Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Late Mr. Fox

As we suspected, Mr. Fox (or Mrs. - I'm not sure) passed away overnight and I called the council this morning, bagged him or her up and it is now awaiting collection from outside the house.   At least I don't have to bury it or take it to the woods for nature to dispose of.   I feel a little sad that the RSPCA didn't want to intervene - they would probably have had to put the poor little creature down but at least it wouldn't have suffered.  I dislike foxes (as one of my earlier blogs states) with avengance but it would have been humane for them to come out - they could easily have netted the poor thing.

Anyway, it's over now and I've got that sorted which will please Mrs. F and A - I always have to clear up anything that is dead including the Hamsters, Birds and whatever else may have come to grief in our garden.  

Oh well, that done, I can get on with the rest of my day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Poor Mr. Fox

We found a Fox in a pretty poorly state outside the kitchen door.  We rang the RSPCA who told us to approach it with a broom and it sort of half struggled away to half way down the garden before collapsing in a heap its back legs not working too well at all and it did look pretty mangy :-( Apparently they could do nothing to ease the poor creature's pain unless it was still and easy to catch.  Well it only has two legs working as far as I can see and hasn't moved much during the day.  It's bitterly cold tonight and so I'll have to see what it is like in the morning.  If I had (or was allowed) a gun I'd put the thing out of its misery.  It's quite distressing as no one wants to know - and I thought that an association that was against cruelty to animals might be able to assist!

Oh well - I'll see tomorrow what is to be done about it, if the poor creature is still alive that is. 

So - my back - still twinging and giving me jip.  I will have to download that software that makes you take a break every 40 minutes.  I've been stuck here thrashing away at the PC for hours and really should be taking time off and away.

I did manage to get juicing a lot today and found that raw beetroots are pretty potent.  I did two in my first juice - mixed with carrot and a drop of ginger and lemon.  It looked like Dracula ought to drink it :-)  It was actually quite a difficult drink too as the power of the beets is something else so I know that I only need to use one of them - it's a bit like when I used too much ginger to start with last week!  I am now hardly eating anything for lunch and didn't really want much for tea either.  I think that I am training myself to eat smaller portions and I am filling up with juice and water during the day which is working.  I was looking at some photos of myself a month ago and I've lost a fair amount of weight.  Not only around my stomach but around my neck too.  There's more to go of course but it is a pretty good start considering I've probably only been doing this for a few weeks.

I intend to continue this as long as possible so that I can get to a position to restart my exercise and try and get into some sort of routine (something my job never lets me do - I'm working now at gone 11 at night!).

Right I'd better crack on.

A visit to see my Dad

I hate to say it but it wasn't a great success overall in going to see my dad.  By that I mean that there isn't a lot to say at the moment and there isn't anything revealing or earth shattering about his terminal disease and my visit.  Strong words?  Not really, just the fact that apart from dad looking older not much else changes, we do the pleasantries and we pass the time of day but things are mush as they ever were and we chat like families do, see how we are all getting along together and that's about it really.  It's not what I thought it would be - not that I've really thought about what I thought it would be, I just thought it would be different.

I complained about my dad some 18 months ago as he was distracted by the TV during one of my visits and today the TV was on non stop from the moment we arrived until the moment we left.   I'm guessing that 4 of us (not the normal 2) is difficult to deal with but in many ways it was pretty much an unusual situation for the whole of us to be together.  I'm sure that the visit was appreciated and it is maybe just me not feeling great about it.

We've never been a family to do much more that have a chat, we aren't particularly cuddly or kissy - I've noticed that it's something we've never really done.  So it's all a bit stilted and like some Jane Austen novel :-)  No really it is quite an effort, we chit chat and do the formalities but essentially, that's where it stays, we discuss health and so on but invariably its the same old thing and I feel sometimes as if I am "doing my duty" rather than anything else.

In many ways, the problem I suppose is one surrounding how would you meet your end?  I don't see my dad having a bucket list or anything like it, no ambitions, no regrets (I hope he doesn't have any - I hope not - but we wouldn't discuss that anyway).  I think that he will continue to sit and watch TV, potter around the house and stay within the confines of the house and garden until time comes and takes its course.  It isn't my life and it isn't my call.  It is his life and his call and that's the be all and end all of it.  My brother doesn't always get that and he probably never will, his own situation will not allow it.

Somehow, I've got to come to terms with it myself - you see I still feel a bit heartless and a bit uncaring and find that it isn't because I'm like that, it's just that it is the way it has always been.  I've seen my parents more often in the last 6 months than I've seen them in the last 6 years.  I find that I'm building up a bit of guilt, getting arranged to go and see them and then finding that it was a bit of a let down in a way.  I hope they don't feel that but in a way what am I actually achieving?  A bit of moral support for the folks which is fine.  A bit of light relief for my mum, she needs it as he is very demanding (always was but is more so now).  

Then I get home and I feel like sh1t too, there's nothing changing here no revelation no insight-fullness no completion no conclusion, no closure.  That's the absurdity of the situation, I see someone who is heading for the conclusion of their life and that's it really - the outlook was for him to die around about now and yet he is far from that I think, he is doing OK, weak of course but steady at the moment with the palliative operation being successful, the diabetes under control and diet and everything else is now in balance and control.  Freedom from the house has been removed by surrendering the car - and rightly so - there was no way that he could drive it and where would they go in it?  He doesn't want to go anywhere - although we got him to the supermarket and back, that's it.  

I pile the guilt on to myself and yet things are out of my control entirely.  I thought today as we made our way up in the fog and mist towards my parents, a more out of the way place in the middle of nowhere at all you couldn't wish to find - if you were helplessly lost you'd never get as far away as this place.  What on earth made them up sticks and be so far away and in such a miserable place (I suppose us city folk find the remote wilderness they call countryside in the damp, cold and fog could be called miserable!).

If there was an upside to this it was that we went to our favourite farm shop and we stocked a boot full of vegetables for just £13.  I got a 15Kg bag of Carrots which should keep me in juice for a little while plus some raw beets (yes I know to watch out for those...) and loads of other stuff too.  Looking forward to having a juicing fest this week.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hell of a week

I was in a furious mood on Tuesday, no particular reason as far as I can tell - I would have quite easily ripped your arm off and beat you with the wet end, quite easily in fact :-)  It's been a full on heavy schedule and I've been the bottleneck in the process.  That's been obvious and I have been struggling to keep up.  To be honest there has been a lot of ground to cover and a lot of distractions - well meaning I'm sure - but distractions nonetheless.  

