Monthly Archives: March 2013

The End of Days

Today saw the end of the war. Julia fought many battles and has won many of them. In the end, superior forces sneaked in and defeated her. She left our presence but never our hearts at 4.10 am today, Saturday 30th March 2013.

Like me and our daughter, Julia was often overwhelmed by the support of so many people she didn’t know but often wanted to. She had great faith in people and declared herself a humanist whenever anyone asked. I always shared the best wishes of everyone who responded to a blog and sometimes we were able to share a laugh and a joke over them. One thing is sure and it’s that Julia was always grateful for the time people took to respond to something  written about her, even if I’d managed to be rude. She never considered herself important enough to be the subject of a blog, but I guess I owed her that much after the portrayal of her in my  books. I did wear the trousers in the house and had her permission to say so. In fact she certainly was important, not just to family and friends but to all those whose causes she undertook and by all those she raised money for, though I  never got as much as I deserved I thought.

When Julia passed away , the hospice ( the FANTASTIC St.Kentigern’s) had allowed Yvonne, Ugo and my nieces Karen and Joanne as well as myself,to remain by her side, sleeping in the lounge for hours at a time and supplying us with drinks. I want to thank the family for their strength and support and love as well as thanks to the staff from all of us for their patience and kindness. Their care of Julia was unbeatable. When we are able to hold a funeral In would ask for donations either to Cancer Research or to St. Kentigern’s to allow them to carry on doing such a brilliant job.

Tango and Ju














R.I.P Julia Prosser 15.07.1956 – 30.03.2013


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This Is The Week That Is

I suppose the title is not stricly true if you happen to be a pedant since given that Sunday is /monday is the start of a new week I’m actually covering parts of two weeks. I wasn’t sure that ‘TWTWTW with TITWTI’ wouldn’t sound like some demented owl calling instead of a title.

I left the story on Friday of last week with the hope that Julia would regain the will to go out or at least to give the ‘girls’ an outing from their cage. ( For new readers, I make the mistake of referring to my daughter and two nieces as the girls as well as our selection of pet rats. I leave it to you to decide who’s been caged).

The driver in place the pain must have been reduced but overall was still evident. So, on Saturday the dosage in the driver was increased, which required a doctor’s authorisation via the nurses. When  it had to be increased again, and because of the snow passage to our home was even more difficult, the MacMillan nurse decided to try for a place at the hospice immediately. That wasn’t possible so a bed at the hospital where Ju”s treatment started was found. Neither my daughter nor I was keen on the idea because they’re large wards, patients have to go through the outpatients dept. before being sent to a ward and there’s no guarantee of visiting outside the stated times. But, any port in a storm as the saying goes. It was thus arranged by having an on call doctor come and assess Julia and sign an authorisation for hospitalisation. It was actually strange to see the doctor since both Julia and I had met him before. He has a surgery in a local town, obviously covers as an on call doctor and also has a job with ATOS, the firm employed by the government to assess people for Disability Living Allowance claims- and refuse them . We remembered him well from his assessment of my claim a couple of years back. He had me walk four feet from chair to door before deciding I could walk OK. He saved himself the bother of asking me a few questions by just supplying his own answers for them and talking to Julia said ” Please My Lady, let him answer the quession I ask” despite being told I wasn’t able to. But this was all done in the most charming manner. On arrival this time to assess Julia he acted as though we’d not met each other before and referred to me as ‘Young Man’ (eyesight not bad then) and said to Julia ” Oh my Lady, you’re far too young for this, far too young” ( and who could disagree with that).

A couple of hours later the ambulance battled it’s way through to collect Ju. An ecstatic Macmillan Nurse rang to say we could have a place in the hospice on Monday but they don’t do weekend admissions. The alternatives were a different hospice much further away or a bed at the local cottage hospital until a transfer could be arranged on Monday.  Yvonne and I gave the problem our undivided attention for all of two seconds and decided on the local hospital. We told the ambulance men who were a little bemused as that wasn’t on their  destination sheet, but it meant an earlier finish so they could cope.

Julia was transported by wheelchair to the ambulance which was a very painful journey but inescapable because of the state of the ground cover of snow and ice. I travelled with her while Yvonne followed in the car with Ugo. It was a very short journey and soon we were on the ward. Though this a main ward it consisted of only four beds. And though privacy was somewhat impacted everyone had automatically started speaking in whispers the minute we entered. Amazingly though, the staff placed no restriction on visiting times and even showed us to a family room where there was a bed enabling some to stay over. It was also a place where we could bring food to so that there was no need to leave the hospital to eat. Ju’s morphine doses were increased again so we expeccted all to be well.

