Saturday, 31 July 2010

Had such a good night out last night, laughed so much it hurt. We met up with our friends Cherry and Kim, they are just the funniest people you could ever meet; and I mean that in a respectful way :-)

Carlisle Infirmary? My experience of treatment that I have had at the hospital has been very good in the past, but the 'patient experience' this time around has been pretty poor. Having been told that I had cancer, I was taken into a little room where a specialist nurse gave me lots of information, answered my questions and generally reassured me. She also gave me a telephone number which I could call at anytime and somebody would either be there or get back to me if they were busy. That telephone number seemed so precious at the time because I was sure that I would need it. After all there had been so much to take in and my head was spinning, partly with the shock and also the information overload. I threw that number away last week after having tried it 3 times and it was always a voice mail. I left a message every time but nobody called me back. I E Mailed the help line of the cancer unit and also the urology nurse; no reply. I then E Mailed PALS; the 'Patient Advice & Liaison Service' who say they will reply within 12 hours. No reply still after a week. I phoned my specialist's secretary last Monday and was told that an appointment was being generated for me. Nothing in the post all week. Don't get me wrong, there are no doubt many people who are far worse off than me and need treatment before I do. But someone, anyone, could just reply to one of my phone calls or E Mails and say, 'don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you'!

An article in this mornings local paper has said that the 'planter' that the tree sits in outside the old tax office needs to be removed because it is causing a damp problem to the building. I can't help feeling that this article has been written as a response to my objection. The 'planter' is a raised area surrounded by brick that the tree sits in. So it's no longer the tree that is under threat, it's the planter. But if they take away the 'planter', as a consequence the tree will fall down! A bit like saying to a pilot, 'OK, you can take off, but we will have to remove the wings!' I think that I am going to lose this one and put it down to an experience of how local democracy is just make believe!

So the guy who lost control of his BMW in Penrith, whilst accelerating around a bend in a 30mph zone last year, has been sentenced this week. The car mounted the pavement and killed a pregnant mother and her unborn child. 2 years! With good behaviour out in 1 year! Justice or Joke?

Friday, 30 July 2010

Went down to Lancaster this morning, had a nice lunch with Beverley's son David and his 'top bird', Laura. Happy birthday again David, will give you a shout if I am ever being mugged on the Costa Del Sol! You guessed it, NO appointment in the post today!

What is the biggest coincidence that has ever happened to you in your life? Well when I was 14, it was probably that every time I saw a girl that I fancied, my trousers would bulge, but I didn't have the knowledge to know why or what to do with it yet! At the age of 40 I employed a girl, only to find that we had been in the same class as each other in Primary School. But the biggest one of all came to me earlier this year and I am sure that it will never be beaten. (sorry, some of you know the story) I joined the Access to Art & Design course at Cumbria University, not knowing at the time that it would turn out to be one of the most enjoyable years of my life. I think there were 12 of us at the start, ranging in ages from 19 to about 60 something. We all got on great pretty much from the start, and as it turned out, some of us are very good friends still and probably always will be. I got on very well with ( fairer to not name her I think ) a really nice girl in our group, similar age to some of my daughters. We had the town of Harrogate in common so would often talk about the town and which areas we had been to. She was very funny and popular within our group, but looking back, there was something so familiar about her face! On the last day of first term, some of us went out for a drink and at about 8pm there was just me and 2 girls left. Whilst one girl went to have a talk with a friend, I was left alone to talk to the other, the 19 year old that I was talking about from Harrogate. I asked her how she was getting home and she said, "by taxi, but it will cost me £20". "Blimey", I said, "where do you live, it must be a long way?" "Dalston, she replied". "Oh, I was told some months back that my ex wife had moved to Dalston". She said, "what's her name, I might know her?" The name came out of my mouth and in an instant, she looked stunned and yes, pretty traumatised. I thought she must be either having a stroke, a panic attack or was just succumbing to the drink! That was until she said the words "that's my mum!" which entered me into the same state of stupor, alongside her. We didn't exchange much in conversation after that, only to confirm with bits of private detail swapping so that we could confirm to each other that we were not both going mad. When I was a 19 year old soldier, I had married and had children with her Mum who was 17 at the time and from Harrogate. If there is such thing as blame to be laid at one door for the end of a relationship, it was my fault. We went through the rest of the academic year and I respected her wish not to want to talk anymore about it. It was uneasy between us, to say the least, but I told everyone else on the course so that people would better understand any 'atmosphere' being generated. I still have photos of her mum and they look so alike at that age, which explains why, when I first met her, that her face seemed strangely familiar. If I hadn't left her Mum all those years ago, she would not exist today; but that's how life goes. One small change that we make in our lives today can have such a dramatic knock on in future years!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

This morning I posted 30 letters through the doors of the 30 houses nearest the tree, asking if they would give their support to my campaign. That was 5 hours ago and I have had one back; there's a start! I have also written to the Council asking them to tell me what relevant qualifications the 'Tree Officer' has. He might be an ex traffic warden who bought a chainsaw on E bay! I've also asked them to waive the time limit of 5 minutes on my presentation as I am dyspraxic. In return they have offered me 10 minutes. However I declined this, stating that it was the time limit that concerned me, not the amount of time.

The postman drifted past today with still NO APPOINTMENT. Can't believe it can you? Is that good news, bad news or just plain old meaningless?

Joined the Fantasy Football at Chantal's work place in London. The 'Daddy Cools' my team is called. The season kicks off on the 14th August so you have to plan well ahead.

Went to a scuba dive centre at Carnforth today; amazing place! An old flooded quarry, full of crystal clear water, brown trout, massive sturgeons and other fish. They have sunk a helicopter, aeroplane and several boats to make diving more interesting; that only happens during a war in some countries! I am going to take lessons there as soon as I find out what's happening at the hospital. I'm not very good in water, but what the hell, surely anyone can walk along the bottom?

Left my crystals out to be recharged by the full moon on 26th, that was 3 days ago so I better go and see if they are still on the shed roof. If you ever get the chance to see a film called 'Australia', with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, you'll love it. Well, I'm off to do 'walkabout' now, so see you down by the billabong for a yabber!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Started today nursing a mild hangover after Paul's visit but brushed that off with a bacon butty each before he hit the road back to Carlisle. Had a walk around town, meeting Laura trying to resist all in Dorothy Perkins. A long chat with Lucienne about expensive photographic equipment and the impending visit from Maria and Sofia. No post so no appointment date yet, and the day seemed like it was going to drift past, until.....