I'm feeling well, I'm beginning to feel slimmer and fitter and a lot better than I have for ages and ages as the diet and the change in the way I consume food kicks in.  Juicing is a bit of an "acquired taste" as sometimes it looks like I'm drinking a pint of mud :-)  Generally it is the greens getting all mixed up with the base juice (I tend to favour carrot) and that's just the colour but it is also a strange taste - we are used to having our vegetables cooked and whole.  When you juice them you separate the juice from the fibre and so you are getting a super hit of nutrients.  You are also getting a massive amount into your body, far more than you would be able to actually eat.  I was looking at the way I get through vegetables these days and it is surprising what juice you can get out of some items but I do tend to work my way through a lot of vegetables every day.

L is home from University and so we have decided to descend on my dad on Sunday and take the girls as we can drop L back at Cambridge on the way home.  That will allow us to spend some time with dad and for the girls to see him as the last time he really wasn't with it and it was just after his operation and he wasn't in great shape.  He is a lot better now so it will be a good time.  Of course, it's one of those things as to whether this will be the last time they see him and so I'm concious of that too.  

It's late - I've been watching a set of DVDs from my childhood - Robinson Crusoe - I haven't seen it since the late 1960s I would guess and it is quite moving in places, beautiful music and for its day a good piece of drama.  It brought back old memories of sitting at home and waiting until the next episode to see what had happened.  Good stuff but once started I couldn't stop watching it hence it is now gone 2 in the morning!  Doh :-)

Friday, January 27, 2012

So it is Diabetes

One of those things I suppose - my dad does have Diabetes and finally they have diagnosed and given him medication for it.  Luckily he doesn't have to inject himself and is controlled by tablet.  This is a move forward and one that I have to say is long overdue.

In a way, the Doctor was faced with asking dad the difficult question "How long have they given you?" which of course is answered with 6 months which is now!  In reality he is a lot better than I thought he would be having seen a number of my friends die of Pancreatic Cancer Dad has remarkably had major surgery too and is still with us - good for him.  My friends died in 2 weeks and 1 month (I think).  It wasn't great.

As for me, well I'm getting on fine at the moment - a bit of a twinging back again - I'm not sure why that should be but there you go hopefully I can get rid of that overnight.  Weight wise well - it is still dropping off me and feels better each day - it is a most unusual sensation but a welcome one in reality.   I can feel my waist just being slimmer and my trousers being less tight and all of this is down to juicing and I haven't started exercising yet.  The great thing is that I'm eating large quantities of vegetables so for example I had some low fat mushroom soup tonight but I added to it, bean sprouts, mushrooms and spinach.  That made a big bowl full but of course there's hardly anything in it - it cheers up my soup and it fills me up too but keeps the calorie intake low.  Juice comprises of a quart of vegetable (mainly) juice a day with about 2 quarts of water.  I have my FOCC in the morning if before 8 am - if I am up later I miss it out and go straight for juice at 10:30.  I have a meal of a cup-a-soup at lunch time with either tinned pilchards, sardines or mackerel or perhaps fish sticks, tuna, egg or low fat pate.  

Onwards and upwards.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dad's seems brighter

They suggested that it would take a while to get over his surgery and he is now a lot brighter and getting about a bit more although he needs to find out tomorrow if he is Diabetic which it looks as if he probably is.

Hopefully I'll go up and see him next week to see how he is and to get to see him before we go off to Italy on holiday.  Hope that this time he is feeling a little better and that my car behaves itself.  Last time it cost me a Hotel and a new set of bulbs for the car!  Doh :-)

I'll take up my spare juicer so that mum can have that to use later on should dad need it.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weight and Fitness

This is a strange thing, I am losing weight and beginning to feel a lot better in myself.  I'm sure that the clear on Friday was a bigger barrier than I gave it credit for but also this regime of eating mainly vegetables in my diet seems to be paying off in a marked loosening of pressure on my waist which is great.  I've lost the love handle bits on the sides and whilst I still have a "bit of a tummy" it isn't anywhere as bad as it was a month ago when I really noticed it.  I think the juicing and drinking more water are having a good effect as is eating fish and also tending to have vegetable based soups and to bulk it up adding whatever vegetables I can find lying around that I haven't juiced!!!  I can't believe how many vegetables I get through each day but I drink 2 pints of vegetable juice a day now and am beginning to get some tolerance with the green element in the juice mainly through getting the balance right and ensuring I get a good neutral juice in there first.  

I'm pleased but need to ensure that I get some protein in too - hence the fish - I must get some eggs in there too if I can.  The trouble I have is that I will run out of Veg tomorrow morning - perhaps I'll take the opportunity to wander down to the greengrocers and buy some of my own choosing?  I'll see if I have time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Better Outlook

There's some serious stuff coming along this year.  Dad being uppermost on my mind and I suppose seeing if we are going to get investment in these difficult times is also a problem.  I love the sideways look I get when the penny drops and people realise that I've put in close to 2 years unpaid into the business and of course still had to cover the household bills etc.

That's the eye opener and that's why I get annoyed with the smart arse one liners from people who don't know what it really takes to build a business.  Somehow they don't think it through and realise the sheer volume of work you need to do to not only design the thing but make sure it will be bought (I mean does anyone actually want it).  This time last year I was pulling together the survey we conducted and pulling some 150 questions answered by over 180 people into some sort of logical order.  Then there's modelling the finances, working out the cost of all the services, the marketing, branding etc and suddenly there's 2 years of you life gone :-)

So in a way that will determine what will be or not be this year.  Only a very small number of businesses get funding and so we are being, as we normally are, balanced and steady in our views and expectations. 

However, knowing that these things are coming down the line is one thing and I've other news to share later on in February too which is again good news but it is all hush hush at the moment.

I am really looking forward to going to Italy now - it sounds just brilliant and we will get to see the wonders of three great cities (at least).  It will also give us an idea about travelling by train in Europe which is something we have always fancied doing.  It seems a little more civilised than the high pressure cigar tubes whistling around at 30,000 feet :-)  I have to say that when I last flew internally I couldn't believe the amount of security that was imposed and you needed your passport - for goodness sake.  Plus there was all the hanging around at the airport and waiting to get your baggage, then transferring into the city.  Let's see if this city centre to city centre arrangement is any better?

So I started this with the words "better outlook" and things are better.  I'm actually visibly losing weight on this juicing protocol I am on at the moment.  I haven't quite gone to a full vegetarian diet but I have cut down on most things.  My day looks like this now:

Breakfast:  Flax Seed Oil and Cottage Cheese diluted with a Drinking yoghurt (one of these "healthy" ones) added to a bowl of cut up dates, apricots, walnuts, raisins, figs, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds and possibly, hazel nuts cut up and flax seeds freshly ground.  I'll probably have a coffee and a pint of water.

