Sunday, 25 December 2011

update #9

hello all,
a rocky couple of weeks...and now l have a grip

Moannie/Mum is still home, resting, trying to build her strength. She is consumed with tiredness, and spends much of the day resting on her bed, cos she CAN!

She is in the middle of her second round of chemo and doesnt much like her new look..I daren't repeat how she described it, but suffice to say it was hilarious! Thank goodness for humour eh?

Mum will probably be reigning supreme from the couch on Christmas day (god its christmas day already!) with JP/Dad, NOAOS and Lita Mona in attendance. my sis will be in charge of the kitchen, apparently Dad/JP is her sous chef and NOAOS my brother will be in charge of the timetable, humour and games.

I'm sure you all wish Mum/Moannie along with me a very merry but gentle Christrmas in the midst of family.

Here it will be a very quite day, the morning spent with my son after which he joins his Dad for lunch and funny games, by which l mean charades of course! He'll be back with me on Boxing day to gorge on my own cooked christmas lunch.  Yum can't wait, as l have Mum;s/Moannie touch with the gravy.....

Happy Christmas one and all.

'alice' xx

Friday, 9 December 2011

update #8

Mum is home from the hospital today!  Her immune system dropped a bit too low and she cuaght an infection, but all is well now.

In fact she sounded very bright and cheery (the steroids had just been administered! LOL) first thing this morning.

Dad is well rested and caught up on his sleep. Milou seems unperturbed by it all, after his 'quiet' family routine and home being disrupted so frequently, that he is now above caring.

I am back in a very cold Cumbria, settling back to my routine; such as it is at the moment.

Mum will probably jump onto her computer soon, if she hasn't already!


Friday, 25 November 2011



A hectic few days for Mumma, which has included three separate hospital appointments over three days, culminating in todays first chemo session.

The house has been cleaned (again, after my sister blitzed the place last week) by a team of Molly Mops (yes that's what they are REALLY called), visits from district nurse, Occ. Health, GP, Hospice at home carers and a regular morning and evening carer to help Mum with her ablutions and what nots.

I've spoken to Mum and she is tucked up in bed. Tired and a bit in awe of the amount of visitors through their front door, probably several more than they are used to in one year alone.

I'm driving down on Monday for the week and will record Mum's missives (posts) on her blog.

So back soon with more......


Monday, 21 November 2011

update #6

Mum has a busy week ahead of her;

hospital appointments wednesday, thursday and friday,

all being well after the first two appointments, chemo begins friday.

After some changes to her meds, she is breathing better I can report
and more comfortable, now she just wants to catch up on elusive sleep
in prep for the next few days.

I shall be visiting again early next week, for cuddles, hand holding, praps a pedicure,
foot massage and generally some buckets of  tlc

and I think we will be shopping if she's feeling up to it....maybe even if she isn't, well it's all therapy isn't it!!

'Alice' xx

Saturday, 19 November 2011

update #5

A very long week of waiting for Moannie and co
and yesterday, each other felt like a days breadth

finally, came the text

'yes to chemo'

which is the news Mum wanted, wished (and yeah she may even have prayed) for

I know many of you have prayed, sent light, good thoughts, positive vibes...

all gratefully received...
and so next week chemo commences and Mum has agreed to sign up for a trial also.

More soon....

Monday, 14 November 2011

Update #4

After a few days of mad, mental meanderings
and surprisingly lucid recountings, considering

Mum has had a wonderful weekend,
l'm sure she will impart the stories...

surrounded by family she has continued to be pampered,
of course,

midnight feasts, talking long into the nights
and a sunday roast, apparently to die for..

My son and I, mouths dripping with want
from 400 miles away, taste every succulent morsel

This morning Mum is in Fab and Feisty mood,
fire in the belly
today she is gonna take a scalp or two...
from the medical profession l'm sure

watch this space....

'alice' x

Friday, 11 November 2011

update #3

Mum is in bed, Queen like,
her attendants in waiting,

'.... please get me this, I fancy that...'

She has the use of NOASon's Apple mac book,
(cor ain't she the lucky one!)
and is in heaven.
I understand she has been reading your comments here and over at her blog,

The View from this end

and making the odd comment,
she is very moved by your support, words
and often much laughter (the best medicine in my book)
caused by Jim and Rick's comments...

