Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Stars of the future

What makes your heart sing?
Rainbows, shooting stars and glorious sunsets, maybe?
Are there things that you love to do in your spare time?
Whether you're a black belt in Judo, collect key rings for your exceedingly large key ring collection, or you just like taking long walks, I think it's food for the soul.
Rather like love and laughter.
Things which make your heart sing.
Personally I like to read books, take photographs, write stories, make cards. There are lots of things my heart likes to sing along to.
My cousin and his girlfriend like to dance. Latin and ballroom style. They have only been learning for a year but already they are winners of trophies. Now there's something which I'm sure makes their heart sing, in union. It's a pastime which brings them closer. Plus it enables them to keep fit and unleash a competitive nature whilst travelling the country together.
Not bad hey.
I actually suggested to Mark that we become dance partners, who knows we could be future world champions? But I was met with a glare and an abrupt, "No chance!"
Oh well, I guess Mark has his football, his dancing feet are firmly planted in football boots. Yes football definitely makes Mark a happier person, unless his beloved Arsenal are losing. As much as I cheer when football season is over and my husband and car return to me, I'm glad he has a hobby, a sport, something to focus on.
I shall certainly encourage Tommy to play sport and learn hobbies, and appreciate the wonders of nature. I want to hear his heart sing!
He may even show an interest in dancing? Currently we jump around the lounge together to music, it's sort of dancing.
Last Saturday afternoon, my cousin Jack and his girlfriend Jessica performed at our local sports centre, at an all day competition. And myself, my mum, aunties and uncles and cousin Sarah had third row seats to the stars of the future.
It was so much fun. A splendid way to spend an afternoon of entertainment. Made even better due to the fact they reached the semi final.
Well done Jack and Jessica.

Getting ready for their heat.

Here they are, Jack and Jessica.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Where are the stairs?

I always smile when I approach the house on the bend. The one near my parent's house, the one with the little gate in the front garden and the vegetable patch in the back garden. At least it used to have a vegetable patch.
My first memory is running around that vegetable patch, being chased by my mother because I wouldn't go to bed.
So desperate was she that I behave myself and retire to my bedroom, that she threatened to call a policeman if I didn't go to bed as I should.
Eventually this worked as I ran up the stairs to my bedroom, much to my mother's relief. However, I was then distracted by my dolls and refused point blank to actually get into my bed. That's when our doorbell rang and my exasperated mother said, "It must be the policeman, now get into bed please!"
I remember feeling very naughty and squeezing my eyes shut so no one, including a man in a blue uniform, could tell me off for not being tucked up in bed, asleep, as a child my age was supposed to be. But then I heard lots of different voices, followed by laughter, and I plucked up the courage to creep out of my room to investigate.
I peered through a doorway and discovered it wasn't a policeman but the Brown family; the tall lady and man, and their children, who were buying our house.
So that was my first memory, dear readers, in the house on the bend, with the wooden gate and vegetable patch. My first house, until we moved literally around the corner to the bungalow. "Where are the stairs?" I kept repeating on moving day.
It has stairs now, therefore it's a chalet bungalow. Plus it has an extended lounge, green carpet replaces the patterned one. Accompanied by a whole load of happy memories.
Family birthday meals in the kitchen, sleepovers in the bedroom, a paddling pool in the summer and snowball fights in the winter.
I love the fact my parents still remain in the house and today my son plays within the same walls and garden. I'm often telling him little stories regarding my childhood in the chalet bungalow. He especially loves the garden, exploring the stepping stones, and I love following him, always in awe of how much the shrubs and flowers have matured. There's a raised area I used to pretend was my tree house and a shed I used to pretend a pixie lived in, always makes me chuckle when I remember these things.
Now I have the pleasure of watching Tommy lost in his own imagination in my parent's garden.
And long may it continue.

Grandpa's shed, where a pixie once lived

Through the stepping stones

Friday, 3 June 2016

A nurse named Janet

Whenever my life is ticking away nicely, I feel as if the big man upstairs likes to remind me, "Do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be too complacent. Suddenly, something could come your way and test your coping mechanism."
My dad has steadily, over the last year, lost weight. He sees a nurse regularly owing to the fact he's diabetic. The nurse also noticed these pounds slipping away, due to recording his weight and checking his general health. Bemused by the weight loss she ordered him to have a blood test and a full body MOT. We were grateful that someone was looking out for him, yet concerned about the test results.
It turned out my dad had a cyst in his liver. This cyst needed to be examined further. After anxious waiting it was confirmed it was nothing sinister. Phew, how lucky did we feel.
But, yes I'm sorry, there is a but - we then received another letter. The cyst was bothering one of the doctors, they wanted a panel of experts to examine further, in case it was a rare form of cancer.
Uh oh, someone mentioned cancer.
Someone was right.
It was a rare form of cancer.
Our worlds tried not to collapse. We all tried to be positive and to hang onto the news that it could be operable.
They just needed to check the rest of his liver, his kidneys, and ensure his body could handle a major operation.
Cue lots of hospital appointments and more worry.
Dear readers, my dad, and his family, have been incredibly lucky. The doctors were reassured my dad is still very fit for his age and the cancer was currently contained. Therefore they removed the offending c word. He rested in hospital for a few days and came home in his pajamas, frail yet happy to be home.
We've been warned it's the type that could return so he'll have to be monitored.
I'm painfully aware that not every cancer story has a happy ending. I thank my lucky stars that so far this one has.
Life really is a funny old game, one day you can be minding your own business, then BANG! Bad news hits you right between the eyes.
I for one will be eternally grateful to the lucky stars.
And a nurse named Janet. A nurse who thankfully decided to investigate my father's weight loss.