Midday:  A pint of vegetable juice - generally based on carrot (occasionally a bit of apple), celery, cucumber, spinach, a twist of lemon, perhaps some cabbage, a tiny bit of root ginger, bean sprouts, turnip, asparagus, brussels sprout tops.  Occasionally I'll have melon as the base of the drink.   I will have this with another pint of water as it can be a bit difficult to drink without watering it down a bit.

Lunch:  Tends to be soup, sardines, mackerel or pilchards, or fish sticks, low fat pate, cottage cheese or tuna.  I may have some pickled onions or gherkins if things are a bit bland.  After that I will probably have a low fat fruit yoghurt.

Mid afternoon is a repeat of the juicing regime a mixture of vegetables but trying to keep the green content to about a quarter (no more) as it really is quite strong.

Tea:  Soup with some Ryvita or Rice Cakes, Tuna or fish, low fat cheese, fish sticks etc.

Occasionally I will cook myself some mushrooms and bean sprouts and left over vegetables and add these to my soup to make it a big meal but short on calories.  If I do have anything afterwards it will be an Orange or perhaps as a treat a sorbet from frozen fruit run through the homogeniser feature on my juicer.  

I've cut out bread - although I am a sucker at the weekend for a crusty bread roll.  I may have a little cheese at the weekend and get some Stilton out of the Freezer - just enough for a couple of crackers worth.

Once a week we have a main meal with roast vegetables and potatoes - I have cut out potatoes except of the very occasional baked one with Tuna and Baked Beans or some low fat cheese.  The meat tends to be Chicken, Beef or Gammon.  

So there you go and I reckon I have to have lost 1/2 stone in the week and a half I've been doing this.  The weight has fallen off of my stomach and the good old "love handles" seemed to go within days.  This is great news, now all I need to do is continue to prepare and juice my vegetables the only thing is the vegetable consumption has trebled in the past few weeks!

My experiment to make Sauerkraut ended in failure today.  I think I should have used white cabbage (with more moisture in it) than the Savoy I used.  I went to taste it after 4 days and it tasted just like - well minced raw cabbage.  I will certainly try again and see if I can get it to brew a bit.  the nice thing about the recipe I have is that there is no salt required.

Anyway - my health is good (not yet great) my weight is beginning to change and the health benefits of juicing appear to be kicking in nicely, it will be good to get into shape first and then see about tackling other ailments using targeted juices and diet.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

5 Years

I suppose that 5 years is some sort of landmark and it is as if a cork has popped out of the bottle with the way I feel.  By that I mean that I am of a much lighter disposition, I feel so much better, my body feels good and I am beginning to come out of a place I had hardly realised I was in.  I thought I was OK but I'm lifted to another slightly higher level by this news and I am additionally feeling well both physically and mentally.

I know that I am now getting things together a bit better in terms of diet and looking after myself.  I am beginning to believe that I may at last be seeing the back of this nightmare and so that in itself also bolsters my own self esteem and whilst it is too early to say goodbye to cancer, I can at least start to make it a lesser part of my daily life.

If there is anything to gain from this experience it is that you can stand up to cancer and with modern medicine, lifestyle change and a positive attitude you can get to a point where you can get some control back in your life.

I'll see how long it takes me to fall back to being glum - hopefully never!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

That's not great

A distant relative's partner died suddenly a few months back - what awful news.  Just as things were getting good, as they were planning to set up home and one day he went out for a bike ride and had a brain haemorrhage and died shortly afterwards.  

It's a reminder that life is like that sometimes.  There's me feeling great and there's someone else who has had a tragedy - it's life of course but should just bring me back to earth a bit.

Life goes on though and planning our trip to Italy is in full swing and Mrs. F. and I are busy looking at maps, guidebooks, train timetables and so on.  We are really looking forward to seeing the great Tourist traps of Italy :-)

Fun starts now

There is something quite invigorating about getting this all clear - suddenly and surprisingly I find myself lifted out of a rut and I'm positive and happy.  Mrs. F. and I are planning our journey across Europe by rail and it is looking quite an adventure with some wonderful things to see along the way.   The journey through the Alps into Italy from Switzerland looks to be beautiful and the opportunity to actually go between one city centre and the other without the need to get to an airport, hang around, do the big security thang and all that is quite compelling.  I fancied trying the Orient Express but it costs as much for a one way ticket each as the whole holiday is costing for 10 days!

Anyway, back to planning and getting excited about it all, amongst other things.

Surprising Reaction

Normally I'm pretty pleased that I get a clear but I also have a low reactor reaction and find the results somewhat of an anti climax.  This time I am really pleased and excited about finding I was clear.  Maybe I'd tuned my mind into it being like last time (what could be worse than finding it had recurred - only to find after being knocked out for the operation there was nothing there - a false positive)?  Maybe it was because it is over 5 years now?  Whatever it is, it is a great feeling, I'm really elated and excited.

That said, I should now turn this to my advantage and make even greater strides to improve my health and get my body protecting itself.  

Here's to a different outlook and a positive look forward this morning - great - I'm in an amazing frame of mind which can only be a good thing, it really does feel this time as if a weight has been lifted.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Clear - Relief

Relieved to be clear - not impressed that Planned Procedures and Surgical Admissions are one and the same now - what a nightmare and packed out.  Didn't wait too long was 15 minutes late and I saw my Consultant - amused the nurses with stress balls - which always makes for an amusing phrase as the cystoscope goes in, wiggle your toes (getting past the Prostate) and breathe properly - I'm a bugger for not breathing properly and of course "squeeze your balls" and that's when the fun starts.

Anyway - clear, clear yay clear - did I say clear?  What a relief.  So pleased and they are going to do a CT Scan - the first one I've ever had to make sure that things are OK elsewhere too.  I've got to have some dye shoved into my veins but hey - sure I can cope with that these days - hated the X-Ray version they gave me, with a vengance but hope this CT scan thing isn't as involved as that.

So that's good - 6 months to next appointment and this makes it clear (even with the blip) for about 4 years I guess.  I did have a very minor recurrence way back during BCG but post BCG have been clear all the way.....  LONG may that continue.

Pretty "made up" at the moment I have to say - it's a great result but this time was a bit more of a sting - don't know why - so spending a little more time in a darkened room relaxing.

30 minutes until I leave for the Hospital

I am just sitting at my desk, playing some quiet classical music before getting ready to wander up to the Hospital and get checked out.  Like all these things it is attitude and almost "habit" now.  I know where I am going, what is needed and as long as they are on time and I'm relaxed then it will be OK no matter what the outcome may be.  

It will be what it will be and I hope that this time, they won't need to get me in for an aborted operation but if that is what is needed (and it was last time) then I suppose I will need to just bear with it and go through with that.