My sister is on way back down for a long weekend,
and the support network is kicking in through her GP,

I am back home in Carlisle, for now,
and will wait for next weeks reports and results,
then make my mind up when to go back down to visit.

Be assured she is comfortable, being pampered
and all your words are getting through to her.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

update #2

Great news! Mum is home from hospital in her own bed.

She returned home yesterday with a truckload of gumph, meds, oxygen and goodness knows what else.

The message is that she is very comfortable, glad to be home with Dad/JP and to gather strength for the days ahead.

Because Moannies blog is not up to date I can tell you that we are waiting for biopsy results and all the appropriate consultants etc to have their conflabs and then sometime next week, hopefully in the early part of the week we will have some picture of what lies ahead.

Milou is happy and Dad/JP is happy, but probably frazzled, to have Mum home for a while.

NOAOSon is running around like a blue arsed fly, cos he has to and cos he wants and needs to.

Lita Mona, NOASon and I are working with, around and behind the scenes to simplify, organise, gather information and generally help however, whenever we can.

Everyone's priority is Mum and she thanks you all for your messages and emails. This weird wonderland that is blogging is bringing her great support and love and she is very, very grateful. I'm sure you all know that.

Alice x

(this info will be more up to date than Moannie blog as I am receiving her posts retrospectively. Also I am no longer posting on my former blog FFF fabfeistyandfabulous so all updates will be here)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

update #1

Just to let you know that I've been down to visit Mum and she is out of immediate danger. last week held the potential and the doctors have taken her in hand and made good her breathing by inserting a stent... and she is no longer bloated to the size of a prize  pumpkin.... sorry Mum! Full details of which will unfold on her won blog

She is in feisty, l'll take no shit, spirits, (where else would l get that from?) and she is surrounded by her family. Mum is buoyed up by the support of her friends here and she is so touched and moved by you all.
 laptop is being sorted for her so between Paco and this newer machine she intends to visit you all personally soon.

Please be measured when taking her dancing, drinking or whatever else you concoct and remember she must be home by midnight!

thank you all!

'Alice' er well you know its me dontcha! (saz)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

its all about Mum...

from now until the foreseeable unknown future

I shall only be writing about my Mum,

my brave,
full spirited,

many of you know her as Moannie

to me she is just...Mum

rightly or wrongly, depending on your perspective

she has almost, no probably always put us first.

But now the time has come,
too shockingly sudden for us her family,
for her to put herself first.
her want,s her needs, her wishes

for Dad (JP) and care
and understanding,
but for now...

from your three children,
united as per your request,
you didn't need to ask Mum,
every wish, need and want will be granted
if humanely possible...

we three borne of a force of strength,
balls, humour and love..

don't doubt it..

Alice ( but to most Saz)

Thursday, 13 October 2011

about a boy

blue eyes
long dark lashes
dark hair n white flecks
open face

gentle, kind
deep thinking
strong minded

lithe build

loving father

(and he cooks and washes up after)

alice x

Saturday, 8 October 2011

it's strange

but I never know what to write here when I am content and even... er happy....

and I am ..for this moment...happy

alice x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

a strange day

When we plan, plot, support and hope for our children, whilst still at school intending to go on to university, it is a moment long into the future.

A rite of passage for them. For parents too.

Buying things together for their room in halls, Stationary. New duvet and cover. posters, prints. Books, More books.

Anticipation. Nerves. Tears.

Loading up the car. Will it all fit. Two trips perhaps?

Excitement. trepidation.

Today my daughter and first born, woke with mixed emotions. Today was the day.

I loaded the car. Packed to the rafters. My tummy flipped. Told myself to get a grip. Lit a fag. Rolled down the window. Choked back a tear. Turned of the radio. Silence. Just my exhaling.

I arrived at my destination. Unpacked the car. Parked up. Walked into the hall and began to set up my stall.

 Every moment that passed, every second, whilst I busied myself with my procrastinations; I was aware my daughter would shortly be arriving at University of Leeds Trinity and would be unpacking the car with her father, 89  miles away. I had planned and plotted for her, but I was not a party to her plans this past year.

Never take these moments for granted. They aren't a given. We have had many shared moments together. I should be grateful. I wanted to be there.

I spoke to her this evening and she seems happy enough. Homesick already, as the reality sinks in she won't be home  (hers not mine) again until December. Reality bites.

