Week of 24 July

Don’t Give Up! said the invitation to a Jehovah’s conference lying on the doormat.  I needed those 3 words; my focus has been faultering in the lead up to my second quarterly scan.  Dr Jackson’s voice has been ringing in my ears ”the cancer will grow back in 4-6 months”.  It is now 7 months.  So it felt like a  personal message to get me back on track.

Whilst at the hospital for the scan this week, I popped into the Blue Café and had the first slice of their gluten free carrot cake….Yum!

But the two high points this week were: the ‘flight’ on the Brooklands Concorde and a visit to the RA Summer Exhibition! Ron and Liz are members of Brooklands and we joined them to look around the huge number of exhibits there.  The learned volunteers make interesting listening and consequently lots to absorb.  Whilst there, we had a gander inside Mercedes Benz World next door – like everyone else.  But the best was sitting inside Concorde and experiencing the multi-sensory simulation of a take-off!  The next day, Fiona and I attended the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.  Another lovely day. We wandered round the rooms with a very civilised glass of sparkling wine in one hand and a guide book in the other critiquing the exhibits.  A couple of hours viewing required some sustenance in the tea room after with a delicious Gooey Chocolate Cake!

I met up with Carolyn this week for a catch up at the Yew Tree Garden Centre and had the first slice of their Lemon Drop cake.  Very moist. Very zingy!

Also this week, Mum and I continued with the Jane Austen trail and found another couple of ‘bookbenches’.  One was at the Old Basing Tythe Barn – one of the largest Tythe Barns in the UK. Then onto Viables Craft Centre where we stopped at the delightful tea rooms there and shared an enormous slice of toffee cake.  I’ve never seen so many freshly baked cakes on display. Funnily, it was empty of people when we arrived yet the waitress said, ”have you booked?” and ” I’ll just have to check if we have a table”.  Fortunately, we were squeezed into the empty tea room successfully!

         

I’ve been very lucky to get 4 free aromatherapy sessions agreed by the Newbury and District Cancer Care Trust and had my second this week.  I arrived for it already feeling very chilled from the session at the Global Retreat the day before so no surprise I floated out after the massage…

Week of 15 May

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….

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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.

Week of 13 March

On Monday, we collected my new automatic, limited edition Mini Cooper Seven courtesy of Motability (yes I am a bonefide qualifier!).  Here’s a picture of my new car outside Mum’s house and here’s a picture of a cake:

 

Yes, the cake is on the left! Made by Lou Wilson from Lou’s Amazing Cakes when she came to a Sugarcraft meeting last year to show us how to carve cakes.  I had it set as my desktop background for ages….

I went to the Yew Tree Garden Centre three times this week! With Jeremy and Mum, just Jeremy and with Carolyn.  When Mum came we had chocolate cake with smarties on the top!  Out of shot here but had a big filling of chocolate icing! Yum. Just as  like it. Jeremy and I had lunch at the Yew Tree before doing  a 6 mile walk that included the infamous Inkpen Crocus field.  Dainty wild crocuses have been flowering in this protected pasture for at least 2 centuries.  The bulbs are believed to have been brought back by the Knights Templar.  With 400,000 plants, this is the largest British population.  We started the walk at West Woodhay church which had daffodils amongst the grave stones which swayed beautifully in the sunshine.

Later in the week I was back there to meet Carolyn for a catchup cuppa and a coffee cake.  I do like the way the garden centre have little notices beside the food with allergy information. So amongst the usual  references to ‘gluten’ and ‘nuts’ was ‘sulphur dioxide’ (found in dried fruit).  New one on me.

After our (delayed – we get used to it) meeting with Mr Cecil at Basingstoke Hospital we went to the Blue Café and over indulged on the chocolate. I had a very chocolaty rocky road – it was just what I needed after our meeting.  There was a lot of info to process. See post below for a summary.

This week I also met with Christine and we went to the Mug and Brew for a catchup.  She is looking so well after her surgery. It was just a flapjack for me!

Week of 6 February

wp_20170210_001-1We had part 2 of our Nutrition course at Maggie’s in Oxford with Jennifer from Pillar of Health.  We heard about dairy, carbs and sugar this week. It’s been really interesting.  Still not keen on the healthy cakes though.  We had ‘chocolate brownies’ made with red kidney beans. Yuk!   But in the last week I have started going organic with the veg.  Anyway, applying the 80:20 rule I can be bad 20% of the time…..Can’t I?. Shirley came over to discuss our trip to Milan and she brought with her some scrumptious home made cup cakes: Gin and Tonic flavour complete with a slice of lime and coffee with Bailys in the icing.  Delicious!  We reminisced about Celia Imrie in the  Calendar Girls!!   wp_20170208_003

wp_20170209_003Julia and I went to the Lightbox at Woking and after sharing a coffee and walnut cake at the café there we saw the Henry Moore exhibition. It was fascinating to see the pebbles he took inspiration from to make his giant sculptures.  Did you know he was a war artist?  I didn’t.  We stayed in Woking for lunch and had a healthy Lebanese meze at Jeita.  Just thought I’d add that in……

I had lunch with Sue while I was in Oxford at the Roof Top restaurant at the Ashmolean and we didn’t eat cake!!  But I would like to thank her for the Donny Osmond’s swp_20161017_004ignature she got via her neighbour who works for Jimmy’s fanclub.  We both agree that the afternoon tea we had last year at the Folly in Oxford is one of the best we have experienced.  See for yourself:….

 

I met Anne Marie this week at the Flower Pot for lunch.  It was great to talk about training and Myers wp_20170207_001Briggs.  The old memories came flooding back.  Here am I looking a little flushed after eating some tasty home made tomato soup  followed by a dainty slice of chocolate cake.  But it did have the right proportion of sponge to icing!  Like I know:) Haha

Mum and I met for coffee and shared a rock cake at the Yew Tree garden centre – I don’t mean to put here at the end but it seems that we go out at the end of each week….Not as good as her rock cakes!

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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.

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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…..

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