Remember that tree? Well the planning officer sent me an E Mail, just to let me know that I had now lost my opportunity to speak to the planning committee because he had not heard from me since he last wrote to me. Hang on, he hadn't written to me! I E Mailed him back, I won't bore you with the content but it was to deliver a metaphorical punch. It worked, he rang me within 10 minutes and I was sat in his office with him 30 minutes after that. He asked me who I was representing; I replied, 'the tree', I thought it might be a trick question. He said that the Council's Tree Officer (CTO) had recommended the felling of the tree because, 'it had grown beyond what was considered appropriate for it's location'. Imagine that! I said that I disagreed, and that there was no physical evidence at the site to prove this. He pointed out that the CTO was a professional man of outstanding integrity. I replied that so was Tony Blair, but it hadn't stopped him from murdering 30,000 innocent civilians during the initial bombing of Baghdad! Probably went off the subject slightly but had to make my point. All ended well when he agreed to let me speak in front of the Planning Committee on 17th August. I will get 5 minutes to put my case and reminded by the Chairperson at 4 minutes and 30 seconds that I have 30 seconds to go. The committee is made up of lay people who are highly respected members of the community (Mason's Lodge comes to mind). I can not address them directly but can speak to them through the Chair. At the end of my 5 minutes I can not speak again for any reason, but the people who want to chop the tree down can respond to what I have said. At this stage I was impressed that I wasn't being blindfolded and turned 10 times through 360 degrees to disorientate me! A decision will then be made in secret by the committee and if history follows the same pattern, the tree will be chopped down a few weeks later. 97.5% objections are supported by the so called 'Independent Panel'. The people who want to fell the tree have promised to plant another in it's place that will not grow as big. That's OK then!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Monday, 19 July 2010
Well 14 hours sleep did the trick, I am a new man! Had a long chat with my brother Paul, his MRI scan has been brought forward to the 10th August. Will be hoping he gets the all clear! No appointment in the post for me this morning so hey, it's probably been one great big mistake. Some guy somewhere who has been told he has hemorrhoids, actually has prostate cancer and I will just have to go out and buy some germaloid cream!

A BIG welcome to my friend Ceej, what a great guy and one that I respect and admire. Makes a bloody good curry too!

Had lunch with Julie, Denise and Jean today, never used to have pulling power like that! We are slowly becoming the Art World equivalent of the Masons. (No, not Mansons, Masons!) We are even talking of meeting up in Barcelona, or somewhere beginning with 'M'! It's great to have friends like that, what lovely people. Tonight it's curry and beer with my mate Paul who is coming down from Carlisle.

'Every time you tell a lie, a little fairy dies'. That's what I used to tell my kids. Is it ever OK to lie? You know when they say,'it was just a white lie!' In the early 70's, the roads in Britain were always full of soldiers hitchhiking. It was an easy way of quickly getting around the country and sympathy for the armed Forces was still on a high after the war. The minute you got to a roundabout you were picked up in a flash! After a few of us were bumped off by the IRA, they stopped us doing that. Lorry drivers especially, they would pick you up because in return, you had to chat to them to keep them from falling asleep at the wheel. There were no tachographs back then, you could drive until you crashed, and some did. The first thing you were asked was, so what do you do in the Army son?' At first, no problem. 'I am in the 24th Signal Regiment based in Catterick. We are serving in Northern Ireland right now, but due to go to Germany and Bahrain later in the year'. In training we were told to only give our number, rank and name if asked about military stuff. However, I don't think many lorry drivers would have been impressed if every time I was asked things like, 'what is the food like, or 'do you like it in the army', I was to scream back, soaking his face in saliva, '24105078 PRIVATE SENCIER SIR'. It was around the 20th or 30th time that I started to slip in the little changes. First, instead of Dan, I would say my name was Eric or Steve (never went as far as Pamela!). Then I would say I was serving in Korea. That driver said 'I thought we were out of that place ages ago son?' I replied, 'that's what they want you to think'. 'A horse trainer?' one driver said, 'you said you were a dog handler when I picked you up last month!' "I progressed', I said nervously. I told one driver that I was a Paramedic, it turned out that he had trained as a nurse. He thought I was mad because I kept telling him that I had signed the official secrets act, so couldn't discuss anything about my work. First Aid! I then thought, what if we come across a road accident! But the Lorry drivers who I want to thank the most are the ones who helped me during the winter of discontent, get all that coal to Harrogate, where I got a good price from my girlfriend's neighbours. The miners were on strike, so coal was on ration, but not to the Army, we had mountains of it! Twice a week I would fill two suitcases, stand at catterick roundabout and hitch to Harrogate. The cases carried a sack each and the lorry drivers had to get out of the cab to help me lift them, they were that heavy. Most just said 'blimey, these are heavy'! I said, 'it's the new uniform', or 'we are allowed to take our weapons home now'. One said, 'what have you got in their, COAL?' I laughed and said, 'yes!' He wasn't sure.....

Monday, 26 July 2010


This is not bread!!!

Flew overnight from Cyprus, delayed be 2 hours and then drove up from Luton this morning. Had to stop for an hours sleep at a service station; 1 hour in the last 2 days! It was raining today, I held my face to the heavens and let the drops bounce off like little cold diamonds; after being in the high thirties for two weeks water had a new meaning! A stack of mail behind the door but I was delighted that there was still no appointment date for my MRI result. You see, I am reading into this that if they had the meeting on the 15th, and on the 26th they still haven't given me an appointment, then it can't be that bad, can it? :-)

The best thing in the post was my Access Diploma with 10 distinctions and 4 merits, along with a 'congratulations' letter from Elaine Flowers. AND...a letter saying that Frances, our lovely Course Leader, had nominated me for 'Outstanding Achievement'. Well all this made my day, I went straight down to the shop and got a bottle of my favourite red; Chateau neuf du pape! When you get a good day, celebrate it hey?

I've decided that I may have to drop down from the Adventure Media into the less physically demanding, Wildlife Media Degree. Whatever treatment I have, it's going to be a strenuous enough time before I even get to the Uni!

I got a lovely card informing me that my younger daughter Snofia has been named 'Senior Pupil of the Week'. Well done girl and what a fantastic report you got this year too; I am very proud of you.xxx

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The unexplained blotches in my groin area seem to be fading over the last two days. Very slowly, but that’s surely got to be better than getting worse? Other than that I must admit to feeling very healthy, even though slightly over fed and a bit over exposed to the Sun.

Well after yesterday’s visit to St. Helion Castle it was off to Kantara Castle today; and wow, just as good! Believe this, we were at this site for about three hours and not one other visitor showed up. It is a very remote location but this was a summer weekend, where was everyone? We paid the equivalent of £2.50 each to have a whole castle in Cyprus to ourselves for the morning; what a bargain!