For me it bites hard. People ask me why I stayed so long. I say because I didn't want to miss a thing.

What next the graduation? Will I be asked? It's not a given. Time will tell.

This time next year it will be my son's turn to leave for Uni.

Take nothing for granted.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Brave New World

I believe I'm old enough to not give a damn what people say or think. I no longer have a husband to comment, diss or criticise me.

My daughter has left home and is miles away, she couldn't care less what her mum gets up to.

My son sneered at me and said, 'oh god no Mum you haven't.....!', when I told him what I had done. But that's fine... then he said, ' So this is a symbol of your new life, that you can do anything and you are staring over, an act of rebellion and courage, cos you can...!'and  we both laughed. I am always surprised at the depth of his quick thinking.

My fella just said 'OMG you've actually done it, send me a pic !'

My girlfriends are a mixed bag of,  'You go girl, it looks amazing, l've shown everyone in the pub!!'
to, ' OH Alice!' , the smell of disdain wafting down the phone and another pal  just hasn't responded! The  silence speaks volumes.

Admittedly, it rankles a little that my 17yr old son sneered and jeered a tad....but an hour later he asked if I wanted to watch a dvd with all is good there, (and of course he will want £££ for this and that, which is always a come back to Mum moment!)

But  the people I am most agitated about today, 24 hours later are my Mum and Dad!! They won't approve, I know. Just in the same way I didn't when my daughter had her first little one, then a humongous second one.....because I feel that they are a part of me still, an physical extension of my flesh and bone and I want them to retain that perfect purity I created and nurtured.

50 odd years later my folks may also feel this.... and so I  am still scared of my Mum and Dad and l can't bring myself to phone and tell them, cos I will hear that sigh of disappointment that I heard so many times in my teens and since, which I have often heard leaving my own mouth when my daughter and son expected anger from me, and instead a wave of nausea, fear, hurt washed over and left me clammy and bereft.

I thought well I don't need to tell them, they'd never know. But my life is no longer about secrets, feuds and discontentment.

Is it just me or do we all feel this way too.
                                                                        Once a child always a child eh?

hopeOh and yes you've probably guessed it. Yesterday I had a tattoo..

Alice x

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

D Day 2011

Today I become a single lady!

Yesterday I sold my wedding ring in an act of letting go. And then I went right out and bought myself a gold  ruby and diamond pinky ring to mark the official start of a new life.

Tonight there will be a celebration of friends, gratitude and a new journey. A beginning of something more...

And now I can now say 'out loud'  that I have been seeing someone for a few months. He is everything I have never known before. It is wonderful and scary at the same time.

I am trying to let myself enjoy the moments and dwell in possibility...

Alice x

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

inching closer

...and closer...this time next Wednesday I will be a single girl. Unmarried. Divorced.

When I received word that my divorce had been granted (on my terms) I was ecstatic, beside myself. It felt like a validation, someone believed me and agreed with my words and feelings.

And yet..the last couple of days have brought feelings of ambivalence and then some sadness, which is to be expected, but frankly I don't like it. It's too near the flat empty place I lived within for so long. I refuse to drown myself in such dampness and hopelessness.

After collecting my decree absolute, freshly stamped and with the ink of the Judge's signature still wet; I will be gathering with my friends. Those who helped me and encouraged me when I needed and when I didn't; those who sat quietly when I needed and who shouted at me when they believed I needed. Some of you are not able to be here in person, so I will raise my glass and think of you often.

I shall not dwell in sadness. I shall keep a torn corner of it and reflect upon it's making from time to time, with renewed perspective and lust for the adventures yet to happen...

I dwell in possibility....

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

anais nin

'What can l do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where l may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk and press it over myself again.'

Anais Nin - Henry and June

Sunday, 14 August 2011

it's time...

Until a few weeks ago, I would go into town expecting it... and it wouldn't happen.
Yesterday I didn't expect it, and it happened.

We've been separated and living apart for 18 months, the divorce will be final in just over three weeks. We had been living, apart, separate, for that times ten.

He moved away with our daughter and moved in with his lady 4 weeks ago. They are now thirty odd miles away in another town, I rarely go there. So I ventured out for the first time since my car was shunted and I left the hospital.