I'm in a neutral place, a little nervous I'll admit but this has to happen and I'll reward myself with the rest of the day off whatever the outcome.

Judgement Day Again

In a little under 8 hours time I'll be having my flexible cystoscopy and we will see what 6 months have done to Mr. Bladder.   I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little tense and a little concerned, a little anxious.  Of course I am but there's a good reason to also look forward to this (he said bravely) and that is, if there is any possibility of a recurrence they will spot it and we can do something about it.  That is the bottom line, generally bladder cancer grows slowly and they can operate or we can redo treatment.

It is far better to know whether it is clear or not and so that really is the benefit of these tests, if it is good or bad news we can resolve it and plan away from there.  I'd hate to be set free and somehow find that I'd got a recurrence and it was too late to do anything about it.

Oh well, here we go, fingers crossed.  Everything is ready, dressing gown, music, water, tablets (paracetamol and ibuprofen) which I have just before the procedure and my stress balls are also to hand, very useful gadgets they are to stop me moving my hands and arms about (not that I think I would).

More tomorrow.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No Sh1t Sherlock

So finally after - what - a month or more - yes dad does have Diabetes.  Well I could have told you that.  Sometimes we get the best and the worst of our National Health Service all in a short space of time.   It's a good thing that we take responsibility for pushing this but really it should be "bleeding obvious" to health professionals and some how there is a huge chasm (black hole more like) between the Hospital and the local GP. 

I guess that they tend to be reactive only in the GPs - yet if you'd have had the letters from the Hospital you'd have picked up the seriousness of his condition surely?

Oh well - at least we now have him under control, diagnosed and now it is just monitoring and controlling things and feeding him properly.  At least my brother, sister-in-law and their kids can assist as both the kids have Diabetes and know the ins and outs of it all.

I ought to balance all this out by saying that in my case the greater part of the treatment, speed and people I've me has been positive with the occasional blip at the local level.  Also the treatment and operation that was provided to my dad has probably meant that he is still with us today.  I doubt he would have been if they hadn't done it.  

Phew Roof Fixed

So that's fixed and a fine job he has done of it too plus all the guttering as well so that's one job out of the way.  Will have to sort out the Insurance over the next few days once I get the Invoice/receipt.  I took photos so they can see the damage.

I had a funny old night last night some amazing dreams - occasionally I get a series of amazing, technicolour dreams.  So last night - fantastic - the trial and beheading of Charles I in the 17th Century.  It was incredible and I was right in the action.  There were some amazing details in it including stuff you couldn't make up when concious.  

But, there was a downside to this dreaming. I'm thinking it was to do with Friday's tests and the fear of it not turning out as clear.  I feel great at the moment, the change of diet is taking effect and I'm already losing weight and feeling great so I do hope that my check up will prove clear.  

I think that since the last inspection and subsequent half operation that wasn't needed the changes I've made to my lifestyle should greatly assist.  Since that time I've been using Flax Seed Oil and Cottage Cheese on a regular basis.  Exercise (albeit a bit problematic with my back problems) and now juicing is also assisting to get nutrients into my system so I'm hoping that all of these things will assist in keeping me clear.

But of course, I'm bound to be a little wary and a little worried about what they'll find but there you go.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Scope of Hope

Since the last check Cystoscopy which resulted in a visit to Hospital for my 10th or 11th Operation I have changed my lifestyle with some success and some failure but I hope with more of the former rather than any of the latter.  So this Friday sees a six month check up based on them operating on me and finding nothing last year around June.  Having found nothing they moved this check to 6 months and that, my friends. is progress indeed.  Going from 4 month checks to 6 months is a big step in the right direction.

So this Friday is coming into view and I can feel the anticipation of it already but I'm feeling very positive about this.  Since they found the anomaly in April last year I've changed diet and I try and have Flax Seed Oil and Cottage Cheese everyday - in reality I probably manage 5 or 6 days a week at this as occasionally I get up and just don't fancy eating anything at all.  

I look well, I feel well although I could feel better and I'm working on that - I do look so much better that I did even a year ago and as I joked with a friend who finally told me what I actually looked like when I WAS ill.  I was so grey that I looked like I was dead.  I remember it well - and some of the photographs of the time are just like there is a ghost who looks like me where I was.

This scope, this Friday, is a significant milestone to me as it would begin to allow me to start to believe that I am keeping clear and clean of Cancer.  That would be a big help and incentive to continue with the regime I've set myself this year.

My appointment is early and that suits me, I can get in to the Hospital, get seen and then come home and just relax for the rest of the day in my chair watching my DVDs and having a weekend to take it easy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interesting article

I must point you to this blog post from Steve Kelley in the US.  If nothing else it ought to challenge your thinking.  I've certainly sat up and taken notice.  I've now got the book (eBook) and started to make a study of it to see what I can learn from it.  It seems to have made a huge difference in Steve's weight but more so his overall well-being. 

One of the strange things is how your whole body is thrown out of kilter through having cancer, whether it is hormonal imbalance or something else it is marked and I'm interested in some of the areas explored especially linked to sleep, something that I struggle with, energy (stamina) and generally losing some weight in a controlled way.  Also it appears to have assisted Steve with posture too - and with my back giving me intermittent problems I wonder if that too might be addressed.

Anyway, whilst it is a long read, it is very interesting and thought provoking especially the way that some areas concerning diet and exercise challenge accepted thinking.  For that reason alone it is worth investigating.

Monday, January 16, 2012


We are off on holiday/vacation - a little early in the year but that's OK.  Lucerne, Venice, Florence, Rome and Turin.  I'm hoping we may get a chance to do Pisa or Lucca or something like that as we have managed to get a couple of extra days in Venice, Florence and Rome.  We are going to do the whole thing by rail which sounds awful but shouldn't be considering that we can get to Paris so fast from here.  we have upgraded on a couple of the longer journeys to First Class but the trains are so fast these days you hardly have to do that. 

I'm certainly looking forward to this - I've always wanted to go to Florence and Rome and Venice for that matter.  I loved Milan when I was there - and we actually change train there although we only have an hour between trains so we wont see much of the place.  It should be a bit of an adventure and for us, it takes less time to go by train especially to Paris and Brussels than by air. Think of all the hassle having to fly.  When you go by train that last time anyone will ask for a Passport is at our local station when we leave and when we come back.  None of that check in up to 2 hours before you fly, people not knowing what seat they are in standing up for hours queuing to get onto a plane that won't leave without you and generally is boarded by seat numbers!  

