Well a week of ups and downs! The temperature for one: 30 to 14 degrees (a windy Windermere yesterday)! Also, Jeremy went off walking the Lakeland fells to recharge his batteries, so lots of ups and downs there too and unfortunately on his last fell of the week – fell…so we had an unexpected tour passing the Sellafield plant to Whitehaven A & E. He had his wound glued together and some strips applied plus his hand was xrayed and found to be OK. Bizarrely, 3 black cats ran out in front of our car on the journey from Greendale to Whitehaven and back and even Jeremy thought that was an omen…
Here he is, the following day at the Ravensglass miniature railway café – you might just be able to see the strips on his head. We shared a lush lemon meringue pie before heading off on a leisurely ride to Boot where we lunched. Lakeland Lamb Henry – delicious! We stayed in a cottage in a remote part of West Cumbria close to the beautiful Wastwater. I stayed for 3 nights having got the train mid-week and thoroughly enjoyed the ride from Lancaster. Some beautiful scenery. It sparked the idea of a Favourite Journeys page.
Earlier in the week I had a blood test at Basingstoke Hospital and so I had a slice of Lemon and Poppy Seed cake in the Blue Café. Very nice! Then there was the lush Victoria Sandwich at The Saddlebacks Farm Shop with lovely views over the fields but a swarm of little black insects attached themselves and it wasn’t such a pleasant place after all….Then today Marion, Judy and I went to the West Woodhay Garden Fair and I had a slice of cherry filled Victoria Sandwich. Scrummy…..
Hopefully there is less drama next week….
This week started in the New Forest at Milford on Sea. We had a blusteringly blustery time! We stayed at the Beach House Hotel which we knew previously as Westover Hall. It’s an Arts and Crafts House with magnificent pre-Raphaelite stained glass with views of The Needles. (Even on TV in our room we could gaze at the flashing lighthouse and crashing seas!) We fought the wind along the fast disappearing and still crumbling away coast path to Barton on Sea where we stopped at a caff for a cuppa to refresh ourselves. The flapjacks were minute and disappeared in 2 bites….too quickly to photograph….
On the return we walked along the shingle beach across prohibited areas prone to land slides…. Jeremy forged ahead and I stumbled along behind trying to avoid getting my feet licked by the sea on the narrow parts and keeping one eye on any potential land fall…..It was hard work on the legs but dessert made up for it. We had a fab sharing chocolate fondue for dessert at dinner….
Next day, we got blown along the coast path from Milford to Lymington which meandered through a lovely nature reserve where we spotted many species including humanoids with large dogs and lens. Or was it the other way round…We watched to ferry to the IOW which I recall getting many years ago. I recall thinking at the time that one day I would like to walk along the footpath through the marshes. So I am even ticking off things that I had forgotten I wanted to do…
I met with Marion and Judy at The Pineapple Palace and we had some delicious chocolate and orange cake sat out beside the river complete with hissing swan and cygnet. Then at a NGS afternoon with Mum at Dunsborough House, I had a slice of coffee cake. Someone had put a lot of effort in decorating the top. All in aid of charity.
Mum and I got a private tour at Dunsborough House as their website had advertised the cornflower and poppy meadow. However, it was out of bounds to the public (I agree – why advertise it?) So I asked a gardener if we could see it as cornflowers are my mother’s favourite flower. So Jose obliged and walked us through the private area of the gardens but said the meadow wasn’t as good this year due to the earlier dry season we had. Apparently, the cornflowers in his own garden on site are much bigger – thought it best not ask to go round his house…
On the craft side I have joined a team knitting a map of Newbury. Yes you read that right! We are starting with small beige squares for the background and later we add knitted landmarks. No, I don’t expect our house will be on it!
And I have signed up for anther online Future Learn course on Mental Health. Going to hypnotherapy has sparked my interest in the mind/brain. This has been the most interesting one so far as the comments show such a diverse group of people studying together.
Oh and the total for Christian Aid in Wash Common is £2.000.69 (which includes the gift aid element of those gift aided donations) . Not bad for just 15 collectors…..
This week started on the Isle of Wight! Julia and I wanted to see Osborne House and grounds – Queen Victoria’s estate.
