Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

June 26, 2017

Peas, pied and poppies…

TB and I walked nine miles yesterday.
It was a beautiful day and he took some lovely photographs en route.

June 14, 2017

Foxes, dogs and sunshine…

During my cancer treatment I received so much support from many people, some of whom I’ve never met. My gratitude knows no bounds and as I’ve always been a big believer in paying it forward, every year I draw four or five portraits in aid of charities.

So far this year I have given three (Waltham Forest Cat Protection, The Fox Project, Boston Pilgrim Stroke Unit) and have two more scheduled (Lincolnshire Dog Rescue and The National Fox Welfare Society). Take a look here

It’s not entirely selfless. It makes me feel I am giving something back and that is a good, good feeling. So, on this beautiful sunny morning I am smiling like a mad thing as I trawl through photographs of foxes and dogs. Life’s pretty darn fine!

 

 

June 12, 2017

Crumpet and the Fox Project

This portrait of Crumpet, drawn by my good self, is being auctioned
in aid of the Fox Project.
(And here’s their Facebook Page)
The outside measurement of the frame are 54.5cm x 44.5cm.
Crumpet’s story and how to bid are below.

Crump 3ACrump Frame

Crumpet is the smallest adult fox that The Fox Project have had in, in a long time, weighing in at just 2.76kg.
Crumpet has front leg deformations and is possibly mildly brain damaged.
It was decided that for her own safety, she could not be released back
into the outside world, so she’s gone to someone that The Fox Project knows who takes non-releasable foxes and now lives with three others in a very large, naturalistic run.

Bids can be place here on Bren Hopping’s Fund Raising Page

Go, people, bid…let’s do Crumpet proud.

May 5, 2017

Couch to 5K…

Today I told Sarah Millican to f*ck off!

She kep telling me to run. Every 90 seconds she told me to run…and I did.

I’ve downloaded the NHS Couch to 5K app and have just survived the first run of week one. I chose Sarah to bully me. Thank you TB for running with me at the slowest pace known to man, woman or beast :)

I’m a seasoned walker but now it’s time to run.
TB was a triathlete so he can already do that running thing and cycling and swimming. Really though, walking and running will do for me.

Go me!

October 31, 2016

Ooh, baby, baby…

Oh my goodness…I’ve only gone and done it!
My Baby Gorilla drawing won first prize in the Ruddocks of Lincoln Annual Art Exhibition. Chuffed doesn’t cover it. The prize, of course, is wonderful but the recognition is beyond words. Thank you so much to this year’s judge, Toni Watts.
The little chap’s WIP video is now here

14479679_362440470764287_5605124562759767179_n

Also, four years ago I heard about The Spires and Steeples Challenge, a walk (or run if you’re mad!) of 26.75 miles across Lincolnshire countryside. At the time I was in the middle of chemotherapy so it was not going to happen but this year, TB and I blooming well did it. The heavens opened and the fields and footpaths were slippery, squishy and in places like quick sand but we did it…in 9 hours 46 minutes. I feel like King of the World.

ss16
This was pretty much the only dry path.
See how nicely coordinated we are, Frodo and me?

April 7, 2016

Back at it…

I’m drawing again and it feels good.

Click here to take a peek!

 I also have new string to my bow and a new website here

You can’t keep an old bird down  ;o)

February 18, 2015

Damaged but never broken

A couple of days ago I saw my oncologist. It’s been a year since I last saw him. He told me I am cancer free. “Am I cured?” I asked. He said no, I am considered cured after being cancer free for ten years. But hey, cancer free.
I’m CANCER FREE!! Now f*cking stay away, you, cancer cells.

I have been reflecting on the price I have paid to be cancer free and it’s a high one. There’s the obvious crazy fake boobs but really that’s the most minor and visible. Having had my ovaries removed as a preventative measure I have had a surgically induced menopause and as my cancer fed on estrogen I am not able to have Hormone Replacement Therapy. But the hot flushes I get are not menopausal, they are a result of the daily Letrozole I take; as is the constant joint pain (worse in the morning, I’m like a ninety year old crawling out of bed), the debilitating tiredness, the hair loss (though unlike during chemo, my hair constantly regrows but is patchy). What the menopause has caused is the sudden ageing (I’ve aged ten years) and the atrophy of my lady bits. (Luckily, lady bits are not confined to the lady bit so we do just fine! TMI? Sorry, but this is an honest post), dry eyes making my contacts painful after just a few hours…
I could go on.

The permanent damage caused by chemo, radiotherapy and Herceptin…numbness in my left foot, reduction in bone density (I take daily drugs to help with this), heart damage (I am still monitored for this), internal scarring (still forming), lethargy…
I could go on!

