Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday 24 June

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while, know that my mum has had more than her fair share of trouble with cancer. Four and a half years ago she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I had never even heard of it so knew very little about it. She was very ill by the time she underwent major surgery, but made a good recovery. It wasn't until things started to calm down a bit that I started to think about the future, and I'll never forget her saying 'the prognosis isn't very good'. Ninety-five percent of pancreatic cancer patients don't make it past a year. She was lucky that her tumor was operable, I think she was in very good hands and maybe, just maybe she was a little bit lucky as well - because she's still with us today.
Then last year in April we were hit by the bombshell that she had breast cancer. It was not related, it was 'just bad luck'. Bad luck indeed. This time around it was all so different - she didn't feel ill, the operations were relatively minor, the survival rate was much better and the treatment plan was much longer. It was much harder to put it all behind us and forget that she was a patient.
But, that is over a year ago now and her recent mammogram came back clear. She sometimes says she has a guardian angel on her shoulder. I'm beginning to think she might be right.

Cancer is one of those illnesses that happen 'to someone else'. That is, until it happens to you. You know it is a horrible illness, but you don't realise quite the effect and impact until it happens to you or a loved one. And so many people have to deal with it at one point or another. Survival rates improve all the time, but to keep them improving, much research is needed and research costs money.

So, once again, I am very proud to be taking part in the Ladies' Tractor Road Run to raise money for Cancer Research. This is my third year and it only gets better every year. Hundred and thirty women dressed up in pink on tractors with the wildest, silliest, pinkest decorations, driving 25 miles through Norfolk countryside, going through little villages where people sit outside their houses with a picnic to watch and wave. Driving through Harleston is probably the highlight - you get warned it's an emotional scene but you can't imagine what it's like to see rows of people lining the pavement, all cheering and waving you on - the lump in your throat soon turns to proper tears and most of us leave Harleston with wet cheeks. It is a very poignant day, considering the reason we all take part, but there is lots of laughter and camaraderie too.

Please go and visit my JustGiving page and consider making a donation. Every little bit of money helps to fund research so that more people like me can feel grateful that their mum or dad or child or other loved one is still with them today.

Thank you xxx

Photo courtesy of Mick Harrod

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday 12 June

The theme for the June Popular Crafts swap was Union Jack. I wasn't sure at first whether to sign up, the Union flag not really being my flag, but it is such a friendly swap that I couldn't resist. My swap partner was Simmi from Graces Favours. We emailed a few times, we followed each other on Pinterest, but I had no inspiration. I kept coming up with different ideas then discarding them. In the end a neighbour who is a crafter too, suggested a pincushion. Brilliant - not so large that it is hard or expensive to send, and practical too as Simmi sews a lot with felt. I had everything I needed for the pincushion at home, all little bits I'd saved 'just in case'. I tried to find a box of Jubilee coloured pins but had to settle for red ones in the end, but thought they went well with the cushion.

 (photo is Simmi's as I forgot to take one before I posted my parcel!)

Simmi's parcel to me arrived before I sent mine, and imagine my surprise when I opened it and found this...

Yes, Simmi had made me a pincushion too, almost the same size, also with a ribbon at the top! The only difference is that Simmi made the Dutch flag on the back - I was so touched by that. Also included in the parcel were lavender bath crystals which made the whole parcel smell lovely, a Jubilee brooch and probably my favourite part, the button magnets - they are so sweet. I have a sneaky suspicion I may have those on one of my Pinterest boards...
Simmi, it's been a great swap, thank you, and I hope we'll stay in touch!

The next theme is polka dots but I'm giving it a miss for a few months. So far this year I have made very little for myself and it's getting me a little down. I love swaps but find it hard sometimes to send away what I've made. So the second half of 2012 is going to be for me!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunday 10 June

Best bit of your weekend

It was unexpectedly a fairly nice day, so far Spring has been very wet this year in the UK. I am no real gardener and have a very overgrown, neglected garden, but 10yo and I spent a lot of time clearing on Sunday and dug a small border to plant the dahlia and two courgettes. It felt so nice in the evening to step out the back door and see all the work we'd done.
Photo for today was hard to choose as Southwold was lovely too and yielded many happy photos!

Photo a day for 10 June

Saturday 9 June

Your view today

Visit to Southwold
Photo a day for 9 June

Friday 8 June

6 o'clock

6:29 AM is my alarm most mornings
Photo a day for 8 June

Thursday 7 June


My bedtime 'hot cocoa'.
(mental note to self, must learn to play with White Balance on my camera)
Photo a day for 7 June

Wednesday 6 June


Hats from the Innocent smoothie drinks to raise money for Age UK.
Photo a day for 6 June

Tuesday 5 June


The poster the kids got me for Mother's Day
One photo a day for 5 June

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Monday 4 June


Dahlia bought at plant fair held in Bury St. Edmunds during Jubilee celebrations
Photo a Day June 4

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sunday 3 June

On your plate

Cucumber sandwiches, homemade scones with jam and cream and a cupcake with English flag icing for the Jubilee celebrations
Photo a day June for 3 June

Saturday 2 June


Empty plate after homemade real Italian bolognese sauce
Photo a day June for 2 June

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Friday 1 June

Photo a day June challenge - 1 June - Morning

My morning coffee in the office with a slice of Devonshire apple cake made for the Weekly Bake-Off on Twitter.