Lunch was at a Turkish fresh fish restaurant, where I tried to explain to the waitress in sign language, that even though Beverley was ok if most of the things on her plate were alive or just dying, I wanted a piece of fish. No eyes, skin, tail, bones or dangly bits waving at me, just a nice square fillet of white fish. Ok, you’re thinking, ‘pathetic!’, but we are all brought up differently. My daughter Chantal would catch her own fish, kill it, skin and gut it and then cook and eat it. Brilliant! Wish I was the same; I’m not! I almost got my wish, there were bones and skin but what a great lunch. We sat by a window overlooking the sea, watching a Praying Mantas take up position for his lunch in a shrub no more than a meter away. He must have been a special needs one, because he had caught nothing by the time we had finished and I saw other insects flying past laughing at him.

I’ve stopped telling you about the near misses we are having on the road. Not because they have stopped happening, there are so many times we cheat death in a day that it’s becoming boring! Today we were on a new main road, travelling at speed, then the road just ended. It turned into a dust track with large rocks scattered about. That’s as far as the road had been built, but nobody put a sign up to say so! Having no signs for anything keeps you extremely alert, believe me!

Flying back later this evening, well take off is just after midnight arghh! I hate flying and would happily go back on a boat even if it took a month or more. I love it here in Northern Cyprus, the people, the castles, the food....the temperature? When I get back, the first time it rains I will stand outside looking up at the sky as the drops bounce off my face. Yes, I miss the rain!

Saturday, 24 July 2010


You just have to see a photo of Beverley scuba diving; doesn’t she look great? Go home Flipper the Dolphin, there’s a new kid on the block!

You know those castles you see in fairy tales that are built on top of a mountain, so high it almost touches the sky? Well we went to one today and it was just amazing. We walked up what felt like a thousand crooked stone steps, exploring three levels before reaching the tower at the top, over 2000 feet above sea level. From the top we could see the coastline for miles either way, and in the distance, the shores of Turkey baking under the mid-day sun. The castle was built around 800 years ago and had seen more occupancy changes than the Vatican! For me it was the best part of being in Northern Cyprus; it made Stirling Castle look like a council house! The castle couldn’t be more protected; it’s bang in the centre of a military area. We looked down from the castle to see Turkish troops practising, first with small arms and then heavy machine gun fire.

Thanks Lucienne for the lovely comments you left on the blog a couple of days ago, it’s great to hear you like it so much. Must say I love writing it. If anyone does have any questions or wants to comment then I would love to hear from you. It doesn’t have to be about cancer ☺ I have always been a very open person and not afraid to throw my life on the table!

Travel to any country in the world and ONLY (unless you know different) in the UK do you have to walk through 2 doors to get into a toilet. Then, if you are a woman (or a guy wanting to sit on the throne), you have to walk through a 3rd door. Why is that? I went into a Turkish toilet today, no doors! A few years ago, I was at a Rodeo in Texas, sat on a toilet having a crap, chatting to the guy beside me over the chest high wooden barrier between us. How did we get a fixation with toilet doors?

Friday, 23 July 2010

On 15th July, my consultant went on video link with the consultant radiologist from Carlisle and other specialists, including surgeons from the cancer unit at the Newcastle Freeman Hospital. Their task is to decide the best possible advice to give me after looking at my MRI scan results. This is great because a team and not just one person are now looking after me. My consultant will now call me in sometime soon to tell me what is going to happen next. Sasha and Lucienne, two of my daughters have both tried without success to find out when this appointment will be, just so I could be better prepared when I land back in the UK on Monday.
Not having any luck, I telephoned my consultants secretary today. She told me in a very cheerful voice that my appointment had not been scheduled yet, and that it will arrive in the post sometime soon. It was said so casually that I felt very lifted when I came off the phone; after all, if it were really bad stuff, wouldn’t they want to see me a bit more urgently? The mind plays tricks all the time; you not only hang on every word but how it is delivered and the expression on the persons face. Yes, I know it’s illogical and crazy but you really can’t help it.

I was informed on the 18th June that I had Prostate Cancer and that was one of the biggest shocks I have ever had to cope with. However, the next appointment will probably be the most important and stressful day that I have ever lived. There are four possible scenarios, which I will go into in more depth nearer the appointment. Right now there is still everything to play for, and I intend to!

We arrive back in the UK very early on Monday morning, arriving home at about 6 a.m. and going straight to bed. Please don’t call before 4 p.m. Zzzzz Zzzzz!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

‘I would rather spend my whole life believing in God, only to find that he doesn’t exist, rather than spend that time not believing, then find that he does’.
Churches are generally full of old people, because as we age we tend to look for more answers regarding our mortality. It’s the same when you are told you have cancer, your thoughts on the future shift fairly dramatically. I was lucky enough to be allowed to enter the Selimiye Mosque in Nicosia yesterday. I say lucky because not many of us non-Moslems would normally get this chance, especially if you happened to be a woman. If you are a non-Moslem, man or woman, and it is outside the hours of prayer, you can take your shoes off and enter this holy place in the city centre. I think it is an excellent way to invite others into the heart of what is sometimes seen as a very secretive religion. Woman all had to wear head scarves and to the amusement of the Moslems, a British guy donned a head scarf as he entered, oblivious that the rule only applied to women.
It was an amazing place to stand in, with everything, including the carpet in this ancient mosque, lined up to face Mecca. Unlike a church of the Christian faith, it was so simple and minimalistic inside, the emphasis being on the people and not the grandeur of the building they worshipped in. I got the chance, even as a so called ‘non believer’, to ask Allah for help; so I did! I had not become deeply religious, I always have been, but I was observing and questioning my own actions as I left the Mosque. My religion doesn’t have buildings, people who wear funny hats or any declared followers, but I suspect there are millions of us.