There was no doctor at the hospital so when Julia felt pain the nursing staff had to phone one to get permission to increase the morphine 20mg at a time. This wasn’t achieving much. So, after a Sunday where we brought and ate enough food to feed the four thousand and left the family room smelling like we’d had a Turkish sauna in there instead of Just Yvonne and Ugo sleeping it was great when Monday and the time fo transfer came. I travelled in the ambulance with Julia again while Yvonne and Ugo went by car and Karen did the same.

The hospice (St. Kentigern’s) is fantastic. Though Ju is in a much smaller room than last time which doesn’t have it’s own bathroom, the kindness here is amazing. No restriction on visitors ( I mean number of rather than they can form their own Sumo wrestling team to perform there) and they’ve allowed Yvonne and I to stay over so Ju has our attention 24/7 ( who shouted ‘Poor Soul’ then?) as well as constant care from the staff here which includes a fantastic Doctor who is the most empathetic I’ve ever met and brilliant staff for whom nothing is too much trouble. There’s also the possibilty to order meals so you don’t have to leave if you’d prefer . All that being said, the dosage of morphine is now strong enough to kill the pain and discomfort but Ju is hardly lucid at all now. It’s Thursday at 7.15 am here and Yvonne or I have spent the night sitting with Ju  and giving her occasional drinks to keep her hydrated. The tumour has now caused a blockage so she’s unable to eat at all. Any attempt leads to sickness so the liquid is important.

We spend time playing Ju’s favourite music, holding hands (hers) and stuffing biscuits and cakes down our gullets while Ju sleeps. We know this is the end, just not when it will arrive. Each of us hopes to be here when it does so we can say goodbye properly and not allow her to pass feeling alone. There have been important visitors here that have made Ju’s life better by their presence. Lis, one of those people who enrich the lives of all about them came as soon as the snow conditions allowed. Despite her lack of awareness Ju smiled from ear to ear. Little Mike came yesterday when he had a chance and I’m sure his cheeky banter lit sparks of recognition for her. Both Karen and Joanne (The Nieces) we here last night though Karen has been here all day every day suffering my jokes. Our nephew Lee and his partner Jen visited on Tuesday evening and Ju recognised them I’m sure. Today we know Karen will arrive early and be carrying bacon sandwiches for Yvonne and I and the three of us will sit and reminisce throughout the day trying to include Ju in the conversation where possible. We have no idea how long we’ll be sitting here for.


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Best Moment Award

They say it never rains but it pours and at the risk of throwing trite little adages everywhere, the proof is in the pudding. (Never quite understood that one). So, it’s with no surprise at all I open my mailbox this morning and find I’ve got another award. This time it”s the Best Moment Award. It’s totally undeserved, though I confess I don’t know the reason for it, but I have to offer my grateful thanks to Matt Molgaard of Horror Novel Reviews .  for his generous gesture. I shall attempt to comply with the rules.

Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.


Winners re-post this completely with their acceptance speech. This could be written or video recorded.

Winners have the privilege of awarding the next awardees! The re-post should include a NEW set of people/blogs worthy of the award; and winners notify them the great news.


  • What makes a good acceptance speech?
    • Gratitude. Thank the people who helped you along the way
    • Humor. Keep us entertained and smiling
    • Inspiration. Make your story touch our lives
  • Get an idea from the great acceptance speeches, compiled in
  • Display the award’s badge on your blog/website, downloadable in


My Acceptance Speech.

Unaccustomed as I am, or at least I was until this morning, I have to make a speech. Not being a devotee of the Oscar’s, Tony’s and the other awards all I know is there are supposed to be lots of tears and I’m supposed to issue thanks to My Mum, the man who runs the fish and chip shop and for all I know Uncle Tom Cobley and all. In truth, the only people I can actually thank are the readers of my blog who are kind enough in return for a regular cheque to keep returning for more. I hadn’t realised there were so many masochists in the World.

First of all I”d like to reiterate my thanks to Matt who writes not just an excellent but informative and very thorough blog on Horror Stories. It’s quality work. Meaning no disrespect to Matt though, receipt of this award was a major surprise because obviously I don’t blog on his genre. I may live it, but not blog it.It’s more of a surprise to know that Matt must have read my blog at some time and liked it or is sending this award as a punishment I haven’t yet figured out.

My site was launched for the selfish reasons that I’m a writer and with books for sale we all need the exposure. I soon found that giving other authors the opportunity to be interviewed was fun too. Then I decided to share my life with all it’s ups and downs. The response was so kind that blogging about my books was quite forgotten. Sharing injustices with my online friends , like a young boy hounded to death for being gay, opened another door and allowed me to speak openly about things that affect me emotionally and judging by comments affect you too. In fact it’s become less a blog and more a conversation between friends when I do manage to post.That most of you have taken my wife to heart has been wonderful and we’ve followed her progress through cancer together giving me such wonderful support.