We spent a few hours there exploring, reviving ourselves with tea in the garden, (no, the lady behind has not collapsed…..) before heading to our hotel, the devine Albert Cottage Hotel which was once a royal residence. We supped on delicious blanc-de-blanc and dined on fine food, walking it off along the prom at Cowes the following day until the wind was too much and we turned tail. We visited Whippingham and Victoria’s finely decorated church and can recommend the Folly Inn too, situated on the River there. The rain arrived as predicted as we drove up to the Brading Roman Villa and we dived in doors to look at the well preserved mosaic flooring and enjoyed the homemade cake and scones!
I’m posting this from Sandbanks Hotel as the last couple of days have been spent in Dorset. It is a strong on-shore wind and the grey sky has kept the tourists off the beach…I spent the last 2 nights with Sue in her new holiday home at Burton Bradstock, a sleepy town near the coast at Hive Beach where the National Trust have a wonderful café. Another windy spot….We explored Bridport and in West Bay we identified key Broadchurch (the ITV drama) locations; we stopped there for tea and Dorset Apple Cake at Sladers Yard an interesting art gallery, returning to West Bay to have dinner at the infamous fish restaurant – Riverside.
The second day we spent in Abbotsbury at the 600 year old swannery (more Dorset Apple Cake) and the tropical gardens. Both were thoroughly enjoyable and we whiled away a few hours at both. On the way to Sandbanks I stopped off at Monkey World to see the orang-utans – just incase I don’t get to Borneo….One of the babes was so cute and spent a lot of time doing roly pollies on the grass but then I noticed some juveniles using rolling techniques to descend from the top of their structure. I took it to be an innate movement…
This week I got my hair analysis results from Freddie the White Witch detailing my food allergies and the food types my body craves. What was interesting was the hair she requested from the back of my head above my neck was new growth this year, (it fell out from there if you recall) yet the results revealed I should eat more fruit, peppers and live yoghurt (which I have been this year but I didn’t historically). Umm. The foods to avoid were all additives and preservatives (found in processed foods I would have eaten once) plus white bread and rice which I’ve not eaten for ages…..Off to eat some yoghurt and fruit…..
Holiday over! Back to work on Project All Clear! Back to the Oxygen Therapy and I started the Juicing Therapy this week using the Silvercrest Slow Juicer that Which recommend. I have been juicing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, apples, ginger, brussels and beets and its great – no bits, pure juice. So the idea is I juice on a regular basis throughout the day – when I’m home that is…… The therapy, if you follow it to the letter, suggests juicing (and drinking) on the hour every hour to flood the body with the essential nutrients. I have created a new page on the Juicing Therapy under Wellbeing and Complementary Therapies with the anti-cancer recipe from Jason Vale the Juice Master!
A highlight this week was a trip to London. Jeremy and I had to go to apply for our Russian Visas at an office near the Barbican. It wasn’t as time consuming as we anticipated probably because we had all the paperwork completed correctly! We had time to take in Trafalgar Square, walk down the Mall and back through St James’ Park, have a late lunch in St Martin’s Crypt and then head home as he was due on a night shift. An errand that turned out to be a nice day!
In spite of all the cruciferous vegetables I am consuming, I had some treats this week and consumed some delicious cake. Mum and I went to the Tea Cosy and I had a slice of their chocolate cake. Yum! The Tea Cosy really is the best place for delicious cake. Then Penny and I met up at Mocha Choc where we indulged in large slices of Sylvana’s Orange and Almond (gluten free as well)! They will be sadly missed when they leave for Gibralter.
I also met Shirley this week for a catchup in Hungerford for coffee and cake at Eden’s Baking. It’s run by a lovely young man and Shirley had a slice of his chocolate cake and I had an orange cake. Scrummy! And we still had room for lunch too (after our walk along the canal that is)….
The Christian Aid week donations are still coming in and the counting continues – just 4 more red bags to get back from volunteers and I’ll be able to give you a total for Wash Common…..