Have you ever wanted to watch turtles grappling up a moonlit beach, or watch the eggs hatch and see hundreds of the tiny creatures scrambling down to the sea? Well buy a DVD! We arrived at 8.30pm with other hopefuls and soon found ourselves camped out, in the dark, on what was probably a lovely beach. To keep our interest, a bucket, with a dozen newly hatched ‘wains’ were gently poured out near to the waters edge. Ten scrambled into the lapping waves and disappeared like a shot. Two others just did not want to go at all; they probably knew their survival chances! After that we just lay, the two of us on a single sleeping bag, gazing out at the Universe until 5am. No turtles hatched and none turned up to lay any eggs. Well given the size of the audience we might have made the same choice when delivering our families, don’t you think? We all sighed ‘ahhhh’ every time a shooting star flashed across the sky, and we all giggled when somebody farted; a competition that I surely won! We drifted in and out of sleep, occasionally waking to find less and less people had been pulled out to sea by the Great Turtle God, or had just plain had enough! With five of us left, the organisers were ready to cut their wrists also, and if there were any baby turtles scurrying down the sand, they would have surely been trampled to death in our eagerness to evacuate.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Seeing those young soldiers on parade yesterday, rifles, smart uniforms, really brought my Army years back. They must have only been on average, 18 years old! Funny when I look back to 9th May 1967, arriving on York station as a 15 year old lad. I had left school with no qualifications at 14, went to the co-op dairy and got a job as an assistant on a milk delivery round. The guy had just swapped his horse drawn float for a new electric one and he couldn't seem to cope without the back end of a horse in his foreground. Yogurts in cartons had just come out and milk was 3 pence a pint! I was running up a drive with 6 of these new yogurts in different flavours when I tripped. Oops! They shot out of the crate as missiles from a silo and splattered up the drive in front of me. I though, ‘nobody is looking, I could get away with this if I am quick’. I scooped equal portions back into each carton, along with a fair amount of grit, and then resealed the ‘pop off’ lid. The cartons were still covered with yuk and dirt from the fall, but the fishpond in the garden provided a quick solution, the goldfish enjoying the experience of a new taste! Nobody ever complained! If often imagined the family sitting around the breakfast table experiencing those new flavours!
My Father said he wanted me out of the house within 6 months, so I applied to join the Police, the Army and the RAF. The Police sent me a letter saying, come back when you are 19. The RAF said that one of my parents had to be from a commonwealth country; they were Belgian and Irish, so no chance there. Had they been Indian and Pakistani, there would have been no problem. Thank God, the Army took me! I had only lived with my parents from the age of 5 to 14 and even though I didn’t really miss home, I did miss our cat ‘Minush’. It was only the second time I had ever cried when I got a letter saying she had died. I didn’t like my brother Paul much, (sorry Paul ☺) funny because he is one of the people I feel closest to know. My other brother Andre missed me a lot and went of the rails totally when I left home. I’ve always liked Andre and again we are very close now. My little sister Jacqueline was only 3 when I left; she was lovely. It’s a shame that we became such different people as we grew up, but there is still time for us. I had no idea when I joined the Army that I was dyspraxic, slightly dyslexic and suffered from severe depression. I made some great friends, it was not an easy time, but it did force me into adulthood.

Well Nicosia was an experience today, with the temperature hitting 40! The border runs through this capital with a small strip of land where UN troops still provide a barrier between the Greeks and Turks. Greeks and tourists can go freely into the North but Turks can’t go to the south and tourists are checked out.
The Greek side of Nicosia is disgustingly European with McDonalds, NEXT, Starbucks etc. dotted all over the place. The Turkish side is still refreshingly unspoilt with small businesses thriving all around you.

My youngest daughter Snofia was 15 yesterday and yes, I forgot! Well I knew her birthday was on Tuesday, but I spent all day thinking it was Monday. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY SNOFIA and I am sorry. xxx

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

I was born in Hammersmith, London, at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital on 3rd December 1951. Not planned, as my Father often assured me! We lived in Acton on Gunnesbury Lane and my Mum and Dad worked at the White Hart Pub; they had a room upstairs where a suitcase was my first cot. My Mother had come over to London after the war like many Irish girls, to find work. My Father had no home after the war but was allowed to stay in England as he had fought with the allies, well most of the time. So that they could both continue working, they sent me to the Republic of Ireland, Ballycoolan near Stradbally, to be brought up by my Grandparents when I was still a baby. Those were important years to me because the first 4 to 5 years of our life are our formative years, when we learn our values and how to communicate with others. Those years were to prepare me for what was to be a tough childhood leading into being a very confused young adult. My Grandparents were country people, staunch Catholic republicans who knew how to survive. I have no memory of those years except those relayed to me by other relatives in later years. My pets were the chickens and my grandmother would often kill one for dinner. Even when the yard was fool of white feathers and I was munching on a chicken wing, I would ask my Grandmother where Snowy was today. She would just tell me he had gone away to live at another farm with his cousins from Wexford. He had left in the night when I was asleep and didn’t want to wake me up; but he had said to say goodbye! That was good enough for me, even as my grandmother stuffed handfuls of white feathers into a cotton bag to make a new pillow, I was sucking the last bit of meat from one of Snowy’s wings, oblivious to his fate.

Less about chickens, it’s a big day in Turkey today. Today marks the day in 1974 when Turkish troops landed on the island to stop the oppression by the Greek Cypriots on the Turkish population. It’s another typical US\British led cock up, evident in so many other parts of the world. Well it’s a National Holiday here, yippee! Military parades with soldiers and tanks, Brilliant air display by 8 Turkish jets, a few warships off shore and the Turkish Cypriot flag everywhere. Don’t you just love nationalism?

Monday, 19 July 2010

It's just fabulous that so many people follow this blog and probably three times as many follow it anonymously. The biggest thrill for me is when I get someone else on board as a named 'follower'. A big welcome to Sue, who is now part of the 'Inner Circle'; it's great to have you with us.

Well I learnt something about cancer that I didn't know the other day. Don't get me wrong, I rarely look the subject up now, (that's a lie!) but I was curious about this. As I have said, my dad died of prostate cancer and that is what it said on his death certificate. But by the time he died, it had spread everywhere. We were only able to donate his eyes in the end; his wish had been to donate everything possible. What I didn't realise is, when you get cancer of, let's say the liver, when the cancerous liver cells move around the body and take hold in, let's say the lungs, those cells grow in the lungs as cancerous liver cells. So the primary tumour is liver cancer and the secondary tumour is lung cancer. So you might die from the secondary tumour in your lungs, but it would say on your death certificate that you had died from liver cancer. Phew, did you follow that?

Hey, remember I told you about the old neolithic site at the back of that hotel last week. Well here is a photo of the guys who showed us around. The Onion peeler (what a job!) and the dishwashers and salad preparers who became our guides. Sorry, I'm still getting the hang of placing photos!
















Well the last photo...PHOTO? NO! Let's go for a video.... has to be of Beverley, fully tanked up and now a qualified PADI Open Water Diver. Well done girl, bloody well done! xxx

video
Well 14 hours sleep did the trick, I am a new man! Had a long chat with my brother Paul, his MRI scan has been brought forward to the 10th August. Will be hoping he gets the all clear! No appointment in the post for me this morning so hey, it's probably been one great big mistake. Some guy somewhere who has been told he has hemorrhoids, actually has prostate cancer and I will just have to go out and buy some germaloid cream!

A BIG welcome to my friend Ceej, what a great guy and one that I respect and admire. Makes a bloody good curry too!

Had lunch with Julie, Denise and Jean today, never used to have pulling power like that! We are slowly becoming the Art World equivalent of the Masons. (No, not Mansons, Masons!) We are even talking of meeting up in Barcelona, or somewhere beginning with 'M'! It's great to have friends like that, what lovely people. Tonight it's curry and beer with my mate Paul who is coming down from Carlisle.

