Week of 23 January

Well, I finished the 6th and final assessment of my Nutrition and Health course with Newbury College.wp_20170124_001  Time to celebrate! So when in Thatcham (as I was to see the chiropodist) I went to the Mug and Brew, as you do!  And had a really light and moist chocolate cake. Uuumm!  It’s Lucy’s Mum who is the star baker.

This week I was in Bournemouth too and stayed at the Marriott with a room on the corner of the building so the bay window looked over the coast right round to Sandbanks!  I walked round the promenade to Sandbanks hotel where I had a drink before heading back.  I had tried to brave it sitting outside but the wind was too much so I finished the drink in the warmth of the bar. On the return walk I passed a couple of American ladies and wondered if they were part of the Donny Osmond entourage.  You see, I had booked a ticket to see him at the BIC -he was my teenage heart throb – some 40 years ago!  It was a great show anwp_20170126_002d the following  morning, which was incredibly cold and blustery,  went to the Russell-Coates house and art gallery.  It’s stuck in the Victorian era with fabulous interior design and lots of pre-Raphaelite paintings.  There were wonderful windows with views over the bay and the sea was really crashing down on the beach.  So different from the day before. Had a coffee and walnut cake but it didn’t have enough icing for my taste buds….  The americano was nice though…….

Also this week, some of us from St George’s met for coffee at the Yew Tree Garden Centre.  There was Margaret, Carolyn, Mary, Mum and myself.


I couldn’t stay long as I was heading off to an event run by the Berkshire Cancer Rehabilitation team.  The workshop had various speakers and stalls and I won the raffle prize of £40 of aloe vera products! Wow.  Lunch was provided and I couldn’t resist this photo of the doughnuts.  And no, I didn’t have one nor did a lot of other people either judging from the amount left over…..



Week of 16 January

We were in Malta this week.  I love the island – the architecture, the quaintness, the ease you can get around, the sea views….  We stayed at Sliema at Hotel Fortina and had a room with a sea view and its own ‘conservatory’.  We pulled back the curtains and there was floor to ceiling glass and 2 rattan chairs.  We had a great view over Valetta.  It was colder than normal for the time of year;  Greece and Italy had snow and the cold weather had reached Malta too. We used the buses to get around and walked a lot including some lovely walks along the coast.

So, coming to the cake eating: at dinner one night I selected the radio active cake!! It was green and very shiny – they must have used a lot of syrup glaze!

Then we ate at a Thai restaurant and had carrot cake!  But my favourite place was Caffé Cordina in Valetta.  I had a Rainbow Cake:  layers of cake covered with white chocolate cream (looked better than it tasted) and Jeremy had a Chocolate Devine: layers of biscuit soaked in coffee liqueur and covered with ganache!

Back home, we did a 6 mile walk on a cold but sunny afternoon starting and finishing at the Discovery Centre in Thatcham.  The lake was frozen over with a few patches of water for the birds to swim  in.  It was striking as the sun set.  We made it before the café closed and shared a piece of homemade Victoria sponge with a jam filling. Always a good choice….

Also this week we said goodbye to Paul Cowen our vicar at St George’s Wash Common who is to be the Chaplain to the Bishop of Oxford.  80 people had afternoon tea in the church hall;  the spread of home made cakes was incredible!  The room was decorated in red and yellow as a nod to Paul’s favourite football team – Watford.

Week of 9 January

wp_20170109_001This week I went to the Treats Day at The Pink Place in Basingstoke where we heard advice about nutrition and finance which was very useful.  I surprised myself as to how much I knew about nutrition since I have been studying Health and Nutrition with Newbury College.  We had a super lunch provided by Sainsburys but the cakes were homemade.  It looked a lovely spread!  My favourite cake was the gingerbread with salted caramel topping! Yum! It’s good to meet people going through the same process and the ink Place is great at making you feel at home when you arrive.

I met up with Shirley in Hungerford and we had cake in Eliane’s where there is a fantastic selection of cakes.  Shirley had a Hummingbird cake – never heard of such a thing but it contains pineapple – and I had a Chocolate and Orange cake.  It rained all day so we spent most of the time in the antiques centre and so we plan to meet again there.wp_20170113_002

Overnight there had been a sharp frost but I met with Penny and we drove out to Hurstbourne Tarrant to the Tea Cosy and had  a slice of Lindor cake!  My favourite chocolates! Scrumptious!  Just look at it.  Heaven!

I walked into Newbury on the sunny, crisp Saturday afternoon and popped into the cosy Flower Pot to warm up.  The windows were covered in condensation but it was very cosy inside. And of course I had to partake in a slice of their Carrot and Orange cake which was my award  before walking home!  I do like their toppings!wp_20170114_001

Week of 2 January

The highlights from the first week of January included meeting up with Sue and having coffee with a lovely coffee and walnut cake at the Aston Pottery near Bampton in Oxfordshire. Can’t wait to go back in the summer!  I’ve heard it is quite attractive with all the summer flowers in bloom.  And as we were there so long and drank so much, I have a nearly complete coffee reward card!

I was so taken by the Christmas tree there that I forgot to photograph our cakes!  The tree had stalks of orchids (plastic) hanging and large baubles in shades of pink. Stunning!

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I also met up with the Aqua ladies: Paula, Anne-Marie, Christine, Margie, Marilyn and Lorna.  The Pineapple Palace had a scrumptious vanilla and  caramel cake! Yum!    But you can see that not all of us caked.  You can also tell it was a little cold as we are all still wearing our scarves!  Maybe that’s why they have a good choice to sell in the shop….wp_20170107_004

wp_20170105_004But on 5th January Mum was 80!  yet she didn’t want to celebrate it so we celebrated my birthday on her birth day!  We went to the Tea Cosy in  Hurstbourne Tarrant and had their Terry’s chocolate fudge cake.  And they kindly put a candle in it for her!  This tea room is really tucked away behind a garage and supermarket and consequently the best kept secret.  Their Facebook page keeps us up to date on the latest cake ….2017-02-04-2


So on January 1st, I had the 48 hour pump removed and the PICC line taken out.  My last chemo session was on my birthday (30th December)!  I always like to do something different on my birthday!

wp_20161230_001Anyway we took chocolate cake (Tesco’s) into the unit to share with the other patients and staff. It will certainly be a memorable 55th birthday!


Cheers!  This is the start of a new chapter.  I purchased a bottle of champagne from the cellars at Waddesdon Manor on a visit last year, just for this day……