Jeremy and I went to Corsica and Sardinia this week. It was fab, fab, fab! We started in Sardinia having flown into Olbia, an attractive town, where we stayed for 3 nights. One day we travelled out to the beautiful Costa Smeralda, a beautiful coastline with hidden coves of turquoise water. We stopped at costal tourist towns with marinas, designer shops, cafes and bars. We ventured further another day to Alghero, a picturesque fishing port with its cobbled narrow streets again full of bars, cafes and this time coral shops. Here in the north of Sardinia, the arid landscape is untamed and sparsely inhabited made up of granite outcrops and wild grasses. Some vines, olive groves and animals were spotted though. The supermarkets had a great choice of breads, meats and cheeses predominately locally produced. (No cake got consumed here in Sardinia but we did enjoy the Italian gelato…..)
Then we crossed a sparkling royal blue Med Sea to Bonifacio, Corsica with its Haute Ville perched on the cliffs. After exploring we went on further to the capital Ajaccio where we stayed for 4 nights. This island appears greener as trees grow on the granite outcrops giving it a more lush and less arid look. As we travelled it seemed more inhabited yet we still saw deserted beaches and inviting coves of turquoise sea. No cake got consumed here either but on a half board basis we didn’t go hungry……
It was a lovely week and so nice to combine both Islands which are very similar geographically and historically but have differences to each other and to their respective motherlands…
I write this whilst being attached to my new oxygen concentrator! This week, rather spookily, I was sent this link to an article in the Daily Mail (you know you love the Daily Mail…). It’s about someone in a similar situation and she too is on an oxygen and juicing therapy. My masticating juicer arrived this week too and I will tell you more in a later post. I agree the positive mental attitude is very important though I prefer to continue with my 80% plant based diet rather than go vegan like her….
And then there was the BBC2 programme on Wednesday night this week: A Time to Live. Very moving! There’s a frequently used quote by American writer and civil right activist Maya Angelou, ‘’My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.’’ Very topical!
So I have started the oxygen therapy this week (see new page on Wellbeing, Complementary Therapies). I am using my concentrator for 30-60 minutes a day and have already noticed that I have more energy than normal. Everyone should have one…Though that was not the reason why I purchased it. On the subject of energy – hate to think what the leccie bill will be like next time round….Hayho!
So to the matter of cake: this week I went out with Marion, Lindsay, Judy and Janet and we had afternoon tea at Waddesdon Manor – Rothchild’s gaff. Shame about the rain as it bucketed all day and so we didn’t see the cerise tulips in the parterre garden close to but only from an upper window. The garden still looked exquisite as was the afternoon tea. It comprises a savoury plate and then a tier of sweet fancies. A visit to Waddesdon is not complete without a purchase from the wine shop….
Mum and I had coffee and cake at the Yew Tree garden centre, before going house to house for Christian Aid. Here’s Mum with a slice of lemon cake. This is Christian Aid week though I’ve seen little advertising to say so. I’ll let you know our total in a later post.
Do you ever wonder what food is in season? So much is available all year round and nutritionists say that, as well as better flavour, there are more nutrients to be had if we eat vegetables and fruit grown in season. Makes sense as it has not been forced and grown with all the processes that come with year round production. Here is a useful website:
I have met some interesting people on this cancer journey that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. Now this week I met with a lady who calls herself a Diviner and Dowser living in Porchester. She comes recommended by the way. It was a lovely sunny day to visit the south coast, see the Castle fortification, have some cake and coffee and pop to Freddie’s house. I’d sent her a hair sample and a drawing of the ground floor of our house, that she could examine energy levels and re-balance them. Every surface in her study was covered with stuff: dried concoctions, perfumes, oils, stones, crystals and pendulums for dowsing. Not sure who’s the most barking – her or me for visiting! Here’s a chocolate cake (Mary Berry recipe) made by a volunteer at the local church tea room – who happens to be allergic to chocolate. Really? And a very nice recipe it was too.
Whilst out shopping in Newbury I called into the Flowerpot Café and had a slice of gooseberry and lemon cake. The icing had been made with icing sugar, a little butter and milk and big splashes of lemon juice which gave it a shiny topping! Delicious!