So, in addition to all my friends, My Mum, the Chippie Man and our fabulous Director and crew I’d like to say thank you also to the family who’ve supported my meanderings verbally and in written form and on that note wish you all a Wonderful Day.

My Nominations for The Best Moment Award are…..

Niormandie Fischer

Pamela Wight         

Patti Roberts          

Jacqueline King     

Lori Pinkley            


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Unexpected Sunshine.

It’s not often I’m surprised these days but tonight coming on to catch up on emails I have been. The very wonderful Mary J. McCoy-Dressel ( author of sensual and spicy romance and women’s fiction) has awarded me The Sunshine Award.( ) She’s done it not because my blog is a world beater or because I remind her of a hero from her books but purely from kindness. She thinks I need a little Sunshine. That seemingly small kindness has really touched me, though I know many of you accuse me of being touched already. I accept the award gladly, not least because she says I  can get away without answering any of the questions. Thanks so much Mary J. Hugs to  you.










Because I think it important to follow the spirit of the award, I should like to make my own nominations as follows.

Kimberly A Bettes.

Sandell Morse  

Lynn A Davidson

Renata F Barcelos

Jolyse Barnett 

Catherine Johnson

Maria Tatham  


But, because I have my own streak of devilment. Here are the questions they must answer.


What inspired you to start blogging?

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

What is your favorite blog that you like to read?

Tell about your dream job.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

If you could go anywhere on a week’s vacation, where would you go?

What food can you absolutely not eat?

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

How much time do you spend blogging – in other words, are you one of those lucky people who can dash off a blog post in no time, or like me and take forever on one post to get it just right?

Do you watch TV – if so, what are some of your favorite shows?


Have fun with your own choices folks. xxxx


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That Was the Week that Was

Normally I’d post on a Wednesday to let you know how the horse riding has gone, and how the smile goes from horse to Ju to me. This week hasn’t been like that.

On Tuesday night Ju started to feel some breakthrough pain. She’d taken her normal tablets  and then her emergency ones without getting any ease. By 11.00pm she was really hurting. There was no choice but to call the out of hours service and get the Marie Curie Nurses. Because of the stupidity of our system they had quite a distance to cover from another Shire and arrived at 12.15am. By 12.20 am she’d had an injection of morphine and I hoped she’d sleep. The nurses left about 1.00am and as Ju seemed to be resting I went to bed. By 2.00 am she was in obvious distress again and was now being sick as well,  so it was back on to the service. Ju hates being sick and is quite prepared to stop fighting when that happens. The first team were out on another job so they’d send our local team out. Local? So why send those from far away first time round? We had a phone call back saying they’d leave as soon as the’d spoken to a doctor about the dosage Ju was allowed. I was able to tell them the dosage and frequency so they set off.

By 2.30 am the second dose of morphine had been administered but we were worried about the sickness. The Marie Curie Nurses said they asked the doctor about that too and he was coming. He arrived and gave her an injection of something to get rid of the nausea. He was obviously a little annoyed he couldn’t get round the bed easily because of Ju’s crafting stuff and suggested I might like to clear it. I bit my tongue and said I’d see when someone could do it. I didn’t think gone 3.00 am was a good time to start and he did’t need access there and then.I was probably a little tired. Anyhoo, by 4.00am they’d all gone so I made myself a coffee and sat watching Ju for a while while she slept.

I decided to get my head down about 5.00 am. I managed to fall asleep until 7.50 am when it was time to get up and see to the girls. I gave them a chocolate drop each and then feeling very guilty walked round apologising that ‘Mummy’ wouldn’t be getting them out to play today. I’m sure there were some glares thrown at me so I passed them all a Shreddie with a little milk on. Time to turn the fish on, I’ll rephrase that in case you think I’m wearing my fishnet stockings, time to turn the lights on the fish tank. Then it’s my meds and a coffee. I took a cup of tea through to Ju and she was awake but sore and tired. Time to phone and cancel riding for today. She’s been invited on one on Sunday again so I reckon it’s too early to cancel that. Wednesday her normal meds seemed to hold her but she stayed in bed for the day holding court with one visitor after another and gossiping with Yvonne who’d come to look after her precious Mum.

Thursday. Ju seemed to have no overnight problems and we both got some rest. I took her tea through and suggested she might like to get up for a while so I could change her bedding. She sat in the lounge talking to the girls but didn’t take them out again. I was in and out answering emails or nipping to the shops for a paper and some lunch. It was late morning I saw her pick up the phone and she rand the doctors to ask for a visit. I was puzzled as she hadn’t complained, but she said the pain was back. He came but persuaded her to stick to the tablets for the day and if things hadn’t improved by 5.00pm to phone him again. That was kind, and she didn’t need to. She struggled a bit overnight but no nurses were called out.