'Every time you tell a lie, a little fairy dies'. That's what I used to tell my kids. Is it ever OK to lie? You know when they say,'it was just a white lie!' In the early 70's, the roads in Britain were always full of soldiers hitchhiking. It was an easy way of quickly getting around the country and sympathy for the armed Forces was still on a high after the war. The minute you got to a roundabout you were picked up in a flash! After a few of us were bumped off by the IRA, they stopped us doing that. Lorry drivers especially, they would pick you up because in return, you had to chat to them to keep them from falling asleep at the wheel. There were no tachographs back then, you could drive until you crashed, and some did. The first thing you were asked was, so what do you do in the Army son?' At first, no problem. 'I am in the 24th Signal Regiment based in Catterick. We are serving in Northern Ireland right now, but due to go to Germany and Bahrain later in the year'. In training we were told to only give our number, rank and name if asked about military stuff. However, I don't think many lorry drivers would have been impressed if every time I was asked things like, 'what is the food like, or 'do you like it in the army', I was to scream back, soaking his face in saliva, '24105078 PRIVATE SENCIER SIR'. It was around the 20th or 30th time that I started to slip in the little changes. First, instead of Dan, I would say my name was Eric or Steve (never went as far as Pamela!). Then I would say I was serving in Korea. That driver said 'I thought we were out of that place ages ago son?' I replied, 'that's what they want you to think'. 'A horse trainer?' one driver said, 'you said you were a dog handler when I picked you up last month!' "I progressed', I said nervously. I told one driver that I was a Paramedic, it turned out that he had trained as a nurse. He thought I was mad because I kept telling him that I had signed the official secrets act, so couldn't discuss anything about my work. First Aid! I then thought, what if we come across a road accident! But the Lorry drivers who I want to thank the most are the ones who helped me during the winter of discontent, get all that coal to Harrogate, where I got a good price from my girlfriend's neighbours. The miners were on strike, so coal was on ration, but not to the Army, we had mountains of it! Twice a week I would fill two suitcases, stand at catterick roundabout and hitch to Harrogate. The cases carried a sack each and the lorry drivers had to get out of the cab to help me lift them, they were that heavy. Most just said 'blimey, these are heavy'! I said, 'it's the new uniform', or 'we are allowed to take our weapons home now'. One said, 'what have you got in their, COAL?' I laughed and said, 'yes!' He wasn't sure.....

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Well Beverley was buzzing this morning; she was told that she had passed her PADI exam with 94% and had made such good progress that she would qualify on the third day of what was to be a four day course. So now, she is considering whether to take the 2 day ‘advanced diving’ qualification later in the week! She is out, under the sea all day again today and I wanted to treat myself to a really nice lunch. After half an hour looking around the supermarket, I came out with a loaf of bread, a packet of fish fingers and a bottle of tomato sauce. Mmm!

There is a motorway on the way to the dive centre, but not as you know it! There are side roads leading onto it with red flashing lights. They don’t mean ‘stop’, they mean ‘beware’, because cars suddenly appear in front of you, as if by magic; just like on those video games. Not necessarily a car; this morning it was a ten ton road roller, which I swerved around, only to see a guy casually removing white lines from the centre of the road with a blow torch. He took a drag on his fag as I swerved around him. Expect absolutely anything and you’ve got the idea.
So having passed a ginger cat which was spread across the road, as if it had fallen from 30,000 feet (maybe it had!), I saw a strange looking bird slowly walking across the road, just ahead of me. It ignored my flashing lights so I started to break hard, whilst slowly realising that I was looking at a pigeon with a plastic bag on its head! I swerved onto the hard shoulder and as I leapt from the car I could hear Beverley’s voice echoing behind me, “don’t get run over darling”! I’m not sure if I remember the words because deep down, it may be the last time I would hear her voice, or because it was dam good advice when you are about to chase a pigeon across a motorway. Well the pigeon was terrified, it didn’t know I had come to save it, it lived in Cyprus, so its only thought was, ‘he’s going to eat me!’ As it took off, it’s head popped through a small hole in the bag and it disappeared over the nearby town. I was imagining what mockery it would receive from its friends as it landed in the town square!

Dinner booked tonight for 7pm so I am having an extremely lazy day before I pick up Beverley (who will be smelling like a fisherman’s dog) from the dive centre at 5pm. I’ll be in deep water for that!
I call her Beverley because my brother was married to a girl called Bev once. Paul could never really come to terms with having another Bev in the family, so Beverley it was, though most people call her Bev. As for me, Beverley calls me Daniel, because that is the name I prefer, though most people call me Dan. I was named Daniel because my Father went by that pseudonym during the war. With a name like Norbert Leon Auguste Senciér, changing to Daniel Dancé must have been a relief, don’t you think? My mother called him Dan, so all family members, to avoid confusion, called me Daniel.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Nice dinner out last night where we were joined by a starving kitten. It was also a bit lame and the restaurant owner was very annoyed when we started feeding it. I don't like cats because I really like birds. Cats torture birds to death, just for fun, not even for food; an estimated 1.5 million a year die just in the UK. But it's not in my nature to see anything suffering, so I shared my supper, knowing that this cat could have at least one good nights sleep!

Dropped Beverley at the dive centre this morning, she loved it yesterday. The instructor, Simon took some great photos underwater and said she was on track to complete her PADI certification on time. I went back to put the washing out; the first shirt being dry by the time I put the last one up. Then I went up into the hills in the car where it is a bit cooler, just to admire this rugged, dry but beautiful island.

As you drive through Northern Cyprus there are many military bases where you are not allowed to stop to look or take photos. Well I can understand that; it happens in many countries. Though come to think of it, driving through the USA, UK or France, they don't mind you stopping and looking; after all, they are not going to leave the plans for their latest weapons out on the roadside, are they? The reason here is different. Many of the troops you see at check points and in bunkers are dummies. No not stupid, I mean they are plastic figurines. The reason they don't want you to stop is because you just might die laughing. So there's a solution to all the manning problems and overtime bills in our Police Force!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Beverley off shore somewhere taking her PADI deep water diving certificate today. I have found a nice little air conditioned bar where I can hide from the sun :-) Yesterday we went to a 6000 year old Neolithic site, tucked out of the way behind a massive modern hotel complex. We had to walk through the back of the kitchen area to reach it; not even the kitchen staff seemed aware of its importance until Beverley explained in her best sign language! They were such nice friendly people and very helpful, shaking hands as we left. After that we went to a turtle beach being looked after by Exeter University. We are going back to spend the night on the beach next Wednesday because this is the peak of the hatching season. If we are luck we may see 2 or 3 nest, hatch hundreds of tiny turtles who will then scramble down the beach! It will be our job to make sure we don't let foxes eat them along the way, and to help those who get out of breath before sun up. Well to me that is the biggest WOW possible! Possibly the low point of the trip so far was pulling off the road near the power station. A small shanty town of men only, living in squalid conditions by the road side, in tents and small huts. Some were on their daily walk to the sea for a wash, their clothes in tatters! We don't know the meaning of poverty in the UK, do we?