I was told of a lady who chose not to be treated. She opted for ten years of normality over two years of hell followed by thirty of ill health and there are days when I understand her decision and admire her bravery. Quality of life is everything but we all have different tolerances and while I do have those days when I feel cheated and angry and cry for what I’ve lost, what TB and I have lost, I have many, many more days when I am simply glad to be here, albeit as a lesser version of myself…
but with more boobage!

So whilst I am cancer free, I am never free from the damage and fear caused but there are people worse off than me, there are people with no hope, no home, no love. In reality, I have everything and for that I have to thank the nurses, my chemo guy, my surgeon, my gorgeous, beautiful, wonderful toyboy husband, my son and his amazing wife
and my friends in the real and virtual world.

This posh old bird will now get on with the next forty years

EDIT I forgot to mention having to take exceptional care of my left arm because of the lymphodema risk as I have no axillary nodes on that side. You see? There’s always something else…

As you were  :o)

September 2, 2014

Time and tide waits for me…

I’ve been busy working for the past month and it’s lovely. I’ve also been doing other things so it’s time to get back into this blogging lark. The next few posts will be “catch up” stuff and I think I’m going to enjoy this again.
Little by little I am returning to my old routines and trusting that this can be done. Tis a nice feeling.

A few weeks ago TB and I, having the young miss and master with us, met up with The Captain and Mrs Captain in Skegness. (Yes, I know, Skegness. Not my usual style, huh? Not exactly the Caribbean, is it?) I was somewhat astounded by the two carts which TC and MC were pulling but holy moly they have it so right. Extra chairs, tables A WIND BREAK…fantastic stuff. I’m a convert now.

10421188_1505842646300289_980662953636375770_n              fr_58_size880
I like this side of the beach…no kiss me quick hats or ice creams.
The tide was still in when we arrived and I like that, too. I like it so much that we have bought our own beach shelter,
low chairs and a table. We spent another day with beer, books and the dog.
It was very relaxing and we look forward to doing it again.

 fr_75_size880       10599454_680836628679854_1719613897297600806_n
Here, the tide is out and Ralph and I are enjoying a “Daniel Craig”
moment as we watch TB walk across the sand.
*sigh*

And look at this!

July 2, 2014

Wanted: Kick up the bum

Man, I need a kick up the bum!

I cannot get back into a work routine. I work from home (actually, I can work from pretty much anywhere) and I can work any time, day or night. For the past six weeks (yes, six) I have hardly worked at all. I haven’t been watching daytime TV, I haven’t sunk that low but I have been on the sofa with a few good books. I’ve been enjoying taking my time over cooking, cleaning, shopping, planning maths lessons (more of that another time) and
even sitting in the sun with a book and a glass of wine.

It’s time now, though, to get off my bum and do some work. I started saying that after the first two weeks, so somebody, please, kick my sun-kissed derriere!

P.S. I have a headache now…too much sun. I’m going to make a pot of tea
and post a few photographs on my food blog.

Done!
See here

 

May 15, 2014

Shop local? I’m trying!

It’s Thursday and that’s the day of the week I realise I should have ordered groceries online. This morning it got me thinking…

I generally shop either in store or online at Waitrose but there are a few items I can only get at Asda and likewise Tesco and Morrisons. I was thinking it would be useful if there was somewhere all these stores were next door to each other so I could nip in and out of one the on to the next. This concept seemed familiar but I couldn’t quite think…oh yes…the High Street. Why doesn’t someone put all the shops we need in the High Street of each town?

Oh, they already tried that? I wish they’d tried harder. I wish councils hadn’t increased business rates to such crazy heights that retailers were excluded and estate agents, building societies, charity shops and insurance brokers took over.

I do try to shop locally but, and I know this is a vicious circle, because there is so little choice I go to the nearest city which means local shops don’t survive thus giving even less choice. Mind you, it doesn’t help that the smaller, local branches of national chains don’t carry the full stock, not even of their own brand (Superdrug, take note, I would have spent £85 if you’d had it on your shelves) or that the few independent stores have very little stock of anything.

I did think perhaps the answer was to do without the things I can’t get. I’m all for cooking with whatever produce is available locally but the quality is so poor. Last Christmas I determined to buy TB’s gifts locally…I would trawl every store, surely there would be something. I trawled, I huffed, I tutted. Pretty sure he wouldn’t have thought much of a 99p screw driver set. Luckily, Tesco stock Jim Beam so one of his gifts was a local purchase.

The town centre here is attractive and well laid out. A main street with a few streets leading off and a couple of small retail arcades. Parking is not too bad, I’ve known worse. So the town should be a delightful, busy place to shop.

I don’t know who is at fault. Did we all leap into our cars and park for free out of town at stores where we could get everything under one roof? Why, when we were able to get everything in one street? Anyway, we don’t all have the means to get out of town nor to order online. Pffft! I don’t know…