Friday. For some reason I was up answering emails at 4.30 am today. I didn’t go through to the lounge until 8.00pm and was shocked to see at least 4 inches of snow on the ground. Where the heck did tht come from? A rhetorical question honestly. And it was still snowing. I gave the girls a chocolate drop or maybe gave one girl 4 chocolate drops since I couldn’t actually look them in the eye so guilty did I feel. Ju and I normally shop early on a Friday so they don’t get their playtime but they’ve missed so much this week. I took a cuppa through and Ju wasn’t looking well. I had my meds, got a coffee and cancelled the Sunday ride. Her MacMillan Nurse arrived and gave her a morphine injection with an anti nausea one. Fair play she did balance it out, one in each arm. Then she left for a while. I went to the shops for my Euro Lottery ticket which is going to make me filthy rich tonight- no, dammit, I can afford soap. There was no way I could do my shopping with the snow and with Ju ill. The paper says 36 hours of this weather with maybe 12″ of snow. Oh Joy !

Ju had some toast for lunch and another cup of tea, that’s all I could get her to try. Then the district nurses arrived. There are always two so I’m sure one comes to hold the handbags. In all honesty they’re great. They brought a driver to attach to Ju so she gets a continuous feed of morphine to kill the pain. Most of the afternoon it seems to have been working but I know when they come to change it tomorrow Ju or I will have to tell them the pain had broken through by this evening. So, currently I haven’t been shopping so haven’t been able to get to the bank. Even If I had cash there’s nothing to buy round here for dinner. We’ll be sharing the rat’s food for the weekend unless a friend can take me shopping tomorrow or I can find a taxi willing to take me to a cash machine first. Of course once I tell them I’ve won 80m on the lottery they’ll be keen to help won’t they? I’m hoping against hope that Ju will at least be able to get out of bed tomorrow even if she can’t go out.( and do my shopping for me). Maybe she can allow the girls half an hour out of their cage. But most of all I want her free of this pain and fighting again beside me.I HATE this Cancer.


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Baby News

I’m horrified tonight when I realise I’ve been jabbering away on here without sharing a secret with my little clique. So, Shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone but Yvonne is pregnant.

Well you can tell Yvonne obviously and Ugo, but let’s keep it to ourselves for now. When we went to their house for Christmas dinner I was given a little box which being nosy I opened. Out came a bib with “I love my Nanna and Pops” written on it.  I asked “Really”?  Never  short of a witticism am I. It was rather warm in the room so I wiped the sweat from my eyes to realise Julia was crying with joy. It was such early stages that we didn’t want to talk about it and risk bad luck. Since then, keeping quiet just seems to have come naturally.

The baby is due in August and I’m sure it’s a boy and others are now coming round to my point of view. August is now Julia’s next target and if will power alone can do it she’ll be there. I’ll still be trying to figure out ways to get him singing Welsh songs and following Rugby as he’s brought onto the ward. Well, we all have our priorities.

I’m so sorry for not telling you sooner my friends but it was purely accidental. I raise a glass to the baby and to you all, Iechyd da. xx


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Shopping and the little bleeder.

Friday was a strange day. Invariably it’s the day we do our weekly shopping, that’;s 20 tins of Sprite for Julia and a bag of crisps for me. Because of my aversion to crowds or actually anyone who would speak to me, we usually go very early.( Like 7.30 am so we”re coming out as others are going in.) Unfortunately this Friday morning Lady J showed no interest in getting out of bed. I put her tea down on the bedside table, wafted the steam towards her and pleaded, threatened and cajoled before finally she just turned over and started gently snoring again. There were one or two groans there too.

At 8.30 I tried again and offered to make her a fresh cuppa.  Since it was too late for shopping before I had to go for a blood test Ju realised she could give the girls half an hour out of the cage. I went to give them a treat as she got out of bed. She was tired and was suffering breakthrough pain, like that’s an excuse to make me miss my shopping. She gave the girls their time and I gave them some Shreddies for breakfast. 3 each for Amy and Priya and 2 each for Penny and Bernie. Yet Bernie is built like a brick outhouse while Amy is fairly petite. Funny isn’t it? No, oh well.

My blood test was booked for 9.50 am so after getting the girls back in their cage Lady J got dressed and ran me up there. I wish she’d got the car out first. Boom Boom. The clinic was running 20 minutes late which was a problem as we had to be home by a quarter past again. At quarter past I was called. It didn’t take long as I’m often called a little bleeder. Back home we flew ready for a wheelchair to be delivered and a visit from the district nurse to see about the medications. There was no sign of either so it was a case of waiting. The wheelchair arrived at 11.30 just as the district nurse turned up. I did my usual fade into the wallpaper and left them to talk. To be fair I listen in since Ju’s memory is atrocious.