I have a Mother, 2 brothers, 2 sisters, a lot of Aunts and Uncles, Nephews and Nieces, all on my mothers side. My Fathers relatives were all killed during the war, whilst he was busy fighting through it! Firstly in 1936 as part of the Communists in the Spanish Civil War, then on to North Africa with the French Foreign Legion before ending up back in Europe. I have 35 first cousins who, on average, have 4 children each. Many of those children have children also, but big families do not mean close families. Take it from me; if you have a small family, don't ever wish you had a larger one. I am very luck to have some lovely friends.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Still taking these Lycopene capsules, they supposedly not only slow the growth of tumours, but also can reduce their size by up to 30%. 2 a day, and they cost £35 for a tub of 90. If they were so good, wouldn’t my specialist have recommended them? Well at this stage I will try anything, though I put much more faith in the two white crystals given to me by my Wican friend, Maureen.

Beverley is still studying frantically for her PADI scuba diving theory test. She’s very lucky, she seems to retain everything she reads; my mind doesn’t work that way. About a year ago, after I was found to have difficulties with learning at the University, I was sent for a series of tests. These included testing my memory, logic, IQ, (I was in top 8%) and even holding my arms out, closing my eyes, then quickly trying to touch my nose. I laughed; that was until I stabbed my finger into my eye! I was found to have dyspraxia and dyslexia; which immediately explained so much in my past life, way back to school days. I no longer have any of the physical problems associated with dyspraxia; you shrug most of those off as you go through the years. I did get stuck with most of the mental symptoms, but have developed coping strategise as time has passed. My main problems are: organising and understanding information, short term memory, following detailed instructions, retaining information that I have read and orientation. So you wouldn’t want me as the pilot when you are going on holiday! I have to keep daily and weekly lists, even putting numbers beside tasks so that I know which order to do them in. I have never read a book, there was no point; when I got to page 3, I would have forgotten page 1. My learning has nearly all been through TV, radio & films. Facial recognition is also another big problem; it was when I was meeting a girl from the night before, the day after! ‘Well I guess she must be the one walking up to me now, smiling; or is that her friend?’
My assessor put it very kindly; he said…. ‘Everyone is born with a toolbox, but some of the tools in your box were missing! The key thing is not to try and find those tools because you never will. What I can do though, is give you the knowledge, equipment and strategies, to replace those missing tools.’ To me, it came in the form of the Disabled Students Allowance; a fantastic package covering equipment, IT and learning skills training, which included all sorts of other helpful things, such as extra time for exams and overlays for reading etc.

I am so looking forward to starting my degree in ‘Adventure & Media’ this September. Cumbria University have been amazingly good, in that they have promised to fit my timetable around any problems I have with hospital; even extending the length of time for the degree or putting the less physical modules nearer the start of the year.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Well I have found heaven in Cyprus. It's a little bar called 'Emily's' run by a couple from Nottingham and their daughter Hayley. They sell all the food that I recognise, they make tea and coffee as we know it, and there is a free wireless hook up! I am sat in the bar with 2 other Arsenal supporters and a Liverpool supporter. It's 39 outside but the sea breeze blowing through is fantastic ahhhhh! The heat sent me a bit batty in the first few days but you get used to it. Plenty of water during the day makes you feel much better than plenty of beer! The apartment is great, though some of the insects that fly past look like they could carry passengers. We have melon for breakfast, about the size of a rugby ball, that's the water supply for the first few hours! After that you just hope you can drink faster than you are losing it!

I did have a lymph reaction in my groin area the week after the biopsy. They told me at the hospital that it was probably infected hair follicles. I don't have any hairs in that spot!! Well I was so worried about it that I didn't want to put it on the blog. It makes me concerned that I might do this if things don't go smoothly with my results. I don't want to worry my kids especially, but I am hoping they will go along with the truth! The three areas of concern have all gone down and faded now, no others have appeared. I reckon it was a lymph reaction to the injury caused by the biopsy. Talking of which, my brother Paul is bypassing and going straight to the MRI stage. Oh you don't know what you are missing mate he he!

Thanks to Sasha for sorting that little admin problem earlier this week and well done to Lucienne for that neat little plan you drew up! Chantal, how did the league pan out? Man U Dave, thanks for the updates on the footie but don't send me any more jokes please, they cost £1 each to receive!!!

My new friend Dave who I met on a 'cancer chat site', (yep they have them) is a diving instructor in the South of Cyprus. He also captains ships from country to country. He got his results on Friday and they were very favourable. So pleased for him.

Well I now know how important this blog is to me, because the last few days not being able to complete it have made me feel a little anxious. I think we all need things to cling on to that are not necessarily within ourselves. If you don't, you are either lucky or kidding yourself. What would be the worse thing that someone could remove from your life? I don't mean a person, just a thing!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Well where to start!!! I thought that doing this blog from Cyprus would be easy# I am using a turkish key board and punctuation is just not available to me # I can just use # or / so sorry! Youll figure it out! I brought my new Mac PC with me but it is not compatible even with the latest stuff over here#The story is far longer but to cut it short/I will do an entry on here possibly every other day at this little internet cafe in the centre of Kyrenia#It gets me out of the heat which is a bonus/We didnt get in until after mid night on Sunday so it was then that I found Spain had won the World Cup# I dont know but I guess I must have done ok in the fantasy football#Monday and Tuesday we are just settling in/A walk along the beach this morning at 7am/well we did go to bed at 9pm# Its so hot between 10am and 4pm that you need to be inside#

I am feeling pretty good # There is a tendancy when you have cancer to think that every slight itch /pain or spot is the thing spreading# I am begining to laugh that off now because it is just panic/ you begin to relax a bit with it all#I am going to try and use E Mail now/bet that will be a problem too#Will write again in a couple of days and hope you are all cooler than me and having a good summer_ shit/ even a question mark is not possible!!!!!


Saturday, 10 July 2010

Cyprus tomorrow, and for the first time there will be no daily blog entry on Sunday! How will I cope? Feel a bit knackered today but then I am always that way in the warmer weather. Just heard that it's roasting in Cyprus so might have to find a dark wet cave, with Internet connection, to hang out in. We fly from Luton at 5pm, so up in the air for the full duration of the world cup final; how the hell did I plan that? I can understand why the flight was so cheap, probably just us and the pilot on the plane. Looking forward to being away though.

Beverley is taking her Padi Scuba diving qualification, a four day course which she has always wanted to do. She's good in the water; last time I went for a dip with her, she overtook me like a sea lion being followed by a shark! She then disappeared into an underwater cave system for half an hour. It was a cross between a day out with Tarka the otter and Flipper the dolphin!

