulds and assorted cake decorations; are you seeing a theme developing here?) and every other post on Facebook has been paying tribute to (UK) mums on their special day.

This inevitably leads me to thoughts of my mother, Ann, who died from a sudden and unexplained brain tumor when I was just nine years old.

It’s amazing how vivid and emotive the past remains; the microscopic electrical pulses and complex interconnected cells which make up our phenomenally powerful storage banks are capable of accessing and replaying sights, sounds and smells from over forty years ago, turning our heads into private Imax theatres, in which we can revisit treasured memories as if they happened only yesterday.

I have many such memories of mum, a woman who I’m sure passed on both her love of life and her relaxed outlook to myself and my sister, she had a mischievous sense of fun and a ready laugh which I can still hear if I close my eyes and think of her.

But the real revelation, the proof that my recall wasn’t of the rose coloured glasses variety, that comes when I look at photos of her from before I even existed.

Dad was a keen amateur photographer and I clearly remember him taking over the bathroom and turning it into a darkroom to develop photos when we were kids, but it wasn’t until my aunt, mum’s sister Jane, gave me a whole load of old family photos, including many that dad had taken of mum, both before and after they were married, that I got a glimpse into the life of the young woman who would eventually bring me into the world. There were also photos from mum and dad’s wedding (some of which were apparently taken by “Home Counties Newspapers”) and a few other professional family portraits that I hadn’t seen before and I thought I’d share some of them with you today.

So here are a selection from that wonderful archive, in memory of Ann and all the other mothers who didn’t see their children grow up to make them proud; starting with a series of contact prints that I’m guessing are from a home photo session, and they perfectly capture the mischievous sense of fun I remember so well. I can just imagine her, trying not to laugh in some of these seriously posed shots.

There are these large portraits, which are two of my favourites.

And a couple I think must have been taken in a local studio.

Then there are the wedding photos, which make me smile every time.

And finally, I came along to spoil the fun.

*****
For Ann.

Many thanks to Jane for preserving the family archive.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2017 in Personal anecdote, Photography

 

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Stream of consciousness Sunday: Mum’s the word…

I’m giving The Accumulator a break this week and using Linda G Hill‘s prompt for SoCS to mark a special day.

Linda’s inspiration for today’s post is;

” “march.” Use it any way you’d like. “

Well, as it happens…

Mum’s the word.

Today, March 26th, is mothers’ day here in the UK and it’s a day to pay tribute to those determined and long suffering women who kept us alive and well before we could do it for ourselves and who are there at the heart of the family whenever we need help and support.

The term “stepmother” should only be used when preceded by “wicked” in pantomime as far as I’m concerned; there should be no distinction between a biological mother and a woman who takes on the responsibility to love and care for another woman’s children, she’s a mother and that’s all there is to it.

My own mother (about whom, more later) sadly died when I was only nine years old, but that tragic loss meant that my sister and I gained a second mum, the one who will be surrounded by the rest of her children and grandchildren today, back in my old Sussex hometown, from where I spoke to her this morning as she prepared to receive her first visitors of the day.

So today’s post is just a quick thank you to the woman who brought up her own kids at the same time as welcoming Kerry and I into her home and has been a pillar of support to the whole family ever since. 

Sue, my mum; travel addict, history enthusiast, expert cook and consummate grandmother, here’s to you, HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY.

With my dad, Martin.

Mmmm, ice cream. With Audrey, doing the “new” grandmother thing…

…and Audrey, mum and me, Beachy Head, Eastbourne, summer 2016.
Happy mothers’ day to all the rest of the mums reading this, I hope you are being thoroughly spoiled.

*****
Coming up, memories of another mother…
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Posted by on March 26, 2017 in Personal anecdote, Photography

 

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And then there was the ’80s, luvvie…

Here, then, is my contribution to the My First Post Revisited feature, as nominated by Luccia Gray from Rereading Jane Eyre.
It was in fact my fourth ever post and documents the first leg of a youthful theatrical group’s trip to the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival.