I’ve not been for a long time but I went to the Pink Place for another free session including a neck, shoulder and head massage plus nail painting. The volunteers there are amazing and a parachute jump raised £6,000 so that we can continue to get pampered. And of course there was a nicely arranged plate of cakes:
It’s Christian Aid week from 14 – 20 May and it will be my fifth year organising collectors. Lets hope for another profitable year…..
We saw Mr Cecil today for the results of the quarterly CT scan which shows that the cancer is stable – no growth. Great News! I told him that I have chosen not to have surgery. I am feeling so well and 2 operations over a few months with around 6 months recovery will set me back big time – physically and mentally. The laparoscopy gave me a taster of that. The operations won’t remove all the cancer cells and cure me though it is good to know there is still an opportunity for surgery in the future. So we will review the situation in 3 months time after the next CT scan. In the meantime I will continue with the complementary therapies and I will be telling you more once my oxygen concentrator and masticating juicer arrive……
Well the high point of this week was a high point! Literally! Julia, Jenny and I went to Portsmouth for some retail therapy and had afternoon tea at the top of the Spinnaker Tower. The fruit scones were the best I’d had in a long time; squared shaped with a crunchy sugar coating. As for the cakes, we had a selection of bite size goodies including macarons which I love!
Sue and I met this week for a catchup at the Herb Farm in Sonning where we started with coffee and cake and stayed long enough to include lunch too! With the saxon maze, the gardens and the shop, time flies. They had a wonderful section of cakes. My small slice of lime and courgette cake made up for its diminutive size with its great flavour but I still secretly coveted Sue’s huge slice of coffee and walnut cake (bottom row in the picture)!
Jeremy and I ticked off another White Horse Walk this week – the Broad Town Horse south of Swindon which is a little traversed walk judging from the great clumps of grass and mature nettles. Another time of year it would be a quagmire. The surprise was finding a huge swathe of woodland under planted with blossoming wild garlic as far as the eye could see.
I had a CT scan (with contrast) this week and finally got to eat at 11.15am so what did I choose but to treat myself with a very chocolaty rocky road at the Blue Café – you must recognise the china by now…. Results next week. Then I went over to Bushey Heath (Watford) to see Alan the hypnotherapist again. We learnt last time from the unconscious mind that the cancer is genetic so this time he got my unconscious mind, using visualisation, to visit my DNA where I removed the cancer genes. Of course I’ll only know if any of this is working when I have my next CT scan.
Anyway, if you think I’m barking now then wait for next week’s post when I’ll tell you about my visit to a white witch…
It’s been a week of many high points. Non-health and non-cake was seeing Natalie and Ian from Strictly in their fab show at the Corn Exchange. It was Mum’s birthday present and we thoroughly enjoyed it!
Then the non-cake highlights include a free consultation with Patricia Peat from Cancer Options, courtesy of Yes to Life. I have a lot of really useful information including new supplements, new therapies and new drugs. Dr Jackson, who we saw this week too for a review, wasn’t so sure about the use of their listed drugs as they ”weren’t mainstream oncology”. Like Mr Cecil, Dr Jackson can’t advise on the next stage – (surgery that won’t cure me or no surgery but chemo later). Plenty to still think on…..
Jeremy and I did another of the white horse walks although the Marlborough horse is more of a foal! It was a lovely walk through the green, purple and yellow Wiltshire landscape with a coffee stop at the Food Gallery and a lunch stop at St Peter’s church café. In fact I had reiki, reflexology and 3 yoga sessions this week. No wonder I feel so good…
So turning to cake, Jeremy and I shared a chocolate tart for dessert at the Blue Café – he’s looking a little bashful as the hospital restaurant was busy… Then there was the scrummy Black Forest cake made by Lucy’s Mum at the Mug and Brew…And the Matcha (Japanese Green Tea) cupcake – so that makes it a detoxing cake:) – made by Debbie at the Pineapple Palace. You’ll see some other cups and cakes in the photo belonging to the Supper Club ladies who do coffee mornings too…
I read Lynda Bellingham’s book: There’s Something I’ve Been Dying to Tell You. She had bowel cancer that had spread too but I must say she had a far worse time of it than I had and am having now. Long may it continue….