As I walked down the library steps, very erect and a tad gingerly to protect my neck and spine. My book treasures held firmly under my arm. I saw him walking towards the escaltor, laden with shopping bags, a petite woman chattering away to him a pace in front, as he stalled. His mouth dropped open and he stared. Our eyes locked and I found I smiled gently and mouthed 'Hi'. My feet kept walking me forward and past.

I kept going....a tingle of something, not quite tangible....between us. A lifetime perhaps.

I am no longer afraid. I am ready.

Friday, 5 August 2011

in wonder

I see
you watch me
and  I know your eyes follow me
as I move here and there

in wonder

you listen to me,
and not politely or just cos
you say you like listening
to what I have to say

in wonder

I watch you
unsure if you know I do
my eyes watch you
watching me

in wonder

we exchange stories,
loves and losses,
both searching and
scared and

in wonder

I listen to you breathe
and watch you sleep
your long black eyelashes
flutter over your
sad baby blues

in wonder

I hold my breath
'someone like you
someone like me'

I wonder...?

Thursday, 4 August 2011

A pain in the neck!

These days I think it's always wise to expect the unexpected and sure thing Monday was one of those days.....

I got shunted and not in a good way, stationary waiting for a jcb to cross in front of my car at road works, the driver behind, just didnt notice or something and rearended me big time, and promptly drove off.

Forward to Tuesday and after police, statements and the locating by them of the aforementioned driver, I was beginning to feel the effects, my car needs some tlc, a new bumper and spoiler and I need tlc and a new spine. Well not quite I am exaggerating  a little.

I spent tuesday from 4pm, trussed up like a christmas turkey, flat on my back, neck in a brace and my head taped to the table in a large contraption. Took 6 people to roll me here there and everywhere. Xrays, bedpans, URGH!  AND no movement at all, fearful that the whip lash had cracked a vertebrae or worse.

My only view was of  the ceiling tiles for nearly 24 hours, and then the MRi . That was an experience, anyone I know who has had one, has said it claustrophobic and noisy at best. I found the clanging quite rhythmic and so I heard a melody in there and was only woken by my own snoring!  (btw I'm sure I don't snore)

The consultant released me from my prison bed after the MRi. The good news was nothing was cracked or broken. I apparently have severe arthritis in my neck now as well as my lower back, though neither gives me any jip really. The whiplash effect has displaced a disc and its pressing on a nerve that is now also dislodged, causing the numbness. With rest it may all return to normal, so a couple of weeks off. Hopefully this will do the trick otherwise I'm to go to a neurosurgeon in Newcastle..

So from my lovely bed, surrounded with books, pens, paper, music, gin - I kid you not my pal brought me a water bottle full of gin n tonic to the hospital. I KNOW who my friends are!

Having two men fuss after me last evening was quite splendid, not sure how long I can extend this treatment, but a girl has to try!

Monday, 1 August 2011


(.. oh don't you just love the way some words crash around your mouth and tongue?)

After visiting a blog quite late t'other night, and as so often happens the post and my initial knee jerk comment  stayed with me overnight. It got me thinking about how many well loved phrases, mottos and in my case mantras contradict each other.

'Hold on' - it does what it says on the label, say it, do it and it gets you where you thought you couldn't. I've held on many times, as the alternatives were not all that attractive. And indeed just two little words that are just, well massive! ' This too shall pass', is the conclusion, so hold on and it shall be so.

'Let it go' - is just as worthy, three little words that hold a punch in terms of.all the crap that pulses through our heads>  Leaving us analysing it to the enth degree; or some thing, some action that is like a maelstrom, threatening damage emotionally or mentally. So just jerk it to one side, shove it in a virtual box, padlock it or do as I do, photocopy it and burn it.

Freedom. Move on.

My two mantras that are most helpful and hopeful. Opposites at first glance, seemingly they  prescribe different medicines, but actually work very well together

Thursday, 28 July 2011


for 'muchness'.

I know I used to have it.
Innately within, it just was.
Then it was lost, and I along with it.

In my old place I questioned and ranted.
I screamed and cried.
I pondered and dwelt amongst friends and family.

In this new place, as I search for my 'muchness' and 'dwell in possibility' (Emily Dickinson)
I hope friends old and new will from time to time, drop by for a hug and cuppa, and if you twist my arm I'll bring out the gin!

Alice x