Down the time tunnel we go…

Diary of an Internet Nobody.

Back when the 21st century was still just a suffix in the title of Sci-fi novels and documentaries about robots doing the hoovering for you, an intrepid band of teenage drama nerds embarked on a mission to self-finance a trip to the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

This is their story.

At the start of the decade that sartorial taste forgot, I was at a comprehensive school in Sussex studying (ha!) for exams.
Most of the few high points of my school days revolved around various theatrical activities, both in and out of school. Half a dozen friends in the year above me – studying drama properly for O’ level – had formed a comic mime group. This is the style of mime that allows props, sound effects and basic narration, still preformed on a blank set in whiteface makeup.

image Strike A Pose

I had managed to blag myself a…

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March of the Internet Nobody, day eighteen, part two…

I finally got round to wading through a few e-mails today and happened to stumble upon a post from Luccia Gray over at Rereading Jane Eyre who had nominated me for the My First Post Revisited blog hop feature.

As it happens, I took part in a similar first post challenge not all that long ago and obviously there would be no point in reposting the same post again, especially since it was my second ever post which featured in that last challenge, as the first post on Diary of an Internet Nobody got inadvertently deleted in the intervening five years or so.

Following so far?

Well, I suggested to Luccia that she choose a number between 3 and 10 and I would then reblog the corresponding post from the archives for your reading pleasure.

She picked number 4, so the next post you see will be the fourth time I ventured forth into the blogosphere.

I also have to nominate five other bloggers to (if they so choose) take part in the blog rewind and here are my five nominees:

My Silver Streaks

The Thoughts of Life and Me

Willow dot 21

It Is What It Is

Joeyfully Stated

Pop over and check out their blogs, too, while you’re here, there’s bound to be something to amuse, amaze or entertain you.
Up next, youthful high jinx in theatre land.

Prepare to go back in time…

 

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March of the Internet Nobody, Day 2: The return of Spoon Woman…

Right then, day two of my self-imposed, for-no-particular-reason, blogging marathon. 

So, I was trying to decide what to do today; a bit of photography, some sort of fiction, a spot of musical composition, or how about some poetry..? 

Then I realised I have some updated news on a previous post, one which generated some very helpful advice and kind words of support for my wife, the superhero.

As I told you in that earlier post, Rhonda has fibromyalgia, which she has been treating with a prescription drug called Cymbalta for nearly ten years. As with all medication, it has its pros and cons, including some nasty side effects and natural immunity, depending on the individual patient, but the choices are limited when treating this under-explored and little-understood condition so until recently she had stuck to the devil she knew, upping her dose slightly to compensate for an increase in her pain levels midway through last year.

Then the inevitable happened.

The continuous long term use of the same medication finally reached saturation point at the end of 2016; Rhonda became hypersensitive to cymbalta and decided that she was going to take herself off it. So you can imagine (except you probably can’t) how much fun her Christmas was, but as I’ve come to expect from Spoon Woman, she took it all in her stride.

Over the ten day holiday period, (when I was off work, but Rhonda had to work several shifts at the chip shop) my amazing wife put up with the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, the dizziness and nausea, plus the sudden increase in pain as the medication left her system completely, until she was finally free of the treatment that had become a trauma. Then began the search for a replacement, for something Rhonda could use to control the symptoms of fibro, without the harmful side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. 

Surprisingly, we found the solution in our local branch of high street health food emporium, Holland and Barrett; a £20 bottle of CBD oil. Often mistakenly described as “cannabis oil”, CBD oil is the non-psychoactive substance found in many strains of plants in the hemp family and has no recreational properties whatsoever and is completely legal in the UK.

There have been plenty of studies carried out which suggest CBD could have near-miraculous therapeutic powers but my lack experience with fibro hadn’t prompted me to think of it earlier. Rhonda, however, has researched her condition extensively and was already aware of the possibilities inherent in this natural supplement, so we sought it out.
After having partial success with a “crystalline isolate” that we ordered online (a very concentrated form of CBD, extracted and crystallized synthetically) we stumbled upon the real McCoy in the aforementioned retailer, supplied in handy dropper bottles, whilst on a family shopping expedition.

