Friday, 25 November 2011

Live from the Freeman

A little while back I wrote about the awful experience I had at my local cancer hospital. It's a brand new place - clean, bright, airy - but I hated the fact that I was surrounded by posters and leaflets about cancer. My point being, I KNEW why I was there, and I didn't want to be constantly reminded about why I was there. I didn't want to know that while I was being treated for breast cancer there were loads of other cancers I could have too...

I had a little cry that day in the waiting room.

Anyway, today - here I am, writing this LIVE from the same hospital. I'm here with my mum while she has some routine scan done for her back fractures. We've been here since 11.15 and we're due to leave at 2.30pm

Got to admit, we weren't looking forward to spending half the day in the hospital,! What a pleasant time we've had! The coffee was excellent in the cafe, and we had a delicious (and cheap!) lunch in the hospital's restaurant - fish and chips for mum, curry for me (in the hope that it will make the india visas come quicker). We even spent money in the cancer shop - (I bought a woolly hat) and now, here I am with Internet access too - I'm able to write and publish a blog whilst she gets her scan done!

AND thanks to the efficiency of the staff etc, I will be home in time to collect the littl'un off the school bus!

Marvellous. And so much different from that awful day when all I could see was the word 'cancer' staring at me from every wall and every leaflet rack.

And yet, it's all exactly the same here as it was that horrid something else must have changed...I think it must be me. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:The Freeman hospital, Newcastle.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Capturing the Moment

We've invested in a spanking new camera and lens because I am obsessed with capturing moments in time.

Every weekend has the same activities in it - gymnastics, football, rugby, bacon and egg sarnies at the tea room...

...but despite the fact that the activities are the same, each weekend has slightly different moments of time in it which I try and capture with the lens, and yet enjoy in 'real life' too.

Here are some of my moments from this weekend...

I was crouching down at the corner flag hoping to get a good photo, when this lad on the 10 year old's team broke free and started charging towards me! He scored a great try. Its ALMOST a great shot, but not quite as I didn't manage to get the try-scorer in focus...but still pretty chuffed with it!
The 10 year old has the ball...
And still has the ball!...just!
Looking mean!
Meanwhile, here's the littlun in action from this weekend.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A Weekend in Pictures

I saw something on the telly that said that everyone in the world had to make a video of their day on 12th November, upload it to youtube, and then someone was going to compile it into a film - a sort of day in the life of the world...

Well, I didn't do that.

Instead I've been snapping away with my new camera as I ALWAYS do. Trying to capture moments in time. Moments in time of my family's life - not particularly 'special' occasions, just 'moments,' that are uniquely special to me, and to my family.

Here's a couple of shots to share with you from my weekend...

The 7 year old went to a remembrance service at the local church with her school. The parents were invited along,  and during the 2 minutes silence outside, the village, for once, fell completely silent. Even the traffic stopped.
Friday night is gymnastics night, and the 7 year old is training hard for her trip to France in  January.
Team talk. Saturday morning.
The Big Game
A stint in goal
Hot. Sweaty. Tired. Happy.
Post match analysis in the tea room. Bacon sarnie, glass of milk - perfect.
Sunday morning is rugby. Need some persil!
And yet MORE gymnastics!
FINALLY a chance to do some homework
And some final touches to the visas for India

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Night Mount Tarawera Erupted

The noise was unbelievable.

A room full of every nationality on the planet - all lined up in sleeping bags on the floor of a little hut in New Zealand...and I had managed to lie next to the snorer.

Me and my pal, Peta were on our travels. It was 1991. New Zealand was our first stop and we were doing one of the country's most beautiful 3 day walks - along with a load of other young travellers.

Pete and me - hitch-hiking around New Zealand.

We were tired. Our feet were nacking, our legs were aching, we were fairly hungry and cold, but most of all we wanted to sleep.

But we couldn't. The big German guy next to me was on his back creating a noise that was so loud I thought it was Mount Tarawera erupting.

'I can't sleep, Pete,' I whispered. 'Can you hear that guy next to me?'

'Of course I can bloody hear him. I wish he'd shut up. Give him a nudge.'

I was horrified at the thought of giving a complete stranger a shove in the middle of the night whilst he slept. I lay and watched him for a while instead. It was pitch black, but some of the other young explorers were using torches and candles to read, so I could just make out the profile of my snoring tormentor.

He was big. He was hairy. And I guessed that he'd be smelly too. His mouth was wide open and his head was back. With each intake of breath, he emitted a noise like a pneumatic drill, before breathing out like a drone of bagpipes.

I willed him to stop. I wanted the snoring to end. As I lay there in the darkness I even thought that if it meant that he suddenly stopped breathing altogether, at least the snoring would stop. I would be happier lying next to a dead man than a snoring man. These were the weird thoughts that went through my head as my tired eyes watched him snuffle, snort and roar.

Minutes later, urged by Pete, I plucked up the courage and leaned across to push him gently on the shoulder. I quickly wrapped myself back up in my sleeping bag so that he didn't think it had been me.

There was absolutely no reaction from the loud, grizzly German bear-man.

'Do it again - harder!' said Pete, trying not to laugh.

I shoved him a little harder this time, and for a nano-second he stopped snoring....but then started up again, like a lawnmower.

'Again!' Pete hissed from the comfort and safety of her sleeping bag.

Another shove, harder this time. No effect.

'Pleeease make him stop!' wailed Pete.

It was then that I'm not exactly sure what came over me - sleep deprivation, yes - helping a friend in need, yes - survival instincts, most certainly...

...Under my head was a pillow case stuffed with my clothes. T-shirts, jumpers, jeans, socks...a 'do it yerself' pillow. I sat up, and held one end of the stuffed pillow case in my right hand. Then, just as the snoring man breathed in on one of his pneumatic volcanic eruptions, I whacked him. Hard. On his face with the home-made pillow, now an effective anti-snoring weapon.

Without delay, I quickly buried myself in my sleeping bag. I was innocent. It wasn't me. I pretended to be asleep, watching the big German guy in the darkness - sitting up, rubbing his head, looking around.

The snoring had stopped. Hallelulia!

I closed my eyes and smiled...savoring the silence that I had created. Then...


My moment of peace was over. The big, hairy, noisy, (and probably smelly) German guy had taken revenge. He had whacked me in return - hard on my head with his own home-made pillow case weapon. He muttered something German-ish, that sounded like 'do that again and I'll kill you,' before settling himself down again, on his back...

As I lay there, rubbing my head, slightly bemused, all I could hear now from Pete's sleeping bag next to me was the sound of laughing.

In our nice cagouls
My journal - describing 'that' night in the little New Zealand hut in 1991 :-)