12.15 and the district nurse left. Ju asked about lunch and I suggested we ate at the supermarket so I could leave her with a coffee after eating while I shopped. That worked pretty well and I enjoyed bangers and mash. Then as Ju had a coffee I took my courage in both hands and hit the shop floor. Someone helped me up and I nodded at them and pushed the trolley along the aisles playing dodgems with all the shoppers. Ju was supposed to meet me at the checkouts to help me pack and to do my talking but she was well away reading her newspaper when I passed jut out of earshot. Lacking a megaphone to rouse her I had to trust to luck. My luck was in. I had a lovely checkout lady who chatted away to me without expecting me to answer at ll other than to shake my head vigorously when she asked if I needed bags. Ju woke up just before we finished and arrived in time to lift the last bag into the trolley. Revenge was due. I paid with a smile but the woman said she preferred cash please so I coughed up and she said that was no better. Cash or card only. I paid cash and as we were walking out I told Ju I needed a wee and I’d catch her up. I did, but not until she’s loaded the car and returned the trolley. We went home, unpacked and the rest of the day was fine.

Saturday morning I decided Ju could have a lie in. I was going to make it ten minutes but didn’t want to spoil her so I made it five. Yet again she didn’t want to get up. She grimaced a lot when I woke her so I hid behind the bedroom door out of sight and I’m sure it made things better. But, she did have to go to sleep again. Yes, it’s the breakthrough pain and it’s going to mean an increase in the morphine next week unless it gets too bad before then.

When she did get up she asked for help in cleaning the base of the girls cage where they’ve torn newspaper up to make beds. We lifted the whole cage to the floor and then I enticed them to the top with a peanut. As they were up there grovelling we lifted the cage off the base and placed it on the floor. The girls had a play on the settee and helped me eat my Shreddies and watched me take the first of my two lots of diabetic tabs while Ju cleaned the base. That done, we put them back in the cage, transferred it onto the base and put the whole thing back on it;s little table again. We both got dressed and headed out to pick up some fresh bread and also meet Yvonne who was visiting us but breaking her journey to meet us at the local shops. She gave Ju her first outing in the wheelchair which meant I could slip things in the basket without being seen. Then it was over to the cafe for a Latte following which it was a quick dash home to drop the bags and straight out to collect Ju’s brother who was coming to see us.  We went and had lunch which in my case included sausages again and I took the second lot of my twice a day- with meals- diabetic tablets.

At a slightly more relaxed pace we headed home after lunch. Ju talked to her brother while Yvonne and I had a look at travel systems for babies and cot bumpers on the net. I’m a big fan of net prices compared to shops for things like that. £250.00 for German engineered compared to £500.00 from a shop and knocked up last night from some spare aluminium  they had lying around. She was impressed. She left at about 3.30 and I set to on my emails. There were so many, I had to leave some in sacks at the door.

Terry ( Ju’s brother) left just before 5.00 and Ju walked him to the bus-stop. I’d had enough by now and needed a break so I decided to make myself some toast for tea.  I made Ju a cuppa ready for her return and sat down with my toast to see the Wales-England game on TV.  I was so excited I had the third lot of diabetic tabs out of the two lots I take a day. Oops ! Julia arrived back and I turned the game over at 9-3 to Wales. Not a good idea to carry on watching in case I jinx them. It was only later that evening a Welshman living in Thailand told me the final score. I’m heartbroken for the losers of course but 30- 3 WOW !! Well done Cymru.

Sunday. This morning I’m tired. I slept fitfully on the bed last night after having a late finish with my messages. I start again at 5.30 and work till 8.00 when I go and wake Ju. Cup of tea taken care of and some cereal in a bowl for the girls we get them out to play and I return to my emails. Damn, I keep nodding off while I’m writing and I doubt my friends will want the gobbledegook I’m capable of sending when I’m like this. Just a few more perhaps. Zzzzzzzzz Damnation.  ” Sweetie, are you getting dressed before we go” a voice crept into my mind. “Uhuh” was about the best I could manage as I headed for my clothes.

Ju had an excellent hours ride at the stables and I had an excellent hours sleep in the car. She’s come out, talking about going in for endurance riding and is  fairly bouncing with joy though some pain it as to be said. I’m very happy for her. It’s a quick meal out on the way home as our nephew and his delightful fiance are visiting sometime this afternoon. With luck I’ll be able to do some mail before they get here.


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Infamy, Infamy, They’ve all got it Infamy.

