Week of 2 October

Ciao!  The week started with a pampering session at The Pink Place where it was nice to meet familiar faces, hear good news, get my nails painted, have an Indian head massage and eat cake!  Jenny, the practitioner, said, ”it (the head massage) helps the body where it needs it”.  Umm, something else to research to see if it will help  Project All Clear!

The next day, Jeremy and I went off to Milan for a 4 night stay so I could show him the sights that Shirley and I had seen on earlier visits this year and new adventures.  We based ourselves at the ADI Doria Grand Hotel who kindly provided a complimentary bottle of prosecco which went down very well since I am celebrating reaching the 18 month milestone since being given 18-24 months to live.  Cin Cin!

Over 2 days we travelled by train, ferry and bus and explored Como, Cernobbio, Moltrasio, Torno, Bellagio, Menaggio and Lenno.  And had a goodo time!  The towns on Lake Como are all so different from each other.  The memorable Moltrasio was a ‘real’ town with one café, bar and shop and locals said ”buongiorno” when passing.  And we replied something similar.  Here’s our delicious apple tart from the shop. (This was the ‘cake’ highlight of the week! This was the only Italian ‘cake’ of the trip! )Whereas the beautiful Bellagio with lots of tourist shops, bars, cafes and popular with Americans feels very different and serves coffee at three times the price!

So to heighten our entertainment we decided to visit places that didn’t end with a letter ‘O’:  Brunate, Mottarone, Stresa and Arona.  ‘A’s’ and ‘E’s’ but not ”A&E”.  No, we had an accident free, (but not incident free – to be explained), visit up Mount Mottarone – two cable cars and a chair lift to the top some 4000 feet up.  No stumbles. No gashes.  No blood. Just brilliant views over Lake Maggiore and then….. gusts…..that closed the cable car and delayed our descent!  We were at the half-way station and by the time the one bus arrived to rescue us there were 3 cable car loads of people!   On a positive, we had a scenic drive through the villages on the slopes and back to the bottom.  You could say getting back to Stresa was a little stressy…We think Stresa has a French Riviera feel to it – huge hotels, attractive long promenade with lots of seats, lots of greenery and lots of tourists until around 6pm when it was noticeable that everyone had gone back to their burrows. We found a restaurant next to the sea and had it to ourselves.  It was blowing a gale!  Maybe why? Napkins dispensers, ashtrays, menus, chairs were flying and sliding in the wind.  But Jeremy and I sat it out and enjoyed our vino and fish dinner…   Cin Cin! We didn’t have time to visit Arona in the end. Shame.  Maybe we’ll stick to towns ending with the letter ‘O’ – less drama:)

On our last day we walked all round Milan and ascended the stone stairs (919 of them) to the terraces of Milan’s Duomo for fab views over the roof tops of Milan. And descended them too…If you are going to do it then buy your tickets on line as the ticket office queues are so long and arrive early to avoid the long security queue.

So farewell.  To the last foreign trip of the year before the second round of chemo commences…

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Week of 8 May

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:

https://www.nourishbyjaneclarke.com/pages/whats-in-season

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…..

Week of 13 February

Another lovely week! Jeremy and I went on a very interesting audio tour of the House of Parliament and had  delicious afternoon tea there in the Terrace Pavilion beside the Thames.  They source all their food from Britian – and so they should you say! wp_20170215_010. It was fascinating to be in the locations that frequently appear on the TV.  Did you know that Michael Jackson, on a tour, wanted to buy the throne in the House of Lords!!

Sourcing organic foods to ensure we get the full nutritional value is a project in itself.  We have bought organic vegetables from the supermarket and from our old farm shop near Odiham when I was in the area.  My diet includes more cruciferous vegetables – I have been blitzing brussel sprouts and the best accompaniment I have found is an orange with some milled flaxseed! The onion family have good anti cancer properties so I am increasing my intake of leeks, onions and shallots…. and mints to sort out bad breath……

Had another pamper session at the Pink Place and had some valentine nails and a relaxing reflexology session.  One of the ladies made nut free carrot cake which had raisons instead and was lovely and moist.

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For the first time, I met someone who had taken the same targeted drug as myself and had worse problems with her skin than I did.    Just shows how we respond differently to the same chemo drugs.

I had a lovely short break in Brixham visiting Gaynor.   We enjoyed walks to Berry Head and the café there with its homemade menu.  Everything sounded great. Our cake was banana, fudge and pecan! Yes we shared it!  And when in sunny Dartmouth we walked to the Castle and mooched around the town  enjoying some delicious cakes in the French patisserie, Saveurs .  Here’s my coffee mousse cake.  Exquisite! Another great week!

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