There is something quite insane about the way people behave in groups - especially tourists they seem to lose all vestiges of common sense and turn into sheep.  Then you can't move around in the cabin too much and there's all the hassle about food.  On the train there are restaurants, food trolleys etc.  In first class you get a meal and booze too :-)

Even better is that the trains arrive smack in the centre of cities we are visiting with the hotels between 1 and 3 blocks away from the station and the attractions a short distance from there.  I could be converted :-)

I used to enjoy working in Paris and Brussels for that very reason - once I was on board then I was whisked from city centre to city centre with food and drink provided and at either end I wasn't far from home or work.

I suppose the only bit I'm not feeling great about is being away whilst dad is ill but the truth is that it will be what it will be and that's the bottom line.  We need to get away and Mrs. F. could really do with a holiday as she hasn't really had one for all of 18 months and she works too hard - but ignores me when I say that :-(  At least we can have some time off together.  I'm guessing it must have been our Baltic Cruise then that was our last holiday and we enjoyed that - again going from city to city in a ship rather than flying.   There's a pattern emerging here :-)

Anyway - done, booked and that's the end of that.  Now to get the guide books, get cameras ready, waterproof jackets and suitcases sorted!  

Amazing how you can get annoyed with yourself

I find it that way and I get very upset with myself and annoyed especially if I've done all the right things etc but I must also remember that, like it or not, I have a check up this Friday to see how I am.  I forget that I was seriously ill not so long ago and I give myself a hard time for all sorts of reasons and I'm certain that I'm not the greatest person to be around at the moment even if I don't think I'm sending off bad vibes I probably am :-)  I'm also annoyed that I've got to and get a blood check now.  It's a pain to get that done - the hospital has huge queues and I think that I'll just take the flack from the doctor - they also want me to have my BP taken - perhaps I'll go get that done - I'll see if I can arrange that near to the point where they need to re-do my prescription.   In reality I'd like to work on a course of diet and exercise that means I can kick these damn medications into touch altogether - I can't see how shoving chemicals into your body should be able to beat some sort of natural remedy.

My dad needs to have a few more checks later this week as he is marginally diabetic - brought about by his Pancreatic Cancer no doubt.  I'm pleased to say he is still here - given that he was told he had 6 months about 5 months ago.  I've set the scene for my mum and dad that Mrs. F. and I are planning to go on holiday and will book that up in the next day or so.  We haven't been for some time and I think I am displaying signs of needing a break for a while.  I certainly would like to get away for a short while.  

I'm working on how I can now move my diet and ratch it up a notch.  I am drinking a quart of vegetable juice a day and a quart of water now and I am having my FOCC in the morning.  I wonder whether to drop out eating too much at lunch time and in the evening.  I intend to also see if I can get myself out of the routine I am in at the moment and start to get to bed on time and sleep properly.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Highs and Lows

I can't quite believe it I was doing really well and was installing my friend as Master of the Lodge - I had all the words right until one point in the proceedings where I got a bum prompt and went totally off piste and completely lost the plot.  It was OK we came back to normal and carried on but it screwed my performance badly.  I never like my own work - ever - I don't like the sound of my own voice, my own performance etc., never have done never will do.

I am reminded that I will very shortly be thrust into the limelight in my other Lodge and rather than installing someone may well be installed myself.  That will be a significant day in my life, it is very important and very special.  It was nice to install my life long friend in the Chair tonight, he's as hard as stone on the outside but as soft as fudge on the inside :-) bless him, he was as emotional this time as he was 20 years ago..

I then realised that it was over 20 years ago that I conducted the ceremony I did tonight so actually it wasn't as bad as I thought it was.  The trouble is, you always want to do your best or be your best and I wasn't.  It's not as if it is a black mark against me or anything like that but it is a matter of personal pride and I wasn't as good as I wanted to be.

What drives me mad

Mrs. F. drives me to utter distraction some days.  So tonight, she can't get onto a particular website and suggests the internet is down and so I look into it, no the internet isn't down but some websites only work with Microsoft and so I boot up another browser and start to get that up when I'm told she doesn't want to get onto the site and what about the security as she has tried to log in and it isn't working!

So why bother then if I sort out the site and get it working?  Why complain in the first place?  Why let me go through all of that grief if after I fix it, you don't use it!  Drives me mental sometimes.  It isn't just her, lots of people ask questions and never listen to the answer.  Best of all they ask your advice and they do the opposite and then tell you how they screwed up not following what you told them to do.  

I've been very impressed with progress with juicing and using my Omega 8004 Juicer.  It really is the business and now I've got used to making juices with a little more neutral juice in them I can tolerate the green juices a little better.  I don't know how much weight I've lost but I've lost about an inch off my waist if not more and the love handles have gone away at the sides.  I feel fitter and that's on top of already feeling pretty good in terms of still using Flax Seed Oil and Cottage Cheese mixture most mornings for breakfast.  I have changed a little though and do not have much cereal now as I am trying to ease down grains.  What I do now is use my dried fruit - raisins, dates, figs, apricots etc and add pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fresh blueberries or any other fruit I may have to hand and use that.  I cut the dried fruit into smaller pieces and then add the ground flax seeds and the FOCC mixture - I still use the active yoghurt to water down the FOCC mixture and it works out really well. 

During the day I have 2 - 3 pints of water - sometimes 4 and 2 pints of juice normally mid morning and mid afternoon.  It takes about 30 minutes to drink the juice as it can be thick and the green juice can't be just thrown down you neck.  I take water in between sips.  My coffee consumption is down to a couple of cups a day.  I have soup for lunch and dinner with Sardines, Pilchards, Cottage Cheese, Salad, Fish Sticks, Tuna and occasionally a bit of low fat cheese.  I need to perhaps up the protein a bit and so I will have to remember to have some eggs occasionally as well.  I was impressed that when I went out to lunch I had smoked mackerel and then vegetarian Lasagne but I did have Cheese and biscuits afterwards :-)  

I'm hoping that as I feel much better and my back isn't giving me too much trouble that I will get back in to an exercise routine again.  If I can get back into that habit I am sure that it will help with the weight loss I am experiencing now and also improve the rest of my general health.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Italy - Looks like it

Found a fabulous site to look at and Mrs. F. for once, seems impressed with my research and suggestions...  We actually need to ring the office as it is bespoke booking but the Itinerary looks something like:

Ebbsfleet International Station (just up the road from us) by Eurostar to Paris
Change to get a TGV to Lucerne and stay overnight
Lucerne to Venice and stay for a few days
Venice to Florence and stay for a few days
Florence to Rome and stay for a few days
Rome to Turin a day 
Turing to Paris and Paris to Ebbsfleet.

That appears to be a lot of travel but these trains are now 300kM / hour beasts and we can be across and in France or Belgium in less than an hour from here, it's how transport should be and on the continent it is meant to be a great way to get around - punctual etc.  So hopefully we will work out a reasonable rate for the holiday and do that later this year.