Tuesday. Today was about timings. The District Nurse (Think Amanda Hart)  was due at 9.00 but didn’t make it until quarter past. Ju was supposed to ask about a wheelchair to use but in the time it took I wanted to offer to give her piggy-backs. I was sure she (The Nurse, not Ju ) was staying for supper but after a very elastic three quarters of an hour she left. Because I’m not in sight when visitors come, ooh you are nasty, no she’s not ashamed for me to be seen. as I tend to be in the bedroom answering mail I can usually have my shoes and coat on ready to go out. As the front door shut I pounced on ju and put her boots on ( not on me) then her coat and asked urbanely “Ready to go?”  “Perhaps if you’d helped me put my jeans on before the boots I might have been” came the sarcastic rejoinder.”                                                                             We were ready to go .

Some bread, a paper, some ciga  forget that, some milk and we were done in the supermarket. Round to my favourite shop ‘Homies’ for a few goodies to which she added unnecessary cleaning items and we were done there. We both know what comes next. Latte in Temptations or ‘Let Me Tempt You’ for the person who bought my books. That’s always a real treat because the staff are just WONDERFUL. They look after Ju so well. The Manager, Daniel,has even offered to raffle of a Giant Teddy Bear to raise funds towards Pennant Park Wishes which is fantastic because building has now started and soon we’ll be needing a hoist or scissor lift to get the disabled riders to the height for mounting.

Finishing there we know we have to get a shunt on as the doctor is coming to see her and we need to get lunch out of the way. After all that dashing about all I fancied was beans on toast and Ju looked relieved, I’m hoping it’s not because of my cooking prowess or lack thereof. Anyway, lunch over I make us a drink and disappear to my room again. It may look odd if you come to our door but my room faces the open door and because of sunlight on the computer screen the curtains are shut and the light is on.  The doctor as is her wont knocks politely on the door and then lets herself in. She heads straight off towards Ju. I can  breathe a sigh of relief and have a ciggie, making sure I liberally spray the Febreeze about. I’d no sooner put it out and popped a sweet in my mush than Ju came along to say the doctor would like to listen to my chest. She was smirking. Betrayed. Infamy, Infamy, they’ve all got it Infamy. So the little wheeze appears to be a big wheeze that drowns the telly and I’m now back on anti-biotics and more steroids. I’m going to have cast iron boobs soon without a bra to fit them.

Wednesday again. It’s still chilly-willy out there but at least the sun was shining today. It was for me anyway. Ju had a lazy start to the day but suddenly decided enough was enough and I should go with her ( why me? I was fine with lazy) to Pennant Park to deliver some more cash that had been donated by Kassidy’s in Holywell when we saw them last week. ( If that same purchaser of my books still has them, It’s Cass E Dees). We left the money at Pennant Park and suddenly decided to get a cuppa at Kassidy’s. By chance I’d put a dog figure I’d bought yesterday with a thank you plaque in the car along with a box of chocs for the great staff. Not that I was expecting to go there when I suggested it you understand. We had a drink and a chat with the owners who are lovely people then made our way home for lunch. It was a bit of a timetable as we have to be out to go horse riding by 1.15 pm.

A good friend in America had suggested (read NAGGED) I take some pictures to put on the site. Knowing that Ju rode alone last week ( B.O.) I thought it would be a good change to take my camera bag along. When we arrived we thought the day had been cancelled as there was a coffee and cake sale on ( what’s wrong with tea drinkers?) but everything was OK. Ju was riding indoors this week though so I had to ask permission to take pictures. That’s because it’s for all kinds of disabilities and I sympathise. They were fine, as long as I took Ju on her own. My first and best camera showed a fault. My second one showed a problem, so I had to wrestle batteries out of that one into the third which is a cheap video cam with not many mega-pixels. I finally stood up to try but she was moving too fast for me. I tried a few and sat down. Then they all changed their routine and started doing a competition pattern of circles, crosses and turns so I couldn’t try again. Someone asked if we had CD’s in the car and I went to bring some back . They work the routines to music. I brought a load and someone picked TALK TALK. Absolutely brilliant, but they chose It’s my Life instead of the MUCH better  Life’s What You Make It. We almost had the Stereophonics with Handbags and Gladrags. Anyway, Ju glowed the whole time and I was so pleased to see it. At one point they stopped and I heard Di (the Instructor)say, “Julia’s husband but she hasn’t asked him yet.” We were on the way home before she explained that Di was hoping I’d video the competition for them. At home I took the card out of the camera and nearly had hysterics.I’d not only managed to film it in black and white ( for mood you know) but either I have St.Vitus dance or the horse was on some kind of happy juice . It looked like she was hopping round the ring. I’ve had to suggest lending my camera to someone on the day and letting them have a new card so they can keep the results there. Though come to think of it, isn’t it strange I can’t take pics with others in them when I’m doing it normally but can when I’m filming the same people in competition?