Don't panic if the blog doesn't start up again on Monday. I have my laptop with me but need to put some credit on the 'dongle', I think it's called. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of visitors to the blog and all the positive vibes that have come to me as a result. It really does help, not only me, but Beverley and the kids.

Well, just the packing now, a takeaway at lovely Anne's (who was kind enough to loan us her villa in Cyprus) and a good nights sleep before the journey. Catch you all soon :-)

Friday, 9 July 2010

My MRI results are available now at the Cumbria Royal Infirmary. I haven't phoned because I don't really want to know them until I come back from holiday on Monday 26th. I look at it this way- If they were good, then it would just mean surgery, and I could have a fantastic holiday. However, if they are not so good, I would have no link to professional advice for 2 weeks and my holiday would be awful. This way, ignorance is bliss and I can really enjoy the next 2 weeks, putting it all in a special closed box in my mind.
Would you do it differently?

Well, the battle to save the pine tree hots up. The council have now put a preservation order on it, making it a criminal offence for anyone to harm it; that is until a decision is made by the planning committee. I will be able to state my objections, the other side will put their reasons for wanting to kill it, and if it is Sainsbury's, I will surely lose! (If you live in Penrith, that will mean something to you)

Beverley's last day of term, she came home with an armful of presents from the kids and parents; a very emotional day. Wish I had started life with a teacher like her; she builds something magic into them which will instinctively guide them forever. What a gem!

My Mother is the only person who doesn't know of my condition; she has health problems of her own and nobody thinks it a good idea to land it on her. I go along with that; she would think prostate cancer was something you get whist lying down in a reverential position!

I had just started setting up a web site last month, as I need to have one before I start my degree. I've only put a few hours work into it so far, nowhere near finished. I called it 'Cumbria Camera'; amazed that the name was available on Google! I offered to do 'anything at a price'. Today I got three enquiries; blimey I couldn't believe it. I passed them all onto the camera shop in town who were very grateful; especially getting them free. May be onto something with this!

An invitation came today from my daughter Sofia's school, for her annual review on September 13th. She has done so well at school this year and I am really looking forward to going. Did you know, I believed in Father Christmas until I was 12; it was great, then he stopped coming!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

There is a pine tree across the road from our house; outside the old empty tax office. I've never really noticed it before; until last week when a yellow notice was tied to it. A 'planning application', it was called, and the plan being, someone wanted to cut the tree down! There it was, perfectly healthy, rustling in the breeze, minding its own business and providing a home for numerous insects and birds; but someone just simply didn't like it being there. Well so many people have been helping me this last month, but who was going to help this tree? It couldn't walk down to the planning office, it can't shout for help when the men with axes come; I was it's only hope! So I have made an official application to save it and sent a copy to the local newspaper. It seems happier today somehow; I think it feels that it's in with a chance. I will keep you updated.

Well, the barium meal was almost as I had expected. I arrived on time, was seen immediately and after 15 minutes, was told that my throat and stomach were absolutely fine. Pheeeww! Imagine squirting 4 tubes of toothpaste into a beaker, adding a little water and a sprinkle of chalk and then stirring vigorously. Well that's what I had to fill my mouth with, a dozen times, only swallowing when the radiologist shouted the magic word. When he turned me upside down, after filling my mouth, I think he was surprised that I already knew that you can swallow stuff even in that position. This was because when I used to run pubs, I would often hold competitions for the locals to see who could stand on their head and drink a pint of beer the fastest!

I was wrong, Spain went through to join Holland in the football final! I went to the chippy before the match, Beverley was going for a night out with Anne so I was having a 'dream night' in! As I approached the chippy, a nice girl outside, in school uniform, said "hi, how are you?" I looked behind me, she must be talking to a friend, I thought. No, it was me! So not wanting to offend, I returned her greeting with a smile. She said, "my mums inside". Panic set in; I had travelled the world, but was I in Penrith about 15 years ago? My god, yes, I had left in 1994! I walked in to be greeted by Diane, as always with a big smile and laughing her head off as I recovered! I just hope that the cluster of people waiting for their fish suppers were not put off too much as we talked through the various symptoms and discharges involved in prostate and bladder problems.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Started making up some boxes today for the kids and others. Not because I think that my end is near, because I don’t. I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, but it’s something that never got near the top of my list. My past could be described as complex. Most of the things I have carried through life have been in my mind, and as I was not blessed with a great memory....well you see the problem. I do however, have a suitcase and a few boxes, full of kids first shoes, locks of hair, photos, baptism certificates; you know the kind of stuff? Well I really need to sort this all into appropriate boxes, then give those to the right people soon, otherwise it will be chaos for the kids one day.
Got the ‘Lakeland Walker’ this morning with the photo I submitted for their monthly competition. It’s not that I was picked as one of the winners that impressed me, but the fact that my photo was of sheep! Sheep in the Lake District? You must think I searched for days before I came across this rare phenomenon! The prize....a pair of top quality, medium wear, size 12 walking socks! It’s a start!
Going for a Barium Meal at 3.15pm today, so not allowed food or drink for 6 hours before. At the hospital I have to swallow some crystals that fill my stomach with gas; I told them a King Prawn Vindaloo would do the trick but they thought I was joking. I then have to eat a radioactive, blackcurrant flavoured porridge, whilst sitting behind an x-ray screen. After that, they tilt the screen in different directions to see where the porridge goes; which could be straight back out again! They tell me it’s completely harmless and I should not worry. They will be watching me from a lead lined bunker and they say I won’t need to use toilet duck to clean my toilet for the next week; my urine will kill anything it touches!!
Well, I was right about Holland last night, and tonight we have Germany v Spain. Well if Spain win, my fantasy football team for the final will be a dream; but my prediction is...Germany!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