I've been up to London today and as a non participant at London Lunchtimers, had a very good talk but found that the pub has changed ownership so problems with things like the beer wasn't ready to be drawn etc and the meal was 20 minutes late but good company and good fun was had by all...

A has finished her dissertation and I did a final proof read last night, the local printing shop charged her and arm and a leg to bind it - so they'll not be recommended by me any more - rip off artists, £40 to print and ring bind two 67 page A4 coulour and the didn't even use good paper either bloody cheapskates - they'd have got a tongue lashing from me if they'd have produced that but A needs these for University and was caught.  Anyway, it is a stunning piece of work I have to say taking a difficult subject and she has actually interviewed a number of people and her research has always been second to none, she has really spent her time at University studying hard and I'm really pleased that she has.  I'm hoping that she gets top marks on this work, she certainly deserves it for effort and for the work she did interviewing the primary people in the field, using Skype to talk across continents too.  Clever.  I just hope that she gets a great result and that she can find a career using her photographic qualifications.  She is seeing her mentor tomorrow, if I had the money, I'd pay him to take her on for a year or two to learn the business.

Talking of money, we are getting closer and closer to getting to talk to investors, it has been a long hard road and it has been two months since we were ready to do this but have been forced to wait and take it slowly.  I'm impatient to get out there and start to make waves but that isn't the way we operate and so a meeting next week will allow us to push the button.  

Dad not good again

He's got a bladder infection - well I can only sympathise with that I'm pretty certain that it will debilitate him and make him a bit wobbly.  Doctor appears to have no bedside manner but then again, they live in the wilds of Norfolk where the tumble-weed rolls through and the Pony Express makes it once or twice a week!!  It really is a bit out of the way.

Had fun asking a question in answer to someone who wondered how my brother just came to be living 5 minutes from my folks.   It would take a big stretch of the imagination to believe that in the same year at around the same time and for the same reason (to realise the equity in their houses) my brother and my parents moved independent of each other and to the same location (originally within 7 miles of each other).  If you managed to do that without consultation you should go down the road and buy just one Lottery ticket (you wont need more) and await the payout.  And yet the story goes something along those lines.....

Anyway, it has made me a little more uncomfortable with going away but I fancy the adventure now having found a way we can go by train to Italy from just up the road here.  And as it is early in the year they are throwing a couple of extra days in the deal as well so we could get quite a fun holiday in if we sort ourselves out this weekend.  Of course, now I'm a bit worried about dad but he is hopefully going to be able to attend the doctor on Saturday and sort out this Diabetes (or not) question.  I hope they sort it out soon though.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Italy Looking Favourite

It's one of those things - I thought I'd got it all worked out - Caribbean or Florida, Dubai or Goa, perhaps the Seychelles for a bit of sun and warmth but Mrs. F. has suggested that Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples etc has taken her fancy.   I suppose we ought to go I've been to Milan, Trieste and Ventimiglia but never to Rome etc.  Mrs. F. has been to Venice but I haven't and so perhaps we can do that.  The Italian lakes would be too cold at this time of year.

I'm now searching through the internet to see how we can make all of this happen.  It should be easy enough the trains in Italy are very good and we can fly there for tens of pounds thanks to low cost airlines and we might even consider going by train and travelling by European TGV.  We can be in Paris and Brussels in a couple of hours from here so that's a possibility.

It's going to be hectic and I sort of bridged the subject of us going away with my mum today.  If we go at the end of February then it will be around the 6 month window for dad and whilst he is fine at the moment, I'm sort of concerned that I'll be away for a while but - I've done this before and ended up missing my holidays and feeling like cr@p which is the last thing I want but neither do I want to be too far away in case something happens but what can you do?  It will be what it will be and that's the way of it I guess.

Oh well, lets see what transpires...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

OK Now

What a strange old feeling that was yesterday - it just felt like someone had dumped the world's troubles on my shoulders.   I know what it is though, it is this.....

It is coming up to two years since we started this journey with the new business and we expected that it would take a year but of course suddenly we were left with just the two of us on the journey not the original 4.  That would easily have added the extra time but it comes as a serious shock to realise that we've burnt coming up to two years money to get here.  If we don't get finance then you could look at it as 2 years wasted I suppose.  It isn't but try telling yourself that :-)  I think it is pretty obvious that we would be having doubts about it now that we are there and investor ready and entering a new unknown area that appears to be occupied by charlatans and strangely enough, venture and entrepreneur are now the new celebrity in the UK as we try and emulate Silicon Valley.  The trouble is that - very much like the Dot Com boom, money is being haemorrhaged by these investors into ventures that are all clones of some other idea and many have seen a market opportunity and dived into some niche of it - there is little real innovation and ideas like ours don't figure as they aren't initially sexy or don't meet this idealised view of the world - like the one that everyone has an iPod, iPhone or Android phone and use it all the time.  Stuff isn't sustainable but there you go, that's the market we have to tackle.

I'm sure that wanting to go on holiday with dad ill is also playing away there in the background and the good news that I can't talk about until late February too.  Oh well - I'm OK now and I have control again, I am working too hard trying to compensate and I realise too late that I'm melting down.

On a happier note, I am beginning to get the hang of my juicer now and find that I'm drinking about a pint of juice a day - sometimes I find it a bit difficult but today was a treat with watermelon as you just cut the whole thing up seeds, skin and all and drop it into the processor and away you go.  It works a treat and a pint was around half the melon - incredible.  It tasted great too.  Of course, juicing should really only be used on vegetables not really too much fruit, the body can process fruit much better.

I have a load of salad stuff left over from tonight so I will just juice that and see what it is like.  There is some Iceberg lettuce in there and I believe that is pretty good to juice.  Looking forward to it.  Oh, and the Banana Ice Cream stuff - I suggest you use over ripe bananas as the younger they are the less ice cream like the result.  Also hope to do some berries and make a sort of sorbet too tomorrow.

Monday, January 09, 2012

That feeling of dread

Just came over me - and I don't know why, a huge heavy weight, thump, right down on my head and shoulders.  It's a sort of gloom and a sort of slight feeling of despair.  I have no idea where that came from, apart from it is almost 1 in the morning and I really should have gone to bed earlier in the evening.  My sleep patterns are all over the place and I really, really need to work on those along with the diet and other areas.  

