Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Butter is a forbidden food at our house. But if you just happen to decide you need to treat your mate to a steak for tea, and the steak just NEEDS garlic butter** then you will have some lurking in the kitchen for a day or two after ...

and then if you just happen to be in the Co-Op when they have a basket of reduced-to-clear-crumpets by the till, so you can't miss seeing them .. well then you have breakfast made in heaven .. don't you?

** Nigel Slater's Recipe for garlic butter with steak:
50g butter
two large tablespoons chopped parsley (that's a lot)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
juice of 1/2 lemon
large garlic clove, crushed with the salt

soften the butter and blend the other stuff into it .. amazing how the parsley goes in .. this is just scrummy on a steak and jacket spud ... (ask Mr K!)

Today is a back to hospital day. I'm really starting to feel the cumulative effect of the chemo now, and am generally quite tired and low energy pretty much all of the time ...

I am enjoying thinking about the shed, and we spent a happy weekend pottering around gardens (Biddulph Grange) and garden centres (too numerous to mention) in search of a water feature and new pots for the deck. We bought a lot of new pots, and as soon as the shed and deck are painted we can pot them out .. we're going very simple with geraniums and lavander, for their drought resistance. We might just re-cycle the water feature we used to have here, b4 we got the giant marble one we invested in a couple of years ago.

Wandering around and gasping at the prices of things B and I conclude we've turned into the older generation, as we are endlessly amazed at how dear things seem!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I'm inside again. Thanks go out to Sam for bringing me in, and I hope Barbara and Dom had a good day together.

I also missed Mr K this week, swanning around in the sun in Scotland. This time last year we were up there together and B and I are jealous of the lovely rides he is doing.


I am pursuing early retirement for ill-health now, a very tough decision but I think the right one. It feels like arguing against myself ... you know what I mean?

I went back to college when I was in remission, and really enjoyed it, but things are different now, and I can't see me pushing myself to it again ... my new bowel configuration is the tin-lid on it, really, cos you can't teach from the loo ... to say nothing of the repeated chemo and its side-effects, of course.

My occupational (teacher's) pension (TPA) will pay out on ill-health grounds if they accept that I am:
a) unable to work
b) this condition is permenant ...

that's all the criteria are .. pretty simple, in a way, it's not an easy thing to accept emotionally .. but I think it's true for me on both counts ...

The paperwork depends very heavily on what my oncologist says ... I think he needs to know more about my erratic bowel action before he fills in the form, cos we never talk about it (what's the point!) except now there IS a point, he needs to know so that he can fill in these forms ..

I've already done some of what the TPA like you to do first, i.e. step down to an easier job (used to be head of a large dept) and also gone very part-time (currently only earn a 1/3 of what I was on 4 years ago!) so I've shown willingness to continue while it looked like I could staying remission .. so that should help my case.

I saw the occupational health doctor on Tuesday, and he agreed that I am unfit for work. I cried a fair bit, I must admit.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I've enjoyed having the extra week off -- I feel almost normal now .. well, you know, as normal as I'll ever be!

We had a great time in Lyme Regis, and enjoyed seeing everyone. Crazy Golf was the hightlight of the week for me. Kid sister Julie can still weild a winning club, after all these years!

Other highlights:
  • some lovely fish-meals out with family
  • the screen dad made for my elephant tapestry (it looks great in front of the fire place, dad!)
  • getting our credit card queried as Street cos I was using it so fast and furiously!
  • the fossil-walk-talk thing on Charmouth beach
  • B drinking 4 pints on Sat watching Chelsea v Man U ... she hardly drinks any more, so she was more than a little :: cough :: tipsy!
  • chocolate!

It is true that chocolate is addictive .. I keep craving it now.

We've also been making progress with the Shed since we got back .. I was working on firming up the kitchen plans today. It looks very lovely. Assuming that Chris (our workman) hasn't won the lottery then things should get moving more over the next week or two!

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Dr Adab has given me an extra week off so B and I can still get a week away in Lyme Regis. I hope it isn't snowing down there! We're packing extra blankets for cosiness in the caravan.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the family down there, and getting my hands on the things dad's been making for me, to say nothing of the aforementioned coffee set.