MRI scan went as planned yesterday; a strange experience. They need to know if you have any kind of metal implants in or on your body. They explained that once the machine is switched on, any metal will just shoot out and stick to the roof of the chamber, regardless of what it has to pass through!! Well I thought about every question very carefully after that! I had a serious operation on my abdomen when I was 19, what if they had left a pair of surgical pliers inside me? 40 minutes sliding in and out of the white tunnel, lots of dinging and donging whilst the giant magnets power through you like a ready meal being microwaved. That's it, now the two week wait for the results, pheeeewww!
Welcome to the blog Sylvia. If I am a roman soldier, Sylvia is a Gladiator; a true inspiration to everyone she knows and a lovely person.
So I was going to have lunch with Lyndall in Barrow today, but I have been driving so much to the hospital lately, I just couldn't face the long journey. It would have been lovely to see Lyndall but hopefully, we can do that soon. Instead I went the 3 miles to Larch Cottage and had a fantastic day with Denise and Julie. I have never seen such a variety of flowers and insects in one day; lunch was as good as the company. We all looked around the ceramics display, experts now of course! We then talked everything... from reincarnation to dog psychology. When you have friends like that, things seem so much easier.
Ahhh back to football tonight; Uruguay and Holland. Who will win? Holland I expect; but then I thought England would win the World Cup!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Getting cancer and winning the lottery have things in common. I don't mean the £10 that I have won twice, I mean the jackpot millions! I saw a programme on tv once, where people had won vast amounts. They lost all their closest friends overnight and made a complete set of new ones within days! Some of their family were delighted and others stopped speaking to them.
With cancer, not all, but most people in your life change instantly. (ha ha, and so do you!) The very closest people to you become even closer and even more united with each other; which is lovely. Some people, who you thought were your very good friends, back off completely. Others, who you knew at a distance, are suddenly there in full support. More distant family tend to become very distant. People will cross the street to avoid talking to you! Yes, I didn't believe that before, but it happens to me daily. People all have their own way of dealing with things, so I don't judge any of this behaviour; I just find it curious. It's a strange phenomena which I can't work out; can you?
I spent years wishing I could win the lottery, but I always knew that while I was healthy, I was winning every week.
A big welcome to John and Roy as followers, two of my ex Army buddy's who I will be joining in Harrogate, this coming May, one way or another, for our 44th reunion!!!
Tried to ring my 'key worker' this morning; that special person who is there for you 24 hours a day once you get the big 'C'. Just the usual voice message and no call back four hours later. I wonder if they are really at a call centre in India!

Well it's off for the big scan now. We are so lucky to live in a country with this kind of equipment, when over a third of the worlds population can't even drink clean water. Don't you think?

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Big day tomorrow, my MRI scan! Well, not such a big day, after all I get no results tomorrow, they come between 2 to 3 weeks later. Now that will be a VERY big day! I've never had an MRI scan before but I have talked to people who have. You are stuck in a claustrophobic white tunnel for over an hour, only in sound contact through earphones with the radiologist. I am told it's a bit noisy and to have a good wee beforehand, because once you're in there you could short circuit the equipment if you became anxious! I have to inform them if I have any metal parts in my body, so will try to avoid areas of conflict today! There could also be a problem if my weight is more than 30 stone; I tend to agree with that!
I have become a world leading expert in prostate cancer; well you do, don't you? I ran pubs for 20 years and worked in aircraft engineering for 10 years, but I know more about cancer in 3 weeks than I learnt about those two professions in 30 years! I've decided that I must be a very lazy learner. If it matters, my brain will retain it, if it doesn't then I don't even try. I knew there was something wrong when I was a teenager. I could never remember whether to get on the number 7, 7A, 8 or 9 to get me home during the day. But at 2am, drunk as a skunk in a disco, if a girl gave me her 12 digit phone number and address, it would be etched on my memory, even when I was trying to hold down my egg butty the following morning!
I have a +90% survival chance over 5 years. Apparently, the average person has a +99% survival chance over 5 years. Who is that average person? Is he one of the people shot in Cumbria by a taxi driver a few weeks ago? Was she on one of the buses, blown up outside a mosque in Pakistan last week? Or maybe they were in the Twin Towers when those planes hit? The average person.....is that you?

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Tomato sauce (by the bucket) is now on the menu every meal! As part of my new diet, I have to include Lycopene, which comes in large doses with any processed tomato products; such as sauce and tinned tomatoes. Not fresh tomatoes funnily enough! Also, I have to eat plenty of oily fish (I thought they all were!), greens, fruit, nuts, beans and pulses. Mmmm I see a bad gas problem coming on!
Went to the Skelton Show today. First big country show of the season in the Penrith area. Fantastic sunny day with so much to see, and of course Beverley knew everybody and their kids.
Think I will use the Skelton Show as a marker next year to see how I am, one year on!

Two new followers on the blog....Katie, my life drawing teacher, fantastic person who was so patient and coped so well with me on the Access to Art & Design course. I progressed, in just a few weeks, from match stick men, to drawing what looked like a human, if you knew what a human should look like! Also hi to Demo, my good friend and solid man of principles, who lives on the hills overlooking Ullswater; a heaven on earth. Great to have you both on the blog; bringing us up to 14.......means so much to me and thank you.

So Germany have thrashed Argentina, just as Andre and I predicted, and go marching on to meet, probably Spain in the semi finals. Can you imagine an England team scoring 4 goals in three seperate world cup matches? Great to hear from my daughter Chantal today, can't understand how her, Luci and Beverley are all above me in the fantasy football league; I think money changed hands somewhere!

Friday, 2 July 2010

What a strange day! Had exchanged 20 texts before noon. Met Nikki for lunch in Carlisle then Jean joined us. Lots of chat and plenty of laughs. The MacMillan Cancer support vehicle was in the town centre; I've never really noticed it before! Denise nearly joined us but didn't quite make it because she chose the 'self scan' option in the Supermarket!! Lovely sunny day, had a few beers, nice lunch, bought some trousers (not that I wasn't wearing any!) then train back to Penrith. Just in time to see Brazil being knocked out of the World Cup by Holland...Yeeesss!!!!
Feeling great today and going to a dinner dance tonight. Beverley's end of term do. Wall to wall teachers and parents, eeeekk!!
Just heard from my brother Andre who is now following the Blog in the only way he can! Hi Andre, you're a great guy!
Was very looking forward to going to Newcastle with my 'access group' on Tuesday, but had to pull out. Denise will explain why and I am sure you will all understand, because you are such nice people and I really value your friendship.
Skelton Show tomorrow; sheep, cumberland wrestling and farmers; what a mix! Blood, sweat and tears!
Well it's good not to have to talk about anything too serious today; roll on the weekend!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

This Blog is fully searchable on Google now so hey, we're going international! I was like Diane, I didn't have a clue about blogs until this happened!
Another thing worth a mention...if I say anything personal or anything that anyone doesn't like, please contact me at dansencier@yahoo.co.uk and I can just edit it out, no questions asked. I am too open for comfort for some people, and I do appreciate that some people are more private than others; I never meen to offend.
Had a letter this morning from the Prostate Cancer Charity, I am now on their 'media list'. This meens that if a TV or Radio station, Newspaper, Magazine or other media outlet need anyone to interview, I am on the shortlist! Had plenty of experience with that when I made my Pub in Scotland, the first 'all no smoking pub', a year before the national ban came in.
Which reminds me...Congratulations to my daughter Lucienne, patches all over her, has given up the nasty habit!
In answer to a question..psa for advanced prostate cancer is usually up around 20 ish. Even then with moderrn treatments you can spin along for years. My psa was 4.2. Normal psa would be around 0 to 1 and even a 3 wouldn't get you examined. If you have a family history, ASK to be examined and don't be scared to ask, it could save your life, OK?
Thank you Sasha for the package that you sent today, I will have to find out if they are still valid :-)
Good luck Paul with progress on your journey mate! It'll work out young man!