It’s currently 8.30 pm and Ju’s just got out of bed saying she’s hungry. I’ve waited months to hear that. I love horses.


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Horse and Rider

Well, Wednesday finally arrived. The day started chilly and ended bloody cold. First thing this morning the district nurse came to introduce herself and bring some syringes in case Ju needs an emergency morphine injection at night. That at least meant we were OK for a game of darts before going out. Ju has been saving coins for a while ( mainly from emptying my pockets for me) and once we found out our little girl is pregnant promised to buy a ‘travel system’ which I understand comprises of a pram/pushchair and car seat plus things I can’ remember. Today the bank hated her as she went to change what she (we) had which came to £190.00. Might even be enough left over to buy an iced lolly if it’s warm when the baby gets here in August.

After the bank we took a thank you car and plant into Kassidy’s our local cafe who have been collecting for the Pennant Park Wishes Charity. Carl who owns Pennant Park Riding School had asked us to deliver them when we went to say hello yesterday.He had some excellent news for us- they’ve just started the building work. It’s really fantastic to think that in as little as two weeks the indoor school could be up. It seems planning permission went through like a dream with neighbours even writing in letters of support.

The hard part now is either to raise enough money or find a firm that will sponsor a hydraulic hoist ( or scissor lift)to get the disabled up to the level of the horses to make them easy to mount. The sooner that’s done, the sooner accreditation to the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) is given and we can get more disabled children and adults on the backs of horses. The therapy and amount of freedom this gives them is wonderful. The one RDA stables that covers this area is a long way away and has a long waiting list for once weekly three quarter hour sessions. We’d like to see that changed.

Anyway back to the story. We were expecting to meet someone at the cafe, someone we’d met about three years ago and until recently I’d only known as baby-lady because she’d just had a baby at that time. Somehow we found out she’d just left the forces and only just had the baby who was a little sweetie. I left her £10 to buy the baby a present and we’d sort of been friends ever since but with long gaps between meetings. This was to be the first organised meeting and she’d just found out how ill Ju is. It seems she couldn’t make it. So, I had a pot of tea and Ju a bucket ( a coffee in a mug you need two hands for). Then amazingly she decided she was hungry and ordered tomatoes on toast. I didn’t want her to have to eat alone so I forced myself to have a bacon sandwich. I’m brave like that. Really Ju was sulking because the lunchtime special is Simon’s Spag Bol which she loves and since it was still breakfast time she couldn’t have it. We finished and I went to pay but Chris refused. I challenged her to arm wrestle me and beat her so she had to accept payment. I’m lucky Si(mon) was doing the cooking.  “See you later” Chris said but I thought it was just one of those throw away remarks people make. We went home and while Ju tackled one of her House Auction programmes I settled to do the 94 emails I’d received since knocking off after my – 8.30 am shift. I’m convinced every crook with a story of untouchable millions, every con about suspended bank accounts and everyone who wants to tell me my lucky numbers knows my email address.

After what would have been lunch time had I not been forced to eat my sandwich we set off for the RDA stables. I was heart in my mouth all the way scared at what Ju might do to herself. Still, makes a change from being scared about what Ju will do to me I suppose. I’d just taken a seat in the indoor Siberian arena when the trainer announced she was going to give Ju tuition on the outdoor arena today. Muttering under my breath ( spells to warm me up honestly) I waited till Ju had mounted and followed. Mounting was one of the things I was most worried about with Ju’s distended stomach but because she was on the lift all was OK. Outside the below freezing wind was lazy and went through instead of around me. I leant on the gate, frozen in place, while Ju started doing diagonals, or rather the horse did them at Ju’s instruction but you knew what I meant, right?  As George ( the horse) walked Ju round I could see her smile and as she drifted past where I was welded she said “I’m loving this, loving it”. Then she got George to canter and far from being scared stiff I became spineless and was able to detach myself from the gate. I watched her going up and down with the smile plastered to her face. I’d had enough and went to wait in the car. It wasn’t many minutes more when I saw George returning sans Ju and then Ju, leaning on Di , her trainer, coming down the path. When she reached me she admitted she’d had a problem trying to dismount the normal way and had to bring her leg over the front and be helped to slide down. She was bushed but happy to be back after five weeks away. Di has told her that maybe in a couple of weeks she can have an extra lesson on a Sunday to make up for the losses. That’s really kind.