I'm changing my diet but it is taking a while and I can feel that I am impatient for all the "good stuff" to happen NOW!  :-)  Of course it wont do that and of course it will take time.  I just feel a bit down again but we will see how I feel in the morning.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Holiday Required

So Mrs. F. informs me - we need a holiday and we need it soon.  She doesn't want to lose her holiday entitlement and it has to be taken by the end of March.  So two weeks to squeeze in and we've been looking at the options today, Dubai, Madeira, Goa, Florida, Turkey etc.  The thing is we want it warm but not hot and we want stuff to do as Mrs. F. doesn't "DO" beach holidays or laze around a swimming pool.

So the search is on and I have some set dates that I must hit.  Of course the scope due on the 20th January may mean that things are OK or that I may need to go back in a again.  Something else has happened over the weekend that I can't publish until later in February and so that also means I'm constrained by a date there.  Having said that it is a bit chicken and egg and so Mrs. F. needs to talk to her employer as they want to know what days she wants off and we don't know whether we can have the days off or not so we will see how that works.  Of course, we are in the middle of working on getting investment so the phone will need to be redirected or sorted out as well!  Doh - it's all too difficult :-)  But - she is right, I haven't had a holiday since 2009 and so we really need to get away for a short break.

Last night we went out to a Mexican Restaurant and had a good time celebrating my friend's birthday and retirement.  A made a lovely cake as you can see below.

She's pretty clever and as you can see Mike was in the Police and now retires although he has a civilian position with the force to go back to.  It's amazing that one of my school chums has already retired :-)

I'm waiting on the roofers to get their quote back - it is annoying as they were meant to email it to me or even call over the weekend.  

 You can see the line of Ridge tiles that have been disturbed by the storm and these have dropped down to the roof below where the Tarpaulin is.  That has about 8 or 10 damaged tiles and of course a hole down to the roof.  All the guttering has been disturbed too.  We actually found some of the guttering in the fish pond.
Let's hope this gets fixed soon though and we can get on with life without worrying when the rain or wind is coming again.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


Well it is an acquired taste I have to say.  I remember this from last time.  You need to slowly work your way into the heavier - and much better for you - green vegetables.  The rule of thumb appears to be in this case no more than 25% of your juice should be green.  You should use a base like Celery, Carrots, Cucumber / Courgette or Apples = something neutral.  The greens are quite heavy in taste and can make you gag a bit if you try them without anything else.

So I've got a huge box of Bramley Apples which I am using along with Celery and Carrots.  I have had a little green additions mainly Brussel Sprouts and Tops.  Have not tried anything heavier yet but have Cabbage, Asparagus and Lettuce as well.  I will slowly try and work through that.

Impressed with the ability of the machine to make Peanut (and other) Butter.  I takes a little getting used to but should be interesting in the future.  You don't need to add anything at all and it tastes very nice.

I am using the Juicer 2 or 3 times a day at the moment and it is most impressive.  Because it doesn't take too long to clean it means that you can.  My old one used to take about 10 minutes to break down and clean.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Wiped out the vegetables

I managed to decimate the fridge earlier and necessitated extra supplies being needed on the vegetable and fruit front.  We have plenty of Bramley Apples from last year's bumper crop stored in the garage so that's good for me as they make a nice basic base juice to add things to.  I've experimented with a number of vegetables so far and the girls have brought in new ones including Asparagus so that I can really get cracking using my Juicer.  I did a pint of juice today it was Apple, Orange, Celery, Brussel Sprouts and Sprout tops and half a red pepper.  I had to drink it slowly as it was quite pulpy and of course you can't just throw back a pint of juice, so it took about 30 minutes to slowly drink through it.  So far so good, I can't say I feel any noticeable difference yet but I've almost become vegetarian and the last meat that I ate must have been three days ago now.  I'm certainly hoping that added to a bit of exercise and modifying the remainder of my diet will lead to some weight loss but also to a greater feeling of well being.  It just needs to be gradually built up.

Dad had his appointment with the Hospital - they thought he looked well and had responded well to the treatment and the operation.  I've suggested that Mum can have my juicer when I next go up (the old one) so she can use that if it becomes necessary later on.  Dad seems to be doing OK and has even put on a little weight now that we aren't poisoning him with the wrong foods bless him.

The roofers came today and I'm waiting for emails and quotes so I can get that resolved as soon as practically possible.  If it is within budget I can give the go ahead but it may be a lot more than we think as they will need to put up a scaffold to reach it and complete it properly and safely!

I had to adjust the Tarpaulin a couple of times by myself today which was adventurous in the high winds which, thank goodness, have now subsided.  It isn't going to rain either which is also a bonus.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Another Storm Moving in

Tonight and we had to refit the Tarp to the roof but not sure if it will hold on any longer if it gets bad.   I had a closer look at the damage and we might even get more as the Ridge tiles have all shifted and rolled down and some must be loose.  Oh well, let's hope it isn't so bad.

My juicer arrived this morning - pretty impressed as I got an email and a text saying that it would be with me between a 1 hour slot and it was.  Nice delivery man too.  The Juicer is just amazing compared to my old centrifuge one and works a treat.  After we came in from fixing the Tarp I did the frozen banana trick - you process them through the Juicer with a blank screen and it turns out like the most wonderful ice cream (I suppose it really is a Banana Sorbet).  However, everyone first turned their noses up when they saw it coming out of the Juicer but when they tasted it - well - everyone is won over.  Which pleases me as if they like it then it is likely to get used a lot.  I've started doing some juicing and done about a pint so far.  You should do more it says but I will build up gradually to that.  I can see my vegetable and fruit consumption going up through the roof though.  No bad thing of course.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Not Quite The Start Hoped For

Overnight we had some serious gales hit us and we awoke to find some roof tiles in the garden.  What we found when we got outside wasn't just the odd roof tile but a whole load of destruction at the ridge tiles from the top of our 2 storey house had crashed down onto the extension roof smashing that up and breaking the tiles exposing the inner sections and water had entered there and had wet the ceiling.  the insurance companies were stretched to maximum and we could hardly get through and it took all day - all day when I had planned other activities!  Luckily A and her boyfriend rigged up a tarpaulin to keep off the worst of the rain which was squally and horrible and we now have the go ahead to get things fixed if within a reasonable amount of money but I need to get a couple of quotes to achieve this.

That's a load more time I don't need to be spending doing this but there you go - it needs to get fixed and fixed quickly.

I hope that my juicer will arrive tomorrow so that I can start to bring in life style changes over time and to get used to (once again) juicing to get nutrients in.  You have to be very careful as I recollect from last time that you do things gradually and don't try and shock your body by thrusting half a gallon of green juice down your neck on the first day - it will lead to tears.  Slowly, slowly is the mantra here - small amounts to start with, not too much of the heavy green juices just introduce them gradually.  Unfortunately I still have loads of stuff left over from Christmas so I need to be demolishing that lot too before it goes off (I hate waste).