The dosage Rhonda decided on was three drops, twice a day, which she began taking the day we brought it home, which was when she discovered the one downside; the taste. The most memorable description so far was; “Like licking old motor oil off a dog turd”

But the results, well they were something else. 

Within a week of first taking half a dozen drops of this relatively cheap food supplement oil per day, Rhonda told me she already felt better than she had before Christmas. Two weeks later and she was feeling better than she ever had, in the whole time she’d been taking cymbalta, the “official” treatment.

Now, a mere two months since my superhero wife weaned herself off her own personal kryptonite, Rhonda looks happier and less tired, smiles and laughs more often and tells me that she has “some days when I actually feel GOOD” and that in itself is miraculous as far as I’m concerned.

So if you’re a secret superhero and you are wondering if CBD oil is worth a try, take it from Spoon Woman, it’s worth it.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Blogging, Personal anecdote

 

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Stream of consciousness Sunday: Intermission (My new favourite game)…

I’ve left it far too late to continue with The Accumulator today, so after catching up with ourselves by coming back to the present in last week’s episode, we’ll have a break until next weekend and I’ll use Linda G Hill‘s prompt for a quick SoCS contractual obligation post instead;

” “ham.” Use it any way you’d like. “

No problem…

Rhonda made me us snack for lunch today; a puff pastry tart with asparagus, sweet peppers, bacon, Parma ham, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese, it was absolutely gorgeous.

Right, that’s that taken care of, now on to the important stuff.

My New Favourite Game.

As you may well be aware, the long-awaited third season of David Lynch‘s groundbreaking soap noir, Twin Peaks is soon to be upon us and I’m as excited by the prospect now as I was when the original series aired, over twenty five years ago.

This anticipation has even prompted me to join a fan-curated Twin Peaks Facebook group, where discussion of new season plotlines, old theories and their future implications, TP related trivia and all things Lynchian, is ramping up to fever pitch prior to the May 21st worldwide release of the season premier.

While scrolling through the sea of “Who is the cutest girl/evilest villain/strangest character” memes, hugely complicated and contrived explanations of the many enigmatic or downright weird scenes from the first two seasons and photos of superfans with Twin Peaks tattoos, I started to notice a lot of stripey jumpers.

That’s sweaters to you, America.

Then I realised it was more specific than that, these were all photos of the very same sweater; one that had been worn by season two cameo-in-search-of-a-plot and Audrey Horne’s love interest, Billy Zane, as the sartorially challenged millionaire eco-warrior, John Justice Wheeler.

I noticed a lot of puzzled and sometimes rather snippy comments from hardcore “Peakies” on these photos, and not because they featured a largely-ignored and/or derided character either, but because they were all cleverly doctored for comic effect.

You see, some evil genius had been using Photoshop to insert John Justice Wheeler and his garish knitwear into classic scenes from the series, or better still, dressing another character in his sweater, sometimes even multiple characters. 

They were all brilliant. And hilarious. Unless you were a member of the Peakognoscenti of course, then it was sacrilege.

Anyway, never one to miss a chance to muck about with photos on my phone, I posted a sweaterised picture in the comment thread on one of the posts and, long story, short (for a change); I received an invitation to join the mysterious #woolhouseboys and have subsequently spent an inordinate amount of time this weekend, using PicSayPro to manipulate photos of a brightly coloured woolly jumper (with and without Billy Zane inside it) into humorous situations, primarily for my own amusement.

In the next couple of days I will be devoting an entire post to the sterling work done by the creators of this excellent group, (soon to also have dedicated Twitter and Tumblr accounts) which will feature some of my own humble contributions, but for now I’ll leave you with a gif I made from one of the most iconic scenes in the original series; Glastonbury Woolenbury Grove.

Stay tuned, all will become clear, honest…

**********

#SoCS

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