We stopped for a cuppa on the way home at a Supermarket where I got her a nice thick jumper in case this cold persists.It was such a nice day yesterday too. We were home by about 4. pm and Ju had a fancy for food again. If riding makes her eat I’ll find a stable to take her twice a day. Her passion was for fish finger sandwiches of all things so I had a tiny pizza. I washed the pots while Ju went to get changed. She goes to bed quite early for comfort and of course she gets tired quite quickly. She hadn’t reached that stage when I had to shout her to open the front door. There were Si and Chris with a large bouquet of flowers for Ju ( rank favouritism) and also two plates of Si’s spag bol for us which we”ll hopefully have tomorrow. They’re a really nice couple and Chris was having fun feeding chocolate drops to the girls while trying to remember which one she dare not risk her finger with. So many people with just so much heart out there it quite chokes me up. There’s hope for mankind after all. More hope if I was getting the bouquets but I suppose I can’t have everything.


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I’ve found myself being rather quiet recently. Conversation isn’t coming easily as I don’t much feel like being flippant. But in life, things have a way of catching you out don’t they? After the shock of last week I’d placed an advert on a degu site asking for a home for the three degu girls. I realised that it would be impossible for Julia to cope when I brought her home. As I’m quite allergic to them ( and the rats) there’s not much I could do either when it came to cleaning. But lets face it, I’m a man and never realise when things need cleaning anyway. I’d also added to the advert that I had the rats too and if anyone was interested………. All I’d specified was that I wanted someone fairly local so that we could keep an eye if needed and they didn’t have far to travel.

Unexpectedly I got an immediate answer and had messaged the young man who replied. Julia had been home a few hours when I mentioned the degus would have to go, I was pleased when she agreed (reluctantly) which was just as well because he arrived. Within half an hour the degus had gone and  I was sure it was to a good home. While he was here he saw the girls and said ” About your mention of the rats in the advert. I’d like them too.” I saw Ju’s face change and begin to crumple. As I went through to my room to get something she followed and tearfully asked that the girls not go just yet. What could I do? But, as luck would have it, he’d come in a car and the girl’s cage is quite a good size and would not slide into the car upright. I couldn’t let him take the cage on it’s back as the girls would be standing on wire rather than their solid base. After explaining that Ju was reluctant to say goodbye to them just yet I pointed out that they’d be safe and still here for him later. He left with that promise.

Since then, Ju has risen every morning without fuss to play with them before they go to bed. As she’s usually the one to open the cage while I make her a cuppa, the routine goes like this.

Priya will run straight for Ju’s dressing gown sleeve.

Bernie will go straight for the opening at the neck and wander down to her waist. Sometimes Ju sits down on the settee then until they emerge again. Then it’s up to the cage.

Penny will climb out onto the top of the cage and then onto Ju’s shoulder while Amy will tuck herself into one of the tubes they sleep in and wait to be lifted out. I will deliver Ju’s cuppa and then go back to take my meds. That done I have to pour myself a bowl of cereal because of the diabetes ( at least that’s the excuse) and go sit on the settee. Bernie will have been sitting on the arm in anticipation of my arrival. I have to give them each a shreddie on my spoon and they run off to hide and eat them. I daren’t take a mouthful yet as it’s not long before they return. Bernie first for her second one which suffices followed by Amy, Priya and Penny in quick succession and only after they’ve taken their third one can I carry on.

Ju uses this interval to take her tablets and a drop of her tea. My part in the performance is usually over in five minutes and it’s play time for a while with them raiding pockets for tissues to play tug of war with or running in and out of dressing gowns. There’s a blanket over the back of the settee and they love crawling under it. Eventually I’m off duty and Ju takes over again as the drinks lady.

Here’s Priya with a cup of tea.

photo (1) Priya enjoying tea

For the not too squeamish, here’s Penny getting her breakfast the cheeky way.

Me fighting for food with Penny.

Me fighting for food with Penny.

  There are some very distinctive styles of drinking. Penny will always cup the liquid in her hand and bring it to her mouth like a gentile lady. Bernie’s quite happy just to stick her nose straight in. Priya on the other hand tries both as if she’s unsure what she should do. Amy is always on guard so she’ll pass it from hand to mouth too. Then usually she’s straight up on her back legs to check for danger in the air. maybe she expects the Red Baron to appear.

Half an hour is about as much as Ju can take of playtime now but I’m so pleased she still shows the same interest. The biggest surprise for me is her determination to maintain the riding. So, on Wednesday afternoon we’re off to see if she can actually cope. We can only attend the RDA stables as they’ve got a mechanical hoist to get riders to horse level. Great news on the charity front though as our friends at a local cafe have a giant teddy bear they’re going to raffle off for Pennant Park Wishes and we’ve just heard that planning permission has been granted and building is about to start. All those that have donated to the Riding for the Disabled Charity at Pennant Park have my     undying thanks. I’ll let you all know how Wednesday goes.


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