My dad has to go see his doctor in a week or two to sort out his potentially high blood sugar levels.  things have eased off a bit at the moment and he goes to see his surgeon for an out patients appointment on Thursday - we will probably find out a little more then but he has healed up well it is just this balance and blood sugar problem we now have to deal with.

So the year has been a bit of a rocky start with the roof damage - thank goodness it wasn't the car as a handful of tiles dropped from 5 or 6 metres onto my car would have been pretty damn messy especially working out liability....  As it is, it looks like a small battlefield everywhere at the moment with small branches all over the road, trees felled, dustbins and other things dislodged - what a mess.  

Wicked - was well.. Totally Wicked

It was very nice - apart from the wee little panic attack as I got into the Apollo Theatre and the tiny bathrooms and crowds - yuk!  Nearly walked out but toughed it through - found the auditorium toilet - even that was horribly small and congested but managed to tough it out and got back to seat which wasn't the most comfortable and just breathed properly and concentrated on getting settled.  That done the show was OK and it was al-right but somehow it was somewhat predictable (in only the way a West End London show can be).   By that I mean it was well produced (although they did have a technical problem that delayed things by 5 minutes or so) and the singing was good but it was a contrived plot and stretched things a bit but there you go, you can't have everything.

It certainly didn't deserve the Standing Ovation some gave it but of course once some dumb ass gets up at the front and you can't see the stage everyone has to get up.

Had some fun on the way home.  A and I were in the lead and got to the station to find our train going in 4 or 5 minutes but it was at the far end of the platform so we had a bit of a slow trot then did a sprint just as a laugh but when we looked around we had caused everyone to start running down the platform after us so we couldn't stop - when we got to the train there must have been loads of out of breath people wondering why they'd dashed for the train as it didn't go out for another 3 or 4 minutes :-)  

Anyway, it was a lovely night out...  The girls arranged it and it IS nice to get out as a family every now and then.

Monday, January 02, 2012

23 1/2 Hours

Without doubt the best things you can do for yourself include exercise.  This video - around 9 1/2 minutes long takes some interesting facts and asks you a very important question: 

Sleep Patterns

Not been good these past three or four weeks - it is 00:35 and I'm wide awake and feel up to working for a couple of hours still.  I realise that I need to get some sort of pattern returned to get things to normal and part of my lifestyle changes are to get regular sleep and enough of it.  There are a number of things that need to change but it can't happen atomically, it will have to evolve, too often I've changed everything overnight and that just isn't sustainable.  Dietary changes will involve far more than a one off correction as the shock of going towards a more "raw" diet cannot be imposed on your body just like that you need to gradually grow into it.

I figure that it will take me one to two months to ease in properly to a point where I will be pulling all the strands together including diet, exercise, regular habits including sleeping properly etc.  I really want to be in a position to bring in improvements and see if I can maintain this into the year and start to see results.  My weight of course but also my well being and by that I mean my head as well as my body - I find that I dislike myself a fair bit and that's for all sorts of reasons.  I'm trying desperately to stop looking back and regretting but I find myself occasionally beating myself up for stuff that whilst I may regret it, I know I cannot go back and change it, I can only change the now.

Tomorrow is a family outing, the girls have bought us tickets to see Wicked  which I am very much looking forward to.  As it is a Bank Holiday tomorrow (well today) the trains are a bit few and far between but that's OK we will just get there a little earlier than normal.  

I spoke to my mum this morning and they had a good New Year's Eve and went to my Niece's place not far from them.  She did very well which is nice to hear.  Unfortunately, I don't see eye to eye with my niece either :-(  Bit of a shame really but after spending a lot of time and money to assist and finance her through education I found that it wasn't appreciated and we fell out.  I do have a very specific threshold for having the piss taken out of me and once you've over stepped the mark, well.... You've over stepped the mark and there isn't much of a way back.  Very few make it back into the sphere if they've had me over in some way or play me as stupid.  I hate stupidity and worse than that I hate it when people think I'm stupid, gullible or a push over.  I have a  very open and helpful spirit, I will try my utmost but once it goes to taking advantage of me or going beyond decency then the drawbridge comes up and you don't get in again.  I would hate to be on the wrong side of me.  Up come the defences and I will acknowledge you but don't think anything or any quarter will ever be given again.  I find it worse that other people are taken in by this particular charade but I do have to accept that I may be completely wrong about things and that they need to find out themselves.  

I've been wounded but no more, the damage is done.  As long as that is where it stops then that is fine.  For my part, I just don't get involved or take any part in the charade any more.  

So what else troubles me?  Without doubt it is my dad and what is going to happen.  There's an inevitability about it and that's true with us all, we are all going to die, perhaps we don't see it or block it out but in my dad's case he's looking straight down the barrel on it.  I remember thinking to myself about this when I was awaiting diagnosis - I was pretty sure that I'd die to start with but then got far more positive even before diagnosis.  I was worried about all the stuff I'd leave undone and how much time I'd have and what I'd do with that time.  Dad I guess has done pretty much what he wanted to do and his retirement was one of country living, pottering around in the garden, going to local attractions (gardens and the like) but holidays had long ago disappeared.  So in a way, I wonder what he would want to do with the time left and basically, it is nothing, just waiting around really.  I find that sad and in fact in the last few weeks, I've looked at how cruel ageing is.  I see friends of mine with sharp minds (like dad) who find they can hardly hold their hands still or find that they are having difficulty driving or enjoying the active lives they once had and age creeps up and makes us deaf and makes our eye sight poor, ridicules us and our once fit and active bodies start to give up on us.

Well, I'm rambling now and so will pack it in but one of the things I now feel is that there ought to be some way of being able to grow old gracefully and without trapping a great mind inside a shell that deteriorates around it. 

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012 Olympic Year

Here we go then, Olympics this year in London - should be good - apart from, along with many others, we didn't get tickets and we live here and paid for some of it too.  Oh well, with any luck we can share some of the excitement and the atmosphere.

I'm beginning to see a pattern emerging this year already and it is only day one.  There are going to be some major changes and major events this year.  We were pleased to hear that one of our friends has been made an MBE in the Queen's Honours this year.  It is well deserved and a little overdue really but there you have it - what an achievement!

I've spent the day sending out subscriptions notices to members and the first shock is that someone has resigned after receiving the notice - it wouldn't surprise me if there were a few more.

The BBC are sending out doom and gloom stuff and it's only the 1st January, you'd have thought that they could at least try and start 2012 off positively but not them, they make Attila the Hun look moderately conservative.  It is a shame that such a renowned institution should have become the purveyor of rumour (not news) and to have a set agenda dumping truth in the process for more subscribers who, from the looks of it, can barely read and write.